Imam Hussein Does Da’wa: The President’s Baltimore Mosque Visit

04obamawebb-master675-v3The president visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore on February 03, 2016.  A computer crash and a general nausea for things Islamic, particularly in the wake of the Brussels attacks, kept me from finishing.  Still relevant, I think.

I class his speech there as a form of da’wa, the call for non believers to rally to Islam.  In the early days of Mohammad’s religion Muslims called out to their enemies to accept Islam, or submit and accept Islam, and thus avoid attack. In his continuous presentation to the American public of an Islam that does not exist, he is, in my view, preparing the battle space for the Muslims.

The Islamic society of Baltimore, is in fact, a mosque.

Mosques in the US call themselves Islamic societies or centers, because they are aware that a lot of people don’t much like mosques,  as they often have been the sources of quite a bit of deviltry, including this very one.

Mr.Obama’s remarks add one more text to the long line of his laudatory, inaccurate, and frequently mendacious praise songs to Islam, that began with his 2009 Cairo speech and has continued through iftar dinners and prayer breakfasts, to the point where he has, in fawning submission, long since eclipsed George W. Bushes, fatuous, intellectually shallow, and deeply damaging post 9/11 declaration that “Islam is

bush-nihad-awad-muslim-brotherhood

President Bush at the Washington Mosque, 9/17/2001. At his right, Nihad Awad, Director of CAIR(Council on American-Islamic Relations), and Hamas supporter.  The FBI ended its outreach efforts with CAIR due to its ties to Muslim Brotherhood entities.

Peace.”

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, good afternoon.  And, Sabah, thank you for the wonderful introduction and for your example — your devotion to your faith and your education, and your service to others.  You’re an inspiration.  You’re going to be a fantastic doctor.  And I suspect, Sabah, your parents are here because they wanted to see you so — where are Sabah’s parents?  There you go. (Applause.)  Good job, Mom.  She did great, didn’t she?  She was terrific.

You can see Ms. Sabah’s introduction here:.

To everyone here at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, thank you for welcoming me here today.  I want to thank Muslim Americans leaders from across this city and this state, and some who traveled even from out of state to be here.  I want to recognize Congressman John Sarbanes, who is here.  (Applause.)

As well as two other great leaders in Congress — and proud Muslim Americans — Congressman Keith Ellison from the great state of Minnesota — (applause) — and Congressman Andre Carson from the great state of Indiana.  (Applause.)

So, does the President give shout outs to proud Catholic legislators?  This is telling, and shows just how different Islam is from other religions. It claims sovereignty, and increasingly, our leaders accord it such.  As for these two being leaders, let alone  great ones,Muslim or otherwise, there is no evidence for that, and their fame is due entirely to their being Muslim converts.

This mosque, like so many in our country, is an all-American story.  You’ve been part of this city for nearly half a century. You serve thousands of families — some who’ve lived here for decades as well as immigrants from many countries who’ve worked to become proud American citizens.

Now, a lot of Americans have never visited a mosque.  To the folks watching this today who haven’t — think of your own church, or synagogue, or temple, and a mosque like this will be very familiar.  This is where families come to worship and express their love for God and each other.  There’s a school where teachers open young minds.  Kids play baseball and football and basketball — boys and girls — I hear they’re pretty good.  (Laughter.)  Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts meet, recite the Pledge of Allegiance here.

One thing at this mosque would be familiar only to Orthodox Jewish communities: the gender segregation of worshipers.

Muslim women protest gender segregation while President Obama addresses Baltimore mosque. congregation. These women in fact have no support for their position anywhere in Islamic doctrine and practice.

Muslim women protest gender segregation while President Obama addresses Baltimore mosque. congregation. These women in fact have no support for their position anywhere in Islamic doctrine and practice.

With interfaith dialogue, you build bridges of understanding with other faith communities — Christians and Jews.  There’s a health clinic that serves the needy, regardless of their faith.  And members of this community are out in the broader community, working for social justice and urban development.  As voters, you come here to meet candidates.  As one of your members said, “just look at the way we live…we are true Americans.”

“…working for social justice and urban development.”

Well there we go, thanks for joining the progressive coalition.  Social justice?  Whatever it is, it isn’t the justice of the blindfold and equally weighted scales.  Justice modified is not justice at all.  As may be said for Islamic justice.

So the first thing I want to say is two words that Muslim Americans don’t hear often enough — and that is, thank you.  Thank you for serving your community.  Thank you for lifting up the lives of your neighbors, and for helping keep us strong and united as one American family.  We are grateful for that.  (Applause.)

Speak for yourself.  One needs only to look towards Europe to see the social discord that mass Muslim immigration has brought with it.

Now, this brings me to the other reason I wanted to come here today.  I know that in Muslim communities across our country, this is a time of concern and, frankly, a time of some fear.  Like all Americans, you’re worried about the threat of terrorism.  But on top of that, as Muslim Americans, you also have another concern — and that is your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few.

In fact, given the continuous threats, the periodic devastating attacks, Americans, and liberal Western democracies in general, have shown a remarkable forbearance in the face of an aggressive minority, which in earlier times, would have seen the expunged from their national territories. It is fortunate for Muslims that liberal democracies are, well, liberal.

As for the violent acts a a very few, that violence outnumbers the actions of any other religious group, exponentially, and Muslims are a very small group in the United Sates, a fact that those running the numbers and coming up with Islamic and “Right Wing” terror casualties  in equal numbers.  Such analyses also often use post 9/11 as a convenient starting point. Those “few” do not spring from a void, but rather reflect the values of much larger segments of Muslim opinion globally.  They are analogous to Leninists receiving tacit approval from Fabians.

Personally, I’m not much worried about terrorism, but rather the economic and social distortion in responding to the threats, overwhelmingly Islamic, and accommodating the demands of Muslims in a secular society.

Muslims praying at UN, where they have taken over a public room formerly available to all

Muslims praying at UN, where they have taken over a public room formerly available to all

The Muslim American community remains relatively small –several million people in this country.  And as a result, most Americans don’t necessarily know — or at least don’t know that they know — a Muslim personally.  And as a result, many only hear about Muslims and Islam from the news after an act of terrorism, or in distorted media portrayals in TV or film, all of which gives this hugely distorted impression.

I guess the President doesn’t much care for “Homeland,” which in my view goes out of its way to be “nuanced.”

I know lots of Muslims, and over decades I have seen them become more extreme, which is once again borne out by well respected opinion surveys.

ISIS is Islamic, and as do all its allies and fellow travelers acts entirely consistently with Islamic tradition.  One telling example is the burning alive of a caged Jordanian pilot, burning being a historical penalty for apostasy within Islam.

As for conflation, Charleston church shooter

all hallaj

A heretic being executed in Medieval Baghdad.

Dylan Roof posted a picture of himself with a confederate battle flag, and that was the end of that symbol in public discourse, Dukes of Hazard be damned.

 

And of course, recently, we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country.

No surprise, then, that threats and harassment of Muslim Americans have surged.

Well no they haven’t.  As always, the Jews are the major target, and Muslims come last.

Here at this mosque, twice last year, threats were made against your children.  Around the country, women wearing the hijab — just like Sabah — have been targeted. We’ve seen children bullied.  We’ve seen mosques vandalized.  Sikh Americans and others who are perceived to be Muslims have been targeted, as well.

OK, this stuff does happen, and so do a great number of fake hate crimes, quickly forgotten.  What is striking is that in the United Sates – a very large, diverse nation – is how few, and usually non lethal, hate crimes are recorded.  And you won’t find a statistic for something for which their is anecdotal evidence – faked anti-Muslim hate crimes.

I just had a chance to meet with some extraordinary Muslim Americans from across the country who are doing all sorts of work.  Some of them are doctors; some of them are community leaders; religious leaders.  All of them were doing extraordinary work not just in the Muslim community but in the American community.  And they’re proud of their work in business and education, and on behalf of social justice and the environment and education.  I should point out they were all much younger than me — (laughter) — which is happening more frequently these days.  And you couldn’t help but be inspired, hearing about the extraordinary work that they’re doing.  But you also could not help but be heartbroken to hear their worries and their anxieties.

Nah, bro.  A lot of the rest of us are tired and annoyed at the endless bleating from so many Muslims, when their religion’s assault on the west has “fundamentally transformed,” that is to say, deformed our institutions, depleted our treasuries, and stifled our civil discourse.

