Who is Nasim Aghdam?

YouTube ShooterI haven’t searched the web or Youtube in knowing her social media was taken down almost instantly. The only thing I know is she shot up Youtube (subsidiary of Google/Alphabet) and it appears it was over demonetization (I always misspell that).

I am writing this to say that I don’t believe her actions were an act of jihad but instead the acts of a muslim woman who is angry at being silenced.

Let’s consider Youtube’s banning gun videos. Yet’s consider how many jihadis are created by Youtube’s lenient policy toward muslim men sharing the good of sharia and why jihad is Mohammed’s demand.

And you think they demonetized a muslim woman over jihadi info? Really?

I contend she was demanding change in islam, in sharia. Some info posted shows she was angry over censorship, well sharia censorship is easy to spot in the Nobel Peace Prize winning woman, Malala Yousafzai who recently returned to Pakistan, after the Taliban had shot her in the head. Their reason was that she was promoting women be educated.

Now imagine if Youtube demonetized Nasim Aghdam over this…..

Can you see why they didn’t want employees talking to reporters? Can you see why they’d erase her social media accounts everywhere? This isn’t something they do with jihadis, this is something they do in promoting islam, in being “sharia aware” and compliant.

So I’d strongly suggest everyone step back and apply reason to this, for to me if this woman is protesting censorship by a company we know hasn’t censored jihadis in the past, we have a pretty good indication their motives weren’t she was a jihadist.

https://twitter.com/nickmon1112/status/981383835089858561?s=21

God Bless you, and I thank you for reading and sharing this,

Toddy Littman

Law and Culture within Islam

Dan Wolf | Virginia Christian Alliance

This article ends the series examining extremism and Islam that began with About that 1% on Extremists and continued in Extremism, Islam, and Politics. In those articles we’ve touched upon some of Islam’s general attitudes and how those are reflected in its views of extremism, politics, and freedom. This article will continue to use the same surveys[1] to look at some attitudes around law and culture.

Law

The last article looked at the connection within Islam between religion, politics, and freedom – using the survey results around religious freedom to illustrate the points. This article will start by looking at the connections between religion and law. Islamic law is encompassed within what is called shari’a, and is derived from several of Islam’s source documents as outlined in US Law and Shari’a.

The table below shows the percentages of Muslims who say:

  • Shari’a is the revealed word of God.
  • Among shari’a supporters, the median % of Muslims who favor religious judges to oversee family law. All columns denoted with a ‘*’ reflect percentages of the Sharia Official Law column results.
  • Median % of Muslims who favor enshrining shari’a as official law.

Article13_Fig01Even though sub-Saharan Africa was excluded from the surveys, over 50% of Islam’s followers in the remaining regions believe that shari’a is divinely revealed law, and almost 45% that religious judges should oversee family law within the courts. This climbs to two-thirds believing that shari’a should be official law, but there is a regional difference within this last result. The areas formerly under control of the Soviet Union (Southern- Eastern Europe and Central Asia) are once again much lower than the rest of the Muslim world. These results demonstrate again that all is Islam, and another reason why Islam is not simply a religion but an ideology with a religious component.

Acceptable Punishments By Shari’a Supporters

So what do shari’a supporters want? Some responses are shown in the following two tables.

  • Median % of Muslims who favor severe corporal punishments for criminals. Remember these are punishments as sanctioned by Islam’s tenets and embodied by shari’a – such as beheadings, amputations, stoning, and crucifixions.
  • % of Muslims who favor stoning as a punishment for adultery.
  • % of Muslims who favor whippings/cutting off of hands for theft and robbery.Article13_Fig02
  • Median % of Muslims who favor executing those who leave Islam.
  • Are honor killings permissible? The % of Muslims who say they are never justified when a male committed the offense.
  • Are honor killings permissible? The % of Muslims who say they are never justified when a female committed the offense.

Article13_Fig03The numbers speak for themselves. Again we see a general trend of lower acceptance within the former soviet-bloc countries. It should be noted that most of these results did not include sub-Saharan Africa (about 289 million followers of Islam). When adjusting for that exclusion, support for various forms of corporal punishment range between 40 – 60% of the surveyed regions. In addition, roughly 50% of surveyed Muslims believe honor killings are never justified – indicating that about half believe there are circumstances where honor killings are permissible.

Culture

We’ll turn next to some cultural behaviors, specifically Islamic views on some moral issues and the role/rights of women within society. Things that are considered morally wrong are likely to be subject to the harsh corporal punishment under shari’a as noted in the previous section.

The following tables show the median % of Muslims who say each of the following behaviors is morally wrong:

  • Prostitution
  • Sex outside marriage
  • Homosexuality
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Abortion

The final column in the second table contains the % of Muslims who say polygamy is morally acceptable.

Article13_Fig04Article13_Fig05

Results to questions regarding suicide and euthanasia were similar to those shown above. The results across all regions strongly support these behaviors as being morally wrong (a minimum of 61% in any region). Even if you agree that these behaviors are morally wrong, would you sanction the types of punishment advocated under shari’a and supported by Islam’s followers?

Polygamy is interesting as it is allowed by Islam’s doctrines, yet its support sits below 40% overall and again is lowest in Central Asia and Southern-Eastern Europe. Polygamy also has different interpretations within Islam. Some view it as having no more than four wives in one’s lifetime. Others view the numbers one, two, three, and four as simply the beginning of a numerical sequence, therefore it does not matter how many wives you have over time – only whether or not you are limited to four at a time.

Some Effects on Women

I heard a missionary who has performed Muslim outreach for over twenty years speak last fall. His observations included what life was like in many Middle East Muslim families. Certainly not all families are like those he described, but they are not atypical. You would likely grow up in a household where your mother is beaten. For those who think otherwise, you should see one of the many videos on how to properly beat your wife. In many cases your father is looking for his next wife. Divorce is very easy for the male, so you may grow up without your mother’s presence for a significant part of your childhood. Women within Islam are property. They are always owned by a male, either a family member family or their husband.

The following results related to women were presented within the surveys.

  • Median % of Muslims who completely or mostly agree that a wife must obey her husband.
  • Median % of Muslims who say that women have a right to divorce.
  • Median % of Muslims who say that sons and daughters should have equal inheritance rights.

Article13_Fig06Over 80% of those in the regions surveyed say they agree that a women should obey her husband, but less than 45% think that women have the right to divorce or should have equal inheritance property rights. Again, these results were supported less in the former soviet-bloc countries. It is difficult to justify giving a group such rights when they are viewed as being property themselves. It is no different for non-Muslims in these countries as they are dhimmis who are owned by the state. Such treatment is sanctioned by Islam’s documents.

Conclusions

None of the survey items included in these articles represent a fringe element within Islam, instead they represent its mainstream beliefs. Are these beliefs consistent with our values, or are they contrary to them?

Islam presents a tortured form of dualistic thought about life that is grounded in fatalism. Take the sanctioned forms of wife beating that are permitted. One does not have to perform these actions, but if they do it is because another is at fault. Their decisions forced me to do it. There is no accountability from within, as expediency and obedience become morality. Your actions are driven from outside behaviors – as is your freedom. How is this different from the ‘I was only following orders’ defense offered by some accused of committing crimes against humanity?

It is not my intent to denigrate Muslims, but instead to educate about some of its prevailing attitudes so that it can be understood by those of us in the west. The framework for the notions supported in these surveys is as foreign to us in the west and our values are to those who follow Islam. As I have said before, it is not Muslims that are the issue, but Islam’s tenets. Can anyone doubt the values cited within this series are both contradictory and incompatible with our most basic founding values and beliefs – beliefs that also have their basis in living according to God’s commands – such as separation of church and state, equality under the law, and the primary role of government to protect our Creator given rights, to promote the virtue of justice? These two contradictory viewpoints cannot have come from the same source.

Several points in closing. First, those within the Muslim world who claim that our Constitution is of human origin and therefore transitory do not possess any understanding of them or their source. The discussion in the last article about freedom is just one example. We should welcome those fleeing from this ideology, but should we accept those as immigrants who cling to it? Would we have accepted as immigrants avowed communists during the height of the Cold War, or active Nazi supporters during World War II? Why is this ideology any different? Present and support the arguments if you believe otherwise. The proof of what I say is in this, consider what America has been able to achieve when it was turned toward God. Sadly today, and over the last fifty years, many have chosen to turn away from Him. But that is a choice we each make every single day, and one purpose behind the gift of our freedom.

Second, we need a national conversation and response to Islam’s ideas, but to do that we need to have an honest understanding of both their ideology and our own founding principles. Sadly, both are lacking in our society today, and these articles – along with those at the Living Rightly site – are intended to get you started in removing those deficiencies. Third, we need to reassert our national sovereignty and once again take control of our immigration process. While immigration is one of the few powers constitutionally granted to the federal government, they have abdicated much of their responsibility and are acting irresponsibly in ways that put us at risk as a people. But the answer is surprisingly simple. Their power comes from us. All we have to do is say no more.

Our government seems to be taking the approach that if you cannot change a people’s hearts and minds, then change the people. To set things right we need to return to our founding values of faith, reason, virtue and morality, but to do that we first need to understand what they truly are. They are not the social justice expounded by collectivism, nor the moral relativism that they express as an absolute – an inane form of pretzel logic.

SOURCE: Extremism and Islam – Law and Culture

[1] Pew Research Center, How Muslims See Themselves and Islam’s Role, July 14, 2005. Other Pew Research Center surveys used in this article include Most Embrace a Role for Islam in Politics: Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah (December 2, 2010) and The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society (April 30, 2013).

Extremism and Politics

Dan Wolf | Virginia Christian Alliance

In About that 1% on Extremists, we started to look what extremism means and some general attitudes within the Islamic world. This article will turn that discussion to focus on extremism and politics. Law and culture will be covered in the next article. We will use the same source information as before. First we are going to look at another general question asked of Muslims.

  • Do you consider yourself a national citizen first or a Muslim first.

Responses from six countries representing most of the regions in the survey are shown below.

Article12_Fig01Figure 1: Percentage of Muslims who consider themselves[1]

Not a single country in this survey put national citizenship ahead of being a Muslim. This should not be surprising. Muhammad’s teachings put the ties of religion above those of blood in tribal Arabia. Muslims are called to be followers of Islam first, and that is why Islam’s tenets matter. Within an Islamic country, there is little if any difference between being a Muslim or a national citizen as governance is based on Islamic principles. These matter, however, if you extrapolate this position to non-Muslim countries as Islamic governance is not only contrary to, but incompatible with, all other governance forms. For those who want to know more about this topic, please see Islam and Form of Governance and US Law and Shari’a.

Islam and Politics

Relevant survey results related to politics include:

  • Median % of Muslims who believe religious leaders should have a political influence.
  • % of Muslims who say religious leaders should have a large or some influence.
  • Median % of Muslims who prefer democracy over a strong leader.

The results are shown in the table below.

Article12_Fig02Even though not all regions were surveyed, the results still represent roughly 50 – 70% of the population. This should not be surprising. Within Islam the church and state are one. All is Islam, therefore religious leaders should have an influence over all society’s aspects; including not only politics, but law, governance, civics, culture, the military, etc. as well. More about this later with culture.

The democracy result is interesting. Generally, when I have had a political discussion with a Muslim, the line of reasoning goes something like this: they do not have freedom in (insert a country here) because the leader at the top is corrupt, we need to replace the leader with someone who is not corrupt, then that country will have freedom. We use the same word, freedom, but it does not have the same meaning. It does not represent the same idea.

Islam and Freedom

Within Judeo-Christian beliefs, freedom is a gift from God and necessary in fulfilling our purpose. We cannot be put into motion like inanimate objects and still fulfill our purpose of becoming good – like our God. Within Islam, the concept of Allah is built upon the works of Plotinus, particularly his Enneads. Allah has no being, no essence, no nature, but is instead nothing but pure will. Within this framework, there is no relationship possible between man and his Creator as He is inscrutable – unknowable.

According to Plotinus, freedom is the negation of a negative. It is what you have when you are not being coerced, because your normal state is not to be free but instead to be coerced.  Coerced by your Creator, His representatives on earth (the state and/or church), or whoever’s power you lie under – a slave. Verses from the Qur’an support this position, and two of those are shown below. This same notion of freedom is similar to all other forms of collectivism, the only difference is that with these other forms (communism, fascism, progressivism, or socialism) freedom comes solely from the state.

‘I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.’ (S 52.56)

‘There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Beneficent as a slave.’ (S19.93)

Both of the above are Meccan surahs, indicating that this view was a part of Islam from early on.

In western culture, in places like America which rely on a Judeo-Christian governance philosophy, our freedom comes from within – it does not come from the state. Within Islamic culture, freedom comes from without. This is one reason why creating a republic within an Islamic country will never work, its ideology is incompatible with freedom as we know it. It is also one reason why western culture is viewed as a threat to Islam. The morals expressed by much of today’s music, television programming, etc. in the west are also a threat to Islamic culture, as these same sources are a threat to us who live in the west; these cultural artistic expressions have become perversions of what should reflect our core values.

Religious Freedom

Another example on this last point comes from the survey. The median % of Muslims who say religious freedom is a good thing is shown in the table below.

Article12_Fig03The survey goes further to say ‘Medians {percentages) show Muslims who say non-Muslims in their country are very free to practice their religion and consider this a good thing.’[2] The numbers are very high across all regions. But is this true? Consider, non-Muslims are not free to build new churches/synagogues, repair existing ones, ring bells, or perform other overt acts of worship within these countries. In some instances it is even illegal to possess a Bible. Non-Muslim populations have dwindled to non-existence in many of these countries, and continue to grow smaller. In addition, non-Muslims do not share the same legal status as Muslims.

Instead, they are subjected to laws and cultural norms intended to humiliate them in an effort to force them to convert. Think this is not true? You might want to see the following video from an Islamic cleric on Islamic conversions. But the idea he expresses is not new, it comes from the dhimmitude practices that have been developed over the last thousand years (See The Abbasid Dynasty Part III, Dhimmitude). The non-Muslims who live in these countries must possess a level of devotion that we can only imagine.

Islam and Other Faiths

What is more correct to say is that within western culture, religious freedom means one is free to choose what religion they will follow – even if their choice is no religion at all. Within Islam, religious freedom is synonymous with any non-Muslim being free to choose Islam at any time they wish. To support that point, we can look at one final result from these surveys. The table below contains the % of Muslims who say they would be very/somewhat comfortable with a son or daughter marrying a Christian.

Article12_Fig04While over 90% of Muslims say religious freedom is a good thing, only a little over 10% would be comfortable with a son marrying someone from outside of Islam – specifically a Christian – and less than half of that figure would be comfortable if it were a daughter. In this case, freedom is not the freedom to choose from all things, but instead the freedom to choose one thing alone.

We will pick up the next article with law.

SOURCE: Extremism, Islam, and Politics

[1] Pew Research Center, How Muslims See Themselves and Islam’s Role, July 14, 2005. Other Pew Research Center surveys used in this article include Most Embrace a Role for Islam in Politics: Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah (December 2, 2010) and The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society (April 30, 2013).

[2] Pew Research Center, The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society, p.32, April 30, 2013..

About that 1% Being Extremists

Dan Wolf | Virginia Christian Alliance

We hear it repeatedly from the media, and also from some of our leaders. Extremists are a very small part of Islam, and the figure is normally put at about 1%. We further hear from some analysts that there are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today, so even 1% of that population is about 16 million people – and while that is a lot, it is still less than 5% of the entire US population.

But there are at least a couple of things missing from this conversation. First, what exactly is meant by extremist? Is it action or belief? Attitude or thought? Second, what is the 1% figure based upon? Is that assertion supported? Toward the first question, being an extremist is a relative term. There are likely some issues where I could view you as an extremist, and there are undoubtedly others where you could view me as an extremist as well. This label really doesn’t help very much in even determining what is extreme, let alone a solution. So let’s start with a definition. According to the dictionary an extremist is someone who carries something to excess. Seen from a Westerner’s perspective, that could be interpreted as adhering to a very literal meaning of Islam and its doctrines. For more information on Islam’s tenets and their development, see The First Caliphs and the Umayyad Dynasty and The Abbasid Dynasty – Part II.

What is Extremism?

The Pew Research Center asked Muslims ‘What is Islamic extremism?’ and obtained the following responses.[1]

Article11_Fig01Muslims themselves interpret this term differently. In the Middle East/North African countries it generally meant the violent removal of non-Muslim influences, but within non-Arabic countries it generally meant the imposition of Shari’ah law upon other Muslims. In addition, a large percentage in all of the countries above, except Jordan, declined to even respond to this question. From a Western perspective, both of these responses would likely be interpreted as Islamic extremism.

The Approach

This and the next article are going to take an initial step at providing some information relevant to both the initial questions posed above. My hope is that it will spark conversations for you with your friends, your families, and your co-workers. It is, after all, okay to disagree, but at least you should understand what it is that you agree or disagree about. Otherwise, how can we effectively ever solve a problem?

Pew Research Center survey results, whose subjects were Muslims from several parts of the world, will be used and extrapolated to Muslim populations in several regions. The specific topics incorporated are:

  • General Attitudes (This article)
  • Politics
  • Law
  • Culture, with a focus on women’s rights

Information on the last three topics will be presented in the next two articles. The Pew Research Center has been performing surveys of Muslim populations across the globe for over fifteen years. They have the experience to ask relevant questions, and have done it long enough to have some trend information available.

Our Common Humanity

Before we begin, there is one point that is critical to this discussion. The contents of these articles are not to say that Muslims are good or bad. It is the decisions that each one of us makes that determines our character and who we are. Instead their purpose is to examine Muslim opinion relevant to several aspects of Islam and society; it is Islam’s tenets that matter. Muslim opinion is shaped by Islam, so how consistent are those opinions with the foundations of our society? This is the discussion need to have. In the end the results of those discussions should determine what is extreme and what is not, and therefore how many people make up what is called the ‘1%’, and what our response as a people needs to be. Currently, it is a discussion we have yet to take up, and many of our leaders do not even want us to have.

We only need to use a couple of foundational principles for a baseline in these discussions to begin to understand the gulf that exists. These can be used to determine consistency or difference, and include:

  • We have a common ancestry, a common nature, and therefore the same rights. We are not equal in all ways, but as concerns our nature and rights – we are all unequivocally the same.
  • The institutions of the church and state, along with the family, were implemented by our Creator. The Church and State have separate domains, but both – just like the family – are to be oriented toward our Creator. This does not mean the State should be directly connected to any religion, but rather the belief and morality that underlie religion should carry over as an influence on those who govern. If not, man is only accountable to himself.

The Global Islamic Population

Let’s start by looking at the general Muslim population. We often assume that it is primarily Arabic, but that is not the case. If we look at the top 10 countries in terms of a Muslim population, they are:

Article11_Fig02The top five countries in this list account for about 48% of the world’s Muslim population, and only one of them is in North Africa or the Middle East. Further, only two of those ten are countries whose primary language is Arabic (Egypt and Algeria). In all only about 22% of the world’s Muslim population lives in countries within the Middle East or North Africa. Finally, with the exceptions of India and Ethiopia, the non-Muslim populations are the minority in these countries.

The surveys were all conducted in the Eastern Hemisphere and were broken into the following six regions:

  • Southern-Eastern Europe – including Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Russia.
  • Middle East – North Africa – the countries of the Arabian Peninsula and on the African continent along the Mediterranean Sea. These include Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa – all countries on the African continent, except those bordering the Mediterranean Sea. These include: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania.
  • Central Asia – including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkey.
  • South Asia – including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
  • Southeast Asia – including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The countries with the largest Muslim populations within each region were included in the surveys, which are The World’s Muslim Population: Religion, and Politics, and Society[2] and Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah.[3] The percentages are the median from a region or countries within the region. These percentages are applied to the Muslim population within the region, using 2010 Pew Research Center Muslim population estimates. Pew’s population estimates were compared to the 2008 CIA Handbook figures. Where significant population differences existed, the Pew Research Center population figures were consistently lower. The numbers are in millions. Dashes indicate a particular question was not asked in a region. Remember that 1% of the current Muslim population is about 16 million.

General Islamic Attitudes

Faith

The relevant questions asked in the survey were:

  • Is it necessary to believe in God to be a moral person?
  • How many faiths lead to heaven?
  • Converting others is a religious duty.

Article11_Fig03The above results should not be a surprise. Most Muslims believe that: (1) you need to believe in God to be moral, (2) that Islam is the only way of being obedient to God, and (3) you have a responsibility to reach out to others. These thoughts are typically held by any religion.

Faith and Culture

These next survey results concern Islam and things outside it. These are:

  • Percentage of Muslims who say Islam and Christianity are very different.
  • Percentage of Muslims who say all or most of their close friends are Muslims.
  • Percentage of Muslims who say Western music, movies, and TV hurt morality in their country.

Article11_Fig04It is interesting that the regions with the largest percentages saying that Islam and Christianity are different are those where a significant non-Muslim segment still exists (Indonesia in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh and India in South Asia). Those who see much less difference between the two religions are places where either: (1) there are almost no Christians (or other minority religions), or (2) a communist state has controlled the church for the last one hundred years.

It is not surprising that people living in areas where there are few non-Muslims have Muslims for most of their close friends. What is more interesting is that this trend continues in places where there other religions (Southern-Eastern Europe, South Asia, and Southeast Asia). A fair number of Muslims also view Western culture as a moral threat. The responses to all three of these questions all approach 1 billion people – out of 1.6 billion.

Terrorism Support

The final panel in this article looks at Muslim support for institutions and actions that are generally looked upon as terrorism in the West.

  • Percentage that view Hezbollah favorably.
  • Percentage that view Hamas favorably.
  • Percentage that say support for suicide bombing is often/sometimes justified.

Article11_Fig05While the support for these items is less, they still approach a half billion people for Hezbollah and Hamas, and a quarter billion people for suicide bombings – considerably more than 1%. I think that there is a common thread through these three items. Within the Muslim world Hezbollah and Hamas are viewed as charitable organizations. Islamic charitable organizations are not like their Western counterparts in some respects. Islamic charities can only expend funds in the support of Muslims, and then only in a few areas that include: (1) supporting the person collecting the funds, (2) supporting travelers – particularly those on the hajj, (3) supporting those in need – the poor, widows, and orphans, (4) payment of individual’s debts, and (5) jihad.

Jihad is much broader than we typically think of it in the West. It does include warfare (jihad of the sword), but also the more non-violent means of the hand (piety), mind (teaching), pen (writing), tongue (speaking), and wealth (resource use). Wealth in many Muslim majority countries is relatively concentrated in the hands of a few elite. Witness the building of mosques in the US financed by Saudi Arabia. This is no different than in any other collectivist society. It is just within Muslim majority countries that the elite are defined a little differently.

It is interesting to note that those places expressing the greatest support for Hezbollah and Hamas also express the largest support for suicide bombings. These are regions where there is generally a high concentration of Muslims in the general population, or where there is civil unrest or open warfare. Examples include Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Somalia, Kenya, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, and the Sudan.

The next article will pick up with looking at politics, law, and culture. Peace.

SOURCE: About That 1 Percent on Extremists

[1] The Pew Research Center, How Muslims See Themselves and Islam’s Role, July, 2005.

[2] The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society, April, 2013, .

[3] Pew Research Center, Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah: Most Embrace a Role for Islam in Politics, December, 2010.

The Ottoman Empire

 

Dan Wolf | Virginia Christian Alliance

In a previous article, I discussed some of the events occurring at the end of the Abbasid dynasty that included: a Mongol invasion, the rise of the Mamluks, and the development of the Seljuk Turk kingdom that would eventually give birth to the Ottoman Empire. This article will look at the development of each of these events after the Abbasid’s fall, and then look briefly at the issues of governance and dhimmitude as Ottoman rule is largely referred to as a more tolerant period within Islam. This article will then close with some words from our fifth president – John Quincy Adams – on the differences, as he saw them, between Christianity and Islam and some implications arising from those differences.

But first a timeline is presented below to help understand the timing of some significant events occurring during the period of Ottoman expansion. It should be noted that the Ottoman Empire continued to exist until the early 20th century, about 300 years beyond the period presented below.

Ottoman Empire TimelineFigure 1: Events Related to the Ottoman Empire

History

The Abbasid decline did not result in the direct rise of the Ottoman Empire. Instead a vacuum was created by its defeat in which several powers rose. There were many smaller areas that exercised significant degrees of autonomy, and to some degree this occurred throughout the Ottoman Empire’s existence. We will look at the three largest domains to arise within the territory that had been a part of the Abbasid Dynasty: (1) the Mamluks (Egypt and Syria), (2) the Il-Khanid (Persia), and (3) the Ottoman Empire (Anatolia). A part of that discussion will also outline some events that set in place the division between East and West within Islam.

The Il-Khanid

Early in the thirteenth century Chingiz Khan (Genghis Khan) created an empire that stretched from a significant part of China toward the Dnieper River in the west. In 1222 he made a treaty with the Shah of Persia to allow his people access to the west. A short time later a party of Mongol merchants were murdered by one of the Shah’s governors, their goods were confiscated, and Chingiz Khan’s envoy sent to obtain reparations was tortured and killed. Chingiz Khan and his four sons led a Mongol army west in retaliation. The Mongols were met by an Islamic army in modern Kazakhstan, where the Mongols are reported to have slain 160,000 of the 400,000 man army sent east to meet them. They invaded Georgia in 1222 and also defeated the Russian army. Chingiz Khan died in 1227.[1]

He was succeeded by Ogdai who pushed further into China in the east and by 1241 in the west had destroyed Moscow and Kiev in Russia and marched as far as Poland and Hungary. In addition to the Mongols traveling west, Nestorian monks travelled to the east where they began evangelizing. By the time Ogdai’s successor, Kuyuk, became Emperor in about 1243 Christianity had made significant inroads into the Mongol nation. It is said that Kuyuk’s physicians and chief officials were Christians, and that he had a church-tent close to the royal pavilion.[2] A byproduct of these, and earlier, Mongol expansions was to force large numbers of Seljuk Turks into Anatolia and Syria, where they settled after decisively defeating the Byzantines at Manzikert in 1071. (For more information on the Seljuk Dynasty, see The Abbasid Dynasty – Part I.)

Kuyuk was succeeded by Mangu, a nephew of Ogdai in 1251. He had two brothers, Hulagu and Kublai. While Mangu and Kublai focused their conquest efforts in the east, Mangu sent Hulagu west. Mangu made no distinction between Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or believers in Lamaism. However, Hulagu was a Christian and a fanatical adversary of Islam. In 1256 he invaded the Kohistan district within Pakistan where 800,000 subjects were massacred and their king killed. He took control of Persia and reached Baghdad in 1258. He besieged the city and when it fell he spared the Christians, but massacred thousands of others.

Hulagu’s goal was to ‘gain possession of Jerusalem because they [the Mongols] wanted to destroy the Arabs who were in Syria and in Palestine, and to massacre their Saljuk supporters.’[3] He sacked Aleppo and Damascus surrendered to him in 1260. But while preparing to take Jerusalem, he learned of Mangu’s death and returned to Mongolia. He was empowered to take control over all the lands he had conquered, but instead he declared himself to be an independent king, an Il-Khan.[4] He was defeated by a Mamluk army in 1260, and continued to reign until 1265.

Initially the Mongols tried to form treaties and alliances with the Christian kings of Europe and the Pope in Rome. However, these rulers did not understand that Hulagu’s goal was simply the destruction of Islam’s followers, and no agreements were ever reached. When the Mongols saw ’that there was no military assistance to be gained from Europe, their Christian zeal began to abate, and Western Mongols began to fraternize with Syrian and Egyptian Muslims, and Islam began to make progress among them.’[5]

A larger degree of tolerance towards Christians within Islamic lands was exhibited at this time. Not only did Hulagu support Christianity, but his brother Kublai did as well – despite the latter’s personal belief in Lamaism. Kublai did much to support the development of Christianity within his kingdom, which by this time stretched from the Yellow Sea in the east to the Black Sea in the west, and from Mongolia in the north to Tonquin in the south. Muslims did not make any overt effort against other religions so long as Kublai Khan lived. He died in 1294.

With Kublai Khan’s death, the Muslims began to rebel against the Mongols and rose against the Christians. ‘The Arabs hated the Mongols both as men and as Christians, and their memories of the atrocities committed at Baghdad by Hulagu, nerved them to fight to the death, sparing no one.’[6] Hulagu’s son Abga, who reigned from 1265 – 1281, continued to correspond with the Pope and kings of Europe. It was during his reign that Marco Polo travelled to the east.

After Abga’s reign, his successors initially vacillated between Christianity and Islam and became too weak to prevent attacks by local Islamic forces. By the fourteenth century, ‘the Nestorians were cruelly persecuted; the goods of their merchants were confiscated, their churches were destroyed, and those who refused to accept Islam and could not escape were slain. It is probable that large numbers became Muslims and excused themselves for so doing by saying that it was better to accept a religion which proclaimed God and His Unity, than to revert to paganism and idolatry.’[7]

By the end of the fourteenth century, Nestorianism practically ceased to exist in Persia, Central Asia, or China. The last of the Il-Khans continued to rule until 1335. The Monks of Kublai Khan Emperor of China chronicles the persecution and massacres of Christians in the villages of Maraghah near Azerbaijan and Arbil northwest of Baghdad in Kurdish Iraq late in the thirteenth century. Other works chronicle similar events around Mosul,[8] Baghdad,[9] the Mardin region in Turkey, and a Nestorian village along the Tigris during this same period.[10]

The Mamluks

As noted above, the Mamluks defeated the Mongols in 1260. This is the first documented defeat of the Mongol army in open combat.   Mamluk literally means slave, and the Mamluks were a slave army of Seljuk Turks and Circassians, created and employed by the Islamic rulers during the Abbasid dynasty. The Mamluks frequently used their military power to overthrow the local political authority. These usurpations of power often did not last long, but in Egypt they were able to become the power behind a caliph – who was maintained as a symbol to legitimize their authority. Any caliph who did not acquiesce soon found themselves dispatched by the Mamluk generals. By the middle of the thirteenth century, they were strong enough to establish dynasties in both Egypt and India.

‘Historians have traditionally broken the era of Mamluk rule into two periods—one covering 1250-1382, the other, 1382-1517. Western historians call the former the “Bahr’I” period and the latter the “Burji,” because of the political dominance of the regiments known by these names during the respective times. The contemporary Muslim historians referred to the same divisions as the “Turkish” and “Circassian” periods, in order to call attention to the change in ethnic origin of the majority of Mamluks, which occurred and persisted after the accession of Barquq in 1382.’[11]

The following is a map of the Mamluk Dynasty at its peak.

 

Mamluk Dynasty

Figure 2: Mamluk Dynasty at its peak – 1317[12]

There is general agreement that the Mamluks declined during their Circassian period. They drove the last of the Crusaders out of the Holy Lands and turned back the Mongols – both of which occurred during the Turkish period. During the Turkish period, advancement was based upon ability. Under the Circassians, advancement became based upon race (i.e., Circassian). Other factors led to the weakening of the Mamluks, including an inability to unite to defeat Bedouin raiding parties that resulted in economic disorder arising from trade disruptions and agricultural losses. These were further compounded by several plagues that occurred within Egypt and the East. This left the Mamluks unable to prevent Tamerlane from taking Baghdad temporarily in 1395. The final economic blow came with the Portuguese discovery of a sea route to the East at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

The declining economy weakened the army as the taxes needed to maintain it could not easily be raised. The Mamluks were defeated by the Ottomans in both Syria and Egypt. One reason for the defeat was the adoption of field artillery by the Ottomans, while the Mamluks used artillery only when conducting sieges. The Mamluk territory became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517, with much of the general population rising up against the Mamluks and the corruption they represented.

The Mamluks continued to be a presence within the Ottoman Empire. They became a part of the Ottoman army, and over time again achieved positions of significant power and influence over the Empire. The Ottomans removed the Mamluk requirement of excluding their sons from serving only in non-slave regiments. This resulted in changing the dynamics of loyalty from one based upon their regiment to one based upon family ties, and created additional factions that made it difficult to hold the Empire together. As we will see shortly, by the end of the seventeenth century the Mamluks once again controlled the armies, tax revenue and government. Napoleon faced a Mamluk army when he entered Egypt in 1798, but Mamluk power ended when they were massacred by Muhammad Ali Pasha in 1811.[13]

The Ottomans

As noted above, the Turks had been driven into Anatolia and Syria by the advance of the Mongols. During Hulagu’s reign, the Mongols took portions of eastern Anatolia from the Turks, but their primary objectives were Syria and the city of Jerusalem. It was from northwestern Anatolia that the Ottoman Empire rose. Osman was from the Kayi tribe, and the prince of a territory on the border frontier with the Byzantines. After the last defeat of the Seljuk Turks by the Mongols in 1293, Osman was able to take additional territory from the Byzantines who were in a state of decline. He ruled until 1324 and it is during his reign that the Ottoman Empire began.

Osman was succeeded by Orhan and his son Murad I. They continued taking territory from the Byzantines, eventually moving into southeastern Europe, but bypassing the major cities like Constantinople and Belgrade as they did not then have the means to conquer these more heavily fortified cities. They continued the Abbasid tactic of destroying the sources of food and tax revenue in order to weaken their adversaries.

The wealth generated by the taking of Byzantine territory attracted many nomads to fight for the Ottomans, but Orhan began a tradition of employing Christian mercenaries to lessen the Empire’s reliance on the nomads. Orhan’s annexation of Karasi (in southern Anatolia) also made the Ottoman Empire the primary ally of the Byzantines. This alliance provided the Ottomans with the opportunity to gain direct knowledge of the Byzantine territory and its weaknesses. The early Ottoman rulers also strengthened their alliances by marriage, to both Christian courts and Islamic principalities. Orhan ruled until 1360. A map of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires around 1350 is shown below.

 

Ottoman Empire at 1350

Figure 3: Byzantine and Ottoman Empires about 1350[14]

Murad I was succeeded by his son Bayezid I, after the formers death in one of the Battles of Kosovo. He turned his attention to Anatolia to eliminate a threat from one of the remaining Turkish territories (Karaman) to the east. Bayezid’s accomplishments were so significant that ‘he was given the title of sultan by the shadow Abbasid caliph of Cairo, despite the opposition of the caliph’s Mamluk masters.’[15] The Seljuk Turks were attacked by Tamerlane in 1397 in order to protect the latter’s flank as he drove into India and Persia. Bayezid’s followers deserted him – all except his Christian mercenaries – and he was captured at the battle of Ankara, and died a short time later. Tamerlane broke up the Ottoman territory in order to remove the threat they posed to his ambitions.

Murad II was made ruler by Turkish notables in 1421 and ruled until 1451. Murad began to resent the power that had been gained by the notables, and created the devsirme system as a counter-balance. This system formalized the practice begun by Orhan of levying, as tribute, one fifth of the Christian children from the Balkan region.[16] The children of non-Muslims were viewed as fay, property belonging to the state, and under Murad the levies began to be collected annually. The youngsters were generally 14-20 years of age when drafted, were taken in contingents of a thousand at a time, and taken from the families of the aristocracy and priests. They were converted to Islam and served the sultan for life in his janissary corps, an infantry used against Christian kingdoms in the Ottoman’s wars. A parallel system of ichoghlani was also created that took children six to ten years of age into the service of the sultan as Ottoman administrators, after a training period of fourteen years.[17]

To increase the sultan’s power further, the concept of using a military slave force for the benefit of the Empire (kapikulu) was enlarged to include the Turkish nobility as well. With this change only persons accepting the status of slave, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, could hold positions in the Ottoman army or government.[18] Anyone could achieve this status as long as they accepted ‘absolute obedience to their master [the sultan] and the devotion of their lives, properties, and families to his service.’[19]

Later sultans continued to play the notables against the janissaries in order to retain power and control the Empire. With the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Turkish notable’s power significantly decreased, and many were executed or exiled to Anatolia. However, the power of the janissaries and notables continued to fluctuate within the Empire. The Ottoman’s continued to fight against the kingdoms of Europe, the Mamluks in Syria and Egypt, and the Safavids in Persia.

The Safavids were Turkish tribes who emigrated from eastern Anatolia into Persia in reaction to the Ottoman return to a strictly orthodox form of Sunni Islam. The Safavid embraced Shia and Sufi doctrines, and spread dissension leading to several revolts within Ottoman provinces. The Ottomans were unable to conquer the Safavids, as the latter generally chose not to engage in direct conflict. Their dynasty lasted from about 1501 through the early part of the 18th century. This rift left the Islamic world divided as we see it today. As was mentioned earlier, the Mamluk Dynasty was defeated and became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Finally, the Empire advanced as far as Vienna, where it was defeated a second time in 1683.

The map below shows the Ottoman Empire’s expansion from its inception to its peak in about 1599.

 

Ottoman_Empire_at_its_peakFigure 4: Rise of the Ottoman Empire 1300 – 1599[20]

Governance

As mentioned in an earlier article, the military was added as a third functional institution of the ruling class during the Abbasid Dynasty, in addition to the state and religious functions. The Ottomans added a fourth functional institution of administration. This new function was responsible for the collecting of all the Empire’s revenue and its expenditures. During Ottoman rule all members of the army and government were required to submit in complete obedience to the sultan. Increasingly this required administrators to be followers of Islam, and the employment of the janissaries and ichoghlani over time ensured that shift occurred.

The attributes needed to enter the Ottoman ruling class included:

  • Professing complete loyalty to the state.
  • Acceptance of orthodox (Sunni) Islam.
  • Knowing and practicing the Ottoman Way, a complicated system of customs, behaviors, and language.[21]

The function of this ruling class was to preserve the Islamic state. Its main duty was to enlarge, protect, and exploit the Empire’s wealth for the state’s benefit.

The Empire increased its territory through war. The janissaries and mercenaries used by the Empire were paid with salaries instead of booty. While this provided more control over the wealth obtained by the Empire, it also resulted in incurring a much higher degree of fixed expenses that had to be met. The size of the army that needed to be maintained proved to be a great weight on the Empire’s economy. Large debts were accumulated to finance its continuing wars. This led several sultans to take some of the following actions in order to try and maintain economic order:

  • Devaluation of coins by reducing the amount of precious metal they contained. This led to inflation and individuals hiding the more valuable coins from the Empire’s tax collectors, which then led to policies of forced remittance of older coins or their confiscation by the Empire.
  • Creation of monopolies sanctioned by the government. The sale of monopolies provided a temporary increase in the government’s revenues, but this was offset by weak economic conditions created by inferior goods being produced and sold for much higher prices than were available outside the Empire.
  • All revenue producing property was determined to belong to the state and therefore confiscated, reducing the incentive to effectively manage the land’s production.
  • As the army grew, land was given as timars and tax farms in lieu of wages, a structure that still allowed revenue to be produced for the Empire but set up conflict between local ruler’s and the sultans interests.

The weakened economic conditions led to shortages and increased social unrest. The rise of nationalism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries led to many rebellions, particularly in the Balkan region. While the government was able to play the rebel factions against each other, the result was often that the food supply was disrupted – leading to widespread famines, and a further increase in social unrest.

Society’s fabric was exemplified by Shari’a. Shari’a became the core of political, social, and moral regulations and principles. It was intended to cover all aspects of Muslim life. Sultans were left to create civil law where it did not conflict with Shari’a. While civil law could be invalidated where it conflicted with Shari’a, as we saw earlier, such conflicting rules were often co-opted and over time incorporated into Islamic law. (Also see the next section on Dhimmitude.)

The sultans were able to exercise great authority as they had the army to back them up. But in reality they were more like tribal chiefs. They received the extra fifth of booty advocated by Islamic law, but retaining the notables’ loyalty depended on conquering new territory and providing booty to those who followed them. With the decline of the Turkish notable’s power, the sultans no longer had a counter-weight to balance against the power of the janissaries. Instead the army (including the Mamluks) later exercised control over the sultans and increasingly began to use the government for its own benefit.

The changes in the military led to the creation of innumerable factions within the ruling class, and they worked to reduce the sultan’s power by keeping them uneducated and out of any situation where they could learn how to exercise their power. Several attempts at reform were undertaken by some of the later sultans, but these were hampered by: (1) the factions themselves, (2) a decrease in centralized authority as power had devolved to the various factions, and (3) a sense of Ottoman superiority leading it to reject many of the changes that had occurred in the rest of the world. From the Ottoman’s view their failure was not that the changes occurring elsewhere were superior, but rather that they were somehow failing to apply the techniques that had worked so well for them in the past.

As Islam is orthopraxic (concerned primarily with correct practice) it tends to look backward, whereas Christianity relies on orthodoxy (concern with correct belief) and tends to be forward looking.

The final blow came with the Empire’s alliance with Central Powers in World War I. The surrender of Bulgaria in 1918 severed the direct links between the Ottoman Empire and Germany, and the Ottoman Empire signed an armistice later that year. The map below shows the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.

 

Ottoman_Empire_1800

Figure 5: Ottoman Empire, 1800 – 1924[22]

Dhimmitude

As noted in the last article, the Abbasid dhimma’s policies continued under the Ottomans, and the harsh treatment of conquered peoples under jihad continued until the seventeenth century. This corresponds with the period leading to the Ottomans peak territorial expansion. In addition, large forced relocations of both Muslim and non-Muslim populations occurred as they did during the Abbasid period. In regards to jihad and its aftermath:

‘The holy war being the cornerstone of the Ottomans state and the source of its expansion, strength, and wealth, the government and administration of the empire was entirely dominated by militaristic imperatives. When resistance from the Habsburgs in central Europe and from Persia in the East halted Ottoman expansion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the war machine lost its external combat zones and imploded, devastating the territory of the empire itself. As in the Arab period when an anarchical phase followed a period of conquests, so the immigration of semi-nomadic tribes engendered uncontrollable disorders in Anatolia, Armenia, and the Balkans. Turkish immigrants, adventurers, fleeing slaves, and peasants, driven from their lands or deported, formed a floating, rootless population living from banditry, rebel chiefs recruited their troops and their liege men from such groups.’[23]

The Ottoman sultans at times did try to help the conquered peoples, but the actions of local chiefs often undermined the sultan’s policies. There are several actions during the Ottoman period that are pointed to as indications of more humane treatment of non-Islamic populations. One is the conquest of Constantinople. The city was spared devastation during the siege. It had to be repopulated after its fall, as ‘fifty to sixty thousand people were enslaved and deported.’[24] Mehmed II had a goal of restoring the city’s industry and trade. To do this he brought in people from all ethnicities and religions from the Empire to the renamed Istanbul. An invitation was extended to Jews living outside the Empire to come to Istanbul in particular and the Empire in general, and later under Suleyman I France was given special dispensations in trade and commerce in return for coordinating its efforts against their mutual enemy, the Hapsburgs. The French privileges later grew to allowing the Catholic Church to create schools and missions within the Empire to convert non-Muslims to Catholicism.

We also noted in the previous article that the Islamic Empire was sometimes welcomed as a religious liberator. With the Christianization of the Roman Empire the mixing of state and religion had institutionalized persecution within Byzantine’s government and administration. These policies and laws ‘based on religious dogma, were henceforth integrated into Islamic legislation, [and] now justified by other theological principles. In an ironic twist of history, Islam found—in the countries which had come under its domination—an outstanding instrument of oppression for the destruction of Christians, already formulated and perfected by the Church itself.’[25]

‘Similarity exists in the two sets of legislation [Byzantine and Islamic] concerning the possession of slaves, proselytism, blasphemy, apostasy, religious buildings, conversions, exclusion from public office, prohibition of mixed marriage, social segregation, and the refusal to accept testimony in court.’[26] Although there was great similarity between both sets of laws, it must be remembered that Islamic law developed within an entirely different ideological structure. Within Islam, these laws were placed within the concept of religious war where the rights of non-Muslims depended on a relationship of protection borrowed from Arabic culture.

To this set of regulations the Muslims added the jizya: ‘the blood ransom in exchange for the right to life. Later, additional degrading legislation brought persecution to a level of refinement rarely attained. It decreed the form and color of the dhimmi’s clothing and shoes, their haircut and headgear. It specified the type of mounts and saddles permitted and the way in which they could be ridden, as well as greetings and behavior in the street.’[27]

Monophysites, Copts, Jacobites, Armenians, and Nestorians had all been persecuted and tortured at various times under the Byzantines. And all these different groups at times persecuted the Jews. The Persians had welcomed many of these groups, and the Nestorians were the largest non-Zoroastrian group within Persia before its fall to the early caliphs. This religious persecution was a primary cause for many groups deserting the Byzantines and welcoming Islam during the early jihad.

Third, under the Ottomans many non-Muslims were allowed to live in self-governing communities called millets under their own religious laws, traditions, and language. A millet’s leader was both a religious and government leader – again a mixing of state and religion into a single function. With the institutionalized persecution noted above, religious intolerance was exacerbated within the millet system – and the Ottomans at times exploited these religious hostilities to maintain order. These schisms reignited again during the rebellions related to the nationalism movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries at the end of the Ottoman Empire.

The dhimmis rebelled in order to restore their basic freedoms and recognize their nationality, culture, and languages. These actions brought reprisals from the umma. A few significant persecutions include:

  • The 1822 taking of the Greek island of Chios where all but 1,800 of the 113,000 inhabitants were either massacred or sold into slavery.[28]
  • The execution of 100,000 – 200,000 Armenians in eastern Anatolia during 1894 – 1896, that encouraged many Armenians to become Orthodox in order to seek the protection of Russia.[29]
  • The execution of as many as 600,000 Armenians in eastern Anatolia during World War I, with others being deported.[30]

Observations of John Quincy Adams

In closing this series, John Quincy Adams wrote some observations about the Ottoman Empire and Islam over one hundred and eighty five years ago. In addition to being the fifth President of the United States, he had a long experienced career serving on diplomatic missions that started with accompanying his father, John Adams, to France and the Netherlands when he was only twelve years old. Beginning at the age of fourteen he spent time in Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. He was appointed minister to the Netherlands in 1793 at the age of 26, and the first minister to Russia in 1809 where he served until 1814 when he was recalled to help negotiate the treaty ending the War of 1812 between the US and Great Britain. He served as Secretary of State from 1817 – 1825, and was selected by the House of Representatives to be President in 1825 when the candidates running all failed to receive the necessary number of electoral votes to win the election.

He was one of the chief architects of the Monroe Doctrine as Secretary of State, and a witness to the wars against the Barbary Pirates and the Greek War for Independence from the Ottomans. While he opposed intervening in European affairs, he was very well acquainted with both the Ottoman Empire and Islam, and was a long-time opponent of slavery. The following is an extract from the 1830 The American Annual Register comparing Christianity with Islam.

‘The Christian was taught, that the end of his being on earth, was the salvation of his soul hereafter. … THE ESSENCE OF THIS DOCTRINE IS, TO READY THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HIS NATURE. …

‘In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an imposter, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth.

‘Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust, by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion.

‘He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE.

‘Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extinction of that imposture, which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. …

‘It [Islam] is the dominion of matter over mind; of darkness over light; of brutal force over righteousness and truth. But divine justice finds not its consummation upon earth. Individual virtue or vice, receives much of its retribution after its mortal career has closed; and the rewards and punishments of nations are adapted to measures of time, extending over numerous successive generations, and many centuries of years.’[31] (Emphasis in the original)

Adams contrasts the engine of commerce to that of war, and uses the examples of the American War for Independence with the role of the East India Company in India.

‘In the half century that has elapsed since the publication of that work [Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire], this truth, which a philosophical historian ought then to have discerned and traced to its causes, has been manifested in broader light from year to year. While the whole power of the British empire has been signally baffled by inglorious defeat in the attempt to retain in subjugation three millions of their own countrymen and fellow Christians in North America; a company of London merchants, under the patronage, though with little aid, of their government, have subdued in the far more distant regions of Hindustan, ten times as many millions of the disciples of Mahomet, or their subjects, and, as if Providence had specially intended to mark the contrast of glory and shame between the crescent and the cross, the same Christian chieftain who surrendered his sword to Washington at Yorktown, afterwards received as captive hostages the sons of Tippoo Saib, seven years before the extinction of his life and empire at the storm of Seringapatam.’[32]

Adams also cites Christianity’s obligations and contrasts those with Islam.

‘The infidel denies it in vain – This system of ethics, and of religion, promulgated by “the Galilean,” has raised the standard of human power, as well as of human virtue, higher than that of any other portion of the inhabitants of the globe.’   …

‘The first of his [Christian] obligations is to himself: to persevere in the program of self-improvement. … His next duties are to his fellow men: to those whom he only, of all the tribes and nations of the earth, is bound by the law of his God to consider as his brethren; as children of the same parent, doomed like him to a pilgrimage of probation here, but entitled, like himself, to look forward to a more joyful and glorious hereafter.

‘His superior acquirements have vested him with the privilege, and imposed upon him the obligation of becoming the teacher of his less enlightened fellow creatures; to make them acquainted with the blessings within their reach; and to lead them in the path of their own felicity. …

‘The precept of the koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.’[33]

He goes on to describe an incident after the Barbary pirates were defeated by Decatur. Treaties were drawn up in both English and Arabic where the Dey renounced all claims of tribute from the United States. Both treaties were signed, but unbeknownst to Decatur, an additional clause was inserted into the Arabic copy of the treaty that had not been a part of the negotiations. ‘Within a year the Dey demands, under penalty of the renewal of the war, an indemnity in money for the frigate taken by Decatur … The arrival of Chauncey, with a squadron before Algiers, silenced the fraudulent claim of the Dey, and he signed a new treaty in which it was abandoned; but he disdained to conceal his intentions; my power, said he, has been wrested from my hands; draw ye the treaty at your pleasure, and I will sign it; but beware of the moment, when I shall recover my power, for with that moment, your treaty shall be waste paper. He avowed what they always practiced, and would without scruple have practiced himself.’[34]

One trend that has been seen repeatedly throughout these articles is that the mixing of religion and government into a single function leads to the corruption of both, and the detriment of society – regardless of the religion. This is one of the reasons that our Constitution’s fulfillment of the promises made within the Declaration includes the protection of religion from government. But while religion is to be protected from government, religion is to have an indirect influence on government through the virtue and morality it instills in a people. In order for that virtue and morality to exist, there must be an ethical moral basis in a religion’s underlying beliefs and philosophy that teaches and promotes these values, and they must always be taught to the next generation. As this knowledge is not being taught in our public schools today, it is the topic of my work Do You Want To Be Free?,[35] and a forthcoming work (tentatively titled Charity and Society).

In writing these articles, the objective was simply to provide you with information about some of Islam’s basic tenets, their development, and some implications arising from its doctrines. To state the facts using original source material wherever possible. While this series on Islam’s history ends here, I hope that your journey to learn more will continue. Truth can only be found in our Creator, and it is in the search for truth alone that we find our freedom as we come to know Him. May we all find and live in the truth.

SOURCE: The Ottoman Empire

[1] Budge, Sir E. A. Wallace, The Monks of Kublai Khan Emperor of China, 1928, Assyrian International News Agency, http://www.aina.org/books/mokk/mokk.pdf. This is a translation of the original Syriac text. This quote comes from the Introduction to this work.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ye’or, Bat, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam, From Jihad to Dhimmitude, pp. 346-7, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002. An extract from the chronicle of Bar Hebraeus is reproduced.

[9] Ibid, pp. 356-9. An extract from the chronicle of Bar Hebraeus is reproduced

[10] Ibid, pp. 350-6. An extract from the chronicle of Bar Hebraeus is reproduced.

[11] Britannica Online Encyclopedia, http://www.britannica.com/topic/Mamluk.

[12] By Ro4444 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46642565.

[13] Britannica Online Encyclopedia, http://www.britannica.com/topic/Mamluk, accessed January, 2016.

[14] Wikipedia, The rise and fall of Kantakouzenos, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire_under_the_Palaiologos_dynasty#The_rise_and_fall_of_Kantakouzenos.2C_1341.E2.80.931357, accessed February, 2016.

[15] Britannica Online Encyclopedia, http://www.britannica.com/place/Ottoman-Empire, accessed January, 2016.

[16] Ye’or, Bat, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam, From Jihad to Dhimmitude, pp. 113, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002.

[17] Ibid, p. 115.

[18] Britannica Online Encyclopedia, http://www.britannica.com/place/Ottoman-Empire, accessed January, 2016.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Britannica Online Encyclopedia, http://www.britannica.com/place/Ottoman-Empire, accessed January, 2016.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ye’or, Bat, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam, From Jihad to Dhimmitude, p. 120, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002

[24] Ibid, p. 132.

[25] Ibid, p. 147.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid, p. 187.

[29] Ibid, p. 195.

[30] Britannica Online Encyclopedia, http://www.britannica.com/place/Ottoman-Empire, accessed January, 2016.

[31] Blunt, Joseph (1830), The American Annual Register for the Years 1827-8-9, Vol. 29, pp. 268-270, New York: E. & G.W. Blunt. [On-line], URL: http://www.archive.org/stream/p1americanannual29blunuoft

[32] Ibid, pp. 270-1.

[33] Ibid, pp. 273-4.

[34] Ibid, p. 274.

[35] Wolf, Dan, Do You Want To Be Free?, Telemachus Press, 2013. http://www.livingrightly.net.

 

The Abbasid Dynasty – Part III, Jihad and Dhimmitude

Dan Wolf | Virginia Christian Alliance

This third article on the Abbasids covers the relationship between jihad and dhimmitude, and the development of Islamic law as related to this topic. This article will examine the following: (1) defining some relevant terms, (2) the relationship between dhimmitude and jihad, (3) governance under dhimmitude, (4) taxation, (5) church complicity, and (6) outcomes.

 Definitions

I am going to assume that the terms in this article are unfamiliar to you. So we are going to start with defining a few of them.

  • Ata – A gift, in this case of land given to someone who participated in jihad.
  • Dhimmi – Literally ‘protected people.’ These are the peoples of the book conquered through jihad. They belong to the umma and are administered by the state on the umma’s behalf.
  • Iqta – Granting of land to army officials for a limited period of time, in lieu of wages.
  • Jihad – Warfare conducted to advance Islam. This warfare can be conducted either through arms or by peaceful means. The peaceful means recognized vary, but include jihad of the pen, mind, tongue, wealth, and hand. Jihad is required of all Muslims based upon the Qur’an.[1] While this term is sometimes used to refer to spiritual warfare, that is not the type of jihad that applies to this topic.
  • The Maghreb – Region of North Africa between Libya and Morocco, incorporating the Atlas Mountains.
  • Mawalis – Non-Arabs who convert to Islam.
  • People of the Book – Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians.
  • Qadi – Judge within a Muslim community who renders decisions based upon Islamic law.
  • Razzia – Bedouin raids conducted to obtain wealth and goods from others. These raids were a normal part of Arab culture long before Muhammad’s birth.
  • Umma – The brotherhood of Islamic believers.

Jihad and Dhimmitude

The previous articles have discussed the rapid expansion of Islam after Muhammad’s death. ‘After the Abbasid revolt, the caliphs … contented themselves with sending their troops to pillage, sack, and carry off booty from across their frontiers with Anatolia and Armenia. But in the West, Islamic expansion continued by maritime warfare. In the ninth and tenth centuries, Berbers and Arabs from Spain and the Maghreb raided the coasts of France, Italy, Sicily, and the Greek Islands.’[2]

These attacks reached up the Italian peninsula as far as Rome in 846 and Naples just ten years later. Bat Ye’or has written extensively about this period of Islamic history and dhimmitude specifically. Her book The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam provides a good historical overview of this period and aspect of Islam’s history. Her work contains many references to direct source material for those who want to learn more,[3] and is used extensively for this article.

The Islamization of this conquered area took place in two phases. ‘The first phase consists of a military conflict defined by specific rules, the jihad. The second phase represents dhimma, or the government of the conquered peoples. While the jihad stipulated the modalities of dividing the booty (land, property, conquered peoples) between the belligerents, the dhimma assigns a long-term economy function to the dhimmis, which consists of supplying the needs of the Muslim community.’[4]

While the events in this article occurred across all the conquered areas, they unfolded differently across the towns and the rural areas. We will also include some information about the Ottomans who replaced the Abbasid in 1258. As mentioned last time, the Turks in large part were the caliphate’s ruling power by the middle of the tenth century. The biggest difference between dhimmitude within the two empires was that Islamic law was still being developed during the Abbasid dynasty, while it was mostly formed by the time the Ottoman’s ruled.

The three drivers of jihad included Muslim adventurers, ‘avid for booty, they, too, became soldiers of holy war (ghazi, from the work ghazwa: razzia). [Second] Arab judges (qadis), who knew the regulations of jihad, flocked toward the frontiers to instruct and lead them. Thus fanaticized by cohorts of theologians, these bands of ghazis, accompanied by regular armies composed of slaves, raided Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia, where gradually some Turkish emirates emerged.’[5] This jihad lasted until the seventeenth century, with Islamic forces reaching as far as Vienna in 1683. The wars waged by these ghazis reconciled Islamic faith (as instructed by the Qur’an) with the lust for booty, that was often satisfied by the capture of non-Muslims destined for either slavery or ransom.[6]

Before we close this section, we should note that the taking of the spoils of war, captives as slaves, etc. was not an uncommon practice during this period. You will find many European nations, including the Byzantines, practicing the same things. What is unusual is the degree to which they were carried out and the period of time over which they extended, along with their link to a religious ideology stemming from Islam itself.

To say that what is occurring in the Middle East today is a new form of extremism is simply wrong, and ignoring historical facts – and while one is free to choose their own opinions, the facts speak for themselves. This period has been documented by both Muslim and non-Muslim sources. The information is there for those who wish to know the truth. I’ll close this section with the following from Ye’or’s book:

‘The general picture of destruction, ruin, massacre, and deportation of urban and rural populations was common to all the conquered territories in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Well documented by contemporary Syriac, Greek, and Arabic chronicles, the few examples provided illustrate a general situation as it recurred regularly during the seasonal razzias, over the years, and for centuries. The chronicles, in great part translated and published, are well known to specialized historians and indicate clearly, beyond any shadow of doubt, that the rules of jihad concerning booty, the fifth part, the fay, levies on harvests, and the fate of populations (conversion, massacre, slavery, or tribute) were not just vague principles laid down by a theoretical treatise on warfare, construed by some obscure theologian. The Arabs, stirred by their profound belief and the conviction of belonging to an elite nation, superior to all others (Koran 3:106), put them into practice, feeling that they were thereby fulfilling a religious duty and executing the will of Allah.

‘It must be stressed, however, that massacre or slavery of the vanquished peoples, burning, pillage, destruction, and the claiming of tribute were the common practices during the period under consideration of every army whether Greek, Latin, or Slav. Only the excess, the regular repetition and the systemization of the destruction, codified by theology, distinguishes the jihad from other wars of conquest or depredation.’[7]

Rural Areas

Razzias were conducted on a seasonal basis. In rural areas these often eliminated the forthcoming harvest, the food supply of the local population, but the raiders also took livestock, people as slaves, and whatever other property was of value. All territory and slaves taken from non-Muslims became either fay (property belonging to the umma and administered by the state), or booty given to individuals who participated in the raid. This division of property between the state and the raiders was performed by the qadi, an Islamic judge. These judges normally accompanied the jihadi soldiers into new territory as it was conquered.

‘The nomadic tribes demanded that it [booty] be shared out immediately and the conquered peoples enslaved, as at the time of the Prophet. However, the redistribution of power within the Qurayshite clan where the caravan merchant bourgeoisie of Mecca was prominent replaced these practices by the concept of an Islamic state monopoly on the bulk of the war booty, which was then conceded in the form of domains (iqta) or allowances (ata) to the Arab tribes.’[8]

These lands could be granted for either a specific period of time or in perpetuity. One condition of receiving such a grant required the receiver to both equip an army and for it to participate in the fighting.

The basis for fay and dhimmis are both derived from Islam’s sources. The basis for fay came from Muhammad’s decision to keep the Banu Nadir’s property in Medina when they were exiled, with the intent it be administered for the benefit of the umma. Dhimmi status came from the treatment of the Jews at Khaybar after they were defeated and their lands taken. They were made slaves and allowed to stay and farm the land, but had to give half of their crop to Muhammad. This dhimmi status was to be retained only so long as the Muslims allowed – it could be revoked at any time for any reason.

Some have compared this form of servitude to the feudal system in Europe that had already developed by this time, but these are not the same. The power of the European princes was normally limited, and usually extended only over rural areas. To retain power these local rulers needed some degree of cooperation from those they ruled. Normally a social contract outlining the responsibilities of the ruler and the subjects was created. Subjects typically provided labor for the ruler for a specific period of time over the year, and in return a ruler provided protection to their subjects.

A violation by either party would nullify the agreement, and if a ruler became too oppressive some subjects would leave that kingdom. They could also move into cities or towns as feudalism did not normally extend over those areas – no one typically owned the buildings and the land upon which they set at times was owned by a religious organization (church, abbey, convent, etc.). Often people who left feudal lands and remained within a town for a year and a day came to be recognized as free. This is not the case with dhimmitude where people were tied to a specific location, they were not free to leave, nor did they have the latitude to produce goods for themselves.

The effect of the razzias was to depopulate the rural areas as people either died, were enslaved, or fled into the towns, or left the area altogether. The struggles between the state and the tribes over the distribution of booty set up continued conflict and destruction across the land where war was being waged. This left much of the land uncultivated as the remaining native people again attempted to leave, and the invaders, being primarily soldiers, merchants and shepherds, would let the land lie fallow. As agriculture was the caliphate’s primary income source, these events disrupted its revenue stream.

In response, the caliphate used censuses to forcibly repopulate the land with inhabitants who had previously cultivated it. This was complimented by the wholesale transfer and deportation of dhimmi populations from one area to another. These transfers fragmented the dhimmi populations further into groups that were often hostile toward each other, and contributed to yet further disintegration. However, the cycle of raids continued, each cycle resulting in more death and enslavement of smaller populations. Each time people once again tried to flee to non-Muslim countries, into the relatively remote mountainous regions, or to hide within the slave populations within the towns.

Several actions were undertaken by the caliphate in response. One was to create passports containing the individual’s name, their parents’ names, and their location. Individuals were not allowed to leave the area unless they had paid both their own taxes and their parents – even if the parents were deceased. Second, obligations were created requiring the wearing of distinctive clothing and markings to identify non-Muslims. Any violations were treated harshly.

Towns and Cities

The experiences of the towns was in some ways quite different. These normally had walls that served to protect the residents. Some, deprived of food were conquered and the entire population was put to the sword and/or enslaved. Others were able to negotiate a treaty with the invaders. At times the towns would put up little to no resistance. Towns at this time were normally required to pay tribute to far off rulers. From the town’s perspective, it did not matter whether they paid tribute to a far-off ruler in Constantinople or one in Baghdad or Damascus.

The local populations did not understand that the purpose driving the Arab razzias had changed. Islam at this time was just thought to be another religious heresy. The inhabitants did not understand the change that had taken place through the Arab conversion from paganism to Islam. There were few written copies of the Qur’an, and few who could read Arabic. The native populations did not understand Islam’s tenets, so they did not understand how those differed from their Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian religions – instead they assumed Islam’s beliefs were a variation of to their own.

The agreements reached by the towns with the invaders largely left their civic and religious structures in place. This was important as initially the invaders were in the minority in the lands they had conquered. It is doubtful the jihad could have conquered such a large area so rapidly if the native populations had rose up in rebellion against the new rule. ‘All territory taken from infidels became the property (fay) of the state. It formed dar al-Islam, lands administered by Islamic law for the benefit of Muslims and their descendants. This principle, established by the Arab conquest, instituted a political and legal dogma rooted in theology.’[9] Typically one-half of all churches and houses in a conquered area would become the property of Muslims, and the acquired churches would be converted into mosques.

The two pillars of early Islamic society were the army – formed of both Arab tribes and slaves taken in war – and the conquered peoples; tributaries, slaves, free men, and converts, a workforce used to feed the caliphate’s economic engine. A third pillar, judicial power, was being developed, and it is to the governance formed under that power that we turn to next. It should be noted that before this last pillar’s development, force alone was used to resolve disputes and retain order.

Governance

As mentioned above, the conquerors were initially the minority population within lands they had acquired. When the Abbasids came to power, Muslims were still ‘the minority among the Monophysite Christian population (Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia), or Nestorians (Iraq). Zoroastrians populated the towns and villages of Iran and a numerous Jewish population still survived, principally in Palestine, Syria and Iraq, but also in Persia, Egypt, North Africa and Spain.’[10] Therefore, they typically left the existing civil and religious structures in place and installed a military governor who ruled on the caliph’s behalf. The national languages were left intact, as the Muslims had to rely on the native population for a society’s day to day functioning. As mentioned above, most of the Arabic population were either merchants or shepherds, what governance experience they had was based upon the tribes and clans. The societies they had conquered were both more complex and sophisticated.

The caliphs reasoned that this situation could not last. They needed to consolidate power in order to retain the lands they had conquered. They undertook a two-pronged approach to achieve that end. One was to increase the Muslim population within the newly acquired lands. ‘Caliphs, sultans, emirs, or provincial governors—whether Arab or Turkish—encouraged the emigration and settlement of their tribes on the conquered lands in order to consolidate their power against their rivals. The nomads, whose numbers increased incessantly, could only maintain their essential needs by pillaging villages and towns, confiscating goods, extorting money under torture, and ransoming and abducting the youth who were a marketable commodity and a source of wealth as slaves.’[11]

The second has already been discussed, that the native people taken as slaves within a conquered area were normally sent to other locations. The focuses here were to: (1) develop rules for the division and administration of the conquered areas, and (2) to both keep the dhimmis on the land and protect them – in order to protect the revenue stream the caliph needed to maintain the army. In short, the population left to work the land simply became economic producers.

The rights of non-Muslims were extremely limited. ‘Islamic law forbade non-Muslims the ownership of landed property and transferred it to the Muslim public treasury administered by the caliph. Military districts were given as fiefs by the caliph to members of his family and to tribes or military chiefs for a limited period of time or in perpetuity-in exchange for the equipping of a military unit and its participation in expeditions. This military administrative hierarchy survived in the Ottoman Empire till the nineteenth century.’[12] In addition, other legal restrictions developed and included:

  • Numerous verses of the Qur’an (such as 3.27, 114-5, and 5.56) and hadith forbid either a Christian or Jew from exerting authority over a Muslim, so dhimmis were excluded from public office.[13]
  • ‘All litigation between a Muslim and a dhimmi was under the jurisdiction of Islamic legislation, which did not recognize the validity of the oath of a dhimmi against that of a Muslim.’[14]
  • ‘Construction of new churches, convents, and synagogues was forbidden, but restoration of pre-Islamic places of worship was permitted, subject to certain restrictions and on condition that they were neither enlarged nor altered.’[15]
  • ‘The Koran forbids forced conversions … [but] the alternatives forced on the Peoples of the Book—namely payment of tribute and submission to Islamic law or the massacre and enslavement of survivors—is, in its very terms, a contravention of the principle of religious freedom … After the Arab conquest, a number of Christianized Arab tribes suffered defeat, enslavement, and forced conversions.’[16] At times these forced conversions included the use of torture.[17]
  • Non-Muslims were required to provide clothing, along with three days of shelter and provisions, to any Muslim traveler in need.
  • ‘The dhimma required the humiliation of the dhimmis, who were accused of falsifying the Bible by deletions, distortions, and omissions of the prophecies heralding Muhammad’s mission.’[18]
    • Houses had to be inferior and smaller than those of Muslims.
    • Arab honorific titles were forbidden to non-Muslims.
    • Marriage and sexual relationships between dhimmis and Muslim women were punishable by death.
    • Dhimmis could not ride upon a noble animal, such as a horse or camel.
    • Dhimmis were normally struck by the tax collector as they paid their taxes as a sign of the dhimmis inferior position.[19]

Many more examples could be cited, but the above suffice to demonstrate the second class status of the dhimmi under Islamic rule. Many of these provisions remained in effect until the eighteenth century, and in some areas they were retained until the middle of the twentieth century.

Taxation

Just as with other aspects of society, Islam absorbed what was around it and made the foreign structure, concept, or idea its own. This is also true of taxation. ‘The components of Byzantine and Persian taxation absorbed into Islamic institutions were specified by the concepts of jizya (poll tax on non-Muslims), kharaj (tax in kind or in money on their land), fay (state property), which were integrated into a theological conception of a war of conquest: jihad.’[20]

Under the Umayyad, five types of taxes were levied. These included a land tax

Paying the Jizya
Paying the Jizya

(kharaj), provisions in kind (related to harvests), a poll tax (jizya), a tax covering the expenses and maintenance of the tax collectors, and a general tax levied to provide for the upkeep and clothing of Muslims.[21] As noted earlier, the treatment of dhimmis through continued razzias and the devastation that resulted, even after the initial conquest, forced many to flee to comparative safety elsewhere.

The administration resorted to brutal measures to prevent dhimmis from leaving, and taxes were often extorted using torture and death – particularly crucifixion.[22] When taxes could not be paid, children were often taken as payment. While Islamic works justifying fair treatment of dhimmis in the collection of taxes exist, such as those of Abu Yusuf Ya’qub (731-798), chronicles written by witnesses to the tax collection processes in place indicate that these practices were seldom, if ever, carried out.

Land was divided into two types. The first were Arab lands. These were tithe lands where tribute was paid by the Muslim tribes to the caliph. The second were the lands taken from non-Muslims. These were referred to as the kharaj lands. These were owned by the state to be administered for the benefit of Muslims. The conversion of conquered peoples to Islam and the resettlement of these areas by Arab emigrants resulted in the gradual transfer of these lands from those subject to the kharaj to those paying tithes.

Conflict arose between the caliph and those who participated in jihad as their interests were contradictory. The jihadi participants demanded payment in terms of land, slaves, and possessions as had occurred under Muhammad. This wealth was largely necessary as the Arab people had been principally merchants and shepherds, they generally did not know how to farm and were unable to create incomes sufficient to meet their own needs in the new lands. On the other hand, the caliph’s taking of fay increased his wealth and power, and provided the resources that were needed to support the Muslims who had been relocated to the conquered lands.

It is a classic example of the struggle between individuals trying to find a way to meet their own needs and an elite group claiming to have a higher authority who should be the one that provides those needs – although the means used in this case are in no way comparable to those that unfolded in Europe or North America. More information on the struggle between individuals and elitists, or individualism and collectivism, can be found in Do You Want to be Free?.[23]

The jizya was a wealth tax that initially had three rates, depending on the assessed wealth of the tax payer. The rates and number of tiers increased after their initial imposition. While dhimmis were subject to the jizya, Muslims were subject only to paying the zakat – the alms required by Islam. Extortion was used to collect the jizya, and tax collectors demanded gifts in addition to the taxes.[24] In theory those who could not pay – such as women, paupers, the sick and feeble – were exempt from this tax. However, chronicles from this period indicate that the jizya was extracted from widows, orphans, and even the dead.[25] When traveling, it was typical for a dhimmi to display a proof that they had paid the jizya, either around the neck, wrist, or chest. To travel without this proof was to risk death.[26]

The caliphate’s need for funding increased as the size of the empire increased and war continued. ‘Economic problems, fragmentation of the empire, and the wars against Byzantium caused a tougher systemization of religious persecution which was integrated into Muslim government institutions.’[27] The oppression was so great that rebellions sometimes resulted. Of special note were the rebellions by the Copts in Egypt in 725, 739, and again in 832. Ninth century writers indicate that the situation was similar in Islamic Spain.

In addition to taxes, ransoms were also often extracted from either wealthy non-Muslims (notables) or communities as a whole. This taking of ransom was a part of Arab culture that predated Muhammad, and was extracted not only by the state but by the tribes and clans within an area as well. Its existence was the product of life in a difficult environment where there were often not enough resources to meet a tribe’s needs, so in order to survive they took what they needed. This relates to the concept called muruwa that was described in an earlier article.

We are shaped by our culture and often changes to such basic beliefs require a very long time to establish themselves. If the ransoms (avanias or awarid) were not paid, an entire community could be subject to the sword, torture, or the women and children could be taken as slaves in payment. Again, these events occurred over an extremely long period of time. The Abbasid began their rule in the mid-eighth century, but these practices were still written about in areas such as Morocco until the eighteenth century, and in parts of Syria, Palestine, and Iraq until the nineteenth century. That is a period of over a thousand years. But as stated earlier in this article, all of this was unlikely to happen without the complicity of the church, and it is to that topic that we turn next.

Church Complicity

The initial approach of leaving the civic and religious powers in place ensured their complicity in the subjection of the dhimmi peoples they led. The civic and religious leaders retained local power over the people and wealth the city or town possessed, and their continued leadership being subject to the will of the caliph ensured their allegiance in ways that could not be obtained by using Arab tribal leaders.

‘In the first centuries of the Arab conquest, mainly Christian and Zoroastrian notables, but also Jewish—as well as innumerable mawalis and Christian and Jewish slaves originating from the spoils of war—held important positions, not only close to the caliphs but also in the administration and the army. …

‘Scribes, secretaries, treasurers, accountants, architects, craftsmen, peasants, doctors, scholars, diplomats, translators, and politicians, the Christians formed the base, the texture, the elite, and the sinews of the Muslim empire. It is probable that without their collaboration the creation and expansion of this empire would not have been possible. The conquered Christian masses placed all the resources—all the proficiency, the accumulation of technical skills, and sciences built up by earlier civilizations—at the service of nomad chiefs or semi nomad Arabs and, later, of Turks.’[28]

There arose a powerful class of dhimmi merchants, bankers, and traders, and their presence in the caliph’s courts belied the destruction that was occurring in the rural areas where jihad continued to be waged at the same time. Although the composition of this group changed over time, the group itself lasted for centuries – until well into the nineteenth century under the Ottomans. Resistance in the form of peasant revolts were generally local in nature, and lacking leadership, they were usually doomed to failure before they began.

So why did this collaboration happen? There are at least four reasons. First, in the short-term it allowed the church to retain its rights, and exercise the fiscal, legal, and spiritual control of its communities – while at the same time providing great wealth for a privileged minority of its members. The church became the arm of the caliph and was initially often responsible for collecting the tribute.

Second, there were many small kingdoms, particularly in Eastern Europe, where powers often went from being antagonists of Islam to collaborators in order to put to rest old scores with surrounding kingdoms – to exact revenge for previous perceived wrongs. The disaffected also migrated toward Islam to settle old scores. ‘One may discern a self-perpetuating Christian Islamophile current running consistently through history, even swelling the ranks of the Islamic armies, which strengthened and guided them toward the conquest of their former homelands. Princes, adventurers, and frustrated ambitious men flowed in a continuous wave toward the sultans, whom they advised and to whom they gave precise information on the state of the Christian provinces.’[29]

Third, the Byzantine Church was often very repressive itself with those who varied from its religious doctrines. These disaffected groups welcomed Islam as liberators. In the words of pseudo Dionysius, a Syriac cleric who chronicled events in the ninth century, ‘The God of vengeance … seeing the evilness of the Romans [Byzantines] who, wherever they ruled, cruelly pillaged our churches and monasteries and mercilessly condemned us, led the sons of Ishmael from the region of the south in order to deliver us from Roman hands.’[30] Fourth, the Eastern Orthodox hierarchy found collaborating with Islam useful in deterring the advance of Catholic proselytizing within the areas of its influence.

What is interesting here is that the above all represent a form of corruption between the church and state within many of the local kingdoms where Christianity was present. This corruption was also present in kingdoms in various parts of Europe at this time as well, and would be one of the conditions that Pope Gregory VII would work to reform beginning in the eleventh century. It was also during this same time that freedom, the way we understand it today, began to develop within the Northern Italian states of Venice, Milan, Genoa, and Florence.

