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Posts Tagged ‘islam’

The Middle East’s reaction to Orlando

Posted by Richard on June 19, 2016

Mohammed Rady:

Recently, a devastating terrorist attack took place in Orlando, where 49 innocent people were murdered. Surely, the majority of people in the Arab world condemn this atrocious act of violence? The most fatal shooting in recent American history cannot possibly be celebrated by such a large number of peace-loving people who, after all, mostly condemn the acts of terror committed in the name of Islam by groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, right? Right?

Wrong.

As a bilingual Arabic and English speaker from the Middle East, I took the liberty of browsing through Arabic news pages on Facebook earlier today; namely Al Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, BBC Arabic and a number of Egyptian news outlets to gauge how the Arab world was responding to the Orlando shooting. The results were disappointing, alarming, and depressing to say the least. …

Read the whole thing.

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CA school to kids: look at both sides of Holocaust controversy

Posted by Richard on May 6, 2014

I kid you not: Eighth-graders in Rialto, California, were assigned to write an essay regarding the Holocaust. They were given 18-page instructions (!) that referred them to specific online sources they were to use, including a Holocaust-denial website. Their essays were to argue either for or against the claim that the Holocaust was a hoax.

Incredibly, the school district initially defended the assignment and said it had received no complaints from parents, teachers, or administrators. But after the Los Angeles area chapter of the Anti-Defamation League brought the matter to public attention, the school district said it would revise the assignment.

“It is ADL’s general position that an exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust Denial,” read an email to the school district from ADL Associate Regional Director Matthew Friedman.

The ADL posted a statement, including the quotes from Friedman, on its blog on Monday.

“ADL does not have any evidence that the assignment was given as part of a larger, insidious, agenda,” the blog post read. “Rather, the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills.”

Apparently because of this reference to Common Core standards, PJMedia’s Bryan Preston tried to make this a Common Core issue. I’m no fan of the top-down, one-size-fits-all Common Core standards, but this has nothing to do with them.

As for ADL’s statement regarding an agenda, I see at least some circumstantial evidence of one. We don’t know who is on the district’s CORE committee that created the assignment, but we do know who the superintendent and his spokeswoman are (emphasis added):

Interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam was set to talk with administrators to “assure that any references to the holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future Argumentative Research assignments,” a statement from district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri read.

Why, yes, I am profiling.

I’m going to jump to another conclusion, too. I bet if students were told to write an essay defending either creationism or evolution, or arguing for or against anthropogenic global warming, and given sources to use for both sides of each issue, “progressive” parents and teachers would have been picketing noisily in front of the school district offices.

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Netanyahu’s excellent UN speech

Posted by Richard on September 29, 2012

To get the taste of Obama’s disturbing UN speech out of my mouth, I read the address of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the same corrupt body. Damn, I wish we had a president who spoke like that. Read the whole thing and/or watch the video.

Netanyahu began by challenging the claim, supported by much of the UN, that Jews are recent interlopers in the region (it was never a nation) known as Palestine:

Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.

The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland.

Here he might have added that Jews continued to live throughout the Middle East in large numbers (a third of the population of Baghdad) until they were driven out or murdered by the Arabs who embraced Islamofascism.

Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home.

We will never be uprooted again.

In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture.

In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.

Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.

The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.

The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.

These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.

Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens:  men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the law.

Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. We want to see the three great religions that sprang forth from our region – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – coexist in peace and in mutual respect.

Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this.

They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel, Europe, America. They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.

Militant Islam has many branches – from the rulers of Iran with their Revolutionary Guards to Al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe.

But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed first at their fellow Muslims, and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed.

They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma and unrelenting conflict.

I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.

I think the relevant question is this: it’s not whether this fanaticism will be defeated. It’s how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated.

Outstanding. Reason, the Enlightenment, modernity: the leader who represents one of the most ancient civilizations in the world forcefully defends these values; the leader of the nation that was founded on those principles can’t bring himself to do so.

Oh, and by the way: US Ambassador Susan Rice skipped Netanyahu’s speech, thus treating him the same way she did Ahmadinejad. Moral equivalence?

Like I said: Read the whole thing and/or watch the video. Especially the latter, so you can see the marvelous visual aid he uses to illustrate Iran’s progress toward nuclear weapons and where we must draw a red line.

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Obama’s disturbing UN speech

Posted by Richard on September 29, 2012

I finally got around to checking out the President’s address to the UN General Assembly. Although there were some good phrases, the general “can’t we all just get along” tone left me cold.

So did his reiterated denunciation of that “crude and disgusting video” and the tepid defense of the First Amendment that followed, which made it sound like the difference between those who protect free speech and those who suppress it is merely a matter of taste, a preference that, understandably, not everyone shares  (“I know that not all countries in this body share this understanding of the protection of free speech”).

And I found this bit quite disturbing (emphasis added):

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” …

Does Obama (or his speech writer) really not understand the meaning of those words to much of the Muslim world? To a devout, fundamentalist Muslim, you slander Muhammad if you deny that he was a prophet, a messenger of God, and that the words he spoke are the words of God. To much of the Muslim world, the President might as well have said, “The future must not belong to those who reject Islam.”

Obama then engaged his favorite rhetorical device, dialectic. We must also condemn the desecration of Jesus? He and his Socialist Democrats have aggressively defended taxpayer funding, via the National Endowment for the Arts, of “Piss Christ” and a dung-covered Mary, among others. It’s the people who dared to condemn such works of “art” (without, I might add, any rioting, burning, or killing) and who opposed federal funding of them whom Obama and his cohort have condemned.

Intolerance is a form of violence? By embracing that absurd statement, he negated his earlier defense (such as it was) of free speech and threw overboard the First Amendment. And he posited a moral equivalence between those who criticize 7th-century barbarians and those barbarians, who raped and murdered a US ambassador, call for the extermination of Jews, subjugate women, keep slaves, and execute homosexuals.

All in all, a sorry performance by the President of the United States and purported leader of the free world. Rep. Mike Coffman was correct when he said of Obama that “in his heart, he’s not an American.” His leftist ethics and post-modernist epistemology make him at best a reluctant defender of the values that created and sustained this country, and at worst an apologist for and underminer of those values.

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Mocking Mormons vs. mocking Muslims

Posted by Richard on September 20, 2012

Hillary Clinton denounced a laughably amateurish little YouTube video mocking Islam as “disgusting and reprehensible,” and it’s been repeatedly condemned by the Obama administration and all good liberals. But liberals’ condemnations of the mocking of religion are highly selective, as the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens pointed out:

‘Hasa Diga Eebowai” is the hit number in Broadway’s hit musical “The Book of Mormon,” which won nine Tony awards last year. What does the phrase mean? I can’t tell you, because it’s unprintable in a family newspaper.

On the other hand, if you can afford to shell out several hundred bucks for a seat, then you can watch a Mormon missionary get his holy book stuffed—well, I can’t tell you about that, either. Let’s just say it has New York City audiences roaring with laughter.

The “Book of Mormon”—a performance of which Hillary Clinton attended last year, without registering a complaint—comes to mind as the administration falls over itself denouncing “Innocence of Muslims.” This is a film that may or may not exist; whose makers are likely not who they say they are; whose actors claim to have known neither the plot nor purpose of the film; and which has never been seen by any member of the public except as a video clip on the Internet.

No matter. The film, the administration says, is “hateful and offensive” (Susan Rice), “reprehensible and disgusting” (Jay Carney) and, in a twist, “disgusting and reprehensible” (Hillary Clinton). Mr. Carney, the White House spokesman, also lays sole blame on the film for inciting the riots that have swept the Muslim world and claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff in Libya.

So let’s get this straight: In the consensus view of modern American liberalism, it is hilarious to mock Mormons and Mormonism but outrageous to mock Muslims and Islam. Why? Maybe it’s because nobody has ever been harmed, much less killed, making fun of Mormons.

Read the whole thing.

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The refugees nobody remembers

Posted by Richard on July 13, 2012

June 20 was World Refugee Day. Ron Prosor, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, pointed out that there was one group of refugees that never got the world’s sympathy or even attention (emphasis added):

At the end of World War II, 850,000 Jews lived in Arab countries. Just 8,500 remain today. Their departure was no accident. After Arab leaders failed to annihilate Israel militarily in 1948, they launched a war of terror, incitement, and expulsion to decimate their own ancient Jewish communities.

In Iraq Jewish businessman Shafiq Adas, then the country’s wealthiest citizen, was immediately arrested on trumped-up charges and publicly lynched. This was followed by bombings targeting Jewish institutions, arbitrary arrests of Jewish leaders, and massive government seizures of property. Within years virtually all of Iraq’s 2,500-year-old Jewish community had fled, emptying the country of many of its greatest artists, musicians, and businessmen.

Similar scenes played out across the region, from Egypt to Syria to Libya to Yemen. State-sanctioned pogroms descended on Jewish neighborhoods, killing innocents and destroying ancient synagogues and Jewish cemeteries. New, draconian laws prevented Jews from public worship, forced them to carry Jewish identity cards, and seized billions of dollars in their property and assets. The total area of land confiscated from Jews in Arab countries amounts to nearly 40,000 square miles — about five times the size of Israel’s entire land mass.

Jews once made up a third of the population of Baghdad. Now, only seven remain.

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Punishing Christian speech, embracing Sharia law

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2010

Publicly professing a belief in Christianity or inviting others to learn about it are punishable offenses in more places than you might think. But the severity of the punishment varies considerably.

In Pakistan, they sentence you to death. And sometimes just shoot you on the spot.

In Dearborn, Philadelphia, and Wichita, they just throw you in jail for a while. Don't count on the ACLU and other human rights organizations to help.

Any statement suggesting that Islam is not the one true religion or that Islamic law shouldn't govern everyone everywhere is considered either "blasphemy" or "defamation" by the Islamists, and they're waging a worldwide campaign to criminalize (or silence through intimidation) such statements. They have the UN on their side.

Last week, Oklahoma voters — 70% of them — adopted a constitutional amendment barring judges from relying on Sharia or international law for court rulings. They were perhaps motivated by the Islamists' war on free speech and the growing trend in Europe of bending to Sharia, as evidenced by:

  • court decisions in Italy and Germany acknowledging the right of Muslim men to beat their wives and daughters.
  • the establishment in Britain of a Sharia court system parallel to the English courts and supplanting them for members of the Muslim community.
  • the criminal prosecution of Geert Wilders (Netherlands), Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolff (Austria), Jussi Halla-aho (Finland), and Brigitte Bardot (France), among others, for criticizing Islam. 

The will of Oklahoma voters has been thwarted for now by a restraining order granted to the Islamist group CAIR (an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorist funding case). Ironically, this ruling protecting the right of Muslim men to claim that Sharia law authorizes them to beat women — and to silence those who criticize them for that — was issued by a judge who was once a prominent women's rights advocate.

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Honor killings

Posted by Richard on September 9, 2010

I've often defended the superiority of Western Civilization and the values of Reason and the Enlightenment against the prevailing liberal dogma of "multiculturalism" — the misbegotten insistence that all cultures are equally valuable and worthy of respect. Nothing proves my point more forcefully than Robert Fisk's four-part series, "The honour killing files," in The Independent this week. Part one begins thus:

It is a tragedy, a horror, a crime against humanity. The details of the murders – of the women beheaded, burned to death, stoned to death, stabbed, electrocuted, strangled and buried alive for the "honour" of their families – are as barbaric as they are shameful. Many women's groups in the Middle East and South-west Asia suspect the victims are at least four times the United Nations' latest world figure of around 5,000 deaths a year. Most of the victims are young, many are teenagers, slaughtered under a vile tradition that goes back hundreds of years but which now spans half the globe.

Fisk goes on to provide a lengthy catalog of specific examples of honor killings, mostly from the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, but some from the West. Read it. Steel yourself and read the entire gut-wrenching, horrific, and disturbing thing. Then, if you can, read the other three parts and related stories (linked in part one). 

Then ask yourself if all cultures are really equally valuable and worthy of respect. 

To understand the belief system in which such barbaric acts are not just defensible, but natural and noble, you have to understand the difference between shame cultures and guilt cultures. An excellent introduction is Dr. Sanity's 2005 essay, "Shame, the Arab Psyche, and Islam." ShrinkWrapped's 2006 post, "Guilt vs. Shame," is also worth reading. 

In his series, Fisk goes to pains to point out that honor killings aren't exclusively a Muslim phenomenon, and that's true. There are other shame cultures besides Islam, and it predates Islam in the Arab culture. Although, as Dr. Sanity pointed out, "it is only in the fairly recent history of Islam (e.g. in the last century) that Islam appears to have fully embraced the subjugation of women under the guise of 'protecting' them and preserving honor." Interestingly, that's about the same time period over which modern Islamofascism (Wahabbism/Salafism) came to the fore.

It's telling, too, that this most barbaric manifestation of shame culture has followed Islam around the globe — wherever Islam went, it brought this vile Arab tradition with it. And those that adopted Islam embraced honor killings as well.

It's also clear that the vast majority of honor killings around the world are by (and of) Muslims. Fisk dug up a Sikh example here and a Coptic one there, but almost every horrific story he relates is about Muslims. 

It's often been said that not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims. The math of honor killings is similar. Not all Muslims are misogynistic, murderous barbarians, but almost all misogynistic, murderous barbarians are Muslims. 

Make of that what you will. What I make of it is that not all cultures are equally valuable and worthy of respect.

UPDATE (10/9): It's natural for shrinks like Dr. Sanity to focus on the personal, psychological aspects of shame. But I want to emphasize something that's hinted at, but not focused on, by Dr. Sanity and ShrinkWrapped (and that's true of other discussions of shame culture I've looked at).

I think the critical point to understand about the difference between the two kinds of cultures is that a "shame culture" focuses on people's perceptions, while a "guilt culture" focuses on objective reality — what is the truth? Did you do that bad thing, or didn't you? What is reality?

Some discussions of this issue suggest that "guilt cultures" are somehow the consequence of Judeo-Christian values. I don't think that's true (although there is a vague, indirect connection, via St. Augustine, Aquinas, etc., leading to the Enlightenment). A culture's advancement from shame-based to guilt-based is a consequence of its embracing of reason and objective reality, and its abandonment of faith, whim, and perception. 

That's why Western "guilt cultures" produce more scientific advancements, innovations, patents, etc., in a single year than "shame cultures" have produced in more than a millennium.

Reason works. Objective reality exists. Until you recognize these facts, you're a primitive barbarian. And you're of no consequence to the rest of us, except to the extent that you represent a threat. 

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Let’s change the name from NASA to NEIA

Posted by Richard on July 7, 2010

You can't make up stuff like this — unless maybe you're Scrappleface or Iowahawk. And even then, some people would consider it pretty outlandish and over the top even for satire. I believe Power Line's Paul Mirengoff first broke this story on Sunday, when few of us were reading blogs (emphasis added):

In the video below, Charles Bolden, head of NASA, tells Al Jazeera that the "foremost" task President Obama has given him is "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering." Thus, NASA's primary mission is no longer to enhance American science and engineering or to explore space, but to boost the self-esteem of "predominantly Muslim nations."

Exploring space didn't even make the top three things Obama wants Bolden to accomplish. The other two are "re-inspire children to want to get into science and math" and "expand our international relationships,"

Yesterday, Byron York added more details (emphasis added):

In the same interview, Bolden also said the United States, which first sent men to the moon in 1969, is no longer capable of reaching beyond low earth orbit without help from other nations.

Bolden made the statements during a recent trip to the Middle East. …

Bolden’s trip included a June 15 speech at the American University in Cairo.  In that speech, he said in the past NASA worked mostly with countries that are capable of space exploration.  But that, too, has changed in light of Obama’s Cairo initiative.  “He asked NASA to change…by reaching out to ‘non-traditional’ partners and strengthening our cooperation in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and in particular in Muslim-majority nations,” Bolden said.  “NASA has embraced this charge.”

“NASA is not only a space exploration agency,” Bolden concluded, “but also an earth improvement agency.”

Well, that dovetails with their emphasis in recent years of promoting bogus anthropogenic global warming information. OK, let's make it official. Since their top objectives no longer include anything to do with aeronautics and space, it's time to take "Aeronautics and Space" out of the name. Rename it the National Earth Improvement Agency.

Today, Daniel Pipes offered four spot-on observations about this nonsense (emphasis added):

First, it is inordinately patronizing for Americans to make Muslims “feel good” about their medieval contributions to science. This will lead to more resentment than gratitude.

Second, Muslims at present do lag in the sciences and the way to fix this is not condescension from NASA but some deep Muslim introspection. Put differently, accomplished scientists of Muslim origin — including NASA’s Farouk El-Baz, who is of Egyptian origins — do exist. The problem lies in societies, and include everything from insufficient resources to poor education to the ravages of Islamism.

Third, polls indicate that Obama’s effort to win Muslim public opinion has been a failure, with his popularity in majority-Muslim countries hardly better than George W. Bush’s. Why continue with these farcical and failed attempts to win good will?

Finally, it’s a perversion of American scientific investment to distort a space agency into a feel-good tool of soft diplomacy. Just as soldiers are meant to fight, not carry out social programs, so scientists must work to expand the frontiers of knowledge, not to make select people “feel good.”

Notice that the new mission of NASA — I mean NEIA — isn't to help the people in Muslim nations better themselves and achieve more competence in science, math, and engineering. It's just to make them feel good, while leaving their actual circumstances unchanged.

I'll give the President this: he's consistent. Domestically, the Obama agenda is not to increase opportunity and encourage people on society's lower rungs to climb up, but to confiscate wealth and drag those at the top of the ladder down. Likewise, internationally, the agenda is not to encourage third-world nations to emulate our success and lift themselves up, but to destroy America's wealth, deny American exceptionalism, and drag the US down. Like all socialists before him, he neither understands nor values wealth production or its producers. So his policies, ostensibly aimed at a more equal distribution of wealth and power, inevitably work toward equally distributing poverty and helplessness.

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Culture of conspiracy

Posted by Richard on June 29, 2010

In the Ottowa Citizen, editor Leonard Stern examined the "tradition of conspiracy-thinking in the Muslim world" (emphasis added):

The Toronto 18 trials wrapped up this week, as the final two accused were found guilty of plotting to commit violence in the name of militant Islam.

Originally, many people assumed the allegations were exaggerated. These were just a bunch of angry young men fantasizing out loud, more stupid than dangerous. In the end, however, it turned out to be the real deal, a textbook example of self-radicalization and homegrown terrorism.

Now that 11 of the original 18 suspects have been convicted, you'd think there would be a sense of relief. Not really. As the Toronto Star reported, focus groups organized by McGill University indicate some 90 per cent of Muslim youth believe the Toronto terrorism case was a government conspiracy, concocted to make Muslims look bad.

It's hard to overstate how depressing this is, even though we've seen it before. The most disheartening event surrounding the 9/11 attack, other than the attack itself, was the mass denial among Muslim communities right here in the West.

Read the whole thing.

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Dangerous delusions

Posted by Richard on June 1, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is promoting her new book, Nomad, and recently was interviewed by Tavis Smiley on PBS (HT: Booker Rising). She made the point that she'd recently revised her opinion regarding religions. She previously believed that "all religions are the same and all religions are inherently evil." But she now has a more positive view of Christians and wishes that Muslims would "distance themselves" from the facets of their religion that are "hostile to humanity" as most Christians have. Muslims haven't, she argued:

… I say in the book right now we cannot speak of moderate Muslims because they still cling to the absolute idea that everything in the Qur'an is the true word of God and cannot be changed by human beings, and that the prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, left a moral guidance behind and all we can do is follow it, not question it.

Smiley, somewhat incoherently, expressed doubt that anything needs to be done to change Muslims or "take on Muslims here in the West." Hirsi Ali tried to explain:

… The people who are engaged in terrorist activities look like you and me. They look like everybody else here.

 Major Nidal Hasan, the military guy who in November shot 13 of his colleagues and injured 32, he's going to be on trial pretty soon, I think this week, the young man, Faisal Shahzad, in Times Square who tried to blow innocent people that he doesn't know up, these guys are acting on conviction. Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.

Smiley objected, revealing a profound delusion about the world in which he lives (emphasis added):

Tavis: But Christians do that every single day in this country.

Ali: Do they blow people up (unintelligible)?

Tavis: Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that's what Columbine is – I could do this all day long. There are so many more examples of Christians – and I happen to be a Christian. That's back to this notion of your idealizing Christianity in my mind, to my read. There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.

Wow. I guess I haven't been checking the same news sources as Smiley. I wasn't aware of all the bombings and mass killings and aborted terrorist plots in the name of Christianity. No, wait — I'm being too snarky. There's something more seriously amiss here. 

Smiley specifically mentioned Columbine. Does he really think Columbine was an example of Christian terrorism analogous to the Ft. Hood massacre or the Times Square bombing attempt? Apparently he does. That's simply insane.

Occasionally, people who are purportedly Christians shoot up schools or offices, rob banks, or rape and murder people. But here's the thing — they're not doing it in the name of Christianity, to punish, intimidate, or destroy non-Christians, or for the purpose of subjugating all non-Christians and imposing Christian law on all the inhabitants of Earth. That's the difference, Mr. Smiley — can you not understand that??

But Smiley isn't the only person who's delusional regarding Islamists. This administration is full of them. Case in point (emphasis added): 

The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies. 

During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms." 

"Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.

As Robert Spencer noted, purifying one's community according to Islamic law is not something the nation's counter-terrorism chief ought to be endorsing: 

Brennan should study the Qur'an and Sunnah in order to discover just how Muslims understand what it means to purify "one's community," and what the Islamic understanding is of the term "innocent." He would find, of course, that a community that is fully purified is one in which non-Muslims live as subjugated dhimmis, and that non-Muslims are never understood in the Qur'an and Sunnah as being "innocent." But he will not undertake such a study, and will never find these things out.

This ignorant son of a bitch is what stands between you and the next terrorist attack, folks. Maybe when a tactical nuke or a "dirty bomb" is detonated in Manhattan, John Brennan will finally understand what Islamists mean by "purifying one's community."

And speaking of dangerous delusions, the U.S. government is actually trying to deport Mosab Yousef. Yousef is the son of the founder of Hamas, the author of Son of Hamas, a convert to Christianity, a one-time Israeli counter-terrorism agent, and a passionate opponent of radical Islam. Check out the interview with Yousef at GQ. It is insane, contemptible, and vile to move to deport this man. Who is responsible for this travesty of justice? 

For the ridiculous details of why Yousef has been declared a terrorist, see this World Net Daily post. And then ask yourself, given the above, whether you think this administration is capable of effectively protecting you from terrorists.

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Supporting financial jihad

Posted by Richard on May 20, 2010

In Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's thin resume, Frank Gaffney found evidence of something troubling (emphasis added):

It turns out that, at the very moment Ms. Kagan was pushing aggressively to remove military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus during her tenure as its dean, she was very supportive of having what amounted to Saudi recruiters ensconced there for the purpose of enlisting some of the nation’s finest young lawyers to work for the industry known as Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF).

The first insight this record suggests is that Ms. Kagan’s true motivation in barring the armed forces was, indeed, an animus towards the military, rather than concern about its supposed mistreatment of homosexuals.  After all, the theo-political-military-legal code that authoritative Islam calls “Shariah” and that is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia is infinitely more homophobic than the Pentagon’s efforts to enforce the U.S. statute that prohibits avowed gays and lesbians from serving in uniform.  The former requires the murder of homosexuals; the latter simply kept them out of the ranks.

Ms. Kagan’s troubling tolerance of Shariah would, of course, have vastly more far-reaching implications should she reach the Supreme Court.

The promoters of Sharia-Compliant Finance and their dupes in the media explain it with some hand-wavy blather about not charging interest and not investing in "impure" things like alcohol and pork. But it's much more than that, and it's a 20th-century invention.

Sharia-Compliant Finance was created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1940s as another tool to promote its goal of imposing radical Islam throughout the world. To be Sharia-compliant, you have to pay the zakat — a "charitable" donation that, more often than not, ends up in the hands of organizations promoting jihad or trying to rid the world of Jews. The Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim Brotherhood front group convicted in 2008 of conspiring to fund terrorist organizations, was an example. 

To be Sharia-compliant, you also have to get the approval of a "Sharia authority": 

Unfortunately, every one of such individuals embraces not only the supremacy of authoritative Islam’s Shariah.  Without exception, they aspire to its ultimate objective: a global theocracy in which a ruler (the “Caliph”) governs in accordance with Shariah.

Thus, the coterie of Shariah authorities now employed by most of the Western world’s financial institutions – including many in the United States – unfailingly champion a seditious program that has at its core the overthrow of the alternative legal systems like the U.S. Constitution and the government it empowers.

One of the most prominent of these authorities is Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi who sits on numerous SCF advisory boards and those of Persian Gulf sovereign wealth funds.  He also has his own television program on Al Jazeera, which he uses week after week to inveigh about and call for violence against infidels, the United States, Israel, apostates and, yes, homosexuals. Interestingly, Qaradawi has called zakat, the Muslim charitable donation required by SCF, a form of “financial jihad.”

According to Gaffney, Kagan's promotion of a Sharia-compliance project at Harvard helped the proponents of financial jihad gain significant power and influence in the finance industry and in government regulatory agencies.

Government involvement in promoting Sharia is the subject of a pending federal lawsuit. The Supreme Court may one day be asked to rule on whether such government promotion of Islamic law violates the Establishment Clause. Care to speculate on how a Justice Kagan, who helped make Harvard University "a major beachhead of Shariah in America," would vote in that case?

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Tawfik Hamid appearing in Denver

Posted by Richard on March 2, 2010

The Act! for America 5280 Coalition is sponsoring multiple appearances in the Denver area this week by Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a physician, former terrorist, and author of The Roots of Jihad and Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam. Public appearances include lectures Tuesday evening at Regis University, Thursday evening at the University of Colorado, and Friday evening at University Park United Methodist Church. On Tuesday, Dr. Hamid will be a guest on KHOW radio's Peter Boyles show from 7-8 AM and the Caplis/Silverman show from 4-4:30 PM.

Check the 5280 Coalition's calendar for the complete schedule and more about the events, including maps to the locations.

More about Dr. Hamid:

Born in Egypt to a secular Muslim family, Tawfik Hamid joined the extremist Islamic group Jamma’a Islameia in Cairo when he was a student in medical school. In his studies he was learning to heal, but in his thoughts, as he says, “I dreamed to die for Allah and to share in terrorist acts.”   One of Dr. Hamid's colleague in these formative days of the terror movement was Dr. Al Zawaherri, then an acquaintance with whom Tawfik used to pray, and now the number two person of Al Qaeda.

Just before heading for further training in Afghanistan, Dr. Hamid began to question the hatred and impulses to violence that participation in extremist Islam was fomenting within him.  He decided to leave the terror movement, became a physician, and also became a scholar of Islamic texts.  As he began to preach in Mosques to promote a message of peace instead of violence and hatred however, he himself became a target of the Islamic extremists who had been his friends. They threatened his life, forcing him and his family to flee Egypt, and then Saudi Arabia.  As Dr. Hamid says "The powers of darkness were overwhelming and I was forced to emigrate with my family to the West seeking freedom."

Because of his insider understanding of terrorist mentality, Dr. Hamid predicted the Twin Towers (9-11) attacks several years before they occurred. Now his mission has become to educate the West against Islamic Fundamentalism, which he regards as a cancer that is spreading with frightening rapidity across the globe today. 

Dr. Hamid also seeks within Islam to build new thinking to overcome the hatred and violent extremism that have metastasized within his religious tradition.

UPDATE: Fox 31 KDVR aired a short interview with Dr. Hamid tonight. Reporter Leland Vitter was quite impressed, telling the anchors he spoke with Dr. Hamid for 15 minutes and wished it could have been an hour. No video on the website yet, but there's a brief story

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Extremist Muslim women demand equal right to be terrorists

Posted by Richard on June 5, 2008

OK, I've been trying to wrap my head around this story, and I can't decide. Is it good news or bad news that fundamentalist Muslim women are criticizing al Qaeda for not giving them the right to blow up infidels just like the menfolk?

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Islam, dualism, and the Golden Rule

Posted by Richard on April 14, 2008

"The Study of Political Islam" first appeared in Frontpage magazine in February 2007 and was posted at the Center for the Study of Political Islam's blog last August. It's an interview with the Center's director, Bill Warner, and it's a must read. I discovered it at ACT for America!, where it's presented with an informative introduction by Jerry Gordon. Here's an excerpt:

Endless ink has been wasted on trying to answer the question of what is Islam? Is Islam the religion of peace? Or is the true Islam a radical ideology? Is a moderate Muslim the real Muslim?

This reminds a scientist of the old arguments about light. Is light a particle or is light a wave? The arguments went back and forth. Quantum mechanics gave us the answer. Light is dualistic; it is both a particle and a wave. It depends upon the circumstances as to which quality manifests. Islam functions in the same manner.

Our first clue about the dualism is in the Koran, which is actually two books, the Koran of Mecca (early) and the Koran of Medina (later). The insight into the logic of the Koran comes from the large numbers of contradictions in it. On the surface, Islam resolves these contradictions by resorting to "abrogation". This means that the verse written later supersedes the earlier verse. But in fact, since the Koran is considered by Muslims to be the perfect word of Allah, both verses are sacred and true. The later verse is "better," but the earlier verse cannot be wrong since Allah is perfect. This is the foundation of dualism. Both verses are "right." Both sides of the contradiction are true in dualistic logic. The circumstances govern which verse is used.

All of Western logic is based upon the law of contradiction–if two things contradict, then at least one of them is false. But Islamic logic is dualistic; two things can contradict each other and both are true.

What Warner calls the law of contradiction is also known as Aristotle's law of non-contradiction, and it's a corollary of the law of identity (those of us with a Randian background know the short version: "A is A"). A culture that hasn't adopted the laws of identity and non-contradiction is, IMHO, pre-rational.

It's not just a characteristic of primitive cultures, however. Many modern academics reject reason, and they eagerly embrace and defend inconsistency and contradiction. Ironically, an Islamic philosopher proposed an appropriate response to such nonsense about a thousand years ago:

Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned.
— Avicenna (Ibn Sina)

Apparently, Avicenna's rather colorful method of teaching the law of non-contradiction wasn't widely adopted, so Islam's dualistic "logic" persists still today. As does UC-Berkeley's. Too bad.

Getting back to the Warner interview, here's another, somewhat more provocative, excerpt: 

Let's examine the ethical basis of our civilization. All of our politics and ethics are based upon a unitary ethic that is best formulated in the Golden Rule:

Treat others as you would be treated.

… On the basis of the Golden Rule–the equality of human beings–we have created democracy, ended slavery and treat women and men as political equals. So the Golden Rule is a unitary ethic. All people are to be treated the same. All religions have some version of the Golden Rule except Islam.

FP: So how is Islam different in this context?

Warner: The term "human being" has no meaning inside of Islam. There is no such thing as humanity, only the duality of the believer and unbeliever. Look at the ethical statements found in the Hadith. A Muslim should not lie, cheat, kill or steal from other Muslims. But a Muslim may lie, deceive or kill an unbeliever if it advances Islam.

There is no such thing as a universal statement of ethics in Islam. Muslims are to be treated one way and unbelievers another way. The closest Islam comes to a universal statement of ethics is that the entire world must submit to Islam. After Mohammed became a prophet, he never treated an unbeliever the same as a Muslim. Islam denies the truth of the Golden Rule.

Read the whole thing, by all means. You might want to look around the Center's website, Political Islam, too. The latest article expands on the above discussion of Islamic ethics.

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