Daily Archives: September 30, 2013

EU envoy Ashton to visit Egypt Tuesday, again

EU envoy Ashton - Photo archive

EU envoy Ashton – Photo archive

High Representative for the European Union Catherine Ashton is set to arrive in Cairo late Tuesday night to discuss recent events with political figures, including interim President Adly Mansour.
Ashton has visited the country twice since the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was ousted from the presidency in July. She  was the first foreign leader to be allowed to meet with Morsi at the undisclosed location where he is being held by the Egyptian security forces.
European Union Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean, Bernadino Leon, is also expected to be present during the visit.
A diplomatic source told MENA that Ashton’s visit, which will last for three days, will include talks with key members of the Egyptian government, including interim President Adly Mansour, Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, army chief and Defence Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, and Foreign Affairs Minister Nabil Fahmy.
Ashton also reportedly plans to meet Amr Moussa, the head of the committee charged with amending the 2012 constitution, and with Mohamed Ali Beshr and Amr Darrag, leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party.
Ashton had visited Egypt 11 times, three of which were this

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NSA mines Facebook, including Americans’ profiles

New York CNN — In addition to phone records and email logs, the National Security Agency uses Facebook and other social media profiles to create maps of social connections — including those of American citizens.The revelation was disclosed by the New York Times on Sunday, using documents provided to the newspaper by former government contractor Edward Snowden.”We assume as Americans that if somebody in the government is looking at your information, it’s because they have a reason, because you’re suspected of a crime,” Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, told CNN.But the documents do not specify how many Americans’ social connections have been analyzed, or whether any have been implicated in wrongdoing.NSA: Some used spying power to snoop on loversChange in policyThe surveillance began after a policy change in November 2010.Prior to then, the “chaining” of a foreign person’s contacts had to stop when it reached an American citizen or legal resident.The policy change was intended to help the NSA “discover and track” connections from a foreign intelligence subject to an American citizen, the leaked documents show.It allows NSA analysts to use social media, geo-location information, insurance and tax records, plus other public and private sources to enhance their analysis of phone and email records, The Times reported Sunday.The “metadata” from phone and email records in the database include details such as who a person called or e-mailed.A PowerPoint slide provided to the newspaper by Snowden shows how analysts use software to create diagrams of where a person was at certain times, their traveling companions, their social networks and email correspondents.Defending the practicePresident Barack Obama has ordered a review of NSA’s data collection practices because of Snowden’s leaks. But the president has defended the use of such methods to gather intelligence on terrorists and other threats.In response to the latest disclosure, the NSA again emphasized it does not listen to phone calls or read emails of Americans without obtaining a court order.But the newly disclosed system “tells an extraordinary amount about who you are … who your closest allies and friends and colleagues are,” Greenberg said.”To pretend that you have to read the information to be going into what a person is doing is making a false distinction.”

via NSA mines Facebook, including Americans’ profiles – CNN.com.

CAIR’s Islamophobia Meltdown | FrontPage Magazine

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Two days after the release of a CAIR report claiming to expose the network financing “Islamophobia”, Charles C. Johnson ran his own report documenting CAIR’s convoluted financing schemes.

While the CAIR report attempted to stigmatize terrorism research by reporting on the straightforward funding of organizations and individuals such as Robert Spencer; the Johnson report showed that CAIRdescribed by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in financing terrorism, had engaged in convoluted methods to conceal its financing sources while laundering money from abroad.

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Unlike the groups it is targeting, whose language and ideas it criticizes, CAIR went well beyond words, doing everything from helping fund terrorists to obstructing government investigations of terrorism.

Despite its theatrics, CAIR’s Islamophobia report showed nothing except that American organizations researching Islamic terrorism were funded by other Americans. The Johnson report however showed that CAIR had received millions

Unlike the groups it is targeting, whose language and ideas it criticizes, CAIR went well beyond words, doing everything from helping fund terrorists to obstructing government investigations of terrorism.

Despite its theatrics, CAIR’s Islamophobia report showed nothing except that American organizations researching Islamic terrorism were funded by other Americans. The Johnson report however showed that CAIR had received millions from foreign governments, including Qatar which is notorious for funding terrorist groups like Hamas, and used a shell game to hide the foreign sources of its financing.

malik and barack obama at the white house

malik and barack obama at the white house

CAIR’s attempt to smear terrorism researchers, many of whom have paid a great deal of attention to its terrorist ties, has an obvious motive. It is not reporting on bigotry as a national phenomenon. Instead its report is a clumsy attempt at silencing its critics by denouncing them as bigots.

The targets of the CAIR Islamophobia report include not only terrorism researchers, but also Muslim groups like the American Islamic Forum for Democracy that have been critical of CAIR and its Saudi backers in the past, as well as Voice of the Copts, an organization advocating for the rights of Coptic Christians persecuted by the Muslim Brotherhood.

