Islam  --  Facts and Fiction

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-- U.S. Marine fires back over Shariah loans - 6/08/10
-- CAIR to Pakistan terror suspects: Clam up - 5/25/10
-- Interfaith meeting rocked by terror accusation - 5/14/10
-- Attack Highlights Unrelenting Plight of Iraq’s Christians - 5/03/10
-- Morocco Rejects Criticism for Expelling Christians - 3/12/10
-- Defend courageous young investigators from persecution by terror-tied group - 1/21/10
-- Terror Suspect’s Outburst in Federal Court on Tuesday Proves Skeptics Right - 1/20/10
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 U.S. Marine fires back over Shariah loans

Christian combat vet suing Fed for promoting Islam with AIG bailout

Posted: June 08, 2010     By Chelsea Schilling      WorldNetDaily


A U.S. Marine who served in Iraq is suing the federal government for distributing billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to the Shariah-supporting American International Group.

The lawsuit, Murray v. Geithner et al., was brought against the Fed and the Treasury by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Kevin Murray, a former Marine who served honorably in Iraq to defend the United States from Islamic terrorists.

Murray argues that he is being forced as a taxpayer to contribute to the propagation of Islamic beliefs and practices predicated upon Shariah law, which he says is hostile to his Christian religion.

He is represented by Thomas More attorney Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi, an associated attorney who is an expert in Shariah law and Shariah-compliant financing, as well as general counsel to the Center for Security Policy. They filed the initial complaint in December 2008.

On June 7, Murray's attorneys filed a motion for summary judgment asking federal District Court Judge Lawrence Zatkoff to rule against Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the Federal Reserve Board.

The Thomas More Law Center explained the motion for summary judgment is based on depositions of Treasury officials, court-sealed affidavits of AIG officials and sworn declarations of two notable experts on Islamic law and terrorism: Stephen C. Coughlin and Robert Spencer.

Coughlin, a lawyer and decorated Army Reserve officer, is a leading Pentagon expert on the link between Islamic law and jihad. He explained that by engaging in Shariah-compliant financing, AIG and the federal government – which owns 79.9 percent of AIG – are engaging in the religious practice of Islam.

Islam teaches hostility and discrimination against Jews, Christians and anyone who doesn't accept the Quran as the "word of Allah," he said, explaining that the indoctrination stems from the same law that motivated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

As WND reported, Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, has studied Islamic theology and history for 30 years. He is author of "Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs,""The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades" and eight other books dealing with Islam. He has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the U.S. Central Command, the U.S. Command and General Staff College, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the U.S. intelligence community.

Spencer explained that by offering Shariah-compliant financing, AIG is promoting religious behavior that teaches hatred and discrimination against Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims.

(Story continues below)


The motion states, "[T]he use of taxpayer money to approve, endorse and support Shariah-based Islamic religious activities and religious indoctrination, including the use of such funds to acquire government ownership and control that engages in such activities, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."

At the time of the 2008 bailout, AIG was – and remains today – a world leader in Shariah-compliant insurance products.

As WND reported, AIG, which is now a government-owned company, owns a Shariah-compliant insurance company, offering accident, health, motor, personal contents, property and casualty insurance coverage. Shariah-compliant financing subjects certain financial activities, including investments, to the dictates of Islamic law and the Islamic religion.

"AIG's SCF [Shariah-Compliant Finance] business is pervasively sectarian in that its 'secular' business purposes and its Islamic religious missions are inextricably intertwined," the complaint states.

The motion notes that AIG describes "Sharia" as "Islamic law based on Quran and the teachings of the Prophet."

"Specifically, the Quran is considered by the majority but not all of Islamic adherents to be the perfect expression of Allah's will for man," it states. "Presumably, most non-Muslims, and this is certainly true of plaintiff, don't accept the Quran as divine or as an expression – perfect or otherwise – of Allah or any divinity."

It adds, "AIG, and by clear extension and implication defendants on behalf of the government, are taking a particular theological position by supporting a specific interpretation of Shariah-based Islam."

Beyond financial support through funding of AIG, the complaint accuses the government of promoting and endorsing Shariah-Compliant Finance through publications on the Treasury website, an official position at the Treasury Department of the "Islamic Finance Scholar-in-Residence Program" and presentations by Treasury officials promoting Shariah-Compliant Finance and stating that the U.S. government "places significant importance on promoting … Islamic finance" and has "recently deepened our engagement in Islamic finance in a number of ways," including a "call for harmonization of Shari'a[sic] standards at the national and international levels."

Then, as WND reported in December 2008, the Treasury Department sponsored and promoted a conference titled "Islamic Finance 101."

"What makes this case all the more egregious is that this doctrine – Shariah – also happens to be the underlying legal and military doctrine animating jihad against the West by Muslims from the Middle East, Asia, Russia, Africa, and even right here at home," Yerushalmi said in a press release. "Each and every one of the domestic and foreign jihad terrorists have proclaimed their allegiance to Shariah and its call for 'jihad against apostates and infidels.'"

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, said, "It's outrageous that the federal government is the owner of a corporation engaged in a business with interests adverse to the United States. We filed this lawsuit not only to defend constitutional principles, but also to defend our national security. It's clear we can't leave the job of protecting America to the Washington politicians."

In an earlier decision, Judge Zatkoff denied a request by the Obama administration to dismiss the lawsuit.

In his ruling, the judge declared that the complaint sufficiently alleged a federal constitutional challenge to the use of taxpayer money to fund AIG's Islamic religious activities. The court noted:

Times of crisis, however, do not justify departure from the Constitution. In this case, the United States government has a majority interest in AIG. AIG utilizes consolidated financing whereby all funds flow through a single port to support all of its activities, including Sharia-compliant financing. Pursuant to the EESA, the government has injected AIG with tens of billions of dollars, without restricting or tracking how this considerable sum of money is spent. At least two of AIG's subsidiary companies practice Sharia-compliant financing, one of which was unveiled after the influx of government cash. After using the $40 billion from the government to pay down the $85 billion credit facility, the credit facility retained $60 billion in available credit, suggesting that AIG did not use all $40 billion consistent with its press release. Finally, after the government acquired a majority interest in AIG and contributed substantial funds to AIG for operational purposes, the government co-sponsored a forum entitled "Islamic Finance 101." These facts, taken together, raise a question of whether the government's involvement with AIG has created the effect of promoting religion and sufficiently raise Plaintiff's claim beyond the speculative level, warranting dismissal inappropriate at this stage in the proceedings.
Yerushalmi stated, "It is one thing that our government felt compelled to bail out AIG after its fortunes were destroyed due to the company's own recklessness and bad acts. It is quite another thing to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote and support AIG's Shariah businesses – all of which don't just sell Shariah products to the Muslim world, but actively promote Shariah as the best, most ethical way of life."

He added, "Indeed, the Shariah authorities relied upon by AIG's Shariah Supervisory Committees actively promote jihad – and by jihad we mean kinetic war against the infidel West."

 

 CAIR to Pakistan terror suspects: Clam up
D.C.-based 'front group' also advises mosques against helping FBI

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Posted: May 25, 2010
9:48 pm Eastern




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WorldNetDaily

A new Council on American-Islamic Relations notice to members advising them against cooperating with the FBI belies the group's long-held argument that the FBI should restore relations with the group to help agents locate terrorists in the Muslim community.

The FBI severed ties to the so-called Muslim civil-rights group after prosecutors in 2007 implicated it in a criminal scheme to funnel millions of dollars to Hamas suicide bombers and their families. A federal grand jury in Washington is actively investigating CAIR.

The Washington-based nonprofit group last week issued an advisory warning to its Muslim members that the FBI was interrogating "members of the Pakistani-American community" in connection with the Times Square car-bomb case involving a Pakistani-American from Connecticut.

It's the must-read book that exposes the Muslim Mafia from the inside out, autographed, from WND's Superstore!

The FBI has arrested several Pakistani nationals in New England and is conducting related sweeps in cities as far away as Los Angeles.

(Story continues below)


While cautioning members to report criminal activity in their community, CAIR at the same time asserted: "You are not obligated under law to answer any questions from law enforcement officers."

It also offered to provide "legal assistance" to Muslims who are approached by the FBI and advised them to "be sure to get the names, agencies, badge numbers and business cards of all agents or officers."

"You can also file a complaint with the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division," the advisory added. "CAIR can help you with this process."

Such tactics are typical of CAIR, say investigators. While CAIR publicly announces it encourages its members to cooperate with law enforcement, they say it privately counsels them to clam up.

"They're trying to paint the picture that they're such a valuable tool to law enforcement," says a senior FBI officer in Washington. "Yet they tell their constituents: Don't speak to law enforcement."

In fact, CAIR distributes a "Muslim community safety kit" at mosques that advises Muslims to "Know your rights." Remember, it warns, if you are visited by agents:

1) You do not have to talk to the FBI. You have no obligation to talk to the FBI, even if you are not a citizen. Never meet with them or answer any questions.
2) You do not have to permit them to enter your home or office. ... Even if they have a warrant, you are under no obligation to answer questions.

As a result, most mosques around the country "don't cooperate with law enforcement," the FBI official said.

Moreover, there is evidence CAIR is actually coaching Muslim terror suspects to mislead investigators and obstruct their terrorism investigations.

Consider, for example, a six-page confidential report generated by a senior CAIR official, who on the third anniversary of 9/11 helped a prominent Muslim figure under FBI inquiry to obstruct a line of questioning by agents.

In September 2004, a pair of agents arranged an interview with the Muslim leader of a Maryland mosque that the FBI was investigating for suspicious activity. The mosque leader alerted CAIR, and CAIR sent Shama Farooq, then-civil-rights director for its Maryland chapter, to coach him through the interview.

Farooq wrote a detailed plan covering what Sayeed Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Western Maryland, should and shouldn't say. The predominantly Pakistani mosque is controlled by the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, and the radical Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA, like CAIR, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the large Hamas financing case.

"Oftentimes, these meetings are used to get information about other community members," the CAIR official warned in the plan she devised. "It is important, first of all, not to talk about anyone else at all."

Also, "If the agent wants contact information for anyone else, you should not give any numbers or addresses out – let him find the people the same (way) he found you," Farooq advised.

The senior CAIR official also insisted Ahmed turn his cell phone off and keep it out of the sight and reach of the agents during the interview.

Finally, she advised, "You are not required to tell them which Islamic centers you attend, how many times a day you pray, who you give charity to and which organizations you are associated with."

"Definitely," she stressed, "do not address any questions relating to terrorism or violence and their place in Islam."

That was step No. 1.

Then Farooq and Ahmed went to lunch the day of the scheduled interview with the FBI – September 1, 2004 – to review her ground rules, details the secret CAIR memo, first revealed in the bestselling book, "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America." They agreed she would sit in on the meeting.

Following lunch, they went back to his office and continued to "discuss strategies," including introducing her to the agents only as "a sister in Islam," while not identifying her position with CAIR up front. And she again specifically advised Ahmed not to answer any questions regarding information he may know about terrorism or violence.

The agents arrived at Ahmed's office on time, and over the course of their interview, Farooq stepped in to stop Ahmed from answering several questions she felt could "incriminate" him, even though she was not his attorney.

As a result, Ahmed withheld critical information from the FBI. For example:

Agents inquired about his recent travels abroad, and he mentioned only Canada, while neglecting to inform them that he's also traveled to Saudi Arabia.


Agents asked him about his charitable donations, and he withheld the fact that his wife had given cash to the Holy Land Foundation, which he knew at the time was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. (HLF and its leaders were convicted on 108 counts of conspiring to provide material support to Hamas and other terrorists.)


Agents inquired what he knew about the Islamic Center of Morgantown, W.Va., and he failed to tell them that one of his sons is a vice president there who's contributed more than $10,000 to its treasury.
The FBI agents, who were attached to the bureau's Pittsburgh field office and led by agent Terry Grzadzielewski, left the meeting unaware they were denied information relevant to their investigation – thanks to CAIR's operative running interference on behalf of the subject of their inquiry that day, according to "Muslim Mafia."

Farooq reported details of the FBI meeting, including Ahmed's omissions, to CAIR-Maryland/Virginia chapter Executive Director Rizwan Mowlana, who had assigned her to spy on the FBI. A copy of the confidential memo – which is marked DO NOT RELEASE OUTSIDE CAIR – was obtained by "Muslim Mafia."

At the end of her report, Farooq recommended CAIR gather local Muslims who worship at Ahmed's mosque in Hagerstown, Md., to formally train them in similar deception and obstruction tactics.

"Since the Hagerstown community seems to be a center of attention for several FBI agents," she wrote, "I recommend CAIR conduct a know-your-rights lecture at the location with some recommendations (on) how to respond to FBI agents when approached by them."

At the same time, Farooq recommended mailing the FBI's Pittsburgh field office a copy of CAIR's "Law Enforcement Official's Guide to the Muslim Community," followed by "sensitivity training" for all its agents.

"Muslim Mafia" obtained a copy of CAIR's law enforcement guide, which for the most part dictates terms to police – the Dos and Don'ts (and mostly Dont's) of investigating Muslims. Here is a summary:

1 – Don't demand eye contact from Muslim suspects.
2 – Don't frisk them.
3 – Never use dogs to search Muslim homes.
4 – Remove shoes before entering homes and mosques.
5 – Don't mishandle the Quran during searches.
6 – Don't step on prayer rugs.
"Keep a physical space when dealing with members of the Muslim community," CAIR's police guide mandates. "Some Muslims may be uncomfortable with gestures that include any touching."

The booklet spends nine pages lecturing law enforcement officers about Islamic tenets and how to respect them, and none offering them cultural clues to help them identify extremists and jihadists in the Muslim community.

That same year, 2004, the FBI raided an Islamic "cultural center" in a northern Virginia suburb on suspicions of terrorist activity. But before agents executed the search warrant, the FBI told CAIR the raid was going to take place, so that CAIR officials could be on site to monitor the conduct and sensitivity of agents.

By the time agents showed up at the Saudi-controlled Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America in Merrifield, Va. – where al-Qaida recruiter Anwar Awlaki lectured – the building was practically an "empty box," as one investigator described it in "Muslim Mafia."

"By the time we went in, the place was sterile. They'd cleaned it out," adds the senior investigator, who works with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington. "It was bad. It was really bad."

What happened? "They were warned by CAIR that we were coming to do a search warrant," explains the law enforcement official, who helped execute the search warrant. "We were pissed. It was obvious to us they knew we were coming."

Who got the courtesy call from the FBI that morning? The same CAIR official cited earlier – CAIR-MD/VA executive director Rizwan Mowlana – who'd assigned the "sister in Islam" to coach the Maryland mosque president and help obstruct the FBI's questioning of him.


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 Interfaith meeting rocked by terror accusation
Muslim leader unexpectedly confronted with group's ties to parent of al-Qaida

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Posted: May 14, 2010
1:00 am Eastern



By Art Moore



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WorldNetDaily


ISNA President Ingrid Mattson

An American Islamic leader friendly with the White House who leads an interfaith-dialogue movement was unexpectedly confronted at a Connecticut synagogue about her organization's ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, the parent of al-Qaida, Hamas and numerous Islamic groups that aim to establish Islamic law worldwide through terrorism and other means.

Ingrid Mattson, director of the Islamic Society of North America, ISNA, was a featured speaker May 4 at an interfaith event hosted by Congregation Kol Haverim in Glastonbury, Conn., titled "How Religious People of Peace Can Transform Differences and Build Bridges of Understanding."

Jeffrey Epstein – who as president of the non-profit America's Truth Forum has researched and hosted conferences on the Islamic terror threat to the U.S – told WND he "felt it best to leave" after the president of the synagogue interrupted his second question, which had elicited noticeable gasps from the mostly Jewish audience of about 100.

Get the book that exposes the Muslim Brotherhood's plans for America from the inside out, autographed, from WND's Superstore!

Epstein first asked Mattson to explain why there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia, noting the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently designated 10 Muslim countries as among the worst violators of religious freedom.

"I'm not a Saudi and have no say over what they do," Mattson replied, according to Epstein and two other witnesses who asked not to be named.

"We all know that the Saudi government is not a democracy and doesn't do things like we do," she said, according to Epstein. "The royal family is a dictatorial regime and has a history of human rights violations and persecuting minority religions. They don't respect women's rights."

Mattson, whose group was founded in 1981 by the Saudi-funded Muslim Students' Association, traveled last month to Saudi Arabia for a meeting of the Islamic Development Bank, according to African media.

The bank was chartered by the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1973 "in accordance with the principles of Shariah," or Islamic law, as prescribed by the Muslim Brotherhood, notes counter-terrorism scholar Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy.

Mattson's national profile was raised by her prayer at Obama's inauguration prayer service, and she attended the president's Ramadan dinner at the White House.

The moderator of the interfaith gathering said there would be no time for further questions, but Epstein insisted on asking another one, noting Mattson had agreed to answer two questions.

Epstein asked: "Ingrid, how can you sincerely represent yourself as a peace partner in terms of promoting interfaith dialogue and bridge-building, when you preside as president of the Islamic Society of North America – a known operating wing of the Muslim Brotherhood which is a terrorist organization that spawned both Hamas and al-Qaida."

Mattson replied by listing her associations with the federal government, saying she worked with the CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the White House.

The synagogue president then intervened, explaining it was not the time for politics.

With the microphone still in his hand, Epstein maintained that his question was not about politics but about terrorism.

He pointed to Mattson as the leader of an organization classified by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Dallas trial of the Holy Land Foundation, which was found guilty in 2008 of raising money for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

ISNA was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America" as one of the Brotherhood's likeminded "organizations of our friends" who shared the common goal of turning the U.S. into a Muslim nation under Shariah, or Islamic law.

Mattson, who also is the director of Hartford Seminary's Muslim chaplain training program, did not respond to WND's request for comment.

Chief conduit

ISNA, through its affiliate the North American Islamic Trust – a Saudi government-backed organization – reportedly holds the mortgages on 50 to 80 percent of all mosques in the U.S. and Canada.

