Please read just a few of the headlines that World Net Daily has published.
Symposium on Islamic
Organizer finds opposition to event
from politicians, media, bank
The organizer of a Connecticut symposium addressing the threat of Islamic terrorism to the U.S. has run into resistance from the media, politicians and even a bank.
Jeff Epstein, who is working to stage the conference "The Radical Islamist Threat to World Peace and National Security," is determined to continue to get the word out about the Sept. 21 event, despite roadblocks that have been thrown in his path.
The event is sponsored by the People's Truth Forum.
"This symposium will delve into the minds of those who use terror as a tool," Epstein said in a statement. "It will paint a profile of those who would slaughter innocents, and it will educate both professional and average citizen on how terrorism threatens our way of life today.
"Naïve ideologues contend that Islamic 'freedom fighters' are lashing out at the West – and especially Americans – because of the provocative nature of Western life and/or the Western presence in Islamic states. To hold these short-sighted contentions is to be blind to the truth either through ignorance or deliberate oversight."
Epstein blames resistance to the conference on political correctness gone dangerously mad.
"This is no time to embrace apathy or political correctness," he emphasized, "not when confronting the alarming prospect that thousands of radical Islamists are committed to bringing death and destruction to millions of innocents on our soil."
As WND reported, last month CBS/Infinity Radio refused to air paid commercial announcements for the conference, claiming "people might be too emotionally affected" by it.
The official statement from CBS/Infinity Radio said, "Too many people might be emotionally affected by the subject matter. … It's too controversial to be aired at this time."
Besides the snub by CBS/Infinity Radio, Epstein cites what he considers to be other incidents of bias by the media. He notes BBC has stopped referring to Muslim terrorists as Islamists, even those suspected in the July 7 bombings in London.
"Not to be outdone," Epstein said, "the New York Times reclassified Abu Musab Zarqawi as a 'Jordanian fighter.'"
Epstein says he has contacted politicians of both parties seeking endorsements and video clips to be played at the Plantsville, Conn., event, with mixed results.
While some have been responsive, such as Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., – who Epstein says will attend the conference, schedule permitting – others have been less than cooperative.
The event organizer says the staff of Sen. Hillary Clinton, told him the senator could not attend the conference and that she was "just far too busy" to provide a video greeting – action Epstein says was "not in keeping with her rhetoric pertaining to support for the war on terror."
Epstein notes resistance to the conference has even come from the banking community.
He reports a Connecticut bank manager denied People's Truth Forum's request to open a checking account for the symposium. The banker reportedly feared the media would identify his institution as being supportive of the organization's mission and conference.
Epstein insists the event is non-partisan and non-political, and focuses instead on how Americans can prepare for and counter terrorism on U.S. soil. While citizens are told to be "vigilant," Epstein says no one has ever told the American people what it is they should be looking and listening for. The symposium is meant to help fill that knowledge gap.
Said Epstein: "At the symposium, Dr. Harvey Kushner will present vital information outlining how radical Islamists have succeeded in their quest to infiltrate our political, educational, religious and penal institutions – facts which were previously maintained as 'privy' to selected law enforcement agencies. Brigitte Gabriel, Laura Mansfield and Robert Spencer will contribute substantially to the program by sharing their own personal experiences and professional expertise. In fact, the entire program will be fact-based, non-partisan, provocative and educational."
The activist quotes a Muslim foreigner who recently spokes to one of Epstein's associates. The man responded to the question of whether or not Muslims in the U.S. can be trusted:
"They are taught to be great neighbors and obey the laws of the countries in which they reside until they are called up," the man is quoted as saying. "Then, they will slice your throats as easily as they came to your barbeques."
WorldNetDaily founder and CEO Joseph Farah expressed support for the event.
"This symposium is a much-needed wake-up call for those who are still blind to the imminent threat of radical Islamic terror hanging over our nation," Farah said. "I commend the event to law enforcement personnel, first responders and concerned Americans who want to take action to protect themselves and their families."
Epstein encouraged Americans to support the symposium by purchasing tickets and attending:
"It is important that as many American citizens as possible expose themselves to the cold, hard facts, truths that CBS and the rest of the mainstream media continues to 'save us from.'
