Trump Meets Kim at DMZ

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President Donal Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un shaking hands at DMZ (Photo: AP)

Early today President Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to cross into North Korea after meeting Northi Korean dictator Kim Jong-un at the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Critics have dismissed it as pure political theatre, but others say it could set the scene for future talks. Speaking to reporters alongside Mr. Kim at the DMZ, President Trump said: “Stepping across that line is a great honor, great progress has been made, great friendships have been made and this has been, in particular, a great friendship.” Nonetheless, Trump downplayed the significance of the meeting, saying it would be “just a step” in trying to repair the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea and move toward a U.S. goal of nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula.

Isolated from the rest of the world, North Korea has been ruled by the Kim family for three generations, and its citizens are required to show complete devotion to the family and its current leader, Kim Jong-un. North Korea remains one of the world’s most represive states. In his seventh year in power, Kim Jong-un—who serves as chairman of the States Affairs Commission and head of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea—continues to exercise almost total political control. The government restricts all civil and political liberties, including freedom of expression, assembly, association, and religion. It also prohibits all organized political opposition, independent media, civil society, and trade unions.

The government routinely uses arbitrary arrest and punishment of crimes, torture in custody, and executions to maintain fear and control over the population. The government and security agencies systematically extract forced, unpaid labor from its citizens— including women, children, detainees, and prisoners—to build infrastructure, implement projects, and carry out activities and events extolling the ruling Kim family and the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).

The government continued its tight restrictions on unauthorized cross-border travel to China, collaborated with Chinese authorities to capture and return North Korean refugees, and punished North Koreans making contact with the outside world. The government fails to protect or promote the rights of numerous at-risk groups, including women, children, and people with disabilities.

North Korea has been said to be the world’s biggest open prison camps.According to a report by the US State Department, there are between 80,000 and 120,000 people in prison in the North.

Let us hope that the US-led West under Trump will not just tackle the nuclear problem but the human rights violations, too. In the end, if the latter is altogether excluded, then we are simply an accomplice to such violations under realpolitik. If, however, they are confronted, then there will be a true opportunity for peace in the Korean Peninsula.

Should the U.S. Continue to Support Saudi Arabia?

Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Photo: FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)
Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Photo: FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)

Last month President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to complete the sale of over $8 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Citing tensions with Iran, Trump bypassed the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, in which the State Department must notify Congress 30 days before concluding an arms sale. In a 53-45 bi-partisan vote, the Senate recently rejected Trump’s claim that an “emergency” situation exists in Saudi Arabia requiring the president to bypass the requirement for Congress to approve arms sales to the kingdom.

In early March of this year, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry approved six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia. The apparent goal is to construct at least two nuclear power plants in the Kingdom.

Concern in both houses of Congress about sharing nuclear technology and knowledge with the Saudis arose after the American-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

After Saudi Arabia belatedly confessed to its role in the murder, it has insisted that the crown prince (and effective ruler), Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud (MBS) was oblivious to the plot carried out by a 15-man team, which included members of his security detail. Many American lawmakers object to this “unconditional” military support to Saudi Arabia citing humanitarian and other concerns. Last August, a Saudi-led coalition warplane bombed a school bus in northern Yemen, killing 51 people, 40 of them children. The four-year-campaign has killed an estimated 50,000 civilians; in addition, nearly 12 million are reported to be on the verge of starvation.

This conflict has its roots in the failure of a political transition intended to provide stability to Yemen following an Arab Spring uprising in 2011 that forced the Saudi-backed authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh (a Shiite) to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi (a Sunni).

After Hadi proved to be ineffective in tackling a variety of problems — including attacks by jihadists, the separatist movement in the south, corruption and food shortage — the Houthis, backed by Iran and the Hezbollah Party in Lebanon, formed ties with Saleh to overthrow Hadi.

Far be it to provide a solution in that hornet’s nest, especially with the escalated tension with Iran. Yet the largely unquestioning support of Western governments, the U.S. in particular, for Saudi Arabia tends to ignore its suppression of religious freedom, as well as that of speech and peaceful assembly.

According to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Arab human rights organizations, the Saudi regime has jailed hundreds — if not thousands — of peaceful activists, bloggers, lawyers, judges, journalists, and religious scholars since the Arab Spring of 2011. If someone criticizes the royal family or any of its policies in the press or on Twitter, for example, it is considered a criminal act and can land that person in jail.

Establishing a political party, signing a petition calling for political reform, writing or even reading something deemed subversive — all are criminal acts.

Saudi oppression is mirrored in its Wahhabi version of Islam, which essentially provides the theological groundwork for almost every violent jihadist group. Its goal is to replace our democratic institutions with fundamental Islamist ones, in addition to being the main driving force behind the radicalization of young Muslims in the world today.

The U.S.-led Western coalition has justified its present position (that of overlooking human right violations), maintaining that the crown prince is modernizing his country. They base this on the prince’s Vision 2030, an project to harness natural resources and economic development in the kingdom outside of oil.

