Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Odyssey of Islamism in America
By Amil Imani
Islamism is a mutation of Islam and is rapidly advancing on two fronts. In every Islamic country, it is cowing the non-radicals while recruiting more and more radicals into its own ranks. In non-Muslim lands, flush with Petrodollars, Islamism is establishing itself as a formidable force by enlisting the disaffected and attracting the delusional liberals with its promises. For the faithful, there is the added incentive of Allah’s heaven and its irresistible attractions.
Wherever Islam goes, so goes its ethos. Throwing acid in the face of women who fail to don the hijab or just by going to school, flogging people for sporting non-Islamic haircuts, and stoning to death violators of sexual norms are only a few examples of a raft of daily barbaric acts of Islamists in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and many Islamic lands. Other forms of Islamic brutalities such as Honor Killing have already found their way to America, Germany and other European countries with the ever-burgeoning Muslim populations
Reading about these religiously mandated horrific acts and even seeing them on television or the Internet may momentarily repulse, but does not terribly concern many Americans. After all, those things are happening on the other side of the world, and those people deserve each other; we are safe in fortress America, so goes the thinking.
But “Fortress America” is a delusion that even the events of 9/11 seem to have failed to dispel. Many prefer to believe that the assault of 9/11 was an aberration, since nothing like it has happened again, and it is unlikely that anything of the sort will ever happen again, so goes the wishful thinking. The reality portrays a vastly different picture. America is far from a fortress given its vast wide-open borders. It is a nation of laws where all forms of freedom are enshrined in its constitution; it’s where Americans live by humane ethos diametrically different from those of Islamist savagery. Sadly, these differences confer great advantage to the Islamists and place America in imminent danger.
The breach of “Fortress America” from the air on 9/11 is only the first installment of many more forthcoming heinous assaults, unless we abandon our complacency, stop relying on the invincibility of the law-enforcement people and willingly make the sacrifices that would protect our way of life.
Knowing Islam intimately and having experienced its systemic savagery, has compelled me to warn repeatedly of the deadly imminent threat it poses to all non-Muslims (Why Confront Islamism) attempting to present a comprehensive treatment of the evil precepts and practices of Islamism. I am listing a few facts that should be enough to alarm anyone who cherishes liberty and freedom and awaken anyone who is comforted by the belief that all the Islamic mayhem is limited to an illiterate gang of primitive Middle Easterners and has no implications for America. Sorry, bad news is here already.
* Some 26 percent of American Muslims, ages18-29, support suicide bombings "in defense of Islam," according to findings of a recent Pew poll.
* According to Pew, there are 2.35 million Muslims in America, 30 percent of whom are in the 18-29 age range. Some claim that the number of Muslims is in fact much larger. Even using the conservative Pew numbers, over 180,000 Muslims in America are bomb-approving. This is an alarmingly large number, given that Muslims, as an article of faith, practice dissimulation in dealing with infidels and under-report their true intentions. How many human bombs and bomb-approving people does it take to wreak havoc on our country?
* The 180,000 Muslims living among us don’t define what “defense of Islam” is. It could be anything that they feel constitutes an attack on Islam and Islamic values, such as the reported flushing of the Quran down the toilet, the Danish Cartoons, Rushdie’s book, a newspaper article, an Internet posting, or even women not donning the hijab.
When religious fanatics unreservedly advocate wanton acts of mass murder, they are not likely to shy from coercion and intimidation measures to impose their will on the larger society. In tandem with the cold murder of Van Gough in Holland, for instance, Islamists had been striving to supplant civil laws with the Islamic Sharia in the country. In other lands such as France, England and Canada, Muslims have also been waging serious campaigns for adoption of the Sharia or some of its provisions, just for starters.
In 2001, ISNA published a brochure that is sent to public school teachers and administrators. "You’ve Got a Muslim Child in Your School" spells out some of the basics of Islam and specifies some of the restrictions. One section reads:
“On behalf of the Islamic Society of North America, the largest organization of Muslims in the United States and Canada, we would like to request that in view of the above teachings of Islam, Muslim students in your school system should not be required to:
1) Sit next to the opposite sex in the same classroom;
2) Participate in physical education, swimming or dancing classes. Alternative meaningful education activities should be arranged for them. We urge you to organize physical education and swimming classes separately for boys and girls in accordance with the following guidelines:
• Separate classes for boys and girls in a fully covered area
• Only male/female instructors for the respective group
• Special swimming suits that cover all the private parts of the body down to the knee
• Separate and covered shower facilities for each student
3) Participate in plays, proms, social parties, picnics, dating, etc. which require free mixing of the two sexes;
4) Participate in any event or activity related to Christmas, Easter, Halloween or Valentine’s Day. All such occasions have religious and social connotations contrary to Islamic faith and teachings. We also urge you to ensure that the following facilities are available to Muslim students in your school:
5) They are excused from their classes to attend off-campus special prayers on Fridays (approximately 1:00 to 2:00 P.M.).
6) They are excused for 15 minutes in the afternoon to offer a special prayer in a designated area on the campus. The prayer is mandatory for all Muslims and often cannot be offered after the school hours.
7) All food items containing meat of a pig in any form or shape, as well as alcohol, should be clearly labeled in the cafeteria.
8) At least one properly covered toilet should be available in each men’s and women’s room.
9) Muslim students are excused, without penalty of absence, for the two most important festivals of Islam: Eid Al-Fitr and Edi Al-Adha, in accordance with the lunar calendar.”
Ever since 9/11, and possibly before, America has been concerned about terrorists coming from Islamic lands. For this reason, some people advocated profiling as a safeguard against the 9/11 type mass murderers. But how do you profile hundreds of thousands of Muslim Americans who are already here and look and act like other Americans? How can an open free society such as ours safeguard the individual freedom we so greatly value and protect the safety of its citizens?
The immensely difficult task of safeguarding our freedom while ensuring our safety is seriously and repeatedly undermined by Islamist apologists, pontificating academes, vote-hungry politicians, and the mainstream media, each for their own reasons. Here are some of the comfort pills dispensed by the mainstream media’s polls: “Most Muslims seek to adopt American lifestyle" (U.S. Today); "Muslims assimilate better in U.S. than Europe, poll finds" (New York Times); Poll: “US Muslims Feel Post-9/11 Backlash Despite Moderate Outlook" (Voice of America).
It is said that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. The mainstream media’s manipulation of statistics goes beyond selective reporting and qualifies as outright disinformation. Is the U.S. Muslims’ outlook moderate? All U.S. Muslims? What about the self-reported outlook of hundreds of thousands who support mass murder in the “defense of Islam?”
Israel: Oath's emphasis on a democratic nation state is soundly based
There is considerable misunderstanding about the proposal in Israel to change the oath for new citizens. This involves adding a few symbolic words referring to Israel's constitutional status as "a Jewish and democratic state" to an already mandatory oath for many new citizens.
That oath is not dissimilar to the pledge new Australian citizens recite and, following a sensible change to the original cabinet proposal, would be administered, if passed, in a non-discriminatory way to all newly naturalised citizens of Israel. Yet, the change may never occur - recent reports indicate it probably lacks the parliamentary majority it needs to become law.
Nonetheless, there are good reasons on balance to regard the citizenship oath proposal as counterproductive and unnecessary. The timing was clearly dictated by coalition politics, and the proposal does risk engendering undesirable feelings of discrimination and inferiority among Israel's Arab minority.
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However, the broader argument often heard that there is something inherently contradictory or racist with Israel defining itself as a Jewish and democratic state is evidence of ignorance, sloppy thinking or discriminatory malice.
Let's go back to basics. The UN's 1947 Partition Plan called explicitly for the creation of a "Jewish state", as well as an Arab state, more than 30 times, urging both to be democratic. Israel's 1948 Declaration of Independence described Israel as both Jewish and democratic while insisting all minorities have full and equal rights.
The whole point of Zionism was, and is, to create an internationally recognised democratic Jewish nation state, fulfilling the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in the Jewish homeland.
