Great days of the glorious crusades 2

From Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore, a description of what the Crusaders of the First Crusade did when they reached Jerusalem in 1099:

The fighting raged there for hours; the Franks went berserk, and killed anyone they encountered in the streets and alleyways. They cut off not only heads but hands and feet, glorying in the spurting fountains of cleansing infidel blood. Although carrying out a massacre in a stormed city was not unprecedented, the sanctimonious pride with which the perpetrators recorded it possibly was. “Wonderful sights were to be seen,” enthused one eyewitness, Raymond of Aguilers, the Count of Toulouse’s chaplain: “Our men cut off the heads of their enemies, others shot them with arrows so that they fell from the towers, others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen on the streets. It was necessary to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses.”

Babies were seized from their mothers, their heads dashed against the walls. As the barbarity escalated, “Saracens, Arabs and Ethiopians” — meaning the black Sudanese troops of the Fatimid army — took refuge on the roofs of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa. But, as they fought their way towards the Dome, the knights hacked a path across the crowded esplanade, killing and dicing through human flesh until “in the Temple [of Solomon, as the Crusaders called al-Aqsa], they rode in blood up to their bridles. Indeed it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers”.

The Jews sought refuge in their synagogues, but the Crusaders set them on fire. The Jews were burned alive, almost a climactic burnt offering in Christ’s name. Godfrey of Bouillon took off his sword and with a small entourage circled the city and prayed, before making his way to the Holy Sepulchre.

A ghoulish delight was taken in the dismemberment of the victims, which was treated almost as a sacrament. “Everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, headless bodies and mutilated limbs, strewn in all directions.” There was something even more dreadful in the wild-eyed, gore-spattered Crusaders themselves, “dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight that brought terror to all who met them.” They searched the streets of the bazaars, dragging out more victims to be “slain like sheep”. Each Crusader had been promised possession of any house marked by his “shield and arms”: consequently the pilgrims searched the city most carefully and boldly killed the citizens, culling “wives, children, whole households”, many of them “dashed headlong to the ground” from high windows.

On the 17th [July], the pilgrims (as these slaughterers called themselves) were finally sated with butchery and “refreshed themselves with the rest and food they greatly needed”.

The princes and priests made their way to the Holy Sepulchre where they sang in praise of Christ, clapping joyously and bathing the altar in tears of joy, before parading through the streets to the Temple of the Lord (the Dome of the Rock) and the Temple of Solomon. Those streets were strewn with body parts, decaying in the summer heat.

The Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade, Venetians and Franks, attacked the Christian capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople, in April, 1204. Here’s a brief description of what happened from A Short History of Byzantium by John Julius Norwich:

Once the walls were breached the carnage was dreadful. … Not for nothing had the Franks waited so long outside the world’s richest capital. Now that the customary three days’ looting was was allowed them, they fell on it like locusts. Never since the barbarian invasions had Europe witnessed such an orgy of brutality and vandalism; never in history had so much beauty, so much superb craftsmanship, been wantonly destroyed in so short a space of time. Among the witnesses was Nicetas Choniates:

They smashed the holy images and hurled the sacred relics of the Martyrs into places I am ashamed t mention, scattering everywhere the body and blood of the Saviour … As for their profanation of the Great Church, they destroyed the high altar and shared out the pieces among themselves … And they brought horses and mules into the Church, the better to carry off the holy vessels, and the pulpit, and the doors, and the furniture wherever it was to be found; and when some of these beasts slipped and fell, they ran through them with their swords, fouling the Church with their blood and ordure.

A common harlot was enthroned in the Patriarch’s chair, to hurl insults at Jesus Christ; and she sang bawdy songs, and danced immodestly in the holy place … nor was their mercy shown to virtuous matrons, innocent maids or even virgins consecrated to God …

“And these men,” he continues, “carried the Cross on their shoulders, the Cross upon which they had sworn to abstain from the pleasures of the flesh until their holy task was done.”

It was Constantinople’s darkest hour – even darker, perhaps, than that which was to see the city’s final fall to the Ottoman Sultan. But not all its treasures perished. While the Franks abandoned themselves to a frenzy of destruction, the Venetians kept their heads. They too looted – but they did not destroy. They knew beauty when they saw it. All that they could lay their hands on they sent back to Venice – beginning with the four great bronze horses which, from their high platform above the main door of St. Mark’s, were to dominate the Piazza for the next eight centuries. …

The Fourth Crusade … surpassed even its predecessors in faithlessness and duplicity, in brutality and greed. By the sack of Constantinople, Western civilization suffered a loss greater than the sack of Rome in the fifth century or the burning of the library of Alexandria on the seventh – perhaps the most catastrophic loss in all history, Politically, too, the damage was incalculable. Byzantium never recovered any considerable part of its lost dominion. Instead, the Empire was left powerless to defend itself against the Ottoman tide. There are few greater ironies in history than the fact that the fate of Eastern Christendom should have bean sealed by men who fought under the banner of the Cross.

 

(Hat-tip to Cogito for the Montefiore quotation)

Posted under Christianity, History, War by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 5, 2017

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The moral messages of religious myths (2) 6

In our post No problem for atheists (June 28, 2017), we include a video clip of Professor Jordan Peterson (whom we much admire and usually agree with on political issues) in which he talked about myths of religion.

We quote from that post:

[Professor Jordan Peterson] thinks that atheists such as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins do not realize that the ethics they take for granted are predicated on a long tradition of moral principles encapsulated in the myths of religion. The myths convey, down through the ages, the “higher”, the “transcendent” morality – which, he says, “can be personified in the idea of God”.  Those moral principles, he suggests, are not just divinely revealed, they can be said to define and constitute the Divine itself.

The implication is that at certain moments in ancient history, revelations of some “transcendent” moral truths were imparted to certain men. If not by a god at least from some source of divine wisdom. And because these come from that “higher” source, they are the right guides for human behavior.

So they possess, in Professor Peterson’s opinion – as in the opinion of his fellow believers – a validity for all human beings for as long as the human race exists.

Subsequently we critically examined the myth of “the Fall”, the story of Adam and Eve, in our post The moral messages of religious myths (1), (June 29, 2017).

Here now are some observations on the story of Cain and Abel.

First, here is the story as told in Chapter 4 of the Book of Genesis, verses 1-17, in the King James Version of the Hebrew bible:

 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.  And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.  And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.  And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?  And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.  And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;  When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.  And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.  Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.  And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.  And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

What are we told?

The first man and woman had two sons. [No mention is made of daughters.]

One son, Abel, raised sheep. The other son, Cain, cultivated the land for plant food.

Abel took some of his mutton and made a [burnt] offering of it to God. Cain did the same with some of his vegetables.

God in some way not told indicated that he accepted the offering of Abel and rejected the offering of Cain.

Cain, apparently out of jealousy, killed Abel.

God punished Cain. He told him he’d have a much harder time in future raising food, and he would henceforth be a fugitive and vagabond.

Cain complained that “every one” who found him as fugitive and vagabond would kill him.

To save him from this, God put a mark on him. [We are not told what the mark looked like, where on him it was put, or how it signaled to those who would kill him that God forbade them to do so – or who these people are who have suddenly appeared upon the earth.]

Cain left the vicinity of Eden (from which his father and mother had been exiled)  and moved east to a land called Nod (when and by whom is not told). There he and his wife – presumably a sister of his – have a son called Enoch.

There follows, in the next few verses (not quoted), a list of Enoch’s descendants. His sons and grandsons all have wives. A female descendant is mentioned.

What messages can we extract from the story?

Our common ancestor was a murderer. A fratricide.

God likes meat (fatty meat), not vegetables.

Can anything in the story provide a message of eternal validity for all people at all times?

That killing is wrong?

That fratricide is wrong? 

That it is wrong not to be our brothers’  keepers?

That we are all brothers and it is wrong to kill each other?

(Certainly not that it is wrong for a man to marry his sister.)

Whatever the wrong is, it  is not to be punished by death but by hardship.

What moral message of eternal validity does Professor Peterson extract from the story?

He lays stress on the “sacrifice”.  

Here is a link to a YouTube video in which he talks about it at some length (starting on the subject of Cain and Abel and their sacrifices at about the 8.50 mark).

He asks, ‘Why do people make sacrifices to God?” He observes that some of his students, or their families, may have made sacrifices in order to pay for them to go to university, his implication being that we can all understand the idea of sacrifice. We give up something in the hope that by doing so we gain something else that we desire.

He says that “before the invention of electricity or even fire” [?], people looked up at the lights in the night sky. They saw the infinite (“the fact of the infinite”, he says), and thought that “God resides there”.  That, he says, is not a primitive idea, it is “an intelligent and creative hypothesis”.

Having hypothesized that God resides up there, “You burn something  and the smoke rises” and “God gets a crack at determining the quality of your offering”.  

We cannot see that sacrificing something to God in the hope of getting something else – traditionally in many religions that something else being prosperity, progeny, good health, long life, ultimately heaven – is anything more than superstition.

He might say we belittle the story. We think he magnifies its significance as an eternally valid moral lesson about sacrifice.

We might agree more if the chief message of the story is that it is wrong to kill, and that we have a moral duty to each other, at least of restraint. To us that is a rational assumption in the interest of self-preservation, while to him it is a principle taught to us by this religious myth.   

We rely on our readers to correct us if we have overlooked something in the story that makes it convey, down through the ages, the “higher, transcendent morality”.

Posted under Christianity, Judaism, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 21, 2017

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Islam wins because it is a religion of hate and cruelty 2

For centuries in Europe the Christian idea that everyone should love everyone else, forgive any and all offense, was honored more in the breach than the observance. The doctrine of pity, mercy, humility and self-denial was taught by the Catholic and Protestant churches, while they oppressed, imprisoned, tortured, and burnt to death countless men, women and children. For a thousand years and more Europe practiced blatant, official, Christian hypocrisy.

Now, according to recent (April 2017) research by The Telegraph, fourteen of the 23 least religious countries in the world are European. Poland “stands out against the rest of Europe, with 86 per cent answering ‘yes’ to the question “do you feel religious?” Only “around three in 10 Britons feel religious” (while “56 per cent of Americans” do).

But now, when Europe no longer preaches the doctrine, it is at last officially practicing it.

Almost the entire continent is martyring itself.

Giulio Meotti writes at Gatestone:

September 2015. Thousands of Syrian migrants crossing the Balkan route were heading toward Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel was on the phone with Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, talking about a number of measures to protect the borders, where thousands of policemen were secretly located along with buses and helicopters. De Maizière turned for advice to Dieter Romann, then head of the police. “Can we live with the images that will come out?” de Mazière asked. “What happens if 500 refugees with children in their arms run toward the border guards?”

De Maiziére was told that the appropriate use of the measures to be taken would have be decided by the police on the field. When de Maizière relayed Romann’s response to the Chancellor, Merkel reversed her original commitment. And the borders were opened for 180 days.

“For historical reasons, the Chancellor feared images of armed German police confronting civilians on our borders,” writes Robin Alexander, Die Welt’s leading journalist, who revealed these details in a new book, Die Getriebenen (“The Driven Ones”). Alexander reveals the real reason that pushed Merkel to open the door to a million and a half migrants in a few weeks: “In the end, Merkel refused to take responsibility, governing through the polls.” This is how the famous Merkel’s motto “Wir schaffen das” was born: “We can do it.”

According to Die Zeit:

Merkel and her people are convinced that the marchers could only be stopped with the help of violence: with water cannons, truncheons and pepper spray. It would be chaotic and the images would be horrific. Merkel is extremely wary of such images and of their political impact, and she is convinced that Germany wouldn’t tolerate them. Merkel once said that Germany wouldn’t be able to stand the images from the dismal conditions in the refugee camp at Calais for more than three days. But how much more devastating would images be of refugees being beaten as they try to get to Austria or Germany?

Merkel’s refugee policy was not a masterpiece of humanitarian politics; it was dictated by the fear of television images spread all over the world. In so many key moments, it is the photograph that dictates our behavior: the image that dishonors us, that makes us cringe in horror.

Now, the main German sentiment that seems to be driving public opinion and politics is a dramatic sense of guilt. It is a “secular sin”, according to a new book by German sociologist Rolf Peter Sieferle that is topping the German bestseller list, “Finis Germania“.

The behavior of Germans during the current migrant crisis, however, is symbolic of a more general Western condition. On April 30, 1975, the fall of Saigon was part of a war fought and lost by the United States as much on television as in the Vietnamese forests and rice paddies. It ended with the the escape of helicopters from the rooftop of the US embassy.

In 1991, the imagery of the “highway of death” of Saddam Hussein’s bombed army of thugs fleeing a plundered Kuwait also shocked the public in the West, and led to calls for an immediate cessation of the fighting in Iraq and Kuwait. The result was that Saddam Hussein’s air force and Republican Guard divisions were spared; during the “peace” that followed, it was these troops who butchered Kurds and Shiites.

The photograph of a dead American soldier dragged through the streets of Mogadishu after the “Black Hawk Down” incident pushed President Bill Clinton to order a shameful retreat from Somalia. That photograph also led the US Administration to rethink and cancel plans to use US troops for United Nations peace operations in Bosnia, Haiti and other strategic points. General David Petraeus would describe America’s engagement in Afghanistan as a “war of perception”.

Even the suffering of our enemies disturbs us, in the humanitarian culture of the West. We are therefore increasingly amenable to policies of appeasement, censorship and retreat, in order not to have to face the possibility of such horribleness and actually having to fight it.

That is why radical Islam has been able to horrify the West into submission. We have paralysed ourselves. We censor the cartoons, the graphic photos of the terrorists’ victims and even the faces and names of the jihadists. The Islamic terrorists, on the other hand, are not publicity-seekers; they are soldiers ready to die and kill in the name of what they care about.

This week, the German media was shocked by the revelation that the German air force will probably come under fire during its Syrian mission. “Endangering German soldiers!” — with an exclamation point – wrote Bild, the largest-selling newspaper in Germany. The statement exposed the anxiety of what John Vinocur of the Wall Street Journal called a “country where the army and air force basically do not fight”. A pacifist Germany is now a source of trouble also for its own neighbors, such as Poland. “For centuries, our main worry in Poland was a very strong German army”, said former Polish Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz. “Today, we’re seriously worried about German armed forces that are too weak.”

The Western establishment censors images of our enemies’ crimes while giving prominence to our “guilt”. The French government censored the “gruesome torture” of the victims at the Bataclan Theater, who were castrated, disemboweled and had their eyes gouged out by the Islamist terrorists. It was a mistake: it was in the public interest to know exactly what enemy we are facing.

The FBI and Department of Justice released a transcript of the Orlando jihadist’s 911 call, but omitted all reference to the terror group ISIS and to Islam. These authorities did not want the public to know that Omar Mateen identified himself as an “Islamic soldier”.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance then told the British press it should not report when terrorists are Muslim.

The CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo, suspended accounts that showed photographs of the beheading of John Foley, along with other Islamist beheadings and savagery. But Twitter did not mind being flooded by images of a little dead boy, Alan (Aylan) Kurdi on a beach.

The mainstream media in the US fought hard to lift the photo ban on military coffins during the war in Iraq. Its goal, apparently, was to humiliate and intimidate the public, to lower the support for the war.

Images, as in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, are published only if they amplify the West’s sense of guilt and turn the “war on terror” into something even more dangerous than the jihad causing the war.

Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Irene Khan – referring to concentration camps in the Soviet Union, where millions of people perished – infamously called Guantanamo “the Gulag of our time”. The result is to erase our enemy from our imagination. This is how the “war on terror” has become synonymous with lawlessness throughout the West.

Ten years ago, after the brave surge in Iraq, US soldiers discovered Al Qaeda’s torture chambers. No one – not ABC, not CBS, not the New York Times – published one photo of them; they just filled our eyes with naked bodies at Abu Ghraib.

We are utopian technophiles and, contrary to the traditional Western view that we are flawed human beings in a tragic world. We now believe in Mark Zuckerberg’s brave new world where no one should ever suffer and everyone should be happy and peaceful all the time. That is an exorbitant dream. For a short time we can afford it, as with Angela Merkel and Europe’s migrant crisis. Unfortunately, that fantasy will not last. The conflicts at our gates, together with our aversion to making hard choices, will exact a far higher price.

The moral messages of religious myths (1) 12

[Continued from the post immediately below.]

Dr. Peterson says that it is the body of religious myths that carry the “transcendent values” that provide us with eternal guidance to moral rectitude.

So from time to time we will look at the myths themselves.

Today, the myth of the first Man and Woman in the Garden of Eden and their Sin, aka the myth of the Fall of Man.

The message of the myth of Eden presents itself as this: by becoming aware of good and evil, humankind lost its innocence. In a state of innocence, human beings could have lived forever; but  getting to know good and evil made them guilty. Their getting to know good and evil was their Sin. Because they were guilty of Sin, they had to die. Sin made them mortal.

Their discovery of morality made them mortal? Once they could tell right from wrong they deserved to die?  

Yes.

How did they discover morality?

They ate of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They did this despite being ordered by God their Maker not to eat the Fruit of that Tree. Why did they disregard God’s order ? Because they were  tempted to. The First Woman was tempted to eat the fruit by a Serpent who dwelt in the Tree. She succumbed to temptation. The First Man was tempted to eat the Fruit by the Woman who had already done so. He succumbed to temptation. Hence their Fall from Grace, their Loss of Innocence, their expulsion from the easy life of the fruitful Garden, their eventual Deaths.

It could be observed that the real Tempter was God who put the Tree there in the first place. (Also the snake.) No tree, no temptation, no fall.  So why did he put it there?

Religion does not encourage the asking of why. But it is asked, and the usual answer is that God put it there to test them. He gave them the capacity to choose – aka Free Will – and they chose wrong. Point is, they came to know Good and Evil. That’s how humanity came to know Good and Evil, and because our species came to know Good and Evil our lives must come to an end.

So the “transcendent value”, the precept, the moral in the myth by which everyone, consciously or unconsciously, is living by  – or failing to live by – today is … what?

Hard to see. Sure, the myth gives an explanation, if a rather puzzling one, to those who wonder why we must all die; why the God they are told is all-good, all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful, condemns us all to death.

Our remote ancestors did something very wicked: they disobeyed God and ate something they shouldn’t have, so  that’s why?

Yes.

Okay, but is there an actual, useful, moral precept in all that? A do or a don’t for us to follow? After all, the Fruit cannot be un-eaten. No action can be taken by you or me now that will undo what the First Man and Woman did, make us immortal again, put us back in the ever-fruitful Garden, wipe  the knowledge of right and wrong clean out of our brains …

And come to think of it, why is it a sin to know the difference between right and wrong?

Sorry. Don’t know. That why does not seem to have been answered, even reluctantly, by interpreters of the myth!

Okay, well how about this for the moral message?: You must not disobey God. Obeying him now won’t save you from death, but it might keep you from getting him angry and condemning you to some awful punishment.

Mm-hmm. So how will I know what God wants me to do and not do?

We can learn that from the myths of the Bible.

Can we?

We’ll try to find out by exploring more of them in the near future.

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Judaism, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 29, 2017

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The evil of religion 1

Sam Harris on the inferiority of Islam, the superiority of the West. And the evil of religion.

The School of Athens

Part of a mural by Raphael (1403-1520) in the  Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, Rome.

The evil creator god 3

Irish police are now “investigating” Stephen Fry [“Jeeves”] for blasphemy.

Here’s a video of the television interview that caused offense: Stephen Fry on RTE, the partly state-owned Irish national public broadcaster, in February 2015.

From Wikipedia:

In Ireland, blasphemy against Christianity is prohibited by the constitution and carries a maximum fine of €25,000; however the offense of blasphemous libel, last prosecuted in 1855, was ruled in 1999 to be incompatible with the Constitution’s guarantee of religious equality. A controversial law was passed on 9 July 2009 and went into effect on 1 January 2010. The law prohibits publishing or uttering “matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion”.

No charges have been brought under that law until possibly now.

Stephen Fry is being “investigated”  – after all this time – but how likely is he to be prosecuted?

The complainant who set the wheels of justice turning in the case accused Fry not of blasphemy but of “defamation”. Blasphemy comes under the heading of Defamation in the Act, and is a crime.

Usually, defamation is a matter for civil action. But can someone sue someone for defaming someone else? Especially when the someone else is of dubious existence and no fixed address, so he cannot be subpoenaed to testify.

Hmm. But it would be delightful to hear Fry’s accusations repeated in court. And as long as his accusers insist that “God” is real, and really did create everything, how will they answer the defense that Fry’s accusations of his evil-doing are true and that by their own claims he is responsible for them?

It’s a fascinating encounter between moral indignation (Fry’s) and moral hypocrisy (his accusers’).

*

Update May 10, 2017:

Gardaí [the Irish police] have decided not to proceed with a blasphemy investigation against Stephen Fry after they failed to find a large group of people outraged by comments he made on an RTÉ show. …

Under the controversial legislation, introduced by then Justice Minister Dermot Ahern in 2009, it is illegal to publish or utter a matter that is “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion”.

How many make “a substantial number”?

That the gardaí are not revealing.

Posted under Christianity, Judaism, Theology by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 7, 2017

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Civilization’s fulcrum moment 13

This is a fulcrum moment in the history of civilized man. (Yes, MAN – the correct generic term for the human race.) What is happening to the Western world now is equivalent to the fall of the Roman Empire.

If most of Europe becomes Islamized, as it is fast becoming by the will and action of the Left – and all the governments of Western Europe are on the Left even those that call themselves Conservative – then where and how, if at all, will our civilization survive?

If most of Europe becomes Islamized, what will remain of European civilization in its homelands?

Imagine a map of Europe showing the thousands of square miles of vineyards. Think of the grapes, and the harvests, and the process of wine-making – the generations of practice and discovery that have perfected it. Do you enjoy drinking wine? Well, there will be no more for you to enjoy. Not from Europe. It will go. All those vineyards will be laid to waste. Islam forbids the drinking of alcohol.

So also beer, ale, whisky … the industries and the pleasure will all be gone. Your cosy village pub? Gone. Your  cocktail hour? Gone. Allah does not permit them to exist.

Now think of the art galleries of Europe. The pictures, the sculpture. Islam forbids the making of images of human beings and animals. Nudes in particular are haram. What will be done with Leonardo, Michelangelo, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Bernini? Their works will be destroyed. The pictures will be burnt. The sculptures will be hammered into dust.

Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne

What will be done with the libraries? They contain millions of books that are blasphemous in the judgment of Islam. They will all be destroyed.

What will be done with the schools and universities? What will they be allowed to teach? What will scientists be allowed to do? We know the answers to those questions.

Do you love music? You will not hear the great works of the European composers performed any more. Not in Europe. The concert halls will probably be turned into mosques.

What will be the position of women in Islamic Europe? We all know the answer to that. If Western women were “liberated” in the twentieth century, come the late twenty-first century their brief age of liberty will be over.

What will happen to homosexuals under Islamic rule? Islamic law decrees that they must be put to death.

If you are a Christian or a Jew, and insist on remaining a Christian or a Jew rather than joining Islam, you may be allowed to live if you pay protection money to your Islamic overlords. But don’t count on it. Muslim powers have not shown themselves to be in a merciful mood lately. Christians are being slaughtered even in comparatively tolerant Islamic countries such as Egypt; and in what used to be Iraq and Syria they are being mass-murdered, tortured and enslaved by the caliphate of the Islamic State. And Jews? How likely are they to be allowed to exist under any circumstances? As for atheists – they will have to pretend to believe in Allah-and-his-Prophet, or die.

There will be no more fair trials. In Britain, the adversarial system with its safeguards for the innocent of guaranteed defense, cross-examination of witnesses, rules of evidence, juries, will be abolished. On the continent the inquisitorial system – examination by magistrates “to find the truth” – will also be abolished. Sharia law will replace the old systems and codes. An example of sharia justice? If a woman claims she has been raped and cannot prove it by producing four male witnesses who will swear to having seen penetration, she is held to be guilty of adultery; her punishment for adultery is death. The method of her execution? She is buried tightly up to her shoulders in a hole in a public place, and rocks are hurled at her head until she dies.

None of this is fantasy. Europe has in fact invited mass Muslim immigration. The Muslim fertility rate far exceeds that of the indigenous Europeans. Islam will predominate and rule.

It is probably too late to stop this happening. Just possibly a strong British government that grasps the horror of the impending doom, might – with Brexit accomplished and the nation being once again in a position to make its own policies – stop the Muslim influx, reduce the Muslim population, and preserve British culture, law, and freedom. Some Eastern European countries are refusing to let the Muslim “refugees” in, so there European traditions and culture might be preserved for a while.

There was some hope for the Netherlands had the voters, in their recent elections, empowered the party and the leader who would have saved them from Islamization. But they did not.

The last chance for Europe comes in a few days from now, on May 7, 2017, when two candidates for the presidency compete in a run-off election in France. If the voters choose Marine Le Pen, who does grasp the horror of the impending doom, France may be saved; and since she would probably take the country out of the European Union  and so break up that corrupt undemocratic pro-Islamic entity, Europe may be saved. Europe’s viticulture may continue. Citizens of Western countries may be able to drink French, German, Italian and Spanish wines. The art galleries may remain filled with pictures and sculpture. Music may be played in the concert halls. Scientists may be allowed to pursue science. Freedom, tolerance, justice, reason, may prevail at least to the extent that they have prevailed since the Enlightenment. The nation states of Europe may continue to exist and govern themselves.

But if a majority of the French vote for the only other candidate, Emmanuel Macron, who wants more Muslim immigration and the continuing existence of the European Union, the doom will be ensured.

 

Jillian Becker    April 24, 2017

Equality and inclusiveness in terrorism 1

To understand the bland dullness of mind that rules the European world and as much of the globe as it can influence, one has only to watch this video put out by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:

A full display of moral self-satisfaction in total innocence of any knowledge of human nature, history, and the present state of the world that might contaminate the pure vision of the virtuous.

From Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey:

A decade or so ago the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was still a champion of civil liberties and free expression.

The OSCE was formed during the Cold War (as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, CSCE) to challenge the Soviet Union to engage in truth-telling. It could rightly claim a share of the credit for prompting the push towards glasnost that eventually dissolved the U.S.S.R. With its headquarters in Warsaw, where memories of Soviet repression remained fresh, the OSCE managed to hold onto its mission for more than a decade after the Iron Curtain disappeared from Europe.

But not anymore.

An alliance of globalists and Muslims gradually has infiltrated and subverted virtually all the institutional components of the OSCE. To achieve their disparate ends, both subversive groups have been using the same weapon: Politically Correct Multiculturalism, a.k.a. Cultural Marxism. PC/MC is an effective tool for sapping the civic will among well-meaning Westerners to maintain a commitment to free speech. With its goal of eliminating “racism”, “xenophobia”, and “intolerance”, an illiberal political culture has formed at the OSCE that is diametrically opposed to the principles of those who founded it.

“Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) is simply the latest component of the Cultural Marxist Narrative. It was concocted by an alliance between Islam and the Globalist Left as a means to suppress dissent and block any criticism of Islam. Pushed by the [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] OIC at the UN, it has trickled down into other transnational institutions such as the EU and the OSCE.

Under the Obama administration, CVE was adopted wholeheartedly by the U.S. government, and became official American policy. 

CVE tells us that by focusing on Islamic terrorism we are engaging in several doubleplus ungood forms of behavior:

1.We are discriminating against Muslims by only paying attention to Islamic terrorism, and ignoring other forms of violent extremism

2.Also, since the U.N. has ruled that “Islamophobia” is a form of racism, we are being racist in our discrimination against Muslims

3.To prove that we are tolerant and inclusive, we must spend equal amounts of time, money, and energy in the struggle against other types of violent extremists, including (but not limited to), nationalist extremists, Christian extremists, neo-fascists, neo-Nazis, and anti-immigration activists

4.If we can’t find any examples of #3 to hand, we must ignore Islam while we continue searching for fascists and Nazis and Christian terrorists, and not give up until we find some.

So terrorism is okay if it is carried out in the name of Islam – as long as no one except the terrorist says it is in the name of Islam. Meanwhile, the search is on for terrorists acting in the name of some – any – other religion or ideology or cause.

Because only if someone other than a Muslim does it, terrorism is not okay?

That would be the logic of the CVE position. But they wouldn’t say it.

Their expressed idea is that terrorism is bad but nobody who carries it out in the name of his cause is bad. It is the same old Christian position that the sin is to be condemned, but not the sinner. Though they wouldn’t say that either.

When you scrape off all the globalist PC gobbledygook, the above, in a nutshell, is the essence of CVE.

The net effect is to rule all discussion of Islam off the table.

This removes the tether that attaches “extremism” to any concrete ideology, and makes it into a free-floating constellation of behaviors that just appear out of nowhere and somehow inexplicably “radicalize” people, causing them to engage in violence for no discernible reason. …

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has dedicated an entire section of its website to “OSCE United in Countering Violent Extremism”.

Its mission statement:

We must all rise to the challenge of responding to the corrosive appeal of violent extremism by promoting tolerance, mutual respect, pluralism, inclusion, and cohesion.

Notice how vague and squishy those positive characteristics are. We don’t know exactly what they are, but it sure makes us feel virtuous to promote them!

The negative characteristics are at least as ill-defined, especially “hate”. …

Here’s the official description of the campaign:

Terrorism is a crime that has no justification, and it should not be associated with any race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. …

“Terrorism… should not be associated with any… religion.”

But what if it is?

What do you do if, despite those bland assurances, terrorism does happen to be associated with a religion?

What if terrorism is associated with one particular religion to such an extent that violence by any other religion is dwarfed into insignificance by comparison?

What if all the data available point inexorably to the conclusion that more than 99% of violent acts committed in the name of a religion by adherents of that religion are committed by Muslims in the name of Islam?

Well… According to the diktat embraced by the OSCE, you must not talk about the massive incidence of Islamic terrorism.

The topic simply may not be discussed. It has been ruled off the turf. Anyone who refers to it is prima facie guilty of “hate speech”, and may be subject to disapproval, shunning, professional sanctions, and possibly even prosecution.

That’s what CVE is all about. …

[But] what  is “extremism”? The word “extreme” is not a stand-alone concept; it is an intensifier used to modify nouns or other adjectives, similar to “very”. The word “verism” doesn’t make any sense. Why should we consider “extremism” to be any more meaningful?

“Extreme” and “extremism” have no utility unless they accompany meaningful substantives. For example, the phrases “extreme nationalist” or “nationalist extremist” have meaning, and it might be possible to define them in a useful way.

The real issue, of course, is the phrase “Islamic extremism”, which has been ruled off the turf. We are obliged to eliminate the word “Islamic”, leaving “extremism” to stand all by itself. Which is absurd — without a substantive companion, it has no meaning whatsoever.

And what about “hate”?

Hatred is a feeling, a passion held in the heart. It is not visible, audible, or tangible, and has no observable characteristics unless it is expressed by the person who holds it.

This makes the phrase “hate speech” a nebulous concept, one that is easily manipulated to serve an ideological purpose for the dominant political agenda. If I am in a position of power, and I don’t like your opinion, I can construe it as “hateful”, thereby causing you to be ostracized, fired from your job, and/or prosecuted.

These are just two examples of ill-defined terms that are employed indiscriminately for pernicious political purposes. Undefined or ill-defined terms should especially be avoided when the use of those words is intended to deprive people of their civil liberties — which is exactly the opposite of the purpose for which the OSCE was founded.

OSCE is now a very dangerous organization.

 

(Hat-tip to our British associate, Chauncey Tinker)

Now the final stages of the struggle for the survival of our civilization 1

Bernard Lewis, the greatest living expert on Islam, its history and ideology, says in this interview (published 2011) that we are in “the final stages” of the centuries-long struggle between “the true believers and the unbelievers and the misbelievers”. Formerly it was between Islam and Christianity. In our time, it is between Islam and the secular West.

What is at stake?” he is asked.

He replies: “The survival of our civilization.”

Posted under Christianity, Commentary, Islam, jihad, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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The need for religion – a craving for tyranny 2

Why do tens of millions in the West prostrate themselves before advancing, conquering, oppressive Islam?

Why do millions of Americans still vote for the Democratic Party?

This essay offers a chilling explanation.

It is from Jihad Watch, by Alexander Maistrovoy:

“Progressive man” refuses to recognize the crimes of Islam, not because he is naive, fine-tempered or tolerant. He does it because, unconsciously or subconsciously, he has already accepted Islam as a religion of salvation. As he accepted Stalinism, Hitlerism, Maoism and the “Khmer Rouge” before it 

Joseph de Maistre, a French aristocrat of the early 19th century, argued that man cannot live without religion, and not religion as such, but the tyrannical and merciless one. He was damned and hated, they called him an antipode of progress and freedom, even a forerunner of fascism; however, progressives proved him right again and again.

It may be true of most people that they “cannot live without religion”, but it is not true of all. We wonder how, since the Enlightenment, and especially now in our Age of Science, people can live with a religion. We agree, however, that those who need a religion are not put off by its being “tyrannical and merciless”.

Is there a religion, whether deity-worshiping or secular, that is not tyrannical and merciless?  

In their nihilistic ecstasy, Homo progressicus threw God off the pedestal, trampled upon the humanistic ideal of Petrarch, Alberti and Leonardo Bruni, who relied on Reason and strove for virtue, and … found themselves in complete and gaping emptiness. They realized that they could not live without the God-man — the idol, the leader, the ruler, who would rely on the unshakable, ruthless idea of salvation — not in the other world, but in this real world here and now. And with all the passion so inherent to their shallow, unstable, infantile nature, they rushed out in search of their “prince on a white horse”.

The idols of the progressives were tyrants armed with the most progressive ideology: Robespierre, and after him Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and finally — Islam.

Islam does not, of course, claim to be “progressive”. It derives from – and is stuck in – the Dark Ages. But the self-styled progressives of the West are welcoming it and submitting to it.

In the 20th century, the Western intelligentsia was infected with red and brown bacilli.

Walter Duranty ardently denied the Holodomor.

That is Stalin’s forced famine in the Ukraine that killed many millions. Walter Duranty denied that it was happening in his New York Times reports.

Bernard Shaw and Romain Rolland justified OGPU terror and the kangaroo court in Moscow; Aragon, Barbusse (the author of the apologetic biography of Stalin: Stalin. A New World Seen Through the Man) and Jean-Richard Bloch glorified “the Father of nations”.

“I would do nothing against Stalin at the moment; I accepted the Moscow trials and I am prepared to accept those in Barcelona,” said Andre Malraux during the massacre of anarchists from POUM [the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification] by Communists in Barcelona in 1937.

Let’s guess: who is writing about whom? “Lonely overbearing man … damned disagreeable”, “friendly and commonplace”, possessing “an intelligence far beyond dogmatism” … “sucked thoughtfully at the pipe he had most politely asked my permission to smoke  I have never met a man more fair, candid, and honest”. Got it? It was Stalin, as portrayed by H. G. Wells.

How many sufferings – Solzhenitsyn recalled — were caused by progressive Western journalists, who after having visited the GULAG, praised Potemkin villages with allegedly heated barracks where political prisoners used to read Soviet newspapers sitting at clean neat tables? Indeed, Arthur Ransome (The Guardian), an American journalist and a fan of Mao, Agnes Smedley, New York reporter Lincoln Steffens (after the meeting with Lenin he wrote,“I have seen the future and it works”), Australian-British journalist Leonore Winter (the author of the book  called Red Virtue: Human Relations in the New Russia) and many others sympathized with the Bolsheviks and the Soviet Union. Juan Benet, a famous Spanish writer, suggested “strengthening the guards (in GULAG), so that people like Solzhenitsyn would not escape”. The Los Angeles Times published Alexander and Andrew Cockburn, who were Stalin’s admirers.

Hitler? Knut Hamsun, Norwegian novelist who won the Nobel Prize, described Hitler in an obituary as a “fighter for humanity and for the rights of all nations”. The “amorousness” of Martin Heidegger for the “leader of the Third Reich” is well known. In the 1930s, the Führer was quite a respectable person in the eyes of the mass media. Anne O’Hare McCormick – a foreign news correspondent for the New York Times (she got a Pulitzer Prize) — described Hitler after the interview with him: he is “a rather shy and simple man, younger than one expects, more robust, taller … His eyes are almost the color of the blue larkspur in a vase behind him, curiously childlike and candid … His voice is as quiet as his black tie and his double-breasted black suit … Herr Hitler has the sensitive hand of the artist.”

The French elites were fascinated by Hitler. Ferdinand Celine said that France would not go to “Jewish war”, and claimed that there was an international Jewish conspiracy to start the world war. French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet rendered honors to Ribbentrop, and novelist, essayist and playwright Jean Giraudoux said that he was “fully in agreement with Hitler when he states that a policy only reaches its highest form when it is racial”.

The Red Guards of Chairman Mao caused deadly convulsions in China and ecstatic [sympathetic] rage in Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Jan Myrdal, Charles Bettelheim, Alain Badiou and Louis Pierre Althusser. In Paris, Barbusse and Aragon created “the pocket monster” — Enver Hoxha [Communist dictator of Albania]; at Sorbonne University, Sartre worked out “the Khmer Rouge Revolution” of Pol Pot, Hu Nima, and Ieng Sary. Noam Chomsky characterized the proofs of Pol Pot’s genocide as “third rate” and complained of a “vast and unprecedented propaganda campaign against the Khmer Rouge”. Gareth Porter, winner of the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, said in May 1977: “The notion that the leadership of Democratic Kampuchea adopted a policy of physically eliminating whole classes of people was … a myth.”

In the 70’s, the whole world already knew the truth about the Red Guards. However, German youth from the Socialist Union of German Students went out  on demonstrations with portraits of the “Great Helmsman” and the song “The East is Red”.

In the USA, they went into the streets holding red flags and portraits of Trotsky and Che Guevara, and dream of “Fucking the System” like their idol Abbie Hoffman. The hatred of “petty bourgeois philistines”, as Trotsky named ordinary people, together with the dream of guillotines, bayonets, and “red terror”, keep inspiring Western intellectuals like Tariq Ali, the author of the revolutionary manual Trotsky for Beginners.

“The middle class turned out to be captured by ‘bourgeois-bohemian Bolshevism’,” Pascal Bruckner wrote.

Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot passed away, but new heroes appeared in their places. Leading employees of CNN – reporter Peter Arnett, producer Robert Wiener and director of news department Eason T. Jordan – had excellent relations with close associates of Saddam Hussein, pretending they didn’t know anything about his atrocities. Hollywood stars set up a race of making pilgrimages to Castro and Chavez. Neo-Marxist professors and progressive intellectuals, such as Dario Fo, Jean Baudrillard and Martin Amis, welcomed the triumph of al-Qaeda on September 11.

The romanticization of  the “forged boot” and “iron hand”, the worship of “lonely overbearing” men with “the sensitive hand of the artist” — this explains the amazing easiness with which recent anarchists, pacifists, Marxists, atheists, after having changed a couple  of ideologies, burden themselves with the most primitive, barbaric and despotic religion of our time: Islam.

Atheists of the Left only, being atheists who dispense with belief in the supernatural but still need a religion.

What they crave for is not religion as such. They don’t want Buddhism, Bahaism, Zoroastrianism, or even the mild Islam of the Sufi or Ahmadiyya version. They want a religion that would crush them, rape their bodies and souls, and destroy their ego — one that would terrify them and make them tremble with fear, infirmity and impotence.

Only bloodthirsty medieval Islam is able to do this today. It alone possesses unlimited cruelty and willingness to burn everything on its way. And they  gather like moths flying to the flame: communists Roger Garaudy, “Carlos the Jackal”, Trond Ali Linstad, Malcolm X, Alys Faiz; human rights defenders Jemima Goldsmith, Keith Ellison, and Uri Davis, the fighter against Zionism for the rights of the Palestinians. Fathers favor Castro, such as Oliver Stone; their sons accept Islam, such as Sean Stone. According to a public opinion poll conducted in August 2014 (Madeline Grant, Newsweek), “16% of French citizens support ISIS”. There are 7% to 8% of Muslims living in France. Who makes up the rest 8% to 9%?

Ken Livingstone, Jeremy Corbyn, John Brennan, Hollywood stars, Ylva Johansson, Sweden’s Integration Minister, who like her boss Stefan Löfven claimed that “there was no connection between crime and immigration”; Michael Fabricant, a former vice-chair of the Tory party, who said that “some conservative Anglicans are the same as ISIS”; German politicians that established a media watchdog to “instruct the press to censor ethnicity and religion in crime reports” (a modification of Soviet censure); the Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips, who believes that it is inevitable to recognize Sharia courts in Great Britain; atheist-apologist for Islam (O my God!) CJ Werleman; Canadian Liberals, who support  the anti-Islamophobia motion; Georgetown professor Jonathan Brown, who justifies slavery and raping of female slaves; Wendy Ayres-Bennett, a UK professor who is urging Brits to learn Urdu and Punjabi to make Muslim migrants feel welcome; Ohio State University, that offered a course on “how Muslims helped build America”; the Swedish state-owned company Lernia encouraging the replacement of standard Swedish with the “migrant-inclusive accent”; American feminists with the slogans “Allahu akbar” and “I love Islam”, who endorse the BDS movement; Swedish feminists wearing burkas in Iran; “proud  feminists” such as Elina Gustafsson and Gudrun Schyman defending Muslim criminals who raped Swedish girls – all of them and thousands of others have already converted to Islam, if not de jure, then de facto.

They appeal to Islam to escape from their fears, complexes, helplessness, and uselessness. They choose the despotism of body and spirit to deprive themselves of their freedom – the freedom that has always been an unbearable burden for their weak souls full of chimeras. They crave slavery.

They are attracted by Islam today, but it’s not about Islam. It’s about them. If Islam is defeated tomorrow and a new Genghis Khan appears with the “religion of the steppe”, or the kingdom of the Aztecs rises with priests tearing hearts from the chest of living people, they will passionately rush into their embrace. They are yearning for tyranny, and will destroy everything on their way for the sake of it. Because of them, “we shall leave this world here just as stupid and evil as we found it upon arrival”. (Voltaire)

Posted under Anarchy, Anti-Semitism, Atheism, Britain, Buddhism, Cambodia, Canada, China, Christianity, Collectivism, communism, Cuba, Environmentalism, Europe, Feminism, France, genocide, Germany, Hinduism, History, Islam, jihad, Judaism, Leftism, Marxism, media, Muslims, nazism, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinians, Progressivism, Race, Religion general, Russia, Slavery, Socialism, Soviet Union, Sweden, Terrorism, Theology, Totalitarianism, tyranny, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Sunday, April 9, 2017

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