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by David M. Swindle • Thu, 7 Jul 2016, 5:42 PM
The attacks over the July 4 holiday weekend in Bangladesh, Medina, and Baghdad left Islamist leaders in America divided over the proper response.
On July 4, the Los Angeles Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR,) Hussam Ayloush wrote on his Facebook page that ISIS was the biggest enemy of Muslims. He then named who he believed actually pulled the strings: "regional and international intelligence agencies who use ISIS (like they used Al-Qaeda, Taliban, or the Mujahideen) to advance their policies and agendas in the world."
by David M. Swindle • Sun, 3 Jul 2016, 7:48 PM
Last week we received the following critique via email (edited for length) from a reader who questioned IW's mission and language choices:
1. We focus on Lawful Islamism, not Islamic terrorism.
The word "lawful" intends to describe the tactics utilized by specific Islamists, not compliment the character of all. IW's focus is on individuals and groups who have adopted the method of trying to work within the law to gradually advance an Islamic supremacist agenda. Smart Islamists know that murder and terror do not effectively promote the cause.
by David M. Swindle • Sat, 25 Jun 2016, 7:32 PM
This week the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) released yet another version of its "Islamophobia" report, "Confronting Fear," replete with lists and fancy quantitative analyses of groups CAIR opposes, dividing them into "inner core" and "outer core," and estimating their incomes.
It's all very interesting for those of us (the Middle East Forum, in my case) mentioned. But more amusing is that the report also provides a list of 39 Islamists who, CAIR informs us, participated at an "August 2015 strategy session" where they developed the outline of this report and its conceit that we critics of Islamism should be banished like the Ku Klux Klan.
by David M. Swindle • Mon, 6 Jun 2016, 7:16 PM
Islamists know from decades of success that deception is their most effective strategy, but nowadays many have grown egos so massive they just can't help but brag loudly about the ideological con job they're pulling on American Muslims.
Over Memorial Day weekend the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) put on its annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The ICNA Twitter retweeted quotes and photos from throughout the three day event. (For more background on ICNA's leadership and radical record see here.)
[Note: On Twitter, tweets appear with the newest on top, so to read chronologically start at the bottom.]
by David M. Swindle • Wed, 1 Jun 2016, 9:44 AM
Hi, I'm David Swindle, the new coordinator of Islamist Watch for the Middle East Forum. This summer I'm beginning to organize a diverse team of writers, researchers, and activists to monitor and challenge Islamist organizations. Here's why I've chosen to dedicate myself to this work:
1. Ideology has been my field of focus for the last 15 years, and I came to understand Islamism as both the most dangerous threatening humanity today, and also one capable of being defeated.
by Johanna Markind • Fri, 26 Feb 2016, 8:57 AM
Britain's Labour Party didn't have a very good month.
On February 5, the BBC reported that Muslim Women's Network UK had "demanded an inquiry into 'systematic misogyny displayed by significant numbers of Muslim male local councilors.'" Specifically, they alleged that Muslim men within the Labour party had obstructed their access to the levers of power by blocking them from running for office on the Labour ticket. They also claimed that women's advocacy of various causes, including women's rights and gay rights, had been squelched. Tactics had included spreading false and defamatory claims about women who refused to toe the line.
MWNUK's chairwoman Shaista Gohir wrote, "As this is an open secret and has been going on for decades, we can only assume that the Labour Party has been complicit at the highest levels." Labour's response reportedly failed to address the women's specific allegations, and also failed to indicate that it would look into the issue any further.
by Johanna Markind • Sun, 14 Feb 2016, 11:17 AM
What to do with Islamist prisoners? Should they be segregated, in which case they may further radicalize each other; or diffused, in which case they may radicalize other prisoners – as happened with the Charlie Hebdo-Hyper Cacher jihadis? Currently, France and the United Kingdom are grappling with this issue.
France is in the process of segregating radicalized prisoners in dedicated prison blocks in five prisons around the country. Those eligible for segregation consist mostly of those convicted of terror offenses, but include other "selected" prisoners as well. The French prisons appear to have devised a detection tool measuring likelihood of radicalization, or perhaps, of committing jihadi violence. The article refers to a "'detection grid' assessing personality, background, and observed religious behavior." Unfortunately, no information is given about the data or methodology behind it. (By way of example, the Salient Factor Score used for measuring likelihood of recidivism by parole-eligible federal prisoners relies on data collected from 1,806 cases studies.)
by Johanna Markind • Thu, 28 Jan 2016, 2:16 PM
This week, the Sun reported that over 1 in 5 prisoners in top-security UK prisons is Muslim. Specifically, 1,229 out of 5,885 prisoners incarcerated in Category A prisons – those convicted of the most serious offenses – are Muslim. That works out to 20.88% of the UK's Category A prisoners.
By contrast, fewer than 1 in 20 people in the UK is Muslim. Roughly 2,706,066 or 4.8% out of a population of 56,075,912 identified as Muslim, according to the UK's 2011 census. (Given that the UK's total population is elsewhere identified as 63.2 million, the actual Muslim percentage may be closer to 4.28%.)
by Johanna Markind • Mon, 21 Dec 2015, 8:52 AM
Consider this syllogism:
A recently-published British government report concludes that "membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism," according to Prime Minister David Cameron. The report also notes that the British government was mistaken in believing it shared a common agenda with the Muslim Brotherhood against al-Qaeda and militant Salafism in general. Cameron said the government would be more careful in the future not to provide legitimacy or a platform for the Muslim Brotherhood.
by Johanna Markind • Thu, 5 Nov 2015, 5:11 PM
US Prisons, October 2015: