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Archive → April 14th, 2017

Why ISIS Declared War on Egypt’s Christians

The group has been exporting Iraq-style sectarian tactics to the Arab world’s most populous country.

The aftermath of an explosion that took place at a Coptic church on Sunday in Tanta, EgyptMohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

The aftermath of an explosion that took place at a Coptic church on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt

Four months after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 28 Christian worshipers in Cairo, the group struck Egypt’s Christians again—this time with a double church bombing on Palm Sunday that left at least 44 dead and scores injured. The attacks, only hours apart, targeted a church in the Delta city of Tanta as well as a church in Alexandria where Coptic Pope Tawadros II was leading a service. It was the single deadliest day of violence directed against the Middle East’s largest Christian community in decades.

When the ISIS claim of responsibility came within hours of the attacks, it wasn’t a surprise. For months, the Islamic State has been accelerating the import of Iraq-style sectarian tactics to Egypt. In doing so, the group hopes to destabilize the Middle East’s most populous country and expand the reach of its by now clearly genocidal project for the region’s minorities.

Egyptian authorities have thus far been unable to keep up with this escalating threat. This may be largely due to their own incompetence, but it also reflects the increasing sophistication of ISIS assets directed at Egypt. As the group goes on the defensive elsewhere, mainland Egypt is too attractive a potential front in its jihad to pass up. It appears that the group is now focusing more time, resources, and most importantly ISIS talent on Egypt, making the situation likely to worsen in the future.

Targeting Egypt’s Christians is a cold and calculated strategy for the group. ISIS hopes that inflaming sectarian strife in Egypt will be the first step in the country’s unraveling. Several explosions have rocked Cairo and the Delta since 2013, carried out by both ISIS and its precursor group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which pledged its allegiance to Raqqa in 2014. Yet despite this, Islamic State efforts had before now largely floundered in mainland Egypt—where nearly 97 percent of the population resides—due in part to the strength of the central government, the amateur nature of Islamic State assets, and perhaps most importantly, the relative cohesiveness of Egyptian society. The group has fared much better in the remote North Sinai, where it has killed over a thousand government troops in recent years, but the area is simply too far away from Cairo to constitute an existential threat to the government.

And so, although the Palm Sunday attacks were hardly the first time Egypt’s Christians were targeted by jihadis, Islamists, or even ordinary Muslim mobs, they represent a sea change in the nature of the threat Egypt’s Christians now face, with far-reaching implications for the country as a whole.

ISIS has taken the radical step of positing that Christians are to Egypt what the Shia are to Iraq, embracing the position that they can be killed indiscriminately and for no reason other than for what they believe. Since the December 2016 Cairo church bombing, the group’s supporters online have been forcefully pushing this notion, claiming that the Christians of Egypt were first and foremost polytheists and that due to the “treachery” they had showed, by presumably “allying” with the West and the Egyptian government, they had to be killed.

Egyptian ISIS supporters launched an online “Campaign to Surveil Egypt’s Apostates” in order to crowdsource targeting information; they produced crudely made “wanted dead” posters to urge supporters to take action. A glimpse of the possible implications was on display last February, when hundreds of Christians in North Sinai fled their homes in panic after seven Christians were brutally murdered by IS fighters.

The strategy is in reality not the result of an ideological revision inside ISIS. And its implementation has serious repercussions for Egypt’s security, and if successful, for regional stability. For years members of the group, and jihadis in general, have struggled with the important question of why jihad has failed in mainland Egypt. The question is fundamental for the group not only because of Egypt’s size, but also because it tests whether the jihadi project can succeed in countries not already torn by civil war or hopelessly destabilized.

One 2014 jihadi “study” by an ISIS ideologue, Abu Mawdud al-Harmasy, is instructive. Titled “The Secret of The Egyptian Enigma,” the author first laments that Egyptian Muslims are like cattle for not understanding “the reality of the struggle,” before offering his “keys for jihadi success.” Among them is “sectarian killing of Christians” in order to inflame certain rural areas, and “most importantly targeting directly every Christian without exceptions.” He goes on to say that inflaming sectarian strife will be the key to “revealing the reality of the conflict and [inciting] the latent feelings of the Muslims towards their [Christian] creed;” to him, only after targeting minorities happened in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen did jihad take hold in those places. The author concludes with this exhortation: “Do not leave any infidel Christian in Egypt until you threatened their life.” In recent months in Egypt ISIS has also begun to take a similar tone toward Sufis, who constitute a large share of Muslims in Egypt, North Africa, and elsewhere, decapitating two Sufi clerics in Sinai and forcing others to “repent.”

It is unlikely that this strategy will succeed the way ISIS envisions in Egypt, but the attempt to implement it will leave a trail of destruction that will primarily devastate Egypt’s Christian minority. The group’s genocidal program may perhaps backfire as it did for their jihadi predecessors of the 1980s and 1990s, whose wanton killing of civilians dried up any base of popular support. But as the ISIS ideologue al-Harmasy hints, there is deep-rooted sectarianism in Egyptian society that has been fanned by Islamists for decades, to which government policies have also contributed. Egypt, like many other states in the region, still enforces blasphemy laws, places discriminatory restrictions on the building of churches, and fails to prosecute sectarian offenders, while Islamists continue to spew hate against minorities unchecked. Sectarianism wouldn’t have worked so well for ISIS in Egypt, or elsewhere before it, had the group not found an ideological context where its radical ideas could thrive.

Source: Will County News

News From on Gun Rights April 8, 2017

NRA-ILA: Institute for Legislative Action

NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS VOLUME 24, NUMBER 14

Freedom Wins! Pro-Second Amendment Judge Will Join U.S. Supreme Court
NEWS
Freedom Wins! Pro-Second Amendment Judge Will Join U.S. Supreme Court
On Friday, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Neil M. Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch’s nomination was heavily backed by the NRA, both because of the pro-Second Amendment views expressed in his judicial writings and his originalist approach to jurisprudence. Justice Antonin Scalia exemplified originalism in his landmark Heller opinion in 2008 that recognized the Second Amendment protects an individual right grounded in the principle of self-defense.
West Virginia Congressman Introduces Important Pro-Gun Legislation
LEGAL & LEGISLATION  NEWS  SECOND AMENDMENT
West Virginia Congressman Introduces Important Pro-Gun Legislation
On Thursday, Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) introduced the “Protecting the Second Amendment Act,” H.R. 1976. This legislation would amend the Gun Control Act (GCA) to permanently prohibit executive actions like the Southwestern Border states’ rifle sales reporting initiative launched under the Obama administration. The bill states that no federal firearm licensee (FFL) could be subject to any generalized or ongoing reporting requirement based on the FFL’s geographic location or on sales of multiple long guns.
Canadian Gun Controllers Adopt Misleading Tactic on Children and Firearms
NEWS  SECOND AMENDMENT
Canadian Gun Controllers Adopt Misleading Tactic on Children and Firearms
The U.S. and Canada share much, not the least of which are a common colonial heritage and a robust appreciation for the outdoors. Unfortunately, it appears Canadian public health researchers and gun control advocates share a regrettable distinction with their U.S. counterparts; a willingness to use misleading statistics on childhood firearms-related injuries to advance an anti-gun agenda.
Firearms Purchases Still Trending Up
NEWS  SECOND AMENDMENT
Firearms Purchases Still Trending Up
We’ve covered – and debunked – the claims that firearms sales are significantly declining under the Trump Administration.  The latest FBI report on NICS checks for March 2017 should help put any lingering claims about the “Trump Slump” to bed.
NRA-ILA Grassroots State of the Union
NEWS  TAKE ACTION
NRA-ILA Grassroots State of the Union
Join NRA-ILA Grassroots Director Glen Caroline during NRA’s Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia, for a FREE briefing on NRA-ILA’s grassroots successes in the 2016 elections and how those lessons learned can be applied to defending your rights moving ahead.  Glen will also be discussing modifications & improvements to NRA-ILA’s Grassroots programs to better meet the needs of today’s Second Amendment activists.
Attend NRA-ILA Collegiate Leadership Conference in Atlanta!
NEWS  TAKE ACTION
Attend NRA-ILA Collegiate Leadership Conference in Atlanta!
All college students and recent graduates are welcome to join NRA-ILA Grassroots staff for our third annual Collegiate Leadership Conference during NRA’s Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia (admission is FREE). In addition to Grassroots staff, attendees will hear from a panel of pro-gun student activists who will share their successes in organizing in support of the Second Amendment on campus. Participants will also have the chance to network with other students, build a regional activism plan, and talk with NRA-ILA staff about job opportunities.
Attend Firearms Law Seminar in Atlanta
NEWS  GUN LAWS  SECOND AMENDMENT
Attend Firearms Law Seminar in Atlanta
The Annual National Firearms Law Seminar will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017 as part of the NRA Annual Meetings. The gold standard in firearms law classes, this day-long seminar provides legal instruction for attorneys and all others interested in Second Amendment law. CLE credit for all states is available.

VIDEOS

Chris W. Cox: NRA's Message to the Mainstream Media
Chris W. Cox: NRA’s Message to the Mainstream Media
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox delivers a message to the members of the mainstream media: The NRA will expose your attempts to use the First Amendment to destroy the Second Amendment. Cox also comments on the NRA’s recent victory in the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Why The Media Is Failing
Why The Media Is Failing
Wayne LaPierre explains why the news media has never been less trusted, less credible or less respected. If the fate of freedom had rested in their hands, our nation would have fallen long ago. Instead, Americans placed their faith with the most trusted defender of individual freedom in American history. The National Rifle Association of America is Freedom’s Safest Place.
NRA-ILA Leadership Forum
NRA-ILA Leadership Forum
NRA-ILA’s annual Leadership Forum is one of the most politically significant and popular events in the country, featuring our nation’s top Second Amendment leaders in government, the media, and the entertainment industry. The Forum is also a must-stop for candidates seeking the highest levels of elected office – including governor, congressman, Senator, or President of the United States.
Get your tickets for the The 146th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia
Get your tickets for the The 146th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia
The 146th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta, Georgia will be attended by over 80,000 patriots, feature 800+ exhibitors, and include a jam-packed schedule of seminars, workshops, special events and celebrity meet and greets! You don’t want to miss out on this exciting celebration of freedom.
Join us for the 11th annual Women's Leadership Forum and Luncheon
Join us for the 11th annual Women’s Leadership Forum and Luncheon
Connected by their commitment to freedom, women from all walks of life come together at the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum Luncheon & Auction. The Women’s Leadership Forum is a coalition of philanthropic women united with the mission of infusing new enthusiasm, new excitement, new leaders and new opportunities into the fight for Second Amendment freedoms. Please join the Women’s Leadership Forum Co-Chairs Susan LaPierre and Janet Nyce for an exciting day of auctions, food and entertainment. Held on Friday, April 28 at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, the 11th Annual Women’s Leadership Forum Luncheon & Auction will be the best event yet!
NRA Country Jam: Story Behind the Song
NRA Country Jam: Story Behind the Song
NRA Country is known for delivering great country music entertainment, and this year will not disappoint! Come hear Chris Janson, Josh Thompson, Lindsay Ell, and Cary Barlowe tell the stories behind their songs, and get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a songwriter in Nashville.

STATE GRASSROOTS ROUND-UP

California California
California: “Shall Issue” Legislation Defeated in Committee
Florida Florida
Florida Action Report! 6 Wins for Gun Owners on Wednesday 4/5-7/2017
Nevada Nevada
Free NRA-ILA Grassroots Meetings in Nevada

Source: Will County News

Illinois Democrats Line Up to Run for Governor Written by John Biver From IFA

Illinois Democrats Line Up to Run for Governor

Written by John Biver  From IFA

Twenty months is a long time in politics. Like it or not, here in Illinois, that is how long the campaign for governor will be. In November 2018, Illinoisans will once again be going to the polls to elect or re-elect someone to run the executive branch — and that race is already underway. There are five Democrats who have announced their candidacy, and several more are rumored to be considering a run.

On the Republican side, it is assumed that Republican Governor Bruce Rauner will stand for reelection. And as of yet he doesn’t appear to have any primary challengers. If Rauner is the GOP nominee, the election will obviously be a referendum on his leadership. With the continuing budget and fiscal crisis in Illinois, Rauner has a lot of work to do to regain the trust of the voters.

Headlines such as this are common these days: “Rauner job-approval rating hits record low.”

Rauner and his fellow Republicans have spent the last two years making the very public case that Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) is the problem. The real problem, however, is that though Mike Madigan’s approval ratings are worse than Rauner’s, Madigan isn’t running for governor.

Who is running? In alphabetical order, here are the declared Democratic candidates:

  • Daniel Biss of Evanston, math teacher, former state representative, currently a state senator.
  • Bob Daiber of Marine, former teacher, current Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools.
  • Chris Kennedy of Kenilworth, a real estate investor, former Chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and member of the Kennedy family.
  • Alex Paterakis of Vernon Hills, civil engineer and business owner.
  • Ameya Pawar of Chicago, where he is an alderman.

Among those also considering a run:

  • Robin Kelly (D-Chicago) U.S. Representative from the 2nd Congressional District.
  • J. B. Pritzker, billionaire venture capitalist, philanthropist and attorney from Chicago.
  • Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) State Senator from the 13th Senate District.

In this article we’ll introduce state State Senator Daniel Biss. Future articles will introduce the other candidates listed above.

State Senator Daniel Biss

Daniel Biss is young — only 39. He lives in Evanston with his wife and two children. He holds degrees from Harvard and MIT, and has taught math at the University of Chicago. He served a term in the Illinois state house before moving to the senate in 2013.

Biss has been a critic of both Governor Rauner and Speaker Madigan. The Rauner criticism is to be expected. The Chicago Tribune’s Rick Pearson reported some of what Biss has said about Madigan:

Asked directly in a Facebook question about Madigan, who is Rauner’s chief political nemesis, Biss sought to create some distance from the House speaker, who also chairs the state Democratic Party.

“I’ve been clear for a long time that Madigan’s been there too long,” Biss said. Madigan has been speaker for 32 of the past 34 years. Biss noted that he early on sponsored a measure to limit how long a legislative leader can serve.

At the same time, Biss said focusing on clashing personalities in Springfield such as Madigan and Rauner helps obscure the need for a comprehensive plan to restore Illinois’ economy and finances.

On the latter note, Biss has been published in academic journals such as the Annals of Mathematics. Might someone who understands math be just what Illinois needs to fix the fiscal mess? A statement announcing his candidacy included this:

“Daniel isn’t a millionaire or part of any political machine. As a math professor and legislator, Daniel has spent his career finding solutions to complex problems.”

Spending too much money and over-promising lavish benefits and pensions for public sector workers isn’t complex, but it is a math problem. While understanding mathematics is not the same as understanding economics, it can be helpful.

In the video on his homepage, Biss says that Illinois’ fiscal problems are solvable. We get more than a hint about his “big idea” solution: “millionaires and billionaires are not paying their fair share – so the burden is shifted to the rest of us” … “it’s time to make the billionaires pay.”

After reading that, few will be surprised to learn that according to news reports, Biss is competing for votes in the “progressive wing” of the Democratic Party. We all know what that means: he’s all in on the radical left-wing Democratic Party Platform.

“We’re building a movement more powerful than money and the machine,” his website says, “Join us.”

Feel the Bern?

Also from his website:

“People across Illinois are hurting, and it’s time to be honest about why. For too long, the rich, special interests and political insiders have made decisions about us, without us. They have set up a system that benefits them, and the rest of us are paying the price.”

Earlier this year, Senator Biss introduced a resolution condemning the temporary refugee order signed by President Donald Trump, calling it “cruel, unnecessary, and bigoted…”.  Biss’ resolution also called Trump’s temporary ban “malicious and arbitrary.”

During the previous session of the Illinois General Assembly (2015-2016), Senator Biss voted to support legislation to force pro-life medical workers to give referrals to abortion providers (SB 1564), and he also voted to support legislation censoring professional therapists from counseling minors who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender confusion (HB 217).

In 2013, Senator Biss voted to support legislation to redefine marriage (SB 10), to legalize “medical” marijuana (HB 1), and to mandate that public schools, grades 6-12 teach “comprehensive sex education.”  To his credit, however, he did vote against gambling expansion and a Chicago casino in 2013.

Recently, Senator Biss applauded legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois, saying:

It’s the right criminal justice policy, it’s right from the point of view of fairness, and it’s right for the state’s bottom line.

The state senate seat that Daniel Biss holds is up for reelection in 2018, so he will have to choose which office to run for as the filing deadlines approach later this year.

Source: Will County News

Trump News April 14, 2017

The White House 

FEATURED
President Trump's Weekly Address
WHITE HOUSE MEMO
This is a season of hope for millions of Americans. This week, Jewish families celebrate Passover and retell the story of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people. This Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the promise of eternal salvation. America is a Nation of believers. As long as we have faith in each other, and trust in God, we will succeed!
OVAL OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS
President Donald J. Trump meets with I-85 bridge first responders.
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President Trump signs H.J.Res. 67 into law.
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President Trump signs H.J.Res. 43 into law.
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WHITE HOUSE UPDATES
Photo of the Day:

Spring flowers outside the South Portico of the White House on April 12th, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead).
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Retweet

President Trump Welcomes NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg to the White House.
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PRESS ROOM
Watch yesterday’s press briefing with Sean Spicer:

Read Transcript
NEWS REPORTS
  • Daily Signal: “Hefty Drop in Border Arrests a Credit to Trump’s Enforcement of US Law”
    Read More
  • The Hill: “EPA head: Obama created false choice ‘between jobs and the environment’”
    Read More

Source: Will County News