In this video, published on May 28, 2016, Colonel Richard Kemp – former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and an expert on Middle East conflicts – discusses what the Palestinian leadership really wants.
Donald Trump has said that South Korea, Germany, and Japan should pay for the US troops stationed on their soil.
Bad enough that Americans pay for the defense of allies.
But America also gives money to its enemies; most notably to Pakistan, which, though classed as an ally, is in fact an enemy.
As far back as 2011, Americans were informed that Pakistan was helping the Taliban, the Islamic terrorist organization in Afghanistan with which they had been at war since October 2001.
Pakistan’s security service provides weapons and training to Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, Taliban commanders say, in allegations that could worsen tensions between Pakistan and the United States.
A number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders revealed the extent of Pakistani support in interviews for a BBC Two documentary series, Secret Pakistan …
A former head of Afghan intelligence also told the program that Afghanistan gave Pakistan’s former president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, information in 2006 that Osama bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan close to where the former al Qaeda leader was eventually killed by U.S. special forces in May.
Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, accused Pakistani intelligence last month of backing violence against U.S. targets including the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He said the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group blamed for the September 13 embassy attack, was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Pakistan denies the U.S. allegations.
One Taliban commander, Mullah Qaseem, told the BBC the important things for a fighter were supplies and a hiding place.
“Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. Secondly they provide us with weapons,” he said …
Other Taliban commanders described how they and their fighters were, and are, trained in a network of camps on Pakistani soil.
According to a commander using the name Mullah Azizullah, the experts running the training are either members of the ISI or have close links to it.
“They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance,” he said.
Another Taliban fighter, known as Commander Najib, said al Qaeda trainers also operated in the camps, talent spotting possible suicide bombers.
“I was in the camp for a month … They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialized in … Suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there,” he said.
And, of course, Pakistan was hiding Osama bin Laden from American revenge for 9/11 – though of course the Pakistani government denied it.
A former head of Afghan intelligence told the BBC Afghan officials gave Musharraf information in 2006 suggesting bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra, a town just 12 miles from Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May, but that the information was not acted upon.
Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghan intelligence from 2004 to 2010, said Syed Akbar, a Pakistani believed to be smuggling guns to the Taliban, told Afghan intelligence he had escorted bin Laden from one location to another.
“The information we had was suggesting Mansehra was the town where bin Laden was hiding … It happens after so many years that bin Laden was about 12 miles from that location,” he said.
Saleh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took the evidence to Musharraf who, according to Saleh, reacted angrily.
“He (Musharraf) banged the table and looked at President Karzai and said, ‘Am I president of a banana republic? If not, then how can you tell me bin Laden is hiding in a settled area of Pakistan’. I said ‘Well, this is the information so you can go and check it.’,” said Saleh …
Nothing has changed. Pakistan continues to train, equip, and protect the Taliban.
But, we learn from an article by Joe Pappalardo at Townhall, the Republican dominated US Senate intends to give that treacherous Muslim state yet more aid – to “compensate” it for “helping” the US in the war against the Taliban:
A proposal for a new fund to pay Pakistan for its assistance in the war on terror has received approval from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
Senator John McCain, committee chairman, introduced the funding bid as part of the Senate’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was passed on May 18. If Pakistan can meet all of the bill’s conditions, the new fund will grant the nation $800 million in compensation.
This new fund replaces the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) from 2013, and solely focuses on Pakistan. The CSF paid Pakistan for its support of the U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, Pakistan has received $3.1 billion, but the old fund will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The reimbursement fund will still require Pakistan to maintain communication lines to Afghanistan, and if Pakistan does not act against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network, the U.S. will withhold $300 million.
Committee members noted that removing Afghanistan operations from the fund’s objectives was timely because U.S. involvement in Afghanistan had decreased. Most U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been withdrawn, and the coalition forces will soon do the same, lawmakers said.
The House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, is just as keen to reward Pakistan:
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that also aims to reimburse Pakistan. However, it does not replace the CSF and offers $900 million with $450 million tied to acting against the Haqqani network.
The new bill marks a shift to a focus on Pakistan’s national security, which has become a major interest for America’s own national security.
Q: How exactly does America’s national security depend on the security of Pakistan?
The committee said continuing to use the CSF would hinder any U.S. support of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.
Q: What “anti-terrorism efforts” by Pakistan would those be?
If the recklessness with which the US gives aid to Pakistan looks to you like insanity, you will find your suspicions confirmed when you know that your tax money also goes to aid the extremely wealthy Islamic tyranny of Saudi Arabia, which works night and day to impose Islam upon America and the whole of the Western world.
And the insanity doesn’t stop there.
In the years when the US was supposed to have no ties whatsoever with Communist Cuba – yes! Your tax dollars were going there too.
And while you are still gaping in disbelief, there’s one more enemy you need to know you were aiding – Iran.
You will find Cuba and Iran listed as recipients of US aid here. The list makes interesting reading.
Tiffany Gabay comments at Truth Revolt:
Film maker Ami Horowitz is perhaps best known for his college expose-videos. You might recall the one he did back in 2014 when he waved an ISIS flag at the UC Berkeley campus and students witnessing the scene were either unfazed or openly expressed support for the terror-outfit.
His latest video is just as disturbing.
Horowitz visited the campus at Portland State University where he posed as a member of Hamas raising funds to “wipe Israel off the map”.
Usually I refrain from posting these types of gotcha-videos as they can be edited to make anyone simply “look bad”. But given the egregious nature of the content here, we think it worth sharing.
Horowitz asked student passersby if they would consider donating to Hamas. He openly identified Hamas as a “terrorist” organization (in case the students were too dumb to know), and told students, at least in several cases, that their donations would fund suicide bombings and attacks on schools, cafes, houses of worship and other “soft targets”. He openly told several of the students featured that Hamas’s goal is to “wipe Israel off the map”.
Is the video edited to show instances in which students may have rejected his overtures? No doubt. But there is also ample footage showing enough students who were all too happy to reach into their pockets and support the murder of innocent Israelis, including children.
At the end of the day, Horowitz said he raised “hundreds of dollars” from these pro-Hamas students.
This is no laughing matter, because this isn’t about exposing how grotesquely ignorant students are these days. This isn’t even about their misguided politics, either.
This video illustrates how the minds of an entire generation have been completely and utterly poisoned — by the media, by Hollywood, through the words of presidential candidates (read: Bernie Sanders) and most of all by their professors.
Really consider this, for a moment. There are American students who don’t even flinch when approached by a so-called Hamas member. They don’t hesitate when told that Israel should be wiped off the map. They don’t blink an eye when told that children in schools will be murdered. In fact, they are even willing to fund such an effort.
This is anti-Semitism at its most blatant. This is utter lack of humanity. Barbarism at its basest. These students barely differ from the terrorists they openly support.
This is the left’s legacy. And once again, it is a disgrace.
The four devastating mistakes of the West since the Second World War were:
- Establishing socialist welfare states – so creating classes of permanent dependents.
- Creating the European Union – its members thus losing sovereignty and democratic government, and coming under the corrupt and arbitrary rule of unelected bureaucrats.
- Allowing the influx of unlimited numbers of Muslim settlers – a continuing invasion and colonization that is likely to destroy European culture.
- The election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. In America itself, President Obama increased economic redistribution through a tyrannical health care act, reduced prosperity, and weakened the rule of law. And his feeble foreign policy effected wars, civil wars, massacres, enslavements, and a vast displacement of populations.
Can the West recover?
There is no sign that socialist policies are changing in Europe. But the European Union is under increasing strain. Britain may withdraw from it in the near future, and that could encourage other members to recover their independence. Sovereign states will be able to change their immigration policies – though it is probably too late for any European country to save itself from eventual Muslim domination.
As for America, if another “progressive” (Democratic Leftist) president follows Obama, there will be no recovery from stagnation at home and weakness abroad. But America has a chance of changing for the better if a Republican administration is elected this year.
The fate of Western civilization depends on it.
Mark Steyn talks about bad things in a recently published (April 25, 2016) video: environmentalism, Islam, state-created art.
Well worth the 27+ minutes it takes to hear it through.
We like the last few minutes best, starting at about 24.40 when he talks about how lucky we are to be living in a warm period.
The New Left, born in riot and blood in 1968, worked at taking over the institutions of the free West, and succeeded, eventually capturing the pinnacle of power with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. Those institutions which they could not dominate and turn – most importantly police forces and the military – they vilified and weakened.
Islam, assisted by the Left, has penetrated even those bastions of Western freedom. The Left made the accusation of “racism” so terrible a label, that politicians, journalists, and most private citizens would do anything to avoid being stuck with it. Islam (intensely intolerant itself) invented the idea that to criticize it was to be racist (though Islam is not a race). So while Muslims do much to make non-Muslims fear them – terrorizing them with mass slaughter – they cry that they are the victims of “Islamophobia”. And non-Muslims are so intimidated that they are submitting to Muslim domination.
In Rotherham and other cities, Muslims “groomed” hundreds of English girls in their early teens to be prostitutes, and the police would not act to save the girls for fear of being labeled racist. The British police submitted.
Now the British army …
This is from Breitbart:
British Army officers have visited and prayed at a ‘fundamentalist‘ mosque that has been linked to the 7/7, 9/11, and San Bernardino terrorist attacks, Breitbart London can reveal.
Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) – whose leadership once hosted an Al-Qaeda associate of Osama bin Laden, [and] who call on British Muslims to wage jihad against Western troops – became the focus of international scrutiny last year after San Bernardino terrorists Syed Farouk and Tashfeen Malik were found to have attended their mosques.
TJ is an offshoot of the radical Deobandi sect, founded in colonial India specifically to oppose Western culture. Their global Headquarters is in Dewsbury, England – a town that produced the leader of the 7/7 London bombings, several ISIS suicide bombers, and even Britain’s youngest convicted Islamist extremist.
The Deobandi school of thought also ‘gave birth‘ to the Taliban in Afghanistan. As British forces battled Taliban insurgents in 2001, with nearly 500 losing their lives, the Indian headquarters of the movement, the Darul Uloom Deobandi, continued to offer its explicit support to the terrorists.
“Brigade officers visit to the Zakaria Mosque. The officers were introduced to the ritual washing of hands, face and feet by Molana Farook Yunus, the project manager of [the Islamic charity] Kumon Y’All, before entering the prayer room”, announced the 4th Infantry Brigade of Catterick, North Yorkshire, on their Facebook page.
The Deobandi Zakaria mosque that the officers chose to visit sits in the Savile Town area of Dewsbury, which is 98.7 per cent South Asian and has been described as “the most segregated area in the UK“.
Another Facebook post revealed how, “the soldiers also visited the Institute of Islamic Education, a boarding school and darul uloom (Islamic seminary) in South Street”, which is located within the TJ’s headquarters.
TJ is commonly referred to as the “Army of Darkness”, and has been linked to high profile Muslim cabinet ministers, as well as being the group that Zacharias Moussaoui, a convicted 9/11 plotter, associated with.
Mr. Moussaoui was defended by the new London mayor Sadiq Khan. …
Breitbart London contacted the army to ask why they had chosen to visit Tablighi Jamaat …
An Army spokesperson [replied]:
It is vital that the Army reflects the society from which it is drawn. To do that we need to engage with all our communities and break down the myths about what the Army does and who we are. The visit to Dewsbury did exactly that and was part of a wider strategy of demonstrating that service with the British Army is entirely consistent with Islam.
It is not. Or should not be. The British army exists to protect Britons from enemies such as Islam, which exists, and has existed from its inception, to conquer the world and make all peoples submit to its savage rule.
In 1993, Tablighi Jamaat’s UK leadership hosted an Al-Qaeda associate of Osama bin Laden, who spoke to numerous future terrorists as he toured 42 TJ mosques and madrassas across Britain.
Cleric Masood Azhar spoke at three mosques in Dewsbury and Batley in West Yorkshire, including one sermon, “From jihad to jannat [paradise]”, which was heard by a “huge crowd”.
At a separate talk, he said the aim of all true Muslims must be the “elimination of the oppressive and infidel system by the blessing of jihad” and promised those who died for the cause would be guaranteed “Houris [Virgins]” who “yearn badly for martyrs”.
But the British army ignored all that. They preferred to take a rosier view of what the jihadis are about:
“The [Tablighi Jamaat] school provides a full-time education as well as training Imams, Islamic studies teachers and scholars in order to benefit the communities to which they return”, explained the 4th Infantry Brigade on Facebook.
The visit was organised by the Islamic charity Kumon Y’All. A project manager for the charity, Maulana Farook Yunus, told Pulse 1 Radio:
The Army is a lot of very powerful people and I am very passionate about tapping into that resource and using it for the betterment of society. I feel really happy that today they have come, we have met and had a few hours together. I feel that our relationship is getting better and stronger and we can use that for what we want to achieve.
There are plans for the Army to take part in the annual football tournament in Savile Town in July, and for a future visit by the Kumon Y’All charity to the Catterick barracks.
Colonel Butterwick of the 4th Infantry Brigade said: “It has been a fantastic day – we have learned so much and we have been warmly welcomed by everybody we have talked to. “What it does is bust myths and the more myth-busting we can do, the more we understand each other.”
They have allowed themselves to be bamboozled much. And they are enormously helping their colonizing conquerors to propagate myths.
If ever Islam allows itself to laugh, it has great cause to do so in triumph and Schadenfreude now.
(Hat-tip to our Blog Roll associate Chauncey Tinker)
It is too late to save Europe from Islamization. In this century, the majority of the population will be Muslim, ruled by Sharia law.
Islam is cruel, supremacist, and totalitarian. Sharia law is inseparable from Islam:
There is no dispute among Muslims that the Qur’an is the basis of the Sharia and that its specific provisions are to be scrupulously observed. The Hadith and Sunna are complementary sources to the Qur’an and consist of the sayings of the Prophet and accounts of his deeds. The Sunna helps to explain the Qur’an, but it may not be interpreted or applied in any way which is inconsistent with the Qur’an.
Sharia is spreading through the West, as land after land is colonized by the Muslims.
This is from Inquisitr:
Supporters of sharia zones have been harassing drinking establishments in Copenhagen, Denmark, to discourage the consumption of alcohol. This creeping phenomenon, which has Danish bar-owners up in arms, is also manifesting itself across Europe, Canada, and the United States.
Appealing to their government for help, bar operators in the Nørrebro suburb of Copenhagen, claim that advocates of sharia zones demand money, and throw stones through windows of targeted establishments. … Heidi Dyrnesli of Cafe Heimdal recently told local Radio24syv, that some young men just walked into her bar and ordered all guests to leave.
Supporting the propagation of sharia zones to prepare the world for an Islamic caliphate, Iraqi-Canadian Abdul-Adhim spoke at Mohawk College in Ontario, on November 28, 2015, about the need for Muslims to band together under a united Islamic state. During his 40-minute lecture intended to address the Syrian refugee crisis, Abdul-Adhim digressed and instead promoted the building of an Islamic caliphate under sharia law, “the best system that exists on earth”. According to the Toronto Sun, He stated his case from a podium beside the banner of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a symbol of all Muslim countries as one caliphate.
The society (in Syria) has risen up as a society and says that we want Islam as our way of life. And the West will not have it and this is what we are seeing. … And therefore, how do we support the people of Syria? We must send money and help the refugees that are coming here in every way that we can.
In a roundabout way, Abdul-Adhim revealed the oft-repeated pattern of Syrian refugees gaining a foothold with a host country for the establishment of sharia zones, and setting the stage for a caliphate. …
Some American states and a Canadian province have taken measures to protect themselves from Sharia law; but in the United Kingdom, Sharia is now a parallel system with British law.
As of 2014, seven states in the U.S. “banned Sharia law”, or passed some kind of measure that “prohibits the states’ courts from considering foreign, international or religious law”, although Muslims continue to operate their sharia zones in private. In 2006, the province of Ontario, Canada, banned arbitration of family law disputes under any body of laws except Ontario law, although arbitration under religious laws is said to flourish in Canada’s unregulated Muslim enclaves. In 2014, around 85 “sharia courts” were said to be openly functional in the U.K. under two rival services, Islamic Sharia Council and the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal.
According to U.K.’s The Sun, Abu Izzadeen, the self-styled “Director for Waltham Forest Muslims”, campaigned in 2011 to make London’s Borough of Waltham Forest the first of Britain’s sharia zones. He painted a picture of what it would be like to live under Quranic law.
“Women would have to cover up. It should be forbidden that they are not. Thieves should have their hands cut off.” …
As the Danish people wring their hands, sharia zones proliferate across Europe and other parts of the world.
When Sharia is the predominant law of Europe:
Sharia forbids the consumption of alcohol, so will not the European wine industry be abolished? Beer prohibited?
Sharia forbids the depiction of the human form or any natural thing. Will the art galleries not be emptied, paintings and sculpture destroyed?
Will the libraries not be emptied, books destroyed?
Will theaters, opera and concert halls not be closed?
Will women not be compulsorily veiled in public?
Will homosexuals not be sentenced to death?
Will there not be polygamy, slavery, child marriage?
Will there not be public amputations, stoning, crucifixion, beheading?
It would be a mistake to imagine that “most Muslims” will not permit this to happen “because they are moderates”.
A Gallup survey carried out in early 2009 found that British Muslims have zero tolerance for Homosexuality. Not even a single British Muslim interviewed believed that homosexual acts were morally acceptable. Also according to a Zogby International poll of American Muslims taken in November and December of 2001, a massive 71 percent opposed “allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally”. Another worrying statistic to be found among Muslims in the UK, is that although they comprise just 2% of the total British population, they commit 25% of all anti-Homosexual crimes. So, with the rise of Islam in the UK and the rest of the world, we also see the inadvertent return to the morality of seventh-century Arabia, with Muslim gangs on the streets of England carrying out violent attacks on gays and mosques labeled as “moderate” calling for the murder of homosexuals at the hands of their congregation.
What will become of the once great schools and universities of the West?
What will be left of our culture?
What will be left of our civilization?
We admired General David Petraeus when he led the “surge” of American military force that subdued the chaos in Iraq.
He was the last man we would have thought of as a coward.
But now it emerges that that’s what he is: a moral coward.
As such, he is typical of Western man faced with the savage onslaught of Islam.
This is from the Daily Caller:
In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Friday, former CIA Director David Petraeus said increasing anti-Muslim rhetoric in the United States threatens to drive more “moderate” Muslims to terrorism.
For Petraeus, the rapid increase of ugly rhetoric against Muslims and Islam threatens to engulf even “moderate” Muslims.
“Ugly rhetoric”? No. Necessary outcry.
We approve of the writer’s putting the word “moderate” in quotation marks. Who are “moderate” Muslims? How do they only moderately obey sharia law – which is inseparable from Islam? Do they only half “kill the infidel”? Only partly throw homosexuals from heights to murder them? Only slightly subjugate women? Do not totally sever limbs?
The summary of Petraeus’s views goes on:
This is exactly what terror groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State want, as it supports their vision of the world as one divided between the forces of Islam and the forces of the decadent, satanic west. These groups then seize on a sort of “clash of civilizations” rhetoric to drive recruitment and push moderate Muslims into their ranks. Muslims in the West are apparently so at risk of joining up with al-Qaida, that Petraeus thinks we need to police our own speech, so as not to offend them and face the potential consequence of a growing, violent fifth column taking shape in the West.
So we must go silent to our subjugation or our graves, and make not a peep of protest as our civilization is destroyed?
“Rather than making our country safer, they will compound the already grave terrorist danger to our citizens,” Petraeus wrote. “As ideas, they are toxic and, indeed, non-biodegradable — a kind of poison that, once released into our body politic, is not easily expunged.”
“Setting aside moral considerations …
Why? That would hand victory to them!
… those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims should realize they are playing directly into the hands of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State,” Petraeus added. “The terrorists’ explicit hope has been to try to provoke a clash of civilizations — telling Muslims that the United States is at war with them and their religion.”
They are at war with us. That is what jihad is all about. Since its earliest days, Islam’s mission has been world conquest. We should be engaging them in that war. We are mightier in military strength than they are. We could easily defeat them if we just had the will to do so.
Can Petraeus really believe that if we refrained from morally condemning Muslim terrorism and their jihad and their rhetoric against us; if we said nothing; if by our silence we submitted now to their dominance and their law – they would stop the jihad? Stop the terrorism?
Islam is winning because powerful people in the West – politicians, military commanders, churchmen, opinion formers in the media – think like that.
Will a President Trump save us? Will he stop more Muslim immigrants entering America? Will he crush ISIS as he said he will? There’s no one else we can look to.
One powerful Muslim shows how much David Petraeus’s advice is appreciated on the Muslim side. His own advice is the same – and he throws it directly at Donald Trump:
The new Muslim mayor of London has issued a warning to Donald Trump: Moderate your stance on Muslims, or they will launch more attacks against America.
Could it be because the sort of advice Petraeus is giving us serves the interests of Islam extremely well?
You’re about to graduate into a complex and borderless world.
So said Secretary of State John Kerry, in a speech at a university commencement ceremony recently.
As long ago as August 2, 2009, we posted an essay by Jillian Becker titled World government – the ultimate nightmare. (Find it under Pages in our margin.) It defended the nation state.
Now that Kerry is preaching a “borderless world” – apparently believing that it actually exists or will exist very soon – the virtues of the nation-state with guarded borders need to be recalled.
So we quote from the essay:
Barack Obama declared himself, in Berlin, to be a ‘citizen of the world’. It was not a mere rhetorical flourish. He has a globalist agenda under which the US will enter into a series of treaties that would subject America to foreign rule over its wealth (redistributing it world-wide), its trade, its laws, its use of energy, and even its defense.
The United Nations, that ghastly powerhouse of corruption, hypocrisy, and injustice, is envisaged as the nascent institution of world government.
Liberal left opinion tends to be against the nation state. It is the opinion of approximately half the voters in the Western world. Half the people of the free West apparently want to destroy their nations, and are literally doing so. They may explain their hatred of the nation state by reference to ‘colonialism’, as if in many cases colonies were not more prosperous, just, and free than the independent tyrannies they have become. Or they may say that the wars and massacres in the last century resulted from “nationalism” so the nation must go; but their thinking would not be right, because the wars and massacres were the work of dictators, not democratic states of which the strongest opposed and defeated the aggressors.
Whatever their explanations, they have launched a movement for the suicide of Western nations.
All over the Western world men and women in national and international assemblies, ministries, academies, councils and committees devote themselves to the business of putting an end to their national identities. Patriotism to them is utterly absurd. Any manifestation of pride in their nation’s history, culture, traditions, institutions, even law, embarrasses if it doesn’t outrage them. In all the countries of Europe, and now under Obama’s leadership in the United States, they work towards their goal.
The very idea of the nation state they consider to be an anachronism; a nasty thing of the past much to be regretted. The more powerful and glorious the past, the more regretful they are. Filled with remorse for what their forefathers achieved, they will apologize to any foreigner who’ll listen to them. However hard their independence as a nation was won, their system of government developed, their individual freedom wrested from the fist of tyranny, they count it all worth nothing. Obama, whose ignorance of history should but doesn’t embarrass him, routinely apologizes for America to appalling little despotisms, and to countries that have survived as comparatively free nations only because America saved them from conquest by tyrannical powers. …
What will be lost if the nation state is lost?
For the most part, our countries have been identical with our nationalities. Our nationalities give us the inestimable gifts of an historical significance and a hopeful destiny beyond our individual lives; a meaning, a kind of immortality, a role in a drama, which, whether we are leading or bit-part players, involves us all. Just by existing as people of this or that country we may feel ourselves to be part of an endless story. Our nation is our greater self, the “we” that is a greatness for every “I”, whether the “I” be small or grand in personal achievement. For many it is worth fighting and dying for. But now the story may end after all. For though it is possible for a nation to live on after its state is destroyed (the Jews did), the likelihood is that it will not. How many nations have disappeared from history with the loss of their settled, coherent, self-protected territory? Top of the head guess – too many to count.
What else can endow us by birthright or adoption with that powerful plural identity which we seem to need and glory in? How will we fare as individuals without the nation state? It places us in the scheme of things. It gives us a “local habitation and a name”. It defines us for ourselves and for others, clothing us in connotations derived from a certain history to intimate a special character. We inherit its language, which shapes our thoughts. It sets many of our goals, provides the chances for achieving them, holds a place for us, notes and records our existence. It protects us from foreign enemies and domestic assailants. It makes demands of us that we can fulfill with pride and delight, or chafe against. It provides the causes we may strive for or oppose. It is our home, our stage, our shelter, our fortress, our field, our base. Personified, it is our guardian, our teacher, our judge, and our avenger.
The nation state makes and enforces the rules that, at their best, allow us to live in freedom. It was one of the great steps forward of mankind when the city-states of ancient Greece embraced as citizens all those who would live in them not because they sprang from that particular soil but because they would accept a common law. The tribe was superseded by the state. (The great Spanish conservative Ortega y Gasset called it citizenship by virtue of ius rather than rus – a commonality of law rather than of native soil.) The citizens could have been born elsewhere, and could remain individual in their tastes and choices, but owed a common duty and allegiance to the state. TheUnited States of America is the greatest development of that splendid idea.
And may continue to be – if it does not fall under another administration that delights in the dream of a “borderless world”. That’s what Communists dream of. And ISIS, and the Muslim Brotherhood – and Islam itself, since its inception.
No! No! Rather wake and scream: “Build that wall please, President Trump! “
A poor, illiterate woman named Aasiya Noreen* worked in the fields to help support her family of five children, two of them her own and three of them her husband’s from a former marriage.
Aasiya was a Christian. A Catholic. Her family were the only Christians in the small village where she lived some thirty miles outside Lahore, the capital of the Punjab in the Islamic state of Pakistan. The Christians of the region were an underclass, traditionally assigned to menial jobs.
One hot summer’s day in June, 2009, Aasiya was harvesting berries along with some Muslim women. They all became thirsty. The Muslim women sent Aasiya to fetch water from a well. Aasiya found a battered tin cup abandoned near the well, and had a drink from it before refilling it and carrying it to her fellow workers. One of them accused her of drinking from the cup and so making it unclean. Christian lips should not contaminate a cup that Muslims drink from. All the Muslim women agreed on that.
A dispute arose. Which was the one true religion? The Muslim women knew that Islam was the truth. Aasiya knew that Christianity was the truth. She dared to say (according to her own account), “Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Muhammed ever do to save mankind?”
The Muslim women were deeply offended. They went to their imam and told him that the Christian woman Aasiya Noreen had insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
The imam took action. He gathered together a number of good Muslims willing to defend the Prophet and the true faith of Islam, and led them to the house where Aasiya and her family lived. They set upon her and her husband and her children with righteous blows. The police arrived in time to save the Christian family from being beaten to death. The avenging mob agreed to spare them on condition that the police laid a charge of blasphemy against the woman. The police duly arrested her and put her in jail, where she languished for more than a year before she was brought to trial in November, 2012.
Aasiya told the court that the woman who accused her of blasphemy had a grudge against her, resulting from an old quarrel, and the accusation was made out of a desire for revenge. The judge did not accept her story as a defense. He also chose to overlook inconsistencies in the testimony of the witnesses against her. He decided that she was guilty of blasphemy and sentenced her to death. She was to be hanged for blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammad whose name is never mentioned by a Muslim without having peace wished upon him.
She was the first woman ever to be condemned to death in Pakistan for blasphemy – her crime being considered so heinous that even death was not sufficient punishment. She was also to pay a fine equivalent to $1,100. She and her family had never in all their lives possessed a sum approaching $1,100. Nor did they know of any way they could raise it.
When the verdict was pronounced, the crowd in the court rose to its feet, applauding and shouting “Yes, kill her! Kill her! Allahu Akbar!”. And yet more enthusiasts for justice, more celebrants of the glory of God, broke down the doors to swarm into the court, their furious, triumphant shouts swelling the chorus of “Allahu Akbar!” The greatness of their merciful God could hardly have been more passionately attested.
Assiya’s husband, Ashiq Masih, appealed the verdict. He and Aasiya hoped that the High Court would at least suspend the sentence.
There was a man in a high position who was deeply moved by the fate of Aasiya and determined to do all he could for her. He was Salmaan Taseer, the governor of the Punjab. He persuaded the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, to come to her rescue. In December 2012, Taseer publicly announced that if the High Court did not suspend her sentence, the president would pardon her. And Zardari would have done so, but the Lahore High Court hastened to issue a stay order against a presidential pardon.
So Aasiya remained in prison in Lahore, in solitary confinement in an 8 by 10 foot windowless cell.
At first the governor would visit her, with his wife and daughter. But then the court ruled that only her husband and lawyer could see her.
On January 4, 2011, Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by one Mumtaz Qadri who resented the governor’s concern for the blasphemer. (He was hanged for the crime in February 2016.)
The Minister of Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti – himself a Christian, and the only Christian member of the cabinet – was so disturbed by the case that he set about doing all he could to get the laws of blasphemy changed. He announced that he was prepared to die fighting for Aasiya Noreen’s release. He received many death threats, and on March 2, 2011, he was shot dead in his car near his home.
Many times Aasiya’s appeal was postponed. In October 2014, the High Court finally heard her case – and upheld her death sentence. Her husband then appealed to the President. But he was restrained from issuing a pardon, so her lawyers appealed to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. In July, 2015, the Supreme Court suspended her death sentence “for the duration of the appeals process”.
Hundreds of Pakistanis have publicly protested against her being still alive. An imam offered $10,000 reward to anyone who would kill her, and apparently some 10 million citizens declared themselves ready and willing to do the noble deed. Assiya’s family have gone into hiding, and they fear for her safety and survival if she were to be released.
That is how the matter stands at present.
Aasiya Noreen is under sentence of death for taking a drink of water from an old cup on a hot day, and saying something she had been taught to believe, to some other women who had been taught that it was something that should not be believed and should not be said.
For a drink of water, for fantastic rumors about “Jesus” and “Muhammad”, lives ruined and lost.
*Aasiya Noreen is usually called “Asia Bibi” in press reports. “Bibi” simply means “woman”.