09/16/17

Two Coptic churches re-open; two meetings held: Are they related?

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

On Sunday, September 10, two Coptic churches were re-opened by an executive order made by President Al-Sisi. One of them was the St. Mary Church of Al-Furn village in Al Minya diocese, which was illegally shut down by Egyptian police recently in the final days of the Virgin Mary fast.

Bishop Makariuos of Al Minya diocese issued a statement to announce this good news. He indicated that Al-Sisi issued an executive order to local law enforcement to re-open the two churches on the eve of the new Coptic year.

The bishop further added that Copts of Al Minya and Abu Kurkas are thankful to the Egyptian president for his response and the attention given to their petition concerning the shutting down of their churches.

Their gratitude goes to the Interior Minister, the Governor of Al Minya and the head of Al Minya security as well as the National Security Service.

Muslim neighbors are congratulatory

The bishop’s statement did not ignore that Muslim residents of the town seemed grateful for the re-openings. Muslim villagers had been used as scapegoats by police authorities for the closings. Concerning the latter, a Voice of the Copts’ member emphasized that many Muslims came to the church to congratulate the priest and congregation. A celebration entailed almost three hundred Christians in the first mass and took place with great joy and tears of happiness.

Two high level meetings took place

The Al Ahzar Grand Imam visited Germany, and Al-Sisi met in Cairo with the United States delegation of Anglican Churches – two events that took place within hours of the order given to re-open the churches. The re-openings could be seen as timed to serve the purpose of “substantiating” messaging.

In the same time frame, the executive level meetings immediately followed the order to re-open the churches. Therefore, the matter is subject to speculation. The future will tell. If this proves to be the beginning of more re-openings to come then we know this gesture by the Al-Sisi government is meant to be consistent with Article 46 of the Egyptian Constitution, which permits freedom of worship.

Why now and why only two churches when so many need to re-open?

Grand Imam 

Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Institute, was invited to participate in the Roads of Peace International Conference where he delivered a speech on Sunday, September 10. In his speech, the Imam condemned the recent aggression against Muslims in Myanmar ignoring the “plank in his own eye” regarding the plight of Coptic Christians his own country. Perhaps he thought he had a right to do so because of the church re-openings in Egypt preempting his critics.

President Al-Sisi

At the same time in Cairo, President Al-Sisi met with a delegation from the National Council of American Churches. The meeting’s agenda was about how to confront extremist thinking and terrorism. During that meeting, Al-Sisi confirmed that Egypt will uphold the concept of citizenship and consolidate the culture of pluralism (the acceptance of others). He further confirmed the absence of discrimination in Egypt on the basis of religion and that all citizens enjoy the same rights and all the same duties to the homeland – after all, “Egypt’s churches were now being re-opened.”

Voice of the Copts joins in the celebration with gratitude

Christian Copts are truly grateful for the return of two church properties no matter what the motive. It is not new that Coptic issues are exploited for political purposes.

If the Egyptian president is sincere in his talk to the American delegation, then we should expect to see an effort to restore more churches in the near future. This would include re-opening and returning all the remaining closed churches and reconstructing churches destroyed by terror attacks. The latter would benefit by a new law for the construction of all worship buildings with equality in mind.

The right to practice your faith is granted by the Egyptian constitution, and we at VOTC join Bishop Makarious and the Copts of Al Minya and Abu Kurkas in their joy and happiness!

We thank the Egyptian authorities for re-opening churches that were illegally closed down. We hope that more executive orders to restore remaining churches will be made sooner than later.

09/11/17

Tunisian Gender Reforms Countered In Egypt By Female Coptic MP

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Under the Al-Sisi government, Copts expect the religious scholars of Al-Ahzar Institute to reform Islam. A good beginning would look like this: removal of violent-oriented content from school textbooks, moderate preaching from imams who are Al-Ahzar-certified, and the advancement of women’s rights under Sharia-Islamic law (indirectly affecting Copts who are pressured to follow it.) Are these expectations warranted? No, not likely. Recently, a campaign was launched inside Egypt by Al-Ahzar Institute’s leaders against the civilizing reforms announced by President Al-Sibsi of Tunisia last month on the occasion of Tunisia’s Women’s Day.

Broadcasting through Egyptian TV, “fatwa” kiosks in subway platforms, and mosque assemblies, Al-Ahzar reacted quickly to refute every provision of President Al-Sibsi’s daring proposals in order to prohibit any influence of Tunisia’s enlightenment from seeping into the eager minds of Egyptian citizens. Al-Ahzar scholars flatly denounced the call by Tunisian president for equality in inheritance for Tunisians, proving Al-Ahzar’s convictions are calcified and committed to the 7th century. While the Tunisian Mufti endorsed Al-Sibsi’s discourse and suggestions, Al-Ahzar’s vehement condemnation in a statement issued on Sunday, August 20, said this: “The provisions of inheritance” in Islam are “categorical and meaningful.”

On August 13, the women of Tunisia were addressed by Tunisian President Al-Sibsi who invited all citizens to support the rights of women and spoke of advancing their status in society. He gave a green light to activate total equality between men and women in all fields. In particular, Al-Sibsi promoted equality of inheritance – to dissolve the Sharia stronghold in which a female inherits only half the portion of a male sibling — and that Muslim women should be allowed to marry non-Muslim men (another stickler in the Quran and the Sharia which only gives permission for Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women.)

While the apoplectic reaction by Al-Ahzar was far from hopeful for Egyptians looking for modernization, the knowledge that at least one Islamic government somewhere in the Islamic world is willing to move toward the 21st century without bulking in the face of Egypt’s religious scholars and Sharia authorities might after all bring some satisfaction and even hope to the people of Egypt.

Taking a bold stand to reject the Sunni Institute’s oversight and give credence to nation-state borders over Al-Ahzar’s borderless jurisdiction of Islamic religious governance, Mr. Burhan Besis, a Tunisian leader from the political party in power, said, “The proposals of Sibsi are issues of concern to our Tunisian society, and no one has the right to enter this debate.” He added that Tunisia must fortify debate between Tunisians without any “external interference.”

Nonetheless, Abbas Shoman, the Al-Ahzar Institute deputy, opposed to the western-leaning definitions of freedom and equality undergirding such reforms, offered further backwardness to Egyptians when he disagreed with the Tunisian president: “The calls for a settlement between men and women in inheritance are unfair to women.” Shoman’s voice was joined by a comment from Dr. Amr Hamrush, a member of Egypt’s Religious Committee of the House of Representatives, who said, “These are religious matters, and their violation violates Islamic Sharia law.”

Egyptians are resisting the deep state by weighing in on this matter. Remarks made in social media in the following posts by Sharef Al Shubashy defied Al-Ahzar’s authority: “Bravo Tunisian leader, who bravely confronts the stream of religious extremists through religious reform to keep abreast of modern times,” adding, “Putting forward this initiative leads to move stagnant water and gives an opportunity to the forces of progress…”

Tunisia has put teeth to its talk as far back as 2014 with a parliament of 31 percent women — perhaps building on the legacy of its first leader, Bourguiba, who upon Tunisia’s independence personally removed a hijab from a woman to make his point during one of his public events. Finally, just a few weeks ago, this parliament passed a bill to combat violence against women in a long-awaited step to enhance the protection of women victims in all fields. There actually is hope for real reform in Tunisia. But Egypt is another story.

Today, Egypt’s parliament includes 87 women (14 percent), and surprisingly, one of them stood firm with Al-Ahzar’s objections to Tunisia’s liberalism, vocalizing her opposition. More surprisingly, she is a Coptic Christian. Showing favor for the status quo in her criticism , Faika Fahim, an Egyptian MP, went so far as to proclaim that Tunisia’ s reform of Islamic Sharia was actually Tunisia “calling for a ‘new religion’.” It is important to note that Fahim has been conspicuously silent on a very recent campaign in Egypt being promoted in advertising spots by the Egyptian government calling to end the practice of FGM (female genital mutilation).

An ideal representative for Egypt’s Coptic families and women’s issues in particular, Fahim chose instead to pry into the internal dictates of Al-Ahzar’s religious matters when it would have been better to remain silent and removed. This proves she can be an appeaser with little integrity. On the other hand, if she had gone to bat on behalf of human rights rather than against them and defended Tunisian ideas, she would have been condemned by the deep state and silenced. So Copts lose representation either way.

In at least a few Islamic-majority countries right now secular norms for divorce and abortion as well as fundamental human rights of free speech and equality are vying with the icy grip of Islamic legalism. Morocco’s thinkers and intellectuals are asking for open debates about rights for women and debating whether sex education should be offered in schools — emphatic that these remain internal decisions. India’s court rejected the traditional Islamic “verbal” divorce (unfavorable to women) and now requires divorce to be brought before the courts.

Islamic-majority countries wishing to adopt updated policies have a choice between humanism and Islamism. Outside of Egypt, Al-Ahzar Institute could now be losing power over religious legal issues that are arousing concerns in Islamic countries. What could be in jeopardy is the Institute’s centuries-long oversight operating without geographical borders to steer government policy and govern religious practice, one and the same. On the other hand, in Egypt, Al-Ahzar is the deep state and remains in charge of political Islam.

09/10/17

Can’t we talk? No, we can’t

By: James Simpson | Bomb Throwers

There is a new film out by Pamela Geller, Can’t We Talk About This? Those were the last words spoken by Theo Van Gogh as he was being murdered at 9 in the morning on a main thoroughfare in Amsterdam. I urge you to watch and support this film.

Van Gogh was a good friend of Pam’s. He had just completed a short film with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, titled Submission. It describes the treatment of women under Islam. Mohammed Bouyeri, a  Moroccan-Dutch Muslim, took offense at the film and shot Van Gogh as he was riding to work on his bike. Bouyeri then stabbed Van Gogh, cutting his neck in an attempt to behead him. He used a second knife to pin a note on Van Gogh’s body.

The note was addressed to Ali and others, including Jews, Netherlands politicians, and a long list of the usual suspects. Fraught with misspellings, the five-page letter started:

Dear miss Hirshi Ali,

Since your appearance in the political arena of the Netherlands you are constantly engaging in terrorizing Muslims and Islam with your remarks. You are not the first at this and will also not be the last who has joined the crusade against Islam.

With your defection you have not only turned your back on the Truth, but you also march along the ranks of the soldiers of evil. You mince no words about your hostility against Islam, and for this your masters have rewarded you with a seat in parliament.

They have found in you a companion in their crusade against Islam and Muslims.

A companion who gives them the “gunpowder” so they don’t have to do the dirty work…

Did you catch that? Hirsi Ali is terrorizing Muslims by talking about her treatment at their hands.

Right.

I would like to believe Mr. Bouyeri is just a maladjusted lunatic, but unfortunately he represents a familiar mindset and temperament among Muslims. A September 7th Time magazine interview quotes Yahya Cholil Staquf, one of Indonesia’s most influential Islamic leaders. What he says is so important I have reproduced a few of the Q & As here. It is especially important given Time magazine’s reach and its liberal readership:

Q:  Many Western politicians and intellectuals say that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. What is your view?

