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Video: President Trump vows to stamp out ‘radical Islamic terror’ at Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS conference

In 2011, Obama ordered the removal of all mention of Islam and jihad from counter-terror training, making it difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement and intelligence officials to understand the motivating ideology of jihad terrorists. Trump has been under tremendous pressure to fall into line with this thinking, which claims that we only encourage the jihadis if we identify them properly. He has not yet, however, yet removed all the obstacles that Obama placed in the way of the intelligence community knowing and understanding the enemy, and his “radical” adjective is incorrect: the jihadis are well within the mainstream of Islamic theology and law. Still, this is progress, albeit slow, toward a realistic appraisal of what we are up against, which has been lacking since September 17, 2001, when George W. Bush proclaimed that Islam was a religion of peace.

“WATCH: Trump Vows to Stomp Out ‘Radical Islamic Terror’ at Anti-ISIS Conference,” United with Israel, February 7, 2019 (thanks to the Geller Report):

Unlike his predecessor, the current U.S. president is not afraid to single out the ideology behind Mideast strife, from terrorism in Israel to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.

U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS after his State of the Union speech just one day prior.

Trump got straight to the point, vowing that the U.S. would continue to fight the forces of “radical Islamic terror,” and vanquish the Islamic State (ISIS), an ultra-violent group that has murdered and pillaged its way through Iraq and large swaths of Syria for the past five years or so.

While ISIS is on the ropes, it is holed up in a concentrated area, with a handful of never-say-die adherents refusing to surrender. If Trump has his way, these remnants of ISIS will be taken care of as well.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column with video and images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Pixabay.

“The Challenge of Modernizing Islam” by Christine Douglass-Williams

Jihad Watch writer Christine Douglass-Williams’s new book, The Challenge of Modernizing Islam: Reformers Speak Out and the Obstacles They Face, is out now from Encounter Books. Order your copy here.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali says:

“This well-written book should not be ignored. With elegance and determination, Christine Douglass-Williams documents a variety of Muslim reformers, of a wide range of backgrounds and persuasions. These courageous men and women should be as well-known as human rights dissidents Solzhenitsyn, Sakharov, and Havel were during the Cold War. Through a series of probing interviews and careful reflection, Douglass-Williams draws out the nature of reformers’ inner struggles and ideals, contrasting them with the beliefs of Islamists. This book is highly recommended for those wishing to learn more about Muslim reformers, and it is a must-read for US policymakers who wish to understand the challenge of Islamism in America and the world today.”

Edwin Black, author of The Farhud, says this: “Incisive and informed, The Challenge of Modernizing Islam by Christine Douglass-Williams offers us the powerful insight needed to launch a new conversation about Islam. It fills the mind with deep knowledge and urgent necessity.”

I contributed a Foreword to this book:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed my favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”

So says Allah in the Qur’an (5:3), in words that have vexed Islamic reformers and would-be reformers throughout the history of the religion. Traditional and mainstream Islamic theology holds that Islam is perfect, bestowed from above by the supreme being, and hence not only is reform unnecessary, it is heresy that makes the reformer worthy of death if he departs from anything Islamic authorities believe to be divinely revealed.

On the other hand, the cognitive dissonance created by having to believe that the one and only God mandates death for apostasy (Bukhari 6922), stoning for adultery (Bukhari 6829), and amputation of the hand for theft (Qur’an 5:38), and sanctions the sexual enslavement of infidel women (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30), the devaluation of a woman’s testimony (Qur’an 2:282) and inheritance rights (Qur’an 4:11), and above all, warfare against and the subjugation of non-Muslims (Qur’an 9:29), has led, particularly in modern times, to attempts by believing Muslims to reconcile Islamic morality with contemporary perspectives and mores.

These attempts are fraught with peril. As Christine Douglass-Williams notes in this book, “Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, a Sudanese Muslim theologian who argued that the Meccan passages,” which are generally more peaceful, “should take precedence over the Medinan,” which call for warfare against non-Muslims, “instead of the reverse, was executed in 1985 by the Sudanese government for heresy and apostasy.” Some of those profiled in this book know these perils firsthand: “Sheik Subhy Mansour recounted: ‘If these Muslim Brotherhood people had the chance, they would have killed me according to their punishment for apostasy plus they claim I’ll go to hell.’ Tawfik Hamid noted: ‘The reformists were killed throughout history, including those who rejected the Sunnah.’”

Death threats aren’t the only dangers either. Europe and North America are full of Muslim spokesmen who present themselves as moderate, Westernized reformers, but are actually just the opposite. Foremost among these is Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, who has been widely hailed as the “Muslim Martin Luther” but has likewise been accused by French journalist Caroline Fourest, who has published a book-length study of Ramadan’s sly duplicity, Brother Tariq, of “remaining scrupulously faithful to the strategy mapped out by his grandfather, a strategy of advance stage by stage” toward the imposition of Islamic law in the West.

Douglass-Williams notes this duplicity: “In a an example of the distinction to be made between moderates and crypto-moderates, after the brutal riots following the release of the Danish cartoons insulting to Muhammad in 2006, Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born theologian and grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan explained that the reaction of his co-religionists was a ‘a principle of faith…that God and the prophets never be represented.’” One of her interview subjects, Salim Mansur, observes drily that “non-Muslims went to the wrong Muslim for an understanding of the faith.”

The dominant presence of duplicitous pseudo-reformers such as Ramadan considerably muddies the waters. This confusion couldn’t possibly come at a worse time, when the governments of the West are doing nothing less than staking the very futures of their nations not only upon the existence of Muslim moderates and reformers, but upon their eventual victory within the Islamic community. This gamble has been made despite the fact that there is no general agreement, either inside the Muslim community or outside it, of what “Islamic moderation” actually means, and what “Islamic reform” would really look like.

Against this backdrop, The Challenge of Modernizing Islam is extraordinary, refreshing, and much needed in numerous ways. The interviews that Christine Douglass-Williams conducts with some of the leading moderate Muslim spokesmen in the United States and Canada are unique in their probing honesty. While most interviewers from all points of the political spectrum generally are so happy and honored to be in the presence of a Muslim who repudiates jihad terror that they serve up only softball questions and are content with vague generalities in response, in this book Douglass-Williams asks the questions that need to be asked, and yet are asked only infrequently: How do you explain the various Qur’an verses that call for violence, or are misogynistic or problematic in other ways? How do you propose to convince the vast majority of your coreligionists of the correctness of your position? How is reform possible when the mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence mandate death for heresy and apostasy?

The answers vary from thought provoking and searchingly honest to cagey and deflective. And that in itself is illuminating. Not every person interviewed in this book is in agreement with every other, and not every attentive and informed reader will come away from these pages convinced that every person here interviewed is being in every instance entirely forthright. Many believe that the resistance to the global jihad in all its forms has no legitimacy, or cannot be successful, if Muslim reformers are not on board with it. I do not share that view, but the need for Islamic reform is undeniable, and the people here interviewed are among its foremost exponents in the West. We owe them a fair hearing as much as they owe us honest answers to the questions here posed.

In the second half of the book, Douglass-Williams offers a probing analysis of what her interview subjects told her, and provides illuminating ways for readers to navigate through the thickets and avoid hazards that have captured and misled numerous analysts of Islam and its prospects for reform. One of the cardinal services she provides here is the drawing of distinctions in numerous areas where crucial differences and delineations have long been obscured, often deliberately. Her discussions of Islam versus Islamism and Islamic moderation versus Islamic reform are a welcome antidote to the sloppy thinking and cant that dominate the public discourse today. Her examination of problematic Islamic texts is all the more welcome for being even rarer. Her discussions of the controversial and manipulative concept of “Islamophobia” and its relationship to the problems of genuine Islamic reform, and to the role of Israel and how it can help distinguish genuine Islamic reformers from pretenders, are the crown and centerpiece of the book, and examples of the kind of searching analysis that is all too often absent from the public square today, and for that all the more needed.

The Challenge of Modernizing Islam is, therefore, an extremely illuminating book, and not always in the ways that its interview subjects may have intended. That is, as is said these days, not a bug, but a feature. It’s crucial today that genuine reformers be distinguished from insincere deceivers, and naïve idealists from those with genuine plans. Here is a solid beginning in that effort. This book should be read while bearing in mind how the governments of the West are assuming that their newly-accepted Muslim refugees will sooner or later accept the values and mores of the secular West and settle down to become loyal and productive citizens, and how the recent experience of European countries, particularly Sweden, Germany, and France, as well as the United Kingdom, offers abundant reason for concern that this may not be the case.

That same tension between high hopes and harsh realities runs through these interviews, and doubtless through the souls of many of the interviewees. For better or worse, however, any chance for Western countries, as well as non-Muslim countries in the Far East and elsewhere, to enjoy a peaceful future now depends, courtesy of a series of decisions our political leaders have made, upon the victory of Islamic reform. The Challenge of Modernizing Islam uniquely equips readers to make an informed and intelligent evaluation of how peaceful the future of non-Muslim countries is likely to be.

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Austria recognizes ISIS genocide against Christians

It is comforting to finally hear the truth being recognized by Austria, along with a determination to assist the victims.

According to the American Center for Law and Justice:

In Syria, the Islamic State has beheaded and stoned men, women, and children for blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy. One Christian Syrian woman described ‘Christians being killed and tortured, and … children being beheaded in front of their parents…

The Center continued:

Assyrian Christians have faced mass kidnappings; children and adults have been tortured for refusing to deny their faith in Christ; and other Christian children have been raped and burned to death by the radicals.

Anglican Reverend Andrew White, aka the “Vicar of Baghdad,” recounted the story of Iraqi Christian before they were slaughtered by Islamic State militants:

Children…were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or be killed. Their response? “No, We Love Yeshua (Jesus).”

It is atrocious that peaceful Christians have not been long prioritized by Western nations as refugees; they are not only victims of war but targets of murder and violence by jihadists for their faith. One could not begin to imagine the global reaction and outcry if Christians or Jews were murdering innocent Muslims in the name of their religion, and such an outcry would be warranted. Meanwhile, the word “Islamophobia” keeps getting rammed down the throats of Western infidels in the face of such atrocities committed against Christians and other human beings in the name of Islam. Such lack of sensitivity and remorse is telling.

“Austria Among First Nations to Recognize ISIS’ Genocide Against Christians”, by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, June 21, 2017:

Austria has become one of the first countries in the world to not only formally recognize the genocide being committed against Christians in Iraq and Syria, but also to advance a seven-point plan aimed at helping victims.

The American Center for Law and Justice reported on Tuesday that the Austrian National Council formally recognized earlier in June the “heinous atrocities” being committed by the Islamic State terror group against Christians and other religious minorities, and committed itself to carrying out at least three steps of a seven-point plan to help those who are displaced.

“Austria has become one of the first countries to take a decisive stand,” the ACLJ wrote, calling it a “major step forward” in the conservative group’s campaign to rescue followers of Christ.

The legal group launched its seven-point plan last year, the details of which are available on the ACLJ website, and has urged U.N. member states to join the fight against genocide.

The plan in question calls for the establishment of in-region “safe zones” for genocide victims fleeing radical terror, along with expanding military efforts as part of the international coalition to defeat IS.

“It is imperative that we continue to pressure the U.N. and the international community in order to provide the relief these victims so desperately need,” the ACLJ urged, calling on people to join the cause as the legal group expands its “largest global legal advocacy campaign in defense of Christians facing jihadist genocide.”

In its letters to the U.N., the group has highlighted the urgency of cooperation when it comes to fighting IS.

“In Syria, the Islamic State has beheaded and stoned men, women, and children for blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy. One Christian Syrian woman described ‘Christians being killed and tortured, and … children being beheaded in front of their parents,’” the law group has said.

It added that Assyrian Christians have faced mass kidnappings; children and adults have been tortured for refusing to deny their faith in Christ; and other Christian children have been raped and burned to death by the radicals……

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Israeli minister: ‘Thank God that Obama is finishing his term’

Free people and foes of jihad the world over nod in agreement.

“Israeli minister: Thank God Obama is leaving office,” Jerusalem Post, January 1, 2017:

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev has made public her pleasure that US President Barack Obama is soon leaving office.

In an interview with Army Radio on Sunday, Regev said “thank God that Obama is finishing his term.”

“In Obama’s world view we have moved closer to peace, but during his term we have just gotten further from it,” she said, adding that “there have been more and more terror attacks in Berlin, Orlando and yesterday in Turkey, what does any of this have to do with the [Israeli] settlements?”

“It just cannot be the case that this is the way the President of the United States, who thank God is finishing his term, treats the State of Israel, as the weak link in the Middle East,” she stated. (Obama urges Israel end occupation and Palestinians accept Israel)

Regev’s comments came more than a week after Obama administration provoked the Israeli government’s fury by failing to block the passage of an anti-settlement resolution in the UN Security Council….

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Video: On the West’s Absurd Polices toward Islam

On August 21, 2016, I addressed the American Freedom Alliance conference in Los Angeles on “Can Islam Coexist with the West?” Pamela Geller, President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, introduced me. She also spoke immediately before me; here is the full video of her remarks, followed by her introduction of me and my own

Pamela Geller introduces me.

My remarks.

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VIDEO: On Obama, Putin and the Islamic State

Yesterday I spoke to a Young America’s Foundation group at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California on the Islamic State and the contemporary political situation.

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Islamic State Using Facebook to Hunt Down and Slaughter Homosexuals

Meanwhile, gay activists in the U.S. generally excoriate those calling attention to this persecution and mass murder, rather than standing against Sharia oppression of gays.

Why does the Islamic State throw gays off tall buildings and then stone them? Here is a quote from a manual of Islamic law, al-Siyaasah al-Shar’iyyah, as reproduced at IslamQA.com:

Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas said: The highest point in the town should be found and the homosexual should be thrown head first from it, then stones should be thrown at him.

Ibn ‘Abbaas derived this hadd punishment from the punishment that Allaah sent upon the homosexuals of the people of Loot.

composit of islamic state gay execution

Composite of Islamic State executing a homosexual by throwing him off of a roof.

“Loot” is the Biblical figure Lot. When this says that the punishment of throwing homosexuals off high places and stoning them is derived from the punishment of Allah upon the homosexuals of the people of Lot, it is referring to this Qur’an passage:

“And Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.’ But the answer of his people was only that they said, ‘Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men who keep themselves pure.’ So We saved him and his family, except for his wife; she was of those who remained. And We rained upon them a rain. Then see how was the end of the criminals.” (Qur’an 7:80-84)

This “rain” that Allah rained down upon them is generally understood by Islamic authorities as referring to a rain of stones, as per this Qur’an passage:

“By your life, indeed they were, in their intoxication, wandering blindly. So the shriek seized them at sunrise. And We made the highest part its lowest and rained upon them stones of hard clay. Indeed in that are signs for those who discern. And indeed, those cities are on an established road.” (Qur’an 15:72-76)

“ISIS out to exterminate all homosexuals in Mideast, uses Facebook to hunt them down,” by Jonah Hicap, Christian Today, August 27, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

The jihadist Islamic State is out to exterminate all males perceived as homosexuals in Syria and Iraq, and it uses Facebook to track them down, the head of an international gay rights organisation to the United Nations on Monday.

During a UN Security Council meeting Monday, Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), said ISIS has already killed at least 30 people for sodomy, meaning those who it perceived to be gays….

Adnan, an Iraqi, said he suffered from brutality under Iraqi security forces even before the ISIS came.

He said ISIS militants “are professional when it comes to tracking gay people. They hunt them down one by one. When they capture people, they go through the person’s phone and contacts and Facebook friends.”

“They are trying to track down every gay man. And it’s like dominoes. If one goes, the others will be taken down, too,” he said.

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Orange Is the New Black: Jaish al-Islam turns the tables on the Islamic State

A video has been released by Jaish al-Islam, an Islamist faction fighting in Syria, in which it executes 18 Islamic State prisoners but with a twist in the color scheme.

The video was made in response to the Islamic State, which has publicly executed Jaish al-Islam members in the past.

The lead up to the execution includes interviews with captured Islamic State fighters who confess to fighting mainly against other rebel groups and failing to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

They deny the charge that Jaish al-Islam members are apostates, instead accusing the Islamic State of being heretics and apostates. They claim that they are the true jihadists.

It is important to note that Jaish al-Islam is itself an Islamist Salafist group which ultimately seeks to establish an Islamic State governed by sharia law.

The execution reverses the power dynamic of the Islamic State’s videos by revesing the color scheme. The Jaish al-Islam fighters wear orange, while their Islamic State prisoners, kneeling and chained, wear black, a clear allusion to the orange jumpsuits typically worn by victims in the Islamic State’s videos.

They also sing a song to the same tune as We Have the Swords, an Islamic State song used in several of their execution videos. The lyrics are changed to be critical of ISIS.

Charlie Winter, a jihadist researcher for the Quilliam Foundation, said Jaish al-Islam almost certainly made the video a while ago, but released it to attack the Islamic State at this time.

To watch the video, click here: Warning Extremely Graphic Content