Quote of the day!

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.

--- Golda Meir

KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY!!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Muslim Persecution of Christians: July, 2012



Several reports appearing in July indicate that Christian minorities all around the Muslim world—especially women and children—are being abducted, tortured, raped, forced to convert to Islam, and/or enslaved. In Egypt, at least 550 such cases have been documented in the last five years, and have only increased since the revolution. Christians who manage to escape back to their families often find the government siding with the Muslim abductors. One young mother who recently testified before the Helsinki Commission explained how she was snatched in broad daylight, as her abductor shouted to bystanders while dragging her to a waiting taxi, "No one interfere! She is an enemy of Islam."

Identical reports are emerging from Pakistan, where "persecution, kidnapping and abduction of Christian women and girls," including many married women with children, are on the rise. Last year the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said that 1800 Christian and Hindu girls were forcibly converted to Islam. Most recently, the sister of a pastor was "kidnapped raped and forcibly converted to Islam." She "was kidnapped around a month ago by some Muslim men while returning home from college. She was held for days, suffered sexual abuse, threats and violence. In such a state of terror and exhaustion, first she was coerced into converting to Islam, and then marriage. Her family reported the incident to the police station in Chunian, but no investigations have been conducted and instead her abductors have presented a report to the court attesting to the girl now being Muslim and legally married. Among other things, the girl is a minor and, according to the law, marriage is not permitted to minors."

The tiny Palestinian Christian community in the Hamas-run Gaza strip is also under siege, and charges that five Christians were abducted and pressured into converting to Islam. Because they made this forced conversion charge known, "members of the Christian community now fear reprisal attacks by Muslim extremists." Some have appealed to the Vatican and Christian groups and churches in the West for help. Yet "we only hear voices telling us to stay where we are and to stop making too much noise," said a Christian man living in Gaza City. "If they continue to turn a blind eye to our tragedy, in a few months there will be no Christians left in Palestine. Today it's happening in the Gaza Strip, tomorrow it will take place in Bethlehem."

Categorized by theme, July's assemblage of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed in alphabetical order by country, not severity.

Church Attacks

Indonesia: Muslim protesters forced a church to shut down during a Sunday worship on claims that it was operating without a permit, and hung a banner on the church's gate reading "We the people … hardily reject the use of this building … for religious activities." The church's committee secretary said the church has the necessarily permits to hold services," yet "the majority of the people still reject the church's activity."

Iran: Both the Central Assembly of God Church in Tehran and its summer campsite—once a popular site for Christian gatherings and conferences—were closed by authorities of the Islamic Republic, who also posted a large notice on the gates "warning of severe consequences should anyone try to enter the premises." These latest closures follow the official termination of Friday Persian language services and the compulsory
cancellation of all Bible classes and the distribution of Christian literature. Also, as part of the crackdown on house churches, plainclothes agents of the Ministry of Islamic Guidance continued raiding, arresting, and "aggressively interrogating" assembled worshipers.

Lebanon: Ahead of the Maronite Patriarch's visit to Akker, flyers signed by the "Soldiers of the Great Prophet" threatened the Christians and churches in what has traditionally been the safest Mideast country for Christians, calling "on the infidels to stop their blasphemy ... We will start from the infidel's church in Akker and we won't stop ... this is not the end but the beginning," read the flyer.

Kenya: Seven Islamic jihadis launched simultaneous grenade and gunfire attacks on two churches, while the congregations were at prayer. Five militants attacked the Africa Inland Church, killing 17 people and wounding approximately 60, including many women and children. The other two Muslim terrorists attacked the nearby Catholic Church, wounding three.

Kuwait: After approval was issued for the construction of a church, a group of Islamic preachers, echoing the words of the Saudi Grand Mufti, reasserted that churches are not permitted to be built in Muslim countries. One sheikh "expressed displeasure" against those approving the construction of the church, "stressing that it is not permissible as per the Sharia," adding that "excuses" such as saying that the building of a church "is a matter of human rights and international norms is not acceptable, as Islam comes first, and people should respect religion first before serving humanity or anything else."

Turkey: The existence of the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world, 5th century Mor Gabriel Monastery near the Turkish-Syrian border is at risk after a ruling by Turkey's highest appeals court. Inhabited today by only a few dozen Christians dedicated to learning the monastery's teachings, the ancient Aramaic language spoken by Jesus and the Orthodox Syriac tradition, neighboring Muslims with the support of an MP member of the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) filed a lawsuit accusing the Christians of practicing "anti-Turkish activities" and of illegally occupying land which belongs to Muslim villages. The highest appeals court in Ankara, which is close to the government, ruled in favor of the Muslim villagers, saying the land that has been part of the monastery for 1,600 years is not its property, and even claimed that the monastery was built over the ruins of a mosque, forgetting that Mohammed was born 170 years after its foundation.

Apostasy and Blasphemy

Egypt: A Christian teacher was arrested and detained after being accused of posting cartoons insulting to Islam and its prophet on Facebook. The man faces up to five years in jail if convicted of blasphemy. While admitting he manages the site in question, he said the site was hacked. Earlier in April, a Christian teenager was sentenced to three years in prison for posting cartoons perceived to mock Islam's prophet on his Face book page. Likewise, Christian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris posted Disney's Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in Islamic attire, which landed him in court, though he was acquitted.

