Monday, June 02, 2008

Punished for being right

MacLeans.CA/blogs is liveblogging the British Columiba Human Rights Tribunal Proceedings against Mark Steyn. The most striking entry in the running narrative of proceedings are these arguments from the complainant's counsel, who tells us, in legalese of course, that freedom of speech confers no protection when offending Islam:

Lead counsel for the complainants (i.e., Mohamed Elmasry and the Canadian Islamic Congress) is Faisal Joseph. ... Section 7.1 of the BC Human Rights Code is the relevant legal text, prohibiting exposure to hate. Free speech, in Joseph’s humble submission, is a “red herring.” ... Islamophobia is the real issue. Steyn’s article shows “multiple hallmarks of hate.”

As a matter of fact, Joseph may be partly right. Perhaps the fear of a certain kind of Islam is the unspoken and central subject of the proceeding; the elephant in the room. But what the counsel for the complainants will never address -- nor will the Human Rights tribunal itself -- is the factual question of whether that phobia is fully justified.

Heaven forbid history show that it is. Mark Steyn can be fully forgiven by mainstream media for being wrong. But they will never pardon him if he is proved right. And in the way of these things it is better to remain wrong with your reputation for sagacity intact than to recognize the truth about your judgments and yourself.

The sudden and precipitious drop-off in the media coverage of Iraq is largely due to the reluctance among pundits to advertise the fact that they were wrong. Iraq is unmentionable precause because things are going well. Well for Iraq means not so well for pundits who staked their reputations on failure. Abe Greenwald at Commentary Magazine writes: "After years of telling us the war on terror was creating more terrorists, the mainstream media has mysteriously woken up to the fact that Islamic extremism is on the wane. Newsweek is the latest publication to run a support-for-jihad-is-fading piece.". The Washington Post has quietly and recently done so as well. Better to concede past mistakes in judgment quietly the better to deliver more judgements of the same quality in the future. But it comes at the price of clinging to the same false premises and ignoring the most glaring lessons. Greenwald writes:

there is an important omission in the sudden coverage of moderate Muslims: No one talks about the effect of the Iraq War. The MSM can dodge the issue all they like, but the fact remains that the Coalition’s toppling of Saddam facilitated the first organized rejection of fanatical Islam in the Middle East. Back in November 2005, while everyone stateside was crying fiasco, a group of Sunnis in Anbar province joined forces with a clutch of U.S. Marines and began to wrest their country back from al-Qaeda and its sympathizers.

And that is precisely why the "human rights" proceedings against Mark Steyn and company are so wrong. It refuses to recognize what has been proved in Iraq: that it is better to stand with Muslims who are seeking their freedom than to throw in with those who would suppress any dissent. If the proceedings continue on the basis that free speech is a "red herring"; that under Section 7.1 of the relevant regulations prescribing the offense "innocent intent is not a defense, nor is truth, nor is fair comment or the public interest, nor is good faith or responsible journalism", then the Tribunal will continue to be wrong so that it can call itself right.

Better that Steyn and company should throw themselves upon the mercy of the complainants. Offer them restitution. Make an abject apology. In short, do all the things that the Man We Have Been Waiting For wants to do with Iraq, which is understand the price of everything and the value of nothing. And if that sounds bizzare, then so what? Logic is a "red herring" in this case.




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86 Comments:

Blogger Wretchard said...

Lawrence Wright, interviewed at Hugh Hewitt's argues that the power to exclude is the central weapon within radical Islam.

HH: Lawrence Wright, after Dr. Fadl, really the fellow who developed the ideology beyond Qutb of al Qaeda, including I guess the doctrine of takfiri – is he the guy who comes up with that?

LW: Well, you know, this is really key to understanding al Qaeda. Takfir, essentially, the word means excommunication. And it goes, it’s an ancient heresy within Islam. ... And it gave al Qaeda the warrant to kill anybody that’s in their way.


On one level the Macleans affair is Islam's way of getting the province to do a takfir on Mark Steyn. Excommunicate him from multicultural society. Brand him as a "hater", which in an alarming way, has now become a worse condition than "slave".

6/02/2008 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

It constantly amazes me that political Canada seems to have so little to do with the man in the street Canadian that you meet when you travel there. How could such a tribunal even exist there? But of course we did have a war with those folks some time ago. It resolved no fundamental philisophical difference. We just decided to leave each other alone on those issues. Perhaps the solution is for Mark to disentangle himself from the Canadian legal system completely. He could continue to speak the same things without all this embarassing bother from the Great White North. If he can? Of course he is providing a great humanitarian service to the Canadians. He must love them dearly to go through all this for them. Is he in peril of jail time? Hopefully this tribunal will be exposed for what it is and the fair minded Canadians will be through with it. That's the goal, isn't it?

6/02/2008 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I don't know much about constitutional law, but is there something structural about the Canadian constitution that doesn't guarantee freedom of speech?

I have a feeling that there's another big story here lurking here. Many assume that democracies are all the same. As it turns out, they aren't, and rights we take for granted can be administratively taken away easily in European-type social democracies.

6/02/2008 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2008/05/see-you-in-court.html#6356785741246752570

Canada - Constitution Act 1982:

Part I Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

[Preamble]

Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

[Title 1] Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

Section 1 [Limitation of Rights] The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

[Title 2] Fundamental Freedoms

Section 2 [Freedom of Religion, Speech, Association] Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other means of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly and(d) freedom of association.

6/02/2008 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Let me get this straight:

The Iraq war is a success because the power of the Al Qaeda factions that did not even exist in the Baathist Iraq the invasion destroyed is now on the wane?

6/02/2008 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

The Iraq war is a success because the power of the Al Qaeda factions that did not even exist in the Baathist Iraq the invasion destroyed is now on the wane?

It turned to be a success because someone decided to engage the terrorist style of warfare somewhere. Ever since its modern inception in Algeria the idea that "asymmetrical warfare" was unbeatable grew until it was dogma. No one believed that more firmly than military theorists themselves.

"We don't do cities. You can't fight an idea. Cut off one head and another will grow. The harder you fight terrorism the stronger it becomes. Muslims will never become your allies in fighting terrorist organizations. Democracy will never work in the Middle East. America only knows how to fight regular battles like World War 2."

All of this was practically dogma. Whether or not Saddam had any WMDs, Iraq turned into a contest between two sides, rather like the Spanish Civil War. What's not appreciated was that it was also a contest between necessity and conventional wisdom.

As I've written elsewhere, the survey of declassified documents shows that Iraq -- like Syria, Iran -- and many of America's friends, maintain their own stable of terrorist cells, who come to them with project proposals. States, or factions within states, fund these cells, like venture capitalists. Once Saddam fell, the Baathist remnants allied with best known terrorist consulting firm in the business, al-Qaeda which was quite certain it could do a job on the United States.

That's the history. What turned out was that practically every piece of conventional wisdom was either overturned or called into question. For years the Europeans screened "The Battle of Algiers" to prove how hopeless it was to fight asymmetrical warriors. In the next few decades, just as soon as Hollywood realizes how lucrative it can be to capitalize on a good story, endless screenings of the Battle of Baghdad will be shown to squirming audiences of intellectuals on the Continent.

6/02/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.


There be the rub. The question is who does the rubbing. Right now they're trying to rub out Steyn. It stinks.

6/02/2008 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

A sane Human Rights Tribunal would ban the koran.

6/02/2008 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Wretchard,

"mcdaddyo" just tried to change the subject and you obliged him. He is getting a forum for his obvious ploys and obstructionism. And obviously I am giving him the satisfaction of scolding him for doing this. He loves it, and he will mock me for it.

Why do we suffer this Leftist political grandstanding? The topic of this thread is interesting and worthy of discussion, and it is rude to barge in so obstreperously like this. But, Wretchard indulged him and "mcdaddyo" will, no doubt, use that to push back at my admonition.

But I don't care what he has to say about me. I'm just being a stand up guy for respecting the members and this topic. I'll take one for the team.

Now, back to watching Game Five of the Stanley Cup Finals, where you see MEN who display more honor and respect than creatures like "mcdaddyo."

6/02/2008 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Fat Man's post illustrates the fundamental flaw with Canada's, Britain's, Australia's, and the United Nation's "Charter of Rights": Rights come from The Law rather than being recognized as inherent in the individiual. Change the Law and you don't have the Right to self-defense, free speech, assembly, etc.

In this respect, I think the U.S. Constitution is still unique. By definition, our liberties cannot be withdrawn. Provided, of course, we're still willing to fight and die for them

6/02/2008 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"I don't know much about constitutional law, but is there something structural about the Canadian constitution that doesn't guarantee freedom of speech?"

The trouble with Canada, Europe; and frankly every nation that comes to my mind, is that their concept of human rights, in this instance freedom of speech, is the opposite of that from our founding fathers. The Socialist/Communist, and also the Fascist, concept of human rights is that human rights are solely derived from man's government and law - that human rights are malleable - that human rights are in fact reversible or non-inalienable.

Human rights in America, from the time of the Declaration of Independence until now, is based upon a higher concept of man - man made in the image of God; and therefore, human rights are Divine in origin and inalienable, i.e.: irreversible. This is the root and the heart of American Exceptionalism.

The concept of a higher law and Divine human rights is a great threat to the totalitarian state because it recognizes a power greater than the state and the federal law. The Canadian Human Rights Commission is at its heart an organ of State Totalitarianism; it is the enemy of the irreversible rights of man - the first of which is the right to speak freely. As noted above, the Canadian Constitution has an escape clause "subject only to such reasonable limits" to render liberty, i.e.: freedom of speech, reversible if the state so decides.

God-given liberty and free speech is an alien concept to Islam as well as to European Totalitarianism; and it should therefore come as no surprise that these two political ideologies make common cause - they are birds of a feather, and they are both anti-American to the core.

"Law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." Thomas Jefferson

6/02/2008 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Janet Daley at the Telegraph argues that the mania for political correctness, at least in Britain, is a species of somnabulistic totalitarianism; a compulsion to control everything, that has gripped many Western societies.

She complains there are now drinking guidelines, Prussian garbage collection regulations and even policemen whose job it is to see secretly watch whether dogs poop in the park in designated places. Not only has Big Brother arrived, but We Love Big Brother to boot.

This recalls what is happening to Mark Steyn. It is the retarded in the service of the malign. It is actually possible that those who have been lobotomized by political correctness are actually unaware of the service they performing for the Nazis of the 21st century. Actually unaware because they have lost the capacity to think. Because they live in a myopic world of welfare forms, dog poop and regulatory spaghetti rules.

The real danger of institutions like the misnamed "Human Rights Tribunals" is that for the first time we actually have organizations freed from the burden of common sense and human intelligence. We're becoming slaves and don't even know who we are becoming enslaved to.

6/02/2008 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

From Greenwald’s article: … the fact remains that the Coalition’s toppling of Saddam facilitated the first organized rejection of fanatical Islam in the Middle East.

Although superficially a good thing, the “rejection of fanatical Islam” in no way constitutes any defeat of Islam’s more thoroughly pervasive violence and extremism. The extremist elements of Islamic triumphalism and ascendancy still remain in unalloyed measure. For proof, look no further than the continuing presence of Afghani and Iraqi based shari’a law.

