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!

 

The Coming Civil War

The coming civil war in the West will be fought in the parliaments and the streets, will certainly begin in Europe, and may, one hopes, end there before it spreads.

648x415_deux_policiers_surveillent_le_26_decembre_2015_l_entree_de_la_salle_de_priere_saccagee_a_ajaccio

Police guard mosque, Ajaccio, Corsica. 25 December, 2015.

There will be fighting between native Europeans and immigrant, largely Muslim populations. The first skirmishes have already started, as in Ajaccio, Corsica on December 25, 2015.

Muslims attack firemen and police. The following day, after a rally in support of their first responders, at which some of the injured appeared, some Corsicans trashed a Mosque. The full security force of the French State, as well as its media and academic components has come down against the protestors and on the side of the immigrants against “Islamophobia.”

Here we see the fissures that will define the conflict. The most important fight will be in the minds of the native European population. Nothing indicates any substantial part of the Muslim population joining the forces of secularism. Rather, they will sit it out while the Europeans, and other Western nations, deicide where they stand. The ruling class has demonstrated that it will not listen, so the choice will come down to acceptance, or resistance.

I see this divide in my own circle of family and friends. In a family of very progressive

Police hold back Corsican demonstrators in front of Arab populated housing project. Saturday, December 26, 2015.

Police hold back Corsican demonstrators in front of Arab populated housing project. Saturday, December 26, 2015.

Obama supporters, one spouse is worried about Islam. The other asked me what I thought about the probability of ISIS terrorism in the US. At the time, I said it was low. Events proved me too optimistic, yet the woman who asked me this question, clearly concerned, will not hear anything against Islam, and is joined in this obduracy by their gay son

I’ve been a little coy with the references here. This is a same sex union. One of the spouses clearly understands that such as she and her family are in the sights of Islam, and while hopeful for “reform” and an ascendance of “moderate Muslims” is reaching out to learn more about the threat.

Yet for her partner and one of their sons it it is as if to criticize Islam is to somehow betray liberal and progressive values. They prefer to support Bernie Sanders and worry about the Koch brothers.

At a Christmas dinner here in Bali with European friends the same division arose, to the point where it was best to pour more – lots more – drinks and calm everyone down. The husband is firmly committed to the European idea, proud of the welfare state. No dependent he, a good earner all his life, he happily pays taxes  in his home country and makes his contributions to social programs. While he shakes his head at the inroads of Islam in Indonesia, he’s always been committed to pluralism, and the idea of a Europe incorporating new strains of ethnicity is something he has, and does support.

Recent events have shaken his confidence that assimilation and integration would take place, bringing a Europe that is still itself but renewed. His wife, however, has seen the videos CNN never shows: the vast columns of young men surging through the European countryside. She is terrified.

They spoke of parents who had always been liberal now sounding “almost racist.”  And being “racist” is the worst thing one can be.

Not long ago, I ran into a British guy I’ve worked with on and off over the years. We never before discussed politics, but as a university educated teacher of English abroad, he’s from a demographic that doesn’t include many Tories.

Out of nowhere, a torrent of rage and despair at what Britain has become, and anger at those who seem to feel that this invasion is payback for the white man’s sins.

Such discussions, I’m sure, are now common between families and friends, in millions of homes. Many will have to go through a wrenching reappraisal of their values, and perhaps make common cause with people at whom they have long looked askance, even despised. A coastal progressive lesbian finds herself agreeing with Franklin Graham; an urbane European finds he may have to agree with the Front Nationale.

It is a realignment I have already gone through, but my change was not quick, nor was it pleasant. I had two immigrant grandparents. I knew many fine immigrants, some legal, some not, and in the 80s supported Reagan’s amnesty. One night, the first Christmas season after the law passed, I found myself in a miles long traffic jam headed North along the Mexican coast, most of the vehicles with California plates, as the newly legalized Mexicans returned from their holidays.  I didn’t mind the delay; I celebrated it, and the change it represented.

I can no longer do so.

