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Posts Tagged ‘ISLAM’

Black Muslim lawyer Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour recently made news when it was revealed that he was a patron of Barack Obama and recommended him for admission to Harvard Law School in 1988. Back in the 1960s, al-Mansour, whose “slave name” was then Don Warden, was deeply involved in Bay Area racial politics as founder of a group called the African American Association. A close personal adviser to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, al-Mansour helped the pair establish the Black Panther Party but later broke with them when they entered coalitions with white radical groups. After becoming a Muslim, al-Mansour found not only an ideological justification for his racism but also a political purpose. That was, in the words of a memorandum produced by the Muslim Brotherhood and seized by the FBI as part of its probe of the Holy Land Foundation, to “eliminate and destroy the Western civilization from within.” Many black racists like al-Mansour are key figures in this “stealth” jihad, whose prime recruiting grounds are the U.S. prisons and mosques where inmates and worshippers alike are taught to embrace a radical Islam engaged in an apocalyptic battle against America.

Al-Mansour met Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in the mid-1970s and formed a relationship that led to al-Mansour’s hiring as attorney to King Saud. He has since been an adviser to Saudi billionaires who fund the stealth jihad and spread Wahhabi extremism in America.

Other black racist Islamists play less glamorous but equally significant roles as Imams at major mosques in the U.S.; as chaplains in prisons and jails; and as radical figures who haunt American higher education by advising and speaking for organizations such as the Muslim Students Association (MSA) on campuses across the nation. Whatever audience they target, they speak a lingua franca of anti-white, anti-Semitic, anti-American hatred—all in the name of Allah.

And why is it that black racists such as al-Mansour constitute a significant proportion of these hate mongers? In large part, it is because blacks have been specifically and aggressively targeted for recruitment by leaders of the worldwide jihad, just as they were targeted for recruitment by the Communist Party USA in the 1920s. Black grievance, combined with the evangelism of the Nation of Islam over the last seventy years, has established an audience for the ideology of hate.

The prison, as the last bastion of racism and racial separatism, has become a prime recruitment center for radical Islam. Al Qaeda training manuals found by U.S. troops in Afghanistan reveal that America’s black prisoners, who constitute nearly half of the nation’s two million inmates, are viewed by terrorists as a potentially bountiful source of new jihadi recruits. The immensely wealthy Saudi government, which has made the propagation of radical Islam in America a top priority, has shipped tens of thousands of copies of the Koran to U.S. jails in recent years. Through the National Islamic Prison Foundation, Saudi money finances an extensive “prison outreach” program that seeks to convert inmates to Islam and to anti-Americanism. Prison chaplains are typically Wahhabis (practitioners of Saudi Arabia’s most extreme, fundamentalist form of Islam) who have been certified and trained as religious officials by either the Islamic Society of North America or the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, both of which are currently under federal investigation for ties to terrorism. Islam expert Stephen Schwartz states that “radical Muslim chaplains … acting in coordination to impose an extremist agenda … have gained a monopoly over Islamic religious activities in American state, federal, and city prisons and jails.” Some 135,000 inmates convert to Islam annually, and almost all of these converts are African Americans.

Focusing their efforts and fortunes not only on prisons, the Saudis also have spent many millions of dollars funding a majority of America’s mosques, and have dispatched Imams from a number of Middle Eastern nations to settle in the U.S. as missionaries. Faheem Shuaibe, an Imam at a predominately black mosque in California, says that Saudi Arabia has set up “a very deliberate recruitment process … trying to find black Muslims who had a real potential for Islamic learning and also for submission to their agenda” of Wahhabi extremism. According to Islam scholar Daniel Pipes, there are approximately “a million American-born converts to Islam (and their descendants) in the United States and most of them have shifted allegiances away from their native country.” Pakistani religious leaders Sami ul-Haq and Fazrul Rehman predict that “in the next 10 years, Americans will wake up to the existence of an Islamic army in their midst—an army of jihadis who will force America to abandon imperialism and listen to the voice of Allah.”

The racial composition of this jihadi army is, of course, influenced by the Saudi targeting of African Americans. According to Reza Safa, an authority on Wahhabism’s spread throughout the world, “as many as 90 percent of American converts to Islam are black.”

The somewhat shadowy Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour embodies the marriage of racism and Islamism that characterizes the stealth jihad. Using his legal training to leverage his standing in the Islamic world, al-Mansour is a black nationalist and an outspoken hater of the United States, Israel, and white people generally. In recent years he has accused the U.S. of plotting a “genocide” designed “to remove 15 million black people, considered disposable, of no relevance, value or benefit to the American society.” He has told fellow blacks that “whatever you do to [white people], they deserve it, God wants you to do it and that’s when you cut out the nose, cut out the ears, take flesh out of their body, don’t worry because God wants you to do it.” Alleging further that Palestinians in Israel “are being brutalized like savages,” he accuses the Jews of “stealing the land the same way the Christians stole the land from the Indians in America.”

Other black racists who echo al-Mansour’s ideas include Imam Abdul Alim Musa, founder and director of the As-Sabiqun movement, which aims to “enable Islam to take complete control of … the lives of all human beings on Earth.” In 2004 the San Francisco Bay View described Musa as “one of the highest-ranking Islamic leaders in the Black community, nationwide and specifically in the Islamic movement.” Born in Arkansas as Clarence Reams, Musa was raised in Oakland, California. During the 1960s, he embraced the violent ideology of the Black Panthers.  He went on to become a leading cocaine-exporter in Colombia, a crime for which he eventually was incarcerated. While in prison, he converted to Islam and took his present name. An avid supporter of Iran’s lateAyatollah Khomeini, Musa calls for Islam to “take over America.”

He praises Muslim suicide bombers as “heroes” who courageously “strike at the heart of Zionism.” He predictsthat “this way of life known as Islam will dominate all other ways of life.” He lauds those who seek to honor Allah by means of violence. He says that America holds values and attitudes consistent with those of the Ku Klux Klan. He has praised Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah, and Hamas. And he holds that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were orchestrated jointly by the U.S. and Israeli governments in order to provide a pretext for waging war against Islam.

Warith Deen Umar (formerly Wallace Gene Marks), who was repeatedly incarcerated as a teenager, is a retired Muslim cleric who spent two decades helping to run New York’s Islamic prison program. A confidante of Nation of Islam kingpin Louis Farrakhan, Umarpersonally recruited and trained dozens of chaplains. With help from the Saudi government, he brought that country’s fanatical brand of Islam to New York’s Muslim inmates. Hebelieves that the 9/11 hijackers should be honored as martyrs, and that the U.S. risks further terrorist attacks because it oppresses Muslims around the world. Viewing black prisoners as potential soldiers in such attacks, Umar says, “Prisons are a powder keg. The question is the ignition.” He wrote in an unplublished memoir, “Even Muslims who say they are against terrorism secretly admire and applaud” the hijackers. The Koran, he added, does not condemn terrorism against oppressors of Muslims, even if innocent people are killed in the process. “This is the sort of teaching they don’t want in prison,” he said. “But this is what I’m doing.”

Sheikh Khalid Yasin is a U.S.-born, Atlanta-based Muslim convert (and a Malcolm X disciple) who has been a popular guest speaker at Muslim Students Association (MSA) events across the United States. He candidly states that America one day will be governed by Sharia (Islamic Law); that Muslims should steadfastly refuse to become friends with non-Muslims; that 9/11 was orchestrated by the U.S. and/or Israel; that homosexuals should be killed in accordance with Koranic mandates; and that AIDS was invented at a U.S. government lab for the purpose of killing nonwhites around the world.

Former Nation of Islam member Amir-Abdel Malik-Ali is a black Imam in Oakland who also has become a familiar figure on U.S. campuses where he speaks for the MSA. A passionate supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, he endorses suicide bombings as a legitimate “resistance” tactic of Muslim “martyrs.” He calls for “an Islamic revolution” that will lead to the creation of “an Islamic state” where “Allah controls every place—the home, the classroom, the science lab, the halls of Congress.” He maintains that “the Zionist Jews” were responsible for the Danish cartoon controversy that sparked Muslim riots around the world in 2006. He accuses the “apartheid State of Israel” of carrying out a “holocaust” and a “genocide” against the Palestinian people. Referring to Jews as “new Nazis” and “a bunch of straight-up punks,” he warns Jews: “[Y]our days are numbered…. We will fight you until we are either martyred or until we are victorious.”

Such are the commitments of the figures who have become the spearpoint of the Islamic jihad in America. Moving out from the hidden corners of American society into universities and other public places, these preachers of hate have made racism and Islamism into a potent toxin that they release under the cover of diversity and religious pluralism.

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New York – Say what you will about Geert Wilders – and his critics, not least the Islamic clerics who issue near-daily fatwas commanding his death, have made their views plain – there is no gainsaying that the man has guts. Ever since 2004, when the Dutch politician emerged as one of Europe’s more forthright foes of Islamic fundamentalism, Wilders, 45, has been the subject of considerable obloquy, both in his native Netherlands, where he is scorned by the political elite, and abroad, where he is the target of untold assassination plots.

But not only has his international infamy not deterred Wilders from declaring against Islamic extremism –and, more controversially, Islam as a whole – but it has actually spurred him to become even more outspoken about what he considers to be its mortal threat to Western civilization. Most recently, he made the point in his provocative 15-minute film, “Fitna” (“challenge” in Arabic), released on the internet last May to much handwringing in Europe’s political salons and the obligatory denunciations and death threats in the Muslim world. Agree or disagree with its message, there is no disputing its subtext: Geert Wilders will not be silenced.

