Once again the barbarians have attacked the West. This time a gunman named Omar Mateen walked into a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and killed fifty people. Jo Comerford at Moveon.org places the blame for this atrocity squarely on where it belongs, on the gun Mateen used.
At least 50 people were killed last night in a horrific mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, FL. At least another 53 were injured.1 As the news continues to peel back the layers on this terrible, tragic shooting and we grieve and mourn with Orlando, we must act now for common sense gun laws and to ban assault rifles. We must stop these mass shootings from tearing apart our communities.Click here to sign the petition, which says:
Military-grade assault weapons should not be used by civilians and have no place in our cities and towns.
—Jo, Anna, Justin K., Ben O., and the rest of the team
I can make a list of places too: Orlando, San Bernardino, Paris, London, Copenhagen, New York. What do all of these places have in common? They were each the site of a horrific attack by Islamic barbarians intent on overthrowing the West and its ideals of freedom and tolerance. We are at war with savages and the solution that the Moveon.org has is to disarm our population and make us all helpless for the next attack.
This is the only solution people on the left offer after every attack. Appease the Muslims. Don’t make them angry. Don’t publish drawings of Mohammed. Don’t criticize or make fun of Islam. Treat the Koran with respect. Women, cover yourselves lest you arouse a Muslim man and cause him to rape you. Christians, pray in private lest you offend the sensitive ears of Muslims. Don’t suggest that immigration from Muslim countries be curtailed or that perhaps Mosques with ties to radicals should be watched. That is islamophobia. Respect Islamic customs and traditions and don’t expect that respect to be returned. Give in when they demand that Sharia law be imposed. Above all else, do not ever suggest that Islam is not a Religion of Peace or they will attack. Remember it is better to die than to live and be considered an islamophobe.
I expect that in the wake of the Orlando Massacre, the gays will be asked to go back into the closet. Its all very well to stand up to Christians who do not approve of gay marriage. The Christians are not going to start bombing and shooting. Standing up to Muslims who want to kill gays might take real courage. They might target us instead. Better to blame the guns.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) plans to call Monday for Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson to withdraw from the 2016 campaign after the retired neurosurgeon said Islam was not consistent with the U.S. Constitution and that he would “absolutely not” advocate having a Muslim in the White House.
“Mr. Carson clearly does not understand or care about the Constitution, which states that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office,’” said CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad.
“We call on our nation’s political leaders – across the political spectrum – to repudiate these unconstitutional and un-American statements and for Mr. Carson to withdraw from the presidential race.”
I can understand if Nihad Awad is more familiar with the details of Sharia law than the US constitution, but the provision barring any religious test does not apply to the voters. They can vote for, or against, a candidate for any office for any reason at all, including not liking the candidate’s religious beliefs. The constitution forbids the federal or state governments from imposing a religious test or qualification to bar candidates from running. For example, in the presidential elections of 1928 and 1960 the Catholics Al Smith and John F. Kennedy ran for the presidency. Many non-Catholic voters did not believe that a Catholic should serve as president and voted for their opponents. That was their decision to make. There was no religious test or qualification to bar either man from running.
Anyway, here is a transcript of some of Dr. Carson’s remarks. See if they are really so controversial, at least among sensible people not blinded by the fear of that bogeyman Islamophobia.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Carson was asked his views on the faith of an American president.
“Should a president’s faith matter – should your faith matter to voters?” asked host Chuck Todd.
“Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is,” replied Carson. “If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution – no problem.”
“So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?” Todd asked.
“No, I don’t. I do not,” said Carson, adding, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
I am not sure that I would completely agree with Dr. Carson in saying that I would not under any circumstances vote for or support a Muslim candidate for office. Much would depend on the candidate. I am fairly certain, however, that I would not support any candidate of any faith which CAIR would support, given their links to the terrorist organization Hamas and the Islamic supremacist views held by their founder.
