Facebook, Kumbaya & 'Interfaith Dialogue'

Kumbaya ‘Rabbis’ participate in Qatar interfaith dialogue

Facebook removes page of preacher using social media to back jihadists

Musa Cerantonio is the third most ‘liked’ person by western jihadists in Syria.
hqdefaultA radical Australian preacher revealed to be using social media to encourage acts of terrorism has had his Facebook page taken down following a Guardian investigation.  The California company confirmed it took action to remove the page following revelations that Musa Cerantonio, an Islamic preacher from west Melbourne, was urging about 12,000 subscribers to “assassinate” US politicians.  Musa will be heartbroken.

From the Religion of Peace:

Iran: Woman Protest Forced Wearing of the Veil, 1979  (Jihad Watch)

You’ve slipped a long way, baby.

Ending Mosque Surveillance on Bombing Anniversary  (Molschky)

Authorities in the U.S. all but ensured another terror attack on the very anniversary of last year’s high-profile marathon bombing.

Dhimmis in the UK  (Molschky)

Islam has added nothing positive to Britian.

Boston Bombing: One Year Later  (Robert Spencer)

Purging our highest law enforcement agencies of Jihad intelligence has had at least one catastrophic result so far.

 The New York Times?

Yes: even Walter Duranty’s fish wrap  cannot hide the truth any longer:

In Jordan Town, Syria War Inspires Jihadist Dreams

ZARQA, Jordan — Late one night, Abu Abdullah left his whole life behind.

Abandoning his wife, two children and a modest frozen foods business, he sneaked across the border to Syria to join an affiliate of Al Qaeda.

He thrived on the blasts and gunfire and relished the feeling of serving what he saw as a celestial cause. But his wife’s anguish soon persuaded him to return to this desert city, where he now longs for his days as an international jihadist.

“If I could go back and do it again, I would not come back,” he said. “Those were the best three months of my life.”

Here in the hometown of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who gained infamy for his bloody reign as the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq during the early years of the American occupation there, the increasingly sectarian war in Syria has ignited militants, inspiring the largest jihadist mobilization the city has ever seen.

Jordanian analysts and Islamists estimate that 800 to 1,200 Jordanians have gone to fight in Syria, more than double the number who fought in Afghanistan or Iraq. Though the fighters come from across the country, fully one-third hail from here, the most from any single area.–Continue reading the main story

CRISIS IN SYRIA

  • News, analysis and photos of the conflict that has left more than 100,000 dead and millions displaced.

    Full Coverage »

Most fighters disappear without telling their families, only to resurface across the border with the Nusra Front, Syria’s Qaeda affiliate, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a Qaeda splinter group. While some are uneducated and poor, others have university degrees and leave behind jobs, homes, cars, wives and children for a cause they believe will bring them rewards in heaven.

For most, it is a one-way trip, either because coming home could mean jail time or because they die abroad. Every few weeks, a Zarqa family holds a “martyr’s wedding,” so-called because achieving martyrdom is not seen as a cause for sadness, but for gathering and celebration.

While analysts say Jordan’s stagnant politics and economy encourage marginalized, devout men to seek glory on foreign battlefields, Islamist leaders, fighters and their relatives describe decisions motivated by intense conviction.

Many fighters are driven by the Syrian government’s extreme violence and the sense that the world is doing nothing to stop it. At the same time, they see Syria as a launching pad for their project to erase the region’s borders, found an Islamic state and impose Shariah law.

“There is no such thing as Syria for the Syrians,” said Munif Samara, a doctor and prominent Islamist in Zarqa. “If there is Islamic land, it is our duty to implement Shariah.”

Mr. Samara, who knows many Jordanians fighting in Syria, said he would not discourage his own son, a dentistry student, from going to Syria if he chose to.

“How long do we live?” Mr. Samara asked. “Do I give him the world or do I give him the afterlife?”

To illuminate why local men fight in Syria, Mr. Samara arranged a meeting in his clinic between reporters and Abu Abdullah, who said that growing up in Zarqa, he had long been aware of jihad as a potential career path. Men he knew had fought and died in Chechnya and Iraq, and he began growing his beard as a sign of devotion after the death of Mr. Zarqawi in 2006.

After the Syria conflict started, gruesome images on TV and worries about spreading Iranian influence led him to jihad, he said, providing only his nom de guerre to avoid arrest by the Jordanian authorities.

Friends already in Syria put him in touch with a smuggler, who led him across the border at night with 16 other Jordanians, he said. All carried medical supplies, mostly pills and needles. He took only a spare pair of cargo pants and some extra underwear.

Over 30, he was in worse shape than his younger colleagues, so he performed poorly at military drills, he said. But since he had run his own business, he was put in charge of the group’s supplies, buying food for fighters and destitute Syrian families.

He called home often, and after hearing his wife complain that raising their two children alone was hard, and that his 8-year-old daughter was troubled by his absence, he said, he decided to return home.

The Jordanian authorities detained him at the border but released him a month later because they lacked evidence that he had been a fighter, he said.

Continue reading the main story

The Syrian Opposition, Explained

There are believed to be hundreds, if not thousands, of groups fighting in Syria. These opposition groups are fighting the Assad regime, but recently turned on each other with increased ferocity.

CreditAhmad Aboud/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Now, back in Zarqa, he said that he missed his old life and that the police watched him closely.

“Here you feel like you are in a small cage and can’t move,” he said.

His account could not be independently verified, but Marwan Shehadeh and Hassan Abu Hanieh, Jordanian experts on Islamic movements, said its details corresponded with the stories of other men who had fought in Syria.

In many cases, the fighters’ sudden departures deeply affect their families, leaving many torn between support for the cause and mourning their personal loss.

Sitting in his book-lined living room, one Zarqa father, Mohammed Abu Rahaim, proudly swiped through photos on his phone and spoke of his two sons who had joined the Nusra Front in Syria.

There was Hutheifa, 38, an athletic college graduate who left a wife, three children and a teaching job. One photo showed him in silhouette, wielding a machine gun. A video showed him adjusting the scarf over his face after a rebel victory.

“He disappeared suddenly, then called and said, ‘I am in Syria,’ ” Mr. Abu Rahaim said, recalling his son’s departure.

And there was Harith, 32, who also left a wife, three children and a steady job. One photo showed him with a rifle at his side, heating water on a wood fire. The next photo showed him dead, his bearded face protruding from a body bag. Mr. Abu Rahaim said he had been driving when the phone call came with the news. “I got out of my car and bowed to God,” he said, proud that his son had achieved the martyrdom he so desired.

Mr. Abu Rahaim, a professor of Islamic culture, said the family had often discussed “the affairs of the Muslims,” including the wars in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, but that Syria felt more personal. His wife’s family fled Syria in the 1980s during the government’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, and some of their relatives had been killed.

Like many others, he saw jihad in Syria as a noble effort to replace the countries created by colonial powers with an Islamic state. “Western countries allowed sects, misled groups and misled parties to rule the Muslims,” he said. “Will this last forever? Impossible!”

When news of his son’s death spread, hundreds of mourners came to the house for the martyr’s wedding. In a large tent draped with black flags, attendees listened to sermons, sang religious anthems and chanted, “Our path: Jihad!”

But Mr. Rahaim’s wife, Huda Wazan, cried as she spoke of her sons, recalling how attentive the younger had been to his infant daughter and how she had once hidden the elder’s passport to prevent him from quitting school for jihad. “You worry because the environment and the friends really impact the way these young men think,” she said.

While she believed it had been her son’s fate to die in Syria, she was still crushed by the loss.

“There are people who say it is a wedding for the martyr instead of a funeral, but I don’t agree with this,” she said. “It is a funeral for me.”

Rana Sweis contributed reporting from Zarqa.