STRATEGIC TRENDS UPDATE: THE RISE OF ISLAM - (Print)
In recent months we have witnessed the reemergence of the Russian nationalist movement. Yet even as Russia's political climate cools towards outsiders, the Muslim population in the former Soviet Union is growing by leaps and bounds. Rising immigration and low birthrates among ethnic Russians have contributed to this trend. Russia's Muslim population has increased by 40 percent since 1989, to about 25 million. By 2015, Muslims will make up a majority of Russia's conscript army, and by 2020 they will constitute one-fifth of the population. Fifteen years ago, Russia had about 300 mosques, today there are approximately 8,000. Experts say that if current trends continue, nearly one third of Russia's population will be Muslim by the mid-century.
According the CIA World Factbook, Russia's overall population is dropping at a rate of 700,000 people a year, largely because of the short life spans and low birthrates of ethnic Russians. The national fertility rate is only about 1.2 children per woman. Russia's Muslims, however, are bucking that trend. The fertility rate for Muslims ranges from 6 to 10 children per woman. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Muslims immigrants have been flocking to Russia in search of work.
Russia has experienced difficulty integrating its growing Muslim population. Growing ethnic tensions in Russia have begun to mirror those of its European neighbors. Much like Russia, Islam has become significant part of the cultural and political landscape of Europe. There are between 9 and 15 million Muslims living throughout Europe today, and Islam has become the largest religious minority. Considering current population trends, it is likely that the number of Muslims in Europe will continue to grow exponentially.
The Muslim population in Europe has expanded so rapidly that Europe is experiencing growing pains. However the problem is not overcrowding, it is increased cultural tensions and the failure of devout Muslims to integrate into European society. The problem became the focus of world wide attention last November, when widespread rioting broke out in France. The violence stemmed from feelings of alienation and frustration among France's Muslim immigrant population. During the rioting more than 7,000 vehicles were torched, buildings were destroyed, several people were killed, and more than 2,000 people were arrested.
Islam is becoming an increasingly volatile catalyst in today's international scene. Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, and it is second in size only to Christianity. The truth about Islam is exactly the opposite of what you will hear on the news. Many Americans believe that Islam is a religion of peace and that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. In public schools we teach our children a doctrine of tolerance, and in some schools students are even required to memorize passages of the Koran. While in comparison Islamic children are taught that America is the Infidel. We are the enemy. When the towers came crashing down on September 11, 2001 and thousands of innocent people were killed, Muslims all over the world danced in the streets and praised the hijackers. Islamic terrorists are referred to in the West as radicals and extremists, while in the Middle East they are heralded by fundamentalists as martyrs and heroes, and the families of suicide bombers are rewarded monetary pensions. The disparity between the two perspectives is staggering, yet Americans do not seem understand the truth about Islam.
Tomorrow we commemorate the devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a "date which will live in infamy," as President Franklin D. Roosevelt so eloquently predicted. On a peaceful Sunday morning just weeks before Christmas in 1941, the serene southern coast of Oahu was awakened to the explosion of bombs and the shrill sound of sirens as the air and naval forces of Japan began a deadly assault on the U.S. Pacific fleet, resulting in the death of over 2,300 U.S. military personnel. Few Americans of that era would forget where they were when they learned of that treacherous attack.
Nor can we forget that sunny day on Sept. 11, 2001, when we learned of the vicious attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. In a matter of minutes, nearly 3,000 people perished at the hands of a new enemy: Islamic terrorists.
The attack on Pearl Harbor signaled the entry of the United States into World War II and the beginning of the end for Japanese expansionism. Sixty years later, that fateful day in New York brought to our shores a new type of war known as "jihad" or "holy war."
Throughout our history, the American people have turned to God in times of great peril. In 1941 President Roosevelt declared:
With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.
And in 2001, on the evening following the attack on the Twin Towers, President George Bush publicly turned to God for strength:
Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve. ... And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me."
While certain similarities exist between the attack on Pearl Harbor and those of 9-11, both of which became turning points in our history, they also offer a sharp contrast. In 1941, we fought an identified enemy who sought the military defeat of our nation. The conflict of the 21st century, however, is one against an enemy who is not identified by nationality, race or language, but by their Muslim beliefs. It is a religious war with an enemy who hates our prosperity, our culture and our Christian faith. A basic teaching of the Quran is that all infidels, i.e., those who do not acknowledge "Allah" as the true god, should be killed wherever they are found. Such is the nature of this new war.
A great danger to our country exists when government offices and institutions are opened to Islamic influence, often based on the false premise that Allah is the same as the God of the Bible, the Judeo-Christian God upon Whom our country began. For instance, mosques have been opened up at the U.S. Marine Corps headquarters at Quantico, Va., and at the United States Military Academy at West Point. One of al-Qaida's top fund-raisers in America, Abdurahman Alamoudi, helped provide Muslim chaplains to our military through his Pentagon-certified American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council – until 2003, that is, when he was convicted of terror-related charges. That same year, one of those Muslim chaplains, West Point graduate Capt. James "Yousef" Yee, was charged with mishandling classified information at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Charges were dropped when Yee later resigned from the Army.
Muslim membership in our military is at 10,000 and growing despite an internal warning from the Defense Intelligence Agency that Muslim soldiers pose a possible security threat. That threat was realized in 2003 at a military camp in Kuwait with the murder of two officers and the wounding of several others by Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar, who was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. Akbar claimed allegiance to the "umma," or global Muslim community, above his own country and fellow soldiers.
After World War II, when "under God" was placed in the Pledge of Allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower observed, "[I]n this way, we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource, in peace or in war." We were victorious in that war. The preservation of our culture and our faith in God is critical to our victory in this new war as well.
