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!

 

Encounters With Islam: Conclusion: 2000 – 9/11/2015

National Mosque, Jakarta

National Mosque, Jakarta

(To read  the series from the beginning go here )

 

I began this months ago. Readers of earlier segments will see the inevitable conclusion. Nothing that has occurred across the world since I began series has done anything but reinforced my sense that Islam is fatally flawed. So it’s time to finish, and fitting that I do so on another 9/11, as the reports of  the Islamic invasion of Europe come in, towards the end of another year of escalating Islamic violence in nearly all quarters of the globe.

September 11, 2001

I had grabbed my coffee and turned on the computer. The start page was Yahoo. I took in the top headlines.

“Hey,” I called out to my older daughter,” somebody’s hacked Yahoo!”

No.

The older girl and I were now in Bandung, where she was in her junior year of high school. Suffice it to say that the radical move from the States had not produced much in the way of favorable outcome. Her mother and younger sister remained in Bali for a time, then returned to the U.S. Eventually we divorced. I had gone back to work, as an English instructor.

Stupefied, I went off to work, riding the public minibus. Indonesians are a gregarious lot, and regular commuters and and even one off riders will quickly strike up conversations. Today they were silent.

I was the only American at the school, and the British lady who ran the place, on learning I had family in New York and DC, let me call Stateside on the company dime. I was unable to get through anywhere (It’s parenthetical, but I cannot resist the near miss stories that so many of of us have. My sister worked in Midtown, but had a regular downtown meeting canceled that day; brother in the Pentagon had taken the day off to go to a daughter’s soccer game; and at the same time, most fortunate, but saddest, my NYFD cousin, a company commander, was off that day, and both towers had fallen by the time he got there.)

The minute I knew those headlines were real, I knew what kind of people had done it. There was no point hoping it wouldn’t be Muslims. This was after the East Africa embassies, the Khobar towers, the U.S.S. Cole, and others.

Al Qaeda wasn’t until that day a household name, but it was no secret.

Yet, aside from the school head, if you listened to the to other foreign staff that day, you’d have thought that America did it to itself. This was my first exposure up front and personal to the familiar litany: Israel, imperialism and oh yeah, Israel. Worse than their perfunctory and patently insincere expressions of sympathy that prefaced these diatribes was their manifest cowardice.

What would America do, they wailed, and how would it effect them there in Bandung? There was talk of sewing British and Australian flag patches on their clothes. This cravenness in the face of Islamic violence is drearily familiar now, but it was new to me then.

As the names of the hijackers came out, I was for putting some hurt to Saudi Arabia, but in the end we invaded Afghanistan, missed Bin Laden and later, invaded Iraq as well.

Shortly after the Bush ultimatum to the Taliban and the countdown to the invasion when they failed to produce Bin Laden, an army unit, with some APCs and light crew served weapons, showed up in my neighborhood, home to many foreigners and my daughter’s international school. The commander came to my door and assured me that he, his men, and the nation guaranteed my safety. This was quite refreshing after the reaction from my colleagues.

For many years, it’s been common for those in opposition to Islam, radical Islam, or jihad to say “I learned everything I needed to know abut Islam on 9/11. This was not the case for me.

Signs and Portents

Perhaps I had simply not looked around me until Islam was in the worldwide news, but the Increasing Islamization in Indonesia that I had noted over previous decades seemed to have accelerated.

Bandung remains the most Dutch of Indonesian cities.

Bandung remains the most Dutch of Indonesian cities.

Right away, there were Bin laden T-shirts for sale . A small boy wore one to my class and I sent him home. His parents complained and I found myself in a sit down with the mother – hijab – and father, dressed normally in Western clothes but with what looked like a fairly recent scraggle of chin beard.

I got an earful of how evil America was, but held my tongue, and explained that this had hurt people I knew, and nearly killed some of them.

We smiled, shook hands – well not the mother – and I went away with hate in my heart.

Which, in time, subsided.

I taught there for two years. Religion, I found, played a huge role in the young students’ lives. Ask “What’s the best book you’ve read” and the answers were the Bible, or the Koran, according to confession. I found such discussions mind-numbingly dull. However, Christians and Muslims seemed to get along well, and while many girls wore the hijab, they were not a majority.

The kids loved to hang out with their teachers, and one day during Ramadan, we went out for pizza. After a text message telling them the fast had lifted, we dug in. I’m not sure when I first heard the word Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, but in my childhood I have no memory of it being used, but instead the Malay, ”bulan puasa,” fasting month. Now it was ubiquitous, with special sales in the malls, deals on iftar(fast breaking) buffets, and Arabic music.

Bandung prides itself on being a university city, a place for the young, artistic and hip, and so it is. It was early oughts and “gap” was in style, with hip hugging jeans and bare tummies. Around the universities, one might even see coeds wearing a hijab but showing belly button.

Outside town, things changed quickly.

Early one morning, on the first day of Eid ul Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, we drove out of town early., bound for Bali. The roads were jammed with people making their way to the mosques, torrents of them pouring in from the small villages up in the hills, thousands, all in Muslim dress. My daughter remarked that she didn’t remember this from previous years, and her boy friend, a life long resident, said he too thought that the crowds were far larger than before.

Dieng, Central Java, 2002.  There was no mosque there when I visited in 1975.

Dieng, Central Java, 2002. There was no mosque there when I visited in 1975.

I had occasion in the next couple of years to take other trips across Java, and it was apparent that Islamic observance was far more strict than it had been when I had first traveled the island as a young man. Women working in the fields still wore the conical “coolie hats” that reflected an ancient migration from southern China, but now wore head scarves underneath, surely adding to the heat and discomfort.

Islamic schools and other institutions, with their Arabic signs, were in the smallest villages. One day, not far from the great Buddhist monument Borobudur, on a country road winding through the rice terraces, I came upon a sight I will never forget.

An open truck full of young men lumbered a long in front of me. They were waving banners, which said, “Front Anti-Yahudi,” the “Anti-Jewish front.” They wore once piece black costumes, painted with white skeletons, as if for Halloween. Waving, and cheering as I overtook, some then donned skull masks.

There, in the green valleys of Java, with the volcanoes rising to clear blue sky, scenery that had long inspired postcards and landscape painters, was raw hatred from the desert lands

This wall in the former Sultan's compund  shows both Hindu-Javanese and Chinese decorative styles

This wall in the former Sultan’s compound shows both Hindu-Javanese and Chinese decorative styles.  Java has absorbed one culture after another, but will it survive Whaabbism?

I had left so many years before.

My daughter graduated and went back to the States; I moved to Jakarta,where there was better pay and considerably more fun. The old regime under Soeharto had kept Islamists under tight control, imprisoning, or outright snuffing any who looked to be a problem.

Now, the new president, not directly elected but voted in by a legislature that was put in place by clean elections, was all for letting people express themselves. While a Muslim himself and a cleric, he was a of a liberal cast of mind. Physically frail, and nearly blind, his “why can’t we all be friends” outlook(He spoke for a while of recognizing Israel) led him to myopia towards the forces being unleashed.

I taught at a school in a shopping office complex in Central Jakarta. There were plenty of nice restaurants and nightclubs nearby. Many of my classes were off site, at major businesses, and my students were well educated and well dressed. It was rare to see woman in a hijab.

Yet even in this milieu, I would at times catch a whiff of something going on. I remember our personnel manager, a married woman, very good looking, always in well fitted suits and heels, remarking that Bin Laden was “hebat,” an Indonesian word that in that context would be best translated as “bad ass.” There was considerable admiration for Saddam as well, but as in this was often in the context of tirades about American hegemony and regurgitated Chomsky, so chose not to see it in as related to religion.

On the streets, beyond the highrises, deeper trouble was brewing. An organization called

View from my terrace, Jakarta, 2002.

View from my terrace, Jakarta, 2002.

Front Pembela Islam(Islamic Defenders Front) took upon itself the role of a civil auxiliary in suppressing vice. They attacked night clubs and bars, starting out in the seamy dance clubs and semi-brothels of North Jakarta, where eventually the largely Chinese owners came to a modus vivendi in a protection racket that would be familiar to the Mafia, but then striking Kemang, home to diplomats, multinational executives, fine dining establishments and quite legitimate music clubs.

Nothing at all was done to stop them.

It was then that I saw a trend that has only continued. Radical Islamic elements push, engaging in mob action, while the civil apparatus of an ostensibly non-confessional state, not only does not punish offenders, but accommodates them.

Ramadan came, and for the first time, the City government decreed that late night venues must close early, and the sale of alcohol in such places was suspended during the fasting month. That this meant a month without paychecks for tens of thousands was of no import. Nor did anyone point to the underlying absurdity that alcohol and fornication are forbidden to Muslims at all times, not just one month in a year.

This attempt to put the city’s residents in a pious state of mind appropriate to the season lead to some quite absurd accommodations. The hot tub at my health club was drained, as apparently being in the water with ladies was an affront during Ramadan.

A popular hangout with a classical theme, put pasties on its faux-Greco-roman statuary. There, as at other places, the bar was cleared of bottles, but you could get some beer in a coffee mug. We grumbled that no good Muslim would be in such places anyway, so why couldn’t they just leave us alone.

As I was learn in the coming years, that wasn’t the point. Islamic behaviors, even practiced by unbelievers is an affront to Islam, as are the unbelievers themselves.

In late 2003, I went back to the States for a while, to work with my younger daughter on her college applications. I had left just after the Iraq War began, and I saw its effects when I was substitute teaching in Phoenix. Many kids were enlisting after graduation. They seemed to be disproportionately Hispanic, Black and Native American. Another war in the Middle East, anther conflict among Muslims, yet it still wasn’t something that would direct to me to examine Islam closely.

I was offered a job in Surabaya, East Java, where I stayed for seven years, where I again taught English, living with my partner, an Indonesian Chinese, and an atheist as I was. And am.

becakoldhousel

Dutch era buildings, Surabaya, 2003

Surabaya is and has long been a center of industry and commerce, known as the “City of Work,” because largely that is what there is to do there. I had first seen it n 1970, when it remained a somewhat cobwebbed display of faded grandeur from the Dutch East Indies. Later in the decade, when I was working in Kalimantan, I often had occasion to come down to Surabaya to procure goods and services, and the place had clearly picked up. I dealt largely with Chinese businesses, and the Chinese are today still quite prominent in the city.

Yet, while it is in some ways fairly cosmopolitan, it fronts on a vast agrarian hinterland, and it is in these small towns an villages that the struggle between traditional syncretic Javanese religion, a meld of Islam and older beliefs, against Orthodox Islam, continues, after a very bloody start in 1965.

Synagogue, Surabaya, 2003.  Long disused, but maintained with a grant from overseas,  it was the site of demonstrations when anyone was angry at Israel.    It has since been demolished.

Synagogue, Surabaya, 2003. Long disused, but maintained with a grant from overseas, it was the site of demonstrations when anyone was angry at Israel. It has since been demolished.

This is a long stretch of time, and I could here provide a string of anecdotes to buttress my case, but I’ll instead provide a general outline of those years.

After 9/11, it was the consensus among Western governments that much of the problem was due to misunderstanding between cultures. Thus, a concerted effort was made to reach out, identify and select young Muslims for education in Western nations. Indonesia, bastion of “moderate” Islam was key to the program, and the school where I worked, was involved in many programs financed with American,British,Australian and New Zealand money

One day, we were warned to keep a low profile. Hizbut Tharir, a world wide organization( banned in UK, legal in the US) was demonstrating in favor a of a universal Caliphate. Completely covered women in black held up signs condemning the US and Israel, and demanding global Islamic rule.

In 2005,many of my students were in an uproar about Israel’s “Cast Lead” operation in Gaza. The world, I thought, has many examples of pain and oppression. Why was it that these young people, so far from the Middle East, were so concerned? And as I read more about Islam, and Islamic history, I came at last to the conclusion that the Arab Israel conflict was, in fact, the Islam-Israel conflict. Territory once Islamic, simply cannot be given over to non-believers, and that the Jews, reviled in the Koran and other foundational texts, had taken Muslim land was an affront past bearing.

I said nothing about these things, and if anything, were pleased with my knowledge of Islamic belief and practice. I wanted to be liked, and as my doubts grew, I still dissembled.

Yet the atrocities and violence across continents continued, never relenting.

Beslan.

The spin was “Chechen Nationalists,” nationalists who called, “Allahu akbar!”

Soccer Field, Darussalam University, Aceh 2006.  Since I was there, sharia has sitigtnd and unrelated men and women may not ride together, or be alone anywhere

Soccer Field, Darussalam University, Aceh 2006. Since I was there, sharia has tightened, and unrelated men and women may not ride together, or be alone anywhere

For some years we had a large contingent of Achenese students, beneficiaries of study abroad programs established in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami. They were fine students, hard workers, but fun-loving, coming from a linguistic tradition that valued poetry and oration. It was, and still is a source of great pleasure for me to see how well they have done.

Still, all the women wore the hijab. The rebels let a few errant locks peep out. One fellow, a secret free thinker, was reduced to hiding when drinking coffee and having a smoke during Ramadan. At one point the program took me to Aceh to do some preparatory work with students before they came to Surabaya.

It wasn’t so bad. There was a lively coffee house scene, and it was common to see couples double dating. Of course, around ten, the boys would take their girl friends home, then come back and watch the footie. Rather charming, perhaps like small towns in America in bygone days

Outside town was a newly constructed governmental complex, and one large building was devoted to the administration of sharia law. It was not yet in force, but notices said it was coming. One would not need to be a forensic accountant to state that the building was at least in part paid for by the charitable citizens of the West who donated to tsunami relief.

Now, in Aceh, offenders are whipped publicly. Amputations and beheading have yet to arrive, but one wonders. A number of my students asked me to return to Aceh to attend weddings, but I am never going back.

With some of my Aceh students, Surabaya, 2006.  My late mother was astonished at this picture, as she had never herself seen Indonesia women so dressed.

With some of my Aceh students, Surabaya, 2006. My late mother was astonished at this picture, as she had never herself seen Indonesia women so dressed.

Looking back, I can find no road to Damascus moment. I read the Koran, I various translations,learned about the hadith and the sira, delved deeply into the history of Islamic expansion, so that around2009, when I first started hearing of Boko Haram, I spoke of these matters one evening to my partner.

She asked, seriously, “are you an Islamophobe?”

I spoke of somewhat to what I have written here,and she began her own journey of discovery.

And my distaste only deepened.  Sometimes people refused to sit next to me on the minibus I took to work everyday. Indonesians generally assume that foreigners don’t speak their language, but I understood the word, “najis,” unclean, as are all unbelievers. This did get me shotgun all by myself, where normally two passengers were crammed in.

I simply couldn’t take it anymore, so retired earlier than I had thought I would.

It’s been a little more than four years since I retired to Hindu Bali. I conceived of the project that became this “Encounters” series before I even got here. Yet I have tarried, and I tarry now,

My father-in-law, the late Haji Kamal, 2005, Bandung.  Dutch educated, civli servant in both the conolnial and independe regimes, Natioalist Party actvist, at teh endof his life, besides his beloved coffee and cigarettes, there was only Islam.

My father-in-law, the late Haji Kamal, 2005, Bandung. Dutch educated, civil servant in both the colonial and independent regimes, Nationalist Party activist, at the end of his life, besides his beloved coffee and cigarettes, there was only Islam.

Because in the end, I know the conclusion, and even after all these many years,it’s hard to just spit it out.

I’m done.

With Islam and with Muslims.

I’ll continue my study of the issues, and of course will be civil when meeting Muslims. I enjoy hearing from some of my former students. But as for all the efforts and blather at outreach, understanding, bridging the divide, and on, and on.

It’s useless.

This is to use a Marxist term, a world historical process. Islam is what it is. The Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS, this is Islamic reform.

Those who await some kind of Islamic Episcopalianism are fools. A millennial conflict will not be resolved by church suppers.

This is my stand. I have come to it through long experience and study. Others will make their own journeys of understanding, in their own way, in their own time.

Mine has ended.

3 Dudes on a Train: The Thalys Smackdown as Written by the Guardian: A Progressive Take on the TGV Terrorist Takedown

Bros befo MOs

Bros befo’ Moes

While many in Europe, and particularly in the U.S. celebrate the actions of three young Americans, as well as a Briton and a Frenchman, in averting what was likely to be a massive loss of life as a jihadi prepared to attack train passengers en route from Amsterdam to Paris, others might not feel so festive.  The progressive outlook has an uncanny ability to look at what has traditionally been seen as good and noble, and turn it into a dark narrative. It’s always  gloomy in progressive land, where the sky is dominated by an overcast of cisnormative oppression, with a threat of fascist thunder showers.

You can bet your pork pie hat and hipster glasses that the KOS kids and Guardianistas are already spewing pixels as they break out their tedious memes so as to find white privilege hubris in heroism.  Hell, I’ll throw in a case of Pabst.

Here’s how they might see it:

Aggressive American  SUV Lovers Assault  Religious Minority on French Public Transportation.

Ironically the cowardly attack began when 26 year old Ayoub el Khazzan, of Moroccan heritage, and an aficionado of collectible guns, hearing American voices, thought to share his enthusiasm.
One of the Americans, Spencer Stone, an American airman, began pummeling the Frenchman.  The USAF has of course been assaulting   civilians for many decades, most notably at Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.  A second friend, Alec Skarlotos, no doubt desensitized by his time serving in the American Occupation of Afghanistan, upon seeing a man of Middle Eastern appearance  – and  one exercising what many Americans stridently proclaim is their right to bear arms – gleefully joined the assault.

Sadly, the third friend, Anthony Sadler,  of African heritage, was unable to see the sick contrariness of his joining in the brutality towards a fellow person of color.  Mr. Sadler is described only as a college student, but whichever institution he is attending needs to ensure that it students are better informed as to privilege, colonialism, and the post colonial othering of marginal communities.

A despicable but predictable codicil to this sorry account was that  Chris Norman, a 62 year old Briton, in true Blairite lackey tradition, joined the assault.

 LOSER!

Reports say the three Americans are middle school friends.  They should have remained in kindergarten until they learned to fight fair.

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.

SOS Kerry In Paris: The Mendacity of Ahistoricity: Without History, Truth Dies

lurch

Lurch trots out his prep school French(Which must be pretty shitty because I can understand it.) to talk about liberty and stuff, with no mention of Islam.

Speaking of the lethal Islamist attack on the French satirical newspaper, #CharlieHebdo, John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, said this:

“No country knows better than France that freedom has a price, because France gave birth to democracy itself.”

Good Lord.

I was immediately moved to send the SOS a tweet, which I can’t find, but briefly mentioned some sorry aspects of the painful French journey towards democracy, and concluded with “You fucking moron.”.

Intemperate, I admit, but accurate.

Pericles

Pericles giving funeral oration for the dead of the Peloponnesian War. He spoke in the Agora, the political heart of Athens. I first learned about Ancient Greece and Rome somewhere in 4th through 6th grade, and in greater detail in high school.

No one country gave birth to democracy and it would be a fair point to say that it is still evolving. However, it is, or was, common knowledge, that the earliest instances of some form of self rule were in the Classical world, first in the city States of Ancient Greece, and later, the Roman Republic.

While the Middle Ages saw the evolution of parliaments and assemblies, and oligarchic republics in Italy, the foremost of which was Venice, democracy with universal male suffrage did not appear until the Nineteenth Century.

France was significantly late to the party.

The American Declaration of Independence came in 1776 as we all know( Well, maybe not) and the French revolution in 1789, marked by the storming of the nearly empty Bastille and the slaughter of its jailors at the hands of a mob..

marat

The Death of Marat, killed by Charlotte Corday, avenging the mass slaughter of the Girondistes. Say what?  Never mind, the revolution always eats its own.

Thereafter followed factional fighting and various massacres conducted in the name of a National Assembly, the members of which were elected by no one. Danton, Marat, Robespierre: these names were and should still be by words for cold blooded revolutionary ferocity.

A National plebiscite with universal male suffrage for all workers (Thus, the aristocrats, and those living on investments were excluded) established the First Republic in 1792.

head

Executioner displaying the head of Louis XVI.   Many more were to follow.

Terreur_Noyades_Nantes

“The Bath of Nantes” in which Christian Royalists, men women and children, were loaded on leaky barges. Those that could swim were shot as they made for shore. The operation was supervised by “Committees of the Revolution.” Sound familiar?

1793-4 saw the Reign of Terror, in which first aristocrats including the royals went to the guillotine for the crime of being who they were. Ordinary people soon became implicated as counter revolutionaries, and thousands died at hands of the executioners

Those today who cringe at the horrors carried out by ISIS should remember that the French revolution saw bleeding heads held up before baying mobs lusting for more.

 

Then of course came Napoleon, followed by a restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, who were in turn overthrown by the House Of Orleans, and a second Empire ruled by a nephew of Napoleon’s. He had been President of the Second Republic established in 1848, but by 1851, he’d decided he’d rather be emperor.  The Germans captured him in the Franco- Prussian War. Now we are in 1870 and the Establishment of the Third Republic, which lasted until 1940.

Communards

Dead Communards, 1871. Revolutionary socialists took over Paris for a bit. Didn’t end well for them.

All along, plenty of turmoil, street fighting, and general confusion. If you just skimmed this part, I don’t blame you.

In the war time hiatus, France managed to demonstrate its commitment to liberte, egalite, and fraternite by assisting quite ably in the deportation of the majority its Jews to the east and their deaths.

De-Gaulle-in-Algiers_1958

General de Gaulle in Algiers 1958. Subsequently, he opened the way for Algerian Independence, to this day seen as a betrayal by aging irredentists.

The post war Fourth Republic lasted until 1958, when it was ended with the accession of General De Gaulle to the Presidency. While ostensibly not an actual military coup in Metropolitan France, the change was forced by the threat of armed force, after a coup in Algeria, and seizure of the Island of Corsica by French paratroops based in Algeria.

So far, the Fifth Republic has endured, so maybe the French have finally gotten it right.

Mohawks

During the American Revolution, the Iroquois Federation split over whether to support one side o the other, or just stay out. Here, Mohawks join Loyalists in battle against Continental regulars.

The American Revolution saw some vicious conflict, particularly where irregular forces were engaged, notably in Western New York and the Carolinas. After the war royalist sympathizers were forced to leave, not by government order, but by an impossible social situation. Most poignant of all, black slaves who saw no point in supporting a Revolution in which many of the principals were slaveholders, were in some cases re-enslaved, in others found themselves in Canada, or even Sierra Leone.

Nevertheless, after a steady expansion of the franchise and movement towards direct elections, the United States today lives under the original constitution of 1783, albeit much amended. Since 1789, nicely coincident with the French Revolution, the United States has continuously enjoyed peaceful transfers of power.

That a high official of the United States would in a foreign capital, ignore this history, for reasons I cannot fathom, is both disgusting and dismaying. Mr. Kerry is of an age and education, I am certain, long ago as it may have been since he studied history, that he knows these facts.

Our leaders in the West have no compunction in twisting and ignoring history in pursuit of their agendas. The perennial portrayal of the Islamic world as a passive victim, with no reference to the conquests that formed it, is a prime example of ahistoricity in support of power and manipulation.

Parisnazis

Should France surrender to Islam, I doubt things will be quite so relaxed.

Mr. Kerry’s Paris remarks are further proof that ruling elites, confident in the collaboration of the,the media, and the ignorance of deliberately mis-educated electorates, will continue to distort the past in service  of the future they envision for all of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

muslims

That backdrop looks like Death Valley to me.

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

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

obama-un-speech-25sept2012-620x349

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

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

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

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

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

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

FP’s summary:

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

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

Khadija comforting Mohammed by placing his head between her legs

Mohammed calling a donkey “the first Muslim animal”

Mohammed telling his followers they should feel free to molest children

Mohammed having sex with the wives of his followers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

The War for Africa

Has already started.

“Ex Africa semper aliquid novi”

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

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

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

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

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

Benghazi US consulate under attack on 9/11/2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps not.

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

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

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

Benghazi “demonstrators.”

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

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

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

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

 – Hassan al-Banna (1906 – 1949),

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The question is, how long do we wait?

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

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

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

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

But, by May…

Islamist Leader Pursues Egypt’s Presidency

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

And now he is President of Egypt

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

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

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

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

VOA:November 03, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYT:

Moderate Islamist Party Winning Morocco Election

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

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

bush

              Now, this guy was really scary.

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

Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian President and a reall sweetheart.

Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian President and a real sweetheart.

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

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

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

Panglosssian Globalist and friend

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

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

A Short Message to Followers of the Prophet from Arabia

So you are offended?

We don’t care.

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

“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.