Saturday, December 22, 2007

Half-stepping on a hit case

Both Gates of Vienna and the Eastern Star News Agency have translations today of an article in the Swedish press by freelance journalist Nuri Kino taking to task the Swedish authorities for their lassitude in investigating the Dec. 11 murder of Professor Fuat Deniz at his institution's campus in Örebro, Sweden. Deniz, whose research focused on the genocide campaign carried out against Assyrian Christians by Muslims of the Ottoman Empire at the same time as the better-known Armenian genocide, was struck in the neck with an edged weapon; a manner of killing mandated in at least two verses (8:12 and 47:4) of the Qur'an.

Kino, like Deniz a Swedish Assyrian originally from Turkey, went to Örebro to check things out. He found that:

* No security or "any other form of support" had been offered by Swedish authorities to Deniz's family; a "nervous" widow and a three-year-old daughter.

* Deniz's campus office had not been sealed off.

* Deniz's academic colleagues, including those who have received threats, expressed "shock" at the "lack of knowledge regarding ethnic, political and religious clashes" on the part of the police.

* Despite declaring on radio news that a security-camera picture of a blood-spattered man taken in a store the day of Deniz's killing is "uesless," Örebro police have ignored an offer of assistance from a technical specialist in cleaning up such pictures.

* When Kino called Örebro police, he was told that their public information officer was on vacation and the lead prosecutor in the investigation is out sick - without anyone acting in his stead. Moreover, "police in Örebro will be reducing the number of police on duty over the coming holiday period."

* A spokescreature at the National Criminal Police Corps murder commission, from which assistance in the investigation was sought by Örebro police, told Kino that "Those that work at The National Criminal Police Corps murder commission have taken their Christmas holiday and won't return until the second of January. They have their holidays and they definitely deserve it as they are never home."

So as the already-cold trail of Fuat Deniz's killer gets even colder, the so-called defenders of justice in Sweden can't be bothered to pursue it. They're too busy feasting, guzzling and relaxing. What an absolute disgrace!

And speaking of disgrace, the performance of the Anglophone mainstream media on this story has been no less shameful. A search of the following sites for Fuat Deniz's name reveals not so much as a word of coverage:

The Associated Press
The New York Times
The International Herald Tribune
The Washington Post
The Los Angeles Times
The Times of London
The Telegraph (UK)
The Guardian (UK)

Apparently the assassination of an internationally eminent genocide researcher is just too picayune to garner the attention of the media elite. Had Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna not broken this story in the U.S., we would know nothing of it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

'Tis the season ...

... to cut throats.

The blog Sweetness & Light, which assembled a stomach-turning collection of photos of Muslims around the world celebrating Eid al-Adha (the "festival of sacrifice" with which the holy month of Ramadan concludes) last year, has another assortment of grotesqueries from this year's blessed event.

This is what the president of the United States, in a White House message Wednesday wishing "our Muslim citizens ... a memorable celebration," declared "helps ensure the important values of compassion and devotion are passed on to future generations." (Emphasis mine.) Nor should it be supposed that this sort of thing only goes on overseas, as a story from a North Carolina TV station, telling of Muslim efforts to overturn a judge's ban on a "mass slaughter of lambs" by "hundreds of Muslim families" at a Smithfield, N.C. farm, shows. The ban was imposed not because of the ritual's primitive savagery but because of agricultural officials' concern over the farm's lack of sanitary facilities. The judge pointed out that the ban "doesn't prevent the free exercise of religion because the families are allowed to slaughter their own lambs at a state-licensed facility."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On Eid al-Adha, a greeting and a goof-up

At Jihad Watch today, Robert Spencer analyzes the implications of a seemingly innocuous White House greeting to Muslims on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the annual "festival of sacrifice" with which the holy month of Ramadan concludes. He points out that when President Bush praises Muslims for "honor[ing] Abraham's obedience" (in being willing to sacrifice his son at God's command), he is unwittingly praising a faith that, in a Qur'anic verse (60:4), calls Abraham an "excellent example" when he declares his "enmity and hatred forever" for those who do not "believe in Allah and in Him alone" – but not when Abraham pledges to his pagan father to pray for forgiveness for him. The president, he observes, "is thus inadvertently reinforcing a worldview that takes for granted the legitimacy of everlasting enmity and hatred between Muslims and non-Muslims – and doing so precisely in the context of trying to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims."

I voted for George W. Bush twice, but I am heartily sick of his ignorance of and deference to Islam. Unhappily, his successor is unlikely to be any better in this regard.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rejoinder to a Turkish partisan

(This began as a comment to the foregoing post, but ended up becoming one in itself.)

In view of the calumnies to which my American countrymen have long been subjected by “Turkey and the Turks” – exemplified by the odious film
“Kurtlar Vadisi Irak” (“Valley of the Wolves Iraq”), which depicted an American Jewish doctor harvesting organs from dead Iraqi civilians at Abu Ghraib for sale to rich clients in New York and Tel Aviv – your yelping about a “smear campaign” is ironic, to say the least. However that may be, proof is not needed to advance a suspicion – and if more indicators are needed than the Qur’anically mandated way in which Fuat Deniz was slaughtered and the threats cited by his colleagues, here’s another, reported today by the Swedish paper Länstidningen i Södertälje and noted here: a threat made on Aug. 31 by four Turkish district governors to the former head of the Assyrian Federation in Sweden, Simon Barmano. Objecting during their visit to Sweden to a proposed memorial to the Assyrian genocide victims to be erected in Södertälje, the Turks warned Barmano to “stop highlighting the genocide or your people will get hurt.”

As to what you risibly call the “so-called Armenian and Assyrian genocides,” their existence has been irrefutably established not only by the accounts of contemporaries such as U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau and the German missionary and historian Johannes Lepsius, but by the scholarship of, among others, Vahakn Dadrian, whose books “Warrant for Genocide” and “The History of the Armenian Genocide” are extensively documented by primary and secondary sources in Turkish, Armenian, English, German and French. That none of this evidence has ever led to Nuremburg-style tribunals is due largely to raisons d’état. In the aftermath of World War I, as the historian Bat Ye’or notes, “Alibis advanced to exonerate the populations which had collaborated in these cruelties resulted from the international context and the will of the colonial powers to follow a policy of appeasement toward their Muslim populations. These powers – Russia, Britain, France, and Italy – ruled over millions of Muslims in the Caucasus, Asia, the Indies, Egypt, the Levant, and the Maghreb; consequently, they tried to minimize this tragedy ... to resume good relations with Turkey and other Muslim populations, particularly those of Syria and Iraq who were hostile to the British and French protectorates.” (Bat Ye’or, “The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam,” p. 198.) In the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. and its allies needed a bulwark on the Soviet Union’s southern flank, hence the exoneration advanced in a Harvard University Press publication in 1951 by Lewis V. Thomas: “By 1918, with the excision of the total Armenian Christian population from Anatolia and the Straits area ... Turkification and Moslemization had been advanced in one great surge by the use of force ... Had Turkification and Moslemization not been advanced there by the use of force, there would certainly not today exist a Turkish Republic, a Republic owing its strength and stability in no small measure to the homogeneity of its population, a state which is now a valued associate of the United States.” (Lewis Thomas and Richard Frye, “The United States and Turkey and Iran,” p. 61. Emphasis mine.) And this year, Turkey’s importance as a transit point for materiel and supplies for the war in Iraq immunized it from even the toothless sanction of a congressional resolution condemning the Armenian genocide. (“U.S. and Turkey Thwart Armenian Genocide Bill,” New York Times, Oct. 26, 2007.)

Lastly, that “Ottoman archives are now wide open for anyone who wish to examine them” is rather less than exculpatory, given that “Major General Seeckt, the last German Chief of Staff at [Ottoman General Headquarters], whisked away substantial parts of these records when departing from Turkey at the end of the war.” Despite a promise by Seeckt “to return only those files which basically concern the Turkish military,” it could not be “ascertained whether those files were in fact returned, and if so, to what extent, when, and to what branch of the Turkish government.” (Dadrian, “The History of the Armenian Genocide,” p. 280.) Moreover, if Ottoman archives are so accessible, why is a panel of the European Parliament requesting that they be opened?

In view of the fact that Fuat Deniz had dedicated his academic career to the kind of “highlighting the genocide” that had elicited a Turkish warning of reprisals, in view of the threats cited by his colleagues, in view of the concordance of the fatal wounds inflicted on him with the commands of at least two verses of the Qur’an, and in view of the assassin’s Islamist motives in the murder of Hrant Dink in Istanbul Jan. 19, suspicions that Deniz’s murder was politically – and Islamically – motivated are unavoidable. My own will stand until a court finds otherwise.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A slaughter in Sweden

On Tuesday evening, Fuat Deniz, 40, a lecturer in sociology at Örebro University in Örebro, Sweden, was attacked with an edged weapon in a campus building. His assailant inflicted multiple wounds on his neck, from which, despite surgeons’ efforts to save him, he soon died. He left behind a widow, Runa, and a three-year-old daughter.

Deniz was a Christian Assyrian who immigrated to Sweden from Turkey with his family as a child. His forebears were survivors of one of the great historical crimes of the last century: the Ottoman Empire’s jihad genocides against its Christian minorities during World War I and thereafter. That Ottoman Muslims – Turks, Kurds and Arabs – carried out a genocide against the Armenians of that empire has been firmly established (depsite continuing Turkish denials) due to the work of Vahakn Dadrian and others, but their simultaneous butchery of Assyrians, Nestoreans and Greeks is far less well-known.

Fuat Deniz was trying to change that. His academic research focused on the Assyrian genocide, an episode on which he had become an authority. In fact, he was slated to speak Sunday at an international conference on Assyrian identity and the Assyrian genocide held at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

He never made it – and his academic colleagues are now in fear for their own lives. For, according to Professor David Gaunt of Sweden’s Södertörn University College, who worked with Deniz, this was only the latest incident in a campaign of intimidation carried out against academics in his field. In a story in Saturday’s edition of the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Gaunt told of being tailed by security police during travels in Turkey and subjected to a smear campaign in the Turkish press. Moreover, Gaunt told the paper, “On several occasions at our seminars people would attend claiming to be journalists, only to then walk around photographing delegates.”

“All those interested in Christian minorities in Turkey are considered a threat,” he added.

And they are a threat to more than just Turkish sensitivities. At a European Parliament conference held Mar. 26 in Brussels, panelists declared that Turkey, which is trying to gain admittance to the European Union, must acknowledge its Ottoman-era genocides and open its archives from the period before being allowed to do so. Speakers included members of the European Parliament from Sweden and Germany – and Professor Gaunt.

Turkey has a great deal to cover up, as an extensively documented article in the Canadian journal Genocide Studies and Prevention reveals. Writing in the journal’s December 2006 issue, Florida International University Law School Professor Hannibal Travis argues that “the hesitation to recognize the Assyrian genocide is unjustified, for the evidence is overwhelming that Turks and their Kurdish allies massacred tens, and more likely hundreds, of thousands of Assyrians in order to exterminate the Christian population.” Citing contemporary American and British press dispatches, the famous British Foreign Office “Blue Book,” eywitness accounts from both victims and German military officers assigned to the Ottoman Empire (a German ally) during World War I, and many other sources, Travis paints an appalling picture of massacre, plunder, rapine and scarcely imaginable suffering. As many as a quarter of a million Assyrians and other Christians perished along with the more than one million Armenians who died.

The evidence also makes clear that, like the attacks on the Armenians, this was emphatically a jihad genocide. As Travis notes, “On November 14 1914, less than two weeks after the Ottoman Empire declared war on the Entente (Great Britain, France, and Russia), the Sultan, still acting as a figurehead for the Young Turk regime, declared a jihad or holy war ‘against the enemies of Islam, who have proven their hostility by their attacks on the Caliphate.’ The next day, a key CUP (Committee of Union and Progress – the ‘Young Turks’) official led a march through Istanbul ‘meant to demonstrate the people’s agreement with the Sultan’s declaration of holy war against the enemies of Islam.’ The sheikh al-Islam, a CUP appointee and the highest religious authority in the Ottoman regime, endorsed the declaration of jihad and proclaimed it in print; violence against Christian Armenians quickly followed. These declarations of jihad ‘incited wrath toward Christian minorities in the Ottoman lands and ... later facilitated the government’s program of Genocide against the Armenians’ – and, as it happened, the Assyrians.”

That Fuat Deniz’s killer, who remains at large, was carrying on the jihad tradition is strongly indicated by the cause of the professor’s death: multiple wounds with an edged weapon to the neck. This is the manner of killing directly mandated by Islam’s prophet Muhammad in two Qur’anic verses:

Sura 8, Verse 12Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: Smite ye above their necks ...”

Sura 47, Verse 4Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), Smite at their necks ...

Should this prove to be the case, Fuat Deniz would not be the first descendant of jihad genocide survivors to pay with his life for resisting Turkish Muslims’ decades-long antagonism toward the truth. On Jan. 19, newspaper editor Hrant Dink was gunned down in front of the Istanbul office of his bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper, Agos. With his resolute candor about the Armenian genocide, Dink had long been a thorn in the side of Turkish authorities, who charged him repeatedly with the “crime” of “insulting Turkishness.” His confessed killer, a teenager who was heard to shout “I shot the infidel” as he was leaving the scene, was later shown after his arrest in a video clip on Turkish television, unrepentantly posing with the crescent-emblazoned Turkish flag as his police captors beamed in approval.

Kudos to Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna for breaking this story on this side of the pond.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Minarets and bayonets

Mosques are our barracks,
domes our helmets,
minarets our bayonets,
believers our soldiers.
This holy army guards my religion.

- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adding his own lines to a 1912 Turkish poem at a Dec. 12, 1997 public gathering in Siirt, Eastern Anatolia. Erdogan addressed the International Islamophobia Conference in Istanbul described here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Diktats and dhimmitude

Robert Spencer has an excellent article at Human Events today on a "media guide" the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has made available exclusively to "media professionals." Unsurprisingly, it instructs the latter to avoid such "common misperceptions" as "the notion ... that the Qur'an teaches violence." In order to comply, of course, the media professional must disregard verse after verse of Islam's holy book: 9:5, 9:14-15, 9:29, 9:123, 8:12, 47:4, etc., etc., ad nauseam. That being the case, Spencer's accuation that CAIR's objective here is to "marginalize and then end discussion of the dangers inherent in Islam" is spot on.

But Muslim diktats to the media are no innovation of CAIR’s. Hardly had the ashes of 9/11 cooled when the Society of Professional Journalists adopted a set of “diversity guidelines” at the behest of the American Muslim Council that included:

* Seek truth through a variety of voices and perspectives that help audiences understand the complexities of the events in Pennsylvania, New York City and Washington, D.C.

* Seek out people from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds when photographing Americans mourning those lost in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

* When writing about terrorism, remember to include white supremacist, radical anti-abortionists and other groups with a history of such activity.

* Avoid using word combinations such as "Islamic terrorist" or "Muslim extremist" that are misleading because they link whole religions to criminal activity.

* Avoid using terms such as “jihad” unless you are certain of their precise meaning and include the context when they are used in quotations. The basic meaning of “jihad” is to exert oneself for the good of Islam and to better oneself.

* Use spellings preferred by the American Muslim Council, including "Muhammad," "Quran," and "Makkah ," not "Mecca."

* Ask men and women from within targeted communities to review your coverage and make suggestions.

These prescriptions for journalistic dhimmitude were adopted at the organization’s 2001 national convention in Seattle on Oct. 6. They remain in force, and are prominently posted at the group’s Web site (link above).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Criminalizing criticism

Last weekend's International Islamophobia Conference, held by the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World at the Grand Cevahir Hotel in Instanbul, Turkey and mentioned in the foregoing post, has concluded with a statement urging "national and international law mechanisms" to "enact legislations and take decisions against Islamophobia" so that "Islamophobia should be accepted as a crime, just like anti-semitism." (The supposed status of anti-Semitism "as a crime" is probably a reference to European laws criminalizing Holocaust denial.) The anti-Islamophobia campaign, the statement adds, must be carried out "politically, legally and economically both in the national and international arena and in a systematical and strategical way" and constitutes "a basic duty for ... every institution and every government" - a clear confirmation of participants' intent to push their agenda at the next UN conference against racism and xenophobia ("Durban II") in 2009.

Eye on the UN observes that at "Durban II" the ground will have been well-prepared for them:

One specific inclusion in the resolution reveals the direction that the 2009 conference will take. In inviting different UN bodies to contribute to the new preparatory committee's work, the resolution singles out only two of the many Special Rapporteurs, the Special Rapporteur on Racism, and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. No mention is made, for example, of the rapporteur on promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. In other words, Islamophobia and its manifestations in Danish cartoons will be on the agenda. Freedom of expression will not.

In a Feb. 12, 2006 East Valley (Mesa, Ariz.) Tribune article (unavailable online) on the "cartoon jihad" prompted by the publication of a dozen caricatures of Islam's prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, this correspondent predicted that

If Muslims can suppress such criticism by protesting, threatening and rioting, we can hardly expect them to stop with graphic images. Should the Western world accede to demand that their prophet not be criticized in artwork we will presently find them demanding that he not be criticized in print. We will find that any disparaging of Muhammad's piratical raids against his enemies, his history of warmaking or his practice of polygamy will prompt the appearance of a screaming mob at the offender's door. We will find, as the Qur'an demands in Sura 9:29, that as unbelievers we will be fought until we "feel [our]selves subdued.

and added, in another piece on Feb. 25, 2006, that

[Al-Azhar University Grand Imam Sheikh Muhammad Sayed] Tantawi and his co-religionists, with their demands for laws criticizing religious dogma and for the punishment and the Danish cartoonists and editors, seek to give legal force to radical Islam's chilling effect on free expression outside the Muslim world. Nor are such demands being heard only overseas. ... That chilling effect is already much in evidence among the mainstream American news media, which have made a near-unanimous capitulation to Muslim intimidation in deciding whether to run the Danish cartoons - despite their centrality to what has been one of the most important stories of the year. With their willingless to yield on the bedrock issue of freedom of expression, they have set a dreadful precedent; one certain to haunt us all in the years ahead.

The latter comment got me crosswise with my putative superiors at the Tribune, who did their best to mute my public voice. Upon their refusal to run any of the Danish cartoons with a piece I wrote two months later on Comedy Central TV network's censorship of the "South Park" episode dealing with the issue, I resigned in protest. The Istanbul conference and the groundwork being laid for "Durban II" indicate that both my criticism of their pusallinimity and my prediction of its baleful consequences are being borne out in spades. It is not too late for the world's journalists to blunt this assault on their most fundamental rights, but they had better get cracking.

Hat tip to the indispensable JihadWatch for its posts on this story, about which the mainstream media have been notably - and distressingly - silent.

Update: Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna (also an indispensable Counterjihad site) has a fine post on the Istanbul confab and its implications. Well worth a read.

Update II: Charles at LGF reports that the angry-left Web site Daily Kos has a long post today bewailing "Islamophobia" - hard on the heels of this conference's call for a "systematical and strategical" campaign against it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A confab and a creepo

In a post at JihadWatch this morning, Robert Spencer describes an International Islamophobia Conference to be held Dec. 8-9 at the Grand Cevahir Hotel in Instanbul, Turkey. The intent of this confab is most likely to gear up for the second UN “Conference on Racism and Xenophobia,” to be held in 2009. At the first “Racism and Xenophobia” conference, held in Durban, South Africa the week before the 9/11 atrocity, Palestinian zealots ran amuck, raging and seething and doing their utmost to turn the event into a condemnation of Israel. Muslim countries and organizations have made clear their intention to force the next such conference to focus on “Islamophobia,” with an eye toward eventually criminalizing criticism, analysis, or mockery of the menacing aspects of Islam as “hate speech.”

Among the attendees to the Istanbul meeting will be such apologists for Islam as Karen Armstrong and John Esposito – and a fellow named William Baker, whom the Turkish text lists as “Chairman of Christians and Muslims for Peace.”

According to an article in the Feb. 14, 2002 issue of Orange County Weekly, Baker has achieved a certain notoriety for anti-Jewish statements and writings, including his 1982 book “Theft of a Nation,” which opines that in the interest of “true justice and real conciliation,” all Jews “who entered Palestine during the British Mandate from 1917 to 1948 and after the establishment of the state of Israel should return to the various countries of their origin” and that the “Zionist state of Israel ... should be dismantled and eventually eliminated.”

(It is noteworthy that the pastor on whose ties to Baker this article reports, Rev. Robert Schuller, founder of the Garden Grove, Calif. megachurch Crystal Cathedral and the Hour of Power religious television program, is a signatory to the “Christian Response to ‘A Common Word Between Us and You,’” an obsequious answer to a recent open letter from Muslim clerics that, citing Qur’an 3:64, essentially calls Christians to Islam. According to the aforementioned Orange County Weekly story, Baker had “introduced Schuller and his family to important Islamic leaders, such as the Grand Mufti of Damascus.” Schuller did, to his credit, cut his church's ties with Baker soon after the story appeared.)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cry the beloved profession

On Dec. 13, the notorious Council for American-Islamic Relations will hold a panel on “Islamophobia and the Political Cartoon.” The event will feature Peter Gottschalk, a professor of religion at Wesleyan University, and his former student Gabriel Greenberg, who have authored a book on this subject entitled “Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy” (“in the spirit,” according to Publishers Weekly, “of Edward Said’s “Orientalism”).

“The discussion,” unsurprisingly, “will focus on how political cartoons often stereotype Muslims,” – with an eye, no doubt, toward greater “sensitivity” and “restraint” (read: “self-censorship”) among American newspaper editors. The latter, of course, are already so imbued with these “virtues” that only three major U.S. papers – the Philadelphia Enquirer, the Austin American-Statesman and the Rocky Mountain News of Denver – had the journalistic integrity to print any of the Danish caricatures of Muhammad in February 2006, when the vicious Muslim reaction to them was front-page news.

In and of itself, such an event must be disheartening for defenders of press freedom. But what really strikes a chill is the venue in which it is to be held: the First Amendment Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. That no one in the National Press Club should have perceived the ghastly irony of this is a measure of the depths to which American journalism has descended.

UPDATE, Dec. 1:

Asked in a Nov. 19 interview at (“Marxist Thought Online”) whether he thinks there is “a relationship between this negative cartoon imagery and other expressions of Islamophobia, such as religious and racial profiling and violent hate crimes,” Peter Gottschalk replied, “Yes, I do. ... What is happening with these cartoons is that a stereotype is being perpetuated that is not just about the physical appearance of Muslims – they are usually assumed to look like Arabs and dress like Arabs – but also a set of characteristics, that is, that the men are violent, the women oppressed, and that the religion itself is prone to extremes of both violence and oppression. ... There is today a kind of latent Islamophobia that works unconsciously among many Americans.”

