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26 January 2015

Number Of Drilling Permits Issued On Federal Lands: Just The Facts, Folks

Since the Obamabots are creaming their knickers over the decline in the price of a gallon of gas (FYI: It was $1.85 when Obama took office), let's take a look at the number of drilling permits issued on Federal lands.  Obama doesn't have any control over drilling on State lands and private property...

Number of drilling permits on federal lands approved under Bill Clinton:

FY 1993: 2,222
FY 1994: 2,113
FY 1995: 1,870
FY 1996: 1,959
FY 1997: 2,580
FY 1998: 2,171
FY 1999: 1,639
FY 2000: 3,066

TOTAL: 17,620

Number of drilling permits on federal lands approved under George Bush:

FY 2001: 3,439 
FY 2002: 3,372 
FY 2003: 3,802 
FY 2004: 6,052 
FY 2005: 4,579 
FY 2006: 6,738 
FY 2007: 7,124 
FY 2008: 6,617

TOTAL: 41,723

Number of drilling permits on federal lands issued approved Barack Obama:

FY 2009: 4,487 
FY 2010: 4,090 
FY 2011: 4,244 
FY 2012: 4,256 
FY 2013: 3,770 
FY 2014: 3,769

TOTAL: 24,616

Did I get the numbers from some 'right-wing lunatic site'?  Um, no.  The numbers come from the Federal Bureau of Land Management a/k/a the BLM.

Sooo, how does Obama stack up against his two predecessors?

Clinton-Obama Percentage Change: +39.71%

Bush-Obama Percentage Change: -41.00%

23 January 2015

So, There Are No 'No-Go Zones' In Europe? Reality Begs To Differ

Leave it to the Left, whose preoccupation with semantics results in an inability to see the forest for the trees.  Of course there are NGZs in Europe.  Tower Hamlets, where the Shari'ah Patrol enforces the rules shown in the above photo, has long been a NGZ for me. 

But, since I am a white woman, who is not a member of the Cult of Multi-Kulti, I'll throw it to Darcus Howe, an immigrant to Britain from Trinidad, who is also a civil rights activist, was an editor of Race Today in the 1970s, and is the documentary filmmaker of flicks like 'Who You Callin' A N1gger?' and Racial Tensions in Multicultural Britain.  He said this in 2004, eleven years ago:

'My journey takes me to the Hollow Croft Road in Birmingham for Eid, the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fast, but underlying the celebrations of this religious festival is a tense atmosphere.  Outsiders feel threatened...

Now, Noah Feldman thought he had a brilliant piece on why Paris has a cause of action against Fox News, but as the esteemed Harvard constitutional and international law professor surely knows, truth is an absolute defence in defamation cases.  Marine Le Pen wrote in the New York Times only a few days ago that NGZs existed in France.  If she is too 'extreme right-wing' for Mr Feldman, then how about Monsieur Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister of France and a member in good standing of the Socialist Party?  What did he have to say about the existence of these types of geographical areas?  Well, interestingly enough, he made this comment recently:

'The 2005 riots? Who remembers them today? And yet, the stigmas are still present.  The relegation of the suburbs, the ghettos., what I had already spoken about back in 2005, a territorial, social and ethnic apartheid that has taken hold in our country.'

- Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France and Member of the Socialist Party

And, then there's this:

And. this...

And, this...

And, this...

Then, Mark Steyn said this:

'A couple of years ago on Holocaust Memorial Day, a group of Jews were touring the old Jewish West End, where fellows like Lionel Bart, the composer of Oliver!, came from. And they were greeted by youths of a certain persuasion who pelted them with stones, and a Canadian tourist and an American tourist wound up being taken to the hospital. That’s Jews stoned on Holocaust Memorial Day in the East End of London. Likewise, there are no-go zones in parts of Birmingham in the Midlands, where in nothing flat, a city that was 0% Muslim 50 years ago now is 22% Muslim. They’re the demographic energy in the city. A senior British police officer was talking about this. He was saying, he wasn’t calling them ‘no-go zones’. He was putting it in a sort of positive way, that these communities ‘prefer to police themselves’, as it were. ‘And that’s why we just leave them to get on with it’. And one consequence of that is that nobody who isn’t a member of those ‘communities’ likes to go there… Those no-go zones are not as advanced as they are in France, but they are real and they are growing in British cities.' 

- Mark Steyn. 23 January 2015

'Case in point: One of the most painful scenes in recent days was Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on CNN insisting that no-go zones existed in some form in the U.K., and struggling to redefine those zones so he wouldn’t seem like a liar.'

