Culturecide of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Culturecide of the Islamic Republic of Iran  
Thursday, 26 June 2008
The intolerant monolithic Islamists are on the march, lashing out with fury at non-Islamic people and cultures. This cult of violence and death spares neither the living nor the non-living heritage of humanity: wherever and whenever it can it commits culturecide—wiping out other people’s precious cultural treasures. Not long ago, the Islamists’ destruction of the Buddha statues in Afghanistan shocked the world and exposed the savage nature of this cult of violence depravity. Yet, much more destruction on a broad range is taking place in Iran under the direction of the Islamist theocrats.The Islamist zealots ruling Iran for the past 30 years have undertaken a systematic campaign of endangering and destroying the cultural sites of pre-Islamic Iran, ignoring the numerous petitions and pleas of the Iranian people.

For one, blatantly rejecting the repeated appeals of individuals and organizations such as the International Committee to Save the Archeological Sites of Pasargad, the Islamic Republic proceeded with the construction of the Sivand Dam which went into operation on April 2007 by the order of the ruling Islamists’ point man, President Ahmadinejad.

What many experts have warned
and feared has already come to pass. The inevitable elevation of humidity from the Sivand Dam has given rise to massive invasion of Cyrus the Great Mausoleum by lichen and fungi. Cracks have started to appear on the stonework of tomb of King Cyrus, humanity’s first author of the charter of human rights.

The building of the Sivand Dam by the Islamist government was launched under the pretext that it would be a boon for the farmers. Impartial experts, including expert geologists from the University of Shiraz, have countered with evidence to the exact opposite outcome. Farmers in the area had worked diligently for centuries and habilitated the originally salty soil. Water from the new dam is bound to make it the farmers’ bane by returning the soil to salinity once again, experts warned.

In order to discredit those who protested against constructing the ruinous dam, the Islamic Republic’s Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, who ironically heads the state culture and heritage organization, has claimed that groups “opposing the Islamic Republic” are behind the protests.

Mr. Rahim-Mashai who was appointed as the director of ICHTHO after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was “elected” as the regime’s new President said in a press conference in March 2006 that he had never heard of the Sivand Dam or the Bolaghi Valley. The Pasargad Heritage Foundation has filed a complaint against Mr. Mashai for a hearing on his intentional systematic endeavor to destroy ancient cultural treasures of the Iranian people.

The destructive effects of the Dam is also impacted the air quality of the area. According to Amir-Teimur Khosravi the Mayor of Pasargadae, “the level of humidity near the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is so high that none of the Pasargadae’s residents have ever experienced it before. There is constant flow of damp and humidity smells in the Pasargadae plains that are coming from Bolaghi Gorge. In the Southwest section of the mausoleum, which is considered the entrance to the archaeological site, the subterranean waters have surfaced and caused cracks to appear on the stonework.”

Khosravi continued, “Pasargadae has always been renowned for its clean and pleasant weather, but now, as a result of high levels of humidity produced from [the artificial lake behind] the Sivand dam, the area suffers from a sultry condition.”

Referring to the gorge, “it is far from here,” said one of the government’s functionaries at the dam site, which is slowly filling up. “There will be no damage.” People in the provincial capital Shiraz—renowned as being the capital of poets and beautiful roses, as well as for its imperial Persian ruins—have a different opinion. They say the project may increase humidity in the arid area near the city of Shiraz, which they believe could damage the limestone mausoleum of Cyrus the Great.

From its inception, the Islamic Republic has waged a systematic campaign of wiping out any and all cultural heritage and even joyous pre-Islamic festivals of the Iranian people: replacing Iranian’s traditional happy celebratory events such as Nowruz , Yalda, and many more with endless death-centered Islamic mourning. The Islamists aim to obliterate the Persian antiquities as well as any vestiges of the pre-Islamic Iran. They have put in charge inept puppets as archeology experts so that it would justify their terrorist action against Persian antiquities.

The illegitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a quisling foreign entity that has betrayed Iranian people, its tradition, its glorious pre-Islamic achievements, and is incessantly working against Iran’s national interest. Iran, under the stranglehold and machinations of these parasites, has been transformed, in less than three decades, to the lead perpetrator of all that is abhorrent to humanity.

Although the Islamic Republic’s record speaks dismally for itself, there are numerous reasons for its relentless campaign of cultural genocide. The Islamic regime’s decision to slowly destroy Cyrus the Great tomb is in part motivated by the realization that the people revere King Cyrus for the just laws he instituted as well as his emancipation of the Jews some 2500 years ago. Hence, this benevolent king is despised by the Islamists for symbolizing what are truly Iranian and anathema to Islamic credo, as well as keeping the love of non-Islamic nationalism alive in the heart of the populace.

Under the guise of development, the Islamic Republic has launched a comprehensive program of obliterating any physical traces of Iran’s rich archeological sites. A partial list of these acts is listed below.

* Sahand Dam in East Azerbaijan which will submerge the 6000-year-old Kul Tepe site. Archaeologists agree that over ten ancient sites in the region, some from the fifth millennium B.C. will be buried under the water, according to an official of the East Azerbaijan Province Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department.

*Alborz Dam in Mazandaran province, which caused irreversible damage to the cultural heritage of the eastern part of Mazandaran province.

 *Karun Dam in Khuzestan province is submerging the ancient sites of the Izeh region.

* Mulla Sadra Dam to Drown 7000 Years of History. “Mehr Ali Farsi is one of the most important archeological sites of Fars province. Archeological excavations in this historical site could reveal many unknown facts about the pre-historic period of Fars province. “Despite the fact that this historical site had been identified before the inundation of Mulla Sadra Dam, the authorities of the dam have neglected the necessity for carrying out excavations in this area and started the flooding of the dam in a very short time,” according to Azizollah Rezayi, head of archeology team in Mehr Ali Farsi historical site.

*Salman-e Farsi Dam was inundated in 2007, without the CHTHO’s permission. It flooded a 350-hectare Sassanid city, which had been inhabited since the pre-Achaemenid era.

*Destruction of one of the biggest historical sites in the Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari
province by the Islamic Republic Ministry of Road and Transportation. A local archaeologist who wished to remain anonymous for his safety said: “Israel should not be worried about the [Islamic] regime’s threat of wiping it off from the map; it is we [Iranians] who should be worried, as the regime is determined to wipe us off of the map.”