Iran: Pastor Youssef Nadarkhani, who has spent over 1,000 days in prison awaiting execution for refusing to recant Christianity, is only one of many persecuted in Iran for their faith. A six-year prison sentence for pastor Farshid Fathi Malayerianother Muslim convert to Christianity—was recently upheld following an unsuccessful appeal hearing. Also, another prominent house church pastor, Benham Irani, remains behind bars, even as his family expresses concerns that he may die from continued abuse and beatings, leading to internal bleeding and other ailments; authorities refuse to give him medical treatment. The verdict against him contains text that describes the pastor as an apostate, adding that apostates "can be killed."

Pakistan: A Christian couple have been on the run since they embraced Islam back in 2006, only to reconvert to Christianity. Upon learning that the couple returned to Christianity, neighboring Muslims attacked and persecuted them; one of the husband's best friends abducted and tortured him, while beating the wife. "[One] should have the freedom to choose the religion one wishes to follow," said the Christian husband. "They have subsequently been on the run."

Saudi Arabia: A court is looking into an apostasy case concerning a 28-year-old Muslim woman's conversion to Christianity. The father alleges that a Saudi and a Lebanese played a role in converting his daughter to Christianity and smuggling her to Lebanon, where she has received sanctuary in an anonymous church.

Jihad Death and Destruction

Nigeria: In what is described as an ongoing genocide of Christians over 65 people, including two politicians, were killed in a triple attacks on Christians. First, Muslims destroyed 43 Christian-owned farms. Nobody was arrested. Then they attacked nine Christian villages around the city of Jos, killing dozens of people. "They came in hundreds," said an official, "Some had police uniforms and some even had bulletproof vests." In one instance, Christians fleeing the violence took refuge in the house of a local church leader, which was bombed and more than 50 Christians were burned alive, including the pastor's wife and children. Then the Muslims attacked the funeral for the victims of the village raids, killing several more people. Security forces said Muslim Fulani herdsmen were responsible but Islamist militant group Boko Haram issued a statement saying: "We thank Allah for the successful attack." Separately, Islamic motorcycle assassins gunned down four Christians.

South Africa: The Islamic terror group Al Shabaab is accused of murdering 14 Christians, all Ethiopians, in the Western Cape. A Christian bishop, also a former police inspector, fears more of his flock will be targeted: "We want authorities to do something because we know this is the work of al-Shabaab. If nothing is done, the Ethiopian population will be depleted… [those who died are] holy martyrs who have died because they are Christians." Meanwhile, Father Mike Williams of the Anglican Catholic Church also revealed that members of his congregation have been targeted by gunmen "with connections to Muslim extremists," saying that "In July, we have lost seven members of our church."

Syria: Syrian "freedom fighters" continue showing their true colors as they destroy churches and kill Christians, which has resulted in the mass migration of tens of thousands of Christians, including practically the entire populations of Homs and Qusayr. Surrounding nations that once might have offered refuge—Iraq, Turkey, even now Lebanon—are also increasingly inhospitable to Christians. One Christian girl who escaped said: "They sermonized on Fridays in the mosques that it was a sacred duty to drive us [Christians] away…. Christians had to pay bribes to the jihadists repeatedly in order to avoid getting killed." After making the sign of the cross, her grandmother added: "Anyone who believes in this cross suffers."

Turkey: An article titled "Who Ordered the Murder of Christians?" asserts that a Muslim undercover agent who had worked for the government "penetrated the Christian community and gathered a lot of information, while he was pretending to be a missionary. He became a church leader, and upon receiving another order, he became 'Muslim' again and launched a campaign against missionaries across the country," which culminated in the massacre of Christians.

Dhimmitude
[General Abuse, Debasement, and Suppression of Non-Muslims as "Tolerated" Citizens]

Egypt: After a Christian laundry worker burned the shirt of a Muslim man, several quarrels ensued and culminated with the death of a Muslim. Accordingly, thousands of Muslims rampaged the village, causing 120 Christian families to flee. They looted Christian businesses and homes "despite hundreds of security forces being deployed in the village. Eyewitnesses reported that security forces did not protect most Coptic property." Family members of the deceased Muslim insist that the Christians must still pay with their lives. Also, during Ramadan, several Christians were attacked and beaten. Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, a prominent figure in Egypt's Salafi movement issued a fatwa forbidding Muslim taxi-drivers and bus-drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as "more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar." And a charitable medical center that performs free heart operations on both Muslim and Christian children is under threat from some Muslims, who want it closed down because it was founded by a Christian surgeon.

Pakistan: Days after a Muslim mob doused a man with gasoline and literally burned him alive for "blaspheming" the Koran (graphic picture here), a Pakistani Christian woman, now living in the U.S., explained how when she lived in Pakistan, Muslims disfigured her in an acid attack for being Christian: After one man noticed her wearing a crucifix, he "became abusive," telling her "that she was living in the gutter and would go to hell for shunning Islam. He left and returned half an hour later, clutching a bottle of battery acid which he savagely chucked over her head. As she ran screaming for the door a second man grabbed her by the hair and forced more of the liquid down her throat, searing her esophagus. Teeth fell from her mouth as she desperately called for help, stumbling down the street. A woman heard her cries and took her to her home, pouring water over her head and taking her to hospital. At first the doctors refused to treat her, because she was a Christian. 'They all turned against me… Even the people who took me to the hospital. They told the doctor they were going to set the hospital on fire if they treated me.' … 67 per cent of her esophagus was burned and she was missing an eye and both eyelids. What remained of her teeth could be seen through a gaping hole where her cheek had been. The doctors predicted she would die any day. Despite the odds she pulled through." Separately, Muslim landowners and their police accomplices continue annexing land owned by Christians. "The police pulled away our headscarves from heads and started hitting us with clubs and punches" reported Christian women, "after news spread that police is harassing and torturing Christian women and men … to grab their agricultural land."

About this Series

Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching epidemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
  1. To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.
  2. To show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death those who "offend" Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like dhimmis, or second-class, "tolerated" citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East, and throughout the West wherever there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

With Tears In My Eyes, Hope In My Heart, I Have Heard The Next President Of The United States Speak Tonight!



Tonight Willard Mitt Romney accepted the nomination for the Presidency of the United States by the Republican Party.   His speech electrified the crowd and this humble listener.

********************************************************************************

Mr. Chairman, delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America.
I do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you have placed in me. It is a great honor. It is an even greater responsibility.

Tonight I am asking you to join me to walk together to a better future. By my side, I have chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. He represents the best of America, a man who will always make us proud – my friend and America’s next Vice President, Paul Ryan.

In the days ahead, you will get to know Paul and Janna better. But last night America got to see what I saw in Paul Ryan – a strong and caring leader who is down to earth and confident in the challenge this moment demands.

I love the way he lights up around his kids and how he's not embarrassed to show the world how much he loves his mom.

But Paul, I still like the playlist on my iPod better than yours.

Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections.

We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than what divides us.
When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.

That very optimism is uniquely American.

It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.

They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.
Freedom.
Freedom of religion.
Freedom to speak their mind.
Freedom to build a life.
And yes, freedom to build a business. With their own hands.
This is the essence of the American experience.

We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future.

When every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty, or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just ninety miles from Castro’s tyranny, these new Americans surely had many questions. But none doubted that here in America they could build a better life, that in America their children would be more blessed than they.

But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future.

It is not what we were promised.

Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college, do more for their elderly mom who’s living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.

Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team.

Every new college graduate thought they'd have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.

This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.

This was the hope and change America voted for.

It’s not just what we wanted. It’s not just what we expected.

It’s what Americans deserved.

You deserved it because during these years, you worked harder than ever before. You deserved it because when it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out movie nights and put in longer hours. Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits. You did it because your family depended on you. You did it because you’re an American and you don’t quit. You did it because it was what you had to do.

But driving home late from that second job, or standing there watching the gas pump hit 50 dollars and still going, when the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d have to take a big loss, in those moments you knew that this just wasn’t right.

But what could you do? Except work harder, do with less, try to stay optimistic. Hug your kids a little longer; maybe spend a little more time praying that tomorrow would be a better day.

I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.

Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, “I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!”

So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision.

To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country.

I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a classic baby boomer. It was a time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon, the question wasn’t whether we'd get there, it was only when we'd get there.

The soles of Neil Armstrong's boots on the moon made permanent impressions on OUR souls and in our national psyche. Ann and I watched those steps together on her parent's sofa. Like all Americans we went to bed that night knowing we lived in the greatest country in the history of the world. 

G-d bless Neil Armstrong. 

Tonight that American flag is still there on the moon. And I don't doubt for a second that Neil Armstrong's spirit is still with us: that unique blend of optimism, humility and the utter confidence that when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American

That's how I was brought up.

My dad had been born in Mexico and his family had to leave during the Mexican revolution. I grew up with stories of his family being fed by the US Government as war refugees. My dad never made it through college and apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter. And he had big dreams. He convinced my mom, a beautiful young actress, to give up Hollywood to marry him. He moved to Detroit, led a great automobile company and became Governor of the Great State of Michigan.

We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to.

My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO.

Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family – and G-d’s love - this world would be a far more gentle and better place.

Mom and Dad were married 64 years. And if you wondered what their secret was, you could have asked the local florist – because every day Dad gave Mom a rose, which he put on her bedside table. That's how she found out what happened on the day my father died – she went looking for him because that morning, there was no rose.

My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?”

I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.

I grew up in Detroit in love with cars and wanted to be a car guy, like my dad. But by the time I was out of school, I realized that I had to go out on my own, that if I stayed around Michigan in the same business, I’d never really know if I was getting a break because of my dad. I wanted to go someplace new and prove myself.

Those weren’t the easiest of days – too many long hours and weekends working, five young sons who seemed to have this need to re-enact a different world war every night. But if you ask Ann and I what we’d give, to break up just one more fight between the boys, or wake up in the morning and discover a pile of kids asleep in our room. Well, every mom and dad knows the answer to that.

Those days were toughest on Ann, of course. She was heroic. Five boys, with our families a long way away. I had to travel a lot for my job then and I’d call and try to offer support. But every mom knows that doesn't help get the homework done or the kids out the door to school.

I knew that her job as a mom was harder than mine. And I knew without question, that her job as a mom was a lot more important than mine. And as America saw Tuesday night, Ann would have succeeded at anything she wanted to.

Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregants from all walks of life and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.

And that’s how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families for our joy, our support, in good times and bad. It is both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, our faiths.

That is the bedrock of what makes America, America. In our best days, we can feel the vibrancy of America’s communities, large and small.
 It’s when we see that new business opening up downtown. It’s when we go to work in the morning and see everybody else on our block doing the same.

It’s when our son or daughter calls from college to talk about which job offer they should take….and you try not to choke up when you hear that the one they like is not far from home.

It’s that good feeling when you have more time to volunteer to coach your kid’s soccer team, or help out on school trips.

But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by.
How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?
Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I'd ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.

The President hasn’t disappointed you because he wanted to. The President has disappointed America because he hasn’t led America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government.

I learned the real lessons about how America works from experience.

When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.

So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.

So we started a new business called Bain Capital. The only problem was, while WE believed in ourselves, nobody else did. We were young and had never done this before and we almost didn’t get off the ground. In those days, sometimes I wondered if I had made a really big mistake. I had thought about asking my church’s pension fund to invest, but I didn't. I figured it was bad enough that I might lose my investors’ money, but I didn’t want to go to hell too. Shows what I know. Another of my partners got the Episcopal Church pension fund to invest. Today there are a lot of happy retired priests who should thank him.

That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I'm pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we'd ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.

These are American success stories. And yet the centerpiece of the President’s entire re-election campaign is attacking success. Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression? In America, we celebrate success, we don't apologize for it.

We weren’t always successful at Bain. But no one ever is in the real world of business.

That’s what this President doesn’t seem to understand. Business and growing jobs is about taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always striving. It is about dreams. Usually, it doesn't work out exactly as you might have imagined. Steve Jobs was fired at Apple. He came back and changed the world.

It’s the genius of the American free enterprise system – to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today's.

That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: "you are better off today than you were four years ago."

Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.

This president can ask us to be patient.
This president can tell us it was someone else’s fault.
This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right.
But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office.
America has been patient. Americans have supported this president in good faith.

But today, the time has come to turn the page.

Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.

To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.

To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.

Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.

What America needs is jobs.

Lots of jobs.

In the richest country in the history of the world, this Obama economy has crushed the middle class. Family income has fallen by $4,000, but health insurance premiums are higher, food prices are higher, utility bills are higher, and gasoline prices have doubled. Today more Americans wake up in poverty than ever before. Nearly one out of six Americans is living in poverty. Look around you. These are not strangers. These are our brothers and sisters, our fellow Americans.

His policies have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them. And this I can tell you about where President Obama would take America:

His plan to raise taxes on small business won't add jobs, it will eliminate them;

His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing jobs to China;

His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk;

His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today's seniors, and depress innovation – and jobs – in medicine.

His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk;

To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.

I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.

And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.

First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.

Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.

Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.

Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.

And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Today, women are more likely than men to start a business. They need a president who respects and understands what they do.

And let me make this very clear – unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.

As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America's first liberty: the freedom of religion.

President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family.

I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators.

Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal Team Six took out Osama bin Laden. But on another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat.

In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning. 

President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba. He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.

We will honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.

You might have asked yourself if these last years are really the America we want, the America won for us by the greatest generation.

Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from China? No.
Does it fail to find the jobs that are needed for 23 million people and for half the kids graduating from college? No.
Are its schools lagging behind the rest of the developed world? No.
And does the America we want succumb to resentment and division? We know the answer.
The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.

Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.

That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother's confidence that their children's future is brighter even than the past.

That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.

That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution.

That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.

That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for ourchildren.

If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.

**********************************************************************************

Now the hard work really begins and with the help of G-d, on November 6th, 2012 it will be good-bye President Obama and hello President Romney!


Take the Vow!

Hat Tip to Patriot's Corner



Nargis was just 12 years old when she was forced to marry a stranger, shattering all her dreams for the future. By 14, Nargis was grieving over the death of her first child. Every 3 seconds a girl like Nargis is forced or coerced to marry – some as young as five years old. This can end their chance of completing their education and put them at greater risk of isolation, violence and death in childbirth. 

No girl should be forced or coerced to marry. Every girl should have the opportunity to complete her education and make choices about her future. With education, skills and the right support, girls can transform their lives and the world around them.

Keep up the pressure to end early and forced marriage.

Sign Plan's petition today.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Burnt Koran Worth $10,000

A Badly Beaten Jew Worth $0



This is the new reality in the Michigan.   A Koran was found on the steps of the Islamic Center of East Lansing burnt.  The police are offering a $10,000 reward on who burnt the Koran.  But Zachary Tennen was beaten, his jaw broken, mouth stapled shut by 2 goons who didn't like the fact he was a Jew.  The East Lansing Police Department don't even believe that a crime, let alone a hate crime, was committed.



Journalism sophomore Zachary Tennen said he was assaulted in what his family has described as an anti-Semitic hate crime on the 500 block of Spartan Avenue early Sunday morning.

After Zachary Tennen was knocked unconscious at about 1:30 a.m. early Sunday morning at a party, his mouth was stapled shut by an assailant while about 20 individuals watched, Zachary Tennen said in a statement to the East Lansing Police Department.

Zachary Tennen said two college-aged males asked if he was Jewish and when he answered yes, the two men assaulted him.

“They knocked me down really hard … and I assumed someone would help me,” Zachary Tennen said, before his surgery, despite the difficulties for him to talk. “But after some guys at the house basically kicked me out, I had to get a cab.”

His jaw was severely broken in two places during the assault. Zachary Tennen said he took a cab to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing on Sunday to receive immediate treatment for his injury.

“I’m really, really upset in a few ways; First of all it is a terrible experience, physically and also mentally to know someone would do something like this,” he said.

“It almost seemed like they tried to kill me, and to think about that in my brain, physically — it isn’t very pleasant.”

Police were not at the scene of the party, and no one at the party stopped the incident from occurring, he said.

No officers from the East Lansing Police Department would confirm the incident occurred, but Bruce Tennen said he contacted the police and filed a report.

In response to inquiries regarding the incident, MSU spokesperson Kent Cassella released a university statement relating to the assault.

“Michigan State University’s Student Affairs and Services office has reached out to the family of the student assaulted in East Lansing to provide the academic and other support the student needs,” Cassella said. “MSU will work with the student and his professors to ensure he can fulfill his academic requirements, as we would with any student in need.”

Bruce Tennen said his son is slated to have surgery on his jaw Monday evening near his home in Franklin, Mich., adding he is overwhelmed that this happened to his son. He said his family has never experienced a hate crime such as this.

Bruce Tennen said he plans to contact the Anti-Defamation League and the FBI regarding the incident.

“The whole thing is unbelievable; Clearly it was a hate crime,” he said. “I personally intend to do everything in my power to see that justice is served.”

Source
Somebody should explain to the East Lansing Police Department that burning a Koran is protected speech.  If burning the American Flag is NOT a crime, then burning ANY book is not a crime.  The real crime would be if you steal the book to burn it.  Then it is theft and destruction of personal property.

It is a shame that Zachery Tennen will not receive justice in Michigan.  I am supposing that the laws have been changed by the State of Michigan has passed a law allowing any person to assault, rape or even murder a Jew.

I suppose that California will be next to pass this law.




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CAIR Comes Out Against California Assembly Resolution on Campus Anti-Semitism


Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com




The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which advertises itself as the moderate voice of American Muslims and defender of their rights, is a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood going back to the 1990s. They are also an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas involving Muslim charities funneling money to designated terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Now they have joined the fray over the University of California report issued by the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Exclusion, which outlines problems of anti-Semitism within the University campus system and makes specific recommendations to UC President Mark Yudof. Just this week, I posted a petition created by Stand With Us to  President  Yudof urging him to accept the report and implement the recommendations. This is in the face of a counter-petition by the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace asking Yudof to deep-six the report.

At this point, the California State Assembly has just passed a resolution (Resolution 35), which refers to the report and calls on California campuses to address problems of anti-Semitism.

http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/hr_35_bill_20120823_amended_asm_v98.pdf

Now CAIR has lent its voice against the resolution. Shameful. Below is CAIR's statement.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 


Subject: CAIR Says Assembly Resolution Stifles Discussion on California Campuses
Sent: Aug 29, 2012 12:47


Greater Los Angeles Area August 29, 2012  
CAIR Says Assembly Resolution Stifles Discussion on California Campuses

(SACRAMENTO, CA, 8/29/12) -- The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA), along with nine community, legal, and student organizations, sent a letter to lawmakers in the state about House Resolution 35, which passed in the California Assembly yesterday, because it stifles robust political debate on university campuses. The letter urges lawmakers to reconsider the issue when they reconvene in January. 

CAIR: Calif Lawmakers Denounce Anti-Semitism in Colleges (AP)

HR 35 calls upon California college campuses to adopt the recommendations in the Report on Campus Climate for Jewish students, which has been subjected to widespread criticism for its potential threat to students' civil rights.

Text of HR 35
Letter to lawmakers 

The letter states in part: "Though cloaked as a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, the actual goal of HR 35 is to stifle geopolitical debates in academic and university settings. Nobody should hesitate to condemn anti-Jewish expression no matter the context in which it arises. But this resolution characterizes criticism of Israel generally as "cloaked" anti-Semitism. By HR 35's logic, Presidents Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and George H. W. Bush, and organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are all anti-Semitic because they have at times criticized Israeli policies. This politically motivated definition of anti-Semitism lacks any basis and does a tremendous disservice to the fight against real anti-Semitism. It is no more anti-Semitic to criticize Israel than it is anti-Muslim to criticize Saudi Arabia."

SEE: Human Rights Advocacy is Not Hate Speech

U.C. report on Jewish campus climate: Results marginalize, misrepresent students critical of Israel 
  
UC report on anti-Semitism draws ire
  
CAIR-Sacramento's Civil Rights Coordinator Rachel Roberts said: "This resolution will do nothing to stop anti-Semitism, but it will stop the discussions college students must be allowed to have to analyze and form opinions on international issues."

HR 35 was passed in less than one month's time, while California students were out of session for the summer. "Lawmakers were not given a full picture of the complexities of this issue and voted thinking they were merely condemning anti-Semitism," said CAIR-LA Government Relations Coordinator Adel Syed. "Since the legislature is so busy, it is easy to miss the enormous constitutional problems with resolutions like HR 35."

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. 

- END -

CONTACT: CAIR-LA Government Relations Coordinator Adel Syed, 714.776.1847, E-Mail: asyed@cair.com; CAIR-Sacramento Civil Rights Coordinator Rachel Roberts, 916.441.6269408.986.9874, E-Mail: rroberts@cair.com;  CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,202.744.7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com


CAIR-LA  
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Asem Abusir, MBA  President 
Baraa Kahf, Esq   Vice President
Amana Siddiqi 
Secretary Yasir Mahar 
Treasurer Shamel Abd-Allah, MD
Hafez M. Hafez
Omar Jubran
Shereen Sabet, PhD
    Deeba Sultani  

          STAFF

Hussam Ayloush Executive Director 
Ameena Mirza Qazi  Deputy Executive Director/Staff Attorney

Adeeb Ahmad   Field Organizer      Atif Butt   Programs Coordinator 
Fatima Dadabhoy  Civil Rights Attorney      Sherrel Johnson  Community Relations Manager

Asim Khan   Multimedia Specialist 
Nour Kweider
Membership Specialist 

Cecilia Peralta  Membership & Administrative Coordinator
   Arefa Simjee
Membership Specialist
Adel Syed
Government Relations Coordinator    
Munira Syeda
Communications Manager
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How interesting that CAIR takes this position because it stifles the debate against Israel-even though neither the UC report nor the resolution mentions Muslims, Muslim students, or the Muslim Student Associations. One might surmise CAIR has a guilty conscience.

The fact of the matter is that there is no suppression of anti-Israel rhetoric on UC campuse. It is flourishing. On the contrary, it is  pro-Israel speech that is rarely heard. Therein lies the problem: Many Jewish students who have chosen to speak up for Israel have found themselves insulted, spat upon, had cameras shoved in their faces, loaded shopping carts rammed into them from behind, and been subject to intimidation. If it were Muslim students who were enduring this treatment (which they are not), CAIR would be filing lawsuits right and left.

The people at CAIR are not only blatant hypocrites, they are giving their blessing to anti-Jewish harassment on college campuses. 





Petition Against Anti-Semitism at Michigan State University

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


I am linking a petition (which I have signed) that concerns a recent attack (August 26) at a party near the Michigan State University campus. A Jewish student named Zach Tennen was approached by two males who asked if he was Jewish. When he answered affirmatively, he was beaten, and while he was on the ground, his assailants stapled his lips together. There were several witnesses, but nobody came to his rescue. Incredibly, the police are saying this was not a hate crime. The Blaze has a report below followed by the petition.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/shocking-report-mi-state-students-mouth-stapled-shut-during-horrific-anti-semitic-hate-crime/ 

https://www.change.org/petitions/michigan-state-university-condemn-hate-crime-assault-on-jewish-student?utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

This is a growing problem on university campuses, and if somebody doesn't address it, we are going to have a tragedy on our hands one day. I for one do not want to see one of our campuses become the next Toulouse. Please sign the petition.

The real Obama is humble, high achieving and way cooler than Mitt Romney. Just ask David Brooks

This will tell you the real story of Barack Hussein Obama.  Enjoy!

**************************************************************************



David Brooks of the New York Times has written an alternative biography of Mitt Romney that makes for witty reading (“He was sent to a private school, where he was saddened to find there are people in America who summer where they winter.”) But in the course of doing some internet research about this Romney fella, I found out he’s running against someone called Barack Obama. Obama’s biography makes for fascinating reading, too.

Barack Obama was born in 1961, the location marked by the appearance of a new star in the East. His mother lived on food stamps and his grandmother owned Hawaii. Between them, their son averaged out as middle-class.

From an early age, the young Obama displayed the abilities to listen to others, understand their problems and write a book about how they made him feel. At age 3, he had written his first memoir (Dreams from My High Chair) and by twelve had produced his own version of the English dictionary with the notable feature that every entry contained a reference to himself (“Godlike, adjective. ‘To be somewhat like Barack Obama’”). He excelled at every subject and could easily have become an astrophysicist or a baseball player. The schools never bothered to keep records of his grades because they embarrassed all the other kids. Obama spent most of his teenage years volunteering in the local hospital, where he helped the blind to see again. Although his academic life was challenging and friends were few, he found comfort in his middle American family that were just like you and me. Every Sunday they would gather at the local tiki bar for a simple meal of boiled Chihuahua.

Obama’s college years were challenging. A blow to the head from a jealous professor left him convinced that he was a member of the beat generation, which is why there are so many accounts of young women trying to, “You know, like, reach him?” It was while experimenting with cannabis that he made his first break with the grim Clinton orthodoxy of centrist liberalism: he inhaled. His horizons broadened, this born-again guru decided that it was time to walk away from the self-serving vanities of the legal profession and go into politics. He put on a blindfold, stuck a pin a map and found that God ("noun. 'synonym for Obama'") wanted him to start in Chicago.

Politically, Chicago is a nasty town and it’s hard to win outside of machine politics. So Obama didn’t bother to try. Promoted by his friends Jimmy “the fist” Vincente and Sam “you’ll vote the way Jimmy tells you to” Giovanni, he rose quickly in the ranks to become a state senator, where his courageous stand on abortion makes him one of the few prochoice Democrats prepared to say on record that “choice” doesn’t have to end after birth. His mix of principle, hard-headedness and a foxy wife got him noticed nationally by teenage liberals fresh out of Star Trek. Obama’s ability to make even the most complicated issues sound all about him impressed voters first at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (“As I stand here today, I can’t help but think about myself”) and then during the 2008 presidential primaries (“Imagine how great it would be if I won this election”). His inauguration was declared a new beginning and a national holiday – in Venezuela.

Within days of entering office, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, there have been military operations in Afghanistan and Libya, and drone strikes in at least 600 different countries. He has governed like a latter-day FDR, uniting the country behind a bold programme of government spending that has created at least 12 new jobs in the private sector – all of them in the Mississippi division of Chick-fil-A. Public sector spending has increased to roughly the size of the GNP of South Korea, most of which went to financing 32 years of sick leave for Mrs Ann Baumgard – an elementary school teacher in Bethesda, Maryland. Obama has nationalised healthcare, bottled water and anything that begins with the letter “T”. He is currently finishing his first term of a predicted five.

According to the New York Times, the only stiff opposition that Obama has faced has been from the National Braindead League, based in the small town of Backwater, Alabama. The NBL is almost certainly racist and would replace all tax with a form of barter based on chicken bones. They have helped nominate a man who is shorter, less cool and almost certainly less interested in himself than Barack Obama. Mitt Romney and the Braindead League don’t stand a chance.

Wednesday's Hero: Airman 1st Class Brooke Goose

Airman 1st Class Brooke Goose

Airman 1st Class Brooke Goose

U.S. Air Force

Airman 1st Class Brooke Goose poses for a photo Aug. 24, 2012, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Goosen is the only female out of 28 Airmen in the 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Dyess metal shop and has more than seven years experience with welding.


Photo Courtesy AF.mil taken by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Stefanko

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look.
 
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Maher Hathout and Freedom Letter Update

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com



Maher Hathout


I have previously written about the Freedom Pledge letter, which had been sent in 2009 by Former Muslims United, an appeal addressed to one hundred of the most prominent Muslim leaders in America asking them to sign statement that American Muslim apostates should not be harmed. Only two of those leaders ever signed the letter or even replied. In April 2012, I met with Imam Muzammil Siddiqi (one of the recipients) at Loyola Marymount University and asked him about the letter. He stated he never received it.

On June 24, 2012, this writer attended a speaking appearance by one of the recipients, Maher Hathout, a high-ranking leader of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles. During the Q and A, another member of the audience asked him about the letter, which Hathout stated he never received. At that point, I handed him his copy of the letter addressed to him. When asked if he would sign it, Hathout replied that he would read it, and if it was serious and did not insult Islam, he would sign it. Below is the video of that event.

http://garyfouse.blogspot.com/2012/07/maher-hathout-appearance-at-guibord.html

On July 4, 2012, FMU sent another round of the same letters to over 200 Muslim leaders including Hathout.

I have been informed by Nonie Darwish this evening that Hathout still has not signed the letter.

Reading the above links you can also access the lists of Muslim leaders who were sent letters in 2009 and 2012.

So the question must be asked as to why so many of our top Islamic leaders in the US have failed to sign a simple statement that former Muslims in America should not be harmed.

One thing is sure. Maher Hathout cannot claim he never received the letter.

A Prayer For Those In Harms Way!



For all those threatened by Hurricane Isaac,
For all those in Isaac's path,
May the L-rd protect you, see you safely through the tempest,
And onto a safe shore.

Let us all pray that Hurricane Isaac is not as powerful as the experts claim it to be.

G-d Bless All The First Responders!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Disappearing Females

Stolen From Hat Tip to Elder of Ziyon

This stunning piece of photo-art was created by a female photographer from Yemen, Boushra al-Moutawakel, specifically to comment on the changes in how Yemeni women have been covering themselves in recent years.



I wonder how fast European women will be forced into the veil?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bob Is A Racist!!!!

Stolen From Hat Tip to Crusader Rabbit

Here’s a new instructional video, providing hands-on demonstrations using simulated real-life situations. We hope you find this Public Service Announcement helpful.




With Love, from your friends at the Department of Health and Human Services.

I guess I am a racist too.  I'm voting for Mitt Romney!!!

If We See Something, Are We Not Supposed to Say Something?

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com




The below article was written by my friend and colleague Karen Lugo, a Constitutional Law expert who teaches at Chapman University. As we know, Janet Napolitano has launched a call for American citizens, "If you see something, say something." That sounds reasonable, but when people do speak out about what they see happening, the administration is quick to try and shut them down. Rep. Michele Bachmann quickly comes to mind.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



See Something, Say Something, Run For Cover
Karen Lugo

The record of testimonies and statistics presented at Rep. Peter King's five hearings on Islamist radicalization demonstrated that America faces a serious problem; just thestory of Melvin Bledsoe, whose son was radicalized by the Nashville Muslim Students Association and a Tennessee mosque to eventually commit jihad murder at the Little Rock recruiting center was all that Americans really needed to hear.  This heartbreaking story alone highlights the systemic failings that still contribute to denial of this crisis.

In July, the House Appropriations subcommittee held a hearing on the FBI’s handling of the Fort Hood massacre.  Rep. John Carter who represents the district that includes Fort Hood was allowed to question the FBI official, although not a member of the subcommittee.  He was rightfully indignant at the level of political correctness that still hamstrings the very agencies established to monitor radicalism and thwart attacks: “If [Nidal Hasa] yelled out ‘Jesus Christ is God,’ would they have said Christians were involved? I mean, at what point does it get to be Islamic terrorism? That’s the simple question. Answer that one,” Carter said.

Rep. Michele Bachmann has attracted bolts of invective for raising legitimate, but inconvenient, concerns about high level Islamist infiltration of government.  If a member of the House Intelligence Committee who is charged with the essential duty to “say something” if she “sees something” is ridiculed by establishment politicians and left undefended when Islamist agitators blame her for inciting murderous hate, the average person takes away a powerful lesson: if you see something, whatever you do, don’t say anything.

Largely overlooked in this controversy is a fifteen-page letter from Bachmann to Muslim congressman Keith Ellison in which she chronicles the current administration’s blasé relationship with arguably dangerous Islamists; those with connections to expansionist wahhabist groups or terrorist inciters.  She explains that the congressional signatories to her request for an inquiry by the State Department’s inspector general are concerned with the positioning of Hillary Clinton’s top deputy, Huma Abedin (evidentiary record presented by Andrew McCarthy and Andrew Bostom here and here), and they question the administration’s outreach to court-noticed Muslim Brotherhood-associated groups as well as the decision to grant a visa to  Hani Nour ("did-no-one-google-him?") Eldin,a member of a U.S. designated terror organization.

Yet, in light of the published record of Abedin’s past connections to Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas activists, President Obama -- hosting a White House Iftar dinner -- went out of his way to honor Huma Abedin “for her patriotism, grace, and generosity of spirit and “extraordinary representation of our country.”

When government short-cuts important structural processes that serve the ends of security and safety, asking why is obligatory -- not scandalous.   According to Ambassador John Bolton “what these members of Congress have done is simply raise the question to a variety of inspectors general in key agencies — are your departments following their own security clearance guidelines?”

Related concerns over government streamlining of required process – one much closer to most American neighborhoods -- is growing alarm over the siting of mosques and whether prescribed regulatory scrutiny is given to the permitting process.  Very similar complaints of expedited process and short-circuited deliberations (two current examples herehere, and here), as compared to other religious land use applications, are being registered across the country.  Fueling community fears, the Department of Justice has been tipping the scales -- in what some communities are calling a precipitous fashion -- by weighing in on the side of the mosque proponents. A Wall Street Journal article shows the Justice Department is increasingly intervening on behalf of mosques with 16 of 26 probes in the past decade occurring in the 15 months preceding August 2011.

While some mosques are legitimate houses of worship, many have proven to be radicalization centers as an exhaustive empirical study presented on this quandary demonstrates.  The conclusions, based upon indicia of violent materials, promotion of jihadism, and adherence to strict sharia, reached in Shari'a and Violence in American Mosques indicate that “Islam -- as it is generally practiced in mosques across the United States -- continues to manifest a resistance to the kind of tolerant religious and legal framework that would allow its followers to make a sincere affirmation of liberal citizenship.”

As localities approve variances to allow siting of the mosques in residential areas, residents have registered frustration at what they see as a short-cutting of the statutory tests for how a particular use will impact traffic, parking, and other infrastructure concerns.  If zoning scrutiny has relaxed, as compared to the deliberative response that other-than-Muslim religious land use applications receive, the streamlining of process in such cases prompts serious questions as to why mosque treatment appears to be preferential.

The example provided by European Islamic enclaves that have locked down under sharia law systems, thus denying assimilation opportunities and defying civil authority, cannot be ignored.  There are no easy answers as the American guarantees of individual liberty, religion freedom, and expressive rights must not be compromised but we will not reach solutions by muzzling those courageous enough to begin the discussion.

Intimidation and cowardice have long been the enemies of liberty and security, especially when the exercise of liberty and the concerns of security have been in tension.  American voters are responsible for holding elected officials accountable for enforcing security standards and this includes demanding that candidates speak to these issues in an informed and specific manner.

For the sake of all Americans, including secular Muslims, the discussion on how we achieve security while protecting liberty deserves respect.  Much of the tone for this debate will be set by how we treat the serious questions posed by Bachmann’s “National Security Five.”

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What our leaders don't seem to understand is that it is not just seeing a suspicious person leaving a package unattended at an airport. There is cause for alarm going on all around us. There are citizens in this country who have taken the time to learn about the jihadist movement in America. Lugo is one of them. It is not a question of labeling all Muslims as threats. At the same time, however, the threats are out there. It seems that too many of our national leaders don't want to see anything.