Yet Mohammed bin Salman has yet to have provided a transparent outline to achieve this. According to skeptics, Vision 2030 seems to be an austerity project that will continue the same pacts made by the royal family with the same constituencies (the rest of the royal family, religious clerics, business elites, tribal leaders and different social groups) instead of one-on-one deals with its citizens.

Vision 2030, also, does not mention human rights, nor does it outline any kind of meaningful political reform. While the government has recently introduced limited changes — including lifting the driving ban for women — the main impediment to the realization of women’s rights, the guardianship laws, remains intact. This is not to mention the fact that the prince has arrested the very women rights activists who campaigned for the right to drive in the first place.

Should we continue to support Saudi Arabia with sensitive military information? Are they reliable? Their history of human rights violations puts a serious doubt on that, specially in light the then-candidate Donald Tump in 2016 suggested that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the 9/11 tragedies.

N. B. This article was originally published by the Clarion Project on June 26, 2019, with slight modification to the last paragraph.

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I invite you to take a look at my book Islam: Religion of Peace? — The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up,

Trump Calls off Strike on Iran – Did He Make the Right Decision?

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Image: (Public Domain)

President Donald Trump called off a retaliatory strike last week against Iran after Iran shot down a highly sophisticated American drone flying over the Strait of Hormuz — Washington maintains the drone was flying over international water, while Iran claims it entered Iranian airspace. The president revealed that three strikes were planned against targets in Iran but before giving his military the go-ahead, the president asked the general in charge how many Iranians would be killed as a result of the strikes. After hearing that 150 would be killed, the president decided that such a price would be too high to pay and disproportional to the destruction of an unmanned drone. While Trump’s supporters and even some of his critics are hailing it as an act of restraint and courage, the question for American interests is whether Iran and other adversaries will see it instead as a sign of weakness and indecision.

This was the latest in a series of skirmishes across the Middle East that have stirred fears of a full-scale war between the United States and Iran. For two weeks in May the US military shadowed two Iranian commercial boats sailing around the Persian Gulf as policy makers in Washington and Tehran traded threats and taunts. American surveillance kept constant watch on the two vessels after its intelligence saw Iranian forces load missiles into launchers on their decks. As tensions grew, the Iranian ships eventually pulled into a harbor and unloaded the missiles that had set off alarms for the American military. While it may seem that America and Iran are on the verge of war, this is another chapter in a forty-year-old “cold war.”

For those of us who are old enough remember when the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was ousted in 1979, we also recall that it inadvertently led to the 444-day hostage crisis when young Iranian students broke into the American embassy in Tehran holding American personnel captive. Pahlavi’s ousting appears to have been a déjà vu when the CIA deposed Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh from power in 1953 after he tried to nationalize his nation’s oil. That was the year that the CIA, which was called into existence in 1947 when the US government was being converted to a national-security state, targeted Iran with its first regime-change operation. The CIA had asked President Harry Truman for permission to initiate a coup to help the British oil companies, which the CIA knew would destroy the Iranian people’s experiment with democracy. To his everlasting credit, Truman said no. That did not stop the CIA, however. As soon as President Dwight Eisenhower became president in 1952, the CIA renewed its request for a coup, arguing that Mossadegh was a “communist.”

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, as the United Kingdom unwound its colonial control east of Suez amid economic instability, with the American involvement in southeast Asia, the US had to “authorize” others to secure its interests in the Persian Gulf, in other words, maintain control of oil it claimed to be its “own”. Then-President Richard Nixon formalized an agreement with Iran and Saudi Arabia, known as Twin Pillars policy — deputizing Iran and Saudi Arabia as local guardians of US interests in the Persian Gulf region. Yet the Nixon administration’s push to reverse the oil-price hikes triggered by the Israeli military occupation of Egyptian territory after the 1973 Yom Kippur War ran counter to the shah’s need for funds to pay for his ambitious, thereby created an economic and socio-political vacuum.

In any case, by the 1970s the Shah, notwithstanding the abuses of the SAVAK—the Iranian secret police and intelligence service, which had been accused of arresting, torturing, and executing dissidents of the shah—was able to restructure Iran into a highly developed society through the suffrage of women; and the creation of efficient hospitals, as well as legislating religious freedom. He also made his country one of the main global competitors of petroleum. When he tried to nationalize his country’s oil, which would have meant that countries the United Kingdom and America would no longer dictate policy in Iran, he was ousted. After this, in November 1979 President Jimmy Carter gave Pahlavi asylum in the United States for humanitarian reasons, while simultaneously helping Ayatollah Khomeini, who was in exile in France, gain control of Iran and institute the same Islamic theocracy President Donal Trump has been contending with.

It was also in 1979, specifically between April and December that was the deadliest period in Iran’s history for Shi‘ite clerics. They accused the Forqan—a Shi‘ite group that emphasized an observance of Islam without clergy and decided to present an “authentic” Islam—of having connections with other domestic and foreign intelligence services such as the SAVAK, the Israeli Mossad, and the American CIA.

President Donal Trump’s withdrawal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear deal) is a reflection of his administration’s commitment to not just contain Iranian power but to cause a regime change.  Top Israeli expert Yakov Kedmi stated: “In purely military terms, it’s impossible to defeat Iran… And the Pentagon knows that better than anyone.” Yet notwithstanding Trump’s tough talk, thus far the Iranian regime has called his bluff.

The damage from Trump’s stand-down depends in part on how the Iranian regime respond. If they agree to talks to revise the Iran nuclear agreement, the restraint might pay off. Yet Iran’s leaders have shown no interest in talking as long as US sanctions are in place. This more so as has been further revealed in early March of this year that US Energy Secretary Rick Perry approved six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump told a confidant: “These people [Iran] want to push us into a war, and it’s so disgusting. We don’t need any more wars.” If President Trump eases sanctions to get Iran to the bargaining table, he is back to the Obama nuclear deal he withdrew from. Hence, we would be back to square one, not to mention, time and resources wasted. On the other hand if the Iranians escalate again, Trump’s restraint will look misguided and weak. If Americans are now killed by Iranian proxies, his failure to use force to deter attacks will deserve some of the blame. Let us hope that we will never have to find out.

US Government Promotes LGTB Agenda

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LGTB Flag on display at US Embassy in Rome (Photo was taken by me on Thursday June 13, 2019)

Last week I posted an article on this blog Abortion and LGTB Rights and the Islamic Takeover in which I explained how the moral vacuum created by the West, specifically the abortion and LGTB movements have  allowed Muslims, who rightfully do not accept such practices as rights, to seek refuge in sharia law—which is equally destructive—within our society. Yet the West, the United States in particular, seems to have taken a lead role in not just encouraging such conduct that goes against the natural law but authoritatively imposing it among the American people as legitimate lifestyles.

Thursday of last week I was in Rome and noticed that the LGTB flag displayed outside our US Embassy in Rome. While it was not “flown” on a flag pole as mandated by President Donald Trump, the US State Department found a way around Trump’s orders. While we cannot and should not judge any individual who has a same-sex orientation or any other sexual desire other than that between a man and woman, for that is left up to God, any statement or action by our government that recognizes the aforementioned suppresses our exercise of life, liberty, and the our pursuit of happiness.

God forbid we as Christians ask to display a Cross or Jews ask to display the Star of David. Yet to show how far sexual disorientation is being imposed by both federal and local governments, there is ongoing case that the Supreme Court has refused to accept of the owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa, a bakery in Oregon that refused, based on their exercise of religious freedom maintaining that marriage is only between a man and a woman, to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2012. And in the State of California, school officials think it is “really important” to teach children about pedophilia and pederasty in the classroom because it is a “sexual orientation.” Is this what we want for our children and for their children?

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The American and LGTB flags “side by side” at American Consulate in Florence. (Photo was taken by me on Friday June 21, 2019)

I sent emails to both the American Embassy and communicated my complaints to the American Consulate in Florence. The former stated that “There is no such policy that entirely prohibits the display of this flag, it only applies to hoisting other flags on the American flagpole.  Protecting human rights for all, including LGBTI persons—[notice the “I” was added to include intersex]—has long been and remains the policy of the United States.” As an Austrian friend of mine, who also possesses American citizenship told me: “I thought the American flag represents all peoples. Why do we have to disrespect the flag, which thousands have died for, by having another flag ‘hoisted’?” I was also told via email by a representative of the American Consulate in Florence—whose name I shall withhold—after saying that unless I get a proper response the American ambassador who plans to attend the 4th of July celebration this month: “If you would like to speak to someone about the flag which we also have up here at the Consulate we can set up a separate meeting.”

I am not casting judgement or pointing the finger to anyone, but both responses are not just unacceptable but they are both a betrayal to the society the American Founding Fathers created for us and to any respectable human being who seeks to live an ethical way of life.

America, we must not just wake up to the moral vacuum in our country but we must also fight it! Let us pray for the conversion of such people and the ones who are promoting such lifestyles as rights. Let us also not just take this sitting down. We need to fight this by letting our lawmakers know that we are not going to accept immorality as a legitimate means of living.

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Below is the exchange of correspondence with the US Ambassador. We cannot remain quiet about this. How much more will it take to realize that we are be discriminated against? This will only destroy the concept of the family and consequently our society as we know it. Please make our voices heard!

Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2019 1:43 PM (Letter provided was a physical one I sent on June 14; a bit more detailed that original email)

To: US Citizens, Rome
Subject: LGTB Flag outside our embassy in Rome

Mr. Lewis M. Eisenberg

U.S. Ambassador to Italy

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Dear Mr. Ambassador,

Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m the Very Rev. Mario Alexis Portella, an American citizen who now lives in Florence. I’m priest of our Cathedral S. Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of our archdiocese. I was in Rome this morning and saw the display outside our embassy of the LGTB flag. With the understanding that it was not to be flown – the juridical understanding is that it’s also not to be displayed – I would like to know the decision for its display.

I was in Rome yesterday morning and saw the display outside our embassy of the LGTB flag. Ooutside the fact that there is not reason why we as a country should be celebrating people’s sexual orientation, let alone how they perform the act, it was my understanding that the LGTB flag was not to be flown, which would also mean not to be publicly displayed.

I intend on being at the 243rd anniversary of our nation’s independence at our consulate in Florence on Thursday June 27th. I look forward to meeting you with the hope that I’ve received a satisfactory answer to my inquiry.

Kindest Wishes,

Very Rev. Mario Alexis Portella

P. S. I’ve attached the photo I took this morning outside our embassy.

Rome Protocol – Red Border <RomeProtocol@state.gov>
Mon 17/06/2019 14:52

RESPONSE: 

Dear Rev. Portella,

In response to your June 13 email we would like to clarify the misrepresentation by several media outlets about the Administration’s policy in regards to displaying LGBTI Pride flag at U.S. Embassies across the world.  There is no such policy that entirely prohibits the display of this flag, it only applies to hoisting other flags on the American flagpole.  Protecting human rights for all, including LGBTI persons, has long been and remains the policy of the United States.  As the Vice President recently emphasized: We are “proud to be able to serve every American… when it comes to the American flagpole, and American embassies, and capitals around the world, one American flag flies.”  There are no restrictions on displaying other flags, including the Pride flag, or any other demonstrations of solidarity at our embassies beyond that.  You may find further clarification from the U.S. Department of State’s Spokesperson here:  https://www.state.gov/briefings/department-press-briefing-june-10-2019/

Regards,

U.S. Embassy Rome

Abortion and LGTB Rights and the Islamic Takeover

The President of the United States Barack Obama greets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
President Barack Hussein Obama bowing before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2009. (Photo: Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI, in his Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations in April 2008 stated“The emphasis on the universality of God’s design for human beings was to put human rights into the context of stability and continuity, which the state must safeguard and foster, especially in today’s globalized world.” This concept had been articulated in the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson as the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”—an archaic English term for the divine precepts and the natural law (the norm based on nature written by the Creator in our hearts, which permits us to distinguish good from evil)—and thereby became the foundation of liberty and freedom in the West.

Jefferson and the American Founding Fathers, while not recognizing any established religion in the newly created United States, realized that in order to enact laws that would ensure the ‘unalienable’ and ‘self-evident’ natural rights, they could not separate themselves from God and his natural law. Today the Western body politic, including multilateral organizations, such as the UN and the European Union have created a moral vacuum in society favoring individualism characterized by selfishness as human rights in its promotion and fostering of the pro-abortion movement, and in a more politically predominant manner by the LGBT campaign. Prominent figures, such as Prince Harry and Meghan to Corporate America and many on social media have shamelessly supported this by flashing the LGTB rainbow colors; there are even laws that require that children be taught in schools that such relationships must be accepted, or be penalized.

While both natural and human rights are nearly synonymous, the former are based on nature, i.e., they are inherent to the human person, while the latter do not necessarily have to be. For example, the state may recognize the right of a woman to abort the infant in her womb or may concede two persons of the same sex the faculty to contract a marriage. There are even those who seek to alter their gender identity arguing that it is inconsistent or not culturally associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. They thus seek to surgically change their anatomical structure from male to female or from female to male. This, classed as transgenderism, became rampant in the US when the federal Department of Education recently mandated that schools provide access for nonconformist students to the toilet and locker room facilities of their choice, on the grounds that requiring biological males and females to use the facilities appropriate to their biological sex amounts to a violation of rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.

Although the state may recognize abortion, same-sex marriage, or the freedom to change one’s sex as human rights, they are not natural rights because they contradict the natural law. The first example violates the inalienable right to life of a person who is not able to fend for him or herself. The second transgresses the internal essence of sexuality, which is  the universal understanding and acceptance of a man and woman uniting in fidelity with the end of procreating and properly forming their progeny. The third violates the very nature of the creation of male and female as ordered by the Laws of Nature.

Church leaders, too, because of their pluralist approach to morality and doctrine have facilitated such antisocial behavior to be recognized as rights. As the Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said: “Whereas Christ tolerated sinners but did not tolerate sin—always calling on sinners to “repent”—today most Western Christians believe they must tolerate (or “celebrate”) both sinner and sin. The latter, thanks to entrenched moral and cultural relativism, no longer even seems to exist.”

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Pope Francis praying towards Mecca with Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran inside Istanbul’s Blue Mosque in 2014. (Photo: AP)

Consequential to all this is the firm foothold Islam has gained in Western society.  Muslims have collectively reacted to the fundamental national, religious, cultural, and even gender identities that are being denied or relativized. As a community, in a complete paradox to the West, they tend to uphold natural law principles by refuting abortion: holding that the fetus possesses a spiritual right and the the parents are obligated to observe these rights for the safety of the fetus before, during and after pregnancy. Muslims also see as unfairly treating a family with many children as equal (juridically speaking) to same-sex marriages, to say nothing of transgenderism. This has further coerced the Islamic community, in order to defend its principles, to seclude itself within the refuge of the sharia which equally threatens the exercise of our unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

Robert R. Reilly, in his book The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis, argues that it is in part of the ‘political correctness’ that the contemporary socio-political doctrine of sharia—the Islamic law in which Muslims find both constancy and unity—has successfully inserted itself into the West as a legitimate juridical structure. Despite the fact that sharia discourages any proper development of human rights—such as freedom of speech and of religion—or that it fails to recognize the equality between man and woman, Western statesmen (and Church leaders) remain reluctant to criticize it. They willingly refuse to publicly admit that it not only justifies the illegitimate use of force but requires that all human beings subjugate themselves to it. This is something that is even stipulated in Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam: “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia.”

The solution to the aforementioned problems is to embed in society the Judeo-Christian notion of the family: defend the unborn and sustain the substance and direction of sexuality, which is to bring about the union of man and woman and in this way give humanity posterity. This calls for its tutelage and promotion on the part of states and civil society actors. Notwithstanding the complexities that stem from both charismatic and visible dimensions of life, the irrevocable treasures that the family has to offer are to be continually approached and respected without any prejudice, with the understanding that they are not just an ideal but a reality to be embraced.

Does Islam Mean Peace?

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(Photo: billionbibles.org)

Six days after the Islamic attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush made a public appearance with members of the terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations at the Islamic Center in Washington, DC saying: “These acts of violence against innocents violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith… let me quote from the Quran, itself: In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule. The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. [Sura 30:10] That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace  When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace.” This is right in line with what Pope Francis said in 2013: “Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence.” Such statements come off as an appeasement to Muslims rather than an elucidation of Islamic doctrine.

First and foremost, Islam does not mean peace but submission: “Truly the religion in the sight of Allah is submission.” (Sura 3, 19) — I explain this in detail, as the etymology of “lslam” in my book Islam: Religion of Peace? The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up. It is true that Bush was trying to contain the violent reactions against Muslims in the United States by Americans who were justifiably angry — this of course did not warrant such indiscriminate assaults. Nevertheless, Bush’s pretext, convinced many that, as he would reiterate a year later: “Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others.” This, as the verse he recited in 2001, has to be read in context with the following verses of the same sura: “And as for those who had believed and done righteous deeds, they will be in a garden [of Paradise], delighted. But as for those who disbelieved and denied Our verses and the meeting of the Hereafter, those will be brought into the punishment [to remain].”

As the Quran states that the disbelievers to be punished are the People of the Book: Jews and Christians, as well as Hindus, atheists, etc.: “The disbelievers among the People of the Book and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding therein; it is they who are the worst of creatures.” This is sustained by another verse in the Quran: “Indeed, the vilest of animals in the sight of Allah are those who have disbelieved [kafirs: Jews and Christians].”

Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people's desires. - Anjem Choudary
(Image: azquotes.com)

Many Muslim scholars and other apologists who argue that Islam means peace and is against the murder of the innocent recite this verse: “If anyone slays [kills] a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” What is illusive about this is that this verse, as presented, does not exist anywhere in the Quran. It is, instead, a distorted version of verse 32 of the fifth sura, which states: “For that cause, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land; it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one; it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs.”

The ordinance is in reference, as per the preceding verses, to the killing of Abel by his brother Cain. Verse 32, which begins “for that cause” (reason), meaning “for the reason Cain killed Abel,” is followed by the decree given to “the Children of Israel” (the Jews) who, according to Muslims, received an earlier set of scriptures. Effectively speaking, this is applied to Muslims who as the new chosen people should not kill other Muslims. The verse likewise sanctions killing as an act of vengeance against those who cause disharmony in the umma (community), as seen in the context of the following Quranic verses:

“Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.”

It is quite apparent that the pseudo-verse 32 as presented by apologists, just as the one recited by President Bush, are both misleading to those not familiar with the Quran, to say nothing of the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad that encourage violence. Does this mean that Muslims are not peaceful? No. Yet unlike the historical atrocities committed by Christians, which are not mandated by the Gospels, let alone committed by Jesus, Islam cannot claim the same. All one has to do is read the Islamic texts.

The death toll in the history of Islam since its inception fourteen hundred years ago is nearly two-hundred-seventy-million: one-hundred-twenty-million Africans during the slave trade, sixty-million Christians, eighty-million Hindus, and ten million Buddhists. While the number of Jews killed in jihad does not significantly affect the final tally, the jihad in Arabia against them has been 100 percent effective. Does Islam mean peace? I beg to differ. Islam is rather a way of life in which its leaders seek global rule at any cost: “(O Muhammad), warn them of the coming of a Day when We shall bring forth a witness against them from each community and We shall bring you forth as a witness against them all; (and it is for that purpose that) We sent down the Book [the Quran] to you which makes everything clear, and serves as a guidance and mercy and glad tidings to those who have submitted to Allah.” The sooner the West realizes this, the better.

The Tiananmen Square Protests – Are things Better in China 30 Years Later?

