Friday, February 08, 2008

Old sport

Probably the single most devastating critique of Rowan William's advocacy of Sharia law in Britain comes from a Muslim woman writing in the Independent.

Look around the Islamic world where sharia rules and, in every single country, these ordinances reduce our human value to less than half that is accorded a male; homosexuals are imprisoned or killed, children have no free voice or autonomy, authoritarianism rules and infantilises populations.

What's more, different Muslim nations claim to have their own allegedly god-given sharia. ... There is no agreed body of sharia, it is all drafted by males and the most cruel is now claiming absolute authority. In Pakistan, on the statutes are strictures on adultery introduced by the military dictator Zia ul-Haq. Women activists in that country have given their lives protesting against the injustice of those laws where women suspected of adultery, or rape victims, are punished in hideous ways and the man goes free. The Iranian theocracy changes its regulations from year to year, capriciously playing with the lives of females. ..

Two Iranian friends chose to die rather than live under the demeaning religious orders. Go to Afghanistan if you fancy a 12-year-old bride – a practice approved by the mullahs. That's sharia for you. Many women, gay men and dissidents came to Britain to escape Islamic tyrants and their laws. Dr Williams supports those laws and, by default, makes the refugees victims again.

Four years ago, a Saudi woman in her fifties came to my home. She was divorced from a Saudi prince who had sent her away and kept her children. What she said about sharia cannot be repeated. She had money, this princess, but no parental rights and she howled like a child in excruciating pain in my living room.

Yet, family disputes, says Dr Williams, would be easier, within sharia. For whom exactly? The polygamous men who live in this country, yes, certainly. Not for their wives who will be told that God intends them to lower their eyes and accept unjust verdicts.

It goes on and on. But what's clear from the public reaction and the commentary by many British Muslims themselves is that Rowan Williams had no idea what he was talking about and is in shock over the reaction his remarks have received. But I think it is nearer the truth to say Rowan Williams did have an idea of sharia -- except that that it was of the hand-clapping, colorfully costumed, group-smiling sort that bore as much relationship to the real thing as a Disney cartoon tiger does to a man-eater in the Terai. One commenter at a British blog said that Rowan Williams reminded him of one of those well-meaning "mad souls who frighten children" and are best sent to run along with a pound coin for a cup of tea.

The really scary thing about Rowan Williams is not that he is deviant but actually representative of a certain type of soft-left individual who believes in Global Warming, organic food, and the "inevitability" of certain kinds of social engineering. How much better informed are the supporters of certain US Presidential candidates than Rowan Williams, for example? And its better than even odds that despite the intellectual bankruptcy of Williams ideas that these will presently become the conventional wisdom.

Ignorance is a form of entropy. And the West is running out of energy. Rowan Williams may have run out of energy sooner than the rest. He sees the future and it is now.


Blogger otherwhen789 said...

I don’t believe that the West is running out of energy. I know it seems that way sometimes. I think we are just in a period of dramatic change. European Christianity, and in fact, European civilization, is dying.

As Spengler at Asia Times Online puts it, the Europeans failed at being Christians and they failed at being pagans, and now it’s time for them to go. They know it, and that’s why they’ve quit having babies and spending money on defense.

If they have no future, what would be the point?

But I don’t think that, as a civilization, we are winding down to a stopping point. I think we are in a crisis. We may die, of course. But we may also come out the other side as something truly new in the world, once the dead weight of the Old World has fallen away.

Only time will tell.

2/08/2008 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

It seems like stereotyping to me. This guy has a few screws loose, but it doesn't mean that all liberals want sharia. Phyllis Chesler, for instance, is a feminist and a liberal but harbors a painfully acquired understanding of the darker aspects of Islam. Here's a her blog on PJMedia. And Global Warming is not just the hobby-horse of rich prelates. The POTUS has stated that AGW exists.

2/08/2008 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Not really jj mollo. NOW is very silent on Sharia, when it does not speak out in it's defense. GWB is merely following the "smart set" line on Global Warming which will require a "science dictatorship" to make sure Americans don't decide for themselves what to do in a Democracy, but rather are told what to do by their betters.

Didn't you see the post Wretchard put up? Global Warming scientists want prison for any politician who "denies" Global Warming and to institute a rule by "science." Straight out of a South Park episode (that one where Cartman goes to the Buck Rodgers future).

More to the point I think is that the comment by Williams suggests an accelerating collision between those who want Western values (conservatives and nationalists) and those who want anything else (Liberals and PC-Multiculturalists-Global Warming nutballs, plus Islamists).

We are going to see all over the West a massive fight over who will determine the course of the West.

2/08/2008 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

I think most liberals would recoil from many things if they properly understood them. But unfortunately, many of us, and not just liberals, understand things as they presented in soundbites or ad campaigns. And while many individual liberals might abhor Sharia, as a group they would tend to accepting it more than conservatives. So the stereotype is really only valid as a stereotype.

European civilization, I think, has gone beyond its borders just as the classic Greek notions went beyond Greece. Many classic notions live far from their origins. Christianity is one example of a similar phenomenon; it's cradle was in the Middle East but it is stronger elsewhere today. Ideas in fact, are by nature native to whoever adopts them. "Where chimes the bell of freedom, there is my native land."

But the Europeans may have lost the ability to "set the standard" for the civilization it gave birth to, in a process similar to the development of the English language. There are many Englishes now; Australian, American, Singaporean, etc. The Queen's English is no longer the only standard. The "West" has gone further West; East and South too.

Europe is not alone in this loss of centricity; while it is easy to see Islam as a monolithic force, it is in fact badly fractured. If Europe is in crisis so is Islam, perhaps terminally so. Some scholars have argued the War on Terror is really driven by Islam's desire to heal its schisms by spastic violence, with al-Qaeda to Iran's Islamic revolution as the Jesuits were to the Protestant Reformation. Arabia is asserting its pre-eminence, tethering a world now reaching for the stars to the ancient syllables of the Arabic Koran.

But for most of those uninterested in the finer points of Islamic theology or jurisprudence, the problem comes to staying out of the brawl. We want no part of this madness. Unfortunately the world is too small to escape global convulsions altogether. America wanted to stay out of Europe's madness in 1914 and 1939 too, but the oceans were too narrow to dam the flames. Still, societies which are robust stand a greater chance of surviving undamaged. Europe survived a near-death historical experience but it has, like a very old person, become fragile. It survived succumbing to the Soviets only through the oxygen tent of NATO, the Marshall Plan, etc. But it is now faced with another challenge and whether it can weather that remains to be seen.

2/08/2008 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger JoeS said...

We were in England last summer, it is lost.

2/08/2008 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger otherwhen789 said...

jj mollo

It’s not that the Liberals want Sharia, so much as that they want death. There’s an Australian philosopher named David Benatar who wrote a book called: ‘Better Never to Have Been,’ which takes the philosophy of Utilitarianism to it’s logical conclusion, namely that the human race should be extinct.

The idea is that life is full of harm and unpleasantness, and there are no permanent benefits to make up for it, since we all die in the end anyway. So, being brought into existence is always more harmful than beneficial. Hence, a woman not only has a right to terminate her pregnancy, she has a positive moral obligation to do so.

Check out the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement:

As for Global Warming, there is no more profound way to reduce your carbon footprint than to abort your children, and then die soon.

Once you give up on God, and the idea that life itself has a transcendent purpose, there really is no point to going on. No matter what you do, you will still die anyway. And then you’ll be forgotten.

Better never to have been.

2/08/2008 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

The problem that I have with those who advocate human extinction is why, if everything is pointless, they should see any point in extinction at all. Or if it's all they crack it up to be why their heaped bodies aren't at foot the nearest cliffs already. Why write a book, teach at a university or waste energy on advocating the idea of extinction "When he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin?"

But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Someone once said you should never trust a cook who won't taste his own soup. But today we have 'environmentalists' who fly around in private jets; multimillionaire politicians who are 'champions of the poor' and 'Islamists' who profess a hatred for the West while applying for political asylum in it. But it's less a case of shame on them as it is shame on us.

2/08/2008 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger otherwhen789 said...

Just because you want to die doesn’t mean you don’t want to see your enemies drink the kool-aid first.

Those ecofreaks with the private jets want US to suffer privation, while they sail beyond the sunset in air-conditioned comfort. There’s no real hypocrisy in this. They are better than us. Their superiority lies in their Ivy League educations, their trust funds, their belief in Social Justice, and their higher IQs.

Why should they not have the satisfaction, before they go gently into that good night, of seeing our moldering corpses rotting before them. The human being wants a feeling of importance above most all other things. What man could be more important than the Last?

Being the last human means nothing will ever trump your accomplishments. No one will ever make you look small. No one will ever prove your great social theories to be a bunch of crap.

As for shame on us, it’s just a matter of convenience. The claptrap of the elites, with their speech codes and their environmental conferences and their protests at Marine recruiting offices seems silly and harmless. We don’t call them on their crap because it’s hard to take any of it seriously.

But they are serious, in a manner of speaking. And they will kill us if they can.

2/08/2008 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

I have watched videos emerging from Afghanistan under the Taliban, showing Islamic men whipping women in their burkhas on a public streets, for appearing in public without an accompanying male of their family as an escort-chaperone. Many other reports describe these Islamic vigilantes tossing acid in the faces of women daring to appear without veils, leaving them blind and hideously disfigured as punishment for their sins.

I've seen the widely-circulated video from the Kabul soccer stadium where the Taliban routinely executed condemned prisoners, showing the casual execution of a woman by an Islamic elder holding an AK-47 and what might be a copy of the Qur'an. Some reports call her an adulteress, others report she was convicted of murdering her husband, albeit after years of beatings.

I've seen videos from Iran of Muslim women wrapped in sheets, buried to the waist, then stoned as they writhe by crowds of chanting men, with crimson bloodstains spreading from the blows as their bodies slump.

Other videos brought out from Iran show men and women with their hands tied behind their backs surrounded by crowds of onlookers. They stand beneath the looming arm of an industrial crane, from which nooses dangle. The nooses are placed around their necks, and at a signal the crane's arm is raised, lifting them above the heads of the crowd, where they struggle and twitch, strangling, until they go slack. I've seen only a handful of videos, but many score photographs of dangling bodies, and various reports out of Iran by independent observers indicate that the Islamic Revolutionary Government continues to round up and execute something on the order of ten thousand Iranian civilians each year.

Those executions are for violations of Sharia --- adultery, fornication, defiance of a father's orders, violence against a husband, apostasy (trying to leave Islam), attempting to convert a Muslim to another religion, worshipping as a Christian, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Animist, professing belief in Communism, Bahu'ullah, whatnot.

Clearly, the path of the true believer is narrow, and the enforcers of Islamic Law are not inclined to allow latitude in interpreting the words of the Prophet. They were, after all dictated syllable by syllable into the ear of Mohammed.

All the atrocities described above have been done in the name of Sharia --- traditional Islamic Law, drawn directly from the pronouncements of the Prophet Mohammed.

But, WAIT! There's More!

I have forced myself to watch the videos of Nick Berg and several other Westerners in Iraq beheaded by their Islamic captors, who shout "Allahu Akhbar" throughout. I have seen the photographs and videos of hundreds of atrocities committed by Islamic fanatics against their neighbors all around the world. For, despite the delusional squeaking of the Western Left, Islam has set itself in conflict with the rest of creation. "Dar-al-Islam" --- the House of Islam; the abode of Peace --- is obliged by the sacred text of the Qur'an to subjugate and convert the infidel in "dar-al-Harb" --- the House of War; The Domain of Disbelief.

Around the world, we see intimidation, coercion, violence, torture, and murder being inflicted by Islamic fanatics upon their neighbors. Just consider the headlines of the last few years, which I will not list again, out of concern for the patience of fellow commenters in Wretchard's area.

The list for any calendar year could go on for pages and pages.

The thousands of atrocities each year by Islamic fanatics are easily confirmed by scanning easily available public records. They are carried out and justified by Sharia, and the Qur'an's call unto believers to Jihad. Of course, there are instances of violence done by followers of all faiths from time to time. There are examples of war and atrocities throughout history done in the name of, or justified by, many other faiths and philosophies. And of course, there are Muslims who are mild and live their days without committing such atrocities against anyone.


Islam is unique among the current faiths of the world in that it's founder Mohammed himself acted as a military commander of assaults against communities that opposed him; personally ordered the execution of disarmed and subdued captives and the distribution of their surviving widows and daughters to be sexual slaves for his companions; ordered the assassination of his critics and the reward and elevation of those who fulfilled such commands. It is important to note that the leadership of the new faith changed hands a number of times in just the first decades after the death of the Prophet, each time by assassination and murder. It is essential to grasp that in the FIRST CENTURY after the death of the Prophet, Islam was imposed from the Saudi Peninsula north to Syria, Southward into Egypt, West across North Africa into Europe as far as Tours, France, and Eastward into Persia, all by military assaults conducted by Islamic Armies.

The expansion of Islam has continued for fourteen centuries, so that there is hardly any part of the world that does not have some Muslim population.

In other words, Islam is uniquely based upon, preserved, and furthered by whatever violence might succeed, by the direct order of its founding Prophet.

Anyone elevated to the leadership of a nation's church cannot be so ignorant of history and current events as to be unaware of this violence, which has lately become its distinguishing feature. The conflict between Islam and the rest of the world is a very old war, and what we are seeing now is merely the renewal of Jihad after a pause to develop new strategies.

Remember the letter sent by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to President Bush, and its polite and benign invitation to embrace Islam. Take a few minutes to look up a similar letter sent by the Prophet Mohammed about the year 628 to the ruler of Persia, Khosrau II. Keep in mind that within three decades, Persia had fallen to Islamic armies.

If you agree with the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Roland Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and welcome Sharia into your nation, be prepared to accept the status of dhimmi, and pay the jizya or expect severe consequences.

2/09/2008 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Organic food?

Please at least make a shadow of an argument if you are going to condemn organic food. To just blithely damn by association food grown without pesticides to Dr, William’s statements about sharia law is intellectually slothful to say the least. Many on the Right displayed even more naivety about Islam by organizing and arming the Afghan mujahideen in the Eightees while foolishly claiming those weapons in the hands of Islamic nutcases would never be turned against Americans. Many more on the Right (and Left) blindly cheer as US troops play Rowan Williams by proudly imposing sharia law in Iraq. Thanks to the Bush Administrations playing Kumbaya with the Iranian-born mullah who currently runs Iraq (by way of the Iranian sponsored terrorist group Al Dawa) Islam is now the source for law making depriving the women of Iraq equal status under the law.

In fact I think you have it backwards. The inability to see the threat of militant Islma, whether it is the Bush Administration attacking a secular, non-Islamic Iraq in order to allow Iran and Saudi Arabia to impose their conflicting versions of Islamic hell on Iraqis, or Rev. Williams foolishly proclaiming the rise of sharia law in Britain, is the same blindness to the facts that allow parents to serve their young children “food” laced with pesticides and/or partially hydrogenated fats.

There are four reasons I choose to spend more and give my children organic food as much as possible. Firstly it tastes better, Secondly it is more nutritious. Both of these are related to the fact that the soil organic food grows in is much richer that pesticide ridden soil. Thirdly, organic food contains no pesticides which I tend to believe is a better situation than food laced with pesticides. It is true that with many vegetables one can simply wash away the residual bug poisons. But in other cases, such as juice for example, manually removing pesticides is not possible. The last reason I pay extra for organic food is to show solidarity with the people and countryside that produce my food. Pesticides (and the fertilizers that go along with them) leave the surrounding areas of people vulnerable to cancers and environmental degradation.

I buy much of my food directly from a group of farmers and producers in the south of Belgium. I know my farmer, I visit his farm often. He knows my children; I know his. (And if I ever find a half-empty sack of Roundup hidden in the back of his barn....)

It is true that I pay more but since I actually have cooking skills I almost never buy pre-made processed foods. In the end combine that with my hatred of fast food and I am sure we spend less per year on food than an average punter while delivering higher quality meals to our family. I will admit it does take more effort. My children are worth it though.

2/09/2008 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

How much of the blame laid at the feet of Islam is really the consequence of a substantial failure of the Western immune system, as exemplified by Rowan Williams' recent statements? People who die from AIDs technically succumb to some opportunistic infection. But it's really the HIV that killed them.

Not so long ago there were people marching in the street yelling "better Red than Dead" and who wore Che Guevara berets the same way if is fashionable to wear kefiyyehs today. They formed barricades to prevent their own defense. They clamored for unilateral disarmament. They gave nuclear secrets away to "Uncle Joe" Stalin; visited the Hanoi Hilton to gloat at American POWs. Spied on their own country.

The mistake was to think that Soviets were the problem. We were the problem. And right after the Wall fell those same people went rooting around for strange new gods to fall before. They worshipped dirt: Gaia. Crocodiles, snakes, snail darters and whatever else caught their fancy. Why should they not admire Islam? You would expect them to.

And my fearless forecast is that if the world should ever be so unfortunate as to be convulsed with a WMD war, right after the last Muslim man, woman or child is blown to pieces, that we will be looking for some other thing to cut our throats.

The disease is in us, but not in the way the Left understands it. We will never be free of our peril until we turn inward and free ourselves.

2/09/2008 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

The principal benefit of organic food is that it is very expensive, and consuming it shows you are rich and important.

Let's be honest Kevin.

As for the other part, it amounts to the US being imperfect therefore worthy of destruction. Yes GWB has not said the truth, which is that Muslims and Islam are the enemy of the West, have always been the enemy of the West, and will always be the enemy of the West, until one destroys the other's way of life.

Sharia planet-wide, or a Secular modern society. One must kill the other.

And yes Kevin it is true that GWB, and every other President before him, has not commented on the centuries of cousin marriage reducing much of the Muslim world to a reduced state. Perhaps not the Emperor Ferdinand, but close. Saudi Arabia for example leads the world in birth defects.

By all means let us follow the example of the liberated left and abjure making examples of Muslim regimes and have nothing but abject surrender or nuke em all. By all means let us coddle and keep men like Saddam in power because they disadvantage us. By all means let us follow the example of Sean Penn, and Ramsey Clark, and Michael Moore, and praise the Mullahs of Iran as they hang more Gays, women, "adultresses" and so on.

Quite possibly the worse thing you can say about GWB is that he is a PC-bound, Multiculturalist fool who is unwilling to use force in intimidating displays with ruthlessness to prevent a global bloodshed. That he has leftist disease.

2/09/2008 01:02:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...


What you see as a disease, I see as the basis of human epistemology. Human knowledge, both practical and spiritual, advances by a trial and error method. Solutions are proposed and are then run through society’s collective OODA-loop. The different examples you gave ( “They worshipped dirt: Gaia. Crocodiles, snakes, snail darters and whatever else caught their fancy«) are, of course, all signs of error but what is more significant is that they show that western society is not stagnant. They are for the most part rejected by the general society. But for every thousand goofy ideas along comes something like Christianity.

One could plausibly argue that the problem with Islamic society is that the mullahs have such sharp control over their populations that they have frozen their societies in time.

What I do worry about for western society is the health of our collective OODA-loops. Popular culture and a lack of knowledge of the past is certainly wearing down societies ability to process new ideas. But for example to strong reaction in Britain against Dr. Willliams’ foolish statements shows that at least in this case the OODA-loop of British society is functioning well. But to try to crush all outliers is to make the same mistake the Islamists have been making for at least the last eight hundred years.


Junk food cost way more than organic food. The worse your diet is the more you pay for it. So while it is true that if you compare, for example, an organic apple with a pesticide ridden one, the organic is more expensive. But when you take into account that I buy no junk food, no cola, and go to fast food trans fat palaces, I certainly spend less and get much better quality food than most people.

2/09/2008 01:49:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

About 40 miles north of Manila, on the Tagaytay Ridge, are a bunch of farms which grow organic vegetables. To avoid the use of pesticide they grow the vegetables under insect nets. A little moat is thrown around each netted row with a double door to keep out the pests. Mechanical, rather than chemical barriers have been erected to keep the bugs away. After each crop is harvested, the soil is heat-sterilized in steel drums and then replaced on the beds.

Compost is used for fertilizer and drip irrigation provides just the right amount of moisture for each type of vegetable. The result is a high-quality product which would be a credit to any table.

But it's a labour intensive process. And to pay the workers decent wages the operators have to sell the produce at a premium. So the entire crop is bought up by the five star hotels in Manila.

There's nothing wrong with organic farming. But the technological challenge right now is to bring down cost. Consider rice. Using purely organic methods, no pesticide and traditional seeds you might harvest 150 kilograms of rice to the hectare. Using non-organic methods you might get between 5 and 10 times as much. The problem facing the Philippines in the 1960s was that with the population pushing over 40 million (it's 80 million now) was that there simply wasn't enough suitable land to feed the population using purely organic methods. Organic rice is still grown, again for premium markets. It's called "mountain rice" or some such. But the average man would be hard pressed to afford it. So many farms in the Philippines grow input-intensive rice. Were they wrong to do it?

I'm convinced that commercially grown foodstuff probably contributes to cancer, etc. But the main killers to this day are diseases like dysentary, food poisoning, tuberculosis, upper-respiratory infections, etc. Obesity isn't as much of a problem as malnutrition is. Fast food is a treat for the poor. In absolute terms there's not enough of it. People are right to worry about cancer; but dying of malnutrition is no walk in the park either, especially for children. On the island of Negros, for example, it's well known that the children of the poor actually have sub-sized brains from chronic hunger, not to mention rickets, beri-beri and whatnot. The whatnot can kill too.

Occasionally I hear someone sneer at the dried, salted fish sold in markets, or the propensity to buy corned beef or sardines as proof of "Western brainwashing" but it is no such thing. In most rural areas, certainly in the boonies, there's no electricity, no refrigation and often no road. Salting, canning, pickling, etc are required to prevent food poisoning. And at any rate, the "high-fat, high-sodium" foods are consumed in surprisingly small quantities. A single can of corned beef might feed a family of five for two meals. It's used for flavor.

In sum, I have no argument with those who want, and can afford, organic food. Why I eat it myself given the chance. But I think the free market allows people to choose and thankfully so. Those who buy inorganic because it's cheaper are trading off against the possibility of affording medical care or education or perhaps the seed capital for a small business. I would let them make their choice.

2/09/2008 01:58:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

It is hard to overstate the contempt I have for liberals that have had their survival genes stripped from their DNA, and then had it pasturized, homogenized and emulsified into a clarified sclerotic plaque, but Dr. Rowan, The Archbishop of Eyebrows, takes the muffin. He is the poster child for low cultural esteem. You have to pity the Anglicans who seem to be having a discourse and angst over whether they believe they are more deserving of anal penetration or to spend eternity in the purgation of performing Islamic fellatio, under the guidance of the good archbishop. Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

2/09/2008 02:47:00 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

The backlash against Sharia law in the UK is interesting in that folks seem to be attacking the messenger. Sharia will come to the UK slowly but surely, not because the Archbishop "allows" or "approves" it, but because the Nanny State has invested a fortune in a bureaucracy of tens of thousands of civil servants and social workers (not to mention an academia that churns them out by the thousands each year) who will slowly but surely take up the cause of Shariazation under the banner of multi-culturalism.

There is no response, no "backlash" that will translate into any meaningful political force (expect at the fringes) that will forestall the inevitable Shariazation of small council estates, special "cultural zones" etc. In Canada we have for years a duel system of law for aboriginals in which (and I am synopsising here) depending on the infraction, "punishment" is determined and imposed by an un-elected and unaccountable group of community members, presumably with the consent of the victim (or victim's family). It does not yet apply to capital crimes, but the dam has been breached.

Did Canadians as a whole vote on a referendum to allow this duel system of justice under our Constitution? Did a political party campaign with it's adoption and implementation as a key party plank?

The answer is of course, no. It came about slowly but surely thanks to the efforts of social activists, working in a thoroughly undemocratic fashion to "workshop" and "conference" this issue ad nauseum until one guessed it.

Of course, there is no way this is going to be reversed. Even in the many cases of clear injustice to the victim that occasionally make it on the news, the response is only an investigation, some small recommended change or other.

Sharia, as part of the "cultural" fabric of Islamic society, has, in the minds of many well-meaning but ultimately misguided individuals, as much right to be included in the fabric of the host society as anything else, as if it were a type of cuisine or native dress.

2/09/2008 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

Kevin, you lost me when you used the word "solidarity."

2/09/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Since this comment thread seems to have devolved into a sub-thread on the issue of organic food, I'll add my 2 cents.

It's arguable that "high" western life expectancy is due in not insignificant part to safe and abundant nutritious food products as any advance in medical science in the past 100 years (key word is “safe”). Are we also living longer? Why yes we are. So what's the argument exactly for organic food? Or rather, to be more accurate, what is the beef with "non-organic"? With the latter, we've been able to add 20, 30 or even 40 years in some cases to the average life expectancy, and so now reach an age where the key diseases start to have more of an impact...cancers, etc. You can’t really freak out when an 83-year old man dies of cancer in the year of our Lord 2008, can you? Better that he die of malnutrition or due to lack of a sufficient amount of nutritious food at age 52 in 1908?

I may be off base here, but I refuse to buy into the notion that input-heavy foods, with their abundance, low cost and longer shelf life as it were, is anything but a boom to mankind. If we are talking about increasing the numbers of humans (and their life expectancy) on the planet as some kind of key marker of our success as a species, then our diet of canned ham, frozen vegetables and flash-frozen meats is right up there. Besides, potato chips are yummy!

Don't get me wrong, if you want organic food for you and your family, go for it. But when did the issue become a matter of being forced to choose between the two, which, from comments on this thread and from being within earshot of discussions over the past few decades, seems to be some sort of criteria for victory in the debate?

I guess what I object to is people calling something I choose to eat as "pesticide ridden". Yes, it's rid of pests, can I have another?

2/09/2008 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Something I recently learned from Niall Ferguson and mentioned in another thread but worth repeating.

One (1) generation prior to the Holocaust, Jews and ethnic Germans intermarried at such a high rate that rabbinic scholars expressed concern that a distinctive sense of Jewishness would soon disappear from Germanic Europe.

I was shocked to hear that, but more shocked to realize the awful truth that tradition, history, and cultural experience do not really exist outside living memory. Ethics, morals, manners, philosophy, religion mean absolutely nothing in a society except as they have been taught to and learned by the current generation.

Plato said that the most important duty of the State was to teach Virtue to its children. My God, the man was right. 2,500 years ago. Only after reading Niall Ferguson's words did I understand the enormity of what Plato meant.

Like the old fool that I now know that I am I have spent the last few years mocking the liberal educators that have been teaching our children the sweetness of cultural suicide without ever once realizing that is exactly what we are likely going to get. Now I know why. Maybe this is the reason I have such an awful dread of Barack Hussein Obama.

2/09/2008 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Ethics, morals, manners, philosophy, religion mean absolutely nothing in a society except as they have been taught to and learned by the current generation.

The really depressing aspect of that remark is that most of the teaching is being done by TV sets. And indeed, the ivory tower multicultis run a close second in influence, but both of those 'teachers' have enormously advanced the cause of 'Hey hey, ho ho, Western Civ has got to go'.

2/09/2008 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

On the same theme but from a different perspective. The Independent article is the key to breaking the back of Islam. Not so much the words themselves but that the article is written by a Muslim woman.

Islamic law has been set in stone for centuries, and those billions of petrodollars are guaranteeing that it is firmly implanted in living memory. But what would happen to the Islamic zeitgeist if 10 million bikinis suddenly showed up in Iran, or Saudi Arabia and found their way into the hands of the millions of oppressed Muslims who very much also like being young and female? Surely there are a few dollars for this kind of thing in the $50 billion CIA budget?

If our most vocal feminists camped out in front of the Saudi, Egyptian and Jordanian embassies 24/7 and howled about women's rights in Islamic countries as vigorously as they eviscerated Larry Summer's balls would that not have at least some effect on Ms. Bhurka?

How about the British PM instead of hiding in silence about Williams' remarks coming out and saying that not only will centuries of British law not be pushed aside but that the authorities will act more vigilantly in uncovering unfair treatment of women in Muslim communities?

If women got more fired up about being a little more female and a little less Muslim the Islamic house of cards would collapse in a heartbeat.

When teenage girls get thrown from balconies in Sweden how about some noise from Swedish women? How about SOMEBODY with boobs and a byline screaming that there is something seriously wrong here?

2/09/2008 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger pst314 said...

"at least in this case the OODA-loop of British society is functioning well."

More like barely functioning. If it were functioning well then an pernicious fool like Williams would never have been allowed to ascend to such a position of responsibility.

2/09/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger pst314 said...

No, I don't think that NOW wants Sharia Law...although there are indeed feminists who defend the burkha and anything else to protect delicate women from the toxic gaze of eeevil. men.

More accurately, NOW hates Western culture more than it hates Islamic culture...which is another way of saying that NOW is just another organ of the far-left.

2/09/2008 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger otherwhen789 said...

But NOW is Western. No equivalent institutions exist in the Muslim world. For NOW, to be West-hating is to be self-hating. The feminists talk about how they want liberation. What they really want is to die.

And they will get their wish.

If the Jihadis win, of course all those lesbian womyn will be stoned to death. If Western Civ wins, those feminists will continue to abort their children until the only kids left will be of fundamentalist Christian descent.

The trick is not to save drowning victims who won’t let go of the stone. The trick is to avoid being taken down with them when they go.

2/09/2008 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

OtherWhen789: Being the last human means nothing will ever trump your accomplishments. No one will ever make you look small. No one will ever prove your great social theories to be a bunch of crap.

I can only imagine that the foregoing is what motivated Ellsworth Toohey in "The Fountainhead". So much of the Left's fantasy-world cannot withstand even the least scrutiny. Too often, just a passing glance is all that's needed to realize what a sham it is.

That NOW and feminists in general are not universally up in arms about the injustices and Abject Gender Apartheid of shari'a law is a searing indictment of own elitism. Worse yet are complete traitors like Germain Greer who defend FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) as a cultural tradition. If it is so defensible, why hasn't she undergone the proceedure?

2/09/2008 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger pst314 said...

"What they really want is to die"

No, I don't think so. What they want to replace Western culture with a semi-matriarchal socialism. They cannot see that their treason aids an enemy far more deadly that the fantasy patriarchy they loathe so much...but this blindness is unsurprising, given that they still are in love with socialism after all its disasterous failures.

2/09/2008 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

''but this blindness is unsurprising, given that they still are in love with socialism after all its disasterous failures''

What blindness? If you're Stalin, or Brezhnev, or Castro, or any of a few dozen others who lived (and live) long rich comfortable lives, rolling in dachas and diamonds and protected by your own secret police and in total control of your nation and its people, what blindness, what disastrous failure?

Our western lefties always simply assume they'll likewise be members of the power elite, come the revolution. And yes, they know just as well as you and I know, that come the revolution the little guy will soon enough be back to starving and freezing in the dark.

2/09/2008 09:39:00 PM  

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