A:  Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

Q:  What basic assumptions within traditional Islam are problematic?

A:  The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable. To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century. (Emphasis added)

I put that last sentence in italics because in my Red-Green Axis presentations, I stress the inability of many Muslim refugees to assimilate. In fact, their goal is not assimilation but conquest. The interview continues:

Q:  A Western politician would likely be accused of racism for saying what you just said.

A:  I’m not saying that Islam is the only factor causing Muslim minorities in the West to lead a segregated existence, often isolated from society as a whole. There may be other factors on the part of the host nations, such as racism, which exists everywhere in the world. But traditional Islam — which fosters an attitude of segregation and enmity toward non-Muslims — is an important factor. (Emphasis added)

Here again, Staquf reinforces my assertion that Muslims do not want to assimilate.

Leftists and establishment Republicans (but I repeat myself) claim that terrorist groups like ISIS are un-Islamic – that they have somehow “hijacked” an otherwise peaceful religion. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster asserts this in his defense of Islam. (Note: my exposé of McMaster reveals much more about this horribly unacceptable Trump advisor). Staquf has a blunt answer to this belief (italicized portions are my emphases):

Q:  So the call by radicals to establish a caliphate, including by ISIS, is not un-Islamic?

A:  No, it is not. [ISIS’s] goal of establishing a global caliphate stands squarely within the orthodox Islamic tradition. But we live in a world of nation-states. Any attempt to create a unified Islamic state in the 21st century can only lead to chaos and violence … Many Muslims assume there is an established and immutable set of Islamic laws, which are often described as shariah. This assumption is in line with Islamic tradition, but it of course leads to serious conflict with the legal system that exists in secular nation-states.

Any [fundamentalist] view of Islam positing the traditional norms of Islamic jurisprudence as absolute [should] be rejected out of hand as false. State laws [should] have precedence.

I cannot reproduce more of this interview here. Suffice it to say there are many more gems and I urge you to read the whole thing. I can only imagine the Time reporter’s pique at these repeated assaults on his idiotic, politically correct, left-wing presumptions. So as you might imagine, he had to get at least one swipe in against conservatives. He did so with his last question. But he got bitch-slapped on that one too: 

Q:  I would guess that you and I agree that there is a far right wing in Western societies that would reject even a moderate, contextualized Islam.

A:  And there’s an extreme left wing whose adherents reflexively denounce any and all talk about the connections between traditional Islam, fundamentalism and violence as de facto proof of Islamophobia. This must end. A problem that is not acknowledged cannot be solved.

“This must end. A problem that is not acknowledged cannot be solved.” So here we have a very influential Muslim confirming everything we “Islamophobes” say about CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the whole Red-Green Axis infrastructure. Amen brother! We are sick of being called Islamophobes for telling the truth by spineless cowards afraid of their own shadows.

In her documentary, Can’t We Talk About This? Pam Geller communicates this message in her inimitably convincing manner. This is a must-see film, available for viewing on Vimeo now.

This message needs to get out.

Editor’s note: The idea that Islam can be viewed through the political lens of left versus right is a highly dubious proposition. See this article I wrote in 2013. -MV

09/8/17

Hiding In Plain Sight: New Hampshire Mosque Preaches Terrorism

By: James Simpson | Bomb Throwers

Muslims pray at Id Kah Mosque on Eid ul-Fitr, 2010 (photo: Preston Rhea, https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5016463525)

A concerned New Englander recently arranged for the assessment of the Islamic Society of New Hampshire’s (ISoNH) mosque in Manchester in that state. He had noticed a disproportionate number of military-age males visiting the mosque and heard from many local women who said they were frightened by the attitudes some of these men expressed toward them. The results of the man’s research were more frightening.

P. David Gaubatz, co-author of Muslim Mafia, was hired to assess this mosque. He is a former Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) federal agent who specialized in Islamic counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism. According to his book, he worked and lived in the Middle East for decades and was the first civilian federal agent in Iraq at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom (March 2003). That year he led a 15-man team to extract family members of the Iraqi lawyer who helped save Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch. He has investigated over 280 mosques in the U.S. alone and uses a rating system developed by a former Islamist, Tafik Hamid.

U.S. Islamists and their allies in the American Left have long sought to discredit this rating system as contrived nonsense created by Islamophobes, but that very effort calls into question their motives, expertise, and integrity. Tafik Hamid is a former member of Jamaa Islamiya (also known as al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya or, in English, Islamic Group),  — an Egyptian organization branded a terrorist group by the U.S. government, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was a member of this group, as was Omar Abdel-Rahman, the so-called “blind sheikh” convicted as the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Hamid has long since abandoned his radicalism and has become a widely-recognized Islamic reformer.

The rating system is based on numerous factors readily observant by how strictly the mosque conforms to Islamic standards and how aggressively it promotes Shariah (Islamic law). For example, are men and women allowed to worship in the same room? What kind of dress is mandatory, e.g. must women wear a niqab or hijab? Can they get away with a modern form of hijab? How does the imam dress? Details like rings worn and style of pants indicate the imam’s devotion to Wahhabism or other Islamic sects and to Shariah itself.

The imam’s dedication to Shariah is especially important because Shariah is a doctrine of political dominance and conquest, and Muslims who promote it are likely to promote jihad as a means to impose it.

The system also rates the mosque based on messages taught in sermons. For example, does the mosque promote the killing of gays, killing for apostasy, stoning women for infidelity, and Shariah-sanctioned slavery?

