Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayJune 8, 20179min292

The slaughter of 22 concert-goers in Manchester May 22 was followed four days later by the murder of 29 Christians traveling by bus to a monastery in the desert south of Cairo. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks. In an internet video, a masked spokesman denounced the victims — many of them teenage girls, fans of pop singer Ariana Grande — as “crusaders.” As for Egyptian Christians, also known as Copts, they have been described in other Islamic State videos as “our favorite prey.”


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayMay 11, 20178min444

“I believe that God has planted in every heart the desire to live in freedom.” So said President George W. Bush in 2004. Leave for another day the debate over whether such a belief is more hopeful than realistic. What we do know: Tyrants and terrorists around the world are persecuting, torturing and slaughtering those whose hearts do desire freedom — even the most basic.


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayApril 6, 201711min354

“The Kafir’s Blood Is Halal For You, So Shed it.” That’s just one of the catchier headlines in a recent issue of Rumiyah, a slick online magazine published by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL. A “kafir,” of course, is a non-Muslim. “Halal” means religiously permissible. As for Rumiyah, that’s Arabic for Rome, one of the Christian capitals that the leaders of the Islamic State hope to conquer. (The other great Christian capital, Constantinople, fell to soldiers of the caliphate in 1453. It’s now called Istanbul.)


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayFebruary 16, 201710min365

Al Qaeda does not value diversity and it’s not an equal opportunity employer. The same can be said of the Islamic State. And when the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran want to commit an act of terrorism — the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, to take just one example — they are likely to give the assignment to members of Hezbollah, a radical Islamic group of the Shia persuasion. They are highly unlikely to recruit Unitarians, Mormons or Baha’i. This is an uncomfortable reality for all of us but especially for the millions of moderate Muslims who are not our enemies and the smaller number of reformist Muslims who are our most valuable allies in the war that must be fought against ideologies that are supremacist, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist, anti-LGBT, anti-women, anti-freedom, anti-democratic — I could go on.


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayFebruary 2, 20178min404

In an inaugural address that was more purposeful than poetic, President Trump last Friday vowed to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.” I hope we can agree, across party and ideological lines, that those are worthwhile objectives. But let’s acknowledge, too, that achieving them will require a much more strenuous and strategic effort than previous administrations have undertaken. The least likely place for uniting nations: the United Nations, an organization that has never managed even to define terrorism. A few U.N. members fight terrorism day after day (e.g. Egypt, Jordan, Israel). Others, however, condone and even sponsor it (e.g. Iran). The U.N. includes representatives of both the civilized and uncivilized worlds, and cannot be said to prefer one over the other.


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayJanuary 5, 201710min308

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is, as its name suggests, an organization committed to jihad — against Israel most urgently, though not exclusively. So when the U.N. Security Council on Dec. 23 passed a resolution condemning Israel, PIJ spokesman Dawood Shihab was pleased. He called it a “victory.” He wasn’t wrong. Nor was Fawzy Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, another organization openly committed to Israel’s extermination, as well as to “a jihadi revolution” that will be a “prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic caliphate.” He called the resolution an “important evolution in international positions.” He expressed Hamas’ “appreciation.” Most deserving of their gratitude is Barack Obama who decided to spend his last days in office playing golf in Hawaii and throwing America’s most reliable ally to the wolves at the U.N., an organization that exhibits passivity when it comes to the ongoing carnage in Syria, the genocide of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the broader Middle East, the conflict in Yemen, failing states — the list goes on and on.


Cliff_May_02-high_res-e1455772348388.jpg

Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayDecember 15, 20169min374

One man, one vote, one time: In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority. He hasn’t bothered to run for re-election since. He also is president of Fatah, a political movement with past ties to terrorism and the dominant faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PLO was founded in 1964 — three years before Israelis were in Gaza or the West Bank. Mr. Abbas is chairman of the PLO, too. What all this means is that despite Mr. Abbas’ declining popularity — two-thirds of Palestinians would like him to resign, according to a recent poll — no one has been able to successfully challenge his power on the West Bank.


AP16318806132288-1-e1480832450633.jpg

Tom RamstackTom RamstackDecember 5, 201612min382

Colorado’s Democratic Party delegation to Congress is joining critics of President-elect Donald Trump's choices for his top advisers and Cabinet members. “So far, the news and rumors have been disquieting — especially for people across the country who have been engaged in promoting civil rights, a cleaner environment, sustainable energy and better health care," Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) said in a statement.