The Irony is, Well, Just Ironic! A short news report by the United Press International grabbed my attention this morning, mainly because it was reported without so much of a hint of irony.
The story detailed a report issued by the "Arab Association for Human Rights and the Center for the Struggle Against Racism."
The group's title was an instant attention-grabber. An "Arab Association for Human Rights?"
It has the same ring of authenticity to it as, say, "The Jewish Pork Producers Association," or maybe the "Heinrich Himmler Jewish Scholarship Fund".
The center and wellspring of Arab culture and birthplace of Islam is Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, Jews enjoy such human rights as being forbidden to set foot on Saudi soil.
Men are legally allowed to beat their wives. Women are neither allowed to be educated nor allowed to drive. It takes but one witness to charge a woman with adultery, but once so charged, it takes no less than three witnesses to clear her. And if convicted, she faces death by stoning.
Christians are forbidden to practice their religion under any circumstances. And conversion from Islam to Christianity is a capital offense.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, dissidents are routinely tortured and imprisoned for the political beliefs.
The Organization for the Reform of Criminal Law issued a report on the treatment of prisoners in Arab countries in March, and subsequently was published in the Arab Al-Watan newspaper on March 11.
Said Al Watan, "The report highlights the fact that the Arab World has become a place of expertise in the various means of torture."
"Here are some of the methods used to torture prisoners: 'beating them with canes or cables in various areas of the body; placing a prisoner inside a rubber tire so that he becomes unable to move while he is being tortured."
"Not to forget the use of electric shocks, and the so-called 'German chair' for torture. In this horrible method a prisoner is placed on a moving iron chair that causes unbearable pressure on his back-bone, resulting in partial and temporary paralysis, and sometimes permanent. One should not forget to mention the resort to burning prisoners with cigarettes, and torturing them in water!"
The Palestinians are demanding the total ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and Gaza of Jews from its territory as part of its over all demand package, in exchange for which, they promise to stop targeting Israeli civilians.
Sudanese Arabs have been perpetrating genocide on their Christian and animist neighbors in Southern Sudan, murdering hundreds of thousands and displacing millions of refugees into the desert.
Slavery is not only routinely practiced, it is condoned by many Arab governments, provided the slaves are non-Muslims.
So, what is the "Arab Association of Human Rights" so upset about that it found it necessary to issue a 'report'? Was it the wanton slaughter of Christians? The ethnic cleansing of Jews? The torture of prisoners in Arab jails? Equal rights for women?
To the "Arab Association for Human Rights", the most pressing issue of the day is that Israeli-Arabs are subjected to greater scrutiny at Israeli airports than Israeli-Jews.
As an example of the human rights violations in question was the story of Fairouz Nasrallah, highlighted by the UPI. She complained she was apparently singled out because she has the same last name as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah!
(What do you suppose would happen if somebody named 'Sami' bin-Laden tried to board a US Airways flight from Boston to LA? Is this different?)
And, Nasrallah fumed, she was subjected to electronic scanning without her consent when she refused to undress for female security guards!
(Try refusing 'secondary screening' at La Guardia. They'll evacuate the airport and call in SWAT)
"We are not against the security check, but against discriminatory principles," said Mohammed Zidan, chairman of the Arab Association for Human Rights. "We are against security checks with two parameters -- one for Jews and another for Arabs," he said.
This is a good place to stop and reflect on the irony of this story so far, before moving on. The complaint is that Israel is discriminatory against Israeli-Arabs. The fact is, there ARE Israeli-Arabs in Israel. Jews living in the West Bank were ethnically-cleansed at Arab gunpoint.
The rest of the group's official name is equally ironic; "The Center for the Struggle Against Racism." As Michael Melchior poignantly observed to the delegates of the Durban Conference on Racism;
"Israelis are a people of a particular birth, irrespective of religion, and people of a particular religion, irrespective of birth." That is to say, an Arab born in Israel can be an Israeli by reason of birth, or an Israeli Jew can be an Israeli citizen by reason of religion.
To view democratic, multi-ethnic Israel, [Melchior noted Israel is a land in which one can hear 86 different languages spoken] as 'racist' is to turn logic upside down.
On the other hand, to the Arabs, race is everything. There are few non-Arabs living in Arab lands, all of whom live as 'dhimmis' whose human rights are seriously restricted.
The one unifying factor that brings all Arabs together under a single banner is the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Arab state free of Jews.
The irony of the existence of something called "The Arab Association for Human Rights and the Center for the Struggle Against Racism" is lost on the mainstream media.
So is the fact that allegedly "discriminatory" Israeli airport security measures are being framed as greater human rights violations than genocide or ethnic cleansing is against non-Arabs.
Noted the sympathetic UPI report; "Nasrallah also described a male security guard picking up a musical toy from her luggage and making fun of it. When she got home, she found out the toy was broken."
Heck, my bags were searched on a recent Raleigh to Houston flight and the battery was removed from my digital alarm clock. (I don't know if they made fun of it).
In any case, when I got home, I found my clock was broken. Should I lodge a human rights complaint? Or complain of racism?
I wonder if my story will make the United Press International feeds?
1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. Genesis 15:7, Acts 7:3, Hebrews 11:8
2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. Genesis 17:4, Genesis 18:18, :, Deuteronomy 26:5, Genesis 22:17, Zechariah 8:13
3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 24:35, Genesis 27:29, Numbers 24:9, Genesis 22:18, Genesis 26:4, Genesis 28:14, Acts 3:25, Galatians 3:8