Some of them are parents, and they talked about how their children were asking, are we going to be forced out of the country, or, are we going to be rounded up?  Why do people treat us like that?  Conversations that you shouldn’t have to have with children — not in this country.  Not at this moment.

“Why do people treat us like that?”

Consult your holy book. And the entire corpus or Islamic tradition and jurisprudence, none of which offers anything  that we in the West would want, and much of which we by nature and experience, abhor.

Nothing like trotting out children to make a political point.

And that’s an anxiety echoed in letters I get from Muslim Americans around the country.  I’ve had people write to me and say, I feel like I’m a second-class citizen.  I’ve had mothers write and say, “my heart cries every night,” thinking about how her daughter might be treated at school.  A girl from Ohio, 13 years old, told me, “I’m scared.”  A girl from Texas signed her letter “a confused 14-year-old trying to find her place in the world.”

Sure.

I don’t believe a word of this, especially that last one.  Reminds me of Hillary and the “junior feminist.” Or Chelsea Clinton leaving the Baptist Church at age 6 over its stance on abortion.

These are children just like mine.  And the notion that they would be filled with doubt and questioning their places in this great country of ours at a time when they’ve got enough to worry about — it’s hard being a teenager already — that’s not who we are.

We’re one American family.  And when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second-class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.  (Applause.)

“….that’s not who we are.”

FABRICBoy, I’m getting sick of this.  Basically, it’s code for “shut up.”  As for the “very fabric of our nation,” this phrase appears in every speech this man makes about Islam, of which there are a considerable number.

Here, we’re back to the unity candidate of 2008.  Well, a unity that excluded those who cling to their guns and religion and had yet to tell Christians to get off their high horse

It’s a challenge to our values — and that means we have much work to do.  We’ve got to tackle this head on.  We have to be honest and clear about it.   And we have to speak out.  This is a moment when, as Americans, we have to truly listen to each other and learn from each other.  And I believe it has to begin with a common understanding of some basic facts.  And I express these facts, although they’d be obvious to many of the people in this place, because, unfortunately, it’s not facts that are communicated on a regular basis through our media.

“Facts,” repeated three times.

There is little that is factual in what follows.

So let’s start with this “fact:”

For more than a thousand years, people have been drawn to Islam’s message of peace.  And the very word itself, Islam, comes from salam — peace.  The standard greeting is as-salamu alaykum — peace be upon you.  And like so many faiths, Islam is rooted in a commitment to compassion and mercy and justice and charity.  Whoever wants to enter paradise, the Prophet Muhammad taught, “let him treat people the way he would love to be treated.”  (Applause.)  For Christians like myself, I’m assuming that sounds familiar.  (Laughter.)

Sheesh.  The factually challenged President of the Intercontinental Railroad, Austrian language, Maldives instead of Malvinas, 57 states, and so on, does it again.

While the two words in Arabic share a common root, Islam does not mean peace, but rather to submission to the will of God.  This is core to the very idea of Islam, and is in fact, its essence.

This is etymological and theological fact, and is acknowledged universally, by those against, neutral, and for Islam.

The concept of submission in Islamic jurisprudence extends to the non- Islamic world submitting to Islam.  This too is fact.

There is worse to come here.  Obama implies he is quoting an Islamic golden rule, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The alleged quotation is an elided version of the following from a hadith (Sahih Muslim 33:10) entitled the “Book on Government. Chapter: The obligation of fulfilling oaths of allegiance is owed to the first of two Caliphs.”

First, this refers to a very specific time and place, so there is nothing universal about the message.

Next, it applies only to Muslims.

“Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and enter the garden should die with faith in Allah and the Last Day and should treat the people as he wishes to be treated by them.”  The “people “here is not all people, but “the people,”  that is, the Muslim community, the ummah.

The next two sentences are:

“He who swears allegiance to a Caliph should give him the pledge of his hand and the sincerity of his heart (i. e. submit to him both outwardly as well as inwardly). He should obey him to the best of his capacity. It another man comes forward (as a claimant to Caliphate), disputing his authority, they (the Muslims) should behead the latter.”

So we have here instructions for political stability within the Islamic state, and that perennial Islamic favorite, beheading.

How can I be sure this is the source of the bogus quotation?

Simple.

As I was certain that no such words are in the Koran( and there aren’t) I simply pasted the quotation along with “hadith” and was immediately taken to a number of Muslim sites that pointed me to this hadith.

The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are as diverse as humanity itself.  They are Arabs and Africans.  They’re from Latin America to Southeast Asia; Brazilians, Nigerians, Bangladeshis, Indonesians.  They are white and brown and black.  There’s a large African American Muslim community.

Yes, a very problematic one, growing quickly through prison recruitment

That diversity is represented here today.  A 14-year-old boy in Texas who’s Muslim spoke for many when he wrote to me and said, “We just want to live in peace.”

Indeed, Islam is ethnically diverse. At one time, when I understood little, I found this very attractive.  In practice, however, while anyone can join the ummah, Arabs have always been primus inter pares.

Here’s another fact:  Islam has always been part of America. Starting in colonial times, many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim.  And even in their bondage, some kept their faith alive.  A few even won their freedom and became known to many Americans.  And when enshrining the freedom of religion in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, our Founders meant what they said when they said it applied to all religions.

This is a fascinating aspect of the Atlantic slave trade, on which there is growing scholarship.  The research to date, however shows that there is no lineal connection between those early American Muslims and any Muslim community today.  Like the Jews of medieval China, they died out, leaving linguistic and cultural traces, but no surviving communities, even with a distorted form of the religion, as did a sort of Christianity live on in Japan’s “Hidden Christians,” after the persecution, democide, in fact, of the Shogunate.

Back then, Muslims were often called Mahometans.  And Thomas Jefferson explained that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom he wrote was designed to protect all faiths — and I’m quoting Thomas Jefferson now — “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan.”  (Applause.)

Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Koran. Benjamin Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”  (Applause.)  So this is not a new thing.

Religious tolerance is indeed not a new concept in The United States; nor is looking askance at Islam.

Here is John Adams on Islam.

“In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth…

He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE

Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. (Blunt, 1830, 29:269, capitals in orig.).”

And,Title Page

“The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force (Blunt, 29:274Blunt, 29:274).”

There is much more.

Generations of Muslim Americans helped to build our nation. They were part of the flow of immigrants who became farmers and merchants.  They built America’s first mosque, surprisingly enough, in North Dakota.  (Laughter.)  America’s oldest surviving mosque is in Iowa.  The first Islamic center in New York City was built in the 1890s.  Muslim Americans worked on Henry Ford’s assembly line, cranking out cars.

A Muslim American designed the skyscrapers of Chicago.

All of them?  Chicago is known to architecture buffs everywhere as the first home of soaring reinforced concrete buildings. I am suspicious enough of  Mr. Obama’s motives that I don’t wonder that this sentence isn’t designed to give Islam the credit for the work of Louis Sullivan, whose first landmark Chicago building using steel skeletons is still renowned.

The Bangladeshi born Fazlur Rahman Khan was a notable designer of tall buildings in Chicago, in the 60s in and 70s.

What Obama is doing here is something often bruited: a linear narrative of vigorous Muslim participation in American history, equal to that of another but small, but influential minority present since colonial times, the Jews.

It simply isn’t true, and one wonders why so many are so desperate to sell this sketchy and largely unsupported narrative,  Whatever one might have thought of the Viet Nam War, I think Americans are generally pleased with the success of the Vietnamese refugee community, yet there is no effort to find a Viet Namese in the colonial militia, as one sees with Muslims.

Muslim Americans worked on Henry Ford’s assembly line, cranking out cars.

This is true, and no one seems to know why exactly, but the large Muslim community in Michigan does trace its origins back to the time of the Model A. Ford was a vicious –even for his time – Jew hater, so some posit that he thus preferred Muslims. There is no evidence of a causal link. The car maker also didn’t care much for black people, or the Irish.

In any case, while Muslims did work the assembly line, so did immigrants of many other origins.

In 1957, when dedicating the Islamic center in Washington, D.C., President Eisenhower said, “I should like to assure you, my Islamic friends, that under the American Constitution … and in American hearts…this place of worship, is just as welcome…as any other religion.”  (Applause.)

True again. Also at this time, the CIA worked with Muslim brotherhood elements, with Islam seen as an ally against Soviet Communism

And perhaps the most pertinent fact, Muslim Americans enrich our lives today in every way.  They’re our neighbors, the teachers who inspire our children, the doctors who trust us with our health — future doctors like Sabah.  They’re scientists who win Nobel Prizes, young entrepreneurs who are creating new technologies that we use all the time.  They’re the sports heroes we cheer for -— like Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon.  And by the way, when Team USA marches into the next Olympics, one of the Americans waving the red, white and blue — (applause) — will a fencing champion, wearing her hijab, Ibtihaj Muhammad, who is here today.  Stand up.  (Applause.)  I told her to bring home the gold.  (Laughter.)  Not to put any pressure on you.  (Laughter.)

Muslim Nobel Prizes

This one is so easy to shoot down, I wonder why anyone bothers to put it up anymore.

8 Peace prizes.  And we all know what a load of crap that category is.

2 in Literature (both well deserved, in my view)

3 in the sciences, one of whom was Egyptian American, and the only Muslim American to win a Nobel, ever.

So unless, Mr. Obama does not understand the proper use of plurals, I’ll call this debunked.

Sports, whatever.

This is all of a piece in the ceaseless effort to sell  the nobility and accomplishments of Islam, as in 1001 Islamic inventions, debunked here.

Muslim Americans keep us safe.  They’re our police and our firefighters.  They’re in homeland security, in our intelligence community.  They serve honorably in our armed forces — meaning they fight and bleed and die for our freedom.  Some rest in Arlington National Cemetery.  (Applause.)

Yes some do serve honorably and keep us safe.  Others are like Nidal Hassan,   the Fort Hood shooter, and Hasan K. Akbar, who fragged and shot his fellow soldiers in Kuwait, killing two and wounding fourteen.

“Homeland Security.” Indeed, and that should give you pause, as this guy did eventually to DHS, even given our obtuse leaders.

So Muslim Americans are some of the most resilient and patriotic Americans you’ll ever meet.  We’re honored to have some of our proud Muslim American service members here today.  Please stand if you’re here, so we can thank you for your service.  (Applause.)

Again, do we have shout outs for proud Baptist service members?

So part of the reason I want to lay out these facts is because, in the discussions that I was having with these incredibly accomplished young people, they were pointing that so often they felt invisible.  And part of what we have to do is to lift up the contributions of the Muslim American community not when there’s a problem, but all the time.

Let Muslims “lift up the contributions of the Muslim American community” if they so desire.  Not my job.  Note again here the hyphenation of Muslim and American.  One hears of American Catholics, but not  “Catholic-Americans.”

Our television shows should have some Muslim characters that are unrelated to national security — (applause) — because — it’s not that hard to do.  There was a time when there were no black people on television.  And you can tell good stories while still representing the reality of our communities.

OK, whatever. Social justice and diversity propaganda on television these days is so pervasive that a little more wouldn’t be noticed.  I don’t watch this crap anyway. And I predict that Fox will regret greenlighting a pilot for a “Muslim family sitcom.”  It will bomb, just as did “All American Muslim.”

Now, we do have another fact that we have to acknowledge.  Even as the overwhelming majority — and I repeat, the overwhelming majority — of the world’s Muslims embrace Islam as a source of peace, it is undeniable that a small fraction of Muslims propagate a perverted interpretation of Islam.  This is the truth.

How is it that such a wonderful, peaceful religion is so easily misunderstood, misappropriated and distorted?  Again, for anyone familiar with the texts, it isn’t. peaceful in any way that would make sense to a non-Muslim.

Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL, they’re not the first extremists in history to misuse God’s name.  We’ve seen it before, across faiths.

Wink, wink, the Crusades.

But right now, there is a organized extremist element that draws selectively from Islamic texts, twists them in an attempt to justify their killing and their terror.  They combine it with false claims that America and the West are at war with Islam.  And this warped thinking that has found adherents around the world — including, as we saw, tragically, in Boston and Chattanooga and San Bernardino — is real.  It’s there.  And it creates tensions and pressure that disproportionately burden the overwhelming majority of law-abiding Muslim citizens.

 

What about the burdens the rest of us bear, from putting up with the TSA, to paying for the enormous and ever burgeoning costs of the National Security State?

And the question then is, how do we move forward together?  How do we keep our country strong and united?  How do we defend ourselves against organizations that are bent on killing innocents?  And it can’t be the work of any one faith alone.  It can’t be just a burden on the Muslim community — although the Muslim community has to play a role.  We all have responsibilities.  So with the time I have left, I just want to suggest a few principles that I believe can guide us.

Um, no.  I had nothing to do with this, and defending innocents is your job.

First, at a time when others are trying to divide us along lines of religion or sect, we have to reaffirm that most fundamental of truths:  We are all God’s children.  We’re all born equal, with inherent dignity.

Absolutely.  Now get Muslims to acknowledge the same, supporting the assertion with their sacred texts.  They can’t.

And so often, we focus on our outward differences and we forget how much we share.  Christians, Jews, Muslims — we’re all, under our faiths, descendants of Abraham.  So mere tolerance of different religions is not enough.  Our faiths summon us to embrace our common humanity.  “O mankind,” the Koran teaches, we have “made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” (Applause.)  So all of us have the task of expressing our religious faith in a way that seeks to build bridges rather than to divide.

Fine, have at it.  When will we see mosques hosting Christian services, as ecumenically minded – and deplorably stupid – Christian and Jewish clerics have done? I give Muslims credit for the strength of their convictions.  They see religion as a binary proposition: either all are false, or only one is true. I subscribe to the former, they the latter.

Second, as Americans, we have to stay true to our core values, and that includes freedom of religion for all faiths.  I already mentioned our Founders, like Jefferson, knew that religious liberty is essential not only to protect religion but because religion helps strengthen our nation — if it is free, if it is not an extension of the state.  Part of what’s happened in the Middle East and North Africa and other places where we see sectarian violence is religion being a tool for another agenda — for power, for control.  Freedom of religion helps prevent that, both ways — protects religious faiths, protects the state from  — or those who want to take over the state from using religious animosity as a tool for their own ends.

Well, this is pretty good, but of course Islam is not an extension of the state; in classical practice it is the state.

That doesn’t mean that those of us with religious faith should not be involved.  We have to be active citizenry.  But we have to respect the fact that we have freedom of religion.

Remember, many preachers and pastors foughthe evil of t to abolish slavery.

Rabbis too, although the Wesleyans take pride of place here, but not one imam, mufti or any Islamic cleric, ever.

The Arab slave trade in East Africa was the last to be suppressed by the royal Navy, and vestiges of it survive to this day

People of faith advocated to improve conditions for workers and ban child labor.  Dr. King was joined by people of many faiths, challenging us to live up to our ideals.  And that civil activism, that civic participation that’s the essence of our democracy, it is enhanced by freedom of religion.

Now, we have to acknowledge that there have been times where we have fallen short of our ideals.  By the way, Thomas Jefferson’s opponents tried to stir things up by suggesting he was a Muslim — so I was not the first — (applause.)  No, it’s true, it’s true.  Look it up.  (Laughter.)  I’m in good company. (Laughter.)

Ah, Jefferson. Leftists misuse old Tom just as they do scripture.  I give you the Barbary Wars.

This fun historical snippet can only be described charitably as a stretch.  At best, partly true, sort of.

One Federalist called Jefferson the “great arch priest of Jacobinism and infidelity.” The Connecticut Courant suggested he might be a secret Jew or Muslim. It complained that no one seemed to know “whether Mr. Jefferson believes in the heathen mythology or in the alcoran (Quran); whether he is a Jew or a Christian; whether he believes in one God, or in many; or in none at all.”

But it hasn’t just been attacks of that sort that have been used.  Mormon communities have been attacked throughout our history.  Catholics, including, most prominently, JFK — John F. Kennedy — when he ran for President, was accused of being disloyal.  There was a suggestion that he would be taking orders from the Pope as opposed to upholding his constitutional duties. Anti-Semitism in this country has a sad and long history, and Jews were excluded routinely from colleges and professions and from public office.

Fair enough.

And so if we’re serious about freedom of religion — and I’m speaking now to my fellow Christians who remain the majority in this country — we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths.  (Applause.)  And when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up.  And we have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias, and targets people because of religion.

We’ve got to make sure that hate crimes are punished, and that the civil rights of all Americans are upheld.  (Applause.)  And just as faith leaders, including Muslims, must speak out when Christians are persecuted around the world — (applause) — or when anti-Semitism is on the rise — because the fact is, is that there are Christians who are targeted now in the Middle East, despite having been there for centuries, and there are Jews who’ve lived in places like France for centuries who now feel obliged to leave because they feel themselves under assault –sometimes by Muslims.  We have to be consistent in condemning hateful rhetoric and violence against everyone.  (Applause.)  And that includes against Muslims here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

So, do I give the President kudos for finally getting around to the purge of Christianity from the place of its origins?

No

Further back, he said that Islam has preached its message of peace for a thousand years.

Yet he credits Middle Eastern Christianity with mere centuries, when in fact it predated Islam there by five centuries.  Now centuries sum up to thousands, so its hard to call this a bold faced lie, but it is clearly designed to place Christianity below Islam in the historical hierarchy.

That the thriving Christian –majority- communities of Late antiquity in the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean littoral have been largely obliterated, and this many centuries ago, a factual history readily available, is not discussed.

So none of us can be silent.  We can’t be bystanders to bigotry.  And together, we’ve got to show that America truly protects all faiths.

Which brings me to my next point:  As we protect our country from terrorism, we should not reinforce the ideas and the rhetoric of the terrorists themselves.  I often hear it said that we need moral clarity in this fight.  And the suggestion is somehow that if I would simply say, these are all Islamic terrorists, then we would actually have solved the problem by now, apparently.  (Laughter.)  Well, I agree, we actually do need moral clarity.  Let’s have some moral clarity.  (Applause.)

Groups like ISIL are desperate for legitimacy.  They try to portray themselves as religious leaders and holy warriors who speak for Islam.  I refuse to give them legitimacy.  We must never give them that legitimacy.  (Applause.)  They’re not defending Islam.  They’re not defending Muslims.  The vast majority of the people they kill are innocent Muslim men, women and children.  (Applause.)

So they kill mostly Muslims, so what?  Internecine warfare is hardly new to Islam.

And, by the way, the notion that America is at war with Islam ignores the fact that the world’s religions are a part of who we are.  We can’t be at war with any other religion because the world’s religions are a part of the very fabric of the United States, our national character.  (Applause.)

“What we are” again.

Islam is no part of me, and as I think I have demonstrated earlier, has not been a significant part of America.  If it wishes to be such, it will have to change its ways.

So the best way for us to fight terrorism is to deny these organizations legitimacy and to show that here in the United States of America, we do not suppress Islam; we celebrate and lift up the success of Muslim Americans.  That’s how we show the lie that they’re trying to propagate.  (Applause.)  We shouldn’t play into terrorist propaganda.  And we can’t suggest that Islam itself is at the root of the problem.  That betrays our values.  It alienates Muslim Americans.  It’s hurtful to those kids who are trying to go to school and are members of the Boy Scouts, and are thinking about joining our military.

I get tired of saying this, but try reading the Koran.  And the ahadith, and the Sira.

That kind of mindset helps our enemies.  It helps our enemies recruit.  It makes us all less safe.  So let’s be clear about that.

They seem to be recruiting just fine without us. It’s always, something: Israel, American bases in Saudi Arabia, the Iraq War. These putative “root causes” come and go, but the violence continues.

Now, finally, just as all Americans have a responsibility to reject discrimination — I’ve said this before — Muslims around the world have a responsibility to reject extremist ideologies that are trying to penetrate within Muslim communities.

(Penetrate is a transitive verb, you twat.  No preposition)

Um, no.  We have no “responsibility” to reject discrimination.  It’s not in the Constitution. We have reached a societal consensus to do so, derived from constitutional principles, but no one is compelled to join.  I wouldn’t expect our media acclaimed “constitutional scholar” President to understand this nuance.

Here at this mosque, and across our country and around the world, Muslim leaders are roundly and repeatedly and consistently condemning terrorism.  And around the globe, Muslims who’ve dared to speak out have often been targeted and even killed.  So those voices are there; we just have to amplify them more.  (Applause.)

Facts not in evidence.  Well, the President s a Chicago lawyer.

And it was interesting, in the discussion I had before I came out, some people said, why is there always a burden on us? When a young man in Charleston shoots African Americans in a church, there’s not an expectation that every white person in America suddenly is explaining that they’re not racist.  They can Everybody is assumed to be horrified by that act.  And I recognize that sometimes that doesn’t feel fair.

This happens because of the incessant dissembling of Muslim “leaders” who point to externalities. “it’s the “while I don’t condone terrorism, we should consider..”  seen so often in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

 But part of the answer is to make sure that the Muslim community in all of its variety, in all the good works that it’s doing, in all the talent that’s on display, that it’s out there visible on a consistent basis — not just at a certain moment.  (Applause.)

Actually, I’d prefer that the Muslim community, and every other strident identity group were not visible at all, and we just went about our business as Americans.

But what is also true is, is that there is a battle of hearts and minds that takes place — that is taking place right now, and American Muslims are better positioned than anybody to show that it is possible to be faithful to Islam and to be part of a pluralistic society, and to be on the cutting-edge of science, and to believe in democracy.  (Applause.)

While I’m not hopeful, were Islam to reform, it would be in America.

And so I would urge all of you not to see this as a burden, but as a great opportunity and a great privilege to show who you are.  To use a little Christian expression — let your light shine.  Because when you do you’ll make clear that this is not a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam.  This is a struggle between the peace-loving, overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world and a radical, tiny minority.  And ultimately, I’m confident that the overwhelming majority will win that battle.  (Applause.)  Muslims will decide the future of your faith.  And I’m confident in the direction that it will go.

This is getting rather repetitive.  I could have done this in half the length.

But across the Islamic world, influential voices should consistently speak out with an affirmative vision of their faith. And it’s happening.  These are the voices of Muslim clerics who teach that Islam prohibits terrorism, for the Koran says whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind.  (Applause.)  These are the voices of Muslim scholars, some of whom join us today, who know Islam has a tradition of respect for other faiths; and Muslim teachers who point out that the first word revealed in the Koran — igra — means “read” — to seek knowledge, to question assumptions.  (Applause.)

for the Koran says whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind.

Ah yes, this hoary chestnut.

A direct crib from the Talmud.

Here is the complete verse:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

 

And here is the following verse:

Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,

 

“Mischief” here is fitna, which more precisely means discord and disorder such as arises when Islam is challenged or refused.  Thus, the Talmudic injunction against killing is modified, to say the least, in favor of Islam.

Muslim political leaders have to push back on the lie that the West oppresses Muslims, and against conspiracy theories that says America is the cause of every ill in the Middle East.  Now, that doesn’t mean that Muslim Americans aren’t free to criticize American — U.S. foreign policy.  That’s part of being an American.  I promise you, as the President of the United States, I’m mindful that that is a healthy tradition that is alive and well in America.  (Laughter.)  But like leaders everywhere, these leaders have been offering, and need to continue to offer, a positive vision for progress, and that includes political and economic progress.

Try not blaming everything on Israel. I have asked Muslims what would change in the ummah if there never had been an Israel, or were the Jewish state to disappear tomorrow.  Still waiting for an answer.

And we have to acknowledge that much of the violence in places like the Middle East is now turning into fights between sects — Shia, Sunni and others — where differences are often exploited to serve political agendas, as I said earlier.  And this bloodshed is destroying Muslim families and communities, and there has to be global pressure to have the vision and the courage to end this kind of thinking and this approach to organizing political power.

Again, as far as I’m concerned, Sunni vs. Shia is Alien vs. Predator.  Got no dog in this fight.

It’s not historically unique.  It’s happened in every part of the world — from Northern Ireland to Africa, to Asia, to right here in the United States — in the past.  But it is something that we have to fight against.

Northern Ireland, my ass. Neither of the parties was fighting to establish their faith.  Can this Harvard educated President really believe that there has been religious war in the United States?

And we know it’s possible.  Across the history of Islam, different sects traditionally have lived and thrived together peacefully.

Now and then, but it tends to end badly. Ask the Sufi.

And in many parts of the world they do today, including here in the United States.

I’d like to know which parts of the world those are, outside the west.

In the United States, you’re not allowed to beat people up, for religious reasons or any other.

Like people of all religions, Muslims living their faith in a modern, pluralistic world are called upon to uphold human rights, to make sure that everyone has opportunity.  That includes the aspirations of women and youth and all people.  If we expect our own dignity to be respected, so must we respect the dignity of others.  (Applause.)

Hmm, this strikes me as slightly critical.  Even Mr. Obama must be aware of the dismal human rights –not to mention wretched human development indices – of majority Muslim nations.  At this point, I’ll take what I can get.