Of course, a great many people in the United States expressed similar concerns about the first two Catholic candidates for president. For much of the history of the United States, it was taken for granted, by the Protestant majority, that Roman Catholicism was not compatible with American political values. Such concerns were enough to defeat Al Smith in 1928, among other factors. Kennedy, in 1960, felt a need to address a gathering of Protestant clergymen in Texas to assure them that as president he would put the constitution before his Catholic faith.
This wariness on the part of many Americans, although a product of anti-Catholic prejudice, was not entirely unjustified. Until Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church had not been a consistent supporter of the liberal, democratic values this nation was founded upon. (By “liberal” I mean, of course, the political ideology emphasizes human rights, democratic rule, and free market economic, the ideology of the founding fathers and the nineteenth century British Whigs, rather than the ideals of the socialist progressives who hijacked the term in the early twentieth century. Ironically, it is the conservatives in America that uphold classically liberal values, while the liberals in America cling to primitive collectivism) The Papacy had also been suspicious of every political idea that had been developed in the wake of the American and French revolutions, denouncing such ideas as democracy, government by the consent of the governed, freedom of religion, separation of church and state, as errors and part of the heresy of modernism. As late as 1864, Pope Pius IX had denounced all such modern, secular ideologies in his Syllabus of Errors, to the considerable embarrassment of American Catholics, who had been at pains to show that being a good Catholic was compatible with being a good American. It wasn’t until Vatican II that the Church became reconciled with liberalism.
Of course, the truth was that while American Catholics looked to Rome for spiritual leadership, few, if any, American Catholics took advice on how to vote from the pope. There was no movement among American Catholics to replace the constitution with a theocracy ruled by the Pope. Then too, the Roman Catholic Church was itself a major part of the Judeo-Christian heritage on which Western civilization was based, and this heritage included the concept of the human dignity of even the lowest person in society who had rights granted by his creator. If the Catholic Church was slow to accept the development of liberal ideas, Catholic philosophers had at least laid the basis for them. Even the concept of separation of church and state is implied in Christianity with Jesus saying such things as, “My kingdom is not of this world” and “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” and was enunciated in Pope Gelasius I’s Duo Sunt which held that princes and bishops each had their own separate spheres.
Perhaps the Muslims are in a similar position as Catholics before the election of Kennedy. Islam may seem incompatible with American political values, but that does not mean that individual Muslims may not be good Muslims and good Americans, just as many American Catholics were both good Americans and good Catholics. I am skeptical, though. Islam is not part of the heritage of our Western civilization and considering the utter failure of liberal democracy taking root in the Islamic world and the abysmal human rights records of most majority Muslim countries, one could make a very good argument that Islamic political values are opposed to and hostile to Western values. In Islam a person is a slave of God, not a son to be redeemed by sacrifice. Sons have rights, slaves do not. It is not surprising, then, that individual human rights have never been very prominent in Islamic political theory. Mohammed was a prince as well as prophet, so there is no concept of separation of mosque and state. It seems to me that while one can be either a good American or a good Muslim, it must be very difficult to be both a good American and a good Muslim. And, unlike the situation with the American Catholics, there are Islamic organizations, like CAIR, that would like to replace the constitution with Sharia law, and a disturbing number of American Muslims who support that idea.
I wouldn’t necessarily refuse to vote for a Muslim candidate on the basis of his faith, but I think that Dr. Carson is closer to the truth of the matter than CAIR, or the foolish would-be dhimmis who denounce honest discussion as Islamophobia.
Last week, while my computer was in the shop, I received a couple of interesting emails from Melanie Jones of watchdog.net. Here is the one she sent expressing her enthusiasm for Tunisia’s new constitution.
This is a revolution of democracy and a great victory for human rights — and the more we recognize that, the more Tunisia can shine as an example for the Western and the Arab world!
MESSAGE FOR TUNISIAN LEGISLATORS: We , the citizens of the world, applaud your bravery in making a strong commitment to universal human values in your constitution. People deprived of democracy around the world look to you to set the example of human rights and democratic principle — hold true to the promises made in this revolutionary document!
Melanie Jones is more easily impressed than I am. A constitution is only a piece of paper. You can write in any rights or protections you might want, but if the governing class of a country is not willing to abide by the rules in the constitution, that constitution is worthless. The Soviet constitution promised freedom of expression, religion, assembly and others, but no one in the Soviet Union enjoyed such freedoms. The leaders of the Communist Party had no intention of ever allowing themselves to be restrained by the sentiments expressed by their own constitution. It is likely the same might be the case in Tunisia.
I know that Tunisia is one of the more “liberal” countries of the Middle East, but I have to wonder how well a constitutional guarantee of equality between men and women is going to work in a country that is 98% Muslim. Tunisia’s former government was aggressively secular and their law code is more influenced by the French Napoleonic Code than Islamic Sharia law. Unfortunately, enforced secularism by dictators in the Arab world often causes more radical Islamic movements to form, and since they are often the ones who most opposed the oppressive government, they are often the faction of the opposition with the most credibility with the people. This has happened in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood, and it is possible something similar will happen in Tunisia, although so far the Islamists have not gained much influence and the leaders of the new government have rejected any proposal to make Sharia the basis for legislation.
It remains to be seen whether Tunisia will be able to fulfill the promises made regarding environmental protection and health care for its citizens. Such thing are usually luxuries enjoyed by wealthy countries and Tunisia is not a wealthy country, although the Tunisian economy has been growing at a steady rate. We will have to wait and see.
It would seem that we are preparing military strikes against the Assad regime in Syria. I can’t even begin to say what an incredibly stupid idea this is. Yes, it is deplorable that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against the rebels. Yes, the current government of Syria is a vicious tyranny that has violated the human rights of the people of Syria and it deserves to be overthrown. The problem is that the rebels are Islamist fanatics that want to impose Sharia law on Syria, that are allied with al-Qaida, that they have been massacring Syria’s Christians, and that they will very likely to be as tyrannical and vicious as the Assad regime.
There are no good guys in this conflict. Both sides hate us. Both sides have links to terrorists. The last thing the Middle East needs is another Islamic state, yet that seems to be just what Obama is trying to achieve. We need to just stay out of this.
It has long been an article of faith among many in the West and especially among our learned elites that the vast majority of Muslims are essentially moderate people who want freedom and democracy just as the people of the West do. Terrorists such as Osama bin Ladin and the Tsarnaev brothers who held to be part of a tiny minority of extremists who twist and distort the peaceful teachings of Islam. The problem with this view is that it is simply not true. While the great majority of Muslims are not terrorists and would prefer to live in peace with their neighbors, the truth is that the doctrines of al-Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood are a lot closer to the mainstream of Islamic teachings than many in the West would like to admit.
There is a recent public opinion poll of the citizens of various Muslim countries which suggests that a large number of people in these countries would prefer to live under Islamic law or Sharia. Here is the story in Yahoo News which was originally published by Reuters.
Large majorities in the Muslim world want the Islamic legal and moral code of sharia as the official law in their countries, but they disagree on what it includes and who should be subject to it, an extensive new survey says.
Suicide bombing was mostly rejected In the study by the Washington-based Pew Forum, but it won 40 percent support in the Palestinian territories, 39 percent in Afghanistan, 29 percent in Eygpt and 26 percent in Bangladesh.
Three-quarters of respondents said abortion is morally wrong and 80 percent or more rejected homosexuality and sex outside of marriage.
Over three-quarters of Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia want sharia courts to decide family law issues such as divorce and property disputes, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life said on Tuesday.
Views on punishments such as chopping off thieves’ hands or decreeing death for apostates is more evenly divided in much of the Islamic world, although more than three-quarters of Muslims in South Asia say they are justified.
To be fair, it is likely that many of those who support the implementation of Sharia may not realize some of the implications of such rules. It is likely that after a decade or so of living under Sharia, many would come to detest it.
Those punishments have helped make sharia controversial in some non-Islamic countries, where some critics say radical Muslims want to impose it on Western societies, but the survey shows views in Muslim countries are far from monolithic.
“Muslims are not equally comfortable with all aspects of sharia,” the study said. “Most do not believe it should be applied to non-Muslims.”
Unlike codified Western law, sharia is a loosely defined set of moral and legal guidelines based on the Koran, the sayings of Prophet Mohammad (hadith) and Muslim traditions. Its rules and advice cover everything from prayers to personal hygiene.
Amaney Jamal, a Princeton University political scientist who was special adviser for the project, said Muslims in poor and repressive societies tended to identify sharia with basic Islamic values such as equality and social justice.
“In those societies, you tend to see significant support for sharia,” she told journalists on a conference call. By contrast, Muslims who have lived under “narrow if not rigid” Islamic systems were less supportive of sharia as the official law.
Unlike Western law codes which leave a wide space of private actions, Islamic law tends to be totalitarian, in the sense that even private actions and beliefs are covered by the law. If a Man’s home is his castle in the West, under Sharia his home and his life belongs to Allah.
More than four-fifths of the 38,000 Muslims interviewed in 39 countries said non-Muslims in their countries could practice their faith freely and that this was good.
This view was strongest in South Asia, where 97 percent of Bangladeshis and 96 percent of Pakistanis agreed, while the lowest Middle Eastern result was 77 percent in Egypt.
The survey polled only Muslims and not minorities. In several Muslim countries, embattled Christian minorities say they cannot practice their faith freely and are subject to discrimination and physical attacks.
The survey produced mixed results on questions relating to the relationship between politics and Islam.
Democracy wins slight majorities in key Middle Eastern states – 54 percent in Iraq, 55 percent in Egypt – and falls to 29 percent in Pakistan. By contrast, it stands at 81 percent in Lebanon, 75 percent in Tunisia and 70 percent in Bangladesh.
In most countries surveyed, Muslims were more worried about Islamist militancy than any other form of religious violence.
I am sure that if a pollster had asked Whites in the Jim Crow South whether the Blacks were content with their lot, the great majority of Whites would have answered, sincerely, yes. No where in the Islamic world are Christians free to worship as they please. At best they can hope for a grudging tolerance. I have to wonder just what the respondents mean when they talk about democracy. It is no good if they are thinking democracy is a way to vote away other people’s’ rights and liberty. Freedom is more than just having regular elections, even if they are free and honest. In order for a people to be truly free, they have to learn to respect the rights of others. No one wants to be oppressed. The trick is not wanting to oppress other people, especially the despised minority. So far, the human rights situation throughout the Middle East does not lend much support for the idea that the people of that region really understand this. The article ends on a slightly optimistic note.
Views on whether women should decide themselves if they should wear a headscarf vary greatly, from 89 percent in Tunisia and 79 percent in Indonesia saying yes and 45 percent in Iraq and 30 percent in Afghanistan saying no.
Majorities from 74 percent in Lebanon to 96 percent in Malaysia said wives should always obey their husbands.
Only a minority saw Sunni-Shi’ite tensions as a very big problem, ranging from 38 percent in Lebanon and 34 percent in Pakistan to 23 percent in Iraq and 14 percent in Turkey.
Conflict with other religions loomed larger, with 68 percent in Lebanon saying it was a big problem, 65 percent in Tunisia, 60 percent in Nigeria and 57 percent in Pakistan.
A section of the survey on U.S. Muslims noted they “sometimes more closely resemble other Americans than they do Muslims around the world”. Only about half say their closest friends are Muslim, compared to 95 percent of Muslims globally.
So American Muslims are assimilating. That’s good as far as it goes. I hope there is never any sort of religious revival among our Muslim population.
Sometimes it is hard to find good people to do a difficult and demanding job. For example, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may have to resort to firing squads to execute murderers and sorcerers since there is starting to be a shortage of swordsmen to behead criminals.
Is this what progress looks like in Saudi Arabia? The kingdom is considering ending execution by beheading in favor of firing squads, reports the Egyptian English-language news website Ahram Online. A committee consisting of representatives from the Ministries of Interior, Justice and Health says there are shortages in government swordsmen and argue that a change to execution by firing squad would not violate Islamic law, the Saudi daily newspaper al-Youm writes. According to an official statement from the committee, “This solution seems practical, especially in light of shortages in official swordsmen or their belated arrival to execution yards in some incidents.”
I have to wonder, how hard can the job be? It’s not like brain surgery where precision is needed, just a stroke at the neck. It can’t be a highly skilled job or one that demands much education. I imagine that it would be desirable to behead the victim with one stroke and that might take practice. You don’t want the person executed to be just lying there screaming as the executioner whacks away over and over.
I wonder if the Saudi government provides the sword, or would you have to use your own? Do they have regular inspections to make sure the swordsmen keep their sword properly sharpened? What about laundry bills from blood spatters? Maybe they get a special uniform. It might be interesting to be able to tell people at a gathering that you are a beheader, or is this the sort of job that makes people not want to have anything to do with you?
Kidding aside, I suppose this is progress, of a sort. Personally, I am less concerned about the death penalty than Saudi standards of jurisprudence.
Execution by beheading in Saudi Arabia has continually been condemned by human-rights groups. According toHuman Rights Watch (HRW), at least 69 people were executed by beheading in 2012, while Amnesty Internationalsays 79 were killed under the death penalty in the same period. In 2012 HRW wrote, “Saudi Arabia has no penal code, so prosecutors and judges largely define criminal offenses at their discretion.” Rape, murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking and even suspected “sorcery” are punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s Islamic law.
The Saudi death penalty recently made headlines following the execution of Rizana Nafeek, a young Sri Lankan woman who was beheaded for the murder of her employers’ 4-month-old son. Nafeek arrived in Saudi Arabia in 2005 at age 17 but spent the next seven years in Saudi jails after the baby died under her care, writes CNN. The family of the boy believed he had been strangled by Nafeek, while she claimed he had choked on his milk. The young Sri Lankan immigrant had no access to a lawyer during her pretrial interrogation during which she said she was forced to sign a confession, notes CNN. The execution of this young woman revealed how “woefully out of step they [the Saudi justice system] are with their international obligations regarding the use of the death penalty,” said Philip Luther from Amnesty International. It highlighted how Saudi law tends to treat children as adults in criminal cases even though international law prohibits the death penalty for crimes committed before the age of 18, writes HRW.
I don’t mind the idea of chopping people’s heads off so much, but I would like proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they actually are guilty of a crime.
Maybe, I just need to stop reading the news for a while. The more I read, the more I am convinced that the whole world is going mad, which is a very depressing thought. The latest outrage against sanity is a fatwa issued by a Saudi cleric, (actually anything coming out of Saudi Arabia is likely to be some kind of outrage), that baby girls should be veiled to keep away child molesters. The Drudge Report has a link to the story in Al Arabiya News.
A Saudi cleric has called for all female babies to be fully covered by wearing the face veil, commonly known as the burka, citing reports of little girls being sexually molested.
In a TV interview on the Islamic al-Majd TV, which seems to date back to mid-last year, Sheikh Abdullah Daoud, stressed that wearing the veil will protect baby girls. The Sheikh tried to back his assertion with claims of sexual molestation against babies in the kingdom, quoting unnamed medical and security sources.
Recently picked up on social media, Sheikh Dauod’s statement prompted wide condemnation from his fellow Saudis on Twitter. Some tweeps called for the Sheikh to be held accountable because his ruling denigrates Islam and breaches individual privacy.
Sheikh Mohammad al-Jzlana, former judge at the Saudi Board of Grievances, told Al Arabiya that Dauod’s ruling was denigrating to Islam and Shariah and made Islam look bad.
Jzlana urged people to ignore unregulated fatwas and explained that there are special regulations set by the Saudi authorities to administer religious edicts and appoint those who are entitled to issue them.
He said that he feels sad whenever he sees a family walking around with a veiled baby, describing that as injustice to children.
Not that their regulated fatwas are much saner. It occurs to me that the person most likely to abuse a little girl would be a male relative, or someone who has access to the child, especially given the nature of Saudi society, making it largely irrelevant whether the baby goes out covered up. It also occurs to me that the strict rules regulating interactions between the sexes found in Islam seem to imply that people, especially men, are simply unable to control their urges, that is if a man rapes a woman wearing a mini-skirt, he simply couldn’t stop himself. It seems a rather pessimisic assessment of human nature.
In the year 642 the Arab armies led by Amr ibn al-Aas captured the city of Alexandria in Egypt. According to some reports, al-Aas wrote back to the Caliph Omar for instructions on what to do with the famous library. Omar wrote back that if the books agree with the Koran, al-Aas should destroy them as they are unnecessary, if they do not agree with the Koran, destroy them as they are blasphemous. It is not clear whether that story is true or not. Other reports have the library destroyed by a Christian mob, or by Julius Caesar. Whether it is true or not, it would seem that at least some of the increasingly powerful Islamists in Egypt wholeheartedly agree with the supposed sentiments of the Caliph Omar, as can be seen in this article in Israel Today.
On December 17, an Egyptian mob – presumably of the type that has been voting for the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nour – demonstrated that they have no intention of “modernizing” or adopting Western-style pragmatism when they torched the Institute of Egypt in Cairo.
Among the casualties of the Islamist assault were some 192,000 rare books and manuscripts.
The Institute of Egypt was established by Napoleon Bonaparte when he invaded Egypt in the late 18th century. For centuries the Institute of Egypt housed priceless chronicles of the nation’s history, as well as the findings of hundreds of top scholars and scientists.
The Institute of Egypt symbolized Egypt’s connection to the West, and for many its establishment was the start of the “modern era” in Egypt. And that is why it had to go. Because Egypt’s Islamists have no intention of modernizing, not on Western terms, at any rate. Like the Ayatollahs in Iran and Hamas in Gaza, their ultimate goal is to return Egypt to a medieval form of life where a strict interpretation of Sharia Law governs the actions of all.
If the library was established by Napoleon, than the books probably don’t agree with the Koran.
If you happen to be in the Nashville Tennessee area, you might not want to stay at the Hutton Hotel. It seems that Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller of Jihad Watch had planned to have a “Preserving Freedom” conference there. Unfortunately some unnamed Muslim groups (probably CAIR) complained, and others made threats so the hotel cancelled the entire conference.
What the heck, just go over to Jihadwatch. You should be anyway.
I actually think the hotel had every right in the world to cancel the conference, but I, for one, am not going to patronize such a spineless company. I don’t like bullies who want to suppress free speech and I don’t like cowards who cave in to them.
The transitional government leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil set out a vision for the post-Gadhafi future with an Islamist tint, saying that Islamic Sharia law would be the “basic source” of legislation in the country and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified. In a gesture that showed his own piety, he urged Libyans not to express their joy by firing in the air, but rather to chant “Allahu Akbar,” or God is Great. He then stepped aside and knelt to offer a brief prayer of thanks.
Laws that contradict Sharia would include such concepts as freedom of religion and speech, not to mention treating women as thought they were human beings. I would imagine the new government based on Islamic law would encourage jihad against the infidel.
As incredible as it may seem, the time may come when we miss the madman of Benghazi.