Hamas-linked CAIR’s Zahra Billoo: ‘Zionist synagogues’ behind ‘Islamophobia’ thumbnail

Hamas-linked CAIR’s Zahra Billoo: ‘Zionist synagogues’ behind ‘Islamophobia’

By Pamela Geller

Billoo’s claims about “Zionists” being behind “Islamophobia” are rich in light of the fact that year after year, there are far more anti-Semitic hate crimes than there are anti-Muslim hate crimes, and of course many Muslims are the perpetrators of many of those anti-Semitic hate crimes. In 2000, the year before the 9/11 attacks, the FBI noted 33 anti-Islamic hate crimes; in 2001, that number skyrocketed to 546. That’s 546 too many, but a bit of perspective is in order: also in 2001, there were 1,117 anti-Jewish hate crimes. These were not, mind you, all violent incidents: the FBI report explained that “A review of the total offenses (11,451) demonstrated that intimidation was the most frequently reported hate crime, accounting for 37.9 percent of the total. Destruction/damage/vandalism made up 26.4 percent; simple assault, 18.8 percent; aggravated assault, 10.8 percent. The remaining offenses accounted for 6.1 percent of the total.” Intimidation can be just saying something rude, or something perceived as rude.

In 2002, the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes fell sharply, to 170; the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes held steady at 1,039. And so it has been every year since then. In 2018, there were 225 anti-Muslim hate crimes, and 896 anti-Jewish hate crimes; in 2019, there were 219 anti-Muslim hate crimes, and 995 anti-Jewish hate crimes. In 2020, anti-Muslim hate crimes decreased by 42%.

Yet Billoo would have you believe that Jews are targeting Muslims. It’s a total inversion of reality. Muslim hostility to Jews goes back to the Qur’an. The Jews in the Qur’an are called the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); they fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); they claim that Allah’s power is limited (5:64); they love to listen to lies (5:41); they disobey Allah and never observe his commands (5:13). They are disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah’s beloved people (5:18); devouring people’s wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more. They are under Allah’s curse (9:30), and Muslims should wage war against them and subjugate them under Islamic hegemony (9:29).

It’s also important to note that when she talks about “Islamophobia” as a “well-funded conspiracy, a well-funded project…to marginalize us,” she is engaging in the illegitimate conflation for which the term “Islamophobia” was devised. The term “Islamophobia” is an illegitimate conflation of two distinct phenomena: crimes against innocent Muslims, or discrimination against them, neither of which is ever justified, and honest analysis of the motivating ideology of jihad terror, which is always necessary. Islamic advocacy groups and their Leftist allies have been insisting for years that such analysis, too, constituted “Islamophobia.” And they mean to silence it and force the West to adopt what are in essence Sharia blasphemy restrictions. The sinister Zahra Billoo is speaking in service of that agenda.

Zionists are behind Islamophobia, US police brutality – CAIR official

by Michael Starr, Jerusalem Post, December 6, 2021:

“Zionist synagogues,” the Anti-Defamation League, Hillel and other Jewish organizations are “enemies” who are part of a conspiracy behind Islamaphobia [sic], American police brutality, and US border control, according to a speech made by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) San Francisco executive director and former Women’s March board member Zahra Billoo.

“When we talk about islamophobia, we often think of the vehement fascists… but I also want us to pay attention to the polite Zionists, the ones that say ‘let’s just break bread together,’” said Billoo on November 27 at the American Muslims for Palestine’s (AMP) Annual Convention for Palestine in the US.

According to Billoo, the reason that these organizations were coming after Muslims is that they are afraid that Muslims advocate for Black Lives Matter, police accountability, homelessness, against poverty, for the environment and “a free Palestine.” Consequently, they “must come after us,” said Billoo.

“We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League, we need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation, we need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues, we need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses.”

Billoo works for CAIR, a “nonprofit, grassroots civil rights and advocacy organization” that is “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization.”

Later in the speech, Billoo called on attendees to oppose the organizations she previously described as “the polite Zionists.”

“Oppose the vehement fascists, but oppose the polite Zionists, too. They are not your friends… When we talk about Islamaphobia and Zionism let’s be clear about the connections.”

AMP describes itself as “a national education and grassroots-based organization” seeking to spread information about Palestinians. Billoo’s remarks came at their 14th annual convention, themed “On the Road to Free Palestine.” The conference took place in Chicago from November 25-27.

Billoo advised the AMP convention to “know your enemies,” which were “the Zionist organizations” and “the foreign policy organizations who say they’re not zionists but want a two-state solution.”

The reason that Billoo described them as enemies was the assertion that Zionist organizations were behind the propagation of Islamophobia and various ills afflicting the United States.

Throughout her speech, Billoo referred repeatedly to the connection between Islamophobia and Zionism, claiming that “Islamophobia is a well-funded conspiracy, a well-funded project — A well-funded project to marginalize us.”

“We have to connect the dots between the organizations that promote Zionist agendas materials marketing and legislation are the same ones that want to ban Muslims, are the same ones that want to pass anti-sharia legislation,” she said.

She explained that the Israeli military trained police officers in the United States to “kill unarmed black men, women and children.” Further, the technology “used at the US-Mexico border is the same technology used at the apartheid wall.”…

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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A Masterpiece on the Immaculate Conception thumbnail

A Masterpiece on the Immaculate Conception

By The Catholic Thing

Michael Pakaluk on John Henry Newman’s brief, brilliant, logical defense of the Catholic doctrine that the Virgin was born without the taint of Original Sin.


Is it possible for a memorandum to be a masterpiece? A few paragraphs long, dashed off ex tempore, for a friend, not polished?  Various columns in TCT have appreciated masterpieces – a poem, a painting, a musical work.  But could a memorandum ever be accounted a “masterpiece”?

I have in mind Newman’s “Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception” – written off by the Cardinal,” his editor says, “for Mr. R. I. Wilberforce, formerly Archdeacon Wilberforce, to aid him in meeting the objections urged by some Protestant friends against the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.”

That’s it, “written off” – a memorandum is something written off, dashed off, tossed off.

Surely a master can “dash off” a masterpiece: witness the Gettysburg Address, a Shakespeare sonnet, a Scarlatti sonata.  And so we look to Newman’s “Memorandum” without worries as truly a spiritual masterpiece.

Newman begins: “It is so difficult for me to enter into the feelings of a person who understands the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and yet objects to it, that I am diffident about attempting to speak on the subject.”  He adds, “I was accused of holding it, in one of the first books I wrote, twenty years ago. On the other hand, this very fact may be an argument against an objector – for why should it not have been difficult to me at that time, if there were a real difficulty in receiving it?”

Already, astonishing brilliance. He imagines someone raising difficulties, and his task would be to understand those difficulties and reply to them. But he can’t see any difficulties.  Maybe he’s incompetent even to speak on the subject?

He turns this concern on its head. Many years ago, as a young Anglican minister, long before the pope’s definition, Newman had already come to hold that doctrine, naturally and easily.  But he couldn’t have done if it had involved difficulties.  So he has the requisite competence, which is to speak to the naturalness of the doctrine!

Here is that earlier passage, from the Parochial and Plain Sermons:

Who can estimate the holiness and perfection of her, who was chosen to be the Mother of Christ? If to him that hath, more is given, and holiness and divine favour go together (and this we are expressly told). . . .What must have been her gifts, who was chosen to be the only near earthly relative of the Son of God, the only one whom He was bound by nature to revere and look up to; the one appointed to train and educate Him, to instruct Him day by day, as He grew in wisdom and stature? This contemplation runs to a higher subject, did we dare to follow it; for what, think you, was the sanctified state of that human nature, of which God formed His sinless Son; knowing, as we do, that “that which is born of the flesh is flesh,” and that “none can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?”

Then come a series of devastating arguments as to why there are no difficulties in the doctrine.  If there is no difficulty in saying that Eve was created without sin – if there is no risk of turning her into a deity – what is the great difficulty in saying that Mary was created without sin?  If we hold that John the Baptist was cleansed of original sin in the womb, then why not Mary from an even earlier point in the womb?   If there is no difficulty in saying that you and I are cleansed from original sin at some later point in our lives by baptism – if our saying so in no way detracts from the merits of the Lord – then wouldn’t Mary’s being cleansed even earlier in her life make her even more dependent on the Lord?

We do not say that she did not owe her salvation to the death of her Son. Just the contrary, we say that she, of all mere children of Adam, is in the truest sense the fruit and the purchase of His Passion. He has done for her more than for anyone else. To others He gives grace and regeneration at a point in their earthly existence; to her, from the very beginning.

Newman then considers the antiquity of the doctrine.  Why?  Because “No one can add to revelation. That was given once for all; – but as time goes on, what was given once for all is understood more and more clearly.” You might wish to copy out these lines as proof of what Newman meant by “development of doctrine.”  It did not allow for any new revelation.  What it means, rather, is this: “The greatest Fathers and Saints in this sense have been in error, that, since the matter of which they spoke had not been sifted, and the Church had not spoken, they did not in their expressions do justice to their own real meaning.”

He focuses on the contrast between Mary and Eve in the earliest writings of the Fathers, and especially the proto-evangelion: “See the direct bearing of this upon the Immaculate Conception. . . .There was war between the woman and the Serpent. This is most emphatically fulfilled if she had nothing to do with sin – for, so far as any one sins, he has an alliance with the Evil One.”

Newman’s masterpiece concludes: “I say it distinctly – there may be many excuses at the last day, good and bad, for not being Catholics; one I cannot conceive: ‘O Lord, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was so derogatory to Thy grace, so inconsistent with Thy Passion, so at variance with Thy word in Genesis and the Apocalypse, so unlike the teaching of Thy first Saints and Martyrs, as to give me a right to reject it at all risks, and Thy Church for teaching it. It is a doctrine as to which my private judgment is fully justified in opposing the Church’s judgment. And this is my plea for living and dying a Protestant.’”

You may also enjoy:

Thomas Meron’s The Blessed Virgin Mary Compared to a Window

Ven. Fulton J. Sheen Mary’s Wild Tranquility

COLUMN BY

Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is a professor in the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America. He lives in Hyattsville, MD with his wife Catherine, also a professor at the Busch School, and their eight children. His acclaimed book on the Gospel of Mark is The Memoirs of St Peter. His new book, Mary’s Voice in the Gospel of John: A New Translation with Commentary, is now available.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2021 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Abortion on Trial

By Jerry Newcombe

Last week the Supreme Court heard an abortion case out of Mississippi, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. It would appear to be the most serious challenge to Roe v. Wade in three decades.

An interesting aspect of this story is this: How do the American people feel about this case?

Conflicting reports have provided conflicting opinions.

Yahoo News (12/1/21) claims that only 24% of Americans want to see Roe overturned. They write:

“As the Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative majority seems poised to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, more than twice as many Americans (55 percent) say they want the court to reaffirm its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision as say they want it overturned (24 percent), according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.”

However, they add the caveat, “when asked about the specifics of the Mississippi case, respondents are far more divided—a sign that America’s views on abortion are not quite as clear-cut and polarized as many assume.”

Meanwhile, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, has a different take on where Americans stand on abortion and this challenge to Roe.

Perkins says of the notion that the public does not want to see Roe overturned that the corporate media confuses “the public’s support for legal abortion with the Left’s agenda: unlimited, taxpayer-funded destruction of an unborn child for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe may have condoned that. The American people—almost every poll agrees—will not.”

He adds: “Ask the AP. Ask Gallup. Ask YouGov. Ask Harvard. Ask Marist. There isn’t a majority anywhere in the country in favor of the kind of barbarism that Democrats want to make permanent law. Only eight percent of Americans can bring themselves to support abortion through nine months of pregnancy.”

When it comes to polling on abortion, I think the wisdom of the late George Gallup, Jr. applies here. I had the privilege of interviewing him in his Princeton, NJ office in the late 1990s.

Gallup told me that we should never forget these basic facts: 20% of Americans are strongly pro-choice. 20% of Americans are strongly pro-life. 60% are in what he called “the mushy middle,” and polls could get them to sound pro-abortion or anti-abortion depending on what you ask.

How important is public opinion anyway? In his End of Day (12/3/21) Gary Bauer writes: “Liberal justices have never cared about public opinion. They have never hesitated to use the Supreme Court to force radical change on the American people, whether it was expelling God from our public schools, finding a right to abortion that was mysteriously hidden for 200 years or redefining the meaning of marriage—another right that never existed until five liberals invented it.”

And that points sums up one of the conservative cases against Roe in the first place. It has nothing to do, really, with the U.S. Constitution. The left imposed their will on the American people through judicial fiat.

Last week in the oral arguments before the high court, Justice Clarence Thomas said as much.

He noted, “If we were talking about the 2nd Amendment, I know exactly what we’re talking about. If we’re talking about the 4th Amendment, I know what we’re talking about, because it’s written. It’s there. What, specifically, is the right here that we’re talking about?”

In short, where exactly in the Constitution do we find the right to abortion? Or even the right to privacy?

Pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor likened a fetus to a brain dead person, arguing:

“Virtually every state defines a brain death as death….So I don’t think that a response to [stimulus] by a fetus necessarily proves that there‘s a sensation of pain or that there’s consciousness.”

Of course, many medical doctors don’t agree with her view on that. The fetus (which is derived from the Latin word meaning unborn child) is far more alive than someone who is brain dead.

Meanwhile, pro-life Justice Samuel Alito posed a question to Biden’s pro-abortion Solicitor General, who is relying heavily on maintaining decades of Supreme Court precedent rather than the Constitution itself. He asked her: “Is it your argument that a case can never be overruled simply because it was egregiously wrong?”

Just because we’ve lived with Roe all these years doesn’t make it right. 63 million dead babies in the wake of Roe v. Wade would agree, if somehow they could be polled.

As Ronald Reagan once put it, “[T]he Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.”

We pray that the Supreme Court will reconsider the grievous error their predecessors made in 1973, and turn abortion regulation back into the hands of the states, which is much closer to “we the people.”

©Jerry Newcombe. All rights reserved.

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Rubens’ “Elevation”

By The Catholic Thing

Brad Miner: Peter Paul Rubens’ greatest painting calls us to ask ourselves: How weighty are our sins? How backbreakingly heavy are the sins of the world? And how does evil cooperate in our redemption?


Some think of the paintings of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) as mostly images of voluptuous (sometimes nude) women. (His The Judgment of Paris is a good example.) If I see a full-figured woman, I reflexively think: Rubenesque. Other artists, Pierre Auguste Renoir is one, painted women who were zaftig (a lovely Yiddish synonym), but nobody says Renoiresque.

But that aspect of Rubens’ work is really the celebration of the human form in the spirit of Michelangelo (1475-1564). And Rubens was probably the greatest Catholic artist of the Baroque period (c. 1600 through 1750), as Michelangelo had been in the Renaissance. In painting, especially, the Baroque style is the artistic manifestation of the Catholic Counter-Revolution, the energetic reassertion of Catholicity against the iconoclasm of the Protestant Reformation.

Of all the Catholic paintings by Rubens, none stands taller than “The Elevation of the Cross” – literally: the triptych in which “Elevation” is the centerpiece stands more than 11 feet tall and is over 15 feet wide. (The image below, showing a woman standing before it in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, gives some perspective on its size and impact.)

“The Elevation of the Cross” may be the greatest of all Baroque religious paintings. This is not to say that Rubens was the greatest Baroque painter. To my mind, that honor goes to Caravaggio (1571-1610). In his short life, Caravaggio produced fewer than 100 paintings (not counting copies) but many of them masterpieces, whereas a catalog of Rubens’ work lists 1,403. Caravaggio, along with Michelangelo and Titian (c. 1489-1576), strongly influenced Rubens, who studied the Italian painters during extended stays in Venice, Rome, and Florence.

Caravaggio was a quintessential live-hard-die-young artist; Rubens was a live-long-and-prosper one. We don’t think of 62 as particularly long-lived today, but it was a full life in Rubens’ time. He was also well-educated and, in his way, powerful: a diplomat and the friend of kings. The home-and-studio-and-gardens complex he eventually built in Antwerp is a true mansion. All his success, unrivaled at the time by any other living artist, did not spoil him, and that was in large measure because of his grounding in Catholicism.

You’d be surprised to tour a decent art museum anywhere in the world and not find a “Crucifixion” in the collection. More than likely, it will be by a Catholic artist. But not always. Marc Chagall, probably the most celebrated Jewish artist of the 20th century, painted a number of Crucifixion scenes, each an expression of the artist’s conviction that Christ suffered with European Jews as they were suffering under the Nazis.

Most Crucifixion paintings depict Jesus on the Cross, dying or dead. Not Rubens’ The Elevation of the Cross, painted between 1610 and 1611. It witnesses to something not simply representational but also powerfully evangelical.

Sin is about to murder God, but that’s not an easy thing to do. One imagines that the nailing and erecting of the crosses of Dismas and Gestas, the good and bad thieves (depicted in the right panel of the triptych), was a routine thing for Roman soldiers. It’s not personal; it’s just business. But this is not the case with the preacher from Nazareth, “King of the Jews.”

Eight muscular men strain as if the weight of the Cross and the Man is greater than any of them has ever encountered. Perhaps one of them is thinking: Surely this is heavier than anything my ancestors lifted when they built the aqueducts of Rome! . . .How I wish I were back home!

During his stay in Rome, Rubens visited the Sistine Chapel and saw Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings, Raphael’s tapestries, and frescoes by Perugino, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, and others, nearly all of which showed the pre-Reformation dynamism and color so characteristic of the High Renaissance: human bodies in action.

Of course, Protestants believe in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection no less than do Catholics, but depictions in the late 16th and early 17th centuries had become somewhat static. The body of Christ on the Cross is always shown as stripped down. But other figures in the scenes by Protestant painters (such as there were) tend to be clothed to such an extent that we might call them shrouded. And a painting such as The Elevation of the Cross could never have been placed in a 17th-century Protestant church. For all I know, it wouldn’t be acceptable today – not so much for the triptych’s central panels as for the left side panel in which we see witnesses to the Crucifixion.

Here are our Blessed Mother with the Apostle John comforting her. Below them are six remarkable people: two children and four women, one of whom, a blonde with decorative braids, has been nursing her blonde child, who has pulled away suddenly from the mother’s bare breast as the mother leans back, transfixed by the Cross rising towards its apex. A much older woman – with the other, older child clinging to her – is also reacting to the effort of the elevation. But she leans slightly forward, her hand raised as if she might be instructing the Romans on how to do the job. More likely, she’s about to weep.

The other women, both dark-haired – likely the two Marys – seem already to be mourning. One – to my mind Mary Magdalene – is prayerful. The other Mary, who looks straight at us, may be the wife of Cleopas, the brother of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. According to art historian Ulrich Heinen, the four women represent “the stages of repentance: fearfulness, contrition, hope, and charity toward the Savior.”

Christ, the man, is accepting the death He was born to achieve. For Rubens, this is the moment in which He asks the Father to forgive his tormentors and killers.

So, we ask ourselves: How weighty are our sins? How backbreakingly heavy are the sins of the world? And how does evil cooperate in our redemption? For the soldiers, this is an end. For us, it’s Creation transformed and reborn.

You may also enjoy:

James Patrick Reid’s Art, Sacred and Profane

Fr. Robert P. Imbelli’s Tintoretto’s Enlightenment

COLUMN BY

Brad Miner

Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and a board member of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His most recent book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with George J. Marlin, is now on sale. His The Compleat Gentleman is now available in a third, revised edition from Regnery Gateway and is also available in an Audible audio edition (read by Bob Souer).

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. Copyright 2021 The Catholic Thing. All Rights Reserved. Site designed by Hyperdo Media. Developed by Fiat Insight

Muslim Political Candidates and Public Officials: Choosing Between Islamic Doctrine or the U.S. Constitution thumbnail

Muslim Political Candidates and Public Officials: Choosing Between Islamic Doctrine or the U.S. Constitution

By Dr. Stephen M. Kirby, PhD

People in public office in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels are required to take an oath of office in which they swear, or affirm, to support the U.S. Constitution. This is based on Article 6, Clause 3 of that Constitution (the “Oaths Clause”).

The Framers of the Constitution considered the “Oaths Clause” a way of binding those taking that oath “to abstain from all acts inconsistent with it,” and “to observe the limits” it placed on their authority.1

Thomas Jefferson explained it well:

“In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson, The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, Jefferson’s Fair Copy2

But as I wrote about in my book Islamic Doctrine Versus the U.S. Constitution: The Dilemma for Muslim Public Officials,3 there are irreconcilable conflicts between the U.S. Constitution and core tenets of Islamic Doctrine. It is only natural then to ask a Muslim running for office, or one currently in office, how they personally resolve those irreconcilable conflicts in order to swear to support the U.S. Constitution.

So, I decided to ask, and I created the Muslim Oath Project. In 2019 and 2020 I sent four specific questions to a total of 263 Muslim public officials and political candidates. Those four questions required a choice to be made between Islamic Doctrine or the U.S. Constitution. Those four questions are found in this brochure:

Islamic Doctrine versus the U.S. Constitution: Four Questions for Muslim Public Officials and Political Candidates

Of the 263 contacted, only 17 expressed support for the U.S. Constitution; of those 17, six preferred to remain anonymous. More information about the Muslim Oath Project, and a list, by state, of the 246 who would not express support for the U.S Constitution is here. For details about the rational and procedures for the Muslim Oath Project, see my article “Islam Versus The U.S. Constitution – The Muslim Oath Project.”4

In spite of the reluctance to express support for the U.S. Constitution by 94% of the then-Muslim candidates and public officials contacted, we are seeing an energized effort to increase the number of Muslims running for public office or seeking re-election to public office in 2022.

Congressman Andre Carson, a Muslim convert, summed it up well in 2019:

It’s more than just about having three Muslims in Congress. I think symbolically it has great value, but I won’t rest until 2020 we have five more members of Congress; 2022 and 24, we have ten more Muslims in Congress. In 2030 we may have about 30, 35 Muslims in Congress. Then we’re talking about Madame Chair Rashida. We’re talking about Madame Chair Ilhan. Hell, we could be saying Speaker of the House Ilhan, Speaker of the House Rashida, Senator Rashida, Governor Ilhan, President Fatima, Vice President Aziza, Inshah’ Allah…Each and every one of us has a directive to represent Islam, in all of our imperfections, but to represent Islam and let the world know that Muslims are here to stay, and Muslims are a part of America. And we will, we will have a Muslim caucus that is sizable, that is formidable, and that is there for you. – U.S. Congressman Andre Carson (a Muslim convert) – Indiana 7th District CAIR Community Congressional Reception, January 10, 2019

What to do?

So what is one to do? The answer is to ask Muslim candidates and public officials one or more

of the Four Questions found in the brochure on the previous page and then to publicize their

answers, or lack thereof. How should one prepare oneself? Here are some things to consider:

  1. Go to a political event with a few friends so multiple questions can be asked, but don’t sit

    together. Each of you can have your own question to ask the Muslim public official/candidate. Once you ask your question, the public official/candidate will not come back to you, so this then provides an opportunity for one of your other friends.
  2. Use one of the Four Questions that is listed in the brochure mentioned on the previous

    page. Review the chapter in Islamic Doctrine Versus the U.S. Constitution from which the particular question came and have the Koran chapter and verse, and/or the source for

    Muhammad’s teaching available in case you are asked for that information. Remember,

    4 Stephen M. Kirby, “Islam Versus The U.S. Constitution – The Muslim Oath Project,” PipeLineNews.org, May 1, 2020, a free PDF download of this book is available here.
  3. Be polite and calm.
  4. Read your question verbatim and push for a definitive answer.
  5. Be ready to handle evasive responses – use the information in this brochure: Islamic Doctrine versus the U.S. Constitution: Handling Evasive Responses
  6. Even if the Muslim candidate is evasive or refuses to respond, you are still educating

    those around you about Islam.
  7. Have the event recorded and post it to social media.
  8. Expect to be called an “Islamophobe,” so have this quote from CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) available: It is not appropriate to label all, or even the majority of those, who question Islam and Muslims as Islamophobes. CAIR Report 2013, Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States, p. ix

Conclusion

There is an importance attached to taking an oath of office to support the U.S. Constitution. As I noted above, the Framers of the U.S. Constitution considered the “Oaths Clause” a way of

binding those taking that oath “to abstain from all acts inconsistent with it,” and “to observe the limits” it placed on their authority.

If we are to expect our public officials “to abstain from all acts inconsistent” with the U.S.

Constitution and to observe the limits it places on them, then it is only natural to raise specific questions when a public official or candidate for public office claims to follow a religion that is rife with teachings and commands in conflict with that Constitution. And it is incumbent on Muslim public officials and candidates to be willing to specifically answer how each resolves that conflict.

…the Constitution which at any time exists, ‘till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all. George Washington’s Farewell Address – September 19, 1796.

References:

1 Edwin Meese III, Matthew Spalding, and David Forte, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, 2005), p. 295.

2 “The Papers of Thomas Jefferson,” Princeton University.

3 Stephen M. Kirby, Islamic Doctrine Versus the U.S. Constitution: The Dilemma for Muslim Public Officials (Washington DC: Center for Security Policy Press, 2019)

©Dr. Stephen M. Kirby, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Top Ten Myths Muslims Believe about Islam.

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The Muslim Oath Project

By Dr. Stephen M. Kirby, PhD

“It’s more than just about having three Muslims in Congress.  I think symbolically it has great value, but I won’t rest until 2020 we have five more members of Congress; 2022 and 24, we have ten more Muslims in Congress.  In 2030 we may have about 30, 35 Muslims in Congress.  Then we’re talking about Madame Chair Rashida.  We’re talking about Madame Chair Ilhan.  Hell, we could be saying Speaker of the House Ilhan, Speaker of the House Rashida, Senator Rashida, Governor Ilhan, President Fatima, Vice President Aziza, Inshah’ Allah…Each and every one of us has a directive to represent Islam, in all of our imperfections, but to represent Islam and let the world know that Muslims are here to stay, and Muslims are a part of America.  And we will, we will have a Muslim caucus that is sizable, that is formidable, and that is there for you.” – U.S. Congressman Andre Carson at the CAIR Community Congressional Reception, January 10, 2019


People in public office in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels are required to take an oath of office that requires them to swear, or affirm, to support the U.S. Constitution.  This is based on Article 6, Clause 3 of that Constitution (the “Oaths Clause”).

The 2019 elections saw an increase in the number of Muslims re-elected and newly elected to public office across the United States, and as part of their oaths of office they each must swear to support the U.S. Constitution.  The upcoming 2020 elections have seen an increase in the number of Muslim candidates running for public office.  If elected, these candidates will have to take an oath of office in which they swear to support the U.S. Constitution.

However, as I showed in my latest book Islamic Doctrine versus the U.S. Constitution: The Dilemma for Muslim Public Officials, there are many core tenets of Islam that are irreconcilably in conflict with much of that Constitution.

It is only natural then to ask a Muslim running for office, or one currently in office, how they personally resolve the irreconcilable conflict between laws in the U.S. Constitution and core tenets of Islamic Doctrine.

So, I decided to ask.

On December 9th and 16th of 2019 I sent four questions to 80 Muslim public officials across the United States, asking them to choose between the U.S. Constitution or Islamic Doctrine.

On February 10, 2020 I sent these same four questions to 36 Muslim candidates running for public office across the United States.  On February 17, 2020 I sent the same questions again to those Muslim candidates who had not responded.

I have detailed this in these two articles:

Since February 2020, I have contacted over 100 additional Muslim public officials and candidates, resulting in a total of over 200 having been contacted.  Some responded to the four questions without expressing support for the U.S. Constitution over Islamic Doctrine.  Others responded by expressing support for the U.S. Constitution.  Those expressing that support are identified at the beginning of the list below.  However, most of the Muslim public officials and candidates have not expressed support for the U.S Constitution or simply not responded, and they are listed below by State.  More names will be added to the list as additional Muslim public officials and candidates are identified.


Interesting Replies

Multiple replies from Pious Ali – City Council of Portland, Maine:

  • The Inquisition ended in 1834… Where are you located again?  I have taking [sic] that oath three times, It [sic] never says I should answer to bigots who live outside my jurisdiction, I hope your week is going well…I will not answer any of your racist anti-Muslim questions.

Zainab Baloch – Former Candidate, Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina:

  • I didn’t miss it [my first e-mail]. If I have time to respond to your harassing questions, I will. Have a great week!

Shahana Hanif – Candidate New York City Council, tweeted:

  • Just in case you’re wondering what it’s like to be a Muslim woman from Brooklyn running for office: [followed by the Muslim Oath Project questions]
  • Numerous comments from her supporters followed, none of which the candidate disavowed: “crap”, “POS”, “ridiculous”, “shameful”, “vile and ignorant”, “white privelaged male” [sic], “known bigot”, etc., etc.
  • Dr. Kirby replied: “We did have 14 Muslim public officials/candidates who were willing to express support for the U.S. Constitution. I’m sorry you were not one of them.”

The List

Expressed Support for the U.S. Constitution:

Deedra Abboudd – Candidate Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Arizona

Dalia Al-Aqidi – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (MN-5)

Iman-Utopia Layjou Bah – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (AZ-2)

Christopher Benjamin – Florida State House of Representatives Response

Nada Elmikashfi – Candidate Wisconsin State Senate  

Mohammad Iqbal – Kane County Board, Kane County, Illinois

Turan Kayaoglu – Puyallup School Board, Puyallup, WA

Rashid Malik – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (GA-7)

Shammas Malik – City Council, Akron, OH


Ali Mazarei – Candidate California State Assembly

Imtiaz Ahmad Mohammad – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (FL-22)

Public Official Preferred Anonymity – Eastern U.S.

Candidate for Public Office Preferred Anonymity – Eastern U.S.

Candidate for Public Office Preferred Anonymity – Central U.S.


Public Official Preferred Anonymity – Western U.S.

Public Official Preferred Anonymity – Western U.S. 


Candidate for Public Office Preferred Anonymity – Western U.S.



