Saturday, August 25, 2007


A Spaniard’s Writing: I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.

The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned. And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride. They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs. What a terrible mistake was made by Europe.

Khatib: IOA persists in barring entry of maintenance materials to Aqsa

Comment: The following is from an Arab paper-notice how they word smith the events.This is a form of "brain washing"-more on this another time!

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, the director of the Islamic endowments in occupied Jerusalem, has warned of the danger of the IOA's persistence in barring the entry of renovation materials and electric cables to the Aqsa Mosque, as the holy month of Ramadan is nearing.
Khatib said that the IOA has been procrastinating over the entry of the main cable essential to power the mosque for three years and at any moment the power could be off because the old cable has eroded.

In the context of renovations, Khatib revealed that a fifth minaret for the Aqsa Mosque is being designed by the reconstruction committee in the Jordanian capital, Amman, affirming that work is almost finished.

He added that the entry of 70 spotlights to improve the lighting inside and outside the Dome of the Rock, within a project to develop the infrastructure of the holy Aqsa Mosque, is being hindered by the IOA, holding it fully responsible for any power outages in the Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Al Durah Hoax

The following article concerns the case of Philippe Karsenty who is appealing a conviction for defaming a French television journalist. At issue is the alleged killing of a Palestinian boy who became a symbol of the "2nd intifada" but whom activists claim was never harmed. -- Ed. On September 12, 2007, Philippe Karsenty of Paris will present his appeal of a judgment for defamation rendered in favor of Charles Enderlin, Jerusalem Bureau Chief for France 2, the television station responsible for airing the Mohamed Al Durah hoax.

Karsenty, editor of Media-Ratings, an internet service that analyzes the French media according to accepted journalistic standards, questioned Enderlin’s veracity and challenged him to explain obvious defects and inconsistencies in the Al Durah story. Initially, the Israeli government had taken responsibility for the boy’s death, but later concluded that it had reliable evidence that the case was a fraud. Daniel Seaman, Director of Israel’s Government Press Office, openly calls the incident a hoax. France 2 is holding 27 minutes of raw footage of the incident which could resolve the issue once and for all but refuses to release the tapes. The trial court, finding in favor of Enderlin, disregarded the evidence Karsenty presented. Instead, the judge relied on a two-year old letter from former French President, Jacques Chirac, complementing Enderlin on his journalistic skills. The judge further noted that neither the Israeli government nor the organized French Jewish community had elected to come forward in support of Karsenty’s view. Nevertheless, the evidence in favor of Karsenty is substantive and overwhelming. Moreover, the fact that the Al Dura incident is a hoax is obvious to a critical eye merely on the basis of the footage that has so far become available.

On September 30, 2000, at the Netzarim Junction in the Gaza strip, Talal Abu Rahmeh, a stringer working for France 2 and CNN, filmed an Arab Palestinian boy, Mohamed al Durah, and his father, Jamal al Durah, crouching behind a concrete barrel, and cowering from a hail of bullets until the boy “dies” and the father is grievously “wounded.” France 2 Jerusalem bureau chief, Charles Enderlin, who was also the vice president of Israel’s foreign press association, hand delivered copies of a 55 second excerpt of Talal’s footage to every major foreign news outlet at the Jerusalem Studio House. Within hours, the 55 second abbreviated film clip was broadcast on France 2 Television, a French government controlled and financed station, and subsequently picked up by virtually every media outlet in the world. IDF soldiers, although never captured on film shooting at the pair, were depicted as the willful perpetrators of the atrocity. Strangely, they were accused of shooting at the pair for an astounding 45 minutes.

In reality, Mohamed’s death was a staged media event aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the State of Israel, and demonizing her in the eyes of the world community by depicting IDF soldiers as wanton killers who deliberately target children.

The Al Durah hoax is a weapon in the hands of Israel’s enemies. It has not been dispelled and continues to cause her harm. Israel’s current diplomatic isolation, the innumerable worldwide divestment campaigns against her, academic and economic boycotts and other indicia of pariah-hood are, in no small measure, due to her underserved reputation as a major human rights violator.

Two weeks after the Al Durah hoax was publicized as fact, garnering worldwide condemnation of Israel in diplomatic, media, religious and human rights circles, two IDF soldiers made a wrong turn and inadvertently wandered into Ramallah. The consequences of their fatal error are well known: they were tortured and beaten to death in the Palestinian Authority police station, and their lifeless bodies thrown out of the second story window to a throng of howling men. They commenced to dismember and disembowel the soldiers’ corpses, and then passed the entrails on a platter to a hysterical mob numbering in the thousands who rejoiced as they literally chewed and swallowed the remains of their hated Jews. What is lesser known is that while eating the flesh and blood of their victims, they shouted, not only, Allah hu-Akbar--God is great--but the name of Mohamed al Durah! The supposed “death” of the child had become a pretext for revenge.

Shockingly, former President Clinton, writing in his autobiography, My Life, referred to the carnage in the following terms: “As the violence persisted, two vivid images of its pain and futility emerged. A twelve year old Palestinian boy shot in the crossfire and dying in his father’s arms, and two Israeli soldiers pulled from a building and beaten to death, with their lifeless bodies dragged through the streets and one of their assailants proudly showing his bloodstained hands to the world on television.”

Evidently, the lie of Al Durah’s death had been repeated often enough to be accepted as fact by a former president of the United States of America. Clinton equates the Al Durah lie, with the real torture, mutilation, murder and even cannibalization of two young men whose horrific fate was meant to avenge a killing—but, a killing that had not occurred.

Moreover, the Al Durah scam, successful as it is, has set the pattern for other famous pretended revenge atrocities. Daniel Pearl’s murderers invoked Mohamed’s “death” as they beheaded their victim. Osama bin Laden invoked the “dead” child’s name in recruitment videos and in celebratory fashion after 911.

The mythical “martyr” has now been immortalized as an icon to be emulated. Postage stamps bearing his crouched image have been issued in Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia. A street in Bagdad and a square in Morocco bear his name. Countless schools throughout the Arab world are named after him. His image was depicted on a designer dress in Saudi Arabia. Arab television programs in the Palestinian Authority and elsewhere portray him on his way to heaven and exhort children to seek “martyrdom” with all its attendant obligations and rewards: namely, the killing of Jews and the quid pro quo of 72 black-eyed virgins. Moreover, the Al Durah hoax inspired murderous rampages throughout the Arab/Muslim world which directed blame for the supposed “atrocity” not only at Israel but against the United States as well. Less violent, but no less hateful demonstrations occurred in Europe and the United States whose participants openly called for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel and the United States. Arson and vandalism against Jewish institutions worldwide skyrocketed, as did physical assaults, murder and terrorism.

Despite nearly unanimous declarations from media worldwide, it is clear from viewing the film that the boy did not die, nor did he nor his father receive a single bullet wound.

Western audiences viewed a 55 second video of the supposed “killing,” at the end of which news commentators dolefully announce the “death” of the boy. However, the footage actually continues for an additional 3 seconds—three seconds that television viewers were deprived of observing: First, two fingers appear in the viewfinder of the camera, briefly blocking out the image of the Al Durahs, after which the “dead” boy and his father reappear. Then, something extraordinary occurs: The boy raises his head and right leg, looks around furtively, replaces his head in the “dead” position but appears to have forgotten about his leg. He leaves it suspended in the air for the duration of the clip.

France 2 retains 27 minutes of original footage which it has refused to release. It claims that it did not reveal the footage of the boy’s movements after he supposedly “dies” because it did not want to subject its audience to the “agony of the child.”

Although the fact of the boy’s posthumous movements should have pronounced the Al Durah Hoax dead on arrival, there is no shortage of further evidence of the deception.

The boy’s father claimed that he had been shot in the hand, arm, elbow and leg and that he suffered a crushed pelvis. He also said that Mohamed received a bullet to his stomach that exited from the back. According to the cameraman, Abu Rahmeh, Mohamed bled for 20 minutes. But, in the film clip broadcast the world over, and in the additional 3 seconds not commonly seen by viewers, there are no signs of blood on the Al Durahs, on the wall behind them, nor on the ground.

Philippe Karsenty has been sued in France under a criminal statute for the offense of questioning the veracity of a news story that has caused extensive damage to the honor and dignity of the State of Israel, and has unleashed gratuitous violence and terrorism against Jews, not just in Israel, but the world over who are seen as representatives of an evil entity that must be targeted and punished.

Though questions about the case are troubling and abundant, few journalists have elected to grapple with it. The result is the persistence of a lie upon which entire institutions and ideologies are being erected.

France 2’s case against Karsenty is an obvious attempt to silence and punish him for his determination to subject the lie of the Al Durah hoax to the light of reason and justice.

Joanna Chandler is the nom de plume of a West Coast political activist.

How I escaped Islamism

Here is the beginning of my post. The UK Times August 2007

ck to haunt me last month when I realised that Bilal Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed, the two men linked with the alleged plot to attack London and Glasgow, were among my closest friends when I studied at Cambridge University.

