Islam and Muslims -- Facts and Fiction

- Iran, Syria Relieved That Democrats Won - 11/10/2006
- Mideast Media Cheer Democratic Takeover in Congress - 11/10/2006
- The God vacuum: America and the barbarian hordes - 11/09/2006
- West losing terror war by capitulating to Islam - 10/30/2006
- Muslim birthrate worries Russia - 11/21/2006
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 Muslim birthrate worries Russia
By Michael Mainville - The Washington Times - November 21, 2006

MOSCOW -- Low domestic birthrates and rising immigration from the former Soviet republics are producing explosive growth in Russia's Muslim community, which is on a track to account for more than half the population by midcentury.
"Russia is going through a religious transformation that will be of even greater consequence for the international community than the collapse of the Soviet Union," said Paul Goble, a specialist on Islam in Russia and research associate at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

Two decades ago, the Sobornaya Mosque was the only Islamic house of worship allowed in the Soviet Union. It stood largely empty, filling only with the occasional large foreign delegation from an Islamic country.
Today, it is one of four mosques in Moscow serving a Muslim population of about 2.5 million. On Fridays and holy days, it overflows with worshippers, leaving many to kneel on newspapers outside, their foreheads pressed against the concrete.
As in many countries with growing Islamic populations, tensions are also on the rise. Many ethnic Russians fear their country is losing its traditional identity, while many Muslims are offended by widespread discrimination and a lack of respect for their faith.

Russia's Muslim community is extremely diverse, including Volga Tatars, the myriad ethnicities of the North Caucasus and newly arrived immigrants from Central Asia. But they all share birthrates that are far higher than Russia's ethnic Slavs, most of whom are Orthodox Christians.

Russia's overall population is dropping at a rate of 700,000 people a year, largely because of the short life spans and low birthrates of ethnic Russians. According to the CIA World Factbook, the national fertility rate is 1.28 children per woman, far below what is needed to maintain the country's population of nearly 143 million. The rate in Moscow is even lower, at 1.1 children per woman.

Russia's Muslims, however, are bucking that trend. The fertility rate for Tatars living in Moscow is six children per woman, Mr. Goble said, while the Chechen and Ingush communities are averaging 10 children per woman. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Muslims from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been flocking to Russia in search of work.
Russia's Muslim population has increased by 40 percent since 1989, to about 25 million. By 2015, Muslims will make up a majority of Russia's conscript army and by 2020 one-fifth of the population.

"If nothing changes, in 30 years, people of Muslim descent will definitely outnumber ethnic Russians," Mr. Goble said.
For many Slavic Russians, the prospect of becoming a minority in their country is terrifying.

"Russia is historically a Slavic, Orthodox Christian land, and we need to make sure it stays that way," said Alexander Belov, the head of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, an increasingly powerful lobby that has organized dozens of rallies in recent months.

Attacks on mosques have been on the rise, and in September an imam in the southern city of Kislovodsk was fatally shot outside his home. During days of rioting in August, mobs chased Chechens and other migrants out of the northwestern town of Kondopoga.

Sensing the nationalist mood, Russian authorities have begun to crack down with laws designed to defend Orthodox Christianity and restrict the activities and movement of Muslims.

Most Muslims living in Russia are not immigrants, but natives of lands seized by the expanding Russian empire. Islam is recognized as one of Russia's official religions, along with Orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism.

But few nationalists distinguish between immigrants from ex-Soviet countries and non-Slavic Russian citizens. Mr. Belov, for example, said non-Slavs should be restricted from living in "traditional Russian lands."

"The Muslims of Russia have roots here. We have been part of Russia for centuries," countered Rusham Abbyasov, a spokesman for Russia's Council of Muftis, which represents Islamic spiritual leaders in the country. "It is not right to say that Russia is a Christian country. These people either don't know the history, or they are ignoring it."

