Islam

Across the Country, the Federal Government Fights For Muslim Worship Spaces [Updated]

Featured image The government of the United States is suing the town of St. Anthony, Minnesota, a Twin Cities suburb with a population a little over 8,000, to force the town to allow development of an Islamic center in an area reserved for industrial development. It is a minor news story, but one that sheds light on broader legal and cultural trends. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: The federal government on Wednesday »

Defender of the faith

Featured image In his statement on the beheading of James Foley by devotees of the Islamic State (referred to in his statement as ISIL) yesterday, Obama spoke up on behalf of Islam: Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages — killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims »

What Does “Peace” Mean to a Terrorist?

Featured image This is one of the fundamental asymmetries that have persisted for decades in the Middle East: to Israelis, “peace” means what it does here, in the U.S. A time to relax, to raise a family, to focus on one’s job; to take up a hobby or two. A time that one hopes will last forever. But for Islamic terrorists, “peace” means something quite different–more like a time out in a »

Inside the Islamic State

Featured image In a recent column Jonah Goldberg mentioned VICE TV’s reports from Islamic State-controlled parts of Syria. Jonah encouraged readers to view the reports and commented that “you will quickly see how the word ‘criminal’ is morally, logically and strategically inadequate. They indoctrinate children to become jihadists and suicide bombers. They vow to fly their black flag over the White House.” VICE News has posted the full video of of its »

Civil War on the Left, Part 10

Featured image If there’s any position sillier than confident atheism, I don’t know what it is.  Maybe left-handed Rastafarianism or whatever paganism they pretend to follow at Burning Man.  That’s why I assiduously ignore the person who is perhaps the most prominent atheist provocateur of our time, Richard Dawkins, who was a big deal at Oxford for a long time, and a celebrated figure on the left for his relentless public hostility »

“Degraded,” fortunately

Featured image Islamic toilet etiquette specifies an elaborate protocol that goes well beyond our immediate need to know. (Warning: You also really don’t want to know.) Fortunately, however, it seems not to require clean underwear, at least not directly. In an update on the failure of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate the bomb concealed in his underwear as he attempted to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 235 back in 2009, the Daily »

Groundhog Day Revisited

Featured image I first used the phrase Groundhog Day with reference to the Palestinians in April 2013, in Groundhog Day In the Middle East. Having forgotten that post, I used it again last Monday in For Anti-Semitism, It’s Deja Vu All Over Again. The reference is apt. Anyone observing Hamas’s attacks on Israel, Israel’s effort to neutralize Hamas’s terrorist capabilities, and the international reaction to that effort–not, of course, to Hamas’s terrorist »

Whew! We’re Back

Featured image Power Line was down for a while, apparently because of a denial of service attack. Thanks to Joe Malchow and the folks at Rackspace, we were not inaccessible for long. Joe is trying to get more information about the source of the attack and we will update if we learn where it came from. But I suppose we can pretty well guess. »

In Malaysia, Sharia Advances

Featured image Malaysia is one of those countries that have been cited, along with Indonesia and Turkey, as evidence that a predominantly Muslim country can have a secular government and can, in general, be modern. A prominent commentator wrote some years ago that the Arab world may be hopeless, but the Islamic world isn’t. That didn’t sound overly optimistic at the time, but with hindsight, it may have been. We all know »

Summer Vacation In Israel

Featured image News from Israel has been dominated first by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, apparently by terrorists affiliated with Hamas, next by the murder of a Palestinian teenager by persons yet unknown, although several alleged Jewish extremists are being questioned in connection with the crime. Generally lost in the shuffle is the background against which these events take place: Hamas’s ongoing campaign of terror against Israel, which involves, »

Egypt a year after Morsi

Featured image One year after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, Daniel Pipes finds the situation in Egypt “pretty awful”: In the debate over the proper role of Islam in the lives of Egyptians, the dividing lines have only increased, spawning violence, further extremism, and a sense that the country’s split between Islamist and anti-Islamist factions will last for many years. Even the dividing lines among Islamists and among anti-Islamists are hardening. The »

ISIS: A Backgrounder

Featured image If, like most, you wonder how the Islamic State of al-Sham (ISIS) came to prominence in the Middle East, seemingly overnight, terrorism analysts Ilana Freedman and Jerry Gordon offer a valuable primer. The rise of ISIS is rooted in the “Arab Spring”: The confrontations developing in the Middle East are the predictable outcome of the so-called “Arab Spring,” coupled with weak American leadership which has empowered Islamists throughout the world »

An islamist critique of soccer

Featured image Conservative pundits aren’t the only activists with ideological objections to soccer. Salafi clerics in Saudi Arabia and Egypt issued fatwas against viewing the World Cup before the tournament began. Their beef is that watching the World Cup will cause Muslims to neglect their religious duties and expose themselves to negative influences. Saudi cleric Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Barrak put it this way: There is no doubt that football, played according to »

The Carter-Obama parallel

Featured image James Kirchick compares the foreign policy records of Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. He finds that President Obama’s is worse. I agree with Kirchick. As he explains, Carter eventually saw the error of his weak ways and changed course, though it took a series of major setbacks for him to accomplish this. With Obama we have had the serious setbacks — e.g., the Benghazi attacks, the rise of al Qaeda »

From Bad to Worse In Iraq

Featured image The news from Iraq is grim. Yesterday, jihadists who call themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Today they took Saddam Hussein’s home town of Tikrit. Both cities have been the scene of mass beheadings. Iraqi soldiers–reportedly, as many as 30,000 of them–have abandoned their weapons and fled. A half million refugees are trying to make their way to the de facto »

Jewish Museum Killer Captured

Featured image I missed this story over the weekend; I don’t think it got much attention. The guy who murdered three people and critically wounded another at the Jewish Museum in Brussels has been caught: Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, was arrested at a train station in Marseille on Friday. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the suspect had claimed responsibility for the 24 May attack, which left three people dead and another critically ill. »

This Time, They Really Are Our Girls: Bring Them Back!

Featured image The most outrageous story in world news these days is the persecution of Meriam Ibrahim and her family. Ibrahim is a 27-year-old Sudanese woman who is described in some news accounts as a doctor, although I am not sure this is correct. Ibrahim is married to Daniel Wani, who lives in New Hampshire and has been an American citizen since 2005. News stories describe him as a biochemist. Meriam Ibrahim »