Sunday, October 31, 2010

Behind the Veil: Sharia

Is it unfair to point to the growing number of women and girls in hijab as evidence of the Sharia law the mayor and others flatly deny exists here in Dearborn?

In my unscientific reckoning the number of women in Dearborn wearing hijab is increasing. Whether or not this means that more Sharia-compliant women are immigrating to Dearborn, or that more assimilated women who’ve been living here are being pressured to adopt hijab, I can’t say. I can say that the choice to cover is inconsistent with a desire to assimilate into American culture. I say that even more emphatically for the niqab and the chador. It’s possible to be modest without hiding your hair.

The hijab isn’t only an ethnic or cultural phenomenon, like the hookah or lamb dishes. It’s strictly religious. It’s Sharia. And if the headscarf as a gesture of female modesty in dress were the extent of Sharia, it might even be admirable, considering the sexual excesses of the times.

But the headscarf is not the extent of Sharia. It’s more like a signpost letting you know you’ve just entered the precincts of Islam. The weight of its symbolism is significant even in Islamic nations like Turkey, where it was banned, and where it’s re-appearance terrifies secularists who recognize it as the vanguard of Islamist radicalism even in the home of the caliphate. It’s important enough that bin Laden cited France’s “burqa ban” as one of the reasons for going to war on French interests.

Professor Iqbal Al-Gharbi, a Muslim scholar from the Islamic Zaytouna University in Tunis, explained it this way: “The veil is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the veil, there is the regressive interpretation of the sharia [Koranic law]. There are the three essential inequalities which define this interpretation: inequality between man and woman, between Muslim and non-Muslim, between free man and slave.”

Do many women and girls in America cover themselves voluntarily? Sure they do. Are there also many who feel they have little choice? I can’t believe that doesn’t happen, too. It happens in other countries, and not only Saudi Arabia and Iran and Hamas-ruled Gaza. According to a 2003 survey conducted in France, “77 percent of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups.”

Muslim women who try to rebel are considered “whores” and treated as outcasts. Some of them want to move to areas “with no Muslims” to escape. However, that might not be a solution, as Islamists are at work all over France. The Communist newspaper L'Humanité in 2003 interviewed two Catholic-born French women who said they had converted to Islam and started wearing the niqab after systematic indoctrination by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The following story is from Tuesday’s Washington Times:
Three years ago, my husband and I were walking through London's Heathrow Airport on the way to our honeymoon in Italy. Men in the traditional Islamic garb of Saudi Arabia were walking through the security checkpoints behind us.

To my surprise, my husband, a man who was raised by an observant Muslim mother, stopped to watch as they went through security. He wanted to make sure the employees checked each man thoroughly. My husband had just returned from his homeland of Iraq, where he had been working as an Arabic translator with U.S. soldiers. When my husband saw certain Muslim garb, he naturally felt nervous.

His niece, an observant Muslim who fasts during Ramadan even though it leaves her parched and tired at work, feels nervous when she sees men whose appearance expresses extreme Muslim observance, such as men with a long, thick beards without mustaches. While she lived in Iraq, she learned to fear those who wanted to imitate most closely seventh-century norms of dress. Why? One day when she was in a salon in Baghdad, men came in and told her in threatening tones that her dress was “un-Islamic.” They told her she needed to change her clothes or she would “be punished.” She never understood why. She was wearing the hijab and covering her arms and legs. The men waited for her in a car outside the salon. Out of fear, my niece called male relatives to come and pick her up. Now that she is in the United States, she will walk out of Starbucks, never mind an airplane, if she sees men dressed in Islamic styles associated with hard-line ideas, even though she knows the hard-liners in Iraq often dressed in Western clothes in order to blend in. . . .In Ed Husain’s excellent book, “The Islamist” (Penguin Global, 2008), the author describes how older and devoutly Muslim parents of Southeast Asian heritage in London feel nervous when their children adopt seventh-century Middle Eastern styles. Such dress is foreign to their heritage. The parents are not bigots. They are concerned with the radicalism the dress can sometimes indicate.
The point isn’t headscarves, but the advance of Sharia in the United States. Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen and useful media idiots have taken maximum advantage of the recent Sharron Angle remarks to reframe the misinformation about Sharia in America from its innocuousness (Faisal Abdul Rauf saying the Constitution has many elements of Islamic law) to the hilarious fact that Sharia doesn’t exist. The very subject of Sharia in the USA, mocks Islamist Reza Aslan at The Daily Beast “is a bit like passing a federal law banning Americans from riding unicorns.” (“America's Anti-Islam Hysteria”).

Very funny. Except no teenage girls were ever executed by their father on orders from a unicorn.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oh, oh, Ohio!


Why is Ohio Dem Hanging with Islamic Extremists?

By Joel Mowbray

While the news this election cycle has been focused on horse races and high-wattage personalities like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, one of the most important races in the country has slipped below the national radar—despite the fact that one of the key figures involved has a nasty habit of mingling with Islamic extremists.

In the crucial bellwether state of Ohio, there are two up-and-coming candidates squaring off for state treasurer—and the stakes are very high. Democrats are desperate to defeat the Republican, state Rep. Josh Mandel, a Marine veteran whom many observers see as a major star-in-the-making after he helped spearhead the effort to divest Ohio’s pension funds from companies that do business in the Iranian energy sector.

But Democrats’ obsession with knocking off Mandel means that they are backing incumbent Treasurer Kevin Boyce, whose competence and ethics have been called into question by mainstream media outlets.

George Soros-backed Progressive Majority, a group that focuses on state and local races, has looked past these problems and made Boyce
its top candidate this cycle.

Backing Boyce means more than just supporting a flawed candidate, however, as he has handed control of his office over to his top staffer, Deputy Treasurer Amer Ahmad, who has a habit of hanging around people who are well-known for ties to Islamic radicals and terrorists. Ahmad does so in his professional capacity, as well as in his personal life, choosing to attend an infamous mosque near Columbus, Ohio.

Although Boyce’s name is the one voters will see next Tuesday, Ahmad will continue to be the one effectively running the office if the Democrat wins. Several former Ohio Treasury officials who spoke with this journalist on the condition of anonymity say that Boyce has given Ahmad “free reign” to run the office as he sees fit.

One of Ahmad’s most questionable decisions was to spend his July 4 holiday as the keynote speaker at a dinner sponsored by Amana Funds, a Sharia-compliant mutual fund company whose co-founder and current trustee Yaqub Mirza was targeted for terrorist connections in an FBI raid in 2002, as were two other longtime trustees, Iqbal Unus and Jamal Barzinji. (Barzinji left the board in 2001.)

According to an
FBI affidavit, Amana’s co-founder Mirza was paymaster for an Islamic charity that funneled millions to Hamas. Mirza signed at least three checks totaling over $300,000 from the account of Safa Trust, which were given to the Holy Land Foundation. HLF was eventually shut down for supporting Hamas, and its founders were sentenced last year to lengthy prison terms for terrorism-related convictions.

Amana has shown itself to be radical in other ways. Its website, for example, approvingly cites the expertise of extremist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is banned from the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Qaradawi has issued fatwas legitimizing terrorism against Israeli civilians, as well as approving the murder of Americans in Iraq.

Additionally, Amana has utilized a Qaradawi protégé, Salah Soltan, as a Sharia advisor for its funds, according to a
2006 SEC filing.

Echoing his mentor, Soltan has engaged in virulent anti-Semitism and promoted bloodshed. During a December 2008 interview on the Egyptian TV network al-Nas, Soltan called for the murder of Jews, and predicted that the “U.S. will suffer more deaths than all those killed in this third Gaza holocaust.”

Ahmad is likely well aware of Soltan, who earlier this year
appeared on Hamas’ TV network. After all, the fiery cleric is the former resident scholar at the mosque Ahmad attends, the Noor Islamic Center. Although Soltan ended his regular role at the mosque before Ahmad arrived in mid-2008, documents filed by attorneys in an unrelated civil case last year showed that Soltan preached at Noor as recently as December 2008.

Noor’s radicalism goes much beyond Soltan, however.

The founder of the mosque, Dr. Hany Saqr, was listed in a leadership directory of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, which was submitted as a government exhibit in the successful Holy Land Foundation prosecution. “The Muslim Brotherhood is an international organization that seeks to spread a puritanical form of Islam, and it has served as the parent for every major Sunni terrorist group, from Hamas to Islamic Jihad to al Qaeda,” explains terrorism expert Steve Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Ahmad doesn’t just attend services at Noor Islamic Center, either. When he was looking for a receptionist, he shunned the common practice of publicly posting the opening and instead announced it only at his mosque. The woman he hired is the wife of his personal friend, Noure Alo.

As it happens, Alo
scored a lobbying contract from State Street Bank this year shortly after the firm submitted bids for custodianship of Ohio’s massive pension funds. Alo—whose specialty as a lawyer is immigration, not banking—had never before had been hired as a lobbyist. State Street won three of the four bids, winning custodianship of over $32 billion in assets.

It is possible that Ahmad, who refused comment for this story, does not share the radical Islamic beliefs of the leading figures at Amana Funds and the Noor Islamic Center. But even assuming he doesn’t, Ohio voters must ask themselves: Why does he choose to associate with people whose troubling ties are so well-documented?

If Ahmad’s boss, Democrat Kevin Boyce, wins next Tuesday, Ohioans would be understandably concerned about what Ahmad would do over the next four years.

Although this race has not received its fair share of national attention, there are few clearer—or more important—choices that voters will face.
UPDATE: The Noor Islamic Center has been described as “one of the primary sources of Islamic extremism in Central Ohio.” It’s the mosque attended by Rifqa Bary’s family, and “leaders of the Noor Center community” pressured Ms. Bary’s father that the matter of her conversion to Christianity needed to be dealt with “immediately.”

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dearborn 'Miserable'? Must Be Those Road Repairs

Oh, boy. It looks as if Adam (“Azzam the American”) Gadhan missed Anderson Cooper 360 the night Mayor O’Reilly declared to the world that there’s no Sharia in Dearborn. Or maybe Azzam’s video for Al-Qaida calling on area Muslims to fulfill their jihad duty and “retaliate” against the infidel leaders “on their own soil” was already in the can for broadcast before last Friday.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Gadahn, “In a 48-minute recording posted on the Internet. . . called upon Muslims living in what he called ‘the miserable suburbs of Paris, London, Detroit’ to attack Americans, citing as examples the Ft. Hood shooter in Texas and the man who tried to set off a bomb on a plane descending into Detroit Metro Airport on Christmas Day.”

Dawud Walid does his inevitable damage control by arguing that Gadahn doesn’t understand Dearborn Muslims. That’s as may be, but Gadahn and Walid certainly understand one another. They both share the Muslim Brotherhood conviction “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

That is the language of the Muslim Brotherhood, the international jihadist organization whose American agencies include the Muslim Students Association, and CAIR, among others. Walid wants to distance himself from Al-Qaida, but bin Laden got his start with the Brotherhood, and the Brotherhood and Al-Qaida share nearly the same ideological roots, even if they may disagree on tactics. Al-Qaida is more violent, the Brotherhood more focused on “dawa,” incremental implementation of Sharia law, but all leading to final Muslim domination. That’s why Omar Ahmad, onetime chairman of CAIR, could say that “Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”

Nor is Walid altogether right when he denies that AQ has any supporters in “any Western countries.”

Then Tarek Baydoun has gotten himself onto some more speed dials. Last week he got some notice in the Press & Guide by agreeing with Mayor O’Reilly’s criticism of Sharron Angle. Today Niraj Warikoo quotes Baydoun slamming Gadahn: “’He's either mentally ill or utterly evil,’ Baydoun said. ‘He has nothing to do with any faith tradition. He's disconnected from Muslim-American as can be.’”

Except Azzam does have something to do with a faith tradition, as he converted to Islam and joined Al Qaida so he could do jihad. And he’s been working pretty hard at it ever since, including dodging who knows how many drones. There’s no mistake that he couches his sermon to area Muslims in Islamic terms:
Know that jihad is your duty as well, and you have an opportunity to strike the leaders of unbelief and retaliate against them on their own soil. As long as there is no covenant between you and them, here you are in the battlefield just like heroes before you.
Baydoun’s usual defense to bad facts is to cite the imaginary wall of separation between Islam and Islamic terrorism. He called the Ft. Hood massacre “an outrageous attack [that] has nothing to do with religion. It was strictly criminal.” Before that, he blamed 9/11 “on American policies and power, while denying that any of the hijackers could be “affiliated with Islam.”

Apparently, Allahu Akhbar! is an Arabic phrase meaning, “I’m an atheist criminal, and I’m going to sacrifice my life to prove it!”

Maybe Azzam won’t get many takers on his recruitment message. But I’ll wager he’s as good at knowing what the Ummah is thinking as Walid will ever admit to. And Al-Qaeda had always been an effective recruiter, including recently, inspiring Nidal Hasan, Abdulmutallab, Faisal Shahzad, and all those Somalis from Minnesota. And it only takes a few.

Do you believe all this? First sabotaging our miserable house, and now our miserable suburbs.

I’m glad Barbara Billingsley isn’t around to have to see this.

Letter from City Hall

Fresh from responding by letter to Senate candidate Sharron Angle, His Honor Mayor Jack O’Reilly has once again had to set pen to paper in response to defamation of the hometown.

An Al-Qaida video was released online Friday featuring “Azzam the American” (Adam Gadahn) calling on Muslims to attack on their home soil. In the video, Azzam addresses Muslim emigrants forced to live in the margins of society in “the miserable suburbs of Paris, London, Detroit,” an unmistakeable, and unflattering, reference that includes Dearborn.

Thanks to a correspondent with an inside track at the city, DU managed to get hold of a copy of Mayor O’Reilly’s letter to Adam Gadahn:
Adam “Azzam the American” Gadahn
Cave # 14UBL
Waziristan, Pakistan

Dear Mr. Gadahn:

I am deeply distressed about your misperceptions about our community and what outstanding opportunities of dining, entertainment, and top-flight public services Dearborn offers to people of all ages, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. Your recent reference to our city as a “miserable suburb” of Detroit ignores the fact that Dearborn ranks consistently in national surveys as one of the most livable communities in America! Dearborn is not miserable! Do not attack!

I am afraid that many share the misconception that Dearborn’s Muslims are confined to squalid ghettoes, cowering in constant terror of summary arrest, deportation, or outright disappearance -- probably because American media has been reporting this for years. I also have heard somewhere that Dearborn boasts numerous members of Muslim civil rights organizations
committed to working in America to eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house. That report is true. Still, we all accept and celebrate such views as part of the richness and diversity that is Dearborn, provided they are held in a moderate way.

But let me assure you again that Dearborn is not a miserable place. Our Muslim community includes a thriving middle-class. Visit any of Dearborn’s diverse and well-stocked retail collections and instead of emigrants on the margins of society you will see parking lots zooming with high-end SUVs with prosperous Muslims at the wheels, attractive and stylishly-dressed young Arab shoppers, and countless Middle Eastern women sporting Gucci bags and shoes -- and all of them enjoying the absolute latest in cell phone technology. As a former Californian you may also appreciate a store like Dearborn Music, where you could be sure to find the latest Brian Wilson compilation CD at a very competitive price.

Many people are misinformed that Dearborn, which I like to call the quintessentially America City, is part of a "Zio-Crusader coalition," but let me assure you that nothing of the kind is the case. The only coalition we're a part of is the Coalition to Build a Better Dearborn! But seriously, there is no Zionism in Dearborn. For that matter, there’s not really that much Zionism in the Middle East, as I believe it is only hanging on in one little country. As to Dearborn, I honestly can’t say if there even are any Jews here, and if there are, I’m pretty sure no one pays them any attention. I know I don’t. Did I mention we have 7 mosques?

In the event your indictment is dismissed and you are not killed by a Predator drone (much of the technology for which was developed right here in the Detroit area!) I invite you to visit Dearborn and see for yourself that Dearborn is indeed not miserable. We have Greenfield Village and The Padzieski Art Gallery, (hours from noon to 6:00 PM Tuesday through Friday; Saturday, noon to 5:30 p.m.), and I personally will escort you to our next meeting between Muslim leaders and area counterterrorism officials.

I don’t blame you entirely for misunderstanding Dearborn. The international and national media often cast our community in a false light. Only recently I had to appear on national television to clarify that there is no Sharia in Dearborn, an absurd rumor being spread around by some Christian missionaries I recently had arrested. While Dearborn has seen its fair share of criminal prosecutions against individuals for supporting Hezbollah and Hamas, or for money laundering on behalf of jhadist organizations, or for running charities sending illegal support to terror organizations, or for running around in a park with an AK-47 -- not to mention the Underwear bomber who recently tried to crash an airliner into our city, which you may have seen on CNN! -- I am proud to report that Muslims have been practicing their faith in our community for almost 90 years without a single incident or conflict.

Anyway, there’s nothing like a personal visit to experience firsthand that there is no need to urge any of your followers in Dearborn to rise up and do anything, er, violent, because I really consider Dearborn to be one really world class hometown. If circumstances make a visit impractical right now, I would welcome a phone call so I can tell you more about our community. Space prevents me from telling you about the Dearborn Homecoming, which this year will be featuring that guitar player who used to play with Billy Ray Cyrus, but I invite you to Google it for more information.


John B. “Jack the American” O’Reilly

Dearborn the Sharia-Free City

Last week Nevada candidate for U.S. Senate Sharron Angle caught some flak for remarking about Sharia in Dearborn. When a tape of the comments surfaced the media whooped with glee and went to work trying to make her look stupid. Angle is supported by the Tea Party and just might save America from any more of Harry Reid and his insufferable scolding. She must be stopped!

Her foo poo? Acknowledging that radical Islam has had an unhealthy influence in American cities and towns, including Dearborn.

Mayor Jack O’Reilly took issue with the way Angle said that Dearborn wasn’t under the Constitution (which isn’t what Angle said), and called her remarks “Shameful.” He appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 last Friday, to, as Said Deep said on his blog, “set the record straight.”

As for setting the record straight, all O’Reilly really did was scoff away the idea that there’s Sharia in Dearborn. Hell, Jack says “it isn’t even talked about in Dearborn.” While he was at it, he denied that there is much in the way of “hardly any Sharia anywhere in the Middle East, there’s only about three countries that still carry that out.” (Good luck finding that gem being blogged and denounced in the media).

O’Reilly obviously has a limited concept of Sharia to strictly a government system, such that if it doesn’t look like Saudi Arabia or Iran, then there’s no Sharia. The idea that it can be implemented in small doses doesn’t enter his head.

But the publicity had its effect: The Mayor has now officially declared Dearborn a Sharia-free zone. (Discussion question: If I’m a devout Muslim living in Dearborn, and I love Sharia law and try to practice it, am I offended right now? Discuss why not.)

O’Reilly next sent Sharron Angle a letter explaining that Muslims fought in the War of Independence, and offering to take her on a tour of the Rouge Plant. More accurately, he said he would “personally escort” her to “any venue she you choose to visit in our community.” Jack! You old dog! Maybe they could see the old La Shish, or drive by the old Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization, both closed up for supporting Hezbollah -- both in obedience to Sharia. Or maybe the footbaths at UM-Dearborn). Then they could cruise Marshalls and ask one of the many chador-clad customers why she’s dressed that way -- what with there being no Sharia in Dearborn.

They shouldn’t miss dropping by the Islamic Center of America, to see what a Sharia-free Shia mosque looks like. Just make sure Sharron puts on a headscarf first before stepping foot inside.

In an interview with the Press and Guide Mayor O’Reilly says all these claims about creeping Sharia in Dearborn all have their source in “a group calling themselves the Acts 17 Apologetics. They are the first people who started claims of sharia law in Dearborn. In their own minds, they are experts on the Koran and the Bible, who think their interpretation is the correct one … they think Muslims should not be allowed to stay in the country unless they convert. You want to talk about unconstitutional? Nothing is less constitutional than that.”

I’ve never heard one scrap of evidence that Acts 17 stands for the proposition that unless Muslims convert they should be deported.

More important, many of us in this area were saying Sharia is spreading in Dearborn long before we ever heard of these missionaries. I’ve been blogging here since 2006. Debbie Schlussel has blogged about Dearborn much longer than that. The awareness amongst Dearborn residents of the threat of radical Islam was awakened, just as it was for the rest of the country, on September 11, 2001.

I think what we have here are two politicians responding to questions for which they weren’t prepared. In the Mayor’s case, he sounds as if he simply doesn’t know, and really doesn’t want to know, what’s going on with Islam in Dearborn. All he wants is to keep CAIR from his office door and his Arab constituents from being unhappy.

As to what Sharron Angle said, I think she was right. With all the knucklehead second-guessing of anything anyone says within range of YouTube or other media outlets, I’m a big proponent of not reading too much into incomplete, poorly worded statements that are, to say the least, ambiguous. I’m not sure what Angle meant by “militant terrorist situation.” But the context was an audience question referring to a TV broadcast about “Muslims wanting to take over the United States,” and “taking over a city in Michigan.” Her reference to Frankford, Texas was clearly in error, so I’d give her the benefit of the doubt that she had another community in mind and inadvertently referred to Frankford instead.

What she did say clearly was that the situation with militant terrorism, “isn’t a widespread thing, but it is enough that we need to address, and we have been addressing it.” That happens to be my own view of it. And her declaration that American cities should be under Constitutional law, not Sharia law, is absolutely correct. That she said the problem was not widespread, but still a concern, ought to spare her being portrayed in the media as an hysteric. But could we really expect that kind of restraint from the media when reporting on conservative candidates?

O’Reilly’s denials, on the other hand, were made in what should have been the cold light of day. To a fault, he simply wants to focus elsewhere than on the controversies arising from Islam. His letter to Angle shows how much he’d rather mention “The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, which are visited each year by 1.5 million people from across the world”, and all “the automotive workers who were flocking to Detroit to earn the unheard of wage of $5 a day at the For Motor Co. Model ‘T’ Plant.”

We all haven’t forgotten that Mayor Jack sat on the story about the arrest of Houssein Zorkot for four days because he didn’t want us to connect terrorist activity up with September 11.

To say categorically there’s no Sharia in Dearborn is like saying categorically that there are no foreign cars in Dearborn, because Dearborn “has been the home of the Ford Motor Company since 1917!” The two facts can co-exist, and they do. Sharia can still be alive and well in Dearborn regardless of how many boys at Fordson High dress like gangbangers, or how many churches still have their doors open.

But the Mayor has no idea about any of this, does he?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Take It Up With Your Psychiatrist

I don’t care what anybody says about Rudy Giuliani. When it comes to fighting back against jihad, I still think he’s great. And he’s not afraid of exercising his free speech. From The Hill:

Giuliani questions NPR funding

BLUE BELL, Pa. — Rudy Giuliani defended former NPR analyst Juan Williams Friday, saying Williams was fired for simply explaining his feelings.

Juan Williams just expressed something that a lot of people feel, Giuliani told the crowd at a campaign rally for Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey. And he gets fired for it?

Earlier this week in an interview on Fox News, Williams said seeing passengers in Muslim garb on a plane makes him nervous. “Look Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country, Williams told Bill O'Reilly in an interview. But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Shortly after the comments, NPR decided to sever its contract with Williams.

The resulting firestorm saw several Republican lawmakers calling on Congress to defund NPR.

Giuliani appeared to join that call Friday, calling into question NPR's funding.

“We put taxpayer money into that censorship program,” Giuliani said of NPR.Giuliani, who was mayor of New York during 9/11, reminded the crowd that on the evening of September 11, 2001, he warned New Yorkers not to single out Arab-Americans.

But the former mayor added that it is irresponsible to ignore the threat of Islamic extremists, noting he doesn't understand why anyone would be offended at that notion.

“I don't care who's offended by it,” Giuliani said. “And if you are offended by it, there's something wrong with you.”

PBS and CAIR Combat 'Defamation' of Islam

You shouldn’t miss this Big Government post on the relationship between public broadcasting and CAIR in combating “defamation” of Islam:
PBS Sends Senior Editor as Presenter to CAIR Conference on ‘Defaming Islam”

Posted by Christine Brim Oct 23rd 2010

The news about NPR firing Juan Williams is opening the eyes of many in the media and public to the extraordinary rules of censorship that CAIR, other Muslim Brotherhood groups, and the “Establishment Left” impose to restrict free speech. But it’s not just NPR that responds to CAIR’s political pressure which may in itself be a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. On October 9, 2010 – less than two weeks before NPR fired Williams on October 21 – the federally-funded sister agency Public Broadcasting System (PBS) sent Joel Schwartzberg, Senior Editor of PBS Interactive to be a presenter at the CAIR Leadership Conference preceding their 16th annual national banquet.

Here’s a copy of the 36 page CAIR program for the conference and banquet. . . Page 4 lists Schwartzberg in the 9:15 -10:45 a.m. session (Room B): “Becoming a Dynamic Public Speaker (Room B).” Page 6 provides Schwartzberg’s biography under the title “CAIR Leadership Conference Trainers 2010.”

There’s more. PBS sent Schwartzberg to train “CAIR Leadership” knowing that CAIR had advertised the conference for several weeks listing the #1 reason to attend as, “You’re tired of seeing Islam defamed and want to do something about it.” . . . [V]iew the
entire saved pdf of the conference promotional web page.

To make this clear: PBS sent Schwartzberg to train “CAIR leadership” at a conference held specifically to “do something about” the alleged problem of “Islam defamed.” The use of the concept of “defamation” of Islam should be a red flag alert to Congressional funders of PBS: CAIR’s conference publicity followed the instructions of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to enforce Shariah blasphemy and defamation laws in the U.S. – in this case, with the support of publicly funded PBS staff.
The rest here.

If Renee Montagne Broadcasts in a Niqab, and No One Can See It, Does It Make a Sound?

It’s been a while since CAIR’s had a victory. But credit -- no, blame -- for the firing of Juan Williams by NPR has to go CAIR, at least in significant part. I know George Soros and Media Matters played their role. But out of all them it’s CAIR whose specific object is to halt all criticism of Islam in the United States.

They haven’t done it yet. And getting a figure as popular and as well-respected by both liberals and conservatives as Juan Williams fired is backfiring on CAIR. It’s already backfired on NPR, whose online “Contact us” function crashed beneath the hail of negative comments in response to the action.

On C-Span’s Washington Journal on Friday I noticed that among the liberal callers, who invariably express hatred for Fox News and abide by dhimmi rules when discussing Islam, no one thought firing Williams was the right thing to do.

But getting Williams fired shows CAIR still has a lot of power to intimidate.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CAIR and Ron Scott Want To Know: 'Where's Mike Nifong When We Need Him?'

The Detroit Free Press ran this last week:

Group slams U.S. report on imam's death

The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality today called the
Justice Department announcement Wednesday that there were no civil rights violations in the shooting death of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah “disingenuous and insincere.”

Ron Scott, the coalition’s lead spokesman, said the Justice Department released the statement clearing federal agents as acting appropriately in the Oct. 28 killing at the same time federal civil rights attorneys from Washington were meeting in Detroit with Abdullah’s family, Muslim and African-American leaders and the coalition.

“While we and members of the community were attempting to meet in good faith … they were already releasing a statement to the media that th actions of the law enforcement officers involved in the Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah killing were justified. This compromised any real sense of objectivity and consideration which may have emerged from our discussions,” Scott said in a prepared statement today.

“How can you discuss the sentiment of the community and its significance while a news release is presented which indicates that you have already made you’re your decision? This is disingenuous and insincere,” he said.

Investigating a possible civil rights violation is no different than investigating any other possible violation of law: the subject either violated the law or he didn’t. Investigative findings mustn’t go outside the facts of what happened, nor how the law defines a violation.

In other words, what the “community” feels about it all shouldn’t count for a damn thing.

Any society committed to the rule of law would recognize it as the worst possible injustice – far worse even than a sloppy investigation that overlooks actual evidence of guilt – to accuse an innocent person of wrongdoing just to satisfy some baying interest group’s appetite for raw meat.

Nothing in the response of CAIR or Ron Scott’s Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality has made any sense, but this response to the DOJ findings beats all. As he denounces the findings as “insincere” Scott asks the rhetorical question, “How can you discuss the sentiment of the community and its significance while a news release is presented which indicates that you have already made you’re your decision?” But unless the investigators’ decision about the facts was going to be weighted one way or the other based on community sentiment about what happened, there’s no reason at all not to make the decision and release it regardless of such sentiment.

Unless there’s a tacit understanding that the facts will take a back seat to mollycoddling a favored minority. (See Mike Nifong).

It’s not the job of the civil rights division to find out what makes X minority community ifeel mistreated and then dutifully find an example of X’s mistreatment to punish. Can Scott really be serious that the DOJ was supposed to let negotiations with Muslim leaders determine whether or not to charge federal agents with civil rights violations, regardless of what the evidence shows?

Their idea that “good faith” meetings between Justice Department officials and Muslim leaders to “discuss the sentiment of the community” could ever play any legitimate role in what is supposed to be a fact-finding investigation shows just how lacking in good faith these groups actually are.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Horse Is a Horse, Except When He's an Undercover Fascist Tea Party Spy

(Mrs. Clancy and I went to see “Secretariat” this past Saturday night. We both liked it. But this isn’t a review. TRC).

Some folks are forever being accused of “Islamophobia.” Depending on who it is hurling the charge, “Islamophobia” can mean anything from criticizing Islam -- at all -- to drawing attention to the rising mountain of evidence that there are a very large number of Muslims on the planet in love with the idea of either reducing us to slavery or killing us.

What is never meant by the term “Islamophobia” is what, logically, should be meant, which is a strong irrational fear of something that poses little or no danger, in this case, Islam.

I’m no psychiatrist, but I’ll bet there are few case histories where an arachnophobic actually has video of 19 spiders knocking down two 100-story towers full of people or suicide-bombing a bus full of Jewish schoolkids.

That aside, there is something like a strong, irrational fear of Christians going around, and it’s getting worse. Time was it took a depiction of a babe in a manger or a cross to constitute an intimidating crossing of the line. Now people are going over the edge if a female movie lead wears a pearl necklace or a black character plays his role in the script without once keeping it real about how his brother was shot down by police in a case of racial mistaken identity.

As one example of this heightened paranoia, I point out last week’s review by Andrew O’Hehir of Salon of the new Disney film, “Secretariat”, "Secretariat": A gorgeous, creepy American myth. In his review O’Hehir believes he recognizes “a work of creepy, half-hilarious master-race propaganda almost worthy of Leni Riefenstahl, and all the more effective because it presents as a family-friendly yarn about a nice lady and her horse.”

Roger Ebert, the film reviewer at the Chicago Sun Times, found O’Hehir’s review so “bizarre”and “insane” he felt the need to write a response. O’Hehir’s review, writes Ebert, “resembles a fevered conspiracy theory”:

In this example , we do not find proof that Obama is a Muslim Communist born in Kenya. No, the news is worse than that. It involves Secretariat, a horse who up until now we innocently thought of as merely very fast. We learn the horse is a carrier not merely of Ron Turcotte's 130 pounds, but of Nazism, racism, Tea Party ideology and the dark side of Christianity.

Oh, and I forgot the Ku Klux Klan: “The movie itself is ablaze with its own crazy sense of purpose,” O'Hehir writes, “ if someone just off-screen were burning a cross on the lawn.”

O’Hehir also finds it awful that “Secretariat” -- which is set in 1972-73 -- devotes insufficient screentime to the Vietnam War and the Watergate hearings taking place at the same time. But that’s not really phobic, just an example of a liberal’s political filter at work. (“You could hardly pick a period in post-Civil War American history more plagued by chaos and division and general insanity (well, OK -- you could pick right now.”). When you view all reality through a lens of progressive values, no story is a “true” story unless it drags in meaningful references to race, gender (sic), homelessness, war, AIDS, and the environmental crisis. For that matter, I, too, also picked up on the way “Secretariat” failed to include any references to the wildly popular “Sonny & Cher” TV show.

Ebert, when he’s finished taking apart O’Hehir’s review, confesses “I have no theories about why it was written.”

Well, I have. O’Hehir had a phobic reaction to this film. He feels films like this are inviting audiences to believe in something, “believe in -- well, in something unspecified but probably pretty scary.” And the manifestation of his phobia is his genuine belief that “Secretariat” is a propaganda tool chockfull of subversive Christian themes and Tea-Party values.

Although the troubling racial subtext is more deeply buried here than in "The Blind Side" (where it's more like text, period), "Secretariat" actually goes much further, presenting a honey-dipped fantasy vision of the American past as the Tea Party would like to imagine it, loaded with uplift and glory and scrubbed clean of multiculturalism and social discord. In the world of this movie, strong-willed and independent-minded women like Chenery are ladies first (she's like a classed-up version of Sarah Palin feminism), left-wing activism is an endearing cute phase your kids go through (until they learn the hard truth about inheritance taxes), and all right-thinking Americans are united in their adoration of a Nietzschean Überhorse, a hero so superhuman he isn't human at all. . . . Big Red himself is a big, handsome MacGuffin, symbolic window dressing for a quasi-inspirational fantasia of American whiteness and power.

Look, write this shit in college it only means you’re sucking up for a good grade; write this way in middle age and you have a seriously distorted point of view. I’m only surprised O’Hehir overlooked how Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, played by Diane Lane, has a last name diabolically only a single letter away from that of The Devil Himself -- Bush-Chenery, anyone? -- now how’s that for subtext?

Ebert does a much more effective job of describing O’Hehir’s breakdown than I could do, except he keeps flashing his own liberal credentials, (“I am a liberal” . . . “a lifelong liberal”. . . .”an admirer of Darwin”. . .), and takes an unnecessary shot at Sarah Palin (who, like “Vietnam” and “Nixon”, is never mentioned in the film).

And you can count on it, it’s Palin who terrifies O’Hehir, and behind Palin, the Tea Party, and behind the Tea Party, Christianity, even in its most vestigial form as the erstwhile teacher of basic morals and manners to the secular culture. O’Hehir wants you to know it was Randall Wallace who directed this movie, “one of mainstream Hollywood's few prominent Christians, [who] has spoken openly about his faith and his desire to make movies that appeal to "people with middle-American values.”

Spoken openly about his faith? Go figure, it’s Hollyweird, right? Why not just French kiss Mel Gibson at the Oscars? (Oh, yeah, Gibson’s not welcome any more). Wallace’s shamelessly “out” Christian faith is why O’Hehir thinks “it's legitimate to wonder exactly what Christian-friendly and ‘middle-American’ inspirational values are being conveyed here, or whether they're just providing cover for some fairly ordinary right-wing ideology and xenophobia.”

O’Hehir even imagines that the film’s antagonist, “...the villainous, swarthy and vaguely terrorist-flavored Pancho Martin (Nestor Serrano), trainer of Sham, Secretariat's archrival. (Even the horse's name is evil!”), was planted in the picture, probably to get middle Americans to oppose the Ground Zero mosque.

Ebert’s measured response is that the actor really does look like Pancho Martin. “And as for the hapless Sham, the horse with the evil name, for Christ's sake, O'Hehir, that was the horse's damn name.”

What we’re witnessing is nothing other than O’Hehir’s phobic reaction to Christianity, even if it’s a watered-down, harmless version of the faith as a source of homely virtues like perservence, loyalty, and family affection. We’re at the point now where if some critics so much as glimpse a “housewife” onscreen pouring her husband’s coffee, there’d better damn well be a reference to race riots or My Lai or a pair of mopey homosexuals nearby to provide balance and “context.”

Otherwise, it’s just middle-class xenophobia. Otherwise, you may as well just be reading to us out of the Bible.

Dingell's Overdue Retirement

It’s just possible that John Dingell may lose the seat that, between him and his father, John Sr., has been a Dingell family heirloom since the elder Dingell first won it in 1932. That means only Democrats, and only a certain flavor of Democrats, have been represented in this district for 78 years. Queen Victoria, arguably a more impressive ruler, reigned for a mere 64.

Dingell has most recently been feted in Washington as the grandfather of Obamacare. That's because he’s spent his life (shoot, he’s spent my life, as he’s been in Congress since I was born), trying to get a national health care plan through Congress. It takes a long time, Dingell explained to Paul W. Smith, to pass legislation “to control the people.”

Compared to some of Michigan’s other Democratic officeholders-for-life, Dingell has been less outspoken, showy, and outrageous. But now that Rob Steele is forcing him to actually run for the office he’s held by ancient Michigan custom for nearly six decades, a nasty side is coming out.

Never mind all that. It’s just wrong for a congressional district to be associated with one name since Prohibition.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

'Ehr Kumt'

I learned about this Rosh Hashanah sermon, “Ehr Kumt,” given by Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Atlanta on The Michael Medved Show.

Rabbi Lewis is a self-described “dues-paying, card carrying member of the ACLU,” who voted against George W. Bush, and is still a registered Democrat. He was preaching to his primarily liberal congregation. But his urgent message is not one we usually hear from that quarter: “We are at war. We are at war with an enemy as savage, as voracious, as heartless as the Nazis but one wouldn't know it from our behavior.”

The sermon is quite lengthy, but I recommend following the link to get all of it.

But here are some highlights:
In WWII we won because we got it. We understood who the enemy was and we knew that the end had to be unconditional and absolute. We did not stumble around worrying about offending the Nazis. We did not measure every word so as not to upset our foe. We built planes and tanks and battleships and went to war to win‚ ... to rid the world of malevolence.

We are at war‚ yet too many stubbornly and foolishly don't put the pieces together and refuse to identify the evil doers. We are circumspect and disgracefully politically correct.

Let me mince no words in saying that from Fort Hood to Bali, from Times Square to London, from Madrid to Mumbai, from 9/11 to Gaza, the murderers, the barbarians are radical Islamists.To camouflage their identity is sedition. To excuse their deeds is contemptible. To mask their intentions is unconscionable.
We must be diligent students of history and not sit in ash cloth at the waters of Babylon weeping. We cannot be hypnotized by eloquent-sounding rhetoric that soothes our heart but endangers our soul. We cannot be lulled into inaction for fear of offending the offenders. Radical Islam is the scourge and this must be cried out from every mountain top. From sea to shining sea, we must stand tall, prideful of our stunning decency and moral resilience. Immediately after 9/11 how many mosques were destroyed in America? None. After 9/11, how many Muslims were killed in America? None. After 9/11, how many anti-Muslim rallies were held in America? None. And yet, we apologize. We grovel. We beg forgiveness.
If nothing else stirs us. If nothing else convinces us, let Bibi Aisha's mutilated face be the face of Islamic radicalism. Let her face shake up even the most complacent and naive among us. In the holy crusade against this ultimate evil, pictures of Bibi Aisha's disfigurement should be displayed on billboards, along every highway from Route 66 to the Autobahn, to the Transarabian Highway. Her picture should be posted on every lobby wall from Tokyo to Stockholm to Rio. On every network, at every commercial break, Bibi Aisha's face should appear with the caption - "Radical Islamic savages did this." And underneath - "This ad was approved by Hamas, by Hezbollah, by Taliban, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, by Islamic Jihad, by Fatah al Islam, by Magar Nodal Hassan, by Richard Reid, by Ahmanijad, by Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, by Osama bin Laden, by Edward Said, by The Muslim Brotherhood, by Al Queda, by CAIR."
Moral confusion is a deadly weakness and it has reached epic proportions in the West; from the Oval Office to the UN, from the BBC to Reuters to MSNBC, from the New York Times to Le Monde, from university campuses to British teachers unions, from the International Red Cross to Amnesty International, from Goldstone to Elvis Costello, from the Presbyterian Church to the Archbishop of Canterbury.There is a message sent and consequences when our president visits Turkey and Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and not Israel.There is a message sent and consequences when free speech on campus is only for those championing Palestinian rights.

There is a message sent and consequences when the media deliberately doctors and edits film clips to demonize Israel.

There is a message sent and consequences when the UN blasts Israel relentlessly, effectively ignoring Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, North Korea, China and other noxious states.

There is a message sent and consequences when liberal churches are motivated by Liberation Theology, not historical accuracy.

There is a message sent and consequences when murderers and terrorists are defended by the obscenely transparent "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Beware of Sheep in Wolves' Clothing

The Detroit Free Press on Tuesday published two editorials on the long-overdue release of the investigation that exonerates FBI agents in the shooting death of the radical Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah. Would it surprise you to learn that both opinion pieces call for further investigation, and question the use of government informants?

Jeff Gerritt wrote the blog version, and we expect he may have written the print version, too. Gerritt has been CAIR’s chief water carrier at the Free Press on the Abdullah case since about the time the imam’s rigor mortis started setting in. Now, when CAIR’s tattered battle flag has fallen in the campaign to transform Abdullah’s death into an FBI assassination, Gerritt has scooped it up again.

His blog article, (“Blazing big government? Don't forget Abdullah case”), is meant to needle the “Tea Party set,” whom he tongue-in-cheekily advises ought to be asking some hard questions about the government excess involved, like “how many millions of dollars did the feds spend on the Abdullah case, including two years of infiltrating the mosque with undercover informants?” We’ll see if Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin take the bait.

But what Gerritt really cares about is not government waste, but “the use of informants” by federal investigators. This is the real hobbyhorse Muslim Brotherhood front groups like CAIR and the ISNA have been riding non-stop the past couple of years. As soon as President Obama, in his speech to the Turkish Parliament shortly after taking office, betrayed his weakness to the Islamic world, the Ikhwan in America, including the “American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society-Freedom Foundation (MAS-FF), Muslim Student Association-National (MSA-N), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC),” issued a joint statement demanding an end, among other things, to “1. Infiltration of mosques and systematic manipulation of Muslim religious affairs, 2. Use of agents provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth.”

Steve Emerson relates how:
This message was made crystal clear by Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - Los Angeles last year at an Anaheim, California mosque:

"We're here today to say our mosques are off limits. Our Koran is off limits. Our youth, who they [the FBI] try to radicalize, are off limits. Now is the time to tell them, 'We're not going to let this happen anymore.'" (“New Interactive Terror History Map”).
Michigan-CAIR’s Dawud Walid has been wearing out the same theme, using the media (like Jeff Gerritt) to describe “agent provocateurs who entice people into criminal activities.”

CAIR even got Congressman John Conyers in on the act, making him agree to call “for the DOJ to review the FBI’s current usage of confidential informants in houses of worship.”

Comically enough, CAIR’s Ayloush:
has claimed that the FBI is "paying convicted felons to 'infiltrate' mosques to radicalize Muslim youths and instigate talks about terrorism." In an interview with Southern California Public Radio, Ayloush said the FBI has been "hiring shady characters and individuals to try to instigate against the Muslim community. And instigate acts of violence to ruin the reputation of the Muslim community."
Abdullah was a convicted felon radicalizing Muslim youths and talking terrorist trash. The FBI sting that led to Abdullah’s death was about receiving stolen merchandise, which Abdullah told an informant would be good to sell at his mosque. Abdullah had previously been to prison for felonious assault and weapons violations, and he was no less violent or hateful after he got out. He vowed to his Muslim flock that “he would not go peacefully should law enforcement ever come to get him.” And we all know Abdullah, 53 at the time of his departure for Paradise, wasn’t a “Muslim youth.” So was he really enticed into that warehouse? It’s not as if the FBI offered him 72 brown-eyed virgins.

The point is, it would be hard to find a character any shadier than Abdullah. If he had been the one who turned informant against his crooked colleagues, you can bet Walid would be complaining that a guy with Abdullah’s criminal history was an agent provocateur. As it is he was widely praised as a martyr and a spiritual model for Muslims.

The Freep’s second editorial, (“Feds should review imam shooting”), criticizes the use of government informants, too. But instead of using the “government excess” gag it takes the position that the AG report, in spite of clearing the FBI agents of any wrongdoing, “does not close the book” on the matter. This regardless of the editorial’s own admission that the AG’s office did “a thorough and honest job.”

Well, if a thorough and honest investigation cleared the agents of wrongdoing, then the book ought to be closed, n’est-ce pas? But if you’re at all familiar with liberal ways, or for that matter with children wanting bedtime stories, or even with the 2000 presidential election, then you know how this works. Liberals never want the book to be closed, no matter how late it is, or no matter how many times you’ve read them Green Eggs and Ham. Because once the book is closed they’ll have to get under the covers and go to sleep. Read it again. Maybe it ends differently this time.

The Freep’s last-ditch hope for staying up past bedtime is to scoff that “Nothing short of a complete and independent investigation by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice will restore credibility to ongoing fact-finding.”

How can the Freep be unaware that the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ under President Obama is a political cesspool that has driven out all vestiges of either independence or integrity?

Oh, that’s right: because it wasn’t reported in the media.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Abdullah's Son Insists His Father Was No Threat

The late Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah’s son said on Friday that the Dearborn Police Department report about the incident of his father’s death “sounds a little suspicious to me.”

Bet you didn’t see that coming.

The DPD report reaches the same conclusions as the Michigan Attorney General’s report on the shooting that was finally released last week.
Abdullah’s son, Omar Regan, said Friday that his father was shot when he was not a threat. “Why would you send a dog to attack him if he was lying down on his stomach?” (“Shooting report mirrors state’s”).
The AG’s report states that, after failing to obey repeated commands by agents to lie down and show his hands, Abdullah lay down on his stomach, concealing a handgun beneath him. Agents then gave him repeated commands that if he refused to show his hands the dog would be deployed. It was later learned that the handgun Abdullah was concealing with his body was loaded with 17 rounds. He rolled over after the dog was set upon him, and fired three rounds.

At that point the agents who ended up returning fire were standing as close as five to twelve feet of where Abdullah was laying. Some or all of the rounds Abdullah fired, in the direction of the agents, mortally wounded the K-9. Any one of Abdullah’s rounds could have just as easily killed an agent.

He was a threat.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

So We Don't Get French Benefits?

That one FedEx ad a few years(?) ago was alway good for a laugh.
In “Wrong,” a guy is chastised by his co-workers for being a source of misinformation. “Steely Dan is not one person,” berates one guy. “We get fringe benefits, not French benefits, it’s not the Leaning Tower of Pizza, and James Dean was an actor—Jimmy Dean makes sausages.” The guy is then told that he’s wrong by thinking that FedEx ground is too expensive. “So we don’t get French benefits?” he replies.
Speaking of French benefits, but much less funny, is a recent newspaper exchange between MI-CAIR’s Dawud Walid and Detroit News editor, Nolan Finley. Walid, ungrateful for the cozy chair by the hearth the Detroit News has prepared for him these days, wrote an angry letter responding to Nolan Finley’s plea of a couple weeks ago that Muslims try harder to obey the Sermon on the Mount. Both of them embrace the “fringe” defense of jihadist violence. Writes Walid:
Nolan Finley's column, "Islam must turn the other cheek," (Sept. 12), was contradictory and short sighted, to say the least.

Islam is not responsible for the "lunatic fringe" that is protesting our nation because of the now canceled Quran burning of Terry Jones. A fringe by definition anyway means outside of the majority mainstream.

American Muslims have
overwhelmingly acted responsibly in the face of hatred spewed against us on cable television programs and radio talk shows and by bigots who desecrate our mosques and the Quran.
Walid fails to address the way Finley’s headline about Islam “turning the other cheek” clumsily confuses two utterly dissimilar religions. Not that I’m going to attempt a digression explaining how Christianity is the only faith that actually counsels “turning the other cheek.” I simply can’t bear labeling the Gospel with that insipid and empty prattle about a “religion of peace.” Christianity may bring peace, or it might bring the sword. Either way, it’s true. Anyhow, I think peacefulness as a religious attribute is overrated. As Mr. Beaver replied when asked if Narnia’s Lion ruler, Aslan, was safe: “Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

When I complain that Islam isn’t a religion of peace, it’s not the violence I’m objecting to. I abhor it, but I understand it. When you worship a god with as many insecurities as Allah, and who keeps commanding you to be violent too if you want to make it to Paradise, violence is going to result. It’s not the logic of violence that bothers me, but the lying about the nature of Islam. As Robert Spencer has pointed out, if any nonMuslim dares deny that Islam is a religion of peace, “they rain down the charges of "Islamophobia," "hate," "bigotry" and the like. But when a Muslim says it, they utter nary a peep.”

Nolan Finley still believes that at the heart of Islam beats the sincere Christian message of overcoming evil with good. From, the sound of it, and like so many journalists, (among the worst of whom is Bill O’Reilly), Finley has absorbed the secularist myth that all religions share the same values and the same goals, i.e., that all religions, underneath, are some form of Christianity. Get this wrong, and all the other errors follow as a matter of course.

Accordingly, as Finley sees it, all Muslims need is to “grow up” and learn to accept “antagonism.” After all, didn’t Christ teach his disciples to “turn the other cheek?” Christ, Mohammed. Eh! Same difference. Regardless of Finley’s training in Christianity, he clearly is not a student of the Prophet if he imagines Allah’s spokesman had any intention of tolerating antagonism.

Finley at least started out on the right track when he probed the false “fringe” logic usually deployed to neutralize Islam's violence: “But the lunatic fringe is apparently wide enough to trigger an extreme overreaction from our nation's top offices to a silly little publicity stunt.” Then Finley dropped it. Too bad.

Because I think he was wrong about how wide that so-called “fringe” is. It’s a whole lot wider than just something that triggers overreaction from U.S. security officials. It’s wide enough to knock down the World Trade Center, draw us into two wars, enslave hundreds of millions of people, dominate the news cycle for going on a decade, keep every Western power on a permanent state of alert, and will soon offer the world the first atomic attack since 1945.

The problem with conceding CAIR and the rest of the world’s Islamist front men the false premise that supporters of violent jihadism are just a tiny fringe is that the whole argument about Islam falls right along with it. Consider how, after scapegoating 16,000-plus terrorist attacks onto an Islamic “lunatic fringe,” Walid can bypass that gorilla and get on the with the serious business of blaming the whole thing on “intolerance” and “bigotry” in the USA.

Don’t look now, but he’s just completely removed Islam from the whole discussion of the problem of Islamic violence. That’s why, in response to Finley’s condemnation of “a worldwide wave of bloodshed at the hands of offended radicals” in response to the Terry Jones kerfuffle, Walid can say that “Islam is not responsible for the ‘lunatic fringe’ that is protesting our nation.”

Obviously Islam is responsible. He may as well say the sun has nothing to do with sunburn. Even the most conservative estimates place worldwide support for violent jihad amongst the world’s Muslims at ten percent, which, as has been pointed out, of “1.4 billion Muslims is a lot of people.”

If you want to see a real fringe, a genuine insignificance of lunatic kooks, consider that Terry Jones’s church has only 50 members (and you can bet fewer than that active members). The recent vandalized mosques, and the Qu’ran burned in Lansing, were truly unrepresentative of anything like the American mainstream, and were almost certainly acts committed by individuals acting alone.

You can bet that the Lansing Qu’ran burner was not getting Internet guidance (and financing) from a well-funded and well-protected spiritual advisor in a foreign country (such as al-Awlaki) controlled by a government constituted along the same lunatic principles the arsonist happens to hold. There are no lunatic mosque-defacing graffiti artists who have like-minded counterparts ruling modern nations running three shifts to complete atomic bombs so they can destroy all the Jews in Israel.

Our lunatics may be deplorably ignorant, but they don’t control nuclear programs, Middle Eastern oil, or genocidal armies with long-range missiles.
Most important, when these minor intolerant outbursts take place in America, historically, no one dies. Yet Walid wants us to believe that American intolerance and bigotry, not that Muslim “lunatic fringe,” are the bigger threat on which we should focus.

There are fringes of 30 or 40 people, then there are fringes that form a crescent of 300 million around the eastern Mediterranean.

I can’t see why any thinking American goes along with the pretense that Islamic violence is the product of a small fringe of “hijackers” of a peaceful religion.

'What Would Mohammed Do?'

In his autobiographical, “Surprised by Joy,” C.S. Lewis described his momentous first meeting with the influential schoolmaster, Kirk (or “the Great Knock”). Kirk was a rationalist and an atheist, a rigorous logician. On his first encounter with Kirk while de-training in Surrey, the young Lewis, lost for anything better to discuss, off-handedly noted his surprise at the “wildness” of the Surrey countryside. Kirk promptly pounced on the description, wanting to know exactly what Lewis meant by the proposition, and upon what his expectations of the flora and fauna of Surrey had been based. Lewis was soon admitting it hadn’t been based on anything -- not “maps, or photographs or books” -- or anything else. Whereupon Lewis learned his first lesson on the hazards of baseless opinions.
“Do you not see, then,” concluded the Great Knock, “that your remark was meaningless? Do you not see, then, that you had no right to have any opinion whatever on the subject?”
A couple of recent incidents have revealed that Henry Payne, Detroit News editorial cartoonist and sometime commentator, has made friends with CAIR’s Dawud Walid. I don’t begrudge either man his friends, surely. It’s still a free country.

Wrote Payne on Friday:
A leading Detroit-area Muslim has condemned the threats against a Seattle Weekly cartoonist who has been forced into hiding for drawing Mohammed.

"This is unacceptable," says Dawud Walid, president of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR). "We like to ask 'What would Mohammed do?', referring to the Muslim prophet's own pleading for tolerance when he was condemned for his point of view.
(“Free speech thwarted in U.S. as cartoonist forced to hide”).
Here’s the thing: I’m no more going to buy that Walid believes in a Mohammed “pleading for tolerance when he was condemned for his point of view,” or that CAIR champions free speech, than I’m going to buy the Brooklyn Bridge. Both the Qu-ran and Mohammed’s biographers have left no doubt that he exacted cruel, bloody revenge against those who criticized him, and inspired his followers to do the same.

It is a perennial CAIR propaganda point -- trotted out whenever Islam’s insatiable need for bloody revenge hits the news -- that the Prophet didn’t have an angry bone in his body. In this case it’s the insane calls for revenge against former Seattle Weekly cartoonist, Molly Norris, now in hiding, that has Walid painting Mohammed as an exemplar of Christian forbearance. A few years back CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper tried to deflect world Islam’s irrational rage over the Mohammed cartoons by telling the media, knowingly full well it was a lie, that the Prophet always responded to attacks on himself with kindness. (“Muhammad's Dead Poets Society — Peaceful Non-assassinations of Critics”).

Walid may well say that he and his brothers in the Ikhwan “like to ask ‘What would Mohammed do?,’” but the Ikhwan sure doesn’t like it when nonMuslims ask, because the answer isn’t very nice. CAIR is dedicated to slandering critics as Islamophobes and bigots in an attempt to shut them up. CAIR’s primary tactic is to silence criticism of Islam, whether it’s in the media, in law enforcement agencies, or even from terrified airline passengers who overhear Ikhwan agents staging a terrorist dry run.

Anyone from that organization taking a stand for free expression is prima facie proof of lying.

Henry Payne seems to have taken a liking to Walid: he believes he’s sincere, even patriotic (!). Consequently, Payne is giving Walid (and CAIR, naturally) credibility by puffing him in his columns.

Payne has a right to do that, if we’re speaking in terms of his right to associate with, or hold an opinion of, or speak, about, anyone or anything he pleases. Payne is, after all, an opinion journalist, and cartoonist. Nor, unlike Dawid Walid, do I have any doubts about Payne’s sincerity.

But he is sincerely misinformed. His opinions that Walid is a straight shooter, that CAIR is a benevolent civil rights organization, that Mohammed was a preacher of tolerance and free speech, are simply all wet.

He cannot have done his homework. Payne can start with finding out what CAIR really is, and what the Muslim Brotherhood has in mind, and what really happened to people who crossed Mohammed.

And until he has done so, as Old Knock would surely say to him, Payne really has no right to have any opinion whatever on the subject of what Mohammed or his followers would do.