01/21/15

Fox News “Apologizes” to Radical Islam

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The disease known as political correctness has infected Fox News. First, anchor Bret Baier withdrew from a Catholic conference under pressure from his management and the homosexual lobby. Now, Fox News has bowed to pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood lobby, issuing an embarrassing “correction” that was not warranted for having reported factually on the existence of Muslim-dominated “no-go zones” in Europe.

These zones, which are better understood as Muslim-dominated enclaves or ghettos, were the scene of much-publicized violent riots in France in 2005.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) decided to target Fox News after several programs featured commentators who noted the existence of no-go Muslim-dominated areas where Islamic terror cells take root and find recruits.

In response to CAIR’s criticism, Fox News has apologized, even saying the coverage of the no-go zones was offensive. It is as if the forces of the global Jihad have acquired a veto over what appears on the air on the channel.

While CAIR’s pressure was certainly a factor in the capitulation to the Muslim Brotherhood lobby, another factor could well have been the influence of the Saudi billionaire, Alwaleed bin Talal, who controls an influential number of voting shares in the Fox News parent company. We noted that Alwaleed had prompted the Fox News Channel to dramatically alter its coverage of the Muslim riots in France after he admitted calling the channel to complain.

At that time, Fox News and other media outlets had noted that “Muslim riots” had erupted in the mostly Muslim suburbs of Paris and other French cities. These are some of the no-go zones. Acting offended, Alwaleed said he had called Rupert Murdoch to complain and that Fox News anchors changed the term “Muslim riots” to “civil riots.”

In the latest case, CAIR called on Fox News to stop using “Islamophobic commentators,” a smear term for critics of radical Islam, and focused on terrorism expert Steven Emerson’s description of Birmingham, England as “totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.” Emerson admitted he was wrong and had misquoted his sources.

Although Emerson exaggerated the problem, the fact is that Muslim groups and even gangs are known to be a problem in the city and a threat to some non-Muslims. In 2008, for example, two evangelists said they were threatened with arrest and warned by a police officer in Birmingham that they should not hand out Christian literature in a certain area of the city because they could get “beaten up” by mobs and charged with a hate crime.

At the time, a senior Church of England bishop, the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali, had warned about “already separate communities” in Britain turning into no-go areas. During a 2009 visit to the United States, he was reported to have said that “Christians have been prevented from advertising church events in these parts of town and even police have been reluctant to enter these communities.”

So while Emerson made a mistake, his basic point about Muslim intimidation of outsiders remains valid.

Evidence of the problem has been available for years. In Belgium, for example, the district of Molenbeek was investigated in an undercover capacity by Moroccan-Belgian journalist Hind Fraihi, who wrote a 2006 book, Undercover in Klein-Marokko (Undercover in Little Morocco). She found the area to be an essentially ungovernable hotbed of extremism, anti-Semitism, and a breeding ground for jihad. The book “shocked” Belgium, one television news reporter noted. “Many police officers are afraid that the state no longer wields authority here, at least not the sole authority,” the reporter said. “They know that Islamists view Molenbeek as subject only to Muslim law.”

This is the same general area where Muslim riots are reported to have just taken place, following the anti-terror raid by police that left two terror suspects dead. The suspected leader of the terror cell, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is described as a 27-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin who once lived in Molenbeek.

The term “no-go zone” is certainly politically incorrect. For that reason, other more obscure terms have been put forward to refer to the Muslim-dominated areas. For example, the term “Territories of Identities in France” has emerged as one of the descriptions. One academic analyst traced their emergence in France to a French Socialist Party policy in 1981 which allowed foreigners to create their own “voluntary associations,” based on a supposed “right to difference.”

Another more popular term is “exclusion areas.” Whatever they may be called, there can be no doubt they exist. And that was the main point of the Fox News coverage. There was nothing to correct except for Emerson’s inaccuracy about Birmingham. And he had already apologized for that.

Yet, anchor Julie Banderas said in her on-air correction and apology that the channel was sorry for being offensive.

Banderas said the channel had “made some regrettable errors on air, regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France.” She explained, “Now this applies especially to discussions of so-called no-go zones, areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in, and police supposedly won’t go.”

But she went on to distort what the channel had actually put on the air. She said, “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country, and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion. There ARE certainly areas of high crime in Europe, as there are in the United States and other countries, where police and visitors enter with caution. We deeply regret the errors, and apologize to any and all who may have taken offense, including the people of France and England.”

Of course, nobody claimed on the air that these enclaves are “formal” or “specific” areas in the sense that the national government has decided to recognize or categorize them as such. In addition, they don’t “exclude individuals based solely on their religion” in a government-recognized legal sense. Rather, these areas take the form of segregated neighborhoods or enclaves. That was the point made by several commentators.

The dramatic correction from Fox News is proof that the Muslim Brotherhood lobby, of which CAIR is a part, has demonstrated clout at the channel, perhaps through figures such as the Saudi billionaire Alwaleed, who also happens to be a financial contributor to CAIR.

There’s no reason for the channel to pander to radical Islam in this dramatic fashion. Clearly, the dramatic Fox News correction of its coverage of the no-go zones was overblown and unnecessary, since Emerson had already admitted his mistake. As a result of the Fox News “correction,” many media outlets are now saying that the concept of no-go zones in Europe for non-Muslims has been thoroughly “discredited.”

What is desperately needed is more, not less, coverage of the Islamization of Europe. Fox should have let Emerson’s correction speak for itself and moved on.

Several observers point to the 1980 book, Muslim Communities in Non-Muslim States, published by the Saudi-funded Islamic Council of Europe, as helping to develop this deliberate strategy of establishing Islamic enclaves in European countries that are marked by religious customs and rules. This is shariah—the supremacy of Islamic law.

Political figures can keep the debate going, even if the media now shy away from it. Bucking the tide of appeasement, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal framed the issue in specific and accurate terms in a January 15 speech in London, saying, “It is startling to think that any country would allow, even unofficially, for a so called ‘no-go zone.’ The idea that a free country would allow for specific areas of its country to operate in an autonomous way that is not free and is in direct opposition to its laws is hard to fathom.”

In a column, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney praised Governor Jindal, saying that he said what has been “the unsayable about Islam’s supremacist ideology known as shariah and the holy war, or jihad, it demands all of its adherents to engage in or support.”

However, it appears that the “unsayable” may now be left unsaid on Fox, a channel many conservatives have come to rely on for information about jihad. It’s “highly unlikely” that Emerson will “ever be booked again” on Fox News, a spokesman for the channel said.

If true, this will be a great victory for CAIR and its collaborators, including what Gaffney calls in a new report “The Global Jihad Movement.” The report identifies a victory strategy, in part by identifying the components of this movement, including CAIR.

For his part, Emerson has been consistently correct about the development of the Islamic extremist networks that now threaten America and the world. His latest film, “Jihad in America: The Grand Deception,” describes how Muslim Brotherhood fronts, such as CAIR, have pursued a strategy described in secret documents as the “Civilization-Jihadist Process” of destroying Western civilization from within.

It is this kind of work that has made Emerson into a target.

As far back as 1994, Emerson had served as the executive producer and reporter for the public television documentary “Jihad in America.” The film included previously unknown videos of the clandestine activities of radical Islamic terrorist groups in the United States. Oliver Revell, former associate deputy director of the FBI, stated that Emerson’s program had discovered details about these terrorist networks that the FBI didn’t have.

Emerson testified before Congress on the subject of “Foreign Terrorists in America” in 1998. It was five years after the first World Trade Center attack and three years before 9/11.

Emerson has been proven correct again and again about the terrorist problem we face.

But to make matters worse, Fox media reporter Howard Kurtz made much of the fact that Emerson was only a “guest” on the January 10 edition of the “Justice with Judge Jeanine” show, and not a paid contributor. It was as if he was also trying to separate Emerson from the channel.

For being right about the threat over the course of decades, Emerson deserves our thanks. We need more journalism of this quality. He deserves better treatment from a channel that has now clearly shown it could use more and not less of his expertise.

01/20/15

Egypt’s Al-Azhar Institute: The key to ending terror or the reason for it?

By: Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts

al-azhar

Al-Azhar

Just one month before the Paris massacre of Charlie Hebdo and his staff, the prestigious Sunni Muslim Al-Azhar Institute organized and held a conference at its headquarters in Cairo to address worldwide terrorism. It was entitled, “Al-Azhar in the face of extremism and terrorism.” After two full days of discourse focused on the ISIS (Islamic State Iraq Syria) terror group, Al-Azhar concluded with a statement aligned with an earlier one made by President Obama. ISIS is not Islamic. The President saw fit to omit this opinion from his subsequent speech at the UN, but Al-Ahzar is sticking to it.

Al-Azhar religious scholars (an autonomous body separate from the state but financed by taxpayers) form the center for Koranic interpretation and spiritual guidance to the largest Muslim sect in the world, the Sunnis, estimated at one billion believers — eighty percent of the worldwide Muslim community. If the religion of Islam were governed by a hierarchy of leadership, Al-Azhar would surely be its head.

Renowned for its doctrinal instruction to imams and its slightest pronouncement (fatwa) obeyed by Muslim followers, Al-Azhar wields a subtle but powerful authority over Muslim believers. Its influence over the West’s perception of Islam is as great. In this capacity, Al-Ahzar has the power to significantly contribute to the eradication of Muslim violence around the world. But instead, what has its impact been as spiritual head with a state role?

Unlike the American president, Al-Azhar would not condemn ISIS when put to the test. Surely, if Al-Ahzar posited that ISIS terror is Islamic then a denunciation of ISIS’ actions would be a condemnation of its own doctrine. But, if ISIS terror is not Islam as Al-Ahzar proclaims what is the harm done with condemning it? This contradiction alone clues us in on a leadership that is allowing if not fostering crimes against humanity.

This ambiguity coming from the reverential summit of Islamic scholarship transmits confusion and inauthenticity to the West which seeks to find a benign Islam to tolerate. Al-Ahzar’s unwillingness to clarify Islam in relation to current realities and the relative terms sought to define them  – Islam, Islamist, Islamic terror, terror, Islamic extremism, extremism, etc. – is suspicious at best. Anselm Choudary, an outlier, does a better job at being concise and consistent on the Hannity show.

No matter how many millions march for “freedom and tolerance” in Paris and the anti-terror cause in the days following the Hebdo attacks little will change without  Al-Azhar Institute — the preeminent Islamic authority — making clear, concise statements to properly identify and condemn violence by Muslims. It could begin by reversing a silence dating back to its 880 AD origins regarding Muslim attacks on the Coptic Christians. This Cairo institute has never condemned the violence or the propaganda of Muslims against Christians within its own state. Tragically, this lack of responsibility has advanced jihad throughout the state and the world.

Al-Ahar excluded Jews from this worldwide summit on terrorism. Its failure to invite synagogues and Jewish leaders was not disguised by its otherwise inclusiveness. Joining the Egyptian Mufti, Dr. Shawki Allam, Al-Azhar University chairman and deputy, and six hundred Muslim scholars (including those of minor sects) from 120 countries were heads of the Eastern Orthodox churches, including Egyptian Copts, and Vatican representatives. Protestant denominations from the West were present, and speakers from communities persecuted by terror groups (Pakistan, Syria, and others) attended.

Did this important conference at the heart of Sunni-Muslim religious learning hold the least promise for genuine examination of worldwide terror? Not really. We’ve seen Al-Ahzar fail to denounce Muslim Brotherhood members as terrorists when the pro-democracy presidency of Al Sisi banned the organization from Egypt last year. Also, the Grand Mufti of Al-Ahzar, who is required by law to confirm or deny death sentences issued by the Egyptian courts, reversed the death penalty of Badeh and others — all convicted murderers from the Muslim Brotherhood. So far, the Sunni authority of Al-Ahzar has placed itself at odds with Muslims in the Egyptian streets and the rest of the modern world presumably in order to remain true to Islamic doctrine.

At the conference, a Mufti from Nigeria gave a speech in which he recognized ISIS as a terror organization. Generally, any recognition or instruction stated by a Muslim cleric anywhere is considered a fatwa duly acknowledged and followed by all Muslims around the world. In a panic, Al-Ahzar countered the Mufti by issuing a statement negating the Mufti’s point — overriding it and declaring that ISIS is not a terror organization. The Al-Ahzar statement went on to say that members of ISIS are not Muslim and their actions are not that of Muslims. Then, for good measure, Al-Ahzar emphasized another Koranic verse in order to warn the Nigerian Mufti that it is not his place to condemn ISIS. In short, the reminder stated that any action taken by one Muslim (ISIS members) cannot be judged by another Muslim (Nigerian Mufti). It didn’t matter that Al-Ahzar just declared ISIS a non-Muslim group.

In reaction to Al-Azhar statement, the Egyptian media, attempting to protect the image of Islam, demanded that Al-Azhar label, identify and condemn ISIS as explicitly “Kafir” (non-Muslim) in order to further the deception that terror groups in operation could readily be regarded as being from non-Muslim sources. In response, Dr. Abbas Shoman of Al-Ahzar claimed that the institute had never condemned any believer by disavowing his Muslim identity (assigning him “Kafir”) – a flat out lie. The well-known Egyptian, Farag Fuda, a secular Muslim scholar and human rights advocate critical of Islam and Al-Ahzar, was accused of blasphemy by Al-Ahzar clerics and condemned. The “fatwa” dutifully led to Fuda’s murder, the intended consequence.

Traced to lies and murder, Al-Ahzar Institute is solely responsible in its actions and teachings for setting the common ethical underpinning of Islamic society. The world would be mistaken to rely upon the leadership of this esteemed Islamic institution for a solution to the world’s crisis.