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The iconic photo of a man blocking government tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989 (Image: Jeff Widener/AP)

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests when a million Chinese students had both captivated and given the entire world the impression that communism in China was about to fall.  many of us vividly remember on our tv screens the scene of an unarmed man standing in front of a column of tanks—the image of his defiance became a symbol of protest against the corrupt around the world—halting their passage from the Square a day after the bloody crackdown of June 4—hundreds, if not thousands, were killed by the Chinese military; an many thousands were imprisoned. Yet thirty years later not only has this event been practically erased from the memories of the Chinese people, China’s economy has catapulted up the world rankings, while political and religious repression in the country is harsher than many who watched those events would have anticipated.

The Chinese government, which already oversees one of the strictest online censorship regimes in the world, has further limited the provision of censorship circumvention tools and strengthened ideological control over education and mass media in 2017. Schools and state media incessantly tout the supremacy of the Chinese Communist Party, and, increasingly, of President Xi Jinping as “core” leader. In March of this year US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that when it comes to human rights violations China is “in a league of its own.” Pompeo, while also highlighting abuses in Iran, South Sudan, and Nicaragua, singled out the lack of religious freedom in China for its mass detention of members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region, specifically the Uighurs who are not just exposed to arbitrary arrests but are are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in prisons and concentration camps.

The government continues to maintain a tight grip over the internet, mass media, and academia. Authorities stepped up their persecution of religious communities, forcing all churches and denominations to register with the government, crackdowns against unauthorized Christianity have gone from bad to worse.  In early December of last year officers from a police station in Taining county in China’s southeastern Fujian Province stormed into a local underground Catholic Church meeting place in order to arrest the church’s priest and nuns. When the mission failed, the officers threatened an elderly believer, saying: “If we can’t find the priest, then we will take all of you away.” In Guangzhou, the nation’s fifth-largest city for example, the government began offering cash rewards for reporting “illegal religious activities,” including house church meetings, thereby constraining any form of religious freedom.

There was hope that China would relax its tyrannical repression when the Vatican and Beijing reached a Provisional Agreement on September 22, 2018. Pope Francis recognized the legitimacy of seven Chinese-government-appointed bishops, who, not having been selected by the Vatican, had been excommunicated. In turn, Beijing finally, and formally, recognized the pope’s authority, as well as “reconciliation” of the members of the underground Church to the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association — the state-run Church for Catholics. While the pope must confirm the bishops nominated by the Communist Party, the fact that it proposes who will run Church affairs does not make matters any easier, especially since those Catholics who refuse to join the Patriotic Church continue being persecuted — this was confirmed to me by a priest of the underground Church after he had concelebrated mass with me in Florence a year ago. In fact, the Bishop-Emeritus of Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Zi-Kiun said, after the Agreement has been signed by both parties, that “the Pope didn’t get anything from this agreement, it’s a ‘fake,’ an illusion, and Beijing made him lose his authority.”

st glance, it does not seem as if human rights violations in China will cease anytime soon, especially with its thriving economy and military might. Calls for even moderate reforms have been ignored, at best. An attempt to introduce grass-roots democracy at the village level years ago foundered after the Communist Party refused to concede even a modicum of control. Deliberative bodies at all levels are filled with party appointees who vote how they are told, and the national legislature is a mere rubber stamp body, re-electing president and party head Xi Jinping last year by a margin of 2,970 to 0.

According to Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, because of China’s growing global influence, many of its human rights violations now have international implications. In Hong Kong, courts disqualified four pro-democracy lawmakers in July and jailed three prominent pro-democracy student leaders in August. In April 2017, security officials at the United Nations headquarters in New York City ejected from the premises Dolkun Isa, an ethnic Uyghur rights activist, who was accredited as a nongovernmental organization participant to a forum there; no explanation was provided. And in June of the same year, the European Union failed for the first time ever to deliver a statement under a standing agenda item at the UN Human Rights Council regarding country situations requiring the council’s attention. This stemmed from Greece blocking the necessary EU consensus for such an intervention due to its unwillingness to criticize human rights violations in China, with which it has substantial trade ties.

Grim as the situation may be, there may be hope. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, economic growth in the third quarter sank to 6.5 percent of last year, the slowest pace since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009. Car purchases fell last year for the first time in more than two decades. Tariffs on Chinese exports to the US imposed by President Donald Trump are apparently starting to pinch the country’s factories. A steep and unexpected plunge in imports in December signaled just how sharply the economy is decelerating, which led Beijing to turn the volume down on its bravado and negotiate with Washington to defuse the conflict. And despite the political and religious suppression, more Chinese than ever before are actively, though secretly, practicing some sort of religious observance, and the numbers are growing by the millions.

 

 

 

The Deep State and the Chaos in the Middle East

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Image: Public Domain

Last week I was approached by some friends who had expressed concern about the escalated  tension between the United States and Iran. One of them was fully convinced that had President Donald Trump not pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal last year, we as Americans would not have been on the brink of war. True, Trump’s decision may have triggered the recent animosity, but this contention, as with others in the Middle East, began decades ago as the result of the Deep State, i.e., the clandestine network entrenched inside the government, bureaucracy, intelligence agencies, and other governmental entities.

