Daily Archives: June 20, 2017

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Lavish’ Gift to Indonesia: Radical Islam by Mohshin Habib

Prior to Saudi Arabia’s attempts to spread Salafism across the Muslim world, Indonesia did not have terrorist organizations such as Hamas Indonesia, Laskar Jihad, Hizbut Tahrir, Islamic Defenders Front and Jemmah Islamiyah, to name just a few. Today, it is rife with these groups.
A mere three weeks after the Saudi king wrapped up his trip, at least 15,000 hard-line Islamist protesters took to the streets of Jakarta after Friday prayers, calling for the imprisonment of the capital city’s Christian governor, who is on trial for “blaspheming the Quran.”
In a separate crisis, crowds were demanding that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known familiarly as Ashok) be jailed for telling a group of fishermen that, as they are fed lies about how the Quran forbids Muslims from being governed by a kafir (infidel), he could understand why some of them might not have voted for him. If convicted, Ashok stands to serve up to five years in prison.
Accompanied by a 1,500-strong entourage, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Indonesia on March 1 for a nine-day gala tour. He was welcomed warmly not only as the monarch of one of the world’s richest countries, but as the custodian of Islam’s two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.
While appearing to be taking a holiday rather than embarking on an official state visit — the 81-year-old sovereign spent six days at a resort in Bali — the king had some serious business to attend to. In what was advertised as an effort to promote “social interaction” between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia — with His Majesty announcing a billion-dollar aid package, unlimited flights between the two countries and the allotment of 50,000 extra spots per year for Indonesian pilgrims to make the hajj to Mecca and Medina – it seems as if the real purpose of the trip was to promote and enhance Salafism, an extremist Sunni strain, in the world’s largest Muslim country, frequently hailed in the West as an example of a moderate Islamic society.

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia (foreground, left) meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia (foreground, right), at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Indonesia. (Image source: Indonesian Presidential Palace)
Jakarta-based journalist Krithika Varagur, writing in The Atlantic on the second day of the king’s visit, describes Saudi efforts in Indonesia:
“Since 1980, Saudi Arabia has devoted millions of dollars to exporting its strict brand of Islam, Salafism, to historically tolerant and diverse Indonesia. It has built more than 150 mosques (albeit in a country that has about 800,000), a huge free university in Jakarta, and several Arabic language institutes; supplied more than 100 boarding schools with books and teachers (albeit in a country estimated to have between 13,000 and 30,000 boarding schools); brought in preachers and teachers; and disbursed thousands of scholarships for graduate study in Saudi Arabia.”
This Saudi influence has taken a serious toll on Indonesia, 90% of whose 250 million people are Sunnis. Despite its pluralistic constitution, which says, “The state guarantees each and every citizen the freedom of religion and of worship in accordance with his religion and belief,” Indonesia — which declared independence in 1945 — has grown increasingly intolerant towards Christians, Hindus and Shiite Muslims.
Prior to Saudi Arabia’s attempts to spread Salafism across the Muslim world, Indonesia did not have terrorist organizations such as Hamas Indonesia, Laskar Jihad, Hizbut Tahrir, Islamic Defenders Front and Jemmah Islamiyah, to name just a few.
Today, it is rife with these groups, which adhere strictly to Islamic sharia law, Saudi Arabia’s binding legal system, and which promote it in educational institutions. Like al-Qaeda and ISIS, they deny women equal rights, believe in death by stoning for adulterers and hand amputation for thieves, and in executing homosexuals and “apostate” Muslims.
The most recent example of the way in which this extremism has swept Indonesia took place a mere three weeks after the Saudi king wrapped up his trip. On March 31, at least 15,000 hard-line Islamist protesters took to the streets of Jakarta after Friday prayers, calling for the imprisonment of the capital city’s Christian governor, who is on trial for “blaspheming the Quran.”
This paled in comparison to the crowds — numbering about 200,000 at each violent rally — which flooded the city last November, December and February. The crowds were demanding that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known familiarly as Ashok) be jailed for telling a group of fishermen that, as they are fed lies about how the Quran forbids Muslims from being governed by a kafir, an infidel, he could understand why some of them might not have voted for him. If convicted, Ashok stands to serve up to five years in prison.
Sadly, such a jail term is nothing, when one considers the Islamist prison that the country as a whole has become — courtesy of King Salman and his lavish “gifts.”

Saudi Arabia will pursue nuclear weapons if Iran does

As Israel has warned, the deal with Iran will send the Middle East spiraling into a dangerous nuclear arms race.  


By: JNS.org and World Israel News Staff

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir hinted that his country would keep all options open, including pursing the acquisition of  nuclear weapons, if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon despite the newly implemented nuclear deal with world powers.

Saudi Arabia would do “whatever we need to do in order to protect our people,” al-Jubeir told Reuters.

“I don’t think it would be logical to expect us to discuss any such issue in public, and I don’t think it would be reasonable to expect me to answer this question one way or another,” he said.

Al-Jubeir’s comments come following the announcement that Iran sanctions would be lifted as part of the Islamic Republic’s compliance with the nuclear deal that was signed with world powers last summer.

 

Saudi Arabia, like Israel, has been strongly critical of the nuclear deal, which it fears could embolden Iran’s regional ambitions and boost their support of their terror proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. Iran is set to receive nearly $150 billion in sanctions relief as part of the deal.

“It depends on where these funds go. If they go to support the nefarious activities of the Iranian regime, this will be a negative and it will generate a pushback. If they go towards improving the living standards of the Iranian people then it will be something that would be welcome,” al-Jubeir said.

Israel has repeatedly warned that the nuclear deal has made the Middle East a more dangerous, and that Iran billions on thawed assets will significantly boost their regional belligerence.

Sanction Iran’s Regime, Add IRCG to Terrorist List by Majid Rafizadeh

  • It would seem that sanctions should be enforced and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) placed on the U.S. list of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations — to show that the U.S. stands for human rights, protects the innocent and tries to save the lives of those sentenced to death by Iran’s corrupt government.

  • Bills to sanction Iran that are being presented in Canada or other Western countries are, in fact, receiving scant attention. Canada has been talking about reopening its Iranian embassy, and pro-Iran advocates, such as the Iranian Canadian Congress, are pushing back against legislation that condemns Iran.
  • Would any modern Western country really wish to appear to be on the side of this barbaric regime, or in any way to assist it?

A subtle, but dangerous force is spreading throughout the West. It has been seeping into the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, the United States, South America and much of Europe.

Who are they?

They are pro-Iran regime advocates. They appear to be Westerners, but pursue a unique agenda. Under the guise of being average Western citizens, they have been infiltrating the social, political, economic and religious sectors of most Western societies.

These are not my words. They came directly out of the mouth of Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, Mahmoud Alavi. In a rare, recent interview on Iran’s state media, he stated that many Westerners with a dual citizenship “have a lobby group for the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“We should not accuse them and say things that discourage them about the ancestral homeland, this is not good, and losing this capital is not good for the regime… It is wrong to say that all dual nationals are traitors, spies, or foreign agents; many of these dual nationals love Iran, and are a capital for Iran.

“Many who live in Canada, London, or the United States [are devoted] to the [Islamic] revolution and the supreme leader … In those places some attend religious ceremonies. [Those people] love the [Islamic] Revolution.”

Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, recently stated that many Westerners with a dual citizenship “have a lobby group for the Islamic Republic of Iran… Many who live in Canada, London, or the United States [are devoted] to the [Islamic] revolution and the supreme leader.” (Image source: Mohammad Ali Marizad/Wikimedia Commons)

Not long after Alavi’s remarks came to light, an Iranian-born Canadian was arrested in Washington state.

“An Iranian-born Canadian arrested in a Washington city on the U.S.-Canadian border has been charged with conspiring to ship a piece of testing equipment used to calibrate missile guidance systems into Iran.

“Federal prosecutors claim Ghobad Ghasempour and two other men smuggled restricted items out of the United States to Iran through China. Ghasempour was charged Tuesday by federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C.”

This is not an isolated incident. It has been part of an growing trend.

Is it fair to eat the fruit of the West, while at the same time promoting the Iranian regime that keeps repeating “Death to America“?

Those who appear to pursue appeasement policies toward Iran seem to focus on two issues: preventing any new sanctions on the Iranian government and maintaining the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) that will enable Iran soon to have nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.

