Saturday, September 10, 2011

I HAPPEN to want CAIR illegalized

One of the most infuriating soundbites to emerge from 9/11 discussions has been when people justify the attacks by saying, "the hijackers HAPPENED to be Muslim."

This is nonsense.

They "happen" to be Muslim the same way Catholic priests "happen" to be men and people seeking abortions "happen" to be women. Or car accidents "happen" to involve automobiles, high school graduates "happen"  to have completed 12th grade, cats "happen" to be carnivores and China "happens" to be in Asia. You get my drift.

The way "happen" is being used regarding 9/11 is to mean "to occur by chance." There is nothing in any of the above examples that involves chance--they all involve defining the term.

The hijackers did not HAPPEN to be Muslims. That statement implies that other, non-Muslim members of al-Qaida were, by sheer luck, not given the assignment that day, and that only by coincidence were all 19 men followers of the Prophet on a mission to martyr themselves. 

But al Qaida is a Muslim organization and the attacks were part of a religious war prosecuted by a very devout element within Islam.

Ahmad "the flower of Islam" Rehab

CAIR's Ahmad Rehab is only the latest idiot to make this pronouncement, as if little old ladies from the Iowa Lutheran Children's Charities were vying for the opportunity to hijack those planes but they then drew the short straw.

And why do I say that this is part of the 9/11 attack's justification? Because by saying that the hijackers HAPPEN to be Muslim, the speaker is stating that the attacks were inevitable--they would have occurred anyway, sooner or later. And why? Let's remove the religiopolitical Islamic element from this argument: BECAUSE ALL THOSE PEOPLE DESERVED TO BE IMMOLATED.  They were in buildings that stood for Big Bad American power.

Hey, Reverend Jeremiah Wright explained it that way to his congregation (which at the time included Barack and Michelle Obama).

I don't know if people who buy into this statement are actually aware of how offensive it is, or if this is more on a subconscious level--maybe they're trying to project, and say that other non-Muslim individuals have carried out other, but also devastating, terrorist attacks.

Yes, and so what?

I notice that there aren't a whole lot of people out there rallying support for Tim McVeigh or Anders Breivik's ideology, the way CAIR has been regarding the 9/11 killers.

CAIR currently enjoys freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, but I think they edge very close to treason with a lot of their rhetoric.  This is actually a very tame example, but it highlights their creepy, hostile attitude.

Worse, they're courted unceasingly by the American media, which has allowed CAIR and similar entities to silence discussion of their ideology.

I happen to be really sick of it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 + 10 = Elephant in the room

The State Department is commemorating the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 by encouraging Americans to participate in an "interfaith day of service." Unsurprisingly, Hillary Clinton (who views herself as a modern-day Gertrude Bell) has decided to continue her focus on the Muslim community, which has been brought front and center for this occasion.

It is true that most Muslims worldwide were horrified by the attacks, and it is also true that a number of Muslims died that day. Moreover, the overwhelming number of victims of the thousands of jihadi attacks SINCE 9/11 have been Muslims.

But it is also true that the 19 hijackers who successfully murdered more than 3,000 people in one day were carrying out only one phase of a religious mission, one that was celebrated in Muslims countries, cities and neighborhoods all over the world. And that mission continues.

Here in Chicago, the Southwest Side was the scene of euphoric demonstrations of solidarity by Muslims honoring the 19 martyrs, as Palestinian flags were unfurled from balconies and waved from the windows of cars driven by giddy youth. I was teaching at a community college at the time, and some of my Muslim students did take pains to express their sympathy to me, and my fellow Americans. But some also seized the opportunity to lecture me on why America deserved to be attacked and why the victims were considered the Enemy. (While bizarrely maintaining that, although the 19 Martyrs were being lionized, it was really Mossad and the Jewish banking industry that had carried out the attacks.)

War had clearly been declared against the US.

But by whom?

Our government has insisted, again and again, that this is not a war against Islam ("the religion of peace") but against a tiny fraction of Muslims who embrace a twisted and corrupt version of their faith. "Real" Muslims eschew violence and practice tolerance toward all, following the example of the Prophet Mohammad.

(Actually, Mohammad led his armies into vicious battles of conquest and allowed the vanquished to choose between conversion and death. So it could be argued that the "real" Muslims who reject this model are actually apostates. But that's another discussion.) 

But while our government has made this point over and over again, saying that a few rogue organizations are the ones fomenting violence all over the world, we have at the same time chosen to treat Islam as a sovereign that deserves to have the same diplomatic status as actual countries.

If it's true that our conflict is with al-Qaeda and all its offshoots and peer organizations, then why are we treating all of Islam as a separate entity? President Obama has repeatedly discussed the necessity of working with "the Muslim World" (Muslims like this because their word for it is "caliphate," which they believe will eventually govern everyone.)

If, on the other hand, the government on some level recognizes that al Qaeda et al REPRESENT  Islam, then it makes sense to talk about the Muslim World.

I think it is a huge mistake for the US, particularly under this administration, to imbue global Islam with all sorts of political privileges. Who cares what "the Muslim world" thinks? Why are we pandering to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, who have a very anti-Western/anti-American charter which has never changed and which has historically supported known terrorist organizations? Why are we not telling Egypt, "Dismantle the MoBro or US money will dry up."? (And it's a lot of money. Everyone complains about all the foreign aid that goes to Israel, but Recipient Number Two is Egypt.) Why have we not held Pakistan's feet to the fire?

This foreign policy is empowering groups like the Muslim Brotherhood because we are allowing them to be one of the voices of "the Muslim World."

But what about our domestic policy toward Islam?

Here, we're treating the "Muslim community" as if it has a politcal and cultural identity completely separate from "the rest of America." We (the public and the media) are also giving a lot of credence to MoBro/Hamas brothers-in-arms like CAIR.

Of course, in the US, we currently have three main religions. (The Jews are marginalized in the public consciousness as a quasi-secular group because they aren't out hounding people to convert.) The Big Three are: beleagured, perpetually victimized Muslims; illiterate gun-toting evangelical Christians, and the Catholics, who mindlessly obey sexually perverted priests.

But the latter two groups don't merit their own government outreach programs. Of course, you could cite examples of islamophobia as forcing special mitigating treatment, but then what about the Jews? They have always been on the receiving end of much worse mistreatment, and at disproportionately high numbers.

The idea of an "interfaith" day of service never would have come up if the 9/11 attacks had been carried out by North Korean communists, or any other non-religious group.  This is just another opportunity for the government to indoctrinate us with their biased assessment of Islam.

And speaking of "interfaith," what about Americans who don't identify with a particular religion--those who consider themselves "spiritual," but don't have any affiliation to a formal faith community? What about atheists and agnostics? Are they not part of this volunteer/social outreach plan?

But okay: there's really nothing terrible about a "day of service," unless it involves letting blind people get into taxis with their seeing-eye dogs, which Minneapolis Muslim cabbies won't do because dogs are unclean. Making this "interfaith" is a little cloying. But even if the State Department wants to play it that way, why the emphasis on Muslims? Why not treat Islam as one of many religious expressions in the US?

An analogous situation would be if the government decided to address the issue of child sexual abuse, and they didn't merely include religious leaders from all different faiths, but gave special attention to the the Catholic clergy and let them set the tone for the entire effort....instead of deferring to the input of the victims or their families. Would the families of Catholic clergy's victims be upset?

Just like the "Islam and terrorism" issue, the vast majority of Catholic priests are not child molesters, and moreover, child molesters are also found in all walks of life (a la Loughner and McVeigh) but I am sure--again, like the Islam/terrorism connection--that a lot of non-molesting clergy knew about pedophiles within their ranks and did little or nothing about it. Some even moved to protect them, even while trying to neutralize their effects by assigning them to positions that were not child related.

The biggest mistake the Church made was trying to handle this internally, which crippled trust within the Church but which also destroyed its credibility among all people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. I think this is what Muslims are trying to do now, and it's having the same effect. CAIR's media campaign to pressure Muslims NOT to cooperate with law enforcement is a perfect example. But they'll learn the hard way, just like a lot of bishops did all over the US and Europe: covering up for criminals, whether they're sex offenders or jihadists, makes you an accessory to whatever crime they commit....or plan to.

Still, I think most Americans would be uncomfortable with, if not openly hostile to, the State Department negotiating with the Catholic World or the Bahai World or the Neo-Pagan World. And whether or not a horrible tragedy like 9/11 inspires the government to "reach out" to any particular group, I think it's an unhealthy mistake to pretend a violent event with specific targets happened in a vacuum.

That is what we are doing with 9/11.

I don't necessarilly see the purpose in obsessing about it, beyond an appropriately sober memorial service, and incorporating the 9/11 narrative into our nation's history.

But I do think we should be honest enough to call it what it was: a Muslim attack on the United States.

Silencing that discussion and instead saying that Muslims had nothing to do with 9/11 and were, in fact, the real victims of American aggression is insulting.  Islam can exist, and even thrive, in our country if we treat it like any other religion. No special treatment (positive or negative), no special privileges. It is not a nation-within-a-nation and does not merit that consideration.

President Obama and his administration should be smart and honest enough to lead the way on this.