Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Read it all!
on: November 11, 2006, 02:20:49 PM
Former President Bill Clinton: "And They Will Be All The More Lethal If We Allow Them To Build Arsenals Of Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons And The Missiles To Deliver Them. We Simply Cannot Allow That To Happen. There Is No More Clear Example Of This Threat Than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His Regime Threatens The Safety Of His People, The Stability Of His Region And The Security Of All The Rest Of Us." (President Bill Clinton, Remarks To Joint Chiefs Of Staff And Pentagon Staff, 2/17/98)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): "The Problem Is Not Nuclear Testing; It Is Nuclear Weapons. ... The Number Of Third World Countries With Nuclear Capabilities Seems To Grow Daily. Saddam Hussein's Near Success With Developing A Nuclear Weapon Should Be An Eye-Opener For Us All." (Sen. Harry Reid, Congressional Record, 8/3/92, p. S11188)
Former Vice President Al Gore: "f You Allow Someone Like Saddam Hussein To Get Nuclear Weapons, Ballistic Missiles, Chemical Weapons, Biological Weapons, How Many People Is He Going To Kill With Such Weapons? He's Already Demonstrated A Willingness To Use These Weapons ..." (CNN's "Larry King Live," 12/16/98)
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY): "I Voted For The Iraqi Resolution. I Consider The Prospect Of A Nuclear-Armed Saddam Hussein Who Can Threaten Not Only His Neighbors, But The Stability Of The Region And The World, A Very Serious Threat To The United States." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, Press Conference, 1/22/03)
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Read it all!
on: November 11, 2006, 01:23:48 PM
Democrats Find Their Values Issue
By Don Feder
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 13, 2006
In the most bizarre twist of a surreal campaign, Republicans could lose control of the House of Representatives due in part to disgraced Congressman Mark Foley?s salacious e-mails to under-aged pages.
If that happens, the beneficiary will be the party that has uncritically embraced the gay-rights movement ? which in turn embraces other things.
Speaking of double standards:
In 1983, Massachusetts Congressman Gerry Studds was found to have had sexual relations with a 16-year-old male page (No mere cyber-stalking for the Bay State perv.) He was censured by the House, then repeatedly reelected by his ethically-challenged constituents, with the blessings of the Democratic Party.
In 1989, Barney Frank admitted to shacking up with a male prostitute, who he met through a personal ad in The Washington Blade (?hot bottom plus large endowment equals good time.?) Senor Large Endowment ran a prostitution ring out of the congressman?s D.C. condo. Frank was censured, then re-elected, with Democratic support. Today, he?s one of his party?s senior statesmen.
Bill Clinton copulated orally with intern Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. Granted, Monica was an adult (chronologically, at least). But isn?t this about men in a position (you should pardon the expression) of authority exploiting young people in their charge?
His vice president, and the 2000 Democratic presidential candidate, called Mr. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Zipper ?one of our greatest presidents.?
And still the party of It?s-Only-About-Sex is trying to drive House Speaker Dennis Hastert from office. (?What did he know, and when did he know it?? they sputter, repeating their favorite Watergate refrain.) They intend to ride the issue like Seattle Slew ? from here to November 7th. North Korean nukes, atomic Iran, worldwide jihad? Nada compared to erotic e-mails.
Now ? at long last ? the Democrats have their very own values issue, in the person of a pro-abortion, anti-traditional marriage (he voted against the federal marriage amendment) ?Republican,? who slunk around in dark cyber alleys.
So, what exactly is the great lesson Democrats want us to learn from the Foley scandal?
Don?t talk dirty to kids?
But their Hollywood friends do it all the time. Besides, what is sex education ? pushed by their friends in the teachers? unions ? if not talking dirty to kids?
Adults shouldn?t come on to adolescents?
But their allies in the gay rights movement want to lower or abolish age-of-consent laws.
Men shouldn?t be in a position where they can proposition teens?
But Democrats booed a Boy Scout color guard at their 2000 convention, because the Scouts said no to sending boys off into the woods with gay scoutmasters ? which makes about as much sense as letting Bill Clinton sleep in a pup tent with cheerleaders.
We should support parents trying to protect teens from sexual predators?
But a Democratic filibuster in the Senate killed the Child Custody Protection Act, which would have made it a federal crime to take a minor across state lines for an abortion, thereby avoiding a parental-notification law in their home state. You think those 15-year-olds going out-of-state for abortions are impregnated by other 15-year-olds? In most cases, teen pregnancy results from statutory rape.
I guess the point the Hastert lynch mob is trying to make is this: The day of reckoning dawns only for Republicans.
Gay rights has become as much a part of Democratic orthodoxy as abortion-on-demand, racial quotas, driver? licenses for illegal immigrants, and a blind faith in the power of negotiations to keep Kim Jong Il from developing nuclear weapons.
The Democrats are into mainstreaming the Gay Lobby. And many members of the Gay Lobby are into sex with youth.
? Heterosexual molesters at least have the good taste not to organize and lobby for their sickness. There is a North American Man-Boy Love Association (whose motto is ?sex before eight or it?s too late?). There is no North American Man-Girl Love Association. NAMBLA often participates in gay-pride parades.
? Paeans to ?intergenerational sex? permeate gay literature, from the poems of Alan Ginsberg to the play ?The Vagina Monologues.? In one charming vignette in Eve Ensler?s play, a 13-year-old girl is plied with alcohol and seduced by a 24-year-old woman. The act is justified by the child?s declaration: ?If it was rape, it was a good rape.? Following a protest, the girl?s age was changed to 16 (still younger than those Foley stalked) and the ?good-rape? line deleted.
? The 1972 platform of the National Coalition of Gay Organizations included a demand for ?repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent.?
? In 2004, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force joined with the Woodhull Freedom Foundation (an out-of-the-closet, sex-with-kids group) to focus first on studying America?s ?archaic? sex laws, as a prelude to overturning them.
? In ?The Gay Report,? prepared by two gay researchers, 73 percent of homosexuals surveyed reported having had sex with boys, aged 16 to 19, and in some cases younger.
? According to a study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 81 percent of priestly sex-abuse victims were boys and adolescent males. In coverage of the scandal, the media resolutely ignored this reality by referring to the perps as ?pedophile priests,? instead of homosexual pedophile priests.
? Male homosexuals represent roughly 2.5 percent of the population, yet account for over one-third of adults who prey sexually on children. In other words, a gay male is 13 times as likely to be a sexual predator as a heterosexual male.
?We?re outraged by middle-aged men in trench coats cyber-flashing teens!? the Party of Feigned Morality declares. But if the explicit exchanges are spoken, written, or taught in the sacred name of AIDS education or tolerance training, the acts rise from the sordid to the sublime.
Consider instruction given to children as young as 12 at a March 2000 conference sponsored by ? now get this ? the Massachusetts Department of Education. (At least Foley wasn?t paid to come on to kids.)
Designated a statewide ?Teach-Out,? one well-attended session was titled, ?What They Didn?t Tell You About Queer Sex and Sexuality in Health Class.? Here children were instructed in such good-sex practices as the placing of hands in various body cavities.
The conference was secretly taped. Here?s one exchange that took place between a student and an instructor:
Educator: ?What orifices are we talking about??
Educator: ?Don?t be shy, honey; you can do it.?
Student: ?Your mouth.?
Student: ?Your ass.?
Educator: ?There you go.?
Student: ?Your pussy. That kind of place.?
Comparing Foley?s instant messages (?What are you wearing?? ?Don?t forget to measure for me.?) to this smut is like comparing Flopsey, Mopsey, and Cottontail to The Illustrated Marquis de Sade.
So the newly minted Party of Virtue, the Legion of Decency reborn, insists that Hastert must go and Republicans must lose control of the House because ? unbeknownst to them ? a pathetic little perv from the Sunshine State sent suggestive instant messages to pages.
Will the Democrats now turn over a new page and denounce efforts to abolish age of consent laws, support the Boy Scouts of America, and push for passage of the Child Custody Protection Act?
As soon as the election is over, their moral indignation over adults who come on to kids will be forgotten faster than Clinton?s campaign pledge of a middle-class tax cut or O.J. Simpson?s promise to spend the rest of his days tracking down the ?real killers? of Nicole.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Read it all!
on: November 11, 2006, 01:18:30 PM
How the Grinch Stole Michael Moore
By Peter Schweizer
FrontPageMagazine.com | December 13, 2005
Peter Schweizer's new book, Do As I Say (Not As I Do), is available from the FrontPage Magazine Bookstore for only $18.95.
In a recent speech broadcast on C-SPAN, Michael Moore complains that a "crazy person" (that would be me) has been spreading lies about him, including the story that he owns stock in a number of evil vicious multinational corporations, including Halliburton. "Michael Moore own Halliburton stock?" the anti-corporate activist told his supporters at the Paul Wellstone Memorial Dinner. "See, that's like a great comedy line. I know it's not true - I mean, I've never owned a share of stock in my life." He went on: "Anybody who knows me knows that, you know - who's gonna believe that? Just crazy people are going to believe it - crazy people who tune-in to the Fox News Channel." (Looks like this crazy person is in good company.)
On the back cover of my book, I include part of Michael Moore?s 990PF that he files with the IRS for a tax shelter he and his wife set up and control. The form clearly shows that Moore bought and sold shares in Halliburton and a number of other vicious, evil corporations. Look through the tax forms from 1998 to the present, and you will find more of the same.
How is it possible for Michael Moore to say he doesn?t own any stock while his tax forms say otherwise? Since Michael Moore simply never lies, this must be a case of identity theft.
Here is what must have happened. Someone set up a tax shelter and registered it at Michael Moore?s home address in Michigan. The thief transferred money from Moore?s accounts into this private foundation and then hired an investment broker to pour the money into corporate stock and bonds. The thief must have practiced forging Michael Moore?s name because the signature on the tax form is a perfect match. To make matters worse, the thief must look exactly like Michael Moore because the only other person involved with the tax shelter is his wife, Kathleen Glynn, and she never noticed anything going wrong. (The private foundation has no staff or other trustees.)
So who is behind this nefarious plot? My first guess is Dick Cheney. Think about it, Cheney has a lot of experience with this covert operations. And a look at the stocks in portfolio includes plenty from the military-industrial complex and oil industry, who are of course all of Cheney?s best friends. When the Halliburton stock in question was first purchased, Cheney was CEO. What better way to boost the stock price than use Michael Moore?s money?
But at second glance, this sort of operation is too soft for Cheney. If he wanted to get Mike, a dirty ops campaign like this would be too mild. Wouldn?t he just trump up charges and invade Michigan?
That brings us to another possibility: Karl Rove. Whenever anything goes wrong on the Left (remember those fake Bush National Guard papers?), Mike thinks Rove is behind it. He has to be behind this, too, right?
All joking aside, Michael Moore is following a tactic that too many of the liberal-leftist elite use to avoid any sort of accountability. Think about it: when was the last time you heard a leader of the Left apologize for anything? Too many seem to embrace the Stalinist precept that they cannot make mistakes.
The real question facing the Left?s rank-and-file when it comes to the hypocrites I highlight in my book is this: are you going to stand by your principles or your heroes? If you truly believe what you claim, you shouldn?t tolerate this kind of hypocrisy on the part of your leaders.
Conservative leaders who have fallen short publicly apologize, take responsibility for their actions, and work on changing. Leaders on the Left simply are not held into account in the same manner. The media give them a free pass and rank-and-file leftists do not want to question them. Being a leader on the Left means never having to say you are sorry. It?s time for that to change.
So I ask those on the liberal-Left: Who are you going to believe, Michael Moore or his tax returns?
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Read it all!
on: November 11, 2006, 01:17:17 PM
Profiles in Left-Wing Hypocrisy
By Anne Henderson
NEWS.com.au | September 19, 2006
The activists who preach loudest against the so-called evils of modern democracies should be exposed.
In these secular times, celebrity-styled and self-appointed moral guardians have long replaced church leaders as the average person's guide to the higher moral ground. Al Gore and his message on climate change is but the latest.
In Australia to promote his film An Inconvenient Truth, Gore was given extremely soft interviews by Kerry O'Brien on The 7.30 Report, Andrew Denton on Enough Rope and Fran Kelly on Radio National.
All ABC interviewers accepted Gore's preaching without substantial query.
The problem for moral guardians is that often they take the high moral ground while simultaneously dealing in much of what they condemn. It's called double standards. And right now the world of commentary is full of them.
In his film, to be released in Australia tomorrow, the former US vice-president lectures at length on the need for all of us to change our lifestyles to save the planet.
We are sitting on a time bomb, he tells us, a planet heating to such an extent we have just 10 years before the apocalypse. We have a choice he says - "to bring our carbon emissions to zero". We must use renewable energy and clothes lines, drive hybrid cars and cut back on consumption.
But a zero carbon emission is not a choice Gore has personally made. He owns three homes, one of which is a 930 sq m, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville and another a 370 sq m house in Arlington, Virginia.
In spite of readily available green energy, in both Nashville and the Washington DC area, writer Peter Schweizer (USA Today, August
has revealed "there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy".
Gore usually travels to promote his film in a private jet.
Governments and citizens around the world must heed the message that carbon emissions need to be reduced and that the earth is warming to levels that cause concern. No doubt in that. But the hype of Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and his own performances in its support have given him guru status. Surely the least a guru can do is lead by example.
The hypocrisy industry is alive and well in secular democracies. Decades of campaigns from animal rights protests to anti-war marches have offered some notable Americans not only celebrity status but even comfortable incomes. This is the lucrative humbug Schweizer exposes in Do As I Say (Not As I Do) - Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.
Take Michael Moore, documentary film-maker and guru of anti-Americanism and fashionable leftist causes. His hallmark characteristic is hero of the little man against the big corporations. He talks often of growing up in the working-class, wrong-side-of-the-tracks rust belt of Flint, Michigan. Flint has become a trademark for Moore - on his email address and website. In fact, Moore grew up in nearby Davison, the son of a middle-class General Motors worker who owned the family home, drove two cars and played golf after work in the afternoons.
Moore has a penthouse in New York and an extensive property on Torch Lake, Michigan, made of 70-year-old Michigan red pine trees. In spite of his so-called green credentials, he was recently cited by local authorities for despoiling a wetland in an attempt to extend his private beach.
Moore's image exudes the ordinary guy, the man who can hack it rough with no interest in consuming goods. He derides the elite for their excess and need for luxury. This is the same man who couldn't drink Poland Spring when backstage and had to have a ready supply of Evian. The same man who demanded he travel the country in a private jet and a fleet of four-wheel drives for his most recent book tour.
The hypocrisy industry has caught a number off guard in the fashionable global warming pronouncements.
Barbra Streisand took neighbour and photographer Wendell Wall to court after he took shots of her at a car dealership looking at four-wheel drives, a clear contradiction of her plea a few months before for Americans to get serious about reducing fuel emissions.
She had him arrested, pressed charges that led to bail being upped to $1 million so that he was held for three days. When the matter came to court, Wall was recognised to have been doing nothing offensive and he sued the sheriff's department for violation of his civil liberties, which was settled out of court.
Schweizer's study of the rich and hypocritical is full of such stories - of how those who preach loudest against the so-called evils of modern democracies have the biggest skeletons in their closets.
Legislators such as Democrat congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, one of the wealthiest on Capitol Hill, an anti-nuclear and environmental campaigner who owns and invests in property where environmental regulations are ignored.
Teddy Kennedy, whom Schweizer calls the king of liberal hypocrites, is fulsome in his appeals for greener choices. Yet the Kennedys, led by Ted, continue to oppose a wind project off Hyannis where they sail, even though the project is way out to sea.
And as Ted preaches against oil companies, the Kennedys have invested in oil in Texas for decades, and even own the drilling rights on land that is not theirs.
Let's save the planet by all means - but let's not be fooled by those who preach loudest but do not practise what they preach.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Read it all!
on: November 11, 2006, 01:05:06 PM
Please give your definition of a "necessary war".
As far as blatant corruption, would you like a list of democratic congress members with "issues"?
A city left to drown was left that way by Ray Nagan and Kathleen Blanco, both democrats. FEMA, is at best 3rd string. More a check-writing entity than a first responder.
No one can top the left for smug self-rightiousness.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our Troops in Action
on: November 07, 2006, 04:48:44 PM
SACRIFICE Troop cradled grenade to save others
Los Angeles Times
12-7-2004 | TONY PERRY and RICHARD MORRIS
SAN DIEGO ? Sgt. Rafael Peralta is dead, but the story of his sacrifice to save fellow Marines will live long in Marine Corps lore.
In the fierce battle for the Iraqi town of Fallujah, Peralta, with gunshot wounds to his head and body, reached out and grabbed a grenade hurled by an insurgent, cradling it to his body to save others from the blast.
The explosion in the back room of a house injured one Marine, but four others managed to scramble to safety.
Peralta, 25, an immigrant from Mexico who enlisted the day he got his green-card work permit, was declared dead en route to a field hospital.
?If he hadn?t done what he did, a lot of us wouldn?t be seeing our families again,? said Lance Cpl. Travis J. Kaemmerer, who witnessed the blast.
Garry Morrison, the father of Lance Cpl. Adam Morrison, had trouble keeping his voice from breaking when he spoke of Peralta.
?He saved the life of my son and every Marine in that room,? Morrison said in a phone call from Seattle. ?I just know one thing: God has a special place in heaven for Sgt. Peralta.?
Similar gratitude was expressed by family members of other Marines in Peralta?s unit who were close to the blast. The unit was Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.
In a modest home in a blue-collar neighborhood here, the Peralta family feels pride but also grief, anger and confusion.
Rafael Peralta was the oldest son: strong, a weightlifter and athlete, head of the family since his father died in a workplace accident three years ago. He loved the Marine Corps.
He joined in 2000 and recently had re-enlisted. While in the Marines, he became a U.S. citizen. The only decorations on his bedroom walls are a copy of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and a picture of his boot camp graduation.
As Peralta waited last month to begin the assault on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, he wrote a letter to his 14-year-old brother, Ricardo.
The letter arrived the day after several Marines and a Navy chaplain came to the Peralta home to notify the family of his death.
?We are going to destroy insurgents,? Peralta wrote. ?Watch the news. . . . Be proud of me, bro. I?m going to do something I always wanted to do.
?You should be proud of being an American. Our father came to this country and became a citizen because it was the right place for our family to be. If anything happens to me, just remember I?ve already lived my life to the fullest.?
Peralta had left his mother, Rosa, with similar words. She said he told her, ?I want you to be strong and take care of my brother and sisters because I don?t know if I?ll return.? His mother added, ?I?m proud of him, but my heart is sad.?
Rafael Peralta had not been assigned to the Nov. 15 attack on Fallujah. Still, he volunteered.
As a scout, assigned to perimeter security, he could have stayed on the periphery. Instead, he took the lead as his platoon stormed a house in search of heavily armed insurgents known to be hiding in the neighborhood.
The house appeared empty. Then Peralta opened a door to a back room, and three insurgents fired their AK-47s. Marines fired back at near point-blank range with M-16 rifles and automatic weapons.
Hit several times in the chest and once in the head, Peralta went down and appeared dead. Insurgents tossed a ?yellow, foreign-made, oval-shaped? grenade toward the Marines.
To the amazement of the other Marines, Peralta, apparently with his last bit of strength, ?reached out and pulled the grenade into his body,? said Kaemmerer, a combat correspondent from the 1st Force Service Support Group assigned to the battalion. Peralta?s body absorbed most of the deadly fragments from the blast.
?Most of the Marines in the house were in the immediate area of the grenade,? Kaemmerer said. ?Every one of us is grateful and will never forget the second chance at life Sgt. Peralta gave us.?
After the grenade blast, the house caught fire, and Marines repositioned in the street for a second assault. Within minutes, the three insurgents had been killed by Marines and Peralta?s body was recovered.
In the hours after the battle, Marines spoke quietly of Peralta?s heroism.
?You?re still here, don?t forget that,? Lance Cpl. Richard A. Mason told Kaemmerer. ?Tell your kids, your grandkids, what Sgt. Peralta did for you and other Marines today.?
Even in their pain, Peralta?s family members are not surprised that he decided to lead from the front.
?My brother was very courageous,? Ricardo Peralta said. ?He wasn?t scared of anyone or anything.?
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: God and Sex
on: November 06, 2006, 04:21:55 PM
Predators like to move to positions of authority. The catholic church was infiltrated with large numbers of predators in the 60's (to the best of my knowledge that's where the current problem really began) and has failed to root out this perverse subculture, preferring to deny/avoid the problem.
As with other issues, the longer people avoid dealing with a problem, the worse the problem gets.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia and NZ too
on: November 06, 2006, 01:52:43 AM
Radical mufti finds backing here
Saturday November 4, 2006
By Simon Collins
A Sydney mufti who compared unveiled women to "uncovered meat" has gained followers in New Zealand, despite an attempt by the country's official Muslim body to disown him.
A former president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Dr Abdul Hafeez Rasheed, says Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali may have used an "inappropriate" analogy, but his message that women should cover up was "quite legitimate".
Another Auckland man, 23-year-old website developer Eyad Arwani, wrote on a local Muslim discussion website: "Just as there is [sic] thieves among men, there are those who cannot control their sexual desires, and if a woman attracts attention of such men and is violated, then she can only blame herself."
Sheik Alhilali attended a conference at Auckland's Sheraton Hotel organised by the local Islamic federation and the Saudi-based Organisation of the Islamic Conference in June 2003 and claims to be the "Mufti of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific".
In a sermon reported last week in Australia, he said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street or in the garden or in the park or in the backyard without a cover and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.
"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hajib [scarf or veil], no problem would have occurred."
But the current Islamic federation president, Javed Khan, issued a statement rejecting Sheik Alhilali's claim to be the "Mufti of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific".
"We have no dealings with this mufti," he said. "I have been president for 3 years and I have never met him."
He said the title "mufti" was given to Islamic scholars with authority to settle issues of religious law but did not carry any administrative powers such as those of Christian bishops.
Egyptian-born Sheik Alhilali attended the Auckland conference in the same month that Mr Khan was elected the federation's president.
Mr Khan said yesterday: "I attended some of the sessions but I can't remember whether he spoke. It was before my term."
The imam of New Zealand's oldest mosque, in Ponsonby, Sheik Mohammed Abdul Rahman Ayrut, attended a dinner with Sheik Alhilali at the conference. He said that, if correctly reported, the mufti's latest sermon was "a mistake".
"You have to call people to be in good morality and to follow your religion, not to condemn them and say these ladies ... are like meat on the street," Sheik Ayrut said. "If he said that, that's wrong."
Fiji-born Dr Rasheed, now a lawyer in Mt Roskill, believed the criticism was part of an international campaign against Islam by "Zionist Christians".
He said the Koran was clear that women should cover themselves "from the wrist right down to the ankles and all over except the face - that is one interpretation. The other interpretation is that they should be completely covered."
Writing on the "Info for NZ Muslims website", Syrian-born Mr Arwani called on Muslims to support Sheik Alhilali.
"The argument that men should control themselves is ludicrous. It is just like saying thieves should not rob houses whose doors and windows are left wide open," he said.
But a Hamilton Muslim woman who wears the hajib, Anjum Rahman, responded that "self-control is the basis of Islam".
"It is the meaning of submitting your will to Allah. It is one of the reasons we fast during Ramadan. It is how we strive for Jannah [Paradise] - by controlling our desires."
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere
on: November 06, 2006, 12:31:14 AM
My theory as to why we haven't found any [homegrown Islamist terrorist cells] is because there aren't very many of them.... They aren't the diabolical, capable, and inventive people envisioned by most politicians and people in the terrorism industry," says John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University. "The danger is that we've wasted an enormous amount of money with all of the wiretaps [and] investigations, and diverted two-thirds of the FBI from criminal work to terrorism work.".........
Still, a lack of public evidence pointing to extensive Islamist extremism in the US is leading a small but growing number of experts to agree with Professor Meuller's assessment. Like Meuller, though, they add a cautionary note.
"There's not zero threat in any community, but it is good news and we have to hope that reflects an underlying reality that [homegrown extremist cells] don't exist here," says Jonathan Winer, a terrorism expert in Washington. "You've always got lone nuts in every imaginable ethnic group grabbing every imaginable ideology to justify terrorism."
**The above "analysts" are clueless. Standard issue left-wing delusion/denial.**
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Future Terrorism: Mutant Jihads
on: November 05, 2006, 03:07:00 PM
Future Terrorism: Mutant Jihads
Terrorism Dr. Whalid Phares
November 4, 2006
The strategic decision to carry out 9/11 was made in the early 1990s, almost ten years before the barbaric attacks on New York and Washington took place. The decade-long preparations?and the testing of America?s defenses and political tolerance to terrorism that took place before September 11th?were a stage in the much longer modern history of the jihadist movement that produced al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers. Decades from now, historians will discover that the United States, the West and the international community were being targeted by a global ideological movement which emerged in the 1920s, survived World War II and the Cold War, and carefully chose the timing of its onslaught against democracy.
Undoubtedly, the issue that policy planners and government leaders need to address with greatest urgency, and which the American public is most concerned about, is the future shape of the terrorist threat facing the United States and its allies. Yet developments since 2001, both at home and overseas, have shown that terror threats in general?and the jihadi menace in particular?remain at the same time resilient and poorly understood.
Defining the War
The jihadi war against the Soviet Union during the Cold War?and the struggle against the United States and some of its allies thereafter?are all part of a single continuum. Over time, jihadi Salafists and Khomeinist radicals alike have become proficient in selecting their objectives and infiltrating targets.
Indeed, an analysis of the security failures that made 9/11 possible clearly demonstrates that the hijackers exploited systemic malfunctions at the national security level. Learning these lessons is essential for better counterterrorism planning in the future. But the jihadists are also learning, and the advantage will go to the side which can adapt most quickly. If the jihadists learn to understand and anticipate their opponents, their tactics and strategies will mutate.
The first strain of mutating Islamist ideology is that of al-Qaeda and its affiliates. In his now-historic April 2006 speech, Osama Bin Laden confirmed his commitment to global, total and uncompromising jihad. ?It is a duty for the Umma with all its categories, men, women and youths, to give away themselves, their money, experiences and all types of material support, enough [to establish jihad in the fields of jihad] particularly in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kashmir and Chechnya,? Bin Laden has maintained. ?Jihad today is an imperative for every Muslim. The Umma will commit sin if it did not provide adequate material support for jihad.?
"All the indications suggest that al-Qaeda is planning to open a new battlefield in Africa. In the speeches of Bin Laden and other Islamist leaders, Sudan represents a central arena of confrontation with the infidels..."
Bin Laden?s latest risala (message) is as important as his initial declarations of war and of mobilization, laying out his most comprehensive vision so far. As this ?world declaration? makes clear, the global Salafi agenda accepts no truth other than radical Islamist dogma. All non-Islamist governments must be brought down, and pure, pious ones erected in their stead. Global jihadism, in its Salafi-Wahhabi form, is ideologically at war with the rest of the world. The conflict is universal in nature. It encompasses the entire West, not just the United States and Europe. Russia, India, and at some point even China, in addition to moderate Muslim governments, must be brought down. Like no other document to date, Bin Laden?s speech outlines the final fantasy of the jihadi mind: world domination.
The second branch of jihadism is smaller, and concentrated in the hands of a single regime: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since its inception, Khomeini?s Islamic Revolution has seen itself as universal in nature. And today, flush with oil dividends, it is rapidly expanding its influence in Lebanon, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Similar to its Salafi counterpart, the Khomeinist worldview seeks to erect Islamist regimes, launch radical organizations and expand its ideology. But unlike in Wahhabism, the chain of command is narrow and tightly controlled; Iran?s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is the unquestioned ideological head, while Iran?s radical president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, decides the time, place and scope of the battles.
By understanding the objectives of these forces, it is possible to extrapolate some theaters of likely confrontation in the years ahead.
Today, U.S.-led forces in Iraq are battling al-Qaeda and other Salafi forces in the so-called ?Sunni Triangle.? In the south, meanwhile, Coalition forces have engaged Iranian-supported militias, such as Muqtada al Sadr?s Mahdi Army. U.S. and Iraqi forces will continue to battle on both of these fronts, in Iraq?s center and south. The Salafi strategy will center on classical terrorist attacks, while Iranian-supported forces are likely to attempt to infiltrate and take control of Iraqi forces. U.S.-Iraqi counterterrorism cooperation will continue to expand, but a decisive victory for Baghdad cannot take place before Iranian and Syrian interference has receded?and that will not happen until both of those regimes are weakened from the inside. Hence, American support for democratic and opposition forces in Syria (and by extension Lebanon) and Iran is the surest way to ensure success in Iraq.
The consolidation of the Karzai government in Kabul is essential to American strategy, both as a bridge to a younger generation of Afghans and as a counterweight to the appeal of the Taliban. Al-Qaeda is committed to preventing such a development. It has a vested interest in causing the country?s post-Taliban government to fail, and in preventing a new generation of citizens from being exposed to non-Salafi teachings. U.S. and NATO forces therefore face a long-term struggle against jihadists in that country, both on the military and the socio-cultural level. Sustaining engagement there will depend on two factors: American public support, and the outcome of the struggle between fundamentalists and the government currently taking place in Pakistan.
Many of the components of the worldwide war with jihadism are concentrated in Pakistan. So far, Pakistan?s radical Islamists have been able to block their government from taking back control of the country?s western tribal areas and uprooting the fundamentalist organizations in its east. But potentially even more dangerous is the possibility that jihadists could take control of Pakistan?s nuclear arsenal. In this context, the most serious threat to the United States would be the collapse of the Musharraf government and the Pakistani military at the hands of radical Islamists. Should this happen, the U.S. would be under direct nuclear threat from a nuclear-armed al-Qaeda regime?one that would have tremendous control over many other Muslim countries.
A major shift in south Asia will not only impact Afghanistan and Pakistan, but is likely to spill over into Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the southern Philippines, with ripple effects on U.S. allies Australia, Thailand, and India. The U.S. will be deeply and adversely affected by the expansion of jihadism in Asia.
While the Salafi threat is likely to extend east into Asia, Khomeinism is likely to expand westward, from Iran to southern Lebanon via Iraq?s Shi?ite areas and Syria?s Alawite-dominated regime. Since its inception, the radical regime in Tehran has had a vision of itself as a great power, and consequently perceives itself to be on a collision course with the ?Great Satan?: the United States. The imperial vision of a Shi?a Crescent from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean held by Iran?s leaders mirrors the Sunni Caliphate envisioned by al-Qaeda and its followers?albeit one with a modern twist: nuclear weapons. Bolstered by its partnership with Syria and the strength of its proxy force in Lebanon, Tehran today envisions a global confrontation with the United States. As such, the Iranian regime represents a cardinal threat to democracies in the region and, by extension, to the United States.
Ever since Hafez al-Assad chose to permit Iran to expand its influence in Lebanon, a Syrian-Iranian axis has existed in the region.2 During the Cold War, Damascus was able to outmaneuver the U.S. on a number of fronts, chief among them Lebanon. By 1990, the latter had been abandoned by Washington to Syria. The Ba?athist domination of Lebanon, in turn, led to the ascendance of Hezbollah. But America?s post-9/11 volte-face brought the dangers of Syrian-occupied Lebanon into sharp focus. By 2005, Syria had been forced out of Lebanon, but Bashar al-Assad remains defiant. Today, in the aftermath of Hezbollah?s war with Israel, Syria, like Iran, finds itself hurtling toward confrontation with the United States.
Since the 1970s, Lebanon has been a key battlefield between the forces of terror and the West. The country houses a dense conglomeration of anti-democratic forces, ranging from Hezbollah to pro-Syrian groups to extreme Salafists. Since the 1983 attacks on the U.S. Marine barracks, the United States has altered its strategy toward Lebanon several times, but today, Washington finds itself forced to contain a rising Hezbollah and support a struggling ?Cedar Revolution.?
Sudan and the Horn of Africa
All the indications suggest that al-Qaeda is planning to open a new battlefield in Africa. In the speeches of Bin Laden and other Islamist leaders, Sudan represents a central arena of confrontation with the infidels, and a major launching pad for world jihad. The jihadists aim to thwart the international community in Darfur and reignite a holy war in southern Sudan. In addition, fundamentalists are expanding their influence in Somalia, and conspiring against U.S. ally Ethiopia. Here again, the U.S. and other democracies find themselves on a collision course with radical Islamists, even though international engagement in Africa today is essentially limited to humanitarian assistance.
With the Madrid and London attacks, the many plots foiled in Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, the violence in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, the French ?intifada? and the ?Cartoon Jihad,? Europe has well and truly become the next battlefield. Transatlantic cooperation could give way to tensions between America and its European partners, as European jihadis become a danger to the United States. Indeed, jihadi penetration of Europe, particularly Western Europe, is expected to facilitate the infiltration of North America.
Since the 2002 Moscow theater hostage-taking and the subsequent Beslan school massacre, jihadism has engulfed Russia. Wahhabism has already taken hold in Russia?s southern provinces, and jihadists are thinking beyond Chechnya, toward the dismemberment of the Russian Federation. Russian strategy, for its part, has been peculiar; while Moscow has confronted fundamentalists at home head-on, it nonetheless pursues a policy of support for Iran and Syria?and, by extension, Hezbollah. In doing so, Russia?s foreign policy has become antithetical to its own national security. The U.S. and Russia have a solid basis for collaboration against international terrorism, but unless Moscow abandons its tolerance of Tehran?s radicalism, the two countries will miss a strategic opportunity to defeat world terror in this decade.
While the Soviet legacy has mostly dissipated in Latin America, with Fidel Castro?s regime in Cuba the last ailing vestige of the Cold War, it has taken just one decade for new threats to emerge. The populist regime of Hugo Ch?vez in Venezuela not only poses a challenge to liberal democracies in the region, it also serves as a conduit for foreign jihadi threats. With an alliance with Iran in the making and with an al-Qaeda and Hezbollah presence in the country, Venezuela is facilitating the activities of a network of forces inimical to U.S. interests. Deeper in the continent, meanwhile, both al-Qaeda and Hezbollah have successfully put down roots in the Andes and the Tri-Border Region between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. With the long and porous Mexican-American border a major vulnerability, another future threat to the U.S. is brewing to its south.
Finally, American security is also at risk from the north. Not only is Canada considered a passageway by which international terrorists can enter the United States, it has also become a site for the proliferation of jihadi groups. The arrests made in Toronto in the summer of 2006, and the coordination between U.S.-born radicals and their Canadian ?brothers,? are signs of a new era?one in which Islamists view the United States and Canada as one strategic arena for operations. Washington therefore will increasingly need to coordinate its counterterrorism strategies with its northern neighbor, despite the differences in political culture, institutions and attitudes.
The Home Front
For the United States, winning the War on Terror depends on two battlefields. The first is overseas, where Washington must confront jihadi forces and help allies to win their own struggles with terrorism. This will require the United States to support democratic change abroad, both as a counterweight to jihadist lobbies and as a means of assisting Arab and Muslim democrats to win the conflict within their own societies.
The second, however, is closer to home. Homeland security planners must be thinking seriously about a duo of unsettling questions. First, are jihadists already in possession of unconventional weapons on American soil, and how can the U.S. government deter them? This crucial issue tops all other challenges, for a terrorist nuclear strike on the U.S. has the potential to transform international relations as we know them. Second, how deeply have jihadist elements infiltrated the U.S. government and federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and various military commands, either through sympathizers or via actual operatives?
As the recent scandal over the National Security Agency?s domestic surveillance program has shown, the answers are fraught with complications. Five years into the War on Terror, the U.S. has not fully made the transition from the pre-9/11 legal counterterrorism framework to one based on intelligence, prevention and robust police action. And, without a national consensus about the seriousness of the jihadi threat, America will lose its own war of ideas. The future enemies of the United States will be a mutation of current and past terrorist foes. In confronting these forces, knowledge of their ideologies, objectives and determination will make all the difference.
Dr. Walid Phares is Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and author of Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America (Palgrave/St. Martin, 2005). He is also a Professor of Middle East Studies at Florida Atlantic University.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: November 05, 2006, 11:39:25 AM
Folks, Let's Talk Seriously About The War
Terrorism Jeff Lukens
October 28, 2006
My 21-year-old son recently joined the Army reserves, and is now in basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He writes to tell me that his drill sergeants are telling him that, reservist or not, get ready to go to Iraq.
He has no reason to doubt them. For my son, it is a reckoning he calmly accepts.
What can I say? He wants to serve his country, and I couldn't be more proud of him.
I'm just a regular guy like millions of people everywhere who love this country. I was in the Army years ago, but they never deployed me to a war zone. The thought of my son going into one sets me back a bit. When I think about the thousands of parents who have sons and daughters over there already, I get a bit choked. And when I think about those who have had their child die over there, I go beyond choked. God forbid . . . it could happen to my son too.
We've all heard fellow Americans badmouthing our country while military personnel overseas are risking their lives. They say they support the troops but they don't support the war. Well, that's baloney. It's the same thing.
They say we shouldn't question their patriotism either. Well, that's baloney too. To actively root for our side to lose just so they can further their politics is more than unpatriotic. It's criminal.
"The real reason for the Iraq invasion was that it was strategically necessary to influence the entire Middle East. The invasion was meant to show that we meant business in this war against al Qaeda."
Let's face it; many politicians, media people and others simply don't care about this country. They don't care about you or me, my son or your daughter. They're not willing to make any sacrifices.
Folks, it's us, the regular people who need to own the issue of the war on terror because we're the only ones who are serious about fighting it.
We've all witnessed the political pretenders who say they voted for the Iraq war, but then have no problem when leaked classified information is used against it. Nothing is prohibited in their two-faced attempt to gain power, even when their tactics do our nation lasting harm.
The spin is that, by fighting terrorists, we somehow are the ones creating the terrorists. That thinking harkens back to the pre-9/11 days of waiting to be attacked before responding. What these people don't understand is that our government's most sacred duty is to protect the American people.
Think about it. After 9/11, there were just a few options open to us and all involved invading somebody. The only way to fight terrorism was to go on the offense and hit them so hard that they can't hit back. And so we did. But invading Afghanistan alone was not enough to alter the root causes of terrorism.
The real reason for the Iraq invasion was that it was strategically necessary to influence the entire Middle East. The invasion was meant to show that we meant business in this war against al Qaeda.
Much complex analysis lay behind U.S. strategy, and much of its basis was too complex to present to the public. So, for right or wrong, WMD became the selling point for the invasion of Iraq.
The leaders in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have no doubt noticed the large presence of U.S. ground and air forces within easy striking distance of their countries. It no doubt is a major reason why they no longer support Al Qaeda, when they tolerated it - and even funded it - before.
So, now we have established a fledgling democracy in Iraq, and sectarian violence has become a problem. The government cannot be our ally if it is itself allied with terrorists. And terrorists are exactly what Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army are. We should've taken them out in 2004. Now we need to finish that job.
But this is a secondary issue. We cannot allow disappointments to turn to disillusionment about our reasons for engaging in this war. Poor decisions can surely make matters much worse.
Wavering members of congress have been calling for a timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq. This is all hot air in an attempt to score political points. They'll say anything to get elected. Nowhere in the history of warfare has a nation pre-announced such a timetable to their enemies. It would be disastrous.
Whether democracy succeeds in Iraq is up to the Iraqi people, not us. But they are watching our domestic politics too, and many more may decide to side with our enemies based on what the "loyal opposition" in Washington is doing to undermine the war. We cannot afford such irresponsibility.
It is naive to think that by getting out of Iraq, we can spare ourselves from the clash between radical Islam and the rest of the world. With Iran next door moving steadily toward a nuclear bomb, the question now is whether we are going to remain serious about terrorism, or frivolously pretend it is no longer important.
It's up to us, the ones with a personal stake in winning the war, to make our voices heard. We owe that to our nation's future. And we owe it to our sons and daughters who wear its uniform.
Jeff Lukens writes engaging opinion columns from a fresh, conservative point of view. He is also a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets. He can be contacted through his website at www.jefflukens.com
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone'
on: November 05, 2006, 11:31:46 AM
A DARK GLOBALISM
By MARK STEYN
October 17, 2006 -- New Hampshire-based columnist Mark Steyn is one of the most trenchant writers in the English-speaking world today. Hitting stores this week is his new book, "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" - a grim look at the West's fecklessness in the face of the threat from radical Islam. The Post is happy to give its readers a taste with this excerpt.
- THE EDITORS
THE dragons are no longer on the edge of the map: That's the lesson of 9/11.
When you look at it that way, the biggest globali zation success story of recent years is not McDonald's or Microsoft but Islamism. The Saudis took what was not so long ago a severe but peripheral strain of Islam - practiced by Bedouins in the middle of a desert miles from anywhere - and successfully exported it to Jakarta and Singapore and Alma-Ata and Grozny and Sarajevo and Lyons and Bergen and Manchester and Ottawa and Dearborn and Falls Church. It was a strictly local virus, but the bird flew the coop.
And now, instead of the quaintly parochial terrorist movements of yore, we have the first globalized insurgency.
As a bleary Dean Martin liked to say, in mock bewilderment, at the start of his stage act: "How did all these people get in my room?" How did all these jihadists get rooms in Miami and Portland and Montreal? How did we come to breed suicide bombers not just in Gaza but in Yorkshire?
IN the globalized pre-9/11 world, we in the West thought in terms of nations - the Americans, the French, the Chinese - and, insofar as we considered transnational groups, were obsessed mostly with race. Religion wasn't really on the radar.
So an insurgency that lurks within a religion automatically has a global network. And you don't need "deep cover": You can hang your shingle on Main Street and we won't even notice it. And when we do - as we did on 9/11 - we still won't do anything about it, because, well, it's a religion, and modern man is disinclined to go after any faith except perhaps his own.
But Islam is not just a religion. Those lefties who bemoan what America is doing to provoke "the Muslim world" would go bananas if any Western politician started referring to "the Christian world." When such sensitive guardians of the separation of church and state endorse the first formulation but not the second, they implicitly accept that Islam has a political sovereignty too. Thus, it's not merely that there's a global jihad lurking within this religion, but that the religion itself is a political project - and, in fact, an imperial project - in a way that modern Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are not.
Furthermore, this particular religion is historically a somewhat bloodthirsty faith, in which whatever's your bag violence-wise can almost certainly be justified. (Yes, Christianity has had its blood drenched moments, but the Spanish Inquisition, still a byword for theocratic violence, killed fewer people in a century and a half than the jihad does in a typical year.)
So we have a global terrorist movement, insulated within a global political project, insulated within a severely self-segregating religion whose adherents are the fastest-growing demographic in the developed world. The jihad thus has a very potent brand inside a highly dispersed and very decentralized network much more efficient than anything the CIA can muster. And these fellows can hide in plain sight.
NOT long after 9/11, I said, just as an aside, that these days whenever something goofy turns up on the news chances are it involves some fellow called Mohammad.
A plane flies into the World Trade Center? Mohammad Atta.
A sniper starts killing gas station customers around Washington, D.C.? John Allen Muhammad.
A guy fatally stabs a Dutch movie director? Mohammed Bouyeri.
A gunman shoots up the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport? Hesham Mohamed Hedayet.
A terrorist slaughters dozens in Bali? Noordin Mohamed.
A British subject self-detonates in a Tel Aviv bar? Asif Mohammad Hanif.
A terrorist cell bombs the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania? Ali Mohamed.
A gang rapist preys on the women of Sydney, Australia? Mohammad Skaf.
A group of Dearborn, Mich., men charged with cigarette racketeering in order to fund Hezbollah? Fadi Mohamad-Musbah Hammoud, Mohammad Fawzi Zeidan and Imad Mohamad-Musbah Hammoud.
A Canadian terror cell is arrested for plotting to bomb Ottawa and behead the prime minister? Mohammad Dirie, Amin Mohamed Durrani and Yasim Abdi Mohamed.
Sophisticates object that very few of the Mohammads on the list above are formal agents of al Qaeda. But so what? There are no "card-carrying members" of this enemy: That's what makes them an ever-bigger threat: You don't need to plant sleepers. If you've got a big pool of manpower and a big idea that's just out there all the time - 24/7, flickering away invitingly like a neon sign in the Western darkness - that's enough to cause a big heap of trouble.
AND there are minimal degrees of separation between all these Mohammads and the most eminent figures in the Muslim world and the critical institutions at the heart of the West. For example, in 2003, Abdurahman Alamoudi was jailed for attempting to launder money from a Libyan terror-front "charity" into Syria via London.
Who's Abdurahman Alamoudi? He's the guy who until 1998 certified Muslim chaplains for the United States military, under the aegis of his Saudi-funded American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council. In 1993, at an American military base, at a ceremony to install the first imam in the nation's armed forces, it was Mr. Alamoudi who presented him with his new insignia of a silver crescent star.
He's also the fellow who helped devise the three-week Islamic awareness course in California public schools, in the course of which students adopt Muslim names, wear Islamic garb, give up candy and TV for Ramadan, memorize suras from the Koran, learn that "jihad" means "internal personal struggle," profess the Muslim faith, and recite prayers that begin "In the name of Allah," etc.
OH, and, aside from his ster ling efforts on behalf of multicultural education, Alamoudi was also an adviser on Islamic matters to Hillary Clinton.
And it turns out he's a bagman for terrorists.
Infiltration-wise, I would say that's pretty good. The desk jockeys at the CIA insist, oh no, it would be impossible for them to get any of their boys inside al Qaeda. But the other side has no difficulty setting their chaps up in the heart of the U.S. military, and the U.S. education system, and the U.S. political establishment, and the offices of U.S. senators and former First Ladies.
Mark Steyn was a winner of the 2006 Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism. Excerpted with permission from "America Alone: The End of the World as We KnowIt" (Regnery).
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran
on: November 05, 2006, 08:19:59 AM
U.N. Indecision on Iran Leaves Bush With Tough Choices
BY DANIEL PIPES
October 31, 2006
Where, one wonders, will the desultory, perpetual efforts to avert a crisis with Iran end? With a dramatic calling of the vote at the U.N. Security Council in New York? Around-the-clock negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna? A special envoy from the European Union hammering out a compromise in Tehran?
None of the above, I predict. As the Iranian government announced a doubling of its uranium enrichment program last week, the Security Council bickered over a feeble European draft resolution. It would do no more than prohibit Iranian students from studying nuclear physics abroad, deny visas for Iranians working in the nuclear area, and end foreign assistance for Iran's nuclear program ? oh, except from Russia.
Recent evidence suggests that Tehran is not likely to forgo its dream of nuclear weaponry.
? Hostile statements provoking the West. Perhaps the most notable of these was President Ahmadinejad's warning to Europe, reported by Reuters, not to support Israel: "We have advised the Europeans that ... the [Muslim] nations are like an ocean that is welling up, and if a storm begins, the dimensions will not stay limited to Palestine, and you may get hurt." Yet more outrageously, the chief of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, said America stands "on the threshold of annihilation."
? A mood of messianism in the upper reaches of the government. In addition to the general enthusiasm for mahdaviat (belief in and efforts to prepare for the mahdi, a figure to appear in the end of days), reliable sources report that Mr. Ahmadinejad believes that he is in direct contact with the "Hidden Imam," another key figure of Shiite eschatology.
? The urgent nuclear program. Bolstered by the economic windfall from oil and gas sales, since mid-2005 the regime at almost every turn has taken the most aggressive steps to join the nuclear club, notably by beginning nuclear enrichment in February.
A focused, defiant, and determined Tehran contrasts with the muddled, feckless Russians, Arabs, Europeans, and Americans. Six months ago, a concerted external effort could still have prompted effective pressure from within Iranian society to halt the nuclear program, but that possibility now appears defunct. As the powers have mumbled, shuffled, and procrastinated, Iranians see that their leadership has effectively been permitted to barrel ahead.
Nonetheless, new ideas keep being floated to finesse a war with Iran. A Los Angeles Times columnist, Max Boot, for example, has dismissed an American invasion of Iran as "out of the question" and proffered three alternatives: threatening an economic embargo, rewarding Tehran for suspending its nuclear program, or helping Iranian anti-regime militias invade the country
Admittedly, these no-war, no-nukes scenarios are creative. But they no longer offer a prospect of success, for the situation has become crude and binary: Either the American government deploys force to prevent Tehran from acquiring nukes, or Tehran acquires them.
This key decision ? war or acquiescence ? will take place in Washington, not in New York, Vienna, or Tehran. (Or Tel Aviv.) The critical moment will arrive when the American president decides whether to permit the Islamic Republic of Iran to acquire the bomb. As the timetable of the Iranian nuclear program is murky, that might be either President Bush or his successor.
It will be a remarkable moment. America glories in the full flower of public opinion on taxes, schools, and property zoning. Activists organize voluntary associations, citizens turn up at town hall meetings, associations lobby elected representatives.
But the American apparatus of participation fades away when it comes time to make the fateful decision to go to war. The president is left on his own to make this difficult call, driven by his temperament, inspired by his vision, surrounded only by a close circle of advisers, insulated from the vicissitudes of politics. His decision will be so intensely personal that which way he will go depends mostly on his character and psychology.
Should he allow a malevolently mystical leadership to build a doomsday weapon that it might well deploy? Or should he take out Iran's nuclear infrastructure, despite the resulting economic, military, and diplomatic costs?
Until the American president decides, everything amounts to a mere rearranging of deck chairs on the Titanic, acts of futility and of little relevance.
Mr. Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org
) is director of the Middle East Forum and author of "Miniatures" (Transaction Publishers).
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: November 05, 2006, 01:57:35 AM
Friday, November 03, 2006
Dr. Tawfik Hamid doesn't tell people where he lives. Not the street, not the city, not even the country. It's safer that way. It's only the letters of testimony from some of the highest intelligence officers in the Western world that enable him to move freely. This medical doctor, author and activist once was a member of Egypt's Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Arabic for "the Islamic Group"), a banned terrorist organization. He was trained under Ayman al-Zawahiri, the bearded jihadi who appears in Bin Laden's videos, telling the world that Islamic violence will stop only once we all become Muslims.
He's a disarmingly gentle and courteous man. But he's determined to tell a complacent North America what he knows about fundamentalist Muslim imperialism.
"Yes, 'imperialism,' " he tells me. "The deliberate and determined expansion of militant Islam and its attempt to triumph not only in the Islamic world but in Europe and North America. Pure ideology. Muslim terrorists kill and slaughter not because of what they experience but because of what they believe."
Hamid drank in the message of Jihadism while at medical school in Cairo, and devoted himself to the cause. His group began meeting in a small room. Then a larger one. Then a Mosque reserved for followers of al-Zawahiri. By the time Hamid left the movement, its members were intimidating other students who were unsympathetic.
He is now 45 years old, and has had many years to reflect on why he was willing to die and kill for his religion. "The first thing you have to understand is that it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with poverty or lack of education," he says. "I was from a middle-class family and my parents were not religious. Hardly anyone in the movement at university came from a background that was different from mine.
"I've heard this poverty nonsense time and time again from Western apologists for Islam, most of them not Muslim by the way. There are millions of passive supporters of terror who may be poor and needy but most of those who do the killing are wealthy, privileged, educated and free. If it were about poverty, ask yourself why it is middle-class Muslims -- and never poor Christians -- who become suicide bombers in Palestine."
His analysis is fascinating. Muslim fundamentalists believe, he insists, that Saudi Arabia's petroleum-based wealth is a divine gift, and that Saudi influence is sanctioned by Allah. Thus the extreme brand of Sunni Islam that spread from the Kingdom to the rest of the Islamic world is regarded not merely as one interpretation of the religion but the only genuine interpretation. The expansion of violent and regressive Islam, he continues, began in the late 1970s, and can be traced precisely to the growing financial clout of Saudi Arabia.
"We're not talking about a fringe cult here," he tells me. "Salafist [fundamentalist] Islam is the dominant version of the religion and is taught in almost every Islamic university in the world. It is puritanical, extreme and does, yes, mean that women can be beaten, apostates killed and Jews called pigs and monkeys."
He leans back, takes a deep breath and moves to another area, one that he says is far too seldom discussed: "North Americans are too squeamish about discussing the obvious sexual dynamic behind suicide bombings. If they understood contemporary Islamic society, they would understand the sheer sexual tension of Sunni Muslim men. Look at the figures for suicide bombings and see how few are from the Shiite world. Terrorism and violence yes, but not suicide. The overwhelming majority are from Sunnis. Now within the Shiite world there are what is known as temporary marriages, lasting anywhere from an hour to 95 years. It enables men to release their sexual frustrations.
"Islam condemns extra-marital sex as well as masturbation, which is also taught in the Christian tradition. But Islam also tells of unlimited sexual ecstasy in paradise with beautiful virgins for the martyr who gives his life for the faith. Don't for a moment underestimate this blinding passion or its influence on those who accept fundamentalism."
A pause. "I know. I was one who accepted it."
This partial explanation is shocking more for its banality than its horror. Mass murder provoked partly by simple lust. But it cannot be denied that letters written by suicide bombers frequently dwell on waiting virgins and sexual gratification.
"The sexual aspect is, of course, just one part of this. But I can tell you what it is not about. Not about Israel, not about Iraq, not about Afghanistan. They are mere excuses. Algerian Muslim fundamentalists murdered 150,000 other Algerian Muslims, sometimes slitting the throats of children in front of their parents. Are you seriously telling me that this was because of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians or American foreign policy?"
He's exasperated now, visibly angry at what he sees as a willful Western foolishness. "Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want."
Then he leaves -- for where, he cannot say. A voice that is silenced in its homeland and too often ignored by those who prefer convenient revision to disturbing truth. The tragedy is that Tawfik Hamid is almost used to it.
- Michael Coren is an author and broadcaster. www.michaelcoren.com
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: November 05, 2006, 01:44:08 AM
I agree about the Kurds. They have been straight with us and we should be with them. Screw the Turks if they don't like it. **The Turks are no longer friends and should have to live with those consequences. Syria doesn't want an Iraqi Turkistan, which is one more reason to do it.**
But if we leave the Sunnis and Shiites to hash it out, won't the Shiites win because of numerical superiority and because of support from Iran? Combined with Hez's "success" against the Israelis with Iran's support, will this make them the strong horse of the region? **The greater sunii/shia fissure is a vulnerability to be exploited. We need to seal the Iraqi border. We can trade and barter with the sunnis for every Iranian and or Syrian operative they capture. Beyond the sunni/shia divide, there are regional, tribal divides to be exploited. Let them fight until they reach a clear winner. We'll work with the power structure that evolves.**
You call for taking out Iran's nuke capabilities, but from what I have seen our military doubts its ability to do so. **It's not clean and easy, it is doable though.** Are you suggesting we leave Iraq , , , by rolling east? **Mostly I prefer that US troops stop "nation building ops" and move to defensive positions while the sunnis and shias dance.** Is the US in a position world-wide to handle the economic consequences of mid-east oil being shut off which I gather Iran may do in the Straights of Hormuz-- not to mention the Chinese being pretty unhappy if their oil is shut off (I forget the numbers, but my understanding is that more mid-east oil goes to them than us)
**We have a strategic oil reserve, and we can ride this disruption much better than most. Actually, lancing this boil can place us in a much better strategic position in fighting the global jihad and dealing with China and North Korea.**
What if Iran also counters us by unleashing Hamas for another go round? **I expect they'd use Hezbollah, HAMAS and every other asset. Israel is quietly prepping for their next round right now anyway.**
Just armchair generaling on a Saturday morning.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: November 04, 2006, 07:58:26 AM
Of course I agree with the basic premise, but exactly what does that mean in Iraq right now?
Do you think that our training of the Iraqi Army is working? I wish I knew. I read different things. As I don't have "ground truth" knowledge I can't really answer this.
Do you think that we should support the Sunnis against the Shiites? Will that drive the Shiites (futher?) into the arms of the Iranians? We need to have a "sit down" with Sistani and other leaders and draw lines. Friend or foe? Choose now and live with the consequences either way.
Should we support the Shiites and Kurds against the Sunnis? We need to support the Kurds and entrench ourselves there. Iraqi Kurdistan is the one good thing we have there. The Kurds deserve our full support and protection, even if we need to let the Sunnis and Shias sort things out themselves in the usual way.
Should we take out Al-Sadr even though this is against the wishes of the elected sovereign government of Iraq? Yes. We should make it clear to everyone in that part of the world that we reserve the right to kill whomever we need to, them demonstrate it a few times. Al-Sadr should be first on the list.
If we don't, then what of the Shiite militias killings of Sunnis and what of its policies of de-Sunnification out of certain regions? If they can't accept our ultimatum, we pull out from the Sunni and Shia areas and tell them we'll be back when they are ready. Pull our forces into secure perimeters and watch the fireworks.
If we don't stop Shiite militias and de-Sunnification by Shiites, what about the Kurds efforts to de-Sunnify the Sunnis who were moved north by SH to de-Kurdify oil regions of the north? The Kurds have been our friends. We need to demonstrate loyalty and protection to our friends and Machiavellian ruthlessness to those who aren't.
Or do we say that the Sunnis deserve it for being such buttholes to the Shiites for so long, especially under SH? We make it clear, work our program fully, or we'll let them hash it out without us.
But if we do so, what of incipient Arab/Sunni support for taking a hardline with Iran? As OBL said long ago, they'll support whomever they thing is the "strong horse". Time to flex muscles and let natural consequences happen.
Can we fight Iran now? No? If not, what is the point of fighting in Iraq if it keeps us from stopping Iran's nuke program? Isn't stopping Iran's nukes essential? Won't we have failed if we do not? It's time to take out Iran's nuclear program and engage with "Unrestricted warfare". Iranian resistance gets training and support along with air support and SpecOps direct action, but no nation building. That is up to the Iranians. Killing the mullahs is crucial.
What do we tell our troops as they go out on patrol to get sniped at and IED'd? What do we tell them that they are fighting for? Democracy in Iraq? Do you think that rings true right now? Do we tell them that we are preparing to deal with Iran? Does that ring true right now? Tell them this is one round of a thirty round fight. They are prepping the battlespace for future generations.
Is Iraq part of the strategy for Iran or is it a stand-alone theater of WW3? The stakes in Iraq is Iran becoming a much larger state that they intend to span into Lebanon, under a nuclear umbrella while they wage "Unrestricted warfare" across the globe.
After Olmert's failure to finish the job with Hamas, doesn't Iran now have a forward base from which to neuter the Israeli threat to take out Iran's nukes? In this context, is there any substance to President Bush's comments the other day that he would understand if Israel acted against Iran? Both the Israeli and American leadership know what is at stake, but neither wants to be the one to cross the line, knowing what awaits.
Do you think what we are doing now is working? It's working to a degree in Iraq, but we're losing the psywar.
If not, then what should we be doing? And is there any chance at all that the American people will support what you suggest? Sadly, we'll need a nuclear 9/11 to get the majority of Americans ready to fight this war.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: November 04, 2006, 05:02:17 AM
The first thing 9am, monday. We don't quit the fight.
The Formula for Hell in the 21st Century
by Austin Bay
February 12, 2003
Sept. 11 made it impossible to tolerate the wicked linkage of terrorists, rogue states and weapons of mass destruction. Terrorists plus rogue states plus WMD -- that's the formula for hell in the 21st century.
Breaking the fatal linkage -- stopping the proliferation of WMD, eliminating terrorists and reforming rogue states -- should be the civilized world's common goal. But if the goal is too difficult for a civilized world undermined by malcontents and criminal autocrats, then for the sake of a safer, more peaceful century, America must take it on alone.
The Hell Formula exploits a weakness in the nation-state system. In too many hard corners of our planet, the foundation for a modern state never formed, but the trappings -- a capital, an army, a seat in the United Nations, International Monetary Fund loans -- can be acquired.
Legitimate authority? Rule of law? Forget it. The bayonet to the throat remains the only process for establishing authority, making "sovereignty" within the hard corner's Rand McNally borders a constantly contested notion. In such tribal, feudal and anarchic quarters, lip-service may be paid to common humanity, but the implementation of laws protecting basic human rights is rare.
For centuries, the fake nation-states didn't matter too much. Tribal battles remained local horrors. Not any more. Enforcing local dictatorial control with arrows or assault rifles is one scale of horror -- but now the rogue rulers use nerve gas. With ballistic missiles at hand, with terrorists willing to fly commercial jets into skyscrapers, rogues possession and use of chemical weapons is no longer a local matter. We learned, at a terrible price, that Islamofascist plotting in Afghanistan produces terrorist crime in New York and Washington. To return to an era where distance made a difference requires ditching essential technology. Ban the Internet? Ban the 747? Ban satellite television?
Moreover, rogue states -- these criminal syndicates or tribes with flags -- tend to disdain their own people. One estimate saddles Saddam with the deaths of a million Iraqis (peace marchers take note -- that's the brute you protect). North Korea has starved two million of its citizens, as its ruling clique builds ICBMs.
Small men like Saddam and Kim Jong Il harbor large goals, and WMD are their means of escaping tinpot status. Nukes ARE different. Very small numbers can waste very large chunks of humanity. Saddam intends to "burn Israel" -- he said so in June 1990. In February 1990, he gave a speech in Amman, Jordan, where he said he intended to challenge the United States (and a fascinating speech it was). North Korea's Kim sees Los Angeles as Ground Zero for political and economic leverage. Deter these small men with huge ambitions? Blarney. The Clinton administration offered Kim Jong Il light reactors and heavy oil. Kim took the goodies and continued to build nukes.
In 1991, Saddam agreed to live with U.N. resolutions that required the elimination of his WMD. As Tony Blair said last week, every nation with an intelligence service knows Iraq has WMD. Smoking gun? It's set to blaze.
Terrorist organizations, propelled by megalomaniacal myths, are beyond deterrence. However, the description that they are "virtual organizations" is too pop. Men have to sleep, and they don't sleep in virtual space. Terrorists have to organize, train and acquire weapons. The shady financial networks that support terrorists require cooperative banks.
Rogue states are the gutters that supply and support global terrorists -- though plenty of greedy Western companies have entered the gutters. Those corporations face a terrible reckoning when Saddam falls.
Breaking down the Hell Formula will take time. The police work fundamental to counter-terror war is a painfully slow process. Curbing WMD proliferation requires cooperative diplomacy, as well as bombs. As for the rogue state component of the equation, Iraq goes first because Saddam was internationally sanctioned and the sanctions must finally be enforced. The United Nations does matter, but for a safer future it must be a United Nations with teeth. Trust North Korea will have its own moment of intense focus.
Removing Saddam begins the reconfiguration of the Middle East, a dangerous, expensive process, but one that will lay the foundation for true states where the consent of the governed creates legitimacy and where terrorists are prosecuted, not promoted.
A large order? So was World War II, when heavy history fell on The Greatest Generation. It's this generation's turn to accept the challenge or face the Hell of destructive consequences.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/
on: November 03, 2006, 04:15:32 PM
Documentary Portrays Islamic Extremists' Call to Arms Against the Free World
Friday , November 03, 2006
We often hear that 9/11 was a wake-up call for Americans. But have Americans really woken up to the truth of how much radical Islamists want us dead, and the lengths to which they are willing to go to fulfill their mission?
According to a shocking new documentary called ?Obsession,? the free world is still unprepared to face the unwavering commitment of those who have pledged their lives to our destruction. The film states that we suffer not so much from complacency, but from the na?ve disbelief that we remain targets of thousands, perhaps millions of radical Muslims around the world.
The film takes the position that there is no middle ground for radical Islamists -- or Islamic fascists, to use the phrase invoked by President Bush. ?Obsession? is filled with fiery speeches, from the Middle East to the streets of London and New York, in which Islamic extremists offer a stark choice for the world: either convert to a Taliban-like form of Islam or face death.
This is not a point for debate or something we can negotiate our way out of.
Of course, the vast majority of the world?s 1.1 billion Muslims, they say, would never personally engage in terrorism. But what of those who do? How do they develop their following and spread their message?
FOXNews.com has obtained permission to show segments of the DVD. Click HERE to watch Part I. Click HERE to watch Part II.
We see in ?Obsession? how closely the Hitler youth bear resemblance to the young Islamic fundamentalists training with Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups. Of course, Nazi Germany did not train children in the use of suicide belts, as the Islamic fascists do. But manipulating the pliant minds of youth toward fanatical hatred employs the same techniques.
The film contradicts those who say that Muslim extremism is prompted by our actions in the Middle East, pointing out that anti-Western propaganda, school curricula and other indoctrination of Islamic youth has been going on for quite some time. Like Nazi Germany, with whom radical Islamists had a deep affinity before and during World War II, the first step of indoctrination is to dehumanize Jews and Christians by comparing them with pigs and dogs. What we too easily dismiss as infantile stereotypes, particularly regarding the Jews and their supposed domination of America, can sink in if repeated often enough.
Again, the film contends that it?s our own sophistication, and our na?ve belief that we?re too likable to be hated, that plays into the enemy?s hand. Muslim extremists often say one thing to the Western media and a very different thing to their own followers. (In one segment, a Muslim condemns 9/11 publicly and then praises the ?Magnificent 19? at a 9/11 anniversary ?party.?) Our vision is often blinded by our own political correctness, which is used by extremists to their advantage. Instead of focusing on their deceptions and their ultimate intent on our destruction, we obsess on question like ?Why do they hate us.?
Unlike our confrontation with Nazi Germany, the current crisis may be worse for two reasons: First, Adolph Hitler, for all his charisma, did not rely on the power of pure religious faith to compel his followers. Islamic fascism is more similar to the fascists in Imperial Japan, who fortified their political positions with the compulsion of a leader who was deemed by loyalists to be a god. Second, this war has no defined national barriers. In fact, the 9/11 hijackers relied on the services and training facilities of the U.S. to become expert in their deadly arts.
Thus, it may well be that today?s fascists are a far greater threat to the free world than the fascists of yesteryear. But there is still time to prevent them from gaining any more ground, if we begin to take the threat more seriously.
As ?Obsession? points out, there are many Muslims on whom we can rely for support. Without the support of Muslim leaders to direct the attention of Muslims to the lies and distortions of the Islamic Fascist propagandists, we stand little chance of winning the war against terror without a conflagration on the scale of a world war.
This is a frightening conclusion, but one that ?Obsession? concludes we ignore at our own peril. The film begins and ends with a familiar refrain, first coined by the English admirer of the American Revolution, Edmund Burke: ?All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that enough good men do nothing.?
How determined to kill you is radical Islam? This weekend, FOX News Channel examines the full scope of the threat to the United States, with the help of documentarian Wayne Kopping. This hour-long program exposes the stunning and explicit threats made against the West made by Islamic leaders. It features interviews with former terrorists, shocking Islamic news video never before broadcast in America, and undercover footage taken inside suicide bomber initiations and secret jihadist meetings.
The special will air Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET, and will be repeated Sunday at 1 a.m. ET, 5 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe
on: November 03, 2006, 03:36:38 PM
Germans Nab Iraqi in al-Qaida Web Case
Iraqi arrested in Germany for allegedly spreading al-Qaida messages on Web
BERLIN, Oct. 10, 2006
(AP) An Iraqi man suspected of spreading messages by al-Qaida leaders on the Internet in the past year was arrested Tuesday in Germany, prosecutors said.
The 36-year-old, who was identified only as Ibrahim R., was arrested near the western city of Osnabrueck, and his apartment was searched, the prosecutors said.
He was accused of spreading audio and video messages by leaders of al-Qaida and al-Qaida in Iraq on the Internet from his home "in several cases since Sept. 24, 2005," _ and "in doing so of having supported these groups in their terrorist activities and aims."
The prosecutors said the messages were from Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri and former al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike north of Baghdad in June.
Prosecutors did not elaborate on the man's alleged activities or say how he got the messages.
It was unclear whether the man was suspected of posting the messages on the Web himself or of having circulated messages already online, and there also was no word on whether he was believed to have acted alone.
Prosecutors gave no details of the contents of the messages.
The top security official in Lower Saxony state, Uwe Schuenemann, said the man had been under observation for a year because he had been accused of involvement in another crime, of which he gave no details.
The Iraqi had applied for a residence permit, but it had not yet been approved, Schuenemann said.
The man was to be brought before a federal judge Wednesday for a decision on whether he could be held pending possible charges of supporting a terrorist organization _ a charge that falls short of membership in a terrorist group.
Germany introduced legislation designed to prosecute supporters of foreign terrorist groups on its soil after it emerged that three of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had lived and studied in Hamburg.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: November 03, 2006, 05:34:13 AM
Islam - What the West Needs to Know
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 3, 2006
A new documentary Islam: What the West Needs to Know has recently been released.
An examination of Islam, violence, and the fate of the non-Muslim world, the documentary features numerous experts. Today we have invited three of them to discuss the new film. Our guests are:
Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist who has become an ardent Zionist and evangelical Christian. He is the author of Why I Left Jihad. The Root of Terrorism and the Return of Radical Islam.
Serge Trifkovic, a former BBC World Service broadcaster and US News & World Report correspondent, foreign affairs editor of Chronicles, and author of The Sword of the Prophet. The sequel, Defeating Jihad, was published by Regina Orthodox Press in April. Read his commentaries on ChroniclesMagazine.org.
Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of six books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World?s Fastest Growing Faith and the New York Times Bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). His latest book is The Truth About Muhammad.
FP: Walid Shoebat, Serge Trifkovic and Robert Spencer, welcome to Frontpage Magazine.
Walid Shoebat, let?s begin with you. Tell us a bit about this new documentary and your contribution to it.
Shoebat: Ever since I left radical Islam, I have consistently run into westerners who are oblivious to the mind-set of radical Islamists, and being on both sides of the fence, I have felt like I am Captain Spock of Star Trek -- always having to explain to Captain Kirk how the aliens thought. Yet the first problem I encountered when speaking to westerners is that they always think that the Muslim world has the same aspirations as they do, seeking liberty, equality, modernization, democracy, and the good life.
Today, Islamism, a forgotten giant that ruled the ancient world and was finally wounded by the West, is now coming back to life - quickly. In many countries with a Muslim majority, secularism and socialism is out of style, and we have a new trend (actually very old) that is having a come-back, and is growing like wild-fire -- radical Islam.
This documentary I participated in links Islam?s history from it?s beginning until now showing the myths and facts. The documentary relies primarily on Islam?s own sources with the undeniable statements made by Muhammad, Islam?s founding father, and how his teachings still live in our modern time. While all this evidence is discussed, many statements by world leaders and politicians deny the undeniable - that Islam in its core teaching is not simply a "beautiful and peace loving religion", but a system of government as well to be forced on the rest of the world.
While the East already knows Islam since it lived with it from the beginning, the West is still oblivious not only to Islam?s history, but its growth in the West as well.
It?s a documentary that every westerner must see, especially since we still have our freedom to critique Islam, at least for now.
FP: Serge Trifkovic, how come I have a feeling this documentary won?t be part of the curriculum for too many university courses?
Trifkovic: I?d say that your feeling probably isn?t entirely intuitive. It is also based on ample empirical evidence that the elite class that controls the education, media, and entertainment all over the Western world does not want a serious debate about Islam?s tenets, historical record, and geopolitical designs. Worse still, since you ask about university courses, our educators don?t want to educate young people about Islam as it is ? for which purpose ?What the West Needs to Know? would be an excellent tool ? but to indoctrinate them into accepting the elite consensus.
That consensus, as we see in the opening clips of Blair, Bush and Clinton, rests upon the implacable dogma that there is something called ?real Islam? (peaceful, tolerant, and as American as apple pie), and then there is ?extremism? that is an aberrant and unrepresentative deviation of Muhammad?s faith. (Blair?s assurances that the 9-11 attackers were not ?Islamic terrorists? but ?terrorists plain and simple? would have been on par with FDR declaring, after Pearl Harbor, that the attackers were not ?Japanese airmen,? but ?airmen? plain and simple.)
Let me offer a striking example of this dogma, lengthy for the symposium format but useful as to what gets into college courses and school curricula. It is provided by Houghton Mifflin, publishers of a history textbook, Across the Centuries, that is compulsory for 7th grade students in California. It employed one Shabbir Mansuri, a man with terrorist connections and a founding director of the Council on Islamic Education in California, to help with the book?s chapter on Islam. The results, while predictable, defy belief.
The first verses of the Qur?an, the textbook teaches 12 and 13-year-old Americans, ?were revealed? to Muhammad in AD 610, and the initial revelation came from ?a being he later identified as the angel Gabriel.? Such quasi-factual statements would befit a textbook used in a Pakistani medressa, but not one used in an American public school. More egregiously, Across the Centuries states that ?some Jewish leaders would not accept Muhammad as God?s latest prophet,? and blithely glosses over the fact that Muhammad reacted to the Jews? refusal to accept his prophetic claims with a host of violently Judeophobic ?revelations? in the Kuran. Such injunctions from Allah paved the way for the ethnic cleansing and eventual extermination of all Jews under Muhammad?s domain. To omit his Endloesung from the history of early Islam is equal to the history of the rise of Nazism purged of the Kristallnacht and the Nuremberg Laws.
Another bold misrepresentation is contained on p. 64, dealing with ?an Islamic term that is often misunderstood,? jihad. The textbook provides only one ?true? definition: ?The term means ?to struggle,? to do one?s best to resist temptation and overcome evil.? It admits that ?nder certain conditions the struggle to overcome evil may require action,? but hastens to add that the Kuran and Sunna ?allow self-defense and participation in military conflict, but restrict it to the right to defend against aggression and persecution.? American teenagers are also taught that Muslim women enjoy ?clear rights? in marriage and the right to an education, that the Muslims were ?extremely tolerant of those they conquered,? that ?Christians and Jews had full religious freedom? under Islam, and a host of similar lies. The exercises in the textbook require them to wear an Islamic robe, adopt a Muslim name, memorize Kuranic verses, to pray ?in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful? and to chant, ?Praise to Allah, Lord of Creation.?
The upholders of the mindset that promotes and mandates such rubbish in our classrooms will naturally treat the truth about Islam as inadmissible, and that?s why ?What the West Needs to Know? will be ignored by them. They dominate the entertainment industry ? just look at Ridley Scott?s Kingdom of Heaven, which conveyed the message that, in a conflict between Christians and Muslims, the former attack, the latter react. The true hero of the movie is Saladin, a wise warrior-king sans peur et sans reproche; its villains, the coarse and bloodthirsty Europeans.
The manner in which the media routinely misrepresent Islam tends to be more insidious, especially when it is wrapped in the guise of scholarship. Take the 2002 PBS mini-series Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, financed mostly with our money, which offered an uncritical hagiography on par with the Soviet state television?s treatment of Lenin. Just as the comrades routinely glossed over some two million innocent victims of the 1917-1921 Bolshevik terror, the PBS glossed over the matter of slaughtered Jewish tribes, of the razzias, murders, rapes, of poll tax and dhimmitude. All Muslim battles were presented as defensive. Nine ?specialists? vied with each other to praise Muhammad in extravagant terms. The result bordered on the ridiculous: e.g. ?he deeply, deeply loved? his first wife Khadija, and each of his many subsequent marriages was ?an act of faith, not of lust? ? nine-year-old Aisha included for sure. Muhammad was presented as the liberator of women, and no mention was made of many Kuranic verses and Hadiths that allow, even sanctify rape, violence against wives, and discrimination.
On each and every score ?What the West Needs to Know? sets the record straight, and that?s why it is subversive and dangerous. I expect it will be formally banned in the European Union, and I and my four fellow-?stars? should think twice before boarding the next flight for Heathrow or Schiphol lest we end up in a slammer with the book thrown at us for saying things that must not be said. On balance that may well be a price worth paying to alert our naive, complacent or manipulated fellow Westerners that their house is on fire.
In The Firebugs, Swiss playwright Max Frisch thus tells the story of Gottlieb Biedermann, a prosperous, guilt-ridden businessman who responds to an epidemic of arson in his town by letting two shady characters who look like arsonists into his home, lodging them, feeding them, and finally providing them with the incendiary materials. Even when he and his initially uneasy wife realize who the visitors really are, they remain in denial about their intentions. Biedermann tries to buy security by displaying generosity, even when the writing is clearly on the wall. Far from being grateful, the arsonists despise him and smugly state that ?the best and safest method? for hoodwinking people ?is to tell them the plain unvarnished truth.?
?What the West Needs to Know? seeks to present that unvarnished truth soberly, even dryly, with no bells and whistles, no dramatic music and no special effects. It offers a breath of fresh air and an alternative to the non-debate on Islam that we?ve had for over five years.
Spencer: It all reminds me of Eugene Ionesco?s delightful play Rhinoceros. In it, human beings one by one become rhinoceri, and even those who initially vow to hold out eventually succumb, out of the pressure of conformism and the sheer weariness of holding out. The absurdist premise is not so absurd when one looks at the global situation today: the free world is under assault everywhere from the forces of jihad, working from the teachings of the Qur?an and Sunnah, and notably the words and deeds of Muhammad. Yet in America and the West, taking note of these rather obvious facts only brings one opprobrium, if the chattering classes deign to take notice at all: one is compelled in the mainstream of public discourse to deny the obvious. Everyone is busy tossing away common sense, reason, and basic powers of observation and becoming a rhinoceros, and vilifying those who decline to do so.
Although the facts presented in Islam: What the West Needs to Know are readily and easily verifiable, they are not to be spoken, not to be noticed, and anyone who dares do so will in effect be read out of polite society. In a sane West, interested in its own defense, such a documentary would not have been produced by a small and indeed quixotic independent production company ? Quixotic Media ? but would have been just one part of a larger effort by Hollywood itself to educate the public about what we are facing, and why our civilization is worth defending. It would not have seen limited, quasi-furtive distribution, but nationwide, front-burner attention.
Nevertheless, however anxiously the media and political mainstream wish to ignore the information in this film, and however successful they are in diverting people away from seeing it or even hearing about it, they will ultimately not be so successful in preventing jihad terrorists from continuing to act upon the teachings of Islam we explain in the film. And eventually it will become painfully clear to the politically correct authorities that no matter how much it discomfits them, what we have explained in Islam: What the West Needs to Know is simply the truth. The sooner it is recognized and policies constructed accordingly, the safer we will all be.
Shoebat: I share similar frustration as Spencer and Trifkovic. My last episode speaking at Colombia was not only frustrating, but some of the questions made by the student audience reveal a dangerous trend. In my speech, I critiqued not only Islam, but Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformer who wrote ?The Jews and Their Lies." I also elevated Martin Luther King Jr. for fighting for Black rights, yet students criticized my speech as anti-Islam, racism and bigotry. Why is it that when I critiqued Martin Luther I was not accused of bigotry against Christianity?
When I was a terrorist the world labelled us as freedom fighters. When I was a ?freedom fighter?, I was free to say that ?Jews are shylocks, Israel is a racist state, Jews run the Congress and the media??. In those days, I hated Jews, but when the day came that I changed my mind and loved everyone, I was labelled as a racist.
Yet similar statements to the things we said when we were terrorists are made at our universities ? Richard Falk taught that Iran is a model for a humane government, Andres Steinberg ?Israel destroys Christian shrines?, Rashid Khalidi ?Israel is racist?, DeGenova ?Patriot Americans are white supremacist?, Hamid Dabashi ?Jews are vulgar?.
All these are so similar to what I learned as terrorist, yet these professors are not labelled as terror supporters, and I am being labelled as racist?
At another speech, one Rabbi critiqued the New Testament as ?riddled with violence,? I had no problem with his right to state this, yet when I confronted him I asked ?Why do you feel free to critique the New Testament, but afraid of critiquing Islam?s well documented violence?? to which he could not reply.
It didn?t matter that I stated in my speech that a Jew had the right to critique Christianity, a Christian had the right to critique Mormonism and Islam, and a Muslim had a right to critique the Bible and Christianity, I was still accused of racism and bigotry against Islam. One can say almost anything against any other religion but Islam. Why?
Our basic religious freedom is at stake. We might be going on the same road as I witnessed in England while doing interviews in the media. In one Christian TV show, the interviewer stated that he cannot critique Islam in fear of closure. Only the interviewee can do so. He feared a shut down of his Christian station.
The other dangerous trend is that all fundamentalists are being lumped as fanatics. At the BBC in England during one interview the interviewer stated to me that ?the problem with today?s world is fundamentalism? to which I responded ?Christian fundamentalists give the world a headache, I confess, but Muslim fundamentalists will whack your head right off your shoulders, sir? I was quickly thanked and escorted out of the BBC.
I concur with Trifkovic?s findings in regards to Across the Centuries school textbook. I remember the day I reviewed the same book my son brought from school, the next day I walked into the vice principle?s office when I threw the book on the desk asking ?do you know what is today?s date/?, to which he replied ?it?s September 11?. I replied him ?I reject teaching Islam as fact, while my son cannot learn Christianity. Islam is the religion of millions who condoned 9/11.?
Fortunately for my son, he said ?Sir, in this school we skip the whole subject, the book is enforced on us, but we do not comply.? Yet I doubt that the rest of the school system was as wise as this one.
I also concur with Trifkovic?s Kingdom of Heaven analysis. In one videotape I have by Sheikh Qaradawi, who spent six years in the Middle East as security adviser to the EU spreading his ?peaceful Islam?, was giving an example to Muslim students in America about Salahuddin (Saladin). While Saladin?s Arab advisor was asked by Saladin that the Crusaders want a peace treaty, in which his Arab advisor gave the example from Surah Al-Anfal:61 ?And if they concede to peace, so shall you concede, and place your trust in Allah?, yet Saladin argued ?I am a Kurd and you are an Arab, you should know the Quran better then I? in which Saladin quoted Surat Muhammad verse 35 ?And be not slack so as to cry for peace and you have the upper hand.?
Indeed, as Muhammad stated ?Al-Harbu Khid?a? in English ?War is deception?, yet, and while we try to fight the deception by Islamic terrorists from outside, we need to first fight the Islamic terror support that is coming from the inside.
This deception wants to change the next generation Americans. If they succeed, it?s all over -- they won.
Trifkovic: None of us should have any delusions about the prospects that "What the West Needs to Know," or any other single book, movie, or TV appearance, will alter the paradigm and change the terms of what is still a very one-sided debate about Islam. This film nevertheless represents a quantum leap from what we've had available in filmography so far, most notoriously that disgraceful PBS series on Muhammad.
I'd hope the producers will come up with a shorter version that can be marketed to some potentially friendly TV channels (they do exist), or perhaps a 3-part mini-series of 30 min. each, and for the mass market the material may need to be "jazzed up" a little with more documentary clips and a more lively delivery of the voice-over reading Kuranic verses and Hadith, all of which would broaden the film's potential appeal.
This would be well worth the Quijotic team's while, as the movie makes a solid contribution to the effort to define the Enemy in the nebulously named "War on Terror," and to grasp the nature of the threat. It brings us a little closer to the day when the West will discard the taboos and start analyzing Islam without fear, or guilt, or the shackles of mandated thinking. "If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles," says Sun Tzu. Those who see this film will be a step closer to knowing the enemy, his core beliefs, his role models, his track-record, his mindset, his modus operandi, and his intentions.
But the main problem remains with ourselves, with those among us who have the power to make policy and shape opinions, and who will wilfully ignore, or else reject and condemn "What the West Needs to Know," and all of its contributors, and all of their works. Let's face it: they are beyond redemption, and the time for euphemisms and diplomatic restraint is over. The elite class that continues to peddle the lie about the "Religion of Peace and Tolerance," is composed of either idiots or evil traitors (and in Tony Blair's case the two blend seamlessly). As I wrote in "Chronicles" a week ago, the crime of which Jihad's Shabbos-goyim in the West are guilty "far exceeds any transgression for which the founders of the United States overthrew the colonial government."
FP: Walid Shoebat, Serge Trifkovic and Robert Spencer, thank you for joining Frontpage Magazine.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: November 03, 2006, 04:25:43 AM
Zakat and Jihad from the Words of the Master
There is an extensive campaign by CAIR and other Islamist groups to portray jihad as a purely spiritual struggle a good Muslim wages to overcome personal evil. It is also a point made often by the ?moderates? of the Muslim Brotherhood. This has led to confusion in policy and a fear of offending if one calls jihad what it really is.
But as I have said repeatedly, just read what they say themselves to understand what the real agenda is. They tell us what they want to do, and yet we refuse to take them seriously by either understanding and knowing what they say, or acting to stop them.
A 1999 tome titled ?Fiqh az-Zakat: A Comparative Study,? by Yousef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood leaves no ambiguity as to the nature of jihad. While often portrayed as a moderate, Qaradawi is one of the modern architects of the Islamist project to re-establish the Muslim Caliphate and then bring Allah?s rule to the rest of the world.
In writing about the use of zakat, the 2.5 percent of every earning and transaction a Muslim is to give to the cause of Allah, Qaradawi writes: ?The most honorable form of jihad nowadays is fighting for the liberation of Muslim land from the domination of unbelievers, regardless of their religion or ideology. The communist and the capitalist, the Westerner and the Easterner, Christian, Jew, pagan or unbeliever, all are aggressors when they attack and occupy Muslim land. Fighting in defence of the home of Islam is obligatory until the enemy is driven away and Muslims are liberated.?
This is not a secret document, but a book that Qaradawi published, and he defines the occupied lands: ?Today Muslim land is occupied in Palestine, Kashmire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Somalia, Cyprus, Samarqand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Albania and serveral other occupied countries. Declaring holy war to save these Muslim lands is an Islamic duty, and fighting for such purposes in those occupied territories is the Way of Allah for which zakat must be spent.?
That is pretty forthright. He offers this conclusion: ?The most important form of jihad today is serious, purposefully organized work to rebuild Islamic society and state and to implement the Islamic way of life in the political, cultural and economic domains. This is certainly most deserving of zakat. ?
It seems clear. The money being gathered-to the tune of billions of dollars a year-is to liberate Muslim lands and establish a Muslim state (the Caliphate). The fact that al-Qaradawi is a leader of the international Muslim Brotherhood offers a clue to why the Brotherhood has taken such pains to build up a financial infrastructure that spans the globe, an infrastructure the intelligence community knows almost nothing about, and has shown little interest in understanding.
To me it is akin to someone telling me: ?You live in a house my ancestors once lived in, and I am going to save my money buy a gun to come kill you and your family and retake my house. But I am also putting my money away so my entire family can then occupy your block, your town and your city.?
And then I show no interest in what money the person has, how he earns it and how I can stop him because I decide that, even though he has shown a capacity to carry out violent action, he is not to be taken seriously.
Ignorance is not an excuse, especially since we have had five years to learn.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia
on: November 03, 2006, 01:53:15 AM
Backing a bigot
November 02, 2006 11:00pm
ANDREW Bolt writes: It's the code of the tribe: the worst of us is better than the best of you. We have urgent work to do if we want to save ourselves.
Excuses over. The disgraced mufti of Australia set Muslims a test last month and they failed.
That test couldn't have been easier: make Sheik Taj el-Din al-Hilaly pay for preaching that unveiled women invited rape.
Prove that Muslims can't be led by a man who says raped women must be "jailed for life". Prove we have nothing to fear from your faith.
Simple? Yet yesterday 34 Muslim groups signed a petition backing this bigot, while others plan a big rally for Sydney tomorrow, denouncing not Hilaly but the non-Muslims who criticise him.
The results are in: Islam here -- as represented by many of its leaders -- is now a threat.
What's more: our culture of self-hate makes us too weak to properly resist.
I know saying such things is hard on the many moderate Muslims I keep insisting are out there. I am sorry for that, but where in God's name are those people? How much longer must we wait for them to speak?
For more than 20 years they said nothing as their most prominent imam, in their biggest mosque, damned Jews as perverts, called suicide bombers heroes, praised terror groups, vilified non-Muslims and hailed the September 11 terror attacks on the United States as "God's work against oppressors".
They said nothing as he gave the run of his mosque to a pro-bin Laden youth group and hired one of its translators as his spokesman.
For years they let this man, their mufti, represent Islam in this country, whose language he never really bothered to learn in nearly 30 years of living here.
But I never lost hope, and so for a few days last week thought . . . at last!
At last we heard Hilaly being damned by Muslims, too -- by women's groups, a Melbourne University academic and even the Islamic Council of Victoria, which had foolishly helped to make this Egyptian the mufti so no government would dare deport him. At last Muslims were disowning this man. He was disinvited from a Brisbane festival. There was talk of stripping him of his title.
The Lebanese Muslim Association, which runs the Lakemba mosque, even debated sacking him as imam, before banning him from preaching for three months.
No, this wasn't much, but many in the media grabbed it hungrily. We badly want to find Muslims who'll renounce the values of the hate-preachers, to show that it's not us against Islam.
Mind you, we shouldn't have had to be so pathetically grateful. What sane person could want a woman jailed for being raped?
But we should have known already this was a bigger problem than just Hilaly.
Last year Lebanese Sheik Faiz Mohammed also gave a speech in Sydney, which said raped women had themselves to blame.
And which of the 500 men who heard Hilaly say the same at his sermon complained? Only when it was reported in the English-speaking press did some concede Hilaly had gone too far.
Yet even then supporters sent him vanloads of flowers, and when he returned to his mosque last Friday he was greeted "like a rock star", said one paper, by an adoring crowd of 5000.
And that criticism of him? It faded away. Now the Lebanese Muslim Association isn't so ashamed of him, after all: "We did accept his apology and we want to move on."
The Muslim Women's Association, which first admitted to being "shocked" by Hilaly's sermon, now said he was "very good to all Muslim women". Said founding president Aziz El Saddik: "Those who say bad things about him, they have very bad manners." His sermon on rape was for Muslims only. Not our business.
But we can't afford to believe that any more. They weren't Muslim women, after all, who were raped by a Lebanese gang in Sydney, which called them "sluts" and "Aussie pigs".
It wasn't a Muslim teenager who was pack-raped in Sydney by Pakistani brothers, whose father told the court: "What do (the victims) expect to happen to them? Girls from Pakistan don't go out at night."
When Hilaly preaches excuses for such rapes, that concerns us all. Very much.
But it is true that not all those defending Hilaly like what he said. The people behind tomorrow's rally say, rather, that our criticism of him has degenerated into just Muslim-bashing.
Yesterday's statement by 34 Muslim groups -- most representing Islamic colleges and students, or the Muslims of tomorrow -- says the same, even as it confirms something far more scary.
"We believe that the public scrutiny of this matter should have ended with the sheik's apology," it says.
"We believe that the Muslim community should be allowed to deal with the ramifications of the incident without interference from people who only wish to promote hostility and incite hatred towards our community. Finally, we consider this matter to be closed."
Closed? In fact, Hilaly has not retracted a word of what he said. If this matter is "closed" then he has won.
But what is most frightening is not that he's won, but how. Both this statement and the rally show he's won because even educated Muslims, born right here, think it's better to defend a Muslim bigot than to have him criticised by infidels.
I t's the code of the tribe: the worst of us is better than the best of you. It's a closed community speaking -- a paranoid one that sees itself at war even with people whose only worry is that their preacher excuses rapists.
And menace is in the air. What other congregation at prayer needs to be reminded -- as Hilaly reminded those at his mosque last week -- not to punch people on the way out? Which other rally for a religious leader needs to be warned -- as the NSW Police Minister warned this week -- that police would not tolerate any violence?
I'm not surprised one of Hilaly's former advisers, Jamal Rifi, warns that if he hangs on as Lakemba's imam he may trigger "racial tensions, much bigger than what we had over the Cronulla riots".
But what are we doing to help Muslims to break from him and leave this cultural ghetto, this encampment, before things get truly ugly?
Not enough. For a start, we make too many excuses for the Hilalys, as if they were mere children, or Australia the real villain.
Yesterday Suzanne Bassette, national secretary of the Australian Democrats, even said: "I'm willing to stand up with anybody else in this country who happens to agree with Sheik Hilaly's sentiments . . . Unfortunately, how a woman dresses does affect her level of likeliness to be chosen."
She said the "real lesson" from this fuss was this "latest opportunity to get angry". The problem wasn't the mufti who wants to jail raped women, but his critics.
Bassette wasn't alone. The Age ran a big cartoon likewise blaming sluttish white girls for putting themselves in danger, and federal Labor's Peter Garrett, the former singer, said Hilaly's comments were terrible, but "at the same time, the levels of violence against Australian women is something happening in the bars, in the clubs, in the bedrooms, in the boardrooms".
Again, we are the truly wicked. Leave Hilaly alone.
How can a culture so sick of itself resist the kind of challenge that Hilaly and his angry supporters represent? How can it inspire young Muslims to side not with him but with us?
I don't know, when we teach the young we are a country of child-stealing, land-raping, Muslim-murdering, Yank-licking, gas-belching vandals. Until that changes, expect the traffic to flow more into Hilaly's ghetto than out of it.
Just consider the radical mother of two of the Australian Muslims arrested in Yemen last week on terrorism charges, and accused of ties to al-Qaida -- a so-called former "hippy chick" from Mudgee, who found in Islam what she couldn't in the society that raised her.
As I said: Muslims have failed. But so have we all. We now have urgent work to do, if we want to save ourselves from far more strife than we dare yet imagine or say.
Join Andrew at blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: November 03, 2006, 12:46:12 AM
It boils down to one of three scenarios for us:
1. Submit to the global jihad.
2. Remake the muslim world into something compatible with the rest of humanity.
3. Make the muslim world look like something out of the post-apocalypic scenes in the "Terminator" movies.
Act now, or let our children curse us for our weakness. By the time they are adults, France will be the next nuclear islamist state. Now is the time when we have the best advantage. As time goes on, the less advantage we will have.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: November 02, 2006, 11:05:11 AM
FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU
Mideast terror leaders
to U.S.: Vote Democrat
Withdrawal from Iraq would embolden
jihadists to destroy Israel, America
Posted: November 2, 2006
9:27 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
? 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
JERUSALEM ? Everybody has an opinion about next Tuesday's midterm congressional election in the U.S. ? including senior terrorist leaders interviewed by WND who say they hope Americans sweep the Democrats into power because of the party's position on withdrawing from Iraq, a move, as they see it, that ensures victory for the worldwide Islamic resistance.
The terrorists told WorldNetDaily an electoral win for the Democrats would prove to them Americans are "tired."
They rejected statements from some prominent Democrats in the U.S. that a withdrawal from Iraq would end the insurgency, explaining an evacuation would prove resistance works and would compel jihadists to continue fighting until America is destroyed.
They said a withdrawal would also embolden their own terror groups to enhance "resistance" against Israel.
"Of course Americans should vote Democrat," Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, told WND.
(Story continues below)
"This is why American Muslims will support the Democrats, because there is an atmosphere in America that encourages those who want to withdraw from Iraq. It is time that the American people support those who want to take them out of this Iraqi mud," said Jaara, speaking to WND from exile in Ireland, where he was sent as part of an internationally brokered deal that ended the church siege.
Jaara was the chief in Bethlehem of the Brigades, the declared "military wing" of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
Together with the Islamic Jihad terror group, the Brigades has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing inside Israel the past two years, including an attack in Tel Aviv in April that killed American teenager Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis.
Muhammad Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, said the Democrats' talk of withdrawal from Iraq makes him feel "proud."
"As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk," he told WND. "Very proud from the great successes of the Iraqi resistance. This success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible withdrawal."
Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas' military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the policy of withdrawal "proves the strategy of the resistance is the right strategy against the occupation."
"We warned the Americans that this will be their end in Iraq," said Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas' Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas' declared "resistance" department. "They did not succeed in stealing Iraq's oil, at least not at a level that covers their huge expenses. They did not bring stability. Their agents in the [Iraqi] regime seem to have no chance to survive if the Americans withdraw."
Abu Ayman, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, said he is "emboldened" by those in America who compare the war in Iraq to Vietnam.
"[The mujahedeen fighters] brought the Americans to speak for the first time seriously and sincerely that Iraq is becoming a new Vietnam and that they should fix a schedule for their withdrawal from Iraq," boasted Abu Ayman.
The terror leaders spoke as the debate regarding the future of America's war in Iraq has perhaps become the central theme of midterm elections, with most Democrats urging a timetable for withdrawal and Republicans mostly advocating staying the course in Iraq.
President Bush has even said he would send more troops if Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Baghdad, said they are needed to stabilize the region
The debate became especially poignant following remarks by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the 2004 presidential candidate who voted in support of the war in Iraq. Earlier this week he intimated American troops are uneducated, and it is the uneducated who "get stuck in Iraq."
Kerry, under intense pressure from fellow Democrats, now says his remarks were a "botched joke."
Terror leaders reject Nancy Pelosi's comments on Iraqi insurgency
Many Democratic politicians and some from the Republican Party have stated a withdrawal from Iraq would end the insurgency there.
In a recent interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, stated, "The jihadists (are) in Iraq. But that doesn't mean we stay there. They'll stay there as long as we're there."
Pelosi would become House speaker if the Democrats win the majority of seats in next week's elections.
WND read Pelosi's remarks to the terror leaders, who unanimously rejected her contention an American withdrawal would end the insurgency.
Islamic Jihad's Saadi, laughing, stated, "There is no chance that the resistance will stop."
He said an American withdrawal from Iraq would "prove the resistance is the most important tool and that this tool works. The victory of the Iraqi revolution will mark an important step in the history of the region and in the attitude regarding the United States."
Jihad Jaara said an American withdrawal would "mark the beginning of the collapse of this tyrant empire (America)."
"Therefore, a victory in Iraq would be a greater defeat for America than in Vietnam."
Jaara said vacating Iraq would also "reinforce Palestinian resistance organizations, especially from the moral point of view. But we also learn from these (insurgency) movements militarily. We look and learn from them."
Hamas' Abu Abdullah argued a withdrawal from Iraq would "convince those among the Palestinians who still have doubts in the efficiency of the resistance."
"The victory of the resistance in Iraq would prove once more that when the will and the faith are applied victory is not only a slogan. We saw that in Lebanon (during Israel's confrontation against Hezbollah there in July and August); we saw it in Gaza (after Israel withdrew from the territory last summer) and we will see it everywhere there is occupation," Abdullah said.
While the terror leaders each independently compelled American citizens to vote for Democratic candidates, not all believed the Democrats would actually carry out a withdrawal from Iraq.
Saadi stated, "Unfortunately I think those who are speaking about a withdrawal will not do so when they are in power and these promises will remain electoral slogans. It is not enough to withdraw from Iraq. They must withdraw from Afghanistan and from every Arab and Muslim land they occupy or have bases."
He called both Democrats and Republicans "agents of the Zionist lobby in the U.S."
Abu Abdullah commented once Democrats are in power "the question is whether such a courageous leadership can [withdraw]. I am afraid that even after the American people will elect those who promise to leave Iraq, the U.S. will not do so. I tell the American people vote for withdrawal. Abandon Israel if you want to save America. Now will this Happen? I do not believe it."
Still Jihad Jaara said the alternative is better than Bush's party.
"Bush is a sick person, an alcoholic person that has no control of what is going on around him. He calls to send more troops but will very soon get to the conviction that the violence and terror that his war machine is using in Iraq will never impose policies and political regimes in the Arab world."
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone'
on: November 02, 2006, 10:52:03 AM
Let's start in the most geriatric jurisdiction on the planet. In Japan, the rising sun has already passed into the next phase of its long sunset: net population loss. 2005 was the first year since records began in which the country had more deaths than births. Japan offers the chance to observe the demographic death spiral in its purest form. It's a country with no immigration, no significant minorities and no desire for any: just the Japanese, aging and dwindling.
At first it doesn't sound too bad: compared with the United States, most advanced societies are very crowded. If you're in a cramped apartment in a noisy congested city, losing a couple hundred thousand seems a fine trade-off. The difficulty, in a modern social democratic state, is managing which people to lose: already, according to the Japan Times, depopulation is "presenting the government with pressing challenges on the social and economic front, including ensuring provision of social security services and securing the labour force." For one thing, the shortage of children has led to a shortage of obstetricians. Why would any talented ambitious med school student want to go into a field in such precipitous decline? As a result, if you live in certain parts of Japan, childbirth is all in the timing. On Oki Island, try to time the contractions for Monday morning. That's when the maternity ward is open -- first day of the week, 10 a.m., when an obstetrician flies in to attend to any pregnant mothers who happen to be around. And at 5.30 p.m. she flies out. So, if you've been careless enough to time your childbirth for Tuesday through Sunday, you'll have to climb into a helicopter and zip off to give birth alone in a strange hospital unsurrounded by tiresome loved ones. Do Lamaze classes on Oki now teach you to time your breathing to the whirring of the chopper blades?
The last local obstetrician left the island in 2006 and the health service isn't expecting any more. Doubtless most of us can recall reading similar stories over the years from remote rural districts in America, Canada, Australia. After all, why would a village of a few hundred people have a great medical system? But Oki has a population of 17,000, and there are still no obstetricians: birthing is a dying business.
So what will happen? There are a couple of scenarios: whatever Japanese feelings on immigration, a country with great infrastructure won't empty out for long, any more than a state-of-the-art factory that goes belly up stays empty for long. At some point, someone else will move in to Japan's plant.
And the alternative? In The Children Of Men, P. D. James' dystopian fantasy about a barren world, there are special dolls for women whose maternal instinct has gone unfulfilled: pretend mothers take their artificial children for walks on the street or to the swings in the park. In Japan, that's no longer the stuff of dystopian fantasy. At the beginning of the century, the country's toy makers noticed they had a problem: toys are for children and Japan doesn't have many. What to do? In 2005, Tomy began marketing a new doll called Yumel -- a baby boy with a range of 1,200 phrases designed to serve as companions for the elderly. He says not just the usual things -- "I wuv you" -- but also asks the questions your grandchildren would ask if you had any: "Why do elephants have long noses?" Yumel joins his friend, the Snuggling Ifbot, a toy designed to have the conversation of a five-year old child which its makers, with the usual Japanese efficiency, have determined is just enough chit-chat to prevent the old folks going senile. It seems an appropriate final comment on the social democratic state: in a childish infantilized self-absorbed society where adults have been stripped of all responsibility, you need never stop playing with toys. We are the children we never had.
And why leave it at that? Is it likely an ever smaller number of young people will want to spend their active years looking after an ever greater number of old people? Or will it be simpler to put all that cutting-edge Japanese technology to good use and take a flier on Mister Roboto and the post-human future? After all, what's easier for the governing class? Weaning a pampered population off the good life and re-teaching them the lost biological impulse or giving the Sony Corporation a licence to become the Cloney Corporation? If you need to justify it to yourself, you'd grab the graphs and say, well, demographic decline is universal. It's like industrialization a couple of centuries back; everyone will get to it eventually, but the first to do so will have huge advantages: the relevant comparison is not with England's early 19th century population surge but with England's Industrial Revolution. In the industrial age, manpower was critical. In the new technological age, manpower will be optional -- and indeed, if most of the available manpower's Muslim, it's actually a disadvantage. As the most advanced society with the most advanced demographic crisis, Japan seems likely to be the first jurisdiction to embrace robots and cloning and embark on the slippery slope to transhumanism.
Demographic origin need not be the final word. In 1775, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to Joseph Priestly suggesting a mutual English friend might like to apply his mind to the conundrum the Crown faced:
Britain, at the expense of three millions, has killed 150 Yankees this campaign, which is ?20000 a head... During the same time, 60000 children have been born in America. From these data his mathematical head will easily calculate the time and the expense necessary to kill us all.
Obviously, Franklin was oversimplifying. Not every American colonist identified himself as a rebel. After the revolution, there were massive population displacements: as United Empire Loyalists well know, large numbers of New Yorkers left the colony to resettle in what's now Ontario. Some American Negroes were so anxious to remain subjects of King George III they resettled as far as Sierra Leone. For these people, their primary identity was not as American colonists but as British subjects. For others, their new identity as Americans had supplanted their formal allegiance to the Crown. The question for today's Europe is whether the primary identity of their fastest-growing demographic is Muslim or Belgian, Muslim or Dutch, Muslim or French.
That's where civilizational confidence comes in: if "Dutchness" or "Frenchness" seems a weak attenuated thing, then the stronger identity will prevail. One notes other similarities between revolutionary America and contemporary Europe: the United Empire Loyalists were older and wealthier; the rebels were younger and poorer. In the end, the former simply lacked the latter's strength of will.
Europe, like Japan, has catastrophic birth rates and a swollen pampered elderly class determined to live in defiance of economic reality. But the difference is that on the Continent the successor population is already in place and the only question is how bloody the transfer of real estate will be.
If America's "allies" failed to grasp the significance of 9/11, it's because Europe's home-grown terrorism problems had all taken place among notably static populations, such as Ulster and the Basque country. One could make generally safe extrapolations about the likelihood of holding Northern Ireland to what cynical strategists in Her Majesty's Government used to call an "acceptable level of violence." But in the same three decades as Ulster's "Troubles," the hitherto moderate Muslim populations of south Asia were radicalized by a politicized form of Islam; previously formally un-Islamic societies such as Nigeria became semi-Islamist; and large Muslim populations settled in parts of Europe that had little or no experience of mass immigration.
On the Continent and elsewhere in the West, native populations are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic. Time for the obligatory "of courses": of course, not all Muslims are terrorists -- though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle. Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists -- though enough of them share their basic objectives (the wish to live under Islamic law in Europe and North America) to function wittingly or otherwise as the "good cop" end of an Islamic good cop/bad cop routine. But, at the very minimum, this fast-moving demographic transformation provides a huge comfort zone for the jihad to move around in. And in a more profound way it rationalizes what would otherwise be the nuttiness of the terrorists' demands. An IRA man blows up a pub in defiance of democratic reality -- because he knows that at the ballot box the Ulster Loyalists win the elections and the Irish Republicans lose. When a European jihadist blows something up, that's not in defiance of democratic reality but merely a portent of democratic reality to come. He's jumping the gun, but in every respect things are moving his way.
You may vaguely remember seeing some flaming cars on the evening news toward the end of 2005. Something going on in France, apparently. Something to do with -- what's the word? -- "youths." When I pointed out the media's strange reluctance to use the M-word vis-?-vis the rioting "youths," I received a ton of emails arguing there's no Islamist component, they're not the madrasa crowd, they may be Muslim but they're secular and Westernized and into drugs and rap and meaningless sex with no emotional commitment, and rioting and looting and torching and trashing, just like any normal healthy Western teenagers. These guys have economic concerns, it's the lack of jobs, it's conditions peculiar to France, etc. As one correspondent wrote, "You right-wing shit-for-brains think everything's about jihad."
Actually, I don't think everything's about jihad. But I do think, as I said, that a good 90 per cent of everything's about demography. Take that media characterization of those French rioters: "youths." What's the salient point about youths? They're youthful. Very few octogenarians want to go torching Renaults every night. It's not easy lobbing a Molotov cocktail into a police station and then hobbling back with your walker across the street before the searing heat of the explosion melts your hip replacement. Civil disobedience is a young man's game.
In June 2006, a 54-year-old Flemish train conductor called Guido Demoor got on the Number 23 bus in Antwerp to go to work. Six -- what's that word again? -- "youths" boarded the bus and commenced intimidating the other riders. There were some 40 passengers aboard. But the "youths" were youthful and the other passengers less so. Nonetheless, Mr. Demoor asked the lads to cut it out and so they turned on him, thumping and kicking him. Of those 40 other passengers, none intervened to help the man under attack. Instead, at the next stop, 30 of the 40 scrammed, leaving Mr. Demoor to be beaten to death. Three "youths" were arrested, and proved to be -- quelle surprise! -- of Moroccan origin. The ringleader escaped and, despite police assurances of complete confidentiality, of those 40 passengers only four came forward to speak to investigators. "You see what happens if you intervene," a fellow rail worker told the Belgian newspaper De Morgen. "If Guido had not opened his mouth he would still be alive."
No, he wouldn't. He would be as dead as those 40 passengers are, as the Belgian state is, keeping his head down, trying not to make eye contact, cowering behind his newspaper in the corner seat and hoping just to be left alone. What future in "their" country do Mr. Demoor's two children have? My mother and grandparents came from Sint-Niklaas, a town I remember well from many childhood visits. When we stayed with great-aunts and other relatives, the upstairs floors of the row houses had no bathrooms, just chamber pots. My sister and I were left to mooch around cobbled streets with our little cousin for hours on end, wandering aimlessly past smoke-wreathed bars and cafes, occasionally buying frites with mayonnaise. With hindsight it seemed as parochially Flemish as could be imagined. Not anymore. The week before Mr. Demoor was murdered in plain sight, bus drivers in Sint-Niklaas walked off the job to protest the thuggery of the -- here it comes again -- "youths." In little more than a generation, a town has been transformed.
Of the ethnic Belgian population, some 17 per cent are under 18 years old. Of the country's Turkish and Moroccan population, 35 per cent are under 18 years old. The "youths" get ever more numerous, the non-youths get older. To avoid the ruthless arithmetic posited by Benjamin Franklin, it is necessary for those "youths" to feel more Belgian. Is that likely? Colonel Gadhafi doesn't think so:
There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe -- without swords, without guns, without conquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.
On Sept. 11, 2001, the American mainland was attacked for the first time since the War of 1812. The perpetrators were foreign -- Saudis and Egyptians. Since 9/11, Europe has seen the London Tube bombings, the French riots, Dutch murders of nationalist politicians. The perpetrators are their own citizens -- British subjects, citoyens de la R?publique fran?aise. In Linz, Austria, Muslims are demanding that all female teachers, believers or infidels, wear head scarves in class. The Muslim Council of Britain wants Holocaust Day abolished because it focuses "only" on the Nazis' (alleged) Holocaust of the Jews and not the Israelis' ongoing Holocaust of the Palestinians.
How does the state react? In Seville, King Ferdinand III is no longer patron saint of the annual fiesta because his splendid record in fighting for Spanish independence from the Moors was felt to be insensitive to Muslims. In London, a judge agreed to the removal of Jews and Hindus from a trial jury because the Muslim defendant's counsel argued he couldn't get a fair verdict from them. The Church of England is considering removing St. George as the country's patron saint on the grounds that, according to various Anglican clergy, he's too "militaristic" and "offensive to Muslims." They wish to replace him with St. Alban, and replace St. George's cross on the revamped Union Flag, which would instead show St. Alban's cross as a thin yellow streak.
In a few years, as millions of Muslim teenagers are entering their voting booths, some European countries will not be living formally under sharia, but -- as much as parts of Nigeria, they will have reached an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the "tolerance" of pluralist societies. In other Continental countries, things are likely to play out in more traditional fashion, though without a significantly different ending. Wherever one's sympathies lie on Islam's multiple battle fronts the fact is the jihad has held out a long time against very tough enemies. If you're not shy about taking on the Israelis and Russians, why wouldn't you fancy your chances against the Belgians and Spaniards?
"We're the ones who will change you," the Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar told the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet in 2006. "Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children." As he summed it up: "Our way of thinking will prove more powerful than yours."
Reprinted by permission of Regnery Publishing from America Alone ? 2006 by Mark Steyn
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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 'America Alone'
on: November 02, 2006, 10:51:01 AM
October 20, 2006
The future belongs to Islam
The Muslim world has youth, numbers and global ambitions. The West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it. It's the end of the world as we've known it. An excerpt from 'America Alone'.
Sept. 11, 2001, was not "the day everything changed," but the day that revealed how much had already changed. On Sept. 10, how many journalists had the Council of American-Islamic Relations or the Canadian Islamic Congress or the Muslim Council of Britain in their Rolodexes? If you'd said that whether something does or does not cause offence to Muslims would be the early 21st century's principal political dynamic in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, most folks would have thought you were crazy. Yet on that Tuesday morning the top of the iceberg bobbed up and toppled the Twin Towers.
This is about the seven-eighths below the surface -- the larger forces at play in the developed world that have left Europe too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia and that call into question the future of much of the rest of the world. The key factors are: demographic decline; the unsustainability of the social democratic state; and civilizational exhaustion.
Let's start with demography, because everything does:
If your school has 200 guys and you're playing a school with 2,000 pupils, it doesn't mean your baseball team is definitely going to lose but it certainly gives the other fellows a big starting advantage. Likewise, if you want to launch a revolution, it's not very likely if you've only got seven revolutionaries. And they're all over 80. But, if you've got two million and seven revolutionaries and they're all under 30 you're in business.
For example, I wonder how many pontificators on the "Middle East peace process" ever run this number:
The median age in the Gaza Strip is 15.8 years.
Once you know that, all the rest is details. If you were a "moderate Palestinian" leader, would you want to try to persuade a nation -- or pseudo-nation -- of unemployed poorly educated teenage boys raised in a UN-supervised European-funded death cult to see sense? Any analysis of the "Palestinian problem" that doesn't take into account the most important determinant on the ground is a waste of time.
Likewise, the salient feature of Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia is that they're running out of babies. What's happening in the developed world is one of the fastest demographic evolutions in history: most of us have seen a gazillion heartwarming ethnic comedies -- My Big Fat Greek Wedding and its ilk -- in which some uptight WASPy type starts dating a gal from a vast loving fecund Mediterranean family, so abundantly endowed with sisters and cousins and uncles that you can barely get in the room. It is, in fact, the inversion of the truth. Greece has a fertility rate hovering just below 1.3 births per couple, which is what demographers call the point of "lowest-low" fertility from which no human society has ever recovered. And Greece's fertility is the healthiest in Mediterranean Europe: Italy has a fertility rate of 1.2, Spain 1.1. Insofar as any citizens of the developed world have "big" families these days, it's the anglo democracies: America's fertility rate is 2.1, New Zealand a little below. Hollywood should be making My Big Fat Uptight Protestant Wedding in which some sad Greek only child marries into a big heartwarming New Zealand family where the spouse actually has a sibling.
As I say, this isn't a projection: it's happening now. There's no need to extrapolate, and if you do it gets a little freaky, but, just for fun, here goes: by 2050, 60 per cent of Italians will have no brothers, no sisters, no cousins, no aunts, no uncles. The big Italian family, with papa pouring the vino and mama spooning out the pasta down an endless table of grandparents and nieces and nephews, will be gone, no more, dead as the dinosaurs. As Noel Coward once remarked in another context, "Funiculi, funicula, funic yourself." By mid-century, Italians will have no choice in the matter.
Experts talk about root causes. But demography is the most basic root of all. A people that won't multiply can't go forth or go anywhere. Those who do will shape the age we live in.
Demographic decline and the unsustainability of the social democratic state are closely related. In America, politicians upset about the federal deficit like to complain that we're piling up debts our children and grandchildren will have to pay off. But in Europe the unaffordable entitlements are in even worse shape: there are no kids or grandkids to stick it to.
You might formulate it like this:
Age + Welfare = Disaster for you;
Youth + Will = Disaster for whoever gets in your way.
By "will," I mean the metaphorical spine of a culture. Africa, to take another example, also has plenty of young people, but it's riddled with AIDS and, for the most part, Africans don't think of themselves as Africans: as we saw in Rwanda, their primary identity is tribal, and most tribes have no global ambitions. Islam, however, has serious global ambitions, and it forms the primal, core identity of most of its adherents -- in the Middle East, South Asia and elsewhere.
Islam has youth and will, Europe has age and welfare.
We are witnessing the end of the late 20th- century progressive welfare democracy. Its fiscal bankruptcy is merely a symptom of a more fundamental bankruptcy: its insufficiency as an animating principle for society. The children and grandchildren of those fascists and republicans who waged a bitter civil war for the future of Spain now shrug when a bunch of foreigners blow up their capital. Too sedated even to sue for terms, they capitulate instantly. Over on the other side of the equation, the modern multicultural state is too watery a concept to bind huge numbers of immigrants to the land of their nominal citizenship. So they look elsewhere and find the jihad. The Western Muslim's pan-Islamic identity is merely the first great cause in a world where globalized pathologies are taking the place of old-school nationalism.
For states in demographic decline with ever more lavish social programs, the question is a simple one: can they get real? Can they grow up before they grow old? If not, then they'll end their days in societies dominated by people with a very different world view.
Which brings us to the third factor -- the enervated state of the Western world, the sense of civilizational ennui, of nations too mired in cultural relativism to understand what's at stake. As it happens, that third point is closely related to the first two. To Americans, it doesn't always seem obvious that there's any connection between the "war on terror" and the so-called "pocketbook issues" of domestic politics. But there is a correlation between the structural weaknesses of the social democratic state and the rise of a globalized Islam. The state has gradually annexed all the responsibilities of adulthood -- health care, child care, care of the elderly -- to the point where it's effectively severed its citizens from humanity's primal instincts, not least the survival instinct. In the American context, the federal "deficit" isn't the problem; it's the government programs that cause the deficit. These programs would still be wrong even if Bill Gates wrote a cheque to cover them each month. They corrode the citizen's sense of self-reliance to a potentially fatal degree. Big government is a national security threat: it increases your vulnerability to threats like Islamism, and makes it less likely you'll be able to summon the will to rebuff it. We should have learned that lesson on Sept. 11, 2001, when big government flopped big-time and the only good news of the day came from the ad hoc citizen militia of Flight 93.
There were two forces at play in the late 20th century: in the Eastern bloc, the collapse of Communism; in the West, the collapse of confidence. One of the most obvious refutations of Francis Fukuyama's famous thesis The End Of History -- written at the victory of liberal pluralist democracy over Soviet Communism -- is that the victors didn't see it as such. Americans -- or at least non-Democrat-voting Americans -- may talk about "winning" the Cold War but the French and the Belgians and Germans and Canadians don't. Very few British do. These are all formal NATO allies -- they were, technically, on the winning side against a horrible tyranny few would wish to live under themselves. In Europe, there was an initial moment of euphoria: it was hard not be moved by the crowds sweeping through the Berlin Wall, especially as so many of them were hot-looking Red babes eager to enjoy a Carlsberg or Stella Artois with even the nerdiest running dog of imperialism. But, when the moment faded, pace Fukuyama, there was no sense on the Continent that our Big Idea had beaten their Big Idea. With the best will in the world, it's hard to credit the citizens of France or Italy as having made any serious contribution to the defeat of Communism. Au contraire, millions of them voted for it, year in, year out. And, with the end of the Soviet existential threat, the enervation of the West only accelerated.
In Thomas P. M. Barnett's book Blueprint For Action, Robert D. Kaplan, a very shrewd observer of global affairs, is quoted referring to the lawless fringes of the map as "Indian territory." It's a droll joke but a misleading one. The difference between the old Indian territory and the new is this: no one had to worry about the Sioux riding down Fifth Avenue. Today, with a few hundred bucks on his ATM card, the fellow from the badlands can be in the heart of the metropolis within hours.
Here's another difference: in the old days, the white man settled the Indian territory. Now the followers of the badland's radical imams settle the metropolis.
And another difference: technology. In the old days, the Injuns had bows and arrows and the cavalry had rifles. In today's Indian territory, countries that can't feed their own people have nuclear weapons.
But beyond that the very phrase "Indian territory" presumes that inevitably these badlands will be brought within the bounds of the ordered world. In fact, a lot of today's "Indian territory" was relatively ordered a generation or two back -- West Africa, Pakistan, Bosnia. Though Eastern Europe and Latin America and parts of Asia are freer now than they were in the seventies, other swaths of the map have spiralled backwards. Which is more likely? That the parts of the world under pressure will turn into post-Communist Poland or post-Communist Yugoslavia? In Europe, the demographic pressures favour the latter.
The enemies we face in the future will look a lot like al-Qaeda: transnational, globalized, locally franchised, extensively outsourced -- but tied together through a powerful identity that leaps frontiers and continents. They won't be nation-states and they'll have no interest in becoming nation-states, though they might use the husks thereof, as they did in Afghanistan and then Somalia. The jihad may be the first, but other transnational deformities will embrace similar techniques. Sept. 10 institutions like the UN and the EU will be unlikely to provide effective responses.
We can argue about what consequences these demographic trends will have, but to say blithely they have none is ridiculous. The basic demography explains, for example, the critical difference between the "war on terror" for Americans and Europeans: in the U.S., the war is something to be fought in the treacherous sands of the Sunni Triangle and the caves of the Hindu Kush; you go to faraway places and kill foreigners. But, in Europe, it's a civil war. Neville Chamberlain dismissed Czechoslovakia as "a faraway country of which we know little." This time round, for much of western Europe it turned out the faraway country of which they knew little was their own.
Four years into the "war on terror," the Bush administration began promoting a new formulation: "the long war." Not a good sign. In a short war, put your money on tanks and bombs. In a long war, the better bet is will and manpower. The longer the long war gets, the harder it will be, because it's a race against time, against lengthening demographic, economic and geopolitical odds. By "demographic," I mean the Muslim world's high birth rate, which by mid-century will give tiny Yemen a higher population than vast empty Russia. By "economic," I mean the perfect storm the Europeans will face within this decade, because their lavish welfare states are unsustainable on their post-Christian birth rates. By "geopolitical," I mean that, if you think the United Nations and other international organizations are antipathetic to America now, wait a few years and see what kind of support you get from a semi-Islamified Europe.
Almost every geopolitical challenge in the years ahead has its roots in demography, but not every demographic crisis will play out the same way. That's what makes doing anything about it even more problematic -- because different countries' reactions to their own particular domestic circumstances are likely to play out in destabilizing ways on the international scene. In Japan, the demographic crisis exists virtually in laboratory conditions -- no complicating factors; in Russia, it will be determined by the country's relationship with a cramped neighbour -- China; and in Europe, the new owners are already in place -- like a tenant with a right-to-buy agreement.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe
on: November 02, 2006, 10:35:43 AM
Youths challenge the French state
David Rennie in Paris
Last Updated: 2:17am GMT 02/11/2006
Symbols of the French state, including policemen, firemen and postmen, are under intensified attack from disaffected youths as the country faces the worst race relations crisis in its history.
Hardly a night passes without gangs ? many of them from immigrant families ? attacking police cars, buses and emergency rescue teams.
Firefighters attempt to extinguish a burning city bus
Yesterday, the weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur published a confidential report drawn up by a public service trade union, the CGT, containing scores of eye-witness accounts of brutal attacks on public servants who work in the worst suburbs, or "banlieues", from gas board workers to staff from the electricity company.
Its publication follows the revelation that attacks on police have soared this year, with some 14 a day, and a growing number of incidents in which officers have been lured into ambushes.
This has prompted a warning that the day France witnesses the lynching of a policeman is not far off.
The CGT report painted a graphic picture of violence: blocks of cement dropped on paramedic crews; washing machines pushed off balconies on to fire engines; electricity company agents too scared to cut off customers who have not paid bills, after being attacked with knives, guns and fists.
On the Right and Left, politicians have accused youths of singling out symbols of the state, in an attempt to show that they, and not the French republic, are the law in their run-down neighbourhoods.
Shortly after three weeks of rioting that gripped French suburbs last November, Nicolas Sarkozy, the interior minister and favourite to be the Centre-Right candidate for the French presidency next year, said the violence, which left scores of businesses in ruins and nearly 10,000 cars burned, was above all "territorial". Gangs were trying to seize control of a piece of territory, "and rule it by force", Mr Sarkozy said in an interview with Le Point magazine.
Mr Sarkozy is admired and loathed in equal measure for his vocal pledges to crack down on such "scum", as he called rioters last year, and his policies of sending heavily armed police units into the worst neighbourhoods, in a show of force.
This week, a year later, Le Nouvel Observateur found a clear echo in the views of a politician on the opposite end of the spectrum, the Communist mayor of Sevran, a poor north-eastern Paris suburb. Youths who burned buses or attacked firemen were only hurting their own families and neighbours, who would be deprived of the few remaining public services, said the mayor, Stephane Gatignon. "For them it's a way of showing they exist, that this is their home, their territory."
The banlieues' inhabitants include millions of immigrants. Some police representatives, notably the small, fringe trade union Action Police, squarely blame radical Muslim imams for whipping up the violence, talking of an "intifada" in the banlieues. But a leaked report by the French police intelligence service, the Renseignements G?n?raux (RG), concluded last year that Islamists had "no role in setting off the violence", which it described as a "popular revolt" against the authorities.
A more recent report by the RG, leaked to Le Figaro last month, also reported, in a tone of some relief, that rumours of angry youths in different suburbs linking up in organised networks were not true.
A close study of the CGT trade union report also revealed a less than political motivation for attacks. Many workers from the gas board, electricity or telephone companies reported being attacked after accidentally witnessing drug deals, or stumbling on caches of drugs or weapons belonging to criminal gangs.
Crime in the banlieues is described as a part of life, and while billions of pounds have been spent on some estates many remain grim concrete widernesses with unemployment at 20 per cent, or double the national average, with youth unemployment still firstname.lastname@example.org
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia
on: October 30, 2006, 02:50:27 AM
Radical Australian Cleric Al-Hilali's Sermon in the Context of a Growing Fringe of Home-Grown Militants
By Zachary Abuza
[Author?s note: I do not like to comment on issues/events outside of Southeast Asia, but I would like to post this brief piece on the comments of Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali of Australia, that are getting significant attention in the international media. They must be seen in the context of a growing threat of home grown Islamist militancy Down Under, that has not been addressed to the degree it should have been on the Counterterrorism Blog.]
This week a Ramadan sermon by the controversial Supreme Muslim Cleric, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali aired in the national media has created a furor across Australia. The comments, in which the sheik blames women for rape, are only the latest in a string of incidences by radical Muslims who refuse to integrate and abide by Australia?s liberal-democratic and multi-ethnic core values. While the radicals comprise only a small number of Australia?s 300,000 Muslims (who come from some 20 countries), their vociferous and intolerant discourse is disturbing. It also adds increasing light to the problem of home-grown Islamist militancy in Australia.
Last year, the firebrand imam, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, originally from Algeria but who eventually became an Australian citizen, went on national television and stated unequivocally that he could not tolerate any religion but Islam: "According to my religion, here, I don't accept all other religion except the religion of Islam? I am telling you that my religion doesn't tolerate other religion. It doesn't tolerate. The only one law which needs to spread, it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam."
Benbrika, who described Osama bin Laden as ?great man,? also caused a stir by inciting Australian Muslims to go to Iraq and fight coalition ? including Australian ? troops; stating that it was a religious obligation for Muslims to do so.
Benbrika was arrested last November for being the ringleader of a terrorist plot. According to police officials from the State of Victoria, though the plot was in its "developmental stages,? Benbrika and his followers (two cells, one in Sydney, the other in Melbourne), were clearly inspired by the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London and were planning a major attack. In a telephone conversation intercepted by the police, Abdulla Merhi, said he "could wait months but not years" to carry out jihad. "You shouldn't kill just one, two or three," Mr Benbrika allegedly responded. "Do a big thing." "Like Madrid?" Mr Merhi allegedly inquired, to which Mr Benbrika was said to have replied: "That's it." He continued, "If you kill, we kill here 1000, because if you get large numbers here, the government will listen." Members of the Melbourne cell were allegedly filming the Australian Stock Exchange and Flinders Street Station, the main commuter rail terminus in Melbourne.
The group was self-financed. Members of the Melbourne cell each donated $100 a month while several others were involved petty crime, credit-card fraud and selling stolen mobile phones to finance the plot. The Sydney cell members had amassed a number of firearms and a small cache of chemicals needed to produce TATP, the explosive used in the London bombings, lab equipment, over 150 detonators, over 130 digital timers, and al-Qaeda literature and bomb-making manuals. Cell members attended simple training sessions in remote areas in 2005, and allegedly Benbrika was given a demonstration of the explosives. Two of the 17 people arrested in November 2005 and March 2006 had received explosives training in Afghanistan. Currently there are 13 people standing trial in this case.
While Australia has done a superb job at assisting the governments of Southeast Asia investigate and break up Jemaah Islamiyah, Australian officials are now bracing for a rise in home grown militancy. Australian security officials from both Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have recently commented that there are roughly 12 terrorist cells with some 60 members that are being investigated. The threat of home-grown militancy has never been greater in Australia.
And for that reason, al-Hilali's sermon, published in today?s The Australian http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20653032-601,00.html
, deserves another look because it is exclusionary, inciting and is a direct challenge to Australian tolerence:
"But when it comes to adultery, it's 90 per cent the women's responsibility. Why? Because a woman possesses the weapon of seduction. It is she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It's she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then it's a look, then a smile, then a conversation, a greeting, then a conversation, then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay jail.
"But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature, scholar al-Rafihi says: 'If I came across a rape crime ? kidnap and violation of honour ? I would discipline the man and order that the woman be arrested and jailed for life.' Why would you do this, Rafihi? He says because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn't have snatched it."
"If you take a kilo of meat, and you don't put it in the fridge or in the pot or in the kitchen but you leave it on a plate in the backyard, and then you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats eat the meat, you're crazy. Isn't this true?
"If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street, on the pavement, in a garden, in a park or in the backyard, without a cover and the cats eat it, is it the fault of the cat or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.
"If the meat was covered, the cats wouldn't roam around it. If the meat is inside the fridge, they won't get it.
"If the meat was in the fridge and it (the cat) smelled it, it can bang its head as much as it wants, but it's no use.
"If the woman is in her boudoir, in her house and if she's wearing the veil and if she shows modesty, disasters don't happen.
"That's why he said she owns the weapon of seduction.
"The woman was behind Satan playing a role when she disobeyed God and went out all dolled up and unveiled and made of herself palatable food that rakes and perverts would race for. She was the reason behind this sin taking place.
Al-Hilali has been in the news before. He was nearly deported several times before gaining citizenship owing to his radical preaching and tirades. He called the 9/11 attacks "God's work against oppressors" and continues to astound people with his virulent anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. These statements got him expelled from the Prime Minister's Muslim Advisory Board.
Another radical cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Omran, a spiritual leader of Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama?ah, a Salafi organization, has led the media campaign denying Muslim links to either the London or Madrid bombings, as well as to the 9/11 attacks. "I don?t believe that even 11 September? I don?t believe that it was done by any Muslim at all? I dispute any evil action linked to bin Laden," he said on national TV. Instead, he explained, they were "inside job" of the United States. Omran has encouraged followers to wage jihad against the west, glorified suicide bombers, and encouraged Madrid and London-style attacks in Australia.
Public pressure, in particular from Australia's moderate Muslim community (I.E. The Islamic Council of New South Wales called his comments ?un-Islamic, un-Australian and unacceptable?), forced al-Halali to apologize for his remarks, and he has agreed to a 2-3 month suspension from preaching though the Lakemba Mosque refused to dismiss him. Yet, he refused to resign until ?After we clean the world of the White House first.?
Australia, which has troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and whose government is closely allied with the Bush Administration, will continue to be vilified by Islamic militants, named in Al Qaeda and JI statements, will also see a rise in home grown militants, inspired by radical clerics such as Benbrika, al-Hilali, and Omran.
By Zachary Abuza on October 27, 2006 10:27 AM
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia
on: October 29, 2006, 07:37:07 AM
Women can't refuse
October 29, 2006
AN Islamic group praised by the Howard Government as preaching moderation has advised its followers that a woman cannot refuse to have sex with her husband.
The advice was posted on the website of the Darulfatwa organisation, in response to questions posed by readers.
One asked: "Is it haram [forbidden] for a lady to say no if her male partner wants to make love with her?"
The Islamic scholars replied: "In this case she should not refrain from such a legitimate right of marriage, but she could Islamically request for a place of living from her husband."
Darulfatwa spokesman Mohammad Mehio said Islamic teaching was that a wife could not refuse sex unless she had a good excuse such as being ill, tired or depressed.
After The Sun-Herald questioned Mr Mehio about the answers on the website, he said they posted a "clarification".
The answer to the sex-in-marriage question was changed to: "In this case she has the right to refuse."
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq
on: October 29, 2006, 04:36:32 AM
U.S. foes ramp up media campaign in "war of ideas"
Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:10 PM ET
By Bernd Debusmann, Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As U.S. military losses mount steadily in Iraq, a document issued by a group linked to al Qaeda spells out new goals for America's most determined enemies and calls for a media war against the United States.
The document, which began circulating on the Internet this month, illustrates the techniques Washington's enemy is using in what President George W. Bush has called the "war of ideas."
"The people of jihad need to carry out a media war parallel to the military war ... because we can observe the effect that the media have on nations," said the document, signed by Najd al-Rawi of the Global Islamic Media Front, a group associated with al Qaeda.
It lists targets for a public relations campaign ranging from the obvious -- Internet chat rooms -- to the surprising -- "famous U.S. authors with e-mail addresses" and mentions New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and the academics Noam Chomsky, Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington.
The author suggests that video of attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq could be a weapon in the media war and sway U.S. public opinion. Judging from a controversy that flared after CNN aired a video on October 18 showing insurgent snipers cutting down U.S. soldiers, such footage is considered a serious threat by some U.S. lawmakers.
The tape was tame by Internet standards: the screen went black at the moment the bullets hit, sparing viewers the most shocking images.
But it prompted Duncan Hunter, the chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, and two congressional colleagues to ask Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to ban CNN reporters from traveling with U.S. units in Iraq.
The issue of U.S. military deaths has long been sensitive -- the Pentagon has banned photographers from taking pictures of flag-draped coffins arriving in the United States from Iraq or Afghanistan.
In the past, similar strategy messages from al Qaeda and other groups have often remained in the relative obscurity of password-protected Arabic-language Web sites and message boards.
By contrast, the call in the document for a parallel media war traveled from the Internet to a mention in a New York Times column, the White House briefing room and eventually Bush himself.
In his weekly radio address on October 21, Bush specifically referred to the Global Islamic Media Front and said "the terrorists are trying to influence public opinion here in the United States. They have a sophisticated propaganda strategy ... to divide America and break our will."
Experts agree on the sophistication. "They (the jihadists) are more effective than us" on the propaganda front, said Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert at the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.
WAR OF IDEAS
To what extent gruesome images from the military fronts can affect U.S. attitudes toward an increasingly unpopular Iraq war is open to debate.
But if global public opinion polls are a gauge, the United States is losing the overall war of ideas Bush declared part of U.S. national security strategy four years ago.
Since the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, a move hugely unpopular in much of the world, international polls such as ones conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project have tracked a steady rise in anti-Americanism.
America's global standing slipped despite public diplomacy efforts such as increased spending on TV and radio broadcasts to the Middle East. Experts are critical of the efforts.
"It's hard to find a person between the Atlantic and the Indian subcontinent who'd give the U.S. a hearing these days," said Paul Eedle, a London-based terrorism expert and filmmaker who has just produced a documentary on the use of videos by followers of al Qaeda.It will be aired in Britain next month.
"In most of today's Middle East, the U.S. is seen as hostile to Islam and hostile to Arabs."
But while videos showing Americans inspire the radicalized and serve as recruitment tools, Eedle says, the mass of people in the Arab world are much more influenced by what they see on their main evening news bulletins -- "most of which make them angry at America and Israel."
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe
on: October 27, 2006, 04:05:51 PM
France's Permanent Intifada
New York Sun Editorial
October 27, 2006
Only days after the violence in the Paris suburbs erupted onto the world's front pages a year ago, these columns described the battles between the Muslim youths and French police, in a November 4, 2005, editorial,"Intifada in France." We wrote: "If President Chirac thought he was going to gain peace with the Muslim community in France by taking an appeasement line in the Iraq war, it certainly looks like he miscalculated. Today the streets of the French capital are looking more like Ramallah and less like the advanced, sophisticated, gay Paree image Monsieur Chirac likes to portray to the world, and the story, which is just starting to grip the world's attention, is full of ironies. One is tempted to suggest that Prime Minister Sharon send a note cautioning Monsieur Chirac about cycles of violence."
The "Intifada" label was dismissed in many quarters. On November 5, John Lichfield in Britain's Independent wrote "from the centre of the world's most beautiful city" that "despite the inflammatory rubbish written by some right-wing commentators in the French press about a ?Paris intifada', this is not an Islamic insurrection or a political revolution of any kind." He predicted that the riots "will burn themselves out in a few days, just as they have before." The Washington Post editorialized on November 8 that "? It's not the European version of an intifada: Islamic ideology and leaders play no role in the disturbances." Bernard-Henri Levy wrote on November 9 in the Wall Street Journal that "this is not, thank heaven, a matter of an Intifada wearing French colors."
Well one year later, the riots are still going on, and the French themselves are now calling it an intifada. France's Interior Ministry reported that almost 2,500 police officers were "wounded" in the first six months of the year. Rescue workers need police escort in the Muslim dominated suburbs. The AP recently reported from Paris: "On a routine call, three unwitting police officers fell into a trap. A car darted out to block their path, and dozens of hooded youths surged out of the darkness to attack them with stones, bats and tear gas before fleeing. One officer was hospitalized, and no arrests were made. The recent, apparently planned ambush was emblematic of what some officers say has become a near-perpetual and increasingly violent state of conflict between police and gangs in tough, largely immigrant French neighborhoods."
The head of a police trade union Action Police, Michel Thooris, recently told the interior minister, Nicholas Sarkozy, that the situation in the slums can be described as a "permanent Intifada." Almost every day police cars are pelted by, among other objects, Molotov cocktails. Mr. Thooris told journalists that "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists." He said that "Many youths, many arsonists, many vandals behind the violence do it to cries of ?Allah Akbar' (God is Great) when our police cars are stoned," the AP reported.
We recount this not out of any schadenfreude. But all our lives, we have thought of France in a certain way, as Charles of Gaulle once said. We would actually like to see the Fifth Republic come to its senses and see that its interests are with the rest of the Free World and that appeasement is not an answer, not in France, not in Israel, and not in Iraq. We are not with the anti-immigration movement.
One of France's faults is what we, in one of last year's editorials, called its "failure to integrate its immigrant Muslim community." It's a community that "lives in areas rampant with crime, poverty, and unemployment, much the fault of France's prized welfare system ? Immigration into a country with a dirigiste economy is a recipe for trouble, which is why supporters of immigration into France have long warned of the need for liberalization."
But there has been no liberalization. The French labor market is as inflexible as ever. Unemployment still is in the double digits, and it's highest among the immigrants and minority populations. All this, as we noted, "is compounded by the image France projects of itself to its Muslims, which one can surmise is the reason why Muslims see rioting as the solution to any grievance." Monsieur Chirac didn't join the war in Iraq out of fear of his domestic Muslim population. And so, "unsurprisingly when faced with some unhappiness they believe they can pressure the French state into submission."
The way out for France is two-fold. Firstly to reform its welfare state and allow the Muslim dominated slums to integrate into French society. The second is to send a signal to the French Muslim community that France doesn't buckle under threats, that it sees itself as part of the West, allied with America, Israel, and the Free World. On a domestic level, that means employing Mayor Giuliani-style "zero-tolerance" policing in the suburbs. On a national level, France would do well to send troops to fight the Islamists in Iraq and prove themselves to be true members in the coalition in the war on terror. As it is, France is learning the profound truth of which President Bush has begun speaking in respect of Iraq ? if we retreat, the enemy will follow us home.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion
on: October 27, 2006, 03:58:15 PM
October 26, 2006
The Wolf Pack
What it means to live by Muhammad?s words and deeds.
by Bruce Thornton
A review of Robert Spencer?s The Truth about Muhammad, Founder of the World?s Most Intolerant Religion (Regnery Publishing, 2006)
Ambrose Bierce once quipped that war was God?s way of teaching Americans geography. He could have said ?teaching us history,? for the enemy is emboldened by our ignorance not just of where he lives but of how he lives, his beliefs and values, and to understand these traditions we must understand their history. Unfortunately, in the current war against Islamic jihad we persist in ignoring the documented history of Islam and its beliefs, accepting instead the spin and distortions of various propagandists, apologists, and Western useful idiots.
This imperative to know the enemy?s beliefs is particularly important for understanding the jihadists, for Islam is a fiercely traditional faith, one brooking no deviation from the revelation granted to Muhammad and codified in the Koran, Hadith, and the sira or biography of the Prophet. As Robert Spencer shows in his invaluable resource The Truth about Muhammad, in these sources Muhammad is presented as ?an excellent model of conduct,? as the Koran puts it, his words and deeds forming the pattern for all pious Muslims to follow. ?Muslims,? according to Muqtedar Khan of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, ?as a part of religious observance, not only obey, but also seek to emulate and imitate their Prophet in every aspect of life.? The facts of Muhammad?s life, then, are paramount for understanding the beliefs that warrant and validate jihadist terror.
Presenting those facts clearly and fairly is precisely what Spencer accomplishes in his new book. Spencer has been for years a bastion of plain-speaking truth. Through books like Islam Unveiled, Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades), and as director of Jihad Watch, Spencer has courageously presented the simple facts of Islamic history and thought that too many Americans, including some in the current administration, ignore or distort. Spencer?s new book continues this important service of arming us with the facts we need in order to understand an enemy who wants nothing from us other than our conversion, death, or subjection.
Basing his description of Muhammad on the same Islamic sources revered by believers themselves, Spencer paints a portrait of the Prophet unrecognizable to any who have been deceived by the idealizations of apologists like Farida Khanam, whom Spencer quotes as claiming that Muhammad?s ?heart was filled with intense love for all humankind irrespective of caste, creed or color,? or the British religious writer Karen Armstrong, who claims that ?Muhammad eventually abjured violence and pursued a daring, inspired policy of non-violence that was worthy of Ghandi.? Such fantastic delusions cannot stand up to the relentless quotations and facts Spencer gathers from Islamic sources, all of which show us a Mohammad justifying and practicing violence in the service of the faith he invented.
As Spencer traces Muhammad?s life, we see the behaviors practiced by today?s jihadists, who continually cite the Prophet as their justifying model. The arrogant intolerance of any other religion finds its source in Muhammad?s assertion to Muslims, ?Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.? The rationalization of violence by invoking the hostility of unbelievers is also warranted by Muhammad: because of the rejection of him by his tribesmen the Quraysh, Allah ?gave permission to His apostle to fight and to protect himself against those who wronged them [Muslims] and treated them badly.? Hence the various offenses fabricated by today?s jihadists to justify their aggression against the West. But Muhammad justifies not just defensive warfare but also violence in the service of the faith: ??Fight them [unbelievers] so that there be no more seduction,? i.e., until no believer is seduced from his religion. ?And the religion is God?s,? i.e. until God alone is worshiped.? We see here the jihadist?s hatred of the West and globalization, whose political freedoms and hedonistic prosperity ?seduce? believers from the faith.
As Spencer concludes, ?The Qur?an . . . commands much more than defensive warfare: Muslims must fight until ?the religion is God?s? ? that is, until Allah alone is worshipped. Later Islamic law, based on statements of Muhammad, would offer non-Muslims three options: conversion to Islam, subjugation as inferiors under Islamic law, or warfare.? So much for the protestations of tolerance and co-existence constantly peddled by jihad?s Western publicists.
Every aspect of Islamic practice and belief finds its basis in Muhammad?s words and deeds. When Muhammad?s lieutenant Abdullah attacked a Quraysh caravan during a month when fighting was prohibited, Muhammad?s initial displeasure was changed by a ?revelation? [i.e. from the angel Gabriel, who dictated the Koran to Mohammad] saying ?persecution [i.e. of Muslims] is worse than killing,? and Abdullah was forgiven. ?This was a momentous incident,? Spencer concludes, ?for it would set a pattern: good became identified with anything that redounded to the benefit of Muslims, and evil with anything that harmed them, without reference to any larger moral standard. Moral absolutes were swept aside in favor of the overarching principle of expediency.?
As Spencer progresses through the Prophet?s life, the evidence for Muhammad?s model as the source of modern jihadist practice becomes overwhelming. The penchant for beheading enemies displayed by jihadists is validated by Muhammad?s decapitation of his enemy Abu Jahl after the battle of Badr against the Quraysh. A ?revelation? after the battle codified this practice and linked it to the terrorizing of the enemy that would help Muslims prevail: ??I [Allah] will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.? This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment.? Given that ?contend against? can be defined as any activity that ?seduces? believers or stands in the way of Muslim interests, the divine justification for the violence and terror perpetrated by jihadists from Indonesia to Africa, Israel to England is obvious.
So too with the practice of making tactical treaties and truces only to break them later. ?If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for Allah lovest not the treacherous,? a statement also revealing of the double-standard many Muslims take for granted when dealing with non-believers. Armed with this loophole, Muhammad moved against the Banu Qaynuqa, a Jewish tribe who had resisted Islam but with whom Muhammad had a truce. As Muhammad famously said, ?War is deceit.? This precedent of deceit is obviously pertinent today, particularly for Palestinian Arab dealings with Israel. We have seen agreement after agreement signed by Arafat and others, only to be violated when circumstances seem to favor force.
The mistreatment of women, polygamy, child-marriage, stoning of adulterers, cutting off the hands of thieves, mutilation of enemy corpses, the sentence of death for apostasy, the subjection of dhimmi or Christians and Jews, even the killing of writers who displease the faithful ? remember the sentence of death against Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, still in force ? all have their precedents in the things Muhammad said and did. And as Spencer documents in his conclusion, this invocation of Muhammad is continually made by the jihadist terrorists themselves, who accurately link their violence to incidents and sayings from the life of Muhammad. To pretend that these devout Muslims are ignorant of their own religion?s traditions or are ?hijacking? them is willful blindness.
Perhaps the most important precedent established by Muhammad, however, and one at the root of modern jihadist violence, is the demonization of Christians and Jews. Centuries before the existence of Israel, the actions and words of Muhammad legitimized the hatred of Jews. As Spencer shows, this disdain and resentment reflected the powerful barrier the Jews of western Arabia presented to Muhammad?s new faith and ambitions, not to mention the extent of Muhammad?s borrowings from Jewish scripture and traditions. But the continuing refusal of the Jews to accept that Muhammad was the ?seal of the prophets? eventually led to his war against these potent rivals, including the Qurayzah of Medina, 600-700 of whom were beheaded. This hatred was justified by calling the Jews along with the Christians ?renegades? who had turned against God and the true faith of their ancestors. Thus throughout the Koran one finds codified an intolerance and hatred of Jews still infecting the Islamic world today. The notion of apologists that Islam offers tolerant accommodation to Jews and Christians is belied by verses in the Koran such as, ?Oh ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors,? and most notoriously of the Jews, ?You brothers of monkeys, has God disgraced you and brought His vengeance upon you??
Given all this evidence, as Spencer writes, ?It is nothing short of staggering that the myth of Islamic tolerance could have gained such currency in the teeth of Muhammad?s open contempt and hatred for Jews and Christians, incitements of violence against them, and calls that they be converted or subjugated.? And this historical evidence is ratified by contemporary events that show modern Muslims following to the letter the example of Muhammad, from continuing persecution of Jews and Christians in Muslim lands, to the riots and calls for violence that attended (and validated) the Pope?s quotation of a Byzantine emperor?s observation that violence in the service of religion is Islam?s sole innovation.
Spencer concludes with some common-sense suggestions, most importantly demanding that so-called ?moderates? condemn jihad and teach against religious intolerance in their schools and mosques. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen, given the power of Muhammad?s example of enmity against unbelievers, and given the arrogant intolerance and unwillingness to compromise that typify too many Muslims. The anxiety about appearing ?racist? and the sentimental idealization of the ?other? dominating American society make it even more unlikely that any politician will challenge Muslims about the facts of Mohammad?s words and deeds that jihadists today use to justify their actions. Unless we heed people like Robert Spencer, it seems that only another graphic example of jihadist violence within our borders has a chance of teaching us the history of the enemy.