- Professor Noah Feldman

Still not convinced, Mr Feldman?  Here's the far from right-wing Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, a Pakistani by birth, who argued 'that some British streets have become off-limits to non-Muslims' which may be a view associated with the far-right, but as the BBC noted, 'when a Pakistani-born Anglican bishop publicly agrees, it re-opens the debate.'  Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the Bishop of Rochester wrote this in 2008:

In fewer than 50 years, Britain has changed from being a society with an acknowledged Christian basis to one which is increasingly described by politicians and the media as "multifaith". 
Bishop warns of no-go zones for non-Muslims 
One reason for this is the arrival of large numbers of people of other faiths to these shores. Their arrival has coincided with the end of the Empire which brought about a widespread questioning of Britain's role. 
On the one hand, the British were losing confidence in the Christian vision which underlay most of the achievements and values of the culture and, on the other, they sought to accommodate the newer arrivals on the basis of a novel philosophy of "multiculturalism".
This required that people should be facilitated in living as separate communities, continuing to communicate in their own languages and having minimum need for building healthy relationships with the majority. Alongside these developments, there has been a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism. One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into "no-go" areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability. 
Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them and even the risk of violence. In many ways, this is but the other side of the coin to far-Right intimidation. Attempts have been made to impose an "Islamic" character on certain areas, for example, by insisting on artificial amplification for the Adhan, the call to prayer. 
Such amplification was, of course, unknown throughout most of history and its use raises all sorts of questions about noise levels and whether non-Muslims wish to be told the creed of a particular faith five times a day on the loudspeaker. 
This is happening here even though some Muslim-majority communities are trying to reduce noise levels from multiple mosques announcing this call, one after the other, over quite a small geographical area. 
There is pressure already to relate aspects of the sharia to civil law in Britain. 
To some extent this is already true of arrangements for sharia-compliant banking but have the far-reaching implications of this been fully considered? 
It is now less possible for Christianity to be the public faith in Britain. 
The existence of chapels and chaplaincies in places such as hospitals, prisons and institutions of further and higher education is in jeopardy either because of financial cuts or because the authorities want "multifaith" provision, without regard to the distinctively Christian character of the nation's laws, values, customs and culture. 
Not only locally, but at the national level also the establishment of the Church of England is being eroded. My fear is, in the end, nothing will be left but the smile of the Cheshire Cat. 
In the past, I have supported the establishment of the Church, but now I have to ask if it is only the forms that are left and the substance rapidly disappearing. If such is the case, is it worth persevering with the trappings of establishment? 
Much of this has come about because of a "neutral" secularist approach which refuses to privilege any faith. In fact, secularism has its own agenda and it is certainly not neutral. It is perfectly possible for Britain to welcome people on the basis of its Christian heritage.
Christian chaplains can arrange for people of other faiths to have access to their own spiritual leaders without compromising the Christian basis of their own ministry. 
Instead of this, the multifaith "mish mash" is producing a new, de facto, establishment as the Government attempts to bring particular communities on to its agenda for integration and cohesion, an agenda which still lacks the underpinning of a moral and spiritual vision. 
If it had not been for the black majority churches and the recent arrival of people from central and eastern Europe, the Christian cause in many of our cities would have looked a lost one. 
At last it seems the Government may be waking up to the situation; to the importance of English as a means of communication, to greater integration in housing, schools, and leisure pursuits and in citizenship education. 
But none of this will be of any avail if Britain does not recover that vision of its destiny which made it great. That has to do with the Bible's teaching that we have equal dignity and freedom because we are all made in God's image. 
It has to do with a prophetic passion for justice and compassion and it has to do with the teaching and example of Jesus Christ regarding humility, service and sacrifice. Let us pledge in this New Year to restore this noble vision to the centre of our national life.

As I said, Tower Hamlets has long been a No-Go Zone for me, but, again, don't take my word for it.  Look at what else has happened in Europe (from my post Hitler's Ghost Haunts Europe, 25 July 2011):

London, the 13th-biggest Jewish city in the world has an aging Jewish population. There are less than 200,000 Jews in Britain and 100,000 Brits convert to Islam every year. Lord Ahmed only has to threaten and the country kowtows. The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for shar'ia law to be introduced. 
British schools are removing the Holocaust and the Crusades from GCSE coursework for fear of offending Muslims. 
I think that I've told many of you about Anjem Choudary. He is the firebrand radical imam, who was interviewed on ABC's “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour. While Ms Amanpour neglected to confront him when he claimed: “one day the flag of Islam will fly over the White House”, she also conveniently forgot to inform the audience that Choudary has told the Royal Family "to convert or else" (and has threatened to decapitate the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry), has posted photographs of Buckingham Palace, Nelson's Column, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, The Tower, Windsor Castle and many other historic landmarks after Islamification. He has also said that all homosexuals will be executed when Shari'a becomes the Law of the Realm. You should also know that Choudary and his fellow radical imams danced in the streets following 09.11.01. 
While Ground Zero was still smouldering, a Jewish yeshiva student reading the Psalms was stabbed 27 times on a London bus. 
The cover of the New Statesman, a left-wing magazine, depicted a large Star of David stabbing the Union Jack. Oxford professor Tom Paulin, a noted poet, told an Egyptian interviewer that American Jews, who move to the West Bank and Gaza, "should be shot dead." 

