The Fate of Ozymandias

World Without Zionism There’s a new exclusive club, succinctly named Zionot. It has the elegance and brevity of a mathematical term. Its aim is as lethal as sniper’s bullet.

Consider it a celebration by the Religion of Peace in Ramadan. What are they celebrating? A world finally made Judenrein. According to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it is imperative that Islam “wipe this stigma (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world.”

This effort, dubbed “The World Without Zionism,” is being co-ordinated during a week of special events in thousands of mosques, schools, factories, etc. It is designed to create a critical mass of jihadist zeal. Syria and Lebanon and even Afghanistan are holding simultaneous activities for the same purpose.

     In a speech Wednesday, Ahmadinejad described Israel as “a stain of shame that has sullied the purity of Islam,” and promised that it would be “cleansed very soon.” All nations that establish ties with Israel, he warned, would burn “in the fires of our Islamic rage.”

Ahmadinejad’s vision is apocalyptic. This is not about politics; this is about religion. It’s important to remember that religion and politics are one and the same for Islam. That’s why there can be no negotiation, only holding patterns.

Of course the “world community” has reacted predictably with stern notes, lectures to Iranian ambassadors, and announcements by governmental leaders regarding their grave concerns. Always on the brink of hell, we have pronouncements about grave concerns. It is the mass graves that should concern us.

Back in 2002, Lee Harris explained the fatal consequences of Islam’s “fantasy ideology.”

     To an outside observer, the fantasist is clearly attempting to compensate by means of his fantasy for the shortcomings of his own present reality — and thus it is tempting to think of the fantasist as a kind of Don Quixote impotently tilting at windmills. But this is an illusion. Make no mistake about it: The fantasist often exercises great and terrible power precisely by virtue of his fantasy. The father who demands his son grow up and become a professional football player will clearly exercise much more control over his son’s life than a father who is content to permit his child to pursue his own goals in life.
This power of the fantasist is entirely traceable to the fact that, for him, the other is always an object and never a subject. A subject, after all, has a will of his own, his own desires and his own agenda; he might rather play the flute instead of football. And anyone who is aware of this fact is automatically put at a disadvantage in comparison with the fantasist — the disadvantage of knowing that other people have minds of their own and are not merely props to be pushed around.

For the Arabs and their fellow travelers, anti-Semitism is the air they breathe. Jews are not real; they are evil “props to be pushed around,” even eradicated.

Why now? Why, at this juncture, did the president of Iran pick up that old discredited 20th century banner? Why the New Holocaust?

Let’s look at the lay of the land.

Iraq, despite the efforts of the global appeasers, is on its way to becoming a functioning democracy. The nationwide vote on the constitution reverberated throughout the unfree Islamic states. With the Coalition’s support, Iraqis are on the road to the 21st century. Syria, humiliated by its forced relinquishment of the golden goose on the Mediterranean littoral, now faces the imminent collapse of the Baathist Party and the Assad dynasty. Egypt is holding elections of a sort. Jordan has its head down, hoping to avoid the shrapnel, while the wicked House of Saud is frantically shoring the walls of its house of cards. Meanwhile there is that Wall in Gaza, a monumental insult and reminder of failure to the Palestinians in particular and the Islamic world in general.

Things are unsettled, to put it mildly. The only bright spot, from the point of view of the Great Islamic Jihad, is those Iranian nuclear weapons. For a long time the mullahs waltzed with the French, marking time and making faces until they could finish the plan that has been so long a-borning. The ultimate fantasy, about to become a murderous reality.

Here’s one analyst’s breakout of Iran’s incentives for what appears to be a suicidal enterprise:

     …there remains the question of why the Iranian government is doing this. Iran has a reasonable intelligence apparatus, and the information I have set out is all in the public domain (see Global or the International Institute of Strategic Studies’ publications for more). All I can come up with is that a domestic crackdown on enemies of the current mullah regime is imminent, (particularly those in the universities), and the targets are being set up as Zionist agents. There is some kind of Iranian website (see the photo on the Real Clear Politics Blog)which is apparently part of the campaign.
The Mullah regime is in serious economic trouble: the Shah’s reign was a golden age in terms of wealth and liberty by comparison with this government.
Another possibility is to justify deeper Iranian involvement in Iraq — the forward outpost of Zionists and Crusaders. But I think the other possibility (the domestic crackdown) is far more likely. Most Iranians require no justification for intervention in Iraq.

Given the pre-emptive and lethal nature of Zionot, the possibility of a general Middle Eastern conflagration has escalated into the red zone.

Is this the Big One, the one in which the boiler finally explodes?

History has never been Islam’s strong point. Nonetheless, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would do well to ponder the fate of Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said— “two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert … near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
And on the pedestal, this legend clear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing remains beside. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Perhaps some kind soul will send him a copy of Shelley’s poem. Gates of Vienna suggests that a Farsi translation be slipped into Condoleezza Rice’s briefcase for her next trip to Teheran.

NB: This post was a Baron-Dymphna collaboration. They are still speaking to each other.

A Permanent Outcast

Well, at least it’s now out in the open, and even the Europeans will have to admit it: Iran wants to completely destroy Israel. We always knew it was true, but now it’s clearly stated Iranian government policy.

The Daily Telegraph outlines Israel’s options:

     Although Israel is widely believed to have its own nuclear arsenal, it fears such weapons falling into the hands of hostile states.
In 1981, when Saddam Hussein threatened to develop a nuclear capability, Israel launched a pre-emptive air strike to destroy Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor.
Unilateral military action by Israel would be much harder against Iran’s nuclear capability.
Military jets would have to fly much greater distances, and the Iranians have spread their nuclear programmes across a number of sites – some located under mountains.
However, Israeli military planners are believed to have a number of options including air strikes using American-designed bunker-busting munitions and commando raids.