Mr. Goble said that after decades of Soviet religious repression, most Muslims in Russia are secular. But with interest in Islam surging, they are open to being influenced by extremist ideas, "especially if they feel excluded from Russian society."
Western governments should encourage Russia to integrate Muslims into society and avoid discrimination, he said. "When Muslims are in the majority in Russia, they'll remember whether we spoke out for their rights or failed to."

Copyright The Washington Times

 Mideast Media Cheer Democratic Takeover in Congress
By Julie Stahl
CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
November 09, 2006

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Many in the Middle East cheered the Democratic takeover of Congress and Defense Minister Donald Rumsfeld's resignation although views appeared mixed as to whether the shift would lead to significant changes here.

In Iran - facing the possibility of U.S.-led international sanctions against Tehran for its nuclear development - the English-language Iran News said most Americans had "finally caught up with the rest of the world in rebuking the irresponsible, militaristic, arrogant, belligerent and entirely destabilizing policies of the Bush administration."

It warned against "expecting a sea change in American foreign policy," however.

"Bush's wrong strategy in the Middle East," was responsible for the Republican defeat, Iranian state television said in a commentary, which also cited corruption.

The conservative Iranian paper Siyasat-e Rouz predicted that there would be "tangible changes" toward Iran and other "opponents of America's policies," but because Bush was still in the White House, there would be no "major change" in American foreign policy, it said.  Another daily, Kayhan - which is linked to Iran's supreme leader - predicted that Bush would be obliged to take "more cautious steps."

The English-language Lebanese Daily Star said it had taken American voters six years, but now they knew like everyone else that "George W. Bush is a dangerous cowboy who needs to be restrained."   It remained to be seen, it said, "whether the rebuke delivered by American voters will be reflected in U.S. policies overseas, and there is little reason for optimism."

In Jordan, considered one of America's staunchest Arab allies in the region, newspaper editor Nabil al-Sharif said that Bush's policies are "dangerous to the region and to the world."  "We are delighted that the American voters have at least disassociated themselves from these dangerous policies," al Sharif was quoted as saying.

Other Arab and Muslim reaction was even stronger. Syrian lawmaker Suleiman Hadad said Bush "is no longer acceptable worldwide" while Pakistani opposition parliamentarian Hafiz Hussain Ahmed said the president "deserves a Saddam-like death sentence."
Rumsfeld

Officials in Afghanistan and Iraq, where Rumsfeld played a key role in the wars that changed those countries, had mixed reactions to news of his departure. 

The government of Afghanistan said it was sad to see Rumsfeld resign.  President Hamid Karzai's chief of staff Jawad Ludin was quoted by wire services as saying the country was "very pleased and very grateful" for his support.

Officials said that they did not believe U.S. policy toward the country would change.  But in Iraq, lawmakers said they expected to see changes as a result of Rumsfeld's departure.  Hassan al-Sunnaid, a member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party, said he expected to see "a major change in military commands in Iraq."  "We hope he [the new defense secretary] will be more effective and more serious in achieving security in Iraq," al-Sunnaid said.

Hassan Rhadi, a Shiite minister in al-Maliki's cabinet, said Iraq would withhold judgment on Rumsfeld's successor until it sees how he performs.

Bush has named former CIA chief Robert Gates as the new defense secretary.

Copyright 1998-2006 Cybercast News Service

 


 Iran, Syria Relieved That Democrats Won
By Julie Stahl
CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
November 10, 2006

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Iran and Syria say that a Democrat-controlled Congress and the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld could relieve the pressure on them, officials from those countries said.

Both Iran and Syria have been under pressure from the U.S. -- Iran, for its refusal to abandon its nuclear program; and Syria for its alleged involvement in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The U.S. also has criticized Damascus for hosting the headquarters of Palestinian terrorist organizations and for supporting the insurgency in Iraq.

Washington has accused both countries, which back the Hizballah terrorist organization in Lebanon, of trying to topple the government in Beirut.

Syrian officials said the U.S. midterm elections mark a "significant change," and they view it as an American vote "against the neo-conservative mentality of the current administration."

"The outcome of the theses elections [is] a genuine punishment from the American people to [President Bush's] administration that staged a war on Iraq because of incorrect and inaccurate stimulations," Syrian Information Minister Dr Mohsen Bilal said in an interview with al-Jazeera, according to the official Syrian news agency SANA.

"Therefore the U.S. and British forces are in a mess there now," Bilal was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Bilal noted that incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes the war in Iraq. "This lady has made the word of the American people audible," he said. "And this is very comfortable."

Iranian analysts were quoted as saying that the Democrats will try to resolve the standoff with Iran through negotiations. They also welcomed the resignation of Rumsfeld.

Iranian state-run radio called Rumsfeld a "symbol of stupidity and unilateralism" and said his resignation represented "America's defeat in Iraq, the end of the era of neo-conservatives and the failure of America's war policy -- of which Rumsfeld was the architect."

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani also expressed optimism that the defeat of the Republicans "might soften the U.S. war-mongering policy in the region."

Larijani, who is close to Supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said "It is possible that the United States will behave in a wiser manner and will not pit itself against Iran."

In Israel, experts have said the only way to avoid a military confrontation with Iran is for the U.S. and its allies to be willing to use force -- and to make that clear to Tehran.

Israel's newly appointed Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said that Israel must prevent Tehran from succeeding in its nuclear pursuits "at all costs."

Sneh said he was not advocating "Israeli preemptive military action," which he considers a "last resort."

"But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort," Sneh told the Jerusalem Post in comments published on Friday.

Copyright 1998-2006 Cybercast News Service


 [Highlighting in this article are my own emphasis. Ed]

West losing terror war by capitulating to Islam

WorldNetDaily Exclusive Commentary   October 30, 2006   By Barbara Simpson
 
Opinions about Iraq are split.  One side says ''Stay the Course!'' – what was done and is being done, despite the losses, is necessary for ''victory,'' whatever that means.  The other side says, ''End It!'' – pick a date, pull the troops out and leave everything to the Iraqis. It's assumed withdrawal would end it, whatever ''it'' is.
 
Just what is the ''it'' we want to end?  Until that question is answered honestly, we ignore the truth of the war we're really fighting. If we don't understand the conflict, we'll lose. 
 
The truth is, neither choice will result in a significant difference in the core battle that's ongoing, essentially because neither side has the courage to see and admit the real enemy: the intent of Islam, militant and otherwise, is to spread across the world with its own form of religious imperialism until the entire world is Islamic, either by conversion of the people or by their domination.
 
Given today's multicultural, diversity-saturated, politically correct atmosphere, it takes more than courage to face the truth.  Case in point: Three thousand dead on 9/11 in addition to buildings and planes destroyed and the economy deeply damaged.  Five years later, we still resist the reality of who carried out the plot, who was involved in the planning and coordination, who were happy about its ''success,'' and who threatens more of the same until the Islamic flag flies over Washington.
 
Where's our courage?
 
Remember the first attack on the World Trade Center? Remember the USS Cole, the embassies in Africa, the Marine barracks?  There are more. Don't forget the attacks on the Madrid trains, the London subway, the Bali nightclub, the Indian trains, and the German nightclub.   There are others and will be more, we know it, they know it. And yet, in our blind naivetι, we avoid the truth. We – the free world, the West – are under continued and united attack by a group of people under the umbrella of a certain religious belief with the goal of our conversion or destruction, some choice.
 
And yet, our politicians and the media, with too few exceptions, lack the courage or conviction to speak the truth and prepare us for the real battle.   Have no doubt, the enemy is fighting, but we've barely opened our eyes to the danger, despite all our losses.  It's too easy for the administration to operate as though this is a traditional war, it isn't.  It's too easy for war opponents to pretend the dispute is just about oil, and if we would just pull out and switch to solar and ethanol, there would be world peace.
 
Both are wrong and both attitudes will kill us.
 
I believe President Bush is a good man with good intentions but I believe his religion gets in the way of his ability to make the tough assessments and decisions needed to protect not only this country, but the rest of the free world from the enemy we all face. I believe his Christianity tells him to be welcoming and non-judgmental.
 
So be it, but Christianity don’t tell him to be blind to truth, because that puts everyone in danger. Christianity does not demand we all be sacrificed on the altar of diversity.  His continued mantra about the ''religion of peace'' and his ongoing efforts to be welcoming to Muslims, insults the intelligence of those who see the reality of the danger from militant Islam.  It's also insulting for our president and the administration to treat American citizens as children who need to be taught tolerance and acceptance when the reality of the war against us is clearly evident.
 
''There are none so blind as those who will not see.''   In this case, our blind leaders bring us to the abyss.  It's too easy to view the battle between Islam and the West as military. The truth is more insidious.  In fact, many imams have spoken openly that they'll accomplish their mission via immigration and procreation.  Every country in Europe faces this and as the population grows by Muslim birth rates and immigration, Muslims demand their culture be accepted. 

While Europeans are beginning to chafe under the pressures, it may well be too late to stop the tide.
 
England:  British Airways suspends and refuses to allow a long-time employee to wear a small cross on a chain but will allow stewardesses to wear the face covering niqab.  Police in Kensington refuse to allow a security camera picture of a Dubai native who robs jewelry shops to be posted, because it would ''infringe her human rights.''   A Muslim pharmacist in Thurcroft refuses on religious grounds to fill a prescription for the ''morning-after'' pill.  In Leicester, at a new Islamic School, non-Muslims will be required to wear head scarves.  The 2012 London Olympics is in the midst of controversy because Muslims are angry that the games will overlap with Ramadan.  London's largest jail converts the Christian chapel into a mosque.  The Queen establishes an Islamic prayer room in Windsor Castle.
 
Scotland:  Three Muslims are tried in Glasgow for the torture, murder and burning of a 15-year-old boy, snatched off the street at random because he was white.
 
Denmark:  Still recovering from the Muslim cartoon riots, braces for more of the same after TV stations broadcast footage thought by some to offend Muslims. 
 
France:  Is jolted by riots and car torchings by Muslim immigrants and the police say they're targets of an ''intifada'' with more than 2,500 police injured this year alone. 
 
Holland:  Is furious about an Islamic hospital in Rotterdam with separate physicians and separate wings for males and females. It's being called ''apartheid.''
 
Italy:  The pope is threatened with death because in a speech concerning the importance of reason in the practice of religion, he quoted a 14th-century emperor, whose country at that time was being attacked by Muslims.  Crucifixes are removed from classrooms so as not to offend.  Famed journalist Oriana Fallaci, who wrote her observations about the inroads of Islam in Italy and Europe, faced trial for ''defaming Islam.''  Threatened with death she needed 24-hour police protection.
 
Jerusalem:   The blowing of the ceremonial ram's horn at the Western Wall during Rosh Hashanah was banned for fear of offending nearby Muslims.  
 
Australia:   A Muslim doctor stabs his wife to death when their daughter converts to Christianity.  He says his wife failed.   Riots on Sydney beaches reflect growing antagonism between Australians and Muslims.   A top Muslim cleric denounces the sentencing of men guilty of gang rapes, saying the women invited it because they weren't veiled and at home.  He said he would resign only ''After we clean the world of the White House first.''  He calls George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard ''the axis of evil.''

Canada:   There are attempts to establish a parallel Sharia system of law.
 
United States: 

While there is growing Muslim immigration – upwards of 7 million – similar effects are not as visible but we see growing demands to accommodate Islam.  There have been cases of adult men desiring to marry young girls – it's their culture.

Georgia USA, an African immigrant circumcises his 2-year-old daughter – part of his culture.
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Muslim taxi drivers refuse to transport fares carrying alcohol in luggage or purses.  Islam forbids it.  
Some Muslim women have demanded to wear a full-face niqab, showing only their eyes, for their driver's licenses.  
California, a three week, public school curriculum which requires children to pretend to be Muslims, take Muslim names, fast for Ramadan and memorize Islamic prayers, is allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
New York and other schools are petitioned to provide prayer rooms for Muslim daily prayers and Ramadan fasting.  
The call to prayer is broadcast on loudspeakers in some Michigan towns.   
The celebration of Islam in public life has increased at the same time Christian and Jewish traditions are banned or eliminated so as not to offend.
Bibles are removed from hotel rooms.
Easter and Christmas disappear from school celebrations.
The College of William & Mary removes the cross from the campus chapel so that the space is ''less faith-specific'' and ''more welcoming'' to all.  
There are hundreds of such examples and accommodations, all part of the effort to spread the culture and religion of Islam.
 
There's a difference between emigrating to a country to become part of it and moving there to change the culture.  What will it take for us to admit that?  

Why don't we proudly protect the culture of Western civilization and value it for what its meant to human rights, freedom and equality – the best in the history of the world?

We're in a religious war, fought on one level by passive integration through large families and massive immigration and on another level by the ancient barbarity of beheadings, torture and terrorist attacks on civilians.   Did you ever imagine we would see on the news the beheading of innocent Westerners and not be outraged?   As long as we pretend this is a ''civilized'' war, we're doomed.  The enemy uses ancient tactics to win an ancient battle, but they also use 21st-century propaganda to cut us off at the knees – unless of course, they cut us off at the neck first.
 
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 The God vacuum: America and the barbarian hordes
By David Kupelian

Posted: November 9, 2006

In the Old Testament of the Bible, God is shown time after time chastising the House of Israel, His chosen but often disobedient people, by allowing barbarians to invade and plunder their cities and put many of them to the sword.

That is what the Western World, including America, is starting to experience today, having likewise turned away from God.

This raging conflict between Islam and the West, this "clash of civilizations" that many are calling World War III, is at root a spiritual war.

It's been said that it takes a religion to fight a religion. More precisely, it takes true faith to defeat a false one. And by true faith I don't mean a set of rules, rituals and doctrine in a book, any book. I mean a genuine personal relationship with the one true God, and a nation of such people who follow the laws of conscience that same God planted in each of their hearts.

What is the answer to the burgeoning threat of Islamic jihad? The simple and terrifying bottom-line answer is that there is no answer unless America finally awakens and gives up its insane rebellion against its own founding faith and values.

We're fond of praising our World War II-era forbearers who won that terrible conflict with another form of demon-possessed, expansionist fascism. But the "Greatest Generation" was different from this generation. It believed in God.

Come again? You say we also believe in God today? No, we don't – not as a nation.

The World War II generation believed in God. They believed that this God was the God of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. They believed He created us in His image and that human life was therefore sacred, which meant we don't slaughter our offspring in the womb nor kill off our parents when they get old and sick. They believed in biblical morality when it comes to sex, which meant homosexuality, adultery and "shacking up" were sinful and wrong.

And they also believed God had uniquely blessed the United States of America, something Alexis de Tocqueville called "American Exceptionalism" – the conviction that America's enlightened Constitution, industrial and military might, unprecedented standard of living, and most of all its legendary liberty were the direct result of the Almighty's blessing on this special nation. Implicit in that belief was the understanding that, just as with ancient Israel, this divine spigot flowing with undeserved blessings could and would be turned off if we turned away from God.

Thus it was the "Greatest Generation's" national unity, based on its widespread cultural and religious fidelity to those core truths – what we call "Judeo-Christian values" – that gave them the confidence to fight and persevere and win the world war that confronted them, whatever sacrifices that effort required.

Today, America and Europe are being transformed by Islam because there is a spiritual vacuum in these once-Christian lands. Especially in Britain and Europe, where the Islamic invasion is already well advanced, analysts concede it's simply a matter of time before some of these nations have Muslim majorities. Then comes Shariah law and the total transformation of these formerly Christian countries into repressive Islamic states.

Think I'm exaggerating? The Netherlands' justice minister, Piet Hein Donner, recently announced he would let Shariah law take over his European nation – already rapidly filling up with Muslims – if the majority votes for it. Just as in other Arab-Muslim countries currently under this strict Islamic legal system, European nations under Shariah might well see amputations – as prescribed in the Quran – as punishment for certain crimes; women publicly flogged and sometimes hanged or stoned to death for adultery or other so-called "crimes against chastity"; and death sentences for leaving the Muslim religion, or even for preaching Christianity, as occurs in Pakistan under its notorious "blasphemy laws."

All the vain, prideful fantasies of the post-Christian, secular, multiculturalism-worshipping Europeans are crashing down around them. The French are so terrified of the Muslims that comprise 10 percent of their population that Parisian police won't even venture into Muslim communities on the outskirts of the capital city. Having traded the Christian faith of their fathers for the smug, self-righteous ecstasy of the socialist welfare state, they have no spiritual strength left with which to fight back the invading hordes.

What about America? Though the percentage of Muslims in this huge nation is much lower than in Europe, radical Islam already has a powerful foothold in many parts of American society. Beyond the obvious signs – like the rapid proliferation within the U.S. of Saudi-funded mosques, Islamic centers and schools teaching discontent and even hatred for America – consider just one of the many less-than-obvious "growth areas": our prison system.

"Muslim chaplains have established an Islamic radical regime over Muslim convicts in the American prisons," writes Stephen Schwartz in "Islam in the Big House." "Radical Muslim chaplains, trained in a foreign ideology, certified in foreign-financed schools, and acting in coordination to impose an extremist agenda have gained a monopoly over Islamic religious activities in American state, federal and city prisons and jails." He adds, chillingly, "Imagine each prison Islamic community as a little Saudi kingdom behind prison walls, without the amenities. They have effectively induced American authorities to establish a form of 'state Islam' or 'government-certified Islam' in correctional systems."

Will this nightmare ever end? It will only end, like all nightmares end, when we wake up.

We need to wake up and remember who we really are. We need to realize the bottom-line reality that man is a spiritual creature, and that he will have faith, one way or the other. If he doesn't embrace true faith, he will embrace false faith. It's not only automatic – it's God-ordained.

The most poignant scene in the film "United 93" – chronicling the events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, crash of the ill-fated jetliner into a Pennsylvania field – came toward the end when both passengers and terrorists were depicted as praying. It was just before the courageous group of passengers launched their revolt against the hijackers, and several were seen quietly, fervently reciting the Lord's Prayer, as though they were asking God for the superhuman strength and focus they would need to overpower the terrorists while facing almost-certain death. At the same time, the terrorist pilot, having been warned that a passenger rebellion was imminent, was also praying to his god, begging Allah for help and strength to prevail against great odds. The image of these two mortal enemies, each praying to his god for victory, was electrifying – a perfect distillation of the conflict into which we have been plunged.

We can't – and won't – win this war without God. He knows when and where the next big terror attack is being planned against America. He knows where bin Laden is hiding. Only He can give us the unearthly wisdom and strength required to be longsuffering and merciful when restraint is called for – and to be merciless when outright, heart-stopping, shock-and-awe devastation is called for to defeat the enemy. Most of all, only genuine fidelity to God will give us the gift of true righteousness – an otherworldly quality that terrifies the wicked, inspires the decent and mysteriously delivers victory into the hands of His people.

When God withheld His protection from ancient Israel because of the disobedience and faithlessness of His people, there was only one possible solution: They had to repent of their pride and folly and come back to Him.

Do we somehow expect the Almighty to grant a different remedy to us?

Get David Kupelian's best-selling book, "The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom."
 
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