The Islamist Lutfur Rhaman was recently elected as the first executive mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets could offer us a harrowing glimpse into Europe's Eurabian future. He belongs to the Islamic Forum of Europe, an organisation which has expressed contempt for democracy and support for jihad and the imposition of shari'a law on British society. Azad Ali, the IFE's community affairs coordinator in London, was quoted declaring:
"Democracy...if it means at the expense of not implementing the sharia, of course no one agrees with that." 
A 2009 recruitment manual for the group states its programme in unequivocal language: 
"Our goal is not simply to invite people and give da'wah [call to the faith]. Our goal is to create the True Believer, to then mobilise those believers into an organised force for change who will carry out da'wah, hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law] and jihad [struggle]. This will lead to social change and iqamatud-Deen [an Islamic social, economic and political order]." 
The organisation maintains close ties with the East London Mosque in which Jammat al Islami -- a fundamentalist Bangladeshi Islamic party, holds sway. 
The rise of a politically active class of Islamic fundamentalists has long been expected in Europe but few thought their rise would be so swift and sudden in Britain. Due to some recent voter approved structural changes in the political organisation of the Borough, the new mayor of the town has almost sole authority over a nearly U.S.D. 1 billion budget. His authority to effect change to Borough rules and regulations is without precedent in the history of local British government. 
What, then, can the non-Muslim denizens of Tower Hamlets now expect? 

Construction projects for one -- such as the so-called 'Hijab Gates' -- huge arches in the shape of the Muslim veil at either end of the area's famous Brick Lane. Community libraries filled, as they have been over the past two years, with extremist Islamic literature. Streets renamed with Islamic motifs (many street signs already appear in English and Bengali). Major community thoroughfares blocked and closed down in celebration of the Eid Festival. And the increasing harassment of Muslim and non- Muslim women who dress immodestly (as was witnessed during the mayoral election campaign). 
Antisemitism, wrote a columnist in The Spectator, "has become respectable . . . at London dinner tables." She quoted one member of the House of Lords: "The Jews have been asking for it and now, thank G-d, we can say what we think at last." 
In Malmö, Sweden, a surge in anti-Semitic violence from, ahem, "certain quarters" (Muslim) has led Jewish residents to abandon the city in fear for Stockholm and beyond. 
In Odense, Denmark, last year superintendent Olav Nielsen announced he would no longer admit Jewish children to the local school because of complaints from Muslims. 
In Belgium, thugs beat up the chief rabbi, kicking him in the face and calling him "a dirty Jew." Two synagogues in Brussels were firebombed; a third, in Charleroi, was sprayed with automatic weapons fire. 
In Italy, the daily paper La Stampa published a Page 1 cartoon: A tank emblazoned with a Jewish star points its gun at the baby Jesus, who pleads, "Surely they don't want to kill me again?" In Corriere Della Sera, another cartoon showed Jesus trapped in his tomb, unable to rise, because Ariel Sharon, with rifle in hand, is sitting on the sepulchre. The caption: "Non resurrexit." 
In Amsterdam, mayor Lodewijk Asscher is considering using police offcers posing as Jews in an attempt to stamp out anti-semitic violence. And, secret recordings have been shown that display young Muslim men shouting and making Nazi salutes in different areas of the city. 
The Norwegian government, cheered on by the Socialists, named Mahdi Hasan as the 2009 Role Model of the Year. Hasan has publicly called for a ban on homosexuality enforced by execution, if necessary. Was he condemned? No. He was applauded. 
The police in the Norwegian capital Oslo revealed that 2009 set yet another record: compared to 2008, there were twice as many cases of assault rapes. In each and every case, not only in 2008 and 2009 but also in 2007, the offender was a non-Western immigrant. 
Muslim-Arab schoolchildren in primary school started the custom of using separate taps, one for the "muslims" and the other for the "French". Muslims leaders requested separate changing rooms for the students "since circumcised males cannot undress alongside the unclean". (Antisemitism in French Schools: Turmoil of a Republic, Georges Bensoussan). How do you say "Jim Crow" in French? 
According to French-government statistics, rapes in the housing projects have risen between 15 and 20% every year since 1999. In these neighbourhoods, women, including non-Muslims, have indeed begun veiling only to escape harassment and violence. In the suburb of La Courneuve, 77% of veiled women report that they wear the veil to avoid the wrath of Islamic morality patrols. 
In Spain, Muslims use Article 525 of the Spanish Penal Code, which makes it a crime to offend the feelings of the members of a religious confession, to sue people like teachers that have the unmitigated gall to discuss issues like Serrano ham. Many banks are abandoning the so-called piggy banks, because they are afraid of losing Muslim customers. Muslims regard the pig as an unclean animal. 
In Germany, a rabbinical student was beaten up in downtown Berlin and a grenade was thrown into a Jewish cemetery. Thousands of neo-Nazis held a rally, marching near a synagogue on the Jewish sabbath. Graffiti appeared on a synagogue in the western town of Herford: "Six million were not enough." 
German butchers who sell pork are targeted by Muslim extremists. Muslims occasionally spit on sausages on sale at open-air markets. 
In some European cities Muslim taxi drivers refuse to transport dogs, even blind persons with guide dogs.

Finally, since I didn't comment on the blog about the idiotic threat made by Mayor Hildago then, let me repeat what I have written elsewhere:

Sooo, Paris is going to sue News Corporation? A Delaware corporation? With its principal place of business in New York? For what? Defamation? Really? 

Does Paris not realised that there exists no cause of action here? 

Does Paris understand that the venue will be Delaware, not Paris? 

Does Paris not understand that the controlling law will be American and Delaware law, not French law? 

Does Paris not understand that News Corporation is protected under the First Amendment? 

Does Paris realise that, IF a group could sue a news outlet for defamation, the Tea Party would have successfully sued the Democratic Party and MSNBC already? 

Such a complaint will – or should, if the court is following precedent and constitutional and statutory law – be dismissed out of hand. Even if we were to assume that there exists some loophole for Paris to sneak through, does Paris understand that, pursuant to New York Times Co. v Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), it will have to prove ACTUAL MALICE

In this case, GOOD. LUCK. WITH. THAT.

21 January 2015

Um, No, ProMo Cartoons Aren't 'Fighting Words'

This must be addressed.  According to USAToday's  DeWayne Wickam, Mocking Mohammed Crosses The Line:

The French, of course, are no more bound to accept the findings of the bishop of Rome than they are to be guided by the Supreme Court’s rulings on our Constitution’s free speech guarantee. But given the possible ripple effects of Charlie Hebdo’s mistreatment of Islam’s most sacred religious figure, at least people in this country should understand the limits America’s highest court has placed on free speech. 
In 1919, the Supreme Court ruled speech that presents a “clear and present danger” is not protected by the First Amendment. Crying “fire” in a quiet, uninhabited place is one thing, the court said. But “the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.” 

Um, no, the 'clear and present danger' standard was rejected by the Court in Brandenburg v Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969).

Held: Ohio's criminal syndicalism statute violated the First Amendment, as applied to the state through the Fourteenth, because it broadly prohibited the mere advocacy of violence rather than the constitutionally unprotected incitement to imminent lawless action.

Twenty-two years later, the Supreme Court ruled that forms of expression that “inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace” are fighting words that are not protected by the First Amendment.
If Charlie Hebdo’s irreverent portrayal of Mohammed before the Jan. 7 attack wasn’t thought to constitute fighting words, or a clear and present danger, there should be no doubt now that the newspaper’s continued mocking of the Islamic prophet incites violence. And it pushes Charlie Hebdo’s free speech claim beyond the limits of the endurable.

Chaplinsky had to do with the issue of whether statutes criminalising certain 'fighting words' uttered IN THE FACE/CLOSE PRESENCE OF ANOTHER IN REAL TIME , such as a police officer, which thereby resulted in a 'disturbance of the peace' were constitutional. The case did not set apart classes of speech that could never be constitutional, per se.  The rule has to do more with time and place restrictions than the lack of protection given to certain types of speech.

If Mr Chaplinsky had published an article making the same statements, he could not have faced criminal persecution (and, I use that word intentionally, as you will see).  Allegedly, it was his 'offencive speech' in the face of a cop that led to the charges.  Does anyone think that screaming the words 'Fvck ya Momma!' is unprotected speech?  Really?

The truth of the matter as it pertains to Chaplinsky is that it is far from probable that the Court would come to the same decision today.  Recall that utterances like:

1. 'President Wilson ought to be killed. It is a wonder some one has not done it already. If I had an opportunity, I would do it myself', United States v Stickrath, 242 F. 151 (SD Ohio 1917);

2.  'Wilson is a wooden-headed son of a bItch. I wish Wilson was in hell, and if I had the power I would put him there', Clark v United States, 250 F. 449 (C. A. 5th Cir. 1918); and, 

3. Posters demanding people 'Hang Roosevelt', United States v Apel, 44 F. Supp. 592, 593 (D.C. N. D. Ill. 1942),  

...all resulted in convictions, BUT the conviction for saying this: 

'They always holler at us to get an education. And now I have already received my draft classification as 1-A and I have got to report for my physical this Monday coming. I am not going. If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is LBJ!'

... was OVERTURNED, Watts v United States, 394 U.S. 705 (1969).

In other words, the Court has moved towards MORE free speech, not less. 

I'd love to get Mr Wickam's opinion on Hustler Magazine, Inc. v Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988), an 8-0 decision. 

If cartoons depicting a non-living ProMo can be construed as 'fighting words', then surely one depicting a famous, living person (at the time) having sex with his mum in an outhouse surely would be, too, right

Of course, Jerry Falwell LOST that case at the Supreme Court.

I wonder if Mr Wickham and others would agree with the conviction of Mr Chaplinsky if they knew what had given rise to the arrest...

Per UCLA professor Gary Blasi: 

While preaching, Chaplinsky was surrounded by men who mocked Jehovah's Witnesses members' objections to saluting the flag. One man attempted to hit Chaplinsky in full view of the town marshal, who warned Chaplinsky that he was in danger but did not arrest his assailant. After the marshal left, another man produced a flagpole and attempted to impale Chaplinsky; while Chaplinsky was pinned against a car by the pole, other members of the crowd struck him. A police officer arrived and, rather than dispersing the crowd, took Chaplinsky into custody.
En route to the station, the officer, as well as members of the crowd, insulted Chaplinsky and his religion. Chaplinsky responded by calling the town marshal, who had returned to assist the officer, a "damn fascist and a racketeer" and was arrested for the use of offensive language in public.

Be careful what you wish for because a whole lot of Occupy and #BlackLivesMatter protesters could wind up in jail.

True, crying 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre is not protected by the First Amendment, but the rule only applies to FALSELY screaming fire in a crowded theatre, which too many in the media, especially, neglect to mention. Reasonable people would fear for their lives and rush to get out of danger if 'Fire!' was screamed in a crowded theatre that was or was not on fire.  But, yelling 'Fire!', would not only be protected speech, one could easily assert that there is, at the very least, a moral DUTY to scream such in a crowded theatre THAT IS ACTUALLY ON FIRE.  

And, herein lies the problem with arguing that mocking or criticising Islam is a 'clear and present danger' that may result in violence and, thereby, should be prohibited:  Many people believe that their criticism of Islam IS a moral duty.  They may be trying to warn about the treatment of women, girls, and homosexuals in the Muslim world.  They maybe speaking what is actually in the Qur'an.  Undoubtedly, there are many Muslims around the world who would be highly offended not only by mockery, but criticism.  A whole lot of Muslims refuse to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.  Would a cartoon mocking such beliefs be incitement even though it is true?  Probably, but so what?  How Far Are You Willing To Go In Order Not To Offend?

In Europe, speaking the TRUTH about Islam or Islamic regimes can get one a prison sentence.  Under the brainchild of Hillary Clinton and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, UN Resolution 16/18 and the Rabat Plan of Action, even truthful criticism of Islam would be criminalised.  Only the 'feelings' of Muslims would be considered.  How much freedom must we give up because some Special Little Snowflakes cannot control themselves, Mr Wickam? Sorry, but it is they who are just gonna have to get over it, not me.

Related: Bust Pallywood In A Fraud...And Get Sued For Defamation In France

16 January 2015

'Religion of Peace' Is Not a Harmless Platitude

Embedded image permalink

To face Islamist terror, we must face the facts about Islam's history

By Douglas Murray

The West’s movement towards the truth is remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault. 

In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. It was said by George W. Bush after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7 and Tony Abbott after the Sydney attack last month. It is what David Cameron said after two British extremists cut off the head of Drummer Lee Rigby in London, when ‘Jihadi John’ cut off the head of aid worker Alan Henning in the ‘Islamic State’ and when Islamic extremists attacked a Kenyan mall, separated the Muslims from the Christians and shot the latter in the head. And, of course, it is what President François Hollande said after the massacre of journalists and Jews in Paris last week. 

All these leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie. The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a ‘noble lie’, provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. ‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake. First, because the general public do not rely on politicians for their information and can perfectly well read articles and books about Islam for themselves. Secondly, because the lie helps no one understand the threat we face. Thirdly, because it takes any heat off Muslims to deal with the bad traditions in their own religion. And fourthly, because unless mainstream politicians address these matters then one day perhaps the public will overtake their politicians to a truly alarming extent. 

If politicians are so worried about this secondary ‘backlash’ problem then they would do well to remind us not to blame the jihadists’ actions on our peaceful compatriots and then deal with the primary problem — radical Islam — in order that no secondary, reactionary problem will ever grow. 

Yet today our political class fuels both cause and nascent effect. Because the truth is there for all to see. To claim that people who punish people by killing them for blaspheming Islam while shouting ‘Allah is greatest’ has ‘nothing to do with Islam’ is madness. Because the violence of the Islamists is, truthfully, only to do with Islam: the worst version of Islam, certainly, but Islam nonetheless. 

Last week, a chink was broken in this wall of disinformation when Sajid Javid, the only Muslim-born member of the British cabinet, and one of its brightest hopes, dipped a toe into this water. After the Paris attacks, he told the BBC: ‘The lazy answer would be to say that this has got nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or Muslims and that should be the end of that. That would be lazy and wrong.’ Sadly, he proceeded to utter the second most lazy thing one can say: ‘These people are using Islam, taking a peaceful religion and using it as a tool to carry out their activities.’

Here we land at the centre of the problem — a centre we have spent the last decade and a half trying to avoid: Islam is not a peaceful religion. No religion is, but Islam is especially not. It is certainly not, as some ill-informed people say, solely a religion of war. There are many peaceful verses in the Quran which — luckily for us — most Muslims live by. But it is by no means only a religion of peace. 

I say this not because I hate Islam, nor do I have any special animus against Muslims, but simply because this is the verifiable truth based on the texts. Until we accept that we will never defeat the violence, we risk encouraging whole populations to take against all of Islam and abandon all those Muslims who are trying desperately to modernise, reform and de-literalise their faith. And — most importantly — we will give up our own traditions of free speech and historical inquiry and allow one religion to have an unbelievable advantage in the free marketplace of ideas. 

It is not surprising that politicians have tried to avoid this debate by spinning a lie. The world would be an infinitely safer place if the historical Mohammed had behaved more like Buddha or Jesus. But he did not and an increasing number of people — Muslim and non-Muslim — have been able to learn this for themselves in recent years. But the light of modern critical inquiry which has begun to fall on Islam is a process which is already proving incredibly painful. 

The ‘cartoon wars’ — which began when the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten published a set of cartoons in 2005 — are part of that. But as Flemming Rose, the man who commissioned those cartoons, said when I sat down with him this week, there remains a deep ignorance in the West about what people like the Charlie Hebdo murderers wish to achieve. And we keep ducking it. As Rose said, ‘I wish we had addressed all this nine years ago.’ 

Contra the political leaders, the Charlie Hebdo murderers were not lunatics without motive, but highly motivated extremists intent on enforcing Islamic blasphemy laws in 21st-century Europe. If you do not know the ideology — perverted or plausible though it may be — you can neither understand nor prevent such attacks. Nor, without knowing some Islamic history, could you understand why — whether in Mumbai or Paris — the Islamists always target the Jews. 

Of course, some people are willing to give up a few of our rights. There seems, as Rose says in his book on the Danish cartoons affair, The Tyranny of Silence, some presumption that a diverse society requires greater limitations on speech, whereas of course the more diverse the society, the more diverse you are going to have to see your speech be. It is not just cartoons, but a whole system of inquiry which is being shut down in the West by way of hard intimidation and soft claims of offence-taking. The result is that, in contemporary Europe, Islam receives not an undue amount of criticism but a free ride which is unfair to all other religions. The night after the Charlie Hebdo atrocities I was pre-recording a Radio 4 programme. My fellow discussant was a very nice Muslim man who works to ‘de-radicalise’ extremists. We agreed on nearly everything. But at some point he said that one reason Muslims shouldn’t react to such cartoons is that Mohammed never objected to critics. 

There may be some positive things to be said about Mohammed, but I thought this was pushing things too far and mentioned just one occasion when Mohammed didn’t welcome a critic. Asma bint Marwan was a female poetess who mocked the ‘Prophet’ and who, as a result, Mohammed had killed. It is in the texts. It is not a problem for me. But I can understand why it is a problem for decent Muslims. The moment I said this, my Muslim colleague went berserk. How dare I say this? I replied that it was in the Hadith and had a respectable chain of transmission (an important debate). He said it was a fabrication which he would not allow to stand. The upshot was that he refused to continue unless all mention of this was wiped from the recording. The BBC team agreed and I was left trying to find another way to express the same point. The broadcast had this ‘offensive’ fact left out. 

I cannot imagine another religious discussion where this would happen, but it is perfectly normal when discussing Islam. On that occasion I chose one case, but I could have chosen many others, such as the hundreds of Jews Mohammed beheaded with his own hand. Again, that’s in the mainstream Islamic sources. I haven’t made it up. It used to be a problem for Muslims to rationalise, but now there are people trying to imitate such behaviour in our societies it has become a problem for all of us, and I don’t see why people in the free world should have to lie about what we read in historical texts. 

We may all share a wish that these traditions were not there but they are and they look set to have serious consequences for us all. We might all agree that the history of Christianity has hardly been un-bloody. But is it not worth asking whether the history of Christianity would have been more bloody or less bloody if, instead of telling his followers to ‘turn the other cheek’, Jesus had called (even once) for his disciples to ‘slay’ non–believers and chop off their heads? 

This is a problem with Islam — one that Muslims are going to have to work through. They could do so by a process which forces them to take their foundational texts less literally, or by an intellectually acceptable process of cherry-picking verses. Or prominent clerics could unite to declare the extremists non-Muslim. But there isn’t much hope of this happening. Last month, al-Azhar University in Cairo declared that although Isis members are terrorists they cannot be described as heretics. 

We have spent 15 years pretending things about Islam, a complex religion with competing interpretations. It is true that most Muslims live their lives peacefully. But a sizeable portion (around 15 per cent and more in most surveys) follow a far more radical version. The remainder are sitting on a religion which is, in many of its current forms, a deeply unstable component. That has always been a problem for reformist Muslims. But the results of ongoing mass immigration to the West at the same time as a worldwide return to Islamic literalism means that this is now a problem for all of us. To stand even a chance of dealing with it, we are going to have to wake up to it and acknowledge it for what it is.

Related Reading:

The Forgotten Genocide: Why It Matters Today

What Would @TheRevAl & #BlackLivesMatter's Oscars Look Like?

BREAKING NEWS: Al Sharpton’s National Action Network Hollywood Task Force reaches historic deal with AMPAS. Beginning next year, everyone gets a participation trophy!

OK, not really, but what would the Oscars look like if they had their way?  Here's what the new categories for the 2016 Academy Awards might look like...

Best Black Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture 
Best Hispanic Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture 
Best Asian-American Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture 
Best LGBTQQIAAP Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture 
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (open to all) 

Best Black Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture 
Best Hispanic Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture 
Best Asian-American Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture 
Best LGBTQQIAAP Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture 
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (open to all) 

Best Black Actress in a Motion Picture 
Best Hispanic Actress in a Motion Picture 
Best Asian-American Actress in a Motion Picture 
Best LGBTQQIAAP Actress in a Motion Picture 
Best Actress in a Motion Picture (open to all) 

Best Black Actor in a Motion Picture 
Best Hispanic Actor in a Motion Picture 
Best Asian-American Actor in a Motion Picture 
Best LGBTQQIAAP Actor in a Motion Picture 
Best Actor in a Motion Picture (open to all) 

Best Black Director of a Motion Picture 
Best Hispanic Director of a Motion Picture 
Best Asian-American Director of a Motion Picture 
Best LGBTQQIAAP Director of a Motion Picture 
Best Director of a Motion Picture (open to all) 

Best Black Motion Picture 
Best Hispanic Motion Picture 
Best Asian-American Motion Picture 
Best LGBTQQIAAP Motion Picture 
Best Motion Picture (open to all) 

And, the winner for Best Race Hustler in America?

Al, go up and accept your 'Oskkkar'!

Segregation!  Everything old is new again!

So, How Are the French Reacting To John Kerry's Sing-A-Long?

Embedded image permalink

Reminds me of that erudite specimen of American brilliance:

'That's retarded, Sir!'

- Rachel Jeantel

(Yes, I know 'en retard' means late.  Double entendre!)

The Forgotten Genocide: Why It Matters Today

A still frame from the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, which portrayed eye witnessed events from the Armenian Genocide, including crucified Christian girls.

By Raymond Ibrahim

Today, April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the Armenian genocide that took place under Turkey’s Islamic Ottoman Empire, during and after WWI. Out of an approximate population of two million, some 1.5 million Armenians died. If early 20th century Turkey had the apparatuses and technology to execute in mass—such as 1940s Germany’s gas chambers—the entire Armenian population may well have been annihilated. Most objective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:

More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse. A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century. At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000…. Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.

Indeed, evidence has been overwhelming. U.S. Senate Resolution 359 from 1920 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.” In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (which agrees with Islam’s rules of war). Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: 

“Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.” 

Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs. 

What do Americans know of the Armenian Genocide? To be sure, some American high school textbooks acknowledge it. However, one of the primary causes for it—perhaps the fundamental cause—is completely unacknowledged: religion. The genocide is always articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that deems valid only those factors that are intelligible from a modern, secular, Western point of view, such as identity politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. As can be imagined, such an approach does little more than project Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations of different eras, thus anachronizing history. 

War, of course, is another factor that clouds the true face of the Armenian genocide. Because these atrocities occurred during WWI, so the argument goes, they are ultimately a reflection of just that—war, in all its chaos and destruction, and nothing more. Yet Winston Churchill, who described the massacres as an “administrative holocaust,” correctly observed that “The opportunity [WWI] presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race.” Even Adolf Hitler had pointed out that “Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.” 

It is the same today throughout the Muslim world, wherever there is war: after the U.S. toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the nation’s Christian minority were first to be targeted for systematic persecution resulting in more than half of Iraq’s indigenous Christian population fleeing their homeland. Now that war has come to Syria—with the U.S. supporting the jihadis and terrorists—the Christians there are on the run for their lives. 

There is no denying that religion—or in this context, the age-old specter of Muslim persecution of Christian minorities—was fundamental to the Armenian Genocide. Even the most cited factor, ethnic identity conflict, while legitimate, must be understood in light of the fact that, historically, religion—creed—accounted more for a person’s identity than language or heritage. This is daily demonstrated throughout the Islamic world today, where Muslim governments and Muslim mobs persecute Christian minorities—minorities who share the same ethnicity, language, and culture, who are indistinguishable from the majority, except, of course, for being non-Muslims. 

If Christians are thus being singled out today—in our modern, globalized, “humanitarian” age—are we to suppose that they weren’t singled out a century ago by Turks? 

Similarly, often forgotten is the fact that non-Armenians under Turkish hegemony, Assyrians and Greeks for example, were also targeted for cleansing. The only thing that distinguished Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks from Turks was that they were all Christian. As one Armenian studies professor asks, “If it [the Armenian Genocide] was a feud between Turks and Armenians, what explains the genocide carried out by Turkey against the Christian Assyrians at the same time?” 

Today, as Turkey continues moving back to reclaiming its Islamic heritage, so too has Christian persecution returned. If Turks taunted their crucified Armenian victims by saying things like “Now let your Christ come and help you,” just last January, an 85-year-old Christian Armenian woman was repeatedly stabbed to death in her apartment, and a crucifix carved onto her naked corpse. Another elderly Armenian woman was punched in the head and, after collapsing to the floor, repeatedly kicked by a masked man. According to the report, “the attack marks the fifth in the past two months against elderly Armenian women,” one of whom lost an eye. Elsewhere, pastors of church congregations with as little as 20 people are targeted for killing and spat upon in the streets. A 12-year-old Christian boy was beaten by his teacher and harassed by students for wearing a cross around his neck, and three Christians were “satanically tortured” before having their throats slit for publishing Bibles. 

Outside of Turkey, what is happening to the Christians of today from one end of the Muslim world to the other is a reflection of what happened to the Armenian Christians of yesterday. We can learn about the past by looking at the present. From Indonesia in the east to Morocco in the west, from Central Asia in the north, to sub-Sahara Africa—that is, throughout the entire Islamic world—Muslims are, to varying degrees, persecuting, killing, raping, enslaving, torturing and dislocating Christians. See my new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for a comprehensive account of one of the greatest—yet, like the Armenian Genocide, little known—atrocities of our times. 

Here is one relevant example to help appreciate the patterns and parallels: in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria, Muslims, led by the Islamic organization, Boko Haram (“Western Education is Forbidden”) are waging a bloody jihad on the Christian minorities in their midst. These two groups—black Nigerian Muslims and black Nigerian Christians—are identical in all ways except, of course, for being Muslims and Christians. And what is Boko Haram’s objective in all this carnage? To cleanse northern Nigeria of all Christians—a goal rather reminiscent of Ottoman policies of cleansing Turkey of all Christians, whether Armenian, Assyrian, or Greek. 

How does one explain this similar pattern of Christian persecution—this desire to be cleansed of Christians—in lands so different from one another as Nigeria and Turkey, lands which share neither race, language, nor culture, which share only Islam? Meanwhile, the modern Islamic world’s response to the persecution of Christians is identical to Turkey’s response to the Armenian Genocide: Denial. 

Finally, to understand how the historic Armenian Genocide is representative of the modern day plight of Christians under Islam, one need only read the following words written in 1918 by President Theodore Roosevelt—but read “Armenian” as “Christian” and “Turkish” as “Islamic”:

the Armenian [Christian] massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey [the Islamic world] is to condone it… the failure to deal radically with the Turkish [Islamic] horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense. 

Indeed, if we “fail to deal radically” with the “horror” currently being visited upon millions of Christians around the Islamic world—which in some areas has reached genocidal proportions—we “condone it” and had better cease talking “mischievous nonsense” of a utopian world of peace and tolerance. 

Put differently, silence is always the ally of those who would commit genocide. In 1915, Adolf Hitler rationalized his genocidal plans, which he implemented some three decades later, when he rhetorically asked: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” 

And who speaks today of the annihilation of Christians under Islam?


I'm reminded of this dude:

“It’s not possible for a Muslim to commit genocide." 

- Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir

Too many on the Left, including Barack Obama's brother, agree.