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Posts tagged ‘Muslim World’

Obama Threatens Netanyahu, Demands Israel Make Peace Or Face Isolation.

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House tomorrow, President Barack Obama will tell him that his country could face a bleak future — one of international isolation and demographic disaster — if he refuses to endorse a U.S.-drafted framework agreement for peace with the Palestinians. Obama will warn Netanyahu that time is running out for Israel as a Jewish-majority democracy. And the president will make the case that Netanyahu, alone among Israelis, has the strength and political credibility to lead his people away from the precipice.


In an hourlong interview Thursday in the Oval Office, Obama, borrowing from the Jewish sage Rabbi Hillel, told me that his message to Netanyahu will be this: “If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?” He then took a sharper tone, saying that if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.” He added, “It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.”

Unlike Netanyahu, Obama will not address the annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, this week — the administration is upset with Aipac for, in its view, trying to subvert American-led nuclear negotiations with Iran. In our interview, the president, while broadly supportive of Israel and a close U.S.-Israel relationship, made statements that would be met at an Aipac convention with cold silence.

Obama was blunter about Israel’s future than I’ve ever heard himHis language was striking, but of a piece with observations made in recent months by his secretary of state, John Kerry, who until this interview, had taken the lead in pressuring both Netanyahu and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to agree to a framework deal. Obama made it clear that he views Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have. It seemed obvious to me that the president believes that the next move is Netanyahu’s.

There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions?”

During the interview, which took place a day before the Russian military incursion into Ukraine, Obama argued that American adversaries, such as Iran, Syria and Russia itself, still believe that he is capable of using force to advance American interests, despite his reluctance to strike Syria last year after President Bashar al-Assad crossed Obama’s chemical-weapons red line.

“We’ve now seen 15 to 20 percent of those chemical weapons on their way out of Syria with a very concrete schedule to get rid of the rest,” Obama told me. “That would not have happened had the Iranians said, ‘Obama’s bluffing, he’s not actually really willing to take a strike.’ If the Russians had said, ‘Ehh, don’t worry about it, all those submarines that are floating around your coastline, that’s all just for show.’ Of course they took it seriously! That’s why they engaged in the policy they did.”

I returned to this particularly sensitive subject. “Just to be clear,” I asked, “You don’t believe the Iranian leadership now thinks that your ‘all options are on the table’ threat as it relates to their nuclear program — you don’t think that they have stopped taking that seriously?”

Obama answered: “I know they take it seriously.”

How do you know? I asked. “We have a high degree of confidence that when they look at 35,000 U.S. military personnel in the region that are engaged in constant training exercises under the direction of a president who already has shown himself willing to take military action in the past, that they should take my statements seriously,” he replied. “And the American people should as well, and the Israelis should as well, and the Saudis should as well.”

I asked the president if, in retrospect, he should have provided more help to Syria’s rebels earlier in their struggle. “I think those who believe that two years ago, or three years ago, there was some swift resolution to this thing had we acted more forcefully, fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the conflict in Syria and the conditions on the ground there,” Obama said. “When you have a professional army that is well-armed and sponsored by two large states who have huge stakes in this, and they are fighting against a farmer, a carpenter, an engineer who started out as protesters and suddenly now see themselves in the midst of a civil conflict — the notion that we could have, in a clean way that didn’t commit U.S. military forces, changed the equation on the ground there was never true.”

He portrayed his reluctance to involve the U.S. in the Syrian civil war as a direct consequence of what he sees as America’s overly militarized engagement in the Muslim world: “There was the possibility that we would have made the situation worse rather than better on the ground, precisely because of U.S. involvement, which would have meant that we would have had the third, or, if you count Libya, the fourth war in a Muslim country in the span of a decade.”

Obama was adamant that he was correct to fight a congressional effort to impose more time-delayed sanctions on Iran just as nuclear negotiations were commencing: “There’s never been a negotiation in which at some point there isn’t some pause, some mechanism to indicate possible good faith,” he said. “Even in the old Westerns or gangster movies, right, everyone puts their gun down just for a second. You sit down, you have a conversation; if the conversation doesn’t go well, you leave the room and everybody knows what’s going to happen and everybody gets ready. But you don’t start shooting in the middle of the room during the course of negotiations.” He said he remains committed to keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and seemed unworried by reports that Iran’s economy is improving.

On the subject of Middle East peace, Obama told me that the U.S.’s friendship with Israel is undying, but he also issued what I took to be a veiled threat: The U.S., though willing to defend an isolated Israel at the United Nations and in other international bodies, might soon be unable to do so effectively.

“If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time,” Obama said. “If Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.”

We also spent a good deal of time talking about the unease the U.S.’s Sunni Arab allies feel about his approach to Iran, their traditional adversary. I asked the president, “What is more dangerous: Sunni extremism or Shia extremism?”

I found his answer revelatory. He did not address the issue of Sunni extremism. Instead he argued in essence that the Shiite Iranian regime is susceptible to logic, appeals to self-interest and incentives.

“I’m not big on extremism generally,” Obama said. “I don’t think you’ll get me to choose on those two issues. What I’ll say is that if you look at Iranian behavior, they are strategic, and they’re not impulsive. They have a worldview, and they see their interests, and they respond to costs and benefits. And that isn’t to say that they aren’t a theocracy that embraces all kinds of ideas that I find abhorrent, but they’re not North Korea. They are a large, powerful country that sees itself as an important player on the world stage, and I do not think has a suicide wish, and can respond to incentives.”

This view puts him at odds with Netanyahu’s understanding of Iran. In an interview after he won the premiership, the Israeli leader described the Iranian leadership to me as “a messianic apocalyptic cult.”

I asked Obama if he understood why his policies make the leaders of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries nervous: “I think that there are shifts that are taking place in the region that have caught a lot of them off guard,” he said. “I think change is always scary.” source – Bloomberg.

by NTEB News Desk


Jihadist Suspect: UK Soldier Was Hacked to Death in ‘Humane’ Manner.

Image: Jihadist Suspect: UK Soldier Was Hacked to Death in 'Humane' Manner

Michael Adebolajo

By Joel Himelfarb

One of the two jihadists on trial for the hacking death of British soldier Lee Rigby told police he attempted to cut off the soldier’s head because it was “the most humane way to kill any creature,” the Independent reported.
In police interview sessions played for jurors at the Old Bailey, Michael Adebolajo added it seemed “almost as if Allah had chosen” Rigby as a target.
Rigby was the first soldier that Adebolajo and alleged accomplice Michael Adebowale saw May 22 as they sat in their car,  seethed with rage over British military involvement in Muslim nations and plotted a revenge attack.
They are charged with running over Rigby, who was walking to his barracks, with their car and then hacking him to death with a cleaver and knives in front of shocked passersby.
“I’m not sure how I struck the first blow but I learned . . .  the most humane way to kill any creature is to cut the jugular,” Adebolajo said.“So I struck at the neck and attempted to remove his head to be sure. That’s how Lee Rigby died.”
Adebolajo was shot as he charged towards a car with three police officers inside.
“To be killed on the battlefield is not something we shy away from and in fact this is something that Allah loves,” he said.
Police also found speeches in the possession of both men  by Anwar al-Awlaki, a jihadist mastermind killed in a September 2011 U.S. drone strike in Yemen., according to the Independent.
In his police interview, Adebolajo said Rigby was a legitimate target because “he joins the army with kind of an understanding that your life is at risk.”
The day before, jurors heard Adebolajo tell police he was ashamed to be called “British” because the word has become “associated with the murder, pillaging and rape of innocent people. This disgusts me to the core,” the London Evening Standard reported. “I swear to the ends of the earth it makes it difficult for me to sleep.”
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Folk Islam Meets the Power of Prayer.


Trekking through the remote villages of Kosovo to bring the word of life on a Transform 2013 summer outreach. (OM International )

As the woman served the team coffee, OM team member Rebecca* asked if their family wanted prayer for anything. The woman’s eyes brightened, and with uncommon honesty she explained their struggles.

“We are always working so hard for the harvest,” she said, “but are never seeing the results of our efforts.”

A team from Transform (an OM outreach to Mediterranean peoples) heard this prayer request as they trekked the villages of Kosovo. For one week in July, 22 believers from around the world set out by foot to deliver Albanian New Testaments house by house.

While they walked, the teams kept their eyes open for opportunities for deeper spiritual conversations and prayer. When this Egyptian family opened their door, the team sensed this was a wider opening for Jesus’ work.

After Rebecca’s question, the woman continued to share the difficulties facing her family: “We have tried to arrange a marriage for our son many times, but even though the girl’s family said yes, in the end they said no, which is not normal,” she said. “And our family cow, which is a big part of how we provide for our family, suddenly died yesterday.”

Since the problems were of an unusual and inexplicable nature, she believed their family had been cursed through folk Islam. In Kosovo, folk Islam is a superstitious faith interwoven with traditional Islam. It is often seen in practices like fear of “the evil eye,” or reading coffee cups to see the future. It can also be used as a way to try and curse others.

Rebecca described how folk Islam is dangerous, and urged the family not to practice it. Then she shared that Jesus’ power is stronger than folk Islam, and that the family can find freedom through the power of Christ.

The team then prayed for the family to be freed from the curse of folk Islam. As they left, the women had tears in their eyes and were visibly touched by the prayer. The team left the family with a New Testament in their own language, as well as a DVD of stories about Muslims who had dreams of Jesus.

Dark forces do exist and can have a powerful grip through the practices of folk Islam, but Christ’s power always proves mightier.

Pray that this family and others from the Transform outreach would be touched by the Word of God and the stories from the DVD. Also pray that other families who practice folk Islam would turn to the salvation and forgiveness of Christ. Pray for Christian workers in Kosovo and across the Muslim world to battle dark forces with wisdom, and utilize the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer.

*Name changed.



Bangladeshi Christians Told to Close Church, Convert to Islam.

Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church
Construction of Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church, in Bilbathuagani village, was halted by local officials. (World Watch Monitor)

A local government official in central Bangladesh has halted the construction of a church, forced Christians to worship at a mosque and threatened them with eviction from their village unless they renounce their faith.

The Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church in Bilbathuagani village, Tangail district, about 100 kilometers north of Dhaka, was created Sept. 8 by a group of about 25 Christians who had been meeting secretly for three years.

However, local council chairman Rafiqul Islam Faruk joined around 200 demonstrators Sept. 13 to protest against the start of the building of the church.

The following day, the Christians were summoned to his office. More than 1,000 Muslims waited outside, following an announcement at all local mosques to gather at the chairman’s office.

Ordered to Embrace Islam
Mokrom Ali, 32, told World Watch Monitor he was forced to accept Islam.

“The chairman and the imams of the mosques interrogated me for accepting Christianity. They asked me why I had become a Christian. It is a great sin to become a Christian from Islam,” Asli said. “If I did not accept Islam, they would beat me, burn my house, and evict me from the society.

“Their threats chilled me to the bone. That is why I pretended to accept Islam, but faith in Christ is the wellspring of my life. Now I am no longer a Muslim; I am a Christian.”

Mojnu Mia, 31, told World Watch Monitor he was also forced to accept Islam against his will.

“The chairman and the imams asked me what my religion is. I said I was a Christian. Then they threatened to beat me and evict me from the village unless I recanted my faith in Christianity,” Mia said.

“They had browbeaten me into accepting Islam. I accepted it only to get out from that predicament. But later, I embraced Christianity by swearing a confession in the court.