This much was apparent during his September 25 stop in New York. Part of an outreach tour by Wilders and several members of his two-year-old political party, the rightist-populist Party for Freedom, the visit was designed to forge links with ideological allies in the U.S. and to explain just how parlous is the state of affairs in a Europe that is, as Wilders sees it, if not yet lost to Islam, nevertheless on the cusp of cultural and political surrender. At a lunch sponsored by the Hudson Institute, the conservative think tank, Wilders – tall, slightly tense and sporting the signature peroxide-blond bouffant that makes him look like a right-wing Mozart – offered an apt demonstration of what it is that has his European colleagues discomfited and his jihadist revilers literally clamoring for his head.

For those who’ve followed his career, it was vintage Wilders. Whether it was his recommended response to immigrants who refuse to assimilate (“there’s the door and there’s the shredder for your passport”), or his politically incorrect references to the “so-called prophet” Mohammed (“mass murderer and a sick pedophile”) and the Koran (the Muslim “Mein Kampf”), or his nod to the Iranian government (“crazy lunatics”), Wilders could not be accused of excessive diplomacy. And he was never more animated than on the subject that fuels his more health-hazardous tirades. At one point, Wilders presented what he called a lesson in “Islam 101.” It went like this: “Islam is not a religion. It’s a political ideology. If you want to compare it then the only thing you can compare it to is communism. It’s a totalitarian ideology.” Lest there be any misunderstanding, Wilders added that there was no such thing as moderate Islam. “Sure, there are moderate Muslims,” he said. “But there is no moderate Islam.”

Kindred themes feature in his film “Fitna.” To say that Wilders does not present Islam as a religion of peace is to put it mildly. “Fitna” juxtaposes graphic footage of Islamic terrorism – including the 9-11 attacks, the Madrid train bombings, and the beheading of Nicholas Berg – with Koranic verses and clips of Islamic clerics preaching murder of non-Muslims and Jews. Low-budget and unabashedly one-sided – Wilders seems uninterested in the possibility that there is more to foundational Islamic texts than murderous calls to arms – it is not exactly a polished work, something Wilders readily concedes. “I’m a lawmaker not a moviemaker,” he says. But like its creator, the film is nothing if not direct.

However one judges its content, the fact that “Fitna” has been released at all is something of an achievement. State-owned Dutch television stations refused to screen it last spring. Meanwhile, Dutch Muslims, unwittingly confirming Wilders’s skepticism about the compatibility of Islamic mores and democratic values, called for the film to be banned. The political establishment, too, failed to distinguish itself. Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende did nothing to discourage the hotter heads in the Muslim community when he announced that “Fitna” “serves no other purpose than to cause offense.” Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen similarly urged Wilders not to show the film because it could “endanger the lives of Dutch nationals” abroad. (Appearances notwithstanding, Verhagen insisted that he was “not trying to meet demands from anti-democratic forces and terrorists in the Middle East.”) “It was an absolute disgrace,” Wilders recalls of such reactions.

More menacing was the preemptive outrage in the Muslim world. In a grim replay of the Danish cartoon controversy of 2005, Dutch flags were burned, as muftis promised bloodshed if the film were shown. In Indonesia, where protestors brandished banners proclaiming “Kill Geert Wilders,” the government appealed to Dutch authorities to outlaw the film and, failing to get its way, permanently barred Wilders from entering the country. The Taliban, after getting word of the film’s release, vowed to increase attacks on Dutch troops in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda-linked groups issued internet death threats against Wilders.

While some of the threats proved empty, others were all-too credible. Indeed, today Wilders is in more danger than ever – no small feat for a man who just a few years ago was forced to spend nights in high-security prison cells and safe houses to avoid the gruesome fate of another Dutch filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh, who was savagely murdered by Moroccan Islamist Mohammed Bouyeri in November 2004. In the past two months in particular, the threats have multiplied. “It’s embarrassing even to talk about it,” Wilders says when I ask him about his security arrangements. For obvious reasons, he doesn’t want to divulge the size of his security detail, but he does say that “they would have to clear the street” in Amsterdam to accommodate them all. Even in the relative safety of Manhattan, Wilders takes no chances. As he spoke, two tall men in black suits and crew cuts sat watchfully by the door.

Safety concerns have limited Wilders’s public presence, but they have not diminished his political stature. Just the opposite: His Party for Freedom (PVV) now has nine members in the 150-member Dutch parliament, where it continues to press for its Wilders-inspired platform of restricting immigration from Muslim countries; for more aggressively monitoring domestic extremism, including radical mosques; and for reducing an indulgent welfare state that allows immigrants to live comfortably without assimilating. To be sure, these remain minority views in Dutch politics. “We vote every Tuesday and it’s always the same,” says Martin Bosma, a PVV MP. “Nine people raise their hands and the other 141 stare at their shoes.” Nonetheless, Bosma says that “we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic.” The PVV currently has around 10 percent support in national polls, he notes. Double what it attracted when it first stood for election in 2006, this would translate into 15 seats in the parliament in the next general election in 2010.

The PVV also has another thing going for it: Its animating anxiety about the dangers of Islamic extremism is now shared by large parts of the Dutch electorate. In a 2004 poll, 47 percent of the Dutch admitted to fearing that they would have to live according to Islamic rules in the Netherlands at some point. Similarly, in a May 2005 poll, 43 percent of the Dutch said Islam was incompatible with Western society, results that were more than matched the following year, when a poll found that the majority of native Dutch found Islam intolerant (52 percent), violent (40 percent), and hostile to women (70 percent). Increasingly, it seems, Wilders is preaching to the choir.

To his political adversaries, these polls are proof of Wilders’s malign influence on Dutch politics. In this exegesis, it is only Wilders and the PVV’s “racism” and “xenophobia,” bolstered by “an alarmist presentation of Muslim immigration to the Netherlands and Europe,” that is causing the Dutch to doubt the model of all-tolerant multiculturalism that has prevailed for so long.

The reality, though, is more complex. Although, at around one million, the Dutch Muslim community still is only about 5.8 percent of the population, it is increasingly a majority in some neighborhoods – and a hostile one at that. Overtoomse Veld, the west Amsterdam neighborhood of Theo Van Gogh’s killer Mohammed Bouyeri, is by some estimates 80 to 90 percent Muslim. Major Dutch cities like Rotterdam, now home to the Islamic University of Rotterdam, are nearly half Muslim. On their face, such statistics may seem unobjectionable. But it has not escaped notice that these cities, with their restive and unassimilated immigrant populations, boast some of the highest crime rates in the Netherlands and serve as havens for religious radicalism. Nor do Dutch voters need Wilders to wonder about some Muslims’ capacity for tolerance. A spate of attacks on gay men by young Muslim thugs in Amsterdam, once the self-styled “gay capital of Europe,” has convincingly made the case for him.

Among those disinclined to debate him, it’s fashionable to dismiss Wilders as a populist vulgarian who revels in giving offense. The writer Ian Baruma, writing in the New Yorker, has quipped that Wilders sees “delicacy as a sign of fraudulence.” But this is something of a misconception. Despite his exuberantly confrontational rhetoric, Wilders himself is thoughtful, personable, and hard to mistake for the Muslim-hating bigot that some imagine him to be. For instance, as he was doing an interview in New York, a man tapped him on the shoulder. It was Ebby Moussazadeh, a board member at the Hudson Institute. Pointing to his nametag, Moussazadeh said, faux-menacingly, “It’s a Muslim name.” Wilders brightened. “Iranian,” he said. “I recognize it.” Wilders explained that he had travelled to Iran a number of times before his recent notoriety and said that he would one day like to return to the country when it is politically free.

Still, it’s true that Wilders comes across as too hard-edged for some. Even as he recognizes that, he is not about to moderate his take-no-prisoners style. On the contrary, he sees it as a way of injecting urgency into the European debate about Islam and multiculturalism. “In Europe, we have consensus in our veins,” Wilders told me. “What we did for the last 30 years is compromise all the time; it was all carrots and no sticks. All we have to show for it is a lot of orange and a lot of trouble.” No more, he says. “You have to be heard. Right now, people are speaking without really saying what they mean. It’s not enough to talk about immigration. You have to get to the core of the issue, which is that Islam is incompatible with democracy.”

Since the conversation has turned to Islam, his combative side resurfaces. Although Wilders isn’t ready to go into further detail, he reveals that he is planning to make a sequel to “Fitna.” This time, though, it is Wilders who offers the preemptive threat, directed at Islamic radicals: He will not be stopped. “If I stopped talking about this, the people who want to kill me would have a holiday,” he explains. “I cannot let them win.”

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The Friends of Sabeel in North America, which professes to be the “voice” of Palestinian Christians, is raising cash for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). Sadly for apologists of the Palestinian cause, the European Union axed its funding for ICAHD because of “pressure brought to bear by right-wing Israeli neo-cons who have campaigned obsessively against our funding while threatening publicly to close us down.” Or at least that version comes from ICAHD’s Jeff Halper, as he described his group’s dire straits without Euro cash.

Halper, an anthropology professor and American by birth, was a 1960’s-era student radical in the U.S. until he relocated to Israel, where his radicalism simply shifted focus against the Israeli Government. He founded ICAHD in 1997.

In 2005-2006, the European Union Partnership for Peace Programme gave nearly a half million Euros to ICAHD for an education program called “Re-Framing: Providing a Coherent Paradigm of Peace to the Israeli Public.” Ostensibly, this EU funding funnel “supports local and international civil society initiatives that promote peace, tolerance and non violence in the Middle East.” But most of the cash seems to flow towards groups like ICAHD that simply repeat the standard anti-Israel narrative.

Friends of Sabeel did not explain why the European Union cut off ICAHD’s funds. But apparently it was because of Halper’s role in the “Free Gaza Flotilla,” in which “peace” activists broke the blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza by sailing in from Cyprus. Upon returning to Israel, Halper was arrested and incarcerated overnight. Apparently even the normally tolerant European Union was unimpressed.

Last year, when it apparently was more flush with funds, ICAHD published a full-page ad in The New York Times with the headline: “Who Will Stop this Bulldozer from Destroying the Chance for Peace?” Included was a large photo of a Palestinian woman holding up her arms in the face of a presumably onrushing Israeli bulldozer. Naturally, ICAHD portrays the Israeli house demolitions as merely a nasty ploy to force Palestinians off their land. That destroyed homes usually housed terrorists, tunnels, or arms caches goes unmentioned, of course.

Despite this indifference to Palestinian terrorism, ICAHD professes to oppose all “forms of violence” between Israelis and Palestinians. It insists that a “lasting peace” depends on full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, but not necessarily any change in attitudes by Palestinians. ICAHD specially focuses on Israel’s “ongoing policies of Palestinian home demolitions, relentless development of large settlements, and building of the ‘Separation Barrier’ deep into the West Bank area.” The group is also distressed by America’s “uncritical political support” for Israel and Israel’s chronic “violations of basic human rights.”

So ICAHD’s allies at Friends of Sabeel in North America are appealing to anti-Israel religious activists in the U.S. to help contribute $30,000 towards ICAHD. Friends of Sabeel is the American branch of Jerusalem-based Sabeel, which is a think-tank for Palestinian Liberation Theology. The American Sabeel helps to organize U.S. church officials who believe that Israel is the primary villain in the Middle East. In recent years, Sabeel has advocated that U.S. churches divest their pension funds from firms doing business with Israel, but that campaign has largely collapsed, having been rejected even by liberal denominations. Board members of Friends of Sabeel in North America include former Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning, radical Catholic eco-feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Christian Century magazine contributing editor James Wall.

Friends of Sabeel forwarded to its own supporters Jeff Halper’s urgent appeal for American dollars to replace the lost Euros. “So we now face a real crisis,” Halper glowered. “That said, those who want us ‘gone’ make a mistake in assuming that we will close if our funding is withdrawn.” Halper promised to keep his office open and work on a voluntary basis, with two staffers to help him. He thanked his American supporters for having provided an “important supplement” to the now cut off European Union funding, which had helped launch the “Constructing Peace Campaign.”

ICAHD launched the “Constructing Peace Campaign” last year to rebuild demolished Palestinian homes, so as to spotlight Israel’s supposedly senseless destruction. As a sort of pro-Palestinian Habitat for Humanity, the peace campaign also hosts an annual two-week summer camp, in which international volunteers help rebuild Palestinian houses as a “symbolic gesture of peace and opposition to the Occupation.” In between the construction work, the volunteers take field trips to observe what Halper calls Israel’s “Matrix of Control,” including the Wall, the “massive check points,” and “one of the many refugee camps created in 1948.”

All of this important anti-Israel work must continue, of course. So Halper defiantly concluded his appeal to American supporters: “I promise you, no matter what, ICAHD will not be silenced.”

Trying to rescue ICAHD, the Friends of Sabeel in North America have pledged to raise at least $30,000. The fundraising includes inviting Halper to the U.S. for a fall tour, during which he will presumably address sympathetic church groups. “We, along with Jeff, promise you that ICAHD will not be silenced,” the board members of Friends of Sabeel earnestly promised. “Together, we will continue to be a loud and persistent voice for justice.”

Potential American religious supporters of Sabeel and ICAHD will have to ponder whether a group too radically anti-Israel even for European Union support should merit dollars from among U.S. churches.

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International reaction was almost uniformly negative last week when news broke that Britain had officially granted Muslim Sharia courts permission to rule on everything from divorce to domestic violence. After all, in its strictest form, Sharia law requires the stoning of women accused of adultery, and the execution of converts from Islam, among other draconian punishments for offences that aren’t even considered crimes in the West. In the U.K. and abroad, pundits and politicians denounced Britain’s capitulation, but only one elected official responded with a daring proposal aimed at preventing Sharia law from gaining such a foothold in America.

That that politician was Rep. Tom Tancredo won’t surprise observers of American politics. The Colorado congressman has long been an outspoken critic of the unofficial “open-borders” policy that encourages millions of undocumented immigrants – including would-be terrorists – to enter the U.S. each year. During his short-lived presidential campaign in 2007, Tancredo repeatedly raised the immigration issue during televised debates. He also aired a provocative television ad in which he promised to “stop all visas to nations that sponsor terrorism and [to] arrest and deport any alien who preaches violence and hatred.”

The ad earned Tancredo scorn on the Left and also on some parts of the Right. Undaunted, he has now proposed a “Jihad Prevention Act” that “would bar the entry of foreign nationals who advocate Sharia law [and] make the advocacy of Sharia law by radical Muslims already in the United States a deportable offense.” In his official announcement on September 18, Tancredo observed: “This is a case where truth is truly stranger than fiction. Today the British people are learning a hard lesson about the consequences of massive, unrestricted immigration.”

“When you have an immigration policy that allows for the importation of millions of radical Muslims,” he explained, “you are also importing their radical ideology – an ideology that is fundamentally hostile to the foundations of western democracy – such as gender equality, pluralism, and individual liberty. The best way to safeguard America against the importation of the destructive effects of this poisonous ideology is to prevent its purveyors from coming here in the first place.”

Tancredo hopes his bill will spur public debate, and “send a clear message that the only law we recognize here in America is the U.S. Constitution and the laws passed by our democratically elected representatives…If you aren’t comfortable with that concept, you aren’t welcome in the United States.”

So far, reaction to the “Jihad Prevention Act” has been muted on both sides, possibly because the media is providing wall-to-wall election coverage. Nonetheless, some prominent supporters have emerged. Having advocated similar measures in the past, the group Muslims Against Sharia praised Tancredo’s initiative. So did scholar Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Jihad. Bostom hailed Tancredo’s “sane approach,” adding, “Thank goodness for Congressman Tancredo’s courage and clarity on this pressing matter!”

Tancredo also has an ally in columnist and author Diane West. In books like The Death of the Grown Up and in her syndicated columns, West has chronicled what she considers the decline of Western civilization, brought on by everything from a perpetually adolescent popular culture to radical Islam. “What I like about this proposed legislation,” West said in an email interview, “is its clear, direct focus on Islamic law (Sharia).” Focusing on Sharia, West believes, is the “only way to grapple successfully with the repressive overlay of Islam on a society–understanding it as a function of law, and not religion.” She points out that Tancredo’s “bill allows us to see clearly through to the heart of the matter: the danger that unchecked Islamic immigration will bring about a constituency for Islamic law, leading to disastrous changes to our legal system.”

To be sure, West does have some reservations about the bill. “I’m not sure how he proposes to determine which Muslim immigrants advocate Islamic law and which do not,” she said. “I would prefer to see a general restriction on Islamic immigration to prevent the build-up of a demographic that wills Sharia. Moreover, West notes that this session of Congress is nearly over. Even if Tancredo’s bill were “brought to a vote this week, I sadly doubt it will be passed.” Still another problem is that there is scant enthusiasm in Congress for passing such a bill. With the notable exception of Rep. Sue Myrick, a Republican from North Carolina, the political class has failed even to address the conflicts between Islamic law and Western values – let alone to draft legislation to thwart the spread of Sharia in the U.S.

Europe may soon prove a model in this regard – the unhappy case of Britain notwithstanding. This December, Israel’s Dr. Arieh Eldad, a former member of the Israeli Knesset, will host the Facing Jihad Summit in Jerusalem. The summit seeks to bring together “European lawmakers who are united in their shared belief that Islam today poses a serious threat to Western civilization.” The idea is to create an alliance of politicians who can workshop legislation to prevent creeping Islamization, which they can then bring back to their home countries and create a voting block in the EU parliament. The attending parliamentarians will be joined by experts on radical Islam such as Daniel Pipes and Bat Ye’or, but bigotry will not be tolerated: Eldad emphasizes that the summit will bar “neo-Nazis and racist parties” like the British National Party. “Seven countries will be represented so far,” Eldad told FrontPage.

And what of America? Eldad thought it likely that at least a few Capitol Hill politicians would attend the jihad summit. If so, Tom Tancredo might be an ideal delegate.

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Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — the Izod Ayatollah — has come back to New York to address the UN General Assembly. If the United Nations today bore even the remotest resemblance to the international peacekeeping body it was founded to be, the line to denounce him would snake around the block, and Ahmadinejad would be arrested as soon as he set foot in New York. In fact, the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem has called for just that: it is preparing a petition for the UN Secretary-General, calling for the Iranian Thug-in-Chief’s arrest and indictment on charges of inciting genocide against Israel.

But the visiting Iranian president can’t be arrested: he’s “legitimized” by Iran’s UN membership, and the UN Treaty prevents his detention.

And, of course, in the run-up to Ahmadinejad’s visit, the hard Left is planning to honor him. The perpetually-outraged women of Code Pink are planning a protest — against George W. Bush, of course. The UN General Assembly’s new president, leftist priest and old Sandinista Miguel d’Escoto, will clink glasses with Ahmadinejad at a dinner in his honor hosted by five American liberal Christian organizations, the Mennonite Central Committee, the Quaker United Nations Office, the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee.

