Friday, January 16, 2015

Duke Reverses Muslim Call to Prayer Decision

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On January 16, 2015 @ 12:45 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 1 Comment

Duke Chapel

In a move described as an initiative to promote “religious pluralism,” Duke University announced Tuesday it would broadcast a weekly call to prayer for Muslims from the Duke Chapel bell tower each Friday at 1 p.m. Yesterday, however, the University reversed itself. “Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus for all of its students,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. “However, it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect.”

Thus Duke takes a rare break from its long tradition of fostering a politically correct, hypersensitive atmosphere on campus — one rife with hypocrisy. The same university that will not acquiesce to the MSA in this case is the one that hosted the annual conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM) in 2004, during which attendees defeated proposals to moderate PSM’s “Guiding Principle #5,” that refuses to condemn terrorism. It was followed up by several speakers more than willing to bash Israel as an apartheid state, comparing their treatment of Palestinians to “Algiers under the French or Poland under the Nazis,” deriding American media for a “campaign of misinformation by Zionist-leaning news editors,” and accusing the Jewish State of “attempting to actually rid itself of the Palestinians while taking as much of their land as possible.”

In 2010, Duke’s ostensible commitment to pluralism led them to abruptly cancel an event about motherhood scheduled for the Duke University’s Women’s Center. They were upset that its sponsor, Duke Students for Life (DSFL), was initiating pro-life discussions elsewhere on campus. Duke Women’s Center Gender Violence Prevention Specialist Martin Liccardo (seriously) told the group their pro-life stance was too “upsetting” for some students.

Duke is also where Chick-fil-A’s campus outlet closed in 2013. The administration notified the university’s Center for LGBT Life that “West Union will close next summer for renovations and we’ve already made the decision not to have Chick-fil-a in the building when it reopens.” That decision followed expressions of concern from the gay rights organization, now known as the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity at Duke. Rick Johnson, associate vice president of housing and dining, insisted the closing had nothing to do with Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s comments in opposition to same-sex marriage. But he also said he had been contacted by members of the Duke community demanding Chick-fil-A’s removal. “I told them it’s really a moot point,” he said at the time. “Their contract is up at the end of this year. It seemed to satisfy them.”

And then there was Duke’s ultimate paean to political correctness. When three Duke lacrosse players were falsely accused of raping a woman and unjustly charged by district attorney Mike Nifong—who had suppressed evidence and committed perjury before recusing himself—88 Duke professors published a letter stating “what is apparent every day now is the anger and fear of many students who know themselves to be objects of racism and sexism, who see illuminated in this moment’s extraordinary spotlight what they live with everyday.”

They did so prior to anyone being charged with a crime. And rather than apologize as the case was falling apart, they doubled down, citing the “disaster” of an atmosphere “that allows sexism, racism and sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus,” and further insisting “the legal process will not resolve these problems”—even as they claimed to believe in the presumption of innocence. Stephen Baldwin, a professor of chemistry who avoided the rush to judgment, perfectly described the ethos at work. “There was a collision between political correctness and due process,” he said, “and political correctness won.”

Not this time. And while the reversal is welcome news, one suspects optics, rather than principles, was the driving factor here. Duke was hammered on social media, led by evangelist Billy Graham’s son, Franklin. “As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering, and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law, Duke is promoting this in the name of religious pluralism,” Graham wrote on Facebook Wednesday.

In an interview yesterday with the Charlotte Observer, Graham further illuminated  his opposition, insisting Duke should not allow the chapel to be used for the call to prayer. “It’s wrong because it’s a different god,” he said. “Using the bell tower that signifies worship of Jesus Christ, using (it) as a minaret is wrong.” And while he did say Muslims should be free to worship on campus, he added a dose of sarcasm to the mix. “Let Duke donate the land and let Saudi Arabia build a mosque for them.” In reference to the Paris atrocities he was even clearer. “Islam is not a religion of peace,” he added.