Gaubatz found that ISoNH was strictly observant and promoted all these ideas and more. Using a 1 to 10 rating scale, with 10 being the worst, Gaubatz assigned a grade of 10 for Shariah compliance and 9 for jihadist potential. He concluded:

The ISoNH is a Sunni/Saudi and Pakistani front for Islamic based terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. This mosque had very violent materials inside for worshippers that advocate the overthrow of America and physical Jihad against U.S. and Israeli targets. This is based on the mosque having the same Islamic manuals in their possession that Islamic terrorist groups utilize for their training. The ISoNH had material written and edited by a convicted Islamic terrorist supporter (Ali Al Timimi). The Imam and mosque worshippers were extremely Shariah compliant. ISIS and Al Qaeda would find this mosque acceptable for their training and education of Mujahideen fighters (Islamic terrorists).

Some of the literature referred to is shown in the below graphic:

A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam was edited by twelve Islamic “scholars.” I have circled two names. Ali Al-Timimi — whom Gaubatz referenced — is now serving a life sentence for terrorism. Sheik Jamal Zarabozo is considered “too extreme” even for some Islamists as he advocates stoning to death for “heretics.”

Another brochure promoted at the mosque is Jihad in Islam. This 33-page document makes clear that the goals of Islam are to subjugate the world. Under the heading What Jihad Really Is? (sic) it states:

In reality Islam is a revolutionary ideology and programme which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals. ‘Muslim’ is the title of that International Revolutionary Party organized by Islam to carry into effect its revolutionary programme. And ‘Jihād’ refers to that revolutionary struggle and utmost exertion which the Islamic Party brings into play to achieve this objective…

…Islam requires the earth—not just a portion, but the whole planet—not because the sovereignty over the earth should be wrested from one nation or several nations and vested in one particular nation, but because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme or what would be truer to say from ‘Islam’ which is the programme of well-being for all humanity. Towards this end, Islam wishes to press into service all forces which can bring about a revolution and a composite term for the use of all these forces is ‘Jihad’. (p. 5)

Many U.S. mosques are little more than meeting places and training centers for Islamic terrorists. For example, the Tsarnaev brothers and many other terrorists regularly attended the Islamic Society of Boston. Why is it still open?

Officials at all levels of government, including within many police forces, have been gripped by a fever of political correctness that virtually guarantees we will remain blind to the danger such mosques pose until it is too late.

Former Manchester Ward 2 Republican State Rep. Greg Salts read aloud from Gaubatz’s report on the Manchester mosque at a recent public meeting of the local Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The response from elected officials was predictable. Instead of seriously considering Gaubetz’s warning, they acted offended, using the familiar slur popularized by the Southern Poverty Law Center, “hate speech.”

Following are some of their comments as published in Manchester’s Union Leader:

Alderman Chairman Patrick Long: “Personally this hate talk has no place in this city, that’s just my opinion.”

Alderman-at-Large Dan O’Neil: “There is no need in the city of Manchester for hatred. I know this board won’t stand for it; our citizens won’t stand for it.”

Manchester Chief of Police Nick Willard: “What [Gaubatz] wrote in this piece of paper is slanderous. I do not believe the mosque is a hotbed for terrorism. I don’t trust this gentleman’s research. I think he is trying to sell a book. I think the guy is a crackpot and I don’t believe we have those issues in this city.

As quoted in the newspaper, Gaubatz responded:

I get that same reaction a lot of the time. They don’t want to admit they have a problem in their area and it took an outsider to find it and identify it.

Gaubatz added to those remarks during a telephone interview for this article:

In response to Chief Willard’s ill-considered remarks I say this: ‘Chief Willard is a poor excuse for a senior law enforcement officer.  He has no clue what to look for in a mosque. The tax payers of his community deserve a Chief who supports them and not mosque leaders who support the teachings of ISIS. Finally, I do not receive any royalties for my book, so it is both ignorant and insulting to dismiss my report as an effort to sell books. It was provided for the benefit and as a warning to the Manchester community. What does the Chief care more about, Manchester or the mosque?’

At every level, we see daily demonstrations of how corrupt and incompetent our “leaders” have become. This is a situation that cannot stand. We still have the vote. I hope it can save us from these useful idiots for Islamism before the terrorism being contemplated in many corners throughout the U.S. strikes yet again.

I am not holding my breath.

09/7/17

Sharia Crime Stoppers

American Justice for Sharia Crimes

The fundamental transformation enacted by the Red-Green Axis has been successful to the point where almost everything is the “new normal”, even the criminal components of Islamic Law, Sharia.

The criminal defense for Female Genital Mutilation being a “religious practice” is an example of the creeping “new normal”, as is the phenomenon of “no-fault rape of uncovered women” or the killing of young girls for being “too westernized”. These and other Shariah-mandated crimes must be prevented, prosecuted, and punished.

Shariah Crime Stoppers is a forthright campaign demanding that the American justice system effectively deal with the criminal aspects of Sharia. Police and prosecutors must be trained in Sharia, and citizens must demand that the full force of American law be applied once again within in their communities, despite political pressure to the contrary.

Sharia Crime Stoppers activities are underway in several states where sheriffs and police chiefs have taken action to train their officers in the specifics of Sharia. This certified training is provided by experts in the field; it is offered, without fanfare, at no charge other than travel and lodging expenses

Send Sharia Crime Stoppers an email [[email protected] with the Subject line = Cost-Effective Law Enforcement Training] to obtain the training course curriculum and to connect your local sheriff and/or police chief with one of the instructors.