"We are at war. Your life – and the lives of the ones you love – may depend on what you know. Don't let the opportunity to educate yourself on the specifics of the very dangerous threat we are faced with today pass you by. Don't let apathy take place of vigilance."
The deadline for making reservations has been extended to Friday, Epstein says, to accommodate people making out-of-state travel arrangements and law enforcement personnel applying for expense reimbursement.
In a videotape shown on the Arabic al-Jazeera satellite channel, Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, warned of further terrorist strikes unless Britain and the United States withdraw troops from Iraq.
The al-Qaida leader blamed British Prime Minister Tony Blair for the bombings in London July 7, which killed 52 people, and the attempted July 21 attacks.
"Blair has brought to you destruction in central London, and he will bring more of that, God willing," said al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor who joined forces with bin Laden in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.
"As to the nations of the crusader alliance, we have offered you a truce if you leave the land of Islam."
Al-Zawahiri added, "Hasn't Sheik Osama bin Laden told you that you will not dream of security before there is security in Palestine and before all the infidel armies withdraw from the land of Muhammad?"
Blair's Downing Street office declined to comment on the broadcast.
"Our message is clear," the al-Qaida leader continued, "You will not be safe until you withdraw from our land, stop stealing our oil and wealth and stop supporting the corrupt rulers."
The tape was being examined to determine its authenticity, but officials say every previous al-Zawahiri tape has been real, according to Fox News.
A tape broadcast by al-Jazeera in June showed al-Zawahiri declaring armed jihad as the only way to bring reform to the Arab world.
In the latest tape, he warned the United States of significantly more casualties.
"As for you, the Americans, what you have seen in New York and Washington, what losses that you see in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite the media blackout, is merely the losses of the initial clashes," he said. "If you go on with the same policy of aggression against Muslims, you will see, with God's will, what will make you forget the horrible things in Vietnam and Afghanistan."
Addressing the American populace, he said, "The truth that has been kept from you by [President] Bush, [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice and [Defense Secretary Donald H.] Rumsfeld is that there is no way out of Iraq without immediate withdrawal, and any delay on this means only more dead, more losses.
"If you don't leave today, certainly you will leave tomorrow, and after tens of thousands of dead, and double that figure in disabled and wounded."
He also had a warning for the Western nations in the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.
"As to the nations of the crusader alliance, we have offered you a truce if you leave the land of Islam. ... Instead [of accepting the truce], you spilled blood like rivers in our countries and we exploded the volcanoes of wrath in your countries."
by Daniel Pipes
[NY Sun title: "Are Critics Of Israel Correct?"]
Are Israel's critics correct? Does the "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza cause the Palestinian Arabs' anti-Semitism, their suicide factories, and their terrorism? And is it true these horrors will end only when Israeli civilians and troops leave the territories?
The answer is coming soon. Starting August 15, the Israeli government will evict about 8,000 Israelis from Gaza and turn their land over to the Palestinian Authority. In addition to being a unique event in modern history (no other democracy has forcibly uprooted thousands of its own citizens of one religion from their lawful homes), it also offers a rare, live, social-science experiment.
We stand at an interpretive divide. If Israel's critics are right, the Gaza withdrawal will improve Palestinian attitudes toward Israel, leading to an end of incitement and a steep drop in attempted violence, followed by a renewal of negotiations and a full settlement. Logic requires, after all, that if "occupation" is the problem, ending it, even partially, will lead to a solution.
But I forecast a very different outcome. Given that about 80% of Palestinian Arabs continue to reject Israel's very existence, signs of Israeli weakness, such as the forthcoming Gaza withdrawal, will instead inspire heightened Palestinian irredentism. Absorbing their new gift without gratitude, Palestinian Arabs will focus on those territories Israelis have not evacuated. (This is what happened after Israeli forces fled Lebanon.) The retreat will inspire not comity but a new rejectionist exhilaration, a greater frenzy of anti-Zionist anger, and a surge in anti-Israel violence.
Palestinian Arabs themselves are openly saying as much. A top Hamas figure in Gaza, Ahmed al-Bahar says "Israel has never been in such a state of retreat and weakness as it is today following more than four years of the intifada. Hamas's heroic attacks exposed the weakness and volatility of the impotent Zionist security establishment. The withdrawal marks the end of the Zionist dream and is a sign of the moral and psychological decline of the Jewish state. We believe that the resistance is the only way to pressure the Jews."
A Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri says likewise that the withdrawal is "due to the Palestinian resistance operations. … and we will continue our resistance."
Others are more specific. At a mass rally in Gaza City last Thursday, about 10,000 Palestinian Arabs danced, sang, and chanted, "Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem." The commander of Gaza's Popular Resistance Committees, Jamal Abu Samhadaneh announced Sunday, "We will move our cells to the West Bank" and warned "The withdrawal will not be complete without the West Bank and Jerusalem." The Palestinian Authority's Ahmed Qurei also asserts, "Our march will stop only in Jerusalem."
Palestinian Arab intentions worry even Israeli leftists. An Arab affairs specialist for Ha'aretz, Danny Rubinstein notes that Prime Minister Sharon decided to leave Gaza only after anti-Israel carnage there had escalated. "Even if these attacks were not the reason why Sharon came up with the idea of disengagement, the Palestinians are certain that that is the case, and this has reinforced their belief that Israel only understands the language of terror attacks and violence."
Israel National News has collected other leftist comments.
Events, I predict, will prove Israel's critics totally wrong
they will learn no lessons. Untroubled by facts, they will demand
further Israeli withdrawals. Israel's one-car crash is dismally
preparing the way for more disasters.
Other related articles from other sources:
Israel's abandonment of the Gaza Strip and northern Shomron is being presented by the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas as a victory for Islam. So reports Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
"Palestinian Authority Television hosts and participants alike are calling the Israeli moves from its towns a 'great victory for Allah'," write PMW's Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook.
PMW cites a Hamas website featuring posters with this "religious victory" theme. One poster shows the laughing face of Hamas founder and arch-terrorist Ahmed Yassin, next to that of a somber religious Jew, with the caption: "Our Koran proves that we were right and your Talmud proves that you were wrong."
Another Hamas poster shows a rifle and the Koran, with the words: "With these two together, the victory has been achieved."
In Jewish tradition, defeat of the Jews by their enemies is considered to be one of the highest forms of Chilul Hashem, a desecration of G-d's Name. The renowned 12th-century commentator Rashi, to Ezekiel 39,7, wrote, "Israel's lowliness is a Chilul Hashem, as 'The nations say of them: These are G-d's people' (Ezek. 36,20), yet He cannot save them.'"
Some Hamas posters ignore the religious theme. One popular poster on Gaza City walls shows a masked gunmen walking atop crumbling Jewish settlements.
FAITH UNDER FIRE
An Indonesian correspondent known only as Ibrahim B. says their agenda is spelled out in an Indonesian-language book with an English title, "Jihad and the Foreign Policy of the Khilafah State."
Ibrahim told Assist News Service the book is freely available in Indonesian bookstores and "teaches a vision of aggressive and violent jihad to establish an Islamic caliphate, and from there to launch jihad against other nations to bring them into the Islamic Empire."
"This is the new imperialism and the new colonialism my country is facing, and it is evident in the militant mujahideen who gather at the court in Indramayu each week to demand the death of three accused housewives who cared enough about children to try and save them from a future in prostitution," he said.
According to Ibrahim, "The radicals want Indonesia to be the foundation of a Southeast Asian caliphate that will launch jihad against other nations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia and Papua New Guinea until they have all submitted to Islam."
To achieve this vision, he said, "all pockets of resistance must be subdued. This is why there have been jihad operations in Maluku and Central Sulawesi in the last few years and why there have been more than 100 churches closed down or destroyed in West Java alone in just the last three years – and over 30 churches in the last month."
Ibrahim says The Indonesian Council of Mullahs, or MUI, has spearheaded the jihad drive and it is they who are demanding that these three housewives be severely punished for allowing Muslim children to attend their "Happy Week" activities.
Ibrahim quotes page 64 of the Jihad book as saying, "It is not allowed for Muslims to fight those whom the Islamic da'wah [preaching] has not reached, rather the unbelievers must first be called to join Islam. If they reject, then they are invited to submit (live under) the ruling of the Islamic State by paying the jizyah tax [protection money – only paid by non-Muslims]. If they reject that, then war must be waged against them in order to remove any obstacle in the way of implementing the Islamic ruling system upon them."
In other words, the three choices are join Islam, pay a protection tax called jizyah or be killed in warfare.
