Saturday, 25 June 2016

MEMRI: Qatari Prof. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari Analyzes the Ideological Roots of Terrorism: Something Is Wrong in Our Cultural Order

As Sam Harris says " will this Sheikh be accused of Islamophobia?"
Terrorism is based on religious ideology, not on poverty and oppression.

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Friday, 24 June 2016

"UK votes to leave"

Just now. 05:00 GMT
52/48 for Leave/Remain
I have just watched history in the making

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Pound down, U.K. Futures, Nikkei crash...

.... so what? A few hours ago they were up, believing that the Remainers would win. So what do they know?
Answer: nothing. And the markets will rebound.
If the pound sterling does not rebound, that's only a help to uk exporters

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BBC has just called it

Just now!
Leave : 52%
Remain: 48%

History made!

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The pound drops. So what?

Pound sterling is now down to levels "not seen since 1989".
But so what?
That helps British exporters and the workers they employ.
That harms the importers and the Bollinger they quaff.

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What's with Scotland? (Brexit)

Scotland is all for Remain. That's also the position of the government. Which fought Scotland's independence referendum. So I don't quite get that. And no one on BBC has told me why that is.

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Brexit vote

4:00 am in UK.
Leave 9.1 m Remain 8.7 m.
Where Leave win they're doing so by big margins, 10-30%. Where Remain win theyre doing so by smaller margins.
Seems Leave are lower class areas. Remain the elites areas.
Remain was the comfortable option for urban elites, no change no hassle.
The Leavers want less immigration (because it's their wages that are reduced), and want to bring back sovereignty.
In sum:
Economic effects: a wash. 1-2% this way or that, neither here nor there.
Sovereignty: bring it back by leaving.

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Brexit? Bremain?

Watching results flow in on BBC. Very exciting with the lead flowing back and forth.
Conspicuous that London and Scotland strongly Bremain and the rest of the country strongly Brexit.
Currently 6.4 m Leave and 6.1 m Remain

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Out – and into the world: why The Spectator is for Leave

Shilly shally, willy wally, I finally opt for Out. Not because of the article below, though it does sum up the Leave argument admirably.
But because I see that it sums up to two things: one the economic argument; two the sovereignty argument.
On the economic argument: all the predictions I've seen give in/out pretty much a wash. 1/2% this way or that. That's neither here nor there.
Sovereignty: this is much clearer. For sure sovereignty is regained by Leave.
And as for the immigration issue, that's all wrapped into the sovereignty one. Control back to the uk. So that's the balance.
Today's the referendum.
Here's the Speccie giving vent:

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The Obama Doctrine: What the President Actually Thinks About Radical Islam - The Atlantic

Son and I, discussing Obama's reluctance to use the words "Islamic radicals" and the like, concluded that he was neither quite the fool nor the knave, but a queer combination of the two. That is, he knows about Islam and Islamism, but thinks it all too hard to face off.
That seems pretty much to be the gist of this insight into Obama's thinking by Daniel Greenfeld of The Atlantic.
Mind you, I don't recall Obama's 2009 Cairo speech to the Muslim world having quite the call for action to would-be Muslim reformers that Obama now says it was.
Must go back to that speech and check.
What I do recall of it was that it seemed to disproportionately blame the west for difficulties in west-Islam relations; and that it named a a number of alleged Islamic scientific inventions (eg the compass) that were nothing of the sort. Such factual errors gave me pause for the rest of the speech.

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Friday, 17 June 2016

Orlando killings

At about 13:00 yesterday (GMT), on BBC World Service, a presenter had three guests to discuss issues around the Orlando mass murder. They were (something like) Patrick Blackland (sp?), Katie Kam (?) and Christen (?) Taylor.
It seemed clear that the presenter was rather alarmed when Taylor "went off the reservation" as it were, and talked of the Islamic motives for the killings. The other guests stuck more to the implicit line that "anything but Islam" was the cause. "Hate", "homophobia", "guns", "mental illness", "quotidian gun violence", and so on.
Yet the best and most persuasive analysis was Taylor's. It's Islam! (The ideas and ideology)
The BBC should not be concerned to air these views. For a start they're more consonant with the truth. And second you will find much of your audience will be relieved to hear some plain truth being spoken on the issue. So too will your moderate Muslim audience, given that it's Muslims who are most often the victims of Islamically inspired violence.
Two good articles to read this week. One by ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Wall Street Journal ("Islam's Jihad against homosexuals") and one by still-Muslim (just) Maajid Nawaz in the Daily Beast ("Admit it: these terrorists are Muslim")
Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong

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"Killers' need for fear and control". NYT, June 17

Shame on you all, editors and writers alike, for wriggling desperately to find any motive, any at all, to avoid the clearest and most obvious one: Islamic doctrine put to deadly effect.
Islam normalizes killing of gays in doctrine and practice. Mateen was pledged to this ideology. Who are we, or Taub, or anyone at the NYT, to ignore his repeatedly stated inspiration?
Read Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali's articles in recent days. Rather more insightful than Amanda Taub's tendentious nonsense.
Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Admit It: These Terrorists Are Muslims - The Daily Beast

A companion piece to Ayaan's article in the last post, this by still-Muslim (but only just!), the equally wonderful and brave Maajid Nawaz. In the Daily Beast.
We reckon he's not a Muslim any more but says he is so that his words carry more weight. Ex Muslims can be more easily dismissed by Muslims resistant to change. For that we commend him, for it is brave to be a reforming Muslim. Still, Maajid certainly cops the ire of many Muslims both mainstream and Islamist: he's been called an "Uncle Tom" and a "native informer" for his efforts.
He takes it all equably retaining his humour and eloquence.
We're lucky to have him and the world would be better with many more like him.

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Islam’s Jihad Against Homosexuals - WSJ

The wonderful Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Wall Street Journal. Now an apostate (and under armed guard in the US for her apostasy) she was brought up a Muslim in Ethiopia, subjected to FGM, married off to an elderly uncle at age 12, before she fled to Holland and left Islam, the Religion of Peace. 
In her article:
Almost all Muslim majority countries criminalize homosexuality and in 12 of those the penalty is death. Many examples of senior Muslim authorities railing against gays and confirming the penalty of death. Example: the odious Al Qaradawi. 
Despite this, for some idiot commenters it's as if they didn't even read the article before regurgitating the usual apologia for Islam. 
Ayana's last para:
Following the horrific attack in Orlando, people as usual have been rushing to judgment. President Obama blames lax gun laws. Donald Trump blames immigration. Neither is right. There has been comparable carnage in countries with strict gun laws. The perpetrator in this case was born in the United States. This is not primarily about guns or immigration. It is about a deeply dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of religion. Homophobia comes in many forms. But none is more dangerous in our time than the Islamic version.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Quilliam Foundation: You can believe homosexulity is not a sin and be Muslim

From "Fasdunkle", commenter on Harry's Place, the link below, in which the Islamist outfit 5Pillars criticises Maajid Nawaz's Quilliam Foundation for suggesting that Muslims can be Muslims and also tolerant of gays.
5Pillars claim that Quilliam is funded by "Islamophobes". Which leads Fasdunkle to observe wryly that he can now go with a new definition of Islamophobic: "an irrational fear that Islam is not completely shitty".
The 5Pillars article highlights the uphill struggle reforming Muslims have. Recalling that Quilliam founder and head, Maajid Nawaz, is an ex radical Islamist, now committed to bringing Islam into the 19th century (or even the 17th or 18th, given that's it's currently trying its best to remain in the 7th). The 21st century can come later.
Nawaz is a very knowledgeable and eloquent spokesman for a kinder gentler Islam. And he gets this sort of 5Pillars shit hurled at him for his efforts. And called an "Uncle Tom" or "Native informant", by other true Muslims.
One despairs for the reformation of Islam. Luckily for us Maajid doesn't.

PS: the 5Pillars view is of course normative Islam, and a corrective for those folks who imagine that the Orlando shooting of gays by a Muslim was somehow nothing to do with Islam, but rather the actions of a mentally ill, internally conflicted gay Muslim, an action of homophobic hate. Sure that hate is there, but instilled by everything that Islam has taught him, a pious Muslim.
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What's in a name: Islam, Islamist, Jihadist...

President Obama has refused to use the term "radical Islam,"
following a precedent set by his Republican predecessor George W. Bush,
who said after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that "ours is not a campaign
against the Muslim faith."
In the wake of the Orlando shootings, a war of words.  The right criticise Obama for not saying it's "radical islamic terrorism".  Obama and the left answer that it doesn't matter what it's called, it makes no difference to the war.
This morning, Obama was arrogantly contemptuous of those calling for him to "name it what it is".
His line is that it gives legitimises ISIL (as he's wont to call what most others call ISIS).  It gives them what they want: to represent Islam, whereas they "don't represent Islam", he says, "they have perverted Islam".
Two points here:
First, whether or not Obama uses the words "radical Islamic/Islamist" terrorism, most of the rest of the world does.  So if indeed ISIS are looking for some sort of affirmation (a doubtful likelihood, in my view), they've got it from planty of others, including from many political leaders.
Second, in what way does ISIS "not represent" Islam, or "pervert" it?  He doesn't say.  Much as he might not wish to litigate theological issues, he's done so already by simply claiming that ISIS "do not represent Islam", and then leaving it at that.  He makes that statement; it's incumbent on him to say on what basis he makes that conclusion.
In fact, of course, there are many experts, both Muslim and non-Muslim, who claim most cogently that ISIS is indeed representative of Islam.  An ultra-strict  and violent representation, to be sure, but a representation nonetheless.  One of the best on this is Graeme Wood in his "What ISIS really wants".
And let's not forget that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a doctoral graduate of the Bagdad University, a scholar -- and therefore expert -- in Islam.  His writings and speeches, and the magazine Dubiq published monthly by ISIS, are replete with scholarly reflections on Islam.  It may all be terribly uncomfortable to recognise this, but ignoring it is dangerous. If Obama were to recognise it, and talk of "radical Islamic/Islamist" terrorism, that would be the start of a more robust reaction. Mosques could be challenged to clamp down on radical teachings.  Moderate Muslims more directly encouraged to face up to the clear and urgent challenges they have in their religion (and not just some "extremist" terrorism, the source of which is  profoundly mysterious).
Here's a little more on the linguistics of war: "Radical Islam, Or Radical Islamism?  It Depends Whom You Ask".  Though I would note that Hillary now saying that she would use either "Radical Islamism" or "Radical Jihadism" is a big departure from a year ago, when she was more along the Obama line on not using either term, which at least is a bit of an advance on the Obama position.
From which position he asks:
"What exactly would using this label accomplish?" President Obama asked Tuesday as he spoke about his administration's fight against ISIS. He spoke at length about the language debate. "Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction."
But his administration, by purging the words "Islam" or "Islamism" from the bureaucracy has meant that they no longer learn the ideology of Islam or Islamism.  Learning about that, in the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, DoD, etc, is verboten.  So there would indeed be something accomplished by "using this label", Mr Obama. "Calling a threat a different name", if that name is more correct (which it surely is) allows a clear-headed analysis of that it stands for, it allows us to "know the enemy" better.  
And that's no "distraction", Sir.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Mass Shooting in Florida: Anti-Gay Violence Rooted in Muslim Law | National Review

Orlando madness.
The madness of the shooter, sure.
And the madness of the reaction.
Media are still "waiting to learn the motivation of the shooter", when he's already made it quite clear: he rang 911 to tell them that what at he was going to do was inspired by ISIS.
The madness of LGBTI groups singing against Ilsamophobia and saying it was just a "hate crime".
Well sure hate of gays is one of those "necessary but not sufficient" factors. There are plenty who hate gays but don't kill them. For that you need the ideology of Islam. Which encourages and enables the killing of homosexuals. They do that in Iran -- hanging them from cranes. They machete them to death in Bangladesh. They behead them in Saudi Arabia. ISIS toss them from roofs.
The madness of CAIR in saying that we must fight homophobia AND Islamophobia. As if killing gays is the equivalent to the odd case of people saying nasty things to Muslims.
Enough of the madness of willful blindness.
Islam is front and centre in these killings. There's no need to wait to "make sense" of the killings, as the BBC and ABC are saying now.
Read the Koran and the Hadith.
All makes sense then.

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Orlando shootings: typical Muslim response

Just watching BBC's coverage of the latest Muslim shooting outrage: the killing of 50 at a gay club in Orlando.
The BBC reporter on the spot speaks to camera about the response of some Muslims. They are concerned about rising "Islamophobia" and now want to "change perceptions" of we infidels, to show that Islam is actually a "religion of peace" and that the shootings have "nothing to do with Islam". So that's the first reaction of Muslims. Not to express sadness at the shootings, sympathy for survivors or empathy for families and friends. Or even to call to their coreligionists to cease this random slaughter, let alone, heaven help us, to call for reform of the nastier aspects of Islam that encourage mass murder. No, none of this.  The reaction instead is "how does it affect me", how does this affect brand Islam?  How do I get the infidel to believe that it really, really is a "religion of peace".
Yet the young BBC lady reports all this approvingly. Of course the real victims are Muslims! she seems to think.
Meantime Obama has vowed to "follow the facts wherever they take us".  But he won't do that, will he?  For when it's clear, as it pretty much already is, that the shooter was inspired by ISIS, that is to say by a strict if severe form of Islam, nowhere will he allow the religion of peace to be put in the frame as a motivator for this atrocity.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Renan Revisited > Theodore Dalrymple. On moderate Muslims and the likelihood of Islamic reformation

The ever insightful Dalrymple. 

.... The moderates [Muslims] want, in effect, to reduce Islam to a private confession whose ethical standards are more or less those of, say, a fairly liberal Canadian. In other words, they want to preserve Islam in the modern world by liberalising it and making it compatible with Twenty-First century values. From my personal standpoint, this is laudable and even brave in the circumstances; but there is one enormous flaw in the whole scheme. If the ethics of Islam become those of any reasonably decent person in a liberal democracy, what need of Islam at all? It will become merely a collection of rituals whose irrationality and therefore needlessness will soon become clear under the withering fire of rationalist criticism. Its holy book will be shown to be a literary artefact, a compilation, like any other such book (and by no means the best of the genre, either). Soon nothing of Islam will remain.

In this sense, the extremists seem to me to have the better of the argument. They have understood that, where the survival of their religion is concerned, it is all or none. They have seen what happened to religious faith in England and France once such faith was treated as a merely private matter, freely subject to criticism either serious or mocking. And since they are instilled with the notion that there is in Islam an essence that is uniquely precious, they cannot accede to the scheme of the moderates, which will lead to its de facto extinction. The extremists, then, are more consistent, far-seeing and realistic than the moderates, though morally grossly their inferiors.

Islam is uniquely precious to them because they have nothing else to be proud of or to hang on to. Whatever its glorious past, Islam has had a bad past few centuries; it has contributed nothing to the stock of universal advancement. This would not matter but for its claims to unique truth. How is it that a doctrine, or family of doctrines, claiming all-sufficiency, has actually been so barren of contribution to progress? It is Islam, then, or nothing.

Moderate Moslems and moderate leftists share a similar problem. Both believe that their world outlook has something uniquely precious about it, but perceive that in fact the world can get on perfectly well without it. What, then, remains of the precious contribution of their worldview? It is not uncommon in France to see articles about the future of the left now that radically egalitarian transformation of society has been ruled out. What can it argue for now? Recognition of polygamy, incestuous marriage or the rights of necrophiliacs? Whatever it is, it will not be sufficient to justify or support a whole worldview; rather, the left will be reduced to a state of permanent querulousness about this or that supposed injustice, one succeeding another. For underlying the self-conceit of the left is a belief in oppositionism as such: and as it is more blessed to give than to receive, so it is more blessed to oppose what exists than to support or sustain it. The left starts out from a belief in original virtue, especially its own; therefore it must preserve itself and its world outlook, however difficult this may be.

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Friday, 10 June 2016

Mass sexual assault reported at Germany music festival | Europe | News | The Independent

It was in the bloggosphere that I first read news about the most recent "mass sexual assault" by Muslim migrants in Germany. As is the case with most issues Islamic, the first one reads about them is on the blogs.  Then I searched Mr Google and found one reference in mainstream media, in The Independent of the U.K.  But nothing on BBC, CNN, CNBC, The Times, Guardian, Telegraph, The New York Times or our own South China Morning Post. Not even on Fox or in the Wall Street Journal. Not a skerrick.
In short, the news was virtually non existent in the MSM.
I wonder why.
After all, you'd think a "mass sexual assault" in the heart of Europe would be newsworthy. Can't think that it used to happen at all in the past, let alone twice in a year -- recalling that ONE THOUSAND women were sexually assaulted in Cologne over New Year's Eve. Again by Muslim asylum seekers.

Later: there's an article on this in USA Today. An article which notes no arrests have been made in the earlier Cologne debacle.