Our liberal values have served us well. Recent decades have seen an end to institutionalized discrimination and a vast expansion of opportunity for all. Now superseded by an anti-assimilationist ethos, a denigration of Western Civilization, and the introduction of Islam, they must be reexamined, reformulated, and thoughtfully applied

An increasing number of secular conservatives, liberals, and libertarians have realized is that Islam is antithetical to our values. Thus, having truly bettered our societies by discarding the idea of judging groups of people, we now find that we must judge one group, and find it wanting.

This is a war that will divide families, end friendships, and raise discourse from Sunday dinner discussion to matters of life and death.

Parents against children.

Brother against brother.

Civil war.

Signs, Portents…and Squirrels: Our Times: At Once, Dire and Inane

portentsAs I write the date is 27 February, 2015.

If one needed any proof that the United States, and a good deal of the rest of the world has simply abandoned any pretense of being serious, the top stories of today and a few days prior are convincing proof.

JohnLast night, the story broke that “Jihadi” John, the masked killer of at least five in Iraq and or Syria had been identified. Along with this came a presser by CAGE, a “human rights” organization in the UK, which attempted to blame the nation’s security services for “radicalizing” Mohammed Emwazi, who

Cage

Cage directer Asim Qureshi in a diptych with the “beautiful young man” who went on to practice halal butchery on humans. Qureshi’s zabiba(prayer bump) should be a dead giveaway that he’s just another of the lying Islamic shills to whom Westerners give so much credence. The Qureshi were the tribe of the “Prophet” Muhammad, and half the swinging dicks in Muhammad land claim to be descended from them.  Liars all.

turned out to be a degreed computer programmer raised in comfortable circumstances. A week before, the Obama administration had re-floated the idea that “violent extremists” are fueled by poverty and exclusion, a moronic, Marxist inspired, and easily debunked trope that has been around since Dubya.

 

Since I was a child, I've loved antiquity.  However, I remember many of my classmates hating those museum field trips.  This, though, is a bit much

Since I was a child, I’ve loved antiquity. However, I remember many of my classmates hating those museum field trips. This, though, is a bit much

ISIS took a break from releasing snuff films to putting out a video of the lads having a blast smashing statues from Ancient Assyria.

blogger

Nothing to do with Islam, of course. Bangladeshi-American atheist blogger Avijit Roy’s wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, who survived, but lost a finger.

In Dhaka, a Bangladeshi atheist blogger, who also held American citizenship, was hacked to death on the street, with his wife also attacked but surviving. While the White house had nothing to say, a reporter did manage to coax a statement out of Jen Psaki, who was careful to note that at this point the attackers’ motive is unknown.

U.S. State Department spokesbimbo, Jen Psaki.  While lacking empirical evidence, I'd say she's a genuine ginger, and I bet those hooters are real as well, unlike anything that comes out of her mouth.

U.S. State Department spokes-bimbo, Jen Psaki. While lacking empirical evidence, I’d say she’s a genuine ginger, and I bet those hooters are real as well, unlike anything that comes out of her mouth.

The United States government, with zombie FDR nodding approval, decided to regulate the internet under a statute written in 1933. All data packets are equal. Down the road, some will be more equal than others. On the BBC, of all places, a commenter shook his head and said the US government has decided it wants the internet or free. Someone on state owned British media gets economics better than Mr. Obama.

In the same category of unaccountable Federal agencies we have the BATF talking about banning ammunition for the AR-15, a big scary looking rifle that anti-gun legislators have been unable to touch. It’s basically a .22, well .223.

A gang of Uzbeks from Brooklyn are

indicted on terrorism charges. What would Adam Yauch say?

In the United States Congress, the Republican majority, in its strongest position since the 1920s decides that funding DHS, the security super agency that has yet to catch a terrorist, is more important than keeping its promise to the electorate to fight and defund the President’s unilateral amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The president and functionaries of the regime, I’m sorry, government, natter on about “Climate Change,” (Nee Global Warming; isn’t it nice to see her all grown up?) as a foot of snow falls in Alabama. Winter Storm

In other times, people looked to the heavens for signs and portents of evil days to come.

