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11801  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 17, 2007, 12:36:39 AM

I don't support Israel for any religious reason. I support it because it's an outpost of freedom in a land of darkness.

"As far as them killing Buddhists, from what I hear the Buddhist in that country have dealt damage back a couple of times, same thing for the Hindus in India."

****Yeah, I think the Dalai Lama has been asking for this.****,20867,21493416-2703,00.html

Terror group's threat raises Dalai Lama alert
Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent
April 03, 2007

SECURITY surrounding the Dalai Lama has been tightened after reports of an attempt by the al-Qa'ida-linked terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba to assassinate the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
A three-tier security ring has been thrown around the 72-year-old Buddhist head, who lives at Dharamsala, in the Himalayan foothills, Indian police spokesman Prem Lal said.
All those approaching the exiled Tibetan chief will be closely watched by highly trained Tibetan security guards as well as heavily armed deployments of Indian police.

Visitors are being body-searched before being allowed to approach him.

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to make a widely anticipated 11-day visit to cities and regional centres across Australia in early June, making both free and ticketed appearances at public lectures, blessings and teaching sessions. Before that, he will visit the US.

Superintendent Lal said police had been alerted by central intelligence agencies to the reported plot by Lashkar-e-Toiba to kill the Dalai Lama "on the directions of a foreign organisation", which he declined to name, but is assumed to be al-Qa'ida.

In a recent document, Osama bin Laden denounced "pagan Buddhism" as part of his general attack on anything not Islamic.

The assassination threat picked up by Indian authorities is thought to be based on bin Laden's denunciation and the extremist jihadi movement's hatred for anything and anyone that is not Muslim.

Lashkar-e-Toiba is believed to be al-Qa'ida's agent in South Asia and has been involved in virtually every major terrorist attack in India.

Indian authorities recently heightened the security surrounding India's political leader, Sonia Gandhi, and members of her high-profile family following intelligence reports that they were on the extremist movement's hit list. Mrs Gandhi now travels the country in armed motorcades similar to those that carry the country's head of state, President Abdul Kalam.

The heavy security cordon thrown around the Dalai Lama at the Dharamsala exile where he has lived since fleeing Tibet is in sharp contrast to the normally relaxed atmosphere that pervades the town and is testimony of the extent to which Islamic terrorism is affecting even remote parts of the world.

As police disclosed the threat to the Dalai Lama, Indian officials drafted a strong declaration on terrorism in South Asia for leaders attending the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation summit beginning in New Delhi today.

Indian foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon said the draft declaration would discuss "not only about implementing what we have already agreed to, but to see what further action we, in thesub-region, can take against terrorism".

There are suggestions that leaders at the eight-nation summit will consider extending throughout Asia the joint mechanism to deal with terrorism recently established between India and Pakistan.

The mechanism involves close co-operation on all matters relating to terrorism and a regular exchange of intelligence.

Sri Lanka is particularly keen to see an integrated strategy that would assist it in its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers. Colombo wants SAARC members to work with it to defeat the Tigers.

Similarly, India wants all eight SAARC nations to help it defeat the Lashkar-e-Toiba group and to pursue a campaign against the terrorist movement. But many Pakistanis see LeT fighters as heroes.

11802  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It's getting harder and harder to tell the left from the jihadists.... on: April 16, 2007, 11:40:49 PM
I read the researcher's response, and I read Fred Kaplan's response to the researcher's response. Would you like me to post all of it here? It's pretty "inside baseball", but we can parse through it if you'd like.
11803  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It's getting harder and harder to tell the left from the jihadists.... on: April 16, 2007, 06:25:20 PM
Well, that explains a lot. Peer pressure is a bitch.
11804  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It's getting harder and harder to tell the left from the jihadists.... on: April 16, 2007, 05:08:38 PM
****The BBC is one of the biggest Anti-American/hard left media entities since Pravda left Soviet control. As usual, the Beeb won't let the truth get in the way of a good story. I'd agree that US news covers US stories, but when I listen to BBC feeds, I don't care about the Crickets scores or how Manchester United did against Real Madrid.

Domestic violence murders happen constantly in the US, but they generally don't make national news unless the suspect was a former professional football player turned actor. Does that mean a woman murdered by someone other than O.J. Simpson is any less tragic? I'm assuming you (Rog) live in SoCal. If every violent crime and homicide in SoCal were on the news, there really wouldn't be time for non-news programming, much less sports and weather. I read a lot of international websites because US news sources tend not to carry a lot of news from outside America's borders.

As I said before, especially with television based media, film footage of violences spurs stories. This is why though thousands of good things have been done by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the only stories you usually see from the MSM are footage from IEDs and death tolls from press conferences because covering a school being built involves the reporter leaving the green zone, as well as the air conditioned hotel bar.****

100,000 Dead—or 8,000
How many Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war?
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Friday, Oct. 29, 2004, at 6:49 PM ET

The authors of a peer-reviewed study, conducted by a survey team from Johns Hopkins University, claim that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war. Yet a close look at the actual study, published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet, reveals that this number is so loose as to be meaningless.

The report's authors derive this figure by estimating how many Iraqis died in a 14-month period before the U.S. invasion, conducting surveys on how many died in a similar period after the invasion began (more on those surveys later), and subtracting the difference. That difference—the number of "extra" deaths in the post-invasion period—signifies the war's toll. That number is 98,000. But read the passage that cites the calculation more fully:

We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000) during the post-war period.

Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means. For the other 99.9 percent of you, I'll spell it out in plain English—which, disturbingly, the study never does. It means that the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.)

This isn't an estimate. It's a dart board.

Imagine reading a poll reporting that George W. Bush will win somewhere between 4 percent and 96 percent of the votes in this Tuesday's election. You would say that this is a useless poll and that something must have gone terribly wrong with the sampling. The same is true of the Lancet article: It's a useless study; something went terribly wrong with the sampling.

The problem is, ultimately, not with the scholars who conducted the study; they did the best they could under the circumstances. The problem is the circumstances. It's hard to conduct reliable, random surveys—and to extrapolate meaningful data from the results of those surveys—in the chaotic, restrictive environment of war.

However, these scholars are responsible for the hype surrounding the study. Gilbert Burnham, one of the co-authors, told the International Herald Tribune (for a story reprinted in today's New York Times), "We're quite sure that the estimate of 100,000 is a conservative estimate." Yet the text of the study reveals this is simply untrue. Burnham should have said, "We're not quite sure what our estimate means. Assuming our model is accurate, the actual death toll might be 100,000, or it might be somewhere between 92,000 lower and 94,000 higher than that number."

Not a meaty headline, but truer to the findings of his own study.

Here's how the Johns Hopkins team—which, for the record, was led by Dr. Les Roberts of the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health—went about its work. They randomly selected 33 neighborhoods across Iraq—equal-sized population "clusters"—and, this past September, set out to interview 30 households in each. They asked how many people in each household died, of what causes, during the 14 months before the U.S. invasion—and how many died, of what, in the 17 months since the war began. They then took the results of their random sample and extrapolated them to the entire country, assuming that their 33 clusters were perfectly representative of all Iraq.

This is a time-honored technique for many epidemiological studies, but those conducting them have to take great care that the way they select the neighborhoods is truly random (which, as most poll-watchers of any sort know, is difficult under the easiest of circumstances). There's a further complication when studying the results of war, especially a war fought mainly by precision bombs dropped from the air: The damage is not randomly distributed; it's very heavily concentrated in a few areas.

The Johns Hopkins team had to confront this problem. One of the 33 clusters they selected happened to be in Fallujah, one of the most heavily bombed and shelled cities in all Iraq. Was it legitimate to extrapolate from a sample that included such an extreme case? More awkward yet, it turned out, two-thirds of all the violent deaths that the team recorded took place in the Fallujah cluster. They settled the dilemma by issuing two sets of figures—one with Fallujah, the other without. The estimate of 98,000 deaths is the extrapolation from the set that does not include Fallujah. What's the extrapolation for the set that does include Fallujah? They don't exactly say. Fallujah was nearly unique; it's impossible to figure out how to extrapolate from it. A question does arise, though: Is this difficulty a result of some peculiarity about the fighting in Fallujah? Or is it a result of some peculiarity in the survey's methodology?

There were other problems. The survey team simply could not visit some of the randomly chosen clusters; the roads were blocked off, in some cases by coalition checkpoints. So the team picked other, more accessible areas that had received similar amounts of damage. But it's unclear how they made this calculation. In any case, the detour destroyed the survey's randomness; the results are inherently tainted. In other cases, the team didn't find enough people in a cluster to interview, so they expanded the survey to an adjoining cluster. Again, at that point, the survey was no longer random, and so the results are suspect.

Beth Osborne Daponte, senior research scholar at Yale University's Institution for Social and Policy Studies, put the point diplomatically after reading the Lancet article this morning and discussing it with me in a phone conversation: "It attests to the difficulty of doing this sort of survey work during a war. … No one can come up with any credible estimates yet, at least not through the sorts of methods used here."

The study, though, does have a fundamental flaw that has nothing to do with the limits imposed by wartime—and this flaw suggests that, within the study's wide range of possible casualty estimates, the real number tends more toward the lower end of the scale. In order to gauge the risk of death brought on by the war, the researchers first had to measure the risk of death in Iraq before the war. Based on their survey of how many people in the sampled households died before the war, they calculated that the mortality rate in prewar Iraq was 5 deaths per 1,000 people per year. The mortality rate after the war started—not including Fallujah—was 7.9 deaths per 1,000 people per year. In short, the risk of death in Iraq since the war is 58 percent higher (7.9 divided by 5 = 1.58) than it was before the war.

But there are two problems with this calculation. First, Daponte (who has studied Iraqi population figures for many years) questions the finding that prewar mortality was 5 deaths per 1,000. According to quite comprehensive data collected by the United Nations, Iraq's mortality rate from 1980-85 was 8.1 per 1,000. From 1985-90, the years leading up to the 1991 Gulf War, the rate declined to 6.8 per 1,000. After '91, the numbers are murkier, but clearly they went up. Whatever they were in 2002, they were almost certainly higher than 5 per 1,000. In other words, the wartime mortality rate—if it is 7.9 per 1,000—probably does not exceed the peacetime rate by as much as the Johns Hopkins team assumes.

The second problem with the calculation goes back to the problem cited at the top of this article—the margin of error. Here is the relevant passage from the study: "The risk of death is 1.5-fold (1.1 – 2.3) higher after the invasion." Those mysterious numbers in the parentheses mean the authors are 95 percent confident that the risk of death now is between 1.1 and 2.3 times higher than it was before the invasion—in other words, as little as 10 percent higher or as much as 130 percent higher. Again, the math is too vague to be useful.

There is one group out there counting civilian casualties in a way that's tangible, specific, and very useful—a team of mainly British researchers, led by Hamit Dardagan and John Sloboda, called Iraq Body Count. They have kept a running total of civilian deaths, derived entirely from press reports. Their count is triple fact-checked; their database is itemized and fastidiously sourced; and they take great pains to separate civilian from combatant casualties (for instance, last Tuesday, the group released a report estimating that, of the 800 Iraqis killed in last April's siege of Fallujah, 572 to 616 of them were civilians, at least 308 of them women and children).

The IBC estimates that between 14,181 and 16,312 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war—about half of them since the battlefield phase of the war ended last May. The group also notes that these figures are probably on the low side, since some deaths must have taken place outside the media's purview.

So, let's call it 15,000 or—allowing for deaths that the press didn't report—20,000 or 25,000, maybe 30,000 Iraqi civilians killed in a pre-emptive war waged (according to the latest rationale) on their behalf. That's a number more solidly rooted in reality than the Hopkins figure—and, given that fact, no less shocking.

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate. He can be reached at

Article URL:
11805  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting... on: April 16, 2007, 03:56:04 PM
Virginia quashed bill allowing handguns on campuses
Tech spokesman celebrated 2006 defeat because it would help make campus safe
Posted: April 16, 2007
3:15 p.m. Eastern

By Art Moore
© 2007

More than one year before today's unprecedented shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, the state's General Assembly quashed a bill that would have given qualified college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus.

At the time, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said he was happy to hear of the bill's defeat, according to the Roanoke Times.

"I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus," the Virginia Tech spokesman said.

At least 32 people were killed today at Virginia Tech in the worst campus shooting in U.S. history.

The proposal, House Bill 1572, was initiated by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

But the bill didn't pass its first stage, the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety.

Most universities in Virginia require students and employees, other than police, to check their guns with police or campus security upon entering campus.

Backers of the bill wanted to prohibit public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun."

The bill's sponsor, Gilbert, told WND that with today's tragedy still unfolding, he is uncomfortable commenting and cannot assert the university's policy in any way contributed to the shooting. But he said, nevertheless, it's clear it couldn't have stopped the attack.

"The one thing that this tragic event does illustrate is that there is not a single gun law, rule or regulation that will stop someone with this kind of evil intent from going about their business and taking life at will, if they are committed to doing that," Gilbert said.

While advocates of gun control often believe they are improving safety, they are depriving law-abiding citizens from defending themselves in dangerous situations, he contended.

"Had I been on campus today, and otherwise been entitled to carry firearms for protection and been deprived of that, I don't think words can describe how I would have felt, knowing I could have stopped something like this," Gilbert said.

People who are willing to jump through all the legal hoops necessary to get a weapons permit usually are not people society needs to worry about, he argued.

The suspect in today's shootings might have been a legal weapons holder, Gilbert said, but the law didn't prevent him from doing what he did.

In the spring of 2005, a Virginia Tech student who had a concealed handgun permit was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class, the Roanoke paper reported.

Second Amendment groups questioned the university's authority, but the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police argued against guns on campus.

In June 2006, Virginia Tech's governing board approved a violence prevention policy that reaffirmed the school's ban.
11806  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It's getting harder and harder to tell the left from the jihadists.... on: April 16, 2007, 03:46:53 PM
The ugly truth is the film footage and pictures dictate media coverage. Even if no people had died on 9/11, it would have been on every media venue on the planet.
11807  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Virginia Tech Shooting... on: April 16, 2007, 03:08:04 PM
11808  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It's getting harder and harder to tell the left from the jihadists.... on: April 16, 2007, 02:54:37 PM
If multiple hijacked aircraft slammed into buildings in Africa or Asia, resulting in 3,000 deaths in one day, i'm sure it would be newsworthy and spur discussions in North America.
11809  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia on: April 16, 2007, 10:07:16 AM,23599,21567726-2,00.html

Raped 'for reading the Bible'
EXCLUSIVE by Evelyn Yamine
April 17, 2007 01:00am

Rape was punishment for Bible reading
'Let your Jesus help you'
DNA samples allegedly match accused's

AN Iraqi Muslim man allegedly raped a Muslim woman as "punishment" for her reading the Bible.

Campbelltown District Court in Sydney's west yesterday heard Abdul Reda Al Shawany twice sexually assaulted the woman, a practising Muslim, and then said to her: "Let your Jesus help you."

Al Shawany, 52, has plead not guilty to two counts of having sexual intercourse without consent between September 1 and 27, 2002, at a unit in Warwick Farm.

At the first day of the week-long trial yesterday, Crown prosecutor Michael O'Brien outlined the case and told how the woman allegedly kept the clothes and underwear she was wearing on the day of the alleged rape in a plastic bag for about three years.

The woman initially reported the matter to police but did not want to take it further because she felt "ashamed", Mr O'Brien said. She later changed her mind and Al Shawany, of Hillsdale, was arrested in July 2005 and the woman provided police with the clothing.

The Crown alleges swab samples from the accused had the same DNA as the semen sample taken from the woman's clothing.

"The complainant was born a Muslim and raised a Muslim and was a Muslim all her life," Mr O'Brien said.

He said when the woman came to Australia from the Middle East she began listening to Christian teachers and reading the Bible.

He said the woman - who wears the Muslim hijab - had received threats from members of her faith for reading the Bible but had not converted to Christianity.

It is alleged she met Al Shawany, who she had first met overseas, at Warwick Farm railway station in September 2002 after he told her he had some mail for her from overseas.

Al Shawany allegedly then took her to a Warwick Farm unit and pushed her in the head as she entered.

"She was wearing a hijab. The accused grabbed the hijab, the veil, and pulled it tight across her mouth," Mr O'Brien told the court.

"She fell to the floor and she couldn't scream because she had a hijab tight across her mouth."

Al Shawany allegedly raped the woman and later allegedly said: "Let your Jesus help you."

In a police interview, Al Shawany denied having sexual intercourse with the woman or threatening her.

Al Shawany's barrister Chris Pike told the court his client was a hardworking businessman with close ties to the community who strenuously denied the charges.

"My client is not a zealot," Mr Pike said.

The woman gave evidence in closed court yesterday and is expected to return to the witness stand when the trial before Judge David Knox continues today.

11810  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: April 16, 2007, 09:36:00 AM

I'm sure that's exactly what that means.
11811  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 16, 2007, 08:12:31 AM
****This must have happened because of the US hovering over them, just waiting for an excuse....****

Buddhist killed, burned in Thai Muslim south
Published:    04.16.07, 07:10 / Israel News
An elderly Buddhist man was shot dead and his body set on fire in Thailand's restive south of Narathiwat, police said on Monday.
Thongmee Mainman, 70, was attacked as he drove his motorbike home from a market in Narathiwat, one of three Muslim-majority southern provinces beset by a three-year separatist insurgency in which more than 2,000 people have been killed, they said. (Reuters)
11812  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It's getting harder and harder to tell the left from the jihadists.... on: April 15, 2007, 10:42:07 PM
Like when the US pulled out of Vietnam, then the democrats in congress cut all aid to the south and then the communists killed millions of Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge killed million in Cambodia, yet you'll hear no regret from "peace activists" that were responsible. Is this what you are talking about?
11813  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Islamic Countries: on: April 15, 2007, 06:31:56 PM
Clerics issue edict over sinful hugging

By SADAQAT JAN, Associated Press Writer
Sun Apr 15, 6:56 AM ET

Pakistan's tourism minister says she fears for her life after clerics at a radical mosque issued an edict accusing her of sinning by hugging her French parachute jumping instructor, the state news agency reported.

Minister of Tourism Nilofar Bakhtiar told a parliamentary committee of her fear on Saturday following the Taliban-style edict against her by Islamic clerics at Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in Islamabad, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The clerics said the hug was "an illegitimate and forbidden act" and "without any doubt, she has committed a great sin."

Two clerics at the mosque issued the edict against Bakhtiar last Sunday, demanding that she be sacked, her family punish her and she be made to ask for forgiveness after pictures in the Pakistani media showed Bakhtiar hugging her parachute jumping instructor at a fundraising jump in France.

Hundreds of students from an Islamic seminary attached to the mosque have been running an anti-vice campaign in Islamabad, threatening music shops and brothels, in a bold challenge to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, a U.S. ally who has pledged to promote moderate Islam.

The mosque's chief cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz, has threatened to stage suicide attacks if authorities try to raid the mosque.

Bakhtiar rejected the edict last week, saying she had only received a pat from her instructor for her jump in France last month to raise money for victims of a devastating earthquake in Pakistan in 2005.

Bakhtiar was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

"I have strengthened my security after the fatwa (edict) from the so-called Shariat court and the killing of Punjab provincial minister Zil-e-Huma," APP quoted Bakhtiar as saying, referring to the shooting death in February of a female provincial official by a man who told police he was opposed to women holding high offices.

Last month, an anti-terrorism court sentenced to death the man who attacked Zil-e-Huma Usman, who was minister for social welfare in Punjab province.

11814  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "Christ Killa" on: April 15, 2007, 03:04:19 PM
****Instead of Israel, I think this is President Bush's fault.****

Kadra attacked in public

Norwegian-Somalian Kadra, who became famous in Norway for exposing imam support of female circumcision, was beaten unconscious on Thursday.

Norwegian-Somalian Kadra has taken risks to front her views.
PHOTO: Knut Fjeldstad / SCANPIX

Kadra was attacked and beaten senseless by seven or eight persons of Somali origin, newspaper VG reports.

"I was terrified. While I lay on the pavement they kicked me and screamed that I had trampled on the Koran. Several shouted Allah-o-akbar (God is great) and also recited from the Koran," Kadra told VG.

Kadra linked the attack to recent remarks in VG where she said that the Koran's views on women needed to be reinterpreted.

Kadra said that the gang of Somali men attacked her around 3 a.m. in downtown Oslo on Thursday. A medical examination found that she had several broken ribs, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) reports. Kadra filed charges and was due to speak with police on Friday.

The Islamic Council Norway (IRN) condemned the attack on Kadra and urged that she pursue the matter with police.

"Behavior where one goes to physical attack on someone you disagree with violates Islamic teaching and the prophet Muhammad's sunnah (lifestyle). We strongly object to such behavior," the IRN said in a press release.

Kadra's role in a 2000 hidden camera TV documentary revealing the positive attitude of Muslim leaders to female circumcision had a massive impact on Norway, and sparked new legislation.

(Aftenposten English Web Desk/NTB)

11815  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "Christ Killa" on: April 15, 2007, 02:03:23 PM
****Again, i'm sure this is all Israel's fault somehow. There is no way that islamic theology has anything to do with this.****

Group cleared over Iran murders
By Frances Harrison
BBC News, Tehran

Iran's Supreme Court has acquitted a group of men charged over a series of gruesome killings in 2002, according to lawyers for the victims' families.
The vigilantes were not guilty because their victims were involved in un-Islamic activities, the court found.

The killers said they believed Islam let them spill the blood of anyone engaged in illicit activities if they issued two warnings to the victims.

The serial killings took place in 2002 in the south-eastern city of Kerman.

'Morally corrupt'

The case raises serious questions about vigilantes in Iran taking justice into their own hands and undermining the rule of law.

Up to 18 people were killed in just one year, but only five of the murders were tried in court.

According to their confessions, the killers put some of their victims in pits and stoned them to death. Others were suffocated. One man was even buried alive while others had their bodies dumped in the desert to be eaten by wild animals.

The accused, who were all members of an Islamic paramilitary force, told the court their understanding of the teachings of one Islamic cleric allowed them to kill immoral people if they had ignored two warnings to stop their bad behaviour.

But there was no judicial process to determine the guilt of the victims in these cases.

The group even killed a young couple they thought were involved in sex outside marriage, but media reports say the couple were either married or engaged to be married.

Lawyers for the victims' families say the Supreme Court has five times overturned the verdict of a lower court that found all the men guilty of murder.

Now the Supreme Court is reported to have acquitted all the killers of the charge of murder on the grounds that their victims were all morally corrupt.

Some of the group may, however, face prison sentences or have to pay financial compensation to their victims' families.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/04/15 16:16:54 GMT

11816  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "Christ Killa" on: April 15, 2007, 12:16:20 PM
DER SPIEGEL 6/2006 - February 6, 2006

'Everyone Is Afraid to Criticize Islam'

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch politician forced to go into hiding after the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, responds to the Danish cartoon scandal, arguing that if Europe doesn't stand up to extremists, a culture of self-censorship of criticism of Islam that pervades in Holland will spread in Europe. Auf Wiedersehen, free speech.

SPIEGEL: Hirsi Ali, you have called the Prophet Muhammad a tyrant and a pervert. Theo van Gogh, the director of your film "Submission," which is critical of Islam, was murdered by Islamists. You yourself are under police protection. Can you understand how the Danish cartoonists feel at this point?

Hirsi Ali: They probably feel numb. On the one hand, a voice in their heads is encouraging them not to sell out their freedom of speech. At the same time, they're experiencing the shocking sensation of what it's like to lose your own personal freedom. One mustn't forget that they're part of the postwar generation, and that all they've experienced is peace and prosperity. And now they suddenly have to fight for their own human rights once again.

SPIEGEL: Why have the protests escalated to such an extent?

Hirsi Ali: There is no freedom of speech in those Arab countries where the demonstrations and public outrage are being staged. The reason many people flee to Europe from these places is precisely because they have criticized religion, the political establishment and society. Totalitarian Islamic regimes are in a deep crisis. Globalization means that they're exposed to considerable change, and they also fear the reformist forces developing among émigrés in the West. They'll use threatening gestures against the West, and the success they achieve with their threats, to intimidate these people.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

is one of the most sharp-tongued critics of political Islam -- and a target of radical fanatics. Her provocative film "Submission" led to the assassination of director Theo van Gogh in November 2004. The attackers left a death threat against Hirsi Ali stuck to his corpse with a knife. After a brief period in hiding, the 36-year-old member of Dutch parliament from the neo-liberal VVD party has returned to parliament and is continuing her fight against Islamism. She recently published a book, "I Accuse," and is working on a sequel to "Submission."

Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia where she experienced the oppression of Muslim women first hand. When her father attempted to force her into an arranged marriage, she fled to Holland in 1992. Later, she renounced the Muslim religion. more...

SPIEGEL: Was apologizing for the cartoons the wrong thing to do?

Hirsi Ali: Once again, the West pursued the principle of turning first one cheek, then the other. In fact, it's already a tradition. In 1980, privately owned British broadcaster ITV aired a documentary about the stoning of a Saudi Arabian princess who had allegedly committed adultery. The government in Riyadh intervened and the British government issued an apology. We saw the same kowtowing response in 1987 when (Dutch comedian) Rudi Carrell derided (Iranian revolutionary leader) Ayatollah Khomeini in a comedy skit (that was aired on German television). In 2000, a play about the youngest wife of the Prophet Mohammed, titled "Aisha," was cancelled before it ever opened in Rotterdam. Then there was the van Gogh murder and now the cartoons. We are constantly apologizing, and we don't notice how much abuse we're taking. Meanwhile, the other side doesn't give an inch.

SPIEGEL: What should the appropriate European response look like?

Hirsi Ali: There should be solidarity. The cartoons should be displayed everywhere. After all, the Arabs can't boycott goods from every country. They're far too dependent on imports. And Scandinavian companies should be compensated for their losses. Freedom of speech should at least be worth that much to us.

SPIEGEL: But Muslims, like any religious community, should also be able to protect themselves against slander and insult.

Hirsi Ali: That's exactly the reflex I was just talking about: offering the other cheek. Not a day passes, in Europe and elsewhere, when radical imams aren't preaching hatred in their mosques. They call Jews and Christians inferior, and we say they're just exercising their freedom of speech. When will the Europeans realize that the Islamists don't allow their critics the same right? After the West prostrates itself, they'll be more than happy to say that Allah has made the infidels spineless.

SPIEGEL: What will be the upshot of the storm of protests against the cartoons?

Hirsi Ali: We could see the same thing happening that has happened in the Netherlands, where writers, journalists and artists have felt intimidated ever since the van Gogh murder. Everyone is afraid to criticize Islam. Significantly, "Submission" still isn't being shown in theaters.

SPIEGEL: Many have criticized the film as being too radical and too offensive.

Police at the scene of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh's murder.

Hirsi Ali: The criticism of van Gogh was legitimate. But when someone has to die for his world view, what he may have done wrong is no longer the issue. That's when we have to stand up for our basic rights. Otherwise we are just reinforcing the killer and conceding that there was a good reason to kill this person.

SPIEGEL: You too have been accused for your dogged criticism of Islam.

Hirsi Ali: Oddly enough, my critics never specify how far I can go. How can you address problems if you're not even allowed to clearly define them? Like the fact that Muslim women at home are kept locked up, are raped and are married off against their will -- and that in a country in which our far too passive intellectuals are so proud of their freedom!

SPIEGEL: The debate over speaking Dutch on the streets and the integration programs for potentially violent Moroccan youth -- do these things also represent the fruits of your provocations?

Hirsi Ali: The sharp criticism has finally triggered an open debate over our relationship with Muslim immigrants. We have become more conscious of things. For example, we are now classifying honor killings by the victims' countries of origin. And we're finally turning our attention to young girls who are sent against their wills from Morocco to Holland as brides, and adopting legislation to make this practice more difficult.

SPIEGEL: You're working on a sequel to "Submission." Will you stick to your uncompromising approach?

Hirsi Ali: Yes, of course. We want to continue the debate over the Koran's claim to absoluteness, the infallibility of the Prophet and sexual morality. In the first part, we portrayed a woman who speaks to her god, complaining that despite the fact that she has abided by his rules and subjugated herself, she is still being abused by her uncle. The second part deals with the dilemma into which the Muslim faith plunges four different men. One hates Jews, the second one is gay, the third is a bon vivant who wants to be a good Muslim but repeatedly succumbs to life's temptations, and the fourth is a martyr. They all feel abandoned by their god and decide to stop worshipping him.

SPIEGEL: Will recent events make it more difficult to screen the film?

Hirsi Ali: The conditions couldn't be more difficult. We're forced to produce the film under complete anonymity. Everyone involved in the film, from actors to technicians, will be unrecognizable. But we are determined to complete the project. The director didn't really like van Gogh, but he believes that, for the sake of free speech, shooting the sequel is critical. I'm optimistic that we'll be able to premier the film this year.

SPIEGEL: Is the Koran's claim to absoluteness, which you criticize in "Submission," the central obstacle to reforming Islam?

Hirsi Ali: The doctrine stating that the faith is inalterable because the Koran was dictated by God must be replaced. Muslims must realize that it was human beings who wrote the holy scriptures. After all, most Christians don't believe in hell, in the angels or in the earth having been created in six days. They now see these things as symbolic stories, but they still remain true to their faith.


Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan
11817  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "Christ Killa" on: April 15, 2007, 12:03:33 PM
Of course, a direct criticism of Islam or it's prophet tend to inspire a more direct reaction:

Van Gogh suspect confesses to killing
On trial for film maker's slaying, Muslim extremist says: 'I would do it again'
MSNBC News Services
Updated: 11:48 a.m. MT July 12, 2005
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A Dutch-Moroccan man confessed in court on Tuesday to murdering a filmmaker critical of Islam last year, breaking his silence over a killing that fanned religious and racial tension in the Netherlands.

Mohammed Bouyeri was accused of killing Theo van Gogh as he cycled to work in Amsterdam on Nov. 2, 2004. He was charged with shooting and stabbing Van Gogh before slashing his throat and pinning a note to his body with a knife in broad daylight.

Van Gogh, a descendent of the brother of the 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, was known for his outspoken criticism of Islam and angered many Muslims by making a film which accused Islam of condoning violence against women.

“I did what I did purely out my beliefs,” the 27-year-old Muslim told judges after entering court clutching a Quran. “I want you to know that I acted out of conviction and not that I took his life because he was Dutch or because I was Moroccan and felt insulted.”

The bearded suspect, dressed in a black robe and black and white headscarf, praised Allah and the Prophet Mohammed before admitting to the killing on the second day of his trial in Amsterdam’s high-security court.

Van Gogh’s murder sparked a wave of attacks on mosques, religious schools and churches in a country once renowned for its tolerance, and raised questions about the integration of the almost 1 million Muslims living in the Netherlands.

Memories of Pim Fotuyn
Van Gogh’s slaying prompted memories of the murder of anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn by an animal rights activist in 2002 in a country grappling with fears of terrorist attacks after its support for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Bouyeri told judges he had acted according to his convictions. Unrepentant, he told the victim’s mother — who was in court — that he did not sympathize with her loss and would be prepared to do the same again.

“If I ever get free, I would do it again," he said.

Bouyeri could face up to life in prison if found guilty of the murder. He faces other charges including the attempted murder of police officers and illegal possession of weapons. A verdict is due in two weeks.

Prosecutors say his acts had a terrorist intent and called for him to be jailed for life. They described Van Gogh’s killing as a cowardly attack on a defenseless man.

“I take full responsibility upon myself,” Bouyeri told the court. “It would be cowardly if I hid here behind the rules of the game by saying nothing and to avoid the chance of receiving the maximum sentence.”

Holy war
Prosecutors say Bouyeri, who waived the right to mount a defense, was a radical Muslim dedicated to a holy war against the enemies of Islam and had murdered Van Gogh to spread terror in the Netherlands.

“The cutting of Van Gogh’s throat evokes beheadings in the Middle East, the wars in Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq,” prosecutor Frits van Straelen told judges. The prosecutor earlier read out detailed reports from witnesses to the killing.

Prosecutors have said the accused believed he was doing God’s will and wanted to die a “martyr” at the hands of police. The suspect was injured in a gun battle with police before he was arrested in eastern Amsterdam shortly after the murder.

Bouyeri, who was born and grew up in Amsterdam, was accused of a premeditated attack. Prosecutors say he ignored Van Gogh’s pleas for mercy.

The five-page note left pinned to Van Gogh’s body quoted the Quran and was addressed to Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the script for Van Gogh’s film “Submission” about violence against women. She went into hiding for weeks after the murder.

© 2007 MSNBC InteractiveThe Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

****Let me guess, it's all Israel's fault....****

11818  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "Christ Killa" on: April 15, 2007, 11:41:19 AM
To a certain extent, that's true. As Issa, son of Mary (Jesus) is seen as a non-divine prophet of Islam in the Qu'ran, there have been death threats to unflattering protrayals of Jesus in western culture from muslims.

Friday, October 29, 1999 Published at 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK


Fatwa for 'gay Jesus' writer

Corpus Christi depicts Jesus Christ as a homosexual

An Islamic group based in the UK has issued a death fatwa against a playwright whose London stage production depicts Jesus Christ as a homosexual.
Terrence McNally was sentenced to death by the Shari'ah Court of the UK as his play, Corpus Christi, opened in London on Thursday night.

The play depicts Jesus Christ and his followers as a group of homosexuals. He is seduced by Judas Iscariot, but is later crucified as "king of the queers". It caused an outcry among Christians when it was staged during the Edinburgh Fringe festival during the summer.

Muslims regard Jesus as a messenger of God, and revere his mother, the Virgin Mary. The play was declared blasphemous by the Al-Muhajiroun - The Defenders of The Messenger Jesus.

Supporters of the group, which has around 800 members in the UK, handed out copies of the fatwah outside the play's first night at the small Pleasance Theatre, Holloway, north London.

The religious edict was signed by Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad, judge of the Shari'ah Court of the UK.

Actor Stephen Billington feels the play makes an important point
He criticised Christian leaders for not taking stronger action against the production.

He said: "The fatwa is to express the Islamic point of view that those who are insulting to Allah and the messengers of God, they must understand it is a crime.

"The Church of England has neglected the honour of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. It is blasphemy for them not to take action."

A fatwa is a religious decree issued by a recognised Islamic scholar, or other authorised leaders.

The order should only be carried out by an Islamic state, which rules out action against New York-based Mr McNally in either the UK or US.

"We would warn individual Muslims not to try to carry it out," Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad said.

However, it is reported police have warned Mr McNally about the fatwa.

If he travels to an Islamic state, then he would risk arrest and execution.

The sheik added: "We do not believe in political assassination, but obviously he would face capital punishment.

"He will be arrested and there will be capital punishment."

He said that under Islamic law, Mr McNally could only escape the fatwa by becoming a Muslim. If he simply repented he would still be killed - but his family would be cared for by the Islamic state.

The play also caused controversy in New York, with Mr McNally and his cast receiving bomb and death threats.

Judas Iscariot is played by Stephen Billington, best known for his role as villain Greg Kelly in the ITV soap Coronation Street.

During the Edinburgh Festival, he told BBC News Online Corpus Christi was "a very important play with a message about tolerance".

11819  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 15, 2007, 11:31:46 AM
Fine. I retract my original statement.

I'll add that I THINK that it is a logical to believe the people on the above list believe supporting Israel is important for religious reasons due to the huge amount of time I've spent involved with fundamental Christians.

****There is a big difference between supporting Israel because of Christian beliefs and supporting Israel because "that by supporting Israel they are helping to bring about the second coming of Christ.".****

I'll also add that I can't prove my original statement with journalism right now.

I also THINK that the Christians in this country are as dangerous as Islamic people everyone is up in arms about. I think that we are prone to violence against them and will seek out logic to support our war against them because of the Christians in this country. I think that we are happy to find logical reasons to fight wars with Israel's enemies because of our dominant religion.

****You can THINK the sky is green and purple if you wish. In fact Israel has been handcuffed in it's fight for survival due to the USA's larger geopolitical agenda.****

I think that a wave of thought that supports violence can sweep through our country like a brush fire, with or without provocation, and that while we aren't as vocal as they are because we have a fancy way of talking, our high position and our weapons means it takes less to do more.

Poor Muslims scream and ache for violence and the west suffers some train bombings and 9/11. America sneezes and destroys Iraq. We have more power so I believe we have a higher calling to compassion and logic but our leaders were chomping at the bit to get into Iraq. We will fight in more places before long, all of which are a threat to Israel and I think we have our religious people to thank for getting the ball rolling.

Iraq, Iran, Muslims in general may have made some mistakes with us, but I THINK that if you could take away everything evil they ever did to US, we would be hovering over them, just waiting for an excuse.

****There is such a profound void in your grasp of the issues we are discussing here, it's difficult knowing where to begin. In Iraq and in Afghanistan, we simultaneously fought a war and performed humanitarian assistance operations. The ground troops are placed at greater jeopardy because of very restrictive rules of engagement. It would be easier to use Saddam's methods of quelling insurection, cutting off water, electricity and shelling the village/town/city indisciminately from a distance. We could have installed a friendly (to us) totalitarian dictator that could brutally impose control over Iraq. Instead, we've spent blood and treasure trying to create democratic institutions with all the difficulties that freedom entails. We build schools, give medical treatment and the first few shaky stept towards freedom to a people that have only known a nightmare dictatorship for decades. It's not easy and may well fail, no matter how hard we try, but we are doing the right thing and for the right reasons and Israel has nothing to do with it.****

11820  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 15, 2007, 10:02:10 AM
What is scary is the fact that so many of our own leaders in America believe that by supporting Israel they are helping to bring about the second coming of Christ.

I'm not trying to say that Atheist leaders never committed any crimes (USSR / China) but wouldn't it be nice to get a few more rational people in there on both sides of what we have now?

You still haven't posted documentation supporting this assertion....
11821  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WW3 on: April 13, 2007, 06:40:19 PM
Another must read.
11822  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It's getting harder and harder to tell the left from the jihadists.... on: April 13, 2007, 04:28:49 PM

Friday » April 13 » 2007
Green candidate stands by remarks praising 9/11
Katie Rook
National Post

Friday, April 13, 2007

A federal Green party candidate in Vancouver-Kingsway is standing behind a controversial editorial he wrote more than four years ago in which he describes the falling of the World Trade Center twin towers as "beautiful."

The editorial, entitled, A Revolting Confession, was first published on Nov. 28, 2002 in an alternative newspaper, The Republic of East Vancouver, which Kevin Potvin founded.

"When I saw the first tower cascade down into that enormous plume of dust and paper, there was a little voice inside me that said, 'Yeah!' When the second tower came down the same way, that little voice said, 'Beautiful!' When the visage of the Pentagon appeared on the TV with a gaping and smoking hole in its side, that little voice had nearly taken me over, and I felt an urge to pump my fist in the air," Mr. Potvin wrote in the editorial.

The 44-year-old bookstore owner, who ran for municipal office in Vancouver in 2005, said he at first withheld the editorial, publishing it only after he was approached by others who felt the same way.

"This is a revolting confession," he wrote. "But it's what happened."

He continued: "I know lots of people were killed. But then again, I see lots of people getting killed whenever I turn the TV news on, and frankly, it doesn't really get to me any more....

"Let's face facts. If the news on the morning of September 11 was that 3,000 Tanzanians or Burmese had been killed, they wouldn't have broken in on regularly scheduled programming, or cancelled football games, and there'd be no conversation about it the next day."

Mr. Potvin said in a telephone interview last night that he is now skeptical that the events of 9/11 were entirely the work of terrorists.

"I have no idea what happened on that day, but it's certainly not the story that Washington propagates."

Mr. Potvin, who was recently acclaimed as a Green party candidate, is today meeting with voters to discuss "9/11 truth and its implications for Canadian foreign policy" at a downtown Vancouver cafe.

The Green party could not be reached for comment last night.

11823  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WW3 on: April 13, 2007, 03:26:51 PM
Private Papers

April 13, 2007
The Post-west
A civilization that has become just a dream.
by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

I recently had a dream that British marines fought back, like their forefathers of old, against criminals and pirates. When taken captive, they proved defiant in their silence. When released, they talked to the tabloids with restraint and dignity, and accepted no recompense.

I dreamed that a kindred German government, which best knew the wages of appeasement, cut-off all trade credits to the outlaw Iranian mullahs — even as the European Union joined the Americans in refusing commerce with this Holocaust-denying, anti-Semitic, and thuggish regime.

NATO countries would then warn Iran that their next unprovoked attack on a vessel of a member nation would incite the entire alliance against them in a response that truly would be of a “disproportionate” nature.

In this apparition of mine, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in Syria at the time, would lecture the Assad regime that there would be consequences to its serial murdering of democratic reformers in Lebanon, to fomenting war with Israel by means of its surrogates, and to sending terrorists to destroy the nascent constitutional government in Iraq.

She would add that the United States could never be friends with an illegitimate dictatorship that does its best to destroy the only three democracies in the region. And then our speaker would explain to Iran that a U.S. Congresswoman would never detour to Tehran to dialogue with a renegade government that had utterly ignored U.N. non-proliferation mandates and daily had the blood of Americans on its hands.

Fellow Democrats like John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, and Harry Reid would add that, as defenders of the liberal tradition of the West, they were not about to call a retreat before extremist killers who behead and kidnap, who blow up children and threaten female reformers and religious minorities, and who have begun using poison gas, all in an effort to annihilate voices of tolerance in Iraq.

These Democrats would reiterate that they had not authorized a war to remove the psychopathic Saddam Hussein only to allow the hopeful country to be hijacked by equally vicious killers. And they would warn the world that their differences with the Bush administration, whatever they might be, pale in comparison to the shared American opposition to the efforts of al Qaeda, the Taliban, Syria, and Iran to kill any who would advocate freedom of the individual.

Those in Congress would not deny that Congress itself had voted for a war against Saddam on 23 counts — the vast majority of which had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction and remain as valid today as when they were approved in 2002.

Congressional Democrats would make clear that, while in the interests of peace they might wish to talk to Iran, they had no idea how to approach a regime that subsidizes Holocaust denial, threatens to wipe out Israel, defies the world in seeking nuclear weapons, trains terrorists to kill Americans in Iraq, engages in piracy and hostage taking, and butchers or incarcerates any of its own who question the regime.

In this dream, I heard our ex-presidents add to this chorus of war-time solidarity. Jimmy Carter reminded Americans that radical Islam had started in earnest on his watch, out of an endemic hatred of all things Western. I imagined him explaining that America began being called the “Great Satan” during the presidential tenure of a liberal pacifist, not a Texan conservative.

Bill Clinton would likewise add that he bombed Iraq, and Afghanistan, and East Africa without congressional or U.N. approval because of the need for unilateral action against serial terrorism and the efforts of radicals to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

George Bush Sr. would in turn lecture the media that it was once as furious at him for not removing Saddam as it is now furious at his son for doing so; that it was once as critical of him for sending too many troops to the Middle East as it is now critical of his son for sending too few; that it was once as hostile to the dictates of his excessively large coalition as it is now disparaging of his son’s intolerably small alliance; that it was once as dismissive of his old concern about Iranian influence in Iraq as it is now aghast at his son’s naiveté about Tehran’s interest in absorbing southern Iraq; and that it was once as repulsed by his own cynical realism as it is now repulsed by his son’s blinkered idealism.

I also dreamed that the British government only laughed at calls to curtail studies of the Holocaust in deference to radical Muslims, and instead repeatedly aired a documentary on its sole Victoria Cross winner in Iraq. The British, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish foreign ministers would collectively warn the radical Islamic world that there would be no more concessions to the pre-rational primeval mind, no more backpeddling and equivocating on rioting and threats over cartoons or operas or papal statements. There would be no more apologies about how the West need make amends for a hallowed tradition that started 2,500 years ago with classical Athens, led to the Italian Republics of the Renaissance, and inspired the liberal democracies that defeated fascism, Japanese militarism, Nazism, and Communist totalitarianism, and now are likewise poised to end radical Islamic fascism.

Europeans would advise their own Muslim immigrants, from London to Berlin, that the West, founded on principles of the Hellenic and European Enlightenments, and enriched by the Sermon on the Mount, had nothing to apologize for, now or in the future. Newcomers would either accept this revered culture of tolerance, assimilation, and equality of religions and the sexes — or return home to live under its antithesis of seventh-century Sharia law.

Media critics of the ongoing war might deplore our tactics, take issue with the strategy, and lament the failure to articulate our goals and values. But they would not stoop to the lies of “no blood for oil” — not when Iraqi petroleum is now at last under transparent auspices and bid on by non-American companies, even as the price skyrockets and American ships protect the vulnerable sea-lanes, ensuring life-saving commerce for all importing nations.

I also dreamed that no columnist, no talking head, no pundit would level the charge of “We took our eye off bin Laden in Afghanistan” when they themselves had no answer on how to reach al Qaedists inside nuclear Pakistan, a country ruled by a triangulating dictator and just one bullet away from an Islamic theocracy.

And then I woke up, remembering that the West of old lives only in dreams. Yes, the new religion of the post-Westerner is neither the Enlightenment nor Christianity, but the gospel of the Path of Least Resistance — one that must lead inevitably to gratification rather than sacrifice.

Once one understands this new creed, then all the surreal present at last makes sense: life in the contemporary West is so good, so free, so undemanding, that we will pay, say, and suffer almost anything to enjoy its uninterrupted continuance — and accordingly avoid almost any principled act that might endanger it.

11824  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Christ Killa" on: April 13, 2007, 10:55:03 AM

As usual, the left targets a safe religion to mock.
11825  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 13, 2007, 01:22:50 AM
The Chronical is a poster child for "Bush Derangement Syndrome". rolleyes
11826  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 12, 2007, 11:51:36 PM
If the story was even slightly viable, the MSM would have been all over it.
11827  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 12, 2007, 11:40:55 PM

You kind of left out the source of the alleged "quotes".


White House denies Bush claimed divine inspiration   

Oct 7 09:14 AM US/Eastern

The White House has denied that US President George W. Bush said God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, as a new BBC documentary is expected to reveal.

"That's absurd. He's never made such comments," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Thursday.

The documentary series set to be broadcast later this month in Britain claims Bush made the claim when he met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and then-foreign minister Nabil Shaath in June 2003.

He also told them he had been ordered by God to create a Palestinian state, the ministers said.

Shaath, now the Palestinian information minister, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God'".

"'God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan'.

"'And I did. And then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq... ' And I did.

"'And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And by God I'm gonna do it'," said Shaath.

Abbas, who was also at the meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, recalled how the president told him: "'I have a moral and religious obligation'".

"'So I will get you a Palestinian state.'"

The three-part series, "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs", charts the attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, from former US president Bill Clinton's talks in 1999-2000 to Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza strip.

The series is due to begin airing Monday.


Go ahead, Peter.

Q Have you ever heard the President say that God told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, and I've been in many meetings with him and never heard such a thing.

Q Are you aware of the -- there's a BBC broadcast tonight that's quoting the Palestinian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister as saying that they were in a meeting with the President in June of '03, and there are some very detailed quotes here, saying that the President said to them, "God told me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan,' and I did," and then "God told me, 'George go and end the tyranny in the Iraq'" and so forth and so on?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's absurd. He's never made such comments.

Q Were you in the meeting when that took place?

MR. McCLELLAN: I've been in meetings with him with President Abbas; I didn't travel on that trip, if you're talking about to Jordan. But I've been in many meetings with the President with world leaders where he's talked about this.

Q So you don't know about the June '03 meeting?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I checked into that report and I stand by what I just said.


Abbas denies Bush's 'mission from God' remark
October 8, 2005 - 12:23PM

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has denied an account by another Palestinian official of a meeting with US President George Bush in which Bush is cited as saying he believed that God told him to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A statement in Abbas's name released by his office said an excerpt from an interview with Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Shaath due to be broadcast by the BBC in which Shaath described a meeting with Bush in June 2003 gave a "completely false" account.

In the interview for the series, Israel and the Arabs, Shaath described the meeting, at which he said Abbas was present.

"President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did. And then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq.' And I did,'" Shaath said.

"This report is not true," the Abbas statement said today. "I have never heard President Bush talking about religion as a reason behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush has never mentioned that in front of me on any occasion and specifically not during my visit in 2003."

Shaath could not be reached for comment.

The series, Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace, will be broadcast in Britain on October 10, 17 and 24, and in its entirety on the US Public Broadcasting Service on Monday.

11828  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: April 12, 2007, 10:40:06 PM

Footage from the Afghani/Pakistani border region.
11829  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 12, 2007, 10:29:29 PM
If it's a quote from President Bush, then it should be easy to track down.
11830  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 12, 2007, 10:28:31 PM
I've looked, but I can't find any such article. Can you give me a title/author?
11831  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: April 12, 2007, 06:34:51 PM

Hear it from the Marines....
11832  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 12, 2007, 02:30:03 PM
11833  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 12, 2007, 01:43:08 PM
Atheistic marxism (and it's ideological cousin nazism) has caused more deaths than any theology ever has.
11834  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Open Letter to Muslims, Liberals, Democrats, et al on: April 12, 2007, 01:36:46 PM
What leaders? Please cite your sources.
11835  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: April 11, 2007, 07:58:10 PM
Hopefully this is something John Stossel is working on. He's a breath of fresh air in the MSM.

He recently pointed out that swimming pools in the home are much more dangerous than guns in the home.
11836  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: April 11, 2007, 03:51:34 PM
***Juan Cole is President of MESA***

Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald introduces you to the Middle East Studies Association:

"Mesa" or "MESA" is the acronym of the Middle East Studies Association, the professional group of those who at American universities and colleges are charged with the responsibility of teaching the American young, those trusting, innocent, infinitely malleable young, with learning about the Middle East -- which is to say, about Islam.
As an organization, MESA has over the past two decades slowly but surely been taken over by apologists for Islam. Many of these are Muslims, and many are non-Muslims. The latter includes quite a few people who are married to Muslims, or who, to get along with their colleagues (and remember, the most political place in the entire universe is a university faculty, and that institution which, alas, Randall Jarrell failed to immortalize (if memory serves), the Departmental Meeting. Junior faculty owe everything to, and therefore must curry favor with, senior faculty. If that means signing an anti-divestment petition that has the mighty empire of Israel, fons et origo of everything that has ever gone wrong with the Muslim and Arab states and peoples, then so be it. Funny thing about being a trimmer, however, is that the mere act of signing something you really don't believe helps to convince you that you really do believe it, otherwise you would have to come to terms with your own cravenness, your own pusillanimity. And no one wants to do that.

The method of apologetics is simple: concentrate on Israel, or the more tendentious reification of an alternative state, "Israel/Palestine," keep clear of such topics as land ownership under the Ottoman Empire, the actual demographics of the Ottoman vilayets and sanjak that made up what became Mandatory Palestine, don't even whisper that more than half of the Jews in Israel had never left the Middle East but lived as dhimmis in the Yemen (virtual chattel slaves), in Iraq, in North Africa, in Syria and Egypt -- because officially, all Israeli Jews are "European colonialists"; finally, do not under any conditions mention that a goodly number of the ancient "Palestinian people" (invented post-1967) are the descendants of Arabs and Berbers who were veterans of Abd el-Kader's campaign, Egyptians who came with Mehmet Ali, Muslims from the Balkans and Bulgaria and other Ottoman territories in Europe who were transferred, en masse, by the Turkish government as the high tide of Islam receded -- for that area (a/k/a in the West as "Palestine") was by far the most desolate and under-populated in the Ottoman Empire, always excepting the Empty Quarter of Arabia).

The apologetics consists in hardly ever discussing Jihad, dhimmitude, or indeed even introducing the students to Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira. Sometimes an expurgated version -- the Michael Sells horror -- is assigned to students The Hadith and Sira are never mentioned. Books on the level of Armstrong and Esposito are assigned, and feelgood nonsense like Maria Rosa Menocal's The Ornament of the World.

But not everyone who is a member of MESA is completely awful. There are a few reasonable people, some of the Ottomanists and suchlike. MESA is a little like the Soviet Union of Writers, which had thousands of members and hardly a real writer. When one considers Michael Cook, Patricia Crone, Bernard Lewis, and a few others, on one scale, and the assorted Khalidis and Dabashis and Massads and Bahranis in the other, you can guess which side kicks the beam. No member of MESA has done as much to make available to a wide public important new work on Muhammad, on the origins of the Qur'an, and on the history of early Islam, as that lone wolf, Ibn Warraq. No one has done such work on the institution of the dhimmi as that lone louve, Bat Ye'or. It is an astounding situation, where much of the most important work is not being done in universities, because many university centers have been seized by a kind of Islamintern International. Willy Munzenberg could have learned a lot from Edward Said, who was only begetter, with his Orientalism for a good deal of this "post-colonial hegemonic discourse" stuff that permanently stunts the mental growth.

Recent presidents of MESA have included Lisa Anderson, the well-versed and compleat academic (and beyond, what with the Councils on this and the Committees on that, all very impressive if you are impressed with that sort of thing) operator, Dean of the School of International Blah, and Joel Beinin and Laurie Brand, about whom you may google, and Rashid Khalidi, and -- has Juan Cole served his term, or is that coming up? Well, you get the dreary picture

In any case, even MESA has its constraints. For example a few years ago it had to award, it could not avoid awarding, a prize for the best book of the year to Michael Cook for his 720-page Commanding Right and Prohibiting Wrong in Islam, even though Cook is suspiciously learned and has written a book, perhaps too warily not permitted to be reprinted, with Patricia Crone (who herself is very good, but also, at times, as in her treatment of Christoph Luxenberg, not quite as brave as she should be).

Why do I refer to MESA as "Mesa Nostra"? Because it is a kind of "Our Thing" conspiracy, but not nearly as appealing, as folkloric, as the Mafia, or the 'ndrangheta, or the camorra, for in Italy the malavita has three main components. Everyone knows everyone else; the maneuvering, the politicking, the fear that the hot breath of Campus Watch, and perhaps even Congress, will take away all that government money that the Khalidis and the Dabashis et al. wanted to use to spread their anti-Israel anti-American and "why-do-they-hate-us?" and "it is only a handful-of-extremists" message, and how can that mean old U.S. government not want to fund that, huh?

"Mesa Nostra" is my little invention. It communicates the doubtfulness, and more, of the enterprise. It has nothing to do with real scholarship. Ask yourself this: could Joseph Schacht, the great authority on Mohammedan law, or Arthur Jeffery, an authority on Islam, on Muhammad, even on aspects of the lexicon of the early Qur'an, both of them once stars in Columbia's middle-eastern firmament, have been hired today -- at Columbia, or indeed, anywhere that the plotters of Mesa Nostra rule the roost?

The Arabs have poured money into various Georgetown Centers for this and that (because that's where the power is, that's where the foreign service officers are trained, that's where Peter Bechtold, who gave a cheerleading address to the last meeting of Mesa, heads the "Foreign Policy Institute" and was so instrumental in drawing up that farcical list for General Vines). They have also bought up chairs: the nice "Guardian of the Two Holy Places" professorship of law that Frank Vogel holds, and a King Abdul Aziz Thisorthat, and so on. Oh, they get their money's worth. They do, indeed they do.

So that's why I call it "Mesa Nostra." Everybody should.

11837  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: April 10, 2007, 11:58:35 PM
Juan Cole is a Saudi funded jihad apologist disguised as an academic. No credibility in my book.
11838  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Help our troops/our cause: on: April 10, 2007, 11:19:30 AM
Britain Was Once Great Britain   
By Dennis Prager | April 10, 2007

It is painful to see the decline of Great Britain.
Greatness in individuals is rare; in countries it is almost unique. And Great Britain was great.

It used to be said that "The sun never sets on the British empire." That is how vast Britain's influence was. And that influence, on balance, was far more positive than negative. Ask the Indians -- or the Americans, for that matter. The British colonies learned about individual rights, parliamentary government, civil service and courts of justice, to name of few of the benefits that the British brought with them. Were it not for British involvement, India might still have sati (burning wives on the funeral pyre of their husband), would have no unifying language, and probably no parliamentary democracy or other institutions and values that have made that country a democratic giant, now on its way to becoming an economic one as well. But today, the sun not only literally sets on an extinct British empire; it is figuratively setting on Britain itself.

Two recent examples provide evidence:

One is the way Britain handled the recent act of war against it by Iran. Everything about the British reaction revealed a civilization in decline.

Whether the British sailors and marines should have put up more resistance -- i.e., any resistance -- to the unprovoked Iranian military attack is something for military and other experts to decide. Whether the captured sailors and marines offered more information and more cooperation, and more smiles than was necessary to the leader of their kidnappers, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will also be determined in ongoing investigations. Whether the British government engaged in appeasement of Iran or ineffective diplomacy will also have to be judged.

What does seem clear, however, is that the British government did not confront the Iranians in any way reminiscent of a great country, let alone of Britain's great past. If we judge the British government's reaction alone -- without any reference to the behavior of the British sailors and marines -- Iran was the feared power, not Great Britain, which acted like the supplicant.

But what really makes one weep for Britain's lost greatness is what has happened since the sailors and marines were released.

The UK Minister of Defense, Labor MP Desmond Browne, announced that the released sailors and marines were all free to sell their stories to the media, "as a result of exceptional media interest." If this is not unprecedented, it would certainly be difficult to find anything similar in the annals of military history. Some of the captured sailors and marines have already earned large sums of money. The Guardian newspaper said the one woman who had been captured, Faye Turney, agreed to a deal with The Sun and ITV television for approximately $200,000. (American soldier Jessica Lynch, who was captured when her Army convoy was ambushed in 2003, received a $500,000 advance for her book, "I Am a Soldier, Too." But that was a book published later and she had never charged the news media when interviewed by them.)

And John Tindell, the father of another of the hostages, said the marines were planning to sell on eBay the vases given to them by the Iranians.

As The Australian reported, "Some of the sums being offered to the captives are higher than the money paid to service personnel maimed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The standard tariff for the loss of an arm is 57,500 pounds."

The Labor government's decision was described well by the mother of a British soldier killed in Iraq. As reported by Reuters: "The mother of a 19-year-old British soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq at the weekend said she would be 'very shocked' if any of the detainees were paid for their stories. 'If you are a member of the military, it is your duty to serve your country,' Sally Veck, mother of Eleanor Dlugosz, told the Times. 'You should do your duty and not expect to make money by selling stories.'"

That pretty well sums up the revulsion many feel at the British government's decision.

The other current example of Great Britain's decline is the widely reported (in the UK) decision of schools in various parts of that country to stop teaching about the Holocaust in history classes. The reason?

As reported by the BBC, "Some schools avoid teaching the Holocaust and other controversial history subjects as they do not want to cause offence, research has claimed. Teachers fear meeting anti-Semitic sentiment, particularly from Muslim pupils, the government-funded study by the Historical Association said."

No comment necessary.

But a word of caution: If Great Britain can cease to be great in so short a time span, any country can. All you need is an elite that no longer believes in their country, that manipulates history texts to make students feel good about themselves, that prefers multiculturalism to its own culture, and that has abandoned its religious underpinnings. Sound familiar, America?

Dennis Prager hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show based in Los Angeles. He is the author of four books, most recently "Happiness is a Serious Problem" (HarperCollins). His website is To find out more about Dennis Prager, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at
11839  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: April 10, 2007, 02:02:54 AM

Though i'd agree with the positives you cite, there are profound flaws with the way the current administration has fought this war. Here are a few:

1. In the early days post 9/11 we were scared and we were pissed. No one knew just how dangerous we were but they didn't want to find out. "With us or with the terrorists" was a doctrine with teeth. Pakistan did initially help us because they feared we'd go to war with them as well. Iran couldn't be quieter, Syria was docile and superficially helpful. Less than 6 years and now partisan politics trumps nat'l survival and Iran and Syria feel free to create the "Next Vietnam" the dems are aching for.

2. To quote a friend from DHS "9/12/2001, the borders should have been closed tighter than turtle pussy". When Beslan comes to America's shores (It's when, not if) and any of the terrorists are found to have entered from Canada or Mexico, Bush will bear the blame as his legacy forever.

3. 9/11/2001 was the cue that the nat'l security infastructure wasn't geared to fighting this new war. Sadly the CIA/NSA/NRO/DIA and others is still ready to play spy vs. spy with the Soviets. There should have been a wave of firings/retirements throughout the nat'l security entities. Instead, we have political correctness undercutting any serious attempt at counterterrorist initiatives.

4. There should have been a national mobilization akin to WWII. The US military should be much bigger and better armed and the nation should be at war, not just the Army and Marines.
11840  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Help our troops/our cause: on: April 09, 2007, 11:05:05 PM

The American soldier's code of conduct
By Michelle Malkin   ·   April 05, 2007 01:43 PM
Apropos of the British sailors and marines' release and their humiliation at the hands of Iran, an American officer in Iraq sent me this link to the DoD's code of conduct for US soldiers:


I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.


I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.


If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.


If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.


When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.


I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.


My Army friend writes that the release of the British servicemen "was no coincidence, and was Iran's response to the escalation of measures against its nuclear program." He urges that we open our eyes:

The world was distracted by the captured sailors incident, when it should have been focused on Iran's nuclear intransigence. Instead Britain lost face and Iran became the benevolent captor. In my view, the incident on the border on September between US forces and border-violating Iranian forces was an earlier attempt by Iran to achieve a similar IO effect by capturing US forces, staging video in Iranian territory, parading them around on TV, and acting magnanimous in their release.
This would, of course, forced us to deal with them face to face immediately before the GWB spoke to the UN (as well as Ahmadinejad). The problem is, of course, that US forces fight back and we don't allow ourselves to be paraded like fools for the world to see (see below).

Britain's shame is Iran's gain. Iran failed in September, but not this time, yet no news source has come to the conclusion that Iran had perhaps tried this before (even though they've been doing it for 30 years).


Reader A. e-mails about the code of conduct:

"We had to memorize it in basic. When I got to my unit, we had to recite it whenever we saw the Battalion Commander and he asked us to. I can still recite it to this day and I got out in 1992."

11841  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: April 09, 2007, 09:50:14 PM
The quick and dirty assessment is: The republicans are fighting a half-assed war against the global jihad while the dems (with a few exceptions) think the global jihad is just some neocon conspiracy to enrich Halliburton, and if there actually are terrorists, read enough Noam Chomsky books and they'll be mollified.
11842  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Help our troops/our cause: on: April 09, 2007, 09:46:18 PM
11843  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 300 on: April 08, 2007, 11:01:38 PM
When people are fleeing europe and the US has had more major terror attacks CONUS, people will be forced from their slumber.
11844  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: April 08, 2007, 09:18:42 PM

Lieberman is right.
11845  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 300 on: April 08, 2007, 08:35:41 PM
Whatever the motivation, people need to wake up to the threat from the global jihad.
11846  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: April 08, 2007, 08:09:45 AM
11847  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: April 06, 2007, 03:31:29 PM

Pelosi hammered for her stupidity.
11848  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 300 on: April 06, 2007, 03:20:57 PM
During WWII, the left had phrases like "Fascism means WAR!". It would be nice if that was rediscovered. Saving the free world from islamo-fascism shouldn't be just on the shoulders of the right.
11849  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: April 06, 2007, 03:11:12 PM
The only Americans that should be in Syria are SpecOps/SOCOM calling in airstrikes.
11850  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Asia on: April 04, 2007, 05:07:37 PM
Islam's War Against Buddhism   
By Dhammajarat | April 4, 2007

“Allahu Akbar”! The tinny P.A. system tore asunder the pre-dawn peace and quiet.
I was jolted in my mind, almost like experiencing a car wreck, suddenly and without any warning. This totally incongruous sound intruded upon and encompassed everything, causing even the birds to rustle in the darkness.
It was just after 4 a.m. I was seated underneath the holy Maha Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, in the state of Bihar in India. It was a few days past the full moon of May 2004, a few days past Veesak. This was my second visit to this unparalleled location, the site of the Lord Buddha’s attainment of full Enlightenment over 2,500 years ago. Now, towards the end of my 10 day stay, I had applied for and been granted the great honor of permission to spend the night within the Maha Bodhi compound.
My plan was to spend the entire night practicing seated meditation, walking meditation, and circumambulation of the great Maha Bodhi Stupa. The air was warm and my practice was going very well as I alternated between the three practices, as the hours passed.
The beautiful waning full moon light filtering through the glistening leaves of the Maha Bodhi Tree, the soft fluttering of the leaves, the serene quiet, took me back to that time long ago when the Buddha himself had sat very near this same exact spot.
Or so I thought…….
The mussein’s call to prayer for the faithful of Islam, here in this most sacred location to all of Buddhism, ripped me back to modern reality. I was stunned! How could this be? Here in one of the most significant spots of Buddhism, loud speakers come on at four in the morning every day, to shock and intrude upon meditators and Buddhist practitioners using this spot for that which it has to offer in its most special way?
How could this be allowed? It is…
The Muslim call to prayer seemed to go on and on…..20 minutes to a half-hour later, the scratchy recording thankfully ended and quiet returned.
My concentration was thoroughly blown. Instead of following my breath, I found myself looking at the great distraction and paradox I had just experienced.
I thought about Mecca!
Could any other religion intrude itself there in the holiest of places to Islam, as the tenets of Islam had so intruded itself here in the holiest place of Buddhism?
No way! I could imagine immediate death being visited upon anyone that would even try – that is, if they would be admitted anywhere close to the Muslims’ holy Kabah – let alone be allowed to set up a loud public address system that would broadcast the message of another religion across the courtyards of the Grand Mosque, or any other Moslem religious site. The hypocrisy was astounding.
After awhile, I ceased to be so shocked and began to calm down. I began to see that this was merely a continuation of a long and sad trespass against Buddhism perpetrated by the faith of Islam.
In my previous visits to India, I had visited every site that was specific to the actual life of the Lord Buddha. At every location the pattern was the same: Just the partial foundations remaining of what had once been great Stupas or elaborate religious universities of Buddhist learning and practice. Even the place of the Buddha’s birth had been destroyed and buried, with modern day excavations only now giving some restoration.
I had learned from guides on location, and then from further studies once I returned home, that these locations had all been laid to waste in the early Moslem invasions of India, starting in the 900’s by Turkic hordes issuing forth from what is now Afghanistan, and continuing for over a thousand years until the Mughal era. A prolonged and calculated assault, an assault designed to wipe an entire belief, an entire religion, off the face of the Earth. The long history of Islam, being spread by the sword and by fire, had left its indelible mark on these wonderful peaceful, harmless, legacy sites of Buddhism.
I learned how the monks and nuns and religious students were slaughtered without mercy and piled up and burned, and all terrified survivors were driven like dry leaves before a strong wind, out of the region of India entirely, wherever this Islamic wind blew.
I was told this is how Buddhism actually came to Tibet and Southeast Asia, by Buddhists fleeing for their lives! My faith had been rendered a refugee faith via the tender mercies of Islam.
I learned how Islam was particularly unkind and brutal to Buddhists, because to Moslems the Buddhist represented the most reprehensible type of human personality: the “atheist” holding no monotheistic God image as their object of worship and veneration. We were worse even than the far more numerous Hindus, with their vast pantheon of multiple gods. The Buddhists, to the Muslims, only worshipped the image of a man, and no God higher.
Apparently they did not bother to look into the philosophies of Buddhism any more deeply. That was enough for the sword to come down and the fire to be applied. And so they have over the centuries until today.
I remember, some years back, before the gripping situations that we face today had quite come in to focus for many of us, I followed the story of the great Buddhas of Bamiyan, in sad and war torn Afghanistan. The Russian war was over, and the rein of the Taliban was in full force, but they were not content to merely rule the people with an iron hand by the strictest applications of Sharia law. They had to physically erase the “infidel” past, as well.
I remember shedding tears as I saw the footage of those magnificent Buddhas, the tallest ancient statues in the world, being reduced to rubble by explosive charges and artillery shells. I remembered hearing on the news footage, that same cry of “Allahu Akbar!” – as the dust of Bamiyan settled to reveal the emptiness of the destruction. The same cry that destroyed my meditative absorption under the Bodhi Tree.
Now, I pray we never hear this call in this our home, America. Not until and unless Islam totally and completely reforms itself after over a thousand years of ravaging and sweeping all others before it.
I feel, through my direct experiences of it, that Islam has not changed its ways in the least. In fact it has become more aggressive now than at any time since its period of greatest expansion in the 900s to the 1200s. “Modern” Islam seeks to return humanity to those very same times – a revival of the dark ages of Islamic slaughter, mayhem, and pillage – all in the name of Allah.
We Buddhists must realize that we, and our cherished practices, would be swept away entirely and crushed utterly, should Islam ever gain ascendancy in this world in which we live. Islam is the only belief that propagates itself thus – by the sword.
And it is very patient.

Dhammajarat is the pen name of a Buddhist author.
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