Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yelling "Fire" in a Crowded Theater....that's on fire

And all the brouhaha in the Middle East continues--supposedly over an anti-Mohammad film, and now some French satirical cartoons.

I haven't seen the movie clip yet, but everyone says it's pretty amateurish. Maybe all those rioting Muslims don't have a problem with the content, but are all film critics and just HATE substandard productions.

Not that I think for a second that the film really provoked all this violence. Too many factors intersected: it's  likely that the film was a pretext, and now it looks like the Current Administration is reluctantly beginning to admit as much. For one thing, the clip had been circulating for months prior to all this violence. For another, the riots were too well-organized to have arisen spontaneously. And on the anniversary of the greatest Islamic military victory of the 21st Century! If you believe in coincidence, which I don't, that's a pretty big one.

Our press is constantly urging us to "move past" the "events" of 9/11--as if 3,000+ people died in a natural disaster instead of being immolated by murderers--but I guess no one in the Muslim world got that memo. And really, how many among the rioting mobs actually saw the film clip? Not that it matters, because we've seen other riots over the past decade that were provoked by rumors at Friday prayers.

As for portraying Mohammad in an offensive manner, you don't have to do much.  Anyone who has had the misfortune of sitting through "The Messenger," a 1970's biopic starring Anthony Quinn, might recall that bloody riots ensued when word about that production leaked. The cast and crew had to move the entire operation to Turkey, and they were still under threat. (I wouldn't have even known about this film if not for some Muslim friends who insisted this would be a life-changing experience for me. Yeah: I lost a lot of respect for Anthony Quinn as a result.)

That movie was intended to portray Mohammad without actually portraying Mohammad, which saved them from having to pay at least one actor's salary. The directer wanted the film to be totally positive and inoffensive, so the point of view of the cameraman served as the Mohammad character: no face, no voice, just Anthony Quinn approaching in closeup to say things like, "What would you have us do, O Messenger of Allah?" and then Anthony Quinn would restate what was apparently Mohammad's advice. It was a weird movie, but about as controversial as an episode of The Waltons. 

It is pointless to worry about offending Muslims because Muslims will be offended anyway. In Spain, they're offended by female meter maids, and several Muslim-majority towns have become so dangerous for women to hand out parking tickets that they have been re-assigned out of fear for their own safety.

(This has caused kind of a dilemma for the political left wing in those areas, long advocates of broader immigration policies and more "tolerance"....because they have also stood for women's rights. Suddenly tolerating the intolerant has become an issue.)

But let's just say that the recent "provocative" film trailer was, instead, an accurate portrayal of what Muslim scholars agree are the facts of Mohammad's life. No one has come out and said this, but such a movie would be pretty damning, by our standards. He would come across as a homicidal monster with broad and uncontrolled sexual appetites, including a fondness for little girls. (No one who has studied Islam, from a strictly Muslim perspective, disputes the fact that he was in his 50's when he consummated his marriage to 9 year old Aisha, or that he put out  contract killings on his detractors. Among other things.)

I have lost patience with people who have--while condemning the Embassy attacks--insist on offering a lame apology for the trailer. These are the same people who got all bent out of shape when kooky Rev. Terry Jones wanted to burn all those Qur'ans. The response to the violence should be, "Knock it off!" Remember the saying, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? A lot of the rioters ought to be able to relate to the stoning part of that adage, and they should grow up and accept that insults lose their power when they are ignored.

The US has unfortunately gotten on board with anti-blasphemy initiatives that have been pushed through the UN by powerful Muslim interests and are now being enforced in places like Pakistan. Hillary Clinton is a big supporter of anti-blasphemy laws because she confuses blasphemy with discrimination. Blasphemy is entirely defined by the dominant religion of any given country, and as we've seen, there is a LOT that falls under the blasphemy umbrella in Islam.

The problem with blasphemy laws is that it merges state and religious concerns. Blasphemy should fall under rules by  which believers live, and no one has a problem with religious leaders deciding who should be forced out of a religious community for violating the precepts of that religion. But when believers AND non-believers are all held criminally responsible for religious offenses and subjected to legal prosecution, terrible things can happen. (Like, crucifixion! But I'm sure you can think of other examples.)

Recently, a retarded Pakistani girl was released from a Pakistani jail  because she had been charged with blasphemy for burning pages from the Qur'an along with the household trash.  Her family was Christian in a neighborhood that had recently decided to encourage non-Muslims to move. The girl was illiterate and developmentally delayed, with absolutely no understanding of why she was arrested and separated from her family. Eventually a neighbor came forward and reported the local imam to the police. The imam had in fact planted the burned papers, and he's now in jail. The girl and her family have since, wisely, moved.

The State Dept. was silent on this event because the Pakistani authorities had been given, indirectly, the US seal of approval to go after this kid.

The people who apologize for the offensiveness of crummy movies are the same people who want to protect the rights of Islamic states to persecute the innocent for the crime of not embracing shariah.

Victor David Hanson has an excellent analysis of the situation here, and he makes these recommendations for dealing with the Muslim world:

Start developing vast new oil and gas finds on public lands here at home. Get our financial house in order. Quietly cut back aid to hostile Middle East governments. Put travel off-limits. Restrict visas and call home ambassadors -- at least until Arab governments control their own street mobs.
Develop a consistent policy on the so-called Arab Spring that applies the same criticism of illiberal dictators to the theocrats who depose them. Keep quiet and keep our military strong. Don't apologize for a few Americans who have a right to be crude. Instead, condemn those premodern zealots who would murder anyone of whom they don't approve.

Detectives who solve homicides--like the deaths of our foreign service officers--always look for means, motive, and opportunity. The means, of course, were sheer numbers of angry people, many of them armed; the motive is a deep-seated hatred of functional non-Muslim societies, but particularly the imprisonment of the mastermind of the first WTC attack ("The Blind Sheikh") and the opportunity was 9/11. 

[It will be very interesting to see if the Blind Sheikh will be transferred to Egypt, as per the demands of The Arab Street and the Muslim Brotherhood (they're our friends now, remember?). I certainly hope this is out of the question. If he is given a humanitarian release, remember that only a fellow Muslim would extend such a favor, and he would have to have a very high position in our government to do so.] 

If the anti-American riots show us anything, it's that "offensive" movies are not the problem. The problem for the civilized world is that, contrary to what President Obama says, we ARE at war with Islam. Not every single Muslim was out there causing mayhem. But we have to admit that, by protecting freedom of religion and freedom of speech, as well as basic human rights, we are on a direct collision course with millions of people who all share an ideology and who would like to limit--or eliminate--those liberties. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh, Brother.

If anyone is the victim of so-called "McCarthy Era Smear Tactics," it's Michele Bachmann. She had the audacity to be part of a group asking questions about the Muslim Brotherhood's influence on the current administration, and now a number of highly visible politicians and pundits have come out and denounced her as an alarmist Islamophobe trying to ruin the reputation of the sweetly innocent Huma Abedin.

All these people are saying that Bachmann and her cohorts are being ridiculous, but is that true?

In fact, Ms. Abedin DOES have ties to the MoBro--very strong ties, as it turns out. Her parents were both hardcore Islamists, and it's not overstating the case to say that the MoBro DOES want to implement shariah in the US. Whether they will be successful or not remains to be seen, but given the inroads they've already made (such as establishing their incubator organization, the Muslim Students Association, on practically every American campus), anyone who says, "It can't happen here" had better go back and read a few history books.

If Abedin has distanced herself or rejected the philosophy she was raised with, she hasn't said so, nor has anyone in her circle of friends and relatives.

That Abedin was then tapped to become a top advisor to the US Secretary of State is not merely a theoretical conflict of interest, it has already shown some results. Andrew McCarthy--a different McCarthy--just published an article in the National Review that offers some interesting perspective. Part of the article lists a few issues that have the MoBro's fingerprints all over them.  Coincidence? I think not. Here's an excerpt from McCarthy's article (especially read the last segment, which I boldfaced):

  • The State Department has an emissary in Egypt who trains operatives of the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations in democracy procedures.
  • The State Department announced that the Obama administration would be “satisfied” with the election of a Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government in Egypt.
  • Secretary Clinton personally intervened to reverse a Bush-administration ruling that barred Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the Brotherhood’s founder and son of one of its most influential early leaders, from entering the United States.

  • The State Department has collaborated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of governments heavily influenced by the Brotherhood, in seeking to restrict American free-speech rights in deference to sharia proscriptions against negative criticism of Islam.
  • The State Department has excluded Israel, the world’s leading target of terrorism, from its “Global Counterterrorism Forum,” a group that brings the United Statestogether with several Islamist governments, prominently including its co-chair, Turkey — which now finances Hamas and avidly supports the flotillas that seek to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas. At the forum’s kickoff, Secretary Clinton decried various terrorist attacks and groups; but she did not mention Hamas or attacks against Israel — in transparent deference to the Islamist governments, which echo the Brotherhood’s position that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and that attacks against Israel are not terrorism.
  • The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer $1.5 billion dollars in aid to Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in the parliamentary elections.
  • The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian territories notwithstanding that Gaza is ruled by the terrorist organization Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch.
  • The State Department and the administration recently hosted a contingent from Egypt’s newly elected parliament that included not only Muslim Brotherhood members but a member of the Islamic Group (Gama’at al Islamia), which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization — so that providing it with material support is a serious federal crime. The State Department has refused to provide Americans with information about the process by which it issued a visa to a member of a designated terrorist organization, about how the members of the Egyptian delegation were selected, or about what security procedures were followed before the delegation was allowed to enter our country.
  • On a just-completed trip to Egypt, Secretary Clinton pressured General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the military junta currently governing the country, to surrender power to the newly elected parliament, which is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who is a top Brotherhood official. She also visited with Morsi; immediately after his victory, Morsi proclaimed that his top priorities included pressuring the United States to release the Blind Sheikh. Quite apart from the Brotherhood’s self-proclaimed “grand jihad” to destroy the United States, which the Justice Department proved in federal court during the 2007–8 Holy Land Foundation prosecution, the Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, publicly called for jihad against the United States in an October 2010 speech. After it became clear the Brotherhood would win the parliamentary election, Badie said the victory was a stepping stone to “the establishment of a just Islamic caliphate.”

The rest of the article is well worth reading, but the bottom line is something we all need to pay attention to: the MoBro has an ally in the current U.S. administration, and that's seriously bad news for anyone who values religious freedom and human rights.And before anyone cleverly accuses me of equating the MoBro with all so-called "moderate" Muslims who reject shariah: it's bad news for those Muslims, too. 

But even aside from all of this is the mentality that Abedin is untouchable because we have no direct proof that she, personally, has done any of the above, and that guilt by association is simply morally WRONG. 


The New York Times ran a huge piece about Obama's kill list, which describes how he frequently flips through a "deck of cards" featuring al-Qaeda operatives targeted for lethal drone attacks. 

In some cases, a number of people, particularly young men, are at risk as "collateral damage," but according to Obama, if you're hangin' with the bad guys, you're probably a bad guy too....and you deserve what's coming.

(This policy is so much better than the whole Guantanamo stick-them-in-prison-until-we-can-figure-out-how-to-try-them thing. Here, after what the admin likes to think of as whack-a-mole, the problem is solved. )

I guess guilt by association is only a problem if you're trying to protect people who are working at the highest levels of government to destroy our country, but it's no big deal if you're putting out hits on undesirable individuals who aren't worth the cost of a trial. 

Whatever. But obviously,  SOMEONE in the highest level of the US government is sympathetic to pro-shariah Islam. And maybe it's not Huma Adedin! 

Maybe it's her boss. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Murfreesboro vs. the Mosque, Part 2

More than a year ago, in March 2011, I wrote about a documentary addressing the proposed construction of a mosque in Tennessee. (Original post: I was outraged at the clear bias, and naivete about its subject, deonstrated by the producers of the film, which ham-handedly portrayed the non-Muslim residents of Murfreesboro as bigots while the Muslims were victims of systematic discrimination.

Now, Eric Allen Bell, the producer of "Unwelcome" has come out and admitted that he was duped by those promoting the mosque: the background of a lot of the Muslim community leaders was shady, the mosque leadership was tied up with radical organizations, and that the production crew was told lie after lie that misrepresented the Muslims' involvement in the issue.

One segment of the film addressed vandalism that was supposedly a warning to the Muslims to cease mosque construction. But the villainous Murfreesboro residents didn't do anything as retro as burning a cross on the site; they damaged construction equipment. Bell writes:
"News broke in late August that there had been an attempted arson, on some construction equipment, after breaking ground for the new mosque. Mrs. Ayash was very pregnant at the time and had not yet been exposed in the Tennessean newspaper for her past criminal record. She called a press conference, which was held right in front of a partially burned tractor and told the media that she was very troubled and surprised by this kind of reaction to an innocent mosque. Not long afterwards, news broke that police had finally caught the man who had vandalized another mosque, in a town not far away. And as it turned out, he was a Muslim and a member of the congregation."

Well, duh.

The article is worth reading in its entirety. ( It's instructive to see what happens to an earnest, well-meaning producer who thinks he's sticking up for the underdog and instead discovers that he was manipulated to further a false narrative. He says,

"The premise of “Not Welcome” was that, contained within this image of the defaced sign, was a story. And I felt that within the story of this defaced sign was the story of human civilization and our inability to peacefully coexist. I may have been a bit na├»ve, but I meant well. Coexistence seemed like a good idea. And Mufreesboro seemed like a microcosm of the world, and an excellent jumping off point to look more deeply and how and why we are divided as a people on this planet. Little did I know that I was going down a rabbit hole, for which there was no turning back. And so I did a lot of bad things, thinking they were good things. I helped a colleague at “The Daily Show” in their attempt to humiliate prominent members of the Mufreesboro Counter Jihad movement. I accepted the support of Michael Moore, to expose what I (wrongly) thought was a foaming at the mouth, bigoted Evangelical bullying of a minority group. I said and did things, in print, on the news, everywhere, which have consequences. And much of my work today is focused on correcting my mistakes and educating the world about what I now know to be the defining issue of our time: The grave threat of Political Islam."

Before the end of the ordeal, he is threatened with genital mutilation, his private medical records are leaked to the public (possibly by one of the young Muslims who "befriended" him and then offered to use her position as a pharmacy tech to smear an anti-mosque person, an offer Bell declined) and his personal contact information was made public, along with hints that he would be made to pay for his recent "Islamophobic" views.

As for me, the bullet points at the end of my original post were all right on the money. I hate to say "I told you so," but.....

I told you so!