To hear the politically correct Left tell it, there are no muslim terrorists, merely non-specific "extremists" who aren't really muslims.
July 23 Update: According to many news reports, the bomber/shooter is not a muslim. Accusations of "extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalism" abound. Color me skeptical. Extreme? Yup. Right-wing? Maybe, but we'll see. Christian? No way.
Anyone who behaves as this man did is not following the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. The killer may think he's a Christian, but no rational reading of Jesus' teachings would lead to that conclusion. A person can sincerely think he's a kumquat, too.
This post by DrewM over at Ace of Spades HQ has really stirred up a hornets' nest in the comments. Drew slammed Herman Cain for a remark about banning mosques, and that kicked off the brawl. It makes me wonder what circumstances, if any, would convince a majority of Americans to support a ban on mosques ... or even the internment of all Muslims in America.
Don't automatically think "Oh, that'll never happen." After all, Americans of Japanese descent were interned during World War II.
4:00 UPDATE: Imagine this federal response:
The social/political/ideological system known around the world as Islam is not recognized in the United States as a religion.
The practice of Islam is therefore not protected under the 1st Amendment as to freedom of religion and speech.
As representatives of Islam around the world have declared war, and committed acts of war, against the United States and its democratic allies around the world, Islam is hereby declared an enemy of the United States and its practice within the United States is now prohibited.
Immediately upon passage of this Amendment all Mosques, schools and Muslim places of worship and religious training are to be closed, converted to other uses, or destroyed. Proceeds from sales of such properties may be distributed to congregations of said places but full disclosure of all proceeds shall be made to an appropriate agency as determined by Congress. No compensation is to be offered by Federal or State agencies for losses on such properties however Federal funding is to be available for the demolishing of said structures if other disposition cannot be made.
The preaching of Islam in Mosques, Schools, and other venues is prohibited. The subject of Islam may be taught in a post high school academic environment provided that instruction include discussion of Islam's history of violence, conquest, and its ongoing war on democratic and other non-Islamic values.
The preaching or advocating of Islamic ideals of world domination, destruction of America and democratic institutions, jihad against Judaism, Christianity and other religions, and advocating the implementation of Sharia law shall in all cases be punishable by fines, imprisonment, deportation, and death as prescribed by Congress. Violent expressions of these and other Muslim goals, or the material support of those both in the United States and around the world who seek to advance these Islamic goals shall be punishable by death.
Muslims will be denied the opportunity to immigrate to the United States.
Nothing in this amendment shall be construed as authorizing the discrimination against, of violence upon, nor repudiation of the individual rights of those Americans professing to be Muslim. The individual right of conscience is sacrosanct and the practice of Islam within the privacy of home and self is strictly protected to the extent that such individuals do not violate the prohibitions described in Article III.
Like it or not, this approach would avoid First Amendment obstacles.
Apparently the Norwegians have coined a new politically correct term.
So although the newly departed Mr. bin Laden and friends abuse our side's corpses and broadcast beheadings of civilians, we can't release photographs of UbL's corpse, because it will definitely incite violence from practitioners of a nonviolent religion, to which UbL doesn't belong because he was evil, but we buried him with honor in accordance with its tenets.
But releasing those photographs from Abu Ghraib a few years ago, well, that was totally different.
Got it. Makes perfect sense.
Steve Emerson has unearthed 13 hours of audio tape of Imam Rauf. Emerson and his team of investigators has spent the past four weeks going through the newly found material. Rauf is a "radical extremist cleric who cloaks himself in sheep's clothing."
Among the shocking revelations Emerson's team will reveal next week -- they found Rauf:
- Defending wahhabism - a puritanical version of Islam that governs Saudi Arabia
- Calling for the elimination of Israel by claiming a one-nation state, meaning no more Jewish State.
- Defending Bin Laden's violence
- Demonstrating that there is a lot more to this man than merely a cleric.
Follow the link and listen to the Emerson interview that broke this news.
8/23 Update: It begins.
In a stunning reversal of her long-cherished belief that the federal government knows best about everything, and certainly not due to any panic over the impending loss of her seat in the House of Representatives (you sexist racist hate-filled warmonger), Representative Betty Sutton (D-OH) finally ended her silence on the
Cordoba House Park 51 Ground Zero Debris Field Mosque, according to The Plain Dealer:
"This is a sensitive issue, especially for those most directly affected by the attack at Ground Zero, and I trust that those in the area are in the best position to find a solution," Copley Township Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton said on Tuesday.
[Challenger Tom] Ganley said "Obama and liberal leaders" have "acted in a way that is insensitive to families and friends of those victims we lost almost nine years ago." He said he supports New York Gov. David Patterson's effort to move the proposed mosque and Islamic cultural center to another location.
Ganley followed up on his Facebook page:
I am opposed to the mosque being built near the WTC memorial, though when asked by the Plain Dealer, my opponent will not say yes or no.
I guess Tom Ganley just doesn't understand how busy Betty is. She's got too much on her plate to respond to an issue that highlights her party's incoherence and incompetence in matters of national security and common decency. Ganley has yet to learn that in the world of our Washington ruling class, all matters are best decided by bureaucrats and czars in DC unless it would embarrass a Democrat incumbent to take a position. In such rare cases, these matters become Local Issues™.
I wonder if Betty agrees with Speaker Nancy Pelosi that opponents of the Hamasque should be investigated? Perhaps people like these should be the first ones to be called to testify at the next Democrat Party show trial:
"Never Forget" is just a slogan when there's an election to be won, y'know.
The definitive takedown is on The Corner, but here's the summary.
Boy, we racist hateful Christianist wingnut islamophobes sure don't understand honor killings, do we?
So much for the "Religion of Peace."
That is one brave young man.
In just a shade over three minutes, we see what members of the Muslim Student Association think of Jews:
You heard right.
David Horowitz: If you don't condemn Hamas, obviously you support it. Case closed. I have had this experience at UC Santa Barbara, where there were 50 members of the Muslim Students Association sitting right in the rows there. And throughout my hour talk I kept asking them, will you condemn Hizbollah and Hamas. And none of them would. And then when the question period came, the president of the Muslim Students Association was the first person to ask a question. And I said, 'Before you start, will you condemn Hizbollah?' And he said, 'Well, that question is too complicated for a yes or no answer.' So I said, 'Okay, I'll put it to you this way. I am a Jew. The head of Hizbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn't have to hunt us down globally. For or Against it?
MSA member: For it.
That wasn't some screaming, rock-throwing, uneducated kid in Ramallah. From the sound of it
Jimena Imad Musa Ahmal Bahiri Jumanah Imad Albahri is an American, and she's not only college educated but also deceptively charming and well spoken. This exchange was caught on video at the University of California, San Diego just two days ago. In case you've never heard of them, the MSA is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.
Allen West calls Islam what it is.
It's a violent philosophical/political system with religious trappings. If you want to stop the jihad, there are two choices: submit, or tear the whole belief system up by the roots. "Radical Islam" and "Fundamentalist Islam" are both redundant terms. Islam itself is the problem.
Hat tip: iOwnTheWorld
If jihadist ideology is supposedly a perversion of true Islam, how can it be "Islamophobic" to identify and remove jihadists from our military?
From the demography-is-destiny file:
The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in just four years, according to official research collated for The Times.
The population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society, the research by the Office for National Statistics reveals. In the same period the number of Christians in the country fell by more than 2 million.
Say hello to Londonistan.
On January 11th the former publisher of The Western Standard was hauled before the Alberta Human Rights Commission to answer for his decision to publish the "offensive" Danish cartoons of Mohammed. Ezra Levant's editorial decision got under the skin of hypersensitive islamist imam Syed Soharwardy. The whiny radical filed a complaint with the AHRC demanding a public apology from Mr. Levant.
Dude picked the wrong target.
There may be hope for Canada yet. More details at EzraLevant.com.
Stephen Coughlin, an expert on jihadist ideology, made the mistake of pointing out what our Muslim enemies believe. In response, a touchy Muslim aide working for Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England got Coughlin fired.
[Coughlin] had run afoul of a key aide to Mr. England, Hasham Islam, who confronted Mr. Coughlin during a meeting several weeks ago when Mr. Islam sought to have Mr. Coughlin soften his views on Islamist extremism.
Mr. Coughlin was accused directly by Mr. Islam of being a Christian zealot or extremist "with a pen," according to defense officials. Mr. Coughlin appears to have become one of the first casualties in the war of ideas with Islamism.
The officials said Mr. Coughlin was let go because he had become "too hot" or controversial within the Pentagon.
Mr. Coughlin wrote a memorandum several months ago based on documents made public in a federal trial in Dallas that revealed a covert plan by the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian-origin Islamist extremist group, to subvert the United States using front groups. Members of one of the identified front groups, the Islamic Society of North America, has been hosted by Mr. England at the Pentagon.
I wonder what my blogging colleague Patrick Poole thinks about this travesty. I'd love to know what ties Hasham Islam might have to the ISNA.
H/T: Hot Air
Allah Allah Allah.
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So there. Bite me.
H/T: Hot Air
The chairman of the history department at Kent State University just got himself canned. He allowed his department's resident jihad booster, Professor Julio Pino, to take six weeks of leave to attend a conference ... in the Persian Gulf.
That's a good start. Now KSU needs to fire Julio.
Two publicly-funded charter schools in the Columbus area, International Academy of Columbus and Westside Academy, are run by Islamic extremists tied to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), according to Patrick Poole:
Even though many of the new students are learning English as a new language, an essential tool for helping them integrate into their new community, the schools instead focuses on Arabic as part of their core curriculum. As a result, standardized test scores for the schools are well below state standards; and yet Ohio educrats continue to give the project new life, pumping millions of taxpayer dollars into each school every year to keep the schools open and renewing their contracts. One board member for both schools has even co-authored an article advocating an educational policy of "selected acculturation" and "accommodation without assimilation" to "encourage Somali youth to develop an adversarial identity that will put them at odds with mainstream society" - thus trapping the students in a cycle of perpetual cultural alienation and isolation.
The student population of both schools is overwhelmingly drawn from the Central Ohio Somali community, which itself is comprised of refugees who fled their war-torn country to escape from the warlords and clan warfare that have torn the country apart since 1991. Sadly, these refugees have arrived only to find the warlords and clan leaders in charge of the very public and private institutions here in the US intended to help them resettle and adjust to life in their new home.
One of the new educational warlords these unsuspecting Somali families are encountering is Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR national vice chairman, who is listed as one of the incorporators of both charter schools, and who is listed as the treasurer of International Academy. Joining him on the board of both schools is Abukar Arman, the Somali terror apologist who was recently forced to resign from the Central Ohio Homeland Security oversight board following my FrontPage exposé regarding his published statements of support for terrorist organizations and individuals (see, "Hometown Jihad: The Somali Terror Apologist Next Door" and "Terror Sympathizer Tossed from Homeland Security Oversight Panel"). Arman identifies himself as the board president of Westside Academy and March 2005 press release announcing his appointment to a government board lists him as "building director" of International Academy.
Students at the two schools perform badly on standardized tests. The International Academy of Columbus reports dismal scores, and the Westside Academy has no scores at all. Abysmal academic performance and shrinking enrollment aren't the only problems. Poole suggests that the CAIR members who founded these schools have skimmed profits from both operations. And how does militant Islamist proselytizing grab you?
Extremist politics, rather than education concerns, seems to be the driving factor of the schools. One of the leaders of the two schools admits to creating a program designed to keep students from integrating into the "racist" American mainstream. In a published education article, "Educating Immigrant Youth in the United States", Abukar Arman and his co-author lay out an educational plan of keeping Somali children from integrating into their new culture, and cite the experience of International Academy as the best example of their recommended "selected acculturation" educational philosophy in practice.
Another indicator of the partisan political and sectarian use of these schools is in an anti-Israel "teach-in" sponsored by CAIR-OH held at International Academy in September 2006, entitled "Palestine 101". The event was co-sponsored by a number of Marxist and extremist organizations: The Committee for Justice in Palestine, International Socialist Union, World Can't Wait-Columbus, and Not In Our Name-Columbus. CAIR national official and school treasurer Ahmad Al-Akhras served as one of the panelists.
These aren't private schools; they're public charter schools that get bucket-loads of taxpayer funding from Ohio's educrats. And if that isn't enough to raise your hackles, Poole's article points out that the CAIR bunch just incorporated a new charter
madrassa school: Eastside Academy.
Also, see what the charming folks at CAIR have been up to lately in their advocacy for The Religion of Peace™.
While I was in a questioning mood, I threw these into the mix:
I have two detailed questions.
1) Are America and political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") at war? If so, should America seek to achieve anything more than dismantling al Qaeda and capturing/killing Osama bin Laden?
2) Should America forcibly crush and discredit political Islam (a.k.a. "sharia") while preserving individual Muslims' right to worship peacefully? If so, how? If not, what will the consequences be for America?
How about it, Betty?
Islam is a violent religion. Not just Islamism. Not just Salafist Islam. Not just "radical" Islam. Islam, period.
Don't take my word for it. Read the words of a former member of the terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiya, a man named Tawfik Hamid.
Attention all muslim imams: the next time you fly on an American airline, be sure to obey the Eight Rules of Flight Club.
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin
Nobody has any control over things like the country they're born in, their sex, or their race, but a person's religious beliefs do not fall into that same category. Believing in Islam is something a person chooses to do.
Keep that distinction in mind when you read Dean Esmay's challenge to Michelle Malkin and other conservatives for their alleged islamophobia. Don't miss Michelle's response, as well as retorts by The Jawa Report, Bryan Preston, Donald Sensing, and Dean's own wife Rosemary Esmay.
Sunday's vile Islamic protest outside a London cathedral inspired me to "pull a Reuters" on the photographs taken by Joee Blogs:
At least it would've been honest.
Are you bothered by the terms "Islamofascism" or "Islamic Fascism"? Don't be. Here's a small sample of people who argue effectively in favor of recognizing the reality that's staring us in the face.
Update: The Religion of
Update: Joseph Loconte diagnoses "The Fascist Disease" in The Weekly Standard.
Given this enduring (and ignoble) historical legacy, it remains to be seen whether contemporary Muslim religious authorities—particularly those within Palestinian society, and affiliated with Hamas or Fatah—will condemn publicly the forced conversions of the kidnapped Fox reporters. Moreover, will they be joined by a chorus of authoritative voices representing the entire Muslim clerical hierarchy—Sunni and Shi’ite alike—from Mecca and Cairo, Qom and Najaf, to the Muslim advocacy groups in the West (such as CAIR in the United States, and the Muslim Council of Britain in England)—unanimous in their condemnation of this hideous practice, and formalized by a fatwa stating as much? Will such Muslim authorities at least recognize the acute predicament of Centanni and Wiig by issuing a fatwa stating that their “conversion”, being under duress, was not bona fide, condemning in advance any Muslim who might now attack these journalists for “apostasy” from Islam?
What should be gleaned from this harrowing Gazan spectacle of non-Muslim journalists being kidnapped, imprisoned for nearly two weeks, and coerced at gunpoint into converting to Islam, while condemning their own societies? We must avoid indulging fantasies (such as those already expressed by the kidnapped Fox reporters upon their release) triggered by understandable Stockholm Syndrome reactions, or learned, fearful dhimmitude. Unsettling realities of the historical continuum of forced conversion to Islam must be discussed. The living Islamic fanaticism of the past cannot be allowed to poison the present (and future), unchallenged by Muslims themselves.
I'm not holding my breath.
LaShawn Barber asks "Christians, what would you do if some maniac held a gun to your head and asked you to deny Christ or die? Would you deny the Savior?" I hope that if I'm ever in that situation, I'll have the courage to die for my Savior. [Update: something like this would be good.]
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin
Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig are finally free:
Centanni, in a phone interview shortly after his release, said "I'm fine. I'm just so happy to be free."
He said he was so emotional because he was out and alive.
"There were times when I thought 'I'm dead,' and I'm not," Centanni said. "I'm fine. I'm so very happy."
Both of the men were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint, Centanni said.
"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint," Centanni told FOX News. "Don't get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn't know what the hell was going on."
Surely Centanni and Wiig don't consider themselves to be Muslims now. Do they?
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin
Update: Olly olly oxen free!
Dean Barnett looks into the abyss of Islamism:
The evidence continues to pour in that the Islamic World is undergoing its own great awakening. So obvious is the phenomenon, even the New York Times took notice of it yesterday. In a story that observed the triumph of Islamism, the combination of orthodox Islam with political power, the Times declared pan-Arab Islamism “a wave already washing over the region.”
Such reports don’t provide comfort. An expansionist and aggressive form of Pan-Arab Islam seems to be something that we as a society currently lack the bandwidth to handle. Instead, we choose to convince ourselves that those who intend us harm are confined to lunatic fringe groups like Al Qaeda.
With the success of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood at the ballot box, this view is becoming increasingly untenable. Also disquieting is the huge popularity that Hezbollah now basks in after its war with Israel.
The comforting false hopes is that there’s some way we can achieve peace in our time by combining obsequious diplomacy and carefully targeted ignorance. This view disregards recent history. Bill Clinton and his lackeys spent eight years assiduously endeavoring to be an honest broker in the Middle East. The distinctions between Israel and a murderous tyrant like Yasser Arafat eluded President Clinton’s highly refined sense of morality.
And what did these policies bring? Blown up embassies, nearly sunk destroyers, an attack on the World Trade Center. None of these things brought a muscular response. In fairness to Clinton, his policies as always reflected the daily opinion polls – as a people, we hoped that if we left the region alone or successfully appeased it, the region could pursue its honor killings, subjugation of women, murder of homosexuals and occasional genocides without bothering us.
Others more acutely recognize the threat, but are hamstrung by their fealty to political correctness. If a major daily paper ever wrote an essay like this one, CAIR would pitch a fit. Writing pieces like this invariably brings angry rebukes from those who refuse to look into the abyss and would rather focus their considerable capacity for rage at less formidable targets than hundreds of millions of angry, dangerous people.
But an abyss is what we face. And looking away won’t change a thing.
Update: At least the British population is waking up.
The term "Islamofascism" was introduced by the French writer Maxine Rodinson (1915-2004) to describe the Iranian Revolution of 1978. Rodinson was a Marxist, who described as "fascist" any movement of which he disapproved. But we should be grateful to him for coining a word that enables people on the left to denounce our common enemy. After all, other French leftists -- Michel Foucault, for example -- had welcomed the revolution as an amusing threat to Western interests. It is only now that people on the left can acknowledge that they are just as much a target as the rest of us, in a war that has global chaos as its goal.
The word has therefore caught on, not least because it provides a convenient way of announcing that you are not against Islam but only against its perversion by the terrorists. But this prompts the question whether terrorism is really as alien to Islam as we should all like to believe. Despite his communist sympathies, Rodinson was a peaceful soul, who spent seven years teaching in a Muslim school in Lebanon and wrote a biography of Muhammad in which the prophet is portrayed as a mild-mannered campaigner for social justice. But this biography was denounced by the Egyptian authorities as an offense to Islam, was withdrawn from the curriculum of the American University in Cairo, and has ever since been banned in Muslim countries.
This readiness to take offense is not yet terrorism -- but it is a sign of the deep-down insecurity of the Muslim psyche in the modern world. In the presence of Islam, we all feel, you have to tread carefully, as though humoring a dangerous animal. The Koran must never be questioned; Islam must be described as a religion of peace -- isn't that the meaning of the word? -- and jokes about the prophet are an absolute no-no. If religion comes up in conversation, best to slip quietly away, accompanying your departure with abject apologies for the Crusades. And in Europe this pussyfooting is now being transcribed into law, with "Islamophobia" already a crime in Belgium and movements across the continent to censor everything at which a Muslim might take offence, including articles like this one.
We can't fight our enemies effectively until we admit who they are. With every passing day I'm less willing to make a sharp distinction between Islamofascism and Islam. Unless muslims fix their violence-prone faith, I'm going to start lumping all of them together as coreligionists, and I'll consider them all enemies of civilization. Time's a-wastin', folks. We in the West are not endlessly patient. When we eventually get serious, whole cultures die.
Victor Davis Hanson suspects that our Islamist foes are pushing the civilized West dangerously close to the point of no return:
Yet for all their threats, what the Islamists -- from Hezbollah in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley to the Iranian government in Tehran to the jihadists in Iraq's Sunni Triangle -- don't understand is that they are slowly pushing tired Westerners into a corner. If diplomacy, or aid, or support for democracy, or multiculturalism, or withdrawal from contested lands, does not satisfy radical Islamists, what would?
What then would be the new Western approach to terrorism? Hard and quick retaliation -- but without our past concern for nation-building, or offering a democratic alternative to theocracy and autocracy, or even worrying about whether other Muslims are unfairly lumped in with Islamists who operate freely in their midst.
Any new policy of retaliation -- in light both of Sept. 11 and the messy efforts to birth democracies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and the West Bank -- would be something of an exasperated return to the old cruise-missile payback. Yet in the new world of Iranian nukes and Hezbollah missiles, the West would hit back with something far greater than a cruise missile.
If they are not careful, a Syria or Iran really will earn a conventional war -- not more futile diplomacy or limited responses to terrorism. And history shows that massive attacks from the air are something that the West does well.
I've been thinking along similar lines lately, myself.
Investor's Business Daily recently asked some pointed questions and waited for answers from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR):
Is Islam the only religion with a doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates warfare against unbelievers?
Is it true that 26 chapters of the Quran deal with jihad, a fight able-bodied believers are obligated to join (Surah 2:216), and that the text orders Muslims to "instill terror into the hearts of the unbeliever" and to "smite above their necks" (8:12)?
Is the "test" of loyalty to Allah not good acts or faith in general, but martyrdom that results from fighting unbelievers (47:4) � the only assurance of salvation in Islam (4:74; 9:111)?
Are the sins of any Muslim who becomes a martyr forgiven by the very act of being slain while slaying the unbelievers (4:96)?
And is it really true that martyrs are rewarded with virgins, among other carnal delights, in Paradise (38:51, 55:56; 55:76; 56:22)?
Are those unable to do jihad � such as women or the elderly � required to give "asylum and aid" to those who do fight unbelievers in the cause of Allah (8:74)?
Does Islam advocate expansion by force? And is the final command of jihad, as revealed to Muhammad in the Quran, to conquer the world in the name of Islam (9:29)?
Is Islam the only religion that does not teach the Golden Rule (48:29)? Does the Quran instead teach violence and hatred against non-Muslims, specifically Jews and Christians (5:50)?
IBD is still waiting to hear from the "moderates." What a surprise.
Go read Mark Steyn's latest column on Afghanistan citizen Abdul Rahman's death sentence* for converting from Islam to Christianity. A few gems:
As always, we come back to the words of Osama bin Laden: ''When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.'' That's really the only issue: the Islamists know our side has tanks and planes, but they have will and faith, and they reckon in a long struggle that's the better bet. Most prominent Western leaders sound way too eager to climb into the weak-horse suit and audition to play the rear end.
I can understand why the president and the secretary of state would rather deal with this through back-channels, private assurances from their Afghan counterparts, etc. But the public rhetoric is critical, too. At some point we have to face down a culture in which not only the mob in the street but the highest judges and academics talk like crazies.
* : Rahman has already been "freed" ... sort of.
Do you remember that earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld described our War on Terror as not just a conventional military conflict, but also as a war of wills? With that in mind, consider this list of principles of politically-correct leftism:
- There is no truth, only competing agendas.
- All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West's history of racism and colonialism.
- There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
- The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
- Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
- The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
- For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But 'oppressed' people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
- When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist's point of view, and make concessions.
It all sounds familiar to anybody who's had to sit through a typical lefty professor's rambling political rants, or to anybody who reads The New York Times.
A blogger named Eric S. Raymond came up with this particular list, and he gives a name to the ideology it forms: "suicidalism." He argues in a few recent posts that we in the West have swallowed this weak-willed worldview hook, line, and sinker.
In a fascinating post, Raymond cuts through the fog and diagnoses our society's problem:
Last week I heard Tony Blankley discussing his new book about Islam on two radio talk shows (I believe they were Michael Medved and Laura Ingraham), and in the course of the conversations I heard that Robert Spencer had a new book out too. Naturally, I bought both.
The West's Last Chance:
Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam
(And the Crusades)
They arrived yesterday, and I'm looking forward to reading them this week.
Iraqi state television aired a video yesterday showing what the U.S.-funded channel said was the confession of a captured Syrian officer, who said he trained Iraqi terrorists to behead people and build car bombs to attack American and Iraqi troops.
He also said the terrorists practiced beheading animals to train for decapitating hostages.
Later, Al Iraqiya aired another round of interviews with men it said were Sudanese and Egyptians who also trained in Syria to carry out attacks in Iraq.
More at Instapundit.
Do the Jihadi Joe action figures who took
John Adam "Special Ops Cody" hostage get 72 Barbie dolls if they die for Allah? Silly me, I meant 72 Razanne dolls (see photo to right), not the blonde-haired Western she-devils.
Of course, you can just take the mercenary's shortcut ... for $644.40 you can buy 72 Razannes and have Paradise on Earth (after about 7 business days for shipping and handling). But the company doesn't ship to Belarus, Indonesia, Liberia, Pakistan, Nigeria, or Romania ... so if you're plotting Toy Jihad© there, you'll just have to blow your plastic self up at a Barbie Fashion Show Mall.
Speaking of ridiculous jihadis (yes, yes, I know it's redundant), do you remember Evil Bert appearing with Osama?
Click on the unaltered (I swear!) picture below for all the background info.
Too funny. I sense a photoshopping contest approaching ...
UPDATE: Save Elmo!
UPDATE 2: When will it end? Oh, the humanity ...
UPDATE 3: At least we caught Osama, so we've got that goin' for us. Which is nice.
UPDATE 4: The blogosphere gutted this farce in short order. I love this hobby.
UPDATE 5: The geniuses at Democratic Underground took the bait ... hook, line, and sinker.
A former Vice President of Iran who runs his own blog just publicized a new round of allegations that Iranian government officials have been torturing dissident bloggers again. I say "allegations" because I can't read Farsi, and I haven't seen any news stories confirming the charges.
But it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
I wonder if this isn't being reported because CNN and friends have struck another sweetheart deal with a nasty regime, exchanging silence for permission to stay in-country? Time will tell.
On Hugh's show tonight I heard his Israeli friend Yoni describe how his neighbor and friend was savagely slaughtered recently by an Arab
nationalist insurgent criminal terrorist. Although I understand the urge to call the murderer a "subhuman monster" or somesuch, I can't agree with that description. These murderers are humans. They're moral agents who consciously choose to do evil, and that's why they deserve condemnation and death. Don't cheapen the horrific nature of what they do by giving them the same "out" we'd give a rattlesnake. These people are worse.
Go drop a donation at Yoni's site to help ease the financial woes of this poor murdered woman's husband and four children.
In a survey published on Friday, Cornell University called 715 Americans on the phone and asked them their attitudes toward Muslims. Some of the respondents indicated a willingness to impose certain restrictions on Muslims in America, but even more respondents opposed any restrictions on civil rights at all.
In all, about 44 percent said they believe that some curtailment of civil liberties is necessary for Muslim Americans.
Conversely, 48 percent of respondents nationally said they do not believe that civil liberties for Muslim Americans should be restricted.
When you see headlines in the next few days bemoaning the news that "nearly half" of Americans favor "curtailing the civil rights of Muslims", try to remember that even more Americans do not favor any restrictions at all. By a 4% margin. In a poll with a margin of error of 3.6%. Got that?
The survey also examined the relation of religiosity to perceptions of Islam and Islamic countries among Christian respondents. Sixty-five percent of self-described highly religious people queried said they view Islam as encouraging violence more than other religions do; in comparison, 42 percent of the respondents who said they were not highly religious saw Islam as encouraging violence. In addition, highly religious respondents also were more likely to describe Islamic countries as violent (64 percent), fanatical (61 percent) and dangerous (64 percent). Fewer of the respondents who said they were not highly religious described Islamic countries as violent (49 percent), fanatical (46 percent) and dangerous (44 percent). But 80 percent of all respondents said they see Islamic countries as being oppressive toward women.
This isn't surprising. I'd bet a pile of cash that if you do a survey of people who seriously practice Religion A, and ask them about their perceptions of serious believers in Religion B, there's going to be a marked difference in perception as compared to the general non-religious population. By definition, serious believers think that they've found the truth. It's no shock that they'd have misgivings about serious believers in a different religion, especially if the two groups make mutually exclusive claims about topics essential to one or both belief systems.
[James Shanahan, Cornell associate professor of communication and a principal investigator in the study] notes: "Most Americans understand that balancing political freedoms with security can sometimes be difficult. Nevertheless, while a majority of Americans support civil liberties even in these difficult times, and while more discussion about civil liberties is always warranted, our findings highlight that personal religiosity as well as exposure to news media are two important correlates of support for restrictions. We need to explore why these two very important channels of discourse may nurture fear rather than understanding."
If you're convinced that Jesus is the unique Son of God, if you think Muhammad was no prophet, and if you pay attention to news reports of beheadings and suicide bombings carried out by self-professed followers of Muhammad, you're probably going to feel some trepidation about Islam. Plus there's that whole 9/11 thing, which probably matters to an American or two.
Next week, Cornell will report on the inexplicable correlation between committed belief in Judaism, knowledge of 20th Century history, and fear of fascism.
Michael Scott Doran argues Muslim anti-Americanism is mostly hot air. If he's right, then every American setback isn't automatically a win for Al Qaeda.
Athena, an American blogger studying in Jordan, gives a chilling example of the deep cultural roots of honor killings.
Today I was visiting the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan and my roommate, we�ll call here Sally, went with me because she had to meet with the same professor as I.
She started crying in the taxi on the way back home telling me about her experience the other night with her Jordanian boyfriend, we�ll call him Malik.
Sally and Malik haven�t been dating for very long and I won�t go into the details of their relationship, but she really did like this guy, and I liked him as well. He seemed very Western, spoke English well, acted respectably, dressed nice, came from an affluent and well-off family. He even lived in Europe for two years and had relationships with girls there.
They went out to eat last night and she brought up the subject of honor killings.
Take my advice and read the rest ... then bookmark Athena's blog, Terrorism Unveiled. She's the blogosphere's undercover agent in Jordan, so you can count on reading some fascinating takes on the clash between West and East.
UPDATE: A Jordanian blogger named Natasha has taken up Athena's challenge with her own post at Mental Mayhem. Be sure to scroll down and read the comments after the post. I think Athena's getting the better of Natasha in this exchange, but Natasha writes well (although she's a bit quick on the "Racism!" trigger).
When you get frustrated with the traffic at your local mall, consider the behavior of Saudis during Ramadan, as explained in a letter to Victor David Hanson from an American living in Saudi Arabia:
The third week of Ramadan I ran into Mohammed at work. He looked haggard and exhausted, but still a bit more lively than most. "I'm starting to see dead people," he said dreamily. Then he wandered off down the hall like a ghost.
I was beginning to see dead people too; Saudis shaking and shuffling to their desks to vegetate until it was time to go home and sleep.
Saudis have their own peculiar way of observing Ramadan. During Ramadan the Saudis flip their lifestyles from day to night. True, they do abstain from food, water, and sexual intercourse, during the day. What they deny themselves in the sunlight they more than make up for in the dark. Most Saudis gain weight during Ramadan. Like camels storing nourishment and water in the form of fat in their humps for long treks across the desert, the Saudis gorge on food and drink during the night for the perilous journey from dawn to dusk the following day.
Nightlife in the heart of the Magic Kingdom during Ramadan is frenzied. Shops and restaurants stay open until late in the morning. Some don't bother closing until just before sunrise. Stores are congested. Restaurants are full. Traffic is bumper to bumper. There are Ramadan Special Offers and Ramadan Sells and Ramadan Drawings and Ramadan Discounts everywhere as stores vie for customers.
Aside from an occasional catnap before iftar (the first evening meal at sundown, when you break fast) and after suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) no one bothers to sleep. Sleep can be postponed until the weekend, when you can snooze all day long to your heart's content, which is exactly what the Saudis do. On Thursdays and Fridays (weekend in this part of the world) during Ramadan the heart of the Magic Kingdom becomes one massive necropolis. Streets are completely empty. Shops are closed. Aside from police at checkpoints on the lookout for terrorists it's as though the entire city has been abandoned.
One discernible impact of the lack of sleep during Ramadan is a tremendous rise in traffic accidents. Driving in Arabia is dangerous anytime of the year, but during Ramadan it is like playing Russian roulette, only with cars instead of bullets.
Be thankful our holiday behavior's only minor-league insane.
Alas, the quagmire that is Iraq threatens to swallow arrogant America whole. Woe is us. We're doomed ... doomed, I say!
Happy to hear a Western kufr who's sorry about his government's foolish adventure in a sovreign country overseas? Rejoice, noble warriors. Now that you're here, my dear Yahoo and Google searchers from the Middle East and Europe (yes I noticed the spike), let's look at what's going on in Iraq.
First, Margaret Hassan. This British interloper claimed to be an aid worker for a charity, and claimed to be a Muslim. But everyone knows she was really a spy for the Mossad, the evil organization responsible for the September 11th attacks, Yasser Arafat's poisoning, and itchy wool sweaters (damned jooooooos). Margaret Hassan got what was coming to her. Praise be to Allah, here's the video.
An American correspondent captured footage of a U.S. Marine shooting someone in a mosque, which is now being broadcast all over the Arab media. What possible reason could there be for shooting a motionless man lying on the ground? Here's the video of the Marine committing unjustified murder, my Middle Eastern friends. Watch it and seethe.
There's also news that the U.S. Marine Corps has re-opened its investigation into the disappearance of Wassef Ali Hassoun, the Marine of Lebanese descent who disappeared earlier this year and appeared in a hostage video, only to return to his unit unharmed. Why a renewed investigation? Some of his personal effects, including his passport and identification card, turned up in Fallujah. Maybe he's a mujahideen in secret? We dhimmis-in-waiting can only hope.
Now, as news finally begins to get past the oppressive John Ashcroft and his Crusaders in the Zionist American Government, we see that the poor residents of Fallujah hate their American oppressors. But then, I'm not surprised, since the mujahideen who ruled Fallujah had made such bold steps toward reestablishing the caliphate. Anybody would be upset to lose such enlightened leaders.
It's now more clear than ever that America should have trusted the United Nations to administer international relations with Iraq. After all, France has been such a wonderful example of multilateral nuance ... we could learn so much from them.
Onward Muslim soldiers! Celebrate your impending victory by watching this raw footage of your jihad's success.
The Netherlands are very friendly and quite liberal. Multiculturalism's got a lot of fans among the Dutch, who are a polite and patient people. But when you repeatedly stomp on their toes and their collective fuse finally burns down ... step back. They are not passive.
Theo van Gogh was a distant relative of the famous painter. He made movies, and his newest film, Submission, criticizes muslim attitudes toward (and abuse of) women. An Islamist recently demonstrated his disapproval of Van Gogh's movie after spotting him on the street.
His attacker was a Dutch Moroccan who wore traditional Islamic clothing. After shooting van Gogh, he stabbed him repeatedly, slit his throat with a butcher knife, and left a note containing verses from the Qur'an on the body.
By "left a note", Spencer means "pinned a note to the victim's chest with two knives."
UPDATE: Pieter Dorsman of Peaktalk is an American of Dutch extraction who's covering the van Gogh murder and its fallout, and he's doing it quite well (thanks for pointing this blog out, Arthur). Give Zacht Ei a look, too.
UPDATE 2: Professor Goose gets it.
There's just one week to go. Lately there's been speculation about whether a terror attack might occur on American soil before Election Day, and if so, what effect it might have on the outcome of the presidential election. I've been mulling this over and I think it's too late for any attack here to hurt President Bush's chances. At this point an attack can only help him, and I think the terrorists know it. Let me explain.
Terrorists have attacked and killed vacationing Israelis in the Egyptian Sinai in or near Taba with car bombs. So far, the front of the Hilton Taba Resort is gone. Stay on top of things with Google News.
Results of the two smaller blasts at campgrounds in Ras Shitan: 4 dead.
April 15, 2011 Update: It's nice to be useful.
What with the recent spate of beheadings perpetrated by muslims in Iraq, this post from a few months back strikes a chord. I've reprinted it in its entirety.
Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness that should not be associated with acts of violence against the innocent.
After 9/11 and two wars, I'm skeptical of that claim, but until recently I had nothing but anecdotal evidence to lean on. This week, I went looking for facts to help me evaluate CAIR's assertion. I originally thought that in the worst case, as many as 10% of Muslims might support suicide bombing. It turns out I'm a starry-eyed optimist. Over 270 million Muslims (that's consistent with the over one third of all Muslims surveyed) approve of suicide bombings, if the data's accurate.
I hope I'm overestimating, but unfortunately I think I'm right.
First, my sources. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press recently conducted two surveys of Muslim attitudes, one called "What the World Thinks in 2002" (12/4/2002) and the other called "A Year After Iraq War" (3/16/2004). Both reports listed the percentage of Muslim respondents who thought suicide bombings were acceptable. The pertinent part of the 2002 report covered Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and Uzbekistan. The pertinent part of the 2004 report covered Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, and Jordan. I also looked through the CIA's World Factbook to get demographic information on each country.
Next, my assumptions and biases. I'm assuming that the folks at The Pew Center and the CIA have published accurate information. I pray the Pew folks got wildly overstated results ... but the pessimist in me doubts that. My bias has long been decidedly unfavorable toward Islam, and it's been worse since 9/11. I'm an evangelical Christian conservative, a registered Republican, and a military veteran. I judge individual Muslims on their own behavior, and have known several quite nice ones. Nevertheless I consider Islam in general to be a threat to the Judeo-Christian culture and liberties that we enjoy here in America.
That said, let's crunch the numbers. Approval rates for suicide bombing range from Uzbekistan's 7% up to Jordan's 86%. With 710,884,350 Muslims in these sixteen countries, an average of 38.3% approve of suicide bombings. That comes to 272,564,884 potential Muslim suicide bombers.
Anybody got a flak jacket I can borrow?
I can hear the protests already. "But that's not a representative sample!" Alright, point taken. Perhaps the good folks at The Pew Center should ask people in more countries about their attitudes (assuming those dictatorships allow them in to begin with). Ask them about their chosen venues, not me. I just run their numbers. But fine, I'll humor the Muslim apologists. Let's cast a wider net right here and now.
Let's add in twelve more places with significant Muslim populations: Afghanistan, Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, the USA, and the West Bank. We have demographic information from the CIA as before, but the Pew studies didn't cover those countries, so we don't know how many of these Muslims think suicide bombing is acceptable. For the sake of argument I'll be insanely generous and estimate that it's a mere 1%. I'll go even further; in the USA and Israel I'll call it just 0.1%, since Muslims in these two countries are presumably enlightened and moderate. I'll even use CAIR's very optimistic estimate of a U.S. Muslim population of seven million, just to show I'm a nice guy. With those estimates, what shakes out for these twelve countries/territories? We have 250,738,931 Muslims ... 2,436,352 of whom are in favor of suicide bombing. Israel has only 893 of its own to watch out for. How many in America, land of the 99.9% peace-loving Muslim? Seven thousand.
Better get crackin', Team Ashcroft.
Merge my incredibly low-ball estimates with the original Pew data, and we get 275,001,236 suicide bombing fans (28.6% of the total). Keep in mind that these figures are drastically skewed toward the low end because of my concession to the "99% peace-loving" meme. Any takers on whether the Saudis, Syrians, Iranians, and Palestinians show a smidgen more than 1% approval?
So, is this The Religion of Peace™? You be the judge.
Again with the beheadings.
I'm not surprised. Hopefully we'll preserve our collective outrage over this, but I suspect this kind of thing's already becoming blasé in our jaded and media-saturated culture. Amid all the outrage expressed in the blogosphere, I've noticed a theme that needs correcting if we're going to keep the right perspective. My blogging brethren often express their fury with epithets like "animals" and "subhuman scum" when they refer to the evil men who saw off captives' heads in the name of a "merciful Allah." It's understandable to use those labels, but it's not right because it lets these evil muslims off the hook for their actions.
We feel anger when we find out about these slaughters precisely because these evil men are more than just animals. They're people, and that means they know better. When a cougar mauls a child, we hunt it down and kill it without much passion because it's a dumb animal with no sense of morality. When men shoot fleeing children in the back or saw off the heads of helpless civilians, they earn our undying enmity because they know they're committing evil.
For you left-leaning readers who feel uncomfortable with arguments based on right and wrong, think of this from a legal perspective. The Model Penal Code (which forms the basis for many states' criminal codes) breaks down most crimes into four categories, asking whether the perpetrator committed the crime negligently, recklessly, knowingly, or purposefully. If a man fires a gun through a flimsy backstop in his backyard and the bullet accidentally kills his neighbor's child, we'll likely prosecute him for negligent homicide. But we hold him less culpable than the man who recklessly fires his gun into the air and kills the child playing in her yard two streets over. Worse still is the man who fires his rifle over a crowd of children, knowing he'll probably kill someone. Worst of all is the man who fires a bullet into a fleeing child's back for the purpose of killing her. Even our legal system emphasizes degrees of culpability and the importance of the perpetrator's state of mind. It's about as close to moral condemnation as our relativistic legal system ever gets.
I think the moral argument and our inherent sense of right and wrong provides the strongest foundation for holding these evil muslims responsible as people who consciously choose to do evil. You might find the legal approach more comfortable. Either way, intentions count for a lot.
From now on, I'm going to try extra hard not to understate the depths that these men have sunk to. I'm not going to call them animals or subhuman scum; these muslim death cultists are evil, and that's why I'll smile when they die violent and painful deaths.
I hope my fellow bloggers will do the same.
Arthur Chrenkoff just posted news about a jihadi group that claims to have kidnapped two Aussies in Iraq. The odd part is that no Aussie is missing.
That got me thinking.
Imagine what would happen if an intelligence agency started masquerading as a bunch of Islamist kidnappers who don't actually snatch anybody, but broadcast ransom demand hoaxes anyway. Would it end up creating a "kidnap spam" meme?
Perhaps it could discredit the real kidnappers by associating them with an apparent swarm of gangs-that-can't-shoot-straight. The end goal might be a worldwide public that shrugs and thinks "there those fools go again" every time some group makes a ransom demand. The spooks running the hoaxes would have to take care that their agency never gets implicated, and instead make it look like opportunistic jihadi wanna-bes goofing things up.
Or consider this twist. The spooks could pose as members of real groups to damage somebody's "street cred."
Or how about claiming to have kidnapped members of rival groups in an effort to start internecine squabbles among the jihadis? Just send Delta Force or the SAS to snatch a jihadi boss, hide him somewhere for a long time, fake his beheading, and sit back to watch the fireworks. Imagine what our Hollywood special effects wizards could cook up!
Then again, "kidnap spam" could spur the real kidnappers to new depths of barbarism in an effort to break through the static of ransom hoaxes.
Call it an off-the-wall tactic in a war of ideas, but it might be one small way to undermine the Islamists' one weapon: publicity.
Any thoughts, folks?
This post has joined the crowd at INDC's Beltway Traffic Jam
The Diplomad thinks it's about time to end the charade about Islam being a "religion of peace", and apply to muslims some of the same restrictions that we once applied to communists, Nazis, and KKK members.
During the Cold War we faced such a foe, Soviet Communism; we adopted common sense measures at home to limit the ability of Communists to undermine our nation and way of life. Communists, for example, could not hold certain jobs in government or academia; they were denied security clearances; the CPUSA was treated as the agent of a hostile foreign power and was subject to penetration and surveillance by the FBI. Foreign Communists were ineligible for visas to the US or for citizenship. An infringement on the freedom of Communists? Yes. But given what we now all should know about the extent of Soviet espionage against the USA and the role that the CPUSA played in efforts to undermine America, those measures seem eminently reasonable. We have had similar restrictions on Fascists, Nazis, and KKK members. All justifiable.
Why do we have to treat Islam differently? Why do we all -- starting with the President -- have to recite the mantra of "Islam is a religion of tolerance and peace?" FLASH! Breaking News! It ain't so! Islam as practiced in nearly every country of the world is a totalitarian ideology that openly advocates intolerance, death for non-believers, and relegates women to the status of cattle.
Some Muslims, admittedly, have begun to realize -- ever so tepidly -- that their civilization is a sick one. That they must reform it from within and take it away from the hate-mongers. But how long should we wait? How long should we pretend that the problem is NOT Islam, when, in fact, it is, or at least the Islam that has gained currency in the modern world.
I agree with the Diplomad's assessment. We can't afford any more frivolity toward the enemy. Since Islam as a whole refuses to cut out its Islamist parasites, then we have an obligation to enact certain quarantines.
Let's start by closing our borders to everyone from Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, and the Sudan. Follow up by rounding up non-refugees from those countries. Send them home, and watch the remaining refugees closely. Infiltrate the mosques, tap the phones of muslim charities and civic organizations, screen 15- to 45-year-old Middle Easterners flying on our airlines the way El Al does, give our pilots guns, prohibit muslims from holding security clearances, and prevent muslim clerics from joining the military or recuiting new jihadis from among the prison population.
That'd be a start. Does anybody want to offer other suggestions for initial measures?
I have nothing new or unique to offer on the Beslan school massacre perpetrated by Islamists in Russia, other than my condolences and prayers (for comfort to the victims and neverending torment for the terrorists). Instead, I'll just point you toward the best stuff I've found.
Michelle Malkin gathers key analyses of Russia's 9/11.
So does Donald Sensing at One Hand Clapping.
Victor Davis Hanson thinks we should brace ourselves for terror attacks in the months ahead.
Dave Kopel has a suggestion on how to prevent a Beslan massacre here.
Mark Steyn calls it right: No other word for it but slaughter.
Wretchard at The Belmont Club wonders just what Vladimir Putin's supposed to do, exactly?
Charles at Little Green Footballs points out a British muslim cleric who supports kidnapping women and children.
The locals in Beslan caught one of the terrorists, lynched him, and tore him to pieces. And I wouldn't be surprised if the Ossetians seek revenge on the Chechens sometime around November 7th (see the end of this story).
As you've probably heard by now, the predictably savage muslims holding Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun have cut off his head. Backcountry Conservative has the roundup. Jeff does a fine job at a task I don't envy.
After the Marines find and kill these vermin, it would be appropriate to find where they stayed in Iraq, leave no stone standing atop another, burn what can't be moved, and then salt the earth.
UPDATE: Why "militants"? Can't we at least call terrorists what they are?
UPDATE 2: Backcountry Conservative links to speculation that Corporal Hassoun might have been lured away from his post and into a honey trap.
UPDATE 3: More news is seeping out ... now there are denials of Hassoun's death, and the military has not confirmed it either.
UPDATE 4: Now the rumor is he's alive and either "safe" or free.
Hugh Hewitt has posted an open letter from a friend in the Marines to the Islamozoid savages holding Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun. They ought to read it while they're still exchanging oxygen.
Before the current politically correct climate enveloped our culture one of the recruiting slogans of our band of brothers was "The Marine Corps Builds Men." You will soon find out just how true that is. You, on the other hand, are nothing but a bunch of women. If you were men you would show your faces, and take us on in a fair fight. Instead, you are cowards who hide behind masks and decapitate helpless victims. If you truly represented the interest of the Iraqi people you would not be ambushing those who come to your country to repair your power plants, or sabotage the oil pipelines which fuel the Iraqi economy. Your agenda is hate, plain and simple.
When you raise that sword over your head I want you to remember one thing. Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun is not alone as he kneels before you. Every Marine who has ever worn the uniform is there with him, and when you strike him you are striking all of us. If you think the Marines were tough on you when they were cleaning out Fallujah a few weeks ago you haven't seen anything yet. If you want to know what it feels like to have the Wrath of God called down upon you then go ahead and do it. We are not Turkish truck drivers, or Pakistani laborers, or independent contractors hoping to find work in your country. We are the United States Marines, and we will be coming for you.
Arab television broadcast videotape Sunday of two men of Pakistani origin taken hostage by militants: a driver for an American company and a blindfolded man in military fatigues described as U.S. Marine lured from his base. Insurgents threatened to behead them both.
Al-Jazeera said the militants demanded the release of all Iraqis "in occupation jails" or the man would be killed. The group claimed it infiltrated a Marine outpost, lured the man outside and abducted him.
Earlier Sunday, the Pakistani driver was shown on a tape broadcast by a different Arab television station, Al-Arabiya. ... Four masked men holding assault rifles across their chests said they would behead the Pakistani within three days unless Americans freed prisoners held at Abu Ghraib and three cities of central Iraq -- Balad, Dujail and Samarra.
The [civilian] hostage, who gave his name as Amjad, urged Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to close the Pakistani Embassy in Iraq and to ban Pakistanis from coming to Iraq.
"I'm also Muslim, but despite this they didn't release me," he said, bowing his head. "They are going to cut the head of any person regardless of whether he is a Muslim or not."
Haven't these Islamofascist goons heard of the concept of "no worse enemy"? If that Marine turns up dead, which is pretty likely given recent beheadings in the Middle East, those bastards are going to get an e-ticket straight to Hell, courtesy of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.
Pray for Corporal Hassoun, and for the Pakistani man the goons grabbed. I suggest asking God to arrange for some good intel to end up in the hands of Delta Force, DEVGRU, or the SAS.
Watch Backcountry Conservative for updates.
UPDATE: The U.S. military confirms that a Marine has been missing from his unit for a week.
UPDATE 2: They've murdered him.
UPDATE 3: ... or maybe not.
UPDATE 4: OK, now almost certainly not murdered. Perhaps even free and coming home?
The Religion of Peace™ has done it again.
Al Qaeda militants beheaded an American engineer it had held hostage since last week, Al Arabiya television reported on Friday.
The network was quoting its correspondent in Saudi Arabia and gave no further details. Al-qaeda had given the Saudi government a Friday deadline to free jailed militants or it would kill Paul Johnson.
When are we going to realize that we will all face the same end as Daniel Pearl, Fabrizio Quattrocchi, Nick Berg, and Paul Johnson unless we get serious and wipe Islamism and its diehard practitioners from the face of the Earth?
UPDATE 2: AP reports that the terrorist ringleader responsible for Mr. Johnson's death may have assumed room temperature. More from Fox News, which reports that two of his Islamozoid flunkies were killed too. The more, the merrier.
UPDATE 4: The Al Qaeda scumbags responsible for kidnapping Mr. Johnson had help in setting up their roadblock from ... wait for it ... the Saudi government. I'm so shocked. *sigh*
Remember Fawaz Damra? He's the leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, and has been indicted for allegedly concealing his ties to terrorism on his immigration application papers in 1994. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for five years, be fined $5000, lose his citizenship, and be deported.
Here's what went down when his trial began yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Akron.
A jury of eight men and four women was selected.
In order to prevent what Judge James S. Gwin considers unfair prejudice, prosecutors have been barred from mentioning Osama bin Laden or his al-Qaeda terror network. Also off-limits: characterizing Damra as a "radical Islamic militant'' or as one of many "dangerous global jihadists.'' Judge Gwin said he would consider allowing the prosecution to use these terms only if it can prove their relevance. Duh.
Testimony from an FBI agent and an NYPD terrorism expert painted a decidedly unflattering portrait of the supposedly moderate muslim:
Special FBI agent Bradley Beman testified that Damra told him during an October 2003 interview that he was a founder of Afghan Refugee Services, also known as al-Kifah, which means "the struggle" in Arabic. The group supported Afghanistan's fight against the Soviets, Beman said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cherie Krigsman told jurors in her opening statement earlier Tuesday in U.S. District Court that Damra concealed ties to ARS and the Islamic Committee for Palestine, groups the government classifies as terrorist organizations.
Beman also said that he questioned Damra about a statement he previously made in a speech that the Islamic Committee for Palestine was an active arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Beman said Damra told him that he made the statement only to get the crowd worked up.
Detective Louis Napoli of the New York City office of the Joint Terrorism Task Force testified that Afghan Refugee Services was housed in the same Brooklyn, New York building as the Al-Farouq mosque, where Damra was previously the imam.
The prosecution contends that on his application Damra failed to report his arrest in a group fight with security guards at Kennedy International Airport in 1989. An assault charge against Damra was later dismissed.
Damra's lawyers admitted that Damra sympathized with and supported terrorist groups, but they said he was not affiliated with them.
You can watch a brief interview where Damra describes himself as a "peaceful, loving man." Uh ... right, I believe ya, Fawaz.
Go read Victor Davis Hanson's latest, "Feeding the Minotaur":
As long as the mythical Athenians were willing to send, every nine years, seven maidens and seven young men down to King Minos's monster in the labyrinth, Athens was left alone by the Cretan fleet. The king rightly figured that harvesting just enough Athenians would remind them of their subservience without leading to open rebellion -- as long as somebody impetuous like a Theseus didn't show up to wreck the arrangement. Ever since the storming of the Tehran embassy in November 1979 we Americans have been paying the same sort of human tribute to grotesque Islamofascists. Over the last 25 years a few hundred of our own were cut down in Lebanon, East Africa, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen, and New York on a semi-annual basis, even as the rules of the tribute to be paid -- never spoken, but always understood -- were rigorously followed.
But then a greedy, over-reaching bin Laden wrecked the agreement on September 11. Or did he?
True, al Qaeda is now scattered, the Taliban and Saddam gone. But the calculus of a quarter century -- threaten, hit, pause, wait; threaten, hit, pause, wait -- is now entrenched in the minds of Middle Eastern murderers. Indeed, the modus operandi that cynically plays on Western hopes, liberalism, and fair play is gospel now to all sorts of bin Laden epigones -- as we have seen in Madrid, Fallujah, and Najaf.
Indeed, I think Islamofascism is brilliant in its reading of the postmodern West and precisely for that reason it is dangerous beyond all description -- in the manner that a blood-sucking, stealthy, and nocturnal Dracula was always spookier than a massive, clunky Frankenstein.
Like Hitler's creed, bin Ladenism trumpets contempt for bourgeois Western society. If once we were a "mongrel" race of "cowboys" who could not take casualties against the supermen of the Third Reich, now we are indolent infidels, channel surfers who eat, screw, and talk too much amid worthless gadgetry, godless skyscrapers, and, of course, once again, the conniving Jews.
Like Hitler, bin Ladenism has an agenda: the end of the liberal West. Its supposedly crackpot vision is actually a petrol-rich Middle East free of Jews, Christians, and Westerners, free to rekindle spiritual purity under Sharia. Bin Laden's al Reich is a vast pan-Arabic, Taliban-like caliphate run out of Mecca by new prophets like him, metering out oil to a greedy West in order to purchase the weapons of its destruction; there is, after all, an Israel to be nuked, a Europe to be out-peopled and cowered, and an America to be bombed and terrorized into isolation. This time we are to lose not through blood and iron, but through terror and intimidation: televised beheadings, mass murders, occasional bombings, the disruption of commerce, travel, and the oil supply.
In and of itself, our enemies' ambitions would lead to failure, given the vast economic and military advantages of the West. So to prevent an all out, terrible response to these predictable cycles of killing Westerners, there had to be some finesse to the terrorists' methods. The trick was in preventing some modern Theseus from going into the heart of the Labyrinth to slay the beast and end the nonsense for good.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Iraq, and the rest of the Middle East, we see the same old bloodcurdling threats, the horrific videos, the bombings, the obligatory pause, the faux negotiations, the lies -- and then, of course, the bloodcurdling threats, the horrific videos, the bombings...
No, bin Laden is quite sane -- but lately I have grown more worried that we are not.
Lest you think the average Saudi-on-the-street is a moderate caught up in a tide of unusual extremism, CNN offers the following news:
Almost half of all Saudis said in a poll conducted last year that they have a favorable view of Osama bin Laden's sermons and rhetoric, but fewer than 5 percent thought it was a good idea for bin Laden to rule the Arabian Peninsula.
The poll involved interviews with more than 15,000 Saudis and was overseen by Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi national security consultant.
It was conducted between August and November 2003, after simultaneous suicide attacks in May 2003 when 36 people were killed in Riyadh.
The question put to Saudi citizens was "What is your opinion of Osama bin Laden's sermons and rhetoric?"
"They like what he said about what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or about America and the Zionist conspiracy. But what he does, that's where you see the huge drop," said Obaid, referring to the bombings that had already begun taking place inside Saudi Arabia at the time the poll was conducted.
What they don't like are terrorist attacks that kill muslims. As for the attacks that kill infidels ... well, there's an awful lot of pointed silence on that issue.
This isn't news if you've been paying attention.
Nick Berg's slaughter by decapitation was not unusual for the Religion of Peace™:
Berg is, of course, not the first to be murdered in such a gruesome manner. Nor, alas, is he likely to be the last. For the cutting of heads (in Arabic, qata al-raas) has been the favorite form of Islamist execution for more than 14 centuries.
In the famous battles of early Islam, with the Prophet personally in command of the army of believers, the heads of enemy generals and soldiers were often cut off and put on sticks to be shown around villages and towns as a warning to potential adversaries.
UPDATE: Here's a case in point.
As news of Nick Berg's horrifying decapitation by Islamists reaches more and more Americans, I detect a shift in attitude. Radio commentators like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Sean Hannity, and others have been quietly irate today, and their callers are voicing fury at the entire Middle East. Newspapers are joining the call. For the first time in my memory, ordinary people are mentioning nuclear weapons as a possible response to the Islamist cancer infecting the world ... and they're not throwing in many caveats about protecting civilians and avoiding collateral damage.
I don't think for a minute that President Bush is anywhere near considering the use of nukes in this war, thank God. But I think America is getting her back up again, with a seriousness not seen since 9/11. Average Americans have just seen an innocent countryman get his head sawed off by hooded Islamist goons, despite our media's reluctance to show any footage that paints Islam in an unflattering light. Combine that with our media's eagerness to splash pictures of the abuses at Abu Ghraib committed by a small segment of our soldiers, and the Democrats' and leftists' grandstanding accusations about our moral shortcomings being equivalent to the enemy's calculated evil ... well, the average American is quickly getting fed up.
Fed up with our delay in finishing this fight.
Americans are awake again. We're again reminded of who we're fighting and why, and we're again getting a grip on what's at stake. Lileks sums it up nicely:
Hugh Hewitt asked the big question tonight: of the world's billion-plus Muslims, how many support the butchers who hacked the head off the Pennsylvania contractor? One percent? Ten? Either number stands for a lot of people. I was walking Jasper Dog while listening to the show, and a few thoughts popped up.
There are five reactions one could have to such acts, committed by a coreligionist: Endorsement, Indifference, Denial, Rejection, Participation.
Denial: I'm sure you've heard this before: "Islam is a religion of peace." But those people committed horrible violence in the name of Islam. "Then they are not true Muslims. No Muslim could do this." Rinse, repeat. It's the theological equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and humming loudly.
Rejection: This would be speaking out singly or in concert with fellow Muslims, denouncing the acts without making the entire peroration an elaborate plinth on which to place the word "BUT."
Indifference: I'm a Muslim in Indonesia. I work in a bank. I'm not particularly devout. I like a beer on a hot day, and you know what? They're all hot days. Some guys slit someone's throat in Iraq. I think that's wrong and I think that's stupid. And what do you expect me to do about it?
Endorsement: I'm not sure what constitutes endorsement -- silent pleasure among others not of the faith, chortling delight when you're with friends. Or perhaps nothing more than thanking Allah when you hear certain things have been done in Allah's name, and never acting or speaking a way that supports the jihadist's cause.
Participation. It's obvious what this means.
Here's the crux: of these five aspects, four assist the jihadists in one form or another, and the fifth -- Rejection -- all too often takes a passive form. Hugh had a Somali Muslim on his show from Minneapolis; they spoke for almost 40 minutes, and the guy's heart was in the right place. He sounded like a decent fellow. He said the Imam of his mosque regularly preached against the nutball Islamists. One hundred million more like him, please. But where are the rallies and marches outside the Saudi embassies demanding an end to funding extremism?
The Islamists have made a terrible mistake. They've again begun to unite us in revulsion for their savage and primitive aims, and they've underestimated the West's will to respond with terrifying violence. Some on the other side are beginning to realize they've overreached, but I'm starting to think it's too late to extinguish our anger.
The Islamists stuck their necks out by gambling on our reputation for self-restraint, and it's high time we decapitate them.
UPDATE: For information on the beheading of Paul Johnson ... click.
Hat tip: Whomping Willow
Bill at INDC Journal understands the stakes in our battle with the Islamofascists:
The mid-term survival of the United States is dependent upon pressing our advantage and changing the world while we still have overwhelming economic and military dominance, which takes more than a few years' patience. This paradigm will shift drastically within this century, perhaps within a generation or two, as innovation lowers the boundaries to terribly destructive technology. At that point, it's likely that the world may be doomed anyway, but literally our only hope may be the previously forced evolution of most corners of the earth towards pluralistic, democratic societies that will naturally marginalize extreme elements.
If you were horrified by what that small group of men did with a knife and a video camera, ponder what they yearn to do with highly efficient chemical agents, nuclear material or future nanotechnology. There is no exit strategy in Iraq, merely victory or defeat in the first or second round of a lifelong, messy epic battle -- civilization vs. those that wish to destroy it. It's going to be ugly, it's going to involve defeats and it will not be politically expedient. Pick sides and fight, feel free to examine and question tactics, but don't for a second think that ignoring the war or withdrawing from individual battles will make its consequences disappear. Our political leadership needs to refocus the American electorate on the gravity of this struggle and the sacrifice that it demands, for the only thing that can defeat us at this stage of the game is flagging political will.
The forced evolution of the Middle East is exactly what we must achieve to survive. I've said before that it's too late to tuck tail and run, even if we wanted to. If we pull back and put our trust in anyone but ourselves, the Islamofascists will get their hands on technology that will level the military playing field. They've already plotted a chemical attack in Jordan that could have killed 80,000 people if they had not been found out. We have the military advantage now, and we must exploit it while it lasts. We are nearly out of time to keep this a conventional, non-WMD fight.
From the point of view of these savages, the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib is a wonderful propaganda tool, a handy excuse that they know they can use to hoodwink the western leftists in the media and in the Democrat Party (led by Teddy Kennedy). The enemy can't defeat us; only we can defeat ourselves. They are counting on that to give them the time they so desperately need.
The abuse at Abu Ghraib was a great moral wrong, so we've admitted it, apologized, and we're working to prevent a repeat. We are not a perfect country, but we're still the last best hope of civilization. We can't allow our dismay over our faults to weaken our resolve in the face of a brutal horde intent on slaughtering us.
Face the facts. The Islamists will not stop until we kill them all. They've been coming after us for decades now, and they don't respond to negotiation and goodwill and warm fuzzy thoughts. They. Want. Us. DEAD.
Now's not the time to go wobbly. It's time for us to buck up and get back to fighting the enemy, not ourselves.
Al Qaeda videotaped the beheading of Nick Berg, an American civilian contractor found dead in Iraq on Saturday. More as this develops.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Religion of Peace™.
UPDATE 2: Whomping Willow makes a key observation about the scum who murdered Nick Berg:
Which detainees were they wanting in exchange? Let's set aside for a moment the fabulous propaganda they got out of beheading Berg and assume they did not do it just for that. Perhaps, um, some of their operatives were being held there? I've heard and read much since my initial rant regarding the abuse of the prisoners at there, which I denounced as vile and horrible. I said the soldiers responsible for that are just not good enough to wear the uniform. I still stand by that: we are better than that. But I am beginning to wonder at the identity and nature of those detainees. And I know I won't know for awhile, if ever, national security and need-to-know and all that, but I think it's important now to remember those detainees are not little bunny rabbits.
UPDATE 3: If you're wondering why the media's not showing Nick Berg's murder but keeps showing Iraqis being abused in Abu Ghraib, Cox & Forkum's latest cartoon beats any thousand words you care to pick:
UPDATE 4: More news on the reaction to Nick Berg's murder here.
UPDATE 5: For information on the beheading of Paul Johnson ... click.
David Skinner's Weekly Standard article "Behind CAIR's Hate Crimes Report" looks at the trivial insults and perceived slights that qualify as "hate crimes" ... if an American Muslim reports them to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
An article by Phyllis Chesler looks at Islamist terrorism and the Arab world's dysfunction, and lays the blame on a culture she says is secretly built on older males' widespread physical and sexual abuse of boys, girls and women. The book on which she bases her article is not yet publicly available.
I'm inclined to lay the blame on the more obvious cause: Islam itself. Ideas create cultures, not vice versa.
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