Later Thursday on Facebook, he also addressed Duke’s insensitivity and its apparent double-standard:
The Muslim call to prayer that has been approved to go out across the campus of Duke University every Friday afternoon for three minutes includes “Allahu Akbar”—the words that the terrorists shouted at the onset of last week’s massacre in Paris. It includes the proclamation that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Will evangelical Christians be allowed the same three minutes weekly to broadcast the message across campus that God Almighty of the Bible sent His Son Jesus Christ to offer forgiveness of sins and salvation to all who will repent, believe, and call on His Name? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Mohammad Banawan, administrator at the Muslim American Society of Charlotte, criticized Graham’s position. “Those comments are trying to incite hatred,” he declared, adding it is wrong to impugn any religion based on the actions of a small group of extremists.

Perhaps it is. But the MSA is hardly small group. Since its inception at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in January of 1963, the MSA has expanded to nearly 600 chapters nationwide, including 150 affiliated with MSA National.

Furthermore, it is a group with a long track record of ties to Islamist extremism. The group was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). That would be the same MB established by Hasan al-Bannain Egypt in 1928 that spawned al-Qaeda and Hamas, spied for the Nazis in the Middle East, and fought for the Nazi war machine in two specially formed Muslim Waffen-SS Handschar Divisions during WWII. The Brotherhood’s doctrines comprise the core of Islamist jihadism as practiced by Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Hamas and the government of Iran, and it was designed to function as the chief perpetrator of the Islamist crusade against Western societies.

The MSA apple doesn’t fall far from the MB tree. During the Texas Holy Land terror funding trial, where five defendants were convicted of financing terrorism, a Muslim Brotherhood document emerged identifying the MSA as one of several groups described as MB “friends”—all of whom shared a common goal of “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”

The MSA’s creation was part of a Saudi Arabian-backed effort to establish international Islamic organizations back in the 1960s, in order to spread its Wahhabist ideology. “The Saudis over the years set up a number of large front organizations, such as the Al Haramain Foundation, the Muslim World League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, and a great number of Islamic ‘charities,’” explained Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy in 2004. “While invariably claiming that they were private, all of these groups were tightly controlled and financed by the Saudi government and the Wahhabi clergy.”

In 2007, a New York Police Department report characterized the MSA as an “incubator” for Islamic radicalism. That assessment was echoed by Former FBI Special Agent John Guandolo, who described the group as “a recruitment tool to bring Muslims into the Brotherhood,” and the the “focal point” for the MB in America.

In 2011, terrorism expert Patrick Poole took it one step further. “The Muslim Students Association has been a virtual terror factory,” Poole contended. “Time after time after time again, we see these terrorists — and not just fringe members: these are MSA leaders, MSA presidents, MSA national presidents — who’ve been implicated, charged and convicted in terrorist plots.”

They include al Qaeda cleric and Colorado State University student Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike following his orchestration of the Fort Hood massacre and other plots; Ramy Zamzam, president of the MSA’s Washington, D.C. council, convicted in Pakistan for attempting to join the Taliban and kill American troops; Omar Hammami, leader of Somalia’s al-Shabaab terrorist group and former president of the MSA chapter at the University of South Alabama; and imprisoned al Qaeda fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi, who served as national president of the MSA during the 1980s.

A 2010 exchange at the University of California-Davis between Freedom Center’s David Horowitz and an MSA member encapsulates the group’s jihadist inclinations. “I am a Jew,” Horowitz said. “The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or against it?”

“For it,” she coldly declared.

Duke’s decision will undoubtedly be criticized by the doyens of political correctness, many of whom demonstrated their own faux commitment to pluralism and freedom by pixilating, or failing to show, the “offensive” cartoons that engendered the recent Paris carnage, or by insisting that free speech has its limits if it might offend mass murderers.

Keeping in mind the free exchange of ideas to which Duke is ostensibly committed, perhaps it is time for the university to engender a campus-wide discussion on the difference between religious pluralism and dhimmitude, and the inherent conflict between Sharia Law and a Democratic Republic. The MSA has been allowed to hide behind a veil of campus-sanctioned political correctness for far too long.

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Obama: Charlie who?

By Charles Krauthammer
January 15, 2015

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as the New York Times put it, “reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities.”
Again? Already? Had not 4 million marchers and 44 foreign leaders just turned out on the streets of France to declare “No” to intimidation, and pledging solidarity, indeed identification (“Je suis Charlie”) with a satirical weekly specializing in the most outrageous and often tasteless portrayals of Muhammad? And yet, within 48 hours, the new Charlie Hebdo issue featuring the image of Muhammad — albeit a sorrowful, indeed sympathetic Muhammad — sparked new protests, denunciations and threats of violence, which in turn evinced another round of doubt and self-flagellation in the West about the propriety and limits of free expression. Hopeless.
As for President Obama, he never was Charlie, not even for those 48 hours. From the day of the massacre, he has been practically invisible. At the interstices of various political rallies, he issued bits of muted, mealy-mouthed boilerplate. Followed by the now-famous absence of any high-ranking U.S. official at the Paris rally, an abdication of moral and political leadership for which the White House has already admitted error.
But this was no mere error of judgment or optics or, most absurdly, of communications in which we are supposed to believe that the president was not informed by staff about the magnitude, both actual and symbolic, of the demonstration he ignored. (He needed to be told?)
On the contrary, the no-show, following the near silence, precisely reflected the president’s profound ambivalence about the very idea of the war on terror. Obama began his administration by purging the phrase from the lexicon of official Washington. He has ever since shuttled between saying that (a) the war must end because of the damage “keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing” was doing to us, and (b) the war has already ended, as he suggested repeatedly during the 2012 campaign, with bin Laden dead and al-Qaeda “on the run.”
Hence his call in a major address at the National Defense University to “refine and ultimately repeal” Congress’ 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, the very legal basis for the war on terror. Hence his accelerating release of Gitmo inmates — five more announced Wednesday — fully knowing that up to 30 percent have returned to the battlefield (17 percent confirmed, up to 12 percent suspected but not verified). Which is why, since about the Neolithic era, POWs tend to be released after a war is over.
Paris shows that this war is not. On the contrary. As it rages, it is entering an ominous third phase.
The first, circa 9/11, involved sending Middle Eastern terrorists abroad to attack the infidel West.
Then came the lone wolf — local individuals inspired by foreign jihadists launching one-off attacks, as seen most recently in Quebec, Ottawa and Sydney.
Paris marks Phase 3: coordinated commando strikes by homegrown native-speaking Islamists activated and instructed from abroad. (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo killings, while the kosher-grocery shooter proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State.) They develop and flourish in Europe’s no-go zones where sharia reigns and legitimate state authorities dare not tread.
To call them lone wolves, as did our hapless attorney general, is to define jihadism down. It makes them the equivalent of the pitiable, mentally unstable Sydney hostage taker.
The Paris killers were well-trained, thoroughly radicalized, clear-eyed jihadist warriors. They cannot be dismissed as lone loons. Worse, they represent a growing generation of alienated European Muslims whose sheer number is approaching critical mass.
The war on terror 2015 is at a new phase with a new geography. At the core are parallel would-be caliphates: in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State; in Sub-Saharan Africa, now spilling out of Nigeria into Cameroon, a near-sovereign Boko Haram; in the badlands of Yemen, AQAP, the most dangerous of all al-Qaeda affiliates. And beyond lie not just a cast of mini-caliphates embedded in the most ungovernable parts of the Third World from Libya to Somalia to the borderlands of Pakistan, but an archipelago of no-go Islamist islands embedded in the heart of Europe.
This is serious. In both size and reach it is growing. Our president will not say it. Fine. But does he even see it?

The Conversation Obama Doesn’t Want to Have

The White House seems to think its denial of radical Islam will stop people from believing the obvious. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

As Long As Obama Brought Up The Cost Of College ...

By Ann Coulter
January 14, 2015

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

I gather from Obama's "free" community college proposal that his plan for dealing with the Republican Congress over the next two years is to throw out ridiculously expensive ideas no one has ever heard of before, and then denounce Republicans for being naysayers.

Community college is already incredibly inexpensive. The only thing that will jack up the price is making it "free." How about a big federal program to provide every American with free toilet paper? Coincidentally, that's about all most college degrees are good for these days.

Obama's moronic proposal has presented the GOP with a fantastic opportunity. Since he brought it up, how about Republicans get to the bottom of why college is so expensive?

The cost of a college education has increased by more than 1,000 percent only since 1978. Nothing else has gone up that much -- not health care, consumer goods or home prices. The explosion in college tuition bears no relation to anything happening in the economy.

Would anyone argue that colleges are providing a better education today than in 1978? I promise you: People coming out of college in the '50s knew more than any recent Yale graduate -- unless we're only counting knowledge of sexual practices once considered verboten.

They're teaching gender studies, ethnic studies, moral equivalence and hatred of America. Did the Japanese Really Start World War II or Did We? It's worse than not reading Shakespeare. They're reading Shakespeare for homosexual imagery. As Yale professor Daniel Gelernter says, colleges are "threatening to become an elaborate, extremely expensive practical joke."

The fact that 80 percent of Weathermen -- the violent '60s radicals -- are full college professors tells you all you need to know about the state of higher education today.

The cost of college spirals continuously upward not because the product has gotten better -- it's gotten much, much worse -- but because college loans are backed by the taxpayer.

The government is chasing its tail every time it increases student financial aid. If the government hiked college loans and subsidies by $1 million per student, colleges would promptly raise tuition to: [current tuition] plus $1 million.

Americans are being bamboozled into paying any price for a college degree because they are relentlessly told that if they don't go to college, their lives will be hell. And they're told this not only by the colleges, but by the government.

The sales pitch is manifestly false. According to an article by Adam Davidson in The New York Times magazine last June,
"(m)ore than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, meaning they make substandard wages in jobs that don't require a college degree." Evidently, most jobs don't depend on a degree in women's studies.

More than a third of college graduates, Davidson says, will never make enough money to repay their student loans.

If any other business made such false claims about a product, there would be massive congressional hearings, media denunciations and prison sentences for the CEOs. A college degree is the most expensive purchase most families will ever make, other than their home.

Right before our eyes, Democrats are colluding with colleges to create a market bubble for an increasingly worthless product, and they're doing it by making the exact same promise that banks made about home mortgages before the housing market crash: Sure it's a lot, but it's an investment in your future!

Instead of hauling college administrators to court, Democrats are active participants in the fraud, acting as Big Education's carnival barkers. It's as if the government is telling people: "If you don't smoke, you'll never be cool."

Why is the left not willing to admit that education is an industry, just like Lockheed Martin, Enron or Philip Morris? Democrats love to rail about the high costs of everything else -- pharmaceuticals, health care, mortgages, missile systems, contraception and so on. College is a business, too -- a cartel that fixes prices, preys on teenagers and lies to consumers.

But liberals won't make a peep about the College Industrial Complex because college professors are brainwashing students into leftist politics. Every year, another 10 million graduates emerge, hating God, their parents, America and Republicans. For this, parents are spending $50,000 a year.

The education industry is how leftists make capitalists pay for socialism. It was a smart move for cultural Marxists to capture the country's education establishment. GOOD THINKING, CULTURAL MARXISTS! 

It's not the fault of the students that they're getting a crappy product at inflated prices. They've been lied to by shady education peddlers, including the Democratic Party.

Let's see if the middle class is more interested in the cost of college tuition or the Democrats' endless global warming initiatives.


Duke University Chapel to Broadcast Muslim Call to Prayer

Posted By Susan L.M. Goldberg On January 14, 2015 @ 4:12 pm In Culture,Education,Islam,Middle East,News,Religion,Terrorism,Uncategorized | 31 Comments

HuffPo reports:
The chant, known as “adhan,” will resound from the Duke Chapel bell tower every Friday beginning Jan. 16, echoed by members of the Muslim Students Association, the university announced via Duke Today. The chant will sound for three minutes at a “moderately amplified” level to announce the Jummah prayer service, held Friday afternoons in the chapel basement. 
The Adhan will be sung in Arabic, then followed by an English translation, according to a Facebook event announcing the call. 
“This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission,” Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel’s associate dean for religious life, told Duke Today. “It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.”
The announcement comes one day after the White House clarified that their anti-terror summit would not cover acts of radical Islamic terror, having determined that those acts are only part of a greater War on Muslims.

The chapel that will broadcast the Islamic call to prayer also hosts events for Christian and Catholic groups on campus. Duke’s Muslim students pray at the chapel despite having their own Muslim Life at Duke center on campus. Jewish students, who comprise more than ten percent of the undergraduate and graduate student populations, hold events at the privately funded Freeman Center for Jewish Life located on campus.

