Thursday, May 4, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 5-4-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn.

In the process of adjusting to a new weekly routine, I have moved my weekly "big roundup" to Thursday....

Islam vs. Humanity, Part I

Via Isaac Schroedinger is an account that illustrates just how successfully Islam attacks the very humanity of its followers.
Like many people around the world since 9/11, I too have wondered what it is that inspires Muslims to become such utterly bloodthirsty terrorists. At first, I would insist that the problem lay with Islamic extremists, the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia in particular. When people challenged me on this, arguing that the problem was the moral backwardness inherent in Islam itself, I would dismiss their accusations on the grounds that I personally knew practicing Muslims who were as peaceful and inoffensive as any people on the planet. That latter bit I still know to be true, but the former part of my reasoning -- namely, that the decency of some Muslims exonerated Islam itself -- is not an opinion that I have the energy or the inclination to defend anymore. I just don't feel in my heart that this statement is true. Every ounce of my common sense demands that I stop kidding myself. [bold added]
This comes from the son of Iranian immigrants whose family has been Moslem for hundreds of years. His story has to be read fully to be appreciated, but the following is essential.
My grandmother was delighted to see me when I rang my uncle's door bell. My sister and my brother-in-law were with me on that occasion, and there was a lot of good cheer to go around. As my grandmother became increasingly acquainted with my brother-in-law she clearly liked him. I remember that unmistakably. He was definitely welcome in her home. And yet, she would not physically touch him, either to embrace him as a family member, or even to shake his hand. The reason for this was simple: He was not a Muslim, therefore, he was najass. The word means "dirty" -- not dirty in the sense of physically grimy -- but rather spiritually tainted, filthy in a deeper sense, something akin to an "Untouchable" in Hindu society. People who submit to the teachings of Islam are taught that non-Muslims can no more be touched than pork or alcohol. My grandmother truly bore him no ill will, but because she had submitted to Islam, she felt she had to accept its dictates with respect to the treatment of non-Muslims. It was less an act of hostility to my brother-in-law than an act of surrender to her religion. This is what strikes me so forcefully today. As kindly and gentle a person as she was, her kindness had nothing to do with her being Muslim, as I had previously thought. She was kind and decent in spite of being a Muslim, for the only thing she learned from Islam was an arrogant disdain for different faiths and those who practice them. [bold added]
I think that it is very important that we in the West understand this about Islam. Moslems accept their religion in an unquestioning way that most of us (even the religious) cannot even being to comprehend. That this religion causes people to simply shut their brains off so thoroughly should give us great pause.

Islam vs. Humanity, Part II

And Schroedinger himself has a fascinating series at his blog (It starts here and its contents are listed here.) which he describes as follows.
The following four essays detail my personal and ideological journey through four countries: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the US, and Canada. If I could recommend only one essay, it would be the third one.
From the fourth one comes the following account of a conversation.
I described the various atrocities committed by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Iranian regime to my friend. One of his Muslim friends was present as well.

"What should be the punishment for adultery?" I asked my friend.

He didn't have an answer.

"Should women be stoned to death for adultery like they are in Iran?"

"NO," he said quickly.

That's when his friend pounced on him.

"The Quran sanctions the punishment! Do you disagree with the Quran?"

"Of course not," he said.

"So, you agree with stoning?"

"No, I don't," my friend replied.

"You disagree with the Quran!"

"No," my friend replied.

I watched in silence as my friend couldn't possibly disagree with the words of Allah. Yet, his humanity wouldn't allow him to support the stoning of women. I didn't have to deal with such cognitive dissonance since I'm an ex-Muslim. Stoning women to death is vile and deprave regardless of what the Quran says.
Note the serious conflict the question of stoning for adultery set up for this man and be glad that most Christians would almost instantly shrug off as beneath consideration similarly inhuman dictates from the Bible.

Islam vs. Humanity, Part III

Now, consider how you might react to the following, if you were trained to turn your mind off any time something is demanded by Islam. The heretics in question are Arab reformist intellectuals.
Indeed, this is our Prophet's law regarding anyone who mocks him, and belittles Islam and scorns it... They should be killed... Take an example from Muhammad ibn Maslama and his companions [who assassinated the poet Ka'b ibn Al-Ashraf]. It is intolerable and outrageous that the heretics are among us, scorning our religion and our Prophet.

Therefore, you must fear Allah and do His will. Do not consult anyone about the killing of these heretics. Be secretive in carrying out that which is required of you.
And, if you think Osama bin Laden a villain, would it matter to you that he said this? And, if you disagreed with this, how comfortable -- knowing that you are in the minority and that your opinion might label you a heretic -- would you be in saying so?

This is the kind of society we are up against in the current war.

From 1994 to 2006

Wow! In only a dozen years, the Republicans have gone from sweeping into control of the House and promising to dismantle the welfare state "brick by brick" -- to being immensely unpopular and acting like their Democrat predecessors when it comes to energy policy, amid whispers that they are "in trouble". Andy asks, of a $100.00 fuel tax rebate that Senator Frist has backed down from, "How is a $100 tax rebate going to produce more oil?"

And I wonder why they're timidly discussing rebates instead deciding which programs to cut so we can have repeals.

However, I don't see the Republicans getting what they richly deserve in November -- a resounding defeat, -- either.

Taliban Man Ups Ante

"Captain" Ed Morrissey notes that the controversial Yale student who served as an official in the Taliban regime of Afghanistan is now considering applying for a degree-granting program.
The Yale admissions office now has a clear choice, and can no longer hide behind the facade of Hashemi's non-degree status. If they grant Hashemi access to the full range of Yale student privileges, they will send an unmistakable signal that celebrity matters more to Yale than principle, political correctness more than academics, and terrorists more than our own military. This is not an issue of tolerance, a laughable supposition on a campus that makes military service as inconvenient as possible while celebrating the "diversity" of admitting a key member of one of the most intolerant governments in the past fifty years. It's an issue of values -- and whether Yale actually has any at all. [bold added]
And, in the meantime, blogger and future Yale faculty member Juan Cole recently came unhinged!
We are not going to let you have a war against Iran.

So sit down and shut up, American Enterprise Institute, and Hudson Institute, and Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and American Heritage Institute, and institutetitue and that institute, and cable "news", and government "spokesmen", and all the pundit-ferrets you pay millions to make business for the American military-industrial complex and Big Oil.

We don't give a rat's ass what Ahmadinejad thinks about European history or what pissant speech the little shit gives.
So is Juan Cole supposed to distract us all from Hashemi or is it supposed to be the other way around? Hee hee hee!

Air America: Less Popular than Bush

City Journal's blog reports on the moribund health of the liberal "answer to Rush Limbaugh".
Winter 2006 Arbitron ratings ... show Air America registering a weak 1.0 share in Los Angeles, an even tinier share in Chicago, and a catastrophic drop in New York City, where flagship station WLIB hemorrhaged nearly half its listenership over the last ratings period, falling from a mediocre 1.4 to a pathetic 0.8 share. That's smaller than the all-Caribbean format the network replaced when it first launched in New York and nowhere near the ratings of conservative heavyweights like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in the city. Air America's Gotham numbers are so dismal that WLIB is booting the network off the station later this summer, industry publication Mediaweek has just announced. [links omitted]
So a bunch of strident, brainless, boring Bush-bashing replaced an all-Caribbean format in New York! I'm not exactly thrilled with Bush, but now I really hate Air America! Good riddance!

-- CAV

Updates

5-5-06: Corrected a typo. Added cross-posting notice.