One byproduct of the turmoil in Egypt is the focus on the Muslim Brotherhood. Some, including President Obama, appear to think that the Brotherhood is a legitimate political party; others disagree. Here are a couple of sources to help you decide for yourself.
Jon Stewart, as part of his recent Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Keep Fear Alive to celebrate ‘moderation’ and ’sanity’, asked Cat Stevens to perform as the person who ‘pulls us back to sanity’. Cat Stevens converted to Islam years ago and took the name Yusuf Islam. He supported the call to assassinate Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses, and more recently said he agrees with stoning women to death for adultery.
Yesterday, the state of Oklahoma approved a referendum banning the application of sharia law. Various Islamic representatives called this fear-mongering that would hurt Muslims; I call it an excellent idea.
In the welter of anti-Israel speeches, boycotts, accusations of Israeli apartheid and Nazism, here’s one rational voice. UK Methodist preacher David Hallam is suing his church for its decision to boycott some Israeli goods.
For those who wonder how to distinguish between ‘moderate’ Muslims and Islamists, here’s a ‘quiz’ developed by Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian-American who once belonged to a radical group and is now an outspoken opponent of Islamism. Dubbed the Radical Islam Support Test, it’s presented in his excellent book, Inside Jihad (pp. 114-15):
Earlier this year, the State of Louisiana passed a law requiring Louisiana courts to base their decisions on American and Louisiana law, not Islamic sharia law. The goal is to pre-empt judges who seek to make exceptions for Muslims - usually at the expense of a woman, in spousal abuse or divorce cases.
For those few (including President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg) who still think Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a ‘moderate’, here’s proof he’s not. According to the Associated Press: “The imam behind a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero cautioned Wednesday that moving the facility could cause a violent backlash from Muslim extremists and endanger national security.”
Raymond Ibrahim surveys commentary from Arab countries on the Mega-Mosque proposal and finds prominent spokesmen, including from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, who think it’s a really bad idea. Indeed, so bad that they assume it’s a Zionist conspiracy to link Islam to 9/11. (Hint: dubbing anything a ‘Zionist conspiracy’ is not/not a compliment!)
I bet you haven’t heard about HR2765 entitled “Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act.” It’s the new law protecting First Amendment rights of American authors and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits. I’ve written about it before; it’s a vital piece of protection which passed both Houses of Congress unanimously (which in this day and age is saying something).
Columnist Diana West reports here on the mysterious fog that continues to surround the April 10 crash of a Polish jet in Russia several months, killing Polish President Lech Kaczynski and many other members of the Polish elite.
For those who haven’t yet seen it, here’s a link to the July 27 report by the Congressional Budget Office entitled “Federal Debt and the Risk of a Fiscal Crisis.” A few highlights from the report (and remember, the head of the CBO is a Democrat):
The Wall Street Journal reported a day or two ago that France and Germany, the motors for Europe, are coming out of the recession. According to a piece by Rick Moran in the American Thinker, they are not alone: China and India are recovering as well. Among the most developed economies, only the United Kingdom and the United States are lagging behind.
A new report by the Civitas think tank estimates that some 85 sharia courts currently operate in the United Kingdom, usually in mosques and behind closed doors. Many of their cases have to do with marriage or divorce. According to fatwas on websites of UK mosques, the courts are supposed to forbid Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men unless the latter convert. They are also supposed to grant custody of any male children over the age of seven to the father, regardless of other circumstances.
A judge in eastern Michigan has ruled to continue the case, reported earlier, brought against the U.S. Treasury for continuing and developing the sharia financing programs of insurance giant AIG, which has by now received more than $150 billion from the government. As Frank Gaffney and David Jerushalmi argue:
While the Free Speech Protection Act languishes in Washington, the judicial committee of the California state senate just approved by 5-0 a bill to protect California authors and publishers from libel tourism judgments.
The Spanish attorney general will recommend against investigating torture allegations directed at senior Bush administration officials. Spanish judge Baltazar Gazon had proposed just such an investigation; the attorney general said, “if one is dealing with a crime of mistreatment of prisoners of war, the complaint should go against those who physically carried it out.” (Thanks to CNS News.)
Defense Secretary Bob Gates, in a recent Fox interview, said that he thought the best way to alter Iranian behavior was to impose economic sanctions. A cynic might say that he was recommending policies that involved departments other than his, while a realist might say that economic sanctions are highly unlikely to alter the Iranian determination to produce a nuclear weapon.
The Obama administration has decided to compete for election to the UN’s Human Rights Council. The United States will most likely win; we will then be well-positioned to legitimize the efforts of countries like Libya, China and Iran to attack Israel while covering up their own human rights abuses.
Or, more accurately, on President Obama’s mind, given that he dispatched a personal envoy to Syria early on in his presidency. Syria has long loomed as the elusive objective of various Mideast peace initiatives. Then Secretary of State Warren Christopher travelled there numerous times during the Clinton years; in late 2006, the Iraq Study Group recommended overtures to Syria; and former Secretary of State Condi Rice included Syria in a November 2007 peace conference.
The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens reviews here a play he just saw in New York, where it arrived after a run in London. Entitled “Seven Jewish Children,” the play traces the history of a family from the Holocaust to modern-day Israel, depicting the Jews in the story as having morphed from victims into perpetrators.
This morning’s news is that the Obama administration has a new approach to combat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan; that Al Qaeda represents a very serious threat to the United States. This threat analysis is confirmed here, in an article on the administration’s commitment to keep counterterrorism as the top priority of the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Remember when Candidate Obama reassured a Jewish audience that he would support the State of Israel? Well, as is the case with so many campaign promises, this one may be honored primarily in the breach.
President Obama, in his recent offer to the Russians, appeared to propose abandoning the missile defense system that the previous administration wished to install in Poland and the Czech Republic. The quid pro quo was Russian support for keeping Iran from obtaining the missiles that the system was designed to stop.
The dust in Gaza is settling and the wallets are out again. The international community, including the U.S. government, is busy reimbursing the Palestinian Authority for the costs of waging unceasing war against Israel.