Wednesday, October 15, 2014

President Erdogan of Turkery Supports the ISIS Calipate: No Help for the Kurds of Kobani

The President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, shares many of the fundamental goals of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  Consequently, Turkey will not make any substantive military attacks against ISIS. Any support will be superficial and after the fact efforts only.

Observers of international conflict are currently focused on the ISIS attacks against the Turkish/Syrian border town of Kobani.  If the attacks are successful, thousands of Kurds will likely be slaughtered.

Turkey, which has tanks within range of the town, has not moved to support the Kurds being attacked by ISIS despite being a NATO member and the considerable pressure from the USA and others.  Turkey is, however, bombing the Kurds in and around Daglica. 

Why will Turkey not support the Kurds against ISIS?

1.  ISIS and the Turkish President have a common goal of a caliphate system rather than a Westphalian nation-state system;
2.  The Turkish state and the Kurds have been fighting each other over other issues;
3.  President Erdogan has imperial ambitions in rebuilding the Turkish Caliphate;
4.  Turkey’s positions vis-à-vis Iran and Syria impel them against assisting the Kurds.

1.  ISIS and the Turkish President 

President Erdogan is a strong Muslim Brotherhood supporter.  He repeatedly offers the Muslim Brotherhood salute (R4bia or Rabia) while in public and speaks openly about his support for the former Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt.  He has offered safe haven to senior Muslim Brotherhood figures who are being deported from other Middle Eastern countries.  Under Erdogan, Turkey has moved away from its nationalist and secular positions and has become increasingly Islamist in nature.

The position of Muslim Brotherhood believers such as President Erdogan is largely consistent with that of ISIS: the development of an Islamic caliphate.  Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, made it clear when he stated the aim was "to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the sole reference point for ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community and state.” In short, a caliphate where his version of politicized Islam would be all powerful.

Photo Credit AFP

Much the same can be said of the extremist write al-Maududi who is quoted extensively by the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaah e Islami and the leader of ISIS itself.  Al-Maududi believes that his brand of Islam “wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. (…) Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single State or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution.”

And what of Yousef Qaradawi, the current chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, so cherished by President Erdogan?  Qaradawi says: Conquest through dawah, that is what we hope for….We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America, not through the sword but through dawah.

For those who follow the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada and the USA, much the same can be said.  In a 1990s memorandum, the leadership of the Brotherhood expressed their views by saying: “Civilizational Jihad is eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

2.  The Turkish State and the Kurds

The Turkish state and the Kurds have been involved in a long standing conflict over greater autonomy or independence for the Kurdish minority in Turkey (and the surrounding region).  If ISIS is killing Kurds or forcing them to use resources in combating ISIS, then this works well for the Turkish state.

3.  Imperial Ambitions?

Turkey was once at the center of the Ottoman Turkish Empire that stretched over some 600 years and reached from the Gates of Vienna to Algeria to Baghdad.  Many believe that Erdogan is looking to rebuild the once mighty caliphate. Combined with this is the view that Turkey wants to play a greater leadership role in the Islamic world and displace governments such as Saudi Arabia (home of the two holy mosques), Iran (home of Shiadom and the Khomeneists) and Egypt. 

4.  Iran and Syria

4. President Erdogan dislikes and perhaps fears Iran and Syria, especially the Shia/Khomeneist power base that continues  to emerge in Iran..  Any efforts to defeat ISIS may play into the hands of Iran and its vassal state Syria, or at least those parts under the control of President Assad.  

As such, Erdogan is both ideologically and practically predisposed to believe that helping "The West" defeat ISIS is not in his interests.

All of this takes place against a difficult political backdrop.  Many of the region's current borders (Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc) were formed as a result of the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire and the decline of colonialism that accompanied WWI and WWII.  While political scientists like to argue that all national borders are artificial, the reality is that the borders of these countries were/are especially artificial and will change considerably in the near future.  The forces that put them into place and then helped hold them there (UN, USA, Nato, IMF, WB, OPEC) are no longer relevant to the current situation.  The strategy, energy and skills needed to maintain the post WWII status quo are in sharp decline.  As such, more substantial change will occur.  It can be violent or non-violent, but the current situation and history both suggest more bloodshed with an uncertain outcome.

Turkey is a NATO member and is currently being considered for admittance to the EU.  It was also the center of the last Islamic Caliphate which finally collapsed in 1924, an event much bereaved by al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and many others. How Turkey can continue to be in NATO and grow closer to the EU while supporting a move towards a greater Balkanization (Caliphatization?) of the Middle East is not clear.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Do the Rotherham Rapes Constitute a Crime Against Humanity?

Does the rape, torture and sexual abuse of some 1400 girls and women from 1997 to 2014 who were living in Rotherham constitute a crime against humanity?  The sheer scale of rape and abuse is criminal activity on a scale you might normally associate with Bosnia (1992-1995), Rwanda (1994) or in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the current day.  

The answer appears to be "Yes." 

Having been involved in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide investigations from the point of view of intelligence support to investigations, disturbing parallels exist between Rotherham and Bosnia. 

According to the official British report, 1400 girls and women in the Rotherham were subjected to a widespread range of crimes of sexual abuse while a variety of political, bureaucratic and police officials knowingly and/or deliberately refused to act.  Worse still, some of those who tried to raise the alarm were threatened with dismissal and then sent of racial sensitivity training courses.  Others who attempted rescues were themselves arrested. According to the report, (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997 – 2013):

105.  Agencies should acknowledge the suspected model of localised grooming of young white girls by men of Pakistani heritage, instead of being inhibited by the fear of affecting community relations. People must be able to raise concerns without fear of being labelled racist.

An Investigation in the UK into Crimes Against Humanity? 

In rather dry legal terms, the question might appear something like:  "Was/is the rape and sexual abuse of the 1400 girls and women of Rotherham so widespread that the acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity as they were part of a widespread or systematic practice?"

The following would appear to be factual, according to the report and its author Professor Alexis Jay:

a. A specific set of individuals were targeted, based largely on issues of age, gender and ethnicity by another group of individuals, based largely on their gender and ethnicity;  
b. Those with the political and bureaucratic responsibility for defending the girls and women involved against the various crimes of rape, human trafficking and torture were the Rotherham Borough Council and its bureaucratic arm “Child Services” which chose not to act;
c. The authorities were aware of practice from at least April 2005 and no one could after that time period could say “I did not know.”
d. The practice was widespread based on a conservative estimate of 1400 victims;
e. The practice was of long duration, extending from at least 1997 to 2013;
f. The majority of the 1400  victims lived within a the overall geographic area (Rotherham) although it was clear that the girls/women were the victims of human trafficking and were sold into sexual slavery in other nearby towns.

According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, crimes against humanity are particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings. They do not have to take place in the context of a war (think South African Apartheid) nor does a military have to be involved. They do not have to be international in scale, rather they can occur within sovereign boundaries. 

Racism: The Report and Anecdotal Evidence

The report and anecdotal evidence suggest that claims about individuals being afraid to act due to fears of accusations were a significant factor. Among those are:

a. Denis McShane, the former Labour MP for Rotherham, has stated in public that he was a “Guardian reading liberal leftie” and that he did not want to address the issue of the oppression of women in the Muslim community."  He added that: “I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that.”

b.  The report stated that: "Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so."

c. One individual has noted that when they tried to raise the issue of mass rapes and abuse by the Pakistani community in Rotherham, they were threatened with dismissal and sent on a racial sensitivity training course.  No action was taken.

Based on the report and the evidence that has emerged to date, it would appear that the threshold for the UK authorities to investigate the rape and abuse of girls and women in Rotherham as a crime against humanity has been met. If you live in the UK, you may want to email your MP or local council member to suggest that this form of investigation is appropriate.

The author has worked as an intelligence analyst for the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Department war crimes section, the RCMP War Crimes Unit and the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in addition to having served one tour on the ground in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia in 1994.

The full report on Rotherham can be found by going to the following URL and clicking on "download now."

