Saturday, January 31, 2015

What Happened to Islam?

"What happened to Islam?" Azeem Ibrahim uses this question to open his essay for the Chicago Tribune, which has been published online by the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald with the headline Wahhabi perversion of Islam sows seeds of terrorism.

Ibrahim argues that

Wahhabism isn’t Islam — it is a cult movement that uses Islamic terminology and has hijacked the religion using petrodollars. In the process, its adherents are killing and maiming more Muslims than people of other faiths . . .
Wahhabism came out of what is now Saudi Arabia in the 18th century, and became the state-supported religion of that country when the current royal family took over.

Ibrahim notes that Wahhabism spawned the Muslim Brotherhood, which in turned spawned both al Qaeda and the Taliban, and states "The global propagation of a doctrine that has been a parent to jihadism impedes counterterrorism efforts."

He has some observations about other religions, as compared with Islam:

All religions have their extremists. Self-described pastor Terry Jones caused an international furor when he threatened to burn the Quran. The Ku Klux Klan has been parading nominally Christian symbols like Bibles and crosses for centuries. But these movements are seen for what they are: cults that appropriate the symbolism and style of a religion for their own amoral ends. Yet when voices like Anwar al-Awlaki, or before him, Osama bin Laden, preach that Islam requires murder — a straight reversal of the truth — their message finds fertile ground.
He wonders why that is, and he asks "How did Islam come to this point?" What may be an answer to Ibrahim's question is here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Uncontrollable, Irresponsible, Uncivilized

An article in The Telegraph today noted the removal of an artwork from a Paris art exhibition.

The French-Algerian artist, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, withdrew the work from an exhibition in a northern Paris suburb with a large Muslim population after an Islamic group told local authorities it could provoke “uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents”.
Thus, the Islamic group admits that its co-religionists are completely, irredeemably uncivilized.

Look at a small portion of the evidence:

  • A rather inoffensive picture showing women's shoes and a small rug would provoke, according to an Islamic group in this instance, “uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents” of violent behavior.
  • Satirical cartoons provoke a a group of gunmen to attack a magazine office and murder those inside.
  • Milder cartoons published in 2005 produced murderous riots, elsewhere, six months later.
  • Damaging, or even disrespecting, a printed item is accepted as justifying execution and murder.
  • A simple statement that "I believe in (whatever, not Islam)" is "insulting Islam" — often a capital offense.
  • Muslims justify rape in Western countries saying the sight of even a single lock of a woman's hair drives Muslim men to uncontrollable sexual behavior. But note that most of the Muslim world, before the Muslim Brotherhood, clearly didn't believe this — not even in Afghanistan.
                              A scene in pre-Taliban Afghanistan.
  • Muslims justify "honor killings" for anything that "offends" them — murder is the solution to almost everything. (There is never any honor in such "honor" killings, which are simply unjustifiable common murders.)
  • Muslim sects justify the murder of innocents (such as 150 Pakistani schoolchildren) on the grounds that their parents & relatives aren't sufficiently Islamist.
  • Muslims believe than anyone leaving Islam must be killed, because it insults Islam and because Mohammed commanded it. Again, murder is the solution to almost everything, just like in any criminal gang.
The examples can go on and on. In short, everything offends these people, and everything drives them to "uncontrollable, irresponsible" behavior. That is, there is none of the self-control that is the hallmark of civilized behavior. These people — these animals — demonstrate by their behavior that they are completely uncivilized.

It's either that or it's all just excuses for uncivilized behavior.

Please feel free to pass on other elements demonstrating uncivilized behavior in the comments.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Senate Starts Working Again

Since the sea-change election in early November, I've been hearing the Progressives and Leftists proclaiming that the Senate had just exchanged one petty tyrant for another. They insisted that Senator Mitch McConnell would behave just like Senator Harry Reid had — blocking any amendments of bills by the minority and nearly all amendments by members of his own party, almost never allowing actual floor votes, and never allowing the minority party members any voice on anything. They were adamant that Reid's illegalities, obstructionism, arrogance, and hyper-partisan behavior were now the "new normal" for the Senate.

Mitch McConnell has now shown how delusional (or dishonest) the Progressives and Leftists are and have been.

Senators from both Republican and Democrat parties have been offering amendments to bills, which have all been put through the normal process — or at least what was the normal process before Harry Reid's usurpations. And the Senate has actually been taking votes. In fact, the Senate took more votes in its first three weeks under Republican control than it did in all of 2014 under Harry Reid. Ten more votes have been taken in the two days since, making 25 votes so far (11 more than the 14 votes allowed in all of 2014 under Reid).

I agree with Warner Todd Huston's comment: "With McConnell allowing our proper system to reassert itself over the partisan, unfair, corrupt, un-American way Obama/Reid/Democrats ran things last year, it is a good thing. It is also proof that Republicans are far more American than Democrats."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Images of Truth

Let's begin with something serious.
As the saying goes, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."

There's been a lot of talk lately about radical Islamists — like those who murdered so many people in Paris. It seems they attacked because their religious feelings were hurt. Apparently they were brought up to believe they have an absolute right to never be insulted, or hurt, or offended.

Or maybe they did do what the videos and witnesses say they did. But some commentators say we shouldn't blame them. After all, they say, the extremists in other religions are just as bad. I'm not sure I can buy that. Here's one piece of why.

And for those who believe the second way, I agree with this guy.

I wasn't thrilled with this statement when it was first made, back in 2010. (Actually, that is an extreme understatement.) This is a good statement of why.

This is a good one to use as a finale. It's an example of pure humor and pure truth.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bloody Payback Beginning

But the situation in Europe changed all that. It’s difficult to go about business as usual while The Eternally Aggrieved are beginning their bloody payback for imaginary slights.
    — Gates of Vienna

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Charlie Hebdo Cartoons

The latest terrorist outrage is the murders in Paris at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and the other related attacks in the Paris area. Like the riots in 2006, this attack was blamed on the publication of "offensive" cartoons. Here are at least some of those cartoons (from here, other Gateway Pundit posts, and elsewhere).

This one doesn't even qualify as a cartoon — no satire or humor or anything. I guess the terrorists are angry that Charlie Hebdo actually printed Mohammed's name.

The words on this one, from 2011, say "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!"
There were more cartoons in the rest of the issue.

In this one, from 2006, the headline says "Mohammed stressed out by the fundamentalists." and his words say "It's hard to be loved by fools."

Here's the cartoonist's view of what would happen — at the hands of one of Mohammed's followers — if Mohammed returned today.

This one is the most provocative of all the Charlie Hebdo cartoons I've seen. The words say "The Koran is shit. It doesn't stop bullets."
This one looks pretty provocative to me, as well, but I don't know what the words say.

Of course, Charlie Hebdo mocks everybody. It's an equal opportunity insulter.

Its cartoonists even insult themselves.

The man in this one is the former French finance minister, not Mohammed or any Muslim.

All in all, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons seem pretty inoffensive — especially in comparison with some of the cartoons it has printed satirizing other religions, politicians, & etc. They are, however, clearly more offensive than the drawings printed by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Denmark in 2005. Just to jog everyone's memories, here they are again.

The 2005 cartoons were really inoffensive — and yet (many of) Europe's Muslim leaders used them to foment riots in many parts of the world, five months after their publication. As I said in 2006, however, "It seems to me that someone was looking for an excuse that could be used to stir up trouble." In part, that was because even the rioters in 2006 agreed that the cartoons were not, themselves, offensive. Even so, they were used to create a lot of problems.

There seem to be a couple of root causes for these kinds of behaviors. (There are probably more, but this is the simplified version.) One is Islam's near-absolute lack of any sense of humor, especially about Islam itself. Like a five year old child, Islam takes itself far too seriously.

The other of these "couple of root causes" is that fundamentalist Muslims — the Islamists — have notoriously thin skins. They are always outraged about something. Perhaps the best comment in this arena, and its dynamics, is still from Daryl Cagle (before the start of his current website).

Probably no one thought the 2005 Danish drawings were of Muhammad until they were told so by their religious leaders. When they were told this, despite the evidence of their own eyes, they rioted. It is the same now as it was then. And isn’t that truly a fitting conclusion for this discussion of the ongoing “cartoon wars”?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sane Responses to the Paris Terrorist Attacks

Islamic terrorists attacked the offices of the French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo.

The beginning of The Astute Blogger's response looks like this:

This is clever and cute.

But this is the only thing that will work.

Meanwhile, Citizen Warrior quotes this in his response:

"To honor those who've died for Free Speech," says Bosch Fawstin, "I don't raise my pen up in the air, I put it to paper and draw Mohammad."