Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Paris Attacks Had Something Something to Do With Islam. By Douglas Murray.

Will politicians finally admit that the Paris attacks had something to do with Islam? By Douglas Murray. The Spectator, November 14, 2015.

Murray:

The West’s movement towards the truth is remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault.

In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have “nothing to do with Islam.” It was said by George W. Bush after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7 and Tony Abbott after the Sydney attack last month. It is what David Cameron said after two British extremists cut off the head of Drummer Lee Rigby in London, when “Jihadi John” cut off the head of aid worker Alan Henning in the “Islamic State” and when Islamic extremists attacked a Kenyan mall, separated the Muslims from the Christians and shot the latter in the head. It was what President Fran├žois Hollande said after the massacre of journalists and Jews in Paris in January. And it is all that most politicians will be able to come out with again after the latest atrocities in Paris.

All these leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie. The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a “noble lie,” provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. “Noble” or not, this lie is a mistake. First, because the general public do not rely on politicians for their information and can perfectly well read articles and books about Islam for themselves. Secondly, because the lie helps no one understand the threat we face. Thirdly, because it takes any heat off Muslims to deal with the bad traditions in their own religion. And fourthly, because unless mainstream politicians address these matters then one day perhaps the public will overtake their politicians to a truly alarming extent.

If politicians are so worried about this secondary “backlash” problem then they would do well to remind us not to blame the jihadists’ actions on our peaceful compatriots and then deal with the primary problem — radical Islam — in order that no secondary, reactionary problem will ever grow.

Yet today our political class fuels both cause and nascent effect. Because the truth is there for all to see. To claim that people who punish people by killing them for blaspheming Islam while shouting “Allah is greatest” has “nothing to do with Islam” is madness. Because the violence of the Islamists is, truthfully, only to do with Islam: the worst version of Islam, certainly, but Islam nonetheless.

In January a chink was broken in this wall of disinformation when Sajid Javid, the only Muslim-born member of the British cabinet, and one of its brightest hopes, dipped a toe into this water. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, he told the BBC: “The lazy answer would be to say that this has got nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or Muslims and that should be the end of that. That would be lazy and wrong.” Sadly, he proceeded to utter the second most lazy thing one can say: “These people are using Islam, taking a peaceful religion and using it as a tool to carry out their activities.”

Here we land at the centre of the problem — a centre we have spent the last decade and a half trying to avoid: Islam is not a peaceful religion. No religion is, but Islam is especially not. Nor is it, as some ill-informed people say, solely a religion of war. There are many peaceful verses in the Quran which — luckily for us — the majority of Muslims live by. But it is, by no means, only a religion of peace.

I say this not because I hate Islam, nor do I have any special animus against Muslims, but simply because this is the verifiable truth based on the texts. Until we accept that we will never defeat the violence, we risk encouraging whole populations to take against all of Islam and abandon all those Muslims who are trying desperately to modernise, reform and de-literalise their faith. And — most importantly — we will give up our own traditions of free speech and historical inquiry and allow one religion to have an unbelievable advantage in the free marketplace of ideas.

It is not surprising that politicians have tried to avoid this debate by spinning a lie. The world would be an infinitely safer place if the historical Mohammed had behaved more like Buddha or Jesus. But he did not and an increasing number of people — Muslim and non-Muslim — have been able to learn this for themselves in recent years. But the light of modern critical inquiry which has begun to fall on Islam is a process which is already proving incredibly painful.

The “cartoon wars” — which began when the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten published a set of cartoons in 2005 — are part of that. But as Flemming Rose, the man who commissioned those cartoons, said when I sat down with him earlier this year, there remains a deep ignorance in the West about what people like the Charlie Hebdo murderers wish to achieve. And we keep ducking it. As Rose said, “I wish we had addressed all this nine years ago.”

Contra the political leaders, the Charlie Hebdo murderers and the latest Paris attackers were not lunatics without motive, but highly motivated extremists intent on enforcing their Islamic ideas on 21st-century Europe. If you do not know the ideology — perverted or plausible though it may be — you can neither understand nor prevent such attacks. Nor, without knowing some Islamic history, could you understand why — whether in Mumbai or Paris — the Islamists always target the Jews.

Of course, some people are willing to give up a few of our rights. There seems, as Rose says in his book on the Danish cartoons affair, The Tyranny of Silence, some presumption that a diverse society requires greater limitations on speech, whereas of course the more diverse the society, the more diverse you are going to have to see your speech be. It is not just cartoons, but a whole system of inquiry which is being shut down in the West by way of hard intimidation and soft claims of offence-taking. The result is that, in contemporary Europe, Islam receives not an undue amount of criticism but a free ride which is unfair to all other religions. The night after the Charlie Hebdo atrocities I was pre-recording a Radio 4 programme. My fellow discussant was a very nice Muslim man who works to “de-radicalise” extremists. We agreed on nearly everything. But at some point he said that one reason Muslims shouldn’t react to such cartoons is that Mohammed never objected to critics.

There may be some positive things to be said about Mohammed, but I thought this was pushing things too far and mentioned just one occasion when Mohammed didn’t welcome a critic. Asma bint Marwan was a female poetess who mocked the “Prophet” and who, as a result, Mohammed had killed. It is in the texts. It is not a problem for me. But I can understand why it is a problem for decent Muslims. The moment I said this, my Muslim colleague went berserk. How dare I say this? I replied that it was in the Hadith and had a respectable chain of transmission (an important debate). He said it was a fabrication which he would not allow to stand. The upshot was that he refused to continue unless all mention of this was wiped from the recording. The BBC team agreed and I was left trying to find another way to express the same point. The broadcast had this “offensive” fact left out.

I cannot imagine another religious discussion where this would happen, but it is perfectly normal when discussing Islam. On that occasion I chose one case, but I could have chosen many others, such as the hundreds of Jews Mohammed beheaded with his own hand. Again, that’s in the mainstream Islamic sources. I haven’t made it up. It used to be a problem for Muslims to rationalise, but now there are people trying to imitate such behaviour in our societies it has become a problem for all of us, and I don’t see why people in the free world should have to lie about what we read in historical texts.

We may all share a wish that these traditions were not there but they are and they look set to have serious consequences for us all. We might all agree that the history of Christianity has hardly been un-bloody. But is it not worth asking whether the history of Christianity would have been more bloody or less bloody if, instead of telling his followers to “turn the other cheek,” Jesus had called (even once) for his disciples to “slay” non–believers and chop off their heads?

This is a problem with Islam — one that Muslims are going to have to work through. They could do so by a process which forces them to take their foundational texts less literally, or by an intellectually acceptable process of cherry-picking verses. Or prominent clerics could unite to declare the extremists non-Muslim. But there isn’t much hope of this happening. Last month, al-Azhar University in Cairo declared that although ISIS members are terrorists they cannot be described as heretics.

We have spent 15 years pretending things about Islam, a complex religion with competing interpretations. It is true that most Muslims live their lives peacefully. But a sizeable portion (around 15 per cent and more in most surveys) follow a far more radical version. The remainder are sitting on a religion which is, in many of its current forms, a deeply unstable component. That has always been a problem for reformist Muslims. But the results of ongoing mass immigration to the West at the same time as a worldwide return to Islamic literalism means that this is now a problem for all of us. To stand even a chance of dealing with it, we are going to have to wake up to it and acknowledge it for what it is.


The Barbarians Are Inside, and There Are No Gates. By Mark Steyn.

The Barbarians Are Inside, and There Are No Gates. By Mark Steyn. SteynOnline, November 13, 2015.

Mark Steyn on the West’s struggle with radical Islam. Video. Fox and Friends. Fox News, November 14, 2015. YouTube.

Steyn: Leaders Must Ask If Admitting “Millions of People” Is Smart, Some “Provide Comfort Zone” for Islamic Extremism. By Ian Hanchett. Breitbart, November 14, 2015.





Steyn:

As I write, Paris is under curfew for the first time since the German occupation, and the death toll from the multiple attacks stands at 158, the vast majority of them slaughtered during a concert at the Bataclan theatre, a delightful bit of 19th century Chinoiserie on the boulevard Voltaire. The last time I was there, if memory serves, was to see Julie Pietri. I’m so bloody sick of these savages shooting and bombing and killing and blowing up everything I like – whether it’s the small Quebec town where my little girl’s favorite fondue restaurant is or my favorite hotel in Amman or the brave freespeecher who hosted me in Copenhagen ...or a music hall where I liked to go to hear a little jazz and pop and get away from the cares of the world for a couple of hours. But look at the photographs from Paris: there’s nowhere to get away from it; the barbarians who yell “Allahu Akbar!” are there waiting for you ...when you go to a soccer match, you go to a concert, you go for a drink on a Friday night. They’re there on the train... at the magazine office... in the Kosher supermarket... at the museum in Brussels... outside the barracks in Woolwich...

Twenty-four hours ago, I said on the radio apropos the latest campus “safe space” nonsense:
This is what we’re going to be talking about when the mullahs nuke us.
Almost. When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world’s leaders will fly in to “solve” a “problem” that doesn’t exist rather than to address the one that does. But don’t worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there’ll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?

With his usual killer comedy timing, the “leader of the free world” told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning, America” this very morning that he’d “contained” ISIS and that they’re not “gaining strength.” A few hours later, a cell whose members claim to have been recruited by ISIS slaughtered over 150 people in the heart of Paris and succeeded in getting two suicide bombers and a third bomb to within a few yards of the French president.

Visiting the Bataclan, M Hollande declared that “nous allons mener le combat, il sera impitoyable”: We are going to wage a war that will be pitiless.

Does he mean it? Or is he just killing time until Obama and Cameron and Merkel and Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull fly in and they can all get back to talking about sea levels in the Maldives in the 22nd century? By which time France and Germany and Belgium and Austria and the Netherlands will have been long washed away.

Among his other coy evasions, President Obama described tonight's events as “an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”

But that’s not true, is it? He’s right that it’s an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world – an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity.” And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.

And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don’t want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level most of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live – modern, pluralist, western societies and those “universal values” of which Barack Obama bleats. So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who’s been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim, and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.

And all Chancellor Merkel and the EU want to do is make that large comfort zone even larger by letting millions more “Syrian” “refugees” walk into the Continent and settle wherever they want. As I wrote after the Copenhagen attacks in February:
I would like to ask Mr Cameron and Miss Thorning-Schmidt what’s their happy ending here? What’s their roadmap for fewer “acts of violence” in the years ahead? Or are they riding on a wing and a prayer that they can manage the situation and hold it down to what cynical British civil servants used to call during the Irish “Troubles” “an acceptable level of violence?” In Pakistan and Nigeria, the citizenry are expected to live with the reality that every so often Boko Haram will kick open the door of the schoolhouse and kidnap your daughters for sex-slavery or the Taliban will gun down your kids and behead their teacher in front of the class. And it’s all entirely “random,” as President Obama would say, so you just have to put up with it once in a while, and it’s tough if it’s your kid, but that’s just the way it is. If we’re being honest here, isn’t that all Mr Cameron and Miss Thorning-Schmidt are offering their citizens? Spasms of violence as a routine feature of life, but don’t worry, we’ll do our best to contain it – and you can help mitigate it by not going to “controversial” art events, or synagogues, or gay bars, or...
 ...or soccer matches, or concerts, or restaurants...

To repeat what I said a few days ago, I’m Islamed out. I’m tired of Islam 24/7, at Colorado colleges, Marseilles synagogues, Sydney coffee shops, day after day after day. The west cannot win this thing with a schizophrenic strategy of targeting things and people but not targeting the ideology, of intervening ineffectually overseas and not intervening at all when it comes to the remorseless Islamization and self-segregation of large segments of their own countries.

So I say again: What’s the happy ending here? Because if M Hollande isn’t prepared to end mass Muslim immigration to France and Europe, then his “pitiless war” isn’t serious. And, if they’re still willing to tolerate Mutti Merkel’s mad plan to reverse Germany’s demographic death spiral through fast-track Islamization, then Europeans aren’t serious. In the end, the decadence of Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the rest of the fin de civilisation western leadership will cost you your world and everything you love.

So screw the candlelight vigil.

~I'll be talking about events in Paris on Fox & Friends Saturday morning at around 9am Eastern/6am Pacific.


Hanchett:

Columnist and author Mark Steyn argued that a “large pool of people” who “provide a comfort zone within which this virus incubates” and that Western leaders are going to have to ask themselves “is it really a good idea to admit millions and millions of people to European countries?” on Saturday’s “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel.

Steyn said, “nobody wants to say they were right about this, but I wrote a book almost ten years ago, and people said it was a alarmist. I’ve been listening to you guys all morning, and it’s striking to me, every interview you’ve had, Tucker has said, at one point, well, is it — some variation of is it really a good idea to admit millions and of millions of people to European countries? And people then start to tap dance around that issue, but when you get to it, that’s at the heart of it. That there is a large pool of people who, they don’t want to kill people, they don’t want bomb people, they don’t want to blow people up, but they provide a comfort zone within which this virus incubates. And at some point, if Mr. Hollande, and Mr. Cameron, and all these people talking about our values this morning are serious about that, they will have to do as Tucker did and ask themselves that question, and come up with an answer to it.”

When asked if the president realized “we have different values from the people who did this,” Steyn answered, “No, he doesn’t, and he wants to preserve that myth. If you look at the two big French attacks this year, for example, this attack was on people who just going to concerts, just going to restaurants, just going to soccer games, people find that well, easy to say, well you shouldn’t be blown up if you just go to a restaurant, or you just go to a soccer game. But when you get to the free speech thing, when you get to Charlie Hebdo in January, the majority of Muslims, in France, and in other western European nations, do not accept the concept of free speech. Free speech is not a universal value. It arises from a very narrow, particular tradition on this planet, and when you country becomes ten percent, 15 percent, 20 percent Muslim, there’s less and less of market for a free speech. So, despite what Obama, and Cameron, and Mr. Hollande say, that value of free speech will die, because there will be people who do not share that value.”

Steyn added that the war against terror can’t be fought on an “intelligence basis. I mean, we’ve been talking about whether you can vet people before — as they come in. A lot of these people, for example the Boston Marathon bomber, the guy who did the stabbings in Colorado just last week, they come in, and they’re perfectly normal little kids, and then they get radicalized as they live in Western societies. A quarter million people entered one German state, Bavaria, in September and October, a quarter million people. The German police estimate that it takes 60 people working on just tracking one known person on these watch lists. So, you cannot solve it by intelligence. You have to actually talk about things like a moratorium on Muslim immigration, and waging the battle ideologically. You have to be prepared — you have to, not just talk about our values, as Cameron did. You have to identify what those values are, and be prepared to defend and advance them in the world. Don’t just say that they’re universal. Because the guy in Yemen, and the goat herd, the Pashtun goat herd, and the fellow who thinks that his daughter got raped, so she deserves to die, these people don’t think they’re universal values. And Obama is useless if that’s all that he’s got to say about it.”

He added, “I think it has to be a two prong thing. I mean, this is a domestic battle, as much as an overseas war. In that these are people who nominally are citizens of Western nations, yet feel no allegiance to those nations. I mean, we pretend, we talk about the fellow in Colorado for example. The ABC News headline was a Santa Clara teenager had perpetrated the attacks. So, we present these people as normal residents of Santa Clara, of the United States, of France, Canada, Australia, but they bare, they — in the end, their sense of identity is not French, or Canadian, or Australian, or American. It’s with a pan-national identity, that actually doesn’t think in terms of nation-states. It’s bigger than that. The caliphate isn’t interested in the borders of France, or Belgium, or Germany. it’s actually making the very concept of national identity irrelevant, and replacing it with something bigger.”


Bill Maher and Asra Nomani: Liberals Are Afraid to Tell the Truth About Radical Islam.

Maher, Asra Nomani: Liberals Are Afraid to Tell the Truth About Radical Islam. By Ian Hanchett. Breitbart, November 13, 2015.

“It was probably not the Amish”: Bill Maher urges liberals to wake up about Islam after Paris attacks. By Sarah Burris. Salon, November 14, 2015.

Real Time with Bill Maher: Asra Nomani Interview (HBO). Video. Real Time with Bill Maher, November 13, 2015. YouTube.





Hanchett:

HBO host Bill Maher and author Asra Nomani criticized liberals for their position on radical Islam on Friday’s “Real Time.”

Nomani told Maher, “you have honestly taken a position of moral courage. I’m a feminist, liberal Muslim. I know, a lot of contradiction in terms there, head-spinning, but you have dared to challenge liberals to stand by their values.”

Both stated that while it isn’t 100% certain who’s behind the terror attacks in France, it probably was carried out by Islamic terrorists. Nomani continued, “so President Obama says that he’s going to go after the terrorists, and he’s going to go after the terrorist networks, but we don’t mention what kind of terrorist networks.” Maher then said, “It’s crazy. That — I don’t understand that. And I also don’t understand liberals who don’t understand, this man who says the moderates are in jail. How could liberals who stood for black people getting to go to college in the 60’s and then when I was in college they were protesting apartheid in South Africa. How can they not stand up against sharia law, which is the law in so many Muslim countries, which is a law of oppression?”

Nomani added, “I don’t understand it either, but what I have figured out is that they run scared. They’re afraid of the name-calling that you’re — get targeted with, the name-calling that I get targeted with. They don’t want to look bad. They don’t want to act like they are intolerant of a minority community, but at the end day, they are on the side of the aggressive Muslims, the people who believe in sexism and bigotry.”

Later Maher wondered, “How did we get to this place where just describing something is demonizing? And I’m not so sure it’s a very small percentage, maybe a small percentage who carry out terrorist acts, but it’s not a small percentage, right, who believe in some of the illiberal ideas that support terrorists?”

Nomani also criticized the “honor brigade,” which includes groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and people in high places of academia who “smear somebody like you, somebody like me, for being witness to truth, because ultimately, the truth frightens them, the liberals get on board.”

Both also argued that true liberal values should be fought for, and what it means to be a liberal should be questioned. Nomani added that human rights are ultimately validated by Islam, because “while the — many of the principles that are being practiced today are unequal and sexist, the religion came as a progressive faith in the 7th century. We just stayed stuck in the 7th century.”

Nomani concluded, “We have to be honest about the fact that there is an ideology of Islam, that is our war, of our generation, and this is an ideology that we have to address, and we have to address it with moral courage.”

Maher added that both of them would be called bigots and Islamophobes the next day.


The War That Hasn’t Ended. By Andrew C. McCarthy

The War That Hasn’t Ended. By Andrew C. McCarthy. National Review Online, November 13, 2015.

McCarthy:

There is always the chance that the next attack will knock the scales from our eyes. Always the chance that we will realize the enemy is at war with us, even as we foolishly believe we can end the war by not fighting it, by surrendering.

As this is written, the death count in Paris is 158. That number will grow higher, and very many more will be counted among the wounded and terrorized.

“Allahu Akbar!” cried the jihadists as they killed innocent after French innocent. The commentators told us it means “God is great.” But it doesn’t. It means “Allah is greater!” It is a comparative, a cry of combative aggression: “Our God is mightier than yours.” It is central to a construction of Islam, mainstream in the Middle East, that sees itself at war with the West.

It is what animates our enemies.

Barack Obama tells us — harangues us — that he is the president who came to end wars. Is that noble? Reflective of an America that honors “our values”? No, it is juvenile.

In the real world, the world of aggression — not “micro-aggression” — you don’t get to end wars by pronouncing them over, or mistaken, or contrary to “our values.”

You end them by winning them . . . or losing them.

If you demonstrate that you are willing to lose, then you lose. If you sympathize with the enemy’s critique of the West on the lunatic theory that this will appease the enemy, you invite more attacks, more mass murder.

France is hoping the night’s bloodshed is done as it counts its dead. And perhaps it is for now. But the atrocities are not over, not even close.

In Paris, it has been but the blink of an eye since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, after which Western nations joined together in supposed solidarity, supporting the fundamental right to free expression.

That lasted about five minutes.

Intelligentsia on both sides of the Atlantic rationalized that, while we of course (ahem) champion free expression — “Je suis Charlie!” and all that — columnists and cartoonists who dare lampoon a totalitarian ideology are bringing the jihad on themselves.

It was a familiar story. In 2012, jihadists attacked an American compound in Benghazi, killing our ambassador and three other officials. The president responded by . . . condemning an anti-Muslim video that had nothing to do with the attack, and by proclaiming that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

Islamic supremacism killed Americans, and America’s president validated Islamic supremacism.

How did the French and the rest of the West react when jihadists attacked Charlie Hebdo in Paris?

After a fleeting pro-Western pose, they condemned . . . themselves.

What happened when American commentators who had spent years studying Islamic-supremacist ideology warned that mainstream Muslim doctrine was fueling jihad against the West?

The Obama administration — the president and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton — reacted by targeting the messengers, not the aggressors.

Jihadist terror would be obfuscated by euphemisms like “violent extremism” and “workplace violence.” The critics of jihadist terror would be smeared as racist “Islamophobes.” Mrs. Clinton led the administration’s effort to portray examination of Islamic doctrine as hate speech, to brand commentary about radical Islam as illegal incitement.

Wouldn’t that be a betrayal of First Amendment free expression? If so, Mrs. Clinton declared, the government had other ways to suppress it. The administration, she said, would resort to extra-legal extortion: “old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming.”

American government intimidation, not against the jihad but against opponents of the jihad. Could we tell the enemy any more clearly that we don’t think we are worth defending? Could we tell the enemy any more clearly that we are ripe for the taking?

Hard experience has taught us that when jihadists have safe haven, they attack the United States and our Western allies. But as ISIS and al Qaeda expand their safe haven in Syria and Iraq, we tell the world it is everyone else’s problem — the Kurds have to do the fighting, or the Yazidis, the Iraqis, the “rebels,” anyone but us.

As hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the region — many of them young, fighting-fit men whose potential terrorist ties cannot possibly be vetted — we encourage Europe to open its arms and borders to them, promising to open our own as well.

After all, to do otherwise would be to concede that the war is against us — and Obama is the president who “ends” war.

The enemy is not impressed. What Obama calls “ending” war the enemy sees as surrender, as the lack of a will to fight, much less to prevail.

So, as night follows day, the enemy attacked Paris tonight, yet again. Jihadists brazenly proclaimed that they were from Syria, spreading their jihad to France.

Obama responded by soft-peddling the atrocity as a “tragedy,” the acts of war as a “crime.”

A “crime” that tonight killed 158 people (and counting). A “crime” by “criminals” who vow more jihadist acts of war against Paris, Rome, London, Tel Aviv, and New York.

We did not ask for a war with jihadists. Years ago, they commenced a war of aggression against us. Pace Obama, you can’t end such a war by withdrawing, or by pretending it is just a crime. You end it by winning it or losing it.

The enemy senses that we are willing to lose it. Tonight, they pressed their advantage. It won’t be the last time.