Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Recently at Jihad Watch, a relatively new addition to Robert Spencer's team, a Canadian counter-jihad analyst named Christine Douglass-Williams, published a lengthy notice about her new book touting -- yea heralding -- the viability of Islamic reform. Its title -- The Challenge of Modernizing Islam: Reformers Speak Out And the Obstacles They Face -- subtly sets up the possibility that Douglass-Williams, like her mentor and boss, Robert Spencer, may be engaging in a ploy to flirt with the theme of reform, while never actually advocating it and, while probing the issue and the enormous difficulties the supposedly reformist Muslims face from fellow Muslims who are more "Islamist", thereby in fact indicating that it is so difficult, it becomes, practically speaking, impossible. A kind of roundabout, backhanded way of refuting reform while appearing to respect it.
That would be quite clever, even cunning; but it seems unlikely, unless Douglass-Williams is operating in a remarkably Macchiavellian (not to mention deceitful) manner with this theme. I say this because of many quite nougaty-soft statements she has made about Muslims during her tenure at Jihad Watch. I've written here a few times about her, but haven't kept a log itemizing all of her many instances of nougat.
So I put on my Internaut suit, got in my webspace pod, and submerged myself in the comments thread of that above-mentioned Jihad Watch article. As I was bobbing up and down like a moonwalker underwater, swiveling my helmeted head left and right to take in the counter-jihad coral formations, I was pleased to see that the majority of commenters there were not buying the Used Car of Islamic Reform sitting pretty as a bubble-gum-pink Cadillac in the Jihad Watch car lot.
That's the good news. However, I can't help but wonder why those Jihad Watchers aren't making more of a stink about this. They don't have to be rude, but they could show some backbone and tell Spencer's teammate how wrongheaded her approach is. And if they're capable of putting two and two together, they could wonder aloud at why Spencer is putting people on his team like this. Sorry, I had a spell for a moment there; I forgot that Jihad Watch comments is largely the reserve of the RSSS (Robert Spencer Sycophants Society).
The long introduction to the book in this Jihad Watch article deserves more scrutiny, for it is a curious thicket of clarity and promise, on the one hand, and incoherence and/or obfuscation, on the other. The whole piece, and one assumes the whole book it is highlighting, is a sales pitch for Islamic Reform.
Part of the sales pitch includes a blurb from the famous voice of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
With elegance and determination, Christine Douglass-Williams documents a variety of Muslim reformers... courageous men and women [who] should be as well-known as human rights dissidents Solzhenitsyn, Sakharov, and Havel were during the Cold War.
This incidentally, becomes a third piece of evidence marking the dismaying regression of Hirsi Ali from the seemingly stronger stance she used to have; the other two being her uncritical friendship with Maajid Nawaz, and her pointed allusion to Geert Wilders as a potentially worse problem than "Islamism" for the future of Europe. So it may be no wonder that Hirsi Ali so warmly approves of this apparent encomium to this nascent, supposedly growing movement of what we more sober analysts must call ultra-stealth jihad, Islamic Reform.
After the blurbs, Douglass-Williams informs the reader that she will be inserting in her Foreword from the book itself (oddly, that Foreword here and there refers to her in the third person). She begins that Foreword delving into the hazards for the poor, brave Muslim Reformer, which mainly involves the little snag that in Islam (the same Islam they are trying to reform), they are guilty of treason and so must be killed.
These attempts [at reform] are fraught with peril. As Christine Douglass-Williams notes in this book, “Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, a Sudanese Muslim theologian who argued that the Meccan passages,” which are generally more peaceful, “should take precedence over the Medinan,” which call for warfare against non-Muslims, “instead of the reverse, was executed in 1985 by the Sudanese government for heresy and apostasy.” Some of those profiled in this book know these perils firsthand: “Sheik Subhy Mansour recounted: ‘If these Muslim Brotherhood people had the chance, they would have killed me according to their punishment for apostasy plus they claim I’ll go to hell.’ Tawfik Hamid noted: ‘The reformists were killed throughout history, including those who rejected the Sunnah.’”
This raises the question: why would these poor, brave reformers even want to reform such a thoroughly rotten, pernicious system as Islam? Would we be lauding a group of German Nazis who want to "reform" Nazism? And what if these Nazi Reformers insisted that Hitler was a great man, that he has been "misunderstood", that he never waged offensive war on people, and that he never ordered mass murders and tortures? The analogy here, of course, is the fact that all these "reformers" Douglass-Williams is showcasing adore the evil, deranged Muhammad. This is a circle which no Muslim "reformer" can square. So why even ask them to? And if such German nazi "reformers" wound up being oppressed and killed by the Nazi authorities, would that make their dream of reforming Nazism any less ridiculous or any more plausible?
Next, Douglass-Williams' Foreword moves on to the problem of the False Reformer, the Muslims pretending to be reformers. As an example of this, she holds up perhaps the gold standard of that category, Tariq Ramadan. Douglass-Williams appropriately notices this category, and concludes that any vetting of a purported Muslim reformer must ask them tough questions. She claims she put several Muslim reformers to the test. That's all fine and dandy, but it all depends on exactly what questions she developed, and whether she backed them up with follow-up questions, for the inevitable likelihood that her interlocutors would try to do tap-dance sophistry in response to the initial questions. To ascertain all this, I would have to purchase the book and read it. Perhaps I shall, and report on this in the future. For now, we may note the steelier alternative: Simply don't bother to try to vett Muslims: by the principle of rational prejudice, simply assume they are all lying, even when -- or rather, most likely when -- they say all the right things to our anxious concerns.
But we see that Douglass-Williams is nowhere near such an epiphany. In summing up the deception tactics of Tariq Ramadan and how he fools too many in the West, for example, she invokes one of her interview subjects, the Muslim "reformer" Salim Mansur, who commented that “non-Muslims went to the wrong Muslim for an understanding of the faith.”
Begging the question, is there a "right Muslim"? And what would that right Muslim be, for our purposes, we in the West concerned about human rights, public safety, and the survival of Western civilization in the face of the very same pernicious and toxic Islam which these vetted "reformers" believe is the meaning of life?
It looks like Christine Douglass-Williams has gone out of her way to be fooled by various "Better Cop" Muslims, has swallowed their cleverer moonshine, and now is busy trying to persuade the Counter-Jihad Mainstream (with the help of her mentor and sponsor, Robert Spencer) of their viability. Like all Counter-Jihadists who show themselves vulnerable to the Better Cop Muslims, they pride themselves on remaining intelligently unfooled by the Good Cop Muslims, which allows them to have their cake and eat it to -- they can maintain their Counter-Jihad Cred while indulging their anxiety (rooted in their ethical narcissism) to avoid "painting all Muslims with a broad brush". Spencer, in his wily way, is keeping this project at arm's length, allowing it to be delegated to a satellite like Douglass-Williams, thus indirectly supporting it but keeping himself away from any direct support. In Douglass-Williams' outreach to such Better Cop Muslims, we see now the Counter-Jihad Mainstream bastion, Jihad Watch, going down the same fallacious road we've seen with Sam Harris parterning up with Maajid Nawaz and Frank Gaffney with Zuhdi Jasser.
Another indication of how the RSSS disagrees with Spencer's slant may be massively gleaned by this comment by long-time Jihad Watch commenter, "Wellington", in his lengthy and devastating dismissal of another commenter who recently in a Jihad Watch comments field was trying to sell essentially the same Used Car of Islamic Reform which Robert Spencer's Christine Douglass-Williams was trying to hawk on Jihad Watch during the same week. And of course we see other Jihad Watchers (including another Jihad Watch veteran "gravenimage") agreeing with and commending Wellington, but not one taking the side of the Used Car Salesman.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
In part 1, I commended Baron Bodissey of the Gates of Vienna blog for writing an analytical meditation on the Problem of the Problem that went against the grain of the CJM mainstream. This secondary problem is the problem of the entire mainstream West stubbornly resisting a comprehensive wake-up call about the primary problem, Islam. Bodissey's essay went against the grain by avoiding any one or platter combination of the usual scapegoats (those Dastardly Elites, those Damned Leftists-cum-Marxists, those Sinister Globalists, the Mainstream Media, Corrupt Politicians, etc.), who are supposed to be the "real problem" behind and beneath the problem of Islam. What these "Real Problemers" are doing, in effect, is reversing the roles of the primary and secondary problem.
Bodissey's avoidance appropriately left the readers hanging in suspense, with a conclusion of sober dismay imbued with agnosticism. Agnostic about what, exactly? About why it is that the entire mainstream West (which includes the majority of Ordinary People) remains stubbornly myopic to the problem of Islam.
I predicted that the unusually high volume of comments there (over 160 at last count) would all reflect the "Real Problemer" syndrome. Well, many did, of course, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There were other instances of similar silliness -- several commenters, for example, with a straight counter-jihad face defending the proposition that Geert Wilders should not have been elected (one of Bodissey's excellent points was the dismaying trend of The People throughout the West electing, and re-electing, PC MC politicians). These demurrers evidently don't believe the problem of Islam is threatening our Western civilization.
However, not one of the commenters seemed to have registered Bodissey's crux (or "core"): that the Problem of the Problem is much deeper and broader than some Dastardly Cabal of Elites holding our West in thrall as they steer us toward a future Caliphate. Whatever its nature is, we cannot fully explain; but any explanation will have to integrate the dismaying fact that most Ordinary People throughout the West and its satellites, on all sides of the political and social spectrum, remain PC MC about Islam. At that point, unless the counter-jihadist can show proof that his Dastardly Elites of Choice have a Master Ray-Gun of Brainwashing beaming out rays from their secret Bond-Villain mountain-cave lair causing the vast majority of Ordinary People throughout the West to think and feel this way, he must scrap his Elitistics altogether and go back to the drawing board.
He may also, if he can find a few minutes from his busy schedule of feverishly ranting & railing against said Elites, consult a few of my essays over the years in which I've explored this bedeviling problem, this problem of the problem. And of course, this secondary problem is so broad and deep throughout the West, it cannot but have seeped into the counter-jihad as well -- thus, the problem of the problem of the problem, with its major form or symptom being what I call the "Counter-Jihad Mainstream".
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
I've had my problems with the Gates of Vienna blog over the years. While I appreciate their diverse Eurocentric reportage & analysis of the problem of Islam (as I wrote back in 2011, "In defense of the Gates of Vienna blog"), I've noted with increasing dismay the tendency there, both among its readership and among most of their guest writers (if not also the man and wife who run the whole show, "Baron Bodissey" and "Dymphna"), to indulge what I call the "Real Problem" framework.
What I mean by such "Real Problemers" may best be gleaned from my article of the same name. In a nutshell, it is the tendency to allow one's vexation & frustration about the problem of Islam to lead one to divert attention away from Islam onto some supposedly deeper phenomenon, the "real problem" behind it all (and wouldn't you know it, that "real problem" invariably tends to indict one's own West in one way or another). More on point, one can consult my essay, "The Gates of Vienna Circle". For an array of other essays of mine touching on the subject, see this Google page.
My morning coffee cup yesterday was therefore rather taken aback when I chanced on a recent essay by Baron Bodissey: "The Core Problem". Weary and jaded from years of being disappointed by glaring flaws in counter-jihad analysis in this, that and the other essayist "in the counter jihad", I kept expecting to be bitterly unsurprised by his logic to flow naturally into the "Real Problem". But it didn't. Bodissey sensibly pursued his meditation to a conclusion left hanging in suspense, rather than find comfort in some scapegoat of a Dastardly Cabal of one sort or another. And as part of the sense & sensibility thereof, he pointedly by-stepped that common trap in the road, "Leftism". Even that old bugbear of the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, the "Elites", were left uninvoked.
At the time I read it, yesterday morning, it was fresh off the presses, and had garnered only eleven comments. I had hoped it would attract a little more attention, but I knew from experience that Gates of Vienna's norm is to have very few comments, usually no more than 20, and often like 4 or 5. So it was a double surprise to click it open again this afternoon, some 24 hours later, and see a whopping 98 comments (update as of July 20: a whopping 124 comments). Evidently, Bodissey had struck a nerve. If I were a betting man, though, I'd bet all my savings on the prediction that all of those comments (save the few Bodissey himself may write) will be missing his point and will instead feverishly indulge various permutations of the "Real Problem".
I don't think Baron Bodissey's question admits of a simplex explanation; hence my stabs at answering it over the years here at Hesperado have been far-ranging, complex, and layered, widening the focus out in time by centuries, and expanding beyond such hackneyed terms as "Left" and "Right" (or "Elites" and "the Media"). Even if a reader were to read all of my essays I've written trying to analyze this massive phenomenon (a partial list of which I've collected here), he would not really come away with any "answer" per se. Because no one has really addressed this problem before to my knowledge, and because the current terminology seems hackneyed and limited, I've opted to call the phenomenon "PC MC" (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism), and in various essays to probe how deeply and broadly this runs in the West.
A few things about it can be said tentatively to be principles, if not axiomatic:
1) PC MC is a Western phenomenon; it did not come from Neptune, nor is it the province of one faction (Elites, the Left, the Jews, the Globalists, whatever) within the West whom we can scapegoat while ignoring the rest of the West.
2) PC MC, however, has not always been the mainstream fashion of thought ("worldview" may be too much of compliment) of the West, as it obviously has become in our time. The further back in our history one looks, the less of a hold it seems to have had on people's thoughts and feelings.
3) PC MC ought to be measured primarily by how ready, or how unwilling, one is to condemn Islam. While a whole galaxy of other sociopolitical & cultural issues, some indirectly related to the problem of Islam, others not related much at all to it, may be relevant, at some point in the logic of the analysis it is also important to see the oddity of their irrelevance -- to wit, to see how various types of people on all sides of the sociopolitical spectrum, many of whom may pride themselves on being oh so politically incorrect about other issues, will suddenly fall more or less in lockstep in their agreement to bend over backwards to respect Islam (and/or to respect Muslims -- the problem joined at the hip to Islam).
4) PC MC is not evil. It is an aberrant outgrowth or mutation out of the relatively healthy nutritive matrix of our Graeco-Roman Judaeo-Christian civilization. This makes the puzzle more paradoxical, but it helps us to resist the temptation to demonize and oversimplify the problem (not to mention to salvage a West worth saving at all).
To be continued...
Monday, July 17, 2017
In the helpful website "YAQUB" (aka, "Yet Another Qur'an Browser"), there are 10 translations of the Koran into English, 6 by Muslims, 4 by non-Muslim Western scholars.
The latter four include A.J. Arberry, who did his translation in the 1950s. (If this Muslim in this short video is correct about his praise of Arberry as "the first non-Muslim" to give the Koran a fair shake, we have good reason to be suspicious of Arberry's intellectual freedom from PC MC.)
Next, Edward Henry Palmer, a 19th century British linguist and Arabist trained at Cambridge.
In addition to Palmer, we have John Medows Rodwell, another 19th century British Cambrdige fellow, and scholar of Islam.
Finally, the fourth on the list is George Sale, an 18th century British scholar of Eastern and ancient languages.
I recently noted that of all the 10 translations of Koran verse 2:191, the one by Sale is the only one that captures the point brought out by the tafsir (exegesis) of that verse by Ibn Kathir, a Muslim scholar of the 14th century whom Wikipedia informs us is "a highly influential Sunni scholar of the Shaf'i'i school" (the Shafi'i school being one of the four mainstream schools of Sunni Islam, the Islam of over 85% of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims).
Sale's rendering is thus:
And kill them wherever ye find them, and turn them out of that whereof they have dispossessed you, for temptation [to idolatry] is more grievous than slaughter: Yet fight not against them in the holy temple, until they attack you therein; but if they attack you, slay them [there]. This shall be the reward of the infidels.
Note that Sale renders the Arabic word "Al-Fitna" as temptation [to idolatry]. This is the most apt rendering of that word; a decidedly religious cast to that category of crime. Yet the other nine translators effectively obfuscate this with their consensus of various renderings that accent a political, as opposed to a religious, tonality to the word:
Pickthall: "persecution is worse than slaughter"
Yusuf Ali: "tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter"
Shakir: "persecution is severer than slaughter"
Sher Ali: "persecution is worst [sic] than slaying"
Khalifa: "Oppression is worse than murder"
Arberry: "persecution is more grievous than slaying"
Palmer: "sedition is worse than slaughter"
Rodwell: "civil discord is worse than carnage".
[meanwhile, Hilali-Khan, two 20th century Muslim guys who together translated the Koran, choose to leave the word untranslated: "And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing."]
As I noted above, George Sale is the only translator of that list who captures the point brought out by the tafsir (exegesis) of that verse by Ibn Kathir, a 14th-century Muslim scholar. This is not to say that the renderings of the other translators are wrong; for it is not incorrect to say that fitnah is tantamount to "tumult", "civil discord" and "oppression" etc. -- in sum, to "disorder in the land". But the crucial point to understand is the Islamic perspective that sees the thought crime of "idolatry" and related forms of blasphemy as the most glaring expression and source of such "discord" and "tumult".
As Kathir is working out his exegesis (relying not only on the Koranic text, but also on the hadiths of Mohammed), going from verse to verse as he approaches verse 191, he seems to make a big deal out of how the principle at work there is that Muslims should not fight & kill except when attacked first. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? That's the usual response from a Muslim apologist (and often of their Useful Idiots in the West) whenever someone in a discussion or debate points out the injunctions to violence in the Koran.
Now, in doing so, Ibn Kathir is merely spelling out what the Koran says up to the point of verse 191 (supplemented by various hadiths). He even goes so far as to disagree with certain scholars who argue that "the first Ayah about fighting that was revealed in Al-Madinah [whereby Mohammed] used to fight only those who fought him and avoid non-combatants" was abrogated by the later, infamous "Verse of the Sword" (9:5): "then kill them wherever you find them". By contrast, Ibn Kathir goes on to argue that 9:5 does not confute other verses in that same chapter, to the effect that it "applies only to fighting the enemies who are engaged in fighting Islam and its people." He concludes: "So the Ayah means, `Fight those who fight you',"
Following that, Ibn Kathir spends a short page further amplifying this, by also noting an injunction to "not transgress limits" during warfare (by "mutilating the dead, theft (from the captured goods), killing women, children and old people who do not participate in warfare, killing priests and residents of houses of worship, burning down trees and killing animals without real benefit)."
Then, still doing exegesis of the Koran, he immediately segues into the unmistakably explicit affirmation that "Shirk is worse than murder." For those readers who still don't know, nearly 16 years after 911, what shirk means, the common definition sounds rather stilted and archaic: "to associate partners with Allah". Massaging this a bit, we can say that shirk means "polytheism".
However, even "polytheism" doesn't quite capture it. A closer study of Islam yields a subtler, broader definition -- basically, that shirk is any reliance for informing our meaning of life, our worldview, and our sociopolitical existence with any source other than, and not including, Allah and His Prophet. Thus, for example, when modern Western nations invoke as a source of their laws merely human intelligence, vaguely amplified by tradition and "natural law", they are committing shirk. And recall what Ibn Kathir affirmed, which he drew from the Koran and the hadiths of Mohammed: "Shirk is worse than murder." And on this same page, Ibn Kathir makes the clear equivalence of shirk and fitnah, by concluding:
(And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing.) "Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.''
(Note: that parenthetical "polytheism" is likely the interpolation of the translator or editor of Ibn Kathir's tafsir.)
The significance of this equation of shirk and fitnah is then amplified further by the thematic thread that runs through chapter 9 of the Koran -- the most warmongering chapter -- namely, that Jews and Christians are mushrikoon, practitioners of shirk, and that their shirk consists of their thought crimes, their beliefs (in Christianity's case, the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus; in the Jewish case, the supposed divinity of Ezra).
And remember: "Shirk is worse than murder."
This elevation in Islam of the thought crimes of shirk and fitnah to a status more pernicious even than physical killing, coupled with the obligation to fight and kill against the "disorder" they constitute, cuts to the very heart of the raison d'être of Islamic terrorism, and of its broader, deeper framework of jihad.
Friday, July 14, 2017
—Three photos of the knuckle-dragging, right-wing Neanderthal racist bigot Islamophobe, Nidra Poller
The way that people (let's limit it to the hundreds of millions of Western people) who are "in the mainstream" seem to imply it, counter-jihad people must be knuckle-dragging right-wing Neanderthal racist bigot Islamophobes.
A relatively minor (but conscientious) expenditure of time would disabuse any but the most obtusely dogmatic politically correct multi-culturalist of that crotchet. Such an expenditure might well run across, for example, Nidra Poller: A Jewish woman born in the U.S. in 1935 (Jessup, Pennsylvania), who in 1972 decided to pull up roots with her children and move to Paris, France. Already a novelist, journalist and French translator by then, she also became in her new home a Francophile in earnest (an experience no doubt deepened by the years spent there -- indeed decades -- to this day, at age 82). Let's let her describe a window into her personality and worldview, quoting this excerpt from an extended journal of her life titled Betrayed by Europe: An Expatriate's Lament, published beginning in 2004:
When I look back at my reasons for leaving the United States for France in 1972, some seem to me as outmoded—and, in retrospect, as endearing—as Beatles haircuts and Vietnam-war protests. Others stubbornly persist. In any event, my career as a serious American novelist having been short-circuited, I opted for the improbable exploit of becoming a writer in French and a professional translator, and I succeeded. I am long settled in Paris; the three youngsters I brought there, tucked under my free-flying wing, are mature adults with fast-growing children of their own. We have excelled in flexibility, risen to every challenge, transformed somewhat slapdash beginnings into a harmonious whole.
. . .
I used to run back to the U.S. for visits of ten days, just to see my family. Then I would return to my true love, Paris, and to my real life. That delicious sweet buttery butter, the perfect bread, our local open-air market. I loved the proportions: the distance on foot necessary to buy food for a day or two, eating all you could carry and nothing more, holding the whole country in the palm of your hand, all of it reachable by clean, modern, relatively inexpensive public transportation. I loved speaking French, couldn’t wait to get back to it, loved my favorite boutiques, my fashionable clothes, my daily elegance.
There must be something adulterous about my relation to countries. I had a native land familiar as family, no language problems, my rightful place. I needed another country, a lover who would carry me off to adventure. I came back to my European origins, flourished in a European framework, delighted in making the exotic familiar.
I never thought of myself as an expatriate; I’d let my American identity slip away while retaining the free-floating grace of being a foreigner. Instead, I’d been a “European,” picking up after a brief interruption not exactly where my family had left off—not Budapest, not Przemysl, those were places we would not go back to—but Europe and all it could boast of. Beautiful cities that are really lived in, monuments at every street corner, savoir faire, craftsmanship, savoir vivre, boutiques, refinement, manners, health care, free education, history, French windows and parquet floors.
And so forth. But we haven't gotten to why she titled these reflections a "lament":
And now, my sincere affection betrayed, I am unforgiving.
Islam happened. And as usual when Islam happens in our time, it is not a single event or shock (though that can be a symptomatic signal spurring the individual who may "become counter-jihad"" to begin his or her odyssey of awakening, or rather, deepening what began as a rude awakening); it is a protracted chain of events, seemingly disconnected (to those who "lack the mental pencil", as Hugh Fitzgerald put it, of connecting the dots), often not recognized as an overall, meaningful pattern until later in the stream of the process. Poller's journal goes into this at great length, unfolding the complex, subtle, horrifying problem in layers. I quote now only one of the more pointed passages:
Jews are being persecuted every day in France. Some are insulted, pelted with stones, spat upon; some are beaten or threatened with knives or guns. Synagogues are torched, schools burned to the ground. A little over a month ago, at least one Jew was savagely murdered, his throat slit, his face gouged with a carving knife. Did it create an uproar? No. The incident was stifled, and by common consent—not just by the authorities, but by the Jews.
Some Jews are simply frightened; they are reluctant to take the subway, walk in certain neighborhoods, go out after dark. Others, clearly identifiable as Jews, are courageous and defiant. Many, perhaps the majority, show no outward signs of Jewishness and do not seek to know the truth about the rampant and increasingly violent anti-Semitism all around them. If you are Jewish but do not defend Israel or act too religious or look too different, you are not yet a target—so why insist on monitoring the danger when daily life is so delicious?
And the lies so tantalizing. A thick, hand-knit comforter of prevarication spreads itself over the French population. Every morning, instead of waking people up, the press tucks them in. France has become a nation of sleepwalkers. You sense it with particular sharpness after a visit to the U.S. How is anyone to face the truth about anything when the truth is hidden by 19th-century-style posturing, pretentious humanitarian hoodwinking, and low-down village tomfoolery?
Poller wrote these distressing words in 2004; it has only gotten alarmingly worse in the ensuing 13 years since then -- as she herself knows all too well, being one of the few journalists to do her job reporting with due diligence (something our mainstream media tends to avoid) the gruesome torture and murder in Paris of a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi by a gang of 22 Muslims in 2006, and then more recently probing the disturbing questions about the ghoulish torture and murder by a Muslim man of an elderly Jewish lady, Sarah Halimi (a coincidence? or is that name so common among Jews?), while in between there was the Merah massacre in southern France in 2012, which Poller describes thusly:
. . . Muhammad Merah, who assassinated three paratroopers of fellow North African origin—Abel Chennouf, Imad Iban Ziaten, and Muhammad Legouade—and then on March 19, executed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Aryeh and Gavriel, and 7-year-old Miriam Monsonego at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse. A surviving soldier, Loic Liber, is a tetraplegic while student Bryan Aaron Bajoui is recuperating from critical chest wounds and the shock of witnessing the murders.
Because Merah killed both Jews and apparent Muslims (in fact one of his Maghrebi victims was Christian), the crime could not be termed as purely anti-Semitic. The fact that he was a run-of-the-mill punk rather than a wildly deranged one-of-a-kind killer raised no alarms in the public mind: Ominously, a striking increase in attacks against Jews following Merah's jihadist operation showed that a very broad swath of the French Muslim population is both radicalized and activated.
Not to mention at least four other monstrous episodes that have wrenched and clawed at the precious fabric of French society in recent years: the Charlie Hebdo massacre in early 2015; the horrifyingly worse Paris massacre and related attacks on the same day later that same year; the beheading of a priest and terrorizing of his flock at his small, sleepy church in Normandy by two Muslims in 2016; and that same summer, the devastating slaughter of over 80 men, women and children celebrating Bastille Day in the lovely seaside city of Nice, France, by a Muslim plowing through them while driving a truck (and also shooting out his driver window). Over 200 additional men, women and children were injured by his vehicular jihad, some seriously mangled. How many of my readers will pause to consider what it takes for a human being to do such an insanely psychotic act, what hellish degree of religious fanaticism has to infuse such a Satanic orgy of mass murder. And almost as bad (or is it worse, I can't tell anymore) is the mass neurosis of denial running through the West about all this.
At least we have a growing, albeit still minuscule, nucleus of knuckle-dragging right-wing Neanderthal racist bigot Islamophobes to be the conscience of the West; in this epochal regard still a flickering flame that, alas, may not last nor fan out into the public conscious in time, before Mohammedans succeed to extinguish it before this 21st century ends.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
This essay by Guy Millière, written this past May, on the significance of the recent election victory by Macaroni (née Emmanuel Macron) over Marine Le Pen -- "French Elections: Emmanuel Macron, a disaster" -- is informative, and therefore disturbing.
And of course, see my immediately preceding essay, just below.
Thursday, July 06, 2017
Back in November of 2011, I collated a list of various Westerners who up to that point had been threatened with death by Muslims, or who reasonably feared reprisal by the fanatics of Islam, or who had been killed by same. The essay -- "Muslims, Free Speech and Death Threats" -- figures on my front page under my blogroll. I got most of the list from the blogger Quoting Islam (featured on said blogroll), supplementing it here and there.
There was on that list at least one example of a victim (or, rather, victims) of Muslims who at the time bravely defied them. The bitter irony of it is revealed when I mention who that was. In 2011, they were so unfamiliar to me, I didn't even note them by name. Here was my entry:
French newspaper (after being firebombed for printing a cartoon of Muhammad, the next day the paper prints that cartoon again, and more! Bravo!)
The "French newspaper", I remind the reader now with a grim aftertaste in my mouth, was Charlie Hebdo. At the time, I echoed the blogger Quoting Islam in cheering them on for their bravery at republishing the Mohammed cartoons despite the firebombing of their publishing house in Paris. This was approximately four years before a commando unit of Mohammedans raided that same publishing house. As the Left-leaning BBC (not a source to exaggerate the jihad threat) put it at the time, in early January of 2015:
France is emerging from one of its worst security crises in decades after three days of attacks by gunmen brought bloodshed to the capital Paris and its surrounding areas. It began with a massacre at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday 7 January and ended with a huge police operation and two sieges two days later.
That story was fresh after the atrocity; in the immediate aftermath, and over ensuing weeks, the French people collectively considered that attack "our 911". An editorial written soon after, by an American in Paris (who considers France his home away from home) details well the full calamity of the horrific event. I quote in part from that editorial:
They [the Muslims] killed 11 people in the building as well as a policeman lying on a sidewalk nearby. Eleven others were wounded in the deadliest terror attack in France since 28 people were killed in a 1961 train bombing by a paramilitary group opposed to Algerian independence during the Algerian War.
And he goes on to mention that the carnage continued as a nation-wide manhunt was on for the Muslim perpetrators:
The intersection in Montrouge where a policewoman was killed the next day by co-conspirator Amedy Coulibaly and the kosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes where Coulibaly murdered an additional four people a day after that...
The editorial, long and detailed, should disabuse all but the most obtusely obstinate of their complacency regarding the systemic and metastasizing threat of Islamic terrorism.
And that was before the worse attack on the Bataclan theater in Paris nearly a year later in November of 2015 (including attacks on two restaurants and an attempted suicide bombing by two Muslims of the sports stadium where the President of France, Hollande, was in attendance).
That was when I "snapped".
Then, after that, came the horrendous, monstrously ghoulish mass-murder, by truck and gunfire, of French men, women and children by a Muslim in Nice, France; and this isn't even counting dozens of other attacks in France before (such as, to pluck from a fez one example of many, the killings by Mohamed Merah in the south of France, who in 2012 assassinated three French paratroopers of North African background and then went on a razzia on a Jewish school, murdering a rabbi, his two young sons and an 8-year-old girl) and after, along with scores of attempted plots to mass-murder French people and destroy property.)
And what of the "bravery" of the staff at Charlie Hebdo?
Jihad massacres work: Charlie Hebdo not only surrenders, but switches sides
Journalist quits Charlie Hebdo because it now bows to jihadis’ demand: “Mohammed is no longer depicted”
Charlie Hebdo surrenders, will no longer draw Muhammad
Tuesday, July 04, 2017
Some individuals "in the Counterjihad" will assert, almost with relish, that there is "no love" in the Koran. Recently in Paltalk chat, when one such individual brought up that meme anew, I thought I would definitively settle the issue.
For this purpose (as for many others), the website "YAQUB" (a clever acronym for "Yet Another Qur'an Browser") proves useful. All one has to do is type "love" in the search box there, and this yields a total of 362 instances of "love" in the Koran. It should be noted that YAQUB provides the reader with ten different translations of the Koran, six by Muslims of various periods of time over the past 200 years (mostly 20th century), and four by non-Muslim Western scholars and/or Arabists. Thus, when one searches for an English word, such as "love", it is obviously "love" as rendered, as a translation choice, by one or more (or all) of the Koran translators in question.
So, at first glance, the reader might say, "Wow, 362 mentions of 'love' in the Koran! That's a lot! I guess all those friendly, moderate Muslims I've anecdotally encountered in recent years are right about the Koran being a very spiritual book and all those greasy Islamophobes are just exaggerating how bad Islam is...!" Hold your camels, I say; not so fast, Speedy Gonzales. One can't settle the issue by the mere enumeration of incidences of the word. One must examine the textual context, one by one, to see whether any given instance is actually loving in the deeper, beneficent sense being alleged by Islamopologists.
So what did I find? No surprise; despite what Islamopologists (whether Muslims or Western useful Idiots) claim, not one of the 362 mentions of "love" in the Koran is promoting and/or extolling the classical Western sense of love.
Let's run through some of them now (in numerical order which, of course, is not the chronological order of the suras):
2:92 "Do ye then, every time an apostle comes to you with what your souls love not, proudly scorn him..."
2:93 (condemning those who love idols)
2:165 (ditto + Muslims love Allah more than anything else)
2:177 (love of money is bad)
2:190 (Allah does NOT love those who transgress limits)
2:205 (Allah does NOT love those who foment Fasad)
2:216 (Fighting and killing is ordained for you Muslims, and though you HATE it, think about how you can LOVE something that is bad for you -- Allah knows what's good for you, you don't)
2:276 (Allah does NOT love the Kafir)
2:276 (Allah does NOT love the Kafir and the atheist -- kaffarin atheemin)
3:7 (the perverse who love to disagree and reject the Koran)
3:14 (the love ["lust" or "pleasure" ] men have for women and children, sums of heaped up silver and gold, and excellent horses and cattle -- this is the provision of this life)
3:31 [Allah talking to Muhammad] ("SAY [to the people]: 'If ye love God, then follow me: God will love you, and forgive your sins, for God is Forgiving, Merciful' ") / 3.32 ("Say: Obey Allah and the messenger. But if they turn away, lo! Allah loveth NOT the disbelievers") / 3.57 (Allah does NOT love the "evil-doers")
3:32 "Allah does NOT love the Unbelievers" (al-Kafireena)
3:57 "Allah does NOT love the unjust"
I think that's quite enough for the the reader to get the dreary point the Koran is making. From this point, instead of itemizing the remaining 300+ verses, I will report when -- or if -- any of them actually touch on love in the positive, classic sense -- rather than promulgating how God does NOT love someone or something, or how some men are loving the wrong thing, or commending certain men for loving the God who does NOT love x, y and z. Etc.
As an example of what I bracket out, there is 3:102 -- "...for you were enemies and He [Allah] joined your hearts in love..." That certainly sounds good at first blush; however, only two of the ten translators add the "in love" part, while all the others merely emphasize how God joined the hearts of the believers into unanimity, indicating that the "in love" is an embellishment. And secondly, there's no other indication that the "love" referred to here is anything distinct from a fanatical tribalism by which psychopaths could feel they have achieved a mutual solidarity. (Ditto for 3:148, where Allah says (describing himself in the 3rd person) that he "loves those who do good" -- which then elicits the question, what is "good" in this context? One could just as well say that Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson "love those who do good"; so, without positive content for this word "good", one ought not to rush to gush at how loving the Muslim God is. And cf. 5:54, where it says Allah loves those who are kind to fellow Muslims (viz., "Believers") and harsh toward the non-Muslims (al-Kafireena).)
Similarly, 19:96: "But as for those who believe and do good works, the Merciful [Allah] will bestow on them love." Since there is no positive content explaining what this "love" is that Allah bestows on his Muslims (with no help from the verses immediately before and after), it would not be unreasonable to suppose it is just a reinforcement of the fanatical supremacism and tribalism with which the Koran positively drips.
On the way to my final report, as I read all these 300+ Koran verses (cue David Letterman shudder), I may pause to note certain interesting things. Such as, for example, Koran 3:119:
Lo! You are the ones who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the Scriptures [i.e. you believe in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel), while they disbelieve in your Book, the Qur'an]. And when they meet you, they say, "We believe". But when they are alone, they bite the tips of their fingers at you in rage. Say: "Die in your rage. Certainly, Allah knows what is in the breasts (all the secrets)."
It struck me that this verse parallels, by way of contrast, the famous verses in Matthew, 5:43-45:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
Notice how the Koran verse above begins with Allah observing that his Believers (the "you" He's addressing) love those who don't love them; but as the verse unfolds, it's clear that those people ("them") don't deserve to be loved, and indeed Allah tells his Believers to berate them with the lovely phrase, "Die in your rage." This is remarkably contrary to the spirit of the Gospel in Matthew (quoted above; and also notably in Luke 6:27-31).
Now, let's take a look at 14:3:
Who love this world's life better than the next, and turn folks from the path of God, and crave to make it crooked; these are in remote error.
This verse uses "love" in a way quite reminiscent of Jesus in the Gospels in terms of, for example, John 12:25:
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Whether the Koran verse is meant in the same spirit would have to be ascertained by a fuller context and knowledge of the Koran as a whole. Of course, given the Koran as I've read it, I reasonably aver that it's not in the same spirit, since the broader understandings of "this world" and "the next world" in Islam consistently evoke a perennial battlefield that includes hating, fighting and killing (and terrorizing) the non-Muslim in order to gain a Paradise of eternal sex with ludicrously created sexbots, so to speak -- indeed reducing the transcendent love articulated in Christian history (e.g., Augustine, Dante, Aquinas, Julian of Norwich, and so many others) to the rutting of goats.
Koran 30:21 again appears to be getting warm for our quest:
"And of His signs is that He created for you, of yourselves, spouses, that you might repose in them, and He has set between you love and mercy. Surely in that are signs for a people who consider."
[Other translators have "love and tenderness", "affection and pity", etc.] The context is some vague allusion to Allah generally as the Creator and early history of Mankind consequent upon the Genesis story. The verse, nonetheless, has no positive content informing the word "love" as translated (from mawaddah). Here, it would not be unreasonable to limit it to a familial warmth that helps sustain the family unit (the smallest organizing cell of the Umma), without any of the deeper dimensions explored and unfolded throughout Western history. (Similarly, 42:23, where Allah enjoins upon his Muslims filial love for their kin.)
Again, 59:9 appears to be nice, in that Allah enjoins upon the Muslims who took over Medina to "love" those who immigrate back in from among those whom they [the Muslims in Medina] had expelled; however, verse 8 makes it clear that it is limiting that category of immigrants to those who show they seek the "goodwill" of Allah -- i.e., potential converts to Islam (or at least good dhimmis).
Then we have the infamous verse, 60:1, which essentially has Allah telling his followers (i.e., Muslims) to reject the enemy of God and not show kindness toward them:
"O true believers, take not my enemy and your enemy for [your] friends, shewing kindness toward them..."
It even goes on, for good measure, to emphasize that:
"If you mobilize to struggle ["jihad" of course] in My cause [or: "If you go forth to struggle in My way..."], seeking My blessings, how can you secretly love them? I am fully aware of everything you conceal, and everything you declare. Those among you who do this have indeed strayed off the right path."
Needless to say, this is the proverbial antithesis of the aforementioned Gospel verses of Matthew and Luke.
Now, 76:8 looks promising:
"And they feed, for love of Him [Allah], the poor, the orphan and the prisoner..."
However, our expectations are considerably deflated when we learn that in Islam, obligatory charity (zakat) for the unfortunate is only for fellow Muslims, not for non-Muslims. While there is in Islam a separate category of "voluntary charity" (sadaqah), being voluntary, it's evidently a weaker form sociopolitically & psychologically than the obligatory form. And even of the voluntary form, we see Muslim statements such as the following:
"Giving charity to poor Muslims is preferable and more befitting, because spending on them helps them to obey Allaah, and it helps them in both their worldly and spiritual affairs. This helps to strengthen the bonds among Muslims..."
And this is assuming that 76:8 is even referring to voluntary charity, rather than to the obligatory zakat.
Similarly, 85:14 sounds good -- "And He [Allah] is Oft-Forgiving, full of love..." -- and yet the Muslim translators Hilali-Khan have to go and ruin it with their helpful parenthetical gloss: "(towards the pious who are real true believers of Islamic Monotheism)".
֍ ֍ ֍ ֍ ֍
Well, we're done reviewing the 362 verses of "love" in the Koran; and all through, no sight of anything unquestionably resembling Graeco-Roman, Judaeo-Christian, or Modern Romantic love, let alone Buddhist traditions of love (maitri) and compassion (karuna).
While this isn't the time or place for a comparative religions (or comparative civilizations) exercise, it would be meet at least to cleanse the palate from our Qur'anoscopy and remind ourselves of healthier testaments to what proved to be auscultations in vain.
For example, the first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13, verses 1-13, on the qualities of love (or "charity" as the King James Bible has it, the rather archaic English rendering of the Greek agape, one of the many Greek words for "love"):
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
And if I shall dole out all my goods in food, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but have not love, I profit nothing.
Love has long patience, is kind; love is not emulous of others; love is not insolent and rash, is not puffed up, does not behave in an unseemly manner, does not seek what is its own, is not quickly provoked, does not impute evil, does not rejoice at iniquity but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but whether prophecies, they shall be done away; or tongues, they shall cease; or knowledge, it shall be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part: but when that which is perfect has come, that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I reasoned as a child; when I became a man, I had done with what belonged to the child. For we see now through a dim window obscurely, but then face to face; now I know partially, but then I shall know according as I also have been known.
And now abide faith, hope, love; these three things; and the greater of these is love.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Ran into a snag with my podcast website, and am unusually busy of late. In the meantime, a pause that refreshes: Diana West's recent essay.
Her brief essay, glittering with verve like a searing sword, operates on two levels: it generally expresses her appropriately jaded, acerbic bird's eye view of the Problem of the Problem (i.e., the problem of the entire Western mainstream persisting in its myopia about the primary problem of Islam, with its head in the sand whilst standing lip-deep in the brown waters of De Nile; a feat of a mixed metaphor possible only for those who indulge in a mass neurosis and who thus sustain an incoherent paradigm). And it focuses on one glaring symptom of this mass neurosis -- the dismaying devolution of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Hirsi Ali Warns the World Against... Geert Wilders
Related Reading (relevant to the Problem of the Problem re: Geert Wilders):
More Voegelinian pneumopathology
Friday, June 23, 2017
Despite Trump's campaign promises and hopeful rhetoric about the problem of Islam (e.g., when he told CNN that “Islam hates us!” which, while not an ideal way to phrase it, communicates more desperately needed truth than thousands of pronouncements & ejaculations of other Western politicians over the years), it seems that on this most exigent issue he has been slowly, but steadily sinking in the quicksand of the D.C. Swamp (whose ultimate source is the River that runs through the entire Mainstream West -- De Nile).
Former military officer (see his pic looking like a no-nonsense right winger, proudly sporting fruit salad on his chest), who as Trump's National Security advisor, has said such preposterous things as that Islamic terrorists are “un-Islamic” and that mujahideen are “not religious people”.
John F. Kelly
Retired General of the Marine Corps, appointed by Trump to be head of Homeland Security, who recently said that mujahideen have “corrupted the whole concept of Islam as a religion”.
James Norman Mattis [links in the description below]
Another retired Marine Corps General, and appointed by Trump to be Secretary of Defense, Mattis has said that al Qaeda terrorists “defame Islam”. Diana West aptly nicknames him James “World Order” Mattis, and in her discussion also quotes Andrew Bostom analyzing the dismaying ignorance of Mattis on Islam.
It looks like one step forward for Trumpkind, and -- for America and the West -- two giant leaps back to the see-no-Islam policy of the sixteen long post-911 OBushma years...
Note that all three are not Leftists; further evidence that the Problem of the Problem is not merely a problem of Leftists.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Eric Voegelin (1901-1985), an Austrian-German philosopher who fled Nazi Germany and eventually landed in America, wherein he made his home for the rest of his life, was a philosopher of history; but he was so much more than that description might conjure up to the layperson. His writings affected me deeply in my youth, and I went on to devour all his books and journal essays -- at least all I could track down. One that had eluded me all these years was titled, "Hitler and the Germans", a series of lectures he gave in 1964 to students in the Arts Faculty at the University of Munich, Germany. I finally got around to tracking it down on the Internet, and found a free pdf file of it (though this particular pdf is incomplete, I managed to track down a fuller file of it that supplied the missing chapters; though they -- I regret to say -- had no effect on my titular "disappointment").
It's amazing to contemplate that only 20 years prior to these 1964 lectures in which Voegelin, before an audience of German students and professors, searingly castigates not only Hitler and the Nazis but also German society for enabling their horrors -- he had to suddenly flee his own country of citizenship because the Nazi authorities were hunting him down, with the likely end of an execution or harsh imprisonment (his crime was to stand up for a Jewish colleague at the college where they both taught). His German wife, Lissy, whom he had married a few years before, stayed behind, but luckily was able to escape also, and reunite later on with her husband Eric in London (Voegelin recounts how when he dined with Lissy and her parents, their dining room wall had a portrait of the new German hero of the people, Adolf Hitler).
At any rate, I avidly awaited delving into these lectures. And I was not disappointed most of the time; indeed, as usual when I have read Voegelin, I was delighted and enriched at nearly every turn by his scintillating perspicacity. Then I made the mistake of remembering the related problem of Hitler and Christianity vs. Hitler and Islam. I already knew, from tracking down various quotes from Hitler's "Table Talks" that, contrary to the politically correct paradigm, Hitler was not "a Christian" in any meaningful, substantive sense, but only one on paper, so to say. In fact, those remarks recorded in the "Table Talks" indicate that Hitler despised Christianity, while he admired Islam. A couple of my previous essay go into this:
Hitler and Islam
Definitive Hitler quotes
So as I was reading along, and my eyes alighted upon the subtitle, "Hitler's Views on Religion" (part 16, pp. 124-128), I thought to myself, surely, in this small subsection, Voegelin will at least allude to Hitler's hatred of Christianity and admiration for Islam. Alas, that was not to be. Instead, Voegelin goes on at length in comparing Hitler's flavor of Christianity to some modern deformation of it popular in Germany among the "petit-bourgeois" liberals (while in his later chapters 4 and 5, "Descent into the Ecclesiastical Abyss: The Evangelical Church" and "Descent into the Ecclesiastical Abyss: The Evangelical Church", respectively, his concern is only to poke and prod with his surgical scalpel the various diseased tissues of modern Western -- mostly modern German -- Christianity). Most, if not all, of Voegelin's analysis struck me as spot-on; which made the odd lacuna of a complete absence of any mention at all of Hitler's contempt for Christianity and admiration for Islam all the odder -- particularly as Voegelin in his overall discussion of his subject sees fit to consult the "Table Talks" numerous times as useful. How he could actually write a subsection entitled "Hitler's Views on Religion" and utterly omit Hitler's contempt for Christianity and admiration for Islam rather caught my breath at the time. The most generous assumption one could make to explain this strange lapse in Voegelin's otherwise laser-like analytical eye would chalk it up to the general amnesia about Islam that has so curiously affected so many 19th and 20th century intellects of the West. The fact, however, that some did not forget how pernicious Islam is -- among them John Quincy Adams, Mark Twain, Carl Jung, and most notably Teddy Roosevelt -- makes it more difficult to excuse someone like Voegelin.
I've been disappointed by Voegelinians before on this subject, but never Voegelin himself. I suppose there is some small cold comfort in the fact that it was a sin of omission, not commission...
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Continuing my series on the mountain of data available out there indicating a problem of Islam so bad, it is systemic and metastasizing, with a trajectory leading to the reduction of our beautiful (but, of course, imperfect) Western civilization to a general breakdown of order and infrastructure, zones of killing fields, random civil unrest and violence, and a crippling (if not paralysis) of the economy.
WARNING: I use the F word a couple of times in brief fits of understandable frustration and fury at the stupidity of the West.
Links for part 1 in which I discuss the various types of Mohammedan pathology (viz., animal torture) other than terrorism proper:
Islam: Up Close and Personal
Denmark: Extreme cruelty to animals in Muslim ghetto: heads pulled off cats, kittens cut up and intestines pulled out
And scroll down to the "Postscript" in my essay Allah, the Evil Demiurge?
Finally, a Google page of my various "Lake Mobegone" essays, which again I discuss in this podcast.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
My 14th podcast. This one nearly 10 minutes long.
Discussing the long list, or mountain of data, about the problem of Islam, and whether it's useful for our purposes "in the Counter-Jihad" in our protracted, frustrating project of trying to wake up our fellow Westerners to that problem of Islam.
One essay (among many I could adduce) relevant to this:
Mt. Jihad Watch
And now, ladies and germs, my fourteenth podcast: