Tuesday, December 29, 2015

On Islamophobia: A Phillippic

We must, before anything else, agree that “Islamophobia” is entirely the wrong term. Americans do not fear Islam (phobos [φόβος] means “fear” in Greek); rather, we despise it.

  • We see women who are not allowed to show their faces in public, and we are disgusted.
  • We see countries which make possession of the Bible a capital offense, and we are offended.
  • We see women who have suffered clitoridectomies to ensure that they will never have any pleasure from the sexual act, and we are appalled.
  • We see the casual mutilation of (alleged) criminals and the grotesquely cruel execution of others (by decapitation, crucifixion, stoning, throwing down from high places, burning) – always to the cheers of crowds of Muslims, and we are shocked.
  • We see an entire religion, half of the adherents of which fervently believe that leaving that religion should be punished by death, and we are incensed.
  • We see that the only countries which still countenance slavery – and slavery of black Africans, at that, in, e.g., Mauritania and the Boko Haram–controlled areas of Nigeria – are Muslim, and we are outraged.
  • We see cultures which use Islam as the justification for men to sodomize young boys, and our anger is overwhelming.

And all these atrocities are committed in the name of Allah and his Prophet. So what else can we conclude but that this is the sum total of Islam? There is nothing else; nor can anyone deny it. Islam is based on nothing other than violence and sexual slavery (what Nietzsche called the “Will to Power”) – it has no, and never has had any, other claim to our attention: no metaphysics, no love, no mercy, no good works, no science (save that which they stole from Greeks and Hindus), no engineering (save that which they have been given by the West), no philosophy, no theology, no law, no justice, no economic successes (again, save the questionable gift of petroleum technology from the West); at best, a few acceptable works of poetry and some calligraphy – from the time of its (false) prophet, who raped a nine-year-old “wife,” Aisha, to the present.

Stated simply, there can be no faithful Muslim – that is, one who believes that the Koran is the infallible Word of Allah – who does not enthusiastically endorse all manner of sexual perversion and violence. Make no mistake: the horrific crimes perpetrated by Muslims in Rotherham and throughout the world – especially in areas controlled by ISIS and other “radical” Muslim groups, but even in the great cities of Western civilization – are exactly what every Muslim man wishes to do everywhere, and would, were it not for the fear of punishment, which our oh-so-enlightened and politically correct leaders – in America, in Europe, and throughout the world – work tirelessly to shield them from.

Am I wrong? I would like to be wrong. But there is no evidence that any Muslim anywhere speaks against these inhuman abuses in the languages of the people guilty of them. And who can blame them, really? Writing something like this phillippic in Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, or Urdu would be a death sentence for anyone unfortunate enough to be a resident of a Muslim country. Some will point out that much lip service is paid to Western sensibilities in Western languages, and this is true, of course. But this can only be seen as a part of what Muslims call taqiyya: the idea that it is a moral good for Muslims to deceive the infidels. This is a fundamental part of the Muslim “faith,” if it can, indeed, be so called. And the prominence of taqiyya in Islamic thought does raise important questions for us – if we dare to face them – as we in the West deal with Islamic states and peoples.

But, nevertheless, we Americans are not afraid.

Instead, as John Sexton writes vis-à-vis ISIS, we long for a president, a government, and a culture which will make them afraid of us.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Solving ISIS

Dr. Ben Carson has been criticized (justly) for his opinion that ISIS could be destroyed “fairly easily.” President Obama went so far as to say that Dr. Carson “doesn't know much about” foreign policy. And if anyone knows a lot about not knowing much about foreign policy, it’s got to be Obama.

But I think Carson is correct. It is easy to come up with a strategy that would take out ISIS – especially if one is willing to dispense with the Western rules of war (which ISIS, like most Muslim groups and Muslim countries, doesn't abide by, anyway).

What would happen if a President Carson (or Cruz or Rubio or Fiorina or *shudder* Clinton) – ideally with the support of Hollande, Merkel, and Cameron – said this:

I address this statement to the Ummah, the world-wide community of Muslims.

We know that the majority of Muslims do not approve of the theology and actions of ISIS. But we also know that thousands of Muslims flock to their banner and wage a terroristic war against everyone, infidel and Muslim alike.

As “infidels,” it is not our place to solve religious disputes in the Dar al-Salam from our position in the Dar al-Harb.

But it is our place to ensure that our countries and our people are protected from unprovoked, vicious, and cowardly attacks.

It is your place to police the actions and beliefs of your co-religionists.

Therefore, I solemnly swear before the Ummah and before all the world, that if you do not destroy ISIS within the next year, we will drop nuclear weapons on Mecca and Medina, to provide an everlasting symbol and reminder of the abject failure of Islam.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

We're living in Harry Potter's world

Some bright fellow going by the sobriquet Coffeeman recently composed a little pictorial essay to explain why people hate Dolores Umbridge (the officious power-hungry apparatchik in the Ministry of Magic) so much. It’s well worth reading. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

The Real Reason You Hate Umbridge So Much

During the school year, hardly a day goes by without some new story of teachers and/or administrators doing something incredibly stupid: ordering a lockdown because some idiot thought an umbrella was a gun, forcing a child to change his clothes because of a politically incorrect slogan, expelling a child for biting his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun, confiscating a child’s lunch because it doesn’t meet Federal standards, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum. Then there are all the sexual predators: The invaluable Instapundit regularly features stories of female teachers arrested for sexual relations with their charges (and just as regularly notes that their punishments [if any] are mere shadows of those meted out to men guilty of the same offenses).

Umbridges, one and all.

Then there are the busybodies who deem themselves qualified to override parental choices, even to the point of removing their children from their care for the offense of letting them walk through their neighborhood without Mommy hovering over their shoulders.

Umbridges, one and all.

Then there’s the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (or, more accurately, “Housing and Urban Decay”), which is using a new rule they concocted called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” the goal of which is to make every home and every neighborhood in the United States precisely like every other home and neighborhood. Because, after all, it’s unfair that people with more money have bigger homes than do people with less.

Umbridges, one and all.

In fact, Umbridgeousness is the natural condition of every government employee, and few indeed are those whose wages are paid by the taxes of their fellow citizens who do not arrive at the conviction that they are better, smarter, wiser people than those they work for and that they should by right have the power to regulate the lives of everyone else.

But Rowling’s Umbridge is not merely a petty tyrant, but a moral coward. She, like most of the rest of the Ministry of Magic, is unwilling to see the evil that threatens their world. Thus, instead of naming and facing the evil, she persecutes those who do.

Note that this is exactly the behavior of President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. They will not name the evils we face (Iran, Isis, and Jihadism in general); they will not face it; they will not do anything to prepare for the fight against it; they insult, belittle, and persecute those who can and do.

At bottom, then, the 2016 American election is not between Democrats and Republicans; it is between those who suffer from moral cowardice and the conviction that they know best (Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge) and those who have the moral strength to confront evil and the humility to know that they don’t know everything (Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore).

In our world, Dolores Umbridge wears a pantsuit.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tolkien’s English

I recently answered a question on Quora, but latterly realized that my observation might well be unique ‒ and, indeed, a quick Googling did not reveal anyone else who had cottoned on to it.

When we were reading The Lord of the Rings aloud to our daughters while on our car trips, I came to the passages set in Rohan just after having read Beowulf in the bilingual edition of the Seamus Heaney translation ‒ of course, I am only slightly familiar with Anglo-Saxon, but enough to catch words now and then.

It is well known, I think, that Tolkien was an Anglo-Saxon scholar, and that he based the culture of the Rohirrim on that of the Anglo-Saxons.

What I realized, reading the dialogue aloud, was that Tolkien had expunged all traces of Greek and Latin from the words the Rohirrim speak. This is what gives their speech its unique flavor ‒ and is quite a difficult thing to do. If you read back through what I have written here, you will see many a word derived from those sources (usually via French, of course). Of course, I'm not trying ‒ but if I were, this post would take a couple of days to write rather than a few minutes.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

An Especially Cruel Attack on American Liberalism

There’s an article on Salon (yeah, I get around) on how the evvvuuuul Rethuglicans are attacking the saintly Liz Warren.

You can read it if you wish ....

But my reaction is this:

Wait a minute: Paul Rosenberg’s* thesis is that the Left had complete control of the media from the 60s through the creation of Fox (OK, “Faux”) News and complete control of academia from the 70s until the present (and for the foreseeable future) and the problem is that liberal ideas have yet to be “discovered, developed, articulated, explained and communicated”?

I cannot imagine even Rush Limbaugh writing a more insulting, devastating, and definitive condemnation of the Left.

*According to the Salon bio, he “is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English.” (Of course.)