Several terrorist suspects were collecting Belgian welfare benefits while plotting attacks in Paris and Brussels, according to investigators.
Belgian authorities concluded that at least five of the suspected conspirators in the Brussels and Paris terrorist attacks were partly financed by the nation’s social-welfare system, receiving in total about $56,000, the Wall Street Journalreported Friday.
Surviving Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam collected about $21,000 in unemployment benefits until three weeks before the November assaults. Abdeslam, who was a manager and part owner of a Belgian bar at the time, should have been ineligible for public assistance, officials said.
Numerous suspected terrorists involved in a thwarted Belgian attack had also received welfare benefits, according to a judge who sentenced more than a dozen people who were part of an Islamic State cell to prison last month.
Tom Keatinge, director of the Center for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London, said the European benefit system was “vulnerable to abuse for terrorist financing purposes.”
Keatinge suggested that European governments offer benefits as vouchers or take a closer look at how people are spending their benefits.
“If you’re paying benefit to people in certain parts of Brussels, maybe you need to be a little more observant about who you’re paying to, and what they might be doing with it,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
The Paris and Brussels terrorist suspects who collected welfare were citizens of the European Union. Current Belgian law prohibits benefits from being suspended until an individual is convicted of terrorism or the suspect leaves the country.
ISIS issued a 2015 manual called “How to Survive in the West: A Mujahid Guide” that included a section advising jihadists,“If you can claim extra benefits from a government, then do so.”
While Belgium, France, Netherlands, and Denmark have collectively severed hundreds of people from welfare who traveled to Syria to fight with ISIS, European countries have struggled to find a longstanding solution because of generous social-welfare systems.
This is interesting:
Fred Cauderlier, the Belgian prime minister’s spokesman, defended the nation’s welfare system.
“This is a democracy,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “We have no tools to check how people spend their benefits.”
No, that’s not democracy, that a socialist welfare state – the kind favored by our own Democrat party. And the Democrat party actively resists attaching any kind of accountability or work requirement to welfare payments. After all, this is how they buy the votes of their favored groups, and they need those votes. They need those votes bad enough to import them, too. And so what if a few of you taxpayers have to die in terrorist attacks so that our Democrat betters can get the votes they need to seize power? The important thing is that they are seen as generous and they get to tell you how to live your life.
Normally, when people ask me about this question, I go straight to the 2013 Pew Research survey which I blogged about before. But now I have something even better.
Here’s a post from Ben Shapiro at Breitbart News which looks at several polls from several different countries.
Shapiro writes: (links to polls removed)
So, here is the evidence that the enemy we face is not a “tiny minority” of Muslims, let alone a rootless philosophy unconnected to Islam entirely. It’s not just the thousands of westerners now attempting to join ISIS. It’s millions of Muslims who support their general goals, even if they don’t support the group itself.
France. A new, widely-covered poll shows that a full 16% of French people have positive attitudes toward ISIS. That includes 27% of French between the ages of 18-24. Anne-Elizabeth Moutet of Newsweek wrote, “This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds…these are the same people who torch synagogues.”
Britain. In 2006, a poll for the Sunday Telegraph found that 40% of British Muslims wanted shariah law in the United Kingdom, and that 20% backed the 7/7 bombers.Another poll from that year showed that 45% of British Muslims said that 9/11 was an American/Israeli conspiracy; that poll showed that one-quarter of British Muslims believed that the 7/7 bombings were justified.
Palestinian Areas. A poll in 2011 showed that 32% of Palestinians supported the brutal murder of five Israeli family members, including a three-month-old baby. In 2009, a poll showed that 78% of Palestinians had positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. A 2013 poll showed 40% of Palestinians supporting suicide bombings and attacks against civilians. 89% favored sharia law. Currently, 89% of Palestinians support terror attacks on Israel.
Pakistan. After the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Gilani Foundation did a poll of Pakistanis and found that 51% of them grieved for the terrorist mastermind, with 44% of them stating that he was a martyr. In 2009, 26% of Pakistanis approved of attacks on US troops in Iraq. That number was 29% for troops in Afghanistan. Overall, 76% of Pakistanis wanted strict shariah law in every Islamic country.
Morocco. A 2009 poll showed that 68% of Moroccans approved of terrorist attacks on US troops in Iraq; 61% backed attacks on American troops in Afghanistan as of 2006. 76% said they wanted strict sharia law in every Islamic country.
