One of the chief concerns of Shariah-compliant finance is its relationship to zakat, the system of tithing in Islam.
The concern stems from the fact that, under Shariah, one of the eight acceptable destinations for zakat money is to those fighting in the way of Allah.
We have covered this extensively on SFW for years.
Some zakat donations come from Shariah-compliant institutions themselves and, in some cases, Shariah-compliant institutions serve as a conduit for the zakat donations of their customers.
This is the case with Bank Nizwa in Oman, a country that has seen a sharp increase in Shariah finance over the past 3 years:
Bank Nizwa , Oman’s first Islamic Bank, is fulfilling its promise to be the leader in Islamic banking across Oman, by making it easier for its customers to pay their Zakat.
Customers can now easily transfer the required amount from their accounts into the allocated Ministry of Religious Affairs account at Bank Nizwa . They can also deposit cash directly into this account. Customers who regularly wish to transfer Zakat can set up a standing order.
Bank Nizwa customers who choose to pay their Zakat through the afore mentioned Bank Account are assured of a waiver of fees on all standing orders linked to this account. There are also fee waivers on internal, local and International transfers associated with this account.
Sarah Honig: Those three no’s – reworded
This in effect is Abbas’s counterpart to Khartoum’s no-negotiation stipulation. Abbas has set up a hurdle so high that, without duplicitous pretense, it becomes unsurpassable and thereby makes genuine negotiations a farce.
Next comes Abbas’s present-day equivalent to Khartoum’s no-recognition proviso. While not identical in wording, its bottom line is no different from the 1967 prototype. Abbas repeats insolently that recognition of Israel as the legitimate nation-state of the Jewish people is out of the question – not now, not ever, no way, nowhere, under no condition.
This isn’t a negligible semantic equivocation. It means a refusal to accede even to the 1947 UN Partition Resolution minimum which determined that the Jewish people deserve a state. To crush said UN Resolution, seven Arab armies attacked the overwhelmingly outmanned and outgunned newborn Israel but lost, triggering their piteous lamentations to this day.
As long as the very notion of the rightful existence of a Jewish state is repudiated, the irredentist ambition to eradicate Israel as a Jewish state will fester and rule out even a remote likelihood of a true and lasting peace.Why Israel No Longer Trusts Europe
Despite these discouraging experiences, every Israeli military action against radicals in Gaza or Lebanon is met with protests in Europe. Which doesn’t inspire confidence in Israeli leaders that Europe would accept Israel’s right to self-defense if a future Palestinian state in the West Bank became a similar hotbed of extremism and revisionist politics.
It is always comfortable for Europeans to demand that Israel make hard decisions for peace. But Europe must now ask itself some hard questions, too. What guarantees could Europe offer Israel in return for a Palestinian state to protect it if the peace experiment failed and radicals took over the West Bank? Would Europe be ready to offer membership in NATO and the European Union if the Israelis asked for it?
I am not sure there are any promising answers to these questions. But if all Europe has to offer Israel is criticism and disapproval, then it will be part of the problem, not the solution.Watchdog Group Highlights Anti-Israel Credentials of Amnesty International’s Researchers
As Amnesty International published an anonymous 85-page report condemning Israel on Thursday, NGO Monitor, the Jerusalem-based charity watchdog, highlighted the backgrounds of Amnesty’s researchers, several of whom were full-time anti-Israel activists before joining the human rights group.
Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s international legal counsel, told The Algemeiner on Thursday, “We are not sure who wrote the report because Amnesty doesn’t say — in violation of NGO fact-finding guidelines established by the International Bar Association.”
The cover photography from the report was courtesy of Haim Schwarczenberg, who describes himself as a “photographer and activist in Israel” on the anti-Israel blog Mondoweiss, to which he contributed a report last year. Schwarczenberg’s Facebook account features a stream of hundreds of photos showing Arabs igniting tires to hurl at soldiers, aiming slingshots, and, of course, throwing rocks at the Israel Defense Forces.
Herzberg said that what NGO Monitor has been able to confirm is that “the Israel researcher based in London, Deborah Hyams, was a human shield in Beit Jala; the Amnesty US Israel researcher, Edith Garwood, used to be a member of the International Solidarity Movement. Also, another one of the researchers, Rasha Abdul-Rahim, describes herself as ‘a ranty Palestinian activist‘ on Twitter.”Naughty NTB doctors amnesty international report
Apart from the cheek of the Amnesty International, it is much more serious that the Norwegian news agency NTB resorts to doctoring the Amnesty report in order to smear Israel (they must have suffered badly from withdrawal pains, there has been pretty much nothing that could be blamed on Israel for several months now) by adding a word that appears nowhere in the AI report: Atrocities.
Caroline Glick: The Israeli Solution
Part Two presents the case for Israeli sovereignty from the perspectives of demography, international law, history and civil liberties.
Far from transforming the areas into a race-based state, as Israel’s opponents threaten, such a move by Israel will free the Palestinians from life under the PLO’s terror supporting kleptocracy and provide them with full civil and legal rights as permanent residents of Israel.
They will also have the right to apply for Israeli citizenship.
Even if all the Arabs of Judea and Samaria were to become Israeli citizens, Israel would retain a strong two-thirds Jewish majority. And it would avert the only real demographic threat. That is the threat posed by a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria which would permit millions of hostile, foreign-born Arabs from Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to immigrate to its territory.How Will Obama Soothe Abbas’s Rage?
The path to peace won’t be found by soothing Abbas’s rage at being maneuvered into having to accept negotiations when signing a deal is the last thing he wants to do. Rather than returning to his default position of pressuring Netanyahu, the keynote of President Obama’s involvement should be making it clear to Abbas that he must accept the framework. The Israelis have already paid dearly, with concessions that included the release of over 100 Palestinian terrorist murderers and a de facto freeze in settlement building outside of their settlement blocs that would be retained in any agreement, in order to persuade Abbas to come back to the table last year. It would be outrageous for Obama to respond to Palestinian blackmail by simply acquiescing to their demands and expect Israel to proceed without the assurance that the framework will be kept in place.
If the president’s new foray into the peace process blindly follows the familiar pattern of Obama’s past conduct in which Netanyahu is ambushed and then strong-armed into making more concessions to Abbas, it would be grossly unfair. But more than that, it would undermine any chance of ever getting the Palestinians to realize that the price of independence means accepting the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Peace requires a sea change in Palestinian politics. But it will also mean a similar change in the president’s knee-jerk impulse to put the entire onus for the impasse on an Israel that has already proved it is willing to take risks for peace.BBC Watch: BBC’s Hardtalk provides platform for Saeb Erekat’s fabricated histories – part one
BBC’s Hardtalk provides platform for Saeb Erekat’s fabricated histories – part two
The February 18th edition of the BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ featured presenter Stephen Sackur once again interviewing the programme’s frequent flyer Saeb Erekat. The programme is available in the UK on BBC iPlayer and an audio version was also available from the BBC World Service for a limited period of time, along with a BBC World Service podcast. In addition, the first part of the interview was uploaded by the BBC to YouTube and featured on the BBC News website, as well as on the Hardtalk webpage. Poll: Three quarters of Israeli Jews would accept peace deal
Three quarters of Hebrew-speaking Israelis would support a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on the Arab Peace Initiative, and more than half would vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he were to leave the Likud and create a new party, according to a new poll published Thursday.
The survey, commissioned by the non-profit Israeli Peace Initiative, was conducted earlier this month among a representative sample of 500 Hebrew-speaking Israelis. The poll’s sponsors said it indicated that a large majority of the country’s Jews hold hawkish views regarding the peace process but would be willing to accept a deal if they understood what Israel stands to gain from an accord normalizing diplomatic and trade relations with the entire Arab world. Police to Limit Muslim Access to Temple Mount on Friday
Israeli police have announced they will limit access for Muslim men to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound during Friday prayers to prevent possible clashes following services, AFP reported Thursday.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri told the news agency that men under the age of 50 will be barred from Friday prayers, based on intelligence of plans for unrest, with security forces bolstering their presence in the area.How Jewish prayer represents “an extreme provocation to Muslims worldwide”
So, let’s get this straight:
1. Some Jews are asking for the right to quietly pray at the site in Jerusalem holiest to their faith.
2. Millions of Muslims worldwide will, it is alleged, be provoked at the mere possibility that a faith other their own will have that right which they want exclusively for themselves.
3. And, yet, it’s the Jews in this scenario who are portrayed as the “regressive” political force?
‘Orwellian’ doesn’t begin to fairly characterize the mental gymnastics employed by journalists in order to accept such bizarre logic.Shabak Reveals Hamas 'Inflaming' Temple Mount
According to the senior official's analysis, published in Channel 10, Shabak (Internal Security) are identifying attempts by Hamas to bring Muslim activists to the Temple Mount and have them stir up confrontations with Israeli security forces.
"A serious threat is presented by Hamas activity to inflame the Temple Mount (in protests, attacks on the Mount and violent clashes by a mob enlisted by the organization)," warns the document. "These activities are meant to escalate the security situation in the West Bank."Arab Knesset Faction: Israel is 'Palestine's Interior'
The Arab Raam-Taal Knesset faction held a session Tuesday in which it discussed issues of interest to Arab society in what the faction's press release named “the Palestinian interior” – that is, Israel – and “the occupied state of Palestine.”Arab MK: Jailed Terrorists Are 'Political Prisoners'
Arab MK Ibrahim Sarsour, Chairman of the Raam-Taal faction, published an announcement to the media on Tuesday, in which he reported on his meetings with jailed terrorists. Sarsour termed the terrorists "political prisoners."
The "political prisoners" Sarsour met included Dr. Mahmoud al-Rumhi and Malek Behirat, as well as Ibrahim Biadasa and Zaher Jabarin. Sarsour said the visit was meant to advance the terrorists' release, especially those who were members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) parliament who were "kidnapped" by Israel. Iranian Official: 'We are Preparing to Liberate Jerusalem'
The Islamist Basij militia force in Tehran ran a special military exercise Thursday and Friday preparing for an Iranian takeover of Jerusalem.
The exercise, entitled "March to Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)," included training in the event of such a takeover, including drills for the protection of cities, assistance and rescue, dealing with social unrest, the protection of sensitive and important military centers, dealing with the invasion and landing of "enemy" (IDF) forces from helicopters, and carrying out complicated tactical maneuvers at night.Arabs Set Police Station on Fire in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Arabs set ablaze a police station next to the Lions' Gate in the capital's Old City on Wednesday.
Aryeh King, nationalist Jerusalem city councilman and member of the municipality's Emergency and Security Committee, was present at the attack and managed to document it. According to King, police officers fled the scene.
"Unfortunately the prime minister is instructing the authorities to avoid eastern Jerusalem, and these are the results," charged King.REPORT: Israel warns Lebanese gov't it will be responsible for any Hezbollah retaliation
The warning comes in connection to Hezbollah's threats of retaliation for an air-strike on a Hezbollah missile convoy near the border with Syria, which was attributed to the IAF by foreign media sources. The strike would have been a first on Lebanese soil as recent attacks attributed to Israel have taken place on the Syrian side of the border.
On Monday, Israeli warplanes allegedly struck Hezbollah targets near the Lebanese-Syria border. An unspecified number of Hezbollah militants were killed in the airstrike, according to pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya.Syrian Jihadist Group Forces Local Christians to Submit to Islam or Face Death
The jihadist group—Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which is mostly composed of foreign terrorists—is widely considered to be the most radical group fighting in the Syrian Civil War.
According to the document, which was posted on a Twitter account of a member of the ISIL, Christians in Raqqa were given the choices to convert to Islam, remain Christian, but submit to Islam, or face death.
According to Islamic law or “shariah,” Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule must pay a tax or “jizya” in return for protection, and become “dhimmis.”MEMRI: Muslim Brotherhood Supporters, Opponents Accuse Each Other Of Being Jewish
In the political struggle that has been ongoing in Egypt since the July 2013 removal of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) regime of president Muhammad Mursi, between supporters of Defense Minister Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and the MB and its supporters, antisemitic discourse has played a part. Each camp accuses members of the other camp of being Jewish and of implementing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
One manifestation of the current regime's de-legitimization campaign against the MB is comparing them to Jews and Zionists. The press associated with the regime has claimed that that the global MB resembles global Zionism, and that its schemes are the same as those of the Protocols. It has also claimed that MB founder Hassan Al-Bana was Jewish, as well as several other movement leaders. A number of Facebook pages depict MB members as Jews masquerading as Muslims, and feature images of Mursi in Jewish garb and MB symbols emblazoned with Stars of David.MEMRI: On Iranian Revolution Day 2014, Commander of IRGC Navy Says:
The Americans Will Understand When Their Warships With Over 5,000 Crew Aboard Sink To The Depths Of The Sea And They Have To Search For Their Bodies
On February 11, 2014, Iran celebrated Revolution Day, the 35th anniversary of the regime of the Islamic Revolution, against the backdrop of the start of permanent agreement nuclear talks between Iran and the superpowers, and of the ongoing struggle within Iran between the ideological stream led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and the pragmatic stream led by Hashemi Rafsanjani, on the issue of how Iran should deal with the U.S. Revolution Day 2014 was marked by regime officials' harsh anti-U.S. statements and by calls for maintaining Iranian hostility towards the U.S.Israel Urges IAEA To Issue Full Report On Iran Nuclear Research
Israel urged the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Friday to go public with all information it has regarding suspicions that Iran researched how to build an atomic bomb.
The statement followed a Reuters report on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last year planned a major report on Iran that might have revealed more of its alleged bomb-relevant research, but held off as the Islamic Republic’s relations with the outside world thawed.Iran’s rights record no better under Rouhani, US says
Rouhani is widely seen as a more moderate leader in the Islamic republic’s cleric-run government, and has led a period of detente between Iran and the West since coming into office last summer.
However, Assistant Secretary of State Uzra Zeya, who oversaw the survey, said the report includes allegations of torture, political imprisonment and undue executions, among other violations by Tehran.
“There have been some steps since the release of some political prisoners last fall, but overall I would say the situation remains poor,” he said.Calls Grow For PM’s Resignation as Turkey Rocked by Second Round of Leaked Wiretaps
A second set of audio recordings purporting to be wiretaps of phone conversations between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son Bilal – this time with Erdogan instructing Bilal to hold out for more money in a business deal – was anonymously uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, days after a first set of recordings, seemingly exposing efforts by the two to hide vast amounts of money from authorities, set off national calls for Erdogan’s resignation.
Reuters described the new recordings, in which Erdogan scoffs at the sum that a particular businessman is willing to bring to a transaction, as “the latest and potentially most damaging allegations in a graft scandal that Erdogan has cast as concocted to unseat him.”Jordan arrests 10 gays for holding gathering
Jordanian authorities have arrested 10 “gays and lesbians” for holding a get-together at a party hall in east Amman, a security official said on Thursday.
“The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other,” he told AFP.
“The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace,” he added, without elaborating.New online campaign urges American Muslims to ‘drop the A-word’
The group, which goes by the name of “Drop the A-Word,” calls on Arabs living in America to stop using the words “abeed” and “abed” to describe African Americans.
In Arabic, the world “abed” and its plural form “abeed” mean “slave” or “servant.”
“We should stop using ‘abeed’ to describe or reference people of African descent,” said Majed Moughni, a Dearborn-based supporter of the group.
Jordanian Islamist cleric Abu Qatada, on trial for terrorism, lashed out Thursday at jihadists in Syria for imposing a special tax on Christians under their control, saying their ideas were "distorted and extreme." "The tax imposed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Christians in some areas in Syria is not acceptable," Abu Qatada told reporters during his trial in Amman. Christians living in the provincial capital of Raqa, under ISIL control, will now have to pay the levy, known as jizya, as part of an alleged agreement for their protection announced Wednesday. Abu Qatada said the jihadists' "ideas are distorted and extreme."
Ex-Gitmo detainee latest to be suspected of terrorism
Western human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, promoted Begg's account of his experiences as a U.S. detainee but their association with him was controversial even among their own staffers.
Gita Sahgal, who headed Amnesty International's gender unit, was suspended by the organization in 2010 after objecting to Amnesty's association with Begg, whom she described as a leader of a pro-jihadi group and "Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban," according to the London paper The Guardian.
The arrest of a former Guantanamo prisoner in England on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism is the latest example of a failed release program that is setting free unrepentant jihadists, an analyst says.
United Kingdom authorities on Tuesday arrested Moazzam Begg, a British citizen of Pakistani descent, on suspicion of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism in Syria. Three others were arrested with him.Guardian fails to reveal that Brit arrested for terror is ‘Comment is Free’ contributor
As we first learned from Guido Fawkes, Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who became a spokesman for the “human rights” group Cageprisoners, was arrested by British police on Tuesday morning for terror offences which he is alleged to have committed in Syria.
Begg is widely believed by American intelligence officials to have been a jihadist involved with Al-Qaida and reportedly attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the UK “so he could assist in waging jihad against enemies of Islam.” Begg reportedly assisted several prominent terrorists, recruited young operatives for jihad and provided financial support for terror camps.Amnesty International Report Reflects Lack of Expertise and Methodology
Report based on faulty data calls for sanctions, coincides with annual BDS campaign
Jerusalem – A report scheduled to be released by Amnesty International tomorrow, Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank, falsely and maliciously accuses Israel of “callous disregard for human life,” according to analysis by NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research organization. The report also repeats Amnesty’s calls for political warfare against Israel, in the form of an arms embargo.
“Amnesty International accusations are reckless, blatantly biased, and reflect the lack of a credible research fact-finding methodology,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Amnesty lacks the expertise and credibility to analyze or assign blame for deaths in the context of violent confrontations in the West Bank. As in the past, the allegations in this report repeat unverifiable Palestinian ‘testimony.’”
Why the Peace Talks Are Making Jordan Panic
The king has reason to be worried lest Jordan might become the State of Palestine. History reveals why. Back in 1920, when the League of Nations Mandate to govern Palestine was bestowed upon Great Britain, it cited “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the legitimacy of grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” Jews were granted the right of settlement throughout “Palestine,” comprising the land east and west of the Jordan River.
Great Britain, however, retained the right to “postpone” or “withhold” Jewish settlement east of the Jordan. Two years later, with the creation of Transjordan by the British to reward Prince Abdullah of Arabia for his wartime cooperation, Jewish settlement was restricted to the land – all of it – west of the Jordan. That right has never been rescinded. It includes Hebron no less than Tel Aviv.
So it is that Jordanian Palestinians are already at home, east of the Jordan River, which comprises two-thirds of Mandatory Palestine. Surely the resistance of Hashemite monarchs, backed by Bedouin tribes, should not be permitted by the international community to impede Palestinian statehood within the borders of their own national home according to international law.Temple Mount cannot be under Jordan's thumb
As part of the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, Israel pledged to "afford high priority to Jordan's historic role" on the Temple Mount, should the peace process mature to the point where its permanent status in negotiated. In reality, this priority is already in effect.
In 2012, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed a mysterious treaty regulating the two's respective status on the Temple Mount. Israel's fingerprints are evident there as well, as it sought to ensure Jordan's role as the leading Arab entity on the Temple Mount ahead of time, but things have gone too far yet again.
It is inconceivable that Jordan's influence on the Temple Mount would cripple Israel, even given the special -- and less known -- ties between the two countries. The Muslims' violence in the compound is a red line and unless it ceases they should be temporarily barred from the Temple Mount. It has been done before and the sky did not fall down around us. The Muslims must be made to understand that when it comes to the Temple Mount, they also have something to lose.Knesset Temple Mount debate raises hackles in Arab world
Egypt’s foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, warned Tuesday in a statement that an Israeli declaration of sovereignty over the contested site could lead to an “explosion’” in the region.
The PA asked the Arab League Tuesday to hold an emergency session on Wednesday to discuss Israeli policy toward the Temple Mount, Ma’an news agency reported. “If Israel continues this policy,” said PA ambassador to Egypt Barakat al-Farra, “it proves that it does not want peace but continues to violate international laws and resolutions.”
In Jordan, 47 out of 150 members of the country’s lower house signed a motion late Tuesday that the treaty be annulled, the government-owned al-Rai newspaper reported.IDF Blog: Cheat Sheet: Answers to the Most Important Questions About Israel’s Security
On a daily basis, Israel faces terrorist threats and many other challenges to its security. The activities of the IDF are a key part of Israel’s efforts to combat the constant dangers facing Israeli civilians. Here we answer the most important questions about the IDF’s continuous work to keep Israel safe.
1. What is a “security fence”?
Israel built security fences as a protective measure against terrorists who attempt to attack Israeli civilians. Following a wave of terror attacks in the early 2000s, there was a need to find a way to defend Israel’s residents.Palestinian Authority owes Israel Electric $389 million
If the Israel Electric Company were a private entity, it would shut off electricity to the Palestinian Authority because of the PA's outstanding bill of 1.37 billion shekels ($389 million), IEC Chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal told the Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday.
"Their outstanding bill increases by 70 million to 80 million shekels ($20 million to $22 million) a month. If a regular citizen didn't pay his electric bill, we'd cut him off within a week. But here -- despite the company's enormous debt -- we are forced to keep supplying the Palestinian electricity grid. Our hands are tied," Ron-Tal continued.
Ron-Tal warned that a failure to collect payment from the PA would require the IEC to raise tariffs for Israelis.
Electric Company Head: I'd Cut Off the Power to Gaza
“In this case, despite the immense financial debt that we have accumulated, we are obligated to continue to provide electricity to the PA. The State of Israel owns our company and it has to make a decision on the matter. We must collect this debt,” he added, noting that the PA has ignored repeated requests to pay its debts.
The PA acquires 95% of its electricity in Judea and Samaria and 75% of its electricity in Gaza from Israel. The Israeli supply to the PA-assigned areas has continued despite the huge debt and despite the fact that Hamas continues to carry out terror attacks aimed at Israeli forces and civilians alike.Honor Killings in Palestinian Authority Territory Double in One Year
Director of Coordination in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA) Nabila Rizq said that the number of Palestinian women being murdered by families in “honor killings” doubled in 2013. The official criticized PA President Mahmoud Abbas for not doing enough to address the PA law that protects the perpetrators of these crimes.
According to Rizq, in 2013 the number of women murdered in PA-controlled territory through family honor killings rose to 27 from 13 in 2012. A clause in the PA penal code acknowledges extenuating circumstances that would allow such murders, despite ongoing demands submitted to Abbas asking to remove that clause, Palestinian Media Watch reported.Hamas Thinks It Found Offshore Gas Field
Salem Salama, chair of Hamas's economic committee, said "preliminary tests carried out by experts from the Islamic University suggest that there is a natural gas field near the coast," reports AFP.
In recent weeks the test were conducted by Hamas after fishermen reported large bubbles in the water roughly 300 meters (just under 1,000 feet) off the coast, reported Salama.
However, Hamas Deputy Prime Minister Ziad al-Zaza painted a more skeptical picture, noting "we need to conduct further studies to confirm that there is any gas. This requires probing by specialist companies because we don't have the adequate laboratories and experts here."Analysis: IDF Intelligence takes aim at arms smuggling
Hezbollah is believed to be armed with some 100,000 rockets and missiles, including a small but deadly collection of satellite- guided projectiles that can be used to target key Israeli installations and national infrastructure sites in a future war. It is fair to assume that the IDF is not willing to watch that collection grow.
In recent years, Military Intelligence has created a detailed list of Hezbollah targets.
Military Intelligence is also growing in size, to cope with the mushrooming of global jihadi operatives in next-door Syria. The IDF remains concerned that al-Qaida affiliated organizations will seek to turn their guns, bombs, and rockets against Israel in the future.Senior Navy source: Hezbollah probably has advanced missiles
The Israel Navy assumes that Hezbollah has gotten hold of advanced Russian- made Yakhont antiship missiles, a senior navy source said on Tuesday.
The source added that the Lebanese terrorist organization is making constant efforts to get hold of advanced weapons.
The navy is adapting itself to a new reality, in which the Mediterranean Sea, in some area, is becoming a terror arena, the source added.
These changes include buying new weapons to intercept naval arms smuggling efforts by terrorists.
The navy is also preparing to take on the mammoth challenge of protecting Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone, where offshore gas drilling rigs are operating, the senior source said.Four Hezbollah men said killed in reported Israeli strike
A reported Israeli airstrike on a Syrian weapons shipment crossing into Lebanon Monday killed four members of Hezbollah and prompted a consultation between the country’s president and army chief on a possible response, Lebanese media reported Wednesday.
According to the report, the strike targeted two trucks transferring missiles and a missile launcher from Syria to a Hezbollah warehouse.Hezbollah: We will respond to Israeli strike at the 'right time and place'
Lebanese Al-Manar television, closely associated with Hezbollah, quoted the group as saying there were no casualties in the alleged Israeli attack against one of its bases. It also denied reports that the strike targeted artillery or rocket bases.
The group vowed to respond to the Israeli attack: "The new aggression is a blatant assault on Lebanon and its sovereignty and its territory...The Resistance (Hezbollah) will choose the time and place and the proper way to respond to it."
Lebanese security sources have said they believed that any attack took place on Syrian soil, but Hezbollah's reference to Lebanese sovereignty suggested it took place on the Lebanese side of the ill-defined frontier.Egyptian General: MB Demonstrators Should Have Been Reduced to Pulp, Mercilessly Killed
Sinai militants blow up Egyptian gas pipeline
Militants planted explosives under the pipeline south of the city of Al-Arish in an area called Lehfen, they said.
The explosion sent thick flames of fire shooting into the sky, security officials said, adding that fire engines and ambulances had been rushed to the site.Iran's Nuclear Agency Spokesman: Our Commitments Are Temporary and Non-Obligatory
Documents: Iran Red Line Against Ballistic Missile Negotiations Ignores More Than Half-Decade of IAEA Concerns
The agreement increasingly appears to have provided sweeping economic improvements to Tehran – far beyond what the administration publicly predicted – even as Iran was allowed to continue enriching unlimited amounts of uranium to 5% purity, continue bolstering its plutonium producing Arak complex, and continue developing advanced centrifuges and ballistic missiles. Limits on ballistic missiles were entirely absent from the JPA, an omission that the Iranians subsequently tried to leverage to limit the scope of final negotiations. Previous documents outlining Iran’s nuclear program, for which the Islamic republic is expected to present a full accounting and to limit, are on the side of the administration. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2008 explicitly called attention [PDF] to Farsi-language documents detailing “various aspects of an unidentified entity’s effort to develop and construct a Shahab-3 re-entry vehicle capable of housing a new payload for the Shahab-3 missile system.” In 2011 the IAEA went further [PDF], describing documents on various Iranian programs that established “a link between nuclear material and a new payload development programme.”State Dept. Scrambles to Address Evidence Iraq Violating Iran Arms Trade Ban
State Department officials found themselves on the defensive Monday, after an expose published by Reuters revealed that Iraq has signed a $195 million arms deal with Iran for the delivery of weapons to Iraq. Baghdad sources told the outlet that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had been moved to seek arms from the Islamic Republic – in violation of a broad range of international measures up to and including an explicit United Nations ban on arms sales by Iran – after he became ‘fed up with delays in U.S. arms deliveries.’Thousands across Turkey call for Erdogan’s ouster
Protesters took to the streets across Turkey on Tuesday, after audio recordings purportedly of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordering his son to dispose of vast amounts of cash amid a graft probe surfaced and went viral on the Internet.
Thousands of people demonstrated in 11 cities, including Ankara and Istanbul, shouting anti-government and anti-Erdogan slogans, according to China’s Xinhua news agency.
Police in the capital fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd that chanted, “The government resigns” and “Thief Erdogan.”Israeli Balloons Carrying Hebrew Message ‘Unleashed’ on Saudi Arabia
Several Israeli balloons bearing Hebrew words were discovered in Saudi Arabia by a picnicking resident, Arab news website Emirates 24/7 reported Tuesday, citing the Sabq newspaper.
The Saudi said he was out driving with his family in an area close to the northern town of Rafha when he saw the floating objects.'No more guns at weddings' plead UAE residents
Resident of the United Arab Emirates sheikhdom of Ras al-Khaimah have pleaded with local authorities to ban guns at weddings following an accidental killing at a reception last Friday.
While a decree from 2001 banned firearms for the practice of celebratory gunfire, many residents still carry weapons to weddings, Gulf News reports.
Brigadier Mohammad Al Noubi told the newspaper that "several weddings had turned into funerals because of the custom and urged the public to refrain from such behaviour."
The groom at all weddings in the region is supposed to sign a document in the presence of police stating he will inform his guests that the firing of guns is banned, and even assume responsibility for any shootings.
Every chance we get at SFW, we feel the need to point out that the Islamic system of tithing, known as zakat, is a method that is used to fund jihad.
Our latest evidence comes from a forum on the Islamic community web site, Ummah.org. This information is contained in a thread on the forum dealing with the rules for zakat and charity.
Here is the second post under that thread. Note the second to last category:
The only Muslims who are eligible for Al-Zakat are:
Al-Fuqaraa poor Muslims,
Al-Masakeen needy Muslims,
Al-‘Aamileen A’liyha those genuine Collectors and distributors of the funds,
Al-Mu’alafati Qolubouhum new Muslims,
Fil-Riqaab Slave Muslims who wish to free themselves,
Al-Gharimeen Muslims who have lawful debts and/or bloodmoney to pay,
Fi-Sabeelillah Muslims fighters i.e. Al-Mujahideen and
IbnAl-Sabeel the wayward Muslim travelers
and this is an Obligation from Allah for He is Al-A’leem Al-Hakeem” [EMQ 9:60]. http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?392298-Zakat-Charity-Sadaqah
The UNRWA Reform Initiative
It is universally understood that current talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will not lead to an end of the protracted Arab-Israeli war. However, there is no reason why at least one aspect of that war cannot be resolved: the continuing humanitarian crisis facing descendants of Arab refugees from 1948, who wallow in UNRWA refugee facilities under the notion they will “return” to villages from 1948 – which no longer exist.
In that context, the Center for Near East Policy Research, which has conducted news investigations and produced films on UNRWA for the past 25 years, has launched the UNRWA Reform Initiative (URI) to facilitate a policy change at UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
While UNRWA long ago adopted the slogan “Peace Starts Here,” UNRWA’s working mantra could easily be described as “War Starts Here.” UNRWA’s schools educate half a million students with the notion that they must prepare to take back their homes in what is now Israel – by force of arms.Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas, Islamic Jihad Gunmen Now in West Bank
The participation of Fatah gunmen in a Hamas and Islamic Jihad rally shows that the PA and Abbas continue to face a serious challenge from their own loyalists. Moreover, it shows that there is coordination between Abbas's Fatah gunmen and Hamas and Islamic Jihad militiamen in the West Bank.
If anything, the rally that saw Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah join forces in a rare show of power means that Abbas's claim that he is fully in control of the situation in the West Bank is baseless.
Yasser Arafat allowed Hamas to operate freely in the Gaza Strip until Hamas drove the Palestinian Authority out of the area. Abbas is now committing the same mistake and could lose the West Bank to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The question is whether this will happen before or after the establishment of a Palestinian state.Prosor calls on Security Council to recognize the signs of genocide
Prosor noted that this pattern of “defamation, degradation, and bloodshed” visibly repeated itself in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia and Darfur, and despite the warning signs, nothing was done.
“We cannot tolerate governments brutalizing their people,” he said. “We cannot rest while barrel bombs are falling on Syrian citizens, executions are on the rise in Iran, and sexual violence is rampant in the Central African Republic.”
He went on to speak about the growing anti-Semitism throughout the Middle East, including in textbooks and on state-sanctioned TV channels.
“War is not inevitable. It is not a force of nature, nor is it part of human nature. It can be prevented. But only if we stand together to denounce indifference and defend peace,” he said.
Abbas world’s No. 1 purveyor of anti-Semitism, minister says
Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas espoused more “anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli venom” than any other world leader.
Speaking at the Institute for National Security Studies on Wednesday, Steinitz said that “while Abu Mazen (Abbas) doesn’t fund terrorism, he who was a Holocaust denier in his youth now denies the very existence of the Jewish people and their right to a state.”
He was likely referring to Abbas’s 1982 doctoral dissertation, which was titled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.”Efraim Karsh: Michael Oren misunderstands the obstacle to peace
For an accomplished historian, Michael Oren seems to have an extraordinarily short memory.
In a recent article on CNN’s website, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States argued that in the absence of a two-state solution, “One solution could be a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian population centers in the West Bank.” This, he reasoned, would allow Israel to “end the occupation of the Palestinians, preserve its security, and perhaps lay new foundations for peace.”
But this precisely what Israel did some 20 years ago.The Importance of the Jordan Valley Corridor
Abbas says that he will control security in the Jordan River corridor, but what he more likely will do is give a free pass to terrorists and weapons on their way to the Palestinian Authority targeting Israeli civilians and territories. There is an old Arab saying, hamiha harmiha, “The guard and the thief are one and the same.” The “miracle of peace” Abbas is trying to market to an unfortunately gullible international community is nothing but fraud and slight-of-hand. He continues to harp – endlessly – on the so-called “right of return” of the Palestinians to the territory of the State of Israel, refuses out of hand to recognize the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and has added a snag to the already twisted Gordion Knot of negotiations by demanding control of the Jordan River corridor.
He doesn’t intend to end the conflict and he is not planning to establish peace and coexistence with the State of Israel. He is planning to inundate it with a tidal wave of terrorism.In-Your-Faces-Obama Bill Upgrading Israel Status Above Entire World
My favorite Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27), along with Rep Ted Deutch (D-Fla. 21), who are the top two members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East subcommittee, have introduced a bill on Wednesday naming Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, a title enjoyed by no one else on the planet, and encouraging enhanced cooperation on water, energy, homeland security, and missile development.
The bill also waives visa requirements for Israelis who visit the U.S., adding Israel to the list of countries whose citizens can visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, provided they registered electronically before boarding a flight.
Some other provisions: the bill expands authority for forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, providing important military equipment for either to use in a crisis. It also encourages the president to transfer essential military equipment to Israel to meet current and projected strategic threats.Report: Europe Warns Palestinian Authority Against Rejecting Kerry Framework Peace Plan
European diplomats passed this message on to senior Palestinian Authority officials during closed-door conversations that were recently held in Ramallah, Walla said.
An evolution in the European attitude towards the Palestinian Authority could be detected in remarks made over the weekend by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, according to the report. The leader of the Israeli delegation that’s currently negotiating with the Palestinian Authority said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s continued intransigence at the negotiating table will result in “the Palestinians paying the price.”
Livni’s statement was widely interpreted as her belief that the international community will blame the Palestinian Authority for the failure of peace talks, Walla said."Today I will die, today I will fight" - PA TV music video
170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities, says IDF intel head
The head of Israel’s most powerful intelligence agency depicted Wednesday a changing battlefield in which offensive cyber capabilities will, in the near future, represent the greatest shift in combat doctrine in over 1,000 years. For now, though, he said, the 170,000 rockets and missiles pointed by enemy states at Israel represented the most pressing threat, a danger he placed even above Iran’s rogue nuclear program.
“Cyber, in my humble opinion, and you don’t have to agree with me, will be revealed in a not very long time as a revolution greater than the creation of gunpowder or the usage of the aerial space at the start of the past century,” said Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate. Kochavi, a former infantry officer, called the possibilities inherent in cyber warfare “nearly limitless, and that is not a metaphor.”IAF chief: Israel will destroy Hezbollah bases in Lebanon, even ones in residential areas
The unusually explicit threat by air force chief Major-General Amir Eshel appeared to be part of an effort by Israeli officials to prepare world opinion for high civilian casualties in any new confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israel says Iran and Syria have supplied improved missiles to Hezbollah, which fought the technologically superior Israeli military to a standstill in a 2006 war in Lebanon.
"We will have to deal aggressively with thousands of Hezbollah bases which threaten the State of Israel and mainly our interior," Eshel said in a speech, citing Beirut, the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon among the locations of the bases.
Other Israeli officials have alleged that Hezbollah uses Lebanese civilian homes as missile silos or gun nests. Eshel said the guerrillas sometimes had entire floors of residential buildings ready, under lock and key, to be used in combat.Murderer of Israeli Students Given Cash Prize, Employed, Promoted
Rabbo was a special case – he had been imprisoned the longest of any of the murderers who will be released for this round of “peace talks.” Rabbo, now 49 years old, granted freedom instead of his two life sentences, was given $110,000. And his upcoming wedding will cost him nothing. In addition, PA leader Abbas “promoted” Rabbo to the position of Major General in the “Palestinian Army.”
So, two barely twenty-something Jewish Israeli college students were slaughtered for the crime of being Jewish. They are dead, and their blood has not been avenged.Abbas' advisor who praised murderer now calls shooting terrorist "heroic Martyr"
Abbas' advisor who once praised a murderer as "heroic fighter" now praises another as "heroic Martyr" "who ascended to Heaven... in the battlefield while challenging the Zionist enemy."
Today, a Palestinian named Muhammad Mubarak shot at an Israeli checkpoint north-east of Ramallah. He was consequently killed in the ensuing exchange of fire with Israeli forces.
Shortly after the shooting, Abbas' advisor Sultan Abu Al-Einein praised the terrorist on his Facebook page, calling him "our heroic Martyr":Hamas to allow 120 Fatah leaders back into Gaza
Hamas will allow more than 120 Fatah officials banished from the Gaza Strip during the Islamist group’s violent takeover in 2007 to return to the Palestinian enclave in a bid to advance reconciliation efforts with its Ramallah-based rival.
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told satellite news channel Al-Kitab Monday evening that Hamas would soon let some Fatah leaders return to the Strip, and release a number of Fatah political prisoners from Hamas prisons, in a bid to push forward the reconciliation process. Egypt military offensive kills 8 militants in Sinai Peninsula
Egyptian military officials say that troops backed by helicopters and armored vehicles have killed eight militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula, part of a continued offensive against rising militancy in the volatile region.
The officials say that the dead included a senior member of an al-Qaida-inspired militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has claimed responsibility for a wave of bombings and suicide attacks since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
The Wednesday air raids and assaults in the Sheikh Zuweid border town come less than a week after militants in the area shot down a military helicopter with a shoulder-fired missile, killing all its crew and alarming authorities about the use of sophisticated weaponry.Iran can now build and deliver nukes, US intel reports
In the “US Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment,” delivered to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper reported that Tehran has made significant advances recently in its nuclear program to the point where it could produce and deliver nuclear bombs should it be so inclined.
“Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas — including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles — from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” Clapper wrote. “These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.”New Statements, Published Memoirs Trigger Analyst Concerns Over Iran FM’s Ideological Extremism
Analysts are expressing increasingly pointed concerns that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif may lack either the ability or the willingness to help secure a comprehensive deal between Iran and the West that would put Tehran’s nuclear program verifiably beyond use for weaponization, with his recently published memoirs and multiple recent interviews all being marked by intransigent rhetoric and maximalist negotiating positions. Ali Alfoneh and Reuel Marc Gerecht, both senior fellows at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, reviewed Zarif’s Mr. Ambassador: A Conversation with Mohammad-Javad Zarif and flatly assessed that “the affable foreign minister turns out to be every bit as religiously ideological as the radicalized student activist he was in the late 1970s.” Zarif emerges as a dogged ideologue who remains committed to exporting the Islamic Revolution beyond Iran’s borders, even as he lacks the domestic power base that would allow him to deliver concessions being promised to the West.IRGC Brig.-Gen. Panah: We Can Hit Any American or Israeli Target with Our Long-Range Missiles
U.S. Treasury Officials Warn Turkey Over Economic, Diplomatic Rush Back Into Iran
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) had for the better part of a decade cultivated close ties with the Iranian regime, providing valuable economic and diplomatic lifelines to Tehran in the face of Western efforts to isolate the Iranians. Bilateral relations between the two countries were severely strained during the opening years of the Syrian conflict, though Turkey’s role as a sanctions-busting pipeline for Iranian assets remained. Turkey’s rush to fully reenter Iran’s markets since the announcement of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) has come at such a pace that it has wholesale threatened the White House’s insistence that the relief provided to Iran was “limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible.” Turkey has pursued diplomatic rapprochement at a similar pace, and Turkish media announced Tuesday that Iran and Turkey will establish a high-level cooperation council during a Tehran visit that Erdogan will leave for Wednesday.Hackers attack European Jewish Press website
Turkish hackers breached the European Jewish Press’s news website Wednesday night, paralyzing the site and replacing the homepage with a picture of a Turkish flag shaped like a mushroom cloud, according to the EJP.
“This is not the first time a Jewish site is hacked by hackers on the Internet,” EJP editor-in-chief Yossi Lempkowicz said. “This is clearly an attempt to silence a Jewish information site.” Why has US not designated IHH as a terror group?
It has been implicated in the millennium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles International Airport. It openly led a campaign to break Israel's blockade on Gaza -- meant to block supplies and weapons from reaching Hamas terrorists. It has also been implicated in a Libyan gunrunning operation aimed at supplying Syrian rebels that allegedly involved an al-Qaida linked figure.
And now, six of its offices were raided Jan. 14 by Turkish authorities in connection with an investigation of al-Qaida.
The Turkey-based IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has been designated as a terrorist group by U.S. allies Israel, Germany and the Netherlands.
Denise A. Spellberg is associate professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders. From the looks of this article, the book is likely to be a melange of half-truths, distortions, and inventions designed to portray Thomas Jefferson as a proto-multicultural dhimmi and resistance to jihad terror as "bigotry." Here, she tries to create the quite false impression that Thomas Jefferson was accused of being a Muslim, or at very least an admirer of Islam. Reality was quite different, but that has never stopped Leftist mythologizing.
"Jefferson Was the First President Defamed for Mentioning Islam," by Denise A. Spellberg for The Free Lance-Star, January 14:["]Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself,” wrote Thomas Jefferson the year before his death. Who did he include among his neighbors in the blueprint for the nation he loved so much?
Jefferson implicitly included Muslims in his patriotic rendering of the Golden Rule. Many may find this idea startling today, but explicit proof for it exists.
How ridiculous. In the first place, the Golden Rule is not "love your neighbor as yourself," but "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Second, Denise A. Spellberg tries to defame the resistance to jihad terror by caricaturing it as a desire to deny Muslims the protection of the Golden Rule, echoing the hysterical claims of the "Islamophobia"-mongers, that foes of terror want to deny Muslims equality of rights before the law.In 1776, Jefferson inscribed these pivotal words among his private notes: “(N)either Pagan nor Mahometan (Muslim) nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.” They were written a few months after he composed the Declaration of Independence, when he returned to Virginia to draft new laws for his state.
Here again, no "Mahometan" ought to be "excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion." "Mahometans," like everyone else, should obey the laws of the land, with no intention or effort now or in the future to work to bring their own political system, in whole or part, to the U.S. That is all. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so, because even suggesting it will get you charges of "Islamophobia" and "hatred."Jefferson borrowed the precedent of “civil rights” for Muslims from the English philosopher John Locke’s 1689 tract, A Letter Concerning Toleration. Locke’s ideas about the toleration of Muslims and Jews provoked attacks: One critic condemned him for having “the faith of a Turk.” His enemies also charged, rightly, that he owned a copy of the Quran, which they termed “the Mahometan bible.”
For centuries, it had been common in Europe for one Christian to defame another with references to Islam, a practice that crossed the Atlantic. Jefferson, for his expansive views of religious liberty and political equality, would be attacked repeatedly as an “infidel,” a word that in his time meant not just an “unbeliever,” but a Muslim.
And like Locke, Jefferson owned a Quran.
When his detractors said he had "the faith of a Turk," they meant that he denied the divinity of Christ, but Denise A. Spellberg doesn't explain that, leaving her uninformed readers with the impression, reinforced by her explanation of the "infidel" charge, that Jefferson was being accused of being a Muslim. This sly attempt to portray Jefferson as a secret Muslim or at very least someone who was uncritically favorable toward Islam founders on the fact that Jefferson reported to Congress about his meeting with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, that when he asked the ambassador why Tripoli was extorting money and seizing slaves, he responded: "The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise."
Jefferson did not add that the ambassador was an "extremist" who had misunderstood and hijacked the Religion of Peace.The 22-year-old Jefferson bought his Quran in 1765, while studying law in Williamsburg, Va. The local newspaper documented his purchase of the two-volume translation by the Englishman George Sale. First published in 1734, Sale’s version was the earliest made directly from Arabic to English. It included a 200-page “Preliminary Discourse” with an overview of Islamic belief, ritual and law.
Jefferson may have been interested in the Quran as a book of law, for at the time he also ordered many English works of jurisprudence. He would have been struck by the translator’s definition of the Prophet as “the lawgiver of the Arabians.”
He "would have been struck." Note that we have now entered the realm not of genuine historiography, but pure speculation.Yet while Sale condemned Islam as “a false religion,” he also took care to praise the Prophet as “beautiful in his person, of a subtle wit, agreeable behavior, showing liberality to the poor, courtesy to everyone, fortitude against his enemies, and above all a high reverence for the name of God.” The translator also refused to define Islam “as propagated by the sword alone,” reminding his readers that both Jews and Christians warred in the name of their faiths.
Critics accused Sale of being too even-handed in his depiction of Islam, resulting in his Anglican missionary employers distancing themselves from his translation. Posthumously, he was condemned as “half a Muslim,” by the British historian Edward Gibbon in 1788.
Is there any evidence that Jefferson shared Sale's views of Muhammad or Islam? No, not a shred. If there were, Spellberg would certainly have mentioned it.Those who appeared to defend Islam, or its adherents, were harshly criticized on both sides of the Atlantic.
What did Jefferson think about the Quran and its contents? He left no notes that capture his immediate reaction, either because he never wrote them or because they did not survive the fire that destroyed his mother’s house five years later. In the blaze, Jefferson said he lost “every paper” and “almost every book.” The Quran may also have succumbed to the fire, but if it did, he most certainly bought it again, for it survives in the Library of Congress.
In the Quran, Jefferson inscribed only his initials at the bottom of one page of the first volume.
Jefferson criticized the religion in his early political debates in 1776 as “stifling free enquiry,” a charge he also leveled against Catholicism. He thought both religions fused religion and the state at precisely the time he wished to separate them in Virginia.
And we see again and again nowadays that Jefferson was right: Islamic supremacist groups such as Hamas-linked CAIR and Reza Aslan's Aslan Media work energetically to stifle all criticism of Islam and all free enquiry into how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism, and what can be done about it. Nor does Islam have a concept of religion being separated from the state, as numerous Islamic apologists and spokesmen avow boastfully: they consider it a point that establishes the superiority of Islam over Christianity, and so make no secret of it.Despite his criticism of Islam, Jefferson supported the rights of its adherents, a pattern he repeated for Judaism and Catholicism, moving beyond his hero Locke, who refused toleration to Catholics and atheists.
In Jefferson’s 1784 Notes on Virginia, he published his views on the relationship between his neighbor’s religion and the state: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
Precisely so. It is only when my neighbor wants to pick my pocket (to collect the jizya) or break my leg (in jihad violence) that I begin to care about Islam. The U.S. government should be dedicated to protecting citizens from jihad activity and ensuring that no group gets special accommodation or special privileges, as Islamic supremacist groups in the U.S. are increasingly demanding for Muslims, but that everyone enjoys equal rights before the law.With his assertion that government should never intrude into the metaphysical beliefs of its citizens, Jefferson provided unintentional, lasting ammunition for his political enemies. For many, these words proved he was not really Christian.
Maybe, not non-establishment of religion was enshrined into America's fundamental law in the First Amendment, and wisely so. It couldn't have been only Jefferson who favored it.Jefferson’s legal version of the Golden Rule, combined with Locke’s views of Muslim civil rights, would echo most potently in his 1821 autobiography, in which he recalled the final fight to pass his most famous legislation, the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, still in force today.
The Statute proclaims: “(O)ur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.” Although Jefferson’s proposed legislation originally met with resistance in 1779, James Madison lobbied for its passage and, finally, achieved victory in 1786 while Jefferson was away in France.
Jefferson recorded happily in his autobiography that a final attempt to change his preamble by adding the words “Jesus Christ” failed. And this failure led Jefferson to affirm that he had intended the application of the statute to be “universal.” By this he meant that religious liberty and political equality would not be exclusively Christian, a belief in religious pluralism that Madison also shared.
Jefferson asserted that his original legislative intent had been “to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.”
Good. Again, everyone should have equal protection, equal rights, and equal accountability before the law.By the time he wrote these words in 1821, Jefferson certainly appreciated the consequences of being labeled an infidel himself. In the wake of his narrow presidential victory in 1800, he confided to a close friend: “(W)hat an effort, my dear Sir, of bigotry in politics & religion we have gone through.”
Jefferson would not be the last presidential candidate to be defamed for referring to Islam, but he remains the first.
Tragically, though Jefferson championed Muslim rights, he never knew that America’s first Muslims — slaves of West African origin — were denied the freedoms he thought were universal. The Founder may have even owned Muslim slaves, but there is no conclusive proof. There remains no doubt, however, that Jefferson imagined Muslims as neighbors in his country’s future, a forecast that retains signal implications to this day.
Would Jefferson have approved of the victimhood posturing designed to deflect criticism, the attempts to obstruct and end counter-terror operations, the excusing of acts of jihad terror by the defamation of opposition to it as "bigotry"? Doubtful in the extreme.
By Alistair Lyon BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Bomb attacks and shootings killed at least 75 people in Iraq on Wednesday, police and hospital sources said, making it one of the bloodiest days in months. In the deadliest incident, a bomb blew up in a funeral tent where mourners were marking the death two days ago of a Sunni Muslim pro-government militiaman, police said. In northwestern Iraq, assailants detonated roadside bombs near a bridge in Ain al-Jahash, 60 km (37 miles) south of Mosul as an army patrol was crossing it. Gunmen killed seven truck drivers, kidnapped two and set three trucks ablaze in the mainly Shi'ite district of Maamil in Baghdad's eastern outskirts, police said.
Malaysia: Mufti forbids non-Muslims to use 40 words, including "Allah," "Qur'an" and "Sharia," on pain of fines or imprisonment
Penang Mufti Hassan Ahmad
GEORGE TOWN: "SOLAT", "Surau" and "Masjid" are words non-Muslims in Penang are prohibited from using in their writings.
Islamic supremacism gallops on in modern, moderate Malaysia. "Penang mufti outlaws 40 words to non-Muslims," by Predeep Nambiar for New Straits Times, January 11 (thanks to Lookmann):
The words are among the 40 decreed by the Penang mufti, as provided under subsection 48(3) and (4) of the Penang Islamic Religious Administration Enactment 2004, as exclusive to Muslims.
The other words are "Allah", "Firman Allah", "Ulama", "Hadith", "Ibadah", "Kaabah", "Qadhi'", "Illahi", "Wahyu", "Mubaligh", "Syariah", "Qiblat", "Haji", "Mufti", "Rasul", "Iman", "Dakwah", "Wali", "Fatwa", "Imam", "Nabi", "Sheikh", "Khutbah", "Tabligh", "Akhirat", "Azan", "Al Quran", "As Sunnah", "Auliya'", "Karamah", "Syahadah", "Baitullah", "Musolla", "Zakat Fitrah", "Hajjah", "Taqwa" and "Soleh".
A Penang Mufti's Department spokesman said besides prohibited from using the words, non-Muslims were also forbidden to write or publish any of the words in any form, version or translation in any language or for use in any publicity material in any medium, including print, electronic and any form, that could insult the sanctity of Islam.
The decree was enforced on April 29, 2010.
Those found flouting the decree would be charged under Section 3 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Penang) 1996.
The section says any person, whether he or she is Muslim or not, who develops doctrines or religious beliefs other than Islamic religious doctrine or belief among Muslims is guilty of an offence triable in the civil court and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM3,000 or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.
The spokesman said so far, no action had been taken against any individual or group since the law was enforced.
Yesterday, the New Straits Times reported that Kelantan had enforced the law prohibiting non-Muslims from using 24 Islamic words and phrases, including "Allah" for more than 30 years.
Egypt’s interim president says some groups have misunderstood Islam, and have permitted the killing of people
#BreakingNews: Egypt’s interim president says some groups have misunderstood Islam, and have permitted the killing of people— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 12, 2014
By "people" he probably means Muslims, since the Qur'an says: "And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake" (4:92). Otherwise he is claiming that these misunderstanders of Islam misunderstand Qur'anic verses such as these:
2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them -- such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.”
4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”
5:33: "This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement."
8:12: “When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, ‘I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast into the unbelievers’ hearts terror; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!’”
8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”
9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”
9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden -- such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book -- until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.”
9:111: “Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”
9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.”
47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.”
And not just the Qur'an. They're also misunderstanding the authoritative sources in Sunni Islam, the schools of Sunni jurisprudence (madhahib):
Shafi'i school: A Shafi'i manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy, stipulates about jihad that “the caliph makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians...until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax.” It adds a comment by Sheikh Nuh ‘Ali Salman, a Jordanian expert on Islamic jurisprudence: the caliph wages this war only “provided that he has first invited [Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians] to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)...while remaining in their ancestral religions.” ('Umdat al-Salik, o9.8).
Of course, there is no caliph today, and hence the oft-repeated claim that Osama et al are waging jihad illegitimately, as no state authority has authorized their jihad. But they explain their actions in terms of defensive jihad, which needs no state authority to call it, and becomes "obligatory for everyone" ('Umdat al-Salik, o9.3) if a Muslim land is attacked. The end of the defensive jihad, however, is not peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims as equals: 'Umdat al-Salik specifies that the warfare against non-Muslims must continue until "the final descent of Jesus." After that, "nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus' descent" (o9.8).
Hanafi school: A Hanafi manual of Islamic law repeats the same injunctions. It insists that people must be called to embrace Islam before being fought, “because the Prophet so instructed his commanders, directing them to call the infidels to the faith.” It emphasizes that jihad must not be waged for economic gain, but solely for religious reasons: from the call to Islam “the people will hence perceive that they are attacked for the sake of religion, and not for the sake of taking their property, or making slaves of their children, and on this consideration it is possible that they may be induced to agree to the call, in order to save themselves from the troubles of war.”
However, “if the infidels, upon receiving the call, neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax [jizya], it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do.” (Al-Hidayah, II.140)
Maliki school: Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a Maliki legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that “in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with “power politics,” because Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations.”
Hanbali school: The great medieval theorist of what is commonly known today as radical or fundamentalist Islam, Ibn Taymiyya (Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya, 1263-1328), was a Hanbali jurist. He directed that “since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely and God’s word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought.”