To Sabotage the Future, Lie about the Past Northwestern University Scholar Dario Fernandez-Morera tilts at the windmill of the Andalusian Myth – and the myth topples. Danusha V. Goska

I am in awe of The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain. Author Dario Fernandez-Morera, a Northwestern University Professor and Harvard PhD, argues that elite scholars are peddling a myth – that Islamic Spain, c. 711 AD -1492 AD, was a paradise. Fernandez-Morera’s job is to expose historical realities. The main text is 240 pages. There are 95 pages of notes, a bibliography and an index. It was published in February, 2016 by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

This book is an intellectual boxing match. The author shreds not just one opponent, but a series of intellectual bigots, prostitutes and manipulators of the common man. Fernandez-Morera’s biceps gleam as his lightning footwork and peerless preparedness dazzle. Our hero risks much, from hate mail to non-person status.

The reader is plunged into vast landscapes, international intrigue, arcane customs, and timeless heroism. One envisions veiled women and bejeweled slave girls, the smoking ruins of churches, enslaved, whipped Christians forced to carry their cathedral bells to be melted down to embellish mosques, heartbreaking suffering and eventual victory.

Fernandez-Morera allows the propagandists enough rope to hang themselves. All he has to do is quote them. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, The University of Chicago, Boston University, Sarah Lawrence, Rutgers, Indiana University, Cambridge, Oxford, The University of London, NYU, Norton, Penguin, Routledge, Houghton Mifflin, the Pulitzer Committee, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, Carly Fiorina, children’s textbooks, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, PBS, The New York Review of Books, First Things all are in the dock, tripped up in their own false testimony. The inclusion of First Things might surprise; it is a Catholic publication. In it Christian C. Sahner praises Muslims who “exhibited a surprising degree of religious flexibility” because they waited a few decades before razing the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Damascus, rather than destroying it immediately upon arrival. Really.

What is the propagandists’ motive?

Follow the money. See, for example, Giulio Meotti’s “Islam Buys Out Western Academia” See also the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University. Or the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. Or the Alwaleed Centre at Edinburgh University. Or the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale. Or the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown. The whorehouse cash register overflows with petrodollars.

Follow the pitchforks and torches. In 2008, Sylvain Gouguenheim, a French medievalist, published Aristotle at Mont Saint-Michel, arguing that the West is not in debt to Islam for awareness of Ancient Greek texts; most of those texts were preserved, translated, passed on and used by Christians. For that rather modest claim, Gouguenheim was subjected to an “academic exorcism.”

The BDS Movement’s Terror Ties Washington think tank provides insight into malevolent workings of pro-BDS group and its terrorist connections. Ari Lieberman

Much has been written about the nefarious motives behind the anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as well as its primary campus sponsor, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). An exhaustive and authoritative account tracing the movement’s history, its radical roots and maximalist goals was authored by Dan Diker for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and is a must read for anyone wishing to gain further insight into the inner workings of BDS.

Of perhaps greater concern however, is the terror link between BDS and the Hamas terrorist organization. As outlined by Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) at a Joint Hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the connections are deeply rooted and masked by a labyrinth of various entities and subgroups.

Particular interest centers on two pro-BDS groups, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and its fiscal sponsor, Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation (AJP). Though AMP is a not-for-profit corporation, it does not possess 501c3 tax-exempt status and is not required to file IRS form 990 thus shielding the organization from scrutiny. The AMP however receives tax-exempt contributions from the AJP, which is a 501c3. The two organizations share officers and maintain the same offices but under the law, they are deemed to be two separate and distinct entities.

If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is and those responsible for forming these entities were likely trying to circumvent transparency laws for reasons set forth below.

According to research conducted by the FDD, the AMP is extremely active on college campuses and one of the driving forces of the BDS movement. The organization provides training, funding and propaganda material for SJP campus groups across the United States. In 2014, the group spent $100,000 on campus activities, the bulk of which was channeled into anti-Israel, pro-BDS causes.

Even more disquieting is the fact that several current members of the AMP or individuals who are otherwise tied to the AMP were former members of groups that were shut down or held civilly liable by the United States for funneling money to the Hamas terrorist group. That figure includes three individuals who had previously belonged to the now defunct and notorious Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), the Hamas front group that according to the U.S. Treasury Department sent approximately $12.4 million overseas to fill the Hamas coffers.

Al-Qaeda Claims USAID Worker’s Murder, But Administration Not Calling It Terrorism By Bridget Johnson

The Obama administration did not characterize Monday’s brutal slaying of a USAID worker as terrorism on Tuesday despite al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent taking credit for the crime.