Schedule the new Sharia Crime Stoppers presentation “What Women Should Know about Sharia” [in-person or via the Internet] to educate women and to encourage them to contact their local law enforcement agencies to discuss their need for the training that the federal government has withheld from them for the last decade. Use the above email to inquiry about scheduling a presentation with the Subject line = “What Women Should Know about Sharia”.

Links to video excerpts from the presentation will be posted here as they are developed:

  What Women Should Know about Sharia Presentation

  • Male Supremacy – Part 1
  • Rape Culture – Part 2
  • Honor Killings – Part 3
  • Child Marriages/Forced Marriages – Part 4
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – Part 5
  • Police Response – Part 6

http://securemichigan.org/
American Justice for Sharia Crimes

08/30/17

Egypt: “War on terror” shuts down churches and prayer

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Mass in Al Furn street

Imagine walking through your village to church to pray during the final days of fasting for the Feast of Assumption. You find police barricades blocking all roads to the sanctuary. At a check point you see your priest petitioning the heavens. State police forbid your entrance and give the same reasons they always do – excuses well known to Christian Copts. You have no permit to pray and you must stop irritating Muslims with whom you share your village.

You are accustomed to it. You’ve always been told on the slightest whim that you need a government permit to pray in the church and even inside your home in the village of Al-Furn, and that goes for all other towns across Egypt. Yet no actual law or code exists requiring anyone anywhere in Egypt to have a permit for prayer. Meanwhile, Christians in this little town of four hundred Coptic families live with the familiar weekly scene of neighboring Muslims praying in the street — blocking public transportation and ceasing passage. Complaints are never lodged against them demanding the nebulous “permit.” They are free to do so.

It is not the only village to be targeted by the Sisi regime’s state police in the Upper Egypt area of the country which is heavily inhabited by Christian Copts. There was Ezbet Nakhla in Abu Qarqas, Qum Al-Loufi village in Basmalut and Taft Al-Kharsa at Al-Fashn Center in Beni Suef.  All received their share of obstruction to worship. Furthermore, when police take illegal actions to harass Christians and halt worship, Copts begin to fear it gives license to Muslim mobs.

In the case of the Virgin Mary Church, it is known that Muslim intolerance was not the motivation behind the police barricade even though so often their complaints cause such responses from law enforcement. Virgin Mary’s priest, Botrus Aziz, claimed that local Muslims said nothing this time and gave no objections to the planned celebrations for the end of the fast on Sunday, August 20.

The regime maintains the police were sent to protect Christians in religious practice from possible terror attacks.

Street prayer

However, two days later when the congregation gathered in the street, law enforcement disappeared. Men, women and children of the Virgin Mary Church, having no other recourse, entered the street on the eve of the Feast to celebrate mass. Christians were left wide open and vulnerable. Apparently the police were no longer concerned with potential infiltrators.

It is speculated that the state may have been retaliating against Bishop Makarius and his courageous remarks to the public two weeks earlier about the status of religious discrimination in Al Minya Diocese. He correctly stated that 15 more church doors are bolted, and 70 villages are not permitted to have a church at all. It seems that Virgin Mary Church may have been next on the hit list for the steady shut down of churches, a total of 58 so far that are inaccessible to Copts due to the regime’s concern for “security.”

Coptic priest watching barracades

With this in mind, some believe that the police barricade of the Virgin Mary Church was the state’s attempt to create a “vacancy” status for the church building. If so, the Church would not succeed in meeting the “grandfather” requirement of sound construction by deadline at the end of September in compliance with the state’s new Law 80-2016 (9/28/2016) governing church buildings. Virgin Mary Church could then be legally and permanently shut down by the state.

In the regime’s zeal for “protecting” Christians the state has expanded its harassment by demanding burdensome paperwork from the church. The church must submit a report in advance to state security with date, time and place of religious activities, listing its participants. After the bus attack and murder of Coptic Christians earlier this year by Egyptian Islamic-jihadists crossing Libyan borders Egypt is clamping down on Christian religious trips and conferences and requiring details upfront for security reasons. In addition to these controls, the previous terror attack brought about the closing of the Coptic Monastery to any future visitors, ending a long religious tradition.

One can’t help but feel that jihadists are winning here. State regulations and errant police follow through with controls over the jihadi targets to strip Christian Copts of religious freedoms. That’s one of the aims of terrorism. Already there are 58 churches inaccessible to parishioners due to the state’s requirements for security.

It is unconstitutional in Egypt for law enforcement to construct a barricade of churches and prayer on any basis other than intelligence of a planted bomb or other form of terror attack. Clearly, the latter was not the case in Al-Furn. Copts have decided not to accept the “irritating Muslims” excuse and the baseless “permit required” reason from the police. They have responded to this incident by petitioning President Al-Sisi, the prime minister, and the local governor, forcing them to confront the injustice. The petition signed by forty-four Christians from the village states,

“Are we required to stand on trial on the charges of praying after police officers insulted our dignity? On the morning of August 20, we were subjected to insults, and we were prevented from praying and performing religious services as usual. We were surprised by the presence of police forces in the village to prevent us from reaching our church. Furthermore, they later prevented us from leaving our homes. After our meeting we found that we were incriminated as criminals or outlaws.”

Despite hard evidence of the state’s guilt of harassment and discrimination using both legal and illegal means, Copts remain hopeful and convinced that Sisi is their champion bringing about the right change slowly. Impressions frozen in time on the day the military head consented to be the people’s man enable Copts to remain confident in Sisi doing what he promised. Copts trust the president.

From the onset of his political career, Sisi promised equality and freedom of worship. Viewing government through relativism — comparing Sisi to former President Morsi and the dreaded Muslim Brotherhood — blinds Christian Copts to Sisi’s record which is scant improvement, if any, over the Mubarak dictatorship.

08/3/17

We Are Getting Distracted: What We Really Need to Do to Stop Terror

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

About the Author: Carla White has been interested and writing about world affairs for years now, also delving deep into the realms of politics and technology, given their importance to the field. She understands that terrorists pose a different kind of threat and require a different kind of solution should America wish to find lasting peace.

It’s safe to say the 24-hour news cycle isn’t as focused as it should be on the real issues. Media outlets focus on the sensational and the convenient at the expense of accuracy and relevancy. Celebrity weddings hardly matter and have no place in the public sphere outside of outlets who are interested in such things. An hour-long deconstruction of one of the president’s tweets is wasting airtime that could be better spent on more important matters such as the growing debt or national security. The executive branch matters, and rehashing a message is propaganda.

Agents of terror hardly matter in the attention of the American people, until they want to grab it for themselves by committing attacks against our land, our people and our freedom. Left unchecked, they are one of the greatest threats to Western society, and every blow they strike against the Western world only causes backlash that prevents a freer and more open society.

We are distracted from what’s important until it’s too late, and then we quickly forget again as the news cycle marches on. We need a solution.

Read more here…

08/2/17

Egypt uses “fatwa” kiosks to combat terrorism or spread fundamentalism?

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah | Voice of the Copts

Al-Azhar Opens Fatwa Kiosks in Cairo Metro

For the past two weeks in Cairo, a resistance movement has been gaining momentum against a recent transgression by Al-Azhar Institute to insert newly constructed taxpayer-funded “fatwa” (edict) kiosks into every subway stop in the city. The trial began in one of the busiest subway stations — overcrowded and overwhelmed with chaos — where The Islamic Research Center under the auspices of Al-Azhar Sunni Institute placed its first kiosk. Acting outside the law that requires permits to construct and install kiosks, the Center plans to install in each underground subway entrance and exit platform a 50-square foot glass and wood cube in which three imams sit and wait for clients to walk inside seeking answers (“fatwas”) to their personal religious questions.

Bloggers wish instead for public bathrooms and more book venders. Mockers on social media say that it’s a jobs program for unemployed Imams. One protester joked and wondered if the kiosk would deliver “fresh or frozen fatwas.” But the official explanation made by the spokesman for the Egyptian Metro Company (a public entity) is that this initiative is “to combat ‘alleged terrorism’.” It is to be an initial experiment as part of the protocol signed between the taxpayer-funded Center and the public Metro Company that would include 11 hours of coverage by the “fatwas” committee in two work shifts per day.

Accomplishing the ambitious goal of curbing terrorism with kiosks would require their proliferation and widespread use beyond the Cairo platforms, a potential explosion no one is talking about. No doubt kiosks will sprout up at every park, hotel, beach, and amusement area. But for now Alexandria has the only other subway system in the country to duplicate the program, and because of this much of the country’s territory would be left uncovered by the plan. Yet an even greater obstacle than this will obstruct the kiosk’s stated purpose. When a jihadist prepares to commit an act of violence, he has consulted the Quran directly, which contains the verses to confirm his impending action. This negates any need for him to visit an Imam.

So what could be the real reasoning behind setting up fatwa kiosks across the city? Copts are well aware that issued edicts often alienate them from Muslims. For instance, one edict disallows Muslims from greeting Copts during Christian holidays. Another edict demands a Muslim not to return a simple greeting at any time from a Copt. Yet another forbids Muslims to say hello first to a Christian in passing. The list goes on with hundreds more edicts offending Christians and denying them the basic civilities of society.

Open criticism of the program comes mostly from Muslims objecting to the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. In reaction to them, a government spokesperson said the kiosks would be temporarily placed and uninstalled by the end of the Feast of Sacrifice (less than one month). But Egyptians fear the implants are there to stay. Most believe Al-Sisi is associated with the program in spite of the fact that he has confronted Al-Azhar about renewing Islamic religious discourse in view of reform.

The Islamic kiosk program is the opposite of reform. Even though the secretary general of the Center says the protocol aims to “confront the misguided fatwas coming from extreme currents” there will be much more damage to civil law offsetting any potential good. “Fatwas” overrule laws of the state. Furthermore, confronting “misguided fatwas” is a fallacy since every “fatwa” remains concurrent.

It is fair to say the kiosk initiative empowers the legacy of Hassan Al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood). The original goal of the Muslim Brotherhood was to have an Islamic presence to engage citizens with Islamic doctrine on every street corner. This kiosk plan includes providing “advocacy programs in daily metro broadcasting… by Al-Azhar preachers.” All is in the name of “presenting correct concepts of Islam focusing on religious education and moral aspects of people’s lives.” But these “correct concepts” and “moral aspects” are already increasingly used to police the population.

Up until now, there has been no willingness to adjust mosque teachings, school textbooks and the media where real change can be made and little expense is required in response to the need for reform. Mosque doctrine has always infiltrated the state through the edict process with “fatwa” offices in places within government departments. “Fatwa” hotlines set up for individuals are apparently not enough now and do not obviate the need for the physical presence of public kiosks. Also, nothing has been done to regulate and permit mosque construction or eliminate the disturbing noise pollution in neighborhoods from mosque microphones. No one in their right mind can look at Egypt in this moment and claim that the Arab spring was a people’s revolution.

Aside from reducing standing room for the millions of daily subway riders and obstructing the historical and cultural wall murals underground, the effort insults the secular democratic ideals held by a substantial portion of the populace whose resistance to political Islam and the influence of its sheiks and imams was made known in the uprising against Mubarak and then Morsi. Al-Sisi was supported when he stepped in with the military making clear with his talk of democracy and human rights that he would overcome the religious deep state and its intention to further Islamize the country.

Over the past four years, Al-Sisi has produced more for the deep state than for the people. Although Al-Sisi has cracked down on many undesirable elements, he is far from curtailing the aggressive religious supremacy coming through from past decades. Foisting Islamic doctrine into the public domain with the kiosk program where the volume can never be turned down and the channel can never be changed to an option other than Islam will completely shut down the possibility of Intellectual and religious diversity.

And that is exactly what a new anti-hate resolution currently under discussion in the corridors of the Egyptian Parliament and synchronized with the kiosk initiative is intended to accomplish. The bill, drafted by Al-Azhar, condemns anyone who writes or speaks against Islam or attempts to analyze the writings of the Islamic books. It also includes severe penalties of imprisonment and death. Even discussing Islam’s heritage and history will be suspect. As such, the bill expands upon Egypt’s current blasphemy law which penalizes speaking or writing about the Prophet, Allah and the first Caliphas.

07/27/17

Qatar Hires DC Lobby Part of the Swamp

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

At least there is a FARA filing.

Qatar is a hub for harboring terrorists and funding terror organizations. Recently, Gulf States with Saudi Arabia in the lead have isolated Qatar for these exact reasons.

Yesterday, this site published an article about the historical details of Qatar’s relationship with manifesting global terror.

Avenue Strategies was founded by former Trump campaign advisor Corey Lewandowski. The first clients were Citgo and Puerto Rico were among their first clients. He has since left the company, but the placeholder remaining are opportunists that apparently are dismissing the terror facts for money in their own pockets. Citgo is headquartered in Houston, Texas, but is “owned by the leftist government of Venezuela.” Citgo took out a loan from Russian state-owned oil giant, Rosneft in December 2016 that it has been unable to pay. It is under threat of a takeover by Rosneft.

Related reading: Memos: CEO of Russia’s state oil company offered Trump adviser, allies a cut of huge deal if sanctions were lifted

(Not all the items in the dossier were false)

At Avenue Strategies, there are names like Barry Bennett who previously worked for Ben Carson and Rick Perry. Then there is George Birnbaum who worked for Alfonse D’Amato, Charlie Crist and top leaders in Israel. Add in Ed Brookover, who worked for Ben Carson, John Boehner and Michelle Bachmann as well as leaders from various foreign countries. Bud Cummins is the last strategist who worked for Mike Huckabee’s campaign.

As you continue reading, remember, Qatar has a nasty historical connection to terror and has no plan to prosecute terrorists or to stop funding them including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, much less the Taliban. Testimony on the Hill regarding Qatar was hosted on July 27, 2017 and much of that testimony summary is found here.

Additionally, there is pressure and discussions underway where the possibility of moving the U.S. base in Qatar is ongoing.

Doha capital city of Qatar

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar has hired a Washington influence firm founded by President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and another specialized in digging up dirt on U.S. politicians, signaling it wants to challenge Saudi Arabia’s massive lobbying efforts in America’s capital amid a diplomatic dispute among Arab nations.

The Gulf rift already has seen slogan-plastered taxicabs in London, television attack ads in the U.S. and competing messages flooding the internet and state-linked media on both sides since the crisis began June 5.

Hiring a firm associated with former Trump aide Corey Lewandowski shows Qatar wants access to a White House with close ties to Saudi Arabia.

But matching Saudi Arabia, which scored a diplomatic coup by hosting Trump’s first overseas trip, could be a tough battle for Qatar even if it does boast the world’s highest per-capita income due to its natural gas deposits.

“The Qataris are belatedly working up to the scale of the challenge they face,” said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University who lives in Seattle. “This whole crisis, now that it’s kind of settled down into a prolonged confrontation or standoff, it’s become almost a struggle to win the hearts and minds in D.C.”

Qatar, in the midst of building stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, isn’t afraid to spend its money. Since the crisis began, Qatar paid $2.5 million to the law firm of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to audit its efforts at stopping terrorism funding, among the allegations levied by the Saudi-led nations.

According to documents newly filed to the U.S. Justice Department, Qatar has hired Avenue Strategies Global for $150,000 a month to “provide research, government relations and strategic consulting services.” The contract also says that activity “may include communications with members of Congress and Congressional staff, executive branch officials, the media and other individuals.”

Lewandowski founded Avenue Strategies just after the November election that put Trump in the White House. Lewandowski resigned from the firm in May, saying he was troubled by a firm-related project he hadn’t sanctioned. Others tied to Avenue Strategies had started a firm of their own, pitching Eastern European clients with promises of access to Trump and high-ranking White House officials.

The firm, which includes a former chief of staff to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

Qatar also signed a three-month, $1.1 million renewable contract with the opposition research firm Information Management Services, according to a Justice Department filing .

The firm, run by Jeff Klueter, a former researcher for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, did not respond to requests for comment. It advertises itself as doing so-called “oppo,” which includes digging into political opponents’ past and comments for incriminating or simply embarrassing material.

Qatar did not respond to a request for comment about the lobbying contracts. But it may serve as recognition that while Qatar has had success in speaking with the State Department and the Pentagon, it needs to make inroads to the Trump White House, Ulrichsen said.

