Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Turkey Denies Hamas Funding Reports
by IPT News • Jan 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm
Turkish officials are denying media reports that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was promised $300 million during his visit to Turkey earlier this month.
"There is no cash aid to Hamas, but Turkey is, of course, engaged in projects to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza," a Turkish foreign ministry official told the Turkish paperToday's Zaman, "A $40 million hospital project is one of them, but the construction material for the hospital is not allowed in Gaza."
On Friday, Reuters quoted a diplomat in Syria saying that there has been a void in aid from Iran to Hamas since August, and Haniyeh was believed to have "'received promises from Turkey to provide the movement and his administration with $300 million a year to help Gaza.'"
In December, the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) alleged that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to provide $300 million to Hamas in a confidential letter Haniyeh.
A high-ranking Hamas official told the Qatar-based Al-Sharq newspaper that Haniyeh's tour in Turkey opened the door to financial cooperation between Turkey and Hamas, and that Hamas will open an office in Turkey in the coming weeks.
In response, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said "Turkey is one of the strongest supporters of the Palestinian cause. And Hamas is an important political formation which participated and succeeded in the elections."
"Our contact [with Hamas] has been constant, but we will have to wait and see what has come out of the frequent visits," he added.
Update: Israeli President Shimon Peres isn't buying Turkey's denials, telling a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos that "Turkey has transferred resources to fund the infrastructure of Hamas," with $900 million which "has strengthened terrorist networks in the region,"
Jasser Takes on Media
by IPT News • Jan 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm
Critics of the New York Police Department's use of the film "Third Jihad" for training not only have their facts wrong, they're missing one of the program's key point, argues Muslim reformist M. Zuhdi Jasser.
Jasser, who narrated the film, responded with two op-ed columns, one published Friday by the National Review and one Sunday in the New York Post. He focused on a New York Times report last week about the NYPD's use of the film, calling the story "shoddy and biased."
Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson also published a lengthy analysis of the Times story here.
Media reports have bashed the film as generalizing Muslims as radicals and criticized officials for allowing it to be screened to nearly 1,500 officers. The Times got its most damning quote about the film wrong, Jasser wrote, saying it interspersed graphic violent images with the narration "This is the true agenda of Islam in America." In fact, the film cites a Muslim Brotherhood document which "shows the true agenda of much of Muslim leadership here in America."
The narration also included this disclaimer prominently: "This is not a film about Islam. It is about the threat of radical Islam. Only a small percentage of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are radical."
Yet the unquestioning nature of news reports critical of the film actually proves producers' points, Jasser wrote. Any criticism of radical Islam, be it from people outside the faith or devout Muslims like himself, is dismissed as bigoted. Drumming up outrage via the media helps shove moderate and reform-minded voices out of the debate, leaving Islamists alone to define the faith.
His work on the film was part of his own battle "against the radicals who seek to hijack our faith," Jasser wrote. He founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and joined the American Islamic Leadership Coalition as part of that effort to show the diversity of though among Muslims.
"That is what the vicious distortions about this film do to my work and the work of so many others within the House of Islam who are trying to publicly take on the American Islamist establishment."
Khadr Going Free, and Public
by IPT News • Jan 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm
Canadian terrorist Omar Khadr, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner who pled guilty to a litany of al-Qaida terrorism charges in October 2010, soon will be released to Canada. As the Toronto Sun's Ezra Levant puts it in his new book, The Enemy Within, Khadr's reception by Canadian liberals will cover up his crimes and salute him as the victim of American abuses.
Khadr was captured in Afghanistan in July 2002, after throwing grenades at American soldiers, and was discovered with video of his helping to build and places anti-vehicle mines for Afghan resistance fighters. Khadr, who was 15 at the time of his arrest, spent the next eight years in Guantanamo interrogations, awaiting his American trial.
During this time, liberal activists like the Canadian Bar Association advocated on Khadr'sbehalf alongside local Muslim associations, arguing that the Canadian conservative government was responsible to protect his rights while he was in American custody and to bring him home.
The irony of the case, as Levant points out, is that despite Khadr's confession andunrepentant attitude, he is unlikely to serve much time in Canadian prison. After completing his mandatory year in American prison, he could be repatriated at any time as soon as his paper work is complete. Under Canadian law, the years Khadr spent in prison will count toward his parole date, which amounts to only one third of his sentence. He will also be released without any formal rehabilitation program, allowing him to roam freely in Canada and speak before Canadian Muslims and leftists about the crimes of America.
As Levant points out, Khadr's superstar status among Canadian left-wing intellectuals means that he will likely be asked to address some of Canada's most anti-American and anti-Semitic student audiences. Despite his crimes, Canada's government is essentially giving him a "Get-out-of-jail-free card," and a podium to boot.
From AFP and Yahoo News:
From ABC News and Yahoo News: