Tag Archive: human-rights
The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/29070
Sep. 12, 2014
“[T]his is not an indefinite government deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specified powers – but, a limited government tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.” –James Madison, Speech in Congress, 1792
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Blocking Obama’s ISIL Strategy
In his speech to the nation1 on ISIL Wednesday, Barack Obama declared, “[W]e will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. … [W]e will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.” He claimed to be assembling a “broad coalition” in support of his mission so as to not, as he has previously put it, “go it alone” like George W. Bush in Iraq. Bush went with support from 37 countries; Obama has fewer than 10. And one of them is not Turkey, which announced Thursday2 it would not permit U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes from its air bases. That limits our options to carriers in the region or other NATO bases further away. Oh, and Great Britain and Germany3 also won’t be helping with airstrikes. Behold, the results of “leading from behind.”
We’re Not at War, Kerry Says
Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Thursday that we are not at war with ISIL – at least not just yet. “What we are doing,” he said, “is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation.” Just to reiterate the point, he said, “If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counter-terrorism operation.” We’re glad he cleared that up. It reminds us of Kerry’s comments just over one year ago4, when he was pumping up action against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. He promised we would counter Assad “without engaging in troops on the ground, or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort,” and that any action would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” The administration sure is twisting itself into knots to assure its hard-left base that Barack Obama is not George W. Bush. Kerry’s remarks would be funny if they weren’t so disgraceful.
To Claim Islam Is Like Other Religions ‘Is Just Plain Wrong’
HBO’s Bill Maher is a leftist atheist and no friend of Christianity. But he came to the religion’s defense in addressing Barack Obama’s assertions regarding ISIL and Islam. “Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it,” Maher said, objecting to comparisons. “Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it. So yes, does [ISIL] do Khmer Rouge-like activities where they just kill people indiscriminately who aren’t just like them? Yes. And would most Muslim people in the world do that or condone that? No. But most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think. … So to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naïve and plain wrong.” For once, Maher is right on the money.
Executive Action on Immigration Possible by Year’s End
The White House promised angry Latino lawmakers Thursday the president would make his move on immigration “reform” before the end of the year. The lawmakers feel Barack Obama betrayed them when he announced delaying his pen from drawing sweeping changes to the immigration system, possibly granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said, “The president understands the depth of the broken immigration system that we have and he’s bound and determined to make sure that we fix it because it’s impacting our economy, it’s impacting our job growth and it’s a humanitarian issue that’s impacting families across the country. So we’re going to fix it and we’ll do it before the end of the year.” While the delay helps Democrats running for re-election in November, Hot Air’s Allahpundit5 says the president could wait until next year to act on immigration in order to help his successor win the White House in 2016. More…6
Scientists Say Gov’t Intervention Is Healing Ozone Layer
A new United Nations report praises government intervention for helping heal the ozone layer over Antarctica, a finding made famous by scientists Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland in 1974 – incidentally during the height of the “next ice age” scare. The ozone hole was primarily blamed on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), prompting a global ban on the compound in 1987. Now, CBS News reports, “For the first time in 35 years, scientists were able to confirm a statistically significant and sustained increase in stratospheric ozone, which shields us from solar radiation that causes skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.” In fact, an older UN study predicted that, had no action been taken, we’d be looking at an additional two million skin cancer cases annually within the next decade and a half. So regardless of whether the ozone is experiencing a natural oscillation (which it most assuredly is), alarmists can now make the unproven assertion that their activism helped prevent a calamity. Molina says the recovering ozone layer is “a victory for diplomacy and for science and for the fact that we were able to work together.” And no doubt, scientists will use this new report to stress the need for a pact to limit greenhouse gases like CO2, which they say will otherwise threaten any long-term ozone recovery. More…7
For more, visit Right Hooks8.
Boos for Cruz Shouldn’t Overshadow Christian Persecution
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was booed off the stage of a Washington, DC, summit exploring the plight of Christians in the Middle East because he supported the nation of Israel. The whole episode illustrates the complexity of the Middle East – especially when it comes to our understanding of the region’s religious and political tensions.
A video of the event9 shows Cruz standing before the crowd, which was murmuring angrily. “I will say this,” Cruz said. “I am saddened to see that some here – not everyone, but some here – are so consumed with hate.”
The audience grew angry and a man near the camera shouted, “You speak for yourself!”
“If you will not stand with Israel,” Cruz said, “then I will not stand with you,” walking off the stage. The camera follows him, catching the words projected onto the wall: “Solidarity Dinner.”
The summit, put on by In Defense of Christians (IDC), brought together Coptic Christians, Evangelicals, Orthodox Christians and Catholics, as well as Democrats and Republicans alike. All were there to raise awareness of the threats to religious freedom in the Middle East, particularly ISIL’s threat of genocide10 against Christians.
IDC president Toufic Baaklini said11 the goal of the summit was to “empower the Middle Eastern Christian Diaspora and energize the American people to stand in solidarity [with] the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East. Their survival is vital to stability in the region, and their ability to flourish in their countries of origin has national security implications for the United States.”
Unfortunately, that laudable goal will be eclipsed by click-bait headlines focused only on the brief altercation with Cruz. Meanwhile, the intolerant drum of radical Islam beats stronger and stronger in the dissolving states of the Middle East.
