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Examining settled and unsettling questions.

Archive for September 2008

How the U. S. Has Supported Jihad

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The long-term threat to western civilization is Jihad.  It has already been going on for decades. This post is about a few instances of the assault of  Muslims against non-Muslims.  Strangely, many influential leaders in the west have refused to believe that such a threat exists.  But several  authors have described what is at stake in this clash of cultures.  I have relied on the work of Serge Trifkovic.  Anyone who wants to know more about the dangers of Jihad  should read his books The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad.  Direct quotes below are from the Sword of the Prophet.

Because of a failure of leaders in the United States to understand Islamic jihad, on several occasions our country has actually aided the Muslims in their jihad against non-Muslims.  One notable example is the aid that the United States gave Indonesia in its invasion of East Timor after the disintegration of the Portuguese empire. Beginning in the 1970’s the United States supplied arms and, in other ways, encouraged the Indonesians to take East Timor although Indonesia had no rightful claim to that country. 

“At the same time Indonesian military forces linked to the carnage in East Timor were trained in the United States under a covert program sponsored by the Clinton Administration, which continued until 1998. . . . Through two and a half subsequent years of that campaign—leading to the death of about a third of the population— The New York Times ran only two brief stories about the ‘problem of East Timorese refugees.'”

In the motivation, patterns, and perceptions of the actors on the ground—-killers and victims alike—East Timor was an Islamic jihad against Christian infidels, identical in form and purpose to other tragedies caused by Islam’s insatiable appetite for other people’s lands, property, bodies, and souls. Dili’s bishop, Mgr. Coste Lopez, later stated: “The soldiers who landed started killing everyone they could find.  There were many dead bodies in the street.”  They [the soldiers] had been told that they were fighting a jihad, and whole villages—-for example Remexo and Aileu— were slaughtered.  In Dili, hundreds of Chinese were shot and thrown off the wharf into the sea.  In Maubara and Luiquica, the entire Chinese populations were wiped out.  Nineteen ships were moored in Dili harbor [by the Indonesians] to remove looted cars, radios, furniture, tractors, and whatever else could be ransacked.  Churches and the seminary were looted and their books burnt.

The Bosnian crisis started in 1990 after the post-communist election when political parties representing Serbs, Croats, and Muslims formed a coalition government.  The Muslim leader, Alija Izetbegovic, caused the breakup of that coalition by reneging on an agreement arranged by the European Union that provided for continued power-sharing in Sarajevo.   He declared a unilateral declaration of independence.  He was supported in this decision by the U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade, Warren Zimmerman.  Of course, the Clinton- led NATO forces also helped the Muslims in their fight against the Serbs.

Alija was the author of an “Islamic Declaration” (first published in 1974 and republished in 1990) which proclaimed, “there can be no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies and political institutions.”

The Declaration continues: The Islamic movement should and must start taking power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough not only to overthrow the existing non-Islamic power structure, but also to build a great Islamic federation spreading from Moroco to Indonesia, from tropical Africa to Central Asia.

Proof that Alija meant business arose a few years later when President Clinton was still in the White House.  A State Department report warned that the Muslim-controlled parts of Bosnia were a staging area and a safe haven for Islamic terrorism.  A later Israeli intelligence report said that “about 6,000 fighters in Bosnia and Herzegovna, Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia are ready to do Bin Laden’s bidding”and that “a nucleus of Bin Laden followers in the Balkans could balloon into an army of about 40,000 men.”

Iran had already obtained a foothold of its own in Bosnia, when the Clinton Administration asked for—-and obtained—Teheran’s help in supplying the Muslim army with weapons.  This was done in violation of the arms embargo initially demanded by the U. S. and behind the back of its European allies.

Today, ten years later, politicians in the United States and the leaders of European countries are still in denial about Islamic doctrine which is, in reality, not just a religion. For example, mosques have been used as military headquarters since the time of Mohammad.  Muslims owe an unthinking obedience to the Koran: for them, it is heresy even to analyze a passage from the Koran.  Muslims themselves cannot recommend or make changes in the objectives of Islam without being guilty of  heresy and facing the death penalty.  In the United States the mainstream media are silent on the subject and are unwitting supporters of jihad by their multicultural and political correctness mumbo–jumbo which is replacing the Constitutional rights of Americans.


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September 29, 2008 at 6:42 pm

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sharia?

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(or You’ve Let the Fox into the Hen House, Old Chap)

A momentous thing happened this last week in England.  The Labour government of the UK let the word get out that it has been quietly allowing Sharia law to become a part of  the country’s legal system.  Five major cities have been approved as places to let Sharia law courts be established—where decisions about justice will be made by Muslims, but whose decisions will be enforced by the state. The cities are London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

So what does that mean? you may ask.  In a post on The Chronicles website, Serge Trifkovic says, “To a devout Muslim the incorporation of shari’a into British law is by no means the end of the affair. It is merely a major milestone on the road that cannot stop short of subjecting all Britons, regardless of faith, to the strictures of Allah’s commandment and Muhammad’s example.”

In the short term, it means that Muslim men in the UK will get twice as much inheritance from parents as their sisters will.   It means that family disputes in Muslim neighborhoods will not be handled by UK police.  A man there will be allowed to beat his wife if he thinks she deserves it.  And punishment for other crimes like pedophilia in Muslim neighborhoods will be in the hands of imams and residents.  In short, there will be two systems of justice in the UK: those derived from English Common Law and those prescribed by Allah in the Quran.

To see the importance of this development, consider that Sharia law, if okayed in United States cities, would mean that some of the Bill of Rights in the U. S. Constitution would not apply everywhere.  The good news is that a group of Americanized Muslims in the United States have formed an organization called Muslims Against Sharia. It has gone on record as opposing the introduction of Sharia law into democratic countries.   Linda Ahmed, a spokesperson for that group has said,

Any person from a country where a substantial part of the population is pro-Sharia should not be allowed in the West, not only as an immigrant, but even as a visitor with a few exceptions, i.e., political asylum or as a diplomat etc. … Every legal immigrant should be allowed to stay only if he/she did not display desire to establish a Sharia state in a host country. Any naturalized citizen who displays a desire to establish a Sharia state in a host country should have his/her citizenship revoked and be promptly deported. I think the latter two groups is where the real danger lies. (FrontPage Magazine, July 24, 2008)

More recently, Khalim Massoud, a member of Muslims Against Sharia said, “Anyone who proclaims Islamic extremist views should be tried for sedition, since we are at war with radical Islam, or at the very least, promptly deported.” (FrontPage Magazine, September 9, 2008)

Responding to developments in England, U. S. Representative Tancredo (Colorado) has introduced a bill he calls “Jihad Prevention Act” which would bar the entry of foreign nationals who would advocate Sharia law.  In addition the legislation would make the advocacy of Sharia law by radical Muslims already in the United States a deportable offense.  Muslims Against Sharia have endorsed Tancredo’s bill, referring to their earlier recommendations.

In 1990 The Organization of the Islamic Conference (which has now 57 members including Turkey which calls itself a “secular” state) ratified “Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.”     In February 1990 the courageous Senegalese jurist Adama Dieng (a Muslim, who subsequently became a United Nations special rapporteur), then serving as secretary-general to the International Commission of Jurists, declared that the Cairo Declaration, under the rubric of the Shari’a,

…gravely threatens the inter-cultural consensus on which the international human rights instruments are based; introduces, in the name of the defense of human rights, an intolerable discrimination against both non-Muslims and women; reveals a deliberately restrictive character in regard to certain fundamental rights and freedoms..; [and] confirms the legitimacy of practices, such as corporal punishment, that attack the integrity and dignity of the human being.

Unfortunately, here in the United States most of the Muslim academics in our universities and mainstream Muslim advocacy groups want to impose Sharia law on our democracy.  They say that too much is made of the incompatibility of Sharia law and human rights.  Khaled Abou El Fadl and Roy Mottahedeh say that Muslims have spent too much time trying to reconcile Sharia with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.   That is so, they say, because the human rights advocates refuse to concede Islamic supremacy over a universal standard based on the US Bill of Rights.  Left-wing politicians in the United States are either maliciously or foolishly aiding and supporting these views. They  are also obstructing efforts to make our borders secure.

Now is the time for those who oppose Sharia law being imposed on our nation to let members of Congress know what’s at stake and to urge Congress to support Rep. Tancredo’s bill.

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September 22, 2008 at 1:22 pm

The Bashing of America in European Media

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Some people would have us believe that it’s the current President Bush and the Iraq invasion that have provoked ire against the USA in the foreign press. Not so, as the excerpt from the article below (written in November 2001) proves.  On September 11, 2001, Bush had been President just nine months. So the bashing by the foreign press must have been reaction to policies of the Clinton years.

And I’m not talking about the usual suspect, the French. No, it was the left-wing press in England, our supposed ally.

What the piece really shows is that England (and much of Europe) were already—at that time—feeling the effects of multiculturalism. The Muslim populations were large enough in England to have a significant influence on British perceptions of reality. At that time Americans had reason to expect  sympathy from even the left-wing press in England.   Remember that terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the USS Cole had already occurred during the Clinton presidency, before the events of September 11, 2001.

But, as the title of Mark Steyn’s book America Alone suggests, Europe is well on its way to being  Muslimized, and by mid-century the United States will likely be the last western nation representing individual rights like those enumerated in the first ten amendments of our Constitution.  Freedom of the press in the case of Steyn’s writing is already under attack in Canada where several politically correct organizations are bringing suit to have his writing banned. In several European countries,  free speech has already been canceled by the passage of so-called “hate-speech” laws.

From “Another painful lesson”
The New Criterion (November 2001)

by John Gross
On the British press’s coverage of the atrocities of September 11.

You start thinking you can’t be surprised anymore—not when it comes to left-wing
opinion-makers, at least—but you end up being surprised nonetheless. Most of their
reactions are predictable in broad outline; but reality has a way of going one better,
or one worse.

Two days after the assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, BBC television
broadcast that week’s edition of the current affairs program ‘Question Time,’ a panel
discussion with questions and comments from the floor. Almost at once it became
clear that the audience contained a large contingent of Muslim extremists and
left-wing sympathizers, who proceeded to hijack the program. Instead of questions,
there were anti-American diatribes; members of the panel (who included a former
American ambassador to Britain) were shouted down.

While what happened wasn’t entirely inconsistent with the slant of recent BBC
coverage in general, and its bias against Israel in particular, it is far more likely to
have been the result of ineptitude. No one had bothered to check up on the audience.
But that didn’t make the incident any less ugly, and there were many protests.
For a day or two the BBC huffed and puffed. Then the Director General, Greg Dyke
(of whom more later), issued an apology. It was fairly half-hearted, and one suspects
it might not have been issued at all if offence hadn’t been given at an ambassadorial level.
Still, it was better than nothing.

Two days later, a headline in the London Times caught my eye: ‘Dyke strives to
quell revolt over ‘Question Time.” For a moment, I felt mildly elated. So the old BBC spirit
wasn’t dead; there were still executives in the corporation capable of feeling ashamed of
the previous week’s lapse. Then I read on and saw what a fool I had been. There had indeed been ‘uproar’ inside the BBC, as the Times explained. What had provoked it, however, had been not the program, but Dyke’s apology: he had been obliged to send an e-mail to his staff, defending his decision.


It was a reminder that, while the world may have changed on September 11, the priorities of the media elite hadn’t. But perhaps such a lesson was no longer needed, since by this
stage left-wing interpretations of the current crisis had hardened and were being widely
voiced. From the first, there had been mutterings that it was all America’s fault. While the initial horrors were still unfolding, the New Statesman published an editorial in which it
argued the need for moral distinctions: ‘American bond dealers, you may say, are as
innocent and undeserving of terror as Vietnamese or Iraqi peasants. Well, yes and no.’

But it was left to the Guardian newspaper to play all the main anti-American tunes.
First we were told that while the atrocities of September 11 were a bad thing, their
very horror was an index of how bitter the victims of American foreign policy felt, how
much they had suffered. Then the grand old doctrine of equilateralism was wheeled out:
the atrocities were a bad thing, but America had done equally bad things (and more of them).

Then even the show of compassion was dropped, and we were told, repeatedly, that the
Americans had had it coming to them. Before long, equilateralism began to be applied to
the future as well as the past: there was talk of ‘an American jihad’ and ‘Bush’s holy war.’ At every stage, in fact, it was made clear that America’s duty was to do nothing—except
mend its ways. What it had been offered, if it only knew how to take advantage of it,
was (immortal phrase) ‘a painful lesson.’ So the atrocities weren’t such a bad thing after all.
Detailed instances of these approaches are hardly called for, but one observation by a
Guardian writer has achieved enough popularity for it to deserve to be singled out: ‘a bully with a bloody nose is still a bully.’ And I can’t resist quoting an example of the extremes
to which another contributor to the paper was driven in the quest for equilateralist parallels:

The smile on the face of the suicide bomber has as much to do with true humour and
laughter as the rictus incantation ‘Have a nice day’ in the supermarket checkout. Both
are debased forms of totalitarianism.

The Guardian has been far from alone in promulgating such attitudes, and the smaller but
influential Independent has run it a close second. To mark the replacement of the admittedly infelicitous name ‘Operation Infinite Justice’ by ‘Operation Enduring Freedom,’ for instance, it published a cartoon showing a dwarfish Bush in conference with the chiefs of staff—thick-necked cigar-chomping brutes. Lying on the table around which they were sitting were crumpled scraps of paper with some of the other names for the campaign against terrorism which had been considered—’Operation Ubiquitous Cheeseburger,’ ‘Operation My-Dad’s- Bigger-than-Your-Dad,’ ‘Operation Let’s-Have-Us-a-Lynching.’

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September 20, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Freedom of the Press and Jihad

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The burden of proof is on the accused when it comes to libel rulings in British courts.  So when Cambridge University Press was threatened with a suit over publishing Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World, it capitulated before going to court.  In doing so the Cambridge UP agreed to shred all unsold copies of the book.

The book had been written by two Americans who continued to stand by its accuracy, but to no avail.  The book had shown how oil sheiks and the very rich in Saudi Arabia were financing terrorism around the world.  That prompted a billionaire Saudi banker, Khalid bin Mahfouz, to threaten the libel suit.

Cambridge UP also agreed to make a public apology, pay substantial damages, legal fees, and make a pledge to contact libraries worldwide with a request that they remove Alms for Jihad from their shelves.  Some people feared that American colleges and universities would comply with the request from Cambridge UP.  Consequently there was a rush to check out the book. Many libraries reported missing copies.  Soon the book was sold out at vendors like Amazon.com and was unavailable at even high prices.

Stanley Kurtz, in an article for The New Criterion‘s special publication, “Free speech in an age of jihad,” says it is not an isolated case.  “Not one book, but possibly as many as thirty-six books containing passing mentions of bin Mahfouz’s financial activities, have been suppressed by the threat or reality of British libel suits.”  And worse, the chilling effect of the threats of suits “has rendered publishers worldwide reluctant to accept material that touches upon terror-network financing.”

Closer to home, Canada’s Human Rights Commissions heard a complaint against Maclean’s, a leading magazine in Canada, for publishing an article by Mark Steyn, a best-selling Canadian author.   The  article, excerpted from Steyn’s book America Alone, expresses “concerns about the cultural impact of large and relatively unassimilated Muslim immigrant populations on the West.”  

The Human Rights Commissions were “founded in the 1970s to deal with cases of job and housing discrimination.”  But a provision in the establishment of that law “similar to Europe’s hate-speech laws soon permitted these commissions to hear cases involving speech ‘likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.’ ”

Kurtz says the “complaint filed against Mark Steyn is a totalitarian document.” It is “not really levied against any particular factual claim or rhetorical move.  It is instead a request that vast sections of heretofore legitimate reporting and opinion journalism be banned.”  Even if the complaint fails, says Kurtz, it still will have a “chilling effect on public discourse. . . .The mere threat of the spectacle and its cost suffices to shut down debate on controversial issues, especially for outlets and commentators less prominent than Steyn and Maclean’s.”

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September 19, 2008 at 7:26 am

The Death of Augustus Bunyan Horn

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My mother’s father, Whit Horn, was born in 1866. He was the eleventh and youngest child of a family that had first lived in Pike County, Alabama. The head of that family, my Great-grandfather Daniel H. Horn, was serving in the State Senate of Alabama when the State seceded from the Union. He left the Senate and formed a company of soldiers which eventually became Company K, 33rd Regiment Alabama Infantry.

My grandfather was not born until after the War, but his brother, Augustus B. Horn, born in 1845, enlisted on November 23, 1863. He served as a private in Company A, Fifth Battalion of the Florida Cavalry. His name appears on a list of Paroled Confederate Soldiers for the month of June 1865.

About the time the War for Southern Independence ended, Daniel moved his family from Alabama to Florida. They settled on the shores of Hicks Lake and Lucas Lake in Northwest Florida where the oldest son, Augustus, rejoined the family. My grandfather described the setting of their new home in his autobiography, as follows:

My father kept a boat in each lake and fished as much in one as in the other. Friends frequently visited him and spent much of their time in the forest hunting or on the lakes fishing. There were lots of turkeys, bear, and wild cats in the forest then. My father kept some good hunting hounds that were noted deer dogs. One pair I well remember. These two, Cheatum and Venus.

The surrounding forest was so wild and unsettled that the family’s livestock was allowed to roam untethered and feed on whatever plants and nuts they could find. But these domestic animals were at risk of being attacked by wild predators. One morning the dogs ran barking across the yard. “My father had a sow with a bed of young pigs which he had located the day before. The dogs led off barking in their direction.” He took his gun and followed them toward the swamp near Hicks Lake. When he came to the sow, he found that one of the pigs was missing. “About that time he heard the dogs treeing. He went to them and found them barking at the foot of a big cypress, and out on a limb he saw a large wild cat” which he dispatched.

One Sunday morning in April of 1867, members of the family were dressing for church when they heard the dogs which had struck the trail of a deer on the far side of the two lakes. His father urged Augustus to take a rifle, mount one of their horses, and intercept the deer as it came along the edge of the lakes. To do this, Augustus had to cross a slough that linked the two bodies of water.

He quickly bridled the horse but did not take time to put on a saddle. As he was crossing, Augustus slipped off and was kicked by the horse as it swam. The young man’s body and rifle were retrieved from the slough which was about nine feet deep. The family soon moved away from that homestead. “My mother could not bear to look at the lakes after his death.”

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September 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm

The Measure of Human Achievement

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As a year ends, news organizations often make a list of superlatives: the most important news story of the year; the best book of the year; the man or woman of the year. Pundits frequently err in choosing the year’s most important news story. At the end of the year in which the Soviet Union collapsed, Bryant Gumbel said that the state of the economy was the news story of the year. But who remembers anything about the economy that year?

At the end of the twentieth century there was discussion of what person in the century had made the greatest impact on human history. It was an interesting question. But it was difficult to answer because we tend to see our own times as more important than the past or the future. We are preoccupied with the present.

Our heroes are show-business people who enjoy fifteen minutes of fame and then are replaced by others of the same kind. Our political leaders lack a vision of what life should be, or they lack the will to pursue that vision because they serve constituents who are not interested.

Against this tendency in us, the truth is that duration is the best test of human achievement. The wise have often observed that accomplishments of a particular political leader cannot be assessed fairly by contemporaries. Time tends to strip away the extraneous–the personal passions and prejudices. Most political thought fades in a generation because it is tied to self-serving or silly notions of the day. Even dramatic political acts rarely outlive the people who perform them, except as historical curiosities.

On the other hand, great ideas continue to be meaningful to society long after their creators are dead. Once ideas become operative, they are not wedded to their creators but permeate the whole of human thought. They are great ideas precisely because they affect many generations of people who may not even remember who created those ideas. That’s why, among twentieth-century people, Einstein will have a more lasting effect on history than Hitler.

That is why Socrates is more important to us than the Athenians who condemned him to death; why Aristotle is more important to us than Alexander the Great, his pupil; Shakespeare than Elizabeth I; and Darwin than queen Victoria.

The political figures paired above with Socrates, Aristotle, Shakespeare, and Darwin are museum pieces because the issues they were passionate about were transitory. Most politicians believe ardently in their own importance, but they may truly say with Shelley’s Ozymandias, “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.” Still, at any given moment, politicians attract all the attention. It’s not surprising, then, that the most valuable human achievements typically go unappreciated by contemporaries. Somewhere today great things are being thought and done, but they don’t usually make the headlines.

The Margrave of Brandenburg, as far as we can determine, never had his musicians perform the six concerti sent to him by Johann Sebastian Bach. Undoubtedly, he was too busy and thought that what he was doing and saying was of overwhelming importance. But the only thing history remembers about this prince of Brandenburg is that he neglected Bach’s concerti.

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September 7, 2008 at 12:13 pm