My time in Cambridge was a turning point. I was studying for a doctorate, researching the development of Islamic political thought in late colonial India, which proved to be my saviour. My research caused me to find marked points of rupture in both the historical and theological narrative of what the Hizb was having me believe. Previous generations had failed, the Hizb told me, to apply Islam to the reality of a changed and changing world in the early 20th century. What I found could not have been further from this.

Throughout my thesis I was able to survey a wide range of Muslim opinion across the Indian subcontinent, among whom Abul Kalam Azad was a leading figure. He explained how Islam obliged Muslims to create a harmonious society. He was adept at offering lucid explanations from the texts of the Koran to show a secular state was validated through Islam.

Failing to accommodate diversity showed a neglect of the Koran's opening chapter, al-Fatiha, which emphasises tolerance and mercy. Focusing on division rather than common humanity violated God's unity, said Azad, who insisted in Tarjuman that: "The unity of man is the primary aim of religion."

When independence came in 1947, Azad resisted the creation of Pakistan. Forming an exclusionary political identity in this way was against the essence of Islam. My findings suffocated me. Far from being emancipated by my discovery, I fell into a spiral of confusion. I had sacrificed all my friends and family for a cause. Had it all been in vain? I felt overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness. And herein lies the problem. There was nowhere for me to turn.

I didn't want to take my concerns to the Hizb because I knew what their response would be. If I wasn't bullied back into action, I'd be made to feel guilty for leaving. I knew the protocol. When I embraced Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Islamist way of life there was an established network offering social support and validation. Shedding my old life was easy because I was absorbed by an alternative and more self-assured culture. By the start of 2005 mentally I was no longer an Islamist. But there was no denying that emotionally I just didn't have the courage to leave the Hizb. Then my nightmare was realised. I watched as London came under attack on July 7, 2005, by four British Muslims who claimed 52 innocent lives. This was the cauldron of Islamist hate boiling over. When I resigned from Hizb ut-Tahrir, the social network that had once so warmly embraced me turned bitterly cold and confrontational. The inward love was replaced by the external hate.

Aged 24, I had to rebuild my life, almost entirely from scratch. Traditionally, it is at university that you forge your most enduring and meaningful friendships. Overnight, mine disappeared. Then came hope. Over recent months I have spoken at length with Ed Husain, author of The Islamist, who was also in the ranks of the Hizb once. It was the revelation I was waiting for. When I met him, Ed's first words,
breaking their way through a beaming smile, were: "It feels like I've
known you for years." Immediately our stories resonated with remarkable
familiarity. We had both experienced the same feelings of isolation and
desperation before we plucked up the courage to leave.
Finally, I was not alone. Like old war veterans we shared stories,
discussed what made us leave and what the future held. Having been a
senior member in the Hizb I know there are scores of others with similar
concerns. Some of them have also left and are coming together to form a
united front against Islamism. They are not irreligious sell-outs, agents
or part of some Judeo-Christian cult committed to the downfall of Islam,
as groups like the Hizb would like to suggest. They are simply former
Islamists who have rejected a particular political ideology, while
remaining committed to their Muslim faith.

The significance of this should not be underestimated. When I first left, I emphasised that the challenges of Islamist extremism could never be overcome until the Muslim community formulated its own response. Since meeting Ed and becoming aware of the emerging network of other former members, many of them also holding a senior rank at one time, I was reassured. An influential figure still within the movement, but who is close to leaving, told me and Ed recently, "Don't worry, your message is being heard."

The landscape in the Muslim community is changing. Just as the divisive message of political Islam has been spread by young men across Britain, there is now a growing number of former activists leading the charge against the ideas that we once helped to promote. I only hope that our testimonies will encourage those still within Islamist movements to find the moral courage to leave.

Dore Gold Understanding the U.S.-Israel Alliance

An Israeli Response to the Walt-Mearsheimer Claim

• Contrary to the assertions of Professors Stephen Walt of Harvard University and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, who claim that no compelling strategic argument can explain American support for Israel, which they argue has been promoted by “the unmatched power of the Israel lobby,” the two countries have, in fact, developed strong strategic ties over the years that have evolved into a unique alliance.

• As early as December 27, 1962, President John F. Kennedy told Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir: “The United States has a special relationship with Israel in the Middle East really comparable only to what it has with Britain over a wide range of world affairs.” During the Cold War, the U.S. and Israel had a joint strategic interest in defeating the aggression of Soviet-backed rogue states in the Middle East. This began when Nasser’s Egypt intervened in the Arabian Peninsula in 1962, through Yemen, and in 1970 when Syria invaded Jordan.
• In 1981, Israel destroyed the nuclear reactor of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, severely reducing Iraqi military strength. Ten years later, after a U.S.-led coalition had to liberate Kuwait following Iraq’s occupation of that oil-producing mini-state, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney in October 1991 thanked Israel for its “bold and dramatic action” a decade earlier.
• Presently, U.S.-Israeli defense ties have grown even tighter. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on March 15, 2007, USEUCOM commander General Bantz J. Craddock stated that Israel was America’s “closest ally” in the Middle East and that it “consistently and directly” supported U.S. interests. This professional evaluation of the U.S.-Israel relationship flies in the face of Walt and Mearsheimer’s assertion that Israel is a “strategic burden” that does not serve the American national interest.
• Because many elements of this strategic relationship are kept secret - particularly in the intelligence field - it is difficult for academics and pundits to assess the true value of U.S.-Israel ties. Nonetheless, General George F. Keegan, a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence chief, disclosed in 1986 that he could not have obtained the same intelligence that he received from Israel if he had “five CIAs.” During his interview, at which time the Cold War was still raging, he added: “The ability of the U.S. Air Force in particular, and the Army in general, to defend whatever position it has in NATO owes more to the Israeli intelligence input than it does to any single source of intelligence.”

Demolishing the Foundations of Islam

Civilized people are raised from birth with the injunction to never attack another person’s religious faith, but recent abuses by militant “Muslims” have risen to the point where doing this becomes a reasonable and necessary act of self-defense. The problem is not that militant “Muslims” want to pray to Mecca, follow Islamic dietary rules, and so on, but that they want to impose their beliefs and way of life on others. At that point, civilized society has to stop them, even at the price of attacking the foundation of their religion.
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Before proceeding, however, we will make a clear distinction between militant “Islam,” or Islam Release 1.0, and moderate or peaceful Islam, or Islam Release 2.0. Islam Release 1.0 was created by a violent and self-serving bandit to get his followers to kill and die for him, but it also included concepts like the umma (”community”) that called upon Muslims to treat each other with kindness, respect, and charity. It also opened the door to ethnic and racial tolerance with the concept of the Dar-el-Islam (House of Submission) in which all Muslims are brothers, regardless of ethnicity, race, or tribe. This basic principle is benevolent even if Mohammed’s motive–getting quarrelsome tribes to cooperate so he could conquer his neighbors–was totally selfish and malevolent.
Some Muslims later evolved their religion into a civilized one by separating Mohammed’s good ideas (community, brotherhood) from his self-serving agenda. The result was Islam Release 2.0, or moderate/peaceful Islam. These Muslims are not the problem, and they are in fact often murdered or abused by the followers of Islam Release 1.0. Many of them came to the United States to get away from Islam 1.0, just as many Jews and Christians came here to get away from what passed for Christianity in parts of Europe through the 19th century.
We will say clearly up front that Muslims, like everyone else who has immigrated to our country, are more than welcome to live and let live. That is what America is about: doing what you want, as long as you don’t infringe on the rights of others. Most Muslim-Americans, as followers of Islam 2.0, behave in this manner. On the other hand, anyone who comes to this country to attack its freedoms or impose his way of life on others is our country’s enemy, and he will be treated as an enemy to the extent that our laws allow. These are the enemies about whom we are talking:
(1) In Scotland, militant “Muslims” have gotten a medical organization to ban staff members from eating at their desks during the fast of Ramadan, because this “offends” the Muslims. In contrast, observant Jews do not object to other people eating on Yom Kippur, nor do they force Gentiles to eat matzohs during Passover. Workplaces often offer matzohs during Passover, but they don’t take the leavened bread away for fear of “offending” Jews. Catholics do not demand that non-Catholics desist from eating meat on Fridays, nor do they object to non-Catholics who don’t give up something for Lent. Only militant “Muslims” seem to think they can impose their beliefs and customs on others, and this is what has to come to a screeching halt.
(2) In the United States, “Muslim” taxi drivers have refused to transport blind passengers with seeing-eye dogs. Their excuse is that they consider dogs “unclean,” although a service animal has far more value to a civilized nation than anyone who refuses service to a disabled person. These drivers have also refused to transport passengers who have alcoholic beverages, even though Islam simply prohibits the driver from drinking those beverages. Come to think of it, so do laws against drunk driving.
(3) Muslim Student Associations have made trouble at at least two universities (Penn State and Tufts), where they got complicit college administrators to interfere with the First Amendment rights of other students. At Bucknell University, college administrators stepped in to condemn a conservative student group for using the phrase “hunting terrorists,” and Republicans at another college were called on the carpet for desecrating an Al Qaida flag (because it has Allah’s name on it in Arabic). This also has to come to a screeching halt, with these Muslim Student Associations being denounced forcefully. If their members don’t like it, the United States has no Berlin or other wall to keep people in who don’t want to be here.
(4), to be headed by Keith Ellison–the same individual who compared 9/11 to the Reichstag fire, while making a McCarthyite remark to the effect that he wasn’t going to say that the United States perpetrated the atrocity itself. See also New York Islamist Day Parade, By Joe Kaufman and Beila Rabinowitz.
(5) The “flying imams” who frightened a planeload of innocent people by chanting to Allah, behaving as if they might hijack the airplane, and then trying to sue passengers who did exactly what those repetitious announcements at airports tell them to do: report suspicious behavior to authorities.
(6) In Europe, public demonstrations have included slogans like “Europe, you will pay, your 9/11 is on its way” and “Behead those who insult Islam.”
(7) In Europe and Australia, militant “Islamic” rape gangs have called unveiled women “uncovered meat” whom they are free to “take.”
(8) Some American schools are making children role-play Muslims in direct contravention of church-state separation. Schools that would not dare for an instant to make children sing Christmas or Hannukah songs are compelling children to take Islamic names and, according to some reports, even pray toward Mecca.
It stops here, and it stops now. Militant “Islamic” groups have marched through our streets, which they have a First Amendment right to do, while proclaiming that Islam will dominate the United States. We have a First Amendment right, which we will now exercise, to denounce the foundations of their religion as a self-serving scam by a desert bandit whose primary motivation was to enrich himself with money and power. This can be done with a simple statement that can be printed on stickers (we would not recommend a bumper sticker) that can easily be put up in public places:
Jesus died for Christians
Muslims died for Mohammed
Note that this statement passes no judgment on whether Jesus was actually the son of God. Christians can say that Jesus died as a sacrifice for their sins, while Jews can say that Jesus was motivated by a desire to serve his followers instead of himself. Never did Jesus use his teachings to enrich himself at the expense of others, or to lead aggressive wars of conquest. Furthermore, according to John Keegan’s A History of Warfare (and contrary to Tufts University’s Committee on Student Life, which proclaimed that “labeling Islam violent is unacceptable in any way, shape, or form”),
Muhammad, unlike Christ, was a man of violence; he bore arms, was wounded in battle and preached holy war, jihad, against those who defied the will of God, as revealed to him. His successors perceived the world as divided into Dar-al-Islam–the House of Submission, submission to the teachings of Mohammed, as collected in the Koran–and Dar al-Harb, the House of War, which were those parts yet to be conquered.
This is an excellent summary:
(1) Mohammed was a violent man who preached holy wars against those who defied the will of God, as revealed to Mohammed.
(2) His successors divided the world into the House of Submission and the House of War, i.e. the part yet to be conquered. Adolf Hitler was just as explicit when he said, “Germany today, tomorrow the world.”
(3) While Jesus never sought riches for himself, Mohammed was a merchant who knew the value of money. This was yet another motive to create a religion that would help him enrich himself.
Christianity’s Superiority over Islam
It is easy to judge a culture, or even a religion, by its stories, legends, and role models. Which characters appear as heroes, and who is denounced as a villain? The concept of servant leadership permeates Christianity. Jesus is said to have washed his disciples’ feet, thus underscoring the principle that the leader must serve his or her followers. Numerous Christian stories reinforce this idea.
(1) Wanda (pronounced “Vanda”), a legendary Polish queen, drowned herself to save her people from an ambitious German prince who wanted to take over her kingdom by marrying her. Had she fought him, her smaller army would have been destroyed. The story does not explain why he did not invade her kingdom anyway, but perhaps without a female monarch upon whom he could force a marriage, other kings and dukes would not have recognized the legitimacy of his actions.
(2) Henryk Sienkiewicz’s With Fire and Sword describes how Jarema Wisniowiecki, a voyevode or provincial governor, shared the hardships of his soldiers whenever he was at war. When bad weather destroyed a harvest, he suspended the rents of his peasants and even gave them food from his own stores.
(3) Frederick the Great proclaimed that the prince is the first servant of his country.
(4) The following speech was delivered by Queen Elizabeth I when England was in danger of invasion by the Spanish Armada:
We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.
This principle is not unique to Christianity, because the Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote more than 2500 years ago that the general must not take comforts that are not available to his followers. In China, the Mandate of Heaven refers to the authority a king gains by serving his subjects. A king who serves himself at his subjects’ expense loses the Mandate quickly, along with his people’s loyalty. India’s Kshatriya Dharma (the Right Way of the Warrior) says that a king cannot abandon even a dog, if the dog is his follower.
While Japanese speak of the Way of Lord and Retainer (with a code of mutual obligations), the history of Islam 1.0 is the Way of Master and Slave. Even the Sultan, as the son of a female slave, regards himself as Allah’s slave. It’s possible that some sultans and caliphs took this seriously enough to act as though they held their kingdoms in trust for Allah, but most understood that, for all practical purposes, they were answerable to no one. Janissaries and Mamelukes were military slaves. Keegan’s A History of Warfare reports that, once they completed their military training, Mamelukes were technically free, although not free to choose another occupation or any master but the Sultan!
The Way of Master and Slave is obvious in the recruitment of suicide bombers. The gray-bearded mullahs who tell teenage boys and young men that they will get seventy-two dark-eyed virgins by blowing themselves up did not become gray-bearded mullahs by following their own advice. This practice dates back to the Assassins, or hashish-users. Their leader, the Old Man of the Mountains, got them high on hashish, and then led them to a beautiful garden full of compliant and beautiful women. He told them they were in the Islamic Paradise, and would go there forever if they died while serving him. Today, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad creates phony miracles (his followers say that a green aura surrounds him when he speaks) while claiming to be in contact with the Twelfth Imam. He has made no secret of his plans to start a nuclear war with Israel or even the United States, even if millions of his followers die from the inevitable retaliation.
In summary, then, the concept that leaders exist to serve their followers permeates not only Christianity, but also Hinduism and Asian belief structures. The concept that slaves and followers exist to serve their masters permeates both contemporary and historical Islam 1.0. The latter is so antithetical to the basic principles of organizational behavior that Islam cannot stand for long on such a flimsy foundation. We can, by expanding upon and circulating this information, demolish the foundation of Islam 1.0 to bring it crashing down in any country in which its dictators do not exercise control over what people can read or hear. The recent activities of militant “Muslims” make this a reasonable and necessary act of self-defense on behalf of our countries and freedoms, and we must carry it out aggressively and decisively.

Families leave Lebanon camp

The families of Fatah al-Islam fighters have been allowed to leave the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon after a temporary truce was agreed with the army. The civilians, 22 women and 41 children, left the refugee camp on Friday, more than three months after the Lebanese army first laid siege to it.

Zeina Khodr, Al Jazeera's correspondent outside the camp, said they would be interrogated by the army.

"They are going to take these women and children to a military barracks for further questioning before they return to their homes, their families, either in Lebanon or abroad," she said.

A military bus and several ambulances were seen leaving the camp on Friday.


A clerics' delegation trying to mediate an end to the standoff said that the military had accepted a series of conditions to allow the evacuation to go ahead.

The army accepted a temporary halt to military operations and agreed that the women would only be searched and interrogated by female soldiers.

Up to 50 Fatah al-Islam fighters are thought
to remain inside Nahr al-Bared [AFP]
The women and children have been inside the battered camp since May 20, when the fighting between the army and Fatah al-Islam erupted.

The evacuation could pave the way for the army to launch a final assault on the 35 to 50 fighters believed to still be holed up in the camp.

Fatah al-Islam's fighters have refused demands to surrender and vowed to fight to the death.

"Some sources are telling us it [the evacuation] could be a test. Fatah al-Islam would like to see how the Lebanese army deals with the families to see whether there could be a possibility for surrender," Zeina Khodr said.

Gunfire and shelling could be heard again shortly after the evacuation on Friday, signalling that the temporary truce was over.

Overnight talks

Negotiations on the evacuation began overnight on Monday when Taha contacted Sheikh Mohammed Hajj, spokesman for the Palestinian clerics.

After negotiations began on Monday, the army said it would allow the families safe passage from the seafront camp but the delegation of clerics lost contact with the fighters.

Most of the about 35,000 residents of the Nahr al-Bared fled shortly after the army began to bombard Fatah al-Islam positions with artillery and tank shells.

At least 200 people, including 142 soldiers, have been killed in the standoff, the deadliest internal unrest in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Friday, August 24, 2007

God's Muslim Warriors

On August 22, CNN aired Part Two, "God's Muslim Warriors," of its 3 part series, "God's Warriors," hosted by Christiane Amanpour. While much of the program was informative and fair (in contrast to the propagandistic nature of Part One,"God's Jewish Warriors"), there were serious flaws and glaring omissions, which are described later in this alert. Among the most important shortcomings, extremist Muslim beliefs and practices were often minimized and many of the key causes for the spread of Muslim supremacist beliefs went unexplored. ACTION ITEMS:

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"God's Jewish Warriors" vs. "God's Muslim Warriors"

"God's Muslim Warriors" provided an informative look at various segments of the Muslim world, how they view and practice their faith, their thoughts on women's rights and the role of religion in government, how some Muslims seek to bring about the return of the Caliphate - a Muslim theocracy - and how some Muslims are inspired to commit violence to further their religious goals. There were several Muslims interviewed who spoke out against the Islamist extremism and the danger it poses to moderate Muslims and to the West, and Amanpour did mention that these people now had to have constant protection against attacks from extremists.

The 3-part series,"God's Warriors," is ostensibly about the growing number of people around the world who center their life around their religious beliefs and how they want religious law to be the law of the land. Amanpour introduced the series with:

"Over the last 30 years, each faith has exploded into a powerful political force, with an army of followers who share a deep dissatisfaction with modern, secular society and a fierce determination to bring God and religion back into daily life, back to the seat of power. We call them 'God's Warriors.' "

Since there are very few Jews who are known to want to create a modern day theocracy based on Jewish law, one would assume that would leave Amanpour with a lot of time to explore the beliefs, practices and life stories of devout Jews. Or perhaps to discuss the tensions between religious and secular Jews in Israel regarding religious influence on marriages, divorces and Sabbath activities. One would assume wrong!

What is most striking about "God's Muslim Warriors" vs. "God's Jewish Warriors," is the different way Amanpour approaches the two programs. In the "Jewish Warriors", Amanpour focuses primarily on:

* blaming Israeli West Bank settlements (and their supporters, called "Jewish warriors" repeatedly by Amanpour) for the violence and discord in the Middle East and even for "inflaming Muslims worldwide," despite the fact that organized Muslim terror attacks against Jews (and moderate Muslims) began in 1920, long before there were any settlements in the West Bank. Long segments are devoted to discussing the settlements' alleged illegality under international law and how Jews who support or live in the settlements are allegedly defying international law. Though authorities such as former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamgar and other international legal experts consider them legal, there is no alternative legal expert cited.

* focusing on tiny fringe groups and the few individual Jews who pursued terrorism. They are so few in number that Amanpour had to do stories on people who were involved in terror long ago and have since renounced violence or on individuals who planned an unsuccessful attack. Since these few Jewish terrorists are so widely condemned by the settlers themselves and Jews worldwide, one wonders why she felt this topic was relevant.

* presenting American pro-Israel activists as allegedly all-powerful scheming bullies, distorting U.S. foreign policy contrary to American interests and ganging up on anyone who criticizes Israel.

Meanwhile, in "God's Muslim Warriors," even though Muslim extremists number in the millions and there have been thousands of terror attacks by Muslims across the globe, Amanpour provides very little context on the scope of the violence. A few terrorist attacks are highlighted, similar to the few terrorist attacks that were highlighted in Part One.

She has playful discussions with spokesmen of Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. She points out that they are striving to create a theocracy, but says they are non-violent and makes no mention that they are deeply anti-Semitic, anti-American and support terror attacks on Israelis and violence against Americans in Iraq.

In Part One, Amanpour refers again and again -- 20 times -- to "Jewish warriors," clearly a pejorative term in the context of the series. The effect is striking, even jarring, as viewers are reminded time and again that there are distinctly Jewish warriors who present a threat to the world -- expansionists whose "settlements have inflamed much of the Muslim world." (Never mind that among those labeled a "Jewish warrior" is Chanan Porat, a religious Jew residing in the West Bank who explicitly states that "religious belief as a fuel for violence is wrong.")

Amanpour also freely uses the term "warriors" in Part Two of the series, but with a difference; she much less frequently directly pairs "warrior" with "Muslim." Thus, while Amanpour harps on "Jewish warriors," repeating the phrase 20 times in the first episode, she refers to "Muslim warriors" just four times in the second program. Why does she utter the words "Jewish warrior" five times more often than "Muslim warrior" when violent Muslims have inflicted thousands of times more death and destruction in the world than violent Jews have?

Amanpour devotes two segments (one each) to two young Muslim women who are not described as being involved in anything political, who simply speak about why they wear a head covering, and how Islam enriches their lives. There is no such segment in the Jewish episode.

What would have been an appropriate counter-part to American Muslim Rehan Seyam speaking about how her hijab is a public statement of her faith and her belief in the importance of modesty? Perhaps an American Jewish man talking about why he wears a kippah and how Judaism enriches his life. Or a Jewish woman who wears modest clothing, covers her hair and finds comfort and spiritual meaning in her religion.

And in contrast to the huge focus on the so-called "Israel Lobby" in "God's Jewish Warriors," in "God's Muslim Warriors," Amanpour doesn't mention the powerful Oil Lobby operating in America and advocating for Muslim, Arab and Palestinian perspectives. She doesn't highlight any of the numerous activist Muslim/Arab organizations that lobby and propagandize to influence American public opinion and foreign policy.

Related to this is the minimal discussion or outright omission of several key factors in the rise of Islamist extremism and increased support for terror:

- thousands of Saudi-funded mosques and schools built worldwide, including many in the U.S., that spread an extreme supremacist form of Islam. Saudi Arabia has also funded extremist training for those who want to work as Muslim chaplains in the U.S. military and the U.S. prison system.

- Saudi-funded Middle East Studies chairs and departments in universities all over the world, including the U.S.

- Saudi-funded organizations whose goal is to provide American elementary, middle and high schools with slanted curricula and books about the history of the Middle East and Islam

- Saudi-funded student activists and organizations that indoctrinate and propagandize against Israel, the U.S. and for extreme Islamist causes.

- extremist websites, online videos, and satellite TV networks that foster Muslim supremacist values and support for terrorism among Muslims across the globe.

Instead of examining any of the above reasons for the spread of Muslim extremism, Amanpour includes two highly questionable explanations: reactions to alleged Israeli brutality and feelings of hopelessness. She commendably does mention repressive Arab/Muslim governments as a factor, but doesn't note how these same governments often intentionally use propaganda to fan the flames of hatred for Israel and the West to deflect attention away from their repressive regimes.


While overall, "God's Muslim Warriors" is informative and covers a number of vital topics, there are several flaws:

* Amanpour's description of the Muslim Brotherhood as non-violent:

"But the group has now officially renounced violence and today's Supreme Guide claims it was never condoned."

But this isn't true. According to translations of articles by MEMRI, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Muhammad Mahdi Othman Akef stated "...the bombings in Palestine and Iraq are a [religious] obligation. This is because these two countries are occupied countries, and the occupier must be expelled in every way possible. Thus, the [Muslim Brotherhood] movement supports martyrdom operations in Palestine and Iraq in order to expel the Zionists and the Americans." "If the gates of Jihad in Palestine open before the [Muslim] Brotherhood, we will not hesitate a single moment, and we will be with them on the battlefield." "In Israel, there should be no [differentiation between] a civilian and a member of the military. All are enemies of the Arab homeland and of Islam. They are occupiers and have no right to one handsbreadth of the land of Palestine." "We have no relations with the U.S. It is a Satan that abuses the region, lacking all morality and law." (Memri Special Dispatch Series #655, Feb 4, 2004) Akef has also stated that the Holocaust is "a myth." (BBC News, Dec 23, 2005)

* Lack of examination of how widespread support for terrorism is in the Muslim world (other than a mention of one poll about American Muslims). Amanpour says, "Muslims, like people everywhere, abhor terrorism. The small minority who resort to violence is symptomatic of something many of us have failed to understand."

While it would certainly be accurate and fair to say that not all Muslims support terror, it is questionable to imply that all Muslims "abhor terrorism" and a small number are compelled to "resort" to violence. According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project poll published on July 24, 2007, the percentage of those surveyed in predominantly Muslim countries who agreed that "suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are never justified" ranged from only 6% (Palestinian Authority) to 77% (Indonesia). That leaves a significant number of Muslims who don't appear to "abhor terrorism."

After all, most of the winning candidates in the most recent Palestinian legislative election are members of Hamas, a terrorist organization. And who can forget the Palestinians who celebrated in the streets when America was attacked on 9/11? Amanpour herself notes that if Egypt were to hold elections today, the Muslim Brotherhood would "win, hands down". And the Brotherhood praises the terrorists murdering Jews in Israel.

* There was also a lack of appropriate follow-up to some inaccurate or highly questionable statements, such as that made by Taji Mustafa, spokesperson for Hizb Ut-Tahrir, an Islamist organization:

"Under Islamic rule, under the caliphate, there was stability even in Palestine. Jews, Christians, Muslims lived in harmony under an Islamic political order."

Under Islamic rule, non-Muslims lived a life of severe discrimination, humiliation and fear. While some years were more peaceful than others, violence against Jews was a constant thread in the fabric of life under Islamic rule. Discrimination included being forced to wear a special tag on their clothing identifying them as non-Muslims, paying a special tax required of non-Muslims, deferring to Muslims in all situations, such as moving off the sidewalk into the dung-filled street if a Muslim approached where they were walking. In court, the testimony of a Muslim would always be accepted over that of a non-Muslim. For more info and compelling accounts of the hardships suffered by Jews under Muslim rule, click here.

For CAMERA's initial analysis of "God's Jewish Warriors", click here.
For a transcript of "God's Jewish Warriors," click here.
For a transcript of "God's Muslim Warriors," click here.

Jews Not Allowed To Leave Bagdad

The last eight Jews of Baghdad have made an appeal for aid: they absolutely want to leave the country, in the light of the deplorable security situation, but the Dutch embassy which officially represents Israeli interests in Iraq is refusing to help them, stating that it is not able to obtain exit visas for them, and recommended that they go to Damascus or Amman.

Arab League Real Purpose

The Arab League published on Wednesday an official declaration for the commemoration of 38 years of the fire of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In its declaration, the League criticized the "racist policy of Israel whose sole goal is to judaize the city of Jerusalem''. It ended by saying that Jerusalem was "the capital of Palestine''.

Ethnic Replacement

National Union party members visited the Hadar neighborhood of Haifa on Thursday. They are concerned by the massive departure of Jewish families from the neighborhood, replaced by Arab families. MK Uri Ariel said that it was a real abandonment of the area by the Jewish population, evidenced by the closure of many synagogues. According to him, this demographic change has been accompanied by an increase in violence.

UN Never Misses An Opportunity To Demonstrate Its Unilateral Approach

Despite its numerous calls for Israel's destruction, and repeated denials of the Holocaust, Iran has been selected by the United Nations for a leading position in a committee that will plan the 2009 UN World Conference against Racism. The planning committee, which will meet for the first time in Geneva on August 27, will be made up of an inner circle of 20 UN member-states, to be headed by Libya.

The decision to include Iran in the committee has been slammed by UN watchdogs. "As a UN spokesperson against racism, Iran will invert totally the message and mission of the United Nations," Anne Bayefsky, senior editor of the New York-based Eye on the UN, said in a press release.

"Iran is now poised to wrap itself in a UN flag as a lead agent of the next global conference against racism, Durban II," she added, referring to the 2001 UN conference on racism held in Durban, South Africa, which saw unprecedented levels of anti-Zionist rhetoric and calls for Israel's destruction.

Speaking to Ynetnews, Bayefsky said that "the leading exponents of anti-Semitism, whether directed at Jews individually or the Jewish people and its state generally, continue to be provided a global platform at the UN. This is but one example of a broader phenomenon."

"Eye on the UN has found that in 2006 the UN system as a whole directed the most condemnations for human rights abuses against specific states - first towards Israel and fourth towards the United States. Iran was lower down on the list of UN human rights concerns," Bayefsky said, adding: "And yet the US taxpayer continues to pay a quarter of the bill for activities which demonize Americans and Israelis on a global scale."

A spokesperson for the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed to Ynetnews that "Iran is one of 20 States who are members of the bureau of the Preparatory Committee," but added that "Iran does not occupy a leading role.”

When asked how a state which openly denies the Holocaust could find itself in such a role, the spokesperson said: "The Preparatory Committee is an inter-governmental body, meaning States were chosen freely to sit on the Prep-Com. It is the Member-States who decide."

'UN body hijacked again'

Bayefsky explained that the structure of the UN's Human Rights Council has effectively been taken over by the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), allowing Iran and Libya access to key roles.

"The states were selected by the UN Human Rights Council and the Council is controlled by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The majority of seats on the Council are held by the African and Asian regional groups and the OIC has a majority of seats on each of these groups. Western states do not have the votes to block this outrage and it is another example of the hijacking that has occurred of the UN's lead human rights agency," she said.

Reacting to the statements of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of the Geneva-Based UN Watch organization, said that the UN had failed to explain how Iran had ended up on the planning council.

"I think they are basically dodging the question," Neuer said. "To ask why Iran should be a member, and then to be answered that Iran is a member, is not an answer," he added.

"This conference is turning into a wolf in sheep's clothing. The United Nations’ government and diplomats do not think the way regular people think. They treat every country equally and do not use common sense principles. That attitude is contrary to the UN charter, which says members who act contrary to the charter's principles of supporting peace should be expelled," Neuer explained.


"According many diplomats, this will be a fiasco in the making. And it should be noted there are African states that care about legitimate issues concerning racism and want those to be addressed. It's a shame that the Islamic states are intending on subverting this conference as they have done with the Human Rights Council and numerous other UN bodies," Neuer added.

"The High commissioner (Louise Arbour) has to speak truth to power. The high commissioner should express her concern that once again a leading human rights entity at the UN is being headed by Libya with Iran in a leadership position, whatever the UN may say. It undermines any last vestige of moral credibility," he said.

'Israel's options limited'

Asked what his advice would be for Israel on how to deal with the conference, Neuer said: "There is a limited amount of options for Israel. The analogy is to the UN General Assembly, where the numbers speak for themselves, and there is not much Israel can do to prevent certain resolutions."

"The key thing is to work on Western states like Canada and the Europeans. Israel has to be vigilant, has to closely monitor diplomatic developments, and needs to engage with its Western friends and to make sure that the Europeans stand firm and refuse to appease the extremists," Neuer added.

According to Bayefsky, "Israel needs to point continually to the dangerous role played by the UN in undermining the welfare of the Jewish state and its people. The veil of legitimacy of the organization as a leader in human rights protection must be lifted."

Russia confirms Soviet sorties over Dimona in '67

The chief spokesman of the Russian Air Force, Col. Aleksandr V. Drobyshevsky, has confirmed in writing for the first time that it was Soviet pilots, in the USSR's most-advanced MiG-25 "Foxbat" aircraft, who flew highly-provocative sorties over Israel's nuclear facility at Dimona in May 1967, just prior to the Six Day War. Gideon Remez and Isabello Ginor, who co-wrote the recent book Foxbats over Dimona, which asserts that the Soviet Union deliberately engineered the war to create the conditions in which Israel's nuclear program could be destroyed, on Thursday described this "extraordinary disclosure" as "official confirmation of the book's exhibit A and the source of its title."

Published in June by Yale University Press, the Israeli duo's book asserted that the Soviets flew sorties over Dimona in the still-experimental and top-secret Foxbats both to bolster a deliberate Soviet effort to encourage Israel to launch a war, and to ensure that the nuclear target could be effectively destroyed once Israel, branded an aggressor for its preemption, came under a planned joint Arab-Soviet counterattack.

Soviet nuclear-missile submarines were said to have been poised off Israel's shore, ready to strike back in case Israel already had a nuclear device and sought to use it. The Soviets were also said to have geared up for a naval landing on Israel's beaches.

The book, hailed by experts such as the former US ambassador to Israel and Egypt Daniel Kurtzer for marshalling a "compelling argument," nonetheless featured what the authors acknowledged was a dearth of incontrovertible documentation that would back up central aspects of their thesis. They noted at the time that it was "entirely possible that few corresponding documents ever existed," that key documents may have been destroyed, and that "the accounts of numerous Soviet participants refer to orders that were transmitted only orally down the chain of command."

However, a delighted Remez and Ginor told the The Jerusalem Post that official confirmation of the Soviet Foxbat sorties had now been published by Drobyshevsky in an article posted on the official Web site of the Russian Defense Ministry. The "extraordinary disclosure of a hitherto secret operation," they noted, "apparently was included inadvertently - in a statement that was published in a completely different context": to mark the anniversary of the test pilots' school from which one of the pilots who participated in the 1967 flights graduated.

The relevant section of Drobyshevsky's article states (in translation): "In 1967, the military valor and high combat training of Col. Bezhevets, A.S. (now a Hero of the Soviet Union, an honorary test pilot of the USSR, [and] retired Air Force major-general), were demonstrated while carrying out combat operation in Egypt, [and] enabled [him] to perform unique reconnaissance flights over the territory of Israel in a MiG-25RB aircraft."

Remez and Ginor said this high-level admission of the Soviet sorties, which was first posted on the ministry's Web site last October, "comes as close to an official document as one can hope for in the foreseeable future, given the prevailing circumstances in Russia."

They noted that it corroborates the personal testimony of Bezhevets's senior colleague, Lt.-Gen. Aleksandr I. Vybornov, who is quoted in the book as having described the missions on several occasions.

The book's findings were first published by the Post on May 16, under the heading "Soviets engineered Six Day War 'to destroy Israel's nuclear program.'"
Remez and Ginor told the Post that this article "was widely reproduced" and "aroused intensive discussion" in the FSU. Several respected news media outlets, notably the Russian dailyKomsomolskaya Pravda, they said, "contacted some of the veterans who were among the main sources for the book, and they reiterated their accounts."
Among such veterans confirming their stories was Gen. Vasily Reshetnikov, the commander of the Soviet strategic bombers, said to have been given maps for the planned strike at Dimona.

The "conventional view" of the events leading up to the 1967 war, Remez noted when the book came out, "is that the Soviet Union triggered the conflict via disinformation on Israeli troop movements, but that it didn't intend for a full-scale war to break out and that it then did its best to defuse the war in cooperation with the United States." The book, he said, "totally contradicts everything that has been accepted."

Having received information about Israel's progress toward nuclear arms, the book asserts, the Soviets aimed to draw Israel into a confrontation in which their counterstrike would include a joint Egyptian-Soviet bombing of the reactor at Dimona.
The Soviets' intended central intervention in the war was thwarted, however, by the overwhelming nature of the initial Israeli success, the authors write, as Israel's preemption, far from weakening its international legitimacy and exposing it to devastating counterattack, proved decisive in determining the conflict. Because the Soviet Union's plan thus proved unworkable, the authors go on, its role in stoking the crisis, and its plans to subsequently remake the Middle East to its advantage, have remained overlooked, undervalued or simply unknown to historians assessing the war over the past 40 years.

The Israeli authors' thesis, they told the Post this week, had now won over Komsomolskaya Pravda's Col. Viktor Baranets, a noted military correspondent and former General Staff officer. They quoted him as having written recently that "the time has apparently come to set the record straight. So far, the facts have often been replaced by inventions. No one can dispute the obvious: the USSR 'orchestrated' that war... The USSR was prepared for an invasion of Israel. The confessions of our own officers prove this."

The Russian media also recently contacted Bezhevets himself, the authors said, but even though he has now been officially praised by his own Defense Ministry for making the Foxbat flights over Israel, he denied doing so. According to Remez and Ginor, this "indicates that Drobyshevsky's [Defense Ministry] statement relied not on the pilot's testimony but rather on the air force's own documentation." This, in turn, they said, "illustrates the point... that full and direct documentation of the Soviet role in 1967 is still being suppressed."

Remez, a longtime prominent Israel Radio journalist, fought in the Six Day War as a paratrooper. Ginor was born in the Ukraine, came to Israel in 1967 and is a noted analyst of Soviet and post-Soviet affairs.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Egypt Under Mubarak: Years of the Disappeared

Which country of 80 million is a close ally of America, has jailed 100,000 political prisoners, maintains a police force of 1.4 million — four times the size of its standing army — and is a place where 200 critics of its president have disappeared without a trace since 1990? If you guessed Egypt, you are right.

Next to Israel, Egypt ranks as the second-largest recipient of American aid, raking in more than $45 billion since 1979. A great deal of this aid has gone to Egypt's military — which has helped to prop up the dictatorship of President Mubarak for more than a quarter of a century — and into the private bank accounts of a small coterie. With this money, Mr. Mubarak has instilled terror, crushed political dissent, and turned people into ghosts.
On a warm winter evening in Cairo — December 10, 1993 — I first experienced the shock of having someone I knew disappear.

That night, I was waiting for Mansour Kikhia, a journalistic source and friend who had served as Libya's ambassador to the United Nations and as Muammar Gadhafi's foreign minister before joining the opposition in exile.
We had agreed to meet after he had taken his evening stroll along the Nile River, and our meeting place was to be the bar at the Intercontinental Hotel, where we both planned to attend a human-rights conference the following day.
He never showed up.

Cell phones were rare back then, so I waited idly, calling his room over and over. By midnight, I had that feeling in my stomach that I had felt before while covering Middle East catastrophes.

Months later, on May 18, 1994, I published an interview in the New York Times with Kikhia's wife, Bahaa al-Omary, about her struggle with the impossible thought of her husband's abduction. In the interview, she said she had tried to meet with the two men involved — Mr. Mubarak, who would have had to sanction such an act, and Colonel Gadhafi, who would have had to order it.

Mr. Mubarak didn't meet with her, but Colonel Gadhafi did, and the Libyan leader had had the temerity to assure her he was prepared to assume all expenses for her four children and herself, including the costs of housing, schooling, and medical care. "I said, ‘No way,'" she told me. "I will not sully … [my husband's] integrity by accepting money from them."

For the longest time, she had been silent, she said, thinking, "Maybe I am living in a dream. Maybe they are just groping for a way to let him go without a fuss." It was not to be. When Kikhia was taken that evening, he was to be tortured and eventually killed. Think of all those who have and will continue to endure such horrible experiences: the children, the spouses, the parents. And think of our close ally: Mr. Mubarak.

The Egyptian regime's brutal practices have been reported frequently by many different dissidents, but with little or no reprimand from Egypt's American benefactors.

On Tuesday, Mr. Mubarak's transgressions were vividly described in a Washington Post article by Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the famed professor of sociology at my alma mater, the American University in Cairo, and the chairman of the Ibn Khaldun Political Sociology Center.
Mr. Ibrahim spent three years in jail for criticizing Mr. Mubarak's rule and the president's family's monopoly, and the occasion of the article was Mr. Ibrahim's fear that he has become a candidate for an upcoming disappearance.
As it happens, Mr. Ibrahim is now a visiting fellow at the Ratiu Center for Democracy in Romania. He had been planning to go home to Cairo at summer's end, he noted, until Mr. Mubarak's secret police sent him several emissaries warning him to stay out of Egypt if he knew what was best for him.

While in Romania, Mr. Ibrahim had the opportunity to meet President Bush in a well-publicized get-together of dissidents organized by Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet human rights dissident who is now an Israeli political leader.
The encounter went sour as Mr. Ibrahim looked the American president in the eye and asked, "Why are you not helping us?"

Mr. Bush responded that he was himself a "dissident" in Washington.
Cute, but not the answer expected from an American leader who says he champions freedom all over the world.

Maybe we cannot instill democracy in Egypt or Iraq, but after a 25-year alliance with Mr. Mubarak, we should at least be able to make sure he lets Mr. Ibrahim — a democracy advocate who is a naturalized American citizen — go home without being arrested, tortured, or abducted.

Religious girls out

Education minister unconcerned with pluralism, wants to curb religious influence in secular schools It appears that in the developing struggle involving Education Minister Yuli Tamir and national service organizations, particularly the centers for deepening Jewish identity, no holds are barred.

Under a veneer of seemingly professional and educational arguments hide serious ideological disputes, in particular a reality and facts that some seek to ignore. In all matters related to facts on the ground, Minister Tamir stands out as someone who insists on not letting the facts confuse her.

I will first note that in my view, the education minister's desire to set priorities is legitimate and appropriate. The minister is authorized, and indeed obligated, to set priorities and decide, for example, that the number of teaching jobs aimed at assisting mentally disabled children should be boosted at the expense of Jewish studies teaching positions.

Yet even legitimate decisions must be explained, and particularly in line with the truth and with reality. It appears that Tamir's latest decision to stop religious girls on national service teaching Judaism in schools is neither in line with the truth nor with reality.

The education minister does not want religious girls going into secular schools. This is the story, the whole story, and no mountains of nice words about pluralism and openness will cover this simple truth. By the way, we have already had such education minister, Shulamit Aloni, who fought the exact same war and demanded that schools refrain from inviting religious national service girls. However, Aloni failed on this front.

The current minister, who in this matter at least wishes to continue on the path outlined by Aloni, apparently chose a slightly more sophisticated approach. She does not turn to school principals directly because she realizes they think otherwise. She simply aims to close the centers for deepening Jewish identity, so that even schools that wish to invite the girls would find it impossible to do so. According to Tamir's plan, there simply won't be such girls.

What we have here is a stubborn and clear attempt to dictate a reality. The fact is, and let there be no mistake about it, that there has been a consistent and significant increase in the scope of activity undertaken by the centers for deepening Jewish identity.

That is, more and more secular schools are turning to more and more such centers and seeking (while paying for this) more and more national service girls. The minister's policy completely contradicts what is happening on the ground. The principals understand that all the claims that we're talking about private branches making their way into their schools are false, and that they choose to order a paid service because they perceive it as beneficial and proper.

A principal in the Beit She'an Valley, for example, has the free choice of selecting either the Holiday Archive at Beit Hashita or the center for deepening Jewish identity in Beit She'an. Nobody is forcing him to do anything.

Those who speak highly about the importance of pluralism are supposed to be the ones who should disapprove attempts to shut down diverse educational options and give principals, who are secular education officials, less credit in making their choice without the education minister or anyone on her behalf attempting to force anything on them.

Threatening right-wing octopus?

Yuli Tamir's decision also implies a lack of faith in principals. The principals choose to show their faith in the activity of national service girls, yet Minister Tamir does not believe in them and their judgment. For pluralistic reasons, of course.

Yet the most serious implication of the minister's decision is yet another particularly difficult blow to Jewish identity studies at Israeli schools. The drastic cutbacks in Jewish classes led by national service girls would not be replaced by anything.

Thinking that schools themselves would be the ones to teach Jewish studies is no more than an illusion. There is good reason why time and again we see that the conclusions of the committee that ruled that Jewish studies teachers must be trained to work at secular schools are no more than pretty words that are disconnected from reality.

The teachers did not join such classes, and the schools do not have enough hours to dedicate to this issue. We can assume that had this been possible, schools would have done it a long time ago. Again, nobody is forcing anyone to use the services of national service girls.

According to data collected by the centers for deepening Jewish identity, the implication of the planned cutbacks in the coming year is that 64,000 children in Israel would lose one hour of Jewish studies a week.

The easiest thing is to classify all religious girls as the long arms of a threatening right-wing octopus and cry out that we're talking about an effort to turn secular kids religious under a sophisticated veneer. (By the way, the first ones to kick out a girl who involves political activity in her work are the centers' directors themselves.)

It is much harder to check whether these charges have a hold in reality, and it is particularly difficult to address the question of whom or what would be filling the vacuum created by the education minister's decision.

The writer is among the leaders of the Bema'aglei Tzedek non-profit organization and the director general of the Aharai movementspan>

CNN never misses the opportunity to be fair to Israel

"God's Jewish Warriors," hosted by Christiane Amanpour, is one of the most grossly distorted programs CAMERA has encountered on mainstream American television in many years. On August 21, CNN aired Part 1, "God's Jewish Warriors," of its three-part feature entitled "God's Warriors." It is false in its basic premise, established in the opening scene in which Jewish (and Christian) religious fervency is equated with that of Muslims heard endorsing "martyrdom," or suicide-murder. There is, of course, no counterpart among Jews and Christians to the violent jihadist Muslim campaigns underway across the globe, either in the numbers of perpetrators engaged or the magnitude of death and destruction wrought.

While in reality Jewish "terrorism" is virtually non-existent, the program magnifies at length the few instances of violence or attempted violence by religiously-motivated individuals - going back to the early 1980's, for example, to explore a Jewish bombing campaign against a number of West Bank Arab mayors.

Settlements are likewise a key focus of the program, their residents and adherents being deemed "God's warriors" - along with those Americans, Jewish and Christian alike, who support them. American presidents and members of Congress are said to be held hostage to the so-called "Israel Lobby," ostensibly dark forces consisting of AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups who supposedly enable the nefarious expansion of West Bank communities.

Disproportionate reliance on partisan voices, some extreme figures, skews the message dramatically. Jimmy Carter and John Mearsheimer, chief proponents of the discredited canards about Jews subverting American national interests to those of Israel, are repeatedly and respectfully interviewed. Additionally, Charles Percy joins in denouncing Jewish political influence. Only one person, Morris Amitay, is presented as balance on this critical issue.
Whether wittingly or not, Amanpour's program, with its reliance on pejorative labeling, generalities and a stacked lineup of guests, is a perfect illustration of classic propaganda techniques. Unfortunately propaganda is the opposite of journalism, which is the profession Amanpour and CNN are supposed to uphold.

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In Detail

Some of the errors/distortions/omissions include:


Amanpour says: "But it is also Palestinian land. The West Bank - it's west of the Jordan River - was designated by the United Nations to be the largest part of an Arab state."

This is highly deceptive. The United Nations 1947 Partition Plan proposed dividing all the land west of the Jordan into a Jewish state and an Arab state; the Arabs rejected the plan, choosing instead to launch a war to eliminate Israel. Thus, the land did not become "Palestinian land" via this UN Plan. Likewise, UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed after the Six Day War, underscored that territorial adjustments related to the West Bank were to be expected.


* Amanpour suggests settlements are the cause of Arab anger: "the Jewish settlements have inflamed much of the Arab world," yet the Arab world was just as anti-Israel (actually more so) before the settlements were built. Recall that organized Arab terror against Jews began in 1920.

* She presents at length the views of Theodor Meron asserting the illegality of settlements as the definitive word, but makes no mention of more senior Israeli experts such as former Supreme Court Chief Meir Shamgar, who disagreed with Meron. Nor does Amanpour mention foreign experts such as Professors Julius Stone and Eugene Rostow who also argued that the settlements were legal. See for example From "Occupied Territories" to "Disputed Territories" by Dore Gold.

* She grossly misleads about America's position on settlements in the following sequence:

WILLIAM SCRANTON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: My government believes that international law sets the appropriate standards.

AMANPOUR: From the earliest days of the settler movement, even the United States, Israel's closest ally, blasted Israel's settlement policy.

SCRANTON: Substantial resettlement of the Israeli civilian population in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, is illegal.

AMANPOUR: Ever since American presidents both Democrat and Republican have spoken from virtually the same script. They consistently oppose settlement growth.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: The United States will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements.

In fact, Reagan said: "As to the West Bank, I believe the settlements there -- I disagreed when the previous Administration referred to them as illegal, they're not illegal" (NYTimes, Feb. 3, 1981). Others did not deem settlements "illegal."

*Amanpour continuously discounts the context of the Arab world. She says with regard to the post Six-Day War period: "But the Israeli government was divided - trade the captured land for peace or keep it and build Jewish settlements." Unmentioned is the Arab refusal to "trade" anything for peace as embodied in the three "no's" delivered by Arab leaders at a summit in Khartoum shortly after the Six-Day War, declaring there would be no negotiation, no recognition and no peace with Israel.

Jerusalem/Temple Mount

Amanpour says: "It was from here, according to Muslim scripture, that the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven around the year 630. But Hebrew scripture puts the ancient Jewish Temple in the same location, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70. For the next 1,900 years, even the last remnant of the Temple known as the Wailing Wall, or the Western Wall, was lost to the Jews."

a) Muslim scripture doesn't refer to Jerusalem, it refers to Mohammed ascending to heaven from the "farthest mosque," which could not have been on the Temple Mount, since the mosque there wasn't built until well after the death of Mohammed.

b) The Western Wall isn't a remnant of the Temple, it is merely a retaining wall built to extend and flatten the Temple Mount. And there are indeed actual remains of the First and Second Temples on the Temple Mount.

c) Although Amanpour notes the holiness of the Temple Mount to Jews and Muslims, and some Jews in clips say that it is the holiest site for Jews, she never points this out herself, nor does she mention that Hebron is Judaism's second holiest city with its second holiest shrine.
d) Amanpour interviews the Muslim Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to give a Muslim perspective on the Al Aqsa Mosque, but no Jewish rabbinical figure is presented to discuss the paramount religious importance of the Temple Mount to Jews.


* Amanpour states: "Most recently, former President Carter was criticized for criticizing Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. In his book, 'Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid.' "

Carter was, of course, "criticized" for purveying multiple false statements about Israel and the Palestinians.

* In the interview with Amanpour, Carter claims that no American politician could survive politically while calling for settlement-related aid cuts to Israel: "There's no way that a member of Congress would ever vote for that and hope to be re-elected."

That would be news to politicians like Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, who has long been a critic of aid to Israel and opposed loan guarantees to Israel in 1992. As well, contrary to Amanpour and Carter's statements, Representatives James Trafficante, Dana Rohrabacher, Nick Smith, Fortney Pete Stark, Neil Abercrombie, David E. Bonior, John Conyers Jr, John D. Dingell, Earl F. Hilliard, Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Barbara Lee, Jim McDermott, George Miller, Jim Moran, David R. Obey, Ron Paul and Nick J. Rahall II, have voted against aid to Israel and/or opposed other resolutions favoring Israel.

Muslim "anger"

Gorenberg: "You can't understand the anger of radical Islam unless you understand the conflict between you know, the Jews and the Palestinians."

The implication is that such "anger" is primarily rooted in the Israeli-Palestinian issue, disregarding the far greater forces driving radical Islam, including the titanic struggle between Shiites and Sunnis triggered in large measure by the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, the Khomenist revolution and the expansion of Saudi Wahabism. Saudi-sponsored mosques and schools built all over the globe inculcate vast numbers of Muslims with extreme, supremacist views.
As even the Ayatollah Khomeini put it, the United States was the "Great Satan," while Israel was only the "Small Satan."

And of course, the rise of the Internet and satellite TV has greatly expanded the reach of the Muslim supremacist propagandists who do so much to inflame the Muslim masses.

The program contained many more distortions, errors and comments lacking key context. Keep an eye on CAMERA's Web site for an expanded article on the series.

Please write/call CNN! The Action Items are right after the "In Brief" section above.

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Peres: Olmert, Abbas in 'serious' talks

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is holding "serious discussions" with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to put together an agreement of principles before a regional conference to be held in November, President Shimon Peres said Wednesday. Peres's comments came during a meeting with outgoing UN Middle East envoy Michael Williams. Peres's comments came the same day that Abbas said Israel's intensified operations in the Gaza Strip raised doubts about the country's desire to make peace with the Palestinians.
IAF air strikes on Gaza over the last three days killed 13 Palestinians, including a senior Hamas commander and three Islamic Jihad men.

In a statement released by Abbas's office, the chairman asserted that Israel's continued policy would ensure that the negotiations and the peace process bear no fruit.

Peres also told Williams that Israel should not get involved in the internal Palestinian dispute between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank.
Olmert has said that in his recent meetings with Abbas there was a discussion about "fundamental principles," with widespread speculation - not confirmed by the Prime Minister's Office - that the goal was to come up with an agreement of principles for the establishment of a Palestinian state on some 90 percent of the West Bank and Gaza.

Western diplomatic officials, however, have in recent days lowered expectations regarding the conference, which US President George W. Bush declared would take place some time in the autumn, and be chaired by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The officials said that few expect that Olmert and Abbas - in the next few weeks - would be able to reach any kind of agreement on issues that have eluded the two sides for so long: borders, refugees and Jerusalem.

Rather, the officials said, what was more realistic was that the two would come up with an agreement on "a way to move forward." What this meant, they said, was that Israel and the PA would likely agree at the regional conference on future meetings where the core issues would be hashed out.
"Any agreement reached before the conference will be about the need to keep talking, not substance," the officials said.

The officials warned against expecting a big breakthrough. "The idea is to get together in front of other parties whose good graces you want, and then push things along slowly," they said.

Among the other parties that both the US and Israel want to see at the table are the Saudis, and the officials said the US was quietly trying to make sure that the Saudis do attend the meeting. The US believes that bringing countries like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to the conference would both formally consolidate a coalition of moderate states, and also lead to more public support in Israel for diplomatic moves.
Rice is expected to come back to the region, she was here some three weeks ago, in mid-September to, among other things, discuss the regional gathering. So far, there has been no announcement of when or where the gathering would take place, nor who would be involved. Williams, meanwhile, is here on his final visit as UN envoy. He was recently appointed Britain's Middle East envoy, a position he will take up in September. No replacement for Williams at the UN has yet been announced.

Police break up Islamist meeting in Jerusalem

Officers throw stun grenades on rooftop where meeting between Hamas, Israeli Islamic group took place; Sheikh Raed Salah taken to hospital on stretcher but later released Israeli police broke up what they said was a gathering of Hamas and an Israeli Islamic group in Arab East Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Members of the paramilitary border police threw several stun grenades onto a rooftop where the meeting took place and one of the participants, Sheikh Raed Salah, a prominent Israeli-Arab Islamist leader was taken to hospital on a stretcher but was later released.

Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization and bans the group and the Palestinian Authority from conducting political activity in east Jerusalem.

Police said in a statement that about 30 people, including Hamas members, took part in the gathering.

After refusing police orders to disperse, “a stun grenade was thrown, and the meeting broke up,” the statement said.

Police did not say whether any arrests were made.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed the area as part of its capital in a move not recognized internationally.

Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of a state they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

UN envoy calls to open Gaza crossings

Comment:The UN never disappoints its Arab friends and patrons. It continues to misrepresent facts on the ground. We have come to understand that the UN has completely morphed into a pro-Arab, anti-Israel body of "feel good" people. Meanwhile, this same UN who professes to care so much about the "poor people" refuses to confront Hizzbollah and the Lebanese people lose their homes to these terrorists. They put innocent Lebanese civilians in harms way.The same UN who has allowed the Sudan to develop into terror central.We expect nothing more than what follows:

Israel must provide more freedom of movement in the West Bank and open crossings into the Gaza Strip to avoid driving even more Palestinians into poverty in the wake of Hamas's seizure of Gaza two months ago, the United Nations Mideast envoy said Wednesday. . "An elementary constituent of economic development is freedom of movement, and to a very considerable extent that does not exist in the West Bank," Michael Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press and two other media outlets.

Williams praised Israel's recent release of Palestinian prisoners and transfer of millions of dollars in frozen tax funds to President Mahmoud Abbas, who set up a government in the West Bank after Hamas took control of Gaza.
But Williams said he's "concerned that we haven't seen further steps," and urged Israel to release more prisoners and dismantle illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank.

Israel's decision to shut Gaza's borders to all but humanitarian aid in the wake of Hamas's takeover is threatening an already badly damaged economy, and "this shows every sign of getting worse," Williams said.
"We do not see how that can be changed short of opening additional crossing points, particularly Karni," Williams said, referring to Gaza's main cargo crossing with Israel.

Earlier this month, the UN warned that Gaza will soon become entirely dependent on foreign aid and face "disastrous consequences" if the Hamas-run territory remains sealed off. A Palestinian business group warned that at least 120,000 more Gazans could lose their jobs.

Williams said he was concerned by an increase in Israeli killings of militants in Gaza in recent days, as well as by reports of human rights violations by Gaza's new Hamas rulers.

Williams began his tenure as UN special coordinator for the Middle East in May. He said he'll be leaving the job in a few weeks, however, to assume the position of Mideast envoy for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Israeli evening headlines

Hamas official: Abbas launching war in West Bank

Palestinian government plans new law to cut off Hamas funds

Iraq, Syria agree to reopen key oil pipeline

UN envoy demands further Israeli steps

Kassam lands near Negev kibbutz; none wounded

Islamist Website Design Contest: Winner Fires Missiles at U.S. Army Base in Iraq

Announcements posted on the Islamist Internet forums are usually connected to ongoing terrorist activities, such as claims of responsibility for attacks, recorded speeches by leaders, etc . Occasionally, there are also announcements of a propagandist nature that are difficult to attribute with any certainty to specific terrorist organizations, and whose authenticity is hard to establish, such as the "oath of loyalty to bin Laden" initiative [1], and announcements posted by the Global Islamic Media Front (which has acknowledged that it is not associated with Al-Qaeda). [2]
Contest for Designing a Website for a Terrorist Organization
This is another example of the online propaganda campaign on Islamist forums whose authenticity is difficult to establish.
The information bureau of Jaish Al-Taifa Al-Mansura("The Army of the Victorious Group"), a Sunni terrorist organization operating in Iraq, announced a contest for designing the organization's website, and stated that the prize would be, in addition to reward from Allah, an opportunity to fire missiles via computer at a U.S. army base in Iraq.
The announcement was posted on a number of Islamic websites, primarily on the Al-Hesbah forum [3] [hosted in Texas] [4], and can also be viewed as a Flash document at
The following are excerpts from the announcement:

"To the brothers who seek reward [from Allah] and to the honorable people [who visit] the forums of the blessed Al-Hesbah network and of the Global Islamic Media Front:
"The information bureau of the Army of the Victorious Group has announced a contest for designing and constructing a special website for the Army. The site must include:
"1. The motto of the Army of the Victorious Group.
"2. The Army's ideology, as posted on the Al-Hesbah network, and the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad about the victorious group. [5]
"3. Communiqués issued by the Army that have been posted on the Al-Hesbah network.
"4. Videos of the Army's operations that have been posted on the Al-Hesbah network.
"In addition, the site must include all materials connected to the Army that have appeared on Al-Hesbah, in newspapers or elsewhere. [The site] must match the good reputation of the Army, of jihad and of the jihad fighters, and [it must] defeat the Crusader information [channels].
"After selecting the best design, the Army's information bureau will notify the winner.
"The contest will continue for a month, and there will be two prizes for the best design:
"1. Reward from Allah for blessed work in the service of jihad and the jihad fighters.
"2. The winner will fire three long-range missiles from any location in the world at an American army base in Iraq, by pressing a button [on his computer] with his own blessed hand, using technology developed by the jihad fighters, Allah willing. The information bureau will announce the winner after coordinating with the military bureau of the Army...
"Dear brothers in Allah, this blessed move aims to develop the skills and abilities of the brothers who take part in the competition [by inviting them] to design a website which befits the Army's good reputation, its jihad operations and its fighting [activities].
"The most important thing is the glad tidings that the jihad fighters of the Army of the Victorious Group bring to our Muslim brothers, and to the [entire] Islamic nation, regarding the development of accurate and effective missiles, and also, as we promised you, regarding the use of computer technology and [the ability] to fire [missiles] by remote control from any location in the world, by the grace of Allah.
"This is also an opportunity for our brothers outside Iraq to join their brothers on the front line in Iraq, the land of the frontier and of jihad, and to [participate in] destroying the strongholds of polytheism and heresy.
"The winner will be allowed to document his [firing] experience after it is implemented and publicized.
"[Signed:] The Information Bureau of the Army of the Victorious Group; Saturday, November 5, 2005."
Contest Postponed
"On November 18, 2005, the information bureau issued another announcement postponing the contest deadline. [6] This announcement said: 'The information bureau of the Army of the Victorious Group announces a one-month extension of the special contest for designing and constructing the website for the Army of the Victorious Group.'
"The [extension] comes in response to a request from the honorable competitors, and aims to allow the maximum number of brothers to participate in the contest. It also reflects the desire of the Army's top leadership that [individuals] from outside Iraq will participate in jihad operations against the occupier, and that, for the first time, they will do this from the international jihad arena by firing long-range missiles by remote control."

[1] On this private initiative urging Muslims to swear an oath of loyalty to bin Laden, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1027:
[2] GIMF public relations bureau director Saif Al-Din Al-Kinani said on the GIMF Internet newscast Sout Al-Khilafa that his organization was not affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
[3] (Link no longer active).
[4] According to : Domains by Proxy, Inc., 15511 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, Phone:+1.4806242599 traces IP Address to in Texas.
[5] Various hadiths mention the "victorious group," such as the hadith that appears in Ibn Majah's collection of hadiths, in which the Prophet Muhammad says: "A group from my ummah [Islamic nation] is still victorious. Those who separated from them will not harm them until the Day of Resurrection."