In Canada, for example, the Senate is currently taking into consideration the Bill S-219, “An Act to deter Iran-sponsored terrorism, incitement to hatred, and human rights violations” (to be named the “Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Act”). If the bill is passed, it would impose at least some economic sanctions on the Iranian regime for its unspeakable human rights abuses.

Iran still boasts pride of place as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, according to according to the U.S. Department of State.

Iran is also the number one country, per capita, when it comes to executions.

The Iranian regime executes children, gays, lesbians, human rights activists, and, it seems, anyone who disagrees with it. Its abuses go beyond murdering its own citizens. The Iranian regime suppresses every freedom of its people, by torturing, imprisoning, beating and killing them. Iran persecutes religious and ethnic minorities, and leaves only one choice when it comes to religious belief, which is the same as no choice at all. The country in the grasp of an iron fist; because of this, the majority of its people are silenced.

It would seem that sanctions should be enforced and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Coprs (IRCG) placed on the U.S. list of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations — to show that the U.S. stands for human rights, protects the innocent and tries to save the lives of those sentenced to death by Iran’s corrupt government. One would think that such bills would pass easily in any Western government that hails about human rights and freedoms. Right? Not so fast.

Bills to sanction Iran that are being presented in Canada or other Western countries are, in fact, receiving scant attention. Canada has been talking about reopening its Iranian embassy, and pro-Iran advocates, such as the Iranian Canadian Congress, are pushing back against legislation that condemns Iran, explaining in a recent statement:

“Global Affairs Canada states its position that Bill S-219 (Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran Act) would hinder the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Iran. The Iranian Canadian Congress has expressed its concerns about Bill S-219 since the bill was first introduced to the Senate….We have also consistently asserted that this bill directly contradicts the Government’s stated intention to re-engage with Iran by placing legislative and diplomatic hurdles before this process. In a recent letter to members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Global Affairs Canada has agreed with our position regarding S-219.

“With the opposition already formed in the Senate against S-219, we have a golden opportunity to block this bill at the Senate Chamber. Currently we are contacting all Honourable Senators to once again ask them to take into account all evidence and expert advice provided in opposition to the bill and vote against Bill S-219 when it comes for a vote at the Senate Chamber. We need all supporters of peace and diplomacy to help us and take action against these proposed sanctions on Iran. In the next few days we will issue an announcement about next steps that can be taken by community members.”

It is critical to understand that the Iranian government needs these appeasement policies, including the so-called “nuclear deal”, and that it needs the West to turn a blind eye to Iran’s human rights records and military expansionism.

Those who appear to pursue policies of appeasement toward Iran often attempt to justify them by arguing that they will benefit the West. Or they will argue that sanctions against Iran’s human rights violations will harm the West. On the contrary, continuing the nuclear agreement and the appeasement policies are what have harmed the West, by providing the Iranian regime with billions of dollars in extra revenues as well as enhanced global legitimacy.

And what does the Iranian regime do with this Western favor? It has been transforming this gift from the West into funds for promoting anti-Western sentiments, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism; for suppressing and murdering its own people, sponsoring terrorism around the globe, and promoting Islamist ideals.

As Iran continues to flaunt its determination to engage in human rights violations, cruelty, terrorism, torture, and murder, Western governments should act; Western funds should at least stop flowing into Iran, lending its militia legitimacy and supporting actions that should not be tolerated. Would any modern Western country really wish to appear to be on the side of this barbaric regime, or in any way to assist it?

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a world-renowned businessman, political scientist and Harvard University scholar, is president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He is also the author of “Peaceful Reformation in Iran’s Islam“. He can be reached at Dr.rafizadeh@post.harvard.edu.

Sadness and Joy as Thousands Celebrate Wedding of Terror Victim’s Daughter

Thousands packed Jerusalem’s International Convention Center to celebrate the marriage of a bereaved bride, whose father and brother were recently murdered by Palestinian terrorists, and to make sure the event would be a joyous one.


Sara Techiya Litman and Ariel Biegel, a young couple who postponed their wedding following a Palestinian terror attack that killed Litman’s father and brother two weeks ago, were married on Thursday evening at the Jerusalem International Convention Center.

Following the horrific attack, the couple invited the general public to their wedding to celebrate with them. The ceremony was attended by approximately 800 people, with the festivities later opened to the public.

The bride’s father, Rabbi Yaakov Litman, and her brother, 18-year-old Netanel, were both murdered on Friday, November 13, shortly before Shabbat when Palestinian terrorists opened fire on their vehicle as they were traveling near the Judean town of Otniel. Their funeral was held the following day.

The wedding was originally scheduled to take place four days later, on November 17. The couple decided to postpone the wedding by nine days.

The ceremony was attended by Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau and Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar. Sarah Netanyahu, the Prime Minister’s wife, arrived later and blessed the newlyweds, along with many other distinguished guests.

About 200 Magen David Adom paramedics came to dance at the wedding. They included many friends of the bride’s late brother, who had volunteered with the medical aid organization.

Thousands of guests came from all over Israel and from around the the world.

litman wedding

(Anav Silverman/TPS)

“We went from a nation mourning the Litman family’s loss to the a nation celebrating this joyous occasion,” Rene Moskowitz, who did not personally know the Litman family. “We all feel connected to to what this family has been through,” she told Tazpit Press Service. “It was our chance to help make this event happy,” she explained, having traveled from Beit Shemesh to do so.

The newlywed couple thanked the Israeli public for taking interest and coming to celebrate their happy day with them. “Until two weeks ago, nobody knew me or Ariel, and then in one moment on Friday my father and brother were murdered by a vicious terrorist,” the bride said.

“No moment passes by without me missing Netanel’s smile or Dad’s humility and modesty. Out of this pain, in the days before Chanukah we will spread a huge light of happiness together with all the Israeli nation.”

By: TPS News Service

S Sudan leaders agree to direct peace talks

US says president Salva Kiir and rival Riek Machar ready for face-t-face talks to end war that has killed thousands.
South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir and rebel commander Riek Machar are both committed to holding direct talks to resolve the four-month conflict that has killed thousands, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said.
Kerry, currently on a tour of several African countries, pressed the warring leaders to set a date for face-to-face talks, urging the UN Security Council to consider sanctions to stop attacks on civilians.
“Yesterday I was in South Sudan. I saw how a new nation and once hopeful vision for the future can be challenged by old grudges degenerating into violence,” Kerry said on Saturday of the rivalry between the two men as he continued his African tour in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
“I expressed my grave concerns to President Kiir about the deliberate killings of civilians on both sides of the conflict and he agreed to embark on negotiations to form a transitional government that can lead this new nation back from the abyss. I also called the former vice president Riek Machar and urged him to do the same,” Kerry added.
“If both sides do not take bold steps to end the violence, they risk plunging South Sudan into greater desperation and even famine. They will completely destroy what they claim they are fighting for. In the days to come, I will continue my personal engagement with both sides.”
The meeting, which would be the first face-to-face talks since the conflict erupted in December, is to be held in Ethiopia where both sides have previously held talks without success.
“Salva Kiir has said he will meet directly with former vice president Machar,” Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council on Friday, according to the AFP news agency.

“We heard many promises from South Sudanese leaders before without follow-up … We hope for the sake of the people of South Sudan that this time it is different,” she added.
“We urge president Kiir and former vice president Machar to swiftly agree on a date for face-to-face talks.”
The US, a key backer of South Sudan’s independence in 2011, is under pressure to intervene having given the country billions of dollars in aid.
With violence rising between the ethnic Dinka and Nuer, members of the international community have drawn parallels between the situation in South Sudan and the build-up to events that led to genocide in Rwanda 20 years ago.
Kiir is from the Dinka ethnic group, the country’s largest, while Machar belongs to the Nuer but prominent South Sudanese from the Dinka ethnic group are backing Machar in the conflict.
Last month Barack Obama, the US president, authorised punitive sanctions, including the seizure of assets and visa bans, against anyone in South Sudan deemed to be threatening peace efforts.
Power said the UN should also consider “urgently whether to put in place parallel targeted sanctions so as to try to deter outrageous attacks on civilians”.
She said the United States would work towards revising the mandate of the UN mission in South Sudan to put greater emphasis on the protection of civilians, rights and the delivery of aid.
“The culture of impunity must end,” said Power.

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