Why should you be interested in the French presidential campaign? Because it might as well be going on next door to you. We are facing the same major challenges in a similar state of confusion. The differences are circumstantial, the stakes are the same. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberté, égalité, fraternité. Our freedom is on the line.
Besides, this cliffhanging French campaign is a fascinating mixture of Shakespeare, Greek tragedy, soap opera, and courtly intrigues.
First, a brief summary of the overall situation: The incumbent Socialist president, François Hollande, didn't dare run for reelection. His 5 year-term has been a disaster, the Socialist party is in a shambles, the winner of the (Belle Alliance Populaire) primary, Benoît Hamon, is a Kinder Surprise with goodies for all the small people paid for by the Big Bad Rich. He has no chance of getting to the 2nd round. ID: Socialist
The callow 38 year-old Emmanuel Macron, generally assumed to make it past the first round (April 23) to confront and defeat Marine Le Pen in the second round (May 7), is running on a vacuous Somewhat Right Somewhat Left platform. How did the fabulously unpopular François Hollande manage to place his alter ego in pole position while standing aside in studied absence as the cream of the Socialist party boards Macron's cruise ship? ID: En Marche
François Fillon, who served for five years as Nicolas Sarkozy's prime minister, came out of the Primaries (Right and Center-Right) with a strong mandate, upsetting the media's favorite Alain Juppé, and polling above Macron and Le Pen. Then, out of the blue, Fillon was hit with a sensational smear campaign and a judicial ton of bricks that would have crushed a weaker constitution. The character assassination putsch against Fillon is the centerpiece of an extraordinarily dramatic campaign. It will be treated briefly below and more amply in Part 2 of this ongoing series. Fillon's platform is built on a Thatcherite revolution aimed at releasing France from decades of stagnation and double digit unemployment, and a resolute combat against Islamic Totalitarianism at home and abroad. ID: Les Républicains.
And then there is Marine Le Pen. ID: Front National
The top issue on the list of voter preoccupations in February, whether expressed directly or indirectly, was Islam. They wanted to know where candidates stood on the question. Would it be sweet submission or tough resistance? Instead of the issue-based campaign they clearly wanted, voters have been dragged into the quicksand of moralizing purification-aimed at eliminating François Fillon-and thrown a lifesaver attached to the gossamer rope of the Little Prince Emmanuel Macron.
The one thing we cannot know before the 7th of May is the name of the winner. We don't even know which of the current frontrunners-Le Pen, Macron, Fillon- will make it to the second round. Despite constant reminders of recent prediction flops, commentators are hooked on the fortune-teller syndrome. They watch Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron peddle uphill and careen around hairpin curves as if it were the Tour de France. Last week the media thought they had pushed François Fillon over a cliff and into the abyss, but he held firm. He's only a few points behind the other two...in the polls, that is. Big Data Analysis gives a different picture, substantially more favorable to Fillon. But that's not the media's storyline...
So what about Marine Le Pen? Isn't she the fourth act of the Trump/ Brexit/ Wilders divine surprises?
Marine Le Pen's reputation as The Anti-Islamization Candidate goes back to the early 2000s, when she forcefully expressed the exasperation of the lower classes that were bearing the brunt of Islamic encroachment on French society. Immediately branded as xenophobe, Islamophobe, and racist she turned the disapproval into an advantage, gathered steam, and racked up a series of impressive electoral results. The Front National went from pariah to legitimate party. And Le Pen was handed ownership of anything that could be deemed hostile to Islam. Whenever a politician takes a stand on issues of immigration, Islam, law and order, or homegrown jihadis, he is accused of leaning to the far right, picking issues off the National Front's plate, disgracing himself...
Foreign media have generally relayed this caricature, fueling widespread ignorance of other aspects of Marie Le Pen's program and her embryonic party's structural weaknesses.
Desperate to burnish her foreign policy credentials, Le Pen found no better destination than Lebanon. She opted out of an audience with the Mufti, by refusing to wear a veil. This put her head and shoulders above the Swedish ladies wrapped in hijab that had paraded in front of Iranian president Rohani as if they were merchandise at a slave market. She did not, however, veil her defense of Bashir al Assad, "the only solution for Syria," or dissimulate her good relations with Michel Aoun, the Christian outsider that became an insider by making an alliance with Hezbullah. Madame Le Pen graciously suggested she might exempt French-Lebanese from her promised ban on extra-European dual nationality. How about French-Israelis? Hardly! Marine Le Pen wants French Jews to sacrifice the kippa in support of an across the board prohibition of religious garb in public. Her envoy, Nicholas Bay, was snubbed during a recent foray into Israel. The presidential candidate herself did not get any further than the Trump Tower coffee shop on a "recreational" weekend in New York.
The European Union accuses National Front eurodeputies of fraudulent use of EU parliamentary assistant salaries for a total of close to a million euros. Frédéric Chatillon is under investigation for tricky: campaign financing, Marine Le Pen is accused of faulty financial declarations, her cabinet chief is also under investigation and that's just the tip of an iceberg that has virtually no effect on her faithful supporters. Nevertheless, the sudden flurry of activity on cases that have dragged on for years is questionable. As is the absence of coverage of the party's unsavory dealings with neo-Nazis and Islamic Jew haters.
Under Marine Le Pen's leadership, emphasis has been subtly shifting the from Islam to the economy, with a French brand of national socialism: restored sovereignty, protected borders, increased welfare benefits and jobs for the French-French, zero immigration, law & order at home, no foreign entanglements abroad. Her rhetoric is anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-globalization and, of course anti-EU. She promises a referendum to get France out of the EU and the Eurozone; if voters choose to remain, she will resign.
Sloppy comparisons with the unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. ignore the fact that Trump was able to hitch the Republican Party to his runaway wagon; Marine Le Pen rules over a heteroclite skeleton party that can't be fleshed out by alliances-all the other parties are devils in FN theology. If she does make it to the second round, she has virtually no chance of winning and no hopes of forming an operational government. The idea that hordes of politicians from the Parliamentary right would pour into her administration is far-fetched.
Emmanuel Macron is a former banker (Banque Rothschild) who served as François Hollande's Minister of the Economy while freelancing as the founder of En Marche [On the go], a movement that wears his initials like a signet ring. Never before elected to public office, Macron teased his movement into a presidential election machine. He is now jockeying with François Fillon for 2nd position... the polls again. In a cheap version of Richard the Something, Macron made an end run around Manuel Valls, who remained the faithful Prime Minister while Hollande delayed announcing he wouldn't run for reelection. Subsequently defeated in the primaries, Valls stands back while Socialists big and small go over to Macron. I expect François Hollande will join them at the opportune moment.
Macron is the feel good candidate. Just enough labor reform to look modern, a heavy dose of welfare to reassure the weak and make the strong feel generous. He talks high tech, floats a few inches above the ground, throws out ideas like flowers to lovely maidens, does Black is Beautiful photo-ops and makes affirmative action commitments in the banlieue, visits a police station to show he knows people want security, and declares, in Algeria, that the French colonization was a "crime against humanity." That was followed by a rally in a Front National stronghold with a large population of "pieds noirs," former French residents of Algeria, where he unashamedly declared "Because I want to be president, I hear you, I love you." (borrowed from Général de Gaulle). Macron ruffled feathers with a hymn to multiculturalism: "There is no French culture, there is a culture in France." That was followed by a long-winded exposé of his "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" project for France.
On his way back from Algeria, the startup candidate stopped in London where he addressed an enthusiastic crowd of expats. In a shocking feat of erroneous reporting, The Guardian turned Macron's Algerian bomb into a modest statement that "human rights abuses" were committed during the colonization of Algeria. No, my friends, he said "crime against humanity." We heard elsewhere that the British government was not pleased by Macron's invitation-extended in front of 10 Downing Street-to bankers, engineers, scientists, and other desirables fleeing the Brexited UK to settle in France.
February 22: 4-time defeated presidential candidate François Bayrou solemnly declared: "l'heure est grave" [the situation is serious]. The long-winded, pedantic, moralizing politician-professor performed a public act of abnegation-he wouldn't be running for president-and heroically offered an alliance with Emmanuel Macron. Who immediately accepted. Bayrou maintains his hallmark pose of disinterested superiority: He never seeks fame, fortune, power or prerogatives. His mission is to save the nation from electing someone other than himself or a candidate he has sanctioned. Will he be an addition or a subtraction to Macron's campaign? I wouldn't be surprised to see him pull out before mid-April. But I might be wrong.
We can safely assume that François Fillon has not been accused of corruption at any point in his 36-year political career; if he had been, we would be hearing about it from morning to night. Tragically, Fillon stood straight and tall on his clean reputation in the primary campaign, going so far as to ask, rhetorically, "Could we imagine Général de Gaulle mise en examen (under investigation)? This was an obvious poke at his rival Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been repeatedly mise en examen since François Hollande took office. No matter that all the cases ended in acquittal, mise en examen has come to mean "presumed guilty." When the scandal, maliciously labeled "Penelopegate," broke in February, Fillon was so certain of his innocence that he said he would drop out of the race if he were mise en examen.
The opening shot was sensational: "Penelope Fillon earned 500,000 euros for doing nothing." Zionists are familiar with this type of operation. Nothing that is said or done afterward will erase the initial shock effect. François Fillon's lawyer, Antonin Levy (the son of the famous philosopher and activist Bernard Henri Levy), says he has filed more than 600 pages of evidence of madame Fillon's effective assistance to her husband, why should anyone believe him? The story gets the post-modern treatment of verification by repetition.
Fillon's platform and the relentless effort to keep him from reaching the second round, where he might defeat Le Pen or Macron, will be explored in depth in Part 2.
The outgoing Prime Minister and Interior Minister made a brief statement to the press shortly after the thwarted attack at Orly airport this morning. The assailant, they said, tried to grab the Famas assault rifle from a (female) aviator on patrol. But she held onto it. This was repeated several times. He couldn't get the gun, but he was a danger to her and the passengers. He was shot dead by a fellow Air Force man in the patrol. A few hours later a photo of the dead assailant was published. The gun is lying across his chest.
Why Is Political Islam in Sudan supported by Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia?
by Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah
Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser of Qatar with Sudan President Omar Bashir Khartoum,
March 12, 2017
The Political Islam system in the Sudan spearheaded by the National Congress Party regime is supported by the State of Qatar. The relationship is contributing to growing Islamic extremist groups and international terrorism in the world. Some Salafi movement leaders in Khartoum openly support ISIS; some Sudanese college students are already fighting for Jihad in Libya and Syria. Sudan’s geographical location and the ruling elite’s historical ties with Middle East nations have been the main reasons allowing the Khartoum regime to support global extremism in both ideology and fighting for Jihad without been stopped.
Those countries fighting in the global war against terrorism failed to understand how Sudan’s Muslim Brotherhood/National Congress Party (NCP) regime functions. The regime is telling the international community one thing and doing something else. For instance, the four Sudanese who killed John Granville, the American who was working in the USAID in Khartoum and his Sudanese driver Abdelrhaman Abass in 2008 were convicted to life sentences. However, the Sudan regime declared that they escaped from prison. These men were convicted to deceive the American government that the Sudan regime was not behind the assassination. The regime convicted the men to mislead both the US government authorities and the victims’ families that justice had been done. In reality, the Sudan regime released the prisoners under the pretext that they escaped from prison and sent them to fight as part of al Qaeda in Somalia and later to join the Islamic State and fight for ISIS in Libya.
The rise of the Islamic movements in Sudan started in early 1930s. The Sudanese society is characterized by a geographic diversity reflected in its multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious populations. However, the Islamic movements ignored these facts and formed a government based its ideology on sectarian parties, tribalism, and religious extremism that excluded the majority of the Sudan’s population from their basic rights of citizenship. This exclusion has caused Sudan’s perpetual crisis that resulted in an endless civil war that subjugated the population of the country.
Throughout the history of Sudan, the successive regimes have been using the same vicious slogans: “Sudan is an Arab land, Defending Islam, Spreading Islam in Africa, Defending the Palestine Cause, and Defending Arabism.” Using these themes, successive regimes that ruled Sudan able to convince and at times mislead the Middle East nations to secure political, moral, material, and financial support.
It is in the context of this strategy that the NCP regime in Khartoum obtained financial support from Gulf States, because they ignored the majority non-Arab Sudanese people seeing the Sudan as an Arab country; constructing an Islamic Arab state and defending the Arab cause against Africanism, imperialism (America), and Zionism (State of Israel). Such belief is an important part of their political, religious, and social cohesion that generates funding to finance all forms of terrorism not only in the Sudan but also in the African Sahel region and the world. Those countries combating the global war on terrorism should understand these facts. They should deal with Bashir’s regime committing genocidal war crimes and crimes against humanity against the people of Darfur, Blue Nile and Kordofan.
The NCP regime’s ultimate goal is not to bring peace, stability, justice and the rule of law. Rather it is to spread radical Islamic ideology eventually establishing a Caliphate in the Sudan at the expense of destroying the entire people in the country’s conflict regions through the use of violence to intimidate its opponents. This regime has the habit of forming false alliances to resolve most crises. It also uses racial, ethnic, and tribalism to divide the people and deal with each group separately. The NCP government also uses religion as the word of God to frighten and control people. It uses deception, fomenting and financing of tribal conflicts, use of propaganda through its controlled media, forming alliances with under privileged groups. It uses state funds to bribe opponents to obtain their support consequently weakening them prior to their destruction. The NCP has not limited itself to the use of these tactics. It has also created Islamic institutions that functions within and outside its government to advance its Islamic extremist ideological vision in the world. These organizations include but not limited to:
-Leadership Bureau of the National Congress Party. This is where all the powers of the NCP reside. All higher decisions emanate from this office. For example, appointment of executive positions such as ministers, ambassadors, governors, senior military commanders.
-Islamic Movement (IM). The IM was created to serve as a political base for the NCP. IM unites domestic and international radical Islamist groups under its umbrella. It provides them with ideological guidance seeking to apply Islamic Sharia law to the entire world.
-Islamic Da’wa organization (IDO). The IDO is a Sudanese Islamic NGO founded in 1992 and designated to work in Africa. The organization is supported and funded by Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf States. IDO is a member of the International Islamic Council for Da’wa and Relief (IICDR). The IICDR is an umbrella of over 100 Islamic organizations most of them associated with Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and Hamas. These organizations provide political guidance, ideology, recruitment, and funding for all Islamic Salafi movements in the world. IDO is headed by retired Field Marshal and former President of the Sudan Abderhaman Siwar al Dhahab. He is also the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Union of Good (UOG) member organization. The UOG is designated by the US Department of the Treasury as a terrorist organization providing financial assistance to Hamas.
-International University of Africa (IUA). The IUA is a public university located in Khartoum and like any other educational institution, has many faculties. However, it concentrates on two subjects: (1) Islamic Shariah and (2) Islamic studies. This institution is designed to train preachers and educate young African Muslims indoctrinating them with the Salafist view of Islam. The IUA University becomes an important Islamic center for Sub-Sahara Africa educating people in Islamic extremist ideology.
International University of Africa
Through these organizations the Sudan government and Gulf States are engaged in spreading extremist Islamic ideology contributing to global extremism. If we look a few years back, we see al Qaeda was present only in small areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Today we see Jihads all over the world and they are developing rapidly. We are regularly receiving information that Sudan and Qatar are providing financial and military assistance to Islamic militants in Libya, Mali, and possibly to Boko Harm in Nigeria.
Despite US Government placing financial restrictions to Sudan, Saudi Arabian government regularly donates money to the Sudan regime. Saudi Arabia gave Sudan $1billion in July and August 2015. These funds were given in the form of loans or investments. Recently, the Sudanese authorities mentioned that they expect to receive $4 billion following Khartoum’s decision to join the Saudi-led military coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The flow of money from Saudi Arabia to the Muslim Brotherhood regime in the Sudan contributes to financing Global Jihad.
The IM, IDO, IICDR, and UOG organizations collect funds not only from the oil rich Gulf States but from companies, businessmen, Princes, Sheiks, traders, and ordinary people. These people give donations not for the purpose of supporting terrorism but for the goal of either advancing Pan-Arabism or supporting Islam. Most of these people do not care about what the result of their donation bring; they just give for the purpose of advancing Islam or Arabism.
Sudan President Omar Bashir’s trip to South Africa in violation of the outstanding International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest was settled by the Emir of Dubai. He paid one hundred million dollars to the South African government within the week following the incident. The Emir travelled to South Africa and settled the deal. Why did the Emir pay this money? The Emir paid the money simply because he has business interest in Sudan and was defending Pan Arabism.
Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser, royal consort of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, visited Sudan on March 12, 2017. She was welcomed by the first lady of Sudan Widad Babiker. She met with President Bashir and discussed development projects for Sudan. The Sheikha also visited North Kordofan State to meet with the notorious Janjaweed leader Ahmed Harun who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court but is still at large. In order to draw away the international community attention Sheikha Mozah visited pyramids in Merowe, Sudan’s historic City in which Qatar and Sudan have joint Archeological projects.
The Sudan government obtains from the Arab League and the oil rich Gulf States through official and nonofficial channels. In 2007 and 2008, the Arab League gave the Sudan government over $500 million in the name of development in Darfur. Sheik Moza who visited Khartoum on March 12, 2017 donated $200 million dollars to Bashir to recruit and train more Janjaweed militias. These funds will be used to finance terrorists and recruit Janjaweed to kill the indigenous people of Darfur, Blue Nile and Kordofan. Even though the money comes in the name of development, they used to recruit, train, and arm Janjaweed militias to kill the people of Darfur. The wealthy oil rich Gulf Emirates, especially Qatar, provide Sudan funding in the name of development projects while secretly working to establish an all Arab Caliphate in Darfur and African Sahel region.
Following the visit of the Qatari State Minister in Darfur, he promised to fund 17 development projects in Darfur. Since the signing of the Darfur Doha agreement both Qatar and Sudan spoke of developments in Darfur. Last July Chairman Tijani Sisi of the Darfur Regional Authority mentioned that his organization realized 1800 projects in Darfur. It’s easy to say in words but the fact is that over 3 million people of Darfur are living in internally displaced persons and refugee’s camps. Where are the 1800 projects that Chairman Sisi is talking of that he and his group realized? Where is this large number of projects that could not be seen in Darfur? The truth is that there are no projects in Darfur other than recruiting and training of Janjaweed and terrorists to kill innocent people.
The fact is that the Sudan government recruited and trained 34,000 Arab Janjaweed militias funded by State of Qatar. These Arab tribal militias are currently prepared to secure new settlement projects (construction of villages and digging of water pumps for new Arab settlers) in North Darfur. As I am writing this report, they deployed over 100 armed Toyota Pickup trucks of Rapid Support Forces to provide security protection to dig these water pumps at Wadi Azerk in Wadi Hawar, North Darfur. Their plan is to create 1,200 new Janjaweed villages in the area north of Kutum adjacent to the borders of Libya. Villagers in Disah, North Darfur were told to abandon their villages and move to the IDP camps or to the cities because next year they will not be allowed to cultivate their land. They said that area north of Kutum to the border of Libya is designated for Arab Janjaweed animal husbandry.
Sheikha Mozah with innocent school children of North Kordofan March 13, 2017
The Sudan government is contributing to the growing global Islamic extremist ideology and Jihadism. Eliminating this regime is a necessary requirement for peace. Its removal from Khartoum would greatly reduce the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism in the world. This would eliminate the system of sectarian parties, tribalism, and religious discrimination that successive regimes use to divide and rule Sudanese society. Regime change in Khartoum would call for creation of a secular and Sudanese identity transcending tribal and religious boundaries emphasizing equality and justice for its entire people.
Norwegian Muslim umbrella organisation Islamic Council Norway has been criticised for hiring a woman who wears the full face-covering niqab as a communications officer. The appointment of 32-year-old Leyla Hasic as an administrative consultant by Islamic Council Norway (Islamsk Råd Norge, IRN) comes soon after the Ministry of Culture (Kulturdepartementet) granted almost half a million kroner ($58 million) to help the organisation with initiatives aimed at improving dialogue between Muslim communities and the rest of society, reports news media Klassekampen.
Minister for Culture Linda Hofsted Helleland called the move “extremely ill-advised” and members of other parties have also voiced their concern about the appointment. Minister for Culture Helleland wrote in a Facebook post that the appointment by the council would “create distance and less understanding. . . But here it is important to take a stand!,"
Norway’s government showed its opposition to the niqab last autumn when a majority of parties on both sides of parliament supported a ban on the face-covering garment in schools.A ban is likely to be in place later this year.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg has also showed her personal disapproval. In October 2016 the PM said that she would not employ anyone wearing the niqab. “I believe we must be able to see each other’s faces in the workplace,” Solberg told NRK at the time.
The health-care-reform fiasco illustrates perfectly why the United States has been an ineffectual, gridlocked failure at legislative self-government for over 20 years. It is not only not a system with two parties ready to govern; it is not a system with one party ready to govern. The Cruz Right took 30 percent of the vote in the Republican primaries and the Sanders Left took almost 50 percent of the vote in the Democratic primaries. The Clinton-Obama Democrats are chasing pathetically after the itinerant base of their party as it has scurried to the left like a frightened lobster, and the Republican Right has cooled down to some degree, but shows no disposition to take one for the team. There is little point in assessing blame for how the Trump administration and the Democratic congressional leadership have reached such a lamentable state of vituperative hostility, but deescalating it will take time, work, and a will that is not now visible.
This crisis has been a long time ripening. George H. W. Bush inherited from Ronald Reagan a strong party, a reasonably serene Congress, and a happy country victorious in the Cold War, but he raised taxes and allowed the charlatan Ross Perot to steal enough Republicans to elect Bill Clinton. Clinton was adequately competent (as Bush had been), but lost the Congress after the first health-care fiasco, and was amused the rest of his term being a naughty, southern, corn-fed boy; and there was no consensus for anything except welfare reform. George W. Bush counter-attacked international terrorism well but mired the country in ill-considered wars and compounded Clinton’s inflation of the housing bubble until the worst international financial crisis since the 1930s erupted underneath him. Barack Obama came in on a wave of goodwill and national (well-deserved) self-congratulation for having elected a non-white president, but he was far to the left of the country, lost control of the Congress after the second health-care fiasco, and the rest was an anti-climax of chronic deficits, militant political correctness, and feckless foreign policy. The media soft-pedaled the president’s ineptitude and the country wanted to like him for esoteric reasons, but two-thirds of the people thought the country was headed in the wrong direction. It was.
Donald Trump ran against all those whom he held responsible for the terrible policy failures of 20 years. The litany is familiar, including the matters just cited along with increasing domestic violence, a shrinking work force, inaction in the face of about 12 million illegal immigrants, and a syncopated lurching in foreign policy that never elaborated a consistent objective apart from opposition to terrorism, though with fluctuating determination. Since he ran against all factions of both parties and almost all the national media, only a mighty landslide of personal support such as FDR received in 1932 or LBJ in 1964, and to a degree Ronald Reagan in 1980, was going to enable him to put his whole radical and overloaded agenda through. The country has a regime pledged to change course radically in many policy areas and a mandate to do that, but the replacement policies are a matter of sharp debate between Republican factions. In the climate created by the nastiest campaign in recent history, and one in which the honesty of the media was a legitimate issue, followed by the greatest electoral upset at least since 1948, coalitions will have to be assembled gradually and from different pieces, issue by issue. Most of us who do not know the congressional personalities had no alternative but to assume and hope that Speaker Ryan and the president’s congressional liaison and the able Health and Human Services secretary, former congressman Tom Price, could count the noses correctly in putting their bill together, to get it to the Senate, where the greater contest was expected. Our confidence was misplaced.
There must be a consensus, even within the U.S. Capitol, that the United States simply has to get its system working and become governable again. Everyone there knows that the Republicans won and that the Clinton, Obama, and Bush eminences were rejected amid widespread public discontent with decades of misgovernment. The argument in democratic politics is always whether the center is a position of strength or weakness, and that depends on whether it can push the Right and Left off to the shoulders, which in these circumstances means crowding over 40 percent of last year’s primary voters off to the sides, unless large numbers can be induced to succumb to the grace of conversion. Donald Trump is not everyone’s idea of a centrist, but in this crowded scene, he is the only prominent candidate for that honor that we have. Logically, the Clinton faction of Democrats could be amenable to join forces with the administration on some issues, especially if the tendency to criminalize policy differences, a deadly contagion that began with Watergate and is now more rabidly transmitted than ever, does not lead to a resurrection of the legal soft points of the Clintons. The FBI director, James Comey, is severely compromised and has no credibility with anyone, but getting rid of him now would be more trouble than it’s worth.
The president is right not to condemn the Freedom Caucus, but not because their conduct is very distinguished. They are mainly invulnerable electorally and evince the same irreconcilable, mindless dogmatism of many otherwise-intelligent conservative commentators now reduced to declaring the president unfit, for psychiatric reasons, to hold the office to which the country has elected him. But Trump will need the Freedom Caucus and can tailor some projects to attract their support, starting with the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch. That development should assure the eventual reassertion of the president’s constitutional right to control immigration. Eventually, the Democrats will have to abandon their effort to pretend they can impeach Trump over relations with Russia that never existed, and the president can rely on public opinion to pressure all but the lunatics (who are numerous and vocal) to try to get something useful done. (Roger Stone had it right when he said, “The Democrats are full of Schiff,” referring to the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman Adam Schiff, appropriately, an ex-prosecutor, representative for the giant infestation of political idiocy in Hollywood, and a Benghazi whitewasher, is desperately trying to keep this fake Russian controversy going.)
Bringing on the tax program like fast food could produce another debacle; the administration can certainly sustain one of these and shake it off, but it will have to show that it has learned something. The president’s apparent fear of altering entitlements is disappointing. Even a minor tweak would send a useful message, and presumably the debt bomb is such that he could get support for such a move. That would give him some negotiating room for tax cuts, which everyone likes if they are affordable. He could use the now traditional Art Laffer et seq. argument, which LBJ, and up to a point Ronald Reagan, proved to be accurate, that tax reductions do largely pay for themselves in economic growth. Incentivizing the repatriation of $2 trillion in profits being held out of country by U.S. corporations would produce a nice pop that could be used to fund a substantial start of infrastructure renovation. Even the Democrats might crawl out of their foxholes and rejoin the civilized world on that one.
There will be no repeal of Obamacare, and the Freedom Caucus should understand that they booted that one. But just allowing it to “explode” (the president’s word) is not leadership, and deliberately reducing funding and accelerating its collapse would backfire. Presumably, transitional cost-reducing reforms could be negotiated within the Republican congressional delegations and put through piecemeal, cleaning up the worst failings and further reducing the deficit. It is not my place to write the script, but if the administration can get a record going of steady legislative successes, all in pursuit of fulfillment of its campaign promises, and with as little pyrotechnics and schoolyard posturing as possible, it will quickly acquire the prestige and aura of success of distinguished administrations of the now-distant past. Reagan had it for the middle half of his time; Eisenhower for most of his tenure, but with a relatively unambitious legislative agenda; Johnson and Nixon briefly; and FDR for practically all of his twelve years.
This will require Trump to perform a role for which he has not yet been known: the patient conciliator speaking in measured terms from the center of controversies and carefully putting shared interests together. Stranger things have happened, including his nomination and election. The present shrieks of joy by Pelosi and Schumer, that Trump is already a lame duck, are amusing and will assist the president in regrouping. But the Republican leadership evacuated the field on Friday and, as Mr. Churchill remarked (after Dunkirk), “Wars are not won by evacuations.” This is war.
On March 21, 2017 Martin McGuinness, the paramilitary activist turned peacemaker in Northern Ireland died at the age of 66. The commander of the Provisional IRA advocating and practicing armed resistance against British rule, he transformed himself into a working political figure for Sinn Fein, a realistic conciliator and stabilizing force in Northern Ireland where he served as Deputy First Minister from 2007 until 2017.
On the same day, March 21, the students at two Palestinian universities, An-Najah National University in Nablus, and Al-Quds Open University, part of the Fatah student movement Shabiba, issued a manifesto. It proclaimed, “from the sea of blood of the Martyrs we will create a state." Israel will be erased and become "Palestine," and it will be accomplished through violence and terror.
To illustrate their violent intentions, the Palestinian students accompanied the message with a logo containing a number of features: a coat of arms with a raised fist in the shape of "Palestine," (all of present day Israel and the areas under control of the Palestinian Authority); the Dome of the Rock; and the Palestinian Arab headdress, the Keffiyeh.
Palestine was to be created from the blood of martyrs. Already in 2016, the Palestinian students at BirZeit University, near Ramallah, had put up a poster calling for murder, illustrated by a knife dripping with blood shaped as the PA map of "Palestine."
Martin McGuinness is not the only political figure who recently illustrated the path to take of peace, the one opposite to the Palestinian bloodthirsty one. In recent generations they have included Mahatma Gandhi, Jomo Kenyatta (President of Kenya 1964-78) , Archbishop Makarios (President of Cyprus 1960-77), Hastings Banda (President of Malawi 1966-94), Kwame Nkrumah (President of Ghana 1960-66), Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela.
All of these leaders sought independence from colonial rulers or freedom from the ruling group in their country, all engaged in acts of disobedience, violent or non-violent, all were imprisoned or exiled at some point. All of them changed their political tactics, became peaceful leaders, though some when gaining power ruled in authoritarian or non-democratic fashion, guilty of nepotism or corruption. Some were founders of their liberated nation.
Perhaps the best and most influential model is Nelson Mandela who all his life was concerned with eliminating discrimination in South Africa. For this objective, he took part in student demonstrations and was expelled from his university. With the African National Congress of which he became president, he was engaged at first in non- violent civil disobedience against the apartheid regime. After his trial and non-conviction in 1956 for treason, he formed the ANC’s military wing, The Spear of theNation, which campaigned against the military and government, used sabotage, and was prepared for guerilla war. In June1964 Mandela was arrested for sabotage and treason and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served 27 years before being released in 1990 , aged 71.
The remarkable part of the story is Mandela’s rejection of bitterness and anger, and his giving up any thought of violence and armed struggle. In this regard he was certainly influenced by Gandhi who had lived in South Africa between 1893 and 1914. Making peace with his former enemies, the advocates of apartheid, Mandela cooperated with them. The result was that he and former foe President F.W. de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, He became president of South Africa the next year.
Mandela spoke of his objective, to seek a democratic and free society in which all, Afrikaan, English, and Zulu, in a color blind society live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. He was inspired in prison by the poem Invictus (undefeated, unconquered) by William Ernest Henley, the last lines of which are well known: “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” Mandela had an unconquerable soul.
The film Invictus made by Clint Eastwood vividly illustrates one incident in Mandela’s attempt to unite his country, in this case by sport. Mandela prevailed on fellow countrymen, especially the black population, to support the Springboks, the national rugby team, formerly regarded as embodying apartheid, as a symbol of national unity. His own appearance, wearing a Springbok rugby shirt and cap, on the field when the team won the World Cup Final in 1995 was wildly applauded. This has been called the game that made a nation.
What a difference this form of behavior is compared to that of Palestinian leaders, past and present, towards the state of Israel, and their hatred of Jews and Zionism. Their talk has been of a holy war, or of taking the initiative to destroy the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland, or to destroy Israel.
The phraseology may differ from time to time but the thrust is always the same. Jerusalem and all of Palestine is Islamic land. The entire land of Palestine is Islamic Waqf: it is forbidden to facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it. Though it pretends to have done so, the Palestinian leadership has never, in any meaningful way, recognized Israel’s right to exist. The aim is to eliminate Israel, either in stages or all at once. The objective is officially pronounced in Article 1 of the Palestinian National Charter, resulting from the resolutions of the Palestine National Council in July 1-17, 1968: “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland.”
Palestinian authorities pay little attention to Western calls for them to abandon their threats to eliminate Israel and to turn their swords into ploughshares. They might listen to the words of Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh, published in 2017 in the Saudi daily paper Al Jazirah. He wrote that the reliance of radical Palestinian groups on armed resistance constitutes a kind of political suicide that only a political ignoramus can condone. To his Palestinian brethren he said that stubbornness, contrariness, and betting on the support of the Arab masses are a hopeless effort.
Most of all, the Palestinian leadership, both Fatah and Hamas, and above all Mahmoud Abbas, now in the 12th year of his 4 year term as Palestinian President, should remember not merely the career and contributions of Martin McGuinness and Nelson Mandela, but also the comments of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in awarding to prize to Mandela in 1993. Mandela, the Committee said, looked ahead to South African reconciliation instead of back at the deep wounds of the past.
Palestinians should follow the lead of Mandela who pointed the way to the peaceful resolution of similar deep-rooted conflicts elsewhere in the world. Is any Palestinian listening? Can President Trump help change the Palestinian mindset?
Miklós Radnóti: I LIVED UPON THIS EARTH IN SUCH AN AGE…
Translated from the Hungarian
By Thomas Ország-Land
The last of the three poems below was discovered in a mass grave of Jewish slave labourers murdered during a ‘deathmarch’ by a regular unit of the retreating Hungarian Army at the close of the Second World War. The poem, composed in careful, even handwriting and complete with printers’ instructions, was contained in a small notebook found on the body of its author, Miklós Radnóti (1909-1944). The poet had set out to record the chaos and brutality of the Holocaust in magnificent classical metre. His work in English translation is winning a robust international reputation. It has also made Radnóti a beloved literary figure in his native Hungary – although his statute has been repeatedly damaged and his poems publicly torched in an orgy of book burning by a neo-Nazi rabble.
Beside me, Fanni asleep beneath the oak-tree.
She had entrusted me with her last caress
to guard her peace. But so many acorns are leaping
and dropping, I feel I must quarrel with every leaf.
The autumn sunshine brightly winks through the leaves.
But fiercely humming, the menacing wasps are circling,
provoking the bickering leaves to chase the acorns
and acorn too chases acorn, unable to wait.
Now Fanni awakens. The blue in her eyes speaks of dreams.
Her delicate hands might have been drawn for an icon.
She tries to make peace between me and the foliage
and strokes my lips and touches my front teeth,
to keep me quiet. A silence ensues. It will
give way to the dribble and hiss of the raindrops, six days
of rainfall to soak the acorns away and fasten
upon us the month of November, like a black ribbon.
German invasion forces in Hungary 1944
I lived upon this earth in such an age
when folk were so debased they sought to murder
for pleasure, not just to comply with orders.
Their faith in falsehoods drove them to corruption.
Their lives were ruled by raving self-deceptions.
I lived upon this earth in such an age
that idolized the sly police informers,
whose heroes were the killers, spies and thieves –
The few who merely held their peace or failed
to cheer were loathed like victims of the plague.
I lived upon this earth in such an age
when those who risked protest were wise to hide
and gnaw their fists in self-consuming shame –
The country grinned towards its dreadful fate
insane and wild and drunk on blood and mire.
I lived upon this earth in such an age...
The mother of an infant was a curse
and pregnant women were glad to abort.
The living envied the corpses in the graves
while on the table foamed their poisoned cup.
I lived upon this earth in such an age...
when even the poet fell silent awaiting, expecting
an ancient, terrible voice to resound – for one
alone could utter a fitting curse on such horror,
that scholar of weighty words: the prophet Isaiah.
Hungarian invasion forces in Ukraine 1944
Collapsed exhausted, only a fool would rise again
to drag his knees and ankles once more like marching pain
yet press on as though wings were to lift him on his way,
invited by the ditch but in vain, he’d dare not stay...
Ask him, why not? maintaining his pace, he might reply:
he longs to meet the wife and a gentler death. That’s why.
But he’s insane, that poor man, because above the homes,
since we have left them, only a scorching whirlwind roams.
The walls are laid. The plum tree is broken. And the night
lurks bristling as a frightened, abandoned mongrel might.
Oh, if I could believe that all things for which I yearn
exist beyond my heart, that there’s still home and return...
return! the old veranda, the peaceful hum of bees
attracted by the cooling fresh plum jam in the breeze,
the still, late summer sunshine, the garden drowsing mute,
among the leaves the swaying voluptuous naked fruit,
and Fanni waiting for me, blonde by the russet hedge,
while languidly the morning re-draws the shadow’s edge...
It may come true again – see, the moon, so round! – be wise...
Don’t leave me, friend, shout at me! shout... and I will arise!
Isis uses terror attack to sign up YouTube recruits
Islamic State has flooded YouTube with hundreds of violent recruitment videos since the terrorist attack in London last week in an apparent attempt to capitalise on the tragedy, The Times can reveal.
Google, the owner of YouTube, has failed to block the films, despite dozens being posted under obvious usernames such as “Islamic Caliphate” or “IS Agent”. Many are produced by the media wing of Isis . . . Several of the videos expressly refer to Wednesday’s attack on parliament.
“Five kaffir dead in London, thousands of believers dead because of US airstrikes,” one Isis-produced YouTube video says....Another made by al-Anbar, the group’s media agency, is posted under the title “Westminster attack documentary (must watch)”
...YouTube poster uploaded an Isis statement claiming Masood as a “soldier of the Islamic State”. The video, which is still live, was commented on by a user called “Supporter of the Caliphate”, who wrote: “Allahu Akbar thankfully.”
I don’t like to say I told you so, but I told you so. On March 1, I wrote about the rash of bomb threats against Jewish targets in the US, which a large segment of the opposition media gleefully used to malign President Trump:
The question this leaves me with is whose political agenda is served by continuing to publicise what have clearly been bomb threats that haven’t materialised up to now? The threats, which do generate real fear and disruption themselves are the mode of attack. So far, thankfully, there haven’t been any real bombs threatening life. Unlike, for example, the real rockets that flew out of Gaza toward Jews in southern Israel in the past couple of weeks that received no international attention (until Israel bombed Hamas).
The publicity and associated panic run the risk of perpetuating this and spreading it worldwide. Jews will be terrorized worldwide, not by real bombs but by phone calls. It is not a sign that Jew hatred has increased, decreased or anything else: you cannot infer anything relative about the numbers of people hating Jews or the virulence of their hatred from the successful promotion of a tactic that can be carried out by one person or many. We just don’t know at this point.
There was barely any concealing the way in which media outlets and far-left Jewish organisations like the ADL used these calls to scream immediately about a rising tide of far-right antisemitism. This was completely contrary to what those of us who have spent the last decade watching global Jew-hatred know. While there is and always has been an underlying current of anti-Jewish feeling from a small far-right contingent, by far the biggest threat today comes from the left-wing alliance with Islam. The main increase in global antisemitism comes from movements that claim to be “pro-Palestinian” while really being virulently anti-Israel and, nearly always, virulently anti-Jewish too. This has been under-reported for a long time.
The suspect arrested Thursday for a wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers in the United States employed an array of technologies, including Bitcoin and Google Voice, to make himself virtually untraceable for months, The Daily Beast has learned. But in the end, it only took one careless slip-up to lead police to his door.
Police arrested 19-year-old Michael Kaydar, who has joint Israeli-U.S. citizenship, at his home in Ashkelon, a coastal city in southern Israel. He’s suspected of phoning in over 100 bomb threats to JCCs and Jewish day schools in 33 states since January, with the most recent calls made two weeks ago. Police also suspect him of making similar threats in Israel, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
The first reports specifically mentioned that the massive, worldwide publicity for his threats spurred the teenager to keep doing it, exactly as I had predicted almost a month ago.
He used some reasonably elaborate methods to hide his identity, but eventually got sloppy. He is not the only person arrested for these crimes, so far, but he does appear to be suspected of the majority of them. There was one other arrest:
Meanwhile, the bomb threats continued, coming in six separate waves. Jewish centers and day schools began evacuating with almost routine regularity. The threats were generally seen as evidence that anti-Semitic fringe groups were feeling emboldened by the election of Donald Trump. Then in March, a St. Louis man was arrest for a handful of copycat bomb threats he allegedly staged in an effort to frame an ex-girlfriend.
The St Louis man, of course, was also about as far from a white supremacist Trump supporter as anyone can get. Juan M. Thompson is black and firmly from the left side of the political tracks:
Thompson attended Vassar College and is a former journalist who was fired from the online news site The Intercept in 2016 for fabricating sources and quotes in his articles. A statement Friday from The Intercept said of Thompson’s arrest, “These actions are heinous and should be fully investigated and prosecuted.”
Thompson’s Twitter account also reveals he supported socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for president. “I voted for Bernie Sanders, but his supporters are annoying as fuck. ‘I almost cried when I got a Bernie sign’. Yuck,” he tweeted in July.
This puts Sanders in an awkward position. Only days before Thompson’s arrest, he told J Street: “I hope very much that President Trump and his political adviser Mr. Bannon understand that the entire world is watching, that it is imperative that their voices be loud and clear in condemning anti-Semitism.”
No matter how many phone calls were made, it is obvious now that the numerous attempts to infer an increase in Jew-hatred in the US flowing from Trump’s rise was malicious and wrong. There are reports now on Israeli TV that the Israeli man arrested may have received funding from the US to make the calls:
The special [Israeli Police] Lahav 433 investigation unit discovered a Bitcoin account operated by the suspect. A series of large deposits from overseas sources suggests the suspect may have been working on behalf of foreign interests.
Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains. Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.
And even then they weren’t happy. On the day before that speech, the media made a highly speculative leap in order to tie these events to Trump and paint him as not caring enough about Jew-hatred. Worse still, they took hearsay as fact and (despite later denials from the White House) ran headlines claiming Trump spoke of conspiracy theories:
Trump Reportedly Suggests Wave of anti-Semitic Incidents Could Be False Flags Perpetrated by Jews
Trump spoke to a gathering of state attorneys general from across the country that included Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Shapiro told reporters in a conference call after the meeting that Trump suggested that the attacks could reflect something other than anti-Semitism, saying that “the reverse can be true” and “someone’s doing it to make others look bad,” according to Philly.com.
A journalist asking the questions “who, what, where, when and why” might look into the background of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to figure out if he has any reason for reporting Trump in an unfavourable light (besides reporting that he’s Jewish). Especially as he is the single source for the story. A quick date limited Google search finds that “Attorney General Josh Shapiro” has been a vocal opponent of Trump. The first result of that search:
17 Attorney Generals, Including Josh Shapiro Condemn Trump Executive Orders On Immigration
HARRISBURG — Seventeen Attorney Generals across the nation, including Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro issued a joint statement on Sunday condemning the executive orders by Donald trump as ‘un-American.’
Nowhere in Ha’aretz’s reporting can we find any reference to any inherent biases this progressive and politically ambitious Democrat Attorney General may have. The “why is he saying these things” of the story in this case. Those details weren’t important because the story aligned with the bash-Trump agenda of Ha’aretz.
Even now that the story has broken about the main suspect phoning in these threats from Israel instead of being a knuckle-dragging white racist with a swastika tattoo, the ADL’s Jason Greenblatt can’t take his teeth out of Trump:
In a phone interview Thursday from Washington, where Greenblatt was discussing anti-Semitism with members of Congress, he said, “It’s not the identity of the culprit that’s the issue,” but the outcome of threats themselves, which terrified Jews and disrupted Jewish life.
More extreme-left Jewish organisations, such as the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect (which seems to exist solely to malign President Trump using the cloak of the Holocaust), manage to ignore completely all facts and reason in their far-left crusade against Trump:
Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a civil rights and social justice group based in New York, said the arrest in Israel doesn’t change Trump’s record of being slow and insufficiently forceful in condemning anti-Jewish prejudice and bigotry in general. The center had repeatedly pointed to the bomb threats as evidence of “a national emergency of anti-Semitism” and accused Trump of failing to recognize the “real evidence” behind the problem.
All of this Jewish-backed hatred for Trump, emanating from the far-left, is absolute anathema to a non-dhimmi Jew, such as myself, who is living in Israel and fully awake to the threat of jihad all around me. These are the elements of the Jewish left in America that pushed for the insane Iran deal and wanted to see Hillary installed as President to further push Israel into a dark corner. These are the elements of American Jewry that can’t keep out of partisan politics in the US, with the worst accusations and insane insinuations that Trump is Hitler causing untold damage.
It is deeply unpalatable to say that Jews are responsible for antisemitism, but it also takes willful blindness to look at these Trump-hating actions of some elements of the US Jewish community, amplified to extraordinary proportions by the anti-Trump media, and fail to understand how this looks in the eyes of bemused Trump voters who have no real idea of the rifts within American Jewry and have nobody to explain the nuances.
Dawa: The Islamist mind poison that turns lost souls into 'lone wolves'
There was limited access to this very interesting article by Niall Ferguson in the Sunday Times yesterday, but today the Straits Times of Singapore has it in its entirety.
"All terrorists are politely reminded that this is London and whatever you do to us, we will drink tea and jolly well carry on. Thank you." It was hard not to smile at messages such as this that appeared online in the wake of Khalid Masood's murderous rampage through Westminster. How ineffably British. The stiff upper lip. Keep calm and carry on.
Yet, I found myself increasingly uneasy as details of Masood's life began to come out. Adrian Elms was his real name. (Elms was his mother's maiden name - she was unmarried at the time of his birth and that was how it was done in 1964. A few years later she married a man named Ajeo. He may have been Adrians father, he may not. But Adrian took his name and he brought the boy up. Mr and Mrs Ajeo had more children; they are still together 50 years on. The criminal aliases and the name(s) in Islam came later) Wait. First, the guy was a violent criminal, who was jailed twice for knife attacks. Second, his path from crime to Islamist terrorism was a familiar one: the conversion to Islam probably in jail, the spell in Saudi Arabia, the relocation to Luton - the home town of several jailed extremists. Third, another familiar story: known to the authorities for "violent extremism", but no longer under surveillance.
The term "lone wolf" is a misleading one. No one becomes an Islamist all by himself just by watching beheading videos. As my wife, Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali, argues in a powerful new report, jihad is always preceded by dawa - the process of non-violent but toxic radicalisation that transforms the petty criminal into a zealot.
The network of dawa takes many different forms. In the United Kingdom, a key role used to be played by the organisation Al-Muhajiroun (the Emigrants), which the jailed Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary led before his arrest. But there are many less visible organisations - Islamic centres with shadowy imams - busily spreading the mind poison.
To see how this poison works, read the recent Policy Exchange study of Britain's Muslim communities, Unsettled Belonging. At first sight, the news is good. Altogether, 90 per cent of those surveyed condemned terrorism. Most British Muslims, we read, have "fundamentally secular interests and priorities". Only 7 per cent said they did not feel a strong sense of belonging to the UK.
But read on. Nearly half said they did not want to "fully integrate with non-Muslims in all aspects of life", preferring some separation in "schooling and laws". Asked whether they would support the introduction of syariah, 43 per cent said yes. And one in 10 British Muslims opposes the prohibition of tutoring that "promotes extreme views or is deemed incompatible with fundamental British values".
Worst of all, nearly a third (31 per cent) of those surveyed believe that the American government was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Get this: "More people claimed that the Jews were behind these attacks (7 per cent) than said it was the work of Al-Qaeda (4 per cent)."
After the July 7 attacks in London, the government's anti-terrorism strategy was designed to "Prevent" people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 even placed a duty on the police, prisons, local authorities, schools and universities to stop people from "being drawn into terrorism".
When she was home secretary, Mrs Theresa May vowed to "systematically confront and challenge extremist ideology". For this, she was denounced by the usual suspects, notably the Muslim Council of Britain, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and the Islamic Human Rights Commission. But the reality is that Prevent has not prevented enough.
The problem is that it is very hard to stop a network such as this from flourishing when it can operate even in jails. Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show the number of Muslims in prison (for all types of offences) more than doubled to 12,255 between 2004 and 2014. One in seven inmates in England and Wales is a Muslim. Guess what goes on inside. Clue: It is not like an episode of Porridge.
This problem is not going away. Ask the French. About 8 per cent of the French population is Muslim, which is roughly the proportion the Pew Research Centre projects it will be in Britain by 2030. The French authorities estimate that they have 11,400 radical Islamists. And about 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the French prison population is Muslim.
If you have not read Mr Michel Houellebecq's Submission, about a Muslim government in France, now might be a good time. Alternatively, you can "drink tea and jolly well carry on" - though it is hard to do that when your head is in the sand.
THE SUNDAY TIMES, LONDON
•Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali's report, The Challenge Of Dawa: Political Islam As Ideology And Movement And How To Counter It, is published by Hoover Institution Press.
A leader of a hardline Islamist group which campaigns for sharia law says Muslims who leave the religion should be put to death.
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar was frank when asked about the group's policy at a forum in Bankstown, in Sydney's south-west, on Saturday night.
'The ruling for apostates as such in Islam is clear, that apostates attract capital punishment and we don't shy away from that,' Badar said.
His extraordinary admission was exclusively captured on camera by Daily Mail Australia and the matter has now been referred to the Australian Federal Police by Justice Minister Michael Keenan.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia removed references to that apostasy policy from its website as Alison Bevege, a freelance journalist, sued the group for making her to sit in a women's-only section at a separate talk in October 2014.
On Saturday night, Ms Bevege held up a printed copy of Hizb ut-Tahrir's draft constitution of the khilafah state published on the UK site, which was on the group's Australian website until 2015.This outlines their vision for a global Islamic caliphate, which has Muslims and non-Muslims living under sharia law.
She asked about their policy of killing people born as Muslims who leave the faith.
Badar's remarks came after he delivered the keynote lecture for the forum, which was called 'Sharia and the modern age'. He said Islam was incompatible with a secular separation of religion and state, democracy, individual rights and even the process of science, which he called 'scientism'.
'The West seeks to domesticate Islam, to control, to bring within, the way you domesticate animals,' he said.
Badar described calls to reform Islam from secular Muslims as 'pernicious', 'insidious' and 'dangerous' and called for radical change. 'Always when you hear these sorts of calls, alarm bells should ring,' he said.
About 100 people were at the publicly-advertised lecture with men making up about two-thirds of the audience. Women were segregated from the men on the left-hand side of the room, apart from Ms Bevege who stood at the back.
Following the lecture, a group of men followed Daily Mail Australia to a parked car.
London terrorist linked to remote-controlled car bomb plot to blow up Army base
An exclusive from the Telegraph over the weekend the press have taken to calling him Adrian Ajao?, the name he grew up with, rather than Khalid Masood, the name (or one of them) he took in Islam. Why I don't know. It may be to do with his many aliases used during his criminal career. Or maybe they are trying to distance him from Islam, while emphasising his criminal credentials. But this seems to be a consensus among journalists.
The Islamist behind the Westminster terror outrage was investigated by MI5 as part of a plot to blow up an Army base using a remote-controlled car, The Telegraph can reveal.
Adrian Ajao, 52, who killed four people, including a police officer in last Wednesday's attack, is understood to have been probed six years ago over alleged connections to four al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists.
Zahid Iqbal, Mohammed Sharfaraz Ahmed, Syed Hussain and Umar Arshad, were jailed for a total of 44 years in 2013 after admitting plotting to launch an audacious bomb attack on a Territorial Army base in their hometown of Luton.
Ajao had moved to the town in 2009 following two stints in Saudi Arabia, and lived just a few hundreds yards from one of the ringleaders. It is thought the fitness fanatic and body builder may have also come into contact with members of the gang when they started preparing for jihad by attending a local gym.
However after carrying out a risk assessment and looking into his background, it was decided he did not pose a terror threat.
During his time in Birmingham, the former English tutor had been receiving benefits and neighbours said he did not work.
Last night police confirmed they had made a further arrest in connection with the Westminster attack after raiding a property close to Ajao's Birmingham home. A 30-year-old man was being held on suspicion of preparation for terrorist acts. A 58-year-old man who was arrested in Birmingham on Thursday remained in custody, while a 32-year-old woman has been bailed.
The 2500 year-old Chinese code of conduct handed down from Confucius includes the advice to three monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Amazingly, this counsel has sometimes been misapplied in cases of Islamist terrorism in European countries.
This obtuseness may be ended with the terrorist attack in London on March 22, 2017 when a man sometimes known as Khalid Masood killed four people, including a police officer, and injured 40 others using a rented Hyundai car to plow into pedestrians near Westminster Bridge and stabbing the policeman outside the Houses of Parliament. Masood chose one of Britain’s most well-known and iconic buildings, indeed one of the most popular sites in the world for tourists who believe as Wordsworth did that earth has not anything to show more fair.
The London attacker Masood, killed by police, was a 52 year old man, born in England to a 17 year old single white mother and a not recorded black father. Though he had a middle class upbringing in affluent towns in Southern England, went to good schools, and became father of three, he turned violent and criminal. From the age of 18 and between 1983 and 2003 he was convicted and imprisoned for a number of violent crimes and weapons possessions, and had converted to Islam at some point while in prison.
Masood used various aliases during his life, had been investigated by MI5, but was considered a “peripheral figure,” not immediately dangerous. He has made several trips to Saudi Arabia, to where he moved in 2005 purportedly to teach English for four years, though he was not an officially accredited teacher in Britain.
His allegiance to the Islamist cause is evident. The crucial issue being investigated is whether he was a “lone wolf” operator, acting alone, or was he part of a larger plot, encouraged, supported, and directed by others. Though much discussed, the concept of a “lone wolf” operation is highly questionable, since there always seems to contact with Islamic activists.
Within a day of the attack ISIS claimed he was one of the “soldiers” for the Islamic State. The validity of this remains open, but British authorities so far have found two items that suggest complicity. One are messages in Telegram encryptions with lists of proposed victims, politicians, Jewish schools, pubs, and clubs. One of them referred to a fireball around Big Ben in Westminster. Masood used Whatsapp messaging service just before smashing his Hyundai car into the railings at Parliament.
The other item is that Masood is believed to have had links to both the banned Al-Muhajiroun group and to a notorious extremist mosque in East London. According to police reports, 23 of the 51 terrorist plots foiled by police are traced to this AM group. Masood also attended the mosque, based on extreme Wahhabism, that was frequented by Anjem Choudary, leader of AM and spokesman for Islam4UK, who has been in jail since September 2016 for organizing support for ISIS.
It is pertinent to consider the relevance of the three Chinese monkeys to the London terrorism. It may have been true a century ago that, as a new book The Islamic Enlightenment by Christopher de Bellaigue holds, that some intellectual Muslims reacted to European influence in the19th century in benign fashion, embracing various aspects of western thought and technology, transport and communications. Nevertheless, in spite of the activity of progressive Muslims, at best this is only part of the story of the differences, if not always the war, between the crescent and the cross.
No sensible person would argue for hatred of all Muslims, or condemn the religion of Islam. But equally no one should excuse Muslims for violence and terrorism against others. More pertinent and meaningful for the present is the perversion of Islam by Islamist convictions: living under the rule of Allah according to the Koran, forcing people to live under Sharia law, and striking terror into the enemies of Allah. The injunction is to pursue liberation through Jihad, whether it is defined in moderate fashion as personal moral struggle, or as obligation to conduct militancy against non-believers.
Attacks on Western targets are therefore to be expected as Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, and indeed the first Muslim to head the capital of a major western country, is quoted as having said in 2016. Since his remarks after a terrorist attack in New York were misunderstood or misinterpreted by Donald Trump Jr in a tweet on March 22 it is useful to quote them: “Part and parcel of living in a great global city is you’ve got to be prepared for these things. You’ve got to be vigilant.”
Trump Jr had tweeted, “You have to be kidding me? Terror attacks are part of living in big city says London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan.” Many in British politics criticized Trump Jr. and defended the mayor, insisting that his Muslim identity would not be a factor in his response to the terrorism. Lord Jones, Digby Jones, businessman, resident of Birmingham, and former government minister of trade and investment, 2007-8, said the fact that the Mayor is a Muslim is utterly and completely irrelevant.
Trump Jr was unfairly criticized for condemning the Mayor. The Mayor’s statement to a degree was insensitive. The Director of MI5 said the UK had foiled 12 attempted terrorist attacks since June 2013. But the county has suffered from previous successful attacks. The 25 year-old fusilier Lee Rigby was brutally murdered on May 22, 2013 by two Islamist extremists in Woolwich, London using a car and a knife. Former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 told fellow citizens they faced the greatest and deepest threat in the country’s history. Even accepting that the Islamic terrorists may be misfits, thieves, drug abusers and violent criminals, there is still concern that insufficient lessons have been learned from the Rigby case about the radicalization that drives people to commit violent acts.
It is not coincidental that Masood had connections in Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city with a distinguished history but more recently the locale of extreme Islamic activity, violent and nonviolent. now with a mixed population, as well as a reputation as a breeding ground for British born terrorist suicide bombers. In addition, at least 30% of Birmingham’s population were not born in the UK, coming mostly from Kashmir, the center of the territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. The city has 22 mosques and a virtual segregated ghetto marked by a high crime rate and unemployment, and which contains a number of suspected potential jihadists.
Birmingham is already controversial for the “Trojan Horse” event in November 2013 when allegations were made and two reports that differed on the extent of extremism in Birmingham schools and whether a number of the schools had been taken over to be run on strictly Islamic principles, and the imposition of an Islamist intolerant and aggressive agenda.
Some children were forced to take part in Muslim worship. Among other facts, a four year-old Catholic girl was pressured to wear an Islamic veil in class. Even some of the governors of the schools, instead of displaying integrity, honesty and objectivity, took part in bullying and harassment of teachers. Critics of the council were accused of tolerating extremism in the schools out of political expediency because most Muslims vote for the Labour Party, or because the governors feared they might be accused of being racist or Islamophobic.
London has experienced the same horror as have other countries with cars being used as weapons against innocent pedestrians and the use of knives to kill people. This has been the scenario on October 20, 2014 in Quebec, July 14, 2016, in Nice, in Brussels, Berlin, and in Israel on many occasions.
Control and ending this terrorist activity should be a high priority for politicians in the democratic countries who are not Chinese monkeys. These countries, like authorities in London, are becoming ready to respond to attacks, afford special protection to tourist and more general spots, create barriers to prevent attacks by cars, and have an enhanced presence in the streets. All this is desirable but even more important is the determination to deal with Radical Islam, the source of the terrorism. It is not racist to exercise wisdom and courage in dealing with the enemies of civilization.
How British Press and Islamist Lobbies Exploited London Attack to Smear US Expert Walid Phares
by Rebecca Bynum
Last week, a network of leftist British journalists and bloggers, backed by Islamist propagandists, manipulated a partial tweet posted by US counter terrorism expert, Walid Phares, to provoke a mass smear campaign against him for political reasons. Here is the troubling story.
On the morning of the bloody Jihadi attack near the Parliament in London, commentators around the world and in the US were assessing the type of weapons used, the location, the areas closed off by police and the state of Jihadi terrorism in Britain, Europe and the world. Early in the day, Dr. Phares was interviewed on the phone by British-born Fox Business Channel anchor Stuart Varney about the goals of terrorist in attacking large aggregations of civilians in London. The video was posted on Twitter that same morning.
Later Phares was invited to be interviewed on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that evening, to follow up on the first interview. The Twitter account of the expert announced that the panel will debate the attack using a teaser from the first interview. Minutes later, Islamist and leftist accounts extracted the “teaser sentence” – “one man can shut down a city” – and claimed Walid Phares had reported on Fox News that the “attacker had effectively shut down the city of London.” That wasn’t at all what the expert had said or meant. His tweet was a follow up teaser on the discussion he had in his first interview where he discussed the terrorists’ intentions and goals to cause massive disruption and, if possible, to shut down a town or a city. The tweet used the word “can” not “did.” The error was not on his part, but on the part of those hysterical Twitter users who jumped to conclusions without a careful reading of the tweet.
Few minutes later, as if it were coordinated, BBC Newsbeat posted an article blasting Phares for “non-factual assertions” that the city was shut down, even though he had only discussed what the Jihadists aimed to accomplish, not what was accomplished in this case. The title “People mock Fox News claim that terror attack 'shut down city,' took a swipe at Fox News channel, generating more hate mail from online accounts which quickly degenerated into extreme anti-American and fierce anti-Trump rhetoric.
The BBC tweet generated hundreds, perhaps thousands of tweets assaulting Dr. Phares, smearing him and belittling his credentials. The insults hurtled against him, with extremely vulgar words, opened the appetite of other UK based publications such as The Telegraph, Metro, Huffington Post UK, etc. All claiming that because the city was not “shut down,” Britain was somehow victorious, or at any rate, was not being cowed by Jihad terror despite the decades of official appeasement leading up to this most recent attack.
Unfortunately, the quick clean-up of the bloody scenes and the rush to a back-to-normal routine may not, in fact, be a signal of defiance, but rather the usual bovine response of the herd after one of its number has been taken by predatory beasts. The prey animals continue grazing as if nothing had happened. Is this brave defiance, or passive acceptance? Is terror now just a “part and parcel” of modern urban life, as suggested by London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan? Must we just get used to it? Keep calm and carry on as our fellow citizens are being picked off by Jihadis?
Nevertheless, by the end of the day, a tsunami of calumnies, pushed by a network of British-based bloggers landed on Twitter. The general theme advanced by the leftist-Islamist cohorts was that “London was not affected as a city,” and that “the attacker was a deranged person, nothing more, nothing less.” The UK-based media machine was quick to use the tweet storm it had created to advance its own assertions: One, there is no Jihadi threat, this was just an isolated act by a deranged madman. And two, to generate an attack against one of the leading international experts in the field of counter-terrorism and Islamist ideologies. Remember that London is one of the hubs of the Muslim Brotherhood and Dr. Phares is seen by that movement as one of their nemeses. He has often shown the link between the Muslim Brotherhood ideology and the Jihadist radicalization and was an outspoken critic of the Iran deal.
Any reader attentive to Phares’ broad commentary and analysis knows very well that he is an academic who is very precise in describing facts, regardless of his political assessment. Here is the transcript of Walid Phares chat with Stuart Varney on the morning of March 22, 2017.
“Stuart Varney: Walid Phares is with us. Walid knows a thing or two about international relations and also about Mr. Trump’s foreign policy. Walid, Welcome to the show.
Walid Phares: Thank you.
Varney: What do you think of the political implications for the United States and specifically President Trump and his attempted travel ban?
Phares: Well, first of all let’s look at the facts as they are growing and as British authorities are releasing them. We have for now concerns there was a stabbing and then the shooting of the stabber. Other reports may come, but this is happening, as you just said, to link it to the general environment – at a day where in Washington dozens and dozens of countries are meeting to discuss the strategy against ISIS. This is unique. So now the big question is: If we defeat ISIS on the ground, and that would be in Mosul or in Raqqa, will that terminate the jihadi threat against the west inside this country? That will be the biggest question that this administration, but also across the pond, will have to discuss.
Varney: What gets to me, is that this is a single attacker, a single assailant, who only had a knife and a car, and just using a knife and a car, that one single assailant was able to close down a big chunk of central London, close down Britain’s Houses of Parliament and now we understand, close down access to and 10 Downing Street itself, which is the home of the Prime Ministers and his residence, his royal residence. The impact of one person with a car and a knife is simply astonishing, Walid.
Phares: Absolutely, I mean you just painted the impact that terrorists in general and maybe the jihadists, we don’t know in this case, want to provoke – it’s to shut down large concentrations of people – cities, towns. Remember in Boston, two individuals shut down Boston. We had to mobilize so many forces. In Nice, one truck, not even a knife. Knives were used in many places in France. This is the news face of urban terrorism which would use very primitive weapons and have as a reaction, in liberal democracies at least, a massive shut down.
As we see, there was no pronouncement of “shutting down London” as a description of facts. The tweet that came after and announced the next interview, built on this conversation, was as follow.
Will be on Tucker on Fox News at 9 AM EST to discuss the terror act in London. "One man can shut down a city.."
As one can clearly see, the tweet did not read, one man shuts down a city, it said, and in quotes, as a title of discussion, “can.” Later in the evening, Walid Phares further analyzed the event on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and again, Phares made no statement about London being “shut down.”
The question remains, why would the BBC launch such a dirty campaign targeting a well-known American scholar who has published a dozen books, thousands of articles and has a two decades’ track record of successful geopolitical predictions. The answer is clear: the network of UK-based media and lobbies which favors the Muslim Brotherhood, supports the Iran Deal and despises President Donald Trump, has concocted this coordinated campaign to tarnish Phares’ image, assault Fox News and more importantly, drive any real discussion of the serious jihad threat away from public consciousness.
Indeed, by creating a diversion over a misread comment posted half a world away, and generating a foolish online smear campaign about it, the orchestrators diverted attention from the actual problem: Who was the perpetrator who killed and was killed? What are his links to other Jihadists? What is the nature of the threat now deeply embedded in London or the UK? Instead the problem became Fox News and Donald Trump. Evidently there is a deep reluctance in Britain about addressing these crucial matters. “The city is fine as long as its bars are open” insisted many tweets. “London is will never shut down” posted others. Of course London is a heroic city, as Phares as posted several times, but the issue of what to do about the current threat is entirely lacking. As prominent British commentator Katie Hopkins wrote in the Daily Mail. “London is a city so desperate to be seen as tolerant, no news of the injured has been released; (…) the Patriots of the rest of England versus the liberals of this city (…) The truth is, we can’t go on like this.”
Moreover, the political divisions in England, Europe and the US have been amplified by organized lobbies shielding the ideology of the Jihadists. On the one hand, Prime Minister May firmly described the attacker as part of the network of “Islamists terrorists,” while on the other, the BBC-inspired smearers of Walid Phares targeted him because he is one of the pioneers in identifying Jihadism as the root of the threat.
I suggest that BBC and the mainstream media who smeared Dr. Phares should issue public apologies; first for twisting his statement and second for inciting such hatred.
What a criminal trial of two soccer players says about British society.
by Theodore Dalrymple
A single case can illuminate a whole society, as a flash of lightning lights up a landscape on a dark night: not that the case of Ched Evans told us anything about British society that we did not already know, or could not have been known by anyone with the most minimal powers of observation.
Ched, or Chedwyn, Evans was a Welsh professional soccer player, not yet of the highest rank but still, at 23, earning $1.5 million a year. He decided to have a weekend in his hometown of Rhyl, a seaside resort on the north coast of Wales, accompanied by a friend from earlier in his career, a soccer player of the same age named Clayton McDonald, as well as by another few friends and his half-brother. They went to a club called the Zu Bar—an appropriate enough name in view of what some of them were about to do—but split up after leaving at about 2:30 AM.
Evans had booked a local hotel room for McDonald, who later sent a text informing him that he had taken a girl there. Evans decided to join him in the hotel. He managed to persuade the receptionist to let him have a key to McDonald’s room, which he then entered without knocking. McDonald was having sex with the young woman and, according to Evans, asked her whether his friend could join in. (McDonald claims that it was Evans who asked.) They both maintained that she consented.
A charming feature of the story is that Evans’s half-brother and one of his friends went with him to the hotel, where they attempted to film the sexual proceedings on their cell phones from outside the bedroom window. But they didn’t get far: Evans was delicate enough to close the curtains before he undressed.
When McDonald had finished with the young woman, Evans took over, as in a relay, and McDonald left the hotel room. Then Evans, who, according to his own later account, said not another word to her before, during, or after his intercourse with her—though she asked him to go harder at it—suddenly remembered that he was betraying his girlfriend of 18 months, desisted from sex, dressed, and left by the hotel fire escape. Practically everything in Britain that happens outdoors is now captured on closed-circuit television, in a vain attempt to promote public order in a population that feels little or no internal restraint, and he was seen on film, slinking away like a thief in the night.
The young woman, 19, woke naked in bed the next morning, unaware of where she was and not remembering how she had gotten there. Her amnesia for the second half of the previous evening was total, but as she had drunk “only” two large glasses of wine (amounting to two-thirds of a bottle), four double shots of vodka, and a Sambuca, she thought her drinks must have been spiked to have produced this degree of amnesia. She had drunk more than this on other occasions, she said, without blacking out.
She was distressed in general by waking up in a strange place with no knowledge of how she had gotten there, and now she discovered that her bag was missing. It was of this that she went to the police to complain. She made no allegations of rape against the two men (how could she, if she remembered nothing?), but the police soon traced both Evans and McDonald. Interviewed by the police, Evans volunteered an account of the sexual escapade and told the police that they could have had any of the girls in the bar that evening because they were soccer players and rich, and that that was what the girls liked. As a sociological generalization, this observation might have been at least partly true; but in the circumstances, it was an unwise, as well as a crude, thing to say. The police charged the two men with rape, on the grounds that the young woman was in no condition to give consent to sexual intercourse, and that they either knew, or ought to have known, that this was the case.
The impetus for the charges came entirely from the prosecuting authorities; the alleged victim at no point claimed to have been raped. Toxicological evidence was unilluminating: by the time blood was taken from the young woman, her blood-alcohol level had declined to zero; no substance with which her drinks might have been spiked was present. She exhibited traces of both cannabis and cocaine, compatible with her having taken them several days before the night in question.
The first trial produced a verdict that at first might seem puzzling: McDonald was acquitted and Evans found guilty. There was no plausible pharmacological explanation of how the woman might have been able to give consent to McDonald but not to Evans: but this does not settle the matter. To secure a verdict of guilty in such cases, it must be shown not only that the woman was incapable of giving consent but that the accused had no reasonable grounds for belief that she could give consent. In McDonald’s case, the alleged victim had gone back to the hotel with him in a taxi, which she had voluntarily entered; this gave him some reason for believing that she had consented to having sex, which Evans, who entered the room unasked and unannounced, lacked. This was so even if McDonald was mistaken in his belief; and this might have been the decisive difference between the two men in the jury’s mind.
Evans received a sentence of five years’ imprisonment, which means, in our deceiving times in which nothing means what it appears to mean, that he would be let out after two and a half years, as, in fact, he was. From the first, he maintained his innocence, and, because he refused to acknowledge his guilt and jump through the prescribed hoops that sex offenders must jump through, he endured a harder prison regime than he would otherwise have been subjected to.
Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Natasha Massey, with a fortitude out of the ordinary, stuck by him. The daughter of a rich businessman, she funded a sophisticated campaign on Evans’s behalf. It included a website that showed a video of the young woman entering the hotel not in such a state of intoxication that she would have been obviously incapable of giving consent: and drunken consent is still consent. Another video, taken before she arrived at the hotel, purportedly showed her urinating in the street. A cousin of Evans not only named her on social media (which was illegal) but also called her “a drunken slut.”
Judges twice refused Evans’s request for an appeal of conviction; they saw no new grounds for overturning the verdict. On his third attempt, he was granted a retrial because new evidence had come to light. Two men came forward to testify that the young woman had earlier behaved with them in a very specific sexual way, precisely as Evans had claimed during the first trial.
Normally, a woman’s previous sexual activity is not admissible in rape trials: promiscuity does not imply a general consent to all and sundry. The appeals court ruled in this case, however, that the evidence was so specific that it was admissible and, if offered to the jury, might result in a different verdict—as, in the event, it did. The fact that one of the new witnesses described the alleged victim behaving sexually exactly as Evans had described—she had demanded certain practices of the three men—as well as being amnesic the following morning, was particularly useful to the defense. It contradicted her own testimony that she had never had amnesia before.
Evans did not substantially alter his original evidence at his retrial. The prosecution tried to cast doubt on the testimony of the two men because Massey had offered a reward of $70,000 for any evidence leading to Evans’s acquittal, but the jury, composed of seven women and five men, either believed the evidence or at least placed enough credence on it to conclude that the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Both the judge and the defense counsel at the retrial were women, incidentally; the prosecutor was male. Evans was acquitted by unanimous verdict after only two hours’ deliberation. He is thus no longer a rapist and will not have to spend the rest of his life on a registry of sex offenders.
Throughout its five-year duration, the case revealed many troubling cross-currents in British society. When Evans was released from prison, still a convicted rapist, his former soccer club, Sheffield United, proposed to reemploy him. This caused considerable outrage, and an online petition soon garnered 160,000 signatures. Prominent supporters of the club threatened to withdraw their support.
The tone of commentary was mostly vengeful, rather than thoughtful or analytical, and exposed the limits of the vaunted un-censoriousness of our society. Just as a secret is what you tell only one other person, so every penological liberal has just one crime that he wants severely punished, cannot forgive, and for which there can be no adequate penance. Evans had committed it, or so it then seemed; he was therefore to be prevented from pursuing his career.
I can think of a reason that a man convicted of a very serious crime should not be able to continue a lucrative public career once he has completed his punishment; this has to do with social seemliness rather than vengefulness. In other respects, however, he should be allowed to get on with his life as best he can, and not be hounded. But that vengefulness was the main motive of the objection to Evans’s playing soccer again is suggested by the fact that Clayton McDonald’s career was more comprehensively and finally ruined than was Evans’s. Unlike Evans, McDonald had been acquitted at the first trial—yet he had, in effect, been convicted by the public of a crime from which there could be no exoneration. As a well-known political figure once said, if you sling enough mud, some of it sticks.
Yet those who maintained Evans’s innocence were no less vengeful. Despite the fact that the allegations against him came entirely from police and prosecuting authorities, which Evans himself has always recognized, the young woman at the center of the case faced a barrage of abuse and insult on social media. No evidence ever came to light that she was seeking to make money from the sordid affair, as commonly stated by her critics, some of whom revealed her whereabouts, so that she felt it necessary to move and change her identity five times. Evans never took part in or sanctioned any of this horrible activity.
As alarming as was the unreflective viciousness of many people, even worse was the revelation of how little people either understood or cared about the rule of law. A minor manifestation of this phenomenon: many seemed unable to distinguish between acquittal and innocence, suggesting that they did not fully appreciate that the prosecution must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The man acquitted on this basis is to be treated as if he were innocent, which does not mean (in many cases) that he is innocent. But in a civilized society, the acquitted must not be made to suffer because we believe the not-guilty verdict to be wrong.
Some feminist pressure groups and their journalistic supporters seemed to want conviction for rapes, come hell or high water, and never mind due process or fair trials. The Guardian, normally of the forgive-them-for-they-know-not-what-they-do school of justice, published several articles in the wake of Evans’s final acquittal that indicated that the authors would prefer someone to be wrongly imprisoned and to carry a legal stigma for life, even though found to be not guilty, than that he should be able to bring the best defense he can to the charge of rape, if it entails embarrassment of the victim, or alleged victim. In other words, a man charged with rape should almost be considered guilty ex officio.
A Guardian journalist specializing in crime (especially sex crime), Sandra Laville, wrote:
So for the past fortnight [during the trial], the young woman, who has had to move house because of the social media campaign against her, has been subjected to the kind of criminal dissection of her morality and sexual behaviour campaigners hoped were long gone.
And an advocacy group, Women Against Rape, stated:
This [trial] sets a dangerous precedent to allow irrelevant sexual history evidence, which the law was supposed to prevent, opening the floodgates to trashing the woman’s character in any rape trial once again. This trial is a throwback to the last century when women who reported rape were assumed to be lying and their sex life was on trial.
These passages contain such blatant misrepresentations of the case that the authors must have deemed, consciously or otherwise, that the importance of their cause obviated any moral necessity to cleave to the truth. Let me mention a few of the more serious misrepresentations.
The appeals court specifically stated that the new evidence in the Evans case would not have been admissible if its purpose had been to cast moral aspersions on the alleged victim. Rather, it was allowed because it was relevant to the question of whether Evans could reasonably have believed that the alleged victim was consenting. And, in the event, the jury (including the seven women) found—presumably, for one cannot know for certain—that the new evidence helped to make a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt impossible. To call what happened “a criminal dissection of the [alleged victim’s] morality” is therefore grotesquely, and, I would say, maliciously, wide of the mark.
The appeals court specifically stated that the admissibility of the new evidence carried no implication that the alleged victim was lying in her evidence. To allow the testing of her evidence was not to accuse her of lying: unless, that is, every alleged victim’s evidence is to be accepted without demur, and any challenge to it whatsoever amounts to such an accusation. It is also important to note that, pace the pressure group’s statement, the young woman herself never reported rape and, in a sense, was therefore never a complainant.
The lynch-mob mentality of the Guardian writers was further shown in an article contrasting the economic situation of the alleged victim and that of the alleged perpetrator. The former was a 19-year-old waitress living at home with her mother, and the latter a millionaire footballer whose girlfriend was the daughter of a millionaire. But what has this to do with the allegation? Does a 19-year-old waitress living at home with her mother ipso facto not have capacity to give or withhold consent to sexual intercourse? This doctrine, if adopted, would play havoc with the lives of millions. And is a millionaire footballer necessarily a rapist if the woman has less money than he?
The article alleged that Evans was acquitted only because he was well funded. In practice, this may have been so: but if true, what did it actually mean, and what followed from it? I think it is a fair presumption that the jury did not acquit him on the grounds that he was rich but on the grounds that the prosecution failed to put its case beyond reasonable doubt. The lesson, if any, might then be that in cases of rape in which the evidence boils down to one person’s word against another’s, all other evidence for the prosecution and defense having canceled each other out, convictions are likely to be unsafe, but only the rich have the means to prove them so. This is an unpalatable and disturbing conclusion.
Again, feminists argued that the case flew in the face of recent efforts to destroy what is now frequently, and dishonestly, called the myth that the promiscuous are more likely to give their consent to sexual intercourse than the chaste. This is surely no myth: indeed, it is almost, by definition, true. No one in his right mind would suggest that a young woman of proven promiscuity is not more likely to give her consent to intercourse than, say, an 80-year-old Catholic nun. The supposed destruction of the myth mistakes entirely the reason that evidence of previous promiscuity should not be admitted in rape trials: the question is not whether the woman consented on 100 previous occasions but whether she consented on this occasion. Not content with this, the feminists demand the acceptance and internalization of an obvious untruth, as totalitarian dictators once did.
My own view is that Evans should not have been convicted in the first place, for I find it difficult to believe that there was no reasonable doubt in his case, even without the new supportive evidence; but irrespective of its final legal outcome, this supremely sordid story was emblematic of a prevalent aspect of contemporary British culture (I use the word “culture” in its broad anthropological sense). No one who has gone down the main street of a British town at midnight on Friday could really have been much surprised by the incident. Feminists have tried to paint it as an illustration of a general misogyny, but it is nothing of the kind. On the contrary, it is illustrative of the sub-Gomorrah nature of many contemporary British enjoyments, in which women participate as enthusiastically as men. Evans has acknowledged that his behavior was bad, though (perhaps understandably) without recognition of just how disgusting it was. But it would be implausible to say that the conduct of the alleged victim was on an altogether different and higher moral plane from his.
My guess is that both the principals in this story have learned their lesson, but it is a lesson that they ought not to have needed, and certainly the law ought not to have been their teacher—or, for that matter, the teacher of our own moral philosophy.
The Mickey-Mockers of Mother Jones, and All That Islamophobia
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Mother Jones is a left-wing publication that, while it seldom – and possibly never — has had a kind word for Christianity in its history, turns out to be a stout defender of Islam. How the Left fell so hard for Islam is a puzzlement, for a more retrograde faith — misogynistic, supremacist, homophobic, protective of slavery, one that severely restricts freedom of speech and thought, and even what kinds of artistic expression are allowed (for example, forbidding paintings and statues of people and animals because of what, according to various “reliable” Hadiths, Muhammad said about “pictures”) — can scarcely be imagined. Violent and aggressive, this is a faith whose adherents have a 1400-year history of conquering many different lands and subjugating many different peoples. None of this appears to have made an impression on the mickey-mockers at Mother Jones.
The magazine’s latest screed on Islam, by one Bryan Schatz, comes to the stout defense of that inexplicably maligned faith. According to Schatz, those who call Islam a “political ideology” rather than a “religion” must be wrong, not because he has himself made the attempt to see if it makes sense to define Islam, at least in part, as a “political ideology,” but only because the people who do so are President Trump’s loyal retinue, and therefore, in the logic of Mother Jones, whatever they say perforce must be false; there is no need for further discussion. If Lt. General Flynn (still a Trump adviser in spirit, if no longer in letter) says that “I don’t see Islam as a religion. I see it as a political ideology that…will mask itself as a religion globally….it can hide behind and protect itself by what we call freedom of religion,” that can’t possibly be true, because the right-wing General Flynn has said it. When Steve Bannon says that Islam “is a political ideology,” criticizes former President Bush for calling Islam “a religion of peace,” and suggests that there is an “existential war” between Islam and the West — statements that many thoughtful people who have studied Islam, or grown up in Islam only to reject it, agree with Bannon about – Schatz again dismisses this, because Bannon said it. And Bannon is part of some “right-wing,” “alt-right,” “hate- speechifying Islamophobic group” — we know this must be because it keeps being repeated — and therefore no argument needs to be offered against what he maintains. The Mother Jones writer describes Bannon’s as an “us-versus-them” argument; Schatz would have it that the war originates with “us,” Islamophobes, hostile to peaceful Muslims, and not as Bannon & Co. would have it, originating with “them,” the hatred of Muslims for Unbelievers mandated by the Qur’an and Hadith. No arguments, of course, are necessary. It’s all ad hominem; if Bannon said it, his reputation having been comprehensively and deliberately sullied by his political enemies, it must be false.
Nor is Samuel Huntington, the mild-mannered Harvard academic who died in 2008, spared for his views that the contemporary world could best be understood as now divided not among countries but according to eight “civilizations,” which he identified as: (i) Western, (ii) Latin American, (iii) Islamic, (iv) Sinic (Chinese), (v) Hindu, (vi) Orthodox, (vii) Japanese, and (viii) African. Huntington claimed that the most severe antagonism, the one that merited being described as a “clash of civilizations,” was that between Islam and the West. Schatz gives Huntington’s views complicated views only a one-sentence summary, and dismisses them for no other reason than that they have been echoed by “conservative evangelicals” and “the far-right fringe.” If Huntington’s views deserve criticism, it would surely be not that he was too hard on Islam, but too soft, that is he failed to see that Islamic civilization permanently “clashed” not only with the West, but with all seven of the other “civilizations” he identified.
Bryan Schatz goes after, too, those outside the government and universities, that is, the extremist, right-wing, Christian clergy, who spew their anti-Islamic rhetoric as such fanatical Christians always do (for Mother Jones, Muslims, funnily enough, are never fanatical), such people as the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who called Muhammed a “demon-possessed pedophile.” Mother Jones carefully refrains from mentioning why Falwell might have described him thus – the fact of Muhammad’s consummation of his marriage to little Aisha when she was nine years old. Readers are thus left with the impression that Falwell pulls these preposterous charges out of thin air, without any conceivable basis in fact (but it’s a fact clearly spelled out in the most respected collection of Hadith, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 58, 34 and 36). Then there is Pat Robertson, another “right-wing” Christian, who claims that Islam is “not a religion…but a worldwide political movement bent on domination of the world.” Now where could Robertson have gotten that idea? Possibly from the Qur’an, with its more than one hundred “Jihad verses”? But Pat Robertson said it, and therefore it cannot possibly be true. And Schatz reminds us of Lt. General Jerry Boykin, who believes that Islam should not be given First Amendment protection, because “those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with Sharia law.” Is there any evidence that the Sharia and the American Constitution flatly contradict each other on such matters as freedom of speech and the establishment and free exercise clauses? Shouldn’t Schatz have looked into Boykin’s assertions to see if there might be something to them, rather than treat them as self-evidently absurd to all right-thinking readers of Mother Jones, and thus not worth discussing?
As for Robert Spencer, who doesn’t quite fit into any mold, and certainly not that of a Trump-camp-follower or of the “right-wing” Christian-clergy, although he has written 16 books and many thousands of postings at several online sites, always copiously quoting from the Qur’an and Hadith, he is identified only as “the director of the Islamophobic site Jihad Watch,” without Schatz adducing a single sentence of Spencer’s as evidence of that claimed “Islamophobia.”
What is wrong with declaring Islam to be a “political ideology” — that is, only that and nothing more — is that one opens oneself unnecessarily to criticism that can easily be avoided. Why not concede that Islam is both a religion and a political ideology? Concede, that is, that the Qur’an establishes rules for worship for Believers, the Five Pillars of Islam, describes the characteristics of Allah and his relation to Believers, and also provides rules for Jihad, for the war against the Unbelievers that cannot end until the complete submission of everyone to the rule of Islam is attained, so that Islam everywhere dominates and Muslims rule everywhere. Having conceded that Islam is partly a religion, as ordinarily understood, we are then in a stronger position to insist, more in sorrow, that “unfortunately, Islam is also a political ideology, an ideology of conquest, and we have a responsibility to recognize this, in order to better protect ourselves and our own civilization. And we must remember, too, that this conquest need not take place on a battlefield. There are many instruments of Jihad. Terrorism, propaganda, the money weapon, and now, the newest and most effective and least understood weapon to spread Islam, demographic conquest, which Muslims discuss quite openly, for they assume that Europe, having opened itself up to millions of Muslims (there are now more than 50 million Muslims in Europe), can do nothing, at this point, to halt or reverse that human tide. And this we cannot ignore.” The tone is different, one of reason but also justified anxiety, and the information conveyed important.
Mother Jones can keep on with its mindless campaign of loathing and ridicule for all those who are dismissed as “right-wing” extremists, crazed Christians, or people who, like Robert Spencer, are pigeonholed as members of a “cottage industry of Islamophobic misinformation.” But not once in this article (or in many others that the magazine has published on the same theme) is there any attempt to rebut what has been said about Islam. The complacent dismissal of those whom “no one” can possibly take seriously is wearing thin.
Could any fair-minded person, having read and studied the Qur’an , fail to see how much of it is devoted to warfare against the Unbelievers? How could such a person not notice that Jihad is the supreme duty of Muslims, and that once conquered by them, Unbelievers are left with only three choices: to be converted, or killed, or required to pay the onerous Jizyah? Isn’t the uncompromising division of the world into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb a political matter? Isn’t the duty of Jihad against the Unbelievers part of a “political ideology”? Aren’t the rules of warfare, set down in the Qur’an and the Hadith, including even how the spoils of war are to be divided among the victorious Muslims (with Muhammad taking 20%) more properly described as being part of a “political ideology” and not part of what we think of as a religion? Doesn’t commanding Muslims to avoid taking Christians and Jews as friends, “for they are friends only with each other,” belong to a “worldwide political movement, bent on domination of the world,” as Pat Robertson said? Doesn’t Islam set out rules for the conquest of Unbelievers, describe what varied methods can be used to conquer them, and focus on Jihad through armed conflict, including acts which “strike terror” in the hearts of the Unbelievers? Isn’t it true that of the 200 times the word “Jihad” appears in the Sahih Bukhari (the preeminent Hadith collection), 98% of them refer to “Jihad” in the sense of armed conflict? Does that seem to you to be part of a “religion” or is it, rather, part of a blueprint for world conquest?
Finally, how long can Mother Jones get away with the transparent strategy of listing the names of those it vilifies as being “right-wing” or “Islamophobic” in order to spare itself the bother of coming to grips with the assertion that Islam is indeed, for the most part, a “political ideology”? What happens when the reality of Muslim behavior around the world leads more Unbelievers, by slow degrees, to see the wisdom of those who, based on their knowledge both of Islamic texts and 1400 years of Islamic history call Islam a “political ideology”? And they will do so because, as any Believer (and Unbeliever too) can understand, Islam sets out a plan for conquest and rule over Infidels everywhere, describes the ideal of the Islamic state, governed according to the Sharia, and details how this is all to be achieved.
Particularly of note is how writers in Mother Jones appear to believe that opposition to Islam is a new thing, the result of a whipped-up hysteria from these dangerous people now in the corridors of power who have been allowed to promote what Mother Jones calls “a crazy idea that went from the fringe to the White House.” Actually, ever since the 7th century, the real “crazy idea” in the West was that Islam is only a “religion,” that it is “peaceful,” and that it is absurd to be alarmed over its territorial conquests and increase in both numbers and power. We have, after all, 1400 years of history to examine, and in the long history of Islam’s encounter with the West, the “crazy idea” that Islam’s adherents were hellbent on conquest was shared by almost every thoughtful person. Statesmen, writers, philosophers, theologians, scholars of Islam — none of them to be dismissed as “right wing”– understood Islam in a no-nonsense, and therefore highly critical fashion. Many of their statements have been repeatedly posted on the web, but none of them make it to the pages of Mother Jones, for they eloquently undermine that magazine’s narrative.
There was Winston Churchill, who drew his conclusions from observing Muslims in the Sudan in 1898-99, when he was a war correspondent with the 21st Lancers as they fought the Mahdists:
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.
A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
For the kind of people who write for, and read, Mother Jones, no doubt Churchill can be dismissed — too “right-wing,” too much of a “colonialist” to be taken to heart. After all, didn’t Obama remove Churchill’s bust from his office? Doesn’t that mean Churchill need not be heeded? But can they deny that “Mohammedanism” was and is now a “militant and proselytizing faith”? Or that in Islam women are in all respects inferior to men, if not always, pace Churchill, their “absolute property”? Slavery is part of Islam, as Churchill wrote truly, for slavery remains permanently sanctioned by Islam and by the practice of Muhammad, who owned and traded in slaves. Slavery was outlawed in Muslim countries very late, and only under Western pressure. There was no Muslim William Wilberforce. There are still Muslim clerics today, as well as members of the Islamic State, who maintain that slavery is part of Islam, and who are especially pleased to make sex slaves of the Yazidi and Christian girls (in Syria, in Iraq, in Nigeria) they captured.
But let’s leave Churchill’s vivid impressions of the “Mohammedans” aside, and turn to our most scholarly president, John Quincy Adams, and his 70-page study of Islam. Adams was an early opponent of slavery, who famously argued on behalf of rebel slaves before the Supreme Court in the Amistad case. John Quincy Adams studied Islam at length, and his conclusion, long before Bannon and Flynn and Pat Robertson, was eloquent, severe, and grim:
…he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.
In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE [Adam’s capital letters]….Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant…While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.
As the essential principle of his faith is the subjugation of others by the sword; it is only by force, that his false doctrines can be dispelled, and his power annihilated. They [The Russians] have been from time immemorial, in a state of almost perpetual war with the Tatars, and with their successors, the Ottoman conquerors of Constantinople. It were an idle waste of time to trace the causes of each renewal of hostilities, during a succession of several centuries. The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force. Of Mahometan good faith, we have had memorable examples ourselves. When our gallant [Stephen] Decatur ref had chastised the pirate of Algiers, till he was ready to renounce his claim of tribute from the United States, he signed a treaty to that effect: but the treaty was drawn up in the Arabic language, as well as in our own; and our negotiators, unacquainted with the language of the Koran, signed the copies of the treaty, in both languages, not imagining that there was any difference between them. Within a year the Dey demands, under penalty of the renewal of the war, an indemnity in money for the frigate taken by Decatur; our Consul demands the foundation of this pretension; and the Arabic copy of the treaty, signed by himself is produced, with an article stipulating the indemnity, foisted into it, in direct opposition to the treaty as it had been concluded. The arrival of Chauncey, with a squadron before Algiers, silenced the fraudulent claim of the Dey, and he signed a new treaty in which it was abandoned; but he disdained to conceal his intentions; my power, said he, has been wrested from my hands; draw ye the treaty at your pleasure, and I will sign it; but beware of the moment, when I shall recover my power, for with that moment, your treaty shall be waste paper. He avowed what they always practised, and would without scruple have practised himself. Such is the spirit, which governs the hearts of men, to whom treachery and violence are taught as principles of religion.
That was John Quincy Adams, more severe on Islam than any of those accused by Mother Jones of “Islamophobia.” Has Mother Jones ever alluded to what that great liberal, and hero of the Amistad case, thought of Islam? Shouldn’t a decent respect for the opinions of mankind include the opinions of those who lived in the intelligent past? Were the texts and teachings of Islam in 1830 any different from its texts and teachings today?
Then there is Jefferson, who had dealings with those envoys of North African Muslims known to us as the Barbary Pirates, recording the words of Tripoli’s envoy to London:
In reference to the Islamic slave trade of Americans and Europeans by the Barbary states, Jefferson asked Tripoli’s envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, by what right he extorted money and took slaves in this way. He answered:
The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners,that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.
And while Mother Jones seems to believe that it is fanatical Christians who are the most anti-Islam, it is that famous skeptic and freethinker, David Hume, an enemy to all organized religion, regarded by most of his contemporaries as an atheist and anti-Christian, who even harsher in his verdict on Islam than any falwell or robertson. To wit:
The admirers and followers of the Alcoran insist on the excellent moral precepts interspersed through that wild and absurd performance. But it is to be supposed, that the Arabic words, which correspond to the English, equity, justice, temperance, meekness, charity were such as, from the constant use of that tongue, must always be taken in a good sense; and it would have argued the greatest ignorance, not of morals, but of language, to have mentioned them with any epithets, besides those of applause and approbation. But would we know, whether the pretended prophet had really attained a just sentiment of morals? Let us attend to his narration; and we shall soon find, that he bestows praise on such instances of treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, bigotry, as are utterly incompatible with civilized society. No steady rule of right seems there to be attended to; and every action is blamed or praised, so far only as it is beneficial or hurtful to the true believers.
Another famous scoffer at Christianity, Mark Twain, thought even less of Islam:
When I, a thoughtful and unblessed Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any question every Mohammedan is insane; not in all things, but in religious matters.
George Bernard Shaw, who took whacks at both Islam and Christianity, clearly found Islam the more disturbing of the two:
Islam is very different [from Christianity], being ferociously intolerant. What I may call Manifold Monotheism becomes in the minds of very simple folk an absurdly polytheistic idolatry, just as European peasants not only worship Saints and the Virgin as Gods, but will fight fanatically for their faith in the ugly little black doll who is the Virgin of their own Church against the black doll of the next village. When the Arabs had run this sort of idolatry to such extremes [that] they did this without black dolls and worshipped any stone that looked funny, Mahomet rose up at the risk of his life and insulted the stones shockingly, declaring that there is only one God, Allah, the glorious, the great… And there was to be no nonsense about toleration.
And then there is Bertrand Russell, whom one would have thought Mother Jones would approve of, for writing Why I Am Not A Christian and for setting up a War Crimes Tribunal, with America intended to be in the dock for the war in Vietnam, and for his general latter-day left-wing take on the world. But they don’t care, or dare, to quote Russell on Islam:
Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of the world.
Immediately after his [Muhammed’s] death the conquests began, and they proceeded with rapidity… Westward expansion (except in Sicily and Southern Italy) was brought to a standstill by the defeat of the Mohammedans at the battle of Tours in 732, just one hundred years after the death of the Prophet… It was the duty of the faithful to conquer as much of the world as possible for Islam… The first conquests of the Arabs began as mere raids for plunder, and only turned into permanent occupation after experience has shown the weakness of the enemy… The Arabs, although they conquered a great part of the world in the name of a new religion were not a very religious race; the motive of their conquests was plunder and wealth rather than religion.
Does this differ in any essential way from what Bannon or Flynn or Robertson or Falwell say today?
Then there is Oriana Fallaci. Even Mother Jones doesn’t dare to call her “right-wing.” She was for forty years the most famous left-wing journalist in Italy. As a teenager, she was in the anti-fascist resistance, which at the time also meant risking her life trying to prevent the Nazis from blowing up historic sites in Florence (they blew up all the bridges over the Arno – the Ponte Vecchio alone was spared). At seventeen she became a journalist. She spent time with the Viet Cong, and denounced the American war in Vietnam. She had a long-term lover, Alexandros Panagoulis, who was a one-man resistance movement against the Greek dictator, Colonel Papadopoulos. He died – was likely murdered — in a “road accident.” Fallaci wrote a book about Panagoulis, Un Uomo. She spent a lot of time reporting on Muslims in the Middle East, writing a book on women in Islam, The Useless Sex. She spent time with a PLO squad, coming under Israeli fire, and interviewed Arafat, Khomeini, and Qaddafi, among others. She came to detest, through living among and observing Muslims, the ideology of Islam and those who took it to heart. She was particularly disturbed as she saw Muslims entering and settling in Italy and especially in her beloved Tuscany, and busily building mosques, even in Colle Val d’Elsa, that most Tuscan of little hill towns between Florence and Siena.
She vividly describes how Muslim migrants would urinate and defecate on artistic treasures in Florence, including the celebrated bronze doors at the Baptistery – the “Gates of Heaven” by Lorenzo Ghiberti. Right after 9/11, Fallaci wrote a furious article about the behavior of Muslims in the West; it took up four full pages in the Corriere della Sera; she then turned it into a book, The Rage and the Pride, a full-bore attack on Islam and Muslims that does not mince words, and that has sold millions of copies. This biographical note is meant to show that it is perfectly possible to be politically on the left all of one’s life and also be furiously anti-Islam, a possibility which the writers for Mother Jones seem incapable of grasping. Perhaps if they read Oriana Fallaci, and saw how she out-bannons Bannon, or studied John Quincy Adams, who out-falwells Falwell, they might be persuaded to themselves read the Qur’an and Hadith with attention, to learn something of the history of Islamic conquest, and to treat with respect the views of so many of those in the intelligent past, such as Hume and Russell, Churchill and Shaw, Pascal and Twain, Montesquieu and Schopenhauer, who had nothing good to say about Islam. And one might ask the Mother Jones writers to take a look at the studied verdict on Islam of so many other distinguished students of Islam from the past. They might start here.
It would be interesting to see if the Mother Jones writers can come up with list of notable non-Muslims who were favorably impressed with Islam. How long and impressive would such a list be? Of course we all know one person who was deeply impressed by Islam. But I’m not sure Adolf Hitler ought to be used as a reference. And what did those who admired aspects Islam find to admire beyond the fanatical faith of the Believers that made them so willing to die? Try yourself to find anyone who praises Islam for something else.
And ask yourself, too, in the world today, which regime is now the most ferociously anti-Islam of all? It turns out to be Communist China, where worry over the Muslims in Xinjiang has led the Communist authorities in Beijing to impose a series of anti-Muslim measures much stronger than anything that has been done in the West. The Communist Chinese require that all restaurants remain open during Ramadan, and that fasting during Ramadan be banned. The same government requires that women be banned from wearing the burqa in public, and men with long beards prohibited from riding buses, the stated reason being that explosives and other weapons could be concealed behind burqas or beards. Muslim websites are unceremoniously removed from the Internet by the Chinese authorities. The Chinese leaders have denounced the Dalai Lama because he called for entering into a dialogue with the Islamic State. The Communist Chinese do not treat the Dalai Lama, whose remarks on Islam have become increasingly bizarre, with the automatic respect he gets, but no longer deserves, in the West. And in the last three months of 2016, the Chinese government demolished 5000 mosques, or 70% of those originally standing in Xinjiang. The stated reason was that of “public safety,” that is, the mosques were supposedly so dilapidated that they might collapse. No one in Xinjiang was fooled.
So what does Mother Jones think of the Chinese Communist view of Islam? Are the boys in Beijing just too “right-wing” and “alt-right” for the magazine’s taste? Is that what explains why the Chinese now prevent Ramadan from being celebrated, or why they recently demolished 5000 mosques in Xinjiang? Is it possible the Chinese know something about Islam, and the menace its adherents presents to Unbelievers everywhere, that doesn’t quite fit the world view of the mickey-mockers at Mother Jones?