“The chairman came to know that I became a Christian again, by affidavit. He threatened that it would not be possible to practice Christianity in that area. If I stick to this religion, I must leave this place.

“The chairman is clipping the wings of our faith. I do not know how long we can grin and bear it. We want religious freedom. We want to practice our religion freely.”

Eight Christians agreed to return to Islam since Sept. 14, under the chairman’s orders. The chairman and his associates had already beaten some of those Christians three years ago for accepting Christianity.

‘They Were Derailed’
Local chairman Faruk told World Watch Monitor that some Christians had been acting against Islam, due to their incorrect interpretation of the Quran.

“The imams and other elders of the society called them for rectification because of their aberrant behavior. They were derailed, so we tried to put them on the right track,” he said.

“Eight people who had deviated came back to Islam. We are trying to bring back others. To change a religion, a person needs to swear his or her name, and should inform a local magistrate. If the magistrate permits, then he or she can change religion. But what they are doing is completely wrong.”

World Watch Monitor asked Faruk if he would protest if any of those people filed an affidavit with the court re-affirming their Christianity.

Faruk said there would be “huge pressure from the society against it. As a representative of the local people, I cannot go against the public sentiment.”

The chairman warned the Christians not to resume the construction of the church, saying it was anti-Islamic.

The Bangladesh constitution grants every citizen the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion. Every religious community or denomination has the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.

Rev. Mrinal Kanti Baroi, the group’s leader, told World Watch Monitor they had tried to show the constitution’s clause on religious freedom to the chairman, to no avail.

“We took one copy of the constitution to the chairman and other elders of the society, but they did not listen to us and did not want to see it,” Baroi said.

On Sept. 15, members of the congregation wrote a letter to the district administrative chief, requesting safety and protection.

Deputy commissioner Anisur Rahman of Tangail district told World Watch Monitor that necessary steps had been taken to ensure their safety and security.

A Plea for Harmony
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has been leading a secular government in the Muslim-majority country since 2009, on Sept. 3 called upon her countrymen to work together to protect the communal harmony “being nurtured in the country for thousands of years”. She  made her remarks after inaugurating reconstructed Buddhist temples, which had been damaged and burnt by criminals in September 2012.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom removed Bangladesh from its Watch List after the victory of Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League in the 2008 general election. Her center-left party is considered to promote secular policies and to be favorable toward minority rights. Her announcement to implement religious freedom reforms was another cause for Bangladesh to be removed from the Watch List.

Of Bangladesh’s 154 million people, Sunni Muslims constitute 90 percent and Hindus 9 percent, according to the 2001 census. The remaining 1 percent is mainly Christian and Buddhist.


Archbishop of Canterbury: Islamists Creating Christian Martyrdom.

Image: Archbishop of Canterbury: Islamists Creating Christian Martyrdom

By Joel Himelfarb

Islamist attacks against Christians in Muslim countries are creating an atmosphere of fear and creating martyrs of the faithful in exceedingly growing numbers, the Archbishop of Canterbury said in an interview with BBC Radio.
In the interview, reported in The Telegraph, the Most Rev. Justin Welby said that there had been more than 80 Christian “martyrs” in the last few days alone.
He was speaking about the suicide bombing of All Saints Anglican Church in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Eighty-five people were killed and more than 200 injured in the bombing, which occurred after a Sunday morning service.
The Archbishop — head of close to 80 million Anglicans around the world — added that Christians were also being singled out for violence in other Muslim-majority nations.
Christian communities which have existed “in many cases since the days of Saint Paul” are now under threat in countries such as Syria and Egypt, he said.
Al Ahram reported that approximately 40 churches were looted and burned in arson attacks in Egypt since mid-August.Sky News reported al-Qaida linked jihadists have targeted Syria’s embattled Christian community.

Welby, who leads almost 80 million Anglicans around the world, said Christians have a duty to pray for their killers.
He said that in many instances, turmoil in these areas of the world is caused by multiple factors including historical conflicts that have little to do with religion. But these factors cannot explain  recent attacks on Christians in places such as Peshawar. .
“I think Christians have been attacked in some cases simply because of their faith,” he said. “I think it is true to say — and also in Peshawar — that we have seen more than 80 martyrs in the last few days.”
He said these Christians “have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church.”
“That is outside any acceptable expression in any circumstances for any reason of religious difference,” Welby said.
“As Christians one of the things is that we pray for justice and particularly the issues around the anger that comes from his kind of killing,” he added. “But we are also called as Jesus did at the cross to pray for those who are doing us harm.”
He said British Muslim leaders were appalled by the attacks, as were Muslim leaders around the world.

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Moderate Islamists? Really?.

radical islamist
There is nothing moderate about the Muslim Brotherhood.

Walter Russell Mead’s Wall Street Journal piece truly is a must-read. It offers a comprehensive critique of the administration’s Middle East policies, from the perspective of a former supporter. While you should read the entire thing, this paragraph, describing the administration’s strategy, was particularly illuminating:

The plan was simple but elegant: The U.S. would work with moderate Islamist groups like Turkey’s AK Party and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to make the Middle East more democratic. This would kill three birds with one stone. First, by aligning itself with these parties, the Obama administration would narrow the gap between the ‘moderate middle’ of the Muslim world and the U.S. Second, by showing Muslims that peaceful, moderate parties could achieve beneficial results, it would isolate the terrorists and radicals, further marginalizing them in the Islamic world. Finally, these groups with American support could bring democracy to more Middle Eastern countries, leading to improved economic and social conditions, gradually eradicating the ills and grievances that drove some people to fanatical and terroristic groups.

Anyone notice one of the key problematic words? It’s ”moderate”—especially when connected with Islamists. (One of the others is “democratic”—especially when democracy leads straight to the Muslim Brotherhood.)

There is nothing moderate about the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, to be clear, they may not be as immediately or as indiscriminately violent as al-Qaeda, but Andrew McCarthy refers to the Brothers as “Muslim supremacists” for a reason. (I prefer the term “jihadists.”) Unlike your typical Arab strongman, who may aspire to regional hegemony, the Muslim supremacist seeks the dominion of Islam, not just in the Middle East and other historically Muslim regions, but over Europe, the United States, and the rest of the non-Islamic world.

This is not an ideology motivated primarily by colonial-era grievances, income inequality, or the other obsessions of the academic breeding grounds for Obama-administration incompetence, but instead by a desire for Islam to triumph. That desire cannot be appeased, only resisted. As I said on the radio last week, there are only three acceptable states of being in the eyes of the Brothers: (1) Muslim; (2) dead; or (3) dhimmi. This reality is so basic and plainly obvious that it boggles the mind that our so-called elite can’t see it. Willful Blindness indeed.

Memo to the Obama administration: George Bush was not the root cause of Islamic rage, and switching out leaders—even to lightbringers—does not bring us into the Ummah, so we are still the enemy.


David French is a senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice.

Krauthammer: Doing Nothing on Benghazi Caused Threat to Embassies.

The United States’ lack of response to the attack on its diplomatic facility on Sept. 11, 2012 spurred the current threat that has embassies closed throughout the Muslim world, says conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer.

The attack in Benghazi, Libya, left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead, and no one has been held accountable 11 months later, Krauthammer said Monday on Fox News Channel’sSpecial Report.”

“This is the fruits of being in Benghazi, having our ambassador attacked, and nothing happening to the bad guys,” he said. The United States also warned Russia there would be consequences to aiding NSA leaker Edward Snowden, but there were none after they granted him temporary asylum last week.

There is no sense that if you “stick a finger in its eye,” America will do anything about it, Krauthammer said. Terrorist groups feel they can move and strike anywhere and be “relatively unmolested.”

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals? 

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

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