So let me conclude by saying that as Muslim communities stand up for the future that you believe in, that you exhibit in your daily lives, as you teach your children, America will be your partner.  We will — I will — do everything I can to lift up the multiplicity of Muslim voices that promote pluralism and peace.

We will — I will — do everything I can to lift up the multiplicity of Muslim voices that promote pluralism and peace.

Why is this your  job?  Did you run for Defender of the Faith?

(Applause.)  We will continue to reach out to young Muslims around the world, empowering them with science and technology and entrepreneurship, so they can pursue their God-given potential, and help build up their communities and provide opportunity.  It’s why we will continue to partner with Muslim American communities — not just to help you protect against extremist threats, but to expand health care and education and opportunity — (applause) — because that’s the best way to build strong, resilient communities.

Our values must guide us in this work.  Engagement with Muslim American communities must never be a cover for surveillance.  (Applause.)  We can’t give in to profiling entire groups of people.  There’s no one single profile of terrorists.  We can’t securitize our entire relationship with Muslim Americans.  We can’t deal with you solely through the prism of law enforcement.  We’ve got to build trust and mutual respect.  That’s how we’ll keep our communities strong and our communities united.

Over and over again ,mosques are shown to be harboring subversive individuals with clear designs against the country, but God forbid they should get the same treatment the German American Bund once did.

As I was in discussion with the young people before I came in here, I said this will be a process.  Law enforcement has a tough job.  Some of these groups are specifically trying to target Muslim youth.  We’re going to have to be partners in this process.  There will be times where the relationship is clumsy or mishandled.  But I want you to know that from the President to the FBI Director, to everybody in law enforcement, my directive and their understanding is, is that this is something we have to do together.  And if we don’t do it well, then we’re actually not making ourselves safer; we’re making ourselves less safe.

This goes on for a good while.  I’m about out of gas.  I do find it interesting that, while just now the President seems to be apologizing for “profiling,” in fact the entire security apparatus of the United States has purged any mention of Islam from its threat assessment, doctrine and training.  Take a look at “Countering Violent Extremism.

And here, I want to speak directly to the young people who may be listening.  In our lives, we all have many identities.  We are sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters.  We’re classmates; Cub Scout troop members.  We’re followers of our faith.  We’re citizens of our country.  And today, there are voices in this world, particularly over the Internet, who are constantly claiming that you have to choose between your identities — as a Muslim, for example, or an American.  Do not believe them.  If you’re ever wondering whether you fit in here, let me say it as clearly as I can, as President of the United States:  You fit in here — right here.  (Applause.)  You’re right where you belong.  You’re part of America, too.  (Applause.)  You’re not Muslim or American.  You’re Muslim and American. (Applause.)

Don’t grow cynical.  Don’t respond to ignorance by embracing a world view that suggests you must choose between your faith and your patriotism.  Don’t believe that you have to choose between your best impulses and somehow embrace a world view that pits us against each other — or, even worse, glorifies violence.  Understand your power to bring about change.  Stay engaged in your community.  Help move our country forward — your country forward.  (Applause.)

We are blessed to live in a nation where even if we sometimes stumble, even if we sometimes fall short, we never stop striving for our ideals.  We keep moving closer to that more perfect union.  We’re a country where, if you work hard and if you play by the rules, you can ultimately make it, no matter who you are or how you pray.  It may not always start off even in the race, but here, more than any place else, there’s the opportunity to run that race.

And as we go forward, I want every Muslim American to remember you are not alone.  Your fellow Americans stand with you — just as Sabah described her friends after she decided that she was going to start wearing a hijab.  That’s not unusual.  Because just as so often we only hear about Muslims after a terrorist attack, so often we only hear about Americans’ response to Muslims after a hate crime has happened, we don’t always hear about the extraordinary respect and love and community that so many Americans feel.

I’m thinking about the seven-year-old boy in Texas who emptied his piggy bank to help a mosque that had been vandalized. (Applause.)  Or all the faith communities that rallied around Muslim Americans after the tragedy in Chapel Hill.  The churches and the synagogues standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their local mosques, including the woman carrying a sign saying “We love our Muslim neighbors.”  Think of our men and women in uniform who, when they heard that a little girl was afraid because she’s a Muslim, sent her a message — “I Will Protect You.”  (Applause.)

I want every American to remember how Muslim communities are standing up for others, as well.  Because right now, as we speak, there are Muslims in Kenya who saved Christians from terrorists, and Muslims who just met in Morocco to protect religious minorities, including Christians and Jews.  (Applause.)  The good people of this mosque helped this city move forward after the turmoil of last year.  Muslim Americans across the country helped African American churches rebuild after arson.

Remember the Muslim Americans in Boston who reached out to victims of the Marathon bombing; the Muslim Americans across the country who raised money for the families of San Bernardino; the Muslim Americans in Chattanooga who honored our fallen servicemembers, one of them saying, “in the name of God, the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, God bless our fallen heroes.”  (Applause.)

We are one American family.  We will rise and fall together. It won’t always be easy.  There will be times where our worst impulses are given voice.  But I believe that ultimately, our best voices will win out.  And that gives me confidence and faith in the future.  (Applause.)

After more than 200 years, our blended heritage, the patchwork quilt which is America, that is not a weakness, that is one of our greatest strengths.  It’s what makes us a beacon to the world.  It’s what led that mother who wrote to me — the one who worries about her young daughter — it led her to end her letter with hope, despite her fears.  She said, “I still believe in one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  (Applause.)

I was about to quit, cut this part and just direct the reader to the text, but low and behold another tell:

…our blended heritage, the patchwork quilt.

A mixed metaphor that works to describe Mr Obama’s view of our country.

Blended heritage – E Pluribus Unum, as we used to be,but now but what really interests him is:

Patchwork quilt – multiculturalism

 May God’s peace be upon you.  May God bless the United States of America.  Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

Yeah, you too.   What a slog.

Who do I bother?

Just more of the same: falsehoods, half truths, irrelevancies, interspersed with boilerplate patriotism, all clumsily stitched together (thanks for the quilt image!) in a repetitive, and often seen before narrative that attempts to falsely place a problematic faith alien the American experience at its center.

There are many theories as to why the drive to do this is  so strong among western leaders, but rather than get into the here, I will simply say that the effort is unseemly, and fools less and less of the every day.

A reckoning will come.

 

2015: The Year in Review in Islamic Kinetic Outreach

Even those who don’t follow Islamic issues as assiduously as I do must have a sneaking feeling that something big is afoot, with more to come.

First, for 2015, I’m going to compile a list of what I can dredge up from my memory –without recourse to the net.

Charlie Hebdo and the Jews

Garland

Memphis

Frenchman beheaded

Copenhagen

Kenyan college massacre

San Bernardino

Bangkok bomb

Tunisian attacks on tourists

Paris

Australian kid kills accountant

Russian Airplane

Bangladeshi bloggers murdered

UC Merced knife wielder

All right then. This is what I come up with, after checking my list and deleting some from 2014.

I’ve kept this to events that were widely reported and generally, involved western targets; the ongoing carnage in war zones such as Nigeria, together parts of Africa, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Southern Philippines, Israel, the Russian Caucasus, India, and the failed state of Pakistan is so unremitting that it amounts to background noise. The events I list are clearly jihadist, in that Muslims specifically targeted non-believers.

Now, let’s now look at these stories in chronological order, with the internet as an aide memoire.;

Charlie Hebdo's firsst Cover after the attack. Cowardly Printand and broadcst media largely refused to show it. Oh yeah, try turning it upside down. Heh.

Charlie Hebdo’s first Cover after the attack. Cowardly Print and and broadcast media largely refused to show it. Oh yeah, try turning it upside down. Heh.

7 January 2015 Paris, Charlie Hebdo . Most will be familiar with the murder of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s editor Stephane Charbonneau and nine others. Once again Islamic rage at uncomplimentary graphics results in death. Two days later the two killers were taken out after a pursuit and manhunt that mobilized some 80,000 French Security forces.

Around the same time Ahamed Coubaily held patrons of a Paris Kosher supermarket hostage, killing two, before being taken out.

15 February, Copenhagen: In fallout from the Muhammad Cartoons  affair of the last decade, a free speech debate at which Lars Vilik, Dansh cartoonist, and the French ambassador, among others, met to discuss the issue and show solidarity with the dead of Charlie Hebdo, when a Muslim gunman attacked. One attendee was killed. The killer then fled, to go on to kill a security guard at a synagogue, before security forces gunned him down. The usual excuses, obfuscation and ludicrous hand wringing ensued. “Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said there were no signs the gunman was part of a wider terror cell.

“This is not a conflict between Islam and the west,” she said. “This is a conflict between the core values of our society and violent extremists.”

The Roys in better days.

The Roys in better days.

February 27: Dhaka, Bangladesh: Avijit Roy, an atheist blogger and American citizen, is chopped to bits on the street in Dhaka. His wife survives. This may seem like a stretch for this list, but as this blogger was both an American, and a defender of Enlightenment values, I see this as a proxy attack on Western beliefs. Mr Roy was neither the first nor the last such blogger killed in this manner in the streets of Bangladesh.

Mrs.Roy minutes after the attack.

Mrs.Roy minutes after the attack.

Tunisia, birthplace of the “Arab Spring” this year saw two murderous attacks on Westerners, the first at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, on 18 March, thronged with visitors from a cruise ship. 20 dead, of many nationalities

Museum visitors flee Bardo Museum, Tunis

Museum visitors flee Bardo Museum, Tunis

Later in the same month, tourists, mostly British, along with two Tunisian nationals, are gunned down on a beach resort. Final toll: 38.

Some of the dead, Sousse, Tunisia.

Some of the dead, Sousse, Tunisia.

April 2: Garissa, Kenya. Islamists kill 147 students and staff at a teachers college. All were Christians. Muslims were spared, as the killers examined potential victims for knowledge of Islam before deciding to kill them, just as they had done to(number) at the Westgate mall massacre in Nairobi, 2013. I include this atrocity because Kenya has long discarded the puerile anti-Westernism of the immediate post-colonial era.  The medium of instruction at the college is English. Kenya is with us.

Garissa, Kenya: dead multitudes

Garissa, Kenya: dead multitudes

May 30: Once again, cartoons rile up the faithful. In Garland, Texas,a ”Draw Muhammad” contest is attacked. Only the gunmen die, as security and local LEOs take them down. A particularly egregious bout of “blame the victim” follows as the sponsors of the contest are told they asked for it, and should show more respect.

15 February,Copenhagen:  In fallout from the Muhammad Cartoons affair of the last decade, a free speech debate at which Lars Vilik, Dansh cartoonist and the French ambassador, among other met to discuss the issue and show solidarity with the dead of Charlie Hebdo when a Muslim gunman attacked. One attendee was killed.

Frenchman beheaded in suburban Lyon.

Frenchman beheaded in suburban Lyon.

June 26 Chasseue, France. A Frenchman is beheaded, by an ISIS sympathizer who also tries to blow up the bottled gas plant where the victim was manager.

July 26 Chattanooga, TN.   Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez shoots up a recruiting center, then moves on to Naval Reserve center where 4 die immediately, one later of his wounds. Police then blow the jihadi away.

17 August, Bangkok: Erahwan Shrine, a popular site for locals and tourists, is bombed. 20 die. A murky plot emerges – to date not wrapped up – involving local muslims, Turks, Uyghurs (Chinese muslim minority) and Pakistanis.

A familiar sight in the wake of Islamic terror. This time, Bangkok.

A familiar sight in the wake of Islamic terror. This time, Bangkok.

October 2. Paramatta, Australia. An accountant working for the Police is shot outside the station where he worked. Cops then take out 15 year old killer, Farhad Khalil.

Some ofthosewho died as ISIS borught down their plane in the Sinai.

Some of those who died as ISIS brought down their plane in the Sinai.

Ocober 31: Egypt: Russian plane bound for St. Petersburg downed by a bomb stowed aboard.   224 holiday makers die. Officials eventually confirm ISIS chatter: Islamist terror brought down the plane.

Paris: 13 November There is no need for me to get  into this very deeply, as it is still so fresh in public memory that even politicians are forced to refer to it. As did SOS John Kerry, when he said:

“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that.”

“There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, ‘OK, they’re really angry because of this and that’,” Kerry said.

“This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people.”

So as long as it was people with a beef against Islam, and Jews, not such a big deal

November 4, Merced California. Faisal Mohammed, 18 year old student, knifed 4, before bystanders tackled him, and then campus cops plugged him fatally. Despite having a Xerox of an ISIS flag,and copious notes invoking Allah, we are told that he wanted revenge for being kicked out of a study club. This story pretty much died after the FBI came in and took over the investigation. We have a picture of the kid, accounts that say he was from Santa Clara, or Santa Clarita, two entirely different places, a banal statement from the family released by a lawyer and nothing more. Looking at the kid he could be of Pakistani descent, but who knows? The incurious media performs as expected.

Faisal Mohhamed: Why was this kid? We'll probably never know.

Faisal Mohhamed: Who was this kid? We’ll probably never know.

December 2, San Bernardino, California. This too needs no recapping. 14 dead Americans in the Inland Empire,and Obama was finally forced to concede that threre amy be a problem.

That’s it for 2015, as far as I remember. Post Paris, we saw the three day lock-down of Bussels, capital of the Belgian state,as well as the EU, and home of NATO headquarters.

So, we have attacks on almost every inhabited continent , with Latin America unscathed. This region is, coincidentally, home to a vanishingly small Muslim population. The attackers are Middle Easterners, Africans, East Asians  and native born Americans, some of immigrant descent, some not. All are Muslims, all citing Muslim scripture and tradition, despite the  risible efforts or authorities to deflect.  A common thread in official response is that we are somehow supposed to be calmed when told that an event has no links to terrorists groups. So what?  It is the lone actor who will most likely succeed.

In fact all have links to the organized terrorism that is Islam. Not only do authorities, the press and academia continue to obfuscate, but, I suspect, are sometimes involved in active concealment. Consider this story:

Belgian military barracks attack: ‘Hooded man’ tries to storm Flawinne Army base

This was Ocotober 26, 2015. The story is around for a couple of days after that, then we are told a suspect is in custody, and that there is no terrorism link. The end. Nothing further in English, nor in the Belgian press, neither in Flemsh or French, as far as I can find.

No name has ever been released. Given the prominence in jihadist activity Belgium has achieved, I find this interesting.

The year ended with much anxiety, reduced celebration over the holidays, and a final scare in Munich. As was the case in the story of the three American Dudes Who Kicked Jihadi Ass on a Train, despite all the horror I’ve recalled above, the real story is what doesn’t happen.  Or hasn’t happened yet.

No large scale attacks, just the usual pranks by les jeunes/youths/jongen such as this

Diverse youth firebomb Christmas tree, Place Clemenceau,Brussels

Diverse youth firebomb Christmas tree, Place Clemenceau,Brussels

Car

Car Burning is so last year. Again, Place Clemenceau, Brussels.

Christmas tree demolition, and quite creative roll – a-car –down- a- pedestrian- stairway- to- the- underground, both in Brussels. The lads enjoyed themselves,as their enthusiastic “Allahu Akbar” demonstrates.

So now we are in 2016.  So far, so good.  The new year did see a minor incident in France on January 1, first broken as a story of an attack on a mosque, but in fact another of the faithful was instead attacking the French Army guarding a mosque.  So, attacked by Muslims, the French guard mosques.  In the US, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and other prominent Democrats visit a mosque in the wake  of San Bernardino, as the New York Times tells us “American Muslims Under Attack After San Bernardino and Paris Terror”

As I suppose they are:

“FBI offers $5,000 reward after raw bacon found on door of Las Vegas mosque.”

Or perhaps not:
Man charged with setting Houston mosque fire says he was a devout attendee

It’s tricky to predict the future.  I certainly hope 2016 does not see the acceleration in Muslim violence that many predict.  I can confidently say, however, that the official cover for the religiously motivated crimes of Muslims will continue, and no doubt reach new heights of absurd mendacity, as public trust continues to decline.

Houston Mosque Arsonist

Houston Mosque Arsonist

Stock popcorn and beer

Happy New Year

Allahu Akbar!

 

Let’s Play…Global Strategic Realignment!

 

wargameUnlike the computer simulation in 1983’s “War Games,” this is a board game, a combination of Risk and Monopoly.  In Risk early and bold moves are essential.  A firm grasp of strategy wins every time; the dice won’t bail you out, unless you’re evenly matched.( I’ve lost every game of Risk I’ve ever played, so why should you read this?)The same is somewhat true with Monopoly, but a bad card early on can set you back hopelessly, or derail what looked to be a winning surge.
It’s pretty clear that the U.S. is distracted, or perhaps largely indifferent to what is going on around the globe.  That goes for the current administration; as to the country’s intelligence services, who knows?

pivot

This nifty 33 page Congressional Research Service position page turned out to e a waste of time as President Obama pivoted somewhere else.

Late in 2011, the Administration announced a strategic realignment, or an intensified focus (accounts vary) de-emphasizing the Middle East and looking to the Pacific. With China continuing to make ir-redentist territorial claims, and given the chronic instability in the Middle East, and its lack of economic significance outside the energy sector, this made a good deal of sense, especially with a background of rising gas and oil production in North America, and great potential elsewhere.

Buttressing such a strategic would require a strong naval and air presence in the region, and a commitment to maximize North American energy production. We’ve seen the opposite.  The indefinite Keystone  XL Pipeline delay, slow permitting for exploration on Federal lands, and crippling EPA regulations on the use of coal for power generation, it’s clear the Obama  Administration, at best, simply does not understand correlation, or worse, suffers from crippling cognitive dissonance. In what the New York Post calls “Obama’s Incredible Shrinking Pacific Pivot,” the President instead places his faith in adherence to international norms.

As to U.S. Naval strength. expert debates rage, and are beyond the non-specialist – this one, at least, but one does get the sense the U.S. is still more than capable. However, the administration seems to have given the Navy little attention, other than the installation of gender neutral heads, and arranging for some of  the fleet to be fueled on algae, at substantial cost.

.
Like so many of Mr. Obama’s pivots, from jobs, to immigration, to gay whatever, and back again, the Pacific pivot in the end is reduced to no more than an interpretative dance move depicting a world that exists only in the CIC’s imagination.

Now, let’s game this.

senkaku

Some of the Senkaku Islands, near Taiwan, in the South China Sea. Picturesque, but it’s about oil and gas.

An administration distracted by midterm elections, border chaos, and perhaps new revelations in ongoing scandals, and fresh ones yet to surface, presents an opening to China, who grab the Spratlys, and if they are feeling particularly bold, the Senkakus.  With Japan moving to a more robust defense doctrine, and the weakest U.S. posture since before the Second World War there will never be a better chance.

Japan and China fight a short naval conflict, with both taking losses, but neither fully committing.  War with China is not an option for the Japanese, who retire with honor intact. VietNam and the Philippines  are chased from the Spratlys.

One of the man atolls in he Spratlys.  Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

One of the many atolls in the Spratlys. Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

The U.S. tut tuts like a worried grandmother surrounded by squabbling grandchildren, but it is apparent  American security promises are worthless.  India, which has been in a naval race with China, its navy, offers strategic guarantees to Southeast Asian nations, and acquires bases, with a forward position in the Philippines.  Australia, after initial reluctance, realizes it is far from any other allies, and joins India, in combined naval operations, and provides basing rights.

Does China then make its play for Taiwan?  Amphibious invasions are expensive, bloody, and highly risky affairs. Beijing strikes a deal with Taipei for autonomy within the PRC in return for withdrawal of U.S. forces from the island.

Japan builds a nuclear deterrent, and announces its deployment.  Tokyo abrogates the U.S. Japan security treaty and U. S. forces withdraw.

Where is Europe in all this?  Busy dealing with the rising chaos as migrants pour in, spurred by violence and disruption in the Middle East and Africa as world tensions and currency crises buffet already fragile economies. Nationalist governments rise in Britain, and in newer EU members from the former East Bloc.  Germany is happy to be Moscow’s banker as Russia and China form an entente cordiale.  The U.S. fades from the world scene, as two far lesser powers divide most of Eurasia and dominate its maritime periphery.

frigate

Indian Shivalik class Frigate

India waits, and is riven by dissension over the massive cost of its new hemispheric defense posture.

One of the man atolls in he Spratlys.  Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

One of the many atolls in the Spratlys. Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but China is the big dog

Latin America continues to be Latin America, with weak institutions and unbalanced economies.  In the South, Brazil dominates, while to the North, the United States, Mexico and Central America are joined in a de facto Anschluss driven not by American power, but migration northwards. Canada realizes that its southern neighbor is lost, and plays itself between China and the Anglosphere as best it can.

In my scenario, China is the precipitating actor. One asks immediately, why would they do it? Are some small scraps of territory and national honor worth the enormous risk?  I have no idea what competing factions within the PRC, in both the party and the military, might militate for or against such aggressive action.

In the light of rational thought, it seems insane.  First it requires absolute confidence that the current administration in Washington would not meet its commitments; next, that the Chinese economy could weather the economic disruption sure to follow its action.  And, as Messrs Obama and Kerry indignantly point out, this is the 21st Century, as they protest Putin’s 20th Century moves in the Ukraine.  Meanwhile, ISIS has has gone all 19th Century in setting up their Islamic state,  and different to the Sudan back then, there is no Kitchener to set things right; not even a Gordon, for that matter.

As we approach the centenary of the Guns of August, it is wise to reflect on how often before, leaders have miscalculated, and to recall the catastrophes that followed.

Now, play the game yourself!

Your wild cards are: Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea.

Biden Heralds “Obama the Conqueror”

"In Hoc Signo Vincit"

“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World” – Sir Halford Mackinder, 1919

Vice President Biden :”The biggest thing that’s happened, the president has been able to unite the world including Russia and China.”, speaking to Rachel Maddow (That explains a lot.) on Tuesday .

Poor Alexander: He just nudged India, never mind China.

So Obama has done what so  many others have attempted and and failed to achieve.  In three short years he’s trumped  Alexander of Macedon, and even aced out the heaviest hitter of them all in the global domination  hall of fame, Genghis Khan.

Like a colossus, he bestrides Europe and Asia from the Baltic to the south China Sea, from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Black Sea.

I sure wouldn’t want to play “Risk” (TM) with this guy.

World domination: c'mon, you know you want it!

Genghis didn't reach the Baltic

Of course, I’m taking this out of context so as to have a little fun.  Biden was speaking of the stunning success of the Obama administration its dealings with Iran.  His claims are only slightly less grandiloquent than the ones that open this piece.

Here’s a more extensive quote in which the Veep expands on the administration’s overwhelming victory in diminishing Iranian strength, or at least the perception of such power.

“The biggest thing that’s happened, the president has been able to unite the world including Russia and China. In continuing to ostracize and to isolate Iran. So the truth is, and I really mean this, Rachel, the talk about the projection, the capacity of [Iran] to project power in the Gulf is actually diminished. They are less feared. They are less — they have less influence than they have had any time, I would argue, in the last 20 years. And there will be a relationship between Iraq and Iran because they have a very long border. They will trade. They should have a normal relationship. But they are not allies,”

EU may study oil embargo on Iran; China urges calm(Reuters)Decmber 1, 2011

China says it opposes Western sanctions on Iran BEIJING | Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:34am EST(Reuters)

China, Russia Resist Sanctions Against Iran(WSJ)NOVEMBER 17, 2011

Nothing like the possibility of an EU study to bring the world to the brink of war. China is

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast, Wednesday,Dec 15 "(But) when the U.S. and the Zionist regime make various threats, they are effectively creating an atmosphere of war in the region. And of course such an atmosphere causes some reactions".

clearly totally panicked.

Now, the President is widely praised for being tech savvy, but one has to ask if Joe has a Blackberry, or an iPhone so he can check this stuff out before he goes on? Does he understand the term “key word search”?

And sadly, it may also be appropriate to question the state of his short term memory, as in this Tuesday Interview, he appears to have forgotten the President’s risible plea on Monday for the return of the U.S. drone lost in Iran.

Biden refers to Iran’s ongoing rumblings about closing the Strait of Hormuz as of little concern, but Tehran was not listening, as it reiterated the threat on Wednesday. No one for a moment, not even the Iranians think the Islamic Republic is any match for the U.S. Navy, but they are confident enough to make the threat, and not surprised by predictable hand wringing in the West, and the unconcern on the part of their trade partners, Russia and China.

Vice President Biden’s long term memory is also in question:

And there will be a relationship between Iraq and Iran because they have a very long border. They will trade. They should have a normal relationship. But they are not allies,”

Moqtada Sadr: If he's not up for a rumble, someone else will be.

No kidding.   Remember a fellow named  Moqtada Sadr, his Mehdi Militia, and the Shia – Sunni civil War of 2007 in Iraq?

Iran and Iraq: Not allies, true.  The correct term for Iraq in the  not so distant future would be “vassal state.”  Think Iran and Assad’s Syria, of Hezbollah and what’s left of Lebanon.

This is in no way to advocate further involvement in Iraq.  The war was an act of colossal hubris, or manic optimism, at best.  This administrations weak grasp of the realities in the Middle East and its unfounded confidence in positive outcomes there are the same sorts of sentiments that brought on the neocon disaster in Iraq, and are equally as dangerous . They may yet prove even more costly.

(If you are wondering what qualifies me to be Middle East analyst I would parry by asking what qualifies Joe Biden?)

(Reuters)

Downed Drone: Iran Puts the Salami to Obama

Kinda reminds me of the captured alien aircraft in "Independence Day."

Sometime last week, an RQ-170, CIA operated  drone crashed, landed  in, or was somehow hijacked by Iran, and they have been gleefully showing it off since.

"Obama Begs Iran to Give Him Back His Toy Plane" TEHRAN (FNA)Click for full story.

As reported in the BBC and elsewhere, President Obama, in the course of a Monday press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki  said that the U.S. has asked for its wayward drone to be returned.  You know, like you might ask a grumpy  neighbor to give you your ball back.  When it comes to dealing with our enemies and adversaries, this administration’s playbook appears to be “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

As the President is rather busy, he perhaps had not been informed that Iran had already said that it was not giving the drone back, and in  fact intends to reverse engineer the fallen spy-craft  and then mass produce it.  This may overstate their engineering and industrial capability, but Iran competing with Israel on the international arms market would be better than the apocalyptic scenario the Islamic Republic is currently pushing.  This was reported by ABC and Al Jazeera, among others.  We all know the daily intelligence briefing the President (and this has been the case for quite a while, long before Mr. Obama took the job.)receives is just a rehash of what is on the networks, but one would think the collators  could be a bit more timely,

General Hossein Salami( File Photo)

CNN  quotes Iran’s Fars New Agency reporting that on Sunday, Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of Iran’s military said”No nation welcomes other countries’ spy drones in its territory, and no one sends back the spying equipment and its information back to the country of origin.”

Hossein ( a variant of Hussein) Salami!  How great is that?  I could proceed with various bend over, hide the salami jokes,  with reference to the President’s middle name, but I won’t, because the general’s name, in  this context, is the only thing funny about this disaster.

That the president appears,weak, ineffective, and just plain dumb in this matter is summed up by ABC’s lead in:  “Obama: Hey Iran, Can We Get Our Drone Back?”

The use of drones for both surveillance and attack has been key to the president’s tactics in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, and has yielded some spectacular successes.  Were he expanding this approach to Iran, he would find much support across the political spectrum.

This, unfortunately is unlikely, given the President’s ongoing reluctance to confront Iran, dating from before his lack of enthusiasm for the abortive 2009 “Green Revolution ” in the Islamic Republic.

So the question that remains is  Why was the drone not destroyed on the ground( Indeed, why don’t they have a fail-safe “kill-switch’?  Or if they do, why wasn’t it used?

The blogosphere is replete with accounts that Obama nixed actions to destroy,  or retrieve the drone, fearing that such  action would be regarded by Iran as an act of war.but I cannot find much reporting on this in what are considered reliable sources, at least among Mr. Obama’s supporters.

Typical of such reports is this in the UK Daily Mail:

A senior U.S. official confirmed it was the drone earlier today. ‘Yep, that’s it – it’s intact,’ a source told Fox News. ‘This is a big prize in terms of technology.’

Meanwhile the official added that President Obama decided not to retrieve or destroy the drone because that could have been seen as an act of war.( I know, the Daily Mail quoting Fox: must be a lie, right?)

One would not doubt that such discussions occurred, however, and the question remains: why was nothing done?  Similar reports appeared at the time of Bin Laden’s killing, but whether or not the President was reluctant to make the call, he did give the word.

On the Internet, those who see President Obama as a Fanon  style-anti imperialist,  and /or jihadi sympathizer closet Marxist Internationalist Manchurian candidate go so far to say the drone drop might have been a set up. or at the very least, the President simply doesn’t mind much if Iran gets a break

Newt Gingrich was called a racist for Saying the President’s world view derived from his Kenyan roots, but it is difficult to explain both his actions and lack of action with out reference to his origins and upbringing:  An African socialist father( for more on African socialism,look into Julius Nyere) advocating taxes of up to 100 per cent of income on the rich, a mother who saw much virtue in the developing world, and little in America, and grandparents who were decidedly to the left of most in their native Kansas.

In a conflict with non-western nations, Obama will almost always give the benefit of the doubt to the victims of long gone imperialists, with the Usama takeout a salient exception.

The President has demonstrated that he does not fear war.  He was willing to bomb Libya, ruled by a regime with which we had had amiable relations for some, time,  because he thought it would benefit the Libyans.   He was not willing to bomb the drone on the ground because that would have been of no benefit to any party other than the U.S.

Mr Obama is not a  Manchurian candidate, but a product of his background and our universities,.  He has no grand plan, as many fear, to “take down: the U.S. ”  At best,  he does not see America as a discrete entity, distinct from the world which he wishes to heal,

Although I oppose almost everything this President does and thinks, at times it is possible to feel sorry for him.  Historians may well cast him as a tragic figure,  someone whose very nature precluded him from being the post racial ,non-ideological unifier that the country wanted him to be,

Mr. Obama is among us. but the cannot be of us.

( For a detailed look at Mr. Obama’s background, see Dinesh D’Sousa’s “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” A caution, however: this work is not up to the standard of some of Mr. D’Sousa’s other efforts, in my view.  He seems to be aiming for an edgy, hip style that would resonate with Huffington Post Readers, and it not only misses that mark, but falls flat.)

.

I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN: Detain the ACLU

The original title of this piece was “Detain Lindsay Graham.”

I’m no fan of the South Carolina senator. Senators Graham(R), McCain(r), and Leven(D) are behind a piece of legislation that would designate America as part of a world wide battlefield, and allow the military to indefinitely detain Al Queda suspects wherever apprehended.  As he demonstrated during the uproar over the Florida Koran burning, Graham is no stickler on the niceties of constitutional protections.   I don’t know much about Leven, but the statute of limitations on exposing stupidity in war heroes ran out on McCain a long time ago.

When I heard abut this, I wondered why this story wasn’t bigger news  I ran across it in a comment posted to an article on more general constitutional issues on Pajamasmedia which linked me to the ACLU and the Hill.

The ACLU Had this to say:

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

I couldn’t find exaclty were the quote came from,and there is no citation, as there is not for the following:

In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.

Who these “proponents” are who make these contentions is again, not stated.

And it got me pretty worried, and I wasn’t buying McCain and Leven’s clarifications in the Washington Post, as quoted in the Hill.  There was quite an uproar across the blogsphere, but when I had read a number of online takes it hit me that I was getting hits mostlyon the left, and among the Ron Paul crowd, with many claiming that this provision could be extended to any body for any reason.

So I decided to read the bill.  Here’s the money shot:

SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.

    (a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-
      (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.
      (2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined–
        (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
        (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.
      (3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR- For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.
      (4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.
    (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
      (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
      (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.

Not only does the provision not extend to American citizens, but it also excludes legally resident aliens, and it is limited to Al Queda or Al Queda related activities.

Much of the hysteria is therefore unwonted. Now, I have never liked that term “Homeland Security.”  It sounds translated from German. And it’s funny, during World War Two  we seemed to just fine with the FBI chasing spies in the U.S., so there are issues here.

The most troubling aspect of this furor for me is that once again we see the obsession with, or diversion to Al Queda, as Islamist regimes take power throughout the Middle East, and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers and enablers  lobby on Capital Hill.  The “moderate Islamist”   leader of Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennadha holds forth there today, hosted by MPAC(Muslim American Political Action).   Not long ago we had a young Dominican  home grown jihadi picked up by NYPD.  Whether this focus on the tatters of the force that brought down the Twin Towers is ignornace, willful blindness, a calculated and cynical ploy to make us beleive that these guys in congress are “doing something”, or a combination of all of these, I don’t know.

What I do know Is that the Obama administration’s appeasement of Islam,  the failure of the opposition party on the whole to call him on it,  and the refusal of the political establishment of both parties, the media and academia’ to address the violence at the core of Islamic scripture are far greater dangers to American security than the remnants of Al Qeda could ever hope to be.

And you can’t trust the ACLU.   I knew that.