Keith Ellison: Lying to the Infidels?

Keith Ellison: Lying to the Infidels?
by Deborah Weiss
Human Events.com 

Minnesota Democratic Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (aka Keith Hakim or Keith Ellison Muhammad) is the first Muslim elected to Congress. His promise to take the oath of office on January 4 with his hand on the Koran rather than the Bible has sparked much controversy.

Congressmen and other officials are required to take an oath of office as a prerequisite to being seated. Similarly, witnesses in court are required to take an oath before testifying. The purpose of the oath is to encourage people to tell the truth. By swearing under oath, one obligates himself to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We, as a nation, take the actions of our elected officials and statements made in court very seriously. Therefore, our oaths are made under penalty of perjury. The legal ramification of knowingly making false statements is the possibility of being criminally prosecuted and jailed. Historically, the oath invoked God ased on the idea that those who were religious would be less likely to lie if they feared the wrath of God, in addition to the wrath of the state. It was an additional way through which our legal system emphasized the importance of truth-telling.

While nothing in the Constitution or our state laws mandate a person to swear on the Christian Bible, the legal alternative is to “affirm.” This is a promise to tell the truth under pain of perjury, available to those who either do not believe in the Christian God, the Christian Bible, or whose interpretation of the Bible forbids them to swear.

Though some have sworn in on the Old Testament or on different versions of the Christian Bible, all these texts were part of, or variations on the Christian Bible, included the Ten Commandments, and endorsed the same moral value of truth telling.

The Christian Bible teaches that “The Truth shall make you free,” “render unto Cesar what is esar‘s and unto God what is God’s” (separation of church and state), and preaches freedom and equality for people of all faiths. The Koran, by contrast, teaches that it’s OK to lie to infidels if it furthers the cause of Islam, that nation states have no legitimacy, that the only legitimate nation is the nation of Islam, which has no territorial boundaries; and those who do not submit to the will of Allah should be condemned to a life of dhimmitude (second class citizenry). Because the Koran does not mandate truth telling to infidels and because upholding a man-made constitution conflicts with the literal text of Koranic law, the purpose of the oath is not served by swearing in on the Koran.

An individual cannot subjectively select which text constitutes a “Holy Scripture” appropriate for legal oath-taking. Instead, to determine th intent of the framers who wrote the oath requirement in the Constitution, we must look at the meaning their words held at the time they were written. (Click here for text of oath as mandated by statute.) It is clear that the Founding Fathers intended the oath to be made on the Bible, which espoused the value of truth-telling and in which one of God’s Ten Commandments was “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” They did not contemplate oath-taking on the Koran.

Were we to allow Ellison to swear on a text that states his oath does not have to be truthful because he is making it to infidels, or that his allegiance is to a Higher Authority than the Constitution and he does not have to respect our nation’s laws to the degree they conflict with Sharia or the Koran, then his oath would not be equivalent to an oath taken on the Bible. To swear on a book that is in direct conflict with the purpose of our oath, renders the oath meaningless. The object of the oath matters.

However, there is no religious test for elected office, and nobody is trying to force Ellison to swear on the Christian Bible. He can make his affirmation under penalty of perjury, promising to tell the truth and uphold our man-made laws. This would not preclude him from practicing the religion of his choice.

From a legal standpoint, Ellison’s promise to swear in on the Koran is much ado about nothing, as he is doing no such thing. The official swearing-in ceremony will take place in the House chamber, where the speaker of the House will administer the oath to all House members en masse and no religious texts will be utilized. The subsequent private swearing-in ceremony is nothing more than a photo op ad has no legally binding significance. It is at these individual ceremonies that congressmen traditionally pose with the Bible. (In some official positions, the actual Bible is used in the administration of the oath.) Nevertheless, Ellison’s insistence on using the Koran in his is individual ceremony is unprecedented. He is making a political statement that raises questions about his loyalties and values. Does he believe in Sharia law or freedom? Does he respect the authority of nation states or only that of the Nation of Islam? Does he believe in tolerance and equality between Muslims and non-Muslims? Does he believe in freedom of speech even when it slanders Islam? Can he, in good conscience, uphold our man-made constitution even when it conflicts with the Koran?

In answering these questions, Ellison’s background does not allay any concerns. A black convert to Islam, Ellison was active with Farrakhan‘s Nation of Islam, has a hitory of supporting anti-Semites, cold-blooded cop-killers (Mumia Abu Jamal) and other questionable characters.

Even more frightening, Ellison’s campaign was substantially financed by prominent members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization many experts consider to be a Hamas front group. (See “The Real CAIR” by Joseph Farah on WorldNetDaily; “CAIR‘s Pro-Hamas Press” byJoe Kaufman on FrontPageMag.com; and “CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment” by Sharon Chada and Daniel Pipes, published by Middle East Quarterly.) He recently spoke at the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America, touted by counter-terrorism expert Steve Emerson as terrorist front groups. He also spoke at the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and his lecture flowed into a session at the American Open University, a radical Wahabbi school that trains many of the NAIF Imams.

Rinforcing his pro-Islamist stance, was Ellison’s celebration speech in Dearborn, Mich.-the hotbed of Hezbollah supporters. He promised allegiance to Allah before a crowd cheering, “Allahu Akbar!” (Allah is great!)-the final words of the 9/11 hijackers before crashing into the Twin Towers.

CAIR‘s charge that any criticism of Ellison stems from “Islamophobia” is bogus. Had Ellison’s past demonstrated a condemnation of terrorists, and exhibited moderation, inclusiveness, and tolerance, perhaps we could have entertained this criticism with some degree of credibility. However, Ellison’s extremist history makes CAIR‘s allegation laughable.

At a time when we are engaged in a global war with radical Islam, it is alarmng that citizens of the U.S. have elected someone who appears to be in bed with our enemy. To date, Keith Ellison’s alliances have been far from mainstream. But our real war is ideological. We will not achieve victory by appeasing Islamists and ignoring their goals of world domination in the name of political correctness. Freedom, including religious freedom for people of all faiths, is our greatest asset. But when an interpretation of one’s private faith crosses the line into a political ideology that conflicts with the freedoms and tolerance of others, we must take heed.

Ellison’s insistence on using the Koran at his private ceremony must be seen in the context of the incremental Islamatization of America. Some Muslim extremist groups, posing as mainstream, advocate actions to desensitize citizens to their anti-freedom goals and try to silence those who oppose them. Ellison’s swearing-in ceremony is just the beginning. Follow is money, his faith, and the company he keeps. I suspect his votes on the House floor will reflect more of the same-an allegiance to values contrary to the Judeo-Christian Bible, contrary to the goals of freedom and tolerance, and sympathetic to political agenda of CAIR.

Breaking the Hold of Hegemonist Doctrine

Breaking the Hold of Hegemonist Doctrine

By J.R. Dunn

Hegemonism is the doctrine holding that every American action on the international stage should be examined under suspicion of evil intent. And what does it foresee occurring in Iraq – and the Middle East at large – after the United States pulls out?

