Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘islam’

I have periodically done a collection of what I consider my better material, such as here and here.  I haven’t done one in a while so, for newcomers in particular, I have compiled what I consider some of my more interesting and enduring entries over the last five years. I hope you enjoy.  I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read, comment, and support this blog.  For conservatives, it is becoming a real time in the wilderness, so one small contribution I have tried to make here is to let conservatives know that they are not alone and to give them intellectual ammunition with which to defend common sense and basic decency.

Military and Foreign Policy

Politics

Culture

Read Full Post »

No, not all Muslims are terrorists.  And not all Muslims in the US are terrorists.  Clearly, very very few are.  But we don’t know which are which, and the non-terrorists have a bad habit of relativizing, sympathizing with, providing aid and comfort to, and otherwise showing more concern for themselves and their tribe than the broader community.

Equally important, the non-terrorist side of the ledger adds very little to our common and collective life.  We could do without any more such immigrants, and we should work to encourage self-deportation among those already here who are not firmly rooted.

Don’t expect to hear this from the Marco Rubio wing of the Republican Party any time soon.

Read Full Post »

Spontaneous Muslim Violence

It turns out the attacker (Arid Uka) of our troops transiting through Germany was a Albanian Muslim from Kosovo.   Apparently the West’s concerted attack on Christian Serbia in 1999 on behalf of the terrorist KLA earned us few rewards among the worldwide Muslim community.  The 9/11 attacks, this attack, and countless other spontaneous attacks by Muslims ranging from Maj. Nidal Hasan (spree killer at Fort Hood) and Sgt Akbar (turncoat fragger in Kuwait) to Abdulhakim Muhammad (Arkansas military recruiters) and John Muhammad (DC Sniper) continue apace, one every few months it seems,  all spawned by the spontaneous and deeply rooted notion of obligatory violence known as “jihad.”

As in other patterns that defy liberal expectations, expect this attack too soon to go down the memory hole, dismissed as a lone whackjob or as the “act of a tiny minority” defying the peaceful essence of Islam.  Muslim attacks are becoming about as humdrum and common as black on white crime in the legacy media.  And our political and cultural leaders, particularly on the so-called right wing, are doing very little to correct the dominant narrative on either score. For a “religion of peace” an awful lot of Muslims (a) commit violence (b) in the name of their religion (c) to the applause of their less courageous coreligionists (d) with ample textual, scholarly, and popular justification of their violent acts as legitimate expressions of Islam.  This is bad, of course, but it’s also a reality we can address, by cordoning off most of the Muslim world, preventing immigrants into our lands, and dealing with them, at most, in an arms length way to acquire useful natural resources like oil.  Otherwise, let them stew in their backward juices and keep to themselves.

While Obama and Bush both claimed to be at war with terrorism, we are more at war with reality itself.  By way of analogy, it’s as if we were fighting World War II and declaring the Nazi Party–which ruled Germany, controlled its industry and military apparatus, and enthralled a great majority of its people–as a tiny clique that was not expressing the freedom-loving and peaceful desires of the real Germany.   Further, it’s as if the deliberate and highly ideological mass killings of Slavs and Jews and Communists by the Nazis in the name of Nazism were treated as an aberration, to which any deep inquiry into Nazi ideology would yield little insight.

Our media and politicians are a complete  joke, and the joke is costing lives on a daily basis.  It cost lives on 9/11.  It costs lives every time a Muslim in the West goes on a killing spree.  And it costs lives as we impossibly try to shove western freedoms and democracy down the throats of proud, backwards, and violent Muslim tribesman in Afghanistan and Iraq.   Precisely because Islam is inherently violent, prickly, proud, and xenophobic, we do ourselves no favors by showing up in their lands with an expeditionary force promising “freedom,” which, in reality and correct Muslim perception means the export of western values, attitudes, and practices which are anathema to Muslims.

We must deal with reality as it is, and an honest inquiry into reality makes it plain that Muslim extremists are not that rare, their supporters even less rare still, and a cursory review of the Koran and Islamic history find ample justification for the use of violence against “infidels.”  After all, this was once widely known as the “Religion of the Sword,” before George W’s indifferentist and self-deceptive description of Islam as the “Religion of Peace.”  As bad as this is, at least he didn’t talk about Islam being “revealed” on the Arabian peninsula, as Obama heretically did in his famous Cairo speech.

Bush pretended to fight Islamic terrorists but, in the process, concealed the reality of Islam out of his big tent and moronic belief that everyone everywhere wanted to live like Americans and be governed like America.  Obama, by contrast, hates America, doesn’t think anyone truly wants to be like us (nor that they ought to), and revels in using his office as American president to subvert symbolically American values and prestige by engaging in ritual obeisance to Islam and the Third World generally . . . hence Islam was “revealed.”

And today, as a result of the confusion of so many western leaders, media figures, and ordinary citizens, more Americans have died as martyrs to the Western commitment to open borders, diversity, indifference to religion, and other suicidally liberal ideas.  A war on terrorism, this is not, because the terrorism we fight is a tactic in a broader campaign to Islamicize the world and the west.  Once that is understood, the far less costly and necessary changes to our immigration laws, hairbrained democratization efforts, and other policies become self-evident.

Read Full Post »

Is it 1848?

In 1848, Europe was rocked by a domino-like string of revolutions and revolutionary movements in France, Germany, the Austro Hungarian Empire, Italy, and elsewhere.  What came of it?  A few regime changes, but mostly failure and repression.  Not much that was terribly memorable, in truth.  Far more important were the nationalist upheavals of the latter part of the century, in Italy and Germany in particular, which really gave force to the nationalist idea in Europe and created a useful outlet for the frustrations and anomie of industrialism and urbanization. 

We see something like this today in the Arab World.  First Iran and Tunisia.  Then Egypt.  Today, Bahrain and possibly Saudi Arabia.  But what of it?  These revolutions, like those of Europe in 1848, have vague grievances and even vaguer proposals.  I’m astonished at how little that is clear and intelligent the would-be revolutionaries have to say about what’s wrong with the status quo, how they intend to fix things, and why their projects won’t implode.  It is much like 1848 in this respect.  By contrast, the French Revolution of 1789 and the American War of Independecne and the liberal and nationalist anti-Soviet revolts of 1989 were crystal clear in motive, aim, and technique.  Indeed, the clearly wrong ideals of France have much to do with its self-destruction and replacement by alternating depositims and half-stable republics until 1945, while the clear and basically sensible ideas of America and the pro-American regimes of the former Warsaw Pact have much to do with both regions’ relative stability and prosperity through the present.

Of course today, as in 1848, a certain type of romantic sensibility sees the barricades and simply wants to cheer and relive the faded and half-understood events of yesteryear.  As a conservative, I’m instinctually cautious.  While I have no particular love for Mubarak or anyone else in the Arab World, I cannot help but remember what is already forgotten:  this is a land of half-baked ideas (i.e., Ba’athism, Nasserism), corrupt and charismatic rulers, and a religion that extinguishes nearly every instinct needed for effective self-government.

Read Full Post »

Hope and Change

There’s a few interesting signs that the western world is awakening from its slumber.  David Cameron, the UK’s prime minister, announces that multiculturalism has failed and that Muslims are not assimilating and it’s their fault as well as the fault of the idiotic multiculturalist philosophy.

Certain neoconservatives, typically perhaps but still in a welcome move, have noted that democracy and the Arab world do not mix.  Their motive, of course, is not idealism but love of Israel.  But it’s good to see that a generally good thing, self government, is being recognized as bad when it leads to bad things.  The real question is why these fools were so foolish about the prospects of democracy in Iraq.  My guess is that Bush’s idealism and pathological refusal to make generalizations about other cultures had a lot to do with it.  And for many neoconservatives (and real conservatives too) the whole democracy thing was window dressing to take out a regime that was perceived as hostile to US interests and Israeli interests.

Finally, aSenate committee has noted that Nidal Hasan, the Army Major who shot up his infidel colleagues, could have been stopped if the Army and the other authorities were not so hidebound by political correctness.  Seriously, if we mean to win this war on Islamic extremism, we must name the enemy.  Instead, it’s as if the US was at war with “certain German extremists” in World War II rather than the entire German nation, which as a practical matter was the case then and now with respect to a goodly swath of the Muslim world.

Read Full Post »

A Free Country?

One thing we sometimes forget is that the most important means of social control in communist regimes was the power over your job; if you offended the communist leadership, you could be fired.  It turns out the NJ Transit Authority employee who burned a Koran near the WTC site was fired.  The stated reason, “violating his trust as a state employee.”  This is an outrage.  The combination of anti-harassment laws, the habit of tip-toeing around Islamic sensitivities, and the increasing political correctness of both private and public sector employees means that winners and losers will be rewarded accordingly; dissent will be crushed by threat of economic penury.  And this will all happen in a country that used to take pride not in its sensitivity, but in its rugged individualism, including the individualism to have peculiar beliefs and say offensive things. 

We all know communsits, flag-burning hippies, and guys who say things like Rev. Wright never get fired on account of their extremism, but conservatives of any kind must be aware of this.  I would not say the solution is necessarily to “play the game.”  Such would be a type of victory too, as we’re often reminded by those who say the best antidote to terrorism is to be quietly defiant.  It’s certainly true that half or more of the country that is uneasy with Islam cannot be fired from their jobs.  But one thing you can be sure of, the Obama that cares about the Jena Six and racist Dept. of Agriculture employees and not jump to conclusions regarding a murderous Muslim Army Major, won’t be stepping in to remind everyone of the dangers of censorship anytime soon.

Read Full Post »

Obama has stepped into an unnecessary public relations disaster, once again.  Last summer, he got involved in the Officer Crowley and Professor Gates event, and ended up permanently alienating many people who saw him transform from the post-racial healer into an old school, race-hustling politician.  He acted like a bully, and it was very clear where his loyalties lay.

Then he weighed in on the planned Ground Zero Mosque, stating he was supportive to a group of Muslims, then he said he was neutral but supported the Constitution, then he went back and forth a few more times and appeared altogether weak.  One thing he never acknowledged in his journey through these positions was that this was an incredibly bad idea to build the Mosque there and that critics had a legitimate point.  Now, it turns out, we’re told by the self-promoting Imam Rauf that there is no going back on the Mosque, because such backing down would be seen as an insult to Islam and lead to violence.  Always the violence, just waiting in the wings, from the “religion of peace.”

Finally, Obama has condemned the Koran-burning Florida pastor, Terry Jones, with no genuflection to his constitutional rights, and instead, acted against him with a full court press.  The Secretary of Defense, the Pope, the Secretary of State, plus countless media schills have piled on this guy.  And, in the most development to date, FBI agents visited the Church, ostensibly to warn Pastor Jones of death threats.  Jones, to his discredit, has backed down in the face of this massive public pressure, without any apparent change of ideas.  In other words, he was not persuaded, but cowed.  Pathetic.

At one point Obama stated “This kind of behavior or threats of action put our young men and women in harm’s way. And it’s also the best imaginable recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.”  I have no doubt there is some small truth to that, not least because Muslims are incredibly quick to anger. But why is all of his passion and all of his rhetoric addressed to an insignificant Florida pastor?  Why not also say something to the other side of this transaction:  the demented, hollering, wild eyed crazy people making these veiled threats in Afghanistan and elsewhere?  After all, Jones is threatening to burn a book, but these Muslim crazies are threatening to kill Americans in response.

If Obama really believed in and understood America, he would say something like this: “Anyone that engages in violence or judges the US because of the act of a small town preacher is despicable.  There is no right to resort to violence just because your feelings are hurt or your religion is insulted.  There is no moral equivalence whatsoever between burning a book and killing a human being.  Americans learned long ago that killing each other over religion, over speech, and over much else both weakens our society and also is wrong.  You people need to learn this as well, and while I do not support Pastor Jones’ disrespect for the Koran, I am sensible of my duty to protect his rights as an American, and so I’m not going to give into the veiled threats coming out of the Muslim world in response to his actions.  It’s his right as an American to burn a Koran and have any opinion he wants about Islam, and I will not bow to threats of violence in defending the rights of Americans.”

One thing we saw with Officer Crowley last summer was that standing up for yourself does more to slow down violent threats than the craven weakness.  After Crowley stood up for himself, Obama was a little shaken; he was used to the old white guilt shuffle. Obama learned to play white guilt like a violin growing up among his white single mom and his old school white liberal grandparents.  He was shaken by Crowley’s self-respect; it’s not something he has ever had much experience with. Obama ultimately retreated from his initial remarks that the officer acted “stupidly.”

In spite of the value of self-respect–which everyone from King David to General MacArthur demonstrate–weakness in the face of Islamic threats is displayed all the time by nearly all of our leaders and large institutions.  The defense of ourselves and our culture is absent in the face of repeated Muslim blackmail.  And, predictably, this feeds on itself, as Muslim incivility and violence is constantly being rewarded.  It’s analogous to the lavish public funds bestowed on cities beset by race rioting in the 1960s; as a result, we have perrenial threats of a “long, hot summer” from the Al Sharptons of the world ever since if payoffs of various kinds are not given to the right shakedown artists.

Islam has become the only religion in the western world protected from blasphemy due to a combination of threats, actual violence (such as the killing of Theo van Gogh), and series of weak-kneed responses by our leaders.  I recognize, frankly, that some of these elected officials don’t love America and want to see it brought low by the Third Worlders.  They identify with the outsiders and want to see the traditional American culture and people destroyed.  I believe Obama is off this ilk.  Some, however, clearly are just confused.  For these that do love America and want to see it made stronger, they could learn from Officer Crowley and similar episodes that a little self-respect and defiance go a long way.

Read Full Post »

Something did not sit right with me when General Petraeus weighed in on the controversy just down the road (in Gainesville) regarding the well publicized Koran burning.  For what it’s worth, I do not like such gestures; I find them atavistic, and I recognize that religion is indeed a sacred thing to those who believe.  For every Muslim who is out there seething and hurling bricks, many more are simply respectful of the religion of their forefathers, scared of western influence in their lands, and are getting from this event the wrong impression of Americans, who have no natural disrespect of other people’s religious practices.

There is no reason for either our government or ordinary Americans to sow conflict with Islam, and the best solution, as I’ve said before, is deliberate separation both at home and in foreign policy with a long run and realistic goal of containment.  This too would be offensive to some, but it’s better than the perpetual conflict we have now as we intermingle both at home and abroad in the name of liberal ideas of universalism.

