Removal Of Sanctions Will Make It Easier For Iran To Keep Funding Terror

Memri

Writers In Gulf Press: Removal Of Sanctions Will Make It Easier For Iran To Keep Funding Terror, And Will Facilitate Its Plans To Harm Other Countries

Following the January 16, 2016 publication of the International Atomic Energy Agency report verifying that Iran has met its commitments under the JCPOA, nuclear-related sanctions on Iran have been lifted, and $100 billion in Iranian assets has been unfrozen. In response, many writers have published articles in the Gulf press stating that the West is deluding itself by thinking that Iran’s behavior will now change for the better.

These writers warned that Iran will continue to fund terror organizations across the world and to seek to destabilize its neighbors in order to bring down their regimes, and that the infusion of billions of dollars will only help it do so. They also said that the Iranian regime and its affiliates, first and foremost members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), are the only ones who will profit and benefit from these funds, while the Iranian people will continue to live in poverty and oppression. One writer even called the U.S. “a cheating, lying ally undeserving of a minimum of trust,” and stated that its insistence on bringing Iran back into the international fold is aimed at igniting the Middle East in order to justify a permanent U.S. presence there.

Conversely, a Kuwaiti writer expressed hope that the lifting of the sanctions will lead to strengthening of the moderates in Iran, and called on the Gulf states to immediately launch an open dialogue with them, for the good of all the peoples in the region. This, he said, is preferable to squandering huge sums on weaponry and on a war that no one will win.

The following are translated excerpts from the articles.

Qatari Writer: Those Who Believes Iran Has Changed With The Lifting Of Sanctions Are Deluding Themselves

Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, a Qatari writer and intellectual and former dean of the Shari’a and Islamic Studies faculty at the University of Qatar, wrote in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida that the lifting of the sanctions on Iran will not make Iran a more decent and honest state, but a more violent one: “All those who are betting that this [Iranian] regime will become more decent and will return to the fold of the international community as a normal state… are deluding themselves. The Western countries and the U.S., that are betting on the removal of the sanctions and the ending of the embargo strengthening the reformist forces and bringing about the longed-for change, are completely ignoring the nature of this regime… [This regime] cannot exist without interfering [in other countries], because if it did not do so, it would lose its religious and doctrinal legitimacy.

“Evidence that the [Iranian] regime cannot change or become decent or normal is the fact that its appetite for ballistic weapons only increased after the sanctions were lifted, and that its interference in the region has become more violent, after the [show of] smiles by [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif and the optimism of [Iranian President Hassan] Rohani.”[1]

Cartoon in Bahraini Daily The Billions that Iran regains will become explosives

Cartoon In Bahraini Daily: “The billions that Iran regains will become explosives” (Source: Akhbar Al-Khaleej, Bahrain, January 24, 2016)

Saudi Writer: Kerry’s Illusions That The Region Will Now Be Safer Will Not Change Reality

Mashari Al-Zaydi, columnist for the Saudi London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote that U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and the entire West are deluded if they thought that the situation in the region would improve following the lifting of the sanctions: “Will our region become safer and more stable after Europe and the U.S. lift the sanctions on Iran? This is the essential question in the story. As far as President Obama’s staff is concerned, first and foremost Secretary of State John Kerry, this will indeed happen with Iran, after the signing of the decision to lift the sanctions…

“John Kerry, the godfather of the JCPOA, said at a meeting with his Iranian bridegroom Foreign Minister Zarif that [the agreement] was the result of steps taken since last July, and that as a result of it ‘the U.S. and its friends and allies in the Middle East and worldwide are now safer.’ [Also,] EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that [this agreement] will strengthen stability and peace in the region…

“[But] the agreement, as has already been said again and again, is flawed in structure, since it restricts the problem of Iran to the nuclear issue, and [disregards] its destructive political conduct in the region, which is the main problem. Proof of this is that Iran has remained loyal to this destructive path, both before and after the announcement of [the JCPOA’s Implementation Day]. Moreover, the U.S. Treasury Department has [even] placed new sanctions on Iran because of its test-launches of ballistic missiles…

“In truth, there is no need for panic, because Obama and all those beside him have built this agreement on castles in the sand, and the wave of reality that will come will wash them away. This is because Khomeinist Iran can be only what it is , and Kerry’s and Mogherini’s delusions will not succeed in changing the geographic, demographic, and historic facts in the Middle East.”[2]

Bahraini Commentator: With The Billions It Receives, Iran Will Again Fund Terror Organizations

Sa’ied Al-Hamad, a Bahraini media figure, writer and  political commentator, warned in the Bahraini daily Al-Ayyam that the Iranian regime would use the unfrozen billions to continue funding terror. The Iranian regime, he said, has never hidden the fact that it funds terror organizations operating in neighboring countries, and neither is it hiding it now; furthermore, even Secretary of State Kerry acknowledged this.

Al-Hamad wrote: “About the funds that Iran will regain following the lifting of the sanctions, Kerry said, ‘I believe that some of these funds will reach the IRGC or other bodies, some of which are classified as terror organizations’… A senior Iranian official told the Times … that the IRGC, especially [its] Al-Qods [Force], will profit from the new fortune that will come with the lifting of the sanctions, and that the IRGC and the Qods Force represent the main ammunition of Iran in the region. He used the military term ‘ammunition’ explicitly, [the meaning of which] is not obscure to any reasonable person. Another Iranian official [said]: ‘When you are rich, you can better help your friends.’ He did not clarify who these friends were, and left it for observers and those concerned to figure out – but [understanding] this demands little effort or brains.

“The Iranian regime does not hide the massive funding that it has allocated in the past to militias, groups, and organizations that it planted in neighboring countries, which have carried out sabotage and terror operations in order to bring down those regimes and to pave the way for the turban-wearers in [the Iranian holy city of] Qom, to fulfill their dream, and to reestablish their Safavid empire. This is the ideological [Iranian] dream, which cannot be denied.

“The Iranian people is perhaps the only one that knows and understands that the lifting of the sanctions and the return of the billions will not help it, because these [funds] have been divvied up and allocated to elements that will benefit from them even before they reach Tehran… [The Iranian people] will emerge emptyhanded, and its rejoicing at the lifting of the sanctions and at the return of the billions was disproportionate to the magnitude of the event, because it knows the path of the ‘one and only leader’ [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and knows to whom these funds will be directed…”[3]

Hizbullah Assad the IRGC Al-Qaeda and Shiite militias

The terror organizations including Hizbullah, Assad, the IRGC, Al-Qaeda and Shi’ite militias, that will benefit from the unfreezing of Iranian assets (Source: Al-‘Arab, London, January 24, 2016)

Kuwaiti Writer: Billions Will Flow To The IRGC; The Iranian People Will Continue To Be Oppressed And Impoverished

Similar statements were made by Kuwaiti writer ‘Abdallah Al-Hadlaq, who, in an article in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan, accused the Iranian regime, particularly the IRGC, of plundering Iran’s economic resources while the Iranian people “is bowed under the yoke of oppression and poverty.” He argued that this will not change even after the sanctions are lifted and billions of dollars are unfrozen: “The fascist Persian Iranian turbaned regime that rules Tehran… interferes in every single matter, and deposits the country’s resources in the hands of those with whom it is pleased, or those who guarantee its continued existence, primarily the Persian Revolutionary Guards. When the sanctions on Iran are lifted, and the billions return to it, the people, who is bowed under the yoke of oppression and poverty, knows that it will receive a mere pittance from it, and that the situation will remain the same or even grow worse.

“In terms of economic resources, Iran is considered wealthy, even very wealthy… But this wealth is not reflected in the lives of its residents; only the tiniest fraction of it reaches their pockets… The men of the Persian regime and the IRGC are the unrivalled leaders of the [economic] battle – while the sanctions have hurt all Iranians, they have greatly benefited the IRGC, because after foreign firms left Iran, much of what they had been doing was taken over by the Persian IRGC, allowing it to increase its influence in the country and to take over the billions belonging to the Iranian people…

“The issue of lifting economic sanctions on Iran once again brings up the main question: Will things change? The answer of all those who follow [this issue] indicates that things will indeed change – in greater profit for these same [already wealthy] elements and for the Persian IRGC, which hold the [most important] economic junctions, and will partner the foreign investors on most new projects. The profits of those who already stand to gain will increase, and as for the poor – they will become even more impoverished and miserable in the face of an accursed revolution that consumed its own sons, and then their resources. The unfrozen billions will help strengthen the fascist Iranian Persian regime’s ability to support, fund, and sponsor global terrorism and the satanic and evil plans of the land of the Persians – Iran.”[4]

26644

Bahraini cartoon: “Iran after sanctions are lifted” (Source: AkhbarAl-Khaleej, Bahrain, January 26, 2016)

26645

The burning Middle East pays the price of U.S.-Iran relations (Source: Al-‘Arab, London, January 15, 2016)

 

Kuwaiti Commentator: “The U.S. Is Nothing But A Cheating, Lying Ally Undeserving Of A Minimum Of Trust”

In a scathing article in the Kuwaiti Al-Rai daily titled “John Kerry, Your Loyalty Is Less Than Zero,” Mubarak Muhammad Al-Hajri accused the U.S. of insisting on bringing Iran back into the global arena in order to ignite the Middle East; this, he said, serves American interests: “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has come to the Gulf region many times to warn of the increasing Iranian power [there], and to clarify [to the Gulf states] that the U.S. will not be able to protect them, using various baseless pretexts and excuses [to demonstrate this]. Naturally, the Gulf states are not as naïve as the Americans think, and have tired of the games played by the American diplomats and of the psychological warfare that they are constantly waging [against them] – to the point that even a simpleton far from the air and filth of politics can clearly see that the U.S. is nothing but a cheating, lying ally undeserving of a minimum of trust.

“[The U.S.’s] policy and statements that contradict each other leave us no choice but to expect an Iranian return to the international community, sponsored by the U.S. – despite its black record of supporting terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Argentina, and other regions that have not escaped the Iranian regime, and despite its human rights violations and its oppression of domestic minorities and the opposition, and other shameful things of this kind. But the U.S. insisted on bringing Iran back into the global arena, as it disregards international peace and security…

“Once, the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] states were considered to be not independent and the weakest link in the Middle East – but they have managed, admirably, to reverse this equation… and now they are in charge and enforce their [own] decisions despite U.S. ire.

“The White House diplomats do not want to hear this harsh truth, in light of Iran-U.S. harmony. The unfrozen $100 billion will not go to the Iranian people, but rather to the militias and gangs loyal to the Iranian mullahs, to spark more sectarian wars and conflicts [in the Middle East] and to spread chaos and instability [there]. It is this that the U.S. wants, since this is absolutely in line with its agenda, which has transformed the Middle East into a collection of tension[-filled] hives so as to justify its permanent presence there.”[5]

US Iran Handshake

Arabs squeezed by U.S.-Iran handshake (Source: Al-‘Arabi Al-Jadid, London, January 17, 2016)

Kuwaiti Writer: Needed Immediately: Political-Economic Reconciliation With Iran

Taking a different tack than the others, Kuwaiti writer Hassan Al-‘Issa, in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida, expressed hope that the lifting of sanctions would strengthen Iran’s moderate forces and deescalate tensions in the region. He called on the Gulf states to immediately launch a dialogue with Iran, with the aim of gaining political-economic reconciliation that would benefit all the peoples of the region:

“The lifting of the international sanctions on Iran, and its entry in force into the oil export market, rub salt on the wounds of the [Gulf] Cooperation Council states, which are drowning in the mighty torrent of their increased [oil] production and the lack of a demand, at a fair price, for their orphaned goods. However, as an Omani official said, beyond this pessimism lies some optimism, in that the lifting of sanctions could bring about a kind of peaceful atmosphere in our burning region, and because the status of the moderates in the [Islamic] Republic of Iran… will grow stronger vis-à-vis the extremist forces… having proven the seriousness of their policy in dealing with the extremists, and successfully extricating Iran from the sanctions.

“Should there be open talks between our countries and Iran in order to emerge from the war that is being conducted in Syria and Yemen by means of proxies, we would stand to gain much, since the excuse for the massive expenditure for armament would become invalid, and we could be saving that money and spending it in the right places to serve our peoples instead of channeling it to the pockets of the arms-dealer cliques. Those who stand the most to gain [from such talks], even more than us, are the two peoples, Syrian and Yemeni. The tragedy of Syria has gone on for a long time and could go on even longer, so long as both sides in the struggle [i.e. Saudi Arabia and Iran] believe that they can achieve a decisive victory – while reality proves that such civil wars always end with no winner and no loser, as happened in Lebanon.

“In Yemen, Iran could agree to [adopt the policy of] its moderate wing… according to which there is no point in inciting the Houthis, and no solution except in agreement among all the Yemenis, from all sects and tribes. We must acknowledge that what is happening now is first and foremost a war of attrition waged against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states that are subordinate to it…

“Let us look inward to our Gulf, and open the window of dialogue and reconciliation – because political-economic reconciliation [with Iran] is not a luxury but rather an urgent necessity that cannot be postponed or delayed.”[6]

SOURCE: MEMRI

Endnotes:

 

[1]  Al-Jarida (Kuwait), January 25, 2016.

[2]  Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 18, 2016.

[3]  Al-Ayyam (Bahrain), January 25, 2016.

[4]  Al-Watan (Kuwait), January 24, 2016.

[5]  Al-Rai (Kuwait), January 27, 2016.

[6]  Al-Jarida (Kuwait), January 19, 2016.

© 1998-2016, The Middle East Media Research Institute All Rights Reserved.

Trump’s Ban on Muslims: The Discussion the Media Won’t Have

  • Trump’s call to ban the entry of Muslims to the U.S. seemed to indicate that it should be temporary, until the American leadership has figured out what in the complex reality of the Muslim world – religious, political, economic, cultural, and so on– contributes to turning a significant portion of Muslims into jihadi operatives at war with the United States.
  • Despite numerous terrorist attacks carried out by extremist Muslims inside the United States, Americans have not turned against their Muslim neighbors; on the contrary, Americans and Europeans in general have continued to be accommodating, tolerant, even protective, of Muslims in their midst, in keeping with their secular and liberal democratic values.
  • Americans have watched the unabated spread of terrorism and warfare in the name of Islam; the intensity of hatred in Muslim countries directed towards the United States; the attacks on Americans by extremist Muslims, and the betrayals by Muslim countries that have been receiving American assistance, such as Pakistan.
  • The elite in Muslim-majority states is mostly, if not entirely, responsible for the wretched state of affairs that has left those states at the bottom of the list of countries when measured in terms of economic development, human rights, gender equality, education, freedom and democracy.
  • For the elite in third world societies, a getaway to America has meant a readily available exit to avoid being held accountable for their misdeeds.
  • Herein lies the irony of a Trump’s proposed ban: it would greatly affect the Muslim elite and, consequently, compel them to begin taking responsibility for how they have mismanaged their societies and impoverished their people.

On December 7, 2015, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign released a press statement calling “for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out what is going on.” He was publicly saying what an increasing number of Americans over the years have apparently begun to think about Muslims and Islam in terms of the “clear and present” danger to their security and their country.

A press release explained the reason for the ban:

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims (sic) of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

A few days after the San Bernardino massacre carried out by jihadists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik (left), Donald Trump (right) called for “a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out what is going on.” (Trump photo by Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons)

Immediately there was a chorus of denunciation of Trump by his political opponents — both Democrats and Republicans — as well as the White House. Support for Trump among Republican primary voters, however, spiked upwards.

A few days before Trump made his call for banning Muslims, the Former Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, described the extent to which ISIS, or Daesh, unless defeated, poses a serious security threat to the West. ISIS-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria is now as large as the United Kingdom; its influence reaches far beyond, into North and sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, the Gaza Strip, and even Southeast Asia.

Blair stated — after the ritual statement, that

“Islam, as practiced and understood by the large majority of believers, is a peaceful and honourable faith. … a large majority of Muslims completely reject Daesh-like Jihadism and the terrorism which comes with it”:

“However, in many Muslim countries large numbers also believe that the CIA or Jews were behind 9/11. Clerics who proclaim that non-believers and apostates must be killed or call for Jihad against Jews have twitter followings running into millions.”

Despite the reality that Blair described, there still remains much reluctance among politicians in the West to speak frankly about the deep-seated problems of the Muslim world, especially in North Africa and the Middle East. These problems have made violence endemic, and the living conditions of most people in terror-affected regions unbearable. This politically correct reluctance to hold the Muslims who commit violence accountable for the threats they pose to others, has become, over time, untenable.

Superficially, political correctness seems like a kind-hearted civility towards others and empathy with the less fortunate. At a deeper level, however it represents a self-serving uneasiness at possibly being thought judgmental or branded as bigot. At the very deepest level, it is an insult: it infantilizes a vast group of people, as one assumed they were mentally or emotionally incompetent, incapable of take responsibility for their own lives by themselves. In politics, just as self-serving, the reluctance to speak up doubtless springs from the fear of not snagging every possible vote.

Since 9/11, Americans have grown increasingly curious about Muslims and Islam. They seem to have wanted to learn about the culture, politics and history of the Muslim world.

The same cannot be said about Muslims. They do not seem to want to acquire a deeper understanding about America and the West.

There also seems to be a disconnect between Americans in general, and the reflexively politically correct establishment, along with the mainstream media. As Americans watched, President Obama and his administration have engaged in euphemisms to speak about Muslim terrorists or Islamic extremism. Instead, they are referred to as “man-caused disasters” or “workplace violence,” while the “global war on terror” was replaced by “overseas contingency operations.”

The coddling of Muslims and Islam, the fear of giving offense that might fuel more Muslim violence, became the hallmark of the Obama Administration. Even as the situation in the Middle East and the surrounding region radically worsened, the Obama Administration adopted a policy of appeasing Muslims instead of challenging or confronting them.

Trump not only exploited this disconnect to his advantage, but also indicated his intention to reassess America’s relationship with the Muslim world. An examination of the West’s partnership with the Middle East is much needed. “It is where,” in Blair’s words, “the heart of Islam beats.”

ii.

It is important to note that Trump’s call is not directed at Islam, but at Muslims — a subtle yet important distinction that got obscured in the controversy on the subject. The ban is, after all, conditional — until the American people and their government have figured out what in the complex reality of the Muslim world — religious, political, economic and cultural — contributes to turning a significant portion of Muslims into jihadi operatives at war against the United States (especially those from the Middle East, North Africa and Southwest Asia).

In making the distinction between Muslims and Islam — the people, not the religion — Trump avoided getting into the weeds of theological debates on Islam. Islam, to many of its critics, is seen as the source of the problem: less of as a religion and more of as a totalitarian ideology.

It is doubtful, however, if such debates have any meaning for the roughly 1.7 billion Muslims, whose numbers are steadily increasing, in terms of undermining their belief in Islam. Such debates mocking what they hold sacred only mock what they hold sacred, and provoke that segment of the Muslim population readily given to rage and violence.

However, a message is being sent: that unless many Muslims can change demonstrably to accept and abide by the social and political norms of American democracy, they may be excluded from entering the United States as immigrants.

This message goes beyond the immediate concerns about vetting for security purposes the Syrian refugees fleeing the devastations of the civil war in their countries: It raises the stakes for Muslims wishing to emigrate to the United States.

This view, if you think about it, is not outrageous. It is, and should be, the right of a nation to insist on the sovereignty of its borders, and to decide who may or may not enter the country. Indeed, in accordance with the existing U.S. laws, the President is constitutionally empowered under Title 8 (Aliens and Nationality) of the U.S. Code, section 1182, to decide who is inadmissible into the country. It is likely, however, that eventually the higher courts may have to decide.

In the meantime, the Muslim world has been put on notice that immigrating to the United States it may no longer be “business as usual” for everyone. Rather, the statement should probably be seen as a warning that the time might have come for Muslims and their governments to examine their share of responsibility in the making of such a ban on Muslims entering America.

iii.

The threats from, and the carnage brought about by, extremist Muslims bent upon pushing their global Jihad continue, more or less unchecked. While the emergence of ISIS has destabilized the Middle East and the surrounding region, the specter of radical Islam now hangs ominously over Europe. Tony Blair also said:

“The impact of terrorism is never simply about the tragedy of lives lost. It is the sense of instability, insecurity and fear that comes in its wake…And in the case of nations like ours, with our proud and noble traditions of tolerance and liberty, it makes those very strengths seem like weaknesses in the face of an onslaught that cares nothing for our values and hates our way of life.”

Since the attacks of 9/11/2001, Americans have watched how Western democracies have been overly sensitive in not smearing or profiling all Muslims in countering the violence and terror of the extremist Muslims in their midst. Americans accepted with little protest the extent to which their open and free lifestyle was altered due to security concerns after those attacks. Since then, despite terrorist attacks carried out by extremist Muslims inside the United States, Americans did not turn against their Muslim neighbors. On the contrary, Americans and Europeans, in keeping with their secular and liberal democratic values, have continued to be incredibly accommodating, tolerant, and even protective of the Muslims in their midst.

Americans have also watched the broadening spread of terrorism and warfare in the name of Islam; the intensity of hatred in Muslim countries directed towards the United States; the attacks on American missions; the kidnapping and murder of American citizens by extremist Muslims, and the double-dealing and betrayal by Muslim countries receiving American assistance, such as Pakistan.

They have watched the physical destruction in the Middle East of Christian communities among the oldest in the world; the massacre of Yezidis and other minorities in Syria and Iraq, and of the attacks on Coptic Christians of Egypt whose presence in the Nile valley pre-dates the arrival of Arabs as Muslims in the seventh century, C.E.

Americans have watched the unremitting violence of Palestinians against Jews in Israel, and have heard – and keep hearing — the bile of anti-Semitic racism flood forth from the mouths of political leaders, such as former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, from mosque pulpits across the Muslim world, from sanctimonious Europeans and from the viciously bigoted United Nations.

All the while, Americans have waited to hear Muslims in their midst — safe and secure from the savagery across the Middle East and North Africa — step forward in credible numbers to condemn the perpetrators of such horrific violence. Often they are happy to denounce “violence,” but almost never by naming names. The failure to do so raises suspicions — not surprisingly — that maybe most Muslims are in favor of such actions.

Meaningful condemnations, to be taken seriously by non-Muslims, could then become the prelude to repudiating those interpretations of Islam that provide for the incitement and justification of violence through jihad.

If Americans, and others in the West, heard Muslims in America more or less unanimously denounce jihadi violence and repudiate the interpretations of Islam that call for warfare against non-Muslims as infidels, this would be doubly reassuring. There would be the promise that American Muslims – secure in their new world home and secure in their faith protected in America – have the confidence, like Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to call for reforming Islam, as well as reconciling their belief with modern science and democracy. Americans could see that that Muslims in America are loyal Americans, pledged to defend, protect, and abide by the American constitution.

Instead, organizations claiming to represent American Muslims, such as the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and many local imams or religious leaders in mosques across America, continually appear in media defending Muslims as victims of anti-Islamic bigotry or explaining away Muslim violence and terror as misguided and nothing to do with the “true” teachings of Islam – when neither could be farther from the truth.

Moreover, these organizations are publicly committed to the demand that the American government and courts allow Muslims in America to live in accordance with the code of Islamic laws, Sharia. Again, Americans have not heard from a sufficient numbers Muslims who reject such divisive and regressive demands pushed by CAIR or ISNA in their name.

CAIR, ISNA, and other similar Muslim organizations — either based in mosques, or organized with the support of mosques and offshore money from oil-rich Middle Eastern countries — have their origin in the ideology and politics of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), founded in Egypt in the 1920s by Hassan al-Banna. His theological innovation was to turn the idea of jihad, or holy war, against non-believers into the organizing principle of his movement. Jihad would reconstitute post-colonial Muslim societies, such as Egypt, on the basis of Sharia and re-establish the institution of the Caliphate abolished by Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk] of Turkey when the Ottoman Empire was dismantled after World War I.

In recent months, beginning with Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Arab member-states of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) — led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and supported by Saudi Arabia — declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization in collusion with ISIS. This conclusion apparently has not registered with CAIR and ISNA in America. There has been no sign of American Muslims stepping forth in appreciably large numbers to denounce the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and dissociate themselves from the Muslim Brotherhood and all Muslim organizations with links to it.

Americans, driven by their own, have learned since 9/11 that although all Muslims are not terrorists, most terrorists in the news turn out to be Muslims. They have also observed that there is a sufficiently large segment of Muslims sympathetic to whichever cause these terrorists espouse in their attempts to justify their violence. Americans have similarly learned that while Islam is a world religion with a rich and complex history, there is also an aspect in Islam — although it is not unique to Islam that sanctions violence against non-believers — both as a defensive measure and to spread Islam beyond its traditional frontiers.

When Trump announced that he would ban Muslims entering America until the representatives of American people have figured out why Muslims hate America, he was speaking for a large number of Americans, even perhaps a majority.

The failing of Muslims in America to take a clear stand against terrorism; and against the parts of Islamic theology that incites and justifies violence against non-believers in Islam. Sadly, Jew-hatred and anti-Christian bigotry have become the signature of Muslim extremists, and have contributed to the rising suspicion among Americans that many Muslims are disloyal to America after making it their home.

iv.

Any ban on Muslims entering America would hurt most severely the upper fifth segment of Muslims in their countries. This segment of the Muslim population forms the elite, and this elite is mostly, if not entirely, responsible for the wretched state of affairs that has left the Muslim majority states languishing at the bottom of the list of countries terms of economic development, human rights, gender equality, education, freedom, democracy, or any other criterion.

Immigrating to America became for Muslims belonging to the elite segment of their societies the pathway to escape the anger and frustration of the people as their living conditions worsened. In third world societies, a get-away to America has meant for the elite a readily available exit to avoid being held accountable for their misdeeds.

Herein lies the irony of a U.S. ban: those it would affect most are the Muslim elite, and it would consequently compel them to begin taking responsibility for how they have mismanaged their societies and impoverished their people.

A U.S. ban would set the precedent for other Western democracies to follow, and thereby instill a positive external pressure for the reform from inside Islam and Muslim societies, and greatly assist the efforts of the many Muslims working to reform Islam.

Positive changes in repressive societies could take place the same way as after the signing of the human rights section of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Helsinki Accords provided indispensable support from the outside to human rights activists as well as to dissidents inside the communist states of Eastern Europe.

Eventually the pressure on the Soviet Union and its East European allies to abide by the human rights section of the Accords they had signed dramatically accelerated the end of the Cold War, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. “Rarely,” Henry Kissinger wrote in Years of Renewal, “has a diplomatic process so illuminated the limitations of human foresight.”

Until now, there has been no coordinated effort by Western democracies to put pressure on Muslim countries to abide by the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to which they, as member-states of the United Nations, are signatories. Instead, Western democracies have continued to accommodate Muslim states even as their governments failed to abide by the UDHR, violated human rights of their people, made war, engaged in genocide, and raised and armed terrorists who spread terror by attacking non-Muslim states.

In his final State of the Union address to the American people on January 12, 2016, President Barack Obama spoke about how his administration is engaged in containing, degrading, and defeating “terrorist networks.” What he did not mention were the repeated atrocities committed by Muslim terrorists within the United States, the most recent of which, under his watch, being the massacre in San Bernardino. He did not express the outrage most Americans must have felt watching the attacks on Christian communities of the Middle East, the killing of Christians and minorities by ISIS, the destruction of churches, ancient sites, and works of art from pre-Islamic times in the region. He also did not acknowledge the revulsion Americans must have felt seeing videos of people drowned or burned alive, or having their throats slit by ISIS. These atrocities do not even include ISIS buying and selling kidnapped women and children from minority communities as sex slaves – and all (accurately) in the name of unreformed Islam.

Instead, President Obama said:

“[W]e need to reject any politics – any politics – that targets people because of race or religion. Let me just say this. This is not a matter of political correctness. This is a matter of understanding just what it is that makes us strong…When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid is called names, that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.”

Obama was engaged in coddling Muslims in the mistaken belief that displaying respect for, and muting criticism of, their faith and them would help to repair the broken friendship between America and the world of Muslims. This was the same message Obama had taken to Cairo, Egypt, soon after his inauguration in 2009, seemingly trying to demonstrate through public diplomacy his own understanding of Islam that his presidency would write a new and better chapter of American-Muslim relations.

But this promise of healing America’s relationship with the Muslim world now, in the eighth and final year of Obama’s term as president, has not materialized. For this failure, Americans cannot be faulted. On the contrary, Americans have watched the situation within the Middle East and the surrounding region dramatically worsen, and the malady of failed Muslim states, with the problems Muslim refugees brought with them to Europe, be exported to the West.

This is why Americans in general – unlike their own elite in politics, business, the media or academia – have not been outraged by calls to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Trump has expressed publicly what many Americans might privately be thinking would be a circumspect thing to do — as Trump stated, until Americans have figured out what makes many Muslims hate America with such an intensity that they turn to violence and murder.

Until then, a ban on immigration might at last compel Muslims to examine their own ills and start working to remedy them. This certainly — both for Muslims and non-Muslims –could be only for the good.

Salim Mansur is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. He teaches in the department of political science at Western University in London, Ontario. He is the author of Islam’s Predicament: Perspectives of a Dissident Muslim and Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism.

Source: GATESTONE

Glutton for Punishment – America Has Not Learned Her Lesson from Barack!

Matthew 24:5

“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” –President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Outside of the fact that a good portion of Americans believe that The Clintons operate outside and above American Laws, the Clintons, along with other criminal players, have gotten America’s eyes off of Oregon. They have been found to be taking massive payoffs, while promising the Hammond Ranch and other “publicly owned lands” to Russians with one-fifth of our uranium ore. This is one detail the state-controlled narrative steers clear of concerning what is taking place in Oregon.

Recently, the lawless Hillary Clinton even came out of the closet sharing on her Facebook account about how her beliefs are aligned with the Ten Commandments.

During a town hall meeting in Knoxville, Iowa, a young woman asked Clinton, “I’m just curious how you would say that your beliefs align with the Ten Commandments, and if that’s something that’s important to you.”

“I am a person of faith,” declared Clinton. “I am a Christian, but I do believe that in many areas, judgment should be left to God…”

It’s interesting that she would say that because The Lord said just the opposite in Leviticus 26:15-17.

She goes on to state, “…being more open, tolerant (to the issues that are destroying America) and respectful of people who’ve had different life experiences is part of what makes me humble about my faith.”

This daughter of Belial advocates what God condemns with every word that comes out of her lying mouth and wicked heart (Jeremiah 17:9).

It is also interesting to note that without fail these wicked politicians talk of their “Christian faith” during the campaigns. Barack Hussein Obama did the same thing (Matthew 24:5).

This should be a wake-up call to all those who deny that America is a Christian nation. Today, 78% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. However, these politicians are attempting to appeal to the majority of Americans during their campaigns and, in-between, do the devil’s biddings at every step.

Also, when I pulled up Mrs. Clinton’s Facebook account, I notice there were other pages that have been set up in opposition to her, such as “Hillary Clinton Sucks,” “Hillary Clinton is WRONG for America,” and several titled “HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRISON.”

When I finally got to her page, there were a whopping 2,355,735 likes on her page!

Even more telling was that when Clinton was in her position as Secretary of State, the Associated Press reported that the State Department was buying Facebook “likes.”

 In 2013, the State Department, which has more than 400,000 likes and was recently most popular in Cairo, said it would stop buying Facebook fans after its inspector general criticized the agency for spending $630,000 to boost the numbers. In one case, its fan tally rose from about 10,000 to more than 2.5 million.

But that isn’t all. When Hillary opened up her campaign in Iowa, there were actually more reporters who attended than voters.

Clinton’s Iowa campaign kickoff event roused a whopping 22 people! National Journal reports:

 Gone are the soaring speeches and the big rally crowds, swapped out for roundtable discussions and meet-and-greets with local activists.

But the dozens of reporters both in the room and chasing after her van outside were a reminder of just how difficult it will be for one of the most recognizable public figures in the world to hold events that truly feel intimate.

On Tuesday, for example, Clinton was seated at a table with just seven other people for the discussion, with an audience of another 15. But those Iowans were far outnumbered by the dozens of reporters who were bunched together behind a thin yellow rope at the back of the room.

Indeed, despite some limits on the number of press credentials handed out by Clinton’s Iowa team—each outlet had one person in the room, and national television and photography was pooled—it still was a big group. Bigger yet was the press crowd outside, where reporters who weren’t admitted to the event chased Clinton’s van when it first pulled up here, contributing to the feeling of a media circus surrounding the former Secretary of State’s Iowa launch.

Clinton joked about the horde of reporters as the event opened, telling the seven roundtable participants: “Well, thank you for having me here—and a few of my friends.”

That is not all friends. According to her Twitter account as of April 14, 2015, Clinton had 3,351,547 Twitter followers. However, as the Daily Mail reports:

According to two popular online measuring tools, no more than 44 percent of her Twitter fan base consists of real people who are active in using the social media platform. And at least 15 percent – more than 544,000 – are completely fake.

Like her Alinsky comrade Barack Hussein Obama, who had more than 19 million fake Twitter followers56% of Clinton’s Twitter followers were created out of thin air. Simply put, they create the support that they do not have.

We know that the only ones who show up to her speeches are the state-controlled media in an attempt to make her campaign look legitimate. Remember America, this is nothing more than a Saul Alinsky tactic:  Cause the enemy to believe that that there are more of you than there really are.

Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals

TENNESSEE: Apparently, ‘God is out’ and ‘Allah is in’ for Students in Roane County Schools

Shoebat Foundation

Indoctrinating Students with Islam

By BI: Roane County Tea Party accuses schools of indoctrinating students with Islam…a problem that is spreading to schools all over America in conjunction with Common Core curricula, funded by the Islamic state of Qatar.

Common Core Islamic state of Qatar

WATE  The group also claims middle school students have to recite an Islamic prayer and learn that “Allah is the same god as the god in the Hebrew Bible.”

While Roane County Schools said those claims aren’t true, members of the group believe the district’s students are being indoctrinated through seventh grade Social Studies.

“There is an agenda of elevation and eradication,” said Lucinda Shath. She believes Islam is being elevated while other religions, like Christianity, are being eradicated.

indoctrinating students with Islam

Muhammad Teachings taught in public schools

Islam Public School

Islam Public School

WATE 6 On Your Side looked through the textbook Roane County uses for seventh grade social studies. One of the first curriculum standards is that students are able to compare and contrast the tenets of five major religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.

But that textbook, published by Holt, isn’t the book the Tea Party group has a problem with.

They’re upset about one published by Pearson, which the district said is not in the classroom. “There may not be a textbook in the classroom and there’s probably not,” said Shath, “but there’s probably digital downloads on tablet.” (This is the way schools in America have begun hiding the Islamic indoctrination, either by using books in the classroom which students are not allowed to bring home or using internet programs only)

Islamic indoctrination

Shath believes the Pearson book has been downloaded onto tablets by Roane County Schools and is being used in the classroom.

“That is absolutely not true,” said Director of Schools Gary Aytes, who added the district wouldn’t even be able to afford it. Aytes said that all of the Tea Party’s claims are untrue. (Afford it? All the Islam materials are provided free of charge to schools, paid for by oil-rich Arab Gulf states)

b16288b681b02b3563a18c17f641ac-vi

“In no way do we influence students in any way toward any religion,” said Aytes. “In Social Studies there is a history of the settlement of the Arabian peninsula and how that affected the history of the world, just as there is a section on the Buddhists, Judaism, Christianity and other world religions and how it affected history.” (What they don’t tell you is that all the other religions are covered in one day while at least 2 weeks are spent teaching about Islam)

pixTextbooksschoolboard-vi

Shath and Roane County Tea Party co-chairpersons said they’re fine with all of those religions being taught, but they aren’t fine with the way they think they are being taught. “Over and over again they cover the Islamic world which is wonderful,” said Shath. “However, they tell half truths about Islam spreading peacefully.”

“If they’re going to teach about Islam, I’d like to see them speak the truth instead of a white-washed version of a peaceful religion and co-existing with our U.S. Constitution and the Christian philosophy,” said Johnston. “It will not, it does not exist. That is a complete lie.”

The Roane County Tea Party will have a presentation on this topic Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Kingston Community Center.

MORE HERE: ISLAM IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The World Before Muhammad

"Muhammad Salat" by Morgan Phoenix - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Muhammad_Salat.svg#/media/File:Muhammad_Salat.svg

Muhammad Salat” by Morgan Phoenix – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons and on Muhammad Wikipedia page

Dan Wolf | Living Rightly

Before we can evaluate something, we have to first understand it.

Much of what we read in the media or see on television about Islam is either very selective in its presentation or simply wrong.   The primary goal of these articles is help you understand some of Islam’s basic tenets and their development.

Along the way we will also look at some of the significant difference between Islam and Christianity, and the implications of those differences.   My objective is not to tell you what to think, but instead to provide you with information and sources you can use to make up your own mind.  I am simply going to present the facts, and places where you can find more information if you want it.  Where possible the information in these articles will come directly from original sources.  These are the best places to use if you truly want to learn about something.

Islam is usually presented solely as a religion, but is it that simple?  Yes, it is a religion, but we will see that it is also much more.  Islam is not only a religion, but also both politics and governance.  In addition, it is law.  The military aspects of society are also included within its tenets, as are civics and culture.  In short, all within society is Islam.  Everything from when and how you worship to the way one should get dressed is all prescribed for you within Islam.  These differences often make it difficult for Muslims to understand Jews/Christians and vice versa as our frames of reference are often not only entirely different but contradictory.

In this article, we’ll start with some history leading up to the time of Muhammad’s birth.

But before we start that discussion, there is something very important that you need to hear and understand.  The subject of these articles is Islam, and not Muslims.

Muslims are people, and we all share the same nature that God has given to each one of us. 

Yes, you will find bad Muslims and good Muslims, just like you will find bad Christians and good Christians.  We have each been given the gift of free will to make our own choices, and it is our choices – and the way those choices are implemented – that define who we are.

When we talk about Islam we must remember that we are talking about its tenets and not people.

As we are called to do, we will present the truth and present it in love.

The Time Leading Up to Muhammad’s Birth

Muhammad was born about 570, over five hundred years after Christ’s crucifixion.  Some significant events that occurred in between these times include:

  • It had been almost 250 years since Constantine’s conversion, making Christianity the Roman Empire’s official religion.  Christianity now has an imperial role as well as a religious one.
  • The Roman Empire has also split into East and West.  There is a schism too, within Christianity between East and West, although the rift has temporarily been healed after the fifth ecumenical council in 553.  There is a Pope in Rome and a Bishop in Constantinople.
  • It has been about 140 years since the death of Augustine in Hippo, as the invading Vandal fleet lay off-shore.
  • The monastic movement is well underway, a development that will be critical to later history.
  • It has been almost 150 years since Attila and the Huns sacked Rome.
  • Few people speak Greek in the West any longer, and many documents are being translated into Latin.
  • The Roman and Persian Empires have been fighting each other for over five hundred years, with most of the conflict occurring within the area we know as the Middle East.

A Map of the World

If one were to look at a map of the known world at the beginning of the sixth century, it could be divided into four quadrants.  In the northwest quadrant were the remains of the Roman Empire, along with the Lombard, Frankish, Visigoth, and Saxon kingdoms in Europe and around the Mediterranean Sea.  Alboin is King of Italy at the birth of Muhammad, and Justin II is the Emperor in the East.  This quadrant is largely Christian.

The_world_in_500_CE

In the northeast quadrant is the Persian Empire which stretches from modern Syria through Iraq and Iran toward modern India.  Chosroes I is King of Persia.  The Silk Road connecting China and India with Europe runs through Persia.  The teachings of Zoroaster are prevalent among the ruling and military classes within Persia, but its society was very accepting of other religions.  Persia also had significant populations of Nestorian Christians, Jews, Monophysite Christians (Jacobites), and Gnostics.  Many wars have been fought between Persia and Byzantine.

Persia conquered the Holy Land in 614 under Chosroes II, including Jerusalem, and removed the ‘True Cross’ to Ctesiphon during Muhammad’s life.  Heraclius (Byzantine) reconquered Jerusalem in 628 and took back lands in Egypt, Syria, and Armenia.  Both sides employed Arab tribes to defend their frontiers from the other.  The Ghassinids were paid by the Byzantines, and were largely Monophysite Christian.  The Lakhmids were employed by the Persians and were primarily Nestorian Christian.  These two tribes were natural enemies of one another and viewed the other as being heretics.

To the southwest is the Kingdom of Abbysinia that corresponds to the areas of modern Ethiopia, Eritrea, and portions of the Sudan.  At this time it also held parts of modern Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia.  The Yemen contained important seaports on the route between India and Europe, and possessed its own architecture, culture, and legal system.  Abbysinia is ruled by the Negus, and is primarily Monophysite Christian.

The last quadrant in the southeast is often labeled the ‘Empty Quadrant’ on maps from this time and consists of the Arabian Peninsula.  It is very unlike the other parts of the known world described above.  There is no central source of authority in the Arabian Peninsula.  Instead the source of authority in this part of the world is tribal.  We’ll talk more about the people of this peninsula a little later.  In general the people of the Arabian Peninsula feel looked down upon by the rest of the world at this time.  It does not possess the wealth of Byzantine, the power of Persia, or the commerce and architecture of Yemen.  Rome, Persia, and Abbysinia had each in turn attempted to conquer the Arabian Peninsula and each in turn had failed.

While the lands in the other three quadrants were largely monotheistic, this quadrant was mostly pagan.  However, there were some Christian and Jewish tribes, and these lived together with the pagan ones at this time.  The pagan tribes built shrines to worship their gods.  Each shrine was controlled by a devout family.  Some of these sites became significant enough to be established as a haram.  A haram was a sacred place where overt conflict was forbidden.  It was a sanctuary.  These places served as a neutral ground for negotiations between feuding tribes, and a site for conducting trade fairs.  This worked because the tribes believed that violating the sanctuary would bring about divine punishment.

The family in charge of a haram acquired substantial political power.  The head of the family in charge of a haram was called a mansib and often served as a mediator in tribal disputes.  They could also deny tribes access to a haram.  Even more powerful were the Kahins.  These were Shamans.  They often presented their sacred formulas as poetry, and poetry was a major art form in Arabia at this time.

Muhammad was a member of the Quraysh tribe, and his family was in charge of the haram of Mecca.  This haram (the Kaaba) was perhaps the most significant sacred site in all of Arabia.  It is said that the Kaaba contained about 360 idols; these included all of the gods of all of the tribes in Arabia.  One of Muhammad’s uncles was the mansib of this haram.  There was an annual trade fair in Mecca that was attended by all parts of Arabia each year.  Poetry contests were often held and the highest honor was to have a poem inscribed and placed within the Kaaba.

Most people on the Arabian Peninsula lived in a narrow strip of land no wider than 200 miles along the Red Sea called the Hijaz.  Mecca was not located along any major trade routes.  The trade routes through the Hijaz connected Syria and Egypt in the north with Abbysinia in the south.  There was a large Jewish kingdom in southern Arabia in what is now Yemen.

 Religion’s Influence

Islam added nothing new to religion from a theological perspective; instead it borrowed from all those it encountered.  What it did do that was new was to marry monotheism with the Bedouin culture.  We’ll close this article by briefly looking at a few tenets for each of the religions mentioned so far.  In the next article we’ll pick up this content by looking at some of the specific borrowings from each of these religions, and some relevant aspects of Bedouin culture.

The Roman Empire consisted of Roman Catholics in the west and Eastern Orthodox in the east.  No more will be said about these religions as their tenets are generally known.

As mentioned earlier, Persia was multi-religious and included each of the following groups.  Most of these groups also existed outside of Persia:

  • Zoroastrian (Mazdaism) – Zoroastrianism is monotheistic, but it does not believe in the God of Abraham.  Instead they believed in a deity called Ahura Mazda, who governs the universe through his holy spirit.  There is an evil counterpart (Ahriman), who will in the end be overcome.  Some parallels exist with Christian beliefs and include:  six periods of creation, descending from a single couple (Mashya and Mashyana), rebirth of the world, the coming of a Messiah, the existence of a perfect kingdom, the resurrection of the dead, and everlasting life.  Zoroaster was Ahura Mazda’s prophet.  Traditions exist that Zoroaster was a contemporary of Cyrus the Great, may have met and influenced Pythagoras, and that he was known to the Jews as Ezekiel (although this last is doubtful).

There was a significant following of Zoroastrianism among Persia’s aristocracy, military, and commoners.  Christians and Jews were predominant among the peasants and urban populations.  Zoroastrianism was referred to as Madjus in the Qur’an, and on a par with Christianity and Judaism as a People of the Book.

  • Nestorian – This sect of Christianity asserted Christ’s humanity through Mary’s being the Mother of Christ rather than the Mother of God.  Nestorius was a bishop in the Orthodox Church.  His views resulted in calling the Third Ecumenical Counsel at Ephesus.  Nestorius was deposed as a result of the Counsel.  The Christian sect was forbidden in Byzantine, but welcomed in Persia.  It was the largest non-Zoroastrian population in Persia.  It was widespread in Babylonia, Khuzistan (Iran), the eastern Arabian coast, Afghanistan, and China.
  • Judaism – Judaism was the second largest non-Zoroastrian group in Persia.  Jews lived primarily between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and were the largest population in this area.  There were also large populations in Syria and Iraq to the Zagros Mountains.  Large populations also resided outside of Persia in Palestine, Egypt, and along the North African coasts.
  • Monophysite (Jacobites) – This sect believed that Christ had only one nature – divine.  The Chalcedian view was that Christ had two natures: human and divine.  The Jacobites were considered to be heretics by the Byzantines, and were the third largest non-Zoroastrian group within Persia.  They had sizable communities in Mesopotamia from Armenia to Syria, and along the Tigris River (Assyria).  They also had sizable populations within Egypt and Abbysinia.  The seat of the Eastern Monophysite Primate was Tagrit, in Iraq, along the Tigris River.
  • Gnostics – Gnosticism was a pagan response to monotheism.  In general it expressed a dualistic mysticism claiming the need for a special/secret knowledge.  It found a refuge within Persia and also had a significant presence in both Syria and Egypt.  The Persian sects did not believe in Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad.  Instead John the Baptist was central to those sect’s beliefs.  Their focus was on the ‘Knowledge of Life’.  The Egyptian and Syrian sects combined paganism with Plato’s philosophy.  The works of these sects included the Secret Book of John and the Gospels of Thomas and Judas.

Egyptian gnostic thought grew from writings emanating in Alexandria.  References to gnosticism first appeared in the writings of Irenaeus in about 180 AD and Clement of Alexandria a short time later.  The basic line of gnostic thought included:  (1) creation was made by an inferior godling, (2) creation was corrupt, (3) it was this malicious godling who prevented man from attaining his true perfection, and (4) Jesus was a teacher who revealed secret knowledge that would free us from the godling’s constraints.

  • Pagan – While there were some Jewish and Christian Arabs, by far most were pagan.  Many appear to have acknowledged a creator god called ‘Allah’, but he was not generally worshipped.  The primary pagan gods of the Arabs were:
    • Hubal – God of the moon.  Along with the sun goddess, they had three daughters.
      • Al-Lat – A solar divinity
      • Al-Huzza –Worship of the planet Venus
      • Manat – A goddess of fate, the Evening Star

Muhammad spoke against the three daughter goddesses, but stopped short of saying anything negative about Hubal.  Hubal’s idol in Mecca was located within the Kaaba, next to the Black Stone, and it is believed that the two were connected.

Next, Islam borrowed from other religions and then some relevant cultural aspects of the Arabic people.

Teachers, Facilitators, Babysitters: is there a difference?

Teachers stop teaching and just baby sit

Bruce Deitrick Price | Improve Education

A few years ago the city of Virginia Beach paid a Harvard consultant to come down and announce the big news: teachers must stop teaching.

They would be given a new name and a new job. They would be called “facilitators.” Their job would be to “facilitate.”

Imagine the shock. These teachers have been ordered to forget what they spent years learning. They have been downgraded from doing something that the world has always esteemed, i.e., teaching, to doing something that sounds relatively passive and unskilled, more like a crossing guard or babysitter.

In practice, what it all means is that teachers can’t give lectures, because the Education Establishment scorns lectures. They can’t be sages on a stage, because the Education Establishment scorns Sages on Stages. They can’t engage in the transmission of knowledge, because the Education Establishment scorns the transmission of knowledge.

So what will facilitators do exactly? They will stand off to the side. They will make suggestions now and then. All of the suggestions will come down to this: I can’t help you, go find the answer for yourself.

Everything that teachers used to be paid to do will not be permissible. Teachers will be suspended for teaching.

What’s the reason for all this? The Education Establishment embraced a theory call Constructivism  which dictates that children must construct their own knowledge. If the teacher helps too much, that is called teacher-centered, which the Education Establishment will no longer tolerate. If the children spin their wheels and waste a lot of time doing it themselves, that is called student-centered, which the Education Establishment wants to encourage.

We used to have teachers who were expected to be expert in their subjects. All of that is a moot point now. Whether they are expert or totally ignorant will be all the same for the students, who will never hear teachers teach. There will no longer be any burden on the schools of education to create really good teachers. Really good babysitters will be sufficient.

Here is a teacher’s comment left on an internet forum:

“After a career as a private teacher for about 30 years, it amazed me to substitute in nearly every school within a couple of school districts and find that I was not SUPPOSED to teach, just herd cats for the most part. I finally got the memo when sitting for a while with four sixth-grade girls in a reading group outside of their main classroom. They were supposed to be strengthening critical thinking skills. At least that was my initial perception by the instruction on the ever present computer printouts they carried (textbooks are soooooo passé). I listened to the facilitator – one of the girls – give her thoughts on the paragraphs they all read, ask the designated questions about what they’d just digested, and accept the most banal answers without question and go on to the next question. No further thought was required (nor desired).”

Suppose someone’s real goal is to minimize the amount of education taking place in our country. Clearly, the simplest way to do that is to order teachers to shut up.

Here’s an experiment that anybody can conduct, a mind experiment. Think of a subject you know a lot about. Imagine you have an hour to communicate to a room of people all the stuff you know. Think how many individual facts you would be able to talk about–dozens or even hundreds. Now, however, imagine you’re in front of this class and all you can say is “maybe the Internet has some information on that.” At the end of an hour, the number of subjects discussed in this class will be very few. All that knowledge you acquired over many years remains inside your head. None of it is given to the students. They remain as ignorant as when they walked into the class.

Here is the big, bad picture: Whole Word (i.e. sight-words) keeps children from learning to read; Reform Math keeps them from learning arithmetic; add on top of that that they are not learning any basic knowledge, thanks to teachers being made into facilitators. You have an almost total shutdown of the educational process. Apparently that’s what the Education Establishment prefers.

And that total shutdown will probably last until Americans say, “We’re mad as hell and we won’t take it anymore.”

The only way to really understand these developments is to note that the Education Establishment has for 85 years waged war against content, against facts, against knowledge. The Education Establishment is winning. The country is losing.

Most of these trends were in play before Common Core. But instead of replacing or fixing these bad ideas, Common Core seems to have embraced and recycled all of them, and dropped the whole toxic mess on the children of America.

Constructivism is absolutely central to Common Core, and the foremost reason that Common Core will result in further dumbing down of the public schools.

When Common Core permits direct instruction, it is scripted and uniform. Again, a babysitter could do it.