He added “everyday this anti-Iranian regime is coming up with a new plot to destroy our heritage. One day our heritage is being threatened by dam projects, the next it’s road constructions. They claim these are development projects, but if this is the case why is our heritage being destroyed in the darkness of night and in secret – and why don’t they sit down with the cultural authorities to find a solution to carry out their so-called development projects, and at the same time safeguard our national heritage?”

*45,000 years old Paleolithic site of Kaftarkhun, located in Iran’s Isfahan province, has been completely annihilated to build a horse racing course while the eastern parts of this ancient site have seen irreversible damage due to quarry blasting.

*1000-hectare area of a historical site belonging to Parthian dynastic era (248 BCE-224CE) in Khuzestan province has also fallen victim to developmental constructions of the Islamic regime’s Hamidieh Azad University in Hamidieh city.

* Tomb of Firuzan (Abu-Lu’lu’ah) in Kashan destroyed, in part to placate the Sunni Arabs. This Persian hero killed the Islam’s third Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattāb, avenging the death on thousands of Iranian by Omar’s Islamic aggressors.

The inanimate historical sites of the world are indeed living schools where invaluable lessons are held in their repositories. Preserving, exploring and studying these sites tell a great deal about humanity’s past, its triumphs and defeat.

Destroying these sites, no matter where they are in the world is tantamount to the burning of libraries. Only truly barbarians such as the bigoted Islamists fail to appreciate these treasures that belong to the entire human family. It is the Islamists’ belief that any and all information, ideals and practices that fall outside of Islam are void and must be eliminated.

It is the imperative duty of all enlightened people to steadfastly counter the relentless monolithic Islamic culturcide taking place in Iran or wherever in the world the scourge of Islamism invades.

Presbyterians Urged To Side With Palestinians

Presbyterians Urged To Side With Palestinians

By JOSH GERSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the Sun
June 25, 2008
http://www.nysun.com/national/presbyterians-urged-to-side-with-palestinians/80623/

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Presbyterian Church is hearing impassioned pleas to declare its solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs by adopting a series of anti-Israel measures, including proposals for divestment and for backing a suspension of American military aid to the Jewish state.

RELATED: Presbyterian Church Proposals Could Reopen Wounds With Jews.

Click to enlarge image >

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty

The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church at Washington, DC in April 2005.

 

At a session that began yesterday afternoon and stretched into the night, a church committee on peacemaking heard a range of public testimony on the measures, which may be referred on to the American church’s general assembly holding its biannual meeting here this week.

“The situation in Palestine is dire. The call from our Palestinian brothers and sisters has fallen on deaf ears,” a Presbyterian minister, Reverend William McGarvey of San Francisco, told the committee. “The American Christian church has largely watched this catastrophe continue as if we did not care.”

In the first round of votes, the Presbyterian committee seemed to signal a reluctance to trigger a new round of recriminations by re-embracing a divestment initiative that the church adopted in 2004, but shied away from two years later. Last night, the peacemaking panel voted, 32-23, to strike language that would authorize a council of church leaders to carry out divestment without further approval from the general assembly.

However, moments later, the committee voted, 38-26, to endorse the Amman Call, a peace proposal that includes a Palestinian Arab “right of return,” a guarantee that Jewish leaders contend would lead to the demise of Israel as a Jewish state.

Some Presbyterian leaders spoke out yesterday against the anti-Israel proposals and offered alternatives calling for a “nonpartisan” approach to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

“We have to try to do the impossible that is to try to say both sides in this conflict, ‘We want to be an agent of reconciliation.’ If we choose one side over the other, we have lost that opportunity,” a minister from Idaho, Reverend Robert Henley, said.

“Whether it is our mission network, our staff, or our leadership, we are overinvested and have been for some time in the Palestinian narrative,” a Presbyterian who leads an anti-divestment group, James Roberts, said.

A Palestinian religious leader, Archbishop Elias Chacour of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Haifa, told the Presbyterians that they should not adopt measures calling for further study and a more balanced approach.

“If the good Samaritan would not have cared, the Jew would have been killed. If he went on fact-finding, the Jew would have been killed. But he got his hands dirty. And I urge you to get your hands dirty, to take sides,” the prelate said.

Although Father Chacour was designated to speak in favor of several of the anti-Israel proposals, he stopped short of endorsing the one calling for divestment against two American firms whose equipment is used by the Israeli Army. “Instead of being cornered with divestment, why don’t you take a proactive initiative, a kind of reinvestment?” he asked. “We would welcome a positive action rather than continue criticism of one side against the other.”

Jewish leaders have warned that passage of some of the “overtures” could lead to a rupture similar to what occurred in 2004, when a church convention voted “to initiate a process of phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel.”

Last month, six senators who are Presbyterians urged the church not to endorse the proposal to cut off defense help to Israel. “We are adamantly opposed to the call for the U.S. government to temporarily suspend military aid to Israel,” senators Kyl of Arizona, Bond of Missouri, DeMint of South Carolina, Carper of Delaware, Shelby of Alabama, and Inhofe of Oklahoma wrote. “We ask that you take no action that would make a case for moral equivalency between the Israeli military, which is fighting to keep Israel safe, and Palestinian terrorists, who seek to destroy it.”

A former American negotiator in the Middle East, Dennis Ross, also warned against taking the Palestinian side in the long-running dispute. “If your church is going to adopt a position that is one-sided in favor of the Palestinians, it takes no account of what the Israelis have done,” Mr. Ross said in a videotaped message to delegates. “I find the resolution on divestment from companies doing business with Israel and the others that criticize Israel to be divorced from reality. They don’t take into account the price the Israelis have paid or the concessions they made or the many times the Israelis in negotiations have been prepared to go very far and not found responsiveness on the other side.”

 


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LONG BUT VERY IMPORTANT ARTICLE: An Anatomy of Surrender: Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia.

Bruce Bawer
An Anatomy of Surrender
Motivated by fear and multiculturalism, too many Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia.
Spring 2008

Islam divides the world into two parts. The part governed by sharia, or Islamic law, is called the Dar al-Islam, or House of Submission. Everything else is the Dar al-Harb, or House of War, so called because it will take war—holy war, jihad—to bring it into the House of Submission. Over the centuries, this jihad has taken a variety of forms. Two centuries ago, for instance, Muslim pirates from North Africa captured ships and enslaved their crews, leading the U.S. to fight the Barbary Wars of 1801–05 and 1815. In recent decades, the jihadists’ weapon of choice has usually been the terrorist’s bomb; the use of planes as missiles on 9/11 was a variant of this method.

