Which country has the ugliest record of human rights? North Korea? Syria? Iran? Nope. In fact, if you went by what the United Nations says, the most abusive country in the world is also the only free society in the entire Middle East. The UN, the supposed best hope for world peace, condemns Israel more than any other country. The UN Human Rights Council routinely singles out Israel for criticism.In the newest Prager University course, “Israel vs. the UN,” scholar Anne Bayefsky clearly proves that the UN has an anti-Israel bias. Why is this? That’s for another video, but in short, since the 1940s, the UN has moved from a pro-Western orientation to an anti-Western and anti-Israel orientation.
Mohammed is mainly known for the fact that he was the defense attorney for Muslims who were arrested in the wake of 9/11 because of their ties to terror organizations. In one case, Mohammed fought the government’s effort to deport Mohammed Qatanani, the imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County and an influential member of the extremist — though well-connected — American Muslim Union. Though the New York Times praised him in 2008 during his deportation trial as a “revered imam” and portrayed the case as an overreaction to 9/11, Qatanani, a Palestinian, is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and admitted to being a member of Hamas when he was arrested by Israeli authorities in 1993 before coming to the United States. Though he claimed to be an advocate of interfaith dialogue (and was accepted as such by some liberal Jews), Qatanani was no moderate on the Middle East. His ties to Hamas were well known, and just the year before his deportation trial, Qatanani endorsed Israel’s absorption into an Islamic “Greater Syria.” Qatanani clearly lied about his record as an Islamist on documents that he used to enter the country. But he was nevertheless able to evade justice in the immigration courts because the judge accepted his undocumented claim that the Israelis tortured him.Qatanani also benefited from having some highly placed friends in the justice system as a result of the political pull of the American Muslim Union, which boasts Sohail Mohammed as one of its board members. The AMU was able to get former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell, and then U.S. attorney Chris Christie to intervene on Qatanani’s behalf during the trial. As far as Christie was concerned, this was not a matter of merely signing a letter or making a phone call. The day before the Immigration Court announced its decision, Christie actually spoke at Qatanani’s mosque (Qatanani’s predecessor had boasted of raising at the mosque $2 million for Hamas via the now banned Holy Land Foundation) at a Ramadan breakfast dinner, where he embraced the imam while praising him as “a man of great good will.”Terror researcher Steve Emerson was quoted at the time as calling Christie’s involvement in the case “a disgrace and an act of pure political corruption,” especially since “I know for certain that Christie and the FBI had access to information about Qatanani’s background, involvement with and support of Hamas.”
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“I think things could have been done somewhat differently,” Paul said this week. “I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he’s been in prison. Why can’t we work with the government?”
Asked by WHO Radio’s Simon Conway whether he would have given the go-ahead to kill bin Laden if it meant entering another country, Paul shot back that it “absolutely was not necessary.”
“I don’t think it was necessary, no. It absolutely was not necessary,” Paul said during his Tuesday comments. “I think respect for the rule of law and world law and international law. What if he’d been in a hotel in London? We wanted to keep it secret, so would we have sent the airplane, you know the helicopters in to London, because they were afraid the information would get out?”
Actually, there are conflicting reports about the possibility that the United States did have Pakistan’s permission to get bin Laden on our own if we got a bead on him. Now, your guess is as good as mine as to who’s telling the truth, but something tells me that getting the details straight wouldn’t change Paul’s opinion. Either way, one wonders if Paul has ever stopped to consider the fact that bin Laden spent six years in a sizeable compound built in a town dominated by the Pakistani Army, and wonder how that little detail could have possibly escaped the Pakistanis’ notice.
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We knew this was coming. No American victory in this day and age, not even the long-overdue death of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, is safe from political hijacking by the useful idiots of the Left. Within hours of hearing the good news, left-wing Daily Beast flunky Peter Beinart took to the keyboard to declare that the War on Terror is finally over.
Wow, what a relief! So that means Iran’s nuclear program is kaput? Er, no. Well, maybe it means the UN Security Council has stopped playing nice with Middle Eastern thug regimes. Wait, that didn’t happen, either. I know – peace between Israel and the Palestinians is finally in sight! Nope, try again. Um, then maybe anti-American sentiment among Muslim populations is waning? Uh-uh.
If none of that’s the case, then what does Beinart mean?
I don’t mean that there is no threat of further jihadist attack. In the short term, the threat may even rise. I don’t mean that we should abandon all efforts at tracking terrorist cells. Of course not. But the war on terror was a way of seeing the world, explicitly modeled on World War II and the Cold War. It suggested that the struggle against “radical Islam” or “Islamofascism” or “Islamic terrorism” should be the overarching goal of American foreign policy, the prism through which we see the world […] It made East Asia an afterthought during a critical period in China’s rise; it allowed all manner of dictators to sell their repression in Washington, just as they had during the Cold War; it facilitated America’s descent into torture; it wildly exaggerated the ideological appeal of a jihadist-Salafist movement whose vision of society most Muslims find revolting.
Bin Laden’s death is an opportunity to lay the war on terror to rest as well. Although President Obama avoids the phrase, its assumptions still drive our war in Afghanistan, a crushingly expensive adventure in nation building in a desperately poor country whose powerful neighbor wants us to fail. Those assumptions fuel anti-Muslim racism in the United States, where large swaths of the Republican Party have decided they are at risk of living under Sharia law. And they blind us to the differences among Islamist movements, allowing Glenn Beck and company to depict Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as al Qaeda’s farm team.
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Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is in Israel right now, which for some reason is perplexing to some in the chattering class back home. Taking the most cynical approach, Newsweek Jerusalem bureau chief Dan Ephron takes to the Daily Beast to explore what Palin might stand to gain politically from the visit:
For the former Alaska governor, the trip offers a chance to distinguish herself as more pro-Israel than other American politicians and, perhaps, to make amends for her “blood libel” gaffe in January that angered many Jews. Palin has already pointed out that President Obama has yet to visit Israel during more than two years in office. At a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, she was expected to distance herself from the position of some fellow Tea Partiers—chiefly Congressman Rand Paul—in favor of cutting aid to Israel.
Leftists and left-wing groups which claim to speak for Jews complained about the “blood libel” nonsense at the time, but a.) that doesn’t necessarily translate to “many Jews,” and b.) I doubt Palin took that line of attack too seriously, considering the frequency with which both sides have used the term in the past. Attempting to compare favorably to Obama’s inattentiveness (and worse) to Israel is more likely, as is the idea that she’s distancing herself from Paul’s stances on that front, especially considering that she supported him.
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Rep. Peter King’s announced congressional hearings on Muslim extremism have brought on a tidal wave of condemnation of the level to which America allegedly embraces anti-Islamic bigotry, so it’s important to take a look at how American Muslims are really treated in this country.
We’ve noted before how polling data indicates that the American people don’t consider most Muslims to be terrorism supporters and FBI numbers show that Muslims actually comprise a very small share of the nation’s annual hate crime victims. And yesterday, the Center for Security Policy released a new report on religiously motivated hate crimes between 2000 and 2009, which “contradicts the false assertions that hate crimes against Muslims have increased, and that the alleged cause is widespread Islamophobia in America.” CSP president Frank Gaffney says:
This report is important because it exposes a false belief perpetuated by a few vocal groups that religious bias crimes against Muslims are on the upswing. The truth is quite the opposite. These arguments, unsubstantiated by hard factual data, are corrosive to community relationships at every level of American society, and a potential threat to national security.
First, the report’s summary chart [download here] shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans are peaceful to members of all faiths. There were a total of 6,319 anti-religious hate crimes perpetrated against Americans of all faiths in the last decade. As despicable as every single act was, that number is well within the range we should expect in a free society of over 300 million people (consider that in 2008 alone there were 16,272 murders, 89,000 rapes, and 441,855 robberies). Neither Jews, Christians nor Muslims are suffering any kind of hate-crime epidemic.
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The nice thing about being on the Left is that your arguments never become stale. Regardless of what the facts say, whether or not a claim has been soundly refuted in the public arena, or how many times you’ve said it, you can always recycle the same smears. Today’s recycler is Peter Beinart, who takes to the Daily Beast to bemoan the Republican Party’s descent into bigotry:
I once ate a Shabbat meal in Salt Lake City, where my hosts—staunch Republicans and Orthodox Jews—talked with wonder about the extreme courtesy with which their Mormon neighbors accommodated their religious needs. Conservatives, they explained, were actually more tolerant of minority faiths than liberals. I’d like to believe that a Muslim family in Utah or Alabama could say the same today. In a sense, the Republican Party’s honor depends on it.
My, that does sound serious! Whatever could have been the catalyst for this clarion call?
[Rep. Peter] King, a Long Island Republican, will hold hearings this week on terrorism by American Muslims. Think about that for a second. King isn’t holding hearings on domestic terrorism; he’s holding hearings on domestic terrorism by one religious group.
Yes, think about that for a second—and you’ll apparently have reflected on the issue more than Peter Beinart. As Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney explains, one of the reasons King’s hearings are so important is that they present the opportunity to “explore the extent to which virtually every prominent group that purports to speak for that community is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood or sympathetic to its agenda.” And if you know anything about the Brotherhood or other Islamist organizations, you know this is hardly an answer in search of a problem. Gaffney makes the following point:
[C]onfusion about the true nature and intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood is much in evidence at the moment. The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, contributed to it, first by testifying last month that the Brotherhood is “a largely secular organization.” He subsequently recanted that preposterous characterization, but nonetheless downplayed concerns about the group by insisting that it is “heterogeneous,” has “eschewed violence” and is engaged in good works, like hospitals and day care.
Such contentions are, presumably, contributing to the Obama administration’s intention – as reported on the front page of the Washington Post last Friday – to establish relations with Muslim Brotherhood-dominated or other Islamist governments emerging from the revolutions sweeping the Middle East. The implications of that decision would be incalculably problematic for our homeland security, as well as our foreign policy interests.
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At CPAC 2011, Ann Coulter made the following claim:
Democrats are all for meddling in other countries –- but only provided a change of regime will harm U.S. national security interests.
It probably wasn’t his intention, but this week the Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart has set out to prove her right. Beinart (who, recall, doesn’t think the War on Terror is a war and says conservatives only support profiling because we don’t believe people who look like us are capable of bad things) has chosen to lecture us about “the hypocrisy of the right’s shallow rhetoric on liberty and human freedom,” allegedly displayed by those of us who aren’t all that optimistic that a post-Mubarak Egypt will be any more free or humane:
[T]he people with the biggest megaphones on the American right—people like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich—are not preaching democratic idealism. They’re warning that Egypt and Bahrain are about to become Iranian- or Taliban-style theocracies. They’re comparing Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter for not standing behind our favored strongmen. And they’re suggesting that, at the very least, America should demand that Islamist parties be banned. When it comes to Muslims and democracy, much of the supposedly idealistic American right turns out to be pretty pessimistic. It turns out that the people uninterested in the human rights of Muslims at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay aren’t all that concerned about them in Egypt or Bahrain either.
What human-rights disinterest are you referring to, Peter? The way I remember it, conservatives overwhelmingly condemned the actual abuse and the military punished those responsible all on its own, while waterboarding has saved American lives. And Beck, Palin and Gingrich’s doubts are far from groundless—the radical Muslim Brotherhood is among the factions vying for control of Egypt’s new government, and as David Horowitz sarcastically pointed out to Bill Kristol, recent history doesn’t suggest great odds for Egypt:
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The moral equivalency leftists are capable of never fails to sicken. Whether driven by intolerance of opposition or cluelessness about the real world, many think nothing of comparing those with whom they disagree—often unfavorably—to the most heinous monsters on the planet. Case in point: our old friend Ellen of the loser-packed Fox-hating blog NewsHounds is outrageously outraged that Bill O’Reilly would dare impugn the patriotism of left-wingers like Sam Donaldson and Alan Colmes for their defense of…er, Al-Jazeera:
It’s not as though Donaldson praised Al Jazeera for saying anything anti-American or attacking America. No, attacking an American or Americans is something that Fox News does every day whenever a Democrat or liberal is discussed.
Apparently, praising Al Jazeera for doing something right is completely wrong (and anti-American) because, according to O’Reilly, “Al Jazeera makes a living blaming most problems in the Middle East on the USA and Israel.”
That must be completely different from the way Fox News pundits like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and yes, Bill O’Reilly blame most problems on American liberals.
“Talking Points can provide hundreds, hundreds of examples of anti-Semitism and hate-America rhetoric displayed on Al Jazeera, the network Sam Donaldson admires,” O’Reilly sneered.
And we can provide just as many examples of anti-Semitism and hate-America rhetoric on Fox News. In addition to the hate mongering against Americans, there’s Sean Hannity’s friendly interview with anti-Semite Andy Martin (for which Hannity has never apologized), another lapdog interview with Mel Gibson and Glenn Beck’s anti-Semitic dogwhistles about George Soros. In fact, those dogwhistles were so offensive to so many Jews that 400 rabbis recently wrote to Rupert Murdoch asking him to rein in Beck. Fox News’ response? Calling the rabbis “a George Soros backed left-wing political organization.”
Colmes did not apologize or hedge or try to curry favor as so many other Democrats on Fox do. Noting that Egypt had shut down Al Jazeera, he said to O’Reilly, “I would think a populist like you would support Al Jazeera and freedom of the press… I would think that as a journalist, you would take the side of Al Jazeera.”
O’Reilly claimed that his beef with Al Jazeera was its lack of balance, that there was never anyone on to counter its anti-American message.
Oh, you mean the way there’s never anyone on to counter Glenn Beck’s attacks on President Obama, his former advisor Van Jones, George Soros or 78 year-old Frances Fox Piven?
No, what’s noteworthy is that Ellen doesn’t even try to argue that Al-Jazeera isn’t an anti-American, Jew-hating mouthpiece for Islamic radicalism, but says that Fox News is just as bad anyway.
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Remember Katie Couric’s insipid suggestion that Americans needed a Muslim version of The Cosby Show to help us get over our seething Islamophobia? It earned derision in the blogosphere for its condescending view of the country as a hive of bigotry and its refusal to give the Islamic world any share of the blame for Islamic image problems, but PopEater reports that the idea is picking up steam among Muslims in the television industry:
“We want to see a typical Arab-American family that is just like every other family in America,” said Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah, who has developed a pilot for Comedy Central. “Television has had the ability to demonize Muslims and Arabs, but we realize that it also has the ability to humanize us.”
Couric’s suggestion might not be as radical or as far off as her critics decried. In fact, Muslim-American writers say that broadcast and cable networks are starting to be more receptive to scripts prominently featuring both Arabs and practitioners of Islam. A decade-removed from the September 11th terrorist attacks, television may finally be ready to portray Muslim-Americans as more than terrorists and taxi cab drivers.
“Hollywood would definitely embrace a Muslim ‘Cosby Show’ with one caveat: It would have to be really good. It’s the one factor that has linked shows about minorities like the ‘Cosby Show’ or even ‘Will & Grace.’ Currently, I believe Americans are open to any minority as long as the show speaks to universal human truths and makes them laugh,” said Muslim-American Hollywood television and movie producer Tariq Jalil, the executive producer of the comedy ‘Marmaduke.’ [Emphasis added.]
That’s true—as we discussed on January 3, neither the words nor the deeds of the American people indicate hostility toward American Muslims—and it’s nice to hear Jalil acknowledge what Couric didn’t, but that also undermines the alleged need for more Muslim programming in the first place.