Friday, 24 February 2017
Parliament can’t simply demand people feel good about Islam
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by Conrad Black


Liberal MP Iqra Khalid is congratulated by colleagues as she speaks about her anti-Islamophobia motion on Feb. 15, 2017.

There are several problems with the House of Commons private members’ motion 103 on “systemic racism and religious discrimination.” It is based on the assertion that there is a “need to quell” an “increasing public climate of hate and fear” and, implicitly, that the Parliament of Canada has the ability to “quell” it. I believe all of these premises are mistaken. I don’t believe that any such climate as the MP who presented the motion, Iqra Khalid (Liberal, Mississauga-Erin Mills) believes, exists. One of the greatest sociological changes in this country in my now rather lengthy recollection is the very pronounced reduction in racial, sectarian, philosophical, gender, and sex-orientation prejudice. Vast numbers of immigrants from all over the world have generally been very whole-heartedly received in Canada and their collective contribution to the maturation and enrichment of the country is almost universally acknowledged. I know of no other country, except possibly Australia, that has accepted such comparatively large numbers of people from the most varied countries of origin so equably. 

There is some fear generated by racial violence and several murders in Canada in recent years involving Muslims, as perpetrators or victims. But it is not an irrational fear, and doesn’t afflict the whole system, if the system referred to is more broadly based than small and furtive groups of organized bigots. Nor is it clear to me that Parliament has any ability or right to affect whatever level of fear and hate may exist. Ms. Khalid proposes that this objective be tackled by condemning “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination … (by taking) note of House of Commons petition e-411,” and by requesting a study from the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. The principal religious discrimination in Canada is that the almost universal official attitude of atheism effectively considers any reference to God as discriminatory against non-believers and a violation of the absurdly over-worked desire for separation of church and state. That separation is generally considered to be violated by any reference to the existence of religious belief, apart from charitable platitudes. Indeed Islam is almost the only religion in Canada that is not the subject of at least tepid official disdain.

The petition e-411 referred to was advanced by the president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, Samer Majzoub, in 2016, and credits Islam with a large contribution “to the positive development of human civilization,” claims that the number of Islamic terrorists is “infinitesimally small,” and is unrepresentative of the world Muslim population, and asks that all Canadians recognize that and condemn Islamophobia. The Standing Committee’s study, under Ms. Khalid’s motion, is to develop a “whole-of-government approach” to fighting the alleged “systemic racism and religious discrimination … while ensuring a community-centred focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making.” It is also charged to “collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities.” This choice of words gets to the edge of incomprehensible bureau-speak, but essentially seems to wish to recruit every employee of the federal government to a role of crusading against any differentiation or even recognition of racial or religious individuality and seeks deep background and remedial recommendations for all reports of hate crimes anywhere in the country.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The motion proclaims the existence of a threat to civil society that is tremendously exaggerated, asking the federal government to launch a total war on what is a very scattered and largely undefinable phenomenon, and asking for mountains of anecdotal opinion from all those who can formulate a claim that they have been disparaged or mistreated because of their race or religion, or have observed this treatment of others. The fact is that it is up to the Muslim leaders in the world, including some in Canada, to be a good deal less ambiguous about and apologetic for the conduct of Islamic extremists, though Mr. Majzoub specifically condemns them. Ms. Khalid’s motion urges the government “to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Those rights include the liberty of anybody to hold and express negative views about any religious denomination or ethnic group or individual as long as they are not inciting hatred, which invites premature recourse to the kangaroo courts of the Human Rights Commissions. It is of the nature of those inquisition chambers that retroactive mind-reading and imputation of guilty motives routinely trespass on individual rights of freedom of expression.

The principal role in strengthening the prestige of the Muslim world will have to be played by the secular and clerical leaders of Islam to enable the other four-fifths of the world to distinguish more easily between the violent fanatics and their fellow travellers and the reasonable majority of Muslims, and to discourage and punish acts of criminal violence against non-Muslim minorities in their midst. The Coptic minority in Egypt, much larger than the Muslim minority in any Western country, and the Christians in Syria and Iraq, have been treated with disgusting brutality and it has scarcely elicited an audible reproof from the civil and ecclesiastical leaders of Islam (or of Western governments, except the Vatican).

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin TangMinister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 in Ottawa.

Of course, I agree that Islamophobia and religious and racial discrimination generally are contemptible, but they are usually not crimes, and the reasonable Muslim majority can scarcely be surprised at a tendency to regard large swaths of Islam with suspicion, when the Muslim leadership is almost mute about the mistreatment of Christian and Jewish communities in Muslim countries, and shriek like banshees at any suggestion that they are being assimilated to Islamic terrorists when their own efforts to restrain or suppress Islamist terror is so frequently sporadic and ineffectual.

I get around fairly well and I have heard nothing in this country from anyone that has been as abusive as some of the letters and emails to this newspaper two years ago when I wrote that advocates of the existence of a divine intelligence are generally successful in debates with famous atheists. I did not state any religious views of my own (though it is no secret that I am a Christian) and was pilloried by many as a superstitious idiot. But I didn’t petition Parliament or inflict myself on a Human Rights Commission. There are serious limits to what Parliament or government can do in a free country about people’s opinions. The freedoms Ms. Khalid cites include the right to think and speak negatively about other people and groups. Parliament cannot and should not aspire to turn the country into a judgment-free zone, a vast Pleasantville. Democracy is self-government and that cannot occur without the right of everyone to say and believe what they want, as long as it is not seditious, defamatory, or an incitement to illegal behavior.

Getting further into the area of soliciting denunciations of people because of offensive things they have said, and trying to discourage obnoxious or sociopathic or even hateful opinions, will not eliminate them and is apt to compromise democracy rather than strengthen it. I do not doubt the virtue of Ms. Khalid and Mr. Majzoub’s motives, but it is impossible to increase the respect in which Islam is held by simply demanding it. Only Muslims can attract increased collective admiration from non-Muslims, and they will not do that by trying to infringe the freedom of expression of everyone else and by indulging their co-religionists who regularly and in large numbers revile the rest of us as infidels. Christianity is 600 years senior to Islam and has 600 million more adherents, and, for all its historic failings, a much less violent history. And Christians generally regard Islam with more respect than they receive back from Muslims. The numbers of extremists who lurk and fester among the reasonable and civilized Muslims may be “infinitesimally small” and I hope they are, but they have killed many thousands of innocent people in terrorist acts in almost every Western country over the last 20 years.

The Islamic leaders are not remotely doing all they can to reassure the world, including the people of this country, of the tolerant spirit of the Muslim majority. Not one per cent of Canadians has any problem with Muslims and anyone else having and practicing their religion and cultural traditions, as long as they are not an affront to the laws of this country. Islamophobia, in the sense of a visceral dislike of everyone who is a Muslim, is “infinitesimally small” in this country. But those who seek greater respect for Islam have to earn it, not just require it from Parliament, which has no jurisdiction to confect or confer it.   

Note: I apologize to Rick Peterson, Conservative leadership candidate, for omitting him from the list of bilingual contenders last week. I have now met him and found him a strong (and bilingual) candidate. I have also had representations on behalf of other candidates, and will review the candidates in early April. My point remains that a unilingual leader is unlikely to win a general election against the bilingual Justin Trudeau. I also meant to refer to the traditional success of the Liberals in out-bidding the Conservatives for the support of third parties and not just the CCF-NDP, and apologize for that confusion also.

First published in the National Post.

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Posted on 02/24/2017 12:41 PM by Conrad Black
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Friday, 24 February 2017
Our Brazenly Seditious Media
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by David P. Gontar

It is hardly an exaggeration to observe that the exclusive focus of the American media these days is the new President and his alleged foibles. Substantive matters like law, national policy, war, trade, immigration and economic development are taken up, if at all, only to the extent that they can be bundled as brickbats to hurl at the President. In and of themselves these issues are ignored. For example, Mr. Trump recently directed our attention to the spike in the US murder rate, which he characterized as the highest in 47 years. Instead of reflecting on the problem of violence in our homes and on our streets, and considering ways to control such misbehavior, reporters leaped to fuss obsessively over Mr. Trump's statistics. Evidently what is important to those who fashion public opinion is not the serious challenges we face as a people, but whether in his remarks on public safety our leader may have been arithmetically imprecise, as though a presidential speech were a classroom lecture.

It doesn't concern CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC, et al., that today Chicago is as much a slaughterhouse of human beings as it is of hogs and cattle. What gets their attention is that the President's numbers are a tad askew. But in The Economist of 2/7/17 we read that "Over the past two years America has become more murderous. After steadily falling for a quarter-century, the national homicide rate jumped by 11 percent." The obsession of the media with the new President blinds them to dangerous social realities.  

The daily torrent of quibbles and accusations against Mr. Trump amounts to nothing less than a full scale campaign designed to discredit and undermine the present administration, and it has the effect of encouraging those in high and low places to commit treasonous deeds. In fact, it is fairly admitted by the press that this is what it's all about, and well does it deserve the title "enemy of the people." There is unfolding before our very eyes the grossest instance of de facto sedition in modern history. Make no mistake about it: our media are engaged in a vast criminal enterprise directly proscribed by 18 USC 2384, 2385. The whole lot of those so employed should be arrested, tried and delivered to prison. Let us commend these acts and enactments to the Attorney General for his immediate review.

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Posted on 02/24/2017 5:26 AM by David P. Gontar
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Friday, 24 February 2017
The Regulation Law and Peace in the Middle East
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by Michael Curtis

Critics of Israel persist in the contention that the existence of Israeli settlements is a core, even the main, impediment to peace and to a two state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Once again in the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016 which was passed by a vote of 14-0 with the U.S. abstaining and therefore allowing it to pass, the settlements were held to be illegal.  They have been held innumerable times, though incorrectly, in international forums to be violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 49, and The Hague Convention of 1907.

Ignoring the refusal of Palestinians to enter into peace negotiations from 1949 to the present, and their provocative proclamations to exterminate the State of Israel, international declaration declare the settlements to be the obstacle to peace, as well contrary to international law.

With the passage of an Israeli law on Monday, February 6, 2017, there is an opportunity to examine the complicated problem of the settlements in objective fashion. On that day the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, by a vote of 60 to 52 passed the Regulation Law, Hok Hahasdara, sponsored by the Jewish Home Party, the religious nationalist party, led by Naftali Bennett and generally regarded as right wing, and by some members of the Likud Party.

The controversial Regulation Law appears to break the traditional official attitude to the settlements built in the disputed territories. Since the settlements began after the 1967 Six Day War the numbers have expanded. Today, there are 121 officially recognized Israeli settlements containing 400,000 settlers in the West Bank, and 375,000 in east Jerusalem. Under both Labor and Likud governments there was agreement that settlements were built on state or public land, and largely for reasons of security, not on private land, with some exceptions.

There were however unauthorized settlements, built for a variety of reasons, religious, nationalistic, and economic. At once problems arose regarding both sets of settlements. One was that some private land, later claimed to be Palestinian owned, was unregistered according to Ottoman land laws, and therefore the ownership was uncertain .Another was that genuine mapping mistakes were made by Israeli authorities. A third was deliberate avoidance since the Oslo Accords of the rules regarding settlements for religious and economic reasons.

The Israeli Supreme Court (High Court) has approved settlements on land that is publicly owned. It has allowed expropriation of privately owned Palestinian land for security purposes, or for building roads. It did not allow Israeli expropriation of privately owned Palestinian land in order that a settlement be established.

The context for the Regulation Law has to be seen in the events of the Amona issue. In that city, a hilltop near Mount Baal Hatzor the highest peak in the West Bank, 40 Jewish families lived since the 1990s as unauthorized settlers. Amona was the largest of the more than 100 unauthorized outposts built in the West Bank, but tolerated by the governments to avoid internal political crises that might bring down the fragile political coalitions.

In 2006 Israeli police demolished a number of homes in Amona causing a number of injuries, but other homes remained. Amona took on symbolic significance  as representative of the settlement movement. The Israeli High Court ruled in 2014 that the homes were built on private Palestinian land and must be demobilized. After some initial governmental hesitation, Israel forces took down the water and electric infrastructure before demolishing the homes of Amona. The settlers, who were joined by outside protestors, were evacuated from the outpost, causing considerable injuries but no fatalities.

The Regulation Law is relevant to and may be the response to those events. Regulation of the housing units in the settlements is thought necessary because of the possibility of violence. The Law retroactively allows residents of about 4,000 housing units in outposts and settlements built on privately owned land in the West Bank the right to live there, provided the settlers did not know the land was privately owned and the landowner is compensated..

According to one calculation the Regulation Act might mean legalizing 55 outposts now considered to be in violation of Israeli law, including 797 housing units and 3,000 dunams of Palestinian private owned land. It would also allow for the legalization of more than 3,000 housing units in established settlements, and for expropriating  5,000 dunams of private land.

The problem arises that Israeli law is being applied to the disputed territories where Israel  does not have sovereignty. Under the Oslo II Accords of 1995, the West Bank was divided into three areas, A, B, C. The last is under Israeli administration, and has 400,000 Israeli inhabitants. Israel may have claims to the area, the disputed territories, but they are not under Israeli sovereignty.

A number of problems arise. First is whether the Regulation Act can be considered legal. This problem is akin to that of the concept of “adverse possession,” coming from Roman law and the Napoleonic code. This common law concept, that has had a role in the history of English land and property law, as well as in the US, is relevant to occupation of land belonging to another person, and denotes a way of obtaining title to land through use.

Already there are strong differences of opinion, in which legal issues and political objectives intertwine, within Israel itself as well as outside.

The Israeli Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, called the Law a breach of local and international law, unconstitutional,  though Israel does not yet have a written constitution, and refuses to defend it before the Supreme  court .Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog regards it as national suicide. Indeed, as some argue, the Supreme Court will strike it down if it hears a case. Other commentators, and politicians, fear Israel may be brought to the ICC, International Criminal Court.

The most controversial political issue is whether the Law regulating property is in essence an unprecedented and troubling step toward Israeli annexation of West Bank territory and sovereignty over it. The cry is that the Law crosses a red line

The Supreme Court has ruled that Israel is present in the West Bank under the international law of belligerent occupation based on military need of security, rather than for political reasons.It holds that settlements can exist on public or state land, and that privately owned land can be used for security or public purposes. But the Supreme Court has not previously allowed Israel to use privately owned Palestine land to establish a settlement, except in an unusual situation.

Do the settlement constitute an obstacle to peace? The facts illustrate the reality. Following the 1979 Israeli-Egypian peace treaty, Israel evacuated 18 settlements in the Sinai Peninsula and 21 in the Gaza Strip. No peace from the Palestinians. Prime Minister Netanyahu for ten months, November 2009-September 2010, stopped all settlement construction. Again, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas did not come to the peace table. The answer is clear. Despite all the fulminations at international conferences, the settlements are not the obstacle to peace. Nor are they the core issue in the dispute. Nor are they war crimes.

Irrespective of the answers to the legal issues involved, the Regulation Law provides a unique opportunity for a serious conversation between the parties about the territories and land, and might be the spur that persuades the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table.

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Posted on 02/24/2017 4:54 AM by Michael Curtis
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Thursday, 23 February 2017
András Mezei: PRAYERS
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Translated from the Hungarian

& Edited

By Thomas Ország-Land

 

 (1)

Psalm

 

I watch my spade as thrust by thrust

and spit by spit it shapes my home

till, like our psalms, my steaming breath

lifts rising from this cold, deep hole.

My Eternal God! Your very

being steels my arms. You know

that all the time till resurrection

will pass quickly like the thunder

of the gun.

 

(2)

The Lists

 

They did not need quite 24 hours

in Györ, nor in Veszprém nor Szombathely,

in all the small cities throughout the land:

a register of Jewish residents

was assembled before the sunrise

the very day the Germans took over –

the lists were prepared in a sense of shame

and helplessness and in heartfelt regret,

you might say with the greatest of sympathy

and embarrassment. They were surrendered.

 

(3)

Group Portrait

 

The cows grazed in freedom beyond the deathcamp

and the air conveyed their healthy munching

to the people promised a communal bath,

yet whose prayer was for gas: relief, at last,

in the bitter almond fragrance of Zyclon B2 –

in that passive state of animal existence

there stood (My God! hallowed be Thy Name)

a group of women crammed together,

devoid of hair.

 

 

(4)

In the Bomb-pit

 

His shovel clanged against the metal body.

 

He was forced to dig a funnel-shaped pit

around the unexploded bomb in the ground.

The explosives expert watched from a distance.

And, deep within his megatonnes of history,

the Jewish prisoner stood in the bomb-pit:

unharmed

as the expert cautiously descended

into that reality of war, in which

Nebuchadnezzar's lions facing Daniel

must grow tame in the sight of the Lord

even within the metal cloaking of the bomb.

 

 

(5)

Before my Fall

 

Before  my fall,

before that great block of stone

came tumbling upon me,

before it crushed in my chest,

before it rushed me

into the land of shadows –

in the sight of the Lord

I had raised up all of Egypt.

 

 

(6)

The Executioners

         

Still laughing, that Galician Jew's eyes, still bright

in the blaze of his beard set on fire by the killer's lighter,

eternally laughing, beyond even time and the final judgment,

and in his gaze thick heads of hair and earlocks and beards

set alight in a waxen white candelabra of bodies –

 

and the Almighty's face does not flinch in the flames.

 

 

(7)

Self-portrait, Treblinka

 

I fire and I fire while retreating.

My mouth is belching blood, my eyes are smiling.

My strength is sapped, my weapon silent. I’m captured.

My mouth is belching blood. My eyes still smiling.

 

 

András Mezei (1930-2008), a poet, journalist and publisher, was a foremost chronicler of the Hungarian Holocaust. His last, posthumous publication in English was Christmas in Auschwitz (Smokestack Books, England, 2010). His poetry based on personal experience and professional interviews as well as medical, judicial and historical records, are widely taught and anthologized worldwide but still largely ignored in Hungary.

 

 

Thomas Ország-Land is an award-winning poet and foreign correspondent who writes for Iconoclast from Jerusalem and London as well as his native Budapest. His last book was Survivors: Hungarian Jewish Poets of the Holocaust (Smokestack, 2014), and his last E-chapbook, Reading for Rush Hour: A Pamphlet in Praise of Passion (Snakeskin, England, 2016).

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Posted on 02/23/2017 8:47 AM by NER
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Thursday, 23 February 2017
Beer Street, Gin Lane, and Blurred (Moral) Vision
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by Theodore Dalrymple

We like to consider totalitarianism a thing of the past, at least in Western countries, but its temptations are permanent and its justifications never very far away. Since no man is an island, no human action concerns only the actor himself. John Stuart Mill’s famous principle in On Liberty (1859) that the only good reason to interfere with someone’s freedom is to prevent him from doing harm to others is therefore as effective a barrier against totalitarianism as tissue paper against a tsunami. Potential harm to others can be alleged in practically any human action.

Not only is it difficult to perform an action that concerns only oneself—the flap of a butterfly’s wind being able to cause a hurricane thousands of miles away—but we seem to be increasingly sensitive to harm done, or allegedly done, to ourselves. We seem to have revised an old motto, and to now believe that sticks and stones may break our bones but words are just as bad. This is sinister in that it obliterates the distinction between words and deeds.

What is more, the less prone we are, objectively speaking, to illness and accident, the more psychologically fragile we are becoming, as if we expected, as of right, to go through life without any upsets at all, physical or psychological. And since we may be so deeply harmed by words (psychological harm, like beauty, being in the eye of the beholder), our zeal for harm-prevention requires that words should be censored if they are thought by someone to be objectionable. What this leads to, eventually, is that the failure positively to subscribe to some new moral orthodoxy is itself a harm. Thus there will be not only things we must not say, but things we must say. Granted, most of the pressure to conform is as yet social rather than legal, but there are undoubtedly enthusiasts who would like to translate social into legal obligation.

The distinction between words and deeds is not the only one that totalitarians seek to efface. That between the public and the private spheres is also vulnerable. As the young libertarians-turned-totalitarians of the 1960s used to say, the personal is political—which makes everything political. As Shigalov put it in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Devils (1871): “Starting from unlimited freedom, I arrive at unlimited despotism”; and politics, not theology, becomes the queen of the sciences.

A not untypical example of conflating the public with the private appeared in the British Left-liberal daily the Guardian recently. Just after the New Year, the paper ran a column about public drunkenness among young British women, a propensity that seems to be somewhat on the decline but is nevertheless more marked than anywhere else known to me.

The scenes of such excess are, if anything, less attractive even than those of William Hogarth’s Gin Lane (1751), and are without the argument of grinding poverty to extenuate them. The young women are not only helplessly drunk but militant in their shamelessness. These scenes are regularly grist for the photographic mill of British tabloid newspapers, whose own attitude to vulgarity is ambiguous, to put it mildly. They excoriate what they assiduously promote, thus simultaneously profiting from vice and the condemnation of vice.

The hypocrisy of the tabloid press in this matter would be a subject of legitimate criticism, but this was not the criticism leveled by Suzanne Moore in the Guardian. The headline of Moore’s piece was, “Binge Drinking Happens: The Problem Is Binge Moralising on Women.” The subhead: “The New Year Shaming of Young Working-Class Women Is a Staple of Tabloid Culture: This Voyeuristic Morality Policing Also Hides the True Story.”

I will pass over the question of whether such behavior really is, as a matter of empirical fact, the province of working class British women alone; and whether, if it were, it would therefore not be a proper subject of condemnation, presumably on the grounds that working class women are not fully paid-up members of the human race and cannot be held to any particular standards of behavior, such as not urinating in the gutter while incapably drunk. I will also pass over the rather strange view that the real problem is moralizing about the problem, and not the problem itself. We would not, after all, say that the problem with murder is moralizing about murder, for if murder is not morally to be condemned it is difficult to say what is morally to be condemned: and this is so even if the moral condemnation of murder goes without saying.

