Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 27, 2007, 10:06:00 AM
Mainstream Caliphate Confessions
By Andrew G. Bostom
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 27, 2007
Writing in 1916, C. Snouck Hurgronje, the great Dutch Orientalist, underscored how the jihad doctrine of world conquest, and the re-creation of a supranational Islamic Caliphate remained a potent force among the Muslim masses:
…it would be a gross mistake to imagine that the idea of universal conquest may be considered as obliterated…the canonists and the vulgar still live in the illusion of the days of Islam’s greatness. The legists continue to ground their appreciation of every actual political condition on the law of the holy war, which war ought never be allowed to cease entirely until all mankind is reduced to the authority of Islam—the heathen by conversion, the adherents of acknowledged Scripture [i.e., Jews and Christians] by submission.
Hurgronje further noted that although the Muslim rank and file might acknowledge the improbability of that goal “at present” (circa 1916), they were,
…comforted and encouraged by the recollection of the lengthy period of humiliation that the Prophet himself had to suffer before Allah bestowed victory upon his arms…
Thus even at the nadir of Islam’s political power, during the World War I era final disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, Hurgronje observed how
…the common people are willingly taught by the canonists and feed their hope of better days upon the innumerable legends of the olden time and the equally innumerable apocalyptic prophecies about the future. The political blows that fall upon Islam make less impression…than the senseless stories about the power of the Sultan of Stambul [Istanbul], that would instantly be revealed if he were not surrounded by treacherous servants, and the fantastic tidings of the miracles that Allah works in the Holy Cities of Arabia which are inaccessible to the unfaithful. The conception of the Khalifate [Caliphate] still exercises a fascinating influence, regarded in the light of a central point of union against the unfaithful (i.e., non-Muslims). [emphasis added]
Nearly a century later, the preponderance of contemporary mainstream Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia, apparently share with their murderous, jihad terror waging co-religionists from al-Qaeda the goal (if not necessarily supporting the gruesome means) of re-establishing an Islamic Caliphate. Polling data just released (April 24, 2007) in a rigorously conducted face-to-face University of Maryland/ WorldPublicOpinion.org interview survey of 4384 Muslims conducted between December 9, 2006 and February 15, 2007—1000 Moroccans, 1000 Egyptians, 1243 Pakistanis, and 1141 Indonesians—reveal that 65.2% of those interviewed—almost 2/3, hardly a “fringe minority”—desired this outcome (i.e., “To unify all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate”), including 49% of “moderate” Indonesian Muslims. The internal validity of these data about the present longing for a Caliphate is strongly suggested by a concordant result: 65.5% of this Muslim sample approved the proposition “To require a strict [emphasis added] application of Shari’a law in every Islamic country.”
Notwithstanding ahistorical drivel from Western Muslim “advocacy” groups such as the Muslim Association of Britain, which lionizes both the Caliphate and the concomitant institution of Shari’a as promulgators of “a peaceful and just society”, the findings from the University of Maryland/ WorldPublicOpinion.org poll are ominous.
Umar Ibn al-Khattab (d. 644), was the second “rightly guided” caliph of Islam. During his reign, which lasted for a decade (634-644), Syria, Iraq and Egypt were conquered. Umar was responsible for organizing the early Islamic Caliphate. Alfred von Kremer, the seminal 19th century German scholar of Islam, described the “central idea” of Umar’s regime, as being the furtherance of “…the religious-military development of Islam at the expense of the conquered nations.” The predictable and historically verifiable consequence of this guiding principle was a legacy of harsh inequality, intolerance, and injustice towards non-Muslims observed by von Kremer in 1868 (and still evident in Islamic societies to this day):
It was the basis of its severe directives regarding Christians and those of other faiths, that they be reduced to the status of pariahs, forbidden from having anything in common with the ruling nation; it was even the basis for his decision to purify the Arabian Peninsula of the unbelievers, when he presented all the inhabitants of the peninsula who had not yet accepted Islam with the choice: to emigrate or deny the religion of their ancestors. The industrious and wealthy Christians of Najran, who maintained their Christian faith, emigrated as a result of this decision from the peninsula, to the land of the Euphrates, and ‘Umar also deported the Jews of Khaybar. In this way ‘Umar based that fanatical and intolerant approach that was an essential characteristic of Islam, now extant for over a thousand years, until this day [i.e., written in 1868]. It was this spirit, a severe and steely one, that incorporated scorn and contempt for the non-Muslims, that was characteristic of ‘Umar, and instilled by ‘Umar into Islam; this spirit continued for many centuries, to be Islam’s driving force and vital principle.
During the jihad campaigns of Umar’s Caliphate, in accord with nascent Islamic Law, neither cities nor monasteries were spared if they resisted. Thus, when the Greek garrison of Gaza refused to submit and convert to Islam, all were put to death. In the year 640, sixty Greek soldiers who refused to apostatize became martyrs, while in the same year (i.e., 638) that Caesarea, Tripolis and Tyre fell to the Muslims, hundreds of thousands of Christians converted to Islam, predominantly out of fear.
Muslim and non-Muslim sources record that Umar’s soldiers were allowed to break crosses on the heads of Christians during processions and religious litanies, and were permitted, if not encouraged, to tear down newly erected churches and to punish Christians for trivial reasons. Moreover, Umar forbade the employment of Christians in public offices. The false claim of Islamic toleration during this prototype “rightly guided” Caliphate cannot be substantiated even by relying on the (apocryphal?) “pact” of Umar (Ibn al-Khattab) because this putative decree compelled the Christians (and other non-Muslims) to fulfill self-destructive obligations, including: the prohibition on erecting any new churches, monasteries, or hermitages; and not being allowed to repair any ecclesiastical institutions that fell into ruin, nor to rebuild those that were situated in the Muslim quarters of a town. Muslim traditionists and early historians (such as al-Baladhuri) further maintain that Umar expelled the Jews of the Khaybar oasis, and similarly deported Christians (from Najran) who refused to apostasize and embrace Islam, fulfilling the death bed admonition of Muhammad who purportedly stated: “there shall not remain two religions in the land of Arabia.”
Umar imposed limitations upon the non-Muslims aimed at their ultimate destruction by attrition, and he introduced fanatical elements into Islamic culture that became characteristic of the Caliphates which succeeded his. For example, according to the chronicle of the Muslim historian Ibn al-Atham (d. 926-27), under the brief Caliphate of Ali b. Abi Talib (656-61), when one group of apostates in Yemen (Sanaa) adopted Judaism after becoming Muslims, “He [Ali] killed them and burned them with fire after the killing.” Indeed, the complete absence of freedom of conscience in these early Islamic Caliphates—while entirely consistent with mid-7th century mores—has remained a constant, ignominious legacy throughout Islamic history, to this day. During the long twilight of the last formal Caliphate under the Ottoman Turks, Sir Henry Layard, the British archeologist, writer, and diplomat (including postings in Turkey), described this abhorrent spectacle which he witnessed in the heart of Istanbul, in the autumn of 1843, four years after the first failed iteration of the so-called Tanzimat reforms designed to abrogate the sacralized discrimination of the Shari’a:
An Armenian who had embraced Islamism [i.e., common 19th century usage for Islam] had returned to his former faith. For his apostasy he was condemned to death according to the Mohammedan law. His execution took place, accompanied by details of studied insult and indignity directed against Christianity and Europeans in general. The corpse was exposed in one of the most public and frequented places in Stamboul [Istanbul], and the head, which had been severed from the body, was placed upon it, covered by a European hat.
Salient examples from within the past 25 years confirm the persistent absence of freedom of conscience in contemporary Islamic societies, in tragic conformity with a prevailing, unchanged mindset of the earliest Caliphates: the 1985 state-sponsored execution of Sudanese religious reformer Mahmoud Muhammad Taha for his alleged “apostasy”; the infamous 1989 “Salman Rushdie Affair”, which resulted in the issuance of a fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini condemning Rushdie to death; the July 1994 vigilante murder of secular Egyptian writer Farag Foda—supported by the prominent Egyptian cleric, Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali, an official of Al Azhar University, who testified on behalf of the murderer, “A secularist represents a danger to society and the nation that must be eliminated. It is the duty of the government to kill him.”; and the recent (March, 2006) tragic experience of Abdul Rahman, an unassuming Afghan Muslim convert to Christianity, forced to flee his native country to escape the murderous wrath of Muslim clerics and the masses they incited in “liberated”, post-Taliban Afghanistan. An even more alarming and utterly intolerable phenomenon was on display just this week in the United States when a Johnstown (western Pennsylvania) area imam Fouad El Bayly openly sanctioned the punishment by death of former Dutch Parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali—born and raised a Muslim in Somalia—for her open avowal of secularism.
Ibn Warraq has observed aptly that the most fundamental conception of a Caliphate, “…the constant injunction to obey the Caliph—who is God’s Shadow on Earth”, is completely incompatible with the creation of a “rights-based individualist philosophy.” Warraq illustrates the supreme hostility to individual rights in the Islamic Caliphate, and Islam itself, through the writings of the iconic Muslim philosopher, jurist, and historian, Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), and a contemporary Muslim thinker, A.K. Brohi, former Pakistani Minister of Law and Religious Affairs:
[Ibn Khaldun] All religious laws and practices and everything that the masses are expected to do requires group feeling. Only with the help of group feeling can a claim be successfully pressed,…Group feeling is necessary to the Muslim community. Its existence enables (the community) to fulfill what God expects of it.
[A.K. Brohi] Human duties and rights have been vigorously defined and their orderly enforcement is the duty of the whole of organized communities and the task is specifically entrusted to the law enforcement organs of the state. The individual if necessary has to be sacrificed in order that that the life of the organism be saved. Collectivity has a special sanctity attached to it in Islam.
In contrast, Warraq notes, “Liberal democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom and attaches all possible value to each man or woman.” And he concludes,
Individualism is not a recognizable feature of Islam; instead the collective will of the Muslim people is constantly emphasized. There is certainly no notion of individual rights, which developed in the West, especially during the eighteenth century.
Almost six decades ago (in 1950), G.H. Bousquet, a pre-eminent modern scholar of Islamic Law, put forth this unapologetic, pellucid formulation of the twofold totalitarian impulse in Islam:
Islam first came before the world as a doubly totalitarian system. It claimed to impose itself on the whole world and it claimed also, by the divinely appointed Muhammadan law, by the principles of the fiqh, to regulate down to the smallest details the whole life of the Islamic community and of every individual believer....the study of Muhammadan law (dry and forbidding though it may appear to those who confine themselves to the indispensable study of the fiqh) is of great importance to the world today.
The openly expressed desire for the restoration of a Caliphate from two-thirds of an important Muslim sample of Arab and non-Arab Islamic nations, representative of Muslims worldwide, should serve as a chilling wake-up call to those still in denial about the existential threat posed by the living, uniquely Islamic institution of jihad.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
on: April 25, 2007, 04:59:40 PM
A Madrassa Grows in Brooklyn
By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 25, 2007
Come September, an Arabic-language public secondary school is slated to open its doors in Brooklyn. The New York City Department of Education says the Khalil Gibran International Academy, serving grades six through 12, will boast a "multicultural curriculum and intensive Arabic language instruction."
This appears to be a marvelous idea, for New York and the country need native-born Arabic speakers. They have a role in the military, diplomacy, intelligence, the courts, the press, the academy, and many other institutions — and teaching languages to the young is the ideal route to polyglotism. As someone who spent years learning Arabic, I am enthusiastic in principle about the idea of this school, one of the first of its kind in the United States.
In practice, however, I strongly oppose the KGIA and predict that its establishment will generate serious problems. I say this because Arabic-language instruction is inevitably laden with pan-Arabist and Islamist baggage. Some examples:
Franck Salameh taught Arabic at the most prestigious American language school, Middlebury College in Vermont. In an article for the Middle East Quarterly, he wrote: "even as students leave Middlebury with better Arabic, they also leave indoctrinated with a tendentious Arab nationalist reading of Middle Eastern history. Permeating lectures and carefully-designed grammatical drills, Middlebury instructors push the idea that Arab identity trumps local identities and that respect for minority ethnic and sectarian communities betrays Arabism."
For an example of such grammatical drills, see the just-published book by Shukri Abed, Focus on Contemporary Arabic: Conversations with Native Speakers (Yale University Press), one chapter of which is titled "The Question of Palestine." Its intensely politicized readings would be unimaginable in a book of French or Spanish conversations.
The Islamist dimension worries me as well. An organization that lobbies for Arabic instruction, the Arabic Language Institute Foundation, claims that knowledge of Islam's holy language can help the West recover from what its leader, Akhtar H. Emon, calls its "moral decay." In other words, Muslims tend to see non-Muslims learning Arabic as a step toward an eventual conversion to Islam, an expectation I encountered while studying Arabic in Cairo in the 1970s.
Also, learning Arabic in of itself promotes an Islamic outlook, as James Coffman showed in 1995, looking at evidence from Algeria. Comparing students taught in French and in Arabic, he found that "Arabized students show decidedly greater support for the Islamist movement and greater mistrust of the West." Those Arabized students, he notes, more readily believed in "the infiltration into Algeria of Israeli women spies infected with AIDS…the mass conversion to Islam by millions of Americans," and other Islamist nonsense.
Specifics about the KGIA confirm these apprehensions, including its roster of sponsors and enthusiasts. The school's key figure, principal-designate Dhabah ("Debbie") Almontaser, has a record of extremist views, as William A. Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz have shown at PipeLineNews.org.
Arabs or Muslims, Ms. Almontaser says, are innocent of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: "I don't recognize the people who committed the attacks as either Arabs or Muslims." Instead, she blames September 11 on Washington's foreign policies, saying they "can have been triggered by the way the USA breaks its promises with countries across the world, especially in the Middle East, and the fact that it has not been a fair mediator."
At a community meeting with the New York Police Department commissioner, she berated the NYPD for using "FBI tactics" when informants were used to prevent a subway bombing, thereby polarizing the Muslim community. For Ms. Almontaser, it appears, preventing terrorism counts less than soothing Muslim sensibilities.
She calls George W. Bush a "nightmare" who is "trying to destroy the United States."
Rewarding these views, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a foreign-funded front organization, in 2005 bestowed an honor on Ms. Almontaser for her "numerous contributions" to the protection of civil liberties.
Her intentions for the KGIA should raise alarms. An Associated Press report paraphrases her saying that "the school won't shy away from sensitive topics such as colonialism and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis," and she notes that the school will "incorporate the Arabic language and Islamic culture." Islamic culture? Not what was advertised — but imbuing pan-Arabism and anti-Zionism, proselytizing for Islam, and promoting Islamist sympathies will predictably make up the school's true curriculum.
To express your concerns about this planned Arabic school, please write the New York City chancellor, Joel Klein, at JKlein@schools.nyc.gov
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 23, 2007, 09:41:36 PM
From The Sunday Times
April 21, 2007
How a British jihadi saw the light
Ed Hussain, once a proponent of radical Islam in London, tells how his time as a teacher in Saudi Arabia led him to turn against extremism
During our first two months in Jeddah, Faye and I relished our new and luxurious lifestyle: a shiny jeep, two swimming pools, domestic help, and a tax-free salary. The luxury of living in a modern city with a developed infrastructure cocooned me from the frightful reality of life in Saudi Arabia.
My goatee beard and good Arabic ensured that I could pass for an Arab.
But looking like a young Saudi was not enough: I had to act Saudi, be Saudi. And here I failed.
My first clash with Saudi culture came when, being driven around in a bulletproof jeep, I saw African women in black abayas tending to the rubbish bins outside restaurants, residences and other busy places.
“Why are there so many black cleaners on the streets?” I asked the driver. The driver laughed. “They’re not cleaners. They are scavengers; women who collect cardboard from all across Jeddah and then sell it. They also collect bottles, drink cans, bags.”
“You don’t find it objectionable that poor immigrant women work in such undignified and unhygienic conditions on the streets?”
“Believe me, there are worse jobs women can do.”
Though it grieves me to admit it, the driver was right. In Saudi Arabia women indeed did do worse jobs. Many of the African women lived in an area of Jeddah known as Karantina, a slum full of poverty, prostitution and disease.
A visit to Karantina, a perversion of the term “quarantine”, was one of the worst of my life. Thousands of people who had been living in Saudi Arabia for decades, but without passports, had been deemed “illegal” by the government and, quite literally, abandoned under a flyover.
A non-Saudi black student I had met at the British Council accompanied me. “Last week a woman gave birth here,” he said, pointing to a ramshackle cardboard shanty. Disturbed, I now realised that the materials I had seen those women carrying were not always for sale but for shelter.
I had never expected to see such naked poverty in Saudi Arabia.
At that moment it dawned on me that Britain, my home, had given refuge to thousands of black Africans from Somalia and Sudan: I had seen them in their droves in Whitechapel. They prayed, had their own mosques, were free and were given government housing.
Many Muslims enjoyed a better lifestyle in non-Muslim Britain than they did in Muslim Saudi Arabia. At that moment I longed to be home again.
All my talk of ummah seemed so juvenile now. It was only in the comfort of Britain that Islamists could come out with such radical utopian slogans as one government, one ever expanding country, for one Muslim nation. The racist reality of the Arab psyche would never accept black and white people as equal.
Standing in Karantina that day, I reminisced and marvelled over what I previously considered as wrong: mixed-race, mixed-religion marriages. The students to whom I described life in modern multi-ethnic Britain could not comprehend that such a world of freedom, away from “normal” Saudi racism, could exist.
Racism was an integral part of Saudi society. My students often used the word “nigger” to describe black people. Even dark-skinned Arabs were considered inferior to their lighter-skinned cousins. I was living in the world’s most avowedly Muslim country, yet I found it anything but. I was appalled by the imposition of Wahhabism in the public realm, something I had implicitly sought as an Islamist.
Part of this local culture consisted of public institutions being segregated and women banned from driving on the grounds that it would give rise to “licentiousness”. I was repeatedly astounded at the stares Faye got from Saudi men and I from Saudi women.
Faye was not immodest in her dress. Out of respect for local custom, she wore the long black abaya and covered her hair in a black scarf. In all the years I had known my wife, never had I seen her appear so dull. Yet on two occasions she was accosted by passing Saudi youths from their cars. On another occasion a man pulled up beside our car and offered her his phone number.
In supermarkets I only had to be away from Faye for five minutes and Saudi men would hiss or whisper obscenities as they walked past. When Faye discussed her experiences with local women at the British Council they said: “Welcome to Saudi Arabia.”
After a month in Jeddah I heard from an Asian taxi driver about a Filipino worker who had brought his new bride to live with him in Jeddah. After visiting the Balad shopping district the couple caught a taxi home. Some way through their journey the Saudi driver complained that the car was not working properly and perhaps the man could help push it. The passenger obliged. Within seconds the Saudi driver had sped off with the man’s wife in his car and, months later, there was still no clue as to her whereabouts.
We had heard stories of the abduction of women from taxis by sex-deprived Saudi youths. At a Saudi friend’s wedding at a luxurious hotel in Jeddah, women dared not step out of their hotel rooms and walk to the banqueting hall for fear of abduction by the bodyguards of a Saudi prince who also happened to be staying there.
Why had the veil and segregation not prevented such behaviour? My Saudi acquaintances, many of them university graduates, argued strongly that, on the contrary, it was the veil and other social norms that were responsible for such widespread sexual frustration among Saudi youth.
At work the British Council introduced free internet access for educational purposes. Within days the students had downloaded the most obscene pornography from sites banned in Saudi Arabia, but easily accessed via the British Council’s satellite connection. Segregation of the sexes, made worse by the veil, had spawned a culture of pent-up sexual frustration that expressed itself in the unhealthiest ways.
Using Bluetooth technology on mobile phones, strangers sent pornographic clips to one another. Many of the clips were recordings of homosexual acts between Saudis and many featured young Saudis in orgies in Lebanon and Egypt. The obsession with sex in Saudi Arabia had reached worrying levels: rape and abuse of both sexes occurred frequently, some cases even reaching the usually censored national press.
My students told me about the day in March 2002 when the Muttawa [the religious police] had forbidden firefighters in Mecca from entering a blazing school building because the girls inside were not wearing veils. Consequently 15 young women burnt to death, but Wahhabism held its head high, claiming that God’s law had been maintained.
As a young Islamist, I organised events at college and in the local community that were strictly segregated and I believed in it. Living in Saudi Arabia, I could see the logical outcome of such segregation.
In my Islamist days we relished stating that Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases were the result of the moral degeneracy of the West. Large numbers of Islamists in Britain hounded prostitutes in Brick Lane and flippantly quoted divorce and abortion rates in Britain. The implication was that Muslim morality was superior. Now, more than ever, I was convinced that this too was Islamist propaganda, designed to undermine the West and inject false confidence in Muslim minds.
I worried whether my observations were idiosyncratic, the musings of a wandering mind. I discussed my troubles with other British Muslims working at the British Council. Jamal, who was of a Wahhabi bent, fully agreed with what I observed and went further. “Ed, my wife wore the veil back home in Britain and even there she did not get as many stares as she gets when we go out here.” Another British Muslim had gone as far as tinting his car windows black in order to prevent young Saudis gaping at his wife.
The problems of Saudi Arabia were not limited to racism and sexual frustration.
In contemporary Wahhabism there are two broad factions. One is publicly supportive of the House of Saud, and will endorse any policy decision reached by the Saudi government and provide scriptural justification for it. The second believes that the House of Saud should be forcibly removed and the Wahhabi clerics take charge. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are from the second school.
In Mecca, Medina and Jeddah I met young men with angry faces from Europe, students at various Wahhabi seminaries. They reminded me of my extremist days.
They were candid in discussing their frustrations with Saudi Arabia. The country was not sufficiently Islamic; it had strayed from the teachings of Wahhabism. They were firmly on the side of the monarchy and the clerics who supported it. Soon they were to return to the West, well versed in Arabic, fully indoctrinated by Wahhabism, to become imams in British mosques.
By the summer of 2005 Faye and I had only eight weeks left in Saudi Arabia before we would return home to London. Thursday, July 7, was the beginning of the Saudi weekend. Faye and I were due to lunch with Sultan, a Saudi banker who was financial adviser to four government ministers. I wanted to gauge what he and his wife, Faye’s student, thought about life inside the land of their birth.
On television that morning we watched the developing story of a power cut on the London Underground. As the cameras focused on King’s Cross, Edgware Road, Aldgate and Russell Square, I looked on with a mixture of interest and homesickness. Soon the power-cut story turned into shell-shocked reportage of a series of terrorist bombings.
My initial suspicion was that the perpetrators were Saudis. My experience of them, their virulence towards my non-Muslim friends, their hate-filled textbooks, made me think that Bin Laden’s Saudi soldiers had now targeted my home town. It never crossed my mind that the rhetoric of jihad introduced to Britain by Hizb ut-Tahrir could have anything to do with such horror.
My sister avoided the suicide attack on Aldgate station by four minutes. On the previous day London had won the Olympic bid. At the British Council we had celebrated along with the nation that was now in mourning.
The G8 summit in Scotland had also been derailed by events further south. The summit, thanks largely to the combined efforts of Tony Blair and Bob Geldof, had been set to tackle poverty in Africa. Now it was forced to address Islamist terrorism; Arab grievances had hijacked the agenda again.
The fact that hundreds of children die in Africa every day would be of no relevance to a committed Islamist. In the extremist mind the plight of the tiny Palestinian nation is more important than the deaths of millions of black Africans. Let them die, they’re not Muslims, would be the unspoken line of argument. As an Islamist it was only the suffering of Muslims that had moved me. Now human suffering mattered to me, regardless of religion.
Faye and I were glued to the television for hours. Watching fellow Londoners come out of Tube stations injured and mortified, but facing the world with a defiant sense of dignity, made me feel proud to be British.
We met Sultan and his wife at an Indian restaurant near the British Council. Sultan was in his early thirties and his wife in her late twenties. They had travelled widely and seemed much more liberal than most Saudis I had met. Behind a makeshift partition, the restaurant surroundings were considered private and his wife, to my amazement, removed her veil.
We discussed our travels.
Sultan spoke fondly of his time in London, particularly his placement at Coutts as a trainee banker. We then moved on to the subject uppermost in my mind, the terrorist attacks on London. My host did not really seem to care. He expressed no real sympathy or shock, despite speaking so warmly of his time in London.
“I suppose they will say Bin Laden was behind the attacks. They blamed us for 9/11,” he said.
Keen to take him up on his comment, I asked him: “Based on your education in Saudi Arabian schools, do you think there is a connection between the form of Islam children are taught here and the action of 15 Saudi men on September 11?”
Without thinking, his immediate response was, ‘No. No, because Saudis were not behind 9/11. The plane hijackers were not Saudi men. One thousand two hundred and forty-six Jews were absent from work on that day and there is the proof that they, the Jews, were behind the killings. Not Saudis.”
It was the first time I heard so precise a number of Jewish absentees. I sat there pondering on the pan-Arab denial of the truth, a refusal to accept that the Wahhabi jihadi terrorism festering in their midst had inflicted calamities on the entire world.
In my class the following Sunday, the beginning of the Saudi working week, were nearly 60 Saudis. Only one mentioned the London bombings.
“Was your family harmed?” he asked.
“My sister missed an explosion by four minutes but otherwise they’re all fine, thank you.”
The student, before a full class, sighed and said: “There are no benefits in terrorism. Why do people kill innocents?”
Two others quickly gave him his answer in Arabic: “There are benefits. They will feel how we feel.”
I was livid. “Excuse me?” I said. “Who will know how it feels?”
“We don’t mean you, teacher,” said one. “We are talking about people in England. You are here. They need to know how Iraqis and Palestinians feel.”
“The British people have been bombed by the IRA for years,” I retorted. “Londoners were bombed by Hitler during the blitz. The largest demonstrations against the war in Iraq were in London. People in Britain don’t need to be taught what it feels like to be bombed.”
Several students nodded in agreement. The argumentative ones became quiet. Were they convinced by what I had said? It was difficult to tell.
Two weeks after the terrorist attacks in London another Saudi student raised his hand and asked: “Teacher, how can I go to London?”
“Much depends on your reason for going to Britain. Do you want to study or just be a tourist?”
“Teacher, I want to go London next month. I want bomb, big bomb in London, again. I want make jihad!”
“What?” I exclaimed. Another student raised both hands and shouted: “Me too! Me too!”
Other students applauded those who had just articulated what many of them were thinking. I was incandescent. In protest I walked out of the classroom to a chorus of jeering and catcalls.
My time in Saudi Arabia bolstered my conviction that an austere form of Islam (Wahhabism) married to a politicised Islam (Islamism) is wreaking havoc in the world. This anger-ridden ideology, an ideology I once advocated, is not only a threat to Islam and Muslims, but to the entire civilised world.
I vowed, in my own limited way, to fight those who had hijacked my faith, defamed my prophet and killed thousands of my own people: the human race. I was encouraged when Tony Blair announced on August 5, 2005, plans to proscribe an array of Islamist organisations that operated in Britain, foremost among them Hizb ut-Tahrir.
At the time I was impressed by Blair’s resolve. The Hizb should have been outlawed a decade ago and so spared many of us so much misery. Sadly the legislation was shelved last year amid fears that a ban would only add to the group’s attraction, so it remains both legal and active today. But it is not too late.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!)
on: April 23, 2007, 09:23:43 PM
Furor over author Ayaan Hirsi Ali's visit stirs debate on religious freedom
By Robin Acton
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Say what you want about your religion.
Go ahead, say anything that comes into your mind -- even if you don't agree with your minister, your priest, your rabbi. Even if you think you're right and they've got it all wrong, as long as you're not making a direct threat to someone, you can disagree or turn your back and walk away to another faith or to no faith at all.
Here, in America, it's OK. In a land of more than 3,000 diverse religions, your right to religious liberty is a guaranteed protection under the First Amendment.
"The key in the U.S. from the beginning has been to make sure all religious groups not only understand freedoms, but connect them to their own commitment," said Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar and director of educational programs at the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Va., and Nashville.
A community debate over religious freedom surfaced in Western Pennsylvania last week when Dutch feminist author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who has lived under the threat of death for denouncing her Muslim upbringing, made an appearance at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Islamic leaders tried to block the lecture, which was sponsored through an endowment from the Frank J. and Sylvia T. Pasquerilla Lecture Series. They argued that Hirsi Ali's attacks against the Muslim faith in her book, "Infidel," and movie, "Submission," are "poisonous and unjustified" and create dissension in their community.
Although university officials listened to Islamic leaders' concerns, the lecture planned last year took place Tuesday evening under tight security, with no incidents.
Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali's appearance.
"She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death," said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976.
Hirsi Ali, an atheist, has been critical of many Muslim beliefs, particularly on subjects of sexual morality, the treatment of women and female genital mutilation. In her essay "The Caged Virgin," she also wrote of punishment, noting that "a Muslim's relationship with God is one of fear."
"Our God demands total submission. He rewards you if you follow His rules meticulously. He punishes you cruelly if you break His rules, both on earth, with illness and natural disasters, and in the hereafter, with hellfire," she wrote.
In some Muslim countries, such as Iran, apostasy -- abandoning one's religious belief -- and blasphemy are considered punishable by death under sharia, a system of laws and customs that treats both public and private life as governable by God's law.
Sharia is based largely on an interpretation of the Quran, the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, a consensus of Islamic scholars and reasoning, according to the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. In some countries, sharia has been associated with stoning to death those who are accused of adultery, flogging for drinking wine and amputation of a hand for theft.
One of the most noted cases of apostasy in recent years involved author Salman Rushdie, whose novel "The Satanic Verses" offered an unflattering portrayal of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. The book prompted Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa -- a religious decree -- in 1989 calling for Rushdie's assassination.
Although ElBayly believes a death sentence is warranted for Hirsi Ali, he stressed that America is not the jurisdiction where such a crime should be punished. Instead, Hirsi Ali should be judged in a Muslim country after being given a trial, he added.
"If it is found that a person is mentally unstable, or a child or disabled, there should be no punishment," he said. "It's a very merciful religion if you try to understand it."
Zahida Chaudhary, a member of the education council and education secretary at the Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Monroeville, insisted that Islam is a peaceful religion.
"The Prophet Mohammed was a peacemaker and a role model for humanity," she said. "My understanding is that he was a peaceful person who believed that religion was a choice. He tried to teach people and bring them into it, not punish them."
Haynes, who has studied and written extensively about religious liberty and has worked with many Muslim groups, said he was "stunned" by ElBayly's comments.
"There are more radical, extreme views of Islam in European counties than in the U.S. It's rare to hear it and even more rare to learn that American Muslims believe it," he said.
While Hirsi Ali is viewed as an infidel among the Islamic community, those who speak out against other religions usually are met with discussion, prayer and counseling. In extreme cases, critics might be shown the door.
"One is free to choose whatever religion and body of truths one wants to believe," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese. "The church fosters freedom of religion. That's a decision everyone has to make on their own."
Centuries ago, Lengwin said, the church imposed harsh punishment -- including execution -- upon people viewed as heretics. He cited as an example the Roman Inquisition trial of 15th century Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was tried by the church, threatened with torture and sentenced to prison for his teachings on the motions of the earth.
With the evolution of the church, things have changed.
For example, Lengwin said, the church has faced criticism from many of its own priests who have disagreed with various beliefs and practices. When that happens, there is discussion and clarification of beliefs, he said.
It doesn't always work.
"We've had people walk away and start churches of their own or join Lutheran or Presbyterian or other churches," he said. "The role of the church is to teach the truth as effectively as you can. There's no jail if you don't agree with us."
The Rev. Douglas Holben, executive presbyter for the Redstone Presbytery, which covers Westmoreland, Fayette, Somerset and Cambria counties, said the Presbyterian Church "as a community of faith would try to find a common ground" when confronted with differing opinions.
"We seek to find things to unite us," Holben said.
If faced with criticism, it's best to "find ways in which they find the church to be faithful to the Lord," he said.
Holben said the church has formed a Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity that includes people from different backgrounds and perspectives. Discussions among the group were productive, he said, adding that the members did not condemn or judge each other for their differences.
"They were able to say that even though we don't agree with your opinion, we can agree upon a common faith," he said.
Rabbi Sara Perman, leader of the Congregation Emanu-El Israel in Greensburg, explained that before the French Revolution emancipated Jews in Europe, those who spoke out against Judaism faced "cherem" or excommunication. Cherem resulted in both a spiritual and economic "death" because people who were excommunicated were unable to make a living in their community.
"Now, the reality is that if you are unsatisfied and speak out against Judaism, there isn't much we can do about it in this country," Perman said. "Within the general Jewish community, there isn't much you can do except not give them a forum or ignore them."
Haynes said the key to America's success in religious diversity is for people of all religions to understand that you "can't just tolerate" the fact that Muslims or Catholics or Protestants or Mormons or Jews have a right to be here. He said this country is a "level playing field" where everyone is free to practice their religion, but not to carry out extreme ideas that violate basic principles.
"I don't think there's anyplace on the planet with more religious diversity," Haynes said.
"This is a big challenge in 21st century America to make sure we can live with the deepest differences, and religious differences are the most difficult to navigate."
Robin Acton can be reached at email@example.com
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We teach our kids to be passive victims, the enemy teaches their children this:
on: April 22, 2007, 10:02:22 PM
On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs - Dave Grossman
By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:
"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed
Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.
But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."
Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.
Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?
Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.
Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.
There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.
Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke
Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.
If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.
I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.
Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.
Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."
Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.
And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 21, 2007, 04:19:14 PM
Friday, April 20, 2007
Germany: Founder Of Council Of Ex-Muslims Seeks To 'Break Taboo'
April 20, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Mina Ahadi, an Iranian-born activist living in Germany, has founded a council of former Muslims who have renounced their faith. Members of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims are immigrants from predominantly Islamic countries. Ahadi, who is now under police protection, spoke with RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari.
RFE/RL: Why did you decide to create the Council of Ex-Muslims?
Mina Ahadi: It's been 11 years now that I've lived in Germany, and the friends and I who founded the council have been critical regarding some events in this country. On the one hand, when there is talk about people who have come to Germany from countries such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Turkey, they're all being labeled Muslims; then all of these 3 1/2 million people are put in the same bag, and Islamist organizations are being presented as being in charge of them.
People like myself, we sought asylum in Germany and we came to live here because we [opposed] political Islam and such organizations. Many of the problems here -- such as honor killings or imposing the Islamic hejab on children, or building a number of mosques here -- create divisions among people. All of these are explained to society based on the argument that Muslims have a different culture or Muslims have different ideas. All of these prompted those of us who are critical and who oppose such things to create a body that will have different policies regarding such issues.
RFE/RL: What policies are you following and what is the aim of your group?
Ahadi: We are humans, and that's our most important identity. All of the people, men and women, who have come [to Germany] from [Islamic] countries are humans. They've come to this country because of a better life, because of freedom, and because of better conditions. And they want to live with the people of this country, with Germans. They don't want to have a parallel society. They don't want again for young girls not to have the right to have a boyfriend or not have the right to participate in swimming class because their families are Muslims.
We represent a secular policy, a human policy. And we want to stand up against political Islam and against Western governments' policy of cultural relativism
RFE/RL: How many members does your group have?
Ahadi: We started with 40 people, but currently we have 400 members. For now, we want our members to be from Germany. We have received membership requests from other countries -- for example, from Egypt, Morocco, Iran, [and] Scandinavian countries. But we have not accepted foreign members yet. All our members are living in Germany, and our only principle is that those who become our members [must] be atheists and not believe in God or any religion.
RFE/RL: You've said in interviews that you aim to give a voice to Muslims who do not want to be Muslims anymore and give a different image of people from Islamic countries who live in Europe. Could you explain?
Ahadi: We want to change the existing picture that all people who have come from Islamic countries are fanatics, religious, or backwards and that their culture is very different from others. In my view, this is not an accurate portrait. People who come from these countries, regardless of whether they're Muslims or not, they're not different from other people, and they want to have a [normal] life. And we are defending their rights.
RFE/RL: As you know, renouncing Islam is considered a grave offense among some Muslims, and in some Islamic countries, including Iran, apostasy is punishable by death. Don't you think that your move and the creation of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims could create tension and provoke some Muslims?
Ahadi: I'm aware that a person who says, 'I'm not a Muslim anymore,' faces the danger of death. That's why I'm now under police protection. But I don't think it causes tensions. It is possible that some groups or organizations might issue fatwas against people who have [renounced Islam].
But I think one should not be afraid, and this taboo should be broken. Our goal is to break the taboo -- people who don't believe should have the right to say it [publicly], and no one should [be able to] harm them for that. But in some countries where Islamists are in power, this is a taboo; and we want to break this taboo.
I actually think that our movement will motivate people to express themselves and live according to their beliefs. If this movement expands and grows worldwide -- which is our goal -- then it could create a global front against political Islam and force [proponents of political Islam] to retreat. In Germany, there have been no official fatwas against us, and I see it as a retreat that we have imposed on Islamic organizations and also on the Islamic Republic of Iran.
RFE/RL: You said there have not been any fatwas against you or the other members of your group. But have you received death threats?
Ahadi: Right after we launched our campaign, quotations from my interviews were published on some websites, and it was said that "this woman should get her response," or they said that "she should be murdered." So there have been death threats against me on [some] websites and also through letters we have received. But there has been no official fatwa by mullahs or by the Islamic establishment of Iran.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 21, 2007, 03:48:44 PM
September 02, 2004, 10:15 p.m.
Follow the Leader
Israel and Thailand set an example by arming teachers.
Islamist terrorists in Beslan, Russia, are currently holding hundreds of children hostage, threatening to execute them. No one knows how this horrible situation will end; but we do know that it could have been prevented. Decades ago, Israel adopted a policy that swiftly ended terrorist attacks against schools. Earlier this year, Thailand adopted a similar approach. It is politically incorrect, but it does have the advantage of saving the lives of children and teachers. The policy? Encourage teachers to carry firearms.
Muslim extremists in Thailand’s southern provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, and Pattani have been carrying out a terrorist campaign, seeking to create an Islamic state independent of Thailand, whose population is predominantly Buddhist.
Most teachers are Buddhists, and they have been a key target of the terrorists, who have also perpetrated arsons against dozens of schools.
As reported by the Associated Press (“Thailand allows teachers in restive south to carry guns for protection”) on April 27, 2004, “Interior Minister Bhokin Bhalakula ordered provincial governors to give teachers licenses to buy guns if they want to even though it would mean bringing firearms into the classrooms when the region's 925 schools reopen May 17 after two months of summer holiday.”
The A.P. article explained: “Pairat Wihakarat, the president of a teachers’ union in the three provinces, said more than 1,700 teachers have already asked for transfers to safer areas. Those who are willing to stay want to carry guns to protect themselves, he said.”
Gun-control laws in Thailand are extremely strict, and are being tightened even more because of three school shootings (perpetrated by students) that took place in a single week in June 2003. Two students were killed.
But though Thailand’s government is extremely hostile to gun ownership in general, it has recognized that teachers ought to be able to safeguard their students and themselves.
Will Thailand’s new strategy work? It did in Israel, as David Schiller detailed in an interview with Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Schiller was born in West Germany and moved to Israel, where he served in the military as a weapons specialist. He later returned to Germany, and was hired as a counterterrorism expert by the Berlin police office, as well as by police forces of other German cities. For a while he worked in the terrorism research office of the RAND corporation, and for several years he published a German gun magazine.
Schiller recalls that Palestine Liberation Organization attacks on Israeli schools began during Passover 1974. The first attack was aimed at a school in Galilee. When the PLO terrorists found that it was closed because of Passover weekend, they murdered several people in a nearby apartment building.
Then, on May 15, 1974, in Maalot:
Three PLO gunmen, after making their way through the border fence, first shot up a van load full of workers returning from a tobacco factory (incidentally these people happened to be Galilee Arabs, not Jews), then they entered the school compound of Maalot. First they murdered the housekeeper, his wife and one of their kids, then they took a whole group of nearly 100 kids and their teachers hostage. These were staying overnight at the school, as they were on a hiking trip. In the end, the deadline ran out, and the army’s special unit assaulted the building. During the rescue attempt, the gunmen blew their explosive charges and sprayed the kids with machine-gun fire. 25 people died, 66 wounded.
Israel at the time had some strict gun laws, left over from the days of British colonialism, when the British rulers tried to prevent the Jews from owning guns.
After vigorous debate, the government began allowing army reservists to keep their weapons with them. Handgun carry permits were given to any Israeli with a clean record who lived in the most dangerous areas: Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
All over Israel, guns became pervasive in the schools:
Teachers and kindergarten nurses now started to carry guns, schools were protected by parents (and often grandpas) guarding them in voluntary shifts. No school group went on a hike or trip without armed guards. The Police involved the citizens in a voluntary civil guard project “Mishmar Esrachi,” which even had its own sniper teams. The Army’s Youth Group program, “Gadna”, trained 15 to 16-year-old kids in gun safety and guard procedures and the older high-school boys got involved with the Mishmar Esrachi. During one noted incident, the “Herzliyah Bus massacre” (March ’78, hijacking of a bus, 37 dead, 76 wounded), these youngsters were involved in the overall security measures in which the whole area between North Tel Aviv and the resort town of Herzlyiah was blocked off, manning roadblocks with the police, guarding schools kindergartens, etc.
After a while, “When the message got around to the PLO groups and a couple infiltration attempts failed, the attacks against schools ceased.”
This is not to say that Palestinian terrorists never target schools. In late May 2002, an Israeli teacher shot a suicide terrorist before he could harm anyone.
On May 31, 2002, as reported by Israel National News, a terrorist threw a grenade and began shooting at a kindergarten in Shavei Shomron. Then, instead of closing in on the children, he abruptly fled the kindergarten and began shooting up the nearby neighborhood. Apparently he realized that the kindergarten was sure to have armed adults, and that he could not stay at the school long enough to make sure he actually murdered someone.
Unfortunately for the terrorist, “David Elbaz, owner of the local mini-market, gave chase and killed him with gunshots. In addition to several grenades and the weapon the terrorist carried on him, security sweeps revealed several explosive devices that he had intended to detonate during the thwarted attack.”
People can spend months and years studying the “root causes” of terrorism, and pondering the merits of the grievances of Islamic terrorists in Malaysia, Israel, and Russia. But it’s fair to say that schoolchildren and teachers are not legitimate targets even of people who have legitimate grievances.
No one knows if civilized nations will ever eliminate the root causes of terrorism. But we do know that terrorist attacks on schools and schoolchildren could be almost completely eliminated in a very short time — if every nation at risk of terrorist attacks on schools began following the lead of Thailand and Israel.
Adults have a duty to protect children. In Beslan at this very moment, seven people are dead, and hundreds more are in deadly peril, because the teachers lacked the tools to stop the evildoers. If we are really serious about gun laws that protect “the children,” then it seems clear that — whatever other gun laws a society adopts — every civilized nation at risk of terrorist attack ought to ensure that armed teachers can protect innocent children.
— David Kopel is research director of the Independence Institute. http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel200409022215.asp
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 21, 2007, 03:23:38 PM
****This is why Colorado has such a low rate of burgs in occupied dwellings.****
18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.
(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.
Source: L. 85: Entire section added, p. 662, § 1, effective June 6.
Cross references: For limitations on civil suits against persons using physical force in defense of a person or to prevent the commission of a felony, see § 13-80-119.
Am. Jur.2d. See 6 Am. Jur.2d, Assault and Battery, §§ 64, 65, 69; 40 Am. Jur.2d, Homicide, §§ 173-176.
C.J.S. See 40 C.J.S., Homicide, §§ 100, 101, 109.
Law reviews. For article, "Self-Defense in Colorado", see 24 Colo. Law. 2717 (1995).
Prerequisite for immunity under this section is an unlawful entry into the dwelling, meaning a knowing, criminal entry. People v. McNeese, 892 P.2d 304 (Colo. 1995).
To be immune from prosecution under this section a defendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she had a reasonable belief that the intruder was committing or intended to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry. This inquiry focuses on the reasonable belief of the occupant, not on the actual conduct of the intruder. People v. McNeese, 892 P.2d 304 (Colo. 1995).
Sufficient evidence existed to support trial court's denial of defendant's pre-trial motion to dismiss on the basis defendant had not met his burden as established by the supreme court. People v. Janes, 962 P.2d 315 (Colo. App. 1998).
Trial court is authorized to dismiss criminal prosecution at pretrial stage when conditions of statute are satisfied, and this does not infringe upon prosecution's discretion to file charges. People v. Guenther, 740 P.2d 971 (Colo. 1987); Young v. District Court, 740 P.2d 982 (Colo. 1987).
Defendant bears burden of establishing right to immunity by preponderance of evidence when issue of immunity is raised at pre-trial stage. People v. Guenther, 740 P.2d 971 (Colo. 1987); People v. Eckert, 919 P.2d 962 (Colo. App. 1996).
Fact that a homicide victim was on the defendant's porch does not permit the defendant to claim immunity from prosecution for unlawful entry to defendant's dwelling unless the court finds that defendant believed that the victim intended to commit a crime or use physical force against the defendant. People v. Young, 825 P.2d 1004 (Colo. App. 1991).
Defendant may still raise immunity as defense at trial when pretrial motion to dismiss is denied. People v. Guenther, 740 P.2d 971 (Colo. 1987).
For purposes of this section, the common areas of an apartment building do not constitute a dwelling. People v. Cushinberry, 855 P.2d 18 (Colo. App. 1993).
Where pretrial motion to dismiss on grounds of statutory immunity provided in this section is denied, defendant may raise it as an affirmative defense at trial. In such case, the burden of proof which is generally applicable to affirmative defenses would apply. People v. Malczewski, 744 P.2d 62 (Colo. 1987).
Because this section creates an immunity defense as well as an affirmative defense, and because the burden of proof for each defense is different, when raised at trial, this section poses special problems when instructing a jury. In such a case, instruction based on language from People v. McNeese, which dealt with pretrial immunity, must be put into context so as not to confuse or mislead the jury about the burden of proof with respect to an affirmative defense raised at trial. People v. Janes, 982 P.2d 300 (Colo. 1999).
Defendant did not establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he was entitled to immunity under this section where he could not show the struggle and wounding of the victim took place in defendant's bedroom of the house he shared with the victim. People v. Eckert, 919 P.2d 962 (Colo. App. 1996).
Trial court did not commit reversible error by refusing to instruct the jury that it need only determine whether the victim made an unlawful entry into a part of a dwelling that was occupied by defendant, as defendant failed to show that the bedroom was exclusively his province and that the victim's entry into the bedroom was unlawful. People v. Eckert, 919 P.2d 962 (Colo. App. 1996).
Instruction requiring jury to find that defendant had a reasonable belief that victim "had committed" a crime and omitting "was committing or intended to commit" a crime was erroneous but did not constitute plain error. There was no evidence that the victim's entry into defendant's house was unlawful and, therefore, no basis on which a reasonable jury could have otherwise acquitted defendant under this section. People v. Phillips, 91 P.3d 476 (Colo. App. 2004).
Trial court erred in interpreting subsection (2) as including the concept of "remain lawfully" within the statutory phrase "unlawful entry". Defendant failed to establish the legal elements of this section to bar prosecution where the victim was initially invited into defendant's residence and, after arguing, was later asked to leave. People v. Drennon, 860 P.2d 589 (Colo. App. 1993).
The reference to "uninvited entry" in subsection (2) refers back to the term "unlawful entry" used in the same subsection. People v. McNeese, 892 P.2d 304 (Colo. 1995).
Victim's entry was unlawful and uninvited for the purposes of statute providing immunity for use of force where wife of murder victim did not have authority to invite the decedent into defendant's apartment and was staying with the defendant on the condition that she not invite the victim into defendant's apartment. People v. McNeese, 865 P.2d 881 (Colo. App. 1993).
When this section is being used as an affirmative defense, it is error for a jury instruction to place the burden on the defendant to prove the affirmative defense. People v. Janes, 962 P.2d 315 (Colo. App. 1998).
Applied in People v. Arellano, 743 P.2d 431 (Colo. 1987).
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 21, 2007, 03:09:03 PM
****Continued from above****
A much more limited study about home invasion burglaries has achieved more notoriety than the national study discussed above. An article by Arthur Kellermann examined police reports of burglaries in Atlanta. [FN36] Out of 198 burglaries, Kellermann found only three cases in which the homeowner used a gun against the burglar, according to the police report. From this finding, Kellermann concluded that defensive gun use against burglars was rare. [FN37]
Unfortunately, Kellermann's study could not have been better designed to produce a gross undercount. Kellermann relied on burglary report forms compiled by the Atlanta police. Those report forms, however, do not include any field for the police officer to report defensive gun use by the victim. Furthermore, Atlanta police officers are not trained to solicit information about defensive gun use from the victims. [FN38] Thus, the only time that a defensive gun use ("DGU") would be recorded on the offense report would be when an officer spontaneously decided to record it on the free-form section of the burglary offense report. In other words, *351 Kellermann used a data set (burglary offense reports) that was not designed to record DGUs, and on the basis of this data set he concluded that DGUs were rare.
Besides the obvious inadequacy of the burglary offense reports, the Kellermann study was further flawed by its failure to account for the large number of cases in which a burglary victim scares away a burglar but does not report the incident. Less than half of all burglaries are reported to the police. [FN39] From the average homeowner's viewpoint, there would be little to gain in making such a report. While society as a whole might gain something from the report, the homeowner personally would not; the burglar, while still at large, would presumably focus on other homes not known to contain an armed occupant. By making the report, the citizen might perceive that he would take some risk of being charged with an offense (especially if he fired at the burglar) or of having his firearm confiscated. This perception might be particularly strong in Atlanta, where the Mayor and his police chiefs are well known as advocates of strict gun control. [FN40] Even when reporting a burglary, a citizen might choose not to disclose his use of a firearm.
The 1994 national CDC survey, discussed above, avoided all of these problems. [FN41] By making phone calls to a national random sample, the CDC study had a better chance of receiving information from burglary victims who chose not to call the police. Because the burglary victims were talking to a pollster, rather than to a police officer from a notoriously anti-gun administration, the victims would be more likely to acknowledge defensive gun use. And because the CDC pollsters (unlike the Atlanta police) were actually asking all burglary victims about DGUs in burglaries, [FN42] the pollsters were much more likely to find out about DGUs. Accordingly, the CDC study's figure, approximately a half-million annual confrontations between armed citizens and home invasion burglars, is plausible (although perhaps low), while Kellermann's assertion that such incidents hardly ever occur is not.
The most thorough survey of citizen defensive gun use in general (not just in burglaries) found that in well over ninety percent of incidents, a shot is never fired; the mere display of the gun suffices to end the confrontation. [FN43] The CDC study did not specifically ask whether a gun was fired. [FN44] Accordingly, it is reasonable to infer that burglary DGU is similar to DGU in general, and that most incidents end with the burglar fleeing at the sight of the armed victim, rather than the victim shooting at the burglar.
B. Risks to Burglars From the Judicial System
Only 13 percent of burglaries are ever cleared by an arrest. [FN45] (This means that in 13 of 100 burglaries, someone identified as the burglar is eventually arrested. One arrest can "clear" dozens of burglaries. [FN46]) Many arrests, of course, do not lead to felony convictions. Of the felony convictions for burglary, [FN47] fifty-two percent lead to a prison sentence, twenty-three percent to jail time, and twenty-five percent to probation. [FN48] The median sentences are forty-eight months for prison, five months for jail, and thirty-six months for probation. [FN49]
On the whole, state prisoners serve about thirty-five percent of the time to which they are actually sentenced. [FN50] The above figures represent felony convictions. Misdemeanor convictions resulting from a burglary result in significantly shorter sentences. Given the criminal justice system's focus on violent crimes and on drug crimes, burglary has become a relatively low priority. [FN51]
IV. Target Selection by Burglars
A. General Principles of Target Selection
Scholars have long agreed that the physical characteristics of a potential target have an important effect on its likelihood of being victimized. For example, Oscar Newman's book Defensible Space looked at the importance of architectural design, emphasizing that good architectural design would help to create "strongly defined areas of influence" that would intimidate potential predators. [FN52] In Residential Crime, Thomas Reppetto linked home burglary to a target's ease of access and visibility to surveillance. [FN53]
Increasing attention to the victims of crime has led criminologists to find that certain lifestyle choices can influence the risk of being victimized. [FN54] Among important lifestyle choices are whether the potential victim's routine activities offer "guardianship" of possible criminal targets. [FN55] For example, apartments with doormen have lower burglary rates. [FN56] All this supports the common-sense conclusion that burglary rates will be higher, other things being equal, where the opportunities to perpetrate a successful burglary are higher.
Thus, as the percentage of working women in the population has increased, leaving more homes unguarded during the daytime, the percentage of daytime burglaries has also increased. [FN57] According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, between twenty-one percent and twenty-three percent of American burglaries involve an entry into a residence at night. [FN58]
B. Advance Planning by Burglars
American burglars tend to "work" at hours when persons are unlikely to be in the home. [FN59] Consistent with the desire to avoid a personal confrontation, burglars prefer houses, such as those on corners, where the risks of being observed by a neighbor are reduced. [FN60] Two hours are spent on the average suburban burglary; most of that time is spent "casing the joint" to ensure that no one is home.
One burglar told of watching a particular house and noting that the occupants all went to church for four to five hours on Sunday morning. [FN61] Another explained, "You just knock on the door to see if they're there. You bang, you *354 bang, you look through windows, nobody's in bed. I mean, you gotta make sure they're not home, make sure they're not home." [FN62]
C. In Homes and on the Street
Rengert and Wasilchick's book about how burglars work reveals that fear of armed homeowners played a major role in determining burglary targets. Burglars reported that they avoided late-night burglaries because, "That's the way to get shot." [FN63] Some burglars said that they shun burglaries in neighborhoods with people of mostly a different race because, "You'll get shot if you're caught there." [FN64]
The most thorough study of burglary patterns was a St. Louis survey of 105 currently active burglars. [FN65] The authors observed, "One of the most serious risks faced by residential burglars is the possibility of being injured or killed by occupants of a target. Many of the offenders we spoke to reported that this was far and away their greatest fear." [FN66] Said one burglar: "I don't think about gettin' caught, I think about gettin' gunned down, shot or somethin'...'cause you get into some people's houses...quick as I come in there, boom, they hit you right there. That's what I think about."
Another burglar explained:
Hey, wouldn't you blow somebody away if someone broke into your house and you don't know them? You hear this noise and they come breakin' in the window tryin' to get into your house, they gon' want to kill you anyway. See, with the police, they gon' say, "Come out with your hands up and don't do nothing foolish!" Okay, you still alive, but you goin' to jail. But you alive. You sneak into somebody's house and they wait til you get in the house and then they shoot you.. . .See what I'm sayin'? You can't explain nothin' to nobody; you layin' down in there dead! [FN67]
In contrast, Missouri is one of only nine states which has no provision for citizens to be issued permits to carry handguns for protection. Thus, a criminal in St. Louis faces a very high risk that the target of a home invasion may have a lawful gun for protection, but minimal risk that the target of a street robbery will have a lawful firearm for defense. The same authors who studied active St. Louis burglars conducted another study of active St. Louis armed robbers. [FN68] They found that "
ome of the offenders who favored armed robbery over other crimes *355 maintained that the offense was also safer than burglary. . .." [FN69] As one armed robber put it: "My style is, like, don't have to be up in nobody's house in case they come in; they might have a pistol in the house or something." [FN70]
On the streets, many of the St. Louis robbers "routinely targeted law-abiding citizens," [FN71] who, unlike their counterparts in most American states, were certain not to be carrying a gun for protection. Law-abiding citizens were chosen as robbery victims because, as one robber noted, "You don't want to pick somebody dangerous; they might have a gun themselves." [FN72]
In addition to the St. Louis study, the Wright-Rossi National Institute of Justice surveyed felony prisoners in eleven state prison systems on the impact of victim firearms on burglar behavior. [FN73] In that survey, seventy-four percent of the convicts who had committed a burglary or violent crime agreed, "One reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot." [FN74]
Surveys of prisoners may not be entirely representative of criminals as a whole, since prisoners comprise the subset of criminals who were caught and sentenced to prison. [FN75] Thus, non-prisoner criminals might be more "successful," perhaps because they are more skillful, more risk averse, or are in some other way better at burglarizing. To the extent that prisoner bias would influence the results of the burglary question, it might be expected that non-prisoner burglars would be even more averse than imprisoned burglars to occupied-residence burglaries. After all, criminals who are not prisoners stay out of prison by avoiding unnecessary risks.
Fortifying the widespread presence of home defense firearms in the United States is a legal culture which strongly supports armed home defense. Colorado, for example, specifically immunizes the use of deadly force against violent home intruders from criminal and civil liability, regardless of whether lesser force would suffice. [FN76]
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 21, 2007, 03:07:48 PM
LAWYERS, GUNS, AND BURGLARS
David B. Kopel [FNa1]
Copyright © 2001 Arizona Board of Regents; David B. Kopel
So we drove down the road, and I was lookin' for a house that looked like if there was somebody at home that it'd be somebody that didn't carry a gun or didn't have no weapons in the house, so they couldn't use them.
-- Arkansas burglar [FN1]
In recent years, litigators have begun to displace legislators as American lawmakers. Recently, more than two dozen cities and counties, under the coordination of an anti-gun organization, have filed suits against handgun manufacturers. [FN2]
While the effect of these suits may be to impose de facto handgun prohibition by driving manufacturers out of business, or by making handguns affordable only to the wealthy, these suits claim that handgun manufacturers should be held accountable for the externalities imposed by their products. For example, since city government hospitals spend money treating the victims of *346 gunshot wounds, it is argued that handgun manufacturers should be forced to reimburse city governments. [FN3]
The handgun suits are not unique; they are the latest manifestation of a growing trend to have litigators and courts decide complex questions of social policy which had previously been reserved to the legislature. Alcohol, prescription drugs, high-fat foods, and automobiles have all been discussed as potential future lawsuit targets if the handgun cases succeed. The handgun cases, it should be noted, are partly funded with the plaintiffs attorneys' winnings from the tobacco cases. [FN4]
This Article analyzes one specific reason why courts are ill-suited to exercise legislative functions, as the handgun suits and similar cases ask the courts to do: courts cannot properly assess the true socioeconomic costs and benefits of controversial products. To illustrate the point, this Article looks in detail at a very large positive externality which is overlooked in the handgun suits: the major role that widespread gun ownership plays in reducing the rate of home invasion burglaries (a.k.a "hot burglaries"). Because potential burglars cannot tell which homes possess guns, most burglars choose to avoid entry into any occupied home, for fear of getting shot. [FN5] The entry pattern of American burglars contrasts sharply with that of burglars in other nations; in Canada and Great Britain, burglars prefer to find the residents at home, since alarms will be turned off, and wallets and purses will be available for the taking. [FN6]
Consequently, American homes which do not have guns enjoy significant "free rider" benefits. Gun owners bear financial and other burdens of gun ownership; but gun-free and gun-owning homes enjoy exactly the same general burglary deterrence effects from widespread American gun ownership. This positive externality of gun ownership is difficult to account for in a litigation context (since the quantity and cost of deterred crime is difficult to measure), and may even go unnoticed by court--since the free rider beneficiaries (non-gun owners) are not represented before the court. [FN7]
Part International Comparisons of this Article looks at the differences between the behavior of American burglars and their cousins in other nations. Part Risks to American Burglars specifies the risks that American burglars face from various deterrents, including armed victims. Part Target Selection by Burglars details how burglars choose targets, while empirical data about burglary deterrence are analyzed in Part Real-world Tests of the Deterrence Model. Part Confrontations Involving Burglars looks at what happens during confrontations between burglars and victims. Part Guns Compared to Other Anti- Burglary Devices compares and contrasts defensive firearms ownership with other anti-burglary strategies, such as guard dogs. Policy implications and network effects of firearms ownership are explored in Part Policy Implications.
II. International Comparisons
It is axiomatic in the United States that burglars avoid occupied homes. As an introductory criminology textbook explains, "Burglars do not want contact with occupants; they depend on stealth for success." [FN8] Only thirteen percent of U.S. residential burglaries are attempted against occupied homes. [FN9] But this happy fact of life, so taken for granted in the United States, is not universal.
The overall Canadian burglary rate is higher than the American one, and a Canadian burglary is four times more likely to take place when the victims are home. [FN10]
In Toronto, forty-four percent of burglaries were against occupied homes, and twenty-one percent involved a confrontation with the victim. [FN11] Most Canadian residential burglaries occur at night, while American burglars are known to prefer daytime entry to reduce the risk of an armed confrontation. [FN12]
Research by the federal government's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention found that, based on 1994 data, American youths 10 to 17 years old had much higher arrest rates than Canadian youths for every category of violent and property crime. The lone exception was burglary, for which Canadian youths were one-third more likely to be involved. [FN13] In cities such as Vancouver, home invasion burglaries aimed at elderly people have become endemic, and murders of the elderly during those burglaries all too frequent. [FN14] Unfortunately, help from the government is not always available. In Quebec, the provincial police (Sureté du Québec) are under orders from their commander to reduce arrests for burglary, because the jails are full. [FN15]
A 1982 British survey found fifty-nine percent of attempted burglaries involved an occupied home. [FN16] The Wall Street Journal reported:
Compared with London, New York is downright safe in one category: burglary. In London, where many homes have been burglarized half a dozen times, and where psychologists specialize in treating children traumatized by such thefts, the rate is nearly twice as high as in the Big Apple. And burglars here increasingly prefer striking when occupants are home, since alarms and locks tend to be disengaged and intruders have little to fear from unarmed residents. [FN17]
In Britain, seventy-seven percent of the population was afraid of burglary in 1994, compared to sixty percent in 1987. [FN18] The London Sunday Times, pointing to Britain's soaring burglary rate, calls Britain "a nation of thieves." [FN19] In the Netherlands, forty-eight percent of residential burglaries involved an occupied home. [FN20] In the Republic of Ireland, criminologists report that burglars have little reluctance about attacking an occupied residence. [FN21]
Of course, differences in crime-reporting and crime-recording behavior between nations limit the precision of comparative criminal data. Nevertheless, the difference in home invasion burglary rates between the United States and other nations is so large that it is unlikely to be a mere artifact of crime data quirks. [FN22]
Why should American criminals display such a curious reluctance to perpetrate burglaries, particularly against occupied residences? The answer cannot be that the American criminal justice system is so much tougher than the systems in other nations. During the 1980s, the probability of arrest and the severity of sentences for ordinary crimes in Canada and Great Britain were at least as great as in the United States. [FN23] Could the answer be that American criminals are afraid of getting shot? The introductory American criminology textbook states, "Opportunities for burglary occur only when a dwelling is unguarded." [FN24] Why is an axiomatic statement about American burglars so manifestly not true for burglars in other countries.
III. Risks to American Burglars
A. Risks to Burglars from Victims
One out of thirty-one burglars has been shot during a burglary. [FN25] On the whole, when an American burglar strikes at an occupied residence, his chance of being shot is about equal to his chance of being sent to prison. [FN26] If we assume that the risk of prison provides some deterrence to burglary, it would seem reasonable to conclude that the equally large risk of being shot provides an equally large deterrent. In other words, private individuals with firearms in their homes double the deterrent effect that would exist if government-imposed punishment were the only deterrent.
How frequently are firearms actually used in burglary situations? The only comprehensive study of the subject was undertaken by five researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"). [FN27] Although some CDC studies on firearms have been criticized for obvious technical errors and bias, [FN28] this particular study simply reported the facts as the researchers found them. In 1994, random-digit-dialing phone calls were made throughout the United States, resulting in 5,238 interviews. [FN29] The interviewees were asked about use of a firearm in a burglary situation during the last twelve months.
Thirty-four percent of the interviewees admitted to owning a firearm. This figure is low compared to dozens of other national studies of household firearms ownership. [FN30] Perhaps the telephone interviewers encountered an especially high number of people who were unwilling to disclose their ownership of a gun (and would therefore be unwilling to disclose, later in the interview, their use of that gun). [FN31] Thus, the burglary researchers are more likely to have underestimated anti-burglar firearms use than to have over-estimated it.
The researchers found that six percent of the sample population had used a firearm in a burglary situation in the last twelve months. [FN32] Extrapolating the polling sample to the national population, the researchers estimated that in the last twelve months, there were approximately 1,896,842 incidents in which a householder retrieved a firearm but did not see an intruder. [FN33] There were an estimated 503,481 incidents in which the armed householder did see the burglar, [FN34] and 497,646 incidents in which the burglar was scared away by the firearm. [FN35] In other words, half a million times every year, burglars were likely forced to flee a home because they encountered an armed victim.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 21, 2007, 11:45:03 AM
April 20, 2007
An Apology for Koranic Antisemitism?
By Andrew G. Bostom
Two months after the mass murdering acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11/01, Dr. Walid Fataihi, director of "outreach" for the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), who still serves on the ISB Board of Directors, boasted that this carnage engendered two related "successes" -enhanced Muslim proselytization efforts, and damage to Christian-Jewish relations in the U.S.
"...the Muslim community in the U.S. in general, and in Boston in particular, has begun to trouble the Zionist lobby."
He continued triumphantly, quoting the Koran (3:112/ 2:61 (see also this).
The words of the Koran on this matter are true: "They [the Jews] will be humiliated wherever they are found, unless they are protected under a covenant with Allah, or a covenant with another people. They [the Jews] have incurred Allah's wrath and they have been afflicted with misery. That is because they continuously rejected the Signs of Allah and were after slaying the Prophets without just cause, and this resulted from their disobedience and their habit of transgression." The great Allah spoke words of truth. Their covenant with America is the strongest possible in the U.S., but it is weaker than they think, and one day their covenant with the [American] people will be cut off.
During a private meeting with some 25 lay and religious leaders convened at the Workmen's Circle in Brookline, Massachusetts on April 6, 2007-nearly 5 ½ years later-Fitaihi was reported to have offered a belated apology for his November 11, 2001 remarks. The dubious sincerity of this putative act of contrition aside-it occurred as the ISB is embroiled in a bitter and debilitating legal dispute with members of the local Jewish community-did Fitaihi actually apologize for invoking Koran 3:112/2:61, and their virulently antisemitic contents?
As a central anti-Jewish motif, the Koran decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61/ 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah. This motif is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60 and 5:78 which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), having been "...cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary's son" (5:78). The related verse, 5:64, accuses the Jews-as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did in a January 2007 speech, citing Koran 5:64-of being "spreaders of war and corruption", a sort of ancient Koranic antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
From the advent of Islam, dehumanizing Jews as apes (Koran 2:65/7:166), or apes and pigs (Koran 5:60) transcended any mere application to "Sabbath breakers." Muhammad himself, in both the sira (early, sacralized Muslim biographies) of Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sa‘d, referred to the Medinan Jews of the Banu Qurayza as "apes" just before orchestrating the slaughter of all their post-pubertal men.
This sacralized massacre is the prototype. Large scale massacres of Jews by Muslims occurred in Granada (circa 1066; 4000 killed, and Jewish society destroyed; more Jews killed in this one pogrom than in the Crusaders' much more infamous ravages through the Rhineland 30 years later); Baghdad (1290/91; hundreds killed with pogroms extending throughout Iraq, and into Persia); and the southern Moroccan oasis town of Touat (~ 1490; many Jews killed, and their Temple destroyed).
Each of these massacres was incited and/or celebrated by depictions of Jews as apes in verses by popular clerics-in the case of Touat, the "composer" of such a verse al-Maghili (d. 1505), an important Muslim theologian whose writings influenced Moroccan religious attitudes towards Jews into the 20th century-led the pogrom himself. Maghili also declared in verse, "Love of the Prophet, requires hatred of the Jews."
The centrality of the Jews' permanent "abasement and humiliation," and being "laden with God's anger" in the corpus of Muslim exegetic literature on Koran 2:61 (including the hadith and Koranic commentaries), is clear. By nature deceitful and treacherous, the Jews rejected Allah's signs and prophets, including Isa, the Muslim Jesus. Classical Koranic commentators such as Tabari (d. 923), Zamakshari (d. 1143), Baydawi (d. 1316), and Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), when discussing Koran 5:82 ("Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews and the idolaters; and thou wilt surely find the nearest of them in love to the believers are those who say 'We are Christians'; that, because some of them are priests and monks, and they wax not proud."), concur on the unique animus of the Jews towards the Muslims, which is repeatedly linked to the curse of Koran 2:61. For example, in his commentary on 5:82, Tabari writes,
In my opinion, [the Christians] are not like the Jews who always scheme in order to murder the emissaries and the prophets, and who oppose God in his positive and negative commandments, and who corrupt His scripture which He revealed in His books.
Tabari's classical interpretations of Koran 5:82 and 2:61, as well as his discussion of the related verse 9:29 mandating the Jews payment of the jizya (Koranic poll-tax), represent both Antisemitic and more general anti-dhimmi views that became, and remain, intrinsic to Islam to this day. Here is Tabari's discussion of 2:61 and its relationship to verse 9:29, which emphasizes the purposely debasing nature of the Koranic poll tax:
..."abasement and poverty were imposed and laid down upon them", as when someone says "the imam imposed the poll tax (jizya)on free non-Muslim subjects", or "The man imposed land tax on his slave", meaning thereby that he obliged him [to pay ] it, or, "The commander imposed a sortie on his troops", meaning he made it their duty....God commanded His believing servants not to give them [i.e., the non-Muslim people of the scripture] security-as long as they continued to disbelieve in Him and his Messenger-unless they paid the poll tax to them; God said: "Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden-such men as practice not the religion of truth [Islam], being of those who have been given the Book [Bible]-until they pay the poll tax, being humble" (Koran 9:29).. The dhimmis [non-Muslim tributary's] posture during the collection of the jizya- "[lowering themselves] by walking on their hand, ...reluctantly
...Ibn Zaid said about His words "and abasement and poverty were imposed upon them", ‘These are the Jews of the Children of Israel'. I said: ‘Are they the Copts of Egypt?' He said: "What have the Copts of Egypt to do with this? No, by God, they are not; but they are the Jews, the Children of Israel....By "and slain the prophets unrightfully" He means that they used to kill the Messengers of God without God's leave, denying their messages and rejecting their prophethood.
Indeed the Koran's overall discussion of the Jews is marked by a litany of their sins and punishments, as if part of a divine indictment and conviction process. The Jews wronged themselves (16:118) by losing faith (7:168) and breaking their covenant (5:13). The Jews (echoing an ante-Nicaean, Marcionite polemic) are a nation that has passed away (2:134; repeated in 2:141). Twice Allah sent his instruments (the Assyrians/or Babylonians, and Romans) to punish this perverse people (17:4-5)-their dispersal over the earth is proof of Allah's rejection (7:168).
The Jews are further warned about both their arrogant claim that they remain Allah's chosen people (62:6), and continued disobedience and "corruption" (5:32-33) Other sins, some repeated, are enumerated: abuse, even killing of prophets (4:155; 2:91), including Isa [Jesus] (3:55; 4:157), is a consistent theme. The Jews ridiculed Muhammad as Ra'ina (the evil one, in 2:104; 4:46), and they are also accused of lack of faith, taking words out of context, disobedience, and distortion (4:46). Precious few of them are believers (also 4:46). These "perverse" creatures also claim that Ezra is the messiah and they worship rabbis who defraud men of their possessions (9:30).
Additional sins are described: the Jews are typified as an "envious" people (2:109), whose hearts are as hardened as rocks (2:74). They are further accused of confounding the truth (2:42), deliberately perverting scripture (2:75), and being liars (2:78). Ill-informed people of little faith (2:89), they pursue vague and wishful fancies (2:111). Other sins have contributed to their being stamped (see 2:61/ 3:112 above) with "wretchedness/abasement and humiliation," including-usury (2:275), sorcery (2:102), hedonism (2:96), and idol worship (2:53).
More (and repeat) sins, are described still: the Jews' idol worship is again mentioned (4:51), then linked and followed by charges of other (often repeat) iniquities-the "tremendous calumny" against Mary (4:156), as well as usury and cheating (4:161). Most Jews are accused of being "evil-livers" /"transgressors" /"ungodly" (3:110), who, deceived by their own lies (3:24), try to turn Muslims from Islam (3:99). Jews are blind and deaf to the truth (5:71), and what they have not forgotten they have perverted-they mislead (3:69), confound the truth (3:71), twist tongues (3:79), and cheat Gentiles without remorse (3:75).
Muslims are advised not to take the Jews as friends (5:51), and to beware of the inveterate hatred that Jews bear towards them (5:82). The Jews' ultimate sin and punishment are made clear: they are the devil's minions (4:60) cursed by Allah, their faces will be obliterated (4:47), and if they do not accept the true faith of Islam-the Jews who understand their faith become Muslims (3:113)-they will be made into apes (2:65/ 7:166), or apes and swine (5:60), and burn in the Hellfires (4:55, 5:29, 98:6, and 58:14-19).
The essential nature of the Koranic "revelation", as understood by Muslims, was elaborated in 1891 by Theodore Nöldeke (whose seminal 1860 Geschichte des Qorans remains a vital tool for Koranic research):
To the faith of the Muslims...the Koran is the word of God, and such also is the claim which the book itself advances...
And to this day, for the Muslim masses, as Ibn Warraq notes,
...the Koran remains the infallible word of God, the immediate word of God sent down, through the intermediary of a "spirit" or "holy spirit" or Gabriel, to Muhammad in perfect, pure Arabic; and every thing contained therein is eternal and uncreated. The original text is in heaven...The angel dictated the revelation to the Prophet, who repeated it after him, and then revealed it to the world. Modern Muslims also claim that these revelations have been preserved exactly as revealed to Muhammad, without any change, addition, or loss whatsoever...the Koran remains for all Muslims, and not just "fundamentalists" the uncreated word of God Himself. It is valid for all times and places; its ideals are, according to all Muslims, absolutely true and beyond any criticism. [emphasis added]
Thus it strains credibility to assume that Dr. Fitaihi-a pious Muslim actively engaged in politicized da'wa-would have apologized for his invocation of antisemitic motifs from the Koran, the Jews' traits as characterized therein being deemed both infallible and timeless. Equally important and related concerns were raised by Boston area blogger Solomonia, who observed,
We don't have any wording from the "apology," nor do we know who, exactly, was at the meeting. How do we measure this? Fitaihi jetted into town, then just as quickly jetted out after facing what looks like a friendly audience and no serious or skeptical questioning-a group who then...surprise...pronounce him absolved.
The Fitaihi affair-a depressing web of deceit, denial, and delusion-epitomizes the sorry state of public understanding of Islamic antisemitism, most ominously, by its victims.
Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (2005), and the forthcoming The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism (2007), which can be previewed here.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors
on: April 20, 2007, 09:12:14 PM
4/13/2007 Clip No. 1426
Acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Sheik Ahmad Bahr from Hamas, Declared during a Friday Sermon at a Sudan Mosque that America and Israel Will Be Annihilated and Called upon Allah to Kill the Jews and the Americans "to the Very Last One"
Following are excerpts from a sermon delivered by Ahmad Bahr, acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, which aired on Sudan TV on April 13, 2007.
Ahmad Bahr: "You will be victorious" on the face of this planet. You are the masters of the world on the face of this planet. Yes, [the Koran says that] "you will be victorious," but only "if you are believers." Allah willing, "you will be victorious," while America and Israel will be annihilated, Allah willing. I guarantee you that the power of belief and faith is greater than the power of America and Israel. They are cowards, as is said in the Book of Allah: "You shall find them the people most eager to protect their lives." They are cowards, who are eager for life, while we are eager for death for the sake of Allah. That is why America's nose was rubbed in the mud in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, and everywhere.
America will be annihilated, while Islam will remain. The Muslims "will be victorious, if you are believers." Oh Muslims, I guarantee you that the power of Allah is greater than America, by whom many are blinded today. Some people are blinded by the power of America. We say to them that with the might of Allah, with the might of His Messenger, and with the power of Allah, we are stronger than America and Israel.
I tell you that we will protect the enterprise of the resistance, because the Zionist enemy understands on the language of force. It does not recognize peace or the agreements. It does not recognize anything, and it understands only the language of force. Our Jihad-fighting Palestinian people salutes its brother, Sudan.
The Palestinian woman bids her son farewell, and says to him: "Son, go and don't be a coward. Go, and fight the Jews." He bids her farewell and carries out a martyrdom operation. What did this Palestinian woman say when she was asked for her opinion, after the martyrdom of her son? She said: "My son is my own flesh and blood. I love my son, but my love for Allah and His Messenger is greater than my love for my son." Yes, this is the message of the Palestinian woman, who was over seventy years old – Fatima Al-Najjar. She was over seventy years old, but she blew herself up for the sake of Allah, bringing down many criminal Zionists.
Oh Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, vanquish the Americans and their supporters. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one. Oh Allah, show them a day of darkness. Oh Allah, who sent down His Book, the mover of the clouds, who defeated the enemies of the Prophet – defeat the Jews and the Americans, and bring us victory over them.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People
on: April 20, 2007, 07:37:30 PM
****And now the spineless coward....I mean anti-gun point of view****
Plate: Let's lay down our right to bear arms
POSTED: 3:31 p.m. EDT, April 20, 2007
By Tom Plate
Special to CNN
Adjust font size:
Editor's note: Tom Plate, former editor of the editorial pages of the Los Angeles Times, is a professor of communication and policy studies at UCLA. He is author of a new book, "Confessions of an American Media Man."
Read an opposing take on gun control from Ted Nugent: Gun-free zones are recipe for disaster
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Most days, it is not at all hard to feel proud to be an American. But on days such as this, it is very difficult.
The pain that the parents of the slain students feel hits deep into everyone's hearts. At the University of California, Los Angeles, students are talking about little else. It is not that they feel especially vulnerable because they are students at a major university, as is Virginia Tech, but because they are (to be blunt) citizens of High Noon America.
"High Noon" is a famous film. The 1952 Western told the story of a town marshal (played by the superstar actor Gary Cooper) who is forced to eliminate a gang of killers by himself. They are eventually gunned down.
The use of guns is often the American technique of choice for all kinds of conflict resolution. Our famous Constitution, about which many of us are generally so proud, enshrines -- along with the right to freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly -- the right to own guns. That's an apples and oranges list if there ever was one.
Not all of us are so proud and triumphant about the gun-guarantee clause. The right to free speech, press, religion and assembly and so on seem to be working well, but the gun part, not so much.
Let me explain. Some misguided people will focus on the fact that the 23-year-old student who killed his classmates and others at Virginia Tech was ethnically Korean. This is one of those observations that's 99.99 percent irrelevant. What are we to make of the fact that he is Korean? Ban Ki-moon is also Korean! Our brilliant new United Nations secretary general has not only never fired a gun, it looks like he may have just put together a peace formula for civil war-wracked Sudan -- a formula that escaped his predecessor.
So let's just disregard all the hoopla about the race of the student responsible for the slayings. These students were not killed by a Korean, they were killed by a 9 mm handgun and a .22-caliber handgun.
In the nineties, the Los Angeles Times courageously endorsed an all-but-complete ban on privately owned guns, in an effort to greatly reduce their availability. By the time the series of editorials had concluded, the newspaper had received more angry letters and fiery faxes from the well-armed U.S. gun lobby than on any other issue during my privileged six-year tenure as the newspaper's editorial page editor.
But the paper, by the way, also received more supportive letters than on any other issue about which it editorialized during that era. The common sense of ordinary citizens told them that whatever Americans were and are good for, carrying around guns like costume jewelry was not on our Mature List of Notable Cultural Accomplishments.
"Guns don't kill people," goes the gun lobby's absurd mantra. Far fewer guns in America would logically result in far fewer deaths from people pulling the trigger. The probability of the Virginia Tech gun massacre happening would have been greatly reduced if guns weren't so easily available to ordinary citizens.
Foreigners sometimes believe that celebrities in America are more often the targets of gun violence than the rest of us. Not true. Celebrity shootings just make better news stories, so perhaps they seem common. They're not. All of us are targets because with so many guns swishing around our culture, no one is immune -- not even us non-celebrities.
When the great pop composer and legendary member of the Beatles John Lennon was shot in 1980 in New York, many in the foreign press tabbed it a war on celebrities. Now, some in the media will declare a war on students or some-such. This is all misplaced. The correct target of our concern needs to be guns. America has more than it can possibly handle. How many can our society handle? My opinion is: as close to zero as possible.
Last month, I was robbed at 10 in the evening in the alley behind my home. As I was carrying groceries inside, a man with a gun approached me where my car was parked. The gun he carried featured one of those red-dot laser beams, which he pointed right at my head.
Because I'm anything but a James Bond type, I quickly complied with all of his requests. Perhaps because of my rapid response (it is called surrender), he chose not to shoot me; but he just as easily could have. What was to stop him?
This occurred in Beverly Hills, a low-crime area dotted with upscale boutiques, restaurants and businesses -- a city best known perhaps for its glamour and celebrity sightings.
Oh, and police tell me the armed robber definitely was not Korean. Not that I would have known one way or the other: Basically the only thing I saw or can remember was the gun, with the red dot, pointed right at my head.
A near-death experience does focus the mind. We need to get rid of our guns.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People
on: April 20, 2007, 07:31:00 PM
Nugent: Gun-free zones are recipe for disaster
POSTED: 5:26 p.m. EDT, April 20, 2007
More on CNN TV: Ted Nugent participates in a roundtable discussion on gun control tonight on "Glenn Beck," Headline Prime, 7 p.m. ET.
By Ted Nugent
Special to CNN
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Editor's note: Rock guitarist Ted Nugent has sold more than 30 million albums. He's also a gun rights activist and serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association. His program, "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild," can be seen on the Outdoor Channel.
Read an opposing take on gun control from journalist Tom Plate: Let's lay down our right to bear arms
WACO, Texas (CNN) -- Zero tolerance, huh? Gun-free zones, huh? Try this on for size: Columbine gun-free zone, New York City pizza shop gun-free zone, Luby's Cafeteria gun-free zone, Amish school in Pennsylvania gun-free zone and now Virginia Tech gun-free zone.
Anybody see what the evil Brady Campaign and other anti-gun cults have created? I personally have zero tolerance for evil and denial. And America had best wake up real fast that the brain-dead celebration of unarmed helplessness will get you killed every time, and I've about had enough of it.
Nearly a decade ago, a Springfield, Oregon, high schooler, a hunter familiar with firearms, was able to bring an unfolding rampage to an abrupt end when he identified a gunman attempting to reload his .22-caliber rifle, made the tactical decision to make a move and tackled the shooter.
A few years back, an assistant principal at Pearl High School in Mississippi, which was a gun-free zone, retrieved his legally owned Colt .45 from his car and stopped a Columbine wannabe from continuing his massacre at another school after he had killed two and wounded more at Pearl.
At an eighth-grade school dance in Pennsylvania, a boy fatally shot a teacher and wounded two students before the owner of the dance hall brought the killing to a halt with his own gun.
More recently, just a few miles up the road from Virginia Tech, two law school students ran to fetch their legally owned firearm to stop a madman from slaughtering anybody and everybody he pleased. These brave, average, armed citizens neutralized him pronto.
My hero, Dr. Suzanne Gratia Hupp, was not allowed by Texas law to carry her handgun into Luby's Cafeteria that fateful day in 1991, when due to bureaucrat-forced unarmed helplessness she could do nothing to stop satanic George Hennard from killing 23 people and wounding more than 20 others before he shot himself. Hupp was unarmed for no other reason than denial-ridden "feel good" politics.
She has since led the charge for concealed weapon upgrade in Texas, where we can now stop evil. Yet, there are still the mindless puppets of the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun organizations insisting on continuing the gun-free zone insanity by which innocents are forced into unarmed helplessness. Shame on them. Shame on America. Shame on the anti-gunners all.
No one was foolish enough to debate Ryder truck regulations or ammonia nitrate restrictions or a "cult of agriculture fertilizer" following the unabashed evil of Timothy McVeigh's heinous crime against America on that fateful day in Oklahoma City. No one faulted kitchen utensils or other hardware of choice after Jeffrey Dahmer was caught drugging, mutilating, raping, murdering and cannibalizing his victims. Nobody wanted "steak knife control" as they autopsied the dead nurses in Chicago, Illinois, as Richard Speck went on trial for mass murder.
Evil is as evil does, and laws disarming guaranteed victims make evil people very, very happy. Shame on us.
Already spineless gun control advocates are squawking like chickens with their tiny-brained heads chopped off, making political hay over this most recent, devastating Virginia Tech massacre, when in fact it is their own forced gun-free zone policy that enabled the unchallenged methodical murder of 32 people.
Thirty-two people dead on a U.S. college campus pursuing their American Dream, mowed-down over an extended period of time by a lone, non-American gunman in possession of a firearm on campus in defiance of a zero-tolerance gun ban. Feel better yet? Didn't think so.
Who doesn't get this? Who has the audacity to demand unarmed helplessness? Who likes dead good guys?
I'll tell you who. People who tramp on the Second Amendment, that's who. People who refuse to accept the self-evident truth that free people have the God-given right to keep and bear arms, to defend themselves and their loved ones. People who are so desperate in their drive to control others, so mindless in their denial that they pretend access to gas causes arson, Ryder trucks and fertilizer cause terrorism, water causes drowning, forks and spoons cause obesity, dialing 911 will somehow save your life, and that their greedy clamoring to "feel good" is more important than admitting that armed citizens are much better equipped to stop evil than unarmed, helpless ones.
Pray for the families of victims everywhere, America. Study the methodology of evil. It has a profile, a system, a preferred environment where victims cannot fight back. Embrace the facts, demand upgrade and be certain that your children's school has a better plan than Virginia Tech or Columbine. Eliminate the insanity of gun-free zones, which will never, ever be gun-free zones. They will only be good guy gun-free zones, and that is a recipe for disaster written in blood on the altar of denial. I, for one, refuse to genuflect there.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 20, 2007, 06:12:23 PM
A Lesson In Hate
How an Egyptian student came to study 1950s America and left determined to wage holy war
By David Von Drehle
Before Sayyid Qutb became a leading theorist of violent jihad, he was a little-known Egyptian writer sojourning in the United States, where he attended a small teachers college on the Great Plains. Greeley, Colorado, circa 1950 was the last place one might think to look for signs of American decadence. Its wide streets were dotted with churches, and there wasn’t a bar in the whole temperate town. But the courtly Qutb (COO-tub) saw things that others did not. He seethed at the brutishness of the people around him: the way they salted their watermelon and drank their tea unsweetened and watered their lawns. He found the muscular football players appalling and despaired of finding a barber who could give a proper haircut. As for the music: “The American’s enjoyment of jazz does not fully begin until he couples it with singing like crude screaming,” Qutb wrote when he returned to Egypt. “It is this music that the savage bushmen created to satisfy their primitive desires.”
Such grumbling by an unhappy crank would be almost comical but for one fact: a direct line of influence runs from Sayyid Qutb to Osama bin Laden, and to bin Laden’s Egyptian partner in terror, Ayman al-Zawahiri. From them, the line continues to another quietly seething Egyptian sojourning in the United States—the 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta. Qutb’s gripes about America require serious attention because they cast light on a question that has been nagging since the fall of the World Trade Center: Why do they hate us?
Born in 1906 in the northern Egyptian village of Musha and raised in a devout Muslim home, Qutb memorized the Koran as a boy. Later he moved to Cairo and found work as a teacher and writer. His novels made no great impression, but he earned a reputation as an astute literary critic. Qutb was among the first champions of Naguib Mahfouz, a young, modern novelist who, in 1988, would win the Nobel Prize in Literature. As Qutb matured, his mind took on a more political cast. Even by the standards of Egypt, those were chaotic, corrupt times: World War I had completed the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, and the Western powers were creating, with absolute colonial confidence, new maps and governments for the Middle East. For a proud man like Sayyid Qutb, the humiliation of his country at the hands of secular leaders and Western puppets was galling. His writing drew unfavorable attention from the Egyptian government, and by 1948, Mahfouz has said, Qutb’s friends in the Ministry of Education were sufficiently worried about his situation that they contrived to send him abroad to the safety of the United States.
Some biographical sketches suggest that Qutb arrived with a benign view of America, but if that’s true it didn’t last long. During a short stay in Washington, D.C., he witnessed the commotion surrounding an elevator accident and was stunned to hear other onlookers making a joke of the victim’s appearance. From this and a few offhand remarks in other settings, Qutb concluded that Americans suffered from “a drought of sentimental sympathy” and that “Americans intentionally deride what people in the Old World hold sacred.”
This became the lens through which Qutb read nearly every American encounter—a clash of New World versus Old. Qutb easily satisfied the requirements at the graduate school of the Colorado State College of Education (now known as the University of Northern Colorado) and devoted the rest of his time to his true interest—the American soul, if such a thing existed. “This great America: What is its worth in the scale of human values?” Qutb wondered. “And what does it add to the moral account of humanity?” His answer: nothing.
Still, Qutb’s contempt for America was not as simple as some people might now imagine. He did not recoil from political freedom and democracy, as, say, President Bush might expect from a jihadi theorist, nor did he complain about shades of imperial ambition in American foreign policy, as writers on the left might suppose. Regarding the excesses of American culture—vulgarity, materialism and promiscuity—Qutb expressed shock, but it rang a bit hollow. “The American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity,” he wrote. “She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs and she shows all this and does not hide it.” These curvy jezebels pursued boys with “wide, strapping chest
” and “ox muscles,” Qutb added with disgust. Yet no matter how lascivious his adjectives, the fastidious, unmarried Egyptian could not convincingly portray the church dances and Look magazines he encountered in sleepy Greeley as constituting a genuine sexual “jungle.”
The core problem with the United States, for Qutb, was not something Americans did, but simply what America was—“the New World...is spellbinding.” It was more than a land of pleasures without limit. In America, unlike in Egypt, dreams could come true. Qutb understood the danger this posed: America’s dazzle had the power to blind people to the real zenith of civilization, which for Qutb began with Muhammad in the seventh century and reached its apex in the Middle Ages, carried triumphantly by Muslim armies.
Qutb rejected the idea that “new” was also “improved.” The Enlightenment, the Industrial Age—modernity itself—were not progress. “The true value of every civilization...lies not in the tools man has invented or in how much power he wields,” Qutb wrote. “The value of civilizations lay in what universal truths and worldviews they have attained.” The modern obsession with science and invention was a moral regression to the primitive condition of the first toolmakers. Qutb’s America was bursting with raw energy and appetite, but utterly without higher virtues. In his eyes, its “interminable, incalculable expanses of virgin land” were settled by “groups of adventurers and groups of criminals” who lacked the time and reflection required for a civilized life. Qutb’s Americans “faced the uncharted forests, the tortuous mountain mazes, the fields of ice, the thundering hurricanes, and the beasts, serpents and vermin of the forest” in a struggle that left them numb to “faith in religion, faith in art and faith in spiritual values altogether.”
This portrait likely would have surprised the people of mid-century Greeley, had they somehow become aware of the unspoken opinions of their somewhat frosty neighbor. Theirs was a friendly town best known for the unpretentious college and for the cattle feedlots sprawling pungently on its outskirts. The founding of Greeley in the 1870s involved no ice fields, hurricanes or serpents. Instead, it began with a simple newspaper column written by Nathan Meeker, agricultural editor of the New York Tribune. On December 14, 1869, Meeker appealed to literate readers of high moral character to join him in building a utopian community by the South Platte River near the foot of the Rocky Mountains. More than 3,000 readers applied; from this list Meeker selected the 700 best qualified to realize his vision of a sober, godly, cooperative community. The town was dubbed Greeley in honor of Meeker’s boss at the Tribune, the quixotic publisher Horace Greeley, who died within weeks of his failed run for president in 1872, just as the project was gathering steam.
Poet and journalist Sara Lippincott was an early visitor to the frontier outpost, and later wrote about it under her pen name, Grace Greenwood. “You’ll die of dullness in less than five hours,” another traveler had warned her about Greeley. “There is nothing there but irrigation. Your host will invite you out to see him irrigate his potato-patch...there is not a billiard-saloon in the whole camp, nor a drink of whiskey to be had for love or money.” None of that made any difference to Qutb, who saw only what he already believed, and wrote not facts, but his own truth, in his 1951 essay, “The America I Have Seen.”
Sayyid Qutb cut short his stay in America and returned to Egypt in 1951 after the assassination of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the nationalist, religious and militant movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the next decade and a half, often writing from prison, Qutb refined a violent political theology from the raw anti-modernism of his American interlude. Virtually the entire modern world, Qutb theorized, is jahiliyya, that barbarous state that existed before Muhammad. Only the strict, unchanging law of the prophet can redeem this uncivilized condition. Nearly a millennium of history became, to the radicalized Qutb, an offense wrought by the violence of jahili “Crusaders” and the supposed perfidy of the Jews. And Muslim leaders allied with the West were no better than the Crusaders themselves. Therefore, Qutb called all true Muslims to jihad, or Holy War, against jahiliyya—which is to say, against modernity, which America so powerfully represents.
This philosophy led to Qutb’s execution in 1966. Proud to the end, he refused to accept the secular Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser’s offer of mercy in exchange for Qutb’s repudiation of his jihad. Nasser may have silenced a critic, but the martyrdom of Sayyid Qutb accelerated his movement. The same year the philosopher was hanged, according to journalist Lawrence Wright, the teenage al-Zawahiri formed his first violent cell, dedicated to the overthrow of the Egyptian government and the creation of an Islamist state. Meanwhile, Qutb’s brother Muhammad went into exile in Saudi Arabia, where he taught at King Abdul Aziz University. One of his students, an heir to the country’s largest construction fortune, was Osama bin Laden.
Others have taken Qutb’s ideas in less apocalyptic directions, so that M.A. Muqtedar Khan of the Brookings Institution can rank him alongside the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran as “one of the major architects and ‘strategists’ of contemporary Islamic revival.” But the last paragraphs of Qutb’s American memoir suggest just how far outside normal discourse his mind was wont to stray. After noting the stupidity of his Greeley neighbors, who failed to understand his dry and cutting jokes, Qutb writes: “In summary, anything that requires a touch of elegance is not for the American, even haircuts! For there was not one instance in which I had a haircut there when I did not return home to even with my own hands what the barber had wrought.” This culminating example of inescapable barbarism led directly to his conclusion. “Humanity makes the gravest of errors and risks losing its account of morals, if it makes America its example.”
Turning a haircut into a matter of grave moral significance is the work of a fanatic. That’s the light ultimately cast by Qutb’s American experience on the question of why his disciples might hate us. Hating America for its haircuts cannot be distinguished from hating for no sane reason at all.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The party of Hate
on: April 20, 2007, 05:50:01 PM
The MSM has anointed him and the "Reverend"
Jackson the leaders of black Americans, as laughable as that may be. He's a media construct. Watching him being interviewed by the MSM about "Imus", he got a total deferential, kid-glove treatment. They live in fear of being called the "R" word. In addition, he's entertaining while Jackson appears to have suffered a stroke. I could barely understand his hypocritical, self-rightious mumbling.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 19, 2007, 02:54:48 PM
SELLING RAPPER TELLS '60 MINUTES': WOULDN'T HELP POLICE CATCH EVEN A SERIAL KILLER BECAUSE IT WOULD HURT HIS BUSINESS AND VIOLATE HIS 'CODE OF ETHICS'
Thu Apr 19 2007 12:47:1 ET
Rap star Cam'ron says there's no situation -- including a serial killer living next door -- that would cause him to help police in any way, because to do so would hurt his music sales and violate his "code of ethics." Cam'ron, whose real name is Cameron Giles, talks to Anderson Cooper for a report on how the hip-hop culture's message to shun the police has undermined efforts to solve murders across the country. Cooper's report will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, April 22 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"If I knew the serial killer was living next door to me?" Giles responds to a hypothetical question posed by Cooper. "I wouldn't call and tell anybody on him -- but I'd probably move," says Giles. "But I'm not going to call and be like, ÔThe serial killer's in 4E.' " ( For an excerpt of Giles' interview, click here
Giles' "code of ethics" also extends to crimes committed against him. After being shot and wounded by gunmen, Giles refused to cooperate with police. Why? "Because...it would definitely hurt my business, and the way I was raised, I just don't do that," says Giles. Pressed by Cooper, who says had he been the victim, he would want his attacker to be caught, Giles explains further: "But then again, you're not going to be on the stage tonight in the middle of, say, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, with people with gold and platinum teeth and dreadlocks jumping up and down singing your songs, either," says Giles. "We're in two different lines of business."
"So for you, it's really about business?" Cooper asks.
"It's about business," Giles says, "but it's still also a code of ethics."
Rappers appear to be concerned about damaging what's known as their "street credibility," says Geoffrey Canada, an anti-violence advocate and educator from New York City's Harlem neighborhood. "It's one of those things that sells music and no one really quite understands why," says Canada. Their fans look up to artists if they come from the "meanest streets of the urban ghetto," he tells Cooper. For that reason, Canada says, they do not cooperate with the police.
Canada says in the poor New York City neighborhood he grew up in, only the criminals didn't talk to the police, but within today's hip-hop culture, that's changed. "It is now a cultural norm that is being preached in poor communities....It's like you can't be a black person if you have a set of values that say ÔI will not watch a crime happen in my community without getting involved to stop it,'" Canada tells Cooper.
Young people from some of New York's toughest neighborhoods echo Canada's assessment, calling the message not to help police "the rules" and helping the police "a crime" in their neighborhoods. These "rules" are contributing to a much lower percentage of arrests in homicide cases -- a statistic known as the "clearance rate" -- in largely poor, minority neighborhoods throughout the country, according to Prof. David Kennedy of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "I work in communities where the clearance rate for homicides has gone into the single digits," says Kennedy. The national rate for homicide clearance is 60 percent. "In these neighborhoods, we are on the verge of -- or maybe we have already lost -- the rule of law," he tells Cooper.
Says Canada, "It's like we're saying to the criminals, ÔYou can have our community....Do anything you want and we will either deal with it ourselves or we'll simply ignore it.' "
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 19, 2007, 02:51:43 PM
Time for the Truth About Black Crime Rates
The lessons of the Sean Bell case
Heather Mac Donald
2 April 2007
Mayor Mike Bloomberg has the chance to transform not just New York, but all American cities, by breaking the taboo on talking about the connection between race and crime. Doing so would take courage that no politician has yet mustered. But after the manslaughter and assault indictments of three New York police officers for fatally shooting Sean Bell last November, Bloomberg has an opening: acknowledge that police officers may react too precipitously to perceived threats in charged urban settings, in exchange for a wide-open discussion about the sky-high black crime rates that encourage that reaction. Crime, not police racism, drives negative police-community relations in black neighborhoods. And until the crime rate comes down, tragedies like the Sean Bell shooting may reoccur.
After the Bell shooting, which occurred outside a Queens strip joint, critics of the NYPD followed the usual script: increasingly ugly charges of police bigotry (despite the fact that several of the officers involved were black); deployment of the threat-of-black-riots weapon; calls for convictions of the officers on the most severe murder charges; and the transformation of the highly aberrant Bell shooting into the very symbol of the NYPD. To his discredit, Mayor Bloomberg joined the rush to prejudge the officers. The day after the shooting, he declared: “It sounds to me like excessive force was used.” Even more irresponsibly, he deemed the incident “inexplicable,” thus fueling the belief that the officers could not possibly have perceived a deadly threat and all but guaranteeing that any acquittal of them would be viewed as proof that the criminal-justice system was antiblack.
Carefully omitted from the swirl of media coverage and the denunciations of the NYPD was any discussion of black crime rates. The New York Times did its usual best to shroud the issue. A March article, for instance, devoted itself to charges that the police were preying on the black community. After noting that more than half the people whom cops stop and frisk are black, Times reporter Diane Cardwell added: “City officials maintained that those stopped and searched roughly parallel the race of people mentioned in reports from crime victims.” No, actually, there is no “rough parallel” between the proportion of stops and the proportion of alleged assailants: blacks aren’t stopped enough, considering the rate at which they commit crimes. Though blacks, 24 percent of New York City’s population, committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in the city last year, according to victims and witnesses, they were only 55 percent of all stop-and-frisks. Of course, the Times didn’t give the actual crime figures. Even a spate of vicious assaults on police officers in the week before the indictments didn’t change the predominant story line that officers were trigger-happy racists.
But the context of the Bell shooting suggests a different picture. The undercover officers and detectives involved had been deployed to Club Kahlua in Jamaica, Queens, because of the club’s history of lawlessness. Club patrons and neighbors had made dozens of calls to the NYPD, reporting guns, drug sales, and prostitution, and the police had recently made eight arrests there.
The night of November 24, undercover officer Gescard Isnora, who fired the first shots at Bell, had observed a man put a stripper’s hand on his belt to reassure her that he had a gun and would protect her from an aggressive customer. Outside the club, Isnora (who is African-American) and his colleagues witnessed a heated exchange between Bell’s entourage and an apparent pimp over the services of a prostitute, during which the pimp kept his hand inside his jacket, as if holding a gun. After the hooker refused to have sex with more than two of the group’s eight members, Bell—presumably referring to the pimp—said, “Let’s fuck him up,” and Bell’s companion, Joseph Guzman, said, “Yo, get my gun, get my gun.” Isnora reported these exchanges over his cell phone to his colleagues in the area.
Feeling the danger level mounting, Isnora retrieved his gun from his unmarked car. When he returned to the scene, Bell and his two companions had gotten into their car, ready to drive away. Isnora thought that a drive-by shooting of the pimp could be imminent, and so moved to question the car’s occupants. He held out his badge (by his account), identified himself as a police officer, and told the car to stop. Instead, Bell drove forward and hit Isnora and a police minivan, backed up, and then slammed into the minivan again, nearly hitting Isnora a second time.
Isnora, who was standing on the passenger side of Bell’s car, claims that he saw Guzman reach for his waistband. Believing that he faced a deadly threat, Isnora opened fire. The four other undercovers and detectives at the scene also started shooting, killing Bell and wounding Guzman and Bell’s other companion in the car, Trent Benefield. No gun turned up in Bell’s car. (Benefield alleges that Isnora began shooting before the car started moving, which is absurd. The barrage of 50 bullets was so fast that no witness at the scene remembers hearing more than eight rounds fired off. Bell was undoubtedly killed as soon as the shooting started, and so wouldn’t have been able to move the car forward and back and forward again, as he did. None of the officers had ever used their guns before, moreover, despite making hundreds of arrests, including for gun possession. These were not trigger-happy cops.)
Without question, the results of this episode are horrific. And the tactics stank—Isnora should never have left himself as exposed as he was. But was the officers’ perception of a deadly threat so unreasonable as to make their shooting a criminal homicide? If a judge or jury finds that they did not reasonably believe that they faced an imminent use of deadly force, then, according to the woefully inappropriate criminal code, their actions fall within the literal definition of manslaughter. (Showing what appears to be arbitrariness, the grand jury indicted two of the officers for manslaughter and assault—even though one of them, Isnora, did not even hit Bell—and a third for reckless endangerment, but didn’t indict the remaining two officers, even though all had fired their guns.)
Isnora and his colleagues knew the following, when they saw a car racing toward them whose occupants they believed could have guns: shootings at after-hours joints like Club Kahlua are by no means uncommon. Just the previous month, a patron had been fatally gunned down outside another Queens club, the third lethal shooting there in three years. This March, a club customer in Brooklyn tried to blast an off-duty cop’s head off after the two had unintentionally bumped into each other on a crowded dance floor.
Isnora and his colleagues did not know the following, but it’s a further indication of the reality of crime in New York: Bell, Benefield, and Guzman had all been arrested for gun possession in the past, according to the New York Times. Further, Guzman had a long prison record, including a sentence for an armed robbery during which he shot at his victim. And Bell and his entourage were dealing drugs, an activity highly correlated with violence.
These specific facts about the Bell shooting are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of data points that reveal a hard truth: any given violent crime in New York is 13 times more likely to have a black than a white perpetrator. While most black residents are law-abiding and desperately deserve police protection, the incidence of criminal activity among young black males is off the charts. “A black kid between the ages of 18 and 24 is the scariest thing to cops,” says a police attorney, “because they know how crazy it can get.” And this is true whatever the officer’s race.
The “public doesn’t get how frightened cops are,” says a former NYPD commanding officer. “Cops are reluctant to articulate everything that goes into a shooting incident,” says another former officer, retired assistant chief Jim McShane. “They’re afraid to say: ‘Are you kidding me? I was terrified. The guy was drinking; I told him to stop; I was afraid that someone was going to get shot.’ ” When an officer thinks that he is under deadly threat, he knows that any hesitation could cost him his life. NYPD officer Steven McDonald was staring down the barrel of a small gun in Central Park in the summer of 1986, held by a 15-year-old whom he had stopped to question about a stolen bicycle. Rather than immediately responding with deadly force, he paused—and was shot twice in the head and once in the arm, paralyzing him from the neck down.
Because of these realities, it’s possible that officers are quicker to perceive—and react to—a deadly threat when dealing with young black men than they would be with other demographic groups. (Even so, fatal shootings by the NYPD are extremely rare; fatal shootings of unarmed civilians, even rarer.) And it’s undeniably true that the much greater incidence of crime in black neighborhoods means that the police activity there will be higher, leading to a greater risk of the use of force.
The NYPD’s goal at this point—understandably and rightly—is to do everything it can to prevent the death of another Sean Bell. The department’s recently announced tactical review is more than justified. But the police can only go so far in ensuring that tragic errors, when they inevitably happen, do not happen to black males. Mayor Bloomberg has already pandered enough to antipolice activists. He should now cash in his political chips and speak the truth: the black crime rate is the most important determinant of how the police interact with the black community. Unless black leaders—real or media-created—muster the will to address the crime epidemic among black youth (most of it inflicted on other blacks), the ongoing carnage will almost inevitably include an infinitesimal number of accidental police shootings of unarmed men. Criminal activity among young African-Americans is the poison of cities and of race relations; if Bloomberg can force a conversation about it, he could help reclaim urban America.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 19, 2007, 02:46:15 PM
Blair Breaks the Black Crime Taboo
Gangsta culture, not an unjust society, drives it, says the outgoing British prime minister.
Heather Mac Donald
12 April 2007
British prime minister Tony Blair has just broken one of the biggest taboos in Western politics: talking frankly about black crime. Give the man a medal for courage. And then ask why American pols are unable to summon such backbone in addressing the biggest impediment holding back poor black Americans: out-of-control crime rates and the gangsta culture that gives rise to criminality, problems that will be with us long after Don Imus is sent into belated retirement.
A wave of teen black-on-black murders has struck London over the last two months. Most recently, a horde of 12 black boys attacked a 14-year-old aspiring rapper with baseball bats and knives in an apartment lobby on Good Friday, killing the boy, Paul Erhahon, and seriously wounding his 15-year-old friend. Officials have charged a 13-year-old and 14-year-old with murder; the mother of the younger suspect laughed and joked during a recent court proceeding. The family of the surviving victim has received threats since the stabbing, which appears to be gang-related. Since February, nine teenagers have been shot or stabbed to death in London and other British cities.
Politicians and “community leaders” have two usual responses to such crime: ignoring it or blaming poverty and racism. Silence is eminently safe; changing the subject to poverty wins you political sensitivity points from media and cultural elites. But Tony Blair has undergone what he calls a “lurching into total frankness” in the final weeks of his premiership. And so he’s thrown out the usual politician’s playbook and spoken the truth: The violence will not end “by pretending it is not young black kids doing it,” he said yesterday in a lecture in Cardiff, Wales. The spate of killings isn’t part of a generalized crime wave, Blair said, but results from the behavior of black youth. Even more astounding than his willingness to name the violent-crime phenomenon was his rejection of the acceptable explanations for it. “We need to stop thinking of this as a society that has gone wrong—it has not—but of specific groups that for specific reasons have gone outside of the proper lines of respect and good conduct towards others and need by specific measures to be brought back into the fold,” he observed.
In the past, Blair has also fingered the real “root cause” of so much underclass criminality: the breakdown in marriage. Without fathers in their lives, he has said, boys will be more at risk for antisocial behavior. He made the same point yesterday: the crime epidemic has “to do with the fact that particular youngsters are being brought up in a setting that has no rules, no discipline, no proper framework around them.” And in case his audience still didn’t get the point, he rejected the usual excuse for black crime. “Economic inequality is a factor and we should deal with that,” Blair noted, “but I don’t think it’s the thing that is producing the most violent expression of this social alienation.”
The problem with the crime taboo is that it leaves untouched a culture that puts law-abiding black citizens—the majority of blacks—at risk. The crime taboo allows a subset of that population to destroy the hopes and lives of others. Blair called on the many upstanding black leaders and parents to take on the gang culture: “The black community—the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law-abiding people horrified at what is happening—need to be mobilized in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids.”
Blair also recognized in his speech that stronger policing is the best solution to violent crime. The police and prosecutors need to focus intensively on the youths behind the recent gun and knife attacks, he said, and take the leaders “out of circulation.”
The victim lobby of course struck back hard, denouncing Blair’s call for more assertive policing and demanding more antipoverty funding. Yet in a sign that Britain may contain pockets of sanity still unthinkable in the U.S., the ordinarily PC Commission for Racial Equality stood by Blair’s remarks, saying that people “shouldn’t be afraid to talk about this issue for fear of sounding prejudiced.”
America contains its share of lame-duck politicians at the moment—the mayor of New York City and the president of the United States come to mind. If they want to leave a legacy of leadership, they could do worse than following Tony Blair’s lead in tackling the most pressing urban problem.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 19, 2007, 02:25:41 PM
I do believe that media, including video games and especially "gangsta" rap has an effect. The key element is it's effect on vulnerable populations of urban minority children and predominantly white suburban children that to a degree are living a "Lord of the Flies" existence in the midst of our country. Media, especially that which glorifies violent anti-social behavior fills the void too often left by parents and our now "value-neutral" society.
Hedonism, illegitimacy, crass displays of material wealth and criminality are destroying black communities today. Ironic, given that a strong sense of family and Christianity sustained black Americans through slavery and Jim Crow oppression.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 19, 2007, 12:48:30 AM
Wanted: A culture of self-defense
By Michelle Malkin · April 18, 2007 11:24 AM
My column this week:
There's no polite way or time to say it: American college and universities have become coddle industries. Big Nanny administrators oversee speech codes, segregrated dorms, politically correct academic departments, and designated "safe spaces" to protect students selectively from hurtful (conservative) opinions—while allowing mob rule for approved leftist positions (textbook case: Columbia University's anti-Minuteman Project protesters).
Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs, American educators shield them from vigorous intellectual debate. Instead of encouraging autonomy, our higher institutions of learning stoke passivity and conflict-avoidance.
And as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.
As news was breaking about the carnage at Virginia Tech, a reader e-mailed me a news story from last January. State legislators in Virginia had attempted to pass a bill that would have eased handgun restrictions on college campuses. Opposed by outspoken, anti-gun activists and Virginia Tech administrators, that bill failed.
Is it too early to ask: "What if?" What if that bill had passed? What if just one student in one of those classrooms had been in lawful possession of a concealed weapon for the purpose of self-defense?
If it wasn't too early for Keystone Katie Couric to be jumping all over campus security yesterday for what they woulda/coulda/shoulda done in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and if it isn't too early for the New York Times editorial board to be publishing its knee-jerk call for more gun control, it darned well isn't too early for me to raise questions about how the unrepentant anti-gun lobbying of college officials may have put students at risk.
The back story: Virginia Tech had punished a student for bringing a handgun to class last spring—despite the fact that the student had a valid concealed handgun permit. The bill would have barred public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun." After the proposal died in subcommittee, the school's governing board reiterated its ban on students or employees carrying guns and prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus buildings.
Late last summer, a shooting near campus prompted students to clamor again for loosening campus rules against armed self-defense. Virginia Tech officials turned up their noses. In response to student Bradford Wiles's campus newspaper op-ed piece in support of concealed carry on campus, Virginia Tech associate vice president Larry Hincker scoffed:
"t is absolutely mind-boggling to see the opinions of Bradford Wiles…The editors of this page must have printed this commentary if for no other reason than malicious compliance. Surely, they scratched their heads saying, 'I can't believe he really wants to say that.' Wiles tells us that he didn't feel safe with the hundreds of highly trained officers armed with high powered rifles encircling the building and protecting him. He even implies that he needed his sidearm to protect himself."
Hincker continued: "The writer would have us believe that a university campus, with tens of thousands of young people, is safer with everyone packing heat. Imagine the continual fear of students in that scenario. We've seen that fear here, and we don't want to see it again…Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same."
Who's scratching his head now, Mr. Hincker?
Some high-handed commentators insist it's premature or unseemly to examine the impact of school rules discouraging students from carrying arms on campus. Pundit Andrew Sullivan complained that it was "creepy" to highlight reader e-mails calling attention to the Virginia Tech's restrictions on student self-defense—even as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence rushed to capitalize on the massacre to sign up new members and gather e-mail addresses for Million Mom March chapters. "We are outraged by the increase in gun violence in America, especially the recent shooting at Virginia Tech," reads the online petition. "Add your name to the growing list of people who are saying 'Enough Is Enough!'"
Enough is enough, indeed. Enough of intellectual disarmament. Enough of physical disarmament. You want a safer campus? It begins with renewing a culture of self-defense—mind, spirit, and body. It begins with two words: Fight back.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 18, 2007, 09:53:16 PM
April 18, 2007, 0:44 p.m.
A Culture of Passivity
"Protecting" our "children" at Virginia Tech.
By Mark Steyn
I haven’t weighed in yet on Virginia Tech — mainly because, in a saner world, it would not be the kind of incident one needed to have a partisan opinion on. But I was giving a couple of speeches in Minnesota yesterday and I was asked about it and found myself more and more disturbed by the tone of the coverage. I’m not sure I’m ready to go the full Derb but I think he’s closer to the reality of the situation than most. On Monday night, Geraldo was all over Fox News saying we have to accept that, in this horrible world we live in, our “children” need to be “protected.”
Point one: They’re not “children.” The students at Virginia Tech were grown women and — if you’ll forgive the expression — men. They would be regarded as adults by any other society in the history of our planet. Granted, we live in a selectively infantilized culture where twentysomethings are “children” if they’re serving in the Third Infantry Division in Ramadi but grown-ups making rational choices if they drop to the broadloom in President Clinton’s Oval Office. Nonetheless, it’s deeply damaging to portray fit fully formed adults as children who need to be protected. We should be raising them to understand that there will be moments in life when you need to protect yourself — and, in a “horrible” world, there may come moments when you have to choose between protecting yourself or others. It is a poor reflection on us that, in those first critical seconds where one has to make a decision, only an elderly Holocaust survivor, Professor Librescu, understood instinctively the obligation to act.
Point two: The cost of a “protected” society of eternal “children” is too high. Every December 6th, my own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the “Montreal massacre,” the 14 female students of the Ecole Polytechnique murdered by Marc Lepine (born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, though you’d never know that from the press coverage). As I wrote up north a few years ago:
Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.
I have always believed America is different. Certainly on September 11th we understood. The only good news of the day came from the passengers who didn’t meekly follow the obsolescent 1970s hijack procedures but who used their wits and acted as free-born individuals. And a few months later as Richard Reid bent down and tried to light his shoe in that critical split-second even the French guys leapt up and pounded the bejasus out of him.
We do our children a disservice to raise them to entrust all to officialdom’s security blanket. Geraldo-like “protection” is a delusion: when something goes awry — whether on a September morning flight out of Logan or on a peaceful college campus — the state won’t be there to protect you. You’ll be the fellow on the scene who has to make the decision. As my distinguished compatriot Kathy Shaidle says:
When we say “we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances”, we make cowardice the default position.
I’d prefer to say that the default position is a terrible enervating passivity. Murderous misfit loners are mercifully rare. But this awful corrosive passivity is far more pervasive, and, unlike the psycho killer, is an existential threat to a functioning society.
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone.
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YzEzYzQ0Y2MyZjNlNjY1ZTEzMTA0MGRmM2EyMTQ0NjY=
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 18, 2007, 04:37:52 PM
You're American Indian? Then I'm really confused. How can you not identify with the Palestinians?
****Because the Jews were the original "native peoples" of Israel, as well as other parts of the middle east. Once thriving jewish communities in places like Cairo and Baghdad have been forced to flee to the tiny speck of land of what is Eretz Yisrael. Think of it as the last Jewish/Christian reservation after the Islamic conquest of the middle east. I do. My tribe in paticular has had a bad experience with trading "land for peace".****
And you pose an excellent question, one that I was expecting to ask you in a follow up post yet in the reverse direction.
I don't blame you in the least for asking when the white/black/asian folks will leave your homeland. It's not likely to happen but that does not mean it is morally right for your homeland to be invaded and a whole people to be displaced.
**** I think it would be a wonderful act of good faith for you to sign the title of your home over to me before you book a one way flight to Berlin. Maybe you could start a movement by living up to the standard you demand of the Israelis. Actions speak much louder than words. Let me know when and where we can meet so we can do this transaction before you catch your Lufthansa flight. (I am of course saying this with tongue firmly planted in cheek, you and I both know that you and everyone else aren't going anywhere.)****
Frankly, I wonder sometimes why American Indians have not become domestic terrorists. The US has been horrible to you guys. I wonder frequently why the Palestinians have decided to fight back (and at such horrible expense) and other groups in history, including Jews during the Nazi times, have not fought back so long or so hard or so desparately. I'd like to know what the difference is.
****AIM kind of got into domestic terrorism in the 60's/70's, but most Indian people reject terrorism as immoral and contrary to Indian values and are patriotic Americans. Despite the horrors the various tribes suffered at the time of "manifest destiny", as conquered people we were treated better than the Turks treated the Armenians or the Spanish and later Mexicans treated the "Indios" or any people the muslim jihad has overrun. As a tribal elder once explained on this subject "We signed the treaties and kept our side because we gave our word". Indians were given their little chunks of land and allowed to survive, despite the the US military's ability to utter wipe us off the planet. In time, America evolved. Now those of european ancestry, such as yourself feel regret over the part wrongs against native peoples. If you'll look at Turkey, you'll see no such thing about the Armenian genocide. Muslims celebrate the genocidal acts of Muhammad against various Jewish tribes.****
I do not consider terrorism valid or good, for the record, under any circumstances. I am not pleased about my bro-in-law still having nightmares of heads on stakes in his home village or my wife instinctively ducking when a car backfires or being good a certain surgical proceedures because she's had to repair certain wounds (sometimes on kids) before.
I'm not endorsing it. I am trying to get really clear on how it comes about and I do not like my taxes going to support fascist countries who woudl be forced to compromise and behave more honorably if they did not have my money and my weapons aiding them. If we want to figure out why soap is flying across the bathroom and knocking us in the head, it makes sense to look at who is wetting and squeezing it and why.
****Again, why the double standard. If sucide/homicide bombing is ok for the "Palestinians", why isn't it ok here?****
I do think that Islamist terrorism comes from the defeat of the Turks in 1918, re-drawing of the middle east by France and England, creation of Israel and its policies toward the Palistinians, modern high-tech which has changed the game (reference Thomas Freedman's concept of super-empowered individuals or groups competing with nation-states as actors), plus a bit of class-warfare that is a function of globalism. That means that we play a role in creating it and we therefore have some responsibility for it AND, importantly, an opportunity to make changes in our collective behavior that may just solve the problems with less violence and less avoidance of self-accountability than otherwise. I think that's a good thing.
****Muhammad was the original islamist terrorist. The problem is, when it comes to a theological debate between moderate muslims and the jihadists, the jihadists hold the theological upper hand.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." Abu Huraira added: Allah's Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them).
Qu'ran verse 8, 12: "When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them."****
I think what I just described is the mechanism by which such violence is made and I think it's important for people to understand this for the reasons you and I agreed upon earlier, namely that we've got to understand the problem well in order to solve it.
And, as agreed earlier, this mennace of Islamist terrorism is a real danger and must be understood if we're goign to solve it, maybe even in order for us to survive. It could get pretty bad in the next 50 years.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting...
on: April 18, 2007, 01:58:12 PM
****For those of you who don't know him, Massad Ayoob, the son of a Syrian immigrant is one of the top names in law enforcement/self defense firearms writing/training in the US. Reading his stuff as a teen inspired my career in law enforcement.****
Armed civilians can
help fight terrorism
By Massad Ayoob
This article was written before terrorists seized a school in Beslan, a town in North Ossetia, one of the small republics that make up the modern Russian Federation. The terrorists took more than 1200 hostages and, by the time the ensuing siege ended, at least 335 of them, mostly children, were dead. As Mr. Ayoob points out, terrorists care not a bit for the lives of innocents, including children. But he also points out, in this article, that one of the most effective counters to terrorism is when the innocents themselves are armed. — Editor
It will happen like this. The story, by the way, is true and has already happened.
“At 7:50 a.m., near the highway’s third traffic light and by a row of shops called the White House Plaza, the Toyota minivan was waiting for the light to change when a yellow-painted taxicab overtook the consulate car and stopped at a sharp angle in front of it. Two men, both carrying Chinese-made AK-47 7.62mm assault rifles, calmly emerged from the cab, raised their weapons, and unleashed a point-blank, furious fusillade at the minibus and its passengers. One of the gunmen fired into the front of the vehicle, peppering the windshield with nearly twenty 7.62mm holes. The second man, who eyewitnesses reported as bearing down on the sliding door of the minibus in text-book assault position, unleashed a banana-clip magazine’s worth of ammunition straight into the van, killing Mrs. Van Landingham and Mr. Durell.”
That incident did not happen in the United States. It took place in Karachi, Pakistan, on Wednesday, March 8, 1995. The account comes from Relentless Pursuit, the 2002 book about the hunt for Al-Qaeda terrorists written by Samuel M. Katz. Notes Katz, “It was the kind of operation the Mujahadeen had carried out so many times in Afghanistan, ambushing Soviet officers in Kabul.”
They don’t need airplanes to crash into skyscrapers. Many in the world intelligence community have been predicting that the next wave of Al-Qaeda attacks in the USA will take place on a much smaller scale, and in the heartland: the rural areas and small towns so cherished by the readers of Backwoods Home Magazine.
The next major terrorist target in the United States might be in “the heartland” instead of New York City.
Perhaps afflicted with the attention span of a fish, some pundits have implied that it’s paranoid to worry about further attacks. They say there is no evidence that terrorists are here.
The clueless should not talk about evidence. Mohammad Atta and the rest of the September 11, 2001 skyjacker team had long dwelt among us in this country as a sleeper cell. It was a carefully crafted operation of significant size. Believing that it cannot happen again is a manifestation of wishful thinking.
The fact is, there is strong reason to believe that it most certainly is going to happen again. The Israeli intelligence-gathering group DEBKA reported on May 26 of 2004: “Several sleeper cells are also known to have infiltrated the United States in ship’s containers in 2003 and early this year. Some of these containers were spotted at important US ports with signs of occupation by men with weapons and explosives who were never caught. They may have been decoys to distract attention from landings of large parties of armed terrorists on American shores, whom intelligence sources believed headed undetected for safe houses inland to await orders to strike.”
DEBKA noted in the same bulletin: “Our sources add that American and foreign counter-terror and intelligence agencies are also hunting for Midaat Mursi, known as Abu Khabab, prominent member of al Qaeda’s operational partner, the Egyptian Jihad Islami, who is considered the organization’s top expert on radiological bombs. Mursi heads a number of terrorist rings who may have been instructed to infiltrate the United States through Canada for a dirty bomb attack. They may have made the crossing already.”
As to the “dirty bomb” thing, the tidbit has been going around through the intelligence community for years now that Osama bin Laden is in possession of multiple “suitcase nukes” acquired through rogue elements of the former Soviet Union military. These would be more likely to be employed near large population centers.
The face of the enemy
We have seen the patterns of terrorist attack in other countries, with Israel being the paradigm. Suicide bombings, car bombings, and mass murder attempts in public places with firearms, such as the Karachi incident recounted at the beginning of this article.
The deaths of unarmed men, women, and children do not concern the perpetrators. Naive observers feel that this is not going to happen because their reading of the Moslem faith is that such killings are strictly forbidden. That is my understanding also. The problem is, we are not dealing with strict Moslems. We are dealing with fanatics and radicals whose faith has been cruelly misinterpreted by their leaders and twisted against them as well as against us.
Even the humble .22 can save the day if a shot is coolly placed in the right spot. This is the Smith & Wesson .22 Kit Gun, a favorite of backwoods people since before WWII.
In the wake of the brutal murder of American hostage Paul Johnson, Jr. in June of 2004, King Abdullah II of Jordan was quoted by Beth Gardiner of Associated Press from an address he delivered over Jordan Radio. Said the king, “These evil acts are not only aimed against the United States and the West, but also against Islam and humanity.”
Researchers David Benjamin and Steven Simon were able to access the deposition of a captured member of Al-Qaeda. In the following passage, he talks about his training and what he was told by the spiritual leader who was in charge of his terrorist cell:
“He said that our time now is similar like in that time, and he say ibn al Tamiyeh, when a tartar come to Arabic war, Arabic countries that time, he say some Muslims, they help him. And he says ibn al Tamiyeh, he make a fatwah. He said anybody around the tartar, he buy something from them and he sell them something, you should kill him. And also, if when you attack the tartar, if anybody around them, anything, or he’s not military or that—if you kill him, you don’t have to worry about that. If he’s a good person, he go to paradise and if he’s a bad person, he go to hell.”
What this individual is expressing, literally, is an ethos of “kill them all and let God sort them out.”
There is, really, only one answer. The threat must be interdicted. The Israelis figured out long ago that there’s no point in taking at gunpoint a subject who considers himself to be on a “martyrdom operation,” as Osama bin Laden has called his trademark type of merciless attack against the helpless. When a criminal suspect is taken at gunpoint by a police officer, a security professional, or a law-abiding armed citizen, what is happening is essentially a kind of negotiation.
In negotiation, as we all know, a form of bargaining is taking place. We give something we can afford to give, to gain something that we genuinely need. At gunpoint, we are implicitly saying to the criminal, “If you cease what you are doing which endangers us, we will let you live.” We can afford to lodge him at society’s expense in a penitentiary (or, if we are not police, to let him escape) in return to his obedience to the command to cease hostility. On his side of the deal, he is allowed to live unharmed in return for ceasing his dangerous behavior, which forced us to point deadly weapons at him.
This particular negotiation breaks down, however, when what we offer in return for what we need is something the other party doesn’t particularly want. The fanatics of Al-Qaeda and their sympathizers have repeatedly said that where our culture loves life, theirs loves death. The volunteers call themselves martyrs, and expect to sit at the side of their god and be rewarded with a few dozen virgins in the afterlife as a result of their actions. Therefore, they do not fear death, and cannot be bargained with like a criminal who wants to live.
Only one type of “negotiation” is possible. If what we need is the safety of the innocent, and what the terrorists want is death, suddenly the trade seems feasible after all.
This is why the Israelis have learned to shoot first and discuss the matter later when the explosives or the guns come out in the hands of the other side. Not long ago, a woman in a market in Israel saw a man attempting to activate an explosive device strapped to his body. She drew a concealed pistol and shot him dead before he could trigger the suicide bomb, and in so doing she saved countless innocent people from being killed or mutilated. American newspapers referred to her as a “security” person, but the word I get is that she was simply an ordinary lady…with a gun, and the will to use it, and the foresight to have learned to use it properly and effectively.
Many years before, a clutch of terrorists opened fire in a public place in Israel. Guns bloomed everywhere from the concealing garments of honest Israeli citizens. In moments, the terrorists were on the ground bleeding from their gunshot wounds, all dead but one. The wounded survivor said indignantly afterward that no one had told them that their victims might be armed and capable of shooting back.
After the massacre at the Maalot school decades ago, the Israelis developed the policy of having plainclothes volunteer guards in the schools, armed with concealed handguns. They were not hired gun security specialists, but parents and grandparents who had signed up to help protect their children and those of the community. They were trained with their firearms by the civil guard. Since that time, there was no wholesale murder of children in an Israeli school. The one such incident happened on a field trip outside the country, where it would have been known to the murderers that the adult chaperones were not allowed to take the weapons they carried in Israel. Last year, a terrorist gunman opened fire in an Israeli school, and was cut down by civilian volunteer gunfire before he could accumulate a significant death toll.
A little “snub-nose .38” like this ended the depredations, and the life, of urban terrorist Twymon Myers. This one is the ubiquitous Smith & Wesson Chiefs Special, in production since 1950 and weighing some 19 ounces with five-shot capacity.
The June 2004 issue of the Gottlieb-Tartaro Report carried the following item under the headline Armed Israeli Citizens Help Curb Terrorists: “Israel’s police spokesman Gil Kleiman says that citizens who carry their own guns are helping to curb the damage terrorists can inflict by being able to stop a terrorist situation. ‘We’ve seen it time and time again,’ said Kleiman. ‘Armed civilians who are well trained can save people’s lives. If there isn’t a policeman, civilians can deal immediately with a terrorist.’” Emphasis is Gottlieb’s and Tartaro’s.
We need to remember, too, that all terrorism is not political. Two psychopathic teens inflicted a huge toll of death and tragedy at Columbine High School, acting out a sick agenda that was personal rather than political or religious. In Pearl, Mississippi, a young man in a similar state of mind murdered his mother with a knife to gain control of his estranged father’s deer rifle, which he then took to school. He shot several students, and was in the act of driving toward a nearby junior high school with the gun and a quantity of ammunition when he was interdicted at gunpoint by a courageous assistant principal who had retrieved a Colt .45 semiautomatic from his pickup truck in the parking lot.
NACOP, the National Association of Chiefs of Police, came up with some figures that are on point to this issue in their recent 16th Annual Survey of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs, which was posted June 15, 2004. Jim Kouri, identified as Vice President and Public Affairs Specialist for NACOP, noted that the survey results differed from the public’s perception that most police executives in this country frown upon the idea of citizens fighting back. “When police chiefs and sheriffs are allowed to respond to poll questions anonymously, the politics may be removed from their answers,” Kouri explained.
Some extracts from the results of that survey:
“When asked if the United States would be attacked by terrorists within the next year, 88.2 percent said yes. Meanwhile 64 percent of police commanders said they received training and other resources from the federal government to combat terrorism, while only 42 percent said their departments participated in terrorism-response simulations.”
Also, “With regard to private citizens owning firearms for sport or self-defense, 94 percent of the respondents supported civilian gun-ownership rights. Ninety-six percent of the police chiefs and sheriffs believe criminals obtain firearms from illegal sources and 91 percent revealed they hadn’t arrested anyone for violation of the so-called ‘waiting period’ laws. When asked if they opposed citizens obtaining concealed-weapons permits, only 34 percent said yes.”
We’ve seen the future
We are a nation of hundreds of million of citizens, equipped with only a few hundred thousand police officers. Clearly, the cops can’t be everywhere at once.
Obviously, any citizen should report suspicious behavior. That’s not paranoia or fascism; under the circumstances, it’s just common sense.
No, citizens won’t spot a guy in a kafiyeh setting the timer on a small nuclear device. However, citizens do spot smaller things that can have a bearing. 9/11 suicide squad leader Mohammed Atta allegedly got into a road rage incident en route to the original airport from which he flew to Boston to transfer onto the fateful flight that terminated at the Twin Towers. If a cell phone call to police had summoned authorities in time, the course of history might have been changed.
The 1911 style .45 caliber semiautomatic is the classic American fighting pistol. This one is a Kimber CDP.
Now, if a man carrying a boxcutter and intending to slash throats, commit mass murder, and die himself that day should find himself embroiled in a shouting match with an angry motorist who appears about to call people who can “come and take him away,” he is not likely to just drive off. This is yet another reason for competent, responsible people to consider going armed.
More states than ever now authorize concealed carry of handguns. Vermont, the one state that has traditionally allowed that practice without any requirement for a permit or license, has recently been joined in that by an enlightened state of Alaska. More states than ever have reciprocity in this regard, that is, will accept concealed carry authorization issued by other states. Your best constantly-current source on the national concealed carry gun law situation is the web-site www.packing.org
Choice of equipment
The citizens of Israel have proven that you don’t need exotic counter-terrorist equipment to deal with scumbags who open fire on the innocent. The typical gun used there successfully by armed citizens is the ordinary 9mm semiautomatic pistol, of any of several makes. The key thing is that it be reliable. Be sure to load it with jacketed hollow point ammunition. It is designed to open up inside an offender’s body and lodge there, instead of tearing out the other side and homing in on an unseen bystander located behind the attacker and out of the shooter’s line of sight. The hollow point is also a more decisive “manstopper.” In shooting after shooting in Israel, terrorists have had to be shot again and again and again before they ceased their hostile actions, because the typical full metal jacket ammunition used there just punches a narrow wound profile like an ice-pick and does not deliver as much energy to surrounding tissues as does the American style bullet with the hollow cavity.
.45 caliber is a traditional American choice, and it’s no trick to teach even a small person to use one effectively. This powerful round has a good reputation for one-shot stops on violent human aggressors. Again, hollow points should be the choice of ammunition. The .45 kicks harder than the 9mm and so, for some, will warrant more training and practice time to gain competency. The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is partial to the .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol.
Frankly, the good old-fashioned six-shooter will probably do well enough. Back in the 1970s, a task force of NYPD detectives and Federal agents shot it out with one Twymon Myers, a domestic terrorist believed at the time to have been the last surviving member of the Black Liberation Army, whose signature attack was the ambush murder of uniformed police officers. Myers had wounded multiple lawmen in the firefight with his 14-shot Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol, and was trying to get to heavier firepower in his attaché case, and a hail of gunfire from cops armed with everything from 9mm automatics to Magnum revolvers had failed to put him down. Police lore has it that, before Myers could dump his empty pistol and get into his case, a grizzled New York City detective leaned out from cover and carefully squeezed off a single shot from his 1950-style .38 Special revolver. The 158-grain non-hollow point bullet punched through Myers’ heart and dropped him like a rock. Inside the case the terrorist had with him were a Colt .357 Magnum revolver and a 9mm German Schmeisser submachine gun, both fully loaded.
Indeed, even a .22 is better than nothing at all. The .22 caliber Beretta pistol issued by Mossad has gotten many an Israeli intelligence agent out of dangerous circumstances.
Self-reliant people prepare for storms even if there haven’t been any for a while. There hasn’t been a real storm on these shores since 9/11 at this writing, but the storm warnings are clear and urgent.
The Federal government is preparing for the next wave of attacks. So is local law enforcement.
This means that the rest of America needs to prepare for it, too.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 18, 2007, 01:41:07 PM
Given your acceptance of the "palestinian paradigm", I as an American Indian (I am an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe, vote in tribal elections, fall under tribal jurisdiction when on a reservation, am eligible for treatment at Indian Health Service clinics and so on....) am curious when you will be leaving the Illegally Occupied North American continent.
On that same point, what sort of violence is justified against the invaders of my native soil? Given your validation of "palestinian" terrorism, i'm assuming that you'd understand if the native peoples of North America engaged in the same conduct as we don't have a standing army or an air force.....
Of course once that done, I guess it's between us and those guys that insists this is "Aztlan".
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 18, 2007, 01:12:26 PM
****Yes, this is from that right-wing paper from that right-wing part of Manhattan. ****
Letter From Israel
A Short Take on a Long History
by Sylvana Foa
July 31 - August 6, 2002
JAFFA—Have you heard the one about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Chairman Yasir Arafat finally sitting down to negotiate? Sharon opened with a "biblical" tale.
"Before the Israelites came to the Promised Land and settled here, Moses led them for 40 years through the desert. One day, miraculously, a stream appeared. They drank and then decided to bathe. When Moses came out of the water, he found all his clothes missing.
" 'Who took my clothes?' Moses asked. 'It was the Palestinians,' replied the Israelites."
"Wait a minute," interrupted Arafat. "There were no Palestinians during the time of Moses!"
"All right," smirked Sharon, "now that we've got that settled, let's start talking."
"If the lie is big enough and told often enough, it will be believed," Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels once said. What worked for Goebbels evidently is also working for Arafat.
The blatant lies and vicious propaganda emanating from the Arab world have gotten out of hand. Anti-Semitism is out of the closet. Jews are murdered in Canada, their graves are desecrated in Italy. It's time to sort through the spiteful drivel.
No, Charlie, despite what you read on a zillion Arab Web sites, Jews do not use the blood of Arab children to bake their holiday bread.
Yes, Harriet, the Jewish Temple did exist in Jerusalem. I know Arafat insists it didn't and his excavators are busy destroying all archaeological record of it. But next time you visit Rome, go check out the Forum and you'll find its story carved in the ancient stone of Titus's arch. Let's start at the beginning.
First, who really owns the land encompassing what is now Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority? The answer is so well documented it could be the subject of future UN resolutions—the Canaanites. They established the Land of Canaan here around 2000 B.C., so they have first dibs. Unfortunately for them, there isn't a single Canaanite left on earth.
Abraham, the Father of the Jews and a figure revered by Islam, led a band of Hebrews from Mesopotamia and began the conquest of Canaan in 1741 B.C.—that's 3743 years ago. Those first Israelites were joined in about 1290 B.C. by the Jewish slaves led out of Egypt by Moses.
After many years and a lot of help from Joshua, the Israelites finally defeated the Canaanites and old King Saul united the country in 1100 B.C. King David added Jerusalem in 1000 B.C., and King Solomon built the First Temple around 956 B.C. The land was plagued by raiders like those guys dubbed the Philistines, "Sea Invaders," who came out of the Aegean and snatched a nice chunk of the coast. Remember Goliath? He was a Philistine and King David made mincemeat of him, but the Philistines were a nuisance for many years.
Big trouble loomed in 586 B.C. when the Babylonians (nasty ancestors of the nasty Iraqis) invaded under King Nebuchadnezzar II. They sacked the lavish city Solomon had built in Jerusalem and tore down the First Temple. The Babylonians rounded up all the Jews they could catch and deported them to Babylonia as slaves. That "Babylonian Exile" lasted a mere 50 years and the Jews returned to build the Second Temple.
For the next 1000 years, everyone and his brother grabbed a piece of the territory—Persians, Greeks, and Romans. The Roman reign was particularly benevolent. They destroyed the Second Temple in 70 A.D. and killed an estimated 1.1 million disobedient Jews, including one named Jesus. The Romans also maliciously renamed the area Palaestina, after the Jews' old enemy, the Philistines. The Christian Byzantine Empire took over in 300 A.D. and held on for more than 300 years. During that era, the Muslim Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 A.D.
Muhammad's followers believed in conversion, big time, and swarmed around the Middle East giving everyone a fair choice—become a Muslim or die. These Arabs stormed Palestine in 638 A.D. Do the math. The Arabs got to the region 2379 years after the Jews. So, who is occupying whom??
The Arabs considered Palestine unimportant and ruled from Damascus and Baghdad. You could call them benign except for the massacres and the fact that they were uncomfortable with trees . . . so they cut them all down, turning the once fertile region into a more familiar desert.
With all the hoopla about Jerusalem, check out the Muslim holy book, the Koran. The Koran mentions Mecca and Medina countless times but never once speaks of Jerusalem. On the other hand, there are 811 references to Jerusalem in the Bible.
Christian Crusaders arrived from Europe in 1099 and ousted the Arabs. In subsequent years, the land switched back and forth between invaders, and in the turmoil Jews began filtering back from their scattered exile. Many came from Spain, whence they were expelled in 1492.
In 1516, the non-Arab Ottoman Turks conquered Palestine and held sway until after World War I, when the British took over.
We really have no idea how many Jews and how many Arabs there were at the time—mainly because both groups hid from the Ottoman census takers to avoid taxes.
But we do know that there were probably fewer than 350,000 people, the majority Arab, in the whole region (including what is now Jordan) when Mark Twain made a pilgrimage in 1867.
In his travelogue, Innocents Abroad, Twain wrote, "One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings."
"Nazareth is forlorn . . . Jericho the accursed lies a moldering ruin today," Twain said, adding, "There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere."
But the population was growing. More Jews arrived from Eastern Europe and Russia in the 1880s, either fleeing oppression or following the Zionist dream. And Arabs from neighboring countries flocked to jobs created by Jewish immigrants.
Take a deep breath, because now the plot thickens.
In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration and promised "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish People."
The British then turned around and gave over 77 percent of Palestine to the Arab Hashemites, for what later became Jordan. The remaining 23 percent, west of the River Jordan, was supposedly for the Jews.
But in 1947, the UN voted to partition that 23 percent of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. The Israelis accepted the plan and in 1948 proclaimed the establishment of their state. Neighboring Arab nations, however, rejected both the partition and the idea of a Jewish state and launched a massive invasion of Israel.
They were defeated, and at the end of the 1948 war Israel held all of Western Palestine except the West Bank, which was captured by Jordan, and Gaza, which was seized by Egypt.
In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel again defeated Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq, gaining control not only of Gaza and the West Bank, but also of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Syria's Golan Heights.
The big question is: Where were the calls for a Palestinian state during the 19 years Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt held Gaza?
A 1978 peace accord signed with Egypt returned the Sinai to Cairo, but the Egyptians seemed relieved to leave Gaza with Israel. In 1988, King Hussein of Jordan officially renounced all claims to the West Bank.
As far as Israelis were concerned, the land, won in a defensive war, belonged to them.
But even after all the nauseating terror of the last 23 months, the majority of Israelis are willing to give Palestinians the West Bank, Gaza, and half of Jerusalem for their state. We just wonder if they are willing to let us keep ours.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 18, 2007, 01:10:06 PM
****Continued from above.****
Three months later I was granted political asylum by the United States, and Romania’s tyrant lost his dream of getting the Nobel Peace Prize. A quarter of a century later, however, Arafat remains in place as the PLO chairman and seems to still be on track with the Kremlin’s game of deception. In 1994, Arafat was granted the Nobel Peace Prize because he agreed to transform his terrorist organization into a kind of government-in-exile (the Palestinian Authority) and pretended, over and over, that he would abolish the articles in the 1964 PLO Covenant that call for the destruction of the state of Israel and would eradicate Palestinian terrorism. At the end of the 1998-99 Palestinian school year, however, all one hundred and fifty new schoolbooks used by Arafat’s Palestinian Authority described Israel as the “Zionist enemy” and equated Zionism with Nazism. Two years after the Oslo Accords were signed, the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists rose by 73% compared to the two year period preceding the agreement.
FP: There simply can’t be any kind of peace in the Middle East with Arafat at the helm. What advice would you give to American and Israeli diplomats now?
Pacepa: To expose Arafat’s lies and condemn his bloody terrorism, but to avoid being implicated in physical reprisals against him—that would certainly make him a hero with the Palestinians. I strongly suggest the Ceausescu solution. In November 1989, when he was loudly reelected president of Romania, Ceausescu was as popular there as Arafat is now with the Palestinians. A month later, however, Ceausescu was tried for genocide by his own people and executed by his own people. From one day to the next Ceausescu became the symbol of tyranny. Romania turned into a free country, and twelve years later it was invited to join NATO.
FP: Tell us a bit about what you think about the state of the KGB in Russia today. Some say it is experiencing a resurrection. Is this true?
Pacepa: It certainly is. In the last dozen years, Russia has been transformed for the better in unprecedented ways. Nevertheless, that country has a long way to go until it will tear down the legacy of Soviet Communism. As of June 2003, some 6,000 former KGB officers were reportedly holding important positions in Russia’s central and regional governments. Three months later, nearly half of the top governmental positions were also held by former KGB. It is like putting the old, supposedly defeated Gestapo in charge of rebuilding Germany.
Since the fall of Communism the Russians have been faced with an indigenous form of capitalism run by old Communist bureaucrats, speculators and ruthless mafiosi that has widened social inequities and created a decline in industrial production. Therefore, after a period of upheaval, the Russians have gradually—and perhaps thankfully—slipped back into their historical form of government, the traditional Russian samoderzhaviye (autocracy) traceable to the 14th century’s Ivan the Terrible, in which a feudal lord ruled the country with the help of his personal political police. Good or bad, the historically Russian political police may appear to most people in that country as their only defense against the rapacity of the new capitalists at home and the greediness of grasping foreign neighbors.
Russia will never return to Communism—too many Russians perished at the hands of that heresy. But it seems that Russia will not truly turn westward either, at least not under this generation. If history—including that of the last 14 years—is any guide, the Russians, who are now enjoying their regained nationalism, will struggle to rebuild a kind of an Old Russian Empire by inspiring themselves from old Russian traditions and by using old Russian ways and means.
FP: So is Russia a friend or a foe of the United States in the present international environment?
Pacepa: After the Berlin Wall was torn down, I hurried over there to have a look around. The dreaded East German political police was abolished from one day to the next, and its archives were opened to the public. One year later, the Stasi’s outrageous activity was laid bare in a large, impressive museum of freedom. A member of the Berlin parliament told me that the Germans wanted to provide the world with the certitude that the past would never be repeated. To be on the safe side, the German government sold off all the Stasi’s buildings to private companies.
After the Soviet Union collapsed, the new rulers in the Kremlin did not open the archives of the Soviet Union’s political police, but in 1992 they did create their own kind of KGB museum in Moscow, in a dreary gray building behind the Lubyanka. The upper floors remain KGB offices, but the rooms on the ground floor are used for conferences and as a club for retired KGB officers—complete with disco.
On September 11, 2002, numerous former KGB officers gathered at the KGB museum. They had not congregated in order to sympathize with us on the date of our national tragedy, but to celebrate the 125th birthday of Feliks Dzerzhinsky—the man who created one of the most criminal institutions in contemporary history. A few days later, Moscow’s mayor, Yury Lushkov, one of Russia’s most influential politicians, reversed his previous opposition and now said he wanted to restore Dzerzhinsky’s bronze statue to its former place of honor on Lubyanka Square. Just before that, the new Russian president ordered that the statue of Yury Andropov be reinstated at the Lubyanka, from where it had been removed after the KGB coup in 1991. Andropov is indeed the only other KGB officer to have been enthroned in the Kremlin, and it was therefore normal for Putin to pay homage to him. For all his life, Andropov indoctrinated his subordinates to believe that American Imperialism was the main enemy of their country. Now these subordinates are running Russia. It may take another generation until the visceral hatred for the US cultivated by Andropov disappears.
FP: How does Russia fit in the War on Terror? Isn’t there at least a common interest in fighting Islamic terrorism?
Pacepa: September 11, 2001 was directly rooted in a joint Soviet/Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) operation conceived in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israeli War. The object of this joint operation was to repair Moscow's prestige by turning the Islamic world against Israel and by creating a rabid and violent hatred for its main supporter, the United States. The strategy was to portray the US, this land of freedom, as a Nazi-style "imperial-Zionist country" financed by Jewish money and run by a rapacious "Council of the Elders of Zion" (the Kremlin's epithet for the US Congress), the aim of which was allegedly to transform the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom. In other words, the heart of the joint plan was to convert the historical Arab and Islamic hatred of the Jews into a new hatred of the United States. We threw many millions of dollars at this gigantic task, which involved whole armies of intelligence officers.
In the late 1960s, a new element was added to the Soviet/PLO war against Israel and American imperial-Zionism: international terrorism. Before 1969 came to an end, the KGB's Thirteenth Department-known in our intelligence jargon as the Department for Wet Affairs, wet being a euphemism for bloody-invented airplane hijacking. The KGB constantly lectured at us that no one within the
American/Zionist sphere of influence should feel safe anymore. The hijacked airplane became an instrument of Soviet foreign policy-and eventually the weapon of choice for September 11, 2001.
During those years of intensive airplane hijackings, I became amazed at the almost identical pride both Arafat and KGB General Sakharovsky exhibited over their prowess as terrorists. “I invented the hijacking of [passenger] airplanes,” Arafat bragged to me in the early 1970s, when I first met him. A few months later I met with Sakharovsky at his Lubyanka office. He pointed to the red flags pinned onto a world map hanging on his wall. “Look at that,” he said. Each flag represented a plane that had been downed. “Airplane hijacking is my own invention,” he boasted.
Sakharovsky’s subordinates are now reigning in the Kremlin. Until they fully disclose their involvement in creating anti-American terrorism and condemn Arafat’s terrorism, there is no reason to believe they have changed.
FP: Mr. Pacepa. thank you. We are out of time. It was a great honor to speak with you. I hope you will return and join us again.
Pacepa: It was a great pleasure to be with you, and I would be delighted to return.
I welcome all of our readers to get in touch with me if they have a good idea/contact for a guest for Frontpage Interview. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: April 18, 2007, 01:08:18 PM
From Russia With Terror
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 1, 2004
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Ion Mihai Pacepa, former acting chief of Communist Romania’s espionage service. In 1987 he published Red Horizons (Regnery Gateway), reprinted in 24 countries. In 1999 Mr. Pacepa authored The Black Book of the Securitate, reportedly an all time bestseller in Romania. He is now finishing a book on the origins of current anti-Americanism.
Frontpage Magazine: Welcome to Frontpage Interview, Mr. Pacepa. Let’s begin. As a former Romanian spy chief who used to take direct orders from the Soviet KGB, you are obviously armed with a wealth of information. You have written about how the Soviets armed Hussein with WMDs, and also taught him how to eliminate any trace of them. Can you talk a bit about this and tell us its connection to the “missing WMDs” in Iraq today?
Pacepa: Contemporary political memory seems to be conveniently afflicted with some kind of Alzheimer's disease. Not long ago, every Western leader, starting with President Clinton, fumed against Saddam’s WMD. Now almost no one remembers that after General Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s son-in-law, defected to Jordan in 1995, he helped us find “more than one hundred metal trunks and boxes” containing documentation “dealing with all categories of weapons, including nuclear.” He also aided UNSCOM to fish out of the Tigris River high-grade missile components prohibited to Iraq. That was exactly what my old Soviet-made “Sãrindar” plan stated he should do in case of emergency: destroy the weapons, hide the equipment, and preserve the documentation. No wonder Saddam hastened to lure Kamel back to Iraq, where three days later he was killed together with over 40 of his relatives in what the Baghdad official press described as a “spontaneous administration of tribal justice.” Once that was done, Saddam slammed the door shut to any UNSCOM inspection.
FP: So was any Sãrindar plan activated?
Pacepa: Certainly. The minimal version of the Sãrindar plan I made for Libya’s Gaddafi. Soon after I was granted political asylum in the US, Gaddafi staged a fire at the secret chemical weapons facility I knew about (the cellar underneath the Rabta chemical complex). To be sure the CIA satellites would notice that fire and cross that target off its list, he created a huge cloud of black smoke by burning truckloads of tires and painting scorch marks on the facility. That was written in the Sãrindar plan. To be on the safe side, Gaddafi also built a second production facility, this time placed some 100 feet underground in the hollowed-out Tarhunah Mountain, south of Tripoli. That was not in the Sãrindar plan.
FP: It is undeniable, therefore, that Saddam had WMDs, right?
Pacepa: In the early 1970s, the Kremlin established a “socialist division of labor” for persuading the governments of Iraq and Libya to join the terrorist war against the US. KGB chairman Yury Andropov (who would later become the leader of the Soviet Union), told me that either of those two countries could inflict more damage on the Americans than could the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof group and all other terrorist organizations taken together. The governments of those Arab countries, Andropov explained, not only had inexhaustible financial resources (read: oil), but they also had huge intelligence services that were being run by “our razvedka advisers” and could extend their tentacles to every corner of the earth. There was one major danger, though: by raising terrorism to the state level we risked American reprisal. Washington would never dispatch its airplanes and rockets to exterminate the Baader-Meinhof, but it might well deploy them to destroy a terrorist state. We therefore were also tasked to provide those countries secretly with weapons of mass destruction, because Andropov concluded that the Yankees would never attack a country that could retaliate with such deadly weapons.
Libya was Romania’s main client in that socialist division of labor, because of Ceausescu’s close association with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Moscow kept Iraq. Andropov told me that, if our Iraq and Libyan experiment proved successful, the same strategy would be extended to Syria. Recently, Libya’s Gaddafi admitted to having WMD, and the CIA inspectors found them. Why should we believe that the almighty Soviet Union, which had proliferated WMD all over the world, was not able to do the same thing in Iraq? Every piece of armament Iraq had came from the former Soviet Union—from the Katyusha launchers to the T72 tanks, BMP-1 fighting vehicles and MiG fighter planes. In the spring of 2002, just a couple of weeks after Russia took its place at the NATO table, President Putin and his ex-KGB officers who are now running Russia concluded another $40 billion trade deal with Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical regime in Iraq. That was not for grain or beans—Russia has to import them from elsewhere.
FP: Tell us about the PLO and its connection to the Soviet regime.
Pacepa: The PLO was dreamt up by the KGB, which had a penchant for “liberation” organizations. There was the National Liberation Army of Bolivia, created by the KGB in 1964 with help from Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Then there was the National Liberation Army of Colombia, created by the KGB in 1965 with help from Fidel Castro, which was soon deeply involved in kidnappings, hijackings, bombings and guerrilla warfare. In later years the KGB also created the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which carried out numerous bombing attacks on the “Palestinian territories” occupied by Israel, and the “Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia,” created by the KGB in 1975, which organized numerous bombing attacks against US airline offices in Western Europe.
In 1964 the first PLO Council, consisting of 422 Palestinian representatives handpicked by the KGB, approved the Palestinian National Charter—a document that had been drafted in Moscow. The Palestinian National Covenant and the Palestinian Constitution were also born in Moscow, with the help of Ahmed Shuqairy, a KGB influence agent who became the first PLO chairman. (During the Six-Day War he escaped from Jerusalem disguised as a woman, thereafter becoming such a symbol within the bloc intelligence community that one of its later influence operations—aimed at making the West consider Arafat a moderate—was given the codename “Shuqairy.”) This new PLO was headed by a Soviet-style Executive Committee made up of 15 members who, like their comrades in Moscow, also headed departments. As in Moscow—and Bucharest—the chairman of the Executive Committee became the general commander of the armed forces as well. The new PLO also had a General Assembly, which was the Soviet-inspired name given to all East European parliaments after World War II.
Based on another “socialist division of labor,” the Romanian espionage service (DIE) was responsible for providing the PLO with logistical support. Except for the arms, which were supplied by the KGB and the East German Stasi, everything else came from Bucharest. Even the PLO uniforms and the PLO stationery were manufactured in Romania free of charge, as a “comradely help.” During those years, two Romanian cargo planes filled with goodies for the PLO landed in Beirut every week, and were unloaded by Arafat’s men.
FP: You have discussed your personal knowledge of how Arafat was created and cultivated by the KGB and how the Soviets actually designed him to be the future leader of the PLO. Illuminate this picture for us please.
Pacepa: “Tovarishch Mohammed Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini, nom de guerre Abu Ammar,” was built into a Palestinian leader by the KGB in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israeli War. In that war Israel humiliated two of the Soviet Union’s most important allies in the Arab world of that time, Egypt and Syria, and the Kremlin thought that Arafat could help repair the Soviet prestige. Arafat had begun his political career as leader of the Palestinian terrorist organization al-Fatah, whose fedayeen were being secretly trained in the Soviet Union. In 1969, the KGB managed to catapult him up as chairman of the PLO executive committee. Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was also a Soviet puppet, publicly proposed the appointment.
Soon after that, the KGB tasked Arafat to declare war on American “imperial-Zionism” during the first summit of the Black International, an organization that was also financed by the KGB. Arafat claimed to have coined the word “imperial-Zionism,” but in fact Moscow had invented this battle cry many years earlier, combining the traditionally Russian anti-Semitism with the new Marxist anti-Americanism.
FP: Why has the American and Israeli leadership been deceived so long about Arafat’s criminal and terrorist activities?
Pacepa: Because Arafat is a master of deceit—and I unfortunately contributed to that. In March 1978, for instance, I secretly brought Arafat to Bucharest to involve him in a long-planned Soviet/Romanian disinformation plot. Its goal was to get the United States to establish diplomatic relations with him, by having him pretend to transform the terrorist PLO into a government-in-exile that was willing to renounce terrorism. Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev believed that newly elected US president Jimmy Carter would swallow the bait. Therefore, he told the Romanian dictator that conditions were ripe for introducing Arafat into the White House. Moscow gave Ceausescu the job because by 1978 my boss had become Washington’s most favored tyrant. “The only thing people in the West care about is our leaders,” the KGB chairman said, when he enrolled me in the effort of making Arafat popular in Washington. “The more they come to love them, the better they will like us.”
“But we are a revolution,” Arafat exploded, after Ceausescu explained what the Kremlin wanted from him. “We were born as a revolution, and we should remain an unfettered revolution.” Arafat expostulated that the Palestinians lacked the tradition, unity, and discipline to become a formal state. That statehood was only something for a future generation. That all governments, even Communist ones, were limited by laws and international agreements, and he was not willing to put any laws or other obstacles in the way of the Palestinian struggle to eradicate the state of Israel.
My former boss was able to persuade Arafat into tricking President Carter only by resorting to dialectical materialism, for both were fanatical Stalinists who knew their Marxism by heart. Ceausescu sympathetically agreed that “a war of terror is your only realistic weapon,” but he also told his guest that, if he would transform the PLO into a government-in-exile and would pretend to break with terrorism, the West would shower him with money and glory. “But you have to keep on pretending, over and over,” my boss emphasized.
Ceausescu pointed out that political influence, like dialectical materialism, was built upon the same basic tenet that quantitative accumulation generates qualitative transformation. Both work like cocaine, let’s say. If you sniff it once or twice, it may not change your life. If you use it day after day, though, it will make you into an addict, a different man. That’s the qualitative transformation. And in the shadow of your government-in-exile you can keep as many terrorist groups as you want, as long as they are not publicly connected with your name.
In April 1978 I accompanied Ceausescu to Washington, where he convinced President Jimmy Carter that he could persuade Arafat to transform his PLO into a law-abiding government-in-exile, if the United States would establish official relations with him. Thereupon, President Carter publicly hailed Ceausescu as a “great national and international leader” who had “taken on a role of leadership in the entire international community.”