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Latest Islamist Watch Articles

Is Falsely Claiming Food Is Halal a Federal Crime?  American Thinker  July 15, 2015
UK's First Female Sharia Judge: 'We Can't Ask Muslims Not to Have More Than One Wife'  Breitbart  July 2, 2015
Does CAIR Represent Boston's Muslim Community?  PJ Media  June 14, 2015

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Nonviolent Islamism in the News

Commissioners create new prayer policy for meetings  Lincoln Times-News  August 4, 2015
'We hate Westerners - we are ISIS' - chilling words of Irish Muslim teens to cleric  Irish Independent  August 4, 2015
Muslim prayer to open county board meeting  Lincoln Times-News  August 3, 2015
Attorney shoots down 'Muslim-free' gun store  OneNewsNow  August 3, 2015
'We're being targeted because of our views': Wolverhampton mosque leader speaks out on hate crime attack  Express & Star  August 3, 2015

More Islamism in the News...


Another Muslim Brotherhood-Tied Group Tries to Divert Attention From Islamist Violence

by Johanna Markind  •  Mon, 3 Aug 2015, 3:39 PM

WNYMuslims founder Faizan Haq

Here is a small illustration of an Islamist organization trying to change the subject away from radical Islam and its responsibility for terrorism to the trope of Muslims-as-victims.

Following last week's arrest of Arafat Nagi, the executive director of a group called Western New York Muslims (WNYMuslims) gave an interview to a local (Buffalo) news program. WNYMuslims appears to be tied to Muslim Brotherhood adherents and organizations. Its founder, Faizan Haq, is a member of the Safa Group, a/k/a the SAAR Foundation, an organization with Muslim Brotherhood ties that is suspected of fundraising and/or money laundering for terrorist groups. Haq is or was a board member of Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood front that was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case and has admitted having ties to the Hamas terror organization. As WNYMuslims noted on its website, Haq spoke at the 2013 convention of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), another Muslim Brotherhood organization, that has been probed by the FBI for ties to terrorism. WNYMuslims also participates in ICNA social events.

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UK Hate Crimes Against Jews and Muslims

by Johanna Markind  •  Fri, 31 Jul 2015, 2:08 PM

Yesterday, the Community Security Trust (a British Jewish organization akin to the US's Anti-Defamation League) released its semi-annual report detailing anti-Semitic incidents for the first half of 2015. It "shows a 53% increase in antisemitic incidents compared to the same period last year." This continues the sharp increase shown by its report for 2014. Police figures confirm the increase. (As for who is committing anti-Semitic acts, see here and here.)

In an article republished today by Islamist Watch (an earlier version was previously published by Breitbart), Johanna Markind examines the problem of hate crimes against Jews and Muslims in the United Kingdom. There have been many anecdotal claims – including claims by the British government – of a rise in hate crimes against Muslims. Such claims are often raised after violence perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam in order to change the conversation by portraying Muslims as victims rather than perpetrators. Police records show a sharp increase in the number of crimes against Jews; police records only inconsistently report on hate crimes against Muslims. The available records suggest that proportionally, Jews are far more likely than Muslims to be on the receiving end of hate crimes. The article concludes by suggesting the British government improve its record-keeping for crimes targeting Muslims and Jews, and combat them with resources appropriate to the scale of the problem.


Halal or Not Halal?

by Johanna Markind  •  Fri, 24 Jul 2015, 4:24 PM

Bill Aossey (center right), accompanied by sons Jalel (left) and Yahya (right), receives a certificate of recognition for 40 years of business in Iowa from Fred Schuster, Regional Director for Senator Chuck Grassley, in 2014.

On July 21, 2015, the federal government filed a response in opposition to defendants' Establishment and Free Exercise Clause challenge to its criminal prosecution in the Northern District of Iowa case, United States v. Aossey, et al. For background, see the defendants' memorandum in support of their motion and IW's prior article on the subject.

The government argues that the case will not excessively involve it in religion, because it "takes no position as to what constitutes a proper 'Halal' slaughter." It explains, "The case will not place in issue whether those standards are proper under Islamic law, only whether defendants knowingly sold products that did not comport with represented standards [i.e., standards represented by defendants]" about the method of slaughter.

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"Reclaim Australia" Demonstrations and Counter-Demonstrations

by Johanna Markind  •  Mon, 20 Jul 2015, 10:28 PM

Rally in Sydney

Last weekend witnessed several rallies sponsored by the group Reclaim Australia, and counter-demonstrations by opponents who contend the organization's supporters are racists. Reclaim Australia claims to be a non-racist group advocating "equality and tolerance of all races and religions," and opposing what it sees as the growing influence of Islam and cultural relativism threatening traditional values like free speech, gender equality, and religious equality. Counter-demonstrators condemn it as supportive of racism, fascism, and Islamophobia.

Rallies were held in several cities throughout Australia. Numbers of participants were surprisingly difficult to obtain. Estimates include the following:

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Federal Prosecution for Mislabeling Meat as Halal & Other Matters

by Johanna Markind  •  Fri, 17 Jul 2015, 10:06 AM

In an article published by American Thinker and republished today by Islamist Watch, Johanna Markind examines a federal criminal prosecution against Islamic Services of America, Inc., Midamar Corporation, and Jalel and Yahya Aossey, which seems based partly on claims the defendants filed false paperwork and partly on claims that meat labeled as halal was actually non-halal. Is the latter a federal crime?

There's a further twist to the story, separate from the article.  On May 12, 2015, federal agents executed a search warrant at Midamar, seizing documents and downloading e-mails in connection with a gun-running scheme.  Meat, it seems, is not the only thing Midamar was exporting.  It is unclear whether the Aosseys and Midamar will be charged with smuggling guns.  To date they have not been.  Midamar's lawyer claims the allegations concern shipping-container space the company provided as part of a company-sponsored clothing drive for Syria and Lebanon.  Even odder, while it's unclear where the guns were headed, the gun smuggler had ties to the Shi'ite group Hezbollah, whereas the Aossey family who run Midamar have ties to Sunni Muslim Brotherhood groups.


Are Parts of Michigan Governed by Shari'a Law?

by Johanna Markind  •  Thu, 9 Jul 2015, 7:22 PM

In the city of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, public schools began serving halal lunches in 2013.

Public schools in the nearby city of Dearborn, Michigan, began serving halal lunches even earlier – in 2001, to be exact. Dearborn has also arrested Christian missionaries for proselytizing Muslims. (A federal appeals court originally affirmed a lower court decision finding the police actions permissible, then decided to rehear the case; its decision is pending.)

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Look Who's Back! The Return of CAIR Massachusetts

by Johanna Markind  •  Tue, 7 Jul 2015, 11:51 AM

Last week, the Boston Globe ran a story about the emergence of a younger generation of leadership within the local Muslim community. "The younger leaders grew up in America, unlike many of their predecessors, and appear more willing to raise concerns about counterterrorism efforts targeting their community amid the rise of Islamic extremism and its global online recruitment efforts." A cynic might say they are more focused on demanding their rights than in cooperating against radical Islam.  The story continues:

Underscoring that conviction, younger Muslims established two new civil rights organizations in Boston in the last year alone: the Muslim Justice League and a revived Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national advocacy group.

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The Supreme Court and Marriage Equality: Is Polygamy Next?

by Johanna Markind  •  Mon, 6 Jul 2015, 8:57 PM

There has been some discussion (e.g., here and here) about whether the Supreme Court's June 26 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing gay marriage portends the future legalization of polygamy in the United States.

The majority opinion, by Justice Anthony Kennedy, does not mention polygamy and its language appears to favor monogamy. It cites four principles: the right to marry as supporting "a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals," personal choice in marriage as an aspect of liberty, marriage as a safeguard for children and families, and marriage as a keystone of our social order. It concludes that both Due Process and Equal Protection require extending the same marriage dignity to homosexual as to heterosexual couples.

In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts frets that the majority's rationale could apply equally well to polygamous unions. He writes:

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When Did Carmen Ortiz Become an Islamic Religious Authority?

by Johanna Markind  •  Thu, 25 Jun 2015, 9:25 AM

Carmen M. Ortiz, US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts

After Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced yesterday, Massachusetts US Attorney Carmen Ortiz gave a press conference at which she hastened to assure us that his crime was "A crime of terrorism, a crime not religiously-motivated... And he couched his comments in line with Allah and Allah's views, which gives it a religious tone and there was nothing – as you heard Judge O'Toole say in the courtroom – there was nothing about this crime that was Islam-associated." Apparently the press wasn't buying it, because in response to an inaudible reporter's question, Ortiz doubled down: "That is a skewed view of the religion of Islam. That is not what Islam is all about... It's a radical ideology which really isn't at the heart of what is truly a peaceful and loving religion."

This is not a new theme for Ortiz, who offered similar views on May 15 following the jury's decision to impose the death penalty. "The defendant claimed to be acting on behalf of all Muslims. This was not a religious crime," she insisted, "and it certainly does not reflect true Muslim beliefs."

We have received similar assurances from others in the current administration, including President Obama, and from President Bush before him. It appears to reflect a desire not to smear all Muslims with the deeds of a few, and that impulse is commendable.

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How Much Popular Support Does CAIR Have Among American Muslims?

by Johanna Markind  •  Wed, 17 Jun 2015, 5:06 PM

In an article published by PJ Media and republished today by Islamist Watch, Johanna Markind explores how CAIR's efforts to "Ferguson"-ize the Usaama Rahim shooting only begged the question of where its local representatives were.  Although CAIR feigned otherwise, there is no local CAIR chapter in Massachusetts, and possibly never was.  In fact, CAIR seems to have lost four or five other chapters since 2007.  It has also lost membership support since 9/11.  The national organization is almost entirely dependent on large donations from unknown sources.

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ISLAMIST WATCH, a project of the Middle East Forum, combats the ideas and institutions of lawful Islamism in the United States and throughout the West. Arguing that "radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution," we seek to expose the Islamist organizations that currently dominate the debate, while identifying and promoting the work of moderate Muslims. Islamist Watch specifically does not deal with counterterrorism but works to establish that lawful Islamism is by and of itself a threat.

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