Would Not Express Support for the U.S Constitution (by State)



Arizona



Yassamin Ansari – Candidate, Phoenix City Council

Muhammad Arif – Candidate United States Senate Response

Muktar Sheikh – Balsz Elementary School DistrictCalifornia

Kaisar Ahmed – Candidate San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

Waseem Ahmed – Mayor of Chowchilla

Aziz Akbari – Alameda County Water District Director

Maimona Afzal Berta – Franklin-McKinley School Board

Shahid Buttar – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (CA-12)

Aliya Chisti – San Francisco City College Board of Trustees

Halim Dhanidina – Associate Justice for the Second District Court of Appeal

Omar Din – Sunnyvale City Council

Basim Elkarra – Twin Rivers Unified Board of Trustees

Javed I. Ellahie – Monte Sereno City Council

Hosam Haggag – Santa Clara City Clerk

Sam Hindi – Foster City, City Council


Fatima Shahnaz Iqbal-Zubair – Candidate California State Assembly

Al Jabbar – Anaheim Union High School District Board

Farrah N. Khan – Irvine City Council


Antonio Lopez – East Palo Alto City Council 

Anil Muhammed – Torrance Unified School District Board

Gregory A. Pulskamp – Judge Kern County Superior Court

Fauzia Rizvi – Western Municipal Water District (Riverside)

Ali Saleh – Mayor of the City of Bell

Cheryl Sudduth – West County Water District Board of Directors

Ali Sajjad Taj – Artesia City Council

Cenk Uygur – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (CA-25)

Aisha Wahab – Hayward City Council

Sabina Zafar – San Ramon City Council

Colorado

Iman Jodeh – Candidate Colorado State House of Representatives

Connecticut

Saud Anwar – Connecticut State Senate

Maryam Khan -Windsor Board of Education

Delaware

Madinah Wilson-Anton – Candidate Delaware State House of Delegates

Florida

Anna Eskamani – State House of Representatives

Amira Dajani Fox – State Attorney, 20th Judicial Circuit

Noor Fawzy – Candidate Coral Springs City Commission

Saad Khan – Weston City Commission

Barbara Sharief – Broward County Commissioner 

Georgia



Amir Farokhi – Atlanta City Council

Ahmed Hassan – Clarkston City Council


Nabilah Islam – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (GA-7)

Sheikh Rahman – Georgia State Senate

Illinois

Junaid “J” Afeef – Candidate Kane County State’s Attorney

Hadiya Afzal – Candidate DuPage County Board

Bushra Amiwala – Skokie School District 3.5 Board of Education

Sadia Covert – DuPage County Board Member

Rush Darwish – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (IL-3)

Mohammed Faheem – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (IL-8)

Sarah Gad – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (IL-1)

Inam Hussain – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (IL-8)

Moon Khan – Candidate Circuit Court Clerk, DuPage County

Raabia Khan – Oak Grove School District 68 Board of Education


Karim Khoja – Village of Glenview Board of Trustees

Ameena Matthews – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (IL-1) Response

Azam Nizamuddin – Candidate Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of DuPage County

Anisha Patel – Article Heights School District 25 Board of Education

Abdelnasser Rashid – Candidate Cook County Board of Review

Sara Sadat – Lisle Board of Trustees


Alia Sarfraz, Candidate Illinois State House of Representatives



Indiana

Andre Carson – U.S. House of Representatives (IN – 7)

Fady Qaddoura – Senator-elect, Indiana State Senate



Iowa

Ako Abdul-Samad – Iowa State House of Representatives

Mazahir Salih – Iowa City, City Council

Maine

Pious Ali – City Council of Portland Response

Deqa Dhalac, City Council, South Portland Response

Marwa Hassanien – Bangor School Board

Safiya Khalid, Lewiston City Council

Yusuf Yusuf –  Portland School Board

 Maryland



Raaheela Ahmed – Prince George’s County Board of Education

Hasan M. “Jay” Jalisi – Maryland State House of Delegates

Fazlul Kabir – College Park City Council

Saafir Rabb – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (MD-7)

Sabina Taj – Howard County Board of Education



Massachusetts



Mehreen Butt – Wakefield Town Council 

Salina Chowdhury – Candidate Foxborough School Committee

Maya Jamaleddine – Melrose City Council

Afroz Khan – Newburyport City Council

Sarah Khatib – Vice Chair Walpole Planning Board

Ihssane Leckey – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (MA-4)

Fatima Mezdad – Concord School Committee


Nichole Mossalam – Candidate Massachusetts State House of Representatives


Muzammil Nazir – Candidate for Massachusetts State House of Representatives

Patricia O’Brien – Burlington Town Meeting Member

Sumbul Siddiqui – Cambridge City Council

  

Michigan

Dave Abdallah – Dearborn Heights City Council

Aamina Ahmed – Policy Advisory Committee, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

Abraham Aiyash – Candidate for Michigan State Senate

Fadel Al-Marsoumi – Hamtramck City Council

Mohammed Alsomiri – Hamtramck City Council

Sam Baydoun – Wayne County Commissioner

Bill Bazzi – Dearborn Heights City Council

Hussein Berry – Dearborn School Board

Stephanie Fakih – Bloomfield Township Trustee

Nayeem Leon Choudhury – Hamtramck City Council

Susan Dabaja – Dearborn City Council

Dima El-Gamal, Candidate for Re-election Bloomfield Hills School Board

Salwa Fawaz – Crestwood School Board Response

Abdul “Al” Haidous – Wayne County Commissioner

Abdullah Hammoud – Michigan State House of Representatives

Fadwa Hammoud – Michigan Solicitor General

Mohammed Hassan – Hamtramck City Council

Ahmed Ismail – Grosse Pointe School Board

Angela Jaffer – Northville School Board

Yameen Jaffer – Pittsfield Board of Trustees

Saima Khalil – Candidate Macomb County Prosecutor

Yasir Khogali – Plymouth District Library Board

Adel Mozip – Dearborn School Board

Solomon Rajput – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (MI-12)

Bilal (Bill) Saad – Underground Storage Tank Authority Board

Mohammed Sabbagh – Crestwood School District Board

Eric Sabree – Wayne County Treasurer

Mike Sareini – Dearborn City Council

Rashida Tlaib – U.S. House of Representatives (MI-13)

Minnesota



Abdullahi Abdulle – New Brighton City Council

Fartun Ahmed – Hopkins School Board Director

Safia Ahmed – Candidate Minnesota State House of Representatives

Abdisalam Adam – Fridley School Board

Leila Shukri Adan (D), Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (MN-5) Response

Siad Ali – Minneapolis Board of Education Director

Hala Asamarai – Columbia Heights School Board Response

AJ Awed – Candidate Minneapolis City Council

Abdirizak Bihi – Candidate Minneapolis City Council


Sharon Dumas El-Amin – Minneapolis Board of Education

Jeremiah Ellison – Minneapolis City Council

Keith Ellison – Minnesota State Attorney General

Omar Fateh – Candidate Minnesota State Senate

AK Hassan – Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner

Hodan Hassan – Minnesota State House of Representatives

Amir Malik – Candidate Minnesota House of Representatives

Nadia Mohamed – St. Louis Park City Council

Mohamud Noor – Minnesota State House of Representatives

Sahra Odowa – Candidate Minnesota State Senate

Suud Olat – Candidate Minneapolis City Council Response

Ilhan Omar – U.S. House of Representatives (MN-5) 

Jamal Osman – Candidate Minneapolis City Council

Saciido Shaie – Candidate Minneapolis City Council

Abdi Warsame – Executive Director/CEO Minneapolis Public Housing Authority

New Hampshire

Aboul Khan – New Hampshire State House of Representatives

New Jersey

Alaa Abdelaziz – Paterson City Council

Fahim K. Abedrabbo – Clifton Public Schools Board of Education

Tahsina Ahmed – Borough of Haledon City Council

Assad Akhtar – Passaic County Freeholder

Mussab Ali – Jersey City Board of Education

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (NJ-6)

Mounir Almaita – Borough of Haledon City Council

Mustafa Al-Mutazzim Brent – City Council of East Orange City Response

Sahar Aziz – Westfield School Board

Alp Basaran – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (NJ-9)

Ibrahim Baycora – Chief of Police, Paterson

Jamillah Beasley – Irvington Municipal Council

Cynthia Brown – City Clerk East Orange

Adam Chaabane – Woodland Park Board of Education

Yasmin Elshami – Saddle River Board of Education

Ted Green – Mayor East Orange City

Mohammed Hameeduddin – Mayor of Teaneck

Rashon Hasan – Board Chair Roseville Board of Education

Dawn Haynes – Newark Public Schools School Board

Melinda Huerta – West Orange Board of Education

Mohammed Hussain – Prospect Park Board of Education

Smita Nadia Hussain – Bloomingdale Board of Education

Sadaf Jaffer – Mayor of Montgomery Township

Mohamed T. Khairullah – Mayor of the City of Prospect Park

Shahin Khalique – Paterson City Council

Alaa Matari – Prospect Park City Council

Alfred Mohammed – Linden City Council

MD Hossain Morshed – City Council of Atlantic City

Raghib Muhammad – Montgomery Township Board of Education

Nuran Nabi – Plainsboro Township Committee

Niaz Nadim – Prospect Park Board of Education

Salim Patel – Passaic City Council

Kamran Quraishi – Montgomery Township Committee

Mohammad Ramadan – Haledon Board of Education

Yousef Saleh – City Council of Jersey City

Denise Sanders – Teaneck Board of Education

Kaleem Shabazz – City Council of Atlantic City Response

Khizar A. Sheikh – Mountain Lakes Borough City Council

Siaka Sherif – Orange Board of Education

Dr. Nancy Uddin – Monmouth Regional High School District Board of Education

Hazim Yassin – Red Bank City Council

Adnan Zakaria – Prospect Park City Council

Esllam Zakaria – Prospect Park Board of Education

Muhammad ‘Anjum’ Zia – City Council of Atlantic City

New Mexico

Abbas Akhil – New Mexico State House of Representatives

New York

Tahanie Aboushi – Candidate Manhattan District Attorney

Shaniyat Chowdhury – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (NY-5)

Charles Fall – New York State Assembly

Shahana Hanif – Candidate New York City Council

Mahfuzul Islam – Candidate New York State Assembly


Robert Jackson – New York State Senate

Mary Jobaida – Candidate New York State Assembly

Badrun Nahar Khan – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (NY-14)

Zohran Kwame Mamdani – Candidate New York State Assembly


Oz Sultan – Candidate New York State Senate

North Carolina

Nida Allam – Candidate Durham County Commissioner

Zainab Baloch – Candidate Mayor of Raleigh Response

Nasif Majeed – North Carolina State House of Representatives

Mujtaba A. Mohammed – North Carolina State Senate



Ohio



Dr. N. J. Akbar – Akron Board of Education

Mohamed Al-Hamdani – Dayton Public Schools Board of Education


Mohamud Jama – Candidate Ohio State House of Representatives

Basheer Jones – Cleveland City Council

Reem Subei – Candidate Ohio State Senate

Omar Tarazi – Hilliard City Council

Oklahoma

Mauree Turner – Oklahoma State House

Oregon

Mohamed Alyajouri – Portland Community College Director

Nafisa Fai – Washington County Commissioner

Nadia Hasan – Beaverton City Council

Pennsylvania

Rochelle Bilal – Philadelphia City Sheriff

Jason Dawkins – Pennsylvania State House of Representatives

Curtis Jones Jr. – Philadelphia City Council

Nusrat Rashid – Delaware County Court of Common Pleas

Omar Sabir – Philadelphia City Commission

Sheikh Siddique – Upper Darby Township Council

Sharif Street – Pennsylvania State Senate




Tennessee

Zulfat Suara – Nashville Metropolitan Council

Texas

Salman Bhojani – Euless City Council

Rabeea Collier – Judge for the 113th Civil District Court of Harris County

Nuzhat Hye – Irving Independent School District Board of Trustees

Dalia Kasseb – Candidate for Brazoria County Municipal Utility District Board Director

Naushad Kermally – Sugar Land City Council

Letitia Plummer – Houston City Council

Shahid Shafi – Southlake City Council

Utah

Mohamed Baayd – Candidate Salt Lake City School Board

Fatima Dirie – Candidate Utah State House of Representatives

Virginia

 Naila Alam – Herndon Town Council

Hala Ayala – Virginia State House of Delegates

Buta Biberaj – Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney

Ghazala Hashmi – Virginia State Senate

Haseeb Javed – Manassas Park City Council

Babur Lateef – Prince William County School Board

Harris Mahedavi – Loudon County School Board


Zainab Mohsini – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (VA-11)

Abrar Omeish – Fairfax County School Board

Atif Qarni – Secretary of Education


Qasim Rashid – Candidate U.S. House of Representatives (VA-1)

Sam Rasoul – Virginia State House of Delegates

Ibraheem Samirah – Virginia State House of Delegates

Mohamed E. Seifeldein – Alexandria City Council

Lisa Zargarpur – Prince William County School Board

Washington

 

Zak Idan – Tukwila City Council

Riaz Khan – Mukilteo City Council

Varisha Khan – Redmond City Council

Washington DC

Marcus Goodwin – Candidate Washington DC Council At-Large

Wisconsin

Syed Abbas – Alderman of the Madison Common Council

Samba Baldeh – Alderman of the Madison Common Council

Minza Karim – Middleton-Cross Plains Board of Education

Akram Khan – Mequon School Board member

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Skirmish -Libertato.US column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The United States Needs to Adopt Poland’s Immigration Policy [Watch] thumbnail

The United States Needs to Adopt Poland’s Immigration Policy [Watch]

By Dr. Rich Swier

My family immigrated from Eastern Europe to America. My grandfather was a doctor and was conscripted by the Czar to be a medial officer in his army. When the Bolshevik Revolution occurred 0n November 6 and 7, 1917 my grandfather escaped Russia with his wife, my father, a horse and a cow.

Why?

Answer: Because the Bolsheviks were executing all Czarist officers.

My grandfather went to Canada, then entered the United States. My father served during WWII in the Army Air Corps. I too served my country in the Army.

I am pro-legal immigration. I am against illegal immigration.

Here’s how Poland deals with immigration and protecting their borders.

I think Poland has it right. Protect the Polish citizens from those who would do them harm.

This is true for every sovereign nation, including the United States. It is the solemn duty of the leadership of every nation state to protect its borders and thereby protect its citizens.

Why not one Muslim?

Perhaps my experience will help you to understand why not one Muslim.

While I was stationed in Germany from 1970 to 1974 there were two events that taught me all I needed to know about the Red/Green Alliance. Some may not see the connection between Islamist and Communist  ideologies, a.k.a. Red/Green Alliance. I saw it in practice first hand.

I was stationed in Germany when the The Red Army Faction (RAF), Rote Armee Fraktion, or the Baader–Meinhof Group or Baader–Meinhof Gang, was founded in 1970. The Red Army Faction was a West German far-left militant organization. Though many guerrilla groupings formed in West Germany in the 1970s, the RAF was the most influential and had the most staying-power.

I was also there when Black September, a Palestinian militant organization also founded in 1970, attacked the Olympic Village in Munich, Germany on September 5th, 1972. Black September killed 11 unarmed Israeli athletes and one German police officer in the attack and subsequent failed escape.

What did the militant Communist Red Army Faction and the Palestinian militant organization Black September have in common? Both were trained by members of the Palestine Liberation Organization which was founded in 1964 with the purpose of the “liberation of Palestine” through armed struggle.

Bottom line

Communists and Islamists continue on marching hand in hand to do evil in the world.

This is why the United States must only allow immigrants and refugees to come here only if they add to our culture and embrace our values and morals.

All legal immigrants when they are sworn in as citizens take the same oath that I did, that is to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Illegal aliens, refugees and those given amnesty take no such oath.

It’s critical that anyone coming to America be thoroughly vetted for reasons of national security and health security. There can be no exceptions.

Our politicians can learn a lot from Poland.

CLICK HERE: For more insightful columns on immigration.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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Biden Waives Iran Sanctions as Iran Retracts Nuke Compromises thumbnail

Biden Waives Iran Sanctions as Iran Retracts Nuke Compromises

By Robert Spencer

The more concessions you make to terrorists, the harder they push. That’s been the defining dynamic of the Iran negotiations, the PLO negotiations, and all the negotiations with Islamic terrorists.

The Biden administration is living up to that dynamic.

The Biden administration quietly waived sanctions on Iran to allow the hardline regime to sell electricity to Iraq, according to a non-public notification obtained by the Washington Free Beacon that was provided to Congress just as nuclear talks between the United States and Tehran resumed this week.

The timing of the waiver notification—which was signed Nov. 19 but not transmitted to Congress until Nov. 29, the day nuclear negotiations resumed—has prompted accusations the Biden administration is offering concessions to Tehran to generate goodwill as talks aimed at securing a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal restart following a months-long standoff.

Iran is repaying the concessions in exactly the way you would expect a terror regime to do.

A US official said Saturday that Iran had backed away from all its previous compromises on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal and that the US would not allow Iran to “slow walk” the international negotiations while at the same time ramping up its atomic activities.

The warning came a day after Washington hit out at Iran, saying talks with world powers on a return to the 2015 nuclear accord had stalled because Tehran “does not seem to be serious.”

“We can’t accept a situation in which Iran accelerates its nuclear program and slow walks its nuclear diplomacy,” said a senior US administration official — echoing a recent warning by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Speaking to reporters after returning from the Austrian capital, the official said Washington was not yet planning to walk away from the indirect talks that it resumed with Tehran last week in Vienna, but hoped Iran would return “with a serious attitude.”

The Biden administration will not be trifled with. It won’t walk away from the talks or stop offering concessions, but it will warn Iran that it’s time to shape up and get serious about these negotiations… or it’ll offer up some more concessions.

COLUMN BY

DANIEL GREENFIELD

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Hamas-linked CAIR’s Zahra Billoo: ‘Know your enemies,’ oppose even ‘the polite Zionist’ thumbnail

Hamas-linked CAIR’s Zahra Billoo: ‘Know your enemies,’ oppose even ‘the polite Zionist’

By Robert Spencer

Elder of Ziyon notes: “Billoo declares that practically every Jewish organization in America is an enemy of Muslims. Not only that, but any organization that supports a two state solution is an enemy of Muslims. She doesn’t call them out explicitly, but that includes J-Street, that includes Peace Now, that includes Breaking the Silence. And she explicitly says that Hillels, the ADL, the Jewish Federations and even essentially all synagogues in America are the enemies of Muslims.”

Will this speech herald a crack in the coalition between Leftist Jews and Islamic supremacist groups? Stay tuned.

Original video:

MEMRI excerpt:

“CAIR Official Zahra Billoo: The Two-State Solution Is ‘Laughable’; Any Organization That Promotes It Is An Enemy; ADL, Jewish Federation, ‘Zionist Synagogues,’ Hillel Chapters Will Throw You Under The Bus,” MEMRI, November 25, 2021:

American activist Zahra Billoo, the executive-director of the San Francisco Bay Area branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), said in a panel at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) Annual Conference, which took place in Chicago on November 27, 2021, that the two-state solution is “laughable” and that any organization that supports it is an enemy. She told the audience that the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Federation, “Zionist Synagogues,” and Hillel chapters on “our campuses” are not their friends. Billoo said that they will throw the Muslims under the bus. She further urged the audience to donate monthly to AMP, because if they pay U.S. taxes, this means that they financially support “apartheid” every month.

The panel was streamed live on the American Muslims for Palestine YouTube channel, and CAIR executive-director Nihad Awad also participated in the panel (see MEMRI TV clips 9208, 3536, 3701, and 5279). Attendees included Linda Sarsour (see MEMRI TV clips nos. 6935, 6808, and 6111), Lamis Deek (see MEMRI TV clip no. 3430), and Taher Herzallah (see MEMRITV clip no. 7071).

Zahra Billoo: “We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League. We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation. We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. We need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses, because just because they are your friends today, doesn’t mean that they have your back when it comes to human rights.

“So oppose the vehement fascist, but oppose the polite Zionist too. They are not your friends. They will not be there for you when you need them. They will take your friendship and throw your Palestinian brothers and sisters under the bus. Oh! You get along because you are all in Girl Scouts together? Talk to them about what is happening in Palestine, and see how that conversation goes.

“And so, when we think about Islamophobia and Zionism, let’s be clear about the connections. There is no difference between domestic policy and foreign policy when it comes to our human rights. There is no difference between domestic policy and foreign policy when it comes to those who seek to target us.

[…]

“By the way, you should be a monthly donor to American Muslims for Palestine. Build it into your budget and forget about it. Make it your monthly contribution, because you are contributing to the apartheid monthly. It is a part of your budget. You are paying your taxes, so you should be giving money to AMP monthly.

[…]

“The list goes on. Know who is on your side. Build community with them, because the next thing I am going to tell you is to know your enemies. And I am not going to sugarcoat that, they are your enemies. There are organizations and infrastructures out there who are working to harm you. Make no mistake of it. They would sell you down the line if they could, and they very often do behind your back. I mean the Zionist organizations, I mean the foreign policy organizations who say they are not Zionists but want a two-state solution. I am not a Palestinian myself, but it is my understanding that that is laughable. So know your enemies.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Geneva Conventions War With Forced Vaccines thumbnail

The Geneva Conventions War With Forced Vaccines

By Rod Thomson

Combining various international treaties since its inception in 1864, the Geneva Conventions were originally intended for, and still stand as, protections for soldiers and civilians in wartime. So, with the vaccines for COVID being discussed as a possible crime against humanity under the Nuremberg Code, which falls under the Geneva Conventions, the question arises: Are we at war? 

During what became known as “The Doctors’ Trial” after WWII, concerns arose about medical experimentation on humans.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “German doctors had argued in their own defense that their experiments differed little from those conducted before the war by German and American scientists. They showed that no international law or informal statement differentiated between legal and illegal human experimentation.” (Emphasis mine). Thus, the Nuremberg Code was created comprising ten points outlining acceptable medical research and standards.

Part I of this series is entitled, “How the Nuremberg Code Applies to the Vaccine.” It explains the doctrine of voluntary and informed consent of the participant in medical applications under the Code. Its “adoption into the 1949 Geneva Conventions later gave [it] international standing. Breaking from the Convention’s intent presumably constitutes a war crime.”

More importantly, the term “medical experimentation” as stated in the Nuremberg Code is defined in Part 1.

My argument in Part I of this series asks why, since the Code falls under the Geneva Conventions, ought not the Conventions’ umbrella classification applying to “wartime” victims also extend to the Code’s intention by default? And, if true, where do civilians fall? Of course that’s a legal question and I don’t pretend to be an attorney. But it seems to me that the presumption could easily be made. Yet no one is making it.

That said, why have tens of thousands of doctors recently signed on to what’s being called the new “Nuremberg Trials 2021?” Legal proceedings have been filed against the CDC, the WHO and the Davos Group for crimes against humanity by over a thousand attorneys worldwide.

Led by Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, the “Nuremberg Trials 2021” team argues that the vaccines are in violation of Article 32 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. It claims that Article 32 states that “mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person” are prohibited. And, “according to Article 147, conducting biological experiments on protected persons is a grave breach of the Convention.”

Indeed, the International Committee of the Red Cross confirms that Article 32 specifies that “protected persons must not in any circumstances be used as ‘guinea-pigs’ for medical experiments. ‘Biological experiments’ are also prohibited by the other three Conventions of 1949.”

I believe, as laid out in Part 1, that there are convincing arguments as to why the COVID-19 vaccines fall into the “experimental” definition of the Nuremberg Code in multiple ways.

Regardless, on a deeper dive into Article 32, its title is telling. The formal document, shown in an uploaded PDF version from the United Nations, is called the “GENEVA CONVENTION RELATIVE TO THE PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS IN TIME OF WAR OF 12 AUGUST 1949.” Again the reference to wartime is notable.

Cornell Law School says that, “[t]he Geneva Conventions … provide minimum protections, standards of humane treatment, and fundamental guarantees of respect to individuals who become victims of armed conflicts.” It doesn’t say ‘victims of unarmed conflicts.’

Multiple educational resources concur with the aforementioned references to “wartime” terms, including World Atlas. It states that “[t]he Geneva Conventions refer to international agreements that are made up of four treaties and three protocols that define the treatment of people during a war.” (Emphasis added.)

How can it be, then, that the Nuremberg Code, falling under the Geneva Conventions, could be used in any argument against the COVID vaccine during a time of peace? Recent history offers some clues.

In an intriguing article from Wired published on Nov. 7, 2002, it seems as a country we’ve travelled this road before. The article’s title reads, “Forced Vaccines Haunt Gulf Vets — Rule No. 1 in the Nuremberg Code for conducting medical experiments: Get the subjects’ consent.” The author explains how our soldiers were given non-FDA-approved drugs prior to deploying to Desert Storm. Many returned with assorted unexplained illnesses.

“‘We had a third day of shots before we went over (to the Gulf),’ said the ex-Ranger, who requested anonymity because his Army Reserve commitment [had] yet to expire. ‘Guys in other units only had two, but most Rangers had three. They wouldn’t tell us what they were for.’”

According to the article, the question of forced vaccines had been addressed years before. “In a February 1953 directive, Defense Secretary Charles Wilson established what [was] still the ‘law of the land’ governing such experimentation. Consistent with the Nuremberg Code, the directive’s cornerstone is voluntary consent,’ according to Wilson.

“‘The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential,’ Wilson wrote, ordering that such consent be given in writing before at least one witness. Wilson also banned use of ‘force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion’ in obtaining consent. When did that change?

“Did the Pentagon obey this directive during the Gulf War? According to Dr. Jane M. Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, it did not. The administration of experimental drugs without consent was, Orient said, ‘the first instance in which an official government agency officially sanctioned the direct violation of the Nuremberg Code.’” And it was intentional!

“In a 1994 report called Human Experimentation and Other Intentional Exposures Conducted by the Department of Defense, [the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs] claimed that “‘[t]he results of our investigation showed a reckless disregard that shocked me,’ said Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV. ‘The Pentagon … threw caution to the winds, ignoring all warnings of potential harm, and gave these (investigational) drugs to hundreds of thousands of soldiers with virtually no warnings and no safeguards.’”

“‘There is no provision in the Nuremberg Code,’ the Rockefeller Committee report concluded, ‘that allows a country to waive informed consent for military personnel or veterans who serve as human subjects in experiments during wartime or in experiments that are conducted because of threat of war.’

If it protects our soldiers then in time of war, one would think it would also protect our civilian populations who are NOT in a state of war, right?

Responding to the accusations at the time, a Pentagon spokesperson stated: “‘[i]n all peacetime applications, we believe strongly in informed consent and its ethical foundations…. But military combat is different.’

In other words, according to the Pentagon in 1994, the Nuremberg Code only applied to soldiers in peacetime. It seems the narrative changes by what the “powers that be” deem convenient, at any given time.

In my book and articles, I habitually reference radical leftist Saul Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals, because it contains the tactics by which the left endeavors to transform America to socialism and then communism. As important as his thirteen tactics, however, are his lesser-known eleven rules of ethics of means and ends. They provide a window into why the left, and Democrats by extension, can justify their out-of-control unethical behavior.

“Alinsky’s third rule of ethics of means and ends, ‘in war the end justifies almost any means’, applies to the left’s unapologetic, unethical shaming of all things conservative.” (Rules for Deplorables, pg. 215)

Arguing for the new “Nuremberg Code 2021” wouldn’t require convincing others that we’re at war with China per se (as if they even needed such justification). In order for the experimental vaccines to be criminalized, just say: We’re at war with the left!

If, on the other hand, the Pentagon’s position in 1994 is considered, then the Code’s “informed consent and its ethical foundations” are binding “in all peacetime applications” stays. They can’t have it both ways.

Necessarily, Alinsky’s fourth tactic, “make the enemy live up to its own book of rules,” must be applied. If the original Nuremberg Code of 1949 falls under the “wartime” parameters of the Geneva Conventions, and the vaccine is indeed “experimental” as my Part I of this series argues, then the signers of the “new Code” may well have a case.

It’s a fact that the military knowingly condoned experimental medical treatment well after the 1949 Nuremberg Code was established under the Geneva Conventions. And, that they felt justified in doing so. Why on earth should Americans believe the government would follow ethical standards now?

The simple answer is, we shouldn’t. Whether Americans accept it or not, we are in a state of war for the very survival of our country. The enemy should neither be trusted nor obeyed.

We ought to be fighting for transparency, the right of informed consent, and most importantly, the right to freedom of choice. If we do not stand strong for these minimal protections now, we are not mere guinea pigs, we are the experiment itself.

COLUMN BY

CATHI CHAMBERLAIN

Cathi Chamberlain, aka The Deplorable Author and founder of The Deplorable Report, is a four-time start-up business owner, published author of a self-help book featured on CNN worldwide and owner of the nation’s first all-female construction company. She is a sought-after political speaker and has been a regular contributor on the Salem Media Radio Network. In her book, “Rules for Deplorables: A Primer for Fighting Radical Socialism,” Cathi heavily references Saul Alinsky’s 1970’s blockbuster book, “Rules for Radicals.” She is currently on her “Florida Deplorable Book Tour.” Contact her for your next speaking event at Cathi@RulesforDeplorablesBook.com.

RELATED TWEET:

This is how Romania does it….70% of all citizens refusing the Jab and dictatorships…. pic.twitter.com/oJjujjFhnN

— 🔴⚪️💙 DEAN 🔴⚪️💙 (@777DEAN777) December 4, 2021

EDITORS NOTE: This The Revolutionary Act column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Like us on Instagram

Just When You Thought The World Couldn’t Get More Idiotic thumbnail

Just When You Thought The World Couldn’t Get More Idiotic

By Robert Spencer

Here’s the latest installment in the Annals of Idiocy: “Inclusiveness: a European Commissioner recommends no longer using ‘Christmas,’ ‘Christian’ names and the masculine,” translated from “Inclusivité : une commissaire européenne recommande de ne plus utiliser “Noël”, les noms “chrétiens” et le masculin,” Valuers Actuelles, November 29, 2021 (thanks to Medforth):

European Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli launched an internal guide for inclusive communication at the end of October. This prohibits a number of expressions deemed to be stigmatizing according to gender, sexual identities, ethnic origins or culture, the Italian daily Il Giornale revealed on Sunday (November 28). These recommendations aim to “reflect diversity” and to fight against “stereotypes deeply rooted in individual and collective behavior.”

One “stereotype” that racists have is that many black people have names like “Dequan” and “Lashonda” and “Takeesha.” So in order to combat that stereotype, all such names should be banned. No sense giving white racists grist for their mill.

Using Italian names for gangsters in movies about the Mafia simply reinforces stereotypes about “Italo-American” criminals. The only solution is to make sure that no Italian names are used for Mafia members. “Henry” and “Charles” are acceptable as gangster names, but “Enrico” and “Carlo” are not. No Mafia gangster should be shown either cooking, or eating, a plate of pasta. Garlic should also not be mentioned.