Xulhaz Mannan, 35, and Mahbub Tonoy, 25, were in their apartment in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Monday at about 5:30 p.m. when attackers posing as delivery couriers gained entry. They were attacked with machetes by men in their 20s who yelled “Allahu Akbar” on their way out the door.

The attack followed the pattern of AQIS attacks that began in February 2015 with the machete murder of an American citizen, writer Avijit Roy, on a Dhaka street. Roy ran a blog featuring atheist, humanist and nationalist writers.

AQIS, which formally launched in 2014 after al-Qaeda brought various militant groups from India to Bangladesh and Myanmar under its umbrella, has explicitly detailed why they’ve picked certain writers and activists as their targets — those they believe have insulted Islam and stand in the way of submission to Shariah law. ISIS has tried to adopt this method of ambushing intellectuals or atheists, though Bangladesh denies fighters allied to the Islamic State are active in the country.

Mannan was an LGBT activist before going to work at the U.S. Embassy as a protocol officer. He later worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and founded the magazine Roopbaan, which was going to hold a Rainbow Rally earlier this month that was canceled due to death threats.

No, Mr. Trump, You’re Not the Presumptive Nominee… Yet By Tyler O’Neil

In his victory speech after winning all five of the Northeast primaries on Tuesday, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump declared himself the “presumptive nominee.” As much as his fans liked it, the statement is, strictly speaking, just not true.

Despite big wins in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, The Donald still lacks the 1,237 delegates required to secure the nomination. It is true that his last remaining challengers, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, cannot gain enough pledged delegates to win outright, but that does not mean that Trump wins by process of elimination. The Donald cannot assume he wins just because his competition cannot claim the crown — he still has to pass the finish line himself.

That said, Trump is roughly on track to win the nomination. Even if Ted Cruz defeats him in the must-win states of Indiana and California, The Donald will only be about 100 delegates short. This is the scenario necessary to push the race to a contested convention, but even that does not guarantee a Cruz victory.

The Texas senator has the strongest grassroots operation focused on electing delegates who are friendly to Cruz. This is a brilliant strategy, so long as it does not distract from winning the two remaining states to block Trump’s nomination. On the first ballot at the convention, all pledged delegates will have to vote in the way their states decided. These are the raw numbers you see everywhere: Trump 950, Cruz 560, Kasich 153. After the first ballot, those delegates can start to decide for themselves.

Why Israel Should Keep the Golan Heights By Steve Postal

On Sunday, April 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (“Bibi”) convened a cabinet meeting on the Golan Heights stating that the “time has come for the international community to finally recognize that the Golan Heights will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.” He spoke these words from Ma’aleh Gamla, next to the ruins of the historic Gamla, a Judean city to which the Romans laid siege in 67 CE during the Great Revolt (also known as the First Jewish/Roman War) (66-73 CE). In this battle, Roman soldiers slaughtered 4,000 Jews, while another 5,000 perished having “thrown themselves down” a ravine to their deaths in either an attempt to flee or in a mass suicide (Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 4:1:9:80).

Bibi’s statements at Gamla followed reports that the United States and Russia were working on a draft peace resolution to the Syrian Civil War that would label the entire Golan Heights as Syrian territory. On April 19, U.S. State Department John Kirby stated “The US position on the issue is unchanged…Those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations.” The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Arab League, Syria, and Germany rejected Netanyahu’s comments.

Despite most of the world seemingly poised to throw Israel under the bus over this issue, Israel should continue to assert its sovereignty over the Golan. Israel has a stronger claim to the Golan than Syria does, the Golan is of essential strategic value to Israel and the free world, and given increased threats and development of the land, that value has only appreciated.

Israel has a Stronger Claim to the Golan than Syria

Israel gained control of two-thirds of the Golan Heights following Syria’s defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War. (Israel later applied Israeli law to these territories in a de-facto annexation in 1981.) Syria gained independence in 1945. Before that, the Golan was part of the French Empire (1923-1945), jointly administered between the British and French Empires (1917-1923) and part of the (Turkish) Ottoman Empire for approximately 400 years preceding 1917. So, Syria had control of the Israeli-administered part of the Golan for 22 years (1945-1967), while Israel has had it for 49 years (1967 to the present). Israel has a stronger claim to the Israeli-controlled part of the Golan, given that it has been Israeli longer than it has been Syrian.

The Great Strategic Value of the Golan…

Peter Huessy : Folding up Our Nuclear Umbrella

There is a growing fear that North Korea’s development and testing of nuclear weapons could trigger the use of nuclear weapons for the first time in seventy years.

But the catalyst to such a catastrophe may be not actions by North Korea but an ill-considered decision by the United States.

In frustration over the seeming intractability of the Korean nuclear “problem”, some analysts are proposing that the US cut and run and “fold up its extended nuclear umbrella” over South Korea.

This despite the fact that our collective deterrent with our allies has kept the peace in the western pacific since the end of the Korean War.

One particular strange idea comes from Doug Bandow in an April 19, 2016 essay in the Huffington Post. Bandow has long pushed for the US to leave our South Korean allies to the tender mercies of Pyongyang.

He now fears that the DPRK might indeed use its nuclear weapons against the Republic of Korea and as a result, drag the United States into defending Seoul. That is because for the past many decades, the United States had pledged to protect South Korea by placing our nuclear umbrella over their country to dissuade any adversary such as North Korea from attacking Seoul.

Thus Bandow concludes our nuclear deterrent umbrella should be quickly “folded up” and put away.

In short, nuclear deterrence provided by the United States, having succeeded for 60 years, is now no longer valuable.


Even with the US nuclear umbrella over Seoul, Bandow thinks it may not be enough to deter Pyongyang. He has the strange idea that North Korea, with perhaps dozens of nuclear weapons, would attack South Korea and risk war with the United States, which has nearly two thousand deployed nuclear weapons in its strategic arsenal.

Sweden: Muslim Government Minister Sacked After Making Nazi Allegations by Ingrid Carlqvist

“This is not about freedom of speech, this is about insulting people’s faith. I cannot see anything that has to do with freedom of speech here.” — Mehmet Kaplan, on the Mohammed cartoon controversy, 2005.

Mehmet Kaplan told Turkish media that the reason young Muslims join ISIS is “the rampaging Islamophobia in Europe.” As a solution to the problem, he suggested that the Swedish government support mosques financially, ostensibly to counteract ISIS’s recruitment.

In 2014, three Muslims became ministers in the Swedish government. Clearly the most fervent and committed believer was Mehmet Kaplan, 44, who took on the role of Minister for Housing and Urban Development.

Kaplan came to Sweden from Turkey, at the age of one. Despite many claims that he is in fact an Islamist, until now Kaplan has been untouchable. That is, until it emerged that he said that Israel treats the Palestinians the same way the Nazis treated the Jews in Germany. At a hastily summoned press conference on April 18, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced that he had accepted Kaplan’s resignation.

Mehmet Kaplan was a minister in Sweden’s government until last week, when he was forced to resign after revelations that he compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to that of the German Nazis’ treatment of Jews. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Jan Ainali)

Kaplan, a member of the Green Party, has a history of being affiliated with various Muslim organizations connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2005, he denounced the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, for publishing cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed. In an interview with the Christian magazine Dagen, he said, “This is not about freedom of speech, this is about insulting people’s faith. I cannot see anything that has to do with freedom of speech here. This is an insupportable provocation.”

In 2010, Kaplan was aboard one of the ships of the flotilla sailing to the Gaza Strip, with the aim of breaking Israel’s naval blockade. He, along with several others, was arrested after the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) boarded the vessel. Once safe and sound back in Sweden, he complained that the IDF “acted like pirates.”

The “Two State Solution”: Irony and Truth by Louis René Beres

“The establishment of such a [Palestinian] state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces into Judea and Samaria … In time of war, the frontiers of the Palestinian state will constitute an excellent staging point for mobile forces to mount attacks on infrastructure installations vital for Israel’s existence…” — Shimon Peres, Nobel Laureate and Former Prime Minister of Israel, in 1978.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964; three years before there were any “occupied territories.” Exactly what, then was the PLO planning to “liberate”?

Both Fatah and Hamas have always considered, and still consider, Israel as simply part of “Palestine.” On their current official maps, all of Israel is identified as “Occupied Palestine.”

“You understand that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel, and establish a purely Palestinian state. … I have no use for Jews; they are and remain, Jews.” — PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, January 30, 1996 (2.5 years after signing the Oslo Peace Accords).

In view of these repeatedly intolerant Arab views on Israel’s existence, international law should not expect Palestinian compliance with any agreements, including those concerning use of armed force — even if these agreements were to include explicit U.S. security guarantees to Israel.

There is no lack of irony in the endless discussions of Israel and a Palestinian state.

One oddly neglected example is the complete turnaround of former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres. Recognized today as perhaps the proudest Israeli champion of a “Two State Solution” — sometimes also referred to as a “Road Map to Peace in the Middle East” — Peres had originally considered Palestinian sovereignty to be an intolerable existential threat to Israel. More precisely, in his book, Tomorrow is Now (1978), Mr. Peres unambiguously warned:

“The establishment of such a (Palestinian) state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces into Judea and Samaria this force, together with the local youth, will double itself in a short time. It will not be short of weapons or other military equipment, and in a short space of time, an infrastructure for waging war will be set up in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. … In time of war, the frontiers of the Palestinian state will constitute an excellent staging point for mobile forces to mount attacks on infrastructure installations vital for Israel’s existence…”

Now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in apparent agreement with this original position of Peres on Palestine, is nonetheless willing to go along with some form or another of a Palestinian state, but only so long as its prospective leaders should first agree to “demilitarization.” Netanyahu, the “hawk,” is now in agreement with the early, original warning of Peres, the “dove.” Peres’s assessment has been Netanyahu’s firm quid pro quo.

The Death of Free Speech: The West Veils Itself by Giulio Meotti

The West has capitulated on freedom of expression. Nobody in the West launched the motto “Je Suis Avijit Roy,” the name of the first of the several bloggers butchered, flogged or jailed last year for criticizing Islam.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, sided with the Turks. She condemned the German comedian’s poem, called it a “deliberate insult,” then approved the filing of criminal charges against him for insulting the Turkish president.

The West is veiling its freedom of speech in the confrontation with the Islamic world: this is the story of Salman Rushdie, of the Danish cartoons, of Theo van Gogh, of Charlie Hebdo.

Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, just released an interview with Italy’s largest newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, where he suggested a kind of grand bargain: We Iranians will discuss with you our human rights situation, if you Europeans suppress freedom of expression on Islam.

Last week, Nazimuddin Samad sat at his computer at home and penned a few critical lines against the Islamist drift of his country, Bangladesh. The day after, Samad was approached by four men shouting “Allahu Akbar!” (“Allah is great!”) and hacked him to death with machetes.

These killings have become routine in Bangladesh, where many bloggers, journalists and publishers are being killed in broad daylight because of their criticism of Islam. There is a hit list with 84 names of “satanic bloggers.” A wave of terrorism against journalists reminiscent of that in Algeria, where 60 journalists were killed by Islamist armed groups between 1993 and 1997.

But these shocking killings have not been worth of a single line in Europe’s newspapers.

Is it because these bloggers are less famous than the cartoonists murdered at Charlie Hebdo? Is it because their stories did not come from the City of Light, Paris, but from one of the poorest and darkest cities in the world, Dhaka?

No, it is because the West has capitulated on freedom of expression. Nobody in the West launched the motto “Je Suis Avijit Roy,” the name of the first of these bloggers butchered last year.

Alan Moran: Voting Ourselves into Penury

A re-affirmation of small government, ideally including constitutional limits on its size and regulatory authority within the economy, is necessary if stagnation is not to become the way of the world. Or we could ape Japan’s example and learn to live with little or no growth, not now or ever

Even with the federal election still at its phony war stage we can discern the assaults on our liberties and pockets that the next few months will foreshadow. Labor (still more the Greens) has set its spoon to plumbing the depths of the magic pudding as it tries to consolidate and build upon the excesses of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years.

To shore up its support base Shorten & Co., want to:

spend more on teachers and people with disabilities;
have a royal commission into banking to force banks to lend to those with sub-standard credit or to grant preferred terms to some borrowers;
leave the unions beyond the law, thus ensuring cost premiums which are 30% on construction costs;
triple the price of electricity by requiring a 50% renewable share,
plug the industrial attrition caused by energy and IR cost impositions by increasing protectionism and requiring local steel, even if sub-standard or excessively priced, to be used in naval shipbuilding and infrastructure;
promote LGBT agendas, including introducing “marriage equality”; and
introduce “more humane treatment” of refugees.

Conscious that government spending remains well above the “emergency” levels introduced in 2007 and that some of these plans will require tax increases in addition to the increased regulatory induced costs, the ALP is proposing to:

increase business taxes on multinationals
levy a special tax on those earning more than $180,000 a year
tax superannuation;
introduce higher taxes on capital gains;
abolish negative gearing on housing investments; and
increase tobacco taxes.

At least in the case of the first four of the above points, the measures would bring about lower savings and investment – the basic drivers of living standards – with detrimental economic outcomes.