Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Face of Islamism

Robert Spencer has a piece at that no one who wishes to understand Islamism should forego. The article discusses a Muslim rally in Dearborn, Michigan last Friday that was essentially an anti-American, anti-Israeli demonstration and focuses on the teaching of one hero of the Faith, the Ayatollah Khomeini. Here are some excerpts:

As Khomeini himself put it: "Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world....But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world."

The goal of this conquest would be to establish the hegemony of Islamic law. As Khomeini put it: "What is the good of us [i.e., the mullahs] asking for the hand of a thief to be severed or an adulteress to be stoned to death when all we can do is recommend such punishments, having no power to implement them?"

Khomeini accordingly delivered [this]notorious rebuke to the Islam-is-a-religion-of-peace crowd: "Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies].... Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur'anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim."

Was the woman who carried Khomeini's image in the Dearborn demonstration concerned about the human rights of women? Did she know that the Ayatollah himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight? Did she know that Khomeini called marriage to a girl before her first menstrual period "a divine blessing," and advised the faithful: "Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house"?

That should give us an idea of what sort of men are lionized by the Muslim community in our midst. If putative Christians were to march through a large city carrying placards with Adolf Hitler's visage the MSM would be apoplectic, and rightly so. So where is the outrage over Dearborn? Why do Muslims get a pass from the MSM when they all but worship bloodthirsty perverts?

Included in Spencer's essay is this very revealing paragraph:

It is unlikely that the protestor knew that in 1985, Sa'id Raja'i-Khorassani, the Permanent Delegate to the United Nations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared, according to Amir Taheri, that "the very concept of human rights was 'a Judeo-Christian invention' and inadmissible in Islam. . . . According to Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the Shah's 'most despicable sins' was the fact that Iran was one of the original group of nations that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

Human rights derive from a Judeo-Christian world-view, and Islam repudiates the very concept. There is a profound admission here that needs to be more fully explored. It needs to be addressed by those in Europe who may be voting to admit Turkey into the EU, and it needs to be given serious consideration as we move further down the road toward democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. If this view of human rights really is the Muslim view, will Muslims ever be able to live in, and among, truly democratic governments? Will they be willing to abjure some of their Islamic convictions in order to hoist themselves into the twenty first century?

It seems to us that the West has four choices if it wishes to survive the Islamic threat: We can try to persuade them to modify their view of human rights (and much else) as we teach them the ways of democracy and freedom; we can quarantine them by placing a military-political-economic cordon around the Middle-East and keeping Muslims out of our own countries; or we can engage them in endless war for the next three or four generations until one side or the other lies exhausted on the field; or we can simply annihilate them with nuclear weapons.

The last is unthinkable, the third is unacceptable, the second is impractical, and the first is what President Bush is trying to achieve. He deserves our prayers, especially because the future peace of the world, and perhaps its very survival, depends upon his success.

Heroes and Zeroes

The next time the President decides to award presidential medals of freedom he ought to give one to these two guys. They get our vote for heroes of the week:

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A retiree who tussled with a man half his age who was using foul language in a restaurant was sentenced to probation, but he got a thumbs-up from attorneys and others who sympathized with his motives.

Bill Stevenson, 79, of Lake Elmo, pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court, and judge Paulette Flynn placed him on three months of probation. "I think I could've won my case by going to trial, with a sympathetic jury," said Stevenson. "I've had over 30 calls and letters and e-mails, and I've not had one negative call. They're all on my side."

Stevenson and another retired 3M engineer, Sten Gerfast, 74, confronted the man July 15 at Bruegger's Bagels in the Sun Ray Shopping Center. The two retirees were going over a design Gerfast had invented when Jesse Tabor, of Minneapolis, entered the bakery with his 13-year-old daughter.

In an interview after the incident, Tabor, 40, said he was talking on his cell phone with a man whose home he was remodeling and said he didn't recall cursing. But Stevenson and Gerfast remember it differently. "He was using the F-word against this guy he was talking to," Stevenson said. "There was an argument on the phone. The third time he walked by our booth where Mr. Gerfast and I were trying to design something, Mr. Gerfast said to me, 'Should I do something about it?' I thought a moment and thought, 'What can you do in a case like this?' I didn't know what you could do."

So Gerfast, of Mendota Heights, decided to confront Tabor. He tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to take his call outside, Stevenson said, but Tabor said something like, "This is none of your business."

"It was only when he used the words, 'you f-ing bastard' - it was yelled across the bagel shop so everybody heard it - that I started walking up to him," Stevenson said. "Then he said 'you f-ing a-hole" and that really bothered me. I've been in lots of different places, but when I heard that kind of stuff coming in my hometown, I thought, 'Somebody's got to do something.' "

Stevenson grabbed the phone from Tabor and the two men played tug-of-war for a few seconds. Stevenson realized it was a dumb thing to do, let go of the phone and Tabor "went sailing across the floor," Stevenson said. The three men with charged with disorderly conduct. Gerfast was acquitted in a court trial last month.

Tabor, who has previous convictions for criminal sexual conduct and drug possession, failed to appear at a September hearing and a bench warrant was issued for him. Attempts to reach him Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Stevenson claimed Tabor "mocked me about being an old man."

"I just sat there and drank my coffee," said Stevenson. "I thought, 'You can think what you want, mister, but a couple of senior citizens stood up to you, and we ought to get a little bit more respect.' "

Viewpoint also nominates Mr. Tabor, the cretin with whom they tussled, for an award. We nominate him for the human slug trophy. The trophy is, fittingly enough, a giant gastropod slathered in slime, given to that individual who best exemplifies the worst traits of a human being.

Hath Hell Frozen Over?

It must be as cold a day in hell today as it is in central Pennsylvania, because Viewpoint finds itself agreeing with Michael Moore who writes that:

[It's awful] to watch the pathetic sight of the DLC (the conservative, pro-corporate group of Democrats) apologizing for being Democrats and promising to "purge" the party of the likes of, well, all of US! Their comments are so hilarious and really not even worth recognizing but the media is paying so much attention to them, I thought it might be worth doing a little reality check. The most people the DLC is able to get out to an event of theirs is about 200 at their annual dinner (where you have to pay thousands of dollars to get in).

Contrast this with the following:

*Total members of Move On: More than 2,000,000

*Total Attendance at Vote for Change Concerts: An estimated 280,000

*Total Union Members in U.S.: Around 16,000,000

*Total Number of People Who Have Seen "Fahrenheit 9/11": Over 50 million

*Total number of you reading this: Perhaps 10 million or more

The days of trying to move the Democratic Party to the right are over. We lost a very close election (a one-state difference) by running the #1 liberal in the Senate. Not bad. The country is shifting in our direction, not to the right. But the country was attacked and people were scared. They were manipulated with fear. And America has never thrown a sitting president out during wartime. That's the facts. Oh, and our candidate could have run a better campaign (but we'll have that discussion another day).

We agree with much of what Moore says in this last paragraph, but we would decline to say that our fear of terrorism was somehow "manipulated". We would also add that not only was the campaign flawed, so was the candidate. He had a suspect military record about which he obviously lied, he spent twenty years in the senate without a major accomplishment to his credit, and he projected the image of a vacillator unable to take a stand. He appeared to be a man with no deep convictions.

Even so, he almost won, and we think Moore is right that there is a leftward flow in the country. The whole ideological spectrum is shifting leftward, so that people who would have been considered centrists a generation ago are today labeled conservatives. George Bush is a good example. President Bush holds views on many issues not much different than FDR, but the left has drifted so far toward the nether regions of the solar system that Bush appears conservative by comparison. Confirmation of this drift can be found in the names gracing the current Republican Hall of Heroes: John McCain, Rudy Guiliani, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not a particularly conservative bunch.

What this shift augurs for the future of the U.S. is not hard to discern. All we need do is look at Europe.

The Beauties of Islamic Justice

Thanks to Little Green Footballs for directing us to this glimpse of the beauties of Islamic justice:

A teenage girl with a mental age of eight is facing the death penalty for prostitution in Iran. The trial comes only four months after the hanging of another mentally ill girl for sex before marriage in a case that has prompted a human rights lawyer to prepare a charge of wrongful execution against the presiding judge.

The girl, known as Leyla M, is in prison while the Supreme Court decides on her "acts contrary to chastity", among the most serious charges under Iranian law. Under the penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be executed.

In an interview on a Persian-language website, the 19-year-old says she was forced into prostitution by her mother at the age of eight. Amnesty International refers to reports that say she was repeatedly raped, bore her first child aged nine and was passed from pimp to pimp before having another three children.

She told the website: "The first time I was taken to a man's house by my mum I was eight. It was a horrible night and I cried a lot but then my mum came the next day and took me home. She bought me chocolate and cheese curls."

Iranian press reports say Leyla was charged with controlling a brothel, having sex with blood relatives and bearing an illegitimate child. Amnesty says the court refused to admit social workers' evidence of her young mental age and convicted her on the basis of confessions.

Her prosecution echoes the fate of an even younger girl, Atefeh Rajabi, executed in August. In her case a judge known as Hajj Rezai reportedly put the noose around her neck himself after convicting her on the basis of her confessions for the fourth time in two years. She begged for her life while being led to the gallows, shouting "repentance".

Shadi Sadr, a human rights lawyer representing Atefeh's family, has filed a suit of wrongful execution against the judiciary and is preparing a murder case against Mr Rezai after uncovering new evidence. She has found documents seen by The Independent that prove Atefeh was mentally ill and her confessions should not have been used.

"There is an article in the penal code that if somebody is sentenced to lashing on three separate occasions for the same offence, the fourth conviction incurs the death penalty," Ms Sadr toldThe Independent. "The same judge tried her for each of these past cases but we haven't been allowed to see the files."

A different man was involved in each of Atefeh's convictions. All refused to confess but the judge said it was obvious they had sex with her and sentenced them each to 95 lashes.

After her trial, Atefeh said she had been a victim of sexual assault during spells of mental ill health. After her first conviction in 2001 when 14, she spent time in a state facility for the "socially harmed". Ms Sadr has obtained documents written by officials there backing up her story.

An undated report written by the facility's psychiatrist says she had a history of "chronic sexuality" and was given to "pseudo hallucinations" and seductive behaviour. He diagnosed her with borderline bipolar disorder.

People in Atefeh's neighbourhood wrote two petitions - one before her conviction and one afterwards - affirming that she suffered from mental illness and begging for leniency. Ms Sadr has been unable to locate the defence lawyer in the case.

After the verdict, Atefeh wrote to the High Court, saying: "There are medical documents that prove I have weak nerves and soul. In some minutes of the day and night I lose my sanity. During these attacks any kind of positive or negative actions may be done by me. In a society where an insane person can be serially raped or abused it is no wonder that a person like me is the victim of such an ugly act." Ms Sadr says Atefeh's mental state should have invalidated the case.

The day before the execution Atefeh told her aunt she had written three words to the High Court: "Repentance, repentance, repentance." In Iranian law, somebody who repents their crime is granted the right to appeal against their sentence.

A social worker's report says Atefeh's father and brother were heroin addicts and after her mother's death "she sought affection on the streets".

Ms Sadr says it is impossible to verify lurid claims in dissident websites about an improper relationship between girl and judge. "We will never know what happened between Atefeh and the judge because she is dead, he won't tell and she was tried in a closed court."

Just makes you wish we were all under Shari'a law, doesn't it? We've been listening carefully for howls of outrage from the human rights advocates who were so much in evidence before Operation Iraqi Freedom, but we haven't heard much. Maybe we can persuade some of those human shields who went to Iraq to deter American bombs to go to Iran and plant themselves outside their courtrooms to deter Islamic judges from hanging eight year-old girls. Or maybe not. Maybe some of the cultural relativists who are forever celebrating diversity and extolling the equal validity of all cultures, ethnicities, and religions will come forward and instruct us on how what the Iranian courts did is really no different than a California court sentencing Scott Peterson to death. It's all relative, after all.