[Tolo News] The silence of religious leaders on suicide kabooms is "embarrassing", northern Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor said Saturday at a ceremony commemorating Burhanuddin Rabbani ... the gentlemanly murdered legitimate president of Afghanistan... who was assassinated a year ago by a jacket wallah.
"It is really embarrassing that the religious scholars and the Ulema National Council see all the crimes and just release a statement to the President. Why do they not say to the people that those who are destroying, killing are the criminals? Killing is the biggest sin and forbidden in Islam," he said at the ceremony in Balkh's capital Mazar-e-Sharif.
Noor also said the process of peace negotiations with the Taliban is a failed one, remarking that the snuffies are not interested in peace nor show any sign of joining peace negotiations.
He added that the indiscriminate nature of suicide attacks showed this.
"They are not considering the place of these attacks. They launch attacks in bazaars, market places, mosques, wedding parties and funeral ceremonies. They just like bleeding. They are bloodthirsty," Noor said.
Rabbani was head of the government-linked Afghan High Peace Council when he was killed in his home by a suicide bomber, who posed as a negotiator, on September 20 last year.
Noor's comments come a day after the Taliban released a statement saying there was a big difference between suicide and the martyrdom of suicide bombers.
"Suicide is self-killing and martyrdom attack is seeking of martyrdom willingly," the statement said. "The reason behind suicide is frustration from life and the seeking of martyrdom is actually seeking the consent of Allah. It elevates the word of Allah and strengthens the Moslems. The objective is to frighten the enemy, kill them and eventually defeat them."
The Taliban said in the statement on its website that there were scholars who approved suicide as a form of attack, within certain "strict" conditions.
"The first condition is the loftiness of target and abstain from public casualties," it said, adding that civilian casualties were often the "sly" work of the enemy.
"It is repeatedly reminded to the Mujahidin to desist from public casualties and be cautious in choosing the target. But most of the time our sly enemy and their stooges blast bombs amid the masses and then blame Mujahidin for it. They have done it in other countries as well."
The statement ended with the Taliban lamenting the failure of the country's Mujahedeen to condemn the cruelty being inflicted on the Afghan people.
"It is a regret and even unjust that the people who call themselves Mujahidin, do not talk about Jihad in their meetings. They do not ponder upon the ways and means of ending the aggression. They do not say anything about the cruelties of enemy over the masses," it said.
[Al Ahram] President Mohamed Morsi condemned Tuesday's attacks on US diplomatic missions in Cairo and Benghazi during a presser in Brussels on Thursday. He went on to condemn the anti-Islam film that sparked the attacks, describing any insult against the Prophet Mohamed as a "red line."
"We Egyptians reject any kind of assault or insult against our prophet. I condemn and oppose all who... insult our prophet," Morsi said.
He offered his condolences on the death of Christopher Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya, and three other embassy staff, who were killed late Tuesday during an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Morsi went on to say that Islam strongly condemns the killing of innocent people. "Whoever kills a soul, it is as if he had slain mankind entirely," he said, quoting the Koran.
He asserted that people had the right to protest peacefully and that Egypt was strong enough to protect foreign missions and envoys on its soil, as well as public and private property.
He warned against further attacks on foreign missions that would violate Egyptian and international law.
Morsi said that he had spoken with US President Barack Obama Republicans can come along for the ride, but they've got to sit in the back... and told him that it was necessary to put in place "legal measures which will discourage those seeking to damage relations... between the Egyptian and American people."
In Cairo, police used tear gas on Thursday as they clashed with a stone- and bottle-throwing crowd protesting near the US embassy in Cairo over a film mocking Islam, witnesses and the interior ministry said.
Protests against the film were also held on Wednesday outside US missions in Morocco, Sudan, Yemen and Tunisia. In Tunis, police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of several hundred.
The low-budget movie, Innocence of Moslems in which actors have strong American accents, portrays Moslems as immoral and gratuitously violent.
It pokes fun at the Prophet Mohammed and touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality, while showing him sleeping with women, talking about killing children and referring to a donkey as "the first Moslem animal."
Mystery has deepened over the film, with conflicting accounts from backers and promoters but no one owning up to having actually directed it.
President Morsi is currently on official visits to Belgium and Italia in order to bolster Egypt-EU relations.
[Al Ahram] A "number of protesters" were paid to wreak havoc at the US embassy in Cairo, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has said. "There is information confirmed that a number of the protesters were paid," he told BBC Arabic without elaboration.
Hundreds of demonstrators initially converged on the US embassy near downtown Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square earlier this week to protest the US-made film "The Innocence of Moslem" that portrays the Prophet Mohammed as a womaniser, a murderer and a fool.
Relentless festivities against police forces ensued, with protests showing no signs of abating as confrontations left a 35-year-old man dead and more than 250 injured, including 53 security personnel.
In another interview with BBC Arabic, Qandil gave three reasons behind the US embassy festivities in Cairo: "I can start by saying that this event is attached to several unfortunate events. The first unfortunate event of course was this movie.
"It was disgusting, and insulted the beliefs of many Moslems and, unjustified as well. So that was the first unfortunate event. The second event, related to the second part of your question, is linking this movie which was that is the work of a bunch of amateurs, wicked, you know they wanted to insult a very respectable religion.
"That movie linked to the US government was another unfortunate event because it couldn't be linked to the US government and that was clearly mentioned by Madame Clinton publicly and privately when I spoke to her after this thing started.
"The third unfortunate event is that the peaceful opposition turned out to be violent expressions, which is also very unfortunate... I have to mention that the Egyptian authorities have taken proper measures to protect the diplomatic missions in Cairo and on Egyptian soil to ensure that people and the missions are safe and well protected."
When the prime minister was asked whether the US should make amendments to its laws governing freedom of speech and expression, he replied,"I think we need to work out something around this because we cannot wait and see this happen again."
Sorry. That's not how we roll. Y'all are going to have to learn not to throw temper tantrums if you want nice people to to accept you in their parlours.
Qandil also called on the US "to take the necessary measures to ensure insulting billions of people -- one and a half billion people -- and their beliefs does not happen and people pay for what they do and at the same time make sure that the reflections of the true Egyptian and Moslems is well [represented] in Western media."
Stop insulting Christians and Jews, and then we'll talk.
[Doctor Mahmoud Habiby, manager of Ain Shams University hospital's addiction unit] says that Tr*m*d*l, followed by her0in, are the primary drugs of abuse that have surged in the past year. With regard to Tr*m*d*l, he believes this is due to large illegal shipments coming in from India and China, which he bases on seeing different boxes and pharmaceutical brands.
But it doesn't end. Y'all are still fussing over that nonsense at the gates of Vienna on 9/11/1683.
[Al Ahram] Al-Qaeda said the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya was in Dire Revenge™ for the killing of the network's number two Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi, SITE Intelligence Group reported Saturday. "The killing of Sheikh Abu Yahya only increased the enthusiasm and determination of the sons of (Libyan independence hero) Omar al-Mokhtar to take Dire Revenge™ upon those who attack our Prophet," Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said in a statement, quoted by the US-based monitoring group.
Al-Qaeda's Yemen-based offshoot did not claim direct responsibility for Tuesday's attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans.
But it stressed that "the uprising of our people in Libya, Egypt and Yemen against America and its embassies is a sign to notify the United States that its war is not directed against groups and organizations ... but against the Islamic nation that has rebelled against injustice."
The statement comes four days after Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri ... Formerly second in command of al-Qaeda, now the head cheese, occasionally described as the real brains of the outfit. Formerly the Mister Big of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bumped off Abdullah Azzam with a car boom in the course of one of their little disputes. Is thought to have composed bin Laden's fatwa entitled World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders. Currently residing in the North Wazoo area. That is not a horn growing from the middle of his forehead, but a prayer bump, attesting to how devout he is... issued a video eulogising Libi, his late deputy and propaganda chief who was killed in a drone strike in June.
Mohammed al-Megaryef, the head of Libya's national assembly, said on Saturday that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was planned and "meticulously executed."
Tuesday's attack by gunnies in the eastern city of Benghazi came amid a wave of protests in the Moslem world against a US-made amateur Internet film deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed.
Suspected Islamic gunnies fired on the consulate with rocket-propelled grenades and set it ablaze on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States claimed by Al-Qaeda.
RAFAH, Palestinian Territories -- About 200 Palestinians marched on Saturday in a Hamas-organised protest in the southern Gaza Strip against neighbouring Egypt's closure of cross-border tunnels. The demonstrators, half of them children, carried banners with slogans calling on Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to "End the Siege of Gaza!" and saying "Do not close the lifeline between Egypt and Gaza," an AFP journalist at the rally in the border town of Rafah said.
"We call on our Egyptian brothers to stop their campaign against the tunnels which have been dug to allow Palestinians to overcome the blockade imposed by Israel in the Gaza Strip," Mansur Barak, a local leader of the Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the coastal strip, told the crowd.
Following an attack which killed 16 Egyptian border police in the Sinai on August 5, Cairo started to seal or destroy the network of tunnels on suspicion that some of the assailants had used them to sneak in from adjacent Gaza.
[Yemen Post] Foreign Minister Abu Bakar Al-Qirbi has said that investigations with the Iranian spy ring are still ongoing, stressing that some Iranian religious groups provoke seditions in Yemen.
"Iranian media outlets are operating to broadcast false massages about Yemen" he affirmed in an interview with the London-based Alhyah newspaper.
Yemeni political parties accuses Iran with supporting the Saada-based Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is "God is Great, Death to America™", Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews" ... group with the aim of inflaming problems and carrying out the agendas of Iran in the regions.
Some Yemeni political parties alleged that the Houthi group was behind the group against the US Embassy on last Thursday in which dozens of protesters stormed the embassy, ruined and looted its contents.
The Houthi group whose main slogan is "God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews" took control on Saada during the protest wave that hit Yemen in 2011.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry said in July that the security authorities incarcerated Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up! an Iranian espionage, spelling out that the cell was tasked with running spy operations in Yemen and African Horn.
However, we can't all be heroes. Somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by... no more details or results of investigations were declared so far.
For its part, Tehran denied allegations about the arrest of an Iranian spy cell run by a leader of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
In remarks to the Iranian Al-Alam TV, a front man of the Iranian Foreign Affairs cautioned other states against interference in Yemen's affairs, stressing that interventions in the affairs of the regional states is a wrong approach.
[Bangla Daily Star] The Yemeni parliament yesterday said it rejected the presence of US Marines in Sanaa to boost security at the American embassy against any further protests against a US-made film mocking Islam.
In a statement, parliament affirmed its "rejection of any form of foreign presence" in Yemen, saying it was up to the government to provide security for foreign embassies.
Pentagon front man George Little told news hounds on Friday the United States has deployed a Marine anti-terrorism unit to Sanaa to help protect the American embassy in the face of angry demonstrations.
"This is partly as a response to events over the past two days at our embassy in Yemen but it's also in part a precautionary measure," he said.
"A FAST (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team) platoon is now on the ground in Sanaa," with a contingent of about 50 US Marines, Little said.
Four people were killed on Thursday when police and protesters clashed near the embassy in a protest against the film produced privately in the United States and deemed insulting to Islam.
On Friday, Yemeni security forces fired warning shots, tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters about 500 metres from the embassy compound who burned the American flag and called for the expulsion of the US ambassador.
The U.S. nuclear arsenal, the most powerful but indiscriminate class of weapons ever created, is set to undergo the costliest overhaul in its history, even as the military faces spending cuts to its conventional arms programs at a time of fiscal crisis. Indiscriminate? Couldn't even save your bias for the second sentence?
For two decades, U.S. administrations have confronted the decrepit, neglected state of the aging nuclear weapons complex. Yet officials have repeatedly put off sinking huge sums into projects that receive little public recognition, driving up the costs even further. So the feds have been kicking the can down the road for twenty years? But the whole thing sounds so 'shovel-ready.'
Federal officials and many outside analysts are nonetheless convinced that, after years of delay, the government must invest huge sums if it is to maintain the air, sea and land nuclear triad on which the country has relied since the start of the Cold War. Failing to act before the end of next year, they say, is likely to mean that there won't be enough time to design and build the new systems that would be required if the old arsenal is no longer safe or reliable. Good thing we waited for the fiscal cliff!
"I've been doing this for 20 years, and I haven't seen a moment like this," Thomas P. D'Agostino, who leads the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the federal agency charged with managing the safety of the nuclear arsenal, said in an interview. Besides, we need to re-tool for small neutron bombs and other stand-off weapons.
At the heart of the overhaul are the weapons themselves. Renovating nuclear bombs and missiles to keep them safe and ready for use will cost tens of billions of dollars. Upgrading just one of the seven types of weapons in the stockpile, the B61 bomb, is likely to cost $10 billion over five years, according to the Pentagon. The next two types of bombs in line for modification are estimated to cost a total of at least $5 billion. By comparison, the operating budget for Fairfax County government next year will cost about $3.5 billion, including its vaunted school system. See? When the fiscal cliff hits, the WaPo thinks the nukes are expendable. Wait until they find out how much it'll cost to decommission them. But wait! We can save still more!
Replacing the aircraft, submarines and ground-launch systems that carry nuclear payloads will be the most expensive budget item. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated it would cost up to $110 billion to build 12 replacements for the aging Ohio-class submarines first launched in the 1980s. The Minuteman III ballistic missiles are undergoing a $7 billion upgrade even as a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles is under consideration. Meanwhile, a nuclear-capable fleet of F-35 strike aircraft is being built to replace existing aircraft at a cost of $162 million an airplane.
Finally, there are the buildings and laboratories where the refurbishment of weapons and development of new technologies take place. Modernizing those facilities is expected to cost at least $88 billion over 10 years, according to the NNSA, which is part of the Department of Energy. So we'd need to lay off all those folks and retrain them to be Obamacare auditors and enforcers.
"O" indiscriminately and unilaterally and with nothing in return, made a decision to reduce our nuke arsenal so that it would make the world safer. He said to Putin that after the upcoming election, "he will have more flexibility." Now I don't know exactly what Champ meant but it does not put ya at ease.
Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf said he is convinced a Tuesday attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead was premeditated, but the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that the protests near the consulate began spontaneously, but were later hijacked by armed extremists.
"The way these perpetrators acted, and moved ... and they're choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned, determined...predetermined," Magariaf said in an interview on CBS's "Face The Nation" set to air later Sunday morning.
The attack claimed the life of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The FBI has is conducting an investigation into the events surrounding the incident.
"What this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what happened in Cairo," Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said in an interview on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."
[Al Ahram] Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Leveler of Latakia... called for dialogue between Syrians during a meeting on Saturday with international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
reported. "The real problem in Syria is that of combining politics with the work being done on the ground," said Assad. "The political work continues, in particular by calling for dialogue between Syrians based on the aspirations of all Syrians."
That is the plan, Mr. AlHaan -- however many centuries and however many lives of your jihadis that might take. In the meantime, we watch with pleasure as the viciousness of your jihad creates not admirers but ever more apostates disgusted with your unthinking hatefulness, Six million a year lost to Islam each year, it used to be said, and it's many more than that now, whether to Christianity or to no belief at all. No doubt Allah will let you know how he feels about that in his own time, though in the meantime plenty of jihadis will be shocked to find their intestines roasting in Hell instead of in Paradise with 72 houris and boys with faces like pearls to wait on their every desire. Ah well, Allah's ways are beyond human understanding, and he does not always make clear to his believers what he wants of them as he recreates the universe in each moment.
[Al Ahram] International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned after meeting Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... on Saturday that the worsening conflict in Syria poses a threat to the region and the world on the lam.
"The crisis is dangerous and getting worse, and it is a threat to the Syrian people, the region and the world," said the newly-appointed Brahimi, who took over as envoy earlier this month from former UN chief Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... Assad, quoted by state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
, said that dialogue between Syrians held the key to a solution and called for foreign countries to stop supplying arms to his foes.
"The real problem in Syria is that of combining politics with the work being done on the ground," he said. "The political work continues, in particular by calling for dialogue between Syrians based on the aspirations of all Syrians.
"The success of political action is dependent on putting pressure on the countries that finance and train the terrorists, and which bring weapons into Syria, until they stop doing so," he said.
Eighteen months into Syria's deadly conflict and without an end in sight, Assad said his government would "cooperate with all sincere efforts to solve the crisis, so long as the efforts are neutral and independent."
Brahimi, a 78-year-old veteran Algerian troubleshooter, has also met with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem and members of the officially tolerated opposition since he arrived in the Syrian capital on Thursday.
The envoy called for a united effort. "There is need for all parties to unite their efforts to find a solution for the crisis, given Syria's strategic importance... and the crisis's influence over the whole region," he said.
"The solution can only come from the Syrian people," stressed Brahimi, who was to hold talks later on Saturday with Arab ambassadors and a European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... delegation.
Brahimi already warned on arrival that the conflict is "getting worse," as underlined by the daily bloodshed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers information from a network of activists on the ground, said 132 people were killed in violence on Friday, including 100 civilians, 18 of whom died in the capital.
Brahimi held talks on Friday with Syrian opposition figures who said he was bringing "new ideas" to the peace effort, as blasts rocked Damascus ...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti... and regime air strikes targeted rebel areas in the northern city of Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... .
He met with opposition groups tolerated by Assad's regime such as the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, which groups Arab nationalists, Kurds and socialists.
The group said it was sending a delegation on Saturday to China, a key Damascus ally, to urge Beijing to "put pressure on the regime to stop the violence, free detainees and allow peaceful protests."
Brahimi is on his first Damascus visit since his appointment to replace Annan who quit the post after a hard-sought peace deal he brokered became a dead letter.
Alahhu Akbar! With our cousin in Iraq and Saudi together with our friend the UK and USA we will return Syria to the path teach to us by the Prophet! Alahhu Akbar! We will do to Bashir what we deed to Gadafi!
You mean kill him out of hand after the kufrs defeated his army and drove him off his throne, Mr. AlHaan? How very clever of you, to be sure. We have noticed, if you have not, that in Syria your friends the U.S. and the UK are not sending their airplanes to bomb or their soldiers to kill. Instead, they are letting your jihadis and your Ba'athists kill each other, just as in Iraq they let Syria and Saudi Arabia send the jihadis into traps to be killed. How many tens of thousands of your bravest and cleverest jihadis died in sands and cities of Iraq? How many came back so badly wounded that no bride price could acquire for them a bride? If Allah wanted you to do this, he would have given you a sweeping victory like those first years of conquest of your prophet. Instead he gives you a meat grinder where it looks as though you will win if only more and more jihadis die...except victory ever retreats out of reach, like the carrot dangled from a stick in front of a donkey's nose.
Honestly, even the keyboard jihadis aren't as clever as they used to be.
In yesterday's WaPo, but today, it is the #1 most popular article.
There is an Arab pain and a volatility in the face of judgment by outsiders that stem from a deep and enduring sense of humiliation. A vast chasm separates the poor standing of Arabs in the world today from their history of greatness.
In the narrative of history transmitted to schoolchildren throughout the Arab world and reinforced by the media, religious scholars and laymen alike, Arabs were favored by divine providence. They had come out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century, carrying Islam from Morocco to faraway Indonesia. In the process, they overran the Byzantine and Persian empires, then crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Iberia, and there they fashioned a brilliant civilization that stood as a rebuke to the intolerance of the European states to the north. Not that Andalusia was exactly 'tolerant' by today's standards, but the Franks and various Germans were pretty crude.
Cordoba and Granada were adorned and exalted in the Arab imagination. Andalusia brought together all that the Arabs favored -- poetry, glamorous courts, philosophers who debated the great issues of the day. Like now many angels could dance on the head of a goat.
If Islam's rise was spectacular, its fall was swift and unsparing. This is the world that the great historian Bernard Lewis explored in his 2002 book "What Went Wrong?" What *I* got out of that book was they Muslims have yet to separate church from state, like we did in 1776. The various Christian kingdoms of that time also managed to get their acts together. The surviving kingdoms in northern Spain and Portugal began to offer more effective resistance, and Andalusia went from being a single large emirate to being a collection of smaller states that warred and vied with each other.
The blessing of God, seen at work in the ascent of the Muslims, now appeared to desert them. The ruling caliphate, with its base in Baghdad, was torn asunder by a Mongol invasion in the 13th century. Andalusia only paid lip service to the Caliph; from early on in the 7th century it was effectively independent.
Soldiers of fortune from the Turkic Steppes sacked cities and left a legacy of military seizures of power that is still the bane of the Arabs. Little remained of their philosophy and literature, and after the Ottoman Turks overran Arab countries to their south in the 16th century, the Arabs seemed to exit history; they were now subjects of others. Obviously, the cause of this great decline was not being Islamic enough!
Even as Arabs insist that their defects were inflicted on them by outsiders, ...such as the Ottomans...
they know their weaknesses. Younger Arabs today can be brittle and proud about their culture, yet deeply ashamed of what they see around them. They know that more than 300 million Arabs have fallen to economic stagnation and cultural decline. They know that the standing of Arab states along the measures that matter -- political freedom, status of women, economic growth -- is low. In the privacy of their own language, in daily chatter on the street, on blogs and in the media, and in works of art and fiction, they probe endlessly what befell them. I just 'splained it to ya.
In the past half-century, Arabs, as well as Muslims in non-Arab lands, have felt the threat of an encircling civilization they can neither master nor reject. Migrants have left the burning grounds of Karachi, Cairo and Casablanca but have taken the fire of their faith with them. "Dish cities" have sprouted in the Muslim diasporas of Western Europe and North America. You can live in Stockholm and be sustained by a diet of al-Jazeera television. One wonders if the European migrants to 19th and early 20th century America would have assimilated so easily if Eurovision had been available on cable back then...
They had their newspapers and their social organizations, but assimilated anyway. Those who couldn't handle it went home.
A little more than two decades ago, it was a writer of Muslim and Indian birth, Salman Rushdie, whose irreverent work of fiction, "The Satanic Verses," offended believers with its portrayal of Islam. All it took to offend was that Islam, the prophet Muhammad and his wives had become a writer's material. The confrontation laid bare the unease of Islam in the modern world. If by 'unease' you mean a defensiveness about the existential threat confronting them over their belief in a religion that no longer offered an adequate explanation of heaven and the world.
The floodgates had opened. The clashes that followed defined the new terms of encounters between a politicized version of Islam -- awakened to both power and vulnerability -- and the West's culture of protecting and nurturing free speech. In 2004, a Moroccan Dutchman murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh on a busy Amsterdam street after van Gogh and a Somali-born politician made a short film about the abuse of women in Islamic culture. That happens when believers become 'uneasy': it's quicker and easier to lash out at the world around you then to confront one's own beliefs within.
Shortly afterward, trouble came to Denmark when a newspaper there published a dozen cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad; in one he wears a bomb-shaped turban, and another shows him as an assassin. How does anyone know that was Mo being depicted? I thought no one knows what he looks like!
The newspaper's culture editor had thought the exercise would merely draw attention to the restrictions on cultural freedom in Europe -- but perhaps that was naive. After all, Muslim activists are on the lookout for such material. And Arab governments are eager to defend Islam. Easier to distract the rubes in their own populations from the failures of the ruling elite that way.
The Egyptian ambassador to Denmark encouraged a radical preacher of Palestinian birth living in Denmark and a young Lebanese agitator to fan the flames of the controversy.
But it was Syria that made the most of this opportunity. The regime asked the highest clerics to preach against the Danish government. The Danish embassies in Damascus and Beirut were sacked; there was a call to boycott Danish products. Denmark had been on the outer margins of Europe's Muslim diaspora. Now its peace and relative seclusion were punctured. But that's how I found out how good Havarti cheese is.
It is never hard to assemble a crowd of young protesters in the teeming cities of the Muslim world. American embassies and consulates are magnets for the disgruntled. It is inside those fortresses, the gullible believe, that rulers are made and unmade. Some truth to that, as it turns out, as America has been fairly good (not perfect) in figuring out who the strong horses were in each Middle East country and supporting them. That gave us short-term security and access at the expense of the long-term, the latter now having caught up to us.
Yet these same diplomatic outposts dispense coveted visas and a way out to the possibilities of the Western world. The young men who turned up at the U.S. Embassies this week came out of this deadly mix of attraction to American power and resentment of it.
The temptations of the West have alienated a younger generation from its elders. Men and women insist that they revere the faith as they seek to break out of its restrictions. Freedom of speech, granting license and protection to the irreverent, is cherished, protected and canonical in the Western tradition. Now Muslims who quarrel with offensive art are using their newfound freedoms to lash out against it. They're conflicted, man; ya know? Hard to keep them down on the farm once they've seen gay Detroit...
These cultural contradictions do not lend themselves to the touch of outsiders. Bush believed that America's proximity to Arab dictatorships had begotten us the jihadists' enmity. Just like his successor, when you think about it.
His military campaign in Iraq became an attempt to reform that country and beyond. But Arabs rejected his interventionism and dismissed his "freedom agenda" as a cover for an unpopular war and for domination. Bush's idea in Iraq and Afghanistan was radical indeed, since he didn't immediately latch onto the next strongest horse. But the Middle East, as it turns out, was not ready for democracy. That's perhaps the only thing the western Left got right. We might have done better if Bush had modeled his approach on that of our relationship with South Korea from 1953 on: first support a strongman, then support a more reasonable strongman, then kick him out and push for democracy. Only problem is that said approach takes 50 years.
President Obama has taken a different approach. He was sure that his biography -- the years he spent in Indonesia and his sympathy for the aspirations of Muslim lands -- would help repair relations between America and the Islamic world. But he's been caught in the middle, conciliating the rulers while making grand promises to ordinary people. Champ may have wanted to champion democracy in the Arab world, but he didn't understand that world near as well as he thought he did. The result is that he appears to be the weak horse, and no one in the Middle East will follow that.
On reflection, it seems his understanding is stuck at that of the eleven year old son of an anthropologist he was when he was summarily exiled to Hawaii for admiring his stepfather.
The revolt of the Iranian opposition in the summer of 2009 exposed the flaws of his approach. Then the Arab Spring played havoc with American policy. Since then, the Obama administration has not been able to decide whether it defends the status quo or the young people hell-bent on toppling the old order. Obama continues to vote "Present". He's the weak horse.
Cultural freedom is never absolute, of course, and the Western tradition itself, from the Athenians to the present, struggles mightily with the line between freedom and order. In the Muslim world, that struggle is more fierce and lasting, and it will show itself in far more than burnt flags and overrun embassies. So we should use our money to save the Christians and Jews and let the old and the new order burn itself out. There might be merit in inducing the Egyptian Copts to move en masse to the Sinai, and then using our military to secure the Sinai for them. They'd have a land of their own, freedom from being murdered by the Muslims, and Israel would have a (semi) friendly state to their west. Repeat on a good part of the West Bank, and support a Maronite state in Lebanon.
Christianity went through a painful reformation after it was co-opted by the powers that be. Also, the west went through the renaissance after the hard times of the plague years. The Church did not have the answers to the plague, so they let reason and science have a go at the problem. An uneasy truce so to speak.
Islam has not had its reformation. They are still stuck in second gear, and like Commodore Frank sez, they are skinless people in a sandpaper world. When they keep trying to apply the same unsuccessful model to problems and fail, they get a little irritated.........and go apesh*t from time to time.
Well, they better get a-reforming, 'cause Wrechard's Three Conjectures may be just around the corner if they go too far.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
The fall of the "great" Muslim civilizations was brought about by the fact that they ran out of dhimmi's and their legacy.
It's like one of the trust fund babies that blows through the inheritance in a generation or two and can do nothing but whine about how every one is against him and his.
That's the Arabs/Muslims. One piece of bad luck or setback like the Mongols and the whole thing turns to dust. Let's face it the Mongols were more or less converted over time so that excuse was gone by the 17th century. All the dhimmis and conquests were gone so the Muzzies had eaten their seed corn and were left in their natural state.
Posted by: Barbara ||
If you read Bernard Lewis essay, the 1990 "The Roots of Muslim Rage", you get a feel for the background to the postulate that Huntington called "The Clash Of Civilization". How is the score in this clash? According to the great Mark Styne and the late unlamented Gaddafi, demographics is the most potent weapon Muslims have. Expect to see a lot of Europe fall to them by the simple expedience of out-breeding the local population. Demographics will also help core Muslim countries such as Pakistan due to the "green revolution" introduced by Burlaugh
..till a derivative of a 'bird' flu runs rampant in a part of the world where polio immunizations and the like are treated as a threat rather than as a preventative. Throw in alienating so deeply the cultures and civilizations upon which the cure would be possible, rescue won't be forthcoming. Given the immunity to western drugs [and the scapegoating of profits along with nationalization of the health sector depressing efforts to pro-actively invest in alternatives] that such viruses are attaining, it may only be a matter of when rather than if.
Islam is non-reciprocal. It cannot generate any wealth. It may therefore actually feel some Malthusian population reduction effects.
Whereas countries with high (verified)trust and markets, and low rent seeking will do well regardless of demographics (if they control the border and immigration for quality).
If you like to sum up the cognitive dissonance in Islam, consider this:
If you question the hadiths, you are branded as an infidel. One hadith says that good old Mo married Aisha when she was 6 and slept with her when she was 9.
If you DON'T question this hadith and point out what this actually means (the word starts with a "P"), you are "insulting" Islam and the prophet.
Islamic thinking in a nutshell
Posted by: European Conservative ||
I read something before the Iraq conflict that suggested the US take up a strategy opposing Arab imperialism as a way to divide Islam from the Wahhabi radicals. Good idea and easier to articulate than "war on terror but not Islam" as the Bush administration attempted. The only problem was the oil sits under Saudi Arabia.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.