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Jewish dreams of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital go back thousands of years

(NEW YORK POST) — In the Second century AD, Jewish rebels who had stunned the Romans and liberated a portion of Judea, overstruck imperial coins with images and a message of their own, “Year One of the Redemption of Jerusalem.”

The Roman emperor Hadrian had planted the seeds for the rebellion with his ambitions to remake Jerusalem, including the planned construction of a Temple to Jupiter on the site of the old Jewish Temple.

The leader of the Jewish rebellion, Bar Kokhba, was fired by a vision of a united Israel with Jerusalem as its capital that had been the exception during the prior millennium, thanks to the depredations of the Assyrians and Babylonians, among others. But such was the power of the national idea — and his messianic zeal — that Bar Kokhba ventured all on regaining it.

And lost. Not for nearly another 2,000 years would the vision come to fruition. At a ceremony in 1982 burying bones of some of those long-ago rebels with military honors, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared, ‘’Israel and Judea are reborn. We have redeemed Jerusalem.”

King David conquered the city in 1,000 BC and made it the capital of the kingdom of Israel. His son Solomon built the First Temple. “He who has not seen Jerusalem in her splendor has never seen a desirable city in his life,” declares the Babylonian Talmud. “He who has not seen the Temple in its full construction has never seen a glorious building in his life.”

But Jerusalem would repeatedly be captured and the Temple destroyed (first by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and then by the Roman Emperor Titus).

The story of the Jewish people is one of loss, memory and faithfulness and persistence. Psalm 137 recounting the Babylonian captivity avers, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.”

The Jewish people never forgot. In one of the miracles of our age, after long centuries of exile punctuated by genocide at the hands of the Nazis, they re-established Israel in 1948, and then gained control of all of Jerusalem in 1967 (prior to that, when Jordan held East Jerusalem, Jews couldn’t visit the Western Wall).

The notion that the City of David isn’t the capital of Israel was an impolite fiction, honored by the United States and the West for fear of provoking Arabs hostile to the very idea of the Jewish state. Its prime minister, parliament and highest court are based there, and it’s unimaginable that Israel would ever agree to any peace deal that didn’t recognize it as the capital.

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Slain Young Journalists Saw Their Work As A Way To Make Afghanistan A Better Place

(GANDHARA) — Radio Free Afghanistan journalist Abadullah Hananzai was furious on April 25 when he learned that a former colleague had been gunned down at a market in Kandahar in an apparent targeted killing.

“The murder of my former colleague at Kabul News, a great journalist named Abdul Manan Arghand, has greatly upset me,” Hananzai wrote in Pashto on his Facebook page. “Arghand is now a martyr for freedom of speech.”

It would be Hananzai’s last public Facebook post.

Hananzai and Radio Free Afghanistan video producer Sabawoon Kakar were among multiple journalists killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul on April 30. The journalists were covering an earlier suicide attack when a second bomber, disguised as a reporter, approached them and detonated his explosives.

Maharram Durrani, a 28-year-old university student who was training to become a journalist at the Kabul bureau of RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan, was also killed.

Claimed by Islamic State militants, the blasts killed at least 25 and injured 45. The Afghan Journalists Center said that, with nine reporters killed, it marked the deadliest attack against journalists in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

Abadullah Hananzai

Hananzai was a video journalist who had been working since October 2016 on an antinarcotics project at RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan — a project called Caravan Of Poison.

A graduate of Kabul University, Hananzai was 26 years old and was preparing to celebrate his first wedding anniversary on May 8.

He previously had worked for Kabul News and for Zhwandoon TV, as well as for the Educational and Cultural Center for Afghan Women.

Hananzai’s recent reports for RFE/RL focused on the social and economic implications of drug addiction in Afghanistan, as well as efforts by the Interior Ministry to crack down on international narcotics trafficking out of Afghanistan.

One of Hananzai’s last Facebook posts was a message in English on April 19 and a photograph taken of himself in the compound of Radio Free Afghanistan’s Kabul bureau shortly after a rainstorm.

“Feeling fantastic. I find Peace in the Rain,” Hananzai said.

Sabawoon Kakar

Kakar was one of the first journalists to arrive at the scene of the first suicide bombing in Kabul on the morning of April 30.

He died from his injuries at a hospital in Kabul several hours after the second blast.

Kakar was a key member of Radio Free Afghanistan’s video team over the past five years.

His work included feature stories about social issues in Afghanistan — such as the status of women’s cricket in the country — as well as news about counterterrorism operations and security issues.

Kakar’s last video report was on April 29 — a package he produced with RFE/RL reporters in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan about a battle between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants.

“He was often covering the aftermath of suicide attacks and other dangerous spot news situations,” said Qadir Habib, a senior editor for Radio Free Afghanistan. “He was a brave man who was never afraid to cover dangerous stories.”

On his Facebook page, Kakar declared that despite bombing attacks against voter registration centers in Kabul, he had registered and planned to vote in Afghanistan’s October 20 parliamentary elections.

The 30-year-old Kakar, a native of Kabul, died one day before his fifth anniversary as an RFE/RL journalist. He is survived by his wife and a two-year-old son.

Maharram Durrani was a third-year student of Islamic law at Kabul University who was just starting her career as a journalist.

Durrani was being trained to take part in the weekly woman’s program RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan — a job she was due to start on May 15.

She previously worked for an Afghan online music channel called Radio Salam Watandar.

“When I began working in media, one of my first bosses asked me why I was studying Islamic law but working in media,” Durrani told RFE/RL during a February phone-in program.

“He said these are not related subjects. But I said, ‘No, that’s not true’,” Durrani explained. “It’s very much related because the media can provide information to all people.”

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Can Islamization Be Rolled Back Without Eroding Civil Liberties?

(GATES OF VIENNA) — The following essay is based on a series of comments that emerged in the thread accompanying Part 1 of El Inglés’ recent three-part essay on the Pakistanis (see also Part 2 and Part 3).

Note: In the remarks below I write as if from a European point of view. I have been specializing in European affairs for so long that I have “gone native”: when considering the issues of mass immigration and Islamization, I tend to examine the situation in Western Europe to get a sense of the way we are headed.

Things are different here in the USA — we are careening towards the same cliff as the Europeans, but we are a right good ways behind them. As a result, America may be able to avoid the catastrophic future that faces Europe. Or, if Western Europe turns it around and follows El Inglés’ advice, we’ll be able to model our responses on theirs and escape martial law or civil war or revolution or whatever nasty outcome would await us otherwise.

But Western Europe will not have the luxury of returning to the idyllic status quo of 1955-2000. My contention is that things have gone too far down the multicultural primrose path for Europeans to be spared an illiberal outcome. The niceties of civil society will evaporate, no matter what. They will either be blown away by the imposition of sharia, or at the very least they will be reduced by whatever authoritarian regime emerges to resist the sharia.

There are no other choices.

Our situation in the West is similar to that of the Hindus who eventually became Sikhs, and violently resisted the Islamic invasion. Will we develop our own version of Sikhism? Or will we simply become the European version of Persia/Afghanistan/Pakistan/Indonesia?

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

A number of commenters on El Inglés’ posts objected to the idea of the draconian actions against Pakistanis that he proposed. They observed, correctly, that these things cannot be done without abrogating the civil liberties of at least some of the targets. They also noted that innocent Pakistanis — those few who do not oppress women, take little white girls as sex slaves, and engage in welfare fraud for their livelihood — would be caught up and punished along with the guilty ones. El Inglés addressed these objections in the conclusion of Part 3, but his answers evidently failed to assuage the fears of his critics.

We’ve been discussing these issues in this space for at least a dozen years. Time was short when the conversation started, and it is far shorter now. Back then we were at five minutes to twelve; today it may be five seconds to twelve.

Any solution that does not rend the civil fabric of our societies must be devised VERY quickly. Bear in mind that such a solution would first have to be raised and discussed in national legislatures. Then a majority coalition would have to somehow be cobbled together in support of it. Horses would have to be traded. Palms would have to be greased. Sausages would have to be made. Individual representatives would have to be convinced to vote in favor of something that would earn them a death fatwa from the Religion of Peace for doing so.

Just think how difficult it would be to accomplish that.

Furthermore, as soon as such a movement gained steam, it would be violently resisted by the antifas and other “anti-fascist” street thugs bankrolled by the globalists. We already know that antifas aren’t averse to a bit of ultra-violence when they bash the fash. How will they respond to real political and cultural change in Western Europe, the kind that would actually deport the “refugees” en masse?

Once the anti-fascists start killing police, for example, the rules of the game will change. The first thing the state will do at that point is to impose martial law and significantly reduce everyone’s civil liberties.

I can’t see a way out of this that preserves the customary civil society that Europeans have grown used to. It’s just too late.

Our choices are between sharia and some form of authoritarian governance by leaders of our own native ethnic groups. There are no other doors out of this room.

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There is no such thing as “peace” in Islam

(ARUTZ SHEVA) — Dr. Harold Rhode, one of the world’s preeminent scholars on Islam and author of a new book “Modern Islamic Warfare,” explains why Mahmoud Abbas will never adhere to a US-negotiated ‘peace deal’ with Israel.

Rhode who served as an adviser on Islamic Affairs at the US Department of Defense has a new book coming out titled “Modern Islamic Warfare.” The work exposes modern day terrorism as the classic style of Islamic warfare meant to instill fear in one’s enemy, whether they are fellow Muslims, Jews, Christians or others, in order to achieve one’s goals.