This is no trivial question. Hegemonist doctrine is a major factor in the rush toward abandonment of American responsibilities in the Persian Gulf. The hegemonist worldview is today dominant in American culture. With the effective collapse of the conservative consensus over the past half-decade, there is nothing to stand against it. It is the controlling ideology in the media, in the entertainment world, in the schools, and in the Democratic Party. If asked to bet on the fate of American Middle East policy in the near future, the safe move would be to put money on general withdrawal before the 2008 election. The only thing opposing this outcome is the boldness and determination of George W. Bush himself – not a good situation in a democracy.
So how does hegemonism portray the near future?
This is not a speculative question either. The current situation is a carbon copy of that facing the U.S. in the spring of 1975, when this country ran out on our Southeast Asian allies in general, and South Vietnam in particular. In mid-April 1975 (I believe the date was the 15th, but I’m not absolutely certain) Sydney Schanberg, the New York Times’ Cambodia correspondent, published an op-ed giving a seasoned reporter’s view as to what would happen in the region now that the U.S. was out. Simply put, a blanket of peace not witnessed since Eden would descend across Southeast Asia. With the U.S. gone, all hostilities and violence would cease. The locals, peaceful folk all, would pick up the threads of their lives and, unmolested by arrogant Yankees, would create a society that would act as a shining example to the world at large, Americans in particular.
This is hegemonist doctrine in almost chemically pure form. The U.S. as a demon among nations, violence and depravity the sole results of its policies. The only such actor on the world stage, with all other nations serving as victims, with no course open to them beyond reacting to American provocations. With the U.S. removed from the equation, the world will then immediately right itself and roll on with not a single problem, conundrum, or challenge – at least not that any American need pay attention to. This was the doctrine as it stood in 1975, and if Nancy Pelosi’s recent remark that, “If we leave Iraq, then the insurgents will leave Iraq, the terrorists will leave Iraq,” is any indication, it has not changed in a single particular in the thirty years since. (Further exploration of the connections between Iraq and the Vietnam epoch is well detailed in this recent piece by Noel Sheppard.)
So much for the hegemonist vision. As for the real world… Even as Schanberg’s words appeared, the Khmer Rouge, in the service of a vision we will never be able to grasp, were emptying out the Cambodian capitol of Phnom Penh. What followed was one of the worst massacres of the 20th century, exceeded in sheer inhumanity only by the Holocaust and the Ukrainian famine. Within three years, something on the order of one to three million people (“over one million” as Schanberg’s paper helpfully puts it) had been murdered. The Khmer Rouge were enemies of technology, and most of those who didn’t starve were beaten to death with bamboo staves. When the last victims in an area were dispatched and all that was left were the cadres, they turned on each other, far past the point where they were capable of understanding anything else. It was atrocity carried to its ultimate degree, an event with the stench of damnation about it. The world has hurried on with scarcely a glance back. (To my knowledge, Schanberg has never repudiated his statement of April 1975. This too is typical of hegemonist doctrine, which is in many ways a postmodern construct: if you don’t acknowledge your errors, then they never happened.)
The Vietnamese ordeal was not as deadly. It was also slower in unfolding. Several years passed before the appearance of the Boat People, common Vietnamese who had grown so desperate as to entrust themselves to makeshift rafts and boats on the South China Sea in an effort to get anywhere – Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia – beyond the reach of the Party. We have no idea how many fled, and how many died on the high seas of thirst, starvation, in storms, slaughtered by pirates, drowned when their rickety craft disintegrated around them. The UN, and the world at large, ignored them, in the same fashion as we see today concerning Darfur. Since they were fleeing communism, the Boat People were not legitimate victims, in the same sense that the Christians of Sudan deserve nothing in the way of sympathy either.
And that was only the beginning. The latter part of the 1970s developed into a global Walpurgisnacht in which low-lying fruit of the international system were knocked off by Soviet-funded Marxists one after the other. Ethiopia, Nicaragua, the twin Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique (and very nearly the mother country itself, with incalculable consequences for Europe, but for the actions of Ramalho Eanes, one of the unsung heroes of the Cold War), Grenada,  Afghanistan – it was the most successful decade for the communists since the late 1940s. And with their fall, these small states were plunged into chaos, starvation, and endless warfare. As with the Boat People, the final toll is unknown. As with the Boat People, the world showed no concern whatsoever.
This record in and itself makes it abundantly clear that the hegemonist doctrine is fantasy, and widespread as it has become, an extraordinarily dangerous fantasy. The U.S. is not, and has never been, the snake in an international Eden. Quite the contrary: when the United States retreats, the tyrants, bandits, and ideologues are unleashed. The rule of blood returns, and genocide and horror walk the streets and highways of this civilization.
The record in recent years serves only to underline this fact. In Yugoslavia, a situation that a relatively small European expeditionary force, consisting at most of a few divisions, could have sorted out in a matter of months, was allowed to fester for the larger part of a decade. Thousands died in repeated offensives, sieges, ethnic-cleansing campaigns, and outright massacres until the U.S. broke the Serbian grip by main force.
Darfur, in which hundreds are being slaughtered at this moment, could be controlled with a few squadrons of helicopter gunships reinforced with Predator-class drones to establish a cordon across which no horsemen would be allowed to venture. But the U.S. is entangled
elsewhere, and no one else is willing to step in. Not a single European state, not a single African country. Not even Kofi Annan, himself an African, was willing to bestir his underlings, instead contenting himself with tirades at the Truman Library condemning the United States for the temerity of interfering with other countries.
Rwanda we have saved for last, since it comprises a special case, the example that in and of itself exposes the bankruptcy of a self-policing international system. Rwanda was the worst massacre since the Cambodian Year Zero, and the only one to match it for sheer lunacy. (There was a kind of sanity, in a debased and repellent form, about the Holocaust and the Ukrainian Famine. If you want to destroy a domestic enemy, you wipe them out to the last infant. So says the style of rationalism unbound embodied by Nazism and communism.) In the past few weeks, a dozen years after the slaughter, it has at last been revealed by the new Rwandan government that the massacre was planned and overseen in the chambers of the French embassy. That the militia that triggered the butchery was trained by French officers. That the mobile radio transmitter that goaded the Hutu into turning on their neighbors was maintained and operated by French engineers. All to carry out a foreign policy whose raison d’etre is that no French-speaking state can ever be allowed to fall under the control of Anglophones (the Tutsis, God help them, are English-speakers). For this, a million died under the most horrifying circumstances conceivable. For France, the cradle of civilization. France, the exemplar of culture. France, the nation that we – vulgar Yanks in particular – should all strive to imitate.
Well, something went wrong with France somewhere along the line – the Revolution of 1789, more than likely – and they are now the exemplar of nothing. They are yet another pirate state, with a record including Algeria, Vietnam, Bokassa’s cannibal empire, and Rwanda. (Their recent actions in central Africa, consisting of air strikes on the Sudanese border that evidently killed mostly civilians, serve only to round this series out.) This is a record perhaps second only to that of the USSR itself. France is a state that, like Serbia or Libya, must be
watched closely and if necessary kept in check. And what power is capable of carrying out such a policy? France has nuclear weapons. It has aircraft carriers. It has its own domestic military industry.
In all the wide world, there is only one such nation. For an international system to work, the dominant state must act the role. When it stands aside no one takes its place. The marginal states deteriorate below the medieval level, while the more “civilized” nations behave in manner they would probably not even contemplate under other circumstances. The dominant power does not lead through strict application of force but by example and unvoiced threat as much as anything else. Its hand should be light, its intentions benevolent, as was generally (apart from Ireland) the case with Great Britain. But even a harsh overlordship, as in the case of the Ottomans and Rome, is better than the anarchy that reigns when the superpower declines its role.
  
If the U.S. is guilty of any crime in its international relations, it is in the repeated attempts to evade its responsibility as the world’s leading power. WW I dragged on for years due to U.S. refusal to join the fight against German reaction. A similar action guaranteed a near-total Allied collapse against the most sinister and powerful enemy ever faced by the civilized West during the first two years of WW II. We have already covered the 70s. The 90s were a similar period, when the United States decided to take the decade off under the impression that its job was done (of course, Bill Clinton has apologized for all that during one of his bongo-playing expeditions). Different names have been used for what was essentially the same policy: normalcy, isolationism, detente, the end of history. We don’t yet know what the name for next hiatus will be.  
We do know that the impulse behind it is the hegemonist doctrine. No other force is keeping the U.S. from playing its international role. No outside element could possibly succeed in holding the country back. Only internal pressure from the media, the educational establishment, the universities, the Democrats. They call themselves idealists, and we can give them that. But American left-wing idealism is hollow, creating not the conditions for a global utopia, but for more wars, more brutality, more genocides, more bloodshed.
It follows that the hegemonist doctrine has to go. This is a dogma that has no beneficial aspect. It presents itself as infinitely virtuous while enabling the most evil aspects of the era. (The majority of its adherents – the kind of leftists who have adopted the label of “liberal” – would no doubt be deeply offended to hear that they are supporters of the Khmer Rouge and the Rwandan murderers — but there’s no ducking this.)  It is accepted without thought or consideration, as simply the way educated people think. It is a doctrine that inveigles decent individuals to turn their backs on grotesque suffering, to shut the blinds and close their ears when they hear screams of pain and terror out in the darkness, in the conviction that the police are, if anything, worse than the rapists and murderers.
It is also a doctrine held – if not very seriously or very deeply – by a vast number of people, which raises the question of how such a thing can be challenged. In past decades, the center right has all too often allowed leftist premises to stand unchallenged. The reasons are varied – concentration on easier issues, a sense of hopelessness, an inability to recognize such ideas when they appear – and are not important. What is important is realizing that this stance is always an error. It has allowed the left to set the terms of debate, to define the issues, to prepare the ground before the fight even begins. The result has been much more effort and frustration in conservative efforts than has been strictly called for.
This is nowhere more true than of hegemonist doctrine. In debates concerning foreign policy, it has been treated as an axiom, something inarguable and untouchable. In going along with this charade, conservatives have effectively relegated all their own arguments to the “yes, but…” category. Such a consistent and long-lived tendency to undercut their own premises would be difficult to credit if it wasn’t true of many other conservative positions as well.
Three methods would prove effective in breaking the hold of hegemonist doctrine: identifying it for what it is; discrediting its contentions; and replacing it with a healthy, serious conception of national feeling.
Identification – most people have no idea anything like hegemonism exists as a distinct concept, attributing its effects to the general climate of opinion. Since the collapse of Stalinism, the radical left has been very careful not to closely associate itself with the spread of its own ideas, instead depending on sympathetic or naive outsiders (in a previous epoch known as “transmission belts”), a tactic that has proven quite successful. Identifying hegemonism as leftist in its origins, methods, and aims would go a long way toward undermining it. Most people do not care to be intellectually manipulated, which is what this doctrine amounts to.
Identifying it as a distinct doctrine will also force the left to defend it as a doctrine, rather than simply acting as if it’s what any sane person believes. (It’s amazing, when you think about it, how many aspects of left-wing ideology are defended in those terms, and none other. Amazing, and frustrating, in that they’ve been able to get away with it for so long.)
Disparagement – This should be easy enough. In truth, few dogmas have been more discredited in recent years than this one. As we have seen, it was discredited first by the aftermath of the Vietnam War, as the world at large careened down the road to Hell without any assistance from the United States. It was discredited once more at the end of the Cold War, when the U.S., at its peak moment of triumph, turned away from any form of imperialist design.
It was discredited again during the 90s, when many of the pathologies of the 70s reappeared in limited form due to American sloth. It needs to be pointed out – over and over again, as many times as is necessary – that the hegemonist “backstory” is pure mythology, that the U.S., far from acting as an imperial state, has walked out of the global arena time and again in the past century, on each occasion leaving abject chaos behind. Human instinct is on our side – nobody cares to believe that they live in a psychopathic country, and the facts back us up on this. They should be reiterated constantly. At least as often as the left repeats their little yarns.
Replacement – The form of patriotism disdained by the left as “my country, right or wrong” is long gone, if it ever existed in the first place. What is needed to put up against hegemonic nihilism is a new form, in which skepticism of acting government is balanced by love of country, faith in its ideals, and both pride and understanding of its history, embracing both triumphs and errors. In other words, a style of patriotism much as it exists in the center right today. The left is commonly allowed to dismiss the patriotism of conservatives as the howling of Strangelovian maniacs. They need to be corrected, as firmly as the situation calls for.
We must keep in mind how easily Ronald Reagan overturned the doctrine when it was at its most powerful, only a few years after the collapse of Vietnam. Reagan achieved this because he believed in his vision of America, and was able to communicate that belief. As in so much else, we need to look back on how the Gipper did it. Above all, we need to keep in mind what has been done before, can be accomplished again.
There’s a great irony involved in all this in that even as the hegemonist viewpoint became the consensus, the U.S. was correcting domestic faults and achieving international victories that would have been impossible if the doctrine had any basis in truth. The odious institution of legal segregation was overthrown with no serious bloodshed, a social revolution in the role of women was encompassed in less than a generation, and new industries unimaginable in the last century transformed first the American, and then the global economy. Internationally, the U.S. brought about the collapse of communism, the most efficient system for human degradation ever devised, oversaw the rise of a new Europe that in large part left behind the abattoir politics responsible for the deaths of millions within living memory, and aided in establishing a network of young democracies across the Asian littoral.
Yet despite all this – a record unmatched by any other state in the modern era, perhaps any state in history — we’re supposed to turn our backs and instead brood over ancient wrongs and phantasms dreamed up by fearful, isolated academics ignorant of the very society that supported them.
 
In fact, the U.S. is pioneering a new method by which a great power relates to the world – as a combination of trading partner, lifeguard, and sheriff. There has been nothing quite like it before, although the British Empire pioneered some aspects (particularly those having to do with trade). Whether it succeeds is the core question of our era. If it does not… the example of Rome lies in reserve.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Americans – many of them – have been deprived of a vision of their country for many decades by an ideological construct designed to make patriotism and love of country appear malignant. No society can thrive, much less fight a war, under such a burden of cynicism and self-doubt.
None of these dogmas last forever, and this form of inverted patriotism, this dispensable survival of the heyday of American leftism, has lived past its time, kept alive by misfits who had nothing else to sustain them.
Dispensing with it should be at the top of our agenda. It may be more important than tactics, more important than strategy, more important than anything that happens overseas, since without it being accomplished, nothing else can possibly work.
J.R. Dunn is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/01/hegemonism.html at January 05, 2007 – 05:09:11 PM EST

The Unwritten Constitution

 The Unwritten ConstitutionThe United States was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic that historically was the substance of Western civilization. Ours was a specifically English conception of individual morality and individual responsibility that, only in England and its North American colonies, had produced a government of laws, not men, a government in which even the king is subject to the statutes of the land and to a higher moral law.

This conception of government necessitates a citizenry self-regulated by moral precepts that are preserved and taught by religion. The government must similarly be restrained by the limits of natural law, which say that no legitimate government may infringe any individual’s rights to life, liberty, and private property.

No society can survive without a consensus about right and wrong, about what constitutes moral conduct. That consensus is the unwritten constitution of society, the content that gives meaning to a written constitution, the meat on the bones of the structure of government.

Opposing our original conception of government is the liberal jihad, driven by the ideology of socialism, sometimes called The Religion of Humanity. This religion was formalized in the 1789 French Revolution, the same year that our Constitution was ratified and became the law of the land.

Socialism is a secular religion. Like Islamic suicide bombers, liberals are so firmly persuaded that their cause is right, good, and just that they are prepared to go to any lengths necessary to destroy the Judeo-Christian ethic of individual morality and replace it with a rigidly regulated National-State collectivism, of which Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were extreme examples.

The religion of socialism is being taught unconstitutionally, at your expense, in public schools and colleges receiving Federal aid. Teaching the religious doctrine of socialism as scientific fact amounts to making liberal-socialism the officially established religion of the United States.

The only constitutional way to stop the liberal jihad is to force schools to present both sides of the story, traditionalist, as well as liberal. Publicly funded schools now teach only the amoral, secular materialism of the socialist religion. Schools no longer present true versions of American history and of our original ideas of civic virtue and personal morality that are historically the substance of Western civilization. Penetrating the shield of socialist teachers’ unions and the politicians whom they help elect is a very long-term project, but a vital one.

The largest volume of immigration in the nation’s history, both legal and illegal, coupled with liberals’ relentless efforts to destroy America’s original traditions of individual morality, leaves us with no core values and a diminishing will to defend ourselves against foreign enemies.

Spanish bishops fear rebirth of Islamic kingdom

Spanish bishops fear rebirth of Islamic kingdom

And they have every reason to, since after all, Spain is part of dar al-Islam. By Elizabeth Nash in the Independent, with thanks to Andrew Bostom:

Spain’s bishops are alarmed by ambitious plans to recreate the city of Cordoba – once the heart of the ancient Islamic kingdom of al-Andalus – as a pilgrimage site for Muslims throughout Europe.Plans include the construction of a half-size replica of Cordoba’s eighth century great mosque, according to the head of Cordoba’s Muslim Association. Funds for the project are being sought from the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and Muslim organisations in Morocco and Egypt.Other big mosques are reportedly planned for Medina Azahara near Cordoba, Seville and Granada.

The bishops of those cities are alarmed at the construction of ostentatious mosques, fearing that the church’s waning influence may be further eclipsed by resurgent Islam financed from abroad. Up to one million Muslims are estimated to live in Spain. Many are drawn by a romantic nostalgia for the lost paradise of Al-Andalus, the caliphate that ruled Spain for more than five centuries.

Last month, Spanish Muslims reasserted their right to pray in Cordoba’s great mosque. The mosque houses within its arches a cathedral built to consolidate Catholic rule after Muslims were expelled from Spain in 1492. Muslims are forbidden to pray in the building.

Mansur Escudero, president of Spain’s Islamic Council, has challenged the current head of Spain’s Episcopal Conference, Bishop Ricardo Blazquez of Bilbao, to explain why Muslims could not pray in Cordoba’s mosque. Mr Escudero said he had been encouraged by the Pope’s act of prayer in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque on his recent visit to Turkey. “It showed that mosques are open to Christian worshippers,” he said. “Could not Muslims pray in Cordoba’s mosque?”

This is so astoundingly disingenuous, it takes my breath away. Mosques are most certainly not open to Christian worshippers, in Turkey or anywhere else. Can you imagine what would happen if a group of Christians went into a mosque anywhere in the world and began Christian prayers, as Muslims do in the Cordoba cathedral? I think you can.

Bishop Blazquez replied that public collective praying was prohibited, but he supposed private or individual prayer was acceptable. Mr Escudero then announced that Muslims would henceforth return to Cordoba’s mosque to pray “in a respectful, private and individual capacity”. The bishops hit back, insisting that “Muslims cannot in any way pray in Cordoba cathedral”.

Good for Bishop Blazquez. Let the Turks give back the Hagia Sophia, and then we’ll talk.

Arab News: Muhammad ordered murder of slave girls who mocked him

Arab News: Muhammad ordered murder of slave girls who mocked him

In “The Prophet as a Man — 108: War Preparedness,” Adil Salahi discusses how Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, ordered the assassination of slave girls who mocked him. From Arab News, with thanks to Fjordman, who writes: “Notice how Muslims admit quite openly that Muhammad wanted slave girls killed for no other reason than for the ‘crime’ of mocking Islam verbally, which is of course also what happened with Asma bint Marwan. The exact same rationale was behind the murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, which was thus in perfect accordance with Muhammad’s Sunna, his personal example, although Muslim and non-Muslim commentators alike tried to persuade us otherwise.”

You can read more about the killing of Asma bint Marwan, as ordered by Muhammad, and similar incidents in Muhammad’s life, in my book The Truth About Muhammad.

Says Salahi:

Abdullah ibn Khatal used to be a Muslim. The Prophet once sent him to collect zakah from people who lived far away. He traveled with another man and a servant of his who was a Muslim. At one stage on the way they stopped. He gave the servant orders to slaughter a big goat and prepare food for him while he himself went to sleep. When he woke up, he discovered that the servant had not done anything. He killed his servant and, fearing the Prophet’s punishment, reverted to idolatry. He also had two slave girls who used to sing for him and for his companions songs full of abuse of the Prophet. The Prophet’s instructions specified that the two slave girls should also be killed. The man was killed as he was actually holding on to the coverings of the Kaaba. Abu Barzah Al-Aslami and Saeed ibn Hurayth Al-Makhzumi killed him along with one of his slave girls. The other managed to flee until someone sought a special pardon for her from the Prophet, which he granted.

Faulty Answers

Faulty Answers
By Michael Reagan
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 5, 2007

Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues are set to implement their campaign promises to remake the United States in their image by passing a whole slew of new legislation designed to reform the Congress and the nation at large.When the scholars at the Heritage Foundation set out to examine in detail both the nature of the problems Pelosi and her henchmen are planning to solve in their first 100 hours at the helm, and the kind of solutions they’ve come up with, they found that in every case the solutions are the wrong ones.

If the people in their frustration over the utter failure of the Republicans to act like Republicans thought they were going see an improvement on Capitol Hill, it looks as if they are about to be sadly disappointed. Looking at the Democrats’ agenda and their proposed remedies to the problems they say the nation faces, it’s hard not to feel more than a little depressed about the future of America under the legislative thumb of the Pelosi and her cohorts.

Madame Pelosi promises to push forward legislation that would “make our country safer; make our economy fair; make college more affordable; health care more accessible; move toward energy independence.”

She is also reported to be planning to introduce legislation that would muzzle conservative opposition. That’s scary, and indicative of the left-wing mindset of Pelosi and her far-left colleagues now controlling the House of Representatives. The legislative initiatives included in Pelosi’s first-hundred-hours program, however, are just plain demagoguery – proposals that sound good but are riddled with problems and what Heritage scholars call “unintended consequences.”

Take the pledge to increase the minimum wage. Sounds good – after all, who wants people to be denied a living wage? It raises up images in the public’s mind of employees struggling to exist on a pittance. It also ignores some very inconvenient facts Heritage scholars exposed:

  • It is an extremely ineffective anti-poverty measure. It does not help the poor, low-income workers. Most minimum wage workers do not need government assistance. Less than one in five live below the poverty line, and the average family income of a minimum wage earner is almost $50,000 a year. The majority of minimum wage workers are between the ages of 16 and 24, and over three-fifths work part time.
  • Many will lose their jobs because as it gets more become more expensive to hire workers, companies hire fewer of them. The bulk of research on the minimum wage confirms that the minimum wage costs jobs. Some workers may get a raise while others lose everything.
  • Those most likely to lose their jobs are the especially vulnerable workers that the increase is intended to help, because a higher minimum wage makes hiring unskilled workers particularly unattractive to businesses. Employers will not hire low-skilled, inexperienced workers for $7.25 an hour when they can hire more-skilled and experienced workers at the same rate. The minimum wage puts the workers who most need to gain experience and skills at a disadvantage.
  • Research shows that higher minimum wages do not reduce poverty rates or improve the lives of low-income workers – low wages are not a primary cause of poverty. Most poor Americans do not work for the minimum wage – most poor Americans do not work at all, for any wage. Over three-fifths of individuals below the poverty line did not work during 2005, while only 11 percent worked full time, year-round. Families are not poor because they earn low wages but because they do not have full-time jobs. If at least one parent in every poor household worked full-time year round, the child poverty rate in the United States would plummet by more than 70 percent.

This is just one of Madame Pelosi’s proposals. The rest are just as badly thought-out and will in every case do more harm than good. To get an idea of just how foolishly demagogic and dangerous they are, take a look at Heritage’s monumental study “The 100-Hour Agenda: The New Congressional Majority’s Uneven Proposals,” at www.heritage.org. It’s all there.

Guardsmen overrun at the Border

Guardsmen overrun at the Border

12 News – Phoeniz, Az.
Jan. 4, 2007 02:44 PM

 National Guard unit stormed while patroling the border
 Border attack raises security concerns

A U.S. Border Patrol entry Identification Team site was overrun Wednesday night along Arizona’s border with Mexico.

According to the Border Patrol, an unknown number of gunmen attacked the site in the state’s West Desert Region around 11 p.m. The site is manned by National Guardsmen. Those guardsmen were forced to retreat.

The Border Patrol will not say whether shots were fired. However, no Guardsmen were injured in the incident.

The Border Patrol says the incident occurred somewhere along the 120 mile section of the border between Nogales and Lukeville. The area is known as a drug corridor. Last year, 124-thousand pounds of illegal drugs were confiscated in this area.

The Border patrol says the attackers quickly retreated back into Mexico.