THE WEST'S DECADENT FOREIGN POLICY

   Author(s): CHRIS PATTEN   Source: WWW.PROJECT-SYNDICATE.ORG

Nowadays, the West can be described as decadent. That does not mean simply that we are addicted to “bread and circuses,” from welfare programs in Europe (which we can barely afford) to the Super Bowl in the United States. It means also that we are increasingly reluctant to allow our own vision of civil liberties and human rights to shape our foreign policies, owing to the potential commercial costs.

Consider the case of the Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who recently died while serving an 11-year prison sentence for calling for democracy in China. The Chinese authorities refused Liu’s request, made just weeks before his death, to seek treatment abroad for his aggressive cancer, and his wife remains under house arrest.

China’s treatment of dissidents like Liu is nothing short of savage. Yet Western leaders have offered only a few carefully phrased diplomatic statements criticizing it. I can only wonder how many Western leaders in recent years have raised Liu’s case with their Chinese counterparts behind closed doors. Opportunities surely abounded, including at this summer’s G20 meeting, when Liu was on his deathbed.

But it seems unlikely that Western leaders confronted Chinese President Xi Jinping on the matter. After all, when Liu was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010, and an infuriated China attempted to ostracize Norway, the West did not express outrage or display real solidarity with a NATO ally.

China’s treatment of Hong Kong has gone similarly uncontested by Western leaders. China seems intent on violating its obligations, established in the “joint declaration” signed with the United Kingdom, to preserve the city’s way of life and the rule of law until 2047. Already, it has threatened the independence of the judiciary, the autonomy of universities, and freedom of the press. Yet there has been little pushback from the West, including the UK.

Why are Western countries so reluctant to criticize China’s behavior more loudly and consistently? The answer, it seems, is money.

Greece, which proudly claims to be the cradle of democracy, has leaders who largely grew up opposing an authoritarian military government. Yet its cash-strapped government recently blocked the European Union from criticizing China’s human-rights record at the United Nations, because China provides critical investment, particularly from the China Ocean Shipping Company, known as COSCO, which in August 2016 acquired a majority stake in the port of Piraeus. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras – a supposedly radical leftist who, paying homage to Che Guevara, named his son Ernesto – has become a Chinese patsy.

The West’s moral bankruptcy is on display closer to home, too. The EU continues to hold back from condemning the thuggery of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has proudly boasted of his belief in “illiberal democracy” (an oxymoron if ever there was one). Under Orbán’s leadership, breaches of human-rights conventions in the treatment of refugees have been accompanied by a crackdown on civil society, particularly on organizations that receive money from outside the country.

One notable target of repression is Central European University, a bastion of open debate, teaching, and research in Hungary, which is funded by George Soros. Orbán has even gone so far as to resurrect some of the nastiest anti-Semitic images of 1930s Hungary (an ally of Nazi Germany) to demonize Soros. Yet Orbán himself attended the University of Oxford (where I am Chancellor) on a Soros-funded scholarship, and studied there under the great liberal thinker Isaiah Berlin.

Even as Orbán’s Hungary rejects the obligations of EU membership, it receives more than €5.5 billion ($6.4 billion) from the EU each year, while contributing less than €1 billion to the common budget. Why should European citizens pay so much to a government that …

A WAR AGAINST CHRISTIANS

   Author(s): SOL W. SANDERS   Source: ACDEMOCRACY.ORG

A pervasive persecution of Christians goes on throughout the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia with relatively small organized efforts to oppose it, even among Western churchmen.

True, both the Pope Francis has spoken out against discrimination, and in many instances, imprisonment and worse. In April the Roman Catholic Pope made a ceremonial visit to meet the leader of Egypt’s indigenous Christian Coptic leader who may head as many as 20 million Egyptian Christians. But the Mainline Western Protestant churches with their preoccupation with social issues, often to the neglect of articles of faith, have largely left opposition to such oppression to the Western democratic governments led by the U.S.

The statistics are horrendous:
It is estimated that more than 300 people are murdered monthly throughout the world because of their Christian faith. More than 200 places of worship are attacked and destroyed monthly. Altogether, almost 800 incidents of violence are committed monthly because of religious prejudice against Christians.

The Pew Center, an American secular research organization, estimates more than 75% of the world’s population lives in areas of religious persecution, many of them anti- Christian.

The U.S. State Department compiles a list of more than 60 countries which practice religious discrimination against their own population. In some areas, where Islam is the dominant religion, there are affiliated Muslim organizations which persecute religious minorities, particularly Christians.

Ironically it is the Middle East where Christianity was founded which has the highest toll of martyrs. This past Palm Sunday preceding Easter, two suicide bombings by Muslim fanatics killed 45 persons and injured far more in two Egyptian Coptic churches. It is also paradoxical that Egypt with by far the largest Christian minority in the region has by far the largest number of victims.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends, estimates that in the period 2005-16 — an average of 900,000 Christians were killed.annually. From Nov. 1, 2015, to Oct. 31, 2016, Open Doors tabulated as many as 1,207 Christians were killed around the globe for faith-related reasons. This is a conservative estimate since it does not include statistics from North Korea and large areas of Iraq and Syria.

Persecution of Christians is part of a general pattern of repression in many of these areas, of course. But it takes on a peculiar character because the effort to oppose repression is inhibited by a lack of understanding and forthrightness about the nature of Islam. Islam is, of course, supposedly one of the Abrahamic religions. It has borrowed heavily not only in mythology but in its moral code, rituals, and performance from Judaism and Christianity. But unlike Christianity and Judaism, it has not broken its ties to secular power and, indeed, has endowed them with authoritarianism. That is why, for example, Indonesia with a brief tradition of freedom since independence in 1945, is now beset with radical Islamic groups attempting to establish Islam as a state-imposed belief.

This conflict exists, to a greater or lesser extent, in all those majority Muslim societies however much they have also borrowed Western European legal codes from their colonial domination which guarantee secular societies. This conflict will intensify if economic progress does not solve some of the other growing problems of these societies.

A MUSLIM REFORMER EXPLAINS HOW TO FIGHT ISLAMISM

   Author(s): DR. M. ZUHDI JASSER   Source: THEFEDERALIST.COM

‘For the West to see a day free from wars against Islamist terror…we must wage an ideological war to influence the minds of Muslims,’ says Zuhdi Jasser.”

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM), and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” He is a practicing Muslim who has actively opposed Islamism.

Jasser is an active physician and former U.S. Navy officer whose parents fled Syria in the 1960s, and host of the Blaze Radio Podcast “Reform This!” and founder of TakeBackIslam.com.

The author interviewed him in January on the Muslim Reform Movement, Islamism, and the war in Syria. This is a follow-up interview. Jasser agreed to discuss Islamism and searching for its antidote in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Middle East.

Lessons from London
Q (Postal): As a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, what lessons do you want the West to learn from the recent terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom?

A (Jasser): We in the free world cannot ever afford to be complacent. Military victories in Iraq and Syria will increase ISIS’ global chatter calling for acts of war against the West and subsequent attempts at more attacks will follow. The emergence of ISIS in 2013 after the diminishment of al-Qaeda by 2008 should serve as a reminder that we are in a long global war against militant Islamism, and more broadly non-violent Islamism.

The precursor of violent Islamism and violent jihad is non-violent Islamism and its civilizational jihad. Islamists of any variety divide the world into the “Land of Islam” (Dar-al-Islam) and the “Land of War” (Dar al-Harb). Islamists will continue to promote the consciousness that non-Muslim majority nations are the “Land of War.”

Nearly every one of these attacks is following the same pattern and we should learn from them. Sadly, we are not. The perpetrators over and over prove to be “known wolves” (radicals already on the radar of security apparatuses). The concept of a “lone wolf” is a fictitious construct absolving non-violent Islamists of any responsibility.

Islamists know that the greatest threat to their supremacist program is when we advance the ideas of liberty, freedom, and universal values of human rights protected by secular national identity. That is the only antidote to Islamism (political Islam and the idea of an Islamic state). The means of terror has now morphed from suicide belts and bombs to vehicular jihad and machetes. While we must learn to confront this changing landscape, we must see all these attacks for what they are: the very tip of the iceberg, the militant violent expressions of the massive global Islamist movement.

We can and will continue to fight this war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. But victories there are only pyrrhic and fleeting. In order for the West to see a day free from wars against Islamist terror and its caliphate(s), we must wage an ideological war to influence the minds of Muslims against political Islam.

Muslim reformers have a laboratory here in the West to dissect theocratic Islam in ways that just cannot be done in any Muslim-majority nation. We, for example, reached out with a plea to Ariana Grande for her to use her enormous cultural platform of millions to empower Muslim reformers to become ambassadors of freedom, gender equality, sexual identity, free speech and all the issues that distinguish us from Islamist societies and their sharia states. Unfortunately, her One Love benefit concert was another in a long history of lost opportunities.

Q: One of the London bridge terrorists (Khuram Butt) reportedly viewed sermons online by Ahmad Musa Jibril, an Islamist preacher in Dearborn, Michigan, who praises violent jihad. Butt also allegedly associated with Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary, who is set to be released from prison next year after …

Saudi Curriculum Still Promotes Radicalization, Former Congressman Testifie

   Author(s): STEVE EMERSON   Source: IPTNEWS

Saudi Arabia has made progress in ridding its school textbooks teachings hostile toward other faiths, former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said last week in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. But, more needs to be done, including more steps to ensure teachers aren't promoting “a more radicalized version of Islam.”

Wolf expressed concern that educational material used by the Saudi government-funded Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia may have potentially been responsible for inspiring terrorism. He cited the example of Ahmed Abu Ali, a former valedictorian from the school, who is currently serving out his sentence in the supermax in Colorado for plotting to assassinate a former U.S. president.

“While it is impossible to say whether Mr. Abu Ali was directly radicalized by the textbooks used at the Islamic Saudi Academy, the use of books that promote religious discrimination and the justification of violence toward non-believers cannot be tolerated,” Wolf said.

He expressed frustration that the State Department never met with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to translate textbooks used at the school. It since has closed, replaced by the King Abdullah Academy, also funded by Saudi Arabia's government. No publicly available information is  ….

ISLAMIC RADICALIZATION IN THE US MILITARY SURFACES AGAIN

   Author(s): STEVE EMERSON   Source: IPT NEWS

In November 2009, U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan opened fire on fellow soldiers at a Fort Hood, Texas processing facility, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others. An ensuing investigation determined Hasan had exhibited outward signs of his Islamist radicalization to fellow Army officers. Even though his superiors were aware, officials did nothing to counter Hasan's radicalization nor his position in the Army.

In July 2011, another U.S. Army soldier, Naser Jason Abdo, was arrested by the FBI near Fort Hood with bomb making materials and a firearm. He planned to bomb his fellow soldiers at a nearby restaurant and shoot any survivors trying to escape to safety. Abdo was convicted for attempting use of a weapon of mass destruction and sentenced to life imprisonment. Abdo told his mother the reason for his actions was religion.

There have been other cases of Islamic radicals in uniform, to include here. The latest case appeared Saturday, with the arrest of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Ikaika Kang in Hawaii on federal terrorism charges. An FBI affidavit describes Kang's radicalization process beginning as early as 2011. Kang publicly expressed his radical Islamic intentions, to include his support for ISIS and his desire to commit violence against fellow soldiers. The Army, in response, merely temporarily revoked Kang's security clearance in 2012 but reinstated it in 2013 after Kang “complied with military requirements stemming from the investigation.”

By early 2016, the affidavit says, “it appeared that Kang was becoming radicalized” and the Army referred the matter to the FBI that August. From December 2016 to March 2017, the Army provided “negative counseling” to Kang, apparently in an attempt to counter his radicalization that included his pro-ISIS statements to his fellow service members. Among them, if deployed to Iraq he would not shoot at ISIS fighters, that U.S. military personnel were terrorists and the 9/11 attacks were an inside job by the U.S. government.

The Kang case demonstrates the longstanding military practice of genuflection before the altar of political correctness remains. Lethal lessons from Fort Hood have not been learned. Outside the military, the government's Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program founded under the prior administration sought to downplay radical Islamic terrorism and up-focus “right-wing” extremism, even when facts and statistics failed that narrative. The current administration has begun the effort to turn that CVE process in the better direction, but that process is not easy.

BIASED TEXTBOOKS ARE TURNING YOUNG AMERICANS AGAINST ISRAEL

   Author(s): RAFAEL MEDOFF   Source: JNS.ORG

textboomkA close examination of US textbooks may explain why young Americans’ support for Israel is declining – they are taught lies! Anti-Israel bias in the textbooks used by many American high schools may be to blame for the decrease in sympathy for Israel among young adults.

According to the Brand Israel Group, only 54 percent of US college students lean more toward Israel than the Palestinians, down from 73 percent in 2010. The decrease was even sharper among Jewish college students, dropping from 84 percent to 57 percent.

“The problem starts in high school,” Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, founder of Hadassah’s “Curriculum Watch” division, told JNS.org. “There’s no doubt the lack of sympathy for Israel on college campuses today is at least partly the result of several generations of teenagers being educated with textbooks that are slanted against Israel.”

‘Unabashed Propagandizing’ – One of the most controversial texts used in high schools around the country is the Arab World Studies Notebook, a 540-page volume authored by Audrey Parks Shabbas. She heads Arab World and Islamic Resources and School Services, a curriculum publisher that seeks to promote a positive image of Arabs and Muslims in US schools.

After parents in Anchorage, Alaska, complained to their local board of education in 2004 about the book’s slant against Israel, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) prepared a 30-page analysis of the Notebook. The AJC found it to be riddled with “overt bias and unabashed propagandizing,” such as depicting Israel as the aggressor in every Arab-Israeli war and praising Muslim conquerors throughout the ages for their “gentle treatment of civilian populations.”

As a result, the Anchorage Board of Education removed the book from the local high school curriculum. School authorities in Tulsa, Okla., have also withdrawn the text.

Shabbas has claimed the book has been distributed to more than 10,000 teachers, and “if each notebook teaches 250 students a year over 10 years, then you’ve reached 25 million students.” 

“The most important statistic is the number of workshops that Shabbas has given to instruct teachers in how to use the book,” Curriculum Watch’s Alfonsi said. “She has conducted hundreds of such three-day teacher-training sessions.” Shabbas’s website names 211 schools where she ran teacher workshops from 2000-2006. Other years are not listed. Shabbas did not respond to requests for comment from JNS.org.

Dispute in Massachusetts – The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) recently published a 108-page monograph, “Indoctrinating Our Youth,” which describes how high schools in the Boston suburb of Newton have been using biased texts such as the Arab World Studies Notebook and inviting anti-Israel speakers to address their students.

The controversy began in 2011, when a Newton South High School parent complained about a …

UNESCO RECOGNIZES HEBRON, TOMB OF THE PATRIARCHS AS PALESTINIAN HERITAGE SITES

   Author(s): BARAK RAVID   Source: HAARETZ.COM

UNESCO’s anti-Hebron vote

UNESCO voted Friday to recognize Hebron's Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as Palestinian heritage sites.

Despite intensive diplomatic efforts waged in recent weeks, Israel and the United States failed to recruit the support of enough member states to vote down the move.

Twelve states on the World Heritage Committee voted in favor of the resolution and three voted against it.

The resolution that was proposed by the Palestinians includes two main clauses. The first asserts that Hebron's Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs are Palestinian heritage sites, and will be registered as such in UNESCO's World Heritage List. The second asserts that the two sites are to be recognized as being in danger, meaning that each year UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will convene to discuss their case.

Naftali Bennett, Israel's education minister and the chairman of the country's committee to UNESCO, condemned the decision, saying that the Jewish link to Hebron goes back thousands of years and won't be severed.

“It's disappointing and embarrassing to see UNESCO denying history and distorting reality time after time to knowingly serve those who try to wipe the Jewish state off the map,” he said. “Israel won't renew cooperation with UNESCO as long as it continues to serve as a tool for political attacks instead of being a professional organization.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called UNESCO a “politically slanted organization, disgraceful and anti-Semitic, whose decisions are scandalous.” — “No decision by this irrelevant organization will undermine our historic right over the Tomb of the Patriarchs, or our right over the country. I hope that with the help of our great friend the United States, this organization is defunded.

“The decision proves, once again, that the Palestinian Authority doesn't seek peace but rather seeks to incite against and slander Israel,” he added.

A spokesperson for the Hebron settlers called the decision “ridiculous,” “anti-Semitic” and “typical of UNESCO's bunch of ignoramuses who are consumed by

NETANYAHU READS FROM BIBLE TO PROVE HEBRON'S TOMB OF PATRIARCHS IS JEWISH

   Author(s): ARYEH SAVIR   Source: WORLDISRAELNEWS.COM

M Netanyahu reads from the Bible during the Cabinet meeting. (Ohad Zweigenberg/POOL)

Netanyahu read from the Bible to demonstrate that UNESCO’s resolution on Hebron negated religion, history and the facts.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu read passages from the Bible during Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting as a refutation of Friday’s resolution passed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee designating the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron a Palestinian heritage site.

“I would like to read from Genesis 23:16-19: ‘And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant…And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre–the same is Hebron–in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying-place by the children of Heth,'” Netanyahu read.

“The connection between the Jewish People and Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs is one of purchase and of history which may be without parallel in the history of peoples,” Netanyahu declared.

“Of course this did not prevent the UNESCO World Heritage Committee last Friday from passing yet another delusional resolution which

EX-MUSLIM JOURNALIST EXPLAINS SHARIA LAW: INCOMPATIBLE WITH U.S. CONSTITUTION

   Author(s): BEN KEW   Source: BREITBART.COM

anni-cyrus Anni Cyrus, a former Muslim who works for the American Truth Project, gives a clear breakdown of what Sharia law is and how it impedes upon the lives of millions of people living in the United States.

Cyrus, who was brought up in a strict Muslim household in Iran under Sharia law, was forced into an arranged marriage and consequently raped and beaten by her husband as well as police.

“I went through much prison time, rape, forced marriage and much more because there were no rights for women under Islamic law,” Cyrus told Daily Wire in 2015.

In her video, she explains: “As a Muslim, if you decide to follow Sharia, you will have a very limited life because, in Sharia, there are details all the way from how to walk into your bathroom, amazingly, all the way to how to, successfully, finish your term of life — meaning, how to die.

Because of those limitations, in a strict guidance, for someone who lives in America to follow Sharia, they will have no choice but to stop enjoying their freedoms and also start disobeying the constitution of America.

Or, if they decide to obey the constitution and enjoy their freedom, then they would have no choice but to stop following Sharia, which would make them a non-devoted Muslim. Therefore, most the people in America who come here from other countries, who were raised as Muslim, always have that conflict.”

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