Rhode explains that Mahmoud Abbas will never adhere to a US-negotiated ‘peace deal’ with Israel, similar to arch terrorist Yasser Arafat, as he says there is no such thing as the concept of ‘permanent peace’ in Islam, only temporary truces when a side is weak and seeks to gain strength.

Ironically, Rhode believes that years of Islamic terror against the Jewish State has actually caused more and more Israelis to become stronger and deeply rooted in the Land of Israel.

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Struggling to prevent terrorist attacks, France wants to ‘reform’ Islam

(WASHINGTON POST) — by James McAuley

PARIS — Speaking alongside the flag-draped coffin of a police officer killed in a terrorist attack in southern France, President Emmanuel Macron last month laid blame on “underground Islam­ism” and those who “indoctrinate on our soil and corrupt daily.”

The attack added further urgency to a project already in the works: Macron has embarked on a controversial quest to restructure Islam in France — with the goal of integration but also the prevention of radicalization.

He has said that in the coming months he will announce “a blueprint for the whole organization” of Islam. And those trying to anticipate what that will look like are turning their attention to Hakim El Karoui, a leading voice on how Islamic traditions fit within French culture.

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POLITICO: Shootings in Sweden ‘so common they don’t make headlines’, cities rocked by bombs, grenade blasts

(POLITICO) — Sweden may be known for its popular music, IKEA and a generous welfare state. It is also increasingly associated with a rising number of Islamic State recruits, bombings and hand grenade attacks.

In a period of two weeks earlier this year, five explosions took place in the country. It’s not unusual these days — Swedes have grown accustomed to headlines of violent crime, witness intimidation and gangland executions. In a country long renowned for its safety, voters cite “law and order” as the most important issue ahead of the general election in September.

The topic of crime is sensitive, however, and debate about the issue in the consensus-oriented Scandinavian society is restricted by taboos.

To understand crime in Sweden, it’s important to note that Sweden has benefited from the West’s broad decline in deadly violence, particularly when it comes to spontaneous violence and alcohol-related killings. The overall drop in homicides has been, however, far smaller in Sweden than in neighboring countries.

“Shootings in the country have become so common that they don’t make top headlines anymore, unless they are spectacular or lead to fatalities.”

Gang-related gun murders, now mainly a phenomenon among men with immigrant backgrounds in the country’s parallel societies, increased from 4 per year in the early 1990s to around 40 last year. Because of this, Sweden has gone from being a low-crime country to having homicide rates significantly above the Western European average. Social unrest, with car torchings, attacks on first responders and even riots, is a recurring phenomenon.

Shootings in the country have become so common that they don’t make top headlines anymore, unless they are spectacular or lead to fatalities. News of attacks are quickly replaced with headlines about sports events and celebrities, as readers have become desensitized to the violence. A generation ago, bombings against the police and riots were extremely rare events. Today, reading about such incidents is considered part of daily life.

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Germans fear the rise of ‘lawless’ neighborhoods, poll shows

(GW) –A new survey has shown that about half of Germans believe there are places in the country so lawless, even police won’t venture there. However, whether the facts support this perception is doubtful.

A poll published on Sunday by Germany’s biggest tabloid, Bild, found that just a little over half of Germans believe there are neighborhoods in the country so dangerous that even police fear to tread there.

About 51 percent of participants said that they believed lawless “no-go” zones existed, whereas 41 percent said there were no such areas in Germany. About 77 percent said they wished police would crack down harder on crime syndicates.

The somewhat dubious concept of lawless areas in Germany has been promoted in no small part by disproportionate reporting of crimes committed by migrants and foreigners in popular media, particularly outlets like Bild.

Statistics published biannually by the Federal Criminal Police (BKA) paint a different picture. According to the BKA, foreigners are less likely than native-born Germans to commit every category of crime.

The BKA’s latest report from January 2018 further clarifies that the majority of the crimes committed by foreigners are things such as riding public transport without a ticket and petty theft.

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Calling for violent jihad in Australia

(COUNTER JIHAD REPORT) — By Mark Durie

There is not a Bible, Jewish or Christian, containing such incendiary commentary as populates page after page of ‘The Noble Qur’an’, which for four years has preached to the faithful in Canberra Airport’s prayer room. The ideology it promotes is violent jihad. It is a book to start a war.

The Saudis, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt recently cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed sanctions, accusing the Qataris of supporting terrorism. The Saudis have demanded that Qatar close Al-Jazeera and cut all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Islamic State. Qatar’s long-standing and well-known support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which aims to unify Muslim nations under an Islamic caliphate and has networks of supporters across the Middle East, is now perceived as a serious threat its neighbours.

This is the pot calling the kettle black, for Saudi Arabia itself has a long record of exporting Islamic radicalism. Among its most notable exports are millions of Korans in translation, which, through commentary (mainly in footnotes) and accompanying materials, incite Muslims to wage violent jihad to establish an Islamic state.

Among the Saudis’ exported Korans is an English-language edition, TheNoble Qur’an, which can be found in mosques, prayer rooms and meeting places around the world. Anyone who applies to the Saudi embassy in Canberra will be sent a copy gratis.

The Noble Qur’an can be found in the musallah or prayer room of Canberra’s airport. What is apparently the same edition, with “AIRPORT MUSALLAH” written in black marker pen on the page ends, has been sitting there for the past four years, ever since the new airport was built. The Noble Qur’an is also publicly available in other “multi-faith” spaces that have been springing up in institutions across Australia in recent years, in universities, hospitals and other public places.

Canberra airport’s Noble Qur’an was printed by the order of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who ruled from 2005 to 2015. It includes the Arabic text, and, side-by-side, the English translation by Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan. There is also an endorsement by Shaikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz, Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia from 1993 to 1999, and a foreword by Shaikh Salih ibn Abdul-Aziz al-Shaikh, the current Saudi Minister for Islamic Affairs. After the Koranic text there are a hundred pages or so of appendices, and under the text there are footnotes, which offer a commentary. There are also frequent interpolations in brackets to help clarify the meaning in translation.

Marked “not for sale”, vast numbers of The Noble Qur’an printed by the Saudis are exported around the world. The King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an in Medina has printed over one hundred million Korans in thirty-nine languages since it was established in 1985. The handsomely gilded Noble Qur’an is distributed as part of the Saudis’ global da’wa or effort to propagate Islam. It appears to target two kinds of readers.

First, The Noble Qur’an seeks to enlist Muslims in violent jihad against non-Muslims, to establish an Islamic caliphate. Second, it aims to engage with Christians. The longest essay in the appendices is an argument that Jesus was a prophet of Islam, and commentary throughout The Noble Qur’an—in the explanatory footnotes, the interpolations in brackets and the appendices—challenges and “corrects” Christian teachings.

Sometimes it is said that when people use verses from the Koran to justify violence, they have taken them out of context. This criticism cannot be applied to The Noble Qur’an, which follows a traditional Islamic method of interpreting the Koran in the light of Muhammad’s example and teachings, known as the Sunna. In keeping with this tradition, citations from the Sunnasupply the great bulk of the explanatory footnotes.

On non-Muslims

The footnotes in The Noble Qur’an are repeatedly derogatory of non-Muslims.

For example, a note to Sura 10:19 (p. 272, fn1) quotes Muhammad to say that human beings are born Muslims, and are “converted” away from Islam by non-Muslim parents. For Jewish or Christian parents to raise their child in their own faith is like mutilating them:

Every child is born on al-Fitrah, but his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity … An animal gives birth to a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?

The Arabic phrase al-fitrah refers to the doctrine that the innate state of human beings is to be a Muslim.

The Arabic text of the Koran calls non-Muslims unclean (Sura 9:28), using a derogatory word (najas). The footnote to this verse explains about non-Muslims that:

Their impurity is spiritual and physical: spiritual because they don’t believe in Allah’s Oneness and in his Prophet Muhammad … and physical, because they lack personal hygiene (filthy as regards urine, stools and [menstrual] blood). [p. 248, fn 2]

Sura 3:85 states that “whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers”. In the footnote commentary on this verse, The Noble Qur’an quotes Muhammad to explain that Christians and Jews who die disbelieving in Muhammad will end up in Hell:

there is none from amongst the Jews and Christians … who hears about me and then dies without believing in the Message with which I have been sent … but he will be from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire. [p. 84, fn 1]

Sura 4:47 warns Christians and Jews that they should believe in Muhammad, or else their faces will be taken away in hell, to which the translators add, in brackets, “by making them like the back of necks; without nose, mouth, eyes”. The footnote commentary explains further:

This Verse is a severe warning to the Jews and Christians, and an absolute obligation that they must believe in Allah’s Messenger Muhammad … and also in his Message of Islamic Monotheism and in this Qur’an. [p. 115, fn 2]

The Koran has verses which exhort tolerance of Christians and Jews. Yet The Noble Qur’an takes pains to emphasise that such verses have been cancelled by later verses, following the Islamic contextual principle of abrogation (naskh). Here are two examples:

First, Sura 2:62 states that a Christian or Jew who “believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”. This could be taken to imply that Christians and Jews will be accepted by God if they follow their faith properly. However, the commentary on this verse clarifies that:

This Verse (and Verse 5:69) … should not be misinterpreted by the reader … the provision of this Verse was abrogated by Verse 3:85 “And whosoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers” (i.e. after the coming of Prophet Muhammad … on the earth, no other religion except Islam, will be accepted from anyone). [p. 13, fn 2]

What this footnote is actually asserting is that Christians and Jews will go to Hell unless they accept Islam, because earlier verses which seemed to counsel tolerance have been superseded and cancelled by later verses.

Second, Sura 2:109 states that Muslims should “forgive and overlook” the Christians and Jews, “till Allah brings His Command”.Yet the footnote makes clear that “the provision of this verse has been abrogated” (p. 21, fn 1) by Sura 9:29. The later verse commands Muslims to fight (that is, kill) Christians and Jews unless or until they surrender to Muslims and pay tribute:

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad …) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. [Sura 9:29, p. 248]

Here again, a more tolerant verse is claimed to have been abrogated by a later verse which commands violence against non-Muslims.

The meaning of jihad

Some Muslims have proposed that the basic meaning of jihad is peaceful struggle. In contrast, The Noble Qur’an defines jihad as waging war against non-Muslims to make Islam dominant in the world. This jihad is obligatory for all Muslims, and rejecting this obligation will lead to hellfire.
This interpretation is made clear in the glossary, where the entry for jihad is:

Holy fighting in the Cause of Allah or any other kind of effort to make Allah’s Word (i.e. Islam) superior. Jihad is regarded as one of the fundamentals of Islam. See the footnote of (V.2:190) [p. 873]

The footnote referred to is a comment on Sura 2:190, “And fight in the Way of Allahthose who fight you …” This footnote reads:

Al-Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah’s Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior, (His Word being La ilaha illallah which means none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and His Religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite. [p. 39, fn 1]

Here The Noble Qur’an is saying that the purpose of jihad is to make Muslims dominant over non-Muslims, and Islam dominant over other religions; Islamic warfare against non-Muslims is a kind of missionary enterprise to spread the faith, and any Muslim who does not fulfil this obligatory duty is a “hypocrite”.

What is bad about being a “hypocrite” is made clear by The Noble Qur’an on page 906 of the appendices: a hypocrite will end up in the lowest depths of Hell, the place of worst punishment. The Noble Qur’an is teaching here that any Muslim who does not engage in and support warfare to establish the dominance of Islam is destined to occupy the hottest place in Hell, worse even than that occupied by non-Muslims.

In its footnote on Sura 27:59, The Noble Qur’an quotes a tradition of Muhammad which refers to jihad (p. 512 fn 1). (Here again jihad is defined as “holy fighting”.) The footnote emphasises that fighting non-Muslims is the best possible pious deed for a Muslim, second only to becoming a Muslim.

The caliphate and universal war against non-Muslims

Sura 2:252 (p. 55, fn2, running on to p. 56) refers to Muhammad as a messenger of Allah. The footnote to this verse reports that Muhammad’s prophethood was distinguished by certain characteristics. Three of these are:
(i) Muhammad was victorious through fear or terror for a distance of one month’s journey: “Allah made me victorious by awe (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey.”
(ii) He was the first prophet from Allah given permission to take booty from his enemies: “The booty has been made Halal (lawful) to me yet it was not lawful to anyone else before me.”
(iii) Unlike previous prophets, he was sent to all mankind, not just to a specific group: “Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only, but I have been sent to all mankind.”

The implication of this third point is that everyone, everywhere is obligated to accept Muhammad as their prophet, and the first two points show that he was uniquely commissioned to wage war against disbelievers, by terrorising and looting them. Muhammad is considered to be the best example for Muslims to follow, including, it becomes clear, in these aspects of his prophetic career. The Noble Qur’an emphasises these aspects of Muhammad’s mission to activate them for jihad.

In its footnote on Sura 3:55 (p. 76, fn 1), The Noble Qur’an states that when Jesus returns he will impose Islamic law and break the cross (that is, destroy Christianity). At that time Jesus will do away with toleration of non-Muslims, so that “all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative”. In other words they will be compelled to convert by force if required.
This teaching about Jesus’s return is repeated in a commentary on Sura 8:39 (p. 236, fn 1), and a comment on Sura 61:6 (p. 761, fn 2), which states that this tradition is intended as “a severe warning to Christians who claim to be the followers of ’Isa (Jesus) …” In essence The Noble Qur’an tells its Christian readers that when he returns Jesus will compel them to embrace Islam, and all people on the earth will have to choose between Islam and death.

In its commentary on Sura 9:29 (p. 248, fn 2) The Noble Qur’an cites a tradition of Muhammad about the Jews, which states, “The Hour (i.e. the final hour) will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’” So, at the end, creation itself will cry out for Jewish blood.

In an interpolation in Sura 8:73, The Noble Qur’an states that Muslims of the world must not ally themselves with non-Muslims, but join together “to make victorious Allah’s religion of Islamic monotheism” (p. 242). It is explained in commentary that if Muslims do not do this, there will be terrible disorder and tribulation in the world, with wars and battles and calamitous breakdown of civil society. This is because of the deleterious effects of non-Muslim rule. Moreover, it is also wrong to have “many Muslim rulers”, because Muslims should unite under one ruler, the caliph: “it is a legal obligation … that there shall not be more than one Khalifah for the whole Muslim world …” Furthermore, anyone who works to divide Muslims into different groups under different rulers should be killed, according to Muhammad, who is reported to have said, “When you all [Muslims] are united … and a man comes up to disintegrate you and separate you into different groups, then kill that man” (p. 242, fn 1). This can be taken to imply that anyone who upholds the division of Muslims into distinct nation-states, which is the international order today, stands under a death sentence.

The Noble Qur’an paints a supremacist vision of an ultimate Islamic victory over non-Muslim religions, in which all non-Muslims will be converted to Islam or killed. The text of Sura 3:110 reads:

You (true believers in Islamic monotheism …) are the best of people ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin al-Mahruf (Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief, and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. [Sura 3:110]

The footnote commentary on this verse explains:

“You … are the best of people ever raised up for mankind” means, the best of the people for the people, as you bring them with chains on their necks till they embrace Islam (and thereby save them from the eternal punishment in the Hell-fire and make them enter paradise in the Hereafter) … The people referred to here may be the prisoners of war who were captured and chained by the Muslims and their imprisonment was the cause of their conversion to Islam. So, it is as if their chains were the means of winning Paradise. [p. 89, fn 1]

This footnote is a reference to a tradition of Muhammad which states that Allah is pleased to see people entering Paradise in chains. This justifies making war on non-Muslims, and forcing them into Islam through enslaving them; enslaving non-Muslims is a kindness to them, because it enables them to attain Paradise.

This interpretation of Sura 3:110 is based on Muhammad’s teaching. Could it have any application in today’s world, or is it just a dead letter?

The very same tradition was cited by the Islamic State in the October 2014 edition of its magazine Dabiq, which included an article titled “The Return of Slavery Before the Hour”:

[Muhammad] said, “Allah marvels at a people who enter Jannah in chains.” The hadith commentators mentioned that this refers to people entering Islam as slaves and then entering Jannah [Paradise]. Abu Hurayrah … said while commenting on Allah’s words, “You are the best nation produced for mankind” … “You are the best people for people. You bring them with chains around their necks, until they enter Islam.”

The same sentiment was also expressed by a Dutch Islamic State fighter, Israfil Yilmaz, who blogged about the correct Islamic motivation for sex slavery:

People [who] think that having a concubine for sexual pleasure only have a very simple mindset about this matter … The biggest and best thing of having concubines is introducing them to Islam in an Islamic environment—showing them and teaching them the religion. Many of the concubines/slaves of the Companions of the Prophet … became Muslim and some even big commanders and leaders in Islamic history and this is if you ask me the true essence of having slaves/concubines.

The translators who crafted the commentary in The Noble Qur’an, and the Saudi leaders who endorsed the text, no doubt desired that readers would take to heart the teachings they had laboured hard to present. The evidence is that many have done so. The investment by the Saudis of billions of dollars to spread the kinds of ideas found in The Noble Qur’an has not been in vain, and the Islamic State provides the proof.

Evidence for their success is found in Israfil Yilmaz’s justification for sex-slavery. This not only aligns with official ISIS propaganda: it also is fully in line with the teachings of The Noble Qur’an. Another sign of the influence of The Noble Qur’an’s ideas has been the river of thousands of ISIS recruits flowing from Western nations to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq.

What does all this mean?

Ahmed Farouk Musa, a graduate of Monash University medical school in Melbourne, told a forum on Muslim extremism in Kuala Lumpur on December 7, 2014, that The Noble Qur’an incites violence against Christians and other non-Muslims: “I believe that propaganda such as the Hilali-Khan translation and other materials coming out of Saudi Arabia are one of the major root causes that feed extremist ideas among Muslims, violence against Christians and other minorities.”

There is not a Bible in print, anywhere in the world, Jewish or Christian, which contains such incendiary commentary as is found on page after page of The Noble Qur’an. This is a book with which to start a war. The ideology it promotes is primed to light the fuse of violent jihad.

Given its contents, it might seem surprising that a copy of The Noble Qur’an has been sitting in the Canberra airport prayer room for the past four years. The theological characteristics of this edition of the Koran are not a secret. Yet it seems no Muslim who used the musallah has objected, or if they did, the Canberra airport authorities paid no attention. Canberra’s politicians and their many advisers also regularly pass along the corridor where the musallah is located, but none of them seems to have thought to check what version of the Koran was being used in their airport’s prayer room.
Earlier this year the Public Health Association of Australia asked the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to reject the “notion” that there is any inherent link between Islam and terrorism. It seems that Public Health Association of Australia officials have also not visited the Canberra airport musallah to read its Koran.

There has been much discussion and sometimes puzzlement about how young Muslim men have become radicalised enough to fight for ISIS. Reading and believing the messages implanted in The Noble Qur’an in the Canberra airport prayer room would be sufficient to convert some people to the key points of the ideology of ISIS.

The message of The Noble Qur’an is no marginal phenomenon. It is not an opinion from the extremities of the Islamic world, but from its heartland, presented as a gilt-edged free gift from the Saudi king, the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques. The political theology of The Noble Qur’an aligns with the official dogma of Saudi Arabia, and it has been endorsed by the Saudi king and the nation’s chief justice, the Grand Mufti.

It is necessary to grasp the authenticity of The Noble Qur’an and its message to the world. Those behind The Noble Qur’an manifestly believe that justice will be served only when Muslims rule the world, and that warfare necessary to achieve this goal is not only justified: it is a divinely instituted, inescapable obligation incumbent on every Muslim, because Muhammad and his Koran are, as Sura 21:107 puts it, “a mercy to the worlds”.

One sometimes hears the view that it is not up to non-Muslims to express opinions about Islam or its canonical texts, such as the Koran. But The Noble Qur’an’s running commentary on the text, because it has so much to say about non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians, therefore gives non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians, every right to form their own opinions about it. If a book talks about you, you have a right to make up your own mind about what it has to say.

In 2002 Christopher Hitchens fielded a question from Tony Jones on ABC’s Lateline as to why young, mostly well-educated men committed the 9/11 atrocity. Hitchens’s answer was, “Well, it could be they believe their own propaganda.” We have to assume that those responsible for The Noble Qur’an believe their own propaganda too, and that some who have read it have been influenced to believe it too.

What should Australians make of the fact that the Saudis have been presenting an open and unashamed apology for violent jihad, even commending the practice of enslaving enemies, in our own backyard for years, not to show Islam in a poor light, but to glorify it?

The fact that The Noble Qur’an is in the Canberra airport musallah is no accident. This edition of the Koran and the teachings it promotes can be found in Islamic bookshops, public libraries, prayer rooms and Sunni mosques all over the English-speaking world.

The British historian Tom Holland recently produced a documentary on ISIS called The Origins of Violence. A scathing review by the English journalist Peter Oborne was published in the Middle East Eye. Oborne excoriated Holland for suggesting that the problem with ISIS lies with Islam. Oborne found it repugnant to suggest that there is anything about Islam that might be considered a “threat”, and he railed against Holland’s suggestion that there could be anything in the example and teaching of Muhammad (whom Oborne respectfully calls “The Prophet”) which could have guided the actions of the Islamic State.

Such ignorance is the fruit of religious illiteracy. Or might fear be the issue? Has Muhammad, praised in the pages of the Koran for being “victorious by awe”, now extended his reign of fear, not just for the distance of one month’s journey as Muhammad declared he had achieved in seventh-century Arabia, but across fourteen centuries to Australia and the rest of the world?

Of course many Australian Muslims would, like Ahmed Farouk Musa, find the messages promoted through the footnotes and glosses of The Noble Qur’anutterly repugnant. It is disappointing that these well-meaning Muslims have not been able to determine which version of their own scriptures is to be placed in a public prayer room designated for their use. They could have lobbied Canberra airport to have this version of the Koran replaced by another, but if they have done so, their attempts must have failed.

The message contained in The Noble Qur’an and its widespread public distribution are matters Australians have every right to be concerned about. Its message has been promoted in public for years with hardly a whisper of objection coming from those who should know better.

It would be inappropriate, and indeed irrelevant if our leaders were to respond to the message of The Noble Qur’an with statements like “True Islam does not promote terrorism” or “No true religion supports violence”. For Australian officials to dare to instruct the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia or the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques on what is true Islam would be ludicrous and offensive. But the leaders of our nation, against whose non-Muslim citizens The Noble Qur’an incites such undisguised enmity, have every right to say, “Not in our backyard!”

Dr. Mark Durie is an academic, human rights activist, Anglican pastor, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Adjunct Research Fellow of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.

This article was first published by the Quadrant in November 2017.

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Interview with a German journalist: “Like many other women in Germany, I no longer feel safe.”

(VOICE OF EUROPE) — We interviewed German journalist and model Anabel Schunke. She studied political science and history and is one of Germany’s most well-known criticasters of the country’s migration policy. This interview is part one of two. Anabel is active on Twitter and Facebook.

How did the admission of so many migrants change your country?

Germany is no longer the same country compared with before 2015. There’s now only one topic: The migration crisis. Of course this is also connected with the discussion about Islam and its “excesses” that we have been experiencing for years in this country through Muslim migrants and those that will come in the future.

This leads to a fatal consequence: We are no longer talking about topics appropriate for a civilized Western society. For example, I’m watching the news and see a report on China and the latest technical and digital innovations which they want to compete with Silicon Valley, and so on.

Meanwhile, in Germany we are discussing wearing headscarves, banning pork in canteens, and Islamic studies in schools. We are clearly missing out on the connection to the top of the world and let us drag ourselves from the migration of mostly deeply backward Islamic countries into the abyss. This should not be allowed by a country whose resources are education, German diligence, recognition abroad and the technical innovations of companies like Siemens.

For Germany, migration is an absolute “backward business”. It divides the country; it shifts the social discourse of the future into the medieval past. The question is no longer: How do we want to live here as Germans in the future and defend our position in the world, but how can we make it as comfortable as possible for Muslims in the name of tolerance? Not to mention the daily attacks, the increase of violent and sexual offenses.

According to German media there were fewer women on the streets of Hamburg during NYE. Is that an effect of migrant (sex) crimes?

Of course, that is an immediate effect of the massive increase in sexual offenses against German women. You know, after each terrorist attack, a mantra is repeated that we will not let our way of life be taken away from us, that we should not be afraid.

The truth is that the majority of the population does not want to admit that they are afraid and that they don’t do certain things out of fear. The fear of being called a racist is still greater than admitting that you are avoiding these people and certain events.

It’s the same with terror and the massive sexual assaults since 2015 by migrants. You read the news and, especially for us women, the many reports about violent and sexual offenses have a certain influence. More and more women have unpleasant experiences with male migrants. You have to imagine that, according to statistics, of the over 1.5 million migrants 80% are men. During a walk in the city, it doesn’t matter where or when, you will encounter them.

The effects of immigration are now shaping many cityscapes. Almost every woman now experiences how different the looks at them are and the feelings that result from it. It’s like being a piece of cattle.

In addition, there are actual attacks. Of course, there have always been rapes in every country, but the quality and quantity of the attacks have changed completely. It makes no difference to the victim whether she is raped at home by an acquaintance or in public in broad daylight by a migrant stranger, but for society and women’s overall thinking in this country, it has its effects.

There are no more “safe spaces”. It can happen to you anytime, anywhere, even if you celebrate New Year’s Eve in a large group. The risk of becoming a victim of a sexual offense has become too big and many women have simply withdrawn from public space in order to avoid these risky situations.

Look: On New Year’s Eve so-called “women’s safety areas” were set up in big cities such as Berlin. There were tents where women had the ability to retreat if they were victims of a sex attack or felt threatened and wanted to breathe deeply. That means that the state already calculates that sexual assaults on women will happen: Like there are “zones” now in this country where women are safe and “zones” where they are not safe.

That’s a bankruptcy declaration in matters of state security. Which woman would still leave her house during New Year’s Eve when the state is quasi calculating that she could get sexually assaulted?

Do you still feel safe as a woman in your country and how did, what happened in Cologne, affect you?

Like many other women in Germany, I no longer feel safe. The number of women, who visit me or send me messages on Facebook about their fears or concrete experiences with migrants, is growing continuously.

The problem is that instead of publicly communicating their criticisms or protesting on the street against this policy, most people prefer private “solutions”. You do not celebrate anymore or only in male company, you don’t get dressed any more, avoid certain places etc.

It is cruel to see how women keep silent and are unnoticed by the majority of society, while much of the media attention disappears as well. It is in a weakened form what happened in many Islamic countries after the revitalization of conservative Islam.

The woman becomes invisible. Cologne was the point at which I became really aware of what this particular kind of immigration means, especially for us women, but also for society as a whole. I mean, apart from sexual assaults on women, there was a situation in which the state totally lost control in Cologne for hours.

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Middle East expert: “Regional empire building” spurred Iran’s involvement in Syria

(THE TOWER) — In a conference call with The Israel Project on Tuesday, Dr. Jonathan Spyer, a Middle East journalist and analyst, said that Syria has “become a subcontractor for the ambitions of outside powers,” notably the Islamic Republic of Iran. Spyer explained that Iran’s involvement in Syria is a key part of its “regional empire building program,” which it views to be of “critical importance.”

Dr. Spyer said the Syrian uprising against Assad was now “without any hope” of success. But “in the moment of victory,” the Assad regime, rather than being victorious and strong, “was absolutely depended for its victory and continued existence on its patrons, Russia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

He also addressed the emerging conflict between Israel and Iran in southwest Syria. Dr. Spyer said Iran “played a crucial role in the preservation of the Assad regime, now seeking to push its project westwards towards the Golan Heights.” Israel, meanwhile, is “determined to stop that process in its tracks.”

Elaborating further on Iran’s role in the region, Dr. Spyer stated that the JCPOA, the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers agreed to in 2015, played a significant role in cementing Iran’s totalitarian and hegemonic agenda in the Middle East.

The million-dollar windfall from sanctions relief “strengthened and broadened the Iranian hand.” However, Dr. Spyer insisted, even before the deal was signed “Iran still managed to find billions of dollars to prop up the Assad regime in Syria, to finance the Shiite militias in Iraq, and the uprising of the Houthi movement in Yemen.”

In his view, it is testimony that “the regional empire building program is of such critical importance to the Iranian regime that, even when sanctions were having visible effects on the living standard of the Iranian people,” the Iranian leadership set aside billions for its military expansionism.

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