Tuesday, July 10, 2007

See No Muslims: The NY Times Ignores the Obvious

It's those wicked Hindus, I tell you!

In what must have come as a shock to its readers, the New York Times reported that the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks in London brought "home to Britain fears of homegrown terrorist attacks among its disenfranchised South Asian population." Imagine the surprise of many to learn that Britain is now under attack from "disenfranchised South Asian" people, not those who murder in the name of their Islamic faith.

Cruelly ironic is that in the course of attempting to avoid offending Muslims, the Times managed to defame two larger groups of people-all in a single sentence. And that's setting aside the fact that the deadliest 7/7 bomber was not even "South Asian." Germaine Maurice Lindsay, who changed his name to Abdullah Shaheed Jamal after converting to Islam at age 15, moved to the UK from Jamaica.

A plain reading of the silly Times sentence would suggest that the British discussions of terrorism for the past two years have revolved, in large part, around fears of Indian Hindus, the single largest South Asian demographic in the United Kingdom. (According to the last UK census, immigrants who trace their ancestry to India, over 80% of whom are Hindu, are the only population of South Asian descendants topping one million in the country.)

Presumably, the Times was seeking a gentle way of pointing the finger at ethnic Pakistani Muslims, or perhaps even Muslims hailing from Bangladesh. But the self-proclaimed "paper of record" couldn't bring itself to write anything more specific than "South Asian population."

Perhaps the Times assumed that its sophisticated readers would read between the lines, just sort of figuring out that reporters Alan Cowell and Raymond Bonner were really talking about Muslims, but couldn't write as much out of politeness. In a 1,600 word story about homegrown terrorism inside the UK, it took roughly 1,400 words before Cowell and Bonner mentioned "Muslims." "Islam" is nowhere to be found.

But the Times's absurd rhetorical acrobatics insulted not only the broad "South Asian" population, but also Britain itself. Notice the clever phrasing about the object of Brits' fears: the "disenfranchised South Asian population." Disenfranchised is a victims' tag that mostly sullies the aggressors who have committed the disenfranchising, in this case implying that Britain has "deprived" this population group "of the rights of citizenship."

Brits have done no such thing. Remember that Muslims, er, "South Asians," have long been welcomed into British society, from employment through politics. 7/7 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan, for example, used to work for Britain's Department of Trade and Industry.

To the extent that Muslims live and function outside of British society, it is largely by choice. British imams, for example, have told their followers not to contribute to the "infidel" economy and instead suck off its government by collecting welfare checks. And no one who's seen the photos needs reminding of the outrageous British Muslim protests calling for the blood of Islam's critics.

Perhaps the Times feels no remorse insulting large groups that the paper doesn't consider to be minorities. And perhaps the Times finds no shame in ignoring the religion of people hellbent on murdering in the name of that religion. But is the Times even slightly concerned when the paper's sensibilities trump the facts?


Call it like it is

Q: Who is winning the really important war of ideas - the one between the West and itself?

A: Not the side that understands jihad as a foundational Islamic institution.

This is nothing new. From September 11 onward, the yeoman effort of elites has been to wrench "Islam" away from all acts of jihad. But now, particularly after the London and Glasgow attacks, their efforts have achieved a deeper level of denial, and, worse, broader consensus.

The new British prime minister, Gordon Brown, has directed ministers to omit "Muslim" when discussing (Muslim) terrorism. And forget the generic "war on terror"; even that pathetic phrase is off limits. (This has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Brown's unctuously stated goal to make Britain "the gateway for Islamic finance.") The new Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith (love that "i" ending) refers to British Muslims as "communities" - maybe a prelude to not mentioning them at all. Both have done the "perversion of a great faith" dance to enlightened applause, taking cues from the unpublished "EU Lexicon," which reportedly nixes such "offensive" phrases as "Islamic terrorism."

British literary lions couldn't agree more. Philosopher John Gray and historian Eric Hobsbawm recently said on British television that even the word "Islamist" was "unfair" because "it implied a strong link to Islam." Never mind the link is doctrinally accurate. Better to accommodate mortal threat without identifying its Islamic roots. Instead of defending their nations - for starters, stopping Islamic immigration and, with it, the progression of Islamic law into Western societies - our elites have decided to pretend Islam isn't there at all.

In the media, the effort is misleading to the point of farce. Joel Mowbray, writing at the Powerline blog, noted that the New York Times has identified Britain's Muslim terrorists as "South Asian people" - which, considering Britain's largest South Asian population is Hindu, is beyond absurd. "Diverse group allegedly in British plot," the Associated Press reported, missing that unifying Islamic thread. "All 8 detainees have ties to health service," wrote the Toronto Star, "but genesis of terror scheme still eludes investigators."

If they read Robert Spencer's jihadwatch.org, the essential daily compendium of jihad and dhimmi news, they might get a clue. But, very ominously, Mr. Spencer's Web site is being blocked by assorted organizations which, according to his readers, continue to provide access to assorted pro-jihad sites. Mr. Spencer reports he's "never received word of so many organizations banning this site all at once." These include the City of Chicago, Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, GE IT, JPMorgan Chase, Defense Finance and Accounting Services and now, a federal employee in Dallas informs him, the federal government.

Reason given? Some Internet providers deem the factually based, meticulous analysis on display at jihadwatch.org to be "hate speech." This should send Orwellian shivers up society's spine, but, alarmingly, such reactions to jihad analysis are increasingly the norm.

Case in point: Objecting to a recent column characterizing his views as being non-comprehending or indifferent to jihad, Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, senior counterinsurgency adviser to our forces in Iraq, wondered in an e-mail whether I "may not like Muslims, and that's your choice." It was a long e-mail - one of several - but even these few words convey the viewpoint, increasingly prevalent, that discounts the doctrinal centrality of Islam to jihad violence convulsing the world, from Iraq to London. In the mental no-jihad zone (and, in Lt. Col. Kilcullen's case, despite what he calls his "significant personal body count of terrorists and insurgents killed or captured"), only personal animus can explain alarm over the Islamic institution of jihad (let alone dhimmitude). "Alternatively," he wrote, "you may think Islam contains illiberal and dangerous tendencies."

I may think? I do think "tendencies" such as jihad and dhimmitude. "Again," he said, "you're entitled to that view." "That view" is increasingly absent at the top, where Islam itself is politically and strategically beside the point. Consider current military thought, as expressed by Lt. Col. Kilcullen: Typical terrorists, he wrote, are "driven by fundamentally non-religious motivational factors." I wonder which non-religious motivational factors inspired Glasgow's terror-docs to scream "Allah, Allah" while ramming a flaming car into the airport.

Of course, it gets worse. Debate now divides the Pentagon over a new lexicon for Centcom. At stake is the Islamic term "jihad" itself, which could become officially verboten within the ranks of the fighting force that is actually supposed to defeat it. This might leave us speechless, but it better not shut us up.


British Islam: We are up against 20 years of preparation

In July 1989 I had an experience that scared and alienated me, but also made me realise who I was and, more importantly, who I was not - and would never be. I was 18 and in my first year at Brighton University, where I was studying for a BA in Humanities. I was meeting new people - people of different religions, cultures, ages, sexual orientation, experiences and interests. I was growing up, realising for the first time that there was a world other than the one my parents talked about constantly - the world of Long Eaton (where I lived) and Pakistan. I was discovering that I had a lot more in common with British non-Muslims than I had hitherto realised.

That summer two relatives of my mum's - girls of my own age - came to stay with us, as they had done often in the past. Like me, they were in their first year at university, but they had changed completely. To my horror, the girls I'd known so well - who were fun, happy, easy-going - arrived at our house wearing hijabs. I'd never seen them dressed like that before, and it was totally alien to me - and to my family and to mainstream Pakistani culture. The two girls I'd know for years, who used to talk about boys, clothes, fashion, music and films, were now wearing Middle Eastern outfits and claiming that this was their new religious identity and it was the true way to dress for any woman claiming to be Muslim.

They told me that they had joined an Islamic group at their university and that there would be daily lectures about Islam. They said that most of these lecturers were from the Middle East. Their key message was that they had to create an Islamic State, which meant that Muslims from all over the world had to unite. These people believed - and believe - that there is no Islamic state and therefore one must be created where all Muslims can live according to the true laws of Islam.

One of girls told me that the ways her parents had brought her up as a Muslim was not the true way and that her parents were misguided and she was trying to educate them through what she had learnt from her Islamic group at university. `People like you, Saira, are not Muslims because you are confused with religion and culture,' she said. `There is no culture, there is only religion, and until you accept that you cannot call yourself a Muslim.' She went on to state, `We are not British, we are Muslim.'

My two former companions were extremely well-rehearsed in presenting their arguments. To support a certain line of debate they would recite chapter and verse from the Koran. It's impossible to argue with someone whose get-out clause is always, `It is written in the Koran. We can't argue with God's Word.' The sad thing was that these girls had worked so hard to get to university to study medicine and enable themselves to get a great job. Their mother was just as shocked as I was at their transformation, and at the way they spoke and despised Britain so much. As she put it, `I sent them to university to study and become doctors and they've come back telling me that I'm not a proper Muslim and that I need to wear a hijab.' Back then, however, nobody really seemed to take much notice of this very obvious transformation and change in attitude in these two young women.

My point here is not to say that women who wear the hijab are extremists - far less that they will at some stage be involved in some terrorist activity - but to suggest that this is how, in many cases, extremism starts.

It dawned on me after the 7/7 bombings that the seeds of extremism were sown all over Great Britain well before 1989 and that indeed it had been allowed to flourish undeterred in this country for more than 20 years. We in Britain are not fighting a new phenomenon that raised it ugly head in 2005; we are fighting more than 20 years of planning and preparation by those who want Britain to be an Islamic state.

Of course, most British Muslims won't become violent extremists, but most will endanger society - albeit unwittingly - by supporting and condoning the actions of extremists. Very few will admit this in public, but many will say behind closed doors that they are sympathetic to the bombers' cause and that they can understand why they are doing it. These things are said in front of young children and justified by various conspiracy theories which nearly always involve Jews, America and the CIA.

But it is not all doom and gloom. In last weekend's Observer Hassan Butt, once a member of the radical group Al-Muhajiroun, wrote a very open and honest account of his experience. He said: `I believe that the issue of terrorism can be easily demystified if Muslims and non-Muslims start openly to discuss the ideas that fuel terrorism. (The Muslim community in Britain must slap itself awake from this state of denial and realise that there is no shame in admitting the extremism within our families, communities and worldwide co-religionists.)'

It is people like Hassan Butt that the government must engage with and give priority to, because they can make a difference; it is they who should be heard over the Muslim Council of Britain and many of the Muslim MPs who think they know the community and who in my opinion are too scared to tell the whole truth in case they lose Muslim votes.

There are too few moderate voices among the Muslim community. As a result, the extremists have their say, and are not opposed. This gives the non-Muslim population the impression that all Muslims are either extremists or agree with radical Islamic principles.

The war against terror cannot be won without moderate Muslims coming out and standing up for British values - the values of integration and living peacefully in a secular society. We should not be scared to shout this out, loud and proud: we should not be intimidated by a few hotheads into thinking we are any less Muslim if we say we are British and don't want to go around blowing up innocent people in the name of Allah. British Muslims have to realise that there is no `but' after a sentence like, `I wholeheartedly disagree with the terrorist actions and the killings of innocent civilians.'


Flagging Britain

Post lifted from Prof. Brignell. See the original for links. Prof. Brignell is referring to the fact that new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ordered that the Union Jack will fly above his official residence: No. 10 Downing St. in London

Britain's new Prime Minister is wrapping himself in a piece of coloured cloth in order to cover up a couple of rather ugly embarrassments. The cloth in question is the union flag, which was once pronounced anathema in the heady early days of the New Labour project. As in almost everything else New Labour purported to stand for, the movement has completed an about turn.

Embarrassment number one is the festering sore in the flank of the union arising from the insouciant Mr Blair's quick fix in creating the Scottish Parliament, completely ignoring the infamous West Lothian Question that had so exercised finer minds. Now that we have a Scottish Prime Minister, absurdities pile upon absurdities. The PM's own constituents (in common with those of another party leader in the adjoining Fife constituency) have privileges that are forbidden to the English, such as free drugs for cancer and dementia, free university education and guaranteed small school class sizes. Furthermore, these privileges are funded out of a massive subsidy to Scots, paid out of English taxes according to the historical Barnett Formula (which, incidentally is now repudiated by its eponymous author). Even worse, Scottish MPs, like the PM, are entitled to vote on matters that only affect the English, such as those proscriptions, whereas the reciprocal relationship does not apply.

Embarrassment number two is that the Prime Minister has declared his intention of reneging on the manifesto promise for a referendum on the question of a new European Constitution. Blair, as his final act of treachery, signed up to a new drastic transfer of powers. All over Europe it is acknowledged that the new treaty is the old constitution in almost all except name. Only in Britain is the fiction maintained that it is not a constitution. That bit of coloured cloth, which is now to fly above all official buildings, is about to become virtually meaningless. In reality it should be replaced by the flag of the other union, and perhaps soon will be. Comparisons with that other great democratic union in North America are spurious. The EU is an undemocratic oligarchy, corrupt and riddled with fraud. Would you invest in a business that has never had its accounts passed by its auditors? If only Britain had an opposition!


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.


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