Back to Woik

As you all know, yesterday marked the conclusion of our Autumn fundraiser. We owe a great debt of gratitude to everyone who donated to help us keep going for another quarter.

The theme of last week’s bleg was “Third Rails”: political and social issues that cannot be touched in public discourse. The necessity of writing all those posts about PC shibboleths drew my attention to news items that highlighted the untouchable topics. Believe me, there were plenty of them — the probable prosecution of Geert Wilders for touching the Third Rail of mass immigration was only the latest.

But what about the first and second rails? That is, the mandatory tracks that the wheels of public discussion are require to roll on? Those rails keep political conversations moving along the prescribed route, with no chance of veering off into boulders and brambles on either side of the track.

For example, the first rail might be anthropogenic climate change, concerning which the science is Absolutely Settled. Stay on that rail!

And the second rail might be gay marriage. Don’t let your wheels slip off that rail, or you may end up as a “bigot” — and prosecuted!

Many, many multiple rails. The most prominent one these days is the “nothing to do with Islam” rail. It’s getting a little cracked and rusty and pitted, but the wheels of the train are still required to follow it.

For example, a recent issue of the Islamic State’s English-language magazine bragged about their enslavement of Yezidi women, and explained the Koranic justification of it. Even CNN had to report the story in an article by Salma Abdelaziz:

In a new publication, ISIS justifies its kidnapping of women as sex slaves citing Islamic theology, an interpretation that is rejected by the Muslim world at large as a perversion of Islam. [emphasis added]

Notice the way the report made sure it stayed on the “nothing to do with Islam” rail.

How does the reporter know that the “interpretation… is rejected by the Muslim world at large”?

How does the reporter know anything about “the Muslim world at large”?

Does the fact that she has a Muslim name give her the credentials to know the opinions of more that a billion people, without any statistical research? Without conducting multiple surveys? Without collating the contents of thousands of books, newspapers, magazines, letters to the editor, and websites? Without reading the Koran and the entirety of the sahih hadith?

No, she just knows it. Everybody knows it, because it’s the track the media train runs on.

But ISIS is forthright and specific about the justification under Islamic law for the taking of slaves. By reporting accurately on the contents of Dabiq magazine, Ms. Abdelaziz opens up a window for CNN viewers and readers into what real Muslims — the ones who read their scriptures and emulate their prophet — truly believe.

The article continues:

“One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar — the infidels — and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah, or Islamic law,” the group says in an online magazine published Sunday.


The rationalization for a return to slavery — repudiated around the world — coincided with the release of a Human Rights Watch report on crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis in Iraq based on interviews with 76 displaced people in Dohuk.

“The Islamic State’s litany of horrific crimes against the Yazidis in Iraq only keeps growing,” said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch. “We heard shocking stories of forced religious conversions, forced marriage, and even sexual assault and slavery — and some of the victims were children.”


ISIS forced tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee their homes in August when the extremists stormed many of the community’s towns and cities in Iraqi Kurdistan. Displaced families and monitoring groups reported jihadists kidnapped hundreds of Yazidi women and girls, and many were sold or given away to militants as “spoils of war.”

The mujahideen of ISIS understand sharia better than any CNN reporters, even those with Muslim names.

And they represent the “Muslim world at large”, as far as any objective observer can determine. The oleaginous Imam Rauf and Tariq Ramadan may say otherwise, but hundreds of thousands of active participants — and hundreds of millions of approving or indifferent spectators — contradict them.

This is the real Islam.

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The final list of our donors’ far-flung locations includes just about everywhere besides the Islets of Langerhans:

Stateside: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin

Near Abroad: Canada

Far Abroad: Australia, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the UK

Regional notes

All four components of the UK were represented: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Northern England and Scotland were over-represented, however.

Canadian donors were mostly from Ontario, but we did see Quebec, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and possibly other provinces I’m forgetting.

Australians were mainly from New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria, although there was one from Northern Territory and one from South Australia.

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Come winter, we’ll see you for another week of cup-banging and arm-twisting. Look for us sometime after the mistletoe comes down, when the ground is frozen, while the first flakes are falling among “those boughs which shake against the cold, bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.”

8 thoughts on “Back to Woik

  1. You can be for gay marriage.
    You can be for unlimited immigration of Muslims.
    You can’t be both.

  2. Oh, good! My favorite Shakespearean sonnet. It’s my favorite because up until my aesthetics professor taught me HOW to read a sonnet, they looked pretty impenetrable.

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
    In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
    As after sunset fadeth in the west;
    Which by and by black night doth take away,
    Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
    In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
    That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
    As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
    Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
    This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.

    I spent about a half hour listening to various versions of 73 on You Tube but not a single one had their “breath spaces” where they should be so that you get the flow of the poem combining with its theme.

    Here are the breaks for the first quatrain:

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold when yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang upon those boughs
    which shake against the cold, bare ruined choirs,
    where late the sweet birds sang.

    Notice that the first break for breath doesn’t come until after “boughs” -so it’s a run-on till you reach “which” ( and at which you are darned glad to take a breath but the trick is not to take the huge gulping breath you’d really like to indulge. Very hard if you smoke, but Richard Burton managed).

    The second piece – “which shake against the cold, bare ruined choirs” can at least be said more slowly for they are the dirge bringing you to the heartbreak of the last six words.
    If one is fortunate to have a teacher who understands how to read a sonnet; any need for memorization takes care of itself bec you are saying the words the way Shakespeare thought them and they will stay in your mind that way. He intended that the recitation in the beginning would rush you headlong through those lines. You are, for the purposes of the poem, an old man thrashing through the fallen leaves of his past…

    This isn’t autobiographical, since WS was only 36 years old when he wrote #73. It possibly speaks to his temperament, a life lived with the Black Dog at his heels and no hope of redemption. Shakespeare is monumental, but what a desolation for him that he was an atheist. No comfort for him anywhere, except in the brief solace of words. It is a solace he was willing to share.

    • Indeed so, Dymphna. An atheist is a person with no invisible means of support, and without comparing myself with WS, it ain’t always easy.

  3. I’ve just finishing watching ‘Yusuf’ on BBC breakfast television pushing his reborn career and his new album and tour.

    Yusuf used to be known as Cat Stevens, the 70’s folksy pop-star who in “December 1977… converted to Islam and adopted the name Yusuf Islam… In 1979, he auctioned all his guitars for charity and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community.” (Wiki.)

    It seems he’s changed his name, again (he was born Steven Demetre Georgiou), no longer Yusuf Islam he’s now “known simply as Yusuf”.

    Why did he drop the Islam bit?

    Was it a commercial decision? And if it was, what was the thinking that led to the conclusion that it would be commercially advantageous to drop the ‘Islam’ tag?

    If it wasn’t a commercial decision, what was it? Religious? What is the nature of Islam’s relationship with music and did that play a part?

    And couldn’t it be seen in a metaphorical sense – that by dropping the Islam tag Yusuf wanted to communicate something to us about Islam…

    Had he been talking to any other serial name-changing pop star who’d recently changed his name to reinvent his career it’s certain programme host Bill Turnbull would have asked about it. It was the question that needed answering – but because it involved Islam it was deemed third rail and remained unasked.

    • Does dropping “Islam” from your name qualify as onomastic apostasy? We need a fatwa on this.

    • Seems that both the presenter and “Yusuf” had something in common – wanting to avoid the “I”-word at all costs…

      And in society at large, certain subjects such as Rotherham, Isis’ support in Europe or anything related to the doctrines of the Religion of Peace are becoming taboo topics… so, is this avoidance of the I-word a phenomenon that’s more widespread? Is the PC leftist modus operandi becoming: “if you can’t win the argument, change the topic”?

  4. So enslavement of kuffar women is rejected by the Muslim world at large? Although not, it seems, in Rotherham, Rochdale, Telford, Derby, Keighley, Carlisle and the multitude of other places in Britain (and likely beyond) enriched by the presence of “Asian” groomers.

  5. That business about the “settled science” reminds me of the epic dust-up, (as described in Paul de Kruif’s “Microbe Hunters”) when the French scientific establishment tried to tell Louis Pasteur that his microorganisms couldn’t be real species because such ferments were expressions of “spontaneous generation” according to the “settled science” of evolution. Pasteur was able to come up with an experiment that finished off “spontaneous generation” as a contemporary event–the swan-necked flasks, that let in air but not microbes. The sterilized growth media in those flasks, remained free of growth for over a century in the Pasteur Institute, whereas when the necks were broken on their duplicates, growth was rapid. Evolution, of course, survived the loss of spontaneous generation, and Pasteur was left free to help found the science of microbiology.
    I’m not at all sure that such a heretical experiment would have been permitted publication in our day and age. Think of what happened to that poor man who gave some evidence that water vapor might have more effect on temperatures that carbon dioxide. Political correctness is also a real danger to valid scientific research, as well as other interaction with the real world, since it limits one’s ability to simply follow the evidence where it leads.

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