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.

Weapons of war: the ultimate mowing machines 3

Sam Westrop, the best informed expert in both Britain and America on Islamic sects, their internecine strife, and the jihad, talks about terrorism by motor vehicle:

When will  Democrats start calling for van control?

Posted under Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 22, 2017

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Equality and inclusiveness in terrorism 1

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

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

From Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey:

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

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

But not anymore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its mission statement:

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

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

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

Here’s the official description of the campaign:

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

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

But what if it is?

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

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

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

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

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

That’s what CVE is all about. …

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

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

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

And what about “hate”?

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

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

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

OSCE is now a very dangerous organization.

 

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

Trump the avenger? 22

Of course both Trump and Cruz followers want passionately for the Left to be defeated in November 2016. But the defeat of Hillary and the Democratic Party, though it would be enormously satisfying to both factions, would not be enough for Trump voters. They want more. And that “more” is  revenge.

So we deduce from watching them and listening to them through the media.

We understand feelingly why that might be. The harm Obama and his gang have done to America and the world will take decades to repair, maybe even centuries. Europe will probably never recover from the Islamic invasion unleashed upon it by the devastating policies of the Obama regime towards Islam and the Middle East.

Whereas Cruz voters may be content with an election victory, Trump voters will also want Hillary in prison for a long stretch; Islam crushed; and, in as short a time as possible, Obama condemned by “history”.

Those who share that ache for revenge, will understand why all the reasons that anti-Trump conservatives pour out for not supporting Trump, fall on deaf ears.  

Michael Dansen writes at Truth Revolt:

Donald Trump is … a healthy antibody reaction to Obamaism … In a country that does not historically gravitate towards extremism at the highest levels of political office, he may be the medicine we need in order to even things out. Yes, the treatment may be harsh, but the patient is very sick.

In the words of the late, great Andrew Breitbart, if someone calls you a racist or a bigot, “Walk towards that fire.” A Trump presidency will prove that you can say things that are unflattering – but sometimes true – about preferred victim groups and the world will not come to an end. We will not re-introduce slavery. We will not become The Third Reich. We will not legalize rape. We will not make birth control illegal. There will be no reconstitution of Jim Crow. Those days are gone and good riddance.

The Right needs to learn to bring a knife, at the very least, to a knife fight. George W. Bush, who had this CRAZY notion that a country should use its military to kill its enemies, was destroyed over Iraq because he didn’t want to “lower himself” by responding to his critics. When called a “misleader” [read: “liar”] by the DNC in a July 2003 television ad over prewar intel, Karl Rove decided not to bring up the fact that WMD stockpiles actually were uncovered in Iraq.

Trump is always on offense and he’s a tougher target. Over-the-top Democrat attacks on Trump only help his cause. They’re having the same effect as protestors crashing Trump rallies – they make more people sympathetic to his campaign.

The Right also needs to push back against the Left’s specious income inequality arguments and their demonization of the wealthy. Democrats have been offering free stuff from rich people for 50 years. Not surprisingly, this is seductive and appealing. Rich people pay the OVERWHELMING majority of taxes in this country, but Dems still demand that they need to pay their “fair share”. Trump can be counted on to question and reject their premises – which is a major reason that progressives loathe the man with the white hot heat of a thousand suns.

As for Trump’s promised, controversial wall:

First, it is not a 2,000 mile wall. It will be built in certain sections which are the sites most common for illegal ingress.

Second, the U.S. has levers to elevate the Mexican government’s thinking on the subject of who pays for what – namely, foreign aid and impounding remittances.

Third, it’s a sordid situation indeed that Mexico City provides instructions to their citizens on how to subvert U.S. law, offers their consulates in the U.S. to help carry this out, and then calls us racists for noticing this. That Trump is controversial for being against de facto indentured servitude that’s incompatible with the melting pot ideal is the real controversy.

To opponents who hold to the “we are a nation of immigrants” school of thought: there is no limiting principle to that line of thinking and it is essentially an open borders argument. The idea that anybody who can physically get here deserves to remain here is absurd – even more so as we continue to build up the welfare state. We need more citizens who are contributing to the tax rolls, not who are net takers from them. America has traditionally gone through periods of opening the borders up through controlled, legal immigration from overseas and going through periods of assimilation and “insularity”.

We also had a common culture that was at first at least suspecting of the Dutch, Anglicans [sic] [he may mean Anglophones – ed], Germans, Catholics, the Irish, Italians, Jews, Greeks, etc. This was healthy as it winnowed the field of those who had what it took to be full-fledged American citizens and those who couldn’t quite hack it.

We’re not in unqualified agreement with that last paragraph. But we firmly agree with what he says next:

Do we have the right to prevent Muslims from entering our country after spasms of Islam-inspired terrorism? Yes.

He is implying that there is a sound reason to exclude Muslims. But his next point is that immigrants can be excluded for no sound reasons – even on whim only.

We also can prevent Congregationalists, left-handed people, towheads, Andorrans, etc. if that is the national course upon which we decide.

Because –

Immigration here is a privilege, not a right.

And so it is. It is the prerogative of the nation state to choose whom it will accept into its protection.

He returns to the Muslim question:

It will be a relief when we have a leader who does not say, after yet another Islamist atrocity, “First thing: get me to a mosque. I need to hug a Muslim and pronounce upon Koranic interpretations. The most important thing right now is not attending to our security concerns; it is stopping the bigoted, xenophobic, murderous impulse that lies just under the surface of our society!” …

And then he goes on to the Communist question (incidentally reminding us that from the start of the Cold War, Communists were denied immigration, or even a visitor’s visa to tour or study in the US).

For those who complain that there are some unsavory characters in Trump’s base, keep in mind that they may be scary but the left’s unsavory characters – in the media, academia, and the entertainment industry – are the inheritors of an ideology that has killed, according to The Black Book of Communism, 100 million people.

The outgoing president is also one of those unsavory inheritors. The electorate could not have made a worse choice other than an outright supporter of Islamic jihad … Oh, wait! …

The workplace of war 5

The media, including Fox News, and the police, the president, and all Democrats, are having difficulty finding a motive behind the massacre of San Bernardino, carried out yesterday by a Muslim man and a Muslim woman.

Daring commentators go so far as to say that the killing might have been Islamic terrorism, acts of which, they recall, have been carried out from time to time in America and elsewhere; or it might have been workplace violence – which they’d much prefer it to be.

We are happy to come to their aid and resolve the dilemma.

For jihadis, they are the same thing.

Islamic lore has it that the whole non-Muslim world is the Dar-al-Harb, the Place of War. And that whole vast wicked region is their workplace.

So – you see – by killing non-Muslims, Muslims are performing acts of workplace violence in order to terrorize the infidel. And that is not wrong, it is the work they are instructed to do by no less a boss than Allah himself.  

We are all aware that workplace violence is an everyday occurrence. It’s as American as apple pie. Why make a fuss about it?

When you should be worrying about global warming.

Posted under America, Commentary, Crime, Environmentalism, Islam, jihad, media, Muslims, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, December 3, 2015

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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.

Seventeen thousand three hundred and seventy-nine acts of Islamic terrorism 10

From time to time we quote from the daily record, kept by (the excellent, ironically named) Religion of Peace, of deadly terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims since 9/11. The total, which appears daily in our margin, stands now at 17379.

Here is what Muslims perpetrated in just the last two days in the name of their disgusting religion:

2011.06.26 (Meiram, Sudan) – Arab militiamen attack a train carrying Southerners, killing one.

2011.06.26 (Maiduguri, Nigeria) – Islamists massacre twenty-five patrons at a bar by tossing in bombs and firing into the building.

2011.06.26 (Char Chino, Afghanistan) – The Taliban detonate an 8-year-old girl near a checkpoint.

2011.06.26 (Tarmiya, Iraq) – A suicide bomber hides his weapon in a wheelchair. Three others are killed.

2011.06.26 (Mosul, Iraq) – Mujahid car bombers successfully kill six Iraqis.

2011.06.25 (Logar, Afghanistan) – A huge car bomb at a hospital ends the lives of at least three dozen innocents and de-limbs many others.

Posted under Afghanistan, Africa, Commentary, Iraq, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Sudan by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 27, 2011

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Enough to stir a flood of mutiny? 0

The Obama administration will not use the words “Islam” or “Muslim” in connection with terrorism, which means they are not serious about countering the actual terrorist activity that has killed thousands of Americans; but they will use the continuing and growing threat of it as an excuse to invade our privacy, to watch us in the manner of the KGB and the Stasi.

They are taking steps to find out exactly whom you are emailing and what Internet sites you visit.

The Washington Post reports:

The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add just four words — “electronic communication transactional records” — to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user’s browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the “content” of e-mail or other Internet communication.

But what officials portray as a technical clarification designed to remedy a legal ambiguity strikes industry lawyers and privacy advocates as an expansion of the power the government wields through so-called national security letters. These missives, which can be issued by an FBI field office on its own authority, require the recipient to provide the requested information and to keep the request secret. They are the mechanism the government would use to obtain the electronic records.

If this encroachment on our privacy were necessary to protect us from terrorism, we might reluctantly accept it as a temporary measure. But it is not. What is necessary to stop the terrorists is to name their cause, Islamic jihad, and to formulate and implement a policy to defeat it.

Deep surveillance of our private lives is not only unnecessary, it is intolerable.

What terrorism is and is not 0

What is terrorism?

First, what it is not. It is not a movement. It is not in itself an ideology.

Terrorism is a method. It can be defined as: The use of violence to create public fear.

It can be used for various ends. The mafia uses it for commercial ends. The Papal and Spanish Inquisitions used it for religious ends. Most often and most urgently it has long been and continues to be used for political ends. It is as old as mankind and is unlikely to fall into disuse while there is human life on earth.

Generally speaking one can class an act of violence as terroristic by asking the question; Does it make most people feel safer or less safe? A terrorist act is designed to make the public feel unsafe: “It could happen to any of us” and “If they get their way we’ll be worse off” versus “If that blow sets us free from fear it was a blow well struck”. So Hamas bombs lobbed into Israel are terroristic, while Israel targeting Hamas leaders holds out the chance of liberation from the true oppressors of Gaza as well as warning them off. Israel kills civilians only by accident, not design. Knowing that Israel does not want to kill civilians, Hamas uses women, children, and hospital patients as human shields.

In the case of tyrannicide, it is not terroristic to kill the tyrant, but if you deliberately kill his wife, kid, or aunt it is an act of terrorism.

Question: If terrorism is a method – therefore allowing one to deny that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter – and terrorism is bad, how do we avoid condemning Horoshima, Dresden, Napalm in Vietnam?

Answer: Britain and the US were not the aggressors in WW2 nor in Vietnam. Nuclear bombs and napalm were not used to terrify but to win. If you are hit with ruthless attack, hit back hard, really hard, no punches pulled, fight to win. War is terrifying, but it is not terrorism. Acts of terrorism are sometimes carried out within war as a different sort of thing, as when Nazis shot all the men of a French village they were occupying in retaliation for one of them being killed by an unknown villager. That was to terrify the whole population, not leaders or military forces, into compliance.

Churchill said, “They wanted total war, they’ll get total war.” Dresden was beautiful, but it was also a place where industry was feeding the German war machine. (There were more than 100 factories there; arms plants, including aircraft components factories, a poison gas factory, and an anti-aircraft and field gun factory; and barracks and munitions stores.)

Napalm was to clear forests so that the hidden enemy could be revealed.

The Hiroshima bomb did end the war.

Question: But strictly logically speaking, Dresden was meant to terrify – that was the proximate aim. And the IRA could say they wanted to win. Is it possible to separate acts of terrorism within a war from terrifying acts of war without reference to whether the cause is good or bad?

Answer: Churchill bombed Dresden to destroy the military targets, hoping also to convince the Nazi leadership that Germany would be bombed flat if they did not soon capitulate. Terror was meant to play its part. Terror is always present in war, but neither side relies exclusively on terror to win it. Yes, the IRA [Irish Republican Army] wanted to win, exclusively by the method of terrorism. If they had won, Northern Ireland would have been less free under their (Communist as much as nationalist) rule than it was as a British province. Terrorists use the morality of their target society against itself. The West hates the deliberate and random murder and maiming of its citizens: the terrorists do not care. Nazism and Communism are terroristic by their very nature. What makes a cause right or wrong is whether its supporters have moral scruples. The allies in WW2 wanted to restore a society that had moral scruples. To do so they had to fight a defensive war – with its inevitable terrorizing – against terroristic powers: Nazi Germany and fascist Italy and their ally Japan (which was not terroristic at home but was very much so toward its prisoners of war and in its conquered territories.)

There are rare times when it is hard or even impossible to say whether an act of violence is terroristic or not – eg blowing up a train carrying arms to an evil power when the train is also carrying civilians. One can only look to the ends in such cases – so yes, the good or bad of the ends counts. Collectivists, not individualists, believe that the end justifies the means. But as with the unwanted killings of civilians in Gaza, the end sometimes is achieved by means that do harm to the innocent.

All collectivism, whether of the egalitarian kind like Communism, or the inegalitarian kind like Nazism and Islam, is intrinsically terroristic. The control of many by the few is terroristic. As big government is the master of the citizens rather than their servant, it is terroristic by nature even if it is restrained in its use of violent force. Only a system which guards individual freedom does not threaten the innocent but protects them from threat. Under what circumstances could you imagine a free society using terrorism? None, if it is to remain a free society. If it has to go to war against another power that threatens its freedom – then yes, it too will terrorize, it too might regrettably find it has killed civilians. But that is not what it aims for, and not what characterizes it.

Terrorism is often called “the warfare of the weak”. It has been allowed to succeed. The Western world is now terrified of offending Muslims because they do not scruple to use random murderous violence in pursuit of their political, religious, ideological ends. They do so within free societies. It is urgently necessary for political leaders to find effective ways of dealing with this evil.

Jillian Becker, July 5, 2010

Jillian Becker was Director of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism, London, 1985-1990.

Dream speech 0

Obama delivered a commencement speech at the US Military Academy at West Point which was studded with ironies.

From the Washington Post:

Obama pledged to shape a new “international order” based on diplomacy and engagement.

His presidency has been notable for diplomatic failures and not a single success. As for “engagement”, his obstinate persistence in trying to “engage” Iran has given it all the time it needed to develop nuclear bombs and build the ballistic missiles to deliver them. But a record of failure does not prompt Obama to reconsider his policy.

“Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system. But America has not succeeded by stepping outside the currents of international cooperation,” he said. “We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice — so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when they don’t.”

Just where has he “steered currents in the direction of liberty and justice”? Where has he got nations that do not “meet their responsibilities” to “face consequences”? Russia invaded Georgia, took and occupied two of its provinces, and Obama has not done a thing about it. What international cooperation has there been to make Russia withdraw?

“The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times,” he said in prepared remarks. “Countering violent extremism and insurgency; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and securing nuclear materials; combating a changing climate and sustaining global growth; helping countries feed themselves and care for their sick; preventing conflict and healing its wounds.”

He may be seeking such an international order, but he’s done nothing to bring it about. Far from “countering violent extremism and insurgency” he refuses even to name the perpetrators of it (Muslims) and the cause they serve (Islam). If he hoped his audience would assume he meant Iraq and Afghanistan, it should be remembered that he was always against the war in Iraq, has shown reluctance to win decisive victory in Afghanistan, and has told the enemy the dates when he’ll withdraw American troops from both battlefields regardless of whether anything that could be called victory has by then been achieved.

On “securing nuclear materials” he held a useless international conference, when Canada and one or two other non-belligerent states promised not to give fissile material to terrorists, but no real danger was eliminated.

And then he comes on to the tired and stupid mantra “combating climate change”. Combating climate? It’s a primitive and ignorant notion. Call in the rainmakers, or cool makers, or warm makers, and let them start their chants!

“Sustaining global growth”? How he feeds the buzz-words (such as “sustaining”) to his far left constituency and at the same time tries to give the impression that he is on the side of prosperity (“global growth”). But his flowery phrasing cannot conceal his lack of understanding.

In Iraq, he said, the United States is “poised” to end its combat operations this summer, leaving behind “an Iraq that provides no safe haven to terrorists; a democratic Iraq that is sovereign, stable and self-reliant.”

Since Obama came to office, there has been far less reporting of terrorist activity in Iraq by the anti-Bush and pro-Obama media. But in fact terrorism in that arrondissement of hell has not stopped. Lately it has intensified. The chances of Iraq becoming stable, “giving no haven to terrorists”, and evolving in this century into a truly democratic state are not worth betting on.

To address the military at all must, he knew, offend the far left constituency to which he long ago sold his soul. Much of his message was aimed at propitiating that radical left rather than reinforcing the morale of American soldiers.

Civilians, he added, must answer the call of service as well, by securing America’s economic future, educating its children and confronting the challenges of poverty and climate change.

His far left critics would understand that when he spoke of “securing America’s economic future” and “confronting the challenges of poverty and climate change” he meant with “green jobs” and redistribution. As for the education of children, they will take it to mean indoctrinating hapless kids with leftist ideology – a cause Obama served actively years ago in Chicago.

Here’s a dry summary of the speech by Arthur Herman in the National Review Online:

On Saturday, Pres. Barack Obama gave a commencement speech … which in effect told the thousand or so soon-to-be second lieutenants that, if he has his way, they’ll soon be out of a job.

Obama outlined for the cadets his vision of a new international order organized around bodies such as the United Nations. In Obama’s future, American military force will give way to American diplomacy joined together with new multilateral partnerships, while “stronger international standards and institutions” will replace unilateral assertion of national interests — including our own. Obama told West Point’s Class of 2010 that he sees them not battling our enemies but “combating a changing climate and sustaining global growth, [and] helping countries feed themselves” even as their citizens achieve their “universal rights.”

He’s still dreaming the dreams of his father.

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