Sunday, July 15, 2007
Harris, L. 2007. Why we fear 'fanatic': The lesson of the red mosque. TCS Daily. July 12, 2007. Available online: http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=071207A (emailed in my Michael DeWitt of Spooky Action).
Joseph Goebbels was proud of being a fanatic. To him, fanaticism was a term of praise, and not abuse. The Hebrew Zealots looked with contempt on those who were unwilling either to die or to slaughter their own families. In the culture of the modern West, however, to call someone a fanatic is to insult, and not commend, him. Yet, as the incident at the Red Mosque makes clear, our own attitude toward fanaticism is simply an example of ethnocentricism. By refusing to use the word fanatic to describe Ghazi and his followers, we are approaching them through the standards and practices that are observed in our culture, but not in theirs.
Indeed. "Extremism in defense of liberty...."
At the Boyd Conference, William Lind made the good point that the Arab world has been in a cycle of corruption-internal reform movement-revolutionary-corruption. By supporting corrupt states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, we interrupted this cycle, between the generation of the internal reform movement (primarily the Muslim Brothers) and the revolution which would bring on either their corruption... or possibly a way out of the cycle. Assuming the old governments of the Middle East have our, or their own people's, best interest at heart is foolish.
As I've said before, Islam is the answer. The governments of the Muslim world are the problem.
Of course, not all of Lind's points were so flattering or helpful...
Saturday, July 07, 2007
The Miami Herald notes an interest question: why, when America is a greater enemy of al Qaeda than Britain, do most al Qaeda attacks target the Crown and not the Constitution?
Some reasons are straight-forward:
The United States is geographically more separate from the Middle East, the home of Islamic fundamentalism. Beyond that, especially since 9/11, the nation has cracked down on both travel and new-resident visas, making it harder for terrorists from outside to get into the country.
But there's this important one too:
''The Islamic population in the United States is better assimilated into the general population, whereas here, in Germany, in France, they're very much on the outside looking in,'' he said. ``When people get disaffected, sadly, there's not much loyalty to country in that sort of situation.''
Sadly, a fifth column of multiculturalists will do their best to roll back the integration of American Muslims.
When al Qaeda becomes fashionable on college campuses, the multiculturalists will be to blame many times over.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Membership in the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has declined more than 90 percent since the 2001 terrorist attacks, Audrey Hudson will report in Tuesday's editions of The Washington Times.
According to tax documents obtained by The Times, the number of reported members spiraled down from more than 29,000 in 2000 to less than 1,700 in 2006, a loss of membership that caused the Muslim rights group's annual income from dues to drop from $732,765 in 2000, when yearly dues cost $25, to $58,750 last year, when the group charged $35.
The organization instead is relying on about two dozen individual donors a year to contribute the majority of the money for CAIR's budget, which reached nearly $3 million last year...
Critics of the organization say they are not surprised membership is sagging, and that a recent decision by the Justice Department to name CAIR as "unindicted co-conspirators" in a federal case against another foundation charged with providing funds to a terrorist group could discourage new members.
CAIR is a front-organization for Muslim extremists. Since 9/11, major news networks have highlighted them to give a "Muslim voice" (inevitably an apology for terror). It seems this publicity has allowed American Muslims to actually know what CAIR stands for, and to react accordingly.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Barnett, T.P.M. 2007. Like Hanson... Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog. April 8, 2007. Available online: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2007/04/toms_column_this_week_6.html#comment-16630.
Tom Barnett, who I admire greatly, responded to my concerns that Turkey may not belong in Europe:
Like Hanson, I think you're too observant of friction and not of force (the former being primary a function of the latter, but hardly its master). It's very seductive and seems very perceptive in historical terms (hence the appeal to historians), but it's a trap of immense proportions in terms of solid strategic thinking (live in the world you find yourself in, because these are revolutionary times).
Acutlaly, I think Tom and I are closer than that. The recent Islamism in Turkey is doubtless a response to the uncertainties of a globalizing economy, and thus come from different sources than Arab extremism. And again, I am naturally sympathetic to the Turkish cause. I've criticized German maltreatment of Turks before. But the idea of mass Turkish immigration to Europe, which is inseparable from a meaningful entry of Turkey to the European Union, is too dangerous.
Earlier, Dr. Barnett opined on a possible strike on Iran.
Back to our asynch dialogue of late: to me, attacking Iran overloads the Core on feedback, thus putting it at risk. I can't grow the Core if I split it, thus my fear.
This is the best reason for keeping Turkey out of Europe. Europe is in making national identities more fluid than they have been any time since the Dark Ages. That's not an exaggeration. The blending of German, French, and Italian peoples has not happened on this scale since Charlemagne. Europe apperas to be able to handle this, but Europe already is having problems processing Muslim immigrants. Allowing Turks to live freely in Europe would ramp up this disruptive feedback to Europe, perhaps splitting Europe off from the rest of the Core. (The concern is not that Europe would descend to a third-world country -- though the no-go zones already have --- but that Europe's attention and concerns would become centered on its unique Islam problem and not applicable to other Core-wide pursuits.)
The impact of massive Turkish immigration to Europe would far, far exceed yet another chapter in the "America acts recklessly in the Middle East" saga that Europe's been watching for decades. So how can one oppose an Iran War, out of concern for the Core's reaction, while supporting Turkish immigration to Europe? Especially when other larger and vital states, such as Ukraine, have yet to be integrated.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thanks to the generosity of a fellow officer in my dorm's government, Lady of tdaxp and I enjoyed free tickets to The Producers. Lady of tdaxp and I loved it. Much funnier than the 2005 film version (or even the original Mel Brooks movie), the play is a brilliant combination of physical, situational, political, and general humor. No wonder it's the most award winning play in history.
The political message of the play can be summed up in a line of dialog from the second act
"You made a fool of the Fuerher!"
"He didn't need our help!"
Yet Mel Brooks' vicious, satirical attack on the Nazi Party and German ultranationalism was not condemned by Nebraska's sizeable German community. The reason is obvious: American Germans do not see Nazis as part of their community, American Germans are not sympathetic to Nazi Party ideals or methods, and very few American Germans would view the American government as partially or largely at fault for World War II.
American Germans do not "respect" Nazis and Americans do not "respect" the Nazi Party.
As for more contemporary enemies...
Long Island University has fired five students from their positions as resident assistants at the C.W. post campus after they posted a fake hostage video on the Internet with the pretend hostage takers speaking in Middle Eastern accents.
"This is not an issue of free speech, but rather an issue of respect for others and insensitively to acts of violence," university Provost Joseph Shenker said in a statement obtained by FOXNews.com
In the video, five figures in ski masks speak in crude Middle Eastern accents as they threaten a 'captive' — a rubber duck named 'Pete' that serves as the mascot of a residence hall at the campus, Newsday first reported. The video was posted on the Web sites Google and YouTube, but it has since been removed, according to the newspaper.
A search of those two sites on Thursday also failed to recover the video, which Shenker said was reported by residence life staff to administrators on Jan. 30.
Rabiah Ahmed of The Council on American-Islamic Relations told FOXNews.com that based on what was reported about the video, “it does stereotype Muslims in a negative way.”
Previously on Islam withoout Irony... The Case of Robert Redeker.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
"Holland's latest insult to Ayaan Hirsi Ali," by Christopher Hitchens, Slate, 22 May 2006, http://www.slate.com/id/2142147/.
"Europe's Politics of Victimology," by Fleming Rose, Blueprint Magazine, 27 May 2006, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/05/europes_politics_of_victimolog.html/
I've criticized Europe's attitude toward immigrants before, but it is clear that the gathering nightmare of Muslims non-assimilation in Europe isn't only Europe's fault. Europe appears to be incapable of melting those who do not wish to be melted into her cultures. Here are two excerpts, both courtesy National Review's The Corner, of the Islamic Distopia in Europe:
From Christopher Hitchens:
In the two weeks since I wrote about the increasing isolation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born Dutch parliamentarian, her isolation has markedly increased. Dutch courts have already required her to vacate her home as a result of her neighbors' petition to have her evicted, and she was on the verge of resigning her seat in the Dutch parliament and of requesting the right of residence in the United States. But this was not enough to satisfy her critics. A leftist news team in the Netherlands has broadcast an item about the way in which she had initially entered the country, and now the immigration minister has proposed stripping her of citizenship (and thus of her seat in parliament) as a result of the irregularities involved.
It will be delightful to have Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Washington. But the American Enterprise Institute, which has offered her a perch, is not the place where she is most needed. In Holland, every day, extremist imams preach intolerance and cruelty, and, when they are criticized, invoke the help of foreign embassies to bring pressure on the Dutch authorities. They face no risk of expulsion. In my youth, the action of lighting one person's cigarette with another was called—don't ask me why—a "Dutch f***." I once heard a young lady, offered a light in those terms, respond loftily by saying, "Doesn't say much for the Low Countries, does it?" No, it didn't, and neither does this mean and petty harassment of a woman who has also redefined that old expression "Dutch courage."
From Flemming Rose:
And yet the unbalanced reactions to the not-so-provocative caricatures -- loud denunciations and even death threats toward us, but very little outrage toward the people who attacked two Danish Embassies -- unmasked unpleasant realities about Europe's failed experiment with multiculturalism. It's time for the Old Continent to face facts and make some profound changes in its outlook on immigration, integration, and the coming Muslim demographic surge. After decades of appeasement and political correctness, combined with growing fear of a radical minority prepared to commit serious violence, Europe's moment of truth is here.
Europe today finds itself trapped in a posture of moral relativism that is undermining its liberal values. An unholy three-cornered alliance between Middle East dictators, radical imams who live in Europe, and Europe's traditional left wing is enabling a politics of victimology. This politics drives a culture that resists integration and adaptation, perpetuates national and religious differences, and aggravates such debilitating social ills as high immigrant crime rates and entrenched unemployment.
This has wider implications, as well. It may be unwise to admit Turkey to the EU, and anti-liberal Muslim violence is already changing the face of Europe.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
" The destruction of Mecca: Saudi hardliners are wiping out their own heritage," by , The Independent, 6 August 2005, http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article304029.ece (from Radio Active Chief through Jim River Report).
A while ago I defending Representative Tancredo's remarks that the obliteration of Mecca may be a useful deterrent against al Qaeda.
I knew there were Americans who wanted to see Mecca destroyed. However, I didn't know that the Wahabi Muslim anti-Mecca movement is so strong!
Historic Mecca, the cradle of Islam, is being buried in an unprecedented onslaught by religious zealots.
Almost all of the rich and multi-layered history of the holy city is gone. The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades.
Now the actual birthplace of the Prophet Mohamed is facing the bulldozers, with the connivance of Saudi religious authorities whose hardline interpretation of Islam is compelling them to wipe out their own heritage.
Many commentators call Mecca "the most holy city in Islam." The Wahabis would call that idolatry. And kill anyone who believes that.
The driving force behind the demolition campaign that has transformed these cities is Wahhabism. This, the austere state faith of Saudi Arabia, was imported by the al-Saud tribal chieftains when they conquered the region in the 1920s.
The motive behind the destruction is the Wahhabists' fanatical fear that places of historical and religious interest could give rise to idolatry or polytheism, the worship of multiple and potentially equal gods.
The practice of idolatry in Saudi Arabia remains, in principle at least, punishable by beheading. This same literalism mandates that advertising posters can and need to be altered. The walls of Jeddah are adorned with ads featuring people deliberately missing an eye or with a foot painted over. These contrived imperfections are the most glaring sign of an orthodoxy that tolerates nothing which fosters adulation of the graven image. Nothing can, or can be seen to, interfere with a person's devotion to Allah.
If the Saudi Wahabis treat their own history like that, what hope is there for the Shia of Saudi-Occupied East Arabia?
Update: More thoughts at Riding Sun.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
180 IQ Asians and Teachers of Disabled Children (Toward Strategic Despair on Free Movement of Muslims)
"Reviewing Deleted Scenes Part III," by Mark Safranski, Zen Pundit, 23 October 2004, http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2004/10/reviewing-deleted-scene-part-iii-to.html (from tdaxp).
"The London Bombers," by Russell Jenkins, Dominic Kennedy, David Lister and Carol Midgley, The Times, 14 July 2005, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22989-1693739,00.....
A while ago, I approvingly quoted Mark Safranski when he said
Somehow I think we can take precautions to screen out young Islamist males belonging to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaida without targeting 180 I.Q. Asian physicists and genetic engineers.
How likely is it than a 180 IQ Asian physicist is a suicide bomber?
About as likely as an Asian special ed teacher is a suicide bomber, I would guess
Mohammad Sidique Khan had a trusted job as a primary school teaching assistant working with children from poor and vulnerable families arriving in Britain.
Khan, 30, who ran an Islamic bookshop, was employed as a “learning mentor” in an inner-city district with a high proportion of asylum-seekers, homeless families and battered wives.
His mother-in-law, a highly respected Asian volunteer worker, was invited to Buckingham Palace to be honoured by the Queen for a lifetime of community work, particularly with women.
Khan was one of two learning mentors employed at Hillside Primary School in Beeston, which had such a high turnover that 75 per cent of pupils could change in a year. His task was to liaise with children’s previous schools on their special needs and to assess their learning skills. On their first day at school, children would rely on Khan, who was their official “buddy”. He was given the privileged position of sitting, with the head teacher, through interviews with new families to the area. Many were single mothers, fresh immigrants, refugees or victims of domestic violence.
So what is the point where we have to either crack down on nearly every country in the world or just Muslim countries? Where do we reach such strategic despair that refusing to admit hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims is better than refusing to admit a billion innocent humans?
Closing the borders of The Core to Gap-state Muslims would represent a major strategic win for al Qaeda. But if it stops these terrorist attacks that endanger regular business life in the Core it would still be beneficial to us.
Here's another way to think about this. I started USD's Computer Science graduate program mid-year, so I narrowly missed out on being in this class photo
Does it hurt the Core more to make it a hassle for these sorts to enter the United States, or making it impossible for foreign Muslim men to enter the United States?
At what point do we reach strategic despair, and seal our borders to this certain class of foreigner?
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
"US opposes Oklahoma headscarf ban," BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3585377.stm, 31 March 2004.
"Muslim girl wins dress appeal," This is London, http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/16979456?source=PA, 2 March 2005.
Anglo-Saxon Freedom, French Bigotry
A Muslim girl today won her battle to wear traditional "head-to-toe" dress in the classroom after the Court of Appeal ruled her school had acted unlawfully in barring her.
Shabina Begum, 15, accused the head teachers and governors of Denbigh High School, Luton, Beds, of denying her the "right to education and to manifest her religious beliefs".
Lord Justice Brooke, vice president of the civil division of the Court of Appeal, called on the Department of Education to give schools more guidance on how to comply with their obligations under the Human Rights Act.
He ruled that that her school had:
# Unlawfully excluded her
# Unlawfully denied her the right to manifest her religion
# Unlawfully denied her access to suitable and appropriate education.
The US justice department has filed a complaint on behalf of a Muslim girl who was twice sent home from school for wearing a headscarf.
The education authorities said the hijab breached the dress code of the school in Oklahoma.
But the justice department says it amounts to religious discrimination.
America has a long history of giving refuge to immigrants who "dress funny"
Unlike some places, like
Update: Big Pharoah is less-than-pleased.
Update 2: Some kook with an obscure blog is a fan.
Update 3: When "liberal" "progress" is more important than liberty, freedom, or tradition. Why I am not a leftist.
Monday, December 20, 2004
"Report says Ont. Muslims have right to use religious law in family disputes," by Keith Leslie, Macleans, http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/politics/news/shownews.jsp?content=n122045A, 20 December 2004.
Three words I thought I'd never say: Hurrah for Canada.
TORONTO (CP) - Ontario Muslims should have the same rights as Catholics and Jews in the province to seek arbitration based on religious laws for family disputes and inheritance cases, concludes a report by former attorney general Marion Boyd.
"We're talking about arbitration based on certain religious principles . . .similar to our Charter values of equality, freedom and justice," she told reporters at a news conference.
Land of cold. Land of freedom of contract. Land of freedom of faith.
If I'm reading the law right, it's nothing beyond what the U.S. already has in different form. But it's a great step forward for our neighbors to the north.