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By David Harris
If terrorism suspect Momin Khawaja, now on trial in Ottawa, is as guilty as Crown prosecutors say, it'll be time to settle an important question: Was Mr. Khawaja a "Naji man"?
Amid trial allegations, court details and defence objections, significant questions arise about Mr. Khawaja's status as a consultant to the Department of Foreign Affairs at about the time of his arrest. Prosecutors claim the software contractor used his perch inside the department to send streams of E-mails to confederates abroad - that federal resources were, in other words, used to advance terror plots. Authorities also say Mr. Khawaja might have used privileged Foreign Affairs department travel documents to travel on his "missions." And that he allegedly suggested using special departmental courier services to send bomb-related equipment to foreign associates, in the apparent belief that a government imprimatur on shipments confers immunity from customs searches.
Insiders can do a lot of damage in sensitive government and private-sector establishments. From intelligence organizations to banks, history is replete with examples of infiltrators and penetrators undermining computer systems, removing money, spilling secrets. Remember Barings Bank? Kim Philby?
So questions must be asked. If, for the sake of argument, Mr. Khawaja was working against Canadians and their allies, what access did he have to departmental personnel, to electronic records, communications and associated encryption systems? Who recommended and hired him in the first place? A friend? If the government's version is correct, why would a software consultant be so confident about his access to special courier services? Did he have a network of friends at the department? It is early days, and no decisive answers are on offer.
But these things must be asked whenever a possible radical or extremist Islamist breach of security is hinted at, and here's why: Islamic extremists and subversives place great emphasis on infiltrating social, political, economic and security apparatuses of target nations, like Canada, with a view to manipulating and undoing their infrastructure.
Last year's dramatic Holy Land Foundation trial in Texas made the point. There, U.S. prosecutors put klieg lights on previously secret strategic documents seized from extremist Muslim Brotherhood (MB) sources. This subversive worldwide organization is the font from which spring a number of hardline "mainstream" North American Islamic front groups and "representative organizations," including many recently defined as unindicted co-conspirators by the U.S. Justice Department - and some, amazingly, periodically engaged in "outreach" by unsuspecting interfaith and even government officials.
The prize U.S. document was the Brotherhood's 1991 long-term plan to subvert and collapse the United States and its political, economic and other infrastructure, preparatory to achieving a forced radical Islamicization of that country, and others. Through a malign combination of immigration, intimidation, psychological warfare and subterfuge, the MB proposed "settling" - colonizing - the U.S., infesting its infrastructure, and relying on societal openness, constitutional freedoms and influence operations to proceed from there: "The process of settlement is a 'Civilization-Jihadist Process'," said the memorandum, adding ominously, "with all the word means."
The Brothers, it continued, "must understand that their work in American [sic] is kind of a grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
More recently, Abu Bakr Naji, al-Qaeda's senior operational strategic thinker, explained the priority. Radical Islamists are to be "infiltrating the adversaries and their fellow travelers and establishing a strong security apparatus" to support the underground movement, now, and the resulting theocratic Islamic state, later. "[We] should infiltrate the police forces, the armies, the different political parties, the newspapers, the Islamic groups, the petroleum companies ... private security companies, sensitive civil institutions, etc."
"That," concludes Mr. Naji chillingly, "actually began several decades ago, but we need to increase it in light of recent developments."
Indeed, Muslim Brotherhood-inspired organizations were being set up on this continent as far back as the 1960s, and considerably earlier elsewhere. By now, there is little doubt that many "Naji men" -- and women -- are ensconced in the West, and recent developments cause concern:
We cannot guess the outcome of the Khawaja trial, but perhaps evidence of Mr. Khawaja's work in government will encourage an overdue debate about Canada's counterpenetration strategy. We should begin now, while relative peace allows us to do so in an ordered, balanced and effective way.
- a police officer in the northeastern U.S., helping a terror suspect at his mosque to identify federal surveillance vehicles;
- an American 911 operator conducting illegal watch-list and other database searches, and communicating the results, illicitly;
- and questions about jihadist sympathies among certain figures in the FBI and CIA, the State Department and U.S. Muslim military chaplain corps, the White House, Homeland Security, the U.S. Air Force, Guantanamo, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. (For details see this Investor's Business Daily editorial on the subject: http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=280367130714172.)
- Canadians must guard against infiltration of government, business and associated infrastructure. Mr. Naji's operational aims bring home the need to make realistic determinations about the reliability of those employed in military and security offices, in nuclear-energy and power-grid control rooms, and in virus and biochemical research labs - even about those influencing politicians and decision-makers.
David Harris is president of Democracy House, and a lawyer involved in national security matters. He is counsel to the Canadian Coalition for Democracies and a former senior CSIS official.
By Steve Doughty
June 5, 2008
Explosive: The Lord Chief Justice's endorsement of Sharia law has already created huge controversy
The most senior judge in England tonight gave his blessing to the use of sharia law to resolve disputes among Muslims.
Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said that Islamic legal principles could be employed to deal with family and marital arguments and to regulate finance.
He declared: 'It is possible in this country for those who are entering into a contractual agreement to agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law.'
In his speech in an East London mosque Lord Phillips signalled approval of sharia principles as a means of settling disputes so long as no punishments that conflict with the established law are involved, and as long as divorces are made to comply with the civil law.
But his remarks - which give the green light from the highest judicial office to the informal sharia courts already operated by numerous mosques - provoked a storm of criticism.
Lawyers warned that family and marital disputes settled by sharia could leave women or vulnerable people at a serious disadvantage.
Tories said that equality under the law must be respected and warned that outcomes incompatible with English law should never be enforceable.
Lord Phillips spoke five months after Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams surrounded himself in controversy with a lecture in which he suggested Islamic law could have official status and that it could govern marital law, financial transactions and arbitration in disputes.
The Lord Chief Justice said today of the Archbishop's views: 'It was not very radical to advocate embracing sharia law in the context of family disputes.'
He added that there was 'widespread misunderstanding as to the nature of sharia law'.
Lord Phillips said: 'Those who in this country are in dispute as to their respective rights are free to subject that dispute to the mediation of a chosen person, or to agree that the dispute shall be resolved by a chosen arbitrator.
'There is no reason why principles of sharia law or any other religious code should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.'
Lord Phillips said that any sanctions must be 'drawn from the laws of England and Wales'. Severe physical punishment - he mentioned stoning, flogging or the cutting off of hands - was 'out of the question' in Britain, he said.
'So far as aspects of matrimonial law are concerned, there is a limited precedent for English law to recognise aspects of religious laws, although when it comes to divorce this can only be effected in accordance with the civil law of this country,' he said.
The signal of approval for voluntary sharia tribunals brought protests from lawyers who fear that in some Islamic communities women do not have a full and equal say and that they could be disadvantaged in supposedly voluntary sharia arrangements.
Barrister and human rights specialist John Cooper said: 'There should be one law by which everyone is held to account.
'I have considerable concerns that well-crafted and carefully designed laws in this country, drawn up to protect both parties including the weak and vulnerable party in matrimonial break-ups could be compromised.
'I have concerns over a system of law that may cause one party to be disadvantaged.'
Resolution, the organisation of family law solicitors, said people should govern their lives in accordance with religious principles 'provided that those beliefs and traditions do not contradict the fundamental principle of equality on which this country's laws are based.'
Spokesman Teresa Richardson said religious law 'must be used to find solutions which are consistent with the basic principles of family law in this country and people must always have redress to the civil courts where they so choose.'
Robert Whelan of the Civitas think tank said: 'Everybody is governed by English law and it is not possible to sign away your legal rights.
'That is why guarantees on consumer products always have to tell customers their statutory rights are not affected.
'There is not much doubt that in traditional Islamic communities women do not enjoy the freedoms that women in this country have had for 100 years or more.
'It is very easy to put pressure on young women in a male-dominated household.
'The English law stands to protect people from intimidation in such circumstances.'
Tories warned that principles of equality under the law must be respected.
Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said: 'The Lord Chief Justice correctly points out that there is a tradition in this country of allowing mediation to take place subject to other legal principles as long as it is voluntary and not subject to coercion, and with outcomes which are not fundamentally incompatible with our own legal principles.
'Any that are incompatible cannot and should never be enforceable.
'One of the key aspects of our free society in Britain is equality under our own laws. It is important that this should be understood and respected by all in our country.'
A spokesman for Jack Straw's Ministry of Justice said: 'English law, which is based on our shared values of equality and a respect for the rule of law, takes precedence over any other legal system.
'The Government has no intention of changing this position. Alongside this it is possible for other dispute resolution systems on matters of civil law to be accommodated, so long as they are not in conflict with the laws of England and Wales and are abided by on a voluntary basis.'
BRIEFING: SHARIA LAW
- Sharia law is based on the Koran, on associated teaching about the life of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the judgements of Islamic clerics and lawyers down the centuries.
- It is in essence a set of religious principles by which Muslims are required to live. Sharia is interpreted and enforced differently in different countries across the Islamic world.
- Islamic law is often regarded as having four parts: how Muslims should worship; commerce; crime and punishment; and marriage and divorce.
- Sharia says forbidden behaviour, like drinking alcohol and taking drugs, or adultery, should be punished. Islamic scholars say the Koran sets down punishments such as lashes or stoning for adultery.
- Sharia law also permits behaviour not allowed by English law, for examply polygamy, which in some jurisdictions says men may have up to four wives.
- In Britain, sharia courts are often operated by mosques. Muslim families come to sharia courts for justice and agree to be bound by their rulings.
- They have no formal legal status.
- There are around 1.6 million British Muslims, most of whom are of Pakistani origin. The strongest Muslim communities are in London, especially in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets where Lord Phillips spoke yesterday, Birmingham, Yorkshire and Lancashire.
- Orthodox Jews operate Beth Din courts which are subordinate to the civil law and which decide issues among 180,000 people according to ancient Jewish law. They are regulated by the Chief Rabbi. A divorcing Jewish couple first divorce in the civil courts, then come to the Beth Din tribunals for religious judgement.
- The only religious courts in England with full and official legal status are the consistory courts and tribunals which decide disputes and disciplinary matters in the Church of England.
By Robert Spencer
The Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Second Amendment comes just as it has been revealed that in Iraq, Islamic jihadists have been forcing the Christians remaining in the country to pay jizya -- the tax mandated in the Qur’an for non-Muslims who live under Islamic rule. And in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province, the Taliban has been enforcing Islamic Sharia law by waving automatic weapons, forcing music stores to close down at the point of a gun (music is forbidden in Islamic law).
Maybe if Iraq and Afghanistan had the Second Amendment, these things wouldn’t be happening. But they are a bracing reminder of just how radically different are American republican pluralism and the Islamic law that jihadists worldwide are fighting in order to implement. In April 2008, the Pakistani jihadist group Lashkar-e-Islam offered a glimpse of their perfect society, as they set down a list of measures they planned to implement in the Khyber Agency, a Pakistani tribal area. Many of these would be features of any Sharia regime imposed upon a population that hitherto had not been governed by Islamic law.
These are not the fevered dreams of a fringe group. Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, is the foremost authority in Sunni Islam. The BBC has called Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh “the highest spiritual authority for nearly a billion Sunni Muslims.” Shortly after 9/11, the New York Times held up Al-Azhar as a beacon of Islamic moderation, saying that the institution “has sought to advise Muslims around the world that those who kill in the name of Islam are nothing more than heretics. It has sought to guide, to reassure Westerners against any clash of civilizations.”
- Enforce “a total ban on the sale of wine” as well as on gambling;
- Abolish “interest/usury in business transactions” (as numerous Sharia finance initiatives are already helping Muslims do in the West now);
- Ensure “that women are modestly dressed according to Islamic norms when attending school” (as Christian women have already been horse-whipped in Nigeria for not dressing properly according to Islamic standards);
- Ban wedding music as well as “celebratory firing into air”;
- Permit “only Islamic-style graves” (that is, graves that face Mecca, a practice that a British cemetery already began for all graves, Muslim and non-Muslim, in 2006 -- in a spirit of multiculturalist accommodation, of course);
- Forbid women from visiting a doctor or hospital without being accompanied by a male relative.
In 1991, Al-Azhar certified a manual of Islamic law as conforming “to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community.” That manual contains such laws as these:
Lashkar-e-Islam’s Mangal Bagh hopes such laws will spread all over the world: “Allah revealed the Koran, which was not sent for any one particular region of the world. It was revealed for all of humanity. We are out to spread Islam throughout the world.”
- “When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.”
- “Circumcision is obligatory…for both men and women.”
- “The husband may forbid his wife to leave the home.”
- “The caliph…makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians…until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax.”
That includes the United States. It may be unlikely that they will ever succeed, but there is no doubt that they are trying. Stealth jihadists are working energetically to wear away the very fabric of American culture, with the avowed goal of imposing Sharia here. It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that an America in which Sharia supremacists succeeded in their goal of making Islamic law as the supreme law of the land would look very different from the America of today -- to say nothing of the America of the Founding Fathers. The Second Amendment, of course, would be out the window: only Muslims could bear arms, not non-Muslim subjugated peoples.
Deep-sixed also would be the First Amendment -- a state religion would be established (Islam, of course) and freedom of speech curtailed. Last year there was revealed a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood sketching out the organization’s strategy in the United States, which emphasized that Brotherhood members “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
The existence of Sharia, and of the worldwide imperative to impose it on unwilling populations, should give Americans all the more reason this week to be grateful that we still have the Second Amendment.