My necromancer didn’t return my texts.

 

We have the United Sates, guarantor of the peace for some seven decades, in a constitutional crisis, a centuries old civilization conflict bathing vast areas in blood, the ancient nations of Europe suborned by Islamic fifth columns, and much more than I need go into here.

What is to come?

I have no idea, the best minds of our time are trying to determine the color of THE DRESS.

What color is this dress? Beats me.  It's  an internet thing.

What color is this dress? Beats me. It’s an internet thing.

What color is it?

Ask the llamas.

A Mexican guy driving by uses a lariat to lasso a llama.  All these words are Spanish. What the hell, I like Mexicans, and I'll sure take them over Muslims.

A Mexican guy driving by uses a lariat to lasso a llama. All these words are Spanish. What the hell, I like Mexicans, and I’ll sure take them over Muslims.

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

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

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

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

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

There is no god but Allah.

Then my mother called me for dinner.

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

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

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

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

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

HalliburtonArabia

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

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

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

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

(Read Part Two here)

Refuting the Borg: Arguing With Leftists about Islam.

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

“Republicans are racists!”

“The science is settled!”

And the show stoppers:

“Sarah Palin!” “Bush!”

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

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

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

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

Islamophobia!

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

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

Racism!

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

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

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

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

 The Inquisition!

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

640px-Templars_Burning

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

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

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

all hallaj

The execution of al-Hallaj

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

 

“What about the Crusades?”

Yeah, what about them?

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

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

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

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

martel

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mcveigh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, overall, pretty much a wash.

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

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

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

Israel is the problem.

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

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

blackhawk

Black Hawk Down, Mogadishu, Somalia, 1993.

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

 

Radical Muslims are a tiny minority

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

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

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

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

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

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

Radical Muslims misunderstand their religion.

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

Without beheading anyone.

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

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

muslims

That backdrop looks like Death Valley to me.

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

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

obama-un-speech-25sept2012-620x349

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

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

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

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

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

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

FP’s summary:

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

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

Khadija comforting Mohammed by placing his head between her legs

Mohammed calling a donkey “the first Muslim animal”

Mohammed telling his followers they should feel free to molest children

Mohammed having sex with the wives of his followers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

“Islam Will Dominate” I Call Bullshit

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

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

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

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

And one day, we will take it all away

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You shall not win; you cannot.

You don’t have what it takes.

You never have, and you never will.

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

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

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

Mr Obama opened with:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allahu Akbar

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

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day: A Personal Rubicon

In 2010 American cartoonist Molly Norris of Seattle proposed May 20 as “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day 20.”  This was in response to threats against the creators of South Park, who had named a bear suited character Mohammed.  A Facebook page sprung up and attracted a large number of followers.  Ms Norris’ own contribution was rather tame and did not in fact depict Islam’s prophet;  further, she disassociated herself from the Facebook page, which was the work of third parties.

Molly Norris’ contribution to “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” After credible threats to her life, the cartoonist went underground, and remains in hiding.

Nevertheless, in the end, she received more serious and credible threats than had the South Park team, and was advised to go underground by the FBI.  This she did at her own expense, so that a citizen of the United States, exercising her constitutional rights, was on her own, while violent felons and turned terrorists flourish in government sponsored witness protection.

Since 9/11, when Islam roars, the West cowers, as it did the previous year during the furor over Muhammad cartoons in the Danish Newspaper Jyllands –Posten.  In that instance, after a lag of some months, protests began as internet provocateurs – Muslims themselves– distribute the pictures along with even more graphically offensive images which had never appeared in the Danish newspaper.  Rioting, arson and death spread through the Middle East and Central Asia. It is ironic that the depiction of Islam’s prophet is not clearly proscribed in the Koran itself, and there is a rich history of portraiture showing Muhammad and events in his life in the artistic traditions of Persia, Central Asia and the

A Persian depiction of the Angel Gabriel revealing the Koran to Mohammed.