In other words, Americans’ apprehension about Muslims’ “characteristics” are not due to the very real violence perpetrated daily worldwide by Muslim men by citing Islamic scripture, dogma and traditions, nor to the very real oppression suffered daily by Muslim women subjected to forced marriages, beatings (mandated by Qur’an 4:34), female genital mutilation and honor killings, but rather to a “stereotype” generated “unconsciously” by “latent Islamophobia.” Such is the quality of the arguments that will increasingly be used in coming years to suppress your right not only to criticize, analyze and satirize Islam, but even to gain true knowledge of it.

Welcome, LGF readers!

Great minds think alike, Part II

Loo! loo! Lulu! lulu! Loo! loo! Loot! loot! loot!
Ow the loot! Bloomin' loot!
That's the thing to make the boys git up an' shoot!
It's the same with dogs an' men,
If you'd make 'em come again
Clap 'em forward with a Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot!
Whoopee! Tear 'im, puppy! Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot! loot! loot!

– Rudyard Kipling, “Loot”

Allah promiseth you much booty that ye will capture, and hath given you this in advance, and hath withheld men's hands from you, that it may be a token for the believers, and that He may guide you on a right path.

– Muhammad, Qur’an 48:20

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Not missed. Passed.

In an article this morning in Human Events, Robert Spencer comments on a memo by Donald Rumsfeld, quoted in a Washington Post story, in which the former SecDef "lamented that oil wealth has at times detached Muslims 'from the reality of the work, effort and investment that leads to wealth for the rest of the world. Too often Muslims are against physical labor, so they bring in Koreans and Pakistanis while their young people remain unemployed,' he wrote. 'An unemployed population is easy to recruit to radicalism.' "

Now this observation didn't require any particular insight – just eyesight. But the White House, horrified by the prospect of the plain truth roiling "hearts and minds across the Arab and Muslim world," scrambled to pre-emptively placate that world: "I can understand why they would be offended by those comments," said its spokesman Dana Perino (presumably feeling himself subdued).

Spencer regrets that "The release of the Rumsfeld [memo] could have been an occasion for the White House to call the Saudis to account for the double game they have long been playing in regard to jihad terrorism. ... Another opportunity missed."

Not missed. Passed, and quite deliberately. This administration has no intention of calling the Saudis to account for anything – not the hate-filled education their children receive, nor the boatloads of boodle with which they furnish our mortal enemies, nor their harboring of legions of hate-spewing jihadist clerics.

It will just keep clutching their hands – and kissing their asses.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The craven kingdom

The Times of London has an eye-opening article today on Saudi Arabia’s role as a wellspring of jihad terrorism. It notes that while the Muslim monarchy has taken some steps to reverse this – in a belated recognition that not just foreign infidels but the regime itself were becoming targets –

“... the Saudis’ ambivalence towards terrorism has not gone away. Money for foreign fighters and terror groups still pours out of the kingdom, but it now tends to be carried in cash by couriers rather than sent through the wires, where it can be stopped and identified more easily.

“A National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad, a nongovernmental organisation that was intended to regulate private aid abroad to guard against terrorist financing, has still not been created three years after it was trumpeted by the Saudi embassy in Washington.

“Hundreds of Islamic militants have been arrested but many have been released after undergoing reeducation programmes led by Muslim clerics.”

Well, that ought to straighten them out!

“School textbooks still teach the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious antiSemitic forgery, and preach hatred towards Christians, Jews and other religions, including Shi’ite Muslims, who are considered heretics.”

Nor is “education” of this sort limited to the kingdom itself, as the curriculum of the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Va., right across the Potomac from our own national capital, shows. As the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom noted in an Oct. 19 press release,

“The Saudi curriculum continues to be the subject of U.S. concern and the Saudi government and embassy, despite repeated U.S. government requests, have failed to disclose it. Several studies, including by Saudi experts themselves, have pointed to serious concerns that these texts encourage violence toward others, and misguide the pupils into believing that in order to safeguard their own religion, they must violently repress and even physically eliminate the ‘other.’”

The “other,” of course, being infidels such as you and me, who must be either converted to Islam, reduced to dhimmi subjugation, or killed – all in accordance with Islamic scripture, to wit: Qur’an 9:29, Sahih Muslim 4294, et al.

Saudi Arabia's current toxicity is due in large measure to a deal the House of Saud cut with the Wahhabi clerics during the 1979 takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by Juhayman al-Uteybi and several hundred followers of his Muslim fundamentalist sect. Under this accord, as Yaroslav Trofimov writes in his indispensable new book, The Siege of Mecca, the senior ulema (Muslim clergy) decided that

"The House of Saud, despite all its failings, had to be shored up in its hour of need. As King Khalid requested, they would sign a fatwa, reaffirming the regime's Islamic legitimacy. But from now on, the Saudi rulers would have to live up to their Islamic obligations. There should be no more women on TV, no more licentious movies, no more alcohol. The social liberalization that had begun under King Faisal should be halted and, where possible, should be rolled back. And billions of Saudi petrodollars should be put to good use, spreading the rigid Wahhabi Islam around the planet. ... the ulema essentally asked al-Saud to adopt Juhayman's agenda in return for getting rid of Juhayman himself."

Juhayman was accordingly defeated (with an assist by the French) and lost his head – but won his point. The fancy mosque that went up in the early '80s not far from where I live (and at which one of the notorious "Flying Imams" preaches) probably wouldn't be there but for him. The Saudi terror-coddling policies described in the Times piece may also be laid at his door. Few today remember the Grand Mosque takeover – the thumbnail history of Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the movie “The Kingdom” omitted it entirely – but few events have proved more crucial in spawning the skulking menace we now face.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

'Orwell! thou shouldst,' redux

A new blog titled Kafir Canada has put up a graphic on the specious "Islam is Peace" campaign in Britain that's worth a thousand words:

Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna opines that this one should go viral. Roger that!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A prideful admission of thuggery

Gates of Vienna has posted a link to a Danish blog that has translated an admission on an anarchist site to the beat-down described in the foregoing post. The relevant text is worth quoting here:

"Lately there has been a tendency that people believe everything that they read on Nazi-pages, latest SIAD’s lie that knives were used against them last Sunday. Anders Gravers, his wife and their wannabe-bodyguards got their well deserved (and plentiful) beatings, but naturally knives weren’t used! Don’t believe everything that you read on the net, especially not when it is on Nazi-pages!!"

The irony of these vermin calumniating sites that have reported on their thuggery as "Nazi-pages" is rather breathtaking, given that their attitude and tactics exactly replicate those of Ernst Roehm's SA goons during the Nazi party's rise to power. (Roehm and his lieutenants, of course, received a condign comeuppance in the "Blood Purge" of 1934.)

It is a huge pity to see this kind of leftist goon-squad activity emerging in Denmark, a fine little country of which I have fond memories after a visit there in 2000. I very much hope the thing won't raise its ugly head on this side of the Atlantic, but given the vitriol one commonly sees on not just the fringe but the mainstream American left, I hope without hope in my heart.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A shout-down and a beat-down

On American college campuses, this has been “Islamofascism Awareness Week” – and throughout it, Muslim activists and their hard-left allies have reacted rabidly, even going the length of shouting down the event’s organizer David Horowitz at Emory University in Altanta Wednesday. In a column this week, the much-maligned Ann Coulter nailed it: “If liberals want to face real fascism,” she wrote the next day, they should “try showing up on a college campus and denouncing fascism.”