What has not been widely recognized is that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie introduced a new kind of jihad. Instead of assaulting Western ships or buildings, Kho­meini took aim at a fundamental Western freedom: freedom of speech. In recent years, other Islamists have joined this crusade, seeking to undermine Western societies’ basic liberties and extend sharia within those societies.

The cultural jihadists have enjoyed disturbing success. Two events in particular—the 2004 assassination in Amsterdam of Theo van Gogh in retaliation for his film about Islam’s oppression of women, and the global wave of riots, murders, and vandalism that followed a Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammed—have had a massive ripple effect throughout the West. Motivated variously, and doubtless sometimes simultaneously, by fear, misguided sympathy, and multicultural ideology—which teaches us to belittle our freedoms and to genuflect to non-Western cultures, however repressive—people at every level of Western society, but especially elites, have allowed concerns about what fundamentalist Muslims will feel, think, or do to influence their actions and expressions. These Westerners have begun, in other words, to internalize the strictures of sharia, and thus implicitly to accept the deferential status of dhimmis—infidels living in Muslim societies.

Call it a cultural surrender. The House of War is slowly—or not so slowly, in Europe’s case—being absorbed into the House of Submission.

The Western media are in the driver’s seat on this road to sharia. Often their approach is to argue that we’re the bad guys. After the late Dutch sociologist-turned-politician Pim Fortuyn sounded the alarm about the danger that Europe’s Islamization posed to democracy, elite journalists labeled him a threat. A New York Times headline described him as marching the dutch to the right. Dutch newspapers Het Parool and De Volkskrant compared him with Mussolini; Trouw likened him to Hitler. The man (a multiculturalist, not a Muslim) who murdered him in May 2002 seemed to echo such verdicts when explaining his motive: Fortuyn’s views on Islam, the killer insisted, were “dangerous.”

Perhaps no Western media outlet has exhibited this habit of moral inversion more regularly than the BBC. In 2006, to take a typical example, Manchester’s top imam told psychotherapist John Casson that he supported the death penalty for homosexuality. Casson expressed shock—and the BBC, in a dispatch headlined imam accused of “gay death” slur, spun the controversy as an effort by Casson to discredit Islam. The BBC concluded its story with comments from an Islamic Human Rights Commission spokesman, who equated Muslim attitudes toward homosexuality with those of “other orthodox religions, such as Catholicism” and complained that focusing on the issue was “part of demonizing Muslims.”

In June 2005, the BBC aired the documentary Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic, which sought to portray concerns about Islamic radicalism as overblown. This “stunning whitewash of radical Islam,” as Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson put it, “helped keep the British public fast asleep, a few weeks before the bombs went off in London subways and buses” in July 2005. In December 2007, it emerged that five of the documentary’s subjects, served up on the show as examples of innocuous Muslims-next-door, had been charged in those terrorist attacks—and that BBC producers, though aware of their involvement after the attacks took place, had not reported important information about them to the police.

Press acquiescence to Muslim demands and threats is endemic. When the Mohammed cartoons—published in September 2005 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten to defy rising self-censorship after van Gogh’s murder—were answered by worldwide violence, only one major American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, joined such European dailies as Die Welt and El País in reprinting them as a gesture of free-speech solidarity. Editors who refused to run the images claimed that their motive was multicultural respect for Islam. Critic Christopher Hitchens believed otherwise, writing that he “knew quite a number of the editors concerned and can say for a certainty that the chief motive for ‘restraint’ was simple fear.” Exemplifying the new dhimmitude, whatever its motivation, was Norway’s leading cartoonist, Finn Graff, who had often depicted Israelis as Nazis, but who now vowed not to draw anything that might provoke Muslim wrath. (On a positive note, this February, over a dozen Danish newspapers, joined by a number of other papers around the world, reprinted one of the original cartoons as a free-speech gesture after the arrest of three people accused of plotting to kill the artist.)

Last year brought another cartoon crisis—this time over Swedish artist Lars Vilks’s drawings of Mohammed as a dog, which ambassadors from Muslim countries used as an excuse to demand speech limits in Sweden. CNN reporter Paula Newton suggested that perhaps “Vilks should have known better” because of the Jyllands-Posten incident—as if people who make art should naturally take their marching orders from people who make death threats. Meanwhile, The Economist depicted Vilks as an eccentric who shouldn’t be taken “too seriously” and noted approvingly that Sweden’s prime minister, unlike Denmark’s, invited the ambassadors “in for a chat.”

The elite media regularly underreport fundamentalist Muslim misbehavior or obfuscate its true nature. After the knighting of Rushdie in 2007 unleashed yet another wave of international Islamist mayhem, Tim Rutten wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “If you’re wondering why you haven’t been able to follow all the columns and editorials in the American press denouncing all this homicidal nonsense, it’s because there haven’t been any.” Or consider the riots that gripped immigrant suburbs in France in the autumn of 2005. These uprisings were largely assertions of Muslim authority over Muslim neighborhoods, and thus clearly jihadist in character. Yet weeks passed before many American press outlets mentioned them—and when they did, they de-emphasized the rioters’ Muslim identity (few cited the cries of “Allahu akbar,” for instance). Instead, they described the violence as an outburst of frustration over economic injustice.

When polls and studies of Muslims appear, the media often spin the results absurdly or drop them down the memory hole after a single news cycle. Journalists celebrated the results of a 2007 Pew poll showing that 80 percent of American Muslims aged 18 to 29 said that they opposed suicide bombing—even though the flip side, and the real story, was that a double-digit percentage of young American Muslims admitted that they supported it. u.s. muslims assimilated, opposed to extremism, the Washington Post rejoiced, echoing USA Today’s american muslims reject extremes. A 2006 Daily Telegraph survey showed that 40 percent of British Muslims wanted sharia in Britain—yet British reporters often write as though only a minuscule minority embraced such views.