Jordan. 72% of Jordanians backed terror attacks against US troops in Iraq as of 2009. In 2010, the terrorist group Hezbollah had a 55% approval rating; Hamas had a 60% approval rating.
Indonesia: In 2009, a poll demonstrated that 26% of Indonesians approved of attacks on US troops in Iraq; 22% backed attacks on American troops in Afghanistan. 65% said they agreed with Al Qaeda on pushing US troops out of the Middle East. 49% said they supported strict sharia law in every Islamic country. 70% of Indonesians blamed 9/11 on the United States, Israel, someone else, or didn’t know. Just 30% said Al Qaeda was responsible.
Egypt. As of 2009, 87% of Egyptians said they agreed with the goals of Al Qaeda in forcing the US to withdraw forces from the Middle East. 65% said they wanted strict sharia law in every Islamic country. As of that same date, 69% of Egyptians said they had either positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. In 2010, 95% of Egyptians said it was good that Islam is playing a major role in politics.
United States. A 2013 poll from Pew showed that 13% of American Muslims said that violence against civilians is often, sometimes or rarely justified to defend Islam. A 2011 poll from Pew showed that 21 percent of Muslims are concerned about extremism among Muslim Americans. 19 percent of American Muslims as of 2011 said they were either favorable toward Al Qaeda or didn’t know.
In short, tens of millions of Muslims all over the world sympathize with the goals or tactics of terrorist groups – or both. That support is stronger outside the West, but it is present even in the West. Islamist extremism is not a passing or fading phenomenon – it is shockingly consistent over time. And the West’s attempts to brush off the ideology of fanaticism has been an overwhelming failure.
A first-of-its-kind survey of the hordes of Syrian refugees entering Europe found 13% support the Islamic State. The poll should raise alarms about the risks posed by the resettlement of 10,000 refugees in the U.S.
The poll of 900 Syrian refugees by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies also found that another 10% of the displaced Syrians have a lukewarm, but not entirely negative, view of the terror group. That means 23% — or almost 1 in 4 — could be susceptible to ISIS recruitment.
It also means as many 2,500 of the 10,000 Syrian refugees that the Obama administration is resettling inside American cities are potential terrorist threats.
Now contrast those facts with the views of Barack Obama and his allies in the mainstream media.
President Obama told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that 99.9 percent of Muslims reject radical Islam. He made the comments in response to a question about the White House avoiding using the phrase “Islamic terrorists.”
“You know, I think that the way to understand this is there is an element growing out of Muslim communities in certain parts of the world that have perverted the religion, have embraced a nihilistic, violent, almost medieval interpretation of Islam, and they’re doing damage in a lot of countries around the world,” said Obama.
“But it is absolutely true that I reject a notion that somehow that creates a religious war because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam. They don’t even recognize it as being Islam, and I think that for us to be successful in fighting this scourge, it’s very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we’re looking for–order, peace, prosperity.”
So Obama denies all of these surveys, and instead invents a view of the world that is consistent with his feelings. A true man of the secular left.
This gap between belief and reality explains why he is now bringing 200,000 Syrian Muslim refugees into America, keeping Syrian Christian refugees out of America, and generally underestimating Islamic State (ISIS / ISIL) because he cannot believe that radical Islam is anything for us to be concerned about.
Is the government capable of vetting Syrian refugees to find threats?
The administration argues that it’s conducting interviews with Syrians at camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. But without security forces on the ground in Syria who can verify details, there is no way to back-check a refugee’s story to see if he is telling the truth and is, in fact, not a security threat.
Even when we had people on the ground in Iraq to screen refugees, terrorists got through the safety net.
In 2011, for instance, two Kentucky immigrants who had been resettled as Iraqi refugees were busted for trying to buy stinger missiles for al-Qaida.
It turned out that their fingerprints matched those linked to roadside bombs in Iraq. It was a major red flag that should have barred their entry, but U.S. screeners failed to take note. And the terrorists slipped into the U.S.
The administration’s vetting process for the massive influx of Syrian refugees is completely unreliable, admits the FBI official in charge of such security background checks.
“It’s not even close to being under control,” warned assistant FBI director Michael Steinbach.
We should not be believing the man who promised us that we could keep our doctor, keep our health plans, and that our health insurance premiums would go down $2,500. He is either lying, or he likes to speak on matters where he is not competent to know the truth of the matter.
Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, a former Muslim, explains which verses of the Qu’ran are linked to Islamic terrorism in a USA Today editorial.
As a Muslim growing up in the United States, I was taught by my imams and the community around me that Islam is a religion of peace. My family modeled love for others and love for country, and not just by their words. My father served in the U.S. Navy throughout my childhood, starting as a seaman and retiring as a lieutenant commander. I believed wholeheartedly a slogan often repeated at my mosque after 9/11: “The terrorists who hijacked the planes also hijacked Islam.”
Yet as I began to investigate the Quran and the traditions of Muhammad’s life for myself in college, I found to my genuine surprise that the pages of Islamic history are filled with violence. How could I reconcile this with what I had always been taught about Islam?
[…]The Quran itself reveals a trajectory of jihad reflected in the almost 23 years of Muhammad’s prophetic career. As I demonstrate carefully in my book, Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward, starting with peaceful teachings and proclamations of monotheism, Muhammad’s message featured violence with increasing intensity, culminating in surah 9, chronologically the last major chapter of the Quran, and its most expansively violent teaching. Throughout history, Muslim theologians have understood and taught this progression, that the message of the Quran culminates in its ninth chapter.
Surah 9 is a command to disavow all treaties with polytheists and to subjugate Jews and Christians (9.29) so that Islam may “prevail over all religions” (9.33). It is fair to wonder whether any non-Muslims in the world are immune from being attacked, subdued or assimilated under this command. Muslims must fight, according to this final chapter of the Quran, and if they do not, then their faith is called into question and they are counted among the hypocrites (9.44-45). If they do fight, they are promised one of two rewards, either spoils of war or heaven through martyrdom. Allah has made a bargain with the mujahid who obeys: Kill or be killed in battle, and paradise awaits (9.111).
Muslim thought leaders agree that the Quran promotes such violence. Maajid Nawaz, co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation in the United Kingdom, has said, “We Muslims must admit there are challenging Koranic passages that require reinterpretation today. … Only by rejecting vacuous literalism are we able to condemn, in principle, ISIS-style slavery, beheading, lashing, amputation & other medieval practices forever (all of which are in the Quran). … Reformers either win, and get religion-neutral politics, or lose, and get ISIL-style theocracy.” In other words, Muslims must depart from the literal reading of the Quran in order to create a jihad-free Islamic world.
This is not at all to say that most Muslims are violent. The vast majority of Muslims do not live their lives based on chapter 9 of the Quran or on the books of jihad in the hadith. My point is not to question the faith of such Muslims nor to imply that radical Muslims are the true Muslims. Rather, I simply want to make clear that while ISIL may lure youth through a variety of methods, it radicalizes them primarily by urging them to follow the literal teachings of the Quran and the hadith, interpreted consistently and in light of the violent trajectory of early Islam. As long as the Islamic world focuses on its foundational texts, we will continue to see violent jihadi movements.
So, any attempt to engage with Muslims will require us to address the texts that they appeal to when they justify their actions. Both Republicans and Democrats try to gloss over the specific passages of the Qu’ran which are troublesome. They claim that Islam, interpreted literally, is a religion of Peace. And they claim that distorting the words of the Qu’ran results in a Jihadi ideology. That’s not accurate. It’s not distortion of the Qu-ran that is causing the problems, it’s taking those passages literally.
There are troubling passages in the Bible, as well, where God is in a theocratic relationship with the Jewish people and commands them to attack their enemies. But the difference is that those verses are not effective in the present day, for present day Christians. Christians are under a new Covenant with a new High Priest, Jesus. This new covenant tells Christians to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Are moderate Muslim scholars and Western politicians ready to face the real challenge?
The verdict seems unanimous. From presidential speeches to role-playing games, the crusades are depicted as a deplorably violent episode in which thuggish Westerners trundled off, unprovoked, to murder and pillage peace-loving, sophisticated Muslims, laying down patterns of outrageous oppression that would be repeated throughout subsequent history. In many corners of the Western world today, this view is too commonplace and apparently obvious even to be challenged.
But unanimity is not a guarantee of accuracy. What everyone “knows” about the crusades may not, in fact, be true. From the many popular notions about the crusades, let us pick four and see if they bear close examination.
The four myths:
Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
Myth #3: Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
Myth #4: The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.
Here’s the most obvious thing you should know. The Crusades were defensive actions:
In a.d. 632, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were all Christian territories. Inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, which was still fully functional in the eastern Mediterranean, orthodox Christianity was the official, and overwhelmingly majority, religion. Outside those boundaries were other large Christian communities—not necessarily orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. Most of the Christian population of Persia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly there were many Christian communities in Arabia.
By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. Italy and her associated islands were under threat, and the islands would come under Muslim rule in the next century. The Christian communities of Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly after 633, when Jews and Christians alike were expelled from the peninsula.6 Those in Persia were under severe pressure. Two-thirds of the formerly Roman Christian world was now ruled by Muslims.
What had happened? Most people actually know the answer, if pressed—though for some reason they do not usually connect the answer with the crusades. The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one of the listed regions was taken, within the space of a hundred years, from Christian control by violence, in the course of military campaigns deliberately designed to expand Muslim territory at the expense of Islam’s neighbors. Nor did this conclude Islam’s program of conquest. The attacks continued, punctuated from time to time by Christian attempts to push back. Charlemagne blocked the Muslim advance in far western Europe in about a.d. 800, but Islamic forces simply shifted their focus and began to island-hop across from North Africa toward Italy and the French coast, attacking the Italian mainland by 837. A confused struggle for control of southern and central Italy continued for the rest of the ninth century and into the tenth. In the hundred years between 850 and 950, Benedictine monks were driven out of ancient monasteries, the Papal States were overrun, and Muslim pirate bases were established along the coast of northern Italy and southern France, from which attacks on the deep inland were launched. Desperate to protect victimized Christians, popes became involved in the tenth and early eleventh centuries in directing the defense of the territory around them.
A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day, but the motive for the crime remains a mystery, with the suspect maintaining he was a regular at the mosque.
A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the suspect, 37-year-old Gary Nathaniel Moore of Houston, was arrested early Wednesday. Moore appeared in court at 7 a.m., spokeswoman Nicole Strong said, and bond was set at $100,000.
According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the storefront mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week.
Moore said he had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home, according to authorities and court papers. Moore said he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he departed, authorities said. He maintained he had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend.
Now, I wouldn’t post this if there was not something to learn from it at a higher level, and there is. There is something to learn about the left-wing, shame the good, praise the evil, mindset.
Breitbart News documents the initial reactions from the mainstream media to the story before it was known who the guilty person was.
Excerpt: (links to other sites removed)
Advocacy groups believe there has been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents across the United States in recent weeks that can be linked to the mass shooting in California and the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates. And they say that Muslims are fearful the backlash could lead to further harassment and violence.
The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on authorities to investigate the fire for an anti-Muslim motive.
“Because of the recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this fire,” Mustafaa Carroll, the chapter’s executive director, said in a statement.
The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on authorities to investigate a possible bias motive in the case, citing what it called a “recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide.
Now that a devout Muslim has been charged, the DC Media will forget all about the incident.
The media’s playbook is always to immediately use any disaster or crime as a means to make the GOP answer for it. Then, once the facts come out and point to a member of the Protected Class, the story is memory-holed and the accusation against the Republican lingers.
That was very bad, and it should teach you a lesson about how anxious the media is to make traditional groups (conservatives, Christians, orthodox Jews, etc.) feel ashamed, while protecting and praising radical Islamists. They want to force everyone to be “equal” on the moral scale, so that no one can judge anyone else. The problem is, as we see in this story, that not shaming evil causes evil people to more evil, not less evil.
Anyway, all that is well and good, but we haven’t seen the worst media bias. That prize goes to the radically, radically leftist Salon, which not only put up a story blaming conservatives for the arson, but then took it down once the news came out about who was arrested for it: (H/T Weasel Zippers)
(click for larger image)
Why did they do it? Because the story only had value to them when it could give America, Christians, Republicans, etc. a black eye. When it gave radicalized Muslim terrorists a black eye, then Salon had to take it down. They didn’t want to make their allies in the culture war look bad. And do you know what else Salon doesn’t report on? Crucifixions, torture, rape and murder by radical Muslims (often against other Muslims!) in other parts of the world. That doesn’t fit their narrative, either.
Do you ever wonder where so many people have an emotional reaction of sympathy for people who do evil? It’s because they’ve been conditioned by the media to think that somehow, some way, evil people are actually justified in doing their evil. And somehow, some way, good people are all hypocrites who shouldn’t judge anyone, because it is mean and makes people feel bad. If you went to public schools in America and listened to the mainstream media, you’ve been indoctrinated in that from birth to present day. It all comes from the shame that people on the left feel for their own immoral actions, and their desperate desire to stop all moral judging as a way of escaping from the misdeeds they committed in the past. This is their way of dealing with their own guilt – stopping everyone else from making moral judgments about anything.
To learn more about media bias from peer-reviewed studies that document it, click here.