Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Islamist and the US - What is occurring and what works?

One of the contentious issues in America today is, what to do in response to the Islamist terrorism by ISIS and other Islamists, including Iranian Shiite hostility towards the "Great Satan" USA?

This matter has become more significant  in light of the Paris and San Bernardino Islamist terrorism, the Iranian Nuclear Agreement and the various positions by candidates in the US election campaigns.

Our own responses to statements by others, to the political actions we do or do not take, are influenced by many factors. What is skillful and appropriate changes with time, our knowledge of what is so and life circumstances. What is compassion towards all beings - especially towards those who engage in or support the various forms of terrorism exemplified by the Islamic State actions?

Below is an interesting summary and analysis. This is one among the many that have been sent to me and I quote it because of the different analysis that it seems to offer, not because I agree or disagree with it.

"Today, half of Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani's closest aides are holders of PhDs from U.S. universities, among them his Chief of Staff, Muhammad Nahavandian, a Green Card holder, and his Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif. (The other half consists of former holders of U.S. hostages in Tehran, among them Defense Minister Hussein Dehqan and Environmental director Masoumeh Ebtekar.)

Quite a few of Osama bin Laden's 50 or so siblings are either holders of U.S. passports or green cards, along with thousands of other Saudis.

Unlike Russia, which has a 200-year history of war against Muslims, having annexed Islamic land at the rate of one square kilometer a day during the 19th century, the U.S. never annexed any Muslim-majority nation.
And unlike China, which is still holding its Muslim minority, the Uighurs, in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) surrounded by a ring of steel, the U.S. is not trying to stop a Muslim nation's aspiration after self-determination.

In the 1990s, when Saudi Arabia normalized ties with the People's Republic of China, it shut down the offices of the Uighur exiles in Jeddah. Where did the exiles transfer to? The answer is: Washington DC, since neither Muslim nations nor Europeans would agree to host them.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. has been host to more than five million Muslims from all over the world, many of them fleeing brutal Islamist regimes in their homelands. In a conversation in 2002, Princeton Professor Bernard Lewis expressed the hope that Muslims in the United States and other Western democracies could become "beacons of enlightenment" projecting light back to their old counties. Many of us shared that hope.

Now, however, we see that the opposite is happening. Instead of exporting "light" back to the Muslim world, a growing number of Muslims in Western democracies have become importers of darkness in their new abodes.

Worse still, the politically correct crowd has turned Islam into a new taboo. They brand any criticism of Islam as racist, ethnocentrist or simply vile, all crammed together in the new category of "Islamophobia."
Is it Islamophobia to question a religion whose Middle East leaders often preach "Death to America" and hatred for Western values?

More prevalent than Islamophobia is Islamophilia, as leftists treat Muslims as children whose feathers should not be ruffled.

The Islamophilia crowd does great disservice to both Western democracies and to Islam itself.
They invite Americans and Europeans to sacrifice part of their own freedom in atonement of largely imaginary sins against Muslims in the colonial and imperialist era. They also invite Muslims in the West to learn how to pose as victims and demand the rewards of victimhood as is the fashion in Europe and America. To the Muslim world at large, the message of Islamophilia is that Muslims need no criticism, although their faith is being transformed into a number of conflicting ideologies dedicated to violence and terror.

Never mind if Islamic theology is all but dead. To say so would be a sign of Islamophobia.

Never mind that God makes only a cameo appearance in mosque sermons almost entirely obsessed with political issues.

All that Western intellectuals or leaders need to do is stop flattering Islam, as President Obama has been doing for the past seven years, claiming that virtually anything worthwhile under the sun has its origin in Islam.
Many Muslims resent that kind of flattery, which takes them for idiots at a time that Islam and Muslims badly need to be criticized. The world needs to wake from its slumber and ask: What is going on?"

By Amir Tahiri, from 1972 until the 1979 Iranian Revolution, executive editor-in-chief of Iran's main daily newspaper, Kayhan and currently a contributor to the pan-Arab daily, Asharq al-Awsat. This and other articles by the author regarding Islamism and the US are at:


Below are other analysis sent to me subsequent to the above. Am not sure if the embedded links will work but the original is available in the links at the end:

"The Risks of Inaction in the Face of Iranian Misbehavior"

"The Obama administration has emphasized that the nuclear deal with Iran was narrowly focused and was not intended to address concerns such as Iran’s support for terrorism or its regional activities. Yet while the U.S. and its allies got a narrow deal, Iran effectively received a far more comprehensive one.

Iran’s actions have made clear that it can be expected, at most, to abide by the letter of the text. As Sen. Bob Corker has noted, since the agreement was signed in July, Iran has sentenced Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian–who has been in jail for more than a year–and imprisoned another Iranian-American. It has defied United Nations sanctions by exporting arms to Yemen and Syria; by dispatching Gen. Qasem Soleimani, chief of Iran’s elite military Qods Force, and other sanctioned officials to Russia, Iraq, and elsewhere; and by conducting two ballistic missile launches. Iranian hackers have reportedly engaged in cyber attacks on the State Department. Tehran also refused to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency investigation into its nuclear weapons research.

How have the U.S. and its negotiating partners responded to Iran’s actions? Rote condemnation.


Also see:


 And here is another analysis:

"ISIS Is Only One Piece of Syria’s Extremist Puzzle"

"...All this leaves me thinking that the known Islamists in Syria are like an iceberg. ISIS–the manifestation of the jihadis– is the visible tip, but the bulk of the Syrian opposition is like a larger mass lurking below the waterline. Groups with extremist orientations and  ideologies are waiting to inherit Syria if ISIS  falls. The longer the conflict drags on, the more motivated and determined these groups–having done much of the fighting–will be to ensure that their vision of Syria shapes the end game.

On the one hand, all this validates Vladimir Putin’s notion that some of the opposition groups are as bad as ISIS; on the other hand, by supporting Mr. Assad, the Russians–and, to an extent, U.S. acquiescence–only contribute to radicalization and anger at the West. Defeating ISIS won’t address the problem of the jihadis, the report found, unless “it is accompanied by an intellectual and theological defeat of the pernicious ideology that drives it.”


"After the San Bernardino terror attacks earlier this month, Congress passed legislation, which was signed by President Barack Obama, that would restrict the automatic granting of visas to individuals who travel to Iran, a country that the State Department designates as a leading state sponsor of terror. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif complained over the weekend that the visa restrictions were a new sanction on Iran, which he believed would violate the nuclear deal. (The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, prevents the United States from placing new sanctions on Iran in response to nuclear work, but the U.S. can still sanction Iran for its sponsorship of terrorism, as Kerry has repeatedly stated). In his letter, Kerry reassured Zarif that he is “confident that the recent changes in visa requirements passed in Congress, which the Administration has the authority to waive, will not in any way prevent us from meeting our JCPOA commitments.”

Iran’s complaint about the visa restrictions came amid closer scrutiny of its nuclear and military activities by Congress and the Obama Administration. The United Nations found last week that an Iranian ballistic missile test in October violated a Security Council resolution.

“If we fail in any way to relentlessly enforce what we’ve got in terms of both U.S. unilateral and multilateral abilities to constrain Iran’s actions, they will take that as a clear signal that we’ve taken our eye off the ball,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Over the weekend, Congressional sources told the Washington Free Beacon that they were concerned that the White House was undercutting anti-terror measures to placate Iran and keep the nuclear deal on track.

“According to the Obama administration’s latest interpretation, the nuclear deal allows Iran to test ballistic missiles in violation of international law, but does not allow Congress to prevent terrorists from coming into the United States,” Omri Ceren, the managing director of press and strategy at The Israel Project, told the Washington Free Beacon. 

For the full text of the letter to Zarif, click here.

Iran’s concerns that American legislation could hurt economic progress comes in the wake of increased anti-American activity and rhetoric by Islamic Republic leaders. Three days after the nuclear deal was signed in July, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted an image of President Barack Obama with a gun to his head, threatening the “aggressive and criminal U.S.” In September, Khamenei declared that Iran would defeat the U.S. in the event of a war.

Last week, Iran banned the importation of more than 200 American products, following a directive issued by Khamenei in November. The regime recently arrested Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and Lebanese-born U.S. resident Nizar Zakka. Last month, Iran also executed Hamid Samiee, a dual Iranian-American citizen it had been holding since 2008.

In October, Iran announced the conviction of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian on charges of espionage, and later sentenced him to prison for an unspecified length of time. A senior Iranian official accused Rezaian of conspiring with the U.S. government to topple the regime in Tehran.

Khamenei’s office also published a video last month accusing the U.S. of orchestrating the deadly November 13 terror attacks in Paris. A little over a week later, Khamenei warned that the U.S. was using “money and sexual attractions” to infiltrate the Islamic Republic."