While the events in Europe ended with the signing of the Magna Charta by King John early in the thirteenth century, the events within the area controlled by the caliphate ended with the rise of the Ottomans in the middle of the same century. The merging of the spheres of the state and church throughout history has always led to the corruption of both.[31]

Make no mistake, there was a definite division of power that accompanied the Islamic conquest. While economic and administrative power initially remained with the local civic and religious structures, all executive, political, and military power became exclusively Islamic. Again, this probably did not seem to be that great of a change for kingdoms that had been under Roman/Byzantine rule for centuries, but it also shows that these groups did not understand the nature of the change that occurred with the rise of Islam among the Arabic people.

‘The collection of different forms of tribute was delegated to the religious leaders of the vanquished peoples. They divided the total amount due among their communities and paid the Islamic treasury the fixed sum, having deducted their part. The disappearance of the Byzantine state thus transferred to the patriarchates the temporal, judicial, and fiscal duties which the Christian state no longer assumed.’[32]

This corruption not only led to greater tribute being extracted from the dhimmi population by their own leaders, but also gave rise to a number of converts to Islam as well.

To summarize, a wave of Christian defectors from both the church and civic leaders, attracted by power and wealth, ‘set in motion the decline and destruction of that Christendom which they deserted.’[33] The caliphs were able to win the hearts ‘at Serbian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, and Greek courts from among the Slav and Greek clergy by financing a Turcophile party which nourished pessimism, preached the inevitability of the triumph of Islam, and spoke highly of the economic advantages that Muslim markets offered.’[34] Finally, they used the element of fear in furthering Islam within the conquered lands. In looking at current events, one should ask, how different is the situation today?

Outcomes

The number of dhimmis, and their place in Islamic society, deteriorated during the Abbasid and Ottoman Empires. This population’s decline was due to a number of factors:

  • The Arab culture that existed before Muhammad:
    • The harsh environment created an outcome based society, where right and wrong were viewed by what improved the status and/or economic condition of the tribe.
    • The conducting of raids in order to obtain resources, and the payment of protection to create alliances to prevent raids from occurring.
  • The creation of an ideology that infused theology into the state, military, civic, and legal aspects of society.
    • The systemization of jihad to expand the area ruled by Islam.
    • The conflict in interests between the state and the tribes and clans.
    • The elitism inherent in Islam’s tenets. There is no freedom as we know it, only the freedom of a slave.
    • The development of a legal code which only recognized the rights of Muslims – shari’a. These all in turn resulted in the conversion of some dhimmis in order to survive.
    • The corruption of both the state and religious spheres by combining both into a single sphere of influence and power.
  • The cooperation of non-Muslims in supporting the caliphate’s growth.
    • The church in order to retain its structures and influence.
    • The wealthy and powerful in order to retain some of their wealth and influence.
    • Non-Muslim rulers who allied themselves with the caliphate in order to further their own aims.
    • The disaffected, who saw a chance to gain wealth and power in the service of the caliphate against their homelands.
    • All of this influence among non-Muslims disappeared over time, and also resulted in some of them converting to Islam.

A final observation, ‘Over the centuries, paying for their security and survival became the characteristic of the dhimmi communities and the prime condition of their tolerated existence in their own countries.’[35] The dhimmi were valued only for what they could produce to support the Islamic community. Once they no longer had anything left to contribute, they no longer held any value. As recently as ten or twenty years ago, some middle eastern and North African countries had non-Muslim populations that approached ten percent. In general, that is no longer the case. Some have fled, some have converted, and others have died.

We will finish out this series by looking at the Ottoman Empire.

[1] Pickthall, M. M., The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an, p. 166, Amana Publications, 1999. One commonly cited verse is S9.29 which states, ‘Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah has forbidden by His Messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.’ This verse is also cited as authority for the jizya – the poll tax.

[2] Ye’or, Bat, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude, p.43, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002.

[3] See the reference above for the book noted. Additional relevant works by this author include:

  • The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985.
  • Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002.

[4] Ibid, p.100.

[5] Ibid, p.53.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid, pp. 51-52.

[8] Ibid, p. 61.

[9] Ibid, p.70.

[10] Ibid, p. 63.

[11] Ibid, p. 119.

[12] Ibid, p. 70.

[13] Ibid, p. 80.

[14] Ibid, p. 81.

[15] Ibid, p. 83.

[16] Ibid, p. 88.

[17] Ibid, p. 89.

[18] Ibid, p. 91.

[19] Ibid, pp. 92-93.

[20] Ibid, p. 61.

[21] Ibid, p. 72.

[22] Ibid, p.74.

[23] Wolf, Dan, Do You Want to be Free?, Telemachus Press, 2013.

[24] Ye’or, Bat, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude, p.78, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid, p. 79.

[27] Ibid, p. 64.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid, p. 130.

[30] Chronique de Denys de Tell-Mahre [pseudo-Dionysius], translated from Syriac by Jean-Baptiste Chabot (Paris, 1895), pt. 4, 104-5, as cited in Bat, Ye’or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: from Jihad to Dhimmitude, p. 57, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002.

[31] Wolf, Dan, Charity and Society, forthcoming, 2016.

[32] Ye’or, Bat, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude, p.123, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002.

[33] Ibid, p. 66.

[34] Ibid, p. 67.

[35] Ibid, pp. 79-80.

SOURCE: The Abbasid Dynasty – Part III

The Abbasid Dynasty – Part I, History

Dan Wolf | Virginia Christian Alliance

The Abbasid Dynasty lasted from 750 until 1258. It was during this period that many of Islam’s structures began to solidify. The Qur’an, hadith, traditions (sunna), and schools of legal jurisprudence (Shri’a) all formed during this time. Governance structures also solidified during this period. These changes had significant impacts on the various peoples conquered by the early caliphs and the Umayyad. Due to the nature and extent of the changes occurring within Islam during this period, there will be three articles concerning this dynasty. This article will focus on the history from this period. The second on the development of religious doctrine, and the third on the conquered peoples within the caliphate (the Dhimmis).

Although referred to as Islam’s Golden Age, it should be noted that there was much upheaval and infighting that occurred during this time. The changes occurring during this period are both significant in terms of Islam’s development and complex. We will specifically look at the rise and fall of both the Fatamid and Seljuk Turk kingdoms within the caliphate that occurred during this period, and conclude with the crusades and Mongol invasion that ultimately ended Abbasid rule.

This is a good time to remind the reader once again that the intent of this series is not to tell you what to think, but instead to simply present the facts, and provide you with references where you can find more information if you want it. It is also time to reiterate that the subject of these articles is Islam and not Muslims. These articles cover the development of Islam’s tenets, and not its people. We are each defined by the choices that we make.

A Shift in Power

The Abbasid overthrew the Umayyad in 750. They moved the capital to Baghdad and the caliphate came under a greater Persian influence. This was not just a political revolution, but a religious one as well. The Abbasid viewed themselves not only as the rulers of the caliphate, but as princes and kings of Islam. They were much more rigorous in applying the principles of Islam, and were much more intolerant of other religions. They set about creating a theocratic state, based upon the Persian model ‘in which church and state are conjoined.’[i] For Sunni Islam (which the Abbasid represent),

‘the caliph is there to guarantee the carrying out of Islamic obligations, to represent and embody in his person the duties of the Islamic community. “At the head of the Muslims … There must necessarily stand someone who sees to it that their laws are carried out, their statutes maintained, their borders defended, and their armies equipped, who makes sure that their obligatory taxes are collected, that men of violence, thieves, and highwaymen are suppressed, that services are held on Fridays and feast days, that minors (in need of a guardian) can be married, that the spoils of war are justly divided, and that similar legal obligations, which no single member of the community can take care of, are performed.”’[ii]

This dynasty traced its roots back to one of Mohammad’s uncles – Al-Abbas. They went out of their way to show respect for the Umayyad that they replaced. However, they viewed the followers of Muhammad’s cousin Ali (the Shi’a) as rivals as they also had a blood line claim to rule within the caliphate. During their rule the Shi’a were persecuted by the Abbasid.

In the words of Goldziher, ‘Having plucked for themselves the fruit of Shi’a propaganda, the Abbasid had all the more reason to be on their guard against continued subversion by those who would not regard them, any more than the Umayyad, as the rightful successors of the Prophet. They strove therefore to deflect people from the veneration of Ali. Al-Mutawakkil razed the tomb of Husayn. People were not to recall at that sacred place that it was a son of Ali, and not a descendant of Abbas, who had shed his blood for the rights of the Prophet’s house … During Abbasid rule, some [Shi’a] ended their lives in prison, some on the scaffold, some by secretly administered poison.’[iii]

Under the Abbasid, the administration of the empire was delegated to bureaucrats. Viziers created decrees to be signed by the caliph. The Arab army was replaced by hired provincials, including Turkish mercenaries (the Mamluks). Persecution of non-Muslims within the empire increased during this time. In 772 the hands of Jews and Christians were ordered stamped. Monasteries were sacked and burned, and many of the monks were killed. The persecution became so severe that by the ninth century, many Christians fled to Constantinople and other Christian cities outside of the reach of Islam. (See the forthcoming article on the treatment of Dhimmis).

The Fatamid

But the Abbasid rule was not readily accepted by all. From about 909 – 1171 there arose a Fatamid Dynasty within the caliphate. They took their name from one of Muhammad’s daughters Fatima, from whom they claimed descent (along with her husband Ali) – providing justification for the Abbasid concern about rivals who would also claim descent from Muhammad. The Fatamid were Shi’a and their rise was in part a response to the Abbasid persecution of their sect. They viewed the Abbasid caliphs as usurpers and dedicated themselves to overthrowing the religious and political order they created. The Fatamid rulers viewed themselves as spiritual leaders (imams). They were initially able to establish a firm base within Yemen. By 909 they were strong enough for their imam to come out of hiding and declare himself al-Mahdi (Divinely Guided One).

They established a base in modern Tunisia and spread through North Africa and into Sicily during the first half of the 10th century. During this time they added the third branch of missions (religion) to the military and political branches of governance. While still keeping up the wars with Europe, and internal divisions with the Berbers, the Fatamid turned eastward and toward the Abbasid. Finally, after several years of unsuccessful campaigns, the Fatamid broke through the Abbasid defenses in 969 and took portions of the Nile valley, Sinai Peninsula, Palestine, and southern Syria.

Shortly after the conquest of Egypt they founded the city of Cairo. At their height, they moved as far east as Yemen, the Hijaz on the Arabian Peninsula, and up into Anatolia. They briefly occupied Baghdad in about 1057 when a dissident general in Iraq joined the Fatamid. However, they were driven back by the Seljuq Turks a few years later. The map below shows the extent of their rule at its height.

Figure 1: Fatamid Dynasty
Figure 1: Fatamid Dynasty

However, their rule collapsed and they were gone a little over a century later. There are several events that all conspired to their demise. These included their religious doctrine being unacceptable to the Sunni majority; the Sunni revival of the 11th and 12th centuries made that rejection a certainty. The occurrence of the Crusades beginning in the 11th century also contributed to their defeat as there was no room for infighting amongst the Muslim sects during that time. Finally, the later years of the Fatamid were marked by infighting amongst Berber, Turkish, Sudanese, and Nubian troops. These were exacerbated by plagues and famines during the final years. The Fatamid reign ended in 1171 when Saladin became the ruler of Egypt and once again established Sunni Islam there.

Seljuk Turks

The Seljuk Turks were driven into southwestern Asia as a result of the Mongols sweeping across Asia. The Seljuk were a warrior race and accepted Sunni Islam when they came in contact with the Abbasid. ‘The Islamization of the Turks within the Muslim empire integrated new and unlimited forces. Uncouth and hardy, they had, since the ninth century, supplied contingents of slaves exclusively reserved for the Abbasid caliph’s guard and for military service. Thus, quite naturally, the ideology and tactics of jihad inflamed the warlike tendencies of the tribes, already roaming the Asiatic borders of the Greek and Armenian lands. They joined its ranks with the enthusiasm of neophytes and their ravages facilitated the Islamization and Turkification of Armenia, the Greek territories of Anatolia and the Balkans. Yet, it is also true that their depredations could not be controlled by the Muslim state and often harmed its economic interests.’[iv]

The Turks swept westward and eventually took control of the empire, and effectively ran the empire, with the Persians, after about 945. The Seljuk adopted the culture and language of their Persian instructors as they had no Islamic heritage or strong literary heritage of their own. This led to the adoption of the Persian language throughout the area that is now Iran.

As mentioned above, the Seljuk drove the forces allied with the Fatamid from Baghdad and were seen as restorers of Sunni unity within Islam. They continued to push westward until they reached the frontier of Egypt. In the east, in 1071 the Seljuk defeated the Byzantine army at Manzikert (in Anatolia) and captured its emperor Romanus IV Diogenes. This opened the way for the Turkish settlement of Anatolia. After settling into Anatolia, they became mercenaries and found employment among rival Byzantine factions that were all vying for the throne in Constantinople.

After the start of the Crusades, the Seljuk found themselves hemmed in by the Byzantine on the west and the crusaders on the east. Their practice of dividing provinces among all of a ruler’s sons led to internal power struggles and instability. They continued to weaken and by the time of the Mongol invasion, they were unable to defend themselves and disappeared as an autonomous power early in the 13th century.

Figure 2: Seljuk Empire[iv]
Figure 2: Seljuk Empire[v]
The Seljuk Empire left a significant imprint on Islam from both a religious and political perspective. They created a series of madrasahs to provide uniform training for both administrators and religious scholars. Below is a map of the Seljuk Empire at its height (the inset) and the area under its control toward the end of its reign.

Byzantine Response

The advances by the Abbasid put the Byzantines into a defensive posture. However, in response to the persecution of non-Muslims within the caliphate, the Byzantines switched from a defensive posture to an offensive one against the Muslims. Beginning in 960, the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas began retaking some territory from the Muslims, reclaiming Crete, Cyprus, Cilicia, and portions of Syria – including Antioch. Muslims were obliged to wage war to reclaim a part of dar al-Islam. Forces were brought from all parts of the Muslim empire, but the efforts were hampered by the split between Shia and Sunni. A ten year treaty was signed in 1001 by Basil II.

However, the truce was not long-lived. In 1004 the sixth Abbasid caliph, Abu ‘Ali al-Mansur rebelled violently against the faith of his Christian mother and uncles (two of whom were patriarchs). He ordered churches destroyed, crosses burned, and all church properties to be confiscated. It is estimated that over 30,000 churches were destroyed over the next 10 years, including the rebuilt Church of the Sepulcher in Jerusalem. He also implemented decrees intended to humiliate Jews and Christians, such as the wearing of extremely heavy crosses, and idols in the shape of calves for Jews. In 1021, the caliph mysteriously disappeared.

The End of the Abbasid – The Crusades, Mongols, and Mamluks

As noted above, the Seljuk Turks moved west into Persia and Asia Minor in the 11th century, fleeing the advance of the Mongols under Genghis Khan. Beginning in 1070 they took portions of Asia Minor and retook Syria. Jerusalem was sacked, and a sultanate established in Nicaea. The Byzantine Empire had been reduced to an area a little larger than Greece. At this time the emperor Alexius I Comnenus appealed to Rome for help.

The Crusades  (1095 – 1250)

During the Middle Ages, the practice of going on pilgrimages to religious shrines housing various artifacts of the saints developed. There were many shrines throughout Europe and the Middle East, but three cities stood out in importance. These were Rome, Santiago de Compostela (Spain), and Jerusalem. To support and protect travelers on their journeys to and from a shrine numerous charitable organizations developed throughout Europe, including hospitals, hospices, and bridge brotherhoods. By the time of the High Middle Ages, every town and most villages came have one or more of these charitable organizations. Military orders developed to provide these same services to areas under Islamic control, and the role of these organizations latter grew to include serving in the negotiation and ransoming of war captives during the crusades.[vi]

Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The crusades were a defensive war waged to:

  • Stem Muslim aggression, as almost two thirds of what had been the lands of Christendom had at this time been conquered by the early caliphs, Umayyad, and Abbasid.
  • End the mistreatment of Christians living in Muslim lands (see the third article in this series on the treatment of Dhimmis).
  • End the harassment of Christian pilgrims traveling in the Holy Land.

Some short-lived success was achieved. The first crusade retook parts of Anatolia and Syria from the Seljuk, and Palestine, including Jerusalem, from the Fatamid. There were seven crusades in all, each with varying objectives and degrees of success. However, there was much mistrust between the East and their western European allies, fueled in part by some Greek and Monophysite support being given to the Islamic forces. Also, many of the participants in the later crusades were third and fourth sons of nobles without any wealth or land of their own. They looted and pillaged across both Europe and Arabia in search of wealth to and from the crusades.

The Mongols and Mamluks

The Mongols destroyed Baghdad in 1258 and ended the Abbasid dynasty. They next swept through Iraq and Syria and headed toward Egypt. They were defeated by the Mamluks in Palestine in 1260. The Mamluks (derived from the Arabic word for slave) handed the Mongols their first known defeat in open combat, however they were neither Arab nor Egyptian. They were an imported force of Turkish and Circassian slave soldiers brought into Egypt with Saladin a century earlier. The Mamluk generals established their own sultanate upon the death of Al-Malik as-Salih Ayyub in 1249, and ruled Egypt and portions of Syria from about 1250 to 1517. They were Sunni, and this dynasty will be discussed further in conjunction with the Ottomans in a latter article.

At the same time as the crusades were winding down, the Mongols were sweeping into western Asia. In 1253 Hulagu Khan, brother of Kublai Khan, was given the task of conquering what is now Iran, then under control of the Khwarezm – an independent Islamic dynasty that had wrested control of the area from the Seljuk Turks. He set out with an army of about 130,000 and founded the Il-Khanid dynasty in 1256. The Il-Khans reunited the area under the rule of a single political authority. At about this time Hulagu Khan sent an emissary to the European powers offering help against the Muslims. However, after the crusades the Christians were too disorganized to come to any specific agreement.

As for the Mongols, by the end of the 13th century they lost all contact with the Mongol chieftains and embraced Islam. Their ruler Mahmud Ghazan embraced Sunni Islam, but his brother converted to Shia Islam early in the 14th century. This change gave rise to much internal conflict within the area ruled by the Il-Khans, which was somewhat averted when a subsequent ruler converted back to Sunni Islam. Internal disputes continued and the Il-Khanid dynasty disappeared by the middle of the 14th century.

[i] Goldziher, Ignaz, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, p. 46, Princeton University Press, 1981.

[ii] Ibid, pp.182-3.

[iii] Ibid, p. 137.

[iv] Ye’or, Bat, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam, p. 52, Farleigh-Dickenson University Press, 2006.

[v] Seljuk Turks, Encyclopedia Britannica

[vi] Wolf, Dan, Collectivism & Charity:  The Great Deception, Living Rightly Publications, 2016.

SOURCE: The Abbasid Dynasty – Part I

The Temple Mount and UNESCO

Denis MacEoin | Gatestone Institute

  • The attempts to deny any ancient and ongoing Jewish presence in Jerusalem, to say there was never a first let alone a second Temple and that only Muslims have any right to the whole city, its shrines and historical monuments, have reached insane proportions.
  • Is this really what it boils down to? The Islamic State rules the international community? Including UNESCO?
  • The world is outraged when it sees the stones of Palmyra tumble, or other great monuments of human civilization turn to dust. But that same world is silent when the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters Islamise everything by calling into question the very presence of the Jewish people in the Holy Land.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is known throughout the world for the many places it designates as World Heritage Sites. There are more than one thousand of these, distributed unequally in many countries, with Italy at the top, followed by China.

The largest single category of sites consists of religious sites, categorized under the heading of cultural locations (as distinct from natural ones). Within this category, UNESCO has carried out many dialogues with communities in order to ensure that religious sensitivities are acknowledged and guaranteed. UNESCO has undertaken many measures in this field.

In 2010, the organization held a seminar on the “Role of Religious Communities in the Management of World Heritage Properties.”

“The main objective of the [seminar] was to explore ways of establishing a dialogue between all stakeholders, and to explore possible ways of encouraging and generating mutual understanding and collaboration amongst them in the protection of religious World Heritage properties.”

The notion of dialogue in this context was clearly meant to avoid unilateral decisions by one nation or community to claim exclusive ownership of a religious site.

Alleged or actual claims to multiple ownership of religious sites are not uncommon. A collection of essays entitled, Choreographies of Shared Sacred Sites: Religion, Politics, and Conflict Resolution, examines such disputes over shared religious sites in Turkey, the Balkans, Palestine/Israel, Cyprus, and Algeria, providing powerful analyses of how communities come to blows or work reconcile themselves in a willingness to share shrines and other centres. Sometimes people come to blows over these sites, and sometimes one religion can cause immense pain to the followers of another, as happened in 1988 when Carmelite nuns erected a 26-foot-high cross outside Auschwitz II (Birkenau) extermination camp in order to commemorate a papal mass held there in 1979.

A more famous example of an unreconciled dispute is the conflict over the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, a mosque originally built in 1528-29 on the orders of Babur, the first of the Mughal emperors. According to Hindu accounts, the Mughal builders destroyed a temple on the birthplace of the deity Rama in order to build the mosque — a claim denied by many Muslims.[1] The importance of the site is clear from a Hindu text which declares that Ayodhya is one of seven sacred places where a final release from the cycle of death and rebirth may be obtained.

These conflicting claims were fatefully resolved when an extremist Hindu mob demolished the mosque in 1992, planning to build a new temple on the site. The demolition has been cited as justification for terrorist attacks by radical Muslim groups.[2] The massacres at Wandhama (1998) and the Amarnath pilgrimage (2000) are both attributed to the demolition. Communal riots occurred in New Delhi, Bombay and elsewhere, as well as many cases of stabbing, arson, and attacks on private homes and government officers.[3]

Muslim invaders did indeed destroy or modify thousands of “idolatrous” temples and sacred sites in India, just as they did elsewhere on a lesser scale, and just as the Islamic State has been doing for several years in modern Iraq and Syria. This is not simply the sort of destruction normally associated with wars, invasions, or civil disputes. For Muslims, it has a theological basis. Islam, as it has existed since the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632, is predicated on three things: the belief that there is one God without partners or associates; the belief that Muhammad is the messenger of that one God; and the belief that Islam is the greatest and last religion revealed to mankind, authorized by God to destroy all other religions and their artefacts:

“He (God) has sent his prophet with guidance and the religion of the truth in order to make it prevail over all religion” (Qur’an 9:33; 61:9).

It is this last belief that has, for over 1400 years, instilled a deep sense of supremacism within the Muslim world.

As many Muslims believe that Islam is the final revelation and Muhammad is the last prophet, so they believe that they cannot possibly live on equal terms with the followers of any other faith. Jews and Christians may live in an Islamic state, but only if they submit to deep humiliation and abasement and in return for the payment of protection money (the jizya tax). Churches and synagogues may not be repaired or, should they collapse, be rebuilt. Islam trumps everything.

This last doctrine is used repeatedly in the works of modern Salafi ideologues such as the Pakistani Abu’l-A’la Mawdudi and the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb. Here is a fairly typical statement by Qutb, from his best-known publication, Ma’alim fi’l-tariq, (“Milestones”):

“Islam, then, is the only Divine way of life which brings out the noblest human characteristics, developing and using them for the construction of human society. Islam has remained unique in this respect to this day. Those who deviate from this system and want some other system, whether it be based on nationalism, color and race, class struggle, or similar corrupt theories, are truly enemies of mankind!”[4]

Here is a recent comment by a modern Salafi writer:

“this worldwide domination of Islam which has been promised by Allah does not necessarily mean that every single person on earth will become Muslim. When we say that Islam will dominate the world, we mean as a political system, as the messenger Muhammad prophesied that the authority on earth will belong to the Muslims, i.e. the believers will be in power and the Sharee’ah [Shari’a] of Islam will be implemented in every corner of the earth”.

Under Islamic jihad law, any territory once captured for Islam must remain an integral and inviolable possession of the Muslim authorities.[5] In other words, even entire countries like Spain, Portugal, India, Greece or the Balkan nations that had been colonies under Ottoman rule, should be reclaimed for Islam, either by re-conquest or through the current “cultural jihad.”

It is through mass immigration, separatism, gradual introduction of Islamic law, and ghettoization that many countries in Europe have grown to be victims of a more determined Islam. But one territory remains under the threat of a violent takeover: the state of Israel.

Although there are revanchist and irredentist movements in many countries, Muslim effort to re-possess Israel has served to spark off and maintain the longest-lasting and most intractable physical conflict in modern history. Demands and counter-demands, attacks and counter attacks, wars and defensive responses taking place in Israel are in the media every single day.

The dispute is not primarily political. After the First World War, a system of international law was created, and that mutually agreed system was expanded after World War II to all countries joining the United Nations. Israel was created, not to displace the Arab inhabitants of what the British named Palestine, but to provide a homeland for the Jews alongside an Arab state. But all the Arab countries turned down this proposal. The Palestinians today still refuse to accept a state of their own, even while clamouring loudly for one.

Their deepest motive lies in a religiously-determined rejection of the nation state,[6] combined with the conviction that the Holy Land is an Islamic territory that cannot ever be awarded to the Jews.

That denial of international law and ethics allows many Muslims to claim the city of Jerusalem as an Islamic city, a city that can never be treated as the capital of a Jewish state, a holy place that has meaning for Muslims and Muslims alone.

