…just as Americans liberated themselves from their British oppressors, Muslims must free themselves from Islam because they, too, have an unalienable right to freedom. In liberating themselves from Islam, they will ensure a happier life for themselves and their children, and a safer, more peaceful world for the rest of us.
In at least twenty-three previous issues of this newsletter, you have been informed and reminded of Obama’s pledge to provide the USA with a “civilian national security force” that is as well funded and as powerful as the existing US military. He has never explained why that force is necessary, but it was approved by the same legislation that approved Obamacare, and it has almost certainly been supplied with weaponry that will allow it to exert lethal force within the borders of the nation in support of federal power. (See the Footnote for sources.)
When Obama originally declared that the nation needed this domestic force, it was clear that his statement was absolutely not extemporaneous, impulsive, or spontaneous. His “watching a tennis match” head-swiveling indicated that he was reading the words from teleprompter screens, first from the one on the left, then from the one on the right. That’s his way of pretending to look at his audience as he speaks, and it’s proof that what he was saying had been drafted, edited, rewritten, checked again, and given a final look before he stepped up to the screens and waxed heartfelt.
What the threat means
No doubt: Obama said what he meant, and he means exactly what he said. So…what is that?
First, he asserted that the nation needs this force. That’s true, in a sense; what he really meant, however, is not that in villages and cities across the land, people are muttering that a new sort of Super Police, a Federal Military Force above the National Guard, a really powerful military unit much better equipped than the FBI, is needed. Is that true? Does the population recognize that “need”?
No, there is no such necessity, and on that the overwhelming majority of the populace would certainly agree. What The One meant was that his plans for the dismantling and reconstruction of the economic systems of the nation require the new military (“security”) force. Think that through.
Second, Obama stated flatly that this new force must be as well funded and equipped as the regular military. Does that mean that it will have more blankets and ambulances than anybody else, or that it will be staffed with legions of psychologists and baby-sitters who can help you when you are overstressed by life? Again, no, not at all. Obama’s statement refers to pistols and rifles and grenade launchers and Humvees and machine guns and mortars and all the rest of it, including Abrams tanks. It means, Pilgrims, exactly this: Obama wants a lethal force capable of destroying any and all conceivable opposition, including heavily armed and well-trained troops who have air support.
Third, the candidate told the nation that anybody who disobeys and continues to resist the Obamite security force will be killed.
The questions that will be asked
What matters is not so much that nobody is paying attention to the unfolding plan, but that each person who has the facts today might some day have to answer to his grandchildren.
If that is to be understood, some perspective is required.
Students of history have been known to ask why the German people did not recognize Hitler for what he was, and stop him from assuming power. The answers are usually excuses, not reasons. History is not kind to people who look the other way when tyranny arrives — and who refuse to see it while that evil power can still be driven off.
You can’t plead ignorance
From the first, this newsletter called attention to the efforts of zealots to use their and other people’s children in the Obamoid push for power, comparing US organizations and propaganda to the Hitler Jugend and North Korean exploitation of tots in service to the ruling Kim family. Nazi and North Korean fascists mounted a shameless effort, and Obamites seemed to have copied the hideous practices — which this newsletter bitterly denounced as child abuse.
The advance of the core Obamoid program is clear, though few are aware of it and the major media dare not even hint at it. Before long, the chances are that you will be confronted by raw fascist power masquerading as IRS regulations and the “helpful guidance” of other government agencies. Your options will shrink, and pressure to conform will increase as penalties will be sophistically redefined as taxes (thanks to the absurd rationalizations of turncoat UnJustice Roberts), and the business community will be increasingly burdened by “regulatory corrections” and “incentives” and “guidelines” that are mandatory. Senator Warren will rejoice, and demand to know who is complaining — presumably so she can scalp them, or at least count coup. Ugh.
From there, the imagination takes flight, and some extreme “wingnuts” will say children will be collected up and sold to the Arabs. Conspiracist fantasies and nightmares will discredit rational critics of the federal power grab — which is already much more inclusive than the overwhelming majority of the electorate knows.
The president wears a Che Guevara T shirt
In time, first-graders obediently singing for Obama could be — well, probably will be — replaced by a police state that no longer needs “cute”. It just might rival Cuba and the old German Democratic Republic. No, that’s not wild speculation: every authoritarian society keeps a close eye on its victims/citizens, and the USA is well on the road to universal surveillance that penetrates all significant levels of the individual’s existence. You know that’s true, just as you know that Obama turned the administration of enrollment in Obamacare over to the IRS. You also know that’s an agency that is literally power-mad, intimidating in its manner, eager to extend its authority, boasts privately that it is sovereign in its ability to disrupt and destroy literally any person or business in the USA, is solidly Obamoid in outlook, and is obediently anti-Tea Party.
The federal tax man is the ideal Obamacare coordinator/enforcer
Yes, the IRS is quintessential invincible thuggery; in fact, it is easier to do business with the Mafia than with the agents of the IRS. The Mafia just wants your money — the IRS wants you to submit, know fear, and realize that you can hire no hit man to erase your problem with the extortionists. Unlike the Mafia, the IRS neither fears nor respects anyone, and that’s a very bad thing. When the political power is the evildoer, you have no options except outlaw status, total identity change or perfect anonymity (neither of which is terribly practical), emigration, or outright rebellion. The latter is infinitely more dangerous than is fighting in a war between mobsters and their prey. Mafiosi are, after all, businessmen with bad ethics; they can be dealt with. The government is implacable, all-powerful, and need never accept defeat.
Obama’s promises of reform that will prevent the IRS from abusing “wingnut” organizations have proved to be babble; what did you expect, and what can you expect?
If discontent grows as Obamacare devastates millions, do you expect Obama to reform himself and emerge a sincere believer in free markets and genuine constitutional government?
The man is a community organizer. He is organizing you.
To repeat: Obama says what he means, and means what he says. You will submit.
But…what will you tell your grandchildren…when they ask you how that happened to the United States of America?
Footnote: Obama’s domestic military has been mentioned in Numbers 39, 41, 103, 140, 141, 142, 146, 148, 151, 169, 170, 173, 186, 250, 269, 289, 293, 302, 304, 305, 307, 313, and 317. Copies of all these Numbers will be sent to subscribers who request them. Many Numbers may be available on line; for help in accessing them, write for information — the address is the very last hyperlink on this page. The assistance and the information are free; no donations will be solicited or accepted.
Your Fatwah Does Not Apply Here, by Karima Bennoune, Norton, 2013, ISBN 978-0-393-08158-9.
Stories that needed to be told, and need to be read
This is an important book. The author is a self-described human rights lawyer who traveled widely, recording the experiences of people who have been savaged by Muslim extremists. The accounts of threats, assassinations and bloody-minded totalitarianism are heartbreaking.
All right; but why should anyone immerse himself in these horror stories? What good will it do?
Corrective action — the defeat of the violent jihad preached by lunatics — will never be possible unless the West understands the nature not only of the criminals, but of the societies they target. In truth, the West can and should support Muslims who defy the madness. No nation that currently suffers under the evil dictatorship of religious tyrants is utterly incapable of changing and eventually breaking its chains.
Iran demonstrated that the insane mullahs — the Twelvers — who threaten the lives of everyone in that benighted nation are not universally accepted by the Iranian public. Open rebellion broke out, and the West did nothing to help the rebels remove the villains from power. That was, of course, an act of cowardice and a failure to understand what the sane portion of the Iranian public needs, wants, and could do to advance reform.
The author of this book documents the latent causes that will impose change on Islamic governments and societies. Her work articulates the hope that survives in brutal dictatorships across the globe; it will alter the way you understand both Islam and the policies followed by Western nations.
The flaws are substantial, numerous, and surprising
The experiences recounted in the book are one thing; the conceptual framework in which they appear is another altogether. Bennoune’s perspective is distorted, and her understanding of the evil she confronts is naive. That indictment is a serious charge that will doubtless be rejected as a misreading of the author’s claims, and quotes that elucidate her view will be rejected as out of context. Accordingly, this review must be burdened with some relatively lengthy passages from Bennoune’s text. Begin with this:
I hope that readers will come along on my trip, and view the landscape through my eyes. My perspective — that of a secular person of Muslim heritage concerned with both rising fundamentalism and increasing discrimination against Muslims — is rarely heard in the West. In the post-9/11 era, this is all contentious subject matter often seen only through the right- or left-wing versions of the so-called clash of civilizations, a set of paradigms I reject. For me, the clashes within civilizations, like those between fundamentalists and their opponents everywhere, are much more defining today.
Note that Bennoune’s first requirement of her readers is that they see things as she sees them. While keeping in mind that it is always best to see things as they are, consider this very significant passage:
In fact, the two Far Rights — the Western on and the Muslim one — play off each other. As Jeanne Favret-Saada wrote in the wake of the Innocence of Muslims conflagration, “On one side we have cowardly networks of so-called defenders of the West who manufacture a provocation…and make terroristic use of freedom of expression, and on the other side Muslim fundamentalist commandoes…eagerly welcome this provocation…[E]ach needs the other to produce the desired effect…Together these militant groups cause considerable…damage….”
In endorsing the Favret-Saada quote, Bennoune posits the ideological similarity of the USA’s “right” and Islam’s “fundamentalists”. That implies that each side in the dispute is an imperfect but still recognizable mirror image of the other. Before accepting that contention, ask whether it is rational to liken a political and religious movement to the forces that oppose it, such that both sides in the contest bear responsibility for the bloodshed.
Of course the answer is that only sometimes is that possible. When Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR clashed, both regimes deserved to be destroyed. When Poland attempted to resist Hitler’s invasion, in no sense were the combatants ethical mirror images of each other.
Is it true that Islam’s murderous “commandoes” need the outspoken critics of Islam? Would the violent fanatics stand down if everyone who disagrees with the teachings of Islam refused to express any negative opinions regarding Mohammed, the Koran and hadith, and all aspects of modern jihad?
Indeed there are essential questions that must be asked and answered candidly before one agrees to see the world through Bennoune’s eyes.
There are also issues of definition. Bennoune claims that Muslim “fundamentalists”, however defined (more on that in a moment), are properly considered “rightists” of a sort. She explains:
These ideologies and movements that I characterize as “fundamentalist” are varied, and I want to avoid conflating them. I place them along the far right of the broader political spectrum among people of Muslim heritage who, it bears repeating these days, are just as politically diverse as anyone else. The people we call Muslims do not all have the same politics. This is also true for the people I call Muslim fundamentalists.
Bennoune places the religious fanatics on the political far right. Note, please, that these Muslim far-right-wingers are mass murderers and totalitarian fanatics. Does that depraved state accurately describe all politically active people who can reasonably be placed on the far right?
Consider a thoroughgoing advocate of free markets and the legality of both prostitution and the use of psychoactive chemicals. Can he be considered a dangerously violent far-right-winger who is the ethical twin of an Al Qaeda bomber?
The questions matter, for the conversation now turns to the USA, and Bennoune is about to drop the term “far right”.
This tome in no way justifies discrimination against Muslims or unlawful violence against anyone, including those alleged to be Muslim fundamentalists or merely confused with them. It is not an apology for the Iraq War or waterboarding. It offers no comfort to right-wing anti-Muslim demagogues (the Pamela Gellers of the world) or the supporters of the policies of the Israeli government or George W. Bush, though undoubtedly some critics may claim it does. Criticizing Muslim fundamentalists is mistakenly equated with support for the actions of Western governments that claim to be their opponents. This is just wrong, and it entirely overlooks the fact that not everything is about the West.
The reader might note the ambiguity of “…discrimination against Muslims or unlawful violence….” There is nothing wrong with discriminating against unlawful violence, but that’s not what Bennoune meant; unfortunately her clumsy sentence got past the editor. Two issues matters here: first, whether Bennoune has conflated “far right” with “right” (thereby tarring both US rightists and jihadis as lunatics), and second, whether Bennoune has provided a cogent working definition of a US right-winger.
Usually US rightists call themselves conservatives, while this newsletter calls them “wingnuts” (the quote marks are to mock the usage of that term, just as they indicate that the word progressive is a misnomer). Evidently Pamela Geller qualifies as a right-wing activist, as far as Bennoune is concerned; the author of Your Fatwah… implies strongly that the Israeli government is supported by US right-wingers, and that W is a right-winger. Further, it is probably not stretching a point to suggest that the author feels those who oppose Muslim immigration to the USA are right-wingers.
Judge for yourself
Well, you might want to look into Geller, and see whether her pro-Israel, anti-Muslim sentiments are sane; here are some hyperlinks that provide a wide spectrum of opinions of Geller: one, two, three, four, and five. Geller has been mentioned in six Numbers of this newsletter, and never disapprovingly; nor does she impress NTG as a demagogue, but reasonable people can disagree. (Note: on page 295 of the book under review here, Bennoune refers to “right-wing, anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders”. Evidently she has not read his book!) As for W and Israel, presumably you have your views — and they probably add up to a recognition of the fact that nobody (except a human rights lawyer) is perfect.
Excuse that snarky parenthesis, please.
In fact Bennoune has not provided the reader with a working definition of a right-winger, nor has she explained how “right wing” can be properly applied to political and religious views. That is not to say that good definitions and explanations are unavailable. It is to say that Bennoune ignores them. She seems to assume that her readers will fill in the blanks. To this newsletter, that suggests that she is preaching to the choir (or, in order to impress any intellectual snobs who might have somehow come across this review, NTG should assert that Bennoune indulges herself in “The Fallacy of the Group Soliloquy”.)
One would like to ask Bennoune whether her undefined (but noxious) right-wingers are overwhelmingly bigots, and why they do not uphold the constitutional rights of the individual. The question would be a prelude to some devastating refutations of her views, for Bennoune reveals her bigotry and hypocrisy when she approvingly quotes Favre-Saada’s denunciation of “terroristic freedom of expression”. Two points suffice here: first, the very idea that Western criticism of Islam or Muslims evokes terror is fascist hyperbole gone wildly off the rails. Second, freedom of expression is generally opposed by collectivists, for freedom militates against attempts to control the minds of the populace. In fact Liberty is feared and hated by all who seek to impose control, for it protects the individual from tyranny. Bennoune is not in good company.
An attempt to pin the author down
What, then, is Bennoune’s definition of what she calls “fundamentalists” in Islam? She says she is…
…talking about a range of political movements…. They have at all times used or advocated violence. Their flag is also carried by or apologized for or covered up by some Muslim nongovernmental organizations based in the West…. Sometimes, fundamentalist ideas take on a disembodied life of their own…. Rather like American Christian broadcasting, radio and TV talk shows in Muslim majority environments are now full of the stuff. (Then there are) the more extreme Salafi jihadi armed movements…. Many Salafi jihadis reject outright the four main schools of Islamic legal interpretation. Their ideology is akin to fascism and they pose the absolute worst threats to human rights. …such groups gravely undermine freedom of religion, the rights of women and minorities, and the vital separation of mosque and state….
That’s an interesting, if quirky, definition of a term for would-be mass murderers who propose to force a viciously inhumane, totalitarian variety of religious commandments and restrictions on the world.
A closer look at Bennoune’s assertions does not clarify matters. It is telling that at no point in her book does she refer to the commandments of Allah regarding the proper conduct of genuine Muslims in their dealings with non-Muslims.
The disqualifying omission
That is perhaps the most trenchant negative criticism one can make of Bennoune’s thesis. In fact she adopts and uses the terms “fundamentalism” and “fundamentalists” without ever identifying, characterizing, or clarifying the fundament that inspires the horror. Instead, having merely noted that the “fundamentalists” make up their own obscene variety of Islamic faith as they go, Bennoune utterly ignores the wellsprings of the lunatics’ atrocities.
It is true that the fanatics do make up rules and issue madcap demands, such as prohibition of music, or forbidding the drinking of water while one is standing; those insane rules have no basis in Islam’s founding text, and are not mentioned in the hadith.
It is not true that violent jihadis have invented a new religion. The holy terror of the twenty-first century springs directly from the Koran. The fact that violent jihad has collected some amendments on its fell journey from the seventh century is interesting but not important. If anything in Islam’s history can be said to inspire and guide the jihadis, it must be the blood lust of Mohammed; recall the slaughter that followed the Battle of the Great Ditch. That seminal enormity exemplifies the age-old and current madness of totalitarian Islam.
Now why is it that this aspect of the topic had to be brought up by a reviewer, when it belongs in the author’s discussion of Muslim “fundamentalism”?
When Bennoune set out to write her book, she necessarily had to face the implications of delving even shallowly into how Islam began, what its most sacred book commands, and what the core of the faith demands of the individual. If she had explored those issues candidly, she would have exposed all of Islam — every sect, every school, every interpretation of it — to scrutiny that would both damn today’s jihadis and wither the religion’s appeal for rational Westerners. The simple truth is that Islam began as and remains today an attempted (and too often fully realized) tyranny. Accordingly the faith has been now and then and in some regions humanized to a degree by teachers who simply ignore some of the bloody-handed, bloody-minded central teachings and commandments. That does not alter the hard fact that those who look for the heart of the religion will turn to the Koran — and will be exposed to some of the most vile teachings ever recorded.
Those who doubt that assertion should consult Sam Harris’s book, The End of Faith, or get a copy of Robert Spencer’s volume, Not Peace But A Sword. (Spencer has other books explaining Islam, the Koran, and the life of Mohammed.)
This is important because the children of moderate Muslims are brought up to revere the Koran. When they find out what it says, their very humanity is put at some risk. If the seekers believe they are reading the words of Allah, that risk is substantially increased.
Mirror-image right wings, Western and Islamic?
Now consider whether Bennoune’s assertion of a parallel between conservatives in the USA and lunatic jihadis is convincing.
Of course Western “progressives” will be eager to condemn Tea Partiers, fiscal conservatives, and opponents of firearms restrictions…and so on…as dangerous nutjobs. Bennoune, who proclaims her leftist political orientation, is understandably prone to exaggeration and self-censorship; her thesis in this part of her book is polemical commentary, not reportage.
For Bennoune, Islam’s fundamentalists are on the far political right; they kill, torture, intimidate, and terrify people, all the while defining Islam as they wish. Their opponents in the USA, whom she never denounces as far rightists, are conservatives, and she says the two groups are similar in many troubling respects. Return to the top of this review, and under the headline “The flaws are substantial, numerous, and surprising” re-read the second blockquote. The meaning and implications are clear.
While many on the US political right say silly things from time to time, there is no physical danger to Muslims in the USA because of claimed “wingnut” extremism. Yes, at least one abortionist was murdered — and perhaps he was not the first. That had nothing to do with Islam. Again, there was the Oklahoma bombing, an atrocity that left the “wingnuts” in shock; recall, however, that it was directed at a federal establishment that committed a series of unjust acts (a number of federal officials should have gone to prison). In sum: “Wingnut” violence is sparse and very seldom has anything to do with Muslims. As a guess, this newsletter would say that in the USA, it’s safer to be a Muslim than it is to be a female.
The only complaint US Muslims might have is that many folks are highly critical of the faith of Mohammed, and some wish all Muslims would emigrate to Muslim-majority nations. Of course US “wingnuts” have their opinions of Islam, and most of those views are negative; should that surprise anyone?
In response to obvious reality, Bennoune has selected and endorsed a quote that accuses the right of “terroristic use of freedom of expression”. Piffle! The dispute is trivial — “wingnuts” are not guilty as charged. Now of course it is always possible that some insane loner will try to blow up a US mosque — and if that ever happens, the crime will probably be committed not by a “wingnut”, but by a lunatic Muslim from a competing Islamic sect. Surely Bennoune knows that. What is “terroristic expression”, anyway? “Boo!”?
Many absurdities, refuted
Quick minor points: “Switzerland has banned minarets”. That’s not true; the nation has banned the construction of more minarets; existing minarets are not banned, and may stand. Nor has Switzerland banned the construction of more mosques. “President Obama is falsely accused of being a Muslim, which has somehow become an offense”. That’s misleading and in part inaccurate: no one says it is an offense to be a Muslim; the accusation that Obama is a Muslim is based on his school record in Indonesia; the charge that he is a secret Muslim is serious and gets some traction, because it insists that he has lied and misrepresented himself to the voters (any presidential candidate who would do that would face heavy opposition). More:
Remote US states are lining up to pass resolutions against the application of “Sharia law” — in places such as Oklahoma where this is about as likely as Saudi Arabia’s future use of the Talmud.
That maladroit utterance will go over badly in Oklahoma, but will not cause great surprise there. Many in that state know the ruling Bicoastal Elite denigrates Flyover Country as geographically inconsequential and culturally deprived. Consider the logic of Bennoune’s statement rather than its snobbery: why would a rational person expect Oklahoma to be avoided by Muslims seeking to become US citizens? Oklahoma is a nice place, and nice people live there. Like Alaska and Chicago and Atlanta, it’s not for everybody; that’s fine. One can only conclude sadly that the US “progressive’s” bigotry is so profound and virulent that the mere mention of Oklahoma conjures up the wretchedness of a region in which only the severely inbred would consent to reside. It is surprising to see such a blatant expression of disgust for Flyover Country, but there it is. Bennoune has just validated her credentials as a stereotypically bigoted “progressive”.
Here is another of the author’s bizarre excursions from rationality:
Some Western observers see Muslim fundamentalists as the stalwart representatives of the local standing up to the global, the Jihad versus McWorld scenarios. That is not how they are often seen on the ground. Women in Niger complained bitterly to me that the fundamentalists were trying to replace the wonderfully colorful local dress — the boubou — with dour veils worn by some in the Arabian Peninsula, to de-Africanize their lived Islams. Moroccan anthropologist Hassan Rachik had explained this dynamic when he wrote that Muslim majority societies currently face two kinds of globalization, “Western globalization” and “Islamic globalization,” by which he meant transnational Muslim fundamentalist networks and ideology. In other words, Jihad is McWorld, just a different version of it.
Rather than be distracted by the sloppy prose of the above paragraph, consider the meaning. First, which US conservatives want to impose “McWorld” — whatever that is understood to be — on Africans? None. (“McWorld” survives, where it exists, because it caters to the desires of the consumer; it is forever subject to rejection. Jihad is not.) Second, saying that “Jihad is McWorld, just a different version of it” is very much like saying, “Slavery is free market economics, just a different version of it”. These concepts are empty slogans, yet Bennoune seems to feel the reader can benefit from exposure to them. One wonders why.
Is it the case, as Bennoune claims, that Westerners feel a need to be absolved of responsibility for colonialism? Islam was a colonial power; do or should Muslims regret that history? Does the phrase “conversion by the sword” mean anything to Bennoune?
Dishonest terminology: when the author accuses the West of being overly concerned with “the straw man of Muslim fundamentalism”, is she serious? Trivializing the activities of mass murderers in that fashion is like calling Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942 a retirement community.
Is there such a thing as a “secular Muslim”? If so, then there must be atheist Presbyterians! In all probability, Bennoune confuses the issue because she seems to consider Islam an aesthetic presence in culture, rather than a faith and its apparatus. She says she is “a secular person of Muslim heritage”. That self-description suggests that perhaps she has been at least partially enchanted by the art, ritual and piety of Islam, such that she can appreciate it as a theatrical setting; she says, “Whether believers, agnostics, free-thinkers, or atheists… (Muslims dissipate discrimination against themselves by) …representing some of the Muslim tradition’s greatest values — mercy, compassion, peace, tolerance, study, creativity, openness”. Bennoune does not mention that mercy, compassion, peace and tolerance are to be extended by Muslims only to other Muslims; according to the Koran, unbelievers are to be dealt with violently (if you doubt that, look it up in the Koran, 2:190-93).
The root of the matter
Bennoune fails to articulate the simple fact that the heart of Islam is evil; she could have quoted from the Koran, but she did not. The problem is not that some people are rightists, or that there are differences of opinion in Islamic societies; nor is it that nasty Western conservatives are nervous about the pandemic Islamic hatred of Jews and Israel, about dhimmitude, or about the fact that simply being a Hindu or Buddhist is a capital offense. The problem is the nature of the commandments given to all Muslims by the creator deity. The problem is the sociopathic character of Mohammed. The problem is the violence and hate that seethe deep within the Islamic edifice.
Decent, rational people who are born into Muslim societies face appalling disadvantages if they choose to live ethical lives. Bennoune knows this. She has lived in the waking nightmare, and she understands that it is evil.
The problem is that horrid book — a volume so depraved and seductive that it can only be called obscene. The response of many Muslims has been correct: they keep their heads down, they resist fascism, they struggle to adapt to insane leaders and the depredations of bloodthirsty lunatics. One can only pity them.
The single greatest contribution to the peace and prosperity of today’s world would be the magical eradication of Islam’s teachings.
Of course Bennoune is doing what she can, and she deserves strong support for her efforts. That does not excuse her errors, but then most of those are linked to her Western “progressive” political orientation. What remains, if one discounts her enthusiastic embrace of a variety of collectivism, is her quasi-aesthetic appreciation of the superficial trappings of Islam. In a sense, she loves Islam as a tourist loves English and French cathedrals. She recognizes the beauty and the grandeur, where they exist. For that superficial appreciation, she must be forgiven, and she can be admired.
To that the rational person must add that the fact that Islam can be seductive and can infect the malformed psyche with hatred must not be forgotten. Children reared to consider the Koran holy are at terrifying risk.
It is right to oppose the social and political influences of Islam, and it is correct to expose the hoax religion as fraudulent and toxic. Bennoune’s book could make a significant contribution to that cause, even though she would probably recoil at the suggestion that, very much like Pamela Geller, she has exposed the truth — and thereby advanced the maturation of the religion.
Perhaps some day Bennoune will see that those who loathe Islam and hope to eradicate its lunatics do pity the religion’s slaves. The US right is Bennoune’s ally, though she does not realize it. Yet.
Bad theory and assumptions, excellent coverage of human events
Enough. Bennoune has a point to make, and she blunts it with her discussion of the background and wellsprings of what she calls fundamentalism. Her taxonomy is wrong, her logic is often warped, and, when she draws invidious parallels between US conservatives and sociopathic Muslim murderers, her partisanship imposes a hindrance on her reasoning. Indeed none of those unfortunate elements should have been included in her book, for the text could and should have stood on the testimony of the victims of jihadi persecution and mayhem.
Ultimately, then, can this flawed book be recommended? Yes, definitely. Its message is clear: Muslims suffer from the lunatics within their faith, and the West should be doing something to help those victims. It is to Bennoune’s credit that she scolds Western “progressives” as dismissive of the misery caused by the religious fanatics.
In 2008, this newsletter (then named The Penguin Post) pointed out that Islam is a relatively young religion, and is roughly where Christianity was in the fourteenth century (that was a very bad time). Unfortunately it will be several centuries before Shias and Sunnis will be appalled at the thought of killing each other over doctrinal matters. It takes that long for a faith to mature. Meanwhile, those who suffer at the hands of the fanatics should fight back. The victims of religious fascism need help, and they deserve it. The West should intervene. There is no humane option, for tyranny is always evil.
Regardless of what Bennoune says (and in part because of what she omits), you should inform yourself about the core beliefs and teachings of Islam. That means at the very least getting a book about the Koran, and seeing what the real foundation is. From there, you can make up your mind about which Muslims are dangerous, and which would be good neighbors for decent people. Again: Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are not racists, not bigots, not firebrands and not crazy. They know more than you do about Islam, and they do not hate all Muslims. Like all good people, they do hate mass murderers, though.
So: if you are interested in the impact of today’s violent jihadis, buy and read Bennoune’s book. It provides a realistic view of the broad and diverse expanse of Islam today. There are twelve chapters in the book; you can skip the first one. The rest of the book is well worth the price and your time. Highly recommended.
Very Clever, These Yanks…And Their Chinese Partners
A tip of the hat goes to reader JW for a nauseating item on processed chicken from China — food that the label does not identify as from China. If you ever eat “chicken nuggets”, you must read the report at the hyperlink. It could change your dietary habits.
Having read the recommended text, think about it: how can it be cheaper to slaughter in the USA, freeze the carcasses, ship them to China (!) keeping them frozen all the way, have them processed there, then freeze the result and ship it back to the USA? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to slaughter, process and freeze in the USA?
The answer seems obvious: if a thousand carcasses go to China, nuggets made out of ten thousand chickens return to the USA.
Remember, there are no inspections or controls in place, so US officials have no way of knowing “fowl inflation” is actual. “We have no evidence of that” would be, therefore, an ethically reprehensible response to questions seeking the full truth.
No, this newsletter can’t prove its suspicions. That’s what makes the (very likely) scam perfect. Yet if US regulatory agencies wanted to inform the consumer, they could require “Processed in China” labels. What’s holding that up? Payoffs? Corruption? Again, the truth is impossible to discover and prove.
What’s Mandarin for “dumb clucks”?
Well, at least now you readers in the USA know you have a decision to make when you shop for your family….Caveat emptor!
Question: can one find an example of fascism in the USA today? Answer: yes; more than a single example are on display. Some are found here. When the state government has the audacity to “…require that two or more citizens who spend even nominal amounts on politics to register and report to the government”, political power is being abused by those who hold it. In fact, “…printing yard signs or running an email list can trigger these requirements. In Ohio, a single dollar in expenditures will do, so be careful if you talk politics over a cup of coffee.” If political speech is subject to licensing, Liberty is mocked. Obviously the full story deserves your consideration. Click on the hyperlink and become nauseatingly familiar with fascism, US style.
It’s too early to say whether this interesting discovery chips away a bit of the concept of intelligent design, but if it does, it will accomplish that only for those who cannot accept faith-based replacements for scientific reasoning.
While this newsletter has serious issues with Slate, which is an essentially collectivist propaganda outlet, the fact is that not all misguided people are naughty or wrong all the time. This article on the obviously flawed NSA does make a lot of sense. Recommended.
Related: if you think you can encrypt your e-mail well enough to keep NSA out of the loop, you are almost certainly wrong. Encryption just attracts NSA’s attention, and they will move heaven and earth to see what you are saying.
More or less related: if NSA so offends you that you want to mess with the rascals, get a random character generator (read this and then this) and encrypt its output. Mix the totally fake messages in with others that are encrypted nonsense — “will the motives of the bay estimate primal seeds in the mind of the onyx?” — and enjoy your fantasies, for NSA will never break your code (as previously noted, codes and cyphers are different; this highly recommended book will clear that up for you). Finally, here is information that might inspire some folks to even more creative efforts. Shucks, everybody needs a hobby.
Is there any privacy for anyone in the USA? Consider this polemic before you answer. Recommended.
Oh, so that’s what genuine science is called these days — “corruption“? Yes, according to the Warmers. That has to be the gasp of a terminally ill cult….
Hey, anybody who’s all for the environment must be cool! Right, Kids? Well, no.
Remember poor Tamerlan? He was killed by someone using a firearm, and that makes him a “gun victim”, and…and…oh, good grief….
Reuters hardly knows what to do with claims that the Syrian ruling elite ordered the use of toxic gas. Obamites are frantically looking for proof of Assad’s guilt, but nobody is explaining why in the world the Syrian government would be stupid enough to allow proof to exist.
Here are two facts about the US Internal Revenue Service: first, it knows what Obama and his party’s leaders want, which means the IRS volunteers to hammer the Tea Party (a phenomenon this newsletter calls “the Becket effect”). Second, the federal tax man’s political savvy, informed and enhanced by the 95+% support for Obama among black voters, remains exquisite. It’s genuine discrimination, but one is not allowed to use that word under these circumstances. (Brandish clenched fist: “Hopeandchange!”)
The arctic: NTG told you so!
Credibility, Obama-style. Better name for it: maladroit, contemptuous dismissal.
“…the fundamental transformation (Obama) wished to achieve here was to reduce the country’s power and influence”. Huh? Oh. Does that remind you of the mindset behind the myth of anthropogenic global warming? Right: the nation — or the culture — is badly behaved because it is powerful/influential, and that makes it the single greatest cause of misery in the area of [climate — poverty — political strife — disease — select one or more categories]. This self-hatred is an ugly variety of faith, and faith, when it is at war with reason, science and common sense, is overwhelming.
An inadequately-edited piece in The American Thinker raises some issues regarding Obama — and deserves your attention. It’s brief.
Scoutin’ unknown borders under multi-colored moons
In the wildest flights of cosmic mystery
Rang a single soarin’ tone that strung the sky in tune
As the silence in my heart rose from the sea
Aaah, to greet you in the dawn with a pale harpoon
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Geert Wilders.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Slackware Linux, Emacs, and Firefox.
Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.