Barack Obama, in his own words, on Islam and Christianity

obama-churchBarack Obama self-identifies as a Christian.  He seems, though, to find Christianity troubling.  Meanwhile, although he denies being a Muslim, he obviously finds it an emotionally and aesthetically attractive belief system.  Why do I say this?  Because someone was good enough to assemble a list of his statements about both religions, and to put them side-by-side:

Obama on Islam:

1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

6. “Islam has always been part of America”

7. “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”

11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

13. “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

14. “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

15. “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”

16. “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

17. “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

18. “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

19. “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

20. “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

Obama on Christianity:

1. “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

2. “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

3. “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”

4. “Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.”

5. “The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.”

6. From Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope: “I am not willing to have the state deny American citizens a civil union that confers equivalent rights on such basic matters as hospital visitation or health insurance coverage simply because the people they love are of the same sex—nor am I willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.”

7. Obama’s response when asked what his definition of sin is: “Being out of alignment with my values.”

8. “If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they.”

9. “This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.”

10. “I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.”

11. “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.”

12. “I’ve said this before, and I know this raises questions in the minds of some evangelicals. I do not believe that my mother, who never formally embraced Christianity as far as I know … I do not believe she went to hell.”

13. “Those opposed to abortion cannot simply invoke God’s will–they have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.”

14. On his support for civil unions for gay couples: “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount.”

15. “You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

16. “In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology”

17. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

18. “We have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own”

19. “All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra— (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)”

20. “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”

The list doesn’t mean that Obama isn’t a troubled, doubting Christian, or that he’s a closet Muslim.  As Queen Elizabeth I said, it’s not up to us to make windows into men’s souls. But the list of those statements, all of which I remember him making in real-time, strongly indicate that, whatever his actual beliefs, Obama’s affinity (which is different from his faith) seems to hew towards Islam, rather than to the Judeo-Christianity that has for so long underpinned our nation.

Currently, you can find the list here and here.  I found it at American Thinker.

 

Humanist Islam

Raheem KassamI spend a lot of time at this blog speaking critically of those Muslims who, even if they would never dream of committing acts of violence themselves, nevertheless make no effort to speak out against terrorism in Islam’s name.  I’d therefore like to take a moment here to give a shout-out to a Muslim man who wants Islamic reformation — a goal that, of necessity, involves calling out Islam, Islamists, and passive-aggressive Muslims on the violence that’s lately seemed like the most prominent and dominant part of the faith.

We’ve had many discussions here about whether Islam and violence can be severed.  After all, the Koran is the word of the Prophet and theoretically cannot be challenged.  To the extent that the Prophet explicitly mandated the hatred and murder of Jews; the forced conversion, subjugation, or murder of Christians; the permanent denigration of women; the righteousness of wars for conquest and rape; the appropriateness of tactical lies; and the necessity of taking over the world, there’s really not a lot of room for reform.  Nevertheless, to the extent that more than a billion people around the world adhere to this faith, it behooves all people of good will to figure out if there is a way to reconcile Islam with more peaceable cultural mores.

Raheem Kassam is one of the people fighting this good war, a war that carries with it the possibility of bringing hundreds of millions of people out of Islamic backwaters into a more freedom centered prosperity and that might tame the Islamists’ love affair with bloodshed.  As a warrior in this fight, even thought he hasn’t donned battle gear, Kassam is taking very real risks.  In a Breitbart post, he tells us that the oxymoronically-named Islamic Human Rights Commission has awarded him “Islamophobe of the Year.”  An honor such as this one pretty much paints a target on someone’s back.

So, what did Kassam do to earn this farcical honor?

What was my alleged offence, you ask? In 2009, I set up and have since held a position at the counter-extremism pressure group Student Rights, which helps root out extremism in all forms on university campuses in the UK.

Forgetting that we have highlighted far-right speakers in addition to the wave of Islamists that fraternise at UK universities, the IHRC in its wisdom has decided that as an ostensibly self-hating Muslim, I am as eligible for the award as Britain’s Home Secretary Teresa May, who had the temerity to extradite Tahla Ahsan, who recently pleaded guilty to two counts of “conspiring to provide and providing material support” to terrorists.

Hurrah for Mr. Kassam!  I wish him success, I applaud his courage, and I hope that he inspires many more like him over the years.

I too am outraged by what Roger Ailes said about Muslims in the new World Trade Center

New World Trade CenterAll of the predictable people are expressing predictable outrage about the revelation that Roger Ailes once proposed what he thought was a clever way to keep the new World Trade Center from being the target of another Islamist terrorist attack.  What he allegedly said was, “We should fill the last ten floors with Muslims so they never do it again.”

I too am outraged.

Honestly!  How can someone be so naive?  No matter where you look in the Middle East and Africa, Muslims are busy killing each other.  Syria is the hot spot now, but between racist Islamic killings (the Sudan), Sunni v. Shia Muslim killings (most of the Muslim world), politically inspired Muslim killings (Egypt), and Iran’s willingness to nuke Israel despite the Muslim holocaust that would result, it’s pretty darn clear that Muslims have no compunction about killing each other.

Indeed, one could credibly argue that filling the last ten floors with Muslims would make the new World Trade Center a more enticing target, depending on the terrorist.  Any future attack could be a delightful twofer:  killing Americans and killing the “wrong” kind of Muslims.

So, yes, I’m offended.  Ailes said something stupid and, moreover, something stupid that had the added benefit of creating a sweet target for the Left’s perpetual outrage.

Very disturbing surveillance footage comes out of the attack on the Nairobi mall

CNN was able to obtain footage from surveillance cameras showing the first day of the four-day-long attack that al Shabab Islamic terrorists made against the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The video makes for horrifying viewing. It’s terrible to watch because we, as sympathetic and empathetic humans, must always be disturbed when we watch the slaughter of the innocents. It’s also terrible to watch because the “Western” look of this mall brings home the fact that Islamic terrorists are waging all-out war against us, i.e., Americans and others who live ordinary capitalist, Judeo-Christian lives.

What struck us, though, as the most terrible thing of all about the footage is the Islamists’ relaxed, calm, and calculated approach to the slaughter of the innocents. It is no exaggeration to say that their “business as usual” attitude is precisely the same attitude the Nazis had when, in a businesslike way, they shot or gassed six million Jews, plus gypsies, homosexuals, Catholics, communists, and anyone else they didn’t like. (It’s worth noting that the Islamists are no more fond of Jews, homosexuals, or Christians than the Nazis were. Just sayin’.)

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (6)

The clerk has been shot, but he is struggling to live

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (4)

Having been shot, the clerk struggles to sit up, even as he is surrounded by a rapidly spreading pool of his own blood

The first second of the video shows relaxed shoppers strolling through a store in the Westgate Mall on September 21. Suddenly, although there is no audio, you know that the terrorists have started shooting outside the store, as dozens of panicked people begin running frantically for cover.

One clerk hides himself beneath the front counter, only to have an Islamist walk in and casually, without thought or effort, shoot him. The terrorist then walks away. The clerk, lying in a spreading pool of his own blood, struggles to right himself. His efforts are wasted. As he sits up, another terrorist walks by, and with the same casual air as his comrade in slaughter, delivers the killing shot.

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (5)

The dark-jacketed Islamist on the left delivers the kill shot to the wounded clerk

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (7)

Panicked shoppers run and crawl across the mall’s main floor, seeking shelter from the killers

Another surveillance camera shows terrified shoppers racing through an open area of the mall in their efforts to escape from the gunman. Many drop to their stomachs and begin crawling away. Some no longer move.

A mother with two children appears on the scene, pushing a shopping cart. In the cart is a wounded child. Behind her follows a blood-stained, limping teenage girl, with her hands in the air. And then, behind that teenage girl, we see the explanation for this little procession: A gun-toting Islamist is herding these hostages along. (We are pleased to report that the woman, her two children, and the other children that she rescued all survived the attack.)

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (9)

A woman escorts her two children through a store, as she pushes a shopping cart holding a third, wounded child

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi

A terrorist herds a bloodied, wounded teenage girl through a store

The surveillance footage shows several of the terrorists wandering through stores, their gait relaxed, and their guns at the ready. Some are seen talking on cell phones. Authorities believe that they were not talking to each other but were, instead, receiving real-time instructions from outside controllers. One terrorist sees a body lie on the ground and fires an extra bullet into it . . . just in case.

The most disturbing thing of all about the whole video is that the terrorists are not in a frenzy of rage or insanity. Rather, they are exactly like workers in a slaughterhouse. On this first day, they know that they are in charge, and that’s despite the fact that there is surveillance footage showing two white men (meaning, two men who were obviously not the all-black al Shabab terrorists) holding revolvers and obviously making a plan to protect the civilians sheltered behind them. It’s believed that these men were security guards or perhaps off-duty policemen. Despite their obvious bravery, they were no match for the heavily armed killers.

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (11)

For the Islamists, it’s an enjoyable turkey shoot

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (1)

This man can be seen talking on a cell phone, which authorities believe is how outside controllers directed the Islamists in the mall

The Islamists carry themselves upright and unafraid, they talk on the phone, and they break for prayers, with butts in the air for Allah. It’s very disturbing to realize that kids running around at a paintball game show more tension than these terrorists do. These killers know that, on this first day, they are unstoppable. Knowing this, they obviously enjoy themselves as they massacre the innocents.

It is important to emphasize the terrorists’ appearance because we need to understand their character in order to appreciate the war we’re in. And make no mistake – even as Barack Obama makes nice with the Muslim Brotherhood, and despite President George W. Bush’s constant claim that “Islam is a religion of peace,” Islamists have declared war against the West.

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (8)

The terrorists were completely relaxed and in control as they went on their killing spree

Surveillance camera footage from the first minutes of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (2)

When they weren’t killing civilians, the Islamists took time out to pray to their god

There are millions of peaceful Muslims throughout the world, but the religion itself is premised upon Holy War and at least 10% of Islam’s followers take this mandate very seriously. Given that there are currently 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, the 10% of true believers means a worldwide army of 1,600,000,000 Muslims who actively or passively support what happened during those four days in Nairobi.

This is an asymmetrical war. The Islamists fully realize that they cannot defeat our military, so they don’t bother. They also recognize that, because they are an informal network that spans the globe, rather than representing any specific country, it’s extremely difficult for western armies to meet them on the battlefield. After all, Western armies wage war against nations, not against loose alliances of individuals.

There was little that these security guards could do with their small guns against the massive arms the terrorists brought in

There was little that these security guards could do with their small guns against the massive arms the terrorists brought in

Still, people did survive, thanks in no small part to many individual acts of bravery

Still, people did survive, thanks in no small part to many individual acts of bravery

The result is that the Islamists attack the softest targets – unarmed civilians and, optimally, children. This most recent attack against a civilian population was not aberrant. It was entirely consistent with an ideology that routinely attacks schools and other soft targets, as it did in Beslan, Russia, and as it repeatedly does in Israel.

As long as Western leadership is in denial about what is going on, we are all sitting ducks, or fish in a barrel, or turkeys at a shoot, or whatever other metaphor you want to use for a helpless population that is perpetually at risk of experiencing a slaughter against which it cannot defend itself. The only two things we, as individuals, can do are to (1) exercise our 2nd Amendment rights so that we can try to defend ourselves in the event of an attack or, at least, take a few of them with us when we go; and (2) elect politicians like Allen West, who understand that Islam is engaged in an existential war against the West, and that the West can win only by destroying the Islamists. (This doesn’t mean killing all Muslims, but it does mean waging total war against the 10%.)

(This post originally appeared in somewhat different form at Mr. Conservative.)

The core issue between Islam and the West is control over women

I have written often at this blog about the wise words a friend of mine told me more than a decade ago.  I can no longer remember his precise words, but I can summarize them:  Islam’s problem with the West, he said, boils down to sex.  Muslim men are terrified that accepting Western ways means losing the stranglehold they have over women.  A religious and political leader in Iran confirms just how right my friend was:

Ahmad Khatami, a senior Iranian cleric and a member of the Assembly of Experts that chooses the next Supreme Leader has warned Iranians not to fall into the trap of negotiating resolution of the nuclear issue with the United States. “If this issue is resolved, the [US] will raise the issue of human rights,” he said, explaining, “Today their problem is the nuclear issue, and when this issue is resolved, they will raise the issue of human rights and say whatsoever rights men have, women should have them, too.”

Read more here.

It makes sense, actually. Humans have needs (food, water, shelter, etc.), and humans have drives (sex, power, etc.). Once the needs are fulfilled, sex is undoubtedly the strongest drive. Western society constrains men’s sex drive; Islamic society constrains the women in service to men’s sex drive.

Will American Jews listen?

A friend sent me this article by a former Israeli soldier who know works for StandWithUs, an organization that counters the antisemitic and anti-Israel bile that pours forth on American campuses under the banner of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement.  The hatred he experiences is staggering, all the more so because it is so irrational.  It is pure, undiluted hatred, of the type Jews have had the misfortune to face repeatedly over too many centuries:

To give you a taste of the viciousness of the BDS attacks, let me cite just a few of the many shocking experiences I have had. At a BDS event in Portland, a professor from a Seattle university told the assembled crowd that the Jews of Israel have no national rights and should be forced out of the country. When I asked, “Where do you want them to go?” she calmly answered, “I don’t care. I don’t care if they don’t have any place else to go. They should not be there.” When I responded that she was calling for ethnic cleansing, both she and her supporters denied it. And during a presentation in Seattle, I spoke about my longing for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. When I was done, a woman in her 60’s stood up and yelled at me, “You are worse than the Nazis. You are just like the Nazi youth!” A number of times I was repeatedly accused of being a killer, though I have never hurt anyone in my life. On other occasions, anti-Israel activists called me a rapist. The claims go beyond being absurd – in one case, a professor asked me if I knew how many Palestinians have been raped by IDF forces. I answered that as far as I knew, none. She triumphantly responded that I was right, because, she said, “You IDF soldiers don’t rape Palestinians because Israelis are so racist and disgusted by them that you won’t touch them.”

Such irrational accusations are symptomatic of dangerous anti-Semitism. Yet, alarmingly, most mainstream American Jews are completely oblivious to this ugly movement and the threat it poses. They seem to be asleep, unaware that this anti-Jewish bigotry is peddled on campuses, by speakers in high schools, churches, and communities, and is often deceptively camouflaged in the rhetoric of human rights.

It seems appropriate to include here a link about the medical care Syrian civilians are receiving in Israeli hospitals that turn no one away.

Feel free to be inspired and to donate to StandWithUs, an organization that uses every penny wisely.  (I just gave my mite and hope that it helps.)

The utter depravity and nihilism of modern Islamic terrorism

The Watcher’s Council submissions this week are extraordinary, but this one rises head and shoulders above them all.  I don’t want it to be buried in the long list of articles that makes up the Watcher’s Council submissions.  This deserves to be read, read again, shared, analyzed, and otherwise trumpeted far and wide, because it is phenomenally important.  It is the most direct statement I’ve yet seen, not about the nature of Islam, but about the nature — the nihilism and depravity — of the violence committed in Islam’s name.  Moreover, it refuses to let the West pretend that the violent is anomalous, rather than being an intrinsic part of modern Islam.  In the same way, it is a scathing indictment of the moral cowardice and political correctness that renders the West incapable of acknowledging that modern Islam is very, very sick.  Its stark reality must be countered or it will destroy the world much more surely that Chicken Little fears about the earth warming.

The difference between Islam and other religions

Libby, a Bookworm Room friend, came up with one of the most accurate statements I’ve ever seen distinguishing Islam from other religions.  I have to share it with you:

The difference between Islam and other religions is that while other religions inspire their followers to control themselves to avoid sin, the followers of Islam seek to control their environment to avoid sin.

Did Kenya bring religion into disrepute?

I was trolling through Facebook, where one of my friends posted this article about last weekend’s events in Kenya.  (Read only if you have a very strong stomach or, if you don’t, are willing to be sick to yours.)  One of his friends, in turn, commented that Al Shabab’s acts are the kind of things that give religion a bad reputation.  I thought that was a surprisingly ecumenical comment.* I sat for quite a while afterwards trying to think of a single religion other than Islam that has, in the last, say 300 years, done anything even remotely like that.  I came up empty.

Until people are willing to admit that the problem isn’t religion, or even some generic “extremism,” but is, in fact, Islam, I don’t see us making any progress whatsoever in pushing back the barbarian onslaught.

____________________

*I know “ecumenical” isn’t quite the right word, since it pertains to all Christians faiths, not all faiths, but I’m tired, and it was the best I could come up with.

Paul Weston — “I am a racist”

Defending what is good about your country is racist.  So is describing Islam and its cultural and political practices.

Regarding Islam, let me be clear that this is not the same as the antisemites making things up about Jews, as they have since time immemorial.  Instead, what we know about Islam comes from the Muslim world itself:  from their concrete (and bloody) acts, from their media, from their speeches, and from their houses of worship.  They are open about what they are.  It is we who bury their true nature under platitudes and lies.

Three degrees of separation

I enjoy reading my Liberal-Lefty friends’ Facebook posts because they are so insightful into the mindsets of the Left.

One insight that I have gained over time is that the differences between us conservatives and the Progressive/Left are so profound that they are unlikely to ever be bridged, barring some cataclysmic, life-changing events. What I have tried to do is understand why this is so. I share this with you because I greatly appreciate the insights that Bookworm group has to offer on such issues – be it “yay” or “nay”.

Our disagreements appear to come down to three levels of separation.

1) First, there are objective facts (OK, I am being deliberately redundant here). These are easy enough to resolve. Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock world has arrived: everybody is so overwhelmed with information that we can’t absorb and process all there is to know and we therefore choose our facts selectively.

As Ronald Reagan said, ““It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

In discussions, factual disputes are easy enough to resolve: my typical response to Liberal /Lefties is simply tell them to “Google it”. Amazingly, many apparently don’t know that you can Google entire texts or sentences. A good example was the recent George Zimmerman trial…many people with whom I disagreed told me outright they were too busy to bother looking up facts. The Left operates on so many facts that just aren’t so.

2) The second level of separation involves our assumptions or premises. These are tougher to resolve, because we assume and presume events based on our past experiences. I suspect that we humans are hard-wired to build assumptions (true or false) as a defense mechanism: for example, my cave ancestors probably assumed that to allow a saber-tooth tiger to stand in their path was not a good thing and that such assumption is one reason why I stand here today.

We go through life building mental templates on how the world works in order to short-circuit decision making and evaluation. Otherwise, we would soon be overwhelmed with indecision. As long as our world templates work for us, we continue to hold onto them. Many formerly Liberals (e.g., David Horowitz, Bookworm) only became conservative when one or more events (e.g., 9/11) rendered their previously comfortable world views untenable. For me it was Reagan’s second term, when his policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and an economic resurgence. I, young man at the time, knew then that my Democrat world template had been very, very wrong.

I use the word “comfortable” deliberately, because our templates represent our comfort zones. Losing that comfort zone is terrifying. Imagine if all of a sudden nothing in the world made any sense to you; you would feel totally deracinated and quite possibly insane. You would also feel a deep sense of personal failure, as in “how in the world could I have been so deluded?”

And, the older you get, the more frightening that sense of loss, confusion and failure would be. So, the older we get, the more desperately we defend our mental templates, selecting and force-fitting “facts” to fit our own perceptions of reality. I believe this is where modern Liberalism and Progressivism are today (Google “Paul Krugman”). As Thomas Sowell put it, people of the Left expect the world to conform to their misperceptions. Eventually, however, reality hits like a 2 x 4 between the brow…as in “Detroit”.

I believe that this dynamic also explains the sheer viciousness expressed by many on the Left when the presumptions of their world templates are threatened (as by Sarah Palin or by black conservatives, for example). This is also the reason why I believe that world Islam will fail, because it doesn’t work and eventually people in Muslim worlds, aided by the internet, will eventually realize this (some of my Middle Eastern friends assure me that many already do). Reality is a harsh mistress.

This level of separation helps to explain why Liberals and Conservatives usually talk past each other. We try to rationalize our positions to each other, but our rationalizations only make sense if the other party shares the same assumptions and understandings of how the world works. We operate from completely different templates.

3) Faith. This the most difficult and potentially dangerous degree of separation, because it addresses fundamental values that are non-negotiable. Our “faith” defines how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world, irrespective of facts, logic and reason. I cannot, for example, “prove” the veracity of my Christian faith. Environmental extremists and atheists cannot “prove” the righteousness of their positions. We just “know” that what we believe to be true is true. There is no logical argument that I know of that can challenge faith-based values. Our values define who we are and how we perceive the world to be. Utopian fascist ideals (Progressivism, Nazism, communism, Islamism, etc.), for example, are defined by a faith in a future to come – they require no proof. Abortion is a similar issue of faith and values – there is no middle-of-the-road compromise if you believe abortion to be murder and that murder is wrong (a value proposition). Psychologists have claimed that only very powerful shocks to the system can challenge faith.

I have no dealing with the first degree of separation. I admit, however, that I am totally stumped on how to address (2) and (3). Any ideas?

If you’re in the mood for a mind-bending experience, read about Michael Totten’s visit to Hezbollah’s Disneyland

Michael Totten is a true journalist — an endlessly curious, extremely brave, open-minded but opinionated man who doesn’t just sit in a field office taking information from locals who have an agenda.  Instead, he goes out there and investigates.

Totten’s most recent foray took him to Hezbollah’s very own theme park, an homage to Hezbollah’s fight against the “evil Zionist entity.”  The description of the theme park reads almost like parody, except that the parodists have guns (and possible WMDs), and aren’t afraid to use them, preferably (from their point of view) in a genocidal fury against Jews.

Douglas Murray’s “Islamophilia : A Very Metropolitian Malady” — a sharp, witty look at a Western world in deep denial

For a bibliophile, one of the joys of blogging is getting to review books.  I actually don’t review a significant percentage of the books I get because I find them unreadable.  This isn’t always an indictment of the books I receive.  They may be exquisite examples of their genre, but they just don’t work for me.*  Some books, however, are wonderful, and I can’t wait to share them with you.  Douglas Murray’s Islamophilia : A Very Metropolitan Malady is one of those books.

Murray’s premise is a simple one:  Western culture is caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of thought about Islam, both as an abstract religion and as a lifestyle force that a billion people around the world practice.  Scylla is the fact that anything that doesn’t affirmatively praise Islam, its prophet, its practices, or its practitioners is designated as Islamophobia.  Islamophobia differs from other phobias in a few ways.  First, it implies an irrational fear of Islam, which is rather funny when you consider that committing acts of Islamophobia, either intentionally or unintentionally, is tantamount to signing your own death warrant — and I don’t mean that as a figure of speech.  Salman Rushdie got real death threats, not poetic ones; and Theo Van Gogh got real death, never mind the predicate threats.

The Charybdis is that many people in positions of authority, rather than just falling silent about Islam have gone the opposite way and heap it with fatuous, extreme, and often extremely ignorant praise.  Some do this because they hate Western culture (American, British, European, etc.) and will praise any doctrine, entity, person, or organization that is intent upon destroying the West; some because they are too ignorant to know better; some because they inadvertently spoke the truth about Islam and, to avoid death, must do more than just walk their statements back; some because they want to skip the death threats entirely and just get straight down to fawning over Islam; and some because they actually like a religion built around submission, misogyny, and war.

Murray offers examples of each class of Islamophile, whether in the world of politics, literature, or entertainment, all described in pithy, witty, pointed, and very accessible prose.  Politics?  Learn about former British PM Tony Blair, who converted to Catholicism, but nevertheless boasts that he reads the Koran daily “mainly just because it immensely instructive.”  You don’t have to go as far as England to find fatuous politics at work in the world of Islamophilia.  We’ve got plenty of Islamophilia in American politics, starting with George Bush’s oft repeated phrase about Islam being a “religion of peace” (and you’d better say that or we’ll kill you) and going through to CIA Director John Brennan’s manifest adoration for all things Muslim, including “Al Quds” (the place Israel and the Bible call Jerusalem).

When it comes to the world of the mind (or perhaps it’s more accurate to call it “the world of the mindless”), Murray talks about the intellectual corruption that sees the London Science Museum, the New York Hall of Science, and the California Science Center in Los Angeles all host a vast exhibit touting “1000 Islamic Inventions.”  We all know about Arabic numerals (for which we are grateful, even if they did actually originate in India),  but did you know that Muslims invented everything else?  Flight?  A Muslim invention.  Cameras?  A Muslim invention.  And if you’re silly enough to think Erno Rubik invented the cube of that name, please disabuse yourself of that silly notion.  Muslims invented that too.  It’s one thing politely to avoid pointing out the paucity of Muslim contributions to the world of the mind; it’s another thing altogether to propagate gross falsehoods — but that’s what Islamophiles do.

Do I even need to point out about Hollywood?  No.  I won’t bother.  Read the book and watch Murray slice, dice, and eviscerate the Hollywood crowd that, out of fear, keeps resurrecting Nazis or parading corporate monsters about, all the while pretending that there hasn’t been a serious existential threat to America since 1945.

Murray seems to reserve his greatest disdain for the literati, describing in quite embarrassing detail how such intellectual luminaries as Martin Amis and Sebastian Faulks backed down from criticizing (fairly mildly, one might add) Islam.  They didn’t just say “we misspoke.”  Nooo.  When the long knives (or scimitars) were turned their way, these two “men of letters” became groveling sycophants who exhausted their impressive vocabularies heaping praise upon every aspect of Islam.

All these people are fools if they believe their slobbering love affair with Islam will protect them.  Like Churchill’s famous appeasers, they’re hoping to delay the crocodile’s jaws, but they’re deluding themselves.  Even saying complimentary things about Islam can be dangerous.  In a hysterically funny, but still depressing, chapter entitled “Islamophilia is no defence,” Murray relates the history of Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina, which was meant to be a nice book about Islam.  Unfortunately, it made too many people aware of some habits Mohammed had that tend to rub at least some Westerners the wrong, with a child bride topping the list.  After you’re done reading the chapter, you’ll also want to weep when you realize how little faith the West has in the values and virtues of its own culture.

Murray is a delightful writer.  His prose is clear and assured; his wit pointed, but controlled; and his fund of knowledge satisfyingly vast — although what he knows and shares is inevitably depressing.  I recommend this book wholeheartedly, all the more so because it’s a very user-friendly length.  I read it in a couple of hours, despite my family’s constant interruptions.

It might interest you to know that Islamophilia is published by EMBooks, which is Melanie Phillips’ ebook press.  Phillips writes regular about Islam and antisemitism in England.  Read her non-fiction Londonistan if you want to have nightmares about the toxic combination of Islam and British Leftism.  Although written a few years ago, the book is as applicable now as it was when originally published.

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*  An example of this — a really good book that I just couldn’t read — is Dakota Meyer’s Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War, which he wrote with Bing West.  It’s extremely well-written and very interesting.  I’ve started it three times, but every time I get to that fatal day in Ganjigal, Afghanistan, the one that earned Meyer his Medal of Honor, I just can’t bear to read it.  I seem to have exhausted my courage reading Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.  I highly recommend the book, though, because I’ve read enough of it to know that the rest will be fascinating for people more courageous than I am.

When a gun is a gun and not a flower

Hippie puts flower in gun
The photo above must be one of the most iconic images from the hippie, anti-war period.  A youthful anti-Vietnam War protester, faced with a ring of National Guard troops pointing their rifles at him, carefully places a flower in each muzzle.  He thinks, no doubt, that the flowers have magically converted the guns into harmless instruments.  The troops, however, know that their rifles are still rifles.  The only thing that’s preventing them from firing is their inherent decency and, of course, the lack of any order telling them to pull the trigger.  The flower didn’t change anything; it’s the underlying morality that matters.

I thought of this liberal delusion — that guns can magically be transformed into harmless flowers — when Hube brought to my attention the clarity with which Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the existential threat facing Israel, and about the West’s passivity in the face of this threat:

“The leaders of the Allies knew about the Holocaust in real time,” Netanyahu said at the opening of a permanent exhibit called “Shoah” in Block 27 at the Auschwitz- Birkenau State Museum.

“They understood exactly what was happening in the death camps. They were asked to act, they could have acted, and they did not.

“To us Jews the lesson is clear: We must not be complacent in the face of threats of annihilation. We must not bury our heads in the sand or allow others to do the work for us. We will never be helpless again.”

To stare down the muzzle of a rifle is a remarkably clarifying moment.  Why aren’t we having such clarifying moments in America despite the Islamists’ relentless war against America and Western values?  I think the problem is perfectly summed up by the young man in that photo:  reality-challenged Progressive think that, by pretending the rifle is a flower, it will magically become one.  That’s not how rifles or flowers work.

The Middle Ages were brilliant

One of the standard paradigms of modern Western culture is that the Middle Ages were a dark, primitive time.  While that’s true for the era between Rome’s fall and about 1,000 A.D., after 1,000 A.D. Europe enjoyed an explosive, intellectually vibrant time.  (To understand the groundwork for this intellectual explosion, I highly recommend Thomas Cahill’s completely delightful How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe, which tells how Irish monks, by preserving and spreading Christianity, set the West on its path to modernity.)

Interior Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Interior Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Recognizing that the Middle Ages were a splendid, dynamic isn’t just a matter of setting the historical record straight.  Every PC-educated school child will tell you that Islam is good because, during the Middle Ages, when the West was mired in filth and ignorance, the Islamic world was a paradise of tolerance, beauty and learning.  I’m not going to denigrate the medieval Islamic world.  Certain parts of the medieval Islamic world were indeed places were Jews and Christians, although second class citizens, were able to thrive intellectually and economically; the art and architecture were beautiful (one word:  Alhambra); and the culture was sophisticated and rich.  The medieval Muslim world should be accorded recognition for its achievements.

Alhambra, Spain

Alhambra, Spain

The problem is that PC education, to ensure Islam its proper place in the scheme of things, then dishonestly paints the Middle Ages as a primitive, ugly, antisemitic, misanthropic world.  This is true, but such a fragmented part of the truth that it distorts the whole.  The fact is that medieval Europe was different from, but just as bad as — and just as good as — medieval Islam.  Both were worlds of explosive intellectual growth, celebrations of God and nature, travel and conquest, artistic beauty, misogyny and antisemitism, religious bullying, and all the other stuff that makes medieval cultures fascinating and frustrating, enticing and off-putting.  The crucial difference is that the European Middle Ages were a springboard, whereas the Islamic Middle Ages were an apex.

With that as a brief and scrambled intro, you might enjoy this short video about the brilliant Middle Ages.

Everyone is free to have his own opinion — so long as it precisely tracks Islam

The Economist has a chart that tracks the data Pew gathered when it polled Muslims around the world about their beliefs.  It turns out (no big surprise here) that those of you who denied the existence of assimilated, “moderate” Muslims were right.  To the extent these MINOs (Muslims in Name Only) exist, they’re a very, very small minority.  Most other Muslims, given their dream world, see sharia as the answer, not the problem.

What I found amusing, in a grim, bitter way, was this statement from The Economist:

The report also reflects man’s infinite capacity to hold contradictory views at the same time. Almost 80% of Egyptian Muslims say they favour religious freedom and a similar number favour sharia law. Of that group, almost 90% also think people who renounce Islam should be put to death. Confused? So are they.

They don’t seem confused at all to me.  When the Muslims polled speak of religious freedom, they mean the freedom to practice Islam — or else.

The Boston bombers and political correctness — by guest blogger Lulu

The elephant in the middle of the room that no one seems to want to look at is that there are people in this country, perhaps many people, who have been welcomed into this country, lived here for quite a while, embraced by Americans and treated kindly, who smile at you and seem perfectly normal, and who would happily kill you as an infidel. All of Dzhokhar’s college pals who shared joints, partied together, and played on sports teams together are shocked, and who can blame them, because he seemed so nice and normal and settled. What they don’t understand is that he only seemed nice. For quite awhile, inside he thought they were all infidels worthy of murder for the cause. It could have been all of them in the dorm or a classroom, smiles and pleasantries forgotten. He and his brother chose another more symbolic venue to declare their jihad and hatred of America and infidels, but he would have killed his dormmates, teammates or classmates just as happily.

That’s scary and unsettling. Who wants to think that people who smile and eat lunch with us may be putting on an elaborate act, that behind the smile lies a hatred deep enough to put a bomb next to a defenseless child and kill him, horribly maim dozens of others, then go back to school, refer to himself as a “stress free kind of guy” on twitter, hit the gym, and fool the dupes around him. This is the definition of evil. Evil exists when sane people follow an evil ideology, or when people are sociopathic and warped. Which are the Boston jihadists? They are both. They show a callous indifference to human life and no doubt a triumphal game of returning to the dorm or daily routine, easy as pie, F*&% America and its slutty women and unbelievers.

The Boston politically correct brigade will try to understand them and explain their deeds, as if planting a bomb next to kids in a crowd of people enjoying a race can be explained in any way by anything we did, as if anything—anything—can explain their decision to wage jihad at the Boston Marathon. The media and academia have become accustomed to blaming external factors for everything; school failure, criminal activity, gangs, violence. But other immigrant kids don’t do this. Not every kid who feels alienated does this. Hell, not even every kid who hates America does this. The deeds of Dzhokhar and Tamerlin Tsarnaev reflect their choices and their values. Their playing a “nice guy” role to their American friends and acquaintances reflects choices and values too. They weren’t teased or bullied. You kidding? A Golden Gloves boxer and a wrestling champ? More likely they were welcomed and treated decently by naïve people perhaps, but people far better than they, people that don’t live deceitful, fraudulent lives, plotting murder with a smile on their faces.
The question for us, knowing that there are others like the Boston jihadists living here and smiling at us, is what do we do? How do we stay open as a society and safe? If the majority of decent, law abiding Moslems are appalled by these actions, how do we get them to engage in protest and widespread condemnation of the acts, instead of defensive accusations that they might be picked on? How do we become a society that accepts personal responsibility again? How do we become a people who again can face that true evil exists in the ideology of the brothers and must be fought as hard and devotedly as we fought the true evil that existed in Nazi ideology.

Let the blame game begin — The New Yorker gets off to a good start, but can’t maintain its momentum

David Remnick, writing at The New Yorker has a very interesting article about “The Brothers Tsarnaev” (and yes, we all appreciated the little Dostoyevsky reference there).  It’s interesting at two levels.  At the first level, the beginning is an elegant piece of journalism that looks at the region and at Chechens, and acknowledges the region is distinctly Islamic and prone to blowing people up (although the word “Beslan” never appears).  Remnick also writes about the boys themselves, noting the mixture of shallowness and venom that characterizes them.  I was quite impressed.  By George, I thought, I think he’s getting it.  Maybe this liberal is having a reality moment.

But sadly, it was not to be.  He just couldn’t hang on to enlightenment by the time he got past the first half.  There was the reflexive drift towards “banality,” which James Taranto eviscerated so effectively.  By the third paragraph from the end, Remnick was blaming social media for the brothers’ killing spree.  I’ll agree that social media probably facilitates evil’s spread, but the evil is the particular brand of Islam the boys followed, and that seems to have been a gift to them from Chechen connections and their local radicalized mosque.  Facebook was a tool, not a cause.

The second paragraph from the end spoke about their loving families, and how we should feel sympathy for them.  The aunts and uncles who disavow the evil and speak of America . . . yes, I guess.  The Mom who screams about conspiracies — well, she could be in denial, which is a mom thing; she could be as evil as her sons; or she could be right.  As for the Dad, Remnick couldn’t resist a little selective editing.  Feel pity for Daddy he writes, because Daddy loved his boys:  “The father described Dzhokhar as an ‘angel.’”  Somehow Remnick forgot the rest of Daddy’s quote, where he said that, if Dzhokhar died, “all hell would break loose.”

And then, in the final paragraph, Remnick finally gets to his point — it’s the fault of both America and the internet:

The Tsarnaev family had been battered by history before—by empire and the strife of displacement, by exile and emigration. Asylum in a bright new land proved little comfort. When Anzor fell sick, a few years ago, he resolved to return to the Caucasus; he could not imagine dying in America. He had travelled halfway around the world from the harrowed land of his ancestors, but something had drawn him back. The American dream wasn’t for everyone. What they could not anticipate was the abysmal fate of their sons, lives destroyed in a terror of their own making. The digital era allows no asylum from extremism, let alone from the toxic combination of high-minded zealotry and the curdled disappointments of young men. A decade in America already, I want out.

Funnily enough, in all those paragraphs, even though Remnick could acknowledge that the boys were Muslims, he could not make himself acknowledge that Islam is the core problem.  Everything else is window-dressing.

 

Islam — the ultimate umbrella organization for violent malcontents

Turban Bomb

As was to be expected (and all of you predicted), the media is rushing to indict . . . America for having failed to give two Chechen immigrant brothers the love they needed.  Because of this, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 years old, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 old, became disaffected losers longing to kill.  Or, as their uncle, Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland, told reporters: “This has nothing to do with Chechnya.” Instead the Bomb Brothers were “losers — not being able to settle themselves [in America] and thereby just hating everyone who did.”

There’s your narrative:  this was just like Columbine all over again.  Islam was merely a religious bagatelle attached to two young men who would have been ticking time bombs regardless.  And most importantly as far as the Left is concerned, there’s no indication that these boys acted under al Qaeda’s guidance.  They were truly Americanized in that they were self-starters, arriving at terrorism due to their own disaffection and diligence.

To which I say, who cares about al Qaeda?  al Qaeda does not have to be involved in every attack before the bombing can be labeled as bona fide Islamic terrorism.  al Qaeda is just one head of the hydra.  It’s not the beast itself.

The problem is Islam — by which I don’t mean the garden-variety faith that millions of people practice as a party of their ordinary, non-hate-filled lives.  That’s a housebroken version of Islam, and I highly approve of it.

No, the problem is the very core of Islam — its Jihad element — which is a magnet for disaffected people.  The chicken and egg debate (i.e., which came first, Islam or disaffection?) is irrelevant.  The only thing relevant is that Islam comes last, right before the bomb explodes.  Whether Islam breeds terrorists or just provides an attractive justification for malevolent people doesn’t matter.  There it is, sitting like a big ticking egg, just waiting to go BOOM!

chicken_or_egg

I’ve quoted my cousin, the former prison minister (Christian), dozens of times here, but I think it’s important to say again what he once wrote in an email to me:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly [sic] remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

The core of Islam, which is built around Mohammad’s demands that his followers go forth and kill, both creates and attracts killers.  Until we address and de-fang Islam, there will always be “disaffected,” “lone wolves,” who just “coincidentally” have as their last words “Allahu Akhbar.”

What will the people of Boston do now? Get mugged by reality or rationalize Muslim violence?

The day the bombing took place, I looked at the MO and thought it more likely than not to be a Muslim attack.  I stated:

There are two ways Boston can go.  It can be a liberal mugged by reality and get over its delusional belief that, if America will just do whatever the Islamists want, they will leave us alone, or it can go the way it went with gun control — enacting liberty-limiting laws that do nothing to prevent future tragedies, and allowing its native son, John Kerry, to grovel apologetically before the authors of this bloodshed.

That question remains.

The Chechen angle, however, throws in a twist that ought to have Bostonians thinking even harder than before.  Liberals could explain away a Middle Eastern Islamic attack by focusing on Palestinians, Iraq, or Afghanistan.  But how do you explain away two boys raised, mostly, in America, attending good schools, and having no connection whatsoever to the Middle East?  Is this the moment when some liberals begin to realize that Islam has issues?  Or will they once again rationalize this away as two crazy, murderous people who just coincidentally happen to have been Muslims, and who just coincidentally filled their Facebook pages with violent Muslim propaganda?

Good questions, and ones that only Bostonians and their liberal ilk around America can answer.

I’ll say only that, between (a) Kermit Gosnell’s mass murder spree, which the MSM ignored because of its anti-abortion connotations, and (b) the MSM’s repeated missteps regarding the Boston bombing (including their instant “Tea Party murderer” narrative), this has not been a good week for the mainstream media.  They, of course, will forgive themselves.  I’m just wondering if the American people will be stupid enough to forgive them too.

There’s an old saying:  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  But what in the world is left to say after you’ve been fooled a thousand times and keep going back for more? That goes beyond shame into realms of Darwinian stupidity.  If Americans forgive again, we deserve what we get.

Muslims? Really!? I’m so surprised — NOT.

White cap

Note “white cap’s” Chechen nose.

As of this morning, the Washington Post earnestly tells us that, with one bomber in custody and one dead, we still have no idea why they did it.  We know that they’re brothers and that they come from Chechnya, a region that’s been having unnamed troubles leading to terrorism.  One was a martial artist.  And yada, yada, yada.  Go in several paragraphs and you still don’t get the words “Islam” or “Muslim.”  However, the WaPo finally concedes that one of the brothers wrote a tweet that mentioned “Allah.”

Hmmm.  Haven’t I heard that word before in connection with mass murder?  Was it a word the Americans on United flight 63 invoked before they saved our nation’s capital from a terrorist attack?  No.  I seem to recall “Let’s roll,” not “Allahhu akbar.”  Is it what Ambassador Stevens went around saying before he was murdered on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11?  I don’t think we so.  We don’t know his last words, but he wasn’t known for talking about Allah.  As I go through the roll call of mass bombings and murders in my mind, I just seem to associate that word with one group.  Yeah.  I’m sure it’ll come to me.

Seriously, though, this is serious.  Once again, we’re facing a situation where Muslims murdered masses and the media is mystified.  After Jared Lochner shot Gabby Gifford, they weren’t mystified at all — “It was a right-wing, Tea Party extremist,” they cried in one voice.  “Inspired, no doubt, by a Sarah Palin ad that placed a surveyor’s cross hairs over Giffords Senate seat.”  When he was revealed as a delusional schizophrenic obsessed with Gifford, the media fell silent.

Even after the Boston bombing, when there was no evidence whatsoever, beyond the peculiar Muslim habit of blowing up large crowds of people, the media knew what to say:  A right winger.  A Tea Partier.  A crazed anti-government killer.  Well, they got that last one right.  They just left out a few words:  “A crazed Muslim anti-non-sharia government killer.”

And moi?  Well, you know that I’ve been leaning Muslim all along, my snide post about anti-running people notwithstanding.  Yesterday, in email correspondence with my “group,” when one of them commented (a little jokingly) that “white cap’s” nose looked like his own, which was a genetic gift from his Assyrian and Georgian grandparents, I knew the answer.  I just knew it.  “Chechen?” I asked.

As for the WaPo, a newspaper that thinks it’s reputable, finally, reluctantly, after yet another person died at the bomber’s hands (a police officer responding to a call at MIT), the WaPo admitted, practically in code, reveals a Muslim connection.  After two lede paragraphs, they get down to the business of describing the killers (emphasis mine in the 5th WaPo paragraph):

Law enforcement officials identified the suspect still on the loose as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was identified as the man killed during an encounter with police after an armed carjacking of a Mercedes SUV in Cambridge. Tsarnaev was believed to be in his mid-20s.

The brothers’ alleged motive in Monday’s bombings remains unclear, but they appear to be originally from the southern Russian republic of Chechnya, and two law enforcement officials said there is a “Chechen connection” to the bombings. Chechnya has been racked by years of war between local separatists and Russian forces and extensive organized crime since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. The extent of the possible connection remained unclear.

According to a database search, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a boxer who worked out at a martial arts facility in the Cambridge area. In an Internet posting dated Nov. 2, 2011, and attributed to him by name, he wrote: “The more you know about hell, the more you want stay away from sins and keep asking Allah(s.w.t.) for forgiveness.’’

Eleven paragraphs in, the word Muslim finally appears:

The Chechen conflict dates to the early 1990s. In the summer of 1999, fighters in the predominantly Muslim republic rose up in an attempt to throw off Russian domination. Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, responded quickly, firmly and brutally to put down the rebellion.

Drudge more usefully leads us to the terrorists’ Russian language Facebook page, using the hyperlink “Wordview:  Islam.“  You don’t say?  Seeing as I don’t read Russian (or Chechen, as the case may be), I actually don’t say.  The page is a mystery to me, but you all should feel happy to check it out.  [UPDATE:  TheBlaze has a translated version.]

Will the public let the media get away with this dance, the one where they first accuse the right and then refuse to admit that it’s the Islamic faith, taken to its literal extreme, that’s killing people?  Will the American people excuse the media for publishing stories, not about Muslim madness, but about worried women and children who just happen to be Muslim, all of whom are terrified that the US will terrorize them?

In the first go-round, of Muslim terrorism, I respected their fears.  In the second go-round, I appreciated their concern.  In the third go-round, I began to think, “If you’re so worried, do something.  And that something isn’t to whine to the media that you’re afraid, that something is to address the cancer in your faith.”

But there’s your answer, isn’t it?  They’re not afraid of the media or Americans.  Non-bombing Muslims know about the cancer in their own faith — they’re either as afraid of it as we are or they’re part of a package deal to give it a glossy smiley face to hide the moral rot.  I’m losing sympathy for your man-in-the-street Muslim.  I don’t wish them ill, but I’m beginning to believe that they don’t wish the rest of us well.

We — the sensible conservatives — suspected right away what happened in Boston.  Is that because we’re anti-Muslim, paranoid racists?  No, that’s because we’ve learned from experience, the same way you learn that if you touch a pot on the stove you’ll probably get burned.  Not certainly — the pot might have been placed there before the heat went on or been sitting there long after it went off — but probably.  The Islamists themselves have trained us to have this knowledge.  They’ve trained us in New York, in Kenya, in Tanzania, in Bali, in Spain, in London, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Somalia, in Beirut, in Chechnya, and in all the places in between.

A conspiracy is when you take nonexistent dots, connect them with invisible lines, and then announce that the absence of evidence is proof.  A theory is when you take known factors and analyze them to reach a logical conclusion.  And a wise person is one who spits in the media’s eye for its delusional refusal to recognize that a significant sector of Islam (not all of it, but enough) is at war with us and wants to use powerful weapons to take us down.

Throwing out my own theory about the meaning behind the Boston Marathon attack

Jeff Bauman lost both legs

Now that the police have dismissed as a suspect the Saudi man originally being questioned, the perpetrator behind the atrocity at the Boston Marathon is swathed in mystery.  Although Muslims distinguished themselves in a disgusting way by celebrating the bombing, no group has stepped forward to take responsibility for what happened.

We know that the bombs were pressure cooker bombs filled with ball-bearings that could have been made in anyone’s kitchen.  Muslim extremists have tried to use them before (the thwarted Times Square bomber, for example), but anyone can go on the internet to make them.  So that doesn’t point the finger anywhere specific.

We know that the bombs went off at an iconic American event, in an iconic American city, which is kind of al Qaeda-ish.  al Qaeda, after all, is nothing if not showy.

We also know that the bombs went off on April 15, a day no American likes, but that anti-government individuals especially dislike, so that’s kind of a neo-Nazi or crazed Ted Kaczynski thing.  Or, according to the MSM, a Tea Party thing.  As to that, the same people who pick up all the mess after rallies would never do anything as hideously messy and destructive as a bomb.

We know that, since the mid-7th century, Muslims have been going after the West, with flare-ups during the Moorish occupation of Spain, the years preceding the Crusades, the fall of Constantinople, the Siege of Vienna, and the years since the revolution in Iran in 1979.  We also know that these attacks have accelerated wildly since 1993, when the first World Trade Center bombing took place.  Since then, the list of al Qaeda (or other Islam-inspired) attacks is long, really long.  The ones that stand out in my mind are 9/11, the Madrid train bombings, the Bali nightclub bombings, the London Underground/Bus bombings, the Marine headquarters in Beirut bombings, the Mumbai attacks, the Fort Hood attack, the abortive Portland attack, the abortive Times Square attack, and the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.  Those are just the famous attacks.  Around the world, Islamists kill Westerners and Muslims they deem apostates with gleeful abandon.  Whenever the bombing is showy, significant numbers of Muslims around the world celebrate.

We also know that, in 1995, Timothy McVeigh (and perhaps someone else) committed the dreadful Oklahoma City bombing for lone-wolf reasons.  Americans of all political stripes were revolted.  In 1996, Eric Rudolph, acting alone to advance his anti-abortion views, decided to protest the killing of innocents by killing innocents at the Atlanta Olympics.  Again, with only sick, fringe exceptions, Americans were disgusted — and no group more than the pro-Life cadre in America.

Today we learned that David Sirota, who writes at Salon and is apparently desperate for publicity, is hoping that it was a white male — a la McVeigh and Rudolph — who planted the bombs at the Boston Marathon, because nasty Americans have this peculiar habit of thinking that is the Muslims who are responsible when things get blown up.  He wants us to know that white people blow up things too (and kill — white people do kill).  Wascally Amewicans!  We’re so dumb that we actually make a distinction between lone white crazies who are rejected by the political class they claim as their own, and whose killings are thankfully small in number, and Islamic crazies, who function as part of a large network, who are celebrated by their religious compatriots, who are encouraged by their religion (and their clerics) to kill as much as possible, and who actually have carried out more than 20,000 terrorist attacks around the world since 9/11.

Frankly, looking at the above, I’m coming to believe that everyone is over-thinking the bombing.  If we just step back and ignore historic trends, iconic locations, modus operandi, and such other things, there are two things that are very clear:  the bomb was meant to sever limbs (report after report emphasizes severed legs) and it took place at a race.  Apply Occam’s Razor, and its obvious that the dark-skinned man now being sought (sorry David Sirota:  it’s not a white guy) hates runners.  Probably he ran the marathon once and lost, and has never recovered from that psychic injury — so he planted a bomb that would cause the greatest possible injury to runners.  This horror was an anti-running terrorism attack.  The appropriate response is mental screening for all runners and non-runners alike.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Thoughts on the Boston Marathon bombing UPDATED

A twitter image showing a blood stained street in Boston

Because I’m now a semi-official journalist, I’ve been working hard to write up-to-the-minute posts about the horrible Boston Marathon bombing.  Here’s the latest Mr. Conservative post, which I was able to write following my Twitter feed.  It’s been substantially updated since I wrote it, so it’s (a) under Katie Kieffer’s name, since we worked on it together, and (b) it has a ton of graphic images, so click on it with care.  It’s really quite amazing how quickly news gets consolidated there.  I knew I was on to something when several reputable sources tweeted the same story.  It doesn’t mean it’s true — the media is often wrong — but it does mean that I wasn’t going off half-cocked based upon a single tweet.  The post isn’t all me.  Katie Kieffer, another conservative blogger contributed parts of it.  Because we were in a rush, you can probably see the seams between our two writing styles.

That was the news part.  Here, at Bookworm Room, is where I get to talk about this tragedy, as a tragedy.

I have absolutely no doubt but that this is an al Qaeda or al Qaeda-affiliate attack.  It has all the hallmarks — symbolic locations; crowded venues; multiple simultaneous explosions; and a Saudi national found, not at the scene, despite his shrapnel wounds, but quite far away.  Innocent men don’t run.  We’ll hear, of course, that it was his instant fear of Islamophobia that caused him to run from the scene despite his wounds, but that story just doesn’t seem very credible to me.

As I said in the Mr. Conservative post, I find it highly ironic that an Islamic attack — assuming that’s what this was — took place in Boston.  Boston is the bluest of the blue.  Moreover, the Boston Marathon is very much an upper middle class event, with liberal suburbanites from all over America running in it.  In terms of the “War against Islam,” Boston has shed its image as America’s patriotic heart and has thrown itself firmly behind a world view that says America is an international bully, using Islamophobia to drive the oil companies’ secret wars for oil.

There are two ways Boston can go.  It can be a liberal mugged by reality and get over its delusional belief that, if America will just do whatever the Islamists want, they will leave us alone, or it can go the way it went with gun control — enacting liberty-limiting laws that do nothing to prevent future tragedies, and allowing its native son, John Kerry, to grovel apologetically before the authors of this bloodshed.

My thoughts are with the people of Boston, as well as with those who were not of Boston, but got caught in the disaster.  I hope that tragedy leads them to smart decisions, not foolish ones.

Here are the President’s remarks from his post-bombing statement from the White House.  It says nothing:

Good afternoon, everybody.  Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds.  And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.

The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight.  And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.

We don’t yet have all the answers.  But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon.

I’ve spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and they’re mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond.

I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats — we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.

I’ve also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families.  And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.

Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak.  It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances.  And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.

We still do not know who did this or why.  And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.  But make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this.  And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this.  Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.

Today is a holiday in Massachusetts — Patriots’ Day.  It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the  earliest days of our nation.  And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition.  Boston is a tough and resilient town.  So are its people.  I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city.  And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.

You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings.  We’re still in the investigation stage at this point.  But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.

Thank you very much.

UPDATE: Here’s your opportunity to compare today’s statement to the one Barack Obama made (complete with politically correct convolutions) the day after the Benghazi terrorist attack.

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

Incidentally, that was also, technically, on American soil, although not as many were injured. (I’m also unclear on the precise death toll for today, so I can’t make a comparison.)