Ottoman Empire.

Logo from OIC Website. This pretty much says it all: a world centered on Mecca.

Since then, the OIC(Organization of Islamic Cooperation) has pushed its “anti-blasphemy”(read: anti criticism of slam)   rules in the west, with officials of purported democracies all too eager to comply.  Free speech in regard to Islam, among other multicultural shibboleths has bee criminalized in Europe, and has only shaky protection in the Anglophone democracies of the former empire.  The mother country has all but capitulated as “public order” and “community cohesion” statutes muzzle critics in Britain.  Only in the United States does the Constitution’s second amendment remain as a bulwark for freedom.

I have been associated with Islam and Muslims for most of my life.  At the time of the Oklahoma City bombing, I prayed that the actors not be Muslim.  Then came 9/11, the second and successful attack on the Twin Towers.  Even then, I made excuses and distinctions.  It was the violent and irrationally disproportionate  reaction to the Danish cartoons  of 2009 that led me to to examine Islamic tradition and scripture.

I did not like what I found, and am daily further appalled as I continue my exploration.  In the last few years, I toyed with the idea of posting something on May 20 each year, but refrained, telling myself that giving needless offense helped nothing.  There is validity to that argument, but, in truth, underlying it was moral cowardice, and personal sadness.  While I live in a  Muslim country, I am obscure enough that physical jeopardy is unlikely.  However, it is likely that some people for whom I have personal regard will not be able to see beyond their emotional attachment to  a religion which I am certain they do not fully comprehend, and our association will thus end.

So be it.

Like the larger part of my generation, I have never been called to stand for anything, as my father and grandfather were in the conflicts of their times.  Due to accidents of birth and class, Viet Nam passed me by.  This then is a small thing to do.

                     My contribution to “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”

Art is not my forte, so my drawing requires some explication:

I show Muhammad as bearded and turbaned, as he is described in most traditions.  Note that I use the word “traditions” as the historical record is even scantier than support for the Christian Gospels.

The other sketches show aspects of Islamic belief and history:

1)”The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his messenger, and strive for mischief n the land is execution, crucifixion, or the  cutting  off of hands and feet from opposite sides (Koran 5:32)

2)  While the Koran prescribes one hundred lashes for adultery (really, any extra marital sex) in the hadith( sayings and deeds  attributed to Muhammad and purportedly verified through a documented chain of transmission, which  are central to Islam, particularly the Sunni majority) quote the prophet as personally ordering death by stoning:  “Allah’s apostle commanded that she be stoned to death:  Sahih Bukhari

3) The sack of Alexandria 641E: Islamic  tradition and scripture support spreading the religion by the sword. It is a conundrum that today, as Arabs and Muslims protest the existence of Israel, and bemoan the horrors of the Crusades, with the support by much of the world, that the historical record is generally ignored.  The extra-Arabian  Middle East, Turkey  and North Africa, once Christian, and Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, Hebrew, and Latin speaking, now is Arab  and Turkic, and almost  entirely        Islamic.  The war on Christians begun by the early caliphs is today in its final phase in Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

Holy war is an Islamic concept, as epitomized today on the Saudi flag, with the Muslim confession of faith surmounting a sword. For contrast, one need only look at the legacy of the European empires: only in the Americas, and the Philippines in Asia do we see indigenous religions vanquished by Christianity, inlands that were conquered by the Iberian powers in the century immediately after the end of their seven hundred year Muslim occupation.

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya( a tax required of non-Muslims under Islamic rule) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Koran 9:29)

4)Some of Muhammad’s many wives.  While Islam limits the number of wives to four, its founder had many more, as well as numerous concubines, with some of each taken in war.  The small figure on the right is Aisha, the youngest of all.  Betrothed at six, bedded at nine.  She holds a doll.

Hadith – Bukhari 8:151, Narrated ‘Aisha

I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet , and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)

5) The Battle of the Trench 627 CE.  After defeating the Jewish tribes and their allies who had been besieging the Muslims in Medina, between 600-900 men and boys were beheaded in the public square.  Muhammad presided, and in some accounts, participated.  Boys without pubic hair were spared and joined the women and girls in slavery.

Such practices are common through the histories of many peoples, in many times.  What is different here is that the conduct is not reexamined in the light of modern mores, but rather, celebrated, extolled, and emulated. One simply does not find traditions depicting the founder of any other major religion engaging in such actions.

My examination of Islam has lead me to the firm conclusion that this belief system, in its core doctrines and traditions, offers nothing but supremacist delusion , which is daily expressed in violence and repression, throughout the word, with the majority of victims themselves Muslims. There will be no peace until Islam reforms – and I consider this highly unlikely – or until it is turned back on physical an moral battlefields.  If not, one hopes, not though actual war, but a rhetorical, economic and moral equivalent of Tours, Lepanto, Vienna, and the defeat of the Ottomans.     It is a conflict that the West denies, and of which only the proponents of Islamic dominance speak the truth.

6) 9/11  A latter day incident in a very old war

Merry Christmas and Eid Mubarrak

Chistmas mid 1950s

I’m not much for religion, and never have been, pretty much telling the Supreme Being to bite me in first grade.  I thought being Lord of the Universe was a pretty good job, and I wondered how he got in.  Seemed unfair, fixed, to me . Raised Catholic, I dreaded Sunday mass with the droning Latin and boring sermons, and the feeling that I had to “act holy” when basically, I didn’t give a shit.

Christmas was different. Of course, the presents under the tree were the highlight as we woke near dawn and squirmed in our beds waiting for our parents to rise.  But  on that day church too was enjoyable.  The choir gave its all to those beautiful old carols. I found myself singing and meaning it,   not in a devotional sense, but fully embracing the communal sense of good will, and the the world was a beautiful place, and we fortunate to be in it together.  It might have rained or sleeted on some Christmas days, but my memories of Natal mornings are always sunny,  snow on the ground in New York, or warm with a light breeze in southern California.

And there was  the food.  Not just turkey and  trimmings, but the nuts, cookies, and sweets, that for this one day we could eat with out limit and no fear of  adult admonitions. A chance to play and show off our new toys to neighbor kids.

When my family lived a few years in New York, Jewish friends had me over for Hannukkah celebrations and passover seders, and I saw that while these gatherings were about religion, and a different one than that I had been told was mine, they were also about family and community, and just plain fun.

Having spent a lot of time in the Islamic  world, I found that the Muslims have their feasts too, and in their own way celebrate family and community just as the Christians and Jews do.  During the fasting month in some places there are dazzling night markets where families eat seasonal treats and greet their neighbors after breaking the fast.  Once on the island of Morotai, in the far north  Moluccas of Indonesia, I attended a celebration of Eid Ul Adha, the feast of Sacrifices, where local Christians joined as well.  There was even a dance – no touching- as young men and women did simple steps, circling each other and flirting.There was an enormous buffet of sizzling meets, savory curries and fresh fruit.  Christians in the Moluccas will tell you the Muslims are far better cooks, and it’s true,

Some years after that, the Moluccas erupted in religious violence, jihadis poured in from Java, and the different religious communities remain separated to this day.

A predictable sign of the holiday season these days is  postings on YouTube of varius imams and mullahs urging Muslims not to give the heathenish greeting: “Merry Christmas.  In Indonesia, it was years ago common for Muslims and Christians  to extend cordial greetings on their respective holidays.  This is no longer the case, and sadly, it is largely the majority Muslims  who have withdrawn from these neighborly rituals.

A former student of mine,an Indonesian engineer  who spent many years working in Saudi Arabia,  an official in a local Islamic charity and who has a large zabiba (prayer bump), startled me some years ago by mailing a Christmas wish,  and he has done so every year since.

That means  a lot.  I’m an atheist, but I acknowledge that religion is hardly going to disappear any time soon.  Thus, my Christmas wish is to see the hatred taken out of religion. But let’s keep the holidays.  And the food.