Don’t expect the Europeans to support any action that Israel might take, and don’t expect them to do anything but condemn it afterwards. And, if the State Department and the Arabists and the Old Guard Republicans in this country have their way, the Jewish state will get no support from the USA, either.

There was a time when the Jews stood meekly on the railway platforms amid their meager belongings, boarded the freight cars, and departed docilely for their unspeakable destination. But the state of Israel is unwilling to go gentle into that not-so-good night. If necessary, the Jews will fight their enemies alone, since the alternative is national extermination.

Richard Baehr, in a recent speech in Los Angeles, said that

     Israel has never lived without a threat to its existence. The truth of the matter is that Israel has never been accepted as a permanent nation within the Middle East by the 22 Arab nations, and much of the broader Muslim world. First the Arabs fought to prevent Jewish settlement within Palestine, and then fought the UN partition plan to create two states within the British mandate territory. After the British left, and Israel declared its statehood in 1948, the war against it resumed. The history of Zionism is a history of terrorism and war, but through it all, the tenacity of a people building and defending their new state.
Western Europe’s governments have already effectively abandoned Israel, much as they did Czechoslovakia in 1938. It is too much of a burden for them to defend Israel, what with their surging Muslim immigrant populations to appease with the bone of hostility to Israel. And of course since Israel is a close ally of the United States, Europe’s envy of America and its power and world leadership works its way to the surface by confronting the US in the Middle East conflict, through support of the Palestinian side in international organizations, such as the UN.

If the United States abandons Israel, then the Israelis will have face the Iranian threat alone. But face it they will.

If I were one of the mullahs, I wouldn’t be sleeping well at night.

Update: From the Daily Telegraph again:

     Tony Blair delivered his strongest warning to Iran last night, saying Teheran would not be allowed to become a “threat to our world security”.
He hinted that the West might have to resort to force.

Well, good for him. Are we sure he’s a European?

Hat tip: Cuanas.

Confronting the Enemy

President Bush made an excellent speech on Tuesday at Bolling Air Force Base, outlining the scope and rationale of the war on terror — which he once again identified as a struggle against “Islamo-fascism:”

     Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant Jihadism; still others, Islamo-fascism. Whatever it is called, this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam.

Mr. President, are you sure that’s true?

There is, of course, no way of knowing whether Mr. Bush believes this. Given the political exigencies, it is necessary for him to say it. His statement does, however, beg the central question of our time:

Does violent jihad represent the essence of the religion of Islam?

And the corollary:

Is the existence of the “moderate Muslim” possible?

I don’t pretend to be able to answer these questions, nor do I think it is possible to answer them yet. But they should be uppermost in our minds as we watch current political events unfolding across the world, and especially those unfolding across the bloody littorals of Islam.

The central problem is that Islam is more than a religion. It is a blueprint for political action, one whose core text requires the adherent to be violent in the pursuit of political goals. In this respect Muslims bear more resemblance to Communists than they do to Presbyterians.

But there are peaceable Muslims. The ones I know personally look and act like ordinary Americans. The women don’t wear the hijab, and the girls go to school and act like any other American kids.

But these Muslims are also not particularly observant; they don’t pray five times a day or visit the mosque very often. They are roughly equivalent to “lapsed Catholics.”

So I am still left with the open question:

Will the truly observant Muslim always engage in or support violent jihad?

A lively discussion emerged in the comments section of my post yesterday (I recommend the entire thread, which is full of thoughtful and vehement argument by a variety of people). In response to some of the more bellicose commenters, Cato said this:

     Do you really think all billion muslims hate the west that implacably? Do you think there is any practical program that will lead to the elimination (or forcible conversion) of all the planet’s muslims?
I often wonder where the logic of “all Islam is out to get us so we had better do something about it” leads.

So where does it lead? If the enemy is in our midst, but not actively pursuing violence at the moment, what do we do? And are all Muslims our enemies?

We know that some of them are, and it is a reasonable assumption there are some among us who are even now planning to harm us. But is the proper response to declare that all Muslims are our enemies?

If all Muslims are in fact our enemies, then we will have to take concrete action. The first step would be to require them all to register with the government so that they could be monitored. Next they would have to be disarmed. Then we would need to require them to display some sign so that we could recognize them as the enemy, say a yellow crescent and star sewn onto their outer clothing. The next step would be to gather them all together in secure camps removed from the rest of the populace, so that they could do us no harm. Then…

Wait a minute. We’ve seen that road before, and we’re not going to follow it.

The civil liberties accorded citizens of this country protect people from being targeted simply for their beliefs or membership in a particular group. Yet members of a particular group are plotting to do the country harm by murder, mayhem, and levying insurrection. If they succeed in their diabolical plans and unleash a devastating attack within our borders, people may well take the law into their own hands and civil liberties will be thrown out the window.

I don’t buy the idea that we should just be quiet and let domestic law enforcement do its job. I’m certain that it has indeed interdicted many terrorist attacks since 9/11, but Able Danger and Annie Jacobsen’s experience on Flight 327 and the Jamaat ul-Fuqra compounds and the farce that masquerades as airport security have all convinced me that incompetence rages throughout the system.

So what can be done?

First and foremost is to propagate as much information as possible. Turn over every rock. Open all the closet doors and turn on the lights. Bust open all the rotten stumps so we can see the termites inside. Spread the word, because that is what the blogosphere is for.

But let’s be sure we distinguish fact from speculation and rumor. And above all, remember that incitement to violence is the enemy’s specialty, not ours.

The second tactic is political. We are not going to be able to control the mujahideen in our midst if we don’t shrug off all the politically correct nonsense that hobbles us, and also control our borders. The current administration seems to have no will to do either of these things, and the next administration, no matter which party takes office, is unlikely to do any better.

Therefore we’re going to have to throw out an awful lot of rascals, and elect people who will shake the entrenched bureaucracy until its back teeth rattle.

Any other ideas out there? This is an open forum. Somewhere between the extremes of “Islam is a religion of peace” and “nuke the ragheads” is a course of action which will protect American citizens and also secure their liberties. I invite you to help me find it.

Calling all armchair generals! Gather at the Gates and make yourselves heard!

UPDATE: Best comment so far, by peggy:

I have been saying for a long time that the solution to the problem that islam poses is a simple one if we only have the courage and vision to pursue it relentlessly.

Just tell the truth about it.

The truth is our greatest weapon. We should only resort to other means if our free speech to protest against islam were threatened by the powers that be and then it is our right as citizens to fight those powers. The average muslim person should never have to worry about our intentions towards their persons or families or property or businesses or prayer centers as long they abide by the laws of our land.

If we keep to the high ground, we should with time be able to turn things around. The first idea we must get across with meticulous care is this: It is possible to oppose islam without bearing hatred towards all those who believe it and everyone should be able to freely and openly dispute the ideas and beliefs of others by right as long as they dont call for violence against the other group in an indiscriminate way that would hurt peaceable folks.

A big problem with islam and muslims is that they do not understand this. They equate open rejection of their beliefs as hatred and bigotry mainly because their own leaders encourage them to do so by their example. But coming as they do from their original environment which is devoid of the hurly-burly of true democracy and liberty, they are easily mislead to shut their ears to the “bigots” who dislike all muslims and are encouraged to dismiss all criticism of their religion as ignorant. If we happen to think that islam is the worst idea for a religion there ever was but have no inclination to hate those who believe in it then we have to distinguish ourselves from the true haters by our conduct, by our charity and hospitality towards all.

The Valiant and the Victims

What’s the difference between a victim, a fatality, and a dead hero? Let us consider some lives and some deaths. Let us see if there may be a thread that connects them.

Over on The Neighborhood of God I described the bloody death of a 7th century young woman who’d valiantly fought off and escaped her incestuous father, only to die by his sword anyway, far from home. In my view because she refused to submit, Dymphna therefore was not a victim. However, one of my commenters disagreed. Did the simple fact that she failed ultimately to escape her father’s sword seal the meaning of her life? I can understand why someone might see it that way, though her death is not how I choose to characterize Saint Dymphna; to me she is defined in her refusal to submit the core of her integrity to another person. Yes, her refusal contained her death warrant, but it was that very defiance which ultimately trumped her father’s rage. Dymphna’s courage and determination resonate down the centuries, bearing a signficance she could never have imagined.

And yesterday, I heard about the long awaited, the hoped-for, the tipping point death of the war in Iraq: Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr. was # 2,000 in the line of soldiers who have fallen in Iraq while serving their country and liberating the Iraqis. The meaning of his life was dumped into the total “body count” cauldron that the unscrupulous keep on the fire in aid of an enemy who would see us vanquished and the Iraqis returned to hell. As one commenter said of him:

     I’ve been thinking about the cries that he is being victimized by the left– and how ignoble a title “Victim” to bestow upon a warrior.
Instead, he is, with his family, a warrior whose service goes beyond merely his life, and includes bearing the weight of fools.

My commenter is exactly right: the sergeant is a Warrior and the burden of fools who latch onto his death desecrate his life and do themselves dishonor.

Last year, there was another death in Iraq, one which stood out from the thousands of victims of this ugly war. Remember Fabrizio Quattrocchi? Remember his defiance? Mr. Quattrocchi didn’t choose death. But when it showed up wearing the visage of evil, he turned and faced valiantly what he could not escape. Attempting to tear off his mask, he yelled his last words: “Now I’ll show you how an Italian dies.” Was Quattrocchi a victim or did he choose valor in his moment of dying? Whichever you choose, his defiance ruined his captors’ plans to show the video of his death; his bravery was dangerous and had to be hidden from view. If anyone in recent times can be said to have taught us how to die, it is this Italian contractor, lifted out of his anonymity for the purposes of an evil propaganda machine which he then broke, at least for the moment.

Just three examples: the girl, the sergeant, the contract worker. None of them chose to die, but all of them chose how to face death. One in defense of her integrity, another in the defense of his country, and the last because, like the first, he refused to submit to evil.

Meanwhile, back here at home, in 2003 — the year the war began in Iraq — forty two thousand people victims died in traffic accidents. They died for no reason. 42,643 people are gone and from none of their deaths can we salvage some small shred of consolation. These horrible deaths are merely wasted lives, cut off without reason.

So where is the hue and cry? Where are the headlines? Where are the protestors demanding that something be done about this on-going annual carnage right here in our country? Extrapolating from the figures for 2003, we can reliably estimate a death toll from traffic accidents (in the United States alone) of at least 125,000 men, women, and children dead since the start of the war in Iraq. Where are the Cindy Sheehans to carry on about this ignoble carnage? Where are the placards blaming…blaming whom, precisely? The car manufacturers? The highway engineers? The government for not setting a lower speed limit? The people who exercise their freedom to drive?

In our rural county, the annual death toll of inexperienced adolescent drivers is high. Or so it seems, given that our population is small and mostly we already know those kids who don’t make it around the curve. Their deaths fell their families; we weep for youth and potential cut off so suddenly and if we have teenagers, we wonder if our child will soon lie among the others. But our tragedy has no edge of valor to soften it. There is only the ugly specter carrying his scythe, reminding us how indiscriminate and cruel is his harvest.

I leave it to you to sort out and assign the labels and their meanings. The valiant and the victims already know who they are.

Reverse-Engineered Taqiyyah

Earlier today I wrote and posted a bitter satire which several readers (and at least one spouse) considered somewhat — um — intemperate. Wiser heads prevailed, so I took it down.

Deleting my post left me feeling dissatisfied and stifled. After mulling it over, I decided to revisit the same topic, this time without the irony. This post will be serious. Dead serious.

One of the advantages of a site meter is the ability to monitor visitors’ searches. Presumably most bloggers are familiar with the disgusting and perverted things that people are trying to find on the internet — if a few of the keywords match, sure enough, they show up at your site. We get our share of these visitors, mainly because of Dympha’s concerns regarding the treatment of Muslim women.

However, Gates of Vienna has its own special class of search engine referrals. It started back in July, and for some reason the same search string often recurs verbatim: “how to make a bomb — jihad.” Once we mentioned it in our posts, of course, our search-engine profile on the topic went up, and we got more and more of them. There are variations:
  ·  make a bomb
  ·  how to make bomb
  ·  make bomb islam
  ·  how to make a simple bomb at home
  ·  make bomb kill jews
  ·  etc.
But they all boil down to the same thing.

What gives one pause is this: the certainty that somewhere out in the world, at the other end of those searches, are people who want to do us harm, evil, twisted minds that long to attain paradise by killing as many infidels as possible. Every day more searchers arrive here, a steady drip… drip… drip of rancid malevolence.

And those who appear here are just the searchers in English — what about those in Arabic? Or Pashtun, or Urdu, or Swahili, or Turkish, or Farsi, or Tagalog, or…

Moreover, those who wash up at the Gates of Vienna are but a sample. Instead of this nest of kaffirs in the heart of Dar-al-Harb, the more intelligent and adept jihadis have long since found their way to the real bomb-making instructions. Think of the thousands upon thousands who must be out there searching. Some of them are in the West. Some are in America. And some are right down the road.

After a while, it does weigh a body down.

My fantasy is to draw in these deadly Islamists and prepare an ingenious trap designed solely for the unwary mujahid, and — like a genetically-tailored virus which will infect only one host — cause them to self-destruct.

That’s what I want.

Call it reverse-engineered taqiyyah.

“Yet Another Really Great Blog”

The blogosphere increases geometrically, spawning sites into the ethernet at a prodigious rate. If not up yet to the speed of light, no doubt it will be shortly.

Recently there tottered onto the stage, dragging the modest banner of Insignificant Microbe behind its small self, and blinking in the light of sudden blogdom, another such effort: Yet Another Really Great Blog. It is this stage to which I recommend that you repair and take your seat for the show.

On the marquee (not the html “marquee,” but the old fashioned one which displayed film titles and the movie stars appearing therein) you will find talent, that were it displayed in some economic form, would surely be a heap of gold coins high enough to bring Scrooge McDuck running. Just look at this list of contributors!

  ·  vnjagvet
  ·  offworld
  ·  Rick Ballard
  ·  ambisinistral
  ·  chuck
  ·  Jamie Irons
  ·  truepeers
  ·  terrye
  ·  flenser
  ·  Knucklehead
  ·  MeaninglessHotAir
  ·  RogerA
  ·  SneakyFeet
  ·  Seneca the Younger
  ·  David Thomson
  ·  ContraryPelican
  ·  Syl
  ·  smart parrot

To paraphrase President Kennedy, there hasn’t been this much brain power in one place since Thomas Jefferson dined alone. I would add John Quincy Adams and James Madison to mix, with a dash of Benjamin Franklin to add some reality to President Kennedy’s quip. Commonwealth of Virginia heresy alert: Jefferson wasn’t that smart, but he was immensely curious. Curiosity, the energy that fuels desire, is its own brilliance.

YARGB’s subtitle is “Flares Into Darkness,” a statement both hopeful and sad. It evokes Plato’s Cave, with contributors occasionally providing bursts of light to illuminate the place.

I bring this conglomerate to your attention not only because of the breadth and depth of its contributors but because the notion of bringing together seasoned commenters, intelligent and probably simpatico voices in the cave, is the future wave of blogging. As anyone who blogs frequently knows, posting with any regularity on your ownsome chews up brain cells and spits them out at a great pace. Not a pretty sight when a post goes three ways wrong and then Blogger melts down, leaving your essay forever in Limbo instead of on the screen (yes, I do indeed know and often follow the wisdom of the cut and paste before finally attempting to put a post to bed, but sometimes, when the pile around my chair of chewed and discarded neurons has begun to slide and topple, I forgets). That’s probably why there are so many started-and-abandoned blogs floating around out there. The strain was simply too much.

Besides the limits of working alone, I intuit there is a synergy created when the blog is spread across a group such as this. The notion of Koinonia comes to mind here. There are religious uses for this word from koine Greek, but in this case, koinonia appears to have been an idea which grew from Wilfrid Bion’s seminal work with groups in England following World War II. His ideas and their applications grew from his initial interactions with “shell-shocked” soldiers in veterans’ hospitals and his subsequent observation of “regular folks” in the civilian world in post-World War II London.

Dr. Bion’s meta-view of the kinds of small groups and their purposes led to Patrick deMare’s (et al) hope of creating true dialogue through Koinonic groups that would work through and past the petty, defensive hatreds we bring to our encounters with one another. His underlying philosophy was that by meeting in groups larger than a family-of-origin setting but small enough so that people knew one another (a village, perhaps?) perhaps change in our internal relationships would be possible. These beneficent changes would perforce spill over into our relationships with one another, decreasing reactivity and paranoia. Thus, the book describes the authors’ hopes:

     A study of the larger group, focusing on the processes and dynamics whereby the group micro-culture emerges. As the initial frustrations of the group find expression in hate, this is transformed through dialogue to what the Greeks knew as ‘koinonia’, or the state of impersonal fellowship.

Even though the book was written in the ’90s it seems already dated to some extent. Perhaps because the England in which it was written is fast disappearing into a chunk of Islamicized EU, losing its identity in the process.

Happily, to some extent Demare’s hope is being lived out in the blogosphere (thank you, Mr. Quick), though it is far too early to even guess what forms will metamorphose from this process. Whatever they may be, Yet Another Really Great Blog, shooting off its flares into darkness, may be a forerunner.

Yes, there are other group bloggers and aggregates out there. But these people, who seem to have emerged full blown from the world of commenters, may be in a different category. Whether or not this accurately represents who they are, YARGB is nonetheless a sensational aggregation. May they flourish beyond their original dreams.

Meanwhile, over there among a rich variety of posts on Godel’s theorem and ol’ Harriet’s nomination and disquisitions on the bird flu, discover what happened to The Girl from Ipanema. Yes, she was a real person. Given my predilection for sadness over lost dreams and how others’ hatred can trip us up, this post left me in tears. Late at night, over a glass of Jameson’s this is to be expected. However, on a lovely October morning, tears for the slings and arrows directed at another simply because she existed are more disquieting; they are a hot blade and cut more deeply than late-night lachrymosia (yes, it is my own neologism). Perhaps it is the threat of the destruction of beauty, simply because it was beautiful and therefore aroused curiosity and desire. WARNING: reading the post may undercut any cherished ideas of “fair” you may have secreted away, waiting for better times.

Disclaimer: No, this is not a case of mutual back-scratching. Gates of Vienna is not blogrolled at YARGB. Maybe if we work real hard to improve, attaining The List is possible. It’s an illustrious but select group — I intuit we aren’t there. Yet.

Weird Quirks from the Turks

According to this “Oddly Enough” Reuters story,

     A Turkish court fined 20 people for using the letters Q and W on placards at a Kurdish new year celebration, under a law banning characters not used in the Turkish alphabet, rights campaigners said on Tuesday.
The court in the southeastern city of Siirt fined each of the 20 people 100 new lira for holding up the placards, written in Kurdish, at the event last year. The letters Q and W do not exist in the Turkish alphabet, but are used in Kurdish.

Quick, Walid! Bring the eraser and whiteout!

Apparently, however, the law is not uniformly enforced:

     Many shops and companies in Turkey have names, signs and advertising using the letters Q, W and X which are not used in Turkish, in apparent violation of the 1928 law, but have not been prosecuted.

So if you’re Kurdish, you’d better watch your P’s W’s and Q’s.

Kiss Them Goodbye, Your Highness

So. One night last week, during dinner, the Baron brought up the sore subject of the continuing dhimmification of Britain (he reads too much Mark Styen, which tends to make him mordant).

He was referring, of course, to the uproar about beloved “Piglet.” He then ventured a prediction: the next thing to go would be piggy banks.

“No way,” I said. “The English are going soft, sure, but there are limits, B.”

“Wait and see,” he replied, cutting off another slice of the pork roast.

I stabbed a potato and looked at him. “Not even the Brits are that far down the hole…what will they use instead, fat little camels?”

Baron chewed thoughtfully on his haram meat. “They don’t call it Londonistan for nothing,” he reminded me.

Damn. He was right. The piggy banks are going, going…

     British banks are banning piggy banks because they may offend some Muslims.
Halifax and NatWest banks have led the move to scrap the time-honoured symbol of saving from being given to children or used in their advertising…

First they came for the ice cream containers. Then they came for the pigs. What next?

Oh, that’s right: Muslims don’t like dogs, either. So what will you do when they come for Poochie?

And does this mean the Queen will have to let the Corgis go?

A very sadder-but-wiser tip of the hat to Charles

“You Do It, Too, and Besides, You Can’t Spell”

An email arrived today from someone who reads Gates but declines to set up a blogger account in order to be able to comment.

Here are her/his —the email is signed “A.B.” — complaints about my post, “Egypt and the Copts: Kith and Kin.” Accompanying his fisking is my response.

Dymphna: “what is it about praying that makes Muslim blood boil against the infidel? This is the Religion of Peace, right?”

A.B.: “What is it about Christianity that made Christians slaughter jews and have inquisitions? Bernard Lewis once made the point that (roughly paraphrased) ‘When Christianity was roughly 1400 years old, it had its inquisitions and then its reformation. Islam today is roughly 1400 years old. Let us hope they have a reformation one day as well.’ I think the above statement of yours is rather ignorant, all things considered.”

So I’m ignorant, A.B. Do you use ad hominem arguments often? No one is holding a gun to your head, forcing you to stop by and read my post. Feel free to move along. Your tu quoque arguments about what Jews and Christians did six hundred years ago aren’t germane to what is going on today with the Copts…or in Pakistan or Iran or Thailand, or Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or Turkey or Indonesia or parts of Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia, etc. Not to mention the compound down the road from my house, where reside adherents of a jihad against infidels by bloody cleansing. As an infidel, that makes me a target.

And what Jews and Christians did six hundred years ago would be germane were they still performing those atrocities. But they aren’t. What is past tense for the Jews and Christians is current orthodoxy for Muslims.

The history of Islam from its very bloody beginnings — i.e., from the first attack of that caravan by Mohammed and his gang, from his first betrayal of the agreement he made with the Jews in Medina — makes its claim to be the ROP risible. Aside from the remnants of hunter tribes in South America, Muslims are the group least likely to be termed “plays well with others.” Meanwhile, Bernard Lewis’ hope that Islam might have a Reformation one day is based on wishful thinking. The Muslims can’t even get along with one another, how can they reform from within? “Religion of Peace” has got to be one of the most blatant examples of cultural denial extant.

Next fisking and reply:

Dymphna: “If you check your Koran, you know that this is a huge no-no. Christians may meet in private, if no one in authority knows about it, but they certainly are not permitted — koranically, anyway — to just up and build a church”

A.B.: Just as a heads up (though I imagine you do it in an attempt to be insulting or old fashioned?) “Koran” is a very old fashioned transcription, and doesn’t really make sense given the Arabic letters involved. I would be glad to further explain if you would like. Qur’an is pretty much the standard (and most logical) transcription in use today.

Oh, dear. Now we have to be authentic and up-to-the-moment? Well, sweets, what if it’s still Leningrad to me? Do you think people will understand my reference? What about Peking? Being “a very old fashioned” kind of girl I don’t mind not being up to date. And I’ve used “Qu’ran” on occasion — it is immaterial to me. Irrelevant. Beside the point.

Your notion that I employed the form “Koran” instead of your preference because I wanted to be insulting is your problem, one for you and your therapist to work out. When I intend to insult, it is direct and clear — as in my suggestion re what you might do with your need to impugn others’ motives.

A.B.: “ Oh right, and my main point–I would love to see the reference in the Qur’an that has what you claim it has in it. Got anything for me?”

Good Lord — where would one begin? The destruction by Muslims of churches in the Middle East since the 8th century is so well-documented that your question is stunning. And it continues in Allah’s name. Have you read the newspaper lately?

Here are some few excerpts of Mohammed’s on the subject on infidels and how they are to be treated.

Those who reject the proofs, are accursed of Allah. 2:159

Those who die disbelievers, are cursed by Allah, angels, and men. 2:161

They will not emerge from the Fire. 2:167

Disbelievers will be deaf, dumb, and blind. 2:171

Those who hide the Scripture will have their bellies eaten with fire. Theirs will be a painful doom. 2:174

Don’t take Jews or Christians for friends. If you do, then Allah will consider you to be one of them. 5:51

Jews and Christians are losers. 5:53

Don’t choose Jews, Christians, or disbelievers as guardians. 5:57

Jews and Christians are evil-livers. 5:59

Evil is the handiwork of the rabbis and priests. 5:63

Christians will be burned in the Fire. 5:72

Christians are wrong about the Trinity. For that they will have a painful doom. 5:73

Disbelievers will be owners of hell-fire. 5:86

The Religion of Peace, where it exists in Muslim-dominated countries, does not permit any other religious practice. Saudi Arabia funds the construction and maintenance of thousands of mosques in Christian lands, but there is not one church or synagogue in the Land of Saud. In fact, being a Christian there means no citizenship for you, boy.

Next fisk:

Dymphna: “So why did the Coptic Christians survive in Egypt when so many other Christian sects in the Middle East were erased as though they had never existed?”

A.B. “Good question? Though you are aware I’m sure that conversion was very rarely forced (though there to be sure ARE examples otherwise, far more rare than in Christian Europe however. In addition, there were, and are still today (though in the past 150 years many have left to go to Europe, South America, and America for largely economic reasons) large “indigenous” Christian and Jewish populations throughout the Middle East. There’s no evidence to support any ‘erasing.’”

Also, just an interesting point, Coptic was actually used in some governing capacity (with posts traditionally filled by Copts) until the 19th century.

Of course conversion wasn’t “forced.” You had two choices when the Muslims arrived, provided you had survived their coming: you could convert to Islam or you could refuse. Refusal to submit made you a dhimmi and subject to strictures of dress, occupation, diminished legal standing, taxation, and on occasion, the handing over of your children. Ever hear of the Janissaries? In order to keep their children, Christian families deliberately injured and deformed boys who might be considered candidates.

As for the Christians and Jews leaving the Middle East for “largely economic reasons” — why don’t you talk to the Copts in New Jersey? See what they might have to say about your incredible contention. There are exactly three Jews left in Iraq – or is it down to two now? Those who weren’t killed outright have escaped. Just last week a group of Anglican Iraqis were murdered. The Assyrian Christians, the Jews who fled from Yemen (once the oldest Jewish community in the world), the Christians of Darfur who are routinely raped, tortured, and murdered by their Muslim betters — all of them might have some problems with your argument. Even the UN has finally decided to label what is happening in Darfur as genocide. Islam is about genocide. As Mohammed said: Jews and Christians are losers (5:53).

And the continued use of the Copts in Egypt? Islam also used other Christian sects and Jews when it was convenient. That doesn’t mean they didn’t continue to persecute them. Your point proves nothing except that the Muslims aren’t stupid, and I never claimed they were. My dispute with them is that they’re literally the most bloody-minded religion going.

Moving on to the next point:

Dymphna: “The Religion of Peace is not a Religion of History except as it records Muslim conquests. Never self-reflective and not allowed to exhibit curiosity, its theology is confined to minutiae regarding behavior rather than to moral development.”

A.B. “I would strenuously disagree with some of these statements as well. Islamicate civilizations are full of histories, innovative histories, and wide ranging histories. I will say no more than to read about Ibn Khaldun’s Muqadimmah (roughly, an Introduction to World History). One of the most influential historians in history, period.”

And I would suggest you begin with Will Durant’s many volumes of world history. As Durant said, Islam has the bloodiest history of all religions. As to whether your historian is “one of the most influential historians in history, period” — there are many millions who might argue with your choice. Personally, I prefer Gibbon. To each his own, hmmm?

Islam is hampered by its own holy book, which permits of no alteration or deviation. That’s why there have to be so many people employed in interpreting it down to the smallest detail. In a long list of misdeeds, the worst thing about Islam is that it kills curiosity, of which desire is a subset. The requirement that desire can be channeled only in one narrow way — to make the whole world into its own image — is reflected in Islam’s ongoing bloody battles. Islam is the Religion of Warriors and the world in which it was formed has ceased to exist. Unless it can get past that, Islam is doomed.

And if Muslims think they are ascendant and invincible, wait until they become a threat to the Chinese. Compared to China’s history, Mohammed’s warriors are wimps.

I used to be a “tolerant” person, A.B. I believed in “live-and-let-live; in fact, I still do in those cases where such a point of view is reciprocated. But infiltrating my country are people who do not see tolerance as a virtue and who see my Christianity as proof that I am an infidel, a “loser” — as Mohammed says — and worthy only of damnation. They view atheists, agnostics, Wiccans,and Unitarians the same way– we’re merely undifferentiated infidels. They want to do things like crash planes into tall buildings or set off bombs in public places. They consider taqiyyah a cogent moral position.

Seeing that the desire to survive is hard-wired, I’m bound to do all that I can to stop the further formation of the Ummah. And so I shall. That’s why this blog is called Gates of Vienna and not, say, View from Medina .

Get your own blog, A.B., and pontificate —or rather, imamate — from there.

Egypt and the Copts: “Kith and Kin”

Sometimes I forget to come home. Yesterday, Tiger Hawk and Charles Johnson carried stories about the abominable attack on Coptic St. Grigis Church in Alexandria, Egypt. I left similar comments on both posts, but it didn’t occur to me to come home and make my own statement about this all-too-familiar treatment of Copts by the Egyptians. I did say something a tad bitter in my comment on Tigerhawk, though:

     … that makes me wonder how the Coptics managed to hold on, or why they’re not all dead now. African Americans ought to look into the lives Coptic Christians live in Egypt; it would give them some insight into *real* present-day oppression.

Yes, I know. I am insufficiently attuned to the suffering of victims. Just put it on my account.

But the oppression of Coptic Egyptians is serious and ongoing. It has never stopped. In addition to the outbreak of Muslim violence following their Friday prayers (what is it about praying that makes Muslim blood boil against the infidel? This is the Religion of Peace, right?),

     Coptic Orthodox Christians who gathered yesterday to celebrate their first Sunday Mass in a small village church were attacked with rocks and firebombs by a Muslim mob near El-Minya, 140 miles south of Cairo.
According to local sources in the village of Bani El-Walmous, the armed attackers damaged the church’s cross and set the pews on fire. Reuters news agency reported the number injured in the clash at 11, including two policemen.
But according to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV station’s Arabic news broadcasts, 10 Coptic Christians were wounded and 35 nearby homes were destroyed. The BBC reported only four injuries, three Muslims and a Christian, with five homes set afire. Later reports could confirm only 15 Coptic homes burned, with a number of others looted.
After security police cordoned off Bani El-Walmous village yesterday afternoon, independent observers have been unable to verify either the number of injuries or the extent of destruction. “We are still waiting for the details,” editor Youssef Sidhom of the weekly “Watani” newspaper told Compass today, after confirming he had a correspondent at the site.
Egyptian authorities quickly blamed the clash on “provocative elements from both sides, Muslim and Christian” in official statements. Security forces told Reuters that after a Muslim mob pelted the church with rocks, Coptic Christians inside the building had fired shotguns at their attackers.
According to the official explanation released by the Egyptian government, the clash was ignited over the ringing of the church bell during the consecration of the new church. In a statement on state-run television, the governor of El-Minya stated that the ordinary Muslims there were “not used to hearing church bells,” and this “frustrated” them.
“The problem is not what the mob did,” Sidhom commented, “but as always is the case, what the authorities do — how they behave, and how they comment on the crisis. This always feeds fundamentalist attitudes.”
Sidhom said he had learned that Coptic Orthodox Bishop Aghason and the parish priest of the new church in the suburbs of El-Minya had informed local police and security authorities in advance about the inauguration ceremonies for the new church.
“But in spite of that,” Sidhom said, “when they started ringing the church bell for the Mass, the church was attacked with stones and small pieces of cloth set afire by the mob.”
When the local police force failed to appear, church leaders reportedly telephoned security police authorities in Cairo to request protection for the local parishioners and their guests, caught under siege inside the church.
Although the attack began about 9 a.m., no police officials appeared until 12:38 p.m., when a local witness told Compass a colonel arrived from Maghagha, some 40 miles away. Ordering the mob out of the area, the colonel reportedly housed Bishop Aghason and other clergy in the Agricultural Development Bank for their protection until the situation calmed down.
According to an official government statement, 43 people have been arrested for questioning since the village went under police guard yesterday.
“Tension in Upper Egypt has been fueled by the rise of Islamic militancy over the last 20 years,” yesterday’s BBC article noted.
Destructive and deadly clashes have broken out repeatedly in Egypt over the building and repair of churches by the Coptic Christian community, who represent 10 percent or more of Egypt’s 70 million people. Since official permits take years or even decades to acquire, church constructions are attacked and demolished with impunity by the general Muslim public on the pretext that they have been built illegally.

How do you even begin to take this apart? Let’s see…

  • Muslims are frightened by church bells.
  • They also don’t like the building or repair of Coptic Churches. If you check your Koran, you know that this is a huge no-no. Christians may meet in private, if no one in authority knows about it, but they certainly are not permitted — koranically, anyway — to just up and build a church.
  • Notice al-Reuters report that after the mob pelted the church with rocks, the Christians returned the attack by firing shotguns.

The history of the Copts in Egypt pre-dates the arrival of the Muslims. Christianity thrived in the Middle East. Here originated many of the writings of the Patristics (the Church Fathers), here the arguments and alarums of various Christian sects were fought and sounded. Here arose Christian monasticism, first with St. Anthony of the Desert in Northern Egypt, and, almost contemporaneously, St. Pachomius established his own rule in the South.

     The monasticism established under St Anthony’s direct influence became the norm in Northern Egypt, from Lycopolis (Asyut) to the Mediterranean. In contradistinction to the fully coenobitical system, established by Pachomius in the South, it continued to be of a semi-eremetical character, the monks living commonly in separate cells or huts, and coming together only occasionally for church services; they were left very much to their own devices, and the life they lived was not a community life according to rule, as now understood…

Later, after Christianity was crushed in the Middle East, St. Benedict altered Anthony’s ideas to make them more compatible with Western (Roman) Christianity. Today, Christian monasticism in the West, of whatever sect, follows the Rule of Benedict.

So why did the Coptic Christians survive in Egypt when so many other Christian sects in the Middle East were erased as though they had never existed? Perhaps because of Mohammed himself, who had an Egyptian wife, the only one to bear him a child. Mohammed had a soft spot for the Egyptians, even the Copts. Here he says:

     “When you conquer Egypt, be kind to the Copts for they are your proteges and kith and kin.”

Tour EgyptAnd so it was. For four hundred years after the conquest of Egypt, the Coptic Church continued to flourish. The Coptic language remained the primary language of Egypt until 1050 A.D., not dying out as a cultural language until the 1500’s. Now it is confined to the Coptic Christian liturgy.

The Religion of Peace is not a Religion of History except as it records Muslim conquests. Never self-reflective and not allowed to exhibit curiosity, its theology is confined to ever more minute descriptions of behavior rather than to moral development. Islam has been stultified for centuries.

Thus do we see images of Coptic churches set upon by Muslims after Friday prayers. Where there is no understanding of the past there is fear of the future. Where there is fear of the future there is shame and envy of those not limited by such burdens. And so, enraged by what they cannot know and are not permitted to understand, they stoop to pick up the rock.

Their situation is only made sadder by the ignorant Christians in the West who desire to show their solidarity with such behavior. Historical ignorance is pervasive in the Arab Street. That it also infests the Western chancery and cathedral is abominable.

More on Jamaat-ul Fuqra in New York

The Politics of CP has turned up information about the Jamaat ul-Fuqra headquarters near Hancock, New York. He includes a newspaper article on the place:

     The entrance to the 70-acre enclave, located 45 miles southwest of Binghamton, includes a small gate and guard shack. A sign welcomes you to Islamberg.
A cluster of trailers serves as a Muslim parochial school, and an old hunting lodge has been turned into a school.
Many of the residents work as toll collectors at New York City’s bridges andtunnels. Others work at one of the area’s largest firms, Deposit Computer Services, in nearby Deposit.

CP’s response:

     Bridges and tunnels, huh? That’s not alarming or anything! Geez.

Read the whole thing.

CP seems to have discovered the same thing that I did: news of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, both in the MSM and on the internet, more or less stopped after 2002. A few stories showed up in 2003, reprising the earlier material, and there was a note in Jihad Watch after John Allen Muhammad was convicted in November of 2003, and then… Nothing.

Until now. Let’s keep the meme open.

“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”

Hmm…what have we here? Has Israel started a trend? My heavens, can’t imagine an entity less likely to be imitated, especially by her enemies, but it appears to be true.

Spain plans to build a third high-security fence between its enclave Melilla and Morocco as an added measure to keep out immigrants who have repeatedly stormed the barriers in recent weeks, Interior Ministry delegate Jose Fernandez Chacon said Tuesday

Seems like the great unwashed and unwanted hordes, desperate for work, are risking death and dismemberment:

     Hundreds of poor sub-Saharan African immigrants gathered in northern Morocco have stormed the fences repeatedly over the past two weeks in a bid to enter Europe. Five immigrants were killed in a similar charge last week at Ceuta, Spain’s other enclave on the northern Moroccan coast. Both city enclaves already have twin 3-meter (10-foot) razor fences around their perimeters.

Sounds like a return to the Middle Ages, doesn’t it? Except for that part about the razor wire — which the medieval city fathers would’ve used had they had it.

Meanwhile, not too far away,

     Egypt has started to build a security fence around the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh to try to stop attacks on the town, security officials say.
The officials said the fence would stretch for 20km (12 miles) and force vehicles wanting to enter the town to pass through one of four checkpoints.
More than 60 people were killed in July when suicide bombers launched attacks outside two hotels and a market.

Yes, it does sound like Israel gave everyone else a great idea. Clever rascals, those Zionists.

Hat tip: Pedestrian Infidel