Muslim in Germany caught planning chemical terror attack in Jewish state

This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Islamic Jew-hatred — it’s an Islamic imperative.

Palestinian in Germany caught planning chemical terror attack in Israel

Syrian-born 21-year-old arrested by armed forces on suspicion of plotting attack, recruiting fighters for Islamic State

By TOI staff, Septembeer 28, 2018:

A 21-year-old Syrian is arrested in Berlin on September 20, 2018. (Screen capture: Berliner Morgenpost)

A 21-year-old Syrian is arrested in Berlin on September 20, 2018. (Screen capture: Berliner Morgenpost)

A 21-year-old Syrian-born Palestinian man has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planning to carry out a terror attack in Israel using chemical weapons, according to German media reports.

Security forces armed with automatic weapons arrested the man last week outside a restaurant in Berlin’s Neukölln neighborhood, Bild reported Thursday.

The man had already recruited others to join the Islamic State terror group, the report stated.

The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) reportedly received a tip from a foreign security service about the man, who arrived some time ago from Libya using a false passport.

The German newspaper Welt reported that the man intended to use chemical weapons for his planned terror attack in Israel, and in a phone call intercepted by security officials stated that he had already acquired the necessary materials.

However, police had not yet found the materials, the reports stated, and the investigation was ongoing.

According to police, the man was arrested several months ago for assault during a brawl.

Welt reported that the man was already known to law enforcement officials for his aggressive behavior and extremist views.

He was reportedly arrested by SEK Special Deployment Commando forces while riot police secured the area.

 

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Tommy Robinson contempt of court case adjourned at Old Bailey …

A contempt of court case against the far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been adjourned at the Old Bailey after a brief hearing.

The recorder of London, Nicholas Hilliard QC, adjourned the case, saying he would receive written submissions before making a ruling at a later date. The recorders ruling will determine whether there will be a substantive hearing at the Old Bailey into the alleged contempt of court.

Robinson was released on bail with the only condition that he does not approach within 400 metres of Leeds crown court, where his original hearing took place.

After the short hearing, Robinson waved to his supporters from a window in the Old Bailey canteen, to huge cheers and chants of: We will be back again, we will be back again and, Oh Tommy Tommy.

Robinson, wearing jeans, black trainers and a grey checked jacket, sat behind his barrister, Richard Furlong, in court. He was referred to by his real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, throughout the brief hearing.

Robinson said as his hearing was adjourned that he was being prosecuted as a political prisoner. He told reporters outside the courtroom: This is an embarrassment to British justice.

What I was hoping is that if they would send me to prison today which I thought they would then I would be home for Christmas with my three children. Now theyve put it back.

Robinson said three journalists had breached the same reporting restriction as he had but that he was being singled out for being Tommy Robinson.

Ive served far more of a sentence than anyone should have served for reporting on a court case. All of you report on political prisoners and thats what I am. Its exactly the same. Its bullshit the whole thing is bullshit.

Access to the courtroom was restricted to members of the press and about a dozen of Robinsons close supporters, including Kevin Carroll, the co-founder of the English Defence League, and Gavin McInnes, the co-founder of Vice.

Earlier, more than 150 supporters of Robinson chanted his name as he arrived at the Old Bailey for a rerun of his contempt of court hearing on Thursday morning.

Carrying union jacks, St Georges cross flags and placards reading free Tommy, they outnumbered a 30-strong counter-protest organised by antifascist groups.

Robinson emerged from court to cheers from hundreds of supporters who had gathered outside throughout the morning. The mainly white and middle-aged crowd thronged around him as he was escorted by police and close associates along Ludgate Hill towards City Thameslink station. Robinson paused several times along the way to greet, hug and pose for photos with supporters as police and his security team cleared a route.

The crowd was largely good natured and included members of rightwing groups including Ukip, For Britain and Generation Identity. Others carried homemade placards saying No to Sharia law and praising Robinson.

Were like one big patriotic family, one woman said as she remonstrated with police, at whom others chanted: Youre not English any more.

A counter-protest organised by Unite Against Fascism and Stand Up to Racism had largely dissolved by 11am. Two women who attempted to draw attention to Robinsons criminal record were met with anger and intimidation by some protesters. Eleanor Richardson and Emma Lyons, students at the London School of Economics, had their placard snatched from them and torn to pieces when they approached the crowd. Others in the crowd quickly emerged to intervene and apologise for the way they had been treated.

Lyons said the response of Robinsons supporters discredited their claims to be in favour of free speech. That [behaviour] is aggressive, thats violent, she said. I dont behave like that when Im talking to people about my opinions; is that free speech? I dont think so. Its threatening and its violent.

City of London police said they had made one arrest connected to the demonstration, for a breach of the peace.

Robinson, 35, was released from prison last month after three judges quashed a finding of contempt of court made at Leeds crown court in May, and granted him conditional bail from a 13-month jail sentence.

The case centres on an allegation that he breached reporting restrictions on a trial at Leeds crown court by confronting defendants while streaming live on Facebook.

Later on Thursday, City of London police said they were looking into whether any offences were committed in relation to a video of Robinson filmed that day inside the Old Bailey.

The video was posted on the account of Robinsons former employer, the Rebel Media co-founder Ezra Levant, and showed the defendant waving to the crowds outside from the Old Bailey canteen.

By Thursday afternoon it had been viewed more than 160,000 times. Section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 (CJA 1925) makes it an offence to photograph people within court precincts.

However, a senior barrister involved in the case said the circumstances of the filming meant it was not clear whether an offence had taken place.

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Tommy Robinson: Ex-EDL chief appears at Old Bailey for …

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Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has appeared in court over a contempt of court allegation.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents of the right-wing activist gathered outside the Old Bailey on Thursday.

Robinson, 35, is alleged to have committed contempt by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.

The case was adjourned until October. Robinson claimed the authorities “want me in prison for Christmas”.

Recorder of London Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said he would receive written submissions before making a ruling on how the substantive hearing will take place.

Robinson, from Luton, was referred to by his real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon throughout the brief hearing.

He was released from prison last month after three leading judges quashed a finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May, and granted him conditional bail from a 13-month jail sentence.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Robinson could face being sent back to jail if he is found to have been in contempt, with a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment.

He was sentenced in May to 10 months for contempt of court and a further three months for breaching a previous suspended sentence.

In May 2017, Robinson faced contempt proceedings over footage he filmed during the trial of four men who were later convicted of gang-raping a teenage girl.

A judge at Canterbury Crown Court gave him a three-month suspended sentence.

Robinson appealed against both contempt findings at a hearing last month overseen by Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Mr Justice Turner and Mrs Justice McGowan.

They found the judge in Leeds should not have commenced contempt proceedings that day.

Speaking outside the Old Bailey earlier, Robinson criticised delays in the case, saying: “I believe they want me in prison for Christmas.”

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Tommy Robinson’s contentious views on Islam … – cbc.ca

The online comments disparaging Muslims as “scum” didn’t appear on a shady message board or a private social media group. Instead, they were out in the open with thousands of others, elicited by a single video uploaded to YouTube and starring a self-styled free speech activist who got his start in a suburb of London.

To his critics, though, Tommy Robinson behaves like a bigoted agitator. In the video made outside a rape trial in Oxford, England, he’s seen antagonizing the accused and their families. “Twenty-nine people [including]two women are involved in this case,”Robinson said in the video. “Thirty per cent of them are called Mohamed.” The video has been seen nearly two million times since it was posted in April 2017.

“I had no idea Muslims in the U.K. were that barbaric,” one comment read.

In the replies, another user added “everywhere Islam goes, it causes trouble.”

“Why are you not killing them?” another anonymous poster asked.

The post and the comments encapsulate the uproar Robinson is known to cause and the visceral reaction he evokes from supporters. It also shows what observers see as Robinson and his allies’ gross generalization of Muslims.

“He’s tapped into a broader movement,” said Joe Mulhall, a researcher with the London-based anti-racism campaign Hope Not Hate. Robinson, 35, appeals to “a group of very angry people” upset about terrorism and highly publicized child rape cases in Britain, Mulhall said.

“He’s taking that legitimate anger and he’s changing into something that’s going to legitimize violence against the whole Muslim community and that’s extremely dangerous.”

Robinson’s actions have repeatedly landed him in court under his real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. On Thursday, he appeared before a judge in London to answer to one count of contempt of court. His case was adjourned until a later date.

“People are fully aware this is a political trial and it’s a political persecution,” he told reporters outside England’s Central Criminal Court.

Robinson was greeted by a crowd of several hundred supporters who chanted his name and waved Union Jacks and the English St. George’s Cross flag. About 30 counter-protesters held up signs that read “oppose Tommy Robinson, don’t let the racists divide us.”

Police kept the two groups separated while nearby pubs planned to remain closed in case clashes broke out.

Robinson’s contempt charge stems from a video shot outside a courthouse in Leeds in May and streamed live on Facebook. In it, Robinson was heard discussing an ongoing rape trial and seen confronting the accused.

A judge had banned reporting during the rape trial a common practice in British courts to avoid prejudicing the jury. Robinson accepted his actions were in contempt of court and, within five hours of the incident, was sentenced to 13 months.

But his supporters saw it as an attempt to curb Robinson’s free speech. Donald Trump Jr., the U.S. president’s son, sympathetically tweeted “don’t let America follow in those footsteps.”

On a radio show in London, the president’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, called Robinson “a solid guy” and suggested he should be released from prison.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 supporters marched through London on July 14, chanting “Tommy, Tommy” and demanding he be freed. Videos of smaller demonstrations in support of him, from Toronto to Sydney, Australia, were posted online.

Mulhall disputes the claim the contempt charge was a way to silence Robinson. “This is a far right, anti-Muslim activist with a history of violence and criminality,” he said, adding Robinson “was sent to prison for breaking the law.” Robinson had previously been convicted of assault and fraud.

In August, the U.K.’s top judge ordered a retrial, calling the initial, swift ruling a “fundamentally flawed process.” Robinson was released on bail.

The rise in Robinson’s profile has coincided with Britain’s all-consuming debate over its departure from the European Union. Pro-Brexit campaigners promised the country would have greater control over immigration. And Robinson’s base of support often overlaps with fringe elements in the Leave camp.

The populist U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), in particular, sought to portray Brexit as a way to block refugees from entering the country. And its new leader, Gerard Batten, feels Robinson should be welcomed into the party, especially now that UKIP has achieved its main goal of a successful Brexit vote.

Robinson is “somebody who has chosen to defend the weak and the helpness,” Batten told the July 14 “Free Tommy” rally in London, likening him to Ghandi and Nelson Mandela.

On a British talk show, UKIP’s former leader, Nigel Farage, called Batten’s proposal “a catastrophic mistake.” Pundits say allowing Robinson into the party would signal a move toward deeper fringe politics for UKIP and allow the ruling Conservatives to further dominate the Euroskeptic vote.

Indeed, mainstream British conservatives recoil at Robinson’s rhetoric. London’s Brexit-supporting Daily Telegraph newspaper recently labelled him an “extremist and a thug.”

Robinson first became widely known under that pseudonym after founding the English Defence League (EDL) in his hometown of Luton, near London, in 2009.

The group held chaotic marches throughout England, speaking out against what it saw as creeping Sharia law and radical Islam.

But a 2016 research paper based on 50 hours of interactions with members and published in the international journal Political Studies found the EDL to be an “Islamophobic, right-wing extremist group.”

The study, carried out by British university researchers John Meadowcroft and Elizabeth A. Morrow, found most EDL members were white working-class men. Their motivation to join arose not only from a fear of Muslim dominance in Britain, the study said, but also the EDL’s offers of access to violence, increased self-worth and group solidarity.

The research reflects what former member Ivan Humble experienced.

“There was nobody listening to me and I found a voice in the English Defence League,” he said. Humble, 47, still sports a tattoo with the letters “EDL” on his right arm despite leaving the group in recent years.

Robinson has said he objects to Islam, not its 1.8 billion adherents worldwide. But an uninitiated audience would be forgiven to believe he dislikes Muslims in general.

“I’d personally send every adult male Muslim that has come into the EU over the past 12 months back tomorrow if I could,” he posted on Twitter in 2016 before he was banned from the site.

His persona attracted the attention of Canadian commentatorEzra Levant, who described Robinson’s views as “clear and philosophical” in a 2016 video.

Levant offered Robinson an overseas platform for his opinions and videos: the Canadian alternative political commentary network, Rebel Media, which has stoked controversy with its coverage of issues such as immigration and climate change.

On The Rebel’s YouTube page, Robinson’s videos regularly racked up hundreds of thousands of views. In one such clip, Robinson sits down with an imam and tells him “we don’t have to stop extremist Islam, we don’t have to stop radical Muslims, we have to stop Islam in the U.K.”

Other international support comes from the U.S.-based Middle East Forum. The think tank says it provided tens of thousands of dollars “about the mid-five figures” to support Robinson’s court battle, as well as street demonstrations for his release.

“It’s not about the oxygen it’s giving to [Robinson’s] comments, it’s about his right to say it,” Gregg Roman, the organization’s chief operations officer, told CBC News in an interview in Washington, D.C.

“It’s important for an American organization to stand up for an individual talking about the threat of Islamism in his community,” he said, “because what’s going on there could also and is also occurring here in the United States.”

There’s been much speculation about what Robinson will do with his newfound worldwide support if he doesn’t return to prison. Bannon is reportedly considering Robinson for a role in his new European populist foundation.

Humble, the former EDL member, worries about increased divisions in society stoked by the likes of Robinson. He likens Britain to a volcano “just simmering, waiting for the eruption.”

That eruption, he says, could be triggered from something simple like “Tommy getting jailed again.”

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Tommy Robinson: Jailed UK far-right activist has some big …

But when Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon appeared on a radio show hosted by his populist fellow traveler Nigel Farage at the time of the US President’s controversial visit to the UK earlier this month, he talked of Robinson as something of a cause clbre.

US official raises Robinson case

British officials do not deny that a meeting about issues of religious freedom took place, and that Robinson’s case was raised.

An official at the British Embassy would only say: “The characterization of the details of the conversation is not accurate.”

The US State Department also disputed how the meeting was described. “We refute as completely false the reports which wrongly assert that Ambassador Brownback urged the UK government to act on this issue or threatened repercussions in any way.”

Brownback’s office referred CNN to the State Department.

Neither side would say why Brownback, who was narrowly confirmed in January only on the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence, had even raised the issue. Robinson is not an American citizen and, although he is appealing the length of his sentence, does not claim to have been wrongly imprisoned.

British officials seemed surprised that Brownback had heard about Robinson in the first place.

An ally of Robinson, Raheem Kassam, told CNN he had briefed Brownback about the case. Kassam, who was London editor for the right-wing news website Breitbart when Bannon was its executive chairman, said it was discussed only briefly at the embassy meeting. “Brownback just said to keep an eye on it because many people were upset about it,” Kassam said.

Robinson case attracts US attention

Soon, Robinson found himself supported by the Middle East Forum (MEF), a Philadelphia-based group that “protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats,” according to its website. Its founder, Daniel Pipes, has claimed that Europe has “an advanced Islamist problem” and refers to the British capital as “Londonistan.”

The MEF has petitioned the State Department and Congress on Robinson’s behalf, its director, Gregg Roman, told CNN. He also revealed the group spent “a five-figure” sum to provide Robinson with legal support and organize rallies. According to recent tax records, MEF has an income of over $4 million a year.

One of these rallies took place in London on July 14, day three of Trump’s controversial visit to Britain and the day after huge anti-Trump protests thronged the center of London.

The MEF flew Gosar to London to address Robinson’s supporters, Roman said. “Many of you may not know me,” Gosar boomed from a black podium on Trafaglar Square. “I’m a United States congressman from Arizona, but I suggest we know each other very well indeed.” A crowd waving English and American flags cheered. “Despite being two nations separated by an ocean, we are also two nations united by a common language,” Gosar said. “For years now, we have lived with a full-frontal assault on free speech,” he added. “That’s why, when I first heard of the case of Tommy Robinson, I could not stay silent.” Gosar went on to describe the “Free Tommy” campaign as “a precursor to a campaign for your own First Amendment.”

Asked to comment, Gosar’s office referred CNN to his statement from the floor of the House.

Anti-Islam tone

Another speaker at the rally was Gerard Batten, a successor to Farage as leader of the UK Independence Party, the insurgent political movement that helped precipitate the British vote to leave the European Union.

As leader of UKIP, Farage steered the party clear of figures like Robinson, keen to appeal to a broader electoral base. But Batten has adopted a more strident anti-Islam tone, and enthusiastically embraced Robinson’s cause.

Speaking to pro-Robinson supporters gathered in Trafalgar Square, Batten characterized Robinson as “a political prisoner” and said that “history will judge him as being on the right side of a struggle between good and evil.” He went on to describe Islam as “a Muhammad cult” that is “completely alien to everything our country stands for.”

For his part, Bannon appears to have a bigger prize in sight. His interest in Robinson reflects his larger ambition to mobilize alt-right parties across Europe — in interviews, Bannon has revealed plans for a Europe-wide forum called The Movement, with the aim of uniting rightwing parties. CNN asked Bannon’s spokesperson for an interview; instead, she provided a contact for Kassam, the former Breitbart London editor. “There are so many liberal NGOs, but there are very few NGOs with the nation-state as a primary goal,” Kassam said, confirming Bannon’s plans.

He rebuffed claims that Bannon wants to incite a populist revolt against the European Union. “It’s not about blowing up the EU, it’s about returning to nation-state sovereignty.”

As right-wing politics gains momentum across Europe and US politicians venture across the Atlantic in their support, Europe’s far-right believe they have a friend in the White House. In between the British and American flags at the “Free Tommy” rally on July 14 were signs saying, “Britain loves Trump.”

Soon, Tommy Robinson will be out of jail. By that time, thanks in part to Bannon, Gosar and others on the American alt-right, his position as poster boy for the movement in the UK will be confirmed.

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Tommy Robinson – Posts | Facebook

Soon to reach 1 million followers. That is double as many as our Prime minister Theresa ‘the appeaser’ May.

The elites, establishment and the main stream media are just so detached from what normal people feel. They continue to label all of us as extreme, fringe or far right but the fact that I have twice as many supporters as that so called ‘main stream’ politician who is busy making a mess of this country, should give them a wake up.

I learned a long time ago to not worry about what people call you and instead just say what needs to be said. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support. Continue to share the stories that the establishment wish to hide.

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Mullah May Face Stoning For Raping Women on Video

A mullan in Afghanistan who allegedly video taped himself raping several women, could face death by stoning if captured by authorities.

He’s on the run right now. But religious leaders are searching for him.

Women in Afghanistan aren’t exactly afforded equal rights.

Mullah Rasool was a healer who prescribed amulets for clients in Faryab. But he used his position to rape female clients, and then use the videos as blackmail against them.

Hat tip Religion of Peace for uncovering. And more from the Daily Mail:

Rasool, whose nickname is Landay, which means “Shorty” in Pashto, allegedly used the videos to blackmail the women.

A number of videos began circulating on social media in recent weeks, but it is not clear when they were made or if they were filmed in Rasool’s village of Chinar in Pashtunkot district.

In one video posted on Facebook, a bearded and turbaned man purported to be Rasool is seen loosening his white baggy trousers, clearly aroused.

A young woman, still wearing her long dress and headscarf, removes her trousers and lays on a large floor cushion where they have sex.

While the identities of the women are not yet known, their faces are visible in the videos, which have been viewed tens of thousands of times, raising fears for their safety in the deeply religious country.

“We predict there will be honour killings,” Faryab governor spokesman Jawed Bidar told AFP.

Provincial women’s affairs department head Sharifa Azimi said the women had been “tricked” and has urged religious leaders to tell their worshippers that they are “innocent victims, not bad women”.

“We are very worried that they will be murdered,” Azimi told AFP.

The body of a woman was found dumped in a ditch near Chinar village several days ago, but it has not yet been identified, Azimi added.

Faryab’s top religious leaders have sentenced Rasool to death by stoning.

“If the government arrests and punishes him, okay, otherwise the people are also after this guy and will stone him to death,” said Ghulam Nabi Ghafori, deputy head of the provincial Ulema Council.

The videos and whereabouts of Rasool have become a major topic of conversation in Afghanistan where sex is a taboo subject and women are largely treated as second class citizens.

Much of the commentary on social media has targeted Rasool, who has been described as “Satan” and a “porn star”. There have been calls for him to be hanged and his genitals cut off.

But the scandal has also inspired a spoof on a popular television comedy show in which a character portraying Rasool fondles a male actor dressed up as a woman.

Traditional healers are much-revered in the ultra conservative countryside, where illiteracy remains rampant.

A lack of conventional health services forces many to rely on healers for a variety of problems — from debilitating maladies and infertility to finding stolen items and reuniting lost lovers.

To help police track down Rasool, provincial governor Naqibullah Faiq is offering his own car as a reward to anyone with information leading to his arrest.

“He will be arrested. He has no place abroad,” Faiq told a recent gathering.

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Denmark Arrests 2 For Supplying ISIS With Drones

Two people were just arrested in Denmark for allegedly trying to provide drones to ISIS.

The individuals, whose names were not released, were taken into custody by Copenhagen authorities.

Police in Denmark arrested two on suspicion of trying to provide drones to ISIS.

The arrests came on the heels of a lengthy intelligence operation in the region that led to the raid, detention and questioning of several suspected of ties to terror.

Reuters has more:

Two people were arrested in Copenhagen on Wednesday and charged with attempting to supply Islamic State with drones, which the organization has used to carry out attacks, police said.

The two were arrested after police and Danish security and intelligence services carried out raids in Copenhagen, the police said in a statement.

The two persons are suspected of being members of a broader network that ships drones and other supplies to Islamic State from Denmark for use in combat, the police said. The police did not release their names or any details about them.

They were charged with attempting to collude with terrorism abroad and will appear in court on Thursday, the police said in a statement.

Islamic State has increasingly been using drones to carry out attacks in Syria and Iraq.

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New York Times hits “disturbing trend” of seeing Islam as “not a religion”

This outstandingly disingenuous article is written by Asma T. Uddin, a Muslim religious liberty lawyer and scholar, who undoubtedly knows very well that when Bennett, McCarthy, Flynn and others say that Islam is a political ideology, they’re 100% correct. And that’s the real issue here, not whether or not Islam is a religion. If Islam is a political ideology, even if it is a religion as well, then that political ideology has to be evaluated in light of its compatibility, or lack thereof, with the U.S. Constitution and the rights and freedoms it guarantees. Asma Uddin presents her quotes from people saying that Islam is a political ideology as if they were self-evidently false, yet Islam is implemented as a political ideology today in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and elsewhere. The elements of Islamic law that are political, authoritarian, supremacist, and injurious to the rights of women and others are the focus of anti-sharia laws, not the aspects of sharia that involve Muslim religious practices.

Uddin hits me for pointing out that there is a “Muslim effort to impose Islam on the secular marketplace,” and yet there is. The efforts to get accommodation for Muslim women wearing hijabs in the workplace are not the same thing as Christian bakers refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, because the Christian bakery is not part of a larger effort to establish and reinforce the principle that wherever Christian belief and practice conflict with American law, it is American law that must give way. But there is a large-scale and ongoing effort, as longtime readers of the Geller Report well know, to establish and reinforce the principle that wherever Islamic law and American law conflict, American law must give way.

The larger question in this insidious New York Times article is whether the protections afforded by the First Amendment give Muslims — or anyone else — permission to break other American laws. If some odious practice is enshrined in sharia, such as FGM or the killing of apostates, does that mean we have to allow it in America, because of the First Amendment? That question is on the table now in the trial of the FGM doctors in Detroit, who are using religious freedom as a defense. If they win, the door will be open for Muslims to commit any crime at all, as long as they can argue that it is sanctioned by sharia.

“The Latest Attack on Islam: It’s Not a Religion,” by Asma T. Uddin, New York Times, September 26, 2018:

Religious liberty has become a particularly politicized topic in recent years, and recent months were no different. In a long-awaited June decision, the Supreme Court decided in favor of a Christian baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple. In July, Attorney General Jeff Sessions introduced a “religious liberty task force” that critics saw as a mere cover for anti-gay discrimination. And Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record has been scoured for evidence of what his appointment to the Supreme Court would mean for future decisions in which Christian beliefs clash with law and policy.

But when it comes to religious liberty for Americans, there’s a disturbing trend that has drawn much less attention. In recent years, state lawmakers, lawyers and influential social commentators have been making the case that Muslims are not protected by the First Amendment.

Why? Because, they argue, Islam is not a religion.

This once seemed like an absurd fringe argument. But it has gained momentum. John Bennett, a Republican state legislator in Oklahoma, said in 2014, “Islam is not even a religion; it is a political system that uses a deity to advance its agenda of global conquest.” In 2015, a former assistant United States attorney, Andrew C. McCarthy, wrote in National Review that Islam “should be understood as conveying a belief system that is not merely, or even primarily, religious.” In 2016, Michael Flynn, who the next year was briefly President Trump’s national security adviser, told an ACT for America conference in Dallas that “Islam is a political ideology” that “hides behind the notion of it being a religion.” In a January 2018 news release, Neal Tapio of South Dakota, a Republican state senator who was planning to run for the United States House of Representatives, questioned whether the First Amendment applies to Muslims….

The fear is not limited to mosque cases. There have been legislative efforts in 43 states to ban the practice of Islamic religious law, or Shariah law; 24 bills were introduced in 2017 alone, according to the Haas Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. This year, Idaho introduced an anti-Shariah bill, bringing the number of measures introduced since 2010 to at least 217. Of those, 20 have been enacted.

The laws’ backers seem to see them as necessary stopgaps to protect against their imagined Muslim takeover of America. When an Idaho state representative, Eric Redman, a Republican, introduced his anti-Shariah bill in January, he said it was needed so that “foreign law” would not “defile our constitutional laws” and to “protect our state and our country.” That’s a similar sentiment to the one expressed by the conservative political activist Pamela Geller, who argued in a 2016 commentary published by Breitbart that Muslim women seeking accommodations to wear a head scarf in the workplace are part of a “Muslim effort to impose Islam on the secular marketplace.”…

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  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
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  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."