Despite hosting a major U.S. military base, Qatar has been a target of Trump over its alleged funding of extremists, something Doha denies. Saudi Arabia enjoys close relations to Trump, as well as his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In Washington, Saudi Arabia spends millions of dollars on lobbying, including a most-recent push to oppose a law allowing Sept. 11 victims’ families to sue the ultraconservative Muslim nation in U.S. courts . Its lobbying firms have been putting out memos on Qatar.

Meanwhile, an organization called the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee launched an online campaign called the Qatar Insider highlighting material critical of Doha. The committee also paid $138,000 to air an anti-Qatar attack ad on a local Washington television station, according to the Qatar-funded satellite news network Al-Jazeera.

“Our aim is to show the American people that Qatar has been employing a foreign policy that harms its neighbors and contributes to regional instability,” said Reem Daffa, the executive director of the committee, known by the acronym SAPRAC.

But while Daffa said SAPRAC does no lobbying, it has registered as a lobbying firm with Congress and tweeted a Qatar attack ad at Trump . It also has not filed paperwork with the Justice Department despite the committee being listed as entirely owned by a Saudi national .

The Foreign Agents Registration Act, first put in place over concerns about Nazi propagandists operating in the U.S. ahead of World War II, requires those working on behalf of other countries or their citizens to file regular reports to the Justice Department.

There aren’t similar rules in Britain, though the crisis recently could be seen on the streets of London. Pro-Qatar ads appeared on the city’s famous black taxis, bearing the message: “Lift the Blockade Against the People of Qatar.” Al-Jazeera Arabic even did a story about them.

But whether any of it will sway policy makers remains unclear.

“The prevailing view is that there are no perfect allies,” recently wrote Steven A. Cook, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. “So whatever money the Gulf countries are spending in Washington, they should know it is not very well spent.”

07/14/17

Farrakhan’s Anarchist Angels

From: Patrick Kobler | NRATV

Loesch calls out the hypocrisy of the Women’s March organizer’s accusations considering Farrakhan, who Mallory calls “our brother, our leader, the honorable” and has selfies with, is an anti-Semite who thinks “Hitler was a very great man,” believes homosexuality should be punished by death, is a racist who regularly states things like “the white man is our mortal enemy,” and a violent xenophobe who sows religious fears with propaganda claims like, “God will destroy America by the hands of the Muslims.” “If you want to stop hate, start with Daddy Farrakhan. If you feel you’re “not safe,” go tell Daddy Farrakhan to tone down his divisive, racial rhetoric,” Loesch says. “Ladies, you have the power to end his hate-filled propaganda. Plan a march. I’ll be there.” Loesch then addresses the women directly: “Tamika, Linda, Carmen—I stand up to the violence of men like Farrakhan with the clenched fist of truth. You let a racist, anti-Semitic man use your womanhood to push his own, twisted vision for America. So tell me, who’s the real feminist?” She then ends by addressing their supporters: And to those who march with these fake feminists on behalf of women’s rights—you should probably ask them if they agree with Daddy Farrakhan’s belief that women should never give up their duties to cooking, cleaning and taking care of their husbands and kids for a career. As he put it, “Your professional lives can’t satisfy your soul like a good, loving man.”

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Transcript:

Women’s March organizers Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez have spent the past several weeks accusing me and the NRA of sexism, racism, homophobia and violence.

The leftist media has gleefully spread these lies, penning headlines each more sensational than the next. Bigots. Apocalyptic. Hate. Shame. Terrorists.

But here’s one story I have yet to see the media cover—the violent agenda of the MEN behind these Women’s March organizers. They include Islamic extremist Siraj Wahhaj, race-riot inciter Al Sharpton and this man.

Yep, that’s Louis Farrakhan. A religious terrorist whose highlight reel of bigoted beliefs includes, “Hitler was a very great man.”

This is the man behind the so-called peaceful, tolerant and non-violent Women’s March organizers. The Charlie to their anarchist angels. Father of the modern violent left. Or, Daddy Farrakhan.

Like the KKK, Farrakhan is an anti-Semite who incites hatred against Jewish people by spreading conspiracies. Like ISIS, he has preached that homosexuality is a crime that should be punished by death. Like a racist, he’s incited division with statements like, “The white man is our mortal enemy.” Like a xenophobe, he sows religious fears with propaganda claims like, “God will destroy America by the hands of the Muslims.”

Tamika, Linda, Carmen: How dare you accuse me of racism and sexism and homophobia and whatever other ism or obia you’ve invented to push your radical agenda. Or should I say Daddy Farrakhan’s radical agenda.

You don’t get to call me all those things when a man you look up to and call honorable and hold hands with and take selfies with represents the exact type of bigot you pretend to march against. If you want to stop hate, start with Daddy Farrakhan. If you feel you’re “not safe,” go tell Daddy Farrakhan to tone down his divisive, racial rhetoric.

Ladies, you have the power to end his hate-filled propaganda. Plan a march. I’ll be there.

Tamika, Linda, Carmen—I stand up to the violence of men like Farrakhan with the clenched fist of truth. You let a racist, anti-Semitic man use your womanhood to push his own, twisted vision for America. So tell me, who’s the real feminist?

And to those who march with these fake feminists on behalf of women’s rights—you should probably ask them if they agree with Daddy Farrakhan’s belief that women should never give up their duties to cooking, cleaning and taking care of their husbands and kids for a career. As he put it, “Your professional lives can’t satisfy your soul like a good, loving man.”