Saturday, November 20, 2004

A New Look


One of my favorite writers, The Anchoress, was kind enough to compliment my other my other blog, "Screming Memes," and to provide a link to it in one of her posts the other day. So, I fired off an email to thank her and to ask her if she had ever read CUANAS. She replied that she had, but that she was surprised that I was the author of both.

Well, I can't say that I blame her. I'm surprised too. I'm also surprised about this.

Anyway, Anchoress also commented that CUANAS was "hard on the eyes." I had actually just started to realize the same thing myself, so I promised her that I would change it. So, here you go Anchoress, this one's for you ... and, uh, well let's face it, for me too.

As for now, I can not figure out how to post links in my blogroll. I will try to make that happen quickly. But, the good news is, now you won't have to wear sunglasses when you're reading my blog anymore. Knowing all you glamorous people who come here to read about anti-Semitism and the situations revolving around the Was on Islamofascism, you will probably still choose to keep the glasses on, just to keep your pose going.

Fatherhood


A friend of mine is a new father. He was talking about how he's been up late at night quite a bit lately, and how this has led him to having a skewed slant on life. I remember those days quite well.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about my early fatherhood and how intimidating and frustrating it was for me. I just thought I'd share a couple of things that I experienced as a new father. I know some men do experience these things, although many may not. So, here it is, for what it's worth:

I Was Not Immediately In Love With My Child

I did not think our newborn baby was cute. In fact, I thought it was a bit horrifying. Babies movements are spasmodic (I think the brain fires off signals to make the muscles move so that they will develop, you will notice that a newborn baby is soft as down, no muscles) and their faces are doughy and unformed. In addition, our baby cried all the damned time.

I remember noting to myself (for posterity) that one day it literally screamed for more than eight hours. In other words pretty much every waking hour the baby was screaming. And this was common. It's hard to be bonded to that. This might be evidence that there's something wrong with me, but I found that I didn't start to think the baby was cute until it was about six months old, and I didn't really bond with my baby (outright love) until it started to make real effort to communicate.

Men Do Not Have Breasts

When we had our first child, I expected to be able to meet it's needs as well as my wife. I found, instead, that it was almost impossible for me to meet the baby's needs. It had been inside my wife for 9 months. The baby knew it's mother, it did not know me. I think babies get to know the world through their mother first, and then gradually through other people, hopefully, their fathers. So we, as fathers, have to be there, but I found, after many frustrating months, that I could not expect to provide much physical or emotional sustenance for my baby. This was sad to me.

You Can Only Be As Good A Father A You Are A Person

Kids learn more from the way you behave, then they do from what you say. A friend clued me in to this right before we had our first. This idea actually took a lot of pressure off for me, because I knew that there was no magic pill.

Fatherhood has caused me to reassess my whole life. When our child was born, my wife and I talked about all the things we wanted for it to be and experience. We wanted our child to grow to be a free-thinker, a good person, and a person who is able to have a strong positive effect on the world.

We realized that while we were decent people, we were not modeling any of the strong traits we wanted for our child. We both worked jobs we didn't like. My wife had ceased painting. I had ceased being a musician. We never did anything to help in the community. So, we changed all that. Now, my wife paints again. I play music at various churches. We both run our own ship in business now. And we have made it a point to give back to our community in various way.

Fatherhood forced me to get serious about life. I spent many years worrying about all kinds of unimportant stuff, from how "cool" I was (I don't even know what I thought that meant now) to how I had been wronged by life. I sometimes wish I had become a father at a younger age, so that I would have grown up earlier, but I might not have been capable. And, many days I still doubt that I am.

The Dao Of Wallace Stevens


I'm linking to a new site, called The Dao Of Wallace Stevens, (I haven't seen that spelling of the word "Tao" before) because I was happy to see that someone is writing, on a semi-regular basis, about my favorite poet. It helps, of course, that she's also a good writer, and a woman who seems to consider things deeply, and with reason.

I don't wholly agree with her analysis, but I do see her opinions as wholly valid. My opinion, not nearly as deeply considered as hers so I'm treading on loose gravel here, is that Wallace Stevens is not a Gnostic. His poetry, in my opinion, does not refer to "occult knowledge," and is not transcendental, in the sense of referring to a higher reality which is separate from the world around us.

Instead, I believe that Wallace Stevens intense depiction of the particulars of real physical life is an expression of the Judeo-Christian idea that, "All creation cries out the glory of God." In the Judeo-Christian tradition we are to learn of God through this world with which we are blessed. We are not to curse our life, or to think that it is unimportant, or less preferable to dying., and therefore "going to meet our Maker." We are supposed to "meet our Maker" right here where we are. Right here in the particulars of his beautiful creation. There is a mystical aspect to Christianity, (and it comes from the idea that Christ's blood cleanses our souls white as snow so that the Holy Spirits can take up residence within and we would be one in God (John 17:20-23) so "that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst Love them, even as Thou didst love Me.") however, the mystery all happens right here through direct experience with the particulars of life. Those particulars are the physical world, the Word of God, and prayer, which is done with our minds and our spirits. However, in the traditional Judeo-Christian view of the cosmos there is no break between the physical and spiritual world.

I want to be clear that I am not saying that Wallace Stevens was a "Christian." Nor, do I claim that he thought of himself as adhering to a Judeo-Christian set of ideas, or even that he thought of himself as being within the Judeo-Christian tradition. Furthermore, I am not making an attempt at literary imperialism by attempting to claim Wallace Stevens for the Judeo-Christian world. His work can be understood by anyone who has experience with the particulars of the real world.

I am aware that the common interpretation of Stevens poem, Sunday Morning, is that it is anti-Christian/religious in nature. It does seem that Wallace Stevens wrote the poem as a protest against the "Christian" interpretation of the world. But, I think Mr. Stevens disagreement with Christianity is similar to Nietzche's antipathy, that is that they both saw Christianity as "other-world" focused.

It's almost as if their disagreement with Christianity is the same as my disagreement with Gnosticism. Hmm, interesting, isn't it?

I think I better not go into this much further because I'm guessing that I'm in over my head, at this point. I think I'll discuss these ideas with my friend Jack, over at Jack Of Clubs, and several other people. I'm only going on feeling at this point, and that is dangerous, of course. But, the point of this post was more just to explain the link, and to begin a discussion.

This could be fun. We'll see.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Black People Are Jovial By Nature


So says, Jacques Chirac.

Via No Pasaran

The Diplomats Are The Murderers


Mystery Achievement posts (with quotes from various writers) about the murderous effects of the UN's Oil-for-Food Program:


Money from the United Nations Oil-for-Food program helped pay the families of Palestinian homicide bombers, the House Committee on International Relations is expected to reveal Wednesday during a hearing on corruption in the Iraqi relief program.

It has long been established that Saddam paid bounties of $15,000 to $25,000 to the Palestinian families of the murderers. Hyde's committee will reveal at the hearing that some of the reward money was deposited from illegal profits Saddam made by demanding 10 percent kickbacks on all the contracts of companies that did business with the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food program.

Those funds were then deposited with other Iraqi money, such as Jordanian Oil-for-Food oil payments, into the Central Bank of Iraq account in the Rafidain Bank in Amman, Jordan. The funds were then transferred to another account in the bank controlled by Iraq's ambassador to Jordan Sabah Yaseen. It was from Yaseen's account that Saddam's officials would cut and hand out checks to the homicide bombers' families, Hyde's investigators are expected to say.

Think that Israelis were/are the only ones being murdered by this "peace, justice, and reconciliation" program? Take a look at this, from the blog
"Pull On Superman's Cape":

Ultimately, the central value of this story is not that it was a monetary scam (though it looks to be one of the largest in history).

The logical end of this story is that it is the quid pro quo for global subversion of the war on terror.

The root of the lack of support by the UN for removing Saddam from power in Iraq is in the corruption present in this program. The corruption in this program is in ideology as well as economic interest. International treachery was practiced by our so called 'allies': France and Germany along with Russia and China - by supplying Saddam with arms right up until we attacked Iraq. Our soldiers have been killed in this conflict by French, German, Russian, and Chinese supplied weapons. The UN - by participating in the corruption themselves, looked the other way while Saddam was armed to the teeth by funds that were supposed to feed starving children in his country...


The UN, France, Germany, and Russia have accused the United States of carrying out an immoral war. We are the evil, Nazi-like regime, and it is our leader who is accused of being a new Hitler. But, the truth is they are complicit in the murder of Israeli and Iraqi citizents. They are part of the war efforts of Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein, both of whose policies are still being carries out (by "militants, "insurgents," and "rebels") although they no longer hold power.

The UN, France, Germany, and Russia have been willing to not only look the other way for murderers, but to stand up for their right to murder, and, indeed, speak of the moral superioty of the murderers positions? What should we think of such people? In another post on the same subject (with regards to Jimmy Carter), Mystery Achievment suggests that such people are worse than the murderers themselves:


You know, it's easy to identify as evildoers those who wear black masks and carry Korans and AK-47s among the sorry rabble staggering down the street of some hell-hole in Gaza or the West Bank. Those masks hide identity--not intent. But it's the mask of sanctimonious hypocrisy that (Jimmy) Carter and his ilk wear that is both harder to penetrate and deliberately donned to hide the true intentions of its wearers.

People like Carter deserve an even worse fate than ones like Arafat who blew up those innocent children. They provide cover for the Arafats of the world, and seek to convince people who hate such evil that the cause of those evildoers is just.



I think it's a hard call to say who is worse. However, Mystery Achievment's point of view is valid.

The fictional character, Don Vito Corleone, said something to the effect that one can get far with kind words, but, to really win one needs a kind word, backed up by a gun. This is a central truth of life. Ultimately, both the good and evil do and, indeed, must wield both the kind word and the gun. Consider our friends the French and their recent "adventure" in the Ivory Coast. They were pushed too far, so they wielded the gun. Viewed in this way, diplomacy can be seen as part of the machinery of war itself. If one accepts my point, then there is no difference between the murderer and the diplomat who actively enables the murder.

The question then becomes, in the cases of Arafat and Hussein, which was the more potent weapon? Was it the kind word or the gun? I think it is clear that the gun could not have fired without the efforts of the kind word.

That would mean it was the diplomats who pulled the trigger. That makes them the murderers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Evil Empire Invades Country Unilaterally and Without UN Approval



From Victor David Hanson:


Europe offers a ... paradox. Our Western cousins have chosen a path far different from our own, on almost every social, economic, and military issue. Throughout this war Europeans have snickered that over-the-top Americans blast their way across the globe, leaving needless wreckage in their wake, in their Team America-like search for mythical jihadists. But ask the Dutch, who, as thanks for crafting the most liberal society in Europe, are now living in fear of a jihadist assassination campaign. Or talk to the Spanish — whose appeasement after the Madrid bombing earned them an Islamist plot to obliterate their Supreme Court judges. France — in its old blow-up-Greenpeace mood — claims that it only supports the use of force in extremis, but then almost immediately exploded the tiny air force of the Ivory Coast on news that nine of its soldiers were killed, prompting thousands of Africans to hit the streets in anti-Gallic rage.

The only difference in the American use of force has been one of magnitude: We lose 3,000 — not 9 — and send out 1,000 planes — not 3 — when attacked. Why does France get a pass in its postcolonial interventions? Simply because there are no French to criticize them. For all the European hysteria over the reelection of George Bush, I would wager that privately, leaders there are sighing with relief that a resolute U.S. is fighting the Islamists, taking the heat, and supplying them with both emotional and material cover at no cost. How can you buy off the Iranians to drop their bomb plans without fear by the mullahs that a cowboy George Bush is the dreaded alternative?

George Bush thus will get no credit for elections replacing the Taliban or for the liberation of women in Afghanistan, much less for democracy in Iraq. Instead he will be the target of constant venom for the human costs of war, with the silent proviso that he is not to cease, lest a Holland, France, or Spain become even more besieged by anti-Western jihadists emboldened by American appeasement. Indeed, Bush must endure elite European hatred, even as the majority there silently expects the United States to maintain the alliance and protect the West.


Essentially, European nations like France and Germany, with their anti-American rhetoric, have triangulated themselves the moral niche in the geopolitical events of our time. Even though we didn't invite them in, they play the good cop to our bad cop. And somehow, they have come to believe that they are not just "playing" the part. They believe they really are the good cop. What a joke. If the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal wasn't enough to prove it, France's imperialistic "adventures" in the Ivory Coast are final evidence of their duplicity.

Don't worry though, Europe. We'll keep picking up the tab.

Would you like to borrow the keys to Daddy's car to while you're at it, sweetheart?

What Year Is It? 1939? 2004?


From the Jerusalem Post, via Little Green Footballs:


Along with the local time and temperature, venomous slogans against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Israel appear on the municipal information board in the northern Spanish town of Oleiros.

"Let's stop the animal, Sharon the assassin, stop the neo-Nazis," reads the bright-red illuminated sign in the town of a few thousand people located in the Galicia region.
Israel's ambassador to Spain, Victor Harel, protested the message in a letter he sent to the Spanish Foreign Ministry on Monday.


Earlier in the day, Harel called the mayor of Oleiros, Angel Garcia Seoane, who said he stands 100 percent behind the message.

According to Harel, Seoane said that he doesn't have anything against Jews, but feels completely differently about the Israeli government, its head, and those who represent it in Spain.
Harel cut short the conversation with the mayor.


The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem expressed its displeasure to the Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Bustam Mante, the deputy head of the Spanish Embassy, said, "If it is true that a public official publicly insulted the prime minister then it is totally unacceptable."

Mante said he passed the information he received from Jerusalem on to his ministry in Madrid.
The Israeli Embassy in Madrid received word of the sign from residents of the town who sent the embassy an e-mail and pictures of the sign.


In addition to the sign, the Oleiros municipality is selling on its Web site, for 6, T-shirts with anti-Sharon slogans.


The Israeli government are Nazi's? Considering that the Israeli's voted their government into power that would make the Israeli's Nazi's as well.

This is the inversion that has gained so much popularity with anti-war protestors over the past few years. The Jews are the Nazi's. The display of the Israeli flag emblazoned with a swastika, the Arab propoganda slogan about how the Israeli's learned well at the feet of Hitler and are implementing the techniques of their lessons on the Palestinian people, Sharon portrayed in political cartoons as a child devouring monster, all of these ideas are horrid inversions of the truth.

The truth is, the Arabs, including the Palestinians, call for the elimination of the Jews in their major newspapers, television networks, universities, high government offices, and school textbooks. It is Saudi Arabia's official state policy that No Jews Are Allowed. The Palestinian Authority Official government Charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

I could go on, but that's enough for now. I just wanted to put it in perspective.

It's ok to disagree with Israeli government policy, but until they start rounding up the Palestinians by the millions and gassing them, they are not like the Nazi's.

A Disagreement With Dennis Prager


I want to register my disagreement with something Dennis Prager said on his radio show today. The topic was the Kevin Sites video of the marine who shot the wounded Iraqi in the head as he lay on the floor of the Mosque in Fallujah. A caller said, "We need to get those embedded reporters out of there because they are working against the United States."

Dennis Prager agreed.

I am guessing that there are probably a lot of pundits on the right saying the same thing right about now.

I strongly disagree.

One of the things that I have been most happy about regarding the way we have handled this war is our policy of allowing embedded reporters to travel (cameras in hand) with troops into battle. That is true transparency, and it is the way Democracy must work if it is to be a real Democracy. Even in war time.

I am proud of our country for handling the war the way we have thus far.

I have watched the video and I must say, I don't know what to make of it. Go to this Little Green Footballs link to see it for yourself.

I did not see the wounded man make any sudden movements. On the other hand, I know that

1) I was not there. Violent situations (which, of course, includes War) turn on subtelty of perception, fear, and animal instinct.

2) There were extenuating circumstances. The soldier, who did the shooting, had been shot in the face the day before, and did not milk his wound for time off, but instead, returned to the battlefield. Two days prior to this incident, one of the soldiers fellow platoon-men had been killed in battle. How's that for a couple of days of life experience? Imagine your state of mind if this happened to you. The surrounding circumstances do not absolve him of responsibility, but I think it is appropriate that the man's emotional state be taken into account before calling for his lynching.

3) When you watch the entire video you will see that there is another wounded insurgent, lying 10-15 feet away from the one who is shot, who begins the move and speak after the soldier kills the first insurgent. If the soldier was merely a bloodthirsty maniac he would have also killed the second insurgent. He did not. Instead he and his comrades eventually turn their backs on the man and walk away.


Monday, November 15, 2004

"The Islamic Bomb"
Ten Months Closer With Europeans Help


Once again, from Melanie Phillips:


As the crisis intensifies over Iran's race to develop nuclear weapons, the EU seems determined to repeat the credulous mistakes of the past. France Germany and Britain are studying a letter delivered by Tehran yesterday in which it pledged to suspend temporarily 'nearly all' uranium enrichment activities. They certainly need to study the fine print, because we've been here before. It's not just that Iran has strung the international community along on this matter for the past 18 years, but as the New York Times reports, Iran has promised something very similar before -- and it turned out to be bogus:'

The foreign ministers of the three countries brokered a deal, announced with much fanfare in Tehran 13 months ago. In it, Iran agreed to suspend its production of enriched uranium, which can be used in nuclear energy or nuclear weapons programs, and to submit to more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities. After Iran violated the agreement, officials from the three countries acknowledged that the deal had been made too hastily and that the language of the final accord was too vague and open to misinterpretation.'

It is of course no coincidence that Iran has made this promise ten days before the IAEA is due to decide whether to refer Iran to thew UN Security council for possible sanctions. Iran's good faith on this matter therefore seems highly unlikely. But as this piece on US News points out, even if it was referred to the Security Council sanctions would probaly be blocked by China and Russia, which is helping Iran huild its nuclear reactor. There is also a suggestion, made by Henry Sokolski, Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Centre, that the EU deal is worse than useless because it would actually accelerate the making of a nuclear bomb because of its guarantee of a supply of fresh light-water-reactor fuel:'

Fresh, lightly enriched light-water-reactor fuel is far closer to being bomb grade than is natural uranium. If Iran were to seize the fuel and divert it--as it probably could without IAEA inspectors' immediate knowledge--Iran could reduce five-fold the level of effort it would need to make bomb-grade material: With the centrifuges Iran admits having, it could make a bomb's worth of fuel in roughly nine weeks as opposed to a year.


Let me get this straight. Iran is offering to suspend "nearly all" uranium enrichment activities in exchange for fuel, supplied by the Europeans, which will bring them ten months closer to having nuclear weapons.

Damn, thems Europeens sure is top-notch at a-talkin' and a-nuancin'. That's what we 'murikans call some real fancy-pants negotiatin' skills.

Israeli Deaths And The Archbishop


From Melanie Phillips:


Truly warped and disgusting comments by the leading Christian churchman in Wales, Archbishop Dr Barry Morgan, about the death of Arafat, whom he eulogises thus:

'Yasser Arafat has given his life to the cause of the Palestinian people and will be remembered for his perseverance and resolve in the face of so many challenges and set-backs. When I heard the news of his death this morning, my initial reaction was to pray that in death Yasser Arafat will find that peace which only God can give and which was denied him in life. I pray also that his death will not lead to bloodshed and conflict within the Palestinian community, or confrontation with the forces of the Israeli state. I call on the Israeli state to do all it can to avoid inflaming an already tense situation and condemn its deliberately provocative act today in sending armed police officers into St George's Anglican Cathedral in Jerusalem to arrest Mordechai Vanunu who has enjoyed sanctuary there since his release from prison in April of this year following 18 years of incarceration.'

So a mass murderer is all but canonised for his 'perseverance and resolve' in the face of 'set-backs' -- presumably the tiresome desire of those damned Jews to try to prevent him from exterminating them -- while Israel, the target of his terror, is the party that has to be restrained from 'inflaming the situation'. But then, of course, as far as church leaders like this are concerned, the Israelis wilfully 'inflame the situation' because they have no sense of self-preservation but merely seek to trample Palestinians underfoot.

American church leaders would do humanity a great service if they started to highlight the moral bankruptcy displayed over Israel by their fellow churchmen in the UK; and started also to teach them a few facts of life about the obscene lies, libels and incitement to murder with which the Palestinian and wider Arab and Muslim religious and civil leadership have been 'inflaming the situation' against the Jews for the past hundred years.


Well Melanie, it would be nice if American church leaders would do something, but they won't, because many of them harbor the same kind of bias against Israel. The Presbyterian Church condemned Israel's security wall, and voted to divest the money in it's investment fund from Israeli companies altogether.

I've reported here and here, that the mainline churches in the United States tend to be almost, if not completely, as anti-Semitic as European churches, the UN, and (well, maybe not) France itself.

One thing that really struck me about the above-mentioned prayer by his Highness the Archbishop is his comment about Israel going into the St. George's Anglican Cathedral to arrest Mordechai Vanunu. Why the hell is the Anglican church harboring criminals? Doesn't that make them a criminal organization themselves?

I guess that shouldn't surprise me. There's a long tradition of that isn't there.


Sunday, November 14, 2004

War Or Debate In The Netherlands?


From CNN, via Drudge


Selami Aydin's words will comfort many Dutch people if opinion polls are to be believed. "I'm thinking of going back to Turkey. Seriously," the 39-year-old Muslim said just a few hundred meters (yards) from the apartment police stormed last Wednesday after a 14-hour siege with suspected Islamic militants. "We're all frightened."

The Netherlands' image as the land of tolerance has been shattered in the two weeks since outspoken filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered and a Muslim suspect arrested in the crime. Since Van Gogh's death on Nov. 2 there have been at least 20 arson attacks on mosques and churches in tit for tat violence.

A Muslim school was damaged by a bomb on Monday, another set ablaze on Tuesday. There have been a number of minor arson attacks on churches and a classroom at a Catholic school in Eindhoven was destroyed by fire on Wednesday.

In the latest suspected arson attack on Saturday, a small mosque in the south was destroyed by fire.

Opinion polls show the majority of Dutch people are uncomfortable with or feel threatened by the presence of foreigners, while support is surging for Geert Wilders, seen as heir to murdered anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn.

Aydin's comments are not typical of all Muslims in the working class Laakkwartier district of the Hague, but most are dismayed by the reaction to Van Gogh's death.

Some say racism has been on the rise since Fortuyn's party surged to second in a 2002 election shortly after he was killed by an animal rights activist and has ratcheted up a notch in the past two weeks.

"I think it's got worse," said 18-year-old Dutch-Moroccan Adbelmounir el Idrissi. "I was in a shop the other day and a man butted in the queue. I told him to go to the end. He said: 'Are you going to shoot me if I don't?"'

Others are annoyed that the arrest of Mohammed B., the man accused of killing Van Gogh, and other suspected Islamic radicals has stirred a debate they say is critical of all Muslims, who make up about 6 percent of the Dutch population and are mostly concentrated in cities.

No one interviewed said they condoned the killing of Van Gogh, but many believe his short film "Submission," about violence against women in Islamic society, simply fuelled anti-Muslim sentiment, although few people in the Netherlands actually appear to have seen it.

"If we have an opinion, we might share it with our friends, but putting all this on television does nothing to help. Besides, it's about something that supposedly happens outside the Netherlands," said Dutch-Moroccan Kassim Douiri, 18.


Ok, I'll cut in here to comment. First, it's sad that the murder of Van Gogh is sparking a minor religious war in the Netherlands. The burning down of mosques and churches is no solution to any of the problems that exist. But, of course, that would seem to go without saying.

The beginning of a solution would be to have a national debate on the real issues. Are people who come from Islamic countries less likely to assimilate? Or, are they slower to assimilate? If Islamic people are less likely to assimilate, then what can be done about it? Limit immigration? Stop immigration? Do the Dutch people have reason to feel threatened by the presence of foreigners? Or is this an example of a very old heterogeneous society suddenly bumping up against the reality of multiculturalism?

The likely truth is that the answer to all of these questions is "Yes, to some extent."

As to Kassim Douiri's comment about he and his Muslim friends keeping their opinions to themselves: Well, Kassim, that doesn't seem like a good idea to me. But then, I'm from America. In America we arrive at solutions to our problems (eventually) by first talking about them. Well, that is, unless one is from Massachusetts, in which case one just sweeps the problem under the rug, and proceeds to promise everyone else that one has a "plan" for a solution.

But, I digress.

The reality is the Muslim community needs to tell us how they feel, even if they feel that they disagree with some of their fellow Muslims. The truth is, Muslim people have marched in the streets here in the United States to protest against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but to this day (correct me if I'm wrong) there has only been one major organized protest, by Muslims, against terrorism. It was in Phoenix about a year ago, and, unfortunately, only a few dozen people showed up. That was disappointing, to say the least.

It is not healthy for a community to become so insular. Progress, in any group or body, is dependent on the introduction of outside forces into the mix.

But wait, look what comes next:

SEARCH FOR HEALING

In the El Mohsinin mosque's large prayer room, a sermon urges those gathered not to take the law into their own hands.

"The Koran means living together," says 60-year-old Achmed Akasar who arrived from Morocco 36 years ago.

Some Muslims believe the community itself can help to build bridges. One of Germany's largest Muslim groups plans to hold an unprecedented protest against militancy later this month with up to 30,000 demonstrators.

"The Dutch government should organize something like this, but maybe we can do it ourselves. I would join in," said Douiri.

A mosque in the southern town of Den Bosch is encouraging non-Muslims to attend its Eid al-Fitr festival, ending the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, on Sunday. For most Muslims the festival started on Saturday.

"We'll be offering food and drink and hope people will come to talk and to celebrate," said Deniz Ozkanli, chairman of the Orhan Gazi mosque.

"It's been open in previous years, but this year we really want to reach everyone, so we'll be out with flyers and placards. A lot of people are afraid, but a lot of people also want to talk."


Now, that's what I'm talking about. At the risk of being an endless fount of criticism, I have to wonder why Douiri thinks the government should organize the protest. And how would they do it? Would they drop leaflets? Would they drive down the streets of The Hague in government vehicles, with bullhorns announcing, "Calling all Muslims. Report immediately to Town Center Park, in order to protest against terrorism and violence."

But, Douiri is only 18 years old. I should give him a break. You've got to wonder, though, why the writer of this CNN article thought Douiri's words were the most cogent and worth quoting.