While the gathered Christians may have been of one Lord, one faith, one baptism, they were not all one with the state of Israel. Let’s give Cruz the benefit of the doubt on this one, as this misunderstanding is a common problem between Evangelical Americans and some of the Christian communities still living in the land where Jesus walked. Religion News Service points out12:
“The episode highlighted a central tension between U.S. evangelicals, who strongly support Israel, and Middle Eastern Christians – including thousands of Palestinian Christians – who hold Israel responsible for expropriated Arab lands and the death toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
However, despite the well-documented brutality of dictators like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Assads in Syria Christians in those countries prefer the relative stability of those dictators to the jihadist alternatives. The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan writes13, “An estimated two-thirds of the Christians of Iraq have fled that country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. They are being driven from their villages in northern Iraq. They are terrorized, brutalized, executed. This week an eyewitness in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June, told NBC News the jihadists were committing atrocities. In Syria, too, they have executed Christians for refusing to convert.”
IDC set a lofty goal. In its statement after the disruption14, Baaklini admitted that people in the Church and in the field of foreign policy thought the organization would fail. “For more than 48 hours,” he said, “our initial IDC conference was successfully bridging divides of faith, language, geography and politics.”
The views of the speakers ranged across the spectrum. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) spoke, as well as writer Eric Metaxas, who schooled president Obama15 at the 2012 Presidential Prayer Breakfast. On the other hand, some of the Christian leaders from the Middle East supported groups like Hamas or Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, The Washington Free Beacon reported16.
Within that spectrum of Christians stood Sen. Cruz. In a statement17 explaining why he left the dinner, Cruz outlined his message on Israel:
“When I spoke in strong support of Israel and the Jewish people, who are being persecuted and murdered by the same vicious terrorists who are also slaughtering Christians, many Christians in the audience applauded. But, sadly, a vocal and angry minority of attendees at the conference tried to shout down my expression of solidarity with Israel.”
Cruz is right to show solidarity with Israel, a key ally of the United States and the only nation in the Middle East where Christians needn’t fear persecution. But Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist argues Cruz is no hero for what he did18, saying he approached the whole speech politically, meeting with The Washington Free Beacon beforehand and using the situation generally to advance his platform.
“When Cruz was supposed to give the keynote address and discuss the deadly serious topic of persecution of Christians,” Hemingway wrote, “he instead insulted a largely immigrant and foreign crowd as a group that didn’t understand their own political situation and stomped out of the room after calling them a bunch of haters.”
Thus was the IDC summit reduced to another sound byte in the Beltway political machine. But its purpose remains paramount: Christians are being threatened10 in the Middle East – Christians with complex and nuanced geopolitical views based on interests sometimes not aligned with the U.S. If they fall, the region – and the world – will be far worse for it.
The Phony Investigation of Scott Walker
It’s not unusual for the Leftmedia to behave corruptly and circle the wagons for Democrats. Aside from becoming an echo chamber for Democrat talking points, the media have a history of dishonesty – from intentionally blowing up GM trucks to “prove” the dangers of owning them, to utterly ignoring Bill Clinton’s one-man War on Women. There isn’t much we haven’t witnessed. Currently, the mainstream media are aligned to smear Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker with lies and disinformation before the November election.
In 2012, Democrat Wisconsin district attorneys, led by Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm, launched a secret probe known as a John Doe investigation of Gov. Walker, alleging he illegally coordinated a conservative group’s fundraising. These Democrats sought to prove Walker received an illegal in-kind campaign contribution in the form of ads Walker approved. Since Democrats never violate campaign finance laws, they are uniquely qualified to pursue those who do. The district attorneys issued more than 100 subpoenas, demanded private information from individuals and conservative groups, and even conducted secret raids. Furthermore, those targeted or privy to the investigation were required to keep it secret.
But prosecutors lost the first round in court as Judge Gregory Peterson quashed their subpoenas, saying they “fail probable cause.”
After the John Doe debacle, the DAs appealed to U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa. The judge slammed the prosecutors for seeking “refuge in the Court of Public Opinion, having lost in this Court of law.”
The defendants then asked for the release of reams of the secret documents while leaving out those involving two unnamed, unindicted persons for the sake of their privacy. Randa agreed. The DAs then complained that all records should be made public rather than a select few. Randa shot back saying that the prosecutors’ complaint “smacks of irony.” Their position is “at odds with their duty as prosecutors, which is to see that in any John Doe proceeding the rights of the innocent accused are protected in pursuit of a criminal investigation.”
While that state appeal was pending, Eric O’Keefe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth filed a federal civil rights suit, alleging the DAs’ secret investigation and tactics are an unconstitutional abuse of his civil rights. The civil rights case is currently before three judges from the Seventh Circuit Court, and the media are dutifully touting a big win for the Wisconsin prosecutors.
The story broke last June, and since then the Leftmedia has portrayed Walker as another corrupt conservative politician, hypocritically violating campaign finance laws. Despite the fact that the case was thrown out of a state court and then a federal court for lack of evidence, Democrats continue pursuing Walker as though he were the reincarnation of another Wisconsinite, Sen. Joe McCarthy.