Hillary Clinton and a coalition of Jewish groups demonstrated the tenacity of partisan politics even in the face of the prospect of nuclear genocide from Iran: first Clinton declined to attend a rally protesting Ahmadinejad’s UN appearance when she found out Sarah Palin would be there, and then the Jewish groups hosting the rally disinvited Palin.

Our national unity in the face of the threat from Iran must have the mullahs quaking.

In light of his many belligerent statements, frequently demonstrating genocidal intent, it is appalling that the UN would once again allow Ahmadinejad a platform, and shameful that d’Escoto and the rest would welcome him rather than denouncing him. Ahmadinejad has boasted that “the annihilation of the Zionist regime will come.” During Israel’s incursion against Hizballah in Lebanon in 2006, he declared, “The Islamic umma [community] will not allow its historic enemy [Israel] to live in its heartland.” Israel’s end is near, he said: “There is no doubt that the new wave [of attacks] in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot [Israel] from the face of the Islamic world.” He has declared that “the Zionist regime is counterfeit and illegitimate and cannot survive.”

His genocidal statements have gone beyond Israel. At the “World Without Zionism” conference held in Tehran in October 2005, as the crowd chanted “death to Israel, death to America, death to England,” the Iranian President again recalled Khomeini’s words: “Once, his eminency Imam [Ruhollah] Khomeini stated that the illegal regime of the Pahlavis must go, and it happened. Then he said the Soviet empire would disappear, and it happened. He also said that this evil man Saddam [Hussein] must be punished, and we see that he is under trial in his country. His eminency also said that the occupation regime of Qods [Jerusalem, or Israel] must be wiped off from the map of the world, and with the help of the Almighty, we shall soon experience a world without America and Zionism, notwithstanding those who doubt.”

Ahmadinejad has threatened Iran’s foes with nuclear action: “Today, the Iranian people is the owner of nuclear technology. Those who want to talk with our people should know what people they are talking to. If some believe they can keep talking to the Iranian people in the language of threats and aggressiveness, they should know that they are making a bitter mistake. If they have not realized this by now, they soon will, but then it will be too late. Then they will realize that they are facing a vigilant, proud people.”

Last July, he crowed that “the big powers are going down. They have come to the end of their power, and the world is on the verge of entering a new, promising era.”

The “new, promising era” that Ahmadinejad envisions features a dominant Iran and a beaten, subservient America, as he himself explained in August 2006: “If you want to have good relations with the Iranian people in the future, you should acknowledge the right and the might of the Iranian people, and you should bow and surrender to the might of the Iranian people. If you do not accept this, the Iranian people will force you to bow and surrender.”

It doesn’t look as if force will be needed. The UN General Assembly is lining up now to do just that.

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On September 30, 2005, the Danish daily Jyllands Posten touched off a tempest in the Muslim world when it published 12 caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. The resulting “cartoon riots,” in which at least 139 people were killed and 823 were injured, cast into fiery relief the contrast between Western values and Islamist mores – and the threats to free speech when the two collide. Three years on, a similar controversy has emerged on American shores.

At issue is a historical novel about Aisha, the child bride of the Prophet Mohammed (Aisha was six years old at the time of the marriage). In 2007, publishing heavyweight Random House bought the rights to the novel, titled The Jewel of Medina, offering the author, journalist Sherry Jones, $100,000 in a two-book contract. Jones spent five years researching Aisha’s life, studying Arabic, and working through seven drafts before finally finishing the novel. Random House, for its part, was preparing to market the book as a “Book of the Month” selection, just as soon as the book was published this August 12.

Except that it wasn’t. Shortly before its scheduled publication, Random House decided that it would not be publishing the novel after all. The turnabout had little to do with any specific literary flaws in the book. Rather, Random House feared a violent reaction from Islamic extremists. A statement from the publisher, making no attempt to disguise the preemptive surrender to intimidation, explained that after sending out advance copies of the novel “we received in response, from credible and unrelated sources… that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.” Unwilling to stand up to Islamic radicals, Random House handed Jones her walking papers.

Ironies abound in the company’s decision to put the kibosh on the book. For instance, much of the initial indignation came from non-Muslims. Most aggrieved was one Denise Spellberg, an associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Texas in Austin, whose work Jones had cited as research for her novel. Outraged by a book that she claimed “made fun of Muslims and their history,” Spellberg called Shahed Amanullah, editor of the website altmuslim.com, and encouraged him to arouse Muslim passions against the novel.