All the same, it is a storied and treasured right of Americans to express themselves, ridiculously if they choose, and it is quite predictable, quaint even, that an old school fire and brimstone preacher would act in this way. It’s a very American eccentricity at work here.  And it has served an important purpose in showing that Islam, far from being a religion of peace, is filled with people that may, at a moment’s notice, become violent.  Further, it has shown the hypocricy and cowardice of the American politically correct establishment.

General Petraeus has suggested that this Koran burning hurts the war effort.  Isn’t that interesting?  What other things that Americans take for granted hurt the war effort?  Wouldn’t the recent push for same sex marriage or five minutes of MTV or women wearing bikinis at the beach also offend Muslim sensibilities?  Didn’t our protection of the Saudis from Saddam offend Muslim sensibilities, simply by allowing Americans to set foot in an Islamic land?  Doesn’t our presence now in Iraq and Afghanistan deeply offend Muslims, not to mention the numerous civilians killed accidentally (but inevitably) by airstrikes and drones and scared shitless 19 year old American soldiers.  Indeed, much of our country and its practices, some good and some not so good, are deeply offensive to any traditionally religious person.   Nonetheless, none of these things have typically been up for debate as part of a “hearts and minds” campaign halfway around the world.  Recall the Danish cartoons, which were eminently defensible, also caused similar mass Muslim rioting.  While uneasy with Koran burning, I see that there is something valuable in Terry Jones’ provocation simply for revealing so many people’s true colors, and this was, in fact, one of his stated reasons for this event.

As for the General, there is something altogether gratuitous about Petraeus’ words.  He undboutedly knew they’d be looked on kindly by Obama, in a way that a condemnation of equally problematic pacifist protests would not.  Where was General Petraeus when the Abu Ghraib photos were plastered all over Time Magazine and anti-war protests?  And what of the demoralizing “Bush Lied, People Died” canard?  Petraeus is hardly taking a courageous or conistent stand here; he is simply saying what he thinks the boss wants to hear.  And it is a problem when the military pursues its own (or the President’s) anti-democratic agenda in a free society; the military is supposed to be the instrument of the elected, political branches of government, and those branches (and the people to whom they are accountable) have varied opinions and views on what Islam means, how it should be addressed, and how that view should be expressed by private citizens. And, lest I remind the general, he took an oath to the Constitution, which includes the First Amendment.

A just war preserves a people and a way of life.  I have not forgotten that Petraeus, ever the politician, let the cat out of the bag sometime ago when asked by Senator John Warner (R-VA) if the war made the US safe, responding “I don’t know, actually. I have not sat down and sorted in my own mind.”  Indeed.  The current war now has a logic all its own, nearly completely separate from domestic security, which can be easily vouchsafed by capping Islamic immigration and pressuring those here to Americanize or go home.  The idea that to win a war American citizens must be cajoled by uniformed military men to show respect to an alien religion shows the ultimate impossibility of the current nation-building strategy, which aims impossibly and unprecedentedly to reconcile western institutions with an ancient, anti-western religion.   This war, animated by ideological principals of universalist liberalism and multiculturalism, threatens as it drags on to degrade the society it ostensibly is being waged to protect.

Read Full Post »

One notable aspect of the defense of the Ground Zero Mosque is the claim that defending the rights of these Muslims it is part and parcel of living in accord with our traditions of property rights, free speech, and religious freedom.  But this is, frankly, the theory of America.  Yes, these are important and hoary legal rights.  But they were instituted by our Founders and still valued for practical reasons:  we value our own right to worship, we do not want our neighbors policing our worship, we do not want to contribute to the worship of others, with which we may disagree, and we do not want the kinds of violent contests over religion that have characterized much of European history.  In our past, and even now, there were practical limits on the range of expression of speech or religious freedom owing to our common heritage.  Likewise, and with similar practicality, we value democratic institutions because we believe it limits government excess, allows our interests to be filtered through the political process, and prevents the concentration of power in a king or oligarchy.  But, we also knew until recently among whom we were living, voting, and choosing representatives and presidents.  These were not third world rabble on the whole.  We were not going to face violent reactions in either politics or religion if the outcome–conversion or a lost election–were not a desired one.  Once again, experience rendered the theory a practical and beneficient one.

But for liberals–whether neoconservative or “out of the closet” left-liberals–the procedures are often valued without regard for their practical outcome.  And among left liberals in particular, negative practical outcomes are embraced in the name of theories because these outcomes undermine traditional power structures, habits, and people.  Such rhetorical appeals use our honor and contempt for hypocricy as the very means by which our collective happiness will be undermined.  Thus, free speech for Muslims is championed while draconian prosecutions for “hate speech” among our peers in Europe and Canada are greeted with indifference.  Democracy that yields a ban on gay marriage is struck down by the courts, even as it is championed in Iraq to accomplish Sharia or in South Africa to expropriate property from farmers.

If I may paraphrase something I wrote earlier on Bush’s policies on Iraq:  he acted on the assumption that we’re winning in Iraq by turning Iraq into a democracy, but he was mistaken insofar as he believeed “democracy” is a substantive policy outcome and not an interim procedure that could lead to any number of substantive results both for us and the Iraqis.

Procedural schemes in government are justified to the extent they lead to some long-run practical benefit. Procedures and rights are inventions to achieve practical and final ends like safety, commerce, and order. In both foreign and domestic policies, there should be no purely idealistic procedures, if they would likely lead to some abhorrent practical outcome, such as a society’s destruction.

With Bush and his inner circle, the supporters of a deontological and idealistic foreign policy deluded themselves into thinking that they’re the good ones and that their opponents simply lack sufficient commitment to the cause, instead of recognizing that they’re thoroughly ideological in outlook and merely hoping that a positive outcome will result from the unknown nature of Iraqi public opinion as expressed through elections. This was dangerous and irresponsible, considering the stakes.

Similarly, blind supporters of free speech and religious freedom for Muslims in America do not recognize that the lack of commitment to free speech and religious freedom among this subgroup renders that expansion of freedom short-sighted, unwise, and self-destructive in the long-run, or, at the very least, carries some countervailing risks.  What good is “religious freedom” that results in subordination to Sharia in the name of a suicidal consistency and unwillingness to look beyond theory to practice and outcomes?

As Burke stated in reference to another self-destructive experiment in consistency, “Government is not made in virtue of natural rights, which may and do exist in total independence of it, and exist in much greater clearness and in a much greater degree of abstract perfection; but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. By having a right to everything they want everything. Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom.”  Indeed.  While rights and legalities are of high importance, they are not of supreme importance.  They are means to an end, and if they clearly do not serve that end because of some changed circumstance, they must be modified, amended, or in some other way adjusted to deal with reality.

Read Full Post »

I like this article by Andrew McCarthy.  It notes the centrality and particularity of Sharia in Islam.  In other words, Islam is in many ways our cultural and civilizational opposite, with alien manners and mores under which our range of lifestyles would grate.  The aim to impose this unified system on the world is why the borderlands of the Muslim world are often so filled with conflict in a way that the collision of Buddhists and Hindus or Orthodox and Catholic are not. 

I especially like the author’s willigness to move the debate beyond terrorism.  Jihad is not just terrorism.  The harm presented by a Muslim influx into Europe and America is not merely terrorism, though that’s a part of it.  Indeed, an Islamic argument can be made against certain kinds of terrorism. But no Islamic argument could be made against the centrality of Sharia, the need to expand Islam by force (i.e., Jihad), or the necessity of harsh punishments for criticism of the prophet.  The threat of Islam includes a rearrangement of our own values, self-censorship, the denigration of our heros and traditions, threats of private violence, the occasional political murder, and ultimately the subordination of America’s historical people to newcomers whose aim is to rule.  This obviously would take a long time, but it’s also easier to address in its early stages than when it is far advanced. 

Not every Muslim is a terrorist.  But every Muslim is a Muslim.  And it takes a very brief perusal of the Koran and a history book to see that this religion aims to rule the whole world in a literal way.  Why make it easier on them?

Read Full Post »

Location of Ground Zero Mosque

Obama, like former President Bush, defends the religious freedom for Muslim Americans to insult the rest of us, just as he is willing to defend the honor of Islam itself.  But this is an unpopular stance.  Most Americans have heard the anti-American cheers, seen the strange practices, and become fed up with the murderous triumphalism of Muslims worldwide.

Obama this week weighed in on the propriety of the Cordoba Housea, a large Mosque planned within blocks of the former World Trade Center.  It is called by some a Victory Mosque, not least because it is large, garish, and intended to open on September 11, 2011.  Barack Hussein Obama is siding with Muslims against the Christian majority of Americans in a typically haughty way.  Worse, to do so, he is willing to sketch a false history of America, where Islam was part of our national fabric from its earliest days.

Islam is, in fact, a very recent import, a consequence of the 1965 immigration reform, which favored Third Worlders over Europeans. And the consequences of that change have included periodic acts of terrorism, culminating in the 9/11 attacks, but also including the Nigerian Christmas bombing, the murder of Army recruiters in Arkansas, various “honor killings,” and a number of other foiled attacks.

This Victory Mosque is a middle finger to Americans.  It is a statement of triumphalism by an expansionist, violent religion that is so different from Christianity, that the religious freedom of its believers must be severely restricted, just as the freedom of cults to commit mass suicide, practice polygamy, or smoke Peyote is also restricted.

The Reality of Islam

Obama, Bush, and Mayor Bloomberg all err in treating Islam like any other religion.  While it is a religion, it is a special type; it is both universal (like Christianity) and fully comprehensive in its directives (like Judaism).  It offers a complete way of life for those under its domain, and unlike traditional Judaism, does not exempt non-believers from the vast majority of its detailed directives.  Indeed, for Islam, legislation itself is seen as a God-task, and they believe that Sharia is God-given perfect legislation, that no one is really free without Sharia, and that the destiny of all mankind is to flourish under Sharia.

Obviously, Sharia has little in common with Western ideals of freedom, self-government, and dissenssus, but we continue to delude ourselves that these people’s beliefs will fit in somewhere nicely between Methodists and Presbyterians.

Islam, further, counsels various types of violence against non-believers who resist Muslim expansion, disrespect the Prophet, or otherwise run afoul of its directives.  Since so many Americans would do so without even trying, Islam is not compatible with our way of life.  Recall, for example, that Said Qutb, intellectual grandfather of the Muslim Brotherhood was deeply offended by a church dance in 1940s Colorado.  This was not exactly Times Square circa 1975!

Both Bush and Obama misunderstand Islam for different reasons.  As a religious but sentimental man, Bush saw all religion as a positive for the individual’s moral life, but didn’t really understand the content of other religions very well, as he came from the anti-intellectual evangelical tradition.  As a political man with an identity crisis, Obama, by contrast, sees all religion as identitarian and political, and is pro or con based on whether the group involved claims to be oppressed by the West, but he does not take any religion’s particulars very seriously as theological matters.

I take Islam quite seriously on its own terms and imagine those who believe it do too.  I also am not a “chicken little.” I know most Muslims probably get from Islam what everyone else gets from their religious traditions:  a sense of the eternal, the sacred, human connectedness, the God-given aspects of right and wrong, the importance of decency, etc.  I imagine, like Christianity, Islam gives solace in death, a sense of importance in life’s milestones, and conveys the need for charity.  The difference is that Islam has built into it, and non-negotiably, a specific code. The more serious a Muslim is, the more he understands the necessity of imposing this code as directed by the Koran.

The often used Reformation analogy is inapt.  Hopeful writers argue that Christianity was violent and illiberal prior to the Reformation, and that we’re OK now, and Islam will be too, after it changes its ways in the same manner we have.  Besides having the history quite wrong–the so-called Reformation ushered in a century of European blood-letting–there cannot be a reformation that makes Islam more like modern Christianity, because the past of Islam is as violent as the present.  There, in fact, have been many reformations in Islam, including Wahhabism.  None of these “back to basics” movements involved a rejection of Islam’s total role in the believer’s and nonbelievers’ lives.  To excise Sharia from Islam would be like excising the Gospels from Christianity.  We must conclude that while there are good individual Muslims, they are good only insofar as they ignore or reject large parts of Islam.

The Unlikelihood of Assimilation

What people really want (and in the case of Obama, expect) is for Muslims not to take their religions so seriously, just as Christianity declined in influence the aftermath of the 17th Century’s brutal religious wars.  But there is no reason to think this shift will come from Islam itself.  In Europe, this movement found its roots in shared Christian ideas regarding the conscience.  In other words, to separate Church and State did not do violence to basic Christian teachings.  In Islam, to denigrate the role of religion in the arena of legislation would involve various blasphemies, a downgrading of religion, and a limitation of government power that does not comport with the totalistic nature of Sharia.

While I believe America’s religiosity, tolerance, economic opportunities, and limited numbers have contained the power of Muslims in our country, nonetheless, introducing them to this alien soil was a mistake and continuing to do so increases our collective endangerment.  This has been particularly apparent from the experience of Europe, where Muslims are more numerous, more radical, and substantially more aggressive than they are here.

Some legal basis should be found to stop the Victory Mosque, including a recognition that freedom of religion does not include the freedom of certain religions to conspire against the republic and threaten violence on non-believers.  These are essential aspects of most variants of Islam contra the happy clappy Religion of Peace talk from Bush and Obama and other elites.  Longer term, however, we must recognize that the false “freedom” of open borders is hurting the actual freedoms and inherited way of life of ordinary Americans.

The Freedom to Preserve Our Way of Life

The existence of individually good and decent Muslim American does not change the fact that the au courant restraints on our freedoms that we now endure are a direct consequence of the recent introduction of Muslims into country made up largely of European Christians.  Ours is a country accustomed to an historical balance of liberty and order based, in part, on the loyalty and fellow feeling of the vast majority of Americans. We are now searched at airports, eavesdropped on by the FBI, forced to pay for long foreign wars, and reluctant to “offend the Prophet,” all in the name of the counterfeit “freedom” to have aliens from the Third World living alongside of us.

It does not offend freedom to keep foreigners out of our country, any more than it infringes on natural liberty if I have walls around my home to keep out strangers. Real lovers of liberty should see that our freedoms depend upon restricting immigration of cultural aliens, particularly Muslims. If not, we will have the human rights’ equivalent of Gresham’s Law: the false freedom of open borders will replace all of the actual, historical freedoms we’ve come to cherish such as free travel, physical safety, privacy, free speech, artistic freedom, nonviolence in politics, and the rule of law.

There is an essential relationship between liberty and community. A community with a sense of collective identity, mutual interest, and trust can afford a substantial realm of freedom within its confines. Enemies in the gates, however, generate a climate of uncertainty, insecurity, and, ultimately, the suffocation of liberty. This occurs as people rationally conclude that the government’s first duty to provide order is threatened by the combination of dangerous interlopers taking advantage of freedoms that evolved under more peaceful and trusting conditions for the benefit of more peaceful and trustworthy people.

Obama does not feel loyal to this traditional American community, which he regards as racist, overly exclusive, and mean-spirited.   In conflicts between that (mostly white and Christian) majority and minority interests, he routinely sides with the latter, even though this is politically costly.  For him, this reaction is a long-cultivated instinct, just as his defense of Professor Gates against an ordinary Cambridge cop was quite natural and authentic.  Obama can’t help himself in these cases.  He is from the multicultural branch of leftism and wants to “keep it real” and not “sell out.” At best he feels sorry for the primitive, prejudiced New Yorkers who dare, in a very nonviolent and American way, say that enough is enough. 

But I feel contempt for Obama in return. 

These New Yorkers are good people, relatives in many cases of our murdered countrymen, and their patriotism and pride of place are far more admirable and pro-social than any of the corrosive, Marxist, black power trash that Obama believes.  Is it any wonder that the President who went to a Church that cheered 9/11 as our just punishment–“chickens coming home to roost”–wants to bring the insult of this event to its apotheosis?

Read Full Post »

One interesting phenomenon of our times is that the old-fashioned view that one may act on the basis of sincere belief has been hammered out of existence.  We don’t even say, “I think” or “I believe” anymore.  It’s “I feel.”

When a Muslim Pakistani tries to blow up Times Square, the establishment immediately search for an explanation in something demented about his individual psychology:  his economic circumstances, personality, and social relations.  The news media say, literally, “Motive a Mystery.”  Really?  But what of his beliefs?  His religion?  His ideas?   These real motives escape notice.  This can’t be the actual reason.  Such events can happen a million more times, but, for the liberal observer, the cause still must be found in individual psychology and possibly by something our evil society did.  It’s Rousseau on depressants.  Mayor Bloomberg and Contessa Brewer were both sad to find out the perpetrator was a Muslim.  Not because they are Muslims, but because the sincere, believing conservatives and Christians in their midst, those whose apparent motivation is sincere belief, find encouragement for their non-materialist worldview when men like Faisal Shazad rear their heads.  Genuine, religious conservatives understand and can explain their mirror-image opponents, the Muslims, with greater fidelity than the liberal who thinks all human action derives from the individual and his psychological impulses.

And why this assumption by the liberal?  I suspect it’s because their stated ideas–concern for the poor, a belief in social justice–are not what motivate those who talk this way; their beliefs are a thin veneer that do not explain their real drivers, an inner psychology made up of a will to pleasure and power coupled with half-thoughts such as guilty feelings about privilege, unease with inequality (including their own), fear of death (and therefore terror at suffering), and discomfort with the world in general.  Ideas and their explanatory power are denied entry into his mental universe by a thorough-going materialist nihilism.  “That’s just, like, your opinion man!”

For him, man is just a sophisticated ape, a mere bundle of atoms, impulses, and instincts.  Ideas don’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense in this world, because this world is defined by an all encompassing meta-idea that says every alleged idea is the mere epiphenomenon of some material cause:  thanatos, id, primitive group identity, or the residue of an abusive childhood.  Real ideas don’t exist as ideas to such people, and thus they can’t imagine they really exist for others.   So the ideas that actually explain things–that men are not really equal, that there is real evil in the world, that all people can’t live together peaceably so long as their ideas are in conflict, that the material explanation is incomplete–are immediately rejected, disappearing like idealist antimatter coliding with the materialist pseudoreality of existence.

There are many glaring gaps of illogic for the materialist; under this worldview, real human connection becomes impossible.  It becomes impossible because the highest connection, the search for truth, cannot occur under such circumstances.  Real truth is not considered to be intelligible, and this single simulacrum of a philosophical idea alone is allowed to exist.  The humane bridge between men of reason and thought and discussion can’t be allowed.  Sex and pleasure and distraction assume disproportionate significance, as these intense and also human experiences allow in a limited way the connection erased by the anti-philosophical materialism.  Villains who dare to expose these inconsistencies must be punished and psychopathologized.  And thus the Muslim is just treated like an alien force–a “human-caused catastrophe,” inexplicable through the perpetrator’s beliefs and ideas.  The more well known and hated idealism of native conservatives and Christians must be rejected with the greatest possible vigor.  Such men, unlike the foriegn Muslim, might actually persuade your fellows and retake control of the world wrought by the liberal revolution.

For the liberal anti-culture, the stated beliefs of the conservative are more familiar and more seductive.  There is almost no chance your daughter would go off to Harvard and become a Muslim fundamentalist.  On the other hand, she may become gripped by a conservative or Christian impulse, dissatisfied at some point in your life–perhaps when barren–by the false promises of feminism and materialism and nihilism.  And thus those who might lead her this way, are hated, rejected, and minimized by psychological reductionism.

For the man of ideas, the terrorist’s motives are obvious:  he thinks what he is doing is right, he believes God wants him to do it, he thinks those against whom he is striking are evil, and he is read and deduced this from the Koran which he takes to be divine revelation.  And this forthright and clear explanation, an explanation with predictive power, actually disempowers the terrorist more than the patronizing willful ignorance of liberals, whose entire worldview is threatened more by the acknowledgment of ideas (any ideas) than the conservative is by the violent expression of false ideas by the Muslim.  The false idea can be argued against or suppressed by force barring that.  For the liberal materialist, to acknowledge that anyone is sincerely motivated by ideas would expose the poverty of his own worldview.

Read Full Post »

Ralph Peters had an excellent editorial on Afghanistan this week that I think lays out the problem with Obama’s half-surge:

Initially, Afghanistan wasn’t a war of choice. We had to dislodge and decimate al-Qaeda, while punishing the Taliban and strengthening friendlier forces in the country. Our great mistake was to stay on in an attempt to build a modernized rule-of-law state in a feudal realm with no common identity.

We needed to smash our enemies and leave. Had it proved necessary, we could have returned later for another punitive mission. Instead, we fell into the great American fallacy of believing ourselves responsible for helping those who’ve harmed us. This practice was already fodder for mockery 50 years ago, when the novella and film The Mouse That Roared postulated that the best way for a poor country to get rich was to declare war on America then surrender.

Even if we achieved the impossible dream of creating a functioning, unified state in Afghanistan, it would have little effect on the layered crises in the Muslim world. Backward and isolated, Afghanistan is sui generis (only example of its kind). Political polarization in the U.S. precludes an honest assessment, but Iraq’s the prize from which positive change might flow, while Afghanistan could never inspire neighbors who despise its backwardness.

This sounds right to me and accords with my own counsel in favor of a punitive raid concept of operations and my criticism of the facile distinctions made between Iraq and Afghanistan by Obama and other Democrats seeking to appear hawkish but also sensible and nuanced.

Read Full Post »

Almost every society has a ghetto of some sort: a typically urban area of high crime, high poverty, and alienation. In France, atypically, these areas obtain an official status. While all nations have poverty and crime, the expansion of these “no go” ghettos within Paris and other cities points to the rapid Arabization and Islamification of a nation that is losing its way–indeed, this in a nation whose gallantry once inspired all of Europe during the Crusades.

Rick Darby reports:

Bordeaux. Aix-en-Provence. Arles. Nice. Paris, City of Light and all that. How they capture the imagination. History, architecture, wonderful food and wine, civilization and its refinements.

Only, they and more than 700 other cities and towns in France include what are called Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS). No, not “sensible urban areas.” Sensible translates more accurately as “sensitive.” That is, n0-go areas for police and non-North African, non-West African, or non-Muslim French people.

Read Full Post »

Ace reports an extraordinary story that I’d like to hear the disciples of judicial process and civil liberties for terrorists in the Democratic Party respond to:

Last May, Iraqi terrorists kidnapped three American soldiers.

American intelligence officials searched for cyber-signals about the kidnapping… and actually found them. They found the kidnappers talking to each other on-line.

However, they had to stop listening because the signals were passing through an American-based server and under the law that meant there could be no eavesdropping without a warrant.

So they stopped listening in on foreign terrorists holding kidnapped American soldiers.

For ten hours, officials worked to get “emergency authorization” to resume eavesdropping.

His post, and the evidence in support, is worth reading in full. In an earlier post entitled Wishful Thinking and Terrorism and another here, I’ve discussed some of the issues surrounding this issue.  In short, my view is that combating terrorists located overseas during a time of war, when combined with emerging communications technologies, demands flexibility and less judicial process than the fight against peacetime, domestic criminality. It would be nice if the Democratic Party would grow up and quit acting like this war to protect America from terrorism (and also the exigencies of protecting our troops fighting it overseas) can be carried on effectively without some flexibility in the executive branch and its agencies. Process is not free. We accept this domestically because we, American citizens, might be caught in the law enforcement net. But for terrorists communicating overseas with one another or their agents in America, there are few valuable interests at stake. If any American is talking to Khalid Sheik Mohammad, I want someone in the CIA listening as a matter of course.

Read Full Post »