For the private university’s 700+ Muslims, the decision is being praised as a sign of their acceptance into the Duke community.

Roughly 6,500 undergraduates and 8,300 graduate and professional students are enrolled in the prestigious private university that maintains “a historic affiliation with the Methodist Church.” The Methodist Church haspublicly supported divestmentpulling pension investments from companies tied to Israel as a method to pressure Israel to cease settlement expansion.

In 2004, Duke University granted $50,000 in funding to the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM) to demonstrate on campus. The conference was so volatile that Commentary magazine announced in 2005 “The Intifada Comes to Duke.” Motivated by the PSM, award-winning student journalist Philip Kurian published an anti-Semitic op-ed in the student newspaper titled “The Jews.” Loaded with conspiracy theories, Kurian argued against what he termed Jewish “privilege,” writing,
What’s worst is that the ‘Holocaust Industry’ uses its influence to stifle, not enhance, the Israeli-Palestinian debate, simultaneously belittling the real struggles for socioeconomic and political equality faced, most notably, by black Americans.
Richard Brodhead, whose decision it was to fund the PSM on campus, is the current president of the University.

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Pelosi to Name Muslim Brotherhood-linked Congressman to House Intel Committee

Posted By Robert Spencer On January 15, 2015 @ 12:56 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 1 Comment

Democratic Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., thanks supporters as he celebrates winning reelection in Indiana's 7th Congressional district against Republican Carlos Andrew May at an election night celebration in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Carson's wife Mariama Carson is at the right.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Photo: AP

Politico reported Tuesday that Nancy Pelosi told a “closed-door meeting” that she was planning in the “coming days” to name the nation’s second Muslim Congressman, Rep. AndrĂ© Carson (D-IN), to the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Carson already has entrĂ©e to highly sensitive areas. He is currently a member of the Armed Services Committee and, according to Politico, has “worked for the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center — the clearinghouse established by the federal government to streamline data sharing between the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice and the military.”

It isn’t surprising in the least that Carson would get these plum assignments: he has all the right opinions. He once said that “9/11 was tough on Muslims,” echoing the fashionable view among Leftists and Islamic supremacists that the real victims of jihad terror are the Muslims who are subjected to suspicion and scrutiny in the wake of jihad attacks. The Left is much more concerned about “Islamophobia” than about jihad terrorism itself, and so it isn’t hard to see why Pelosi would admire and favor Carson.

What’s more, Carson is a true believer, an observant, devout and pious Muslim, so he is a favorite of Leftists like Pelosi who are always anxious to demonstrate that they’re much more enlightened, open-minded, accepting and multicultural than those racist, bigoted, redneck tea partiers. Discover the Networks reports that Carson has said that American schools should be modeled on madrassas, “where the foundation is the Qur’an”:
On May 26, 2012, Carson was a guest speaker at the 37th annual convention of the Islamic Circle of North America/Muslim American Society (INCA [sic]/MAS), in Hartford, Connecticut. During his remarks, Carson claimed that U.S. schools should be modeled after madrassas—Islamic schools infamous for their tendency to promote sexist, anti-Semitic teachings. Said Carson: “America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas, in our schools, where innovation is encouraged, where the foundation is the Quran. And that model that we are pushing in some of our schools meets the multiple needs of students…. America must understand that she needs Muslims.”
If Pelosi is aware that Carson made this statement, it’s unlikely that it troubled her: she knows that the only people concerned about what might be taught in madrassas (in line with the Qur’an) about the justice of oppressing women and religious minorities are bigoted, ignorant Islamophobes. She knows it’s a religion of peace and justice, and that Carson believes in the true, peaceful form of the religion, not that twisted, hijacked perversion of Islam taught by the Islamic State and the Congregation of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad (Boko Haram) and the Party of Allah (Hizballah) and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and all the rest of them.

So what could possibly go wrong?

Well, there is the small matter that Carson said the words quoted above at the annual convention of the Islamic Circle of North America/Muslim American Society. The Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim American Society are Muslim Brotherhood organizations – listed as such in a captured internal document of the Brotherhood that delineated its strategy for conquest of the United States. The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated in its own words, according to that document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house.”

If Andre Carson had spoken at the convention of any non-Muslim group dedicated to that goal, would he be getting a seat on the House Intelligence Committee, and already be sitting on the Armed Services Committee? The answer is obvious. But in Carson’s case, the question itself will never be asked. Anyone who raises questions about his association with ICNA and MAS will be derided in the mainstream media as an intolerant fearmonger with a wallet fattened on the greenbacks of well-heeled bigots so brimming with hate, racism and fear that they find nothing better to do with their money than throw millions of dollars around to defame and marginalize innocent, law-abiding, peaceful Muslims.

And that will be that. Carson will go on the Intel Committee, and all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well. He won’t be the first or the last Muslim Brotherhood-linked individual to gain access at high places. How many such straws will ultimately be needed to break the camel’s back remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Pelosi and her ilk will keep piling them on.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How the West destroyed Libya

Raymond Ibrahim | 

Photograph published in The Independent 2011/07/24 with this caption: "NATO planes bomb a Gaddafi compound in Tripoli last month. Air strikes by allied forces have become increasingly ineffective"

The full impact of Western intervention in Libya was recently highlighted during a televised interview of Worlds Apart. Hanne Nabintu Herland, a Norwegian author and historian who was born and raised in Africa for 20 years, was the guest.

At one point while talking about Libya, Herland firmly asserted that “In a just world, the political leaders in the West, that have done such atrocities towards other nations and other cultures, should have been sent to the Hague [International Criminal Court], and judged at the Hague, for atrocities against humanity.”
Before that, the African-born, Norwegian author said:
Libya is the worst example of Western countries’ assault in modern history; it’s a horrible thing to be a European intellectual and to watch your own political leaders go ahead and engage in something like this. In Norway, for example, when it comes to something like the Libyan war … [political leaders] sent SMS messages to the other people in parliament; it was never a discussion in parliament, it was an SMS saying “Let’s bomb because someone called from America.” We [Norway] bombed 588 bombs over roads, and water, and cities in Libya at that time. And we had a large documentary in Norway, after that, where the fighters, the pilots that flew over Libya and dropped these bombs, they actually said in the documentary that “We were sent up and we weren’t even told what to bomb—just bomb something that looks valuable.
Herland also pointed out that, according to UN figures, Gaddafi’s Libya was once the most prosperous nation in Africa.While Oksana Boyko, the host, sometimes disagreed with Herland, she agreed about the West’s counterproductive role, pointing out that Gaddafi “was very active in trying to advance women’s rights, he brought a lot of women into universities and the labor force [a thing few people in the West know, as usual, thanks to the “MSM”] and now what people and women in Libya are facing is Sharia [Islamic law], with the possibility of some of them being sold to ISIS fighters as virgin brides.
Indeed, that the jihadis and other “ISIS” type militants gained the most from Western intervention in Libya cannot be denied. Simply looking at the treatment of Christian minorities—the litmus test of the radicalization of any Muslim society—proves this.
Thus, today, Monday, January 12, “A Libyan affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed the abduction of 21 Coptic Christians and released pictures of the captives.” It is not clear if these 21 are in addition to the 13 Christians kidnapped  days earlier on January 3.
Then, around 2:30 a.m., masked men burst into a housing complex in Sirte, Libya. The militants went room to room checking ID cards to separate Muslims from Christians, handcuffed the latter and rode off with them.
(Segregating Christians from Muslims is a common procedure around the Islamic world. For example, last November, after members from the Islamic organization Al Shabaab hijacked a bus carrying 60 passengers in Kenya, they singled out and massacred the 28 non-Muslim passengers, the Christians. In October 2012 in Nigeria, Boko Haram jihadis stormed the Federal Polytechnic College, “separated the Christian students from the Muslim students … and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat,” killing up to 30 Christians.)
According to Hanna Aziz, a Copt who was concealed in his room when the other Christians were seized in Libya, “While checking IDs, Muslims were left aside while Christians were grabbed….  I heard my friends screaming but they were quickly shushed at gunpoint. After that, we heard nothing.”
Three of those seized were related to Aziz, who mournfully adds, “I am still in my room waiting for them to take me. I want to die with them.”
A few days earlier, also in Sirte, Libya, a Christian father, mother, and young daughter were slaughtered reportedly by Ansar al-Sharia—the “Supporters of Islamic Law,” or the Libyan version of ISIS that rose to power soon after the overthrow of Gaddafi.
On December 23, members of the Islamic group raided the Christian household, killing the father and mother, a doctor and a pharmacist, respectively, and kidnapping 13-year-old Katherine. Days later, the girl’s body was found in the Libyan desert—shot three times, twice in the head, once in the back (graphic images here).
As for motive, nothing was stolen from the household, even though money and jewelry were clearly visible. According to the girl’s uncle, the reason this particular family was targeted is because “they are a Christian family—persecuted.”
In short, as I wrote nearly a year ago, it continues to be “open season on Christians in Libya.” In February, 2014, after Ansar al-Sharia offered a reward to any Benghazi resident who helped round up and execute the nation’s Coptic Christian residents, seven Christians were forcibly seized from their homes by “unknown gunmen,” marched out into the desert and shot execution style some 20 miles west of Benghazi (graphic pictures appear here).
Days later, another Coptic Christian, Salama Fawzi, 24, was shot in the head while unloading food in front of his grocery stand in Benghazi, again, by several “unknown gunmen.” And the day after that, a corpse was found, believed to be that of another Copt—due to the small cross tattooed on his wrist traditionally worn by Egyptian Christians.
This is to say nothing of the churches attacked, of Christian cemeteries desecrated, and of 100 Christians—including Western ones—arrested, tortured (some dying) for possessing Christian “paraphernalia” (like Bibles and crosses) in the post “Arab Spring” Libya the Obama administration and its allies helped create.
Needless to say, such atrocities were unheard of under Gaddafi’s “authoritarian” rule (just as they were unheard of in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq).
As previously mentioned, Muslim persecution of Christians is the litmus test of how “radical” an Islamic society has become. Thus, in all those Mideast nations that the U.S. and its Western allies have interfered—IraqEgypt (under Morsi), Libya, and ongoing Syria—the increase of Christian persecution there is a reflection of the empowerment of forces hostile to everything Western civilization once stood for.

