December 28, 2013

A Woman in a Burqa

When you see a woman in your town wearing a burqa, does it make you feel invaded? If so, does that mean you are an intolerant racist? Does that mean you are a narrow-minded bigot?

Let me ask you another question: If you see a nun in your town wearing a nun's habit, do you feel invaded? If you see a Tibetan Buddhist monk in your town wearing monk robes, do you feel invaded? If not, then "narrow-minded bigot" and "intolerant racist" must miss the mark. Something else is causing you to feel invaded when you see a woman in a burqa.

A burqa is a visible sign indicating that the wearer is following a particular ideology. If we see a Catholic nun in a Catholic nun habit, we can guess with a high degree of certainty what ideology she follows. If we see a Tibetan monk with a shaved head and a saffron robe, we can guess with a high degree of certainty what ideology he is following. If we see a man who has shaved his head and has a swastika tattooed on his neck, we can guess with a high degree of certainty what ideology he follows.

Back to the woman in a burqa. Why are you bothered by seeing a woman in a burqa walking down your local street, but many of your fellow citizens are not the slightest bit bothered by it? Some of your fellow citizens would be much more bothered by the fact that you feel invaded. Why? Because they don't know much about Islamic doctrine. They believe Islam is just like any other religion. They may see the woman in a burqa as a wonderful manifestation of multiculturalism. You see it as an invasion. The only difference is how much you each know about Islam.

If you know someone who is not bothered by a woman in a burqa, talk to them about Islamic doctrine. Do it gently. Think small bits and long campaigns. Use Inquiry Into Islam to help you. It may take awhile for the reality to sink in, but when it does, we are in a better position to marginalize, discredit, and disempower orthodox Islam. The fewer non-Muslims unacquainted with Islam the better off we'll be.

December 21, 2013

Social Studies Textbook Review in Tennessee and Texas

The following was written by Roy White, Chapter Coordinator for ACT! for America in San Antonio, Bexar, and Kendall:

We all know of plenty of examples of the bias in social studies textbooks revealed by various groups and individuals. Concerned Tennessee citizens formed a group called Textbook Advocates that conducted reviews of over 50 textbooks that can be found here. Many of those errors involved Islam to include incomplete information on Muhammad, overstating Islam’s influence and simple disparity in word/sentence count on discussions of Islam versus other religions. Their findings are not surprising to readers of Jurisprudence and others who follow this topic.

The cleverly named, The Textbook Tattler was published to provide citizens with a synopsis of the typical errors found. It is likely these same errors are found in many of the textbooks found in states around the country. Tennessee’s efforts resulted in the current methodology of textbook selection to be under review and will most likely be replaced in the next legislative session. Their landmark success has inspired others to follow their lead including a group in Texas.

In early 2014 Texas begins the process of reviewing Social Studies textbooks that will be used for the 2015-16 school year. A group called “Truth in Texas Textbooks” or “Triple T” have begun recruiting volunteers from inside of Texas and outside who would be willing to help review the Social Studies textbooks that will be submitted by publishers.

Over 48 million textbooks are sold in Texas alone! This is a huge contract for publishers. Estimates range from 50-80% of school districts in the nation choose the same textbooks as those used in Texas schools. Publishers know, what sells in Texas will lead to millions of dollars in other states!

The purpose of TTT is simple, to provide Social Studies textbooks that are truthful and factual that meet the Texas Education Knowledge Standards (TEKS) as defined here. Fortunately Texas has put in place a well-defined set of standards that were recently updated with this resolution on eliminating the pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias found in the current social studies textbooks.

TTT will not simply focus on eliminating this bias but many other “PC” related themes that are so often found in textbooks today. We are not affiliated with any other NPO or national organization but are independent and have reached out to groups and individuals around the country (including Tennessee) for volunteers who are willing to help us.

The long-term goal would be to have one site, such as www.textbookadvocates.com be the single depository of these textbook reviews being done around the country so teachers, parents, advocates can have a single one stop shopping place to go and see a consolidated list of reviews of textbooks.

Publishers get away with their PC tainted textbooks because in the past groups around the country didn’t talk to each other or communicate their findings. Building on what Tennessee has done Texas wishes to continue this movement to put these reviews, along with others, in the public domain at a single website that will give information to everyone who is interested.

Anti-smokers advocacy groups weren’t effective until they banded together against the tobacco companies and shared the data from all their findings. TTT wishes to take the same approach.

The most effective method for having an impact on your children’s textbooks may very well lie on not focusing on your own local school or state but helping Texas adopt the most accurate and factual textbooks which will in turn be likely to show up in your own school district. Additionally you can go through a process with other like-minded individuals who can help you learn the process for conducting reviews.

Collaborative online project management tools, conference calls, use of webinars and other methods will be used to coordinate the efforts of those interested in volunteering. It doesn't matter where you live, you can help Texas and in turn help millions of other children around the country by joining TTT and volunteering. Please share this with teachers, active and retired who are tired of teaching inaccurate or misleading information.

For those interested in serving on the TTT review team, please email truthintexastextbooks@gmail.com and get on the mailing list. You will be asked to complete a survey of interest, experience and level of commitment to the effort. TTT will conduct training beginning in early 2014 to provide reviewers with materials and templates of the best practices found among those experts who review textbooks. If you want to stop the spread of PC myths disguised as facts in social studies textbooks and pro-Islamic/anti-Judeo-Christian biases then please join the TTT team.

Recruiting for experts in the field of US government, history, world history, civics, constitutional law, world history, geography are some of the specific knowledge sets that are needed. Advanced degrees or self-taught are the same to TTT; your knowledge and effort in this endeavor will benefit millions of children for years to come.
______________________

Roy White, Chapter Coordinator
ACT! for America San Antonio, Bexar, Kendall
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/actbexar
Twitter: @ACTBexar

December 18, 2013

Alleged Kansas Bomber Wanted to Be "Obedient Slave of Allah"

A friend sent me the following: You're probably aware of the attempted bomb attack of the Wichita airport recently. Below is a short description of the event. At the end is a link to the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District court against Terry Loewen. The complaint is worth reading because of the insight it gives into the thought process of an orthodox Muslim.
......................

An FBI sting has led to the arrest of a Wichita, Kan. man who thought he was about to die in a suicide car bombing that targeted a terminal at the city's Mid-Continent Airport.

Terry Lee Loewen, 58, worked at the airport as an avionics technician. This gave him access to airport grounds. He was arrested before dawn Friday after he tried to open a security gate and get on the tarmac, the Kansas City Star reports.

According to a three-count complaint, Loewen discussed his view of faith as a Muslim. That included expressing "his desire to engage in violent jihad on behalf of al Qaeda" during an online conversation with someone whom, unbeknownst to him, was an FBI employee.

"I don't understand how you can read the Qur'an and the sunnah of the Prophet (saw) and not understand that jihad and the implementation of Sharia is absolutely demanded of all the Muslim Ummah," Loewen allegedly wrote Aug. 5. "I feel so guilt-ridden sometimes for knowing what's required of me but yet doing little or nothing to make it happen. I love my Muslim brothers and sisters, whether they agree with me or not, it's just hard to deal with the denial that some of them appear to be going through."

Osama bin Laden and American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki "are a great inspiration to me, but I must be willing to give up everything (like they did) to truly feel like a (sic) obedient slave of Allah (swt)," he wrote a few days later.

Later that month, he asked for help finding "someone who is active in jihad and could use an occasional influx of 'help' ... I just hate the kaffar government and those who are following it to the Hellfire, and the sooner it and its followers get there, the better."

Loewen was trying to drive a van packed with explosives to a terminal as part of a plan he spent months developing, a Department of Justice statement says. He "talked about his commitment to trigger the device and martyr himself."

The explosives were rendered inert by the FBI and the public was never in danger. Agents were drawn to Loewen early last summer after he made statements about jihad. He is with trying to use a weapon of mass destruction, and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Many national Islamist groups have criticized similar sting operations, arguing the FBI is manufacturing a terrorist threat where it might not exist. If Loewen's correspondence in the complaint proves accurate, however, he was a man with the motivation and access to pull off a horrific attack. Left alone, he might have found ways to make his own bomb.

At one point, Loewen acknowledged not knowing whether he could trust his contact. But it wasn't enough to discourage him from pursuing an attack. "my greatest fear is not being able to complete an operation because I was set up," he wrote. "I hate this government so much for what they have done to our brothers and sisters, that to spent (sic) the rest of my life in prison without having taken a good slice out of the serpents head is unacceptable to me."

If convicted, Loewen could face life in prison.

................................

The complaint, filed Friday, December 13, 2013: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/2281.pdf#page=13

November 24, 2013

Rapport, Connection and Thanksgiving

In the United States, almost everyone is anticipating a Thanksgiving feast later this week. Most people will spend the day with their family. For many of us, our families have been the most difficult people to educate about Islam, and it is a painful fact that in many ways some of our own family members are "aiding and abetting" the enemy (without knowing it, of course).

Family get-togethers may seem like a good opportunity to make your case, but I caution you against it. First of all, talking politics in those circumstances can easily ruin the event for everyone. And an argument certainly will. Second, persuading someone in a group situation is much more difficult than one-on-one (unless most of the people there are on your side of the argument). And third, many of your fellow infidels will be drinking alcohol, and that doesn't help with good listening or clear thinking.

The family gathering can, however, help our cause. You can use the occasion to observe and gain rapport. I suggest you focus this Thanksgiving on one person. Who is the most likely to be persuaded who will be attending the feast? Who is the most undecided? Pick one person.

Now, during your family occasion, try to discover which representational system the person favors (click here if you don't know what that means).

And second, use your body to gain and maintain rapport throughout the day with everyone there, especially the person you picked (click here to find out how to do that). I suggest you do this at family gatherings of any kind.

These things will set you up beautifully for future one-on-one conversations with the person — conversations where you'll have a good chance of bringing them to a new understanding of Islam. In many ways, your task is mostly done as soon as you are in strong rapport. Sometimes taking your focus off convincing and persuading can make you more convincing and persuasive. Sometimes not approaching something directly improves your ability.

I have seen a demonstration that perfectly illustrates this principle. In fact, I've done the demonstration myself several times after seeing it in a seminar. Here's how it goes: I toss something to someone, and they miss it. And they say something like, "I'm terrible at catching." So I tell them I'm going to test something. "I'm going to toss you this ball," I say, "but this time don't try to catch it. Instead, I want you to tell me which way the ball is spinning." Then I toss the ball, and to their great surprise, they catch it easily.

How does this work? They take their attention off trying to catch the ball, and instead pay close attention to the ball itself, and their body responds naturally and easily and catches it.

In the same way, if you take your attention off making people believe you, and instead pay close attention to their favored representational system and pay close attention to their body posture and match it, you have a good chance of making them believe you — easily and naturally — without even trying.

These two missions I've given you for your family gathering are not time-consuming, difficult, upsetting, or conflict-creating. You can do these things and fully enjoy the day too. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

October 26, 2013

We Can Bankrupt the Global Jihad

After the "Arab Spring," Saudi Arabia gave its citizens a raise. Saudis citizens don't pay income taxes. Most of them don't even work. The Saudi government pays them, and to avoid the fate of the leaders in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere, the Saudis increased their citizens' pay and pensions. They committed future funds to these payoffs.

This has presented the counterjihad movement an opportunity to strike a decisive blow into the heart of the global jihad.

Jihadist projects are funded largely through Saudi Arabia and Iran, two OPEC nations. The Taliban is a Saudi oil-money project, for example. So is the Muslim Brotherhood and the OIC. Hezbollah is an Iranian oil-money project.

OPEC is a cartel formed of primarily Islamic countries. OPEC was founded for the purpose of raising world oil prices. Jihadist activities around the world have been on the rise because jihadist funding has been on the rise. The source of that funding is oil profits, which have been on the rise.

What keeps the whole thing functioning is oil's monopoly over the most important commodity on earth — transportation fuel.

In the 1980's, because the rising cost of oil, many new programs were started to create a freer fuel market. Brazil launched its ambitious ethanol program, many new ethanol distilleries were built in America, Roberta Nichols created a massive methanol experiment in California, etc. But in the mid-80's, OPEC flooded the world market with oil in order to drop world oil prices, which made all of these potentially-competitive fuels no longer competitive on price, which crashed Brazil's program, put half the U.S. ethanol facilities into bankruptcy, and prompted California to abandon its methanol experiment.

It was a classic monopolist move. It's the oldest trick in the monopolist's book: Drop your price to send the competition into bankruptcy.

Once their competitors were sufficiently crippled, OPEC started raising the world oil price again.

But competing fuels have recently begun to reappear. Brazil permanently changed to flex fuel vehicles (rather than ethanol-only vehicles) for example, which has protected them from OPEC's manipulations (when oil prices drop, drivers buy gasoline; when oil prices rise, drivers buy ethanol). Brazil's economy is booming.

In the United States there is a growing clamor to use methanol as a fuel, ideally in flex fuel vehicles. Methanol can be made inexpensively from America's abundant natural gas, and can be sold for half the cost of gasoline without any subsidies. If it was available as a fuel, people would buy methanol because it would save them a lot of money. But right now, it is not available as a fuel in the U.S. One bill now in Congress is trying to change that.

So let's say the bill passes into law and methanol becomes available, and people start using methanol for fuel. Gasoline would have to drop in price to compete, or it wouldn't sell. Everything would be wonderful. But...

Wouldn't OPEC just drop the world price of oil to crush this new competitor?

This is where things have changed in an important way. This is our new opportunity. Saudi Arabia controls what OPEC does. The Saudis are sitting on the easiest oil to produce in the world, and therefore theirs is the cheapest oil to produce. Because of this, they dictate what the rest of the OPEC nations will do. But if methanol becomes a fuel in America, Saudi Arabia (and the global jihad movement) will be between a rock and a hard place — and it could be the end of both OPEC and the third jihad.

If the Saudis decide to lower the world price of oil to make the U.S. lose interest in methanol, they would not make enough money to fulfill their commitments to pay off their subjects, who would probably rise up and throw the monarchy out. But if the Saudis keep the price of oil high, they would lose their income, because who would buy gasoline at $4.00 a gallon when methanol is available for half the price of an equivalent gallon? Not many.

Gal Luft, the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, wrote:

Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, Saudi King Abdullah almost doubled his Kingdom's budget, committing billions in subsidies, pensions and pay raises in an effort to keep his subjects from storming the palaces.

This expensive response effectively raised the price of oil needed for the Saudis to balance their budget from under $70 a barrel before 2011 to at least $110 a barrel by 2015.

When oil is $100 a barrel, gasoline is about $3.50 to $4.00 a gallon. Methanol can sell at about $2.00 an equivalent gallon. Oil would have to be $50 a barrel to compete.

In other words, what happened in the 1980's can no longer happen. Saudi Arabia can no longer afford to drop the price of oil low enough to eliminate the competition. If we introduce vigorous fuel competition now in America, it will be the end of oil's monopoly for good, and funding for the global jihad would evaporate as Saudi Arabia and Iran would be forced to struggle to simply stay afloat.

This is an unprecedented opportunity. And you can help make it happen: If you are an American, join the fuel competition revolution. Go to openfuelstandard.org and sign up for their updates and urge your Representative to co-sponsor the bill. If you are in any other country, let your fellow counterjihadists know about this bill and what it could mean for the world, and let everyone around the world urge Americans to pass this bill. The U.S. is the largest consumer of transportation fuel in the world. If fuel competition happens here, it will spread to other countries. And it will be the death knell of the third jihad.

October 20, 2013

It’s Time to Shock O.P.E.C.

The following important article is by Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy:

Forty years ago this week, America received a harsh lesson about the dangers of relying on others for energy. President Nixon’s decision in the midst of the Yom Kippur War to resupply Israel with U.S. weaponry gave members of the OPEC cartel an excuse to embargo oil supplies to this country and drive up prices worldwide. It became known as the “oil shock” of 1973.

Ever since, politicians of both parties have promised to reduce our dependency on unreliable foreign sources. To that end over the past four decades, they have invested untold sums on various schemes – from imposing price controls, producing synthetic fuels and subsidizing ethanol production, curbing demand and diversifying overseas sources of supply for oil and natural gas.

Thanks largely to private sector initiatives and funds, however, real progress has lately been made on this longstanding national objective. Finally, the widespread application of technology like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) and a series of discoveries of vast quantities of natural gas around the United States and off its coasts have transformed our situation from one of energy dependency to potentially that of the largest energy exporter in the world.

The geopolitical and economic significance of this transformation will be the focus of conferences sponsored by two influential, bipartisan groups in Washington this week. Former Cabinet and sub-Cabinet officers, senior military personnel and other experts will convene on Tuesday under the auspices of the U.S. Energy Security Council and on Wednesday under that of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) to discuss the oil embargo, the intervening years and where we are today vis a vis those who used energy as an economic weapon against us in the past.

It is very much to be hoped that these conversations will not simply repeat nostrums about the inadvisability of being dependent upon unreliable – to say nothing of  actually hostile – energy sources. Or, worse yet, simply revel in the change of fortunes that will, in the absence of further Obama administration obstructionism, enable us to become again a huge net producer of energy. (Regrettably, between its pursuit of cap-and-trade restrictions on carbon emissions, overreaching EPA regulations, the campaign to destroy the coal industry and further shenanigans with respect to the Keystone XL pipeline, there is ample reason to expect more official impediments to our energy security, not fewer.)

What is needed now is a strategic approach to using our newfound energy leverage to cause some oil “shocks” of our own.

For starters, the windfall of natural gas deposits being found in this country opens up an opportunity to transform the sector in which we are still almost entirely dependent on oil and its byproducts: the transportation of people and goods via automobiles, buses and trucks.  If natural gas can become widely used in eighteen-wheelers and turned into methanol for use in most modern cars, we could dramatically reduce the amount of gasoline we are obliged to import from the Islamists of OPEC.

What is more, as Nobel laureate George Olah observed in an op.ed. article he co-authored in the Wall Street Journal last week, recent breakthroughs in chemistry are allowing another vast U.S. resource – carbon dioxide – to be cost-effectively converted into methanol. Far better to burn it in our automobiles and in modified surface transportation and maritime diesel engines than to pay exorbitant sums, as Team Obama has in mind, to try to store it underground.

Best of all, by enabling these alternatives to oil and gasoline to become available across America, we can create fuel choice for consumers – and competition for the cartelists. The predictable effect would be to drive oil prices down, especially as the scores of other developing nations capable of manufacturing their own alternatives to gasoline begin to do so, as Brazil has already done with ethanol.

The result could be to break the back of OPEC, once and for all. That, in turn, would help dry up the funding that has done so much for decades to power jihadism and undermine our economy.

This is no longer simply a desirable thing to do. It is absolutely imperative. As Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Kevin Freeman has observed, Mideast oil producers seem determined to join the Chinese and Russians, among others, in terminating the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s international reserve currency. Should they succeed in this gambit, the profound and debilitating economic and strategic ramifications will make the oil shock of forty years ago look like the good old days.

Adopting bipartisan Open Fuel Standard legislation and taking such other steps as are necessary to enable fuel choice can help us withstand as well disruptions in oil supply and/or skyrocketing price increases in the event of a new regional war in the Middle East. We can and must be in a position to deliver the next oil shock, not be its recipient.

September 29, 2013

Separating Kafirs from Muslims

The following was written by Bill Warner, Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam:

When the al Shabaab jihadi group from Somalia attacked the mall in Kenya, they gathered the crowd together and asked who were Muslims and let them go. According to the media, they then started killing the non-Muslims who were left. But non-Muslims is not the word what the terrorists would have used. No, they would have called them Kafirs (actually they would have called them the Arabic plural of kafir, kuffar. Kafirs is the standard English plural form).

Why did members of al Shabaab do this? Why did they ask the Muslims to leave and keep the Kafirs and start killing them? Let’s start with the word terrorists. Members of al Shabaab are not terrorists, they are jihadists or mujahedeen. That is what they call themselves.

So what difference does it make which words we use? Non-Muslim or Kafir? Terrorists, militants, jihadists or mujahedeen? It makes all the difference in the world. You cannot think precisely with imprecise words and a Kafir is much more than a non-Muslim.

The word “non-Muslim” does not imply anything, except not being a believer in Islam.

Kafir, on the other hand, has enormous implications. Kafir is the actual word that the Koran uses for a non-Muslim. Indeed, one of the many remarkable things about the Koran is that over half of its text is devoted to the Kafir. Think about that: most of the Koran is not about how to be a Muslim, but about the Kafir. Every single verse about the Kafir is not just bad, but terrible. Allah hates Kafirs and plots and schemes against them. The cruelest punishments await the Kafir in hell, but who cares about that? The real problem is what is promised to the Kafir in this life — torture, hatred, death, ridicule, rape, enslavement, political domination and deception.

It is the same with mujahedeen or jihadist as opposed to militant or terrorist. The words militant or terrorist do not tell anything about the motivation of the militant or terrorist, only that they are using violence.

Notice that the words non-Muslim and terrorist are not related to each other; they stand alone. There is no implication of one by the other. But that is not true about Kafir and jihad. Jihad is only carried out against Kafirs. Jihad implies Kafir and vice versa.

Jihad and Kafir are all part of a system of Islamic politics. Mohammed preached the religion of Islam for 13 years and garnered 150 followers. When he turned to politics and jihad, he died ruler of all of Arabia, and every Arab was a Muslim. The religion of Islam was a failure, and Islam triumphed by the use of politics and jihad, war against the Kafir.

Islamic doctrine is found in the Koran, Sunna (Mohammed) and Sharia law and divides all of humanity into Muslim and Kafir. There is no middle ground. Unfortunately, both Christian and Jewish leaders have bought into the fiction that they are all People of the Book and are brothers in religion. When you read the fine print (as none of them have done, being professionally ignorant), they are brothers in Abraham who must be politically and religiously subjugated, but that is a small detail.

If jihad, mujahedeen, and Kafir are pure Islamic doctrine, we can now understand why the media refuses to the correct words that Muslims use — it is all too horrible to contemplate. We are not just having independent terrorist events, such as the West Gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya or the Boston Marathon bombing; we are in the middle of a civilizational war with a historic enemy — an enemy who is winning because we are in total denial.

Published as an article on American Thinker.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
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September 3, 2013

Remembering 9/11 with Erick Stakelbeck

If you are anywhere near Tennessee, you are invited to an event you won't want to miss. Read more about it here. The event will take place on September 11, 2013 at the Embassy Suites in Cool Springs (the VIP event begins at 5:30pm and the General Event begins at 6:45pm).

The "Remembering 9/11" event will include the following speakers:

  • Erick Stakelbeck - Author of "The Brotherhood: America's Next Great Enemy" and "The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat"
  • Rabbi Jon Hausman - Ahavath Torah Congregation Rabbi in Stoughton, MA
  • Cathy Hinners - former Law Enforcement Officer and Activist
  • State Senator Bill Ketron
  • State Representative Judd Matheny
  • J. Lee Douglas - 9/12 Project Tennessee

VIP tickets for this event are currently sold out (though a waiting list is being compiled). There are still tickets left for the general event that will feature the bulk of the program. You can register for the event below:

General Event - Remembering 9/11
VIP Event - Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11 with Erick Stakelbeck

If you are anywhere near Tennessee, you are invited to an event you won't want to miss. Read more about it here. The event will take place on September 11, 2013 at the Embassy Suites in Cool Springs (the VIP event begins at 5:30pm and the General Event begins at 6:45pm).

The "Remembering 9/11" event will include the following speakers:

  • Erick Stakelbeck - Author of "The Brotherhood: America's Next Great Enemy" and "The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat"
  • Rabbi Jon Hausman - Ahavath Torah Congregation Rabbi in Stoughton, MA
  • Cathy Hinners - former Law Enforcement Officer and Activist
  • State Senator Bill Ketron
  • State Representative Judd Matheny
  • J. Lee Douglas - 9/12 Project Tennessee

VIP tickets for this event are currently sold out (though a waiting list is being compiled). There are still tickets left for the general event that will feature the bulk of the program. You can register for the event below:

General Event - Remembering 9/11
VIP Event - Remembering 9/11

September 2, 2013

You Are the Cure

On our Facebook page, someone wrote (I'm paraphrasing), "I'm not able to say how disgusted and angry orthodox Muslims make me feel. No words can convey it. I'm just hoping mankind can find a cure for this deadly social cancer."

That last sentence is a very common comment by people who have discovered the intolerance and hostility and calls to violence embedded in core Islamic doctrines. My answer to the commenter is a message I want to give to everyone:

YOU are the cure. When someone is running a scam on people, what's "the cure?" Can you track them all down and stop them? Not a chance. Can you eradicate scams once and for all? No, you can't. Can you "ban" scams? It wouldn't do any good. But you don't need to even try any of these things. You only need to blow the lid off the game.

Here's how we deal with scams: We share information when we find out about a scam, and then other people are wise to the scam and don't fall for it. That's all we need.

Orthodox Muslims are making inroads in the free world only because too many of us don't know the scam. Too many of us don't understand the true nature of Islamic doctrine. That's where YOU come in. We can't rely on the media. We sure as hell can't rely on politicians. That leaves personal relationships.

Reach people. If you are having trouble doing that, here is a handbook on the subject: Getting Through.

September 1, 2013

A Justifiable Concern Among Non-Muslims

The following is a letter to the editor by Edward Kesler that was published in the August 23, 2013 issue of the Tribune Star.

Demands Reforms in Muslim Teachings

Many non-Muslims feel threatened by the hateful teachings of the Koran, a Muslim holy book. For example, the Koran calls Jews the “children of apes and pigs” and calls on Muslims not to befriend Jews or Christians. It demands that Muslims “slay the idolaters”, Buddhists, Hindus, followers of any religion not comporting with their view of Allah and Mohammed. It calls on Muslims to wage Jihad (wars) against non-Muslims to collect war booty and to impose Jizya taxes on them as a part of the imposition of shariah (Muslim) law on the defeated non-Muslims. Jizya can be received in many forms, such as welfare, etc.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees American residents (including non-citizens) complete religious freedom. This is a freedom to worship, not to spread hatred of our society, culture and mores in the presumably religious settings and environments of mosques and Islamic centers.

The indoctrination of Muslims, young and old, with hate-filled, violent ideas are a justifiable concern among non-Muslims. It is disconcerting for Christians, Jews or any other non-Muslim to understand that local mosques and Islamic cultural centers are teaching these hateful values to their Muslim neighbors and their children.

The recent rapes, tortures and murders of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the continued barbaric savagery committed against Christians in Nigeria and across Africa should be instructive. More than 100 million Africans, 160 million Christians, Buddhists and Hindus have been killed by Islamic Jihad. Entire Jewish populations have been destroyed in Muslim countries.

Non-Muslims have a right to demand that Muslims in America undertake serious reforms of Islam ideology. As Americans, we must demand these issues be addressed immediately.

— Edward Kesler

August 30, 2013

The Poor, Persecuted Muslim Brotherhood!

Before you read the article below, I'd like to give you some background about the author. Henri Boulad has been a Catholic priest for over 40 years in Egypt. He's now 82 and still writing and speaking worldwide. He has long spoken out about the persecution of Christians in Islamic countries, and about living as a non-Muslim in a Muslim country. A man of courage and integrity, caring, warm and intelligent, he speaks the truth from his lifetime of experience.

The Poor, Persecuted Muslim Brotherhood!
by Henri Boulad, SJ, Cairo, August 17, 2013

The entire Western world is outraged, offended and scandalized because the Egyptian Army has dared to dislodge the Muslim Brotherhood from the two bastions of Rabia and Nahda, where they had been barricaded for several weeks. Bottom line: more than six hundred dead in the two camps.

In no time at all, the right-thinking Western media uttered cries and whimpers asking the Security Council and international human rights associations to condemn this savage aggression with the utmost firmness.

The poor Muslim Brothers! Victims of violence! Those gentle lambs, well known for their sweetness and innocence! The object of unacceptable brutality. Consequently, it’s a duty to defend them against the devouring wolves of the Egyptian army and police. The USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Turkey, the UN...then, should rise as one man to denounce injustice, defend those innocents, and invite the world to fly to their rescue. The international media instantly leapt upon Pegasus to charge at the guilty ones…

This lifting of shields to claim and proclaim the right of all citizens to protest "peacefully" has something tragicomical about it.

Consider the facts:

1. The Rabaa mosque, where the Brothers were holed up was a real armory where an incredible arsenal of war was discovered. No denunciations from the West. 
2. For weeks, the Brotherhood’s militias, armed to the teeth, sowed terror among the whole population of Egypt: killings, abductions, kidnappings, ransom demands, abductions and rape of girls forcibly married to Muslims. No reaction from the West. 
3. More than 20 police stations looted and burned; nearly fifty policemen and officers killed and tortured in the most savage way. Silence from the West. 
4. Sufi mausoleums destroyed and Shiite families massacred raise NO international emotion. 
5. Some 50 churches, schools and Christian institutions burned in the single day of August 14. No protest on the part of the West. 
6. Priests and Christians attacked and killed — including children of tender age — for the sole reason that they were Christians. No Western denunciation appeared which might be accused of "Islamophobia", which today is the crime of crimes. 
7. Nearly 1,500 people massacred by Morsi militias during its one-year reign. Silence from the media. 
8. Secret agreements from Morsi to sell Egypt, piece by piece to its neighbors: 40% of the Sinai to Hamas and the Palestinians, Nubia to Omar al-Bashir, and the western portion of the territory to Libya... This is a gift for the West, since it is their doing…

When Egypt finally decides to react and put some order in the house...the West cries ‘persecution’, ‘injustice’ and ‘scandal’!

It’s a secret to no one that the presidential elections were a broad farce and that the election was tainted by massive fraud. Nevertheless, the media persisted in asserting that Morsi was the first president in Egyptian history to be 'democratically' elected and that he achieved 'legitimacy'.

The Egyptian people are easy to blame, since they agreed to play this game, saying to themselves: ‘Let’s see what they actually do.’ The result was so catastrophic — insecurity, unemployment, inflation, bread and gasoline shortages, the economy in free fall, moribund tourism — that at the end of one year the entire population requested Morsi to clear out.

Within two months, the Tamarrod movement collected more than 22 million signatures calling for his departure. In vain! Facing his obstinacy, tens of millions of Egyptians — the majority of which were the humble people who had been his former supporters — turned out on the streets of major cities to demand his departure. Still in vain!

The Army — neutral until then — decided to intervene to support the people and toss the bums out, keeping them under house arrest. During long hours of interrogation, the Army got revelations of exceptional wrongdoings that compromised both the Muslim Brotherhood and a number of foreign countries.

Faced with the Army’s power grab, the West immediately cried ‘coup d’├ętat’.  If it had been a ‘coup d’├ętat’, it was a ‘people’s coup’, rather than military one. The Army had merely acquiesced to the will of the people. The people were fed up with a president who had betrayed, flimflammed and hoodwinked them, and they reacted with a survival reflex, calling for his departure.

A delightful little story illustrates what I am saying. A guy buys a can of something at the grocery which, once opened, appears to be spoiled. What’s he going to do? Eat it or toss it? Toss it, obviously.

It's kind of what did the Egyptian people did after Morsi and the Brothers promised the moon and the stars. Once the can was opened, they realized that it was all rotten. And so they reacted by rejecting them.

Following Morsi’s house arrest, the Army still wanted to have the Muslim Brotherhood contribute to the new Government, offering them to team up with other parties. That met with systematic and stubborn refusal.

After numerous unsuccessful attempts of dialogue and negotiations with them, a new provisional government was set up.

It was then they decided to go underground and sow terror; in this they were highly successful. But this strategy has only increased their unpopularity and we can say today that the Egyptian people despise and abhor them.

Equipped with the most sophisticated weapons, the Brothers are everywhere burning, attacking, killing, destroying…

The Army then decreed a State of Emergency and imposed a curfew from sunset to sunrise. But the Muslim Brotherhood considered themselves exempt from compliance. Yesterday, August 16, in my room near Ramses Avenue and Ramses Square (that were swarming with their militias), I heard explosions, single shots and submachine gun fire from the surrounding streets.

After several warnings to young people to go home, the Army decided to send in tanks to enforce the curfew. Seeing the collateral damage, well-thinking Westerners indicted the Army for having the nerve to attack 'peaceful’ demonstrators!

Whom are they trying to kid?

August 26, 2013

A September 11th Event You Won't Want to Miss

The Tennessee Freedom Coalition and ACT! for America of Middle Tennessee have been working together on a "Remembering 9/11" event over the past few months. They are now at the pre-registration phase where you can reserve your spot at the event.

The event will feature many excellent speakers along with periods of remembrance and reflection. The speaker lineup includes Erick Stakelbeck, author of The Brotherhood: America's Next Great EnemyRabbi Jon Hausman, State Senator Bill Ketron, State Rep. Judd Matheny, 9/12 Project's J. Lee Douglas, and Cathy Hinners.

There are two registration groups: One for the general event list and another for the VIP event list. The general event is $20 and the VIP event is $50 (includes a meet-and-greet with Erick Stakelbeck and premium seating). We strongly encourage you to pre-register for this event. It promises to be a meaningful remembrance of the events of 9/11.

The event will take place on September 11, 2013 at the Embassy Suites in Cool Springs (the VIP event begins at 5:30pm and the General Event begins at 6:45pm). You can find more information by following one of the links below:

General Event — Remembering 9/11
VIP Event — Remembering 9/11

August 24, 2013

Does Lack of Education Cause Terrorism?

The following was written by Ramachandra B. Abhyankar, an American from India. He has gotten several letters to the editor published in the Tribune Star. Below is another one. It's short, specific, understated and persuasive. This is the kind of thing that can help change the minds of our fellow citizens.

Wrong on Roots of Terrorism

In his Aug. 8 piece, “I said it before …”, Ronn Mott suggests that the cause of terrorism among Muslims is “a lack of education.” The facts do not bear this out.

Terror icon Osama bin Laden had a degree in engineering. Mohammed Atta, who participated in the 9/11 attack on America, had a graduate degree in engineering. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, is a psychiatrist. Terror mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks,” has a degree in engineering. The current leader of al-Qaida, Ayman Al Zawahiri, is a pediatrician.

Clearly, Mr. Mott’s statement is incorrect.

— Ramachandra B. Abhyankar

You can see the original in the Tribune Star here.

August 20, 2013

What Counterjihadists do Saturday Nights in Santa Monica

The following was originally published in The English Review:

Most folks chill out on Saturday nights; shopping at malls, dining out, or catching a movie at a multiplex. That is most folks. A group calling itself Counter Jihadists Coalition of Southern California spend Saturday nights at a booth in the busy Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica engaging in what I call anti-Da'wah — countering the call to Islam.

They endeavor to get the word out about what is inside the Qur'an, the Hadith, Mohammed's exemplary bio, and the ever-reliable guide to Islamic doctrine and Sharia, The Reliance of the Traveller. They number among their group some members of the West Coast branch of The United West. They even have a Coptic Christian member who can translate Arabic spoken by Muslim passersby who either walk by muttering or engage the doughty band.

Last Saturday evening marked the culmination of Ramadan with the Feast of Eid al-Fitr. So the group set up their booth laden with pamphlets and related materials elucidating the totalitarian creed that lies within the Islamic doctrine — a creed that denigrates all unbelievers and denies civil and human rights for women, those who leave Islam by choice, gays, and, of course, The People of the Book (Christians and Jews).

As Ramadan had ended the group prepared a poster from a recent score card of violence that occurred in the Ummah and elsewhere during Ramadan that they downloaded from the Religion of Peace website, The Ramadan Bombathon Scorecard for 2013. The Religion of Peace website notes:

TheReligionofPeace.com has been reporting on the number of people killed and injured in the name of religion throughout the month of Ramadan, which just ended. Here are the totals for 2013. All but one were carried out by Muslims, and that one didn’t result in any deaths or injuries.

Tell your Muslim friends you are happy Ramadan is over along with the yearly spike in Islamic terror attacks around the world.

What follows is a report from one of the leaders of the Counter Jihad Coalition, Steve Amundson: 

Scenes from a Saturday Night
at a Pedestrian Mall in Santa Monica
 

The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA, is one of the busiest pedestrian malls in Southern California. Hundreds of tourists and locals stroll the mall to shop, watch the street performers, and to take in the ethnic and cultural variety that makes Santa Monica so vibrant.

A group of activists called the Counter Jihad Coalition is also there to inform the public about the many ways Islamic ideology threatens the American way of life. We are armed only with a collection of illustrated brochures addressing as poignantly as possible the major concerns about Islamic ideology. Here is a list of some of the most popular brochures:

Islam in a Nut-Shell (which you can see here)
   
The Muslim Brotherhood
   
The Three Stages of Jihad

Are you a Muslim Born in a Foreign Country? (Containing challenging questions for Muslims who have never experienced freedom of speech and thought)

Women who marry into Islam may have to abandon all rights

An African-American Muslim is a Slave to a Racist Ideology

Is it “Un-Christian” to speak out about Islam?

There is no excuse for domestic violence, except Islamic Sharia Law

We attract visitors to our information table by posting large graphic signs about recent Islamic outrages — like the Boston Marathon bombing or the daylight beheading of Lee Rigby by Quran-quoting terrorists. Last Saturday, we used a 3’ by 4’ blow-up of the 2013 Ramadan Bombathon Scorecard published by www.thereligionofpeace.com.


This poster with the smiling jihadi holding an automatic got lots of attention. Passersby were signing up for the local American Congress for Truth (ACT), complementing us for speaking out, and (Muslims, of course) complaining how we have misunderstood their ideology. Having an Arabic-speaking Copt Christian and a woman on our team went a long way to diffusing the usual red-herrings dragged across our message.

As we engage the public, we are learning a number of things that other anti-Islamic activists must take into consideration: 

1) Most non-Muslims are woefully uninformed about Islam to the point that many could not determine if we were for or against Islam.

2) CAIR and other Islamist propaganda organizations have been relatively successful in convincing American non-Muslims that Islam is a “religion” protected by the First Amendment instead of a political ideology operating under the cover of religious protection.

3) Muslims are terrified at even touching anti-Islamic fact sheets or looking at selected verses of the Quran in English translations provided by mosques and other Muslim sources.

4) Muslims are obsessed with displaying their Islamic “gang symbols” in public to show that “we are here and you have to accept us.”

No we don’t. Tolerance of the intolerant is cultural suicide.

August 17, 2013

Why the Peaceful Majority Might be Dangerous

The following is an article from Paul Marek (author of the outstanding piece, Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant). Reprinted with permission.

Mubarka is a Canadian born woman of Pakistani parents. She grew up in Toronto among other Canadian children and attended university where she received a degree in commerce. Today she holds a prominent position with a transportation company.

Mubarka used to be as mainstream as any Canadian young adult can be; in fact, those who met her for the first time may have been struck by her vivacious personality. Her effervescence went hand in hand with her distinct Asian beauty which she shamelessly displayed with stylish clothing including the occasional low cut top. Mubarka used to converse for hours over topics as varied as business practices in Canadian politics to contemporary music.

It comes, therefore, as a shock, when one learns what path Mubarka has recently chosen for herself. She will be wedding a Pakistani man...a devout Muslim, whom she has never met but who was chosen for her when she was an infant. Not only that, but she has donned the Hijab for the first time in her life and is strictly observing Muslim tenets. She has chosen subservience to a man and subservience to his religion over the gender freedom offered her by the Western democracy she grew up in, and she's done so without so much as a whimper of protest.

When asked why she has picked the life of Sharia, Mubarka simply states that it is as Muhammad would will, and that there is no greater prophet than Muhammad. When asked how she will raise her children, Mubarka makes it clear...they will be raised as Muslims first, and Canadians second.

Hardi is perhaps one of the most pleasant Canadian women anyone could ever meet. In her capacity as a caregiver of seniors, she is gentle, loving, and incredibly patient. She laughs deliciously at the kind of comical moments that only seniors can deliver and her mood seems to be permanently stuck on happy. Hardi is an angel.

Those who encounter Hardi for the first time will be struck not by her character, that comes later, but by the fact that she is virtually covered from head to toe by traditional Indonesian Muslim attire. She covers her entire body with colourful costume that leaves only her hands and face exposed. Hardi is devout, in fact, so devout that during Christmas any appreciation given her by way of gifting must be void of any reference to the season. Furthermore, during quiet moments when Hardi is free to discuss her Muslim faith, it becomes clear she believes wholeheartedly in the strict observance of Sharia. For her, Islam in its pure non-secular form, is truth.

Both Hardi and Mubarka present us with a perplexing conundrum because they are members of what has become known as the "peaceful" Muslim majority. They don't have a violent bone in their bodies, and are clearly law abiding and productive members of Canadian society. But, they are also both part of a very small minority within Canada where they and their fellow Muslims have very little effect on Canadian politics or on the evolution of Canadian cultural norms. What if though, Hardi and Mubarka were part of a Muslim majority where they and their co-religionists held the power?

Both women are Muslims first and Canadians second. No matter how much respect one may have for either woman's character, there is little doubt where either would place her loyalty if faced with choosing between the Canadian traditions of liberty for all, or Sharia. There is also little doubt that if they were part of a majority, they would acquiesce to the demands of the Muslim clerical class and choose Sharia for all Canadians.

It is therefore irrelevant in the grand scheme of things whether or not Hardi or Mubarka are "good" people; most people on the planet are, no matter their religion, race, or culture. What matters in the greater sense, is that as parts of the Muslim collective, neither woman would set aside her Muslim beliefs in order to safeguard and protect the full rights of non-Muslims to live as they choose. What's even more disturbing, is that both women have experienced the gender freedoms afforded them in Canada, yet both have voluntarily resigned themselves to the greater Muslim collective.

As long as each woman is part of a small minority within Canada, she offers Canada much; but once she becomes part of a significant minority, or heaven forbid, a majority, she becomes dangerous. Why? Because Muslims wherever they form a majority choose Islamic norms over the broader more tolerant standards of the West. If given a chance, as has been clearly demonstrated the world over, they would unravel hundreds of years of hard fought human rights gains and replace them with the medieval practices of their faith. As such, both Hardi and Mubarka are simply bit players in a monstrous and destructive Muslim vortex that would drag civilization backwards hundreds of years.

August 16, 2013

Seeing More Headscarves

When I was a kid, I never saw Islamic-style headscarves worn by anyone in my town. I first saw one a few years ago. Now I see them all the time. And it bothers me. Does that make me a racist?

People all over the free world are seeing the same thing, and are feeling disturbed by it. Concerned. Frightened even. Does that mean we are xenophobic bigots? The answer is no. I'm sure there are racist xenophobes among us, but for those of us aware of Islamic ideology and Islamic history, the reason we are uncomfortable with a growing number of Muslims in our midst is simple and reasonable: It has traditionally spelled doom for the existing culture. Islam annihilates cultures.

Islamic headscarves are indicative of ideology. If a Muslim woman believes in Islamic ideology, she will wear a headscarf. A headscarf is one of the few publicly visible signs of Islamic devotion. And if she believes in Islamic ideology, she will probably have lots of children and indoctrinate her children with the ideology too (Islamic texts encourage fecundity and indoctrination). And Islamic ideology is dangerous to non-Muslims. The higher the percentage of Muslims in a given population, the more dangerous they are (because of Islam's rule of numbers).

But I'm not a bigot or a xenophobe, and here's how I can tell: When I see a Hindu woman in a headscarf, it doesn't bother me a bit. Hindu ideology is not dangerous to non-Hindus. When I see a Buddhist monk, I don't feel concerned. If I saw a growing number of Buddhist monks in my town, it wouldn't bother me at all.

And I'm not a racist. If I saw more and more Japanese people in my town, it wouldn't disturb me at all.

It's the ideology. Anyone who understands what it says in Islamic texts should be concerned at the growing number of Muslims in our midst.

July 31, 2013

Religious Practice Versus Imposition

Earlier tonight an acquaintance said he had heard that during Ramadan in Dearborn, Michigan, there's a high school football team that does their football practice from 11:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. because some of the devout Muslim players can't eat or drink anything during the daylight. He said this without any judgment at all. It looked like he felt absolutely neutral about it.

I said, "in other words, the Muslims are imposing their practices on non-Muslims." I said it with a face that clearly displayed disapproval.

He was casually dismissive. "Well, other religions do crazy stuff too," he said.

I said, "they don't impose their stuff on me. Are there religious people who impose something on you? Or try to get you to grant a concession? Or try to make your values yield to theirs? To practice a religion is personal and private. If someone wants to go without food, what do I care? They can go right ahead. But when it impinges on people who are not members of the religion, that's no longer religious. It's political. So all the high school students who want to play football at that school have to practice in the middle of the night because Muslims are thrusting their Islamic practice into the non-Islamic public sphere. Those non-Muslim kids have to disrupt their normal sleep cycle because the Muslims won't bend and the non-Muslims will. And step by step, inch by inch, orthodox Muslims gain one concession after another as our tolerant culture yields to their intolerant culture. Is that okay with you? It's not okay with me."

I had to leave, but this brief conversation inserted an idea I got from Bill Warner. And my acquaintance looked like he heard something he had never even thought about. I wish I'd had time to explain to him that religious supremacism is the belief that a particular religion is superior to others and entitles members of the religion to control or dominate non-members. That's what these Muslim football players were doing.

But maybe it was better that I didn't go into any more detail. Sometimes less is better. Sometimes it's actually more effective to let things sink in a little at a time.

Given how many people are becoming aware of the disturbing nature of Islamic texts, these kinds of brief conversations must be taking place all over the free world. Let's keep it up. We should think in terms of small bits and long campaigns.

July 28, 2013

Can We Stop This Creeping Jihad?

CAIR executive director, Nihad Awad
The following is a letter by Edward Kesler, published on July 28, 2013 in the Reader's Forum of the Tribune Star.

Admittedly, Americans have enormous difficulty realizing that a religion, Islam, is a threat to our society. Perhaps untiring efforts to awaken the public is a fool’s errand. Most readers of any newspaper will not research this issue for themselves. Understanding the task is daunting. It may be useful to examine groups the media believes purportedly speak for Muslims in the U.S.

In the news recently is the Muslim Brotherhood. Some Americans realize the Brotherhood controlled the Egyptian government until the last few weeks. Fewer understand this is not a “political party” but a movement dedicated to world domination. Simply reading the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto should sound alarms for all of us.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 after the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. A primary goal was to re-establish a caliphate that could be extended worldwide. The founders, ardent admirers of Hitler, translated “Mein Kampf” into Arabic. The Muslim religious leader, the Mufti of Jerusalem, spent many years in Germany supporting and observing death camp operations and planning the same for the Muslim world. Rommel’s defeat at El-Alamein ended the plan.

The Jihad (terrorist) group Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is the government of Gaza. In the United States the Brotherhood is the power and financing arm behind the Islamic Society of North America (headquartered in nearby Plainfield), the Muslim Students Association, the International Institute for Islamic Thought and many others.

Perhaps most notably, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, portrayed as a Muslim civil rights organization, is not only connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, but was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation money laundering case. The foundation was convicted of funneling money to Hamas to aid in the terror against Israel.

These are the “moderates” with whom this president’s administration and, to some extent, the previous two administrations, have attempted to coexist. In this administration, members of the Brotherhood and various other Islamist groups have made deep inroads into the halls of power.

Is it too late to stop the creeping social jihad being waged against us, even at the highest levels of our government?

— Edward Kesler, West Terre Haute

July 20, 2013

ACT! for America Wins Victories

If you haven't yet signed up for ACT! for America's email updates, it's time to do yourself the favor. Their updates are top quality, they often give you action alerts to let you know how to take a specific immediate action that will make a difference, and sometimes their reports include good news, like the one they sent out yesterday. Here's what it said:

This year, the governor of Oklahoma signed into law American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) legislation.

The Alabama legislature passed ALAC and has sent it to the voters for approval in 2014 to add ALAC to the state constitution.

South Dakota passed the Free Speech Defense Act.

A school board in Northern Virginia rejected a charter school application from a group affiliated with the Islamist Gulen Movement.

A principal in Washington state removed a flawed, biased textbook from the school.

Kansas said "no" to sharia law and passed anti-Female Genital Mutilation legislation.

And ACT! for America helped make every one of these 2013 victories possible.

They have the largest national security grassroots citizen action network in the country, with over 260,000 members and 800 chapters, and growing.

They've got chapters now in other countries too: Argentina, Canada, Australia, Britain, India, Germany, etc. Sign up for their email updates here.

July 17, 2013

No One Would Listen

Elie Wiesel speaking at NYU, April 2011
If you haven't read the powerful book, Night, by Elie Wiesel, you really should. It is his account of what happened to him during WWII. He was a young teen living in a small village in Hungary when, in 1942, the Hungarian police arrived to announce that all foreign Jews had to leave. The police loaded them all into trains and took them away.

The people in the town were disturbed, of course. It was a sad day. But after a few months, the memory began to fade, and life eventually returned to normal. They felt they were far enough removed from the war that it would end before it ever came to their remote village.

Then one day, one of those foreign Jews found his way back to the village. His name was Moishe. He was an old man, but the young Elie Wiesel had known him fairly well. Moishe had an extraordinary story to tell. He said when the trainload of Jews crossed the border into Polish territory, the Gestapo loaded them into trucks and took all the Jews into a forest where they were forced to dig huge trenches, and then they were all shot! Moishe himself was shot in the leg and left for dead. But he escaped and had been struggling to get back to the little village so he could warn people of what happened. He was urging everyone to flee; to get away before the Germans came.

He went "from one Jewish house to the next," wrote Elie Wiesel, "telling his story..." And he repeatedly and urgently told his story at the synagogue.

But nobody believed him.

They thought he must have lost his mind. Why would the Germans just kill Jews like that? Germany was a modern, industrialized, enlightened country. They wouldn't simply murder people so heartlessly and for no reason. Moishe must have lost his mind.

Moishe was insistent. He begged people to listen to him. He cried. He pleaded. But not one person believed him. They didn't want to believe him, and that's a formidable barrier to communication.

Our message — that what is written in Islamic texts is dangerous to non-Muslims — is also something many people do not want to believe. The implications are too heavy. The people of Elie's village didn't want to contemplate what it would mean if Moishe's story was true. It would mean tragedy and heartache and a loss of faith in humanity. It would mean a drastically different future for everyone. If they believed Moishe, the wise course of action would be to immediately pack up or sell everything they own and move somewhere they'd never been before. They'd have to start over. The journey would be fraught with uncertainty and danger. Most of them had lived their whole lives in that little village.

But they had another option, didn't they? They could explain away Moishe's terrifying story. They could decide there must be some other explanation.

That's what we run into also, isn't it? People are desperately trying to explain it away. If it's true that the doctrines of Islam are dangerous to non-Muslims, we should all drop what we're doing and address it. What's the point of going on about our lives, as they did in Elie's village, if it will all go terribly wrong in a few years? No, there would be no return to normal. If someone truly and fully grasps the real situation, they're in a whole new world, and the "important goals" they were busy trying to accomplish up until now would be abruptly abandoned in order to handle this new (and far more pressing) reality.

But they have another option, don't they? They can decide there must be some other explanation. You must not understand it correctly. You must be taking the Koranic passages out of context. Muslims who believe in Islamic doctrines must be a very small minority. There must be some other explanation.

I invite you to read Night and think about this: What would you have done if you were in Moishe's situation? Do you think you could have gotten someone to believe you? How would you get through to people? Or would you have given up, as Moishe did, and leave them all to their fate?

In 1944, the German Army arrived at Elie's village and immediately initiated new policies to limit freedoms for Jews. The noose closed in tighter and tighter, one policy at a time, until one day all the Jews of the village were imprisoned in a ghetto and ordered to board the transport trains. People were terrified. What did this mean? They were busy in Elie's house frantically packing up food for the trip when Moishe came up to the front door and shouted, "I warned you!" Then he turned and left without waiting for anyone to respond.

It was too late to do anything about it. They were transported to Auschwitz, and all of them suffered terrible, unbelievable physical and psychological torment. Most of them ended up dead.

If Moishe had been able to make people believe him, everyone in the village would have had plenty of time to flee.

Let's not repeat the same mistake. Let's get through. Not with force. Not with crying or pleading or intensity. Let's find out what allows our message to penetrate, and let's use it with ever-growing skill. If you need help, it is available here: Tools.

July 12, 2013

They Oppressed the Wrong Woman

Waris Dirie
Waris Dirie was born in the desert of Somalia. Her family were Muslim nomads. When she was 13 years old, her father announced to her he'd found her a husband and she would soon be wed. Her "groom to be" was an old man. She protested and begged, but the old man had already paid her father, so the deal was done.

The next morning, before her father awoke, she ran away. She took off into the desert knowing only that somewhere was a city named Mogadishu and somewhere in that city she had an aunt. Amazingly, after a very difficult journey, she found her aunt and stayed with her a short time. Then one of her uncles became the Somalian ambassador to the UK and would be stationed in London. Waris begged her uncle to take her with him to be a maid. He consented.

She eventually became a fashion model whose face adorned the covers of many glamour magazines.

At one point in her career, Waris had been interviewed many times. The interviews were always about how a barefoot Somalian nomad became a famous model. But one day as another of these interviews was beginning, Waris took a bold step. She said the rags to riches story had already been told. "Would you like a real story?" she asked.

She told the interviewer about the day she experienced female genital mutilation (FGM), an ancient practice of removing a woman's clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora. Waris was then sewn up with a small hole for urination, which is usually how it's done. This procedure guarantees that she will be a virgin when she gets married, and it ensures she will not feel pleasure during sex (and thus helps prevent infidelity). A girl is not considered marriageable if she is "uncut" — she is considered no better than a whore, so parents make sure she undergoes FGM.

The interviewer was moved and shaken by Waris's story. And the magazine had the guts to print it. This was the beginning of an increasing global awareness of FGM and a movement to do away with it, in the same way that binding girl's feet was banned in China in the early 1900s. Already several countries have committed themselves to eradicating the practice.

Banning FGM would not only save millions of girls from the horror, pain, and death caused by this barbaric practice (it is done to 8,000 girls a day worldwide, with one out of four girls dying from the procedure), it would also help to marginalize, discredit, and disempower orthodox Islam.

The practice is over 4000 years old, and it was taken for granted during Muhammad's lifetime that all women underwent FGM, so he mentioned it a few times as a forgone conclusion, and his mention was written down, so it has now been enshrined in Islamic doctrine as an Islamic practice. Fundamentalists want it to continue because whatever Muhammad said is right for all time.

Banning the procedure would stop this orthodox practice, which would help disempower the fundamentalism itself. Everywhere we can prevent an orthodox practice, like covering women or beating them for disobedience or FGM, we weaken the forces of orthodoxy. If some Islamic fundamentals can be abandoned or seen as wrong, other fundamentals might be more easily abandoned as well.

I encourage you to help your friends and family become aware of FGM. You don't even have to mention the word "Islam." Read Waris's story in her excellent book, Desert Flower (written with Cathleen Miller). And then share the book with people you know. Talk it up. And watch National Geographic's movie by the same name and share that too. This is a way to help innocent girls, a way to pit humanistic empathy against Islamic domination, and a way to get people involved in marginalizing orthodox Islam — people who might never otherwise get involved. The Islamic oppression of women can and should be stopped. Let's start by saving the weakest and most innocent victims: Girls.