WND previously attended a Muslim Students' Association event at which speakers called for violence against the U.S..

Islam scholar Stephen Schwartz, a Sufi Muslim known for his critique of Islamic fundamentalism, describes ISNA as "one of the chief conduits through which the radical Saudi form of Islam passes into the United States."

Counter-terrorism expert Steven Emerson describes ISNA as a "radical group hiding under a false veneer of moderation" that publishes a bi-monthly magazine that "often champions militant Islamist doctrine." The group also "convenes annual conferences where Islamist militants have been given a platform to incite violence and promote hatred," states Emerson.

ISNA raised money for the defense of Hamas leader Mousa Marzook after he was arrested and eventually deported in 1997. The group also has condemned the U.S. government's post-9/11 seizure of Hamas' and Palestinian Islamic Jihad's financial assets.

ISNA sponsored the event at New York University in February in which President Obama's top adviser on counter-terrorism, John Brennan, came under fire for controversial remarks to Muslim law students. The director of the group's Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances, Sayyid Syeed, was part of a delegation that met with the directors of Obama's transition team and discussed a request for an executive order ending "torture." Top White House aide Valerie Jarrett addressed ISNA's 46th annual convention as part of Obama's outreach to Muslims, according to the White House.

'Trying to build understanding'


The rabbi at the host Connecticut synagogue, Craig Marantz, told WND he was not familiar with Mattson's organization and its documented links to violent Islamic jihad.

"This is something I don't know about," he said. "I'm not certain of its relevance to the conversation we had on Tuesday night."

Marantz told WND that "for us to even discuss issues like that" with Muslims "we have to have an agreement to hear each other out and to recognize the concerns in such a way that we could develop some understanding."

"It's a matter of trying to build understanding, not force an agenda," he said.

Marantz said Epstein "is entitled, like anyone else, to have other people hear his concern, hear his pain, to be able to name his pain and not be ridiculed or ostracized."

"At the same time, he can't do the same to others while he's trying to be understood," Marantz said. "And this is the key to dialogue. And that's what we were trying to achieve; to introduce people to the potential and power of such dialogue."

Epstein told WND that "as a Jewish American of patriotic lineage," it was "surreal to see the terrorist-linked leadership" of a group "sworn to the destruction of both the state of Israel and the Jewish people elevated to a position of prominence" at a synagogue.

"I never dreamed that a congregation would marginalize what I had to say and consider me to be a threat to their safety – especially since all facts presented were based upon evidence from law enforcement investigations and court transcripts," he said.

The other speakers at the event were Hartford Seminary President Heidi Hadsell and Yehezkel Landau, director of the seminary's Building Abrahamic Partnerships program and faculty associate in interfaith relations. They characterized Islam as a religion of peace, asserting knowledge of other religions would help break down differences and lead to tolerance and acceptance.

Mattson argued that if Islam were a violent religion, with a Muslim global population of 1.5 billion violence would be at an "apocalyptic" level.

As WND reported, Hartford Seminary now offers training to Muslims who want to become an imam in the U.S.

The seminary launched its Graduate Certificate in Imam Education program this spring with help from the seminary's Duncan Black MacDonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, the Fairfax Institute and the Fairfax Institute's parent, the International Institute for Islamic Thought, or the IITT.

The IITT also was named in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum as a likeminded "organizations of our friends" and is a defendant in two class-action lawsuits brought by the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Hartford Seminary spokesman David Barrett said the IIIT came to the seminary with the suggestion for the imam training program.

Hartford Seminary was founded in the 18th century by members of the Congregationalist denomination to prepare pastors and other Christian ministers for service. The seminary opened its doors to the first Muslim on its core faculty in the 1990s, shortly after a decision had been made to pursue "Christian-Muslim relations."

 

 Attack Highlights Unrelenting Plight of Iraq’s Christians
Monday, May 03, 2010
By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor




Medics in a hospital in Irbil tend to a victim of a bomb attack that targeted Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Sunday, May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Yahya Ahmed)
(CNSNews.com) – Iraq’s embattled Christian minority came under attack again on Sunday, when a double bombing near the northern city of Mosul targeted a convoy of buses carrying Christian students, injuring scores of them.

Ninawa provincial authorities said a shopkeeper nearby was killed in the attack – a roadside blast followed by a car bombing – on Sunday morning. Around 70 students were hurt in the blasts.

The students were traveling in convoy to Mosul University, because it was considered a safer way to get them to classes after previous attacks on Christians. The attack occurred near a checkpoint manned by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers as well as troops from the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region.

Iraq’s Assyrian Christians are adherents of denominations including the Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox churches.

The community, which traces its origins to the early years of Christianity two millennia ago, has been dwindling in numbers over the past two decades, a trend researchers attributed initially to difficulties experienced after the 1991 Gulf War but said accelerated since the fall of the Baathist regime in 2003.

The last official census, in 1987, recorded 1.4 million Christians in Iraq. By 2003 estimates of its size ranged from 1.2 million to about 800,000. There are no definitive figures, but some experts believe the community may have been cut by half since then. Killings, kidnappings, harassment and church bombings have helped to drive the exodus.

More than a dozen Christians in Iraq have died violently since the beginning of 2010, the National Council of Churches in the U.S. said in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week.

A bipartisan statutory body set up to advise the executive branch and Congress on religious freedom issues, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), wants the U.S. government to toughen its response to the situation in Iraq.

The International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998 empowers the Secretary of State to name foreign governments that violate citizens’ religious freedom (or allow them to be violated by other parties) “countries of particular concern” (CPCs). Designation allows the U.S. to take measures, including sanctions, against governments that engage in or tolerate serious abuses.

In the very first annual assessment issued under the IRFA, in 1999, the Clinton Administration identified Iraq as one of a small group of CPCs. The majority of the early reports on Iraq focused on the Sunni regime’s harsh treatment of the Shi’ite majority, with far less attention paid to the small Christian minority.

Iraq’s CPC designation was retained during the early years of the Bush administration, but a year after Saddam’s removal Baghdad was removed from the list in mid-2004.

Ironically, the situation for Iraq’s Christians has undoubtedly grown worse since then, and the USCIRF, a body created under the IRFA, has been urging a more robust response from Washington.

The Commission at first recommended that Iraq be added to a second-tier watchlist – one step short of CPC designation – but in late 2008 it recommended that its CPC designation be restored. (Four of the nine commissioners dissented, saying that religious minorities were being targeted not by the Iraqi government, but by “terrorist and insurgent groups.” The four argued that the requirements of the IRGA for CPC designation were met, although they agreed with their fellow commissioners that the government was not doing enough “to address the alarming plight of Iraq’s Christian and other religious minority communities.”)

When the USCIRF released its latest annual report, late last week, it criticized the administration for not following its recommendations to restore CPC designation for Iraq, as well as for Pakistan, Nigeria, Vietnam and Turkmenistan.

The Commission also questioned the Obama administration’s commitment to promoting religious freedom, noting among other things that it had still not nominated an ambassador-at-large for religious freedom, a position also established by the IRFA.

In the National Council of Churches letter to Clinton and Gates, church leaders appealed to them to urge the Iraqi authorities to do more to protect Iraqi Christians.

They said the U.S. should also encourage the preservation of religious and ethnic diversity in Iraq.

“Our concern is now particularly acute because it is possible that tensions will increase as various political forces continue to vie for power following the recent [Mar. 7] elections,” the letter said. “We fear that a growing climate of mistrust and animosity will further threaten the fragile Christian community.”

A coalition led by Ayad Allawi, a former prime minister who enjoys considerable Sunni support, narrowly beat a Shi’ite one headed by incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Another Shi’ite faction came in third.

Almost two months later delays in forming a new government, because of continuing disputes about results and candidate eligibility, have raised concerns that the sectarian violence which roiled the country in 2005-2007 could return.

Under a security agreement that came into force at the beginning of last year, all U.S. combat forces are scheduled to be deployed out of Iraq by August, ahead of the end of 2011 deadline for a total withdrawal.
 

 Morocco Rejects Criticism for Expelling Christians Accused of Proselytizing Abandoned Muslim Children
Friday, March 12, 2010
By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

Some of the children of the Village of Hope whose foster parents have been expelled by the Moroccan government. (Photo: Village of Hope)
(CNSNews.com) – The government of Morocco has launched a public relations effort to fend off criticism about its decision to expel 20 foreign Christian aid workers it accuses of trying to convert Muslims.

The expulsion order affected Christians who ran a center that has been taking in and fostering abandoned Moroccan children for 10 years.

The group issued a statement denying the accusations, and describing the wrench of 33 children being forced to say goodbye, with no prior warning, to the only parents they had known.

On Thursday the government hosted a meeting of religious leaders – Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish – who all then issued statements objecting to proselytizing, the act of seeking coverts from other faiths.

“Representatives of monotheistic religions in Morocco on Thursday reiterated that the kingdom is a land of tolerance, peace and religious freedom and rejected all forms of proselytism,” the official Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP) news agency reported.

Interior Minister Taib Cherkaoui, who met with the religious figures, said the government was “thankful for their firm stand and their immediate condemnation of proselytism.”

The Russian Orthodox representative, Dmitry Orekhov, was quoted as saying, “We ourselves in Russia are facing the problem of proselytism and are willing to cooperate with Morocco to fight it.”

Earlier, Moroccan Communications Minister Khalid Naciri warned in a statement that the government would be “severe with all those who play with religious values.”

He charged that the expelled Christians “took advantage of the poverty of some families and targeted their young children, whom they took in hand, in violation of the kafala [adoption] procedures for abandoned or orphaned children.”

Naciri claimed the Morocco was “a land of openness and tolerance,” and said that the expulsions “have nothing to do with the practice of Christianity but with acts of proselytism.”

He also insisted that Christians were not being singled out, saying the warning applied to some Islamist sects too.

‘Devastated’

The 20 foreigners expelled this week included American, British, Dutch and New Zealand nationals. They were working at a place called the Village of Hope in the Atlas Mountains about 60 miles south of Fez, where the children were accommodated in homes with their foster families rather than in a dormitory-type environment.

In a statement, Village of Hope (VOH) described the eviction process as “the most painful situation imaginable,” saying parents had been given just a few hours to pack their belongings.

“The Moroccan authorities gathered the children together in the school and told them what was happening in the absence of the parents. After that, parents had to further explain to the devastated children what was about to happen. Some of the children have been with their parents for 10 years and the trauma caused was beyond description.”

VOH stressed that the authorities had not mistreated the children and were offering them temporary care. “However, parents have no idea what is to happen to their children or how they are coping and have no point of contact with the Moroccan authorities.”

Two of the boys at the Village of Hope hear the news that they may not see their foster dad again. (Photo: Village of Hope)
The group said the authorities had produced no evidence to support the proselytizing allegations, and offered no way of appealing the decision.

“VOH fully understands that the Moroccan law prohibits people from promoting a faith other than Islam and has always sought to abide by this law and recognizes the right of the authorities to enforce this law,” the statement said.

“All parents, volunteers and visitors to VOH were required to sign a declaration stating that they will abide by the Moroccan law prohibiting evangelism.”

The group expressed concern about how the incident would tarnish Morocco’s image, and stressed that its priority was to be reunited with the children.

“This is not an issue of Islam vs. Christianity, this is an issue of families torn apart, bewildered and devastated children and heartbroken parents,” it said.

“We openly and unashamedly appeal directly to the King [Mohammed VI], as a father himself, to act with mercy and help us reach a point of compromise and reunite the 33 children with the only parents they know.”

‘Varying degrees of official restrictions’

Meanwhile the MAP news agency carried a brief report about the State Department’s annual report on human rights, which was released in Washington on Thursday.

Under the headline, “U.S. hails Morocco's efforts to promote religious tolerance,” the MAP item noted that the U.S. government report stated that the Moroccan government “continued to encourage tolerance and respect among religions.”

The quote came from a section on the treatment of Morocco’s small Jewish minority. Elsewhere in the human rights report – but not cited by the MAP agency – the State Department offered a less positive assessment.

“Non-Muslim communities openly practiced their faiths with varying degrees of official restrictions,” it said. “The law proscribes efforts to proselytize Muslims.”

It reported on an incident last year in which authorities had expelled five foreigners and interrogated citizens about their participation in a private women’s Bible study group.

“The authorities confiscated Bibles, books, cellular phones, and a computer; they reportedly pressured the women to return to Islam, mocked their Christian faith, and questioned why they left Islam,” it said.

The Christian ministry Open Doors, which maintains an annual watchlist of the 50 countries where Christians face the worst persecution, placed Morocco this year at number 37, a worsening by three places since the 2009 list.
 

 Defend courageous young investigators from persecution by terror-tied group

Posted: January 21, 2010     WorldNetDaily

Dear WND reader,

As you may know, WorldNetDaily is locked in a dramatic ongoing legal battle with the terror-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which has sued one of our authors over the blockbuster book "Muslim Mafia," based in part on a daring six-month undercover operation by three young investigators posing as CAIR "interns."

Lately, the case has swung in our direction – see our recent story, "Judge rules against CAIR," as well as today's extraordinary update in which CAIR not only concedes it filed it's complaint under a false name, but also provides no evidence that it actually suffered any damages in its lawsuit.

However, CAIR's attack on us is far from over, and the current good results have been made possible only because you have faithfully supported us this far in our battle with this notorious Islamist organization.

Please continue to support as generously as possible WND's Legal Defense Fund.

We're doing well in this lawsuit so far for three reasons: 1) We're in the right, 2) We have the best attorneys in the country, and 3) We've been blessed with your financial support. Remember, lawsuits are extremely expensive – even if you're in the right.

What's it all about?

Last month, attorneys for WND Books author P. David Gaubatz and his son Chris – whose harrowing undercover investigation of CAIR resulted not only in the blockbuster book "Muslim Mafia," but also in a lawsuit against them by CAIR – filed a legal brief claiming the D.C.-based Muslim-rights group has no claim because it does not legally exist.

That's right. Doesn't even legally exist! You can read the whole story explaining the legal filing and examine the actual documents themselves, but this is a bombshell development in the lawsuit filed against our author by the notorious Islamic group.

In this audacious, ACORN-style undercover operation by Chris Gaubatz and two young ladies, all three pretended to convert to Islam – he grew a beard, they wore veils – and landed positions as interns with the notorious Islamic organization headquartered just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol. In the process, they retrieved 12,000 pages of internal CAIR documents.

CAIR is known by the U.S. government to be a Saudi-funded, terrorist-front group, whose terror connections caused the FBI earlier this year to cut off ties with the organization. The U.S. Justice Department has likewise branded CAIR an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the largest terror-funding trial in U.S. history. In other words, in law enforcement terms CAIR is a "dirty" organization. It has supported known terror groups like Hamas, it has engaged in placing interns and staffers in key congressional offices, and works ceaselessly to undermine America's post-9/11 security, according to multiple FBI agents.




Indeed, as "Muslim Mafia" documents exhaustively, major Islamic subversion of America is taking place right under our noses, to the point that most of this nation's largest "mainstream" Islamic "civil rights," "charitable" and "lobbying" organizations are in fact fronts for the dangerous international Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of al-Qaida and Hamas. One major nexus of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. is the supposedly "moderate and mainstream" CAIR.

Americans' knowledge of all this increased dramatically with WND Books' recent publication of "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America," co-authored by P. David Gaubatz, a former federal agent and veteran terrorism investigator, as well as investigative reporter and "Infiltration" author Paul Sperry.

Predictably, CAIR has denied all charges against it – disputing the Justice Department designation of the group as a terror co-conspirator, faulting the FBI, and condemning members of Congress who, based on "Muslim Mafia"'s revelations, have recently called for three separate federal probes of the organization. Instead, on Nov. 2 CAIR filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C., a lawsuit against Chris Gaubatz and his father, "Muslim Mafia" co-author P. David Gaubatz.

The next day, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, based solely on the requests from CAIR's lawyers and without benefit of input from the defendants (that'll come later), granted CAIR's demand for a temporary restraining order barring P. David Gaubatz and his son, Chris Gaubatz, from further use or publication of the internal documents, recordings and records obtained in the six-month undercover operation, and ordering they return them to CAIR's lawyers by midnight Nov 18.

Although CAIR contends Chris Gaubatz stole the documents, WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah has previously explained in a letter to Congress that the CAIR material was legally obtained by the young investigator, who had been asked by CAIR officials "to shred documents he believed might be criminal evidence … and involve matters of national security."

"On advice from counsel, he collected those documents and preserved them. None of the documents were 'stolen,'" Farah said. "They were, in fact, handed to him by CAIR employees for destruction. All of the documents are available for review by appropriate law-enforcement authorities and, in fact, some have already been provided to them."

In fact, since the lawsuit was filed, the FBI has jumped into the fray, serving a warrant asking for the same CAIR documents.

WorldNetDaily has stepped up to the plate by coming to the defense of its author, Dave Gaubatz, and his investigator son, and are aggressively fighting this lawsuit – which is switching to offense today. But all that requires money.

"This is a battle we absolutely can win," said Farah, "especially since we have retained the very best First Amendment attorneys in the world – including the lawyer who defended Ronald Reagan – to defend our author and our book. But lawsuits are very expensive and we urgently need our readers to help us fight this radical Islamic group's attack on us."

 

 Terror Suspect’s Outburst in Federal Court on Tuesday Proves Skeptics Right
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
By Susan Jones, Senior Editor


(CNSNews.com) – What’s the problem with putting America’s enemies on trial in U.S. federal courts? Overlooked amid the election news in Massachusetts on Wednesday was a Boston Globe report on Aafia Siddiqui, an American-trained neuroscientist accused of trying to shoot American agents in Afghanistan.

According to the Globe, Siddiqui “used the public forum of the trial to reiterate her accusations that she was tortured in a secret prison – accusations the US government has called baseless.”

The woman also shouted that the first witness against her was “lying.” She was “swiftly expelled from the courtroom,” the Globe reported.

Critics of the Obama administration’s plan to try terror suspects in civilian courts have warned that courtrooms will be used a propaganda platform.