Monday, February 28, 2005

Have you read Das Kapital or ...

Have you read the Koran?

Muslims, who lie on principle (taqiyya), will insist you can only understand Islam by reading the Koran. After you read it in English, you’ll be told you can only understand it by reading it in Arabic. If you learn Modern Arab, you’ll still be hampered as the Koran is written in Classical Arabic. Of course, all this is bull just to intimidate you to accept the party line. After all, was it unfair to be critical of Nazism without reading Mein Kampf in German? Or should you ignore the 100 million that have died under communism because you didn’t read Das Kapital?

The Koran actually isn’t hard to understand. Amber Pawlik systematically analyzes the Koran and subjects it to a scientific analysis (over here). Half of the verses of the Koran are vitriol against the Infidels. Most of the rest is about Allah, believers and the judgment day. Only about 5% concerns itself with ethics for living this life.

Pawlik illustrates how you can sample the Koran and get a representative picture that continues to holds with further study. Thus, you can verify her results without spending years and years of worthless study. After all, we’re not talking about some esoteric detail; we’re talking about the general tenor and message of the religion.

Here are some super quotes from Amber:

“In order to judge Islam, I did what most Islam apologists and most Muslims (many of whom are illiterate) did not do: I read the Koran.”

“There is no moral system outlined in the Koran - with the exception of allowing men to beat their wives, sleep with their slaves, and there is an occasional, ‘give to the poor.’ There certainly is no unequivocal ‘Do not kill’; ‘Do not steal’; or ‘Do not lie,’ let alone any other insight into how to behave properly as a human being. Most of the ‘moral’ guidance given in the Koran is not a restraint on humans but permission to do what they want - mostly for men to do what they want.” … “Indeed, the Koran gives men full right to have sex with female slaves and their allotted four wives.”

“What has a tendency to shock most people about Islam and the Koran is its belief in predestination … the Koran says that it is Allah who causes people to believe or not believe.” … “Almost the entire Koran is dedicated to delegating to infidels an inferior status. They are called blind, stupid and ignorant. No proof is given of why they should believe.” … “All of this sets up for what the Koran, at heart, is: one long battle cry against infidels.” … “Muslims are taught to wage war on nonbelievers. It is written in plain language. Muslims are to fight until nonbelievers convert or pay alms. All else are to be killed.” “Everything about Islam prepares its people to be fighters. It riles them with hatred. It prods them to fight.

The terrorists who attacked us on September 11, 2001 did not do so in the name of their country or for any demand, such as money or land: they did it openly and proudly in the name of Islam. They were not misguided; they were in every way Islamic.“ … “Islam is a fighting ideology with an uncanny hatred for those who don’t believe as they do. But don’t take my word for it. Please, by all means, read the Koran for yourself.”

Read her whole report and analysis. If you are still in doubt put the Koran to the test yourself. It’s not that hard. It’s easier than reading Das Kapital ... in English!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Bat Ye'or on C-Span

Bat Ye’or, on a C-Span rebroadcast, discussed the ominous rise of Islam in Europe and her latest book on the subject: Eurabia. This brave woman has written on Islamic history and the Islamic threat for over 3 decades.

Because of the taboo (and laws in some cases) against being critical of Islam, Europe lacks intellectual leadership. Ye’or mentioned in the Q&A, that a proper understanding of the problem must be differentiated from a xenophobic attack on the demographic group, which includes moderate assimilated Muslims. Without discussion and proper intellectual leadership, there will be an inadequate understanding of the threat of Islam by both those who dismiss it and those who distort it.

This is a woman who talks calmly, patiently, clearly and forcefully – all in the face of an unresponsive and hostile culture that doesn’t want to take its head out of the sand. The dignity of this woman is inspiring. If the C-Span broadcast is repeated, don’t miss it.

Her website: Unfortunately, I missed her talk at Columbia University.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Islam and its Denial. Part I

The inability to face the Islamic threat, indeed, the outright whitewashing of Islam, has striking similarities with past difficulties coming to grips with the nature and threat of Communism. During the first thirty years of Communism, from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech of 1947, social democrats refused to face the stark evilness of Communism. Seen as a brave “social experiment” to engineer a new human nature devoid of “selfish” impulses, the left denied, apologized, diminished, trivialized, or otherwise excused the Soviet catastrophe.

Few social democrats or left-liberals were immune to the collectivist dream, one that turned into a nightmare in Russia and eventually China, Cambodia, etc. Even that most respected of American intellectuals, John Dewey, went through a sympathetic period in the late 20s but come to his senses and spearheaded a critical examination by the mid 30s. Both The New Republic and The Nation downplayed the problems of International Communism during the whole decade of the 1930s – the “Red Decade”.

Today, Islam is new to most people in the West, and we are going through a similar denial stage. Only this time the denial is on the left and the right. The left dismisses the threat of Islam as a mere epiphenomena reflecting what they see as the underlying dynamics of American empire and oppression. On the left, there is sympathy of our Islamist enemy even if the religious form is seen as an unfortunate by-product. I’ve written about this in detail here and here.

The right has a hard time believing a religion can be bad – especially the ecumenical intellectual conservatives who dominate the main venues of conservative discourse. Fresh from victory in the Cold War, where they see Godless Communism defeated by the Judeo-Christian West, they are unprepared for the threat of a super-religion. How could trust in God lead one astray? I’ve discuss the conservative’s mistake here.

Currently, I’m reviewing the denial phase during the rise of Communism. I suspect the parallels will be revealing. I’d appreciate references on this period. Leave a comment or e-mail your suggestions.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Democracy isn’t enough!

It is often said that the solution to fundamentalist Islam is democracy. “Look at Turkey”, say these advocates, “or look at how Muslims thrive in the West.” The singular example of Turkey is considered the proof-of-concept that democracy can tame Islam. Let’s look at the picture in more detail.

Turkey didn’t become modern by adopting democracy. It was the autocratic rule of Ataturk – a dictatorial almost totalitarian-like ruler – that changed the culture of Turkey. Democracy came later. (The closest Ataturk imitator was the Shah of Iran.) For years the Turkish military stood ready to prevent Islamic recidivism, making Turkey known as a “guided democracy.”

Consider the case of Algeria. The military suspended democracy when it was clear that fundamentalists were going to be elected. Algeria wasn’t always a fundamentalist hotbed. After the French abandonment of Algeria, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism came with a revival of Arab culture and the goal of establishing “authenticity.” Over the last 15 years, over 150,000 have perished in civil strife in Algeria. If this is Arab authenticity, donne-moi les Francais.

Many Muslims in America and Europe embrace liberal values (perhaps this is self-selection by emigration). However, some turn to Islamism. Mohammad Atta turned to radical Islam in Hamburg – not Egypt. In France, children of secular Muslims are turning to fundamentalist Islam. In Holland, a policy of permissive toleration has failed to inspire toleration in some Muslims and the policy is discredited. This raises doubts about assimilation.

Liberal democracy is still a proper long-term goal but it requires a critical examination of Islam. The first order of business must be an honest and open discussion of Islam. Until the problem is discussed, faced, judged, and when found harmful, condemned, no lasting change can take place. Since this may not be possible in societies where you will be killed for being critical of Islam, this must happen herein America – and in Europe.

If we fail to pass moral judgment, if we tacitly sanction the jihadist ideology, if we become morally complicit in whitewashing Islam, if we stand by and do nothing we have failed as human beings. This is not a job for governments; this must be done by individuals – especially intellectuals. How often have we looked back in history and said we would have taken a moral stand? Why not now?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hope in Lebanon?

Daniel Pipes sees hope for change in Lebanon. Mr. Pipes doesn’t tend to wishful thinking; he was a consistent skeptic during the years of the Oslo appeasement process. So when Pipes sees encouraging signs, I’m interested in knowing more: link.

They wouldn't even read it!

Already there is an uproar over David Horowitz’ new website (in some cases before there was time to even read the articles). As we noted below it has entries about people and issues. David makes moral judgments (actually he mostly lets the facts speak for themselves) and this is a no-no on the left. Well, that’s not exactly true. After all, calling Bush Hitler and promiscuously labeling Republicans racist, homophobic, and fascist isn’t exactly the rhetoric of a Hallmark Greeting Card. It’s just judgments critical of the left that are considered (brace yourself) McCarthyism.

These days, any moral criticism of the left is declared an attack on the first amendment (who’s being jailed?). Attacking the administration is one thing but attacking the critics – how dare you! Now I agree that it is not “my country, right or wrong!” But they seem to think all dissent should be respected as honorable: “My criticism, right or wrong!” Suck it up, lefties. If you can dish it out, get ready …

In the end, it is the entries on the issues that make the website valuable (as I mention below with the issue of jihad). The entries on the people are more entertainment as in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not (as I suggest below). On the issues, there is a wealth of information. Forward a link to those still in school. They’ll need the intellectual ammunition.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hollywood does it again:

Last night, FOX News had a one hour special on the leftist bias in Hollywood. Did you know that Hollywood weasels changed the villains in a Tom Clancy story from Muslims to Nazis? They just won’t deal with today’s threat. In any case, imagine this was 1942, Pearl Harbor had just been bombed, and Hollywood made a movie where instead of Nazi villains they had neo-Visigoths.

It’s amusing to think of conservatives as underground filmmakers. Here’s a link to ”Terminal Island”. What do you think?

Click "DiscoverTheNetwork" for Jihad

I was just reading the entry for jihad on the new ”discover the network” web resource. Wow! The first three paragraphs summarize what jihadists have been demonstrating these last few years. Jihad is central to Islam. Muslims have a duty to wage war until the whole world submits to Islam then there will be peace. Jihadist attacks are defensive by definition and resistance is an aggression against Islam. The fight, today, exists not just against America and Israel but is actively being fought from Nigeria to Indonesia as it has been waged through out Islam’s 1400 year history.

The website has an excellent list of books and articles written by well chosen experts: Ibn Warraq, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Bernard Lewis, Martin Kramer, and of course, Bat Ye’or. Having read these authors, I completely concur. The first article, by Daniel Pipes, clears up the confusion spread by those who insist the wider meaning, a jihad of the spirit, is the primary meaning. A second article … actually they’re all good; let me leave them for you to discover.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

New Guide to the Political Left ... a must read!

If you have the stomach, read the profiles in the far left’s hall of shame, compiled by the good folks at David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine. He has recently created an information center on the left.

There you’ll find one Robert Scheer, Los Angles Times columnist and onetime follower of Kim Il-Sung of North Korea. While Scheer saw nothing wrong with Clinton’s firing 450 missiles into Iraq and bombing Serbia, he is now “writing columns which assert that even one Iraqi killed by American arms constitutes a war crime.”

Or perhaps you missed, Rachel Corrie, useful idiot who died supporting Palestinian terrorists. Want to know about Lynne Stewart, that poor excuse for a human being, who helps Islamist terrorists operate from jail? Or the ubiquitous Ramsey Clark, who never met a dictator he didn’t like? They are all there with the incriminating details. Be forwarned, it's not for the faint of heart.

You’ll also find an excellent library of articles on current affairs. Of course, you might lose a weekend or two reading these informative briefs. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll just hang the “be back tomorrow” sign and head over now.

What's new on the other side of the world?

Iraq’s Al Sistani, “a moderate”, instructs the faithful on how to drink water during the nighttime according to Islamic rules. The most prolific ex-Muslim on the web, Ali Sina, asks, “Is Islam a Cult?” Meanwhile, Gulf state schools still teach a hate-filled fundamentalist creed while giving lip-service to moderation (this article via jihadwatch). Oh, yes, we must respect their culture … blah, blah, blah …

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Alan Caruba on Denial

Alan Caruba writes on Eurabia here. He discusses denial in Europe and America: “In a similar fashion, many Americans still want to believe that Islamists, the extreme Muslims characterized by the Taliban and al Qaeda, are just a minority of greater Islam.”


I like Greek words; I wish I knew more of them. “Hubris” seems to be the Greek word of the day. What’s odd is the left is using it. After a century of utopian schemes that have left 100 million dead and confined over a billion to subjugation, they are still unrepentant. What intellectual right do they have to make charges of “hubris?”

It is even stranger when you read their interpretation of America’s influence in the world. According to the left’s narrative, the world would be full of blooming democracies – in the socialist sense, of course – if it weren’t for the fact that America, using a handful of covert CIA operatives, installed dictatorships all around the world. Wait a minute! It’s hubris to think that 150,000-200,000 men and women can bring liberal democracy to Iraq but we’ve derailed potential democracies and installed the regime of our choice all around the world with a few covert operatives?

And you thought the left was engaged in honest criticism!

However, cultural change is normally a slow process and those that result in liberty are the exceptions. Abrupt change – revolution, for example – seldom achieves its goal the first time. England had its Oliver Cromwell before the Glorious Revolution of John Locke’s time. The hopeful atmosphere of the early days of the French Assembly was replaced by the Reign of Terror and Napoleon before France got back on track. The democratic Kerensky revolution was replaced by the Bolshevik communist putsch. The Weimar democracy, in the aftermath of a war to “make the world safe for democracy” ended with the election of Hitler. No, most first attempts at liberal democracy don’t pan out.

Thus, we are attempting a bold and radical change – one which is a long shot. At this point we must hope that it is one of the exceptions. If not, it may have merely bought us time while we return to the drawing board. It is clear, however, that the generosity of the American people is praiseworthy and the mission is honorable. In light of the vicious attacks of the left, it is difficult to debate the fine points of an otherwise respectable course of action. Of course, the left wants nothing more than to demoralize and paralyze our national discourse. So far they are very effective.