09/21/20

AG Barr to Designate 3 U.S. Cities As ‘Anarchist Jurisdictions’

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: The Department of Justice has a duty to protect America and to apply laws and remedies where called for.

As an aside, Mayor De Blasio was sworn in by Bill Clinton… gotta wonder what the Clinton’s really think about the conditions of New York City and for that matter, the rest of the state. Additionally, as a sample, the New York Mayor’s office has a criminal justice division that, wait for it:

We advise the Mayor on solutions to the City’s public safety problems by looking at the criminal justice system as a whole – and beyond.

How is that working out…

The Clintons join the de Blasio family portrait. Mayor de Blasio has worked for both former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton during his political career.

DW: Attorney General William Barr has reportedly designated three U.S. cities — all controlled by Democrats — as “anarchist jurisdictions” that are being targeted to be defunded by the federal government for failing to stop violent rioters and for defunding law enforcement departments.

The New York Post reported that Barr signed off on designating New York City, Portland, and Seattle as “anarchist jurisdictions.”

“When state and local leaders impede their own law-enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,” Barr is expected to say in a statement on Monday. “We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”

“My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses,” Trump tweeted late on Wednesday. “We’re putting them on notice today.”

Trump’s tweet followed a report from The New York Post that stated that the administration was targeting New York City, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

The Post reported:

Trump on Wednesday signed a five-page memo ordering all federal agencies to send reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget that detail funds that can be redirected.

New York City, Washington, DC, Seattle, and Portland are initial targets as Trump makes “law and order” a centerpiece of his reelection campaign after months of unrest and violence following the May killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police.

“My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,” the memo stated. “To ensure that Federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our Government’s promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the Federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities.”

The Democrat mayors of Seattle, Portland, and New York City all responded to the news earlier this month that they were being targeted.

New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo made threatening remarks to the president in response to the news earlier this month.

“He better have an army if he thinks he’s gonna walk down the street in New York,” Cuomo said. “New Yorkers don’t want to have anything to do with him.”

“Before Cuomo made the remark threatening the president, he gave a 7-minute statement in which he made personal attacks on the president,” The Daily Wire added. “Cuomo also pinned all the blame for his own much-maligned response to the coronavirus pandemic on the president, falsely claiming that Trump was ‘the cause’ of the coronavirus in New York and accusing Trump of ‘actively’ trying to ‘kill New York City.’”

09/21/20

When Iran Buys Arms, Tanks and Air Defense Systems, Blame Europe

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: The 3rd Khordad system, which is based on the Russian S-300 and shot down a U.S. sophisticated large Global Hawk US drone in June 2019. Iran is the major supplier of weapons to Syria.

Iran’s foreign minister says the country will meet its strategic needs by purchasing weapons from Russia and China, and has no need for European weapons once the UN embargo is lifted in October.

Iran announces mass production of domestic main battle ...

(Bloomberg) — European governments that aren’t backing the U.S. re-imposition of United Nations sanctions on Iran are wedded to the “silly” 2015 nuclear deal and haven’t proposed an alternative for preventing new conventional arms sales to Iran, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said.

With European powers stressing their commitment to the accord on Sunday, Pompeo doubled down on the U.S. decision to invoke the “snapback” of sanctions in a dispute that’s helped estrange President Donald Trump’s administration and Europe.

“The Europeans who have not joined us in this, they know we’re right,” Pompeo said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “They tell us privately they don’t want the arms sales to come back” and expressed this view in a letter “that they’re very concerned about these arms sales.” He didn’t elaborate on who sent the letter or when.

The U.S. on Saturday said that all of the UN resolutions on Iran that were in place before the 2015 deal — from a ban on arms deals to restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile activity and its nuclear enrichment — have now gone back into effect. But 13 of 15 Security Council members say they don’t consider the U.S. move valid.

Can’t Proceed

“It is illegitimate for the U.S. to demand the Security Council invoke the snapback mechanism” because it is no longer a participant of the deal, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun wrote in a letter to the Security Council on Saturday that was seen by Bloomberg News.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also weighed in on the disagreement on Saturday, noting in a letter that he couldn’t proceed in acting upon the U.S. snapback because of the “uncertainty over whether or not the process” was “indeed initiated”.

Although Europeans have expressed private concern, “they haven’t lifted a finger, they haven’t done the work that needs to be done” or have outlined an option to the U.S. snapback, Pompeo said. “I hope they’ll join us. I hope they get to the right place. They’re still wedded to this silly nuclear deal that was signed now five years ago.”

Weapons Purchases

Absent the snapback, Iran would be able to resume buying arms, tanks, and air defense systems, Pompeo said. “All of those in a couple of weeks would have been permitted to have been sold,” he said.

European powers on Sunday stressed their commitment to the nuclear agreement.

“We have worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear agreement and remain committed to do so,” the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the U.K. said in a statement. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said the accord is “a key pillar” of nuclear non-proliferation that deserves support.

Since quitting the accord in 2018, the Trump administration has plowed ahead with efforts to undermine the deal, ratcheting up sanctions on Iran and threatening allies if they do business with the Islamic republic. Trump is expected to speak on Tuesday to the UN General Assembly, which is being held virtually this year.

The U.S. campaign has united partners such as the U.K., France, and Germany with Russia and China, all of whom have sought to salvage the accord. Their support for the deal has left the U.S. isolated on the United Nations Security Council.

Why U.S., Other Powers Differ on Iran Nuclear Deal: QuickTake

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, at a cabinet meeting on Sunday shown on state television news, called the U.S. move a sign of “certain failure” which only demonstrates that President Donald Trump’s strategy has resulted in “maximum isolation” for Washington.

On Saturday, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened Iran would set U.S. military outposts in the Persian Gulf “on fire at once” if its adversary tried to start a war.

To enforce those measures, if countries like Russia and China disregard them, the U.S. could use tools such as secondary sanctions on shippers, insurers, and banks. It could even threaten interdictions of ships at sea.

Read More: Iran Warns U.S. Against War Before UN Sanctions Showdown

“In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable,” Pompeo said in his statement on Saturday. “Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed.”

Speaking Sunday at a church in Plano, Texas, Pompeo, said he prays that “the Iranian people that they will get a government that they deserve that respects the dignity of the lives of the Iranian people.”

The Iranian rial hit a low on the unregulated open market on Sunday, weakening 4.6% compared with last week and briefly breaching 280,000 per U.S. dollar, according to two currency trading channels on the Telegram messaging app.

09/21/20

Cruz Says Fill RBG SCOTUS Seat Now. Yes, He Should – With Ted Cruz

By: Daniel John Sobieski

When President Trump recently added Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz to his shortlist for Supreme Court nominees, he did not know it would be shortly before fate presented him in the passing of the virulently anti-Trump Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the opportunity to fill a third SCOTUS seat just in his first term. Cruz, ironically, is a perfect candidate for the court – an originalist and movement conservative who has argued before the Supreme Court, served as Texas attorney general and, as a senator, knows the confirmation process and associate political games all too well.

Sen. Cruz also knows exactly why Trump should nominate a replacement for the arch-liberal and anti-originalist Ruth Bader Ginsburg now and get that nominee confirmed before the November election. The Democrats are planning to steal the election with floods of phony mail-in ballots, legal challenges, and recounts upon recounts. Whatever the vote on November 3rd, this will be a contested election and like Gore versus Bush in 2000, SCOTUS may ultimately decide things. Wouldn’t it be better to meet this constitutional crisis with a third Trump-appointed justice on the Supreme Court rather than the 4-4 invitation to disaster that exists now? As PJMedia reports:

Republican Senator Ted Cruz says President Donald Trump needs to nominate a successor to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg next week, and that the Senate should confirm that choice or the country risks a constitutional crisis.

“I believe that the president should, next week, nominate a successor to the court. I think it is critical that the Senate takes up and confirms that successor before Election Day,” Senator Cruz told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

“Democrats and Joe Biden have made clear they intend to challenge this election. They intend to fight the legitimacy of the election. As you you know Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden ‘under no circumstances should you concede, you should challenge this election.’ and we cannot have election day come and go with a 4-4 court.”

Cruz continued, “A 4-4 court that is equally divided cannot decide anything. And I think we risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a nine-justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of … a contested election.”…

The president should nominate a principled constitutionalist with a proven record and the Senate … should do our job and protect the country from the constitutional crisis that could result otherwise.”

Some pundits opine that we should wait and let the people pick the President who will pick Ginsburg’s replacement, but, as noted, this will be an election that the next SCOTUS pick may decide. It may very well be the Justice who picks the President and not the other way around. The people have already voted for Trump and a Republican Senate to make this very choice on this very day. What’s to wait for? When Democrats take power they use it. So should Republicans if they are serious about righting the ship and draining the swamp.

What about Merrick Garland, Democrats whine?  I say forget about customs and traditions and Senate smoke and mirrors all designed to help liberal Democrats and their nominees and crush constitutional originalists. They are rooted in hypocrisy. Presidents should nominate, and the Senate should confirm or block, justices when they have the power to do so, power already given them by the people. Blocking Merrick Garland was a righteous exercise of political power given to a Republican Senate.  The Senate hs the power to advise or consent but they don’t have to do either. It is constitutional for them to sit on their hands. That’s called not consenting.

Judge Merrick Garland was as real a judicial threat to the Second Amendment both Trump and Cruz hold dear as it gets. Ted Cruz warns as part of his stump speech that we are one Supreme Court Justice away from losing our Second Amendment Right to keep and bear arms. President Obama nominated for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia just such an individual – Judge Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a Bill Clinton appointee. As Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, which mounted an ad campaign against Garland’s confirmation,  noted in National Review:

… Garland has a long record, and, among other things, it leads to the conclusion that he would vote to reverse one of Justice Scalia’s most important opinions, D.C. vs. Heller, which affirmed that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Back in 2007, Judge Garland voted to undo a D.C. Circuit court decision striking down one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The liberal District of Columbia government had passed a ban on individual handgun possession, which even prohibited guns kept in one’s own house for self-defense. A three-judge panel struck down the ban, but Judge Garland wanted to reconsider that ruling. He voted with Judge David Tatel, one of the most liberal judges on that court. As Dave Kopel observed at the time, the “[t]he Tatel and Garland votes were no surprise, since they had earlier signaled their strong hostility to gun owner rights” in a previous case. Had Garland and Tatel won that vote, there’s a good chance that the Supreme Court wouldn’t have had a chance to protect the individual right to bear arms for several more years.

Moreover, in the case mentioned earlier, Garland voted with Tatel to uphold an illegal Clinton-era regulation that created an improvised gun registration requirement.

Scalia had told Chris Wallace on Fox News that he would not like to see his replacement be someone who would undo everything he had accomplished and worked for. President Obam dishonored his memory and put our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in the crosshairs by nominating just such a person.

Sen. Cruz, who warned of a nomination like Garland’s was a prime mover in getting Heller, in which Scalia wrote the majority opinion, before the Supreme Court and which decided in favor of gun rights, ruling that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right and that the word “militia,” as the Founders intended, meant the “whole people” of the United States. If Heller had gone the other way, our gun rights would have been thrown on the ash heap of history. As Cruz told CNN:

I represented 31 states in the Heller case, which upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms. You know what Barack Obama’s position is? That there is no individual right to keep and bear arms whatsoever under the Constitution. … Hillary Clinton, for example, has said she will put Supreme Court justices on the court who will overturn Heller. And if Heller is overturned … there were four justices who said that there is no individual right to keep and bear arms whatsoever, that it is only a collective right in the militia, which is fancy lawyer talk for a nonexistent right. … [If] Hillary Clinton gets one more Supreme Court justice, what it would mean is, the Supreme Court would say you and I and every individual American have no constitutional right under the Second Amendment at all, and either the federal government or a state government could make it a crime to possess a firearm.

