Leaders of the Western world, including Obama talking from his behind, want us to believe that Islam is a beautiful and peaceful religion.
Here are scenes, pictured or described, showing how beautiful and peaceful Islam really is. -
Musicians punished for making music. Wonderfully made musical instruments smashed to pieces.
Boys killed for watching football.
Men killed for breeding pigeons.
Homosexuals hurled from the top of tall buildings.
The words and pictures come from the Daily Mail:
Islamic State religious police have been filmed beating musicians and destroying their instruments as punishment for playing an “un-Islamic” keyboard.
The men were pictured being hit across the back and legs with a wooden stick in a public square after ISIS’s fanatical Islamic enforcers ruled the electric keyboard was “offensive to Muslims”.
Another picture shows two keyboards and what appears to be a lute smashed to pieces after raids thought to have taken place in Bujaq, a few miles to the east of Aleppo in Syria.
Musicians in Syria were given 90 lashes each after they were caught by the Islamic State’s religious police playing an electric keyboard …
Pictures show the men being beaten on their backs and legs by tribal elders in a public square believed to be in Bujaq, a town to the north east of Aleppo. …
The men were apparently caught playing electronic keyboards, and what appears to be a lute, instruments that were deemed to be “un-Islamic” by ISIS’s fanatical religious police …
Earlier today, it was reported that at least 15 pigeon breeders in eastern Iraq were rounded up after ISIS ruled the sport distracted them from praising Allah.
Three of those held by the group in the eastern province of Diyala have reportedly been killed, according to a security official.
Abu Abdullah, a farmer, said a total of six gunmen barged into his home earlier this week and dragged away his 21-year-old son. Mr Abdullah’s son is just one of the 15 young men – all aged between 16 and 22 – who have reportedly been captured in the province for breeding birds.
Yesterday it was reported that 13 youngsters were killed by firing squad in Iraq’s second city of Mosul for watching an Asian Cup football match between Iraq and Jordan.
Activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which operates out of Syria, reported that the teenagers were shot in public and their bodies left there as their parents are too afraid to go and get them.
The boys’ ‘crime’ – breaking religious laws by watching football – was read out on a loudspeaker before their executions.
It came just days after ISIS released a video showing two men being thrown off the top of a tower block in Raqqa, Syria, for being gay.
A masked Islamic State fighter announced the charges against the accused using a small handheld radio, before declaring them guilty of engaging in homosexual activities.
He said they should be punished by death, in accordance with Islamic State’s radical interpretation of Sharia law.
The men were then bound and blindfolded before being pushed off the 100ft tower block to their death.
This video of Pat Condell saying what needs to be said was published last Thursday (January 15, 2015):
The weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo laughed at all religions. It mocked religion as such, mercilessly. It dared to mock the nastiest religion of them all, Islam, defying its vengefulness. It was doing a great job for civilization.
Because of the killing of the journalists and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo yesterday in Paris, we repeat part of our post, Religion and the crippling of the mind – an existential threat (January 2, 2013):
Human survival depends on progress, and progress depends on the criticism of ideas.
Religions are the most dangerous sets of ideas because they are the most dogmatic. Dogma chains and cripples the mind. It denies knowledge and prevents discovery and innovation. The only possible form of argument between opposing dogmas is violence. Religions must be questioned.
Any idea that requires a law to protect it from criticism is ipso facto a bad idea.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation [formerly the Organization of the Islamic Conference], the United Nations, and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are actively engaged in trying to silence criticism of Islam. If their campaign succeeds it will greatly advance Islam’s jihad, its war to impose universal Islamic rule.
The victory of Islam would put humanity under a death sentence.
And this is also a good time to repeat an even earlier post, The need to knock Islam (September 3, 2011):
The greatness of the West began with doubting. The idea that every belief, every assumption, should be critically examined started the might of Europe. When those old Greek thinkers who founded our civilization learnt and taught that no one has a monopoly of truth or ever will have, they launched the intellectual adventure that has carried the human race – not without a long interval in the doldrums – literally to the skies.
Socrates taught the utility of suspicion. He is reputed to have said, “The highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.” He was not, however, the first to use doubt for discovery. Thales of Miletos, who was born 155 years before Socrates, dared to doubt that religion’s explanatory tales about how the world came to be as it is were to be trusted, and he began exploring natural phenomena in a way that we recognize as scientific. He is often called the Father of Science. With him and his contemporary, Anaximander, who argued with him by advancing alternative ideas, came the notion – for the first time as far as we know – that reason could fathom and describe how the universe worked.
Science is one of the main achievements of the West, but it is not the only product of constructive doubt that made for its greatness. Doubt as a habit of mind or tradition of thinking meant that new, foreign, even counter-intuitive ideas were not dismissed. Europe, before and after it stagnated in the doldrums of the long Catholic Christian night (and even to some extent during those dark centuries), was hospitable to ideas wherever they came from.
Totally opposed to this intellectual openness were the churches with their dogma. Those who claim that the achievements of our civilization are to be credited to Christianity (or in the currently fashionable phrase to “the Judeo-Christian tradition”) have a hard case to make. It was the rediscovery of the Greek legacy in the Renaissance in the teeth of Christian dogmatism, and the new freedom from religious persecution exploited by the philosophers of the Enlightenment that re-launched the West on its intellectual progress, to become the world’s nursery of innovation and its chief factory of ideas.
Our civilization cannot survive without this openness. Critical examination is the breath that keeps it alive. But it is in danger of suffocation. It is more threatened now than it has been for the last four hundred years by dogmatisms: Marxism, environmentalism, religion – above all Islam which absolutely forbids criticism.
The Founding Fathers of the United States perfectly understood the necessity for an open market of ideas. Every citizen of the republic, they laid down, must be free to declare his beliefs, to argue his case, to speak his mind, to examine ideas as publicly as he chose without fear of being silenced.
Islam is now the major threat to the West. Its ideas are the very opposite of those on which the USA was founded. It is an ideology of intolerance and cruelty. It forbids the free expression of thought. By its very nature, even if it were not now on a mission of world conquest (which it is), it is the enemy of the West.
The best way to defeat it is by criticizing it, constantly and persistently, in speech and writing, on the big screen and the small screen, in the schools and academies, in all the media of information and comment, in national and international assemblies.
If the weapon of words is forbidden, the only alternative will be guns.
Is that a flight of pigs on the horizon?
Is a crack of light breaking at last into the darkness of Islam?
President Sisi of Egypt, speaking at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, said (translation by Raymond Ibrahim at Front Page):
I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing — and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!
That thinking — I am not saying “religion” but “thinking” — that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!
Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live? Impossible!
I am saying these words here at Al-Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema — Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.
All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.
I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move … because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.
Daniel Greenfield comments (in part):
The implication is that he’s calling for a departure from texts that promote international holy wars. Obviously he isn’t taking issue with the Koran. But it appears he is calling for a religious framework that invalidates freelance Islamic expansionism of the ISIS kind. That would be a somewhat conservative step. …
And Sisi is “telling Al Azhar’s clergy to take an enlightened perspective and look outside themselves. That is dangerously close to secularism.”
Will Egypt, with the consent of Al-Azhar, become a secular state? There is a precedent in the Turkey of Kemal Atatürk and his immediate successors. (Turkey is reverting now to an Islamic theocracy under the presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.)
Is it possible that Egypt will persuade Islam to give up its jihad?
And even perhaps – to hazard an even wilder hope – revise sharia law, set women free, tolerate apostasy … ?
Nah! Pigs may figuratively fly, but never very far.
Should our civilization collapse under Islamic aggression – aided by our own political correctness, cowardice, laziness – the only known place with intelligent life in this universe will be a dark and destroyed planet drifting through space, populated by billions of mostly inbred humans living in total misery, enslaved by the freedom-hating, death-loving, brutal, mind-numbing Sharia. What tragedy could be worse than that?
We quote from an article at 10news, by Nicolai Sennels:
Islam knows no borders and no mercy, and if our generation does not stop them, the next generation will not even have a chance to make the attempt. Our grandfathers defeated Nazism, our parents’ generation overcame Communism. The great challenge of our time is Islam – an enemy of freedom more present, fanatic and vast in numbers than any totalitarian system before it. This enemy is different than anything we have encountered before: You can not intimidate an enemy who loves death more than life.
Our police is already unable to uphold the law in many of the Muslim ghettos mushrooming everywhere, even in smaller towns. Ever more regular outbreaks of what can best be described as minor incidents of civil war give us a taste of what is waiting for us later this decade (according to Al Qaeda’s prophetic plan made in the 1990s, this will happen in 2016 – Arab governments should be toppled from around 2010 and an Islamic state was planned to be established from 2013 …).
Muslim dominated areas are increasing in numbers and boldness – encouraged by the lack of consequence from Western authorities – and it is only a matter of time before they evolve into permanently warring Muslim enclaves fighting for unconstitutional, religious rights. Through our self-inflicted invasion we are creating our own Gaza Strips, which are already spawning an unending stream of attacks against non-Muslims and the surrounding non-Islamic society. Muslim immigration is crushing our economy, undermining our hard-won safety, attacking free speech and increasingly changing physical areas of our cities into unrecognizable, dangerous no-go sharia-zones.
Muslims believing in jihad are neither extremists, nor a minority. Muslims believing in the obligation to wage jihad to fulfill their religious duty are following mainstream fundamentals of Islam as it is clearly written unambiguously and repeatedly in the Quran and Mohammed’s equally holy life story, the Hadiths. 75 percent of the roughly 56 million Muslims living in Europe believe that the Quran must be taken literally and 65 percent think that the Sharia is more important than democratic laws. 80 percent of young Turks in Holland believe that Jihad against non-Muslims is fine. 27 percent of all French youth and 14 percent of all British youths – presumably including the vast majority of young Muslims in these countries – support the Islamic State. What do these numbers mean? They mean that the countless Muslim ghettos eating up Western towns and cities are populated with hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of people supporting the jihadi doctrine. What will happen when they feel strong enough to destroy and overtake our societies? Will they remain passive and peaceful, or will they seize the chance? Many, surely, will do the latter.
Instead of being thankful for the safety and welfare provided by hard working Western tax payers, Muslims in Europe have raised an army of jihadis supporting Islam’s genocidal agenda.
What can we do? Or rather: What must we do, in order to prevail for the sake of humanity and future generations?
Through democratic means, we must mobilize the immense power and organizational talent that lies behind the creation of the most free, rich, and technologically advanced societies in world history and direct it towards our own survival. If we manage to awaken this sleeping giant before our countries are destroyed by barbarians – just like all other high cultures before ours – we will be able to defeat the hordes of inbred fanatics without panic or hate. During this crucial historical period we must not lose our human face and destroy the very values we are trying to protect. We must stay honest, outspoken and engage with realistic means and force, while staying focused on long term win-win solutions. By approaching the problem without fear, but only with mental surplus and a broad overview, we can succeed while creating only a minimum amount of unavoidable harm. Reacting with totalitarian measures such as banning Free Speech to protect “social cohesion” or succumbing to immature emotions for revenge alone will not benefit our cause.
Peaceful societies with social values and a high degree of morality have been exploited to a devastating degree – economically, culturally and demographically – by myriads of Muslim immigrants and refugees.
Modern welfare and decades of peace have put our survival instinct into hibernation. This makes it difficult for us to understand that we will not overcome this historical challenge without the use of real force. A gentle approach that might be affordable under healthy demographic conditions is suicidal when confronted with a weapon of mass-destruction like Islam. We have come to this point because for too long, we have taken freedom for granted. …
We can hate the system, but we can not hate the people. … Muslims are the first victims of Islam, as their system is full of rules and brutal punishments aimed at themselves. Muslims are the real islamophobes: only fear can explain peoples’ submission to such a joyless, unfree and painful system, forcing them to think and behave in ways that creates ever more suffering in their own lives.
Until Muslims free themselves from the chains of sharia, we must make sure that the trouble that their religion brainwashes and forces them to make, happens from a sufficiently safe distance. Therefore we must stop non-Western (Muslim) immigration, and make it as difficult as possible for followers of the religion of submission to live here by banning any kind of Islamization. If they want mosques, halal, prayer rooms, cousin-marriages, and Islamic holidays, they must settle elsewhere. We do not want any mosques or minarets, no public or foreign funding of Islamic organisations or imams. All Muslims coming to our lands must actively and publicly reject the violent and criminal passages of the Islamic scriptures. Performing or promoting jihad is treason and should result in loss of citizenship. This means that we would probably have to find ways to accommodate large [numbers] of people … in or near Islamic countries where they do not suffer from living outside their cultural circle. …
In this way can we save humanity from what is probably the greatest catastrophe in the history of mankind: a monstrous weapon of mass destruction that has already killed millions of people and destroyed countless cultures and societies before ours. A system that is robbing its own followers of the most basic human rights and which is forcing them to suppress and kill their own. A system that is aiming at subjugating all human beings – Muslims and non-Muslims – under barbaric, totalitarian laws. A system that calls itself a religion but is so much more than that. A system that praises death more than life. A system that knows no mercy and no borders.
A system whose name means “submission”.
A system that bears the name Islam.
These opinions and prescriptions voiced by a spokesman of a group in Britain are similar to those of rebel groups growing in many parts of Europe. (For just a few of many reports see here, here and here.)
The Left dubs all of them “extreme right-wing” to raise connotations of twentieth century fascist and racist movements, and recalls their anti-Semitism to strengthen its case. Watch, if you have the stamina, this video and hear what the leftist pro-Islam pundits have to say. The irony is that Leftism is now the most virulently anti-Semitic ideology in the world, after Islam itself.
It is true that some of the new movements are fascist and racist and anti-Semitic, but not all of them. They are on the rise because Islam is truly a terrible enemy gaining power in the heart of Europe, and fiercely and insanely protected by European governments. Almost all the main political parties are still choosing to ignore the threat of Islam, or at best to play it down.
If many of the protest rebel groups turn out to be destructive of liberal democracy itself (which 1onews takes care to deny is any part of its own agenda), the establishments will have only themselves to blame. Most Western European countries are still not just allowing but encouraging more Muslim immigration, despite the carnage and crime that members of their present Muslim populations inflict on them continually and increasingly.
Many Europeans are predicting violent uprisings in their countries, and even civil wars – ever more plausibly.
A rise of nationalist sentiment in small nations is adding to the rebellious mood. (Here’s a video about it.)
So the peace that Europe boasts of keeping on its own soil since the end of Word War II – many Europhiles claiming that the European Union has made wars between the states impossible – seems almost certain to be shattered.
If there is little doubt that it will happen, the question is – how soon?
Europe is dying anyway, as its indigenous populations dwindle away. Civil wars will hasten its end in a welter of blood. Then, because of its peoples’ own folly, bleak cruel primitive Islam will inherit the continent, and undertake the holy task of destroying every last vestige of its high civilization.
ISIS is blowing up Shi’a mosques and shrines, and other ancient monuments, the heritage of mankind.
From the Assyrian International News Agency:
ISIS is planning to destroy the walls of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire and one of the most important archaeological sites in Iraq. Nineveh was sacked in 612 B.C. when the Assyrian Empire was overthrown.
Residents of the Bab Nergal area of Mosul said ISIS has informed them that it will blow up the walls of Nineveh with the start of operations to liberate Mosul by the Iraqi army.
In the last month ISIS has seized the content of the cultural museum in Mosul as well as destroyed Assyrian monuments in the city, which ISIS claims “distort Islam”.
Assyrians are the the only indigenous people of Iraq, going back to 4750 B.C. In 2003, just before the U.S. invasion, there were 1.5 million Assyrians living in Iraq. Today there are about 500,000 remaining. A sustained, low grade genocide perpetrated by Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds drove hundreds of thousands of Assyrians into exile in Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.
On August 7 of 2014, ISIS moved into the Nineveh Plain, the last stronghold of Assyrians in Iraq, forcing nearly 200,000 Assyrians to flee their homes and villages, where they now live as refugees in the Dohuk and Arbel areas.
The remains of the walls of Nineveh in north Iraq
Less to be regretted is that ISIS also plans to blow up the Kaaba, if it manages to capture Saudi Arabia, and if this report – of which we’re somewhat skeptical since ISIS is a Sunni organization and the Kaaba is a Sunni shrine – is true:
Representatives of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) stated that they will ruin the Kaaba after capturing Saudi Arabia. …
ISIS member Abu Turab Al Mugaddasi said that they would destroy the Kaaba in Mecca: “If Allah wills, we will kill those who worship stones in Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. People go to Mecca to touch the stones, not for Allah.”
Today we post under Pages (listed at the top of our margin), essay number 12 in Part Two of the series titled The Darkness of This World, by Jillian Becker.
It continues the discussion of French writers whose works are concerned with Evil, praise it, and argue passionately that it should be done.
The title of this essay is The French Pandemonium (Two). Its subjects are the twentieth century writers Georges Bataille, and – to a lesser extent – André Breton.
Here is part of the essay:
Of all the cultivators of Evil in twentieth century France, none was so devout, so persistent, or plunged so deep into moral and material muck as Georges Bataille. He hungered and lusted for Evil. He was a coprophiliac, and a necrophiliac – committing, by his own confession or boast, an incestuous sexual act, in a state of “arousal to the limit”, upon his mother’s corpse in the moments after her death.
Bataille wrote that human beings, as a species, should move towards “an ever more shameless awareness of the erotic bond that links them to death, to cadavers, and to horrible physical pain.”
He was fascinated by the filthy, the stinking; by secretions, excretions, exudations; by things discarded, damaged, abandoned. “Bataille,” wrote one of his appreciators, “displayed a quasi-religious veneration toward objects and acts that, according to the mores of bourgeois convention, were targets of opprobrium … During the ‘30s, Bataille’s ‘literary’ activities centered on developing a theory of ‘base matter’, items and effluvia that remained impervious to assimilation by the all-consuming maw of bourgeois cultural respectability: feces, menstrual blood, cadavers, the baboon’s brightly colored anus, and so forth.”
But Bataille’s veneration of the disgusting was not just “quasi-religious” – it was intensely religious. It was Gnostic . This the admiring writer goes on to demonstrate, though without referring to the Gnostic precedent. He writes: “Herein lie the affinities between Bataille’s world view and the discourse of ‘negative theology’ or redemption through sin. … The duality between the ‘sacred’ and the ‘profane’ obsessed him, but the habitual signs were reversed. He elevated acts of profanation or desecration to epiphanies: singular mystical moments of Oneness with the All. … For Bataille … the act of willfully violating taboos offered privileged access to the holy.”
Raised in a non-believing family, young Georges converted to Catholicism when he was seventeen, and even spent a year in a seminary studying to be a priest. When he became a priest of blasphemy, or holy sinner, he retained all the self-flagellating passion, all the pious devotion and aura of sanctity of the Catholic ecclesiastic. He remained throughout his adult life shut mentally in the box of religion with its atmosphere of incense and sulfur, its fixation on blood, pain, death and sin.
He contended that what was missing in ordinary modern life, what society lacked for full satisfaction, was the “expression of savage needs” that “subsist only at the limits of horror”. And what were the “limits of horror” in Bataille’s dream? Nothing less than ritual human sacrifice. The combination of agony, death, and religious rite was very much to his taste. He wrote: “Human sacrifice is loftier than any other – not in the sense that it is crueler than any other, but because it is close to the only sacrifice without trickery, which can only be the ecstatic loss of oneself.”
His best of all horrors was “ecstatic loss of the self” by choice: voluntary human sacrifice. He wrote: “The movement that pushes a man to give himself (in other words, to destroy himself) completely, so that a bloody death ensues, can only be compared, in its irresistible and hideous nature, to the blinding flashes of lightning that transform the most withering storm into transports of joy.” Oh, the intense joy of dying in excruciating pain! He and others in his circle formed a secret society which was to launch itself with a beheading. Every member was willing to be the sacrificial victim and have his head sawn off – but none would consent to be the executioner.
The external movement that he would have push him to transports of joy was Communism. …
You can find all of it here.
Quotation from an announcement, in the form of a letter, posted on the website of the US Department of State:
U.S. Plans To Lead in Resettling Syrian Refugees
Anne C. Richard
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
December 9, 2014
… Only a small fraction of those who want to be resettled can be – only about one hundred thousand refugees per year, worldwide. There are more than six times that many Syrian refugees in Jordan alone. …
We applaud the 25 countries that have agreed to resettle Syrian refugees, including some who will be accepting UNHCR refugee referrals for the first time. The United States accepts the majority of all UNHCR referrals from around the world. Last year, we reached our goal of resettling nearly 70,000 refugees from nearly 70 countries. And we plan to lead in resettling Syrians as well. We are reviewing some 9,000 recent UNHCR referrals from Syria. We are receiving roughly a thousand new ones each month, and we expect admissions from Syria to surge in 2015 and beyond.
Like most other refugees resettled in the United States, they will get help from the International Organization for Migration with medical exams and transportation to the United States. Once they arrive, networks of resettlement agencies, charities, churches, civic organizations and local volunteers will welcome them. These groups work in 180 communities across the country and make sure refugees have homes, furniture, clothes, English classes, job training, health care and help enrolling their children in school. They are now preparing key contacts in American communities to welcome Syrians.
I am inspired both by the resilience of refugees we resettle, and the compassion of those who help them. Resettlement cannot replace what refugees have lost or erase what they have endured. But it can renew hope and help restart lives. That can make all the difference.
So thousands of Syrians are about to be brought into the United States. They are likely to be only the first wave of refugees from the mainly Muslim Middle East.
Refugee Resettlement Watch lists the states where nearly 10,000 mostly Muslim refugees were resettled in the first two months of the current fiscal year.
Once settled here, they can bring their relations to join them.
Under the Obama administration, the Muslim population of America is increasing constantly by immigration. They do not need amnesty. They start receiving “entitlements” immediately on arrival.
But the UN won’t allow Western countries to decide which refugees they’ll accept.
Canada wants to accept Christians and Yazidis, not Muslims with their incompatible law and ideology. But the UN won’t allow Canada to do that.
This is from Front Page by Daniel Greenfield:
The UN’s refugee agenda has an agenda and it’s not refugees, it’s Islamic invasion.
The federal government is seeking to resettle more Syrian refugees, but only from the country’s religious minorities, according to sources close to discussions around Canada’s position on refugees from the war-torn nation.
Sources close to the discussions say Canada is seeking to resettle only refugees from Syria’s religious minorities, something that would likely be difficult for the UN’s refugee agency to accept.
The UNHCR’s policy on refugees says a resettlement state determines the “size and composition” of who and how many refugees it accepts, and “therefore has full control with respect to decisions on individual cases”.
“Nevertheless, UNHCR urges all states to be guided by the agency’s internationally recognized criteria on eligibility, global needs and priorities”, the policy says.
As far as global needs go, the Middle East has plenty of safe refuges for Sunni and Shiite Muslims, it has none for Christians and Yazidis. It only makes sense that the West should fill the need for safe refuges that don’t exist in the Muslim world for non-Muslims, while the Muslim world takes in its own refugees.
Such as the “Palestinians”? The policy of the Arab states has always been NOT to accept refugees for settlement and integration – especially not Arabs from the Palestine region, sentenced by their fellow Arabs to suffer as much as possible as a reproach to the world for allowing Israel to exist.
After World War I, the Gaza Strip, which for centuries had been part of the Ottoman Empire, came under a British mandate. From 1949 to 1959, it was governed by Egypt, ostensibly under the authority of the Arab League. In 1959, the Strip was incorporated by Egypt, though the population was not granted Egyptian citizenship.
In 1967, the territory was occupied by Israel in the course of its defensive Six-Day War. Thousands of Israelis settled in the Strip and established industries there. But in 1993, by the tragically misconceived Oslo Accords, Gaza came under the administration of a “Palestine National Authority” (PNA). In its perpetual pursuit of peace with the Arabs, Israel agreed to remove the settlers. They resisted, and the Israeli government had them removed by force. They left acres of excellently functioning and highly lucrative greenhouses to the Arabs – who promptly destroyed them.
So it was that a Judenrein Gaza Strip became an autonomous “Palestinian” region, officially administered by the PNA.
In 2007, the terrorist organization Hamas, after an internecine struggle with the PNA, seized control of the Strip and proceeded to launch attacks on Israel with suicide bombers and rocket fire. Israel dealt with the suicide bombers by putting up a protective fence, and from time to time responds to the rocket fire with bombing raids. The world thinks Israel is not being fair to the Palestinians by taking these measures.
The world, chiefly the Western powers, has chosen to keep the population of Gaza as a perpetual beggar nation, dependent on aid. The children of Gaza are taught in schools run by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) – created specially for the purpose of keeping generations of Palestinians as “refugees’ – and under its tutelage are raised to be Israel-haters and terrorists. The result is the perpetuation of intense hostility, which makes a mockery of the pretense of those same Western powers to be honest brokers of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Now the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) has infiltrated the Strip and is threatening to take over control of it from its fellow Sunni-Muslim terrorists, Hamas.
This is from an article by Khaled Abu Toameh at Gatestone:
It is always dreamlike to see one Islamist terror group accuse the other of being too “lenient” when it comes to enforcing sharia laws. But it is not dreamlike when a terrorist group starts threatening writers and women.
That is what is happening these days in the Gaza Strip, where supporters of the Islamic State are accusing Hamas of failing to impose strict Islamic laws on the Palestinian population — as if Hamas has thus far endorsed a liberal and open-minded approach toward those who violate sharia laws.
Now, however, almost everyone is talking about the Islamic State threats against poets, writers and women.Until this week, the only topic Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were talking about was how to rebuild homes and buildings that were destroyed during the last war between Hamas and Israel.
It is no secret that the Islamic State has a presence in the Gaza Strip. According to sources there, many disgruntled members of Hamas and other radical salafi-jihadi groups have already joined the Islamic State, with some fighting together with ISIS groups in Syria and Iraq.
Earlier this year, it was revealed here that Islamic State has already begun operating inside the Gaza Strip – much to the dismay of Hamas.
Hamas, nevertheless, continues to deny any presence of Islamic State inside the Gaza Strip. “There are no members of Islamic State in the Gaza Strip,” said Eyad al-Bazam, spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry.
Many Palestinians, however, do not seem to take Hamas’s denials seriously, and remain unconvinced.
Over the past few days, two separate leaflets signed by Islamic State threatened to target Palestinian poets and writers for their “wantonness” and “atheism.” The leaflets mention the poets and writers by name – a move that created panic among many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The leaflets also included an ultimatum to Palestinian women to abide by Islamic attire or face the Islamic State style of punishment — presumably being stoned to death. The threat leaves one with the false impression that, under Hamas, women can wear swimming suits at the beach and walk around the streets of Gaza City in mini-skirts.
But this is what happens when one fundamentalist group believes that the other is not radical enough.
“We warn the writers and poets of their wanton sayings and atheist deeds,” one of the leaflets reads. “We give the apostates three days to retract their apostasy and wantonness and enter the religion of Islam anew.”
The threats issued by Islamic State have drawn strong condemnations from many Palestinians. This is the first time that such threats have been made against poets and writers or women.
Although Hamas has denied any connection to the threats, Fatah officials [aka the PNA] in the West Bank were quick to accuse the Islamist movement — which has been in control of the Gaza Strip since 2007 — of being behind the leaflets. …
Palestinians point out that the two leaflets were not the only sign of the presence of Islamic State inside the Gaza Strip. They say that Islamic State flags can be seen in many parts of the Gaza Strip, especially at football stadiums and public buildings. In addition, Islamic State stickers can be seen on the windshields of many vehicles.
More recently … families have begun attaching the Islamic State emblem to wedding invitations sent out to friends and relatives. Photos of Palestinians who were killed while fighting with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria appear in many places, especially mosques and educational centers.
Of course, all of this is taking place while Hamas continues to insist that the Islamic State is not operating in Gaza.
Those who are taking the threats seriously are the women and writers whose names appeared in the leaflets.
Amal Hamad, a member of the Palestinian Women’s Union, expressed deep concern about the threats made by Islamic State. “We are headed toward the worst in the Gaza Strip,” she complained. “We hold the Hamas security forces responsible for the leaflets of intimidation and terror.” She and a large group of women in the Gaza Strip held an emergency meeting to discuss the repercussions of the threats.
Judging from reactions, it is clear that many Palestinians – including Hamas – are extremely worried about Islamic State’s presence in the Gaza Strip. Even if the terror group still does not have many fighters in the Gaza Strip, it already has countless followers and admirers.
It is also clear that if and when the Hamas regime collapses, the Gaza Strip will not fall into the hands of less-radical Palestinians.
The Gaza Strip has already been turned into an “Islamist Emirate” that is run by Hamas and other radical groups such as Islamic Jihad.
While Islamic State may have succeeded in infiltrating the Gaza Strip, its chances of entering the West Bank are zero. This is thanks to the presence of the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas are well aware that without the Israeli security presence in the West Bank, the area would easily fall into the hands of Hamas or Islamic State.
It is important to keep in mind that the countries in Europe now voting for a Palestinian state may effectively be paving the way for a takeover by Islamic State.
We wonder how many people living in Gaza secretly wish the alleged Israeli “occupation” were real, and are nostalgic for the days when it was. Their lives were better, and more secure, under Israel than under the PNA or Hamas.
Now they – especially writers, poets, and women it seems – must dread the prospect of life under the rule of the Islamic State.
But if the Islamic State does absorb Gaza, its population will be stateless no longer. As citizens of the Caliphate they may be miserable, but they will no longer be “refugees”.
No more UNWRA. No more exploitation of the Palestinians by the Arab States as “victims” of Israel.
Of course, the attacks on Israel will not stop. They will very likely intensify. Will the world object as much to Israel defending itself against the Islamic State as it does to Israel defending itself against Hamas?
Time may tell.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State is taking possession of the minds of millions of Muslims all over the world. If it is not growing territorially at this moment, it is certainly growing as an ideal.
An ideal of savage cruelty and enslavement! Islam triumphant.
The Egyptian Goddess Isis
(just for decoration)
President Obama believes that America is arrogant.* If his foreign policy can be explained by anything, it would be his intention to bring America down a peg or ten. Looked at like that, the disasters we see happening in many parts of the world are testimony not to Obama’s failure, but to his success.
Not that President Obama can have any objection to arrogance as such. He is an arrogant man. He just doesn’t want America to be proud of its superiority. He hates the very idea that it is superior. But while he would not even acknowledge its political-moral superiority as a republic constituted for liberty, he cannot deny that it is economically and militarily stronger than any other country. So he’s been working to change that for the last six years.
The whole world is the worse for his efforts.
This is from Front Page, by Bruce Thornton:
The 6 years of Barack Obama’s foreign policy have seen American influence and power decline across the globe. Traditional rivals like China and Russia are emboldened and on the march in the South China Sea and Ukraine. Iran, branded as the world’s deadliest state sponsor of terrorism, is arrogantly negotiating its way to a nuclear bomb. Bloody autocrats and jihadist gangs in the Middle East scorn our president’s threats and behead our citizens. Countries in which Americans have shed their blood in service to our interests and ideals are in the process of being abandoned to our enemies. And allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia are bullied or ignored. All over the world, a vacuum of power has been created by a foreign policy sacrificed to domestic partisan advantage, and characterized by criminal incompetence.
Incompetence is what it looks like. But if failure is the aim, then either the incompetence is only an appearance, or it is a means to the end.
How we have arrived at this point, the dangers to our security and interests if we don’t change course, and what must be done to recover our international prestige and effectiveness are the themes of Bret Stephens’ America in Retreat. The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder. …
A clear sign of American retreat is the precipitous decline in military spending. “In the name of budgetary savings,” Stephens writes, “the Army is returning to its June 1940 size,” and “the Navy put fewer ships at sea at any time since 1916.” The Air Force is scheduled to retire 25,000 airmen and mothball 550 planes. Our nuclear forces are being cut to meet the terms of the 2010 New Start Treaty with Russia, even as its nuclear arsenal has been increasing. Meanwhile Obama … issues empty threats, blustering diktats, and sheer lies that convince world leaders he is a “self-infatuated weakling”.
Unfortunately, 52% of the American people agree that the U.S. “should mind its own business internationally”, and 65% want to “reduce overseas military commitments”, including a majority of Republicans. This broad consensus that America should retreat from global affairs reflects our age’s bipartisan isolationism, the centerpiece of Stephens’ analysis. This national mood is not a sign of decline, according to Stephens, who documents the enormous advantages America still enjoys globally, from its superiority in research and entrepreneurial vigor, to its healthy demographics and spirit of innovation. But it does bespeak a dangerous withdrawal from the policies that created the postwar Pax Americana – even though this global order policed by the U.S. defeated the murderous, nuclear-armed ideology of Soviet communism, and made possible the astonishing economic expansion that has lifted millions from poverty all over the world. …
For Stephens, isolationism has not been the only danger to American foreign policy success. What he calls “the overdose of ideals”, specifically the “freedom agenda” of the sort George W. Bush tried in Iraq and Afghanistan, has misdirected our efforts and squandered our resources in the pursuit of impossible goals. The success of the Cold War and the subsequent spread of democracy and free-market economies suggested that the world could be not just protected from an evil ideology, but “redeemed” by actively fostering liberal democracy even in countries and regions lacking the necessary network of social mores and political virtues upon which genuine liberal democracy rests. But in attempting to redeem the world, Stephens notes, policy makers “neglected a more prosaic responsibility: to police it”.
The failures to create stability, let alone true democracy, in Iraq and Afghanistan have enabled what Stephens calls the “retreat doctrine”, one to be found in both political parties. Barack Obama is the master of this species of foreign policy, incoherently combining idealistic democracy-promoting rhetoric with actions that further withdraw the U.S. from its responsibility to ensure global order. Under the guise of “nation-building at home,” and in service to traditional leftist doubt about America’s goodness, Obama has retreated in the face of aggression, and encouraged cuts in military spending in order to fund an ever-expanding entitlement state.
But also, equally, in order to make America weaker.
Meanwhile, “Republicans are busy writing their own retreat doctrine in the name of small government, civil liberties, fiscal restraint, ‘realism’, a creeping sense of Obama-induced national decline, and a deep pessimism about America’s ability to make itself, much less the rest of the world, better.”
The “retreat doctrine” is dangerous because global disorder is a constant contingency. The remainder of Stephens’ book approaches this topic first from the perspective of theory and history, and then from today’s practice. History teaches us that all the substitutes for a liberal dominant global power have failed to prevent the descent into conflict and mass violence. The ideas of a balance of power, collective security, or the presumed peaceful dividend and “harmony of interests” created by global trade did not prevent World War I or its even more devastating sequel. Nor are they any more useful in our own times.
As for today, Stephens identifies several challenges to a global order fragilely held together by the commitment to liberal democracy, open economies, and the free circulation of ideas and trade. The “revisionists” attack this model from various perspectives. Iran sees it as a fomenter of godlessness and hedonism, Russia is moved to oppose it by “revanchism and resentment”, and China believes that it “is a recipe for bankruptcy and laziness”, lacking a “sense of purpose, organization, and direction”. All three see evidence for their various critiques in the failure of the U.S. to exercise its massive power in the face of challenges, and in the willingness of American elites to revel in guilt and self-doubt. These perceptions of national decline invite rivals and enemies to behave as if the U.S. is in fact declining.
The other international players that could worsen disorder are “freelancers” and “free radicals”. The former include those countries like Israel or Japan who, convinced that America will not act in its own or its allies’ interests, will understandably take action that necessarily entails unforeseen disastrous consequences. Much more dangerous are the “free radicals”, the jihadist gangs rampaging across 3 continents, and the nuclear proliferators like Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan, whose collaboration with each other and rogue regimes like Venezuela endangers the world through provoking even further proliferation on the part of rivals, or by handing off nuclear weapons to terrorist organizations. And then there are “free radicals” like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, who have undermined global order by publicizing the necessarily covert tools, practices, and institutions that undergird and protect it.
Finally, there are the structural weaknesses of the globalized economy and its continuing decline in growth, which may create “breaks” in national economic systems that “will be profoundly disruptive, potentially violent, and inherently unpredictable”. Add America’s retreat from world affairs and reductions in military spending, and in the “nearer term”, Stephens warns, “terrorists, insurgents, pirates, hackers, ‘whistleblowers’, arms smugglers, and second-rate powers armed with weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles will be able to hold the United States inexpensively at risk”, provoking further American retreat from world affairs and the inevitable increased aggression by our enemies and rivals. …
So what can be done? In his conclusion Stephens applies to foreign affairs the “broken windows” tactics of urban policing that caused rates of violent crimes to plummet over the last few decades. Thus “the immediate goal of U.S. foreign policy should be to arrest the continued slide into a broken-windows world of international disorder”.
This foreign policy would require increasing U.S. military spending to 5% of GDP, with a focus on increasing numbers of troops, planes, and ships rather than on overly sophisticated and expensive new weapons. It would mean stationing U.S. forces near global hotspots to serve as a deterrent and rapid-reaction force to snuff out incipient crises. It would require reciprocity from allies in military spending, who for too long have taken for granted the American defense umbrella. It would focus attention on regions and threats that really matter, particularly the borderlands of free states, in order to protect global good citizens from predators. It means acting quickly and decisively when conflict does arise, rather than wasting time in useless debates and diplomatic gabfests. Finally, it would require that Americans accept that their unprecedented global economic, cultural, and military power confers on us both vulnerability to those who envy and hate us, and responsibility for the global order on which our own security and interests depend. …
No matter how understandable our traditional aversion to military and political entanglements abroad, history has made us the global policeman, one committed to human rights, accountability, and political freedom. If we abdicate that position, there is no country powerful, or worthy enough, to take our place.
We agree with that.
And Thornton tantalizes us with this:
Stephens ends with an imagined “scenario” of how a serious global disruption could occur, one grounded in current trends and thus frighteningly believable.
When we’ve found out what that scenario is, which is to say when we’ve read the book, we’ll return to this important subject.
* “In his first nine months in office, President Obama has issued apologies and criticisms of America in speeches in France, England, Turkey, and Cairo; at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and the United Nations in New York City. He has apologized for what he deems to be American arrogance, dismissiveness, and derision; for dictating solutions, for acting unilaterally, and for acting without regard for others; for treating other countries as mere proxies, for unjustly interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, and for feeding anti-Muslim sentiments; for committing torture, for dragging our feet on global warming and for selectively promoting democracy.” – Mitt Romney, quoted by PolitiFact.com