CAIR, like Hamas, was created by the Muslim Brotherhood. Its attempt to silence liberal Muslim critics and the Coptic Christians whose churches it is burning down as “Islamophobes” is self-serving cynicism.

But the dishonesty doesn’t end there. CAIR’s critics, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a feminist and ex-Muslim, are smeared with out of context quotes.

CAIR’s Islamophobia report claims that Ayaan Hirsi Ali “asserted that Breivik ‘had no other choice but to use violence’ because his ‘views were censored.’” The very Think Progress source that CAIR footnotes the quote with however shows her saying, “He says, he had no other choice but to use violence.”

The omission is important. Ayaan Hirsi Ali isn’t giving her own view; she’s quoting Breivik while calling him abhorrent, but warning that silencing people is not the answer.

David Yerushalmi gets the same treatment with CAIR’s report claiming that “Yerushalmi also says he finds truth in the view that Jews destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.” The full quote has Yerushalmi speaking of the anti-Semite who “simply professes to uncover the many and varied ways Jews destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.”

The only possible defense for such a brand of malicious quote mangling is sheer incompetence. And the CAIR Islamophobia report is so sloppily put together, its 136 pages packed with so many errors, that it’s clear that the millions of dollars from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil terror sponsors did not go to fund its research department.

For example, CAIR attacks Dr. Zuhdi Jasser’s Third Jihad film by claiming that “Police Commissioner Ray Kelly called it ‘wacky’”. In fact it was Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne who said that. The report mentions him later, but manages to misspell his name as “Brown”. CAIR has spent a great deal of time attacking the NYPD, but can’t even be bothered to check its own claims against its own footnotes.

CAIR lazily revives the Breivik smear charging that “Breivik repeatedly quotes Robert Spencer, Walid Shoebat, Pamela Geller, the ‘Gates of Vienna’ blog and Daniel Pipes.” In fact, Breivik often pasted massive documents into his 1,500 page manifesto without regard for individual quotes. Most of the Spencer quotes came from a single pasted document that also quoted Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice.

CAIR acts as if its report should be treated as a fact-based analysis and an urgent call to action by elected officials, when it is little more than a collection of dishonest attacks against its critics that relies on secondhand smears  assembled by those incapable of taking the time to get even the most basic facts right.

That’s not surprising because CAIR is clearly not in the fact business. Challenging a report on mosque radicalization from the American Freedom Law Center, it responds by quoting a Southern Poverty Law Center blog post that mocks the organization. This Mean Girls style of journalism recurs throughout the report as CAIR smears its critics with petty attacks from allied organizations instead of countering them with fact-based rebuttals.

It’s obvious why CAIR wants to silence its critics; because it is incapable of debating them.

Despite CAIR’s efforts, its latest report has been largely ignored even by the media. The Sacramento Bee ran two press releases, likely paid, from CAIR. Aside from Middle Tennessee Public Radio, the Detroit News, the Religion News Service and the Oklahoma Gazette, its report went mostly unnoticed.

It may have been a matter of bad timing.

CAIR’s report was not only released a few days before the far more damning Johnson report, but also released two days after a Justice Department report criticizing the FBI for not maintaining proper distance from CAIR “to ensure that the FBI is not supporting individuals who support extremist or terrorist ideologies.”

There’s nothing that deflates an organization’s claim that its critics are Islamophobes like a Justice Department report telling the FBI that it needs to curtail non-investigative interactions with CAIR.

And the bad timing didn’t end there. The CAIR report slammed Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s criticism of Mohamed Elibiary. Then Elibiary took to Twitter to blame Coptic Christians for promoting Islamophobia after changing his Twitter picture to include the R4BIA symbol of the Muslim Brotherhoodthugs who were murdering Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Obama-I-am-not-a-member-of-Muslim-Brotherhood-but-I-support-Muslim-Brotherhood

CAIR’s report attempts to silence the critics calling attention to such atrocities and to their root causes in the Islamic Supremacism of the Muslim Brotherhood.

After the Muslim Brotherhood’s carnage, some of its former members and leaders have broken with the organization. Unfortunately CAIR insists on sticking to the same ideological commitments that originally landed it a spot as an unindicted co-conspirator in the funding of a Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group.

Instead of breaking with the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR has redoubled its efforts to smear terrorism researchers, Muslim liberals and Coptic Christians as Islamophobes. Even as its money laundering is exposed, as the FBI is rebuked for including it in its outreach efforts, it retreats behind the walls of a fortress of “Islamophobia” accusations.

CAIR might do well to consider the fate of its Muslim Brotherhood parent organization. All the Muslim Brotherhood’s lies couldn’t keep the Egyptian people from waking to what it truly stood for. Does CAIR really believe that what didn’t even work in Egypt will somehow work in America?