After each major terrorist act since 9/11, the press has dutifully published stories about Western Muslims fearing an “anti-Muslim backlash”—thus neatly shifting the focus from Islamists’ real acts of violence to non-Muslims’ imaginary ones. (These backlashes, of course, never materialize.) While books by Islam experts like Bat Ye’or and Robert Spencer, who tell difficult truths about jihad and sharia, go unreviewed in newspapers like the New York Times, the elite press legitimizes thinkers like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito, whose sugarcoated representations of Islam should have been discredited for all time by 9/11. The Times described Armstrong’s hagiography of Mohammed as “a good place to start” learning about Islam; in July 2007, the Washington Post headlined a piece by Esposito want to understand islam? start here.

Mainstream outlets have also served up anodyne portraits of fundamentalist Muslim life. Witness Andrea Elliott’s affectionate three-part profile of a Brooklyn imam, which appeared in the New York Times in March 2006. Elliott and the Times sought to portray Reda Shata as a heroic bridge builder between two cultures, leaving readers with the comforting belief that the growth of Islam in America was not only harmless but positive, even beautiful. Though it emerged in passing that Shata didn’t speak English, refused to shake women’s hands, wanted to forbid music, and supported Hamas and suicide bombing, Elliott did her best to downplay such unpleasant details; instead, she focused on sympathetic personal particulars. “Islam came to him softly, in the rhythms of his grandmother’s voice”; “Mr. Shata discovered love 15 years ago. . . . ‘She entered my heart,‘ said the imam.” Elliott’s saccharine piece won a Pulitzer Prize. When Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes pointed out that Shata was obviously an Islamist, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review dismissed Pipes as “right-wing” and insisted that Shata was “very moderate.”

So it goes in this upside-down, not-so-brave new media world: those who, if given the power, would subjugate infidels, oppress women, and execute apostates and homosexuals are “moderate” (a moderate, these days, apparently being anybody who doesn’t have explosives strapped to his body), while those who dare to call a spade a spade are “Islamophobes.”

The entertainment industry has been nearly as appalling. During World War II, Hollywood churned out scores of films that served the war effort, but today’s movies and TV shows, with very few exceptions, either tiptoe around Islam or whitewash it. In the whitewash category were two sitcoms that debuted in 2007, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Little Mosque on the Prairie and CW’s Aliens in America. Both shows are about Muslims confronting anti-Muslim bigotry; both take it for granted that there’s no fundamentalist Islam problem in the West, but only an anti-Islam problem.

Muslim pressure groups have actively tried to keep movies and TV shows from portraying Islam as anything but a Religion of Peace. For example, the Council for American-Islamic Relations successfully lobbied Paramount Pictures to change the bad guys in The Sum of All Fears (2002) from Islamist terrorists to neo-Nazis, while Fox’s popular series 24, after Muslims complained about a story line depicting Islamic terrorists, ran cringe-worthy public-service announcements emphasizing how nonviolent Islam was. Earlier this year, Iranian-Danish actor Farshad Kholghi noted that, despite the cartoon controversy’s overwhelming impact on Denmark, “not a single movie has been made about the crisis, not a single play, not a single stand-up monologue.” Which, of course, is exactly what the cartoon jihadists wanted.

In April 2006, an episode of the animated series South Park admirably mocked the wave of self-censorship that followed the Jyllands-Posten crisis—but Comedy Central censored it, replacing an image of Mohammed with a black screen and an explanatory notice. According to series producer Anne Garefino, network executives frankly admitted that they were acting out of fear. “We were happy,” she told an interviewer, “that they didn’t try to claim that it was because of religious tolerance.”

Then there’s the art world. Postmodern artists who have always striven to shock and offend now maintain piously that Islam deserves “respect.” Museums and galleries have quietly taken down paintings that might upset Muslims and have put into storage manuscripts featuring images of Mohammed. London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery removed life-size nude dolls by surrealist artist Hans Bellmer from a 2006 exhibit just before its opening; the official excuse was “space constraints,” but the curator admitted that the real reason was fear that the nudity might offend the gallery’s Muslim neighbors. Last November, after the cancellation of a show in The Hague of artworks depicting gay men in Mohammed masks, the artist, Sooreh Hera, charged the museum with giving in to Muslim threats. Tim Marlow of London’s White Cube Gallery notes that such self-censorship by artists and museums is now common, though “very few people have explicitly admitted” it. British artist Grayson Perry, whose work has mercilessly mocked Christianity, is one who has—and his reluctance isn’t about multicultural sensitivity. “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art,” he told the Times of London, “is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

Leading liberal intellectuals and academics have shown a striking willingness to betray liberal values when it comes to pacifying Muslims. Back in 2001, Unni Wikan, a distinguished Norwegian cultural anthropologist and Islam expert, responded to the high rate of Muslim-on-infidel rape in Oslo by exhorting women to “realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”

More recently, high-profile Europe experts Ian Buruma of Bard College and Timothy Garton Ash of Oxford, while furiously denying that they advocate cultural surrender, have embraced “accommodation,” which sounds like a distinction without a difference. In his book Murder in Amsterdam, Buruma approvingly quotes Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen’s call for “accommodation with the Muslims,” including those “who consciously discriminate against their women.” Sharia enshrines a Muslim man’s right to beat and rape his wife, to force marriages on his daughters, and to kill them if they resist. One wonders what female Muslims who immigrated to Europe to escape such barbarity think of this prescription.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and one of Britain’s best-known public intellectuals, suggested in February the institution of a parallel system of sharia law in Britain. Since the Islamic Sharia Council already adjudicates Muslim marriages and divorces in the U.K., what Williams was proposing was, as he put it, “a much enhanced and quite sophisticated version of such a body, with increased resources.” Gratifyingly, his proposal, short on specifics and long on academic doublespeak (“I don’t think,” he told the BBC, “that we should instantly spring to the conclusion that the whole of that world of jurisprudence and practice is somehow monstrously incompatible with human rights, simply because it doesn’t immediately fit with how we understand it”) was greeted with public outrage.

Another prominent accommodationist is humanities professor Mark Lilla of Columbia University, author of an August 2007 essay in the New York Times Magazine so long and languorous, and written with such perfect academic dispassion, that many readers may have finished it without realizing that it charted a path leading straight to sharia. Muslims’ “full reconciliation with modern liberal democracy cannot be expected,” Lilla wrote. For the West, “coping is the order of the day, not defending high principle.”

Revealing in this light is Buruma’s and Garton Ash’s treatment of author Ayaan Hirsi Ali—perhaps the greatest living champion of Western freedom in the face of creeping jihad—and of the Europe-based Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan. Because Hirsi Ali refuses to compromise on liberty, Garton Ash has called her a “simplistic . . . Enlightenment fundamentalist”—thus implicitly equating her with the Muslim fundamentalists who have threatened to kill her—while Buruma, in several New York Times pieces, has portrayed her as a petulant naif. (Both men have lately backed off somewhat.) On the other hand, the professors have rhapsodized over Ramadan’s supposed brilliance. They aren’t alone: though he’s clearly not the Westernized, urbane intellectual he seems to be—he refuses to condemn the stoning of adulteresses and clearly looks forward to a Europe under sharia—this grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and protégé of Islamist scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi regularly wins praise in bien-pensant circles as representing the best hope for long-term concord between Western Muslims and non-Muslims.

This spring, Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, writing in the New York Times Magazine, actually gave two cheers for sharia. He contrasted it favorably with English common law, and described “the Islamists’ aspiration to renew old ideas of the rule of law” as “bold and noble.”

With the press, the entertainment industry, and prominent liberal thinkers all refusing to defend basic Western liberties, it’s not surprising that our political leaders have been pusillanimous, too. After a tiny Oslo newspaper, Magazinet, reprinted the Danish cartoons in early 2006, jihadists burned Norwegian flags and set fire to Norway’s embassy in Syria. Instead of standing up to the vandals, Norwegian leaders turned on Magazinet’s editor, Vebjørn Selbekk, partially blaming him for the embassy burning and pressing him to apologize. He finally gave way at a government-sponsored press conference, groveling before an assemblage of imams whose leader publicly forgave him and placed him under his protection. On that terrible day, Selbekk later acknowledged, “Norway went a long way toward allowing freedom of speech to become the Islamists’ hostage.” As if that capitulation weren’t disgrace enough, an official Norwegian delegation then traveled to Qatar and implored Qaradawi—a defender of suicide bombers and the murder of Jewish children—to accept Selbekk’s apology. “To meet Yusuf al-Qaradawi under the present circumstances,” Norwegian-Iraqi writer Walid al-Kubaisi protested, was “tantamount to granting extreme Islamists . . . a right of joint consultation regarding how Norway should be governed.”

The UN’s position on the question of speech versus “respect” for Islam was clear—and utterly at odds with its founding value of promoting human rights. “You don’t joke about other people’s religion,” Kofi Annan lectured soon after the Magazinet incident, echoing the sermons of innumerable imams, “and you must respect what is holy for other people.” In October 2006, at a UN panel discussion called “Cartooning for Peace,” Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor proposed drawing “a very thin blue UN line . . . between freedom and responsibility.” (Americans might be forgiven for wondering whether that line would strike through the First Amendment.) And in 2007, the UN’s Human Rights Council passed a Pakistani motion prohibiting defamation of religion.

Other Western government leaders have promoted the expansion of the Dar al-Islam. In September 2006, when philosophy teacher Robert Redeker went into hiding after receiving death threats over a Le Figaro op-ed on Islam, France’s then–prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, commented that “everyone has the right to express their opinions freely—at the same time that they respect others, of course.” The lesson of the Redeker affair, he said, was “how vigilant we must be to ensure that people fully respect one another in our society.” Villepin got a run for his money last year from his Swedish counterpart, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who, after meeting with Muslim ambassadors to discuss the Vilks cartoons, won praise from one of them, Algeria’s Merzak Bedjaoui, for his “spirit of appeasement.”

When, years after September 11, President George W. Bush finally acknowledged publicly that the West was at war with Islamic fascism, Muslims’ and multiculturalists’ furious reaction made him retreat to the empty term “war on terror.” Britain’s Foreign Office has since deemed even that phrase offensive and banned its use by cabinet members (along with “Islamic extremism”). In January, the Home Office decided that Islamic terrorism would henceforth be described as “anti-Islamic activity.”

Western legislatures and courts have reinforced the “spirit of appeasement.” In 2005, Norway’s parliament, with virtually no public discussion or media coverage, criminalized religious insults (and placed the burden of proof on the defendant). Last year, that country’s most celebrated lawyer, Tor Erling Staff, argued that the punishment for honor killing should be less than for other murders, because it’s arrogant for us to expect Muslim men to conform to our society’s norms. Also in 2007, in one of several instances in which magistrates sworn to uphold German law have followed sharia instead, a Frankfurt judge rejected a Muslim woman’s request for a quick divorce from her brutally abusive husband; after all, under the Koran he had the right to beat her.

Those who dare to defy the West’s new sharia-based strictures and speak their minds now risk prosecution in some countries. In 2006, legendary author Oriana Fallaci, dying of cancer, went on trial in Italy for slurring Islam; three years earlier, she had defended herself in a French court against a similar charge. (Fallaci was ultimately found not guilty in both cases.) More recently, Canadian provinces ordered publisher Ezra Levant and journalist Mark Steyn to face human rights tribunals, the former for reprinting the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, the latter for writing critically about Islam in Maclean’s.

Even as Western authorities have hassled Islam’s critics, they’ve honored jihadists and their supporters. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth knighted Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain, a man who had called for the death of Salman Rushdie. Also that year, London mayor Ken Livingstone ludicrously praised Qaradawi as “progressive”—and, in response to gay activists who pointed out that Qaradawi had defended the death penalty for homosexuals, issued a dissertation-length dossier whitewashing the Sunni scholar and trying to blacken the activists’ reputations. Of all the West’s leaders, however, few can hold a candle to Piet Hein Donner, who in 2006, as Dutch minister of justice, said that if voters wanted to bring sharia to the Netherlands—where Muslims will soon be a majority in major cities—“it would be a disgrace to say, ‘This is not permitted!’ ”

If you don’t find the dhimmification of politicians shocking, consider the degree to which law enforcement officers have yielded to Islamist pressure. Last year, when “Undercover Mosque,” an unusually frank exposé on Britain’s Channel 4, showed “moderate” Muslim preachers calling for the beating of wives and daughters and the murder of gays and apostates, police leaped into action—reporting the station to the government communications authority, Ofcom, for stirring up racial hatred. (Ofcom, to its credit, rejected the complaint.) The police reaction, as James Forsyth noted in the Spectator, “revealed a mindset that views the exposure of a problem as more of a problem than the problem itself.” Only days after the “Undercover Mosque” broadcast—in a colossal mark of indifference to the reality that it exposed—Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair announced plans to share antiterrorist intelligence with Muslim community leaders. These plans, fortunately, were later shelved.

Canadian Muslim reformist Irshad Manji has noted that in 2006, when 17 terrorists were arrested in Toronto on the verge of giving Canada “its own 9/11,” “the police did not mention that it had anything to do with Islam or Muslims, not a word.” When, after van Gogh’s murder, a Rotterdam artist drew a street mural featuring an angel and the words thou shalt not kill, police, fearing Muslim displeasure, destroyed the mural (and a videotape of its destruction). In July 2007, a planned TV appeal by British cops to help capture a Muslim rapist was canceled to avoid “racist backlash.” And in August, the Times of London reported that “Asian” men (British code for “Muslims”) in the U.K. were having sex with perhaps hundreds of “white girls as young as twelve”—but that authorities wouldn’t take action for fear of “upsetting race relations.” Typically, neither the Times nor government officials acknowledged that the “Asian” men’s contempt for the “white” girls was a matter not of race but of religion.

Even military leaders aren’t immune. In 2005, columnist Diana West noted that America’s Iraq commander, Lieutenant General John R. Vines, was educating his staff in Islam by giving them a reading list that “whitewashes jihad, dhimmitude and sharia law with the works of Karen Armstrong and John Esposito”; two years later, West noted the unwillingness of a counterinsurgency advisor, Lieutenant Colonel David Kilcullen, to mention jihad. In January 2008, the Pentagon fired Stephen Coughlin, its resident expert on sharia and jihad; reportedly, his acknowledgment that terrorism was motivated by jihad had antagonized an influential Muslim aide. “That Coughlin’s analyses would even be considered ‘controversial,’ ” wrote Andrew Bostom, editor of The Legacy of Jihad, “is pathognomonic of the intellectual and moral rot plaguing our efforts to combat global terrorism.” (Perhaps owing to public outcry, officials announced in February that Coughlin would not be dismissed after all, but instead moved to another Department of Defense position.)

Enough. We need to recognize that the cultural jihadists hate our freedoms because those freedoms defy sharia, which they’re determined to impose on us. So far, they have been far less successful at rolling back freedom of speech and other liberties in the U.S. than in Europe, thanks in no small part to the First Amendment. Yet America is proving increasingly susceptible to their pressures.

The key question for Westerners is: Do we love our freedoms as much as they hate them? Many free people, alas, have become so accustomed to freedom, and to the comfortable position of not having to stand up for it, that they’re incapable of defending it when it’s imperiled—or even, in many cases, of recognizing that it is imperiled. As for Muslims living in the West, surveys suggest that many of them, though not actively involved in jihad, are prepared to look on passively—and some, approvingly—while their coreligionists drag the Western world into the House of Submission.

But we certainly can’t expect them to take a stand for liberty if we don’t stand up for it ourselves.

Bruce Bawer is the author of While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within. He blogs at BruceBawer.com.

 

 

 

Supporting moderation in all things Islamic may seem like a no-brainer, but woe betide the policymaker who tries to turn a plausible idea into a workable strategy.

Supporting moderation in all things Islamic may seem like a no-brainer, but woe betide the policymaker who tries to turn a plausible idea into a workable strategy.
 
FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images
Categorize this: Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi wants Egyptians to pray less, but he also supports suicide bombings against Israelis.

Of all the cures commonly proposed for the many ailments afflicting the Middle East, there is one tonic nearly everyone seems to agree on: boosting moderate Islam.

It sounds eminently reasonable. If Islamic extremism is the problem, moderate Islam must be the solution. It follows that Western governments should therefore find ways to make the moderates more powerful and encourage the extremists to become more moderate. Allow Islamists to compete and accumulate power, the argument goes, and they will have little incentive to radicalize. Furthermore, assuming the mundane tasks of day-to-day governance will compel even the most extreme groups to focus more on filling potholes than on destroying the Great Satan.

But this belief is dead wrong. Not only is it impossible to agree on a working definition of the word “moderate,” but there is scant evidence that extremists really do moderate once they assume power.

Consider, for example, Hezbollah. The Shiite organization provides state-like services such as education and healthcare for the people of south Beirut and southern Lebanon. The organization, which has had representatives in the Lebanese Parliament since 1992, has often demonstrated a surprising degree of pragmatism. It took part in a May 2005 electoral alliance with several of its adversaries in order to maximize electoral returns in crucial districts. Just a few months earlier, during Lebanon’s “independence uprising,” which pushed Hezbollah’s ally, Syria, out of Lebanon, the organization struck a tone of national unity.

But this spring, Hezbollah revealed the extent to which it remains a militant group. Its cadres took over west Beirut in a powerful display of force intended to show that it has no intention of giving up its guns. Much of Hezbollah’s political power is based on the potent idea of “national resistance” to Israeli aggression. If Hezbollah disarmed, it would be no different from Lebanon’s myriad political factions jockeying for advantage. It is precisely the organization’s militancy that provides Hezbollah with a significant political advantage over its rivals. Why give that up?

The same can be said of Hamas. Two years after its electoral victory, a year after its forcible takeover of Gaza, and despite reported strains and splits within the organization, there are few signs that the Palestinian Islamist group has moderated. The clearest sign that Hamas had altered its worldview would be to accept the international community’s conditions. But why would it? If Hamas were to accept Israel’s right to exist, renounce armed struggle, and honor previously signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, it would cease being Hamas and effectively become a shadow of its rival, Fatah. The Islamists have not only beaten Fatah on the battlefield, but have also, and more importantly, sold a winning narrative about the ineffectiveness of dialogue with Israel. In Palestinian politics, bowing to international demands is hardly rational.

The other common, but misleading argument about moderate Islam asserts that if only the voices of moderation were given broader exposure, the extremist ideologies of al Qaeda and other groups would find fewer adherents. Although this seems sensible, good luck trying to define “moderate Islam.”

Take Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential TV star in the Arab world. His weekly Al Jazeera show, Sharia and Life, attracts millions of viewers. Qaradawi holds progressive positions on family law, the status of women, and political reform. He recently told Egyptian government employees to “pray less” to improve their productivity. Many Arabs regard him as staunchly moderate. Yet the sheikh has also placed his theological imprimatur on suicide bombings against Israelis, arguing that since all Israelis serve in the military at one time or another, they are all legitimate targets. For those analysts who call for support of moderate Islam, it is hard to believe Qaradawi is whom they have in mind.

Or take Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Inside the Beltway, many Middle East hands are quietly rooting for the ayatollah and former president to win the next Iranian presidential election. Sure, he seems like a moderate in comparison to the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but Rafsanjani is the guy who once implored Iranians to kill Westerners wherever they could find them, declaring, “It is not difficult to kill Americans or Frenchmen. It is a bit difficult to kill [Israelis]. But there are so many [Americans and Frenchmen] everywhere in the world.”

If there was ever a problem in defining moderate Islam, however, Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) epitomizes it. The party seems to be the paragon of moderate Islamism, undertaking a wide range of reforms and staking its political legacy on Ankara’s entry into the European Union. Yet, Turkey’s archsecularists and a fair number of analysts in the West regard the party with deep suspicion. Citing the AKP’s recent effort to lift the ban on women wearing head scarves at publicly funded universities as only the most egregious example, they argue that the party’s real agenda is to Islamize Turkish society. Whose side should the United States take here?

Given the wildly different criteria for what constitutes “a moderate,” policymakers will run in circles trying to determine who is a moderate and worthy of support, and who is not. One person’s moderate is another person’s radical, and another person’s moderate is little more than a patsy of the West. A policy built on support for moderate Islam is only asking for trouble.

A smarter position is to avoid theological discussions altogether. As with all faiths, there will be heated debates between competing groups within Islam over the proper interpretation of sacred texts and the relationship between religion and politics. Yet because these arguments are so opaque to outsiders, policymakers should resist the urge to jump in. Given that moderation is in the eye of the beholder, Washington should not have an ideological litmus test for whom it wishes to engage. Rather, policymakers should focus on identifying those who can contribute pragmatic solutions to the many problems we confront in the region, “moderate” or not.

Steven A. Cook is the Douglas Dillon fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

Obama’s 143 Days of Senate Experience

Obama’s 143 Days of Senate Experience

 
Just how much Senate experience does Barack Obama have in terms of actual work days? Not much. 

 

From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United State Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That’s how many days the Senate was actually in session and working.

 

After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World, and fill the shoes of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan.

 

143 days — I keep leftovers in my refrigerator longer than that.

 

In contrast, John McCain’s 26 years in Congress, 22 years of military service including 1,966 days in captivity as a POW in Hanoi now seem more impressive than ever.

 

At 71, John McCain may just be hitting his stride.

 

 

McCain: Chicago Gun Ban Infringes On Rights

McCain: Chicago Gun Ban Infringes On Rights

Obama: ‘What Works In Chicago May Not Work In Cheyenne’

 Gun Rights Ruling May Change Chicago Law

ARLINGTON, Va. (CBS) ― U.S. Sen. John McCain said Thursday that the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gun ownership showed that the Chicago handgun ban has “infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee called the ruling a “landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom in the United States.” 

 Tell us what you think of the ruling and gun control.

“For the first time in the history of our Republic, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was and is an individual right as intended by our Founding Fathers,” McCain said in a statement.

He criticized Sen. Barack Obama for not signing a bipartisan amicus brief supporting the ruling later issued by the Supreme Court, and singled out the Chicago ban in describing what the ruling should change.

“Today’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller makes clear that other municipalities like Chicago that have banned handguns have infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans,” McCain said in the statement.

He also targeted a campaign comment by Obama that said residents of struggling small towns “get bitter, they cling to their guns or religion.”

“Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today’s ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right — sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly,” McCain said.

In his own statement, Obama defended the Second Amendment, but also echoed the concerns of those affected by gun violence.

He said that while the Supreme Court had overturned the D.C. gun ban, “Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country. ”

Obama said if elected president, he would uphold the rights of gun owners, but he said: “I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun show loophole and improving our background check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals.”

The court’s 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The Supreme Court ruling does not automatically invalidate the Chicago handgun ban, but opens up the possibility of an court challenge that could get it declared unconstitutional.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual’s right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia. 

In Chicago, a ban on the sale and registration of handguns has been in place since 1982. Only police officers, aldermen and a handful of others are exempt from the ban.

While other firearms can be registered, under current law, handguns cannot be registered and are considered illegal. Several suburbs have similar restrictions. 

The Supreme Court ruling does not automatically invalidate the Chicago handgun ban, but opens up the possibility of an court challenge that could get it declared unconstitutional.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

June 25, 2008

Saudi “marriage officiant”: Muhammad married Aisha when she was six and had sex with her when she was nine

Over the years I’ve gotten a great deal of abuse for telling the truth about Islam and jihad here, but probably more for pointing out that Islamic tradition says that Muhammad married Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine, and that he is exemplary in this for Islamic law, than for anything else. See, to take just one of many examples, here. Of course, the righteous indignation over my alleged misrepresentation of this issue is simply another manifestation of the general deceptive smokescreen that Islamic supremacists deploy in the West.

But this MEMRI clip proves the only point I have ever wanted to make about this issue: that Muhammad’s example in this has been taken and is still taken as worthy of imitation.

“Dr. Ahmad Al-Mub’i, a Saudi Marriage Officiant: It Is Allowed to Marry a Girl at the Age of One, If Sex Is Postponed. The Prophet Muhammad, Whose Model We Follow, Married ‘Aisha When She Was Six and Had Sex with Her When She Was Nine,” from MEMRITV, June 19 (thanks to all who sent this in):

Following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu’bi, a Saudi marriage officiant, which aired on LBC TV on June 19, 2008:Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu’bi: Marriage is actually two things: First we are talking about the marriage contract itself. This is one thing, while consummating the marriage – having sex with the wife for the first time – is another thing. There is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a one-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of nine, seven, or eight. This is merely a contract [indicating] consent. The guardian in such a case must be the father, because the father’s opinion is obligatory. Thus, the girl becomes a wife… But is the girl ready for sex or not? What is the appropriate age for having sex for the first time? This varies according to environment and traditions. In Yemen, girls are married off at nine, ten, eleven, eight, or thirteen, while in other countries, they are married off at 16. Some countries have legislated laws forbidding having sex before the girl is eighteen.

[…]

The Prophet Muhammad is the model we follow. He took ‘Aisha to be his wife when she was six, but he had sex with her only when she was nine.

Interviewer: When she was six…

Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu’bi: He married her at the age of six, and he consummated the marriage, by having sex with her for the first time, when she was nine. We consider the Prophet Muhammad to be our model.

Interviewer: My question to you is whether the marriage of a 12-year-old boy with an 11-year-old girl is a logical marriage, which is permitted by Islamic law.

Dr. Ahmad Al-Mu’bi: If the guardian is the father… There are two different types of guardianship. If the guardian is the father, and he marries his daughter off to a man of appropriate standing, the marriage is obviously valid.

[…]

People find themselves in all kinds of circumstances. Take, for example, a man who has two, three, or four daughters. He does not have any wives, but he needs to go on a trip. Isn’t it better to marry his daughter to a man, who will protect and sustain her, and when she reaches the proper age, he will have sex with her? Who says all men are ferocious wolves?

 

Yeah!

The jihad of the word

The jihad of the word

Tuesday, 24th June 2008

 

 

The signs have been ominous for some time but now it has become clear beyond a doubt that those who tell the truth about Islam, Islamism or Islamist terrorism risk having their career, livelihood and maybe even their liberty placed in jeopardy – and all in the name of human rights. In Canada, the columnist Mark Steyn has been arraigned before a kangaroo court for the crime of publishing in Macleans magazine an excerpt from his bestseller, America Alone, in which he argues that demographic change is turning Europe Islamic. Led by the Canadian Islamic Congress, Muslims have taken Steyn and Macleans to a ‘human rights’ tribunal on a charge of ‘hate speech’, a totalitarian statute enforced by the Canadian Human Rights Commission (sic) who are in the business of destroying the freedom to voice perfectly legitimate – indeed, absolutely vital and important – opinions about the need to defend western society against Islamist attack. Bad enough that Islamists browbeat and threaten people who express such opinions. For a body such as the CHRC to do their dirty work for them and act as the enforcers of the jihad against free speech takes us straight into the nightmare landscape of Kafka. Read this article to get a flavour of the terrifying nature of these proceedings, the mixture of gross abuse of power, mad thinking and clownish incompetence which characterises totalitarian regimes and has been playing in a courtroom in downtown British Columbia. Perhaps the most chilling observation of all is this:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission, which enforces the act, has a record of conviction that recalls the awful efficiency of Soviet courts: In over three decades of existence, the commission has yet to find someone innocent.

This article spells out in more detail how the Canadian human rights tribunals have been handed unfettered power to abuse power:

The human-rights tribunals are a censor’s dream. Under Canada’s human-rights act, commissioners can convict if they believe any published material is “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.” Since they are “remedial” institutions and not real courts, they need not follow strict legal procedures or grant traditional rights of the accused. No one goes to prison, but the panels can fine and silence people at will — and run up the lawyer bills for years. Truth is no defense, and commissioners are authorized to confiscate a computer without a warrant. Evidence can be woefully flimsy.

But this appalling development is not confined to Canada. A few days ago the UN decided to outlaw any criticism of Islamism – as defined by the Islamists themselves. Since they classify any criticism whatsoever of Islamist aggression as ‘Islamophobic’, this means that the UN will outlaw all such comment. As Jeffrey Imm has reported on CounterterrorismBlog:

On June 16, 2008 UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea announced that criticism of Sharia law will not be tolerated by the UNHRC, based on the complaints and pressure by Islamist delegates to the UNHRC. In effect, the Islamist nations represented at the UNHRC have effected a Jihad against freedom of speech at the United Nations when it comes to criticizing Sharia or Islamic supremacist (aka Islamist) theocratic ideologies that threaten the freedom and lives of innocents around the world. This again demonstrates the key imperative of control for Islamists — in this case in terms of controlling ideas, thoughts, and words of an international organization intended to promote human rights. Outgoing UNHRC Commissioner Louise Arbour subsequently raised concerns about debates on Sharia becoming ‘taboo’ within the United Nations group, stating that it ‘should be, among other things, the guardian of freedom of expression.’

The UNHRC ban on debate regarding Sharia came as a result of a three minute joint statement by the Association for World Education with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) to the Human Rights Council on women’s rights and the impact of Sharia law. These NGOs sought to address international issues of violence against women, specifically, the stoning of women, ‘honor killings’ of women, and female genital mutilation, as a result of Sharia law.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Arab Republic of Egypt vehemently criticized this attempted NGO message, interrupting it via ‘16 points of order’, for an hour and twenty-five minutes per the IEHU. Jihad Watch provides a full transcript of the debate. The Egyptian UNHRC delegate claimed that silencing these NGOs was necessary to ensure ‘that Islam will not be crucified in this Council,’ but the fact is that Islamist forces seek to silence any debate on Sharia at all — anywhere, any time.

This is of course merely the latest demonstration that the UN is now simply a club of tyranny. But the really frightening thing is the almost total indifference to these developments by the western media. So quick to take up the cause of free speech when the protagonists are the enemies of the west, they are all but silent when the freedom to speak in defence of western values is snuffed out. That of course is because the freedom of speech lobby marches behind the banners of ‘human rights’ and minority victim culture which, despite their mind-bending self-designation as ‘progressive’ attitudes, constitute nothing other than a full-out onslaught against western values by cultural Marxism — now marching shoulder to shoulder with the Islamists in their common cause to destroy the free world. Their ranks include a distressingly large number of useful idiots, who for a variety of reasons – posturing vanity, conformist inanity, shallow ignorance, careerism, fear, whatever – are helping to further the jihad against the free world, which is predicated upon precisely this kind of cultural and moral confusion.

From the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the burning of his book to the murder and mayhem unleashed over the Mohammed cartoons, it has long been clear that dictating what can and cannot be said is a key salient of the Islamist onslaught. It is thus of the utmost importance that freedom of speech is upheld. But both in the Rushdie affair and over the Mohammed cartoons, alas, much of the free world capitulated and even bought into the rhetoric of Islamist suppression, blaming both Rushdie and the cartoons for stepping over a permitted line. The same kind of people are now turning on Mark Steyn. But he has not stepped over the line. He is trying to hold it. The Canadian thought-police who would bring him down will surely bring the rest of us down with him.

As the pressure group Liberty and its latter-day prophet David Davis prance about Britain with their preposterous assertion that extending detention for terror suspects will destroy ancient liberties, we might well ask why not a peep has been heard from them about these recent developments and the real threat to freedom from the jihad of the word.

 

Dems In Disarray

Suspected Mexican Army Members Busted For Home Invasion And Murder In Phoenix