Contempt of Court, Contempt for 'We the People'

By SUA Staff – In the Obama Administration, ethics and the rule-of-law only matters when it serves their political purposes. What matters most to each and every one of his leadership team is implementing liberal ideas without playing by the rules because they would never pass in the way our system was designed.

Ignore the courts, end-runs around Congress, or when Harry Reid was in charge, lock it down are so common now, it is hard to believe there is not more ire then is currently visible in our society.

As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Obama and team are succeeding in proving him correct.

Contempt for "We the People"
Contempt for “We the People”

The ‘transformation’ of our once great nation is on ‘warp drive’ and each day another example of the lawlessness of the Obama Administration is exposed.

The latest example involves the Department of Homeland Security, at the highest levels, disobeying a court order and misleadin a judge about it.

When the DOJ refused to follow-up on Lois Lerner’s Contempt of Congress charge, no one was really surprised.

Now that is juxtaposed in this setting with an interesting twist, U.S. District Judge Hanen is now threatening high level officials with contempt-of-court. He is not happy; we are not happy.

When EPA Chief McCarthy blithely waves off a SCOTUS decision, who is there to stop her? Blatant contempt of our highest court, but what does it matter when that court has contempt of our constitution?

Would it not be grand to finally see someone like Jeh Johnson in hand-cuffs as he is whisked off for booking? Not to mention a few DOJ lawyers who already misled and lied to the judge prior?

Finally we would get to see at least one ‘perp-walk’ of the many who desperately deserve the same. This administration has stretched just about everything to its limit; by hook or crook; soon we will be destroyed from within – so cavalierly. Contempt for ‘we the people’ is clear!

Judge orders Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security chief, others to court

– Associated Press/Washington Times

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has threatened to hold Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other top immigration enforcement officials in contempt of court for not fixing problems that led to work permits being mistakenly awarded under President Barack Obama’s executive immigration action after the judge had put the plan on hold.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville

The Justice Department had said about 2,000 individuals had been sent three-year work authorizations after U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, temporarily blocked the immigration action on Feb. 16.

In a court order Tuesday, Hanen said government officials have yet to fix the problem. The judge also requested Johnson and four other officials attend an Aug. 19 hearing to explain why the issue hasn’t been fixed and to “be prepared to show why he or she should not be held in contempt of court.”

“This court has expressed its willingness to believe that these actions were accidental and not done purposefully to violate this court’s order. Nevertheless, it is shocked and surprised at the cavalier attitude the government has taken with regard to its ‘efforts’ to rectify this situation,” Hanen wrote.

The other officials are: R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Ronald Vitiello, deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol; Sarah Saldaña, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron said in an email her agency and the Justice Department are reviewing Hanen’s order. Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush declined to comment.

In court documents filed in May, Rodríguez had said his agency had implemented “immediate corrective measures,” including revoking the permits and modifying computer systems to prevent issuing such permits in the future.

Hanen said in his order that if the federal government fixes the problem by July 31, he will cancel the Aug. 19 hearing.

Obama proposed in November expanding a program that protects young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and adding another that extends deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for some years.

He said lack of action by Congress forced him to make sweeping changes to immigration rules on his own, but Republicans said Obama overstepped his authority.obama_Hanen

The judge had issued the injunction at the request of a coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, which have filed a lawsuit to stop Obama’s action, saying it is unconstitutional.

An appeal of Hanen’s ruling is set to be argued Friday before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Hanen has previously criticized the federal government’s actions in the lawsuit, saying the government had been “misleading” after officials revealed that more than 108,000 people had already received three-year reprieves from deportation as well as work permits when the judge had believed that no action would be taken before he issued a ruling on the injunction.

Justice Department attorneys apologized for any confusion regarding the 108,000 reprieves but insisted they were granted under a 2012 program that wasn’t affected by the injunction.

Along with Texas, the states seeking to block Obama’s action are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Jade Helm 15 – Something to Fear? Gaining Perspective

By Scott W. Winchell

Jade Helm 15! A story with legs? A conspiracy theory minefield? Or is it a real threat like the way the Obama administration has ‘weaponized’ so many agencies of our Federal government? Many people see smoke here and therefore believe a fire must be around the corner. But are the theories even feasible on this scale?

Many believe so, and now that a governor, not just any governor, but the new governor of Texas, Gregg Abbott,  has raised his eyebrows, but is it to appease so many who question the size and scope of the exercise? Or, does he have real reason to mistrust anything federal? Many would say yes; after all, did not the former Attorney General constantly go after Texas?militarized-police-puppetgov

Eric Holder did appear to have hair across his posterior over all things Texas and conservatives, but what about the other states slated to be part of the same exercise? Are they planning to take over Utah and California as well? Really…how would that work?

There are many questions and most arise from a total distrust of the Obama Administration and the Clintons, but its best to think this through logically, even with all the billions of rounds of ammunition the Federal government has procured in recent years.

MG Vallely did tell me that he served on many of these types of exercises in his career, but of course, this one is the largest in 60 years. He mentioned that this type of training does have to take place because of the threats to America. The threat matrix is much greater of late and recent events show us the reach of ISIS , al Qaeda, Hezbollah and so forth – and then there are Iran, Russia, and China. An exercise of this magnitude does send them a message.

It is easy to fall into the trap of hyperbole and look at this through a lens of distrust, but we caution all to look at the macro picture and test anything you hear on the whole spectrum of logic and human nature. If there is a real hidden agenda, think of how hard that secret would be to keep and how many people would have to be in on it – this includes people like our own family members in uniform. People will always talk and most love to share ‘secrets.’

Once again MG Vallely and the SUA staff caution our readers to be observant and follow events, but we believe it is best to trust, but verify. After all, these forces are your neighbors and families taking part, and few believe the military, especially Special Forces, would ever be part of some larger conspiracy like Al Sharpton wanting to nationalize all law enforcement.

As always, you be the judge:

Pentagon: Texas has nothing to fear from upcoming military exercise

Defense officials Monday dismissed as “wild speculation” an Internet-fueled claim that a massive summertime exercise called Jade Helm 15 for special operations commandos is a covert operation by President Barack Obama to take over Texas.

That claim was given legitimacy by Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott’s order last week for the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises.

“Operation Jade Helm poses no threat to any American’s civil liberties,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday. “Operation Jade Helm is being conducted by Americans – by, specifically, American special forces personnel.”

Jade Helm 15 will be one of the biggest peacetime military exercises in six decades. Starting July 15 and lasting two months, thousands of Army Rangers, Green Berets, Navy SEALS and other special operations forces will simulate war missions in mainly remote areas of Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

Jade Helm 15 will take place on tracts of both public and private land in the seven states.

“In every case, extensive coordination has been completed with whoever’s responsible for that land,” Warren said. “In the case of private land, we’ve spoken and made detailed coordination with the patriotic Americans who have volunteered their land for the use of this important training.”

The Texas State Guard said Monday it would follow Abbot’s order. Asked by McClatchy whether it felt compelled to mobilize troops in order to monitor the exercises, Lt. Col. Joanne MacGregor, the unit’s public affairs officer, responded: “The Texas State Guard stands ready to support the governor of Texas when called upon to serve.”

Leaders of the Texas State Guard “are in the process of examining the best way to meet the governor’s intent,” MacGregor said. She said they are working with the U.S. Special Operations Command “in order to alleviate any possible public concerns.”

At the Pentagon, Warren said: “This is training that we’ve coordinated in great detail with both state and local officials in the various states that we’ll be conducting it.”

Abbott’s order infuriated some fellow Republicans. Former state Rep. Todd Smith, a GOP lawyer from Euless who served in the Texas legislature for 16 years, posted online Saturday what he termed an “open letter” to Abbott.

“As one of the remaining Republicans who actually believes in making decisions based on facts and evidence – you used to be a judge? – I am appalled that you would give credence to the nonsense mouthed by those who instead make decisions based on Internet or radio- or shock-jock-driven hysteria,” Smith wrote. “Is there ANYBODY who is going to stand up to this radical nonsense that is a cancer on our State and Party?”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Democrats, too, expressed dismay.

“The first thing the governor should have done when he heard about concerns with U.S. military training is to support our troops and reassure the public that our U.S. military poses absolutely no threat to Texans,” said Manny Garcia, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. “Instead, he gave credence to conspiracy theorists by ordering the Texas State Guard to monitor U.S. military operations.”

Abbott, however, on Monday defended his decision.

“We are playing a pivotal role of government and that is to provide information to people who have questions,” Abbott told reporters after a prayer breakfast in North Austin, according to the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit media organization based in Austin.

The Texas State Guard, established in 1871, has 1,900 members. Unlike the Texas National Guard, it cannot operate outside Texas and cannot be pressed into national service by the president.

Abbott, 57, took office Jan. 15 after serving as Texas attorney general for more than 14 years. When he ran for governor last year, his campaign website described him as “one of the nation’s leading advocates for stopping the federal overreach of the Obama administration.”

In a letter to Maj. Gen. Gerald “Jake” Betty last week, Abbott directed the commander of the Texas State Guard to mobilize his forces during Jade Helm 15.

“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott wrote.

Abbott’s order set off a social media firestorm between his defenders and those who mocked him.

Several people tweeted to say that the Pentagon, with some two dozen U.S. military bases in Texas – including Fort Hood, the nation’s second-largest, with 45,000 soldiers – wouldn’t need to send in special operations commandos if it wanted to take over the state.

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who is running for president, said Texans were right to be worried.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas

“You know, I understand the concern that’s been raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm,” Cruz told Bloomberg on Saturday during the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual convention.

“It’s a question I’m getting a lot. And I think part of the reason is, we have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens, and that produces fear.

When you see a federal government that is attacking our free speech rights, our religious liberty rights, our Second Amendment rights, that produces distrust as to government.”

Not all Texans have reacted with hostility to Jade Helm 15. After the Army made presentations to the Big Spring City Council and the Howard County Commission, two local agencies in West Texas, the Big Spring City Council passed a resolution granting the Army permission to train within its city limits.

The Pentagon has been criticized in the past for having failed to give advance notice to residents of areas that hosted training exercises.

People in a Houston neighborhood were terrified in 2013 when special operations troops swooped into a local school as a part of an exercise.

Terror in Texas – Attack on Free Speech, FBI Knew Suspect

Editor’s Note – Once again, Jihadist types escaped previous law enforcement efforts because our laws, as interpreted by a judge gave sanctuary to would-be terror assassins to later wreak havoc in the name of Allah. Two suspects are dead Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson, both Jihadi sympathisers and would be members of terror groups of ISIS and Boko Haram.

It is terribly ironic that violence in the name of their prophet and in support of Allah is allowed, yet drawing or depicting Muhammad or his successors in any manner is forbidden for all. This defines the so-called ‘Religion of Peace,’ which truly is neither, as the barbaric cancer on society the world is finally coming to understand.

Islam does NOT mean peace, it means submission; have no doubt therefore what their true intentions are and have always been. You must submit to their barbaric, stone-age mind set in their belief system and you have no rights other than what Shariah laws mandate.

The problem is, over these past many years, as politicians invited so many from Muslim lands to live here in America, and the lure of being “Jihad Cool” is overtaking the minds of many of our youth, no one is safe anywhere, anymore, in America from these types. The frequency of these types of terror will only rise, as will the death toll and blood letting.

Our hats are tipped to the Garland, Texas police for anticipating such acts and prevented what could have been far worse than what happened in Paris to the ‘Charlie Hebdos’ staff and the other terror events in recent months in European cities.

Our first amendment right to the freedom of speech trumps any religion, and those who question Pam Geller and the event organizers should be ashamed of themselves.

The Daily Mail of the UK has done a great job of capturing the many aspects of last night’s tragic attack, but the real tragedy is willful blindness to Islam, even by so-called moderates, here in the west.

What next; Christian churches burned, Synagogues torched, or non-Muslim religious classes attacked? That is the logical next step for people like these terrorists because that is exactly what is happening outside our borders.

Attacks in Canada, France, Libya, Australia, Egypt, Israel… the list goes on and on – it is going to get much worse. We applaud Pam Geller and Geert Wilders and others for standing up for us all; now it is time for all non-Muslims to stand beside then!

Former terror suspect well known to the FBI is named as one of two gunmen shot dead by cops after attack on anti-Islam ‘draw Muhammad’ art contest near Dallas

  • Two suspects were gunned down after shooting a guard in the leg outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland
  • The FBI has named one of the gunmen as Elton Simpson, who was convicted of lying to federal agents about traveling to Africa five years ago – but a judge ruled it could not be proved that he was going to join a terror group
  • Simpson’s Phoenix, Arizona home has been surrounded and a bomb squad is carrying out a search 
  • The American Freedom Defense Initiative event had offered a $10,000 prize for the best caricature of the prophet; local residents had expressed their concerns about the event but organizers said they were exercising free speech
  • The security guard who was shot, Bruce Joiner, was taken to hospital in stable condition and has been released 
  • One traffic officer shot both men dead and has been praised by cops for potentially saving many lives 
  • ISIS fighter claimed on Twitter that the shooting was carried out by two pro-ISIS individuals 

By Wills Robinson and Ted Thornhill and Lydia Warren For Dailymail.com

A former terror suspect has been named as one of the gunmen shot dead by police after the two attackers blasted an unarmed security guard in the ankle during an anti-Islam art contest in Texas on Sunday night.

Elton Simpson, who was previously the subject of a terror investigation, and his roommate were armed with assault rifles when they were killed by a quick-thinking traffic officer after opening fire outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Dallas, at around 7pm.

The shooting unfolded as the American Freedom Defense Initiative held an event inside the building where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were being displayed. Followers of Islam deem that any physical depiction of the prophet – even a positive one – is blasphemous.

Simpson, identified in court papers as an American Muslim, had been convicted of lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Somalia five years ago, but a judge ultimately ruled it could not be proved that he was heading there to join a terror group. He was placed on probation.

The second gunman has not been named but KPNX-TV reported that the two shared an apartment at the Autumn Ridge complex in Phoenix.

On Monday morning, FBI agents and investigators could be seen cordoning off and searching the apartment, as well as a white van believed to belong to Simpson. Investigators are also reviewing computer records from materials found at the home.

Investigators also searched the car that the two gunmen drove to the scene and found luggage and further ammunition inside. Some of the belongings were destroyed as a precaution but no explosives were found inside the vehicle, Garland Police Officer Joe Harn said on Monday.

On Monday, Simpson’s father said that he believes his son, who had worked in a dentist’s office, ‘made a bad choice’.

‘We are Americans and we believe in America,’ Dunston Simpson told ABC News. ‘What my son did reflects very badly on my family.’

Ahead of the attack on Sunday evening, several Twitter messages were sent out, and authorities believe Simpson was behind them. The last one was shared just half an hour before the shooting.

Followers of ISIS had been calling for an attack online for more than a week after learning that the competition in Garland would feature a ‘draw Muhammad’ art contest, with a prize of $10,000 for the best caricature.

After the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group reported that an Islamic State fighter claimed on Twitter that the shooting was carried out by two pro-Isis individuals.

In a series of tweets and links, a jihadist named as Abu Hussain AlBritani, which SITE said was British IS fighter Junaid Hussain, claimed that ‘2 of our brothers just opened fire’ at the Prophet Muhammad exhibition in Texas.

‘They Thought They Was Safe In Texas From The Soldiers of The Islamic State,’ added the tweet.

Other ISIS supporters claimed on Twitter that one of the gunmen was a man calling himself Shariah Is Light on the social media site, using the now-suspended account name @atawaakul, according to New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi.

He had posted a message earlier that said ‘the bro with me and myself have given bay’ah [oath] to Amirul Mu’mineen [ISIS leader Al Baghdadi]. May Allah accept us as mujahideen #texasattack’.

The contest was just minutes from finishing when multiple gunshots were heard.

The two suspects had pulled up in a vehicle before getting out and firing at a security officer, 57-year-old Bruce Joiner, who was employed by the independent school district. He was later taken to hospital in a stable condition and was released on Sunday evening.

As the gunmen got out of their car with their weapons, one police officer – a tenured traffic cop – shot both men dead, Garland Police officer Joe Harn said at a press conference on Monday. The officer used his service pistol to shoot the men, who were carrying assault weapons.

‘With what he was faced with and his reaction and his shooting with a pistol, he did a good job,’ Harn said of the officer.

‘He did what he was trained to do, and under the fire that he was put under, he did a very good job and probably saved lives. We think their strategy was to get into the events center and they were not able to get past that outer perimeter.’

Randy Potts, a contributor for The Daily Beast, recalled how he was watching the speeches wrap up when a man wearing camouflage shouted: ‘Get inside the conference room now!’

‘The room was oddly quiet,’ he said. ‘A hush fell over the crowd of about 150, as if we were listening for something outside. Then a camo-clad security guard with a rifle got up on stage and announced that a cop and two suspects had been shot.’

He described how security surrounding the event was evident even as he drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center. The parking lot was surrounded by yellow tape and his ID was checked twice before he was allowed to enter.

Johnny Roby of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, had also been attending the conference. He said he was outside the building when he heard around 20 shots that appeared to be coming from the direction of a passing car.

Roby said he then heard two single shots before officers yelled that they had the car before he was sent inside the building.

The building, which had about 100 people inside, and surrounding areas were placed on lockdown by SWAT teams.

FBI bomb squad robots were then sent in to check the suspects’ vehicle, as the two bodies of the gunmen lay on the road beside it. The bodies were not immediately taken from the scene because they were too close to the car, which police feared had incendiary devices inside.

Shortly before midnight, police alerted media that a strong electronic pulse would be activated near the scene, presumably as part of the bomb squad’s work, and a loud boom was heard moments later, though police did not comment further on what was carried out.

The art event had been condemned by critics as an attack on Islam, but the organizers insisted they were exercising free speech.

Some Twitter users began posting about the shooting using a #JeSuisGarland hashtag, mirroring the #JesuisCharlie hashtag that became popular after January’s jihadist attacks in France. In that incident, gunmen killed 12 people in the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in revenge for its cartoons of the prophet.

After the gunfire in Garland, those inside the building started to sing patriotic songs, including the national anthem and God Bless America, and said a prayer for the injured security guard after one woman pulled out an American flag from her bag.

Garland Police officer Joe Harn said on Sunday evening they had been monitoring the build-up to the event and had not received any credible threats.

During a press conference, he described how the shootout lasted only seconds. A large area around the Center remained blocked off late into the night.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the incident as a ‘senseless attack’ and praised the ‘swift action’ of Garland law enforcement.

The attack unfolded shortly after Dutch member of parliament and leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, had delivered his keynote speech. There had been calls by members of Congress for him to be stopped at the border so he would not be able to speak.

‘We are here in defiance of Islam to stand for our rights and freedom of speech,’ he said during his speech shortly before the building was shut down. ‘That is our duty… Our message today is very simple: we will never allow barbarism, never allow Islam, to rob us of our freedom of speech.’

His remarks were met with a standing ovation. He then told the audience that most terrorists are Muslims, and ‘the less Islam the better’.

In 2009, he sparked controversy for showing a controversial film which linked the Koran to terrorism and has previously said the Netherlands is being taken over by a ‘tsunami of Islamisation’.

Pamela Geller, the organizer of the event and the leader of Stop Islamisation of America, wrote on her personal website after the attack: ‘This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?’

In a post in late March, she insisted that the event was necessary to fight back against what she described as ‘the jihad against freedom’.

It was set up by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and had been described by opponents as an attack on Islam. They booked the center a little more than a week after Islamic militants in France killed 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The Garland Independent School district, who own the cultural center, allowed the event to go ahead despite criticism from residents and local Muslims that it was a risk to public safety.

The group spent $10,000 on 40 additional security officers, aware of potential threats they may attract, while Garland Police officers were fully prepared to deal with any issues that arose.

Before the event, the New York-based organisation made the headlines for its sponsorship of anti-Islamic adverts which it paid to run on transit systems in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and San Francisco.

A picture taken from inside the event just before the attack showed Geller giving a check for $12,500 to Bosch Fawtin who won the event.

He told the Dallas Morning News he believed there would be no danger because of the high levels of security surrounding the event.

‘I had known it would be secure, but seeing it is a whole new thing,’ he said before the shootings.

Locals in Garland said they were upset with the exhibit being held in their town, and tried to convince the city council to intervene.

One resident, Dorothy Brooks, said that the event was like shouting ‘fire!’ in a theater – an oft-cited example of freedom of speech taken too far.

She continued: ‘I understand that participants have a right to express themselves with cartoons, but I regret that this will be happening in our city.’

Another, Lena Griffin, asked at a city council meeting: ‘Do we want to be involved with this type of rhetoric?’ It is not an issue of free speech but clearly one of public safety.’

The event had already been the subject of disapproval from further afield, according to ForeignPolicy.com.

The site obtained a letter from congressmen Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and André Carson (D-Indiana) sent to John Kerry and Homeland Security asking them to bar a speaker for the event from entering the United States.

Caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed have triggered violent protests in the past, including when the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published 12 satirical cartoons in 2005, triggering deadly protests in some Muslim countries.

In January, just weeks after the Paris attacks, an event called Stand with the Prophet was held in the same center. Muslim leaders from across the world gathered to try and combat ‘Islamophobes in America’ who had turned Muhammad into an ‘object of hate’.

Geller spearheaded about 1,000 picketers at the event. One chanted: ‘Go back to your own countries! We don’t want you here!’ Others held signs with messages such as, ‘Insult those who behead others,’ an apparent reference to recent beheadings by the militant group Islamic State.

Mr Abbott said state officials are investigating, and Dallas FBI spokeswoman Katherine Chaumont said that the agency is providing investigative and bomb technician assistance.

The Charlie Hebdo attack was followed by another a month later in Europe. A masked gunman sprayed bullets into a Copenhagen meeting in February attended by a Swedish artist who had been threatened with death for his cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

A civilian was killed and three police officers were injured in the attack, aimed at artist Lars Vilks, who stirred controversy in 2007 with published drawings depicting the Prophet Mohammad as a dog.

Denmark itself became a target 10 years ago after the publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad. The images led to sometimes fatal protests in the Muslim world.


CONTROVERSIAL CARICATURES: WHY DEPICTING THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD IS BANNED BY MUSLIMS 

It’s not mentioned in Islam’s holy book, the Quran, but the religion’s ban on depicting the Prophet Muhammad — even favorably — has run firm through the centuries.

Religious traditions built over the years have prohibited such depictions out of respect for Muhammad and to discourage idolatry, according to Muslim scholars and clerics. The ban is further rooted in a wider prohibition against images or statues of human beings.

There have been exceptions. A rich tradition of depicting Muhammad emerged in miniatures and illustrations for manuscripts from around 1200 to 1700. The art is mainly from Turkey and Iran, where pictorial traditions were stronger than in the Arab world. The paintings often show traditional stories from Muhammad’s life, such as his journey to heaven, though in some the prophet’s face is obscured by a veil or a plume of flame.

Shiites also differ from Sunnis by depicting Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali, revered by Shiites who see him as the prophet’s rightful successor. His image — and those of his sons Hassan and Hussein — are plentiful among Shiites, adorning posters, banners, jewelry and even keychains. For Sunnis, the ban on depictions extends beyond the prophet to his close companions and wives.

‘The Prophet Muhammad enjoys sublime and supreme status among Muslims and it is impossible to let a normal person depict or act the role of the prophet,’ said Iraqi Shiite cleric Fadhil al-Saadi. ‘There is no confirmed information about the shape or the features of the Prophet … So nobody should come up with a painting or an image of him. That would represent an insult to the status of the prophet.’

With no explicit text against depictions — or against images of humans in general — the prohibition comes from deduction by Muslim scholars and interpreters over the centuries from the collections of Hadeeth, or sayings and actions of Muhammad.

The prohibition against depicting humans and other living beings, which emerged from scholars as early as the 9th century, came from reported sayings of Muhammad, in some of which he refused to enter a room with such depictions or challenged their creators to breathe life into them. The presumption was that such art would suggest man can emulate God’s powers of creation — and there were worries that statues in particular could encourage idolatry.

Islamic tradition is full of written descriptions of Muhammad and his qualities — describing him as the ideal human being. But clerics have generally agreed that trying to depict that ideal is forbidden. That puts satirical — and obscene — depictions like those in the French magazing Charlie Hebdo far beyond the pale.

While no one knows Muhammad’s true appearance, followers of the relatively modern, ultraconservative Salafi movement in Islam seek to emulate him as closely as possible — including in what they believe to be his physical features and dress. Hardcore Salafis wear a beard without a moustache, let their hair grow long, line their eyes with kohl or wear robes stopping around mid-shin, contending that was the prophet’s manner.

The ban also extends to his wives, daughters, sons-in-law, the first caliphs who succeeded him and his closest companions. In fact, Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque, the Sunni world’s foremost seat of religious learning, has complained when ‘Mohammed, Messenger of God,’ an epic 1970s Hollywood production, depicted the prophet’s camel.

There is a thriving production of religious TV series in the Arab world depicting the times of the prophet. But Muhammad and his companions are never themselves shown. At times, a white light stands in for Muhammad in the films or in movie posters — and when they are meant to be addressing Muhammad, the actors usually speak into the camera.


TAPES OF A TERROR SUSPECT: RECORDINGS SHOW SIMPSON’S INTENTIONS TO WAGE A WAR

Elton Simpson was well known to the FBI. In 2010, he was convicted of lying to federal agents about his plans to travel to Somalia – although a judge ultimately ruled it could not be proved that he was heading there to join a terror group.

During the investigation, an FBI informant recorded their conversations, which showed Simpson talking about his intentions to fight for the Muslim way of life.

Court documents state: ‘Mr. Simpson said that the reward is high because “If you get shot, or you get killed, it’s [heaven] straight away”…. “[Heaven] that’s what we here for…so why not take that route?”‘

He added that in countries, such as Palestine, Iraq and Somalia, ‘they trying to bring democracy over there man, they’re trying to make them live by man-made laws, not by Allah’s laws’.

He went on: ‘That’s why they get fought. You try to make us become slaves to man? No we slave to Allah, we going to fight you to the death.’

In a recording from 2009, he told the informant that it was time they went to Somalia.

‘It’s time,’ he said. ‘I’m tellin’ you man. We gonna make it to the battlefield… It’s time to roll…

‘People fighting and killing your kids, and dropping bombs on people that have nothing to do with nothing. You got to fight back you can’t be just sitting down… smiling at each other…’