ISIS murders captured Jordanian pilot. Update: fatwa issued justifying burning

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly

**Posted by Phineas

Lt. al Kasasibah at the moment of his execution

Lt. al Kasasibah at the moment of his execution

(Photo courtesy of The Long War Journal)

They burned him alive:

In what is perhaps its most brutal execution video to date, the Islamic State burned alive a Jordanian pilot who was captured in late December 2014 after his warplane was purportedly shot down over Syria.

The Islamic State murdered First Lieutenant Mu’adh Yusuf al Kasasibah, the Jordanian pilot, at the end of a lengthy 22-minute-long video that was released by the group today, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

“The video shows media footage of Jordan’s involvement in the U.S.-led coalition against IS [Islamic State] and then shows al Kasasibah discussing Jordan’s operations in a news-style monologue bearing a black eye,” according to a summary by SITE.

“Afterward, the video goes back and forth between shots of al Kasasibah surrounded by fighters and shots of aftermath of bombings. At the end of the video, al Kasasibah stands inside of a cage and is burned alive by fighters,” SITE noted.

Kasasibah, who is dressed in the same orange shirt and pants worn by other prisoners who have been executed by the Islamic State, cries out in horrible pain as he is burned alive.

Jordan has threatened to retaliate against jihadist prisoners in their custody, speaking up their trials and (presumably) their executions. In the politics of the Arab Middle East, they almost have to go through with this, or be seen as weak and unwilling to protect or take revenge for their own soldiers. That is not a good thing to have happen.

Jihad Watch points out something not mentioned in The Long War Journal’s article: the Islamic justification for this atrocity offered by ISIS. The video opens with a quote from Qur’an 9:14:

“Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you over them, heal the breasts of Believers.”

…a verse cited by other jihadists, including here in the US.

More germane, though, is the cited example of Muhammad himself, from the earliest biography of him, by ibn Ishaq in the 8th century:

…there is this story from Muhammad’s conquest of Khaybar: “Kinana b. al-Rabi`, who had the custody of the treasure of B. al-Nadir, was brought to the apostle [Muhammad -pf] who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came (T. was brought) to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle said to Kinana, ‘Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?’ he said Yes. The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam, ‘Torture him until you extract what he has,’ so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud.” (Ibn Ishaq 515).

In other words the man was burned alive to make him give up his tribe’s gold. Islam declares Muhammad to be the perfect man, whose words and deeds provide an example for all time. Thus ISIS could cite this story as precedent.

It would be nice if, for once, all these Islamic groups so concerned about their religion being misunderstood (CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, &c.) would preach publicly about why ISIS and other jihadists have it wrong, using citations from the Qur’an and hadiths to prove their case. Simply saying “we condemn this” is not enough, and, until they do, we have to assume that the self-proclaimed “caliph,” who is said to hold a PhD in Islamic Studies, may well know what he is talking about and that his followers are acting with his approval.

Is there no one who will stand up to ISIS and destroy these monsters?

In the meantime, God rest poor Lt. Kasasibah and his family.

UPDATE: From Raymond Ibrahim, word of a fatwa (a ruling in Islamic law) justifying the manner of the murder of Lt. Kasasibah. An excerpt from his analysis:

The main point of the fatwa is that “the Hanafis and Shafi‘is [two of Sunni Islam’s four orthodox schools of jurisprudence] permit burning” people. The fatwa also cites the tafsir, or exegesis, of Muhalab ibn Safra concerning a statement attributed to the prophet of Islam: “Fire does not punish them but Allah.” According to the tafsir, Muhammad’s assertion is not a ban on burning people but rather meant to demonstrate humility—pointing out that only Allah can truly torment.

Next the fatwa quotes Hafiz ibn al-Hajar who comments that “the deeds of the companions [of Muhammad] evince the permissibility of burning, and the prophet put out the eyes of the men of Urayna with heated iron, and Khalid bin al-Walid burned some of the people who apostatized.”

Again, if Muslim leaders in the West are concerned about their religion being misinterpreted, where are their learned criticisms when ISIS (or al Qaeda, or any other jihadist group) cites Islamic texts for the justifications?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz hoisted by her own petard

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz

‘Sorry, not sorry.’

And it was a beautiful thing. Via NBC News:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee, walked back comments she reportedly made about the dilution of the Jewish community.

The DNC is now walking back those comments, releasing this statement from Wasserman Schultz saying she does “not oppose intermarriage.”

“At an annual Jewish community event in my congressional district, I spoke about my personal connection to Judaism and in a larger context about the loss of Jewish identity and the importance of connecting younger generations to the institutions and values that make up our community. I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it,” the Florida Demorat said in a statement.

The conservative Daily Caller recently reported that Wasserman Schultz criticized Jewish intermarriages at an event last month in Florida.

From that DC piece:

The Florida congresswoman’s eye-opening comments came at a breakfast event held earlier this month at a south Florida branch of the Jewish Federation.

Previously unpublished audio of the event was obtained by The Shark Tank, a Florida-based political blog.

“We have the problem of assimilation. We have the problem of intermarriage,” Wasserman Schultz said after mentioning her husband, who she seemingly met through the Jewish Federation.

“We have the problem that too many generations of Jews don’t realize the importance of our institutions strengthening our community — particularly with the rise of antisemitism and global intolerance, which obviously we saw in horrific technicolor in just the last week in Paris.”

Wellll, she’s right about the rise of anti-Semitism and global intolerance towards Jewish people, but unfortunately she’ll never admit that her side of the aisle is the one that routinely perpetuates dangerous myths about Islamofascism and who the true aggressors really are in the global war on terror.

But her remarks on “the problem of intermarriage”? Wow – can you imagine if a Republican in her position had said anything remotely similar to that??

Moderate #NCDems try to take the state party back

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly
Moral Monday

At left, a Moral Monday protester. At right, Moral Monday ”spiritual leader” William Barber. Um, huh? (Photo via Don Carrington/Carolina Journal)

My latest at IJ Review is about how a new group of so-called “centrist” elected Democrats in the North Carolina state house have formed in an effort to show North Carolinians that not only are there still some pro-business Dems left in NC, but also that not the entire party has gone off the deep end. Their hope is to try and turn the party around to where they are winning elections again and are no longer alienating moderates and conservatives that used to be well within their ranks but who are becoming increasingly dissatisfied at some of the positions state and national Democrats have taken. Judging by how the “progressive” Moral Monday movement has taken hold (see photo above), I’d say their concerns about the direction of their party are well-founded.

I’ve talked about this for the last couple of years in how the “modern” version of the state Democrat party here has quickly turned into a state version of the national party, which hasn’t sat well with some long-time state Dems who see “their side” as veering too far off to the left. Will be interesting to see how this works out – and IF it will work, as “centrists” who have formed coalitions within various state and national arms of the Democrat party across the country in recent years haven’t had too much success.

Grab the popcorn ….

Welcome to tax season, now prepare to give your #Obamacare subsidy back

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

This item has been sitting in my files for a while (1), but, since we’re deep into tax season, it’s still relevant — especially so for people relying on that federal subsidy to help pay for their “affordable” health care:

As many as 3.4 million people who received Obamacare subsidies may owe refunds to the federal government, according to an estimate by a tax preparation firm.

H&R Block is estimating that as many as half of the 6.8 million people who received insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act benefited from subsidies that were too large, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“The ACA is going to result in more confusion for existing clients, and many taxpayers may well be very disappointed by getting less money and possibly even owing money,” the president of a tax preparation and education school told the Journal.

While the Affordable Care Act fines those who don’t have health insurance, it also provides subsidies for people making up to four times the federal poverty line ($46,680).

But the subsidies are based on past tax returns, so many people may be receiving too much, according to Vanderbilt University assistant professor John Graves, who projects the average subsidy is $208 too high, the Journal reports.

If, like a lot of people, you’re used to getting some sort of a refund, you probably already have an idea of how much you expect and how you plan to spend it. Imagine then how happy these many millions of people will be when they’re told they’re either getting less of a refund, or that they in fact owe money. And, on top of that, their subsidy for the next year will almost certainly be lower, so even more of their money will go to the insurance companies by force of law for coverage that probably isn’t as good as they had before, or at least isn’t what was promised.

That, my friends, is a recipe for angry voters. And, oh, there’s a presidential election warming up, too. Fancy that.

If anything good comes of this fiasco, it will probably be the hard-learned lesson that government is poorly equipped to do more than a certain few tasks and running a huge, massively complicated healthcare system isn’t among them.

Call it another “teachable moment.”

Footnote:
(1) Ancient by Internet standards — a whole month!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Who said it? “The past 6 years have been really, really hard for this country”

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly
VP Biden - SOTU

Captain Gaffetastic strikes again!
Photo via Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

If you guessed our VP Joe “Captain Gaffetastic” Biden, you’d be right (via Memeorandum):

Philadelphia, Pa. (CBS DC/AP) – Vice President Joe Biden told Democrats Friday that the past six years have been “really, really hard” for the country and the Democratic Party.

Speaking at the House Democratic Caucus retreat in Philadelphia Friday morning, Biden stressed that “really tough decisions” have faced both Democrats and the country as a whole.

“To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country,” said Biden.

“And they’ve been really tough for our party. Just ask [former DCCC chair] Steve [Israel],” continued Biden. “They’ve been really tough for our party. But together – and together — we made some really, really tough decisions — decisions that weren’t at all popular, hard to explain.”

Watch the video below:

Let’s predict which 2016 presidential contender will use this line first? If you think it’d be Hillary, you’d be wrong … remember, she and Joey B. worked together for the first few years of President Obama’s presidency. Now consider the possibilities if they BOTH run for president. Will other candidates on “their side” use the quote against either of them? Imagine the sparks that will fly … #popcorn

NC woman makes fool of herself in road rage video gone viral

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly

Road rage in NC

CAUGHT ON TAPE: North Carolinian Kristin Phillips, who made a fool of herself for the world to see.

Just say no to road rage, OK? It’s just not worth it.

Via MyFox8 in NC: Randleman road rage woman charged

Watch the video, filmed by the harassed woman on a cell phone that was mounted to the dash of her car. She had a child with her. The idiot woman in the other vehicle who got caught on camera has made national headlines. It’s embarrassing, stupid, pointless, solves nothing, and can get people hurt – or killed.

And for what?

Look, I’ve been at my wits end on the road here before behind someone acting like they’re taking a leisurely Saturday afternoon tour, or beside someone who revs their engine at the red light like “it’s on.”  Or someone riding my bumper like I’m sitting still. It’s annoying. Infuriating. Frustrating. All of the above.

But just take a deep breath and be the better person. Let it go and get home safely. If YOU don’t feel safe, call 911 and try to maintain a safe distance.

OK? That is all.

Hats – or headscarves – off to Michelle Obama

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly
Michelle Obama

President and First Lady Obama’s arrive in Riyadh 1/27/15. Photo via Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

This morning I find myself in the very rare position of being able to say I’m proud of our First Lady. Why? Read on:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — For first lady Michelle Obama, just a few hours in Saudi Arabia were enough to illustrate the stark limitations under which Saudi women live.

Joining President Barack Obama for a condolence visit after the death of the King Abdullah, Mrs. Obama stepped off of Air Force One wearing long pants and a long, brightly colored jacket — but no headscarf.

Under the kingdom’s strict dress code for women, Saudi females are required to wear a headscarf and loose, black robes in public. Most women in Saudi Arabia cover their hair and face with a veil known as the niqab. But covering one’s head is not required for foreigners, and some Western women choose to forego the headscarf while in Saudi Arabia.

As a delegation of dozens of Saudi officials — all men — greeted the Obamas in Riyadh, some shook hands with Mrs. Obama. Others avoided a handshake but acknowledged the first lady with a nod as they passed by.

The Washington Post reports that Mrs. Obama’s actions caused an uproar among Saudi women on social media:

Barack Obama was in Riyadh on Tuesday to pay his respects to the late Saudi King Abdullah. His visit, for which he cut short a much-hyped trip to India, underscores how important the U.S.-Saudi relationship remains to the American leadership. On social media, however, much of the attention has focused on something else: His wife’s attire.

[…]

More than 1,500 tweets using the hashtag #?????_??????_???? (roughly, #Michelle_Obama_immodesty) were sent Tuesday, many of which criticized the first lady. Some users pointed out that on a recent trip to Indonesia, Michelle had worn a headscarf. Why not in Saudi Arabia?

[…]

The response wasn’t entirely negative — Ahram Online notes that some Twitter users said Michelle shouldn’t be criticized too much, it being a short, impromptu trip and all. Saudi state television did show images of Michelle and her uncovered head, despite some claims that they had digitally obscured her (a widely circulated video with the first lady entirely blurred seems to have been an amateur production).

The headscarf thing wasn’t the only issue some Saudis took with the First Lady’s attire, as Josh Rogin with Bloomberg View notes:

The alleged blurring wasn’t the only controversy.  Some Arab media outlets criticized Michelle Obama for wearing a blue dress, rather than a black one.

Politico points out other First Ladies (and former First Ladies) have been known to throw aside the headscarf as well:

In 2011, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Abdullah in New York, she did not cover her face or hair. Nor did then-first lady Laura Bush during a 2006 visit with Abdullah in Saudi Arabia.

American women: Rebels, with a clue.  Sometimes. ;)

(Via Memeorandum)

#Hillary2016’s pre-campaign hires spark allegations of “white dudefest 2016″

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly
Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi

HIllary Clinton testifies on Benghazi. – January 2013

The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak has an unintentionally hilarious piece on the state of La Clinton’s “pre-campaign” hires and how the current “all-white, all-male” cast has Democrat strategists hitting the panic button:

Hillary Clinton’s pre-presidential campaign has made some high-profile hires recently—but all of them, so far, are white males. And Democrats have noticed.

Does Hillary Clinton need binders full of women?

Some Democrats, particularly women and people of color, think so.

In interviews with The Daily Beast, nearly a dozen Democrats, said they were worried Clinton’s hires for the top echelons of her pre-campaign haven’t taken gender and racial diversity into account.

Their concern started after early leaks about heavy hitters recruited for the likely 2016 presidential candidate’s proto-campaign all had two distinct things in common: they were white and male.

“Democrats need a leader that can bring together races and nationalities, especially now and especially to win. That starts at the top of the campaign, and Hillary Clinton will need to demonstrate that level of commitment to set the right tone and strategy going forward” said Aimee Allison, senior VP at PowerPAC+, a group founded by major Democratic donor Steve Phillips to build the “political power of the multiracial majority.”

The situation is altogether more jarring, several Democrats interviewed said, when one considers 2008 Hillary’s campaign manager was Patti Solis Doyle, the first Hispanic woman to manage a presidential campaign.

One operative quipped that the top levels of the campaign are in danger of looking like “white dudefest 2016.”

And it gets even better. Read on:

The Democrats who spoke to The Daily Beast didn’t want to be named for a variety of reasons: some were trying to land campaign positions in the 2016 election cycle, or their bosses are expected to support Hillary, or they feared retribution and wanted to speak freely.

The frustrations over racial and gender diversity are especially acute among those staffers who worked on the most recent Obama campaign. Many of them found that women and minority staffers were not elevated to the very top rungs of the campaign structure—nor did they receive nearly enough credit for its eventual success.

One post-campaign retrospective from Rolling Stone drew particular ire—it pointed out ten of the Obama campaign’s ‘real heroes,’ nine of whom were men.

The question of diversity Clinton could face was handled improperly by Obama in the last election cycle, said a strategist who worked on the president’s reelection campaign.

“On these historic campaigns, where you’re trying to change the very image of what the word ‘president’ evokes, what you think of when you think of the word ‘president,’ the leadership was pretty male, pretty white,” she said.

Not exactly a surprise when you consider the White House won’t even practice what it preaches when it comes to one of their pet issues: “equal pay.” As always, it’s “do as I say and not as I do” with Democrats – no matter the issue, really.

And related to “Hillary 2016″ talk, Mike Allen at Politico has a good read on her (predicted) future political plans, and talked to numerous Democrats “close to the Clintons” who say she will officially launch her second campaign for President in April and that massive preparation is underway in advance of the expected announcement.  The article also says Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), long speculated to be running and who could have quite possibly been Hillary’s toughest competition in the primaries, “is making no behind-the-scenes preparations” – so apparently Warren was serious when she said she had no plans to run.

As they say, stay tuned, because there’s never a dull moment when it comes to the Clinton political machine … nor the media’s love/hate relationship with Bill and Hill.

Journalism Dean: “There are limits to free speech”

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly

**Posted by Phineas

freespeech

It’s a measure of how craven and corrupt our political culture has become that even the Dean of a journalism school in a nation founded on free speech and freedom of the press should say “there are limits, however:”

Charlie Hebdo has gone too far.

In its first publication following the Jan. 7 attack on its Paris office, in which two Muslim gunmen massacred 12 people, the once little-known French satirical news weekly crossed the line that separates free speech from toxic talk.

Charlie Hebdo’s latest depiction of the prophet Mohammed — a repeat of the very action that is thought to have sparked the murderous attack on its office — predictably has given rise to widespread violence in nations with large Muslim populations. Its irreverence of Mohammed once moved the French tabloid to portray him naked in a pornographic pose. In another caricature, it showed Mohammed being beheaded by a member of the Islamic State.

While free speech is one of democracy’s most important pillars, it has its limits.

So says DeWayne Wickham, Dean of the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Wayne State University. In a very limited sense, he’s right: I cannot go yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater (1), for example (2). Nor can I incite to violence by, for example, standing before a crowd and telling them to go now and beat up a certain person or persons.

But that’s it. All other political speech is within bounds, regardless of whom it offends. You cannot have a free society unless the it includes the right to freely criticize those in authority — and not just criticize, but to satirize and mock, too. If I as a Catholic want to question Original Sin and the need for Divine Grace, or that Jesus was not Divine until adopted by God, then the Church might well denounce me as a heretic and excommunicate me, but the law cannot punish me for my beliefs, nor should I fear physical violence. If I want to be truly outrageous and place the Crucifix in a beaker of urine, I would be a jackass, but I still should not have to fear either legal sanction nor physical violence.

And the same is true of any religion. If I want to question Muhammad’s status as a prophet, or even if he existed at all; if I want to argue that his earliest biography shows he was a bandit, a warlord, and a torturer; and if I want to criticize Sharia, Islam’s divine law, for calling for the execution of homosexuals, that is my right as a free man — even if I want to draw questionably funny satirical cartoons.

This is the right of any human being and well-within the “limits” of free speech.

Let’s be honest. It’s not a regard for the proper limits of free speech that motivates Mr. Wickham. If he or one of his students offended some Amish who then complained, I’m willing to bet he’d be on his soapbox screaming about “free speech” and “freedom of the press.”

And that leads us to the truth. Amish might shun you. Catholics won’t invite you to Bingo Night. A Buddhist would probably just decide you’re an annoying illusion and don’t really exist.

But all too many Muslims would be quite willing to kill you for insulting their Muhammad. Just ask the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, or Theo van Gogh.

The limit to Dean Wickham’s freedom of speech is his fear of punishment, and thus he is not free at all.

via Michael Walsh

PS: It’s great to see ST back in business. :)

Footnote:
(1) Popehat argues there are serious flaws with that particular justification for censorship.
(2) When it’s not true, that is.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Headline of the Day

FacebookTwitterPrintFriendly
Walmart

This happened.

Oh. My.

Man shopping for coffee creamer at Walmart attacked by vigilante for carrying gun he was legally permitted to have

Clarence Daniels had just crossed the threshold of Walmart’s front doors on Tuesday, in search of coffee creamer for his wife, when the gun in hip holster gave a well-intentioned vigilante the idea he was up to something more sinister.

From the Walmart parking lot at 11110 Causeway Boulevard, Michael Foster, 43, of Lithia had watched Daniels, 62, take from his car the handgun — for which he holds a concealed carry permit — and place it on his hip underneath his coat, Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies reported.

As Daniels entered the store, a label for the coffee creamer in his pocket in case he forgot the brand, Foster tackled him to the ground and placed him in a choke hold, sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said.

“He’s got a gun!” deputies said Foster shouted.

“I have a permit!” Daniels yelled back multiple times, McKinnon said.

The men struggled and were separated until law enforcement arrived on scene just before noon. Foster was arrested and charged with battery.

Oh – and liberals have naturally latched on to the supposed “racial” angle in this story. The CCWP holder is black. The guy who tackled him in the Walmart is white.

Happened in Brandon, FL. Full story and video here.