What, according to the Guardian’s Moore, is the “true story”? That “binge drinking is actually the preserve of the middle aged and middle class who sit at home with their fine wines destroying their livers while judging everyone else.”

Now as a depiction of people who drink fine wines to excess, this is of course inaccurate. Such people (who exist) tend to drink every day, continually, not in binges. But this error is not what is significant about this passage; it is its failure to recognize the difference between drinking too much in the privacy of your home and drinking too much and making a public nuisance of yourself. There is a narrow focus here on the act of drinking too much. The subsequent behavior in public is left out of consideration.

One could, as I’ve indicated, imagine a counterargument that the person who drinks too much at home nevertheless affects others. The drinker’s family might suffer as a result of his habit. He is likely to suffer illness whose treatment will have to be paid for by others. On this view, his drinking to excess, albeit in private, is no more a purely personal matter than is drinking to excess in public and behaving badly.

It does not follow from this, however, that the public/private distinction has ceased to be a real distinction. All it means is that there is always a judgment to be made rather than a strict rule to be applied. To be dead drunk in the street and behave in a disgusting manner in public is simply not the same as getting sozzled at home.

The failure to make proper distinctions continues until the end of the article; in fact that failure even picks up speed:

Binge moralising . . . is a problem. One tends to lose all contact with reality in a constant quest for the high of smug superiority. When you are getting your kicks from kicking an unconscious girl, perhaps it is time to look at yourself.

The conflation now is between criticism of public drunkenness, whether it be justified or not, with physical assault. Since such an assault on the helplessly inebriated would clearly be wrong, it is supposed to follow that criticism of them is likewise, and equally, wrong. This is the way freedom ebbs away—for, as David Hume observed, it is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.

First published in the Library of Law and Liberty.

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Posted on 02/23/2017 7:03 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Sydney, Australia: Millionaire Muslim Fraudster Posed as "Battling Single Mother" To Live in Public Housing and Draw Benefits
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And although caught out in her brazen practice of grand-scale welfare fraud, and convicted, she is getting a mere slap on the wrist.  One may note that she had a "mosque marriage" that was not registered with Australian officialdom; and one wonders just how much of that is going on, and how many other Muslim women of this ilk are fraudulently milking - and overburdening - the social security system.

As reported this week by  Lucy Mae Beers for the Aussie branch of the "Daily Mail".

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4247754/Muslim-Centrelink-fraud-Rebecca-Khodragha-appeal-court.html

"No Remorse": Millionaire Muslim Fraudster Who Posed as a "Battling Single Mohter" So She Could Live in Public Housing, Cries in Court as She Loses Appeal Against Home Detention."

'A millionaire Muslim woman who posed as a "battling single mother" so she could live in public housing for 15 years has had her appeal thrown out of court.

'Rebecca Khodragha, 44, appeared at Parramatta District Court on Wednesday to fight her three months home detention sentence, hoping for it to be lightened to community service.

Me, I'd give her community service; three months at a large animal shelter.. assigned to the job of mucking out and cleaning the litter trays and the dog exercise yards.  I wouldn't trust her to feed or care for the animals - she would probably be cruel to them; but, under supervision, she could spend three months doing the rounds with a pooper-scooper. - CM

'The married mother of two, whose husband owns an electrical business which rakes in more than $1 million a year (memo to the authorities, and to any investigative reporter worth their salt; it might be a good idea to look a bit more closely into the business record, customer service record and finances of this so-profitable business, just in case - CM) was given the sentence in 2016 when she was convicted of welfare fraud.

'The court was previously told that Ms Khodragha's husband Khaled Sabsabi owned a lucrative electrical contracting business, which was registered to the housing commission address.

Oops. - CM

'At the same time that Ms Khodragha was claiming welfare benefits, the couple owned two other investment properties - in Lakemba (one of Sydney's most heavily-Islamised suburbs - CM) and Greenacre - which they later sold for a significant profit.

'Justice Martin Sides said the mother of two had an "absence of remorse" and "complete lack of insight" and dismissed the appeal.

Absence of remorse.  Complete lack of insight. In other words: the malignant narcissism, coupled with aggression and predatory behaviour toward non-Muslims, that Islam tends to produce in its adherents. For more, see the works of Niccolai Sennels, in particular, "Among Criminal Muslims".  One must remember that robbing and generally doing-down the dirty infidels is seen as meritorious, in orthodox Islam. - CM

'The court heard that despite the fraud conviction, Ms Khodragha is still living in public housing and receives Centrelink payments.

Why?  Her payments should have been cut off the instant she was convicted; and she should have been evicted from a property in which she is present on the basis of false pretences. - CM

'Ms Khodragha married husband Khaled in an Islamic ceremony (at which mosque? presided over by whom? - CM) in 1991 but their wedding was unregistered (all the better to be able to defraud the dirty infidels - CM) and the pair have been in a Punchbowl housing commission unit in the city's southwest since that year, 7 News reported.

'Ms Khodrangha's lawyer, Zemarai Kahtiz, argued the 44 year old's offending was from October 14 to 20, 2014 only, and not a longer period as claimed by the prosecution.

'He told the court she made $8,036.40 within those six days.

Suuuuure.  Pull the other leg, Mr Mohammedan lawyer, it's got bells on. - CM

"That's the benefit she obtained, not $80,000 or $90,000 as the Crown sees it." he said, "As a result, whatever advantage obtained flows from that date."

'But Crown Prosecutor Antony Di Francesco said Ms Khodragha pleaded guilty to obtaining the rebate and then hiding it from NSW Housing.

"Had she revealed the truth in 2015, they could have conducted an investigation and cancelled the rebates", he said.

'Mr Di Francesco said that by limiting the offending to a number of days, "misconstrues the nature of the charge put to Ms Khodragha to which she pleaded guilty".

'Mr Kahtiz said the mother-of-two has been fired from her job at a medical centre as a result of the court case.

Well, from the sounds of it, her husband's business is very profitable, and so were the proceeds of the sale of two houses.  So losing her job - IF she lost it as a result of the court case; it would be interesting to check that claim, thoroughly - is no big deal. - CM

'He also said she is suffering a number of psychological conditions, including anxiety and depression."

Medical evidence, please.  But the examining and diagnosing medical professionals should not be Muslims. - CM

'Ms Khodragha was tearful as Judge Sides threw out the appeal.

Oh, cry me a river, three months' home detention is a mere slap on the wrist, she has no cause to complain. - CM

'According to Housing NSW, 60,000 people are on the waiting list for public housing".

Might be an idea to go through the list and take a very, very suspicious look at any of the applicants whose names and other details indicate membership in the Mohammedan mob; they might turn out to be fraudsters like Ms Kodragha, spinning fake sob stories in order to game the system.  And it would be a good idea, in cases of claimed psychiatric illness or physical disability on the part of persons with Mohammedan monikers applying for pensions, housing, etc, to check whether the physicians signing off on their diagnoses are Mohammedans or Infidels.  Furthermore, it would be worth an investigative reporter's while to attempt to find out whether, and where, Centrelink and Department of Housing shopfronts, or indeed any portion of those departments that have the job of processing and saying yes or no to applications for social security assistance of various kinds, are staffed with identifiable Mohammedans.  Because... fraud, thy name is Islam. -  CM

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Posted on 02/22/2017 10:26 PM by Christina McIntosh
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Australia: Omar Succarieh, Muslim Jihad Enabler, Is Tried For Extortion
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This bloke - who used to run an Islamic bookshop in one of Brisbane's southern suburbs, so any idea that he didn't really understand Islam, or wasn't a real Muslim, gets blown out of the water straightaway - is already doing time in prison for having sent money to the jihad outfit, Jabhat al-Nusra, in Syria (whither two of his brothers, Ahmed and Ibrahim, had gone to wage jihad in 2013; Ahmed is now deceased, having made himself into a human bomb in September 2013 in order to please 'allah' by killing those deemed insufficiently-Islamic).  It seems likely that at least some of the cash he was attempting to extort from an Infidel shop-owner would have ended up in the coffers of jihadis.  I recall that, some years ago now, there was a case of a couple of jihad enablers in France were extorting money from (Infidel) prostitutes, in order to raise cash for Jihad.  Throughout the lands of the Infidels many Muslims are up to their ears in criminal activity, from robbery and welfare fraud, through to large-scale organised crime.  And in many cases the profits from those activities are being channelled toward Jihad.

Here's the ABC's Andrew Kos, reporting on the trial.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-22/omar-succarieh-threatened-brisbane-cafe-owner-court-hears/8293608

'Omar Succarieh "threatened to break legs" of Brisbane Cafe Owner, Extortion Trial Hears.

'A man (That is: A Muslim man - CM) accused of attempting to extort tens of thousands of dollars from a (non-Muslim - CM) cafe manager threatened to "break his legs" if he did not pay up, a Brisbane court has heard.

'Omar Succarieh is facing a judge-only District Court trial for allegedly demanding that Vasilios Pippos give him $50,000 to cover disputed debts owed to a former business partner of Mr Pippos.

It would be interesting to know a bit more about those claimed 'debts'; for example, whether the matter ever came before a court.  The ABC does not inform us, but other reports (of which more below) indicate that the 'former business partner' was a Muslim, in which case, I am inclined to suspect that Mr Vasilios Pippos, like many an Infidel before him, discovered that entering into business with a Muslim was a very bad idea. - CM

'Succarieh is currently serving four and a half years in prison after last year pleading guilty to foreign incursion for helping Australian fighters in Syria in 2014.

'The court heard during a meeting between Mr Pippos and Succarieh at Mr Pippos' Brisbane CBD cafe in March 2014, Succarieh allegedly said, "You owe someone $50,000, and I'm here to collect it."

'He told Mr Pippos that if he did not pay up, "We will come around and take the shop off you".

Who is this 'we'? - CM

'Prosecutor Michael Lehane said it was alleged that Succarieh, who has pleaded not guilty, threatened to break Mr Pippos' legs and harm his family.

'The face-to-face meeting was allegedly followed up by threatening phone calls that were recorded by authorities (in the course of their surveillance of Mr Succarieh because of his suspected jihad leanings - CM).

'In giving evidence, Mr Pippos told the court he handed over $10,000 to his former business partner (who, to repeat, was a Muslim and seemingly an associate of Mr Succarieh's - CM) before going to police.

"I was shit scared" Mr Pippos said. "I feared for the family".

'Mr Pippos denied he owed any money".

And, to be frank, I believe him; because ... Mohammedans lie.  If a Mohammedan accuses an infidel of something, ten to one the Mohammedan is projecting.  I wouldn't be surprised to discover that Mr Pippos was defrauded or in some other way injured financially by his former business partner, to whom Succarieh claims he (Pippos) owes money.

And so to Kate McKenna's report in the Courier Mail, where we hear a fair bit more about the  nature of the threats that were made.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/omar-succarieh-accused-of-standover-tactics-to-extort-50000-from-cafe-owner/news-story/2eb7dc70aca751eb1556762e247044de

'Omar  Succarieh Accused of Standover Tactics to Extort $50,000 From Cafe Owner".

'Alleged standover man Omar Succarieh (let's say, "Alleged Muslim standover man Omar Succarieh", and let's bear in mind that the entire Dhimma system as invented and practised for centuries by classical Islam is, in essence, a protection racket involving the extortion of exorbitant sums of money by means of threats - CM) threatened to break a Brisbane cafe operator's legs and take over his business, in an attempt to wring $50,000 out of him, a court has been told.

'Succarieh, 33, pleaded not guilty to an extortion charge, when his judge-only trial began in the Brisbane District Court today.

'Crown Prosecutor Michael Lehane said in his opening address that Succarieh had visited Vasilios Pippos at the cafe on March 12 2014, telling him, "You owe someone $50,000 and I'm here to collect it."

'Mr Lehane said Succarieh was acting as a standover man for an associate, who believed (sic: a better wording would be "claimed" - CM) that Pippos owed him a large sum of money relating to a soured business arrangement to do with fruit shops.

If that 'associate'  had a real and valid claim why did he not make use of the proper legal channels to pursue redress, rather than sending in a standover man? It seems to me that the claim might well have been invented out of whole cloth.   - CM

'During the face to face meeting, Succarieh allegedly told Pippos to source money "or we'll just take (the shop) over", and said that if he stopped paying, he would "come and find you and break your legs".

'Succarieh also allegedly threatened to visit Pippos' wife and daughter to ask them about the debt.

'The court heard an "extremely anxious" Pippos organised to pay Succarieh $10,000 the next day.

'Mr Lehane said federal agents monitoring Succarieh observed him and the victim having an "animated exchange" at the cafe but found it difficult to hear the recording due to traffic noise.

'Succarieh followed up the meeting with threatening phone calls to Pippos, the court heard.

Phone calls that federal agents overheard, because they already had Mr Succarieh under surveillance on suspicion of involvement with jihad terrorism; they did not necessarily expect to catch him in the act of extortion.  One wonders how often those surveilling suspected jihad plotters find themselves in similar situations.  I recall reading one report that stated that those investigating jihad plotters, and those engaged in tracking down pedophile rings, kept bumping into each other so often in the course of their investigations that they began to wonder whether they should not team up.  - CM

'The court heard he partly succeeded in the extortion bid, with Pippos only shelling out $10,000 before alerting police.

'Last year Succarieh pleaded guilty to sending more than $40,000 to Australian fighters (sic: "to Aussie-passport-holding Muslim jihadis" - CM) in Syria, with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions withdrawing terror-related charges.

I wonder how much of that $40,000 was proceeds of crime? - CM

'The trial before Judge Brian Devereaux continues."

And now for our third report on this case, from Toby Mann of Australian Associated Press, a report in the Herald -Sun.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/succarieh-extortion-trial-begins/news-story/f4dca506899fd959659a1eff7522be41

'Broken Legs Threatened Over $50,000 Debt".

That should be, "Broken Legs Threatened Over Alleged $50,000 Debt".  Because so far there doesn't seem to have been any proof presented that Mr Pippos did indeed owe anything at all. - CM

 'An accused standover man threatened to break the legs of a middle-aged cafe owner over a perceived (sic: claimed - CM) $50,000 debt following a business dispute, a court has heard.

'Omar Succarieh allegedly used threats and intimidation to extort $10,000 from Vasilios Pippos while acting as a "standover man" in March 2015, Crown Prosecutor Michael Lehane told the Brisbane District Court on Wednesday.

'After paying the $10,000 Mr Pippos, who denies owing the money (and I find this completely believable; because.. Muslims lie, and the claim that Mr Pippos 'owes money' to his former business partner, who as we shall see, was a Mohammedan, is very likely false, concocted for the occasion - CM) told police he was being extorted and, following investigations, Succarieh was charged with extortion.

'The money was allegedly part of a $50,000 debt Mr Pippos was said to owe to a man called Yousef Masri following a business dispute involving two fruit shops.

Memo to Infidel business men: it is best not to enter into business dealings or partnerships with Mohammedans, for there is a very high probability that those dealings will turn into the stuff of nightmares, and you. will. get. screwed. - CM

'Succarieh is alleged to have threatened Mr Pippos several times during a 25 minute discussion.

"I was s*** scared" Mr Pippos said on Wednesday while giving evidence.  "It was either 'pay or we are going to take your shop over".

'He said Succarieh gave him the option of paying $40,000 cash on the spot, or in installments.

'Succarieh initially demanded $2,000 a week, but eventually agreed to accept $1,000 weekly.

"If I missed a payment the debt was going to go back up to $50,000 and restart", Mr Pippos said.

"If I didn't pay, he'd come after me and break my legs"....".

Omar Succarieh was born in Australia to Muslim immigrant parents. Had those parents never been allowed to migrate here in the first place Infidel Australia would have been spared a great deal of trouble and expense.  One may add that the target of the attempted extortion, Mr Vasilios Pippos, is - to judge from his name - of Greek ancestry.  His Greek Christian forebears in Greece, during the centuries when Greece and other Balkan countries were invaded, occupied and ruled with an iron fist by the Ottoman Muslim caliphate, would have endured the full horror of the sacralised system of extortion that is the Dhimma, paying exorbitant sums of money as jizya to merciless and capricious Muslim overlords in hopes of being grudgingly permitted to remain alive.  The Greeks threw off that cruel yoke and achieved their freedom; then, in the 20th century, many - such as Mr Pippos or his family - migrated to countries such as Australia; now, in the 21st century, this Greco-Australian cafe owner finds himself being subjected to extortion by Muslims, much as his Dhimmi forebears were extorted, in their homeland, centuries ago.- CM

 

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Posted on 02/22/2017 9:03 PM by Christina McIntosh
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Trump and the ‘Enemy of the People’
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The media are indeed playing a harmful role.

by Conrad Black

What is utterly astonishing about the fierce contest between the national media and President Trump is that the media do not realize how despised they are by most Americans, and how richly, as a group (which contains many individual exceptions), they deserve to be despised. For 18 months Donald Trump campaigned with great energy all over the country, swept most of the primaries, many by astounding margins against a large field of candidates, and made a point of denouncing the national media as biased, self-serving, and malicious myth-makers. He referred to them hundreds of times as “liars,” and directed the very large crowds that he drew to the media section, and his supporters shook their fists in unfeigned rage at the press gallery. Did the complacent, bemused national press think they were paid plants or that it was all a spoof?

Virtually all of the press opposed Trump, and after ridiculing his bid for the nomination as mad and an enjoyable occasion for an egotistical billionaire buffoon to make a complete ass of himself at great expense to himself and the profound mirth of the journalists, they lapsed into a slightly uneasy assurance, when he was nominated: It was a bit surprising that he demolished the Bush-McCain-Romney centrists, but the Clintons were unstoppable, his defeat was practically certain and a matter of national deliverance from evil and garish foolishness in the showdown with the invincible Hillary.

Even those within the media who professed to favor the Republicans were almost exclusively defeatists. Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal, two weeks before the election, wrote as if it were six months later, lamenting President Clinton’s policies that will flatline the economy and entrench political correctness and tinkering judges, and disparaging Trump for having run such an inept campaign that he fumbled away the last chance to stop the socialized rot of the national state. Despite the failure of the Billy Bush tape to serve the purpose for which it had long been held in reserve, to be the coup de grâce; despite even the inability of FBI director James Comey to quell a revolt within the Bureau against the whitewash that had been performed for Mrs. Clinton in the e-mails affair — the national media were almost unanimous in predicting a Clinton victory. It would probably not be on the Goldwater-McGovern-Mondale scale that had been hoped and expected; Trump had proved to be a tenacious candidate of inexhaustible energy and inexplicably wide popularity. But the all-forgiven Hillary would save America and the world from the great mountebank.

As the Democrats had no argument for reelection on their merits, their only campaign was a personal denigration of Trump. It was the nastiest campaign of modern American history, but also the most entertaining. Trump responded to the Billy Bush tape by trotting out at the second debate three women who signed affidavits that Bill Clinton had sexually assaulted them. In general, the media hyped the anti-Trump onslaught and under-reported his counterattacks, but he made up for it with his antic activity in the social media and the heavy support he enjoyed on the talk-show circuit. At the least, the campaign was a divertissement. Trump ran against all factions of both parties, almost all the national media, political academia, Wall Street, and the claque of opinionated limousine-liberal idiots in Hollywood. While Trump threw as much mud as Clinton, and had as enticing a target, he also promised the enactment of a drastic revision to the tax, health-care, election-financing, and environmental-regulation regimes, and the resurrection of the foreign policy of a Great Power, a prudent but reliable ally of kindred states.

It is not surprising that the Republican leadership that Trump had steamrollered are not enthused by him. And it is this small group of Republican senators — McCain, Graham, Rubio, and others — who are the hinge for the enactment of Trump’s radical populist and conservative program. He needs their votes in the Senate, and the country wants the program. They appear to be snapping churlishly at the president after his more infelicitous outbursts, but remaining with the administration when the bells ring for a Senate vote. The tactic of the Democrats and their fellow travelers in the national media are to invent and amplify false stories, “fake news” such as the golden-shower fraud (the allegation that Trump organized a group of prostitutes to urinate in a bed in a Moscow hotel because the Obamas had once slept in it) and the fabrication that Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King from the Oval Office. Each incident of the slightest potential to embarrass the administration is instantly splashed across the media to inflict as much damage as possible on the president, and immobilize him before he can enact his reforms and assume a stature in the political workings of the country that restores to the presidency the authority it has enjoyed when the occupant was generally judged to be effective and competent. These are conditions that, apart from a brief consolidation of support around George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks and a short interlude with the incoming Obama, have not existed since the first Clinton term.

At one level, it is understandable that the media are fighting to defeat the man who has outed them as myth-makers complicit in the shameful misgovernment of the country for the longest such period in the country’s history. And the media’s discomfort is compounded by the decline of their principal outlets. All the newspapers and most of the television networks are struggling and losing audience for competitive and technological reasons and owing to the fragmentation of the news market. It is understandable but inexcusable. Their primary duty and only raison d’être as reporters of news is to be responsible and professional. They hyped the golden shower and the nonsense of improper Trump relations with Russia. There has never been any evidence of that; it is impossible that Russia could have influenced the election result, but Obama, whose Russian policy was a total failure, and whose investigators couldn’t find any evidence of impropriety in the two months following the election, imposed sanctions against Russia anyway to keep the myth going. Tom Friedman, the ne plus ultra of New York Times Democratic partisans and Obama groupies, solemnly gabbled out the assertion that the Trump-Russia connection and Russia’s completely unsubstantiated intervention in the U.S. election were an assault on the country on the scale of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Friedman has tested the patience of serious readers for years by being the pub bore about Israeli settlements and the need for every newborn child in the world to have a laptop, but this sally incited the inference that he has gone stark, raving mad. David Brooks wrote in the New York Times on February 17 that Trump would not complete his term, because he would bring unimaginable disgrace on himself. His critics alternate between being the boy who cried wolf at fake scandals and issuing fatuous expressions of confidence in his imminent self-destruction.

