Where do we draw the line as to culturally acceptable and unacceptable behavior?

My-Big-Fat-American-Gypsy-WeddingMy sister has been watching My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding on Netflix.  She was describing to me an American subculture that few of us even know about, let alone think about.  As she described it, I felt as if she was describing an acid-colored version of a Regency romance set in early 19th century England.

According to my sister, the gypsies marry when they the girls are quite young (with the girls’ age at the time of the wedding hovering around 15).  Although social occasions such as dances are commonplace, girls and boys are never allowed to be together unchaperoned and it’s entirely possible for a girl to reach the altar without even having kissed her future husband.

The girls must be virgins when they marry, even though my sister says that they dress exactly like hookers during the courting phase.  The boys are expected to get sexual experience with non-gypsy girls.

This social structure considers housewifely virtues the highest calling for a girl, so they are taken out of school when they’re still very young.  They then settle down to a life of housekeeping and baby-making.  Meanwhile, the men, who are also usually high school drop-outs make their living in itinerant trades.  A profitable one is, apparently, selling paving services door to door.  Working hard, they can make as much as $10,000 a week — which is a good thing because the gypsy culture is very image oriented.  A wedding dress 6 feet across covered with crystals is commonplace.

As my sister was regaling me with this information, she said that she felt terribly sorry for the girls, because they had to cut short their education and are consigned to a life of domestic drudgery.  I understood what she meant, but I said “That’s their culture.  They don’t consider it a waste to be a somewhat educated homemaker.”

And with those words, I crashed right into cultural relativism.  If I think my culture is the best — with girls having the same academic and professional opportunities as men — why am I willing to let these American gypsy girls get herded into marital servitude?  And if that’s something I’m good with, why does it bug me when Muslim families swath their daughters in burqas?  The first I greet with a resigned shrug; the second with a frisson of fear and distaste.

I was struggling to figure out where the lines exist for me, and came up with two principles.  First, it depends if a moral absolute is concerned.  When 19th century Indian wives were forced by culture to climb upon their husbands’ funeral pyres, that was culturally sanctioned murder.  Lord William Bentinck was correct to end it on his watch.  A moral country cannot allow its female citizens to be murdered — something that makes honor killings beyond the pale too.  Taking a girl out of school to get married may be a waste of a good mind or promising talent, but education is not a moral imperative; it’s a cultural luxury.

Second, I’m more upset about differing cultures if I feel they pose a risk to me.  Unlike the gypsies, who keep themselves to themselves, my feeling when I see a Muslim man with his burqa-clad wife or daughter is that he’s eying me and my daughter as future burqa wearers.  While mine may be a tolerant culture, his is a conquering one, and there’s no doubt that he and his co-religionists think the world would be a better place if women and girls came neatly packaged in burlap.

Are there bright lines here that I’m missing or more nuanced arguments I could/should be making?  Please let me know.

The horrible racism and cruelty of political correctness

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) occurs at the intersection of Africa and Islam — meaning brown people and black people.  It involves taking a little girl and cutting off her clitoris and, perhaps, her labia.  In extreme circumstances, it means sewing together the opening to her vagina.  It’s purpose is a simple one:  to destroy sexual pleasure or even the possibility of sex.  If sex is possible, it’s painful.  Of course, for all these little girls, sex will still be an imperative when they are grown (or, in same cases, almost grown) and forced to marry.

Aside from the horrible mutilation, the process itself is medieval too.  It’s done without anesthetics and using the most primitive instruments, including rusty, dull razor blades.  The notion of sanitation is laughable.

There is absolutely nothing good that can be said about FGM.  Unlike circumcision (which I understand many decry), it is not a covenant with God, it does not provide a sanitary function (whether in the Sinai desert or elsewhere), and it does not help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.  It is solely about control and denying women sexual pleasure as one means of that control.

Every right thinking person in the world should be opposed to it.  It is the modern equivalent of the suttee (or sati) that the English Governor-General of India, William Bentinck brought to an end.  That practice, of course, involved a widowed wife crawling onto her dead husband’s funeral pyre to be burned alive along with his corpse.  Bentinck was fully alive to the risks he ran in challenging an established cultural practice.  He understood that he could put British lives at risk, but he determined in 1829 that moral considerations must outweigh pragmatic concerns:

Prudence and self-interest would counsel me to tread in the footsteps of my predecessors [who allowed suttee]. But in a case of such momentous importance to humanity and civilization, that man must be reckless of all his present or future happiness who could listen to the dictates of so wicked and selfish a policy. With the firm undoubting conviction entertained upon this question, I should be guilty of little short of the crime of multiplied murder, if I could hesitate in the performance of this solemn obligation. I have been already stung with this feeling. Every day’s delay adds a victim to the dreadful list, which might perhaps have been prevented by a more early submission of the present question.

Convinced that respect for another’s culture and fear himself and his countrymen must yield to morality, Bentinck outlawed suttee in December 1829.

Reading Bentinck’s writing on the subject, it’s quite obvious that he never said to himself, “Well, it’s their culture and who am I to judge?”  To the extent that he recognized suttee was part of Indian culture, his calculus was “How much damage will it do to the British to squash this cultural excrescence?”

Nowadays, though, political correctness has left people unable to value the best that their culture has to offer.  We no longer say, “I judge them, but pragmatic considerations demand that I ignore them.”  Instead, multiculturalism has led us to the point where we say, “Well, those black and brown people have their own way of doing things, and it’s clearly good for them.  I wouldn’t do it myself, but who am I to demand that those backward folks meet higher standards of morality and human decency.”

I’m  not throwing around hypotheticals when I say that last sentence.  A British-based campaigner against FGM, who was herself subject to the procedure, was left in tears when 19 people in England cheerfully signed a petition encouraging FGM in Britain.  The phony petition argued that, because FGM is part of African culture, it should be respected.  Over the course of thirty minutes, 19 people thought that it was fine to sign on to barbarism if a non-white culture liked it:

A female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner was left in tears after an experiment intended to assess the impact of political correctness on the fight against cutting saw 19 people sign a fake pro-FGM petition within 30 minutes.

Leyla Hussein, 32, who suffered female genital mutilation as a child, approached shoppers in Northampton with the petition, which argued that as FGM was part of her culture, it should be protected.

During the 30-minute experiment, 19 people signed the petition and just one refused – a result Hussein blamed on the all-pervading culture of political correctness.

[snip]

Speaking to the Evening Standard following the experiment, Hussein, who also appears in upcoming Channel 4 documentary, The Cruel Cut, said: ‘I kept using the words “it’s just mutilation”. They were like “yes, you are right”. How can anyone think this is OK?’

Warning that politically correct attitudes could hamper the fight against FGM, Hussein added: ‘FGM is not culture, it is violence.

‘Stop using the culture word. This is happening to children. We are human beings, we can’t watch children being cut, I don’t care what culture you belong to.’

‘It is incredible that UK citizens would sign a petition supporting child abuse,’ Efua Dorkenoo, Advocacy Director of Equality Now’s FGM Programme, told MailOnline.

People worry that rather than catching bad guys, the Obama administration will use the info it gathers to create bad guys

One of the things that characterizes the rule of law is that it applies equally to all citizens.  The rich man’s son who vandalizes a shop is prosecuted as vigorously as the poor man’s son who does the same.  That the rich man’s son can afford a good lawyer is the random luck of life.  America can provide equality of opportunity, but nothing, not even socialism, can guarantee equality of outcome.  The important thing for purposes of the rule of law is that the law doesn’t give the rich man’s son a pass.

The rule of law also has to be grounded in common sense and reality.  That’s why Anatole France was being nonsensical when he famously said “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” The reality is that a rich man, unless crazy, does none of those things — but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the law is unfair if societal good demands that we value property or try to keep streets safe for all citizens. The law is what it is. In the case of theft, vagrancy, and begging, it isn’t the law that should change but, perhaps, the availability of opportunities and, as needed, charity.

Common sense has long-dictated, at least since 9/11, that the best way to stop terrorism directed at Americans is to keep a close eye on people, especially men, who practice a strict form of Islam and on disaffected young men who take psychotropic drugs.  These two categories of people have been responsible for almost all, or maybe all, of the mass killings against Americans over the last decade and more.

When it comes to the mentally ill, we keep talking about monitoring them, but we don’t do it.  Lack of political will, lack of political and social organization, civil rights issues, and the fact that it’s more fun to rail against guns than against insane people (poor things) means that this won’t change any time soon.

Even worse, our government has made the “politically correct” decision to refuse to monitor with extra focus those young men who embrace radical Islam (e.g., the Tsarnaevs or Nidal Hassan).  It’s not fair, we’re told.  Profiling will make law-abiding Muslims (and the vast majority of Muslims in America are law-abiding) uncomfortable.  It’s racist and mean to assume that, because someone is Arab-looking, and sweating, and smelling of rose water, and murmuring “Allahu Akbar” under his breath to think that he’s up to a bit of no good — never mind that, when the bomb goes off or the plane falls from the sky, any Muslims in the area will be just as dead as their non-Muslim compatriots.

Heck, we’ve allowed minority groups to prey on each other for decades for fear of causing offense.  The number one target of violent, young, black and Hispanic males is . . . violent, young, black and Hispanic males, followed closely by all the hapless black and Hispanic children, old people, mothers, and fathers who have to share communities with these monsters of violence.  Because it looks bad for white police to go after these monsters, their communities must suffer.  The Gods of Political Correctness delight in human sacrifices, and the younger, more innocent, and more tender the better.

Americans therefore fully understand that our government, for “diversity,” or “multicultural,” or “politically correct” reasons (all of those terms speak to the same end), absolutely refuses to look first at the obvious suspects (young, radical Muslim men) before casting its net wide to sweep in people who are trying to avoid capture by looking less obvious.  It’s not likely that the Minnesota granny has a bomb in her brassiere, but it’s possible.  A good national security system doesn’t assume that anyone is innocent, but it does concentrate its resources where they make they most sense.

So here’s the deal with the NSA spying:  We know with some certainty that, for Leftist political reasons, the NSA is not making an effort to scrutinize the population most likely to go all “Allahu Akbar” on us.  Instead, for politically correct reasons, it’s spying on everyone.  In essence, it’s creating a haystack of information, with extra paddings of politically correct, multiculturalist hay wrapped around any spot where a needle might hide.

If politics means that the system won’t look for the obvious bad guys, what is it looking for then?  Well, I suspect that what’s going to happen is that the system will be used to look for easy targets.  Things that are neither criminal nor suspicious, but that pop up nevertheless, will suddenly be scrutinized because they’re there.  It will be the surveillance equivalent of “If the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, then Mohamed must come to the mountain.”  Since the NSA can’t focus its efforts on finding real criminals, it will engage in some flexible thinking and criminalize whatever activity it sees.  And — voila! — it will therefore justify its bureaucratic existence and purpose.  That the country will lose its identity and the people their freedom is a small price to pay for bureaucratic immortality.

Mike McQueary — poster child for moral relativism?

I had in my car two fourteen year olds and one thirteen year old.  All were familiar with the Sandusky case, so I wasn’t exposing them to sordid information they didn’t already know.  None of them, however, knew about Mike McQueary’s involvement, or lack thereof.  I gave them a simple multiple choice question:

You walk into a room and see a 50 year old man raping a 10 year old boy.  Do you (a) attack the man and try to drag him off the boy or (b) sneak away and, hours later, ask your parents what you should do?

The roar from the back of the car shook the windows:  “I’d rip him apart!”  “Of course I’d attack him!”  “I’d kick him the balls!”  “That’s a really dumb question.”

As the response from these very young people demonstrates, McQueary’s young age (28) is no defense to his action.  Young people can and do know right from wrong, and child rape is wrong.

How to explain McQueary then?  I think the problem isn’t his young age, ’cause he, at 28, was no youngster.  The problem was his old age.  He’d been around long enough to be fully indoctrinated.  All those liberal pundits who are apologizing for McQueary’s behavior by pointing to his youth, his tribal loyalties, and his lukewarm, delayed response are hiding the ball.  For liberals, the uncomfortable truth is that McQueary probably didn’t act because, after a lifetime in America’s public education system, his moral relativism training had completely erased any absolute moral standards that might once have populated his pre-academic brain.

I was starting to compose a post on just that point, when jj saved me the effort.  Let me quote here his astute comment, written in response to an earlier statement I’d made about the law’s “reasonable man” standard for reacting to a situation:

The “reasonable man” standard?  The trouble with that particular fairy-tale is simple, obvious, and the same as it’s always been: who gets to define “reasonable?”

I’m afraid I’ll need to take a little issue with that.  Since the discovery of political correctness — which in my life first reared its head in the 1950s — the law not only expects us to conform to entirely unreasonable behavior, it requires us to, all day every day.

If you’re a rancher within reach of the Mexican border, you’re not allowed to defend your property or, come to that, yourself.  You can, however, be arrested for trying to do so.  “Reasonable?”  You not only can’t guard your property or yourself, you’re supposed to stand quietly by and watch your country be overrun, your way of life be buried and lost, and all that you believe defecated on.  “Reasonable?”

Snookie, or Pookie, or Moochie — or whatever the hell his name was — Williams was a murderer and founder of a collection of organized offal who have spread everywhere, cost society millions, and murdered a good many people.  Flushing him should have been a routine, reflexive act requiring no thought whatever, carried out with the same alacrity you’d flush anything else floating in the toilet.  Of course it wasn’t.  We — or I should properly say “you,” California — went into full coronary angst mode to spare his worthless life.  This was “reasonable?”

In Scotland not long ago the cops pulled over a speeding car.  The driver’s defense was that he was a Muslim, running late getting from wife #1 to wife #2.  The bewigged and ball gown-equipped jackass on the bench (and if he was a High Court jackass, he gets to wear a red ball-gown, woo-woo!) decided that this made it an excusable offense and dismissed him without a stain on his character, or even a speeding ticket — thereby putting paid to a thousand years of Anglo-Scottish law and custom.  “Reasonable?”  Even for a judge?

We are wound about with laws and enmeshed in requirements that are antithetical to our customs, beliefs, way of life, and the way this country was set up to be that I’m afraid I have to find the “reasonable man” standard laughable.  We have our own ball-gowned jackasses making it up as they go along, and referencing Bulgarian law, or Ukrainian law, or maybe Martian law to decide what our Constitution means when it suits them — Ginsberg outstandingly — and this is “reasonable?”

Instead of shunning NAMBLA spokesmen and placing them firmly beyond society’s pale, we invite their opinions on Oprah — because after all, don’t they have a right to be heard?  Dr. Phil engages them earnestly for his (large) audience of the brain-damaged, and sadly regrets that while he cannot agree, he does understand.  “Reasonable?”

So here we are, scrupulously multicultural, transnational, non-judgmental, standing for nothing — and everybody’s shocked when this McQueary kid doesn’t know what the hell to do when confronted by the situation that confronted him.  Everybody here turns into a militant ass-kicker, in no doubt of what we all would have done in the same situation.  (And if we’d done it, Sandusky would have lodged a suit for assault against us, and, win or lose, would have f***ed up our lives forever.)  “Reasonable?”

We won’t — and don’t — defend our culture and way of life.  We won’t — and don’t — defend the fundamental bases on which this nation was founded.  You’re surprised McQueary found himself paralyzed?  Why?  I’m sure he had a nice, politically-correct upbringing — I’m surprised he even reported it.  Who the hell knows what constitutes “reasonable” any more?

If my sampling of three youngsters has any validity at all, it shows that 13 and 14 year olds haven’t yet been infected by moral relativism, while a 28 year old man living in a university environment is utterly incapable of distinguishing right from wrong.  Let’s pray, long and hard, that we regain our cultural balance before the next generation of kids turns into ineffectual, self-doubting amoral McQuearys.

“Diversity gives us the appearance of variety, unity gives us strength.”

My friend Navy One made the statement that is my post title.  The statement appears in a post he wrote about Anwar al-Awlaki, a subject I probably should have covered, but didn’t.  Now, of course, having read Navy One’s post, which is better than anything I could have written on the subject, I feel that my only obligation is to tell you to go there.

Understanding “world cultures”

My daughter is taking a required class at high school:  “world cultures.”  My first instinct was to scoff, since I prefer a more classical curriculum, but as I thought about it, I decided it is a very good idea.  That is, of course, assuming it’s taught correctly.  I’m inclined to doubt that it will be, and that’s because we, as a culture, have learned nothing in the last forty-four years.

Forty-four is a pretty specific number, isn’t it?  It takes us back to 1967.  Back then, a short, heated war raged in the Middle East.  Raphael Patai in his book, The Arab Mind, relies upon an anecdote King Hussein of Jordan told in his memoirs to explain how how the Arab “honor” culture dramatically affected the war’s outcome (in Israel’s favor, thank goodness).

As you know, the Israelis, within hours, decimated the Eyptian airforce. However, when King Hussein spoke to a general in charge of the Egyptian fighting, he was assured that the Egyptians had destroyed the Israelis. The young king, who had been educated in Britain and was therefore unfamiliar with his own culture, took this statement at face value and did not send reinforcements — virtually guaranteeing the War’s outcome in Israel’s favor. Had he understood his own people better, he might well have delved behind the honor rhetoric, discerned the truth, and made a history-turning different decision.

The story is in the forefront of my brain this morning because of the news out of Libya over the past two days.  Yesterday, the news reported, Tripoli was won, that Gaddafi was dead or on the run, and his son was a prisoner.  Today the headlines explain that it’s unclear whether any of that is true.  Tripoli may be taken, sort of; Gaddafi is still out there; and his son is rallying his supporters and scoffing and premature reports of his own incarceration.  It’s entirely possible that these original, erroneous stories arose from the fog of war.  However, knowing Arab culture, it’s equally possible that we’re listening to reports from a binary culture, one that is either wallowing in darkest despair or shouting its triumph from the rooftops, regardless of the accuracy of either statement.

It would be too crass to say that Arabs lie.  Lying as a dishonorable thing is a distinctly Western notion.  Instead, they say what they think their listener wants to hear, or what their own honor demands should be reported.  We may have laughed back in 2003 at Baghdad Bob, but we should have learned from him.  He was not unhinged nor was he was stupid.  He was, instead, a product of a culture that describes victory, real or imagined, in hyperbolic terms because those descriptions are a necessary factor in the culture’s own self-image.

One would think that, after decades of wars and dealings with the Arab cultures, we would have figured out that truth, as we understand it, is an infinitely malleable concept in the Arab mind.  Trust, but verify, is too naive an approach in the Arab/Muslim world.  The way in which our media and our politicians should deal with news reports from the Arab world is to say “We’re not believing it until you come back with concrete proof.”  (I was originally going to say “our media, our politicians and our military,” but I devoutly hope that, after ten years of hot war with Muslim and Arab honor cultures, the military is no long so easily misled.)

So, yes, learning about world cultures is extremely important.  I suspect, though, that my daughter’s class won’t teach the important lessons.  Instead, in true politically correct fashion, she’s going to learn that all cultures but our own are spiritually rich and emotionally meaningful.  (I’ll tell you if I’m wrong.)

Geert Wilders’ speech in Tennessee deserves the widest possible distribution *UPDATED*

Everyone should read this speech. Everyone. While the media swooned about Obama’s Cairo speech (in which he lauded veiling women and ignored thousands of years of Jewish ties to Israel), and Obama’s race speech (in which he insulted white people), and Obama’s recent immigration speech (in which he demonized people who fear the risks to American security and economic well-being from an open border), this speech is the really important one. It goes to fundamental issues of freedom.  So, send this to your friends, whether you post it at your blog, facebook it, tweet it, email it, snail mail it, or read it aloud to them over the phone.

Speech by Geert Wilders, Cornerstone Church, Nashville, 12 May 2011

Dear friends from Tennessee. I am very happy to be in your midst today. I am happy and proud to be in this impressive church.

My friends, I am here to speak words of truth and freedom.

Do you know why America is in a better state than Europe? Because you enjoy more freedom than Europeans.

And do you know why Americans enjoy more freedom than Europeans? Because you are still allowed to tell the truth.

In Europe and Canada people are dragged to court for telling the truth about islam.

I, too, have been dragged to court. I am an elected member of the house of representatives in the Netherlands. I am currently standing in court like a common criminal for saying that islam is a dangerous totalitarian ideology rather than a religion.

The court case is still pending, but I risk a jail sentence of 16 months.

Last week, my friend Lars Hedegaard, a journalist from Denmark, was fined because in a private conservation, which was recorded without his knowing, he had criticised the way women are treated in islamic societies.

Recently, another friend, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a human rights activist from Austria, was fined because she had criticised islam’s founder Muhammad. She had said that Muhammad was a pedophile because he had married a 6-year old girl and raped her when she was 9.

Unfortunately, there are many similar cases.

I am especially happy to be in your midst because here I can say what I want to say without having to fear that I will be dragged to court upon leaving this church.

My dear American friends, you cannot imagine how we envy your First Amendment. The day when America follows the example of Europe and Canada and introduces so-called “hate speech crimes” which is only used to punish people who are critical of islam, that day America will have lost its freedom.

My friends, let us hope that this never happens.

Last week, we celebrated Liberation Day in the Netherlands. We celebrated the liberation from the Nazi occupation in 1945. Many American soldiers, including many young Tennesseans, played a decisive role in the liberation of the Netherlands from nazi tyranny. We are immensely grateful for that. Young Americans gave their lives so that the Dutch might be free. I assure you: The Dutch people will never forget this.

Unfortunately, however, the Europe which your fathers and grandfathers fought and died for is not the Europe we are living in today.

I travel the world to tell people what Europe has become. I wish I could take you all on a visit to my country and show you what Europe has become. It has changed beyond recognition as a result of mass immigration. And not just any mass immigration, but mass immigration driven by the dangerous force of islam.

My friends, I am sorry. I am here today with an unpleasant message. I am here with a warning. I am here with a battle cry: “Wake up, Christians of Tennessee. Islam is at your gate.” Do not make the mistake which Europe made. Do not allow islam to gain a foothold here.

Islam is dangerous. Islam wants to establish a state on earth, ruled by islamic sharia law. Islam aims for the submission, whether by persuasion, intimidation or violence, of all non-Muslims, including Christians.

The results can be seen in Europe.

Islam is an ideology of conquest. It uses two methods to achieve this goal: the first method is the sword. Do you know what figures on the flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country where Christian churches are banned and Christians are not even allowed to wear a tiny crucifix? There is a huge sword on that flag, just below the Islamic creed. The message is clear. Without the sword islam would not have been able to spread its creed.

The second method is immigration. Islam’s founder Muhammad himself taught his followers how to conquer through immigration when they moved from Mecca to Medina. This phenomenon of conquest through immigration is called al-Hijra. My learned friend Sam Solomon has written a perfect book about it.

I had a copy of Sam’s book sent to all the members of the Dutch Parliament. But most of them are worse than Saint-Thomas in the Bible. Thomas did not believe what he had not seen. Most politicians refuse to believe the things they see before their very eyes.

In Europe we have been experiencing al-Hijra for over 30 years now. Many of our cities have changed beyond recognition. “In each one of our cities” wrote the well-known Italian author Oriana Fallaci shortly before her death in 2006, “there is a second city, a state within the state, a government within the government. A Muslim city, a city ruled by the Koran.” – end of quote.

How did the Europeans get into this situation? It is partly our own fault because we have foolishly adopted the concept of cultural relativism, which manifests itself in the ideology of multiculturalism.

Cultural relativism advocates that all cultures are equal. However, cultures wither away and die if people no longer believe that its values are better than those of another culture.

Islam is spreading like wildfire wherever people lack the guts to say that their values are better than the Islamic values.

Islam is spreading like wildfire because the Koran explicitly tells Muslims that they are “the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind” and that non-Muslims are “the worst of creatures.”

Islam is spreading like wildfire everywhere in the West where political, academic, cultural and media elites lack the guts to proudly proclaim, as I believe we all should proclaim:

Our Judeo-Christian Western culture is far better and far superior to the islamic culture. We must be proud to say so!

Multiculturalism is a disaster. Almost everyone acknowledges this today, but few dare say why. Let me tell you why: Multiculturalism made us tolerate the intolerant, and now intolerance is annihilating tolerance.

We should, in the name of tolerance, claim the right not to tolerate the intolerant. Let us no longer be afraid and politically correct, let us be brave and bold. Let us tell the truth about islam.

Before I continue I want to make clear that I do not have a problem with people. I always make a distinction between the people and the ideology, between Muslims and islam.

Indeed, I have no problems with Muslims, but I do have a problem with the totalitarian Islamic ideology of hate and violence. The fact that there are many so-called moderate Muslims, does not imply that there exists a moderate islam. A moderate islam doen not exist and will never exist.

And because there is no such thing as a moderate islam, the islamization of our free Western societies is an enormous danger.

Only two weeks ago, the British press revealed how the so-called “London Taliban” is threatening to kill women who do not wear veils in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

In some neighbourhoods Islamic regulations are already being enforced, also on non-Muslims. Women’s rights are being trampled. We are confronted with headscarves and burqa’s, polygamy, female genital mutilation, honor-killings where men murder their wives, daughters or sisters because they do not behave in accordance with Islamic rules.

Polls show that the influence of those Muslims who live according to islam’s aggressive requirements is growing, especially among young people.

Among 15-year-old German Muslims, 40 percent consider islam more important than democracy.

Among Muslim university students in Britain, 40 percent support sharia. One in three of those students considers it legitimate to kill in the name of islam.

Christians are asked to follow the example of Jesus. Muslims are ordered to follow the example of Muhammad. That is why islam is dangerous. While Christianity preaches love, islam preached hatred and practizes violence. Hatred and violence for everyone who is not a Muslim.

Muhammad personally participated in the ethnic cleansing of Medina, where half the population once was Jewish. Muhammad helped to chop off their heads. On his deathbed, he ordered his followers to cleanse Arabia of all Jews and Christians.

To this very day, Christian symbols are prohibited in Saudi-Arabia. If you wear a cross in Saudi Arabia, they sent you to jail.

And now, Europe is beginning to look like Arabia.

Just today, a poll revealed that in Brussels, the capital of the European Union, half the islamic youths are anti-semitic. It is dangerous for Jews to walk the streets in Brussels.

If you wear a cross or a kippah in certain urban areas in Europe today, you risk being beaten up. In the capital of my own country, Amsterdam, a tram driver was forced to remove his crucifix from sight, while his Muslim colleagues are allowed to wear the veil.

In June 2008, the Christian church authorities in the Danish town of Arhus decided to pay so-called “protection money” to islamic so-called “security guards” who assure that church goers are not harassed by islamic youths.

On March 31st, 2010, Muslims entered the Roman Catholic cathedral of Cordoba, Spain, and attacked the guards with knives. They claimed the cathedral was theirs.

Last month, the bishops of Sweden sent out a letter to priests advising them to avoid converting asylum seekers from islamic countries to Christianity, because the converts would risk losing their lives.

In the Netherlands, the city authorities in Amsterdam register polygamous marriages. The authorities in Rotterdam serve only halal meals in municipal cafeterias. Theaters provide separate seats for women who are not allowed to sit next to men. Municipal swimming pools have separate swimming hours for men and women, Muslim lawyers do not have to stand when the judges enter court rooms.

Meanwhile Jews are no longer safe on our streets. In Amsterdam, the city of Anne Frank, Jews are again being harassed in the streets. Even political leaders acknowledged that life has become unsafe for Jews in Holland. Do you know what they said? They advised Jews to emigrate. Jews are already running for Israel. But I say: Jews must not leave, violent Muslims must leave!

What is needed, my friends, is a spirit of resistance.

I repeat: What we need is a spirit of resistance.

Why? Because resistance to evil is our moral duty. This resistance begins with expressing our solidarity to Christians, Jews, indeed, to all people worldwide, who are the victims of islam. There are millions of them.

We can see what islam has in store for us if we watch the fate of the Christians in the islamic world, such as the Copts in Egypt, the Maronites in Lebanon, the Assyrians in Iraq, and Christians elsewhere.

Almost every day, churches are arsoned and Christians are assassinated in islamic countries.

In a report on the persecution of Christians in the world, Archbishop Twal of Jerusalem, wrote recently– I quote: “In the Middle East to be Christian means accepting that you must make a great sacrifice. All too often and in many places, Christians suffer various threats. On some occasions, their homes and churches are burnt, and people are killed. How many atrocities must we endure before somebody somewhere comes to our aid?” – end of quote.

Indeed, how many atrocities before we come to their aid?

Rivers of tears are flowing from the Middle East, where there is only one safe haven for Christians. You know where that is. The only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe is Israel.

That is why Israel deserves our support. Israel is a safe haven for everyone, whatever their belief and opinions. Israel is a beacon of light in a region of total darkness. Israel is fighting our fight.

The jihad against Israel is a jihad against all of us. If Israel falls, we, too, will feel the consequences. If Jerusalem falls, Athens, Rome, Amsterdam and Nashville will fall. Therefore, we all are Israel. We should always support Israel!

Today, we are confronted with political unrest in the Arab countries. The Arab peoples long for freedom. However, the ideology and culture of islam is so deeply entrenched in these countries that real freedom is simply impossible as long as islam remains dominant.

A recent poll in post-revolution Egypt found that 85 percent of Egyptians are convinced that islam’s influence on politics is good, 82 percent believe that adulterers should be stoned, 84 percent want the death penalty for apostates. The press refers to the events in the Arab world today as the Arab spring. I call it the Arab winter.

Islam and freedom, islam and democracy are not compatible.

The death of Osama bin Laden last week was a victory for the free world, but we will be confronted with Islamic terrorism as long as islam exists, because islam’s founder Muhammad himself was a terrorist, worse than Bin Laden.

And here is another truth: The rise of islam means the rise of sharia law in our judicial systems. In Europe we already have sharia wills, sharia schools, sharia banks. Britain even has sharia courts.

In my own country, the Netherlands, sharia is being applied by the courts in cases relating to divorce, child custody, inheritance, and property ownership. Women are always the victims of this because sharia discriminates women.

This is a disgrace. This is not the way we should treat women.

My friends, I told you that we have just remembered Liberation Day to commemorate the young Americans and all the heroes who offered their lives to free the Netherlands from nazi tyranny. It would be an insult to them if we Europeans would give up that precious freedom for another totalitarian ideology called Islam.

That is the goal for which my party and I work day after day. And we are having success.

In the Netherlands, we are successfully starting to roll back islam. The current Dutch government is a minority government which can only survive with the backing of my party, the Party for Freedom.

We have 24 seats of the 150 seats in parliament and we support the government, in return for measures to prohibit certain aspects of sharia law.

We have achieved that the Netherlands will soon ban the burka and the niqaab.

We will also restrict immigration from non-Western countries by up to 50% in the next four years. We are not going to allow islam to steal our country from us. It was the land of our fathers, it is our land now, our values are based on Christianity, Judaism and Humanism and we will pass this on to our children with all the freedoms that the previous generations have fought for.

Let those who want to rob us from our freedoms, stay in their own countries. We do not need them. If you want to wear a burqa, stay in Saudi-Arabia. If you want four wives, stay in Iran. If you want to live in a country where the islamic ideology is dominant, stay in Pakistan, if you don’t want to assimilate in our society, stay in Somalia. But don’t come over here.

We are also going to strip criminals who have a double nationality – for instance Dutch and Moroccan, and who repeatedly commit serious crimes, of their Dutch nationality. We will send them packing, back to their homeland.

My friends, what the Party for Freedom has achieved, shows that it can be done. We can fight the islamization of our societies.

Dear friends, here is my warning. Make no mistake: Islam is also coming for America. In fact, it is already here. America is facing a stealth jihad, the islamic attempt to introduce sharia law bit by bit. Last March, a judge in Tampa, Florida, ruled that a lawsuit against a mosque and involving the control of 2.4 million dollars, should proceed under Islamic law.

My friends, be aware that this is only the beginning. This is also how it started in Europe. If things continue like this, you will soon have the same problems as we are currently facing.

Leaders who talk about immigration without mentioning islam are blind. They ignore the most important problem Europe and America are facing. I have a message for them: it’s islam stupid!

My friends, fortunately, not all politicians are irresponsible. Here, in Tennessee, brave politicians want to pass legislation which gives the state the power to declare organisations as terrorist groups and allowing material supporters of terrorism to be prosecuted. I applaud them for that. They are true heroes.

Yesterday and today, I met some of those brave legislators. They told me that Tennessee in particular is a target of islam. Help them win their battle.

They need your support.

While Tennessee is in the frontline, similar legislative initiatives are also being taken in the states of Oklahoma, Wyoming, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana. It is encouraging to see that so many politicians are willing to resist islam.

This gives us hope and courage. I am not a pessimist. We can still turn the tide – even in Europe – if we act today.

There are five things which we must do.

First, we must defend freedom of speech.

Freedom is the source of human creativity and development. People and nations wither away without the freedom to question what is presented to them as the truth.

Without freedom of speech we risk becoming slaves. Frederick Douglass, the 19th century black American politician, the son of a slave, said – I quote – “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”

I have already told you about my court case. This legal charade will not, however, prevent me from saying the truth. Never. I will speak out, even if they drag me before 500 courts and threaten to jail me for a thousand years.

The fact that we are being treated as criminals for telling the truth must not deter us. We are doomed if we remain silent or let ourselves be silenced. Let us not forget, this is our first and most important obligation: defend the right to speak the truth.

Second, we must end cultural relativism and political correctness. We must repeat it over and over again, especially to our children: Our Western culture based on Christianity and Judaism is superior to the islamic culture. Our laws are superior to sharia. Our judeo-christian values are better than islam’s totalitarian rules.

And because they are superior and better, we must defend them. We must fight for our own identity, or else we will lose it. We need to be warriors for the good, because the good is worth fighting for. Neutrality in the face of evil is evil.

Third, we must stop the islamization of our countries. More islam means less freedom. There is enough islam in the West already. We must stop immigration from non-Western countries, which are mostly islamic countries. We must expel criminal immigrants. We must forbid the construction of new hate palaces called mosques.

We must also close down all islamic schools because educating children in a spirit of hate is one of the worst things imaginable. We must introduce anti-sharia legislation everywhere in the free world. Enough is enough.

Fourth, we must take pride in our nations again. We must cherish and preserve the culture and identity of our country. Preserving our own culture and identity is the best antidote against islamization.

And fifth, last but certainly not least, we must elect wise and courageous leaders who are brave enough to address the problems which are facing us, including the threat of islam.

Politicians who have the courage to speak the truth about islam.

Politicians who dare to denounce the devastating results of the multicultural society.

Politicians who – without political correctness – say: enough is enough.

You and I, Americans and Europeans, we belong to a common Western culture. We share the ideas and ideals of our common Judeo-Christian heritage. In order to pass this heritage on to our children and grandchildren, we must stand together, side by side, in our struggle against Islamic barbarism.

That, my friends, is why I am here. I am here to forge an alliance. Our international freedom alliance. We must stand together for the Judeo-Christian West.

We will not allow islam to overrun Israel and Europe, the cradle of the judeo-Christian civilization.

My friends, we will stand together.

We will stand firm.

We will not submit. Never. Not in Israel, not in Europe, not in America. Nowhere.

We will survive.

We will stop islam.

We will defend our freedoms.

We will remain free.

Thank you.

UPDATE:  In the first comment to this post, Charles Martel made an excellent point in response to Wilders suggestion that America shut down Islamic schools and mosques:  we have a First Amendment.  The problem is that Islam wears two hats.  One is a religious hat, which falls under the First Amendment; the other is a social/political hat, which doesn’t.  Making the distinction, though, is a problem.  What do you do about a school or mosque that offers both prayers and jihad?

Anyway, a useful complement to the above speech is the video that the audience watched before hearing Wilders speak.  It reminds us that, when it comes to religion and the First Amendment, Islam is sui generis.  I’m not proposing a solution by the way; just identifying a problem:

In the mad, mad, mad world of PC, silly little jokes about Islamist terrorists have only a one minute shelf life

This morning, my friend Kim Priestap sent a group of us an email telling about the Yemeni man arrested for trying to yank open the cockpit door while hollering the standard “Allahu Akbar!”  Lee DeCovnik thinks we might have been seeing a dry run.  The man apparently raced from one end of the plane (the bathroom in the rear) all the way up to the front (the cockpit), and then tried to open the door:

There were a couple of disturbing items in this dry run. First, this was a single “dry runner” who was most likely timing the walk from the rear lavatory and the noting response from the aircrew, while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” We also know that other dry runs have had up to 13 possible hijackers on a single flight. Was this a dry run of the initial diversion, where the real action may start in the rear of the aircraft, where aircrews are often located?

Second, this dry run was so blatant, so unsubtle, that you have to wonder if this incident itself was a diversion from other airline or routes. Or conversely, because this was so blatant, will the authorities continue to give special significance to these particular circumstances? That’s a tough call by the Homeland Security either way.

Upon first hearing the news from Kim, I immediately fired a very silly email back to my friends:

A la the 24 hour spin that followed bin Laden’s death, we’ll soon be hearing that he was actually yelling “I need a bathroom” and was simply banging at the wrong door.

It was a joke.  I was joking.  Really.  Except I was also apparently plugged into the “lone crazy man/lone confused Muslim” line that is now de rigueur for all sudden jihad syndrome attacks.  When I trolled over to the British papers a few minutes ago, this is the first thing I saw:

The Yemeni man who was wrestled to the floor after pounding on the cockpit door of a plane approaching San Francisco may have mistaken it for the bathroom.

Rageit Almurisi cannot speak English very well and could have misunderstood the signs inside the jet, his cousin claimed.

The 28-year-old, who was heard yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’, had also only been on three planes in his life and would have been unfamiliar with the layout.

[snip]

Almurisi had been taking classes in English but was not happy with his progress. His cousin said: ‘He might have seriously mistaken the cockpit for the bathroom. He’s only been on three planes in his whole life.’

I find it embarrassing that my shallow, silly little joke turns out to be the party line.

Also, one does rather wonder how many flights people have to take before they start to understand the basic toilet versus cockpit principles.  Five?  Twelve?  Thirty-seven?  Does it matter if one was educated in a Madrassa, as opposed to PS 157?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app

This is why you hold on to the body for a few days *UPDATED*

Here’s why I think the Obama-bots disposed of bin Laden’s body so quickly:  because they were so paralyzed by multiculturalism, all they could think of was the Islamic imperative to bury the body within 24 hours.  That’s it.  I don’t think they thought beyond PC.

Here’s the problem:  My husband got his hair cut today.  The hairdresser is quite an ordinary lady, by which I mean she’s not very politically aware.  Politics and current events are “out there” somewhere.  Her life is children, work, bills, etc.  She told him that bin Laden is not dead.  Instead, the complete absence of either a body or death photos is because the SEALs kidnapped bin Laden and are keeping him prisoner somewhere.  And so conspiracy theories are born.

Had the administration held onto the body so that major media outlets (including al Jazeera and the BBC, neither of which is a friend to America) could have sent representatives to confirm bin Laden’s death, conspiracies would have died a’ borning.  Then, with witnesses at their shoulders, the administration types could have interred bin Laden’s body, somewhat belatedly, but in accordance with Islamic law — not out of respect to the man, but out of respect to the religion. (Although if I was among the billions of decent human beings who also happen to be Muslims, I would be offended to have my faith stamped on his body.  Better by far to treat the body with respect, because we’re not pagans or barbarians, but to get rid of it quietly.)

Truly, the administration could not have made a more dreadful hash of things.

UPDATE:  Andrew Bostom reveals how mean-spirited the proper Muslim burial ceremony is with respect to Christians and Jews.  Is there any other religion that feels the need, as part of its last rites, to denigrate other religions and races?

A Muslim education

Pakistan?  No.  Britain!  If the British government, under PM Cameron is serious about cutting down the multiculturalism monster, this is a good place to start.  Old multi-culti pieties prevented British institutions from daring to criticize the Muslims amongst them.  A serious commitment to Western values would mean cracking down on these child abuse factories.

It is (I hope) not futile to resist the Islamic Borg

One of the things the Leftist multiculturalists refuse to acknowledge is that Islam does not assimilate.  Individual practitioners of the faith may, periodically and superficially, espouse the culture in which they live, but the fact remains that Islam, by its nature, is the Borg.

Borg-like, the Islam collective’s motto is “Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.”  The Borg/Islam collective does not recognize the possibility that it might be the entity that assimilates.  As with the fictional Borg populating Star Trek : The Next Generation, when the Islamists move in on a territory, they move in to conquer and for no other reason.

I mention this pop culture analogy here, because one of Singapore’s past leaders, Lee Kuan Yew, in an interview to promote his new book, spoke about Islam’s failure to assimilate, and he made a statement that is, I think, full comparable to Churchill’s speech about the Iron Curtain dividing Europe:

In the book, Mr Lee, when asked to assess the progress of multiracialism in Singapore, said: “I have to speak candidly to be of value, but I do not wish to offend the Muslim community.

“I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, intermarriages and so on, Indians with Chinese, Chinese with Indians – than Muslims. That’s the result of the surge from the Arab states.”

He added: “I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam.”

He also said: “I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate.”

Mr lee then went on to speak of how his own generation of politicians who worked with him had integrated well, including sitting down and eating together. He said: “But now, you go to schools with Malay and Chinese, there’s a halal and non-halal segment and so too, the universities. And they tend to sit separately so as not to be contaminated. All that becomes a social divide.”

He added that the result was a “veil” across peoples. Asked what Muslims in Singapore needed to do to integrate, he replied: “Be less strict on Islamic observances and say ‘Okay, I’ll eat with you.’”  (Emphasis mine.)

Certainly if there’s one image that epitomizes Islam, it’s the veiled face, whether the veil hides women from all civic interactions or masks the men on Western streets who commit violence with impunity as they hide their faces from the authorities.

Yew, who is no longer a power broker, has the luxury of age and retirement to speak of this veil.  It’s interesting, however, that Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has suddenly decided to speak up as well about the Borg in Britain’s midst:

In an attack on Britain’s previous government, Cameron said authorities there had been too hesitant to intervene when some sectors of society espoused abhorrent views.

“We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values,” Cameron said. “We have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”

Cameron said a culture of tolerance had allowed both Islamic extremists, and far-right extremists, to build support for their causes. “We’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them,” he said.

Some European allies have criticized Britain for harboring hardline Islamic clerics and failing to clamp down on mosques that promote a perverted view of Islam.

Several terrorists involved in attacks or attempted plots in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark and Norway over the last two years have had links to Britain, or British-based clerics.

“If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past,” Cameron said. “Instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we – as governments and societies – have got to confront it, in all its forms.”

I am delighted to see people with bully pulpits begin to speak, although I don’t expect to hear anything intelligent on the subject from the world’s premier bully pulpit until January 2013 (assuming all goes well in the November 2012 elections).  As it is, my only hope now is that the Islamic/Borg invaders haven’t already reached to a tipping point from which there is no return.

Hat tip:  American Thinker

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The smug racism of the neo-colonialists

Clifford May wrote a very interesting article pointing out that modern liberalism means giving a complete pass to utterly offensive behavior — provided that the behavior is practiced by non-Western people:

What do you think about the niqab — sometimes also called a burqa — the veil that leaves only the eyes of a woman uncovered? Critics, not least Muslim critics such as Fadéla Amara, France’s secretary of state for urban policy, suggest that when a woman is forced to wear one it not only deprives her of individuality but is, effectively, a portable prison. France recently moved to ban the niqab, as have several other European countries.

Nevertheless, a recent New York Times review of a Yemeni restaurant in Brooklyn noted in passing that the diners are apparently segregated by sex and that next door is “Paradise Boutique, where mannequins model chic niqabs…”

This liberal pass isn’t always in the form of fawning admiration for the “other” culture.  It also involves turning a resolutely blind eye to behaviors that cannot possibly be explained away:

Psychologist Phyllis Chesler recently cited a particularly blatant example of this double standard: Fred Gottheil, a professor of economics at the University of Illinois, tracked down 675 academics who had signed a statement-petition calling for a boycott of Israel as an “apartheid regime.” He asked them also to sign a statement-petition opposing the abuse of women in the Middle East, including “honor-killing, wife-beating, female genital mutilation,” as well as the systematic “discrimination against women, gays and lesbians in the Middle East.” The result of this experiment: Ninety-five percent of those who signed the petition censuring Israel “did not sign a statement concerning discrimination against women and gays and lesbians in the Middle East.”

Forced to give a name to this bizarre phenomenon, which sees our self-styled cultural elite ostentatiously fawn before behaviors that they would never personally tolerate, May cites to Fadéla Amara, a French official, who calls it “neo-colonialism.”  I agree with Amara and May, but only up to a  point.  At that point, as I’ll discuss further below, we discover that many of the old colonialists, when compared to their modern day counterparts, actually had more rather than less decency.

It is absolutely true that the old colonialism looked down on the “brown” people in their charge.  A pithy illustration of this point can be found in Ingrid Bergman’s comedic portrayal of a simple Swedish woman in the film Murder on the Orient Express.  You need to watch only the first 40 seconds to get my point:

Bergman’s lines were meant to be a knowing 1970s wink back at a less humane time in Western culture, but they nevertheless perfectly encapsulate a certain type of colonial view:  the people under colonial control were closer to animals than to humans.

The thing about animals is that we expect much less of them than we do of ourselves.  I don’t expect my dog to dine nicely with a knife and fork.  She does perfectly well with a bowl on the floor.  Her elimination needs do not require a closed door and a flush toilet.  The back yard and street, with their singular absence of privacy, are good enough for her.  Nor am I surprised that, despite being 9 years old, she’s neither reading nor writing.  She’s an animal and her limitations are just fine with me (and with her).

Given this condescending viewpoint towards the “brown” people, if one was a bad colonial culture, being bad gave one a moral pass to treat the brown people like animals, whether that meant bringing people to be slaves abroad or, as in the Belgian Congo, turning them into slaves in their own home.  Alternatively, if one was a “good” colonial culture, one approached the “brown” people as children, who could be led to minimal standards of decent human behavior.

Under either of these approaches, though, the colonial ruler did not treat the “others” as fully fledged, responsible, moral adults.  We recognize this treatment for what it is:  classic racism, which dehumanizes people based on their race.

Modern so-called liberals, of course, would never dream of saying that the brown people of the world are less than fully human because of their race.  May’s point, however, is that, when it comes to Muslims, we still manage to treat them that way.  (I’ll add that the same holds true for the low, low standards so-called liberals establish for black people.)

Sure, we in the West treat women well, but we certainly can’t expect that level of sophistication from the brown people.  And sure, we treat gays well, but we have to understand that the brown people haven’t evolved to that point, and we should therefore just ignore their sins.  And sure, we can tolerate free speech (or, at least, if we’re a so-called liberal, we pay lip-service to the notion of free speech), but we’re big enough to recognize that the brown people haven’t matured enough as a race to handle it.

The exceptionally low standards we allow for Muslims and blacks are always phrased in terms of “respect” for the “other” culture.  “Respect,” however, is a misnomer.  True respect is impossible if we consistently assert that the “others” (who invariably have skin darker than ours) cannot hold themselves to the normative behaviors of which we’re most proud.

But I promised to tell you that the old colonialists were actually better than the neo-colonialists who inhabit our media airways and political space today.  Not all of them were, of course.  The ones who treated indigenous people with exceptional cruelty were as bad as could be.

Fortunately, though, there were other colonialists who looked at the less savory practices of the indigenous people under their rule, and said, “I don’t care the color of these people’s skin.  They are better than those grotesque practices, and I will hold them up to my standards, and not allow them to wallow down in theirs.”

The easiest illustration of this true respect for the native people trapped in the colonial web is Lord William Bentinck’s refusal to accept the common practice of suttee in India.  Suttee (or sati), for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is the old Indian practice of requiring a widow to climb onto her husband’s funeral pyre and be burned alive.

In the late 1820s, faced with this barbaric practice, William Bentinck, Governor-General of the East India company, refused to bow to cultural relativism.  Instead, he insisted that, under British rule, suttee end.  The following passage may be written in the ornate, verbose, polysyllabic style of the 19th century, but the meaning is clear — Indians are people too and it is every moral person’s obligation to steer them away from barbarism:

The first and primary object of my heart is the benefit of the Hindus. I know nothing so important to the improvement of their future condition as the establishment of a purer morality, whatever their belief, and a more just conception of the will of God. The first step to this better understanding will be dissociation of religious belief and practice from blood and murder. They will then, when no longer under this brutalizing excitement, view with more calmness acknowledged truths. They will see that there can be no inconsistency in the ways of Providence, that to the command received as divine by all races of` men, “No innocent blood shall be spilt,” there can be no exception; and when they shall have been convinced of the error of this first and most criminal of their customs, may it not be hoped that others, which stand in the way of their improvement, may likewise pass away, and that, thus emancipated from those chains and shackles upon their minds and actions, they may no longer continue, as they have done, the slaves of every foreign conqueror, but that they may assume their first places among the great families of mankind? I disown in these remarks, or in this measure, any view whatever to conversion to our own faith. I write and feel as a legislator for the Hindus, and as I believe many enlightened Hindus think and feel.

Descending from these higher considerations, it cannot be a dishonest ambition that the Government of which I form a part should have the credit of an act which is to wash out a foul stain upon British rule, and to stay the sacrifice of humanity and justice to a doubtful expediency; and finally, as a branch of the general administration of the Empire, I may be permitted to feel deeply anxious that our course shall be in accordance with the noble example set to us by the British Government at home, and that the adaptation, when practicable to the circumstances of this vast Indian population, of the same enlightened principles, may promote here as well as there the general prosperity, and may exalt the character of our nation.

Call it enlightened colonialism, if you want.  In practice, it meant that Bentinck recognized the Indians’ humanity, and demanded the elevation of their conduct.

In this regard, Bentinck was infinitely better than today’s cultural relativists who refuse to speak out for the millions of women around the world brutalized by Islam’s restrictions, whether those restrictions are the forced wearing of imprisoning clothes, the humiliation of polygamy, the limitations on movement, the imprisonment in homes, the denial of education, or the more extreme physical punishments of genital mutilation, beatings, acid burnings, nose and ear removals, stonings, torture, honor killings and hanging — all of which are routine practices against women across the Muslim world, whether meted out by Muslim governments or just by Muslim men.

Nor is Bentinck’s behavior in India the only example of colonialists trying to end barbaric practices amongst indigenous peoples.  For example, one of the things our politically correct schools don’t like to teach children is that many of the indigenous peoples in the Americas were big on human sacrifice.

Take the Aztecs (please).  They had a civilization of extraordinary sophistication, one that, in many ways, far surpassed the Europeans. Their cities were bigger, they had glorious architecture, and, unlike European cities, these metropolises were immaculate and well run. The Aztec nation boasted enormous wealth and the social structure was highly complex.

Why, then, were the Spaniards unimpressed? Two reasons. One was undoubtedly the inherent racism of the time. The other, though, was the large scale human sacrifice and cannibalism the Aztecs practiced. The Spaniards may have been warlike and had their Inquisition, but even the Spanish were disgusted by a religious structure that demanded the sacrifice of up to 80,000 people in connection with a single king’s coronation.  This made it easy for the racists among them to conclude that the Aztecs were inferior, incapable of salvation, and worthy of conquest.

Surrounding Indian tribes, whose citizens, captured in war, made up the bulk of the sacrifices, were also less than thrilled by the visual beauties of the Aztec kingdom. That’s why, contrary to lessons in public school, Cortez didn’t manage to conquer the entire Aztec nation with just his 167 Spaniards and a few horses. Instead, Cortez was swiftly able to gather many allies anxious to hasten the end of a violent, blood-soaked, totalitarian regime. That small pox jumped into the fray was an unexpected benefit from the Spanish point of view, and simply proved who had the “right” god.

While the racists among the conquistadors may have viewed the Aztecs as deserving of slavery, the more enlightened priests in the company saw them, and the other native populations, as humans who could be saved from the scourge of ritual cannibalism.  In this regard, as they pushed for Indian conversion, they acted in precisely the same way as did Bentinck when it came to suttee:  they insisted that a common humanity requires us to expect the most of people, not to use their skin color or present circumstances as an excuse to justify the least.

I don’t see any of our liberals recognizing in Muslims the common humanity that the more enlightened English and Christians saw in the East Indians or Native Americans.  Instead, our cultural relativists glory in their own superiority.  Sure, they’ll bad-mouth their own culture left, right and center, but they know that their respect for women, for gays, and for other people who have traditionally been oppressed, makes them better than other cultures that continue to oppress those same people.  In other words, cultural relativism is a fancy phrase for what is, in practice, smug racism.

We only hate what we fear — why liberals hate the church and pay lip service to the mosque

You’ve all heard by now about the group of Massachusetts school children taken to a mosque where they were taught utterly fallacious history about Islam and America, and then led in prayer:

A mosque spokesperson is seen teaching the children that in Mohammed’s 7th century Arabia women were allowed to vote, while in America women only gained that right a hundred years ago. This seems to be an increasingly recurring theme in American schools – the denigration of western civilization and the glorification of Islamic history and values. In fact, just recently, the American Textbook Council revealed that the New York State high school regents exam whitewashes the atrocities that occurred during the imperialistic Islamic conquest of Christian Byzantium, Persia, the African continent, and the Indian subcontinent, even as it demonizes European colonialism in South America.

The mosque spokesperson also taught the students that the only meaning of Jihad in Islam is a personal spiritual struggle, and that Jihad has historically had no relationship with holy war. As far as we know, the school has not corrected these false lessons.

The above, trip to the mosque, the propaganda, and the prayers were all in the name of multiculturalism, of course….

Every conservative I know (myself included) had precisely the same reaction, often in precisely the same words:  This field trip would never have happened with a Catholic church.  That is, not only would it have been inconceivable to the powers that be within the school to introduce their charges to a church, if it had been conceivable — if a maverick teacher had said, “well, let’s balance the mosque trip with visits to a church and a synagogue and a Hindu temple” — the fecal matter would have hit the fan so quickly that it would have been raining poop for days.  The battle cry, of course, would have been that visiting a church (or synagogue or Hindu temple) violates the separation of church and state.

The interesting question is why the Left doesn’t perceive a similar separation problem when it comes to mosque and state.  I think it has to do with the liberal’s perception of an institution’s potential power over the masses.

A few months ago, I did a post about Rush Limbaugh, and the inordinate fear Leftists, not just extreme Leftists, but garden-variety Democrats, feel when they think about Rush.  After a lot of background talk (I do love my background talk), I boiled it down to my key thesis, which is that liberals fear Rush because he is the one they worry will penetrate their defenses, make them think, and change their minds:

It’s quite a high compliment to Rush that ordinary liberals believe he has extraordinary powers.  It isn’t every conservative radio or talk show host who is perceived as so compelling and seductive that he can destroy people’s world view in an instant.

It’s also very frustrating to me because, in a funny way, I agree with my liberal friends that Rush can rejigger their world view very quickly.  The only thing is that I don’t believe Rush works his magic through hypnotism and trickery.  Instead, I think Rush’s real magic lies in his ability to view the political world as a vast chess board, one on which he can see multiple future moves; his prodigious memory; his well-informed mind; his logical analyses; and his funny persona.  He convinces by appealing to our rational mind, our sense of humor, and our knowledge of the world as it is, and not as some Ivory Tower liberal tells us it should be.

So, whether by cajolery or challenge, I’m still trying to get my liberals to listen to Rush.  For all the wrong reasons, they’re right about one thing:  he will change their minds.

The same dynamic is at work when it comes to Leftists on the one hand, and mosques and churches on the other hand.  For all their multicultural bloviating, so-called liberals don’t think much of Islam.  They recognize that its moral teachings are limited (nothing clear and humanist like the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, or the Golden Rule), that its history is ugly, and that its current practice, with all the demands about daily prayers and handwashing and fasting, is not going to be that attractive to the majority of Americans.

The Progressives therefore don’t seriously believe that anyone can go to a mosque and convert.  Sure, if you go to prison you might convert, but anything looks good in prison.  Further, as my cousin, the prison pastor, says:

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 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.

In other words, it’s not really a conversion at all.

Christianity, though, is scary.  If you’ve got a good minister or priest or pastor, suddenly all sorts of persuasive stuff is going to appearing on people’s radars and penetrate their ignorance or defenses.  You know what I mean:  Stuff about justice, about dignity, about respect, about love, about forbearance.  Worse, all this icky, non-Marxist stuff is going to fall on fertile soil, because even forty years of Progressivism in the public sphere hasn’t completely managed to leech away the Judeo-Christian beliefs that underlie American culture.  Worse, Christ doesn’t demand of his followers grueling physical rituals.  Instead, he demands faith.  Not lip service and clean feet, but faith.

Just as Rush is a threat to the Marxist/Progressive/liberal mindset, so too is Christianity (and, if you’re me, Judaism).  This cannot be said of Islam.  Even the most slobbering dhimmis would be hard put to imagine a world in which people, instead of just admiring Islam from afar because it’s politically correct to do so, would actually want to transfer their allegiance from the Judeo-Christian tradition to the Muslim faith.

Government uses religion to interfere with private company’s product

Abercrombie & Fitch is all about “the look.”  I mean, the whole point of the store is to get people, especially young people, to cough up money for “the look.”  To this end, the ads are soft porn, all aimed at showing the ultimate sexy cool.

Have I mentioned that I hate the whole Abercrombie thing?  As the mother of a teen, Abercrombie slots neatly into the parenting “pain in the neck”  category.  Nevertheless, hate it though I do, I recognize that in a free, capitalist society, when a store’s product is “the look” (’cause if you take away “the look,” all you’ve got are fairly ordinary clothes), the government ought not to be interfering with its image.

Yet our federal government is doing just that, solely so that a Muslim sales clerk can augment the unique sexy Abercrombie “look” with a hijab. A federal representative explains the thinking behind this decision to use taxpayer money and government coercion to bully a private corporation:

“This retailer that targets a youth market is sending the message that you cannot aspire to their ‘All American’ brand if you wear a head covering to comply with your faith,” said William Tamayo, the agency’s regional attorney.
Is this really what the feds should be doing with your money and their power?

As for me, I’m not going to be interviewing at a topless night club any time soon, both because I don’t think I happen to suit “that look” and because professional toplessness offends my belief systems.  I’m also not going to go to the feds demanding that they force the club to change its product to suit my sensibilities.

In this latter regard, I’d be acting entirely consistently with practitioners of all other religions, but for Islam.  They and I recognize that the demands of faith may close doors.  It’s not the government’s job to force those doors open.  Faith requires sacrifice, and that sacrifice may mean one doesn’t get to work at the trendiest store in the mall.

It is inconceivable that the Founders ever intended for the Constitutional proscription against the federal government meddling with matters of faith was intended to force private businesses to change their project, nay, to change their very core identity, to accommodate the fact that someone’s religion has become inconvenient in the pursuit of cool.

Take back popular culture

I’ve written several times at this blog about the need to take back popular culture and make it more consistent with American values.  (Indeed, I think every conservative blogger has written the same thing.)  This Englishman, speaking of the disaster of British multiculturalism, perfectly articulates why a country must celebrate its own values:

For Murray, multiculturalism is a moral vacuum, and “into a moral vacuum always bad things creep.”

The Eton and Oxford educated Murray quotes Saul Bellow in his introduction to The Closing of the American Mind: “When public morality becomes a ghost town, it’s a place into which anyone can ride and declare himself sheriff.”

“Once so-called multicultural societies decided that they didn’t have a locus, that they didn’t have a center of gravity, anyone could ride in and teach the most pernicious things,” Murray expounds. “It didn’t matter. It was just another point of view.

“It’s an extraordinary situation. We allow absolutely anything. This is the reason the British police used not to investigate certain types of killing, like honor killings. This is a community matter, they’d say. Police have admitted that now. This is why tens of thousands of women from certain communities have been genitally mutilated. We have made ourselves entirely relative and it’s time to change that.”

If you believe that Hollywood is marketing values antithetical to America, you can finally do something about it:  You can become a film producer, at least sort of.  Find out how here:

And a teeny, little bleg, so that I too can take advantage of this great opportunity, without imposing on my liberal husband’s hard earned wages:


A writer who understands how the Left operates

I’m reading a very enjoyable novel right now that is completely tuned in to the way in which the Left operates, especially when it comes to the media and academia.

The writer is completely tuned into the name calling that substitutes for informed debate. For example, when the book’s protagonist, Paul, learns that Leftists starting submitted articles to a magazine that contained misstatements of facts in an effort to shift political sentiment (a la Climategate, although this book predates that effort), the following dialog ensues between Paul and Bill Weider, the magazine’s editor:

“But – Bill, why don’t you publish the story you told me? Just as you’ve told it to me? Let your readers know. Let the public see what is happening.”

Weidler’s frown came back. “You know what will happen? There will be a campaign against us. We’ll be called fascists, war-mongers, American imperialists, witch-hunters.”

“You’ve forgotten to add ‘hysteria-inciters,’” Paul said, smiling. “Strange how often they’ve been using hysteria recently – almost hysterically, in fact.”

On the subject of claims about hysteria, my sister, much impressed, sent me this Glenn Greenwald article deriding American hysteria about the Flaming Panties bomber.  I wrote her back that Americans would be less inclined to be hysterical if the Administration would identify and focus upon an enemy – that would be radical Islam, by the way. As long as the Administration (and this goes for the past Administration too) refuses to identify the enemy, all Americans are suspect, and all must be exposed to searches, stupid restrictions, and other limitations on civil liberties.

In a charming aside, the book tackles the root cause question. When the book’s heroine, Rona, and her sister, Peggy, talk about an unpleasant acquaintance, they have this to say:

“She isn’t a friend of yours, is she?” Peggy was now very much the elder sister.

“Not particularly,” Rona said, which was a miracle of understatement. “Scott says she’s a product of her environment,” she added.

“Strange how we never use that phrase when we are describing pleasant people,” Peggy said….

Do I need to remind you that one of the first things Obama did after the Flaming Panties bombing was to emphasize the poverty in Yemen? Yes, it’s true that poor, corrupt countries are great hosts for radical Islamists, but there is no doubt but that the bombers, whether they’re the fabulously wealthy founder of Al Qaeda, young dilettantes flying airplanes into the World Trade Center, ordinary Yorkshire youths blowing up British subways, educated psychiatrists shooting soldiers at Fort Hood, or fabulously wealthy Nigerians setting their underwear on fire are products of only one environment, one that the Left never dares to acknowledge: Islam.

Using a conversation between Paul and his friend, Jon, a professor, the writer has a long riff on the way in which the Left deliberately targets universities and newspapers – indeed, all media of mass communication – as a way in which to manipulate the public:

“You’re in education, Jon. Do you think propaganda is a powerful force? Could it be dangerous? Supposing an enemy of this country had its sympathizers carefully planted here? Supposing these propagandists were trying to infiltrate such businesses and professions as radio, the press, films, schools and colleges, the theater, publishing?”

“That’s a damned silly question,” Jon said almost angrily. “You ask how dangerous it might be?” He looked at Paul, unbelievingly, but Paul kept silent. “This is the twentieth century, with communication easier and more powerful than it’s ever been. The trouble with those who see no danger, who think we are perfectly safe if only we invent more hideous bombs is that they are still living with a nineteenth century idea of peace. Wars haven’t changed much except in bigger and better holocausts. But peace, as we are going to see it in this century, is something quite altered. A lot of new dangers are going to stay with us permanently just because we’ve invented a lot of peacetime conveniences that make life so interesting. It isn’t only armies we have to fear today: it’s words, words abused and corrupted and twisted.”

Still Paul said nothing.

“You see,” Jon went on patiently, “a hundred years ago, fewer people could read, fewer people were educated, and fewer people thought they could argue about international conditions. Also, in those days, propaganda spread more slowly and less widely. But now we’ve got a vast public who read their papers, discuss books and articles, go to the movies and the theater, listen to their radio, watch television, and send their children to schools and colleges.”

“And a public,” Paul interposed, “who have enough to do with arranging their own lives without analyzing all the things they read or hear. They’ve got to trust the honesty of those men who deal with the written or spoken word. Just as the journalist, or the movie director, or the teacher, has got to trust the honesty of the businessmen and workers whenever he buys a refrigerator or a car or a shirt. Isn’t that right?”

The above was written before the 2008 election – before the media completely abandoned its role of reporting and became an institution devoted to advocating a single party in an election. And, as Paul predicted, the public bought it hook, line and sinker, trusting as they did in the honesty of the written and spoken word pouring out over the airwaves. Nowadays, big lies get promulgated with warp speed, in myriad media, and they live forever, corrupting political discourse.

The author recognizes the way in which the Left is hostile to any wars that might conceivably advance American interests. In speaking of a college campus, she says:

“The colleges and universities were full of pickets with placards saying it was all an imperialist war. The students and faculties were deluged with leaflets denouncing war-mongers and reactionaries. Speakers were appearing on the campus, haranguing us all not to fight.”

There’s a universality to that description, since it aptly describes the Left’s anti-War tactics in 1940, 1968, 1991, 2003, and today. To the Left, the possibility of a good war, a war to maintain the line against totalitarianism and preserve freedom, is always impossible to imagine – and the easiest targets for that failure of imagination are colleges students, since it is they who must be convinced that they are fighting for something worth defending.

Speaking of fighting for something worth defending, the writer has no truck with the Leftist habit of moral relativism. Here are Rona and her boyfriend Scott having a debate about a guest at a party who Rona believes has a tiresome habit of painting everything in Left of center politics:

“His line is so old! Two years ago, or three, he could manage to get away with it. But not now.”

“What do you mean?” Scott looked across the room.

“Just that he wasn’t the least little bit the original talker he likes to imagine he is. He only succeeded in annoying most of our guests.”

“Because he thinks differently from them? Se we must all talk the same way, think the same things?”

“No, darling!” She rose and came over to him. “I don’t believe two of us in the room echoed any point of view, except in a general way – well, of believing that right is right and wrong is wrong.”

“That’s all relative,” Scott said. “Depends on each man’s frame of reference.”

“I don’t believe that,” she said, “except for the small things in life. You can find them as relative as you like. But in the big things, you’ve got to decide what is right, what is wrong. Or else you’ve no moral judgment, at all. Like Murray. He’s just a parrot, that’s all he is.”

Moral relativism, of course, is a chronic talking point for the Left, and a chronic problem for those educated and controlled by the Left. In the War against Islamists, for example, moral relativism is tightly entwined with the whole “root cause” that both the author and I mentioned above. After all, as Michael Moore said, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. The Left never seems to understand that, while the act of fighting may be the same, the reason one fights determines whether one is morally right or wrong. Fighting for individual liberty is a good reason to fight; fighting to subjugate the world to a misogynist, homophobic, antisemitic, anti-Christian, completely totalitarian religion – well, not so good.

In the last section of the book from which I’ll quote, the writer also tackles the Left’s habit of targeting individuals by appealing to their sense of victim hood. Multiculturalism isn’t a means of preserving what’s special about a group’s ethnicity. Instead, it’s a political tool aimed at dividing Americans from each other, and making them dependent on the Left as their only savior.

While today’s victims are mostly blacks, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, women (when it’s still useful), Muslims, etc., in the book, the man targeted to be a victim who can be saved only by the Left is a Jew:

“I’ve a battle on my hands right now. They want us to keep different, and I’m telling them the hell with that, we’re Americans. That’s what we are. Stop building a wall around us, stop emphasizing differences, that’s what I keep trying to tell them. And they look at me as if I were some kind of traitor.” He looked at Jon Tyson. “But I’m building no wall, and no one is going to persuade me to do it.”

Obviously, I’ve been playing coy with you, keeping secret the book’s author, title and date of publication. Those of you who know my weakness for Helen MacInnes’ Cold War novels might already have figured out that I’m quoting from one of her books. The book in question is Neither Five Nor Three, published in 1951. It focuses on the Left’s infiltration of the media world and college campuses.

This was the beginning of the Cold War, of course, so Helen MacInnes couldn’t look ahead and realize how that infiltration would be completely successful. While we were challenging the Soviet Union abroad, it was taking over our institutions at home. And now, as Leftist Professor Ward Churchill would say, “The chickens have come home to roost.” All of the nascent tactics MacInnes described then – the moral relativism, the victim-based multiculturalism, the name-calling, the anti-Americanism – have become permanently entrenched in America’s media and education cultures. In those days, people saw these things and remarked upon them. In these days, people believe in the message and approve of the messengers.

Neither Five Nor Three Cover

If you read only one thing this weekend — read Mark Steyn on Fort Hood and Multiculturalism

In a field rich with excellent conservative writers, I always think Mark Steyn is the best.  The joyful days, though, are the days when he outdoes even himself.  In this week’s column about the fluffy multiculturalism that reared its head both before and after Hasan’s deadly terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Steyn outdoes himself.  Here are a few excerpts, but you have to read the whole thing to get the flavor:

The truth is we’re not prepared to draw a line even after he’s gone ahead and committed mass murder. “What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” said Gen. George Casey, the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff, “but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” A “greater tragedy” than 14 dead and dozens of wounded? Translating from the original brain-addled multicult-speak, the Army chief of staff is saying that the same fatuous prostration before marshmallow illusions that led to the “tragedy” must remain in place. If it leads to occasional mass murder, well, hopefully it can be held to what cynical British civil servants used to call, during the Northern Irish “Troubles,” “an acceptable level of violence.” Fourteen dead is evidently acceptable. A hundred and forty? Fourteen hundred? I guess we’ll find out.

[snip]

The brain-addled “diversity” of General Casey will get some of us killed, and keep all of us cowed. In the days since the killings, the news reports have seemed increasingly like a satirical novel the author’s not quite deft enough to pull off, with bizarre new Catch 22s multiplying like the windmills of your mind: If you’re openly in favor of pouring boiling oil down the throats of infidels, then the Pentagon will put down your e-mails to foreign jihadists as mere confirmation of your long established “research interests.” If you’re psychotic, the Army will make you a psychiatrist for fear of provoking you. If you gun down a bunch of people, within an hour the FBI will state clearly that we can all relax, there’s no terrorism angle, because, in our over-credentialized society, it doesn’t count unless you’re found to be carrying Permit #57982BQ3a from the relevant State Board of Jihadist Licensing.

Gay Hillary supporters realize that Bush had his virtues

I’ve now received five emails bringing to my attention a post at Hillbuzz, a blog that (as best as I can tell) is written by two gay Hillary supporters.  (And thanks to all of you who did bring it to my attention.)  What makes the post at Hillbuzz so unusual is that it’s a frank appreciation for . . . George Bush:

We know absolutely no one in Bush family circles and have never met former President George W. Bush or his wife Laura.

If you have been reading us for any length of time, you know that we used to make fun of “Dubya” nearly every day…parroting the same comedic bits we heard in our Democrat circles, where Bush is still, to this day, lampooned as a chimp, a bumbling idiot, and a poor, clumsy public speaker.

Oh, how we RAILED against Bush in 2000…and how we RAILED against the surge in support Bush received post-9/11 when he went to Ground Zero and stood there with his bullhorn in the ruins on that hideous day.

We were convinced that ANYONE who was president would have done what Bush did, and would have set that right tone of leadership in the wake of that disaster.  President Gore, President Perot, President Nader, you name it.  ANYONE, we assumed, would have filled that role perfectly.

Well, we told you before how much the current president, Dr. Utopia, made us realize just how wrong we were about Bush.  We shudder to think what Dr. Utopia would have done post-9/11.  He would have not gone there with a bullhorn and struck that right tone.  More likely than not, he would have been his usual fey, apologetic self and waxed professorially about how evil America is and how justified Muslims are for attacking us, with a sidebar on how good the attacks were because they would humble us.

Honestly, we don’t think President Gore would have been much better that day.  The world needed George W. Bush, his bullhorn, and his indominable spirit that day…and we will forever be grateful to this man for that.

As we will always be grateful for what George and Laura Bush did this week, with no media attention, when they very quietly went to Ft. Hood and met personally with the families of the victims of this terrorist attack.

FOR HOURS.

Please read the rest here.  It’s an excellent post and deserves the attention it’s getting for the honest take it has on George Bush’s solid decency — and the contrast between his low-key, virtuous behavior and that exhibited by the Obami.

Hillbuzz’s post is a reminder that the very loud, politicized gay class tends to make us forget that most gays are just Americans who happen to like people of the same sex.  When things are rosy, they’re happy to trail behind the political guys, since there might be some benefits dropping off that bandwagon.  However, when push comes to shove, and when agitating but scarcely life threatening issues go by the wayside, America’s gays are Americans first — or, at least, most of them are.  That’s very heartening.

I look forward to the day when America’s Muslims figure out that, at some point they have to make a public stand between America’s deep investment in liberty and Islam’s demand that all citizens in all nations should be subjugated to Sharia’s draconian requirements.  Right now, thanks to the politically correct ideology that permeates the media, the government, educational establishes, and the top echelons of the military, American Muslims are getting a pass on having to come to terms with their own patriotism.  If they want to hew to their religion — well, that’s the moral choice they have to make, but we Americans should know, so that we can do what is necessary to protect our Constitutional rights for the vast majority of Americans (gay and straight, Catholic and Jewish, atheist and, yes, Muslim) who believe in those rights.

Islam had everything to do with Fort Hood

Insane people reflect the obsessions of their times.  In the old days, insane people heard messages from the Devil.  In the post-nuclear age, they were in contact with Martians.  And nowadays, if their Muslim, Islam gives the impetus to their urges.  Indeed, Islam is an all-purpose blank check for bad behavior.  As my cousin, the prison chaplain, says:

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 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.

Math was never my strong point at school, but I managed to grasp the concept of a Venn Diagram.   The beauty of a Venn Diagram is that it’s a nice visual for the common denominators that may bind together otherwise disparate facts or events.  On the Venn Diagram of massacres on American soil, one of the largest areas of overlap is Islam.  The fact that these attacks aren’t necessarily generated at Al Qaeda headquarters is irrelevant.  Indeed, the absence of Al Qaeda involvement is helpful, because police work probably finds it easier to catch groups than lone individuals.

Nevertheless, the President and the media are very busy assuring ordinary Americans that Islam had absolutely nothing to do with Hasan’s murderous rampage at Fort Hood.  Some examples:

  • President Obama says “don’t jump to conclusions.”  On the one hand, he’s correct.  On the other hand, (a) he didn’t take his own advice when it came to Henry Louis Gates and “stupid cops” (although maybe he learned his lesson then); and (b) it’s very clear that he wants to steer Americans away permanently from even thinking that Islam is connected to death.
  • The BBC says “Shooting Raises Fears For Muslims In US Army.”  Mark Steyn has the perfect riposte to this headline:  it is “the grossest bad taste to default every single time within minutes to the position that what’s of most interest about an actual atrocity with real victims is that it may provoke an entirely hypothetical atrocity with entirely hypothetical victims.”
  • Chris Matthews expresses confusion at the way religion is even mentioned in connection with Hasan’s rampage (and the hell with him invoking Allah’s name at the height of his killing spree).
  • NPR says “the motive behind the shootings was not immediately clear.”
  • The New York Times suggests that this arm chair jockey, who just sat back and listened, snapped from the stress of war.  Yeah.  Right.

Just to offset this type of quisling behavior, let me offer to you a long list of articles that call murder in the name of Allah — whether the killer is alone or in a group, rational or irrational, American or non-American — by its true name:  Jihad.

Mark Steyn:   “What happened to those men and women at Fort Hood had a horrible symbolism: Members of the best trained, best equipped fighting force on the planet gunned down by a guy who said a few goofy things no one took seriously. And that’s the problem: America has the best troops and fiercest firepower, but no strategy for throttling the ideology that drives the enemy — in Afghanistan and in Texas.”

Rusty Shackleford:  “Hasan was a devout Muslim who, prior to his transfer to the Texas base, attended a conservative mosque on a daily basis and was known by associates to occasionally rant about U.S. involvement in the War on Terror. Press accounts also claim that Hasan had at one time been the subject of an FBI investigation because of an internet posting bearing his name which justified suicide bombings.  [Para.] No one should be shocked that Hasan would turn to murder and terror. The only thing shocking about Hasan’s actions is the amount of carnage.”

Jennifer Rubin:  “Listen, ignoring reality and feigning indifference to the views and behavior of Major Hasan is how we wound up with 13 dead and 30 wounded, right? Perhaps we should be candid for once. The American people can figure this one out — and those who continue to play dumb will earn only their contempt.”

Roger Simon:  “The immediate reaction of the mainstream media on learning of the activities of Nidal Malik Hasan was to say that he was crazy. And no doubt that was true. Anyone with a passing knowledge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM IV), could probably place Major Hasan comfortably in several categories.  [para.] Of course, the same could be said of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Usama bin Laden and various other mass murderers of recent history. Nevertheless, the attempt was to explain away Hasan’s actions as pathological and thus avoid dealing with, or even – to the degree possible – mentioning the ideology to which his neuroses adhere (hint: it begins with an “I”).  [para.] This strategy is a form of what is popularly known as political correctness, which I submit is also a pathology and a quite virulent one – in this case, arguably the cause of death of the thirteen men and women murdered at Fort Hood.”

J.R. Salzman:  “[Y]ou don’t get PTSD from sitting on your ass around Walter Reed. Not only is it not possible to “catch” secondhand PTSD, but it is not that kind of a place. I would know, I was a patient there for nine months. The place is simply not that stressful or chaotic. When I was there my PTSD got better, not worse.”

Leon de Winter:  “There is only one term that adequately describes the massacre at Fort Hood: a terrorist attack. The media tries to avoid this term, but the more that is known about the killer, the more it becomes clear that this premeditated and deadly attack on unarmed soldiers and civilians was driven by his belief that Islam should rule the world.”

Robert Spencer:  “Major Hasan’s motive was perfectly clear — but it was one that the forces of political correctness and the Islamic advocacy groups in the United States have been working for years to obscure. So it is that now that another major jihad terror attack has taken place on American soil, authorities and the mainstream media are at a loss to explain why it happened – and the abundant evidence that it was a jihad attack is ignored.”

Michael Ledeen:   “I’m all for waiting until all the evidence is in from Texas before reaching any conclusions, but that should apply to everyone.  Notably to the FBI, which seems to have developed a conditioned reflex that requires the Bureau to announce, within seconds of any act of murder, ‘there is no evidence of terrorism.’  Which, in this case, is ridiculous, since it was precisely that.  [para] All of which brings us back to one of the nastiest problems we face:  the indoctrination of Americans in this country.  If you look beneath the surface of these plots and murders, you will often find that the actual or would-be killers have attended radical mosques.  They don’t come to jihad by sitting quietly at home and reading the Koran.  They hear sermons, they are guided in the paths of terror, and they choose to become terrorists.  And in this country, those radical sermons and that incitement is traditionally treated as ‘protected speech.’  It’s protected by the First Amendment, and its guarantee of freedom of religion.”

Jamie Glazov:  “The murders by Malik Nadal Hasan at Ft. Hood, TX are not a ‘lone wolf incident’ as being described by most media organizations. Hasan had been taught the ideology that is being advocated by hundreds of Islamic scholars and Imams in the U.S. We as a country can continue to deny there are numerous Islamic leaders and their supporting organizations such as CAIR, ISNA, MSA, and MANA, to name a few, who advocate killing innocent men, women, and children whom they allege ‘oppress Islam.’”

Victor Davis Hanson carefully looks at the number of Islamists who have plotted or carried out attacks against civilians (and Ft. Hood’s soldiers were, within their home base, tantamount to civilians), and politely destroys the argument that it’s just coincidence that so many mass murderers, and attempted mass murderers, in the past decade have been Muslim.

David Horowitz:   “The Ft. Hood killings are the chickens of the left coming home to roost. Already the chief political correspondent of The Nation has decried even mention of the fact that the jihadist killer Hasan is a Palestinian Muslim. According to The Nation this  is ‘Islamophobia.’ This fatuous attempt to protect America’s enemies carries on The Nation’s 60-year tradition as the leading fifth column collaborator with America’s enemies — defender of the Rosenbergs, defender of Hiss, defender of their boss Stalin, defender of Mao, defender of Castro and now defender of Islamic terrorists. But The Nation is only the tip of an iceberg. The fifth column formed out of the unholy alliance between radical Islam and the American left is now entrenched in the White House and throughout our government. And in matters like the Muslim jihadist Major Hasan our military is its captive.”

Phyllis Chesler:  “Sudden Jihad Syndrome, (it’s not all that “sudden” by the way), Personal Jihad Syndrome, call it what you will—these terrible acts should not be psychiatrically diagnosed and excused. In Islamist culture what Major Hasan did is a glorious act, a desired act; it is not the act of someone who is considered psychiatrically deranged. At the risk of being called a racist, allow me to suggest that we must connect the dots before it is too late. Islam now=jihad=hate propaganda=9/11=the tragedy at Ft. Hood.  [Para.]  That means Islam now, and its followers of all colors and ethnicities, is at war with the entire world, is dreaming of a Caliphate to be achieved through violent jihad. I doubt that Major Hasan is a Sufi Muslim.”

Bruce Bawer:  “Could there be a more bitter contrast? At Fort Hood, so many courageous GIs, all of them prepared to risk their lives fighting the Islamic jihadist enemy in defense of our freedom, several of them now dead. And, on our TV screens, so many apparently craven journalists, public officials, psychiatrists, and (alas) even military brass — all but a few of whom seemed unwilling to do anything more than hint obliquely at the truth that obviously lies at the root of this monstrous act.”

John Weidner (who is kind enough to link to me):  “Pacifism, or rather nihilism disguised as fake-pacifism, is one of the sicknesses of our time. No matter how many times it’s proved wrong, a large portion of the populace will continue to believe that looking and being weak will make them safer and will prevent violence and war. But pacifism causes war.  [Para.] Whoever gave the orders that American soldiers should not carry their sidearms or other weapons on our military bases murdered those soldiers who died at Ft Hood. Charlene was an Army brat, and she says that personnel carried their weapons on the base when she was young. Somebody (the phrase “death panel” springs to mind) disarmed the very men and women who are sworn to protect us using violent force when necessary. INSANE! SICK!”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Can it happen here? *UPDATED*

In an earlier post, I directed your attention to the incredibly disturbing footage of Pakistani village authorities brutally whipping a teenage girl before a throng of men, because she violated Sharia norms by being seen in public with her father in law.  The footage is disturbing on many levels, not the least of which is the fact that the whole spectacle has a pornographic smell to it, one that makes clear how much of Sharia law is driven by Muslims’ deep fear of female sexuality — but that’s a rumination for another day.

What I want to talk about is whether this could ever happen here.  Certainly Muslims want it to happen here.  Their oft stated goal is a Sharia-compliant world, with every nation having as its one and only law Sharia law.  Given this goal, and given the Islamists’ willingness to steal planes and acquire bombs and lust after anthrax, it’s more than just a hypothetical possibility.

But I don’t think we need to worry right now about Sharia appearing in the West courtesy of a mushroom shaped cloud or virulent bacteria.  The more immediate concern is the fact that, through political correctness, the Western world is already reading itself to deal with creeping sharia law.

Leading the way, as always, is England, which is allowing sharia courts, even though there is every indication that this will trap Muslim women in a British sharia hell; routinely banning pigs from public discourse (Oh Piglet, Piglet, wherefore art though Piglet?); slavishly redesigning innocuous packaging to avoid ruffling Muslim sensibilities (ice cream, anybody?); protecting men from being charged with dangerous traffic violations so they can speed from one wife to another; etc.  The list is endless.

In America, we periodically hear stories about accommodations for Muslims who don’t want to drive people carrying alcohol (as if it could leap out of the bottle spontaneously and attack the driver); about Muslims refusing to share public university prayer spaces; about Muslims demanding special foot baths at public universities (and weren’t those high tech “required” foot baths a popular item in the vast Saudi Arabian desert in the 7th Century); or about Muslim women insisting that their driver’s license show nothing more than their eyes, rather than conceding that, if they want to practice the extreme Islamic tradition of a hijab, maybe driving is not an option.

On the whole, we in America are a solicitous people and, with our pluralist religious history, we’re willing to make reasonable accommodations.  Generally, we like it that people are able to live religious lives — as long as they don’t impinge on our own lives.  What’s different about the Muslim demands is the impingement that goes with them — you may not drive in our publicly licensed taxis unless you change your behavior; you may not worship in this public space unless you worship our way; you must abandon the commonly accepted public safety feature of a photo ID card so our women can be anonymous; and so on and so forth.

Each of these Islamic incursions on the public space has resulted in a hoo-ha (otherwise we wouldn’t know about them), and most, when they become known, have been reversed.  The fact remains, however, that there cumulative effect from these sharia attacks on our culture that is akin to water dripping on rock.  One drop has no effect.  Two drops, no effect.  A thousand drops, no effect.  But you get enough drops and the shape of the rock — in this case, the shape of the American body social and politic — begins to change and to conform to the water’s ceaseless demands.

I have an Irish friend who firmly believes that America’s deep rooted sense of liberty cannot be so easily drip-dropped away, whether the drops fall from the Sharia cadre or from the statists in the Obama administration.  He believes that a deep, long-lived history focused on individualism and independence will rebel.  I wonder.

I’d like to think that, if I were that teenage girl about to get flogged, I’d fight and fight and fight.  I’d be hurt anyway, but at least I wouldn’t just yield to barbarity.  But even if I fought, even if I waved the flag of independence, and humanism, and freedom, would it matter if everyone stood around me and stared, as those men in the crowd watching the beating stand and stare.  I’d be willing to bet that, in that crowd, many were true believers, and many were men whose stomachs churned at the horror, but who said nothing, because they were trained to accept. Whatever their reason, they stood and they stared.

In this regard, it’s worth noting that, when Hitler came to power in 1933, he did so with just barely more than 50% of the popular vote.  There was never a time when the majority of Germans were members of the Nazi party.  For most Germans, right through the end of the War, their crime wasn’t active complicity with Nazi atrocities, it was passive complicity.  From a mixture of fear and brain washing, they just went along.

As I said, my Irish friend thinks Americans won’t just go along.  But when I look at what passes for education in our public schools, I’m very worried that we’re raising a generation that will be so compliant and so lacking in a non-relativistic sense of right and wrong that, first, they’ll allow creeping sharia to become dominant sharia (so un-PC to object) and, second, once it’s dominant they, through a mixture of fear and braining washing, will just go along.  And they too will stand their silently and watch when one of their school mates is flogged bloody or hanged or decapitated for having violated sharia norms.

The 2010 election matters.  It matters not just because I don’t like Obama’s economic and social policies.  It also matters because it is the last election in which Americans will have a chance to renew their sense of individualism and liberalism.  You see, while Obama thinks he’s paving the way for a wonderful socialist state, I think he’s unwittingly grooming the population to be the passive recipients of law laid down by true believers who make Obama and his progressives look like impotent little children.

UPDATE:  I was spurred to write the above post because of the video I watched showing the girl getting beaten.  Turns out, though, that creeping sharia is on other people’s minds — not how we might respond to the more extreme demands, but how we are responding to the “reasonable” demands.

Judge not lest you be judged

A few days ago, I posted about the rise in antisemitism around the world. One of my readers, who I know is a good and kind woman, decried this trend, but then said something interesting: “And now many Jews insist that we hate Muslims to support them. [snip.] [E]very anti-Islamic article posted makes it that much harder to side with the Jews. No one should be forced to side with one ethnicity over another.” In other words, if I understand her correctly, by bad-mouthing Muslims, Jews are making themselves look bad and are therefore less sympathetic.

(This statement is not unique to this reader, and I don’t want any of you to pick on her. She’s part of a larger trend, and this trend definitely deserves consideration. Indeed, I am grateful to her for being honest so that we can discuss this matter. Any personal attacks against her are strictly off limits and I will delete them as soon as I can.)

The view my reader expressed seems to be a variation on two Biblical principles: “Judge not lest you be judged” and “turn the other cheek.” I’ve always understood these doctrines to apply to the individual, not to the state, and to mean that, within a civilized society, people have to avoid the sins of hypocrisy and should strive to get along with their neighbors. Multiculturalism, however, elevates these Biblical precepts to national policies that insist that victims of threats or aggression may not defend themselves. As one commentator said, in many circles, it is now worse to judge evil than to do evil. (I’d like to give attribution to that speaker, but I can’t find his name anywhere. He’s a British lecturer, if that helps any of you come up with his name.)

I’m actually happy to judge evil — because I know, with certainty, that I am not evil. That is, I don’t have to worry that, in judging others as evil, I might in turn be judged. I can cast rhetorical stones because, while I have my petty sins (I’m lazy, a bit hot-tempered, and I’m greedy when it comes to chocolate), I am not evil. The same holds true for Jews. As a group, they have the same foibles as the average run of citizens, but they are not, collectively, evil. They do not aim their guns intentionally at children, they do not use children to hide their own guns, and they do not revel in the deaths of children. Jews can judge those Muslims who got what they asked for (Gaza) and then launched more than 5,000 rockets into Israel, with the intent to kill civilians. Jews can judge those Muslims who have as their religious doctrine the requirement that the desired end of days be triggered, in part, by the slaughter of Jews. We are allowed to judge when we see evil.

I actually attribute this naive belief that all people are innately good — a belief that, in the modern era alone, should have given way in the face of the Nazi death camps, in Pol Pots killing fields, in Mao’s Great Leap Forward, in the Soviet Union’s lengthy auto-genocide — to a surprising source: Anne Frank. Since the 1950s, every single reasonably educated American has read Anne Frank’s luminous diary. And most American teachers — certainly mine, when I was in junior high school — spent an inordinate amount of time reiterating to us Anne’s most famous words, written on July 15, 1944, exactly two years after she and her family went into hiding to escape the Nazis:

It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. [Emphasis mine.]

Thanks to those words, just about every Western school child learns that “people are truly good at heart.” I think it was that sweet sentiment that my reader had in the back of her mind when she left her comment. In that world view, if everyone is good, it does indeed lessen the virtue of one group of people if they imply that another group of people may not, in fact, be “truly good at heart.” The problem is that Anne Frank was completely and totally wrong.

Before I get into the global wrongness of Anne’s position, it’s useful to understand the context in which Anne wrote those words, as well as to remember what happened to Anne within days of writing them. As Anne freely admited in the next sentence following her famous thought, she wrote those words because she needed to give meaning to a life spent in hiding and a world that had devolved into sadistic chaos.

Two weeks after writing her homage to human kind’s innate goodness, because of a tip from an informer, the Annex’s residents were rounded up by the Nazis and shipped off. Here’s what happened to them: Mr. Van Daan was gassed immediately on his arrival in Auschwitz. Mrs. Van Daan was shuffled from Auschwitz, to Bergen-Belsen, to Buchenwald, to Theresienstadt, and finally to another unknown camp where she apparently died shortly before war’s end. Peter van Daan survived a death march from Auschwitz to Mauthausen, only to die three days before the camp was liberated. Mr. Dussel, after having spent time in either Buchenwald or Sachenhausen, died in Neuengamme a few months after being arrested. Mrs. Frank died in Auschwitz from starvation and exhaustion. As for Anne and Margot:

Margot and Anne Frank were transported from Auschwitz at the end of October and brought to Bergen-Belsen concentrationton camp near Hanover (Germany). The typhus epidemic that broke out in the winter of 1944-1945, as a result of the horrendous hygienic conditions, killed thousands of prisoners, including Margot and, a few days later, Anne. She must have died in late February or early March. The bodies of both girls were probably dumped in Bergen-Belsen’s mass graves. (From the Afterward to The Diary of a Young Girl : The Definitive Edition, published by Anchor Books Doubleday in 1996)

Anne Frank did not die peacefully or gracefully. Instead, her last days on earth were a nightmare of cold, hunger, loneliness and fear:

Anne was briefly reunited with two friends, Hanneli Goslar (named “Lies” in the diary) and Nanette Blitz, who both survived the war. They said that Anne, naked but for a piece of blanket, explained she was infested with lice and had thrown her clothes away. They described her as bald, emaciated and shivering but although ill herself, she told them that she was more concerned about Margot, whose illness seemed to be more severe. Goslar and Blitz did not see Margot who remained in her bunk, too weak to walk. Anne said they were alone as both of their parents were dead.

Why am I emphasizing all this? Because I want to make it clear that Anne Frank was wrong. People are not innately good. Her words were whistling in the dark, written to give herself faith and courage under terrible circumstances. They cannot and should not be used as a yardstick for measuring human being’s natural state. And for Liberals to cling to this “ideology” moves beyond optimism into self-destruction.

Anyone who has children knows that, while they have a tremendous capacity for love, and have within them the seeds for reason and kindness, their innate state is more Lord of the Flies than anything else. Children are naturally violent, greedy and jealous. What tempers children is a society’s externally imposed value system. And these value systems don’t spring out of whole cloth. They are the results of centuries of give and take, violence, refining, and thought.

In a chauvinistic way that I’m not even going to bother to defend, I think our modern Judeo-Christian value system is one of the best ever created — and it’s not innate, it’s learned. I’ll go even further here: I don’t like the current fundamentalist Islamic value system, with its denigration of women, Jews, and non-Muslims, and its obsession with visiting extreme physical violence (and I include beheading and other slaughters) on those so denigrated.

I don’t think we in the West are innately good, or that those in the fundamentalist Islamic Middle East are inherently bad. I do think, however, that we have the better value system, and that it’s terribly dangerous for people to put their faith in Anne Frank’s touching but misguided words about humans’ innate goodness. Worse, this is not merely the misguided approach of a single good and kind person. Instead, a vast portion of the American population has bought into a teenage girls’ “whistling in the dark” musings and now tries to impose this naive view on American (and Israeli) foreign policy, hampering those countries’ ability to protect themselves against those whose value system calls for its enemies subjugation and death.

NY Times shills for sharia law *UPDATED*

From the every first paragraph of a lengthy New York Times Magazine article about Sharia law, you know you’re in for an intellectually dishonest voyage through the multi-culti mindset of the New York Times, this time as put forward by Noah Feldman who is, unsurprisingly, a law professor at that bastion of liberal think, Harvard. It’s a long article, so I won’t Fisk the whole thing, but I can’t resist tackling at least the first few paragraphs:

Last month, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, gave a nuanced, scholarly lecture in London about whether the British legal system should allow non-Christian courts to decide certain matters of family law. [Well, not really. He gave a muddled, incomprehensible lecture that vaguely waffled about Sharia, without actually giving anyone a clear sense of what he was talking about -- although, maybe, at Harvard, that passes for nuance. It was in a contemporaneous TV interview, though, that Williams let the cat out of the bag, and admitted that he wasn't talking about private judicial systems with voluntary participation -- assuming the beleaguered Pakistani women, forced into marriages and killed for "honor," can voluntarily participate in anything. Instead, he admitted that he thought Britain would actually have to accept Sharia law.] Britain has no constitutional separation of church and state. The archbishop noted that “the law of the Church of England is the law of the land” there; indeed, ecclesiastical courts that once handled marriage and divorce are still integrated into the British legal system, deciding matters of church property and doctrine. His tentative suggestion was that, subject to the agreement of all parties and the strict requirement of protecting equal rights for women, it might be a good idea to consider allowing Islamic and Orthodox Jewish courts to handle marriage and divorce. [As I noted in an earlier post on the subject, that's not what he was proposing in his "nuanced" speech. While it's absolutely true that we in America allow people to resolve disputes privately, whether through arbitration, mediation, rabbinical courts, working with their minister, or confiding to the bartender, these are optional systems. People can avoid these systems, however, and instead choose to go use the ordinary civil and criminal laws of America. These American courts will not apply rabbi-made law, or sharia-law, or bartender's wisdom. Williams, however, stated that sharia law should be, and I quote, "incorporated into the British legal system" -- in other words, there's no escape. And even worse, while it may first be applied only to Muslims, one can well imagine some PC judge thinking it would be useful to apply it to other Brits, as well.]

Then all hell broke loose. [No surprise there since people seem to have understood what Williams actually said rather than having listened to some PC channel, as Feldman did, where he heard what he wishes Williams had said, rather than what Williams actually said.] From politicians across the spectrum to senior church figures and the ubiquitous British tabloids came calls for the leader of the world’s second largest Christian denomination to issue a retraction or even resign. [Yeah, 'cause he showed himself to be a dupe, a dhimmi and an idiot.] Williams has spent the last couple of years trying to hold together the global Anglican Communion in the face of continuing controversies about ordaining gay priests and recognizing same-sex marriages. [One wonders, in this regard if Feldman or Williams have given any consideration to the fact that, under sharia law, homosexuality is a hanging offense, or at least one deserving of torture (and we know that the torture the sharia clerics contemplate goes beyond have rock music blasted at you or even waterboarding).] Yet little in that contentious battle subjected him to the kind of outcry that his reference to religious courts unleashed. Needless to say, the outrage was not occasioned by Williams’s mention of Orthodox Jewish law. For the purposes of public discussion, it was the word “Shariah” that was radioactive. [Yeah, it was radioactive, because Williams didn't mention incorporating Orthodox Jewish law into the British system, but he did say, and I quote, that sharia law should be "incorporated into the British legal system." Does Feldman really think everybody is either as credulous or dishonest about this as he is?]

In some sense, the outrage about according a degree of official status to Shariah in a Western country should come as no surprise. No legal system has ever had worse press. To many, the word “Shariah” conjures horrors of hands cut off, adulterers stoned and women oppressed. [Surprise! Surprise! as Gomer Pyle would say. It's funny how that happens, although it might be tied to all those silly little news stories about homosexuality being illegal in Muslim countries, with homosexuals routinely tortured and hanged; women killed because they were prevented from leaving burning buildings wrongly clad; women stoned to death for adultery; rape victims executed; women prevented from driving or being seen with men; school teachers arrested and threatened with whipping for naming teddy bears after toddlers; forced marriages; thieves' hands cut off; slavery; etc. I could fill dozens of lines in this post describing the horrors of life under sharia law, but I think you get the idea.] By contrast, who today remembers that the much-loved English common law called for execution as punishment for hundreds of crimes, including theft of any object worth five shillings or more? How many know that until the 18th century, the laws of most European countries authorized torture as an official component of the criminal-justice system? As for sexism, the common law long denied married women any property rights or indeed legal personality apart from their husbands. When the British applied their law to Muslims in place of Shariah, as they did in some colonies, the result was to strip married women of the property that Islamic law had always granted them — hardly progress toward equality of the sexes. [Is this a stupid argument or what? What he's saying is that, because in pre-modern times we in the West were just as bad as Islam is today, we are not allowed to judge Islam by modern standards. This is what happens when multi-culturalism takes over. When your country's current legal system is manifestly superior to another country's current legal, you're flogged with your country's far distant past as a way to shut you up. Last I looked, we in the West don't have slavery, women have property rights, thieves aren't hanged, torture isn't routine, etc. Indeed, I think we can comfortably separate ourselves by more than 150 years from these types of punishments. In strict Muslim countries, they can only separate themselves by a few minutes under the next horror comes along.]

In fact, for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world. [Again, the same stupid argument. That Islam looked good compared to the law in the Middle Ages is a straw man argument. I'm not comparing Islamic law to medieval or even pre-Enlightenment law. I'm comparing it to 21st Century America or Europe.] Today, when we invoke the harsh punishments prescribed by Shariah for a handful of offenses [handful!? Homosexuality; driving; consorting with men; wearing anything but a tent; leaving the house alone; stealing; adultery. In what parallel universe is Feldman living?], we rarely acknowledge the high standards of proof necessary for their implementation. Before an adultery conviction can typically be obtained, for example, the accused must confess four times or four adult male witnesses of good character must testify that they directly observed the sex act. [Somehow this high level of proof hasn't worked too well for the women standing accused, has it?] The extremes of our own legal system — like life sentences for relatively minor drug crimes, in some cases — are routinely ignored. [Again, a straw man. That our system is not perfect does not relieve the sharia system of its manifest awfulness and abuse.] We neglect to mention the recent vintage of our tentative improvements in family law. [Yeah, but Prof. Feldman -- we have improved them. Sharia hasn't.] It sometimes seems as if we need Shariah as Westerners have long needed Islam: as a canvas on which to project our ideas of the horrible, and as a foil to make us look good. [Don't you love being psychoanalyzed by an ignorant buffoon?]

I’m exhausted. How many stupid statements and dishonest rhetoric can you pack into just four paragraphs? Feldman does go on to ask an interesting question which is why is sharia law growing in popularity. However, given his rhetorical stance in the first four paragraphs, who can trust his analysis in the rest of the article? I know I can’t. He’s established himself as a confabulator, a trickster, a con artist and an ignoramus. Why would I believe anything he says?

I do know that Islam does tend to be attractive in anarchic places, because it promises stability and tight control. (Witness the rise of the Taliban after the chaos left in the wake of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.) It’s the “strong man” syndrome, except it plays out as the “strong religion” syndrome. That sharia doesn’t deliver on its promises, that it provides a theocratic totalitarianism, coupled with hate-filled rhetoric (aimed at Jews, Israel, America, homosexuals, women, etc.), will never stop the masses from seeking something that they believe will provide them with greater safety with and control over their day to day lives. Also, sharia, unlike our Western legal system, is inextricably intertwined with salvation. If you tell people that their eternal salvation is dependent on following a certain system, no matter how dreadful, and how medieval, that system is, many will do that — as was certainly the case in the ancient world for many thousands of years.

As for Feldman’s basic argument, which is that, if everyone is doing it, it must be okay, it’s manifest that his mother, when he was a child, never asked him that most basic of parenting questions: “If everybody jumped of a cliff, would you jump too?”

Hat tip: JL

UPDATE:  My friend Patrick has written a very interesting post that dovetails nicely with my attack on Feldman’s spurious comparison between pre-modern Western law and current Islamic law.  In it, he both agrees with a Sister Toldjah post and disagrees with it:

My friend Sister Toldjah has a long post up arguing that it is muddle-headed for the political Left to defend Barack Obama’s cozy relationship with an anti-Semitic racialist conspiracy theorist on the grounds that there are kooky pastors on the Right as well. In that thesis, I agree with her completely. From a logical and rhetorical point of view “So’s your mother” and “everybody does it” are bankrupt defenses.

I take issue with other parts of her post, however, because I think she’s too fine a person to carry water for the ignorant likes of megachurch pastor John Hagee. Any man who believes as Hagee does that “the Roman Catholic Church…plunged the world into the Dark Ages,” and thinks Pope Piux XII “never, ever slightly criticized” Adolph Hitler is a bigoted maroon of the first order.

The rest of his post is a spirited defense of the Catholic church in times past.

I think Patrick makes an excellent point, one of which is that information needs to be examined in context.  Looking back from modern times, there are things that we can’t like about the Dark Ages and Medieval church (the burnings, for one thing).  However, we in the modern era stupidly forget that you cannot measure past institutions — especially institutions that flourished in the distant past — against our own times. Instead, you have to measure them against their own times. For example, much as it’s trendy now to praise Druids and other pagan religions, Christianity was light years ahead of the competition if only one for one reason: it stopped human sacrifice. To me, that’s a biggie.

In the same way, it’s utterly ludicrous for Feldman to defend the horrors of certain aspects of sharia law by saying that, once upon a time, we were just as bad.  We aren’t as bad now, but sharia still is.

Something for the multi-culti crowd to chew on

The moral equivalence crowd, the one that says all cultures are created equal, except that non-Western cultures are better than others, is going to have to pretzel itself severely to deal with this one:

Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, The Times has learnt.

Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged.

President Ahmadinejad, questioned by students in New York two months ago about the executions, dodged the issue by suggesting that there were no gays in his country.

***

[Some examples of] Sharia’s victims

2005

— Homosexuals Farbod Mostaar and Ahmad Chooka sentenced to death. Iran said Chooka had kidnapped, knifed and raped a student

— A woman called Soghra was sentenced to stoning for adultery and being an accomplice to her husband’s murder

— Two men executed in public after being found guilty of a homosexual relationship. A newspaper said they were convicted of sodomy, rape and kidnapping

— Zhila Izadi, 13, sentenced to stoning after becoming pregnant with her brother’s child

2006

— Malek Ghorbany sentenced to stoning for adultery

— Leila Qomi sentenced to stoning for adultery and assisting a man who killed her husband. He received 100 lashes

2007

— Jafar Kiana stoned for adultery. His female lover Mokarrameh Ebrahimi sentenced to the same fate

Right now, even faced with this stark admission about Iran’s genocidal approach towards homosexuals, the multi-culti governments in Europe are in denial. Even as England is happy to ban Israelis who note, accurately, that Muslims are out to kill Israelis, and to welcome terrorists with open arms, and even as Holland is sending into hiding yet another person who has offended Islam, both England and Holland are working hard to send a teenager back to Iran, where it is almost certain that he will be hanged, as his gay friend and compatriot was last year:

A gay teenager who faces being hanged if sent back to Iran is a step closer to being forced to return today, after the Netherlands followed Britain in refusing his appeal for asylum.

Mehdi Kazemi, 19, came to London to study English in 2005 but says he later discovered that his boyfriend had been arrested by the Iranian police, charged with sodomy and hanged.

He claimed asylum in Britain, saying that he feared for his life if he returned. However, his case was refused late last year, so he fled to the Netherlands.

A Dutch court today, however, ordered him to return to Britain, leaving the teenager once again facing deportation.

According to Iranian human rights campaigners, more than 4,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.

Borg Palm, his lawyer, said today that the Dutch court had ruled he could only claim asylum in the UK – but that it was not “totally sure” he would be forced to return to Britain immediately as a European court could temporarily halt the move.

The British and Dutch stance is not surprising. In the world of cognitive dissonance, if you’ve hung your hat on the multi-culti tree, and proudly proclaimed that “they are just like us, only better,” then the fact that contradictory information comes along showing that they are not just like us but are, in fact, cruel and bestial, must be disregarded — and damn the consequences for the innocent.

Multiculturalism — you’ve got to love it, since it takes false facts and erroneous principles, and out of all those falsities manages to create real death and pain.

British think tank lambasts soggy British multiculturalism as petri dish for terrorism

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for England. I adore British history, especially because I’ve always admired its trajectory towards true enlightenment. It had all the bad qualities of other European nations — serfs, Crusades, slavery, inhumane work conditions, etc. — but it always seemed to shake them off sooner than the others. It created a legal and political system that served as the model for our own, and that created unprecedented rights among citizens. And it held off Hitler all by itself for more than two years before America started to help.  I also spent a delightful year living there, but that sojourn was in a time before England started, not just to go down the drain, but to hurl herself down the drain. In that regard, the title of this post really says it all. Here’s a part of the news story about Britain’s decline and imminent fall:

Britain has become a “soft touch” for home grown terrorists because ministers have failed to tackle immigrant communities that refuse to integrate, warns a report released today.

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a body of the country’s leading military and diplomatic figures, says the loss of British values and national identity caused by “flabby and bogus” Government thinking has made the country vulnerable to attack from Islamic extremists.

Britain has become a ‘soft touch’ for home grown terrorists, a report warns
MI5 estimates that there are currently about 2,000 active terror supporters in Britain

“Misplaced” policies on multiculturalism have failed to “lay down the line” to immigrants, leading to a fragmented society opposed by “implacable” terrorist enemies, the report says.

The stark warning – which comes just days after the Archbishop of Canterbury was plunged into a row over the adoption of sharia, or Islamic law, in Britain – will embarrass the Government.

RUSI, whose patron is the Queen, is one of the most respected and long-established defence research organisations in the world.

Gordon Brown, who is due to unveil his national security policy next week, has described the think-tank as “leading the debate about homeland security and global terrorism”.

[snip]

“The UK presents itself as a target, as a fragmenting, post-Christian society,” the report says, and is “increasingly divided” on its history, national aims, values and political identity.

“That fragmentation is worsened by the firm self-image of those elements within it who refuse to integrate.”

The report places most of the blame for this on a “lack of leadership from the majority, which, in misplaced deference to ‘multiculturalism’, failed to lay down the line to immigrant communities, thus undercutting those within them trying to fight extremism”.

“The country’s lack of self-confidence is in stark contrast to the implacability of its Islamist terrorist enemy, within and without.
“We look like a soft touch. We are indeed a soft touch, from within and without.”

The report also accuses ministers of “flabby and bogus strategic thinking” which has led to public money being spent in “perverse ways”.

“All this has contributed to a more severe erosion of the links of confidence and support between the British people, their government and Britain’s security and defence forces, than for many years,” it says.

You can and should read the whole thing here.