Together Antonin Scalia and Ted Cruz saved the Second Amendment. That alone should warrant a Cruz Supreme Court appointment,  Well, Ted, if you want to put strict constitutionalist judges on the Supreme Court who would restore the original intent of the Founding Fathers, who would be a better pick than yourself?

Trump warned during the campaign that the Second Amendment was under attack and there was no better defender of the Second Amendment than Ted Cruz. He would be a worthy replacement for the late Justice Scalia, with whom Ted Cruz helped save the Second Amendment in the momentous Heller decision. In a statement on Scalia’s passing, Cruz stated:

“As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism. And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. He was an unrelenting defender of religious liberty, free speech, federalism, the constitutional separation of powers, and private property rights. All liberty-loving Americans should be in mourning.

Before endorsing Trump, and perhaps one of the reasons aside from SCOTUS picks, Cruz received support from Trump in fighting the Obama administration’s Internet giveaway that removed it from U.S. control. They are more in agreement than some commentators think. As Politico reported:

Donald Trump’s campaign Wednesday criticized the Obama administration’s plan to hand oversight of the internet’s domain name system to an international body, echoing Sen. Ted Cruz’s argument that it could lead to more censorship by countries like Russia and China.

“The U.S. should not turn control of the Internet over to the United Nations and the international community. President Obama intends to do so on his own authority — just 10 days from now, on October 1st, unless Congress acts quickly to stop him,” Trump’s national policy director, Stephen Miller, said in a statement published on the campaign’s website….

Cruz, who has famously refused to endorse Trump’s candidacy, thanked the GOP nominee in a tweet: “Appreciate @realDonaldTrump’s support of our efforts to stop Obama’s Internet handover & keep the #Internet free.”

When Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for acting like “Trump judges” in their decisions, Ted Cruz ripped her to shreds, pointing out that thanks to President Trump, who realized the Supreme Court was and still is a political arena, at least for those who confirm SCOTUS picks, the appointments of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have shifted SCOTUS back in an originalist direction. Are they “Trump” justices per se? Perhaps not, but they share his views on the role and limitations of the Supreme Court.

It took Cruz just two minutes during the hearing to reduce Sotomayor’s protest to a pile of politically motivated babble:

If you look at the facts of what’s happening with nationwide injunctions, I think it will explain why the DOJ has had to ask the Supreme Court to intervene over and over and over again.

Nearly one-third of the nationwide injunctions issued against the Trump Administration have come from courts in the state of California. Two-thirds of the states, their district courts have issued a total of zero nationwide injunctions. So you have a handful of courts that are driving this problem.

Cruz then offered Sotomayor the facts showing how judges have been enlisted in the anti-Trump “resistance” to thwart the will of the American people:

“In the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, district courts issued a total of 12 universal injunctions against the Bush administration,” he said. “In the eight years of the Obama administration, district courts issued 19 universal injunctions against the Obama administration. In just three years of the Trump administration, we have already had 55 national universal injunctions issued against the federal government.”

That breaks down to 1.5 injunctions per year under Bush, 2.4 injunctions per year under Obama, and 18.3 injunctions per year under Trump. And liberals like Sotomayor like to lecture us on “disparate outcomes.” How’s that, Justice Sotomayor, for equal treatment under the law?

Look in the mirror, Ted, for that principled constitutionalist. There are those who suggest Cruz would turn down a SCOTUS offer and that in any event, he might have a tough time getting confirmed by fellow senators whose toes he has stepped on. But if he is as unpopular as they say, they just might want to elevate him out of the Senate. Cruz, the argument goes, may not want to be just 1 of 9, but right now he is just 1 of 100. Would he pass up a chance to safeguard the Constitution or a generation or more in favor of having his bills die in committee? I think not. Would the United States and the Constitution be better off with a Justice Cruz? I think so.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investors Business Dail whose pieces have also appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

09/21/20

Make Unborn Babies Great Again

By: Cliff Kincaid

President Trump said on Monday that he would nominate a justice with “high moral values.” That means someone who believes in the humanity of the innocent unborn. That means someone who is the exact opposite of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the fundamental issue of our time.

There was a time when slavery was the moral issue of our time. The U.S. fought a civil war over ending slavery, even though the Marxist Black Lives Matter is trying to keep a racial civil war going for partisan political purposes.  But BLM has moved on, too. This Marxist group wants to destroy the nuclear family, a process that accelerated with Roe v. Wade in 1973 and was upheld by Ginsburg on several occasions. That decision has left 60 million dead. This is a form of slavery that has made unborn babies into the property of others, subject to whims about when and if they live, or die.

“Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves,” President Ronald Reagan said. “Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide.”

“While we did not agree with many of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views about the Constitution or the judicial function, we never doubted her industry, dedication, gumption, civility, or patriotism,” said the “conservative” editors of National Review. But it wasn’t patriotic to favor slavery and it is not patriotic to favor the genocide of the unborn.

Being a woman with children and grandchildren, Ginsburg had a special responsibility to recognize and uplift the function of motherhood. Instead, she presided over the buildup of the machinery of death, otherwise known as the abortion industry. The financial power of this industry is what drives the modern Democratic Party and the opposition to Trump.

Stephan Richter, Editor-in-Chief of the Globalist, quoted Ginsburg as saying, “My heritage as a Jew and my occupation as a judge fit together symmetrically. The demand for justice runs through the entirety of Jewish history and Jewish tradition.” He commented, “No single Jew in the US in recent decades spoke so eloquently — and did so much to promote equality for all Americans as she did.”

She didn’t believe in equal rights under the law for the innocent unborn.

She was so pro-abortion that even during her confirmation hearings she refused to recognize the humanity of the unborn. For that reason, Senator Jesse Helms called her “callous.” But he was one of only three Senators to vote against her.

Since that time, 30 million innocent babies – out of that total of 60 million – have died, some through partial-birth abortion. In this procedure, the skull is crushed or a vacuum issued to remove and empty the brain. Millionaire abortionist doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was subsequently convicted on murder charges and sentenced to life in prison, would slit the spinal cords of babies he deliberately aborted and kill them outside the womb.

Ginsburg was an example to young women, and a very bad example. She established a legal career that brought fame and fortune to herself but led women to believe that they had property rights over the unborn babies within them, and that they alone could decide their fate.

Now we face the prospect of some Republican Senators, in particular Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, opposing a quick vote on Ginsburg’s successor. This is what happens when women are conditioned to believe that unborn human beings are to be sacrificed on the demonic altar of abortion on demand. We can only hope they watch Abby Johnson’s remarks at the Republican National Convention, regarding how she left Planned Parenthood and became a pro-life activist. She now runs the group, “And Then There Were None,” to get people out of the abortion business. The movie “Unplanned” tells her story.

Women, in particular, should be at the forefront of the motherhood movement, dedicated to the proposition that all lives matter and all lives are created equal. But the radical feminism that can be found in the writings of Ginsburg has been transformed into a cult following over a women’s so-called “right” to control her own body even when that “right” affects another body and the life of another human being. It is a sickness, reminiscent of a form of child sacrifice common during the pagan era of Moloch worship. The Democratic National Convention of 2016 actually featured a woman boasting of her abortion. The crowd cheered. This is the modern-day Cult of Moloch.

Democrats for Life took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Sunday “challenging the party’s extreme drift on abortion.” It took the form of a letter to the Democratic National Committee signed by more than 100 current and former elected Democrats urging Joe Biden and the Party to moderate its position on abortion.

Faced with the overwhelming evidence that abortion is a crime against humanity, literally, that has cost the lives of 1 billion people, the “conservatives” at National Review publish pablum about Ginsburg’s “patriotism” and others speak of her “values.” We are told repeatedly that she was a friend of the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Let’s hope Scalia tried to educate Ginsburg about what real “values” mean. He had an obligation to do so.

When the Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, he said we were experiencing a “judicial Putsch,” or secret power grab. Similar to the abortion ruling, Scalia said this was not only the creation of a “right” that does not exist, but a decision that depends on public ignorance about what is really taking place.  It is our system of checks and balances and self-rule that has been undermined, he said.

