Monday, August 22, 2005

Religion of Peace

The American Thinker has a review of Robert Spencer's book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). Spencer, as the title implies, does not shrink from portraying Islam as it is, and the picture is not pretty. Consider a few examples:

On Dhimmitude: Dhimma or dhimmi one of the results of the jihad or holy war. Connected with the notion of jihad is the distinction between dar al-harb (territory or "house" of war) and dar al-islam (house of Islam). The latter includes all territories subject to Moslem authority. It is in a state of perpetual war with the dar al-harb. The inhabitants of the dar al-harb are harbis, who are not answerable to the Islamic authority and whose persons and goods are mubah, that is, at the mercy of Believers. However, when Moslems are in a subordinate state, they can negotiate a truce with the Harbis lasting no more than ten years, which they are obliged to revoke unilaterally as soon as they regain the upper hand, following the example of the Prophet after Hudaibiyya...

Even today, the study of the jihad is part of the curriculum of all the Islamic institutes. In the universities of Al-Azhar, Nagaf (Najaf), and Zaitoune, students are still taught that the holy war [jihad] is a binding prescriptive decree, pronounced against the Infidels, which will only be revoked with the end of the world... If he [the dhimmi] is tolerated, it is for reasons of a spiritual nature, since there is always the hope that he might be converted; or of a material nature, since he bears almost the whole tax burden. He has his place in society, but he is constantly reminded of his inferiority...In no way is the dhimmi the equal of the Muslim. He is marked out for social inequality and belongs to a despised caste; unequal in regard to individual rights; unequal in the Law Courts as his evidence is not admitted by any Muslim tribunal and for the same crime his punishment is greater than that imposed on Muslims...No social relationship, no fellowship is possible between Muslims and dhimmis...

On Muhammad vs. Jesus (quoted in ch. 6, "Islamic Law", p. 85): "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!', shall be liable to the hell of fire." Jesus (Matthew 5:21-22) ; "Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers in fight, smite at their necks: at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly on them; thereafter is the time for either generosity or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens....But those who are slain in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost." Qur'an 47:4

On Islam and Peace: [The PC myth is that] Islam is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists. (from ch.3, "Islam: Religion of War", pp. 41-42): Aptly termed by Spencer, "...the mother of all PC [politically correct] myths about Islam", the author explains that the persistence of this canard transcends even the prevailing multicultural ethos, or cynical mendacity about Islam's unsavory aspects. Citing the brilliant 20th century Muslim scholar and ideologue, Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), Spencer observes that this unabashed proponent of aggressive jihad war, "...taught (without a trace of irony) that Islam is a religion of peace. However, he [Qutb] had a very specific kind of peace in mind: [citing Qutb] 'When Islam strives for peace, its objective is not that superficial peace which requires only that part of the earth where the followers of Islam are residing remain secure.

The peace which Islam desires is that the religion (i.e., the law of the society) be purified for God, that the obedience of all people be for God alone, and that some people should not be lords over others. After the period of the Prophet-peace be upon him-only the final stages of the movement of Jihaad [Jihad] are to be followed; the initial or middle stages are not applicable'. And Spencer elucidates the meaning of Qutb's words: "Islam is a religion of peace that will come when everyone is a Muslim or at least subject to the Islamic state. And to establish that peace, Muslims must wage war."

The review closes with this:

Robert Spencer's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) is a very readable, highly informed critique of living Islamic institutions and historical practices incompatible with modern constructs of human rights, and peaceful international relations. One hopes his trenchant observations will motivate the public to cajole media and policymaking elites into initiating a candid discussion of Islam - a discussion these elites have thus far scrupulously avoided.

It sounds like a book everyone in the West should read in order to understand more clearly the nature of the contemporary threat to the lives and well-being of our children, and the urgency of continuing the good fight against bloodthirsty orcs wherever they may be found.

Brits "Deter" a Gas Attack

The Brits dodge a big bullet thanks to a high level informer (referred to below as a "supergrass"):

Scotland Yard believes it has thwarted an Al-Qaeda gas attack aimed at ministers and MPs in parliament. The plot, hatched last year, is understood to have been discovered in coded e-mails on computers seized from terror suspects in Britain and Pakistan. Police and MI5 then identified an Al-Qaeda cell that had carried out extensive research and video-recorded reconnaissance missions in preparation for the attack.

The encrypted e-mails are said to have been decoded with the help of an Al-Qaeda "supergrass". By revealing the terrorists' code he was also able to help MI5 and GCHQ, the government's eavesdropping centre at Cheltenham, to crack several more plots.

The operation to deter the sarin gas attack is referred to in an internal police document obtained by The Sunday Times. It is a minute of a meeting of senior police officers held last month at Specialist Operations 17 (SO17), the unit responsible for protecting parliament, and reveals that the team were waiting to be briefed on the plot.

This weekend a senior officer disclosed that the thwarted plot mentioned in the document involved a gas or chemical "dirty bomb" attack against parliament. "The House of Commons was one of their targets as well as the Tube," he said. "They were planning to use chemicals, a dirty bomb and sarin gas. They looked at all sorts of ways of delivering it."

One wonders how the Brits "deterred" the attack. Will there be charges filed against the plotters? Are there any plotters left against whom to file charges? If the answer is "no" are there any Brits upset by the implications?

What's the Attraction?

Strategy Page has some interesting thoughts on the situation in Iraq. Here are some highlights. Follow the link for more details:

August 19, 2005: Suicide bombings have become less common, and arrests of terrorists have risen sharply in the past month. Actually, incarcerations have been climbing since last Fall, as more terrorists and gangsters are caught red-handed. Before that, many of the 50,000 arrests made by American troops resulted in a brief interrogation, and release of the suspect. But now more bad people are being identified and kept incarcerated. Many of these are career criminals who had been freed by Saddam in 2002, or escaped in the confusion of the 2003 invasion. While the Iraqi police, and prisons, get the criminals, those that drifted into terrorism usually remain in American custody.

The crime wave these thugs have generated in the past two years is coming to an end. The rampant criminality is the one thing all Iraqis are united in opposition to. More tribal vigilantes are being formed, and either killing gangsters, or pointing them out to police or coalition troops.

August 17, 2005: There is a horrific murder campaign going on in Baghdad, with more people being killed by gunfire, knives and blunt instruments, than by terrorist bomb attacks. Over a thousand people a month are being killed in Baghdad, which is a death rate of 200 per 100,000 population. This is nearly twice what the rate was in Colombia, at the height of the drug and political violence in that country.

What is going on in Baghdad is a war of terror and revenge. The terrorists are trying to intimidate people for political, religious or economic reasons. But most of the deaths appear to be revenge killings, with Kurds and Shia Arabs hunting down and killing Sunni Arabs who worked, and killed, for Saddam. These attacks have been going on since Saddam's government fell, and have been increasing as Sunni Arab gangs lose, to the growing police force, control of their neighborhoods. This is the Sunni Arab nightmare, the a major reason (besides money) for Sunni Arabs supporting anti-government terrorism.

The Iraqis did not deliver their new constitution by the August 15th deadline, and the legislature allowed another week to complete the task. The Sunni Arab leadership are trying to get safeguards in the constitution that would limit the revenge the Kurds and Shia Arabs will take on the Sunni Arab community for atrocities committed during the decades of Saddam's rule.

Religion is an issue because Islamic conservatives in the Sunni and Shia community want the law of the land to reflect conservative Islam. Most Iraqis, especially the women, do not want this, but they do want honest government (which is very rare in the Moslem world), and also note that Islamic rule in neighboring Iran has not produced honest government, and has imposed unpleasant rules on the citizens.

It's of interest that Islam seems unable to produce honest government. A religion so concerned with whether a man is ritually purified and whether he bows to Mecca five times a day seems ineffective in inculcating genuine virtue in its leaders. Indeed, one wonders what it is about Islam that has proven so attractive to people that millions around the world willingly embrace it. It's a religion of violence, punishment, brutality and oppression and lacks any real basis for love, peace, the celebration of beauty, or human progress. How and why people, especially women, find this satisfying and fulfilling is a mystery.

But, to each his, or her, own.