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How will Islam Take Over the West

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Muslims praying in front of U.S. House of Representatives. Muslims also pray inside congress, delivering
opening prayers to Allah for the Congress men and women who represent the American people. (Photo: Getty Images)

Many in the West today are grappling as to how Islam has been able to get a foothold in our society. We know of Islamists’ present-day means to get government officials to capitulate to their whims through lobbying and the mainstream media, presenting themselves as victims of the same Western society that has helped them. But how have they been able to acquire such political leverage? Apparently, there has been a willful lack of circumspection or foresightedness of this to come. Back in the 1970s, the late-Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre had said: “As long a Muslims are an insignificant minority in a Christian country, they can live on friendly terms, because they accept the laws and customs of the country that receives them. But as soon as they become numerous and organize, they become aggressive and try to impose their laws, which are hostile to [Western] civilization.”

Protagonists, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar — both pretentious allies of the United States — have been able to forge or manipulate situations, as it did with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and now with the terrorist Iranian regime. Getting politicians and the mainstream media to give them prime-time and “exclusive” attention — the same can be said of the Trump-Ilhan Omar polemics — has distracted us from confronting the true Islamic threat. In other words, they have successfully molded a quasi-invincible ignorance into people, leading them to believe that the threat of Islam is only in some far-off distant land, as with the Sri Lankan suicide bombings this year, which killed at least 290 and injuring 500 others. And whenever there is a terrorist act committed by a Muslim in the Western home front or against Westerners in a foreign land, such as the Benghazi (Libya) attacks of September 11, 2012, that killed the US ambassador and three others, officials are quick to downplay them as isolated cases. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali explained, because of the West’s obsession with terror we have become blind to the broader threat of the dawa, (Islamic proselytizing): the ideology behind the terror attacks, — and what drives numerous Muslims to Islamize us.

One opening given to Islamists has been the educational field. Saudi money, for example has financed institutions alongside multitudes of other Islamic organizations across the world and within the United States (80 percent of 1,200 mosques operating in the United States were built after 2003). Qatar’s equal vision for America is being peddled through our children’s classrooms, targeting a pliable population and one with a long shelf life. Beyond its media empires and bought-off D.C. influencers and think tanks, and Saudi Arabia are both setting their sights on the next generation of Americans.

Another powerful tool has been the mass immigration of Muslims and the lower of the fertility of the West. As of 2017, there are about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, according to the Pew Research Center; together, they make up nearly one-fourth of the world’s population, making Islam the world’s second largest religion after Christianity. Within the second half of this century, Muslims are expected to become the world’s largest religious group. The Pew Research Center estimates that by 2070, Islam will overtake Christianity, due to faster birth rate (2.7 children per family vs. 2.2 for Christian families).

Islam, since its foundation, has always been transnational as it spread across the world when the nation-state and national identity were at best inchoate and more often non-existent. This has impelled many Muslims, regardless of their views of democracy, to utilize the democratic instruments of pluralism and freedom of expression to insert themselves in society with the goal of propagating Islam at the expense of others. Reading the collapse of Western demographics, Islamists see our century as the time to make their move if they are going to have a realistic opportunity to Islamize the West. While a key strategy to arrive at this has been immigration, a more effective weapon, as already indicated, has been the multiplication of the progeny in apposition to the demographic collapse.

According to some experts, a reason for the later given is that millennials are not having or postponing having children because of financial strains. Yet those with a family income of less than $10,000 had a birth rate of almost 50 percent higher than for those with family incomes of $200,000 or higher. As Jeremy Carl, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution explains, “The lack of commitment of middle-class and wealthy Americans to having and parenting their own children goes hand in hand with our elite’s casual approach to other issues – in particular, mass immigration.” The understanding that we can simply import foreigners to make up for the child-rearing job we have refused to do ourselves completely ignores the cultural, civic and economic impacts of immigration – as well as the impacts to ourselves when we bring in foreign adults as a substitute for raising our own children. In any case, in 1970 there were one hundred thousand Muslims in America; today there are nearly four million.

With most popular name for babies born in both Belgium and Berlin in 2018 being Muhammad, it is reflective of what former Libyan dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi stated in 2006: “We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquest – will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”

Perhaps this is why President Erdogan told his fellow Muslim-Turks who are already living in Europe Europe: “Have not just three but five children.” Aside from the observance of polygamous marriages, the fact that Muslims for the most part do not practice abortion or artificial contraception increases the child rate per family. Since the birth rate in the West is low in comparison, Muslims are inevitably geared to taking over. At this rate, it may just be just a matter of a few generations before this also happens in America.

All this being said, when the US-led West continues to adamantly support rogue regimes like Saudi Arabia, which, aside their public beheadings and public display of the beheaded corpses (salb), according to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Arab human rights organizations, has jailed hundreds — if not thousands — of peaceful activists, bloggers, lawyers, judges, journalists, and religious scholars since the Arab Spring of 2011; or Qatar whose penal code does not criminalize domestic violence or marital rape, it is a no-brainer that unless there is a sudden and substantial change, the Islamization of our society may happen sooner than later.

 

Illegal Immigration – What is the Crisis About and How to Solve it

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Photo: Getty Images

As campaigning for the 2020 election ramps up, President Donald Trump has continued to focus on immigration as a key issue, calling the number of migrants at the southern border a national security crisis. Since he began his campaign in 2015 Trump has insisted — and based a good deal of his agenda — on the notion that illegal immigrants are causing a massive crime wave: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump Administration is preparing a new rule that would dramatically limit the ability of refugees to seek asylum at the US border with Mexico and will likely face immediate court challenges. Under the rule, rule, with limited exceptions refugees seeking asylum would have to do so in a third country through which they transited, rather than at the US border. This comes after Congress passing a $4.6 billion bill in June to address the ongoing crisis at the border, amid growing outrage over the conditions. But while the number of apprehensions at the border has been rising over the last two years, the number of illegal immigrants, by the time Trump became president, had already been declining; and the number of undocumented immigrants in the US is decreasing, according to new analysis from the Pew Research Center -— this is disputed by Foreign Affairs in have risen dramatically since then, reaching a 13-year high of 133,000 in May. Yet in addition, according to Michael Light, a criminologist at the University of Wisconsin, who looked at whether the soaring increase in illegal immigration over the last three decades caused a commensurate jump in violent crimes: murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, results showed that there has not necessarily been in increase in crime.  So one may ask, where is the crisis? 

It is true that the United States of America, as with any other country, has the right to determine who can enter legally and who cannot — keeping in mind that immigrating is not a right but a privilege; this is part of a nation’s sovereignty. And there has to be some sort of vetting in order to protect America’s confines. Putting the “gangs and rapists,” aside, a dilemma or concern is that certain immigrants refuse to conform to American values. US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis — a son of Jewish immigrants — said in his 1915 speech on True Americanism that immigrants seeking a home in America needed to do much more than learn English and have good manners. He argued that they “must be brought into complete harmony with our ideals and aspirations and cooperate with us for their attainment.” This can be equated with the influx of Islamists who threaten to reshape the ethnic and religious composition of the nation-states (they find themselves in), democratic-capitalist tradition and social values. Yet this is not necessarily the case at America’s southern border.

A major cause of migration from the Central American region, known as the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala), is large scale drug and gang related violence and lack of opportunity in education, health and employment. In an effort to escape the violence and to build a more secure future, people walk miles and pay traffickers their life savings to cross the border illegally. They face death, sexual harassment, and detention with the threat of deportation. In one of his first acts in office, President Lopez Obrador has signed an agreement with his counterparts from three Central American countries (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala) to establish a development plan to stem the flow of migrants seeking asylum in the United States.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrado stated: “The relationship with the government of the United States will be one of respect, mutual benefit and good neighborliness. It is time to change the bilateral relationship towards cooperation for development. Creating jobs in Mexico and Central America is the alternative to migration, not coercive measures.”

To achieve this goal he has proposed a ‘Marshall Plan’ for Central America — a long term strategy to reduce the flow of migrants from Central America to the United States via Mexico. The plan is to raise US $30 billion through public and private investment to build infrastructure, develop the energy sector and create jobs in the region. According to media reports Mexico is likely to invest US $20 billion into the plan. However, foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard, while speaking about the plan at United Nations (UN) migration conference in Marrakech, Morocco (December 2018) did not elaborate on how Mexico will raise the money or details of how it will be utilized. Mr. Ebrard, has also called on El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to contribute similar sums to the plan. He has also stated that seven countries have expressed an interest in the plan, however, details of the countries and the possible amount they are willing to invest has not yet been made public. The United States State Department announced its intention to deliver US $5.8 billion in aid and investment to the plan through OPIC, the government agency in charge of helping American businesses invest in emerging markets.

One has to recognize that there is a problem the southern border. And while a wall can keep some of the “bad guys” out, the same socio-political and economic crisis in Central America will persist. Here, America, as the leader of the free world, needs to take a lead just as it did with the Marshal Plan after World War II in Europe. It would equally require having a military presence in foreign terrain to ensure corruption does not block such efforts. In the end, creating infrastructure in Central America would provide the stability required to halt the flow of illegals entering the US border. Not to mention, with a US-led force, America would not only deflect the economic and political hegemony of China and Russia, but it would recapture its global influence as it did during the post-war era.

The Kushner Plan for Peace in the Middle East – Another Failed Attempt

Israeli and Palestinian flags outside Damascus Gate, Jerusalem (file photo)
Israeli and Palestinian flags outside Damascus Gate, Jerusalem. (Photo: AP)

The United States of America launched its newest policy last month in the Kingdom of with the hope to bring peace and stability to the Middle East region, specifically between the Israelis and the Palestinians. A $50 billion presented by its architect, White House Counselor and son-in-law to President Donald Trump Jared Kusher, the “Deal of the Century” aims to establish financial infrastructure in the Palestinian territory, along the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as economic support to the neighboring areas. Yet neither the Israeli nor Palestinian governments attended the curtain-raising event, while several Arab states stayed away or sent deputy ministers. The President of the Palestine Liberation Organization Mahmoud Abbas rejected Kushner’s economic blueprint saying that the proposal was attenuated by the refusal of the Trump administration to approve the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem — the “two-State solution” has long been seen but the international community as the only viable route for a lasting peace and stability. Kushner’s “Deal of the Century,” however, was dead in the water before he even presented it.

For years international diplomacy has made efforts—unsuccessfully—to reach a peace agreement that would put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the creation of “two States” that would live side by side. The last major attempt to achieve this, also at the behest of the US, was in July 2013, which ended without any results April of the following year. The geo-politics contained in a would-be deal for peace are complicated at best; the contention revolves around the old city of Jerusalem—sacred for Jews, Christians, and Muslims—which Israel considers its capital, despite not being recognized by the international community.

We need to understand that the disputed land between Israelis and Palestinians has been the scene of tension and violence between Arabs and Jews since the time of the British mandate, which in 1917 ended 400 years of Ottoman rule. With the Balfour Declaration by the English colonial occupant, support was officially given to create a “national homeland” for Jews in Palestine, thus following through with the appeal of the Zionist protagonist Theodor Herzl. After the Second World War, with the extermination of six million Jews by the Nazis, the UN General Assembly approved a partition plan for Palestine, with the establishment of the Israeli State in 1949 and another one for the Arabs. About 688,000 immigrants came to Israel during the first three years; approximately 650,000 Jews were already living in Israel when it was formally established as an independent and sovereign state. Simultaneously, approximately 750,000 Palestinians (75 percent of the Palestinian  population) were coerced to leave their homes. This led to a coalition of Arab nations launching an invasion of the nascent Jewish state as part of the First Arab-Israeli War in 1948. It was followed by a second major conflict, the Suez Crisis which erupted in 1956, when Israel, the United Kingdom and France staged a controversial attack on Egypt in response to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal.

The present juridical problem, again, concerns the occupation of the Holy City, one that arose following the Six-Day War (5-10 June 1967) won by Israel. The origin of this conflict was the attack on Israel by Jordan, which illegally occupied the Western Wall and the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, thus preventing any possibility of Jewish access to these holy areas. In 1950 Jordan annexed the territories it had conquered in the 1948 war, namely East Jerusalem and the West Bank, declaring itself “Protector” of the Holy Land. The only countries that recognized their annexation were Britain and Pakistan, while all other nations, including the Arab states, condemned it; Britain only recognized the annexation of the West Bank.

Adolf Hitler talking to Grand Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Amin al-Husseini and Adolf Hitler in Berlin, November 28, 1941. (Photo: Getty Images)

Israel, after its victory, had incurred the wrath of the Islamic world and feared another Holocaust since the Palestinians between 1934 and 1945, under the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and spiritual leader of the Palestinian Muslims Amin-al-Husseini, had established an unconditional alliance with Adolf Hitler’s Germany — after the Grand Mufti had gained the confidence of the emerging anti-Jewish Arab Party for Independence in 1931, he eventually sought support from the Third Reich. The Israelis eventually took back the holy sites of Jerusalem by force, but inherited a large Palestinian population, which it was unable to expel or absorb.

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White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, center, arriving on Tuesday at the venue for the US-hosted ‘Peace to Prosperity’ conference, in Manama, Bahrain. PHOTO: MATT SPETALNICK/REUTERS

One of Kushner’s proposals includes land exchange, where Jordan would give terrain to the Palestinian territories, and in return, Jordan would have land from Saudi Arabia. The deal, however, does not propose an independent and sovereign state for the Palestinians; they would only continue to have an autonomous state in view of Israel still refusing to recognize UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016, which requests to end its settlement policy in the Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem. Not to mention, the Saudi-backed initiative that called for a Palestinian State with borders that predate Israel‘s capture of territory in the 1967 Six-Day War, as well as a capital in East Jerusalem and refugees’ right of return were all rejected by Israel. It should be made know that even David Ben Gurion, who became Israel’s first prime minister, rejected demands that Israel should capture the central highlands (later to be known as the West Bank), saying it was time to end the war and concentrate on building the country. Ultimately, as Dan Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, said: “The Trump peace plan is on ice – maybe permanently.”

Undoubtedly, it is legitimate to think that sooner or later peace will be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians, despite both justifying their present positions: the Israelis refusing to surrender its seized territories, including the Golan Heights which was stripped from the Syrians in 1967; the Palestinian Muslims equipping terrorists to commit suicide attacks against the Jews, as well as inciting hatred towards Jews among their children, thereby provoking more contempt and violence. I personally believe that there will not and cannot be peace because—something the international community does not want to admit—both Israelis and Palestinian Muslims believe in the principle of vengeance a retribution: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

The Jews have overcome certain barbaric disciplines of the Old Testament, such as the stoning of adulterous women and justifiable vengeance—attributed to the Mosaic law—putting them in historical and exegetical contexts. However, if someone starts to create problems for them, the Israelis have historically shown to be anything but tolerant — would be hard not to blame them. The Palestinian Msulims, on the other hand, have not overcome the principle of retaliation because the Quran does not allow them, let alone coexistence with a people who democratically elect their government, especially if the head of state is a Jew.

I wish to make clear that I believe in the legitimacy of the State of Israel.  It is true that its juridical creation came at the cost of expelling a Palestinian population, which also includes Christians from their land. At the same time, the idea of reinserting diaspora Palestinians is both unrealistic and antagonistic. That being said, if both Israelis and Palestinians want to make peace, they can do so just as then-Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin did on September 17th 1978 with the Camp David Agreements. Both were able to incorporate the teaching of forgiveness—as Jesus Christ taught us—and show the world that since we were created in the image and likeness of God, there must be a reciprocal respect and safeguarding of human life

N. B. This article was originally published by Il Mantello della Giustizia on July 1, 2019 under the title Il nuovo piano per la pace in Medio Oriente.

Happy 4th of July!

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John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Second Continental Congress

When we Americans celebrate our Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year we think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent and sovereign nation. But July 4, 1776 was not the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776). It also was not the day we started the American Revolution; it had happened back in April 19, 1775, at the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

Acting on orders from London to suppress the colonists, General Thomas Gage, recently appointed royal governor of Massachusetts, ordered his troops to seize the colonists’ military stores at Concord. En route from Boston, the British force of 700 men was met on Lexington Green by 77 local minutemen and others who had been forewarned of the raid by the colonists’ efficient lines of communication, including the ride of Paul Revere. It is unclear who fired the first shot. Resistance melted away at Lexington, and the British moved on to Concord. Most of the American military supplies had been hidden or destroyed before the British troops arrived. A British covering party at Concord’s North Bridge was finally confronted by 320 to 400 American patriots and forced to withdraw. The march back to Boston was a genuine ordeal for the British, with Americans continually firing on them from behind roadside houses, barns, trees, and stone walls. Total losses were British 273, American 95. The Battles of Lexington and Concord confirmed the alienation between the majority of colonists and the mother country, and it roused 16,000 New Englanders to join forces and begin the Siege of Boston, resulting in its evacuation by the British the following March.

So what did happen on July 4, 1776?

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; the first draft by Thomas Jefferson (the main author)—John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston also assisted Jefferson—was written in June 1776. They had been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.

July 4, 1776, therefore became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, DC) It is also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.

In contrast, we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, the anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed, not the anniversary of the date it was approved. If we had followed this same approach for the Declaration of Independence we’d being celebrating Independence Day on August 2nd of each year, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed!

How did the Fourth of July become a national holiday?

For the first 15 or 20 years after the Declaration was written, people did not celebrate it much on any date. It was too new and too much else was happening in the young nation. By the 1790s, a time of bitter partisan conflicts, the Declaration had become controversial. One party, the Democratic-Republicans, admired Jefferson and the Declaration. But the other party, the Federalists, thought the Declaration was too French and too anti-British, which went against their current policies. By 1817, John Adams complained in a letter that America seemed uninterested in its past. But that would soon change.

After the War of 1812, the Federalist Party began to come apart and the new parties of the 1820s and 1830s all considered themselves inheritors of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans. Printed copies of the Declaration began to circulate again, all with the date July 4, 1776, listed at the top. The deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4, 1826, may even have helped to promote the idea of July 4 as an important date to be celebrated.

Celebrations of the Fourth of July became more common as the years went on and in 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. Further legislation about national holidays, including July 4, was passed in 1939 and 1941.

We naturally have to thank the Almighty for those in uniform who have fought and died, and continue to sacrifice themselves for our freedom. Let us also never forget, notwithstanding their misgivings, what our Founding Fathers left us: a courageous example and the means to stand up to tyranny so that we may exercise the our natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endowed to us by our Creator.

 

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.

__________________

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

_________

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.”

Immagine correlata
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?

Risultati immagini per islam religion of peace
(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.