May 27, 2018

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A few connected things you might want to know about:

The student senate of Tufts University in Connecticut passed  a resolution to divest from companies doing business with the “Israeli Occupation.” The vote was held last night, the day before Erev Pesach, when most Jewish students would have gone home for the holiday. Not that a resolution from the Tufts Student Senate would mean anything whatever day they chose to pass it, but still.

Feminist author Phyllis Chesler was scheduled to participate in a panel on honor killings at the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas this week. Dr. Chesler, a psychotherapist and author of 16 books and countless professional and popular articles, is a world-recognized expert on the subject. She is also, however a strong supporter of Israel, even (gasp) a Zionist, so after protests by three professors, some threats and some vandalism she was disinvited.

In Egypt, hours after an explosion killed 27 Coptic Christians at a church in the town of Tanta, a suicide bomber exploded at St. Marks Cathedral in Alexandria, murdering another 17 people and narrowly missing the leader of Coptic Christianity, Pope Tawadros II.

As Kurt Vonnegut wrote, so it goes.

And so it will go in America (it is already starting in Europe and of course has been here in Israel for more than a hundred years), if Americans don’t pay attention to what Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells us: (WSJ subscription required),

Dawa, Ms. Hirsi Ali explains, is “conducted right under our noses in Europe, and in America. It aims to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and also to push existing Muslims in a more extreme direction.” The ultimate goal is “to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with Shariah.” It is a “never-ending process,” she says, and then checks herself: “It ends when an Islamic utopia is achieved. Shariah everywhere!”

Ms. Hirsi Ali contends that the West has made a colossal mistake by its obsession with “terror” in the years since 9/11. “In focusing only on acts of violence,” she says, “we’ve ignored the Islamist ideology underlying those acts. By not fighting a war of ideas against political Islam—or ‘Islamism’—and against those who spread that ideology in our midst, we’ve committed a blunder.” …

Dawa, Islamic psychological warfare, is a multifaceted persuasion technique which includes infiltration of institutions, propaganda, silencing opponents, threats, and of course violence and terrorism.

Ms. Hirsi Ali wants us to get away from this game of jihadi Whac-A-Mole and confront “the enemy that is in plain sight—the activists, the Islamists, who have access to all the Western institutions of socialization.” She chuckles here: “That’s a horrible phrase . . . ‘institutions of socialization’ . . . but they’re there, in families, in schools, in universities, prisons, in the military as chaplains. And we can’t allow them to pursue their aims unchecked.”

America needs to be on full alert against political Islam because “its program is fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution”—with religious pluralism, the equality of men and women, and other fundamental rights, including the toleration of different sexual orientations. “When we say the Islamists are homophobic,” she observes, “we don’t mean that they don’t like gay marriage. We mean that they want gays put to death.”

Hirsi Ali, as you may remember was also the subject of an academic dis-invitation, this one from receiving an honorary degree from Brandeis University. She has a 24-hour armed guard, because every radical Islamist in the world wants to kill her. They really want to keep her message unheard.

Here in Israel, there is a daily, concrete threat of murder from Islamic jihadists. There isn’t much Dawa activity aimed at Jews here, who mostly know their enemies. But the West is a different story.

When you in the comfortable (but not as comfortable as it used to be) American Diaspora celebrate your freedom at your Passover seder, remember that there are those that want to end it. Not just for you, but for all Americans.

Happy Pesach!

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