The Story You’ll Never Read in the WaPo

Updated note to readers: Apparently some people have not read this post all the way to the bottom and think it is a real article. It isn’t; I created it by taking the Washington Post article and changing names and places to make it a “pity the poor Israeli children” instead of a “pity the poor Lebanese children” story. It was designed to remind you that the suffering of Israel at the hands of Hezbollah is not normally featured in the MSM.

It’s bitter satire.

In Israel’s Rubble, Aftershocks of War
12 Civilians Killed, 39 Injured by Nail-Packed Rockets Exploding Since Cease-Fire

By Rona Stoubany, Washington Post Foreign Service

HAIFA, Israel — Moishe Cohen does not want to go home anymore.

The Cohen child“I was so homesick for Ramot Almogi. Now I don’t miss it at all,” the 10-year-old said weakly, trying to cough gently as he slumped against the wall of a hospital in this coastal city.

Lucky to be alive, Moishe was recovering from massive abdominal wounds inflicted by what he and two cousins thought was a small ball, unearthed from the rubble of their home town and perfectly suited for a game of catch. It was really one of the small explosive devices spewed by so-called anti-personnel munitions — bombs, shells or rockets used by the military wing of Hizbullah that burst in midair and spread smaller bombs over a wide area.

Moishe and his two cousins, like dozens of other Israelis civilians, became casualties of war after the 33-day conflict between Israel and Hizbullah had subsided. Since the guns fell silent on Aug. 14, unexploded nail-packed rockets launched by Hizbullah or duds fired by artillery have killed 12 people and wounded 39, according to Chris Clarke, head of the U.N. Mine Action Coordination Center attached to the United Nations Interim Force in Israel. Of those, two of the dead and 11 of the wounded were children.

Todd Hart, another U.N. de-mining specialist, told journalists Thursday that U.N. and Israeli government mine-disposal teams have discovered and destroyed a dozen normal bombs, plus 1,800 smaller bomblets sprayed out from nail-packed rockets.

Clarke said that “as of today, we have confirmed 289 nail-packed rocket locations. This figure, which was 140 on Tuesday, is rising daily. And many of them are indeed inside residential areas.”

“We are finding many nail-packed rockets in the rubble — they just blend in,” he noted. One type commonly being found, he said, is shaped like a small green ball, larger than a golf ball and smaller than a tennis ball.

Clarke said the Iranian Foreign Ministry was investigating whether Lebanon had violated Iranian guidelines for Iranian-made anti-personnel munitions that ban their use in civilian areas.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are also looking into the use of anti-personnel munitions, he said. In a report released this week, Amnesty International said it had found huge craters in roads linking southern villages, attributing them to Hizbullah aerial bombardment and artillery fire.

“In some cases, nail-packed rocket impacts were identified,” the report said. “The hundreds of thousands of Israelis who fled the bombardment now face the danger of unexploded munitions as they head home,” it added.

A military spokesman in Lebanon said, “All the weapons and munitions used by Hizbullah are legal under international law, and their use conforms with international standards.”

Ali Araqchi, an Iranian assigned to the U.N. Joint Logistics Center from the Iraq War Veterans of Iran Foundation, explained that anti-personnel weapons are designed to burst in midair, scattering small bomblets that do not all detonate immediately.

“I think the biggest hazards are the unexploded submunitions, and the smallest, fired from artillery, are the most dangerous,” said Messick, who has worked in Kosovo and northern Iraq with disaster response teams.

Such dangers awaited Moishe and his family when they returned home to Ramot Almogi, a neighborhood of about 8,000 people located in southeastern Haifa. The family fled on July 15, three days after the fighting broke out, and moved from town to town until the cease-fire took effect nearly a month later. During the fighting, the population in Ramot Almogi dwindled to 1,000, and 16 people were killed there — eight civilians and eight IDF soldiers, according to residents.

Moishe said he had yearned for Ramot Almogi during his month on the road, homesick for his house and his playmates. When his uncle, Shimon Cohen, went to check on the family’s house after the cease-fire, the boy went along and refused to leave, remaining behind with his grandparents.

On Aug. 17, Moishe and his cousins Rachel Binyamin and Miriam Berkowicz, both 12, went out to scout the new landscape of shattered stone and concrete around their homes. “We wanted to see which houses were destroyed. The whole neighborhood is broken,” Moishe said.

But they really wanted to play again. Moishe unearthed a ball covered in dust and asked Rachel to throw it his way. It exploded between them. Moishe’s intestines spilled out, splattering blood.

“I started screaming,” Moishe recalled. “The bomb threw me two or three meters away. My legs, my clothes were soaked in blood.”

David Amran, a neighbor, saw them run in his direction. “Moishe’s guts were hanging out, and Rachel was moaning,” Amran said. “I carried my nephew in my arms and took Rachel and drove them to Qiryat Sprinzak.” Miriam, who suffered minor wounds in her stomach and chest, was taken in another car.

From Qiryat Sprinzak, civil defense workers moved the three children to an emergency room at the Golda Meir Hospital in Nawe David. Red Cross workers then took them to Haifa.

“After two and a half hours on the road, the three children were in shock,” said Yakov Horowitz, the anesthetist who presided over surgery on Moishe at Beth El Hospital in Haifa.

Moishe’s intestines had been severed in three places, requiring 13 sutures in one spot, according to Horowitz.

Like Moishe, Rachel was bleeding profusely. “The blood spurted out of my stomach like that — pshhh ,” Rachel said, sitting on her hospital bed clutching her nightgown. When she reached the hospital in Haifa, doctors had to insert a breathing tube in her windpipe because shrapnel embedded in one of her lungs prevented her from breathing on her own.

While Moishe recovers in the hospital, his relatives struggle to rebuild their lives. His mother said their home in Ramot Almogi no longer existed.

“We could not find our clothes,” she said. “Our walls were flattened to be bulldozed. We have no money. We are living with my brother-in-law in Vardiya, four families on top of one another.

“We are still afraid,” she added. “Hizbullah is still there, and the children cannot play there anymore.”

OK, I admit it. This isn’t a real story. For the real story, see this. I made up all the changeling names and took the places off a map of Haifa. I have no idea whether there are real hospitals by those names.

So… Carl, don’t be too hard on me!

Moderate vs. Radical

I’ve had enough of this crap!Within the Gates of Vienna there are moderate commenters and there are radical commenters. The former may have their differences with this blog’s hosts, but are willing to live and let live. The latter are so certain that their opinions represent The Truth that they are willing to pound them in repeatedly, as if the mere repetition would be enough to convince us apostates.

I’m referring to last night’s post about Islam as a virus. Here’s what one commenter (who shall remain anonymous) had to say:

Here we go again (hopefully, I will get a response this time)… What is the point of differentiating between “Islam” and “radical Islam”, thus giving the false impression that there exist versions of Islam that are not radical, and therefore obscuring the fact that it is Islam per se that is the problem, and not just one or more supposed variants of Islam?

Considering the purpose of this site (or, should I say, what I thought the purpose of this site was), this practice seems counter-productive, as it is, in effect, Islam apologism.

Indeed you will get a response this time. But first, a second from another commenter:

First I would like to say that while anon. is being quite harsh, I would have to agree with him/her. The average muslim DOES want us subjugated to dhimmitude and to overrun the world — he is just not ambitious enough to do it. The ‘variation’ of Islam, the exception to the norm, is the muslim who accepts the essentially masonic revolutionary ideals of freedom, tolerance, and secular government. Amongst the vast majority, the more ambitious muslims want to kill us, while the average muslim just wants us dead.

First of all, the point of differentiating between “radical” and “moderate” Islam is that the difference exists. The former want to kill all infidels who won’t convert; the latter may not like us, but are willing to live in an uneasy peace with non-Muslims. I mentioned “radical” Islam as the most virulent form of the Islamic virus; it is what directly threatens us.

If the wizardry of modern technology could develop a precision-guided weapon that would wipe out all radical Muslims, the remainder would be relatively harmless, and peace would become possible.

It may well be that the moderate remnant would eventually generate radicals in its midst, the way bad meat generates maggots. But we don’t know this for certain, and to advocate the extermination of millions of people based on the opinion that their peaceful behavior might someday endanger us is, to put it mildly, irresponsible.

It’s like the difference between Communism and EU Socialism. The former was deadly, and had to be hunted down and destroyed. However, as repugnant as EuSoc is, it is not something we could or should go to war over.

My gut feeling is that even if Islam has its radical organs surgically removed, it will continue to generate the memes that seek to destroy us, and that we will have to deal with it eventually. But my gut feeling is not enough to justify the extermination of millions of people who have hitherto been harmless.

It’s unfortunate that Gates of Vienna, in your view, lacks the requisite virtual testosterone to go whole hog and join the “Nuke the Ragheads” bandwagon. Fortunately, that’s why God created Blogger, and you are welcome to create your own forum to press home your opinions on the like-minded — who probably far outnumber those who agree with Dymphna and me.

As for your seconder: the fact that most Muslims do “want us subjugated to dhimmitude and to overrun the world — [they are] just not ambitious enough to do it” is not enough for me to advocate their extermination or forcible conversion. Many Hindus long for the day when the whole world is Hindu, but we are not going after the Hindus because of their feelings. Heck, I’m a Christian, and I would be happy if everyone in the world became Christian and acknowledged Jesus as their savior, but I can still accept and get along with people of different religions.

It’s not what people think, feel, or want. It’s not about their hatred of the infidel. It’s about how they act on their feelings and beliefs that should govern policy towards them. The behavior of Muslims who are trying to kill us right now is the issue, and that is what makes me designate them as “radical”.

I suspect that Islam itself, acting under the guidance of the Koran, may well keep generating homicidal maniacs who attempt to destroy civilization. When it becomes clear that this is the case, I will advocate the eradication of Islam itself.

But not before then.

La Nouvelle Peste

The Four Horsemen, by Albrecht DürerLast week I wrote about Islam, especially radical Islam, as a virus within the complex information system that we call Western civilization. There is something about the simplified and dumbed-down Wahhabi version of Islam that is adept at exploiting the weak points in Western culture. Within the prisons and in the underclass, among the intelligentsia of the academy and the apparatchiks of the media: in these places Islamism finds the West’s weak spots and germinates its spores. Where it does not convert, it co-opts, and any immunological defenses against the growth of the organism are thus neutralized.

Such is this pathogenic infection. But what is the pathogen’s host?

In biological systems it can be an individual cell (viruses), an organ (cancer), or the entire organism (bacterial infections). In electronic information systems it can be a single computer or an entire network. In a culture it can be a country, a language group, or an entire civilization. However, all cultural viruses establish themselves via the individual, within what I have called a person’s cultural template, the acquired system which includes all information that is not instinctual — language, mores, customs, religion, etc. A successful pathogenic invader finds the weak point in the template, neutralizes its defenses, and then takes over.

Any ideas that spread successfully within a culture can be viewed through this analogy. They do not have to be pathological; for example, Christianity and the scientific method, just to name two, were systems of ideas which replicated themselves throughout Europe and its colonies, helping to create the modern civilization whose benefits we enjoy.

But a successful meme can just as easily be destructive, and cause damage to the culture and death to millions of people before it kills its host or is stopped by newly-evolved cultural antibodies. Success isn’t determined by the “goodness” of an idea, only by the efficacy of its replication.

And this new Islamic plague has proven to be very successful indeed, not just at replication but at exporting its Third World pathology to locations thousands of miles from its home base. Where did it come from? It didn’t arise ab initio; it must have mutated from previous forms.

Historical Islam, as transmitted by the genotype in the Koran, is an obvious source. But why this sudden new virulence in the last three-quarters of a century?

As I made clear in my post about Hizb ut-Tahrir, modern versions of Islam are recombinant organisms, composites of traditional Islam mixed with the Socialist virus that so plagued the 20th century. These two viruses have exchanged strands of DNA, and the virulence of Islam contains an enhanced and mutated copy of virulent Socialism.

The fierce Salafist and Wahhabi variants of Islam can be followed back through their genetic history. Sayyid Qutb and Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab are relatively recent examples of the violence and intolerance of Islam; yet it seems that the closer a Muslim adheres to the text of the Koran, the more Salafist his behavior becomes. As a template for pathogenic replication, the Koran is a fairly stable source.

If you follow the evolution of the Socialist strand backwards into the 19th century, you will find a point of evolutionary divergence, when Marx’s ideas mutated into two different strains. The first was what might be called Democratic Socialism, a weaker form of the pathogen, one which has lately reached its endgame in the European Union of the 21st century. In its own way it is dangerous and destructive, but mild and slow-acting compared with its violent cousin.

Revolutionary Socialism, on the other hand, proved very adept at replicating and spreading throughout the world. It eventually destroyed the substrate which sustained it, but in the meantime the Socialist plague managed to kill and impoverish untold millions of people.

Karl Marx was a major propagator of the Socialist virus, but how did he catch it?

Marx’s Socialism was itself a mutant form of the Romantic notion that uncorrupted human nature, if allowed to return to its original state, would produce Utopia, a heaven on earth. This meme was able to explode when it was hybridized with science, or I should say, “Science”. Marx’s creed was Scientific Socialism, but it was no more scientific than Scientology is.

By the mid-19th century the deity-free creed of Science had begun to replace God as the explanation for the extant cosmos, and the sound that everyone of intellect heard was a melancholy, long, withdrawing roar as the sea of faith retreated down the naked shingles of the world. This process weakened our cultural immune system so that the Socialist virus was able to spread unchecked through the soft tissue of Western civilization.

And the Romantic notion of the perfectibility of human nature, the virus that gave enlightened folk their glimpse down the road to a secular paradise — where did that meme come from?

Moving further back towards Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his Noble Savage, we stumble over the French Revolution.

The bloody uprising that began in 1789, with its severed heads on pikes, mounds of corpses in the street, screaming mobs beating noblewomen to death in back alleys — sound familiar? This was the primary mutation that birthed the deadly Socialist virus. In a way, the 20th century began in 1789, and Islam is only too happy to continue it into the 21st.

The modern recombinants: Jean-Paul Ahmadinejad and Osama bin Robespierre.

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The West’s cultural immune system has been severely weakened by the corruption of the academic and media élites and their co-optation by the Islamists. Muslim agitprop flows continuously into the media feeds through which most people gain information about the world, distorting the natural responses that would otherwise emerge in the face of our present danger.

We need to form new antigens.

Fortunately, this is already happening, thanks to the internet and other alternative forms of communication, which allow different “narratives” of modernity. The memes of the blogosphere spread rapidly against the politically correct current because they are more congruent with what the average person experiences as the truth.

What can we do to aid this process?

The typical reader of Gates of Vienna is already inoculated, and possesses the cultural antibodies that will help him fend off the invading virus. The trolls and lefties who wander through here have already been infected or compromised by pathological memes, and they will take nothing from our words here that will change their minds.

But there is a large group of people, perhaps the majority, which has neither been inoculated nor infected as yet; these are the folks within whom the new antigens may develop.

The process will only occur at the margin, in subtle ways that may not be immediately obvious. Screaming slogans and name-calling are not effective; these only strengthen the barriers that keep new ideas from spreading. Persuasion is a long and difficult process as long there is no immediate and deadly danger to speed it along.

Last weekend when we were on vacation we stayed with a good friend of ours, a standard old-style liberal. She’s anti-Bush, a Kerry voter, favors the welfare state and abortion — the usual positions — but she’s not a moonbat.

So, when I talked to her, I was careful to avoid the keywords that would raise the barriers that keep out new information. I mentioned Iran and its nukes, and told her about Jamaat ul-Fuqra and its remote compounds in Virginia and other states. We had an interesting discussion.

She listened carefully and without antagonism, but who knows if it made any difference? All I can do is scatter the seeds — some will fall in the thorns and others on rocky ground, but a few will sprout and grow.

That’s really all we can do, unless we’re among the brave men and women who bear arms to defend our country on the front lines of this war.

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The bottom line is that a deadly and destructive virus will inevitably destroy its host, or be destroyed by a host’s newly-evolved defenses.

It’s an open question as to how much death and havoc Islamic virulence will cause before this process runs its course. But the inner logic of the pathogenic system compels such an outcome; we can reassure ourselves with the knowledge that the virus will not be around for long.

    This is not the way of Tao.
    Whatever is contrary to Tao will not last long
                  — from The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, Chapter 55

Muslim Collaboration in the Holocaust

The Mufti of Jerusalem and the NazisPastorius has sent a note reminding me of the excellent video from German television, “Hitler, The Mufti Of Jerusalem And Modern Islamo Nazism“. It’s about the Mufti, Muhammed Amin al-Husseini, and his collaboration with the Nazis before and during the Second World War.

And here’s some more information about the Mufti’s activities, from Muftism and Nazism:

The Berlin based headquarters of the Mufti controlled almost a world-wide net of collaborators. Sponsored by German money he extended his claws to the Middle East, as well as to other areas where Muslims lived. His main activities were:

1.   Radio propaganda;
2.   Espionage and fifth column activities in the Middle East;
3.   Organising Muslims into military units in Axis-occupied countries; and
4.   Establishing some German controlled Arab Legions and the Arab Brigade.

He visited the Balkans, had his picture taken saluting Hitler, met Ante Pavelic, the Croatian “butcher” and dictator, and was even in touch with Emperor Hirohito of Japan. Also, he was in charge of supervising Axis propaganda to Muslims all over the world and himself went on the radio on several occasions and his broadcasts were among the most violent pro-Axis utterances ever produced. He had at his disposal no less than six “freedom stations”… urging the Arabs of Palestine and Moslems all over the world, including those in the United States, to rise against the Allies, join the fifth column, commit acts of sabotage, and kill the Jews… In addition, Haj Amin supplied the Middle East with propaganda papers and pamphlets in Arabic.

His greatest achievement was, however, the recruitment of tens of thousands of the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania to the Waffen SS. His Arab Legions later participated in massacring tens of thousands of partisan Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. In 1943 there were 20,000 Muslims under arms in “his” division of the Waffen SS, the Handschar… Nevertheless, the Balkan adventure was only his spare-time activity because his main interest was the fight against World Jewry. In the annual protest against the Balfour Declaration, which in 1943 was staged in the large Luftwaffe hall in Berlin, the Mufti attacked the “Anglo-Saxon and Jewish conspiracy” phrase he so frequently used, and said: “The Treaty of Versailles was a disaster for the Germans as well as for the Arabs. But the Germans know how to get rid of the Jews. That which brings us close to the Germans and sets us in their camp is that up to day.”

A favorite canard from Muslims (and the Left) is that “the Jews are just like the Nazis”. But the story of the Mufti is a sobering reminder — as if we needed one — that such assertions are what psychologists refer to as “projection”.

Dymphna the Delinquent Does Her Tardy Council Winners’ Posting

Watcher’s CouncilAn extremely belated account of Watcher’s Council results for August 11th. I swear, I’ll be late for my own funeral (actually, there are those who claim I already am, but never mind).

Council posts:

The winner was We Could Be Heroes by Done With Mirrors, a meditation on the nature of heroism occasioned by reading a review of the movie World Trade Center, and relating it to his own experience in an emergency.

…when I thought about the hundreds of firefighters who ran to those terrible towers that were raining down molten metal and flaming people like tears, and who went into them — went up into them — and died there, I felt the flicker of connection. Like most other people who heard the stories, probably, I wondered if I would have been so brave, if I was made from the same stuff as those young men, and I had that one memory to say, “I think so.”

Second place was A Few Points That Are Not Morally Equivalent by AbbaGav, a diatribe against moral equivalence.

So I say it plainly: the morality of Israel’s self-defense is superior to the morality of those who attack her, decade after decade, through wars of annihilation and pizzeria suicide bombings alike.

ShrinkWrapped was in third place with Clans of the Alphane Moon, a discussion of the similarities between the modern Left and a schizophrenic during a psychotic break:

There are many similarities between the Arab/Muslim world and the world of the left and their allies in the media. All three clans have failed, and failing, models of the world. The modern world has repudiated communism almost completely and is well on the way to repudiating traditional welfare state liberalism; the media is facing a frightening environment where they no longer have a monopoly on information and its dissemination and are having significant difficulty adjusting to the change; the Islamist world view has been stagnant for 1400 years but only now has the contrast between the modern world and their failure become inescapable. Israel, to a large extent, and America in a much greater way, are the messengers of their doom and they are becoming increasingly shrill and delusional in their agitated and panicky attempts to maintain their sense of themselves as important.

Fourth was Joshuapundit with The War Against the Jews and the War Against Us. He reminds us of what’s important:

The last chapter of a 1,500 year old struggle is about to be played out.

And whether we like it or not, the War Against the Jews is a war against the rest of us, and it’s not just happening in the Middle East anymore.


In first place was One Cosmos with Israel Has No Right to Exist. Gagdad Bob contemplates the state of anti-Semitism in the world today:

Let’s take the example of Mel Gibson. I don’t care about him as a person, and I have no interest in his particular case. Rather, I want to dispassionately focus more on the content of those things he uttered in his drunken rant. Where did they come from? How could such ideas even exist? But they do exist, and they have existed from the foundation of the world. It is not about the Jews, but about what the Jews represent and symbolize. Because of what they symbolize, they attract and literally generate their opposite, like a myth to defame.

“F*****g Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Again, not only untrue, but impossible. On the other hand, because of the thought-blocking effects of political correctness, it seems as if people are incapable of making the banal observation that Islam is quite literally responsible for almost all of the wars in the world.

Taking second place with A Photojournalist Weighs in on the Adnan Hajj Scandal, The Shape of Days interviews a freelance photographer about the process of her work. Through it one gets an insight into the business that created the “fauxtography” scandal so recently revealed in Lebanon.

Third-place winner was Islamist Bandwagons by Abu Aardvark, which looks at the gathering momentum of the Islamist movements:

From the perspective of the Saudis and Egyptians and others, promoting the Sunni-Shia divide was a form of divide and conquer — I think that they hoped that by framing it around “Sunni vs. Shia” they could prevent the consolidation of the “al-Jazeera” frame of “popular movement vs. the Axis of Israel/America/Arab regimes.” They failed. The latter frame has overwhelmingly won out, reflected and supported not only by al-Jazeera but by the Muslim Brotherhood, most press commentary, most political parties, and most of the street demonstrations over the last few weeks.

Read these and all the rest at the Watcher’s place.

An Icelandic Women Converts to Islam

Icelandic sheep in front of a glacierAnna Linda Traustadóttir was born a Christian in Iceland in 1966. Forty years later she is a devout Muslim living in Denmark.

You can read her story in Islam Online. Her English is very good, since she was raised in Canada and the U.S.A. She got her undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montréal, but does not mention her major. Afterwards she wound up studying Arabic in Cairo, Damascus, and other locations in the Muslim world.

During that time she learned to dislike the Christian faith. Since she was anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian, Judaism did not appeal to her. She considered Buddhism and Hinduism, but found them lacking as well.

After she married a Muslim, it was Islam that most attracted Ms. Traustadóttir. However, she says that she had to overcome the anti-Muslim prejudices with which she had been indoctrinated when she was in North America:

I’d grown up in the States, raised on American movies, which always portrayed Arabs as fundamentalists, radicals, women-oppressors, religious fanatics, terrorists, never normal, average people.

Yes, I’ve noticed that, too. Haven’t you? All that blatantly racist anti-Arab propaganda in American popular culture. It’s very unfair to Arabs to portray them as fanatics when they’ve proven time and again that they’re just “average people” like you and me.

People like Mohammed Atta and Mohammed Reza Taheriazar. People like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The more she read, the more excited she became:

When I read the Qur’an, Islam’s holiest book, I thought it was beautiful, so scientific, so compassionate, so feminist! Nearly all the books I’d ever read about Islam, all written by non-Muslims, showed Islam in a negative light. Those people who wrote against Islam sometimes gave partial quotes from the Qur’an, leaving out the rest of the verse, or they would translate the verses incorrectly, on purpose or by mistake. I knew enough Arabic to know that what I was reading was unlike anything I’d ever read.

Like Ms. Traustadóttir, I’ve noticed the prominence of feminism in Islam. To quote the renowned Islamic prophet Isa: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The fruits of Islam’s treatment of women have repeatedly revealed its deep-rooted feminism.

But what excited her most was all the contributions that Islam has made to science. I was surprised to find out that many of today’s scientific marvels were prophesied more than a millennium ago in the Koran!

So much science, so much knowledge that has been only recently discovered. I mean the Prophet Mohammad mentions: black holes, space travel, DNA and genetic science, evolution (transformation and mutation), geology, oceanography, embryonic development, aquatic origins of life… WOW! I had always heard that the Qur’an was basically just a watered-down version of the Bible, but none of this was in the Bible! I wondered how someone over 1400 years ago could have written anything like this! Some of these ideas were only discovered this century. Then I thought, well, Arab scientists, astronomers, mathematicians, cartographers were so advanced for that time, maybe some of them got together and wrote a book, loosely based on the Torah and the Gospels.

Wow. She’s just about convinced me.

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I’m the first to admit ignorance about the Koran. I can’t read any Arabic, and, although I have read extensively from the translations of Koranic passages selected by Robert Spence, Bat Ye’or, Serge Trifkovic, Andrew Bostom, etc., I have no firsthand knowledge of the book. All the writers mentioned above have an agenda, and have presumably taken selected quotes out of context to further that agenda.

So it seems that I must have been misled. But I can’t help feeling a little bit of disquiet over passages like this one:

My husband, son and I stayed a month in Malaysia. What an incredible place! Of Islamic areas, I had only been to the Arab Middle-East and here was a whole new Islamic world in South-East Asia! […] Under the former Muslim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Islam had a revival. He wants to unite all the Islamic countries, not just in a so-called Islamic Union, but he also wants one currency, a gold dinar. What a visionary! Islam needs more men and women like him!

Based on what happens on the fringes of Islam, the a united Muslim Caliphate can only serve to make the non-Muslim nervous. What about those Christians in Indonesia and Nigeria? What will happen to them?

But Ms. Traustadóttir glosses over such concerns. To her Islam is a glorious prospect, even a feminist one, for the women of the world.

If someone like me can become Muslim, there’s hope for anybody!

Well, I guess so.

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After lengthy discussions with her husband, Anna Linda Traustadóttir converted to Islam and changed her name to Núr. She seems very happy and enthusiastic about her newfound faith. But it’s not surprising that she didn’t return to Iceland to practice her religion: according to the statistics in my “Umma” database, Iceland, with a population of 296,737, has just 321 Muslims, or 0.1% of the population. Denmark, as we all know, has a much larger Muslim population.

Even so, Icelandic Muslims need not feel disconnected from the greater Umma, since there is a website serving Muslims in Iceland. It’s all in Icelandic, so I can’t tell you much about it. Maybe some of our Danish readers can translate it.

It will be of interest to revisit the Muslims in Iceland in five or ten years’ time and see how they fare then.

Hat tip: Harry Palmer.

The Best of Friends

If Dymphna and I are Nazis, we must be on the best of terms with Islam.

The Mufti of Jerusalem and HimmlerCommenter Yorkshireminer sends this instructive photo of Hitler’s right-hand man, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, shaking hands with the Mufti of Jerusalem.

During World War Two, Muhammed Amin al-Husseini gave his wholehearted support to Hitler’s genocidal program against the Jews. On this issue, at least, the Mufti and the Nazis found themselves in complete agreement.

It is unlikely that Hitler was granting honorary membership in the Herrenvolk to the Mufti and the Arabs; the alliance reflected a concordance of interests. Once the Jews were eliminated, no doubt the Germans would have found it necessary to fully subjugate the Arabs, who were, after all, racial cousins of the Jews.

But first there was the Final Solution to attend to…

The Right Turban for Hitler

Update: Thanks to our knowledgeable commenters and the links they supplied, I have what I think is the final word on Hitler’s turban. Check out the revised image and see what you think.

Call it “What the Well-Dressed Islamo-Nazi is Wearing”.

Heil Allah!Commenter Mihir Shah informs us that the the turban I used for Hitler and Himmler in my last post was in fact a Sikh turban, and might confuse our readers.

I knew that the Shia wear black turbans, and that’s why I chose it, so the difference must be one of style. I have switched our Nazi friends to white turbans of a slightly different style.

These new turbans are probably not correct either, and I hope our readers will give me more feedback. Maybe I can keep adjusting them until they definitively resemble standard Muslim headgear.

Remember: Allahu Akbar — It’s The New Sieg Heil!

Iraq the Model versus Darwin in Baghdad

This past Sunday, there was a bloody terrorist attack on Shi’ite pilgrims. The attacks weren’t unexpected, given that this is an annual holy pilgrimage involving thousands of people. Last year, over a thousand of them died in a panicky stampede after mortars were fired at their mosque, which holds the mausoleum of the revered Imam Musa Kadhim, who was martyred (by other Muslims) about 13 centuries ago.

And the beat goes on.

There were governmental attempts to protect the pilgrims, but many of them took shortcuts to get to mosque, thus placing themselves at risk. It was this group that suffered the most damage.

Iraq the Model says enough is enough: “This Has Got to Be Stopped”:

What happened today [August 20th] in Baghdad was not something unexpected, almost every crowded religious ceremony in Iraq over the past few years was targeted.

In fact, every gathering of crowds of civilians makes a soft target that attracts attacks from one or another type of criminals and everyone here knows this yet no one found the will or determination to stop letting this happen over and over again.

It is true that the constitution of Iraq guarantees the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of practicing religion but when practicing these rights means putting people’s life in danger and worse as it may escalate already exiting tensions then these rights need to be put on the shelf for a while.

Iraq is a country in a state of war with terrorists and extremists and those enemies must not be offered a chance to cause more death, inflict more damage on the society and provoke unfavorable reactions and that’s why I believe it’s the government’s duty to protect lives and avoid offering the terrorists and extremists a free chance to use occasions like today’s to further destabilize Baghdad.

What I’m trying to say is that Iraq is at war and the government has the constitutional cover through the “National Safety Law” to prohibit all sorts of mass gatherings that often end up with tragic loss in civilian lives until the government is sure about its ability to protect such gatherings. Iraq is in an emergency situation therefore the government must not shy from making whatever decisions to protect the people and keep the society form frictions that might result in catastrophic outcomes.

Omar has a point, but it is not one that will be well-received by libertarians, who loudly complain over here about the possible infringement of their civil liberties at the drop of a library card. Here, we are allergic to suggestions of government control of crowds, even if those crowds are being targeted and women and children are being killed.

Several ideas come to mind at this juncture: in the Shi’ite tradition of martyrdom, the idea of dying on a pilgrimage, while it is not something to look forward to, seems to have a sense of inevitability about it. Perhaps it is inherent in Shia Islam, which is founded on martyrdom and being on the losing side.

Second, the passive martyrdom experienced while on a pilgrimage is probably connected to the (also foundational) idea of Jihad. It’s simply less aggressively murderous toward others.

Third, I don’t think the depth of Sunni hatred toward Iraqi Shi’ites has been fully plumbed, at least by non-Muslims. In Iraq, the Sunnis were in charge; they are sore losers — as are the members of all tribal cultures: thin-skinned, envious, and living from an idea of scarcity. For Islam, the notion of “live-and-let-live” is deeply foreign. Islam, especially Iraqi Sunni Islam, is angrily triumphalist. They don’t do “win/win” situations. In fact, they probably can’t comprehend such a situation. It’s “death/destruction and then winner-takes-all.”

The problem is, it will take a long, long time to wipe out the majority of Iraqis. Not that the Sunni elements aren’t giving it the good old college try. And the Shi’ites continue to play into their hands. In a way, what choice do they have? They can let the Sunnis take over and then lose anyway, or they can try to go about their lives — and perhaps survive, Allah willing.

Omar has a good idea, one that would save lives and make Iraq more peaceable. But it just shows how his thinking has evolved into a Western version of ideals, one of which is the preservation of life.

Perhaps he could think of it in Darwinian terms: those Shi’ites who are staying home and avoiding crowds are the smart ones, and it is these who will survive to continue the process Iraq has begun in learning self-governance.

Meanwhile, Omar’s current concerns for his fellow citizens are not a worry here…yet. When the terrorists start striking randomly or the Avian flu finally mutates, then we shall see what we Americans are really made of…

Who knows; we may be — sooner or later — living through the Age of Quaratine. “Civil” liberties may not be possible in a bloody era of mass random violence or wide-spread disease. For adumbrations of this new era, see the latest air terror story: Northwest Jet Turns back; 12 Arrested.

Slogan Contest Winners

Vienna CrescentThe judges have reached a verdict, and we have a winner in the Counter-Jihad Slogan Contest. Pamela at Atlas Shrugs, Francis at L’Ombre de L’Olivier, and a4g at Point Five had their work cut out for them, what with 156 entries from 61 different contributors.

The grand prize (this virtual Vienna Crescent) goes to ZionistYoungster for:

Allahu Akbar — It’s The New Sieg Heil!

Second   End Terrorism — Kill Terrorists!
    — Da Bear
Allahu Heil!
Third   Remember Constantinople!
    — Dan Kauffman
Fourth   United against Jihad
    — blubi101
Fifth   Weakness Is Provocation
    — cathyf
Honorable Mention   War or Slavery — Your choice
    — shoprat
  Danes don’t pay Danegeld
    — Crusader Coyote
  You may not be interested in the Jihad, but the Jihad is interested in you!
    — phil
  Islam is the only religion in which lying, stealing, and killing are virtues.
    — Russet Shadows
  I bid you stand, Men of the West!
    — SBH

A special acknowledgement to ScottSA, who started the whole thing with his slogan, Let’s Stop Pretending.

And the Gates of Vienna favorite was from Jason Pappas: Send a jihadi to paradise.

Thanks to everyone who contributed. This contest has sparked suggestions for additional ones, so stay tuned…

Three Versions of Saddam’s Trial

The MSM is covering Saddam’s trial, which is entering the phase concerned with his gassing of Kurds — Saddam’s genocidal “experiments” on his own people. Ho hum, it’s an inside-page story by now. For everyone but the Kurds, at any rate.

According to The Daily Mail, “It’s Not HIM Who Should Be On Trial” — it is America and the allies she dragged into the war in Iraq:

Of course, Saddam was a violent dictator, but every government in that region is some sort of dictatorship.

Moreover, the violence inflicted on Iraq by the British and the Americans in 2003 to overthrow Saddam has been of a similar magnitude to that which he inflicted on Iraqis to keep his power before then. Many Iraqis will ask where is the difference.

Ordinary Iraqis have suffered bitterly for the last three years. On the first night of bombing alone, in March 2003, the Americans dropped the equivalent of seven Hiroshima nuclear bombs on Baghdad.

There has been fighting and civil war ever since, and Iraq is now a river of blood. The torture committed by the Americans in the main Baghdad prison at Abu Ghraib has come to symbolise the brutality of the whole occupation.

This is breathtaking moral equivalence. Notice the lack of statistics. Notice the shameless moral outrage. Notice particularly the conclusions drawn without the evidence to back them up.

The EuroNews gives some statistics that belie The Daily Mail’s contention:

Seven leading members of the former regime, including Saddam’s cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, are accused of war crimes against the Kurds in 1987-88, in which it is estimated that 50,000-100,000 people died, many of them gassed. The first witness for the prosecution appeared — unusually for these trials — named and unhidden by a screen. Ali Mustafa Hama told the court how planes had bombed his village: “the gas smelled of rotten apples… releasing greenish smoke”. Then his neighbours began dying in agony.

Umm, just how is this horror “inflicted” on the Kurds by Saddam of similar moral magnitude to the war in Iraq? Oh, that’s right: how could we forget Abu Ghraib? Of course some lewd and humiliating photos are eqivalent to mass graves. I’d love to see the moral compass these people use. It must be quite an instrument.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) filed this opinion piece:

The current case concerns his Anfal (“spoils of war”) military campaign of 1987-1988 against the Kurds, in which tens of thousands are alleged to have been killed and some 2,000 villages razed. The charges include genocide because of the targeting of a specific ethnic group, making Saddam only the second world leader in our recollection to be so formally charged. The first was the late, and unmourned, Slobodan Milosevic.


The horrifying testimony is also a reminder that, despite the current problems in Iraq, the U.S. decision to topple Saddam was an act of pre-emptive global hygiene. The habit of many American liberals is to deplore the thugs of the world from afar but then never do anything about them (see encyclopedia entries under Rwanda, Darfur), or to pass the buck to the U.N. (see multiple entries; in particular Lebanon, current crisis).

In the case of Saddam, the U.S. and its allies finally did act to rid the Middle East of a megalomaniac who had invaded Kuwait, attacked Iran, gassed his own people, tossed out U.N. weapons inspectors, harbored terrorists including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, retained the infrastructure for making WMD even if he lacked stockpiles (see the Duelfer report), plotted to kill a former American President, and harbored a grudge against the U.S. that could have played out in many ways to harm Americans.

Countering The Daily Mail’s contention that Iraqis will ask “where is the difference [between the war and Saddam’s regime], the EuroNews found a different attitude:

Many people questioned in the streets by reporters said they hoped the trials would end soon, as Saddam’s guilt was beyond doubt, and the sooner he was executed the sooner terrorism would end.

I agree with The Wall Street Journal: executing The Butcher of Baghdad will be “an act of pre-emptive global hygiene.”

Too bad it couldn’t have been a more summary form of justice when Saddam was literally run to ground. Had he not survived his capture, we might have gotten our military home sooner. Hindsight is always easier, isn’t it?

Perhaps the next time — and there will most certainly be one of those — we will have learned to do what is best done quickly.

Meanwhile, the trial continues on the inside pages…no one is paying much attention to Saddam anymore. No one but his surviving victims. I, for one, wish him great success in his fast. May it be mortal.

The Glittering Eye’s current council post on Iranian and Turkish shelling of the PKK (the Kurdish Workers’ Party) bases inside Iraq reminded me of a post on Gates from last May: “Are the Kurds a Steam-Valve?”

The heart of the problem is the Kurds…they never give up, they never go away. The Kurds are Sunni Muslims living in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Their distinct culture has persisted through millennia, and through years of active cultural suppression or the occasional attempt at genocide. In Turkey, till very recently, they weren’t permitted to speak their own language in public. In Syria, where they make up ten percent of the population, they are denied citizenship.

Way back when, in his Fourteen Points, Woodrow Wilson promised the Kurds their own country. In the Treaty of Sèvres, in 1920, they were granted sovereignty. However, Ataturk threw out that agreement in 1923 and the Kurds and Turks have been at it ever since.

At the time, I reported the massing of Turkish forces on the Iraqi border as a springtime ritual of Kurd-killing. Evidently, it’s a late summer festival also.

During my research for that original post on the Kurds, I discovered that Kurds and Jews are quite closely related. Why are we not surprised? A stubborn group perennially survives in the face of death threats from three nations, refusing to succumb or to bend.

Just another subset of God’s stubborn ones.

Just Like the Nazis

Last weekend I discussed the idea of Islam, particularly radical Islam, as a virus within our cultural information systems. It provoked this response from a commenter:

You got it! If you replace “radical Islam” with “Jews” — you’ll find, that it’s literal the same comment, that was held in the NAZI propaganda film “Die Juden sind unser Unglueck”- where the Jews were compared with rats and needed to be completely erradicated. REALPUNDIT understood it well: He demanded a stronger chemo or even nuclear medicine.

I am an average german citizen and I understand it well either: This BLOG is intellectual propaganda for MASS MURDER.

Ooookay… so we’re propagandizing mass murder here. I’m glad to find that out. Gates of Vienna = Nazis; it’s not the first time we’ve encountered this particular equivalence.

The Nazi comparison is used to foreclose any further argument, to shut down any additional discussion. Tar your opponent with the Hitler brush so that his rhetorical feet will be stuck to the sidewalk, and he’ll be unable to defend his position effectively. Or so you hope.

The Nazis pioneered the Autobahn, so the Interstate highway system should never have been built, right?

The Nazis were big on hygiene, so I guess we should go back to outhouses and chamber pots.

I refuse to cave to this species of argument. If radical Islam does not resemble a particularly virulent virus, tell me where the analogy breaks down. If combating the Islamofascists in the world of ideas with informational antibodies is not a good idea, then tell me why. But don’t call me a Nazi.

First of all, any argument the Nazis used was about race, but I am arguing about culture and ideas; race has nothing to do with it.

And notice that my argument, which held that an immunological response within our communication systems was in order, is made equivalent to mass murder. That is:

Proposing a war of ideas = Killing millions of people

Now that’s the same argument that the Islamists use. They say that publishing a cartoon in a newspaper is equivalent to murdering Muslims. They maintain that insulting the Prophet is equivalent to terrorism. That cutting off someone’s head is equivalent to saying something bad about Islam.

Perhaps without realizing it, our commenter has accepted the idea that an expression of opinion is the same as an act of violence. That’s why the Left habitually segues so readily from arguing with its opponents to torching cars, looting Starbucks, and punching people with whom they disagree. Those people are Nazis, after all, so it’s all right to hurt them.

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Human cultures are living information systems, and the ideas which spring up and spread are like DNA mutating and replicating within the cultural templates we all carry in our heads. Nothing I say here is new; it’s all made up of nucleotide fragments I’ve picked up here and there in my reading. They may mutate a little bit before they replicate, but they’re not new.

A healthy and well-functioning system of ideas is like a complex organism that is well adapted to its environment. It has lots of chromosomes, complex and highly-evolved interdependent systems, and a stable relationship with its surroundings.

But dangerous and destructive ideas — like Fascism, Communism, and Islamism — are like virulent pathogens. They may not last long, but before they are wiped out by their hosts’ immune systems they can wreak immense havoc and suffering.

I guess that makes me a Nazi.

And now, after reading this, you want to go out and kill millions of people, don’t you?

Terrible Tuesday

Today is Terrible Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006, the anniversary of Saladin’s victory over the crusaders. Mad Jad, the Bad Boy of Tehran, is supposed to do something today that will make us infidels quake in our boots and rue the day we disrespected Islam, the Prophet, and Persia, in that order.

I woke up this morning and opened the laptop with some trepidation to look at the news. It’s already quitting time in Tehran; whatever was going to happen has surely already happened.

Hmm… Nothing much going on. Is this the Terrible Tuesday story?

Iran hinted Tuesday that its response to a Western incentive package aimed at persuading it to roll back its nuclear program would include constructive ideas that it hopes will open the way for negotiations.

Tehran reiterated Tuesday its intention to meet its self-imposed deadline later Tuesday to reply to the package. The official Iranian News Agency said it would deliver its response at 4 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. EDT)

So Iran is going to stall a little while longer with “constructive ideas” and “sincere dialogue” and etc blah yak, all that tired diplospeak we’ve become so accustomed to over the last few years, especially when the UN is involved.

Is that it? This is what Terrible Tuesday will bring?

If it were Jacques Chirac or Jose Zapatero who pledged something and didn’t deliver it by the deadline, no one would notice. After all, it’s just another campaign promise by a cynical politician; there’s no expectation that he will ever meet it.

But this is Mad Jad himself, Dr. Evil of the Axis of Evil, the Head Bad Dude of the whole world. As M. Simon has said, all he has is his street cred with the Muslim masses. Take that away, and he’s just a cheap hoodlum in a bad suit.

I’ll tell you, if the hands of the clock move up to midnight in Tehran with no more than this, we ought to start blowing the biggest collective raspberry we can manage at Mr. Ahmadinejad. If all he has is his street cred, then a good concentrated dissing will take him down.

Have a laugh at his expense! Dr. Sanity should write doggerel mocking him. Point Five can do one of their classic satires. Cartoonists can lampoon ol’ Halo Head up one side and down the other.

After all, since our governments refuse to tackle the threat of the mullahs, this is the only weapon we’ve got.

Update: Dr. Sanity has answered the call! She’s riffing on Maria Muldaur:

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
The mullah’s smiling faces
Must be a little red

You’ll have to visit the Doc to read the rest of the lyrics…

Bulletin From Delaware

I’m posting this on the wi-fi in a Starbucks near the beach. We’ve been holed up in the Delaware backwoods for the last two days, with limited access to the internet.

Today we travel to the DC area, and will be there tomorrow when the big day – what is August 22nd to be called? “A-Day”? “I-Day”? – dawns. I hope we don’t have trouble traveling out of our nation’s capital tomorrow morning…

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This part of Delaware (near Millsboro) is associated with the Nanticoke ndian tribe. Yes, they’re “Indians”; no sign of any Native Americans as far as I can tell.

They don’t have a reservation, but they own most of the land in the area. There’s an annual Nanticoke event called the Pow-Wow coming up next month, which I will be sorry to miss.

Posting will continue to be light until tomorrow night. But don’t give up on us! Argue with each other in the comments while you wait…