Against the cultivation of victimhood: an iconoclastic essay 2

“I’m not to blame for any wrong I’ve done, because I’m a victim.”

It’s a statement often implied in defense of criminals. The accused may have murdered in cold blood, but he or she was maltreated as a child, subjected to sexual abuse perhaps, so is more to be pitied than blamed. It has proved to be an effective defense.

To ask “Can a victim not also be a villain?” is to ask an unintelligible question. What would be the use of a victim in our value scheme if he or she were also a villain? A victim, the prevailing sentiment implies, is innocent. Is pure. He or she is Pure Innocence personified.

It is not difficult to explain why being a victim has become a popular choice. Victimhood, even if entirely spurious, is commonly regarded now as a qualification for privileged treatment; routinely when it is claimed by persons identifying themselves with groups genuinely victimized in the past – certain ethnic minorities, homosexuals, or (ever less credibly) women. Victims are held in higher regard than achievers.

Besides which, it is a logical accompaniment to the popularity of compassion. In the West, nowadays, compassion is generally held to be the highest moral good.

Why? Well, to feel it is a quick fix, a drug for the ego. Little else makes one feel as good as immediately and reliably. And it can be bestowed in vast quantities without the bestower becoming any the poorer. Compassion is a supremely selfish emotion – which would be fine if only the selfishness of it were frankly acknowledged.

As it makes people feel good to show they are compassionate – by saying so, or in some cases by acting compassionately, gifting their energy, time, or possessions to their neighbors or even to remote strangers – it also makes people crave it. The need to give it stimulates the need to receive it. It’s abundant availability is a powerful inducement to neighbors and strangers to demand it; to put out their hands to receive it; to plead their superior neediness; to insist that they are pitiable; that they are victims.

Not that Western populations are divided into the pitying and the pitied; not at all – everyone can be both: everyone compassionate and charitable, everyone a victim. Everyone can have the kudos of being a pitier and at the same time the innocence of being pitiable. And with everyone getting double satisfaction, being most good and most innocent, the pitiable-pitying society is surely the happiest.

And surely, you might say, it is a truly good society? Everyone being nice to everyone, and no sufferer going unaided. A utopian Gemüthlichkeit. A mutually supportive community. Isn’t it the ideal, and hasn’t it been the ideal ever since St. Paul invented Christian morality? A universal economy of “love”?

Well, yes, it could make for pleasantness – if it were true; if the well-preened ego could rest with its philanthropy; if there were no evil in the human heart.

But because there is evil in the human heart, a feeling that everyone should be nice to everyone, however widespread, however popular and praised, will not in real life be quite enough to make it happen. In fact it seems that whenever and wherever compassion, pity, charity are most piously preached, just there are cruelty, humiliation, oppression most mercilessly practiced.

Christianity taps deep into the sentiment of pity with a God who (so the Christian myth runs) had himself tortured to death as a man in order to save mankind from innate sin, thus (the Christian myth fails to notice) planting harrowing guilt in its devotees. To cover if not to expiate that guilt, Christians are adjured to love their fellow human beings. Yet have any institutions inflicted as much mental anguish and physical agony on as many people for as many centuries as have the Christian Churches? Islam is a candidate, but Islam doesn’t preach universal love: it preaches mass murder, enslavement, and sadistic vengeance, so it escapes the charge of hypocrisy, at least in this regard.

What happens when victimization is idolized; when, as a result, there is competition in being more-victimized-than-thou; and when as a result of that, a perverted envy is born if someone is perceived as being the more victimized?

Let’s examine an actual case. I’ve said that Islam does not preach compassion. But Islam is intent on conquering the West, and to do so it is using all the opportunities that the West affords it. The very values, freedom and tolerance, that the West most esteems and embodies in its law, and that Islam would destroy, provide Islam with the means to destroy them. Muslims move into European countries and live freely. (Freely in more ways than one, as disproportionately large numbers of Muslim immigrants live on welfare handouts that the indigenous population pay for with their taxes.) They set up their mosques to preach, and their madrassas to teach their children, to hate the values of their host countries, and to love submission and intolerance. They can do so because the host countries are tolerant. If any of the indigenous people protest that Islam is manifestly incompatible with their values, their own law-courts in the name of tolerance punish them and not the Muslim immigrants. Much encouraged by this policy, some of the newcomers kill their new neighbors in acts of terrorism, intending to instill fear of Islam. But if any of the indigenous people consequently express fear and dislike of Islam, the Muslims cry that they are being subjected to irrational “Islamophobia”. Which is to say, they draw on Western compassion.

The starkest instance of this is what has happened in America since the destruction on September 9, 2001, in a profoundly religious act of hatred, of the World Trade Center in New York, when Muslims piloted two airplanes into the Twin Towers and killed close on 3000 people.

Time passes. The scar remains on the face of the city. For most Americans it is a place of tragedy. But for Muslims it is a place of victory. And certain Muslims propose to build a mosque as close to it as they can. While many on the political Left are in favor of the project – citing freedom and tolerance to support their view – there is an outcry of passionate opposition from many more.

Daisy Khan, the wife of the imam who is the front man of the plan to build the mosque and Islamic Center on the sacred site, was interviewed on ABC TV (22 August, 2010) about the mounting opposition to the project. She ascribed it to hate of Muslims which, she said, went “beyond Islamophobia”, and was ““like a metastasized anti-Semitism”.

By “metastasized” she meant, presumably, that hatred for Muslims in America was more widespread, more threatening, more potentially lethal than the hatred for Jews (the existence of which her declaration acknowledged). “Islamophobia” is a lie that reveals a twisted envy of anti-Semitism.

There is in fact little evidence of “Islamophobia”. FBI reports of recent years show that hate crimes against Muslims are rare; that there are more hate crimes against Christians than against Muslims; and there are about nine times as many against Jews as against Muslims. (See here and here.)

Regardless of the facts of the matter, Ms Khan wanted to make the point that Muslims were the victims of prejudice and bigotry. As the terms “Islamophobia” and “anti-Semitism” carry connotations of irrationality, her words implied that any feeling against Muslims is wholly irrational. But is it?

Antagonism towards Islam since 9/11, however emotional much of it may be, is not reasonless. Reasons for it abound. The attack on the World Trade Center was carried out in the name of Islam, as many other violent attacks, murders, and plans for murderous attacks have been, both before 9/11 and after. Muslims fit the role of victimizers far better than that of victims. So while anti-Islam feeling may be felt as unfair by many Muslims, it is not irrational; and Ms Khan’s analogy with anti-Semitism is wide of the mark. Tactically, however, claiming victimhood to bolster her cause was a shrewd move. Building permission for the mosque and Islamic Center has been granted by the authorizing bodies, including the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

I wonder … Are these authorizing bodies dominated by the Left? And were their arguments legal or emotional? If emotional, did they appeal to tolerance and compassion? If so, why no compassion for the feelings of those who were outraged by the very idea of the mosque in that place? I wonder about these questions because the Left in general claims moral superiority and asks for political power on the grounds that compassion is its highest value and the guiding principle of its policies. As with Christianity – from which this piety derives – it proves over and over again, wherever the Left is in power, to be an empty ideal.

Earlier in this essay I asked, rhetorically, “has any institution inflicted as much mental anguish and physical agony on as many people for as many centuries as have the Christian Churches?” The answer must be, “none over as many centuries”, but take out that phrase and even the Christian establishments are out-matched by the collectivist/leftist regimes of the twentieth century, some of which are still extant. To elect a collectivist government, to trust the Left’s claim to be the guardian of victims, to believe that voting for the Left proves your compassion, is to fall for the Great Political Lie.

Jillian Becker   July 21, 2012

A thumbing of noses 5

The Muslims who want to build a mosque at Ground Zero have applied for a federal grant of $5,000,000 to help them realize their psychologically sadistic scheme.

They apparently see no reason why American tax-payers should not contribute to a building that would, in the eyes of most Americans, and of Muslims all over the world, celebrate the Islamic triumph of 9/11 when Muslims murdered some 3,000 people in a variety of horrific ways in the name of their nasty religion.

Investor’s Business Daily comments in an editorial:

Having taxpayers foot the bill would be the ultimate insult … a slap in the face to the victims of terror.

The application was submitted under a “community and cultural enhancement” grant program administered by the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation (LMDC). The agency oversaw the $20 billion in federal aid allocated in the wake of 9/11 and is currently doling out millions in remaining taxpayer funds for community development.

Developers hope to get around the “nonreligious activities” requirement in their application by mentioning only the cultural, educational and community development aspects of the 13-story facility and not the prayer room and other areas where Shariah law, which is diametrically in conflict with Western values and freedoms, will be preached and advocated. …

There is some comfort for most of us in the IBD’s assurance that “the grant is unlikely to be approved since such grants go commonly to finish or assist ongoing projects, not start them.” And the would-be developers do not have funds enough, as yet, to start their taunting project.

But impatient to see the mosque built, and the Muslims victorious, is the Left in general; and its media supporters are pushing the project hard in numerous direct and indirect ways.

Example 1

NBC names Sharif al-Gamal, who owns part of the Ground Zero property that he and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf want to develop into the mosque and “community center”, a “Person of the Year“.

Atlas Shrugs here and Jihad Watch here report and comment on what sort of man this NBC hero is.

From Atlas Shrugs:

Sharif El-Gamal racked up at least seven run-ins with the law …

His most recent arrest was for a Sept. 10, 2005, assault on a barber who sublet a Manhattan apartment from El-Gamal’s brother, Sammy.

The brothers and another man went to the apartment that afternoon to retrieve back rent from Mark Vassiliev …

El-Gamal … cursed at Vassiliev, called him the Arabic curse word “sharmouta” and punched him in the face, breaking his nose and cheekbones.

When he was arrested, El-Gamal denied he socked Vassiliev, but conceded, “[Vassiliev’s] face could have run into my hand,” court papers say.

From Jihad Watch:

The thug Sharif el-Gamal has been sued for an unpaid loan, and faced eviction from his SoHo office over $39,000 in back rent. He was found to owe $21,000 in fines on a property with 13 violations. …

El-Gamal has also threatened a Muslim opponent of the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero; spoken at an event for Hamas-linked CAIR; and has a history of thuggishness, including a recent comment about how beating people up is “exercise & stress relief.”

So why is NBC honoring this thug? Because the mainstream media is avid to get this Islamic supremacist mosque built, and the will of the people be damned. You see how the chips are stacked against the 70% of Americans who oppose the mosque: if the media reflected their concerns at all, Pamela Geller would be Person of the Year for her leading the effort to stop the mosque.

Example 2

Recently, on November 12, 2010, the New York Times featured an admiring profile of Imam Rauf’s wife, Daisy Khan.

Creeping Sharia comments:

When the New York Times ran a profile of Daisy Khan in its “Style” section last week, they clearly meant to create flattering portrait. Instead, the piece, at least to me, revealed the woman’s true priorities and intentions – and why she must be stopped.

Khan, wife of imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his partner in creating the Cordoba House Islamic center on the edges of Ground Zero, has (if this profile is to be believed) one true goal: Islam uber alles. The organization she presides over seeks to glorify Muslims, not (as she claims) to promote interfaith projects. Her focus is Islam, not America. …

Though she insisted to the Times that she and her husband are “law-abiding citizens,” an apartment building they own in New Jersey has been cited for numerous health and fire violations. Moreover, just last week, a Hudson County, N.J. judge placed the building in custodial receivership, putting a local realtor in charge of correcting the violations using monies from October rents, since Khan and Rauf had failed to act themselves. The couple has also been cited for tax violations regarding the non-profit statuses of their various organizations, including Khan’s own American Society for Muslim Advancement. …

It’s not entirely clear what that organization actually does, other than solicit (and receive) grants and various donations. Last year, for instance, ASMA received a one-year, $150,000 endowment from the Henry Luce Foundation “to develop a graduate program in Islamic law for Muslim women.” Would someone please explain to me why ASMA needs $150,000 a year to plan a program that is not even listed among the organization’s projects, goals, or activities?

ASMA’s web site describes a mission to “elevate the discourse on Islam and foster environments in which Muslims thrive.” (“Muslims,” not “Americans.” Not “young men and women.” “Muslims.”) ASMA’s mission statement continues, “We are dedicated to strengthening an authentic expression of Islam based on cultural and religious harmony through interfaith collaboration, youth and women’s empowerment, and arts and cultural exchange.

But again – notwithstanding the obvious fact that there is nothing “interfaith” about any of this — what, exactly, have they done? Click on “events,” and you’ll find a list of places that Daisy Khan has been invited to speak, or the fact that she was present at the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair. Click on “programs,” and you get links to various articles about Islam. Click on “arts” and you find listings of exhibitions others have presented and organized, with no funding or other involvement from ASMA itself. Click on “shop,” and you can buy any one of three books – all by Khan’s husband, Imam Rauf.

But nowhere is there an indication of what the organization actually accomplishes, of the activities it has initiated and developed. It is hard to decipher quite what gives the organization legitimacy as a “non-profit” – or, for that matter, where the donations it receives are actually going.

The real and contemptible intention behind the Ground Zero mosque plan is not hard to discern, but for those who can’t see it, some Muslims have spelt it out.

From the IBD editorial:

The mosque at Ground Zero is not about outreach. Its name, Cordoba House, was picked in honor of the bloody Muslim conquest of Cordoba, Spain, in 711. Canadian Muslims Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, who sit on the board of the Muslim Canadian Congress, write in the Ottawa Citizen of Aug, 7: “We Muslims know that the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel.

NBC and the New York Times are thumbing their noses hard in sympathy with their country’s ruthless enemy.

Speaking out for the dead 2

Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, writes a passionate though entirely rational essay evoking memories of 9/11, and condemning the psychological sadism of Imam Rauf’s plan – defended by the unprincipled mainstream media – to build a mosque at Ground Zero.

The essay deserves to be read in full. Here is part of it:

Just the Facts, Imam. Here 3,000 Americans were murdered. For working in offices or visiting them. For being members of the NYPD or the PAPD or the FDNY. For putting on a uniform or a suit. For living their lives. And then the walls and floors and furniture around them burned. The papers in their hands burned. Their bodies burned. The ashes drifted down narrow streets. Streets where George Washington and his men once passed to visit Fraunces Tavern and toward Broadway where the Iranian hostages rode back in a ticker tape parade on their return.

Now the money that nourished their killers, will help erect a mosque. A temple of death by the ashes of the dead. And the media is outraged that we won’t allow it. That we won’t stand for it. The same media that stood and grinned while Muslims burned synagogues, churches and temples. That tells us that the Muslim terrorists who try to kill us are not really Muslims. Just going through a midlife crisis, picked up some PTSD from some bad coffee or was just having a bad day. Because we are not equal. On their farm, some animals are more equal than others. Some have the right to kill, others only have the right to be killed. Some have the right to build houses of worship, others have the right to build and to burn what others labor to build. Some have the right to be offensive, others only the right to be silent.

The dead of 9/11 are silent now. Or rather they have been silenced. As countless millions have before them were silenced. With flame and sword. In mass graves and at spearpoint. Tortured and mutilated. Torn apart with bombs. The dead cannot speak out against their murderers, but we can. The dead cannot protest, but we can. It is our duty to stand up and speak out. This is our place. Our land and our city. These are the streets where they tried to kill us. These are the streets where they will try again. To speak out is to defy those who would kill us and claim our cities as their own. Who would build monuments to their own victory over the ashes of our dead.

First they bomb. Now they occupy. We have lived through the bombing. And now we rise to defy the occupation.

The big squeeze 0

A group founded by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who plans to build the mosque at Ground Zero, applied for and was granted tax-exempt status as a religious foundation in 1998, claiming to run a prayer center attended by 450 to 500 worshipers every day in the apartment building where the Imam’s wife Daisy Khan was registered as a tenant.

Her place was a one-bedroom apartment of about 800 square feet. Nowhere in the entire apartment block was there a hall or room or any kind of space big enough to accomodate 450 to 500 people, especially if they were all to get down on their knees and prostrate themselves in unison in the direction of Mecca. However did they do it?

Here’s part of a report on the mystery, to be found at Creeping Sharia:

The application for tax exempt status from the American Sufi Muslim Association (ASMA) in 1998 claimed the group had an established place of worship at 201 W. 85th St. in New York. That is a 17-floor apartment building.

The 1998 tax filing, called a 1023 form, is required for any institution that wants to be considered a religious house of worship and therefore exempt from taxation. In the filing, Rauf is identified as ASMA’s founder. The application said the group was already operating as a prayer center for between 450 and 500 daily worshipers.

However, a review of the building and real estate records indicates there is nowhere in the building to house that many congregants. ASMA lists its office address as 201 W. 85th St., Apt. 10E on the tax form, while it cites only the building address as its location for prayer services.

The building has apartments only and no public spaces, such as a conference or a board room, to accommodate 450 people. Apartment 10E, building records show, is a one-bedroom apartment with about 800 square feet of living space. In the 1997 incorporation records filed with the state of New York, Rauf’s wife, Daisy Khan, was named as an ASMA director living at that address.

The Imam and his wife got away with a scam.

Surely now that they’re known to be cheats, liars, frauds, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg and other powerful defenders of their Ground Zero mosque scheme will withdraw their support?

How can we doubt it?

Salt in the Wound 0

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 20, 2010

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His mega-mosque and his flotilla 0

The Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship which, among other ships despatched by the Free Gaza Movement, tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, had twelve Malaysians on board.

Turns out the whole ill-conceived and ill-fated project was largely financed by a Malaysian organization, one of whose prominent members is the very same imam driving the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque project.

The New York Post reports:

The imam behind a proposed mosque near Ground Zero is a prominent member of a group that helped sponsor the pro-Palestinian activists who clashed violently with Israeli commandos at sea [last] week.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a key figure in Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organization, according to its Website.

Perdana is the single biggest donor ($366,000) so far to the Free Gaza Movement, a key organizer of the six-ship flotilla that tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.