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.

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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

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.

Islamic Snuff Flicks

Tawfik Okasha presenting the beheading video

A couple of weeks ago, a video appeared on the internet.  Another beheading, but what made it unusual was that it was shown on Egyptian TV by talk show host Tawfiq Okasha, described in various postings as a liberal, on his show “Egypt Today.” Mr Okash said the crime took place in Tunisia and that the film  showed men beheading a Christian for the crime of having converted from Islam.

Some days later other posts and comments appeared on line saying that the video was first posted by the Free Syrian Army, and that the victim was an a Alawite, the Shia offshoot to which Assad belongs.

The internet is replete with this sort of thing, the decapitation of Daniel Berg in Iraq being the most widespread. Some years ago, I watched the film of Mr. Berg’s last minutes, and had not returned for more.

This time, I felt that if Mr Okash was brave enough to show this on Egyptian T.V., and ask the anguished question, “Is this Islam,” I would do him the courtesy of watching.

I don’t speak Arabic but have enough words to pick up a little of the gist.  The words “murtad,” apostate, and “mushrik,” polytheist – which Muslims consider Christians, with their concept of the Trinity to be – recur over and over again.

What did I see? I saw a man have his head slowly severed from his body, as I had seen before, the initial cut severing the carotid much the same as the that of the halal slaughter method, so one hears a gurgling as the victim continues to breathe though the blood.

The young man first lies calmly with the knife at his throat, calm, his eyes doe like, with either the peace of resignation, hope for the life hereafter, or perhaps drugged, although I very much doubt this kind of mercy was shown.

The first slice is shallow, and the blood starts.  Then the sawing begins, and it goes on for a very long time, as the killer slices and also bends the head away from the growing neck cut so that one is presented a grisly anatomy lesson. Within this time the life drains from the eyes and death triumphs.

When the head comes free it is lifted in triumph to cries of Allahu Akbar ( Allah is greater). Then as I had seen before, the head is set upon the trunk, much as one might display a hunting trophy,

Some days after the video appeared, posts appeared on line showing the video in earlier posts, and stating that it was not in Tunisia, but Syria, citing the use of the epithet “rafidi”( deserter), which they say is used for Shia, but certainly could describe anyone who left Islam. Not knowing the word then, I didn’t hear it, and have no desire to watch again so as to confirm this.  Most said it was the Free Syrian Army, who are Sunni, killing an Alawite . A few said the victim was Shabiha, as the informal militias of street thugs, and undercover secret police Assad employs are known. These commenters thought the man got what he deserved, and looked forward to more of the same.

Some thought the audio might have been dubbed, although I haven’t found that anyone has yet done any forensics to prove or disprove this.

In the end, It really doesn’t matter.  What does, is the answer to Mr. Okasha’s question, “Is this Islam?”

And the answer is yes, it is , and has always been thus.

The Islamic tradition of the end of the Jewish Banu Quraiza tribe after their defeat in Medina at the Battle of the Trench is iconic.

“The Jews were made to come down, and Allah’s Messenger imprisoned them. Then the Prophet went out into the marketplace of Medina , and he had trenches dug in it. He sent for the Jewish men and had them beheaded in those trenches. They were brought out to him in batches. They numbered 800 to 900 boys and men. As they were being taken in small groups to the Prophet, they said to one another, ‘What do you think will be done to us?’ Someone said, ‘Do you not understand. On each occasion do you not see that the summoner never stops? He does not discharge anyone. And that those who are taken away do not come back. By God, it is death!’ The affair continued until the Messenger of Allah had finished with them all.”

Al-Tabari, Vol. 8, p. 35, See Also Ishaq:464

Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayza. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.

Abu Dawud 38:4390

And this rather odd detail related by Mohammed’ s child bride, Aisya:

Narrated Aisha: No woman of Banu Qurayza was killed except one. She was with me, talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) was killing her people with the swords. Suddenly a man called her name: Where is so-and-so? She said: I  asked: What is the matter with you? She said: I did a new act. She said: The man took her and beheaded her. She said: I will not forget that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be killed.

Abu Dawud 14:2665

As for apostasy, the penalty is death, although beheading may not be the sole means of execution.

From “Reliance of the Traveler,” A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred law( ISBN 0-9159-5772-8), which represents the Hanafi school of jurisprudence which dominates in Sunni Islam. The translation is endorsed by Al Azhar Univeristy Cairo, among other authorities.

Section o8.1 “When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.”

And, lest one think that the word “deserves’ indicates opinion only,  08.2 goes on to say, “In such a case it is obligarory for the Caliph( or his representative) to ask him to repend and return to Islam.  If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.”

Given the example of Islam’s founder, beheading is understandably the method of choice, as in Saudi Arabia, although Iran has progressed to the Seventeenth Century or so, with hanging.

So, Mr. Okahsa, this is Islam. Clearly you were appalled, but if your horror is to have any meaning, you must look squarely at your religious tradition and admit what it is now, if you are to have any hope of changing it to something on which you could look on without being sickened

(This link is one of many that will take you to the video.)

Hamza Kashgari Returned to Saudi Arabia: Where the 7th Century and 1984 Converge in the 21st Century

Malaysian authorities have deported a Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a tweet. –BBC(12 February 2012)

In typical Beeb style, this is a rather measured statement of what actually happened.  And that is this: A young man exercising speech rights enshrined in the U.N. human rights convention, but not recognized anywhere  in the Islamic world, was seized while in lawful transit en route to a third country,  by Malaysia’s “soft” theocratic state, and turned over to agents of world’s most repressive religious regime for rendition to Saudi Arabia, with the collusion of an international policing agency answerable to no one.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia's glittering gateway. I plan on staying away.

And now Hamza Kashgari, journalist and blogger from Jeddah, awaits retribution for his thought crime. It is interesting to not that Kashgari means “of Kashgar” a city in Southwest China, once known as a great caravan terminus in Chinese Turkestan. There has been great diversity within Islam, but the Wahhabi/Salafi/Muslim Brotherhood assault is bent on destroying these differences in the name of the  suffocating orthodoxy challenged by the young Saudi.

Malaysia acted in response to a “red notice” issued by Interpol at tthe request of Saudis.

The Guardian notes :

In response to past criticisms of the red notice system, it has said: “There are safeguards in place. The subject of a red notice can challenge it through an independent body, the commission for the control of Interpol’s files (CCF).”

One can only imagine the cost of the legal resources that would need to be brought to bear to achieve any result.  Mr. Kashgari will not have the benefit of civil society organizations that would be able to help in some societies.

These “safeguards” were of no avail to the 22 year old Saudi. It makes me want to weep.  Can you imagine how this boy felt, his young life in ruins behind him, but still with hope before him, as he flew east?

Then he lands in  KLIA (Kuala Lumpur), transiting to New Zealand, and the  grim face of Islamism greets him.  Perhaps his hope continued to flicker for the few hours he was held, hoping that a world outcry would save him.

Human rights organizations did shout his case out to a largely heedless world, but those who could have helped, the foreign offices of Europe, and the  United States State Department were, and of this writing, still are, silent.

How he felt on the flight “home” is too awful to contemplate.

I spit on “moderate Malaysia.”

This is the face Malaysia presents to the world. Not a hijab in sight when, in fact, most Malaysian Muslim women have taken up the head scarf since the 1980s.

Mr. Kashgari’s remarks would

Malasian Pas(Islamist Party) members demonstrate. This is more representative of current developments in Malaysia.

seem innocuous to those unfamiliar with the parameters defining blasphemy in Islamic jurisprudence:

In the first, Kashgari declared “I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me,” but then added: “I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.” He followed that with a second tweet, “I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.”

In a third, Kashgari said: “I shall not bow to you.  I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.”

Reminiscent of one seeking a personal relationship with Jesus, but given the unquestioning regard of Muslim believers for the Islamic prophet, which only misses being fairly termed  idolatry in that images of this “Perfect Man” are forbidden, the Saudi blogger’s tweets were enough to bring the wrath of the entire Kingdom, from royals to ordinary citizens.

The twats at Twitter should say something about it, but don’t count on it, as they have picked up a stack of Saudi Petrodollars recently

The Red Notice system has been the subject of abuse before, as in this 2004 Congressional Record discussion of bogus notices issued by Uzbekistan. What we have here is a system that allows repressive governments to pursue their nationals for crimes that would not be offenses in free countries, to suppress dissent, and purse their rulers’ personal vendettas..

During World War II, Interpol, then headquartered in Vienna, was headed by such SS luminaries as as Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Reinhard Heydrich.  Now based in Lyon, France,  it is headed by Ronald K. Noble, Clinton era U.S. Justice Department Undersecretary for Enforcement, and head of the Department’s “Waco Administrative Review Team.”  In other words, there is more than a whiff of sympathy for coercive statism in the agency’s history.

And it is this  that made Kashgari’s apprehension possible, even certain.

He fled his native country with thousands quite literally calling for his head.accusing him of apostasy.  This is no surprise as, although the Koran itself does not state a temporal punishment for the crime, a widely accepted  hadith (saying of Islam’s prophet Muhmmad) does:

Whoever changed his (Islamic) religion, then kill him” Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:84:57

Muhammad himslef was no mean axeman, at least by proxy, as the story of the Jewish Banu Qurayza, among other traditions,  will attest.