But in Europe things have gone even further, as the Web site of Stop the Islamisation of Europe reports. On Oct. 21, a goon squad of so-called “autonomists” set upon demonstrators from the Danish chapter of the group in Copenhagen with blunt-force and edged weapons – and drew blood:

That this heinous assault was evidently the work of leftist anarchists rather than Muslims brings to mind a line from a recent review of a book on slave ships, to the effect that "any totalitarian system enlists a lower layer to control those at the very bottom." It seems clear that there is a convergence of interests between leftist radicals and Muslim supremacists, such that the latter will be happy to utilize the former as enforcers. The rabid hard-left reaction to Islamofascism Awareness Week is part and parcel of this.

For Europeans, few of whom have access to proper weaponry, a few practical notes are in order:

* If you elect to carry cutlery, when responding to an attack such as this go for a hand cut – and cut hard. A copiously bleeding hand will not only compromise the assailant's ability to press his attack but may demoralize him enough to end it.

* During the hours of darkness, some of the newer flashlights are bright enough to temporarily blind an attacker and give the operator a chance to get clear. My own choice is a SureFire 6P.

* Safety shoes designed for factory workers protect wearers' toes with caps of steel or even titanium. Such footgear has defensive potential as well. Be safe!

* Don't overlook the power of a shillelagh. A stout length of blackthorn has served many an Irishman well over the centuries, and I carry the same on my nocturnal strolls. (I also carry two switchblades and a pistol, but then I live in the American West.)

I wish the defiant Europeans all success in their resistance to the creeping Islamization to which their wretched governments seem determined to deliver them. (See Bat Ye’or’s “Eurabia” for the squalid history of this process.) And to militant Muslims and their leftist lickspittles in America, a caveat:

That shit won’t flush on this side of the pond.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Candor from Qaradawi

The Gulf Times of Qatar has a most revealing story about Muslim TV preacher Yusef Al-Qaradawi’s exhortation to the faithful to fight the U.S. in the event that it attacks Iran:


“In an interview with the IslamOnline radio on Thursday, Qaradawi stressed that all Muslims have the duty of launching jihad (holy war) against any enemy attacking a Muslim country.”

Hey! “Holy war?” Doesn’t “jihad” really mean an inner spiritual struggle to make oneself a better person?

“Iran is a Muslim country which all Muslims should defend while the US is an enemy of Islam that has already declared war on Islam under the disguise of war on terrorism and provides Israel with unlimited support.”

Hey! “... the U.S. is an enemy of Islam?” “... that has already declared war on Islam?” Isn’t Qaradawi a Muslim “reformist”? Didn’t Georgetown University's John Esposito say so?

Guess I must be missing something.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Muhammad's his bitch

Not content with having enraged Muslim supremacists with his "Muhammad as a traffic-circle dog" sketches, Swedish artist Lars Vilks has acquired a real live pooch - a female, no less - for protection, and named her "Muhammad."

So now Vilks has not just insulted "the Prophet," he has actually made Muhammad his bitch! Could any riposte to Islamic ire be more condign?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An MSM exhortation to cowardice

CNN has a story this morning on Swedish artist and rondellhund provocateur Lars Vilks, in which reporter Paula Newton opines that “... one could argue Vilks should have known better because of what happened in Denmark in 2005, when a cartoonist's depictions of the prophet sparked violent protests in the Muslim world and prompted death threats against that cartoonist's life” (Hat tip: LGF.

CNN, of course, did “know better” during the Motoon furor. As I wrote in the Feb. 12, 2006 East Valley Tribune, “The response by the American news media to this fundamental challenge has been anything but encouraging. CNN, in every story covering it, has included the line, ‘CNN has chosen not to show the cartoons out of respect for Islam.’ The network showed no such respect for Christianity on March 27, 2000, however, when it showed British artist Chris Ofili’s painting “The Holy Virgin Mary,” which incorporated elephant dung and images of female genitalia, in a story about a Brooklyn museum’s dispute with new York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani had complained that the artwork desecrated a figure sacred to millions of Catholics.”

Yes, Vilks should have been intimidated into self-censorship, just as the oh-so-principled CNN was. It was just this kind of thing that prompted my resignation from my MSM job during the Motoon affair. I’ve often wondered if I was right to do so. Incidents such as this indicate that I was.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Orwell! thou should'st be living at this hour

An invidious "Islam is Peace" propaganda campaign
is being waged in England through signs on the very buses targeted by jihad terrorists in London two years ago (hat tip: JihadWatch):

This is straight out of "1984." The Beeb has a story on it, the last sentence of which notes that "The campaign is launched as a new law banning incitement to religious hatred comes into force." We shall see if certain Islamic materials that incite to religious hatred are to be banned -- specifically, the Qur'an, with its dozens of verses such as 9:29, which enjoins Muslims to fight the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) until they "feel themselves subdued" and 9:123, which exhorts them to "fight the unbelievers who are near to you, and let them find in you a harshness."

In view of the extent to which British officialdom has declined into dhimmitude, I'm not to going to hold my breath waiting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Spencer scores yet again

I have praised the work of Robert Spencer before, but I am obliged to take note of his eloquent, erudite and mannerly criticism of the talk-show host Glenn Beck today. Speaking with his guest Zuhdi Jasser, a genuinely moderate Muslim from Phoenix, Beck had brushed off the notion that, in Islam, "lying is not only permissible, but it is encouraged, so long as that lie will further the cause" as a "warped view" of the faith. Citing Qur'an 3:28, the tasfir (commentary) of the classical Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir thereon, and one hadith each from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, Spencer conclusively showed that, according to the scripture Muslims live by, lying to infidels damned well is not just encouraged but mandated.

His conclusion to the post is worth quoting here: "... fantasy-based analysis ultimately won't accomplish anything ... peaceful Muslims will never be able to stand up to the jihadists until they have the courage to formulate a radical reinterpretation of the core Islamic sources, acknowledging the violent and supremacist elements within them and explicitly rejecting them. They will never be able to do this, or to do anything but reassure uninformed non-Muslims, by pretending that those elements don't exist and wishing, wishing, wishing they would disappear."

We who would preserve our rights, our liberties and our civilization from the menace of Islamic supremacism owe a very considerable debt to Robert Spencer, whose blogs and books are worthy of assiduous perusal.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Apropos the foregoing ...

"O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you, and let them find in you a harshness ..."

– Qur'an 9:123 (A.J. Arberry translation)

Fantasies and falsehoods

On Aug. 31, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, gave a speech to the Islamic Society of North America. Today IslamOnline ran a report on this speech, the full text of which is here. The fantasies and falsehoods in Yoffie’s discourse would be discomfiting in any context; coming from so prominent a leader of American Jews, they are absolutely appalling.

... there is no shortage of voices prepared to tell us that fanaticism and intolerance are fundamental to Islamic religion, and that violence and even suicide bombing have deep Koranic roots. There is no lack of so-called experts who are eager to seize on any troubling statement by any Muslim thinker and pin it on Islam as a whole.

“No shortage .. no lack” of knowledgeable critics of Islam? What utter nonsense. In fact there are but a handful, who are assiduously excluded by the mainstream media in favor of willful ignoramuses mouthing multiculturalist cant.

... the time has come put aside what the media says is wrong with Islam and to hear from Muslims themselves what is right with Islam.

And what should the media put aside? They already do their utmost not to identify the protagonists in “sudden jihad syndrome” incidents as Muslims, as witness the New York Post’s presposterous assertion that the religion of a young man arrested for making threats after distributing leaflets urging conversion to Islam “was not immediately known.”

Anti-Semitism is not native to Islamic tradition ...

It would take an entire book to catalogue the elements of Islamic tradition that refute this, and just such a book has been compiled by Andrew Bostom. Suffice it here to cite but two Qur’anic verses:

“Why do not the rabbis and doctors of law forbid them from their habit of uttering sinful worlds and eating of things forbidden? Evil indeed are their works.” (5:63)

“The Jews say: ‘Allah’s hand is tied up.’ Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the blasphemy they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.” (5:64)

(Abdullah Yusif Ali translations.)

... but a virulent form of it is found today in a number of Islamic societies ...

Can Yoffie identify any such societies in which said virulence is not found today?

... and we urgently require your assistance in mobilizing Muslims here and abroad to delegitimize and combat it.

And how, pray, is this to be done, given the Qur’anic basis for Muslim enmity? How are the many Qur’anic verses that are inimical toward Jews to be “delegitimized,” given that Muslims hold them to be the eternal, uncreated word of God, transmitted to “the Prophet” Muhammad by the angel Gabriel?

Eric Yoffie’s efforts to reach out to Muslims are like the efforts of a dying man in a desert who crawls toward the water that appears just ahead of him. Both are equally hallucinatory, and both have about the same prospect of success.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nota bene

“We have seen that Negroes are in general characterized by levity, excitability and great emotionalism. They are found eager to dance whenever they hear a melody. They are everywhere described as stupid.”

– Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), “The Muqaddimah,” trans. Franz Rosenthal, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967), 63

“Jazz is the favorite music [of America]. It is a type of music invented by [American] Blacks to please their primitive tendencies and desire for noise.”

– Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), cited in John Calvert, “ ‘The World is an Undutiful Boy!’: Sayyid Qutb’s American Experience,” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. 11, No. 1 (2000): 99

“The Negro nations are, as a rule, submissive to slavery, because (Negroes) have little that is (essentially) human and possess attributes that are quite similar to those of the dumb animals.”

– Ibn Khaldun, “The Muqaddimah,” 117

On September 18, Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV labeled U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a "black snake."

– The MEMRI Blog

Mendacity in the Muslim media

IslamOnline has a story today about Swedish Muslims' reaction to a judge’s rejection of their lawsuit charging Lars Vilks and the Swedish paper Nerikes Allehanda with “incitement to racial hatred.” The piece contains several blatant falsehoods:

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was quick to nip the crisis in the bud. He did not hesitate to condemn the offensive cartoon ...

He did nothing of the sort. He expressed “regret if people have been insulted or feel hurt” but clearly stated that “politics must not be allowed to interfere with freedom of the press and of expression.” Like the Pakistani government, whose press release declaring that the Swedish government “fully shared the views of the Muslim community” was denounced by the Swedish Foreign Ministry as “false,” and Syrian grand mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, whose claim that Swedish ambassador Catharina Mempel Kipp had “conveyed an apology” to him was also denied by the foreign ministry, IslamOnline is spinning a narrative of official Swedish contrition out of whole cloth.

The cartoon provoked peaceful protests by Muslims in the town of Oerebro, west of Stockholm, where the paper is based.

Peaceful protests, eh? Like the nocturnal burning of several hundred copies of the newspaper Muslims are mad at, and the arson attack on one of Lars Vilks’s artistic constructions?

Swedish Muslims also refused to internationalize the crisis, arguing that it was an internal affair.

Bunk. Protests and remonstrations at the publication of Vilks’s sketches came from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, and the Muslim World League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, both in Saudi Arabia – all of which were directed at the Orebro paper Nerikes Allehanda, though several other Swedish papers had printed the drawings as well. Muslims in Orebro, where the most vociferous demonstrations were held, were clearly getting the word out to their co-religionists overseas.

The sheer mendacity of IslamOnline’s reportage neatly accords with “The Prophet” Muhammad’s declaration, affirmed in three hadiths (Volume 4, Book 52, Nos. 267, 268 and 269) of Bukhari, that “War is deceit.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Grit, gutlessness and gall

With Cartoon Jihad II, prompted by the “Muhammad as a traffic-circle dog” sketches of Swedish artist Lars Vilks (now in hiding at the behest of Swedish security agencies), well under way, it is instructive to take a look at what sort of cartoonery on Islam-related issues is publishable in sundry regions of the world. First, we have a cartoon that ran Monday in the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende, depicting several figures at a negotiation table (hat tip to Gates of Vienna, one of whose correspondents provides a translation):

Suit at left: “Sorry, but what about your treatment of women, if I may ask?”
Turbaned ranter at right: “You little Zionist, Islamophobe racist! This is not a women-conference but a human rights conference!”
Cringer at center: “I’d just like to say ... ‘Allahu Akbar!’”

This is great stuff: edgy, uncompromsing, and accurate. It targets a chink in the victimization armor of Muslim propagandists and shows just how they react when called on such things: with name-calling and rancorous attempts to change the subject. Moreover, it gets in a dig at the lickspittles who reflexively defer to them. And this appeared in a mainstream paper! Imagine such a thing running in a stateside MSM paper. Pretty impossible, when you consider the cowardice nearly all of them showed during Cartoon Jihad I last year – and the Washington Post’s recent pre-emptive deference to Islam in spiking two recent installments of Berkley Breathed’s “Opus” comic strip that showed a flighty female character donning a niqab in a harum-scarum quest to try on one spiritual creed after another. This drew an irate reaction from many readers and a tut-tut from Deborah Howell, the paper’s own ombudsman. But, as Washington Post Writers Group Executive Sales Manager Karisue Wyson told the trade journal Editor and Publisher, many papers “won't publish any Muslim-related humor, whether pro or con,” because “They just don't want to touch that.”

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the Palestinian Authority paper Al-Hayat al-Jadida ran a cartoon depicting Osama bin Laden making the two-fingered "victory" sign – with the Twin Towers as his two fingers, one belching smoke, the other about to be hit by a plane. That a newspaper in the Muslim world should implicitly gloat over bin Laden’s success in murdering over 3,000 completely innocent people in the 9/11 atrocity comes as no surprise, but that this should come from an organization that receives U.S. tax dollars by the boatload bespeaks a particular gall.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Contract for slaughter

In an Internet communique entitled "They plotted yet God too was plotting," al-Qaeda in Iraq has posted bounties on the heads of Lars Vilks, the artist whose sketches of "Muhammad as a traffic-circle dog" have roiled the Swedish art scene, and Ulf Johansson, editor of Nerikes Allehanda, a Swedish newspaper that printed one of the drawings to illustrate an editorial criticizing "unacceptable self-censorship" on the part of art exhibitors that refused to show them. The reward for a successful hit on Vilks is $100,000, with a $50,000 bonus if he is "slaughtered like a lamb," and $50,000 for one on Johansson.

Al-Qaeda’s desire that Lars Vilks be "slaughtered like a lamb" and its offer of extra bounty for the same are actually an exhortation to jihadists to slit his throat while speaking the name of Allah, as sheep are slaughtered for Eid al-Adha, the "Festival of Sacrifice" with which Ramadan concludes. There is ample precedence for human sacrifice of this sort: it was also carried out during the massacre of Armenians in Urfa in 1895, as Lord Kinross noted in "The Ottoman Centuries" (New York: Morrow Quill Paperbacks, 1977, p.560):

"When a large group of Armenians were brought before a sheikh, he had them thrown down on their backs and held by their hands and feet. Then, in the words of an observer, he recited verses of the Koran and ‘cut their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep.’"

With Ramadan now under way, Eid al-Adha isn’t far off. Lars Vilks would do well to arm himself, lest his person supply the jihad enemy the medium for an artwork in the style of Jackson Pollock.

Nota bene: As Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch has observed, the title of al-Qaeda’s communique is straight from the Qur’an – to wit, Verse 3:54:

"And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and God too planned, and the best of planners is God." (Abdullah Yusif Ali translation.)

Update: Gruesome photos from last year's Eid slaughter. Warning: these are not for the faint of heart.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Howler of the day

Former UN muckety-muck Jan Egeland, now director of the Norwegian Institute to International Affairs, to Reuters:

"If I could have a meeting with al Qaeda where one could impress upon them that they are the biggest anti-Islamic force around, why not?"
I'd certainly like to hear the arguments Mr. Egeland would make in such a meeting to persuade his interlocutors that they're acting against the Qur'an, ahadith, tasfir and sira. Somehow I doubt he'd make much headway.

Jihad in India

On Aug. 25, jihad bomb attacks on an amusement park laser show and a restaurant in the Indian city of Hyderabad killed 30 people and wounded 60 – just the latest atrocities in a terror campaign that has left India second only to Iraq in the number of terrorism casualties over the past three years, according to the Times of India:

“In fact, India has since 2004 lost more lives to terrorist incidents than all of North America, South America, Central America, Europe and Eurasia put together. All of these vast swathes of the globe lost a total of 3,280 lives in terrorist incidents between January 2004 and March this year. India alone lost 3,674 lives over the same period of three years and three months.”
Other recent stories in the Times of India tell of the arrests of 10 people in connection with the blasts, who are suspected of smuggling the explosive RDX from the predominantly Muslim nation of Bangladesh, in which the Harkat-ul-Jehad Al-Islami jihad group is based, and one detainee’s provision of mobile phone SIM cards (used to detonate IEDs) to a “terror module” in the city. The Times of India Web site and the archives of both Jihad Watch and the Counterterrorism Blog have much information on this oft-overlooked front in the global jihad.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Then, as now ...

What makes Muslims feel better about unbelievers? The Qur'an (verses (9:14-15) says it:

“Fight them, and God will chastise them at your hands and degrade them, and He will help you against them, and bring healing to the breasts of a people who believe, and He will remove the rage within their hearts; and God turns towards whomsoever He will; God is All-knowing, All-wise.”1

LGF shows it.

up1 A.J. Arberry translation.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Great minds think alike

“One principle must be absolute for the SS man: we must be honest, decent, loyal and comradely to members of our own blood and to no one else.”

– Heinrich Himmler, Reichsfuhrer SS, in a speech to SS group leaders in Poznan, Poland, Oct. 4, 1943.1

“ ... ‘kind and generous towards their own people and ruthless against our enemies at home and abroad’.”

– Reinhard Heydrich, Obergruppenfuhrer SS, describing the SS creed in a 1939 letter to his wife.2

“Muhammad is the Messenger of God, and those with him are hard against the unbelievers, merciful one to another.”

– Muhammad, prophet of Islam; in Qur’an 48:29.3

up1 From records of the Trial of Major War Criminals before International Military Tribunal, Nuremburg, 1947-1949; cited in “The Face of the Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi Leadership,” by Joachim C. Fest.

up2 Quoted in “Der Spiel ist aus,” Der Spiegel, Feb. 19, 1950; cited in “The Killing of Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich,” by Callum Macdonald.

up3 A.J. Arberry translation.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Demands, then denial

According to both Muslim ambassadors and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Friday’s meeting concerning the printing by Swedish newspapers of artist Lars Vilks’s drawings on the theme of “Muhammad as a traffic-circle dog” went off swimmingly. Iran’s ambassador Hassan Ghashghavi told the Swedish news agency TT afterward that “the Swedish government has handled this situation well,” while Reinfeldt spoke of a “very positive dialogue.” Representatives of both sides denied that a list of Muslim demands trumpeted by Egyptian ambassador Mohamed Sotouhi Thursday had ever been presented: Reinfeldt said “There were no demands in that sense,” a denial echoed by Syria’s ambassador Mohammad Bassam Imadi: “We have no list of demands, on the contrary, we are here to bring two sides together where there is a problem.”

But given the stridency of Sotouhi’s Thursday statements to TT and his disclosure that “he and a group of fellow ambassadors had agreed” on a list of “comprehensive measures,” it is hard to see such feel-good characterizations as anything but a mendacious whitewash of what went on an official meeting from which the press was excluded. While a letter presented by the ambassadors to Reinfeldt and “obtained by” (read: “handed on a silver platter to”) the newspaper Expressen contained no demands per se, Sotouhi listed three very specific ones:

* Targeted censorship: "Muslims need legal protection against the desecration of the Prophet Muhammad."

* Sensitivity indoctrination in schools and newsrooms: "The school curriculum has to convince pupils that if they want to express their opinion they should do so in such a way that it doesn't cause offence or hurt. This should also be part of journalism training."

* Political correctness enforcers: “A permanent parliamentary committee also needs to be established to tackle Islamophobia.”

In short, the Swedish press – which didn’t generate the “Muhammad as a roundabout dog” sketches but was only doing its job by printing them with its coverage of the controversy surrounding them – must be censored, indocrinated, and monitored by a parliament whose members, this story indicates, would be only too glad to clip their wings.

If Swedish journalists want to preserve their rights, they had better do some digging to find out what really happened during Friday’s meeting. Is it really to be supposed that, having declared Thursday that “We want to see action, not just nice words,” Sotouhi and his fellow Muslim ambassadors settled the next day for nothing more than “very positive dialogue”? Did Reinfeldt agree to any of the items on Sotouhi’s wish list? Did he pass the buck to a Swedish parliament in which hostility toward freedom of the press has been documented by a professionally conducted survey? Not only the public but journalists themselves urgently need to know.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

‘A spirit of appeasement’

In the wake of official complaints about Swedish newspapers' printing of Lars Vilks's Muhammad sketches from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Egypt and the Organization for the Islamic Conference, Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has agreed to a meeting tomorrow with ambassadors from 20 Muslim nations. Among the demands for which they will press, as Egyptian ambassador to Sweden Mohamed Sotouhi told the news agency TT, are sensitivity indoctrination for journalists, a “permanent parliamentary committee ... to tackle Islamophobia,” and “a change in [Swedish] law” offering Muslims “protection from the desecration of the Prophet Muhammad.”

In short, complete immunity from criticism for Muslims and their creed. And the Muslim diplomats expect nothing less than abject submission, as Algeria’s ambassador Merzak Bedjaoui made clear in calling the meeting “an excellent initiative taken in a spirit of appeasement.”

All in keeping with Qur’anic scripture, to wit: Verses 48:29, which declares that Muslims are “hard against the unbelievers”; 9:123, which exhorts them to “let them find in you a harshness”; and 9:29, which enjoins them to fight unbelievers until they “feel themselves subdued.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Judensau – ‘a parody of a caricature’

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, whose sketches of Muhammad as a rondellhund (traffic-circle dog statue) ignited the reprise of the cartoon jihad chronicled in the foregoing post, has explained his drawing of a "judensau" to the Swedish news agency TT:

Vilks said he had observed how Muslims were treated with greater care than other religious groups. It was with this in mind that he composed the drawing 'Modern Jewish sow, swollen by capitalism', a drawing he published on his own website as a response to a rhetorical question from a Swedish journalist.

"The 'Jew sow' is crystal clear and belongs to a particular situation. It's a parody of a caricature, it's so over-explicit. I understand that the picture itself in another context could be explosive. But I'm no anti-Semite.

"Otherwise I wouldn't have written the accompanying text about how Muslims are able to have a go at Jews in the roughest manner without any reaction because people are afraid to attack Muslims," said Vilks.

Roger that. My second language being Russian rather than Swedish, I didn't catch Vilks's clarification on his blog, but am glad to have it now.

Scrawls of fury

Swedish artist’s Muhammad sketches rekindle cartoon rage

When a story about the removal of a few sketches of Islam’s prophet Muhammad from an art exhibit in a Swedish town began to show up on an American blog in late July, it seemed a bagatelle – even after last year’s furor over a Danish newspaper’s publication of a dozen such caricatures in 2005. Since then, however, Lars Vilks’s puckish depictions have sparked controversy and been printed in several newspapers in his native country, prompting official protests in the Muslim world and death threats to the artist himself. We appear to be on the verge of “Cartoon Jihad II.”

The affair began on July 20, when Vilks – whom Swedish correspondents at Gates of Vienna, the blog that has done an excellent job of keeping up on this story, have variously referred to as “a well-established Swedish artist,” an “oddball” and “a total whacko” – provided three drawings for an art show in Tallberg, near Karlstad, on the theme of “The Dog in Art.” Vilks’s renditions depicted “rondellhunds” bearing the head of Muhammad. (Rondellhunds – “traffic circle dogs” – are a charmingly whimsical Swedish craze: wooden statues of dogs created and placed in traffic circles by persons anonymous.) When, shortly before opening of the exhibit, its organizers discovered what they had on display, they took Vilks’s drawings down in a panic over the anticipated reaction from thin-skinned Muslims.

“We didn’t understand how serious this was at first,” exhibit organizer Marta Wennerstrom told the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. “I think that the drawings are good. But there is also a fear here at the homestead museum that it will lead to problems and uproar.” Vilks’s reaction: “So much for freedom of speech.” It is likely, however, that the artist sought just such a response – for, as he states on his Web site: “Only to an entirely insignificant extent is the art located in the drawings. The substantial center of gravity is in the observers’ experience and reaction.”

There it might have ended – a tempest in the minuscule teapot of the Swedish art scene. But the story grew legs in the Scandinavian media, particularly after the Gerlesborgskolan, an art school in Hamburgsund, also barred Vilks’s drawings from a show in mid-August, citing “security considerations.” Beginning with the paper “Barometern” on Aug. 15, the Swedish press began to print Vilks’s drawings with their coverage of the affair. Nerikes Allehanda followed with one on Aug. 18, as did Aftonbladet on Aug. 20 and Dagens Nyheter on Aug. 22, the latter with the cutline, “ ‘Mohammed as a roundabout-dog’ isn’t primarily a caricature of Mohammed or ‘Islam’ — but of the world of art. And judging by everything, it hit the bull’s-eye.” To the drawing Sydsvenskan ran on Aug. 24 it added a sketch of a “Jewish sow” Vilks had inked in response to a dare by Ingmarie Froman of the paper Svenska Dagbladet.

Vociferous reaction to the pictures’ publication from the Muslim world was not long in coming. On Aug. 24, a group of about 60 Muslims in the Swedish city of Orebro held a demonstration at the editorial offices of Nerikes Allehanda to protest the paper’s printing of one of the offending images with an editorial decrying art officials’ refusal to show Vilks’s drawings as “unacceptable self-censorship.” Two days later, the Iranian foreign ministry in Tehran summoned the Swedish charge d’affaires and issued an official protest of its own, as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fulminated that the cartoon was the work of “Zionists” who “thrive on conflict and war.” On Aug. 30, Pakistan’s foreign ministry also summoned the Swedish charge d’affaires for a dressing-down, and that same day the secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, Elkemeddin Ihsaoglu, demanded judicial sanction for the “blasphemous caricature,” blasting its publication as “irresponsible and despicable.” On Sept. 1 Afghanistan’s Ministry of Islamic Guidance in a statement in the Kabul Times echoed the OIC’s demand for punishment, as did Egypt’s Ministry of Religious Endowments the next day. On Sept. 3 a Jordanian government spokesman condemned the publication of the drawings, declaring that it “does not serve inter-faith dialogue and co-existence.” And in the small hours of the morning on Sept. 4, vandals in Orebro torched several hundred copies of Nerikes Allehanda awaiting delivery to readers.

In the face of all this the Swedish government and press establishment have shown a surprising amount of backbone. Newspaper editors have firmly rejected demands for apology, and even Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was moved to declare his nation “eager to stand up for freedom of expression, which is enshrined in the constitution and comes naturally to us, and which ensures that we do not make political decisions about what gets published in the newspapers.” At a second Muslim demonstration on Aug. 31 against Nerikes Allehanda (around which most of the official condemnations in the Muslim world have centered) in Orebro – this one with some 300 in attendance instead of only 60 – a detachment of the Liberal Party’s youth wing showed up to countervail the protesters, with a spokeswoman who asserted that “Freedom of expression is absolutely central.”

Indeed it is – and it is good to see at least some liberals standing up for what are (or ought to be) quintessentially liberal values. It is also good to see the press in Sweden not only defending its rights but exercising them, which the overwhelming majority of American news media signally failed to do during the Danish cartoon jihad last year. Despite the latter story’s intensity and its direct impact on journalism itself, only three major American papers – the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Austin American-Statesman and the Rocky Mountain News in Denver – had the integrity to print any of the offending caricatures with their coverage and commentary on the issue. The rest offered weasely justifications for their pusillanimity, such as the Feb. 7, 2006 New York Times editorial that called that paper’s reticence “a reasonable choice ... especially since the cartoons are so easy to describe.”

Ease of description, of course, was not the point. The point was to properly practice journalism by printing the Danish cartoons to show readers what the fuss was about and enable them to decide whether it was warranted. “The people’s right to know,” it’s called – and the people certainly had a right to know what was fueling the Islamist fire that would leave at least 139 dead and 823 injured in the cartoon jihad. The point, moreover, was to push back against the malign sentiments expressed on placards and banners borne by Muslim throngs worldwide – which, in addition to calls for the deaths of the cartoonists and their editors, included, in Pakistan, “Our religion does not allow unconditional freedom of speech,” in Nigeria, “Free expression is Western terrorism,” and in Indonesia, “A Muslim’s faith is above Western values.”

Now a Muslim group, Sveriges Muslimska Förbund, is taking legal action to initiate the prosecution of the paper Nerikes Allehanda under a Swedish law prohibiting “agitation against an ethnic group” – never mind that Islam is not an ethnic group at all – and it considers not just the reproduction of Vilks’s drawing but the editorial next to it to be defamatory. “The text is about ridiculing religion,” declared Mahmoud Aldebe, the group’s chairman – though what the text really agitated against was the art world’s timorousness in shunning Vilks’s drawings.

(A stronger defamation case could in fact be made against Vilks, Ingmarie Froman, and the paper Sydsvenskan for the “Jewish sow” cartoon, a slur considerably more vicious than portraying Muhammad as a canine statue in a traffic circle. As the British historian Paul Johnson noted in his 1987 book “History of the Jews,” for centuries in Germany the “judensau” was “the commonest of all motifs for the Jew, and one of the most potent and enduring of abusive stereotypes,” whose “endless repetition helped on a process which in Germany was to become of great and tragic importance: the dehumanization of the Jew.” Likening Jews to animals, specifically monkeys and pigs, is also a common practice among jihad-oriented Muslim clerics, as Robert Spencer points out in his new book “Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.”)

The stage is set for an intensification of Islamic ire. Last Friday in Lahore, Pakistan, Muslim demonstrators burned Swedish flags and carried signs reading “Down with Sweden” and “Death to Lars.” A more widespread wave of wrath could come this Friday, when imams preach to the faithful in mosques worldwide. It was after Friday prayers that last year’s cartoon jihad exploded into violence and mass demonstrations throughout the Muslim world.

It is time for the West to teach that world that there are certain things we hold sacred, and are not about to yield to prideful zealots and their ugly tantrums. Paramount among these are the inalienable human right to freedom of expression, and the right of the press to report freely on controversies surrounding its use. Should things get hot this week, let the Swedes hold their ground – and let the American press redeem itself by not shrinking from the graphic depiction of what has prompted the furor.