The Court has been destroying the Christian foundations of our culture. And now, with President Trump promising a nominee guided by “moral values,” the left-wing legal and media establishment is crying foul and some are worried that real progress toward equal rights under the law can truly be made.

Trump said on Monday that his nominee would “abide by the Constitution” and she should be a “good person” with “very, very high moral values.”

Trump has made some serious mistakes in his presidency, certainly in the area of personnel decisions, but it looks like he is on the right track with his forthcoming Supreme Court nominee.

People are motivated. For Christians, the yard signs and banners, “Jesus is Pro-Life,” and “Unborn Lives Matter, “are increasingly popular. Another popular slogan, borrowed from one of the president’s signature lines, is, “Make Unborn Babies Great Again.”

*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org.

09/21/20

A Win for Freedom of Speech Against Islamist “Cancel Culture”

By: Steve Emerson | CCNS

Long before the term “cancel culture” was ever coined, Islamist groups in the United States and elsewhere in the West had embarked on a massive campaign to suppress freedom of speech on campus, in the media, in Hollywood, and in the book publishing industry by claiming that any mention of the term radical Islam or any of its evil concepts was a “racist slur” against the Islamic religion.

But something happened to the successful campaign of intimidation by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

A federal judge last month dismissed CAIR’s latest attempt to censor discussion of links between Islamic doctrine and terrorism at Arizona’s Scottsdale Community College (SCC).

As we reported in June, the lawsuit sought “an injunction against the Maricopa Community College District, which SCC is part of, and Professor Nicholas Damask to block use of course materials deemed to ‘have the primary effect of disapproving of Islam.’”

Even if this were an accurate summary of Professor Damask’s course materials, which it was not, it is not illegal in the United States to disapprove of Islam or any other religion. Yet SCC student Mohamed Sabra took exception to these three questions on one of Damask’s exams, and CAIR wanted to block the use of such material. The offending questions and answers were:

Q. Who do terrorists strive to emulate? A. Mohammed

Q. Where is terrorism encouraged in Islamic doctrine and law? A. The Medina verses [i.e., the portion of the Qur’an traditionally understood as having been revealed later in Muhammad’s prophetic career]

Q. Terrorism is _______ in Islam. A. justified within the context of jihad.

Sabra’s lawsuit asserted that “the only objectively reasonable construction of Damask’s actions is that his primary message is the disapproval of Islam. Damask’s module quiz forced Sabra to agree to his radical interpretation of Islam. When Sabra did not, he was penalized by getting the questions wrong and impacted his grade.”

These questions and answers cannot reasonably be construed as denigrating Islam, as the fact that Islamic terrorists refer to their understanding of Islamic teachings to justify their particular actions is widely known, and nowhere does Damask assert that this is the only possible understanding of Islamic teachings, or that all Muslims believe the same things. The lawsuit was an attempt to stigmatize any discussion of how terrorists use Islamic texts, and to foreclose upon any possibility of understanding their perspectives, motives and goals.

Defining Jihad

The lawsuit also took issue with Damask’s use of terrorism and Middle East expert Walid Phares’s book, Future Jihad. Phares, according to the lawsuit, is an “Islamophobe” and should not be taught. “Within this mandatory reading assignment,” the lawsuit states, “Phares explains that jihad is not a ‘spiritual phenomenon that would be and was abused by extremist ideologies,’ but rather a call for physical action. Damask failed to articulate that other more acceptable, and in fact ‘mainstream’ views of jihad have nothing to do with violence, but instead he improperly urged students to accept his personal opinions.”

Phares, however, pointed out that “the [Muslim] Brotherhood scholars read terrorism differently than the U.S. The Brotherhood and CAIR [are] trying to impose a vision of their own on all Muslims in America.” In fact, numerous Islamist scholars and leaders, including Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna, Osama bin Laden mentor Abdallah Azzam, and 13th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya have insisted that there is only one meaning to jihad – “fighting” to impose Islam.

According to al Banna: “In [Muslim] Tradition, there is a clear indication of the obligation to fight the People of the Book [that is, Jews and Christians], and of the fact that God doubles the reward of those who fight them. Jihad is not against polytheists alone, but against all who do not embrace Islam.”

“It has become an individual obligation, which there is no evading, on every Muslim to prepare his equipment, to make up his mind to engage in jihad, and to get ready for it until the opportunity is ripe and God decrees a matter which is sure to be accomplished.”

Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) directed that “since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”

During a visit to Brooklyn in the late 1980s, the leader and founder of the Afghan Jihad Abdallah Azzam stated, “The word jihad has a special meaning, every time it is mentioned in the Quran and Sunna. That meaning is fighting.”

CAIR’s lawsuit failed. On Aug. 18, UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh broke the news about U.S. District Court Judge Susan M. Brnovich’s ruling, which Volokh hailed as “an important victory for academic freedom; professors, including those at public colleges, have to be able to speak freely about religious belief systems (whether Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or anything else), no less than other belief systems.”

The College Fix, which had provided excellent coverage of the entire controversy from the beginning, reported that Brnovich “used the Lemon test to determine the course did not violate First Amendment provisions on free exercise or the establishment of religion. The test states that government actions toward religion are only lawful if they have a secular purpose, do not advance or inhibit a religion, and do not become excessively entangled with religion in any way.” In her ruling, Brnovich observed that “this case tests the limits of the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses.”

It is hard to understand CAIR’s claim that this course had anything to do with the First Amendment at all: that amendment does not specify the content of any religious belief. But CAIR and Sabra claimed that Damask’s course crossed a Constitutional line by saying that Islam “‘mandates’ terrorism and the killing of non-Muslims.”

Because of that, Sabra claimed that Damask’s course forced him to choose between giving the answer Damask considered correct, and thereby denouncing his own religion, or getting a lower grade.

No Coercion

But Brnovich found that Sabra only had to “demonstrate an understanding of the material taught.” She said that it was “simply not correct” that Sabra would have gotten a lower grade for affirming his Islamic faith. Neither was Sabra required to agree with the authors whom Damask cited. All Sabra had to do, Brnovich wrote, was “demonstrate an understanding of the material taught.”

The judge also concluded that Damask’s course didn’t prevent Sabra from exercising his religion. All it did was expose Sabra to “attitudes and outlooks at odds” with his own understanding of Islam. That is not a violation of the First Amendment.

Brnovich also pointed out that CAIR and Sabra had misstated the function of Phares’s work in Damask’s course. CAIR and Sabra had claimed that students were forced to adopt Phares’s view of Islam. But the work “merely asks students to identify the opinion of Walid Phares regarding Islam,” Brnovich found, “not to adopt his position on Islam.”

This case marks the latest in a long line of CAIR efforts to remove material it considers derogatory against Islam. It entered into a formal partnership in 2010 with the 57-nation global Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) to “redress the image of Islam and Muslims in textbooks.” Like CAIR, the OIC condemns connecting Islamic doctrine and terrorism in the minds of Westerners, claiming that such a connection is “unfair” and that it has “created an unfair misinterpretation of the Islamic message in the Western and Non Muslim worlds.”

“Education and engagement are key to challenging the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia,” CAIR co-founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad said at the 2010 OIC conference. The SCC lawsuit, however, demonstrates the baseless foundations of these Islamophobia claims: apparently Awad and his cohorts see any material they find objectionable as “Islamophobic” and demand their removal from curricula.

The fact that CAIR is taken seriously as a Muslim “human rights ” or “civil rights” group by such media outlets as the New York Times and the Washington Post as well as the ACLU and many Democratic lawmakers is a slap in the face to authentic human rights groups. CAIR was created in 1994 to be a part of a Muslim Brotherhood-run Hamas support network, and it was named an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Hamas money laundering trials of the top officials of the Holy Land Foundation. It has a long record of supporting and rationalizing Islamic terrorism as well as making anti-Semitic comments.

Those who value academic freedom can only hope that Brnovich’s ruling in Sabra v. Maricopa County Comm. College Dist. becomes an important and oft-cited precedent.

This column was originally published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.