The travel executive order was sloppily formulated, but the overreaction to it, the violence at Berkeley, mobbing of airports, demonstrations all over the Western world, Senator Schumer sniveling and saying that the Statue of Liberty was weeping too, was insane. Democratic judge-shopping quickly found West Coast judges happy to exceed their jurisdictions and purport to usurp the president’s powers. But the hoped-for result, that Trump would blow up and ignore them, enabling ululations of impeachment to arise, were frustrated. Trump shifted to intensive screening at point of arrival rather than departure, and was the soul of compliance. This has had the supplementary benefit of rebutting the spurious charge that he is an autocrat, the allegation that succeeded to the previous claims of racism and sexism, which the president’s conduct has, in Watergatese, rendered “inoperative.” It is really Trump who is goading his opponents and driving them to overreact and make absurd accusations that vanish within a few days. The media, in their smug purblindness, think the administration is coming apart, as the latest jeremiad from Mr. Henninger put it (Wall Street Journal, February 16), “Donald Trump’s presidency is getting bitten to death by an invisible, lethal ant hill of anonymous leakers.” Henninger, too, fears the immobilization, though not the impeachment potential, of Watergate. There is not the slightest comparison to be made, but the nostalgic invocation of one by Dan Rather, a bedraggled, discredited survivor of the Nixon-assassination squad, has been seized upon to circulate this new Never Trump fantasy.

Henninger, Brooks, and most of the rest of the media miss the point. If Trump can hold the Republicans who are resentful of him personally, and produce his health-care and tax reforms promptly and as promised, they will pass and the country will have turned the corner away from 20 years of generally inept government. Trump has done nothing but win, while the laughter of his detractors slowly turned to cold terror, thinly disguised as moral outrage and patriotic sensibility, accented by the misplaced snobbery of the highbrow Right. The country will be grateful for a fairer, simpler tax system, and a better health-care plan than the Obamacare fiasco. If that is what emerges, the atmosphere will settle down in Washington, and the Republican stragglers will stop playing footsie with the opposition and the Democrats will start to rebuild, as parties do after defeats. No one but a centenarian of faltering mind could regard Schumer and Pelosi as the future.

That leaves the press, and the president’s elevation of his counterattacks on the “failing” New York Times, CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN as “enemies of the people.” Provided that what is meant is that those outlets have been so slanted and malicious that they have misled the declining section of the country that takes them seriously and that this is inimical to the country’s democratic desire for an informed electorate, it is a justified statement. The recent political coverage of those outlets has been a disgrace and the failure to realize that reveals the moral bankruptcy of most of the U.S. national media. “Enemies of the people” is no more meant to replicate the actions of the French Revolutionary Committee of Public Safety and Lenin’s Politburo, which used the expression, than “America First” was meant to incite the effectively pro-Nazi isolationism championed by Colonel Charles Lindbergh under that banner in 1939–41. The national media have failed the country badly, on balance, and are now fighting the retreating action side by side with the rejected Democrats, which is not their role.

Will Rahn was correct when he wrote just after the election that the media response would be not that Trump’s followers were not all “deplorable” lager louts and couch potatoes after all, but that there were more of such people than they had thought. Partly because of his own antics and partly because of the bruising campaigns he has been through, this president has lower trust levels than most of his recent predecessors, especially as most of them had been honeymooning at this point. But his credibility still runs well ahead of that of the national media, according to a range of the polls. If Trump and Ryan and Price can deliver their tax and health-care reforms, Donald Trump will have stormed Babylon and razed its hierarchical structure to the ground, as his supporters elected him to do. The Democrats’ fears, though not their tactics, are justified; the media’s unprofessional and dishonest calumnies are not. The media should revisit their boycott of the president and contemplate their own shortcomings. It is they, and not he, who threatens a free press. Trump, and the country, will win.

First published in National Review Online.

— Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, and Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership.

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Posted on 02/22/2017 5:04 AM by Conrad Black
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Salat and Zakat in Summerville, South Carolina
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

Recently, parents in Summerville, South Carolina became aware that their sixth-grade children were being taught about Islam in school. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with learning something of value about Islam. It was what, and how, they were being taught that some found objectionable. Part of what the students were required to do was, unsurprisingly, fill-in-the-blank parroting of propaganda. To wit: “Islam is a religion of (peace). If I believe in Islam, I am called a (Muslim). In the Islamic religion, we call God (Allah). I may dress differently than other kids. I feel (bad) that a few people of my religion committed terrorist acts. I (do not) believe in terrorists’ idea of a ‘holy war.’”

Then the children were dutifully taught to memorize the Five Pillars: the Shahada, or recital of the Muslim profession of faith; Salat, the ritual prayers said five times each day; Zakat, the alms given to help the needy; Sawm, or the fasting during the month of Ramadan; and the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that a Believer should try to make once in his lifetime.

Those objecting to this were reported in the press as if they — parents and non-parents alike — were merely Islamophobic know-nothings. School officials pointed out that this teaching had been going on since 2011 without complaint, and they suavely assured reporters that most of those now complaining about the curriculum in South Carolina were “right-wing activists” from Texas and Oklahoma, and thus, as both out-of-state people and as “right-wing activists,” they could not possibly have a point. Who could be against teaching our children about the Five Pillars of Islam?

Well, you could, and I could, for several reasons. The first is that the children are not being fully informed even about the Five Pillars. Take, for example, Salat, the five daily prayers. The children do not learn, and it is most doubtful that their teachers themselves know, what is contained in those prayers. As Robert Spencer repeatedly has pointed out:

In the course of praying the requisite five prayers a day, an observant Muslim will recite the Fatihah, the first surah of the Qur’an and the most common prayer in Islam, seventeen times. The final two verses of the Fatihah ask Allah: “Show us the straight path, the path of those whom Thou hast favoured; not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.” The traditional Islamic understanding of this is that the “straight path” is Islam — cf. Islamic apologist John Esposito’s book Islam: The Straight Path. The path of those who have earned Allah’s anger are the Jews, and those who have gone astray are the Christians.

In other words, every dutiful Muslim, saying the five prayers every day, is also cursing the kuffar seventeen times a day. Do you think these sixth-graders learning about the duty of Salat have any idea? Do you think they should be given that information? Or should they be offered only a sanitized version of Salat? Of course, even if their teachers knew what was contained in the Fatihah, and understood that it is recited as part of those daily prayers – perhaps by having done a little study on their own, outside the politically-correct Lesson Plan — would they dare to tell their pupils? Wouldn’t they worry, and with reason, that they might be reported on, and accused of bigotry by someone – a school administrator, a representative of CAIR, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the New York Times, the Washington Post — and likely suffer consequences to their careers, perhaps even lose their jobs, unless they cravenly apologized for this act of “Islamophobia” and “racism”? The textual evidence they might adduce in their own defense – the Fatihah itself — would be to no avail. For they would find, in the present hysterical atmosphere (“We are all Muslims now”), that the truth is no defense; you must say nothing ill about Islam.

And when these 12-year-olds are taught about another of the Five Pillars, Zakat, they are told that it is duty, incumbent upon Muslims, to “give alms to the needy.” Well, yes and no. Zakat is, it’s true, a tax levied to benefit the poor and needy. This of course sounds good, and not just to sixth-graders. What the children will not be told, and what one suspects that their teachers do not know, is that Zakat is meant to benefit only fellow Muslims. This is quite different from the Christian conception of charity, made available to all. The only non-Muslims to whom Zakat might, in rare instances, be given, are those who show signs of wanting to convert, if the giving of that Zakat encourages them to embrace Islam. And one other piquant detail: what teacher would know that one of the purposes for which Zakat can be given is not just to help the needy, but to support the mujahideen, the Jihad warriors of Islam? And if he knew, would he dare to tell his pupils?

So even if the Lesson Plan on Islam is already limited to the most outwardly anodyne part of the faith, the Five Pillars, it is made more anodyne still by leaving out the most disturbing aspects of Salat and Zakat. And the most objectionable part of this parody of pedagogy is that the children are not being taught anything of real significance about the ideology of Islam. What do they learn about Jihad? What do they learn about the status of non-Muslims as dhimmis under Muslim rule? What do they find out about the Jizyah? What do they discover about the hatred and hostility that Islam inculcates toward all non-Muslims? What do they learn of how Islam purports to regulate every area of a Believer’s life? Or of how Islam constricts the possibilities of freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience? Of course, none of this can be taught in our classrooms today, not to sixth-graders, and not even to college students. This is now the third rail of the American curriculum, at every level – truthful discussion of what Islam is all about.

If you are a parent, and your child is being subjected to classes on Islam similar to what the children in Summerville, South Carolina have been subjected, what ought you to do? Make an appointment to discuss your objections. It may be with the teacher, or school principal, or members of the School Board. Keep your complaints simple and specific, related only to the Five Pillars. Explain that of course you have nothing against your child learning about them. But you do have a problem with what has been left out. “What’s that?” the teacher, the principal, the members of the School Board, will ask. Then, as calmly and sweet-reasonably as you can, tell them about the sura that is recited seventeen times a day by Muslims as part of their prayers, and hand them a printed copy of the Fatihah so they can study it for themselves. Read out the final two verses: “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.” Make sure to include on the same sheet summaries of, or excerpts from Qur’anic commentators (stick to those who are Muslims themselves) that explain why those who are the “people who have gone astray” is a reference to Christians and why those who “have earned Allah’s anger are the Jews.” Here is one such example:

Some of the commentators believe that / dallin / ‘those gone astray’ refers to the misguided of the Christians; and / maqdubi ‘alayhim / ‘those inflicted with His Wrath’ refers to the misguided of the Jews.

This idea was formed because of the particular responses that these two groups showed in reply to the invitation to Islam. For, as the Qur’an has clearly pointed out in different verses, the misguided Jews used to show a special grudge and enmity against the invitation of Islam, though, at the beginning, their scholars and learned men were the bearers of the glad tidings of Islam.

Very soon, though, under the effect of deviation of thought, belief and notion, and, also, because their financial gains were being endangered, they became the most obstinate enemies of Islam and they did whatever evil they could against the progression of lslam and Muslims.

(Even today, Zionism and Zionists hold the same position regarding the manner in which they treat Islam and Muslims.)

Therefore, to render these people as ‘those inflicted with His Wrath’ seems very correct.

But, the misguided of the Christians, who upon encountering with Islam were not so grudging, but were misled because of their misperception of the Divine religion and therefore refusing the Truth, were rendered into / dallin / ‘ those gone astray’.

They believed in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost instead of clinging to true Monotheism, the worship of Allah. This is, in itself, one of the greatest examples of ‘astray’ and ‘aberration’.

In the Islamic traditions, too, / maqdubi ‘alayhim / ‘ those inflicted with His Wrath’ are interpreted as the Jews, and / dallin / ‘ those gone astray’ as the misguided of the Christians. The foundation of this interpretation is the same as was mentioned in the above.’

Bring with you a second sheet, on which you have printed the Zakat – the “duty to help the poor and needy.” Under that, provide excerpts, again from Muslim commentators, that state that zakat is ordinarily meant to be given only to Muslims, or (rarely) to those who are on the way to embracing Islam. And then, underneath, offer a few more excerpts from Muslim commentators, explaining that Zakat is also meant to support Jihad against the Infidels. Yusef al-Qaradawi, the favored cleric of the Muslim Brotherhood with a vast following, could head the list with his published remarks on zakat: “Today Muslim land is occupied in Palestine, Kashmir, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Somalia, Cyprus, Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Albania and several other occupied countries. Declaring holy war to save these Muslim lands is an Islamic duty, and fighting for such purposes in those occupied territories is the Way of Allah for which zakat must be spent.

Then ask that teacher, that principal, those members of the School Board, what they think should be made of this information? Anything? Nothing? What do they think of the imprecations against the kuffars in the Fatihah? Of the zakat that is meant for Muslims only, and that when needed “must (also) be spent” to pay for fighting against the Infidels? Of course, they won’t ever agree to include this information in the sixth-grade lessons on Islam. It’s not the kind of thing they think the children should be exposed to, and besides, it would spoil the whole why-can’t-we-all-get-along purpose of the classroom undertaking. But they will take home those pages on Salat and Zakat you’ve provided, look into the matter on the Internet, as nowadays we all must, and discover you were telling the disturbing truth. Perhaps the unease and doubt you have provoked, throwing that spanner in their mental works, will lead them to decide to pull the unit on Islam altogether. This is the most, at this point, you can expect.

And these days, that counts as a victory.

First published in Jihad Watch.

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Posted on 02/22/2017 4:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Sweden and President Trump
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by Michael Curtis

In olden days good authors once used accurate language, now anything goes. It is no secret that President Donald Trump watches TV news and sometimes issues confusing statements based on information from programs he sees. At his campaign style rally in Melbourne, Florida on February 18, 2017, speaking on the issue of immigration, he elaborated on remarks he had heard in a Fox News program. Trump’s own comment was veiled and nebulous, “You look what’s happening last night in Sweden…who would believe this?... they took in large numbers, they are having problems like they never thought possible.”  

The implication was that some terrorist attack had happened as did occur in Germany in the recent past or some serious crime had been committed by some of the Muslim migrants into the country, now, according to some estimates, numbering about 450,000  or 5% of the total population.

The problem for the baffled news media and others was that nothing momentous happened in Sweden on February 17 to which attention should be drawn. Sherlock Holmes solved one of his cases because nothing happened: the dog did not bark. Trump was mistaken about the facts but inadvertently he drew attention to a growing problem in Sweden, and indeed in other Scandinavian countries, of Muslim immigration.

The mystery was soon solved. Listening to the Fox News program, the Tucker Carlson program, President Trump had heard an interview with Ami Horowitz, a young American filmmaker, who was discussing the increasing social problems in Sweden, including the rise in crime caused since the admission of migrants into the country. Horowitz is a brilliant filmmaker, part serious, part ironic and deliberately provocative, whose satirizing of official organizations and people has been devastating. His film of the United Nations, U.N.Me, commenting on the misbehavior of its peacekeeping forces in war zones, its lax officials, and its choice of the then bitterly antisemitic Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, eager to eliminate the State of Israel, as the keynote speaker at the 2009 anti-racism conference this revealing the moral blindness as well as the incompetence of the UN.

Horowitz may have exaggerated when he indicated there were 30-40 no go zones in Sweden where even the police are afraid to go. But his comments on the rise in crime and sexual assaults, and the changes in Sweden on refugee policy and admission of migrants which influenced Trump, were on target.

Migrants have affected Swedish politics. Over the last 15 years, Sweden with a population of 9.8 million, has admitted 650,000 asylum seekers. In 2015 more than 160,000 applied for asylum. Of these, 50,000 came from Syria, 40,000 from Afghanistan, and 20,000 from Iraq. In 2016, the number of applications dropped to 29,000 for a number of reasons. Largely this was due to increased border controls, including those over the Oresund bridge and tunnel link to Copenhagen, only 20 miles away, to the EU-Turkey agreement, and to new controls. Sweden has begun, starting in 2015, to introduce limits on those seeking asylum, such as ID checks on transport, airline, trains, buses, and ferries, more temporary border controls and legislation. People must be able to prove their identity.

Horowitz was not alone in stating the reality. In January 2017 the police chief of Malmo, the third largest city in Sweden, a city of 300,00 in which a quarter of the population is Muslim, warned of the increase in attempted murders and rapes. This is a notorious city. In 2016 it experienced 52 hand grenade attacks. It has also been the setting for serious anti-Semitic demonstrations by the Muslim population.

The unpleasant atmosphere reached a point that led a prominent Danish film actor, Kim Bodnia who is Jewish, to make a public statement. He played the role of a Danish detective in the popular Danish-Swedish TV series, The Bridge. He left the show which is set in Malmo because of the extent of antisemitic prejudice.

Meanwhile the Muslim population, once welcome has been treated generously with financial help, in housing, education, and cash benefits, but only a small number are fully employed.

What is disturbing in this unequal treatment and concern is that the small Jewish community once 700, whose center in the city is now heavily fortified, received no protection from Ilmar Reepalu, the left wing mayor for 15 years, who persisted in denying the obvious incidents including graffiti on the walls in public places. The reality is that a number of Jewish families left the city, and those that remain are reluctant to wear any sign of Jewish identity, such as a kipah, skull cap.

Meanwhile, over 300 Muslims also left Sweden. They went to join and fight for ISIS.

The Swedish political dialogue and landscape is changing in similar fashion to other European countries where far right parties including those in Denmark and Finland have emerged. There is more concern with Swedish culture and immigration, and a rise in anti-migrant sentiment. A significant illustration is shown in current public opinion polls. They show the far right Sweden Democrat party is currently the most popular political party in the country, supported by 25.2% compared with the ruling Social Democrats, 23.4%, and the center-right Moderates 1%. Some subway stations in Stockholm display anti-immigration signs, “Sorry about the mess here in Sweden.”

The rapid rise in support for the nationalist, populist, and strongly anti-immigrant SD is the response to the social changes. Led by Jimmie Akerson, the party first gained seats in the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, in 2010, gaining 20 seats and 5.7% of the vote. At the last election in 2014, it gained 49 seats and 12.9% of the vote.

Fears have been expressed in Sweden of increasing social unrest and perhaps of terrorist attacks as in France and Belgium. It is not clear if the accusations that Swedish officials are deliberately covering up the extent of the crimes in the country to protect the Muslim migrants, are justified. What is clear is that Trump was mistaken on the details of events or non-events, but that he touched a raw nerve that needs treatment. For this is he likely to receive the Nobel Prize from the Swedish monarch?

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Posted on 02/21/2017 1:56 PM by Michael Curtis
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Tuesday, 21 February 2017
House Dem IT Guys In Security Probe Secretly Took $100K In Iraqi Money
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Utter incompetance on the part of House Democrats. Luke Rosiak writes in the Daily Caller:

Rogue congressional staffers took $100,000 from an Iraqi politician while they had administrator-level access to the House of Representatives’ computer network, according to court documents examined by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

The money was a loan from Dr. Ali al-Attar, an Iraqi political figure, and was funneled through a company with “impossible”-to-decipher financial transactions that the congressional information technology (IT) staffers controlled.

Imran Awan, ringleader of the group that includes his brothers Abid and Jamal, has provided IT services since 2005 for Florida Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman. The brothers are from Pakistan.

The trio also worked for dozens of other House Democrats, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. Those positions likely gave them access to congressional emails and other sensitive documents.

The brothers, whose access to House IT networks has been terminated, are under criminal investigation by the U.S. Capitol Police.

 

Wasserman Schultz resigned from her DNC post following a disastrous email hack during the 2016 campaign. Her House spokesman did not respond to TheDCNF’s question Monday about Imran’s employment status. As of Feb. 6, she had declined to fire Imran.

 

Investigators found that congressional information was being copied to an off-site server and they suspect the brothers of improperly accessing information and stealing congressional property. Chiefs of staff for the employing Democrats were notified Feb. 2.

 

Soon after Imran began working for members of Congress, Imran’s and Abid’s wives — Hina Alvi and Natalia Sova — also began receiving congressional paychecks, TheDCNF found. Imran’s employers included two members of the intelligence committee, Indiana Democrat Rep. Andre Carson and California Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier.

By 2009, the family was simultaneously managing a full-time car dealership in Virginia, with Abid running day-to-day operations after contributing $250,000 in startup cash. It was called Cars International A, LLC, referred to as “CIA” in court documents.

Imran boasted unusual clout among House Democrats, and was even pictured conversing with former President Bill Clinton. After Rao Abbas, who was owed money by the dealership, threatened to sue amid allegations of deception and theft, Abbas appeared on the congressional payroll and received $250,000 in taxpayer payments.

Abid had “100% control” of the dealership, a one-time business partner said in court documents, in addition to his $165,000-a-year job working full-time for multiple representatives, including Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan and California Democrat Jim Costa.

“He had the dealer license and sole responsibility of running it. Abid would put cars on the lot, take them in consignment, sell them, do all the title work and get money from the retail sale,” according to court documents. Multiple emails show the Awan brothers conducting business such as attending car auctions on weekdays.

“Imram later acted as owner since CIA was considered family business by the Awans,” Abid’s one-time business partner, Nasir Khattak, said in court documents. The car dealership’s finances consisted of byzantine transfers in which staff and cars were often swapped between it and a dealership next door, Khattak said.

Despite numerous family members making $160,000 congressional salaries, debts went unpaid by the brothers, including to the Congressional Federal Credit Union.

“It was very bad record-keeping in Cars International … it is close to impossible to make any sense out of all the transactions that happened,” Khattak said in court documents.

The $100,000 loan came as the dealership continued to rack up debt, court records show.

“Ali Al-Attar was out of the country as he was involved in politics and the formation of the Iraqi government,” Khattak said in court documents.

In addition to his other jobs, Imran is a real estate agent, and Khattak is also a realtor who obtained the cash from Al-Attar and passed it through bank accounts used for real estate deals in Fairfax County, Va.

“Having lost my and Abid’s collective investment of $500k due to Awan’s mismanagement, [CIA] was further in debt $400k to other creditors,” Khattak said in a lawsuit.

Khattak said Imran masterminded the family’s finances and by late 2010, Imran “was running the business in full control” and “instructed Abid not to even speak to anyone.”

The Iraqi cash disappeared amid a dispute between Khattak and the Awans. Khattak said defaulting on the loan meant Al-Attar now owned the business, but the Awans refused to relinquish control.

In 2012, Abid declared personal bankruptcy listing more than $1 million in liabilities. While debts to others went unpaid, he kept ownership of two houses, and Imran kept his own substantial property, despite his admitted role in the failed business.

Bankruptcy documents listed Abbas as a creditor and said he might sue Abid, but Abbas later took the brothers’ side in a lawsuit against Khattak, who said that the Awans had somehow manipulated him to do so. Not long after, Abbas appeared for the first time on the congressional payroll, and collected $250,000 from taxpayers through the end of last year.

Four out of the six Democrats he worked for also employed Imran. His employers included a member of the intelligence committee, Patrick Murphy of Florida; a member of the foreign affairs committee, Theodore Deutch of Florida; and Brad Ashford of Nebraska, who is on the armed services committee.

Abbas’ congressional email was cut off in early February, around the time the Capitol Police revealed that they had uncovered a scheme involving a network of IT aides. The Awans’ access has also been cut off. Reached at a personal email address, Abbas did not respond to repeated questions from TheDCNF.

Abid claimed the Iraqi doctor may never have existed. “If as suspected, all of this is a charade, particularly if it is learned the mysterious Dr. Al-Attar doesn’t exist or didn’t sign the documents, then the whole matter rises to a higher level,” he said in court documents.

The youngest Awan brother, Jamal, was also placed on the House payroll at 20 years of age and makes $160,000, far higher than others in similar jobs.

TheDCNF was the first to identify the brothers and Alvi, and now, Sova and Abbas.
 

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Posted on 02/21/2017 10:52 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Campus Newspapers Online: A Good Way to Get our Message to College Students
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by Gary Fouse

Since much of my writing concerns the craziness going on in our universities, I spend a lot of time reading reports from such blogs as Campus Watch, College Reform, The College Fix, and Legal Insurrection to name a few. In addition to cross-posting items of interest, I often go the respective campus newspaper online editions to see how they are reporting a story. Predictably, it is being reported from a left-wing or politically-correct point of view. There's not much one can do about that. We are dealing with student journalists who are liberally inclined or in some cases afraid to take a conservative bent.

Many of these papers, however, have spaces for reader comments in their online editions, and it is here that conservatives have an opening to get in their point of view. Some papers will screen comments, such as the New University at UC Irvine, where I used to teach. They often would not publish comments that I sent in. (They did, however, usually publish letters to the editor I sent in as well as my own op-eds on a couple of occasions.) Currently, they have a new format and apparently don't accept any comments.

Other papers, like the Daily Bruin at UCLA and the Daily Californian at UC Berkeley, are very accessible to reader comments online, and I scour those papers regularly online for articles or op-eds to which I can comment. The Daily Californian is an especially rich field for obvious reasons. You can jump into some really good back and forths on this paper.

One surprising fact I have noticed is that while the pieces put out by the papers themselves are almost always liberal, the reader responses are much more varied. In fact, when it comes to issues like campus anti-semitism, Islamic extremism, Black Lives Matter etc., most of the responses are conservative. Since most of the comments come from readers who are either anonymous or go by monikers, it is hard to tell if they are students or people from outside the university. My policy has always been to attach my name to anything I write, and campus papers are no exception. It goes without saying that you have more credibility when attaching your name as opposed to being anonymous. I am currently involved in a back and forth in the Georgetown University paper, The Hoya, after they put out an op-ed saying that one of their grads, Steve Bannon, "perverted Hoya values" (whatever those are). The article is timely since one of their professors, Dr Jonathan Brown, a converted Muslim and part of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center at GU, had just given a speech at Herndon, Virginia, in which he justified certain forms (Islamic) of slavery and rape. I pointed out that irony to the Hoya and was rebutted by one identifying him/herself as "Georgetown Professor." In my own response, I pointed out that unlike my co-respondent, I signed my name.

Without going into all the problems of left-wing indoctrination going on in our universities, it is crucial that we conservatives get our word out to these students, who are largely unexposed to conservative thought on campus. One avenue that is largely still open is the online edition of campus papers. My suggestion is to tailor your comments to the neutral university student. Appeal to their sense of reason and logic. Try not to come across as a hater or an extremist. That will just drive them into the arms of the other side (which falsely claims to be so tolerant). Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct. Check back every day to see if someone has responded to you. (Disqus can send you responses automatically.)

It is easy to get discouraged about academia, but we can get our message through in certain ways. We should take advantage of any avenue open to us. If we can ever win the university students, we will win the war of ideas. Every future leader of our nation is walking the halls of academia today.

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Posted on 02/21/2017 7:06 AM by Gary Fouse
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Monday, 20 February 2017
Five teenage boys have been arrested by anti-terror officers after police foiled their plans to travel together to join a terrorist “organisation
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From the London Evening Standard

Police stormed addresses across London and arrested the males – aged between 15 and 19 – on suspicion of the preparation of terrorist acts.The Metropolitan Police did not specify if the arrests were in connection with Islamic State, but said they “relate to plans to travel to join a proscribed organisation"

One of those arrested is aged 15, one is 16, two are 17 and another is 19. All five suspects have been detained on suspicion of Preparation of Terrorist Acts contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006

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Posted on 02/20/2017 5:10 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 20 February 2017
PRESIDENTS DAY 5:30PM EST Listen to Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor Dr. Walid Phares on 1330am WEBY
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Dr. Walid Phares, Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Adviser

Fox News National Security and Foreign Policy Expert

 

Author of best-selling:

 

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Listen to another of the periodic International Middle East Round Table Discussions on Northwest Florida’s Talk Radio 1330amWEBY with “Your Turn” host Mike Bates and Jerry Gordon, Senior editor of the New English Review.  The program will air during the 4:30PM CST/5:30PM EST Time segment on Presidents Day, February 20, 2017.  You may listen live here.  The program will be archived for later listening and will be transcribed for a future article.

 Our featured guest is Dr. Walid Phares.

Dr. Phares will discuss the following national security and foreign policy issues;

  • The rise of a new Mid East Security alliance  known as the Arab NATO composed of the  Gulf Arab Emirates , Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt with outreach to  Israel to combat the rising regional and global hegemony of a nuclear ICBM equipped Iran.
  • Possible initiatives to contain Iran Middle East and Global geo-political objectives following the JCPOA and release of over $150 billion in sequestered funds used to acquire and develop nuclear weapons and Nuclear ICBMs threatening the Middle East, Europe and ultimately the US.
  •  Creation of  autonomous  safe zones  within the framework of a post-Assad federal  Syria for ethnic/religious groups in Syria including Kurds, Alawites, Druze and Sunni Muslims;
  • Withdrawal of all foreign forces including Iran and  proxy Hezbollah; Islamist terrorist groups, Turkey, defeat of ISIS by US –led coalition forces;
  • End of the 27 year regime of indicted war criminal Sudan President Bashir to end Jihad  genocide of indigenous populations in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan  a threat to the Sahel region of Africa
  • Possible Administration adoption of both domestic and international Muslim Brotherhood terrorist designations.

      

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Posted on 02/20/2017 2:37 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Monday, 20 February 2017
Oldham Council denies Trojan Horse plot
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From the Oldham Evening Chronicle

ANTI-terrorism chiefs have been passed a secret report by Oldham Council into allegations of a "Trojan Horse" attempt to take over a local primary school. Town hall bosses investigated complaints from Trish O'Donnell, head teacher at Clarksfield Primary School, reported in yesterday's Sunday Times.

They found that no such plot existed; however, they have confirmed that they have given their report to the national Counter Terrorism Unit and the Department for Education. If there is nothing to cause concern why is the report secret, and why do they think they Counter Terrorism Unit would be interested?

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, cabinet member for education and early years, said: "We take any allegations about our schools very seriously and always investigate in the interests of pupils, staff and parents. The report into an Oldham primary school found no basis to the 'Trojan Horse' allegations. At this time we also have no active investigations or concerns about any of the other schools the Sunday Times has asked about."

The DfE also said the investigation had nothing to do with extremism and "shouldn't be referenced as Trojan Horse." 

A spokesperson said: "We are already aware of the allegations raised in the report and we are working closely with Oldham Council."

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said: "...We must be vigilant to any issues that could conflate community tensions. This is why, along with the council, other Oldham MPs, organisations and leaders, we continually work across our diverse communities whilst tackling underlying inequalities which ultimately fuel these tensions."

Socialist Worker newspaper said the claim is "A racist witch hunt" They are part of a wider Islamophobic agenda that socialists should oppose. 

The Guardian reports that O’Donnell’s claims were backed by the headteachers’ union, NAHT, who said there was a “variety of apparent Trojan horse issues” in the Oldham area.

The only people who read the Guardian are school teachers and Social Workers; I hope the union continue to support their members and don't thoew them to the wolves if their claims uncover more unpalatable truths. 

Comments from some local people show that the council is not completely trusted. 

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Posted on 02/20/2017 2:10 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 20 February 2017
Donald Trump is Not a Zionist Racist
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by Michael Curtis

Donald J. Trump is not easy to define with exact unadorned precision. Like Shakespeare’s Cassius, he is fresh of spirit and resolve, to meet all perils very constantly. His universe is not a paradise of inner tranquility, but one of active decision making. Lacking a fixed ideological point of view, he is neither the most determined conservative, nor a cofounded liberal. Some critics have suggested he may be eccentric and aggressive, and fond of flags and loyalty parades. A majority of the enlightened, elite, classes who oppose him still doubt that he has the requisite qualifications to hold the highest office in the country and wonder who put him in the President’s chair. But one thing he is not and that is a “Zionist racist.”

This label and characterization, was recently bestowed on him by Jibtil Rajoub, deputy secretary of the Palestinian Fatah Central Committee who was repeating similar previous comments. In the same week a writer in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official Palestinian Authority paper, on November 12, 2016 wrote that his election revealed the depths of the racist trend in the U.S.

President Trump, like people of good will, is eager to see or help bring about a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. Yet, while he clearly has good feelings towards the State of Israel, and his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have been cordial and perhaps productive, it is premature to call him a Zionist, in any case an honorable term. Though moving the US Embassy from Tel-Aviv to the Israeli capital Jerusalem is eminently desirable there are legitimate differences, and Trump in spite of his favorable attitude remains, at the moment, undecided if not ambivalent.  

What is most troubling about the Palestinian slander of Trump being a racist, is that it is a reminder of the constant battering of Israel for almost 40 years as a “racist” or “apartheid” state. This charge against Trump, as well as against the State of Israel, should be refuted by all objective commentators, whether they agree or not with Trump’s policies or intention, as well as those of Israel.

The concept of “race” was crucial to Nazis ideology and policy in carrying out the persecution of Jews and Holocaust. After World War II, UNESCO founded on November 16, 1945 in London, asserted that the Nazi atrocities had been made possible by propagating, through ignorance and prejudice, the doctrine of the inequality of men and races particularly concerning Jews.  

Using race is one way of categorizing human diversity. The initial problem in dealing with the issue was the lack of unanimity in defining the nature of “race.” A number of formulas were discussed and asserted by UNESCO, at that time a more serious and objective body than it has since become, starting with the document, The Race Question on July 18, 1950 to clarify the meaning of “race.” The core of the disputed issue is whether race, is a biological fact, or a social myth.

One argument is that there is a biological basis to racial categories, certain anatomical and physiological characteristics, skin color, hair texture, facial makeup and stature, qualities assumed to be essential to or innate to a specific group. These distinct physical traits, different from other groups, are transmitted by hereditary.

From the beginning individuals such as Julian Huxley, objecting to the political use by Nazis of racial classifications, and because of possible misunderstanding of racial groups, substituted "ethnic group" for “race.” They wanted to avoid the use of the word because it appeared to deny or be critical of the concept of equality of the human species.

Even the July 1950 UNESCO declaration on race itself contained contradictions in definition. Part of it was expressed in biological scientific terms, of frequent distribution of genes or physical characteristics, but more frequently the emphasis was on race as a social construction or phenomenon, even a social myth, not a biological concept. This does not deny biological factors or distinct physical characteristics of a given group of people, but more emphasis would be put on social groups with a shared history, sense of identity, geographical links, and cultural affinities.

This criticism of the biological view is based on two reasons, one scientific, the other political. The first argues there is no indisputable biological evidence to support the view that the human species consists of different races. The other, political and social one, is that the “myth” of race has led to slavery, apartheid, and the Holocaust.

According to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau Report, race and ethnicity are not quantifiable values, and indeed the intended 2020 Census asking people to identify themselves plans to omit “race” or “origin.”  It is a recognition that racial categories change over time. The U.S. was anticipated by France. In May 2013, the French National Assembly approved a bill to remove the words “race” and “racial” from the French penal code. Francois Hollande in his presidential electoral campaign ran on a platform calling for “race” to be removed from the French Constitution.

Whether one regards “race” as a social myth, “racism” is real. It is a falsehood that has taken a heavy toll in life and suffering. Its basis is that there is a hierarchy of races, some are superior to others, with the Aryan or Nordic race at the peak, and justified in dominating the “inferior” races, Slavs (Russians, Serbs, Poles), Gypsies and Jews.

Racism implies discrimination on the basis of ancestry, or physical characteristics, such as skin color or certain facial features, or cultural or religious beliefs. associated with a certain group of people. According to the UNESCO formula racism includes racist ideologies, prejudiced attitudes, discriminatory behavior, structural arrangements and institutional practices resulting in inequality, as well as the fallacious notion that discriminatory relations between groups are morally and scientifically justifiable .It is reflected in discriminatory provisions in legislation or regulations and practices as well as in prejudicial beliefs and acts.

The U.S. was confronted with the issue in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in May 1954 when the U.S. Supreme Court by 9-0 overruled Plessey v Ferguson 1896 that upheld state racial separation laws under the doctrine of separate but equal. The Court in Brown held that state laws for separate public schools for white and black students were unconstitutional. Separate educational facilities were inherently unequal and a violation of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The lowest point in the history of the United Nations was reached on November 10, 1975 when the UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 by 72-35 and 32 abstentions determined that “Zionism is a form of Racism and Racial Discrimination.” Though the Resolution was revoked in 1991 by UND GA RES 46/86, it was a reminder of antisemitism and anti-Jewish hatred in a considerable part of the world. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said at the time, a great evil had been loosed on the world.

Race is not a fiction. Its use is one way to characterize human diversity, and it can be objectively discussed regarding physical and genetic factors. But “racism” is a sociological and political ordering that some races are inferior to others. It is not a scientific term but one that is concerned with discrimination, hatred, and malice.

One expects strong differences of opinion over the policies and actions of President Trump but he is no racist. The Palestinian organizations and personnel who keep using this malicious idiotic falsehood, this “great evil,” should be ashamed of themselves. Slanderous remarks are no way to peace.

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Posted on 02/20/2017 1:15 PM by Michael Curtis
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Monday, 20 February 2017
Parramatta, Sydney: Muslim Man Who Stabbed Wife to Death Is Denied Bail
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As reported by Sarah Hawke for the ABC.  

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-20/man-denied-bail-over-alleged-stabbing-murder-of-wife/8287080

'Man Denied Bail Over Alleged Stabbing Murder of Wife in Parramatta.'

'A man (that is, a Muslim man - CM) charged with the stabbing murder of his wife gave a "chilling" account of events to police, a Sydney magistrate has said, while denying him bail.

'Shahab Ahmed, 33, allegedly stabbed his 29 year old wife to death at their Parramatta home on Saturday night, in what police alleged was a case of domestic violence.

Domestic violence occurs in all human societies.  But among Muslims it is encouraged and facilitated by the misogyny hardwired into Islam, a misogyny notably visible in the Quranic verse that tells a man he is to "beat" his wife (or wives) if he merely "fears" rebellion, and in an authoritative Hadith in which Mohammed declares that a man shall not be asked why he beat his wife.  Australian journalist Geraldine Brooks, in her book about women in Islam, "Nine Parts of Desire", in the final chapter mentions the early 1990s trial of a Sudanese Muslim man, resident in the UK, who had murdered his wife; Brooks argues cogently that that murder was not the same sort of thing as a murder committed by a non-Muslim westerner; that it was, rather, what we would now call an 'honor' murder, a deliberate execution.  And in the same chapter Brooks says that, around that time (early 1990s) the British police had commissioned a study of family violence which discovered that, in Britain, women married to Muslim men were eight times more likely to be murdered by their husbands, than women married to men of any other cultural background.  Think about that for a moment: eight times more likely.  - CM

'His lawyer today argued for Ahmed to be allowed to be placed under house arrest, with exceptions that would allow him to go to work.

'A $10,000 surety was also offered.

Who comes up with that kind of money, at short notice? - CM

"He has no matter of violence on his record", Ahmed's lawyer Zemarai Khatiz told the Parramatta local court.

Note the lawyer's name.  "Zemarai Khatiz".  50 cents says he's a Muslim. More and more, these days, in this and other sorts of cases involving Muslim defendants, one sees that the defence lawyer is a Muslim.  What is going to happen, in cases when a Muslim man is arrested for murder, or fraud, or rape, or armed robbery - especially if and when the victim is an Infidel - when not just the defending lawyer, but the presiding magistrate, or the Judge assigned to the case when it comes to trial, is a Muslim? And, too, what will happen if, more and more, Muslims infiltrate the police force?  Will they even bother to arrest a fellow Muslim for raping kuffar Aussie 'uncovered meat', or for robbing or beating up an Infidel, or for cleansing his personal or family "honour" by annihilating a deemed-insubordinate wife, sister, daughter, niece, cousin?  These possibilities have to be considered; they are real, and bode ill for our future wellbeing as a majority-Infidel society. - CM

"The applicant did not abscond from the scene... he remained there, he called triple-zero."

This is behaviour not unfamiliar from other accounts of 'honour' murders performed within the West.  A Muslim man who beheaded his own wife, in the USA, some years ago, did not make any attempt to conceal what he had done. - CM

'In formally denying bail, Magistrate Gary Still said the crown's case was "very strong", adding that there was nothing to persuade him that Ahmed's detention was not justified, given the allegations.

"He made multiple threats to her, in the unit", Mr Still said. "He stabbed her repeatedly, including in the back.  He threatened her prior to this".

'The Crown was not required to respond.

'Outside the court, Mr Khatiz said it was "unfortunate" bail had been denied.

"It's unfortunate that he was refused bail, he will need to remain behind bars for a significant period of time", he said.

Oh, cry me a river, mohammedan.  He committed murder - a brutal stabbing murder - and is being locked up so that he cannot endanger the general public; and also, possibly, because the Magistrate fears he might shoot through, before the trial.  - CM

"The full story will eventually come out, and we will just have to wait until the brief of evidence is served."

'Ahmed is due back in court on April 12."

And until then, he will be cooling his heels in jug.  Annihilating a recalcitrant female might earn him kudos within the Ummah, but it's cutting no ice with the infidel police and magistrate.

Thought for the day: given that we already have sufficient domestic violence - though neither legally nor religiously commanded nor condoned - on the part of assorted infidels in Australia, why did anyone think it was a good idea to import men like Shahab Ahmed (or his parents), who come from a culture where male violence against women - up to and including beating, rape and murder, forced 'marriage' and child 'marriage' - is commanded, permitted, codified and sacralised?

This murder in Parramatta will no doubt be viewed, by most casual and uninformed Aussie observers, as just one more case of domestic violence, in general.  But it is not.  As I said before, there was that study alluded to by Geraldine Brooks, which found that Muslim men in the UK were eight times more likely to murder their wives, than were men of any other cultural background.  

And there is a classic little article by "Spengler", in Asia Times, that carefully explains why domestic violence, in Islam, is not quite the same sort of thing as what one might see in western societies; because it is embedded in, and expresses, a completely different cultural paradigm.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LE25Ak01.html

"Wife-Beating, Sharia, and Western Law".

"More than the Koran's sanction of wife-beating, the legal grounds on which the Koran sanctions it reveals an impassable gulf between Islamic and Western law.

"The sovereign grants inalienable rights to every individual in Western society, of which, protection from violence is foremost.  Every individual stands in direct relation to the state, which wields a monopoly of violence.

'Islam's legal system is radically different: the father is a "governor" or "administrator" of the family, that is, a little sovereign within his domestic realm, with the right to employ violence to control his wife and children...

"The practice of wife-beating, which is found in Muslim communities in Western countries, is embedded too profoundly in sharai law to be extracted.

"Nowhere, to my knowledge, has a Muslim religious authority of standing repudiated wife-beating, as specified in Surah 4: 32 (sic: 4: 34) of the Koran, for to do so would undermine the foundations of Muslim society.

"By extension, the power of the little sovereign of the family can include the killing of wayward wives and female relations...".

And that is most likely why Mr Shahab Ahmed, after having stabbed his wife over and over, as she lay dying, calmly called 000 (for the police and ambulance) and stayed put.  Because he didn't think he had done anything wrong. - CM

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Posted on 02/20/2017 6:08 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Monday, 20 February 2017
Fiddling with Facts for Islam
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

A site called “Bells and Whistles” published this article that is worth examining in detail, as it is indicative of certain prevailing assumptions.

American Muslims do not seem to carry with them the deep seeded [sic for “seated”] hatred of peace which you argue is systemic within Islam. If we look at the ten most deadly shootings in US history, it is quite revealing:

  1. Orlando, FL (2016)–Omar Mateen, Muslim
  2. Blackburg, VA (2007)–Seung-Hui Cho, Christian
  3. Newtown, CT (2012)–Adam Lanza, Religion unknown
  4. San Bernadino (2015)–Syed Farook & Tashfeen Malik, Muslim
  5. Binghamton, NY (2009)–Jiverly Wong, Religion unknown
  6. Killeen, TX (2009)–Nidal Hasan, Muslim
  7. Aurora, CO (2012)–James Holmes, Religion unknown
  8. Washington Navy Yard (2013)–Aaron Alexis, Buddhist
  9. Charleston, SC (2015)–Dylann Roof, Christian
  10. Roseburg, Oregon (2015)–Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, Christian

It would be hard, based on this list, to make the argument that Islam is an inherently violent religion where the others are not.

Would it? This kind of exculpation of Islam through fact-fiddling is to be found all over the Internet, and if you don’t give it a thought, or more accurately, if you don’t want to be bothered to think (and the mountains of fact and falsehood and a mixture of both, on the Internet, and not just about Islam, can often make you feel that way), you might indeed be persuaded, or wearily accept the notion, that Islam is not “an inherently violent religion where the others are not.”

There is more than one way, however, to analyze this data. We might note, for example, that while Muslims make up 1% of the American population, they are responsible for three out of ten, or 30%, of the ten most deadly shooting attacks in America. Or we could also conclude, from the same data, that “Muslims, who make up 1% of the American population, are responsible for 50% of the six most deadly shooting attacks.” That paints an even more disturbing picture of Muslim violence. And if we were offered a list not of the ten deadliest shootings, but of the ten deadliest terrorist attacks (not limited to shootings) in the last half-century, we would find that 80% of them were carried out by Muslims at a time when they constituted even fewer than 1% of the population.

Or let’s take another look at the information above, and see how accurate are the descriptions and relevance of the religious beliefs assigned to the attackers. The attacks by the four clearly identifiable Muslims were, in each case, according to their perpetrators, prompted by Islam. Omar Mateen in Orlando pledged support to the Islamic State (and, at other times, to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah); his attack on the Pulse Nightclub (that catered to homosexuals) was not random, for homosexuality is prohibited in Islam. Muhammad says: “If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.” (Abu Dawud 38:4447) He was, then, carrying out a punishment mandated by Muhammad. Of course, there are reports that Mateen had visited the club several times before the attack. He might have been casing the joint for a planned attack on Infidels. Or he may, as some who knew him suggest, have been a closet or practicing homosexual. But if he were the latter, he no doubt felt tremendous guilt, as a Muslim, and decided by way of expiation (either for his longings or his behavior), to win back Allah’s approval, and what better way than to target the Pulse Nightclub’s patrons who were homosexuals and, as an added bonus, Infidels to boot. Whatever the case, this was an attack prompted by the felt need to follow the teachings of Islam on homosexuality.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman in the Fort Hood massacre, was similarly acting according to, not despite, his religious beliefs. He had been in frequent contact by email with Anwar al-Awlaki, the Al-Qaeda propagandist who left the U.S. for Yemen, had searched online for articles about Jihad in the days just before his attack, and for years had made critical comments about non-Muslims, and about American policies in the Middle East, that were deemed worrisome by many of his army colleagues (but not, alas, to those higher-up officers who in official reports gave him fulsome and politically correct praise). As he attacked, Hasan yelled the Muslim war cry of “Allahu akbar” – the supremacist “My God (Allah) is greater than yours.” While the Pentagon initially (and preposterously) described Hasan’s attack as a “workplace accident,” and it took President Obama six years after the event to properly recognize it as an act of terrorism, everything about Major Hasan’s conduct shows that he considered his planned act as violent Jihad against the Infidels, sanctioned by Islam.

Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire on fellow workers at a work-related meeting and Christmas party in San Bernardino. The FBI determined that they were “homegrown violent extremists” reading about the duty of violent Jihad on the Internet. They had exchanged email messages “about Jihadism and martyrdom” prior to marriage. They were clearly acting on the promptings of Islam. As FBI Director James B. Comey testified, “the FBI’s investigation had revealed that the perpetrators were ‘consuming poison on the Internet’ and both had become radicalized ‘before they started courting or dating each other online.'” They planned for more than a year to attack a gathering of Infidels; they finally chose as their target the semiannual staff meeting and Christmas party of their fellow workers at the San Bernardino Department of Public Health. This gave them the opportunity they had been waiting for — to attack a large group of Infidels gathered in one room (a banquet hall); one suspects that the fact that a Christmas party was part of that event may also have contributed to their choice of target.

We have the testimony of his family members and co-workers that Farook was an observant Sunni Muslim. A local Islamic Center’s director said that Farook “stood out as especially devout.” Farook’s own father testified that his son “shared the ideology of Al-Baghdadi to create an Islamic state” and that he was fixated on Israel. He travelled to Saudi Arabia several times, and completed the hajj in 2013. Everything about Syed Rizwan Farook suggests a dedicated warrior for Islam. As for his wife, it has been reported that Tashfeen Malik pledged bay’ah (allegiance) to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, on a Facebook account associated with her as the attack was underway. Later reports described the posting as being made on behalf of both shooters. That was one more bit of evidence that this attack was clearly motivated by Islamic belief (and not, as some might have wanted to describe it, an attack by disgruntled employees going postal).

When we look at the seven non-Muslim attackers, however, a different picture emerges as to the role of religion. The Bells and Whistles site identifies three shooters as “Religion unknown,” three as “Christian,” and one as “Buddhist.” Does this accurately describe reality? Adam Lanza, Jiverly Wong, and James Holmes appear not to have had any current connection to, or interest in, any religion, at the time of their attacks. Instead of ambiguously describing them as “Religion unknown,” the proper description under religion should have been “None.”

And when we look into their biographies all three had been suffering, for years, from profound mental illness.

Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, who killed his mother just before he went to a school and riddled a classroom with bullets, had been exhibiting signs of serious mental illness beginning in the eighth grade. A report by Yale psychiatrists, based on a comprehensive examination of the medical and school histories of Mr. Lanza, 20, concluded that he was “completely untreated in the years before the shooting” for psychiatric and physical ailments like anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and was also deprived of recommended services and drugs.

In 2010 he broke off relations with almost everyone, secluded himself in his bedroom, where he played violent video games and obsessed over mass murderers. At no time did he display any interest in religion. His attack on the school – and, just before it, the murder of his mother – were the result of his obvious insanity.

Jiverly Wong, a 41-year-old ethnic Chinese immigrant from Vietnam, mailed a letter to the world the same day he entered a classroom in Binghamton, N.Y., where English lessons to foreigners were being given, and killed twelve people. His letter deserves to be read in full, as a clear indication of his craziness:

I AM JiVERLY WONG SHOOTING THE PEOPLE

THE FiRST I WANT TO SAY SORRY I KNOW A LiTTLE ENGLiSH I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND ALL OF THiS. OF COURSE YOU NEED TO KNOW WHY I SHOOTING? BECAUSE UNDERCOVER COP GAVE ME A LOT OF ASS DURiNG EiGHTEEN YEARS. I GOT SEVEN YEARS AND EiGHT MONTH DELiVERY TO GROCERY IN THE CALiFORNiA. CAME BACK NEW YORK ON THE AUGUST – 2007. LET TALK ABOUT WHEN I LiVE IN CALiFORNiA. SUCH AS. . .COP USED 24 HOURS THE TECHNiQUE OF ULTRAMODERN AND CAMERA FOR BURN THE CHEMiCAL IN MY HOUSE. FOR SWiTCH THE CHANNEL Ti.Vi. FOR ADJUST THE FAN. FOR MADE ME UNBREATHBLE. FOR MADE ME VOMiT. FOR CONNECT THE MUSiC INTO MY EAR.

UNDERCOVER COP USUAL COiNED SOME NASTY WAS NOT TRUE ABOUT ME AND SPREAD A RUMOUR TO THE RECEiVER AND SOME PEOPLE KNOW ME CONDUCE TOWARD MANY PEOPLE PREJUDiCED AND SELFiSH TO ME . . . COP MADE ME LOST MY JOB . . . COP PUT ME BECAME POOR.

LET TALK ABOUT WHEN I LiVE AT THE 28.BAKER . ST. 2ND FLOOR. JOHNSON CiTY. NEW YORK 13790. IT TERRiBLE WHEN I LiVE THERE SUCH AS. . COP WAiT UNTiL MiDNiGHT WHEN I OFF THE LiGHT AND WENT TO THE BED. COP UNLOCK MY DOOR AND CAME IN TAKE A SiT IN MY ROOM <> ON THE THiRTEEN TiME HAD THREE TiME TOUCH ME WHEN I SLEEPiNG. ONE TiME STOLEN 20 DOLLAR IN MY WALLET ONE TiME USED ELECTRiC GUN SHOOT AT THE BEHiND MY NECK. (THAT TiME I DiD NOT KNOW ENGLiSH)

PLEASE CONTiNUE SECOND PAGE THANK YOU.

(Page 2)

FROM 1990 TO 1995 NEW YORK UNDERCOVER COP TRY TO GET A CAR ACCiDENT WiTH ME. SUCH AS WHEN I DRiViNG ON THE HiGHWAY AND ON THE STREET UNDERCOVER COP SUNDDENLY BRAKE THE CAR STOP IMMEDiATELY AT THE OF FRONT MY CAR . . . COP DiD IT 32 TiME LiKE THAT DURiNG 1990 TO 1995 BUT I NEVER HiT THE CAR.

MANY TiME FROM 1990 TO 1997 AT THE DAY TiME . . . COP EXPLOiT UNKNON ENGLiSH AND WENT TO MY HOUSE KNOCK THE DOOR FOR HARASS AND DOMiNEER. OF COURSE DURiNG THAT TiME COP COiNED SOMETHiNG WAS NOT TRUE ABOUT ME AND SPREAD A RUMOUR NASTY LiKE THE CALiFORNiA COP.

FROM AUGUST – 2007 UNTiL NOW COP GAVE ME NOT TO MUCH ASS ONLY ONE TiME COP LEAVE A MASSAGE IN MY VOiCE MAiL AND SAiD << COME BACK YOUR COUNTRY >> AFTER FIVE MiNUTE I SEND A TEXT MASSAGE TO THEM I SAiD I WILL CALL THE POLiCE AND THEY SEND IT BACK TO ME THEY SAiD THEY ARE THE POLiCE

DEAR. NEW TEN NOW. RiGHT NOW I STiLL GET UNEMPLOMENT BENEFiT OF THE COMPANY SHOP VAC ENDiCOTT. NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WAS CHEAT AND UNPAiD FROM DECEMBER – 1st – 2008 TO DECEMBER – 28th – 2008. I ALREADY CLAiM WEEKLY BENEFiT FROM THAT DATE. ANY WAY I CAN NOT ACCEPTED MY POOR LiFE. BEFORE I CUT MY POOR LiFE I MUST ONESELF GET A JUDGE JOB FOR MAKE AN IMPARTiAL WiTH UNDERCOVER COP BY AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE WiTH ME GO TO RETURN TO THE DUST OF EARTH.

ALREADY IMPARTiAL NOW. . .COP BRiNG ABOUT THiS SHOOTiNG COP MUST RESPONSiBLE. AND YOU HAVE A NiCE DAY.

James Holmes, like Lanza and Wong, was similarly subject to the demons of mental illness, and had been making homicidal statements in the months preceding his attack on a movie audience. There is no indication that as an adult he was ever religious, though as a child he was taken to church. None of the three gave the slightest sign of religious belief at the time of their attacks, nor — aside from childhood churchgoing — is there the slightest evidence of religion anywhere in their backgrounds. There have, however, been many stories — not confirmed — that in prison, Holmes converted to Islam, now prays five times a day, and has interpreted his attack on the Aurora theatre as a kind of Jihad, and his victims as Infidels deserving of their fate.

As for the one attacker on the list above, Aaron Alexis, who is identified by Bells and Whistles as “Buddhist,” he was a curious convert, one who did not seem particularly devout, whom friends described as being mainly “into it for Thai women.”

His Thai Buddhist employer reminded those who interviewed him that the first principle of Buddhism is non-violence. Buddhist he may have considered himself, but Aaron Alexis never claimed that he thought killing anyone was commanded by, or would further, the Buddhist faith, which clearly distinguished him from the Muslim killers Mateen, Farook, Malik, and Hasan, who thought that their attacks were according to, and in furtherance of, the teachings of Islam. And, like every single one of the non-Muslims on this list, Alexis had a history of mental illness.

Then there are the three attackers described as “Christian” by Bells and Whistles. The first is Seung Hui-Cho. True, he was as a child taken to church, but as an adult he not only had no connection to the faith but, indeed, denigrated Christianity. One of his roommates reported that “he hated his parents’ strong Christian faith.” And like so many of the non-Muslim attackers on the list, he exhibited signs of mental illness early on, and was under the care of a psychiatrist beginning in the eighth grade. At Virginia Tech, he ranted about “rich kids” and “debauchery” as his mental state steadily deteriorated; he was removed from classes for his “intimidating” manner; he found it almost impossible to talk normally to anyone; he seldom talked at all; he was said to suffer from “selective mutism.” If he was no longer even a nominal Christian, if he despised Christianity, if he ranted against his parents’ strong faith, then on what grounds can he possibly be described as a “Christian”?

As for Dylann Roof, he is the young white supremacist who wanted to start a race war by attacking an African-American congregation in Charleston, S.C.. His life was unedifying; he spent his time, as a school dropout who could not or would not hold a job, taking drugs and playing video games. He was “on the rolls” of an Evangelical Lutheran congregation, which he apparently attended regularly. It is possible to describe his religion as “Christian,” though he did not anywhere invoke Christianity as commanding his murderous attack, the way that Mateen, Malik, Farook, and Hasan invoked Islam as both the reason and the justification for their violence

Finally, there is Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, responsible for the massacre at Umpqua Community College, and also described at the Bells and Whistle site as a “Christian.” This is perhaps the most outrageous of that site’s many mischaracterizations. Harper-Mercer not only hated organized religion, but he was especially angry at Christians. When he entered the room at Umpqua Community College, he “ordered the students to stand up and asked if they were Christians, Boylan [one of the victims] told her family. “And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second,’” Boylan’s father, Stacy, told CNN, relaying her account. “And then he shot and killed them.” Other survivors of the Umpqua shooting corroborated this, telling relatives that Harper Mercer asked people whether they were Christian or not. Anyone who responded “yes” was shot in the head and those who said “other” or didn’t answer were shot elsewhere in the body, said Autumn Vicari, whose brother was in the classroom.

Furthermore, apparently Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer listed only two connections on his MySpace. One was a girl, and the other a man named Mahmoud Ali Ehsani, who had posted online an album with pictures of Islamic terrorists; one caption reads “my brave soldiers keep on fighting for the liberation of Palestine against Israel. fuck israel. Kill the jews. jews are the only infidels.”

If you had to describe Harper-Mercer’s sympathies, they would certainly not be with Christians (whom he shot in the head because they were Christians) or Christianity, but with his only male friend, Mahmoud Ali Ehsani, and that friend’s fanatical Muslim beliefs.

To sum up: of the ten deadliest shootings in the U.S., involving eleven shooters, at least four of the eleven, or 36%, were observant Muslims, who wrote and spoke of their devotion to Islam, and their desire to kill Infidels. Omar Mateen, Nidal Hasan, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were acting according to their Islamic beliefs. A fifth, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, who like the four Muslim shooters was consumed with hatred for Christianity, tried deliberately to kill only Christians, while only wounding non-Christians.. A sixth, James Holmes, may have converted to Islam in prison as a way to Islamically justify his attack after the fact, suggesting he understood that Islam commanded violence against Infidels. A seventh was an unorthodox convert to Buddhism, who with his attack violated the central tenet of his faith. Three more – an eighth, ninth, and tenth – were listed as having no religion at all. Two of the three listed as “Christian” by Bells and Whistles — Seung-Hui Cho and Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer — were violently opposed to Christianity. Only the eleventh, Dylann Roof, could be described as a devout Christian and churchgoer; as a mass-killer he acted in clear violation of, rather than in accordance with, of, the tenets of Christianity.

And to repeat, every single one of the seven non-Muslims on this list had an extensive record of severe mental illness. Perhaps you may be tempted to conclude (and I know the feeling) that Islam, too, is a form of mental illness. Would that it were that easy to dismiss.

Bells and Whistles concluded that “it would be hard, based on this list, to make the argument that Islam is an inherently violent religion where the others are not.” No, it would be easy to do so, if one actually examined the express motivations of the four devout Muslim shooters. It would be even easier if one looked up the 109 Jihad verses in the Qur’an and then sought to find anything similar in the Christian holy books, and came up, as one would, empty-handed. And if one compared, say, the Sermon on the Mount with Sura 9, it would be easier still to conclude that the violence that is everywhere deplored in Christianity is everywhere exalted in Islam.

But none of this will stop the propaganda campaign that so easily twists every text, and distorts every datum. Sighting and righting these factual wrongs becomes a kind of whack-a-mole, but it’s a task that must be undertaken, lest the miasma of misinformation fill our brains with hemidemisemi truths, or plausible sounding outright lies. So with every site that you may run across that’s in the same dishonest vein as Bells and Whistles, please start whacking.

First published in Jihad Watch.

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Posted on 02/20/2017 6:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 20 February 2017
Royal Burdens
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by Theodore Dalrymple

Public life has never been more public than it is today, and the lives of famous people are examined as never before. Gone are the days when a President’s polio or marital infidelities were passed over in silence by a compliant press corps. A rhinoceros hide is required now, as perhaps never before, for a life in politics—though, as the new President has amply demonstrated, a rhinoceros hide is by no means incompatible with a thin skin.

Who among us has no embarrassing secrets? The constant risk of exposure and humiliation must deter many good people from seeking public office. We demand perfection and get mediocrity.

It is not even necessary any more for the famous to die for their lives to be turned into soap opera, as has happened to the British royal family with The Crown. The first 10 hour-long episodes of the Netflix series cover a period of about five years, from 1951 to 1956, which means that, at this rate, it will take 120 more episodes to bring the story up to date. At the outset The Crown reminded me, I must confess, of the story by Jorge Luis Borges in which geographers produce a map on a scale of 1:1, exactly reproducing, to the last detail, what they set out to map.

If the show’s dramatic moments are real enough, so are its longueurs; and if I ever again see a film sequence of a vintage Rolls Royce pulling up under a porte-cochère, no matter how grand, I think I shall scream. One gets the impression that the producers of The Crown were trying desperately to draw it out as long as possible—and succeeding in the effort.

We are in the land of pauses that are supposed to be pregnant with meaning, and also, of course, of dazzlingly sumptuous sets and costumes. There is more than enough here to feed anyone’s fantasy—which, come to think of it, is the main function of the institution of monarchy in a modern democratic society such as Britain’s. To judge by the interest in that monarchy in magazines such as Paris Match, in republican France, it feeds fantasies outside Britain too. That is why there are almost no scenes here of the grinding life of most people in the immediate postwar, a time of war-exhausted austerity that still necessitated, or at any rate included, rationing. Rationing lasted for many years after the 1945 victory of the Allies, when Britain’s national debt stood at more than 200 per cent of GDP and when, in contrast to the present, interest rates were not kept artificially low.

Only once in the show, in fact, is anything less than luxury allowed to obtrude on the fairy-tale extravagance surrounding the royal family: the 1952 winter smog over London that was responsible for between 4,000 and 12,000 deaths. Briefly we see London descending into an eerie kind of hell. All I can say is that, as a child, I loved those fogs that were known by all Londoners as “pea-soupers,” during which men walked in front of buses carrying lanterns and vehicles loomed out of the thick grey atmosphere with their headlights like the eyes of fiery monsters that appeared as if by magic. As a child, I was much disappointed when November ceased to be the season of fog (and, unbeknown to me, of the respiratory-related deaths of thousands) thanks to the 1956 passage of the Clean Air Act.

The purpose of this particular episode was to show Winston Churchill, Prime Minister for a second time, as a doddering and incompetent geriatric, delusional about Britain’s place in the world and unable to overcome his prejudices, such as that the smog was an act of God that had to be passively endured. When finally Churchill roused himself to action, much later than he should have done, he was popularly regarded for the second time as the saviour of his country: an unmerited accolade that casts doubt on the judgment of the people.

This brings me to the other side of the coin of royal fantasy: that what human beings set up as the dream of perfection they want also to pull down to their own level. We exalt only to humiliate; pedestals are erected to be stood on by feet of clay. Our gods and goddesses live on an Olympus in which sordid intrigue flourishes, ambition overcomes principle, and unhappiness is as much the lot of the gods as it is of lesser beings.

The Crown, then, takes us behind the scenes of a group of still-living individuals who are treated as if Britain were a consequential and powerful country. It allows us to gawp at a décor that includes the finest art collection in the world (not that any member of the royal family is seen taking any notice of it, because for them it has always been there and is really no more than elaborate wallpaper), while eavesdropping on petty conflicts and—for the Queen (Claire Foy)—real and sometimes agonizing dilemmas.

It is not easy to judge whether the intimate portraits of the principal characters are accurate. Some seem unfair or at least unrealistic. The young Prince Philip (Matt Smith), for example, is portrayed as a handsome but thoughtless, egotistical and arrogant man without even the charm of the charming psychopath. He makes tactless and offensive remarks and is unpleasant to his wife, his only excuse being that, as someone with a very adventurous past and an active mind, the role of ornamental consort to a queen is not enough for him.

The acting is excellent and whether or not the characterizations are just, they are mostly believable. To be sure, script does commit the occasional anachronism. No one would have used the phrases “numerically dyslexic,” “one-on-one,” “ticked all boxes,” “the Commonwealth road show,” or “How may I direct your call?” in the early 1950s; much less would anyone have spoken of the Queen’s “age and gender.” This last gaffe is revealing of how unreflectingly and unswervingly politically correct we have become, unable to even imagine a time when the word for gender was sex, though it was not very long ago. Nor would we attempt anymore to justify the use of now-offensive words with the argument that we were portraying a different age.

The series implies (or at any rate the viewer will deduce) that the quid pro quo for the privileges of the royal existence are psychological deformity and a stunting of normal human emotions. Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother (Eileen Atkins), is a chain-smoking battle axe. The Duke of Windsor (Alex Jennings), the former Edward VIII, who was obliged to abdicate because he wanted to marry the twice-divorced American Wallace Simpson, is a resentful, hedonistic parasite who has occasional attacks of sensitivity. Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby), the Queen’s sister, as an embittered and frustrated seeker of the limelight, envious and disparaging of her sister but with fun-loving tastes of a fundamentally common kind.

Whether the royal family is more emotionally crippled than other families is not easy to determine, though. Who would be the control group against whom to measure their psychological difficulties? Certainly I have known many other families—not least my own—that have seemed just as peculiar. One could look down the other end of the telescope and remark that, so bizarre is the life of the British royals, it is astonishing that any of them retain any human characteristics whatever. And, of course, the burden falls heaviest on the Queen herself.

Here the series is convincing. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, who has reigned since 1953 as Elizabeth II, was thrust into the role of heir to the throne at the age of 10, and that of monarch at age 26, all without choice, consultation, or personal inclination. She was reared to be a function incarnate. Her wishes counted for nothing, except in the most trivial matters. Supremely unfree, bound to obey dictates of the government that acted in her name, Elizabeth was nonetheless grovelled to as if she were the most fearsome dictator.

Imbued with an iron sense of duty by an adored father who died at a comparatively early age, and whose portrait she still wears on her bosom at official functions, she was obliged repeatedly to make emollient speeches and appear always to be deeply interested in the dullest of dignitaries. The highest standard of living in the world was probably insufficient recompense for the sacrifice—that of herself as an individual human being—that she had to make.

Aware of her own limitations, educated in the arcana of her constitutional role but little else, interested mainly in thoroughbred horses, Elizabeth had constantly to juggle several, often conflicting imperatives: the need to preserve her throne, the need to do her duty by her country, the need to act morally (for she was clearly a highly-moral person) and her need to please her family. These were not things always easy to reconcile, and sometimes they were irreconcilable. Significantly, though not necessarily with accuracy, she is never shown evincing any concern or affection for her own children. Assuming that The Crown means to progress to the next generation, this appears to be a laying of the ground for the supposed explanation of the children’s difficulties in life.

Prince Philip did not want to live in Buckingham Palace, whose grandeur is cold and forbidding, nor did she; but as it was customary for the reigning monarch to live there, she overruled both her husband’s and her own inclinations. This was a decision typical of many others. In the struggle between what she wanted and what she thought was her duty, the latter is portrayed as always having won—and this seems to align with the historical record. It is curious how, in a democracy such as the British, the unelected head of state should have been so much more wedded to duty than any popularly-elected politician.

One of the strengths of the series is that it will serve as a reminder of how much and how quickly our moral sensibilities have changed. There is, as the poet said, a provinciality of time as well as of place; and those who are provincial in time forget that our forebears thought and felt differently from us. Indeed, we sometimes forget how we ourselves have changed. When the Queen agonizes in The Crown over her sister’s desire to marry a divorcee, we are astonished that divorce was then still a matter of monumental significance—theological, legal, and, in the case of the royal family, constitutional. I remember when divorce was spoken of in hushed tones, and a divorcee was almost an outcast. So ordinary and everyday has divorce since become that I often forget that I remember, and think of divorce as a kind of immemorial custom.

The monarchy in Britain is odd at many levels, as The Crown demonstrates. It has no justification in philosophical first principles; its flummery is often ridiculous; it exacts a toll on those caught up in it. The enthusiasm of the population for what is, after all, a group of self-confessedly ordinary people who are obviously acting a part, is mysterious. Yet the monarchy costs much less than the Italian presidency and is of a fascination to millions (myself not included), as this series attest

First published in the Library of Law and Liberty.

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Posted on 02/20/2017 5:09 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Sunday, 19 February 2017
Feminine Spring
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by Nidra Poller

[The women’s march  excerpts]

The self-appointed female nation, outraged by the words and deeds of the new president, took to the streets on the 21st of January, the day after the inauguration. Protestors marched in a compact mass estimated at 700,000 to a million in Washington DC, with another million tallied in national and international sister marches. Did anyone question the misnomer of those hand-knit pink pointy eared pussyhats? There's nothing pussy about the cat's ears for heaven's sake, it's about the fur! What kind of PC turned the erotic anatomical reference into silliness?

….

So it's Donald Trump that doesn't respect women? First, he talked dirty about the private parts he can grab to his liking, and then he called Hillary Clinton a nasty woman in a presidential debate. Too much for nineteen year-old talk poet, Nina Donovan. She returns the compliment multiplied by 10, and earns herself unhoped-for fame when Ashley Judd performs Donovan's Nasty Woman poem before millions, live in DC and broadcast worldwide on TV and social media. Copying Donovan's black talk, Judd pours out a steady stream of vulgarity that won't be repeated here. Roughly speaking, it's a lowdown gitdown catalogue of the female body, its intimate functions and secretions, garnished with complaints and demands, soaked in hatred of Donald Trump and, by extension, of all those testosteroned men. It's pure trash and the crowd loves it. If the black talk can be explained by a taste for cool, what about the picture of Ashley Judd, pointing her finger in the sign of tawhid, allegiance to Allah unique? That's cool too these days. Like the one keffieh fits all protests.

….

This is the background against which we should understand Linda Sarsour's role in a mass movement coalesced under the banner of women's rights. It is not incidental. She is only one among several co-organizers but the movement marches to her beat. "If you're in a movement and you're not following a woman of color, you're in the wrong movement," she repeatedly declares, fearing no accusation of racism. And that's how a feminine population that enjoys maximum rights is mobilized to heave and lug a bushel basket of causes that cancel those rights, and swallow a heavy sprinkling of sharia on the whole kit and caboodle. In the United States, the forces of Islamic conquest nestle in the bosom of civil rights. Including the "civil" rights of non-citizens: No Borders No Walls. ** The undocumented immigrant is my friend, my neighbor, my family. We the People posters, including one featuring a woman in an American flag hijab, twist the first words of the preamble to the Constitution into a hymn to diversity. Multicolor multicultural women haughtily replace the white male Founding Fathers. http://bust.com/arts/18894-we-the-people-posters-will-flood-the-march-on-washington.html

Read the entire, richly illustrated and documented article at:

http://familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/feminine-spring

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Posted on 02/19/2017 12:31 PM by Nidra Poller
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Sunday, 19 February 2017
Ubermenschen or Just Bohemians?
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by Friedrich Hansen

Is it permissible to compare Russia with the US, as Trump has done recently? Well he just parodied the liberal fondness of moral relativism and equivocation – the kind of “reality check” which is core business of President Donald Trump piercing the carapace of liberal self-righteousness and their claims on the moral high-ground. What comes into daylight here is the liberal mix of fun & fiction, which has been around from its very early days, going back to Nietzsche and Freud as we will see. Sigmund Freud, the designer of liberal fiction, famously said, “the opposite of pleasure is not seriousness but reality” turning the personal attention permanently inside-out and away from personal guilt by thoroughly rationalizing Protestant inwardness. He fostered the culture of dis-inhibition, enshrined in “anything goes,” with no inner moral compass to live by other than their malleable version of reality.

A good example to start with are recent bouts of liberal fake news, according to which seventy years after the Holocaust winners and losers of WWII seem to have swapped roles, so that the fascists are suddenly residing in all the wrong capitals: Putin’s Moscow, Trump’s Washington and May’s London and the defenders of Western civilization are residing in Berlin and Paris. Puzzling about this conundrum what came first to my mind was a quip by Joseph Addison (1672-1719), the co-founder of the Spectator in 1711, who argued, if in doubt, we should trust the populace rather than the elite, because the latter tends to have special interests.

There are other paradoxes surrounding the issue of fascism. Soon enough after WWII liberals began embracing the radically organic features of the Nazi elites, corroborating their modernity. It began with the Western embrace of an uncompromising anti-nuclear bias, followed by militant anti-smoking policies, first introduced in 1930s Germany. Then same-sex attraction, vegetarianism and whole grain bread began booming – a denial of human animal instincts camouflaged with overstated animal rights. All this was casually wrapped up in an escapist hip hop lifestyle - a variety of the Boheme of old. As with the 1930s the demarcation of progressives and conservatives became blurred and just like Hitler, English-speaking conservatives turned themselves into champions of homosexuality, by that virtually abandoning the family.

Today like in the days of Thomas Mann’s “Felix Krull” we are living in a world dominated by impostors, the difference being, today few are aware of this because the elites themselves are living in bubbles of fictitious truth as reflected in issues with “fake news.” How did we get there? Well according to Philip Rieff, Western history has been shaped by the “three Fs: fate, faith and fiction. The latter has ruled the West since the Belle Epoch with fiction being embraced by Friedrich Nietzsche who expanded on Schopenhauer’s “world as will and imagination.” The preceding medieval millennium had attached itself to “faith” and was dominated by monotheism whereas the world of antiquity had been dominated by Greek “fate.”

Friedrich Nietzsche’s Zarathustra can be taken as the template for modern fiction even if subsequently refined by Sigmund Freud, the father of the sexual revolution. Freud attempted to appease the rampant anti-Semitism in Vienna by producing a secular Jewish-Protestant theology called psychoanalysis. A few decades later in 1937 and facing Nazi threats, Freud budged in again by appeasing his tormentors with the claim - outrageous to his fellow Jews in times of extreme distress – that Moses had been an Egyptian all along, just as “Deutsche Christen” had proven, Christ to be an Aryan from Galilee. Keen on explaining away Jewish guilt feelings imposed by Christians, Freud also theorized on the ancient Israelites as murderers of their own prophet Moses, a variety of Christian deicide, as the “cause” for their being haunted by repressed guilt otherwise known as monotheism. 

It is important to recognize how Freud, following Nietzsche’s “eternal return of the same,” would privilege imagination over memory and tradition, the most cherished Jewish asset. In fact he conceived of the deep and mortifying Jewish memory as the unconscious part of the mind, substituting Jesus with Oedipus.

The deep instincts according to Freud were ruled by “eternal repetition of the same” personified by Greek half-gods. Freud did not shy away from seeing himself on the same level as Moses and claiming nothing less than having created a modern version of Judaism. Combining the Pauline and Lutheran tradition, Freud delivered a sort of Judaic Protestantism, tied to prophecies and stripped of the Old Testament, Jewish genealogy and divine law. From that naturally flows the preference of narcissist or wishful thinking of the voice of conscience, later to become the “fiction absolute” of liberalism. It is therefore no coincidence that Freud would in particular aim at destroying the oral Jewish tradition, crucial for transmitting authentic mosaic revelation at Sinai through the generations. He replaced it with his victimizing psychology which emulated the Christian gospel. The latest rendition of this is the feminist vagina dialogue which aims at de-legitimizing the survivors of Auschwitz.

This train of thought was sort of being frozen by the shock from being diagnosed with cancer in 1922 that left him with an oral disability after radical surgery of the throat. Subsequently Freud could barely eat and speak without pain or great discomfort but nevertheless could never in his remaining seventeen years bring himself to quit smoking. Ensuing relentless suffering might well have influenced his rewriting of the biblical Moses-biography in terms of the passio Christi. With his cigar addiction in mind, which the doctors said caused his cancer, he would expand on the legend that young Moses burnt his mouth with charcoal, which meant the great Jewish prophet was tested for telling the truth after an old Arabic custom - and would emerge as guilty. This can be read as a reference to the swindler “Felix Krull” of the eponymous novel by Thomas Mann, with whom he corresponded occasionally. Freud shared with Mann and his version of Moses an ongoing identity crisis sustained by doubts about the validity of their ideas.

Italo Svevo even thought Freud could not stop smoking because he relied on this lifelong victimizing ordeal for his creative output as it were. His ongoing “fire probe” granted him the secondary gratification from his cancer in terms of a Christological verification of his purely putative psychoanalytic speculations. To be sure Freud was flabbergasted to discover a hidden burnt mark with his alter-ego Moses, to whom some insignificant legend ascribed a disability of speaking properly making him the perfect vessel for higher revelations. This seems to have inspired Freud himself after the surgery. In summary, Freud’s philosophy is extremely modern since it captured the essence of the consumer society: his psychology celebrates egotism and self-consumption in equal measure being intrinsically bound to self-victimization through addiction and finally self-destruction. In addition to drug-dependency Hitler shared with Freud the bohemian Viennese lifestyle before his rise to celebrity.


A Couple at a WWII cemetery in Russia

Yet ever since Vincent van Gogh, Charles Baudelaire and Oscar Wilde developed the bohemian lifestyle it would be symbolized by the sunflower, which happened to later decorate the Eastern cemeteries of the Hitler’s Wehrmacht and SS. This symbol of romantic organicism even survived the Holocaust and would be chosen soon enough by the German Greens for their party logo. In other words it took the Greens and their political racket to finally cut off German guilt feelings just like Van Gogh, the impressionist wizard, who had cut off his right ear in 1888 after a spade with Paul Gaugin. Luckily for us he had just about finished five paintings of sunflowers in a vase, one of which would fetch a totally unexpected and record breaking 40 million dollars at Sotheby’s in 1978. This was one of the most conspicuous signs of the upcoming green gravy train and an early indicator of the upside-down world we are now in. For the sunflower is the symbol for the German attempt, inherited by the greens from the Nazis, to blackmail the West into forgiveness after the Holocaust – a kind of last retribution for Versailles and perhaps Hiroshima. This is the green revolution in the West that is now being scuttled by President Donald Trump.

Not least the German Wirtschaftswunder proved that the green recycling of German Holocaust guilt back into Western capitalism ran smoothly. It has been sustained with Van Gogh-style windmills and Wildian solar cells followed by the same-sex assault on the Christian family. Green climate alarmism is about little else than allowing Angela Merkel, who studied in Moscow under the Soviet tyranny and never thought about emigration, to religiously preserve Hitler’s anti-nuclear bias and her lecturing the Trump administration about immigration and democracy. Chancellor Merkel like Vincent Van Gogh and the vast majority of the Germanic intellectual elite for the last couple of centuries hailed from Protestant Rectories.

Gender like Race is Uprooting the Family

As a painter van Gogh came to concentrate himself entirely on romantic organic innocence as cover for guilt feelings, represented by the sunflower stimulating creative imagination and eclipsing unwelcome memories. Before him Oscar Wilde had done the same by lifting the innocent sunflower to cult status for the late 19th century “aesthetic movement.” The classicist Wilde knew the game of substituting the sublime with the mere beautiful. The cartoon reproduced below appeared during Wilde’s stay in San Francisco. What looks like the first Gay Pride Parade depicts a crowd following Wilde’s steed, among them members of San Francisco’s honorable society who could well have attended his lecture at Platt’s Hall on March 27, 1882. Wilde, at the time leader of the aesthetic movement would always wear the sunflower on his lapel. The money bag in the picture tied to the steed’s tail shows Wilde’s generous fee of $ 5000, the fee for ushering in the brilliant organic lifestyle to the New World.


“The Modern Messiah,” Wilde in the San Francisco Wasp, March 31, 1882.

The huge fee actually paid for Wilde’s total American tour on behalf of Gilbert & Sullivan. If I remember him right it was the prescient Alexis de Tocqueville who predicted the demise of the socialist quest for human equality, saying it would eventually wear thin and make space for an inward turn “in search of difference.” This phrase would be more than lived up to by the bar-bucked bohemian revolt and its self-advertised sexual liberation. It would soon finish off the much derided Victorian age. On principle the same dynamic is still playing out today in the West albeit finally triggering what I call a veritable Anglo-phone counter revolution, called populism and even denounced as fascism. Curiously enough and quite similar to the collapsing Soviet Empire, the new “populism” emerged against an asphyxia of common sense by political correctness. What returns with President Trump’s rhetoric is the inevitable swell of restoring a lively language. Surely it was relentless posturing by liberal-Protestant Ubermenschen, wallowing in discrimination of the disenfranchised blue collar workers or the “deplorables” by bawling them out as xenophobes, homophobes or Islamophobes that woke everybody from the slumber of political correctness. It also rekindled long gone sensibilities toward the spoken word and the tyrannical strangulation of ones own culture, upbringing and mother tongue.

A premonition of this could be gathered from the Jefferson Lecture in 2006 on the “Human Beast,” delivered by conservative thinker Tom Wolfe who focused on the still virulent bohemian identity crisis. It is basically about liberal Protestant anti-Papists, distancing themselves from their own parents by posturing as victims in the vein of Freudian anti-authoritarian new speak. While this is being aggravated by infantile consumerism in the digital era, the root of it lies in the Victorian upheaval. Back then had been generated all the meanwhile notorious minorities addicted to la difference, comprising the Nietzschean pageant of the “last men (and women)” of cultural Protestantism: dandies and snobs, feminists and anarchists, artists and impostors, pedophiles and gays, nudists and naturalists. Wolfe reminded us that as a matter of fact, the Darwinian evolution has been arrested about ten thousand years ago with the emergence of language. Therefore it is to be expected that down the galleys with PC is likely to be Darwinism as the misapplication of Charles Darwin’s findings on humanity, which might then restore the legitimate place of language and culture instead of crude bio-politics.

Given the unbreakable popularity of Nietzsche on American campuses today, the concomitant ascent of genderism provides us a deja vu pointing back to the Belle Epoch’s racism, both representing a biologistic trap and a failure of enlightenment and inevitably foster anti-Semitism.  Racism and genderism are just twin versions of what Nietzsche anticipated as the bohemian Ubermensch. Just as we were pushed to recognize fifty races in the past so we are today to celebrate fifty sexual identities. In biblical terms race did not trump human religious equality and gender was defined as binary or complementary and only after the attacks against monotheism in the 14th century male and female became “gendered” or centrifugal and the family shattered. We have also to remind ourselves that Oscar Wilde in his “Hellenistic Doctrine” was prepared to embrace Aryan chauvinism in order to support his claims on a return of Greek love. Among his mentors were the extremely decadent Guy de Maupassant of “Boule de Suif” and the Protestant social-darwinist Friedrich Nietzsche. In this context it is important to realize that the bohemian revolt is not merely an inversion of Marxism unfurling its cultural potential, as postmodern theorizing has it. Rather then from social utopia of Marxism, gender just like race is the brain child of biologist epistomology. Gender studies as part of the postmodern fad received a devastating blow by Alan Sokal in 1997 who exposed them as fiction.


Vincent van Gogh: Six Sunflowers, August 1888, destroyed on 6.8.1948, the day of Hiroshima

Genderism represents the ongoing bohemian identity crisis that began in the Fin-de-Siecle by substituting a social-economic with a biological-therapeutic paradigm. It focused on the alleged antipodes of race and gender that would go on to reshape the 20th century. This sea change was supported by a return of the medieval subjective value theory of the School of Salamanca, seized upon in the 1860s by Habsburgian thinkers. They would recast it into the “marginal utility” theory also known as “Austrian economics.” The greater picture here is the 19h century decline of Western colonialism, just like today’s globalism, and an inward turn towards domestic economic intensification, based on mass consumption. This inward turn came to materialize itself with the transformation of the proletarian into the bohemian revolt with “marginal utility” as the new business model for extracting a quick buck from all those emancipating minorities. The renaissance of Austrian economics in the 1970’s, spearheaded by Milton Friedman, would somehow repeat this economic pattern in order to get out of the doldrums of oil-shock. For this purpose the shadow markets of rap, porno, drugs and gay prostitution would be lifted into the official economy. In the years following the financial crisis of 2008, this added between five and ten percent to GDP figures in Europe alone. As the London Telegraph reported a couple of years ago, the gains ranged below five percent in the Catholic Mediterranean and closer to ten in the Protestant Scandinavian peninsula, somehow contradicting Max Weber’s ethic discourse.

Back to Wolfe with another illuminating quote from Weber illuminating bohemian economics: ”Status groups, Weber contended, are the creators of all new styles of life. In his heyday, the turn of the 19th century, the most stylish new status sphere, no more than 30 years old, was known as la vie Boheme, the bohemian life. The bohemians were artists plus the intellectuals and layabouts in their orbit. They did their best to stand bourgeois propriety on its head through rakish dishabille, louder music, more wine, great gouts of it, ostentatious cohabitation, and by flaunting their poverty as a virtue. And why? Because they all came from the bourgeoisie themselves originally and wanted nothing more desperately than to distinguish themselves from it.”

Yet Weber being a Protestant himself overlooked what pertains to the heritage of Luther here: the liberal poseur, lecturing others by his moral grandstanding. Wolfe hit on the same issue in his essay, giving us several examples of posturing sustained by fiction absolute. Let’s see what Wolfe has to say about the run-of-the-mill liberal impostor: “Even before I left graduate school I had come to the conclusion that virtually all people live by what I think of as a ‘fiction-absolute.’ Each individual adopts a set of values which, if truly absolute in the world--so ordained by some almighty force--would make not that individual but his group . . . the best of all possible groups, the best of all inner circles. Politicians, the rich, the celebrated, become mere types. Does this apply to ‘the intellectuals’ also? Oh, yes. . . perfectly, all too perfectly. The human beast's belief in his own fiction-absolute accounts for one of the most puzzling and in many cases irrational phenomena of our time.”

Well as it happens we seem to be witnessing right now before our very eyes the fight for survival of this fiction-absolute defended by the “death-wish liberal.” An earlier account of this species of self-hating liberal impostors, clinging to the moral high ground, has been spotted shortly after WWII by Lionel Trilling in his book “The Liberal Imagination” (Penguin, p.100). Upon reviewing the novel The Princess Casamassima by Henyy James, Trilling points to the modern liberal commitment to “honesty and sincerity” simply made up to conceal a naked will to power as conceptualized by Nietzsche. Trilling’s exemplary protagonist is “the very embodiment of the modern will which masks itself in virtue, making itself appear harmless, the will that hates itself and finds its manifestations guilty and is able to exist only if it operates in the name of virtue, that despises the variety and modulations of the human story and longs for an absolute humanity, which is but another way of saying a nothingness.”

The talk of “last things” and “nothingness” came up in the 1930s with the Nazis and continues today with the gender freaks. Most of these minorities comprising the rainbow coalition, a Nietzsche term as it happens, are driven by the reformatory impetus and in particular by this genuine Lutheran concept called eschatology, also known as the gospel of the “last things.” The prime example again would be Freudian meta-psychology unfolding along the “causal knot” of the Oedipus-complex which works by associative, repetitious circular thinking. Its main effect was to block the stir of human conscience and dispel the natural craving for justice by getting people to muse over little more than their early childhood. The highly politicized concept of “sexual identity,” just like the metaphysics of racial identity, is subject to the “causalistic fallacy.” For the human mind is not to be understood in mechanistic terms of causal chains. It is for this reason that the disruptive potential of the bohemian quest for non-identity should not be underestimated. Probably no one captured the bohemian Zeitgeist better than Thomas Mann in his autobiographical novel about the con artist “Felix Krull.” The novel was the “last word” of the scion from a wealthy Protestant Lübeck family that had greatly mortified its author, a man with lifelong scruples regarding his genius as well as his gender. Mann struggled with his identity crisis for more than fifty years between 1905 and 1955 when his “impostor novel” was finally published. It is important to note that such impostors tend to multiply in times of democratic crisis. The hype surrounding the candidate Obama in 2008, a community organizer from Chicago, has some echoes of this.


Political Priapism? Obama 2008, City Journal Winter 2016

In 1883 Nietzsche introduced his concept of the “eternal return of the same” in the 3rd chapter of his Zarathustra, a chapter titled in compliance with the physiognomic trends of the time as “Face and Miracle.” Basically an esoteric anti-aging narrative, it dwells on outward permanent sameness just like the novel Picture of Dorian Grey does, published 1890 by Oscar Wilde. Nietzsche‘s idea of Being as “endless repetition” refers to the natural cycles of seasons and belongs to the organic leanings of the decadent Belle Epoch. It became problematic with regard to human free will, when it later advanced to Spengler‘s concept of cyclic-deterministic history.  For the unmarried bachelor Nietzsche “eternal repetition” initially was just an affirmation of the self, his esoteric Wheel of Being. However Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchick has exposed in his book “The Halakhik Mind” of 1983 (p. 98) the reasoning behind Nietzsche’s social-darwinist “nausea” upon the sight of weak human beings, which he blames on a “causalistic fallacy” of Nietzsche’s metaphysics generated as it was on circular thinking.


Ouroboros- self-consuming circularity

With Zarathustra for whom the mystical experience of “eternal repetition of the same” was central, Nietzsche creates the “nodes of causes” entangling the streams of thinking into what the medieval Maimonides had described as “metaphysical clutter.” Let’s hear Nietzsche himself: “The souls are as mortal as the bodies. But the Knot of Causes keeps returning, in which I am engulfed, – it will create me again! I myself belong to the causes of the eternal parousia. I will come back with this sun, this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent– not to a new or better life or even similar life. I will eternally come back to the same and equal Life….that I again herald to the people the Ubermensch (Wikipedia).

Judaism has taught us something else: in the human mind opposites and contradictions can best be managed under the notion of self-transcendence which is known as the sanctuary for non-causal thinking and the place where identities are forged. By contrast metaphysical causal-chains either suck us into circular reasoning resulting in megalomania or in spatial panic and madness. The biographies of German Hellenic thinkers succumbing to madness are manifold and frightening as shown by the famous examples of Winkelmann, Hölderlin and Nietzsche.

By declaring god dead, Nietzsche lost the divine agent for change and spontaneous reconciliation. For according to classical reasoning the things marked by repetition were associated with nature and science whereas the surprises, the unusual and miraculous were signs of divine intervention.

Nietzsche was initially committed to the sublime concept of religious equality but then lowered it from transcendence towards metaphysics aiming at certainty of truth, but instead found himself mired in repetition, sameness and circularity. Here shines through his Protestant eschatological thinking of “everything remains the same in a lifetime” as implying only through reincarnation, or the wandering of the soul, a new being can emerge. This is the key to understanding our sexual identity enterprise with all its commercial potential: it is a myth of being born again in a shame culture tied to visibility and without any sacrifice - well except the children will probably pay the price, but that is an issue for another day.  

However we need to take this criticism a step further. Plainly speaking gender theory is a hoax just like racial theories eventually turned out to be fraudulent. It simply emerged from circular thinking of Nietzsche’s provenance. We need to put this in context, for like race, gender is just a virtual echo-chamber for collectivist narcissism in the same way that Facebook is today a more physical echo-chamber for group narcissism. The Ouroboros metaphor points to the most characteristic feature of the modern person mired in self-absorption and gender is just an extension of it. It runs counter to Descartes’ discovery of the essential bifurcation of the Western mind between res cogitans versus res extensa, which is the first impression of what Heidegger would later work out comprehensibly as the ontological difference, the gap between inner and outer perspective of any person. The Hebrew Bible conceived of this as inner dualism between righteousness and wickedness. Now on this view the ideas of gender and race both share the same purpose: the denial of inner dualism and its projection on the outer world, creating unmanageable divisiveness and social conflict. The late Stephen Jay Gould has shown us in the 1970’s that race is not even a consistent concept, because individual differences in our genome are so abundant as to overplay or marginalize any racial differences of peoples. The same is true for groups according to gender theory. If this is right it pulls the carpet from under any scientific claims of genderism. Fundamental to our Judeo-Christian civilization is the the claim that every human being is unique, created in divine likeness as we used to say. Hence there is no point in undergoing sex-reassignment surgery, for you remain the same person anyway.

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Dr Friedrich Hansen is a physician and writer. He has researched Islamic Enlightenment in Jerusalem and has networked on behalf of the Maimonides Prize. Previous journalistic and academic historical work in Germany, Britain and Australia. Recently he has published in the Adam Smith-Blog in London, essays in the Asia Times in Hong Kong, in the Times of Israel in Jerusalem and recently in the Russian-Orthodox magazine Katehon in Moscow. He is currently working in Germany.

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Posted on 02/19/2017 10:16 AM by NER
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Sunday, 19 February 2017
Coming Home to Israel
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by Michael Curtis

Everyone is familiar with the continuing search for a comprehensive and fair settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For seventy years, discussion of and proposals for a solution have emerged from both acknowledged partisans and well-meaning onlookers. Lately, President Donald Trump has entered the arena with a non-solution: one state, two states and “I like the one that both parties like.”

Ending the status quo may be a little more enticing and more complex with increasing hints of a regional solution. The road to peace may be based on a broader configuration that includes non-Palestinian Arab leaders who are concerned for the security of their own countries, which would be aided by a friendly and even strategic relationship with the state of Israel, while maintaining explicit support for the Palestinian cause. This has become a more serious possibility since 2002 when Saudi Arabia proposed an Arab peace initiative.

For many reasons the wider Arab world has common interests with Israel: checking the influence of Iran in the Middle East, countering Islamist terrorism, and cooperating on crucial issues of border defense and cyberspace. Not the least of these interests is benefiting from economic and humanitarian happenings in the continuing miracle in the desert.

Israel is already world renowned for its technological progress, its start-up companies, its advances in cyber security, and agricultural technology. Most recently, it is planning to provide more resources for the export of medical marijuana products for medical use and pain relief. Israel has succeeded in using these products for treating various ailments, including sclerosis and epilepsy.

A number of Israeli companies are engaged in investment and innovation in this field. Among them are two prominent ones. Sype Medical has developed a hand held inhaler for precisely dispensing marijuana, and claims to have identified the link between psychoactivity, sensation of being high, and pain relief. Teva Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Petah Tikva, the world’s largest producer of generic drugs, is engaged in similar research in this new sector of cultivating and testing cannabis, as have other organizations.

Other Israeli companies have developed marijuana based medicines used in a number of foreign countries. In its research Israel differs from the U.S. in that it allows clinical tests on people.

The Arab world would benefit not only from these clinical tests but also from Israeli example of acceptance of and hospitality towards people anxious to enter the country. That world, including Palestinians, should be conscious of the example set by the extraordinary and joyous events in Israel on February 14 and February 16, 2017. On those days 102 members of the Bnei Menashe (BM) community in the North East Indian state of Mizoram that borders Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh. This state and that of Manipur contains small numbers of people who consider themselves Jews.

The BM claim descent from Menashe, one of the Hebrew lost tribes, rumors about which appear from time to time. After the death of King Solomon, the Jewish state was split between the 12 Hebrew tribes, each headed by a son of Jacob.

Two, Judah and Benjamin, set up the kingdom of Judah in the south. Most Western contemporary Jews descent from those tribes. In 930 B.C. the other ten formed the kingdom of Israel. This was ended in 721 B.C. when the Assyrians, under their king Shalmaneser V, came down like the wolf on the fold of deep Galilee, and enslaved the Hebrews. 

For 2,700 years the fate of the missing ten tribes has remained a mystery, and various claims have been made. Among the suggestions are that they may be Nestorians, Mormons, American Indians, or the Falashas of Ethiopia. Unlikely candidates appear from time to time. One are the mixed-race Peruvian converts, a community in Iquitos, a city on the banks of the Amazon in Peru. This group of 284 claim to be descendants of Moroccan Jews who arrived in Latin America in the 19th century.

The BM, however, escaped from captivity, travelled the silk road to the east, wandering through central Asia and the Far East, before settling in India where they claim to be one of the lost ten tribes. But are those claims authentic?

Not surprisingly there is controversy about their common genetic origin. DNA tests are inconclusive. Some Israeli authorities hold the opinion that BM as “seed of Israel,” while others do not. The positive argument is that they though they are not Jewish according to religious law, their proven Jewish ancestry makes them acceptable as immigrants into Israel. This was based on oral history and long-time practices: performing circumcision, wearing shawls akin to talits, funeral rites, and singing a song “We must keep the Passover Festival.”

Their amazing history is curious and intriguing. They have been converted twice. In the late 19th  and early 20th centuries, Western, mostly Welsh Baptist, missionaries sought to convert the BM group, animists at this point, to Protestantism. The result was that the BM saw echoes of their traditional practices in the Bible, and began thinking of themselves as Jews. Photos show them celebrating the festival of Hanukah in the city of Churachandpur in the Indian northeast state of Manipur, virtually a closed area.

In 1983 the Israel Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, who founded an organization called Amishav (My People Returns) trying to locate the lost tribes, met them and encouraged them to return to Judaism. They had already began adopting the practices of Judaism in the 1970s. The BM are formally converted after arriving in Israel.

It was the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar who ruled in 2005 they were legitimate descendants of former Jews, and declared they could be admitted into Israel under the Law of Return.

After 2700 years they did so. So far, 3,000 BM have made aliyah to Israel, while 7,200 still remain in India. Their exodus has been arranged in part by a non-profit group called Shavei Israel, funded in part by evangelical Christians and led by American born Michael Freund, former journalist and communications aide to Benjamin Netanyahu.

On arrival at Ben-Gurion airport near Tel-Aviv the 120 BM recited the Shema prayer, the oldest daily morning and evening prayer in Judaism, before going to meet fellow Indian Jews in Nazareth Illit in the Galilee.

The BM is a small group, but their eagerness to return to the land of their ancestors 2700 years ago is both politically relevant in any discussion of the disputed area of Palestine and symbolically important in illustrating the reality of the Jewish state, a mosaic not a melting pot. The welcoming of the BM, and anticipation of receiving 7000 more of the Menashe tribe, is a meaningful illustration to the international community of a successful multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-lingual society.

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Posted on 02/19/2017 9:15 AM by Michael Curtis
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Sunday, 19 February 2017
Revealed: new ‘Trojan Horse plot’
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From the Sunday Times, About Manchester. and the Mail on Sunday 

Fears of a new “Trojan Horse” Islamic plot to take over a state school in Oldham have been raised by its head teacher, who says she has been concerned for her personal safety... has been forced to work from home by death threats from Muslim parents who hate her western values. It is feared they are making a 'Trojan Horse' attempt to Islamicise the school.

 Trish O’Donnell, the headmistress of Clarksfield Primary School sent an e-mail to Oldham Council in December. In it she said she had “very strong reasons to believe that . . . a ‘Trojan Horse’ agenda [is] being played out” and that her position was becoming untenable. The head teachers’ union, the NAHT, said it was “supporting a number of members in the Oldham area with a variety of apparent Trojan Horse issues”.

A senior national figure in counter-extremism said there was a “significant problem” of Islamist infiltration in Oldham.

When Trish O’Donnell took the headship of Clarksfield Primary School — a vast Edwardian building rising amid the rooftops of east Oldham — one council officer told her that she had inherited the town’s “poisoned chalice”. That was, if anything, an understatement.

According to Ofsted, O’Donnell rose to the challenge of educating her almost entirely British-Pakistani pupils, many of whom were “at an early stage of learning to speak English” and so started school with “skill levels well below those typical for their age”. By the end of their time at Clarksfield the same children’s attainment had “risen sharply”, taking them to the UK average. There were outings to football matches and celebrations of the Queen’s birthday. The school is now graded “good” and inspectors praised “strong leadership that motivates staff and pupils to do their best”.

A confidential report on Clarksfield by Oldham council this month, seen by The Sunday Times, said O’Donnell had reported that she had been subjected to a long campaign involving “death threats”, “threats to blow up her car” and “aggressive verbal abuse”. She had even been physically attacked by one parent, the report said.

In 2013 a parent governor, Nasim Ashraf, hosted “Islamic teaching sessions” on school premises. His wife, Hafizan Zaman, ordered female staff to cover their heads. Ashraf, whose sister, Shasta Khan, is serving an eight-year sentence for her part in a plot to attack Jewish targets in Manchester, is friends on Facebook with Tahir Alam, who was named as the leader of the Birmingham Trojan Horse plot exposed two years ago.

The couple criticised the school for forcing their child to “worship the Hindu God”, according to the report, which turned out to mean that a song containing Hindi words had been played in a class. “Translation of the lyrics demonstrated that the content was not religious,” the report said.

It did not stop the pair lobbying local mosques to oust O’Donnell and organising 105 parents to petition against her. There is no suggestion that they were involved in the threats of violence.

Parents have complained the way she dresses is 'unsuitable' and that pictures of her daughters in her office are 'offensive'. 

O’Donnell was assaulted by one parent, Aatif Rafique, who was subsequently convicted for the attack. “I am certain he would have done much more had not other staff arrived on the scene,” she said in a chronology provided to the council.

Ashraf told The Sunday Times that he condemned terrorism, but added: “I would say the West is as bad as Isis. We are the terrorists here as well.”

He denied any plot and said he did want to “remove” O’Donnell, but “you don’t need back-door entryism to make a school better. You need to enhance people, empower people and push forward the ethos of morality.” He was no longer a governor at Clarksfield but said he knew Kausar, the new chair of governors, and discussed matters with her.

 Saima Kausar replaced the longstanding chairman Phil Coombe. According to the report she has made what O’Donnell said were “highly offensive” and “unsubstantiated” professional allegations against her,

Clarksfield isn't the only school causing concern. Horton Mill has recently hosted a dubious speaker (not named) who called for the killing of British troops. Oldham Academy North has donated money to an un-named organisation linked to extremists and has been investigated by Ofsted for failing to teach British values. 

 

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Posted on 02/19/2017 4:47 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 18 February 2017
Islam and the Propaganda War (Part II): The Debater’s Handbook
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

In Part I, I reviewed the propaganda war conducted by the American government during the Cold War, and lamented the lack of such a campaign against the forces of Jihad today. I discussed the need to reprint in full, and with a critical commentary appended, the Qur’an, and also to print intelligently abridged versions of the Hadith and Sira, again with critical commentaries appended, all for free mass distribution. I noted how important it was to have these works translated into a dozen of the major world languages and a half-dozen of the major languages of Islam, and to disseminate these texts not only through print publication (as was done during the Cold War), but also, and mainly, by posting them online, where they could be viewed by tens of millions of people. And I suggested reprinting another set of texts, by ex-Muslims such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq, able to offer from the inside a critical view of Islam’s curious appeal. I discussed the continuing problem of why this hadn’t yet been done, because governments are chary of paying for such campaigns, fearful of being charged with Islamophobia (look at the hysterical savaging of the Trump Administration over the so-called “Muslim ban”), and why, therefore, private parties now have to do what, in a more self-confident and less confused age, would be done, straightforwardly, by the government.

Another part of this privately-funded effort to undermine the appeal of Islam should be the training of a cadre of speakers well-prepared to take on, in a debate setting, the small army of Islamic apologists already deployed in this country: a cadre of well-trained people to whom we entrust the task of How To Debate A Muslim. The need for this training is great, given the widespread and systematic campaigns of Muslim apologists, especially on college campuses, and at mosques, where every week brings fresh news of outreach efforts to the non-Muslims who visit these mosques, mostly unwary innocents eager to Visit A Mosque, or Ask A Muslim Anything, or just Meet Their Muslim Neighbors, who will, of course, be just as accommodating and welcoming as all get-out.

These debaters willing to take upon themselves this important task, to attend these Mosque-and-Muslim Outreach affairs, not because they know nothing about Islam, but because they know a good deal, know perfectly well what is going on in this smilingly sinister meet-and-greet, and would like to upset the propaganda applecart before it become a juggernaut, deserve help. It may, for example, be useful for such people to have been given guidance as to which Qur’anic passages, especially those on violent Jihad and treatment of Infidels, are most telling in painting a true picture of Islam. Or a list of those Qur’anic quotes always relied on by apologists – as 2:256 and 5:32 and 109:1-6 – and how to answer them, might be supplied in advance. And then they might be given a short list of stories in the Hadith, about the very episodes in Muhammad’s life that Muslim apologists will most wish to avoid, and that can most effectively unsettle the Muslim speaker(s). And these stories will create unease, too, but of a different kind, among the non-Muslims visiting the mosque who are now confronted not with feelgood mental pabulum, but a real conflict, one that suggests all is not right with Islam. These Infidels will be hearing from this prepared cadre of anti-Islam speakers about aspects of Islam and of Muhammad that are rooted in the texts, cannot be convincingly explained away, and are deeply disturbing.

What is needed is something like a debater’s bootcamp, real or virtual, to supply those who want to prepare for such debates the most useful material (the Jihad passages in the Qur’an, the least attractive aspects of Muhammad’s life, from the Hadith and Sira) and to guide Infidels in how most effectively to marshal their arguments and evidence, so as not merely to hold one’s own against any apologist for Islam, but to demolish that apologist’s predictable defenses. This requires a basic knowledge of Islam, and an ability to deploy a few dozen passages from the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira, in a convincing and winning manner. Some knowledge of the history of Islamic conquest, and of what happened to the many peoples subjugated by Muslim conquerors — who was killed, who converted, and who survived under what onerous conditions – should also be learned, and made quickly retrievable from a Smartphone, for use in a debate. Imagine the effect, for example, of being able to quote the Indian historian K. S. Lal on the tens of millions of Hindus killed in India under Muslim rule. Anyone who has heard Muslims defending the faith knows that the apologists keep going back to the same handful of arguments (the supposed need to know Arabic, the necessity of understanding violence in its “context,” Muhammad as “empowering” women), keep quoting the same misleading verses – e.g., 2:56, 5:32 without 5:33 – and keep insisting, wrongly, that the most disturbing passages are descriptive rather than prescriptive, that is, they try to argue that the most violent of verses are limited to the time and place of their original application. Non-Muslims can anticipate which passages and off-the-rack arguments will be used, and should be ready to respond with their own stock of selected texts that show Islam in quite another light. The series of mock debates with someone taking the role of a Muslim defending the faith, and using the same arguments and evasions that real Muslims do, will help polish the debater’s presentation.

Let’s run through some of the standard Muslim claims. First, there is the attempt to disqualify non-Muslims from discussing the texts in the first place because “you have to know Arabic to really understand the Qur’an.” Your reply is ready in the form of an obvious question: “80% of the world’s Muslims are not Arabs; very few of them know Arabic; aren’t they real Muslims? Are you suggesting that they don’t understand the Qur’an?” For this there is no plausible retort. Next is the usual business about Islamic texts being taken “out of context.” The debater must be prepared to explain how and why many of those 109 “Jihad verses” are not descriptive, as is the violence in the Old Testament, but prescriptive, that is meant to be applicable for all time. As Robert Spencer has noted, there are no Christian and Jewish groups around the world plotting murder and mayhem based on Biblical texts, the way Muslim groups are doing, basing their terror squarely on chapter-and-verse in the Qur’an. Transcripts of their statements or, even better, videos, of Muslim terrorists citing Islamic texts as prompting their actions, could be brought to debates, to be played on a laptop or a larger screen, with the killers gleefully describing how those texts prompted their gruesome killings — difficult to explain, impossible to defend.

Then there are two Qur’anic passages that more than any others are constantly quoted by Defenders of the Faith, and for which any Debater should be prepared. The first is 5:32 without its modifying 5:33. 5:32 says that “whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.” This verse, lifted from the Jewish text of the Mishnah, sounds good. But it is the verse that immediately follows – 5:33 — that prescribes rather than proscribes killing, turning 5:32 upside down: “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.” Who “makes war upon Allah and His messenger”? It’s the non-Muslims, of course, and it is they who should be “killed or crucified.” Both Presidents Bush and Obama respectfully quoted 5:32 to show the pacific nature of Islam; neither quoted 5:33. Were they attempting to mislead the public, or was it that they themselves were misled by their advisers on Islam whom, I suspect, were Muslims themselves, happy to supply them with apposite quotes to show that “Islam-means-peace”?

The other Qur’anic passage always quoted by Muslim apologists is 2:256: “There is no compulsion in religion.” But of course in Islam there is “compulsion in religion.” The compulsion is both for Muslims and for non-Muslims. For Muslims, there is the fear that keeps those who might want to leave the faith from doing so, for apostasy is punishable by death. Is that constant threat of death not the most extreme sort of “compulsion”? As for non-Muslims under Muslim rule, the stark choice offered them is either to convert to Islam, or be killed, or remain alive but be forced to pay a burdensome capitation tax, the Jizyah, as well as endure certain other disabilities. Doesn’t that kind of choice constitute “compulsion in religion”? Either you convert, or you die, or you pay an annual tax that can be crushing. You should bring home to your audience what this means in practice. How many of us, if we had to pay, say, $50,000 a year to Muslim rulers in order to remain Christians or Jews, would not, over time, decide in the end to convert? Wasn’t this exactly what happened in the lands that Muslims conquered, where many converted to avoid the Jizyah? That takes care of 5:32 and 2:256.

There are also quotes from the Qur’an that Muslim apologists use, knowing full well that Infidels will misinterpret them. When Muhammad says in Qur’an 109:1-6, “For you is your religion and for us is our religion,” this sounds good to Infidels: we will leave each other alone. That, of course, is preposterous, as we know, because Islam is determined never to leave Infidels alone, not until they surrender and choose death, conversion, or life as a Jizyah-paying dhimmi. The commentators on Qur’an 109 have written this: “When read in context, like many other verses misinterpreted for apologetic purposes, surat al-Kafiroon advocates the opposite of what is sometimes claimed. This surah is not a proclamation on religious tolerance and freedom or a recognition of religious pluralism. In fact, this surah unequivocally forbids inter-faith dialogue, expresses Muslims’ ‘total disgust’ of non-Islamic beliefs and advocates an ‘us versus them’ mentality between Muslims and disbelievers. This is how the surah is understood by mainstream Islam and the majority of its classical and contemporary scholars. Furthermore, if the historical context were to be ignored, it would still remain an abrogated verse superseded by ‘the verses of fighting.’ The verse means that ‘for us (Muslims) our (true) religion, for you – all the Unbelievers, who share the same falsity of belief – your (false) religion.’”

Another principle that needs to be clearly understood by debaters and explained to audiences is that of naskh, or “abrogation.” There are many passages in the Qur’an that are inconsistent with one another, and Muslims are taught that it is the later verses that “abrogate” (“naskh” literally means “removal”) the earlier ones. Why does this matter so much? It turns out that the earlier verses, which date from Muhammad’s time in Mecca, when he still had powerful enemies, and therefore had to be more accommodating, are “softer” and more “peaceful” toward the Infidels. So it is precisely these verses that apologists for Islam will quote. The audience of Infidels will most likely be unaware that the later verses, which are much harsher than those from the Meccan period, are held to “abrogate” the earlier ones, and come from the period when he ruled the city of Medina (Yathrib), was much more powerful than he had been in Mecca, and could now afford to be more severe with his enemies. The prepared debater will come armed with this understanding, explain it to the audience, and offer some examples of such abrogation. For example, Qur’an 9:5, the Verse of the Sword (“Slay the idolaters wherever you find them”), is held by Muslims to have “abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolater, every treaty, and every term.” And once again we can undermine the Muslim apologist’s reliance on Qur’an 2:256 (“There is no compulsion in religion”) which, as we have seen, mischaracterizes reality under Islam (ignoring the would-be apostate’s death sentence and the non-Muslim’s duty to pay the Jizyah, both forms of “compulsion”), by noting that 2:256 is also an earlier verse held to have been abrogated by many later verses from the “Meccan” period. Just a few such examples will be enough to discomfit your Muslim opponent, and shake the audience’s trust in his assertions.

What else should the debater on Islam ideally be ready to discuss? He should be ready to ask about not only what is written in the Qur’an and Hadith, but how Islam has been practiced, that is, how Muslims have behaved over 1400 years, as they conquered many lands and subjugated many peoples.

In the question period you should start disingenuously:

“I’ve been studying the Qur’an on my own, and I just had a question or two.”

“Oh, very good. It’s always advisable to have a Muslim help guide you through the more difficult passages. It’s not all simple, some people have been known to misinterpret. Obviously those Islamic State crazies have been the worst misinterpreters of the texts. I wouldn’t even call them Muslims. By all means, fire away.” (The Muslim speaker is hoping that you haven’t come across any of those unpleasant passages, and just called into question, in advance, your own understanding of the text — “difficult passages” that “some people have been known to misinterpret” — just in case.)

“Well, there’s this one verse I read — Qur’an 98.6 — that calls disbelievers ‘the vilest of creatures.’ I don’t know what to think of that.”

“There are some other words you’ve left out. I think it says ‘some people may think Infidels are the vilest of creatures.’ There’s quite a difference there. Besides, I’m pretty sure that’s one of the passages that was abrogated. So it doesn’t apply any more.” (Pouring on the taqiyya)

“Well, I just want to know if it means that some Muslims thought at that time that we non-Muslims were ‘the vilest of creatures.’ Who are the ‘disbelievers’?”

“Oh, the ‘disbelievers’ are the pagans. Pagan Arabs. Nothing to do with Christians or Jews, so don’t worry about it. Unless of course you are a pagan Arab and the year is 630 A.D.” (Nervous laughter from Muslims in the audience)

“Well, are you sure ‘disbelievers’ doesn’t mean all non-Muslims? I read that somewhere. And there’s another verse that I wonder about – Qur’an 3.110 – that calls Muslims the ‘best of peoples.’ What should I think of that?”

“Well, that just goes to show how easy it is to misunderstand some of these verses. Remember, you don’t know the Arabic original. You don’t know the context. Tell me, do you think all the Muslims here tonight really believe that the people we invited and who accepted our invitations are the – how did you put it? – the “vilest of creatures”? Do you think that’s what I think of you? Of course not. Did you talk to a Muslim about these verses? Do you really think we Muslims think ‘we are the best of peoples’? That would be utter nonsense.. You know, these things shouldn’t always be taken literally. There are whole libraries of Qur’anic commentaries that need to be consulted. It’s not that simple.”

Don’t be dissuaded. Keep up the questions, despite the taqiyya. Ask about what happens to apostates in Islam, about why the Jiyzah must be paid, about what the Qur’an says about Muslims taking non-Muslims as friends. Ask about little Aisha, Asma bint Marwan, Abu Afak, the Khaybar raid, the decapitations of 600-900 prisoners of the Banu Qurayza. Just raising these topics will cause your speaker’s suave assurance to deliquesce into ill-concealed anger, which is the result you want.

Slavery is one subject to bring up as early as possible.

The back-and-forth might go something like this, beginning with your loaded question:

“Did Muhammad buy and sell slaves?”

“Yes. Almost everyone did it in those days.”

“Didn’t the Islamic slave trade begin earlier, end later, and claim tens of millions more victims, than the Atlantic slave trade?”

“I don’t know. That’s the first I’ve heard of that. I’ll have to check.”’

“Well, I’ve done some research on this, especially about the castrating, by Arab slavers, of black African boys in the bush, only 20% of whom survived both the operation, and the trip by slave coffle and dhow to the great Islamic slave markets. They were used as eunuchs. Just think – only 20% survived.” (Gasp from the audience)

(Deeply disturbed that you’ve been doing research) “Again, I’d like to check your facts. Of course, you know that Muhammad freed over 60 of his slaves. And he told his followers to treat their slaves kindly. He really was ahead of his time.” (A weak reply.)

“Yes, I’d read that. But he never attacked the institution of slavery. And if you want to check about the castration business, you might want to begin with a book I’ve just read — The Hideous Trade by Jan Hogedorn. That’s H-o-g-e-d-o-r-n. I hope you” – turning to audience – “will all have a chance to take a look.” (Sound of inputting into smartphones) “And one more thing — if Muhammad is the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct, doesn’t that mean that whatever he did, including owning slaves, is justified?”

“It’s complicated. I’m not sure why you keep coming back to this. Look, lots of people had slaves then, and no one has slaves today. So what’s your point? Can we go on to something else? I’d planned to talk about the things we can do together, as communities of faith– such as the Coat Drive for the Homeless. Raising funds to buy the hospital a new scanner.”

“I just want to be sure that I understand: because Muhammad owned slaves, slavery was legitimized in Islam. For all time. Isn’t that right? There was no anti-slavery movement in Islam, no Muslim William Wilberforce. Slavery continued to be legal in Saudi Arabia and Yemen until 1962, and was banned only because of terrific Western pressure. Black slaves were still held by Arabs in the northern Sudan until recently, and are held even now in Mauritania.” (Audible gasps, again, of surprise.)

“Well, again, I’d have to check your facts. I think you’re mixing up a lot of things. Apples and oranges. And what’s past is past.”

“Fine. Just google ‘slavery in the Arab world.’” (Many in the audience now input this.)

“I think we should get onto some other subject – we’ve used up enough time about something that doesn’t even exist any more. I mean, should I go to your president’s press conference and ask him about slavery?”

“Well, there is a difference, but let me ask another question. It’s about Aisha.” (Subdued fury in the face of your Muslim interlocutor.)

“Yes, she was Muhammad’s wife. They loved each other very much.”

“And how old was she when they married?”

“I don’t see what that has to do with Islam – I mean it’s not even in the Qur’an, or didn’t you know that? But of course they married – she was a young woman — only when she had reached puberty. Most of his wives were widows, whom he wanted to support.”

And then as the well-prepared debater, you let the taqiyya artist have it with both barrels. You announce that she was betrothed to Muhammad when she was six, and that he consummated his marriage – to be clear, Muhammad had sex with Aisha– when he was in his mid-50s and she was nine. (Gasps from many in the audience). And the main point you make is this: as Muslims regard Muhammad as the Perfect Man, the Model of Conduct, the True Believers continue to think it permissible to marry a girl as young as nine. They don’t “contextualize.” In other words, what happened 1400 years ago is still valid today.

“You’ve got your facts all wrong.”

“Do I? When Ayatollah Khomeini came to power, he lowered the marriageable age of girls to nine. Coincidence?”

“I don’t know what Khomeini did and I don’t care. He’s a Shi’a. If you want to find out what the Shi’a do, go to their meetings.” (Laughter from the audience). “I don’t know of a single Muslim country where a girl can be married at nine.”

“What about those photographs of child-brides in Afghanistan with their middle-aged husbands? Or in Pakistan? Anything to do with emulating Muhammad? And what about Saudi Arabia? How old does a girl have to be to get married there? There is no minimum age in Saudi Arabia.”

“I think what you are doing is pure Islamophobia, plain and simple. You don’t get any of your facts right. You didn’t come here to meet and talk with Muslims in good faith. You’re just here to make trouble. You should think about the others who came to learn about Islam.

“I’ll leave it to the audience to do their own research on Aisha. Just google ‘Aisha’ and ‘Muhammad.’” (Sounds of audience members inputting both names into smartphones)

Those two topics – the Arab slave trade and Muhammad’s marriage to little Aisha, should be quite enough to spoil your Muslim debater’s evening.

But if there is time for more, then you might ask about what happened, and why, to Asma bint Marwan and Abu Afak:

“One last question. Do you remember what Asma bint Marwan did?”

“She wrote terrible, vile, disrespectful verses.”

“And what happened to her?”

“She was punished for mocking. She made fun of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).”

“Made fun?”

“Yes. So one of the Muslims decided to punish her.”

“Oh really? It wasn’t just ‘punishment,’ was it? He decided to kill her, just because she made fun of someone.”

“Not just anyone. The Prophet Muhammad. It is not permitted to make fun of him. It is blasphemy. You would want to do the same if someone made fun of Jesus.” (Sounds of doubt from the audience).

“Actually, no. I might not like it, but I’d never want to kill someone for making fun of Jesus. People make fun of Jesus all the time, and many of us find it in bad taste, but no one is killed for that.”

“I don’t believe you. I don’t think Christians would allow Jesus to be mocked that way. And if they did, they wouldn’t be very good Christians to permit such disrespect. We Muslims would never allow anyone to blaspheme the Prophet (pbuh).”

“Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is a failure to communicate.”

“Can we please get onto something more important”?

“I think Muhammad’s marrying a nine-year-old is serious. I think Muhammad’s taking pleasure in someone’s murder is serious.” Point, set, match.

Such discussions need not be formally requested by non-Muslims, as part of Mosque Open Houses, or Meet-Your-Muslim-Neighbors events. In the question period that will follow the presentation by a Muslim speaker, you can turn it into a real debate merely by asking probing questions on the most sensitive matters. Ask about apostates in Islam, about why the Jiyzah must be paid, about what the Qur’an says about Muslims taking non-Muslims as friends. Ask about Aisha, Asma bint Marwan, Abu Afak, the Khaybar raid, the decapitations of 600-900 prisoners of the Banu Qurayza. Just raising these topics will cause your speaker’s mask to fall and his suave assurance to decompose into ill-concealed anger.

“Are you done? I think we all see where you are coming from. Believe me, I’ll be happy to talk to you about this for as long as you like, but I really don’t think it fair to take up everybody’s time when they came to learn the really important things about Islam. For example, how many people know that we Muslims respect Jesus as a prophet? Or that we revere Mary as the greatest of all women? Do you know – do you even care – that Mary is mentioned 70 times in the Qur’an, which is more than she is mentioned in the New Testament? No, I didn’t think so. But despite what you’ve attempted here tonight, I will be happy to meet with you and discuss the things on which we can agree or at least agree to disagree. Just make an appointment and we can discuss these things, but, as we Muslims prefer, in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Enough Islamophobia. Remember, we are all children of Allah. Fortunately, given the terrible things we’ve seen recently – that unbelievably cruel ban on Muslims, which none of us ever expected to see in our country – I’m not surprised that so many of my Christian and Jewish friends have told me ‘we are all Muslims now.’ We are deeply grateful to all of you for your support and for coming here tonight. And I’d love to continue the discussion. But right now, we don’t want the dinner Mrs. Al-Bazzazz has laid out for us to get cold. So let’s not keep her waiting.”

Sound of people getting up from their seats, hastening to a table laden with curried chicken, lamb kebabs, basmati rice, hot pita bread, baklava, fruit juices and water. Everyone has moved on from the Qur’an, the Hadith, slavery, Aisha, Asma bint Marwan.

This interchange, or one very like it, ought to be easy to arrange at Mosque Open Houses and Meet-Your-Muslim-Neighbors nights. All you must do is have at the ready on your smartphone a few dozen Qur’anic quotes and a few dozen Hadith, and a willingness to speak out, to enable you to disrupt the proceedings from going as the Muslim hosts had planned.

Given crowd psychology, it might be good to go with a friend or two, also well-prepared, and able both to support your questioning or, should you be silenced, to pick up the baton and ask the questions you did not get to ask. A single critical questioner may be depicted by annoyed Muslims as a lonely crank, but two or three people echoing one another’s dissents can, under the circumstances, constitute a multitude. Your aim is to cause visible anxiety to the Muslim speaker, to rattle him, to make the audience begin to question the sanitized version of Islam he was hoping to present to his audience without any cross-questioning. The less the visiting Infidels know, the better for him and his scripted bonhomie. Your job is to make that audience, simply by showing that you do know something about Islam that has not been part of the smooth presentation they’ve just been given, to start to mistrust the taqiyya-artist. The truth is on your side and, ideally, if unafraid to give offense, you will both unsettle the speaker and send your fellow Infidels home, not necessarily on your side, but at least no longer certain what to think, and determined to look up some of the passages, from the Qur’an and Hadith, that you mentioned for their benefit. And if thousands of skilled debaters become involved, spreading uncertainty about Islam among Infidels who had previously been perceived as easy prey by Muslim propagandists, this can throw a spanner in the works of those apologists who are now lying in smiling, because unopposed, wait, in mosques all over this country. That would constitute a victory.

First published in Jihad Watch.

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Posted on 02/18/2017 8:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 18 February 2017
From TV drama to the news media, the prime-time programming of Western decline
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by Conrad Black

Last Monday I had a most enjoyable dinner with two men that have been friends since we all met at high school in Toronto in 1960. We have met intermittently ever since those days and it is always very agreeable. This time, we were advised in advance by the now foreign participant in these reunions (he divides his time between Los Angeles and Shanghai), that he wished to discuss how we can make our seventies the best decade of our lives. After pleasantries, he started out by saying he had had a spontaneous moment of decision about six months ago when he came home in Los Angeles, and, alone in the house as his wife and young children live in Shanghai, plunked himself down in front of his television set. After two hours of watching a reality program about creditors repossessing cars and houses from the debt-ridden, he suddenly stood up as if propelled from his chair by a secret force, strode to the television set, and ripped the cable box and television wires out of their sockets, and picked up a book and started reading. He has not watched television since, and although he has never been one of these people in the habit of self-improvement efforts, he has been pursuing an ambitious program of reading weighty books.

I told him it reminded me slightly of Robert Maynard Hutchins’ program of great books, which he championed so fervently at the University of Chicago, he banned football at that university in the thirties to encourage undergraduates to immerse themselves in the writings of great authors and philosophers. (The program was not judged a success.) Our friend is less fervent but he did make the point that he now considered 95 per cent of television unwatchable, and deeply regretted that he had squandered years of his life in the mindless wasteland of television-watching. The other triumvir at the dinner, who has spent most of his career as a distinguished television news reader and commentator, said that almost the only television he could endure apart from the odd news program was Turner Classic Movies. Of course they are both right. From time to time I have gone all the way through the available channels, about a thousand of them, and apart from old movies, some of these elaborate special series like Homeland and Breaking Bad, a few documentaries, and some music on straight sound channels, it is the most unutterable rubbish imaginable, with an average of program quality inferior to what we had with an antenna on the roof and six channels at the time the three of us had first met.

This process of dumbing down has afflicted education very severely also. We are all scandalized at how ignorant of almost everything most secondary school graduates and many holders of undergraduate degrees are. As increasing mountains of public money have been poured into education, the quality of it has deteriorated. This is one of the ironies of capital; when almost any human product or activity is commoditized and concentrated, the results, in government programs and even in the lives of apparent beneficiaries, is often negative. President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs promised to eradicate poverty, but they destroyed the African-American family instead, by replacing the bread-winner with the state and incentivizing procreation outside any family structure. It was one of the celebrated ironies of the Seventies that the allegedly wealthiest man in the world, Howard Hughes, died of malnutrition.

Television provides a good barometer for what has happened: great spectacles, nature and scientific documentaries, and elaborate serial dramas have improved beyond what could have been foreseen, but quality of news and comment, and commonplace programming, has eroded abysmally from the days of the serious American network newscasts and the Honeymooners (Jackie Gleason), Phil Silvers’ portrayal of Sgt. Bilko on the Phil Silver Show, and even Father Knows Best (Robert Young). On the other hand, it has at least become seriously international. We can sit in our homes and get the television of many countries if we pay for enough cable, or are aggressive enough on the Internet or with dishes.

And I had another reminder of how television has evolved but some attitudes have sluggishly persisted this week, when, for the first time, I appeared on Russian television. It was a 30-minute live to tape interview, no editing. The interviewer was polite, but insistent still on propagandistic questions that smacked of the defensive, bristling discourse of the few Russian spokespeople who were adequately competent in English and steeped in the fraudulence of the Soviet Communist line to be let loose on Western television during the Cold War. She kept questioning me about the political atmosphere in the United States under the new administration.   

I laboriously explained that this is politics; the new president was running against the entire leadership of the country and that battle was still going on; his opponents had had no argument based on their own virtue but plenty of ammunition to fire at the challenger and he returned the fire. It was acrimonious, but, I said, trying to avoid condescension, that happened in democracies. The interviewer, a disenthralled, heavily accented voice, speaking from Moscow while I faced a camera with no monitor and a blank wall behind me, didn’t claim to know anything about democracy, but kept harping on divisions in America and purported to believe that there could be a revolution in that country.

I tried different ways to explain to her that not one American in a hundred wanted the overthrow of the government. It was hopeless. The discord was deafening, she said, and it is a country where everyone has firearms. In vain did I point out that practically all Americans believed in their Constitution, which had served the country and enjoyed its fidelity for 228 years, that there had never been any attempt to overthrow the government; even when the Southern states attempted to secede, they didn’t try to disturb the government of the Union.           

She wasn’t having it; mobs could storm the Capitol and the White House any night. I reminded her that the security of the main federal buildings was in the hands of the first division of the U.S. Marines, which would have no difficulty dispersing the entire adult civilian population of metropolitan Washington armed with their guns if there were any need for it. Then she played her ace: Egypt appeared to be stable until suddenly its long-serving leader was sent packing. I gamely replied that Egypt had stagnated for nearly 2,000 years after the Ptolemies and when it crumbled out of the Ottoman Empire, had a corrupt monarchy followed by a series of undemocratically selected generals who had no idea how to generate economic growth, and that if she were confusing the political science of Egypt with the U.S.A., we might as well talk about goldfish.

Polls show that 75 per cent of Americans mistrust the media and are right to do so; but it was slightly reassuring to note that we still have some distance to descend in media truthfulness and professionalism to achieve the norms of post-totalitarian Russia. But it is also dissatisfying to reflect that when my friends and I were in high school, Western media was more responsible than it is now, and Russian media and Russian media perspectives more slanted and fictionalized, and that the Russians are at least as open to dissenting opinion than most of the West. In that sense, they are gaining on us.

While waiting for the Russian interview to begin, I noted on the green room television that Le Monde is providing an app to screen out “fake news from normally reliable sources.” It could have a wide application.        

First published in the National Post.

 

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Posted on 02/18/2017 7:53 AM by Conrad Black
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