College Football Playoff drops ball with 2015 New Year's Eve semis

January 12, 2015
College Football Playoff drops ball with 2015 New Year's Eve semis
Photo: Getty Images
DALLAS -- On the eve of the first College Football Playoff championship on Monday night, the sport finds itself amid an astonishing boom. The inaugural semifinals smashed even the most optimistic projections for television ratings, as the playoff games drew the biggest audience in cable television history. The more than 28 million people who watched each game surpassed NFL playoff viewership that weekend and showcased the potent potential of combining college football with a playoff format.
But just when college football finally seemed to figure things out, we’re reminded of the complicated politics, overt greed and lack of leadership that often overshadow the game’s best interest. This season the Sugar and Rose bowls hosted the semifinals on New Year’s Day. The combination of the compelling matchups -- Ohio State against Alabama and Oregon against Florida State -- and the traditional Jan. 1 time slot made for blockbuster ratings.
Next season, an old tradition will return: the self-interest of college commissioners trumping common sense. Instead of the semifinals being played on New Year’s Day, where they would crush the ratings, they are scheduled on New Years Eve. (Props to Awful Announcing for pointing this out last week.)
While this may not seem like a big deal on the surface, the viewership is destined to plummet when the Orange and Cotton bowls host the semifinals on Dec. 31. The Rose and Sugar bowls will be second-tier games in the sport’s most coveted and traditional time slots on Jan. 1.
“You lose some of the casual fan,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a phone interview on Sunday. “Any time you put a game on in anything other than the optimal time slot, you’re going to lose something. Houses watching TV on New Year’s Eve are down. It’s fair criticism.”
ESPN pays $470 million annually to televise the playoff, and network executives admit the timing isn’t ideal. “New Year’s Eve is going to be a challenge,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN’s senior vice president for programming acquisitions. “That’s the part of the format that’s going to require a retraining of people’s behavior and fan’s behavior. You’re competing against real life and the ball dropping and New Year’s Eve parties.”
New Year’s Eve isn’t a federal holiday, which means many people will be at work. (If a game kicks off at 2 p.m. PT, that cuts out a huge swath of potential audience for the first game.) But more than fighting the working crowd will be fighting the drinking and partying crowd, as it’s hard to imagine the centuries-long traditions of going out on New Year Eve being upended by people suddenly wanting to stay home and watch college football. In the home of the casual fan, Dick Clark will win out over Nick Saban, every time. “We always thought that having college football recapture New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day will change the way that America celebrates the holiday,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said on Sunday.
Nice try. That sounds great in a boardroom or on a PowerPoint presentation, but trying to get people to watch seven hours of football on New Year’s Eve instead of going out with family and friends is ludicrous in reality. That's especially true in places like New York, Boston and Washington, huge TV markets but not large college football markets. This is like moving the Super Bowl to Christmas Eve and expecting everyone to rearrange their family traditions.
So, why is this happening? Why is college football’s most compelling content competing with New Year’s Eve parties instead of exploiting the sure-fire viewership of New Year’s Day hangovers?
What the leaders of college sports will quickly tell you is that you are so lucky to have a playoff you shouldn’t be complaining about pesky details like when the games are played. “This is not intended to produce the maximum amount of money,” Delany said. “It’s balancing a variety of interests.”
Blame the inevitable ratings drop, distinct inconvenience and lack of common sense on a parade. The Rose Bowl has a contract with ESPN through 2026 to show the game in the 5 p.m. ET slot. (The Tournament of Roses Parade is on New Year’s Day, so how could they ever change the game time?) The prime-time spot on New Year’s Day that follows belongs to the Sugar Bowl, with the SEC and Big 12 having a contract also through '26. Both are for the preposterous price of $80 million per year, which is essentially so expensive that if ads ran for the entire time slot ESPN would still lose money. So, why did ESPN pay so much for games that will only be involved in the playoff every third year? Those around the process believe that buying these games gave ESPN an inside track on the playoff. And ESPN wasn’t losing the bidding war for the playoff, so it covered all the bases.
“It’s a balancing act,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said on Sunday. “If our interest was solely how do you maximize eyeballs and attention around the semi games, undoubtedly we’d have said the semi games every year are going to be 5:00 and 8:30 on New Year’s Day.”
The hypocrisy here is the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC and Big 12 are using the tradition of the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl to hoard money by hogging those coveted time slots. They earned them with their brand equity, and aren't giving them up.
The Rose Bowl’s unwillingness to budge from its time slot -- there’s a parade to consider, after all -- has impeded progress for college football’s postseason for decades. SEC commissioner Mike Slive realized this -- trust me, it irked him for years -- and created his own untouchable property after getting sick of attempting to maneuver about Delany’s. (Slive declined an interview on Sunday, as he has declined all interviews since announcing he is fighting prostate cancer in October.)
What Slive and the Big 12 did to create a game of mirroring value is smart and savvy business. But it’s undercutting the sport and epitomizes how in college football there’s so much concern with everyone protecting their own slice of the pie that it inhibits the whole pie from growing. What’s comical with all this blathering about the tradition of the Rose and Sugar bowls is that if Ohio State played Alabama in the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho, in the same time slot it would do the same exact ratings as if it were in Pasadena or New Orleans. There’s an understanding and respect for the traditions of those games, but the reality is the venue and branding don’t matter any more. The postseason will trump all, and bowls that don’t host the semis or the finals will become less and less relevant each year. (The fact that about 41 people attended the Orange Bowl this year proved that.)
Ultimately, don’t expect anything to change. There’s at least one solution for next season that could save the New Year’s Eve ratings dip. Since New Year’s Day falls on a Friday, the playoff games could be played on Saturday (Jan. 2) instead of on Thursday (Dec. 31). The NFL will be in Week 17 and doesn’t traditionally play Saturday games. That would provide an ideal showcase without expecting people to rearrange their lives on New Year’s Eve. It only makes sense. (Which, in college sports, doesn’t mean it will actually happen.)
After that, however, the New Year’s Eve sociology experiment destined for failure will proceed as (poorly) planned. “I think that every bowl that’s involved in the semifinals has given up some things,” Bowlsby said. “I don’t think it’s right to ask them to give up everything.”
Instead, they’ll only be asking Americans to change a lifetime of habits on New Year’s Eve. And as the casual fan revels in New Year's Eve celebrations, it’s college football’s leaders who are dropping the ball.