Amillennialist

Archive for April, 2006|Monthly archive page

History repeats itself…whether you learn from it or not

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2006 at 11:56 PM

Which is what makes our current circumstance so alarming. Rather than learn from the past that when a violent madman says he’s going to harm you, he will, the leaders of Western nations prefer to ignore and extenuate the threat of Islam.

What lessons should be learned from the past? Belief leads to action, and those who believe it is their duty to fight against, subdue and humiliate, and kill non-Muslims will do so (receiving various forms of support from their co-religionists along the way).

Iran ’79, Beirut, WTC ’93, our embassies in Africa, Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, 9/11–Islam’s war with America began long before any of these events.

More evidence that there is nothing new under the sun: Barbary Piracy & the War on Terror:

At the dawn of a new century, a newly elected United States president was forced to confront a grave threat to the nation — an escalating series of unprovoked attacks on Americans by Muslim terrorists. Worse still, these Islamic partisans operated under the protection and sponsorship of rogue Arab states ruled by ruthless and cunning dictators.

Sluggish in recognizing the full nature of the threat, America entered the war well after the enemy’s call to arms. Poorly planned and feebly executed, the American effort proceeded badly and at great expense — resulting in a hastily negotiated peace and an equally hasty declaration of victory.

As timely and familiar as these events may seem, they occurred more than two centuries ago. The president was Thomas Jefferson, and the terrorists were the Barbary pirates. Unfortunately, many of the easy lessons to be plucked from this experience have yet to be fully learned.

The Barbary states, modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, are collectively known to the Arab world as the Maghrib (“Land of Sunset”), denoting Islam’s territorial holdings west of Egypt. With the advance of Mohammed’s armies into the Christian Levant in the seventh century, the Mediterranean was slowly transformed into the backwater frontier of the battles between crescent and cross. Battles raged on both land and sea, and religious piracy flourished.

The Maghrib served as a staging ground for Muslim piracy throughout the Mediterranean, and even parts of the Atlantic. America’s struggle with the terror of Muslim piracy from the Barbary states began soon after the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776, and continued for roughly four decades, finally ending in 1815.

Although there is much in the history of America’s wars with the Barbary pirates that is of direct relevance to the current “war on terror,” one aspect seems particularly instructive to informing our understanding of contemporary Islamic terrorists. Very simply put, the Barbary pirates were committed, militant Muslims who meant to do exactly what they said.

Take, for example, the 1786 meeting in London of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain. As American ambassadors to France and Britain respectively, Jefferson and Adams met with Ambassador Adja to negotiate a peace treaty and protect the United States from the threat of Barbary piracy.

These future United States presidents questioned the ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Sound familiar?

The candor of that Tripolitan ambassador is admirable in its way, but it certainly foreshadows the equally forthright declarations of, say, the Shiite Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the 1980s and the Sunni Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, not to mention the many pronouncements of their various minions, admirers, and followers. Note that America’s Barbary experience took place well before colonialism entered the lands of Islam, before there were any oil interests dragging the U.S. into the fray, and long before the founding of the state of Israel.

America became entangled in the Islamic world and was dragged into a war with the Barbary states simply because of the religious obligation within Islam to bring belief to those who do not share it. This is not something limited to “radical” or “fundamentalist” Muslims.

Which is not to say that such obligations lead inevitably to physical conflict, at least not in principle. After all peaceful proselytizing among various religious groups continues apace throughout the world, but within the teachings of Islam, and the history of Muslims, this is a well-established militant thread.

The Islamic basis for piracy in the Mediterranean was an old doctrine relating to the physical or armed jihad, or struggle.

To Muslims in the heyday of Barbary piracy, there were, at least in principle, only two forces at play in the world: the Dar al-Islam, or House of Islam, and the Dar al-Harb, or House of War. The House of Islam meant Muslim governance and the unrivaled authority of the sharia, Islam’s complex system of holy law. The House of War was simply everything that fell outside of the House of Islam — that area of the globe not under Muslim authority, where the infidel ruled. For Muslims, these two houses were perpetually at war — at least until mankind should finally embrace Allah and his teachings as revealed through his prophet, Mohammed.

The point of jihad is not to convert by force, but to remove the obstacles to the infidels’ conversion so that they shall either convert or become a dhimmi (a non-Muslim who accepts Islamic dominion) and pay the jizya, or poll tax. The goal is to bring all of the Dar al-Harb into the peace of the Dar al-Islam, and to eradicate unbelief. The Koran also promises rewards to those who fight in the jihad, plunder and glory in this world and the delights of paradise in the next.

Although the piratical activities of Barbary genuinely degenerated over the centuries from pure considerations of the glory of jihad to less grandiose visions of booty and state revenues, it is important to remember that the religious foundations of the institution of piracy remained central.

Even after it became commonplace for the pirate captains or their crew to be renegade Europeans, it was essential that these former Christians “turn Turk” and convert to Islam before they could be accorded the honor of engagement in al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea.

In fact, the peoples of Barbary continued to consider the pirates as holy warriors even after the Barbary rulers began to allow non-religious commitments to command their strategic use of piracy. The changes that the religious institution of piracy underwent were natural, if pathological. Just as the concept of jihad is invoked by Muslim terrorists today to legitimize suicide bombings of noncombatants for political gain, so too al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea, served as the cornerstone of the Barbary states’ interaction with Christendom.

In times of conflict, America tends to focus on personalities over ideas or movements, trying to play the man, not the board — as if capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, for example, would instantly end the present conflict. But such thinking loses sight of the fact that ideas have consequences. If one believes that God commands something, this belief is not likely to dissipate just because the person who elucidated it has been silenced. Islam, as a faith, is as essential a feature of the terrorist threat today as it was of the Barbary piracy over two centuries ago.

The Barbary pirates were not a “radical” or “fundamentalist” sect that had twisted religious doctrine for power and politics, or that came to recast aspects of their faith out of some form of insanity. They were simply a North African warrior caste involved in an armed jihad — a mainstream Muslim doctrine. This is how the Muslims understood Barbary piracy and armed jihad at the time, and, indeed, how the physical jihad has been understood since Mohammed revealed it as the prophecy of Allah.

Obviously, and thankfully, not every Muslim is obligated, or even really inclined, to take up this jihad. Indeed, many Muslims are loath to personally embrace this physical struggle. But that does not mean they are all opposed to such a struggle any more than the choice of many Westerners not to join the police force or the armed services means they do not support those institutions.

Whether “insurgents” are fighting in Iraq or “rebels” and “militants” are skirmishing in Chechnya or Hamas “activists” are detonating themselves in Israel, Westerners seem unwilling to bring attention to the most salient feature of all these groups: They claim to be acting in the name of Islam.

It is very easy to chalk it all up to regional squabbles, economic depression, racism, or post-colonial nationalistic self-determinism. Such explanations undoubtedly enter into part of the equation — they are already part of the propaganda that clouds contemporary analysis. But as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to learn back in 1786, the situation becomes a lot clearer when you listen to the stated intentions and motivations of the terrorists and take them at face value.

History repeats itself…whether you learn from it or not

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2006 at 11:56 PM

Which is what makes our current circumstance so alarming. Rather than learn from the past that when a violent madman says he’s going to harm you, he will, the leaders of Western nations prefer to ignore and extenuate the threat of Islam.

What lessons should be learned from the past? Belief leads to action, and those who believe it is their duty to fight against, subdue and humiliate, and kill non-Muslims will do so (receiving various forms of support from their co-religionists along the way).

Iran ’79, Beirut, WTC ’93, our embassies in Africa, Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, 9/11–Islam’s war with America began long before any of these events.

More evidence that there is nothing new under the sun: Barbary Piracy & the War on Terror:

At the dawn of a new century, a newly elected United States president was forced to confront a grave threat to the nation — an escalating series of unprovoked attacks on Americans by Muslim terrorists. Worse still, these Islamic partisans operated under the protection and sponsorship of rogue Arab states ruled by ruthless and cunning dictators.

Sluggish in recognizing the full nature of the threat, America entered the war well after the enemy’s call to arms. Poorly planned and feebly executed, the American effort proceeded badly and at great expense — resulting in a hastily negotiated peace and an equally hasty declaration of victory.

As timely and familiar as these events may seem, they occurred more than two centuries ago. The president was Thomas Jefferson, and the terrorists were the Barbary pirates. Unfortunately, many of the easy lessons to be plucked from this experience have yet to be fully learned.

The Barbary states, modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, are collectively known to the Arab world as the Maghrib (“Land of Sunset”), denoting Islam’s territorial holdings west of Egypt. With the advance of Mohammed’s armies into the Christian Levant in the seventh century, the Mediterranean was slowly transformed into the backwater frontier of the battles between crescent and cross. Battles raged on both land and sea, and religious piracy flourished.

The Maghrib served as a staging ground for Muslim piracy throughout the Mediterranean, and even parts of the Atlantic. America’s struggle with the terror of Muslim piracy from the Barbary states began soon after the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776, and continued for roughly four decades, finally ending in 1815.

Although there is much in the history of America’s wars with the Barbary pirates that is of direct relevance to the current “war on terror,” one aspect seems particularly instructive to informing our understanding of contemporary Islamic terrorists. Very simply put, the Barbary pirates were committed, militant Muslims who meant to do exactly what they said.

Take, for example, the 1786 meeting in London of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain. As American ambassadors to France and Britain respectively, Jefferson and Adams met with Ambassador Adja to negotiate a peace treaty and protect the United States from the threat of Barbary piracy.

These future United States presidents questioned the ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Sound familiar?

The candor of that Tripolitan ambassador is admirable in its way, but it certainly foreshadows the equally forthright declarations of, say, the Shiite Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the 1980s and the Sunni Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, not to mention the many pronouncements of their various minions, admirers, and followers. Note that America’s Barbary experience took place well before colonialism entered the lands of Islam, before there were any oil interests dragging the U.S. into the fray, and long before the founding of the state of Israel.

America became entangled in the Islamic world and was dragged into a war with the Barbary states simply because of the religious obligation within Islam to bring belief to those who do not share it. This is not something limited to “radical” or “fundamentalist” Muslims.

Which is not to say that such obligations lead inevitably to physical conflict, at least not in principle. After all peaceful proselytizing among various religious groups continues apace throughout the world, but within the teachings of Islam, and the history of Muslims, this is a well-established militant thread.

The Islamic basis for piracy in the Mediterranean was an old doctrine relating to the physical or armed jihad, or struggle.

To Muslims in the heyday of Barbary piracy, there were, at least in principle, only two forces at play in the world: the Dar al-Islam, or House of Islam, and the Dar al-Harb, or House of War. The House of Islam meant Muslim governance and the unrivaled authority of the sharia, Islam’s complex system of holy law. The House of War was simply everything that fell outside of the House of Islam — that area of the globe not under Muslim authority, where the infidel ruled. For Muslims, these two houses were perpetually at war — at least until mankind should finally embrace Allah and his teachings as revealed through his prophet, Mohammed.

The point of jihad is not to convert by force, but to remove the obstacles to the infidels’ conversion so that they shall either convert or become a dhimmi (a non-Muslim who accepts Islamic dominion) and pay the jizya, or poll tax. The goal is to bring all of the Dar al-Harb into the peace of the Dar al-Islam, and to eradicate unbelief. The Koran also promises rewards to those who fight in the jihad, plunder and glory in this world and the delights of paradise in the next.

Although the piratical activities of Barbary genuinely degenerated over the centuries from pure considerations of the glory of jihad to less grandiose visions of booty and state revenues, it is important to remember that the religious foundations of the institution of piracy remained central.

Even after it became commonplace for the pirate captains or their crew to be renegade Europeans, it was essential that these former Christians “turn Turk” and convert to Islam before they could be accorded the honor of engagement in al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea.

In fact, the peoples of Barbary continued to consider the pirates as holy warriors even after the Barbary rulers began to allow non-religious commitments to command their strategic use of piracy. The changes that the religious institution of piracy underwent were natural, if pathological. Just as the concept of jihad is invoked by Muslim terrorists today to legitimize suicide bombings of noncombatants for political gain, so too al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea, served as the cornerstone of the Barbary states’ interaction with Christendom.

In times of conflict, America tends to focus on personalities over ideas or movements, trying to play the man, not the board — as if capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, for example, would instantly end the present conflict. But such thinking loses sight of the fact that ideas have consequences. If one believes that God commands something, this belief is not likely to dissipate just because the person who elucidated it has been silenced. Islam, as a faith, is as essential a feature of the terrorist threat today as it was of the Barbary piracy over two centuries ago.

The Barbary pirates were not a “radical” or “fundamentalist” sect that had twisted religious doctrine for power and politics, or that came to recast aspects of their faith out of some form of insanity. They were simply a North African warrior caste involved in an armed jihad — a mainstream Muslim doctrine. This is how the Muslims understood Barbary piracy and armed jihad at the time, and, indeed, how the physical jihad has been understood since Mohammed revealed it as the prophecy of Allah.

Obviously, and thankfully, not every Muslim is obligated, or even really inclined, to take up this jihad. Indeed, many Muslims are loath to personally embrace this physical struggle. But that does not mean they are all opposed to such a struggle any more than the choice of many Westerners not to join the police force or the armed services means they do not support those institutions.

Whether “insurgents” are fighting in Iraq or “rebels” and “militants” are skirmishing in Chechnya or Hamas “activists” are detonating themselves in Israel, Westerners seem unwilling to bring attention to the most salient feature of all these groups: They claim to be acting in the name of Islam.

It is very easy to chalk it all up to regional squabbles, economic depression, racism, or post-colonial nationalistic self-determinism. Such explanations undoubtedly enter into part of the equation — they are already part of the propaganda that clouds contemporary analysis. But as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to learn back in 1786, the situation becomes a lot clearer when you listen to the stated intentions and motivations of the terrorists and take them at face value.

Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom

In Calvinism, Deism, Thomas Jefferson on April 30, 2006 at 11:29 PM

If you want to understand the nature of American government, Thomas Jefferson is an essential resource. The primary author of the Declaration of Independence and one of America’s Founding Fathers, he is uniquely qualified as an expert on the nature of human governments in general, and ours in particular.

Sadly, Jefferson’s theology was not quite as sound [if the charges of Deism are true; I’ve read of one explanation that ameliorates his abridged Bible]. It seems reasonable Jefferson may have fallen victim to Man’s natural infatuation with his own Reason, and that is a factor in his rejection of the supernatural.

It seems much more likely that Jefferson’s hostility to the God of the Bible was due to his exposure to Calvin’s very distorted view of Christ and His religion. By this I do not mean that Calvin’s doctrines were misrepresented; rather, his teachings are sinister perversions of the Gospel of Christ. Jefferson is credited with the following in a letter to John Adams:

I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.

The concepts of Double Predestination and Limited Atonement are contrary to Scripture and the nature of its Author. To teach as Truth the idea that God capriciously predestines some to Eternal Life and some to eternal destruction (Double Predestination) is completely antithetical to what the God of the Bible has revealed of Himself. To limit the Sacrifice of the Son of God to only some people when He clearly stated that He loves, lived, died, and rose from the dead for all is blasphemy.

If these are of what Jefferson was thinking, he was correct in characterizing such beliefs as doctrines from hell.

Now for a happier melody. Quotes from Thomas Jefferson on government and life:

A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.

Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.

Delay is preferable to error.

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.

Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.

Every generation needs a new revolution.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.

For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead.

Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.

Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

How much have cost us the evils that never happened!

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.

I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.

I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us.

I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.

I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

If God is just, I tremble for my country.

If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?

If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.

Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.

In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.

It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.

It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.

Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.

Nations of eternal war [expend] all their energies… in the destruction of the labor, property, and lives of their people.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Never spend your money before you have earned it.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.

One man with courage is a majority.

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.

Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted.

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.

Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as they are injurious to others.

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.

The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it.

The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.

There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

To preserve our independence… We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.

We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.

What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the state powers into the hands of the general government.

When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.

When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.

Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom

In Calvinism, Deism, Thomas Jefferson on April 30, 2006 at 11:29 PM

If you want to understand the nature of American government, Thomas Jefferson is an essential resource. The primary author of the Declaration of Independence and one of America’s Founding Fathers, he is uniquely qualified as an expert on the nature of human governments in general, and ours in particular.

Sadly, Jefferson’s theology was not quite as sound [if the charges of Deism are true; I’ve read of one explanation that ameliorates his abridged Bible]. It seems reasonable Jefferson may have fallen victim to Man’s natural infatuation with his own Reason, and that is a factor in his rejection of the supernatural.

It seems much more likely that Jefferson’s hostility to the God of the Bible was due to his exposure to Calvin’s very distorted view of Christ and His religion. By this I do not mean that Calvin’s doctrines were misrepresented; rather, his teachings are sinister perversions of the Gospel of Christ. Jefferson is credited with the following in a letter to John Adams:

I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.

The concepts of Double Predestination and Limited Atonement are contrary to Scripture and the nature of its Author. To teach as Truth the idea that God capriciously predestines some to Eternal Life and some to eternal destruction (Double Predestination) is completely antithetical to what the God of the Bible has revealed of Himself. To limit the Sacrifice of the Son of God to only some people when He clearly stated that He loves, lived, died, and rose from the dead for all is blasphemy.

If these are of what Jefferson was thinking, he was correct in characterizing such beliefs as doctrines from hell.

Now for a happier melody. Quotes from Thomas Jefferson on government and life:

A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.

Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.

Delay is preferable to error.

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.

Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.

Every generation needs a new revolution.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.

For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead.

Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.

Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

How much have cost us the evils that never happened!

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.

I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.

I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us.

I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.

I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

If God is just, I tremble for my country.

If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?

If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.

Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.

In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.

It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.

It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.

Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.

Nations of eternal war [expend] all their energies… in the destruction of the labor, property, and lives of their people.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Never spend your money before you have earned it.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.

One man with courage is a majority.

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.

Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted.

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.

Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as they are injurious to others.

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.

The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it.

The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.

There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

To preserve our independence… We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.

We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.

What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the state powers into the hands of the general government.

When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.

When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.

Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2006 at 11:29 PM

If you want to understand the nature of American government, Thomas Jefferson is an essential resource. The primary author of the Declaration of Independence and one of America’s Founding Fathers, he is uniquely qualified as an expert on the nature of human governments in general, and ours in particular.

Sadly, Jefferson’s theology was not quite as sound. It seems reasonable Jefferson may have fallen victim to Man’s natural infatuation with his own Reason, and that is a factor in his rejection of the supernatural.

It seems much more likely that Jefferson’s hostility to the God of the Bible was due to his exposure to Calvin’s very distorted view of Christ and His religion. By this I do not mean that Calvin’s doctrines were misrepresented; rather, his teachings are sinister perversions of the Gospel of Christ. Jefferson is credited with the following in a letter to John Adams:

I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.

The concepts of Double Predestination and Limited Atonement are contrary to Scripture and the nature of its Author. To teach as Truth the idea that God capriciously predestines some to Eternal Life and some to eternal destruction (Double Predestination) is completely antithetical to what the God of the Bible has revealed of Himself. To limit the Sacrifice of the Son of God to only some people when He clearly stated that He loves, lived, died, and rose from the dead for all is blasphemy.

If these are of what Jefferson was thinking, he was correct in characterizing such beliefs as doctrines from hell.

Now for a happier melody. Quotes from Thomas Jefferson on government and life:

A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.

Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.

Delay is preferable to error.

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.

Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.

Every generation needs a new revolution.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.

For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead.

Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.

Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

How much have cost us the evils that never happened!

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.

I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.

I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us.

I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.

I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

If God is just, I tremble for my country.

If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?

If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.

Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.

In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.

It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.

It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.

Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.

Nations of eternal war [expend] all their energies… in the destruction of the labor, property, and lives of their people.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Never spend your money before you have earned it.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.

One man with courage is a majority.

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.

Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted.

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.

Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as they are injurious to others.

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.

The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it.

The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.

There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

To preserve our independence… We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.

We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.

What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the state powers into the hands of the general government.

When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.

When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.

History repeats itself…whether you learn from it or not

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2006 at 10:56 PM

Which is what makes our current circumstance so alarming. Rather than learn from the past that when a violent madman says he’s going to harm you, he will, the leaders of Western nations prefer to ignore and extenuate the threat of Islam.

What lessons should be learned from the past? Belief leads to action, and those who believe it is their duty to fight against, subdue and humiliate, and kill non-Muslims will do so (receiving various forms of support from their co-religionists along the way).

Iran ’79, Beirut, WTC ’93, our embassies in Africa, Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, 9/11–Islam’s war with America began long before any of these events.

More evidence that there is nothing new under the sun: Barbary Piracy & the War on Terror:

At the dawn of a new century, a newly elected United States president was forced to confront a grave threat to the nation — an escalating series of unprovoked attacks on Americans by Muslim terrorists. Worse still, these Islamic partisans operated under the protection and sponsorship of rogue Arab states ruled by ruthless and cunning dictators.

Sluggish in recognizing the full nature of the threat, America entered the war well after the enemy’s call to arms. Poorly planned and feebly executed, the American effort proceeded badly and at great expense — resulting in a hastily negotiated peace and an equally hasty declaration of victory.

As timely and familiar as these events may seem, they occurred more than two centuries ago. The president was Thomas Jefferson, and the terrorists were the Barbary pirates. Unfortunately, many of the easy lessons to be plucked from this experience have yet to be fully learned.

The Barbary states, modern-day Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, are collectively known to the Arab world as the Maghrib (“Land of Sunset”), denoting Islam’s territorial holdings west of Egypt. With the advance of Mohammed’s armies into the Christian Levant in the seventh century, the Mediterranean was slowly transformed into the backwater frontier of the battles between crescent and cross. Battles raged on both land and sea, and religious piracy flourished.

The Maghrib served as a staging ground for Muslim piracy throughout the Mediterranean, and even parts of the Atlantic. America’s struggle with the terror of Muslim piracy from the Barbary states began soon after the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776, and continued for roughly four decades, finally ending in 1815.

Although there is much in the history of America’s wars with the Barbary pirates that is of direct relevance to the current “war on terror,” one aspect seems particularly instructive to informing our understanding of contemporary Islamic terrorists. Very simply put, the Barbary pirates were committed, militant Muslims who meant to do exactly what they said.

Take, for example, the 1786 meeting in London of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain. As American ambassadors to France and Britain respectively, Jefferson and Adams met with Ambassador Adja to negotiate a peace treaty and protect the United States from the threat of Barbary piracy.

These future United States presidents questioned the ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Sound familiar?

The candor of that Tripolitan ambassador is admirable in its way, but it certainly foreshadows the equally forthright declarations of, say, the Shiite Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the 1980s and the Sunni Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, not to mention the many pronouncements of their various minions, admirers, and followers. Note that America’s Barbary experience took place well before colonialism entered the lands of Islam, before there were any oil interests dragging the U.S. into the fray, and long before the founding of the state of Israel.

America became entangled in the Islamic world and was dragged into a war with the Barbary states simply because of the religious obligation within Islam to bring belief to those who do not share it. This is not something limited to “radical” or “fundamentalist” Muslims.

Which is not to say that such obligations lead inevitably to physical conflict, at least not in principle. After all peaceful proselytizing among various religious groups continues apace throughout the world, but within the teachings of Islam, and the history of Muslims, this is a well-established militant thread.

The Islamic basis for piracy in the Mediterranean was an old doctrine relating to the physical or armed jihad, or struggle.

To Muslims in the heyday of Barbary piracy, there were, at least in principle, only two forces at play in the world: the Dar al-Islam, or House of Islam, and the Dar al-Harb, or House of War. The House of Islam meant Muslim governance and the unrivaled authority of the sharia, Islam’s complex system of holy law. The House of War was simply everything that fell outside of the House of Islam — that area of the globe not under Muslim authority, where the infidel ruled. For Muslims, these two houses were perpetually at war — at least until mankind should finally embrace Allah and his teachings as revealed through his prophet, Mohammed.

The point of jihad is not to convert by force, but to remove the obstacles to the infidels’ conversion so that they shall either convert or become a dhimmi (a non-Muslim who accepts Islamic dominion) and pay the jizya, or poll tax. The goal is to bring all of the Dar al-Harb into the peace of the Dar al-Islam, and to eradicate unbelief. The Koran also promises rewards to those who fight in the jihad, plunder and glory in this world and the delights of paradise in the next.

Although the piratical activities of Barbary genuinely degenerated over the centuries from pure considerations of the glory of jihad to less grandiose visions of booty and state revenues, it is important to remember that the religious foundations of the institution of piracy remained central.

Even after it became commonplace for the pirate captains or their crew to be renegade Europeans, it was essential that these former Christians “turn Turk” and convert to Islam before they could be accorded the honor of engagement in al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea.

In fact, the peoples of Barbary continued to consider the pirates as holy warriors even after the Barbary rulers began to allow non-religious commitments to command their strategic use of piracy. The changes that the religious institution of piracy underwent were natural, if pathological. Just as the concept of jihad is invoked by Muslim terrorists today to legitimize suicide bombings of noncombatants for political gain, so too al-jihad fil-bahr, the holy war at sea, served as the cornerstone of the Barbary states’ interaction with Christendom.

In times of conflict, America tends to focus on personalities over ideas or movements, trying to play the man, not the board — as if capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, for example, would instantly end the present conflict. But such thinking loses sight of the fact that ideas have consequences. If one believes that God commands something, this belief is not likely to dissipate just because the person who elucidated it has been silenced. Islam, as a faith, is as essential a feature of the terrorist threat today as it was of the Barbary piracy over two centuries ago.

The Barbary pirates were not a “radical” or “fundamentalist” sect that had twisted religious doctrine for power and politics, or that came to recast aspects of their faith out of some form of insanity. They were simply a North African warrior caste involved in an armed jihad — a mainstream Muslim doctrine. This is how the Muslims understood Barbary piracy and armed jihad at the time, and, indeed, how the physical jihad has been understood since Mohammed revealed it as the prophecy of Allah.

Obviously, and thankfully, not every Muslim is obligated, or even really inclined, to take up this jihad. Indeed, many Muslims are loath to personally embrace this physical struggle. But that does not mean they are all opposed to such a struggle any more than the choice of many Westerners not to join the police force or the armed services means they do not support those institutions.

Whether “insurgents” are fighting in Iraq or “rebels” and “militants” are skirmishing in Chechnya or Hamas “activists” are detonating themselves in Israel, Westerners seem unwilling to bring attention to the most salient feature of all these groups: They claim to be acting in the name of Islam.

It is very easy to chalk it all up to regional squabbles, economic depression, racism, or post-colonial nationalistic self-determinism. Such explanations undoubtedly enter into part of the equation — they are already part of the propaganda that clouds contemporary analysis. But as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to learn back in 1786, the situation becomes a lot clearer when you listen to the stated intentions and motivations of the terrorists and take them at face value.

Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2006 at 10:29 PM

If you want to understand the nature of American government, Thomas Jefferson is an essential resource. The primary author of the Declaration of Independence and one of America’s Founding Fathers, he is uniquely qualified as an expert on the nature of human governments in general, and ours in particular.

Sadly, Jefferson’s theology was not quite as sound. It seems reasonable Jefferson may have fallen victim to Man’s natural infatuation with his own Reason, and that is a factor in his rejection of the supernatural.

It seems much more likely that Jefferson’s hostility to the God of the Bible was due to his exposure to Calvin’s very distorted view of Christ and His religion. By this I do not mean that Calvin’s doctrines were misrepresented; rather, his teachings are sinister perversions of the Gospel of Christ. Jefferson is credited with the following in a letter to John Adams:

I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.

The concepts of Double Predestination and Limited Atonement are contrary to Scripture and the nature of its Author. To teach as Truth the idea that God capriciously predestines some to Eternal Life and some to eternal destruction (Double Predestination) is completely antithetical to what the God of the Bible has revealed of Himself. To limit the Sacrifice of the Son of God to only some people when He clearly stated that He loves, lived, died, and rose from the dead for all is blasphemy.

If these are of what Jefferson was thinking, he was correct in characterizing such beliefs as doctrines from hell.

Now for a happier melody. Quotes from Thomas Jefferson on government and life:

A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.

Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.

Delay is preferable to error.

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.

Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.

Every generation needs a new revolution.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.

For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead.

Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.

Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

How much have cost us the evils that never happened!

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.

I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.

I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us.

I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.

I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

If God is just, I tremble for my country.

If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?

If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.

Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.

In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.

It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.

It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.

Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.

Nations of eternal war [expend] all their energies… in the destruction of the labor, property, and lives of their people.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Never spend your money before you have earned it.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.

One man with courage is a majority.

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.

Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted.

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.

Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as they are injurious to others.

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.

The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it.

The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.

There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

To preserve our independence… We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.

We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.

What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the state powers into the hands of the general government.

When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.

When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.

An ancient verse needing a new name

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2006 at 11:59 PM

With nuclear weapons soon to be ubiquitous in Dar al-Islam (and then, regrettably, in Dar al-Harb), it seems likely that Qur’an 9:5 will have to be renamed from “The Verse of the Sword” to something like “The Verse of the Nuclear Warhead.”

Who says Islam is hostile to modernity?

An ancient verse needing a new name

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2006 at 10:59 PM

With nuclear weapons soon to be ubiquitous in Dar al-Islam (and then, regrettably, in Dar al-Harb), it seems likely that Qur’an 9:5 will have to be renamed from “The Verse of the Sword” to something like “The Verse of the Nuclear Warhead.”

Who says Islam is hostile to modernity?

+ Word of the Day +

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2006 at 6:06 AM

And so we have hope. From Life Of The World:

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you (1st Peter 1:22-25).

…Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:12-15).

+ Word of the Day +

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2006 at 6:06 AM

And so we have hope. From Life Of The World:

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you (1st Peter 1:22-25).

…Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:12-15).

+ Word of the Day +

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2006 at 5:06 AM

And so we have hope. From Life Of The World:

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you (1st Peter 1:22-25).

…Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:12-15).

The blind misleading the blind

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2006 at 7:33 AM

Bin Laden wants to convert, subdue and humiliate, or kill the unbelieving world (including the BBC) until all religion is for Allah, the article’s Related Links demonstrate Islam’s global commitment to this goal, but all the BBC can come up with is “Boost for Bush?”

And too many uncritically accept such non sequiturs. West is on crusade: ‘Bin Laden’:

The West’s moves to isolate the new Hamas-led Palestinian government prove it is at war with Islam, a tape attributed to Osama Bin Laden declares.

The tape also described the situation in Iraq and Sudan’s troubled Darfur region as further evidence that a “Zionist-crusader war” was being waged.

The recording was broadcast by Arab satellite TV al-Jazeera on Sunday.

If confirmed, it is the first message from Bin Laden since January 2006, when he threatened more attacks on the US.

…The authenticity of the tape has yet to be independently verified.

The speaker on the tape said that along with their governments, the people of the West bear responsibility for what he called a “Zionist-crusader war against Islam”.

The war is a responsibility shared between the people and the governments. The war goes on and the people are renewing their allegiance to its rulers and masters,” he said.

“They send their sons to armies to fight us and they continue their financial and moral support while our countries are burned and our houses are bombed and our people are killed.”

He said that the decision by some Western powers to cut funding to the Palestinian government since the militant group Hamas won elections there was further proof of this anti-Islamic campaign.

“The blockade which the West is imposing on the government of Hamas proves that there is a Zionist-crusader war on Islam,” the tape said.

…The speaker also criticised Western involvement in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan saying it was part of the “crusades against Islam” and called for militants to journey there to join the fight.

“I call on mujahideen and their supporters, especially in Sudan and the Arab peninsula, to prepare for long war again the crusader plunderers in Western Sudan,” the voice said. “Our goal is not defending the Khartoum government but to defend Islam, its land and its people.”

Bin Laden was based in Sudan until he was expelled following US pressure on Khartoum.

He then moved to Afghanistan and is now believed to be hiding in the mountains on the Pakistani side of their shared border.

But successive operations involving coalition troops inside Afghanistan and Pakistani forces along their side of the border have so far failed to track down the al-Qaeda leader.

Here are headlines (links removed) of stories related to the bin Laden article demonstrating its larger historical context–Islam’s great war against Humanity–to which the BBC seems blind:

Moussaoui can face death penalty
Moussaoui ‘hid 9/11 plot details’
US rebuffs Bin Laden ‘truce call’
US convicts man of al-Qaeda plot
‘Millennium plotter’ gets 22 years
Spain wraps up 9/11 terror trial

Terror threat remains global
Analysis: Key player seized
Pakistan’s ‘al-Qaeda’ catch
The Hamburg connection
Q&A: Moussaoui trial
Q&A: Geneva rules
Hunt for Bin Laden
Timeline: Al-Qaeda

All the BBC can see is President’s Bush’s potential political opportunism:

Boost for Bush?
A message from the al-Qaeda leader may help the US president at home and abroad.

The blind misleading the blind

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2006 at 7:33 AM

Bin Laden wants to convert, subdue and humiliate, or kill the unbelieving world (including the BBC) until all religion is for Allah, the article’s Related Links demonstrate Islam’s global commitment to this goal, but all the BBC can come up with is “Boost for Bush?”

And too many uncritically accept such non sequiturs. West is on crusade: ‘Bin Laden’:

The West’s moves to isolate the new Hamas-led Palestinian government prove it is at war with Islam, a tape attributed to Osama Bin Laden declares.

The tape also described the situation in Iraq and Sudan’s troubled Darfur region as further evidence that a “Zionist-crusader war” was being waged.

The recording was broadcast by Arab satellite TV al-Jazeera on Sunday.

If confirmed, it is the first message from Bin Laden since January 2006, when he threatened more attacks on the US.

…The authenticity of the tape has yet to be independently verified.

The speaker on the tape said that along with their governments, the people of the West bear responsibility for what he called a “Zionist-crusader war against Islam”.

The war is a responsibility shared between the people and the governments. The war goes on and the people are renewing their allegiance to its rulers and masters,” he said.

“They send their sons to armies to fight us and they continue their financial and moral support while our countries are burned and our houses are bombed and our people are killed.”

He said that the decision by some Western powers to cut funding to the Palestinian government since the militant group Hamas won elections there was further proof of this anti-Islamic campaign.

“The blockade which the West is imposing on the government of Hamas proves that there is a Zionist-crusader war on Islam,” the tape said.

…The speaker also criticised Western involvement in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan saying it was part of the “crusades against Islam” and called for militants to journey there to join the fight.

“I call on mujahideen and their supporters, especially in Sudan and the Arab peninsula, to prepare for long war again the crusader plunderers in Western Sudan,” the voice said. “Our goal is not defending the Khartoum government but to defend Islam, its land and its people.”

Bin Laden was based in Sudan until he was expelled following US pressure on Khartoum.

He then moved to Afghanistan and is now believed to be hiding in the mountains on the Pakistani side of their shared border.

But successive operations involving coalition troops inside Afghanistan and Pakistani forces along their side of the border have so far failed to track down the al-Qaeda leader.

Here are headlines (links removed) of stories related to the bin Laden article demonstrating its larger historical context–Islam’s great war against Humanity–to which the BBC seems blind:

Moussaoui can face death penalty
Moussaoui ‘hid 9/11 plot details’
US rebuffs Bin Laden ‘truce call’
US convicts man of al-Qaeda plot
‘Millennium plotter’ gets 22 years
Spain wraps up 9/11 terror trial

Terror threat remains global
Analysis: Key player seized
Pakistan’s ‘al-Qaeda’ catch
The Hamburg connection
Q&A: Moussaoui trial
Q&A: Geneva rules
Hunt for Bin Laden
Timeline: Al-Qaeda

All the BBC can see is President’s Bush’s potential political opportunism:

Boost for Bush?
A message from the al-Qaeda leader may help the US president at home and abroad.

The blind misleading the blind

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2006 at 6:33 AM

Bin Laden wants to convert, subdue and humiliate, or kill the unbelieving world (including the BBC) until all religion is for Allah, the article’s Related Links demonstrate Islam’s global commitment to this goal, but all the BBC can come up with is “Boost for Bush?”

And too many uncritically accept such non sequiturs. West is on crusade: ‘Bin Laden’:

The West’s moves to isolate the new Hamas-led Palestinian government prove it is at war with Islam, a tape attributed to Osama Bin Laden declares.

The tape also described the situation in Iraq and Sudan’s troubled Darfur region as further evidence that a “Zionist-crusader war” was being waged.

The recording was broadcast by Arab satellite TV al-Jazeera on Sunday.

If confirmed, it is the first message from Bin Laden since January 2006, when he threatened more attacks on the US.

…The authenticity of the tape has yet to be independently verified.

The speaker on the tape said that along with their governments, the people of the West bear responsibility for what he called a “Zionist-crusader war against Islam”.

The war is a responsibility shared between the people and the governments. The war goes on and the people are renewing their allegiance to its rulers and masters,” he said.

“They send their sons to armies to fight us and they continue their financial and moral support while our countries are burned and our houses are bombed and our people are killed.”

He said that the decision by some Western powers to cut funding to the Palestinian government since the militant group Hamas won elections there was further proof of this anti-Islamic campaign.

“The blockade which the West is imposing on the government of Hamas proves that there is a Zionist-crusader war on Islam,” the tape said.

…The speaker also criticised Western involvement in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan saying it was part of the “crusades against Islam” and called for militants to journey there to join the fight.

“I call on mujahideen and their supporters, especially in Sudan and the Arab peninsula, to prepare for long war again the crusader plunderers in Western Sudan,” the voice said. “Our goal is not defending the Khartoum government but to defend Islam, its land and its people.”

Bin Laden was based in Sudan until he was expelled following US pressure on Khartoum.

He then moved to Afghanistan and is now believed to be hiding in the mountains on the Pakistani side of their shared border.

But successive operations involving coalition troops inside Afghanistan and Pakistani forces along their side of the border have so far failed to track down the al-Qaeda leader.

Here are headlines (links removed) of stories related to the bin Laden article demonstrating its larger historical context–Islam’s great war against Humanity–to which the BBC seems blind:

Moussaoui can face death penalty
Moussaoui ‘hid 9/11 plot details’
US rebuffs Bin Laden ‘truce call’
US convicts man of al-Qaeda plot
‘Millennium plotter’ gets 22 years
Spain wraps up 9/11 terror trial

Terror threat remains global
Analysis: Key player seized
Pakistan’s ‘al-Qaeda’ catch
The Hamburg connection
Q&A: Moussaoui trial
Q&A: Geneva rules
Hunt for Bin Laden
Timeline: Al-Qaeda

All the BBC can see is President’s Bush’s potential political opportunism:

Boost for Bush?
A message from the al-Qaeda leader may help the US president at home and abroad.

The font of Islamic terrorism

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2006 at 7:56 AM

Is the command of Allah and the example of his false prophet. Fitzgerald: “Nut cases” and learning from experience:

On NPR recently I heard the mellifluous Robert Siegel — so mellifluous that he punches above his weight, and one is disinclined to pluck out his idiocies because he is well-spoken — describe a friend of his who had had relatives, or his own friends, die in the World Trade Center Attacks. That friend, hitherto an opponent of capital punishment, had described to Siegel his own newfound willingness not merely to contemplate, but to wish with his own hands to execute, the death penalty on Moussaoui, Osama Bin Laden, and the others he connected to that attack.

So, Siegel’s friend turns out to be a former death-penalty opponent who begins to see the matter differently becaus of his close ties to the victims of murder. He is one more of those souls who have a limited imagination, and who must endure experiences himself in order to learn from them; anything that might be learned, through the experiences of others, recorded and accessible to others, will not do it. The imaginative sympathy, a faculty once encouraged by literature and the study of history, is merely vestigial in him. But still, at least he was able, this friend, to arrive at some home-truths, while there are some who not only lack the wit to learn from the experience of others (as found in works of history and, often, of literature) but even lack the wit to learn from their own experience. For there are now many who continue to interpret away, in ways that prove most comforting to them, even the evidence of their own senses.

Siegel goes on to tell us that his friend describes Moussaoui as a “nut case.” That, of course, is nonsense. Had Siegel’s friend, had Siegel himself, had others at NPR, taken it upon themselves — and a certain leisure is required for this task — to study Islam and jihad and to think clearly about how such belief-systems can operate, none of them would think Moussaoui was anything but sane. Here one must not think of the local etiolated church service, but rather of the kind of indoctrination given to those admitted to the Army of True Communists (in the early days), or True Nazis (at any time).

Moussaoui is not a “nut case.” He is a perfectly rational and devout believer in what the Qur’an, and the Sunna, tell him. And he is not unusual in his understanding of what Qur’an and Sunna stand for, of the hostility, even murderous hostility, those immutable texts teach Muslims to feel toward all Infidels. Unless Robert Siegel is willing to study those texts, those of Qur’an and Hadith, and the life of Muhammad, he has no business assuming, and passing on that assumption to unwary listeners, that Moussaoui must, of course, be a “nut case.” For there are tens or even hundreds of millions of Believers who, like Moussaoui, divide the world uncompromisingly between Believer and Infidel, between the Domain of Islam, Dar al-Islam, and the Domain of War, or Dar al-Harb, and are perfectly aware of the duty imposed on them to push back the boundaries of Dar al-Harb until, ultimately, the rule of Islam is established everywhere. This is not a fabrication of perfervid mad-dog Infidel brains. It has been studied, at great length, by a great many Western scholars — the scholars who lived and wrote and published in an earlier, less frightened and less inhibited age. Many of these scholars are represented in the anthology “The Legacy of Jihad.” Islam has not changed. What has changed, since 1973, is the wherewithal that Islamic peoples and polities have acquired, including the nearly ten trillion dollars in OPEC oil revenues, and the other instruments of Jihad, including the foot-soldiers, the millions of Muslims who, in roughtly the same period, were admitted into, and allowed to settle deep within, the countries of Western Europe — that is, within the Lands of the Infidels, behind enemy lines, as Muslims (but not those innocent Infidels) regard them.

There are millions who may not do as Moussaoui (who grew up in France) has done, but who support what he did, and who understand perfectly what prompted it. And it was not a matter of his being a “nut case.” It is Moussaoui, and Osama bin Laden, and all the members of Jaish-e-Muhammad, and Laskar Jihad, and Hamas, and Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda, and As Sayyaf, and a thousand other groups, and millions who belong to no groups, who have the Qur’an and the Hadith and the example of Muhammad on their side. Unless and until a great many more people cease to soothe themselves with the comforting idea that all these people are merely “nut cases,” and begin to look at, and to study with comprehension the Qur’an, and also — this should never be overlooked — the still more telling Hadith, they will continue to be surprised by a steady stream of such “nut cases.”

Mere reading of the Qur’an will not be enough. In both French and English it is far softer in its meaning than the original. And the reader may not be aware that Islamic tradition has resolved contradictory statements using the interpretative device of “naskh” or abrogation, resolving them always and everywhere in favor of the harsher verses, with the softer ones being cancelled.

And even reading and rereading the Qur’an and the most authoritative collections of the Hadith, and then studying the most salient aspects of the life of Muhammad, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil, that Perfect Man, will not be enough. It takes time for it all to sink in — and to imagine, to begin to comprehend, the effect it has on the minds of hundreds of millions, and even how the effect of filial piety, or civilizational pride, can cause otherwise intelligent people born into Islam to accept the monstrousness of it all, and to defend it and apologize for it in front of questioning and skeptical Infidels.

But let us pretend that Moussaoui, and tens of millions of others, are merely “nut cases.” Suppose that were true. Suppose, that is, that only “nut cases” would take the passages of Islam and seek to act on them as Moussaoui did. And suppose, further, that the only thing we Infidels had to worry about were acts of terrorism, and not the slow transformation of our own societies (beginning with the sudden self-imposed limits on the practice of freedom of speech, by almost the entire American press, and now even by that supposed total iconoclast and brave disrespecter of all pieties, Comedy Central).

What then? How many “nut cases” are there? Well, the problem is that in any society, millions and millions of people at one time or another fall into depressions. In the United States, more than 15 million people at any one time are said to be severely depressed. When this happens to Infidels, they can blame all sorts of things: their parents, their children, their siblings, Amerika, The System, The Man, the Republicans, the Democrats, immigration, affirmative action, lack of affirmative action, crooked financial analysts, Wall Street speculators, Chinese and Indian competition, Fate, the stars in their alignment, their cholesterol level, their serotonin level — even, at times, themselves.

What happens when a Muslim finds himself in disarray? You are Muhammad Atta, and things are not working out in Hamburg, where you set off to study urban planning, and you are not the great success you were supposed to be, and the Western world is so baffling, so confusing. You are Raed Albanna, dancing the night away in cocaine-soaked clubs of West Hollywood, and you are piling failure upon failure, for you failed to establish a practice as a lawyer in Jordan, and you need to find a solution more permanent and steady than that offered by that cocaine, those girls, that music by Nine Inch Nails.

When “Mike” Hawash, an Intel engineer with an American wife and three American children, earning $360,000 a year and the respect of his colleagues, turned to Islam and more Islam, and then deeded over his house to his wife, and made plans to fight the Americans in Afghanistan after the Al Qaeda attacks in New York and Washington, was he a “nut case”? Or was he someone who, in his recent return to Islam, was only reflecting his need for Islam and more Islam as a stay against confusion and depression? And if the Answer for Muslims, even those who are not especially observant, and who seem to be thoroughly Westernized and to have been the recipients of the best the West has to offer, is Islam and more Islam, then the Western world, the world of Infidels, owes it to itself to protect its own legacy, and to scrutinize closely and carefully control the immigration of those who, in moments of the kind of doubt or depression that come upon all of us, will always and everywhere turn, or return, to Islam.

The font of Islamic terrorism

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2006 at 6:56 AM

Is the command of Allah and the example of his false prophet. Fitzgerald: “Nut cases” and learning from experience:

On NPR recently I heard the mellifluous Robert Siegel — so mellifluous that he punches above his weight, and one is disinclined to pluck out his idiocies because he is well-spoken — describe a friend of his who had had relatives, or his own friends, die in the World Trade Center Attacks. That friend, hitherto an opponent of capital punishment, had described to Siegel his own newfound willingness not merely to contemplate, but to wish with his own hands to execute, the death penalty on Moussaoui, Osama Bin Laden, and the others he connected to that attack.

So, Siegel’s friend turns out to be a former death-penalty opponent who begins to see the matter differently becaus of his close ties to the victims of murder. He is one more of those souls who have a limited imagination, and who must endure experiences himself in order to learn from them; anything that might be learned, through the experiences of others, recorded and accessible to others, will not do it. The imaginative sympathy, a faculty once encouraged by literature and the study of history, is merely vestigial in him. But still, at least he was able, this friend, to arrive at some home-truths, while there are some who not only lack the wit to learn from the experience of others (as found in works of history and, often, of literature) but even lack the wit to learn from their own experience. For there are now many who continue to interpret away, in ways that prove most comforting to them, even the evidence of their own senses.

Siegel goes on to tell us that his friend describes Moussaoui as a “nut case.” That, of course, is nonsense. Had Siegel’s friend, had Siegel himself, had others at NPR, taken it upon themselves — and a certain leisure is required for this task — to study Islam and jihad and to think clearly about how such belief-systems can operate, none of them would think Moussaoui was anything but sane. Here one must not think of the local etiolated church service, but rather of the kind of indoctrination given to those admitted to the Army of True Communists (in the early days), or True Nazis (at any time).

Moussaoui is not a “nut case.” He is a perfectly rational and devout believer in what the Qur’an, and the Sunna, tell him. And he is not unusual in his understanding of what Qur’an and Sunna stand for, of the hostility, even murderous hostility, those immutable texts teach Muslims to feel toward all Infidels. Unless Robert Siegel is willing to study those texts, those of Qur’an and Hadith, and the life of Muhammad, he has no business assuming, and passing on that assumption to unwary listeners, that Moussaoui must, of course, be a “nut case.” For there are tens or even hundreds of millions of Believers who, like Moussaoui, divide the world uncompromisingly between Believer and Infidel, between the Domain of Islam, Dar al-Islam, and the Domain of War, or Dar al-Harb, and are perfectly aware of the duty imposed on them to push back the boundaries of Dar al-Harb until, ultimately, the rule of Islam is established everywhere. This is not a fabrication of perfervid mad-dog Infidel brains. It has been studied, at great length, by a great many Western scholars — the scholars who lived and wrote and published in an earlier, less frightened and less inhibited age. Many of these scholars are represented in the anthology “The Legacy of Jihad.” Islam has not changed. What has changed, since 1973, is the wherewithal that Islamic peoples and polities have acquired, including the nearly ten trillion dollars in OPEC oil revenues, and the other instruments of Jihad, including the foot-soldiers, the millions of Muslims who, in roughtly the same period, were admitted into, and allowed to settle deep within, the countries of Western Europe — that is, within the Lands of the Infidels, behind enemy lines, as Muslims (but not those innocent Infidels) regard them.

There are millions who may not do as Moussaoui (who grew up in France) has done, but who support what he did, and who understand perfectly what prompted it. And it was not a matter of his being a “nut case.” It is Moussaoui, and Osama bin Laden, and all the members of Jaish-e-Muhammad, and Laskar Jihad, and Hamas, and Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda, and As Sayyaf, and a thousand other groups, and millions who belong to no groups, who have the Qur’an and the Hadith and the example of Muhammad on their side. Unless and until a great many more people cease to soothe themselves with the comforting idea that all these people are merely “nut cases,” and begin to look at, and to study with comprehension the Qur’an, and also — this should never be overlooked — the still more telling Hadith, they will continue to be surprised by a steady stream of such “nut cases.”

Mere reading of the Qur’an will not be enough. In both French and English it is far softer in its meaning than the original. And the reader may not be aware that Islamic tradition has resolved contradictory statements using the interpretative device of “naskh” or abrogation, resolving them always and everywhere in favor of the harsher verses, with the softer ones being cancelled.

And even reading and rereading the Qur’an and the most authoritative collections of the Hadith, and then studying the most salient aspects of the life of Muhammad, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil, that Perfect Man, will not be enough. It takes time for it all to sink in — and to imagine, to begin to comprehend, the effect it has on the minds of hundreds of millions, and even how the effect of filial piety, or civilizational pride, can cause otherwise intelligent people born into Islam to accept the monstrousness of it all, and to defend it and apologize for it in front of questioning and skeptical Infidels.

But let us pretend that Moussaoui, and tens of millions of others, are merely “nut cases.” Suppose that were true. Suppose, that is, that only “nut cases” would take the passages of Islam and seek to act on them as Moussaoui did. And suppose, further, that the only thing we Infidels had to worry about were acts of terrorism, and not the slow transformation of our own societies (beginning with the sudden self-imposed limits on the practice of freedom of speech, by almost the entire American press, and now even by that supposed total iconoclast and brave disrespecter of all pieties, Comedy Central).

What then? How many “nut cases” are there? Well, the problem is that in any society, millions and millions of people at one time or another fall into depressions. In the United States, more than 15 million people at any one time are said to be severely depressed. When this happens to Infidels, they can blame all sorts of things: their parents, their children, their siblings, Amerika, The System, The Man, the Republicans, the Democrats, immigration, affirmative action, lack of affirmative action, crooked financial analysts, Wall Street speculators, Chinese and Indian competition, Fate, the stars in their alignment, their cholesterol level, their serotonin level — even, at times, themselves.

What happens when a Muslim finds himself in disarray? You are Muhammad Atta, and things are not working out in Hamburg, where you set off to study urban planning, and you are not the great success you were supposed to be, and the Western world is so baffling, so confusing. You are Raed Albanna, dancing the night away in cocaine-soaked clubs of West Hollywood, and you are piling failure upon failure, for you failed to establish a practice as a lawyer in Jordan, and you need to find a solution more permanent and steady than that offered by that cocaine, those girls, that music by Nine Inch Nails.

When “Mike” Hawash, an Intel engineer with an American wife and three American children, earning $360,000 a year and the respect of his colleagues, turned to Islam and more Islam, and then deeded over his house to his wife, and made plans to fight the Americans in Afghanistan after the Al Qaeda attacks in New York and Washington, was he a “nut case”? Or was he someone who, in his recent return to Islam, was only reflecting his need for Islam and more Islam as a stay against confusion and depression? And if the Answer for Muslims, even those who are not especially observant, and who seem to be thoroughly Westernized and to have been the recipients of the best the West has to offer, is Islam and more Islam, then the Western world, the world of Infidels, owes it to itself to protect its own legacy, and to scrutinize closely and carefully control the immigration of those who, in moments of the kind of doubt or depression that come upon all of us, will always and everywhere turn, or return, to Islam.

Refusing to fund the hand that kills you

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2006 at 2:56 PM

That the President and his administration speak and act as though completely ignorant of Islam’s voraciousness and intolerance is inexplicable and indefensible.

Rather than provide cover for the subjugation of Man under Allah with phrases like “Religion of Peace” and equating the murderous blood-creed codified in Qur’an with the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount (as he did in his second inaugural address), President Bush should be telling the truth to the world about Islam’s false god and prophet and refusing to give one penny, one inch of ground, one rhetorical point to the Religion of Death.

Rather than aid those who fight against, subdue and humiliate, and kill non-Muslims (including fellow Christians!), it is the President’s responsibility to defend us. How can the leaders of the free world and the most powerful man on earth not understand?

President Bush’s earlier statements about the “great” religion “hijacked by extremists,” the “religion of Peace,” and “Iraq the Model” need to be publicly refuted. He can justify them as the honest good will of a truly tolerant and peaceful people bending over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt to adherents of a religion obviously unlike our own.

The President would be fully justified in admitting (even many of the President’s political enemies in the Democratic Party would be unwilling to find fault with this) that America and its allies did all they could to provide the opportunity for true Liberty and self-determination to the Muslim world but that Islam as defined by Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira is incompatible with the Equality of Man, and too many of Islam’s people have chosen (democratically!) Islam over Freedom. The West did what it could but over and over again, despite the sacrifice of (especially) American lives, blood, and treasure, the Muslim world has proven itself unworthy of such a gift. There would be no shame in admitting that.

After such a declaration to the world, the President could then make very clear that all financial, military, and other forms of aid to all Muslim nations is forever ended. Any who would be our ally will also stop aiding the global Jihad in word and deed, stop succumbing to the intimidation of “peaceful,” “moderate” Muslims in Western nations, start providing real assistance (not just lip-service) to fellow Infidels (especially Christians) in Muslim lands, and start crushing any and all of the faithful who dare to lift a heel against the unbelievers.

What nation has been more patient and generous–even to its mortal enemies–than Israel? The United States? There are still decent, honest, moral people in this nation. This is still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave (despite what growing numbers of the self-centered, self-serving, and amoral might imply).

Innocent people are dying at the hands of Islam and our leadership makes excuses for it. It’s disgusting and it’s got to end.

Contemplating obvious next steps in resisting the manifestation of Allah’s will in one locale is Ten Good Reasons For Stopping the Jizyah to Egypt:

Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald does the work that the dhimmis in the State Department cannot or will not do:

A poster on this website recently asked, “Now how do we unload that $2 billion annual yoke to Egypt?”

The same way we unstick ourselves from the Iraq tarbaby — just do it. Decide to do it, tell Egypt that we have Ten Good Reasons to End the Jizyah, and that it is hereby over. The American people simply will not stand for shelling out $2 billion a year (my, what could that do for solar energy and wind energy projects?), amounting to some $60 billion and counting, to a country that is not part of the West, and that does not share our beliefs or our assumptions — and that does share beliefs and assumptions that, if they were somehow to prevail, would make our lives as Infidels much more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous. At the very least, and at the most, they might pose a mortal threat.

Here are those Ten Good Reasons:

1) Egypt has failed to fulfill every single one of those intangible commitments it made to Israel under the Camp David Accords, all that stuff about ending hostile propaganda and so on. Instead, it has prevented Egyptians from visiting Israel, prevented Israelis from participating in film and book festivals in Cairo, and done everything it can in the press and on television (all of which are controlled completely by the government — just try making noises about Mubarak’s plans for his son) to make Egypt a hotbed of antisemitism. A multi-part television series based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion does not exactly correspond to what Egypt committed itself to do in order to receive, for the second time, the entire Sinai, together with oilfields and $16 billion (in 1979 dollars) in infrastructure put in by the Israelis.

2) Egypt has failed to make the Egyptian population grateful for the nearly $60 billion it has so far received. In fact, we have come to understand that the American aid is a kind of slush fund for the Mubarak Family-and-Friends Plan, and so actually increases resentment by people in Egypt toward the Americans.

3) The discovery that many high officials in Egypt were receiving sums from Saddam Hussein cannot allow further sums to go to Egypt. There has been evidence of collaboration between the regime of Saddam Hussein and Egypt on certain kinds of weapons development. In other ways Egypt was meretricious in how it hid all these dealings from the American government.

4) The failure of the Egyptian government to stop all the weapons smuggling into Gaza, though it has been made well aware, for years, of the situation, is a further violation of Egypt’s commitments and of what the American government has a right to expect of it. Arms sent to such terrorist groups as Hamas (or Hezbollah, or Islamic Jihad) through Egypt can only be sent with the knowledge of some Egyptian authorities. The government should have found them. It did not.

5) The endless and sustained anti-American campaign in the press and television have led Egyptians to be among the most thoroughly anti-American in their views, even among Muslims. The government should have been moving heaven and earth to change these attitudes if it expected American taxpayers to keep shelling out money to a regime, a country, and a people (or at least the Muslim component of that people) who do not wish us, as Infidels, well — and whom we, in turn, have no obligation in the slightest to support, and many good reasons not to support.

6) The behavior of Egypt in protecting the Sudan, in preventing U.N. troops or any troops except the ineffective African Union contingent, shows that the government of Egypt has no moral objections to the Jihad being conducted against non-Arab (and therefore inferior in every respect) Muslims in Darfur. Egypt has in every way been defending that government and throwing up obstacle after obstacle to attempts to end the continued mass murders in Darfur, as have other Arab and Muslim governments. Over the past 20 years Egypt has more or less successfully prevented Western powers from stopping the genocide against Christian and animist black Africans in the southern Sudan. This is not surprising. During the Biafra War it was Egyptian pilots who gleefully strafed Ibo and other Christian villages, killing tens of thousands of helpless villagers (who had not a rifle among them). Egypt’s role in suppressing the Christians during the Biafra War was promptly forgotten; it should not have been.

7) The stratokleptocracy (or rule by a thieving military caste) has led Egyptians to turn to Islam as the answer, as most Muslims inevitably will when assorted lords of misrule confront them. And they inevitably will be so confronted, because Islam itself encourages the habit of subservience to the ruler, and the habit of mental submission at every level, and the habit of discouraging free inquiry. All this leads to conspiracy theories, rumors, and sheer political craziness, preventing good government from being established.

Therefore the more money Americans and other Infidels supply those corrupt and odious Egyptian rulers, the more, not less, will be their obvious gain. That gain will be flaunted, leading to still more resentment by ordinary Egyptians not privy to the appropriation and divvying up of that aid. The more aid we give to Egypt, the more anti-Americanism will be encouraged.

8) The behavior of the Egyptian officials in reacting to the kidnapping and rape, or kidnapping and forced conversion of Coptic girls, and the attacks on Coptic schools and churches, and even murders of Coptic priests and villagers, has been intolerable. These have often been carried out with the full knowledge, and sometimes the participation, of local police. This will probably continue, but it should not continue with American aid money.

9) Egypt has made repeated threats, some official, and some unofficial, to the government of Ethiopia and to others involved in its agricultural development, warning that “the Nile belongs to Egypt” and that Ethiopia (a country which in recent decades has suffered from famine and drought) should not dare to divert some of the headwaters of the Nile without Egypt’s explicit approval. It is clear that the Egyptian government backs the Sudanese Arabs in wiping out as many of the non-Arabs — whether Muslim or non-Muslim — as possible. Meanwhile, the Arab control of Sudan (which just a half-century ago had a black African majority) tightens. This, in turn, is part of a larger effort to extend Egyptian (i.e., Arab Muslim) control, so that Ethiopia, the old Christian kingdom that once was given a dispensation (because some of Muhammad’s followers had been given temporary refuge in Ethiopia by the negus, thus earning a special exemption from the violent Jihad), will never dare to take decisions about the Nile waters or anything else without express permission of the Arab Muslim imperialists in Cairo.

10) Egypt is a corrupt country out of control. By permitting successive governments to count on American support, the viciousness and corruption are allowed to continue without any consequences. From 1882 to 1922, the British brought some semblance of efficiency and a reduction of corruption to the Egyptian Civil Service.) See Edward Cecil’s classic “Memoirs of an Egyptian Official,” with its famous epigraph: “Here lies one who tried to hustle the East.” Even after that period, Egypt enjoyed a period of good government, of an expanding economy, and of semi-decency in public life. This was reflected in the vivacity of its European and Levantine populations. It came to an end when Nasser and the other colonels arrived on the scene. There was the famous rioting against Jews, Copts, and Europeans, in Alexandria. Almost overnight, Greeks, Italians, Jews, and many others who had lived there had their property stolen by the Egyptians, who called it “nationalization.” The Egyptian Muslims who ran everything took billions of dollars in property, the fruit in some cases of family entrepreneurial activity that had gone on for a century or more. Following Nasser was Saint Sadat: the same Sadat imprisoned by the British for his pro-Nazi activities during World War II. Jimmy Carter, who incidentally has also managed to award himself the same title, of course, awarded him his sainthood. Carter was rewarding Saint Sadat for deigning to accept all of the Sinai — territory that morally Egypt had no right to receive back yet again. Egypt, after all, had lost in a war of aggression started when Nasser demanded that U Thant pull out the U.N. peacekeepers, and then proceeded to block the Straits of Tiran in May 1967.

Yet Carter rewarded Sadat and Egypt with nearly $2 billion a year in American foreign aid — which foreign aid became automatic, a tribute never to be interrupted, in other words, Jizyah. This Jizyah has bought us nothing, unless you think that the anti-Americanism in Egypt has been swell, that the threats to Ethiopia and the support for the Sudanese government are acceptable, that the complicity in arms-smuggling into Gaza is perfectly understandable, that the continued and even growing numbers of rapes and looting and murders of Copts is simply what one should expect of Muslims and that one should not get too upset about it.

I don’t think any of those things. And I don’t think other long-suffering American taxpayers, Infidels all, agree with The New Duranty Times, or those lazy officials or hangers-on in Washington who keep prating about the “need” to keep “our Egyptian ally” happy. Why? So they can torture, occasionally, the odd Al Qaeda suspect? But meanwhile, they can try to produce WMD, harass the Copts, plot diplomatically and with arms-smuggling against Israel, bully Ethiopia to endure further famine, and fill the press and television with the most disgusting and scandalous misrepresentations of the behavior of American soldiers, as they have done for decades in their misrepresentation of Israeli soldiers.

No, I have presented Ten Good Reasons For Stopping the Jizyah to Egypt.

I defy anyone in Washington to offer even One Good Reason for continuing the Jizyah to that meretricious and sinister regime, people, and country.

It took me precisely 22 minutes to compose this article at one go. Why cannot those thousands of bigshots in Washington, in their think-tanks or in their well-paid government jobs, or at their newspapers and magazines, come up with these Ten Reasons, and Ninety Reasons more? If they did, they would thereby save us money, and, when it comes to dealing with the menace of the Jihad everywhere, Start Making Sense.

Refusing to fund the hand that kills you

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2006 at 1:56 PM

That the President and his administration speak and act as though completely ignorant of Islam’s voraciousness and intolerance is inexplicable and indefensible.

Rather than provide cover for the subjugation of Man under Allah with phrases like “Religion of Peace” and equating the murderous blood-creed codified in Qur’an with the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount (as he did in his second inaugural address), President Bush should be telling the truth to the world about Islam’s false god and prophet and refusing to give one penny, one inch of ground, one rhetorical point to the Religion of Death.

Rather than aid those who fight against, subdue and humiliate, and kill non-Muslims (including fellow Christians!), it is the President’s responsibility to defend us. How can the leaders of the free world and the most powerful man on earth not understand?

President Bush’s earlier statements about the “great” religion “hijacked by extremists,” the “religion of Peace,” and “Iraq the Model” need to be publicly refuted. He can justify them as the honest good will of a truly tolerant and peaceful people bending over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt to adherents of a religion obviously unlike our own.

The President would be fully justified in admitting (even many of the President’s political enemies in the Democratic Party would be unwilling to find fault with this) that America and its allies did all they could to provide the opportunity for true Liberty and self-determination to the Muslim world but that Islam as defined by Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira is incompatible with the Equality of Man, and too many of Islam’s people have chosen (democratically!) Islam over Freedom. The West did what it could but over and over again, despite the sacrifice of (especially) American lives, blood, and treasure, the Muslim world has proven itself unworthy of such a gift. There would be no shame in admitting that.

After such a declaration to the world, the President could then make very clear that all financial, military, and other forms of aid to all Muslim nations is forever ended. Any who would be our ally will also stop aiding the global Jihad in word and deed, stop succumbing to the intimidation of “peaceful,” “moderate” Muslims in Western nations, start providing real assistance (not just lip-service) to fellow Infidels (especially Christians) in Muslim lands, and start crushing any and all of the faithful who dare to lift a heel against the unbelievers.

What nation has been more patient and generous–even to its mortal enemies–than Israel? The United States? There are still decent, honest, moral people in this nation. This is still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave (despite what growing numbers of the self-centered, self-serving, and amoral might imply).

Innocent people are dying at the hands of Islam and our leadership makes excuses for it. It’s disgusting and it’s got to end.

Contemplating obvious next steps in resisting the manifestation of Allah’s will in one locale is Ten Good Reasons For Stopping the Jizyah to Egypt:

Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald does the work that the dhimmis in the State Department cannot or will not do:

A poster on this website recently asked, “Now how do we unload that $2 billion annual yoke to Egypt?”

The same way we unstick ourselves from the Iraq tarbaby — just do it. Decide to do it, tell Egypt that we have Ten Good Reasons to End the Jizyah, and that it is hereby over. The American people simply will not stand for shelling out $2 billion a year (my, what could that do for solar energy and wind energy projects?), amounting to some $60 billion and counting, to a country that is not part of the West, and that does not share our beliefs or our assumptions — and that does share beliefs and assumptions that, if they were somehow to prevail, would make our lives as Infidels much more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous. At the very least, and at the most, they might pose a mortal threat.

Here are those Ten Good Reasons:

1) Egypt has failed to fulfill every single one of those intangible commitments it made to Israel under the Camp David Accords, all that stuff about ending hostile propaganda and so on. Instead, it has prevented Egyptians from visiting Israel, prevented Israelis from participating in film and book festivals in Cairo, and done everything it can in the press and on television (all of which are controlled completely by the government — just try making noises about Mubarak’s plans for his son) to make Egypt a hotbed of antisemitism. A multi-part television series based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion does not exactly correspond to what Egypt committed itself to do in order to receive, for the second time, the entire Sinai, together with oilfields and $16 billion (in 1979 dollars) in infrastructure put in by the Israelis.

2) Egypt has failed to make the Egyptian population grateful for the nearly $60 billion it has so far received. In fact, we have come to understand that the American aid is a kind of slush fund for the Mubarak Family-and-Friends Plan, and so actually increases resentment by people in Egypt toward the Americans.

3) The discovery that many high officials in Egypt were receiving sums from Saddam Hussein cannot allow further sums to go to Egypt. There has been evidence of collaboration between the regime of Saddam Hussein and Egypt on certain kinds of weapons development. In other ways Egypt was meretricious in how it hid all these dealings from the American government.

4) The failure of the Egyptian government to stop all the weapons smuggling into Gaza, though it has been made well aware, for years, of the situation, is a further violation of Egypt’s commitments and of what the American government has a right to expect of it. Arms sent to such terrorist groups as Hamas (or Hezbollah, or Islamic Jihad) through Egypt can only be sent with the knowledge of some Egyptian authorities. The government should have found them. It did not.

5) The endless and sustained anti-American campaign in the press and television have led Egyptians to be among the most thoroughly anti-American in their views, even among Muslims. The government should have been moving heaven and earth to change these attitudes if it expected American taxpayers to keep shelling out money to a regime, a country, and a people (or at least the Muslim component of that people) who do not wish us, as Infidels, well — and whom we, in turn, have no obligation in the slightest to support, and many good reasons not to support.

6) The behavior of Egypt in protecting the Sudan, in preventing U.N. troops or any troops except the ineffective African Union contingent, shows that the government of Egypt has no moral objections to the Jihad being conducted against non-Arab (and therefore inferior in every respect) Muslims in Darfur. Egypt has in every way been defending that government and throwing up obstacle after obstacle to attempts to end the continued mass murders in Darfur, as have other Arab and Muslim governments. Over the past 20 years Egypt has more or less successfully prevented Western powers from stopping the genocide against Christian and animist black Africans in the southern Sudan. This is not surprising. During the Biafra War it was Egyptian pilots who gleefully strafed Ibo and other Christian villages, killing tens of thousands of helpless villagers (who had not a rifle among them). Egypt’s role in suppressing the Christians during the Biafra War was promptly forgotten; it should not have been.

7) The stratokleptocracy (or rule by a thieving military caste) has led Egyptians to turn to Islam as the answer, as most Muslims inevitably will when assorted lords of misrule confront them. And they inevitably will be so confronted, because Islam itself encourages the habit of subservience to the ruler, and the habit of mental submission at every level, and the habit of discouraging free inquiry. All this leads to conspiracy theories, rumors, and sheer political craziness, preventing good government from being established.

Therefore the more money Americans and other Infidels supply those corrupt and odious Egyptian rulers, the more, not less, will be their obvious gain. That gain will be flaunted, leading to still more resentment by ordinary Egyptians not privy to the appropriation and divvying up of that aid. The more aid we give to Egypt, the more anti-Americanism will be encouraged.

8) The behavior of the Egyptian officials in reacting to the kidnapping and rape, or kidnapping and forced conversion of Coptic girls, and the attacks on Coptic schools and churches, and even murders of Coptic priests and villagers, has been intolerable. These have often been carried out with the full knowledge, and sometimes the participation, of local police. This will probably continue, but it should not continue with American aid money.

9) Egypt has made repeated threats, some official, and some unofficial, to the government of Ethiopia and to others involved in its agricultural development, warning that “the Nile belongs to Egypt” and that Ethiopia (a country which in recent decades has suffered from famine and drought) should not dare to divert some of the headwaters of the Nile without Egypt’s explicit approval. It is clear that the Egyptian government backs the Sudanese Arabs in wiping out as many of the non-Arabs — whether Muslim or non-Muslim — as possible. Meanwhile, the Arab control of Sudan (which just a half-century ago had a black African majority) tightens. This, in turn, is part of a larger effort to extend Egyptian (i.e., Arab Muslim) control, so that Ethiopia, the old Christian kingdom that once was given a dispensation (because some of Muhammad’s followers had been given temporary refuge in Ethiopia by the negus, thus earning a special exemption from the violent Jihad), will never dare to take decisions about the Nile waters or anything else without express permission of the Arab Muslim imperialists in Cairo.

10) Egypt is a corrupt country out of control. By permitting successive governments to count on American support, the viciousness and corruption are allowed to continue without any consequences. From 1882 to 1922, the British brought some semblance of efficiency and a reduction of corruption to the Egyptian Civil Service.) See Edward Cecil’s classic “Memoirs of an Egyptian Official,” with its famous epigraph: “Here lies one who tried to hustle the East.” Even after that period, Egypt enjoyed a period of good government, of an expanding economy, and of semi-decency in public life. This was reflected in the vivacity of its European and Levantine populations. It came to an end when Nasser and the other colonels arrived on the scene. There was the famous rioting against Jews, Copts, and Europeans, in Alexandria. Almost overnight, Greeks, Italians, Jews, and many others who had lived there had their property stolen by the Egyptians, who called it “nationalization.” The Egyptian Muslims who ran everything took billions of dollars in property, the fruit in some cases of family entrepreneurial activity that had gone on for a century or more. Following Nasser was Saint Sadat: the same Sadat imprisoned by the British for his pro-Nazi activities during World War II. Jimmy Carter, who incidentally has also managed to award himself the same title, of course, awarded him his sainthood. Carter was rewarding Saint Sadat for deigning to accept all of the Sinai — territory that morally Egypt had no right to receive back yet again. Egypt, after all, had lost in a war of aggression started when Nasser demanded that U Thant pull out the U.N. peacekeepers, and then proceeded to block the Straits of Tiran in May 1967.

Yet Carter rewarded Sadat and Egypt with nearly $2 billion a year in American foreign aid — which foreign aid became automatic, a tribute never to be interrupted, in other words, Jizyah. This Jizyah has bought us nothing, unless you think that the anti-Americanism in Egypt has been swell, that the threats to Ethiopia and the support for the Sudanese government are acceptable, that the complicity in arms-smuggling into Gaza is perfectly understandable, that the continued and even growing numbers of rapes and looting and murders of Copts is simply what one should expect of Muslims and that one should not get too upset about it.

I don’t think any of those things. And I don’t think other long-suffering American taxpayers, Infidels all, agree with The New Duranty Times, or those lazy officials or hangers-on in Washington who keep prating about the “need” to keep “our Egyptian ally” happy. Why? So they can torture, occasionally, the odd Al Qaeda suspect? But meanwhile, they can try to produce WMD, harass the Copts, plot diplomatically and with arms-smuggling against Israel, bully Ethiopia to endure further famine, and fill the press and television with the most disgusting and scandalous misrepresentations of the behavior of American soldiers, as they have done for decades in their misrepresentation of Israeli soldiers.

No, I have presented Ten Good Reasons For Stopping the Jizyah to Egypt.

I defy anyone in Washington to offer even One Good Reason for continuing the Jizyah to that meretricious and sinister regime, people, and country.

It took me precisely 22 minutes to compose this article at one go. Why cannot those thousands of bigshots in Washington, in their think-tanks or in their well-paid government jobs, or at their newspapers and magazines, come up with these Ten Reasons, and Ninety Reasons more? If they did, they would thereby save us money, and, when it comes to dealing with the menace of the Jihad everywhere, Start Making Sense.

A rebirth of Islam’s Golden Age of Tolerance toward non-Muslims

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2006 at 3:04 PM

Just as Allah and his false prophet command. Clashes follow Egypt Copt funeral:

Clashes broke out between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Alexandria in Egypt, after the funeral of a Coptic worshipper killed in church on Friday.

Police fired tear gas and tried to separate the groups, who threw stones and attacked each other with sticks.

This followed the funeral of Nushi Atta Girgis, 78, who died after being stabbed in one of three knife attacks at Alexandria churches.

Christians have accused the government of failing to protect them.

Mourners shouted anti-government slogans as the funeral procession – attended by an estimated 3,000 people – turned into a protest outside the church where the funeral was held.

At least 15 people were injured and four vehicles were burned out, an interior ministry source said.

‘Crushed by Muslims’

The government has announced the arrest of a “deranged” man it says was responsible for all the attacks, but some Copts believe they were carried out simultaneously as part of an anti-Christian plot by extremist Muslims.

A judge remanded Mahmoud Salah-Eddin Abdel-Raziq, 25, into custody.

“Certain papers speak of a madman. I don’t believe a word. It is propaganda to silence us and to make us believe it is an individual incident,” said Karim, a 78-year-old Copt at the funeral.

“We have always been peaceful, but we are always crushed by the Muslims,” said 30-year-old Girgis Mina. “If the state does not protect us, we will do it ourselves.”

Christians make up 10% of the Egyptian population and have complained of harassment and discrimination.

Some Copts argue that previous attacks on them have gone unpunished or have drawn light sentences.

Most Christians in Egypt are Copts – Christians descended from the ancient Egyptians.

Their church split from the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in 451AD because of a theological dispute over the nature of Christ, but is now, on most issues, doctrinally similar to the Eastern Orthodox church.

A rebirth of Islam’s Golden Age of Tolerance toward non-Muslims

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2006 at 2:04 PM

Just as Allah and his false prophet command. Clashes follow Egypt Copt funeral:

Clashes broke out between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Alexandria in Egypt, after the funeral of a Coptic worshipper killed in church on Friday.

Police fired tear gas and tried to separate the groups, who threw stones and attacked each other with sticks.

This followed the funeral of Nushi Atta Girgis, 78, who died after being stabbed in one of three knife attacks at Alexandria churches.

Christians have accused the government of failing to protect them.

Mourners shouted anti-government slogans as the funeral procession – attended by an estimated 3,000 people – turned into a protest outside the church where the funeral was held.

At least 15 people were injured and four vehicles were burned out, an interior ministry source said.

‘Crushed by Muslims’

The government has announced the arrest of a “deranged” man it says was responsible for all the attacks, but some Copts believe they were carried out simultaneously as part of an anti-Christian plot by extremist Muslims.

A judge remanded Mahmoud Salah-Eddin Abdel-Raziq, 25, into custody.

“Certain papers speak of a madman. I don’t believe a word. It is propaganda to silence us and to make us believe it is an individual incident,” said Karim, a 78-year-old Copt at the funeral.

“We have always been peaceful, but we are always crushed by the Muslims,” said 30-year-old Girgis Mina. “If the state does not protect us, we will do it ourselves.”

Christians make up 10% of the Egyptian population and have complained of harassment and discrimination.

Some Copts argue that previous attacks on them have gone unpunished or have drawn light sentences.

Most Christians in Egypt are Copts – Christians descended from the ancient Egyptians.

Their church split from the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches in 451AD because of a theological dispute over the nature of Christ, but is now, on most issues, doctrinally similar to the Eastern Orthodox church.

A terrible and glorious Day

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2006 at 9:26 PM

Life Of The World:

Good Friday

Isaiah 52:15-53:5

So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider. Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

2nd Corinthians 5:14b-21

… that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

John 19:38-42

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

A terrible and glorious Day

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2006 at 9:26 PM

Life Of The World:

Good Friday

Isaiah 52:15-53:5

So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider. Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

2nd Corinthians 5:14b-21

… that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

John 19:38-42

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

A terrible and glorious Day

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2006 at 8:26 PM

Life Of The World:

Good Friday

Isaiah 52:15-53:5

So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider. Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

2nd Corinthians 5:14b-21

… that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

John 19:38-42

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

Exposing Islam’s Big Lies

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2006 at 7:40 PM

From Andrew Bostom at The American Thinker:

The Big Lie as propaganda device has a long and dishonorable history, gulling onto complacency those who prefer to avoid unpleasant worries. The Nazi propagandist Goebbels was its most notable practitioner, but for sheer numbers and historical roots, no other group can match the efforts of jihadist Muslims, with their religiously-sanctioned practice of deceiving infidels to protect the faith.

Al-Jazeera aired on March 24, 2006, a rather chilling, one-sided “dialogue” between representatives of Arab and Danish student organizations who met in Damascus, ostensibly to discuss the violent worldwide Muslim reactions following publication of the Muhammad cartoons by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten. Video clips and a written transcript of this event are available through the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Ahmad Al-Shater, Chairman of the Arab Students Union, and his Sudanese Student Union colleague “Muhammad,” were unremittingly truculent in their presentations, which melded classic taquiyya (sanctioned dissimulation of Islamic doctrine to “protect” the faithful), or sheer ignorance, Muslim Jew-hatred, and a Goebbels-like distortion of contemporary events, including the requisite conspiratorial Judenhass (Jew-hatred).

Al-Shater began by stating that it was the nefarious “Zionists” and “imperialists” who had deliberately misrepresented Islam by wrongfully associating the religion with terrorism. He asserted categorically:

According to the Islamic religion, even in times of war, it is forbidden to uproot a tree, it is forbidden to kill a woman, it is forbidden to kill a child, it is forbidden to destroy wells… It is forbidden to fill wells with earth… Water wells… It is forbidden to harm human life, it is forbidden to destroy a church, it is forbidden to attack a religious belief…

Classical Islamic doctrines on jihad war, and more importantly the actual practice of jihad campaigns in accord with this theory, put the lie to Al-Shater’s uninformed or deliberately taquiyya-laden assertions. Al-Shater’s basic contention that “it is forbidden to attack a religious belief” is patently absurd—the archetypal proto-jihad campaigns of Muhammad himself imposed Islam and Islamic suzerainty upon the pagans, Jews, and Christians of ancient Arabia, and continue to provide the rationale for aggressive jihad imperialism to this day.

For example, Muhammad, according to a summary of sacralized Muslim sources,

..waited for some act of aggression on the part of the Jews of Khaybar, whose fertile lands and villages he had destined for his followers…to furnish an excuse for an attack. But, no such opportunity offering, he resolved in the autumn of this year [i.e., 628], on a sudden and unprovoked invasion of their territory.

Ali (later, the fourth “Rightly Guided Caliph”, and especially revered by Shi’ite Muslims) asked Muhammad why the Jews of Khaybar were being attacked, since they were peaceful farmers, tending their oasis, and was told by Muhammad he must compel them to submit to Islamic Law. The renowned early 20th century scholar of Islam, David Margoliouth, observed aptly:

Now the fact that a community was idolatrous, or Jewish, or anything but Mohammedan, warranted a murderous attack upon it.

Moreover, this canonical hadith (from Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4324), which further incorporates a Koranic verse (K 59:5), states clearly that Muhammad also sanctioned the destruction of the trees (i.e., date palms) of infidel foes:

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the date-palms of Banu Nadir to be burnt and cut. These palms were at Buwaira. Qutaibah and Ibn Rumh in their versions of the tradition have added: So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed the verse (K59:5): “Whatever palm-tree you cut down or leave standing upon its roots, It is by Allah’s command, and that He may abase the transgressors”

And with only minor points of internal disagreement, the consensus amongst all four major schools of classical Sunni Islamic jurisprudence contradicts each claim made by Al-Shater. The Hanafi jurists Abu Yusuf (d. 798), Shaybani (d. 803/805), and Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan (d. 1196), state:

[Abu Yusuf]—It seems that the most satisfactory suggestion we have heard in this connection is that there is no objection to the use of any kind of arms against the polytheists, smothering and burning their homes, cutting down their trees and date groves, and using catapults.

[Shaybani]—The army may launch the attack [on the enemy] by night or by day and it is permissible to burn [the enemy] fortifications with fire or to inundate them with water.

[Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan]—in the Traditions…the Prophet plundered and despoiled the tribe of al-Mustaliq by surprise, and he also agreed with Asamah to make a predatory attack upon Qubna at an early hour, and to set it on fire, and such attacks are not preceded by a call…If the infidels, upon receiving the call [to Islam], neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax, it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do. And having so done, the Muslims must then with God’s assistance attack the infidels with all manner of warlike engines (as the Prophet did by the people of Ta’if), and must also set fire to their habitations (in the same manner as the Prophet fired Baweera), and must inundate them with water and tear up their plantations and tread down their grain because by these means they will become weakened, and their resolution will fail and their force be broken; these means are, therefore, all sanctified by the law.

The Hanbali jurist, Ibn Qudama (d. 1223) concurs, and both he and Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), also a Hanbali, elaborate on the issue of when killing women and children may in fact be allowed:

[Ibn Qudama]—It is permitted to surprise the infidels under cover of night, to bombard them with mangonels [an engine that hurls missiles] and to attack them without declaring battle (du‘a’). The Prophet attacked the Banu Mustaliq unexpectedly, while their animals were still at the watering-place; he killed the men who had fought against him and carried off the children into captivity. It is forbidden to kill children, madmen, women, priests, impotent old men, the infirm, the blind, the weak-minded, unless they have taken part in the combat.

[Ibn Taymiyya]—As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped, and their likes, they shall not be killed, unless they actually fight with words [e.g. by propaganda] and acts [e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare]. Some [ jurists] are of the opinion that all of them may be killed, on the mere ground that they are unbelievers, but they make an exception for women and children since they constitute property for Muslims.

Averroes (d. 1198), the renowned philosopher and scholar of the natural sciences, who was also an important Maliki jurist, outlines some of the (rather trivial) points of controversy:

Opinions vary as to the damage that may be inflicted on their property, such as buildings, cattle, and crops. Mālik allowed the felling of trees, the picking of fruits and the demolishing of buildings, but not the slaughter of cattle and the burning of date-palms…According to Shāfiī, dwellings and trees may be burnt as long as the enemy have the disposal of fortresses.

The Shafi’i jurist Al-Mawardi’s (d. 1058) opinion confirms the prevailing consensus views:

The amir [leader] of the army may use ballistas and catapults when besieging the enemy, for the Messenger of Allah…set up a catapult against the inhabitants of Ta’if. He may also destroy their homes, make night raids against them and cause fire. If, moreover, he reckons that by cutting their date-palms and their trees down it will serve to weaken them, such that they are overcome by force or are compelled to make a peace agreement, then he should do so; he should not, however, act in this way if he does not see any such benefit in it…. It is also permitted to block off the supply of water to them, or to prevent them from using it, even if there are women and children amongst them, as it is one of he most potent means of weakening them and gaining victory over the, either by forcer or through a treaty. If a thirsty person amongst them requests a drink, the amir may either give him to drink or refuse him, just as he has the option of killing him or letting him live.

Even the writings of the much lionized paragon of mystical Sufism and Shafi’i jurist al-Ghazali (d. 1111)—who, as noted by the esteemed scholar W.M. Watt, has been “…acclaimed in both the East and West as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad…”—underscore how these practices were normative:

one must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a year…one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them…One may cut down their trees…One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide..

Ibn Hudayl, a 14th century Granadan author of an important treatise on jihad, explained how these allowable methods facilitated the violent, chaotic jihad conquest of the Iberian peninsula, and other parts of Europe:

It is permissible to set fire to the lands of the enemy, his stores of grain, his beasts of burden – if it is not possible for the Muslims to take possession of them – as well as to cut down his trees, to raze his cities, in a word, to do everything that might ruin and discourage him…[being] suited to hastening the Islamization of that enemy or to weakening him. Indeed, all this contributes to a military triumph over him or to forcing him to capitulate.

And these repeated attacks, indistinguishable in motivation from modern acts of jihad terrorism, like the horrific 9/11/01 attacks in New York and Washington, DC, and the Madrid bombings on 3/11/04, or those in London on 7/7/05, were in fact designed to sow terror. The 17th century Muslim historian al-Maqqari, explained that the panic created by the Arab horsemen and sailors, at the time of the Muslim expansion in the regions subjected to those raids and landings, facilitated their later conquest:

Allah thus instilled such fear among the infidels that they did not dare to go and fight the conquerors; they only approached them as suppliants, to beg for peace.

The essential pattern of the jihad war is captured in the classical Muslim historian al-Tabari’ s recording of the recommendation given by Umar b. al-Khattab (the second “Rightly Guided Caliph”) to the commander of the troops he sent to al-Basrah (636 C.E.), during the conquest of Iraq. Umar reportedly said:

Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. (Koran 9:29) If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency. Fear God with regard to what you have been entrusted.

By the time of al-Tabari’s death in 923, jihad wars had expanded the Muslim empire from Portugal to the Indian subcontinent. Subsequent Muslim conquests continued in Asia, as well as Eastern Europe. Under the banner of jihad, the Christian kingdoms of Armenia, Byzantium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, and Albania, in addition to parts of Poland and Hungary, were also conquered and Islamized by waves of Seljuk, or later Ottoman Turks, as well as Tatars. Arab Muslim invaders engaged, additionally, in continuous jihad raids that ravaged and enslaved Sub-Saharan African animist populations, extending to the southern Sudan. When the Ottoman Muslim armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683, over a millennium of jihad had transpired.

These tremendous military successes spawned a triumphalist jihad literature. Muslim historians recorded in detail the number of infidels slaughtered, or enslaved and deported, the cities, villages, and infidel religious sites which were sacked and pillaged, and the lands, treasure, and movable goods seized.

And once again, despite Mr. Al-Shater’s ignorance or disingenuous denial, this sanctioned but wanton destruction, resulted in: the merciless slaughter of non-combatants, including women and children; massive destruction of non-Muslim houses of worship and religious shrines—Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, and Zoroastrian, Hindu, and Buddhist temples and idols; and the burning of harvest crops and massive uprooting of agricultural production systems, leading to famine. Christian (Coptic, Armenian, Jacobite, Greek, Slav, etc.), as well as Hebrew sources, and even the scant Zoroastrian, Hindu and Buddhist writings which survived the ravages of the Muslim conquests, independently validate this narrative, and complement the Muslim perspective by providing testimonies of the suffering of the non-Muslim victims of jihad wars.

Al-Shater also spewed forth this lying invective—180 degrees divorced from reality—which included a frank “burning of the Reichstag” reference to mosque destruction considering the recent bombing of the revered Shi’ite “Golden Mosque” in Samarra—a striking contemporary event, but also just another manifestation of over a millennium of Muslim sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi’a:

Those who try to pin the blame for terrorism on the Muslims, headed by the leader of international terrorism, America, and by Zionism and imperialism, are killing our children in Palestine and Iraq on a daily basis, as you can see. They are destroying schools. They are destroying churches and mosques. They violate our honor. They rape women and slit open the stomachs of pregnant women.

The bitter irony is that in stark contrast to Al-Shater’s mendacious slurs against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or Israeli forces in Gaza, Judea or Samaria, it is modern jihad campaigns which have been fraught with the atrocities he enumerates. A few prominent examples include: the Ottoman massacres of the Bulgarians in 1876 and larger genocidal slaughters of the Armenians at the close of the 19th century, through the end of World War I; the Moplah jihad against the hapless Hindus of South India in 1921; the massacres of Assyrian Christians by Arab and Kurdish Muslims near Mosul in 1933; and the recent genocidal jihad waged against Southern Sudanese Christians and Animists by the Arab Muslim Khartoum government, primarily during the last decade of the 20th century.

American correspondent Januarius A. MacGahan recorded these observations from Batak, July-August, 1876 during his investigation of the Bulgarian massacres:

The number of children killed in these massacres is something enormous. They were often spitted on bayonets, and we have several stories from eye-witnesses who saw little babes carried about the streets, both here and at Otluk-kui, on the point of bayonets. The reason is simple. When a Mahometan has killed a certain number of infidels, he is sure of Paradise, no matter what his sins may be…the ordinary Mussulman takes the precept in broader acceptation, and counts women and children as well. Here in Batak the Bashi-Bazouks, in order to swell the count, ripped open pregnant women, and killed the unborn infants. As we approached the middle of the town, bones, skeletons, and skulls became more numerous. There was not a house beneath the ruins of which we did not perceive human remains, and the street besides were strewn with them.

Lord Kinross described the slaughter of the Armenian community of Urfa in December, 1895, one of a series of brutal massacres committed by the Ottoman Turks between 1894 and 1896, as follows:

Cruelest and most ruinous of all were the massacres at Urfa, where the Armenian Christians numbered a third of the total population. Here in December 1895, after a two-months siege of their quarter, the leading Armenians assembled in their cathedral, where they drew up a statement requesting Turkish official protection. Promising this, the Turkish officer in charge surrounded the cathedral with troops. Then a large body of them, with a mob in their wake, rushed through the Armenian quarter, where they plundered all houses and slaughtered all adult males above a certain age. When a large group of young Armenians were brought before a sheikh, he had them thrown down on their backs and held by their hands and feet. Then, in the words of an observer, he recited verses of the Koran and “cut their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep.”

When the bugle blast ended the day’s operations some three thousand refugees poured into the cathedral, hoping for sanctuary. But the next morning – a Sunday – a fanatical mob swarmed into the church in an orgy of slaughter, rifling its shrines will cries of “Call upon Christ to prove Himself a greater prophet than Mohammed.” Then they amassed a large pile of straw matting, which they spread over the litter of the corpses and set alight with thirty cans of petroleum. The woodwork of the gallery where a crowd of women and children crouched, wailing in terror, caught fire, and all perished in the flames. Punctiliously, at three-thirty in the afternoon the bugle blew once more, and the Moslem officials proceeded around the Armenian quarter to proclaim that the massacres were over. They had wiped out 126 complete families, without a woman or a baby surviving, and the total casualties in the town, including those slaughtered in the cathedral, amounted to eight thousand dead.

Vahakn Dadrian recounted the harrowing details of the slaughter of 6400 Armenian children, young girls, and women from Yozgad, described in Reverend K. Balakian’s eyewitness narrative of the World War I period (1914-1920), Hai Koghota (The Armenian Golgotha). The victims were left by their Turkish captors at a promontory some distance from the city. Then,

To save shell and powder, the gendarmerie commander in charge of this large convoy had gathered 10,000-12,000 Turkish peasants and other villagers, and armed with “hatchets, meat cleavers, saddler’s knives, cudgels, axes, pickaxes, shovels”, the latter attacked and for some 4-5 hours mercilessly butchered the victims while crying “Oh God, Oh God” (Allah, Allah). In a moment of rare candor, this gendarmerie commander confided to the priest-author, whom he did not expect to survive the mass murder, that after each massacre episode, he spread his little prayer rug and performed the namaz, the ritual of worship, centered on prayer, with a great sense of redemption in the service of Almighty God.

J. J. Banninga, an American graduate of the Western Theological Seminary, spent forty-two years in India, serving for 25 years as head of the Union Theological Seminary at Pasumalai in South India. His analysis of the 1921 Moplah (i.e., Muslims of Arabic and Hindu descent living in the Malabar district of South India) jihad—one of many periodic outbreaks of Moplah fanaticism—included these harrowing descriptions:

…the Hindu population fell easy prey to their (i.,e., the Moplah) rage and the atrocities committed defy description…The tale of atrocities committed makes sad reading indeed. A memorial submitted by women of Malabar to Her Excellency the Countess of Reading mentions such crimes as wells filled with mutilated bodies, pregnant women cut to pieces, children torn from mother’s arms and killed, husbands and fathers tortured, flayed, and burned alive before the eyes of their wives and daughters; women forcibly carried off and outraged; homes destroyed; temples desecrated…not less than 100 Hindu temples were destroyed or desecrated; cattle slaughtered in temples and their entrails placed around the necks of the idols in place of garlands of flowers; and wholesale looting. No fiendish act seems to have been too vile for them to perpetrate.

…There were, during the rebellion, many cases of forced conversion from Hinduism to Mohammedanism. There was a double difficulty about restoring these people to their old faith. In the first place there is a severe penalty resting on any Mohammedan that perverts…and in the second place there is really no door save birth into Hinduism.

On August 11, 1933, less than a year after British withdrawal from the region, the “new” Iraqi armed forces, aided by local Arab and Kurdish tribesmen, began the wholesale massacre of Assyrians in the Mosul area (Simel, Dohuk). Before the end of August, 1933, 3000 Assyrians were murdered, and thousands more displaced. An example typical of the carnage was described in a contemporary chronicle believed to have been written by Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, a Cambridge University graduate and Patriarch of the Church of the East:

The inoffensive population was indiscriminately massacred, men, women and children alike, with rifle, revolver and machine gun fire. In one room alone, eighty-one men from the Baz tribe, who had taken shelter… were barbarously massacred. Priests were tortured and their bodies mutilated. Those who showed their Iraqi nationality papers were the first to be shot. Girls were raped and women violated and made to march naked before the Arab army commander. Holy books were used as fuel for burning girls. Children were run over by military cars. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were flung in the air and pierced on to the points of bayonets. Those who survived in the other villages were now exposed day and night to constant raids and acts of violence. Forced conversion to Islam of men and women was the next process. Refusal was met with death. Sixty five out of ninety five Assyrian villages and settlements were either sacked, destroyed or burnt to the ground. Even the settlements which existed from the year 1921 and who had no connection in any way with the trouble were wrecked and all property looted by Iraq army and tribesmen.

The intrepid Dr. John Eibner made 20 visits to the Sudan during decade of the 1990s, reporting on the recrudescence of jihad slavery. The Arab Muslim dominated Khartoum government established an overtly jihadist Popular Defense Force, which further incorporated local Arab militias. Their jihad depredations targeting the Christian and Animist tribes (principally the Dinkas of northern Bahr al-Ghazal, together with the black African Nuba tribes of southern Kordofan) slaughtered, displaced, and enslaved tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands at a time. During the spring of 1998 alone, more than 300,000 persons were displaced, while the total number killed and enslaved remained unknown. These Dinka victims—women and children—shared the fate of the Nuba, as described by Eibner:

Some Nuba captives end up as chattel slaves but the overwhelming majority are deported to concentration camps elsewhere in Sudan, where they serve in slave-like conditions. The children are sent to militant Qur’anic schools, while the women are sent out to work without pay as day laborers on farms and in private homes. Sexual abuse is rife.

Al-Shater’s conspiracy mongering (the publication of the Danish cartoons was yet another act of the “cabal”), and gross distortions of Islamic doctrines and history were complemented by his lionization of Holocaust deniers Roger Garaudy and David Irving (whose name he could not recall—“He relies on documents. I cannot recall his name, but he is a great English intellectual, a university professor, who refuted the Holocaust.”), as well as the viscerally anti-American and Antisemitic British politicians George Galloway and Ken Livingston.

The briefer presentation of Al-Shater’s colleague, Sudanese Student Union Chairman “Muhammad” included raw Muslim Judenhass, threats to Danish soldiers, and equally mendacious assertions of U.S. murderousness in Iraq—compared, with earnestness, to the putatively “light casualties” inflicted on the Iraqis during Saddam’s 30-year reign of domestic terror.

I’d like to tell you that harming the Prophet is not a new thing. One thousand four hundred years ago, the Jews tried to kill him in Al-Madina. In our religion, harming the Prophet is where we draw the line. We are prepared to die to prevent this……As you know, Bush killed 110,000 people in Iraq, while Saddam did not kill even one third of this figure. Saddam did not kill even 30,000 people throughout his rule. I would like to welcome you on this visit, because the image of Denmark and the Danish people has become very negative in the Arab and Islamic world. In conclusion, I would like to say that tomorrow America will pass a resolution in the U.N. Security Council calling for international military intervention in Sudan. Among these forces, obviously, there will be Danish forces. I would like to inform you that because the Sudanese people are so angry over this affront, they will kill the Danish soldiers before they kill the others.

He may be invoking an oral tradition, preserved in the hadith, for this uniquely Islamic motif of Jew hatred (Bukhari- Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786), which maintains that the perfidious Jews caused Muhammad’s protracted, excruciating death from poisoning.

Narrated Anas b. Malik: A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah’s Apostle

The rest of Sudanese Student Union Chairman “Muhammad” statements speak for themselves.

And what were the responses of the Danish Student Delegation Head to his Muslim interlocutors, the Chairmen of the Arab Students and Sudanese Student Unions?

…as a representative of the Danish youth and not a representative of the government, I cannot explain to you why the Danish government has not apologized…And another important question, in your last very concrete questions about… could a Danish newspaper have made drawings of the Holocaust or denying the Holocaust. And the answer to that question is yes. There’s no law in Denmark preventing a Danish newspaper from making drawings of the Holocaust.

These muted, largely non-sequitur responses by the Head of the Danish Student Delegation are a tangible product of the “Eurabian ethos”, which Bat Ye’or warned, pervades Western European academic and political institutions. The very “cartoon dialogue” itself was but a microcosm of the larger Euro-Arab Dialogue process and a distressing illustration of the most craven dhimmitude that parent institution has engendered, threatening, as Bat Ye’or notes, the very foundations of Western society:

This Eurabian ethos operates at all levels of European society. Its countless functionaries, like the Christian janissary slave-soldiers of past Islamic regimes, advance a jihadist world strategy. Eurabia cannot change direction; it can only use deception to mask its emergence, its bias and its inevitable trajectory. Eurabia’s destiny was sealed when it decided, willingly, to become a covert partner with the Arab global jihad against America and Israel. Americans must discuss the tragic development of Eurabia, and its profound implications for the United States, particularly in terms of its resultant foreign policy realities. Americans should consider the despair and confusion of many Europeans, prisoners of a Eurabian totalitarianism that foments a culture of deadly lies about Western civilization. Americans should know that this self-destructive calamity did not just happen, rather it was the result of deliberate policies, executed and monitored by ostensibly responsible people. Finally, Americans should understand that Eurabia’s contemporary anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism are the spiritual heirs of 1930s Nazism and anti-Semitism, triumphally resurgent.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad.

Exposing Islam’s Big Lies

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2006 at 7:40 PM

From Andrew Bostom at The American Thinker:

The Big Lie as propaganda device has a long and dishonorable history, gulling onto complacency those who prefer to avoid unpleasant worries. The Nazi propagandist Goebbels was its most notable practitioner, but for sheer numbers and historical roots, no other group can match the efforts of jihadist Muslims, with their religiously-sanctioned practice of deceiving infidels to protect the faith.

Al-Jazeera aired on March 24, 2006, a rather chilling, one-sided “dialogue” between representatives of Arab and Danish student organizations who met in Damascus, ostensibly to discuss the violent worldwide Muslim reactions following publication of the Muhammad cartoons by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten. Video clips and a written transcript of this event are available through the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Ahmad Al-Shater, Chairman of the Arab Students Union, and his Sudanese Student Union colleague “Muhammad,” were unremittingly truculent in their presentations, which melded classic taquiyya (sanctioned dissimulation of Islamic doctrine to “protect” the faithful), or sheer ignorance, Muslim Jew-hatred, and a Goebbels-like distortion of contemporary events, including the requisite conspiratorial Judenhass (Jew-hatred).

Al-Shater began by stating that it was the nefarious “Zionists” and “imperialists” who had deliberately misrepresented Islam by wrongfully associating the religion with terrorism. He asserted categorically:

According to the Islamic religion, even in times of war, it is forbidden to uproot a tree, it is forbidden to kill a woman, it is forbidden to kill a child, it is forbidden to destroy wells… It is forbidden to fill wells with earth… Water wells… It is forbidden to harm human life, it is forbidden to destroy a church, it is forbidden to attack a religious belief…

Classical Islamic doctrines on jihad war, and more importantly the actual practice of jihad campaigns in accord with this theory, put the lie to Al-Shater’s uninformed or deliberately taquiyya-laden assertions. Al-Shater’s basic contention that “it is forbidden to attack a religious belief” is patently absurd—the archetypal proto-jihad campaigns of Muhammad himself imposed Islam and Islamic suzerainty upon the pagans, Jews, and Christians of ancient Arabia, and continue to provide the rationale for aggressive jihad imperialism to this day.

For example, Muhammad, according to a summary of sacralized Muslim sources,

..waited for some act of aggression on the part of the Jews of Khaybar, whose fertile lands and villages he had destined for his followers…to furnish an excuse for an attack. But, no such opportunity offering, he resolved in the autumn of this year [i.e., 628], on a sudden and unprovoked invasion of their territory.

Ali (later, the fourth “Rightly Guided Caliph”, and especially revered by Shi’ite Muslims) asked Muhammad why the Jews of Khaybar were being attacked, since they were peaceful farmers, tending their oasis, and was told by Muhammad he must compel them to submit to Islamic Law. The renowned early 20th century scholar of Islam, David Margoliouth, observed aptly:

Now the fact that a community was idolatrous, or Jewish, or anything but Mohammedan, warranted a murderous attack upon it.

Moreover, this canonical hadith (from Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4324), which further incorporates a Koranic verse (K 59:5), states clearly that Muhammad also sanctioned the destruction of the trees (i.e., date palms) of infidel foes:

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the date-palms of Banu Nadir to be burnt and cut. These palms were at Buwaira. Qutaibah and Ibn Rumh in their versions of the tradition have added: So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed the verse (K59:5): “Whatever palm-tree you cut down or leave standing upon its roots, It is by Allah’s command, and that He may abase the transgressors”

And with only minor points of internal disagreement, the consensus amongst all four major schools of classical Sunni Islamic jurisprudence contradicts each claim made by Al-Shater. The Hanafi jurists Abu Yusuf (d. 798), Shaybani (d. 803/805), and Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan (d. 1196), state:

[Abu Yusuf]—It seems that the most satisfactory suggestion we have heard in this connection is that there is no objection to the use of any kind of arms against the polytheists, smothering and burning their homes, cutting down their trees and date groves, and using catapults.

[Shaybani]—The army may launch the attack [on the enemy] by night or by day and it is permissible to burn [the enemy] fortifications with fire or to inundate them with water.

[Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan]—in the Traditions…the Prophet plundered and despoiled the tribe of al-Mustaliq by surprise, and he also agreed with Asamah to make a predatory attack upon Qubna at an early hour, and to set it on fire, and such attacks are not preceded by a call…If the infidels, upon receiving the call [to Islam], neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax, it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do. And having so done, the Muslims must then with God’s assistance attack the infidels with all manner of warlike engines (as the Prophet did by the people of Ta’if), and must also set fire to their habitations (in the same manner as the Prophet fired Baweera), and must inundate them with water and tear up their plantations and tread down their grain because by these means they will become weakened, and their resolution will fail and their force be broken; these means are, therefore, all sanctified by the law.

The Hanbali jurist, Ibn Qudama (d. 1223) concurs, and both he and Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), also a Hanbali, elaborate on the issue of when killing women and children may in fact be allowed:

[Ibn Qudama]—It is permitted to surprise the infidels under cover of night, to bombard them with mangonels [an engine that hurls missiles] and to attack them without declaring battle (du‘a’). The Prophet attacked the Banu Mustaliq unexpectedly, while their animals were still at the watering-place; he killed the men who had fought against him and carried off the children into captivity. It is forbidden to kill children, madmen, women, priests, impotent old men, the infirm, the blind, the weak-minded, unless they have taken part in the combat.

[Ibn Taymiyya]—As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped, and their likes, they shall not be killed, unless they actually fight with words [e.g. by propaganda] and acts [e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare]. Some [ jurists] are of the opinion that all of them may be killed, on the mere ground that they are unbelievers, but they make an exception for women and children since they constitute property for Muslims.

Averroes (d. 1198), the renowned philosopher and scholar of the natural sciences, who was also an important Maliki jurist, outlines some of the (rather trivial) points of controversy:

Opinions vary as to the damage that may be inflicted on their property, such as buildings, cattle, and crops. Mālik allowed the felling of trees, the picking of fruits and the demolishing of buildings, but not the slaughter of cattle and the burning of date-palms…According to Shāfiī, dwellings and trees may be burnt as long as the enemy have the disposal of fortresses.

The Shafi’i jurist Al-Mawardi’s (d. 1058) opinion confirms the prevailing consensus views:

The amir [leader] of the army may use ballistas and catapults when besieging the enemy, for the Messenger of Allah…set up a catapult against the inhabitants of Ta’if. He may also destroy their homes, make night raids against them and cause fire. If, moreover, he reckons that by cutting their date-palms and their trees down it will serve to weaken them, such that they are overcome by force or are compelled to make a peace agreement, then he should do so; he should not, however, act in this way if he does not see any such benefit in it…. It is also permitted to block off the supply of water to them, or to prevent them from using it, even if there are women and children amongst them, as it is one of he most potent means of weakening them and gaining victory over the, either by forcer or through a treaty. If a thirsty person amongst them requests a drink, the amir may either give him to drink or refuse him, just as he has the option of killing him or letting him live.

Even the writings of the much lionized paragon of mystical Sufism and Shafi’i jurist al-Ghazali (d. 1111)—who, as noted by the esteemed scholar W.M. Watt, has been “…acclaimed in both the East and West as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad…”—underscore how these practices were normative:

one must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a year…one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them…One may cut down their trees…One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide..

Ibn Hudayl, a 14th century Granadan author of an important treatise on jihad, explained how these allowable methods facilitated the violent, chaotic jihad conquest of the Iberian peninsula, and other parts of Europe:

It is permissible to set fire to the lands of the enemy, his stores of grain, his beasts of burden – if it is not possible for the Muslims to take possession of them – as well as to cut down his trees, to raze his cities, in a word, to do everything that might ruin and discourage him…[being] suited to hastening the Islamization of that enemy or to weakening him. Indeed, all this contributes to a military triumph over him or to forcing him to capitulate.

And these repeated attacks, indistinguishable in motivation from modern acts of jihad terrorism, like the horrific 9/11/01 attacks in New York and Washington, DC, and the Madrid bombings on 3/11/04, or those in London on 7/7/05, were in fact designed to sow terror. The 17th century Muslim historian al-Maqqari, explained that the panic created by the Arab horsemen and sailors, at the time of the Muslim expansion in the regions subjected to those raids and landings, facilitated their later conquest:

Allah thus instilled such fear among the infidels that they did not dare to go and fight the conquerors; they only approached them as suppliants, to beg for peace.

The essential pattern of the jihad war is captured in the classical Muslim historian al-Tabari’ s recording of the recommendation given by Umar b. al-Khattab (the second “Rightly Guided Caliph”) to the commander of the troops he sent to al-Basrah (636 C.E.), during the conquest of Iraq. Umar reportedly said:

Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. (Koran 9:29) If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency. Fear God with regard to what you have been entrusted.

By the time of al-Tabari’s death in 923, jihad wars had expanded the Muslim empire from Portugal to the Indian subcontinent. Subsequent Muslim conquests continued in Asia, as well as Eastern Europe. Under the banner of jihad, the Christian kingdoms of Armenia, Byzantium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, and Albania, in addition to parts of Poland and Hungary, were also conquered and Islamized by waves of Seljuk, or later Ottoman Turks, as well as Tatars. Arab Muslim invaders engaged, additionally, in continuous jihad raids that ravaged and enslaved Sub-Saharan African animist populations, extending to the southern Sudan. When the Ottoman Muslim armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683, over a millennium of jihad had transpired.

These tremendous military successes spawned a triumphalist jihad literature. Muslim historians recorded in detail the number of infidels slaughtered, or enslaved and deported, the cities, villages, and infidel religious sites which were sacked and pillaged, and the lands, treasure, and movable goods seized.

And once again, despite Mr. Al-Shater’s ignorance or disingenuous denial, this sanctioned but wanton destruction, resulted in: the merciless slaughter of non-combatants, including women and children; massive destruction of non-Muslim houses of worship and religious shrines—Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, and Zoroastrian, Hindu, and Buddhist temples and idols; and the burning of harvest crops and massive uprooting of agricultural production systems, leading to famine. Christian (Coptic, Armenian, Jacobite, Greek, Slav, etc.), as well as Hebrew sources, and even the scant Zoroastrian, Hindu and Buddhist writings which survived the ravages of the Muslim conquests, independently validate this narrative, and complement the Muslim perspective by providing testimonies of the suffering of the non-Muslim victims of jihad wars.

Al-Shater also spewed forth this lying invective—180 degrees divorced from reality—which included a frank “burning of the Reichstag” reference to mosque destruction considering the recent bombing of the revered Shi’ite “Golden Mosque” in Samarra—a striking contemporary event, but also just another manifestation of over a millennium of Muslim sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi’a:

Those who try to pin the blame for terrorism on the Muslims, headed by the leader of international terrorism, America, and by Zionism and imperialism, are killing our children in Palestine and Iraq on a daily basis, as you can see. They are destroying schools. They are destroying churches and mosques. They violate our honor. They rape women and slit open the stomachs of pregnant women.

The bitter irony is that in stark contrast to Al-Shater’s mendacious slurs against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or Israeli forces in Gaza, Judea or Samaria, it is modern jihad campaigns which have been fraught with the atrocities he enumerates. A few prominent examples include: the Ottoman massacres of the Bulgarians in 1876 and larger genocidal slaughters of the Armenians at the close of the 19th century, through the end of World War I; the Moplah jihad against the hapless Hindus of South India in 1921; the massacres of Assyrian Christians by Arab and Kurdish Muslims near Mosul in 1933; and the recent genocidal jihad waged against Southern Sudanese Christians and Animists by the Arab Muslim Khartoum government, primarily during the last decade of the 20th century.

American correspondent Januarius A. MacGahan recorded these observations from Batak, July-August, 1876 during his investigation of the Bulgarian massacres:

The number of children killed in these massacres is something enormous. They were often spitted on bayonets, and we have several stories from eye-witnesses who saw little babes carried about the streets, both here and at Otluk-kui, on the point of bayonets. The reason is simple. When a Mahometan has killed a certain number of infidels, he is sure of Paradise, no matter what his sins may be…the ordinary Mussulman takes the precept in broader acceptation, and counts women and children as well. Here in Batak the Bashi-Bazouks, in order to swell the count, ripped open pregnant women, and killed the unborn infants. As we approached the middle of the town, bones, skeletons, and skulls became more numerous. There was not a house beneath the ruins of which we did not perceive human remains, and the street besides were strewn with them.

Lord Kinross described the slaughter of the Armenian community of Urfa in December, 1895, one of a series of brutal massacres committed by the Ottoman Turks between 1894 and 1896, as follows:

Cruelest and most ruinous of all were the massacres at Urfa, where the Armenian Christians numbered a third of the total population. Here in December 1895, after a two-months siege of their quarter, the leading Armenians assembled in their cathedral, where they drew up a statement requesting Turkish official protection. Promising this, the Turkish officer in charge surrounded the cathedral with troops. Then a large body of them, with a mob in their wake, rushed through the Armenian quarter, where they plundered all houses and slaughtered all adult males above a certain age. When a large group of young Armenians were brought before a sheikh, he had them thrown down on their backs and held by their hands and feet. Then, in the words of an observer, he recited verses of the Koran and “cut their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep.”

When the bugle blast ended the day’s operations some three thousand refugees poured into the cathedral, hoping for sanctuary. But the next morning – a Sunday – a fanatical mob swarmed into the church in an orgy of slaughter, rifling its shrines will cries of “Call upon Christ to prove Himself a greater prophet than Mohammed.” Then they amassed a large pile of straw matting, which they spread over the litter of the corpses and set alight with thirty cans of petroleum. The woodwork of the gallery where a crowd of women and children crouched, wailing in terror, caught fire, and all perished in the flames. Punctiliously, at three-thirty in the afternoon the bugle blew once more, and the Moslem officials proceeded around the Armenian quarter to proclaim that the massacres were over. They had wiped out 126 complete families, without a woman or a baby surviving, and the total casualties in the town, including those slaughtered in the cathedral, amounted to eight thousand dead.

Vahakn Dadrian recounted the harrowing details of the slaughter of 6400 Armenian children, young girls, and women from Yozgad, described in Reverend K. Balakian’s eyewitness narrative of the World War I period (1914-1920), Hai Koghota (The Armenian Golgotha). The victims were left by their Turkish captors at a promontory some distance from the city. Then,

To save shell and powder, the gendarmerie commander in charge of this large convoy had gathered 10,000-12,000 Turkish peasants and other villagers, and armed with “hatchets, meat cleavers, saddler’s knives, cudgels, axes, pickaxes, shovels”, the latter attacked and for some 4-5 hours mercilessly butchered the victims while crying “Oh God, Oh God” (Allah, Allah). In a moment of rare candor, this gendarmerie commander confided to the priest-author, whom he did not expect to survive the mass murder, that after each massacre episode, he spread his little prayer rug and performed the namaz, the ritual of worship, centered on prayer, with a great sense of redemption in the service of Almighty God.

J. J. Banninga, an American graduate of the Western Theological Seminary, spent forty-two years in India, serving for 25 years as head of the Union Theological Seminary at Pasumalai in South India. His analysis of the 1921 Moplah (i.e., Muslims of Arabic and Hindu descent living in the Malabar district of South India) jihad—one of many periodic outbreaks of Moplah fanaticism—included these harrowing descriptions:

…the Hindu population fell easy prey to their (i.,e., the Moplah) rage and the atrocities committed defy description…The tale of atrocities committed makes sad reading indeed. A memorial submitted by women of Malabar to Her Excellency the Countess of Reading mentions such crimes as wells filled with mutilated bodies, pregnant women cut to pieces, children torn from mother’s arms and killed, husbands and fathers tortured, flayed, and burned alive before the eyes of their wives and daughters; women forcibly carried off and outraged; homes destroyed; temples desecrated…not less than 100 Hindu temples were destroyed or desecrated; cattle slaughtered in temples and their entrails placed around the necks of the idols in place of garlands of flowers; and wholesale looting. No fiendish act seems to have been too vile for them to perpetrate.

…There were, during the rebellion, many cases of forced conversion from Hinduism to Mohammedanism. There was a double difficulty about restoring these people to their old faith. In the first place there is a severe penalty resting on any Mohammedan that perverts…and in the second place there is really no door save birth into Hinduism.

On August 11, 1933, less than a year after British withdrawal from the region, the “new” Iraqi armed forces, aided by local Arab and Kurdish tribesmen, began the wholesale massacre of Assyrians in the Mosul area (Simel, Dohuk). Before the end of August, 1933, 3000 Assyrians were murdered, and thousands more displaced. An example typical of the carnage was described in a contemporary chronicle believed to have been written by Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, a Cambridge University graduate and Patriarch of the Church of the East:

The inoffensive population was indiscriminately massacred, men, women and children alike, with rifle, revolver and machine gun fire. In one room alone, eighty-one men from the Baz tribe, who had taken shelter… were barbarously massacred. Priests were tortured and their bodies mutilated. Those who showed their Iraqi nationality papers were the first to be shot. Girls were raped and women violated and made to march naked before the Arab army commander. Holy books were used as fuel for burning girls. Children were run over by military cars. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were flung in the air and pierced on to the points of bayonets. Those who survived in the other villages were now exposed day and night to constant raids and acts of violence. Forced conversion to Islam of men and women was the next process. Refusal was met with death. Sixty five out of ninety five Assyrian villages and settlements were either sacked, destroyed or burnt to the ground. Even the settlements which existed from the year 1921 and who had no connection in any way with the trouble were wrecked and all property looted by Iraq army and tribesmen.

The intrepid Dr. John Eibner made 20 visits to the Sudan during decade of the 1990s, reporting on the recrudescence of jihad slavery. The Arab Muslim dominated Khartoum government established an overtly jihadist Popular Defense Force, which further incorporated local Arab militias. Their jihad depredations targeting the Christian and Animist tribes (principally the Dinkas of northern Bahr al-Ghazal, together with the black African Nuba tribes of southern Kordofan) slaughtered, displaced, and enslaved tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands at a time. During the spring of 1998 alone, more than 300,000 persons were displaced, while the total number killed and enslaved remained unknown. These Dinka victims—women and children—shared the fate of the Nuba, as described by Eibner:

Some Nuba captives end up as chattel slaves but the overwhelming majority are deported to concentration camps elsewhere in Sudan, where they serve in slave-like conditions. The children are sent to militant Qur’anic schools, while the women are sent out to work without pay as day laborers on farms and in private homes. Sexual abuse is rife.

Al-Shater’s conspiracy mongering (the publication of the Danish cartoons was yet another act of the “cabal”), and gross distortions of Islamic doctrines and history were complemented by his lionization of Holocaust deniers Roger Garaudy and David Irving (whose name he could not recall—“He relies on documents. I cannot recall his name, but he is a great English intellectual, a university professor, who refuted the Holocaust.”), as well as the viscerally anti-American and Antisemitic British politicians George Galloway and Ken Livingston.

The briefer presentation of Al-Shater’s colleague, Sudanese Student Union Chairman “Muhammad” included raw Muslim Judenhass, threats to Danish soldiers, and equally mendacious assertions of U.S. murderousness in Iraq—compared, with earnestness, to the putatively “light casualties” inflicted on the Iraqis during Saddam’s 30-year reign of domestic terror.

I’d like to tell you that harming the Prophet is not a new thing. One thousand four hundred years ago, the Jews tried to kill him in Al-Madina. In our religion, harming the Prophet is where we draw the line. We are prepared to die to prevent this……As you know, Bush killed 110,000 people in Iraq, while Saddam did not kill even one third of this figure. Saddam did not kill even 30,000 people throughout his rule. I would like to welcome you on this visit, because the image of Denmark and the Danish people has become very negative in the Arab and Islamic world. In conclusion, I would like to say that tomorrow America will pass a resolution in the U.N. Security Council calling for international military intervention in Sudan. Among these forces, obviously, there will be Danish forces. I would like to inform you that because the Sudanese people are so angry over this affront, they will kill the Danish soldiers before they kill the others.

He may be invoking an oral tradition, preserved in the hadith, for this uniquely Islamic motif of Jew hatred (Bukhari- Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786), which maintains that the perfidious Jews caused Muhammad’s protracted, excruciating death from poisoning.

Narrated Anas b. Malik: A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah’s Apostle

The rest of Sudanese Student Union Chairman “Muhammad” statements speak for themselves.

And what were the responses of the Danish Student Delegation Head to his Muslim interlocutors, the Chairmen of the Arab Students and Sudanese Student Unions?

…as a representative of the Danish youth and not a representative of the government, I cannot explain to you why the Danish government has not apologized…And another important question, in your last very concrete questions about… could a Danish newspaper have made drawings of the Holocaust or denying the Holocaust. And the answer to that question is yes. There’s no law in Denmark preventing a Danish newspaper from making drawings of the Holocaust.

These muted, largely non-sequitur responses by the Head of the Danish Student Delegation are a tangible product of the “Eurabian ethos”, which Bat Ye’or warned, pervades Western European academic and political institutions. The very “cartoon dialogue” itself was but a microcosm of the larger Euro-Arab Dialogue process and a distressing illustration of the most craven dhimmitude that parent institution has engendered, threatening, as Bat Ye’or notes, the very foundations of Western society:

This Eurabian ethos operates at all levels of European society. Its countless functionaries, like the Christian janissary slave-soldiers of past Islamic regimes, advance a jihadist world strategy. Eurabia cannot change direction; it can only use deception to mask its emergence, its bias and its inevitable trajectory. Eurabia’s destiny was sealed when it decided, willingly, to become a covert partner with the Arab global jihad against America and Israel. Americans must discuss the tragic development of Eurabia, and its profound implications for the United States, particularly in terms of its resultant foreign policy realities. Americans should consider the despair and confusion of many Europeans, prisoners of a Eurabian totalitarianism that foments a culture of deadly lies about Western civilization. Americans should know that this self-destructive calamity did not just happen, rather it was the result of deliberate policies, executed and monitored by ostensibly responsible people. Finally, Americans should understand that Eurabia’s contemporary anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism are the spiritual heirs of 1930s Nazism and anti-Semitism, triumphally resurgent.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad.

Exposing Islam’s Big Lies

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2006 at 6:40 PM

From Andrew Bostom at The American Thinker:

The Big Lie as propaganda device has a long and dishonorable history, gulling onto complacency those who prefer to avoid unpleasant worries. The Nazi propagandist Goebbels was its most notable practitioner, but for sheer numbers and historical roots, no other group can match the efforts of jihadist Muslims, with their religiously-sanctioned practice of deceiving infidels to protect the faith.

Al-Jazeera aired on March 24, 2006, a rather chilling, one-sided “dialogue” between representatives of Arab and Danish student organizations who met in Damascus, ostensibly to discuss the violent worldwide Muslim reactions following publication of the Muhammad cartoons by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten. Video clips and a written transcript of this event are available through the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Ahmad Al-Shater, Chairman of the Arab Students Union, and his Sudanese Student Union colleague “Muhammad,” were unremittingly truculent in their presentations, which melded classic taquiyya (sanctioned dissimulation of Islamic doctrine to “protect” the faithful), or sheer ignorance, Muslim Jew-hatred, and a Goebbels-like distortion of contemporary events, including the requisite conspiratorial Judenhass (Jew-hatred).

Al-Shater began by stating that it was the nefarious “Zionists” and “imperialists” who had deliberately misrepresented Islam by wrongfully associating the religion with terrorism. He asserted categorically:

According to the Islamic religion, even in times of war, it is forbidden to uproot a tree, it is forbidden to kill a woman, it is forbidden to kill a child, it is forbidden to destroy wells… It is forbidden to fill wells with earth… Water wells… It is forbidden to harm human life, it is forbidden to destroy a church, it is forbidden to attack a religious belief…

Classical Islamic doctrines on jihad war, and more importantly the actual practice of jihad campaigns in accord with this theory, put the lie to Al-Shater’s uninformed or deliberately taquiyya-laden assertions. Al-Shater’s basic contention that “it is forbidden to attack a religious belief” is patently absurd—the archetypal proto-jihad campaigns of Muhammad himself imposed Islam and Islamic suzerainty upon the pagans, Jews, and Christians of ancient Arabia, and continue to provide the rationale for aggressive jihad imperialism to this day.

For example, Muhammad, according to a summary of sacralized Muslim sources,

..waited for some act of aggression on the part of the Jews of Khaybar, whose fertile lands and villages he had destined for his followers…to furnish an excuse for an attack. But, no such opportunity offering, he resolved in the autumn of this year [i.e., 628], on a sudden and unprovoked invasion of their territory.

Ali (later, the fourth “Rightly Guided Caliph”, and especially revered by Shi’ite Muslims) asked Muhammad why the Jews of Khaybar were being attacked, since they were peaceful farmers, tending their oasis, and was told by Muhammad he must compel them to submit to Islamic Law. The renowned early 20th century scholar of Islam, David Margoliouth, observed aptly:

Now the fact that a community was idolatrous, or Jewish, or anything but Mohammedan, warranted a murderous attack upon it.

Moreover, this canonical hadith (from Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4324), which further incorporates a Koranic verse (K 59:5), states clearly that Muhammad also sanctioned the destruction of the trees (i.e., date palms) of infidel foes:

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the date-palms of Banu Nadir to be burnt and cut. These palms were at Buwaira. Qutaibah and Ibn Rumh in their versions of the tradition have added: So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed the verse (K59:5): “Whatever palm-tree you cut down or leave standing upon its roots, It is by Allah’s command, and that He may abase the transgressors”

And with only minor points of internal disagreement, the consensus amongst all four major schools of classical Sunni Islamic jurisprudence contradicts each claim made by Al-Shater. The Hanafi jurists Abu Yusuf (d. 798), Shaybani (d. 803/805), and Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan (d. 1196), state:

[Abu Yusuf]—It seems that the most satisfactory suggestion we have heard in this connection is that there is no objection to the use of any kind of arms against the polytheists, smothering and burning their homes, cutting down their trees and date groves, and using catapults.

[Shaybani]—The army may launch the attack [on the enemy] by night or by day and it is permissible to burn [the enemy] fortifications with fire or to inundate them with water.

[Shaikh Burhanuddin Ali of Marghinan]—in the Traditions…the Prophet plundered and despoiled the tribe of al-Mustaliq by surprise, and he also agreed with Asamah to make a predatory attack upon Qubna at an early hour, and to set it on fire, and such attacks are not preceded by a call…If the infidels, upon receiving the call [to Islam], neither consent to it nor agree to pay capitation tax, it is then incumbent on the Muslims to call upon God for assistance, and to make war upon them, because God is the assistant of those who serve Him, and the destroyer of His enemies, the infidels, and it is necessary to implore His aid upon every occasion; the Prophet, moreover, commands us so to do. And having so done, the Muslims must then with God’s assistance attack the infidels with all manner of warlike engines (as the Prophet did by the people of Ta’if), and must also set fire to their habitations (in the same manner as the Prophet fired Baweera), and must inundate them with water and tear up their plantations and tread down their grain because by these means they will become weakened, and their resolution will fail and their force be broken; these means are, therefore, all sanctified by the law.

The Hanbali jurist, Ibn Qudama (d. 1223) concurs, and both he and Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328), also a Hanbali, elaborate on the issue of when killing women and children may in fact be allowed:

[Ibn Qudama]—It is permitted to surprise the infidels under cover of night, to bombard them with mangonels [an engine that hurls missiles] and to attack them without declaring battle (du‘a’). The Prophet attacked the Banu Mustaliq unexpectedly, while their animals were still at the watering-place; he killed the men who had fought against him and carried off the children into captivity. It is forbidden to kill children, madmen, women, priests, impotent old men, the infirm, the blind, the weak-minded, unless they have taken part in the combat.

[Ibn Taymiyya]—As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped, and their likes, they shall not be killed, unless they actually fight with words [e.g. by propaganda] and acts [e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare]. Some [ jurists] are of the opinion that all of them may be killed, on the mere ground that they are unbelievers, but they make an exception for women and children since they constitute property for Muslims.

Averroes (d. 1198), the renowned philosopher and scholar of the natural sciences, who was also an important Maliki jurist, outlines some of the (rather trivial) points of controversy:

Opinions vary as to the damage that may be inflicted on their property, such as buildings, cattle, and crops. Mālik allowed the felling of trees, the picking of fruits and the demolishing of buildings, but not the slaughter of cattle and the burning of date-palms…According to Shāfiī, dwellings and trees may be burnt as long as the enemy have the disposal of fortresses.

The Shafi’i jurist Al-Mawardi’s (d. 1058) opinion confirms the prevailing consensus views:

The amir [leader] of the army may use ballistas and catapults when besieging the enemy, for the Messenger of Allah…set up a catapult against the inhabitants of Ta’if. He may also destroy their homes, make night raids against them and cause fire. If, moreover, he reckons that by cutting their date-palms and their trees down it will serve to weaken them, such that they are overcome by force or are compelled to make a peace agreement, then he should do so; he should not, however, act in this way if he does not see any such benefit in it…. It is also permitted to block off the supply of water to them, or to prevent them from using it, even if there are women and children amongst them, as it is one of he most potent means of weakening them and gaining victory over the, either by forcer or through a treaty. If a thirsty person amongst them requests a drink, the amir may either give him to drink or refuse him, just as he has the option of killing him or letting him live.

Even the writings of the much lionized paragon of mystical Sufism and Shafi’i jurist al-Ghazali (d. 1111)—who, as noted by the esteemed scholar W.M. Watt, has been “…acclaimed in both the East and West as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad…”—underscore how these practices were normative:

one must go on jihad (i.e., warlike razzias or raids) at least once a year…one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them…One may cut down their trees…One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide..

Ibn Hudayl, a 14th century Granadan author of an important treatise on jihad, explained how these allowable methods facilitated the violent, chaotic jihad conquest of the Iberian peninsula, and other parts of Europe:

It is permissible to set fire to the lands of the enemy, his stores of grain, his beasts of burden – if it is not possible for the Muslims to take possession of them – as well as to cut down his trees, to raze his cities, in a word, to do everything that might ruin and discourage him…[being] suited to hastening the Islamization of that enemy or to weakening him. Indeed, all this contributes to a military triumph over him or to forcing him to capitulate.

And these repeated attacks, indistinguishable in motivation from modern acts of jihad terrorism, like the horrific 9/11/01 attacks in New York and Washington, DC, and the Madrid bombings on 3/11/04, or those in London on 7/7/05, were in fact designed to sow terror. The 17th century Muslim historian al-Maqqari, explained that the panic created by the Arab horsemen and sailors, at the time of the Muslim expansion in the regions subjected to those raids and landings, facilitated their later conquest:

Allah thus instilled such fear among the infidels that they did not dare to go and fight the conquerors; they only approached them as suppliants, to beg for peace.

The essential pattern of the jihad war is captured in the classical Muslim historian al-Tabari’ s recording of the recommendation given by Umar b. al-Khattab (the second “Rightly Guided Caliph”) to the commander of the troops he sent to al-Basrah (636 C.E.), during the conquest of Iraq. Umar reportedly said:

Summon the people to God; those who respond to your call, accept it from them, but those who refuse must pay the poll tax out of humiliation and lowliness. (Koran 9:29) If they refuse this, it is the sword without leniency. Fear God with regard to what you have been entrusted.

By the time of al-Tabari’s death in 923, jihad wars had expanded the Muslim empire from Portugal to the Indian subcontinent. Subsequent Muslim conquests continued in Asia, as well as Eastern Europe. Under the banner of jihad, the Christian kingdoms of Armenia, Byzantium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, and Albania, in addition to parts of Poland and Hungary, were also conquered and Islamized by waves of Seljuk, or later Ottoman Turks, as well as Tatars. Arab Muslim invaders engaged, additionally, in continuous jihad raids that ravaged and enslaved Sub-Saharan African animist populations, extending to the southern Sudan. When the Ottoman Muslim armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683, over a millennium of jihad had transpired.

These tremendous military successes spawned a triumphalist jihad literature. Muslim historians recorded in detail the number of infidels slaughtered, or enslaved and deported, the cities, villages, and infidel religious sites which were sacked and pillaged, and the lands, treasure, and movable goods seized.

And once again, despite Mr. Al-Shater’s ignorance or disingenuous denial, this sanctioned but wanton destruction, resulted in: the merciless slaughter of non-combatants, including women and children; massive destruction of non-Muslim houses of worship and religious shrines—Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, and Zoroastrian, Hindu, and Buddhist temples and idols; and the burning of harvest crops and massive uprooting of agricultural production systems, leading to famine. Christian (Coptic, Armenian, Jacobite, Greek, Slav, etc.), as well as Hebrew sources, and even the scant Zoroastrian, Hindu and Buddhist writings which survived the ravages of the Muslim conquests, independently validate this narrative, and complement the Muslim perspective by providing testimonies of the suffering of the non-Muslim victims of jihad wars.

Al-Shater also spewed forth this lying invective—180 degrees divorced from reality—which included a frank “burning of the Reichstag” reference to mosque destruction considering the recent bombing of the revered Shi’ite “Golden Mosque” in Samarra—a striking contemporary event, but also just another manifestation of over a millennium of Muslim sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi’a:

Those who try to pin the blame for terrorism on the Muslims, headed by the leader of international terrorism, America, and by Zionism and imperialism, are killing our children in Palestine and Iraq on a daily basis, as you can see. They are destroying schools. They are destroying churches and mosques. They violate our honor. They rape women and slit open the stomachs of pregnant women.

The bitter irony is that in stark contrast to Al-Shater’s mendacious slurs against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or Israeli forces in Gaza, Judea or Samaria, it is modern jihad campaigns which have been fraught with the atrocities he enumerates. A few prominent examples include: the Ottoman massacres of the Bulgarians in 1876 and larger genocidal slaughters of the Armenians at the close of the 19th century, through the end of World War I; the Moplah jihad against the hapless Hindus of South India in 1921; the massacres of Assyrian Christians by Arab and Kurdish Muslims near Mosul in 1933; and the recent genocidal jihad waged against Southern Sudanese Christians and Animists by the Arab Muslim Khartoum government, primarily during the last decade of the 20th century.

American correspondent Januarius A. MacGahan recorded these observations from Batak, July-August, 1876 during his investigation of the Bulgarian massacres:

The number of children killed in these massacres is something enormous. They were often spitted on bayonets, and we have several stories from eye-witnesses who saw little babes carried about the streets, both here and at Otluk-kui, on the point of bayonets. The reason is simple. When a Mahometan has killed a certain number of infidels, he is sure of Paradise, no matter what his sins may be…the ordinary Mussulman takes the precept in broader acceptation, and counts women and children as well. Here in Batak the Bashi-Bazouks, in order to swell the count, ripped open pregnant women, and killed the unborn infants. As we approached the middle of the town, bones, skeletons, and skulls became more numerous. There was not a house beneath the ruins of which we did not perceive human remains, and the street besides were strewn with them.

Lord Kinross described the slaughter of the Armenian community of Urfa in December, 1895, one of a series of brutal massacres committed by the Ottoman Turks between 1894 and 1896, as follows:

Cruelest and most ruinous of all were the massacres at Urfa, where the Armenian Christians numbered a third of the total population. Here in December 1895, after a two-months siege of their quarter, the leading Armenians assembled in their cathedral, where they drew up a statement requesting Turkish official protection. Promising this, the Turkish officer in charge surrounded the cathedral with troops. Then a large body of them, with a mob in their wake, rushed through the Armenian quarter, where they plundered all houses and slaughtered all adult males above a certain age. When a large group of young Armenians were brought before a sheikh, he had them thrown down on their backs and held by their hands and feet. Then, in the words of an observer, he recited verses of the Koran and “cut their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep.”

When the bugle blast ended the day’s operations some three thousand refugees poured into the cathedral, hoping for sanctuary. But the next morning – a Sunday – a fanatical mob swarmed into the church in an orgy of slaughter, rifling its shrines will cries of “Call upon Christ to prove Himself a greater prophet than Mohammed.” Then they amassed a large pile of straw matting, which they spread over the litter of the corpses and set alight with thirty cans of petroleum. The woodwork of the gallery where a crowd of women and children crouched, wailing in terror, caught fire, and all perished in the flames. Punctiliously, at three-thirty in the afternoon the bugle blew once more, and the Moslem officials proceeded around the Armenian quarter to proclaim that the massacres were over. They had wiped out 126 complete families, without a woman or a baby surviving, and the total casualties in the town, including those slaughtered in the cathedral, amounted to eight thousand dead.

Vahakn Dadrian recounted the harrowing details of the slaughter of 6400 Armenian children, young girls, and women from Yozgad, described in Reverend K. Balakian’s eyewitness narrative of the World War I period (1914-1920), Hai Koghota (The Armenian Golgotha). The victims were left by their Turkish captors at a promontory some distance from the city. Then,

To save shell and powder, the gendarmerie commander in charge of this large convoy had gathered 10,000-12,000 Turkish peasants and other villagers, and armed with “hatchets, meat cleavers, saddler’s knives, cudgels, axes, pickaxes, shovels”, the latter attacked and for some 4-5 hours mercilessly butchered the victims while crying “Oh God, Oh God” (Allah, Allah). In a moment of rare candor, this gendarmerie commander confided to the priest-author, whom he did not expect to survive the mass murder, that after each massacre episode, he spread his little prayer rug and performed the namaz, the ritual of worship, centered on prayer, with a great sense of redemption in the service of Almighty God.

J. J. Banninga, an American graduate of the Western Theological Seminary, spent forty-two years in India, serving for 25 years as head of the Union Theological Seminary at Pasumalai in South India. His analysis of the 1921 Moplah (i.e., Muslims of Arabic and Hindu descent living in the Malabar district of South India) jihad—one of many periodic outbreaks of Moplah fanaticism—included these harrowing descriptions:

…the Hindu population fell easy prey to their (i.,e., the Moplah) rage and the atrocities committed defy description…The tale of atrocities committed makes sad reading indeed. A memorial submitted by women of Malabar to Her Excellency the Countess of Reading mentions such crimes as wells filled with mutilated bodies, pregnant women cut to pieces, children torn from mother’s arms and killed, husbands and fathers tortured, flayed, and burned alive before the eyes of their wives and daughters; women forcibly carried off and outraged; homes destroyed; temples desecrated…not less than 100 Hindu temples were destroyed or desecrated; cattle slaughtered in temples and their entrails placed around the necks of the idols in place of garlands of flowers; and wholesale looting. No fiendish act seems to have been too vile for them to perpetrate.

…There were, during the rebellion, many cases of forced conversion from Hinduism to Mohammedanism. There was a double difficulty about restoring these people to their old faith. In the first place there is a severe penalty resting on any Mohammedan that perverts…and in the second place there is really no door save birth into Hinduism.

On August 11, 1933, less than a year after British withdrawal from the region, the “new” Iraqi armed forces, aided by local Arab and Kurdish tribesmen, began the wholesale massacre of Assyrians in the Mosul area (Simel, Dohuk). Before the end of August, 1933, 3000 Assyrians were murdered, and thousands more displaced. An example typical of the carnage was described in a contemporary chronicle believed to have been written by Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, a Cambridge University graduate and Patriarch of the Church of the East:

The inoffensive population was indiscriminately massacred, men, women and children alike, with rifle, revolver and machine gun fire. In one room alone, eighty-one men from the Baz tribe, who had taken shelter… were barbarously massacred. Priests were tortured and their bodies mutilated. Those who showed their Iraqi nationality papers were the first to be shot. Girls were raped and women violated and made to march naked before the Arab army commander. Holy books were used as fuel for burning girls. Children were run over by military cars. Pregnant women were bayoneted. Children were flung in the air and pierced on to the points of bayonets. Those who survived in the other villages were now exposed day and night to constant raids and acts of violence. Forced conversion to Islam of men and women was the next process. Refusal was met with death. Sixty five out of ninety five Assyrian villages and settlements were either sacked, destroyed or burnt to the ground. Even the settlements which existed from the year 1921 and who had no connection in any way with the trouble were wrecked and all property looted by Iraq army and tribesmen.

The intrepid Dr. John Eibner made 20 visits to the Sudan during decade of the 1990s, reporting on the recrudescence of jihad slavery. The Arab Muslim dominated Khartoum government established an overtly jihadist Popular Defense Force, which further incorporated local Arab militias. Their jihad depredations targeting the Christian and Animist tribes (principally the Dinkas of northern Bahr al-Ghazal, together with the black African Nuba tribes of southern Kordofan) slaughtered, displaced, and enslaved tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands at a time. During the spring of 1998 alone, more than 300,000 persons were displaced, while the total number killed and enslaved remained unknown. These Dinka victims—women and children—shared the fate of the Nuba, as described by Eibner:

Some Nuba captives end up as chattel slaves but the overwhelming majority are deported to concentration camps elsewhere in Sudan, where they serve in slave-like conditions. The children are sent to militant Qur’anic schools, while the women are sent out to work without pay as day laborers on farms and in private homes. Sexual abuse is rife.

Al-Shater’s conspiracy mongering (the publication of the Danish cartoons was yet another act of the “cabal”), and gross distortions of Islamic doctrines and history were complemented by his lionization of Holocaust deniers Roger Garaudy and David Irving (whose name he could not recall—“He relies on documents. I cannot recall his name, but he is a great English intellectual, a university professor, who refuted the Holocaust.”), as well as the viscerally anti-American and Antisemitic British politicians George Galloway and Ken Livingston.

The briefer presentation of Al-Shater’s colleague, Sudanese Student Union Chairman “Muhammad” included raw Muslim Judenhass, threats to Danish soldiers, and equally mendacious assertions of U.S. murderousness in Iraq—compared, with earnestness, to the putatively “light casualties” inflicted on the Iraqis during Saddam’s 30-year reign of domestic terror.

I’d like to tell you that harming the Prophet is not a new thing. One thousand four hundred years ago, the Jews tried to kill him in Al-Madina. In our religion, harming the Prophet is where we draw the line. We are prepared to die to prevent this……As you know, Bush killed 110,000 people in Iraq, while Saddam did not kill even one third of this figure. Saddam did not kill even 30,000 people throughout his rule. I would like to welcome you on this visit, because the image of Denmark and the Danish people has become very negative in the Arab and Islamic world. In conclusion, I would like to say that tomorrow America will pass a resolution in the U.N. Security Council calling for international military intervention in Sudan. Among these forces, obviously, there will be Danish forces. I would like to inform you that because the Sudanese people are so angry over this affront, they will kill the Danish soldiers before they kill the others.

He may be invoking an oral tradition, preserved in the hadith, for this uniquely Islamic motif of Jew hatred (Bukhari- Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786), which maintains that the perfidious Jews caused Muhammad’s protracted, excruciating death from poisoning.

Narrated Anas b. Malik: A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah’s Apostle

The rest of Sudanese Student Union Chairman “Muhammad” statements speak for themselves.

And what were the responses of the Danish Student Delegation Head to his Muslim interlocutors, the Chairmen of the Arab Students and Sudanese Student Unions?

…as a representative of the Danish youth and not a representative of the government, I cannot explain to you why the Danish government has not apologized…And another important question, in your last very concrete questions about… could a Danish newspaper have made drawings of the Holocaust or denying the Holocaust. And the answer to that question is yes. There’s no law in Denmark preventing a Danish newspaper from making drawings of the Holocaust.

These muted, largely non-sequitur responses by the Head of the Danish Student Delegation are a tangible product of the “Eurabian ethos”, which Bat Ye’or warned, pervades Western European academic and political institutions. The very “cartoon dialogue” itself was but a microcosm of the larger Euro-Arab Dialogue process and a distressing illustration of the most craven dhimmitude that parent institution has engendered, threatening, as Bat Ye’or notes, the very foundations of Western society:

This Eurabian ethos operates at all levels of European society. Its countless functionaries, like the Christian janissary slave-soldiers of past Islamic regimes, advance a jihadist world strategy. Eurabia cannot change direction; it can only use deception to mask its emergence, its bias and its inevitable trajectory. Eurabia’s destiny was sealed when it decided, willingly, to become a covert partner with the Arab global jihad against America and Israel. Americans must discuss the tragic development of Eurabia, and its profound implications for the United States, particularly in terms of its resultant foreign policy realities. Americans should consider the despair and confusion of many Europeans, prisoners of a Eurabian totalitarianism that foments a culture of deadly lies about Western civilization. Americans should know that this self-destructive calamity did not just happen, rather it was the result of deliberate policies, executed and monitored by ostensibly responsible people. Finally, Americans should understand that Eurabia’s contemporary anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism are the spiritual heirs of 1930s Nazism and anti-Semitism, triumphally resurgent.

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad.

Before it’s too late

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2006 at 10:34 PM

Facing Down Iran by Mark Steyn:

Our lives depend on it.

Most Westerners read the map of the world like a Broadway marquee: north is top of the bill—America, Britain, Europe, Russia—and the rest dribbles away into a mass of supporting players punctuated by occasional Star Guests: India, China, Australia. Everyone else gets rounded up into groups: “Africa,” “Asia,” “Latin America.”

But if you’re one of the down-page crowd, the center of the world is wherever you happen to be. Take Iran: it doesn’t fit into any of the groups. Indeed, it’s a buffer zone between most of the important ones: to the west, it borders the Arab world; to the northwest, it borders NATO (and, if Turkey ever passes its endless audition, the European Union); to the north, the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation’s turbulent Caucasus; to the northeast, the Stans—the newly independent states of central Asia; to the east, the old British India, now bifurcated into a Muslim-Hindu nuclear standoff. And its southern shore sits on the central artery that feeds the global economy.

If you divide the world into geographical regions, then, Iran’s neither here nor there. But if you divide it ideologically, the mullahs are ideally positioned at the center of the various provinces of Islam—the Arabs, the Turks, the Stans, and the south Asians. Who better to unite the Muslim world under one inspiring, courageous leadership? If there’s going to be an Islamic superpower, Tehran would seem to be the obvious candidate.

That moment of ascendancy is now upon us. Or as the Daily Telegraph in London reported: “Iran’s hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its enemies.” Hmm. I’m not a professional mullah, so I can’t speak to the theological soundness of the argument, but it seems a religious school in the Holy City of Qom has ruled that “the use of nuclear weapons may not constitute a problem, according to sharia.” Well, there’s a surprise. How do you solve a problem? Like, sharia! It’s the one-stop shop for justifying all your geopolitical objectives.

The bad cop/worse cop routine the mullahs and their hothead President Ahmadinejad are playing in this period of alleged negotiation over Iran’s nuclear program is the best indication of how all negotiations with Iran will go once they’re ready to fly. This is the nuclear version of the NRA bumper sticker: “Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People.” Nukes don’t nuke nations. Nations nuke nations. When the Argentine junta seized British sovereign territory in the Falklands, the generals knew that the United Kingdom was a nuclear power, but they also knew that under no conceivable scenario would Her Majesty’s Government drop the big one on Buenos Aires. The Argie generals were able to assume decency on the part of the enemy, which is a useful thing to be able to do.

But in any contretemps with Iran the other party would be foolish to make a similar assumption. That will mean the contretemps will generally be resolved in Iran’s favor. In fact, if one were a Machiavellian mullah, the first thing one would do after acquiring nukes would be to hire some obvious loon like President Ahmaddamatree to front the program. He’s the equivalent of the yobbo in the English pub who says, “Oy, mate, you lookin’ at my bird?” You haven’t given her a glance, or him; you’re at the other end of the bar head down in the Daily Mirror, trying not to catch his eye. You don’t know whether he’s longing to nut you in the face or whether he just gets a kick out of terrifying you into thinking he wants to. But, either way, you just want to get out of the room in one piece. Kooks with nukes is one-way deterrence squared.

If Belgium becomes a nuclear power, the Dutch have no reason to believe it would be a factor in, say, negotiations over a joint highway project. But Iran’s nukes will be a factor in everything. If you think, for example, the European Union and others have been fairly craven over those Danish cartoons, imagine what they’d be like if a nuclear Tehran had demanded a formal apology, a suitable punishment for the newspaper, and blasphemy laws specifically outlawing representations of the Prophet. Iran with nukes will be a suicide bomber with a radioactive waist.

If we’d understood Iran back in 1979, we’d understand better the challenges we face today. Come to that, we might not even be facing them. But, with hindsight, what strikes you about the birth of the Islamic Republic is the near total lack of interest by analysts in that adjective: Islamic. Iran was only the second Islamist state, after Saudi Arabia—and, in selecting as their own qualifying adjective the family name, the House of Saud at least indicated a conventional sense of priorities, as the legions of Saudi princes whoring and gambling in the fleshpots of the West have demonstrated exhaustively. Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue—though, as the Royal Family has belatedly discovered vis-à-vis the Islamists, they’re somewhat overdrawn on that front. The difference in Iran is simple: with the mullahs, there are no London escort agencies on retainer to supply blondes only. When they say “Islamic Republic,” they mean it. And refusing to take their words at face value has bedeviled Western strategists for three decades.

Twenty-seven years ago, because Islam didn’t fit into the old cold war template, analysts mostly discounted it. We looked at the map like that Broadway marquee: West and East, the old double act. As with most of the down-page turf, Iran’s significance lay in which half of the act she’d sign on with. To the Left, the shah was a high-profile example of an unsavory U.S. client propped up on traditional he-may-be-a-sonofabitch-but-he’s-our-sonofabitch grounds: in those heady days SAVAK, his secret police, were a household name among Western progressives, and insofar as they took the stern-faced man in the turban seriously, they assured themselves he was a kind of novelty front for the urbane Paris émigré socialists who accompanied him back to Tehran. To the realpolitik Right, the issue was Soviet containment: the shah may be our sonofabitch, but he’d outlived his usefulness, and a weak Iran could prove too tempting an invitation to Moscow to fulfill the oldest of czarist dreams—a warm-water port, not to mention control of the Straits of Hormuz. Very few of us considered the strategic implications of an Islamist victory on its own terms—the notion that Iran was checking the neither-of-the-above box and that that box would prove a far greater threat to the Freeish World than Communism.

But that was always Iran’s plan. In 1989, with the Warsaw Pact disintegrating before his eyes, poor beleaguered Mikhail Gorbachev received a helpful bit of advice from the cocky young upstart on the block: “I strongly urge that in breaking down the walls of Marxist fantasies you do not fall into the prison of the West and the Great Satan,” Ayatollah Khomeini wrote to Moscow. “I openly announce that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the greatest and most powerful base of the Islamic world, can easily help fill up the ideological vacuum of your system.”

Today many people in the West don’t take that any more seriously than Gorbachev did. But it’s pretty much come to pass. As Communism retreated, radical Islam seeped into Africa and south Asia and the Balkans. Crazy guys holed up in Philippine jungles and the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay who’d have been “Marxist fantasists” a generation or two back are now Islamists: it’s the ideology du jour. At the point of expiry of the Soviet Union in 1991, the peoples of the central Asian republics were for the most part unaware that Iran had even had an “Islamic revolution”; 15 years on, following the proselytizing of thousands of mullahs dispatched to the region by a specially created Iranian government agency, the Stans’ traditionally moderate and in many cases alcoholically lubricated form of Islam is yielding in all but the most remote areas to a fiercer form imported from the south. As the Pentagon has begun to notice, in Iraq Tehran has been quietly duplicating the strategy that delivered southern Lebanon into its control 20 years ago. The degeneration of Baby Assad’s supposedly “secular” Baathist tyranny into full-blown client status and the replacement of Arafat’s depraved “secular” kleptocrat terrorists by Hamas’s even more depraved Islamist terrorists can also be seen as symptoms of Iranification.

So as a geopolitical analyst the ayatollah is not to be disdained. Our failure to understand Iran in the seventies foreshadowed our failure to understand the broader struggle today. As clashes of civilizations go, this one’s between two extremes: on the one hand, a world that has everything it needs to wage decisive war—wealth, armies, industry, technology; on the other, a world that has nothing but pure ideology and plenty of believers. (Its sole resource, oil, would stay in the ground were it not for foreign technology, foreign manpower, and a Western fetishization of domestic environmental aesthetics.)

For this to be a mortal struggle, as the cold war was, the question is: Are they a credible enemy to us?

For a projection of the likely outcome, the question is: Are we a credible enemy to them?

Four years into the “war on terror,” the Bush administration has begun promoting a new formulation: “the long war.” Not a reassuring name. In a short war, put your money on tanks and bombs—our strengths. In a long war, the better bet is will and manpower—their strengths, and our great weakness. Even a loser can win when he’s up against a defeatist. A big chunk of Western civilization, consciously or otherwise, has given the impression that it’s dying to surrender to somebody, anybody. Reasonably enough, Islam figures: Hey, why not us? If you add to the advantages of will and manpower a nuclear capability, the odds shift dramatically.

What, after all, is the issue underpinning every little goofy incident in the news, from those Danish cartoons of Mohammed to recommendations for polygamy by official commissions in Canada to the banning of the English flag in English prisons because it’s an insensitive “crusader” emblem to the introduction of gender-segregated swimming sessions in municipal pools in Puget Sound? In a word, sovereignty. There is no god but Allah, and thus there is no jurisdiction but Allah’s. Ayatollah Khomeini saw himself not as the leader of a geographical polity but as a leader of a communal one: Islam. Once those urbane socialist émigrés were either dead or on the plane back to Paris, Iran’s nominally “temporal” government took the same view, too: its role is not merely to run national highway departments and education ministries but to advance the cause of Islam worldwide.

If you dust off the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, Article One reads: “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.” Iran fails to meet qualification (d), and has never accepted it. The signature act of the new regime was not the usual post-coup bloodletting and summary execution of the shah’s mid-ranking officials but the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by “students” acting with Khomeini’s blessing. Diplomatic missions are recognized as the sovereign territory of that state, and the violation thereof is an act of war. No one in Washington has to fret that Fidel Castro will bomb the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. Even in the event of an actual war, the diplomatic staff of both countries would be allowed to depart.

Yet Iran seized protected persons on U.S. soil and held them prisoner for over a year—ostensibly because Washington was planning to restore the shah. But the shah died and the hostages remained. And, when the deal was eventually done and the hostages were released, the sovereign territory of the United States remained in the hands of the gangster regime. Granted that during the Carter administration the Soviets were gobbling up real estate from Afghanistan to Grenada, it’s significant that in this wretched era the only loss of actual U.S. territory was to the Islamists.

Yet Iran paid no price. They got away with it. For the purposes of comparison, in 1980, when the U.S. hostages in Tehran were in their sixth month of captivity, Iranians opposed to the mullahs seized the Islamic Republic’s embassy in London. After six days of negotiation, Her Majesty’s Government sent SAS commandos into the building and restored it to the control of the regime. In refusing to do the same with the “students” occupying the U.S. embassy, the Islamic Republic was explicitly declaring that it was not as other states.

We expect multilateral human-rights Democrats to be unsatisfactory on assertive nationalism, but if they won’t even stand up for international law, what’s the point? Jimmy Carter should have demanded the same service as Tehran got from the British—the swift resolution of the situation by the host government—and, if none was forthcoming, Washington should have reversed the affront to international order quickly, decisively, and in a sufficiently punitive manner. At hinge moments of history, there are never good and bad options, only bad and much much worse. Our options today are significantly worse because we didn’t take the bad one back then.

With the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, a British subject, Tehran extended its contempt for sovereignty to claiming jurisdiction over the nationals of foreign states, passing sentence on them, and conscripting citizens of other countries to carry it out. Iran’s supreme leader instructed Muslims around the world to serve as executioners of the Islamic Republic—and they did, killing not Rushdie himself but his Japanese translator, and stabbing the Italian translator, and shooting the Italian publisher, and killing three dozen persons with no connection to the book when a mob burned down a hotel because of the presence of the novelist’s Turkish translator.

Iran’s de facto head of state offered a multimillion-dollar bounty for a whack job on an obscure English novelist. And, as with the embassy siege, he got away with it.

In the latest variation on Marx’s dictum, history repeats itself: first, the unreadable London literary novel; then, the Danish funny pages. But in the 17 years between the Rushdie fatwa and the cartoon jihad, what was supposedly a freakish one-off collision between Islam and the modern world has become routine. We now think it perfectly normal for Muslims to demand the tenets of their religion be applied to society at large: the government of Sweden, for example, has been zealously closing down websites that republish those Danish cartoons. As Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Khamenei, has said, “It is in our revolution’s interest, and an essential principle, that when we speak of Islamic objectives, we address all the Muslims of the world.” Or as a female Muslim demonstrator in Toronto put it: “We won’t stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.”

If that’s a little too ferocious, Kofi Annan framed it rather more soothingly: “The offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were first published in a European country which has recently acquired a significant Muslim population, and is not yet sure how to adjust to it.”

If you’ve also “recently acquired” a significant Muslim population and you’re not sure how to “adjust” to it, well, here’s the difference: back when my Belgian grandparents emigrated to Canada, the idea was that the immigrants assimilated to the host country. As Kofi and Co. see it, today the host country has to assimilate to the immigrants: if Islamic law forbids representations of the Prophet, then so must Danish law, and French law, and American law. Iran was the progenitor of this rapacious extraterritoriality, and, if we had understood it more clearly a generation ago, we might be in less danger of seeing large tracts of the developed world being subsumed by it today.

Yet instead the West somehow came to believe that, in a region of authoritarian monarchs and kleptocrat dictators, Iran was a comparative beacon of liberty. The British foreign secretary goes to Tehran and hangs with the mullahs and, even though he’s not a practicing Muslim (yet), ostentatiously does that “peace be upon him” thing whenever he mentions the Prophet Mohammed. And where does the kissy-face with the A-list imams get him? Ayatollah Khamenei renewed the fatwa on Rushdie only last year. True, President Bush identified Iran as a member of the axis of evil, but a year later the country was being hailed as a “democracy” by then-deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage and a nation that has seen a “democratic flowering,” as State Department spokesman Richard Boucher put it.

And let’s not forget Bill Clinton’s extraordinary remarks at Davos last year: “Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency. It is there that the ideas that I subscribe to are defended by a majority.” That’s true in the very narrow sense that there’s a certain similarity between his legal strategy and sharia when it comes to adultery and setting up the gals as the fall guys. But it seems Clinton apparently had a more general commonality in mind: “In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.” America’s first black President is beginning to sound like America’s first Islamist ex-president.

Those remarks are as nutty as Gerald Ford’s denial of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe. Iran has an impressive three-decade record of talking the talk and walking the walk—either directly or through client groups like Hezbollah. In 1994, the Argentine Israel Mutual Association was bombed in Buenos Aires. Nearly 100 people died and 250 were injured—the worst massacre of Jewish civilians since the Holocaust. An Argentine court eventually issued warrants for two Iranian diplomats plus Ali Fallahian, former intelligence minister, and Ali Akbar Parvaresh, former education minister and deputy speaker of the Majlis.

Why blow up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires? Because it’s there. Unlike the Iranian infiltration into Bosnia and Croatia, which helped radicalize not just the local populations but Muslim supporters from Britain and Western Europe, the random slaughter in the Argentine has no strategic value except as a demonstration of muscle and reach.

Anyone who spends half an hour looking at Iranian foreign policy over the last 27 years sees five things:

  1. contempt for the most basic international conventions;
  2. long-reach extraterritoriality;
  3. effective promotion of radical Pan-Islamism;
  4. a willingness to go the extra mile for Jew-killing (unlike, say, Osama);
  5. an all-but-total synchronization between rhetoric and action.

Yet the Europeans remain in denial. Iran was supposedly the Middle Eastern state they could work with. And the chancellors and foreign ministers jetted in to court the mullahs so assiduously that they’re reluctant to give up on the strategy just because a relatively peripheral figure like the, er, head of state is sounding off about Armageddon.

Instead, Western analysts tend to go all Kremlinological. There are, after all, many factions within Iran’s ruling class. What the country’s quick-on-the-nuke president says may not be the final word on the regime’s position. Likewise, what the school of nuclear theologians in Qom says. Likewise, what former president Khatami says. Likewise, what Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, says.

But, given that they’re all in favor of the country having nukes, the point seems somewhat moot. The question then arises, what do they want them for?

By way of illustration, consider the country’s last presidential election. The final round offered a choice between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an alumnus of the U.S. Embassy siege a quarter-century ago, and Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the Expediency Council, which sounds like an EU foreign policy agency but is, in fact, the body that arbitrates between Iran’s political and religious leaderships. Ahmadinejad is a notorious shoot-from-the-lip apocalyptic hothead who believes in the return of the Twelfth (hidden) Imam and quite possibly that he personally is his designated deputy, and he’s also claimed that when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly last year a mystical halo appeared and bathed him in its aura. Ayatollah Rafsanjani, on the other hand, is one of those famous “moderates.”

What’s the difference between a hothead and a moderate? Well, the extremist Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” while the moderate Rafsanjani has declared that Israel is “the most hideous occurrence in history,” which the Muslim world “will vomit out from its midst” in one blast, because “a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.” Evidently wiping Israel off the map seems to be one of those rare points of bipartisan consensus in Tehran, the Iranian equivalent of a prescription drug plan for seniors: we’re just arguing over the details.

So the question is: Will they do it?

And the minute you have to ask, you know the answer. If, say, Norway or Ireland acquired nuclear weapons, we might regret the “proliferation,” but we wouldn’t have to contemplate mushroom clouds over neighboring states. In that sense, the civilized world has already lost: to enter into negotiations with a jurisdiction headed by a Holocaust-denying millenarian nut job is, in itself, an act of profound weakness—the first concession, regardless of what weaselly settlement might eventually emerge.

Conversely, a key reason to stop Iran is to demonstrate that we can still muster the will to do so. Instead, the striking characteristic of the long diplomatic dance that brought us to this moment is how September 10th it’s all been. The free world’s delegated negotiators (the European Union) and transnational institutions (the IAEA) have continually given the impression that they’d be content just to boot it down the road to next year or the year after or find some arrangement—this decade’s Oil-for-Food or North Korean deal—that would get them off the hook. If you talk to EU foreign ministers, they’ve already psychologically accepted a nuclear Iran. Indeed, the chief characteristic of the West’s reaction to Iran’s nuclearization has been an enervated fatalism.

Back when nuclear weapons were an elite club of five relatively sane world powers, your average Western progressive was convinced the planet was about to go ka-boom any minute. The mushroom cloud was one of the most familiar images in the culture, a recurring feature of novels and album covers and movie posters. There were bestselling dystopian picture books for children, in which the handful of survivors spent their last days walking in a nuclear winter wonderland. Now a state openly committed to the annihilation of a neighboring nation has nukes, and we shrug: Can’t be helped. Just the way things are. One hears sophisticated arguments that perhaps the best thing is to let everyone get ’em, and then no one will use them. And if Iran’s head of state happens to threaten to wipe Israel off the map, we should understand that this is a rhetorical stylistic device that’s part of the Persian oral narrative tradition, and it would be a grossly Eurocentric misinterpretation to take it literally.

The fatalists have a point. We may well be headed for a world in which anybody with a few thousand bucks and the right unlisted Asian phone numbers in his Rolodex can get a nuke. But, even so, there are compelling reasons for preventing Iran in particular from going nuclear. Back in his student days at the U.S. embassy, young Mr. Ahmadinejad seized American sovereign territory, and the Americans did nothing. And I would wager that’s still how he looks at the world. And, like Rafsanjani, he would regard, say, Muslim deaths in an obliterated Jerusalem as worthy collateral damage in promoting the greater good of a Jew-free Middle East. The Palestinians and their “right of return” have never been more than a weapon of convenience with which to chastise the West. To assume Tehran would never nuke Israel because a shift in wind direction would contaminate Ramallah is to be as ignorant of history as most Palestinians are: from Yasser Arafat’s uncle, the pro-Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the British Mandate, to the insurgents in Iraq today, Islamists have never been shy about slaughtering Muslims in pursuit of their strategic goals.

But it doesn’t have to come to that. Go back to that Argentine bombing. It was, in fact, the second major Iranian-sponsored attack in Buenos Aires. The year before, 1993, a Hezbollah suicide bomber killed 29 people and injured hundreds more in an attack on the Israeli Embassy. In the case of the community center bombing, the killer had flown from Lebanon a few days earlier and entered Latin America through the porous tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Suppose Iran had had a “dirty nuke” shipped to Hezbollah, or even the full-blown thing: Would it have been any less easy to get it into the country? And, if a significant chunk of downtown Buenos Aires were rendered uninhabitable, what would the Argentine government do? Iran can project itself to South America effortlessly, but Argentina can’t project itself to the Middle East at all. It can’t nuke Tehran, and it can’t attack Iran in conventional ways.

So any retaliation would be down to others. Would Washington act? It depends how clear the fingerprints were. If the links back to the mullahs were just a teensy-weensy bit tenuous and murky, how eager would the U.S. be to reciprocate? Bush and Rumsfeld might—but an administration of a more Clinto-Powellite bent? How much pressure would there be for investigations under UN auspices? Perhaps Hans Blix could come out of retirement, and we could have a six-month dance through Security-Council coalition-building, with the secretary of state making a last-minute flight to Khartoum to try to persuade Sudan to switch its vote.

Perhaps it’s unduly pessimistic to write the civilized world automatically into what Osama bin Laden called the “weak horse” role (Islam being the “strong horse”). But, if you were an Iranian “moderate” and you’d watched the West’s reaction to the embassy seizure and the Rushdie murders and Hezbollah terrorism, wouldn’t you be thinking along those lines? I don’t suppose Buenos Aires Jews expect to have their institutions nuked any more than 12 years ago they expected to be blown up in their own city by Iranian-backed suicide bombers. Nukes have gone freelance, and there’s nothing much we can do about that, and sooner or later we’ll see the consequences—in Vancouver or Rotterdam, Glasgow or Atlanta. But, that being so, we owe it to ourselves to take the minimal precautionary step of ending the one regime whose political establishment is explicitly pledged to the nuclear annihilation of neighboring states.

Once again, we face a choice between bad and worse options. There can be no “surgical” strike in any meaningful sense: Iran’s clients on the ground will retaliate in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Europe. Nor should we put much stock in the country’s allegedly “pro-American” youth. This shouldn’t be a touchy-feely nation-building exercise: rehabilitation may be a bonus, but the primary objective should be punishment—and incarceration. It’s up to the Iranian people how nutty a government they want to live with, but extraterritorial nuttiness has to be shown not to pay. That means swift, massive, devastating force that decapitates the regime—but no occupation.

The cost of de-nuking Iran will be high now but significantly higher with every year it’s postponed. The lesson of the Danish cartoons is the clearest reminder that what is at stake here is the credibility of our civilization. Whether or not we end the nuclearization of the Islamic Republic will be an act that defines our time.

A quarter-century ago, there was a minor British pop hit called “Ayatollah, Don’t Khomeini Closer.” If you’re a U.S. diplomat or a British novelist, a Croat Christian or an Argentine Jew, he’s already come way too close. How much closer do you want him to get?

Before it’s too late

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2006 at 9:34 PM

Facing Down Iran by Mark Steyn:

Our lives depend on it.

Most Westerners read the map of the world like a Broadway marquee: north is top of the bill—America, Britain, Europe, Russia—and the rest dribbles away into a mass of supporting players punctuated by occasional Star Guests: India, China, Australia. Everyone else gets rounded up into groups: “Africa,” “Asia,” “Latin America.”

But if you’re one of the down-page crowd, the center of the world is wherever you happen to be. Take Iran: it doesn’t fit into any of the groups. Indeed, it’s a buffer zone between most of the important ones: to the west, it borders the Arab world; to the northwest, it borders NATO (and, if Turkey ever passes its endless audition, the European Union); to the north, the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation’s turbulent Caucasus; to the northeast, the Stans—the newly independent states of central Asia; to the east, the old British India, now bifurcated into a Muslim-Hindu nuclear standoff. And its southern shore sits on the central artery that feeds the global economy.

If you divide the world into geographical regions, then, Iran’s neither here nor there. But if you divide it ideologically, the mullahs are ideally positioned at the center of the various provinces of Islam—the Arabs, the Turks, the Stans, and the south Asians. Who better to unite the Muslim world under one inspiring, courageous leadership? If there’s going to be an Islamic superpower, Tehran would seem to be the obvious candidate.

That moment of ascendancy is now upon us. Or as the Daily Telegraph in London reported: “Iran’s hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its enemies.” Hmm. I’m not a professional mullah, so I can’t speak to the theological soundness of the argument, but it seems a religious school in the Holy City of Qom has ruled that “the use of nuclear weapons may not constitute a problem, according to sharia.” Well, there’s a surprise. How do you solve a problem? Like, sharia! It’s the one-stop shop for justifying all your geopolitical objectives.

The bad cop/worse cop routine the mullahs and their hothead President Ahmadinejad are playing in this period of alleged negotiation over Iran’s nuclear program is the best indication of how all negotiations with Iran will go once they’re ready to fly. This is the nuclear version of the NRA bumper sticker: “Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People.” Nukes don’t nuke nations. Nations nuke nations. When the Argentine junta seized British sovereign territory in the Falklands, the generals knew that the United Kingdom was a nuclear power, but they also knew that under no conceivable scenario would Her Majesty’s Government drop the big one on Buenos Aires. The Argie generals were able to assume decency on the part of the enemy, which is a useful thing to be able to do.

But in any contretemps with Iran the other party would be foolish to make a similar assumption. That will mean the contretemps will generally be resolved in Iran’s favor. In fact, if one were a Machiavellian mullah, the first thing one would do after acquiring nukes would be to hire some obvious loon like President Ahmaddamatree to front the program. He’s the equivalent of the yobbo in the English pub who says, “Oy, mate, you lookin’ at my bird?” You haven’t given her a glance, or him; you’re at the other end of the bar head down in the Daily Mirror, trying not to catch his eye. You don’t know whether he’s longing to nut you in the face or whether he just gets a kick out of terrifying you into thinking he wants to. But, either way, you just want to get out of the room in one piece. Kooks with nukes is one-way deterrence squared.

If Belgium becomes a nuclear power, the Dutch have no reason to believe it would be a factor in, say, negotiations over a joint highway project. But Iran’s nukes will be a factor in everything. If you think, for example, the European Union and others have been fairly craven over those Danish cartoons, imagine what they’d be like if a nuclear Tehran had demanded a formal apology, a suitable punishment for the newspaper, and blasphemy laws specifically outlawing representations of the Prophet. Iran with nukes will be a suicide bomber with a radioactive waist.

If we’d understood Iran back in 1979, we’d understand better the challenges we face today. Come to that, we might not even be facing them. But, with hindsight, what strikes you about the birth of the Islamic Republic is the near total lack of interest by analysts in that adjective: Islamic. Iran was only the second Islamist state, after Saudi Arabia—and, in selecting as their own qualifying adjective the family name, the House of Saud at least indicated a conventional sense of priorities, as the legions of Saudi princes whoring and gambling in the fleshpots of the West have demonstrated exhaustively. Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue—though, as the Royal Family has belatedly discovered vis-à-vis the Islamists, they’re somewhat overdrawn on that front. The difference in Iran is simple: with the mullahs, there are no London escort agencies on retainer to supply blondes only. When they say “Islamic Republic,” they mean it. And refusing to take their words at face value has bedeviled Western strategists for three decades.

Twenty-seven years ago, because Islam didn’t fit into the old cold war template, analysts mostly discounted it. We looked at the map like that Broadway marquee: West and East, the old double act. As with most of the down-page turf, Iran’s significance lay in which half of the act she’d sign on with. To the Left, the shah was a high-profile example of an unsavory U.S. client propped up on traditional he-may-be-a-sonofabitch-but-he’s-our-sonofabitch grounds: in those heady days SAVAK, his secret police, were a household name among Western progressives, and insofar as they took the stern-faced man in the turban seriously, they assured themselves he was a kind of novelty front for the urbane Paris émigré socialists who accompanied him back to Tehran. To the realpolitik Right, the issue was Soviet containment: the shah may be our sonofabitch, but he’d outlived his usefulness, and a weak Iran could prove too tempting an invitation to Moscow to fulfill the oldest of czarist dreams—a warm-water port, not to mention control of the Straits of Hormuz. Very few of us considered the strategic implications of an Islamist victory on its own terms—the notion that Iran was checking the neither-of-the-above box and that that box would prove a far greater threat to the Freeish World than Communism.

But that was always Iran’s plan. In 1989, with the Warsaw Pact disintegrating before his eyes, poor beleaguered Mikhail Gorbachev received a helpful bit of advice from the cocky young upstart on the block: “I strongly urge that in breaking down the walls of Marxist fantasies you do not fall into the prison of the West and the Great Satan,” Ayatollah Khomeini wrote to Moscow. “I openly announce that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the greatest and most powerful base of the Islamic world, can easily help fill up the ideological vacuum of your system.”

Today many people in the West don’t take that any more seriously than Gorbachev did. But it’s pretty much come to pass. As Communism retreated, radical Islam seeped into Africa and south Asia and the Balkans. Crazy guys holed up in Philippine jungles and the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay who’d have been “Marxist fantasists” a generation or two back are now Islamists: it’s the ideology du jour. At the point of expiry of the Soviet Union in 1991, the peoples of the central Asian republics were for the most part unaware that Iran had even had an “Islamic revolution”; 15 years on, following the proselytizing of thousands of mullahs dispatched to the region by a specially created Iranian government agency, the Stans’ traditionally moderate and in many cases alcoholically lubricated form of Islam is yielding in all but the most remote areas to a fiercer form imported from the south. As the Pentagon has begun to notice, in Iraq Tehran has been quietly duplicating the strategy that delivered southern Lebanon into its control 20 years ago. The degeneration of Baby Assad’s supposedly “secular” Baathist tyranny into full-blown client status and the replacement of Arafat’s depraved “secular” kleptocrat terrorists by Hamas’s even more depraved Islamist terrorists can also be seen as symptoms of Iranification.

So as a geopolitical analyst the ayatollah is not to be disdained. Our failure to understand Iran in the seventies foreshadowed our failure to understand the broader struggle today. As clashes of civilizations go, this one’s between two extremes: on the one hand, a world that has everything it needs to wage decisive war—wealth, armies, industry, technology; on the other, a world that has nothing but pure ideology and plenty of believers. (Its sole resource, oil, would stay in the ground were it not for foreign technology, foreign manpower, and a Western fetishization of domestic environmental aesthetics.)

For this to be a mortal struggle, as the cold war was, the question is: Are they a credible enemy to us?

For a projection of the likely outcome, the question is: Are we a credible enemy to them?

Four years into the “war on terror,” the Bush administration has begun promoting a new formulation: “the long war.” Not a reassuring name. In a short war, put your money on tanks and bombs—our strengths. In a long war, the better bet is will and manpower—their strengths, and our great weakness. Even a loser can win when he’s up against a defeatist. A big chunk of Western civilization, consciously or otherwise, has given the impression that it’s dying to surrender to somebody, anybody. Reasonably enough, Islam figures: Hey, why not us? If you add to the advantages of will and manpower a nuclear capability, the odds shift dramatically.

What, after all, is the issue underpinning every little goofy incident in the news, from those Danish cartoons of Mohammed to recommendations for polygamy by official commissions in Canada to the banning of the English flag in English prisons because it’s an insensitive “crusader” emblem to the introduction of gender-segregated swimming sessions in municipal pools in Puget Sound? In a word, sovereignty. There is no god but Allah, and thus there is no jurisdiction but Allah’s. Ayatollah Khomeini saw himself not as the leader of a geographical polity but as a leader of a communal one: Islam. Once those urbane socialist émigrés were either dead or on the plane back to Paris, Iran’s nominally “temporal” government took the same view, too: its role is not merely to run national highway departments and education ministries but to advance the cause of Islam worldwide.

If you dust off the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, Article One reads: “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.” Iran fails to meet qualification (d), and has never accepted it. The signature act of the new regime was not the usual post-coup bloodletting and summary execution of the shah’s mid-ranking officials but the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by “students” acting with Khomeini’s blessing. Diplomatic missions are recognized as the sovereign territory of that state, and the violation thereof is an act of war. No one in Washington has to fret that Fidel Castro will bomb the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. Even in the event of an actual war, the diplomatic staff of both countries would be allowed to depart.

Yet Iran seized protected persons on U.S. soil and held them prisoner for over a year—ostensibly because Washington was planning to restore the shah. But the shah died and the hostages remained. And, when the deal was eventually done and the hostages were released, the sovereign territory of the United States remained in the hands of the gangster regime. Granted that during the Carter administration the Soviets were gobbling up real estate from Afghanistan to Grenada, it’s significant that in this wretched era the only loss of actual U.S. territory was to the Islamists.

Yet Iran paid no price. They got away with it. For the purposes of comparison, in 1980, when the U.S. hostages in Tehran were in their sixth month of captivity, Iranians opposed to the mullahs seized the Islamic Republic’s embassy in London. After six days of negotiation, Her Majesty’s Government sent SAS commandos into the building and restored it to the control of the regime. In refusing to do the same with the “students” occupying the U.S. embassy, the Islamic Republic was explicitly declaring that it was not as other states.

We expect multilateral human-rights Democrats to be unsatisfactory on assertive nationalism, but if they won’t even stand up for international law, what’s the point? Jimmy Carter should have demanded the same service as Tehran got from the British—the swift resolution of the situation by the host government—and, if none was forthcoming, Washington should have reversed the affront to international order quickly, decisively, and in a sufficiently punitive manner. At hinge moments of history, there are never good and bad options, only bad and much much worse. Our options today are significantly worse because we didn’t take the bad one back then.

With the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, a British subject, Tehran extended its contempt for sovereignty to claiming jurisdiction over the nationals of foreign states, passing sentence on them, and conscripting citizens of other countries to carry it out. Iran’s supreme leader instructed Muslims around the world to serve as executioners of the Islamic Republic—and they did, killing not Rushdie himself but his Japanese translator, and stabbing the Italian translator, and shooting the Italian publisher, and killing three dozen persons with no connection to the book when a mob burned down a hotel because of the presence of the novelist’s Turkish translator.

Iran’s de facto head of state offered a multimillion-dollar bounty for a whack job on an obscure English novelist. And, as with the embassy siege, he got away with it.

In the latest variation on Marx’s dictum, history repeats itself: first, the unreadable London literary novel; then, the Danish funny pages. But in the 17 years between the Rushdie fatwa and the cartoon jihad, what was supposedly a freakish one-off collision between Islam and the modern world has become routine. We now think it perfectly normal for Muslims to demand the tenets of their religion be applied to society at large: the government of Sweden, for example, has been zealously closing down websites that republish those Danish cartoons. As Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Khamenei, has said, “It is in our revolution’s interest, and an essential principle, that when we speak of Islamic objectives, we address all the Muslims of the world.” Or as a female Muslim demonstrator in Toronto put it: “We won’t stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.”

If that’s a little too ferocious, Kofi Annan framed it rather more soothingly: “The offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were first published in a European country which has recently acquired a significant Muslim population, and is not yet sure how to adjust to it.”

If you’ve also “recently acquired” a significant Muslim population and you’re not sure how to “adjust” to it, well, here’s the difference: back when my Belgian grandparents emigrated to Canada, the idea was that the immigrants assimilated to the host country. As Kofi and Co. see it, today the host country has to assimilate to the immigrants: if Islamic law forbids representations of the Prophet, then so must Danish law, and French law, and American law. Iran was the progenitor of this rapacious extraterritoriality, and, if we had understood it more clearly a generation ago, we might be in less danger of seeing large tracts of the developed world being subsumed by it today.

Yet instead the West somehow came to believe that, in a region of authoritarian monarchs and kleptocrat dictators, Iran was a comparative beacon of liberty. The British foreign secretary goes to Tehran and hangs with the mullahs and, even though he’s not a practicing Muslim (yet), ostentatiously does that “peace be upon him” thing whenever he mentions the Prophet Mohammed. And where does the kissy-face with the A-list imams get him? Ayatollah Khamenei renewed the fatwa on Rushdie only last year. True, President Bush identified Iran as a member of the axis of evil, but a year later the country was being hailed as a “democracy” by then-deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage and a nation that has seen a “democratic flowering,” as State Department spokesman Richard Boucher put it.

And let’s not forget Bill Clinton’s extraordinary remarks at Davos last year: “Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency. It is there that the ideas that I subscribe to are defended by a majority.” That’s true in the very narrow sense that there’s a certain similarity between his legal strategy and sharia when it comes to adultery and setting up the gals as the fall guys. But it seems Clinton apparently had a more general commonality in mind: “In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.” America’s first black President is beginning to sound like America’s first Islamist ex-president.

Those remarks are as nutty as Gerald Ford’s denial of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe. Iran has an impressive three-decade record of talking the talk and walking the walk—either directly or through client groups like Hezbollah. In 1994, the Argentine Israel Mutual Association was bombed in Buenos Aires. Nearly 100 people died and 250 were injured—the worst massacre of Jewish civilians since the Holocaust. An Argentine court eventually issued warrants for two Iranian diplomats plus Ali Fallahian, former intelligence minister, and Ali Akbar Parvaresh, former education minister and deputy speaker of the Majlis.

Why blow up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires? Because it’s there. Unlike the Iranian infiltration into Bosnia and Croatia, which helped radicalize not just the local populations but Muslim supporters from Britain and Western Europe, the random slaughter in the Argentine has no strategic value except as a demonstration of muscle and reach.

Anyone who spends half an hour looking at Iranian foreign policy over the last 27 years sees five things:

  1. contempt for the most basic international conventions;
  2. long-reach extraterritoriality;
  3. effective promotion of radical Pan-Islamism;
  4. a willingness to go the extra mile for Jew-killing (unlike, say, Osama);
  5. an all-but-total synchronization between rhetoric and action.

Yet the Europeans remain in denial. Iran was supposedly the Middle Eastern state they could work with. And the chancellors and foreign ministers jetted in to court the mullahs so assiduously that they’re reluctant to give up on the strategy just because a relatively peripheral figure like the, er, head of state is sounding off about Armageddon.

Instead, Western analysts tend to go all Kremlinological. There are, after all, many factions within Iran’s ruling class. What the country’s quick-on-the-nuke president says may not be the final word on the regime’s position. Likewise, what the school of nuclear theologians in Qom says. Likewise, what former president Khatami says. Likewise, what Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, says.

But, given that they’re all in favor of the country having nukes, the point seems somewhat moot. The question then arises, what do they want them for?

By way of illustration, consider the country’s last presidential election. The final round offered a choice between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an alumnus of the U.S. Embassy siege a quarter-century ago, and Hashemi Rafsanjani, head of the Expediency Council, which sounds like an EU foreign policy agency but is, in fact, the body that arbitrates between Iran’s political and religious leaderships. Ahmadinejad is a notorious shoot-from-the-lip apocalyptic hothead who believes in the return of the Twelfth (hidden) Imam and quite possibly that he personally is his designated deputy, and he’s also claimed that when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly last year a mystical halo appeared and bathed him in its aura. Ayatollah Rafsanjani, on the other hand, is one of those famous “moderates.”

What’s the difference between a hothead and a moderate? Well, the extremist Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” while the moderate Rafsanjani has declared that Israel is “the most hideous occurrence in history,” which the Muslim world “will vomit out from its midst” in one blast, because “a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.” Evidently wiping Israel off the map seems to be one of those rare points of bipartisan consensus in Tehran, the Iranian equivalent of a prescription drug plan for seniors: we’re just arguing over the details.

So the question is: Will they do it?

And the minute you have to ask, you know the answer. If, say, Norway or Ireland acquired nuclear weapons, we might regret the “proliferation,” but we wouldn’t have to contemplate mushroom clouds over neighboring states. In that sense, the civilized world has already lost: to enter into negotiations with a jurisdiction headed by a Holocaust-denying millenarian nut job is, in itself, an act of profound weakness—the first concession, regardless of what weaselly settlement might eventually emerge.

Conversely, a key reason to stop Iran is to demonstrate that we can still muster the will to do so. Instead, the striking characteristic of the long diplomatic dance that brought us to this moment is how September 10th it’s all been. The free world’s delegated negotiators (the European Union) and transnational institutions (the IAEA) have continually given the impression that they’d be content just to boot it down the road to next year or the year after or find some arrangement—this decade’s Oil-for-Food or North Korean deal—that would get them off the hook. If you talk to EU foreign ministers, they’ve already psychologically accepted a nuclear Iran. Indeed, the chief characteristic of the West’s reaction to Iran’s nuclearization has been an enervated fatalism.

Back when nuclear weapons were an elite club of five relatively sane world powers, your average Western progressive was convinced the planet was about to go ka-boom any minute. The mushroom cloud was one of the most familiar images in the culture, a recurring feature of novels and album covers and movie posters. There were bestselling dystopian picture books for children, in which the handful of survivors spent their last days walking in a nuclear winter wonderland. Now a state openly committed to the annihilation of a neighboring nation has nukes, and we shrug: Can’t be helped. Just the way things are. One hears sophisticated arguments that perhaps the best thing is to let everyone get ’em, and then no one will use them. And if Iran’s head of state happens to threaten to wipe Israel off the map, we should understand that this is a rhetorical stylistic device that’s part of the Persian oral narrative tradition, and it would be a grossly Eurocentric misinterpretation to take it literally.

The fatalists have a point. We may well be headed for a world in which anybody with a few thousand bucks and the right unlisted Asian phone numbers in his Rolodex can get a nuke. But, even so, there are compelling reasons for preventing Iran in particular from going nuclear. Back in his student days at the U.S. embassy, young Mr. Ahmadinejad seized American sovereign territory, and the Americans did nothing. And I would wager that’s still how he looks at the world. And, like Rafsanjani, he would regard, say, Muslim deaths in an obliterated Jerusalem as worthy collateral damage in promoting the greater good of a Jew-free Middle East. The Palestinians and their “right of return” have never been more than a weapon of convenience with which to chastise the West. To assume Tehran would never nuke Israel because a shift in wind direction would contaminate Ramallah is to be as ignorant of history as most Palestinians are: from Yasser Arafat’s uncle, the pro-Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the British Mandate, to the insurgents in Iraq today, Islamists have never been shy about slaughtering Muslims in pursuit of their strategic goals.

But it doesn’t have to come to that. Go back to that Argentine bombing. It was, in fact, the second major Iranian-sponsored attack in Buenos Aires. The year before, 1993, a Hezbollah suicide bomber killed 29 people and injured hundreds more in an attack on the Israeli Embassy. In the case of the community center bombing, the killer had flown from Lebanon a few days earlier and entered Latin America through the porous tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Suppose Iran had had a “dirty nuke” shipped to Hezbollah, or even the full-blown thing: Would it have been any less easy to get it into the country? And, if a significant chunk of downtown Buenos Aires were rendered uninhabitable, what would the Argentine government do? Iran can project itself to South America effortlessly, but Argentina can’t project itself to the Middle East at all. It can’t nuke Tehran, and it can’t attack Iran in conventional ways.

So any retaliation would be down to others. Would Washington act? It depends how clear the fingerprints were. If the links back to the mullahs were just a teensy-weensy bit tenuous and murky, how eager would the U.S. be to reciprocate? Bush and Rumsfeld might—but an administration of a more Clinto-Powellite bent? How much pressure would there be for investigations under UN auspices? Perhaps Hans Blix could come out of retirement, and we could have a six-month dance through Security-Council coalition-building, with the secretary of state making a last-minute flight to Khartoum to try to persuade Sudan to switch its vote.

Perhaps it’s unduly pessimistic to write the civilized world automatically into what Osama bin Laden called the “weak horse” role (Islam being the “strong horse”). But, if you were an Iranian “moderate” and you’d watched the West’s reaction to the embassy seizure and the Rushdie murders and Hezbollah terrorism, wouldn’t you be thinking along those lines? I don’t suppose Buenos Aires Jews expect to have their institutions nuked any more than 12 years ago they expected to be blown up in their own city by Iranian-backed suicide bombers. Nukes have gone freelance, and there’s nothing much we can do about that, and sooner or later we’ll see the consequences—in Vancouver or Rotterdam, Glasgow or Atlanta. But, that being so, we owe it to ourselves to take the minimal precautionary step of ending the one regime whose political establishment is explicitly pledged to the nuclear annihilation of neighboring states.

Once again, we face a choice between bad and worse options. There can be no “surgical” strike in any meaningful sense: Iran’s clients on the ground will retaliate in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Europe. Nor should we put much stock in the country’s allegedly “pro-American” youth. This shouldn’t be a touchy-feely nation-building exercise: rehabilitation may be a bonus, but the primary objective should be punishment—and incarceration. It’s up to the Iranian people how nutty a government they want to live with, but extraterritorial nuttiness has to be shown not to pay. That means swift, massive, devastating force that decapitates the regime—but no occupation.

The cost of de-nuking Iran will be high now but significantly higher with every year it’s postponed. The lesson of the Danish cartoons is the clearest reminder that what is at stake here is the credibility of our civilization. Whether or not we end the nuclearization of the Islamic Republic will be an act that defines our time.

A quarter-century ago, there was a minor British pop hit called “Ayatollah, Don’t Khomeini Closer.” If you’re a U.S. diplomat or a British novelist, a Croat Christian or an Argentine Jew, he’s already come way too close. How much closer do you want him to get?

Confronting evil on Flight 93

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2006 at 12:02 PM

Evil exists. The Scriptures tell us that the evil one “masquerades as an angel of light” seeking to deceive and destroy.

One ancient manifestation of that evil, cloaked in religiosity, is today revived and emboldened.

For most Americans, 9/11 was inexplicable and sudden horror. For many around the world, only the extent of the devastation, not the will to destroy, was surprising, since they too have suffered at the hands of Islam. In every nation in which the religion of Mohammed gains a foothold, violence ensues. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, animists, and other non-Muslims have all suffered at the command of Allah.

For many, the reality of what happened on 9/11 has dimmed (if it ever was real at all). If this preview of United 93 is accurate, the film is a must-see. Americans must watch and remember. Infidels around the world and Muslims of Good Will must see and understand the devastation Allah causes.

And we must act. Act to reveal the truth about the god from hell and his false prophet who require this violence. Act to expose the lies of those who would keep unwary Infidels blind to the blade about to sweep across their throats. Act to prevent the realization of Islam’s ultimate goal: the subjugation of all Men under Shari’a, the rule of Allah.

Inside the Making of United 93:

On United Airlines flight 93—out of Newark, scheduled for San Francisco, bound for history—34 passengers caught up on paperwork or dreamed their last dream. Four others were there on a mission.

Forty-six minutes into the flight, one of them shouted in Arabic and brandished a bandolier of explosives. Another got into the cockpit, stabbing the pilot and co-pilot. A third seized the controls. Some of the captives, getting on phone lines, learned that two other planes had torpedoed into the World Trade Center. Realizing their doom, the passengers also found a mission. They stormed the hijackers, rammed their way into the cockpit and, to keep the plane from being one more missile aimed at a U.S. landmark, tried to wrest command of it.

Fourteen times.

That’s how many times Paul Greengrass, writer-director of United 93, put his cast through the hijacking and ensuing heroics. On a set in suburban London’s Pinewood Studios, where many James Bond fantasies have been filmed, Greengrass staged this real-life, high-stakes death battle over and over—the whole ordeal, nonstop, in takes lasting from 20 to 55 min., as the reconstructed Boeing 757 would wobble and shudder, and the camera crew followed the action like nosy paparazzi. Says Cheyenne Jackson, who plays Mark Bingham, one of the stalwart passengers: “We spent so many hours throwing our trays around and bleeding and screaming and crying and praying, and throwing up and peeing ourselves, and trying to imagine every possibility of what these people were going through. It was an environment where we could go to these deep, dark places. But the saddest thing about it was that finally we could wash off our makeup and come out of those places.”

He means that the passengers on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, of course, could not come out; they crashed and died, along with the hijackers, in a field near Shanksville, Pa. But there are many Americans for whom the dark place of a movie auditorium is a last refuge from reality. The trailer for United 93 has upset viewers with its gritty evocation of that day, especially a shot of the plane hitting the second tower of the World Trade Center. Audiences who wouldn’t flinch at slasher movies and serial-killer thrillers have shouted back at the previews. A multiplex in Manhattan yanked the trailer after complaints from patrons. Some were angry, some in tears. They felt violated to see, in the guise of entertainment, a pinprick reminder of a tragedy for which Americans still grieve and which they may wish to keep buried, along with the people and the image of national invulnerability lost that day.

Yet the events of 9/11, like a nightmare that haunts the waking, have permeated the media. Not just the all-news channels but also books, plays, songs. Michael Moore’s political take, Fahrenheit 9/11, scared up $119 million at the domestic box office, and abc is preparing a mini-series based on The 9/11 Commission Report, with Stephen Root as terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke and Harvey Keitel as John O’Neill, the fbi’s al-Qaeda sleuth who died in the World Trade Center carnage. Flight 93, a TV movie about the same events shown in United 93, reaped the A&E Network’s all-time highest ratings and stoked no protests.

Perhaps those who saw the trailer didn’t realize that this was the one flight, of the four hijacked that day, with an inspiring ending. This was the one on which the good guys, following passenger Todd Beamer’s John Wayne-like invocation, “Let’s roll,” foiled the bad guys. The saga of this flight makes for, in 9/11 terms, a feel-good movie. Just as important, United 93, at which Time was given an exclusive first look, is a good movie—taut and implacable—that honors the deeds of the passengers while being fair, if anyone cares, to the hijackers’ jihad bravado. (At one point the passengers are heard murmuring the Lord’s Prayer while the hijackers whisper their prayers to Allah.) If this is a horror movie, it is an edifying one, a history lesson with the pulse of a world-on-the-line suspense film.

Ready or not—and the pending release this week of the black-box tapes from the doomed flight suggests some kind of turning point—United 93 opens around the country April 28, three days after its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, within view of the still gaping Twin Towers site. Greengrass’s film is the first of a few big-studio projects dealing with 9/11. World Trade Center, the account of two Port Authority policemen trapped beneath the towers’ charnel rubble, follows in August. James Vanderbilt’s screenplay of Against All Enemies, Clarke’s contentious memoir of his career tracking terrorists, which begins with frenetic scenes in the White House on 9/11, is floating around Hollywood. Paul Haggis, fresh from his Oscar upset with Crash, has expressed interest in directing it. Against All Enemies will get its juice from the spectacle of stratospheric double-dealing; there’s more backstabbing than in Hamlet. World Trade Center promises to be a hymn to the courage and perseverance of Sergeant John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and Officer Will Jimeno (Michael Pena). Jimeno was trapped in an elevator shaft for 15 hours, McLoughlin interred in rubble a few feet below Jimeno for 23 hours.

The days the two men visited the set—Howard Hughes’ old airplane hangar near Marina del Rey, Calif.—McLoughlin, who had 30 surgeries that left braces on his legs and an open wound on his left hip, stayed away from the 65-ft. mound of Styrofoam beams and cargo boxes meant to represent ground zero. “I hate getting upset,” he says. As soot-covered extras in police and military uniforms milled around, Jimeno was reduced to tears by the sight of the too-lifelike rubble pile. “I survived for a reason,” he says. “We, as a country, have a short attention span. We don’t want people to forget those who died and those who saved us.”

Although the film’s director is Oliver Stone, this is no paranoid panorama on the order of JFK. It’s a boy-down-a-well saga with, insists first-time screenwriter Andrea Berloff, “no politics. This is a small story. We’re in the hole with these two guys for practically the whole movie.” With the digging out comes the uplift. “I hope people will walk out of the theater and say to themselves, ‘Life is short,'” Jimeno says, “and go home and hug their loved ones.” Berloff has the same aim. “You don’t want people leaving theaters slitting their wrists. I don’t think the world is ready for the Towering Inferno version of 9/11. I don’t know how you would make that movie.” These three films, in various stages of gestation, all look to be honest, fact-based depictions of a central American story. They also have recognizable movie antecedents. In the horror stories of history, Hollywood picks through the carnage to find heroes, and the makers of the 9/11 films have found a few. Clarke, in Against All Enemies, is the lonely sentinel begging a smug, slow-witted establishment to take al-Qaeda seriously. He’s Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith after 30 years in Washington, his stubborn zeal intact. Another species of hero is the lucky survivor; and as Schindler’s List was not about the nearly 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis but about 1,100 who escaped, so World Trade Center focuses on two of the last victims evacuated alive after the big buildings collapsed. As for the United 93 passengers–in movie terms, and in the life of the world–they are the first heroes of the 21st century.

“At 28 minutes past 9,” says Greengrass of Sept. 11, “none of us were wondering What are we going to do? We were watching telly, wondering What the f___ is going on? The people on United 93 weren’t doing that. They were looking at four guys. They knew exactly what was going on.” Knowing of the World Trade Center attack, they could surmise that their own flight might be the next weapon.

“Subsequent to 9/11,” says Greengrass, an Englishman who directed the superb docudrama Bloody Sunday, set in Northern Ireland in 1972, and the gritty espionage film The Bourne Supremacy, “we all had to make decisions about the world we live in, about the courses of action that we take. This film is saying that, before we got to that, there was this event: this extraordinary work of fate, mired in confusion, with the passengers gaining knowledge of 9/11 as they went. What that did was create a debate on the plane: What are we going to do? Are we going to do nothing and hope for the best, or are we going to do something? What can we do? What will be the consequences of both courses of action? That is our post-9/11 debate.” Which the doomed, defiant passengers had just a few minutes to comprehend and resolve—on the fly.

United 93 is a meticulous reconstruction of that morning. Greengrass worked closely with the victims’ families, who had already heard the black-box recordings, and the actors, who were improvising. Few events, either on the plane or in the air-traffic control centers, are underlined for effect. As Bingham’s mother Alice Hoagland notes, “What happened on board Flight 93 has so much drama and pace, it needs no embellishment.”

At the start of the film, before 93’s takeoff, our knowledge of what is to come bestows a creepy portent, a sad, sick, helpless feeling, to banal intimacies and mundane activities. A simple cell-phone “I love you” holds a lifetime of poignancy; the closing of the plane door is like the sealing of a tomb with live bodies inside. In a film that, in its near finished state, runs about 105 min., it’s 30 min. before Flight 93 is aloft, an additional 12 min. before the second plane hits the World Trade Center, a full hour before the hijackers seize control. For the viewer, the wait is rackingly tense, as real as a newsreel.

That is because, wherever possible, Greengrass cast people close to their roles. J.J. Johnson, who plays the captain of Flight 93, is a real United pilot. Trish Gates, who plays head flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw, was a real United flight attendant. Ben Sliney, who as national operations manager for the faa kept track of the mounting atrocities, appears as himself. Lewis Alsamari, who plays one of the hijackers, spent a year in the Iraqi army.

The actors playing the terrorists were kept segregated from those playing the passengers; they stayed in different hotels and did not meet until the hijack sequence was shot. Those actors had to deal with the violence on a more personal level. “We all came out with stuff that we’ve never seen in ourselves before,” says Jamie Harding, who describes his character, Ahmed Al Nami, by saying, “I do all the beating and hurting, although I don’t actually kill anybody.” Alsamari says he looked at a scene in the film in which he attacks the pilot and co-pilot, “and I had my hand on my mouth. I thought, I can’t believe someone could do that. It was like looking at somebody else.”

If the actors find United 93 hard to take, what will an audience’s reaction be? Many people will certainly feel they’re not ready to see the film. And that’s fine. But it’s honorable and artful as a re-creation of history, and as a film experience it’s both unbearable and unmissable.

“Movies need to address the way the world is,” Greengrass says. “We have to tell stories about 9/11.” He also notes, “The victims’ families want this film made. Every single one of them.” (Universal, the studio producing the film, is donating 10% of the first weekend’s box-office gross to the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund.) Hamilton Peterson, whose father and stepmother died on the flight and who serves as chairman of Families of Flight 93, sees two reasons America needs this film. “One, we’re proud of what these Americans did,” he says. “These are ordinary citizens who in a matter of minutes overcame what very evil and capable people had planned for years. The passengers took action without police or official support. They knew right from wrong, and they acted on it. Out of the dark of 9/11 came these heroes. And two, it is an example that future world citizens can learn from. If you remember Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, he tried to engage a very dangerous bomb and was thwarted by the bravery of the passengers and crew. Flight 93 served as a beacon for them. I don’t think you can reaffirm that message too often or too much.”

“I hope we’re not as a society inured to the messages of the movie,” says Hoagland. Those messages, of the hijackers’ terrible cunning and dedication, the passengers’ valor and sacrifice, are both timeless and timely. “I know it’s not too soon,” she says. “I hope it’s not too late.”

Confronting evil on Flight 93

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2006 at 11:02 AM

Evil exists. The Scriptures tell us that the evil one “masquerades as an angel of light” seeking to deceive and destroy.

One ancient manifestation of that evil, cloaked in religiosity, is today revived and emboldened.

For most Americans, 9/11 was inexplicable and sudden horror. For many around the world, only the extent of the devastation, not the will to destroy, was surprising, since they too have suffered at the hands of Islam. In every nation in which the religion of Mohammed gains a foothold, violence ensues. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, animists, and other non-Muslims have all suffered at the command of Allah.

For many, the reality of what happened on 9/11 has dimmed (if it ever was real at all). If this preview of United 93 is accurate, the film is a must-see. Americans must watch and remember. Infidels around the world and Muslims of Good Will must see and understand the devastation Allah causes.

And we must act. Act to reveal the truth about the god from hell and his false prophet who require this violence. Act to expose the lies of those who would keep unwary Infidels blind to the blade about to sweep across their throats. Act to prevent the realization of Islam’s ultimate goal: the subjugation of all Men under Shari’a, the rule of Allah.

Inside the Making of United 93:

On United Airlines flight 93—out of Newark, scheduled for San Francisco, bound for history—34 passengers caught up on paperwork or dreamed their last dream. Four others were there on a mission.

Forty-six minutes into the flight, one of them shouted in Arabic and brandished a bandolier of explosives. Another got into the cockpit, stabbing the pilot and co-pilot. A third seized the controls. Some of the captives, getting on phone lines, learned that two other planes had torpedoed into the World Trade Center. Realizing their doom, the passengers also found a mission. They stormed the hijackers, rammed their way into the cockpit and, to keep the plane from being one more missile aimed at a U.S. landmark, tried to wrest command of it.

Fourteen times.

That’s how many times Paul Greengrass, writer-director of United 93, put his cast through the hijacking and ensuing heroics. On a set in suburban London’s Pinewood Studios, where many James Bond fantasies have been filmed, Greengrass staged this real-life, high-stakes death battle over and over—the whole ordeal, nonstop, in takes lasting from 20 to 55 min., as the reconstructed Boeing 757 would wobble and shudder, and the camera crew followed the action like nosy paparazzi. Says Cheyenne Jackson, who plays Mark Bingham, one of the stalwart passengers: “We spent so many hours throwing our trays around and bleeding and screaming and crying and praying, and throwing up and peeing ourselves, and trying to imagine every possibility of what these people were going through. It was an environment where we could go to these deep, dark places. But the saddest thing about it was that finally we could wash off our makeup and come out of those places.”

He means that the passengers on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, of course, could not come out; they crashed and died, along with the hijackers, in a field near Shanksville, Pa. But there are many Americans for whom the dark place of a movie auditorium is a last refuge from reality. The trailer for United 93 has upset viewers with its gritty evocation of that day, especially a shot of the plane hitting the second tower of the World Trade Center. Audiences who wouldn’t flinch at slasher movies and serial-killer thrillers have shouted back at the previews. A multiplex in Manhattan yanked the trailer after complaints from patrons. Some were angry, some in tears. They felt violated to see, in the guise of entertainment, a pinprick reminder of a tragedy for which Americans still grieve and which they may wish to keep buried, along with the people and the image of national invulnerability lost that day.

Yet the events of 9/11, like a nightmare that haunts the waking, have permeated the media. Not just the all-news channels but also books, plays, songs. Michael Moore’s political take, Fahrenheit 9/11, scared up $119 million at the domestic box office, and abc is preparing a mini-series based on The 9/11 Commission Report, with Stephen Root as terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke and Harvey Keitel as John O’Neill, the fbi’s al-Qaeda sleuth who died in the World Trade Center carnage. Flight 93, a TV movie about the same events shown in United 93, reaped the A&E Network’s all-time highest ratings and stoked no protests.

Perhaps those who saw the trailer didn’t realize that this was the one flight, of the four hijacked that day, with an inspiring ending. This was the one on which the good guys, following passenger Todd Beamer’s John Wayne-like invocation, “Let’s roll,” foiled the bad guys. The saga of this flight makes for, in 9/11 terms, a feel-good movie. Just as important, United 93, at which Time was given an exclusive first look, is a good movie—taut and implacable—that honors the deeds of the passengers while being fair, if anyone cares, to the hijackers’ jihad bravado. (At one point the passengers are heard murmuring the Lord’s Prayer while the hijackers whisper their prayers to Allah.) If this is a horror movie, it is an edifying one, a history lesson with the pulse of a world-on-the-line suspense film.

Ready or not—and the pending release this week of the black-box tapes from the doomed flight suggests some kind of turning point—United 93 opens around the country April 28, three days after its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, within view of the still gaping Twin Towers site. Greengrass’s film is the first of a few big-studio projects dealing with 9/11. World Trade Center, the account of two Port Authority policemen trapped beneath the towers’ charnel rubble, follows in August. James Vanderbilt’s screenplay of Against All Enemies, Clarke’s contentious memoir of his career tracking terrorists, which begins with frenetic scenes in the White House on 9/11, is floating around Hollywood. Paul Haggis, fresh from his Oscar upset with Crash, has expressed interest in directing it. Against All Enemies will get its juice from the spectacle of stratospheric double-dealing; there’s more backstabbing than in Hamlet. World Trade Center promises to be a hymn to the courage and perseverance of Sergeant John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and Officer Will Jimeno (Michael Pena). Jimeno was trapped in an elevator shaft for 15 hours, McLoughlin interred in rubble a few feet below Jimeno for 23 hours.

The days the two men visited the set—Howard Hughes’ old airplane hangar near Marina del Rey, Calif.—McLoughlin, who had 30 surgeries that left braces on his legs and an open wound on his left hip, stayed away from the 65-ft. mound of Styrofoam beams and cargo boxes meant to represent ground zero. “I hate getting upset,” he says. As soot-covered extras in police and military uniforms milled around, Jimeno was reduced to tears by the sight of the too-lifelike rubble pile. “I survived for a reason,” he says. “We, as a country, have a short attention span. We don’t want people to forget those who died and those who saved us.”

Although the film’s director is Oliver Stone, this is no paranoid panorama on the order of JFK. It’s a boy-down-a-well saga with, insists first-time screenwriter Andrea Berloff, “no politics. This is a small story. We’re in the hole with these two guys for practically the whole movie.” With the digging out comes the uplift. “I hope people will walk out of the theater and say to themselves, ‘Life is short,'” Jimeno says, “and go home and hug their loved ones.” Berloff has the same aim. “You don’t want people leaving theaters slitting their wrists. I don’t think the world is ready for the Towering Inferno version of 9/11. I don’t know how you would make that movie.” These three films, in various stages of gestation, all look to be honest, fact-based depictions of a central American story. They also have recognizable movie antecedents. In the horror stories of history, Hollywood picks through the carnage to find heroes, and the makers of the 9/11 films have found a few. Clarke, in Against All Enemies, is the lonely sentinel begging a smug, slow-witted establishment to take al-Qaeda seriously. He’s Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith after 30 years in Washington, his stubborn zeal intact. Another species of hero is the lucky survivor; and as Schindler’s List was not about the nearly 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis but about 1,100 who escaped, so World Trade Center focuses on two of the last victims evacuated alive after the big buildings collapsed. As for the United 93 passengers–in movie terms, and in the life of the world–they are the first heroes of the 21st century.

“At 28 minutes past 9,” says Greengrass of Sept. 11, “none of us were wondering What are we going to do? We were watching telly, wondering What the f___ is going on? The people on United 93 weren’t doing that. They were looking at four guys. They knew exactly what was going on.” Knowing of the World Trade Center attack, they could surmise that their own flight might be the next weapon.

“Subsequent to 9/11,” says Greengrass, an Englishman who directed the superb docudrama Bloody Sunday, set in Northern Ireland in 1972, and the gritty espionage film The Bourne Supremacy, “we all had to make decisions about the world we live in, about the courses of action that we take. This film is saying that, before we got to that, there was this event: this extraordinary work of fate, mired in confusion, with the passengers gaining knowledge of 9/11 as they went. What that did was create a debate on the plane: What are we going to do? Are we going to do nothing and hope for the best, or are we going to do something? What can we do? What will be the consequences of both courses of action? That is our post-9/11 debate.” Which the doomed, defiant passengers had just a few minutes to comprehend and resolve—on the fly.

United 93 is a meticulous reconstruction of that morning. Greengrass worked closely with the victims’ families, who had already heard the black-box recordings, and the actors, who were improvising. Few events, either on the plane or in the air-traffic control centers, are underlined for effect. As Bingham’s mother Alice Hoagland notes, “What happened on board Flight 93 has so much drama and pace, it needs no embellishment.”

At the start of the film, before 93’s takeoff, our knowledge of what is to come bestows a creepy portent, a sad, sick, helpless feeling, to banal intimacies and mundane activities. A simple cell-phone “I love you” holds a lifetime of poignancy; the closing of the plane door is like the sealing of a tomb with live bodies inside. In a film that, in its near finished state, runs about 105 min., it’s 30 min. before Flight 93 is aloft, an additional 12 min. before the second plane hits the World Trade Center, a full hour before the hijackers seize control. For the viewer, the wait is rackingly tense, as real as a newsreel.

That is because, wherever possible, Greengrass cast people close to their roles. J.J. Johnson, who plays the captain of Flight 93, is a real United pilot. Trish Gates, who plays head flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw, was a real United flight attendant. Ben Sliney, who as national operations manager for the faa kept track of the mounting atrocities, appears as himself. Lewis Alsamari, who plays one of the hijackers, spent a year in the Iraqi army.

The actors playing the terrorists were kept segregated from those playing the passengers; they stayed in different hotels and did not meet until the hijack sequence was shot. Those actors had to deal with the violence on a more personal level. “We all came out with stuff that we’ve never seen in ourselves before,” says Jamie Harding, who describes his character, Ahmed Al Nami, by saying, “I do all the beating and hurting, although I don’t actually kill anybody.” Alsamari says he looked at a scene in the film in which he attacks the pilot and co-pilot, “and I had my hand on my mouth. I thought, I can’t believe someone could do that. It was like looking at somebody else.”

If the actors find United 93 hard to take, what will an audience’s reaction be? Many people will certainly feel they’re not ready to see the film. And that’s fine. But it’s honorable and artful as a re-creation of history, and as a film experience it’s both unbearable and unmissable.

“Movies need to address the way the world is,” Greengrass says. “We have to tell stories about 9/11.” He also notes, “The victims’ families want this film made. Every single one of them.” (Universal, the studio producing the film, is donating 10% of the first weekend’s box-office gross to the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund.) Hamilton Peterson, whose father and stepmother died on the flight and who serves as chairman of Families of Flight 93, sees two reasons America needs this film. “One, we’re proud of what these Americans did,” he says. “These are ordinary citizens who in a matter of minutes overcame what very evil and capable people had planned for years. The passengers took action without police or official support. They knew right from wrong, and they acted on it. Out of the dark of 9/11 came these heroes. And two, it is an example that future world citizens can learn from. If you remember Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, he tried to engage a very dangerous bomb and was thwarted by the bravery of the passengers and crew. Flight 93 served as a beacon for them. I don’t think you can reaffirm that message too often or too much.”

“I hope we’re not as a society inured to the messages of the movie,” says Hoagland. Those messages, of the hijackers’ terrible cunning and dedication, the passengers’ valor and sacrifice, are both timeless and timely. “I know it’s not too soon,” she says. “I hope it’s not too late.”

More Islamic peace and tolerance

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2006 at 11:36 AM

If their god is true, why must they act like thugs? And why is this allowed to happen in America? Staring down intimidation:

It took 10 police officers to keep order last month when Brigitte Gabriel gave a speech at Memphis University. A passionate and powerful speaker who had witnessed Palestinian terrorism and experienced anti-Jewish and anti-Christian propaganda in her native Lebanon, Ms. Gabriel had been invited to speak at the Tennessee campus by religious studies professor David Patterson.

But the day before Ms. Gabriel’s speech, Mr. Patterson began receiving threatening e-mails.

“Do you honestly think the scheduled lecture will serve any useful purpose other than inflaming the Muslims, insulting them and spilling poison in the community?” one message said. Another said that inviting Ms. Gabriel to speak was “worse than hosting of the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan,” and another described her as among “the true enemies of Islam.”

When Ms. Gabriel and Mr. Patterson arrived in the campus auditorium 15 minutes before her scheduled presentation, several rows of seats in the front of the room were already occupied by men and women dressed in distinctive Muslim clothing.

Before Ms. Gabriel was introduced, a Muslim man who has been a long-term graduate student at the university strode to the front of the room and announced: “We have been told that the speaker will only accept questions written on cards. Everyone who believes this is an undemocratic lecture, raise your hands.” The Muslims in the audience shouted their agreement.

Ms. Gabriel then went to the front of the room and announced that the lecture belonged to her and that all who did not see it this way were welcome to leave. Two campus police officers stood, one on either side of her. They also called for backup. By the time order was restored and Ms. Gabriel began her speech, 10 police officers were posted in the room. Mr. Patterson implored the audience to give her a chance to be heard.

After her speech, she answered every question submitted — questions she described as “Palestinian talking points” — before the Muslim audience members swarmed onto the stage and surrounded her, yelling angrily at her. Finally, police officers grabbed her and hustled her out a side door. Someone else had to retrieve her coat and suitcase while she waited in a police car to be driven to the hotel where, for security reasons, she was registered under a fictitious name.

Only after she had locked her door and drawn the curtains, did Ms. Gabriel allow herself to begin to tremble.

“The intimidation takes a toll on you,” Ms. Gabriel said in an e-mail message to friends after the Memphis speech. “I was dreading this all day, ever since my hosts told me they had been receiving hostile e-mail about my lecture. It was weighing so heavily on my heart. My stomach was in knots. I got a migraine headache. I knew I was going into battle, and there was no way out of it. I was nervous and stressed. Each time this happens, I hate it and it makes me feel that I don’t want to do it anymore. But I will do it. I will never stop. If we stop, the Islamists will have won. We cannot allow that to happen.”

More Islamic peace and tolerance

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2006 at 10:36 AM

If their god is true, why must they act like thugs? And why is this allowed to happen in America? Staring down intimidation:

It took 10 police officers to keep order last month when Brigitte Gabriel gave a speech at Memphis University. A passionate and powerful speaker who had witnessed Palestinian terrorism and experienced anti-Jewish and anti-Christian propaganda in her native Lebanon, Ms. Gabriel had been invited to speak at the Tennessee campus by religious studies professor David Patterson.

But the day before Ms. Gabriel’s speech, Mr. Patterson began receiving threatening e-mails.

“Do you honestly think the scheduled lecture will serve any useful purpose other than inflaming the Muslims, insulting them and spilling poison in the community?” one message said. Another said that inviting Ms. Gabriel to speak was “worse than hosting of the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan,” and another described her as among “the true enemies of Islam.”

When Ms. Gabriel and Mr. Patterson arrived in the campus auditorium 15 minutes before her scheduled presentation, several rows of seats in the front of the room were already occupied by men and women dressed in distinctive Muslim clothing.

Before Ms. Gabriel was introduced, a Muslim man who has been a long-term graduate student at the university strode to the front of the room and announced: “We have been told that the speaker will only accept questions written on cards. Everyone who believes this is an undemocratic lecture, raise your hands.” The Muslims in the audience shouted their agreement.

Ms. Gabriel then went to the front of the room and announced that the lecture belonged to her and that all who did not see it this way were welcome to leave. Two campus police officers stood, one on either side of her. They also called for backup. By the time order was restored and Ms. Gabriel began her speech, 10 police officers were posted in the room. Mr. Patterson implored the audience to give her a chance to be heard.

After her speech, she answered every question submitted — questions she described as “Palestinian talking points” — before the Muslim audience members swarmed onto the stage and surrounded her, yelling angrily at her. Finally, police officers grabbed her and hustled her out a side door. Someone else had to retrieve her coat and suitcase while she waited in a police car to be driven to the hotel where, for security reasons, she was registered under a fictitious name.

Only after she had locked her door and drawn the curtains, did Ms. Gabriel allow herself to begin to tremble.

“The intimidation takes a toll on you,” Ms. Gabriel said in an e-mail message to friends after the Memphis speech. “I was dreading this all day, ever since my hosts told me they had been receiving hostile e-mail about my lecture. It was weighing so heavily on my heart. My stomach was in knots. I got a migraine headache. I knew I was going into battle, and there was no way out of it. I was nervous and stressed. Each time this happens, I hate it and it makes me feel that I don’t want to do it anymore. But I will do it. I will never stop. If we stop, the Islamists will have won. We cannot allow that to happen.”

Islam’s threat to Europe isn’t new, and the proper response isn’t either

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2006 at 10:08 AM

Jihad isn’t just for Americans and Jews, and it isn’t novel. Here’s a timely follow-up to “Europe’s slow demise”:

Luther on Islam

Introduction

As early as 1518, Dr. Martin Luther had identified the Islamic faith as the “scourge of God.” For the rest of his life Luther believed that the Muslims were God’s punishment upon a sinful Christendom who had, among other sins (ingratitude, toleration of wicked sects, worship of the god Mammon, drunkenness, greed, and the split of Christendom which had provoked His wrath), tolerated the papal abomination. They would function as Germany’s schoolmaster who must correct and teach the German people to repent of their sins and to fear God.

By 1541, Luther’s burning question for the German people is “how can God be patient any longer?” Just as God had punished the generation of Noah for its wickedness, God must now protect His honor and divinity by punishing the thankless and ungrateful German people.

The Origin and Nature of the Islamic Faith

Martin Luther, having spent the majority of his life lecturing on the Old Testament, derived his understanding of the origin and nature of Islam from Daniel 7 and Daniel’s dream concerning the four beasts. In Daniel’s vision, each beast represented a kingdom with the last beast signifying the Roman Empire.

In fulfillment of Daniel 7:20, Luther identified the origin of Islam with the small horn which had displaced the kingdoms of Egypt, Greece, and Asia and who makes war against God’s people. The nature of the Islamic faith can be understood by the human eyes of the beast which represented Islam’s sacred book, the Qur’an, containing only human wisdom. The mouth signified the many blasphemies that the prophet Muhammad uttered against the Christian faith.

In a letter to Nicholas Hausmann, Luther made the further identification of Gog with the Muslim and Magog with the pope, the former being the external or worldly enemy of God’s people and the latter being the spiritual or ecclesiastical enemy of Christ and His Church. These two enemies of God, and of His people, possessed the same origin in time with the establishment of papal primacy to Boniface III in 606 A.D. by Phokes and with the appearance of the Muslims in 621-632 A.D.

Islamic Errors

Luther believed that the Islamic faith was a patchwork faith which had been “patched together out of the faith of the Jews, Christians, and the heathen” (PE 5:95). The chief theological errors of Islam manifested themselves in the following ways:

A FALSE SYSTEM OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

For Luther, it is foolish and unwise to place one’s hope of salvation upon a religious system which had no calling or promise from God. Consequently, all of the Muslim’s fasting, alms-giving, zeal, spirituality, and self-chosen worship count for nothing before God (LW 24:229).

The reason the Muslim engages in these labors, suggests Luther, is that his false understanding of God’s nature and will leads him to view God as an angry God who must be won by humility, fasting, sacrifice and good works (LW 22:336). In doing so, he rejects the office of Christ (as Redeemer and Mediator) by his own labor to obtain a gracious God and constructs his own ladder to heaven (LW 22:334). As a result, the Muslim bears fruit that is natural and temporally good, but it is not Christian and everlasting since its source is not found in the true Vine who is Christ (LW 24:214).

In summary, the Islamic faith is simply that “if you are pious and just, and if you perform good works, you are saved” (LW 22:501). The prayer of the Muslim is “may God spare my life that I may atone for my sin” (LW 24:349). Thus, the Muslim possesses a false righteousness that strives to be holy, not through faith in the merits of Christ but through his own self-chosen works (LW 24:243) and to “do good according to the light and understanding of reason and to be saved in this way” (LW 24:372).

A FALSE SOURCE OF THEOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE

The second major error of the Islamic faith is its refusal to remain with the simple Gospel but instead to create a new bible, the Qur’an (LW 24:9). Due to this false source of theological knowledge, a system of salvation was constructed that could be comprehended by and which conforms to unregenerate human reason (LW 22:301-302; LW 23:79). Consequently, the tenets of the Islamic faith are in marked contrast to the fundamental articles of the Christian faith (Trinity, Incarnation) which are beyond human reason (LW 22:302) and revealed from heaven by the Holy Spirit (PE 5:178-179).

A CHRISTOLOGICAL HERESY

According to Martin Luther, the chief strategy of Satan, and of all heresies, is to deny Christ’s incarnation, rob humankind of God and His Word, and to fabricate a new god. This is the way the devil goes to work: “He attacks Christ with three storm-columns. One will not suffer Him to be God; the other will not suffer Him to be man; the third denies that He has merited salvation for us. Each of the three endeavors to destroy Christ…Surely all three parts must be believed, namely, that He is God, also, that He is man, and that He became such a man for us…If one small part is lacking, then all parts are lacking” (Bente 1965:14).

The Muslims believe, like their ancestor Nestorius, that Jesus was only Mary’s son and not the Son of God (LW 22:351). They hold Christ to be an excellent prophet and a great man who preached to His own time and who completed His work before His death just like any other prophet. Christ, however, is not as great as Muhammad (LW 22:18; LW 23:82), who is to be worshipped and adored in Christ’s stead (LW 22:137). Thus, the Muslims storm against the teaching of Christ as true God (LW 22:395) and refuse to accept the testimony of Jesus Himself and of the Holy Spirit (LW 23:377) that He is the true God and true man (LW 22:468; PE 5:94).

The real stumbling block for the Muslim is “acknowledging that Christ is the Son of God and His message is the Word of God” (LW 22:476) since it is the nature of all schismatic spirits to assert that Jesus’ Word must be ignored and discarded (LW 23:357) and to sever and separate God, Christ and His Word from one another and debate about God (LW 24:67). As a result, the Muslim is not able to know God because he seeks to know Him without Christ (LW 24:23), the true path and ladder (LW 23:56). The Muslim, instead of finding God here on earth in the flesh of Christ (LW 23:117), searches in vain for God in heaven (LW 23:123; LW 23:170).

THE ISLAMIC FAITH DESTROYS TEMPORAL AUTHORITY

A final tenet of Islam which Luther condemns is its teaching about the proper role of government. The Muslim is not concerned, like other rulers, with the maintenance of peace, the protection of the good, and the punishment of the wicked but uses government, after he has murdered men’s souls with his Qur’an, to murder their bodies (PE 5:96). By his lies, the Muslim seeks to “destroy the spiritual estate, murder the temporal, disregard for marriage the estate of matrimony” (PE 5:100).

Luther’s Advice in Dealing with Islam

SIR CHRISTIAN — THE FIRST MAN

The advice of Luther concerning the Islamic threat in Europe during the Sixteenth Century was not the crusades, for to advocate a Christian crusade against the Muslims was to mix spiritual authority with temporal authority. The consequences of such a mixture and a confusion of the two authorities would be to draw God’s wrath and insure the success of Islam. Instead, the Muslims were to be fought spiritually by Christians with repentance, the amendment of one’s life and with prayer.

In order to achieve this spiritual posture before God, Germany’s pastors were to admonish the papists to stop blaspheming God and to admonish the ungrateful, wanton German people to improve their behavior, to honor God’s Word and to call on God in prayer. Germany’s pastors were to be God’s prophetic voices, calling God’s people back to Himself through genuine repentance, faith and prayer.

THE EMPEROR — THE SECOND MAN

The second man whose place it was to fight against the Muslim was Emperor Charles. It was his office to war agains the Muslim because of their threats toward the Empire’s subjects and the Empire itself. It was his duty, as a ruler appointed by God, to defend his own people and land (PE 5:102). If there was to be war against the Muslim, “it should be fought at the Emperor’s command and under his banner, and in his name…[why?]…Because then everyone can assure his own conscience that he is obeying the ordinance of God, since we know that the emperor is our true overlord and head, and he who obeys himobeys God also, while he who disobeys him disobeys God also” (PE 5:102-103).

Therefore, advises Luther, the emperor and the princes should be exhorted concerning their office and duty to God not to let their subjects be ruined, but rather to be reminded that Germany and its people are “given you and committed to you by God, that you may protect, rule, counsel, and help it, and you not only should, but must do this on pain of losing your soul’s salvation and God’s favor and grace” (PE 5:106).

Concluding Remarks

Just as in the days of Noah, so also in Luther’s life, people lived as Epicureans and skeptics. As a consequence of their thankless hearts, God was just in punishing Europe. The Muslims were simply God’s scourge and schoolmaster, permitted by God to be the servant of the devil, who not only ruins land and people with the sword but also lays waste the Christian faith and our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

The consistent resolve and advice of Luther was to appeal to the two governments instituted by God, namely, spiritual and temporal authority. Sir Christian, as the body of Christ, was to fight with the Word of God, prayer and a reformed life. Then the Emperor was to carry out his office and defend his people and land. For “if our kings and princes were to agree, and stand by one another and help one another, and the Christian man were to pray for them, I should be undismayed and of good hope; the Muslim would leave his raging and find in Emperor Charles a man who was his equal” (PE 5:122).

Islam’s threat to Europe isn’t new, and the proper response isn’t either

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2006 at 10:08 AM

Jihad isn’t just for Americans and Jews, and it isn’t novel. Here’s a timely follow-up to “Europe’s slow demise”:

Luther on Islam

Introduction

As early as 1518, Dr. Martin Luther had identified the Islamic faith as the “scourge of God.” For the rest of his life Luther believed that the Muslims were God’s punishment upon a sinful Christendom who had, among other sins (ingratitude, toleration of wicked sects, worship of the god Mammon, drunkenness, greed, and the split of Christendom which had provoked His wrath), tolerated the papal abomination. They would function as Germany’s schoolmaster who must correct and teach the German people to repent of their sins and to fear God.

By 1541, Luther’s burning question for the German people is “how can God be patient any longer?” Just as God had punished the generation of Noah for its wickedness, God must now protect His honor and divinity by punishing the thankless and ungrateful German people.

The Origin and Nature of the Islamic Faith

Martin Luther, having spent the majority of his life lecturing on the Old Testament, derived his understanding of the origin and nature of Islam from Daniel 7 and Daniel’s dream concerning the four beasts. In Daniel’s vision, each beast represented a kingdom with the last beast signifying the Roman Empire.

In fulfillment of Daniel 7:20, Luther identified the origin of Islam with the small horn which had displaced the kingdoms of Egypt, Greece, and Asia and who makes war against God’s people. The nature of the Islamic faith can be understood by the human eyes of the beast which represented Islam’s sacred book, the Qur’an, containing only human wisdom. The mouth signified the many blasphemies that the prophet Muhammad uttered against the Christian faith.

In a letter to Nicholas Hausmann, Luther made the further identification of Gog with the Muslim and Magog with the pope, the former being the external or worldly enemy of God’s people and the latter being the spiritual or ecclesiastical enemy of Christ and His Church. These two enemies of God, and of His people, possessed the same origin in time with the establishment of papal primacy to Boniface III in 606 A.D. by Phokes and with the appearance of the Muslims in 621-632 A.D.

Islamic Errors

Luther believed that the Islamic faith was a patchwork faith which had been “patched together out of the faith of the Jews, Christians, and the heathen” (PE 5:95). The chief theological errors of Islam manifested themselves in the following ways:

A FALSE SYSTEM OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

For Luther, it is foolish and unwise to place one’s hope of salvation upon a religious system which had no calling or promise from God. Consequently, all of the Muslim’s fasting, alms-giving, zeal, spirituality, and self-chosen worship count for nothing before God (LW 24:229).

The reason the Muslim engages in these labors, suggests Luther, is that his false understanding of God’s nature and will leads him to view God as an angry God who must be won by humility, fasting, sacrifice and good works (LW 22:336). In doing so, he rejects the office of Christ (as Redeemer and Mediator) by his own labor to obtain a gracious God and constructs his own ladder to heaven (LW 22:334). As a result, the Muslim bears fruit that is natural and temporally good, but it is not Christian and everlasting since its source is not found in the true Vine who is Christ (LW 24:214).

In summary, the Islamic faith is simply that “if you are pious and just, and if you perform good works, you are saved” (LW 22:501). The prayer of the Muslim is “may God spare my life that I may atone for my sin” (LW 24:349). Thus, the Muslim possesses a false righteousness that strives to be holy, not through faith in the merits of Christ but through his own self-chosen works (LW 24:243) and to “do good according to the light and understanding of reason and to be saved in this way” (LW 24:372).

A FALSE SOURCE OF THEOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE

The second major error of the Islamic faith is its refusal to remain with the simple Gospel but instead to create a new bible, the Qur’an (LW 24:9). Due to this false source of theological knowledge, a system of salvation was constructed that could be comprehended by and which conforms to unregenerate human reason (LW 22:301-302; LW 23:79). Consequently, the tenets of the Islamic faith are in marked contrast to the fundamental articles of the Christian faith (Trinity, Incarnation) which are beyond human reason (LW 22:302) and revealed from heaven by the Holy Spirit (PE 5:178-179).

A CHRISTOLOGICAL HERESY

According to Martin Luther, the chief strategy of Satan, and of all heresies, is to deny Christ’s incarnation, rob humankind of God and His Word, and to fabricate a new god. This is the way the devil goes to work: “He attacks Christ with three storm-columns. One will not suffer Him to be God; the other will not suffer Him to be man; the third denies that He has merited salvation for us. Each of the three endeavors to destroy Christ…Surely all three parts must be believed, namely, that He is God, also, that He is man, and that He became such a man for us…If one small part is lacking, then all parts are lacking” (Bente 1965:14).

The Muslims believe, like their ancestor Nestorius, that Jesus was only Mary’s son and not the Son of God (LW 22:351). They hold Christ to be an excellent prophet and a great man who preached to His own time and who completed His work before His death just like any other prophet. Christ, however, is not as great as Muhammad (LW 22:18; LW 23:82), who is to be worshipped and adored in Christ’s stead (LW 22:137). Thus, the Muslims storm against the teaching of Christ as true God (LW 22:395) and refuse to accept the testimony of Jesus Himself and of the Holy Spirit (LW 23:377) that He is the true God and true man (LW 22:468; PE 5:94).

The real stumbling block for the Muslim is “acknowledging that Christ is the Son of God and His message is the Word of God” (LW 22:476) since it is the nature of all schismatic spirits to assert that Jesus’ Word must be ignored and discarded (LW 23:357) and to sever and separate God, Christ and His Word from one another and debate about God (LW 24:67). As a result, the Muslim is not able to know God because he seeks to know Him without Christ (LW 24:23), the true path and ladder (LW 23:56). The Muslim, instead of finding God here on earth in the flesh of Christ (LW 23:117), searches in vain for God in heaven (LW 23:123; LW 23:170).

THE ISLAMIC FAITH DESTROYS TEMPORAL AUTHORITY

A final tenet of Islam which Luther condemns is its teaching about the proper role of government. The Muslim is not concerned, like other rulers, with the maintenance of peace, the protection of the good, and the punishment of the wicked but uses government, after he has murdered men’s souls with his Qur’an, to murder their bodies (PE 5:96). By his lies, the Muslim seeks to “destroy the spiritual estate, murder the temporal, disregard for marriage the estate of matrimony” (PE 5:100).

Luther’s Advice in Dealing with Islam

SIR CHRISTIAN — THE FIRST MAN

The advice of Luther concerning the Islamic threat in Europe during the Sixteenth Century was not the crusades, for to advocate a Christian crusade against the Muslims was to mix spiritual authority with temporal authority. The consequences of such a mixture and a confusion of the two authorities would be to draw God’s wrath and insure the success of Islam. Instead, the Muslims were to be fought spiritually by Christians with repentance, the amendment of one’s life and with prayer.

In order to achieve this spiritual posture before God, Germany’s pastors were to admonish the papists to stop blaspheming God and to admonish the ungrateful, wanton German people to improve their behavior, to honor God’s Word and to call on God in prayer. Germany’s pastors were to be God’s prophetic voices, calling God’s people back to Himself through genuine repentance, faith and prayer.

THE EMPEROR — THE SECOND MAN

The second man whose place it was to fight against the Muslim was Emperor Charles. It was his office to war agains the Muslim because of their threats toward the Empire’s subjects and the Empire itself. It was his duty, as a ruler appointed by God, to defend his own people and land (PE 5:102). If there was to be war against the Muslim, “it should be fought at the Emperor’s command and under his banner, and in his name…[why?]…Because then everyone can assure his own conscience that he is obeying the ordinance of God, since we know that the emperor is our true overlord and head, and he who obeys himobeys God also, while he who disobeys him disobeys God also” (PE 5:102-103).

Therefore, advises Luther, the emperor and the princes should be exhorted concerning their office and duty to God not to let their subjects be ruined, but rather to be reminded that Germany and its people are “given you and committed to you by God, that you may protect, rule, counsel, and help it, and you not only should, but must do this on pain of losing your soul’s salvation and God’s favor and grace” (PE 5:106).

Concluding Remarks

Just as in the days of Noah, so also in Luther’s life, people lived as Epicureans and skeptics. As a consequence of their thankless hearts, God was just in punishing Europe. The Muslims were simply God’s scourge and schoolmaster, permitted by God to be the servant of the devil, who not only ruins land and people with the sword but also lays waste the Christian faith and our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

The consistent resolve and advice of Luther was to appeal to the two governments instituted by God, namely, spiritual and temporal authority. Sir Christian, as the body of Christ, was to fight with the Word of God, prayer and a reformed life. Then the Emperor was to carry out his office and defend his people and land. For “if our kings and princes were to agree, and stand by one another and help one another, and the Christian man were to pray for them, I should be undismayed and of good hope; the Muslim would leave his raging and find in Emperor Charles a man who was his equal” (PE 5:122).

Islam’s threat to Europe isn’t new, and the proper response isn’t either

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2006 at 10:08 AM

Jihad isn’t just for Americans and Jews, and it isn’t novel. Here’s a timely follow-up to “Europe’s slow demise”:

Luther on Islam

Introduction

As early as 1518, Dr. Martin Luther had identified the Islamic faith as the “scourge of God.” For the rest of his life Luther believed that the Muslims were God’s punishment upon a sinful Christendom who had, among other sins (ingratitude, toleration of wicked sects, worship of the god Mammon, drunkenness, greed, and the split of Christendom which had provoked His wrath), tolerated the papal abomination. They would function as Germany’s schoolmaster who must correct and teach the German people to repent of their sins and to fear God.

By 1541, Luther’s burning question for the German people is “how can God be patient any longer?” Just as God had punished the generation of Noah for its wickedness, God must now protect His honor and divinity by punishing the thankless and ungrateful German people.

The Origin and Nature of the Islamic Faith

Martin Luther, having spent the majority of his life lecturing on the Old Testament, derived his understanding of the origin and nature of Islam from Daniel 7 and Daniel’s dream concerning the four beasts. In Daniel’s vision, each beast represented a kingdom with the last beast signifying the Roman Empire.

In fulfillment of Daniel 7:20, Luther identified the origin of Islam with the small horn which had displaced the kingdoms of Egypt, Greece, and Asia and who makes war against God’s people. The nature of the Islamic faith can be understood by the human eyes of the beast which represented Islam’s sacred book, the Qur’an, containing only human wisdom. The mouth signified the many blasphemies that the prophet Muhammad uttered against the Christian faith.

In a letter to Nicholas Hausmann, Luther made the further identification of Gog with the Muslim and Magog with the pope, the former being the external or worldly enemy of God’s people and the latter being the spiritual or ecclesiastical enemy of Christ and His Church. These two enemies of God, and of His people, possessed the same origin in time with the establishment of papal primacy to Boniface III in 606 A.D. by Phokes and with the appearance of the Muslims in 621-632 A.D.

Islamic Errors

Luther believed that the Islamic faith was a patchwork faith which had been “patched together out of the faith of the Jews, Christians, and the heathen” (PE 5:95). The chief theological errors of Islam manifested themselves in the following ways:

A FALSE SYSTEM OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

For Luther, it is foolish and unwise to place one’s hope of salvation upon a religious system which had no calling or promise from God. Consequently, all of the Muslim’s fasting, alms-giving, zeal, spirituality, and self-chosen worship count for nothing before God (LW 24:229).

The reason the Muslim engages in these labors, suggests Luther, is that his false understanding of God’s nature and will leads him to view God as an angry God who must be won by humility, fasting, sacrifice and good works (LW 22:336). In doing so, he rejects the office of Christ (as Redeemer and Mediator) by his own labor to obtain a gracious God and constructs his own ladder to heaven (LW 22:334). As a result, the Muslim bears fruit that is natural and temporally good, but it is not Christian and everlasting since its source is not found in the true Vine who is Christ (LW 24:214).

In summary, the Islamic faith is simply that “if you are pious and just, and if you perform good works, you are saved” (LW 22:501). The prayer of the Muslim is “may God spare my life that I may atone for my sin” (LW 24:349). Thus, the Muslim possesses a false righteousness that strives to be holy, not through faith in the merits of Christ but through his own self-chosen works (LW 24:243) and to “do good according to the light and understanding of reason and to be saved in this way” (LW 24:372).

A FALSE SOURCE OF THEOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE

The second major error of the Islamic faith is its refusal to remain with the simple Gospel but instead to create a new bible, the Qur’an (LW 24:9). Due to this false source of theological knowledge, a system of salvation was constructed that could be comprehended by and which conforms to unregenerate human reason (LW 22:301-302; LW 23:79). Consequently, the tenets of the Islamic faith are in marked contrast to the fundamental articles of the Christian faith (Trinity, Incarnation) which are beyond human reason (LW 22:302) and revealed from heaven by the Holy Spirit (PE 5:178-179).

A CHRISTOLOGICAL HERESY

According to Martin Luther, the chief strategy of Satan, and of all heresies, is to deny Christ’s incarnation, rob humankind of God and His Word, and to fabricate a new god. This is the way the devil goes to work: “He attacks Christ with three storm-columns. One will not suffer Him to be God; the other will not suffer Him to be man; the third denies that He has merited salvation for us. Each of the three endeavors to destroy Christ…Surely all three parts must be believed, namely, that He is God, also, that He is man, and that He became such a man for us…If one small part is lacking, then all parts are lacking” (Bente 1965:14).

The Muslims believe, like their ancestor Nestorius, that Jesus was only Mary’s son and not the Son of God (LW 22:351). They hold Christ to be an excellent prophet and a great man who preached to His own time and who completed His work before His death just like any other prophet. Christ, however, is not as great as Muhammad (LW 22:18; LW 23:82), who is to be worshipped and adored in Christ’s stead (LW 22:137). Thus, the Muslims storm against the teaching of Christ as true God (LW 22:395) and refuse to accept the testimony of Jesus Himself and of the Holy Spirit (LW 23:377) that He is the true God and true man (LW 22:468; PE 5:94).

The real stumbling block for the Muslim is “acknowledging that Christ is the Son of God and His message is the Word of God” (LW 22:476) since it is the nature of all schismatic spirits to assert that Jesus’ Word must be ignored and discarded (LW 23:357) and to sever and separate God, Christ and His Word from one another and debate about God (LW 24:67). As a result, the Muslim is not able to know God because he seeks to know Him without Christ (LW 24:23), the true path and ladder (LW 23:56). The Muslim, instead of finding God here on earth in the flesh of Christ (LW 23:117), searches in vain for God in heaven (LW 23:123; LW 23:170).

THE ISLAMIC FAITH DESTROYS TEMPORAL AUTHORITY

A final tenet of Islam which Luther condemns is its teaching about the proper role of government. The Muslim is not concerned, like other rulers, with the maintenance of peace, the protection of the good, and the punishment of the wicked but uses government, after he has murdered men’s souls with his Qur’an, to murder their bodies (PE 5:96). By his lies, the Muslim seeks to “destroy the spiritual estate, murder the temporal, disregard for marriage the estate of matrimony” (PE 5:100).

Luther’s Advice in Dealing with Islam

SIR CHRISTIAN — THE FIRST MAN

The advice of Luther concerning the Islamic threat in Europe during the Sixteenth Century was not the crusades, for to advocate a Christian crusade against the Muslims was to mix spiritual authority with temporal authority. The consequences of such a mixture and a confusion of the two authorities would be to draw God’s wrath and insure the success of Islam. Instead, the Muslims were to be fought spiritually by Christians with repentance, the amendment of one’s life and with prayer.

In order to achieve this spiritual posture before God, Germany’s pastors were to admonish the papists to stop blaspheming God and to admonish the ungrateful, wanton German people to improve their behavior, to honor God’s Word and to call on God in prayer. Germany’s pastors were to be God’s prophetic voices, calling God’s people back to Himself through genuine repentance, faith and prayer.

THE EMPEROR — THE SECOND MAN

The second man whose place it was to fight against the Muslim was Emperor Charles. It was his office to war agains the Muslim because of their threats toward the Empire’s subjects and the Empire itself. It was his duty, as a ruler appointed by God, to defend his own people and land (PE 5:102). If there was to be war against the Muslim, “it should be fought at the Emperor’s command and under his banner, and in his name…[why?]…Because then everyone can assure his own conscience that he is obeying the ordinance of God, since we know that the emperor is our true overlord and head, and he who obeys himobeys God also, while he who disobeys him disobeys God also” (PE 5:102-103).

Therefore, advises Luther, the emperor and the princes should be exhorted concerning their office and duty to God not to let their subjects be ruined, but rather to be reminded that Germany and its people are “given you and committed to you by God, that you may protect, rule, counsel, and help it, and you not only should, but must do this on pain of losing your soul’s salvation and God’s favor and grace” (PE 5:106).

Concluding Remarks

Just as in the days of Noah, so also in Luther’s life, people lived as Epicureans and skeptics. As a consequence of their thankless hearts, God was just in punishing Europe. The Muslims were simply God’s scourge and schoolmaster, permitted by God to be the servant of the devil, who not only ruins land and people with the sword but also lays waste the Christian faith and our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

The consistent resolve and advice of Luther was to appeal to the two governments instituted by God, namely, spiritual and temporal authority. Sir Christian, as the body of Christ, was to fight with the Word of God, prayer and a reformed life. Then the Emperor was to carry out his office and defend his people and land. For “if our kings and princes were to agree, and stand by one another and help one another, and the Christian man were to pray for them, I should be undismayed and of good hope; the Muslim would leave his raging and find in Emperor Charles a man who was his equal” (PE 5:122).

Europe’s slow demise

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2006 at 9:39 AM

A powerful and insightful post by Fjordman at the Gates of Vienna, a look into several of the factors that have led Europe to the brink of submission to Islam–I’m a Terrorist Groupie, Hear Me Roar!:

I have heard some people say that Western popular culture will destroy Islam. That is possible, but we need to remember that this is not a one-way street. What if the opposite happens? Sometimes the barbarians also influence the civilized people, and there is a disturbing amount of “understanding” for terrorists in Western movies and media these days. Creeps come crawling out of the woodwork, more or less cheering for the terrorists who are trying to bring society down. There are probably always people who are drawn to blood and mayhem. They would like to destroy the current political order, but aren’t capable of doing it themselves, so they end up as cheerleaders for those who are attempting to do so. Let’s call them “terrorist groupies.” I’m not just talking about the Oscar-nominated suicide bomber film Paradise Now. There are others examples of this mentality.

“V for Vendetta” is a recent movie made by the Wachowski brothers, the men behind the modern sci-fi classic “The Matrix.” It is set in Britain about a generation from now. The USA has dissolved into chaos and civil war after its involvement in a prolonged war in the Middle East. Great Britain has become a Fascist state. The protagonist, a “freedom fighter” named V, wants to ignite a revolution and brags about how blowing up a building can change the whole world. He is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to conceal his identity, and proclaims that he wants to finish at November 5th what Fawkes tried to do in the so-called Gunpowder Plot in 1605: Blowing up Parliament. He gets an accomplice in this task, a young girl named Evey, played by Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman. Portman cites a popular British rhyme that is often quoted on Guy Fawkes Night:

”Remember, remember, the 5th of November The Gunpowder Treason and plot; I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.”

During the movie, we see a gay man keeping a 14th century Koran in a secret room in his house, because he enjoys “the beautiful poetry and imagery” in it. He is later executed when the authorities discover this, as the Koran is now banned and Muslims are oppressed. What beautiful imagery we are never told. “And slay them wherever ye catch them”? “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them”? At the same time, the Church is shown to be a place of filth, corruption and hypocrisy. Islam is good and “misunderstood,” Christianity is bad and oppressive. In the final scene of “V for Vendetta,” the British Parliament is blown up, with hundreds of thousands of people in Guy Fawkes masks watching and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” blasting from loudspeakers, fireworks crackling and Natalie Portman smiling.

In Hollywoodistan, gays admire the beauty of the Koran. In real life, gays are physically attacked in increasing numbers by Muslims in Europe, and death squads are targeting gays in Islamic countries such as Iraq. A gay man, Pim Fortuyn, was de facto executed for criticizing Islam, after having been demonized by Dutch media and the Dutch establishment for “Islamophobia” and “hate speech”. In Hollywoodistan, the Koran has been banned on pain of death in Britain. In real life, British PM Tony Blair has called Islam “progressive” and praised the Koran for being “practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance.” In Hollywoodistan, Muslims in London are ruthlessly persecuted. In real life, London has become the Islamic terrorist capital of the entire world, as demonstrated by writer Melanie Phillips in her book “Londonistan.” In Hollywoodistan, native Fascists kill British civilians to spread fear and terror and soften them for their goal of overthrowing democracy. In real life, the only Fascists trying to do this are Muslims, following the example of their prophet Muhammad who bragged about how he had been “made victorious by terror.”

After the Jihadist terror bombings in London in July 2005, not a single Muslim cleric has been expelled from Britain. Historian David Starkey warned that Britain was in danger of sleepwalking into a new era of religious intolerance, as in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What today might be described as thought crimes, such as expressing any sympathy for suicide bombers, would in previous eras have been termed heresy, he said. The right response to the bombings was that Britain should become more tolerant towards Islam. A Chester professor, Ron Geaves, has stated that the attacks that killed 52 people were not the acts of terrorists but “just an extreme Muslim demonstration” and that “the word terrorism is a political word which always seems to be used to demonise people.” Muslim immigration continues unabated, and open hatred towards the West continues to be preached in mosques. The BBC is busy as always in campaigning against “Islamophobia” and reminding everybody that Islam is rich in diversity and that Western civilization would have been impossible without huge Islamic contributions, which we should be eternally grateful for.

For an outsider, it is sad to see the nation that once faced down Hitler and Napoleon slowly succumb to these barbarians. It is good that smaller nations such as Denmark and maybe the Netherlands are at least starting to confront the Islamic threat, but this isn’t enough. For the sake of Europe, we need some of the larger countries to do the same thing. France is sinking into a quagmire of problems of her own, and has been leading the creation of Eurabia in the first place. Maybe the Germans could do the job, but they are still restrained by their guilt complex from WW2. We need the British on board, and so far, there are few signs of this happening. Will Britannia forever be enslaved, or will she rise to the occasion as she has done in the past?

Luckily, even though Hollywood won’t tell the truth, there are still a few people who will. Mullah Krekar, an Al Qaeda-linked Islamic leader who was granted refugee status in Norway told an Oslo newspaper that there’s a war going on between the West and Islam. He said he’s sure that Islam will win. Muslims could indeed win this, if they could just sit tight, remain quiet and continue the demographic Jihad. But too many of them behave so, well, Islamic, boast and brag about their plans. Listening to Mullah Krekar talking is like watching one of those old James Bond movies, where the villain just has to tell Bond everything about his evil plans, just in time so that 007 can prevent it. “I’m so smart and evil, you can’t stop me, bwuahahaha!” Then again, given the state of things in Al-Britannia these days, James Bond would probably have been working for the other team. “There’s a nasty case of Islamophobia going on at the Telegraph newspaper today. Take care of it, will you, 007. How do you want your Koran, Mr. Bond?” “Shaken, not stirred.”

In another movie, “Good Night, and Good Luck,” directed by star actor George Clooney, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow is shown standing up against Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy during his intense anti-Communist movement in the 1950s. I assume Clooney’s motivation for making this movie now is insinuating that the ongoing War on Terror is “just like” the paranoia of the 50s. First of all: Although there is no doubt that Senator McCarthy went too far and destroyed the lives of many innocent people, the Communist threat to the USA and the West was in fact very real during the Cold War. And second of all: Whoever decided that a new “political witch hunt” necessarily has to come from the Right?

“McCarthyism” is sometimes defined as “the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition.” Some would claim that this describes very well how critics of Muslim immigration in the West have been demonized during the previous generation, especially by Leftists. Carl I. Hagen, leader of the right-wing Progress Party, was for several decades virtually the only Norwegian politician of some stature that warned against the madness of the current immigration policies. And he was hated for it by the establishment, denounced as a racist pig, Nazi and subject to every insult in the dictionary. During the 1990s, when there were still many people who took the “Oslo Peace Process” seriously, he went in demonstrations in support of Israel and with the slogan “No money for Arafat.” The public now understands that he was right, which is why his party has grown from being a tiny protest party to being at the brink of replacing the Labor Party as the largest political party in Norway, for the first time in 80 years. Why doesn’t Mr. Clooney or other Hollywood personalities make a movie about Carl I. Hagen, Pia Kjærsgaard of the Danish People’s Party, Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands or others that have been warning against the madness of Muslim immigration? They are the real victims of the “new McCarthyism.”

Glorification of anti-democratic fanatics has penetrated Western popular culture in other ways than movies. Che Guevara’s face is cropping up everywhere, from posters to t-shirts. Che is famous for helping Fidel Castro shape the Cuban revolution. Later, he was in charge of La Cabana prison, where he oversaw a military tribunal which condemned scores of counterrevolutionaries to death without trial. “Hatred,” he said, is important. It makes you, he reflected, “into an effective, violent, selective and cold-blooded killing machine.” He helped set up a police state in Cuba, and negotiated the stationing of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba in 1962. He later became furious when Moscow removed them following the Cuba Crisis. “If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all…” He spoke of “unimaginable destructiveness to defend a principle.” Yet this murderer and symbol of an ideology that killed 100 million people during the 20th century is treated as a pop icon in the democratic West.

Michel Foucault is one of the best known and most widely read philosophers of our time, familiar to hundreds of thousands of Western University students. During and after the 1978-79 revolution, Foucault visited Iran twice and also met with Khomeini in Paris. Much of Foucault’s work is grounded in the problems of modernity in Europe. Thus he became fascinated with the Iranian revolution because it “challenged the Western model of progress.” He wasn’t the only Western intellectual who was seduced by the “revolutionary energy” displayed in Iran. The age of marriage for girls was reduced to 9 years, tens of thousands of political opponents were arrested, tortured and killed, young women were raped in prisons as a matter of routine to prevent them from entering Paradise as virgins, and barbaric, medieval laws were re-enacted for tens of millions of people. Apparently, for some Western intellectuals, anything is excusable as long as you are anti-Western and have a “revolutionary cause.”

Phyllis Chesler writes about the Culture War in academia, where both Western leftists and Islamists employ a systematic misuse of language, writing about “insurgents,” not “terrorists,” whom they describe as “martyrs,” not “killers, and as “freedom fighters,” not as “well educated evil men.” Meanwhile, hateful anti-American and anti-Israel demonstrators are described as “peace activists. She believes that Western academy has been “utterly Palestinianized.” Our Islamist opponents have turned out this propaganda non-stop around the world. As propagandists, they are “far more sophisticated than Goebbels, and far more patient.”

Yale University in the US admitted a former Taliban spokesman, Rahmatullah Hashemi, as student. He was the chief translator for Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. Female Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya said Hashemi was one of the Taliban’s top propagandists and called his status as a student at Yale “disgusting” and an “unforgivable insult.” Yet people at Yale fired back and said it was the critics of Yale and Rahmatullah Hashemi who were the real Taliban, and that excluding him would “ takes us one step closer into the Taliban-like suppression of views that challenge the party line.”

Robert Fisk is a veteran British foreign correspondent. During a visit to Australia, Fisk said: “I see this immense world of injustice . . . and I must say given our constant interference in the Middle East, I’m amazed that Muslims have been so restrained.” In fact, so “restrained” are they that Fisk wasn’t sure how much they can be blamed even for the terror attacks of 9/11. He often spoke in the US, he said, and “more and more people in the audience believe the American administration had some kind of involvement”. “ …the worst I can envisage is that they know something was coming and they preferred it to happen so that their strategy could be put into place.”

Ironically, it seems as if some of the chief defenders of democracy and Western civilization now are immigrants. Britain’s first black Archbishop made a powerful attack on multiculturalism, urging English people to reclaim their national identity. The Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said “that too many people were embarrassed about being English.” “Multiculturalism has seemed to imply, wrongly for me, let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains,” he said. He said that the failure of England to rediscover its culture afresh would lead only to greater political extremism. “What is it to be English? It is a very serious question,” he said. “When you ask a lot of people in this country, ‘What is English culture?’, they are very vague. It is a culture that whether we like it or not has given us parliamentary democracy. It is the mother of it.”

Writing about the Muhammad cartoons controversy, author Ibn Warraq quoted the great British philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty, “Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being ‘pushed to an extreme’; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case.”

“The west is the source of the liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law, human rights and cultural freedom. It is the west that has raised the status of women, fought against slavery, defended freedom of enquiry, expression and conscience,” Ibn Warraq stated. “How can we expect immigrants to integrate into western society when they are at the same time being taught that the west is decadent, a den of iniquity, the source of all evil, racist, imperialist and to be despised? Why should they, in the words of the African-American writer James Baldwin, want to integrate into a sinking ship?”

These are encouraging words, but they cannot conceal the fact that there is a very powerful undercurrent of self-loathing and guilt-obsession in the West at the beginning of the 21st century. Where does it come from?

Lars Hedegaard, writer and columnist for newspaper Berlingske Tidende, has, together with colleagues Helle Merete Brix and Torben Hansen, been one of the leading forces behind making tiny Denmark into a frontline country in the battle against Islam. In his book “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within,” Bruce Bawer gives an account of a meeting with Hedegaard and Brix in Copenhagen:

“Hedegaard was of the view, however, that the Danish establishment’s benign neglect of Islamic extremism must have deeper causes than snobbism or hippie nostalgia. After all, he said, the Islamicization of the Nordic countries was “the most fundamental transformation” they’d experienced in a millennium. Something so monumental, in his opinion, could not be explained simply by a few people’s foolishness or class snobbery. “Heavy consequences,” he insisted, “must have heavy causes.” The surrender of Denmark to Muslims had to be the result of some deep-seated compulsion. (…..) His theory was that Western Europe’s ongoing surrender to radical Islam had its roots in the psychic devastation of the First World War. For while that conflict marked America’s ascent to the rank of Great Power, Europeans took it as a devastating proof, Hedegaard said, “the our culture was worthless. It was basically destroyed. And that prepared the way for two sorts of totalitarianism” — Nazism and Communism — and for “atrocities of a magnitude that is hard to imagine.” Those atrocities, in turn, placed upon Europeans an unbearable burden of guilt. The Nazis, he said, “made Europe think it is doomed and sinful…and deserves what it has coming.”

Lars Hedegaard’s view seems to mirror that of French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut, who thinks that “Europe does not love itself.” Finkielkraut says that it’s not forces from outside that are threatening Europe as much as the voluntary renunciation of European identity, its wish of freeing itself from itself, its own history and its traditions, only replaced by human rights. The European Union thus isn’t just post-national, but post-European. What characterizes Europe today is the will to define itself, not from an ideology, but by dismissing any sense of identity. Europe is now built upon an oath: Never again. Never again extermination, never again war, but also never again nationalism. Europe prides itself in being nothing. According to Finkielkraut, Auschwitz has become part of the foundation of the EU, a culture based on guilt. But this is a vague ideology saying that “We have to oppose everything the Nazis were for.” Consequently, nationalism or any kind of attachment to your own country, including what some would say is healthy, non-aggressive patriotism, is frowned upon. To remember is to regret. Europe rejects its past. “European identity” is the de-identification of Europe. Of the past, we are only to remember crimes. This didn’t just happen in Germany, but in all of Europe. “I can understand the feeling of remorse that is leading Europe to this definition, but this remorse goes too far. It is too great a gift to present Hitler to reject everything that led to him.” This is said by the Jewish son of an Auschwitz prisoner.

Finkielkraut says that Europe has made human rights its gospel, to such an extent that it threatens European history and culture. This creates a Europe without substance. “When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning.” Finkielkraut reminds us that the multiculturalists’ demand for “diversity” requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group. The abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of the subjection of culture to anthropology. “Under the equalizing eye of social science,” he writes, hierarchies are abolished. The disintegration of faith in reason and common humanity leads not only to a destruction of standards, but also involves a crisis of courage. “A careless indifference to grand causes,” Finkielkraut warns, “has its counterpart in abdication in the face of force,” and weakens the commitment required to preserve freedom.

What, in fact, is replacing assimilation? Anyone who doesn’t want to assimilate, French culture assimilates into his identity. Children aren’t speaking French, but rather a jargon composed of Arabic words and meager French. “There is always a culture that emerges victorious. In no society is there a vacuum.” Another thinker, Pascal Bruckner, agrees that Europe has made repentance for old sins, perceived or real, the central point of its identity, and something close to an obsession. And this is unhealthy, according to him. “If somebody hits you, you will think: This is for something I have done.” “Never again” and the belief that dialogue will take care of all problems are the guiding principles. We are filled with regret, but cannot fill Europe with anything positive.

This idea that Auschwitz has defined the modern identity of Europe is reflected by Spanish journalist Sebastian Villar Rodriguez in his piece “Europe died in Auschwitz:

I was walking along Raval (Barcelona) when all of a sudden I understood that Europe died with Auschwitz.

We assassinated 6 million Jews in order to end up bringing in 20 million Muslims!

We burnt in Auschwitz the culture, intelligence and power to create.(…) Because it is the people who gave to humanity the symbolic figures who were capable of changing history (Christ, Marx, Einstein, Freud…) and who is the origin of progress and wellbeing.

We must admit that Europe, by relaxing its borders (…) opened its doors to 20 million Muslims, often illiterates and fanatics(…), the poorest of the nations and of the ghettos, and who are preparing the worst, such as the 9/11 and the Madrid bombing and who are lodged in apartment blocs provided by the social welfare.

We also have exchanged culture with fanaticism, the capacity to create with the will to destroy, the wisdom with the superstition. We have exchanged the transcendental instinct of the Jews, who even under the worst possible conditions have always looked for a better peaceful world, for the suicide bomber. We have exchanged the pride of life for the fanatic obsession of death. Our death and that of our children.

But why does this guilt complex also apply to Britain, which defeated the Nazis, or Denmark, which saved most of its Jews? Why do we detect some of the same currents even in the United States? And why on earth can’t Europeans give stronger support to the survivors of the Holocaust in Israel?

Yes, we have been sold out by our elites through the creation of Eurabia and the wiping out of our own cultures through Multiculturalism. But this is only half of the story. In democratic societies, even if sometimes flawed ones, this would never have been possible if there wasn’t a profound undercurrent of self-loathing present in the general public already. The trauma caused by the events of 70 years ago is clouding our judgment this time, since any talk at all about the threat posed by Muslim immigration or about preserving our own culture is being dismissed as “the same rhetoric as the Nazis used against the Jews.” Europeans have been taught to be so scared of our own shadow that we are incapable of seeing that darkness can come from the outside, too. Maybe Europe will burn again, in part as a belated reaction to the horrors of Auschwitz.

V.S. Naipaul has called India “a wounded civilization.” But maybe it’s really Europe that is the wounded civilization, the difference being that India’s wounds were inflicted from the outside, whereas Europe’s wounds are largely self-inflicted. Islam isn’t destroying Europe, Europe is destroying itself. Just as a patient with AIDS may formally die from flu or even a common cold, the real cause is the long, slow decay of his immune system. It resembles euthanasia on an entire civilization: Europe is tired of living. Islam just puts it out of its misery.

It is almost fascinating to see how self-loathing and West-bashing make scores of people in the media and the academia misunderstand and misrepresent the threat we are facing. The good guys become the bad guys and vice versa, or alternatively, we’re all equally good and bad, since all cultures are equal. Some would say that I am reading too much into a few simple movies. Perhaps. But these are the same people that claim that popular culture will destroy Islam.

Pop culture matters. It both reflects and shapes the values of a civilization. Judging from the message in too many films, almost five years after 9/11 we have hardly even begun to understand the scale of the Islamic challenge. On the contrary, many Westerners are busy demonstrating “understanding,” even sympathy, towards the enemies of civilization.

Britain in “V for Vendetta” is a totalitarian state where the authorities promise peace in return for total submission. Peace for submission, where have we heard this mantra before? I know: Islam. “Islam” means submission, and comes from the same root as “salaam,” which means “peace”. It is curious to notice that in the previous movie by the Wachowski brothers, “The Matrix,” people are turned into slaves and passive tools by living in a make-belief reality designed to pacify them and keep them in chains. In the real world, one fifth of humanity are proud to proclaim themselves “the slaves of Allah,” and consider it their mission in life to make the rest of mankind share their mental bondage.

Islam is the Matrix. Somebody better give the Wachowski brothers their red pills.

Here is (most of) my post in the Comments section:

Charles Martel wrote:

War is inevitable. Islam must be Islam and as such will continue its attacks on the West. It will not be subdued peacefully. It never has been and never will be. Liberal pluralistic democracy is incapable of defending itself against Islam. The rot and nihilism of multiculturalism has already set in.

Slobodan Milošević will be posthumously vindicated as his “atrocities” will be seen as small potatoes against the measures that will be forced upon those fighting to survive in Europe.

Islam is a civilizational perfect storm. Islam is not a religion but a fascist supremacist ideology that must be eradicated. Short of that, the only possible solution is absolute containment and separation. That will entail the forcable removal of all Muslims from Europe and the United States. As utterly impossible as this may see it will come to pass.

You are correct. As long as the false prophet and his god from hell’s “revelations” are considered divine, the faithful will have to fight.

Fjordman’s synthesis of the big picture in Europe is very insightful; I would add two thoughts:

First, Europe’s self-loathing and rejection of its past is a symptom of a greater disease: the rejection of the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.”

It was Christianity that provided the foundation for the glories of the West cited in the article. Not the least of these are codifying into Law the Equality and Dignity of Man and making possible the wonders of modern Science by means of free intellectual inquiry into a well-ordered Creation.

Second, as Europe’s treatment of Jews was noted I was reminded of the promise of (the true) God: “I will bless those who bless you [Israel], and I will curse those who curse you.”

How can one who has known the blessings of Christ expect good from rejecting Him? In the face of “the Scourge of God” five centuries ago (we know it today as “Islam”), Martin Luther noted that a proper response to the evil upon us is repentance and a return to faith.

Will Europe reclaim what made it great? As it continues to believe in nothing, Europe leaves itself defenseless against Islam. Some will convert to the faith of the oppressor out of persuasion, others out of fear. It is up to those who believe, as it always has been, to fight back.

On a side note, your and Pim Fortuyn’s references here to NATO’s treatment of Yugoslavia are timely, since I recently made a brief post at my site entitled, “Bill Clinton, the first Muslim president.”

Europe’s slow demise

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2006 at 9:39 AM

A powerful and insightful post by Fjordman at the Gates of Vienna, a look into several of the factors that have led Europe to the brink of submission to Islam–I’m a Terrorist Groupie, Hear Me Roar!:

I have heard some people say that Western popular culture will destroy Islam. That is possible, but we need to remember that this is not a one-way street. What if the opposite happens? Sometimes the barbarians also influence the civilized people, and there is a disturbing amount of “understanding” for terrorists in Western movies and media these days. Creeps come crawling out of the woodwork, more or less cheering for the terrorists who are trying to bring society down. There are probably always people who are drawn to blood and mayhem. They would like to destroy the current political order, but aren’t capable of doing it themselves, so they end up as cheerleaders for those who are attempting to do so. Let’s call them “terrorist groupies.” I’m not just talking about the Oscar-nominated suicide bomber film Paradise Now. There are others examples of this mentality.

“V for Vendetta” is a recent movie made by the Wachowski brothers, the men behind the modern sci-fi classic “The Matrix.” It is set in Britain about a generation from now. The USA has dissolved into chaos and civil war after its involvement in a prolonged war in the Middle East. Great Britain has become a Fascist state. The protagonist, a “freedom fighter” named V, wants to ignite a revolution and brags about how blowing up a building can change the whole world. He is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to conceal his identity, and proclaims that he wants to finish at November 5th what Fawkes tried to do in the so-called Gunpowder Plot in 1605: Blowing up Parliament. He gets an accomplice in this task, a young girl named Evey, played by Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman. Portman cites a popular British rhyme that is often quoted on Guy Fawkes Night:

”Remember, remember, the 5th of November The Gunpowder Treason and plot; I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.”

During the movie, we see a gay man keeping a 14th century Koran in a secret room in his house, because he enjoys “the beautiful poetry and imagery” in it. He is later executed when the authorities discover this, as the Koran is now banned and Muslims are oppressed. What beautiful imagery we are never told. “And slay them wherever ye catch them”? “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them”? At the same time, the Church is shown to be a place of filth, corruption and hypocrisy. Islam is good and “misunderstood,” Christianity is bad and oppressive. In the final scene of “V for Vendetta,” the British Parliament is blown up, with hundreds of thousands of people in Guy Fawkes masks watching and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” blasting from loudspeakers, fireworks crackling and Natalie Portman smiling.

In Hollywoodistan, gays admire the beauty of the Koran. In real life, gays are physically attacked in increasing numbers by Muslims in Europe, and death squads are targeting gays in Islamic countries such as Iraq. A gay man, Pim Fortuyn, was de facto executed for criticizing Islam, after having been demonized by Dutch media and the Dutch establishment for “Islamophobia” and “hate speech”. In Hollywoodistan, the Koran has been banned on pain of death in Britain. In real life, British PM Tony Blair has called Islam “progressive” and praised the Koran for being “practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance.” In Hollywoodistan, Muslims in London are ruthlessly persecuted. In real life, London has become the Islamic terrorist capital of the entire world, as demonstrated by writer Melanie Phillips in her book “Londonistan.” In Hollywoodistan, native Fascists kill British civilians to spread fear and terror and soften them for their goal of overthrowing democracy. In real life, the only Fascists trying to do this are Muslims, following the example of their prophet Muhammad who bragged about how he had been “made victorious by terror.”

After the Jihadist terror bombings in London in July 2005, not a single Muslim cleric has been expelled from Britain. Historian David Starkey warned that Britain was in danger of sleepwalking into a new era of religious intolerance, as in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What today might be described as thought crimes, such as expressing any sympathy for suicide bombers, would in previous eras have been termed heresy, he said. The right response to the bombings was that Britain should become more tolerant towards Islam. A Chester professor, Ron Geaves, has stated that the attacks that killed 52 people were not the acts of terrorists but “just an extreme Muslim demonstration” and that “the word terrorism is a political word which always seems to be used to demonise people.” Muslim immigration continues unabated, and open hatred towards the West continues to be preached in mosques. The BBC is busy as always in campaigning against “Islamophobia” and reminding everybody that Islam is rich in diversity and that Western civilization would have been impossible without huge Islamic contributions, which we should be eternally grateful for.

For an outsider, it is sad to see the nation that once faced down Hitler and Napoleon slowly succumb to these barbarians. It is good that smaller nations such as Denmark and maybe the Netherlands are at least starting to confront the Islamic threat, but this isn’t enough. For the sake of Europe, we need some of the larger countries to do the same thing. France is sinking into a quagmire of problems of her own, and has been leading the creation of Eurabia in the first place. Maybe the Germans could do the job, but they are still restrained by their guilt complex from WW2. We need the British on board, and so far, there are few signs of this happening. Will Britannia forever be enslaved, or will she rise to the occasion as she has done in the past?

Luckily, even though Hollywood won’t tell the truth, there are still a few people who will. Mullah Krekar, an Al Qaeda-linked Islamic leader who was granted refugee status in Norway told an Oslo newspaper that there’s a war going on between the West and Islam. He said he’s sure that Islam will win. Muslims could indeed win this, if they could just sit tight, remain quiet and continue the demographic Jihad. But too many of them behave so, well, Islamic, boast and brag about their plans. Listening to Mullah Krekar talking is like watching one of those old James Bond movies, where the villain just has to tell Bond everything about his evil plans, just in time so that 007 can prevent it. “I’m so smart and evil, you can’t stop me, bwuahahaha!” Then again, given the state of things in Al-Britannia these days, James Bond would probably have been working for the other team. “There’s a nasty case of Islamophobia going on at the Telegraph newspaper today. Take care of it, will you, 007. How do you want your Koran, Mr. Bond?” “Shaken, not stirred.”

In another movie, “Good Night, and Good Luck,” directed by star actor George Clooney, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow is shown standing up against Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy during his intense anti-Communist movement in the 1950s. I assume Clooney’s motivation for making this movie now is insinuating that the ongoing War on Terror is “just like” the paranoia of the 50s. First of all: Although there is no doubt that Senator McCarthy went too far and destroyed the lives of many innocent people, the Communist threat to the USA and the West was in fact very real during the Cold War. And second of all: Whoever decided that a new “political witch hunt” necessarily has to come from the Right?

“McCarthyism” is sometimes defined as “the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition.” Some would claim that this describes very well how critics of Muslim immigration in the West have been demonized during the previous generation, especially by Leftists. Carl I. Hagen, leader of the right-wing Progress Party, was for several decades virtually the only Norwegian politician of some stature that warned against the madness of the current immigration policies. And he was hated for it by the establishment, denounced as a racist pig, Nazi and subject to every insult in the dictionary. During the 1990s, when there were still many people who took the “Oslo Peace Process” seriously, he went in demonstrations in support of Israel and with the slogan “No money for Arafat.” The public now understands that he was right, which is why his party has grown from being a tiny protest party to being at the brink of replacing the Labor Party as the largest political party in Norway, for the first time in 80 years. Why doesn’t Mr. Clooney or other Hollywood personalities make a movie about Carl I. Hagen, Pia Kjærsgaard of the Danish People’s Party, Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands or others that have been warning against the madness of Muslim immigration? They are the real victims of the “new McCarthyism.”

Glorification of anti-democratic fanatics has penetrated Western popular culture in other ways than movies. Che Guevara’s face is cropping up everywhere, from posters to t-shirts. Che is famous for helping Fidel Castro shape the Cuban revolution. Later, he was in charge of La Cabana prison, where he oversaw a military tribunal which condemned scores of counterrevolutionaries to death without trial. “Hatred,” he said, is important. It makes you, he reflected, “into an effective, violent, selective and cold-blooded killing machine.” He helped set up a police state in Cuba, and negotiated the stationing of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba in 1962. He later became furious when Moscow removed them following the Cuba Crisis. “If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all…” He spoke of “unimaginable destructiveness to defend a principle.” Yet this murderer and symbol of an ideology that killed 100 million people during the 20th century is treated as a pop icon in the democratic West.

Michel Foucault is one of the best known and most widely read philosophers of our time, familiar to hundreds of thousands of Western University students. During and after the 1978-79 revolution, Foucault visited Iran twice and also met with Khomeini in Paris. Much of Foucault’s work is grounded in the problems of modernity in Europe. Thus he became fascinated with the Iranian revolution because it “challenged the Western model of progress.” He wasn’t the only Western intellectual who was seduced by the “revolutionary energy” displayed in Iran. The age of marriage for girls was reduced to 9 years, tens of thousands of political opponents were arrested, tortured and killed, young women were raped in prisons as a matter of routine to prevent them from entering Paradise as virgins, and barbaric, medieval laws were re-enacted for tens of millions of people. Apparently, for some Western intellectuals, anything is excusable as long as you are anti-Western and have a “revolutionary cause.”

Phyllis Chesler writes about the Culture War in academia, where both Western leftists and Islamists employ a systematic misuse of language, writing about “insurgents,” not “terrorists,” whom they describe as “martyrs,” not “killers, and as “freedom fighters,” not as “well educated evil men.” Meanwhile, hateful anti-American and anti-Israel demonstrators are described as “peace activists. She believes that Western academy has been “utterly Palestinianized.” Our Islamist opponents have turned out this propaganda non-stop around the world. As propagandists, they are “far more sophisticated than Goebbels, and far more patient.”

Yale University in the US admitted a former Taliban spokesman, Rahmatullah Hashemi, as student. He was the chief translator for Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. Female Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya said Hashemi was one of the Taliban’s top propagandists and called his status as a student at Yale “disgusting” and an “unforgivable insult.” Yet people at Yale fired back and said it was the critics of Yale and Rahmatullah Hashemi who were the real Taliban, and that excluding him would “ takes us one step closer into the Taliban-like suppression of views that challenge the party line.”

Robert Fisk is a veteran British foreign correspondent. During a visit to Australia, Fisk said: “I see this immense world of injustice . . . and I must say given our constant interference in the Middle East, I’m amazed that Muslims have been so restrained.” In fact, so “restrained” are they that Fisk wasn’t sure how much they can be blamed even for the terror attacks of 9/11. He often spoke in the US, he said, and “more and more people in the audience believe the American administration had some kind of involvement”. “ …the worst I can envisage is that they know something was coming and they preferred it to happen so that their strategy could be put into place.”

Ironically, it seems as if some of the chief defenders of democracy and Western civilization now are immigrants. Britain’s first black Archbishop made a powerful attack on multiculturalism, urging English people to reclaim their national identity. The Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said “that too many people were embarrassed about being English.” “Multiculturalism has seemed to imply, wrongly for me, let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains,” he said. He said that the failure of England to rediscover its culture afresh would lead only to greater political extremism. “What is it to be English? It is a very serious question,” he said. “When you ask a lot of people in this country, ‘What is English culture?’, they are very vague. It is a culture that whether we like it or not has given us parliamentary democracy. It is the mother of it.”

Writing about the Muhammad cartoons controversy, author Ibn Warraq quoted the great British philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty, “Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being ‘pushed to an extreme’; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case.”

“The west is the source of the liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law, human rights and cultural freedom. It is the west that has raised the status of women, fought against slavery, defended freedom of enquiry, expression and conscience,” Ibn Warraq stated. “How can we expect immigrants to integrate into western society when they are at the same time being taught that the west is decadent, a den of iniquity, the source of all evil, racist, imperialist and to be despised? Why should they, in the words of the African-American writer James Baldwin, want to integrate into a sinking ship?”

These are encouraging words, but they cannot conceal the fact that there is a very powerful undercurrent of self-loathing and guilt-obsession in the West at the beginning of the 21st century. Where does it come from?

Lars Hedegaard, writer and columnist for newspaper Berlingske Tidende, has, together with colleagues Helle Merete Brix and Torben Hansen, been one of the leading forces behind making tiny Denmark into a frontline country in the battle against Islam. In his book “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within,” Bruce Bawer gives an account of a meeting with Hedegaard and Brix in Copenhagen:

“Hedegaard was of the view, however, that the Danish establishment’s benign neglect of Islamic extremism must have deeper causes than snobbism or hippie nostalgia. After all, he said, the Islamicization of the Nordic countries was “the most fundamental transformation” they’d experienced in a millennium. Something so monumental, in his opinion, could not be explained simply by a few people’s foolishness or class snobbery. “Heavy consequences,” he insisted, “must have heavy causes.” The surrender of Denmark to Muslims had to be the result of some deep-seated compulsion. (…..) His theory was that Western Europe’s ongoing surrender to radical Islam had its roots in the psychic devastation of the First World War. For while that conflict marked America’s ascent to the rank of Great Power, Europeans took it as a devastating proof, Hedegaard said, “the our culture was worthless. It was basically destroyed. And that prepared the way for two sorts of totalitarianism” — Nazism and Communism — and for “atrocities of a magnitude that is hard to imagine.” Those atrocities, in turn, placed upon Europeans an unbearable burden of guilt. The Nazis, he said, “made Europe think it is doomed and sinful…and deserves what it has coming.”

Lars Hedegaard’s view seems to mirror that of French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut, who thinks that “Europe does not love itself.” Finkielkraut says that it’s not forces from outside that are threatening Europe as much as the voluntary renunciation of European identity, its wish of freeing itself from itself, its own history and its traditions, only replaced by human rights. The European Union thus isn’t just post-national, but post-European. What characterizes Europe today is the will to define itself, not from an ideology, but by dismissing any sense of identity. Europe is now built upon an oath: Never again. Never again extermination, never again war, but also never again nationalism. Europe prides itself in being nothing. According to Finkielkraut, Auschwitz has become part of the foundation of the EU, a culture based on guilt. But this is a vague ideology saying that “We have to oppose everything the Nazis were for.” Consequently, nationalism or any kind of attachment to your own country, including what some would say is healthy, non-aggressive patriotism, is frowned upon. To remember is to regret. Europe rejects its past. “European identity” is the de-identification of Europe. Of the past, we are only to remember crimes. This didn’t just happen in Germany, but in all of Europe. “I can understand the feeling of remorse that is leading Europe to this definition, but this remorse goes too far. It is too great a gift to present Hitler to reject everything that led to him.” This is said by the Jewish son of an Auschwitz prisoner.

Finkielkraut says that Europe has made human rights its gospel, to such an extent that it threatens European history and culture. This creates a Europe without substance. “When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning.” Finkielkraut reminds us that the multiculturalists’ demand for “diversity” requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group. The abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of the subjection of culture to anthropology. “Under the equalizing eye of social science,” he writes, hierarchies are abolished. The disintegration of faith in reason and common humanity leads not only to a destruction of standards, but also involves a crisis of courage. “A careless indifference to grand causes,” Finkielkraut warns, “has its counterpart in abdication in the face of force,” and weakens the commitment required to preserve freedom.

What, in fact, is replacing assimilation? Anyone who doesn’t want to assimilate, French culture assimilates into his identity. Children aren’t speaking French, but rather a jargon composed of Arabic words and meager French. “There is always a culture that emerges victorious. In no society is there a vacuum.” Another thinker, Pascal Bruckner, agrees that Europe has made repentance for old sins, perceived or real, the central point of its identity, and something close to an obsession. And this is unhealthy, according to him. “If somebody hits you, you will think: This is for something I have done.” “Never again” and the belief that dialogue will take care of all problems are the guiding principles. We are filled with regret, but cannot fill Europe with anything positive.

This idea that Auschwitz has defined the modern identity of Europe is reflected by Spanish journalist Sebastian Villar Rodriguez in his piece “Europe died in Auschwitz:

I was walking along Raval (Barcelona) when all of a sudden I understood that Europe died with Auschwitz.

We assassinated 6 million Jews in order to end up bringing in 20 million Muslims!

We burnt in Auschwitz the culture, intelligence and power to create.(…) Because it is the people who gave to humanity the symbolic figures who were capable of changing history (Christ, Marx, Einstein, Freud…) and who is the origin of progress and wellbeing.

We must admit that Europe, by relaxing its borders (…) opened its doors to 20 million Muslims, often illiterates and fanatics(…), the poorest of the nations and of the ghettos, and who are preparing the worst, such as the 9/11 and the Madrid bombing and who are lodged in apartment blocs provided by the social welfare.

We also have exchanged culture with fanaticism, the capacity to create with the will to destroy, the wisdom with the superstition. We have exchanged the transcendental instinct of the Jews, who even under the worst possible conditions have always looked for a better peaceful world, for the suicide bomber. We have exchanged the pride of life for the fanatic obsession of death. Our death and that of our children.

But why does this guilt complex also apply to Britain, which defeated the Nazis, or Denmark, which saved most of its Jews? Why do we detect some of the same currents even in the United States? And why on earth can’t Europeans give stronger support to the survivors of the Holocaust in Israel?

Yes, we have been sold out by our elites through the creation of Eurabia and the wiping out of our own cultures through Multiculturalism. But this is only half of the story. In democratic societies, even if sometimes flawed ones, this would never have been possible if there wasn’t a profound undercurrent of self-loathing present in the general public already. The trauma caused by the events of 70 years ago is clouding our judgment this time, since any talk at all about the threat posed by Muslim immigration or about preserving our own culture is being dismissed as “the same rhetoric as the Nazis used against the Jews.” Europeans have been taught to be so scared of our own shadow that we are incapable of seeing that darkness can come from the outside, too. Maybe Europe will burn again, in part as a belated reaction to the horrors of Auschwitz.

V.S. Naipaul has called India “a wounded civilization.” But maybe it’s really Europe that is the wounded civilization, the difference being that India’s wounds were inflicted from the outside, whereas Europe’s wounds are largely self-inflicted. Islam isn’t destroying Europe, Europe is destroying itself. Just as a patient with AIDS may formally die from flu or even a common cold, the real cause is the long, slow decay of his immune system. It resembles euthanasia on an entire civilization: Europe is tired of living. Islam just puts it out of its misery.

It is almost fascinating to see how self-loathing and West-bashing make scores of people in the media and the academia misunderstand and misrepresent the threat we are facing. The good guys become the bad guys and vice versa, or alternatively, we’re all equally good and bad, since all cultures are equal. Some would say that I am reading too much into a few simple movies. Perhaps. But these are the same people that claim that popular culture will destroy Islam.

Pop culture matters. It both reflects and shapes the values of a civilization. Judging from the message in too many films, almost five years after 9/11 we have hardly even begun to understand the scale of the Islamic challenge. On the contrary, many Westerners are busy demonstrating “understanding,” even sympathy, towards the enemies of civilization.

Britain in “V for Vendetta” is a totalitarian state where the authorities promise peace in return for total submission. Peace for submission, where have we heard this mantra before? I know: Islam. “Islam” means submission, and comes from the same root as “salaam,” which means “peace”. It is curious to notice that in the previous movie by the Wachowski brothers, “The Matrix,” people are turned into slaves and passive tools by living in a make-belief reality designed to pacify them and keep them in chains. In the real world, one fifth of humanity are proud to proclaim themselves “the slaves of Allah,” and consider it their mission in life to make the rest of mankind share their mental bondage.

Islam is the Matrix. Somebody better give the Wachowski brothers their red pills.

Here is (most of) my post in the Comments section:

Charles Martel wrote:

War is inevitable. Islam must be Islam and as such will continue its attacks on the West. It will not be subdued peacefully. It never has been and never will be. Liberal pluralistic democracy is incapable of defending itself against Islam. The rot and nihilism of multiculturalism has already set in.

Slobodan Milošević will be posthumously vindicated as his “atrocities” will be seen as small potatoes against the measures that will be forced upon those fighting to survive in Europe.

Islam is a civilizational perfect storm. Islam is not a religion but a fascist supremacist ideology that must be eradicated. Short of that, the only possible solution is absolute containment and separation. That will entail the forcable removal of all Muslims from Europe and the United States. As utterly impossible as this may see it will come to pass.

You are correct. As long as the false prophet and his god from hell’s “revelations” are considered divine, the faithful will have to fight.

Fjordman’s synthesis of the big picture in Europe is very insightful; I would add two thoughts:

First, Europe’s self-loathing and rejection of its past is a symptom of a greater disease: the rejection of the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.”

It was Christianity that provided the foundation for the glories of the West cited in the article. Not the least of these are codifying into Law the Equality and Dignity of Man and making possible the wonders of modern Science by means of free intellectual inquiry into a well-ordered Creation.

Second, as Europe’s treatment of Jews was noted I was reminded of the promise of (the true) God: “I will bless those who bless you [Israel], and I will curse those who curse you.”

How can one who has known the blessings of Christ expect good from rejecting Him? In the face of “the Scourge of God” five centuries ago (we know it today as “Islam”), Martin Luther noted that a proper response to the evil upon us is repentance and a return to faith.

Will Europe reclaim what made it great? As it continues to believe in nothing, Europe leaves itself defenseless against Islam. Some will convert to the faith of the oppressor out of persuasion, others out of fear. It is up to those who believe, as it always has been, to fight back.

On a side note, your and Pim Fortuyn’s references here to NATO’s treatment of Yugoslavia are timely, since I recently made a brief post at my site entitled, “Bill Clinton, the first Muslim president.”

Islam’s threat to Europe isn’t new, and the proper response isn’t either

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2006 at 9:08 AM

Jihad isn’t just for Americans and Jews, and it isn’t novel. Here’s a timely follow-up to “Europe’s slow demise”:

Luther on Islam

Introduction

As early as 1518, Dr. Martin Luther had identified the Islamic faith as the “scourge of God.” For the rest of his life Luther believed that the Muslims were God’s punishment upon a sinful Christendom who had, among other sins (ingratitude, toleration of wicked sects, worship of the god Mammon, drunkenness, greed, and the split of Christendom which had provoked His wrath), tolerated the papal abomination. They would function as Germany’s schoolmaster who must correct and teach the German people to repent of their sins and to fear God.

By 1541, Luther’s burning question for the German people is “how can God be patient any longer?” Just as God had punished the generation of Noah for its wickedness, God must now protect His honor and divinity by punishing the thankless and ungrateful German people.

The Origin and Nature of the Islamic Faith

Martin Luther, having spent the majority of his life lecturing on the Old Testament, derived his understanding of the origin and nature of Islam from Daniel 7 and Daniel’s dream concerning the four beasts. In Daniel’s vision, each beast represented a kingdom with the last beast signifying the Roman Empire.

In fulfillment of Daniel 7:20, Luther identified the origin of Islam with the small horn which had displaced the kingdoms of Egypt, Greece, and Asia and who makes war against God’s people. The nature of the Islamic faith can be understood by the human eyes of the beast which represented Islam’s sacred book, the Qur’an, containing only human wisdom. The mouth signified the many blasphemies that the prophet Muhammad uttered against the Christian faith.

In a letter to Nicholas Hausmann, Luther made the further identification of Gog with the Muslim and Magog with the pope, the former being the external or worldly enemy of God’s people and the latter being the spiritual or ecclesiastical enemy of Christ and His Church. These two enemies of God, and of His people, possessed the same origin in time with the establishment of papal primacy to Boniface III in 606 A.D. by Phokes and with the appearance of the Muslims in 621-632 A.D.

Islamic Errors

Luther believed that the Islamic faith was a patchwork faith which had been “patched together out of the faith of the Jews, Christians, and the heathen” (PE 5:95). The chief theological errors of Islam manifested themselves in the following ways:

A FALSE SYSTEM OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

For Luther, it is foolish and unwise to place one’s hope of salvation upon a religious system which had no calling or promise from God. Consequently, all of the Muslim’s fasting, alms-giving, zeal, spirituality, and self-chosen worship count for nothing before God (LW 24:229).

The reason the Muslim engages in these labors, suggests Luther, is that his false understanding of God’s nature and will leads him to view God as an angry God who must be won by humility, fasting, sacrifice and good works (LW 22:336). In doing so, he rejects the office of Christ (as Redeemer and Mediator) by his own labor to obtain a gracious God and constructs his own ladder to heaven (LW 22:334). As a result, the Muslim bears fruit that is natural and temporally good, but it is not Christian and everlasting since its source is not found in the true Vine who is Christ (LW 24:214).

In summary, the Islamic faith is simply that “if you are pious and just, and if you perform good works, you are saved” (LW 22:501). The prayer of the Muslim is “may God spare my life that I may atone for my sin” (LW 24:349). Thus, the Muslim possesses a false righteousness that strives to be holy, not through faith in the merits of Christ but through his own self-chosen works (LW 24:243) and to “do good according to the light and understanding of reason and to be saved in this way” (LW 24:372).

A FALSE SOURCE OF THEOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE

The second major error of the Islamic faith is its refusal to remain with the simple Gospel but instead to create a new bible, the Qur’an (LW 24:9). Due to this false source of theological knowledge, a system of salvation was constructed that could be comprehended by and which conforms to unregenerate human reason (LW 22:301-302; LW 23:79). Consequently, the tenets of the Islamic faith are in marked contrast to the fundamental articles of the Christian faith (Trinity, Incarnation) which are beyond human reason (LW 22:302) and revealed from heaven by the Holy Spirit (PE 5:178-179).

A CHRISTOLOGICAL HERESY

According to Martin Luther, the chief strategy of Satan, and of all heresies, is to deny Christ’s incarnation, rob humankind of God and His Word, and to fabricate a new god. This is the way the devil goes to work: “He attacks Christ with three storm-columns. One will not suffer Him to be God; the other will not suffer Him to be man; the third denies that He has merited salvation for us. Each of the three endeavors to destroy Christ…Surely all three parts must be believed, namely, that He is God, also, that He is man, and that He became such a man for us…If one small part is lacking, then all parts are lacking” (Bente 1965:14).

The Muslims believe, like their ancestor Nestorius, that Jesus was only Mary’s son and not the Son of God (LW 22:351). They hold Christ to be an excellent prophet and a great man who preached to His own time and who completed His work before His death just like any other prophet. Christ, however, is not as great as Muhammad (LW 22:18; LW 23:82), who is to be worshipped and adored in Christ’s stead (LW 22:137). Thus, the Muslims storm against the teaching of Christ as true God (LW 22:395) and refuse to accept the testimony of Jesus Himself and of the Holy Spirit (LW 23:377) that He is the true God and true man (LW 22:468; PE 5:94).

The real stumbling block for the Muslim is “acknowledging that Christ is the Son of God and His message is the Word of God” (LW 22:476) since it is the nature of all schismatic spirits to assert that Jesus’ Word must be ignored and discarded (LW 23:357) and to sever and separate God, Christ and His Word from one another and debate about God (LW 24:67). As a result, the Muslim is not able to know God because he seeks to know Him without Christ (LW 24:23), the true path and ladder (LW 23:56). The Muslim, instead of finding God here on earth in the flesh of Christ (LW 23:117), searches in vain for God in heaven (LW 23:123; LW 23:170).

THE ISLAMIC FAITH DESTROYS TEMPORAL AUTHORITY

A final tenet of Islam which Luther condemns is its teaching about the proper role of government. The Muslim is not concerned, like other rulers, with the maintenance of peace, the protection of the good, and the punishment of the wicked but uses government, after he has murdered men’s souls with his Qur’an, to murder their bodies (PE 5:96). By his lies, the Muslim seeks to “destroy the spiritual estate, murder the temporal, disregard for marriage the estate of matrimony” (PE 5:100).

Luther’s Advice in Dealing with Islam

SIR CHRISTIAN — THE FIRST MAN

The advice of Luther concerning the Islamic threat in Europe during the Sixteenth Century was not the crusades, for to advocate a Christian crusade against the Muslims was to mix spiritual authority with temporal authority. The consequences of such a mixture and a confusion of the two authorities would be to draw God’s wrath and insure the success of Islam. Instead, the Muslims were to be fought spiritually by Christians with repentance, the amendment of one’s life and with prayer.

In order to achieve this spiritual posture before God, Germany’s pastors were to admonish the papists to stop blaspheming God and to admonish the ungrateful, wanton German people to improve their behavior, to honor God’s Word and to call on God in prayer. Germany’s pastors were to be God’s prophetic voices, calling God’s people back to Himself through genuine repentance, faith and prayer.

THE EMPEROR — THE SECOND MAN

The second man whose place it was to fight against the Muslim was Emperor Charles. It was his office to war agains the Muslim because of their threats toward the Empire’s subjects and the Empire itself. It was his duty, as a ruler appointed by God, to defend his own people and land (PE 5:102). If there was to be war against the Muslim, “it should be fought at the Emperor’s command and under his banner, and in his name…[why?]…Because then everyone can assure his own conscience that he is obeying the ordinance of God, since we know that the emperor is our true overlord and head, and he who obeys himobeys God also, while he who disobeys him disobeys God also” (PE 5:102-103).

Therefore, advises Luther, the emperor and the princes should be exhorted concerning their office and duty to God not to let their subjects be ruined, but rather to be reminded that Germany and its people are “given you and committed to you by God, that you may protect, rule, counsel, and help it, and you not only should, but must do this on pain of losing your soul’s salvation and God’s favor and grace” (PE 5:106).

Concluding Remarks

Just as in the days of Noah, so also in Luther’s life, people lived as Epicureans and skeptics. As a consequence of their thankless hearts, God was just in punishing Europe. The Muslims were simply God’s scourge and schoolmaster, permitted by God to be the servant of the devil, who not only ruins land and people with the sword but also lays waste the Christian faith and our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

The consistent resolve and advice of Luther was to appeal to the two governments instituted by God, namely, spiritual and temporal authority. Sir Christian, as the body of Christ, was to fight with the Word of God, prayer and a reformed life. Then the Emperor was to carry out his office and defend his people and land. For “if our kings and princes were to agree, and stand by one another and help one another, and the Christian man were to pray for them, I should be undismayed and of good hope; the Muslim would leave his raging and find in Emperor Charles a man who was his equal” (PE 5:122).

Europe’s slow demise

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2006 at 8:39 AM

A powerful and insightful post by Fjordman at the Gates of Vienna, a look into several of the factors that have led Europe to the brink of submission to Islam–I’m a Terrorist Groupie, Hear Me Roar!:

I have heard some people say that Western popular culture will destroy Islam. That is possible, but we need to remember that this is not a one-way street. What if the opposite happens? Sometimes the barbarians also influence the civilized people, and there is a disturbing amount of “understanding” for terrorists in Western movies and media these days. Creeps come crawling out of the woodwork, more or less cheering for the terrorists who are trying to bring society down. There are probably always people who are drawn to blood and mayhem. They would like to destroy the current political order, but aren’t capable of doing it themselves, so they end up as cheerleaders for those who are attempting to do so. Let’s call them “terrorist groupies.” I’m not just talking about the Oscar-nominated suicide bomber film Paradise Now. There are others examples of this mentality.

“V for Vendetta” is a recent movie made by the Wachowski brothers, the men behind the modern sci-fi classic “The Matrix.” It is set in Britain about a generation from now. The USA has dissolved into chaos and civil war after its involvement in a prolonged war in the Middle East. Great Britain has become a Fascist state. The protagonist, a “freedom fighter” named V, wants to ignite a revolution and brags about how blowing up a building can change the whole world. He is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to conceal his identity, and proclaims that he wants to finish at November 5th what Fawkes tried to do in the so-called Gunpowder Plot in 1605: Blowing up Parliament. He gets an accomplice in this task, a young girl named Evey, played by Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman. Portman cites a popular British rhyme that is often quoted on Guy Fawkes Night:

”Remember, remember, the 5th of November The Gunpowder Treason and plot; I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.”

During the movie, we see a gay man keeping a 14th century Koran in a secret room in his house, because he enjoys “the beautiful poetry and imagery” in it. He is later executed when the authorities discover this, as the Koran is now banned and Muslims are oppressed. What beautiful imagery we are never told. “And slay them wherever ye catch them”? “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them”? At the same time, the Church is shown to be a place of filth, corruption and hypocrisy. Islam is good and “misunderstood,” Christianity is bad and oppressive. In the final scene of “V for Vendetta,” the British Parliament is blown up, with hundreds of thousands of people in Guy Fawkes masks watching and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” blasting from loudspeakers, fireworks crackling and Natalie Portman smiling.

In Hollywoodistan, gays admire the beauty of the Koran. In real life, gays are physically attacked in increasing numbers by Muslims in Europe, and death squads are targeting gays in Islamic countries such as Iraq. A gay man, Pim Fortuyn, was de facto executed for criticizing Islam, after having been demonized by Dutch media and the Dutch establishment for “Islamophobia” and “hate speech”. In Hollywoodistan, the Koran has been banned on pain of death in Britain. In real life, British PM Tony Blair has called Islam “progressive” and praised the Koran for being “practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance.” In Hollywoodistan, Muslims in London are ruthlessly persecuted. In real life, London has become the Islamic terrorist capital of the entire world, as demonstrated by writer Melanie Phillips in her book “Londonistan.” In Hollywoodistan, native Fascists kill British civilians to spread fear and terror and soften them for their goal of overthrowing democracy. In real life, the only Fascists trying to do this are Muslims, following the example of their prophet Muhammad who bragged about how he had been “made victorious by terror.”

After the Jihadist terror bombings in London in July 2005, not a single Muslim cleric has been expelled from Britain. Historian David Starkey warned that Britain was in danger of sleepwalking into a new era of religious intolerance, as in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What today might be described as thought crimes, such as expressing any sympathy for suicide bombers, would in previous eras have been termed heresy, he said. The right response to the bombings was that Britain should become more tolerant towards Islam. A Chester professor, Ron Geaves, has stated that the attacks that killed 52 people were not the acts of terrorists but “just an extreme Muslim demonstration” and that “the word terrorism is a political word which always seems to be used to demonise people.” Muslim immigration continues unabated, and open hatred towards the West continues to be preached in mosques. The BBC is busy as always in campaigning against “Islamophobia” and reminding everybody that Islam is rich in diversity and that Western civilization would have been impossible without huge Islamic contributions, which we should be eternally grateful for.

For an outsider, it is sad to see the nation that once faced down Hitler and Napoleon slowly succumb to these barbarians. It is good that smaller nations such as Denmark and maybe the Netherlands are at least starting to confront the Islamic threat, but this isn’t enough. For the sake of Europe, we need some of the larger countries to do the same thing. France is sinking into a quagmire of problems of her own, and has been leading the creation of Eurabia in the first place. Maybe the Germans could do the job, but they are still restrained by their guilt complex from WW2. We need the British on board, and so far, there are few signs of this happening. Will Britannia forever be enslaved, or will she rise to the occasion as she has done in the past?

Luckily, even though Hollywood won’t tell the truth, there are still a few people who will. Mullah Krekar, an Al Qaeda-linked Islamic leader who was granted refugee status in Norway told an Oslo newspaper that there’s a war going on between the West and Islam. He said he’s sure that Islam will win. Muslims could indeed win this, if they could just sit tight, remain quiet and continue the demographic Jihad. But too many of them behave so, well, Islamic, boast and brag about their plans. Listening to Mullah Krekar talking is like watching one of those old James Bond movies, where the villain just has to tell Bond everything about his evil plans, just in time so that 007 can prevent it. “I’m so smart and evil, you can’t stop me, bwuahahaha!” Then again, given the state of things in Al-Britannia these days, James Bond would probably have been working for the other team. “There’s a nasty case of Islamophobia going on at the Telegraph newspaper today. Take care of it, will you, 007. How do you want your Koran, Mr. Bond?” “Shaken, not stirred.”

In another movie, “Good Night, and Good Luck,” directed by star actor George Clooney, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow is shown standing up against Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy during his intense anti-Communist movement in the 1950s. I assume Clooney’s motivation for making this movie now is insinuating that the ongoing War on Terror is “just like” the paranoia of the 50s. First of all: Although there is no doubt that Senator McCarthy went too far and destroyed the lives of many innocent people, the Communist threat to the USA and the West was in fact very real during the Cold War. And second of all: Whoever decided that a new “political witch hunt” necessarily has to come from the Right?

“McCarthyism” is sometimes defined as “the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition.” Some would claim that this describes very well how critics of Muslim immigration in the West have been demonized during the previous generation, especially by Leftists. Carl I. Hagen, leader of the right-wing Progress Party, was for several decades virtually the only Norwegian politician of some stature that warned against the madness of the current immigration policies. And he was hated for it by the establishment, denounced as a racist pig, Nazi and subject to every insult in the dictionary. During the 1990s, when there were still many people who took the “Oslo Peace Process” seriously, he went in demonstrations in support of Israel and with the slogan “No money for Arafat.” The public now understands that he was right, which is why his party has grown from being a tiny protest party to being at the brink of replacing the Labor Party as the largest political party in Norway, for the first time in 80 years. Why doesn’t Mr. Clooney or other Hollywood personalities make a movie about Carl I. Hagen, Pia Kjærsgaard of the Danish People’s Party, Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands or others that have been warning against the madness of Muslim immigration? They are the real victims of the “new McCarthyism.”

Glorification of anti-democratic fanatics has penetrated Western popular culture in other ways than movies. Che Guevara’s face is cropping up everywhere, from posters to t-shirts. Che is famous for helping Fidel Castro shape the Cuban revolution. Later, he was in charge of La Cabana prison, where he oversaw a military tribunal which condemned scores of counterrevolutionaries to death without trial. “Hatred,” he said, is important. It makes you, he reflected, “into an effective, violent, selective and cold-blooded killing machine.” He helped set up a police state in Cuba, and negotiated the stationing of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba in 1962. He later became furious when Moscow removed them following the Cuba Crisis. “If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all…” He spoke of “unimaginable destructiveness to defend a principle.” Yet this murderer and symbol of an ideology that killed 100 million people during the 20th century is treated as a pop icon in the democratic West.

Michel Foucault is one of the best known and most widely read philosophers of our time, familiar to hundreds of thousands of Western University students. During and after the 1978-79 revolution, Foucault visited Iran twice and also met with Khomeini in Paris. Much of Foucault’s work is grounded in the problems of modernity in Europe. Thus he became fascinated with the Iranian revolution because it “challenged the Western model of progress.” He wasn’t the only Western intellectual who was seduced by the “revolutionary energy” displayed in Iran. The age of marriage for girls was reduced to 9 years, tens of thousands of political opponents were arrested, tortured and killed, young women were raped in prisons as a matter of routine to prevent them from entering Paradise as virgins, and barbaric, medieval laws were re-enacted for tens of millions of people. Apparently, for some Western intellectuals, anything is excusable as long as you are anti-Western and have a “revolutionary cause.”

Phyllis Chesler writes about the Culture War in academia, where both Western leftists and Islamists employ a systematic misuse of language, writing about “insurgents,” not “terrorists,” whom they describe as “martyrs,” not “killers, and as “freedom fighters,” not as “well educated evil men.” Meanwhile, hateful anti-American and anti-Israel demonstrators are described as “peace activists. She believes that Western academy has been “utterly Palestinianized.” Our Islamist opponents have turned out this propaganda non-stop around the world. As propagandists, they are “far more sophisticated than Goebbels, and far more patient.”

Yale University in the US admitted a former Taliban spokesman, Rahmatullah Hashemi, as student. He was the chief translator for Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. Female Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya said Hashemi was one of the Taliban’s top propagandists and called his status as a student at Yale “disgusting” and an “unforgivable insult.” Yet people at Yale fired back and said it was the critics of Yale and Rahmatullah Hashemi who were the real Taliban, and that excluding him would “ takes us one step closer into the Taliban-like suppression of views that challenge the party line.”

Robert Fisk is a veteran British foreign correspondent. During a visit to Australia, Fisk said: “I see this immense world of injustice . . . and I must say given our constant interference in the Middle East, I’m amazed that Muslims have been so restrained.” In fact, so “restrained” are they that Fisk wasn’t sure how much they can be blamed even for the terror attacks of 9/11. He often spoke in the US, he said, and “more and more people in the audience believe the American administration had some kind of involvement”. “ …the worst I can envisage is that they know something was coming and they preferred it to happen so that their strategy could be put into place.”

Ironically, it seems as if some of the chief defenders of democracy and Western civilization now are immigrants. Britain’s first black Archbishop made a powerful attack on multiculturalism, urging English people to reclaim their national identity. The Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said “that too many people were embarrassed about being English.” “Multiculturalism has seemed to imply, wrongly for me, let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains,” he said. He said that the failure of England to rediscover its culture afresh would lead only to greater political extremism. “What is it to be English? It is a very serious question,” he said. “When you ask a lot of people in this country, ‘What is English culture?’, they are very vague. It is a culture that whether we like it or not has given us parliamentary democracy. It is the mother of it.”

Writing about the Muhammad cartoons controversy, author Ibn Warraq quoted the great British philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty, “Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being ‘pushed to an extreme’; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case.”

“The west is the source of the liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law, human rights and cultural freedom. It is the west that has raised the status of women, fought against slavery, defended freedom of enquiry, expression and conscience,” Ibn Warraq stated. “How can we expect immigrants to integrate into western society when they are at the same time being taught that the west is decadent, a den of iniquity, the source of all evil, racist, imperialist and to be despised? Why should they, in the words of the African-American writer James Baldwin, want to integrate into a sinking ship?”

These are encouraging words, but they cannot conceal the fact that there is a very powerful undercurrent of self-loathing and guilt-obsession in the West at the beginning of the 21st century. Where does it come from?

Lars Hedegaard, writer and columnist for newspaper Berlingske Tidende, has, together with colleagues Helle Merete Brix and Torben Hansen, been one of the leading forces behind making tiny Denmark into a frontline country in the battle against Islam. In his book “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within,” Bruce Bawer gives an account of a meeting with Hedegaard and Brix in Copenhagen:

“Hedegaard was of the view, however, that the Danish establishment’s benign neglect of Islamic extremism must have deeper causes than snobbism or hippie nostalgia. After all, he said, the Islamicization of the Nordic countries was “the most fundamental transformation” they’d experienced in a millennium. Something so monumental, in his opinion, could not be explained simply by a few people’s foolishness or class snobbery. “Heavy consequences,” he insisted, “must have heavy causes.” The surrender of Denmark to Muslims had to be the result of some deep-seated compulsion. (…..) His theory was that Western Europe’s ongoing surrender to radical Islam had its roots in the psychic devastation of the First World War. For while that conflict marked America’s ascent to the rank of Great Power, Europeans took it as a devastating proof, Hedegaard said, “the our culture was worthless. It was basically destroyed. And that prepared the way for two sorts of totalitarianism” — Nazism and Communism — and for “atrocities of a magnitude that is hard to imagine.” Those atrocities, in turn, placed upon Europeans an unbearable burden of guilt. The Nazis, he said, “made Europe think it is doomed and sinful…and deserves what it has coming.”

Lars Hedegaard’s view seems to mirror that of French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut, who thinks that “Europe does not love itself.” Finkielkraut says that it’s not forces from outside that are threatening Europe as much as the voluntary renunciation of European identity, its wish of freeing itself from itself, its own history and its traditions, only replaced by human rights. The European Union thus isn’t just post-national, but post-European. What characterizes Europe today is the will to define itself, not from an ideology, but by dismissing any sense of identity. Europe is now built upon an oath: Never again. Never again extermination, never again war, but also never again nationalism. Europe prides itself in being nothing. According to Finkielkraut, Auschwitz has become part of the foundation of the EU, a culture based on guilt. But this is a vague ideology saying that “We have to oppose everything the Nazis were for.” Consequently, nationalism or any kind of attachment to your own country, including what some would say is healthy, non-aggressive patriotism, is frowned upon. To remember is to regret. Europe rejects its past. “European identity” is the de-identification of Europe. Of the past, we are only to remember crimes. This didn’t just happen in Germany, but in all of Europe. “I can understand the feeling of remorse that is leading Europe to this definition, but this remorse goes too far. It is too great a gift to present Hitler to reject everything that led to him.” This is said by the Jewish son of an Auschwitz prisoner.

Finkielkraut says that Europe has made human rights its gospel, to such an extent that it threatens European history and culture. This creates a Europe without substance. “When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning.” Finkielkraut reminds us that the multiculturalists’ demand for “diversity” requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group. The abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of the subjection of culture to anthropology. “Under the equalizing eye of social science,” he writes, hierarchies are abolished. The disintegration of faith in reason and common humanity leads not only to a destruction of standards, but also involves a crisis of courage. “A careless indifference to grand causes,” Finkielkraut warns, “has its counterpart in abdication in the face of force,” and weakens the commitment required to preserve freedom.

What, in fact, is replacing assimilation? Anyone who doesn’t want to assimilate, French culture assimilates into his identity. Children aren’t speaking French, but rather a jargon composed of Arabic words and meager French. “There is always a culture that emerges victorious. In no society is there a vacuum.” Another thinker, Pascal Bruckner, agrees that Europe has made repentance for old sins, perceived or real, the central point of its identity, and something close to an obsession. And this is unhealthy, according to him. “If somebody hits you, you will think: This is for something I have done.” “Never again” and the belief that dialogue will take care of all problems are the guiding principles. We are filled with regret, but cannot fill Europe with anything positive.

This idea that Auschwitz has defined the modern identity of Europe is reflected by Spanish journalist Sebastian Villar Rodriguez in his piece “Europe died in Auschwitz:

I was walking along Raval (Barcelona) when all of a sudden I understood that Europe died with Auschwitz.

We assassinated 6 million Jews in order to end up bringing in 20 million Muslims!

We burnt in Auschwitz the culture, intelligence and power to create.(…) Because it is the people who gave to humanity the symbolic figures who were capable of changing history (Christ, Marx, Einstein, Freud…) and who is the origin of progress and wellbeing.

We must admit that Europe, by relaxing its borders (…) opened its doors to 20 million Muslims, often illiterates and fanatics(…), the poorest of the nations and of the ghettos, and who are preparing the worst, such as the 9/11 and the Madrid bombing and who are lodged in apartment blocs provided by the social welfare.

We also have exchanged culture with fanaticism, the capacity to create with the will to destroy, the wisdom with the superstition. We have exchanged the transcendental instinct of the Jews, who even under the worst possible conditions have always looked for a better peaceful world, for the suicide bomber. We have exchanged the pride of life for the fanatic obsession of death. Our death and that of our children.

But why does this guilt complex also apply to Britain, which defeated the Nazis, or Denmark, which saved most of its Jews? Why do we detect some of the same currents even in the United States? And why on earth can’t Europeans give stronger support to the survivors of the Holocaust in Israel?

Yes, we have been sold out by our elites through the creation of Eurabia and the wiping out of our own cultures through Multiculturalism. But this is only half of the story. In democratic societies, even if sometimes flawed ones, this would never have been possible if there wasn’t a profound undercurrent of self-loathing present in the general public already. The trauma caused by the events of 70 years ago is clouding our judgment this time, since any talk at all about the threat posed by Muslim immigration or about preserving our own culture is being dismissed as “the same rhetoric as the Nazis used against the Jews.” Europeans have been taught to be so scared of our own shadow that we are incapable of seeing that darkness can come from the outside, too. Maybe Europe will burn again, in part as a belated reaction to the horrors of Auschwitz.

V.S. Naipaul has called India “a wounded civilization.” But maybe it’s really Europe that is the wounded civilization, the difference being that India’s wounds were inflicted from the outside, whereas Europe’s wounds are largely self-inflicted. Islam isn’t destroying Europe, Europe is destroying itself. Just as a patient with AIDS may formally die from flu or even a common cold, the real cause is the long, slow decay of his immune system. It resembles euthanasia on an entire civilization: Europe is tired of living. Islam just puts it out of its misery.

It is almost fascinating to see how self-loathing and West-bashing make scores of people in the media and the academia misunderstand and misrepresent the threat we are facing. The good guys become the bad guys and vice versa, or alternatively, we’re all equally good and bad, since all cultures are equal. Some would say that I am reading too much into a few simple movies. Perhaps. But these are the same people that claim that popular culture will destroy Islam.

Pop culture matters. It both reflects and shapes the values of a civilization. Judging from the message in too many films, almost five years after 9/11 we have hardly even begun to understand the scale of the Islamic challenge. On the contrary, many Westerners are busy demonstrating “understanding,” even sympathy, towards the enemies of civilization.

Britain in “V for Vendetta” is a totalitarian state where the authorities promise peace in return for total submission. Peace for submission, where have we heard this mantra before? I know: Islam. “Islam” means submission, and comes from the same root as “salaam,” which means “peace”. It is curious to notice that in the previous movie by the Wachowski brothers, “The Matrix,” people are turned into slaves and passive tools by living in a make-belief reality designed to pacify them and keep them in chains. In the real world, one fifth of humanity are proud to proclaim themselves “the slaves of Allah,” and consider it their mission in life to make the rest of mankind share their mental bondage.

Islam is the Matrix. Somebody better give the Wachowski brothers their red pills.

Here is (most of) my post in the Comments section:

Charles Martel wrote:

War is inevitable. Islam must be Islam and as such will continue its attacks on the West. It will not be subdued peacefully. It never has been and never will be. Liberal pluralistic democracy is incapable of defending itself against Islam. The rot and nihilism of multiculturalism has already set in.

Slobodan Milošević will be posthumously vindicated as his “atrocities” will be seen as small potatoes against the measures that will be forced upon those fighting to survive in Europe.

Islam is a civilizational perfect storm. Islam is not a religion but a fascist supremacist ideology that must be eradicated. Short of that, the only possible solution is absolute containment and separation. That will entail the forcable removal of all Muslims from Europe and the United States. As utterly impossible as this may see it will come to pass.

You are correct. As long as the false prophet and his god from hell’s “revelations” are considered divine, the faithful will have to fight.

Fjordman’s synthesis of the big picture in Europe is very insightful; I would add two thoughts:

First, Europe’s self-loathing and rejection of its past is a symptom of a greater disease: the rejection of the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.”

It was Christianity that provided the foundation for the glories of the West cited in the article. Not the least of these are codifying into Law the Equality and Dignity of Man and making possible the wonders of modern Science by means of free intellectual inquiry into a well-ordered Creation.

Second, as Europe’s treatment of Jews was noted I was reminded of the promise of (the true) God: “I will bless those who bless you [Israel], and I will curse those who curse you.”

How can one who has known the blessings of Christ expect good from rejecting Him? In the face of “the Scourge of God” five centuries ago (we know it today as “Islam”), Martin Luther noted that a proper response to the evil upon us is repentance and a return to faith.

Will Europe reclaim what made it great? As it continues to believe in nothing, Europe leaves itself defenseless against Islam. Some will convert to the faith of the oppressor out of persuasion, others out of fear. It is up to those who believe, as it always has been, to fight back.

On a side note, your and Pim Fortuyn’s references here to NATO’s treatment of Yugoslavia are timely, since I recently made a brief post at my site entitled, “Bill Clinton, the first Muslim president.”