You won’t read the words written above anywhere else!
Everybody else is writing “British man” attacks Texan synagogue. But this is grossly misleading. Until fairly recently, there were few Muslims in the United Kingdom. The change came with liberal immigration reforms, which allowed in millions of Muslims, mostly from South Asia. Some of these Muslims have become a serious security headache for the UK and for America. British passport holders can enter the US without a visa. Somewhere along the line the perpetrator of this heinous act, Malik Faisal Akram, was described as having “mental problems,” which is another way of deflecting attention from his Islamic faith. As the next article shows, the West is in total denial on this issue. Just remember – not all Muslims are terrorists but most terrorists are Muslims!
The West’s Denial of Terrorists’ Islamic Motivation
Everyone would agree that people’s actions are led by their beliefs. But in the case of Islamically-motivated terrorism, the West reflexively pretends that the terrorists aren’t motivated by their beliefs.
Perhaps the most prominent example of this denial is former U.S. President Barack Obama’s refusal to use the term “Islamic terrorism,” opting instead to refer to it as “violent extremism” to create the impression that the attacks are not religiously motivated, but rather a thoughtless phenomenon. President Obama said: “There’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they do.”
Here are three additional examples, though there are many other cases.
Less than three weeks after the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, in which U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he shot and killed 13 fellow U.S. service members, European and U.S. editions of Time Magazine featured a cover photo of Hasan with the title “Terrorist?” over his eyes. The U.S. Department of Defense’s 2010 report “Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood” would later classify the attack as “workplace violence,” and makes no mention of Hasan’s religious beliefs. In 2013, a U.S. Army judge would even limit prosecutors from introducing evidence that would establish Hasan’s motives as “jihadi.”
After the 2015 San Bernardino, California attack, in which married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people and wounded 24 at a Christmas party held for county officials, investigators hesitated to refer to the attack as an act of terrorism even after it was known that the attackers had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on social media on the day of the shooting.
San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik (Source: From The MEMRI Archives: Reports On Pakistani School, Radical Mosque That Played A Role In CA Jihadi Tashfeen Malik’s Radicalization, MEMRI.org, December 6, 2015)
Yet another example is the May 22, 2017 attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in which a Muslim suicide bomber named Salman Abedi killed 22 people and wounded over 1,000. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack almost immediately, but in her statement the following day, British Prime Minister Theresa May referred to the attack only as an act of “sickening cowardice.” Some media outlets even reduced the Manchester attack to a misogynistic attack on women and did not mention the bomber’s religious motives at all. U.S. President Donald Trump, who had bucked political correctness by using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” during his campaign, referred to the people behind the Manchester attack as “evil losers.” (MEMRI, 1/22/2022)
CHINESE GOVERNMENT BUYING UP EUROPE
A staggering 40% out of 650 Chinese investments in Europe in the years 2010-2020, according to Datenna [a Dutch company that monitors Chinese investments in Europe], had “high or moderate involvement by state-owned or state-controlled companies.”
When the Chairman of the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, wrote that Chinese ownership of the British microchip plant, Newport Wafer Fab, “represents a significant economic and national security concern,” UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng responded that the deal had been “considered thoroughly.” Only after considerable pressure did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agree to a national security review of the sale.
The European Court of Auditors, an EU institution that oversees EU finances, has found that gaining an overview of Chinese investments in the EU is difficult because of the lack of comprehensive data; it seems no one is recording it. (“China: buying up Europe,” Judith Bergman, Gatestone, 1/14/2022)
GERMANY WANTS GREATER ROLE IN EASTERN EUROPE
Without the participation of Germany and the EU, the USA and Russia open talks in Geneva on NATO activities in Eastern Europe and arms control measures. Moscow is insisting that NATO halt its eastward expansion and the military activities near Russia’s borders. Washington rejects this, but is prepared, for example, to scale back maneuvers in Eastern Europe. Berlin and Brussels are not involved. The “Normandy Format,” under which Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine have been unsuccessfully negotiating for seven years, has been currently put on ice. Western European powers are only included in the negotiation process within the NATO framework. The German government is engaging in frantic activities to exert more influence on the talks – so far also to no avail. According to experts, the United States could hardly win a war against both China and Russia. This is why Washington is interested in a certain degree of a relaxation of tensions on the European front. (German Foreign Policy, 1/10/2022)
Germany Nervously Tests the Indo-Pacific Waters A quiet frigate deployment is a sign of muddled policy toward Beijing, by Blake Herzinger, a civilian Indo-Pacific defense policy specialist and U.S. Navy Reserve officer. (Foreign Policy, 3 January 2022)
A single German frigate is making the rounds of Asia. With the ship now halfway through its mission, Berlin has created more questions than it has answered with its first foray into the region in two decades. The German Navy’s deployment of the Brandenburg-class frigate Bayern, announced in January 2021 and dispatched that August, throws into relief Europe’s dilemma in the Indo-Pacific. Despite its public commitments to concepts such as human rights, democracy, and equality, Germany (like many others in Europe) is deeply dependent on China, a power that believes in none of these, for continued economic growth. While the European Union and China traded sanctions in a rare escalation of tensions last year, EU members are taking great pains to avoid being dragged along by Washington into a direct confrontation with Beijing. But the capitals of Europe are unable to agree on a unified approach.
Germany’s decision to go it alone was a surprising one, given the potential opportunity to integrate with the British Royal Navy’s carrier strike group deployment earlier in the year, as the Netherlands elected to do with its own frigate. During the Bayern’s visit to Singapore last month, Germany’s chief of navy—Vice Adm. Kay-Achim Schönbach—indicated that the ship was selected specifically because it was a bit older and lacked the offensive punch of some newer vessels, to avoid the appearance of provocation. (https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/01/03/german-navy-indo-pacific-frigate-china-policy/)
France takes the EU helm at a crucial time
France on Saturday assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union, a position that rotates every six months among the EU member states by Luke Coffey, Arab News (Zawya)
France on Saturday assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union, a position that rotates every six months among the EU member states. Holding this position is a big deal. With 27 members in the EU, each country has a long wait for their turn. It is an opportunity for member states to shape the policy agenda and promote their national interests on the European stage. Countries plan for months — sometimes years —for their opportunity. France last held the presidency in 2008. This time, its presidency comes at a difficult juncture for the bloc. The initial shock of the UK’s departure has still not fully settled down. There is a debate across much of Europe on what the EU’s future should be, but it is not accompanied by any political will to make the necessary reforms or institutional changes to address many of the EU’s shortcomings. No major treaty has been agreed on since the controversial Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The desire to add new members has stalled. France is also in the middle of a contentious presidential election campaign, with voting in April. The political power of the far right poses a real challenge to Emmanuel Macron’s re-election. (1/4/2022)
China cuts Africa lending
China, Africa’s top lender, is taking a closer look at its lending policy on the continent. Xi Jinping announced last November that China will cut overall lending to the continent by one-third until 2024, as many African countries risk default due to COVID-induced economic crises. In the future, Xi also wants to prioritize cash for small businesses and green projects over more big infrastructure stuff, a riskier investment that can leave Beijing holding a bigger bag when debts go unpaid. China has long been accused of luring African countries into a “debt trap” by lending them cash with no political strings attached, but with fine print that allows Chinese companies to take control of strategic infrastructure – like Uganda’s Entebbe airport – if they get stiffed. What some view as “predatory” lending by Beijing also enables corruption, with Kenya’s famously overpriced Nairobi-Mombasa railway as a glaring example. A defensive Beijing says that the world’s poorest continent needs Chinese loans to build infrastructure, and that the IMF also gets tough on African governments. But needed or not, China’s investment strategy is becoming more cautious. (Gzero Signal, 1/12/2022)
African countries disallow free movement of people How to break the logjam (16 Jan 2022, The Conversation)
Most African countries signed onto the Free Movement of Persons protocol in Addis Ababa in January 2018. Its rationale was set out clearly: the free movement of people – as well as capital goods and services – would promote integration and herald in a host of other benefits. These included improving science, technology, education, research and fostering tourism. In addition, it would facilitate inter-African trade and investment, increase remittances within the continent, promote the mobility of labour, create employment and improve the standards of living. Four years after its ratification, only a handful of relatively small African states have fully ratified the Free Persons protocol. Over 30 countries signed the protocol in January 2018. But only Rwanda, Niger, São Tomé and Principe, and Mali have fully ratified it. (https://theconversation.com/african-countries-are-stuck-on-the-free-movement-of-people-how-to-break-the-logjam-174720)
“The United Nations has estimated that since 2011, Boko Haram has killed more than 15,200 Nigerians and forced 1.7 million others from their homes as it has sought to turn Nigeria into an Islamic nation ruled by Sharia law.” (Catholicherald.co.uk, November 5, 2021; Nigeria)
On November 17, the U.S. removed Nigeria from its list of Countries of Particular Concern, meaning nations that engage in, or tolerate violations of, religious freedom. Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed (3,530) for their faith in 2020….. “If the U.S. CPC list means anything at all – an open question at this point – Nigeria belongs on it.” (Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, quoting Christian Solidarity, Nigeria)
(“The Persecution of Christians,” Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone, 1/9/2022)
DOES JAPAN ASPIRE TO BE A SUPERPOWER? Despite its “peace constitution,” Japan has a growing military footprint, by Alec Dubro, 3 Jan 2022, Foreign Policy in Focus, Extracts:
In early November, the German Navy frigate Bayern docked in Japan after two days of exercises with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Samidare. No, it’s not the reestablishment of the Axis Powers, but it’s still significant.“ The Indo-Pacific is today one of the strategically most important regions of the world,” Gen. Eberhard Zorn, chief of Germany’s armed forces said at a Tokyo press conference. “Here, important decisions over freedom, peace and well-being in the world are being made. Deploying our frigate to the Indo-Pacific makes clear that Germany stands up for our common values.” In other words, the Germans are doing their part to contain China, just as the British, French and Dutch have done. And, of course, the Americans. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces have been described as the world’s fifth most powerful military. In November 2021, Japan’s military budget of $47 billion was supplemented by an additional appropriation of $6.7 billion. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and the ruling LDP had pressed for the supplement because of the ongoing threats not only from China but Russia and North Korea. This comes as no surprise to the Americans. In their April high-level meeting in Washington, both Suga and President Biden declared their intention to increase Japan’s national defense capabilities to “further strengthen the US- Japan alliance and regional security.”Regional security implies a strategic force, something that flies in the face of Japan’s 1947 Peace Constitution.
HOMOSEXUALITY AND ISLAM
A heated debate is currently ongoing in the Arab and Muslim world regarding the LGBTQ+ community and its rights. The debate ensued following criticism in the West over Qatar’s treatment of this community and fear that gays visiting the country for the World Cup in November 2022 will not be safe. Another factor that sparked the interest in this issue was statements made by former Egyptian footballer Mohamed Aboutrika, who said that homosexuality contravenes Islam and human nature and is not a matter of human rights.
As part of the debate, harsh statements were made against gays and against Western attitudes that accept them, including by Islamic authorities such as Al-Azhar – the most prominent religious institute in the Sunni world – and the Saudi Mufti, as well as by media figures and social media activists.
A handful of Arab writers opposed this incitement and called to stop it, among them Egyptian poet and journalist Mohamed Tolba Radwan. In an article titled “The Rights of Homosexuals in Islam” in the daily Al-‘Arabi Al-Jadid, he wrote that, while homosexuality is indeed forbidden in Islam, Allah did not impose any punishment for it in this world, and therefore there is no reason to hate gays but only to abhor the sin itself. He called to first of all stop the verbal and physical violence directed at gays by the authorities and societies in the Arab world, and only then discuss the issue of their status and rights. (MEMRI, 1/12/2022)
TO THE POINT
- Britain has sent troops and weaponry to Ukraine to help with its self-defence against Moscow, the Daily Mail reported. The soldiers are expected to teach their Ukrainian counterparts how to combat Russian tanks. The paper described the development as a clear signal to Vladimir Putin. (The Week, 1/18/2022)
- Downing Street is drawing up plans to phase out England’s remaining pandemic restrictions in March, according to reports. A senior source confirmed to The Guardian that the PM was looking at ending mandatory self-isolation for positive Covid cases, replacing it instead with “guidance”. The paper said the “beleaguered” Boris Johnson wants to signal to his backbenchers that he is prepared to let the UK live with the virus. A World Health Organisation special envoy for Covid-19 has said there is now “light at the end of the tunnel” for the UK in tackling the disease. (The Week, 1/18/2022)
- China is waging a trade war against Lithuania in order to test the West’s resolve to stand up to Beijing, according to the foreign minister of the embattled Baltic state. Gabriel Landsbergis told The Telegraph that Lithuania was being targeted with a “weapon of economic destruction” that could “basically be used in any other country and by any other non-democratic country that has issues with another country that it doesn’t like.” (The Week, 1/18/2022)
A few days ago, Sky News led on Boris Johnson’s problems with drinking parties being held in 10 Downing Street during Covid. The second news item was about Novak Djokovic, the world’s number one tennis player who tried to get around Australian restrictions on Covid. And the third profiled Prince Andrew and the ongoing sexual abuse case against him.
All three news items have the same commonality at their root. All three were about major public figures thinking they are above the law.
Nobody should be above the law. That’s been a fundamental principle in the English-speaking world ever since the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. That’s not the case everywhere. For example, while the Magna Carta brought down Richard Nixon in 1974, French presidents cannot be prosecuted while in office.
The Bible teaches us that God is no respecter of persons. “Then Peter opened his mouth and said, ‘In truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons . . . (Acts 10:34, 21st century KJV)
The kings of ancient Israel were subject to the laws of the Bible, as were the people.
“When he (the king) takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20, NIV)
In Africa it’s very common for leaders to abuse their power. But it’s not in their interests or the interests of the people.
Leaders need to remember they are equal before the law.