Monday, January 28, 2013

The Prophet Speaks

Apes, Pigs, and F-16s

By Andrew C. McCarthy

When Mohamed Morsi dehumanizes Jews as “the descendants of apes and pigs,” there’s an elephant in the room. We find it here:

Those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil — these are many times worse in rank, and far more astray from the even Path!

You see, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood mahoff–turned–president did not conjure up the apes-and-pigs riff on his own. When Morsi fulminates that Muslims “must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them,” he is taking his cues straight from the Koran. Or rather, from the Holy Koran, as “progressive” American politicians take pains to call it in the off hours from their campaign to drive every last vestige of Judeo-Christian culture from the public square.

The excerpt above is not from the Life and Times of Mohamed Morsi. It originates with that other Mohammed. Specifically, it is Sura 5:60 of the Koran, the tome Muslims take to be the immutable, verbatim commands of Allah, as revealed to the prophet. And as Andrew Bostom illustrates (with a disquieting amplitude of examples), the verse is not an outlier. It states an Islamic leitmotif.

Contrary to the fairy tale weaved by apologists for Islamists on both sides of America’s political aisle, Jew hatred is not a pathogen insidiously injected into Islam by the Nazis (with whom Middle Eastern Muslims enthusiastically aligned). Nor did the ummah come by it through exposure to other strains of anti-Semitism that blight the history of Christendom. Jew hatred is ingrained in Islamic doctrine. Consequently, despite the efforts of enlightened Muslim reformers, Jew hatred is — and will remain — a pillar of Islamist ideology.

You may recall hearing this little ditty from the Hamas charter — often echoed by ministers of the Palestinian Authority and in the preachments of Brotherhood jurist Yusuf al-Qaradawi, on whose every word millions hang weekly on al-Jazeera (or is it al-Gore?):

The Day of Resurrection will not arrive until the Muslims make war against the Jews and kill them, and until a Jew hiding behind a rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: “Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!”

Again, these are not sentiments dreamt up by “violent extremists” waging a modern, purely political “resistance” against oppressive “Zionists.” The prophet’s admonition that Muslims will be spared the hellfire by killing Jews is repeated in numerous authoritative hadiths (see, e.g., Sahih Muslim Book 41, No. 6985; Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, No. 791).

Hadiths, it is worth emphasizing, are the recorded actions and instructions of Mohammed, who is taken by Muslims to be the “perfect example” they are to emulate. And in case you suppose, after years of listening to Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama, that the prophet must ultimately have come around on the Jews, you might want to rethink that one. Another hadith, relating Mohammed’s dying words, recounts his final plea: “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians.” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, No. 427.)

Now of course, none of this is to say that it is impossible for Islam to evolve beyond anti-Semitism. As individuals, millions of Muslims want no part of the ancient hatreds. As scholars and activists, a number of Muslim reformers admirably endeavor to erase this legacy by limiting it to its historical context, reducing it to allegory, or casting doubt on its provenance. Let’s hope these efforts eventually bear fruit. After all, as noted above, anti-Semitism stains the West’s legacy, too; and as discussed in this space before, the history of Christianity in America is a history of evolving beyond punishments and practices akin to those we today presume to look down our noses at as if we were total strangers to invidious discrimination and assaults on freedom of speech and conscience.

Nevertheless, the humility with which we must acknowledge this history is not an excuse for failing to grapple with what it means. Elite Western opinion came to condemn what it once practiced by correctly reasoning that those noxious practices cut against the grain of our guiding doctrine, which is predominantly Christian. Evolution was in no way easy, but it was logical.

In Islam, to the contrary, the doctrine itself is the most daunting barrier against evolution. And now, with the self-defeating encouragement of the West, Islamic-supremacist ideology has, throughout the Middle East, broken out of the shackles that kept it in check. The result of this “democratization” (the regnant euphemism for sharia installed by popular vote) is an increasingly rabid rise of intolerance.

The answer to this challenge is to take the Islamists head-on. It is to show them for what they truly are: enemies of civil rights, totalitarian tormentors of women and non-Muslims. The answer is not to arm them — as the Obama administration, with the maddening support of some leading Republicans, is arming Morsi’s regime — with a score of F-16 fighter jets and a couple of hundred Abrams tanks.

When not manufacturing history, tears, and indignation this week during her long-overdue testimony on the Benghazi massacre, outgoing secretary of state Hillary Clinton stunned careful listeners by repeatedly mentioning the “global jihad” against America. These were stark violations of Obama-administration strictures against any reference to Islam in discussions of the threat to the West.

They also marked quite a departure for Mrs. Clinton. She has played no small part in propagating the “Islamophobia” canard. She has championed the imposition of sharia blasphemy standards on speech that is protected by the First Amendment. And, with an assist from Senator John McCain, she has cowed 99 percent of Beltway Republicans into silence over the longstanding ties of her top adviser, Huma Abedin, to the Muslim Brotherhood and to an al-Qaeda financier, Abdullah Omar Naseef, whose now-defunct “charity (the Rabita Trust) was designated as a global terrorist organization under American law. Who knows: Maybe someday, after enough F-16 transfers and sharia constitutions, Charles Krauthammer will be moved to a fleeting mention of these irrefutable facts, making it socially acceptable for our heroes to come out from under their desks and talk about the national-security implications. I can dream, can’t I?

In the Clinton tradition, there was more calculated confusion than clarity in the secretary’s meandering testimony. Mrs. Clinton frets over the “jihadists” but insists that we must be able to “partner” with the region’s Islamists . . . like Morsi and the Brotherhood. Do you suppose she’s noticed that the Muslim Brotherhood demands the release of the Blind Sheikh, just like al-Qaeda does? That Morsi and Hamas (the Brotherhood’s Palestinian terror branch) publicly yearn for the destruction of Israel, just like al-Qaeda does? That the Brotherhood’s top priority is the imposition of sharia, the same imperative that drives al-Qaeda’s rampage?

Alas, this is not a series of strange coincidences. These are the major points that define a Muslim — violent or nonviolent — as an Islamist. When you “partner” with Islamists, you are abetting the global jihad, not opposing it. When you arm Islamists, you become a willing participant in your own undoing.


‘March of the Islamists’

Tristan MConnell writes:

March of the Islamists brings death and desolation in Mali

She feared the armed Islamic militants who patrolled the sand-blown streets and narrow alleys of Timbuktu, enforcing the strict Islamic laws imposed on the town when they took over last April.

Like any 20-year-old woman, she missed her friends and her school, nightclubs and dancing. Most of all, she said, she missed the music: "Before the Islamists came, life was so good. We had fun. But now there is a complete lack of freedom."

In November, Ms Walet fled to the capital, Bamako, clad in a long, dark dress and a veil that covered all but her eyes. She now lives with an aunt who has taken in 15 relatives in recent months who fled from the north.

"I was afraid all the time," Ms Walet said. In the safety of Bamako, she allows her long braids to hang loose, wears jewellery again and a bright, coloured off-the-shoulder dress. "Timbuktu was like a prison," she said.

Residents of Mali's northern cities had good reason to fear the Islamists, who meted out brutal punishments, such as amputations, floggings, and stonings to death.

Groups including al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb supported and then hijacked a rebellion by Tuareg separatists last year.

When the Islamists arrived in Timbuktu, they destroyed bars, churches and government buildings.

They looted, smashed bottles of alcohol and tore down crucifixes. Schools were closed.

Within days, the Malian flag had been replaced by the black flag of jihad and armed, bearded men were patrolling the streets in long tunics and turbans.

Music and television were forbidden, as were the football matches played every evening. Women either stayed at home or were forced to cover up completely.

"Life in Timbuktu changed," said Mohamed Traore, 41. "We were living together, Christians and Muslims, we helped each other, supported each other, even married each other."

Malian soldiers captured by the militants were routinely executed, according to Cisse Aziz, from Gao. Walking to the bus stop, he passed a barracks where, he said, the severed heads of Malian soldiers had been put on display on the wall.

Perceived criminals and traitors received awful punishments. Truck driver Mouctar Toure, 26, had his right hand hacked off for hiding Malian army weapons from the militants. Chanting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest), the militants, with AK47s slung over their shoulders, tied him to a chair and fastened a rope around his wrist. For 20 excruciating minutes one of them sawed through flesh and bone with a kitchen knife until the driver's hand fell into the dirt at his feet.

The amputation two months ago was allegedly ordered by Mr Toure's cousin, Alou, who had become head of the Islamic police in town. "I've known him since we were kids," said Mr Toure. "He wasn't an Islamist before but they asked for volunteers and he joined them. He became like a devil in Gao."

Mr Toure now spends his days sitting by the roadside in Bamako. "I hope he is dead," said Mr Toure of his cousin.

On Saturday, French and Malian troops entered Gao after days of airstrikes and the Islamic militants are being steadily pushed from the towns they have occupied across northern Mali.

Reports have emerged of deadly reprisals by the Malian army - and among those who suffered under the the Islamists there is no sympathy, just a desire for revenge. Another man who had his right hand amputated said he would like the chance to "do more to them than they did to me. I'd cut the flesh from their bones."


‘Britain’s National Sickness’

Melanie Phillips writes:

For the fact is that Israel is not trying to exterminate the Palestinians – indeed how could this possibly be the case, since the Palestinian population has more than quadrupled since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Nor are the Israelis oppressing the Palestinians, who have benefited from some of the highest rises in GDP and lowest child mortality ratios in the Middle East.

Nor are the Israelis behaving inhumanely; it is the Palestinians who are committing crimes against humanity by targeting Israeli innocents for mass murder without remission, both from Gaza and from the West Bank. It is the Palestinians, in the West Bank as well as Gaza, who are brainwashed from the cradle to hate Jews and to believe that murdering Israelis is their highest glory. Which they have been doing in Israel and before that in Palestine for more than a century– despite the fact that, as the international community laid down in binding treaty in 1920, the Jews alone had the inalienable and historic right to settle throughout Palestine, including not just present-day Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza.

Read the rest of it here.


Monday, January 21, 2013

‘Throw Eraser Only in Emergency’

Ohio teachers are taking different lessons from the school shooting in Newtown last month. As could be expected, many of the teachers and school staff would prefer to deal with the remote possibility of a shooter getting into their school by continuing to keep themselves and their schools disarmed. Some of them have been signing up for courses that – without the use of weapons -- “teach ways educators can prevent shootings and save lives once a shooter enters a school.” (“Ohio teachers train to stop active shooters”).

James Burke, an instructor at the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, leads the four-hour training sessions, which focus on weapon-free techniques to stop active shooters - from identifying students as potential shooters to what to do once a shooter is in the classroom.

Burke said, at that point, "You have to fight."

Yes, you would have to fight – or give up and die and let your pupils be killed. But I have to hope that while Burke was saying this there weren’t a classroom full of teachers furiously underlining  in their notebooks: “HAVE TO FIGHT” as if it had really not occurred to them before.

But having raised the point of responding to an active shooter with an actual act of self-defense, Burke turns out to have limited suggestions for “weapons-free techniques.” The report mentioned only two: “Distract the shooter by throwing objects to make time for students to escape,” and, "Stab him with a pair of scissors.”

Burke’s suggestion about the scissors raises the twin problems scissorsthat using scissors to stab someone violates weapons-free defense doctrine, and that using school scissors to stab someone also runs afoul of the rules of common sense.

Not that I’m blaming Burke: it can’t be easy to explain to his class how to handle an attacker who picked you and your classroom as targets in the first place just because you’re all weapons-free fish in a barrel. The plot device of the unarmed hero needing to overcome a pathological attacker with a gun using just  his wits is a standard device in thrillers, suspenseful precisely because the audience is aware just how badly stacked the odds are in the shooter’s favor. Burke follows up his scissors defense by urging his class to “do whatever you need to do but you need to think about it beforehand . . . . I'm not telling you have to be ninjas and disarm people, but you've got to do something."

Yes, they do have to do something – and I’ll bet people even signed up for his class expecting that Burke could offer a more specific suggestion about what to do than “you've got to do something.” Expect attendance in future sections of the course to drop off.

Meanwhile, a different set of  Ohio teachers actually did think beforehand about what they might need to do in such circumstances, and decided it would be a good idea to get themselves armed.

School teachers in Texas and Ohio are flocking to free firearms classes in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school massacre, some vowing to protect their students with guns even at the risk of losing their jobs.

In Ohio, more than 900 teachers, administrators and school employees asked to take part in the Buckeye Firearms Association’s newly created, three-day gun training program, the association said.

In Texas, an $85 Concealed Handgun License (CHL) course offered at no cost to teachers filled 400 spots immediately, forcing the school to offer another class, one instructor said.

“Any teacher who is licensed and chooses to be armed should be able to be armed,” said Gerald Valentino, co-founder of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “It should be every teacher’s choice.” (“Teachers In Ohio, Texas Flock To Free Gun Training Classes”).

Ten percent of the teachers taking the free courses were kindergarten teachers.

It’s no surprise that not everyone likes this idea. “Critics ridicule arming teachers as a foolhardy idea promoted by overzealous gun enthusiasts, saying it would only add danger to the classroom while distracting teachers from their job of educating children.”

We wonder if these critics would describe as “foolhardy”  instructor James Burke urging teachers to throw school supplies at active shooters and arm themselves with scissors. And don’t all these courses assume that an active shooter has already distracted teachers from their job of educating children, forcing upon them the urgent new priority of protecting children?

Gun control advocates shouldn’t get away with having it both ways. After Newtown they went wild insisting that the massacre proves that legal gun ownership places every American child at imminent risk (and unless the NRA could answer the riddle of how to prevent the next Newtown, gun owners would have to start giving up their guns). America’s schoolkids were sitting ducks. After NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre took the bait and inartfully suggested that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he was ridiculed in the media as the “CRAZIEST MAN ON EARTH.” (Oh? At least he didn’t suggest stopping a bad guy with a gun with a pair of scissors.) When more and more commentators started popping up saying that armed defenders in schools might not be such a bad idea, gun controllers decided that America’s classrooms were mostly safe, after all; so it would be just stupid to burden Miss Crabtree with having to lug around a loaded Glock all day. “Not to mention,” explained Angela Wallace at The Examiner, “it is not the responsibility of teachers to play armed guard, regardless of how much they would want to do this due to their natural instinct to protect our children.”

I have no idea whether or not teachers have a “natural instinct” to protect children. But I do believe it’s the professional duty of teachers to protect them. Children’s parents aren’t armed guards, either, but might some time have to step in as one regardless, the same as they step in as lifeguards, fire fighters, animal control experts, sewer divers, tree climbers – or a thousand other risky specialties when exigent circumstances prevent them from waiting for the real thing.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Unconditional Surrender?

From Voice of America:

France Looking for 'Total Reconquest' of Mali

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says France will accept nothing less than the "total reconquest" of Mali from Islamist militants.

Le Drian told French television Sunday that his forces "will not leave any pockets" of resistance.

. . . . The extremists seized control of northern Mali after renegade soldiers toppled the government in March, leaving a temporary power vacuum. The militants have imposed harsh conservative Islamic law across the north. France is Mali's former colonial ruler and still has economic and political interests there.

Refreshing to see such clarity as to the nature of the enemy – “Islamists” -- and the most effective strategy for dealing with jihadists: “total reconquest.”

Personally, I wish France the best. It occurred to me some time back that I had little basis for my Yankeecentric assumption that the USA was the only nation able to beat back the 21st-Century scourge of Islamic belligerence.

Why not the French?  They’ve been at this a lot longer than we have.  It was the Franks under the leadership of Charles Martel who stopped the European advance of Islam at the Battle of Tours in 732.


Bell, Book, -- and Scented Candle

Yet another indicator of things to come in America is the incident of the Atlanta pastor, Rev. Louie Giglio, being banned from saying a benediction at President Obama’s inaugural because he gave a sermon in the mid-1990s critical of homosexuality. (“Louie Giglio pulls out of inauguration over anti-gay comments”).

The decision has been validly blasted as an example of political correctness run amok (as if PC ever runs any other way). It’s also a further instance of the Left’s strategy of persecuting Christianity by falsifying its message.

Controversies like these are being used to redefine normative Christianity so that behaviors the Church has always recognized as sinful are now being praised as pleasing to God and deserving of liturgical celebration.

This new kind of persecution isn’t like the old kind, which tried to eradicate Christianity from society by banishing its adherents into lead mines or feeding them to lions; it didn’t work, anyway, as the number of Christians increased during times of persecution. The new method entails eradicating Christian teachings from Christians, by means of the slow and steady pressure of shaming us from confessing any but this harmless and neutered shell of the faith.

A case in point: part of me, when I wrote about redefining Christianity above, felt an impulse, out of fairness towards that other, widespread version of Christianity that calls itself liberal and progressive, to modify my use of “Christianity” with an adjective like “conservative,” or “traditional.” I chose to resist that reflex as simply a Pavlovian response to social conditioning, of which the discrediting of Rev. Giglio is only the most recent example. While I can’t deny that Americans are by and large just as at home with liberal religious ideas as conservative ones, the Left has no interest in – and doesn’t – try to silence Christians for adhering to progressive dogma, especially on homosexuality. No one ever clamors to marginalize a Reverend Al Sharpton, or a Reverend Jeremiah Wright. When Michael Moore manages to get heckled at the New York Film Critics Awards for praising gay invaders who desecrated the Sacrament at a Catholic Mass it’s the heckler who gets skewered by the Left. Nor does Billy Graham’s hard-won popularity with most Americans protect him when he dares to encourage Christians to vote biblical values.

Even the Reverend Jim Wallis, whose cred in the Obama White House extends to being described as Obama’s spiritual adviser, must go under the bus because he registered less than 100% commitment on same-sex marriage. Wallis’s Sojourners’ website declined to run an ad featuring lesbian parents attending church, and the yipping from the Left included Jim Naughton, an Episcopal insider in D.C., darkly warning that “people inviting Wallis to policy briefings and White House meetings should realize that he ‘is far to the right of the people he’s allowed to speak for.’”

Naughton’s warning that Wallis is only being “allowed” to speak for his constituency lends support to my view that the Left has taken up the old ecclesiastical device of the anathema, only minus the spiritual authority or the divine guidance that goes with it – “If any one saith thus and so, let him be anathema.”

The Left has effectively used its power to enforce orthodoxy and declare wrong-thinking people accursed to accomplish the first leg of their goal: extirpating from popular conversation the suggestion that homosexual activities are wrong. A poll released last week indicates that only 37% of Americans believe that homosexual behavior is a sin. The second leg – the normalizing of homosexual acts by means of the legal feint of national recognition of same-sex marriage – is within sight.

After giving Giglio the heave-ho, the White House clarified that replacement candidates had to demonstrate “beliefs [that] reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.” As usual, the irony of Rev. Giglio being publicly humiliated to pacify the most exclusive and intolerant constituency in American history – in the name of “inclusiveness” no less – sank instantly below the notice of Obama’s compliant media.

Obama is entitled to have anyone he wants say a benediction at his inaugural – or no one at all. Things being what they are, we should all be grateful he hasn’t asked Mohammed Morsi to do it. What’s wrong is that he’s using the power of his office to enforce religious orthodoxy – or, more accurately, he’s allowing activists to co-opt the prestige of the presidency to do it. That neither St. Paul nor Benedict XVI could qualify as worthy to pronounce a blessing on the American president ought to be of concern to American Christians.

Homosexual activists view this as a “tipping point,” “interpreting Giglio’s withdrawal as a rejection of religious conservatives who don’t accept homosexuality — regardless of what other good works they do.” Whether it’s a tipping point or not I don’t know; I do know that when a combination of media, government officials, and a nest of Christian-hating poofters get to decide what kind of religious ideas should be accepted or rejected in America’s pulpits, things are not well with the Republic – nor with the Church.


Friday, January 11, 2013

American Muslims Still Behind–As Hate-Crime Victims

David J. Rusin has contributed this at NRO:

A detailed analysis of FBI statistics covering ten full calendar years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks reveals that, on a per capita basis, American Muslims, contrary to spin, have been subjected to hate crimes less often than other prominent minorities. From 2002 to 2011, Muslims are estimated to have suffered hate crimes at a frequency of 6.0 incidents per 100,000 per year – 10 percent lower than blacks (6.7), 48 percent lower than homosexuals and bisexuals (11.5), and 59 percent lower than Jews (14.8). Americans should keep these numbers in mind whenever Islamists attempt to silence critics by invoking Muslim victimhood.

. . . .

As the usual voices faultour oversaturated Islamophobic environment” andgrowing anti-Muslim hate,” they neglect to mention how rare it is for an actual or perceived Muslim to die in a hate crime. By the FBI’s count, 74 people were killed in hate crimes (“murder and nonnegligent manslaughter” in Table 4) from 2002 to 2011, but not a single one in an anti-Muslim incident. Indeed, the FBI lists no anti-Muslim fatalities since 1995, corresponding to the earliest report available.

Why do Islamists obfuscate? The false picture of an epidemic of physical assaults on Muslims distracts Americans from Islamist hatred and enshrines Muslims as the country’s leading victim class, a strategy intended to intimidate citizens into remaining quiet about Islamic supremacism and lay the groundwork for granting Muslims special privileges and protections at the expense of others. In short, anti-Muslim hate crimes are a powerful Islamist weapon. (“Hate-Crime Stats Deflate ‘Islamophobia’ Myth).

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Right (Not To Have to Bear the Sight of Someone Else) Bearing Arms

As is so often the case, the real menace signaled by the incident where a Denny’s restaurant in firearmophobic Illinois told detectives they had to take their naughty guns outside (“Belleville cops booted from Denny's for toting guns”) isn’t the official foo poo itself:  Denny’s mitigated that more or less immediately. 

The incident began about 10 a.m. Tuesday when five Belleville detectives went into the Denny’s at 1130 South Illinois Street, ordered food and began to eat. The detectives had badges on their belts or on chains around their necks, but they weren’t in uniform.

Belleville Capt. Donald Sax said restaurant manager David Rice then approached and told one of the detectives that a diner had complained about seeing one of the detectives carrying a gun.

Even though the detective told Rice all at the table were police officers, Rice insisted the detectives take their guns back out to their cars, Sax said.

According to Sax, Rice then told the officers that it is company policy to allow only uniformed officers to carry their guns into a restaurant and that a sign on the door stated that policy.

The officers all got up to leave, refusing to pay for their meal. As they were leaving, Sax said a Denny’s general manager, Michael Van, approached the group. He told them Rice was wrong and it was fine for them to stay and to keep their guns.

The detectives, whom Sax described as “embarrassed” by the incident, decided to leave anyway. Sax said the detectives made a point to check the door on their way out.

“There was no sign on the door (regarding firearms),” Sax said. “They all looked for it.”

Belleville Police Chief William Clay later issued an order to his troops, banning them from eating at that Denny’s when they are on duty or when they’re off duty and still in uniform. Off-duty and out of uniform, officers can eat where they want.

What worries me is the stage of civic degeneration we’ve reached when a diner in an example of Americana like Denny’s actually feels justified taking offense at the mere sight of a holstered firearm borne by a police officer, and that a restaurant manager would then actually respond with what the Belleville PD press release accurately called the “political stupidness” of insisting the detectives take their scary guns outside.

It’s this mentality, combining many times a day in small transactions like this, multiplied, that breaks us all down.

Is anyone surprised at all that public school administrators not only suspended a six-year old for pointing his fingers at classmates and saying “Pow,” but thereafter stated in a disciplinary letter to the boy’s parents that the finger-pointing was “a threat ‘to shoot a student’”? (“Boy, 6, suspended from Silver Spring school for pointing finger like a gun”).