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Triumph of Extremism in Canada: ISIS and the Gordon Brothers from Calgary

In yet another report on extremism, the CBC revealed this week that two more Calgary youth, Gregory and Collin Gordon, left Canada in 2012 and are now fighting with ISIS – The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Now known as Abdul Malik and Khalid, they once lived in the same apartment building as Damian Clairmont and Salman Ashrafi, two other young Calgary youth who left Canada for jihad in the Middle East.

It is highly unlike that ISIS has a recruiting structure on the ground in Canada, at least not yet.  Gregory and Collin Gordon left Canada in 2012 – before ISIS was even created.

However, Canada has allowed a series of extremist organizations (both violent and non-violent) to flourish in Canada.  They are given charitable status, allowed to run their own school systems, cultural centers, receive tax payer grants and have regular access to politicians. 

Canadian politicians frequently consort with extremist groups and assist them in fundraising.  The best (or worst) example of this may have been then Finance Minister Paul Martin attending a fund raising dinner for a terrorist group (LTTE) despite have been warned ahead of time by both the RCMP and CSIS.  

Anyone who opposes extremist groups is often given a rough ride.  They are accused of being racist, exposed to the threat of lawsuits and are subjected to a barrage of politically correct criticisms based on cultural relativism.

The Conveyor Belt “Push”….

As a result of years of the lack of will to confront extremist organizations in Canada, we now have a series of organizations dedicated to advancing agendas of theocratic dictatorships and other vile ideologies.  Canadian youth are identified, recruited, radicalized and then set on the conveyor belt to violence.  

….and the Propaganda Pull

Once set on the path to violence, Canadian youth are then attracted overseas by propaganda campaigns and they leave to fight in a variety of areas:  Somalia, Iraq, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Yemen, etc.  

We Own the Problem

It is not sufficient to simply blame ISIS and their well-oiled propaganda machine.  Canada has been generating extremism and extremists for more than 20 years while doing little to stop it.

We own this problem. We need to fix it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Can Muslim Brotherhood Wives Beat their Husbands? Calling Dr. Jamal Badawi

Can a Muslim wife become involved in husband beating?

Muslim Brotherhood husbands can beat their wives, at least according to Dr. Jamal Badawi who lives in Canada.  He does say that this must be seen as a rare exception.  The question that needs to be asked to Dr. Badawi is "Can a woman married to a Muslim Brotherhood husband beat him?

Dr. Badawi was identified by the Muslim Brotherhood itself as being on their Shura Council (board of directors) and gave his correct Halifax phone number in doing so.  Dr. Badawi was also identified in the Muslim Brotherhood's 1991 General Memorandum as being a key figure in the future of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in North America.  He has also held a number of leadership positions in organizations such as CAIR-CAN/NCCM (board of directors for every year in existence) as well as being on the board of the Muslim Associatsion of Canada.  Perhaps most importantly for this discussion, he is a member of the Islamic Juridical (Fiqh) Council of North America.  This organization concerns itself with matters of law and theology.

With respect to the issue of physical violence against the individual, Canadian criminal law makes is clear that violent assaults against anyone are forbidden and such activity can result in arrest and imprisonment.  However, Canadian Muslim Brotherhood adherents such as Dr. Badawi have addressed the issue of wife beating and it appears that they have determined it is permissible.    

Dr. Badawi believes that the man is the head of the household as he is the provider.  Therefore he sets the rules and enforces household discipline.

To be clear, Dr. Badawi has written that rules and regulations must be respected when wife beating is involved.  In short, the husband must:

1.  Point out to his wife that he is head of household and she must obey.
2.  He must point out to his wife what she is doing wrong.
3.  If she still does not obey, he should then remove her from the marital bed.
4.  If she still does not obey, then beating her is permissible, but she cannot be beaten on the face nor can the beating leave any marks. 

A question then arises.  What happens in a household where the woman has a full time job (the provider) and the man does not?  If he is behaving in a manner which is determined to be inappropriate, can she explain to him the nature of his transgressions and request that he improve his behavior?  If he does not improve, can she then remove him from the martial bed and see if he improves?

If none of that works, can she beat him?

For more on this issue see: 

For more on Dr. Badawi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada follow the link available at: