All Aboard Erdoğan’s Bus Ride EMRE ÇALIŞKAN / SIMON A. WALDMAN

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan once remarked that for him democracy was like a bus ride, once he gets to his stop he will get off. It is no coincidence that Turkish protesters currently facing severe crackdowns in their bid to save Istanbul’s Gezi Park often refer to their prime minister as a dictator, or authoritarian at the very least.

The reality is that Erdoğan’s power was achieved by the slow erosion of the country’s delicate system of checks and balances, vital for any healthy democracy. Erdoğan also exploited deficiencies within the democratic system.

A major flaw of Turkey’s voting method of proportional representation is its extremely high threshold. For a political party to gain seats in Parliament it must win at least 10 percent of the popular vote. This is despite the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s recommendation that the threshold be no higher than 3 percent. When a threshold is too high the winning party gains a disproportional amount of additional seats.

This is exactly what happened when Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the 2002 election. Although it received just 34 per cent of the vote, his party was a few seats short of having a two-thirds majority in Parliament. There were similar outcomes in subsequent elections.

Revealed: U.S. Justice Department and New Hampshire’s Criminal Investigation of James O’Keefe’s Voter ID Video Posted By J. Christian Adams PJ Media has obtained documents demonstrating that the New Hampshire attorney general was in discussions with Eric Holder’s Department of Justice regarding filing criminal charges against journalist James O’Keefe after he exposed vulnerabilities in New Hampshire’s electoral system in the January 10, 2012, presidential primary. In his hidden-camera investigation, O’Keefe demonstrated how the lack […]

Of Moderates and Mu’tazilites: How Islam Wins Posted By David Solway ****

In an important article [1] for FrontPage Magazine, “recovered” Muslim Bosch Fawstin acknowledges that “Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t. But,” he continues, “that doesn’t mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad…they give the enemy cover..indifferen[t] about the evil being committed in the name of their religion…prov[ing] in their silence and inaction against jihad that they are not on our side either.” Whether they know it or not, or whether they are merely indifferent to the activities of the “radical” wing of the religion they profess, or whether some — a very few — are doctrinally committed to the reinterpretation of the canonical literature, “moderates” in their adherence to traditional dogma or even in their obliviousness to the axioms of Islamic orthodoxy are the sine qua non for the perpetuation of Islam as understood and pursued by those who would subjugate the liberal West to their totalitarian creed. And the latter’s understanding of the faith is correct, as David Hayden methodically shows in his masterful Muhammad and the Birth of Islamic Supremacism [2], a must-read for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Islam is jihad. There is nothing moderate about it.

We might say, metaphorically, that “moderate” Muslims resemble the innocent and unwitting carriers of a deadly virus. They have not deliberately caused the epidemic of Jihaditis from which millions of their fellows suffer, but they allow it to spread unchecked if they do not recognize the affliction and seek appropriate treatment. For Islam itself is the pretext and warrant for both overt violence against and covert subversion of Western cultural and institutional life, and there is no Islam without the sustaining habitat provided by the moderates. It is in this sense that moderation is complicit with extremism, the former supplying the empirical ground in which the latter can take root. The one is dependent on the other for its viability, substance, and effect. Put plainly, there is no jihadi violence (al-Qaeda, etc.) or internal sabotage (Muslim Brotherhood) without Islam, and there is no Islam without the enveloping milieu afforded by the vast community of believers, nominal or otherwise. “The nature of the problem,” writes British lawyer Gavin Boby, who directs the Law and Freedom Foundation [3], “may be doctrine rather than people, but the harsh fact is that doctrines are sustained by people” (personal communication). The logic is unassailable; regrettably, “moderate” Muslims are impervious to it.

There is a temptation to regard “moderate” Muslims of a special stamp — namely those whom Fawstin calls the “very rare Muslim[s] who help us against Jihad” — as contemporary Mu’tazilites and heroes of a reforming faith, who see themselves as allies of the democratic West. The Mu’tazilites were the eighth-and-ninth century sect thought to have struggled for the primacy of reason, freedom of the will, and the value of the individual, and their legacy has been revived by certain Islamic philosophers. The Iranian scholarly dissident Abdolkarim Soroush [4], for example, who has been called the Martin Luther of Islam, describes himself [5] as a “Neo-Mu’tazilite,” stressing that “the rationality of their school is extremely valuable” and can “bring new gains [in] using tradition and…extricating ourselves from tradition.”

However, Andy Bostom, erudite scholar of Islam and respected friend, has taken issue with this characterization. The Mu’tazilites, for all their relatively advanced thinking, were a truly nasty bunch and acted as a mihna or an Islamic inquisition against their opponents. Citing the doyen of Islamic studies Ignaz Goldziher, Bostom writes “the Mu’tazilites’ own orthodoxy was accompanied by fanatical intolerance” and “advocated jihad in all realms where their doctrine was not ascendant” (Sharia versus Freedom [6], Chapter 30, “Mutazilite Fantasies,” pp. 383-389).

Britain: Muslim Prisoner Numbers Soar

Britain: Muslim Prisoner Numbers Soar:

Prison officers have warned of Islamic “gang culture” in jails after ­figures showed the number of Muslim inmates has rocketed compared with other faiths.

Stats reveal convicts in England and Wales who say their religion is Islam have passed the 11,000 mark for the first time.

The total for Christians is 43,235, ­according to data given out under ­freedom of information laws.

Prison officers’ association ­general secretary Steve Gillan said: “The POA are aware that some ­individuals are bullied into conversion.

“There is clear ­evidence of gang ­culture and a radicalisation of young men.

“They use the name of religion as …

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Saudi Man Adopts Five-Year-Old Boy, Tortures Him to Death

Saudi Man Adopts Five-Year-Old Boy, Tortures Him to Death:

A Saudi man suffering from infertility went to an orphanage in the Gulf Kingdom and adopted a five-year-old boy after assuring his guardians he would look after him.

A few months later, the boy died in hospital after he was tortured by his new father.

The 33-year-old Saudi, who is married, confessed to police that he beat up and tortured the boy but claimed he only wanted to treat his involuntary urination.

“The boy was admitted to hospital in Riyadh, suffering from burns and bruises all over his body and examination showed he was burned …

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Soaring 45,000 Sq. Ft Mosque and Islamic Center Opens in San Gabriel Valley

Soaring 45,000 Sq. Ft Mosque and Islamic Center Opens in San Gabriel Valley:

After four years of construction and $5.5 million in fundraising, the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley formally opened its soaring new mosque Saturday.

For Muslim worshippers, the transformation of their prayer space from a dilapidated church next to a smelly chicken farm purchased three decades ago to a 45,000-square-foot structure complete with a school, mortuary, health clinic and three libraries marks a coming of age for their community.

It’s also powerful evidence of a building boom of new mosques in both Southern California and the nation.
Over the last several …

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Al-Qaeda Says European Hostages Still Alive

Al-Qaeda Says European Hostages Still Alive:

Al-Qaeda’s North African branch said in a statement Saturday that eight European hostages it is holding are alive and well, promising to release a new video of the five Frenchmen among them.

Earlier in the day demonstrations were held in several towns and cities in France in a show of support for four of the French hostages who have been held by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) for 1,000 days.

Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Feret — mostly working for French public nuclear giant Areva and its subcontractor Satom — were kidnapped in …

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In response to an article that I wrote about Coptic Christians in Muslim countries, Cuban poet and translator Juana Rosa Pita contacted me. An author of over 20 published books of poems, her poetry has been featured in literary magazines and anthologies. When I learned of her background, she graciously responded to my request for more information about Cuba. She recounts how with her 4-month old child in tow, she left Havana on June 20, 1961. Although she was halfway through her studies of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Havana,

two and a half years had been enough to see more than a harbinger of things to come. The last months were actually very distressing: all the prestigious professors from the University of Havana not in agreement with Communism and with the tyranny of Fidel Castro had been expelled and some of the famous ‘Comandantes’ had mysteriously disappeared, or were either imprisoned or killed under the newly installed death penalty for crimes against the powers of the state.

Furthermore, restrictive laws were installed and thus,

an infamous law was implemented under which, ironically, not too long after having signed it, the Minister of Justice Humberto Sori Marin was himself executed. Till then a hero, [Marin] had fought Batista but had dared to criticize the tyrant [Castro] for the exclusive power given to the Communist Party.


…one of the most prosperous and literate nations of Latin America (second only to Argentina), was already on its way to institutionalized oppression and misery.

Ms. Pita explains that the Cuban people were “victims of what Jean Francois Revel called the ‘golden legend of Communism'” too often propagated by the so-called “free press” and most of the “progressive intellectuals” who still overwhelmingly influence students in universities.

WILLIAM SULLIVAN :DEALING WITH THE DEVIL IN QATAR (PRONOUNCED “GUTTER’ ) Barack Obama has crossed his fingers and shot the dice, hoping for an honorable exit from Afghanistan by extending the olive branch to the Taliban, expressing a desire to negotiate peace with our enemy.  Peace talks with the Taliban, Obama says, are “an important first step toward reconciliation.” “The one thing that we do […]


It is now 500 years since Niccolò Machiavelli produced the most famous book on politics ever written. On Dec. 10, 1513, he wrote a letter to a friend describing a day in his life and remarking by the way that he had composed a “little work,” one of his “whimsies,” on principalities. This was “The Prince,” a short book for the busy executive so shocking that it wasn’t published until 1532, after Machiavelli’s death. It was coupled with the “Discourses on Livy” (1531), a much longer book for those readers with more time to observe and reflect. These are his major works, the ones that he said contain everything he knew.

In them he openly denounced both Christianity and the church: the “ambitious idleness” that Christianity imposed on Christians by demeaning worldly honor and also the “dishonesty” of priests, who govern by invoking the fear of God but “do not [themselves] fear the punishment that they do not see and do not believe.” He attacked morality by declaring it unaffordable: A good man will “come to ruin” among so many others who aren’t good. And he redirected politics by asserting that a prince must “learn to be able not to be good.” Yet he also said, still more shockingly, that he believed that his advice to do evil “would bring common benefit to everyone.”



Gen. Curtis LeMay, in a 1945 speech to the Ohio Society, quoted in Warren Kozak’s 2011 biography, “LeMay”:

“It is beyond my powers of description to picture to you the difference between the bomb-blackened ruins and the desolation of our enemy’s cities and the peaceful Ohio cities and landscape, untouched and unmarred by war. I can only say to you, if you love America, do everything you can do to make sure that what happened in Germany and Japan will never happen to our country. Our preparedness for war should be the measure of our desire for peace. The last war was started by air power and finished by [air power]. America, if attacked, must be able to take the initiative immediately.”


“Environmentalism is the religion of the comfortable, and the theology of the convenient. It injects a false spirituality into the materialism of the faithless. There is nothing to it but greed. From the false prophets spinning tales of the end, to scientists doing a more elevated version of the same for grant money to scribes envisioning the end for a lucrative book or movie deal. It’s not the end of the world they’re waiting for, but a commercial break.”

Two years ago, the media had a prolonged belly laugh at a group that predicted the end of the world. Now media outlets from The New York Times to The New Republic to The Economist are wrestling with the question of why their own ideology’s doomsday predictions are not coming to pass.

“If scientific models can’t project the last 15 years, what does that mean for their projections of the next 100?,” the New Republic asks. It means that the world isn’t going to end.

Even as Obama exploits Global Warming to launch a War on Affordable Energy, the doomsday environmentalists look as foolish as any other group that set a date for the end of the world, only for the world to stubbornly go on existing.

True believers in Gore would say that’s the difference between science and eschatology. But when bogus science warns us of an apocalypse if we don’t follow the tenets of their ideology, then how much difference is there anyway?

Of course no one expects MSNBC to do sneering reports of global warming activists freezing at a protest or Al Gore being forced to watch a count down of a solidly frozen North Pole. Such mockery is only directed at people who believe in more unpopular forms of apocalypses. At least unpopular at the broadcasting studios of Manhattan.


Whatever happened to Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi?

In a first-ever audio interview with Alharbi, Amina Choudary of The Islamic Monthly brings us up to date:

Since the marathon stories continue to be written about him … speculating that he was put on a terrorist list and deported. We can confirm that neither is true. Instead we found him living discreetly in Boston. …

Listener beware. Even Janet Napolitano confirmed that Alharbi was put on a watch list. But who ever imagined he was still in the USA? According to the segment, Alharbi, who says he is “doubly injured from the explosion and the media,” currently lives in a hotel, a ward of the Saudi embassy. The piece hammers at the awfulness of leaks to the media which brought Alharbi into the public eye after the Boston Marathon Massacre (subtext: it was so hard to hide him away again), and insists the evidence against him — basically, misattributions about his Facebook pictures, according to the piece — was phony. Interestingly enough, there is no mention of the most damning piece of evidence: the “event file” that identified Alharbi as a “3B” (red hot) terrorist threat.

Among other things, that event file tells us Alharbi was on a no-fly list, and that two officers recommended he be deported as a 3B (red hot) terrorist risk. (More here.)

Having avoided the subject altogether, the interview gives Alharbi his dramatic moment, and he takes it, asking: “Where is your document that I am a suspect, that I am a terrorist?”

Right here! The cover sheet of the Alharbi event file, first published by The Blaze, is reproduced above.