The rebuilder 0

Interview with Donald Trump two days after 9/11:

Posted under United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 11, 2017

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Islam not “Islamist” – and freedom is not “radically right-wing” 16

We have posted many articles in praise of Ayaan Hirsi Ali; praise of her campaign – in the teeth of vicious opposition – for the freedom of women in Islam and wherever else they are subjugated and oppressed; and praise for her courage, intelligence, and values. And – of course – we appreciate her atheism.

We have also posted many articles in praise of Geert Wilders, who has dared to oppose the Islamization of the Netherlands in particular and Europe in general, has stood staunchly for freedom of speech, and has been prosecuted and condemned by his own government for doing so.

So naturally we are disheartened to learn that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is denigrating Geert Wilders, accusing him of being “radically right-wing” – the implication of the words always being “therefore fascist”.

From the Daily Caller by Diana West:

If there’s one thing that 31,065 deadly Islamic terror attacks since 9/11 teach us, it’s that there is no way to foster a fact-based discussion of Islam in the halls of Western power.

That’s right — I said fact-based discussion of Islam. After 15-plus years since our Twin Towers burned and collapsed, I am still not talking about “Islamofascism,” “Islamism,” “Islamist extremism,” or any other figleaf-word made up by blushing Westerners to cover up the embarassingly appalling facts about Islam: its defining laws which can be as revolting as they are repressive; its history of violent conquest and “radical” religious and cultural cleansing; its totalitarian goals to apply “sharia” (Islamic law) everywhere to eradicate freedom of conscience, speech, other religions, and, oh yeah, rule the world.

In other words, exactly the things the Powers That Be will not talk about since even before George W. Bush rebounded from the shock of the Islamic attacks of 9/11 to realize that Islam was a “religion of peace.” In the land of the free and the home of the brave, Islamic blasphemy law rules.

Last week’s Senate hearing — even the title of last week’s Senate hearing — was more of the same.

Co-chaired by an affable Sen. Ron Johnson and an angry Sen. Claire McKaskill, the hearing was called: “Ideology and Terror: Understanding the Tools, Tactics, and Techniques of Violent Extremism.”

Notice no official mention of Islam. Or, more to the point, no official interest in Islam — except to protect it. Sen. Johnson, the “good guy” of the hearing for allowing that there might possibly be some teeny tiny slightly Islamist-ic thing about jihad (not that I heard the word), actually commended the two Muslim-born witnesses on the panel for “bending over backwards” to avoid tarring Islam with a truthful brush (or words not quite to that effect).

Meanwhile, the four Democrats on Team Violent Extremism, all women, ignored the Muslim born witnesses — ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Muslim reformer Asra Nomani, asking neither witness a single question. Instead, they focused obsessively on the non-sense of Mr. See-No-Islam, former NCTC director Michael Leiter (whom we last met here). Perhaps the Democrats saw the two women of Islamic heritage as impediments to the indoctrination in the “Ideology” of “Violent Extremism” that causes “Terror.”

But did the Democrat senators really have that much to fear? I ask this after having read the op-ed Hirsi Ali and Nomani wrote for the New York Times about their dismal experience; also after having then watched much of the hearing. I cannot now un-notice their obvious determination to avoid speaking forthrightly about Islam — same as the Left.

Hirsi Ali and Nomani write:

What happened that day [before the committee] was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamist extremism ...

Here goes, one more time: This “brutal reality” they write about is a consequence of the laws of Islam. It is neither “Islamist,” nor is it a form of “extremism” within Islam. This brutal reality is all part of Islamic Normal.

The women note their own personal suffering growing up in “deeply conservative Muslim families”: genital mutilation, forced marriage, death threats for their so-called apostasy.

Despite any and all “ists” or “isms,” such horrors and more are part of mainstream Islam.

Then they point out:

There is a real discomfort among progressives on the left with calling out Islamic extremism

OK, but there is real discomfort in these two women when it comes to calling out the extremism of mainstream Islam. Just look how confused their discussion becomes on acknowledging fundamental conflicts between “universal human rights” and  “Islamic law,” and on listing a series of what they call “Islamist ideas” which, nonetheless, come straight out of any authoritative Islamic law book:

The hard truth is that there are fundamental conflicts between universal human rights and the principle of Shariah, or Islamic law, which holds that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s; between freedom of religion and the Islamist idea that artists, writers, poets and bloggers should be subject to blasphemy laws; between secular governance and the Islamist goal of a caliphate; between United States law and Islamist promotion of polygamy, child marriage and marital rape; and between freedom of thought and the methods of indoctrination, or dawa, with which Islamists propagate their ideas.

In sum, whether it’s Claire McCaskill or Hirsi Ali, discussion and education about Islam is completely off limits. “Political Islam,” “Islamism,” “Medina Islam” and Violent Extremism become interchangeable threats to the world community, including the pink bunnies and buttercups that make up The Real McCoy Islam. The only problem, all agree, are those dwedful extwemists.

Such gibberish is nothing new; it is not, however, what Hirsi Ali became known for when she first found international fame as a name on an Islamic hit list stabbed into the dead body of Theo van Gogh, killed in broad daylight by a Muslim acting out the sharia on an Amsterdam street in 2004. Another soon to be internationally famous name on that same hit list was Geert Wilders.

At the time, both Hirsi Ali and Wilders were Dutch parliamentarians; Hirsi Ali was also a colleague of the murdered van Gogh, with whom she had made a short film about the Islamic treatment of women called Submission whose script was entirely composed of verses of the Koran.

In those days, Hirsi Ali was still known for a clarity of mind which, I think it is fair to say, would have found this Senate panel discussion of -isms and -ists quite absurd. Multiple Islams? “No, that is an erroneous idea,” she said a dozen or so years ago. “If one defines Islam as the religion founded by Muhammad and explained by the Koran and later by hadiths, there is only one Islam that dictates the moral framework.”

That was then. Now she wades through the same bog of euphemism Western civilization has mired itself in, moving ever farther away from forthright talk of Islam.

But it’s seems to be even worse than that. There was something Hirsi Ali said in her testimony that tells me we see things even more differently than I might have thought, even as we both have been i.d.’d as public enemies by the vicious Leftist hate group, SPLC.

In stressing to the committee that we have yet to define the enemy, that our little programs here and there are meaningless next to the rising tide of “Islamists”, Hirsi Ali made it plain that she did not think the Senators understood the urgency of the matter. Well, neither do I. But after she turned to Europe, noting that France has been in a state of emergency since November of 2015, for example, she began to lament the rise in Europe of “radical right wing groups”, which, she said, “are on the rise as they have never been.”

In the split second before she completed her thought I wondered what exactly concerned her — neo-Nazi groups? Golden Dawn…? Was she possibly referring to Marine Le Pen …?

I was wrong on all counts.

Hirsi Ali continued:

“I have lived in Holland for 14 yrs and when I came there was a very small radical right wing group and today it’s the second largest party…”

Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom is the Netherlands’ second largest party.

I replayed her statement to make sure I had understood it correctly. I had. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is sounding the alarm on Europe by warning in part against the rise of “radical right wing groups” — namely, the brilliant and courageous Geert Wilders’ PVV, the most successful political movement to emerge in the West with a clear program to begin to reverse the process of Islamization in the West, which ultimately spells cultural extinction, as any historical map of the Islamic world reveals.

The uses of false intelligence 1

The scurrilous “intelligence” dossier on President-elect Donald Trump, claiming that he did disgusting, low, disreputable things on a visit to Russia (which he never made) –  the alleged antics being on film and in the possession of Russian snoop officials, so the Putin government has a hold on him forever (and that’s why Putin wanted Trump to win the election and therefore wrecked poor Hillary’s otherwise perfect campaign) – was concocted by an erstwhile MI6 agent, now having even more fun running his very own espionage company. His name is Christopher Steele.

He has been accused of lying! And he feels so got-at that he’s gone into hiding.

Which is – we are to understand – awfully unfair, because, you see, the information in the dossier never was intended to be TRUE. Good grief! TRUE? When was “intelligence” ever intended or expected to be TRUE?

A corrective to so naive an expectation comes from an article by Tom Burgis in the Financial Times of January 14, 2017. We quote from the print version:

[Intelligence agents] argue that the rush to shoot the messenger [Christopher Steele] represents a misunderstanding of what intelligence is, whether amassed by state agencies or private companies. It does not deal in true or false, they say, but in shades of confidence in sources. “When you are in the corporate intelligence world, everyone knows that, in every report you get, not everything is true,” says a British investigator who knows Mr Steele.

So in every report you get, there are falsehoods. In every report you get, everything may be false, nothing true. There is no way of knowing.

Now you’ve been educated, now you know that trade secret, how do you feel about your country’s intelligence services? Confident in them? Safer?

No intelligence service detected signs that the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York and the Pentagon were coming. Nor subsequent mass killings by Muslim terrorists in the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain.

However, US intelligence has uncovered many violent plots and prevented them. They have found, or stumbled upon, the truth very often. So it is possible for them to find out what is really happening, has really happened, is going to happen. They surely  do strive for accurate information. They are a vital part of the defense of the nation. They cannot take that responsibility as lightly as the colleagues of Christopher Steele insouciantly brag that they do.

The important point about the dossier on Donald Trump in Russia is that it was a work of pure fiction, of cruel malice, of witless irresponsibility. It was extremely unintelligent.

And the chiefs of the US intelligence services knew that it was all those things. Yet they “leaked” the tainting lies to media hostile to the president-elect. That is distressing and horrible to contemplate.  

We expect President Trump’s appointees to the headship of the intelligence services – in which many persons of integrity do labor for the truth –  to be better and to do better.

Posted under Britain, Defense, Ethics, France, Germany, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Russia, Spain, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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Hate crimes 3

A person’s emotions and unrevealed thoughts, though they might be suspected, can seldom be proved.

And however aggressive thoughts and emotions may be, they are not in themselves criminal. They may be “sinful” to a Christian, but a crime and a sin are not the same thing. A crime is a deed done; a sin of thought is at worst only a potential crime. Sin is defined by faith, not reason, and faith does not – cannot – subject its dogma to the rigorous examination practiced in secular courts of law.

When a crime is committed, its perpetrator should be punished regardless of what emotions or thoughts motivated him. (Self-defense is an exception as the desire to live and not be harmed is assumed to be universal.)

Some crimes, it’s true, having no obvious or discoverable motive (such as gain), can plausibly be attributed to hate, jealousy, fear, or revenge. And a perpetrator might say that he was driven by the force of an emotion. But still, traditionally it is what he actually did that brings him before the judgment of society and its law.

Yet codes of law do exist that allow strong emotion to be taken into account – as a mitigating not an aggravating circumstance. In France, for instance, the crime passionel – a crime committed out of strong feeling such as, and usually, jealous love – is allowed special consideration for lighter punishment or none. It may be charming to find a place for sentiment in law, for love, or compassion, or “empathy”; but to esteem passion more highly than personal responsibility is to undermine the dependability of the law. The law must be dependably impersonal, objective, impartial, neutral, even-handed or it is not just.

Must be? Increasingly, the political Left – the side of the emotions – favors the idea of treating a defendant leniently if he is “underprivileged”, harshly if he is “privileged”. Obama and his Supreme Court pick Sonia Sotomayor have expressed a preference for “empathetic” judgment – finding according to the personal feelings of the judge. If judges always or often did that, it would be the end of the rule of law. If people permit them to do it, they’re demolishing the house that shelters them.

Some seem to think a judge is right to find for someone with whose opinions he agrees, and against someone whose opinions he dislikes, regardless of the merits of their cases. A British judge, for example, let off vandals who had been proved guilty, because they said they were doing it against the state of Israel which they deemed oppressive, and in sympathy with Palestinians whom they deemed victims of Israeli oppression. Because the judge shared their opinions of Israel and the Palestinians, he acquitted them. If all judges made their judgments on such grounds of personal preference, it would clearly be the end of justice and the rule of law.

Most if not all “hate crime” is attributed to “racism”. As “racism” is an attitude of mind that taints the individual, it is a sin rather than a crime. If it prompts a crime, it is the crime that is wrong, not the attitude of mind or depth of feeling behind it.

But almost everywhere in the Western world, the attitude and feeling are now regarded as more important, more to be condemned, than the actual crime. Since the rise to power of the New Left  in politics, education, and the mass media, “racism” tops almost every other offense.

And yet … It appears that in practice the gravity of the “racist’ offense depends on which “race” is carrying out the attack on which other “race”. Some – like the vandals in Britain – are given a pass on the grounds that they are the more unfortunate. (An extension of the crime passionel idea.)

What is “racism”?

“Racism” has come to mean dislike of a race, a nation, or a religious group. It is not applied – though it applies logically – to a group defined by occupation; say lawyers, or bankers, or the executives of corporations, all of whom are subjected to hate as an entire class.

The FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” But that motivation remains guesswork, dependant on opinion and prejudice, which makes its even application impossible.

If a rule against racism were to be applied evenly, the defendants in the British case would not have been acquitted – and the judge would have been seen as committing a hate crime himself.

But to apply such a rule evenly would be to return to dependably impersonal, objective, impartial, neutral, even-handed justice.

That such real justice looks outdated, signifies that the Left has won. 

*

We have said that judgment needs to be of the crime itself, regardless of its motive.

But are there some crimes for which the only discoverable or imaginable motive is “hate”?

Certainly there are.

And is the hatred motivating the perpetrators of such crimes sometimes a hatred of the race, or nation, or religion of their victims?

Certainly it is.

The worst hate crime in this century – worst in numbers, method, and effect – was what has come to be called simply “9/11” – the bombing of the World trade Center twin towers in New York on September 9, 2001. It was obviously motivated by religious hatred.

We argue that the motive does not excuse the crime. The motive does not make a crime less or more criminal.

But the Left holds that the motive of hate, however it is detected, does make a crime worse.

Any crime done out of hate is worse because of the hatred?

Well, no – comes the reply – not any crime. To conclude that would be logical, reasonable, Rightist.

In the case of 9/11, the argument goes, the hate was justified, because the crime and the hatred were in retaliation for prior crimes of hate committed by “the United States”, and/or “capitalists” involved with trade whose headquarters actual and/or symbolic were the World Trade Center, and/or President George W. Bush, and/or the Right in general.

In fact, many Leftists – or “social justice warriors”, SJWs – go so far as to argue that nothing done by the Left against any of those villains, even if done in a spirit of hate, can be classed as a hate crime, because it is always justified revenge. So the Left and its allies cannot commit a hate crime. For instance, a blow against a Muslim because he’s a Muslim is a hate crime, yes; but a blow by a Muslim against a non-Muslim because he’s a non-Muslim, is not a hate crime. Because Muslims are oppressed, strikes by Muslims are never morally wrong. The same argument applies if the striker is Black, or identified with any group they define as “oppressed”. The chief oppressors are always the United States, capitalists, white men, Israel, conservatives and Republicans.

All “oppressed” perpetrators of avenging attacks are justified by their victimhood. They cannot be accused of hate crimes. They are the eternal victims of hate crime.

And who are the “oppressed”? They are who the SJW’s say they are.

Posted under Commentary, Crime, education, Ethics, Islam, Israel, jihad, Law, Leftism, media, Muslims, Palestinians, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

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9/11 0

never-forget_t5

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, September 11, 2016

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“Let’s not roll”? 3

Last Sunday a Muslim, Omar Mateen, committed mass-murder in a gay club in Orlando, Florida. He was the son of an Afghan immigrant who supports the Taliban. And he was a registered Democrat.

He had been under investigation by the FBI for “ties to terrorism”.

He had regularly visited the club and had dated men there, so obviously he was not personally prejudiced against homosexuality. But as Islam teaches that homosexuals should be killed, he was being a good Muslim by killing people in a club for gays. He shot 102 people, killing 49 of them.

And he encountered no resistance. 

We do not often agree with the opinions of Geraldo Rivera, the Fox News talk show host and reporter, but with this we do agree:

The Daily Beast reports:

“When you’re in that situation and you have no weapons, you have two choices,” Rivera said of the men and women caught by surprise on a dark dance-floor late into the night. “If you can’t hide and you can’t run, there are two choices. You stay and die, or you fight.  … Fight back,” he urged … “There’s a hundred people that he murdered [49 murdered – ed] with one weapon that he reloaded,” Rivera continued … “When he reloaded, they must — people must — America must understand, we are at war with Islamic terror, with these terrorists. We’ve got to stop them in Raqqa, we’ve got to stop them in Mosul, and we’ve got to stop them in the Pulse in Orlando.”

Rivera has been much reviled for daring to say all that. But he is right!  One shooter against hundreds of people! Admittedly unarmed people – unarmed because there’s an absurd sentiment prevailing in America that to own a gun to protect oneself is immoral (regardless of the Second Amendment). Call it “gunphobia”. And when shooting attacks happen, the gun-phobics blame the gun instead of the shooter.

The shooter paused not only to reload, but to use his cellphone to text his wife, and to look up Facebook – hoping to see comment on what he was doing. While he was thus distracted, couldn’t some of those hundreds of people have rushed him? They were unable to escape and they were facing death. Their choice then was to die passively or take action for a chance of survival. There were strong men there. There may have been women who are in the army, and perhaps many who believe women should be eligible for front-line military service. If even just a few people had tried to tackle him, they may have saved many lives including possibly their own. Yet they did nothing at all to defend themselves against a lone gunman.

By way of contrast, we recall a time when some other Americans had the choice of dying passively or taking a risk that might kill them –  but which they considered worth taking anyway to stop the victory of evil.

Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks, a number that would almost certainly have been significantly higher if not for the actions of those aboard Flight 93. …

United Airlines Flight 93, a regularly scheduled early-morning nonstop flight from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, departed at 8:42 a.m., just minutes before the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center. The flight’s takeoff had been delayed for nearly 45 minutes due to air traffic at Newark International Airport. The plane carried seven crew members and 33 passengers, less than half its maximum capacity. Also on the flight were four hijackers who had successfully boarded the plane with knives and box cutters. The plane’s late departure had disrupted the terrorists’ timeline for launching their attack; unlike the hijackers on the other three planes, they did not attempt to gain control of the aircraft until nearly 40 minutes into the flight. …

At roughly 9:28 the terrorists successfully infiltrated the plane’s cockpit, and air traffic controllers heard what they believed to be two mayday calls amid sounds of a struggle. At 9:32 a hijacker, later identified as Ziad Jarrah, was heard over the flight data recorder, directing the passengers to sit down and stating that there was a bomb aboard the plane. The flight data recorder also shows that Jarrah reset the autopilot, turning the plane around to head back east.

Huddled in the back of the plane, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 made a series of calls on their cell phones and the in-flight Airfones, informing family members and officials on the ground of the plane’s hijacking. When they learned the fate of the three other hijacked flights in New York City and Washington, D.C., the passengers realized that their plane was involved in a larger terrorist plot and would likely be used to carry out further attacks on U.S. soil.

After a brief discussion, a vote was taken and the passengers decided to fight back against their hijackers, informing several people on the ground of their plans. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard over an open line saying, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.”

At 9:57 the passengers and crew aboard Flight 93 began their counterattack, as recorded by the cockpit voice recorder. In response, the hijacker piloting the plane began to roll the aircraft, pitching it up and down to throw the charging passengers off balance. Worried that the passengers would soon break through to the cockpit, the hijackers made the decision to crash the plane before reaching their final destination. At 10:02 a voice was recorded saying, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.” Several other voices chanted “Allah is great” as the plane’s controls were turned hard to the right. The airplane then rolled onto its back and plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour. Flight 93’s intended target is not known, but it is believed that the hijackers were targeting the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or several nuclear power plants along the Eastern seaboard.

Has something changed America? Oh, yes. Obama promised to change it, and he has.

Atheists who do as Christians do 11

Atheists of the Left – “Humanists” some call themselves – often reveal with unconscious irony how close Leftism is to Christianity: the same moral myopia, hubris, and sentimentality.

In order to enjoy the cheap emotional satisfaction of feeling they are “good people”, they go in for this sort of thing.

We quote from the Friendly Atheist at Patheos:

After the Daily Caller News Foundation posted a map of supposed “radical mosques” in the U.S., it wasn’t long before threats were made against them.

But in a wonderful gesture on Monday, the Humanists of the Palouse reached out to the Muslims, sending them a letter of concern and offering whatever help they could:

To our Muslim friends in the Moscow/Pullman area,

Recently, we have been made aware of threats to our community, centered on the Pullman Islamic Center and it and many other Mosques being mis-reported as “radical”. In today’s climate, these threats should not be taken lightly, and we certainly do not. We fully support your right to practice religion free from harm and harassment.

We recognize your members as valued residents of the Palouse. The Humanists of the Palouse want you to know that we will always defend religious freedom and cultural diversity, and threats against these are threats against our very way of life. We stand with you, and offer our support.

If you feel threatened, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to accompany anyone who feels that their safety is at risk (e.g. grocery shopping, on a walk around town, or just for someone to talk to). If we can advocate for you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, and know that you have friends and allies amongst The Humanists of the Palouse.

The Center’s Board of Trustees soon issued this heartfelt response:

The entire Board of Trustees of the Pullman Islamic Association joins me in thanking you and the Humanists of the Palouse generally for this powerful statement affirming civil rights in this country. We are especially moved that a humanist group so completely supports the local Muslim group, since Islam is the most disrespected group in this country. We have noticed that the correct way to define and appreciate humanist groups in general and yours in particular is as lovers and defenders of civil rights, individual and group democratic dignities and freedom of thought, not as haters of religion. Your group’s neighborly defense of freedom of religion in the Palouse demonstrates your focus on freedom and social justice. We are impressed by and thankful for your firm support and offer of assistance and solidarity.

One of our Board of Trustees members is meeting with an FBI agent today, which demonstrates that the federal police are taking this threat seriously. Given this sobering reality of threatened arson and violence your support will always be appreciated by the leaders and membership of the Pullman Islamic Association. We hope we will not need to ask for your offered assistance, but if we do need or want such support, we will indeed reach out to Humanists of the Palouse.

That’s how you do it, friends.

You can disagree on theological issues, but I’d hope local atheist groups around the country would be willing to reach out to Muslims who are actually being persecuted by overzealous conservatives eager to shut them down.

If they lose their religious freedoms, we all do.

Can they possibly not know that sharia law – inseparable from the ideology of Islam – condemns apostasy, which is what atheism is deemed to be? And prescribes death as the punishment for atheists? (Atheist men; women not always.) In some Islamic lands they are imprisoned rather than executed. But all risk their lives, and such freedom as anyone has in a Muslim majority country.

These are reports of atheists, apostates, free thinkers who have been sentenced to prison, and/or flogging, and/or death in Islamic countries recently – the crime of atheism often being euphemized into something else in court. And some who have been killed by their Muslim compatriots.

1. From the Economist, on Alexander Aan in Indonesia:

A MOB attacked Alexander Aan even before an Indonesian court in June jailed him for two and a half years for “inciting religious hatred”.

His crime was to write “God does not exist” on a Facebook group he had founded for atheists in Minang, a province of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Like most non-believers in Islamic regions, he was brought up as a Muslim. And like many who profess godlessness openly, he has been punished. …

Sharia law, which covers only Muslims unless incorporated into national law, assumes people are born into their parents’ religion. Thus ex-Muslim atheists are guilty of apostasy—a hudud crime against God, like adultery and drinking alcohol. Potential sanctions can be severe: eight states, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Sudan have the death penalty on their statute books for such offences. …

Most atheists are prosecuted for blasphemy or for inciting hatred. (Atheists born to non-Muslim families are not considered apostates, but they can still be prosecuted for other crimes against religion.) Even in places where laws are lenient, religious authorities and social attitudes can be harsh, with vigilantes inflicting beatings or beheadings.

Many, like Kacem el-Ghazzali, a Moroccan, reckon the only solution is to escape abroad. The 23-year-old was granted asylum in Switzerland after people found out he was the author of an anonymous blog, Atheistica.com. …

Nahla Mahmoud, a 25-year-old Sudanese atheist … fled to Britain in 2010. …

Ibn Warraq, the pseudonymous Indian-born author of “Leaving Islam”, a collection of essays by ex-believers, … lives in exile and has received death threats for campaigning on the behalf of apostates. … Arguments for the death penalty [he says] are usually based on a Hadith, one of the sayings which, along with the Koran, form the basis of Islamic law: “The Prophet said: whoever discards his religion, kill him.” …

Ibn Warraq says that the nub of the problem is that sharia makes atheism the number one sin, ahead of murder.  …

2. From the Guardian, on Ashraf Fayadh in Saudi Arabia:

A Palestinian poet and leading member of Saudi Arabia’s nascent contemporary art scene has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.

A Saudi court on Tuesday ordered the execution of Ashraf Fayadh, who has curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale. The poet, who said he did not have legal representation, was given 30 days to appeal against the ruling.

Fayadh, 35, a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia, was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court in Abha, a city in the south-west of the ultraconservative kingdom, in May 2014. But after his appeal was dismissed he was retried earlier this month and a new panel of judges ruled that his repentance did not prevent his execution.

3. From Patheos, the Friendly Atheist itself, on Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia:

December 26, 2013 by Paul Fidalgo [who is admirably scathing in his disgust – ed).

Saudi blogger and religious dissident Raif Badawi has been cruelly punished and toyed with by the Saudi legal system for about a year now, and things have taken a darker turn. According to Badawi’s wife, now living in Lebanon, the high court will try Badawi on the charge of apostasy. If convicted, Badawi could be executed.

This comes after a court opted not to charge him with apostasy in January, but did put him up on charges of “insulting Islam and showing disobedience”. How did they come to this decision? Badawi is the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, which is bad enough, but imagine the horror that washed over Saudi society with this kind of action:

The evidence against him included the fact that he pressed the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.

As a result of this heinous behavior, in July, Badawi was sentenced to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.

Which was horrifying enough. But now it looks like Badawi is being brought up on apostasy charges in earnest. Badawi’s case is one of many being watched by the Office of Public Policy at the Center for Inquiry, where I work, and our Campaign for Free Expression. Browse the cases we have listed there, and you’ll see that, sadly, Badawi’s case is hardly unique.

Cases like this need more international attention, and those who position themselves as “allies” of Saudi Arabia, such as the United States, need to discover their consciences. How can the civilized world refer to itself as such when an ally practices such barbarism, it looks the other way?

The judge in Badawi’s subsequent appeal stiffened the original 2013 sentence – seven years in prison and 600 lashes – to 1000 lashes, ten years in prison and a fine of $266,000. See our post, The punishment of reason, January 12, 2015, where there is an eyewitness description of the first of the series of lashings Badawi is being subjected to.

Badawi had written, “My commitment is… to reject any repression in the name of religion… a goal that we will reach in a peaceful, law-abiding way.”

This was interpreted by the judge as “insulting Islam”.

Badawi’s health is now frail. He is unlikely to survive the lashings.

4. From Poetry Foundation, on Hashem Shaabani in Iran:

We were saddened and horrified today to learn of the death of Hashem Shaabani, who was executed on January 27th by the order of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

From Radio Free Europe:

An Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal reportedly had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, last July on charges that included “waging war on God”. 

Press reports said Shaabani was hanged after his sentence was approved by President Hassan Rohani.

In a statement on February 5, Freedom House said Shaabani was subjected to severe torture and interrogation during his three years in prison.

Human Rights Voices also reports on the execution, writing:

To those who knew him, was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system … In one of his letters from prison, made available to use through his family, Shaabani says  … I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.” 

5. From the Guardian on Avijit Roy and Rafida Bonya Ahmed in Pakistan:

No one could have predicted that the Bangladeshi writer Rafida Bonya Ahmed would make it to London last week. …  In February, Islamist fanatics hacked her husband, Avijit Roy, to death with meat cleavers as the couple left a book fair in Dhaka. They nearly killed Ahmed too: slicing off her thumb and covering her body with wounds. …

Together, Ahmed and Roy ran a secular blog that promoted the writings of young liberal Bangladeshis They wrote on evolution and humanism; they condemned extremism fearlessly, as the title of Roy’s 2014 book The Virus of Faith makes clear. Seeing and fearing a courageous opponent, the enemies of free thought killed him for his ideas. …

6. From a Reuters report on Ananta Bijoy Das and others in Bangladesh:

Third Atheist blogger killed in Bangladesh.

A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding attackers in Bangladesh on Tuesday (May 12), the third killing of a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation in less than three months.

Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger who advocated secularism, was attacked by four masked assailants in the northeastern district of Sylhet on Tuesday morning, senior police official Mohammad Rahamatullah told Reuters.

Rahamatullah said Das was a 33-year-old banker.

He was also editor of science magazine “Jukti,” which means “logic,” and on the advisory board of “Mukto Mona” (Free Mind), a website propagating rationalism and opposing fundamentalism …

According to the monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group, Islamist militant group Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh said al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) had claimed responsibility for the attack. …

Imran Sarker, the head of a network of activists and bloggers in Bangladesh, said Das was “a progressive free thinker and a good human being”. …

Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years …

On March 30, Washiqur Rahman, another secular blogger who aired his outrage over [Avijit] Roy’s death on social media, was killed in similar fashion on a busy street in the capital, Dhaka.

Their deaths followed the killing in 2013 of Ahmed Rajib Haider, who backed calls to impose the death penalty on Islamist leaders accused of atrocities in Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.

Why do our fellow atheists – of the leftist “Humanist” persuasion – not burn with anger against the ideology that persecutes atheism, secularism, rationalism, and shun the company of its devotees?

If they think they are earning the goodwill and tolerance of the Muslims towards whom they’re making this gesture, they’re pathetically deluded. Their nice little letter is not going to change sharia law, or the minds of those who want to impose it on us all.

They seem simply not to believe that the Muslims they contacted might be members of “radicalizing” mosques – which is to say, mosques with imams who urge them to support terrorist groups or join ISIS. There’s no hint that they explored the possibility. In their minds, the accusation must be wholly unjustified.

And one more thing. When those poor persecuted Muslims “in the Moscow/Pullman area” whimpered that “Islam is the most disrespected group in this country”, they are lying. The president of the United States is the son of a Muslim and an Islam lover who has brought Muslim Brotherhood advisers into his administration – and has clearly formed policies on their advice..

At the time of this writing there have been 27,322 deadly attacks carried out by Muslims since 9/11. (See the tally in our margin, taken from The Religion of Peace.) Muslim terrorists do all they can to terrify non-Muslims, and then cynically accuse them of an irrational fear of Islam, calling it “Islamophobia”.

Muslims are the target of few “hate crimes” in the US. But they perpetrate more than any others do.

We quote from an article by David J. Rusin at Islamist Watch. His staistics come from a December 2014 report of 2013 figures. (We await the 2014 report this coming December):

New FBI Hate Crime Stats: Another Blow to Islamist Fictions

There were 1,031 incidents inspired by religion last year, 625 (60.6 percent) of which were anti-Jewish. Anti-Islamic ones constituted just 13.1 percent.

On April 15, 2013, Muslim terrorists murdered three and injured hundreds at the Boston Marathon, prompting familiar warnings about an imminent anti-Muslim backlash. The FBI’s findings are proof that such collective punishment did not materialize — as it almost never does.

How have Islamist groups greeted the FBI data? With silence. It is the sound of disappointment on the part of radicals who need Muslim victims, preferably real ones, to serve as human shields for the Islamist agenda. Bad news for Islamists is once again good news for the rest of us.

Where’s Obama? 4

As president of the United States, Barack Obama has done no good for his country.

Or was there one thing? Many of his critics – even some conservatives  – say that at least he had the mastermind of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, tracked down and executed.

But while it is true that bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011, by US Navy SEALs, and though it could only have been done with his consent, it was done against his wishes. His consent was given very reluctantly. Three times he put off ordering a raid on bin Laden’s known hideout in Abottabad, Pakistan, because his éminence grise Valerie Jarrett told him not to do it. We don’t know what arguments or pressure, or whose persuasion, finally brought him to let the act of justice be carried out by the SEALs. He even tried to stop it happening hours before it was due to start with the frantic  excuse that bad weather would make it too difficult. When he was shown that that was not the case, that the weather would be “ideal” for the raid, he had no more excuses and had to let the deed be done.

As he was emotionally against it, was he likely to enjoy watching it on a screen in the White House? He’d have hated every moment. But he needs the American people to believe he watched it. He needs them to give him credit for it, as they do. He needs them to say what a courageous act it was;  how brilliantly planned and executed – by Barack Obama. So he needs to deceive them, as is his habit and custom.

Do you believe this picture?

images

See how small Obama looks. This narcissistic president, the commander-in-chief whose great achievement this would be, on a low seat cramped in a little space rather far back and to the side? Compare the size of his head with the others. Has a picture of him sitting somewhere else, some other time, been inserted to make it look as if he had been in this room intently watching the killing of bin Laden?

It has been authoritatively said that he was playing a card game in another room as Biden, Clinton, Gates and the others watched the raid.  Did he nip in here just to have the photo taken?

It sure looks photoshopped to us.

Opinions are invited.

Stupid, evil, communist 2

An American female lawyer and communist, Lynne Stewart, helped Muslim terrorists carry out mass-murder and torture by relaying messages from their jailed leader.

These are extracts from Wikipedia:

Lynne Stewart was convicted on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists in 2005, and sentenced to 28 months in prison. Her felony conviction led to her being automatically disbarred. She was convicted of helping pass messages from her client, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric convicted of planning terror attacks, to his followers in al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, an organization designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States Secretary of State.

She was re-sentenced on July 15, 2010, to 10 years in prison in light of her perjury at her trial. She served her sentence at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, a federal prison near Fort Worth, Texas.

Stewart was released from prison on December 31, 2013 on a compassionate release order because of her terminal breast cancer diagnosis.

Out she came with the clichés that pass for “thought” in the parrot minds of communists:

Stewart believes that violence is at times needed to correct for the perceived injustices of capitalism. She states that she doesn’t “believe in anarchistic violence but in directed violence,” with directed violence being that which is “directed at the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism and sexism, and at the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions, and accompanied by popular support.”

Muslims as such are not against capitalism, though they have hypocritical ways of taking interest on invested capital so as not to call it that. As for racism, there is no ideology more racist that Islam except its old ally, Nazism. And when it comes to sexism, in theory and in practice, Islam is the world champion. Lynne Stewart apparently saw no need to square her stated “beliefs” with her activity for the benefit of the Muslim terrorists she conspired with.

This commentary on the Lynne Stewart case is from Front Page by Daniel Greenfield.

“Oh, Muslims everywhere!” Omar Abdel Rahman wrote from his American prison cell. “Cut the transportation of their countries, tear it apart, destroy their economy, burn their companies, eliminate their interests, sink their ships, shoot down their planes, kill them on the sea, air, on land.”

This fatwa, or one very similar to it, was distributed to Al Qaeda terrorists in terror training camps while Mohammed Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh’s son, lectured them on their duties as Jihadists.

While Al Qaeda was working on terror plots that would eventually develop into the attacks of September 11, the blind sheikh was producing threatening sermons from prison warning that America would bring “destruction” on itself if it interfered with the forces of Islam.

On September 2000, a year before the attack, Bin Laden released a video together with Rahman’s son, vowing to free the blind sheikh while Rahman’s son urged Muslims to “move forward and shed blood.”

A year later they did.

It wasn’t easy for the blind terror chief to remain relevant in prison. His devoted attorney Lynne Stewart helped keep Omar Abdel Rahman relevant by helping him pass messages to his followers from prison. …

Omar Abdel Rahman’s followers carried out the first attack against the World Trade Center. Ramzi Yousef, the perpetrator of the World Trade Center bombing, was a follower of the blind sheikh, and his uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was also the architect of the September 11 attacks.

Afterward, the blind sheikh’s followers unspooled a terror plot larger in scale than September 11 targeting New York landmarks.

Lynne Stewart didn’t just conspire to aid any terrorist. The man she was aiding was a crucial figure in a wave of terror rolling around the world from Egypt to Afghanistan. Islamic terrorists, including Al Qaeda, hung on his words and derived inspiration from his incitement to violence.

Stewart was present when Rahman was told that the bombing of the USS Cole had been carried out in his name and that there were plans to carry out further operations unless he was released. While the sheikh and his follower talked of terror, Lynne Stewart sat and scribbled, pretending to take notes so that the prison guards would not become suspicious.

In an interview, Lynne Stewart suggested that maintaining the blind sheikh’s “exchange value” was part of her job. “It could be very important that that person is still perceived as worth exchanging, perhaps, for someone else,” she suggested. “Once he … becomes a non-person on the international scene, he loses currency, he loses credibility. He is no longer someone who perhaps would be viable for people to consider in some kind of swap or exchange.” …

A year after Rahman was sentenced to life in prison, terrorists from his Muslim Brotherhood splinter organization, the Islamic Group, carried out the Luxor Massacre in Egypt. European tourists had their ears and noses cut off before being killed. The attack had been carried out to take hostages to exchange for Lynne Stewart’s client. A note calling for the release of Rahman was found in a disemboweled body.

When asked about the Luxor Massacre, Stewart accused Americans of being “two-faced about violence” adding that, “The basic desire of people to be free hasn’t changed. And I’m not sure that I want to second-guess what methods other people use.”

In the massacre that Lynne Stewart refused to second-guess, the methods included the murder of Shaunnah Turner, a 5-year-old girl. …

A year before the September 11 attacks, the terror lawyer went too far and held a press conference confirming that the blind sheikh wanted an end to the temporary ceasefire between the Islamic Group and the Egyptian government that had been brokered the year of the Luxor Massacre. … Lynne Stewart was no longer functioning as an attorney. Instead she was acting as the spokeswoman for a terrorist organization. After September 11 fulfilled the fatwa of her client, she expressed her support for Osama bin Laden and said, “I’m pretty inured to the notion that in a war or in an armed struggle, people die.”

The people in the World Trade Center ”never knew what hit them. They had no idea that they could ever be a target for somebody’s wrath, just by virtue of being American. They took it personally. And actually, it wasn’t a personal thing.”

Nothing going on out there is “personal” to a communist. Everything that happens is the inevitable progress of history. “It” only becomes personal when it hits him or her personally.

Lynne Stewart’s career of defending domestic terrorists had prepared her to take this callous view of the lives of the men, women and children murdered by her clients. Stewart had defended Weather Underground terrorists not for money, but because she agreed with their views.

“I am guilty of no crime,” Stewart has said. And she has gone on playing the victim while showing not an ounce of remorse. “Oh, I would do it again in a minute,” she told an interviewer.

And now that Obama has decided to set her free, she may get the chance.

Stewart has cancer and the Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Attorney’s office asked for her compassionate release. The request has been granted. Compassionate releases are rare, but the old radical has friends in high places. Less than a dozen prisoners are granted compassionate release each year. Lynne Stewart won the lottery, but it’s doubtful that luck had anything to do with it.

[Attorney General] Holder has filled the Justice Department with terrorist sympathizers and made it a place where Lynne Stewart would feel right at home.

The American Taliban’s lawyer is now the Acting Associate Attorney General and the Principal Deputy Solicitor General was the lawyer for Bin Laden’s driver. They join at least seven other lawyers who have defended terrorists. Lawyers whom Attorney General Eric Holder declared were “patriots” for representing terrorists.

The Second Circuit Court wrote that Stewart suffered from a “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.” … She did not accept … that they were crimes. That is something that she has in common with Attorney General Eric Holder.

In her opening argument for the blind sheikh, Stewart contended that ”he has advocated for the suffering of his people at home, in Egypt. He has advocated by any means necessary, and that is not acceptable to this government.”

Omar Abdel Rahman’s idea of advocacy was mass murder. So was Lynne Stewart’s.

Now Stewart is being treated with the compassion that she denied his many victims; including Shaunnah Turner. And if Lynne Stewart lives to continue her crimes, she will repay that compassion the same way that her favorite terrorists always have.

She has no idea that she could be a target for somebody’s wrath, just by virtue of being American. 

Though she will never be the target of America’s wrath, just by virtue of being a traitor.

A pity, that.

Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent 2

– Adam Smith said.

Who treats the guilty with mercy? American governments do, and many Americans think it is right.

Why so gross an offense to justice?

These are extracts from an article by Daniel Greenfield at his website, Sultan Knish:

In 1997, Mohammed T. Mehdi, the head of the Arab-American Committee and the National Council on Islamic Affairs, lobbied to have a crescent and star put up at the World Trade Center during the holiday season. His wish was granted, despite the fact that he had been an adviser to Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman also known as the Blind Sheikh.

In the name of diversity and political correctness, an adviser to the religious leader behind the World Trade Center bombing [in 1993], was allowed to plant an Islamic symbol of conquest in the very place that had been bombed.

Long before the Ground Zero Mosque was even a twinkle in the eye of a violent ex-waiter and a slumlord Imam, the World Trade Center allowed Mohammed T. Mehdi to bully it into flying the symbol of Islam.

By 1997, Mohammed T. Mehdi had become an unambiguously ugly public figure. He had been fired by Mayor Dinkins in 1992 for anti-Semitic remarks. The year before he had proclaimed that, “Millions of Arabs believe Saddam stands tall having defied Western colonialism”.

The Third World Muslims pick up words like “colonialism” as a pejorative from the West’s ideologues of the Left. In fact, no colonists in history subjugated the nations they conquered more ruthlessly than did the Muslim Arabs.

In 1995, the US Attorney’s Office in New York had listed Mehdi as anunindicted co-conspirator in the trial of Sheikh Rahman. Mehdi had already published a book titled “Kennedy and Sirhan: Why?”, which contended that Robert Kennedy’s assassin had been acting in self-defense.

Because of Mehdi’s role in actively working on behalf of the Sheikh behind the wave of terrorism that included the original attack on the World Trade Center, turning down his request should have been a no-brainer. Instead in the winter of 1997 there was an Islamic star and crescent at the World Trade Center. And another one at the park in front of the White House.

The previous year had marked the first annual Ramadan dinner at the State Department, integrating the Islamic celebration into the Clinton Administration’s schedule of events. Bill Clinton had not visited the World Trade Center after the bombing, but he did make time for Ramadan.

A month after 9/11, Bush went Clinton one better when he became the first president to host a Ramadan dinner at the White House. Many of the Muslim ambassadors at the event were representing countries that helped finance Al Qaeda. Little more than a month after September 11, the President of the United States sat down to break bread with the money men behind the attacks.

The Star and Crescent flying at the World Trade Center did not prevent it from being targeted in a second greater attack four years later. Nor did the Ramadan dinners keep the plane headed for the White House at bay. It took the self-sacrifice of its American passengers to do that. Instead every gesture of appeasement only seemed to make it worse.

Before the star and crescent flew at the World Trade Center, the site suffered only a few dead. After it, thousands dead.

The more Ramadan dinners Bush hosted, the more Americans died, because the Star and Crescent and the Ramadan dinners both expressed a deliberate blindness to the threat of Islamic terrorism.

No one who understood what had happened at the World Trade Center in 1993, would have permitted a banner associated with its attackers to be flown there. But while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey let Mehdi have his way with the World Trade Center, other Muslims were working to carry out Sheikh Abdel-Rahman’s agenda for a war on America and the free world.

“Cut the transportation of their countries,” the blind Sheik had commanded, “tear it apart, destroy their economy, burn their companies, eliminate their interests, sink their ships, shoot down their planes, kill them on the sea, air, or land.”

While the US was busy bombing Yugoslavian civilians in order to create a separatist Muslim state for KLA terrorists; Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were recruiting the first of the 9/11 hijackers. While the United States tried to appease Muslims, Muslims plotted to murder Americans.

In 1997, the New York Daily News wrote an upbeat story about Mehdi’s Star and Crescent, which envisioned Islam blending merrily into the holiday season.

New York may seem a little brighter this holiday season as the glowing Muslim crescent and star symbol nudges its way onto a seasonal landscape of Christmas trees, menorahs and Kwanzaa candles.

Watch out, ho, ho, ho-ing Santas you might get drowned out by cheery folks yelling, “Allahu akbar!”

Four years later, cheery folks yelling “Allahu Akbar” filled downtown Manhattan with ashen snow and brightened it with the flames of the burning towers of the World Trade Center. …

While “Americans were picking up the pieces of their loved ones, it was they who were told to be sensitive to Muslim concerns.”

New York City schools [made] arrangements for Muslim prayers out of “heightened sensitivity to Muslim concerns after the Sept. 11 attack”.

Instead of Americans being on the receiving end of “heightened sensitivity”, the ideology that had conspired to murder them was.

And so it continued, the appeasement, the grovelling:

On the 9th anniversary of 9/11, Islam had another gift for New Yorkers. Having bought up a building damaged in their own attack, they plotted to set up a grand mosque near Ground Zero. Another gift to New Yorkers from the religion that kept on giving. Another Crescent and Star.

The same people who did not learn the lesson in 1997, and allowed the Crescent and Star to fly at the World Trade Center, were eager to let the Ground Zero Mosque go forward in the name of tolerance. But despite the Crescent and Star, appeasement proved to be no defense.

3,000 died on 9/11 because American leaders preferred to appease, rather than confront. And we are still busy appeasing, like never before.

When the sensitive treat the brutal sensitively, and the brutal treat the sensitive brutally, who will win?

Posted under Commentary, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, December 26, 2013

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