For those of us who are old enough remember when the the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was ousted in 1979, we also recall that it inadvertently led to the 444-day hostage crisis when young Iranian students broke into the American embassy in Tehran holding American personnel captive. What was not clear back then as is more transparent today is how deeply involved the Deep State was in creating that chaos, as in other parts of the Islamic world.

Pahlavi’s ousting appears to have been something in the making by the Deep Sate for years. This was a déjà vu when the CIA deposed Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh from power in 1953 after he tried to nationalize his nation’s oil. That was the year that the CIA, which was called into existence in 1947 when the US government was being converted to a national-security state, targeted Iran with its first regime-change operation. The CIA had asked President Harry Truman for permission to initiate a coup to help the British oil companies, which the CIA knew would destroy the Iranian people’s experiment with democracy. To his everlasting credit, Truman said no. That didn’t stop the CIA, however. As soon as President Dwight Eisenhower became president in 1952, the CIA renewed its request for a coup, arguing that Mossadegh was a “communist.”

Mossadegh’s removal restored the young Shah Pahlavi to power, thereby giving the élite someone they could manipulate in order to administrate Iran’s oil commerce. Nevertheless, by the 1970s the Shah, notwithstanding the abuses of the SAVAK, was able to restructure Iran into a highly developed society through educational, land, and juridical reforms; the suffrage of women; and the creation of efficient hospitals, as well as legislating religious freedom. He also made his country one of the main global competitors of petroleum. When he tried to nationalize his country’s oil, which would have meant that countries the United Kingdom and America would no longer dictate policy in Iran, he was ousted. After this, in November 1979 President Jimmy Carter gave Pahlavi asylum in the United States for humanitarian reasons, while simultaneously helping Ayatollah Khomeini, who was in exile in France, gain control of Iran and institute the same Islamic theocracy President Donal Trump is trying to contend with.

Another conflict the US Deep State supposedly created in the Middle East was the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The Soviets, as initially reported, invaded the country in order to expand its atheistic doctrine. The truth of the matter is that it was in response to US covert operations in the region, which had been well in place for six months, with the apparent aim to overthrow the Communist People’s Republic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) — coed education had been introduced in elementary schools by the PDPA and women were able to teach and where not required to wear the burqa. This began to change when the US government backed the drug-trafficking Mujahideen—the forerunners of the Taliban and ISIS—to oust the PDPA. (There is actual video footage showing then-US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski directly inciting the Mujahadeen rebels in Pakistan.)

As US drug adviser to President Carter, David Musto, said, because “we [went] into Afghanistan to support the opium growers,” moderate Sufi leaders in the countryside were replaced by radical ones. This was due to massive financial support from agents of the Pakistani Inter-Services, funds that came from both the United States and Saudi Arabia, which were allocated toward jihadist ends.

According to Joe Stephens and David B. Ottaway of The Washington Post, “The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation. The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books, though the radical movement scratched out human faces in keeping with its strict fundamentalist code.”

Former US Representative and Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Jason Chaffetz holds that the liberal media loves to characterize the Obama years as free of scandal, meanwhile every office in his executive branch had worked to withhold evidence of wrongdoing, silence witness testimony, destroy federal records, classify embarrassing information, and retaliate against truth tellers. In his book, The Deep State: How an Army of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama and Is Working to Destroy the Trump Agenda, Chaffetz speaks of an entrenched leadership within the civil service, which includes conservatives, that resists exposure, accountability, and responsibility. At the highest levels, they fight back, outlast, and work the system for their own advantage. A present-day product of their intrigues seems to be the  US embassy in Badhdad’s Green Zone, the largest one in the entire world.

It covers an area of 104 acres, six times larger than UN headquarters in New York and ten times larger than the new embassy Washington is building in Beijing — which is just 10 acres. One may ask why? According to Iraqi Sheikh Qassim Al Ta’ee: “It’s… there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the entire world from the heart of the capital, Baghdad.” I do not believe that the US should become an isolationist country, for that would give a full green light to the Chinese and the Russians to further exploit the world. America needs a constant presence in the Middle East to protect its interests and those of its allies. But what exactly are those interests? Until the Deep State continues to dictate American policy, the apparent interests are petroleum, natural gas, and so on. And creating a conflict, or the Robert Mueller drama, is a good way to distract us from their clandestine enterprises. Yet because of recent publications, as well as the social and non-mainstream media, the truth is can no longer be contained. Let us take advantage of such outlets in order to give the power of decision-making back to the people.

 

The UN Deceit and the New Islamic World Order

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(Photo: theweepingeagle.com)

Muslims collectively believe, in light of their recent massive migration to the West and a much higher birthrate compared to Westerners, that they may sooner rather than later achieve their goal of an Islamic world order. In order to fulfill this, as the First Amir and Imam of Jamat e Islami Syed Abul Ala Mawdudi (1905-1979) stated: “Islam can use every power available every way it can be used to bring worldwide revolution.” Their hidden and most powerful advocate in their present-day jihad has been the United Nations Organization, which has sought to propel political Islam  at the cost of nations’ sovereignty. A recent example of this was when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2015 had planned to vote on the historical status of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and its associated Western Wall. According to Denis MacEoinUNESCO’s plan was to deny any Jewish link to this most central of all Jewish holy sites, to trash a history going back thousands of years, and to claim the Mount and the Wall as Islamictes.

Islam believes that it is eternal and had therefore preceded the other two monotheistic religions: Judaism and Christianity. Even though Islam only came into the global scene through the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century AD, but was entitled to elbow out the two older religions.

Lies by UNESCO to rewrite history, erasing all traces of Judaism and Christianity to favor a jihadist Islamic fancy, were already under way in 2015. UNESCO fraudulently renamed two ancient Biblical Jewish sites, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs Islamic sites. This was just, however, one example of how both the Islamic world, represented through the Saudi-funded Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)—the self-proclaimed voice for the Muslim world, which included 57 states, including Turkey and Palestine—has been able use the UN to employ one of its primary objectives, that of coercing Western nations to criminalize Islamophobia: to penalize any criticism, negative stereotyping, or deprecation, even if true, of Islam or the sharia. One may ask, is this the role of the United Nations?

The United Nations was historically created in reaction to World War II and the atrocities committed during the conflict so that such holistic events would not be repeated in the future. Yet from its inception the UN has sought to create a one world government at the cost of national sovereignty, human rights, especially in light that it has promoted selective human breeding through eugenics, birth control, and abortion. One of the earliest pioneers of UN global government was UNESCO’s first-ever Director-General, Sir Julian Huxley, a well-known proponent of eugenics. In his UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy (1946)he states:

“The moral task of Unesco [sic] is clear. The task is laid upon it promoting peace and security can never be wholly realised through the means assigned to it — education, science and culture. It must envisage some form of world political unity, whether through a single world government or otherwise, as the only means for avoiding war. [UNESCO] can do a great deal to lay the foundations on which world political unity can later be built.” This was actively pursued by then-President George H. Bush when he proclaimed on September 11, 1991: “a New World Order.” This new order was to be governed the UN elites and their associations, such as the International Monetary Fund, which like the UN, was fostered into existence by Soviet agents Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White. Not being able to fully achieve this, Muslims are now successfully filling in the void.

Their first global step to achieve a new world order under the sharia occurred in 1990 when the OIC declared in the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI):

“Allah … gave humanity a universal and well-balanced civilization, in which harmony [under the Islamic Sharia] is established between hereunder and the hereafter, knowledge is combined with faith, and to fulfill the expectations from this community to guide all humanity, with is confused because of different and conflicting beliefs and ideologies and to provide solutions for all chronic problems of this materialistic civilization.” In spite of this self-evident contradiction between the CDHRI and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published the CDHRI in December 1997, thereby seeming to give it a certain authority within the United Nations. And, sure enough, the it then became a quotable source at the United Nations.

A salient example of the OICs success occurred in March 2011 when the UN Rights Council passed Resolution 16/18, which called on all countries to combat “intolerance, negative stereotyping, and stigmatization of religious belief,” but stopped short of mandating criminal penalties, even though it did recognize the Muslim Brotherhood invented the concept of Islamophobia. With the backing of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, OIC-sponsored Resolution 66/167 quietly passed the 193-member UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011. This was widely viewed a watershed toward making defamation of Islam and Islamophobia recognized legal concepts that could be criminalized, thereby giving Muslim elites more global clout.

Whether they are so-called extremists or benevolent organizations, a universal crusade on the part of Muslims to defend and impose their cultural and political identity is at hand — all one has to do is see lawmakers, such as Ilhan Omar going unchecked. This has been advanced by the Rothschilds, who control the main stream media, and their chief puppeteer, George Soros, who spends his time planting agitators in governments and manipulating animosity between Russia, the US, and Europe. They have teamed up with their fellow fascist, the ideology of Islam, to assist in destroying sovereignty. And with a capitulation of church and state leaders, it is now wonder Muslims have gotten a foothold in our society. Yes, Islamists have more than enough ammunition to establish an Islamic world order, but at the same time there is still something that can be done to stop their prevalence.

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I invite you to take a look at my book Islam: Religion of Peace? The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up. Everything you wanted to know about Islam so as to better defend ourselves is in it!

Memorial Day – Let Us Remember and Honor

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(Photo: Public Domain

While many Americans have an extra day added to this weekend, let us not forget that Memorial Day is dedicated to those who have served our country and fought and died for the freedom we enjoy today. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. The Civil War which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363).

Regardless where we come from, it is because of those troops, sailors, and airmen who sacrificed their lives why we have a United States of America. Let us also not forget the families who have sacrifice their loved ones for us. May God rest their souls and may He also bless and protect the men and women in uniform who have served and those continue to defend our freedom, as well as those of others. You are in our prayers!