Although allegedly the offended party, Amanullah proved less easily provoked. In a commentary about Jones’s book, Amanullah defended her right to free expression. Instead of threats and intimidation, the proper “response to free speech is simply more speech in return,” he wrote, noting that “[a]nyone should have the right to publish whatever he or she wants about Islam or Muslims – even if their views are offensive – without fear of censorship or retribution.” Other Muslim writers also made the point, which evidently eluded Professor Spellberg, that one can be critical of a work without crying “Islamophobia.” Thus, the Muslim writer and poet Marwa Elnaggar, though critical of the novel, rejected the idea it should not have been published because of its “inaccuracies, its faults, and its biases.”

That left Professor Spellberg as the chief spokesman for Muslim anger that did not materialize and Sherry Jones as the victim of Muslim threats that had not been issued – an absurdity not lost on Shahed Amanullah. “The thing that is surreal for me is that here you had a non-Muslim write a book, and you had a non-Muslim complain about it, and a non-Muslim publisher pull the book,” he has said. (Professor Spellberg, whose faculty website lists her as “on-leave” from UT, did not respond to FPM’s requests for comment.)

Professor Spellberg’s overheated objections notwithstanding, The Jewel of Medina is an unlikely model of Muslim-bashing. If anything, its depiction of Aisha errs on the side of adoration. Reimagining the prophet’s wife as an unsung heroine, Jones has described her protagonist as a “remarkable figure in the history of the world, not just the Middle East.” The idea of Aisha as a kind of feminist icon avant la lettre was also adopted by Random House, whose original blurb for the novel stated that “Aisha uses her wits, her courage, and her sword to defend her first-wife status even as Muhammad marries again and again…” Small wonder that Jones responded to her publisher’s capitulation by protesting that her book is “deliberately and consciously written respectfully about Islam and Mohammed.”

But to no avail. Random House preferred to shelve the book rather than incur the wrath of Muslim malcontents, real or imagined. It is a sharp break with an earlier era, when Random House published Salman Rushdie’s 1988 book The Satanic Verses, in the face of death threats against the author. Rushdie himself has taken notice, lamenting what he calls “censorship by fear” at his once-courageous publisher.

It would be inaccurate to assume that Random House applies its newfound reticence on religious subjects equally. Critics point out that this month Random House will publish The 19th Wife, a historical novel by author David Ebershoff. The book is narrated in part by Ann Eliza Young, the rebellious 19th wife of Mormon leader Brigham Young who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for her criticism of practices like polygamy. The book would thus seem a perfect analogue to The Jewel of Medina, but for one crucial difference: Random House will publish it.

There is a happy ending, of sorts, in Jones’s tale of publishing woe. The Jewel of Medina is slated to be published this October, after being bought by Beaufort Books, the controversy-friendly New York house best known for signing If I Did It, O.J. Simpson’s putatively fictionalized confession to the murder of his ex-wife. But with a major publishing house bowing before even the possibility of a backlash, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, even with Jones’s novel in print, the state of free speech in America is less robust than it was just a few months ago.

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Iran’s nuke plans spark race
13 Mideast states working on their own agendas


LONDON — Agents with Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency who are based in the Middle East have established that 13 countries in the region have drawn up new plans — or reviewed previous ones — to build nuclear stations following in the path of Iran’s push for an enriched uranium program capable of producing nuclear weapons.

“It is clear that those countries are motivated by what Tehran is doing to enter into the nuclear weapons club,” states an MI6 report.

And the International Institute for Strategic Studies, IISS, confirming MI6’s findings, said the other nations “have embarked on their programs in order to give them each the option of building a nuclear bomb in the future.”

IISS chief executive John Chapman said: “Iran’s program has built on regional rivalry, security concerns and sheer one-upmanship.

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“These issues have contributed to a regional surge to obtain nuclear energy. The urgent question for Britain, the United States and other countries with interests in the region is how to confine the expansion to purely nuclear civilian programs. That is exactly what Iran claims it was doing. We have established the truth is otherwise.”

By continuing to create enriched uranium suitable to be weaponized for its latest ballistic missile, the Shahab-3, Iran already has established itself as not only a threat to Israel, but to Turkey, a NATO nation; Egypt, with its pro-West government; Jordan, also pro-West; and the United Arab Republics. These are all nations where the West has strategic interests.

With its 900-mile range, the Shahab-3 could deliver nuclear warheads to any of these countries.

“It is that growing fear which has triggered the drive in these countries to create its own nuclear shield,” states the MI6 report.

John Chapman believes Tehran is “racing to be the first nation in the region to have a full nuclear weapons capability, possibly by 2010. In turn the Sunni monarchs of the Gulf are increasingly worried, not least because Tehran is stirring deep unrest among their own Shia populations.”

Saudi Arabia, the leading Sunni power in the region, has publicly expressed its fears about a nuclear-armed Iran. MI6 agents have established that for some time Pakistan’s nuclear scientists have provided expert help to the Saudi government to develop its nuclear capability.

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