Ibrahim told ANS the book declares Muslims "must remove any obstacle in the way of implementing the Islamic ruling system." These three housewives are seen as an obstacle that must be removed, he said.
Earlier this year, Rebecca Laonita, Ratna Mala Bangun, and Ety Pangesti conducted a "Happy Week" Vacation Bible School-type program in their homes in the village of Haurgelis, West Java. Eventually about a score of Muslim children also attended with permission of their parents. The women were arrested on charges of "Christianization" of Muslim children, and immediately jailed. The court case began June 30.
The case is tried only on Thursdays, and fewer militants – 50 to 60 – arrived by truck Thursday than in previous weeks. But their propaganda was no less intense, Ibrahim said.
According to Ibrahim, one of their leaders grabbed a megaphone and shouted, "Remember the times of Dutch colonialism! We fought against them with just sharpened bamboo! Our grandfathers shed their blood because of the bullets and bombs of the Dutch. But one man, Diponegoro, became a national hero and stood up against them. You are the ones called to carry out the command of the prophet and you must be just as brave so that you will be able to implement sharia Islam (Islamic law). Are you ready?"
The trucked-in militants responded, "Ready! Allahu akbar! [Allah is Greatest!"]
The Muslim preacher continued, "Every drop of your blood will give birth to many in Islam who will be proved by Allah. Seventy-two houris [fairy women] will bathe you.
"Alhamdulillah! [Allah be Praised!] we have reached the seventh session of the trial. The whole of the Islamic community is again waiting for a just decision [i.e., favorable to Islam], but if this court is not just then we ourselves will act according to our own law. Indeed we have our own plans but we are still holding ourselves back because we respect the law in this nation. But we will not agree if Rebecca and her companions are given a light penalty, or if they are set free.
"Don't think for a moment that Rebecca will be able to return peacefully to Haurgeulis [the village where the Happy Week was conducted]. We have our own just methods according to Islamic law. Allahu akbar!"
The mujahideen responded loudly with raised, clenched fists, "Allahu akbar! Allah is Greater!"
As the court proceedings resumed, Posma Sabam Manahan, a defense lawyer, requested a week's postponement. The prosecution had added new elements in his summary the previous week, and the defense needed more time to prepare. The chief justice immediately granted the defense lawyer's request and closed the session.
But the mujahideen, Ibrahim said, broke out in shouts of anger. One cried out, "Don't postpone the trial! Get on with it!" Another shouted, "That's rubbish!" While yet another was clearly heard to say, "Hand down the verdict now! Punish them, judge!"
Ibrahim told ANS he next saw something he had never seen before. The chief justice, Judge Hasby, stood up to the shouting militants and exploded in anger against them.
"This court has its rules and regulations! Who dared to tell us to hand down the verdict now?" he declared.
The judge rebuked them for their behavior and then told them to be patient.
"This threw the leaders of the mujahideen into a panic as they scurried around calming down their troops and telling them to leave the court in an orderly fashion," Ibrahim said.
The mujahideen then retreated, climbed into their trucks and departed for another week.
"Today's brush with outrage made me wonder what will be the outcome of this case," Ibrahim told ANS. "Can the judges truly be impartial when even their own safety is being threatened? Can they possibly hand down a 'not guilty' verdict knowing that the mujahideen are threatening violent jihad and the shedding of blood? What will happen to the Christians in Haurgeulis and the families of the three accused if the women are cleared or given a light sentence? Truly the potential consequences are disturbing, but the three women must not be allowed to be thrown on the scrap heap of convenience just to placate the violent mujahideen."
Ibrahim said Indonesia is a land known for its tolerance. It has a constitution that guarantees freedom of religion and a system of law that is meant to protect the innocent and the oppressed and to punish the oppressors. The question is, will these standards prevail, or will they be overpowered by a highly vocal, militant minority bent on jihad?
Aug. 17 was the nation's 58th celebration of the Declaration of Independence since 1945.
Ibrahim said, "I felt as proud as any Indonesian should be, because the nation had liberated itself from Dutch colonialism. But I also felt shame as I saw my fellow countrymen becoming victims of a new imperialism, a new colonialism in radical Islam that wishes to subject its will on the nation.""Will we see true justice in this case?" Ibrahim asks. "We can only pray that we will."
Assist News Service