The real in-kind campaign contribution went from prosecutors to Walker’s Democrat challenger Mary Burke. Democrats have handicapped fundraising at many of the most effective conservative independent groups while forcing them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to defend their rights in court. Burke has made the probe a centerpiece of her campaign, which has helped her get close in the polls.
But prosecutors aren’t done yet. They’re asking the Seventh Circuit Court to let them reopen the investigation, despite its nearly two years of failing to nail Walker on any charge. Furthermore, they claim immunity from being sued and that the interests of the public outweigh the interests of the investigated group. Clearly, all they really want is to drag out the constant allegations until the November elections, hoping to rid themselves of Walker. Let’s hope the voters of Wisconsin aren’t fooled by Democrats’ shameful behavior.
For more, visit Right Analysis8.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
David Harsanyi: Actually, Senators, You’re the Ones Who Threaten the Country19
Jonah Goldberg: Is the Islamic State Really un-Islamic?20
Mona Charen: Presidential Malpractice21
Michelle Malkin: Post-9/11: Protect the Freedom to Warn22
Stephen Moore: In Japan’s Economic Folly, a Lesson for U.S.23
For more, visit Right Opinion24.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Canadian-American chemist and author O. A. Battista (1917-1995): “One of the hardest things to teach a child is that the truth is more important than the consequences.”
Columnist David Harsanyi: “It is true that 16 states and the District of Columbia, along with more than 500 cities and towns, have passed resolutions calling on Congress to reinstitute restriction on free speech. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support the abolishment of super PACs. So it’s important to remember that one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers offered us the Constitution was to offer a bulwark against ‘democracy.’ Senators may have an unhealthy obsession with the democratic process, and Supreme Court justices are on the bench for life for that very reason. On Monday, Democrats offered an amendment to repeal the First Amendment in an attempt to protect their own political power. Whiny senators – most of them patrons to corporate power and special interests – engaged in one of the most cynical abuses of their power in recent memory. Those who treat Americans as if they were hapless proles unable to withstand the power of a television commercial are the ones who fear speech. That’s not what the American republic is all about.”
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Is the Islamic State ‘not Islamic’? Moreover, is it really ‘clear’ that it’s not Islamic? … [T]he fact that the majority of its victims are Muslim is irrelevant. Lenin and Stalin killed thousands of communists and socialists; that doesn’t mean Lenin and Stalin weren’t communists and socialists. If such terrorists who kill Muslims aren’t Muslims, why do we give them Korans when we imprison them? … [I]t also seems flatly wrong for an American president to be declaring what is or is not Islamic – or Christian or Jewish. Given the First Amendment alone, there’s something un-American in any government official simply declaring what is or is not a religion. … Instead of Americans trying to persuade Muslims of the world that terrorism is un-Islamic, why shouldn’t Muslims be working harder to convince us?”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Obama vowed to arm Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. He had a change of heart. Last month he dismissed the rebels as doctors, dentists and pharmacists, but he’s come to realize it’s cheaper to give them the half billion now than pay their bills through ObamaCare.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
New Book Says C.I.A. Official in Benghazi Held Up Rescue
The American Mission in Benghazi, Libya, during the 2012 attack. Five C.I.A. contractors who were nearby say they were told not to intervene.
ESAM OMRAN AL-FETORI / REUTERS
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
CAIRO — Five commandos guarding the C.I.A. base in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012 say that the C.I.A. station chief stopped them from interceding in time to save the lives of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and an American technician during the attack on the diplomatic mission there.
In a new book scheduled for release next week and obtained by The New York Times, the commandos say they protested repeatedly as the station chief ordered them to wait in their vehicles, fully armed, for 20 minutes while the attack on the diplomatic mission was unfolding less than a mile away.
“If you guys do not get here, we are going to die!” a diplomatic security agent then shouted to them over the radio, the commandos say in the book, and they left the base in defiance of the chief’s continuing order to “stand down.”
The book, titled “13 Hours,” is the first public account of the night’s events by any of the American security personnel involved in the attack. The accusation that the station chief, referred to in the book only as “Bob,” held back the rescue opens a new front in a fierce political battle over who is at fault for the American deaths.
Republicans have blamed President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, for the security failure.
American officials have previously acknowledged that the Central Intelligence Agency security team paused to try to enlist support from Libyan militia allies. But the book is the first detailed account of the extent of the delay, its consequences for the rescue attempt, and who made the decisions.
The commandos’ account — which fits with the publicly known facts and chronology — suggests that the station chief issued the “stand down” orders on his own authority. He hoped to enlist local Libyan militiamen, and the commandos speculate that he hoped the Libyans could carry out the rescue alone to avoid exposing the C.I.A. base.
No meaningful Libyan help ever materialized.
In an emailed statement on Thursday, a senior intelligence official said “a prudent, fast attempt was made to rally local support for the rescue effort and secure heavier weapons.” The official said “there was no second-guessing those decisions being made on the ground” and “there were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support.”
The commandos were former members of American Special Forces teams hired by the intelligence agency as private contractors. Two of the team, both former Navy Seals, died fighting the attackers at the C.I.A. base later that night. Five others are credited as co-authors of “13 Hours,” which was written with their cooperation by Mitchell Zuckoff, a professor of journalism at Boston University. Mark Geist, Kris Paronto and John Tiegen are credited by name, and two of the authors use pseudonyms.
They say that they learned that the mission’s building had been set on fire during the short drive there, from another plea for help over the radio. The ambassador and the technician, Sean Smith, suffocated in the smoke.
No American fired a weapon of any kind in defense of the mission until the C.I.A. commandos reached the compound, more than 40 minutes after the attack began, the commandos say. The Libyan guards hired to protect the mission quickly retreated. The handful of diplomatic security agents, caught by surprise and outnumbered, withdrew to separate buildings without firing a shot.
One of the commandos fired grenades to help disperse the attackers and clear an entrance to the mission. They later exchanged fire when the attackers returned for a second assault. And the commandos say that after pulling back to the C.I.A. base they fought off-and-on gun battles with fighters lurking in the shadows outside for much of the night.
Although the commandos write of several Libyans who risked their lives to help the Americans, the difficulty of discerning friend from foe is a recurring theme. They write that a supportive militia leader who appeared to be helping them approach the mission also said he was talking on the phone with the attackers, trying to negotiate.
“What’s the difference between how Libyans look when they’re coming to help you versus when they’re coming to kill you?” the commandos joked with the diplomatic security agents. “Not much.”
The contractors say they raced so quickly to arm themselves when they heard the alarm that one failed to put on underwear. Another went into the battle in cargo shorts.
Then, fully armed, they found themselves waiting inside their armored vehicles, making small talk.
“Hey, we gotta go now! We’re losing the initiative!” Mr. Tiegen says he complained to the station chief, who he says replied, “No, stand down, you need to wait.”
“We are going to have the local militia handle it,” the chief added later, according to the commandos.
Analysis: New Study Did Not Prove That Gay Parents Are Better
BY NAPP NAZWORTH , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
July 9, 2014|7:07 am
Several liberal media organizations are reporting the results of a new same-sex parenting study which suggests that gay parents do a better job of raising children than the general population. There are four imporant points to understand about that study, however.
Here are a few of the headlines:
CBS News: “Children of same-sex couples healthy, well-adjusted, study finds”
NBC News: “Children of Same-Sex Parents Are Healthier: Study”
The Huffington Post: “Children Of Gay Parents Are Happier And Healthier Than Their Peers, New Study Finds”
Vox: “Largest-ever study of same-sex couples’ kids finds they’re better off than other children”
The study, though, does not warrant the conclusions suggested by those titles.
“Parent-reported measures of child health and wellbeing in same-sex parent families: a cross-sectional survey,” by lead author Dr. Simon R. Crouch at The University of Melbourne in Australia, was published June 21 by the journal BMC Public Health. The co-authors were Elizabeth Waters, Ruth McNair, Jennifer Power and Elise Davis. Power is affiliated with La Trobe University. The rest of the authors are at The University of Melbourne.
The study found that children of same-sex parents scored higher on measures of general behavior, general health and family cohesion than the general population of Australia. The study also measured how often the parents felt stigmatized for being gay. A high number of stigmas was negatively correlated with measures of the children’s physical activity, mental health and family cohesion.
Here are four important points to understand about the study:
1) The study did not use a random sample.
To make a generalizable conclusion about a population, scientific studies need a large, probability sample of the population, sometimes called “random sample” or “representative sample.” A probability sample means that those surveyed are representative of the general population.
The Crouch study was based upon a convenience sample, or non-probability sample. Participants for the study were recruited through gay and lesbian community email lists and ads posted in gay and lesbian press. This means that the participants volunteered for the study and were not randomly chosen from the population.
The sample had 315 parents of 500 children. Most of the children, 80 percent, had a female parent complete the survey. Eighteen percent had a male parent, while the remaining parents described themselves as “other gendered.”
As stated in the study: “Every effort was made to recruit a representative sample, and from the limited data available about same-sex parent families it appears that the [study's] sample does reflect the general context of these families in contemporary Australia.”
Convenience samples can be an important research tool when probability samples are difficult to achieve. They can also help researchers design better studies and help them resolve issues with their research before conducting large scale studies. Social scientists understand, however, that conclusions about a general population should not be drawn based upon a convenience sample.
2) The study did not compare same-sex parents to biological parents.
Previous studies have shown that kids do best when they are raised by their biological parents and those parents are married. The Crouch study, however, compares its convenience sample of children raised by same-sex parents to the general population, which includes those raised by single parents, step parents, foster parents and other same-sex parents.
The study cannot conclude, therefore, that children raised by gay parents have better or worse outcomes than children raised in two-parent heterosexual households.
3) The study relies upon parent-reported outcomes.
The health and well-being of the children are based upon what the parents say they are. While these measures are being compared to other parent-reported measures, there are reasons that gay and lesbian parents might overstate their outcomes at a greater rate than the general population.
The survey was conducted while Australia is debating redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. Part of that debate deals with child-rearing. Government recognition of marriage should only be for a man and woman, proponents of traditional marriage argue, because this arrangement is best suited for the raising of children, which is a public good.
It is in the interests of gay marriage supporters, therefore, to show that gay couples can raise children just as well as straight couples. The gays and lesbians who volunteered to participate in the Crouch study likely understood the significance of the study. As a result, they may have inflated their results more than the average parent. Additionally, gays and lesbians who are raising children with poor outcomes may have been reluctant to participate in the study for similar reasons.
4) Studies using probability samples show poor outcomes for gay parents.
Two recent studies that did use probability samples showed some poor outcomes for children of gays and lesbians.
The New Family Structures Study at the University of Texas led by sociologist Mark Regnerus found, for instance, that those who reported that at least one parent had a same-sex relationship had poor outcomes along a range of variables. They were, for instance more likely to be depressed, unemployed, have more sex partners and report negative impressions of their childhood.
A study published last December by economist Douglas W. Allen looked at a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census and found that children from gay and lesbian families were less likely to graduate from high school than children raised by opposite sex couples and single parents.
The issue of gay parenting in highly politicized. In such an environment, liberal media tend to exaggerate the results of those studies that appear to confirm their biases and write hyper-critically about the studies showing different results. Conservative media have similarly focused more on reporting the research that confirms their biases.
There are some significant differences, though, between how Allen and Regnerus are presenting their findings compared to Crouch and other social scientists who say there are no differences between gay and straight parents. Unlike the “no differences” social scientists, Allen and Regnerus do not argue that their studies are conclusive.
Gay parenting is difficult to study because it is so new. In the history of human civilization, gay parenting has only recently become culturally accepted. To understand the effects on the children they raise, social scientists need more and larger samples and time — time for the kids raised by gays and lesbians to grow up and have outcomes that can be measured and compared to those raised by other family types. Allen and Regnerus point this out in their research and other reports.
For the time being, research has shown that biological, two-parent households provide, on average, the best outcomes for children compared to all other family types. Additional research has demonstrated the unique contributions of mothers and fathers to child development. (One study, for instance, found that fatherlessness harms the brain.) These studies should be sufficient to at least raise suspicion of the studies suggesting that kids raised by parents of the same gender have the same, or better outcomes as kids raised by both a mom and a dad.
The social scientists reporting “no differences,” on the other hand, make sweeping generalizations based only upon their small, non-random samples that confirm their liberal biases. Liberal media uncritically follow them.
Some of Regnerus’ liberal critics have also argued that his findings should be ignored because he is a conservative Catholic. Crouch, though, is a gay man raising two kids with his partner. Would these same critics suggest that Crouch’s study should be ignored because Crouch is personally invested in the results?
Contact: email@example.com, @NappNazworth (Twitter)
Published on Clarion Project (http://www.clarionproject.org)
Efforts Mount to Gloss Over Islamist Ideology of Boko Haram
The reason that Boko Haram believes its kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian girls is justified is because of Islamist teachings that the taking of female slaves is justified during jihad. And this jihad is not limited Nigeria. In a recent video, its leader said it is at war with Christianity and democracy.
There are efforts to gloss over the fact that Boko Haram is inspired by Islamist doctrine. Comedian Dean Obeidallah writes that Boko Haram is not “Islamic” and the media shouldn’t describe it as “Islamist,” “Islamic terrorists” or anything of the sort.
Ahmed Bedier, former executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and current leader of United Voices for America, speaking at a press conference organized by Muslim advocacy groups to distance Islam from Boko Haram, said he was “tired of people coming on television asking, ‘Where does this ideology come from?’ ” His answer was that it “comes from nowhere.”
Yet, the leader of the same press conference, Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, the spokesman for the Dar Al Hijra mosque in Falls Church Va., said in reference to formally excommunicating Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau, “There is a great reluctance to excommunicate someone by extension. … It would be like convicting someone in absentia.”
Two days later, in a telephone interview, when asked to give sources from Islamic texts that contradict Boko Haram’s Islamist ideology, the interviewer reported that Abdul-Malik “quickly ended the call.”
CAIR and its allies work hard to cleanse the semantics of the media so the Islamist ideology isn’t a topic of scrutiny, but Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau wants the world to know that he is motivated by Islamic sources. For example, he said:
“If we meet infidels, if we meet those that become infidels, according to Allah, there is not any talk except hitting of the neck. I hope you, chosen people of Allah, are hearing. This is an instruction from Allah. It is not a distorted interpretation. It is from Allah himself.”
He also cites Islamic sources when justifying Boko Haram’s kidnapping of the Nigerian girls. Slavery of one’s adversaries, he says, is permissible during a jihad. The captives are the booty of war. Shekau explains, “There are slaves in Islam, you should know this, Prophet Muhammed took slaves himself during [the] Badr war.”
Shekau isn’t saying that it is permissible to take just anyone as a slave, but only those that belonged to the enemy. So how do these innocent girls qualify as seized enemy property? Because Shekau believes the jihad is not against an army, government or ethnic group but against Christianity, Western influence, democracy and Muslims that Boko Haram sees as impure.
Shekau declared, “To the people of the world, everybody should know his status, it is either you are with us mujahideen or you are with the Christians.”
“We know what is happening in this world, it is a jihad war against Christians and Christianity. It is a war against Western education, democracy and constitution… This is what I know in Quran. This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution, Allah says we should finish them when we get them.”
Contrary to Bedier’s assertion that Boko Haram’s ideology “comes from nowhere,” it does come from well-established Islamic interpretations, even if most Muslims disagree with those interpretations (a mere 2% of Nigerian Muslims view Boko Haram favorably).
Shekau’s view is substantiated by IslamWeb, a popular website that endorses Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. In a 2002 fatwa (authoritative Islamic ruling), IslamWeb concludes:
“Islam left only one source for slavery that is enslavement in war and only legal war (i.e. against the non-Muslims). Indeed, the enslavement of prisoners of war was a part of warfare. So, Islam did not free the slaves of its enemies while its own followers are enslaved by those enemies and given the worst possible treatment.”
In another 2002 fatwa, IslamWeb specifies that females from the enemy camp can be taken as booty. It says:
“’the slaves that your right hand possesses’…includes the slave girls and slaves in general those who are under the control of a free Muslim. As a rule, the only channel of producing this segment of society is Jihad in the cause of Allah.”
“At last, a Muslim has the right to have sex with a slave girl since she is “in the possession of his right hand.”
Islam Q & A is a website by Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid. He is an Islamic scholar that preaches in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and has two television shows.
In fatwa 10382, Islam Q & A states, “It is permissible for you to take concubines from among those whom you seized as war booty,” regardless of if one has a spouse. It says, “Islam allows a man to have intercourse with his slave woman, whether he has a wife or wives or he is not married.”
“The scholars are unanimously agreed on that and it is not permissible for anyone to regard it as haraam [prohibited] or to forbid it. Whoever regards that as haraam is a sinner who is going against the consensus of the scholars,” it rules.
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi is another supporting source. He is the Islamist scholar that founded the Jamaat-e-Islami group in Pakistan and is continues to be referenced by Islamists around the world. The New York-based Islamic Circle of North America, one of the largest Muslim-American groups, continually cites him as a top authority on Sharia.
Maududi wrote, “And forbidden to you are the wedded wives of other people, except those who have fallen in your hands (as prisoners of war): This is the Law of Allah.”
Then there’s the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, based in California. In 2006, it issued a fatwa written by Dr. Hatem al-Haj, a member of its Fatwa Committee.
“God miraculously laid down a system by which all the tributaries feeding into the river of slavery would be cut off except for the captives of war,” AMJA’s fatwa rules (emphasis mine).
The fatwa’s author, Al-Haj, is also the Dean of the College of Islamic Studies of the Mishkah Islamic University of North America that is headquartered in Minnesota. Mishkau University also has branches in Detroit, Houston and Montreal and on-site activities in Tampa and Rutgers University in New Jersey.
All of these Islamic sources are in agreement. That doesn’t just “come out of nowhere,” as former CAIR official Ahmed Bedier insists.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.
Pro-Lifers Have More Intensity But Fewer Registered Voters, Gallup Poll Shows
Americans are about evenly split on the issue of abortion. The issue is more likely to be a deciding factor in the vote of pro-lifers than pro-choicers, but there are fewer pro-life registered voters.
Forty-seven percent of Americans consider themselves pro-choice and 46 percent consider themselves pro-life, according to Gallup’s May 8-11 poll of 1,028 adults.
With a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, the split is too close to say which position has the highest level of support. Since 2009, Lydia Saad wrote for Gallup, abortion attitudes have been “roughly split” with only a few fluctuations.
Pro-lifers, however, demonstrated more intensity in their position. When asked if they only support candidates who share their views on abortion, about one in four, 24 percent, of pro-lifers said they would, compared to only 16 percent for those who identify as pro-choice. Thirty-two percent of pro-choice identifiers said they do not see abortion as a major issue, compared to only 21 percent of those who identify with the pro-life position.
position on abortion
The pro-life intensity advantage in the voting both is diminished, however, by the fact that fewer of them are registered to vote. Among registered voters, 50 percent are pro-choice and 44 percent are pro-life.
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When looking at intensity among registered voters, the eight percentage point advantage for pro-lifers shrinks to, within the margin of error, only three percentage points — 11 percent of registered voters say they only vote pro-life and eight percent say they only vote pro-choice.
About two-thirds of Democrats are pro-choice, 28 percent are pro-life. Republicans are essentially the reverse of that — 69 percent are pro-life and 27 percent are pro-choice. Independents, like the full sample, are about evenly split — 46 percent are pro-choice and 45 percent are pro-life.
Regionally, Easterners are the most pro-choice, 59 percent, and Midwesterners and Southerners are the most pro-life, 50 percent and 49 percent, respectively. Westerners were evenly split, 48 percent pro-choice and 47 percent pro-life.
Gallup also found a high level of intensity from the partisans on both sides of the abortion issue. Twenty-four percent of Republican voters and 19 percent of Democratic voters will only vote for candidates who share their views on abortion.
These voters, therefore, are “prime targets for party turnout efforts,” Saad wrote. “While their impact could result in a draw on the abortion issue, it is a battle neither party can afford to ignore.”
Published on Clarion Project (http://www.clarionproject.org)
Home > Hollywood Stars Call For Brunei Boycott Over Sharia Law
Hollywood Stars Call For Brunei Boycott Over Sharia Law
Hollywood stars were the prominent protesters against the famous Beverly Hills Hotel that is owned by Brunei, a Southeast Asian country that has just begun to implement sharia law and its harsh punishments.
As Clarion Project previously reported, as of April 1, the first phase of sharia law went into effect in the country. Eventually, punishments including the stoning to death for the crimes of adultery, homosexuality and blasphemy and the amputation of limbs for theft will be implemented.
Jay Leno, who participated in the protest organized outside the hotel, said, “I’d like to think that all people are basically good and that when they realize that this is going on, hopefully, they will do something about it … I mean, it’s just … I don’t know. Berlin, 1933? Hello, does it seem that far off from what happened during the Holocaust?”
Other celebrities and business people are joining in the boycott, including comedians Stephen Fry and Ellen DeGeneres, and TV host Sharon Osbourne.
British billionaire Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin Group, said in a tweet: “No @virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.”
On Tuesday, the city of Beverly Hills voted unanimously to pressure the government of Brunei to divest itself from the famous hotel. Protesters have called for a boycott of the century-old establishment, frequented since its inception by Hollywood’s elite.
Council members stopped short of calling for a city-sanctioned boycott.
In recent days, a number of organizations have cancelled events scheduled for the hotel. The Feminist Majority Foundation announced it had cancelled the Beverly Hills hotel as the venue for its annual Global Women’s Rights Awards. The Motion Picture & Television Fund’s annual “Night Before the Oscars” charity event has also cancelled its event at the hotel.
Tensions at the city council meeting ran high between those outraged over human rights abuses inherent in sharia versus those interested in preserving the jobs the hotel generates for local workers.
Christopher Cowdray, the chief executive of the London-based Dorchester Collection of hotels owned by Brunei, said it was unjust to single out the Beverly Hills Hotel and its employees. “There are other hotel companies in this city that are owned by Saudi Arabia … you know, your shirt probably comes from a country which has human rights issues,” said Cowdray.
“This is misguided,” Robert Anderson, the great-grandson of the founder of the hotel, told Reuters after the vote. “We should be against human rights violations in all countries, not just the Brunei.”
On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said the U.S. ambassador in Brunei had privately relayed concerns to the Brunei government about implementing sharia law. Previously, State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki had said, “We don’t take a position on this specific effort,” while acknowledging it was the right of citizens to institute a boycott.
The initial phase of sharia law in Brunei, instituted on April 1, begins with fines and imprisonment for violations of sharia. Press reports mentioned offenses such as “indecent behavior,” pregnancies outside of marriage, the preaching of religions besides Islam and not attending mandatory prayers on Fridays.
The second phase institutes physical punishments, such as cutting off hands and floggings for offenses like theft. The Guardian says this is to be implemented later this year, but Reuters says it will happen in 2015.
The third phase mandates executions, including stoning, for offenses like adultery, sodomy and blasphemy. Reports differ as to whether this starts in 2015 or in 2016.
Common Core Alert! Holocaust as a ‘Propaganda Tool’? That’s What One CA School District is Teaching
May 6, 2014 By Jennifer Burke
Those in opposition to Common Core are frequently told that there is nothing controversial about the program. It is simply way to better prepare students for college by increasing their critical thinking skills. Many arguments have been made about Common Core’s nonsensical Math lessons, its abandonment of American literary classics for progressive reading materials, and the Common Core based anti-American lessons that have been reported across the country. The latest Common Core controversy out of California is beyond imagination. It is a dangerous, anti-Semitic rewriting of history.
The San Bernardino Sun reported on the lesson at the center of the controversy. Students in the eighth grade in the Rialto Unified School District were asked to hone their critical thinking skills by debating, in essay form, whether the Holocaust was ‘merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.’”
The district says the assignment is merely to teach students to evaluate the quality of evidence made by advocates or opponents of an issue. “When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence,” the assignment reads. “For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain. Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.”
Asking junior high students to prove that the Holocaust was real or was simply a made-up event for propaganda purposes is not critical thinking; it is anti-Semitic. The Anti-Defamation League spoke out about this inappropriate and hate based assignment. The associate regional director, Matthew Friedman, sent the following in an email to Rialto Unified’s interim school superintendent, Mohammad Z. Islam.
“An exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust denial. It is also very dangerous to ask junior high school students to question the reality of the Holocaust on their own, given the sheer volume of denial websites out there.
If these questions do come up, it’s better to show the huge preponderance of evidence that’s out there (testimony, documentation, death camp sites, archaeology, etc.) and to also question why people would question the reality of the Holocaust (many motivated not by historical curiosity, but by anti-Semitism). Also, who are the people questioning the Holocaust and what do real historians say? This is more of an issue of teaching good information literacy.”
Even worse, this anti-Semitic project was assigned during the unit focused on the “Diary of Anne Frank,” the story of a young girl who, along with her family, was a Jewish victim of the Holocaust.
Local news affiliate KTLA, channel 5, offered an even further look into the offensive nature of this assignment.
The 18-page assignment instructions included three sources that students were told to use, including one that stated gassings in concentration camps were a “hoax” and that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers.
“With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded,” states the source, which is a attributed to a webpage on biblebelievers.org.au. “In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.”
The district claims that it received no complaints from parents , teachers, or students about the assignment, which encouraged students to question whether the Holocaust, the killing of 6 million Jews by the Hitler Nazi regime, between 1933 and 1945, really happened. They initially defended the assignment as simply one focused on critical thinking and research. District spokesman Syeda Jafri made a statement via email on behalf of the district.
“One of the most important responsibilities for educators is to develop critical thinking skills in students. “This will allow a person to come to their own conclusion. Current events are part of the basis for measuring IQ. The Middle East, Israel, Palestine and the Holocaust are on newscasts discussing current events. Teaching how to come to your own conclusion based on the facts, test your position, be able to articulate that position, then defend your belief with a lucid argument is essential to good citizenship. This thought process creates the foundation for a good education. The progression is within district board policy and also supports the district’s student inspired motto: ‘Today’s Scholars, Tomorrow’s Leaders.’”
After her adamant statement that actually admits that the assignment encouraged students to decide for themselves if the Holocaust truly happened, Jafri then offered a contradiction to the district’s stance.
“There is no doubt the Holocaust was one of the most horrific, traumatic time-pieces in our history,” she wrote in an emailed response Friday afternoon. “We want our students to engage in developing critical thinking skills and have an in-depth perspective on the importance of the Holocaust. Although I received one email last week in reference to this subject, the district has not received any concerns about this writing prompt from any teachers, administrators or parents. However, due to its sensitive nature, we are always open to go back and examine the prompt.”
As news about this assignment was spread around the country, people were not buying the district’s double speak about this controversial, anti-Semitic assignment. After defending the project for days, the district finally, under pressure, changed its tune and altered the assignment. On Monday, Jafri revised the district’s stance on the assignment stating, “This was a mistake. It should be corrected. It will be corrected. We all know it was real. The Holocaust is not a hoax. … I believe our classroom teachers are teaching it with sensitivity and compassion.”
Ms. Jafri, there is no sensitivity and compassion in encouraging young, impressionable minds to question whether the Holocaust was real and provide them with materials filled with vile, anti-Semitic, hate-based lies and ask if they believe it. The assignment was wrong and dangerous. Anti-Semites have been trying to rewrite history by stating that the Holocaust never happened and a school funded with taxpayer money just supported that twisted stance.
Supreme Court: Christian Prayers OK to Open Council Meetings
By Associated Press May 5, 2014 12:25 pm
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Supreme Court BuildingWASHINGTON (AP) — Prayers that open town council meetings do not violate the Constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity, a divided Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The court said in 5-4 decision that the content of the prayers is not significant as long as they do not denigrate non-Christians or proselytize.
The ruling by the court’s conservative majority was a victory for the town of Greece, N.Y., outside of Rochester. The Obama administration sided with the town.
In 1983, the court upheld an opening prayer in the Nebraska legislature and said that prayer is part of the nation’s fabric, not a violation of the First Amendment. Monday’s ruling was consistent with the earlier one.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers are ceremonial and in keeping with the nation’s traditions.
“The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers,” Kennedy said.
Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the court’s four liberal justices, said, “I respectfully dissent from the Court’s opinion because I think the Town of Greece’s prayer practices violate that norm of religious equality — the breathtakingly generous constitutional idea that our public institutions belong no less to the Buddhist or Hindu than to the Methodist or Episcopalian.”
Kagan said the case differs significantly from the 1983 decision because “Greece’s town meetings involve participation by ordinary citizens, and the invocations given — directly to those citizens — were predominantly sectarian in content.”
A federal appeals court in New York ruled that Greece violated the Constitution by opening nearly every meeting over an 11-year span with prayers that stressed Christianity.
From 1999 through 2007, and again from January 2009 through June 2010, every meeting was opened with a Christian-oriented invocation. In 2008, after residents Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens complained, four of 12 meetings were opened by non-Christians, including a Jewish layman, a Wiccan priestess and the chairman of the local Baha’i congregation.
A town employee each month selected clerics or lay people by using a local published guide of churches. The guide did not include non-Christian denominations, however. The appeals court found that religious institutions in the town of just under 100,000 people are primarily Christian, and even Galloway and Stephens testified they knew of no non-Christian places of worship there.
The two residents filed suit and a trial court ruled in the town’s favor, finding that the town did not intentionally exclude non-Christians. It also said that the content of the prayer was not an issue because there was no desire to proselytize or demean other faiths.
But a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that even with the high court’s 1983 ruling, the practice of having one Christian prayer after another amounted to the town’s endorsement of Christianity.
Kennedy, however, said judges should not be involved in evaluating the content of prayer because it could lead to legislatures requiring “chaplains to redact the religious content from their message in order to make it acceptable for the public sphere.”
He added, “Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic reference to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy.”
Kennedy himself was the author an opinion in 1992 that held that a Christian prayer delivered at a high school graduation did violate the Constitution. The justice said Monday there are differences between the two situations, including the age of the audience and the fact that attendees at the council meeting may step out of the room if they do not like the prayer.
Kennedy and his four colleagues in the majority all are Catholic. They are: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
In her dissent, Kagan said the council meeting prayers are unlike those said to open sessions of Congress and state legislatures, where the elected officials are the intended audience. In Greece, “the prayers there are directed squarely at the citizens,” she said. Kagan was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Of the four, three are Jewish and Sotomayor is Catholic.
Kagan also noted what she described as the meetings’ intimate setting, with 10 or so people sitting in front of the town’s elected and top appointed officials. Children and teenagers are likely to be present, she said.
The case is Greece v. Galloway, 12-696