Monday 31 October 2011

Islam or Islamist

The whole issue of whether there is a difference between Islam and Islamism; between a "religion" and a theo-political ideology; between "moderate" and"extremist"; between "reformer" and "fundamentalist"; and so on, all these are subject of intense debate, not least within the non-Muslim community.
This article by Andrew McCarthy is a very good summary of one point of view: that there is indeed a difference between Islam and Islamism.
I agree with his "opponent" on this issue, Robert Spencer, who says there is no meaningful difference. BUT, I think it's important, tactically, to act as if there IS a difference: for otherwise, the enemy, the threat we face, is simply too big. We can't take on the whole of Islam and all Muslims.  But we can take on Islamism and extremist Muslims, with the help of Muslims, as well.

Update: Raymond Ibrahim expatiates on this issue as well:
What are the differences between the traditional Muslim and the so-called "Islamist"? As words dealing with Islam continue to morph and multiply, it is important to differentiate, for there are real, if subtle, differences. 
 one must first understand "Islamism"—a hybrid abomination of sorts, whereby the better principles of Western civilization are absorbed and rearticulated within a distinctly Muslim paradigm. For instance, the Western stress on human freedom, human dignity, and universal justice, is, for Islamists, transformed into a stress on Muslim freedom,Muslim dignity, and Muslim justice—all, naturally, at the sake of the infidel.
Lest it appear that Islamists are more "humane" than traditionalists, it should be kept in mind that the other—the non-Muslim—is viewed by both groups as the infidel enemy. In fact, whatever subtle differences may exist, the similarities between the Islamist and Muslim are many. Thus, while the traditional Sheikh and the Islamist argued over Mubarak's fate, there was never disagreement over two points—enmity for Israel and Jews, and the permissibility of using deceit to undermine them.

Sup from Dim Sum bonds; don't suck up to Sharia compliant Sukuks

[Letter to South China Morning Post]
Why doesn’t John Tsang just give up on Islamic Finance? (“No Islamic Bonds despite 4-year push", Business, October 29).  He’s failed to tap the market, so now he wants to give them tax breaks.  Give us a break, Mr Tsang!

The article states that Sharia-compliant, or sukuk, bonds prohibit interest, or investments in pork, tobacco and casinos. But it’s worse than that.  
They also prohibit investments in companies or products that benefit non-Islamic religions; any project that promotes equal rights for women and gays; any western defence industries (but not Muslim ones); any western books, films, TV and radio.  And, of course, they prohibit investment in any company having links with Israel. In short, they are egregiously discriminatory.  And I would argue that such discrimination is illegal by Hong Kong’s laws.

More: Islamic finance products have been linked with funding to terrorist organisations.  A portion of Sukuk moneys have to go to Islamic charities, and charities such as the Holy Land Foundation have been linked (eg in the 911 Commission Report) to funneling of money to organisations with terrorist links.[

Sharia Finance was first promoted by the radical Pakistani Islamist Sayyid Al-Mawdudi in the 1960s and is promoted today by Islamists like Al-Qaradawi as being “Jihad with money”. [

Is this what we want to promote in Hong Kong?  Is this the way Hong Kong taxpayers’ money should be spent? Giving tax breaks to a radical Islamist agenda to increase the reach of Sharia, including through terrorism?  Giving tax breaks to discriminatory -- possibly illegal --  Sukuks?

Surely, Mr Tsang, it is far better to sup from Dim Sum bonds than to suck up to Sukuk.

Peter F
Hong Kong


"Thought without learning is dangerous" -- the Master

[To South China Morning Post]
I would like to weigh in on the discussion of Chinese characters by Wang and Dunn (“Revival of old characters isn’t likely”, Letters, October 29).
I write as one who learnt the simplified characters at the Peking Language Institute and Peking University in 1976, then the “old” characters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1977.
First, it was easier for me as an adult to learn the simplified characters first and then the traditional (“old”) characters.  The same must surely be true for children learning them. Going from simple to complex is more sensible than going from complex to simple: walk before you run.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Maureen Dowd gets all gooey

Dowd has this thing for Saudi despots.  Princes, Ambassadors, anyone representing this foul regime, and she goes all gooey.  Remember last year, when in no less than three articles, she let herself be punked by Prince Saud (he of the "aviator glasses", and "demeanor of a Hollywood mogul").  Why, she even headlines one of those articles "Loosey goosey Saudi" bringing to mind Henry Miller's use of "wet as a goose"....
It's enough for these louche apologists for the most barbaric regime in the world to look sideways at her and she goes all wet at the knees.
Take her latest swooning, over Saudi Ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir:

“They [the religious police] say they can see the outline of your body,” Jubeir translated.
You just know that she's thinking of him seeing the "outline of her body".  How?  Well, try this:
She talks of the "slender, smartly tailored ambassador", of his  "equanimity", of his staying "cool" in the face of threats, of his "dry smile" when he talks to her in "his whispery voice" [oh... how I wish he would whisper over the outline of my body...]
Forget the country al-Jubeir represents; forget Saudi funding of fundamentalist, wahhabi schools throughout the Muslim world; forget their training cadres of youth to hate and fight the west; forget their funding of Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the US and elsewhere in the world; forget their treatment of women, of homosexuals, of non-Muslims.
Forget all that.
All it takes is for a Saudi prince or ambassador to flutter his eyes, to whisper in his dry, cool voice, and Dowd is down for the count, dripping with lust, all "loosey goosey"....
Hell's bells, my dear, do pull yourself together!

"Obama administration bans the truth about Islam and Jihad"

I wrote about the US Attorney General's shocking bit of head-in-the-sandiness here.  A purer and simpler case of refusal to look at what motivates the enemy you could not find.
Robert Spencer covers it more thoroughly here.

It has been a long time coming, but the Obama Administration has now officially banned the truth. Deputy
U.S. Attorney General James Cole declared Wednesday at a conference in Washington that he had “recently directed all components of the Department of Justice to re-evaluate their training efforts in a range of areas, from community outreach to national security.” This “reevaluation” will remove all references to Islam in connection with any examination of Islamic jihad terror activity. The Obama Administration has now placed off-limits any investigation of the beliefs, motives and goals of jihad terrorists.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Pusillanimous Aussie Pissants...

Oh dear oh dear oh dear....
What's wrong with these guys?? They would make Chamberlain seem like a warmonger.
Don't they see the danger of this lily-livered craven kow-towing??
[I registered with The Australian to get the full article pasted below]

Aussie Andrew Bolt decision is indeed limiting Free Speech. But is that good or bad?

A poll on the Sydney Morning Herald about the Australian Federal Court's decision to find against Australian journalist Andrew Bolt,  asked if it had limited free speech.
75% of respondents said that it had not limited free speech.
Now that's nonsense, because by definition -- by punishing Bolt and requiring the expunging of the two offending articles -- speech was constrained, was limited, was purged.
The question should have been:

Sunday 23 October 2011

The vainglorious old pooftah is dead!

Ghadaffi  killed a few days ago, torn apart by the mob, I reckon.  Leaves a touch of quease, even if there's no regret at his "passing".
An amusing comment here.  On the article by the always readable, provocative pamphleteer Mark Steyn.
"Just wondering, why did Colonel Ghaddafi never make General??

Ezra on "honour" murders

The excellent, eloquent, principled Ezra Levant, lets fly on the issue of Muslim murder of young women, aka "honour killings", which are increasing in Canada, and are getting a free pass!  Watch for the woman who is given no jail time for killing her daughter, because she's a Muslim.  Thanks to BCF.

This is really becoming quite an issue in the US, UK and Canada, and needs to be treated as the crime it is, not with some bogus and misguided "cultural sensitivity".

Can't embed the video, it's here at BCF.

US administration plants its head firmly in the sand and keeps it there

The statement below by a US Attorney-general has to be the most bone-headed, ignorant, silly, pusillanimous, pathetic, obsequious, disingenuous, snivelling, lying and plain dangerous that anyone in the Obama administration has uttered in a looong time.
It's in relation to what and who the US is fighting.  Don't forget they're in a war.  The statement  refuses to acknowledge the plainest facts of Islam that are explicit and crystal-clear in the doctrine and teachings of the faith.
Here it is, the statement by US attorney for Oregon Dwight Holton, about training of US law enforcement people in the ways of the terrorist.  Way to go, Dwight (not):
“I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for,” Holton said Wednesday. “They will not be tolerated.”  [*]
Read the article in full here.
Sam Harris says that anyone believing Islam is a "religion of peace" is deluded.  
Holton is deluded, and plain wrong, when he says that it does not have a "tendency towards violence".  
There is no more violent religion on earth!
It's so clear in the writings of Islam that when you first read them you're slammed in the face like with a wet fish.  Slam!  I-slam.
"The problems with Islamic fundamentalism are the fundamentals of Islam".  Sam Harris, here.
[*].  The statements quoted are not wrong.  They are verifiably true, both from Islamic doctrine and from the  statements of Islamic authorities.
The statements quoted may or may not be offensive. Either way, it is irrelevant if they are the truth.  If the truth hurts, so what?  Are we to make foreign policy on the back of people "feelings"??
The statements quoted may or may not be contrary to "what this president..stands for", but again, this is irrelevant, if what he stand for is the whitewashing, the plain lying, about Islam.  And that's what he does indeed stand for in all the statements and actions he has taken since his infamous Cairo speech in June last year.