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IRAN STILL CHANTING ‘DEATH TO AMERICA’

By Arnold Ahlert

There’s nothing quite like the astonishment of progressives whenever their profound and enduring ignorance of human nature is thrust in upon them. And so it is with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his reaction to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s speech last Saturday. It was a speech during which the Supreme Leader reminded the world the hostility that exists between his nation and the United States is not about to be extinguished by the nuclear arms agreement.

“Whether the deal is approved or disapproved, we will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon,” said Khamenei following prayers that marked the end of Ramadan. “Even after this deal, our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change. We don’t have any negotiations or deal with the U.S. on different issues in the world or the region.” The ayatollah further insisted U.S. policies in the Middle East were “180 degrees” out of phase with those of his nation. Adding some “color” to Khamenei’s delivery on state television were audience members chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

Kerry was taken aback. “I don’t know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that’s his policy,” he said during an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya News. “But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it’s very disturbing, it’s very troubling, and we’ll have to wait and see. … We are not kidding when we talk about the importance of pushing back against extremism, against support for terrorism and proxies who are destabilizing other countries. It’s unacceptable.”

Pushing back against extremism? The Iranian deal bankrolls extremism, freeing up as much as $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets as soon as sanctions are lifted, a move that was virtually assured by the unanimous 15-0 vote of approval by the United Nations Security Council on Monday. Thus Iran will have plenty of money to fund its surrogate partners such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Our equally out of touch National Security adviser Susan Rice admitted as much in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, but insisted that “for the most part” Iran will spend the unfrozen money on the “Iranian people and their economy which has tanked.”…

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John Kerry Should Ask President Morsi About Genital Mutilation

by David P. Goldman

If the State Department wants to advance the rights of Egyptian women, why not ask President Mohammed Morsi to support a ban on female genital mutilation, a horrific form of violence perpetrated on more than 90% of Egyptian women, according to the World Health Organization? The point of the mutilation is to destroy a woman’s capacity for sexual pleasure the better to ensure her marital fidelity. Deposed President Mubarak and his wife campaigned against it: not so President Morsi. As the blog “An Arab Citizen” reported last year:

Speaking now on Egypt’s CBC Channel in a “meet your presidential candidate” type of event, the FJP/MB’s Mohammed Morsy was asked by a female doctor and panelist what he thought about recent calls to apparently “revise” the law banning FGM/Female Circumcision in Egypt. The candidate embarked on a long and vague answer which left a few, including the doctor herself, uncertain to a considerable extent as to his concise statement of position. But most of the people I have spoken to agree that the candidate seems to be suggesting that it should be the prerogative of the family to decide if they want their daughter to undergo it or not. When pressed further, he said it was not the role of the president to be involved in such details.

The Mubarak government banned the practice in June 2007, to little effect. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi refused to support the ban. The most prominent Muslim Brotherhood cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, defended a surreal “moderate” position of removing part but not all of the clitoris in a fatwa published on the website Islam Online:

The most moderate opinion and the most likely one to be correct is in favor of practicing circumcision in the moderate Islamic way indicated in some of the Prophet’s hadiths—even though such hadiths are not confirmed to be authentic. It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to a midwife: “Reduce the size of the clitoris but do not exceed the limit, for that is better for her health and is preferred by husbands.” The hadith indicates that circumcision is better for a woman’s health and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband. It’s noteworthy that the Prophet’s saying “do not exceed the limit” means do not totally remove the clitoris.

There is no greater right than the right not to be killed or mutilated, as 90% of Egyptian women have been. Is there a more heinous or systematic violation of human rights anywhere in the world than the genital mutilation of tens of millions of women? And is there a more revolting example of human rights violation in the name of religion than the declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leading authority, Sheikh Qaradawi? Why doesn’t Secretary Kerry say something about this? And why don’t American feminists demand that he raise the issue? Does cultural sensitivity trump the most fundamental right of women?….

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