While Mr.Kashgari did not deny Muhammad as Allah’s messenger,  mere mockery of Allah or the prophet can constitute apostasy. The journalist is in jeopardy of great harm, not the least of which is time in a Saudi jail.  Yet, I do not think his life will be taken.  The case  does have some visibility, and the suave spokesmen the Saudis send to the West will, one

Adel A. Al-Jubeir, current Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

hopes,counsel moderation for the sake of good PR.

A Saudi beheading. A regular Friday crowd pelaser at "Chop Square" in Riyadh. Plenty more where this came from: perennial favorites on YouTube

Rather, Hamza Kashgari’s fate will recall that of Winston  Smith in 1984  Some schools of Islamic jurisprudence allow the apostate to recant and thus avoid death.  This is the line taken against Christians accused of apostasy from Islam by Iran.  Remember how in Orwell’s book, Winston, after his torture and breaking, was allowed his physical freedom, for a while.

One can almost wonder is Kashgari’s flight towards the western world was like the way the Inner Party played with its victims, before erasing them. Kashgari, too will learn to love Big Brother, or at least to convince all around that he does so.  Islam is more merciful than Ingsoc, in that it requires only outward submission for survival in this world, leaving damnation for the secret denier to the next.

Nevertheless, the end result is the same: “a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

 

What you can do:

Contact your foreign office.

Contact the Saudi Embassy in your country.

Express your anger to Malaysian representation in your country.

Contact Tourism Malaysia and let them know you will not be visiting Malaysia as a result of their country’s complicity in the Kashgari affair.  This page provides contact information for Malaysian tourism promotion offices in various countries.

For the U.S.  go here to email Secretary Clinton

or call: 202-647-4000

Email Royal Saudi Embassy in Washington

Telephone: (202) 342-3800

Information/Press Office: (202) 337-4076

Malaysian Embassy, Washington

Email: malwashdc@kln.gov.my

Telephone (202) 342-3800

Sign on line petitions.  Here is one, and there are many more.

Tweet and Facebook Kashgari’s story.  Use the links in this piece, or find your own, but spread the news.  Talk to your friends and family.

Shariah Says: No Mohawks

An Indonesian "punker" rallies in support of his Aceh brothers and sisters.

Euro punks ca 80s

Not lost amid the events roiling the world – the threatened euro meltdown, riots and repression in Egypt, killings  of protestors in Syria, the death of North Korea’s dear leader, is the story of a bunch of kids snatched up by police at a Punk rock concert in Aceh, Indonesia.

Punk has been around a long time.   Sid vicious and Johnny rRotten raged in the 70s, but to a lot of kids around the world, adapting what they see as a punk lifestyle,centered on music, tattoos, piercings and just generally, looking and acting weird, and not fitting in, is the way to find identity in repressive societies.

Aceh, the northern most part of Sumatra in the West of Indonesia, is a beautiful land of forested mountains, rushing rivers, long white beaches and reefs teeming with life. A trading entrepot for many centuries, its culture is a an eclectic mix of local, India, Arab and Chinese influences.

Caning in Banda Aceh. Despite generally very nice people, great food, and stunning scenery, Aceh's tourist potential is unlikely to be developed soon.

It is also the place where Islam entered Indonesia, and has been under Shariah law under the terms of the autonomy agreement signed in Helsinki,in 2005, between the Indonesian government and rebels who had fought a three decades long independence war.  Aceh has long been a place ruled by traditional Islamic mores, and while the shariah regime is yet lighter than in Saudi Arabia,  it is tightening its grip.

Aceh first came to the notice of the entire world for its enormous suffering from the 2004 Tsunami,  but lately its press has been rather poor.  The punk round up is the latest in a series of stories  that have shown the brutal, and frequently illogical,  face of shariah to the world.

Ritual Purification? Punks are unclean!

“There will be a traditional ceremony. First their hair will be cut. Then they will be tossed into a pool. The women’s hair we’ll cut in the fashion of a female police officer,” Iskander said on Tuesday. “Then we’ll teach them a lesson.” said Aceh police chief Ins. Gen. Iskandar Hasan, as reported by the Jakarta Globe.  “I’ll remind [police] not to breach human rights,” He concluded.(13 December)

Human rights in Islam are analogous to animal rights in an abattoir: they may be acknowledged, but the outcome in both cases is equally grim.

Chief Hasan may sound hypocritical and illogical, but within the closed system that is Islam, he makes perfect sense: helping Muslims adhere to Islamic rules upholds their right to be perfect Muslims, and more importantly, the right of the Ummah ( Islamic community) to have no imperfect Muslims among its members.

The Globe headline speaks of “reeducation,” but what the police chief proposed, and subsequently carried out, has much in common with Isamic religious practice and jurisprudence.

He has every right to proceed  as he has because

“That which the Muslims consider good, Allah considers good.” *(see end note)

.And clearly these Muslims do not consider being a punk good. The “pool of water ” is reminscent of the ghusl, a purificatory  bath to remove janaba, ritual  defilement. The haircuts too, have some support:

It is offensive to shave part of the head and leave part unshaven.

So mohawks are out.

Mohawks are prohibited, but a clean shave is OK,

However,

There is no harm in shaving it all off

On the other hand,The girls  who had their long hair shorn may have a beef:

These self righteous frumps seem to be multiplying exponentially here in Indonesia. Maybe a burqa would be preferable in the barberess' s case.

It is unlawful for a  woman to cut her hair to disfigure herself, though if done for thesake of beauty it is permissible.

So Siead O’Connor is ok, but one would think have disfigurement imposed would not be, but the policewomen with the clippers no doubt would take the legalistic view: the ruling says “disfigure herself” and they did it for these wayward girls.

The Aceh punk roundup story has legs that are still running strong. “AnarchoPunks n Moscow have grafittied the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow with slogans such as:

“Religion=Fascism.” and  “Punk is not a crime.”

Buy those lads some vodka!

Sinéad is shariah compliant, as long as she didn't intend to "disfigure herself." Who knows?

As of  yesterday, December 20, the punks were holding up well.. This WP/AP story details their defiance.

At the same time, Secretary Clinton has been holding a conference( closed proceedings ) with the OIC in

Fully compliant

Washington so as to work on eliminating defamation of religion and religious prejudice.  No doubt a press release announcing a multifaith center with a church and a synagogue  in Mecca is forthcoming.

What's the big deal? It's just a haircut! No disrepect to Holocaust victims meant. Islam, like Nazism is a supremacist, totalitarian ideology. Totalitarianism starts incrementally.

Listen to the punks: they know the truth.

*( From: “Reliance of The traveler, a Manual of Islamic Sacred Law”  A compendium of scholarship of the Shafi school.  Published in English and Arabic by Amana Publications, Maryland USA. 2008 edition.  Certified for accuracy of translation and scholarship by Al Azhar University Cairo and the International Institute for Islamic thought, Herndon, Virgina, USA, among others.  All other comments on Islamic law and religious practice in this piece are from the same source.”

Arguing With Fools

All questions answered

I spent 25 bucks on Amazon for a copy of “Reliance of the Traveller.”  It is not a travel guide, but a manual of Islamic sacred law( fiqh), which encompasses, and expands on, the the shariah of the Koran,  according to the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence. The “traveler” is the Muslim living his life from birth to death, and the book provides religious guidance and rulings for aspects of life on which he may rely.

It sat on my bookshelf for months, a weighty read not happily anticipated,  but when I finally opened he wrapping , the book surprised me with its readability, and so far has confirmed my forebodings as to Islam.  In fact, things are worse than I thought,

One learns that there are more than one school of Islamic jurisprudence, of whichi the Hanafi is one, but that they are largely in agreement on matters of faith and morals,  That which has been agreed on by a consensus of scholars is obligatory;  that which is not ,is decided by the ummah, the muslims as a community,  That which has been decided by the ummah in the past is in effect and not to be questioned,  An ordinary Muslim is not to question a scholar in command of sacred noweldge,

And the purpose of sacred knowledge, that is theology and in Islam, law as well, without distinction, in obligation is to enable Muslims  to follow the example of their messenger,  Using the techniques of scholarship for any other purpose is forbidden:

Anyone who seeks Sacred Knowledge to argue with fools, vie with scholars,or draw people’s attention to himself, will take a place in Hell.

Thus there can be no scholasticism, as in Europe where reason was used in an attempt to justify faith, but in the end overturned its unchallenged authority over human life. Instead, in Islam a dense legalism nibbles at the edges of the religious corpus, as so much has been decided that scholars are left to debate minutiae or shoehorn unexpected situations into agreement with the precedents of a millennium or more ago,

Reading this book is instantly enlightening.  That precedent cannot be overturned and that ancient  consensus must hold forever the reader thinks, must be related to the stasis, and backwardness of Islamic societies.

Knowledge other than sacred knowledge or learning that may be used to advance sacred knowledge is unlawful.a

These are are areas of  unlawful knowledge in Islam:(page 14, section a7.2)

sorcery

Philopsohy

magic

astrology

the scence of the materiaists

and anything that is a  means to create doubts(in eternal truths)

That philosophy and science based on material observation are proscribed likely  has much to do with countries like Saudi  Arabia still finding sorcery and magic to prosecute.

There is much more to read  and reflect on, a task of some months, but I have seen enough to know that Islam constrains itself with iron limits  on the spirit and intellect that have kept it in the state of underdevelopment that it so resents, and that may in the end be its utter undoing.

Why do I undertake this task?

To argue with fools.