A Civil-Rights Group That Once Took Klansmen and Neo-Nazis to Court Now Hounds Liberal Muslims for “Blasphemy”

Founded in 1971 to combat white-supremacist groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) won a number of important legal battles against the Ku Klux Klan, various neo-Nazi groups, and other opponents of desegregation. Now it generates materials like its “field guide to anti-Muslim extremists”: a list of fifteen individuals that includes the historian Daniel Pipes, the apostate Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the British Muslim critic of jihadism Maajid Nawaz. Among Nawaz’s crimes are having tweeted a cartoon portraying Jesus and Muhammad, “despite the fact that many Muslims see [such depictions] as blasphemous.” Nick Cohen comments on what he calls “the white left’s first fatwa”:

Nawaz . . . and his Quilliam Foundation have struggled against both the white far right and the Islamist far right. They have defended liberal Muslims and, indeed, all of us from lethal blasphemy taboos and the threat of terrorism. They respect freedom of speech, including the freedom of their enemies to speak. . . . They think they should try to stop young Muslims joining Islamic State, not just for the sake of the Yazidis they will take into sex slavery, or the civilians they will tyrannize and kill, but for the sake of the young Muslims themselves.

A significant faction on the left hates them for upholding the values they have forgotten, and will use any smear to denigrate them. . . .

In the liberal orientalist world view the only “authentic” Muslim is a barbarian. A battery of insults fires on any Muslim who says otherwise. They are “neoconservatives,” “native informants,” and “Zionists”; they are as extreme as the jihadists they oppose or, let’s face it, worse. In short, a section of the Western left has adopted the ideology of the Salafists, Khomeinists, and Islamists. . . .

Of course they could not leave alone Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who became an atheist and denounced the faith of her childhood, and is hated by a section of the white left for doing what they do all the time. That Hirsi Ali needs bodyguards to protect her from Islamist assassins in no way restrained our Alabama witch finders.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ku Klux Klan, Moderate Islam, neo-Nazis, Politics & Current Affairs

Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy