Tuesday 31 January 2012

Kos Kommenters are also ageing hippies

Front page photo in the Canberra Times, 19 Sep 1970.
Your humble blogger, with pipe.  Leftie of old...
Those dreadful Kommenters over at the Daily Kos are not just frat boys and sorority gals, as I thought. A reader who knows them much better than I says they are also "ageing hippie types".  Well, that coulda been me too, folks, as I was certainly a hippie in the sixties, when the movement was born and burned brightest.  As they say, "if you can remember the sixties, you weren't there", or words to that effect.  For they truly were times of Sex, Drugs and Rock & roll, and lucky to be at Uni at the time, we partook of each and every one of those "S-D-R".
Reminds me of the copper Gene Hunt in "Ashes to Ashes", who's leading a raid into some villain's house.  To his troops he says "Right.... now, about police brutality,.... lots of it!".  For us, sex -- lots of it -- drugs -- lots of them --  rock and roll -- lots of it.  Remember, if you can, that this was when the groups like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Blind Faith, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Them, The Animals, Jefferson Airplane, King Crimson, Keef Hartley, Procol Harum,  etc, etc, etc, were new.  New!  (Holy Mackerel, even just writing them down, the sheer brilliance, all new, makes me breathless still).
And we'd go out and buy their albums the day they came out.  Big, bright vinyl albums, with wonderful, artsy covers, sometimes hallucinatory, to go with the times, Surreal man! And play and play and play them, until someone at some booze and drug-fueled party stubbed a roach out on it, the sad demise of of too many of those vinyl visions of magic. Well, of mine, anyway.

Canadian Honour Killing conviction: interview with MCC spokesman

Letter to BBC:
You carried yesterday an interview with a spokesman from the Muslim Canadian Congress.  He claimed that (1) the Shafia killings should not be called “honour killings”, but murder for “ego” or similar, and (2) that they had nothing to do with Islam.

But: (1): Honor killing is defined as the “killing of family ... member... due to the belief that the.. victim has brought dishonor on the family...”.  . Mr Shafia repeatedly said, in phone intercepts, that he had killed his daughters because they had impugned his honour,  and in Court repeatedly claimed that the most important thing to him was his “honour” (while of course lying about his involvement; some “honour”...). That is: “Honour” was the sole motivation for the killings.

And (2): Mr Shafia also specifically said that his daughters had impugned Islam. Islamic Law does not mandate “honour killing”, but permits and enables it.  There is to be no penalty under Islamic law,  for the killing of one’s children. The most authoritative manual of Islamic Jurisprudence says:

not subject to retaliation is a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.”
(Umdat al-Salik O1.1-2; 2.4*)
Question: how can the phenomenon of “honour killings” (UN says at least 5,000 per year worldwide), be tackled if the prime motivation and enabler for it -- “honour” and Islamic Law --  are denied, by the likes of the MCC spokesman?
Yours, etc,
* For Umdat al-Salik, see sidebar on left for link: in English it's "The Reliance of the Traveller".  This is a must-have reference guide for anyone interested in Islam and Sharia law.

Monday 30 January 2012

"Geert Wilders Says There's No Such Thing as Moderate Islam"

I picked up the latest Newsweek the other day, when I had nothing else to read and liked the cover.  Mind, I don't often pick up Newsweek; it's hopelessly leftie, but of a sort that I can't abide usually: that is, simplistic, shallow, insipid. Not at all like, say, the The New Yorker, also a leftie mag, which I happily read from week to week, or The Atlantic, ditto.
The "Newsweek magazine" inside had a longish story by Christopher Dickey about the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, titled as above, and subtitled: "Can't Someone Tell Geert Wilders to Stop His Anti-Muslim Diatribes Before Somebody Gets Hurt?".
This is a trashy piece, long on ad hominem short on analysis of what Wilders has actually said in his years talking on the topic of Islam.  And the sub-title's a shocker.  For a start, Wilders doesn't do "diatribes" against Muslims, but speeches against the ideology of Islam (for Dickey, I guess it's a "speech" if he agrees with it; a "diatribe" if he doesn't).  Muslims as people and Islam as ideology are very different things; Wilders has been at pains to point this out time and again.  Dickey may not know this, in which case he's inexcusably ignorant, or he knows and doesn't care, or mixes the two deliberately duplicitously, to heighten the impression that Wilders is a "bigot" and "islamophobe".
I think Wilders has made a tactical error in calling for the banning of the Koran.

"Ban the Burqa"

Speaking of the Burka (see my immediately preceding post), it should be recalled that there are many Muslim women, especially in western countries, who would be more than happy to see a ban on the Burka. They don't want to see imported into the west this antediluvian anachronism, the medieval and non-religiously-mandated tent forced on women by male-dominated fundamentalist Islamic societies. I have noted this before, eg here and here.
I recently came across another article by a woman in favour of the Burka ban (though not, I assume, a Muslim), "Ban the Burqa", by Claire Berlinski.  She acknowledges the arguments against banning the burka:
These bans are outrages against religious freedom and freedom of expression. They stigmatize Muslims. No modern state should be in the business of dictating what women should wear. The security arguments are spurious; there are a million ways to hide a bomb, and one hardly need wear a burqa to do so. It is not necessarily the case that the burqa is imposed upon women against their will; when it is the case, there are already laws on the books against physical coercion.
But she comes out in favour of a ban anyway, on the following practical ground, one that affects all women in western societies:
If Europe does not stand up now against veiling — and the conception of women and their place in society that it represents — within a generation there will be many cities in Europe where no unveiled woman will walk comfortably or safely.
On the issue of whether the burka is mandated by Islam (it isn't), see this video of 25th Jan by Michael Coren [h/t BCF]:

Update, 7 Feb: "A leading cleric at Egypt's prestigious Al-Azhar Mosque on Wednesday applauded France's ban on the face veil worn by some devout Muslim women, saying the niqab harmed Islam's image." More...
H/t: BCF

Muslima (?) and Child (II)

"The Western Burqa?"
I posted about this last month here.
I got an answer from my old mate:
"Thanks for your interesting discourse on the drawing based on Da Vinci's work.
"I don't think I will see a pale breast poking out of a dark burka on any local streets, but I suppose it must happen behind doors. I wonder if public breast feeding as common in JC's time?  Was Leonardo's painting something commonplace?
"Here is a photo of a life size sculpture recently completed -- The Western Burqa?  
All the best..."
I must say, I didn't realise that the original drawing was a comment on medieval (or biblical) mammary mores... So I'm still no clearer as to whether the original drawing was meant as irony or moral equivalence.

Still, the question my mate raises -- "was breast feeding common in JC's time?" -- led me to an interesting post here.  It would seem that it was, as there were paintings in Roman times with public breast-feeding...

Saturday 28 January 2012

Am I too soft on China?

I do get that criticism from some of my mates and mate-ettes... That I seem to be an apologist for China.
All I'd say about this is that I write in defense of China because (1) it's not as bad as people make out and (2) it's on "our side" when it comes to the big issue of today: the battle between Islam and The Rest.
For example, in a recent post on one of my favourite sites, Blazing Cat Fur, the link was to a site by an "Binks".  I found the post by Binks so ignorant that I had to respond and I did so here.
Then, I came across the SCMP article below. For those that don't want to read it all, here's the guts:
  • The amount of US Treasuries owned by China: 7.5%
  • The amount of US consumption provided by China: 2.7%
In other words, the whole scary thing of China controlling US debt and swamping consumers with "Made in China" products is just so much rubbish.

My critique of Eric Allen Bell's article

In my post just before this one I criticised those who took the hammer to E.A.Bell ("Daily Kos Kommentors"), for his article here.  I was shocked, to be frank.  I expected that they would take him to task. What I didn't expect was that they would simply heap ordure on him from a great height without even looking at, let alone understanding, the guts of what he had to say. I was shocked that the comments were virtually 100% ad hominem. (and that the one or two comments that took them to task for being ad hominem were themselves labelled... gulp!... ad hominem!)
A question then arises: was his article worthy of such contumely?  Was it really that risible, that horrible, that ignorant, that bigoted?
Answer: NO.
I've got through his article sentence by sentence. It's all true and verifiable not only according to western analysts, but also according to Islamic sources.
There's only one statement that I'd quibble with, but then only in terms of his being a bit "boisterous", or "confrontational". And that's his first statement:
Imagine a man who is the equivalent of perhaps 100,000 Osama Bin Ladens in terms of the violence he conducted in his lifetime in the name of religion. [emphasis in the original]
Saying 100,000 times Osama bin Ladens means, in death terms, 3,000 x 100,000 which is 300 million.  Now there are figures around that the number of deaths owing to Islam, since Muhammad, is about 270 million.  I'm sure that figure is questionable, though I'm sure also that it could be confirmed, or largely substantiated.  That doesn't matter.  The point is: it's a touch confrontational to state that right at the outset and is only going to raise hackles.
As for the rest of the statements, they are all verifiable from Islamic sources, either the Koran, the Hadith or the Sira, the life of Muhammad.
So, why would the Kos Kommertors simply heap ordure on E.A. Bell without taking issue with his statements? [I dunno.  Possible answer: Hive Mind]
One characterisation for sure, one that is for sure not ad hominem... it's bigotry. ("complete intolerance of any... opinion... that differs from one's own") [ref].
Read the Komments on the Kos and see if they're not completely intolerant of any opinion differing from their own...
Encouragingly, it's not all bad on the Left: The Guardian, also left-wing, carried a risible article by Islam apologist Karen Armstrong.  But in this case, the commentors, almost all critical of Armstrong, were knowledgeable, cogent, substantive. That is: non ad hominem. Not bigoted.  Willing to hear the other side.
Surprise: Hurrah Guardian!

Wednesday 25 January 2012

My critique of the Daily Kos' Kommentors

"Me?  You talkin to me?..."
The other day I stumbled into a Frat house, Alpha Beta Beta [*], and found a food fight in progress.  Cup cakes being thrown at one poor sod, hotdogs splattered on him.  It was a wild, screaming orgy of anger, a victual lynching.  “What’s going on here?” I asked.  “That guy said our Frat house has a hole in the roof”, said one, munching on a waffle, while lining up for another strike at this dissenter.  I looked up and saw a hole in the roof.  “But, there is a hole….” I said, but was interrupted….
… by reality. Because that’s not what happened at all.  It’s just what it felt like when I visited the virtual Frat house, the comments section of the Daily Kos.  A bunch of unruly youngsters letting loose on one of their members who’d merely stated the truth in one of his posts (articles on Kos, by the way, have a cutesy name: a “diary”.  You need to know this to understand the comments).
So I thought I’d do a critique of the comments for you.

Monday 23 January 2012

The Bell tolls, it tolls for thee.. and thee heed not...

I wrote about the wowie-zowie moment here, about Eric Bell's article on Islam.
It seems it's too much for the good readers of the Daily Kos, as reported here.  Apparently Eric Bell has been banned from the site.  So much for free speech.  He did nothing but set out clear and unequivocal facts about Islam and the apologist site Loonwatch.com, of which I've had personal experience of their censorship, here.
What's interesting about the comments is this: on the Kos site, the comments are all ad hominem.  That is: Bell is a bigot, a racist, an Islamophobe.  And moral equivalence: the Bible is as bad as the Koran; Christianity (and Hinduism!...) is as bad as Islam.  In short, not a single one that I read actually took to task any of the points raised by Bell.
On the JW site, by contrast the comments are along the lines of: the Kos commenters haven't read the core documents of Islam (as it seems clear they have not) and are seemingly incapable of facing facts (which it seems clear they are not). And they quote facts about Islam.
In short, Kos readers: ad hominem. JW readers: factual statements.
I do wonder why?  What is it about these people that they deny the nose in front of their face?  How can we have such massive cognitive dissonance?
[The cognitive dissonance: holding "progressive" views, such as belief in universal human rights, the rights of minorities, of women, freedom of speech and of conscience,  tolerance of others, and all that, on the one hand.  And on the other hand, spruiking for Islam, which stands in opposition to all these worthy goals, and is -- surely there can be no doubt about this -- the single most intolerant religious ideology on the planet].

Good to see REAL hate crimes being prosecuted...

These are the men who want to set the agenda for how we
should live...[source]
It's a refreshing change to see real hate crimes being prosecuted -- that is, those in which people call for others to be killed for the "crime" of not being like they are: in this case for being gay.  The usual reports of "hate crimes" tend to be about those who report on such issues and decry them.  Those who point out the supremacist and violent nature of Islamism, for example; these are most often the messengers who are shot.
In this case the three men prosecuted had called for the killing of homosexuals.  The only issue on which they had some dispute, it seems, is the method of execution: should they be burned, hanged or thrown off high roofs....
I heard a report about this on BBC World-service radio, in which a lady Muslim representative was denouncing these three men (good) and then went on to say that they did not represent the views of the "majority of Muslims in the UK" (wrong).
She's wrong statistically:
According to a survey in 2007, 70% of Muslims in the UK believe that "homosexuality is wrong and should be outlawed".  That's at page 47 of the report "Living apart together: British Muslims and the paradox of multiculturalism", by Munira Mirza, Abi Senthilkumaran and Zein Ja'far (note: not a bunch of cranky white guys...).

Other report: The Guardian.

Sunday 22 January 2012

DO ask for whom Eric Bell tolls...

He Tolls for Thee..
If Thee believe that Islam is just like any other religion, that Christianity is just as violent (or not) as Islam, that the Bible is just as bad (or good) as the Koran, that violent Jihadis have hijacked the "religion of peace", or any other such pabulum.
For this is a wowie-zowie moment!
In a left-of-centre website, The Daily Kos, the left-of-centre columnist, Eric Allen Bell writes some truth about Islam and its apologist website Loonwatch.com.
Bell's article is here.
I've had my own run ins with Loonwatch here.  They really do censor their site, allowing comments only if they are supportive of their line, or critical ones only if they then have the last word and allow no refutation.
Bell is even more coruscating in his criticism than I have been. EG:
After over a year of communication with Loonwatch.com in the making of "Not Welcome" I have come to the realization that this organization is fundamentally a radical Islamic front, covering up for terrorism, spreading distorted information about the reality of rapidly spreading Islamic fundamentalism - through lies of omission.  To tell a half truth is to tell a lie and the lie that Loonwatch.com tells everyday is to cover up the atrocities within Islam and only focus on attacking its critics.  [source]
And he makes a remarkable mea culpa:

I have only recently come around to a hopefully more expansive point of view. When I finally read one of your [Robert Spencer] books for the first time, I kept waiting for the part where you would prove yourself to be a "Loon" so that I could stop reading, but that never happened :)
I watched the documentary, "Islam: What the West Needs to Know" and wanted so badly to prove wrong what I had seen and heard - but I could not. This was not only humbling but it has caused me to really rethink and rethink the possibility that perhaps the truth is not politically correct. [source]
The JihadWatch post on Bell has interesting comments and discussion on whether the anti-jihad movement is, or should be, a Left vs Right thing.  See the discussion here, especially the posts of "Tolerance Lives", et. seq.  I agree with the line that it should not be a left/right thing, as what it's about is freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, equal rights for women and minorities.  In other words, it's all about basic human rights that have been hard-won over centuries in the West.  These are Rights that -- by rights --  should be the concern of the Left, but the "rights" of a fundamentally intolerant religion to oppress its women and minorities, have trumped the greater human rights, in the minds of too many on the Left.  The more that open their eyes to the reality of a fundamentally intolerant ideology, the better.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Plump Prince: Pouff! or Prevail?

Guitar Hero. Next stop: feather duster??
Will the new puffy dictator survive or will North Korea succumb to internal squabbles, even unto major change?  I am refererring, of course, to the portly new child-tyrant, Kim Jong-un, son of Jong-il and grandson of Il-sung...

I nailed my colours to the mast, with an off-the-cuff prediction that he'd be a goner in a few months.  I admit a minimal amount of analysis to make this judgement.  I've visited North Korea: four times in the early eighties, doing some coking-coal business and at that time it seemed to me that maybe it was due for a China-style opening up. Of course that didn't happen, so that should be a guiding light, shouldn't it? Still, isn't enough enough?  For the the people of that benighted country, and even, surely, for its leadership?

My judgement, slender and slight though it was, turns out to be shared by the late, great Christopher Hitchens.  I'm reading his excellent collection of Essays, "Arguably", and in "Worse than Nineteen Eighty-four", he concludes: "... why should it be assumed that their failed state and society are permanent?  Another timeline, oriented to liberation and regime change, is what the dynasty most fears."

Then I read an excellent article, "Racial Purity, North Korean Style", by B.R. Myers in the Herald Tribune, in which he makes a powerfully and knowledgeably argued case that the odious regime, "headed" by the porcine Kim Jong-un will continue.
"... his succession makes perfect sense in North Korea's ethno-nationalistic personality cult.  People who value racial purity always consider some bloodlines purer than others, and ... no bloodline is purer than the eternal presidents."
I dunno.  I guess I'll just have to fall back on the time-honoured journalistic "time will tell".

Update: a video of a talk by B.R.Myers, about a year ago: "The Cleanest Race", an in-depth look at North Korean society.  This guy seems to know his stuff.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

The Islamic Trinity

I've often said (eg) that in seeking to understand Islam you need to read the core doctrines and these are three: (1) the Koran, (2) the Hadith (sayings and actions of Muhammad) and (3) the Sirah (or life of Muhammad).
I've never labelled these a "Trilogy", though I wish I'd thought of this earlier.  Or perhaps even -- though more provocatively -- a "Trinity": provocative because Islam abhors the Christian Trinity, the doctrine of the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost. To Islam, that's the worst kind of blasphemy, for nothing can be associated with the one God, Allah.  To associate others with Allah is shirk, worse than murder and subject to death under Sharia law.
Anyhoo... I just came across this article, "A Taste of Islam", which talks of the "Islamic Trilogy": the same three I mention above.
Read it all, it's repays careful study.
A quote:
I sat down and reread the Koran, read the Sira (Ishaq and Al Tabari), read the Hadith (Bukhari and Muslim). These are the absolute foundational texts of Islam, the source code, the DNA. I was following Sun Tzu’s advice; know your enemy and attack your enemy’s strategy.
And that's even if you limit "your enemy" to Al-Qaeda-type jihadis, for they are most certainly motivated and justified by the Trilogy.  See the excellent and eye-opening "The Al-Qaeda Reader" for example.
[BTW: the Sira I've read -- and linked on the left here -- is that of Ibn Ishaq; that's fine and enough.  The Hadith I've read is Bukhari, and again, that's enough, as Muslim's Hadith repeats most of Bukhari. There's also the links online, which I've put at the left.  If you want to know about Islam, and not what its apologists (or indeed its critics) tell you, then you need at least to read one of each of these]

Islam in Norway

[Update 30 Jan: in Staganger, Norway, 90% of rapists are "non-western immigrants" (aka, in reality, Muslims, mostly from Pakistan) and in Oslo the figure is 100%. These are Norwegian police figures.]

I've been following the issue of Islam in Norway for some time now, especially through the writings of Bruce Bawer , who also writes on the US, as in this  piece recently about "All American Muslim" the reality TV show. [E.G. of Bawer on the Islam issue in Norway].
Norway seems to be concentrate the quintessential nature of the Islam-west tensions in Europe, nice little tolerant country that it is. It's like the petrie dish of the issues.
In this piece by "The Observer", we have an analysis of the nature of Islam in Norway and an examination of whether it is as democratic, open and pluralist as the Norwegian body politic and media would have its population believe.  The Observer shows that it is not.  In case after case, the Islamic Council of Norway, the largest Islamic organisation in the country, has come out in favour of terror, of the murder of authors and film-makers, of the subjugation of women, of forced marriages, of the whole sorry lot of Islamic doctrine and prejudice that are becoming drearily familiar in all countries with growing -- but still minority -- Muslim populations. It can only get worse.
About a third of the way down, The Observer says:
By scrutinizing the Muslim community honestly, and judging them solely on the views and positions they hold, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they don’t believe in normal democratic principles, period. In fact, it’s ludicrous and very dishonest to even hint that someone who wishes to kill another person for having offended his or her religion should be classified as a peace-loving and democratic person.
And concludes:
When the Norwegian authorities tell us that Muslims in Norway are peaceful, hardworking, and democratic, they don’t really have any hard evidence to back up this claim. As a matter of fact, there is ample hard evidence and empirical data that can be used to refute all of their claims. The authorities’ arguments are basically empty shells, and will eventually collapse.
If time, read it all.  It's longish, but a sober and balanced assessment in my view. 

The intolerance of diversity

I was in Australia last week and my mother tells me that over the Christmas period in Canberra there were various calls for Christmas trees not to be put up, for Nativity scenes not to be displayed, and so on, the usual -- these days -- litany of people trying to stifle an important part of western cultural heritage, one that has been part of the scenery of celebration for the religious and secularists alike for generations.  No more, it seems.  She says that the reasons given were that these symbols -- the trees and the manger -- were offensive to "other religions", which my mum -- not a regular anti-jihadist, it must be emphasised -- takes to mean that it's offensive to Muslims.  She's right of course.  But there are also some atheists who rail against trees and nativities, in mistaken belief that they threaten the separation of church and state or for some other nonsensical reason.
I'm all in favour of the Christmas symbols, though I'm an atheist from way back. So is Pat Condell, who eviscerates the "totalitarians" who want to crush Christmas. In the video below he says [@1'30"]:
Religion needs to be kept in check when it tries to step on people, or when it tries to elbow its way into their lives uninvited [read "ROP"]. The nativity doesn't do this; it doesn't even come close. 

(Initial h/t on this to BCF)

Monday 16 January 2012

Islam in America

The reliably Islamopologist Huffington Post announces a seminar to teach Americans the "truth" about Islam, "In an effort to shed some light and promote facts, not fear..." .  [source]
What struck me in the piece was the news that 14% of Americans say they know "a lot" about Islam.  And only 57% say they know "only a little".  That is, 43% of Americans know "a lot" or "something" about Islam.  Given that Muslims are only about 1-2% of Americans, those are rather high figures, and I'd guess higher than the number who know something or a lot about, say, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, or the like.  And if that's the case, it would be because of concern about Islam.
Now, are the folks promoting the above seminar going to be able to overcome the knowledge that nearly half of Americans have about Islam?  Because there is this fact, or at least this assertion by me: that if you study the core documents of Islam: the Koran, the Hadith and the Sirah (the life of Muhammad), it's impossible not to be concerned about Islam, even unto the point of being scared.  That is, unless you like supremacism, homophobia, mysoginy and the suppression of free speech and minority rights.

Friday 13 January 2012

"Muslim Brotherhood Declares 'Mastership of the World' as Ultimate Goal"

"Brotherhood"? What Brotherhood??
I've written quite often about the Muslim Brotherhood, mainly because its clear aim is the re-creation of the world-wide caliphate, with its imposition of sharia law.  And if that seems like a pie-in-the-sky goal, the second main concern about the Brotherhood is that it's represented in the west, especially in the US and Europe, through a vast array of organisations, that western governments deal with, without knowing their Brotherhood connections.
More: if they do know of the connections, they willfully ignore them. They close their eyes; they cover their ears.
Yet they are a clear and present danger.  And not one seen only by wild-eyed drooling paranoiacs.  To study the Brotherhood is to be worried.
Raymond Ibrahim notes the pronouncements of senior Brotherhood leaders and how the west does nothing to take them into account.  Instead welcoming their elevation in recent "Arab Spring" elections, as in Egypt.

Thursday 12 January 2012

"Andelusia Spring", reclaiming "occupied" Spain for Islam

It was probably only a matter of time....

Controversies over Islam dominated the Christmas and New Year holidays in Spain this year.
These conflicts reflect the growing influence of Islam in Spain after mass immigration from Muslim countries. They are a harbinger of things to come, especially as the Muslim population in Spain is predicted to double within the next fifteen years.

Actually, the effort to "reclaim" has gone further, as Islamists try to make Sharia law the law of Tower Hamlets, in UK, which were never part of the evil empire....

Thursday 5 January 2012

"Jihadist group declares war on France for being 'hostile to Islam'"

"The leader of an armed, radical Islamic group out of west Africa, Hamada Ould Mohamed Kheirou, declared “war” against France Thursday over what he calls French hostility towards Islam. The threat came in a video reportedly seen by AFP journalists and is not the first time the jihadist group has vowed to wage war with the increasingly Islamized France...."
From The Blaze (I don't know about this site, first time I've seen it, that I recall).

"... our way of life is not up for grabs, our laws are not negotiable..."

The wonderful Douglas Murray.

"If you tried to invent a mode of dress more illiberal than any other, you'd come up with the burka...."

"The only signal that should be given by any democratic government is that to say 'our way of life is not up for grabs; our laws are not negotiable.  If you would like 7th Century backward Sharia law, then, sadly, there are places you can get it'".

Vid link here.

Muslim Brotherhood Organizations In America: Goals, Ideologies And Strategies – Analysis

I'm not sure where I came across this article, I think BCF, in which case thanks to them!

It's a very useful reference guide, in particular for the connection with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which presents itself as the voice of Islam in America and is often accepted as that by the US government.  In truth, as this article shows, CAIR a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the aim of which is, in its own words,

"... eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers...."

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Muslim moderation: Mission impossible?

[Postscript: picked up on BCF here]
The whole issue of whether Islam can be reformed is a hot topic, in Muslim and non-Muslim circles. After all, for people of good will, we surely hope, wish, desire, pray, for a more "Moderate Islam", one which does not see its main aim as being to become the supreme religion in the world, supremacist in nature.  To change that, if at all possible, would be wonderful.
My leftie-liberal friends assume it's only a matter of time.  That Christianity had its Reformation and that Islam will have its, in due course.
I'm not so optimistic.  The key stumbling block is the Koran: it's "uncreated", the literal word of God. Hence, any change in the Koran is by definition, blasphemy.  That's a huge stumbling block, one that didn't exist in the exegisis of the Bible: a "library" (literally) of books written by Men.  Hence the Bible could be reinterpreted without fear of blasphemy.
I've been reading "The Closing of the Muslim Mind", by Robert Reilly, an academic tracing of this whole issue, and it's not made me any more optimistic.
There's an article I came across today by Mustafa Akyol, called "Islamic Liberalism: Mission Impossible?", which tries to find some positive in this issue.  I hope he's right.  But even this fellow Akyol, one feels, is drawing a pretty long bow.
It's critical to support any moves in the Islamic community towards a more moderate form of Islam. It's just that one can't really hold out much hope.  Well, I hold the hope, but I fear it'll be dashed.
[Summary of the Akyol article in Andrew Dish's "The history of liberal Islam", where I came across the article, via Google Islam alerts].
Update: earlier article on same subject, by Mustafa Akyol here.
Update, 2 Feb '12: On the issue of: are there "moderate Muslims": "Islam means Peace", Rajeshkumar, 31 Jan '12:
The real Muslims are the ones who follow the Quran and the examples of Muhammad in every walk of life. Ultimately, they become terrorists. They are not ‘radicals’ or ‘extremists’. They are ‘good, modest and obedient’ Muslims who take their faith seriously. The wishy-washy Muslims are weak in their knowledge and faith. The wishy-washy Muslims are not ‘moderate or progressive’ Muslims, but as the real Muslims call them, they are “hypocrite”. [Source]

Invisible gorillas: the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

In a recent article "Return to Terror Square", Guy Somerset notes:

"...that not only did the militant Islamists pull off a feat no one expected (except everyone who was paying any attention), they went about celebrating it in much the same way as before."
It's certainly true that the triumph of Islamist parties in Egypt -- the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour Party -- has surprised many in the mainstream media, especially the likes of The Guardian, The New York Times and the BBC (the Beebs has even admitted to being "naive").  But it's not simply the case that they were not "paying attention".  It's just that they were paying attention to different things than those to which we in the counter-jihad bloggosphere were paying attention.  
This made me recall the famous experiment in 1975 which...
"... asked subjects to watch a short video in which two groups of people (wearing black and white t-shirts) pass a basketball around. The subjects are told to either count the number of passes made by one of the teams or to keep count of bounce passes vs. aerial passes. In different versions of the video a woman walks through the scene carrying an umbrella, or wearing a full gorilla suit. After watching the video the subjects are asked if they saw anything out of the ordinary take place. In most groups, 50% of the subjects did not report seeing the gorilla."[Ref]
What the MSM were looking at was the "basketball": the "youth", the "brave fighters for democracy", the stirring crowds in Tahrir Square, the downfall of Mubarak, and so on, as if that were all there were.  Meantime the bloggosphere was looking at was the "gorillas": what was likely to lie ahead, the inevitable -- we thought -- rise of Islamist parties.  And that was shown to be the case.
Of course, we need to make sure that we're still not focussing on just one thing -- the gorillas -- and not seeing that there may indeed be some basketballs being thrown around.
One such is the  youth.  If there is to be any hope in Egypt for an outcome less dreary and backward-looking than the Islamist parties, in cahoots with -- or not -- the Army, then it's in the youth. That's the view, or hope anyway, of Magdi Abdelhadi in this article.
Let's try to keep an eye on the gorillas and on the balls.