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Don’t miss Jamie Glazov’s video interview with Steven Emerson about The Sordid World of CAIR:

CAIR’s Islamophobia Meltdown | FrontPage Magazine.

Tear gas fired at women’s university protest in Sudan

AFP, KhartoumSudanese police fired tear gas Monday into a university campus where female students were protesting, the university head said on the eighth day of demonstrations sparked by rising fuel prices.Between 150 and 200 Ahfad University for Women students were demonstrating “against the government and things like that,” university president Gasim Badri told AFP.He said police did not enter the campus in Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman but fired tear gas from outside.There were no injuries and the demonstration had already finished, Badri said.Late Sunday about 1,000 people marched in Khartoum calling for the government’s overthrow after a ceremony mourning those gunned down last week during fuel price protests, witnesses said.The rally began in the wealthy Mansheeya neighborhood, which was home to Salah Mudathir, 28, a pharmacologist shot dead during a protest on Friday.“Freedom! Freedom!” they shouted, according to the witnesses.“A million Salah for a new dawn!” they called in a reference to the dead man.They also demanded the fall of the regime, echoing calls made by demonstrators during the Arab Spring revolts of 2011 which toppled a succession of veteran regional leaders.Authorities say 33 people have died since petrol and diesel prices jumped one week ago, sparking the worst protests in the history of President Omar al-Bashir’s two-decade rule.Activists and international human rights groups say at least 50 people have been gunned down, most of them in the greater Khartoum area.The real toll is difficult to determine but “could be as much as 200,” a foreign diplomat told AFP Sunday on condition of anonymity.

via Tear gas fired at women’s university protest in Sudan – Alarabiya.net English | Front Page.

قائد الحرس الثوري الإيراني يعتبر الاتصال الهاتفي بين روحاني وأوباما “خطأً تكتيكيا”

قائد الحرس الثوري الإيراني الجنرال محمد علي جعفري

انتقد قائد الحرس الثوري الإيراني الجنرال محمد علي جعفري الاتصال الذي جرى مؤخرا بين الرئيس الإيراني حسن روحاني ونظيره الأمريكي باراك أوباما، معتبرا أنه كان “خطأ تكتيكيا”.وأشار جعفري في تصريحات لوكالة “تسنيم نيوز” إلى أن الرئيس روحاني “تبنّى موقفا حازما وملائما خلال زيارته نيويورك، وكما رفض لقاء أوباما كان حريّا به أن يرفض أيضا التحدث إليه عبر الهاتف وأن ينتظر أفعالا ملموسة من جانب الحكومة الأمريكية”.وهذا الاتصال الذي جرى الجمعة بين الرئيسين الإيراني والأمريكي هو الأول من نوعه بين البلدين اللذين قطعا علاقاتهما الدبلوماسية عام 1980.وشدد جعفري أنه يتعين على الولايات المتحدة “أن ترفع كل العقوبات ضد الأمة الإيرانية وترفع القيود عن الأصول الإيرانية المجمّدة في الولايات المتحدة وأن توقف عدوانها على إيران وتوافق على البرنامج النووي الإيراني” وذلك للرد على “النية الطيبة” التي أظهرتها إيران خلال اجتماع الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة.ورأى أن الحكومة يمكنها أن ترتكب “أخطاء تكتيكية يمكن إصلاحها”.

http://arabic.rt.com/news/629134/

Syrian FM to UN: ‘Terrorists from 83 countries fighting in Syria’

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem

The Syrian government is fighting against “terrorist groups from 83 countries” as part of its “constitutional right” to protect the country’s people, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told the UN General Assembly in New York.In his speech to the UN Assembly, Muallem on Monday dismissed the definition of the Syrian conflict as a civil war, saying that the Syrian government is engaged in a “war against terrorism that recognizes no values, nor justice, nor equality, and disregards any rights or laws.”“Confronting this terror in my country requires the international community to act in accordance with relevant resolutions on countering terrorism, particularly the UNSC resolution No. 1373 of 2001,” he said. Muallem said that it’s the terrorist groups, including those linked to Al-Qaeda, who are violating Syrian people’s human rights “on a daily basis.” Any Syrians who do not share the extremist ideology risk being “killed, slaughtered,” with the women also taken as “captives on the basis of perverted concepts of religion that have nothing to do with Islam,” Syria’s FM said. “We are the ones who were targeted by poisonous gases in Khan Al-Assal, near Aleppo,” Muallem asserted, saying that Syria asked the UN inspectors to include in its mandate the ability to determine who used chemical weapons, but that it was omitted due to pressure from the US, the UK and France.Syria “waited for five months” for the UN chemical inspectors team to arrive, and even before the completion of its work “certain states began beating the drums of war,” the minister reminded. He assured that Syria is committed to fully implement the provisions of Chemical Weapons Convention and to cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons OPCW.

via Syrian FM to UN: ‘Terrorists from 83 countries fighting in Syria’ — RT News.