You do not have to be a historian to know that Jerusalem was originally a Jewish city with, later, Christian connections and, later still, weak Islamic connections. More than that, it is the holiest city in the world for Jews, and it contains the most sacred site in the Jewish religion, the Temple Mount — the area on which not one but two Jewish temples were built.

There, Jews worshipped until the temples were destroyed, first by the Babylonian monarch Nebuchadnezzar (in 586 BCE), and again by the Romans in 70 CE. Jews have always turned toward the Temple Mount in their prayers.

Muslims, too, faced the Temple Mount when they prayed for several years while Muhammad and his small band of followers lived in Mecca. They continued to do so for many months after they emigrated to the oasis town of Yathrib (now Medina) in 622. They originally prayed facing Jerusalem because Muhammad was at first a great admirer of the Jews, from whom he learnt most of what he knew. But in Medina, he found he did not get on so well with the Jews of the city, who refused to convert to his new religion.

So, sixteen or seventeen months after the emigration, a revelation came to Muhammad that the Believers had to turn round about 180 degrees to face the city from which most of them had come, Mecca. In mid-prayer, the entire congregation turned their backs on Jerusalem. The holy city of the Jews was no longer of the least interest to them.[7]

The Qur’an could not be more explicit in this matter. Muhammad does not follow the direction of prayer used by the Jews. The Ka’ba in Mecca has erased all thought of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. At that point in time, there was not a single rock or stone or tree or building in Jerusalem that was Islamic in any way.

But for today’s Muslims, the opposite is true. There is nothing in Jerusalem that belongs to the Jews, and every part of it — especially the Temple Mount and the Western Wall — is and always has been Islamic. It is seen as the one of the holiest cities for Muslims, after Mecca and Medina.

The Muslim claim to Jerusalem is tenuous to say the least. One Qur’anic verse (17:1) talks of a night journey made by Muhammad from the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca) to the Farthest Mosque (al-masjid al-aqsa). Later commentators identify this Farthest Mosque with Jerusalem. But there were no mosques and no Muslims in Jerusalem at this time — in fact, not that many even in Arabia. The current Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount was first built in the year 705, seventy-three years after Muhammad’s death in 632, and rebuilt several times after earthquakes. By the 20th century, it was severely neglected. A film of the mosque in 1954 shows serious deterioration. It was clearly neither cared for nor much valued by the Muslim community.

You do not have to be a historian to know that Jerusalem was originally a Jewish city with, later, Christian connections and, later still, weak Islamic connections. The second Jewish Temple, completed by King Herod in 19 BCE, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE (depicted at left in a 1626 painting by Nicolas Poussin). The current Aqsa Mosque (right) on the Temple Mount was first built in the year 705, seventy-three years after Muhammad’s death in 632, and rebuilt several times after earthquakes. (Images’ source: Wikimedia Commons)

And there is more. For centuries, Muslim writers (not to mention Jewish and Christian historians and archaeologists) agreed that the Kotel, the Western or “Wailing” Wall, was the remaining section of the second Jewish Temple, the temple built by Herod and visited by Jesus. As far back as 1924, the Supreme Muslim Council in the British Palestine Mandate published a pamphlet entitled, A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif – Temple Mount Guide. This document confirmed the Jewishness of the site: on the fourth page, the historical sketch of the Mount declares:

“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings (2 Samuel 24:25)”

According to the Jewish Virtual Library:

Early Muslims regarded the building and destruction of the Temple of Solomon as a major historical and religious event, and accounts of the Temple are offered by many of the early Muslim historians and geographers (including Ibn Qutayba, Ibn al-Faqih, Mas’udi, Muhallabi, and Biruni). Fantastic tales of Solomon’s construction of the Temple also appear in the Qisas al-anbiya’ [Tales of the Prophets], the medieval compendia [sic] of Muslim legends about the pre-Islamic prophets. As the historian Rashid Khalidi wrote in 1998 (albeit in a footnote), while there is no “scientific evidence” that Solomon’s Temple existed, “all believers in any of the Abrahamic faiths perforce must accept that it did.”

For some time now, however, Muslim individuals and institutions have started to claim that the Mount has nothing to do with a Jewish Temple, that no such temple ever existed, and that the Western Wall is in fact the wall at which Muhammad tethered his fabled winged-horse, Buraq. For example, with enormous effrontery, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, the leading religious figure in the Palestinian Authority, stated in 2009: “Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city and it always has been so.” Tamimi claimed that all excavation work conducted by Israel after 1967 had “failed to prove that Jews had a history or presence in Jerusalem or that their ostensible temple had ever existed.” He condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and “all Jewish rabbis and extremist organizations” as liars, because of their assertion that Jerusalem was a Jewish city. Tamimi accused Israel of distorting the facts and forging history “with the aim of erasing the Arab and Islamic character of Jerusalem.”

There is no reason why Muslims should not venerate the spot, whether from afar or while living in Jerusalem itself. In that way, the Temple Mount would be another religious site with connections to more than one religion — in this case to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Unfortunately, that sense of dominance over all other religions, as described above, means that Muslims are having none of that.

For them the Temple Mount and its surroundings are Muslim and nothing else. In the modern period, this is an offshoot of the wider view that all Israel is Islamic territory.

The Islamic concept of supremacy has overtaken UNESCO in direct contradiction to its acceptance of multi-religious sites.

In October 2015, six Arab states, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and others, proposed to UNESCO that it should change its designation of the site, turning it from a Jewish holy place to a Muslim one, as part of the al-Aqsa Mosque. A vote was set for October 20, but was postponed following an indignant protest by UNESCO’s head, Irina Bokova, who said she “deplored” the proposal.

But that vote may still go through in favour of the PA and its supporters. One day later, it was announced that UNESCO had voted to designate two other important Jewish holy sites as Muslim — the “Cave of the Patriarchs” in Hebron, and the Tomb of Rachel near Bethlehem.

The “Cave of the Patriarchs” is where tradition says the bodies of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah are buried. It is the most ancient of Jewish holy places, second in importance only to the Mount on which the two temples were built. It will now be known as al-Haram al-Ibrahimi, the Sanctuary of Abraham, so named because Abraham is described in the Qur’an as the first Muslim. Bizarrely, that is enough to make it a “Muslim” site.

The Tomb of Rachel, situated toward the northern entrance to Bethlehem, is regarded as the resting place of the matriarch Rachel, the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. Considered the third holiest Jewish site and a place of pilgrimage for Jews since ancient times, it has been holy to both Jews and Christians for centuries. Since the tomb fell under Muslim hands in the seventh century, it has also been a place venerated by Muslims, because Jacob and Joseph are Qur’anic figures, although Rachel herself is not mentioned by name in the book.

Muslim authorities and leaders such as the head of the radical Northern Islamic Movement, Shaykh Raed Salah, do not want a little here and a little there. They want all of Jerusalem to be enshrined internationally as an entirely Muslim city and, as happened when Jordan occupied the city, to expel the Jews and destroy all the synagogues there.

The attempts to deny any ancient and ongoing Jewish presence in Jerusalem, to say there was never a first let alone a second Temple and that only Muslims have any right to the whole city, its shrines and historical monuments, have reached insane proportions. The most extreme expressions of this gamut of ahistorical claims, supremacist assertions and conspiracies are the many speeches and comments of the above-mentioned Shaykh Raed Salah. Here is part of a speech he made at a rally in 1999:

“We will say openly to the Jewish society, you do not have a right even to one stone of the blessed Al-Aksa Mosque. You do not have a right even to one tiny particle of the blessed Al-Aksa Mosque. Therefore we will say openly, the western wall of blessed Al-Aksa is part of blessed Al-Aksa. It can never be a small Western Wall. It can never be a large Western Wall… We will say openly to the political and religious leadership in Israel: the demand to keep blessed Al-Aksa under Israeli sovereignty is also a declaration of war on the Islamic world.”

Salah is far from alone. The current head of the Supreme Muslim Council, Ekrima Sabri, has for many years done his best to invalidate Jewish claims to the area. He claims that Solomon’s Temple is an “unproven allegation” — something that the Jews dreamed up out of “hatred and envy.” He claims the Western Wall, too, is “a Muslim religious property” to which Jews “have no relation.”

In a recent statement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that, “The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they [the Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.”

According to UN Watch,

“Ambassador Shama Hohen [Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israeli ambassador to UNESCO] asked Palestinian delegate Mounir Anastas why Palestinians are not prepared to recognize the Jewish right to the Temple Mount and include the term ‘Temple Mount’ in the resolution, alongside the Arab term, Haram al-Sharif. Anastas replied… that if the Palestinians were to recognize the Temple Mount, then Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah would become number one targets of ISIS.”

Is this really what it boils down to? The Islamic State rules the international community? Including UNESCO?

On April 15 this year, the Executive Board of UNESCO’s Programme and External Relations Commission convened for its 199th session. The earlier Temple Mount resolution was moved by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan — all members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. That vote then passed to the 21 members of the World Heritage Committee during its 40th session in Istanbul, which had been scheduled to run from July 10 to July 20.

By mere chance, July’s military coup attempt in Turkey disrupted the event, and the vote has now been scheduled for an autumn meeting. That may be based on a draft resolution created by the European Union, which is, in fact, just another denial of the historical Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. But, considering the one-sidedness of this resolution, just where is UNESCO’s above-stated commitment to bring about “a dialogue between all stakeholders”?

Turning the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, Rachel’s Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and other sites into exclusively Muslim holy places is directly linked to the growth of Islamisation in the modern era. By destroying churches, shrines, tombs, whole sites of antiquity deemed idolatrous, and even mosques deemed heretical, the Islamic State seeks to wipe out all traces of what is termed the era of Jahiliyya, the “Age of Ignorance” that held the world in its grip before the advent of Islam.

The world is outraged when it sees the stones of Palmyra tumble, or other great monuments of human civilization turn to dust. But that same world is silent when the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters Islamise everything by calling into question the very presence of the Jewish people in the Holy Land.

Denis MacEoin PhD has studied and taught Islam at several universities and is currently working on a book dealing with concerns about the religion. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.


[1] Modern archaeological research shows that there was indeed an original temple or, rather, large Hindu complex there.

[2] See “Attack[s] on Hindus post Babri demolition,” ShankhNaad, 13 April, 2015.

[3] For full details, see ibid.

[4] Sayyid Qutb, Milestones, New Delhi, 2002, p. 51.

[5] See, for example, Amikam Nachmani, Europe and Its Muslim Minorities: Aspects of Conflict, Attempts at Accord, Sussex Academic Press, 2010, p. 106.

[6] A European concept, opposed to the imperial project of the all-embracing Islamic umma.

[7] See Qur’an 2: 143-46.

Source: GATESTONE

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: July 2016

Soeren Kern | Gatestone Institute

  • Figures released in July by Destatis, the government’s statistics agency, showed that more than 2.1 million people migrated to Germany in 2015.
  • More than 33,000 migrants who are supposed to be deported are still in Germany and are being cared for by German taxpayers. Many of the migrants destroyed their passports and are believed to have lied about their countries of origin to make it impossible for them to be deported. Others have gone into hiding so that immigration police cannot find them.
  • An investigative report by Bavarian Radio BR24 found that deradicalization programs in Germany are failing, because many Salafists do not want to become deradicalized.
  • “My impression is that we all underestimated a year ago what was in store for us with this big refugee and migration movement. Integration is a Herculean task that does not end with a three-week language course.” — Jens Spahn, CSU politician.

July 1. A court in Bavaria ruled that a law that prohibits Muslim legal trainees from wearing headscarves is illegal. The district court in Augsburg ruled in favor of Aqilah Sandhu, a 25-year-old law student who filed a lawsuit against the state for barring her from wearing the headscarf at public appearances in court while performing legal training. The ruling said there was no legal basis for the restriction and “no formal law that obligates legal interns to a neutral worldview or a religious neutrality.” Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback, arguing that legal officials as well as trainees in the court needed to present the appearance of impartiality, said he would appeal the ruling.

July 3. A 24-year-old woman, raped by three migrants in Mannheim in January, admitted to lying about the identity of her attackers. Selin Gören, a Turkish-German woman, initially said that her attackers were German nationals, when in fact they were Muslim migrants. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Gören, the spokeswoman of Germany’s left-wing youth movement, Solid, said she lied because she was afraid of fueling racism against migrants.

July 4. The newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, reported that the 30 biggest German companies listed on the DAX blue-chip stock market index have employed only 54 refugees, including 50 who were hired as couriers by the logistics provider, Deutsche Post. The report casts doubt on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s promise to integrate the 1.1 million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015 into the German labor market as quickly as possible. Company executives say the main problem is that migrants lack professional qualifications and German language skills.

July 4. A court in Frankfurt sentenced a 35-year-old German-Turkish Salafist to two-and-a half-years in prison for weapons possession, but absolved him of charges relating to terrorism. Halil D. was originally accused of plotting to attack a bicycle race in Frankfurt. At the time of his arrest, police found an arsenal of weapons, including a pipe bomb, in his basement. Halil D. claimed he built the bomb to spring open the contents of a cigarette vending machine. Police also found Islamic State propaganda videos, as well as copies of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s online magazine, on his computer. At the time of his arrest, Halil D. said: “I believe in the Sharia. German laws do not apply to me.” The court said there was insufficient proof that Halil D. was a terrorist.

German terrorist
Halil D. was accused of plotting to attack a bicycle race in Frankfurt. At the time of his arrest, German police found an arsenal of weapons, including a pipe bomb, in his basement, as well as Islamic State propaganda materials on his computer. The court said there was insufficient proof that Halil D. was a terrorist.

July 7. The Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, unanimously approved changes to the criminal code to expand the definition of rape and make it easier to deport migrants who commit sex crimes. Under the bill, also known as the “No Means No” (“Nein heißt Nein“) law, any form of non-consensual sex will now be punishable as a crime. Previously, the only cases punishable under German law were those in which the victims could show that they physically resisted their attackers. As Germany’s politically correct justice system, is notoriously lenient when it comes to prosecuting, sentencing and deporting foreign offenders, however, the reforms are unlikely to end Germany’s migrant rape epidemic.

July 7. More than six months after mobs of Muslim men sexually assaulted more than 1,000 women in Cologne and other German cities on New Year’s Eve, a German court issued the first two convictions: The District Court of Cologne gave a 20-year-old Iraqi, identified only as Hussain A., and a 26-year-old Algerian, Hassan T., a one-year suspended sentence and then released both men. Hussain, who was 20 at the time, was sentenced under juvenile law and was ordered to attend an integration course and do 80 hours of community service. The newspaper, Bild, published photographs of a jubilant Hassan smiling as he left the courtroom. An observer said the light sentence was a mockery of justice and would serve as an invitation for criminal migrants to do as they please with German women.

July 8. Teachers at the Kurt Tucholsky secondary school in Hamburg boycotted this year’s graduation ceremony to protest a Muslim student who refused to shake hands with a female staff member. The school’s director Andrea Lüdtke, sided with the student: “I accept his decision,” she said. A German columnist, Heike Klovert, defended Lüdtke by arguing that teachers should not be tasked with integrating students:

“She took her Muslim student seriously. She did not try to bend him to adapt to a supposedly German way of doing things. She understands that respect is not dependent upon a handshake, and that not everyone who does not want to shake hands is a misogynist extremist.”

July 10. A Federal Criminal Police Agency (BKA) inquiry into the sex attacks in Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and other German cities on New Year’s Eve found that more than 1,200 women were victims of attacks, which were perpetrated by more than 2,000 men, many of whom are believed to be from North Africa. BKA President Holger Münch admitted: “There is a relationship between the attacks and the strong wave of migration in 2015.”

July 10. More than a hundred Shia Muslims took to the streets of Bonn to commemorate the death of Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed. Ali was assassinated in 661. Evoking scenes from seventh century Iraq, 130 shirtless men, hypnotically beating their chests and chanting to beating drums, wound their way through downtown Bonn for more than five hours (pictures here). Local health officials reminded doctors they had a legal responsibility to treat anyone with self-inflicted injuries.

July 11. In a new survey, the Pew Research Center found that 61% of Germans believe the recent influx of refugees will “increase the likelihood of terrorism in our country.” The survey also found that 61% of Germans believe Muslims in their country “want to be distinct from the larger society.”

July 13. The Platanus-Schule, a private bilingual school in Berlin, apologized to a Muslim imam after a teacher at the school called him “misogynistic” and “ill-adapted to German life” because he refused to shake her hand. The imam’s lawyer said the apology was insufficient; critics accused the school of “capitulating” and endangering the principle of gender equality in Germany. CDU politician Philipp Lengsfeld wrote on Twitter: “The essence of the handshake debate is not about religion or an individual’s opinion, it is about the authority of the state and gender equality.”

July 14. Figures released by Destatis, the government’s statistics agency, showed that more than 2.1 million people migrated to Germany in 2015. More than 633,000 arrived from Asia, including 309,000 from Syria, 84,000 from Afghanistan and 65,000 from Iraq. More than 113,000 migrants arrived from Africa.

July 14. During a parliamentary investigation into the migrant sex attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, it was revealed that one of the women who was raped became pregnant. She failed to report the attack to police because she felt ashamed.

July 14. Ruprecht Polenz, a former secretary general of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said that the German law which regulates name changes (Namensrecht) should be amended to make it easier for Muslim migrants in Germany who feel discriminated against to change their legal names to Christian-sounding ones. German law generally does not allow foreigners to change their names to German ones, and German courts rarely approve such petitions. By custom and practice, German names are only for Germans.

July 15. At least 24 women were sexually assaulted at a music festival in Bremen. The attacks were similar to the “taharrush gamea” [collective harassment] attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Police have been able to identify only five perpetrators, all of whom are migrants from Afghanistan. Harald Lührs, the lead investigator for sex crimes in Bremen said: “We have never experienced such massive attacks in Bremen. That groups of men surround women in order to grope them, this has never happened here in this magnitude. This is a new problem that the police have to deal with.”

July 16. A document leaked to the newsmagazine, Der Spiegel, revealed that more than 33,000 migrants who are supposed to be deported are still in Germany and are being cared for by German taxpayers. Many of the migrants destroyed their passports and are believed to have lied about their countries of origin to make it impossible for them to be deported. Others have gone into hiding so that immigration police cannot find them.

July 17. An investigative report by Bavarian Radio BR24 found that deradicalization programs in Germany are failing because many Salafists do not want to become deradicalized. The report also showed that many jihadists who have returned to Germany from Iraq and Syria are producing propaganda videos for the Islamic State.

July 18. An Afghan asylum seeker wielding an axe was shot dead by police after he injured five people on a train in Würzburg. The man shouted “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is the Greatest”] during the attack. Green Party MP Renate Künast criticized the police for using lethal force. In a tweet, she wrote: “Why could the attacker not have been incapacitated without killing him???? Questions!” Künast’s comments provoked a furious backlash, with many accusing her of showing more sympathy for the perpetrator than for the victims. The outpouring of anger against Künast indicates that Germans have had enough of their politically correct politicians.

July 18. Lutz Bachmann, the leader of the anti-migration Pegida movement, announced the formation of a political party, Popular Party for Freedom and Direct Democracy (Freiheitlich Direktdemokratische Volkspartei, FDDV). The move is in response to government threats to ban the Pegida movement.

July 19. Three teenage jihadists who bombed a Sikh temple in Essen on April 16 were formally charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and “bringing about an explosion.” The teenagers, who said they were upset about the way Muslims are being treated by Sikhs in Northern India, were not charged with terrorism offenses.

July 19. The managers of a German Red Cross refugee shelter in Potsdam were accused of covering up the sexual abuse of women at the facility.

July 20. The Federal Labor Office (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) reported that the educational level of newly arrived migrants in Germany is far lower than expected: only a quarter have a high school diploma, while three quarters have no vocational training at all. Only 4% of new arrivals to Germany are highly qualified.

July 22. Ali Sonboly, an 18-year-old Iranian-German who harbored hatred for Arabs and Turks, killed ten people (including himself) and wounded 35 others at a McDonald’s in Munich.

July 23. A mob of men shouting “Allahu Akbar” barged into a nudist beach in Xanten and “insulted and threatened” the beachgoers. Police kept the incident hidden, apparently to avoid negative media coverage of Muslims “in these sensitive times.”

July 24. Mohammed Daleel, a 27-year-old migrant from Syria whose asylum application was rejected, injured 15 people when he blew himself up at a concert in Ansbach. The suicide bombing was the first in Germany attributed to the Islamic State. Daleel had fought with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Iraq before coming to Germany. In a cellphone video made before the attack, Daleel vowed that Germans “will not be able to sleep peacefully anymore.” Although German authorities had tried to deport Daleel in early 2016, the effort was blocked by German Left Party MP Harald Weinberg, who demanded that Daleel get medical care for a knee injury. “After everything I knew at that time, I would decide the same today,” Weinberg told the newspaper Bild.

July 24. A 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker murdered a 45-year-old Polish woman and her unborn baby in a machete attack in Reutlingen.

July 24. A 40-year-old migrant from Eritrea raped a 79-year-old woman in a cemetery in Ibbenbüren. The woman, who lives in a local nursing home, was visiting the grave of her late sister at 6AM when the attack occurred. The migrant, who has been living as a refugee in Germany since 2013, was arrested at the scene. He is unlikely to be deported, however, because Eritrea is considered a conflict zone.

July 25. A 45-year-old Palestinian brandishing a “Rambo knife” and shouting “Allahu Akbar” tried to behead a doctor in Bonn. The attacker’s 19-year-old son had complained about the doctor’s treatment for a fractured leg. While holding the doctor down on the floor, the man said: “Apologize to my son. Go down on your knees and kiss his hand.” The attacker was arrested and then set free.

July 25. Sahra Wagenknecht, the leader of the Left Party (Die Linke), lashed out at Merkel’s open-door migration policy:

“The events of the past few days show that the acceptance and integration of a large number of refugees and migrants presents significant problems. It is much more difficult than Merkel tried to persuade us last fall with her reckless ‘We can do it’ [‘Wir schaffen das‘]. The government must now do everything possible to ensure that people in our country can feel safe again.”

July 25. Frank Henkel, a CDU Senator from Berlin, said:

“No one should delude themselves: We obviously have imported some brutal people who are capable of committing barbaric crimes in our country. We have to say this clearly and without taboos. This also means that we must deal aggressively with Islamism. If we do not, we risk that German politics will be perceived as being detached from reality.”

July 25. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière revealed that German authorities are currently investigating 59 refugees because of the “suspicion that they are involved in terrorist structures.”

July 25. Following a series of Islam-related attacks in a week, the President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, said: “We must know who is in our country.”

July 26. Seehofer, said: “Islamist terrorism has arrived in Germany.”

July 27. Police raided a mosque in Hildesheim. They also searched eight apartments belonging to members of the mosque. Boris Pistorius, the interior minister of Lower Saxony, said: “The mosque in Hildesheim is a national hot-spot for the radical Salafist scene. After months of preparation, with these raids today, we have taken an important step towards banning the group.”

July 27. Police in Ludwigsburg arrested a 15-year-old who they said was planning a mass-shooting similar to the July 22 attack in Munich. During a search of the teenager’s home, police found more than 300 rounds of ammunition, as well as knives, chemicals and bullet-proof vests.

July 28. Speaking at an annual summer press conference in Berlin, Merkel insisted there would be no change to her open-door migration stance: “We decided to fulfill our humanitarian tasks. Refusing humanitarian support would be something I would not want to do and I would not recommend this to Germany…. Anxiety and fear cannot guide our political decisions.” She also said: “Let me be clear, we are at war with Islamic State; we are not at war with Islam.”

July 29. Thomas Jahn, the vice chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU), lambasted Merkel’s open-door migration policy: “We need to control our borders. That is the most important thing at the moment. And we need to send the dangerous people with Islamist ideology back to the countries outside Europe and the European Union.”

July 30. CSU politician Jens Spahn said: “My impression is that we all underestimated a year ago what was in store for us with this big refugee and migration movement. Integration is a Herculean task that does not end with a three-week language course.” He also called for a burqa ban: “A ban on the full body veil — that is the niqab and the burka — is overdue… I do not want to have to encounter any burqa in this country. In that sense, I am a burqaphobe.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. His first book, Global Fire, will be out in 2016.

Source: GATESTONE

Islam’s “Quiet Conquest” of Europe

Giulio Meotti | Gatestone Institute

  • “Islam is a French religion and the French language is a language of Islam.” — Tariq Ramadan.
  • In 1989, Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, justified the persecution of Salman Rushdie by Ayatollah Khomeini. Last year, Boubakeur called for the conversion of churches into mosques.
  • In Britain, mainstream Muslim organizations are dispensing “Islamic justice” through more than 85 sharia courts attached to mosques.
  • Civil war in France is what the Islamic State is looking for: unleashing a blind repression so that the Muslim population will show solidarity with the revolutionary minority. Yet, there is still worse possible outcome: that nothing happens and we continue as is.
  • Real “moderate Muslims” are silenced or murdered.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal published an interview with France’s director of domestic intelligence, Patrick Calvar. “The confrontation is inevitable,” Mr. Calvar said. There are an estimated 15,000 Salafists among France’s seven million Muslims, “whose radical-fundamentalist creed dominates many of the predominantly Muslim housing projects at the edges of cities such as Paris, Nice or Lyon. Their preachers call for a civil war, with all Muslims tasked to wipe out the miscreants down the street.”

These Salafists openly challenge France’s way of life and do not make a secret of their willingness to overthrow the existing order in Europe through violent means, terror attacks and physical intimidation. But paradoxically, if the Islamists’ threat to Europe were confined to the Salafists, it would be easier to defeat it.

There is in fact another threat, even more dangerous because it is more difficult to decipher. It has just been dubbed by the magazine Valeurs Actuelles,the quiet conquest“. It is “moderate” Islam’s sinuous project of producing submission. “Its ambition is clear: changing French society. Slowly but surely”.

That threat is personified in the main character of Michel Houellebecq’s novel, Submission: Mohammed Ben Abbes, the “moderate” Muslim who becomes France’s president and converts the state to Islam. And from where does President Ben Abbes start his Islamization? The Sorbonne University. It is already happening: Qatar recently made a significant donation to this famous university, to sponsor the education of migrants.

In France, the quiet conquest has the face of the Union of the Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF), which a Simon Wiesenthal Center report charged with “anti-Semitism, advocacy and financing of terrorism and call to Jihad… ”

Not only does UOIF not encourage the integration of Moslems in France,” the report states, “it actually provides a nursery for the most radical Islamist positions.”

In Italy we have just witnessed the strategy of this “moderate Islam.” The largest and most influential Islamic organization, l’Unione delle comunità ed organizzazione islamiche in Italia (Ucoii), sponsored Milan’s first Muslim councilwoman, Sumaya Abdel Qader, a veiled candidate of the center-left coalition. Qader’s husband, Abdallah Kabakebbji, openly called for the destruction of the State of Israel: “It is a historical mistake, a scam”, he wrote on Facebook. His solution? “Ctrl + Alt + Delete”.

Qader won the race over a real moderate Muslim, the unveiled Somali activist, Maryan Ismail. I met Mrs. Ismail at a pro-Israel forum in Milan. After losing the election, she broke with Italy’s Democratic Party in an open letter: “The Democratic Party has chosen to dialogue with obscurantist Islam. Once again, the souls of modern, plural and inclusive Islam were not heard”.

Take two “stars” of this French “moderate Islam.” The first one is Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the motto of which is: “Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Ramadan does not hide in Raqqa or shoot at French citizens. By applying for French citizenship, he would like to become one of them. His office is in the Parisian suburb of Saint Denis; he has written 30 books and he has two million Facebook followers. Ramadan has academic chairs all over the world, he is the director of the Research Center for Islamic Law in Doha (Qatar) and the president of the European Muslim Network. He publicly campaigns for Islam along with Italy’s former prime minister, Massimo D’Alema. Ramadan recently explained his vision for Europe and France: “Islam is a French religion and the French language is a language of Islam”.

Ramadan’s project is not the hoped-for Europeanization of Islam, but the not-hoped-for frightful Islamization of Europe. He opposes the assimilation of Muslims into French culture and society. A few days before the election in Milan, Ramadan was in Italy to endorse the candidacy of Sumaya Abdel Qader.

The second French “star” is Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris. In 1989, Boubakeur justified the persecution of Salman Rushdie by Ayatollah Khomeini. In 2002, he testified for the prosecution against the writer Michel Houellebecq. In 2006, he sued Charlie Hebdo in court, after the publication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons. Last year, Boubakeur called for the conversion of churches into mosques and asked to “double” the number of mosques in France.

Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, last year called for the conversion of churches into mosques and asked to “double” the number of mosques in France. (Image source: TV5 Monde)

In the United Kingdom, mainstream Muslim organizations are dispensing “Islamic justice” through more than 85 sharia courts attached to mosques. Divorce, polygamy, adultery and wife-beating are only some of these courts’ matters of jurisprudence. In Germany, vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel criticized Saudi Arabia for financing Islamic extremism in Europe. It is the same kingdom which last year offered to build 200 new mosques in Germany.

Qatar, with its Al Jazeera television megaphone, is also very active in sponsoring Muslim Brotherhood Islamic radicalism all over Europe. The Qatari royal family, for example, in 2015 donated £11 million to Oxford’s St. Anthony’s College, where Tariq Ramadan teaches. Qatar also announced that it was willing to spend $65 million in the French suburbs, home to the vast majority of the six million Muslims in France.

Today in Europe, several scenarios are possible, including the worst. Among them, there is a civil war, which many are beginning to talk about, including Patrick Calvar, the director of domestic intelligence. This is what the Islamic State is looking for: unleashing a blind repression so that the Muslim population will show solidarity with the revolutionary minority. Yet, there is still worse possible outcome: that nothing happens and we continue as is.

The end is more important than the means. The Islamic State has the same goal as most of the members of so-called “moderate Islam”: domination under the sharia. Many supposedly “moderate Muslims”, even if they do not commit violent acts themselves, support them quietly. They support them by not speaking out against them. If they do speak out against them, they usually do so in coded terms, such as that they are “against terrorism,” or that what concerns them about violent acts by Muslims is the possibility of a “backlash” against them.

Violent jihadis, however, are not the only means of transforming Europe, and perhaps are even counterproductive: they could awaken the nations they attack. Soft and more discreet means, such as social pressure and propaganda, are even more dangerous, and possibly even more effective: they are harder to see, such as the West’s acceptance of dual judiciary and legal systems; sharia finance (if there had been a “Nazi finance” system, in which all financial transactions went to strengthening the Third Reich, what effect might that have had on World War II?), and the proliferation in the West of mosques and extremist Islamic websites. Although there are indeed many real “moderate Muslims”, there are also still many who are not.

To conservative Muslims, however, any Muslim who does not accept every word of Allah — the entire Koran — is not a true Muslim, and is open to charges of “apostasy”, the punishment for which is death. According to a leading Sunni theologian, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, based in Qatar, “If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the punishment for apostasy, Islam would not exist today.”

That is why the late writer Oriana Fallaci once said to The New Yorker: “I do not accept the mendacity of the so-called Moderate Islam”. That is why real “moderate Muslims” are silenced or murdered.

This might summarize the current Islamic mainstream mentality: “Dear Europeans, continue to think about a shorter working week, early retirement, abortion on demand and adultery in the afternoon. With your laws, we will conquer you. With our laws, we will convert you”.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Source: GATESTONE

Germany’s Migrant Rape Crisis Spirals out of Control

Soeren Kern | Gatestone Institute

  • Germany’s migrant rape crisis has now spread to cities and towns in all 16 of Germany’s federal states. Germany now finds itself in a vicious circle: most of the perpetrators are never found, and the few who are frequently receive lenient sentences. Only one in 10 rapes in Germany is reported and just 8% of rape trials result in convictions, according to Minister of Justice Heiko Maas.
  • Up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany in 2014 do not appear in the official statistics, according to André Schulz, the head of the Association of Criminal Police.
  • “There are strict instructions from the top not to report offenses committed by refugees. It is extraordinary that certain offenders are deliberately NOT being reported about and the information is being classified as confidential.” — High-ranking police official in Frankfurt, quoted in Bild.

Sexual violence in Germany has reached epidemic proportions since Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Gatestone Institute first reported Germany’s migrant rape crisis in September 2015, when Merkel opened up the German border to tens of thousands of migrants stranded in Hungary. A follow-up report was published in March 2016, in the aftermath of mass attacks against German women by mobs of migrants in Cologne, Hamburg and other German cities.

Germany’s migrant rape crisis has now spread to cities and towns in all 16 of Germany’s federal states. Germany is effectively under siege; public spaces are becoming increasingly perilous. Police have warned about a potential breakdown of public order this summer, when young male migrants are likely to see women lightly dressed.

During the month of July 2016, hundreds of German women and children were sexually assaulted by migrants (see Appendix below). The youngest victim was nine; the oldest, 79. Attacks occurred at beaches, bike trails, cemeteries, discotheques, grocery stores, music festivals, parking garages, playgrounds, schools, shopping malls, taxis, public transportation (buses, trams, intercity express trains and subways), public parks, public squares, public swimming pools and public restrooms. Predators are lurking everywhere; safety nowhere.

Dozens of women and children have been assaulted by migrants at summer festivals and public swimming pools — staples of ordinary German life.

Sexual violence in Germany has reached epidemic proportions since Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The government has been facing a rising voter backlash to the open-door migration policy, including public protests (left). In some areas, authorities have distributed cartoon guides, to “educate” migrants that sexual assault is not acceptable (right).

In July, at least 24 women were sexually assaulted at the Breminale music festival in Bremen. Women were also assaulted at outdoor festivals in Aschheim, Balve, Gerolzhofen, Grenzach-Wyhlen Heide, Loßburg, Lütjenburg, Meschede, Poing, Reutlingen, Sinsheim, Wolfhagen and Wolfratshausen.

In July, women and children were also sexually assaulted at public swimming pools in Babenhausen, Dachau, Delbrück, Hamm, Hilchenbach, Kirchheim, Lörrach, Marklohe, Mönchengladbach, Mörfelden-Walldorf, Oberursel, Remagen, Rinteln, Schwetzingen and Stuttgart-Vaihingen.

Most of the crimes were downplayed by German authorities, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments. Almost invariably, the crimes are said to be isolated incidents (Einzelfälle), not part of a nationwide problem. Information about sexual assaults can usually be found only in local police reports. Rapes are sometimes treated as local interest stories and covered by local or regional newspapers. Only the most spectacular incidents of rape and sexual assault make it into the national press.

Three rape cases did make it into Germany’s national media in July:

  • On July 24, a 40-year-old migrant from Eritrea raped a 79-year-old woman in a cemetery in Ibbenbüren. The woman, who lives in a local nursing home, was visiting the grave of her late sister at 6AM when the attack occurred. The migrant, who has been living as a refugee in Germany since 2013, was arrested at the scene. He is unlikely to be deported, however, because Eritrea is considered a conflict zone.
  • On July 14, it emerged that one of the women raped by Muslim sex mobs in Cologne on New Year’s Eve became pregnant. She failed to report the attack to police because she felt ashamed.
  • On July 3, a 24-year-old woman raped by three migrants in Mannheim in January admitted that she lied about the identity of the rapists. Selin Gören, a Turkish-German woman, initially said that her attackers were German nationals, when in fact they were Muslim migrants.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Gören, the spokeswoman of Germany’s left-wing youth movement, Solid, said she lied because she was afraid of fueling racism against migrants. She also posted a letter on Facebook to a fictional refugee:

“I am really sorry that your sexist and line-crossing treatment of me could help fuel aggressive racism. I am going to scream… I will not stand by and watch, and it can happen that racists and concerned citizens name you as the problem. You are not the problem. You are usually a wonderful human being who deserves as much as any other to be safe and free.”

German police and media have faithfully mirrored Gören’s efforts to protect migrant rapists. German police reports usually refer to migrant criminals with politically correct euphemisms such as “southerners” (Südländer), men with “dark skin” (dunkelhäutig, dunklere Gesichtsfarbe, dunklem Hauttyp) or a combination of the two: “southern skin color” (südländische Hautfarbe).

Germany now finds itself in a vicious circle: most of the perpetrators are never found, and the few who are frequently receive lenient sentences. Most will never be deported. Only one in 10 rapes in Germany is reported and just 8% of rape trials result in convictions, according to Minister of Justice Heiko Maas.

On July 7, the German parliament approved changes to the criminal code that expand the definition of rape and make it easier to deport migrants who commit sex crimes. Under the bill, also known as the “No Means No” (“Nein heißt Nein“) law, any form of non-consensual sex will now be punishable as a crime. Previously, only cases in which victims could show that they physically resisted their attackers were punishable under German law.

The reforms, which are designed to make it easier for victims of sexual assault to file criminal complaints, are unlikely to end Germany’s migrant rape epidemic. This is because Germany’s politically correct justice system is notoriously lenient when it comes to prosecuting, sentencing and deporting foreign offenders.

At the same time, reliable statistics on sex crimes committed by migrants are notoriously elusive. German authorities have repeatedly been accused of underreporting the true scale of the crime problem in the country. For example, up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany in 2014 do not appear in the official statistics, according to André Schulz, the head of the Association of Criminal Police (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, BDK).

On February 25, the newspaper, Die Welt, reported that authorities in the German state of Hesse were suppressing information about migrant-related crimes, ostensibly due to a “lack of public interest.”

On January 24, Die Welt reported that the suppression of data about migrant criminality is a “Germany-wide phenomenon.” According to Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police union (Deutschen Polizeigewerkschaft, DPolG), “Every police officer knows he has to meet a particular political expectation. It is better to keep quiet [about migrant crime] because you cannot go wrong.”

On January 22, the newsmagazine, Focus, reported that the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes, ADS) put pressure on police in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to remove a reference to “North African criminal groups” in a press release. According to Focus, the ADS wrote: “There is a danger that people from these countries are placed under a general suspicion. We encourage you to delete the reference to the North African origin from the press release.” NRW Police later removed the offending words because “it could not be excluded that our formulation in the press release could be misunderstood as a discriminatory statement.” The original article by Focus has since been removed from the magazine’s webpage.

On January 8, the newspaper, Bild, published an article titled, “Are the Police Being Prohibited from Telling the Truth?” The paper quoted a high-ranking police official in Frankfurt, who said:

“There are strict instructions from the top not to report offenses committed by refugees. Only direct requests from media representatives regarding specific crimes should be answered. … It is extraordinary that certain offenders are deliberately NOT being reported about and the information is being classified as confidential (nicht pressefrei).”

Meanwhile, Boris Palmer, the “progressive” mayor of Tübingen, thinks he has found a solution to the problem of migrants who are raping German women and children in public swimming pools. He wants migrants to become swimming pool superintendents. In a Facebook post, Palmer wrote: “Our municipality has embraced a great prevention and integration measure. We have a Syrian lifeguard who can make known in Arabic and with authority what behavior is allowed and what is not.”

Palmer’s first hire is a 24-year-old Syrian named Aiham Shalghin. In an interview with Schwäbisches Tagblatt, Shalghin portrayed migrants as the victims of their circumstances: “Many male refugees have never before swum with women. In Syria, most public swimming pools are separated by gender. Men do not want to see women in swimming attire.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. His first book, Global Fire, will be out in 2016.

Appendix

Sexual Assaults and Rapes by Migrants in Germany, July 2016.

Gatestone Institute first reported Germany’s migrant rape epidemic in September 2015, and again in March 2016. The problem has now spread to cities and towns in all 16 of Germany’s federal states. Following are a few cases from July 2016:

July 1. A 25-year-old migrant from Pakistan sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in a public square in Perleberg. A “southern guy” (südländischer Typ) sexually assaulted a young woman in Nürnberg. A “dark-skinned” man (dunkelhäutig) groped a 15-year-old girl in Magdeburg. A 34-year-old migrant exposed himself to passersby in Oldenburg. A man speaking “broken German” sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman in Ibbenbüren.

July 1. Police were searching for a “southern looking man” (südländisch aussehende Mann) who assaulted a 73-year-old man walking his dog in Sindelfingen. The migrant came up behind the elderly man, grabbed his crotch and demanded to have sex with him. The elderly man tried to get away by getting into his parked car, but the migrant jumped into the passenger seat and again demanded sex. The migrant ran away when a passerby walking her three dogs approached the parked car. Meanwhile, a 32-year-old migrant from Afghanistan photographed two girls, ages 12 and 14, who were swimming in the Iller River in Illertissen. As they got out of the water, the man offered to pay them for sex.

July 2. A 24-year-old migrant from Albania sexually assaulted several women on a suburban train in Hamburg. A 20-year-old “Black African” man (Mann aus Schwarzafrika) attempted to rape a 27-year-old woman in a women’s restroom in Freiburg.

July 3. A “dark-skinned” (dunkler Teint) man sexually assaulted a 44-year-old woman in Kressbronn. A “southerner” (Südländer) attempted to rape a 21-year-old woman in Meppen. A man with a “southeastern European appearance” (südosteuropäischem Aussehen) sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in Kühlungsborn. A man with a “southeastern European appearance” exposed himself to a 40-year-old woman at a train station in Mannheim-Lindenhof.

July 4. A “southerner probably of Turkish origin” (Südländer, vermutlich türkischer Abstammung) sexually assaulted a woman in Nordhorn. Police believe the perpetrator sexually assaulted another woman in the same area in late June. A 16-year-old migrant from Afghanistan exposed himself to a mother and her child in a park in Chemnitz. The man was arrested and released. A “dark-skinned” (dunklen Teint) man groped a woman in Düsseldorf. A 28-year-old Iranian sexually harassed an 18-year-old woman in Sundern.

July 5. A 27-year-old migrant from Pakistan groped a 33-year-old woman in Chemnitz. The woman, an off-duty police officer, reportedly gave the man a “painful integration course” by kicking him in the groin. After questioning by police, he was released. A “Black African” (Schwarzafrikaner) attempted to rape a 37-year-old female jogger in Dortmund.

July 6. Two migrants from Afghanistan were formally charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy at a public swimming pool in Delbrück. A 22-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan sexually assaulted two girls, ages 14 and 15, in Ravensburg. An “Arab-looking man” (arabisch aussehenden Mann) sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman in Heilbronn. Two migrants attempted to rape a 25-year-old woman in downtown Mainz.

July 7. Two “dark-skinned” (dunkle Hautfarbe) men attempted to rape a woman in Friedrichshafen. A 20-year-old migrant from Pakistan was arrested for assaulting several women in Kirchheim. After questioning, he was released.

July 8. Two teenage migrants from North Africa sexually assaulted a woman at the central train station in Krefeld. They were arrested, questioned and released.

July 9. A 29-year-old migrant from Iraq raped a woman at a discotheque in Kiel. A 16-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl at a music festival in Reutlingen. A 28-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted a woman at a festival in Lütjenburg. A migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted several women at a festival in Wolfratshausen. Two migrants from North Africa sexually assaulted two women at the central train station in Duisburg. A “southern looking” (südländisches Aussehen) man sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl at the central bus station in Calw. A “dark-skinned” (dunklere Hautfarbe) man molested a 19-year-old woman at an outdoor festival in Poing. A “southern looking” (südländisches Aussehen) man exposed himself to a 16-year-old boy in Xanten. Three “dark-skinned” (dunklem Teint) men assaulted a 40-year-old woman in Böblingen.

July 10. A 19-year-old asylum seeker from Pakistan sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at a public swimming pool in Mörfelden-Walldorf. He was arrested and released. A 17-year-old migrant sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at a public swimming pool in Hamm. A “southerner” or “African” (südländisch, afrikanisch) man sexually assaulted a 24-year-old woman at a public swimming pool in Babenhausen. A 27-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted two 13-year-old girls at a public swimming pool in Rinteln. Two males aged 16 and 21 sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl at a public swimming pool in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. A “dark-skinned” (dunklen Teint) man sexually assaulted a 37-year-old woman at a public swimming pool in Dachau.

July 10. Two migrants from Iran sexually assaulted three women in downtown Munich. A 28-year-old Syrian asylum seeker exposed himself to a 48-year-old woman in Schweinfurt. A group of migrants from North Africa harassed several women in downtown Flensburg. When a passerby stepped in to help the women, the migrants used an electroshock weapon to incapacitate him. Two “foreigners” sexually assaulted to women in downtown Chemnitz. The attack led to a street fight between non-Germans and Germans, several of whom were injured. Police arrested a 19-year-old migrant from Libya for assaulting one of the women. After questioning, he was set free. A Turkish taxi driver attempted to rape an intoxicated 26-year-old female passenger in Heidelberg. A man “presumably of foreign origin” (vermutlich ausländischer Herkunft) groped a young girl in Hammelburg.

July 11. A “Black African” (Schwarzafrikaner) raped a 21-year-old woman who was jogging in a public park in Chemnitz. A “southern looking” (südländischen Teint) attempted to rape a woman in Falkensee. A “southern looking” (südländischen Teint) man exposed himself to a 52-year-old woman on a bike trail in Kleinmachnow. A “dark-skinned” (dunkelhäutig) man groped a 78-year-old woman in Kempten.

July 12. A 16-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted two women on a bicycle path in Kelheim. A “southern guy” (Südländischer Typ) exposed himself to a 56-year-old woman in Stolberg. A 23-year-old migrant from Tunisia and a 30-year-old migrant from Kazakhstan assaulted several women in Olsberg. A “southern looking” (südländisches Aussehen) man attempted to rape a woman in Göttingen.

July 13. A 35-year-old man with a “southern phenotype” (südländischen Phänotyps) attempted to rape a 43-year-old woman in Mücheln. The woman escaped her attacker after she pepper-sprayed him in the face. A “southern looking” (südländisches Aussehen) man groped a 15-year-old girl in Meschede. A “dark-skinned” man exposed himself to a nine-year-old girl in Stuttgart. The girl was trying to cross the street when the man drove up in a car and asked her for directions. When she approached the car, she noticed that the man was not wearing pants and was fondling himself. A “foreigner” (Ausländer) sexually assaulted a woman at a bus stop in Marburg.

July 14. A 36-year-old migrant from Tunisia was charged with raping a 61-year-old woman in Freiberg. Police believe the man is responsible for at least three other sexual assaults in the town. A 27-year-old migrant sexually assaulted a 37-year-old woman at an outdoor festival in Wolfhagen. At the same festival, a 25-year-old migrant from Algeria sexually assaulted a 34-year-old woman, and a 19-year-old migrant sexually harassed several women. A “dark-skinned” (dunkelhäutig) man assaulted two 18-year-old women in Friedrichsdorf. A 17-year-old unaccompanied minor migrant (unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge) assaulted several girls between the ages of 13 and 15 at a train station in Bensheim.

July 15. At least 24 women were sexually assaulted at a music festival in Bremen. The attacks were similar to the taharrush attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Police have found only five perpetrators, all of whom are migrants from Afghanistan. Harald Lührs, the lead investigator for sex crimes in Bremen said: “We have never experienced such massive attacks in Bremen. That groups of men surround women in order to grope them, this has never happened here in this magnitude. This is a new problem that the police have to deal with.”

July 15. A 22-year-old asylum seeker from Pakistan sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in Meppen. A migrant sexually harassed a 17-year-old girl on public transport in Ludwigsburg. A 36-year-old migrant from Syria groped two women at a supermarket in Rottenburg. A “dark-skinned” (dunkler Haut) man sexually assaulted a 28-year-old woman in Würzburg. A migrant sexually harassed four girls, ages 10 and 11, on a train in the Black Forest.

July 16. Five women were sexually assaulted at an outdoor festival in Sinsheim. A “Black African” raped a 21-year-old woman at a festival in Aschheim. Two North Africans attempted to rape two 18-year-old women at the central train station in Trier. A 25-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted a 30-year-old woman in Übersee. A 17-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman in Meppen. Police say the migrant sexually assaulted four other women in Meppen in recent weeks. A “dark-skinned” (dunkle Hautfarbe) man exposed himself to a 37-year-old woman in Paderborn. A group of “foreigners” sexually assaulted a 27-year-old woman in Jena. A 36-year-old migrant from Afghanistan assaulted a young woman in Eichstätt.

July 17. Two “Arab-looking” man sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman in front of the Basilica of Constantine in Trier. A 25-year-old migrant from Iraq repeatedly groped a 25-year-old woman at a discotheque in Landau. When a stranger intervened to protect the woman, the Iraqi went into a rage. The woman ended up with a broken nose. A “dark-skinned” (dunkle Haut) man attempted to rape a 45-year-old woman on a bicycle path in Rüsselsheim. A 38-year-old migrant exposed himself to two women in a parking lot in Würzburg. Three migrants groped a 15-year-old girl on a bus in Rostock. A 36-year-old migrant sexually assaulted a 34-year-old woman at an outdoor festival in Wolfhagen.

July 18. Three migrants sexually assaulted a 25-year-old woman as she was walking to work in downtown Saarlouis. A “dark-skinned” man (dunkelhäutigen Mann) sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in Grassau. Two “dark-skinned” men (dunkelhäutigen Männern) sexually assaulted two girls, ages 14 and 15, at the central train station in Gießen. A 25-year-old asylum seeker from Syria sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in Güsten. A 17-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl at a public swimming pool in Hamm. An 18-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted two girls, ages 13 and 16, at a public swimming pool in Oberursel. An 18-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted two children, ages 10 and 12, at a public swimming pool in Remagen. A “southern guy” (südländischer Typ) attempted to rape a 16-year-old girl in Delitzsch. A “southerner” (südländisch) sexually assaulted a 48-year-old woman who was walking her dog in Darmstadt.

July 19. Five migrants from Afghanistan and Eritrea sexually assaulted two women at a festival in Gerolzhofen. Two 17-year-old asylum seekers sexually assaulted two girls, ages 11 and 13, in Triptis. A “dark-skinned” (dunkler Hauttyp) man exposed himself to a 17-year-old girl in Weinheim. Police published a composite photograph of a “person from Syria or Lebanon” who sexually assaulted a woman in downtown Dortmund. Three migrants assaulted three women in downtown Oldenburg. When one of the women demanded that the migrants leave them alone, a 23-year-old Algerian punched her in the face. The three men were arrested and then released.

July 20. A group of men with “Arab roots” (arabischstämmig) sexually assaulted five girls, aged 10 to 14, at a public swimming pool in Kirchheim. The men, all between the ages of 20 and 30, groped the girls and tore off the tops and bottoms of their swimming suits. Mayor Angelika Matt-Heidecker, who said she was “horrified” by the assaults, revealed that she had given the migrants permanent pool passes, free of charge. Local citizens are required to pay €90 ($100) for the same pass.

July 20. A “dark skinned” man (dunkelhäutigen Mann) raped a 49-year-old woman in Oldenburg. A man “presumably originating from abroad” (mutmaßlich aus dem Ausland stammende Mann) attempted to assault a 17-year-old girl on a bus in Bietigheim-Bissingen. Police say a search for the perpetrator has been “unsuccessful.” Three migrants from Afghanistan sexually assaulted at least eight women at a public swimming pool in Mönchengladbach. A 52-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at a public swimming pool in Marklohe. A group of “Black Africans” (Schwarzafrikaner) sexually assaulted several women at a public swimming pool in Lörrach.

July 20. A 31-year-old asylum seeker from Syria was arrested for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in Regensburg. Four “southern looking” (südländischem Aussehen) men assaulted a woman in Varel. A “Pakistani-looking” man sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman at a grocery store in Lüneburg. A 34-year-old migrant from Iran sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman on the subway in Munich. A 44-year-old migrant from Sudan sexually assaulted three children between the ages of 13 and 17 at a youth center in Aurich.

July 21. An Arab migrant (arabischen Raum stammende Mann) sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at a public swimming pool in Hilchenbach. Two “foreigners with dark skin” (Ausländer mit dunkler Hautfarbe) assaulted a 14-year-old girl in Wolgast. A “dark-skinned” (dunkelhäutig) man exposed himself to two 18-year-old women in Kempten. A 26-year-old migrant from Iraq exposed himself to a 64-year-old woman at the central train station in Dresden. Two “southern looking” (südländischen Aussehen) men sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman on a train in Bestwig. When her boyfriend intervened, the migrants attacked him. The altercation turned into fisticuffs in which windows on the train were shattered. After the train stopped, the migrants fled. They remain at large.

July 22. A 52-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl at a public swimming pool in Marklohe. A 40-year-old asylum seeker was arrested for sexually assaulting a girl at a public swimming pool in Grenzach-Wyhlen. A 23-year-old migrant from North Africa raped a 26-year-old woman in Mannheim. The woman was seriously injured in the attack. The man was charged with attempted murder.

July 23. An unidentified migrant raped a 15-year-old girl at the central train station in Krefeld. While on a train from Duisburg, the girl noticed that a group of six migrants were staring at her. After arriving at her stop, she entered a public restroom. Upon exiting, one of the migrants grabbed her and raped her while the others stood by and watched. A passerby intervened to rescue the girl. The perpetrators escaped.

July 23. An 18-year-old migrant from Nigeria raped a 28-year-old woman in Kassel. A man with a “dark complexion” (dunkler Teint) sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in Recklinghausen. A “dark-skinned man” (dunkelhäutigen Mann) sexually assaulted a woman in Braunschweig. A group of “southerners” sexually assaulted at least four women at a festival in Meschede.

July 23. A group of migrants accosted a 40-year-old woman in front of the city hall in Kerpen. As she tried to run away, the mob followed her shouting, “We will f**k you, Lady.” After the woman wrote about her experience on Facebook, someone staked out the area in front of city hall and found that many female passersby were also being accosted. As it turns out, groups of migrant youth gather in front of the city hall because of a free wireless internet signal. City officials said they would install free internet access at a nearby refugee shelter in hopes that the migrants will no longer gather in front of the city hall.

July 24. A 40-year-old migrant from Eritrea raped a 79-year-old woman in a cemetery in Ibbenbüren. The woman, who lives in a local nursing home, was visiting the grave of her late sister at 6AM when the attack occurred. The migrant, who has been living as a refugee in Germany since 2013, was arrested at the scene.

July 24. A group of between five and seven migrants from Albania sexually assaulted two teenagers at a beach in Travemünde. The men encircled the girls, aged 15 and 16, in order to separate them from the rest of their friends. One of the men then dragged the 16-year-old into the water and tried to remove the bottom of her bikini. All of the men managed to evade police.

July 24. Five “Black Africans” (Schwarzafrika stammenden Männern) sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman at a festival in Loßburg. A “Black African” (Schwarzafrikaner) assaulted a woman at the train station in Maulburg. Two “dark skinned” (dunkler Hautfarbe) sexually assaulted at least three women at a festival in Balve.

July 24. A 23-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at a public swimming pool in Schwetzingen. The man denied assaulting the girl and the police let him go. A 24-year-old migrant groped a woman at a bar in Mainz. He was arrested after he began throwing bottles at cars parked outside the premises. A “dark skinned” (dunkelhäutig) man exposed himself to a 22-year-old woman in Mönchengladbach-Wickrath. A “dark skinned man” (dunkelhäutigen Mann) exposed himself to two women on a street in downtown Erlenbach.

July 25. Police released a composite sketch of a “southerner” who attempted to rape a woman in Schwarzenbek. Five “southern-looking” (südländischem Erscheinungsbild) men exposed themselves to women and children at a lake in Potsdam.

July 26. A 13-year-old Syrian and a 15-year-old Iraqi groped a 19-year-old woman at a water park in Wismar. Two migrants from Eritrea sexually assaulted a 45-year-old woman in downtown Gera.

July 27. Four boys between the ages of 11 and 13 sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl in Königsbach-Stein. The boys, all of whom are children of Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers, pinned the girl against the wall of a building and forced her to perform sexual acts on them. According to police, the boys are too young to be held criminally responsible for their behavior. Therefore, social workers have been instructed to help the boys “understand the wrongfulness of their actions” by means of “intensive conversations” about “values and the local understanding of gender roles.”

July 27. A man speaking “broken German” (gebrochenes Deutsch) sexually assaulted a 36-year-old woman on an intercity express train in Karlsruhe. He repeatedly groped the woman and demanded that she perform sexual acts on him. After the train arrived in Karlsruhe, the woman called police, but the perpetrator escaped before they arrived.

July 27. A 19-year-old migrant attempted to rape a 24-year-old volunteer at a refugee shelter in Röhrmoos. A “dark-skinned” (dunklen Teint) man sexually assaulted a 24-year-old woman in Erfurt. Police released a composite sketch of a “southern-looking man” (südländischen Aussehens) who exposed himself to women on public transportation in Cologne.

July 28. A group of four migrants from Morocco harassed female passersby at the central train station in Düsseldorf. Police intervened and the migrants attacked the officers. The migrants all have lengthy criminal records. One with an outstanding deportation order was detained. The three migrants demanded that the police to release their compatriot: “You come out! We will crush you! We will slash you!”

July 29. A 29-year-old migrant from North Africa was charged with attempting to rape and murder a 26-year-old woman in Mannheim. A 40-year-old migrant (ausländischer Mann) assaulted two women in Cloppenburg. A 27-year-old migrant from Iraq groped a 17-year-old girl at the Alexanderplatz in Berlin.

July 30. Six Syrian migrants spiked the drinks of two women at a music festival in Heide. The women fell ill with symptoms of dizziness and were taken to a local hospital. The migrants escaped before police arrived. An 18-year-old “asylum seeker” from Morocco sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman in Hamburg. He was arrested and then released. Although the Moroccan’s asylum request has been denied, he has not been deported. Instead, he has become a career criminal, with a long rap sheet, including assault and robbery charges.

July 30. A 40-year-old asylum seeker sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy at a supermarket in the village of Ering. The perpetrator was arrested at the scene of the crime and released. Three migrants from Iraq were arrested for sexually assaulting several women at a train station in Berlin-Friedrichshain.

July 31. Four asylum seekers from Pakistan raped a 17-year-old girl in Wetzlar. The men plied the girl with alcohol until she became drunk and then took turns raping her. Five North Africans assaulted a 26-year-old woman in Rheine.

Source: GATESTONE

Nigeria’s Muslim Government Targeting Christians; A Pass to Boko Haram

Con Coughlin | Gatestone Institute

  • President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator, rather than concentrating his efforts on Boko Haram, has instead mounted a campaign of intimidation against his Christian opponents in the south of the country.
  • 50,000 children are facing death by starvation, according to Western aid officials. In May, the Nigerian military killed at least 15 people at a peaceful Biafran protest.
  • “Mr Buhari is diverting vital resources away from the campaign to pursue his own political agenda,” explained a senior Western official. “The Nigerian government, which is receiving significant amounts of foreign aid, needs to understand that its main priority is to deal with Boko Haram, and also to make sure that Nigeria does not suffer the worst humanitarian disaster in its history.”

The failure of Nigeria’s Muslim President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the Islamist fanatics of Boko Haram has resulted in an estimated 50,000 children facing death by starvation, according to Western aid officials.

A total of 500,000 people have been made homeless during Nigeria’s bitter seven-year conflict with Boko Haram, and aid workers now fear the vast majority of them are in urgent need of food, shelter and medical care.

But hopes that Mr Buhari would intensify the military effort to destroy Boko Haram, an Islamist group with close links to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Syria (ISIS), are fading, following the Nigerian leader’s decision to promote his Muslim allies to key government appointments at the expense of his Christian political opponents.

Last month Stratfor, which provides business with geopolitical analysis, reported there was growing frustration in northern Nigeria over the blatant favouritism the president is displaying towards his Muslim allies.

According to Stratfor, 77 of the 122 appointments Mr Buhari has made since his accession to power in May last year have gone to northerners, increasing ethnic tensions with the predominantly Christian south of the country.

Western officials say Mr Buhari’s obsession with settling scores with his political opponents has had a negative impact on Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram, and left the government unable to cope with the mounting humanitarian disaster in the north of the country.

The French charity Doctors Without Borders is now warning that a total of 244,000 children have been left homeless and hungry as a result of the fighting, and that one in five of them will die in the coming weeks unless urgent aid is provided. A spokesman for the children’s charity, Unicef, commented: “Some 134 children on average will die every day from causes linked to acute malnutrition.”

Aid officials believe that much of the blame for this disastrous state of affairs lies with the government of Mr Buhari, a former military dictator, who, rather than concentrating his efforts on Boko Haram, has instead mounted a campaign of intimidation against his Christian opponents in the south of the country.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, rather than concentrating his efforts on Boko Haram, has instead mounted a campaign of intimidation against his Christian opponents in the south of the country. Pictured above, Buhari (left) meets with Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on November 23, 2015, in Iran. (Image source: khamenei.ir)

A senior Nigerian security officer recently confided to Western diplomats that so many of Mr Buhari’s political opponents had been rounded up that Nigeria’s prison system could no longer cope.

And Mr Buhari’s decision to target supporters of the country’s former Christian president, Goodluck Jonathan, in the south of the country, recently prompted criticism from British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who said, “It’s obviously a major concern.”

Mr Buhari’s tactics have also succeeded in reviving tensions with Nigeria’s Biafran community in the south of the country, who were involved in a brutal civil war for independence in the 1960s.

In May, the Nigerian military killed at least 15 people at a peaceful Biafran protest.

“One of the reasons we have this humanitarian crisis in northern Nigeria is that Mr Buhari is diverting vital resources away from the campaign to pursue his own political agenda,” explained a senior Western official. “The Nigerian government, which is receiving significant amounts of foreign aid, needs to understand that its main priority is to deal with Boko Haram, and also to make sure that Nigeria does not suffer the worst humanitarian disaster in its history.”

Mr Coughlin is Defence and Foreign Affairs Editor of London’s Daily Telegraph.

Source: GATESTONE

Sweden: Increasing Violence by Asylum Seekers against Swedes

Ingrid Carlqvist | Gatestone Institute

  • The daily Svenska Dagbladet reported that 30,000 people whose asylum application had been rejected and were scheduled for deportation, had gone missing. The police say they lack the resources to track down these illegals.
  • Three Somali men in their 20s, who took turns raping a 14-year-old girl, received very lenient sentences — and all three avoided deportation.
  • On June 7, it was reported that British citizen Grace “Khadija” Dare had brought her 4-year-old son, Isa Dare, to live in Sweden, in order to benefit from free health care. In February, the boy was featured in an ISIS video, blowing up four prisoners in a car. The boy’s father, a jihadist with Swedish citizenship, was killed fighting for ISIS.
  • “If you disagree with the establishment, you are immediately called a racist or fascist, which we definitely are not. At times I felt that this was what it must have been like to live in the old Soviet Union.” — Karla, on why her family had left Sweden for Mallorca.
6 migrantsshahada
Asylum Seekers

June 1: The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå), released a report which showed that 11,007 people have been sentenced to deportation after being convicted of crimes. However, the report makes no mention of how many of these individuals have actually been deported. The number of convictions that include deportation has decreased, despite an increasing crime rate among foreigners in Sweden. In the 1970s, about 500 a year were sentenced to deportation; in 2004, the number had risen to 1,074, but in 2014 only 644 received this verdict.

Not only are fewer people sentenced to deportation — but more and more, those who are to be deported refuse to leave the country. In October of last year, daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported that 30,000 people whose asylum application had been rejected and were scheduled for deportation, had gone missing. The police say they lack the resources to track down these illegals. Patrik Engström, head of the border police at the Department of National Operations (NOA), told the paper: “We put these people on the wanted list, but we do not engage in an active search for them. We wait for tips and things like that.”

June 1: On the evening of May 31, a man was pushed in front of a speeding subway train in Stockholm. The victim was a 23-year-old Swedish student at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. He received skull fractures and lacerations, lost half his foot, broke his ribs and collarbone and punctured one of his lungs. Whether he will ever fully recover remains unclear. The day after, a 34-year-old Algerian-Swedish citizen was apprehended for the crime. The attacker, who was already suspected of another violent subway crime, was identified and caught with the aid of the general public, who recognized him from photographs published. He is now being held in custody, pending trial.

June 2: A Swedish Jewish family told the Jerusalem Post they have fled Sweden and taken up residency in Mallorca. Dan, whose parents came to Sweden when thousands of Danish Jews were rescued during World War II, said:

“All my life I’d been grateful to be part of a civilized society. And, until about 2005, I felt blessed to live in a true social democracy, where people willingly paid high taxes for a fine welfare system and liberal values.

“Sure, the sunshine and lifestyle played some part in our decision [to move], but the real reason was Sweden’s changing demographics and politics. The radical, left-wing establishment became totally obsessed with multiculturalism and political correctness, which we did not need reminding had been part of Swedish ethos for centuries.”

His wife Karla added: “If you disagree with the establishment, you are immediately called a racist or fascist, which we definitely are not. At times I felt that this was what it must have been like to live in the old Soviet Union.”

June 2: Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg announced that from now on, it would employ security guards around the clock at Sahlgrenska’s three hospitals. The head of security, Peter Alverman, told Sveriges television:

“There are constant threats against our staff. But more than anything, we are doing this because of increasing gang crime in Gothenburg; it finds its way into our hospitals and causes concern among staff as well as among other patients.”

The guards will cost nine million kronor (over $1 million) a year — money that could of course have been invested in health care.

June 3: Member of Parliament Daniel Sestrajcic was indicted for disobeying a police officer. Sestrajcic is a member of the Left Party, formerly known as the Communists. The crime was committed in connection with a tent camp of protesting Palestinians being torn down in Malmö, in October 2015. Sestrajcic, who was among the protesters, was initially accused of trying to kick a police officer in the head, but due to lack of evidence, those charges were dropped. However, as he refused to obey police orders and leave the scene, the indictment for disobeying police orders still stands. Mr. Sestrajcic denies the charges.

June 5: Three men, sentenced by Falun District Court to four years in prison for aggravated rape in the town of Ludvika, were acquitted by the Svea Court of Appeals. The prosecutor had appealed the original verdict in the hope that the men would get a longer prison sentence, but the Court of Appeals said that which of the men had done what could not be proven. The three were therefore acquitted and the deportation order revoked.

June 6: On Sweden’s National Day, the Left Party decided to go out and congratulate — not the Swedish people — but the Muslims in Sweden who were starting the fasting month of Ramadan. Discussions ran hot on the party’s Facebook page. One person wrote: “I hope you do not end up in the same situation as the Green Party. I fled from Islamists in Iran, and you are wishing them a happy Ramadan? My condolences.”

June 6: The staff at an asylum house in Ludvika was forced to call the police after a group of Muslims seeking asylum had become dissatisfied with the meals served at the facility. They complained that the food was not “Ramadan compliant,” and the way they expressed their complaints apparently frightened the staff. The police report is unclear about exactly what transpired after that.

June 7: It was reported that a 4-year-old boy who had been brought into Islamic State territory by his parents, had now been smuggled into Sweden. The reason was apparently to gain access to the free health care the Swedish government decided to offer all illegal aliens in 2012 — at the Swedish taxpayers’ expense. The boy’s 24-year-old mother was born in London and calls herself “Khadija”. She was married to a Swedish citizen Abdul Ghameed Abbas, also known as “Abu Bakr”, who was killed in combat for ISIS in an air raid in November 2014.

In February, the boy became well-known when he was featured in an ISIS video, where he was shown activating a detonator and blowing up a car with four prisoners inside. Posing by the burnt-out car, the 4-year-old yelled: “Allahu Akbar!”

June 7: Ardeshir Bibakabadi fled Iran for Sweden because his sexual orientation was not accepted in his home country. Last year, he held lectures at ten schools in Gothenburg, and in an interview with the daily newspaper, Göteborgs-Posten, he explained how hatred against homosexuals flourishes in Swedish schools with Muslim students.

“It was always the same pattern, I felt as if my mere presence were provoking them. When I lectured in big auditoriums, the tensions became abundantly clear. ‘Damn, you are disgusting,’ one student at the Porthälla school yelled at me. Then he charged at me.”

June 8: Three Somali men in their 20s, who locked a 14-year-old girl in a room and took turns raping her, received very lenient sentences — and all three avoided deportation. Two of the men got two and a half years in prison. The third, who was also convicted of drug-related crimes and drunk driving, got three years. After serving their time, they will all be allowed to stay in Sweden, even though they are not Swedish citizens.

June 9: A 19-year-old illegal alien from Somalia, who bit a police officer in the arm while being arrested, was acquitted by the Umeå District Court. The court believed his version of events — that he had acted in a state of panic due to traumatic memories from his home country, and “bad experiences with the police in other countries.”

June 9: For years, the Swedish media has maintained that all who claim to be unaccompanied refugee children are indeed children — no matter how wrinkled and grizzled they are. The notion that many of them lie about their age, in order to get fast-tracked to asylum, has been dismissed as a racist myth. However, an investigative report by the public-service Sveriges Radio, showed that many are in fact adults, resulting in grown men being put in the same facilities as teenagers and children.

Irene Sandqvist, Unit Manager at the Social Services Department in Helsingborg, told the reporter that, in her estimation, at least 25% of the “refugee children” are adults:

“We have even had someone with gray hair, which makes it pretty obvious, I would say. Some are even older than the staff, and this might well put the younger children at risk.”

June 9: Three young men, around 18, were indicted for a violent mugging attack against a Swedish man of about 25, outdoors in the town of Norrköping. One of the young men, Abdimalik Hassan Shido from Somalia, was also indicted for raping the victim at knifepoint in connection with the mugging. The prosecutor wrote:

“In direct connection to the physical assault described, Shido forced NN [the victim] to endure and perform anal and oral intercourse. The coercion consisted of Shido uttering death threats, pointing a knife at NN, and causing him pain by forcing him to perform the sexual acts despite the injuries NN had sustained during the beating.”

The prosecutor demanded that Shido be tried for aggravated rape.

June 10: Back in January, a female employee at an asylum house for minors in Ystad told an Eritrean “unaccompanied refugee child” that he could not play any more video games. The man, who claims to be 17, then put the woman in a stranglehold until another employee intervened.

Despite the seriousness of the crime, the Eritrean received a mild sentence — 35 hours of community service and an order to pay 9,720 kronor (about $1,000) in damages to the woman.

June 10: Abu Muadh, the controversial imam of the Halmstad mosque, gave an interview to the local daily newspaper, Hallandsposten. When asked why he has said that Muslims cannot be friends with non-Muslims, Muadh replied:

“In Islam, there is a difference between friend and comrade. You can see a comrade at the gym, or you can work with them and so on. But you cannot do things that are not allowed in our religion. There are tons of things you can do, like have a barbecue together, but you cannot share religious values. You cannot celebrate Christmas or Ramadan with someone who does not believe. That is not allowed.”

June 11: Danial Rahimi, an Afghan who claims to be a 17-year-old “unaccompanied refugee child”, was arrested on suspicion of child rape in the small village of Bodafors. After a month on remand, he was indicted. According to the prosecution, Rahimi pressed his penis into a young girl’s anus several times, touched her genitals and buttocks, squeezed her breasts and bit them. He forced the girl to the ground and held her down while he raped her, hit her in the face hard, and tried to suffocate her by holding his hand over her nose and mouth. Rahimi denies the charges, but the prosecutor has a strong case, including DNA evidence.

June 12: Riot-like unrest started in immigrant-heavy neighborhoods in Kristianstad and Uppsala. In Kristianstad, fires were started and stones thrown at emergency service vehicles. In Uppsala, the riots went on for several days, and a bus with people aboard was attacked with rocks and other objects that were thrown.

June 13: Public-service Sveriges Television reported that Tobias Lindfors, the owner of the Pite Havsbad hotel and conference centre, has been making many millions from his lucrative deal with the Swedish Migration Agency. Pite Havsbad, known as one of the largest swimming and spa facilities in Europe, is sometimes referred to as “the Swedish Riviera”. In May, the facility made news when an Congolese man seeking asylum started a minor fire in his room. During the winter, only 25% of the rooms were occupied, but according to Sveriges Television‘s report, Mr. Lindfors still gets paid for housing 1,300 asylum seekers — regardless of how many are actually staying at the facility. The Swedish Migration Agency has rented Pite Havsbad for four years (excluding two months in midsummer). According to reports, the Agency paid its owner 240 million kronor (roughly $28 million) for the rental.

June 13: When a riot broke out at an asylum house for “unaccompanied refugee children” in Nässjö, two kitchens, worth hundreds of thousands of kronor, were smashed to pieces. The staff did not dare to intervene against the rioters. Instead, they backed away and called the police. Stoves, a refrigerator and freezer, television sets, dishwashers, kitchen furniture and dishes were demolished. The vandals also flung chairs around, damaging windows and doors. According to the police, the riot started because of “dissatisfaction with the food served.”

June 13: A 46-year-old Bosnian ISIS jihadi, considered extremely dangerous, was taken into custody by the Malmö police. However, as he immediately applied for asylum, the Swedish Migration Agency stepped in, took over the case — and prevented him from being deported. Inspector Leif Fransson of the Border Police was quite critical. He told the local daily newspaper, HD/Sydsvenskan:

“As soon as these people throw out their trump card and say ‘Asylum’, the gates of heaven open. Sweden has gotten a reputation as a safe haven for terrorists.”

Nevertheless, after a lightning-fast determination process, it was reported four days later that the ISIS jihadi was denied asylum and would be flown out of Sweden as soon as possible.

June 14: The first indictment since the new law on traveling abroad for the purpose of committing terrorist acts came into effect, was a major setback. Attunda Municipal Court acquitted a 25-year-old man, who in the spring of 2015 bought a one-way ticket to Turkey, but was denied entry and sent back to Stockholm. In his suitcase, police found body armor, knee pads and elbow pads. According to the prosecution, the 25-year-old’s destination was Syria, where he planned to join the Al-Nusra Front, fighting against the Assad regime.

Mark Klamberg, an assistant professor of international law, spoke with the daily, Svenska Dagbladet, right after the acquittal: “If the verdict stands, my conclusion is that it will be very hard to win these types of cases.”

June 14: More and more Swedish police officers are leaving the police force. A feeling of physical insecurity, low wages and discontent with National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson are some of the explanations given. The Police Union recently started the blog Polisliv (“Police Life”), where police officers can tell their stories anonymously — giving the Swedish people an opportunity to get a glimpse of what it is like to work as a police officer in Sweden.

June 14: A report from the Swedish National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen), revealed that the Swedish Migration Agency spent four billion kronor (about $470 million) on accommodation alone for the asylum-seeking migrants who came to Sweden in 2015. The National Audit Office remarked that the costs could have been lowered significantly, if the Migration Agency had worked more effectively and systematically.

June 14: An exceptionally lenient verdict against a rapist from Yemen caused emotions to run high in Mariestad. Maher Al Qalisi attacked a 13-year-old girl, knocked her off a bicycle, knifed her in the face and raped her in a park — yet, he only got 18-months’ probation and will not be deported. Al Qalisi claims he is 17 years old, even though his Yemenite passport says he is 20. If he had been tried as an adult, he would certainly have gotten a more severe punishment. Prosecutor Jonas Lövström was disappointed with the verdict: “It is my firm belief that he is older than 21.”

June 15: The number of threats reported at Swedish Migration Agency offices has more than doubled over the last year — from 94 to 216. Mostly, the threats are directed at agency employees, or concern asylum seekers who act generally threatening.

June 15: According to Swedish law, religious elements are not allowed in Swedish public schools. However, the Muslim students at the Bikupan school in Lessebo have their own prayer room. Teacher Veronica Wilhelmsen explained to public-service Sveriges Radio how this came to be: “They need to feel they can practice their religion here in Sweden and at the school, otherwise they might not come to school at all.”

June 15: The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (Myndigheten för ungdoms- och civilsamhällesfrågor) made public which organizations had received the government grants of 212 million kronor (about $25 million) handed out in 2016. The grants are supposed to go to children’s and youth organizations, but aside from municipalities getting money for summer holiday activities, most of the grants go to organizations claiming to work with antiracism, LGBT-issues and against “islamophobia”.

It turned out that a very controversial group, United Muslims of Sweden (Sveriges förenade muslimer, SFM), was granted over half a million kronor ($55,000). SFM has time and again been associated with extremism and hate speech against homosexuals, but argues that the money is to be used to fight racism and intolerance. Terrorism expert and scholar Magnus Ranstorp told the daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter:

“I see plenty of question marks here. We are talking about a group that has invited hate preachers and whose Salafist orientation is in many ways the very opposite of tolerance.”

June 17: Malmö is one of Sweden’s most attractive places to live for migrants. The housing shortage is acute, but the municipality has nonetheless decided to prioritize the so-called “newly arrived Swedes”, and has therefore decided to purchase 56 condominiums to accommodate the new arrivals. Immigration critical party the Sweden Democrats raged against the decision, and opined that it would be better to send most of the migrants home, since most of them live isolated from the rest of society anyway.

June 20: An Afghan family in Landskrona refused to accept that their daughter had a boyfriend. So they made her marry a relative in their home country – and violently abducted the boyfriend. Three people have now been indicted for forced marriage, battery, robbery and kidnapping. “The motive behind all these crimes,” Prosecutor Ulrika Ekvall explained, “was to restore the family honor.”

June 20: The Swedish EU news website Europaportalen reported that in no other EU country has the number of asylum applications decreased so much as in Sweden. In the last quarter of 2015, close to 88,000 asylum applications were filed, but in the first quarter of 2016, only 8,000 – a 90% drop. The reduction is mainly due to Sweden implementing border controls, as well as identification checks on the Danish side. Germany, which still has no border controls with its neighboring EU countries, has, on the other hand. seen an increase of asylum applications during the first quarter of 2016, compared to the last quarter of 2015.

June 21: A 30-year-old woman was arrested, suspected of murdering a five month old baby at an asylum house in Sunne. The woman is not the baby’s mother, but is said to have “ties to the child.” A few days later, a 20-year-old Somali man was also arrested in the case, and the two have since been remanded into custody.

June 21: The Green Party laid out a new plan of action to ensure that the party is never again infiltrated by Islamists. To avoid another such situation , the Green Party’s action plan presents five important focal points. The party had enlisted the help of a Swedish Defense University scholar, Lars Nicander, who claimed that the party had been infiltrated by Islamists long before anyone knew what was going on. The Greens will also initiate a broad discussion about values, including the differences between Swedish leftist liberal equality values and Islam’s view of women.

June 21: Four people were indicted for attacking two lone police officers in the Hässleholmen neighborhood of Borås. Some 50 people surrounded the officers, while a man carrying a knife crept up beside them and stabbed one of them. It all started as a simple traffic stop for a moped, but things quickly got out of hand when more and more people showed up. A man kicked one of the officers in the chest, and stabbed another one. A female police officer who was stabbed said: “I thought he was aiming to kill me, that is what he wants.”

June 22: A 38-year-old man was remanded in absentia, suspected of the murder of a 16-year-old girl who came to Sweden as an] “unaccompanied refugee child” in the fall of 2015. In March, she was reported missing, and in May she was found murdered in a wooded area in southern Stockholm. According to the daily, Aftonbladet, the man, who was 22 years her senior, was married to the girl.

June 22: Triple murderer Martin Saliba, who was sentenced to life in prison in January, will not be extradited to Sweden from his old home country, Lebanon. One early March morning last year, two joggers in Uddevalla found two dead men lying on the ground and a dead woman in a car – all shot several times at point blank range.

Martin Saliba, 22, and his brother Mark, 23, were charged with the murders. Mark was sentenced to life in prison, but the Municipal Court did not think there was sufficient evidence to convict Martin, and so, acquitted him. He was therefore at liberty when the case went to the Court of Appeals. On the last day of trial he failed to show up, and was subsequently placed on the international wanted list after the verdict of life in prison was announced. Now, it seems, he has relocated to Lebanon. As Lebanon does not extradite its citizens, he can live there as a free man.

June 23: Four men and a woman, all Syrians, were indicted at the Sundsvall Municipal Court, for kidnapping, severely beating and sexually abusing a man. The man was attacked in a parking lot, and for twelve hours driven around in a car. The motive behind the crimes is unclear, but according to local papers, they may be related to business deals gone wrong between the victim and his assailants. The prosecutor has asked for deportation of all the suspects, if convicted.

June 26: A 20-year-old woman was found dead at an asylum house near Jönköping. A 24-year-old man has been arrested, on suspicion of murder. The man confessed to his involvement in the crime; according to his lawyer, the motive was anger over infidelity.

June 26: The Östersund police department admitted that the many sexual attacks against women in the town in February and March of this year, were mostly committed by “asylum seeking youths.” When the rapists were most active, the police put out a warning to women not to go outside alone evenings and nights. The local chief of police, Stephen Jerand, told the daily, Östersunds-Posten: “When we take in people who are fleeing, it is important to inform them early on about what the rules are in Sweden, and that said rules also apply to women.”

June 26: A 25-year-old Afghan was arrested at an asylum house in Mariannelund for the murder of his 22-year-old wife According to reports, after the murder the man ran out onto the front lawn, shouting that he had strangled his wife to death. The couple had a 3-year-old child.

June 27: A Muslim man attacked the St. Pauli church in Malmö. He broke several windows, and when the police arrived, he was at the top of the church, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” He then tried to attack police officers with a wooden cudgel. The man is now suspected of inflicting gross damage, also possibly for hate crimes.

June 27: Two 24-year-old men of foreign descent were convicted of a series of aggravated robberies against students in Malmö. Several of the victims were held at knifepoint for hours, while the robbers emptied their homes and bank accounts. Mahad Munyo Mohamed, who was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, is a Somali citizen, and Hassan Murtadha Mohammed Hassan, who was sentenced to five years in prison, is a Swedish citizen.

June 28: The much-criticized National Police Commissioner, Dan Eliasson, launched a new campaign to put a stop to all the groping and rapes at music festivals: Bracelets with the words “Do not grope” printed on them. The bracelets will be distributed at festivals, and according to Eliasson “turn a spotlight on this issue and encourage those affected to report the crime.” Considering that in May the police’s own Department of National Operations, NOA, published a report which clearly states that 80% of the perpetrators are of foreign descent, many found the notion of bracelets with text in Swedish printed on them somewhat puzzling.

June 28: An Eritrean who raped a Swedish woman in a public restroom in Sundsvall, gets to stay in Sweden after being sentenced to one year and four months in prison. The Migration Agency apparently did not feel he could be sent back to his home country. The mild sentence was given because he claimed to be only 19.

Ingrid Carlqvist is a journalist and author based in Sweden, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute.

Source: GATESTONE

Iran Is Cheating on the Nuclear Deal, Now What?

Majid Rafizadeh | Gatestone Institute

  • One year into the nuclear deal, two credible and timely intelligence reports reveal that Iran has no intention of honoring the terms of the deal, which, anyway, it never signed.
  • Germany’s domestic intelligence agency revealed that the Iranian government has pursued a “clandestine” path to obtain illicit nuclear technology and equipment from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”
  • A secret agreement, obtained by the Associated Press, discloses that Iran’s nuclear deal would not only lift constraints on Iran’s nuclear program after the nuclear deal, but it will also do so long before the deal expires — including the installation of thousands of centrifuges, five times more than what it currently possesses, as well enriching uranium at a much higher pace.
  • The more the White House ignores Iran’s violations of the nuclear accord, the more Iran will be emboldened to violate international laws and the terms of the nuclear agreement.

On July 14, Iran and the six world powers known as the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) reached an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. The deal was intended to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and put a hold on Tehran’s nuclear development.

President Obama promised that the deal is not based on trust rather anchored in verifications. Nevertheless, the following revelations of confidential documents as well as the following breaches of the nuclear agreement by Iran, reveal otherwise.

On paper, the nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), stipulates a series of regulations, monitoring mechanisms, and restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities. But how can the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) maintain these transparency standards and follow through on the proposed regulations? How can the IAEA be sure to detect all illicit nuclear activities in the 18th largest country in the world?

Iran has a history of deceiving the IAEA by conducting clandestine nuclear activities as it did in Arak, Natanz, and Ferdow.

 Arak heavy water reactor
The Arak heavy water reactor, in Iran, is capable of producing plutonium. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

One of the primary concerns about the agreement is that the Iranian government could easily pursue a covert program after reaping the benefits of the deal —the removal of four rounds of international sanctions that were imposed by the members of the United Nations Security Council, resumption of oil sale at any level that Iran desires, rejoining the global financial market, and obtaining billions of dollars from frozen assets and accumulated interests.

One year into the nuclear deal, two credible and timely intelligence reports reveal that Iran has no intention of honoring the terms of the deal, which, anyway, it never signed.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, revealed in its annual report that the Iranian government has pursued a “clandestine” path to obtain illicit nuclear technology and equipment from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”

The intelligence report also stated “it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.” Even the German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Iran and emphasized the significance of these findings in a statement to the German Parliament.

Although Germany did not state exactly what Iran was trying to buy, another detailed report by the Institute for Science and International Security appear to shed light on that topic. The report stated:

“The Institute for Science and International Security has learned that Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) recently made an attempt to purchase tons of controlled carbon fiber from a country. This attempt occurred after Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The attempt to acquire carbon fiber was denied by the supplier and its government. Nonetheless, the AEOI had enough carbon fiber to replace existing advanced centrifuge rotors and had no need for additional quantities over the next several years, let alone for tons of carbon fiber. This attempt thus raises concerns over whether Iran intends to abide by its JCPOA commitments. In particular, Iran may seek to stockpile the carbon fiber so as to be able to build advanced centrifuge rotors far beyond its current needs under the JCPOA, providing an advantage that would allow it to quickly build an advanced centrifuge enrichment plant if it chose to leave or disregard the JCPOA during the next few years. The carbon fiber procurement attempt is also another example of efforts by the P5+1 to keep secret problematic Iranian actions.”

The report, which was conducted by Andrea Stricker and David Albright (former United Nations IAEA nuclear inspector ), explains that the Iranian government is required to request permission from a UN Security Council panel for “purchases of nuclear direct-use goods.”

Another critical issue is the revelation about a secret agreement, obtained by the Associated Press, which discloses that Iran’s nuclear deal would not only lift constraints on Iran’s nuclear program after the nuclear deal, but it will also do so long before the deal expires.

According to the secret agreement, the deal would pave the way for Iranian leaders to advance their nuclear capabilities at a higher level and even be capable of reducing the breakout capacity from one year to six months long before the nuclear agreement ends.

The Obama administration has not made this document public yet. A diplomat, who works on Iran’s nuclear program, and who asked for anonymity, shared the secret document with the Associated Press:

“The diplomat who shared the document with the AP described it as an add-on agreement to the nuclear deal. But while formally separate from that accord, he said that it was in effect an integral part of the deal and had been approved both by Iran and the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, the six powers that negotiated the deal with Tehran.”

This document suggests that Iran can install thousands of centrifuges, five times more than what it currently possesses, as well enrich uranium at much higher pace, also long before the agreement expires.

According to the Associated Press:

“Centrifuges churn out uranium to levels that can range from use as reactor fuel and for medical and research purposes to much higher levels for the core of a nuclear warhead. From year 11 to 13, says the document, Iran can install centrifuges up to five times as efficient as the 5,060 machines it is now restricted to using.

“Those new models will number less than those being used now, ranging between 2,500 and 3,500, depending on their efficiency, according to the document. But because they are more effective, they will allow Iran to enrich at more than twice the rate it is doing now.”

The Associated Press adds:

“The document also allows Iran to greatly expand its work with centrifuges that are even more advanced, including large-scale testing in preparation for the deal’s expiry 15 years after its implementation on Jan. 18…. The document is the only secret text linked to last year’s agreement between Iran and six foreign powers. It says that after a period between 11 to 13 years, Iran can replace its 5,060 inefficient centrifuges with up to 3,500 advanced machines. Since those are five times as efficient, the time Iran would need to make a weapon would drop from a year to six months.”

More importantly, this document and the rest of the nuclear agreement still do not explain what are the rules on Iran’s nuclear proliferation are after the 13 years are over. The only interpretation would be that since there is no restriction indicated, Iran will be then be free to do what it desires when it comes to its nuclear program, installing advanced centrifuges, enriching uranium, and obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Iran protested the disclosure of these documents. Last week, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, said that “the parts [of the document] published were confidential and were supposed to remain so. … Our assumption is that it has been leaked by the (International Atomic Energy) Agency.”

AEOI head Ali Akbar Salehi pressed on the secrecy of these documents “We do not intend to make this plan known to the public and (IAEA)’s action is a breach of promise.”

This also shows that President Obama wanted the Congress to sign a deal that was not fully disclosed.

Another problem with the nuclear agreement is the procedure that was put in place in case Iran violated the deal. On paper, the nuclear agreement indicates that sanctions would be re-imposed on Iran.

President Obama repeatedly stated that the sanctions could be quickly and easily re-imposed if Iran violated the terms of the agreement. However, it’s not really that simple. Once the four rounds of sanctions have been lifted, it would require the approval of all five members of the UN Security Council each to re-impose one round of sanctions. It goes without saying that getting the approval of China and Russia would not be as easy as Mr. Obama made it sound.

What has been President Obama’s reaction to these crucial intelligence reports? Silence. The administration continues to disregard and dodge questions regarding this issue. When asked about the German intelligence report and the Institute for Science and International Security report, a State Department spokesman said, “we have absolutely no indication that Iran has procured any materials in violation of the JCPOA.”

The more the White House ignores Iran’s violations of the nuclear accord, the more Iran will be emboldened to violate the international laws and terms of the nuclear agreement.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, political scientists and Harvard University scholar is president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He can be reached at [email protected].

Source: GATESTONE

The Pope and Holy War

Denis MacEoin | Gatestone Institute

  • The West that jihadists now terrorize has allowed itself to be weakened. A combination of political correctness, fear of giving offense, fear of combat, and a reluctance to upset illusory stability has led to an incredible series of opportunities for the jihadists.
  • We have dropped our guard and turned away. Not because we have no security forces. We do. But because we often are not looking at the right things: the texts and sermons that prefigure radicalisation.
  • “[T]he Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission. … We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings…” — Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On the morning of July 26, a priest serving mass, an elderly man of 85, Father Jacques Hamel, was butchered before his altar by one of two knife-wielding devotees of the Islamic State. His killer slit his throat and might very well have proceeded to behead him, as is the wont of many jihadi executioners. The followers of a faith that honours murderers as martyrs (shuhada’) created a martyr for quite another faith.

In both Greek and Arabic, the terms “martyr” and shahid mean exactly the same thing: “a witness”. Father Hamel was the latest in a long line of Christian martyrs who have been slain by men of violence, supposedly in order to attest to the sole truth of their faith. Many Muslim martyrs have died in much that way, but even more have given their lives while waging war (jihad) to conquer territories for Islam.[1]

The flag of the Islamic State reads “la ilaha illa’llah, Muhammadun rasulu’llah“. The words mean: “There is no God but God; Muhammad is the prophet of God”. Those two phrases are known as the shahada, the bearing of witness. You see it everywhere today, now in Syria, then again in France or the UK. But shahada also means martyrdom. And martyrdom while committing violence is what the killers of an innocent man of God achieved on that day when armed police found them and shot them dead outside the church they had desecrated.

On the following day, the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, issued a statement on the event, and for a moment it seemed that he had finally got things right. He said the world was now at war. Decades after the war started, here was a religious leader and statesman who seemed to have awakened to the fact that Western countries have been unwillingly and ineffectively failing to wage a war against Islamic radicalism. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that Islamic radicalism has been waging a war with us.

But then he blew it. What he then said was:

“It’s war, we don’t have to be afraid to say this … a war of interests, for money, resources. I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war.”

What? Is slaughtering a priest at his altar linked to “interests, money, resources”? Were the killers driven by a longing for social justice, for more money, for access to greater resources? Did they think the violent death of a harmless priest would bring them any of that? They had not gone to steal any of the valuable altar table objects, the censers, the candlesticks, the crucifix, the monstrance. The killers had been shouting “Allahu akbar”, literally “God is greater” (than everything, especially, to Muslims, the supposedly non-monotheistic Christian Trinity and the Church). As we know only too well, “Allahu akbar” is a religious phrase that Muslims use often. It is the beginning of the call to prayer, the adhan, repeated six times, five times a day, preceded and followed by the shahada. It has been ringing in Western ears every time Muslims in Europe and North America carry out attacks or as a prelude to a suicide attack. It is precisely because Muslims believe that their God (named in Arabic as Allah) is superior to all other gods, because to them Islam is the greatest of all religions and lastly, because Islam is destined to conquer the world either by conversion or through violence.

What did Pope Francis mean when he said “Religions don’t want war. The others want war”? This is a man with access to endless colleges of scholars, to academics worldwide, to specialists in Islam and the Middle East. It is simply not true. To begin with, who are these “others”? Non-religious people? Atheists? Agnostics? Protestants?

In order to win a war, you have to be able to identify your enemy, understand his motives, figure out just what drives his soldiers to risk their lives in battle, know for what cause mothers and wives should send their sons and husbands to fight, knowing they may never return. Ignore all that, invent false motives for the enemy, or fail to know his ultimate aims, and you will lose. “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”, said the great Chinese general, Sun Tzu, in his Art of War.

A day after that remark, the Pope sadly compounded his ignorance. A report in a Catholic magazine, Crux, stated that:

The pope said that in every religion there are violent people, “a small group of fundamentalists,” including in Catholicism.

“When fundamentalism goes as far as murdering … you can murder with your tongue and also with the knife,” he said.

I believe that it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence. It’s not fair and it’s not true,” he continued, adding that he has had a long conversation with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the Cairo-based Islamic university often described as the Vatican of the Sunni world.

“I know how they think. They look for peace, encounter,” he said. [Author’s italics]

Unfortunately, it is clear that the Pope (along with hundreds of politicians and religious leaders in the West, although not in Israel) does not know his enemy at all. If he thinks that “religions do not want war,” it is also clear he has never studied Islam or received truthful instruction in it from anyone. Here is why.

The later chapters of the Qur’an contain dozens of verses calling on the believers to go out to fight jihad or to use their resources to pay others to do so. The purpose of jihad is “the strengthening of Islam, the protection of believers and voiding the earth of unbelief”.[2]

According to a modern expert on jihad, “the Qur’an… presents a well-developed religious justification for waging war against Islam’s enemies”.[3]

Islam is not merely a religion; it is a system of governance. Here is Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the ubiquitous Muslim Brotherhood:

Islam is a comprehensive system which deals with all spheres of life. It is a state and a homeland (or a government and a nation). It is morality and power (or mercy and justice); it is a culture and a law (or knowledge and jurisprudence). It is material and wealth (or gain and prosperity). It is an endeavour and a call (or an army and a cause). And finally, it is true belief and worship.[4]

What does this mean for non-Muslims? Banna again makes this clear:

This means that the Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission. Hence it is our concern, not that of the West, and it pertains to Islamic civilization, not to materialistic civilization. We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings, without which mankind cannot attain happiness.[5]

Pope Francis (right), recently said that “I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war,” and “I believe that it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence. It’s not fair and it’s not true.” Hassan al-Banna (left), founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote that “the Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission.”

The Islamic Tradition literature, found in the six canonical collections, lays down descriptions of jihad and instructions on how to fight it. Please do not be misled by the oft-repeated obfuscation, “The greater jihad is a struggle with the self, a spiritual war”. There is no mention of this idea in the classical texts.[6] For centuries, jihad has meant physical warfare. Even the mystical Sufi brotherhoods have engaged in that extremely physical struggle.[7]

The Islamic prophet Muhammad led his men into battle on many occasions and sent out around 100 raiding parties and expeditions.[8] His successors, the caliphs, did the same. In the half-century after Muhammad’s death in 632 C.E., Muslim forces had conquered half the known world. Jihad wars continued to be fought on an annual basis by all the great Islamic empires, with no exception.

The first two major Islamic empires, that of the Umayyads (661-750) and their successors under a new dynasty of caliphs, the Abbasids (750-1258) carried out annual expeditions (usually two or more per year) against the Byzantine Empire (based in Constantinople). These raids were an ongoing tradition based on the earliest jihad wars in both the West and the East. They were never haphazard, but well planned. There were usually to two summer campaigns, often be followed by winter expeditions.

The summer jihads usually took the form of two separate attacks. One onslaught was called the “expedition of the left”. It was launched from the border fortresses of Sicily, whose troops were mainly of Syrian origin. The larger “expedition of the right” would be carried out from launched from the eastern Anatolian province of Malatya, deploying Iraqi troops. These jihad expeditions reached their height under the third major empire, that of the Ottomans, who conquered Constantinople in 1453, thereby bringing an end to the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul and its chief basilica, Hagia Sophia, was turned into the imperial mosque of the Ottomans.

Today’s jihadist organizations, from the Islamic State to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Islamic Jihad, Jabhat al-Nusra, Boko Haram, Hamas, al-Shabaab and hundreds of others are simply carrying out, on a broader canvas, the jihad wars of the nineteenth century.[9]

Jihadists seem to do this in preference to missionary work (although other groups such as the Pakistani Tablighi Jamaat do plenty of that) because their wars hark back to the days of Muhammad and his companions, the first three warlike generations. The term salafi, used now for the most radical Islamic groups, comes from salaf, or “ancestor,” but with a specialized meaning of the first three generations of Islam. Muhammad, his first followers, their children and grandchildren. Jihadists do it because, having lost military strength since the collapse of the Ottoman empire in 1918, they seem still to feel compelled to fight back against the power of the West, the triumph of the Christians (or in Israel, the Jews). God, in their eyes, promised his followers, the Muslims, that they would one day rule the world,[10] and for many centuries, Muslims may have thought that was actually happening. Then such hopes were dashed. Western empires started conquering, colonizing and ruling Muslim states, such as northern India, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and elsewhere — a reversal quite unthinkable.

To fight back, jihadists have chosen to use the best weapon at their disposal: terrorism. Worse, the West they now terrorize has allowed itself to be weakened. A combination of political correctness, fear of giving offense, fear of combat, and a reluctance to upset illusory stability has led to an incredible series of opportunities for the jihadists.

The young Islamist who killed the priest in France, for example, had been twice arrested for trying to head to Syria to serve with the Islamic State. At the time of the murder, the kindly authorities had forced him to wear an ankle bracelet with which to be monitored — but his curfew was only overnight. During the day, he was allowed to wander the streets freely. On that fateful morning, he decided to walk with his companion into a nearby church and fulfil his longings for martyrdom and for killing a Christian.

Unfortunately, Pope Francis could not be more wrong. One religion has wanted to fight wars from its inception. We have had more than 1400 years to guard ourselves against that, as when the Ottoman Empire was stopped at the Gates of Vienna in 1683. Now, we have dropped our guard and turned away. Not because we have no security forces. We do. But because we often are not looking for the right things: the texts and sermons that prefigure radicalisation.

Why do young Muslims turn from ordinariness to recruitment for the extremists? Young Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and Baha’is do not move in that direction. Could it be because so many young Muslims, first in the Islamic countries, now in the West, are taught from an early age that Islam aspires to domination, that jihad is not an evil but rather an expression of their faith, that they suffer as victims of “Islamophobia,” that Western women are immoral, and that other religions are false?

It is time to wake up. We are indeed at war, whether we like it or not. “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you”, Leon Trotsky said.

Our enemy is an extremist version of Islam that has yet to undergo a reformation, one that takes Muslims not back to the seventh century, but forwards to the twenty-first and possibly beyond.

Dr. Denis MacEoin, based in England, is an expert on Islam.


[1] “The concept of martyrdom developed differently in Islam than it did in either Judaism or Christianity. Martyrdom in Islam has a much more active sense: the prospective martyr is called to seek out situations in which martyrdom might be achieved.” David Cook, Understanding Jihad, University of California Press, 2015, p. 26.

[2] Rudolph Peters, Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History, The Hague, 1979, p. 10

[3] Cook, p. 11.

[4] Hasan al-Banna, Message for Youth, trans. Muhammad H. Najm, London, 1993, p. 6

[5] Wendell Charles (trans), The Five Tracts of Hasan Al-Banna (1906-1949), University of California Press, 1978, pp. 70-73.

[6] “Traditions indicating that jihad meant spiritual warfare… are entirely absent from any of the official, canonical collections (with the exception of al-Tirmidhi, who cites ‘the fighter is one who fights his passions’; they appear most often in the collections of ascetric material or proverbs.” Cook, p. 35.

[7] “This paradigm persisted into medieval times, where we often find the Sufi groups fighting the enemies of Islam. For example, after defeating the Crusaders under Guy de Lusignan at the Battle of the Horns of Hattin (1187), the Muslim leaders Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi [Saladin] (1169-91) gave the captive Crusaders to several of his Sufi regiments to slaughter.” Cook, p. 45.

[8] A comprehensive and fully annotated list is available at Wikipedia.

[9] For details of these, see Rudolph Peters, passim.

[10] “He (God) it is who sent his Messenger [Muhammad] bringing guidance and the True Religion in order to make [Islam] dominant over all other religions” (Qur’an 9:33). The fifth verse of that same sura is known as the “Sword Verse”, because it is the first to encourage physical attacks on non-Muslims.

Source: GATESTONE