A rift has opened up between left-leaning alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) chapter of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and conservative Islamists in the group. At least two dozen alumni addressed an open letter to the club on Facebook asking them to disinvite an anti-liberal Muslim writer, Daniel Haqiqatjou.
MSA's Tufts University chapter disinvited Haqiqatjou last month.
The alumni say that Haqiqatjou's socially conservative views are "regressive" and that they should not be heard because he is not a researched academic. Haqiqatjou's writings attack feminism as the enemy of all religion, and claim that Muslim feminism puts self-described Muslim feminists a path to apostasy.
"From its very inception, feminism has been anti-religion. In fact, the most prominent figures of each wave of feminism have been viciously anti-religious," he wrote on his blog. Late Boston College radical feminist scholar Mary Daly received his ire because she encouraged women to have "courage to sin."
Haqiqatjou likewise questions gay rights and same-sex marriage.
The split is unusual given the MSA's roots within the global Muslim Brotherhood network. It was founded by Brotherhood members who came to the United States in the 1960 and some members push extreme rhetoric.
Opponents of Haqiqatjou's talk criticized the MSA for not holding a forum on Muslim feminism, describing Haqiqatjou's views as "deeply problematic and ... half-baked ideas that have no real intellectual basis. Haqiqatjou spreads vile ideas about women in general as well as critical social movements such as Islamic feminism, slanders Muslim feminists very frequently and undermines the struggles of an entire gender."
Oddly, no one took issue with Haqiqatjou's seeming embrace of another Islamist speaker who says he had a campus lecture canceled for failing "to show sympathy w/Charlie Hebdo and its satanic Shuhada." ISIS-inspired terrorists killed 12 people the magazine's Paris offices in 2015 as revenge for its caricatures of Islam's prophet Mohammed.
Haqiqatjou found Hamza wald Maqbul's canceled talk last year at St. Louis University, "Shocking, that's even more egregious."
Hizballah terrorists are exploiting Germany's refugee policy and entered the country as part of the recent wave of Middle East migrants, according to the Jerusalem Post's review of a German intelligence report released this month.
"Since mid-2015 there are increased indications of fighters from Shi'ite militias entering Germany as legal refugees," the report says, and "roughly 50% [of the fighters] show a direct connection to Hezbollah."
A growing number of Hizballah operatives are settling in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, the report says. The region hosts the Imam-Mahdi Center – a traditional hub for Hizballah operatives. The report also cites a growing and open Hamas presence in North Rhine-Westphalia, despite Germany's terrorist designation of the Palestinian organization, where Hamas supporters exploit Germany to "collect funds" and "recruit new members to spread their propaganda."
There are roughly 950 Hizballah members throughout Germany, according to a 2014 Berlin intelligence report summarized by the Jerusalem Post. Though the number of Hizballah supporters is believed to be far higher in Germany than listed in the report.
Radical Islamists are "the greatest danger to Germany...Germany is on the spectrum of goals for Islamic terrorists," said Hans-Georg Maassen, president of Germany's domestic intelligence agency – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).
Hizballah operatives serve as senior employees of a German government-funded theater project aimed to assist refugees in the country, a 2016 Berliner Zeitung daily report said.
For example, German prosecutors allege that Haidar Syed-Naqfi was ordered to identify Jewish and Israeli institutions in Germany and other Western European countries for potential terrorist attacks. He allegedly monitored the headquarters of a Jewish newspaper in Berlin and identified several Israel supporters. German authorities believe his preparations were "a clear indication of an assassination attempt."
Between July 2015 and July 2016, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) al-Quds Force paid Syed-Naqi more than $2,200.
While the European Union, including Germany, designated Hizballah's military wing as a terrorist entity, Germany allows Hizballah's political wing to operate freely. The U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization entirely. Even senior Hizballah officials have noted the futility in distinguishing between its political and military wings, acknowledging that Hizballah is a hierarchical organization with a clear chain of command. The organization's terrorist and military wings answer to its senior leadership and political echelons, including Iran – its primary sponsor.
A senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) on Tuesday lamented the anniversary of the death of Mohamed Kamal, who is believed to have led the Brotherhood's military wing. Kamal, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau, died in a shootout last year with Egyptian security forces.
It was a year ago that "the criminals in Cairo have announced the assassination of the leader of the revolution, the Martyred Doctor Mohamed Kamal and his companion, the hero and martyr Yasser Shehata," EAFJ spokesman Mahmoud ElSharkawy wrote on his Facebook page.
Egyptian authorities believe that Kamal created a network of Muslim Brotherhood-linked terror groups have carried out attacks since 2014 – sometimes claiming joint responsibility along with ISIS. That includes a May 2016 attack on Egyptian police near Cairo by the Revolutionary Punishment Movement (RPM). Kamal's Hassm Movement claimed responsibility for an attack against the Myanmar (Burmese) Embassy in Cairo earlier this week.
ElSharkawy's post came shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood posted its own eulogy for Kamal on its official Facebook page.
The Brotherhood's eulogy placed Kamal on par with its founder Hasan Al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb and recently deceased Supreme Guide Mohamed Mahdi Akef. All of these men preached violent jihad against the Brotherhood's enemies. Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Ashraf Abdelghaffar in August called on Brotherhood members to return to al-Banna's violent jihadist traditions.
The Brotherhood statement promised "that vengeance for the blood and dignity is a debt and a pledge that we will not abandon, the time for punishment is coming, and your fortresses and castles will not stop us, you will see what you were warned against from us, we will come out for you from every lane, every street and every square, we will destroy your fortresses from above and from below. You will find the revolutionaries where you never expected. Allah Is Greatest."
ElSharkawy's group, EAFJ, opposes the Egyptian government which ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2013 and "seeks to put pressure on the American administration to stand by democracy" in Egypt. But it has close connections with the Muslim Brotherhood and EAFJ members frequently declare their support for the Brotherhood, as they did during last week's memorial service for former Supreme Guide Mohamed Akef.
Egypt's Al Bawaba newspaper identified ElSharkawy in 2015 as a member of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood who allegedly helped fund these groups in conjunction with exiled Brotherhood members in Egypt and Qatar.
In the past 10 days, EAFJ members have mourned the deaths of two prominent Brotherhood leaders, including one who is credited as the driving force behind a new terrorist infrastructure. They may operate in the United States, but democracy is not what EAFJ is standing by
Ties to non-violent Islamism are strongly associated with an eventual embrace of jihadism, according to a new study that explores the trajectories of British jihadists.
In "For Caliph and Country: Exploring How British jihadis Join a Global Movement," researcher Rachel Bryson seeks to find out how a radical global ideology has captivated so many people living in the United Kingdom.
More than three-quarters of 113 randomly selected British jihadists studied were linked with non-violent Islamist organizations and networks prior to their radicalization toward jihad. For this study, jihadists include people who have engaged in terrorist operations, active supporters, and facilitators of jihadi activity.
While there is no universal path to jihad, the report shows that "the vast majority of our sample moved towards jihadism after their exposure to non-violent Islamist ideologies."
Many of the people profiled were radicalized through "personal connections," or after attending Islamic institutions, including several mosques featuring Islamist preachers.
"At least 17 per cent of our sample attended talks by Islamist preachers at Finsbury Park Mosque in north London," including Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical imam suspended in 2002 who continued to offer radical sermons outside the mosque's gates. Abu Hamza "was also a leader of 'Supporters of Sharia,' an Islamist group."
Several prominent terrorists committed attacks after listening to Abu Hamza preach, including one of the suicide bombers in the July 7, 2005 London subway attacks that killed 52 people.
"Individuals in our sample also had connections to Islamist bookshops or markets that sold Islamist materials," the study concludes.
Click here to read the full report.
In 2016, a study by the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics suggested that membership or ties to non-violent Islamist organizations can be associated with an individual's trajectory towards violence and terrorism.
More than half of the prominent jihadi terrorists in that study were previously connected to Islamist groups that claim to be non-violent, including "bodies that are not necessarily political activist organizations but form a functioning arm of existing Islamist groups, such as youth wings, student associations, and other societies." One in four of the 100 Salafi-Jihadi figures examined had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or its affiliated groups.
Iran has drastically increased financial support for its Lebanese-based terrorist proxy Hizballah since the Iran nuclear deal was signed two years ago, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Iran secured $100 billion in frozen assets and sanction relief in January 2016 as a result of the deal with the United States and European countries. Flush with cash, Iran immediately increased its support for terrorist proxies in the region and nefarious activities worldwide. Hizballah was receiving $200 million from Iran. Now, it's $800 million.
Last month, Hamas terrorist leader Yahya Sinwar admitted that "relations with Iran are excellent and Iran is the largest supporter of the [Hamas military wing] Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades with money and arms." Iran reportedly provides Hamas with about $60-$70 million.
Both Hizballah and Hamas remain dedicated to Israel's destruction and continue to invest considerable resources to fight the Jewish state. Iran also spends hundreds of millions of dollars for Shi'ite militias in Syria and Iraq, while increasing support for Houthi militants in Yemen.
Shortly after the July 2015 nuclear deal was signed, Iran expanded its presence in regional conflicts and even increased its own intervention in Syria's civil war, leading to mounting Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) casualties.
Iran also increased efforts to subvert its neighbors. In March, Bahrain security authorities arrested members of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist cell, accusing them of planning to assassinate senior government officials. The IRGC reportedly provided military training to several cell members.
Proponents of the Iran nuclear deal, including many within the Obama administration, argued that the agreement would moderate Iran's behavior. On the contrary, Iran immediately enhanced its support for terrorist organizations, while extremist factions within Iran gained more influence. Two years later, Iran has proved to be even more emboldened to pursue its regional hegemonic ambitions, drastically increasing financial and military support to terrorist organizations and cells worldwide.
Belgian authorities investigated 58 mosques and 61 Islamic associations in 2016 in an effort to counter the spread of radical Islamist ideology, according to the country's justice minister and reported by the Brussels Times.
The data suggests that one in five mosques in Belgium are a cause for concern among domestic intelligence services.
Mosques in Belgium attract inspections for various reasons, including imams who may be delivering radical sermons and for particular mosque attendants who catch the eye of security agencies. State authorities focus their efforts on threats related to "extremism, the radicalisation process and terrorism."
The country is increasingly targeted for terrorist attacks. On Friday, a man of Somali origin stabbed and wounded two soldiers in Brussels in an attack claimed by ISIS. He reportedly yelled "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) during the attack. One of the soldiers shot the attacker twice, killing him.
According to Belgium's migration minister, the man was granted asylum in 2009 before acquiring Belgian citizenship in 2015.
Belgian soldiers regularly patrol Brussels after major Islamist terrorist attacks striking Europe, including Paris in 2015 and Belgium in 2016.
Last year, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for simultaneous terrorist bombings targeting Belgium's airport and its Metro system, killing 32 people.
Palestinian terrorists and their families are receiving far higher payments than welfare recipients, according to an analysis of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) budget by The Middle East Media Research Institute.
A family on welfare receives less than $170 per month, while the PA pays Palestinian prisoners a maximum monthly payment of roughly $3,340 – more than 20 times more than a needy Palestinian family. By amending the Palestinian Prisoners Law in 2010, PA President Mahmoud Abbas increased monthly installments from approximately $275-$1,110 per month to $390-$3,340.
Payments to current and former Palestinian prisoners fall under the "fighting sector" category and terrorists' families receive a "monthly salary," while poor families receive quarterly "monetary aid."
The practice triggered a civil lawsuit by American victims of Palestinian terrorism. A jury awarded the victims $210 million in damages, which under law would be tripled. Evidence indicated that payments from the second Palestinian intifada were approved by then-PA President Yasir Arafat. But an appeals court found the U.S. District Court in New York lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case, wiping out the judgment.
Today, a terrorist's socioeconomic status is not factored into the salaries. Payments to released prisoners and jailed Palestinians are based on the length of a prison sentence, which is a function of their action's severity. The more brutal the attack or murder, the more money a Palestinian prisoner gets. Even jailed Israeli Arabs receive terror salaries – almost $140 more than prisoners with PA residency. The detailed PA budget is concrete proof that the Palestinian government systematically incentivizes terrorism through financial compensation.
This comes as a U.S. Senate committee approved legislation earlier this month to suspend aid to the PA until it stops its financial support programs for Palestinian terrorists and their families. The PA budget clearly shows how the PA prioritizes segments of Palestinian society – people who try or succeed in killing Israelis above all else.
In June, Palestinian sources revealed that Abbas refused another U.S. demand to halt the practice of paying terrorist salaries. Reports in Arabic media, according to The Times of Israel, suggest that an American delegation eventually reduced its demands and insisted that the PA only cut payments to roughly 600 prisoners directly responsible for the Israeli deaths. The day after the meeting, Abbas defended issuing salaries to all Palestinian prisoners and terrorists as a "social responsibility."
In an effort to invigorate the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the group's leaders, Magdy Shalash, reminded supporters that the organization's main objective is establishing an "Islamic Caliphate" based on "Sharia" law.
"The Muslim Brotherhood was established for a general overall purpose, namely, the return of the comprehensive entity of the Umma (Muslim community)...the Islamic Caliphate, which is based on many Sharia proofs," Shalash wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday that was translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
While many Islamist apologists attempt to defend the use of terms like "caliphate" or "jihad" as purely religious and peaceful concepts, Shalash does not try to hide the Brotherhood's true colors.
He calls for "the return of all states Islam ruled, such as Andalusia and others, to the quarters of the coming Caliphate." Andalusia is part of today's Spain.
Islamist sympathizers who view the Brotherhood as a moderate force that only seeks to increase Islam's role in political life fail to acknowledge the organization's core mandate – to establish Sharia law and firm rule over all territories ever controlled by Islamic governance, no matter how long ago.
Shalash praised the "Ottoman Caliphate" since it "eliminated a state of pluralism and fragmentation in name of a plurality of Islamic countries..."
He wants internal Brotherhood elections to establish a unified leadership since "theorizing about something other than the overall goal (establishing the Caliphate)... puts the group in a state of fragmentation and division..."
Official Muslim Brotherhood statements in Arabic tend to reflect the group's core motivations and goals more than sanitized statements in English.
The Brotherhood called for an "Islamic Intifada" – a violent uprising – against Israel July 14 following a deadly Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
The statement reaffirmed the organization's extremist and divisive worldview, labeling any Muslim a "traitor" if they fail to join the uprising against Israel: "The Muslim Brotherhood stresses that defending holy places, and blood and goods is a Sharia duty and a duty to every Muslim, which cannot be ignored except by a traitor or someone submissive."
Palestinian terrorist organizations Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad followed the Brotherhood's lead and called for Palestinians to "escalate the Quds Intifada" which fueled days of heightened tensions between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem.
Pro-Palestinian Islamist organizations and Muslim Brotherhood affiliates in the United States organized anti-Israel protests throughout the country since the Temple Mount crisis unfolded, featuring vehemently anti-Semitic chants and radical statements.
"With life, with blood/we sacrifice for you Al Aqsa" and "the gate of Al Aqsa is of iron [Hadid], no one can open it but a martyr [Shahid]." These chants, translated by IPT, show how U.S. Islamist groups cultivate an atmosphere where terrorism and violence against Israel is openly encouraged.
Saudi Arabia has made progress in ridding its school textbooks teachings hostile toward other faiths, former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said last week in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. But, more needs to be done, including more steps to ensure teachers aren't promoting "a more radicalized version of Islam."
Wolf expressed concern that educational material used by the Saudi government-funded Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia may have potentially been responsible for inspiring terrorism. He cited the example of Ahmed Abu Ali, a former valedictorian from the school, who is currently serving out his sentence in the supermax in Colorado for plotting to assassinate a former U.S. president.
"While it is impossible to say whether Mr. Abu Ali was directly radicalized by the textbooks used at the Islamic Saudi Academy, the use of books that promote religious discrimination and the justification of violence toward non-believers cannot be tolerated," Wolf said.
He expressed frustration that the State Department never met with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to translate textbooks used at the school.
During his House tenure, and since joining the Wilberforce Initiative in 2015, Wolf has been a leading voice against intolerance and incitement to violence promoted by Saudi Arabia's government-published textbooks.
Saudi Arabia's promotion and export of radical Wahhabism, including through its school textbooks, remains a concern. There's a reason more researchers aren't focused on the problem, Wolf said: "By funding top American university research centers, the Saudi government has been able to minimize the voices of those in academia who would otherwise have the best means of researching the effects of radical Wahhabism. In other countries such as Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo and Indonesia they have continued to promote radicalism."
He urged the government to follow USCIRF recommendations to annually review Saudi education textbooks to see if passages that teach religious intolerance have been removed, and press the Saudi government to try to eliminate older versions of Saudi textbooks containing material that teaches hatred and intolerance of others.
That's not a crazy over-reaction. But this routine safety precaution is being cast as an unprovoked intrusion on Muslims wishing to go to the mosque. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas broke off security cooperation with Israel. Protests turned violent, with three people dying Friday, and three members of an Israeli family being murdered in a West Bank terrorist attack.
Abbas condemned the horrific attack on the Temple Mount, but his Fatah party called for a "day of rage" over the metal detectors. None of these actions considers that, without the terror attack that killed the two police officers, none of this would be happening.
"It's hard to think of a worse debasement of a holy place than for armed gunmen in the middle of a shooting spree to flee to it for sanctuary," Bloomberg's Eli Lake wrote last week. "Add to this the fact the Jerusalem police now say there were guns hidden in the Temple Mount complex at the time."
For those who reflexively blame Israel, even when it suffered the attack, such context doesn't matter.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) issued a statement expressing unease over "the escalating tensions between Palestinians and Israeli police which led to the latter imposing unprecedented restrictions on worship at Masjid al Aqsa."
Similarly, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) claimed Israel's closure of Al Aqsa was "unacceptable." In a statement released Friday, it called the new security measures "proof Israel is using the current situation in Jerusalem as a pretext to divide the mosque and prohibit Muslims from accessing their holy site during certain days and/or periods."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) St. Louis chapter organized a march that cast metal detectors and security cameras as a "siege" of the mosque and featured chants of "free free Al-Aqsa."
"It's just another way to put [Palestinians] on a leash and try to control them," said CAIR intern Neveen Ayesh.
Anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour took to Facebook Saturday to salute protesters and claim that "Palestine will be free, it's not a question of if, its (sic) when."
Friday's West Bank terror attack, meanwhile, was the first in a series. A security officer at the Israeli embassy in Jordan was attacked Saturday evening. And Monday morning, another Palestinian carried out an attack "for al Aqsa" injuring an Arab-Israeli man he mistook for a Jew.
There have been no condemnations from any of the groups who see metal detectors as horrible injustices.