Were Iraq’s Muslims to have simultaneously rejected even minor portions of shari’a as part of their self-liberation, then such a conclusion might be unwarranted. Instead—confronted with their first opportunity to escape Islam’s most brutal yoke—Iraqi Muslims did not blink at embracing what can only be the world’s most widespread and Neanderthal form of jurisprudence.

Wretchard: … it is better to stand with Muslims who are seeking their freedom than to throw in with those who would suppress any dissent.

The central problem being that even this crop of Iraqi “Muslims who are seeking their freedom”, still suppress the most vital form of dissent, namely that which opposes Islam’s tyrannous core doctrine. Ijtihad remains well and thoroughly dead, much to Islam’s and the world’s detriment. One may as well—both figuratively and literally—celebrate rapists who swear off child molestation. The fundamentally objectionable and invalid underlying premise of shari'a remains intact.

Be it terrorism, misogyny, forcible conversion or an implicit two-tier social structure (i.e., dhimmitude), all of these repugnant Islamic attributes continue unabated with respect to the negligible “freedom” that Iraqi Muslims have supposedly sought and obtained. That Iraqi Muslims achieved this voluntarily constricted and edited version of “freedom” at the profound cost (in both American casualties and US taxpayer expense) of—what may as well be—the most free of all fighting soldiers, is an utter perversion of what Liberation should stand for.

A century ago, this partial realignment might have represented far more significant progress. In this current age of nuclear weapons—along with other modern technology that facilitates global terrorism—such minuscule, incremental advances are wholly insufficient with repsect to neutralizing Islam’s overall threat.

I have no problem celebrating Muslim rejection of al Qaeda in Iraq. I do take issue over conflating such a minor event with any declaration of genuine progress with respect to overcoming Islam’s global threat. Far too many of the Koran’s dictates—as accepted by Iraqi Muslims—remain totally incompatible with Western civilization.

6/02/2008 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

I realize we're getting off-subject, but Zenster is dead right on Islamic Sharia Law. Sharia law is totalitarian, and it is the enemy of human liberty; just as Nazi law was totalitarian and the enemy of human liberty in World War II. The former is religious law, the latter was pagan law; but it is a distinction without ultimate meaning regarding the sacred rights of man.

President Bush deserves some credit for beginning our struggle, but, in the end, I believe he will be judged by history as a failure in leading the greatest war effort and struggle for human liberty of all time. Our president has failed to prepare and organize America to fight the real war of the twenty first century. We are at war with murdering totalitarian Islamic Sharia Law and murdering Islamic Jihad which seeks to impose Sharia Law by force. We are not at war with "terror".

Hopefully we will not be at war with every Muslim, because hopefully many Muslims will join us in fighting the evil within their religion. Alas, good Germans were ultimately irrelevant in fighting off Adolph Hitler and Nazi law; but let us hope that ordinary Muslims will not make the same mistake in this war: World War IV.

I hope and pray that I am wrong, but I get the feeling that the shit is going to hit the fan; this war will turn out worse than we expect - worse than the experts predict. I believe it is time to beat our plowshares into swords and our pruning hooks into spears.

6/02/2008 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

"[Title 1] Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

Section 1 [Limitation of Rights] The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."


"subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." Those words seem open to a lot of meanings and it sounds as if the rights can be circumscribed by legislative fiat. In our country, if Congress were to pass a law that clearly set aside a clear right found in the Constitution, it could and would be challenged in court and not likely stand. No such parameter exists in Canada. The rights are not a priori given, as is our understanding, by the Creator. So, the imposition of speech codes under the Canadian Human Rights Commission would appear to have some political sanction.

Our founders set limits to government. And this, folks (do not be fooled), is the big battle and fissure within our country. There are the elites who believe in a "living" Constitution which they, as the enlightened, are fit to abrogate, expand, or change.

The founders of Canadian government in Great Britain did not set limits to government. Consent creates laws and rights. It is that system that our elites would like to see us evolve towards.

6/02/2008 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Fen said...

I realize we're getting off-subject, but Zenster is dead right on Islamic Sharia Law.

Agreed, but he ignores the fact that the liberation and reformation of Iraq is the long-term plan to marginalize radical Islam. Iraq is a new Democracy, and its culture will take time to evolve, just as ours did.

Iran is now the more immediate threat, the triad of 1) a rogue state 2) that seeks WMDs 3) and sponsors terrorist orgs for anonymous proxy attacks against the West. The challenge is to find away around multilateral diplomatic quagmires like the UN. Because by the time they issue their 14th final warning, it will be too late.

6/02/2008 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I keep wondering to myself how much of the Canadian Human Rights trial is actually about Islam and Muslims, and how much of it is about a petty bureaucrat with the reins of power and authority in his teeth, running amok just because he can.

As far as I can see, this Human Rights Commission is carried forward pretty much on the back of one man, and if -- McCarthy-like -- he were to poof-disappear or to be laughed into the shadows, the whole sham would fall with him.

BTW, I agree that McDaddyo needs to be warned off as being a troll and a trouble-maker with no redeeming features. His comment on another thread that "you cannot be an American" unless you agree with him is stunning in its arrogant ignorance, and I refuse to engage with him further.

6/02/2008 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Derek Kite said...

>It constantly amazes me that political Canada seems to have so little to do with the man in the street Canadian that you meet when you travel there.

Scratch the surface a bit. I'm constantly amazed at how easily Canadians gravitate to totalitarianism. I had a doctor suggest that the police show up at my elderly relative's home where hopefully a show of force would incite her to take her medicine.

>I keep wondering to myself how much of the Canadian Human Rights trial is actually about Islam and Muslims, and how much of it is about a petty bureaucrat with the reins of power and authority in his teeth...

Both. A society where rule of law, respect for real rights are lacking is open to abuse by anyone daring enough to push. If freedoms are negotiable, the only question is the price. There are many willing sellers up here. And surprise surprise, there are willing buyers.

Derek

6/02/2008 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Synthesis of Wretchard and Zenster:

Islamic societies fear freedom and so have total tribal control to maintain tribal/religious structures. Freedom is very threatening to them.

Just as individual freedom in the West, without the old mediating structures of Church or Voluntary societies or so on, provokes the PC totalitarian police designed to cut off individual freedom to do or say things in their own lives as they see fit.

In both cases the preservation of the status-quo of society is driving the violence.

6/03/2008 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

As much as I despise Steyn's hate-mongering, he should be free to inflict it on the public.

Whatever ideas the Canadian Human Rights Commission may have about protecting Muslims from hate crimes, their effort is stupendously counterproductive.

Left unremarked on, Steyn's hateful screed would merit little more attention than does the anonymous anti-Muslim caterwauling on this blog.

As it is, the commission leaves people like me little choice but to stand up for Steyn's free speech rights.

I do wonder this: why so many conservatives don't take the opportunity to put distance between themselves and Steyn's remarks, even if they must defend his right to make them.

There is a very clear line between being concerned, or even horrified, about Islamic extremism, and making bigoted generalizations about the religion and its followers at large. Steyn clearly crosses into the latter.

6/03/2008 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"There is a very clear line between being concerned, or even horrified, about Islamic extremism, and making bigoted generalizations about the religion and its followers at large. Steyn clearly crosses into the latter."

OK, McDaddyo, give us an exact quote from one of Mark Steyn's books rather than making generalizations of your own. You have called Mark Steyn a bigot; but let's discuss the words and ideas of Mark Steyn here, because if we don't it will be rightfully determined that it is you who are making a hateful screed and thereby open yourself to the charge of bigotry against the multitude who share his beliefs.

6/03/2008 04:47:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Before responding further, I'd like to note that discussion of shari'a law does pertain to Steyn's plight in Canada. Mohamed Elmasry and the Canadian Islamic Congress are seeking to install in Canada the exact same limits upon freedom of expression that exist in Muslim majority countries.

This has less to do with Steyn and more to do with exporting shari'a law. That is why I direct my comments in such a manner.

Fen: ... he ignores the fact that the liberation and reformation of Iraq is the long-term plan to marginalize radical Islam. Iraq is a new Democracy, and its culture will take time to evolve, just as ours did.

We do not have time for Iraq or any other Muslim nation's culture to evolve. Were this 100 years ago, perhaps so. However, in an age of nuclear weapons, no such luxury is available to us.

Irrespective of al Qaeda in Iraq's defeat, Islamic countries will still support terrorism (if only through zakat) and, even barring that, will continue to impose shari'a law without much liklihood of outgrowing it.

This remains the central issue and one which increasingly points towards solutions that require force of arms.

Iran is now the more immediate threat, the triad of 1) a rogue state 2) that seeks WMDs 3) and sponsors terrorist orgs for anonymous proxy attacks against the West.

While Iran may be the poster child for political Islam, that in no way lessens concerns about allowing Iraq to re-install a new brand of the same old Islamic tyranny.

whiskey_199: Islamic societies fear freedom and so have total tribal control to maintain tribal/religious structures. Freedom is very threatening to them.

Spot on. Which all returns to how Muslims seek to muzzle freedom wherever they go. Steyn's ordeal is just one facet of a much more substantial issue that needs to be more broadly addressed. This is why I bring up the root cause. Little, if anything, is being done to attenuate political Islam despite that being the West's top priority.

I will also join with Storm-Rider in challenging McDaddyo to put up or shut up with his allegations of bigotry against Mark Steyn. If anything, it's pretty damn difficult to out-bigot the most bigoted death cult on earth.

6/03/2008 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

My primary objection to Steyn is his stupidity, not his bigotry.

But you do us all a favor by suggesting that you are open to being persuaded that Steyn is in fact a bigot and I welcome the chance to make the case.

All bigots share the technique of blurring distinctions within racial, religious or ethnic groups. Anti-black racists, for example, claim that black people in general are a threat to public safety. They point to statistics showing the large number of black people convicted of crimes, fathering children out of wedlock and dropping out of school. Anti-Jew bigots claim that Jews control Hollywood and the banking system. They point to the large number of Jews in powerful positions in Hollywood and in the banking system. But what neither the anti-black nor anti-Jew bigot acknowledges is that the black criminal is the minority, not the majority. And just as most black people are good, upstanding, law-abiding citizens, most Jews are not Hollywood moguls or bank presidents.

Steyn is a bigot because, like all bigots, he blurs the distinction between the negative behaviors of the minority within a group and the behaviors of the entire group.

In ``American Alone,’’ Steyn writes:
``In a few years, as millions of Muslim teenagers are entering their voting booths, some European countries will not be living formally under sharia, but -- as much as parts of Nigeria, they will have reached an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the "tolerance" of pluralist societies.’’

In this and many other passages in the book, Steyn claims that Muslims are, by definition, intolerant. Not some Muslims. Not radical Muslims. Not orthodox Muslims or devout Muslims or insane Muslims—all Muslims. That’s classic bigotry.

As for the stupidity, the trouble is, where to begin.

Steyn’s central claim is that Islam is a threat to Europe and American because Muslims are having more babies than non-Muslims. Tellingly, in the magazine articles in question, he refers to no research whatsoever on the claim that Muslims are in a position to become a majority population. Rather, he takes the moronic position that demographic trends will continue moving in the same direction, at the same pace, as they are today.
So it is he makes the ludicrous claim that "the Muslim world's high birth rate, which by mid-century will give tiny Yemen a higher population than vast empty Russia.’’

That last one’s kind of a two-fer in that he conflates Yemen with “the Muslim world’s higher birth rate’’ as if there should be nothing to separate Yemen from, say, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, or India, home to the world’s second-largest Muslim population. So there you have the bigotry. What about the stupidity? Yemen has 22 million people; Russia has 141 million. Russia may grow slowly over the next few decades, or even shrink. But Yemen will have to grow by more than six-fold over the next year: an unprecedented rate for any country, anywhere.
Moreover, Yemen would never be capable of supporting a fraction of that many people. As any demographer would tell Steyn, had he deigned to ask, growth rates are limited both by culture and by economics. Poor people have big families. In order for Yemen to produce enough goods to support a large population, it will have to get rich, in which case the people – Muslim or not – will start having smaller families.
What would Steyn make of the Iraq?
Applying his logic, the country is doomed—utterly incapable of democracy—merely because 99 percent of the population is Muslim. He’s not as alone on that contradiction, of course, as it is shared by many Muslim-haters who wail: We have to stay in Iraq to bring democracy to the Middle East because the Muslims are incapable of democracy. In Steyn’s world, that actually makes sense, apparently.

6/03/2008 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

``Yemen will have to grow by more than six-fold over the next year''

should be:

``Yemen will have to grow by more than six-fold over the next half century.''

6/03/2008 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

"Section 7.1 of the relevant regulations prescribing the offense "innocent intent is not a defense, nor is truth, nor is fair comment or the public interest, nor is good faith or responsible journalism"..."

There is something appalling about the concept that cases exist where it is justified to suppress truth. We in America accept some lines in that direction - military plans and goals in wartime, as one example, and certain realms of private information as another - but there's a difference between realistically accepting some specific exceptions and idealistically embracing a general concept. Saying "in some cases" is fine, but saying "in general" is giving government too much power. At what point does such a stance enter into the realm of tyranny?

I don't have a problem with the idea of people enduring the consequenses of free speech; a racist Klu Klux Klan member, for example, should be allowed to make a fool of himself and endure the social ostracization his absurd pronouncements bring. But at the same time, the idea that government should be the agent of retribution is a terrible step in the wrong direction. Government amplifies to an overbearing extent, and something that is societally proper - such as ostracization for terrible stances - is abusive when government is involved. As George Will has said countless times: Government is a blunt instrument, not a surgical one.

Now while a Klansman should indeed face the music among his citizens, don't take that analogy too far. Steyn is no KKK member at all. Rather, he's someone who is speaks the truth, and he's doing it for the public interest as well. It is fascinating how such rationals - "fair comment or the public interest" - is mentioned in the statute as being non-defenses. It's as if that government is baldly stating that it's better for the ship to sink politely than stay afloat realistically. You have to wonder at the mentality of a skipper and crew that buys into that mentality. Granted, the American love for conflict and passionate argument is indeed irritating - one only needs watch idiotic "reality" shows like Survivor, where trivial aggravations are elevated to grand importance to see what I'm talking about - but at the same time, that American love accepts and even embraces the fact that conflict is inevitable, and accepts that working through it, even at the expense of individual's feelings, is the better way for the group to function.

(Odd that the individualistic US would embrace a philosophy in this case that concerns itself more with the group than the individual, where Canada does the opposite. But opinions of America, even amongst us citizens ourselves, has always been more caricature than anything else.)

At any rate, this demonstrates that, even in a decade where America is once again the popular "ugly" nation, she's still the beacon in the world for concepts of freedom. It's a truism that most people in the world don't actually want democracy, that it enables the worst attitudes and tendencies in humans, and that benign dictatorships are what most people would most enthusiastically embrace. But that truism ignores the cumulative tendency for government to erode what freedoms are left to the individual; power acts gravitationally to absorb more power, and the benign dictatorships of the near future become the inhumane tyrannies of the far. As Churchill said: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time...", and for some odd reason, people forget that. A bit of messy debate has yet to bring down a society - it's the acts that can result from that which can be dangerous at times - and the freedom of citizens to speak up has been shown to be best for the health of a nation. It's only the countries that ignore raging cancers, so to speak, that end up suffering the most from them, and it's the nations that confront their illnesses that have a chance to recover from them. Embracing the idea that speaking the truth is a net degridation of society ignores the fact that in the long run, hiding from the truth is ultimately more fatal.

6/03/2008 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

1. "In this respect, I think the U.S. Constitution is still unique. By definition, our liberties cannot be withdrawn. Provided, of course, we're still willing to fight and die for them...."

Only until the US Supreme Court changes them.

2. The biggest error made in Afghanistan and Iraq was the acceptance of Sharia as the basis of the law. Regardless of the caveats providing for such things as human rights Sharia will trump everything.

I listened to one of the US architects of the new Iraqi Laws and he said there was nothing wrong with having Sharia as the basis of the new laws.

I wonder whether there was any research conducted into the effect of Sharia law on the modernization of a nation.

- Did anyone conduct research on the evolution of Turkey in the 1920's away from Sharia law.

- Did anyone look at what the Islamic party now in control in Malaysia (Yes, the Malaysia with the TV ads advertising its great business environment) is doing to adopt Sharia law to all inhabitants, not just Muslims.

6/03/2008 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"Steyn is a bigot because, like all bigots, he blurs the distinction between the negative behaviors of the minority within a group and the behaviors of the entire group....In this and many other passages in the book, Steyn claims that Muslims are, by definition, intolerant. Not some Muslims. Not radical Muslims. Not orthodox Muslims or devout Muslims or insane Muslims—all Muslims. That’s classic bigotry."

No, Steyn is not a bigot, he points to the negative influence of bigoted Sharia Law which inevitably accompanies a society with a Muslim majority. Just as it was right to discriminate against Nazi Germany with its Totalitarian Nazi law, it is right to discriminate against any society or nation which establishes Totalitarian Sharia Law. Discrimination against an evil form of law and government is not the same as discriminating against all individuals within that society - in fact many of those individuals are victims of totalitarian injustice and should be pitied.

We did not judge every German to be evil during World War II, but we rightly judged Nazi society to be possessed by evil - the evil of Nazi law, government, secret police and military forces. So it is with Islam, not every Muslim is evil - many are good people, and some of them are my friends - but many Muslims, even good ones, live in nations or societies possessed by the evil of Totalitarian Sharia Law and Government, and the attendant evil of murdering Islamic Jihad.

As for claiming Mark Steyn is stupid, I'm afraid it is your assertion which is so. Steyn simply points to the truth of birth rates in Islamic nations compared to Russia and Europe. Those birth rates are very significant, and they are having an effect on politics in Europe. He used Yemen and Russia as an illustration of the wider trend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Fertility_rate_world_map_2.png

George Weigel, in "The Cube and the Cathedral", makes an even more compelling and intelligent argument regarding the relationship between Europe's suicidal birth rates and the rise of Radical Islam within Europe. No, neither Mark Steyn nor George Weigel are stupid; it is you, McDaddyo, who have a swirling mass of unconnected dots within your mind.

http://books.google.com/books?id=6zDLcCb9rpgC&dq=the+cube+and+the+cathedral&pg=PP1&ots=yW9BNllVbd&sig=XWr44_yIaaXFl1hgla1jGGlAwfI&hl=en&prev=http://www.google.com/search%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dthe%2Bcube%2Band%2Bthe%2Bcathedral&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title&cad=one-book-with-thumbnail#PPP1,M1

When it comes to waging political war, numbers are important; and the same is true when waging kinetic war. Political Islam, i.e.: agitation for Totalitarian Islamic Sharia Law, is in fact the greatest threat to human liberty since Nazi Germany - and I believe time will show that it is a far greater threat.

6/03/2008 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

"In this respect, I think the U.S. Constitution is still unique. By definition, our liberties cannot be withdrawn."

Brian, and Storm Rider, give your head a shake, of course the rights can be withdrawn - the constitution can, and has been, amended. God did not write it, man did.

6/03/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Ironically, given all the huffing and puffing here, there are only two countries of the many Muslim countries in the world, Iran and Saudi Arabia, that devoutly apply Sharia Law.

6/03/2008 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"of course the rights can be withdrawn - the constitution can, and has been, amended. God did not write it, man did."

Yes, man wrote the constitution, but man is not the source of our human rights - our human rights to life, liberty and creative pursuit of happiness are sacred - those human rights come from the Creator, not from government.

If our sacred human rights were to be destroyed by government it would be an act of unjust government power and tyranny.

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

6/03/2008 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 06/03/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

6/03/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"Brian, and Storm Rider, give your head a shake, of course the rights can be withdrawn - the constitution can, and has been, amended."

That's a matter of interpretation. By my reading, they used the word "inalienable". What does that word mean to you? They specifically enumerated life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness (so many Leftists feel they have a right to happiness itself that I feel obligated to emphasize that PURSUIT part).

The wording said AMONG THESE inalienable rights are the ones listed above. That means that there are others...and presumably the rest were enumerated in the bill of rights and possibly elsewhere.

You think the Supremes, or congress or even the entire constitutional amendment ratification process can change THOSE rights? The really important, INALIENABLE ones?

Just try and ban Christianity (or Judaism or Islam, for that matter). Try and ban free speech. Try and take everybody's guns away. Form a stormtrooper legion and start breaking into people's houses and take them away in the middle of the night.

There would be no country then. Because as soon as people saw what was happening, they'd use their ultimate inalienable right: to wipe the slate clean and start over. No more USA.

That's why I've been so skeptical of Leftist claims that Bush is "trampling on the constitution". I look around me and see no sign that ANYTHING is different now than in the Clinton years, except that now my state grants concealed-carry permits, while it didn't then. That's major progress on rights as far as I'm concerned. Oh, and flying is a hassle...but then flying isn't enumerated anywhere as a right, as far as I know.

6/03/2008 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Somebody let the trolls in...

6/03/2008 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

The Supreme Court's authority stems FROM the constitution. The people CAN CHANGE the constitution. It really is that simple. No God required.

6/03/2008 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger shockcorridor said...

Mcdaddyo said,"As it is, the commission leaves people like me little choice but to stand up for Steyn's free speech rights."

Wow what a brave freedom fighter you are.

6/03/2008 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger shockcorridor said...

"That's why I've been so skeptical of Leftist claims that Bush is "trampling on the constitution"."

That's just used to make themselves feel like they actually suffer real political adversity and oppression. It allows them to romanticize their own role in society as if somehow they are "dissidents" when in reality they no that nothing they will ever suffer under the system they rail against will ever compare to what people in genuinuely oppressive societies go through and that they will never have to test their actual character and see if they have a pair to rise up and fight.

6/03/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"The Supreme Court's authority stems FROM the constitution. The people CAN CHANGE the constitution. It really is that simple. No God required."

True, but if the Constitution were to be changed with the effect of destroying our Divine rights to life, liberty and creative pursuit of happiness, it would be an act of tyranny.

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Thomas Jefferson

"Law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." Thomas Jefferson

6/03/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

If the Constitution were to be amended by the legal means set out it would not be tyrannical, quite the opposite if the requisite legal hurdles could be surmounted.

Bush's warrantless wiretapping strikes me as violating the constitution.

6/03/2008 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"If the Constitution were to be amended by the legal means set out it would not be tyrannical"

Not true; the destruction of God-given individual rights to life, liberty and creative pursuit of happiness is always tyrannical - no matter how it occurs.

Now, I don't expect that to occur under our Constitution, because most people will not vote for their own undoing; but it is not impossible.

There is one thing higher than our Constitution, and that is the Divine sacredness of our individual human rights to life, liberty and creative pursuit of happiness.

"Law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." Thomas Jefferson

6/03/2008 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

sheesh Storm Rider, all this God talk reminds me of those who clamour for Sharia law - you know the law that flows from God (aka Allah)?

6/03/2008 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

No, Ash, the Islamic god, as expressed in Sharia Law, is not the same one as in the Declaration of Independence. As expressed in Sharia Law, their god is one of murder, subjugation, and unhappiness.

Not every idea of God corresponds with truth and justice.

Take up your objection regarding references to God with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln. They speak to this subject much better than me.

6/03/2008 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

yeah, yeah, your God is better then their God. Didn't a load of wars get fought over those notions?

6/03/2008 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

No, Ash, I'm not comparing the theology of the Jewish/Christian God with the theology of Allah; I'm comparing the God of the Declaration of Independence with the god of Sharia Law. I'm comparing the American Judeo-Christian/Rational political system, as reflected in the Declaration of Independence, with the Islamic/Irrational political system as reflected in Sharia Law. This is not a comparison of religion per. se. it is a comparison of politics as influenced by religion.

All people should be free to worship as they see fit, but people are not free to destroy sacred human rights through an unjust and evil political and governmental system.

I don't believe wars are fought over religion; they are fought over politics and government - government which secures human rights vs. government which destroys human rights.

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Thomas Jefferson

6/03/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Outstanding post, Elmondohummus.

Ash: Ironically, given all the huffing and puffing here, there are only two countries of the many Muslim countries in the world, Iran and Saudi Arabia, that devoutly apply Sharia Law.

Even partial application of shari'a law can still result in massive human rights abuses. I give you Pakistan. Shari'a, and by extension Islam, due to their very nature are ongoing crimes against humanity. Period.

Speaking as a devout agnostic, Storm-Rider, is still on the money. Due to its insistence upon theocratic rule, Islam is not just a religion but a political ideology. What's more, any doctrine that materially rewards the taking of innocent human life (i.e., terrorism), automatically forfeits any right to religious status or protection. Islam is a death cult and, as such, is disqualified from civilized society.

6/03/2008 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

davod said...
1. "In this respect, I think the U.S. Constitution is still unique. By definition, our liberties cannot be withdrawn. Provided, of course, we're still willing to fight and die for them...."

Only until the US Supreme Court changes them.


American liberties were defined in the Declaration of Independence, which defined the unique characteristics of the People of the USA. They come from the Creator. Man was born with life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness. Nothing that man does can remove that from man's nature. Law and government are not the source of man's inalienable rights, but the mutual self-defense agreement by which a society of men guarantee every one's individual rights. When Law and Government go off the reservation and start to infringe on the individual rights guaranteed by the mutual agreement then you end up with slavery or theft on someone's behalf.

What I'm trying to say is that even if the government takes away our legal rights, it can never take away our inalienable rights. The law is an agreement, and a perverted law must be repealed or the enforcers of injustice overthrown.

Read up on it in Bastiat, The Law.

6/03/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Hard Luck said...

McDaddyo, you use a quote from Mark Steyn's "America Alone" which actually disproves your point:

"...they will have reached an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the 'tolerance' of pluralist societies."

The word "they" in the quote refers to European nations. It is the European government Mark is endighting in this sentence. Further more, he draws a direct distinction of "radicalized Islamic compatriots" not all Muslims.

In fact, Mark Steyn's whole thesis is that it is the cult of multiculturalism in government that is deliberately blurring or ignoring distinctions between reasonable Muslims and radical Islamists. Your own post is a supreme example of this deliberate blurring. You hysterically claim he must be speaking about all Muslims because he spoke of any Muslim at all. Shame on you.

6/03/2008 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Beyond the stupidity and bigotry, Steyn's screed is profoundly anti-Western and anti-American.

Again and again, he claims that Western democracy is weak relative to Islam.

The U.S. is "enervated." Spain is ``sedated'' and ``shrugs'' when extremists bomb its trains.

The democracies' ``fiscal bankruptcy is merely a symptom of a more fundamental bankruptcy: its insufficiency as an animating principle for society.''

Had enough America-bashing from Steyn?

But no, there's so much more.

Apparently, the Soviet Union's collapse from within wasn't a good thing for the West: ``With the end of the Soviet existential threat, the enervation of the West only accelerated.''

Clearly, Steyn hates neither the West, nor American values. His antipathy is reserved for American ideals and institutions and Western values. He sees them as inferior to the "vigor" of Islam, oh, and as he will repeat ad reductio absurdum, inferior in terms of birth rates.

I see a lot of similar American bashing on this blog and in conservative circles in general. Because so much of conservative discussion is resolutely within it's own bubble, i.e. conservatives talking only to other conservatives, they seem unaware how flattering they are to radical Islam.

Bernard Lewis, among the leading intellectual conservatives on Islam, even comes out and endorses the Soviet totalitarian approach to dealing with ethnic and religious conflicts. He suggests that tactics such as killing terrorist suspects' entire families kept the Soviets safe from radical Islam. (He seems unaware of Chechnya, but his motives are clearly not to inform.)

If we look at this era, and not just the past few years, it is clear that America is at the peak of its global cultural influence. Hundreds of millions of people want to be like us. It is among our greatest assets.

It's tragicomic that Steyn generates so much heat in exaggerating the cultural power of Islam. What's far worse, though, is that he also expends so much trashing American and Western culture, ideals and institutions.

Our universities are the envy of the world. Our pop culture trends, for better and worse, circle the earth and take root in virtually every society. Our currency dominates global finance and our military is without parallel in either weapons or training or forward deployment.

As a lifelong liberal, I'm betting on American ideals and institutions to triumph over radical Islam, and without even breaking a sweat.

6/03/2008 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Hard Luck:

I think you're ignoring the context of Steyn's comments, which is his thesis that the birth rate of Muslims -- ALL Muslims, not radical Muslims or Salafist Muslims or terrorist Muslims -- is itself a threat to the West.

Given that thesis, when he is cleary suggesting that Muslim voters will vote for, not against, the "accommodation'' he believes Europe will have made with the radical minority.

6/03/2008 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

McDaddyo,

No, there is no stupidity or bigotry in Mark Steyn's "America Alone".

Your characterization of his book as hostile to America is in error. The entire premise of this book is to promote American values as the main alternative to multicultural, secular Europe which is appeasing and accommodating the evil of Islamic Sharia Law - and that comes as no surprise to me since the record of Europe in regards to securing the sacred rights of man is so dismal. Socialist Europe and Radical Islam will make for natural allies; they are both hostile to American values as written in the Declaration of Independence. Socialist Europe will not long remain Socialist Europe; they appear headed back to Totalitarianism one way or the other – either traditional European Communism or Fascism, or Islamo-Fascism. As Mark Steyn points out, the only hope for Europe is to adopt the American version of Western Values.

By the way, the American version of Western Values can be summed up by the Declaration of Independence which represents the marriage of Judeo-Christian religious values of Divinely derived and unalienable human rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, along with secular reason expressed as just government power derived from the consent of the governed.

Mark Steyn's book promotes America and American values as the only force in the world capable of defeating Totalitarian Islam, i.e.: Totalitarian Islamic Sharia Law and Mass-Murdering Islamic Jihad. Mark Steyn specifically calls on Europe to adopt American Values for its self in order to survive the threat to European liberty, such as it is, by Totalitarian Islam. When Steyn refers to "the enervation of the West," and "fiscal bankruptcy is merely a symptom of a more fundamental bankruptcy: its insufficiency as an animating principle for society" I believe he is speaking of Socialist Western Europe - not traditional American values or America in general. When Mark Steyn refers to the “vigor” of Islam, he refers to the vigor of tyranny which is within Totalitarian Islam – one could also refer to the “vigor” of Nazism in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.

If Mark Steyn has any criticisms of the United States, it is only because our nation is not perfect; it is not utopia; and it never claimed to be. If Steyn points outs our errors, good for him; but don't mistake that for an attack on American values or America in general - that is not a misreading of this book - that is a falsification.

The power of American pop culture is ephemeral; it is the power of American Liberty that is important. Hundreds of millions of people want to be like us because they yearn to be free, not just because they yearn for blue jeans or an i-pod.

My copy of "America Alone" is on CD. I'll have the quotes to back up my claims after I run up to the book store and purchase a paper copy.

6/03/2008 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

S-R,

The declaration of Independence is not the law of the land. The US Constitution is the basis of laws in the US. The US Constitution is not based on divine law.

It's obvious that Life and Liberty can be taken from a person by the govt, legally. How can they be inalienable? I imagine that life in prison would put a crimp in one's pursuit of happiness. Never mind the contradiction of slavery with these so-called inalienable rights.

All these statements about inalienable rights and Divine law are simply bizarre. We are a nation of laws. That's all.

Mark Steyn's target is mostly the Europeans. He definitely raises the issue of birth-rates quite a bit. The European birth-rates are lower than the US birth-rates, and of course are lower than the Muslim birth-rates. Russia's are incredibly low.

Steyn also targets the PC, multi-culti principles, which he believes are enervating Europe most of all, but all of the west. His trial is a prime example.

Calling him a bigot or stupid is just a political statement.

6/03/2008 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Other conservatives have addressed the falling Western birthrates and what they mean far more intelligently than Steyn.

Much of what Steyn has to say in the essay he's on trial for is apparently a pasted together "Niall Ferguson for Dummies.''

Ferguson actually analyzes the situation and puts it into some historical perspective. For example:

``Well I think it's important to distinguish these two issues, because I'm extremely cautious about any idealisation of Christendom, or indeed the West as something with homogeneity or natural unity. After all, the most bitter religious wars that raged in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries were within Christianity, and the most violent or at least one of the most violent acts of the 20th century was perpetrated by Christians against Jews. And that makes me really sceptical when people in the United States talk about Judaeo-Christian civilisation because that seems to me a merger of very recent origin. So by comparison with those conflicts, I don't attach a special importance to the longstanding conflict that obviously has gone on between Islam and Christianity. I don't think that conflict should be given a sort of privileged status, historically. It hasn't produced more violence than the conflicts within Christianity, or between Christianity and Judaism.''

6/03/2008 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Storm-rider writes:
``The entire premise of this book is to promote American values as the main alternative to multicultural, secular Europe.''

My reading of Steyn -- limited at this point to the essay he's on trial for -- is that he considers America multicultural and secular.

It is simply a fact that American insitutions are rigorously secular -- far more so than Europe where most, if not all, countries have a state church and maintain related institutions.

Moreover, America has far more cultural diversity than any European country, though the gap is closing. We lead the world in multiculturalism and it's one of our greatest strengths.

When it comes time to count Olympic medals, for example, the U.S. almost always comes out on top, precisely because we have the broadest selection of physiognomies from which to chose athletes and because everyone gets a shot to try -- even if the field isn't always perfectly level. Such is far from the case in relatively mono-cultural Europe.

America also happens to lead the list of Nobel prize winners. Check the names: you'll see plenty of Chinese, and non-WASP-sounding names on the list--yet another testament to the triumph of multiculturalism and liberal democracy in America.

If Steyn really does say Europe is more multicultural than America, by what possible measure could he be saying that?

6/03/2008 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

If Steyn really does say Europe is more multicultural than America, by what possible measure could he be saying that?

Um, the US is a melting pot.

It is political correctness, statements like 'all civilizations are equally good' that is being referred to. This is a kind of enforced multi-culturalism, that is prevalent in Europe/Eurabia.

Multi-culti = political correctness.

In fact a big difference between Europe and the US is that in the US muslim immigrants are encouraged to assimilate, and have done so. In Europe there has been much less assimilation. Reasons for this may simply be that immigrants in the US were always encouraged, or even forced, to assimilate, while in Europe they are still figuring this out. Also, because of this idea that all cultures are equal there is a reluctance to pressure Muslim immigrants to assimilate.

If the French were planning on keeping their Muslim immigrants locked up in slums and not planning to encourage them to become productive members of society maybe they shouldn't have let them in in the first place. The car-b-que isn't what they expected.

6/03/2008 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Utopia:

I certainly agree that Muslims have successfully assimilated in the U.S.

I think it has more to do with geography and the specific circumstances under which Muslims have come to the U.S.

Many of Europe's Muslims were invited under guest worker programs or arrived without legal status to look for work at the bottom of the socioeconomic chain.

It's a lot harder to assimilate from there than it is for the many Muslim professionals and others who have immigrated to the U.S. under circumstances that leave them with far more opportunities to sample the best American culture an society has to offer.

6/03/2008 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger randian said...

In fact, Mark Steyn's whole thesis is that it is the cult of multiculturalism in government that is deliberately blurring or ignoring distinctions between reasonable Muslims and radical Islamists.

In that case, Mark Steyn has some explaining to do. To wit:

1) How can one reliably tell the difference between a "reasonable" and a "radical" Muslim?
2) How can one reliably know that a "reasonable" Muslim will resist the call to war for Allah?
3) How can one reliably know that the "reasonable" Muslim repudiates the goals of the "radical", not merely their means?
4) In what substantive sense are the "moderates" and the "radicals" in theological disagreement?

I hope that isn't Mark Steyn's thesis, because it's wrong. The problem with multiculturalism is not that it blurs distinctions, but that it creates distinctions that aren't real. That makes it impossible to resist Islam because (so the multiculturalist says) the radicals "are few in number and therefore can be safely ignored". The evidence I see says that's a lie, the "moderates" are happy to support the "radicals" with money, shelter, and propaganda.

6/04/2008 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Radian sounds confused.

He says Muslim moderates fund, protect and propagandize Muslim radicals.

If that were true, what would distinguish the moderates from the radicals?

The suggestion that mainstream Islam can be defined by the behavior of radicals is nothing more than classic bigotry. It is no more valid and no less repugnant than the idea that whites, or blacks or Jews or any group should be defined by the behaviors of its worst members.

6/04/2008 02:10:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Utopia,

"The declaration of Independence is not the law of the land. The US Constitution is the basis of laws in the US. The US Constitution is not based on divine law."

Yes, the Constitution is the law of the land, but there is a Divine moral law higher than the Constitution, and to that the Declaration of Independence refers.

"It's obvious that Life and Liberty can be taken from a person by the govt, legally. How can they be inalienable?"

When someone commits the crime of pre-meditated murder that individual forfeits his/her right to life - and justly so. When someone commits armed robbery that individual forfeits his/her right to liberty - and justly so. These are examples of individuals discarding their rights, not government unjustly destroying the rights of the individual. V Amendment: "No person shall be .... deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law..."

"Never mind the contradiction of slavery with these so-called inalienable rights."

This is the best possible example of the Constitution's inferiority to the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration says all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with the right to liberty. It took the Civil War to enforce this principle of higher moral law upon a corrupted Constitution.

"All these statements about inalienable rights and Divine law are simply bizarre. We are a nation of laws. That's all."

Only to a totalitarian mind would inalienable rights and a higher moral law seem bizarre. You sound just like Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin. Our founding fathers were believers in God and a higher moral law, and that is directly stated in the Declaration of Independence. The Soviet Union was a nation of laws, and that was all; and that is true of all secular totalitarian societies.

"Law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." Thomas Jefferson

6/04/2008 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

McDaddyo,

"If Steyn really does say Europe is more multicultural than America, by what possible measure could he be saying that?"

Mark Steyn condemns the idea of Multiculturalism in "America Alone." His thesis is that Multiculturalism is a part of the modern Western European Socialist State and the American Democratic Party which wishes to remake America into a North American version of the Western European Socialist State. Modern Multiculturalism refers to the idea that all cultures are equal, but it doesn't take the time or effort to look into the values of cultures. Modern Multiculturalism does not refer to ethnicity, skin color, cuisine, clothing styles, literature or architecture - who the hell cares about those differences? It is the morality or immorality of the values found in cultures that is the issue, and that is where Modern Multiculturalism turns a blind eye; it is too lazy or too afraid to scratch beneath the surface and dig down to the core of values within cultures.

Now that I have my paper copy of "America Alone" I'll give you some quotes from Mark Steyn to consider; note that Steyn relates the rise of Secular Socialist Multiculturalism in Europe, with a corresponding loss of religious faith, to the rise of Radical Islam in Europe.


“At the heart of multiculturalism is a lie: that all cultures are equally “valid.” To accept that proposition means denying reality – the reality of any objective measure of human freedom, societal health, and global population movement. Multiculturalism is not the first ideology founded on the denial of truth. You’ll recall Hermann Goering’s memorable assertion that “two plus two makes five if the Fuhrer wills it.”

“contemporary multiculturalism absolves one from knowing anything about other cultures as long as one feels warm and fluffy toward them. After all, if it’s grossly judgmental to say one culture’s better than another, why bother learning about the differences. “Celebrate diversity” with a uniformity of ignorance.”

“No one can give serious thought to Europe’s democratic deficit, unaffordable entitlements, and declining human capital and think it’s the way to go.”

“We are witnessing the end of the late twentieth-century progressive welfare democracy. Its fiscal bankruptcy is merely a symptom of a more fundamental bankruptcy: its insufficiency as an animating principle for society. The children and grandchildren of those Fascists and Republicans who waged a bitter civil war for the future of Spain now shrug when a bunch of foreigners blow up their capital.”

“The transatlantic “split” has nothing to do with disagreements over Iraq, and can’t be repaired by a more Europhile president in Washington: you can’t “mend bridges” when the opposite bank is sinking into the river.”

“In 1944, at a terrible moment of the most terrible century, Henri de Lubac wrote a reflection on Europe’s civilizational crisis, Le drame de l’humanisme athee. By “atheistic humanism” he meant the organized rejection of God – not the freelance atheism of individual skeptics but atheism as an ideology and political project in its own right. As de Lubac wrote, “It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man cannot organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can only organize it against man.”

“It is secularism its self which is part of the problem, not the solution, since secularism is precisely what created the Euro spiritual/moral vacuum into which Islamism has rushed headlong.”

“Post-Christian European culture is already post-cultural and, with its surging Muslim populations, will soon be post-European.”

“A dependence on immigration from very limited and particular sources is not a strength but a weakness. The Continent’s imams can certainly see that: they understand that Europe is the colony now.

“The un-American activities in which Europe has invested its identity are deeply self-destructive.”

“The advantage for the United States and, to a lesser extent, other parts of the English-speaking world is that Europe is ahead in the line, and its fate may wake up even the most blinkered on this side of the Atlantic.”

“But the fact remains: Europe is dying and America isn’t….So here’s a radical thought for Will Hutton and the Europeans: instead of calling for America to “join the world,” why not try calling on Europe to rejoin the real world?....O here’s an ever more radical thought: why doesn’t “the world” try joining America?”

“A North Country non-gun owner might tire of all the Second Amendment kooks with the gun racks in the pickups and move somewhere where everyone is, at least officially, a non-gun owner just like him: Washington, D.C., say, or London. And suddenly he finds that, in a wholly disarmed society, his house requires burglar alarms and window locks and security cameras.”

“it’s the Christian fundamentalists, Holy Rollers, born-again Bible Belters, and Jesus freaks of Godly America who are rational and skeptical, especially of Euro-delusions. It’s secular Europe that’s living on faith. Uncowed by Islamists, undeferential to government, unshriveled in its birth rates, redneck America is a more reliable long-term bet.”

“In the years ahead, America has to take the American moment seriously – in part, to ensure that the allies of tomorrow don’t make the mistakes Western Europe did. That means at the very minimum something beyond cheeseburger imperialism. In the end, the world can do without American rap and American cheeseburgers. American ideas on individual liberty, federalism, capitalism, and freedom of speech would be far more helpful.”

“But America can survive, prosper, and defend its freedom only if it continues to believe in itself, in the sturdier virtues of self-reliance (not government), in the centrality of family, and in the conviction that our country really is the world’s last best hope.”

“In seeking to stifle the arguments of America Alone, the Canadian Islamic Congress is making my point more eloquently than I ever could – that a significant strain of Islam is incompatible with the rough and tumble of a free society. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Which is why so many radical Muslim lobby groups are eager to criminalize vigilance. And with the help of their dopey enablers among the multiculti progressives they may yet achieve it.”

6/04/2008 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

McDaddyo: America also happens to lead the list of Nobel prize winners. Check the names: you'll see plenty of Chinese, and non-WASP-sounding names on the list--yet another testament to the triumph of multiculturalism and liberal democracy in America.

More a triumph of assimilation rather than Multiculturalism. The Cultural Relativism of Multiculturalism is helping destroy America in ways the Founding Fathers could not possibly have imagined.

Randian:

1) How can one reliably tell the difference between a "reasonable" and a "radical" Muslim?


Answer: You can't. Islam's sanctioning of lies as an honorable tactic makes it impossible.

2) How can one reliably know that a "reasonable" Muslim will resist the call to war for Allah?

Answer: You can't. SJS (Sudden Jihad Syndrome) is proof of this.

3) How can one reliably know that the "reasonable" Muslim repudiates the goals of the "radical", not merely their means?

Answer: You can't. The deafening silence of our world's Muslim population regarding the heinous nature of global terrorism is proof of this.

4) In what substantive sense are the "moderates" and the "radicals" in theological disagreement?

Answer: They aren't. "Moderate" Muslims are MINO (Muslims In Name Only). According to the explicit tenets of Islam and the Koran, they are apostates and worthy only of death. While there may be "moderate" Muslims, THERE IS NO MODERATE ISLAM.

McDaddyo: He says Muslim moderates fund, protect and propagandize Muslim radicals.

Do you know what zakat is? Do you know where it goes?

If that were true, what would distinguish the moderates from the radicals?

That's the exact problem. There is so little to distinguish them from each other. What's more, very, very few Muslims make that actual distinction themselves and even when they do, HOW CAN YOU BE SURE THAT THEY ARE NOT EMPLOYING TAQIYYA?

Answer: Short of subjecting every single Muslim to fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), YOU CAN'T. Even then, there would be no way to detect or prevent cases of SJS.

The suggestion that mainstream Islam can be defined by the behavior of radicals is nothing more than classic bigotry.

Horseradish. Radical Muslims best exemplify the Koran's explicit teachings. Read the book sometime. It is one of the most violent and hate-filled documents on earth. Watch the movie "Fitna" sometime. It directly quotes the Koran.

6/04/2008 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Zakat

6/04/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Zenster writes:
``"Moderate" Muslims are MINO (Muslims In Name Only). According to the explicit tenets of Islam and the Koran, they are apostates and worthy only of death. While there may be "moderate" Muslims, THERE IS NO MODERATE ISLAM.''

Zenster's claim, which parrots bin Laden's, rather plainly contradicts itself.

If there were no moderate Islam, there would be no such "apostates."

By definition, a radical is someone who rejects the mainstream. If no such mainstream exists, he cannot be a radical.

Clearly, the Muslim mainstream does exist in the form of hundreds of billions of peace-loving, innocent, hard-working, tax-paying Muslims mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.

It is up to them, not bin Laden and not Zenster, to decide what the Koran compels them to do.

Conservative scholar Bernard Lewis ably describes this in "The Conflict of Islam.'' He is by no means a defender of Islamism in any way and carefully explains who Islam differs markely in its political economy from Christendom and why it is there for more amenable to radicalism.

What he also makes clear, however, is that bin Laden's version of Islam is widely, bitterly and in many cases, brutally, rejected by the religion's mainstream.

6/04/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger randian said...

In what meaningful way is Bin Laden's version of Islam rejected by the "mainstream"? All schools of Islam that are considered orthodox teach that offensive warfare to subjugate the unbelievers is the duty of all Muslims. All schools teach that supporting an unbeliever in preference to a believer (telling the believers to stop subjugating or killing unbelievers?) is to become an unbeliever. As we all know, apostasy is punishable by death under Islamic law. The biography of Muhmmad himself shows he treated unbelievers no differently than Bin Laden does. It is again a tenet of all orthodox schools that it is illegitimate to prevent a believer from doing as Muhammad does, since Muhammad is "an excellent model of conduct" (Koran 33:21) and has "an exalted standard of character" (Koran 68:4).

Make no mistake, Bin Laden has a firm theological foundation within Islam to do what he does. Those alleged "moderates" you refer to don't object to Bin Laden killing infidels on a mass scale, they object to Al Qaeda bombing Muslims.

6/04/2008 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

The evidence that bin Ladenism is rejected by mainstream Islam is overwhelming:

http://www.sullivan-county.com/identity/bin_laden.html

Don't make the mistake of thinking that Osama bin Laden is the true face of a billion Muslims, or the true voice of the Koran," said Dr. Safir Akhtar, a research scholar at the Islamic University in Islamabad, a Saudi-financed institution that has long been a magnet for young militants from around the Islamic world.
"He may have a special appeal through his religiosity," Dr. Akhtar said, "and his spartan way of life, and he has certainly drawn deeply from Muslims' deep sense of frustration, but people think of him more as an adventurer than as an Islamic leader, and they know from their own studies that his sense of jihad is deeply flawed."

Sheik Muhammad Hussain Fadlallah, spiritual leader of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Party of God, for 25 years a scourge of Israel and the United States with its suicide bombings and other terror attacks in Lebanon and Israel. After a 1983 truck bombing of a United States Marine barracks near the Beirut airport killed 241 servicemen, American officials accused Sheik Fadlallah of having ordered the attack, an allegation he returned when he blamed the Central Intelligence Agency for a 1985 car bombing outside his Beirut home that killed 75 people.
But Sheik Fadlallah, now 66, has been relentless in his condemnation of the attacks in America.
He preaches that they were "not compatible with Shariah law," the Koranic legal code, nor with the Islamic concept of jihad, and that the perpetrators were not martyrs as Mr. bin Laden has claimed, but "merely suicides," because they killed innocent civilians, and in a distant land, America.
In an interview with a Beirut newspaper, Al Safir, Sheik Fadlallah again accused Mr. bin Laden of having ignored Koranic texts.
"There is no concept of jihad as aggressive combat," he said, quoting verses of the Koran that Islamic theologians have argued over for centuries. In misreading these texts, he said, Mr. bin Laden had relied on "personal psychological needs," including a "tribal urge for revenge."

Sheik Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, with a history of anti-American militancy even longer than Sheik Fadlallah's, expresses a similar view. From his base in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, the 75-year-old sheik has issued Islamic fatwas, or decrees, on issues like the need for Muslims to boycott McDonald's restaurants, and on husbands' right to beat their wives as long as they do not draw blood.
But on the Sept. 11 attacks, he said:
"Islam, the religion of tolerance, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack on innocent human beings a grave sin," said. "Even in times of war, Muslims are not allowed to kill anybody save the one who is engaged in face-to-face confrontation with them.
"Killing hundreds of helpless civilians," he added, "is a heinous crime in Islam."

Then there's this:
http://www.usembassyjakarta.org/lawmaker.html
One of the leading exponents of freedom of religion in the U.S. House of Representatives is quoting one of Islam's most noted authorities to condemn the terrorist actions of Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that supports him.
Representative Joseph Pitts (Republican of Pennsylvania) in an October 30 speech to the House of Representatives quoted the Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar in Egypt, whom he referred to as "the highest and most respected Islamic authority in the world," on the types of acts forbidden by the Koran.
Shaykh Tantawi has stated that the Koran "specifically forbids the kinds of things the Taliban and al-Qaida are guilty of," Pitts said.
Shaykh Tantawi, Pitts continued, has said that the "jihad" Usama bin Laden has called for against America "is invalid and not binding on Muslims."
Pitts quoted the Grand Shaykh as saying, "Islam rejects all of these acts." The Shaykh added that terrorism is un-Islamic, Pitts said.
"Killing innocent civilians is a horrific, hideous act that no religion can approve," Pitts quoted the religious leader as saying.

And this:
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/10/17/195606.shtml

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2001
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A prominent Muslim cleric today denounced terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and urged Afghanistan's Taliban rulers not to risk thousands of lives for him.
"Bin Laden is not a prophet that we should put thousands of lives at risk for," said Tahirul Qadri, who heads the Pakistani Awami Tehrik Party.
Qadri, who has thousands of followers in Pakistan and abroad, also criticized the Taliban for sheltering bin Laden and urged the Muslims to "see the difference between jihad and acts of terrorism."

And this:
http://www.islamfortoday.com/qaradawi02.htm
On June 23 in a statement broadcast on the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television channel., Sulaiman Abu Gaith, a spokesman for the Al-Qaeda network, claimed responsibility for the explosion that killed 14 German tourists. Five local Jews also perished.
Dr. Al Qaradawi said that in Islam it is not permissible to attack places of worship such as churches and synagogues or attack men of religion, even in a state of war.
“Civilians, such as the German tourists, should not be killed, or kept as hostages. Jews, not in conflict with Muslims, must not be killed either. Anyone who commits these crimes is punishable by Islamic Sharia and have committed the sin of killing a soul which God has prohibited to kill and of spreading corruption on earth,” said Dr. Al Qaradawi.
When asked whether the killing of Jewish women, children and men is permissible, Islamic scholar Muhammad Al-Hanuti said that no one may be persecuted or tortured because of their religion.
“The only one who could be killed is the murderer or the one who commits a crime punishable by the law. In war, when people are fighting for a certain cause, Muslims are not allowed to kill the elderly, women or children. The only legitimate target is the one who is involved in combat against Muslims,” he said.
Dr. Al-Qaradawi said that the conflict with the Jews is over land and not about their Judaism, because they are people of the Book (i.e. they believe in a revealed religion).
“We are allowed to eat their food and marry their women. Accordingly, social intercourse, including inter-marriage, is permitted with the People of the Book. The Jews lived under Muslims’ protection for many centuries.

And this:
http://www.int-review.org/terr42a.html
Spanish Muslims issue 'fatwa' against bin Laden
(March 12, 2005) Spain's leading Muslim clerics have issued a religious order declaring Usama bin Ladin an apostate and to have forsaken Islam by backing attacks such as the Madrid train bombings.
The Islamic Commission of Spain timed its fatwa to coincide with the first anniversary of the attacks, which killed 191 people and were claimed in the name of al-Qaeda in Europe.
The commission's secretary-general, Mansur Escudero, urged others of their faith worldwide to denounce the al-Qaeda. Escudero said that the group had consulted with Muslim leaders in other countries, such as Morocco ・home to most of the jailed suspects in the atrocities ・Algeria and Libya, and had their support also. He has called upon all Muslim leaders to now also condemn the terrorists publicly.
Crimes
The commission, whose elected leaders represent the Muslim community in talks with the government, said the Koran barred Muslims from committing crimes against innocent people.
"We declare ... that Usama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organisation, responsible for the horrendous crimes against innocent people who were despicably murdered in the 11 March terrorist attack in Madrid, are outside the parameters of Islam," the commission said. The fatwa said that according to the Koran 鍍he terrorist acts of Osama bin Laden and his organization al-Qaeda ・are totally banned and must be roundly condemned as against Islam.・

And this:
http://www.muhajabah.com/otherscondemn.php

In his office in Leesburg, Va., Taha Jabir Alalwani, the chairman of a council that issues Islamic legal opinions for Muslims in North America, opened a copy of the Koran to Page 1,732 and read aloud in Arabic a verse that lays out the rules of when a Muslim may fight.
"The verse says you have a right to fight those people who try to force you to adopt another religion or to leave your home," said Dr. Taha, a Muslim judge who founded a graduate school in Leesburg to teach Islam to Westerners and Western values to Muslims. "But America didn't ask you to abandon your religion. America didn't deport you, or tell you to leave your homes."
Questions about the role of religion in justifying the attacks have taken on fresh urgency with the discovery of letters that the Justice Department believes belonged to the hijackers. The letters cited from the Koran and reminded the hijackers that they were on a holy mission that would lead them to "eternal paradise with all righteous and martyrs."

And so many, many more.

Spend 3 minutes on Google and you can come up with scores of examples of moderate Muslims condemning bin Ladenism. Spend a little more time with some history books about the Middle East and you'll learn that moderate Islam is at the forefront of the clash against radical Islam and is fighting tooth and nail against it, using an array of strategies from brutal government oppression to educational outreach.

6/04/2008 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger randian said...

I would take anything Fadlallah, al-Qaradawi, or any other of the clerics you mention, say with a big heaping teaspoon of taqiyya-resistant salt. They use weasel words like "legitimate" and "innocent" in order to bamboozle western listeners who foolishly believe that what the cleric meant by those words is what a western speaker would mean.

6/04/2008 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

McDaddyo: If there were no moderate Islam, there would be no such "apostates."

More unadulterated horseradish. What in Hell makes you think that Islam is not entirely intolerant of any heretical objections to its dictates? The "apostates" exist precisely because Islam cannot endure or tolerate the least dissent. What is unclear about this?

By definition, a radical is someone who rejects the mainstream. If no such mainstream exists, he cannot be a radical.

This is only the case if your sophistry holds any water. Plainly, it doesn't. Mainstream Islam is obviously radical. That you refuse to recognize this fact does not change its truth.

Clearly, the Muslim mainstream does exist in the form of hundreds of billions of peace-loving, innocent, hard-working, tax-paying Muslims mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.
[emphasis added]

Ummmm ... no. There are only somewhere between one to one and a half billion Muslims in the world's population of 6 billion people. Your "hundreds of billions" of people do not exist. Get your facts straight, emkay?

It is up to them, not bin Laden and not Zenster, to decide what the Koran compels them to do.

And if Muslims all decide that the Koran compels them to choose that global terrorism is "right", does that make it acceptable? You are well out of your depth here. A simple glance at Koranic doctrine shows how ALL Muslims are obliged to embrace terrorism.

What he also makes clear, however, is that bin Laden's version of Islam is widely, bitterly and in many cases, brutally, rejected by the religion's mainstream.

Bu!!$hit. Where are the mass Muslim demonstrations against bin Laden's interpretation of Islam? Where are the vast numbers of Muslims who publicly declare that they are intentionally withholding all zakat in protest against it's common mode use towards funding terrorism?

You talk about Islam's "mainstream". Do you have the slightest awareness that mainstream Islam has reformed itself in the last 40 years?

Be assured that Islam has most certainly reformed itself. It has become:

More violent

More Puritanical

More intolerant

More misogynistic

More anti-Semitic

More anti-Western

More anti-homosexual

More xenophobic

More racist

Need I go on? I shall if you cannot get it through your apparently thick skull that Islam has intentionally placed itself on a disastrous collision course with Western civilization. One in which the West shares no part of the blame.

Please be sure to examine Randian's salient reply before wasting any more of my time with your benighted answers.

Gah!

McDaddyo: The evidence that bin Ladenism is rejected by mainstream Islam is overwhelming:

Then why aren't there massive and unmistakable worldwide public demonstrations against Osama bin Laden? Why haven't Pakistani Western Frontier denizens handed over bin Laden for the criminal that he most certainly is?

Don't make the mistake of thinking that Osama bin Laden is the true face of a billion Muslims

Osama most definitely isn't. The Koran most clearly is. Seeing how there is so little conflict between the two, your attempted distinction falls rather flat.

... said Dr. Safir Akhtar, a research scholar at the Islamic University in Islamabad, a Saudi-financed institution that has long been a magnet for young militants from around the Islamic world.

Again, I challenge you to prove that such a statement has any credibility. You mention "a Saudi-financed institution". You must be delusional. The Saudis are amongst the most deceitful and determined at spreading global terrorism. Once again, are you brain dead?

Sheik Fadlallah, now 66, has been relentless in his condemnation of the attacks in America.
He preaches that they were "not compatible with Shariah law," the Koranic legal code, nor with the Islamic concept of jihad, and that the perpetrators were not martyrs as Mr. bin Laden has claimed, but "merely suicides," because they killed innocent civilians, and in a distant land, America.


What if this is taqiyya? Go ahead, answer the question. If you cannot, all of your foregoing statements fall into doubt as well. GOT IT?

"There is no concept of jihad as aggressive combat," he said

BULLSHIT. The notion of how "jihad is a spiritual quest" is one that was introduced within the last 200 years. Until then, "JIHAD" HAS ALWAYS MEANT THE FORCEFUL CONVERSION OF INFIDELS TO ISLAM. I dare you to produce a scrap of evidence that contradicts this notion.

"There is no concept of jihad as aggressive combat," he said, quoting verses of the Koran that Islamic theologians have argued over for centuries. In misreading these texts, he said, Mr. bin Laden had relied on "personal psychological needs," including a "tribal urge for revenge."

Please come back whe you have mastered the concept of "abrogation" and how it applies to Koranic passages. Quite clearly you have yet to do so.

Sheik Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, with a history of anti-American militancy even longer than Sheik Fadlallah's, expresses a similar view.

Bwahahahahahaha!!!

Yusuf ("BEAT YOUR WIFE LIGHTLY") Qaradawi is almost single-handedly responsible for all of the theological gymnastics that consecrated suicide bombings as "martyrdom operations". Let's get this clear right now, DO YOU SUPPORT QARADAWI'S INTERPRETATION OF ISLAM?

But on the Sept. 11 attacks, he [Qaradawi] said: "Islam, the religion of tolerance, holds the human soul in high esteem, and considers the attack on innocent human beings a grave sin," said. "Even in times of war, Muslims are not allowed to kill anybody save the one who is engaged in face-to-face confrontation with them.

If you believe in and support such complete and total bullshit, then there is no further use in debating you. Qaradawi is a terrorist and nothing else. Do you disagree?

Shaykh Tantawi has stated that the Koran "specifically forbids the kinds of things the Taliban and al-Qaida are guilty of,"

Then why don't you see this rotten bastard hunting down Osama in his Pakistani lair?

I'll stop here because your evidence is so flimsy as to be an affront to those who are firing on all cylinders.

McDaddyo, when the time comes for Americans to determine who has and HAS NOT fought terrorism, you'll be sorely surprised by the verdict.

I'm a lifelong democratic party voter who simply CANNOT support any further spewing of the horrendous CRAP being thrust upon America by their communist candidates. You've proven over and over again just how incredibly gullible Liberal stooges are and I'll have nothing to do with your brand of idiocy.

Please keep in mind that I rarely, if ever, descend into such name-calling at public fora, but you have wasted so much of my personal time that I can no longer restrain myself. PLEASE PISS OFF!

6/04/2008 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Randian:
If your claim that Muslims lie in the service of their ideology were true, it would therefore be impossible for you to know whether bin Laden or his critics are telling the truth about their interpretation of Islam.

On the other hand, we can judge ordinary Muslims on their behavior. And on that score, we see that only a very tiny fraction are involved in terrorism.

6/04/2008 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

McDaddyo,

"On the other hand, we can judge ordinary Muslims on their behavior. And on that score, we see that only a very tiny fraction are involved in terrorism."

Most ordinary Germans in World War II were not involved in Nazism, the SS, the Gestapo or the German Military forces.

The question is not are ordinary Muslims personally innocent, it is whether they are a part of a Religion which is contaminated by evil. The religion of Islam is contaminated by the evil of murdering Sharia Law and mass-murdering offensive Jihad.

Ultimately all Muslims who do not take up arms and wage war against the evil within the Islamic religion will be guilty of not hating and waging just war against this evil - just as all Germans paid a dear price for the evil within their German society in the 1930's and 1940's.

6/04/2008 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Loving Zenster's all caps and exclamation points. As well as everyone else's.

Can I point out that McDaddyo has (once again) derailed a thread, from what the original topic was to an apologia for Islam?

Shall we all agree that it would be nice if management would show McDaddyo the door and urge him to find other greener fields for his spewed idiocies?

6/04/2008 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger randian said...

If your claim that Muslims lie in the service of their ideology were true, it would therefore be impossible for you to know whether bin Laden or his critics are telling the truth about their interpretation of Islam.

You consistently make the mistake of thinking that Bin Laden has an "interpretation" of Islam, as if he is not in agreement with rulings of the orthodox schools. That is wrong, his words and actions are entirely within the norms of the orthodox schools. It is exceedingly odd to suggest that Bin Laden would be lying about Islam. Indeed, it is his call to orthodox Islam that makes him popular and gains him followers. As for his "critics", most of them only criticize al-Qaeda's bombings of other Muslims, not what he does or wants to do to infidels. The ones who actually criticize his attacks on infidels are doing so through an entirely Islamic lens: that he has no authority to order such attacks because that right is reserved to the Caliph, or that the attacks hurt the Muslims more than they help. They do not do so out of concern for infidels. Some of his "critics" are taqiyya masters: they claim it's wrong to kill "innocents", but forget to mention that anybody who resists the spread of Islam is not innocent under Islamic law. This omission is intentional, so as to mislead the infidel into thinking the word "innocent" is meant as the infidel means it. And of course there are the straight-up liars who say one thing in English and another in Arabic or Urdu.

6/04/2008 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Islam has been around for some 13 centuries. And after more than 1,300 years, most Muslims remain moderate.

Even if we accept the Muslim-haters argument that Islam is by its very nature extremist and incompatible with civil society, we are left with the puzzle of why after so long, the majority remain moderate and, indeed, in control of all the largest Muslim countries.

If after more than 1,300 years most Muslims--and ALL the most powerful Muslims--still see fit to supress their essential extremist nature and ignore the demands of their scriptures, why shouldn't we believe that they will continue to do so for the next 1,300 years?

If the Nazi holocaust, Stalin's terror, the collapse of the Ottoman empire, the French revolution, Great Depression, the American revolution, the invention of the microchip, the war against the IRA, the war on drugs, the war on communism and and so on did nothing to allow Islam to attain its extremist manifestation among the majority of Muslims, what trend, invention or circumstance would allow that to happen now?

The way I see it, America has been at the peak of its relative economic, political, geopolitical and cultural power for the past two decades.

We have seen some relative decline of late, given the rise of China and the Iraq debacle, but we have a very, very long way to fall before any other nation even approaches America's level in any of those areas.

How is it the Muslim haters see America as so utterly week that it's survival is threatened by an ideology that, after 1,300 years, cannot even claim majority status among the people born and raised within it?

6/05/2008 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"Islam has been around for some 13 centuries. And after more than 1,300 years, most Muslims remain moderate."

The moderate attitude of ordinary Muslims today is as irrelevant as the moderate attitude of ordinary Germans in World War II.

What is important is the government of Muslim nations, and those governments suffer under the evil of Totalitarian Sharia Law; either openly as in Iran and Saudi Arabia, or in the background as in most other Islamic nations.

For 1,300 years ordinary Muslims have suffered under a Totalitarian system of government; and for 1,300 years non-Muslim peoples and nations have been subjigated or conqured by the same.

When the Christian Middle-Eastern and North African societies fell to Muslim conquest in the seventh and eighth centuries, they fell to a system just as it is today - a system whose majority are ordinary Muslims. When the Byzantine nation fell to Muslim conquest in the fifteenth century, it fell in the same way - to a system whose majority were ordinary Muslims.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID={6AA49466-2575-491F-B712-CEA90FCCCD0D}

http://www.politicalislam.com/

6/05/2008 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

McDaddyo: Even if we accept the Muslim-haters argument that Islam is by its very nature extremist and incompatible with civil society, we are left with the puzzle of why after so long, the majority remain moderate and, indeed, in control of all the largest Muslim countries.

Muslims maintain control of those large countries through extreme violence. Both in their original conquest of those regions and in their continuing exercise of brutal shari'a jurisprudence within those same areas.

If after more than 1,300 years most Muslims--and ALL the most powerful Muslims--still see fit to supress their essential extremist nature and ignore the demands of their scriptures, why shouldn't we believe that they will continue to do so for the next 1,300 years?

Except for the fact that nowhere do Muslims "see fit to supress their essential extremist nature". The Muslim empire is built, literally, upon mountains of skulls. Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse Dong COMBINED couldn't hold a candle to the mass slaughter visited upon our world by Muslims. Best estimates hover in the range of 80,000,000 deaths at Muslim hands. This gruesome tradition continues today with over 10,000 fatal terrorist attacks since the 9-11 atrocity. In no way do Muslims "ignore the demands of their scriptures". In fact, they have followed them to the letter.

Islam has enslaved more people, including blacks, than colonial Europe and America COMBINED. The VERY LAST nation on earth to outlaw slavery was Saudi Arabia, which did so only in 1962. Even today, Muslims routinely face legal charges of slavery in Western courts as they put the Koran into practice.

McDaddyo, you epitomize Islam's most perfect form of "useful idiot". You cheerfully spread their most outrageous lies and willingly ignore the serious ramifications of taqiyya in Muslim culture. This makes you a danger to all free people and especially so to yourself.

In your swirl of admiration for one of the world's most barbaric cultures you remain blind to the fact that you would NEVER have a seat at the Islamic table and, more likely, be the first to die at their hands. Your cultural relativism is repellant and your moral relativism demonstrates a stunning degree of intellectual bankruptcy.

Quite clearly, you have not read the Koran, yet feel qualified to defend this blood soaked piece of totalitarian filth. You and others like you are traitors to Western civilization and of an ilk whose abject moral cowardice goes beyond pathetic.

6/05/2008 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Storm-rider writes:
``The moderate attitude of ordinary Muslims today is as irrelevant as the moderate attitude of ordinary Germans in World War II.''

My point was that moderate Muslims exist, so I see we're making progress in that you've at least acknowledged that.

Just as Germany and its people are now models of democracy, social development, economic growth and religious tolerance, there is no reason to believe that the same cannot happen with ordinary moderate Muslims.

As Zenster points out, the primary victims of sharia are moderate Muslims themselves, which is why the biggest Muslim countries do not base their legal systems strictly on sharia law.

No one is suggesting that radical Islam is not a serious threat to moderate Islam. The point is that moderate Islam exists and that it is on the front line of the battle against radical Islam. If we want to defeat radical Islam, the best way is to support moderate Islam.

6/05/2008 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"The point is that moderate Islam exists and that it is on the front line of the battle against radical Islam. If we want to defeat radical Islam, the best way is to support moderate Islam."

McDaddyo, as I see it Moderate Islam is the velvet glove concealing the iron fist of Radical Totalitarian Islam; just as Socialism is to Communism. The ancient civilizations of the Middle-East, North Africa and Byzantium may have also been somewhat confused by the velvet glove right up until the time of their conquest.

Totalitarian Sharia Law is the key - as long as it is in play, even in so-called Moderate Islam, there is a continuous threat to real life, liberty and creative pursuit of happiness - for the infidel especially.

I will not trust any form of Political Islam, i.e.: when Sharia Law is present - period. I will trust the politics of Muslims when they declare in mass that the sacred rights of man, i.e.: life, liberty and creative pursuit of happiness derive from the Creator, not from any government; and that just government power derives only through the consent of the governed.

Furthermore, I will not trust any form of Political Islam until it has adopted a Constitution which limits government power from infringing on the rights of its people, i.e.: no infringement on the irreversible God-given rights of individual freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom to bear arms and act in self-defense, freedom to own property, freedom to vote, freedom to trial by jury, freedom to petition government, equal protection of law to all citizens, no religious test for elected or appointed government officials, division of powers into the three branches, and uninterrupted elections of the legislatures and executive powers, etc.

In other words, I won’t trust any form of Political Islam until the Islamic nations have developed representative republics with declared irreversible God-given human rights; i.e.: a Constitution and Declaration of Independence which is like our own. I will not trust Political Islam until there is separation of Mosque and State, i.e.: separation of Sharia Law from State.

6/05/2008 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

from the Associated Press
ANKARA, TURKEY -- Turkey's top court ruled Thursday that Islamic head scarves violate secularism and cannot be allowed at universities, deepening a divide between the country's Islamic-oriented government and secular institutions.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government had tried to allow the scarves at universities as a matter of personal and religious freedom.

But the Constitutional Court said the constitutional amendments passed by Parliament in February went against secularism.

The head scarf issue is an explosive one in Turkey, where the government is locked in a power struggle with secular groups that have support from the military and other state institutions.

Turkey's chief prosecutor is seeking to disband the ruling party on grounds that it is "the focal point of anti-secular activities" in a separate case at the Constitutional Court. The prosecutor -- who has also asked that Erdogan and other party officials be banned from politics for five years -- has cited the attempts to allow head scarves at universities as a case in point.

So who are these Turks who want to ban Erdogan, head scarves, etc?

They are Muslims, of course, and they are perfectly comfortable being Muslim and living in a secular, democratic society.

Their staking a lot -- in some cases their lives -- on defeating radical Islam. Yet Radian, Fred, and Storm-Rider insist they are not real Muslims.

6/06/2008 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Good for the Turks. Let's see if the separation of Mosque and State has legs in Turkey - I pray that it does - There is hope.

One of my good friends is a Turkish-American, and what a great guy he is. Our sons play ice-hockey together.

6/06/2008 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Exerpts from an article by Daniel Pipes:

"For Muslims to build fully functioning democracies, they basically must reject the Shari‘a's public aspects. Atatürk frontally did just that in Turkey..."

"Muslims can modernize their religion, but that requires major changes: Out go waging jihad to impose Muslim rule, second-class citizenship for non-Muslims, and death sentences for blasphemy or apostasy. In come individual freedoms, civil rights, political participation, popular sovereignty, equality before the law, and representative elections."

"Globally, the compelling and powerful Islamist movement obstructs democracy. It seeks the opposite of reform and modernization – namely, the reassertion of the Shari‘a in its entirety. A jihadist like Osama bin Laden may spell out this goal more explicitly than an establishment politician like Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but both seek to create a thoroughly anti-democratic, if not totalitarian, order."

"Islamists are eager to use elections to attain power, and have proven themselves to be agile vote-getters; even a terrorist organization (Hamas) has won an election. This record does not render the Islamists democratic but indicates their tactical flexibility and their determination to gain power. As Erdogan has revealingly explained, "Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off."

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=673DF228-030E-4064-891C-23830FFC8050

6/06/2008 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger Neo Conservative said...

*
"If only Canada were more like Saudi Arabia..."

*

6/06/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"They are Muslims, of course, and they are perfectly comfortable being Muslim and living in a secular, democratic society."

But what about Muslims living in Canada and England? And, more to the point, what about Muslims living in the United States?

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=965C8E1B-2676-406E-A862-0C4D99BFF6A5

http://infidelsarecool.com/2008/06/01/christian-ministers-threatened-with-arrest-for-wintessing-in-muslim-areas-in-the-uk/

6/06/2008 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Storm-rider: Turkey has been secular for more than 80 years.

from wikipedia:
For about the next 10 years, the country saw a steady process of secular Westernization through Atatürk's Reforms, which included the unification of education; the discontinuation of religious and other titles; the closure of Islamic courts and the replacement of Islamic canon law with a secular civil code modeled after Switzerland's and a penal code modeled after the Italian Penal Code; recognition of the equality between the sexes and the granting of full political rights to women on 5 December 1934; the language reform initiated by the newly founded Turkish Language Association; replacement of the Ottoman Turkish alphabet with the new Turkish alphabet derived from the Latin alphabet; the dress law (the wearing of a fez, a traditional Muslim hat, is outlawed); the law on family names; and many others.

6/06/2008 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"Turkey has been secular for more than 80 years."

Yea, but I don't live in Turkey.

What about Canada and England? Muslims there are on the warpath against human liberty, i.e.: freedom of speech and freedom of movement and association. What about creeping anti-liberty Sharia Law in the United States - through so-called hate crime laws?

http://infidelsarecool.com/2008/06/01/christian-ministers-threatened-with-arrest-for-wintessing-in-muslim-areas-in-the-uk/

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/04/23/intimidation-islamist-attacks-across-the-west/

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=965C8E1B-2676-406E-A862-0C4D99BFF6A5

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=95F30557-369D-47BA-AC6E-99C0CB173C43

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=965C8E1B-2676-406E-A862-0C4D99BFF6A5

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=24176

6/06/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Muslims have virtually zero chance of imposing sharia in the U.S., Canada or Europe.

Don't get confused between imposing sharia and religious tolerance.

American ideals and institutions are far too robust and self-developing to face a serious challenge from radical Islam, an weak, divisive, self-defeating ideology that only appeals to people who have little or nothing to lose.

6/06/2008 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"Muslims have virtually zero chance of imposing sharia in the U.S., Canada or Europe."

Well, McDaddyo, tell that to Mark Steyn, and while you're at it, tell that to the Christian ministers in England. The only hate crime here is the hatred of the Canadian and English legal systems for liberty, i.e.: freedom of speech, travel and assembly - now that is a real hate crime.

"He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message," one of the preachers said. "He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station." The officer threatened, “If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned."

"There appear to have been many attacks on vicars or churches by Muslims who are clearly intent on turning east London into a no-go area for Christians."

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=965C8E1B-2676-406E-A862-0C4D99BFF6A5

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/04/23/intimidation-islamist-attacks-across-the-west/

http://infidelsarecool.com/2008/06/01/christian-ministers-threatened-with-arrest-for-wintessing-in-muslim-areas-in-the-uk/

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=965C8E1B-2676-406E-A862-0C4D99BFF6A5

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID=95F30557-369D-47BA-AC6E-99C0CB173C43

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=24176

6/06/2008 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger McDaddyo said...

Britain, like every country, in every place, in every time, has its bigots. Some happen to be Muslims.

Sometimes, bigots, be they anti-Muslim, pro-Muslim, or otherwise, find sympathy with the police.

But again, the activities of the tiny minority can't be confused with the peaceful, tolerate behavior of the vast majority of Britain's Muslims.

Same goes for the U.S., where the vast majority of Muslims live peaceful, tolerate lives that bring harm to no one.

Islam, just like Christianity and Judaism, has its thugs and always will. But they are a tiny minority. To suggest that this tiny minority defines the majority -- whose behavior doesn't inculde thuggery -- is classic bigotry.

6/07/2008 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

What's happening in Canada and in England are not just disconnected examples of individual Muslims and individual Leftists displaying bigotry against those who speak against the injustice of Islamic Sharia Law, or those who speak up for the Christian faith; this is an organized legal and political effort. What is afoot is not individual action, it is legal and governmental action; and therefore, what is happening is not just bigotry, it is legal and government tyranny - tyranny against human liberty.

"Law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." Thomas Jefferson

To label those who speak against bigotry and tyranny as being bigots is simply the failure to distinguish between good and evil - not an intellectual failure - a moral failure.

The concept of a higher law and Divine human rights is a great threat to the totalitarian state because it recognizes a power greater than the state and the federal law. The Canadian Human Rights Commission is at its heart an organ of State Totalitarianism; it is the enemy of the irreversible rights of man - the first of which is the right to speak freely. As noted above, the Canadian Constitution has an escape clause "subject only to such reasonable limits" to render liberty, i.e.: freedom of speech, reversible if the state so decides.

Divinely ordained liberty and free speech is an alien concept to Islam as well as to European Totalitarianism; and it should therefore come as no surprise that these two political ideologies make common cause - they are birds of a feather, and they are both anti-American to the core.

6/07/2008 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> "We don't do cities. You can't fight an idea. Cut off one head and another will grow. The harder you fight terrorism the stronger it becomes. Muslims will never become your allies in fighting terrorist organizations. Democracy will never work in the Middle East. America only knows how to fight regular battles like World War 2."

This sounds remarkably like the crap that was being spouted in the 70s by the Communists and their Useful Idiots. Reagan dealt with that Gordian knot.

Now let's hope humanity can get the same sort of luck with Radical Islam.

6/11/2008 09:59:00 PM  

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