Encounters With Islam: Half a Century of Connection, and a Final Separation (Part 1: 1949-1961)

SaracenCastleThe Crusaders in their heavy mail at first paid little attention to the arrows that struck and wounded them lightly. The Arabs stood a good ways off and their shafts were half spent when they struck.

The Europeans dismounted and formed a shield wall, waiting for the Arab onslaught.

Which never came. Just the unending flights of arrows. Of so many, some did strike vital areas, and heat and cumulative bleeding brought other men down. Maddened, some charged, and then the Arabs came and struck some down, wheeled and stood off again.

The sally was over, and the siege would not end today. As the Franks retreated to their castle they were followed by the ululating war cry La illalah ilahi”

There is no god but Allah.

Then my mother called me for dinner.

UrbanII-220x300I put the solders and castle away. After dinner there would be homework, but I didn’t mind. In Catholic school we were studying the Crusades. We had just received our first issue of a Catholic magazine for juveniles, called “Crusade” and on its cover was Pope Urban, blessing kneeling knights as they took the cross.

We were to learn and celebrate the achievements of these warriors of Christ, but I had a secret. I was drawn to the bearded men in white robes, with their curved swords and exotic war cry. I was nine, and all I knew of Islam is that it had been at war with the Church, my church, the one I had been born into. The history book showed their sweep across the Near East and Africa and up into Spain and even beyond in the name of their god Allah, and their Prophet Mohammed.

In Geography there were pictures of some famous Islamic structures, the Taj Mahal, and the Hagia Sophia, which we learned had first been a great Church with minarets added later. Camels, goats, and women covered from head to foot. In school,the followers of Islam were called Mohammedans, and I cannot now remember when I first encountered the terms “Islam” and “Muslim.” I was a great reader and much interested in knights and armor. Old books with rotogravure illustrations taught me about Richard Coeur d’Lion, but also Saladdin and the just Caliph, Haroun al-Rashid, walking his city incognito in the night.Henty

At the movies there was “the Seven Voyages of Sinbad,” with a cute princess, a roc,and a caliph, and on the black and white television. “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and old Sabu movies, all with men in robes and turbans, and sometimes,not very well veiled women with excitingly bare midriffs and transparent harem pants,  but I don’t remember anyone mentioning Allah. 220px-Seventh_voyage_of_sinbad

An old ship mate of my father’s had worked in Saudi Arabia for a while, and he showed us slides of the dusty streets and veiled women, and close ups of comically grinning camels. I had no idea why their women were veiled ,but I do remember one excellent shot of a crowd at an Aramaco(Arabian American Oil Company, now wholly Saudi government owned) night ball game. Women in the back, all in black, boys in checkered headdresses in front, drinking Pepsi.

HalliburtonArabia

Richard Halliburton with Abdul Aziz, first king of Saudi Arabia.

This then was what I knew of Islam, which we knew as Mohammedanism, as I played at Crusaders versus Saracens: it was sort of a heresy, its warriors had conquered great swathes of the wold, starting from Arabia, and the lands of Islam looked quite exotic, the kinds of places I’d like to explore, like Richard Halliburton, celebrity explorer and writer of the 20s and and 30s, who swam the Hellespont with the minarets of Constantinople behind him, and met the King of Arabia. Islam seemed largely for and of Arabs, although I knew the Turks were in there somewhere.

Then, in 1961, my father was transferred to Sumatra along with all of us. I read up in the library.  Islam was the religion of the great majority of Indonesians, I found, and took up some basics: they had no Trinity.  Muslims prayed five times a day,( and I found that particularly awful, as I hated church and did not enjoy good night prayers. My mother’s occasional spurts of piety sometime resulted in family rosaries that seemed interminable), and revered Jesus as only a prophet, didn’t eat pork, or drink alcohol, and went on pilgrimage to Mecca, that forbidden city Halliburton had tried to visit.Halliburtonturban

In May 1961, we boarded a plane, then a ship, then more planes, and one bright, equatorial day, my encounter with Islam began.

(Read Part Two here)

Refuting the Borg: Arguing With Leftists about Islam.

Perhaps you’ve had this experience: You’re discussing historical events or the issues of the day with a liberal or left friend, and suddenly he seizes up. His eyes glaze over, lids droop, and out comes something like,

“Republicans are racists!”

“The science is settled!”

And the show stoppers:

“Sarah Palin!” “Bush!”

They seem to derive the same comfort from this as might a Buddhist chanting the Lotus Sutra. And while you may observe this in a wide range of settings, with men and women of different ages and skin tones, there is a remarkable consistency, down to vocabulary and syntax, in these ejaculations.

borgThis is the voice of the left-progressive- liberal Borg.

On no other issue is the assimilation of these once (perhaps) individual minds into a collective voice more complete than it is in matters pertaining to Islam. More than once I’ve startled friends and acquaintances by pre-echoing what I knew was about to come out of their mouths.

What with beheadings and jihad in the news, I thought I’d provide a public service for those of you who may not have been as aware of the, ahem, problematic nature of Islam, as I have for so long, but are savvy enough to know that whatever liberals in government, academia and the media say about Islam, it has to be a crock.

Islamophobia!

This one is really worthy of no more than an eye roll and gag mime. A phobia is an irrational fear. Any thinking person will know that there are, at the very least, currenst within the Islamic world that are cause for concern.

The term itself was invented by operatives of the Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood front group, in a quite clever piggyback on the success of “homophobia,” which –given Islam’s attitude towards homosexuality – is worth an ironic giggle.

Racism!

This is the standard condemnation– and, in Europe legally sanctioned to the point of trial, fines and incarceration – of criticism of Islam. It hasn’t gone that far in the U.S. yet, but racists are bad people who leave comments on Stormfront. You wouldn’t want to be one of them, would you?

But, you might ask, Islam is a religion, so what has it got to do with it?. This is another example of leftist induction based on an irrelevant truth. While there are many Muslims, particularly in the Caucasus and former Ottoman territories who would not look any different from the average white Mid-westerners, the majority of them are of non-European stock.

But, so what? Ronald Reagan might have been accused of being a war monger, and mindless anti-communist, a Soviet Union hater, but he wasn’t called anti Russian.

And, secondarily, in the leftist mind, people who don’t like Islam tend to be Republicans, fundamentalist Christians, Reich Wingers, and other undesirables who especially dislike President Obama, and are, therefore, racist.

 The Inquisition!

The burning of heretics at the stake is not a Catholic monopoly

640px-Templars_Burning

The burning of heretics seems to have become standard around the8th Century in Eastern and Western Christianity, as well as Islam, but the Inquisition reached its apogee in the High Middle Ages. Here,Knights Templar burned in 1314.

In the earliest days of Islam, during the 7th Century Ridda Wars in Arabia following Mohammed’s death the Caliph Abu Bakar burned many apostates. Death by fire for apostates and heretics were reported among the Ottomans and in the Barbary States well into the 18th Century

The 9th Century Abbasid Caliph al-Ma’mun instituted an inquisition to punish and at times execute those who contested the eternal and uncreated nature of the Koran. The most prominent victim was Mansur al-Hallaj, Persian born Sufi mystic, who was slowly chopped to bits, and his remains then burned in Baghdad in 922.

all hallaj

The execution of al-Hallaj

One can get into a numbers game, but this is fruitless and irrelevant as it is striking that death for apostasy remains uncontested in Islamic jurisprudence, and is applied under the legal codes of a number of Muslim countries today – most prominently, Saudi Arabia.

 

“What about the Crusades?”

Yeah, what about them?

The proximate cause, was, as any Catholic school child, at least, learned in the 50s, was the Seljuk Turks cutting off pilgrimage routes to the Holy land, as well as robbing and murdering pilgrims and local Christians.

The greater cause was Islamic imperialism. One again, going back to my 50s classroom, I remember the history book, the arrows advancing from Arabia across the Middle East and North Africa and into Spain and beyond.

Tours, Charles Martel. Roland at Roncesvalles. Ok, Roland was actually fighting Basques, not Muslims, as the legend has it, and Tours was not a decisive as I was taught, but Islamic forces did reach Central France in the 8th Century and were in the end turned back.

The Near East and North Africa once were Christian, and Greek, Latin and Syriac speaking. Now that vast area is primarily Muslim and Arabic speaking. The Crusaders may then be seen as a belated response to Muslim aggression against the disordered post-Roman West.

martel

Charles Martel, ” The Hammer,” whacking Saracens at Tours(Or maybe Poitiers, not exactly clear),732.

The Wars of the Crescent preceded the wars of the Cross by centuries.

 

Religious inspired terrorism isn’t just a Muslim thing. What about Timothy McVeigh, The IRA and abortion clinic bombings?

While you might not get all these in one sentence, you probably will in a single session as you bat them down one by one. There is more than one thing going on here.

First, is the old moral equivalence game. We saw this back in the Cold War. Segregation and lynching in the American South, for example, while perhaps not equivalent to the Gulag, showed that at heart we were no better.

This is a rhetorical trick which leftists think is pretty slick, but which merely exposes the poverty of their reasoning. State a truth so general as to be useless as a reference point, but which, in the leftist mind, is all encompassing and subsumes your argument to theirs.

If a guy smacks his wife and lays her flat, do we respond by saying, ”Everybody gets angry?”

Next there is the leftist’s habit in argumentation of spitting out isolated snippets of fact, which in his mind, are signifiers of entire narratives that are, in his world, given, and need not, indeed should not be questioned. These isolated facts are almost always irrelevant or outdated.

The last abortion clinic bombing in the United States was in 1998.

More than ten years later, the last fatality I could find was the murder of Dr. George Tiller in 2009. His killer is serving life with no parole for at least 50 years. Worldwide, total fatalities in anti-abortion violence, to date fall far short of the average market bombing in Baghdad.

Anti abortion violence is also an example of the Left’s love of weak, or more often, entirely faulty syllogism. These embedded causal chains are the mortar that holds the Left world view together.

This one is about as strong as it gets, which is not much.

There is no doubt that anti-abortion violence has a religious dimension. While there are secularists and even atheists uneasy with abortion (I recommend reading Christopher Hitchens on this), opposition   comes largely from believers, with the Catholic Church in the van.

The religious horror at abortion comes from scriptural injunction against the taking of life. This also precludes the killing of an abortionist. Thus, we have a religiously inspired motivation for this violence, without any basis in religion.

Islam, starting with its (in)famous Verse of the Sword, has no such scruples in employing homicide in its advancement.

Unless you’ve been in such talks, a Lefty shouting “Timothy McVeigh!” in defense of Islam, might seem like a bit of Tourette’s, but is in fact an example of deductive absurdity that underlies much of their thinking.

mcveigh

Murderer Timothy McVeigh: Bright, misguided, and a decent prose stylist, but not at all concerned with religion.

 Here’s how it works: McVeigh blew up that federal building, because he didn’t like big government. People who don’t like big government, such as the Tea Party, believe in God. So, Timothy McVeigh bombed for God, just as Muslims do for Allah, when they are not bombing because of poverty or imperialism, that is.

That baptized, but non practicing as an adult, Roman Catholic McVeigh was a self professed agnostic to the day before his death, who only a few hours before the needle, decided to make Pascal’s wager and took the last rites, is something that evades the Left.

Then there is the IRA. It works the same way here. The IRA bombed and killed on behalf of Northern Ireland’s Catholic majority, so clearly they must have been motivated by religion. The Provos, the most extreme of the bunch, were basically Trotskyites with brogues, but somehow that doesn’t signify. Much as in the conflict between Serbs and Croats, religion in Northern Ireland defines ethnicity between groups who are otherwise identical in appearance and language, and the IRA had no interest in imposing Catholicism on anyone, least of all themselves, as they would have to rise early on Sundays after a night at the pub.

There’s a lot of bad stuff in the bible, too.

This comes up when you quote the Koran and relate it present day Islamic violence.

Indeed, Ecclesiastes is a byword for cruel punishment, particularly for moral transgressions. However, you won’t find its strictures in the civil code of Israel.

The genocides conducted by the Hebrews as they occupied Canaan are a favorite of the moral equivalence crowd. These slaughters are pretty gruesome, and too numerous to go into here. However, one reading other chronicles of Middle East peoples such the Hittites and Assyrians will be struck by the similarities. Islam has been largely consistent in offering the option of conversion over death, whereas the Israelites seemed to have had little interest in increasing the number of Jews. Ancient Israel had an expansionist phase, but located between other massive powers as it was, never got very far. Nor is there a consistent imperative to spread Yahweh’s religion to the ends of the earth.

victory-of-joshua-over-the-amorites-5046

Joshua fighting the Amorites, Nicholas Poussin. 17th Century. Why people tend to lose their clothes in these kinds of paintings isn’t clear,but hey, it’s French.

So, overall, pretty much a wash.

As to the leading characters of the Old Testament, even the best are flawed. We are told to admire David’s bravery and love of the Lord, but not encouraged to steal other men’s wives as he did Bathsheba.

In Islam, though, Mohammed, “al-Ihsan(the Perfect One) is held up as a model for all Muslims in every aspect of his character and deeds. Conquests, enslavement of non Muslims, and their killing, rape and plunder, may thus still be admirable ends to Muslims, as they were for Islam’s founder.

Those looking for equivalence in the Bible to Islam, focus on the Old Testament, the Hebrew
Torah, because the new Christian dispensation is of no use to them at all. Jesus had some hard words for sinners, but killed none, nor asked that others do so.

Israel is the problem.

This one introduces positions that range from the end of Israel to a “fair” deal for the Palestinians. Again, refer to the history of jihad. And not to go all wonky, but Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the font of the modern Jihad, acted in response to the Kemalist abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924, when the ink on the Balfour Declaration was barely dry.

If we didn’t bomb and invade Muslim countries they wouldn’t dislike us so much.

blackhawk

Black Hawk Down, Mogadishu, Somalia, 1993.

I certainly agree that this is waste of lives and money, but it is curious to note that, since the Viet Nam War, aside from Grenada and Panama, every American military intervention abroad has involved Muslims, and aside from the Balkans, where Orthodox Serbia was the enemy, the U.S. has been defending one bunch of Muslims from another.

 

Radical Muslims are a tiny minority

Here we are getting into area where the Borg speaker rather than deflecting from Islam, purports to know something about it. As usual, his facts are irrelevant or distorted.

So, how tiny is tiny? Surveys of opinion, in both of Muslim countries and in Muslim populations in the West, consistently show very large numbers supporting sharia law, jihad, suicide bombers, Hamas and Hezbollah, and the destruction of Israel. These figures rise and fall and vary from place to place, but in the aggregate amount to hundreds of millions of Muslims. Pew Research reports regularly on these issues.

There is also, again, the matter of thirteen centuries of jihad in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Islam is a religion of Peace. “Islam” itself means peace.

While the word is derived in Arabic from the same root of that for the word for peace, Islam means submission. In the Islamic view a peaceful world will arise when the entire globe submits to Islam. Islamic geopolitics sees the world divided in twain: Dar ul Islam, the house of Peace, has already submitted. Dar ul Harb, the house of War –that’s us – has not.

It is also important to note that while Islam is seen as, and sees itself as a universal religion, the Koran says that it was revealed in Arabic, to the Arabs as they ”… are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.”

Radical Muslims misunderstand their religion.

This is something the Borg talker will repeat when they hear explanations of Islamic violence from Muslims.  So what is it exactly that they misunderstand? Ask for citations from Islamic scripture, and classical Muslim commentators.

Note also that there are many Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists who engage in worship, but are weak in, or even largely ignorant of their respective theologies, but there doesn’t seem to be a problem with them and religiously inspired violence.

Conclusion

There is probably more, but I’ll stop here. Writing this has been almost as wearying as arguing with leftists. I don’t at all care for Islam, but there is an injunction against “arguing with fools” in Islamic law. I kind of get that, but persist.

Looking back at these pages, I see that a few leftie discourse markers have inspired me to write more than a couple of thousand words in rebuttal. Behind these words are entire libraries and disciplines, which I have barely plumbed.

I persist because I’m interested. Practically speaking, these points likely won’t change any Leftists’ minds, but they might just shut them up. That’s why I haven’t included much in the way of links.  I’ve done my research. Let the lefties support their own assertions, with their own research.

They won’t, of course. But, hey, whatever.

Then, if your friends are like mine, you can put it aside, have a few drinks, and enjoy the fruits of the civilization bequeathed to us by fighters such as Charles Martel, one in which I and my friends can hoist a craft beer, and agree to disagree.

Without beheading anyone.

The Familiar Barbarism of ISIS

I write this as President Obama takes questions in Estonia. He just referred to ISIS’ “barbaric and empty vision.”  Barbaric it surely is, but far from empty.

As usual, he makes no mention of the Islamic roots of this world view, and notes that its primary victims are Muslims.  He never will state the truth that Islam began as, and has largely been, a religion of war and conquest.  And thus, it is supremely pragmatic and reflects truths about human nature that we would prefer to forget.

Earlier today, I watched Megyn Kelly of Fox News speak with Maajid Nawaz, former Islamic terrorist, and now a Liberal Democratic candidate for the British Parliament.   She said that ISIS appeared to be psychopaths.  Nawaz quite rightly told her that this is not the case. These fighters make war on behalf of their ideology, he said.

That ideology is again, Islam, which is, as it has always been, about conquest and power, and one might consider that this, the third transnational ideology to afflict the modern world, as did its predecessors, simply codifies the truth behind most of human history.

The strong will terrorize the weak, both to achieve their ends, and for the sheer joy of it.

In this the civilized state and its barbarian enemies can be quite the same.  Consider the Assyrians
Ashurbanipal, in his reduction of Elam, one of his many campaigns:

“According to his inscription, he killed the Elamite king Teumann and his son with his own sword: ‘With the encouragement of Assur, I killed them; I cut off their heads in front of each other.” He then brought the heads back to Nineveh where he hung them in his garden as decoration.”The destruction of Susa in the land of Elam 652 BCE

 “The rest of those living I destroyed…and their carved-up bodies I fed to dogs, to pigs, to wolves, to eagles, to birds of the heavens, to fishes of the deep.”

.

Then the Romans, those master engineers and lawgivers, the second element in the hyphenated classical heritage to which we credit the Renaissance and later, the Enlightenment, from the viewpoint of Calgacus, a Caledonian chief, as reported by Tacitus:

“To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

The incessant dynastic wars of the middle ages, the Wars of Religion, and the Thirty Years War.

And then, The Enlightenment, which  gave rise to what we take as a self evident principle, that humans have natural rights, which they should not need to defend, but enjoy peacefully, simply because they are humans.

The Western European wars of the 18th and 19th centuries, and even the Great War, saw civilians excluded from much of the violence, as never before. Cities were occupied, sometimes destroyed, but not sacked

The second European War reversed this, with civilians targeted and brutalized in spectacular numbers,  often with an up close and personal cruelty that was the equal of any in the ancient world.

And we come to James Foley, Sotloff, and many others, before, and to come.

We are shocked because this does not happen in our world.  Such things are confined to the forests and deserts of faraway lands where languages and customs are so different as to be unfathomable.
Yet ,Islam is quite straightforward:

“Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

Qur’an 2:256 al-Saif

Yet the futile search for “why” continues, misdirected by our own natures.  

We refuse to understand that Islam’s resurgence, like the Holocaust and the Stalinist butchery, should tell us that barbarism, as we call it, has been the normal state of humanity.  In the years just before August 1914, European civilization reigned supreme, and progress, both in the metropolitan countries and their colonies was thought to be unstoppable.  Science, comfort, hygiene, and material well being would only continue to improve the lot of humanity.

The horrors that followed need not be outlined here, but following the two European catastrophes and the long tensions of the Cold War we found ourselves once again in the light of optimism. Technology and commerce were – and are – well on the way to bringing most of the world out of poverty.
Yet  in these same decades, the darkness that is Islam gathered strength.  It is easy to forget that the Middle East, benighted as it seems, and eternally embroiled in its hatred of Israel, had, or at least its elites had, not so long ago, embraced modernism, albeit often in their own forms of socialism and nationalism.

Nasser_and_Tahia_wedding

Egyptian strongman Gamal Abdul Nasser and bride Tahia, 1944

Retrogression is never impossible, and has in history often been unstoppable.  The liberal humane and democratic life we treasure, in its varying forms in Europe, North America, Australasia and much of Asia is not the inevitable pinnacle of human progress.  It needs to be understood as precious, and delicate.  And therein is the contradiction.  Comfortable civilizations have arisen before and been shattered as that very comfort fails in the face of the basic human lust for power and domination. The barbarian may sweep in on horseback, or through an electoral victory.

President Obama and his Secretary of State have both referred to ISIS crimes as barbaric, and its outlook nihilist. This is an easy tag to throw around, much as the left enjoys the epithet “fascist,” and it is equally meaningless in this context.

ni·hil·ism
ˈnīəˌlizəm,ˈnē-/
noun
noun: nihilism

the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.

Robert Zaretsky and David Mikics, writing in the Boston Globe on August 31, 2014, I think, correctly argue that, if anyone is nihilist, it is the post religious, post national West.  ISIS certainly cites its religious and moral principles, amply grounded in the Islamic canon.  However, Zaretsky and Mikics might have gone further.

The barbarian could not be more alive.  He knows that life has meaning:  conquest, plunder, and power. Just as the café habitué with his copy of “Being or Nothingness,” cannot understand this, the barbarian could not for a moment understand the intellectual’s search for meaning.

Nor would he want to.  He would simply relieve the searcher of his valuables, woman, and perhaps his head.

The west and its civilizational allies are still in denial.  The civilized man simply cannot understand the appeal of barbarism. We cannot prevail until we acknowledge that it is not ISIS that is aberrant, but we. Should we finally marshal our material and spiritual forces, and defeat Islam, the peace will not be eternal.

The barbarian is always at the gate, without, and within.   

“Innocence of Muslims:” Innocent of Craft, but not Truth

(I began this piece months ago. Events have had a way of running beyond my ability to keep up and write about them.)

muslims

That backdrop looks like Death Valley to me.

As the controversy over Benghazi snowballs, more and more have heard of “Innocence of Muslims,” a a film that few – if any have seen – but the trailer for which the Administration posited as the proximate cause of the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

(The snowballing controversy I mention has melted into slush, after endless obfuscation b the President and many members of his administration, and such distractions as the Petraeus resignation.)

obama-un-speech-25sept2012-620x349

‘The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam’ Why not? And, who cares? Truth is not slander.

Secretary Clinton called it “disgusting and reprehensible.” The President of the United States saw it as “crude and disgusting.” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined the chorus of condemnation calling the YouTube sensation “… a reprehensible video insulting Islam.”

For years, it has been apparent to me that most of the politicians, reporters and pundits who routinely comment on matters pertaining to Islam actually have little direct knowledge of the religion, and simply accept that it much like any other, but one with some problematic followers.

It is unlikely that any of the major players in the Benghazi controversy have watched the full trailer, and the odds are astronomical that in the unlikely event they have, or had a member of staff do so, none have looked into the origins of the points the film makes, and whether they have any basis in Islamic doctrine and tradition.

Foreign Policy Magazine did have a look, but provides a joking precis rather than any real analysis. It is sad to see this venerable publication trying to snark like a junior writer on Slate. They did this, they say, so their readers would not have to watch the film. This video clip was elevated to worldwide importance by the administration, including the President, who mentioned it no less than six times in his address to the United Nations.

Let me then do the work that Foreign Policy did not.

FP’s summary:

An introduction featuring a Muslim mob in fake beards slaughtering Christians in modern-day Egypt as police look on. The rest of the film seems to be a flashback in which a father explains the roots of Islamic extremism to his daughter.

The insinuation that Mohammed is a “bastard of an unknown father”

Khadija comforting Mohammed by placing his head between her legs

Mohammed calling a donkey “the first Muslim animal”

Mohammed telling his followers they should feel free to molest children

Mohammed having sex with the wives of his followers

Mohammed also being gay. (When a follower asks if he is “dominant or submissive,” he replies, “both.”)

An old lady — with a mysterious New York accent — being drawn and quartered by camels

Lots of terrible overdubbing, cheesy green screen backgrounds, and The Roomlevel dialogue and acting. 

As Foreign Policy says, the film begins with Muslim mobs slaughtering Coptic christinas while polce look on. This is hardly entierely fctive. The opening scene could, sadly be generic, in today’s Egypt. Simply search “Christians,” “Copts,“Muslims, and “clash” -the favored term for a Muslim attack on minorities – and you will get plenty of results.

The aspersion on Muhammad’s parentage is weakly founded on the tradition that his father Abddallah, died away from home some months before he was born. There appears to be no scholarship pointing to Islam’s founder as illegitimate. The mention of bastardy is clearly put forth as an insult; a particularly pointed one for a religion that prescribes lashing or even death for extramarital sex.

We of course have no word on the martial relations between Muhammad and his first wife Khadidjah, a considerably older, and wealthy woman. Muslims see the marriage as their founder taking a lonely and defenseless woman under his protection, and claim he increased her fortune; detractors say that the founder leeched off a helpless woman because he had no talent of his own. This scene may then be a metaphorical statement of the latter view, but that is a a bit of stretch considering the writing overall.

Showing a donkey as Muhammad’s first convert is over the top, but while not canonical ,there is a story of a there is talking donkey in Islamic tradition. This amazing ass was part of the spoils from the subjugation of the Jews of Khaybar.

The bit about the Messenger allowing his followers to molest children is  excessive, but has its origin in an undisputed – and to modern eyes – thoroughly distasteful aspect of Muhammad’s life. One merely needs point to the settled fact – among Muslims –  that Muhammad married a six year old, and while he did not consummate the marriage until she was nine, in the intervening years he did find gratification with her. This may have been customary in that place and time, but this tradition is remarkable for its uniqueness among religious figures, and continues to provide a rationale for child marriage in the Muslim world to this day.

“Use of the children whom you wish. The rest are to be sold as slaves,” Says the messenger Again, this is an accusation of pederasty. While there is little to rest this on other than Muhammd’s relationship with Aisha, it is partly true: In the aftermath of the Battle of the Trench, men and boys were killed. Women, girls, and those boys without pubic hair were were spared,but sold as slaves.

As for Muhammad having sex with the wives of his followers, that is something of a broad brush, but not entirely unfounded. The story of his marriage to Zaynab is illustrative. This woman was married to the prophet’s adopted son Zayd. When His eye fell on favor on his daughter in law, Muhammad was place in a dilemma as the relationship while not consanguineous, was considered too close. The adoption was nullified via one of a typically many convenient Koranic revelation, as the film shows:

“I’m canceling the adoption that business with my adopted my son’s wife”

“Islamic nation forbids adoption. That is next verse of the Koran” Muhammad does have rather convenient revelations.  Thereafter adoption was forbidden in Islam. This is something to consider when one is asked to contribute to a Muslim orphanage. The children may be kept of the street, but they will never find homes.

And the prophet was not limited to a set number of wives. Zyanab, also his first cousin, was his fifth., and like all Muslims was allowed to have sex with his slave girls.

“Is the messenger of god gay?” a character asks.

Type in “Was Muhammad Gay “ in your search bar and you will get quite a number of posts. The very idea seems absurd, as Islam is quite clear on what should be the fate of homosexuals: death. The prevalence of same sex affection in Islamic countries where women are simply not available to unmarried men, but as there are references to beautiful boys in Islamic paradise, stories in the hadith that Muhammad wore kohl to highlight his eyes, and sometimes liked to wear his wife Aisha’s clothes, discussions of Muhammad’s gayness abound However, all these references are disputed and there are lengthy debates on translation involving Syriac versus Arabic vocabulary, far too abstruse to go into here.

Again,there is little on which to base this accusation, and it is clearly a calculated insult, but understandable given the low status and near invisibility of women in orthodox Islam.

he old lady’s “mysterious New York accent” is, I think, either a deliberate obfuscation, or lack of the simplest research on the part of FP. . There is no one New York accent. New York Irish, Italians, blacks, and, as in this case, Jews, have distinct ways of speaking that while commonly identifiable as New Yorkese, are also distinguishable as to ethnicity. The old woman is clearly meant to be Jewish

This scene refers to a story that is not canonical, but which does appear in some Islamic chronicles.

“….and Umm Qirfa Fatima was taken prisoner. She was a very old woman, wife of Malik. Her daughter and Abdullah Masada were also taken. Zayd ordered Qays to kill Umm Qirfa and he killed her cruelly (Tabari), by putting a rope to her two legs and to two camels and driving them until they rent her in two.)”

The problem is that this woman was Bedouin, not Jewish. Had the producer done his research, he would have found ample examples in Islamic scripture of atrocities, murder and plunder of Jews. This scene conflates those with the murder of the old woman, something FP could easily have ascertained

The Foreign Policy précis leaves out some other important points the film clumsily attempts to make.

The Koran is depicted a  purpose built fiction,and indeed, it is such..

“I will make a book for him. It will be some version of the Torah and the New Testament. Which is clearly what the Koran is.  The Koran does contain many elements from both the Torah and New Testament, some quite distorted, or as Muslims believe, corrected, so as to agree with the eternal Koran which has been corrupted by Jews and Christians.Biblical figures and stories float through the book, with no clear narrative structure, so that Jesus, Moses, and Abraham appear as contemporaneous forbears to Muhammad.

Muslims believe that the Koran has existed eternally and was revealed to Muhammad at the time of his prophet-hood. At the same time their historical tradition admits that the founder, an illiterate, did not write, or cause to have written down a single version of the book, but rather that its fragments, written on scraps of paper, cloth, and bone, were gathered together at the command of the Caliph Usman many years subsequent to Muhammad’s death. Unless one does believe in Divine guidance, it is clear that such a process would result in many unacknowledged sources.

In another r scene the founder tells his followers prior to a caravan raid“We will kill the men, loot the goods and take the women.”

This is an accurate summary of Islamic rules of war. The goods and persons of non-Muslims, or those Muslims deemed to be in opposition to true Islam, are forfeit. That Muhammad was a leader in the sole Bedouin industry – plunder – is acknowledged,and indeed, celebrated in both the Koran and hadith.

There is much more, but I will conclude with this:  Islam is on earth, not to complete revelation,but to suppliant it, and those who resist do so at their peril.

In the film, Muhammad asks a Jew “What about Jericho?”

The Jew replies that Jericho “had a chance.”  This is not the way I remember the story, but he goes on to say that Jews  didn’t ask others to convert to Judaism. This is true, and the lack of a proselytizing urge in Judaism is in stark contrast the Islamic mandate to dominate the globe.

The Jew goes on to say that Jews believed in one god long before Muhammad, as did the pharaohs  of Egypt.  This last is a stretch, but one Egyptian ruler, Akhenaten, did briefly establish monotheism.

To this, Muhammad replies that  it is not not enough to believe in one god, but rather  “you must say God and Muhammad his messenger.”  Muslims were once commonly called Muhammadans, and this term, while no longer acceptably, is accurate..  The cult of the Prophet,”al-Ihsan”, the perfect man,is what the “religion” is about.

Christians are taught to emulate Jesus, whom the believe was divine; Muslims emulate Muhammad, who was human, and throughtly profane.

“Innocence cf of Muslims” seems designed to show that Muslims are not innocent of the violence that is endemic in their lands and along their borders, and which has been brought to the West and elsewhere again and again since the six Day War . The film is indeed crude, but not vile or reprehensible. The points it makes could have been better supported, and are so in countless books, blogs, and better made videos.

In its negative aspersions upon Islam it is, on the whole, truthful.

Finally, I disagree with FP in its comparison of “Innocence” to “The Room:” “‘The Room” was better.

.

The War for Africa

Has already started.

“Ex Africa semper aliquid novi”

“Always something new from Africa” said Pliny the Elder, and this remains true today, but unfortunately, the news is most often bad, especially for Africans.

Ansar Al Dine fighters near Timbuktu, Mali. Note the black war flag of Jihad.

In April of this year, in the disarray after a military coup, Malian government forces fled the country’s northern cities, abandoning an area as large as France. While there were several actors in the anti-government movement, hard-line Islamists affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb quickly appeared alongside the local Islamic militia, Ansar Al Dine.

The fabled city of Timbuktu came under shariah law, with wine and music banished, and floggings, amputations and the demolition of ancient Muslim shrines in their place.  This is an appalling situation for the people of Northern Mali, one that is little noticed in the West, at least among the priorities of foreign policy establishments. It should be, not only for the gross violations of human rights in Northern Mali, but for its larger strategic implications.

In the wake of Muammar Qadaffi’s deposition, vast stores of weapons and armaments

Benghazi US consulate under attack on 9/11/2012

found their way into many hands. In fact, Navy seal, Glen Doherty killed at Benghazi, was tasked with trying to retrieve shoulder fired anti aircraft missiles. Libya’s interim president has stated that foreign fighters, including some from Mali, were involved in the attack. There is little reason to doubt him, as his version of events has been proven right, while the “evolving” positions of the US administration have been consistently wrong.

One fears then that American policy makers have little if any idea of what they are dealing with: far more than isolated terrorist attacks, but a continent wide challenge.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram, a violent Jihadist movement, began its campaign in 2009. Yet, while information on its savage asymmetrical war of bombings, assassinations, beheadings and ethnic cleansing has been reported by the wire services from the start, it was long rarely mentioned in broadcast news reports. A search shows CNN first reporting in 2011, and then only in security matters blogs. Boko Haram’s atrocities make for lurid reporting, but the group has a far larger significance,

An AFP (Agence France Presse) report datelined September 27, 2012,  Gao, Northern Mali that as jihadi fighters pour across the Niger border,

Perhaps the most startling thing about these fighters along this frontier route is that nearly all of them are from sub-Saharan Africa rather than the Maghreb.

, I am surprised,” Nigerien Hicham Bilal, who is leading a katiba (combat unit) to Gao, admitted to AFP. “Every day we have new volunteers. They come from Togo, Benin, Niger, Guinea, Senegal, Algeria and elsewhere.”

This then, is the significance of Mali.  A route has been opened for jihad from the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Guinea.  A look at the map shows the enormous advantage the forces of Islam have. Boko Haram began by demanding Islamic rule in the Muslim majority northern half of the country; now it fights to brig all of Nigeria under sharia.

Why then would one doubt that Islamic rule in North Africa and the Sahel would not press

The fall of Northern Mali has opened a jihad trail between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

further, through migration, economic pressure, and outright war? There are strategic thinkers among the Islamists.  The movement that now triumphs in Egypt began in the1920s.

In Arabic “abd,” slave, also means  black African The Arab drive for domination of black Africa began many centuries ago, manifested most blatantly in the Arab slave trade, reaching deep into the interior, penetrating as far as the Central Congo. Confronted with superior European technology and organization, Arab influence in Central Africa receded, but has long since renewed its assault as the decades long Civil War ( which might better be called the war for Independence of black Sudan) in Sudan, and the continuing oppression of Muslim black people in Darfur. The ancient Christian land Of Ethiopia is already one third Muslim, and Christians have been expelled from some Muslim areas. In Kenya , Somali Al Shabab jihad operatives have carried out attacks in the capital, Nairobi. Any African country with a substantial Muslim population can expect Arab directed violence and aggression, with the assistance of these large fifth columns,

Poor Africa.  The continent seems destined to be dominated and plundered. These trends

Tippu Tip or Tib (1837 – June 14, 1905 Once owned 10,000 slaves. His influence reached the Easter Congo. While he appears black, he was partly  of Muscat descent, considered himself an Arab, and acted accordingly towards non Muslim Africans

point to a future in which black Africa faces economic, political and religious enslavement.   Christianity in the ancient lads of Christendom has become largely nominal; in Africa it is fervent belief. Christian Africa will not submit willingly, but its resistance will be at a severe disadvantage.  The Muslim forces will have the support of their brethren globally, and the weapons and resources for war in which the Middle East and North Africa are well stocked.  If Christian Africans receive the same level of support that the West has given minorities in Muslim lands, the their future may be grim.

This Arab empire will be like its predecessors, living off plunder and captive populations, perhaps partnering with Russia and China in resource extraction, even as hose nations fight their own Islamic insurgents.

So, are these the musings of someone with an internet connection ad too much time on his hands?

Perhaps not.

Africom, established in 2007 and headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is U.S military’s hybrid military-civilian organization with the mission of working with African nations on security matters, with security broadly defined as including not just military capability but economic and social developmen,t as well.  Although  the US has bases in Africa, no African nation has agreed to host the command,

The commands mission is sounds relatively benign, but some Africans see it as aimed a securing resurces and supply lines. This may be so.  Perhaps the US is pre-positioning  for its part in the wider struggle. On whose side it will stand, and why is open to question, but what isn’t, is that it is Africa that will suffer as it always has.

It’s a Bitch Being Right: The Arab Spring: Unlike Irish Spring, No Matter How Much You Scrub, It Still Stinks

Benghazi “demonstrators.”

( I have been picking away at this post since last year.  Events always seemed to overtake me.  In the wake of the Cairo Embassy and Benghazi attacks and deaths,now seems a good time to bring it to  a close.)

In an email to a list of friends that was the predecessor to this blog, I wrote on the first of February 2011:

Some of you, I suspect ,had not heard of the Muslim Brotherhood a week or two ago.  By now, I’m sure you all have.

Allah is our objective.
The Prophet is our leader.
Qur’an is our law.
Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

 – Hassan al-Banna (1906 – 1949),

Have a look at this “explanation” on their official website.  Notice that after lines and lines of blather, he gets back to the point.

(Note:  shortly after my email, the Brotherhood  scrubbed the jihad message from its  English website.  It was there: I pasted the motto above from it.  Screenshots have been preserved on the web.)

@Robert and I have known about these guys since ’81, but our attention wandered.

However, as soon as Tunisia went, I thought (and many much better informed and wiser than I, long before this all started to unwind), it’s all gonna go and then we saw copycat self-immolation across the region, including in Egypt.

And I thought, uh-oh, the Brotherhood, because as anyone keeping up on developments over the years was aware, even from MSM, these are the guys who assassinated Sadat for making peace with Israel, and although outlawed, have been tolerated as they turned their efforts to “social work,” providing services the Egyptian government could not, or perhaps would not provide.  An alternate name for Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine

Just as in the early days of the Tunisian revolution the MSM told us Islamists weren’t involved (Listen, any time you hear mobs shouting Allahu Akbar, it’s Islamist!) only to have to cover the return of Islamist  exiles and clashes between them and secularists, so the Brotherhood was first ignored, then called marginal, and now of course is being discussed across the media spectrum since the Brotherhood itself has no desire to hide.

Predictably ,we see puff pieces on CNN as to who they have “changed,” and statements by the Brotherhood that they only want to “participate”  You should be aware of a core Islamic principle, taqyiya –deception which states that it is acceptable and desirable for Muslims to lie and deceive their opponents in advancing Islam.  Peace treaties are signed in times of weakness, abrogated in time of strength.   A bit of an archival search will show this same MSM process of threat minimization regarding Iran in 78.

Some of the more “radical” anti Islam commentators I read of course see the minimizing of the MSM as part of an overall “plot.”

I don’t.  While there are some elements of the nihilist left – philobaribarists and neo- Rousseauvians – who just plain hate Western civilization( Why?  I don’t really care.) in the media and academia, I would characterize the impulse to ignore the threat of Islam as coming from two sources, one reprehensible, and one laudable, but misguided.

Hitler and Lenin said exactly what they were going to do, but no one listened.  Muhammad, too, is equally plain spoken. 

Chamberlain and his ilk simply couldn’t bear the awful truth.  That was cowardice, plain and simple.

In our day, we are the children of Martin Luther King.  We have been reared to value diversity ( and I’m not making fun here, although I think the word “diversity” has been hijacked and defiled).  It is against our very natures to characterize a group as evil.  But that is what we must do to those who adhere to the literal teachings of Islam.

No matter the puff pieces from the MSM, or outreach from the White House and the State Department(Obama invited members of the brotherhood to his Cairo speech, despite their outlaw status, certainly something they would take as a clear signal as to where he stood on Mubarak, whether he meant it that way or not ) The Brotherhood has not changed its mission, nor has its many front groups.( see CAIR)

It will take over Egypt, and Egypt will become a front line jihad state. There is no chance of any kind of democracy – other than the Iranian variety – ultimately emerging. None.  Nothing can stop this, and we shouldn’t try.  If we acknowledge the threat now we can make rational preparations to counter it.

This is a civilizational crisis, like the earlier ones of the 20th century.  The difference is that with Islam, given its utter didacticism ( Marxism was capable of reinterpretation and mutation), and tendency to war with itself –there will be no Muslim Lenin, Hitler or Stalin, so  it will be far easier to contain, and when contained, will quickly collapse from its contradictions –as all ideologies do, and as do empires based on conquest(see Rome)

The question is, how long do we wait?

Note:   I could provide lots of links to bolster my assertions, but I think it’s better if people look on their own, and base their conclusions on sources they trust.  

Not long after this, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, ex-Muslim atheist writer and former member of the Dutch Parliament who fled Holland for America after continuing  credible death threats from Islamists, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that a rush to elections in Egypt would bring the Brotherhood to power and that it would be better to put a constitution in place first, one that assured the freedoms that many of the revolution’s early supporters were ready to,and in many cases did die for.

Ms Ali did not reference, but surely had in mind the statement a week earlier for the the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper,  during a House Intelligence Committee hearing  that Egypt’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement was “a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried  al -Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.”

The Brotherhood has eschewed violence because it has found far more effective ways to work, organizing on the ground through civil society groups, and exploiting the pathetic eagerness of western political, academic and media elites to believe  that it’s all going to turn out well..

But, by May…

Islamist Leader Pursues Egypt’s Presidency

CAIRO—A popular reformist leader in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said he will run for president, in a move that raises the possibility that Islamist politicians could dominate the country’s presidency and its parliament.

And now he is President of Egypt

These lies or “evolution” did nothing to discourage Arab Spring revelers:

29 November 2011:”MPAC(Muslim Public Affairs Council) announced today it will host two special events tomorrow focusing on the Arab Spring, a Capitol Hill forum on “Islamic Political Movements and the Arab Spring: Committed to Democracy and Pluralism?” and a special dinner with  Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party.”

Now, the question in the event description was rhetorical, but I think the answer should now be obvious.

The re-branding of Islamic supremacism never stops. All Islamist parties are now “moderate.”

VOA:November 03, 2011

Islam in Tunisia – Will Ennahda Win Usher in Religious Reform?

I guess this answers that question: September 14, 2011. The blag flag of jihad flies over the US embassy in Tunis.

Tunisians question the Ennahda Party Constituent Assembly win in a country that has been secular for decades. Others say that’s precisely why the Islamists did win. And everyone is getting an education in democracy.

and: Secularists are still scratching their heads: How, exactly, did Islamists perform so well in the election.

Gosh, I dunno, maybe because Muslims voted for them?  Pew Research has been showing high favorables for sharia law in muslim contries, for quiet some time. Stoning adulterers is quite popular.

Islamic reform?  What are we to make of this?  Nice reforms that lead to a better life under Islam?    Or face veils and beheadings?  No doubt the Washington establishment expects the former.

Does anyone remember Mao’s cadres being labelled “agrarian reformers?”  Indeed they were.  So much so that there wasn’t much agriculture to speak of left when they got through with it.  Or Castro the Democrat?

NYT:

Moderate Islamist Party Winning Morocco Election

quote:“We have a progressive approach to Islam,” Mustafa Ramid, a party leader, said in an interview. “The Islamicization of Morocco will be achieved only by re-establishing justice, and religious freedom.”

Of course, Islam does not allow religious freedom, but in Islamic thought, freedom to submit to Islam is freedom.  Still, nothing to worry about, plenty of diversity in that context, according to experts such as Noah Feldman,(November 29, 2011) “the Harvard law professor who has specialised among other things in Islamic law, pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood would not have to fight for amendments to write sharia into the Egyptian constitution because it’s already there. “The Egyptian constitution as written is perfectly considtent with the Brotherhood’s ideals. It states that Islam is the source of law and that laws cannot contradict the sharia. It is an Islamist constitution — it’s just not applied in a very Islamist way,” he said. The new Iraqi and Afghan constitutions, both drawn up while U.S. troops were fighting armed Islamists there after invading in the last decade, are also both Islamic constitutions in that way.”

bush

              Now, this guy was really scary.

Feldman said he expected the Muslim Brotherhood to work within the democratic system while promoting a socially conservative agenda in accordance with Muslim values. So there would be more mosque attendance, possibly more Islamically inspired legislation like better welfare for the poor. But he saw this as essentially a cultural shift somewhat akin to the change seen in Washington in 2001 when another party with strong religious links took power.

Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian President and a reall sweetheart.

Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian President and a real sweetheart.

“It’s not very different from when the Bush administration came to Washington,” he said. “The culture was subtly affected by this. There were more people of evangelical and southwestern backgrounds. The president was seen going to church on Sunday and actually meaning it. These cultural differences are related to religion but it’s too simple to reduce them to religion,” he said.

US Embassy Cairo : It’s not the Jolly Roger, folks. Well, in a way, it is.

What an ass.  I don’t recall “theocrat” George W. Bush conducting any blasphemy trials.  Instead, he began the pandering to the Religion of Peace that has simply escalated since then., and reached its apogee this week as the President and his Secretary of State continue to blame  the assaults on American facilities in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Islamic word as reactions to an offensive video. The simple, and obvious question, that what kind of culture would react so violently  to a crude( but not unfounded) criticism, is one they cannot ask themselves, because the answer is so transparently clear that their false construct of an Islamic world that is at heart not so different from ours, will instantly collapse. It is this willful self delusion that led to Benghazi.  Indeed, while it may seem harsh, I suspect that murdered ambassador Stevens was subject to it himself.

Panglosssian Globalist and friend

Rather every time the Islamist rulers of Egypt and the other “liberated” countries ramp up their rhetoric, and action, they are simply re-branded .  Every time thei rstory changes, they new line becomes truth.  Unless its something really unpleasant, like amputating hands, in which case the chattering class ignore it completely. Thus we have the indefatigable globalist Thomas Friedman, schmoozing  with veiled women who assure him their votes for the brotherhood and salafis were “not based on religion.”  Mr Friedman needs to know that his Lexus has run head on into the Olive Tree.  The Lexus is totalled, the tree isn’t going anywhere.  The one world convergence of democratic consumerism isn’t happening; the convergence of Islamic supremacism with the human will to power, is.

Now, the question is, if I – and countless others – could figure this out, why couldn’t Washington?http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/02/09/Muslim-Brotherhood-wont-field-candidate/UPI-59081297265941/#ixzz1kI2IarTY

A Short Message to Followers of the Prophet from Arabia

So you are offended?

We don’t care.

Here’s the deal: Despite hand wringing by both left leaners who think we should be nice to offended Muslims, and right wingers who think we should “do something,” most Americans simply don’t care. Nor should they. We will go about our lives, enjoying our freedoms, and a standard of living that although falling somewhat, is still astronomically more advanced than you poor benighted souls rioting in your pestilential and barely standing nations could even imagine, let alone ever achieve. Baseball season is coming to an end. Fall is in the air, and football starts soon. To hell with you. We don’t care.

The Increasing Reach of Sharia Law

Does anyone remember Ahmad Kashgari, the young Saudi journalist and  blogger, returned by Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, after a red notice issued by Interpol at the Kingdom’s request?  Mr. Kashgari had expressed some mild doubts, and not disbelief in, as to the character of Islam’s prophet, Mohammed. Thousands called for his death.  He has recanted, but is still imprisoned. Even if released, it is unlikely that he will ever know freedom, and will live out his life in that desert prison nation.

The greater scandal was that Interpol, headed by an American, headquartered in Lyon, France,cooperated in a depriving a man of his freedom for violation of ancient religious law.  Now it appears that Interpol may be at it again, this time with the cooperation of Sweden, a country that touts itself as a bastion of tolerance and liberal values, but which has abased itself to multiculturalism, opened its borders, and subjected its people to assaults on their persons, as well as their  ancient values and freedoms.

As reported  2 September 2012, in the English language Saudi Gazette:

Efforts on to bring back ‘Al-Khobar girl’ from Sweden

AL-KHOBAR — The Al-Khobar girl who fled the Kingdom after allegedly converting to Christianity will be brought home from Sweden in a matter of few days, Al-Yaum newspaper reported Saturday quoting informed sources.

The(sic) Interpol is coordinating with the Saudi Embassy in Stockholm and Swedish authorities to return the girl to her homeland before her “kidnappers” move her to another country, the sources said.

This story started showing up a few days ago on conservative, Christian, and anti-jihad sites.  “Al Khobar girl” is a telling trm, aimed at leading readers to think we are dealing with a minor whose parents have her best interests at heart.  No age is given, and this is significant: in Islam, women are not considered autonomous indivuals, and never achieve majority, remaining children, and chattels, throughout their lives.

It is intereting that the Gazette gave both “Al Khobar Girl, in the headline, and “kidnappers” in the body, quotation marks, which, given the climate in the Kingdom, is a subtle but still gutsy note of skepticism.

That skepticism is warranted is demonstrated by this statement:

Sources said it is highly likely that a global human trafficking network was involved in the kidnapping of the girl, who was persuaded by her Lebanese manager to embrace Christianity and leave the country without the knowledge of her family.

Human Trafficking?  Really?  Have the pervs become so jaded that they are no longer satisfied with Russians, Romanian, Kazakh, Moldavan, and Mainland Cinese women – all of which operate here in Indonesia, where I live, especially in Jakarta’s Chinatown, where these working girls pull down a grand a night or more – that traffickers are looking for novelty in Saudi Arabian hookers?

I doubt it.

That the young woman embraced Christianity, fled and is now being sought by the Saudi and Swedish authorities, facilitated by Interpol, I’ll take as true, until any of these deny it.  Whether Western media decide to pursue this story remains to be seen, but I’m certainly not expecting women’s rights organization to take up the Saudi “girl’s” defense.

In the United states, those who warn about the influenced of Sharia law are routinely derided as bigots and nuts.  Lost  in the politically correct white noise is that the anti- shariah movement does  not posit that the the Supreme court will one day be staffed with bearded, turbaned kadis, but that U.S. case law might be decided with reference to the shariah, and without regard to basic constitutional principles.  In fact, this has already happened. The anti Islamic law movement has morphed into a ant iforeign law movement, which is gaining momentum despite denigration by media and government voices.

Those, generally on the left, who deride these efforts as at worse “islamophobic bigotry,” and at best frivolous, should reflect on Mr. Kashgari, who was returned from Malaysia en route to New Zealand, in response to Interpol’s red notice, to Saudi Arabia, were the penalty for his offece is ofcially, death, as it is for that of the “al-Khobar girl.”

Malaysia is an Islamic country but now we may have Western  authorities colluding to return a Muslim to face punishment for something that is not an offense in any Western legal tradition.

How long before a Westerner suffers rendition for an offense to Islam?

Never happen?

Really?

“Islam Will Dominate” I Call Bullshit

“Islam will dominate” proclaim placards waved by bearded fanatics. Organizations such as Shariah4Belgium, and similar groups in Holland, Britain and France scream of their dreams of Islamic victory while they harass moderate Muslims and secularists. Naive multiculturalists chanting the “Coexist” mantra, craven politicians, and worse those cynical enough to pander for the Muslim vote as did George Galloway in Britain and Holland in France prime Islamist confidence.

They should enjoy their present day surge because of this I am certain, and would say to them:

One day you will call down a terrible retribution on yourselves.

From the jezails that some still carry in the Arabian desert, the cell phones you use to detonate your cowardly IEDs, to the atomic weaponry the Iranians hope for, everything you use against us, you got from us.

And one day, we will take it all away

Your lies and subversion of our institutions have worked  to spread your falsehoods, but more and more of see beyond this.

 

It is you who will suffer, and suffer you will gladly for your nihilism blinds you to the misery that centuries of oppression have wreaked upon our peoples.  The miserable level of development and wretched human lives that characterize your world will be infinitely worse when the reckoning comes.  This did not have to be, but perhaps it does have to be so.  When you turned your back on reason a millennium ago and, instead, embraced war as your principal argument, you doomed yourselves.

And when the free peoples of the West revolt and eject you as a foreign body, you will glory in your martyrdom, but your women and children, your innocent neighbors, all of you, guilty, complicit, and innocent will share in a Nakba uncountable orders of magnitude larger and crueler than the tragedy you claim for Palestine, and on your heads it shall be.

You think that you are strong because you retain belief, while we have abandoned it.  You do not understand us at all.  The civilization of Christendom was indeed based on Christianity, for which came the idea of personal salvation and individual responsibility for an ethical life.  Our post religious civilization is today uncertain, reeling and unsteady as it seeks a new compass.  It will find it, because our ethics and abilities, while rooted in religion, can and will survive its decline.

Your religion gives you only the notions of collective submission in the name of dominance, and that dominance is an end to itself.  You promise no earthly city of god, but only slavery and ruin.  For us, but in the end for you as well, yet you are too blind to see that your course is suicidal.

Do you really think that you will get Germans to deny science; that Italians will not drink wine with their pasta and that her women will go covered to the beach?  Do you think that Frenchman will give up charcuterie  and political debate?

That you will chain our intellects, erase our literature, and silence our music?

You will not rob us of our ancient heritage, built on millennia of success and failure, experiment and struggle, that gave us the world we enjoy and you would destroy.

You will not dominate Europe by demographic conquest.  Long before you reach over lordship Europe will revolt.  Remember, that continent woke from a thousand years of feudalism to give the world the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

You have only prevailed against us in times of disorder and disunion.  Just as after the fall of the Western Empire, we are in a new dark age, where doubt and relativism have divided and undermined us, so you thrive for the moment.  This will not last.

America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are infected as well with this malaise but do not forget that these nations were formed from Europe’s best, those who would be free and die rather than accept serfdom, which is all you can offer us.

You don’t believe in evolution, yet in your appeals to violence and lust that is no more than assault, you deny everything that separates us from beasts. You cannot evolve, and thus your like will die in the end.

You shall not win; you cannot.

You don’t have what it takes.

You never have, and you never will.

Obama’s Iftar: Breaking the Fast and Shaving the Truth

The President’s relationship with truth is tenuous at best. The confabulations and inventions in his autobiography have been well documented and he has amassed a substantial collection of Pinocchios over the years..

At this year’s  iftar dinner( iftar is the breaking of the Ramadan fast, usually beverages and light snacks, but a White House dinner in  a “tradition ” going back to George W.Bush) his remarks were laced with what I would characterize as bromides, myths and lies of omission.

Mr Obama opened with:

Of all the freedoms we cherish as Americans, of all the rights that we hold sacred, foremost among them is freedom of religion, the right to worship as we choose.  It’s enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution — the law of the land, always and forever.  It beats in our heart — in the soul of the people who know that our liberty and our equality is endowed by our Creator.  And it runs through the history of this house, a place where Americans of many faiths can come together and celebrate their holiest of days — and that includes Ramadan.

Among the attendees were the ambassador from Saudi Arabia, where foreigners are routinely imprisoned and then expelled for practicing their religions,  where the penalty for apostasy is death, and where “witches” are regularly executed, as well as diplomats from many other Muslim majority nations where religious freedom is severely restricted, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Also present were ambassadors from some countries with substantial Muslim minorities  , such as Mozambique(17.9%), and Israel (16.9%). This would seem a not very subtle intervention in these nations’ minority affairs.

As I’ve noted before, Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here with an envoy from Tunisia — perhaps the first Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.  And some of you, as you arrived tonight, may have seen our special display, courtesy of our friends at the Library of Congress — the Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson.  And that’s a reminder, along with the generations of patriotic Muslims in America, that Islam — like so many faiths — is part of our national story.

Indeed, the President has said this before. This hoary myth is repeated every Ramadan.  Jefferson did not throw an iftar shindig, but simply and courteously rescheduled a banquet at the request of the fasting envoy from what is now Morocco.    A peace was successfully negotiated but other small states on what was known as the Barbary coast( Tunisia, a French colonial creation named after a Roman province did not yet exist) continued to seize American ships and their crews.  Hence the Marine beat down on the Shores of Tripoli, at Jefferson’s orders..  When I was a kid, we sang the Marine Hymn in school, and understood what ti was about.  Mr. Obama, with his manifest weaknesses in history and geography, clearly does not.

As for the significance of his possession of a Koran, there is little, if any.  Jefferson was a prominent bibliophile  of wide interests who sold his 24,000 volume collection to the Library of Congress to replace books burned by the British in the War of 1812.  He certainly did not regard Islam as “a religion of peace”,  having been told by the ambassador from Algiers, during unsuccessful negotiations in London in 1786,  that the hostility the Americans found baffling in a nation with which they had had little contact “was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

This evening, we’re honored to be joined by members of our diplomatic corps, members of Congress — including Muslim American members of Congress, Keith Ellison and Andre Carson — as well as leaders from across my administration.  And to you, the millions of Muslim Americans across our country, and to the more than one billion Muslims around the world — Ramadan Kareem.

Congressmen Ellison and Carson, both converts, have been vocal opponents of “Islamophobia,” opposing congressional investigation into Islamic  radicalism at every turn, and thus found themselves in congenial company..

Now, every faith is unique.  And yet, during Ramadan, we see the traditions that are shared by many faiths:  Believers engaged in prayer and fasting, in humble devotion to God.  Families gathering together with love for each other.  Neighbors reaching out in compassion and charity, to serve the less fortunate.

Islamic teaching is very specific that charity be given only within the umma, the community of Muslim faithful.  This can be borne out by reference to the activities of Islamic Relief, or the miserable record of Muslim nations in aid to Haiti for post-earthquake relief and reconstruction.

People of different faiths coming together, mindful of our obligations to one another — to peace, justice and dignity for all people — men and women.  Indeed, you know that the Koran teaches, “Be it man or woman, each of you is equal to the other.”

This can only be characterized as a lie, a lie of omission, and is the most egregious of the many untruths in the President’s short talk.  It is also evil, for it denies and devalues the suffering of women under Islam.

Here is a full text of the Koranic ayah 3:195 (verse) from which this quotation is taken

And their Lord responded to them, “Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another. So those who emigrated or were evicted from their homes or were harmed in My cause or fought or were killed – I will surely remove from them their misdeeds, and I will surely admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow as reward from Allah , and Allah has with Him the best reward.”

Clearly, this passage has nothing to do with gender  equality other than than the belief that Muslims of both sexes will be rewarded for their sacrifices in the name of Islam.  t is instructive that the words the President quoted, with its rather strange pronoun reference, appear again and again on sites pushing the notion of Islamic gender equality, such as this one, with no further context.   I have long doubted that Mr. Obama, although he might have chanted Koranic verses in his Indonesian childhood, has an real familiarity with the text. This snippet was handed him  by  someone with an agenda someone like Humeda Abdin, of whom more shortly.

And by the way, we’ve seen this in recent days.  In fact, the Olympics is being called “The Year of the Woman.”  (Laughter.)  Here in America, we’re incredibly proud of Team USA — all of them — but we should notice that a majority of the members are women.  Also, for the very first time in Olympic history, every team now includes a woman athlete.  And one of the reasons is that every team from a Muslim-majority country now includes women as well.  And more broadly — that’s worth applauding.  (Applause.)  Absolutely.

I suppose it is worth applauding, although one might ask what took so long and why returning female Olympic participants still won’’t be able to drive in Saudi Arabia.

After some talk about women’s roles in the Arab upheavals, where the President mention of bloggers seems to mean he’s still selling the “Facebook/Twitter Revolution ” euphoria of pre-Muslim Brotherhood ascendancy days, he goes unto name and praise some of his American Muslim guests,  ending with a special accolade for Secretary Clinton’s aide, Humeda  Abedin.

And that includes a good friend, Huma Abedin, who has worked tirelessly — (applause) — worked tirelessly in the White House, in the U.S. Senate, and most exhaustingly, at the State Department, where she has been nothing less than extraordinary in representing our country and the democratic values that we hold dear.  Senator Clinton has relied on her expertise, and so have I.

The American people owe her a debt of gratitude — because Huma is an American patriot, and an example of what we need in this country — more public servants with her sense of decency, her grace and her generosity of spirit.  So, on behalf of all Americans, we thank you so much.  (Applause.)

Ms Abedin has been the center of much attention for her familial connections and work experience in Muslim Brotherhood funded and connected organizations.  Those questioning her background are called “nuts” and McCarthyites, but anyone with similar associations to say, white supremacist organizations, would not be able to get a job as a letter carrier.

The President does not say just why we owe her so much gratitude, but he is no doubt appreciative of her support for her boss as Mrs. Clinton has worked with the OIC to suppress speech that “defames religion.”

And at times, we have to admit that this spirit is threatened.  We’ve seen instances of mosques and synagogues, churches and temples being targeted.  Tonight, our prayers, in particular, are with our friends and fellow Americans in the Sikh community.  We mourn those who were senselessly murdered and injured in their place of worship.  And while we may never fully understand what motivates such hatred, such violence, the perpetrators of such despicable acts must know that your twisted thinking is no match for the compassion and the goodness and the strength of our united American family.

He doesn’t say where thee places of worship have been targeted, but there are daily instances of such violence often taken congregants along with structures  and it is generally Sunni Muslims carrying these attacks out.  It is sickening to see the Chief Executive use the American Sikhs’ pain to whitewash Islam as a victim equal to those it in fact victimizes,

So tonight, we declare with one voice that such violence has no place in the United States of America.  The attack on Americans of any faith is an attack on the freedom of all Americans.  (Applause.)  No American should ever have to fear for their safety in their place of worship.  And every American has the right to practice their faith both openly and freely, and as they choose.

This right of course is one that the governments of much of his audience do not accord their citizens.

That is not just an American right; it is a universal human right.  And we will defend the freedom of religion, here at home and around the world.  And as we do, we’ll draw on the strength and example of our interfaith community, including the leaders who are here tonight.

This is at beast an empty boast, or an outright lie.  The abandoned Christians of the Middle East know this, as do Christians in Indonesia and Buddhists in Southern Thailand, or animists in tribal areas of Bangla Desh, among others.

So I want to thank all of you for honoring us with your presence, for the example of your lives, and for your commitment to the values that make us “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  (Applause.)

God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Allahu Akbar

( You can find the full text of the President’s remarks here.  Unlike Mr. Obama’s,my ellipses do not create untruths.)