The Desecration Of Islam
From The Boston Globe
, via Little Green Footballs
IT WAS front-page news this week when Newsweek retracted a report claiming that a US interrogator in Guantanamo had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. Everywhere it was noted that Newsweek's story had sparked widespread Muslim rioting, in which at least 17 people were killed. But there was no mention of deadly protests triggered in recent years by comparable acts of desecration against other religions.
No one recalled, for example, that American Catholics lashed out in violent rampages in 1989, after photographer Andres Serrano's ''Piss Christ" -- a photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine -- was included in an exhibition subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts. Or that they rioted in 1992 when singer Sinead O'Connor, appearing on ''Saturday Night Live," ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II.
There was no reminder that Jewish communities erupted in lethal violence in 2000, after Arabs demolished Joseph's Tomb, torching the ancient shrine and murdering a young rabbi who tried to save a Torah. And nobody noted that Buddhists went on a killing spree in 2001 in response to the destruction of two priceless, 1,500-year-old statues of Buddha by the Taliban government in Afghanistan.
Of course, there was a good reason all these bloody protests went unremembered in the coverage of the Newsweek affair: They never occurred.
Christians, Jews, and Buddhists don't lash out in homicidal rage when their religion is insulted. They don't call for holy war and riot in the streets. It would be unthinkable for a mainstream priest, rabbi, or lama to demand that a blasphemer be slain.
But when Reuters reported what Mohammad Hanif, the imam of a Muslim seminary in Pakistan, said about the alleged Koran-flushers -- ''They should be hung. They should be killed in public so that no one can dare to insult Islam and its sacred symbols" -- was any reader surprised?
The Muslim riots should have been met by outrage and condemnation. From every part of the civilized world should have come denunciations of those who would react to the supposed destruction of a book with brutal threats and the slaughter of 17 innocent people. But the chorus of condemnation was directed not at the killers and the fanatics who incited them, but at Newsweek.
From the White House down, the magazine was slammed -- for running an item it should have known might prove incendiary, for relying on a shaky source, for its animus toward the military and the war. Over and over, Newsweek was blamed for the riots' death toll.
Then there was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who announced at a Senate hearing that she had a message for ''Muslims in America and throughout the world." And what was that message? That decent people do not resort to murder just because someone has offended their religious sensibilities? That the primitive bloodlust raging in Afghanistan and Pakistan was evidence of the Muslim world's dysfunctional political culture?
No: Her message was that ''disrespect for the Holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States."
Granted, Rice spoke while the rioting was still taking place and her goal was to reduce the anti-American fever. But what ''Muslims in America and throughout the world" most need to hear is not pandering sweet-talk. What they need is a blunt reminder that the real desecration of Islam is not what some interrogator in Guantanamo might have done to the Koran. It is what totalitarian Muslim zealots have been doing to innocent human beings in the name of Islam.
It is 9/11 and Beslan and Bali and Daniel Pearl and the USS Cole. It is trains in Madrid and schoolbuses in Israel and an ''insurgency" in Iraq that slaughters Muslims as they pray and vote and line up for work. It is Hamas and Al Qaeda and sermons filled with infidel-hatred and exhortations to ''martyrdom."
But what disgraces Islam above all is the vast majority of the planet's Muslims saying nothing and doing nothing about the jihadist cancer eating away at their religion. It is Free Muslims Against Terrorism, a pro-democracy organization, calling on Muslims and Middle Easterners to ''converge on our nation's capital for a rally against terrorism" -- and having only 50 people show up.
The European Cultural Welfare SystemFull Western Integration For Islamofascists
Hani Ramadan, brother of Tariq Ramadan
, defends death by stoning (as set out in Islamic Sharia law), but he wants nothing less than full integration in Western society. From Fjordman
A controversial Muslim scholar who was fired from his teaching job after publicly defending death by stoning has won a second victory in a Geneva court. However, the cantonal authorities responded by saying Hani Ramadan, who is also director of Geneva’s Islamic Centre, would not be reinstated.
It was the second time the courts have ruled in Ramadan’s favour, saying that his dismissal was unfair and demanding that the cantonal government recognise Ramadan’s status as a public servant and resume paying his salary.
He was dismissed by the cantonal authorities in 2003 a few months after making his remarks in the French newspaper Le Monde. In the article, the imam defended death by stoning for adultery as set out in Islamic Sharia law. Ramadan also said that believers were protected from being infected with Aids.
Last year, the appeals board had already said that Ramadan was still a public servant, but the government refused to budge and went one step further a few months later by cutting off his salary. His lawyer, Eric Hess, says his client now wants his job as a high school French teacher back. "He wants nothing less than full reintegration," he told swissinfo.
He wants to be accepted into the West, Sharia and all. Sounds like an oxymoron to me.
The Curious Negotiation Tactics Of Mahmoud Abbas
From Associated Press
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday he would demand strong political and financial support in his upcoming talks with President Bush in Washington and did not believe the recent flare-up of violence between militants and Israelis would hurt his case.
Abbas said the renewed violence that threatened an already shaky truce with Israel was calming down after three straight days of clashes. The Palestinian Interior Ministry said the Islamic militant group Hamas had agreed to stop firing rockets at Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip.
But Hamas warned later Saturday it may walk away from the truce because of a dispute with Abbas' ruling Fatah party over municipal elections in Gaza. It marked the first time Hamas linked its adherence to the cease-fire to an internal Palestinian issue.
Abbas' meeting with Bush at the White House on Thursday could give the Palestinian leader a much-needed boost just as he is about to go head-to-head with top rival Hamas in a parliamentary election, and prepares for the difficult task of taking over Gaza after Israel's planned evacuation this summer.
"We are going to demand two basic things: the first is political support and the second is economic support," Abbas said in Ramallah after arriving home from a two-week tour of South America and Asia.
Congress recently approved a $275 million financial aid package for the Palestinians to help bolster their ailing economy and rehabilitate their shattered security forces. Congress is also expected to consider an additional $160 million in aid next year, said Sylvana Foa, spokeswoman for the Agency for International Development.
Speaking to reporters in Egypt hours before arriving home, Abbas dismissed concerns the recent flare-up of violence in Gaza would undermine his talks with Bush.
"The events are minor and they have calmed down," Abbas said at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik after he met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak . "I think that the situation has begun to come under control in Gaza."
Since Wednesday, three Palestinian militants have been killed in Gaza, and Hamas has fired dozens of homemade rockets and mortar shells at Jewish settlements.
I've been a businessman since I left college at the age of twenty-three. Sales and Marketing have always been my areas of focus. I have been involved in the negotiation of deals totaling in the tens of millions of dollars.
My question about Abbas is, upon what grounds is he making these demands? Negotiation is a process of give and take. One party offers the other something, and the other party counteroffers. At some point, one party may decide that they have offered enough, and they will demand an answer, or a "close" to the deal. They will ask for a yes, or a no.
But, what exactly is Abbas offering here? What is he bringing to the table?
The only thing I can determine he is offering is that he won't ratchet up violence. In other words, he is extorting us. He is "demanding" (his word) "protection money."
Why we would ever entertain such an offer, I can not figure. Why we would expect the Israeli's to deem such an offer credible and worthy, I can not figure either.
If I was working on a deal, and a client layed out such an offer on the table, prior to a meeting scheduled to hammer out the particulars of the deal, I would inform the client that the offer was not worthy, and I would cancel the meeting.
Of course, George Bush will take the meeting. And that tells us that, for whatever reason, he considers the appeasement of the Palestinian Authority to be a priority in his geopolitical policy.
Israel, meanwhile, is apparently playing the role of Czechoslovakia circa 1938
How Do Israeli Physicians Deal With Terrorists?
This is an article by Avraham Rivkind, Professor of Trauma Surgery at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. It was sent to me by email, and as from the journal Care of the Critically Ill. I've been unable to find it online:
It was 3 am on a Saturday morning in April 2002 when my pager went off. 'Trauma call - report to emergency room' was the impersonal message. I struggled out of bed and left the house. The roads were wonderfully empty, a consequence of the early hour and the Sabbath. In Jerusalem, Saturdays still retain that religious aura and most shops remain closed. Buses don't run and by late morning, the streets are usually full of pedestrians on their way to synagogue or just taking a stroll.
It only took me a few minutes to arrive at Hadassah hospital where I work as the lead trauma surgeon. I was met by the senior nurse in the emergency room. 'Hello Professor, we have a 25 year old male, gunshot wound to the abdomen but the wound is 12 days old'. I start to examine my patient whilst thinking '12 days? Who waits 12 days with a wound like this?'
The patient is in a bad way. He is in septic shock and decompensating in front of me. 'Prepare theatre, we need to go now' I say to the resident. 'They are already waiting for us' he replies and with a wry smile he adds, 'do you know who this is Prof?' The patient's face is not familiar and I shrug.
'This is Hassan, from the Church of the Nativity'. Hassan was a member of Hamas and was wanted by Israel for masterminding a double suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem earlier in the year.
A few weeks ago, after a crippling wave of suicide bombings in which hundreds of Israelis had been killed and injured, the Israel Defence Forces had launched attacks on the terrorist infrastructure inside the disputed territories of the West Bank. A group of armed Palestinian terrorists had stormed the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, taking the monks there hostage and setting up for a 'last stand'.
The Israeli forces refused to be drawn into a situation which would likely have destroyed the Church and so a stalemate ensued. Hassan had been part of the group storming the Church and had taken a bullet in the initial fracas but his colleagues had refused to allow him out for 12 days. Only now had he been 'released' and here he was in my Emergency department.
I shrugged again, 'let's sort him out now and worry about that later' and off we went.
In theatre we found multiple small bowel lacerations, subcutaneous spread of small bowel contents as well as infestation with maggots. After surgery he was transferred to intensive care where he remained critical and after a short period it was deemed necessary to perform a tracheostomy.
Laws on consent are different in Israel and doctors must take 'all reasonable steps' to ensure that the family agree to any treatment not deemed immediately necessary. With this in mind we embarked on what turned out to be a 10 day quest to gain consent. The Israeli social worker contacted her Palestinian counterpart and much leg work was performed by all involved. This stage of the quest was not without risk and several covert meetings were required in dangerous locations. Full credit to both social workers for the individual risks that they were prepared to take.
Eventually, we received a hand written letter with the appropriate consent and the tracheostomy was carried out. Hassan spent 3 months on ITU, underwent 10 operations and was eventually discharged home after 11 and a half months in hospital. His medical bill was paid by the 'Friends of Hadassah' a Jewish charity group which collects donations from Jews all over the world.
Hassan's case is by no means unique. About a quarter of our patients are Arab and a significant number of these are from the Palestinian areas. Inevitably, we get terrorists brought in as well. We treat everyone as equal and patients are triaged according to clinical need.
Although this approach seems to be the only one that is ethical, there are some unique conundrums thrown up by situations like this. Hassan was on ITU with victims of his bus bombings and some of the relatives found that hard to deal with. (Remarkably, other relatives seemed to harbour no ill feeling at all.)
During his 3 months on the unit, we had many times when we were short of beds, usually due to another suicide bombing. Were we going to deny a victim of terror an ITU bed because that bed already had a terrorist in it? What about after he recovers? Do we arrest him and put him in prison? What happens if he goes back to mastermind another bus bombing?
After Hassan was out of immediate danger, some colleagues used to ask me why we couldn't transfer him back to a Palestinian Authority hospital for further care. The truth is that I really felt that the procedures he had undergone had been so complex and his course so stormy that he would be better served remaining under the care of the team that operated on him during his admission, so he stayed.
Hassan still comes for review at my clinic and is doing very well. The Israeli secret service now feels that he poses a minimal risk to Israeli civilians and as such have dropped the charges against him.
Were we right to put so much effort and resource into one life when that person had murdered so many of our civilians? Would the Palestinians or even the Arab world do the same for a wounded Israeli? Our experience with shootings, kidnappings and lynchings suggests otherwise.
Would other nations, if placed today in a similar state of war, afford such care to their enemies? Let's hope they never have to find out. As far as we are concerned, medicine is about the people who need to be treated regardless of race or religion. As doctors, we must just get on with the job in hand and leave justice to the judges.
The Islamization Of European Schools
From Front Page Magazine
:An official report dealing with religious expression in French schools has become a must read for anyone interested in the Islamization of France. Written under the auspices of the top national education official, Jean-Pierre Obin, the report was not initially released by the Ministry of Education. But it was leaked on the Internet in March and now can be found in its entirety at www.proche-orient.info and other websites. In addition to examining the recent literature on religion and schools in France, they visited 61 academic and vocational high schools in 24 départements, chosen not as a cross-section of public schools, but rather as schools typical of those where religious expression has become a problem because of the high concentration of ethnic and religious minorities. In each school, inspectors interviewed the management team, staff, and teachers, as well as lay people from the community, including parents, social workers, and elected officials. In addition, regional education officials were asked to submit accounts of their experiences in primary schools.Amid much diversity--some of the schools were rural, some urban; some had fairly homogeneous student populations, others immigrants from many different countries--the inspectors report two consistent findings: a marked increase in religious expression, especially Muslim expression, in schools; and denial on the part of officials at all levels--from the classroom, to the principal's office, to the regional administration--that this phenomenon is occurring.The researchers began by studying the neighborhoods surrounding the schools. Mostly, these were depressed areas abandoned by anyone with a secure income. The report describes the flight of "French" residents and "European" shops--sometimes after they have been the targets of violence--in tandem with the arrival of immigrants and the collapse of real estate values.Scores of informants told the Obin team that these neighborhoods were undergoing a "rapid and recent swing" toward Islamization, thanks to the growing influence of religious activists. These young men, intense and highly intellectual in their piety, are sometimes former residents of the neighborhood who have been to prison, where they were converted to Islam. More often, however, they are educated men with degrees from universities in France, North Africa, or the Middle East. The biggest social change entailed by this Islamization, Obin reports, is a deterioration in the position of females. Teenage girls are forbidden to play sports and are constantly watched by an informal religious police made up of young men, sometimes their own younger brothers. Makeup, skirts, and form-fitting dresses are forbidden; dark, loose trousers are the strongly recommended attire. To go to the blackboard in front of a class, some Muslim girls put on long coats. Often, they are forced to wear the headscarf, or hijab, and forbidden to frequent coed movie theaters, community centers, and gyms, or even to go out at all on weekends. Lots of young women were afraid to tell the Obin team what punishments are in store for them if they disobey. Not only female students but also female teachers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, are frequently subjected to sexist remarks by male teenagers.In primary schools, the report cites instances of first grade boys' refusing to participate in coed activities and Muslim children's refusing to sing, dance, or draw a face. In one school, restrooms were segregated: some for Muslim students and some for "French." Some lunchrooms were segregated, by section or table. Some students required halal meat; at one school, the principal provided only halal meat for everyone.With Muslim proselytizing on the rise, the report states that students are under pressure to observe Ramadan, the annual month during which Muslims fast during the day. In some high schools, it is simply impossible for Muslim kids not to join in, whether they like it or not. Obin cites one student who tried to commit suicide because of intimidation and threats from other kids over this issue. Obin also emphasizes that many conversions to Islam are taking place under duress.Inevitably, the report records rampant "Judeophobia," to use the term in vogue in France. Among even the youngest students, the term "Jew" has become the all-purpose insult. Obin deplores the fact that principals and teachers do not strenuously object to this, treating it simply as part of the youth culture. Even more serious is the increase in assaults on Jews or those presumed to be Jewish. Usually the assailants are Muslim students. Sometimes the victims are, too: One Turkish high-school girl was relentlessly harassed and bullied at school because her country is an ally of Israel. The section of the report on anti-Semitism winds up with this sad conclusion: In France today, Jewish kids are not welcome at every school. Many are forced to switch schools or even conceal their identity to escape anti-Semitism.According to the report, Muslim students perceive a large gap between the French and themselves. Even though most of the Muslim kids are actually French citizens, they see themselves as Muslims first, and more and more of them hail Osama bin Laden as their hero. In their eyes, he represents a victorious Islam triumphing over the West.As for history, Muslim students object to its Judeo-Christian bias and blatant falsehood. They loudly protest the Crusades, and commonly deny the Holocaust. Under the circumstances, many teachers censor their own material, often skipping entire topics, like the history of Israel or of Christianity. The report ... cites Muslim students who refuse to use the plus sign in mathematics because it looks like a cross. Obin notes that it is the schools that have reached accommodations with the extremists that are most plagued by violence against girls, Jews, and teachers. Schools that refuse to tolerate the intolerable have coped much better with the problems described in the report. As a result, Obin calls for a policy of no compromise with Islamist demands.Still unclear is how French educators can be expected to hang tough while their government refuses to own up to the problem--as demonstrated by its failure to make public the Obin report. With the Muslim share of the French population already over 10 percent and growing, the schools are only the tip of the iceberg.
Do you think such behavior in France has anything to do with this behavior in Germany? (From Little Green Footballs
The western German state of Hesse expects to offer instruction in Islamic religion for Muslim students in every school in the state, a state official said Friday.
At least one school in every district in the state will offer Islamic instruction in the new school year, and at some point classes will be spread to every school, Culture Minister Karin Wolff said. The teaching will be phased in and a specific time plan will become clearer in the future, she said.
Do you think there is also a move towards teaching Christianity in the tolerant politically-correct schools of Western Europe?
Anti-Semitic Tracts Sold on Palestinian Authority Website
From Little Green Footballs
JERUSALEM — An official Palestinian Authority information website directly affiliated with President Mahmoud Abbas has published on its Arabic language section a copy of the ”Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a classic anti-Semitic forgery, while the English section does not contain the work, WND has learned.
Abbas recently had been credited by the U.S. and Israel for fighting anti-Israel incitement.
Al-Nakba.com, the official Internet website of the Palestinian State Information Service, SIS, published an Arabic translation to the ”Protocols,” a notorious forgery authorized by the anti-Semetic Czarist police in early 20th-Century Russia that purports to be minutes of a meeting of top Jewish leaders plotting world domination.
The Arabic version of the Al-Nakba site contains the full work, which was translated by a Lebanese Druze militant and taken directly from the website of the hard-line Islamic Da’wa Party in Iraq, according to an analysis provided to WND by Israel’s Center for Special Studies. ...
Al-Nakba literally means ”the catastrophe.” The official site serves as a propaganda device regarding the situation surrounding Palestinian refugees who claim to have been displaced as a result of Israel’s founding, says the Center for Special Studies.
The site has been updated several times since Abbas took office in January.
You can read about this book, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, at Amazon.com. Click here
What this article, from Little Green Footballs, leaves out is that it is common for Palestinians to refer to the establishment of the state of Israel as "al-Nakba," or the tragedy.
Yes, that's right, the very existence of Israel is a tragedy to the Palestinians. That's because they hate Jews and cannot abide having them on what Arabs consider to be "Dar al-Islam," or Islamic land.
Burkhas and PolygamyThey're Not Bad, Just Different
From Front Page Magazine
Judging by the press coverage of Lila Abu-Lughod, a professor of sociology, her family background is of keen interest. Or possibly that background has proved to be quite useful. In the view of Antony T. Sullivan (reviewing her book, Veiled Sentiments, in The World and I, January 1991), her father Ibrahim was a “distinguished Palestinian-American political scientist” and his “Jewish wife, Janet” is “herself a world-class sociologist.” Their daughter, raised a Muslim, spent childhood summers in Jordan and she seldom fails to mention her “heritage.” This background makes her serving on the committee searching for a scholar to occupy Columbia’s new chair of Israel studies especially inapt. Abu-Lughod is the editor of a book of essays, Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity, which has been hailed as “an important contribution to comparative postcolonial and feminist studies.” The book, she explains, “seeks to tackle comfortable and accepted linear notions of progress, modernity, and emancipation in modern academic works on gender in the postcolonial world.”
Why, Abu-Lughod asks, should the West’s ideas about “progress” and “modernity” be unquestionably accepted? Perhaps Western “progress” is not progress, and “modernity” is not modernity. And Western feminists should not be so hasty in denouncing the veil and the burka, because they act as a “portable seclusion,” your very own zenana or haramlik, which you can bring with you anywhere.
Her essay “The Marriage of Feminism and Islamism in Egypt: Selective Repudiation as a Dynamic of Postcolonial Cultural Politics,” in Remaking Women, offers a critique of what Abu-Lughod calls “companionate marriage” – i.e. monogamy, which the highly judgmental Western world apparently thinks is the only way to go about things, and fails to appreciate the many benefits to women from polygamy.
Abu-Lughod notes that “the concept of companionate marriage advocated by Qasim Amin and other nationalist-feminist writers around the turn of the 19trh century – brought with it the breaking of bonds among women. The result was dissolution of the lively, cross-class homosocial world of women; in its wake emerged a bourgeois household centered on a nuclear family.”
Monogamy destroys that “lively cross-class homosocial world of women” in the windowless quarters where, guarded by eunuchs, they can trade stories, jokes, tales of Grand Cairo in the Scheherazade manner, and do one another’s hair, in a kind of dormitory pajama party without end.
Abu-Lughod insists that Westerners, especially those pesky feminists, should stop harping on “difference” and look at what unites us: “We should ask not how Muslim societies are distinguished from ‘our own’ but how intertwined they are, historically and in the present, economically, politically, and culturally.”
It disturbs her that so many people want to know about “women and Islam” – the very topic is worrisome, she feels, because it gets away from the real issues, the “messier historical or cultural narratives” that focus on “colonial projects” and the “colonial enterprise.”
It is easy to see through the hypocritical ‘feminism’ of a Republican administration. More troubling for me are the attitudes of those who do genuinely care about women’s status. The problem, of course, with ideas of “saving” other women is that they depend on and reinforce a sense of superiority by Westerners. 
And that, of course, is a Bad Thing. Better, then, to stop worrying overmuch about different ways that men and women relate to each other, in Afghanistan, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia. For any interest, or still worse, intervention that might possibly lead to a reinforcement of “a sense of superiority by Westerners” must, at all costs, be avoided.
Abu-Lughod has a solution, She thinks “we need to work hard to respect and recognize difference.” And, she adds, “We might do better to think how to make the world a more just place rather than trying to ‘save’ women in other cultures.”
When Western (or Muslim) feminists try to intervene to better the lot of Afghan, or other women in Muslim countries, Abu-Lughod finds this deplorable, for it could “reinforce a sense of Western superiority.” When Western (or Muslim) feminists object to hijab or burka, Abu-Lughod replies that the women welcome this kind of costume, which offers them a “portable seclusion” from the prying eyes of men. When Western (or Muslim) feminists attack polygamy, Abu-Lughod defends it, and complains that “companionate marriage” is overrated while in the privacy of the polygamous women’s quarters, so much fun is to be had that Western women cannot possibly understand.
Abu-Lughod is a determined Defender of the Faith. Where the rights of women, and the reputation of Islam, collide, she stands foursquare with Islam, and against those rights. It has been noted by the real Muslim (or more often, ex-Muslim) feminists – such intrepid fighters for women’s rights as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Azam Kamguian – that quite a few supposed Muslim “feminists” end up retreating into a defense of Islam, whenever they sense that the interest in the mistreatment of women might harm the Faith.
All I can say is, "That's Burkas
Mystery in Madrid
Dymphna, at Gates of Vienna, has some information that seems to indicate something is very mysterious in Madrid. Could the police have been involved in the3/11 bombing? This seems a little hard to believe, but such questions are being asked by some ever-bigger names, including Frank Gaffney. From Gates of Vienna
Quite by happenstance, on May 18th Gates of Vienna was tuned to Lars Larson, a talk show radio host. Larson was interviewing Frank Gaffney about his NRO essay, Spain’s Terrorgate. Using Barcepundit’s translations of the El Mundo editorial (May 16th), Gaffney exposes a huge new story on 3/11. It is a remarkable tale, composed of a number of stranger-than-fiction elements.
How’s this for starters:
ABC — yes, our good old MSM behemoth — staged pictures of the supposed unexploded backpack remaining from the bombing of the train. The police claimed not to have the “real” one available but, hey, offered to use one of the officers’ backpacks since it looked similar. Another example of good journalistic practices, right?But it gets worse. Gaffney reports:
El Mundo suggests that, almost immediately after the 12 bombs went off in one of the city’s busiest train stations, some in the Spanish police force fabricated evidence, then swiftly hyped it to the domestic and international press. The object seems to have been to support the oppositions’ claims that Islamists angry over the government’s support for the war in Iraq were responsible for the attacks.As Gaffney says, one could reasonably infer that if this report is true, then Tedax, the Spanish police bomb squad was, at worst, involved in the bombing itself.
There was a real backpack. What the police did was to hide from the investigating judge an xray of its contents. “Backpack 13” could never have exploded. The cables connecting the cell phone to the explosive were never connected. An interesting lapse when you consider these terrorists were “experts.”
Go read the rest at Gates of Vienna
Postmodernism Is Relativism Run Riot
A little Friday Philosophy lesson here at CUANAS, to start your weekend off just right. Read a little Philosophy, and then crack open a Budweiser*. From Front Page Magazine
Over the last 20 years or so the philosophic orientation known as "postmodernism" (or "po-mo," to the cognoscenti) has become the dominant mindset in many humanities departments in American universities, especially in English departments. To the extent that professors in, say, science and engineering departments have heard of postmodernism, it seems mystifying. They see colleagues in humanities departments delivering papers filled with incomprehensible prose, making outrageous claims (such as that there is no correct interpretation of any text), and offering bizarre courses (such as the history of comic books). Stephen Hicks, a professor of philosophy at Rockford College, has produced a clearly written, concise book explaining just what postmodern philosophy is and how it arose, and he has done so in an admirable way.
Hicks begins by sketching out in broad terms what modernism is. Modernism is the worldview produced by the Enlightenment over the last four centuries. Roughly characterized, modernism involves naturalism in metaphysics, with the confidence that modern science is capable of, and is actually succeeding in, giving us an understanding of the physical universe. Modernism involves what he calls objectivism in epistemology, meaning the view that experience and reason are capable of gaining real knowledge, although modernist philosophers have hotly contested the specifics of this (with Rationalism, Empiricism, and Pragmatism being the most historically active epistemological schools).
Modernism involves individualism in ethics, and a commitment to human rights, religious toleration, and democracy in political theory. Modernism also involves the acceptance of free-market economics and the technological revolution that it has spawned. In sum, modernism is the mindset that is common to the West, the laborious product of many great minds — Bacon, Locke, Descartes, Smith, Hobbes, Spinoza, Galileo, Newton, and Hume, among others. Most of us view this as a considerable leap forward from the Medieval period of supernaturalism, mysticism, excessive reliance on faith, and feudalist political and economic systems.
In the last 30 years or so, however, a group of thinkers have set themselves in opposition to the whole Enlightenment project. These soi-disant postmodernists reject the Enlightenment root and branch. Chief among the postmodern thinkers are Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean-Francois Lyotard and (amazingly, an American) Richard Rorty. These thinkers, together with a host of smaller fry (such as Stanley Fish, Jacques Lacan, Andreas Huyssen, Frank Lentricchia and others), have developed a large following in the humanities — especially literature, less so in philosophy — and in the social sciences. They have developed virtually no following in science, math, computer science, and engineering for reasons that will become clear below.
The postmodern mindset views the whole Enlightenment project as a failure. The po-mo view is metaphysically anti-realist and anti-naturalist, holding that the physical universe is not ultimately describable in final terms. It is socially subjectivist in epistemology, holding that the "world" is what we socially construct, and each "group" (racial, gender, linguistic, ethnic, national or what have you) constructs the world according to its group identity. Postmodernists are egalitarian and collectivist in matters ethical and political. (If there are any postmodern libertarians or conservatives, I have yet to hear of them.)
Postmodernism has had a powerful impact on a number of areas of academic study.
In literary theory, it has rejected the notion that literary texts have objective meanings open to better or worse interpretation, in favor of the notion that the text is simply a vehicle for the critic to exercise wordplay upon, or to deconstruct and thus expose the racial, class, or gender biases of the author.
In law, postmodernists known as Critical Legal Theorists reject the notion of universally valid legal principles and objective legal reasoning, essentially viewing legal reasoning as subjective plumping for one's race, class, gender, or political preferences.
In education theory, postmodernism junks the notion that education should develop a child's cognitive abilities and impart factual knowledge to enable her to function as a productive member of our free-market democracy. Instead, the postmodernist believes education should mold a student's racial, class, and gender identity.
Postmodernists try to focus on the achievements of women, non-whites, and the poor, exposing the history of American democracy as a history of oppression, and denying the existence of any objective scientific method. For this reason, natural scientists and engineers find postmodernism silly — try convincing engineers who have successfully sent a robotic probe to the surface of Mars that objectively true scientific laws don't exist. Also, most modern philosophers, who since Descartes have concentrated on epistemology, have tended to view natural science as the most successful knowledge-generating human enterprise, and thus are not inclined to dismiss it lightly.
In short, postmodernism is relativism run riot, skepticism on stilts. In terms of the culture wars, it informs the arguments of those who think that American society is inferior to others and on the decline, that there are no "Great Books" of a higher order of merit than others, that science and technology are socially constructed and are not making genuine progress, and that modern free-market economics has lowered living standards.
As Hicks notes, there is a contradictory tone to all this — all cultures are equal, but ours stinks; all truth is relative, except the unquestionable po-mo truth; no race, class or gender is superior, but middle class white males are clearly inferior; and no books are superior, except, of course, those by third-world authors.
Of course, I, Pastorius, completely reject the notion that we are, any longer, living in a Postmodernist age. I say we have moved into an age of PreFuturism
. I wait with baited breath for the rest of the world to catch up with me.
* Pastorius note: The proprietor of this blog wouldn't be caught dead drinking a Bud.
Islamofascists Protest Outside Of US Embassy In London
Islamofascists Chant, "Bomb New York"At US Embassy In London
From Little Green Footballs
More than 100 hardline Islamic protesters chanted the name of Osama bin Laden outside the US Embassy in London today.
The crowd, which is expected to grow during the afternoon, included many men whose faces were covered by their headscarves and at least a dozen women.
Their demonstration “against the desecration of the Koran” was being held yards from the steps of the Embassy in Grosvenor Square, which was guarded by a small detail of police.
The crowd, led by a man on a megaphone, chanted “USA watch your back, Osama is coming back” and “Kill, kill USA, kill, kill George Bush”.
They also chanted “Bomb, bomb New York” and “George Bush, you will pay, with your blood, with your head”.
Angry demonstrators waved placards which included the message: “Desecrate today and see another 9/11 tomorrow.”
Of course, such public expression is protected by free speech laws in the West.
The Media Is The Enemy
Linda Foley, the President of the Newspaper Guile accuses the American Military of targeting journalists. You know, killing journalists, on purpose. From LaShawn Barber
A journalist named Linda Foley, president of the Newspaper Guild, has been caught on tape pulling an Eason Jordan. Watch and listen to her make vile, inflammatory, and unsubstantiated claims about American troops military (Pardon me!) targeting Arab journalists on this RealAudio video.
According to a tape of her remarks, Foley said: “Journalists, by the way, are not just being targeted verbally or … ah, or … ah, politically. They are also being targeted for real, um … in places like Iraq. What outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there’s not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq.”
Foley continued, “They target and kill journalists … uh, from other countries, particularly Arab countries like Al -, like Arab news services like al-Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity. …”
Indra Nooyi, President and CFO of Pepsico says that America is the "middle-finger" of the world. She says that's how everyone perceives us, and we need to change, because it's our fault. From PowerLine
At yesterday's recognition ceremony for newly minted Columbia Business School MBAs, we had the president/CFO of PepsiCo as our distinguished guest speaker. After beginning her speech with words of praise and recognition for the graduates and their families, Ms. Indra Nooyi began to make the political statement du jour.
After talking of her childhood back in India, Ms. Nooyi began to compare the world and its five major continents (excl. Antarctica and Australia) to the human hand.
First was Africa - the pinky finger - small and somewhat insignificant but when hurt, the entire hand hurt with it. Next was Asia - the thumb - strong and powerful, yearning to become a bigger player on the world stage. Third was Europe - the index finger - pointing the way. Fourth was South America - the ring finger - the finger which symbolizes love and sensualness. Finally, the US (not Canada mind you) - yes, you guessed it - the middle finger.
She then launched into a diatribe about how the US is seen as the middle finger to the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees us as an overbearing, insensitive and disrespectful nation that gives the middle finger to the rest of the world.
According to Ms. Nooyi, we cause the other finger nations to cower under our presence. But it is our responsibility, she continues, to change the current state of world opinion of the US. It is our responsibility to make the other fingers rise in unison with us as we move forward.
Pepsico has proceeded to attempt to hem, haw, and spin it's way out of the ensuing firestorm. Hugh Hewitt says they are failing
What's missing from this? How about any positive statement about what America does for the world, from liberating Afghanistan and Iraq to billions in tsunami relief? How about pouring AIDs relief into Africa and sending products, services, technology and tradea round the globe. How about a full-throated defense of the country that analogizes it not to the middle finger but to the shoulders and spine of the planet, the last best hope of mankind.
Islamists Want The Stuff Of Western CivilizationWithout The Civilization
Victor Davis Hanson, at National Review
discusses the Newsweek article (about the Koran being flushed down a toilet) and the chaos which has ensued as a result:
... there is something far more to these bizarre events than mere "interconnectedness," or even media-savvy fundamentalists who have got the hang of Western telecommunications and know how to use them to stir up the mob.
There is not a necessary connection in the Middle East — or anywhere else — between the occasional appearance of technological sophistication and what we might call humanism, or the commitment to explain phenomena through reason and empiricism. We forget that far too often as we kow-tow to extremists and seek to apologize or fathom the holy protocols surrounding a religious text.
In the West, the wonder of a cell phone in some sense is the ultimate expression of a long struggle for the primacy of scientific reason, tolerance, critical consciousness, and free expression. That intellectual journey goes back to Galileo, Newton, and Socrates.
Everything from CDs to Starbucks that we take for granted is a representation of millions of past Western lives. These forgotten scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs, along with other reformers in politics, journalism, economics, and religion, created our present liberal environment. Only its institutions led to our prosperous modernity.
Without them, thinkers cannot discuss ideas freely. They will not find legal protection for their accomplishments, status for their contributions, and profit for their benefactions — and thus would end up hopeless and adrift in a society such as present-day Syria, Iran, or Egypt.
That long odyssey is not so in the world of bin Laden or an Iranian theocrat — or the ignorant who stream out of the madrassas and Friday fundamentalist harangues along the Afghan-Pakistani border. These fist-shaking, flag-burning Islamic fascists all came late to the Western tradition and now cherry-pick its technology. As classic parasites, a Zawahiri or al-Zarqawi wants Western sophisticated weapons and playthings — without the bothersome foundations that made them all possible.
An Afghan who riots because he learns of a rumor in a Western magazine, and those like him who explode and behead in Iraq, are emblematic of this hypocrisy. Nothing they have accomplished in their lives, either materially or philosophically, would result in a free opinion magazine, much less the technology to send out the story instantaneously — or, in the case of al-Zarqawi, to have his murdering transmitted globally on the Internet.
Instead, our Afghan rioters, and the Islamist organizations that have endorsed them, live in the eighth century of rumor, sexual and religious intolerance, tribal chauvinism, and gratuitous violence — but now electrified by the veneer of the 21st-century civilization that is not their own, but sometimes fools the naïve that it is.
Yet all the illumination in the modern world — neon, fluorescent, or incandescent — cannot light up the illiberal Dark Age mind if it is not willing (or forced) to begin the long ordeal of democracy, tolerance, legality, and individual rights.
Despite cheap, accessible, and easy-to-operate consumer goods imported from the Westernized world, the thinking of a bin Laden or Muslim Brotherhood still leads back to swords, horses, and jihad, not ahead to iPods and Microsoft.
They want such things to use to destroy, but not along with them the institutions like democracy and freedom that would allow such progress in their own countries — and shortly make al Qaeda and the fundamentalists not merely irrelevant, but ridiculous as well. Thus, we can understand the increasing hatred of the United States and its policy of democratic idealism abroad that threatens to put them out of business.
As we learned on September 11, they try to kill us now with our own appurtenances before they are buried themselves under modernism, liberality, and freedom. That really is what this war is about: a last-ditch effort by primordial fascists to prevent the liberalization of the Muslim world and the union of Islamic society with the protocols found in the rest of the globe and which many in the Middle East prefer if given a chance.
Only democracy and freedom, not Western money or cheap guilt, will remedy the deep sickness of radical Islam that now so tires and sickens the rest of the world that daily has to watch and endure it.
Stupid Rock Stars
Singer Chris Martin of the band Coldplay (a band I like very much, even if they are a watered down version of the great Radiohead) has bravely proclaimed his hatred of Capitalism. From Michelle Malkin
When last Gwynnie Paltrow's husband, Brit musician Chris Martin of the band Coldplay, put foot in mouth, he was proclaiming apocalypse:
The planet survived, so Martin has found a new enemy to pass the time: his own record label, EMI. In New York to promote his band's overdue record, Martin said:
"I don't really care about EMI. I'm not really concerned about that. I think shareholders are the great evil of this modern world."
...Martin told reporters at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre that the band was uncomfortable that they sell so many albums they can affect a major corporation's stock price.
"It's very strange for us that we spent 18 months in the studio just trying to make songs that make us feel a certain way and then suddenly become part of this corporate machine," Martin said backstage.
He criticised what he called "the slavery that we are all under to shareholders."
Meanwhile, professional Socialist Revolutionaries, Audioslave (a band I very much do not like, although I must say, Rage and Soundgarden, the bands from which Audioslave is made up, are two of the greatest bands in Rock history) played in Cuba and for once, decided that they needed to make no political statement. Yes, that's right they sat on their hands. From Discover the Network:
... the band Audioslave recently became the first American rock band to play in Cuba. On May 6th, they performed a one-off show at Havana's "Anti-Imperialist Tribunal" to a sellout crowd. (No, I'm not making the venue's name up.) After the concert, Audioslave's guitarist, the Harvard educated and politically far left Tom Morello and the rest of the band held a press conference on Cuban soil. As I watched the conference, (yeah, I'm an Audioslave fan) I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for Morello to seize what was clearly a premiere opportunity to make a political statement. Now keep in mind that Morello is a serious leftist activist, who purports to fight for the "oppressed," against "racism" and for "social justice." His last band, "Rage Against the Machine," was famous for its in-you-face leftist revolutionary stance, its vocal support of far- left causes and its deep love affair with Noam Chomsky, so it would not have been out of character for Morello to engage in a bit of self-righteous political grandstanding. Instead of truly rocking by publicly criticizing Castro's imprisoning and torturing of artists who dare criticize his regime, instead of standing on the conference table and demanding that Castro allow unfettered freedom of expression and that he free all political prisoners, an action that would have reverberated around the globe, the activist Morello, who has fought hard for the release of cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal meekly said, "Music can transcend politics. This trip is absolute proof of this."
Morello then thanked Cuba for being hospitable, saying he would recommend to other American bands that they play there.
Yes, thank you Cuba. Fidel come here, I want to kiss your fat butt as intimately as possible."Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me,"
Islam, Aristotle, and Hobbes?
I don't think TVD took to well to my posting of Hugh Fitzgerald's commentary on the "Golden Age of Islam." Last night TVD
sent me an email with a link to an article which touts the philosophy of a Turkish thinker named Al-Farabi
. From what I can gather from the article, Al-Farabi sounds like an independant and nuanced thinker. However, that doesn't mean I have to like his ideas. I have immense respect for the thinking of Nietzche, but I do not like his philosophy.
Anyway, here is an excerpt from the article:
"Like Hobbes, he saw in the universe a continual struggle where the strong triumphed over the weak. It appeared to him necessary that the strong and the weak should come to an understanding with each other in order to survive, anarchy being the only other outcome. To sum up, he believed that man had created society by a voluntary agreement. He thus revealed himself to be the distant precursor of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his Social Contract.
Al-Farabi was a determinist as far as nature was concerned. This was a consequence of his metaphysical doctrine, founded on the belief that God was a necessary Being, and that He gave His creation only to Himself. Al-Fârâbî perceived creation in the same way as Plato, God being neither nature, creative and without conscience, nor an arbitrary will. God, the One, created Intelligence, and also the heavens, from the empyrean level to the sub-lunar universe that we inhabit, this material universe being subject to births and changes. "
Here is my response:
This essay is written in philosophical shorthand. But, let's break it down a bit.
First off, to say that Al-Farabi is "like Hobbes" is absurd, because he predates Hobbes by several hundred years. It could be that his philosophy actually contained similar tenets. However, that is not demonstrated here. In fact, the idea that the universe is "a continual struggle where the strong triumphed over the weak," is an expression of
The word Jihad means "struggle." It is usually interpreted by modern Islamic scholars to mean the strong (dar al-islam) stuggling against, or making war on the weak (dar al-harb, the infidels). So, how exactly is Al-Farabi's philosophy different from modern Islamofascism in this case? It is not shown to be any different in this article?
And indeed, the idea that the strong and weak need to come to "an understanding with each other in order to survive, anarchy being the only other outcome."
Well, that is dhimmitude.
It could be that Al-Farabi made some fine distinctions which put his ideas far from the more dominating ideas of Islamofascism, but as presented here, I see no evidence of it.
As I said, this essay is written in philosophical shorthand. It could be that the author has shortchanged Al-Farabi.
The comparison between Al-Farabi and Plato's ideas, once again, demonstrates no clear distinction between Al-Farabi and what we know of Islam in general. However, in this case, there is nothing Fascist about Al-Farabi's ideas. The idea that God is wholly beyond the universe is a uniquely Islamic idea. The Judeo-Christian God is tied to His Creation by His love for it. Additionally, He created it for His Glory. In both these ways, He has Need of His Universe.
The Hindu and Buddhist God, of course, in no way supersedes His Universe because He Is the Universe.
So, there are distinctions between Islam, and Hindu/Buddhism and Judeo-Christianity. These distinction need to be looked at clearly, and acknowledged.
Now, the Islamic view that God entirely supersedes His Universe is
a very Aristotelian idea. I will give you that. God is wholly apart and He is, therefore, capable of absolute analysis, using absolute logic. Since He has no need of His universe, he is not tied into a perceiver/perceived relationship, but, instead, He is wholly Other. This, as I say, allows for absolute analysis.
The problem is, other than through the Koran, Muslims have no access to the Mind of God. The Koran is the absolute and final revelation. All knowledge must work with the Koran, and can not supersede the Koran.
The fact that Muslims have no access to the Mind of God means that they do not
have the absolute ability for logic that their God does. They can not trust their analysis, but instead need to check it against the Koran. It is possible, however, for an individual Muslim to decide that he does have the ability for logic, and obviously, individual Muslims can accomplish great things.
The Christian view of the world, with a God who is intimately involved with His Universe, determines, that while there is not
an absolute ability for logic, there is an ongoing ability for revelation, tied to analysis. But this analysis, as i say is not an absolutely logical analysis, in theory.
However, Christians have gotten around this by overlaying Greek philosophy, with it's dualistic nature onto Christian civilization. This overlaying of dualism onto Judeo-Christian view of the world has served Western Civilization well. But, it is coming to an end, I believe. Science is teaching us that there is no absolute distinction between perceiver and perceived. This, I think, will eventually lead to a paradigm shift in thought, which I can not envision, but it seems inevitable.
However, that is just loose speculation on my part.
The reality is that while, in theory, the Judeo-Christian God does not have an absolute ability to analyze His own Universe because of His Need of it, He did create it in the first place, and thus has absolute control over it, which is, I'm guessing, even better than an ability for absolute analysis.
Chilean Presidents Racist Dissertation
From Front Page Magazine
Salvador Allende, the socialist president of Chile who was killed during a CIA-backed coup in 1973, was an anti-Semite who held fascist ideas in his youth about race and crime, it is claimed in a book which has split Chile.
The book, Salvador Allende: Antisemitism and Euthanasia, will shock many who still revere him as a martyr who was deposed by the right-wing Gen Augusto Pinochet, with the backing of Washington and big business.
The disclosures come from Allende's 1933 doctoral dissertation which has been kept secret until now. In it he asserted that Jews had a disposition to crime and called for compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and alcoholics.
Allende also wrote: "The Hebrews are characterized by certain types of crime: fraud, deceit, slander and above all usury. These facts permits the supposition that race plays a role in crime."
Among the Arabs, he wrote, were some industrious tribes but "most are adventurers, thoughtless and lazy with a tendency to theft".
"The southern Italians - in contrast to the north Italians - and the Spanish have a tendency to barbaric and primitive crimes of passion and are emotionally unpredictable." The book's Chilean-born author Victor Farias said he had evidence that Allende tried to turn his ideas into reality as Chile's health minister from 1939 to 1941.
Only determined opposition from medical associations prevented him introducing a compulsory sterilization program harsher than that in Nazi Germany, said Farias.
The Allende family accused Farias of "manipulating documents".
Supporters said such views were common in the 1930s, and insist he should be judged on his political record, not early writings.
Yeah, pay no attention to the murderous fasicst behind the curtain.
I'll give his supporters one thing. They are right that such ideas were definately de riguer back in the first part of the 20th century
If Your Ex-Wife Calls the Welfare Check "Payday" You Just Might Be A Democrat
From Jonah Goldberg at Townhall
, via Atlas Shrugged
According to the Pew Center, the less you like to fly the American flag, the more likely it is you are Democrat. The more you think hard work and personal initiative aren't the ticket to the good life, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. The more you believe the United Nations is a better steward of international relations, while America is a negative actor on the world stage, the more likely you are to be a Democrat.
The more you believe that the government is there to help, the more likely it is you are Democrat. The less seriously you take religion, the more likely you are to be a Democrat. Flip all of these values around and the more likely it is you are a Republican - or that you vote that way.
Of course, I'm speaking in terms of statistical generalities. Obviously, there are a great many flag-waving, God-fearing, government-mistrusting, U.N.-hating Democrats out there. But they are the exceptions to the rule.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this study is what it says about class and ideology in America. And what it says is that they don't have that much to do with each other, which runs contrary to generations of leftish stereotypes. Poor Americans who believe in the American ideal of by-your-bootstraps success are likely to vote Republican. And rich Americans who cringe at the idea of hanging a flag from their porch vote Democrat.
"Offended" Is Not The Word That Comes To Mind
Miss Universe organizers scrambled on Thursday to calm a furor over photos of bikini-clad contestants posing near an ancient Buddhist temple in pageant host Thailand after the images infuriated religious leaders.
The photos, which showed beauty queens on a Bangkok river cruise with the famed Wat Arun, or "Temple of Dawn," in the background, were swiftly removed from the pageant Web site.
But religious leaders and culture watchdogs are still upset, saying the episode violated traditional values and morality just days before a key Buddhist holiday.
"This is the time of Visakha Bucha when we are reminded of Lord Buddha's teachings. But we have allowed this thing which will mark the country with sin for a long time," Phra Thep Dilok, head of the National Center for Buddhism Promotion, told Reuters.
The chair of the Senate tourism committee, Suradech Yasawat, said the photos, which were splashed on the front pages of most Thai newspapers, had hurt the country's image. "It is completely inappropriate. When a contest is being held in Thailand, Thai traditions and culture should be respected," he told the Thai News Agency.
About 90 percent of Thailand's 63 million people are Buddhist and any slight against the religion can trigger a public outcry. And despite Bangkok's hundreds of go-go bars and its racy reputation as the "anything goes" sex capital of Southeast Asia, many Thais are uncomfortable with public nudity.
Now, the Buddhists are offended. Can I get a Hindu? Can I get a Sikh? Are you all offended?
Ok, let's shut down the entire world.
Hard At Work Writing Our Suicide Note ... Uh, Memoirs
From Bruce Thornton
, at Victor Davis Hanson's website:
Last week riots broke out in Afghanistan and Pakistan over an unfounded rumor, irresponsibly published by Newsweek magazine, that an American interrogator had flushed a Koran down the toilet. In response, the administration has been anxiously assuring the Muslim world that we indeed respect their religion and begging them to please like us.
Meanwhile, in last Friday's sermon televised on Palestinian Authority television the paid employee of the PA described the Jews as an AIDS-like virus responsible for all the world's evils, blamed their economic sabotage of Germany for the Holocaust, and predicted the future triumph of Islam over America, a time when "everything will be relieved of the Jews, even the stones and trees." Yes, this is the same Palestinian Authority whose elected leader, himself a published Holocaust denier, will soon visit the President of the United States and whose organization will receive millions of taxpayer dollars.
Anyone familiar with the history of Islam and its 14-centuries-long violent jihad against the West and the Jews will not be surprised or shocked by these events. They express perfectly the arrogant intolerance of a religion convinced it has been chosen by God to rule the world, and so is justified in using every means, whether violence or propaganda, to fulfill that divine mandate. As the final and complete revelation of the divine, Islam feels no need to respect or tolerate other religions or secular notions like "human rights," for they are all the detritus of infidel history to be swept away in the final triumph of the one true religion.
Hence, while we in the West anxiously monitor our words and deeds for even the slightest offense against Islamic sensibilities, we receive in exchange no such consideration; indeed, our eager protestations of respect merely excite more contempt. Thus even as we protest our respect for Islam, Jews continue to be vilified with anti-Semitic rhetoric redolent of Nazi Germany, Palestinian terrorists befoul one of Christianity's most sacred churches, the Al-Aksa mosque in Jerusalem still sits on the site of the Jewish Temple, and in Istanbul Hagia Sophia, once one of Christendom's greatest churches, is still a mosque. Worse still, a whole revisionist history in which the intolerant, imperialistic conqueror is transformed into the tolerant, peace-loving victim of Western imperialism is propagated by self-loathing Westerners whose bigotry against their own culture confirms the Islamist view that we are indeed Godless heathens and spiritual cripples.
Just look at Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, a truly Orwellian reversal of history in which the fanatical jihadists are depicted as tolerant and civilized, the Christian believers are caricatured as either venal hypocrites or psychopaths, and the only good Europeans are those who have lost their faith. The mentality that would spend over a hundred million dollars on this historical lie is that of a psychological dhimmi, the non-Moslem who concedes Islam's superiority and hence right to rule him. That is, the world-view of those for whom appetite and pleasure are the highest goods, flabby tolerance is the camouflage of moral exhaustion, and respect for the culture of the "other" is merely an expression of disbelief in the value of one's own.
In short, like the hand wringing of the administration over an obvious lie only the irrational and ignorant would believe, this willingness to demonize the culture that created you and to extol as superior the culture that wants to destroy you can only be described as suicidal.
Certainly the Islamist sees it that way, which is why he feels confident in predicting the ultimate triumph of his religion: he is willing to die and kill for his beliefs, whereas significant numbers of Westerners don't really believe that there is anything worth dying and killing for.
Well, At Least No One Said You Smell Like Cheese
From The Anchoress
This is kind of interesting. People in various EU countries were asked what they thought of the French. They weren’t fed anything, they were simply asked to provide five adjectives that summed up the French.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as “chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless”. However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations.
For the Germans, the French are “pretentious, offhand and frivolous”. The Dutch describe them as “agitated, talkative and shallow.” The Spanish see them as “cold, distant, vain and impolite” and the Portuguese as “preaching”. In Italy they comes across as “snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed” and the Greeks find them “not very with it, egocentric bons vivants”.
Interestingly, the Swedes consider them “disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty”.
But the knockout punch to French pride came in the way the poll was conducted. People were not asked what they hated in the French, just what they thought of them.
“Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French,” said Olivier Clodong, one of the study’s two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. “The answers were overwhelmingly negative.”
Was Robert Kennedy's AssassinA Palestinian Terrorist?
Here's some interesting information upon which to speculate. From Front Page Magazine
The controversy surrounding the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy has once again been resurrected with the publication of Peter Evans’s book ‘Nemesis’ in which the author accuses Aristotle Onassis of having ‘funded’ the assassination through an official of the PLO. The controversy has also provoked a number of Hollywood celebrities, including actor Robert Vaughn, to re-open the case.
For nearly 40 years conspiracy advocates have built their arguments not only around the controversies surrounding the ballistics evidence and the scene of the crime but the oft-repeated cry that the assassin had no real motive for his act. Yet there is a mountain of evidence to prove the contrary.
From the time he was a child Sirhan had been indoctrinated in ideologies that are at the center of his murderous act. Sirhan’s hatred had its roots in the milieu in which he was raised and the education he received. Later, as a young adult, Sirhan sought meaning to his increasingly hopeless life by embracing anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and Palestinian nationalism.
As a child Sirhan had been taught by Arab teachers who instilled in him the principles of the Palestinian cause. They promoted the cause of Palestinian nationalism and made constant references to the great Arab warrior, Saladin, who had expelled the foreign crusaders from Jerusalem. Teachers would attempt to inspire the children in their care to fight for Palestinian rights.
During Sirhan’s trial his mother related how the intense feelings of the Palestinians remained with the family even though they had been far removed from the conflict when they emigrated to America. She told of how her family had lived in Jerusalem for “thousands of years” and she spoke of the bitterness and hatred of the Israelis who had ‘taken their land’.
Mary Sirhan believed her son had killed Robert Kennedy because of his Arab nationalism. She said, “What he did, he did for his country.” Click here to read the rest
Focus Groups Reveal Anti-Semitic StereotypesIn the Islamic World
The Council on Foreign Relations recently published a focus-group-based report on how the American "brand" is doing in the Islamic World. From Associated Press
, via Little Green Footballs
Anti-American feelings are widespread in the Muslim world and extend to U.S. consumer brands, according to a report released Wednesday. It suggested the U.S. burnish its image with a change in tone and by publicizing aid programs.
The United States should emphasize its development aid to Muslim countries rather than try to persuade Muslims to support U.S. policies in Iraq or in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the Council on Foreign Relations report.
The report, by Charney Research, is based on 14 focus groups conducted last December and January among college-educated men and women in Egypt, Morocco and Indonesia.
Anger at U.S. foreign policy and at the U.S. government dominated spontaneous reactions in all three countries.
Many young Muslims said they admired Osama bin Laden, while views of President Bush were uniformly negative. All focus group members rejected U.S. views of the war in Iraq, saying the United States invaded on a false premise to further its own regional goals.
Anti-Semitic stereotypes also were noted. Focus group members saw the United States and Israel as synonymous and estimated the proportion of Jews in the U.S. population at up to 85 percent; it is 2 percent.
The report found negative opinions of the United States are taking a toll on U.S. companies, and that amounts of U.S. aid were massively underestimated; not one person in any focus group knew the U.S. is the world's largest donor by dollar amount.
Now, let's think about this for a second, shall we? Say you're with a major US corporation, and you're doing market research with a series of focus groups in order to complete a report on how your customers feel about your brand. But then, when you get the "customers" sitting around the conference table, you find that they are a bunch of skinheads.
Would you continue on with the report, studiously writing down the responses of the white supremacist freaks in your midst? Would you take that report back to your bosses, and explain, "Well, yes, they are skinheads, but you know what? They are our market."
Would you craft a new series of television commercials aimed at the "sensibilites" of your Nazi target market?
Let's look a little bit more of what the CFR's study brought out. What do the Muslims Nazi's want from the United States?
"Most Egyptians and Indonesians put U.S. support for their countries over 10 years in millions; the correct figures were $7.3 billion and $1 billion, respectively," the authors said.
When asked what they wanted from the United States, focus group members said respect and aid to develop as their countries choose.
Ok, check. Got that. They want us to give them money and keep our mouths shut. Right.