Thursday, August 26, 2010

A quiz just for you

I took this quiz from an entry Aylana made on Facebook (speak of the circular nature of today's electronic media!) because it'll open your eyes. It's a Mideast geography test; try your luck with it and let me know how you do!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More on 'non-violent' radical Islam

Sydney asked me to expand the discussion of 'non-violent' radical Islam, which I think is the true threat that the West faces.

'Non-violent' Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood are called that because they say they do not support terrorism. However, like terrorists, they want to establish a global Caliphate ruled by sharia law. What does that mean in practice? Replacing Western law, with its guaranteed rights and principle of equality before the law, with a legal system that discriminates between Muslims and non-Muslims; between men and women; and promotes holy war, or jihad, as a basic principle. Or, as an internal memo of the Muslim Brotherhood puts it:

"The [Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

I think many 'non-violent' Islamists reject violence primarily because it's ineffective. After all, if you go around murdering people, someone's bound to notice. Coming in under the radar is much smarter. The goal, however, is the same.

These groups may say they oppose terrorism, but like 'moderate' Imam Rauf, the fellow promoting the mega-mosque project, they usually refuse to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. Like Rauf, they'll also tell you that we brought 9/11 on ourselves. So it's not too surprising when the FBI, as it did in the Holy Land Foundation trial, discovers secret links between 'non-violent' organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and jihad. Or when you find out that Rauf is linked to one of the groups that organized the Turkish flotilla.

Nor does 'non-violent' really mean 'non-violent.' If you believe that, under sharia, the punishment for leaving Islam (apostasy) is death, that's a pretty violent way of dealing with people who want to leave the faith. Adding, as one imam did after he threatened to kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali, that 'of course, that doesn't apply here,' shouldn't fool anyone. Or look at the travails of Rifqa Bary, the young girl in Ohio who converted to Christianity.

Ditto with 'honor killings' or wife-beating, considered OK if they keep troublesome women in line. If any 'non-violent' Islamist group has denounced the 'moderate' Muslim leader in Buffalo who beheaded his uppity wife, I haven't heard of it.

If you want to learn more, there are many excellent websites (see links on the right). Jihad Watch and Pajamas Media are great for giving you an idea of what's going on; The Investigative Project follows, among other things, court cases brought against 'non-violent' Islamist as well as terrorist groups. The American Islamic Forum for Democracy blog shows what real 'moderate' Islam could look like.

If you want a Truly Brilliant Analysis of what's going on in Europe, where this process is more advanced, see my article of several months ago.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The 9/11 Mosque and the Arab world

Raymond Ibrahim surveys commentary from Arab countries on the Mega-Mosque proposal and finds prominent spokesmen, including from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, who think it's a really bad idea. Indeed, so bad that they assume it's a Zionist conspiracy to link Islam to 9/11. (Hint: dubbing anything a 'Zionist conspiracy' is not/not a compliment!)

As for me, I've decided the Mega-Mosque proposal has had a very positive impact. Islamists succeed by lulling people to sleep, disarming potential resistance. I think the deep sleep phase, which began well before 9/11, is drawing to a close. The events of 9/11 woke Americans up to the terrorist threat, but now they've caught on to the underlying threat from 'non-violent' radical Islam - and they're mad.

That's an absolutely essential first step. Now all we have to do is wake up our political and media elite, starting with our president.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Developing Africa - or not

Kurt Gerhardt, a former journalist and German development aid specialist, explains in Der Spiegel why Africa has failed to develop.

It's not that the West hasn't spent enough money: it's that we've spent too much, draining local initiative and thus ensuring that things never get better. The direct beneficiaries of the assistance may prosper, as do the Westerners supported by the development aid industry, but the average African does not.

Gerhardt argues that the West must recognize that Africans need to take control of their own destiny; Westerners can't do it for them.

Do you think this message will ever get through?

Friday, August 13, 2010

First Amendment legislation

I bet you haven't heard about HR2765 entitled "Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act." It's the new law protecting First Amendment rights of American authors and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits. I've written about it before; it's a vital piece of protection which passed both Houses of Congress unanimously (which in this day and age is saying something).

Perhaps the reason you didn't hear about the new law was that President Obama chose to sign it on August 10 with minimum publicity: no ceremony; a short press release; no press photo; only one Member of Congress present. And he's the most media-hungry President we've ever had.

Could it be that Obama lay low because he didn't want to offend Saudis who use foreign libel laws to silence critics like Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld or J. Millard Burr who expose their financial ties to jihad? Just wondering...

More on the Polish plane crash

Columnist Diana West reports here on the mysterious fog that continues to surround the April 10 crash of a Polish jet in Russia several months, killing Polish President Lech Kaczynski and many other members of the Polish elite.

Some suspicious aspects of the investigation:

-- Russia immediately took control of the black boxes. It provided the Poles only with copies of the recordings, the authenticity of which has been challenged.

-- The Russian air traffic controller on duty at the time of the crash retired three days later and no one knows where he is. Given that the crash was immediately blamed on pilot error, this is odd, to say the least.

-- The Russians stripped the bodies of all possessions, then 'autopsied' them and returned them to Poland in sealed coffins.

The crash happened as the Poles were headed to a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Soviet massacre of 22,000 Polish officers at Katyn during World War II. If the crash turns out to have been due to Russian actions, it's hard to say what will happen. The Poles won't forget - but what about the rest of the EU?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Drowning in a sea of red ink

Since I bet most of you haven't seen it, here's a link to the July 27 report by the Congressional Budget Office entitled "Federal Debt and the Risk of a Fiscal Crisis." A few highlights from the report (and remember, the head of the CBO is a Democrat):

-- U.S. federal debt is projected to rise to 62% by the end of fiscal 2010 (this October). By 2020, it could reach 90%. Even during the Civil War and World War I, it did not exceed 50%; while it was higher than that during World War II, it fell quickly once the war was over.

-- If anyone thinks today's debt will fall quickly, the report will disabuse you of that notion: "Further increases in federal debt relative to the nation's output ... almost certainly lie ahead if current policies remain in place."

-- As to what the CBO means by fiscal crisis, it's the point when "investors would lose confidence in the government's ability to manage its budget, and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates."

The CBO notes that the crisis began before Obama took office, but that the policies he is pursuing will have a catastrophic negative impact on the previous trend.

As Becky DeWind, a Michigan businesswoman who received stimulus funds, put it in advance of an Obama trip to her state: "I wish he'd save his money and not come to Western Michigan ... They were just swiping a Chinese charge card for it anyway, and my kid's got to pick up the tab."