Such an identity is internationally unexceptional, with many democracies defining themselves based on their ethnic majority. These states express, utilise and preserve a particular people's history, language, culture, religion and group symbols, but without giving members of the majority superior rights.
Many democracies have ''established'' religions, including Britain, Greece, Ireland, Spain and Italy.
Every country in the Middle East identifies itself ethnically, religiously or both. The Palestinians give Islam, as well as Arab ethnicity, official status in their constitution.
Contrary to false claims that Israel is considering instituting some sort of overt legal discrimination against Arab Israelis, this would be absolutely forbidden by Israeli constitutional law (as embodied by Israel's Declaration of Independence, Basic Laws, and court precedents).
Israel does have some ongoing social equity problems affecting its Arab minority, not dissimilar to inequities confronting ethnic minorities in many democratic countries. However, despite undoubted room for improvement, Arabs in Israel have more rights than Arabs in any other Middle Eastern country. For example, in terms of the gaps between the minority and the majority in health, education and income, Arab Israelis are significantly better off than the children of Pakistani immigrants in Britain or indigenous Australians.
The guiding principle underlying the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for almost two decades has been to create two states for two peoples so both can achieve self-determination. Which ''two peoples'' do those who query a "Jewish state" think peace processors had in mind?
It seems indisputable that for a lasting peace based on this principle, both sides should recognise the right to self-determination of the other.
Yet Palestinians, including much of Israel's Arab minority, overwhelmingly reject this idea, even while insisting on their own right of self-determination. This rejection is explicitly tied to the demand for the Palestinian right of return - a demand that the descendants of Palestinians who fled or were pushed out of what became Israel in the 1948 war be allowed to immigrate to Israel, not the Palestinian state.
Implementation of this legally baseless demand would demographically destroy the Jewish state, as some of its advocates candidly acknowledge.
Thus, even if the oath proposal is ill-advised, the Israeli government's emphasis on seeking international and internal recognition of Israel's status as the democratic nation state of the Jewish people is soundly based.
The reality at the heart of the ongoing conflict is that until both Israel's enemies and peace partners accept a Jewish nation state, barriers to achieving true peace will remain.
Democrat propaganda incites hatred of Catholicism to attack Protestant minister!
They obviously just hate Christianity generally and too bad about who gets hurt
A political mailer sent by the Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party depicting the body of a priest wearing a button that says "Ignore the Poor" is an attempt to exploit anti-Catholic sentiment for political gain, the Catholic League said Wednesday.
The DFL insists the image is part of an effort to criticize a particular Republican candidate, not Catholics. A spokesman said the mailer is directed at Dan Hall, a Protestant minister and CEO of non-profit Midwest Chaplains, who is running for state Senate against DFL Sen. John Doll.
"Dan Hall is willing to enlist God and religion in his campaign when it helps him, but in fact, his views hurt the poorest and sickest among us, and this mailing holds him accountable for those views," DFL spokesman Donald McFarland told Fox News.
But Catholic League President Bill Donohue says the DFL would never have dismissed the criticism if it had used an image of an imam. "The DFL deliberately exploited Catholic imagery to make a political point," Donohue said. "If the DFL wants to paint Hall as anti-poor, then do it. But don't do it by hijacking Catholic imagery."
The mailer, which is one of two, went out under the DFL banner, and is an independent expenditure not endorsed by Doll. The second mailer has an image of an angel holding a scroll that says "Blessed are the Rich." The tagline reads: "Preacher Dan Hall: Pushing Politics from the Pulpit."
Doll issued a statement Wednesday saying his campaign had "nothing to do" with the mailing, calling the imagery "unfortunate."
"I have run a positive campaign based on my record of accomplishment for the district and have asked the DFL to refrain from sending any future mailings of this nature into my district. I call on all third parties engaged in negative campaigning, whether in my district or elsewhere, to cease these activities for the benefit of Minnesota voters," he said.
But McFarland said the two-piece mailer aims to highlight Hall's decision not to criticize Gov. Tim Pawlenty and state Republican lawmakers who cut funding to a state health care program in order to balance the budget.
The funding cut resulted in moving thousands of low-income recipients from one program to another that isn't on-budget, but critics say the alternative offers fewer services and costs medical providers more.
"Some Republican bloggers have taken one image from the first piece, and claimed that the mail is somehow anti-Catholic. But the text explicitly criticizes Preacher Hall for distancing himself from policy views that have been taken by the Catholic Archdiocese, by the Lutheran Synod and other leaders in Minnesota's faith community," McFarland said.
Hall, who called the mailer a slight against Catholicism, said he was surprised by the "extreme" imagery. He also questioned the point of using a priest in the depiction. "I've never worn a collar so that is way out of line," he said.
Hall added that he's spent 30 years ministering to the poor. "I think it's really terrible that we have all of this negative campaigning but this one is really below the belt. I think it affects a lot of people, churchgoing people," Hall said. "They just don't like that I've got a religious background."
Condescension and comeuppance
by Jeff Jacoby
THE HILLS ARE ALIVE with the sound of liberal Democratic contempt for the electorate. So are the valleys, the prairies, and the coasts. For months, voters have been signaling their discontent with the president, his party, and their priorities; in less than a week, they appear poised to deliver a stinging rebuke. Yet rather than address the voters' concerns with seriousness and respect, too many Democrats and their allies on the left have chosen instead to slur those voters as stupid, extremist, or too scared to think straight.
At a Democratic fundraiser in Newton this month, offering what he called "a little bit of perspective from the Oval Office," President Obama gave this diagnosis of the American political scene:
"Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we're hard-wired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country is scared."
The smug condescension in this -- We're losing because voters are panicky and confused -- is matched only by its apparent cluelessness. Does Obama really believe that demeaning ordinary Americans is the way to improve his party's fortunes? Or that his dwindling job approval is due to the public's weak grip on "facts and science" and not to, say, to his own divisive and doctrinaire performance as president?
Perhaps he does. Or perhaps he just says such things when speaking to liberal donors. It was at a San Francisco fundraiser in 2008 that Obama described hard-pressed citizens in the small towns of Pennsylvania as "bitter" people who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them . . . as a way to explain their frustrations."
Obama is far from alone in looking down his nose at the great unwashed. Last month, Senator John Kerry explained that Democrats are facing such headwinds these days because voters are easily swayed dolts: "We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on, so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth."
Meanwhile, the rise of the Tea Party movement, one of the most extraordinary waves of civic engagement in modern American politics and a major driver of the 2010 election season, has drawn no end of scorn from Democrats and their cheerleaders in the media.
In Massachusetts, state Senate President Therese Murray calls Tea Party members "nutcases," while ABC's Christiane Amanpour is aghast that the grassroots movement has "really gone to the extreme" and is "not conservatism as we knew it." Rob Reiner even smears the Tea Party as Nazi-esque: "My fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader," the Hollywood director said on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" last week. "All they're selling is fear and anger and that's all Hitler sold." And the crop of citizen-candidates running for Congress this year, many of them with Tea Party backing? A "myriad of wackos," sneers the influential liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas.
Trashing conservatives as "nutcases" and "wackos" -- or worse -- is par for the course among left-wing pundits and politicos. But the electorate isn't buying it. "Likely voters in battleground districts," reports The Hill in a recent story on a poll of 10 toss-up congressional districts across the country, "see extremists as having a more dominant influence over the Democratic Party than they do over the GOP." Among likely voters, 44 percent think the Democratic Party is overpowered by its extremes (37 percent say that about the Republicans). Even among registered Democrats, 22% think their party is too beholden to its extremists.
Heading into next week's elections, Americans remain a center-right nation, with solid majorities believing that the federal government is too intrusive and powerful, that it does not spend taxpayer's money wisely or fairly, and that Americans would be better off having a smaller government with fewer services. Nearly halfway through the most left-wing, high-spending, grow-the-government presidential term most voters can remember, it shouldn't come as a surprise that so many of them are rebelling. The coming Republican wave is an entirely rational response to two years of Democratic arrogance and overreach. As the president and his party are about to learn, treating voters as stupid and confused is not a strategy for victory.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.