Identity Politics • Post • Progressivism • Religion of Peace • Terrorism • The Left

Calling Out Anti-Semitism Isn’t ‘Islamophobic’

A protestor waves a Palestinian flag while standing atop a truck during rally in Times Square, May 18, 2018, in New York City.

Virginia State Delegate Ibraheem Samirah is the poster child for a new crop of Democratic politicians. He’s young, charismatic, and very progressive, with a history of activism that began in his student days on the campuses of Boston University and American University. Samirah has spent his brief time as a Virginia delegate hawking a “Green New Deal” for Virginia in the Washington Post.

But Samirah also has a history of shockingly antisemitic and virulently anti-Israel statements and troubling associations, and he doesn’t take kindly to those who point it out.

A story by Mikhael Smits in the Washington Free Beacon detailed Samirah’s long-running association with the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions group formed out of the Hamas-linked Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). Samirah’s ties are both historic—including his father’s time as Chairman of the IAP and role as a Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood spokesman—and ongoing. He received funds from AMP donors in his delegate campaign this year, and spoke at AMP’s 2018 national convention.

Smits’ piece builds upon reporting during the February 2019 special election that highlighted Samirah’s anti-Semitic Facebook posts, which were condemned by both Republicans and Democrats but didn’t prevent him from winning the race by a comfortable margin.

Samirah responded to the new wave of criticism by tweeting an unsourced list of “statistics” claiming large numbers of Republicans, and a significant minority of Americans generally, hate or fear Muslims involved in politics.

Samirah also labeled his critics “Far-Right,” even though the “Far-Right” of Samirah’s imagination would seem to encapsulate the entire Virginia Republican Party, which responded to the Free Beacon report by labeling Samirah’s behavior “rabid anti-Semitism.”

The delegate only has himself to blame for the latest round of media attention, since it was Samirah who rushed to the news media to paint himself as a victim after a local Republican activist used a town hall session to ask him to explain his views on Shariah law. Many U.S. Islamist groups, after all, seek the imposition of a theocratic Islamic state.

Samirah even sparred publicly with Dr. Zhudi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a noted Muslim reformer and opponent of U.S. Islamist groups, who noted the connection between support for Islamist groups and support for Shariah in a tweet which led Samirah to denounce the Arizona-based medical doctor and U.S. Navy veteran as “a bigot & grifter” with ties to the “alt-right.”

Samirah’s efforts to demonize anyone who deigns to notice his troubling statements and associations come from the same playbook as those of Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who both have repeatedly faced scrutiny for vile and anti-Semitic remarks, as well as associations with groups with ties to Islamic extremism and support for terrorism. Both freshman congresswomen have blamed “Islamophobia” and “white nationalism” for fomenting the criticism of their public statements and associations.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether this “cry racism” strategy will be successful in distracting the voting public from these elected officials’ actual records of anti-Semitic statements and associations with groups and individuals with ties to terrorism.

In the short term, Samirah—like Tlaib and Omar—might expect to get away with labeling his critics “far right” or “islamophobic,” the point of diminishing returns on this tactic is fast approaching, as new information on his terror-tied donors and associates is made public.

Photo credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Identity Politics • Israel • Post • Religion of Peace • The Left

The Rantings of Rashida

For once, I find myself agreeing with the contemptible Rashida Tlaib, the freshman Democratic representative from Michigan. Her vile comment that she gets a “calming feeling” when she thinks about how Palestinians allegedly offered refuge to Jews fleeing the Holocaust indeed was “twisted” and “taken out of context,” as she tweeted over the weekend.

In fact, what she said in a May 10 podcast interview is much worse—and it wasn’t a gaffe or even an example of her propagating the myth that Palestinians aided European Jews after World War II. Tlaib knew exactly what she was talking about.

The “safe haven” Tlaib referred to is the state of Israel, which officially declared its independence 71 years ago Tuesday. Make no mistake: Tlaib, a Muslim who supports a Palestinian-backed “one-state solution” that could make Jews a minority in Israel, views the formation of modern-day Israel as a crime against the Palestinian people. She soothes her rage with the fabulist belief that the sacrifices of Palestinians paved the way for Israel currently to exist—hence her weird “calming feeling” remark.

And far from an act of compassion by the Palestinian people, according to Tlaib, the creation of this “safe haven” was violently forced upon the Palestinians after the World War II.

“It was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their human dignity, their existence in many ways had been wiped out . . . all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews post the Holocaust, post the tragedy and horrific persecution of Jews across the world,” Tlaib told reporters Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman. “But they did it in a way that took their dignity away, right? And it was forced on them.”

Tlaib again reiterated her claim later in the interview. “I want a safe haven for Jews, who doesn’t want to be safe? I am humbled by the fact it was my ancestors that had to suffer for that to happen.”

The congresswoman is referring to the diaspora of Palestinians from now-Israeli territory just before and after 1948, which happened for a number of reasons, including the reapportionment of the land and the threat of war. (Arab countries rejected the United Nations’ 1947 partition plan; five of its Arab neighbors attacked Israel the day after it declared independence.)

All About Israel
So, far from trying to sugar-coat Palestinians’ helpfulness in a post-Holocaust world, Tlaib was venting her anger about the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel, backed by the United Nations and the United States. She is traveling to the region in August on a junket sponsored by the Humpty Dumpty Institute; in a flyer distributed by her office, Tlaib asks her colleagues to join her on a “congressional delegation to occupied territories in Palestine.” (Her grandmother reportedly lives in the West Bank.)

During the trip, Tlaib explained, she wants her colleagues to see the injustice perpetrated against Palestinians by the Israelis. Tlaib often invokes her upbringing in Detroit and compares the plight of black Americans to that of Palestinians.

“I grew up in a city that is the most beautiful, blackest city in the country, the city of Detroit. I saw what oppression and inequality looks like,” she insisted. “I saw that separate but equal doesn’t work.” Tlaib is 42.

She claimed that being raised in an oppressed, segregated city is the “lens” she brings to her support of the Palestinian-backed one-state solution. When pressed that she holds the same view as Hamas, Tlaib babbled that the difference between herself and the terrorist organization is that “she comes from a place of love.”

Remember, this is the same lunatic who threatened to “impeach the motherfucker,” referring to President Trump, the night she was sworn into office in January.

But there were more anti-Semitic rantings during Tlaib’s interview. The congresswoman’s hatred for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is palpable. (I suggest watching the interview on video rather than the audio version for the full effect.)

Netanyahu solely is to blame, according to Tlaib, for the condition of the Palestinian people and for a failure to bring peace to the region. She condemned Netanyahu for supporting Trump’s proposed security wall along the southern border, then claimed the Israeli leader wouldn’t look her grandmother in the eye and say “you are equal to me, you are as human as I am to you, and yes, you deserve to die with human dignity.”

Tlaib’s passing mentions of the horrors of the Holocaust and her exploitation of the historical struggles of black Americans expose her base instinct to leverage any tragedy to traffic in her anti-Semitic garbage. And her repeated insistence that her only motivation is “love”—often through gritted teeth—is a tactic used by the most dishonest propagandists. (Isikoff even buys into her ploy, naming the podcast, “From Rashida with Love.”)

Anti-Semitic Democrats Go Mainstream
The drumbeat of anti-Semitic remarks from some of the outspoken Democratic members of the freshman class should alarm House elders, but it does not. A congressional resolution originally intended to admonish anti-Semitic comments was so watered down by an intimidated Democratic leadership that it probably worked to encourage more aggressive anti-semitism from those it targeted. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Monday afternoon demanded an apology from congressional Republicans and President Trump, not from Tlaib, for their criticism of her appalling remarks.

But both Tlaib and Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) seem determined to agitate the flat-footed Democratic leadership on the subject of Israel; both Muslim women support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, even though that pernicious campaign has been condemned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). (As always, Omar accused Tlaib’s critics of being Islamophobes.) The pair also have questioned the so-called “dual loyalty” of lawmakers who support Israel, even accusing pro-Israel legislators of being paid off by Jewish lobbyists. On May 9, Tlaib joined Women’s March co-founder and anti-Semite Linda Sarsour at an impeachment rally on Capitol Hill.

Tlaib’s comments are more than mere downplaying of the atrocity of the Holocaust or even intentionally misrepresenting historical fact to put a shine on her heritage. It is an attempt to delegitimize the existence of the state of Israel and claim that it was created upon the persecution of Palestinians for the sake of creating a “safe haven” for Jews after World War II. In other words, she’s saying Israel exists at the pleasure of the Palestinians and that its existence is otherwise illegitimate.

This isn’t an attempt by a serious lawmaker to scrutinize U.S. policy toward Israel or pursue an honest peace-seeking plan. Tlaib regurgitates the most vituperative accusations about one of our most trusted allies at a time when anti-Semitic sentiment around the world is on the rise. Apparently, the halls of Congress are yet another place where anti-Semitism is now tolerated and even excused.

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Democrats • Israel • Post • Religion of Peace • Terrorism • The Left

Ilhan Omar’s Ignorance and Bigotry on Gaza Rockets

All decent people should be outraged at the terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip that fired 698 rockets at Israeli civilians, killing four, injuring 234 and traumatizing thousands of innocent children. Imagine what other countries, including the United States, would do if lethal rockets targeted their civilians. Yet, Israel has responded with restraint. To be sure, 30 Palestinians were killed and 154 injured by Israeli efforts to stop the rocket rampage. Many of these were terrorists, but some were civilians who were put in harm’s way by the terrorists.

These deaths and injuries were caused by the tactic employed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad: they deliberately place their rocket launchers in densely populated areas—near schools, hospitals and mosques—in a deliberate effort to maximize Arab civilian casualties. This has been called “the dead baby” or “CNN” strategy. The goal is to have CNN and other media show the children and other civilians that Israeli counter-measures have inadvertently killed in trying to stop the terrorist rockets from killing Israeli children and other civilians.

Tragically, this strategy works, because with the media, “if it bleeds, it leads.” The visual media loves to show dead and injured children, without explaining that they are actually encouraging such casualties by playing into the hands of the terrorists.

So, too, is Congresswoman Ilhan Omar encouraging the firing of rockets by Hamas and Islamic Jihad by blaming the Israeli victims for what she calls the “cycle of violence,” instead of blaming Hamas and Islamic Jihad for initiating terrorist violence against innocent Israeli civilians.

In a tweet following the rocket barrage, Omar justifies the double war crimes committed by terrorists who target Israeli civilians while using Palestinian civilians as human shields. She asks rhetorically, how many “rockets must be fired, and little kids must be killed until the endless cycle of violence ends?” This implies that these war crimes are justified by what she calls the “occupation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

Does Omar not realize that Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005, when Israel removed every soldier and settler from that area? Gaza could have become Singapore on the Mediterranean, with its port and location. The Israelis left behind greenhouses and other facilities. Europe and Qatar poured money into the Gaza Strip. But Hamas—which forcefully took over from the Palestinian Authority—decided to turn it instead into a large-scale rocket launcher. Instead of using its newly acquired resources to provide humanitarian benefits to its residents, it used them to build terror rockets and tunnels that targeted Israeli civilians. This forced Israel to take counter-measures to protect its citizens. To use the “occupation”—there is no longer any occupation—as a justification for why “rockets must be fired” is to show both ignorance and bigotry.

Nor is Omar alone in blaming Israel for the rocket attacks on its civilians. The ADC (American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) issued a statement condemning Israel for “targeting and killing Palestinian civilians, including children and infants.” Irresponsibly, it never once mentioned the firing of 698 rockets by the rulers of Gaza that target Israeli civilians, and it never mentioned the sad reality that Hamas and Islamic Jihad deliberately use “Palestinian civilians, including children and infants” as human shields in order to increase the number of Palestinian civilians who are inadvertently killed or injured by Israel’s legitimate efforts to protect its civilians from unlawful rocket attacks.

The conflict in Gaza will only get worse if terrorism is encouraged by the lies of commission and omission told by Omar, ADC and other supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. All decent people must try to discourage the targeting of civilians by terrorist rockets and tunnels. A good beginning would be to tell the truth.

I write these words from Israel, which is now commemorating the many soldiers who have fallen during its years of fighting against those who would destroy the nation state of the Jewish people. Israel is also celebrating its 71st year of independence. No nation has contributed so much to humankind in so short a period of time. No nation faced with threats compared to those faced by Israel has ever had a better record of human rights, compliance with the rule of law or concern with avoiding civilian casualties. The world should join Israeli in celebrating its 71 years of statehood. The world should also recognize that if Israel’s enemies stopped attacking its citizens, there would be peace. But if Israel stopped defending its citizens, there would be genocide.

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute and is republished here by permission.

Photo Credit: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Big Media • Democrats • Hillary Clinton • Obama • Post • Religion and Society • Religion of Peace • The Culture • The Left

Why Hillary and Obama Tweeted About ‘Easter Worshippers’

Sometimes, a few sentences tell you more about a person—and, more importantly, an ideology—than a learned thesis. That is the case with tweets from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in response to the mass murder of more than 300 Christians and others in Sri Lanka.

Their tweets are worth serious analysis because they reveal a great deal about the Left. Of course, they reveal a great deal about Clinton and Obama, too, but that doesn’t interest me.

And that, too, is important. Many Americans—especially conservatives and “independents”—are more interested in individual politicians than in political ideologies.

Many conservatives have long been fixated on Clinton—so much so that probably any other Democrat would have defeated Donald Trump, as conservative anger specifically toward her propelled many people to the polls. Similarly, Republican NeverTrumpers are fixated on Trump rather than policy. They care more about Trump’s personal flaws than about the mortal dangers the Left poses to America and the West or about the uniquely successful conservative policies Trump promulgates.

And independents all claim to vote “for the person, not the party.”

Only leftists understand that one must vote left no matter who the Democrat is, no matter who the Republican opponent is. Leftists are completely interchangeable: There is no ideological difference among the 20 or so Democrats running for president. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is not one degree to the right of Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.

That is why it is important to understand Clinton and Obama’s tweets: to understand the left, not to understand her or him.

Here are the tweets:

Obama: “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.”

Three hours later, Clinton tweeted: “On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.”