Similarly, in a movie about Mexican drug traffickers, their names must not lead anyone to think that they are in any way “Mexican”; that would not be fair, as such names would only reinforce a “stereotype” that far too many of us unthinkingly accept. Give them names like “Randolph” and “James” and “Alice.” Under no conditions should any Mexican drug trafficker be called “El Chapo” or “El Gordo” or “El Mata Amigos.”

In general, the report suggests that no one should be identified on the basis of their particularity or in a way that is not [sic] offensive. For example, the use of the masculine form “by default” should be prohibited and the salutation “Dear Sir or Madam” should be replaced by “Dear Colleague.” Gender-specific terms such as “workmen” should also not be used. As the document – Dalli’s internal guide –is written in English, some recommendations are not applicable to other languages. The text also provides that one should never ” imply ” a person’s sexual orientation or even their gender identity. Similarly, it considers that a reference to elements of Christian culture “assumes that all people are Christians.” It therefore recommends deleting the reference to Christmas and speaking instead of “holidays.” Christian names such as “Mary” or “John” should be banned, according to the Commissioner.

But how can you write, say, an application letter for an academic job and use as your salutation — as Helena Dalli recommends – “Dear Colleague”? You aren’t anyone’s “colleague” yet – that’s what you are applying to be – and use of that salutation would merely come across as presumptuous, and likely nip in the bud your chances to be hired.

To eliminate all gender specific names, start with the easy ones. Thus “workman” can become “worker.” But what do we do when we come, say, to weddings, where there is an insufficiently “inclusive” focus on the “man” and the “woman”? Revise the text. “Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband” should instead become “Do you take this man or woman or non-binary other, to be your lawful wedded husband or wife or non-binary other”? Eventually it might be a good idea to provide a single word that can refer equally to both “husband” and “wife.” We’re working on it.

Using the “masculine” form “by default” should. be avoided, according to Helena Dalli, EU Equal Opportunities Commissioner, working tirelessly to make the world a better place by erasing all distinctions. But “Dear Sir or Madam” doesn’t use the “masculine” form “by default” – it carefully allows, in full diversity-inclusivity-equity mode, both the masculine and the feminine possibilities.

The claim that a reference to “elements of Christian culture” necessarily “assumes that all people are Christian” is utter nonsense. If I mention “the Bamiyan Buddhas,” does this make me guilty of assuming “that all people are Buddhist”? If I write that “the holiday of Diwali is observed differently by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, creating a rich tapestry of cultural traditions and customs,” have I thereby assumed that everybody in the world is either “Hindu, Jain, Sikh, or Buddhist”? If I mention “Hanukkah” or a menorah, or show on YouTube a lesson on “how to spin a dreidl,” have I assumed that everyone in the world is “Jewish”? Should all references to the Bible be eliminated, because such references would be unacceptable, as “too Christian” or too “Judeo-Christian”? Surely we can’t have that in our brave new world that hath such creatures in it as Helena Dalli. Indeed, as the Bible itself is a venerable vehicle for what we now recognize as sexism, why not go beyond forbidding the reading of the Bible, and make possession of the book itself a crime?

Helena Dalli, the powerful EU Commissioner, thinks we need to rid the world of names that are too linked to Christianity. She mentions as examples of names that must no longer be used “Mary” and “John.” But these are just the names that come immediately to mind. We need to get rid as well of other names smacking of Christianity, including “Peter,” “Simon,” Thomas,” “Joseph,” “Martha,” “Christopher,” George” (which makes one think of “Saint George”), “Andrew,” “Samuel” and so many more names that are “too Christian” for Christians – or anyone else — to use.

But why does Helena Dalli not mention the need to abolish names that are “too connected” to the religion of Islam? Why should “Mary” and “John” be eliminated, but “Mohammed” and its many variants — Mahmoud, Ahmad, Muhammad, Magomed, Mahmad, Mehmet, Mamadou, Muhammadu, Mahamed, Mohamad, Mohamed, Mohammad, and so on – be tolerated inside the EU? Helena Dalli should provide us with a list of names that she believes are unacceptably linked to religions other than Christianity, the sole faith she mentions and for which she appears to bear a deep animus. Then we can get to work banning those names as well.

She’s also against mention of the very word “Christmas.”

Even the expression “colonizing of Mars” is considered negative, as it would be reminiscent of colonialism, and should be replaced by the phrase “sending people to Mars.” The report [by Helena Dalli] also advocates a form of positive discrimination. It suggests not convening working groups where only one gender is represented and thinking about inviting people from different ethnicities to events and photo shoots. Helena Dalli has already been criticized for the polemical campaign “Freedom with the Hijab” and the participation of Islamist associations in the campaign.

It will be fascinating to see if the EU Commissioner manages to make every single working group at the EU “gender diverse.” How will such a rule work in practice, particularly with the Muslims, whose unequal treatment of men and woman is legitimized in the Qur’an itself and who insist even on separating male from female worshippers in the mosque?

A verse in the Quran – 4:34 – gives husbands the right to “beat” their wives if they even suspect them of “disobedience.” Honor killings by Muslim men of their wives, daughters, sisters, and daughters-in-law – which may be prompted by a multitude of sins committed by females in the family, such as refusing to wear a hijab, or being seen talking to a non-Muslim boy – lead to very light punishment or in some cases to no punishment at all. The misogyny of Islam can also be seen in the fact that a Muslim woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man, and a daughter inherits only half what a son receives. Will Helena Dalli be able to force Muslim males to include females in their meetings? I suspect she will not even try. Her desire to impose restrictions of all kinds on “religions” ends up with her applying her humorless and bizarre restrictions to one religion only – Christianity.

As for doing away with the very word “Christmas,” the cast of Seinfeld, trying to be as ridiculous as possible, already provided some years ago a different word for that day, even less “Christian” than the word “holiday” (which derives from “holy day”); they called it “Festivus.” That should please Helena Dalli. A Festivus Tree, Festivus Lights, Festivus Presents, Festivus Cards. What’s not to like?

I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking that her idiocy will be rejected all those who have kept their wits about them, that the thinking world will rise up and laugh to scorn Ms./Mrs.Mr./Non-binary/Equal opportunity Helena Dalli. But she’s not just some Hyde Park Corner lunatic; she’s the EU Equal Opportunities Commissioner. In that post she can do – she’s already done — a lot of damage. She needs not just to be laughed at, but to be relieved of her position. Please, EU, put her, and therefore us, out of her misery.

COLUMN BY

HUGH FITZGERALD

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Walking, Thinking, and Praying thumbnail

Walking, Thinking, and Praying

By The Catholic Thing

Joseph R. Wood: “I am always astounded by the old truth that faith and reason come together to see and understand reality in its fullness, the fullness of truth, beauty and goodness.”


Iwalked along a dirt road near a religious house on a beautiful Fall morning recently, enjoying the scenery. My mind was unburdened for the moment with difficult questions about the reality of things. The beauty of the morning Mass and liturgy and the passing evidence of the goodness of creation were sufficient to pause the reasoned quest for truth.

But not for long.

In the distance, a figure appeared, which approached and grew into a young woman, intently reading a book as she walked. “What’s that you’re reading?” I chirped as we came within hailing distance.

“Plato’s Republic,” she replied, matter-of-factly, as if anyone with whom you happened to cross paths in that rural zone would be reading Plato or something of the kind.

“Nice. Do you mind if I ask why you’re reading that?”

You don’t need a special reason to read Plato, of course, but I was curious. I noticed her copy was full of sticky markers – not a casual perusal.

She was preparing to teach it in the charter school where she worked. Fortunate students, indeed.

She was very patient about listening to my ensuing twenty-minute discourse on the Republic. This also did not seem out of place where we were. After all, we had both been out for a walk, and as Fr. James Schall of blessed memory would often insist, walking is a philosophical activity, or vice versa.

She may have found one or two of my points interesting, or not, but we parted ways and she resumed her reading. I resumed my immersion in the Fall beauty and goodness around us.

Later, in the chapel, I saw that she was praying intently. I certainly don’t know what was in her heart and head. But she displayed neither the face of a distraught penitent nor the serene vacuity of the mindfulness set. She was just intent.

I came across another intent character a bit later. He was explaining a point of Thomistic philosophy on sin and free choice to another visitor. He was a convert and had taken a great deal of trouble to understand his new faith in all its intellectual aspects, but also knew he still had much to learn.

He had impressive secular intellectual credentials as well, with a background in physics and medicine. That kind of broad curiosity struck me as like Aristotle’s, who thought and wrote about everything from biology to meteorology to logic to poetry to politics to the divine.

Little did I know.

Chatting about various things, he suddenly observed that he’d been wondering what Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas would have thought of Isaac Newton’s “First Law of Mechanics,” which says that both stationary objects and moving objects only change their velocity if a force is applied to them. For Newton, a moving object will keep moving in the same direction and at the same speed unless some force changes them. That’s inertia.

He thought Aristotle and Aquinas might have had a problem with that. (Aristotle, by the way, was another walking philosopher whose school became known as the Peripatetics.)

I’m no expert on Aristotle’s Physics, a very difficult work in which he treats questions of change and motion. Aquinas, understanding Aristotle as few others (if any) have ever done, wrote a famous commentary on the Physics.

I hazarded a guess that Aquinas would not have objected to Newton’s statement as such. Later, I confirmed in the Commentary that Aquinas says Aristotle claims that “Everything that is in motion must be moved by something. For if it has not the source of its motion in itself it is evident that it is moved by something other than itself, for there must be something else that moves it.”

That doesn’t sound too different from Newton. But Newton thought the natural state of an object was not to change its motion, while Aristotle thought the natural state of an object was to be at rest. Different, but they’re at least in the same conversation on the subject.

So my friend was right that Aristotle and Aquinas might have differed with Newton.

But it occurred to me that Aristotle and Aquinas might have had a bigger issue with Newton. They were interested not just in an isolated object’s motion, but in how any being began or came to be, and what its end would be. In other words, they were interested in the whole of the object and its parts, and in how that whole fit into the larger whole of “what is.”

They sought to understand reality as a whole for the sake of understanding it for itself. Newton and his successors sought to break things down, less in order to understand the whole and more to know how we can manipulate what we’ve broken down for our own purposes. (Interestingly, the author of an article on Aristotle and Newton, Rhett Allain, describes himself as someone who sometimes “takes things apart and can’t put them back together.”)

As I struggled to explain my notion to my friend, he stared at me intently, with no reaction. I finally asked whether this was helping, or making any sense. He broke into a big smile. “Yes, it’s great, and it’s making me think more about my question.”

But that intent, expressionless look bothered me. What did it remind me of?

And I thought suddenly of the title of G.K. Chesterton’s biography of St. Thomas Aquinas, The Dumb Ox. Thomas’ fellow students nicknamed him that for his slow speech and stolid, intent demeanor.

Was I talking with another Dumb Ox?

I saw him later, in the chapel, praying intently.

I am always astounded by the old truth that faith and reason come together to see and understand reality in its fullness, the fullness of truth, beauty and goodness. It’s a tremendous joy to see that truth lived out by those around you.

You may also enjoy:

Robert Royal’s Walking a High Road

+James V. Schall, S.J.’s On Wrath and Anger

COLUMN BY

Joseph R. Wood

Dr. Joseph Wood teaches at the Institute of World Politics in Washington D.C. and is a Fellow at Cana Academy.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing is republished with permission. © 2021 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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You couldn’t make this up!

By Martin Sherman

There may well be things more depraved than an Israeli government minister soliciting funds for a self-declared mortal foe, but none come readily to mind

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.” —Anonymous ancient dictum—misattributed to Euripides.


Israel is a country of many paradoxes and colliding opposites—many of which make it one of the most fascinating and dynamic countries on the face of the globe; a country that has overcome almost impossible odds to drive its way to the forefront of virtually every realm of human endeavor—including medicine, agriculture, cybertechnology, arts, and entertainment—with the jarring exception of the functioning of its body-politic.

“Incentivizing the murder of civilians is barbarism.”

This is particularly true regarding the paradox embedded in Israel’s perverse, perilous and puerile approach to what has become known as “the Palestinian problem”. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to state that it is a patently self-contradictory policy, in which certain elements thereof manifestly contradict and annul other elements of it.

Thus, in 2018, Israel passed a law—with disconcerting reluctance—mandating the reduction of payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA) by deducting a sum equivalent to the amount the PA pays to imprisoned terrorists and the families of deceased terrorists, killed while perpetrating acts of terror. This legislation reflected a compelling rationale that Israelis should not be complicit in compensating their Judeocidal Arab assailants…or their dependents.

Oddly, rather than spearheading such a measure itself, the Israeli government found itself belatedly echoing the punitive initiative—taken over a year previously—by the US Congress, known as the Taylor Force Act. The bill provides for ending US aid to the PA unless and until it ceases to pay stipends to the incarcerated terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists, including the families of suicide bombers.

Indeed, one prominent legal expert, Professor Thane Rosenbaum, designated these payments for terror as “lavish incentives to commit violence“, which, in effect constitute “a bounty system…enshrined in Palestinian law, provided for in the Palestinian Authorities budget and indirectly supported by foreign aid…”

Noting that the compensation paid to convicted terrorists and to the families of deceased ones is markedly higher than average salaries in the PA administered territories and paid according to the loathsome criterion that the more heinous the terror, the higher the remuneration, he caustically censured the “pay-for-slay” practice: “…incentivizing the murder of civilians is barbarism, and it happens to offer a career path for ardent and enterprising Palestinians.”

Aid as a transfer payment for terror

In endorsing the move to curtail US funds to the Judeophobic PA, the Wall Street Journal pointed out that, for all intents and purposes: “US aid [had] become…a transfer payment for terrorists” and urged that: “ending the PA’s bureaucracy of terror should be atop the agenda.

However, the Palestinian-Arab Judeocidal campaign continues unabated.

Last month, a member of Hamas opened fire with an automatic weapon on passing civilians in the old city of Jerusalem, killing one and wounding several others, before being killed himself by armed police. The perpetrator, one Fadi Abu Shkhaidem, was considerably different in his socio-economic profile from that which has often characterized previous “lone wolf” terrorists. Thus, Abu Shkhaidem, in his early forties, was married with children; was a well-known and well-respected figure in his community; had a steady job as a religious preacher; was relatively well off economically—reportedly even owning property abroad—and was not suffering from any known personal crisis or trauma.

None of this prevented him from leaving a 4-page testament to his family, in which he revealed that he had been planning his terror attack for a long time. In the document, he called on others, including his family, his colleagues, and students to emulate him, and conveyed his elation at the prospect of carrying out his planned massacre:

“I write these words with great joy…I end years of hard work with a meeting with God.”

The middle-aged Muslim cleric urged the Arab residents of Jerusalem to prepare for a holy war (Jihad) to protect the Al Aqsa Mosque. Indeed, the prospect of Jews on the Temple Mount (heaven forfend!) reportedly so enraged him that it set him off on his gory rampage to murder or maim innocent passers-by.

Poor fellow! One can only imagine his anguish and torment…

A worthy objective

As asserted previously, government policy on the Palestinian issue has been incontrovertibly self-obstructive and self-contradictory—with one policy element impeding the goals of another element.

To fully grasp this, consider the following:

When the law mandating the deductions from tax receipts accruing to the PA was passed, one of its two initiators, MK Elazar Stern of the Yesh Atid faction, explained the rationale behind the legislation and the objectives it was designed to attain:

…this historic law will significantly weaken the encouragement of terrorism by the PA. It is our duty to stop the economic incentive the PA gives terrorists, an incentive that encourages others to commit terror attacks. That way, any Palestinian youth will realize it’s not worth it for him to choose the path of terrorism. No more encouraging terrorism at our expense.”

Indeed, in the law itself, its objective is clearly laid out:

“The objective of this law is to bring about a reduction of terrorist activity and to abolish the economic incentive for terror activity by stipulating rules to freeze the funds which the Palestinian Authority paid for terror affiliated activity, out of the funds that Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority…”

So far so good, but now for the kicker!

Working at cross purposes

But then in September 2021, following a meeting between Israeli Defense Minister, Benny Gatz and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and totally counter to the rationale of the legislation passed, Israel agreed to loan the PA the sum of half a billion shekels ($150 million), “in order to prevent its collapse.” As the Times of Israel reports,

“This arrangement allows the Israeli government to effectively circumvent a law passed in 2018 that requires it offset the payments the PA makes to Palestinians wounded, jailed, or killed by Israel — including avowed terrorists — by confiscating the same amount from the Palestinian tax revenue that Israel collects.”

Seemingly oblivious of the fact that it is the PA that “pays for slay”, Gantz “explained”—for want of a better word—the decision, declaring: “As the Palestinian Authority gets stronger, Hamas gets weaker, and so long as it has greater governance, we will have more security and we will have to act less.”

However, Abbas has made it unambiguously clear that he has no higher priority than paying-for-slaying, proclaiming; “We will never stop paying the families of the martyrs and the prisoners, despite the efforts to prevent us from doing so…even if we only have a penny left, we are going to first put it toward these payments.”

This, of course, casts significant doubt on the logic and wisdom of Gantz’s argument for giving the PA considerably more pennies…

After all, until recently, Israel had frozen 1.3 billion shekels ($417.26 million) in tax revenues since the law went into effect. Accordingly, the loan that Israel extended to the PA pumped back almost 40% of the liquidity withheld by Israel to penalize the PA for incentivizing terrorthus considerably undermining its intended impact.

Clearly then, this is a portrait of a government hopelessly at cross purposes with itself.

Fungibility and foolishness

Indeed, while Israel presented the loan as an advance on future tax payments, which were to be repaid in full, the Palestinians hotly disputed this. Indeed, according to the PA, only 100 million shekels of the total sum was an advance on future tax revenues, while the remaining 400 million shekels were in fact funds that Israel had owed to the PA—i.e., the amounts deducted because of PA payments related to terrorist activity—and for which Israel would not be reimbursed.

In other words, the PA made it clear that it would not repay 80% of the funds it received from Israel.

This starkly underscores the earlier contention that government policy on the Palestinian issue is decidedly self-obstructive—even self-contradictory—with one policy element (designed to penalize the PA for incentivizing slaughter) impeding another element of it (designed to shield the PA from the effects of the penalties imposed on it for incentivizing slaughter).

Moreover, even if Israel were given credible assurances that the money transferred to the PA would not be used for “pay-for-slay” stipends, the policy would be no less perverse and paradoxical. After all, money is fungible, so even if the funds, transferred in the “loan” from Israel, were only used for legitimate humanitarian purposes, it would still free up other money to be channeled to “pay-for slay” recipients—hardly something that would enhance Israel’s security and Israelis’ safety as Gantz attempted to claim.

Funding corrupt kleptocracy & tyrannical theocracy

Sadly, the grave lack of consistency and rationality is sadly evident elsewhere.

For instance, earlier this month, Israel’s Minister of Regional Development, Issawi Frej, of the far-left Meretz faction, traveled to Oslo as the head of Israel’s delegation to the biannual gathering of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, comprised of donor countries for the PA.

The purpose of Frej’s trip was an endeavor to drum up donations for a financially floundering PA, which has suffered an 85% drop in donor funding from $1.2 billion. in 2008 to $184 million this year.

Frej called on the international community to resume its funding to the PA. He lamented:

Unfortunately, due to ‘donor fatigue,’ contributions have fallen.” He warned: “My friends, the risks are too great; the stakes are too high. We are in a state of emergency,” and urged donors: “Please continue and increase your support for the Palestinian people.”

Indeed, one can only wonder what twisted rationale motivates a country to solicit funding for sworn enemies, undisguisedly dedicated to its own destruction.

Accordingly, as Ruthie Blum points out in her caustic Op-Ed, Why is an Israeli minister fundraising for the Palestinians, Frej’s assertion that it was in Israel’s best interest for the PA to be “strong and stable” is enough “to elicit a raised eyebrow, if not a belly laugh.”

After all, the PA is an economic basket case, which, for three decades, has squandered billions of international aid—only to end up with a corrupt kleptocracy in the so-called “West Bank” and a tyrannical theocracy in Gaza, both totally dependent on the largess of its alleged “oppressor”.

Of course, there may well be things more depraved than an Israeli government minister soliciting funds for a self-declared mortal foe, but none come readily to mind.

Misleading misconceptions

The confused, conflicted, and contrary nature of Israeli policy on the “Palestinian issue” is largely the result of two fatally flawed assumptions that underlie the substance on which it is based and undergird the context in which it is formulated.

The first is that Israel should relate to the Palestinian-Arabs as potential peace partners; the second is that the Palestinian public is somehow the victim of its leadership which has a vested interest in keeping the conflict with Israel unresolved. Thus, giving greater voice to the people, rather than their leaders, will somehow lead to greater rapprochement.

These are both misleading misconceptions.

With regard to the former, the Palestinian-Arabs, as a collective, are not a prospective peace partner, but—as they themselves, undisguisedly declare—an implacable enemy, who will never be satiated by any show of Israeli goodwill. Indeed, concession and appeasement, no matter how far-reaching, will never satisfy Palestinian appetite. On the contrary, it will only whet it. Failure to recognize this will merely lead to a policy of successive and ever more far-reaching—yet unrequited—conciliatory gestures in a futile pursuit of some elusive concession, which if only made, will result in a lasting resolution of the intractable Judeo-Arab conflict over the Holy Land.

Crucible not victim

With regard to the latter, the Palestinian public is not the victim of its leadership but the crucible in which that leadership was formed and from which it emerged. The Palestinian leadership is a reflection of, not an imposition on, Palestinian society!

Indeed, opinion polls clearly indicate that the Palestinian public strongly identifies with the perpetrators of brutal and lethal acts of terror against Israelis and almost uniformly endorse the “pay-for-slay” practice. Thus, Adam Rasgon, today with the New York Times, noted: “Polls have found that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians oppose the PA suspending its payments to the security prisoners, including terrorists who have killed Israeli civilians, and their families.

Quoting a “high ranking Palestinian official“, he wrote:

These payments are one of the most sensitive issues in Palestinian society…If the PA were to get rid of them, it would be committing political suicide…”, and cited a poll conducted by a leading Palestinian Institute that “… found that 91 percent of Palestinians were against stopping them…

Underscoring this widely held public sentiment, one Israeli news channel noted:

These prisoners are often regarded by many Palestinians as heroes or martyrs.”

Indeed, removing and replacing the current leadership is hardly likely to improve matters—as the most probable alternative candidates to ascend to power will almost certainly be more radical than the present incumbents.

Correctly conceptualizing the conflict

For Israel to be able to formulate a cogent and coherent policy vis-a-vis the Palestinian issue, it must first manage to correctly conceptualize the conflict. Failure to do so will inevitably result in flawed policy, which in turn, will inevitably result in policy failure—as has been the case with Israel’s policy on the Palestinian issue for decades.

This brings to mind the wise words of eminent social psychologist, Kurt Levin, who observed: “There is nothing so practical as a good theory.” After all, action without comprehension is a little like swinging a hammer without knowing where the nails are—and just as hazardous and harmful. Thus, good theory creates understanding of cause and effect and hence facilitates effective policy, allowing measures undertaken to achieve their intended goals.

Formulating such “good theory” entails setting aside the previously mentioned misconceptions that underlie—and undermine—virtually all of the conceptual approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—namely that the Palestinians are a prospective peace partner and that they are unwilling victims of their leaders.

This leads inexorably to the dour conclusion that the conflict must be conceptualized as one between two irreconcilable collectives, with mutually exclusive foundational narratives: A Jewish collective and an Arab collective—for which, today, the Palestinian-Arab collective is its operational spearhead.

Grudgingly accepted or greatly feared

They are irreconcilable because the raison d’etre of the one is the preservation of Jewish political sovereignty in the Holy Land, while the raison d’etre of the other is the annulment Jewish political sovereignty in the Holy Land. Therefore, for one to prevail, the other must be prevailed upon.

With antithetical and mutually exclusive core objectives, only one can emerge victorious, with the other, vanquished.

Accordingly, as a clash of collectives, whose outcome will be determined by collective victory or defeat, it cannot be personalized. The fate of individual members of one collective cannot be a deciding determinant of the policy of the rival collective—and certainly not a consideration that impacts the probability of collective victory or defeat.

Thus, Israel’s survival imperative must dictate that it forgo the pursuit of international amity from the Arabs, which, for the foreseeable future, will remain an unattainable pipe-dream. It must reconcile itself to the stern, but sober, conclusion: The most it can realistically hope for is to be grudgingly accepted, the least it must attain is to be greatly feared.

Any more benign policy goals are a recipe for disaster.

©Martin Sherman. All rights reserved.

TikTok suspends account of critic of Islam who has been inundated with death threats thumbnail

TikTok suspends account of critic of Islam who has been inundated with death threats

By Robert Spencer

Mila wrote: “Perfectly logical to hate the most problematic and dangerous religion these days!”

If she had expressed hatred for Christianity, would her account have been suspended? No, TikTok would have crowned her Queen of France.

‘Now that sucks, take a look’: Mila’s TikTok account suspended over comment on Islam

translated from ““Là ça craint, regardez bien”: le compte TikTok de Mila suspendu à cause d’un commentaire sur l’islam,” Valeurs Actuelles, November 30, 2021 (thanks to Medforth):

Mila, regularly harassed and threatened on social networks because of her positions that re deemed controversial on Islam, noted on Monday (November 29) the suspension of her TikTok account. The young woman made it known on Twitter, the same day, during the evening. “My TikTok account was suspended following this comment. I don’t mind losing my account, but this sucks, take a good look,” she said in her post. The cause of the suspension of her TikTok account was these few words: “Perfectly logical to hate the most problematic and dangerous religion these days!”

These words angered a number of users of this social network, who therefore massively reported Mila’s post. This was then deleted by the application, for the following reason: violation of community guidelines. Secondly, the young woman’s account, reported for the same reasons, was suspended.

On Twitter, Mila also shared in the context of this comment that she had been the victim of bullying: “I’ve received a huge amount of (completely unprovoked) abuse tonight, on my TikTok account of course, from our favourite Islamists and therefore in addition to the threats, insults and calls to murder, massive flaggings.” A few hours earlier, she had confided on social media that one of her videos had been removed from TikTok’s mobile app. She indicated that she had appealed the decision, but the content had not yet been restored.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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World must respond strongly to spate of extremist attacks

By Center For Security Policy

Terrorist acts carried out by radical Islamist extremists have begun to return to the forefront, bringing back memories of the scale of destruction and brutality that characterized similar attacks in recent years.

Only last week, Uganda’s capital Kampala was rocked by two coordinated explosions that killed at least three innocent civilians and terrified thousands of residents, who fled the city center fearing for their lives. Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces, an extremist group affiliated to Daesh, which claimed responsibility for the attack. He emphasized that there remained a threat of more suicide attacks.

The same warning came out of the UK as its government decided to raise the terror threat level to severe following an attack in Liverpool last week. That incident came just a few weeks after the assassination of Conservative Member of Parliament Sir David Amess.

The UK is expecting more attacks as the holiday season approaches, according to Home Secretary Priti Patel, who warned last Monday that another attack is highly likely. “There is a reason for that and that reason is because what we saw yesterday is the second incident in a month now,” she said following the Liverpool attack.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the public to remain vigilant, stressing that no terrorist would succeed in dividing the people of his country. “What yesterday showed above all is that the British people will never be cowed by terrorism, we will never give in to those who seek to divide us with senseless acts of violence,” he said.

According to the Guardian newspaper, “the Liverpool attacker was not previously known to MI5, which keeps a list of 3,000 current suspects and just over 20,000 previous ones, or to specialist counterterrorism police officers.” This information is alarming and extremely dangerous, due to the lack of intelligence on the number and locations of radical sleeper cells or lone wolves that have no sympathy for all religions or humans without exception.

When we say that terrorism has no religion or borders, it is not just a slogan for public announcements, but is rather a fact we witness on the ground on a daily basis all around the globe.

The recent developments in Afghanistan will give all radical Islamists around the world hope and motivation. They will believe that, if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. This justifies the increase in concern among the international community.

Daesh is now working on various social media platforms to recruit potential suicide bombers, seizing the opportunity to take advantage of young and uneducated Muslims to implement their agenda and carry out attacks during Christmas celebrations.

A chilling video was spotted on TikTok that targeted Daesh sympathizers and urged them to launch mass-casualty terrorist attacks in the West during the holidays. The US Sun reported that the video described different methods and locations for committing such horrific acts. It attempted to brainwash these supporters and motivate them to kill as many people as possible. This TikTok account has been used by Daesh for the past 18 months, with its videos watched thousands of times.

Click HERE to read more.

Originally published by Arab News

COLUMN BY

Dalia al-Aqidi

EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

BIDEN’S HORROR: Daughters For Sale thumbnail

BIDEN’S HORROR: Daughters For Sale

By Pamela Geller

The selling of daughters used to be rare in Afghanistan, but it is happening much more because of Biden’s disastrous pull-out.

Daughters for sale: Afghans are growing desperate

At four months old, Rahilla was bought by a wealthy goat trader, a man in his fifties.

By: Paul Wood, November 27, 2021 | 9:39 am

Shukria Abdul Wahid has nine children, two boys and seven girls. All they had to eat yesterday, she says, were two small pieces of stale flatbread — for the whole family. She and her husband went without. They couldn’t even have tea to quieten their own hunger pangs. The gas bottle used to boil water ran out long ago and there is no money for another one. She tells me it is unbearable having to say “no” to her children all day when she doesn’t have a scrap of food to give them. “They are very little. They do not understand the situation, they do not know what’s happening in Afghanistan,” she says. “So they just keep begging — ‘Give us something to eat. We are hungry’ — and they won’t stop crying.”

An aid worker for an Islamic charity found Shukria for me in the Afghan capital, Kabul. He translated as she spoke into his phone and he sent me photographs. She is dressed in a blue burka and sits on a small rectangle of carpet on a bare concrete floor. Her children squeeze on to the carpet around her and look up at the camera, wide-eyed. The room is tiny — perhaps once a storeroom — and there’s no glass in the windows to keep out the bitter cold of a Kabul winter. They don’t have so much as a blanket for the children, she says. That’s because they had to flee their home in the province of Baghlan when the Taliban swept in. Her husband was a soldier and they were afraid he would be killed. The family could not find food in Baghlan and hunger drove them into Kabul. But Kabul is the same. Her husband goes to the bazaar every day to find work. Most days, he comes home empty-handed and they don’t eat.

The UN, aid agencies and human rights groups are warning that Afghanistan is on the brink of famine. Millions of Afghans are already in what the UN calls a “food emergency.” They are not starving yet, but a few more missed meals may bring them close to that. For people like Shukria, this means making awful choices to survive. She is terrified of losing a child to hunger (or cold) this winter and so she tells me that only the day before, with nothing left in the house, she came to a decision. “We hope from Allah that our lives will be better in the future. But everything is so difficult. It just seems impossible. I told my husband we had to do something. I said we had to sell one of our daughters — to get food for the other children, to stop their hunger, to save everyone.”

She was talking about selling her daughter into an early arranged marriage. There have been many reports about Afghan families being forced to do this, their daughters given away to whoever can pay. I asked an Afghan journalist in Herat, in the far west of the country, if this was widespread, or just a few stories in the international media. He drove out to a village named Shahrak-e-Sabz, which is known, even in Afghanistan, for its poverty. The place is a collection of mud-brick homes in the midst of a stony desert, a mountain looming in the background. As soon as he arrived — smartly dressed, driving a car, having come from the city — he was surrounded by a crowd who thought he had come to buy a child. Men and women called out to him to come with them so they could sell him one of their daughters. It didn’t take him long before he found a couple who had already done this terrible thing.

Jan Muhammad and his wife Shareen Gull are both in their early twenties. The journalist from Herat sends me a picture of them sitting against the mud wall of their house. He gives them my questions and translates their answers.

As the exchanges takes place, they proudly show off a chubby-faced little girl of seven months named Rahilla. She is their first child, yet they have sold her. They try to explain why. Jan Muhammad works as a laborer and if he’s lucky, and someone takes him on, he gets between fifty and 100 Afghanis a day, between fifty cents and $1. But those days are rare and he usually ends up scavenging for dry bits of bread in Herat. He brings these home and Shareen Gull adds water to make a paste for them to eat. “If he finds work, he brings some soft bread [from the bakery],” she says, “but we haven’t had that in months.”

They could have gone on living like this for a long time, but in August there was a disaster. Jan Muhammed’s brother was arrested and taken to the central jail in Kabul. The family had to pay a bribe to get him out: 70,000 Afghanis, about $750. The timing was terrible. These were the last days of the Afghan government. If only they had waited a few more weeks, they tell me bitterly — the Taliban freed all the prisoners anyway. But they went deep into debt to pay the bribe and there was no money left over for food. Shareen Gull says: “I didn’t eat for a week because of that. We were in despair.”

But then other families told them how to arrange the sale of a daughter and, at four months old, Rahilla was bought by a wealthy goat trader, a man in his fifties. This man promised that the little girl would eventually marry one of his sons, not him, but if he’s lying about that, there is really nothing her parents can do. The goat trader will take her away as soon as she can walk and she will work in his house as a servant until marriage. The down payment for Rahilla has cleared Jan Muhammed’s and Shareen Gull’s debts and they will get another 10,000 Afghanis — a little more than $100 — when the man comes to collect her. Her mother tells me: “If he pays us the rest of the money, we can survive. If he doesn’t come back for her, we will have nothing to live on.” Both parents dream of somehow getting enough money to buy their daughter back one day. “We want to free our small girl,” says Jan Muhammed. There seems no real chance of that.

The selling of daughters used to be rare in Afghanistan, but it is happening much more because of the country’s desperate situation. The UN calls it the worst humanitarian disaster in the world today. Food is short because of a drought over the summer — the most extreme in twenty years — and because fighting stopped the harvest in many places. What’s more important is the fact that three-quarters of all government spending and 43 percent of the country’s income overall used to come from foreign aid. That’s all gone now with the Taliban in charge. It didn’t help that the American-backed government appears to have fled with much of the money in the country’s central bank. The Taliban are broke.

Read the rest…

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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How should Christians respond to the challenge of wokeness?

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

The head of US Catholic bishops reflects on the challenge of secularization.


You have asked me to address a serious, sensitive, and complicated topic — the rise of new secular ideologies and movements for social change in the United States and the implications for the Church.

And of course, I think we all understand that what the Church is facing in the United States is also happening in your country and in the countries throughout Europe, in different degrees and in different ways.

With that understanding, I want to offer my reflections today in three parts. First, I want to talk about the wider context of the global movement of secularization and de-Christianization and the impact of the pandemic. Second, I want to offer a “spiritual interpretation” of the new social justice and political identity movements in America. Finally, I want to suggest some evangelical priorities for the Church as we confront the realities of the present moment.

So, let’s begin.

Secularization and de-Christianization

I think we all know that while there are unique conditions in the United States, similar broad patterns of aggressive secularization have long been at work in Spain and elsewhere in Europe.

An elite leadership class has risen in our countries that has little interest in religion and no real attachments to the nations they live in or to local traditions or cultures. This group, which is in charge in corporations, governments, universities, the media, and in the cultural and professional establishments, wants to establish what we might call a global civilization, built on a consumer economy and guided by science, technology, humanitarian values, and technocratic ideas about organizing society.

In this elite worldview, there is no need for old-fashioned belief systems and religions. In fact, as they see it, religion, especially Christianity, only gets in the way of the society they hope to build.

That is important to remember. In practice, as our Popes have pointed out, secularization means “de-Christianization.” For years now, there has been a deliberate effort in Europe and America to erase the Christian roots of society and to suppress any remaining Christian influences.

In your program for this Congress, you allude to “cancel culture” and “political correctness.” And we recognize that often what is being cancelled and corrected are perspectives rooted in Christian beliefs — about human life and the human person, about marriage, the family, and more.

In your society and mine, the “space” that the Church and believing Christians are permitted to occupy is shrinking. Church institutions and Christian-owned businesses are increasingly challenged and harassed. The same is true for Christians working in education, health care, government, and other sectors. Holding certain Christian beliefs is said to be a threat to the freedoms, and even to the safety, of other groups in our societies.

One more point of context. We all noticed the dramatic social changes in our societies with the coming of the coronavirus and the way our government authorities responded to the pandemic.

I think history will look back and see that this pandemic did not change our societies as much as it accelerated trends and directions that were already at work. Social changes that might have taken decades to play out, are now moving more rapidly in the wake of this disease and our societies’ responses.

That is certainly true in the United States.

The new social movements and ideologies that we are talking about today, were being seeded and prepared for many years in our universities and cultural institutions. But with the tension and fear caused by the pandemic and social isolation, and with the killing of an unarmed black man by a white policeman and the protests that followed in our cities, these movements were fully unleashed in our society.

This context is important in understanding our situation in the United States. The name George Floyd is now known worldwide. But that is because for many people in my country, myself included, his tragedy became a stark reminder that racial and economic inequality are still deeply embedded in our society.

We need to keep this reality of inequality in mind. Because these movements that we are talking about are part of a wider discussion — a discussion that is absolutely essential — about how to build an American society that expands opportunities for everyone, no matter what colour their skin is or where they came from, or their economic status.

With that, let’s turn to my next point.

America’s new political religions

Here is my thesis. I believe the best way for the Church to understand the new social justice movements is to understand them as pseudo-religions, and even replacements and rivals to traditional Christian beliefs.

With the breakdown of the Judeo-Christian worldview and the rise of secularism, political belief systems based on social justice or personal identity have come to fill the space that Christian belief and practice once occupied.

Whatever we call these movements — “social justice,” “wokeness,” “identity politics,” “intersectionality,” “successor ideology” — they claim to offer what religion provides.

They provide people with an explanation for events and conditions in the world. They offer a sense of meaning, a purpose for living, and the feeling of belonging to a community.

Even more than that, like Christianity, these new movements tell their own “story of salvation.”

To explain what I mean, let me try to briefly compare the Christian story with what we might call the “woke” story or the “social justice” story.

The Christian story, in its simplest form, goes something like this:

We are created in the image of God and called to a blessed life in union with him and with our neighbours. Human life has a God-given “telos,” an intention and direction. Through our sin, we are alienated from God and from one another, and we live in the shadow of our own death.

By the mercy of God and his love for each of us, we are saved through the dying and rising of Jesus Christ. Jesus reconciles us to God and our neighbours, gives us the grace to be transformed in his image, and calls us to follow him in faith, loving God and our neighbour, working to build his Kingdom on earth, all in confident hope that we will have eternal life with him in the world to come.

That’s the Christian story. And now more than ever, the Church and every Catholic needs to know this story and proclaim it in all its beauty and truth.

We need to do that, because there is another story out there today — a rival “salvation” narrative that we hear being told in the media and in our institutions by the new social justice movements. What we might call the “woke” story goes something like this:

We cannot know where we came from, but we are aware that we have interests in common with those who share our skin colour or our position in society. We are also painfully aware that our group is suffering and alienated, through no fault of our own. The cause of our unhappiness is that we are victims of oppression by other groups in society. We are liberated and find redemption through our constant struggle against our oppressors, by waging a battle for political and cultural power in the name of creating a society of equity.

Clearly, this is a powerful and attractive narrative for millions of people in American society and in societies across the West. In fact, many of America’s leading corporations, universities, and even public schools are actively promoting and teaching this vision.

This story draws its strength from the simplicity of its explanations — the world is divided into innocents and victims, allies and adversaries.

But this narrative is also attractive because, as I said earlier, it responds to real human needs and suffering. People are hurting, they do feel discriminated against and excluded from opportunities in society.

We should never forget this. Many of those who subscribe to these new movements and belief systems are motivated by noble intentions. They want to change conditions in society that deny men and women their rights and opportunities for a good life.

Of course, we all want to build a society that provides equality, freedom, and dignity for every person. But we can only build a just society on the foundation of the truth about God and human nature.

This has been the constant teaching of our Church and her Popes for nearly two centuries, now.

Our Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI warned that the eclipse of God leads to the eclipse of the human person. Again and again he told us: when we forget God, we no longer see the image of God in our neighbour. Pope Francis makes the same point powerfully in Fratelli Tutti: unless we believe that God is our Father, there is no reason for us to treat others as our brothers and sisters.

That is precisely the problem here.

Today’s critical theories and ideologies are profoundly atheistic. They deny the soul, the spiritual, transcendent dimension of human nature; or they think that it is irrelevant to human happiness. They reduce what it means to be human to essentially physical qualities — the colour of our skin, our sex, our notions of gender, our ethnic background, or our position in society.

No doubt that we can recognize in these movements certain elements of liberation theology, they seem to be coming from the same Marxist cultural vision. Also, these movements resemble some of the heresies that we find in Church history.

Like the early Manicheans, these movements see the world as a struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Like the Gnostics, they reject creation and the body. They seem to believe that human beings can become whatever we decide to make of ourselves.

These movements are also Pelagian, believing that redemption can be accomplished through our own human efforts, without God.

And as a final point, I would note that these movements are Utopian. They seem to really believe that we can create a kind of “heaven on earth,” a perfectly just society, through our own political efforts.

Again, my friends, my point is this: I believe that it is important for the Church to understand and engage these new movements — not on social or political terms, but as dangerous substitutes for true religion.

In denying God, these new movements have lost the truth about the human person. This explains their extremism, and their harsh, uncompromising, and unforgiving approach to politics.

And from the standpoint of the Gospel, because these movements deny the human person, no matter how well-intentioned they are, they cannot promote authentic human flourishing. In fact, as we are witnessing in my country, these strictly secular movements are causing new forms of social division, discrimination, intolerance, and injustice.

What Is to be done

That leads me to me final set of reflections. The question is: What is to be done? How should the Church respond to these new secular movements for social change?

My answer is simple. We need to proclaim Jesus Christ. Boldly, creatively. We need to tell our story of salvation in a new way. With charity and confidence, without fear. This is the Church’s mission in every age and every cultural moment.

We should not be intimidated by these new religions of social justice and political identity. The Gospel remains the most powerful force for social change that the world has ever seen. And the Church has been “antiracist” from the beginning. All are included in her message of salvation.

Jesus Christ came to announce the new creation, the new man and the new woman, given power to become children of God, renewed in the image of their Creator. Jesus taught us to know and love God as our Father, and he called his Church to carry that good news to the ends of the earth — to gather, from every race and tribe and people, the one worldwide family of God.

That was the meaning of Pentecost, when men and women from every nation under heaven heard the Gospel in their own native language. That is what St. Paul meant when he said that in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, male or female, slave or free.

Of course, in the Church we have not always lived up to our beautiful principles or carried out the mission entrusted to us by Christ.

But the world does not need a new secular religion to replace Christianity. It needs you and me to be better witnesses. Better Christians. Let us begin by forgiving, loving, sacrificing for others, putting away spiritual poisons like resentment and envy.

Personally, I find inspiration in the saints and holy figures in my country’s history.

In this moment, I am looking especially to the Servant of God Dorothy Day. For me, she offers an important witness for how Catholics can work to change our social order through radical detachment and love for the poor grounded in the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, and the works of mercy.

She also had a keen sense that before we can change the hearts of others, we have to change ourselves. She once said: “I see only too clearly how bad people are. I wish I did not see it so. It is my own sins that give me such clarity. But I cannot worry much about your sins and miseries when I have so many of my own. … My prayer from day to day is that God will so enlarge my heart that I will see you all, and live with you all, in his love.”

This is the attitude that we need right now, when our society is so polarized and divided.

I am also drawing inspiration from the witness of Venerable Augustus Tolton. His is an amazing and truly American story. He was born in slavery, escaped into freedom with his mother, and became the first black man to be ordained a priest in my country.

Father Tolton once said, “The Catholic Church deplores a double slavery — that of the mind and that of the body. She endeavours to free us of both.”

Today, we need this confidence in the power of the Gospel. We are at risk right now of sliding into a new “tribalism,” a pre-Christian idea of humanity as divided into competing groups and factions.

We need to live and proclaim the Gospel as the true path to liberation from every slavery and injustice, spiritual and material. In our preaching and practice, and especially in our love for our neighbours, we need to bear witness to God’s beautiful vision of our common humanity — our common origin and common destiny in God.

Finally, in this hour I think the Church must be a voice for individual conscience and tolerance, and we need to promote greater humility and realism about the human condition. Acknowledging our common humanity means recognizing our common frailty. The truth is that we are all sinners, people who want to do the right thing but often do not.

That does not mean we remain passive in the face of social injustice. Never! But we do need to insist that fraternity cannot be built through animosity or division. True religion does not seek to harm or humiliate, to ruin livelihoods or reputations. True religion offers a path for even the worst sinners to find redemption.

One last thought, my friends. And that is the reality of God’s providence. We need to hold onto this supernatural understanding, because it is true: God’s loving hand still guides our lives and the course of nations.

This article is a slightly abridged version of Archbishop Gomez’s lecture. The full text can be found on his website.

COLUMN BY

José Gomez

Archbishop José H. Gomez is the Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and the President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. More by José Gomez

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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School CANCELS Event with Islamic Sex Slave Survivor Nadia Murad Saying It Would Offend Muslims

By Pamela Geller

This is what we have been up against for well over a decade.

This is no different from what the Islamic State did to millions of girls and women.

  • The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is not allowing its students to attend a book club meeting featuring author Nadia Murad
  • Murad’s book details how she escaped the Islamic State, where she was ripped from her home and sold into sexual slavery aged just 14 years old
  • The superintendent Helen Fisher said Muslim students would be offended and the book ‘promotes Islamophobia’
  • Book club founder and TDSB parent Tanya Lee said the book ‘has nothing to do with ordinary Muslims. (TDSB) should be aware of the difference’
  • The Board later issued an apology but still won’t let the students attend the event

By Shannon Thaler For Dailymail.Com, 26 November 2021:

A Canadian school has cancelled an event with ISIS survivor Nadia Murad, saying her visit would be offensive to Muslims and foster ‘Islamophobia’.

Murad was scheduled to sit down with students from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) – the largest school Board in Canada with nearly 600 schools – to discuss her book The Last Girl: My Story Of Captivity in February 2022.

Murad’s graphic exposé detailed how she escaped the Islamic State, where she was ripped from her home and sold into sexual slavery aged just 14 years old, according to The Telegraph.

She uses the book to talk about how she was raped and tortured before finding her way to a refugee camp in Durhok, in northern Iraq, and then to Germany where she now lives.

The event was cancelled because Superintendent Helen Fisher (pictured) said said it would offend Muslim students and ‘promote Islamophobia’

Nadia Murad (pictured) wrote an exposé detailing how she escaped the Islamic State and was slated to discuss it at a book club event for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). However, the event was cancelled because Superintendent Helen Fisher (right) said said it would offend Muslim students and ‘promote Islamophobia’

In her book (pictured), Murad talks about how she was raped and tortured before finding her way to a refugee camp in Durhok, in northern Iraq, and then to Germany where she now lives

In her book (pictured), Murad talks about how she was raped and tortured before finding her way to a refugee camp in Durhok, in northern Iraq, and then to Germany where she now lives

But before the event could happen the superintendent of the Board Helen Fisher said that her students would not participate.

She has since issued an apology but refused to allow her students to attend.

Fisher expressed that she believed the book would ‘promote Islamophobia’ and cited how offensive the book was to her Muslim students as her reason for cancelling the event.

The decision enraged TDSB parent Tanya Lee, who wrote an email to the superintendent about the decision.

Lee also founded the book club – called A Room Of Your Own Book Club – which allows teen girls aged 13 to 18 from secondary schools around the country to hear from female authors, and was hosting the event set to feature Murad.

‘This is what the Islamic State means. It is a terrorist organization. It has nothing to do with ordinary Muslims. The Toronto school board should be aware of the difference,’ she wrote, as reported by The Telegraph.

The next day Lee told the news site that Fisher sent her a copy of the school board’s policy on selecting fair, culturally-relevant reading materials, which a TDSB spokesperson said was ‘a misunderstanding’.

‘The equity department does not review and approve books for book clubs,’ they added.

The Board later issued a statement stating they ‘wanted to provide some clarification’.

‘An opinion that did not reflect the position of the Toronto District School Board was shared with the organizer of the book club prior to staff having an opportunity to read the books – something that is routinely done before giving them to students,’ it read.

The statement added that ‘staff are currently reading’ the book and the Board ‘sincerely apologizes to Ms Murad (who) has powerful stories to tell,’ adding that they ‘believe students would learn a great deal (from)’.

Murad was captured by the Islamic State aged 14 and went on to become a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and a UN Goodwill Ambassador (Murad pictured visiting her village for the first time after being captured by the Islamic State in 2017)

Murad was captured by the Islamic State aged 14 and went on to become a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and a UN Goodwill Ambassador (Murad pictured visiting her village for the first time after being captured by the Islamic State in 2017)

Murad became the first woman from Iraq to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism in speaking out against abuse and sexual violence (pictured during the award ceremony in 2018)

Murad is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence also became a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and UN Goodwill Ambassador.

Lee, who opened the book club up to young girls from the UK, told The Telegraph: ‘The book club event for A Room Of Your Own Book Club with Nadia Murad will go ahead across Canada in February.

‘The TDSB has not committed to letting their students attend. This is unfortunate for all involved. A great loss to the students, community, and educators at the TDSB.’

However, this isn’t the first time Fisher banned a book from a book club event.

Back in October, A Room Of Your Own Book Club featured author and lawyer Marie Henein, who defended Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi while he was being faced with sexual assault charges.

Although Ghomeshi was acquitted on all charges in 2016, the TDSB sill refused to let its students attend the event.

In response, dozens of users took to Twitter to express their fiery discontent towards TDSB’s decision.

One user referred to when Holocaust survivors spoke to TDSB schools and sarcastically said: ‘I guess all the Holocaust survivors who have spoken at schools were promoting hatred of Germans – any response to your idiotic position on Nadia Murad???’

Meanwhile, another user said the school’s choice to cancel Murad’s event is ‘sad (because) she is being de-platformed’.

Yet another response said the decision is the ‘opposite’ of cancel culture, ‘where incompetent professionals face no consequences for bungling their jobs, because their errors are seen as being committed in the (nominal) service of social justice’.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Bidenites Warn Israel to Stop its Attacks on Iran

By Robert Spencer

The U.S. has issued a warning about Iran’s nuclear program. No, it wasn’t a warning issued to Iran, telling the Supreme Leader that the U.S. was getting fed up with Iran’s stalling tactics, or that it was determined to “lengthen and strengthen” the 2015 Iran deal, or that it was now looking at “all other options” that it might employ to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Instead, it was a warning issued to Israel, the country that is in the gravest danger from Iran’ nuclear program. The Bidenites apparently do not think it “helpful” for Israel to continue its sabotage of Iran’s nuclear facilities and want it to stop. A preliminary Jihad Watch report on this scarcely believable development is here, and more on this is here: “US Warns Israel Attacks on Iran Nuclear Facilities ‘Counterproductive,’” i24 News, November 22, 2021:

US officials have warned Israel that attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities are “counterproductive” and are encouraging Tehran to speed up its nuclear program, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

So the Americans – that is, the Bidenites – apparently believe that every attack by Israel intended to slow down Iran’s nuclear program only prompted Tehran “to speed up its nuclear program,” as if it were not already moving as fast as it could. Israel manages to introduce the Stuxnet computer worm into Iranian computers that then cause 1,000 centrifuges to speed up so fast they destroy themselves, and what happens? Iran builds even more, and faster, centrifuges to replace those destroyed. But who is to say that they would not have built more, and faster centrifuges, even without Stuxnet? Israel destroys the nuclear facility at Natanz through sabotage by Mossad agents, and then builds another facility at Natanz, but this time it’s built 50 meters underground, and yet it is also destroyed. But this, we are supposed to believe, is what led Iran to build another facility deep inside a mountain at Fordow. No one can say that the Fordow facility was built because of Israel’s sabotage at Natanz. It might have been in the works before that sabotage. The Israelis are convinced that their many, and various, attacks are working; they have slowed down Iran’s progress toward a bomb, possibly by as much as several years.

I trust the judgement of the IDF and Mossad. They are convinced that attacks meant to slow down Iran’s nuclear project have indeed done exactly that instead of speeding up Iran’s program, as the Bidenites now want Israel to believe, and that Israel’s information from Mossad agents who report on deep demoralization within the Iranian military because of so much successful sabotage by Israel, should be believed. The Stuxnet computer worm, the saboteurs responsible for four major explosions, two of them destroying the nuclear facilities at Natanz, the killing of five top Iranian scientists, have done exactly what Israel hoped: set back Iran’s nuclear project by years. And the Israelis keep coming up with new ways to delay Iranian progress. Perform the gedankenexperiment, the thought experiment, and imagine that there had never been a Stuxnet computer worm, nor assassination of Iran’s best nuclear scientists, nor sabotage of the two Natanz centrifuge plants. Where would Iran’ nuclear program be today? The Bidenites insist we should believe them, not Israel’s Mossad, in their insistence that Israeli sabotage accomplished the reverse of what was intended. All those successful attacks by Israel on nuclear facilities and scientists, we are expected to believe, merely served to speed up, rather than slow down, Iran’s nuclear project. This not only sounds absurd – it is absurd.

Citing officials familiar with the private talks between Washington and Jerusalem, the report said that Israeli officials dismissed the warning and said that they have no intention of changing the strategy.

The Israelis, hard-headed as usual, simply waved away the Bidenites’ advice. They are not about to bring an end to their impressive record of throwing so many spanners in the works of Iran’s nuclear project. Even now they surely have a half-dozen “projects” in the works, including an attack on the facilities inside the mountain at Fordow, which will make use of a new compact MOP (Multiple Ordnance Penetrator), or bunker buster, weighing 5,000 pounds but packing the punch of the 30,000-pound bunker buster in the American armory, the latest advance by Israeli scientists that keeps Iranian generals up at night in Teheran.

The report [about the Bidenites insistence that Israeli attacks on Iran’s nuclear project were counterproductive] was published ahead of the resumption of talks between Iran and world powers on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal that former US president Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018. The negotiations are scheduled to take place in Vienna starting on November 29.

Talks stalled in June following the election of hardline president Ebrahim Raisi.

According to the report, the US cautioned that Israel’s attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities may be “tactically satisfying,” but that Iran has been able to resume enrichment, often installing newer machines that can enrich uranium faster.

Iran can resume enrichment of uranium, but it takes time to build facilities to replace those destroyed. And time is what Israel is trying to buy, hoping to set back Iran’s program so that it keeps receding into the distance. And if Iran has newer machines that can enrich uranium faster than was previously possible, it will install them with or without Israel’s destruction of those slower models. The Americans are assuming that these “new machines” were put in service only because Israel had destroyed the previous model. This is the Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy with a vengeance. What are Biden and Blinken and Sullivan drinking these days?

The US cited four explosions at Iranian nuclear facilities attributed to Israel and the killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by Mossad operatives….

So contrary to the beliefs of the Israelis – what do they know, the Bidenites think, about what works and what doesn’t in trying to slow down Iran’s race to the bomb? – those four explosions that they set off at Natanz and elsewhere not only didn’t slow Iran down, but spurred it on, ever faster, as it hopes to race to the finish and to build that bomb. Also sprach Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan. And the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh? The Americans must think his reputation as Iran’s top nuclear scientist was exaggerated, or perhaps they believe he was replaced by someone even more impressive, who had been waiting in the wings.

Of all the things that the Biden Administration has done wrong, surely this attempt to convince the Israelis not to act against a mortal threat to the Jewish state is among the worst. The Bidenites’ attempt – I don’t know whether to call it Orwellian or Kafkaesque — to convince Israel that its attacks to slow down Iran’s nuclear project have only caused it to speed up, is both absurd and sinister. The Bidenites don’t want Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear project not because such attacks are counterproductive, but because they make Iran less likely to accept a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, and the Bidenites have their hearts set on achieving that goal. It would be a feather in Biden’s hat, and Blinken’s, they apparently think, to tell the world they “managed to persuade” Iran to return to the 2015 deal which “will accomplish all that we wanted,” because “Iran will now be committed to the original deal.”

In fact, an Iranian return to the terrible 2015 deal would not prevent Iran from its building a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, would do nothing to limit Iran’s aggressions in the Middle East through its allies and proxies, including the Houthis in Yemen, the Kataib Hezbollah militia in Iraq, the Alawite-led army in Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and – most worrisome – would allow Iran in 2030 to produce nuclear weapons without any limit.

The Israelis were right to dismiss the Bidenites’ request that they stop attacking Iran’s nuclear sites. Prime Minister Bennett, and IDF Chief Aviv Kochavi and Mossad Head David Barnea know what they are doing while the Bidenites, it is my sad duty to report, know not what they do. Keep up those extraordinary acts of derring-do. Only the Israelis – not people sitting way out of Iran’s missile range in Washington, and desperately eager to make a deal with Iran — can decide what must be done to keep their state and people safe from possible catastrophe.

COLUMN BY

HUGH FITZGERALD

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

400 Years of Thanksgiving in America thumbnail

400 Years of Thanksgiving in America

By Jerry Newcombe

“We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessings…” So opens a great hymn of thanksgiving that is often sung at Thanksgiving, the 400th anniversary of which is this year. The Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

We have had 400 years of Thanksgiving in America, and thanks to Presidents Washington (who declared the first national day of Thanksgiving) and Lincoln (who made it a yearly event), we even celebrate it as an annual holiday. But some on the left think we need to change Thanksgiving to a time of mourning.

Fox News (11/21/21) writes:

“Several American universities are participating in an event asking whether Americans should ‘reconsider’ the Thanksgiving holiday. The alumni associations of the University of Maryland, Florida Gulf Coast University, Washington State University, University of Central Arkansas, Hiram College in Ohio and California State University, Long Beach are participating.”

The anti-Thanksgiving event organizers note: “Starting in 1970, many Americans, led by Indigenous protesters, believed that Thanksgiving should be rededicated as a National Day of Mourning to reflect the centuries-long displacement and persecution of Native Americans….Should Americans reconsider Thanksgiving when wrestling with our country’s complicated past?”

The Wall Street Journal had an editorial (11/22/21), “Censoring the Pilgrims”:

“No doubt it was only a matter of time. The progressives have come for our annual Thanksgiving editorials. They won’t succeed, but we thought we’d share the tale with readers for an insight into the politicization of everything, even Thanksgiving,”

I find it fascinating that historical revisionists would target the Pilgrims to lay blame for terrible things that happened to the Indians in later generations.

Horrible things did happen to the Native Americans long after the Pilgrims settled Plymouth. But that’s like blaming all car accidents on Henry Ford, who made cars accessible to the masses.

For Providence Forum—founded by Dr. Peter Lillback, and for which I serve as the executive director—I made a film, “The Pilgrims,” just in time for the 400th anniversary of Plymouth and of the first Thanksgiving. The film includes comments from Dennis Prager, Alveda King, and others, including Rev. Billy Falling, a Native American pastor and author.

In the film, we point out that in later eras, European settlers, as well as Americans, mistreated Native Americans in grave miscarriages of justice. But in doing so, they were not at all following the Christian example of the Pilgrims.

Rev. Falling says, “The Pilgrims did have good relations with the Indians. The Pilgrims were kind to the Indians, they showed them love, they showed them compassion, they showed them the godly way to live.”

Through the help of Squanto, an English-speaking Indian who befriended the Pilgrims and who taught them how to survive in New England, the Pilgrims made a treaty of peace with the Indians which lasted for more than half a century.

When they had the first Thanksgiving after the fall harvest, they invited the Indians, celebrating together for three days.

The Pilgrim leaders made sure that no land was sold until the Indian chief, Massasoit, approved of it first.

Falling also told me, “As a Native-American, I thank God for the Europeans that brought us the Gospel and brought us Western civilization. We owe everything to those who brought us civilization and brought us out of the cannibalism, the slavery, and out of all of the sins of the flesh that were practiced in the day, just like the heathen of the world.”

Falling added, “It’s hard today to find a ‘sweat’ where you can go as a Native American and go inside and smoke out your sins, but it’s easy to find Native Americans in any congregation in the United States, worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ because of the Europeans. And I thank God for that.”

Our film also notes, “The Pilgrims had an exemplary relationship with the Indians for decades. When an Indian had been murdered by three Englishmen, and those Englishmen were put on trial, the Indians expected merely a charade, a show-trial. In short, they expected a miscarriage of justice.” But instead when these Europeans were put on trial for killing an Indian, they were found guilty and hanged.

Leo Martin, the founder of the Jenney Center (a museum) in Plymouth, says in the documentary: “Now, the Indians could trust the Pilgrims. [The Pilgrims] were people of character and integrity, who stood by their word.”

The key to the Pilgrims’ success in surviving and thriving was looking to God for all things and thanking Him for them. God has given us so much. How fitting it is to give Him thanks.

The hymn “We Gather Together” has a later line that observes, “So from the beginning, the fight we were winning, Thou, Lord, wast at our side, all glory be Thine.” Happy Thanksgiving!

©Jerry Newcombe, D. Min. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Thanksgiving Was a Triumph of Capitalism over Collectivism


Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789 by President George Washington.

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington