Islam and Free Speech
The Netherlands is bracing for a new round of violence at home and against its embassies in the Middle East. The storm would be caused by "Fitna," a short film that is scheduled to be released this week. The film, which reportedly includes images of a Quran being burned, was produced by Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament and leader of the Freedom Party. Mr. Wilders has called for banning the Quran -- which he has compared to Hitler's "Mein Kampf" -- from the Netherlands.
After concern about the film led Mr. Wilders's Internet service provider to take down his Web site, Mr. Wilders issued a statement this week that he will personally distribute DVDs "On the Dam" if he has to. That may not be necessary, as the Czech National Party has reportedly agreed to host the video on its Web site.
Reasonable men in free societies regard Geert Wilders's anti-Muslim rhetoric, and films like "Fitna," as disrespectful of the religious sensitivities of members of the Islamic faith. But free societies also hold freedom of speech to be a fundamental human right. We don't silence, jail or kill people with whom we disagree just because their ideas are offensive or disturbing. We believe that when such ideas are openly debated, they sink of their own weight and attract few followers.
Our country allows fringe groups like the American Nazi Party to demonstrate, as long as they are peaceful. Americans are permitted to burn the national flag. In 1989, when so-called artist Andres Serrano displayed his work "Piss Christ" -- a photo of a crucifix immersed in a bottle of urine -- Americans protested peacefully and moved to cut off the federal funding that supported Mr. Serrano. There were no bombings of museums. No one was killed over this work that was deeply offensive to Christians.
Criticism of Islam, however, has led to violence and murder world-wide. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie over his 1988 book, "The Satanic Verses." Although Mr. Rushdie has survived, two people associated with the book were stabbed, one fatally. The 2005 Danish editorial cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad led to numerous deaths. Dutch director Theodoor van Gogh was killed in 2004, several months after he made the film "Submission," which described violence against women in Islamic societies. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch member of parliament who wrote the script for "Submission," received death threats over the film and fled the country for the United States.
The violence Dutch officials are anticipating now is part of a broad and determined effort by the radical jihadist movement to reject the basic values of modern civilization and replace them with an extreme form of Shariah. Shariah, the legal code of Islam, governed the Muslim world in medieval times and is used to varying degrees in many nations today, especially in Saudi Arabia.
Radical jihadists are prepared to use violence against individuals to stop them from exercising their free speech rights. In some countries, converting a Muslim to another faith is a crime punishable by death. While Muslim clerics are free to preach and proselytize in the West, some Muslim nations severely restrict or forbid other faiths to do so. In addition, moderate Muslims around the world have been deemed apostates and enemies by radical jihadists.
Radical jihadists believe representative government is un-Islamic, and urge Muslims who live in democracies not to exercise their right to vote. The reason is not hard to understand: When given a choice, most Muslims reject the extreme approach to Islam. This was recently demonstrated in Iraq's Anbar Province, which went from an al-Qaeda stronghold to an area supporting the U.S.-led coalition. This happened because the populace came to intensely dislike the fanatical ways of the radicals, which included cutting off fingers of anyone caught smoking a cigarette, 4 p.m. curfews, beatings and beheadings. There also were forced marriages between foreign-born al Qaeda fighters and local Sunni women.
There may be a direct relationship between the radical jihadists' opposition to democracy and their systematic abuse of women. Women have virtually no rights in this radical world: They must conceal themselves, cannot hold jobs, and have been subjected to honor killings. Would most women in Muslim countries vote for a candidate for public office who supported such oppressive rules?
Not all of these radicals are using violence to supplant democratic society with an extreme form of Shariah. Some in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark are attempting to create parallel Islamic societies with separate courts for Muslims. According to recent press reports, British officials are investigating the cases of 30 British Muslim school-age girls who "disappeared" for probable forced marriages.
While efforts to create parallel Islamic societies have been mostly peaceful, they may actually be a jihadist "waiting game," based on the assumption that the Islamic populations of many European states will become the majority over the next 25-50 years due to higher Muslim birth rates and immigration.
What is particularly disturbing about these assaults against modern society is how the West has reacted with appeasement, willful ignorance, and a lack of journalistic criticism. Last year PBS tried to suppress "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," a hard-hitting documentary that contained criticism of radical jihadists. Fortunately, Fox News agreed to air the film.
Even if the new Wilders film proves newsworthy, it is likely that few members of the Western media will air it, perhaps because they have been intimidated by radical jihadist threats. The only major U.S. newspaper to reprint any of the controversial 2005 Danish cartoons was Denver's Rocky Mountain News. You can be sure that if these cartoons had mocked Christianity or Judaism, major American newspapers would not have hesitated to print them.
European officials have been similarly cautious. A German court ruled last year that a German Muslim man had the right to beat his wife, as this was permitted under Shariah. Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, stated last month that the implementation of some measure of Shariah in Britain was "unavoidable" and British Muslims should have the choice to use Shariah in marital and financial matters.
I do not defend the right of Geert Wilders to air his film because I agree with it. I expect I will not. (I have not yet seen the film). I defend the right of Mr. Wilders and the media to air this film because free speech is a fundamental right that is the foundation of modern society. Western governments and media outlets cannot allow themselves to be bullied into giving up this precious right due to threats of violence. We must not fool ourselves into believing that we can appease the radical jihadist movement by allowing them to set up parallel societies and separate legal systems, or by granting them special protection from criticism.
A central premise of the American experiment are these words from the Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." There are similar statements in the U.S. Constitution, British Common Law, the Napoleonic Code and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. As a result, hundreds of millions in the U.S. and around the world enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and many other rights.
These liberties have been won through centuries of debate, conflict and bloodshed. Radical jihadists want to sacrifice all we have learned by returning to a primitive and intolerant world. While modern society invites such radicals to peacefully exercise their faith, we cannot and will not sacrifice our fundamental freedoms.
Gotta Love These Dems
by Evan Sayet
So, let me see if I've got this right... Bill Clinton is "McCarthy," while Bill Richardson is "Judas," Geraldine Ferraro is a "racist" while Jeremiah Wright is the Dem's leading candidate's "spiritual adviser," mentor and close personal friend and guru of the last two decades.
Bill Clinton, when he's not Joe McCarthy, is a "racist," this, just a few years after the Democrats told us he was America's "first black president." Hillary makes up stories about her trip to Bosnia -- not dissimilar in the least to John Kerry's fake stories about Vietnam. 10 years or so ago there was a "vast right wing conspiracy" out to get those lovely, lovely Clinton folks, now it's the Clintons who are corrupt and evil and, well, everything the Democrats denied not all that long ago.
Meanwhile, Joe Lieberman, the great and moral "conscience of the Senate" and the Democrats' choice to be but a heartbeat away from the presidency? Turns out he's a "warmonger" and maybe even a "zionist" (read: Jew), making at least two out of the last five or so Democrat Veep candidates purely evil. We should have known that Lieberman was a Nazi because, that's what the Democrats told us BEFORE he was "the conscience of the Senate," when he asked record companies if they wouldn't voluntarily put warning labels on the musical version of what Jerry Wright preaches to Obama and his kids. Lieberman has had more ups and downs than Bill on a fat chick.
Oh, wait, don't forget John Edwards. He's a guy who ran not once but twice on the incredible dual platform that, in evil, horrible America it is impossible to go from poor to rich and concurrently selling himself as someone who understands the "other" America because he himself went from, uh, poor to rich. Now THAT'S good, no wonder they made him the Veep choice -- bringing us to three out of the last five.
Now, in a move he must have learned from watching John Edwards, Obama is running a campaign as a "post-racial" candidate and, to prove it, he makes a big speech on race, where he throws his white grandmother -- you know, that "typical white person" -- under the bus to defend the hate-mongering of his mentor, friend, spiritual guru and campaign adviser, Jeremieh "God DAMN America" Wright.
At the same time, the man who set out to "prove" that he was post-patriotic by consciously refusing to wear even the tiniest of American flag lapel pins (and whose wife publicly testifies that she has never been proud of America) stands up and makes his pro-Wright, anti-white-grandma speech in front of not one, not two, not three, not four but EIGHT giant American flags.
Welcome to the Democrat Party -- racists, warmongers, liars, cheats and hypocrites... and this is just what they call each other!
Does affirmative action hurt kids?
Yes, says author of new bilingual children's book
It's a publishing first. In his new kids' book, "Joey Gonzalez, Great American," author Tony Robles takes on one of today's most polarizing issues - affirmative action. Using words and pictures that kids can easily understand, "Joey Gonzalez" shows how government programs designed to "help" children are often the ones that do the most harm.
In fact, the idea for "Joey Gonzalez" came about because of the author's own educational experience - one based on merit, not race. "I attended Boys' High School in New York in the '60s," says Tony Robles. "Even though the students were primarily minority and low-income, we were held to strict academic standards. The principal and staff were committed to helping us succeed by showing us that we could compete with anyone." It was this strong foundation in part that led to Robles' successful career in law enforcement.
In today's schools, however, competition has become a dirty word, he says. Affirmative action is a policy, says Robles, that pits kids against each other in all the wrong ways. Instead of being challenged and prepared to compete in the real world, Robles contends that "minority kids learn early on that they will never get the credit they deserve for working hard and trying to succeed on their own." At the same time, other children resent the preferred treatment that their minority classmates receive, and end up resenting them.
In fact, the sorry state of American education is what led Tony Robles to write "Joey Gonzalez." Instead of perpetuating feelings of inferiority and anger, "Joey" challenges the affirmative action mindset using strong and positive imagery.
"By following Joey's adventures, kids get an alternative perspective to the dependency that affirmative action breeds, whether they're black, white or Hispanic," Robles asserts. "The book's goal is to encourage not just ethnic pride, but national and personal pride. Through showing the virtues of self-reliance, 'Joey' helps kids reject the idea that certain people need special preferences simply because they are black or Hispanic."
A mind parasite is essentially an internalized lie that takes on a pseudo-life of its own. I believe the term is an accurate one, for it is meant to convey the idea that a vital lie that lodges itself in the psyche is not static, but takes on the characteristics of the host, so to speak. I remember once discussing this with my analyst. I don't remember the exact context of the problem I was whining about, but he said words to the effect of, "What do you expect? It's as smart as you are."
In other words, the mind parasite has available to it all of the elaborate machinery of the mind. Therefore, it can easily justify itself, elaborate itself, gang up on the truth, intimidate healthier parts of the psyche. It's like a dictator who uses legitimate means to come to power, but then corruptly uses all of the levers of power to stay there and eliminate opponents.
Those who are in thrall to the lie are by definition slaves. While they may enjoy a subjective sense of freedom, it is an illusion. In fact, they have forfeited their freedom and are attached to a monstrous demon that they have generated out of their own psychic substance, in the same way that a spider weaves a web out of its own body.
Think of a vivid example that is readily at hand -- the Islamists. Is it not obvious that they are absolutely enslaved by artificial beings of their own creation? And that they want everyone else to be enslaved by the same demon? Does this not demonstrate the insane power of demons?
There are personal mind parasites and collective mind parasites. Many cultures revolve entirely around monstrous entities that have been engendered by whole communities, such as the Aztec. Here again, it would be wrong to say that the Aztec had a "bloodthirsty god" -- rather, it clearly had them. Thousands upon thousands of human beings sacrificed to satisfy this god's appetite for human blood, elaborate mechanisms set up to supply fresh bodies, the heart of the sacrificial victim cut out by the officiating priest who would himself take a bite out of it while it was still beating. A whole society of Jeffrey Dahmers trying desperately to allay anxiety by vampirically ingesting the life force of others. The Islamists are just the latest idition of this unconscious anti-religion. But you undoubtedly know some people in your own life who do the same thing -- hungry ghosts who "feed" on the spirit or blog of others.
In all times and in all places, human beings have looked for ways to objectify and worship their self-created demons. This is preferable to having them run around loose in one's own psyche. Take again the example of the Islamist. How would one even begin to tell him: "you have a persecutory entity inside of you that your life revolves around. You have placed it outside of yourself so as to make your life bearable, for it conceals a truth that is too painful to endure."
To a large extent, this dynamic is at the heart of more mundane politics as well. For those who do not experience George Bush as a demon, it is almost impossible to understand those who do, any more than we can really understand the motivations of the Aztec. The collective mind parasite has a grammar and logic all its own, inaccessible to all but initiates into the Lie.
You don't actually want to get that close to an intoxicating Lie of that magnitude. It's not safe. Better to observe it from a respectful distance. Otherwise, you will find yourself pulled down into a false world of counter-lying rather than simple truth. You cannot create an artificial "good demon," which is what secular leftists are trying to do when they aren't creating bad ones. Those who criticize my "negativity" probably think I am engaging in the former -- heatedly countering the lie -- when I am calmly engaged in the latter -- simply affirming the truth that is and has always been. This is the inner meaning of "resist not evil." Resist it in the wrong way, and you come into its orbit.
For as old Anonymous points out, a demon operates through a combination of will and imagination. You may think of perverse will as the male principle and perverse imagination as the female principle. Together they beget the demon child that then controls the parents, taking over both will and imagination. C onsider how so much art and academic nonsense is nothing more than the elaboration of the perverse imagination -- ideological superstructures giving cover to lies of various magnitude. Think of how much "activism" is simply the angry agitation of the perverse will, just the punitive hedonism of a corrupt superego.
This is the inner meaning of "you shall not make for yourself a graven image," for Truth is a living thing, a Being, that cannot be reduced to the idolatrous systems of men, especially corrupted men who do not honor Truth to begin with. Most modern and postmodern ideologies and philosophies are opiates of elites too sophisticated for such powerful pneumaceuticals as Truth.
And this is the inner meaning of "honor your father and mother": not rebelling against received truth and tradition in an adolescent manner, especially before you are even mature enough to understand what it means. But the Obamaniacs will always be with us in one form or another.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.