As they both spelled “worshipers” the same idiosyncratic way and used the term “Easter worshippers,” it is likely they either had the same writers or Clinton copied Obama.

Here’s what’s critical: Neither used the word “Christians.” And in order to avoid doing so, they went so far as to make up a new term—”Easter worshippers”—heretofore unknown to any Christian.

When Jews were murdered at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Clinton mentioned the synagogue in a tweet. But in her post-Sri Lanka tweet, despite the bombing of three churches filled with Christians, Clinton made no mention of church or churches. In a tweet after the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand, she wrote that her heart broke for “the global Muslim community.” But in her latest tweet, not a word about Christians or the global Christian community.

Obama similarly wrote in his tweet about New Zealand that he was grieving with “the Muslim community” over the “horrible massacre in the Mosques.” But in his tweet about Sri Lanka, there is no mention of Christians or churches.

The reason neither of them mentioned Christians or churches is that the left has essentially forbidden mention of all the anti-Christian murders perpetrated by Muslims in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and of all the Muslim desecration of churches in Europe, Africa and anywhere else. This is part of the same phenomenon—that I and others have documented—of British police and politicians covering up six years of rape of 1,400 of English girls by Muslim “grooming gangs” in Rotherham and elsewhere in England.

Essentially, the left’s rule is that nothing bad—no matter how true—may be said about Muslims or Islam and nothing good—no matter how true—may be said of Christians or Christianity.

Clinton’s post-New Zealand tweet also included these words: “We must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalization of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms. White supremacist terrorists must be condemned by leaders everywhere. Their murderous hatred must be stopped.”

She made sure to condemn “Islamophobia,” but she wrote not a word about the far more destructive and widespread hatred of Christians in the Muslim world, seen in Muslims’ virtual elimination of the Christian communities in the Middle East, the regular murder and kidnappings of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the murder of Christians in Nigeria. She calls on “leaders everywhere” to condemn “white supremacist terrorists,” one of the smallest hate groups on Earth, but never calls on leaders everywhere to condemn Islamist terrorists, the largest hate group on Earth.

These two tweets tell you a lot about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But far more importantly, they tell you a lot about the Left.

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Photo credit: Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images

Defense of the West • Europe • Post • Religion and Society • Religion of Peace

The Burning of Notre Dame and the Destruction of Christian Europe

The fire that destroyed much of the Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris is a tragedy that is irreparable. Even if the cathedral is rebuilt, it will never be what it was before. Stained glass windows and major architectural elements have been severely damaged and the oak frame totally destroyed. The spire that rose from the cathedral was a unique piece of art. It was drawn by the architect who restored the edifice in the nineteenth century, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who had based his work on 12th century documents.

In addition to the fire, the water needed to extinguish the flames penetrated the limestone of the walls and façade, and weakened them, making them brittle. The roof is non-existent: the nave, the transept and the choir now lie in open air, vulnerable to bad weather. They cannot even be protected until the structure has been examined thoroughly, a task that will take weeks. Three major elements of the structure (the north transept pinion, the pinion located between the two towers and the vault) are also on the verge of collapse.

Notre Dame is more than 800 years old. It survived the turbulence of the Middle Ages, the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, two World Wars and the Nazi occupation of Paris. It did not survive what France is becoming in the 21st century.

The cause of the fire has so far been attributed to “an accident,” “a short circuit,” and most recently “a computer glitch.”

If the fire really was an accident, it is almost impossible to explain how it started. Benjamin Mouton, Notre Dame’s former chief architect, explained that the rules were exceptionally strict and that no electric cable or appliance, and no source of heat, could be placed in the attic. He added that an extremely sophisticated alarm system was in place. The company that installed the scaffolding did not use any welding and specialized in this type of work. The fire broke out more than an hour after the workers’ departure and none of them was present. It spread so quickly that the firefighters who rushed to the spot as soon as they could get there were shocked. Remi Fromont, the chief architect of the French Historical Monuments said: “The fire could not start from any element present where it started. A real calorific load is necessary to launch such a disaster”.

A long, difficult and complex investigation will be conducted.

The possibility that the fire was the result of arson cannot be dismissed. Barely an hour after the flames began to rise above Notre Dameat a time when no explanation could be provided by anyonethe French authorities rushed to say that the fire was an “accident” and that “arson has been ruled out.” The remarks sounded like all the official statements made by the French government after attacks in France during the last decade.

In November 2015, on the night of the massacre at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, in which jihadists murdered 90 people, the French Department of the Interior said that the government did not know anything, except that a gunfight had occurred. The truth came out only after ISIS claimed responsibility for the slaughter.

In Nice, after the truck-attack in July 2016, the French government insisted for several days that the terrorist who crushed 86 people to death was a “man with a nervous breakdown“.

In 2018, Sarah Halimi’s murderer, who recited verses from the Quran while torturing his victim, was declared “mentally disturbed” and held in a psychiatric institution immediately after his arrest. He will most likely never face a court. On April 8, Alain Finkielkraut and 38 other intellectuals published a text saying that her murderer must not escape justice. The text had no effect.

The fire at Notre Dame took place less than three years after a “commando unit” of jihadi women, later arrested, tried to destroy the cathedral by detonating cylinders of natural gas. Three days before last week’s fire, on April 12, the leader of the jihadis, Ines Madani, a young French convert to Islam, was sentenced to eight years in prison for creating a terrorist group affiliated with the Islamic State.

The Notre Dame fire also occurred at a time when attacks against churches in France and Europe have been multiplying. More than 800 churches were attacked in France during the year 2018 alone. Many suffered serious damage: broken, beheaded statues, smashed tabernacles, feces thrown on the walls. In several churches, fires were lit. On March 5, the Basilica of St. Denis, where all but three of the Kings of France are buried, was vandalized by a Pakistani refugee. Several stained-glass windows were broken, and the basilica’s organ, a national treasure built between 1834 and 1841, was nearly wrecked. Twelve days later, on March 17, a fire broke out at Saint Sulpice, the largest church in Paris, causing serious damage. After days of silence, the police finally admitted that the cause had been arson.

For months, jihadist organizations have been issuing statements calling for the destruction of churches and Christian monuments in Europe. Notre Dame was repeatedly named as a primary target. Despite all that, the Cathedral was not adequately protected. A couple of young men, who entered the Cathedral at night, climbed on the roof last November and shot a video that they then put on YouTube.

Many messages were posted by people with Muslim names on social mediaTwitter, Facebook, the website of Al Jazeeraexpressing a joy to see an important Christian symbol destroyed. Hafsa Askar, a migrant from Morocco and the vice president of the National Union of Students of France (UNEF), the main student organization in France, published a tweet saying, “People are crying on little pieces of wood… it’s a delusion of white trash”.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who had never even mentioned the attacks on Saint Denis or Saint Sulpice, quickly went to Notre Dame and declared, “Notre Dame is our history, our literature, our imagination”. He totally left out cathedral’s religious dimension.

The next evening, he said that Notre Dame would be rebuilt in five years: it was a bold statement. Many commentators interpreted his words as dictated by his will desperately to try to regain the confidence of the French people after five months of demonstrations, riots and destruction stemming from his ineffective handling of the “Yellow Vests” uprising. (On March 16, much of the Champs-Élysées was damaged by rioters; repairs have barely begun.) All experts agree that it will almost certainly take far longer than five years to rebuild Notre Dame.

Macron strangely added that the cathedral would be “more beautiful” than beforeas if a badly damaged monument could be more beautiful after restoration. Macron went on to say that the reconstruction would be a “contemporary architectural gesture”. The remark raised concern, if not panic, among defenders of historic monuments, who now fear that he may want to ​​add modern architectural elements to a jewel of Gothic architecture. Again, he totally left out the cathedral’s religious dimension.

Macron’s attitude is not surprising. From the moment he became president, he has kept himself away from any Christian ceremony. Most of the presidents who preceded him did the same. France is a country where a dogmatic secularism reigns supreme. A political leader who dares to call himself a Christian is immediately criticized in the media and can only harm a budding political career. Nathalie Loiseauthe former director of France’s National School of Administration and the leading candidate on the electoral list of Macron’s party, “Republic on the Move,” for the May 2019 European Parliament electionswas recently photographed exiting a church after mass, which led to a media debate on whether her church attendance is a “problem.”

The results of French secularism are visible. Christianity has been almost completely wiped out from public life. Churches are empty. The number of priests is decreasing and the priests that are active in France are either very old or come from Africa or Latin America. The dominant religion in France is now Islam. Every year, churches are demolished to make way for parking lots or shopping centers. Mosques are being built all over, and they are full. Radical imams proselytize. The murder, three years ago, of Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old priest who was slaughtered by two Islamists while he was saying mass in a church where only five people (three of them old nuns) were present, is telling.

In 1905, the French parliament passed a law decreeing that all the properties of the Catholic Church in France were confiscated. Churches and cathedrals became property of the State. Since then, successive governments have spent little money to maintain them. Those churches that have not been vandalized are in poor condition, and most cathedrals are in poor condition, too. Even before the devastating fire, the Archdiocese of Paris stated that “it can’t afford all the repairs” that Notre Dame needed, “estimated at $185 million.” According to CBS News, in a March 20, 2018 report:

The French government, which owns the cathedral, has pledged around $50 million over the next decade, leaving a bill of $135 million. To raise the rest, Picaud helped launch the Friends of Notre-Dame of Paris Foundation. It works to find private donors both in France and across the Atlantic.

“We know Americans are wealthy, so we go where we think we can find money to help restore the cathedral,” Picaud said.

On the evening of the fire at Notre Dame, hundreds of French people gathered in front of the burning cathedral to sing Psalms and pray. They seemed suddenly to understand that they were losing something immensely precious.

Following the fire, the French government decided to start collecting donations from private individuals, businesses and organizations for reconstruction; more than one billion euros have poured in. French billionaires promised to pay large sums: the Pinault family (the main owners of the retail conglomerate Kering) promised 100 million euros, the Arnault family (owners of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury-goods company), 200 million euros, the Bettencourt family (owners of L’Oréal), also 200 million. Many on the French “left” immediately said that wealthy families had too much money, and that these millions would be better used helping the poor than taking care of old stones.

For the foreseeable future, the heart of Paris will bear the terrible scars of a fire that devastated far more than a cathedral. The fire destroyed an essential part of what is left of the almost-lost soul of France and what France could accomplish when the French believed in something higher than their own day-to-day existence.

Some hope that the sight of the destroyed cathedral will inspire many French people to follow the example of those who prayed on the night of the disaster. Michel Aupetit, Archbishop of Paris, said on April 17, two days after the fire, that he was sure France would know a “spiritual awakening”.

Others, not as optimistic, see in the ashes of the cathedral a symbol of the destruction of Christianity in France. The art historian Jean Clair said that he sees in the destruction of Notre Dame an additional sign of an “irreversible decadence” of France, and of the final collapse of the Judeo-Christian roots of Europe.

An American columnist, Dennis Prager, wrote:

The symbolism of the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, the most renowned building in Western civilization, the iconic symbol of Western Christendom, is hard to miss.

It is as if God Himself wanted to warn us in the most unmistakable way that Western Christianity is burningand with it, Western civilization.

Another American author, Rod Dreher, noted:

This catastrophe in Paris today is a sign to all of us Christians, and a sign to all people in the West, especially those who despise the civilization that built this great temple to its God on an island in the Seine where religious rites have been celebrated since the days of pagan Rome. It is a sign of what we are losing, and what we will not recover, if we don’t change course now.

For the moment, nothing indicates that France and Western Europe will change course.

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute and is republished here by permission.

Photo Credt: Ibrahim Ezzat/NurPhoto via Getty Images

America • Congress • Democrats • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Post • Religion of Peace • The Left

The Party of Bias and Bigotry

Let’s review: one individual, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), consistently minimizes terrorism while condemning efforts to combat it. Prior to coming to Congress, she wrote to a judge to request leniency for a man convicted on terrorism-related charges. She laughed in an interview when discussing how a professor’s reaction to mentions of al-Qaeda or Hezbollah differed from when America or England were mentioned.

And during a speech on behalf of a group created at the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood, she expressed an offhand dismissal of the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history.

A second individual, President Donald Trump, tweeted a video of her comment alongside images of the horrific act of terrorism to which she referred, pointing out how callous it was to brush off that traumatic event as “some people did something.”

Without question, one of these two individuals made comments “designed to incite hatred” that are putting “life at risk.” But according to leading Democrats, that person would be the president and not Omar. One could hardly look for a better example of the inversion of morality, and of hater and hated.

The more one studies her remarks, objectively and in full context, the more obvious it becomes that Ilhan Omar is a bigot of the most vile sort. Her “some people did something” speech was a whitewash of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which she claimed was founded after 9/11 to protect Muslim-Americans from Islamophobia. In reality, CAIR was founded in 1994, long before 9/11. Its goal was not to defend the rights of Muslims, but to promote the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and thus offer indirect support for global terrorism.

Because the United States looks narrowly at the proven activities of each individual organization, the federal government does not classify CAIR as a terrorist organization. But the United Arab Emirates looks at the broader ecosystem behind the Muslim Brotherhood, and on that basis, it does so characterize CAIR. That is the group Omar portrayed as a civil rights organization.

Her characterization of Jews as a secret cabal hiding its evil from a gullible world, using ill-gotten gains to buy influence and control, is by no means original. It is without question the single most dangerous, murderous lie in world history. Yet, after her latest go-round with this same sad canard, Democrats found themselves unable to condemn it—instead producing a hopelessly weak resolution that listed Pacific Islanders before Jews on its list of those targeted by hate.

The only group not mentioned at all? White Christians, such as Nick Sandmann and his fellow students from Covington Catholic High School. To Democrats, the widespread defamation of those teenagers, due to a host of assumptions based solely upon their identity characteristics, apparently did not qualify as a “hateful expression of intolerance . . . contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.”

What does this tell us?

It’s not as though Democrats fail to acknowledge the power of words in other contexts. Just days earlier, they celebrated Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) for playing a short video of Candace Owens in a way designed to distort her meaning. She expressed herself poorly, but in context was merely saying that nationalism should not be regarded as inherently evil due to an improper association with Hitler, because Hitler was not truly a nationalist. To be certain, she was challenged immediately, but she then affirmed that Hitler was “a homicidal, psychotic maniac.”

This has rapidly become a pattern. On her popular Fox News program, Judge Jeanine Pirro wondered aloud whether Omar derives her anti-American values from her adherence to Sharia law. This, we were told, was hate speech rather than a reasonable question.

Just weeks later, New York City’s leftist mayor, Bill De Blasio, called for an Orthodox Jewish city councilman to be removed from New York’s immigration committee for having the temerity to point out that “Palestine does not exist.” Acknowledging reality was deemed offensive to Palestinian Arabs, and Council Chairman Corey Johnson agreed.

Of course, liberals were experts at distorting words and meanings long before they decided to portray a condemnation of terrorism as hate speech. And since 2016, their favorite target has been President Trump. So it should surprise no one that they are staying true to form.

The president never mocked a reporter’s disability, for instance—in fact, due to his actual medical condition, that reporter could not replicate the weak, waving gesture used by the president if he tried. Yet the lie persists. The president never called neo-Nazis “fine people,” either, as anyone capable of reading English can readily confirm. And no, in no way did the president’s condemnation of Omar’s hate speech amount to hate speech itself—much less incite anyone to violence.

Now Democrats are sponsoring a bill to reverse the president’s decision to restrict immigration from countries on a terror watch list, due to the president having called this a “Muslim ban” during his campaign. Unsurprisingly, Omar is a co-sponsor.

The countries in question represent less than 10 percent of Muslims worldwide, and all of them were identified as harboring terrorism on a list created during the Obama Administration. It is sound and rational policy, rather than an expression of “Islamophobia,” to limit immigration from those countries until America can distinguish true refugees from those radicalized to hate our values and to murder us in the name of Jihad.

Omar and her fellow Democrats are playing games with the president’s poor wording, in order to make all of us less safe.

When people are twisting words to support bigotry and minimize hateful violence, calling them out for it isn’t “hatred,” but something we should hope to see from any responsible leader.

Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

America • Democrats • Donald Trump • Identity Politics • Immigration • Podcast • Religion of Peace • The Left

Video: Democrats Are Making 2020 Too Easy

Conservative Resurgence adapts Eric Lendrum’s latest American Greatness piece for YouTube. “Behold the face of the Democratic Party: minority, young, and racist.” Watch the full video below.

Photo Credit: Tucker Carlson Tonight/YouTube

Europe • Immigration • Post • Religion and Society • Religion of Peace

European Churches: Vandalized, Defecated On, and Torched ‘Every Day’

Countless churches throughout Western Europe are being vandalized, defecated on, and torched.

In France, two churches are desecrated every day on average. According to PI-News, a German news site, 1,063 attacks on Christian churches or symbols (crucifixes, icons, statues) were registered in France in 2018. This represents a 17 percent increase compared to the previous year (2017), when 878 attacks were registered — meaning that such attacks are only going from bad to worse.

Among some of the recent desecrations in France, the following took place in just February and March:

  • Vandals plundered Notre-Dame des Enfants Church in Nîmes and used human excrement to draw a cross there; consecrated bread was found thrown outside among garbage.
  • The Saint-Nicolas Church in Houilles was vandalized on three separate occasions in February; a 19th century statue of the Virgin Mary, regarded as “irreparable,” was “completely pulverized,” said a clergyman; and a hanging cross was thrown to the floor.
  • Vandals desecrated and smashed crosses and statues at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, and mangled the arms of a statue of a crucified Christ in a mocking manner. In addition, an altar cloth was burned.
  • Arsonists torched the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris soon after midday mass on Sunday, March 17.

Similar reports are coming out of Germany. Four separate churches were vandalized and/or torched in March alone. “In this country,” PI-News explained, “there is a creeping war against everything that symbolizes Christianity: attacks on mountain-summit crosses, on sacred statues by the wayside, on churches… and recently also on cemeteries.”

Who is primarily behind these ongoing and increasing attacks on churches in Europe? The same German report offers a hint: “Crosses are broken, altars smashed, Bibles set on fire, baptismal fonts overturned, and the church doors smeared with Islamic expressions like ‘Allahu Akbar.'”

Another German report from November 11, 2017 noted that in the Alps and Bavaria alone, around 200 churches were attacked and many crosses broken: “Police are currently dealing with church desecrations again and again. The perpetrators are often youthful rioters with a migration background.” Elsewhere they are described as “young Islamists.”

Sometimes, sadly, in European regions with large Muslim populations, there seems to be a concomitant rise in attacks on churches and Christian symbols. Before Christmas 2016, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, where more than a million Muslims reside, some 50 public Christian statues (including those of Jesus) were beheaded and crucifixes broken.

In 2016, following the arrival in Germany of another million mostly Muslim migrants, a local newspaper reported that in the town of Dülmen, “‘not a day goes by’ without attacks on religious statues in the town of less than 50,000 people, and the immediate surrounding area.”

In France it also seems that where the number of Muslim migrants increases, so do attacks on churches. A January 2017 study revealed that, “Islamist extremist attacks on Christians” in France rose by 38 percent, going from 273 attacks in 2015 to 376 in 2016; the majority occurred during Christmas season and “many of the attacks took place in churches and other places of worship.”

As a typical example, in 2014, a Muslim man committed “major acts of vandalism” inside a historic Catholic church in Thonon-les-Bains. According to a report (with pictures) he “overturned and broke two altars, the candelabras and lecterns, destroyed statues, tore down a tabernacle, twisted a massive bronze cross, smashed in a sacristy door and even broke some stained-glass windows.” He also “trampled on” the Eucharist.

For similar examples in other European countries, please see here, here, here, here, and here.

In virtually every instance of church attacks, authorities and media obfuscate the identity of the vandals. In those rare instances when the Muslim (or “migrant”) identity of the destroyers is leaked, the perpetrators are then presented as suffering from mental health issues. As the recent PI-News report says:

“Hardly anyone writes and speaks about the increasing attacks on Christian symbols. There is an eloquent silence in both France and Germany about the scandal of the desecrations and the origin of the perpetrators…. Not a word, not even the slightest hint that could in anyway lead to the suspicion of migrants… It is not the perpetrators who are in danger of being ostracized, but those who dare to associate the desecration of Christian symbols with immigrant imports. They are accused of hatred, hate speech and racism.”

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute and is republished here by permission.

Photo Credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

Cultural Marxism • Defense of the West • Post • Religion and Society • Religion of Peace • The Culture

Notre Dame: An Omen

The symbolism of the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, the most renowned building in Western civilization, the iconic symbol of Western Christendom, is hard to miss.

It is as if God Himself wanted to warn us in the most unmistakable way that Western Christianity is burning—and with it, Western civilization.

Every major Western (and one major non-Western) social and intellectual force has conspired to rid Europe of Christianity and the civilization it produced.

Within the Western world, the French Enlightenment—the intellectual basis of the French Revolution and the modern West—sought to replace Christianity, and religion in general, with secularism rooted in reason. No God, Bible or Ten Commandments is necessary for morality or meaning: reason (and science) will replace them.

The two final deathblows to Christianity in Europe were the world wars. World War I ended most Westerners’ belief in the nation-state and the West. Christianity, already weakened by the Enlightenment, was further weakened by World War I. German Christians were killing millions of French and English Christians, and French and English Christians were killing millions of German Christians. So the argument and sentiment against Christianity went. Then World War II saw even more death on the Christian continent as well as the failure of Catholic and Protestant churches in Nazi Germany to offer even minimal noncompliance with the Nazis’ Jew-hatred.

With the end of World War II, every internal Western intellectual doctrine was secular. God, the Bible and religion were regarded at best as innocuous nonsense and at worst as noxious nonsense.

Meanwhile, Europeans brought a non-European ideology into Europe, an ideology that, for more than a thousand years, sought to replace Christianity as the world’s dominant religion. The Europeans, believing in nothing distinctly Christian or Western and believing in the moral and intellectual nonsense known as “multiculturalism”—a doctrine that asserts that all cultures are morally equivalent—saw nothing problematic in bringing millions of Muslims into Europe. They had no idea that most of these people actually wanted to replace Christianity with their religion. They had no idea because, in their ignorance and arrogance, they assumed that because they were secular multiculturalists, everybody else was, too—or would be, once they lived in Europe.

They were wrong, of course. And as a result, the two dominant forces in Europe—secular leftism and Islamism—sought the end of Christianity and the West. (The left believes that protecting Western civilization is equivalent to protecting white supremacy.)

This is not producing a pretty picture. Generally speaking, Islam has not been nearly as kind, tolerant, open, medically or scientifically innovative or intellectually curious as Western civilization (and yes, Nazism and communism were born in the West, but they were anti-Western).

Even without tens of millions of Muslims, post-Christian Europe has not produced a pretty picture. This was predicted in 1834, 100 years before Hitler’s rise, by the great German poet Heinrich Heine, a secular Jew (who later converted to Protestantism, “the ticket of admission into European culture”):

“Christianity—and that is its greatest merit—has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. This talisman (the cross) is fragile, and the day will come when it will collapse miserably. Then … a play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll.”

European Christians persecuted European Jews, often brutally. But it took a post-Christian ideology, secular Nazism, to produce Auschwitz—just as it took post-Christian communism to produce the Gulag, the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the Ukrainian and Cambodian genocides.

Moreover, Nazism and communism aside, the left’s belief that secular reason can replace God and the Bible turns out to be completely wrong. The alleged citadels of secular reason—the universities—are the most irrational and morally confused institutions in the West.

I don’t know if a worker accident or a radical Muslim set fire to Notre Dame Cathedral (as they have scores of other churches around Europe). In terms of what the fire represented, it doesn’t much matter. What matters is the omen: Europe is burning, just as Notre Dame was.

Photo Credit: Nicolas Liponne/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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America • Big Media • Center for American Greatness • Congress • Conservatives • First Amendment • Free Speech • Identity Politics • Post • race • Religion of Peace

Candace Owens Has Shown Us the Way

How did this happen?

When did it become OK for one of the two major political parties in America to attack a young black woman, who works for an orthodox Jew, as a fascistic fan of Adolf Hitler after she was invited to testify before Congress?

When did it become OK for the representatives of the same party openly to label Israel, our closest friend in the Middle East, an “evil” state which has “hypnotized the West,” then libel their fellow representatives of having “dual loyalties” because they are Jewish, or to intimate that Israel simply shouldn’t exist?

And when did the all the leading names in that party’s list of candidates for president come to see it as obligatory to endorse a Green New Deal for the nation that has as its objective the outlawing of the internal combustion engine and air travel?

This is today’s Democratic Party. A party whose members wish to see tax rates reach 70 percent, who want to abolish the federal agencies that protect our borders, and who used to believe that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare” but who now want mothers to have the right not only to kill their child in the womb, but also once it has been delivered into the world. It’s a party that is just fine with one of its freshman representatives targeting a Jewish advisor of President Trump’s as a “white nationalist” even as she belittles the events of September 11, 2001, and mocks those who take al-Qaeda and Hezbollah seriously.

This is a party in radicalizing free fall, with its new leaders vying to outdo each other in their extremism as the old guard simply surrenders to the mob.

Most Americans think the words and actions of today’s Democratic Party are un-American. By “most,” I mean those who live outside the ultra-liberal metropolises in the land where the real world exists.

Before I joined the Trump Administration, I traveled the nation to brief our military, the FBI, and local law enforcement on the evolution of the terrorist threat from al-Qaeda to ISIS, and during the 20,000 miles or so I would average in a month, I met thousands upon thousands of patriotic Americans. All of them lived in the real world. They would have no idea who Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow are, but they would have no truck with anyone who believes that America has never been great or that our president should be apologizing for who we are.

In fact, these are the people who voted for a non-politician in 2016 to fix all that the reigning political class had destroyed since the 1980s.

We are a nation divided. But we are not divided in the way the fake news media and the talking heads would have you believe.

The division is between an establishment that doesn’t care about life outside of the Acela corridor in the “flyover states” and the people who actually work in those states to make America the incredible country it is. It is a division between a radicalized Democratic Party which hates the traditional American values upon which our Republic is built, and those who shed blood on foreign fields to vouchsafe that Republic and who carry a badge and a gun and keep us safe from those who would use violence against us at home. And it is a division between the average American conservative who still believes in the model of citizen-politician typified by our Founding Fathers and our 45th president and their Republican senators and congressman who have become professional politicians, grifters, liars, and cowards.

Candace Owens’ testimony has the potential to leave an indelible mark on American politics and culture. Already, barely a week after she publicly annihilated Representatives Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the C-SPAN clip of her stand against their bigotry and rank arrogance has garnered a record-breaking 7.5 million views online. And I for one intend to repost it daily and play the magnificent audio on my national radio show, “America First,” until both disgraceful racists no longer serve on Capitol Hill.

In her interview with Breitbart Radio after the hearing, Candace spoke of her experience testifying for the first time in front of Congress, the trepidation she felt, and then about her realization of who her foes were: “I sat down in the chair, and I have to say, just looking at them, they just all seem so pathetic to me. . . . I think it was a major win for all of us.”  

Candace most definitely won. But it is now our responsibility to take her example as the catalyst we have been waiting for.

We cannot reason with the Democratic Party. Its policies are those of extremists. Its leading lights are bigoted racists who are as comfortable publicly attacking young black women now as they were when the Ku Klux Klan was the official armed wing of their party and its politicians held offices in both.

In 2016 we pulled our nation back from the precipice of disaster. Since then, incredibly, the Democrats have radicalized even more and the establishment GOP has continued its charade of pretending to represent conservative values and our founding principles.

Perhaps it is time to resurrect the Tea Party or create its new 21st-century analogue, one led by people with the courage and fortitude of young women like Candace Owens. Brava.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

America • Center for American Greatness • Defense of the West • Democrats • Identity Politics • Post • Religion of Peace • The Left

Ilhan Omar: Alinsky Radical

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Ilhan Omar’s recent speech at the Council on American-Islamic Relations has received a lot of attention and not without reason. Snippets of the speech have been posted all over social media, most notably on Twitter. The part of her speech that has caused the most righteous anger and incredulity is where the freshman congresswoman from Minnesota described the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as “some people did something.”

Naturally, many people have reacted with indignation that Omar, an elected member of Congress, would speak so flippantly about one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Her comments also prompted President Trump to post a video of the 9/11 attack in New York with the words “We Will Never Forget.”

In response, leftists in the media and in Congress (notably, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders) have sided with Omar, claiming that Trump is putting Omar’s “life in danger” by “inciting violence.” Apparently, criticizing someone now puts them in danger.

The context of her words was pretty clear: “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because CAIR recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Even if we take this to be just another case of awkward rhetoric, it still minimizes the reality of the terrorist attack and all the lives that were lost. On top of this, Omar was incorrect about the year CAIR was founded—it was in 1994, and obviously had nothing to do with responding to an attack that hadn’t happened yet.

Always the Victim
Unfortunately, this was not the only instance of Omar’s denial and rejection of America. Her entire speech at CAIR panders to Muslims living in America and invites them into battle against it. With a condescending and moralistic tone (directed toward President Trump and patriotic Americans in general) and an affected and overly exaggerated Somali accent, Omar demolishes the bridges that we are supposed to build together in order to make a better society.

She claims Muslims in America are “second-class citizens” and lack civil liberties that other Americans have. You can keep trying to be a good Muslim, Omar tells her audience, or “listen to your mom and dad and become a doctor,” get married, and buy a house. “But none of this stuff matters,” she adds, “if you one day show up to the hospital, and if you are having a baby and you can’t have the access that you need because someone doesn’t recognize you as fully human.”

Say what? Who is dehumanizing whom? What are the actual examples of this behavior and treatment?

Omar says Muslims in America don’t have spaces at work and school to pray, either. This is also untrue. Universities and many places of work have common prayer rooms for Muslims (and those of other faiths).

But beyond that, it is unlikely that such are “denied” to Muslims any more or less than they are denied to people of other faiths, as facilitating religious practice is not a typical objective of most workplaces. Christians and Jews manage to get on at work without special provisions, and so can Muslims. Again, she does not bring up any examples to support her claim that Muslims bear some kind of special burden, but in our post-truth world, facts really don’t matter.

In her speech, Omar admitted she doesn’t read the Koran and that she doesn’t know any chapters and verses by heart. Nobody is perfect and certainly there are different kinds of Muslims (practicing and secular). But for someone who makes a big deal of wearing a hijab and presumably prays five times a day, I find it curious that she has not been taught how to memorize and recite the Koran. After all, this is one of the duties of a Muslim who engages in rituals and prayers.

Omar fancies herself a radical with her fist raised in the air. She calls for her Muslim brethren to “raise hell” and “make people uncomfortable.” She admits tweeting the verses of the Koran as well as words like “As-salāmu ʿalaykum” (“Peace be with you”) and “Al-ḥamdu lil-lāh” (“Thanks be to God”) in order to force non-Muslims to “Google” these words. Nothing like using the words of peace and thanksgiving to sow distrust and discomfort!

A Leftist Above All
On top of this, not only is she turning Islam into an ideological doctrine, she is presenting to the rest of the world that this indeed is the Islam that is true and correct.

As a Bosnian Muslim, I find Omar’s words nauseating. I, too, am a former refugee, immigrant, and now a naturalized American citizen. I find her calls for destructive and spiteful actions against fellow Americans reprehensible. She sounds more like a militant Islamist calling for the oppression of the oppressor than like someone who is aware of the fact she is living in a free society.

Has she forgotten that the likelihood of being elected into public office in her birth country is very low if not non-existent? Has she forgotten that the very country she is criticizing is the country that gave her a home in a time of great need? Has she forgotten that the very reason she was elected is precisely because she lives in a country where freedom is a reality?

This is not a woman who is humble before God. And if, indeed, she is the real Muslim she claims to be, she would not be using her religion in such an ugly, tacky, and affected way.

The word Islam means submission (to God’s will). The only submission that she is practicing is the coercion of others to submit to her. Omar is a narcissist, refers to herself in the third person, and even has the gall to compare her alleged suffering to the troubles the Prophet Muhammad faced! This is the most un-Muslim thing one can say.

So, who is Ilhan Omar then? I maintain the view that Omar is interested only in leftist identity politics (as well as globalism) and the gross utilization of Islam as a religion is just an ideological strategy.

Is she an Islamist ideologue interested in the destruction of American founding principles? I don’t think it’s that simple. She certainly seems to espouse some of those beliefs to negate and reject any dialogue between people. But at the core, Omar is just another leftist ideologue, a shape-shifter who changes according to the audience she is speaking to. Islam, to her, is a cudgel. But she will find other blunt instruments if necessary.

Alinsky’s Apt Pupil in Power Politics
The only thing Omar is interested in is power. All of her tactics, all of her affectations (much like those of Ocasio-Cortez) are found in America’s college and university classrooms, where the spirit of Saul Alinsky governs and guides the teacher and the pupil.

For Alinsky, to be a community organizer is to be a radical who seeks a constant change. In Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals, Alinsky writes that a radical “does not have a fixed truth—truth to him is relative and changing; everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political relativist.” For Alinsky, this is a positive good. He is not interested in any perennial ideas or “permanent things,” to use Russell Kirk’s phrase but in coercive fluidity. Only then can a radical (such as Omar) change and twist the truth in order to suit the purposes of ideology and its implementation.

The entire cognitive structure of any radical is built around the relation of the oppressor and the oppressed. This may be rooted in Marxism because of the focus on class structure but today, absolutely anything can turn into an ideology that requires us to accept that the world essentially amounts to nothing more than this poisonous relation. This is at the core of Omar’s speech at CAIR as it is in most of her interviews and her engagement with social media.

Another vital aspect of Alinsky’s ideology is power. After all, Alinsky has said that “Machiavelli told the Haves how to maintain the power,” and now it’s time for “Have-Nots to take that power away.”

This is not say that the inequalities did not exist or don’t exist today. What is immoral is the intent and the action Alinsky advocates. It’s not about righting a wrong, it is about reversing the players in the wrong.  In effect, Alinsky is telling the oppressed to become the oppressor. This certainly goes against any possibility of social flourishing or creativity. But then again, a radical doesn’t care about that. A radical is only focused on his or her own power. As Alinsky so clearly emphasizes the “first rule of the power tactics: Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”

Omar is the product of an anti-American leftist education. She describes herself as an “intersectional feminist.” She also uses Islam in order to force-feed Islamist ideology to people, which naturally creates more division. Her latest words and actions are only insuring more misunderstanding about Muslims, but most of all, about immigrants in general.

Ingratitude Is a Sin
This is what offends me the most—Omar presents a picture that immigrants in America are only interested in subverting the founding principles of the United States. Her ingratitude is astounding, and she is an example of what happens when an immigrant doesn’t properly assimilate and instead willingly participates in an institutional anti-assimilation movement that undermines the U.S. Constitution.

What makes Omar’s case even more absurd is that she is an elected official and as such, she is supposed to represent all Americans, not give speeches to Muslim Americans urging them to agitate others.

Just like Ocasio-Cortez, Omar exhibits a behavior more akin to a college student who is away from home for the first time and who doesn’t know what to do with all her newfound freedom and power. The big difference, however, is that she is armed with leftist ideology and in a position of political power. Her election is a perfect example of what happens when the fluid principles of globalist ideology and identity politics take precedence over merits, intelligence, and authentic patriotism.

In this sense, Omar is no different from most Democrats currently holding public office. But what makes her very much different is that she is imparting a stain on the reputation of hard working immigrants and American Muslims who express gratitude for this country and who are loyal to the republic.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Center for American Greatness • Democrats • Identity Politics • Post • Religion of Peace • The Left

Of Ilhan Omar, Anti-Semitism, and America

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It was only a matter of time. And in this case, it didn’t take long at all.

After Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) made her racist remarks about the “evil” and “hypnotic” influence of Israel, the undue influence of the Jewish lobby in Washington, (“it’s all about the Benjamins”), and the dual loyalty of American Jews, Democrats were on track to censure her by name from the floor of the House. But it never happened. Nancy Pelosi proved too weak.

After almost a week of wrangling, the committee that drafted the final statement on the scandalous freshman representative released a final text that never mentioned her by name, her statements, or any need for her to apologize for her bigotry. (Not coincidentally, Omar sits on this very committee.) In fact, the final language was such generic and anodyne boilerplate that it could have been issued at any time, by either party, for any reason or no reason at all.

That the Speaker of the House was so timid in the face of such shocking behavior should surprise no one.

Behold the face of the Democratic Party: minority, young, and racist. This is the fruit of identity politics. Be it Omar, who is on the cover of the current issue of Newsweek, Rashida Talib (D-Mich.) who signaled the need to obliterate Israel on her first day in office, or the leader of the pack, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.), a proud supporter of the anti-Israel BDS movement, the “new faces” of the DNC constitute a united front in their hatred for our Semitic brethren.

And no matter what Pelosi says, Omar will not be reined in.

In the less than two months since the Democratic House leadership was forced to take its limp-wristed action, the immigrant saved from the hell that is “modern” Somalia has let her inner racist out once more, as this Monday she took her anti-Semitism to Twitter to attack a member of the Trump Administration.

Stephen Miller, my former colleague in the White House, is a very intelligent but quiet young man. On those rare occasions when he does veer towards being outspoken, it is almost always within his special “lane” of immigration policy. He does not talk publicly about his family background or personal beliefs, nor does he feel especially compelled to share the fact that he is Jewish, though it’s no secret. That is why Omar’s Monday attack on him is all the more egregious. To call Stephen Miller a “white nationalist” is more than simply obnoxious, given that white nationalism is an ideology which targets those of color generally, and Jews specifically.

Omar has yet to be sanctioned in any way by her party or the leadership in Congress for this newest act of hatred. This despite the fact that after her attack on Miller, a disturbing video surfaced on social media in which the congresswoman casually described the mass murder of 2,977 people by jihadists on September 11, 2001 as an event where “some people did something.” This was before she used 9/11 as the justification for the establishment of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Hamas-front founded in 1994. A federal court in 2008 designated CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist-financing trial in American history. The FBI had to sever all ties with the group exactly because of its ties to the Holy Land Foundation and its leaders who were convicted in that trial for sending $12.4 million to Hamas from the United States.

In less than four months in Congress, Omar has used ancient and modern Anti-Semitic slurs to attack Jewish members of the Trump Administration, her fellow Jewish members of Congress, and our closest and best ally in the Middle East, Israel. She has trivialized the greatest terror attack on American soil since the founding of our republic, and has spoken warmly of those directly implicated by a federal court for their support of one of the deadliest perpetrators of international terrorism.

Freedom of speech is a right of all Americans. But so is our choice to denounce, call out, and recall racists. Ilhan Omar is the most flagrantly racist figure in politics today. Every day her vile beliefs and words are tolerated by Nancy Pelosi and her fellow partisans is a day that proves just how morally bankrupt and devoid of any legitimacy the Democrats have become.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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EU • Europe • Post • Religion and Society • Religion of Peace

UK: Radical Muslims Welcome, Persecuted Christians Need Not Apply

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In two unrelated cases, the United Kingdom denied asylum to persecuted Christians by bizarrely citing the Bible and Jesus. Both Christians, a man and a woman, are former Muslims who were separately seeking asylum from the Islamic Republic of Iran, the ninth-worst persecutor of Christians—particularly of those who were Muslims and converted to Christianity.

UK asylum worker Nathan Stevens recently shared their stories. In his rejection letter from the UK’s Home Office, which is in charge of immigration, the Iranian man was told that biblical passages were “inconsistent” with his claim to have converted to Christianity after discovering it was a “peaceful” faith. The letter cited several biblical excerpts, including from Exodus, Leviticus, and Matthew, presumably to show that the Bible is violent; it said Revelation was “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence.” The governmental letter then concluded:

These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful’ religion, as opposed to Islam which contains violence, rage and revenge.

In response, Nathan Stevens, the asylum seeker’s caseworker, tweeted:

… I’ve seen a lot over the years, but even I was genuinely shocked to read this unbelievably offensive diatribe being used to justify a refusal of asylum.

Stevens added:

“Whatever your views on faith, how can a government official arbitrarily pick bits out of a holy book and then use them to trash someone’s heartfelt reason for coming to a personal decision to follow another faith?

There seemed no awareness that, despite occasional verses of violence in the Bible, its main message, in both the Old and New Testaments, is to be found in Leviticus 19:18: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

In rejecting the claim for asylum of this man who converted from Islam to Christianity, and presumably compelling his return to Iran, the British government is effectively sentencing him to death.

In the second case, an Iranian female asylum seeker was informed in her rejection letter:

You affirmed in your AIR [Asylum Interview Record] that Jesus is your saviour, but then claimed that He would not be able to save you from the Iranian regime. It is therefore considered that you have no conviction in your faith and your belief in Jesus is half-hearted.

Recently interviewed on BBC Radio 4, the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said:

When I was in Iran I converted to Christianity and the situation changed and the government were [sic] looking for me and I had to flee from Iran…. In my country if someone converts to Christianity their punishment is death or execution.

Concerning the asylum process, she said that whenever she responded to her Home Office interviewer, “he was either chuckling or maybe just kind of mocking when he was talking to me…. [H]e asked me why Jesus didn’t help you from the Iranian regime or Iranian authorities.”

These two recently exposed cases appear to be symptomatic not only of a breathtaking lack of logic that flies in the face of history—God obviously did not always save those who believed in Him—but also what increasing appears to be a venomous Home Office bias against Christians. For instance, when Sister Ban Madleen, a Christian nun in Iraq who had fled the Islamic State, applied to the Home Office to visit her sick sister in Britain, she was denied a visa—twice. Another report cites a number of other Christian orderlies who were denied visas, including another nun with a PhD in Biblical Theology from Oxford; a nun denied for not having a personal bank account, and a Catholic priest denied for not being married.

In another case, the Home Office not only denied entry to three heroic Christian leaders—archbishops celebrated for their efforts to aid persecuted Christians in Syria and Iraq who had been invited to attend the consecration of the UK’s first Syriac Cathedral, an event attended by Prince Charles—but also mockingly told them there was “no room at the inn.”

Even longtime Christian residents are being deported. Earlier this year, Asher Samson, 41, a Christian man who had been residing in the UK for 15 years and undergoing theological studies, was deported back to Pakistan—where he had earlier been “beaten and threatened by Islamic extremists.” (Such treatment is normative for Christians in Pakistan, the world’s fifth-worst persecutor of Christians.) Samson’s former UK pastor said:

I’ve received some messages from him. He’s very scared, he’s fearful for his life…. He’s in hiding in Pakistan and his family are terribly worried for him…. At the moment he has no funds to live on—he can’t work …. [T]he UK is sending people back to these countries where their lives are in danger.

By contrast, a report from the Barnabas Fund found that in offering asylum, the UK “appears to discriminate in favour of Muslims” instead of Christians. Statistics confirm this allegation:

Figures obtained by Barnabas Fund under a Freedom of Information request show that out of 4,850 Syrian refugees accepted for resettlement by the Home Office in 2017, only eleven were Christian, representing just 0.2% of all Syrian refugees accepted by the UK.

Statistics from earlier years have shown the same disparity. Although Christians accounted for approximately 10% of Syria’s prewar population, the overwhelming majority of Syrians granted asylum by the Home Office were Sunni Muslims. Such an imbalance appears even more bizarre when one realizes that the Islamic State (ISIS) is itself a Sunni organization that targets non-Sunnis, primarily Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims, all minority groups that the U.S. government acknowledges have been targets of genocide.

As Lord David Alton of Liverpool, a life peer in the House of Lords, wrote to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who heads the Home Office:

It is widely accepted that Christians, who constituted around 10 per cent of Syria’s pre-war population, were specifically targeted by jihadi rebels and continue to be at risk…. As last year’s statistics more than amply demonstrate, this [ratio imbalance between Muslim and Christian refugees taken in] is not a statistical blip. It shows a pattern of discrimination that the Government has a legal duty to take concrete steps to address.

Considering that persecuted Christian minorities—including priests and nuns—are denied visas, one might conclude that perhaps the Home Office just has extremely stringent asylum requirements. This notion is quickly dispelled, however, when one sees that the Home Office regularly grants visas and refugee status to extremist Muslims. One has yet to hear about Muslim asylum seekers being denied visas because the Koran is too violent, or because they do “not have enough faith” in Muhammad.

Ahmed Hassan, despite having no papers—and despite telling the Home Office that “he had been trained as an ISIS soldier”—was still granted asylum two years before he launched a terrorist attack in a London train station that left 30 injured in September 2017.

The Home Office also allowed a foreign Muslim cleric, Hamza Sodagar, to enter and lecture in London, even though he advocates beheading, burning, or throwing homosexuals from cliffs.

In addition, according to another report, “British teenagers are being forced to marry abroad and are raped and impregnated while the Home Office ‘turns a blind eye’ by handing visas to their [mostly Muslim] husbands.”

The case of Asia Bibi—a Christian mother of five who has spent the last decade of her life on death row in Pakistan for challenging the authority of Muhammad—is perhaps emblematic of the immigration situation in the UK. After she was finally acquitted last November, Muslims rioted throughout Pakistan; in one march, more than 11,000 Muslims demanded her instant and public hanging.

As Pakistanis make up the majority of all Muslims in the UK—Sajid Javid the head of the Home Office is himself Pakistani—when they got wind that the UK might offer Asia Bibi asylum, they too rioted. As a result, Prime Minister Theresa May personally blocked Bibi’s asylum application—”despite UK playing host to [Muslim] hijackers, extremists and rapists,” one headline read. The UK, in other words, was openly allowing “asylum policy to be dictated to by a Pakistan mob,” reported the Guardian, “after it was confirmed it urged the Home Office not to grant Asia Bibi political asylum in the UK…”

At the same time, the Home Office allowed a Pakistani cleric, Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri, considered so extreme that he is banned even from his native Pakistan, to come and lecture in UK mosques. Qadri celebrated the slaughter of a politician because he had defended Asia Bibi.

In short, local Muslim opinion apparently plays a major role in the UK’s immigration policy: radical Muslims are welcomed with open arms; Christian “infidels” need not apply.

Commenting on the difficulties Christian minority asylum seekers have with the Home Office, Dr. Martin Parsons, the head of research at the Barnabas Fund, remarking that “visas were granted in July to two Pakistani Islamic leaders who have called for the killing of Christians accused of blasphemy,” summarized the situation:

It’s unbelievable that these persecuted Christians who come from the cradle of Christianity are being told there is no room at the inn, when the UK is offering a welcome to Islamists who persecute Christians…. There is a serious systemic problem when Islamist leaders who advocate persecution of Christians are given the green light telling them that their applications for UK visas will be looked on favourably, while visas for short pastoral visits to the UK are denied to Christian leaders whose churches are facing genocide. That is an urgent issue that Home Office ministers need to grasp and correct.

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute and is republished here by permission.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

America • Democrats • Identity Politics • Post • Religion and Society • Religion of Peace • The Left

The Real Islamophobia

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While attending a vigil for the shooting victims at two New Zealand mosques last Friday evening, a visibly pregnant Chelsea Clinton was accosted by a pair of left-wing “activists.” The two specifically blamed Clinton for the atrocity.

This was a stunning charge. In his 72-page manifesto, the shooter, an Australian national and self-described “eco-fascist” who had previously worked at a gym, never referred to Clinton. Unlike her parents, she has never been much of a polarizing figure.

So what was the basis of the accusation that she instigated this evil? The “activists” explained in an opinion column for BuzzFeed: Clinton had “stoked” Islamophobia with her “rhetoric,” having encouraged “a bigoted, anti-Muslim mob coming after Rep. Ilhan Omar for speaking the truth.”

According to these activists, Omar did not need to apologize for her vicious and repeated anti-Semitic attacks upon Jews, Israelis, all Americans who support Israel, and her colleagues in the U.S. Congress. On the contrary, they claimed, it was Clinton who needed to apologize—for having condemned anti-Semitic expression with no reference to Omar’s race or religion.

But the undeserved tongue-lashing Clinton received does not compare to the fate of Jeanine Pirro.

In her opening monologue of March 9, Pirro launched into Omar. She called upon Democrats to recognize that Omar’s values did not reflect those of the Democratic Party. From where, Pirro asked, did Omar obtain her values?

And then Pirro said something very unfortunate. She drew a line connecting Omar’s headscarf to sharia law, and said sharia is not consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

Without question, it was inappropriate to equate Omar’s choice of religious garb with a lack of loyalty to American laws and values. On its face, that sounds awfully similar to what Omar had to say about Jews.

Yet the instinctive hostility of Americans to sharia law for being at odds with American values is not a “phobia.” Look at the countries who base their legal systems upon sharia: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Brunei, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan and Mauritania. None are paragons of human rights and civil liberties—to put it mildly.

In Saudi Arabia, for example, women—by law, not by choice—must cover their bodies and faces, and have a male “guardian.” Bloggers have been imprisoned and flogged for “insulting Islam.” In 2002, 15 girls died when religious police prevented male rescuers from entering their burning school—as the girls were not wearing veils. So while it is indeed offensive to use Omar’s hijab as a starting point, Pirro’s comments about sharia should not be dismissed out of hand.

It is thus truly embarrassing that Fox News responded to the complaint not merely by condemning the confused part of Pirro’s remarks, but by suspending her program. Omar faced no consequences for her repeated expressions of classic anti-Semitism; yet Pirro, for her off-hand offensive remark about Omar’s headscarf, was suspended.

Did this happen because Pirro’s comment was so outrageous, or because she is a tireless defender of Israel and America?

Neither did the complaint against Pirro come from an unbiased source, legitimately bothered by her comment. Rather, it was filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a purportedly peaceful cause whose founders are tied both to Hamas and the Islamic Association for Palestine, described by the Anti-Defamation League as “a Hamas-affiliated anti-Semitic propaganda organization.” The United Arab Emirates lists CAIR itself as a terrorist group.

CAIR responds to criticism by claiming to be the victim of an “Islamophobic smear campaign.” Think about it: the United Arab Emirates, a Muslim-majority nation that operates under sharia law, is called “Islamophobic” when necessary to protect CAIR.

One could hardly seek a more succinct description of “Islamophobia.”

There is no fear of Muslims in America. Not really. There is xenophobia, of course, but no one is inclined to view Muslims differently from Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, or others . . . at least until terrorism is taken into account. Yes, many are concerned that there are more than three-dozen international terrorist organizations anxious to commit acts of barbaric violence in the name of jihad—but fear of dismemberment is not a “phobia.”

“Islamophobia” is merely a tool to shield bigots from criticism because they happen to be Muslim. It is also used to slander and muzzle those who would dare to speak out against bigotry.

The true Islamophobia in America is the fear of speaking against bigoted expression from a Muslim, lest one be falsely accused by CAIR and other groups of being a bigot.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

America • Cultural Marxism • Defense of the West • Democrats • Post • Religion of Peace • The Culture • The Left

Hollow Globalism Drives Ilhan Omar’s Politics of Affectation

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The world,” “the planet,” and “other nations” get a lot of mentions in the speeches of newly elected members of Congress such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). Each of them focuses on what can be done globally, usually at the expense of the United States. This calls into question whether they are here to represent their district constituents or if they are on a mission to submit America to global governance.

Like a misguided college undergraduate, Ocasio-Cortez awkwardly intones the alleged merits of socialism, conveniently ignoring the death toll. Or perhaps, like many undergraduates, she believes that gulags were “educational camps.”

Tlaib is openly more proud of being Palestinian than about being American. And like Ocasio-Cortes and Tlaib, Omar uses worn-out clichés about what’s wrong with America. Not coincidentally, fixing those things means embracing a globalist ideology.

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Omar called for the application of “universal values to all nations.” According to Omar, only then, can we truly achieve world peace.

“Tackling the existential threat of climate change” is another one of Omar’s missions. Clearly, the environmental apocalypse is coming for us in about 20 years (never mind that that’s also what they’ve been saying for 20 years.). She also wants to address the  “crippling burden of student debt,” and wants to ensure that no one in America “dies from lack of health care.”

This is a tall order, especially for someone like Omar. She and her freshmen sisters sound like overeager Ph.D. candidates who want to write a dissertation about the history of the world as explained by the history of the cosmos.

As is the problem with a great many people fueled by “knowledge” gleaned from dissertations, Omar’s call to action is based merely on theoretical and rhetorical points. Not only is much of what she argues based on a lack of evidence (e.g., climate change) but the other issues she addresses are so skewed in their presentation that they end up reading like a meaningless word salad.

Omar survived a war in Somalia and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was just a teenager. I can certainly empathize with this. Having survived a war and the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia, I also immigrated to the United States, a few months shy of my 17th birthday. It takes a lot of courage to make a decision to come to another country, but this courage and the desire for a better life must drive every immigrant who decides to become a part of America’s fabric.

But if Omar is a courageous immigrant, she is is not a very grateful one. And this helps explain her perceived poor reception. Gratitude for being accepted into America, for becoming an American citizen, and for being part of America’s political community as a citizen, is not expressed by some warm and fuzzy feeling, devoid of intelligence or a capacity for healthy critique of the country’s ongoing problems. But there is a great difference between acknowledging where America can improve and a denial of America’s greatness.

Gratitude is a state of being, which induces reflection on the past, present, and future. Ideally, it should also involve a fulsome understanding of and thankfulness for the principles of the United States, and the courage that men like Washington, Adams, and Jefferson had to begin this experiment in liberty.

An immigrant’s gratitude also involves a joyful acceptance of becoming an integral part of America’s story. By choosing to come to America and choosing to become naturalized and assimilated, an immigrant demonstrates a necessary respect for the new country—a place that will not simply be a place to live, but instead a new home. This means that there is an internal obligation to live according to the principles of the Constitution of the United States and not actively work against them.

Most of the statements in Omar’s op-ed are vague. She wants an “inclusive foreign policy,” but she doesn’t really explain what that would mean. It sounds like the rhetoric of “hope and change,” which was merely a way to disguise, euphemistically the argument that “America is bad” and needs “fundamental transformation.”

At their core, people like Omar begin thinking about political and economic problems from one perspective only: America is not a good country and it has been founded upon flawed principles. The values of freedom, peace, and opportunity that America is alleged to be set up to protect, do not exist for people like her, she insists. She is aggrieved and  disappointed that America has not lived “up to those values.”

She argues for “peace and human rights” but her statements are a hodgepodge of the usual platitudes about the need for “dialogue,” which boils down to saying that she and other leftists must agitate until we submit to their demands. It is difficult to take Omar’s statements about peace seriously given her recent comments about Israel. Her language certainly is not helping to advance interreligious Jewish-Muslim dialogue and relations. Her clear anti-Semitism is only making the situation worse.

Omar wants to apply “universal values” to all nations—but why this concern with the world? Why should the globalist approach to politics be the primary mover of government officials who are supposed to work in the best interest of the American people?

Instead of fully embracing her life as an American, Omar has chosen to bask in her “otherness” and issue an implicit denial of U.S. sovereignty by taking on the globalist approach to politics. Instead of embracing an opportunity for a dialogue, given her unusual position of being both an American and a Muslim, Omar is so wedded to her Muslim identity that she uses Islam as a political football to gain points among the proponents of identity politics.

It is a mere affectation. This is where a doctrine of false multiculturalism and forced diversity leads. In order to support genuine diversity among people, we have first to reaffirm our common American identity. After all, America is the only country where such a thing has ever been possible.

People like Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, or Tlaib do not represent that American ideal. They should not be elected on the basis of this superficial identity politics, but instead should have to justify their positions on the same grounds every other American politician should justify them: the substance and strength of their political ideas for America. Their ideas should affirm a reality that has driven countless immigrants to come here: America’s greatness and the possibilities of individual success.

Photo Credit: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Cultural Marxism • Defense of the West • Europe • Post • Religion of Peace

Britain’s War on Christianity

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The unlawful arrest of a Christian street preacher in London has drawn attention to the continuing use of hate speech laws to silence Christians in multicultural Britain—even as incendiary speech by Muslim extremists is routinely ignored.

On February 23, Oluwole Ilesanmi, a 64-year-old Nigerian evangelist known as Preacher Olu, was arrested at Southgate Station in North London after complaints that his message about Jesus was “Islamophobic.” A video of the arrest, viewed more than two million times, shows how two police officers ordered the man to stop preaching because “nobody wants to listen to that,” confiscated his Bible and then arrested him for “a breach of peace.”

The video was filmed by Ambrosine Shitrit, co-founder of Eye on Antisemitism, a London-based organization that tracks anti-Semitism on social media. Shortly before Ilesanmi’s arrest, Shitrit had seen him interacting with another man, who turned out to be a Muslim. She thought the Muslim was about to assault Ilesanmi when she went over and started filming with her phone. When the police arrived in response to an emergency call, the Muslim man left the scene.

The video shows Ilesanmi pleading with police, “Don’t take my Bible away. Don’t take my Bible away.” An officer responded: “You should have thought about that before being racist.” A popular blogger known as Archbishop Cranmer tweeted what many people doubtless felt: “Dear @metpoliceuk, Setting aside the appalling ignorance of these two officers, would you handle a copy of the Qur’an like that?”

Ilesanmi said that after he was searched, the police drove him to a remote area before “de-arresting him.” In Britain, “de-arrest” is a legal term which means that no crime has been committed. Since then, London police have changed their story about what transpired; some have accused the police of staging a cover-up.

When journalist Marcus Jones of Premier Christian Radio asked the Met Police whether they agreed that Ilesanmi had been driven away to a remote location, the Met Police expressly denied it. In an email exchange, they said that Ilesanmi was escorted “approximately 200 meters away, de-arrested and shown to a nearby bus stop.”

Upon further questioning by Jones, Met Police said that Ilesanmi “was driven approximately 3.5 miles to Hadley Wood in north London, where he was left at a bus stop.” The police also said that the man was arrested “in order to prevent [emphasis added] a breach of the peace.” The police also said, “Yes, officers checked that he had a bank card.”

Jones emailed a follow-up question:

“Mr. Ilesanmi says he was taken 5.2 miles away and dropped at the edge of Wrotham Park outside of the London transport zone. He also insists that he had no money on him when he was left by the police. I just want to be sure on the exact distance: is the 3.5-mile figure an exact distance or an estimate? Thanks.”

The Met Police responded:

“The man was driven approximately 3.5 miles to Hadley Wood in north London, where he was left at a bus stop. As stated below, the man was left at a bus stop with a bank card.”

The British watchdog group Christian Concern wrote:

“Oluwole was not taken to Hadley Wood. He was taken to Wrotham Park which is some distance away from Hadley Wood and is outside the London transport zone. He had an Oyster card [a rechargeable plastic card valid for all of London’s public transport] with him which was not accepted on the bus. He is clear that he did not have a bank card on him when the police searched him. Bank cards are in any case not accepted on the 84 Metro Line bus which he eventually caught. Furthermore, there are no ATMs anywhere near the place where the police left him.

“Oluwole had to work out where he was with his smart phone and then catch a bus back to High Barnet. When a bus came, he was told that his Oyster card was not accepted on this bus. He explained that he had been dropped there by the police and asked how he was going to get back. The driver asked him to leave the bus. He said that a passenger would help him, whereupon a passenger did volunteer to pay his £2 bus fare in cash. He still has the ticket which validates his account of what happened.”

Christian Concern launched a petition asking Home Secretary Sajid Javid to do more to ensure that the police are trained to act within the law:

“A video of street preacher Oluwole Ilesanmi being arrested outside Southgate Underground station has been seen by millions of people worldwide. It’s not the first time a Christian street preacher has been wrongly arrested in the UK.

“Christian street preachers should be free to share the gospel, even where it means challenging the beliefs of others.

“The law rightly protects freedom of speech, even if it offends, shocks or disturbs others. But too often, police officers have shown themselves either to be ignorant of this freedom or unwilling to uphold it. This leads to a chilling effect, where people are increasingly unwilling to say what they believe, for fear of arrest.”

Christian Concern CEO Andrea Williams added:

“Despite laws that theoretically support the freedom to preach in public, in practice, police officers are quick to silence preachers after any suggestion (often false) of Islamophobia or homophobia. This is not only unjust but kills free speech through self-censorship. We want to see police officers protect the freedom of street preachers by only using their powers when truly necessary.”

In recent years, dozens of Christians—clergy and non-clergy—in Britain have been arrested or fired from their jobs due to their faith. Much of the harassment is based on three sections of two British laws that are vague and open to subjective interpretations:

  • Section 4A (Intentional Harassment, Alarm or Distress) of the Public Order Act 1986: “A person is guilty of an offense if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he—(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, or disorderly behavior, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.”
  • Section 5 (Harassment, Alarm or Distress) of the Public Order Act 1986: “A person is guilty of an offense if he—(a) uses threatening or abusive words or behavior, or disorderly behavior, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening or abusive, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”
  • Section 31 (Racially or Religiously Aggravated Public Order Offenses) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998: “A person is guilty of an offense under this section if he commits—(a) an offense under section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986 (fear or provocation of violence); (b) an offense under section 4A of that Act (intentional harassment, alarm or distress); or (c) an offense under section 5 of that Act (harassment, alarm or distress), which is racially or religiously aggravated for the purposes of this section.”

Many of those accused of breaking the law had challenged the doctrinal claims of Islam or had made public proclamations of Christian sexual ethics. A free speech clause, tabled by Lord Waddington as section 29JA in the Public Order Act 1986, assures that public criticism of homosexuality or same-sex marriage is lawful. The amendment to section 29J (Protection of Freedom of Expression (Sexual Orientation)) states:

“(1) In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.”

“(2) In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, any discussion or criticism of marriage which concerns the sex of the parties to marriage shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.”

Nevertheless, police often use heavy-handed tactics to remove lawful Christian preachers off the streets. Muslim street preachers, by contrast, often are treated more leniently. A video illustrates the double standards being applied by British police with regards to street preaching by Christians and Muslims.

In one instance, a Muslim judge convicted a Christian preacher of a public order offense due to his choice of Bible verses. District Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi, who also serves with the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, the overseer of Britain’s Shariah courts, ruled that Michael Overd, a former British paratrooper who is now a Christian street preacher, should not have quoted a passage from Leviticus Chapter 20, which calls for the death penalty for Israelites who engage in sodomy. Qureshi said that Overd should instead have used Leviticus 18:22, which merely describes homosexual practice as an “abomination.” Overd later noted: “I am amazed that the judge sees it as his role to dictate which parts of the Bible can and can’t be preached.”

Conservative Party MP Sir John Hayes recently warned that “the ‘golden era’ of religious liberty may be coming to an end.” He explained:

“Religious believers are, once again, facing increased pressure to restrict their faith to the ‘private sphere.’ We now see regular, and increasingly unapologetic, persecution of Christians who remain committed to biblical teaching, refusing to bow to liberal, secular orthodoxies.”

Following is the first of a three-part series which examines the persecution of Christians in Britain. Part 1 documents efforts to remove street preachers from the public square. Part 2 examines the persecution in Britain of ordinary Christians in the workplace. Part 3 documents hostility to Christianity in the British culture.

Gatestone Institute has documented more than two dozen cases in which street preachers have been unlawfully arrested, jailed and or harassed by British police, prosecutors and the judiciary:

July 2018, London. Alan Coote, a 55-year-old Christian street preacher, was arrested outside St. Paul’s Cathedral for “breaching the peace” after reading aloud from the Bible. Coote had been arguing for what he said is his legal right to preach outside the cathedral.

Martin Parsons of the Barnabas Fund, a Christian charity, said:

“This illustrates the slippery slope down which the UK is losing its heritage of religious freedom. One of the first aspects of freedom of religion to be established in England was the freedom to read the Bible in public. St Paul’s is trying to stop someone reading the Sermon on the Mount in public.”

St Paul’s Cathedral staff eventually relented, but only to the extent that they offered to allow Coote to preach on the site for half an hour each week.

The Telegraph noted that the cathedral staff’s treatment of Coote is very different to when, in 2011, St Paul’s Cathedral hosted anti-capitalism protesters as they set up camp outside the church for over three months. At the time, the cathedral’s Canon Chancellor, Giles Fraser, gave the demonstrators a warm welcome and affirmed their right to protest. He asked police to move off the steps of the cathedral.

March 2018, Barking, London. David Lynn, a Christian pastor from Canada, was arrested outside Barking underground station after a female passer-by told officers that he made homophobic comments. He was later released without charge after police admitted they were wrong to detain him.

December 2017, Camberley, Surrey. David Barker and Stephen Wan, two Christian street preachers from Reading, were charged with hate speech after hecklers told police that they had made homophobic comments. On January 15, 2018, the two men were cleared of all charges after police determined that they had not said the things they were accused of saying.

July 2017, Nottingham. Andrew Frost, a Christian street preacher, was arrested in the city center after allegedly entering into a discussion with two passers-by about homosexuality. The two men claimed that Frost had verbally abused them and directed several lewd comments at them, all of which he denied. Frost was charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. Nottingham Magistrates’ Court proclaimed Frost not guilty and ordered the repayment of his legal fees.

June 2017, Lincoln, Lincolnshire. Daniel Courney, an American missionary, was arrested in the High Street quarter after a Muslim passer-by told police that he had made Islamophobic comments. He was charged under Section 5 Public Order Act 1986. On September 14, 2017, the Lincoln Magistrates’ Court convicted Courney of using “threatening and discriminatory language.”

During Courney’s appeal at Lincoln Crown Court, his attorneys argued that the law provides the freedom for him to preach the Christian message, a freedom which has been upheld in the courts for many years. Courney also denied making the Islamophobic comments attributed to him. On December 8, 2017, the Crown Court overturned the Magistrates’ Court’s sentence.

June 2017, Southwark, London. Ian Sleeper, a Christian street preacher, was arrested outside Southwark Cathedral, after displaying a placard which read, “Love Muslims Hate Islam Time For The Truth.” He was subsequently released on bail after the Crown Prosecution Service could not decide whether to charge him. After having been on bail for six weeks, the police decided to take no further action against him. Sleeper, who owns a restaurant in Ashford and employs Muslims, said:

“Society needs to kick political correctness into the long grass and be unafraid to criticize Islam. It was political correctness and an abuse of my rights under the law that got me detained in a police cell for 13 hours.

“I differentiate between Muslims the people and Islam the ideology. I love my Muslim neighbor as the Bible commands, and I am friends with all my Muslim staff. But I hate the religion’s ideology. It is not Muslims we should be attacking, it’s Islam. Islam makes Muslims victims with a tight grip that holds them captive to an evil ideology.

“The majority of people we engage with on the street agree with us. This includes ex-Muslims as well as Muslims. Many Muslims fear that they are unable to speak up against and leave Islam, but I have had the privilege of meeting ex-Muslims on the street and am often joined by them in my protest.”

March 2017, Bristol. Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell, two Christian street preachers, were convicted at Bristol Magistrates’ Court of disorderly conduct and using “threatening and abusive words . . . likely to cause alarm.” In July 2016, Overd and Stockwell were arrested for preaching at Bristol’s Broadmead Shopping Center. Several hecklers who appeared to be supportive of Islam became loud and aggressive, with some swearing and hurling abuse. There was debate on several points, especially over the differences between Islam and Christianity. At the time Overd and Stockwell were arrested, a police officer chided one of the men, saying, “People were getting angry. You were challenging homophobia [sic]. You were challenging Muslims.” The officer accused them of “anti-social behavior.” Andrea Williams of the Christian Legal Center filed an appeal:

“The Bible and its teachings are the foundation of our society and provided many of the freedoms and protections that we still enjoy today. So it is extraordinary that the prosecution, speaking on behalf of the state, could say that the Bible contains abusive words which, when spoken in public, constitute a criminal offense.”

During the trial, Crown Prosecutor Ian Jackson argued that biblical claims about the unique, salvific role and divine nature of Jesus Christ were offensive. As a result, Jackson argued, quoting parts of the Bible in public should be considered criminal offenses under Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

At an appeal hearing at Bristol Crown Court in June 2017, Michael Phillips, an attorney for Overd and Stockwell, emphasized the importance of freedom of speech, even in cases where the speaker does not necessarily hold the views being expressed. Another attorney, Paul Diamond, argued that there is no right not to be exposed to contrary ideas, adding that should passers-by not wish to hear the preaching, they are able to walk away. Bristol Crown Court agreed and acquitted Overd and Stockwell of all charges.

July 2016, Irvine, Scotland. Gordon Larmour, a Scottish evangelist, was arrested after he answered questions from a gay teenager about the Christian view on homosexual practice. Larmour, who often visits Irvine to offer Christian leaflets to passers-by, referred to the Book of Genesis and stated that God created Adam and Eve to produce children. Larmour’s answers angered the young man, who called police and told them that Larmour had made “homophobic” remarks. Larmour was arrested and charged with behaving in a “threatening and abusive manner aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation” and “assault.” In January 2017, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court found Larmour “not guilty” after Sheriff Alistair Watson established that the evidence against him was unconvincing. Larmour told the Scottish Mail on Sunday:

“The police didn’t listen to me. They took the young homosexual guy’s side straight away and read me my rights.

“I feel they try so hard to appear like they are protecting minorities, they go too far the other way. I want to be able to tell people the good word of the gospel and think I should be free to do so. I wasn’t speaking my opinions—I was quoting from the Bible.

“I think the police should have handled it differently and listened to what I had to say. They should have calmed the boy down and left it at that.

“In court the boy’s friend told the truth—that I hadn’t assaulted him or called him homophobic names. I had simply answered his question and told him about Adam and Eve and Heaven and Hell. Preaching from the Bible is not a crime.”

December 2015, Beverley, Yorkshire. Michael Jones, a 66-year-old Christian street preacher, was arrested for Islamophobia. He was accused of shouting “Muslims are terrorists, they should not be allowed in this country,” “Islam is not a religion, Islam is terrorism” and “Islam does not preach the Bible, it’s not religion, it’s terrorism.” A recording of his sermon revealed that he had not said the words he was accused of saying. In February 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped all charges against Jones.

August 2015, Belfast. James McConnell, a 78-year-old Christian pastor in Northern Ireland, appeared at Laganside Magistrates’ Court in Belfast, after local Muslims complained that he delivered a sermon in which he described Islam as “heathen” and “satanic.” According to Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS), McConnell—whose sermon was streamed live on the internet—violated the 2003 Communications Act by “sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive.” In January 2016, McConnell was acquitted after Belfast Magistrates’ Court Judge Liam McNally ruled that his comments did not reach the “high threshold” of being “grossly offensive.” McConnell summed it up this way:

“Islam is allowed to come to this country, Islam is allowed to worship in this country, Islam is allowed to preach in this country and they preach hate. And for years we are not allowed to give a tract out, we are not allowed in Islam, we are not allowed to preach the gospel. We are persecuted in Islam if we stand for Jesus Christ.”

April 2015, Hereford. Andrew Geuter, a Christian street preacher, was arrested after he was wrongly accused of making homophobic comments by a member of the public. He was held for five hours, during which time he was interviewed before being released on conditional bail. The police later determined to take no action due to insufficient evidence.

March 2015, Taunton, Somerset. Michael Overd, a Christian street preacher, was convicted of a public order offense for quoting a Bible passage condemning homosexuality. He was fined £200. District Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi, a Muslim, told Overd he could instead have chosen another Bible passage deemed by the judge to be less offensive. After the trial, Overd said:

I am amazed that the judge sees it as his role to dictate which parts of the Bible can and can’t be preached. I did not quote the full text of Leviticus 20 or make reference to the death penalty, but the judge is telling me that I should use other parts of the Bible. This is not free speech but censorship. The judge is redacting the Bible.

I have been ordered to pay compensation for causing “emotional pain” to someone who approached me aggressively demanding to debate the issue. There was no harm, injury or theft, just a simple disagreement over theology which I have now been fined for.

The president of the National Secular Society, Terry Sanderson, said that the ruling appeared to make the quoting of certain passages of the Bible illegal. “Whilst we all want to encourage public civility, there is a higher principle at stake,” he said. “As long as there is no incitement to violence, then people should be allowed to speak freely without fearing legal repercussions.”

On December 11, 2015, Overd won an appeal against his public order conviction for using the “wrong” Bible verse in public. Circuit Judge David Ticehurst, sitting at Taunton Crown Court, ruled that the Crown Prosecution Service failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify the conviction. Overd said:

Today the Court was faced with the farcical situation of a witness telling the judge that he couldn’t even remember what I had said, but simply asserting that it was “homophobic”—as though the mere assertion that something is “homophobic” is enough to curtail free speech.

In this country, we are now in the ludicrous situation where the slightest accusation of a “phobia,” be it “homophobia” or “Islamophobia,” is enough to paralyze rational action by the police and authorities. The highly politicized dogma of “phobias” now too often results in trumped up charges and legal action. There is a chilling effect.

Reasonable, law-abiding people now feel that they can’t say certain things and that is dangerous. Totalitarian regimes develop when ordinary people feel that there are certain things that can’t be said.

Rather than prizing freedom of expression and protecting it, the police and the prosecutors risk undermining it, because they’ve become paranoid about anyone who might possibly feel offended.

February 2014, Banbury. Bill Edwards, a 73-year-old street preacher, was arrested outside Banbury Magistrates’ Court after some people inside the building found his preaching “offensive.” He was taken to a nearby police station, where he was grabbed by six officers and pinned to the floor. In February 2014, Oxford Magistrates’ Court cleared Edwards, a former teacher, of all charges. An application for a restraining order to prevent Edwards from preaching outside Banbury Court House was refused; he was reimbursed for his travel expenses.

September 2013, Perth, Scotland. Josh Williamson, a Christian street preacher, was arrested twice in one week for breaching the peace. In an interview with The Scotsman, Williamson explained:

“The officer told me to stop as I was breaking the law. I asked him what law I was breaking and he replied that I was in breach of the peace. When I asked him to explain, he pointed to my mp3 recorder and said I was too loud. I pointed out to the officer that I wasn’t using amplification, but just my natural voice. I then asked him what a reasonable sound level would be. The police officer replied that the noise level isn’t the issue, but rather that a complaint had been made. I tried to reason with the officer, explaining that such argumentation is subjective as anyone can claim anything is too loud. After a few more minutes I was placed in the back of a police van.”

September 2013, Basildon, Essex. Rob Hughes, a 38-year-old street preacher, was arrested and jailed after he was accused by a lesbian bystander of engaging in hate speech against homosexuals. The woman in question had earlier confronted Hughes shouting that she was “gay and proud” then proceeding to tell him to “get down off your pedestal, you judgmental ****. Homophobia is not in this town.” Hughes, who had recorded everything he said while preaching, explained that he had said nothing about the issue of homosexuality and asked that her request not to be judged be extended also to him. He was later released and informed that no further action would be taken due to insufficient evidence. In May 2015, as part of an out-of-court settlement, Hughes received £2,500 and a contribution towards his legal fees for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and breach of his human rights.

August 2013, London. Dominic Muir, a Christian street preacher, was arrested for preaching in the Battersea Park area. A police officer asked Muir if he had obtained permission to preach in the area. When he responded that he did not, he was told that he would be prosecuted. The council alleged that Muir had breached little-used by-laws which ban street preaching in certain parts of the borough. In September 2013, during the first hearing at Richmond upon Thames Magistrates’ Court, Muir entered a not guilty plea. The council subsequently dropped the case against Muir.

July 2013, London. Tony Miano, an American evangelist, was arrested and jailed during the Wimbledon Championships while preaching on the street about sexual immorality. He was part of Sports Fan Outreach International, an evangelistic effort in England to share the Gospel with attendees of the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament. Approximately a dozen or more men and women were on the streets preaching, distributing tracts and engaging in one-on-one conversation with spectators. Miano, a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff, was preaching about sexual immorality from the book of First Thessalonians when a female passer-by became agitated by his message and began to curse. She then called the police to complain. Moments later, officers arrived and notified Miano that he had allegedly violated Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which prohibits public language that is threatening or insulting. After being booked, photographed and fingerprinted, he was released without charge.

February 2012, Inverness, Scotland. Kenneth Macdonald, a well-known evangelist, was cleared of behaving in an abusive manner while preaching the gospel in Inverness city center. In January 2011, a shopkeeper had falsely accused Macdonald of harassing passers-by. After more than a year of legal proceedings, Macdonald was acquitted.

September 2011, Manchester. John Craven, a Christian street preacher, was arrested and jailed for reading from the Bible after two gay teenagers asked him about his views on homosexuality. He added that “whilst God hates sin, He loves the sinner.” The teens then began to kiss in front of him and perform sexual acts. They then reported Craven to a nearby mounted police constable, who placed him under arrest for “public order offenses.” After spending 19 hours in jail, police told him there would be no charges and no further action. In March 2014, Craven was awarded £13,000 in compensation after a three-year legal battle against Greater Manchester Police estimated to have cost taxpayers £50,000.

December 2010, Birmingham. Anthony Rollins, an autistic Christian street preacher who was arrested for speaking out against homosexuality, was awarded £4,250 in damages following a court case against West Midlands Police. Birmingham County Court ruled that Police Constable Adrian Bill committed assault and battery against Rollins when he handcuffed him unnecessarily. The court also ruled that Rollins was wrongfully arrested, unlawfully detained and his human rights to free speech and religious liberty were infringed. The court ordered the police to pay Rollins’ legal costs.

April 2010, Workington, Cumbria. Dale McAlpine, a 42-year-old Christian street preacher, was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a homosexual police officer overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same-sex relationships. McAlpine said that he did not mention homosexuality while delivering his sermon but admitted telling a passer-by that he believed it was against the word of God. Police officers alleged that he made the remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard by others and charged him with using abusive or insulting language, contrary to the Public Order Act. McAlpine was taken to the police station and locked in a cell for seven hours. Prosecutors later dropped the case due to a lack of evidence.

March 2010, Glasgow. Shawn Holes, a 47-year-old American street preacher, was fined £1,000 for “uttering homophobic remarks” that were “aggravated by religious prejudice.” Holes, a New Yorker who was touring Britain with colleagues, was arrested by police while responding to questions from people in Glasgow City Center. He said later:

There were homosexuals listening—around six or eight of them—who were kissing each other and cuddling, and asking “What do you think of this?” It felt like a set-up by gay campaigners. When asked directly about homosexuality, I told them homosexuals risked the wrath of God unless they accepted Christ.

Holes said that he had no choice but to admit the charge at Glasgow Sheriff Court because he wanted to fly home to see his wife, and his father, who is in a hospice. However, he said he had expected to be fined only about £100.

August 2009, Manchester. Miguel Hayworth and his father, John Hayworth, two street preachers, were accused by police of inciting religious and racial hatred for reading from the Bible and handing out tracts at St. Ann’s Square. Miguel Hayworth said:

At 2 p.m., I was approached on more than one occasion by several police officers who falsely accused me, stating that I was inciting hatred with homophobic and racial comments. One plain-clothed officer, who was with the other two uniformed officers, said: “It is against the law to preach and hand out tracts: preaching causes offense and handing out tracts is harassment and could result in an arrest.”

Hayworth said that at about 2.30 pm another officer warned him that he could be arrested and that his actions were being filmed and recorded. He stopped preaching. Critics claimed that a Muslim preaching Islam in the street would not have been treated in such a way by police.

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute and is republished here by permission.

Photo Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

America • Defense of the West • Foreign Policy • GOPe • Immigration • Post • Religion of Peace • Terrorism

American Empire Won’t Protect Americans

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A clear-headed foreign policy requires serious thought, not stale slogans. An op-ed by Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Troops in the Mideast Keep Terror Away” exemplifies why.

After $6 trillion, 6,000 American dead, and 17 largely fruitless years, Crenshaw and Gallagher argue that America must remain in the Middle East in order to “prevent another 9/11.” But how? How does the American military spending $45 billion a year to kill semi-literate Pashtun tribesmen in the Hindu Kush prevent another 9/11?

Crenshaw and Gallagher assert that America must remain in Afghanistan because “‘far-off lands’ no longer exist. An ISIS terrorist can reach America after a 12-hour flight.” Ideology, they argue, “travels even faster, weaponizing the internet to influence vulnerable Americans and resulting in attacks like San Bernardino in 2015 and Orlando in 2016. The world has become a small, interconnected place, and America ignores it at our peril.”

This is too abstract. The common noun “ideology” did not kill Americans on 9/11. And what does it mean for the Internet to be “weaponized?” Did Google Chrome open fire in a gay bar in Florida or blast its way through the streets of San Bernardino?

Crenshaw and Gallagher’s lack of precision in speech prevents clarity of thought. The attacks they mention were committed not by phantasms like “ideology” but by living, breathing human beings. These attackers were not random, either. They were Arab Muslims motivated to kill by the preaching of radical Sunni teachings.

And they came here legally.

Every last one of the 9/11 hijackers came into the United States on legitimate visas. Syed Rizwan Farook, who committed the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, was a citizen. His wife, Tashfeen Malik, came here on a K-1 fiancée visa.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of Boston Bombing infamy is an American citizen. His brother Tamerlan was a legal permanent resident. Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who killed four Marines and one sailor in Chattanooga in 2015, was an American citizen. Omar Mateen, who killed 49 and wounded 53 others in the Pulse nightclub shooting, was a citizen.

Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek who rammed eight New Yorkers in a truck in 2017, came to America on a diversity lottery visa. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who stabbed 13 at the Ohio State University in 2016, was a Somali refugee. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called “Underwear Bomber,” legally received a visa into the United States for his fateful flight. The infamous English-speaking Islamic cleric who inspired many of these attacks, Anwar al-Awlaki, was himself an American who taught for years in Falls Church, Virginia, of all places!

Crenshaw argued in December that Americans “go over there” to the Middle East so the terrorists can’t “come over here.” This logic does not work.

As long as our immigration policies remain what they are, the terrorists will keep coming over here—no matter what we do “over there.” It doesn’t matter how many thousands of bombs we dropped in Afghanistan—that didn’t stop Omar Mateen or Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab or Sayed Rizwan. Killing random jihadists a world away doesn’t prevent other Islamic holy warriors from boarding a “12-hour flight” to bring death to our shores.

The only thing that can prevent that is immigration control—which Crenshaw, in particular, dislikes. In 2015, he posted on Facebook that Trump’s “insane rhetoric is hateful,” and that Trump was an “idiot” for proposing restrictions on the legal flow of migrants from the Middle East.

Crenshaw was too severe. How can the terrorists get here if we don’t let them in? Is the 1st ISIS Camel Division going to stage an amphibious landing on the Potomac? Will the 101st Pashtun Parachute Brigade drop out of the sky onto Fort Benning?

No, of course not.

Crenshaw and Gallagher argue it is “dangerous” to bring the troops home. America must maintain a military presence in the Middle East forever, it seems. They call it an “insurance policy” against terror. And yet it was American forces stationed in the Middle East, and near the Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia in particular, that played an outsized role in fomenting the Islamists against us in the first place.

Why must America continually intervene in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Israel? What good has any of this really done for American security? All the terrorists listed above attacked us after 9/11.

Crenshaw and Gallagher’s American empire will not keep us safe. It will only lead to more money and lives spent chasing a chimera. If we really wanted to stop the next 9/11, we would endorse a policy that prevents those most liable to commit such an attack from coming to the United States in the first place.

America is not an Islamic country. Prior to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, there were hardly any Muslims here at all. Their presence in large numbers in the United States is a matter of public policy. Deciding how many more people to let in is also a matter of public policy. There is nothing wrong with a people deciding to restrict immigration for the purposes of national security.

In a conflict against non-state actors, immigration restriction is one of the best tools the state can use to insulate itself from foreign-born violence. Borders, not bases, can keep America safe from overseas Islamic terror.

But arguing for such a policy is politically difficult. To raise objections to America’s current legal immigration policy status quo—endless immigration from the third world—is to risk political suicide. Support for the neoconservative project of endless American presence around the world carries no such risks.

Yet our national defense hinges on the triumph of common sense over slogans. Until that victory is won, America is in danger—no matter how many troops we station abroad.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Europe • Immigration • KBO • Religion of Peace

Sweden: Still More Migration

The following by Judith Bergman is republished by permission from the Gatestone Institute.

Sweden’s new government, which was finally formed in January after months of delay, is introducing policies that will lead to more immigration into Sweden—despite the main governing party, the Social Democrats, having run for office on a promise to tighten immigration policies.

The right to family reunion for those people granted asylum in Sweden who do not have refugee status is being reintroduced—a measure that is estimated to bring at least 8,400 more immigrants to Sweden in the coming three years. According to the Minister of Migration, Morgan Johansson, this measure will “strengthen integration,” although he has not explained how.

“I think it is a very good humanitarian measure; 90 percent [of those expected to come] are women and children who have lived for a long time in refugee camps, [and] who can now be reunited with their father or husband in Sweden”, Johansson said. He was probably referring to the fact that most of the migrants who arrived in the past couple of years were young males, who had left their wives and children behind. The measure also entitles so-called “unaccompanied children” to bring their parents to Sweden. Many of these “unaccompanied children” turned out to be adults, not minors. (The dentist who contributed to exposing this inconsequential detail was subsequently fired).

Johansson also said that the government plans to extend the right to remain in Sweden by introducing “new humanitarian grounds for protection.” This means that people who would otherwise not be eligible for a residence permit, will now be able to acquire it for the following reasons, according to Johansson:

“For very sensitive cases, there must be an opportunity to increase the options for acquiring residence permits. It may be cases where people are very sick, fragile or very vulnerable, for example. It is a very small group and a very small part of the total asylum policy. There have been a number of striking cases where one does not feel that this has worked well from a purely humanitarian point of view . . .  There must be room for humanity and a humanitarian approach, even in these times. I think this is important.”

Mehdi Shokr Khoda, a gay 19-year old Iranian man who converted to Christianity in Sweden after he had fled to Stockholm from Iran in 2017, probably wishes that Swedish authorities would apply their “humanitarian approach” to his particular case. He and his partner, an Italian resident of Sweden, are fighting for Mehdi to not be deported back to Iran, after the Swedish migration authorities rejected his asylum application, claiming that Khoda is “lying” about his situation. The authorities questioned, among other matters, why he was only baptized after coming to Sweden, and claimed that he “was unable to explain his coming out process” as a gay man. As homosexuality is prohibited under Islamic law, gays are routinely executed in Iran, most recently in January. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has executed “between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians” according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks dispatch.

As for Sweden’s humanitarian impulses—or lack thereof—regarding persecuted Christians, there are an estimated 8,000 Christians under deportation orders hiding in Sweden, according to attorney Gabriel Donner, who has assisted an estimated 1,000 Christian asylum-seekers facing deportation.

Minister of Migration Morgan Johansson has also claimed, perhaps as a way of excusing how the government is going against its own election promise of reducing immigration into Sweden, that the country now has “the lowest asylum reception for 13 years.” That claim is incorrect, according to numbers released by the Swedish Migration Board: The third-highest number of residence permits issued ever was in 2018 (132,696). The previous record years were 2016 and 2017, respectively, when 151,031 and 135,529 residence permits were granted to migrants. In 2018, the top ten source countries for foreigners granted residence permits were Syria, India, Afghanistan, Thailand, Eritrea, Iraq, China, Pakistan, Iran, and Somalia.

It is a serious democratic problem for Sweden—a country with a population of just over 10 million people—that the government introduces policies that the majority of Swedes are against. In December 2018, a poll showed that 53% of all Swedes wanted legislation reducing the number of immigrants being accepted into Sweden.

Sweden might also soon be welcoming returning ISIS terrorists. According to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who was recently interviewed about this prospect, returning ISIS terrorists have a “right,” as Swedish citizens, to return to Sweden. Löfven claimed that it would be against the Swedish constitution to strip them of their citizenship, but that those who had committed crimes would be prosecuted. Currently, Swedish law actually does not allow the security services to take all necessary measures against returning ISIS fighters. The law does not allow authorities, for example, to seize or search the mobile phones or computers of returning ISIS fighters, unless there is a concrete suspicion of a crime.

On a positive note, however, at the end of February, the Swedish government presented plans to introduce legislation that would criminalize membership of a terrorist organization. This new law would enable the prosecuting of returning ISIS fighters who cannot be connected to a specific crime, but who were proven to have been part of a terrorist organization. Critics have pointed out that it has taken years for the government to take steps to criminalize membership of terror organizations and that the planned penalty for belonging to one—two to six years in prison—is “ridiculously low.” Until the law is passed, however, returning ISIS terrorists can only be tried for specific crimes committed while there were fighting for the “caliphate.”

One Swedish terrorism expert, Magnus Ranstorp, recently warned Sweden against taking back not only ISIS terrorists, but also their wives and children, who he said also pose a security risk:

“The women are not innocent victims, and there is also a large group of ISIS children… From the age of eight or nine, they have been sent to indoctrination camps where they have learned close combat techniques and how to handle weapons. Some of them have learned how to kill… their identities will forever be linked to their time with ISIS, and the fact that they have an ISIS father or an ISIS mother.”

Ranstorp also noted that Sweden’s mental health system is “not fit to deal with that. If they stay with their extremist parents, there could be delayed effects further down the line, 15-20 years from now.”

Photo Credit: CNN

Center for American Greatness • Congress • Democrats • Post • Progressivism • Religion of Peace • The Left

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ilhan Omar?

Nothing in the Constitution requires that members of Congress either be born in the United States or have at least one American parent. We’ve got plenty of foreign-born politicians, and always have; in the U.S. Senate alone, right now, Ted Cruz was born in Canada, Mazie Hirono is from Japan, and Tammy Duckworth was born in Thailand to a Thai mother and American father. The House includes Cubans, Mexicans, Indians, and Dominicans. We’ve had refugees as well, including the late Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor.

The first in a three part series on the new freshman members of Congress.

But now we have Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslims in Congress, born in Mogadishu, Somalia, brought here as a child, and now representing Minnesota’s  5th Congressional District as a result of the 2018 midterm elections. Along with her Islamic compatriot, Rashida Tlaib (representing Detroit and Dearbornistan), and the ineffable Alexandria  Ocasio-Cortez (the Bronx by way of Yorktown Heights in Westchester County and Boston), the trio of female radicals has jerked the geriatric-led Democrat Party abruptly far-leftward as we approach the 2020 presidential election, tossing previous political calculations into a cocked hat.

But in Omar’s case, that’s far from the worst of it. Conservatives are accustomed to leftists hiding their true motives and feelings as they attempt to claw their way to political control over all of us, but Omar is different in that she makes no attempt to disguise her true feelings, either about America or the Jews. Anti-Western to her core, she rewards the generosity of the Americans toward the Somali Muslim community by spitting  in our faces.

As I wrote recently at PJ Media, there’s something about the Somalis that makes them different from other cultural aliens who have arrived in—or, in the Somalis’ case, been deliberately imported to—the United States. An ethnic group low on its share of geniuses but long on violence, the Minnesota Somalis have the disgraceful distinction of sending more men and boys to join foreign terrorist organizations such as al-Shabab and ISIS over the past dozen years than any other place in the country. And this, of course, is Omar’s district—why would we have any doubt that she will represent it faithfully?

Recently one of the first Somali policemen in Minnesota, Mohamed Mohamed Noor—with a name like that, what could go wrong?—was charged with murder in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Damond; he goes on trial next month, having pleaded not guilty. (Be sure to read the details of the killing at any of the links.) And now, open gang—perhaps “militia” will soon be a better word—warfare is breaking out in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis as the Somalis (known colloquially in the military and intelligence services as “skinnies”) recreate the same hellish conditions they fled in their East African homeland:

As for Omar, she spoke up for a group of six Somalis arrested in 2015 for trying to cross into Mexico, as part of a plan to join ISIS in Syria. As the case went to trial the following year, the then-state representative wrote a letter to the trial judge requesting “compassion”—and lighter sentencing on behalf of one of the Minnesota men, who was facing 30 years jail time.

“Such punitive measures not only lack efficacy, they inevitably create an environment in which extremism can flourish, aligning with the presupposition of terrorist recruitment,” Omar wrote. “The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion. We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to affect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”

And how did that plea for mercy work out? One young lad was sentenced to “rehabilitation” after being caught trying to join ISIS; six months later, at a halfway house, he was found watching a documentary about westerners fighting for ISIS. What’s bred in the bone . . .

But coddling terrorists is the least of Omar’s problems. For one thing, there’s some reason to suspect that Omar married her own brother in order to get him American citizenship—something she denies, although her marital history is, shall we say, culturally colorful. (There’s a good, if confusing, summation of it at Snopes.com, which rates the issue “unproven,” and you can find a video on the subject here.) It’s hard to fathom why she might do such a thing, since even the most dedicated open-borders activist might blanch at outright fraud; further it makes little sense for a lawbreaker to then raise her profile and run for Congress—although, in succeeding Keith Ellison, now Minnesota’s attorney general, she was bound to get elected no matter what.

For her part, Omar issued a statement during her campaign, which basically elided the issue and naturally framed herself as the real victim: “I will offer clarity and share a difficult part of my personal history that I did not consider relevant in the context of a political campaign, so that we can put these rumors to rest. Insinuations that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is my brother are absurd and offensive.”

Most troubling of all is her consistent anti-Semitism, relayed to the public via a series of tweets, some of which she later deleted. Incredibly, Omar sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and thus far Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has refused to remove her, despite requests from prominent Jewish organizations. Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said that defenestrating her “will not solve the problem of anti-Semitism” and would merely be “retribution.” Still Pelosi had planned a vote on a House resolution condemning anti-Semitism on Wednesday, but the vote was abruptly postponed after “progressives” objected to it.

And so the stage is set for a major battle. Pelosi cannot afford to alienate the Democrats’ sizable Jewish constituency, but neither can she blow off the freshmen radicals, who are pushing BDS and outright socialism:

House Democratic leaders are struggling to contain the controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments criticizing Israel, with the caucus fighting behind closed doors over whether—and how—to respond. Tensions ran high at a caucus meeting Wednesday as some Democrats privately vented that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team had failed to adequately respond to the escalating political crisis, with too little outreach to their own rank-and-file.

[There is] widespread anxiety in the caucus over how to handle the latest bout of remarks from Omar—one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress—after she suggested that pro-Israel advocates had “allegiance” to Israel. The remarks offended multiple top Democrats, who said it was assuming painful, decades-old stereotypes that Jews had “dual loyalties.”

Multiple Jewish lawmakers, including Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) stood up in the caucus meeting to explain why Omar’s latest remarks were so offensive and potentially dangerous. But other Democrats—including a Jewish lawmaker—stood up to defend their colleague and say they didn’t see the remarks as deeply offensive.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus had spoken out loudly against a measure aimed at Omar’s comments at a time when Omar herself has been the target of anti-Muslim attacks . . .  Omar did not speak in the meeting, multiple sources said, although she was spotted chatting with some Democrats one-on-one and received hugs from others.

Isn’t that sweet? The Democrats and their “progressive” media allies are so obsessed with the “historic” nature of Omar’s membership in the American congress that they can’t see the danger she poses. By background, religion, and upbringing she is a dedicated enemy of the United States, the camel’s nose under the tent of what the Left likes to call “our democracy.” As such, she’s a useful tool, protected by her faith and her ethnic origins; any criticism of her immediately triggers accusations of racism and “hate.” Indeed, the resolution against anti-Semitism is now being rewritten to include denunciations of other forms of “hate speech.”

It’s a nasty nettle to grasp, although it’s impossible not to enjoy Pelosi’s discomfiture. In order to hang on to her gavel—because you just know the Republicans are going to “pounce” on this—Pelosi has to reduce the public profiles of the radicals lest the rest of America catch on to what they’re up to. Once San Fran Nan was the public face of the Democrats; now, among others, it’s Ilhan Omar, wearing a hijab.

Upon her arrival in Congress, Omar demanded—and got—a change in a 181-year House rule forbidding head coverings on the House floor. If you think that’s the last change she wants to make, you’d better think again. Pelosi should strip her of her committee assignments and, if she continues these antics, the House should expel her. It’s the right thing to do.

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Defense of the West • Europe • Immigration • Post • Religion of Peace • Terrorism • The Culture

Must We Really Take Care Not To Offend Extremists?

Britain, in recent days, has had a rare distraction from its seemingly endless Brexit debate. The distraction, however, has not been an altogether welcome one. It involves the case of Shamima Begum, one of a number of girls who left their school in Bethnal Green in London in 2015 to go and join ISIS.

Back then, in 2015, the story of the Bethnal Green schoolgirls was headline news. Many British people were genuinely shocked that anyone—let alone young women at the start of their lives—would find ISIS’s promise of a Caliphate so alluring that they would leave the comforts of their friends, family, and country in the UK to go to join the group. There was much national debate about this. Various people, including some of the girls’ family members, blamed the British police and security services for not stopping the girls from leaving the UK. Ironically, the people who blamed the police—including the lawyer representing the girls’ families—were often precisely the same people as those who had spent previous years urging Muslims in Britain not to cooperate with the British police. How exactly the British police were either to blame, or to find any way to “win” in such a situation, was never explained. It was just one of many paradoxes thrown up in these circumstances.

Now, members of the British media have caught up with Shamima Begum, who is living in a Syrian refugee camp. The interviews she has given, in which she has expressed no remorse for her actions and has described life in the Caliphate—which included seeing severed heads in trash cans—as not especially troubling, have not helped her in her request to return home to Britain. The general public has reacted badly to her self-pity and lack of remorse; and British politicians have—unusually—responded to the public mood. Specifically, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that he is stripping Begum of her British citizenship. It is a move which is not just unprecedented but certain to bog him down in legal action for a while to come.

What is most interesting is the debate about whether Begum should be allowed to return and whether the Home Secretary was right in this unprecedented action. It is at times such as this that we are able to measure any change in the public and political debate . . .

Read the rest at the Gatestone Institute.

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