Crossroads in History: The Struggle against Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies

In fighting Islamic supremacism, instead of an approach only based on tactical measures and efforts at clever twists of terminology, what if America had a true strategy that was instead based on the defense of our values on human equality and liberty?

The true challenge of Islamic supremacism to America and the free world is not about Islam, Islamism, or terrorism, but about us. It is a historic challenge to determine whether we truly have the courage of our convictions on equality and liberty and we are willing to fight for these ideals, or if we will instead accept the continuing growth of anti-freedom ideologies here and around the world.

Islamic supremacists are counting on their belief that America is no longer willing to fight for such freedoms, that it has gotten too soft to do so, and that regardless of the success or failure of individual Jihadist tactics, eventually we will tolerate a continued growth of Islamic supremacism. The crossroads in history that we stand at remains whether or not we will prove Islamic supremacists correct, or if the idea defined in our very Declaration of Independence and chiseled in a marble memorial in America’s capital – that “all men are created equal” – is an idea that America will once again sacrifice to defend.

America and the West are at a critical crossroads in history in their faltering struggle with Islamic supremacist ideologies and Jihadist terror tactics. Increasingly, groups seek to halt any meaningful debate and halt any challenge to the ideology behind Jihad, and they seek to redirect such debate and action to focus only on the terrorist symptoms of such a supremacist ideology. Such diversionary efforts are being made by non-violent Islamic supremacist groups and activists, government officials, academics, and media commentators. The solution to this can be found in recognizing how Islamic supremacism (as any supremacist ideology) is opposed to our values, and in understanding America’s historical experience in defeating other supremacist ideologies.

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Religious Persecution (Algeria)

Four Algerians who converted to Christianity have been condemned to prison and heavy fines, while two others were set free after renouncing their conversion.

The defence lawyer said the four were charged with “illegally practicing a non-Muslim faith,” the French news agency AFP reported.

Attorney Khelloudja Khalfoun said one of the converts was sentenced to six months in prison and fined USD3,087, while the other three were sentenced to two months in prison and fined USD1,544 each.

The four converts, who were condemned by a court in Tiaret, refused to deny their faith, in contrast with the two others who were freed. Kheloudja told AFP that he would appeal the verdict, since only the ones who admitted they had converted were found guilty.

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Gambia To Behead Homosexuals?

Gay rights activists have condemned Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s threat to behead homosexuals.

Last week he told a political rally that gay people had 24 hours to leave the country.

He promised “stricter laws than Iran” on homosexuality and said he would “cut off the head” of any gay person found in The Gambia.

Carey Johnson of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Council said the comments were “disgraceful”.

“What president Jammeh fails to realise is that there are a significant population of Gambians who are gay, and he has no right to ask them to leave,” Mr Johnson said.

The speech was “doubly disgraceful” because The Gambia is the host country for the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, he said.

Mr Johnson said the speech, part of President Jammeh’s 13-day tour of the country, was an attempt to scapegoat gay people and blame them for the country’s ills.

“He’s fighting to maintain his control over the country, he finds the weakest group and lays all the problems at their door,” Mr Johnson said.

‘History of homophobia’

“The Gambia is a country of believers… sinful and immoral practices [such] as homosexuality will not be tolerated in this country,” the president told a crowd at a political rally on May 15.

“Jammeh has a long history of homophobia,” said British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.

“If he tries to carry out these threats, international aid donors are likely to withdraw their support, and foreign tourists will stay away in droves, thereby damaging the Gambian economy,” he added.

Correspondents say a number of homosexual men have fled to The Gambia from neighbouring Senegal after a crackdown there following arrests at a “gay wedding” in February.

Both countries are predominantly Muslim and President Jammeh cultivates an image of being a devout Muslim.

In February last year, he was condemned by campaigners when he claimed to have cured people of HIV and Aids.

His “cure” was a mixture of herbs that patients ate and spread on their bodies.