Recall that, just last year, the president touted the “Arab Spring” – which any high school history buff could have predicted would devolve into the utter chaos it has – as “an extraordinary change taking place,” wherein, “Square by square, town by town, country by country, the [Muslim] people have risen up to demand their basic human rights.” (You know, like the Quran-given right for Muslim men to beat or kill women and homosexuals with impunity; or like the human right for both Iran and the Palestinian Authority to “wipe Israel from the face of the earth.”) Whether due to naiveté, foolishness or pure dishonesty, President Obama’s bungling of the Middle East crisis – let alone his unprecedented attacks on our constitutional freedoms stateside – has disqualified him to lead the free world. And so, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped forward to answer the call. He has become de facto leader of the free world – chief defender of Western civilization. [emphasis mine] As America’s light fades under the Obama regime, Israel has become – for now at least – “the shining city on the hill.” With a nuclear Iran perhaps only months away, Western civilization needs defending now more than ever. Israel needs defending now more than ever. Consider these words from top Hamas cleric Muhsen Abu ‘Ita: “Annihilation of the Jews here in Palestine is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine.”I realize this is Bircher claptrap to the extreme, but sometimes you just have to take a step back. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Iran is indeed close (only months away!) from acquiring a nuclear bomb that can be delivered by a missile. Which is not at all the interpretation supported by the facts we know, but okay. Apparently pledging to use force only in the event that Iran acquires one single nuclear weapon not only makes Obama weak, incompetent, practically Carter-like, but also apparently an enemy of freedom itself? Only by being willing to use force well ahead of the development of such a device counts as strong, patriotic, and freedom-loving? I guess, by this logic, George W. Bush not only revoked his leadership in the fight for freedom when North Korea developed nuclear weapons, but he very nearly destroyed the whole free world, leaving such freedom-loving patriots like China President Hu Jintao to assume the heavy burden of leading the free world. Right? Also, while I’m hardly going to waste my time thoroughly fisking this thing, it’s worth noting that the Qu’ran does not, actually, give men the right to beat women. Muhammad did, in fact, believe in gender equality to a striking degree for someone who lived 1300 years ago. Clearly his own view isn’t carrying the day among many of the supporters of the faith he founded, but neither have Jesus’s invocations to live in peace with your neighbors and to help the poor. Not entirely fair to hold those guys responsible for what people make of their message over a millennium later, now, is it? As with many things, the problem with domestic violence in the Middle East isn’t a “values” problem, it’s a poverty problem. Being poor with little work, less opportunity and no way to change it typically leads to free-floating anger and violence of many kinds, including violent crime and domestic violence. This is such an obvious point it shouldn’t be necessary to cite something, but here’s something anyway. In general, generalizing the behavior of poor people as some broader indication of local attitudes is silly–humans are humans and the pathologies are the same everywhere. The caricature of a liberal would say not to judge people under those circumstances, which is incidentally always good advice. But unless you’ve seen just how crushing poverty can be to people–and my experiences are admittedly limited to only a couple of weeks in my own lifetime–it’s rather icky for well-heeled pundits to talk about other people as if they have a clue who they’re talking about. Poor people are just as much an abstraction to Barber as Muslims are.
There isn’t much that blows my mind more than the followers of some particular strain of irrational religious mythology denouncing the followers of another irrational strain of religious mythology.
I mean, is the belief that Catholics literally eat the transubstantiated body and blood of Christ any weirder than Magical Mormon Underpants™? I know most God-fearing “modern” Christians in this country like to bitch about Islam’s treatment of women, but isn’t “modern” Christianity just a cafeteria-style approach to the Bible’s real teachings on the subject of male-female parity?
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . .” – Ephesians 5:22–23
“These [redeemed] are they which were not defiled with women; . . .” – Revelation 14:4
“In pain shall you bring forth children, woman, and you shall turn to your husband and he shall rule over you. And do you not know that you are Eve? God’s sentence hangs still over all your sex and His punishment weighs down upon you. You are the devil’s gateway; you are she who first violated the forbidden tree and broke the law of God. It was you who coaxed your way around him whom the devil had not the force to attack. With what ease you shattered that image of God: Man! Because of the death you merited, even the Son of God had to die. . . . Woman, you are the gate to hell.” Tertullian, early Church father.
For my money, people that believe in redemption through celestial tap-dancing leprechauns reveal themselves as pretty silly when they go around dissing people who yearn for the day when God’s army of divine space chipmunks brings about The Rapture.
First case in point: “Real” Christian Hosts on Fox News dissing Mitt Romney’s form of Space-God worship:
A recent Gallup poll had Texas Gov. Rick Perry trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 4 percent to 13 percent among Republican voters.
But the hosts of Fox & Friends said Sunday that Perry would have an advantage if he decides to get in the race because Romney is “obviously not a Christian.”
“Only 13 percent of those people said Mitt Romney is their guy,” noted Fox News host Dave Briggs. “It looks perfect for someone like Rick Perry to get in.”
“Well the Christian coalition, I think he could get a lot of money from that,” host Ainsley Earhardt predicted. “Because Romney, obviously not being a Christian – Rick Perry, he’s always on talk shows — on Christian talk shows. He has days of prayer in Texas.”
Second case in point: GOP Presidential Contender Herman Cain On Dirty Mooslems and the First Amendment:
WALLACE: [C]ouldn’t any community then say we don’t want a mosque in our community?
CAIN: They could say that. Chris, let’s go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying that they are objecting to. They are objecting to the fact that Islam is both religion and of set of laws, Sharia law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes. The people in the community know best. And I happen to side with the people in the community.
WALLACE: So, you’re saying that any community, if they want to ban a mosque?
CAIN: Yes, they have the right to do that. That’s not discriminating based upon religion — against that particular religion.
Let he who is without ignorant, militant faith throw the first stone, right?
Update: The Herman Cain hits just keep on coming:
In an editorial board interview with the Washington Times, Herman Cain expanded at length on why he believed Mitt Romney could not beat Barack Obama. Among other factors, Cain noted that Romney has not done “a good job of explaining his religion,” which he asserted would be a major liability in the South. Cain said the fact that Romney is a Mormon “doesn’t bother me,” but “it is an issue with a lot of southerners.”
Yes, those Crusades:
Rick Santorum launched into a scathing attack on the left, charging during an appearance in South Carolina that the history of the Crusades has been corrupted by “the American left who hates Christendom.”
“The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical,” Santorum said in Spartanburg on Tuesday. “And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom.”
He added, “They hate Western civilization at the core. That’s the problem.”
After asserting that Christianity had not shown any “aggression” to the Muslim world, the former Pennsylvania senator — who is considering a 2012 run for the White House — argued that American intervention in the Middle East helps promote “core American values.”
Is any parody capable of being as funny as the self-parody they foist on themselves?
Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Army veteran from California who was reportedly angry at the U.S. government, was arrested by police in Michigan and charged with allegedly threatening to blow up a Mosque in Dearborn. Dearborn police allegedly found Stockham inside his vehicle outside the Islamic Center of America with a load of M-80s in his trunk and other explosives, the Detroit News reported. Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Counsel on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), told the newspaper that police told him the suspect was drinking in a Detroit bar on Monday and threatened to do harm to a mosque in Dearborn. An employee at the bar followed the man outside and wrote down his license plate, which he reported to police, Walid told the newspaper. The 63-year-old grandfather is charged with one count of a false report or threat of terrorism and one count of possession of bombs with unlawful intent, according to the newspaper.Let us always be wary of the threat that Decoy Muslims pose to America:
David Narcomey, a business owner and member of the Seminole Nation, said he sees dangers beyond just the religious issues at stake over the controversial Sharia law state question. Narcomey agrees with several law experts that tribal relations and international trade within the state could feel the unintended consequences of State Question 755. Voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot measure last week that bars judges from considering international or Islamic Sharia law when deciding cases. “This could blossom into a major threat to the sovereignty of our Indian nations,” Narcomey said. “There really is just a remote chance it could happen, but Pandora’s box can be opened with just that one case.” Oklahoma University law professor Taiawagi Helton, along with many other legal experts, said he thinks there are First Amendment problems by singling out the one religion. But Helton said the lesser-discussed language created by the state question that courts cannot look to the “legal precepts of other nations or cultures” could pose a problem if it is applied to tribal legal cases. Helton, who specializes in American Indian law, said the “ambiguous” language could be interpreted in a way for the state to reject rulings based on tribal laws. He said an “opportunistic” person could argue tribal laws do not apply in arbitration cases or when the state is called to resolve a dispute. Barbara Warner, executive director of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission, said she too has heard concerns the state question could carry a “detrimental” impact to tribes.Doesn’t anyone find it just a little ironic that teabaggers and other associated fuckwits love to cry about the jackbooted thugs of gubmint while simultaneously pushing to pass referenda like this that drastically pervert the role of government in people’s lives? If Sarah Palin really does get elected in 2012, can someone recommend a nice city in Canada? I hear Vancouver BC is nice this time of year. Or maybe Mallorca!
TPM’s Rachel Slajda rakes up the muck:
Earlier this year, Campbell Canada introduced a line of halal-certified soups. The 15 soups comply with Islamic dietary regulations which, much like kosher regulations, prohibit certain foods and define the right way to slaughter animals.In slightly related news, today I brought home 10 jugs of Campbell’s V8, one of them evil halal-certified products, which I found for sale at Walgreens. Part new diet plan, part anti-American enquiry, I’ll let you guys know whether I feel any sudden urges to face Mecca or cut back on the bacon and shellfish.
The line, which includes low fat cream of broccoli and vegetarian vegetable, was certified by the Islamic Society of North America, which has been certifying halal foods since 1988.
To some people, that’s just more evidence that Sharia is coming to North America — this time, via the grocery store.
“M-m-good for the Islamists. Not so yummy for the rest of us,” reads the blog of Scaramouche, which broke the news Tuesday, some eight months after Campbell’s launched the line.
Robert Spencer, who writes Jihadwatch.org and has been saying for years that ISNA is tied to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, quickly echoed the alarm. “So why is Campbell’s Soup rushing to do its bidding?” Spencer wrote on Tuesday. “‘M-M-Muslim Brotherhood Good?’”
Park51 opponent Pamela Geller is now calling for a boycott of Campbell’s.
The Tea Party Nation is on board, too, tweeting today, “Campbell’s now making Muslim approved soups. Mmmmm Mmmmm not good. No more campbells for me.”
A Facebook group created just Tuesday called “Boycott Campbell Soup” already has almost 2,000 members. Members who leave messages like [sic]:
This is yet another example of just how dangerous creeping shariah is to Western Civilization, Democracy and all freedom loving peoples. There are stages to the islamization of non-islamic countries. [...] This is just another way that terrorism and it’s sponsors are insinuating themselves into our culture, Terrorists are NOT freedom fighters they are murderous thugs and I will not pay money for soup or any other product that supports, aids or abetts their tactics. Hope someone puts a list out of all of Campbell’s affiliates.The blog Creeping Sharia notes that Kellogg UK has halal-certified cereals and asks, “Are their U.S. products secretly halal?”
1. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all consider idolatry a heinous sin.
2. The Qur’an does not prohibit making images, only worshipping them.
3. Hadith clearly and consistently prohibits all images of any living being, with special mention of punishment for painters.
4. One exception to this rule is dolls for children, probably because children are not considered in danger of worshipping them as idols.
5. Neither the Qur’an nor hadith mention depictions of Muhammad.
6. The hadith prohibiting images are directed at Muslims only (e.g. Muslims are instructed not to enter buildings where there are images, not to demand their removal).
7. Muslim outrage against depictions of the Prophet does not usually extend to outrage against all images.
8. The hadith prohibiting images do not call for Muslims to take action against those who make images, but instead say that God will punish them severely at the Day of Judgment.
9. Muslims have applied the prohibitions against images in various ways throughout history and there is still some variation today.
10. Figurative art of Muhammad and other humans has been a significant part of late medieval Islamic art. But it was generally limited to secular contexts and elite classes who could afford fine art.
11. Shi’ites tend to be more open to religious images than Sunnis.
12. The main reason given for not depicting Muhammad is to avoid the temptation to worship the image.
13. Neither the Qur’an nor hadith say that viewing an image accidentally is a sin, but in the hadith the Prophet teaches Muslims to avoid them.
A few big items stand out for me:
- “The Qur’an does not prohibit making images, only worshiping them” and “The main reason given for not depicting Muhammad is to avoid the temptation to worship the image.” – So, if the concern is with people engaging in idolatry by worshiping a cartoon that includes picture of Mohammad, that’s really weak tea. I’m pretty sure that any of the white, Western, Christian secularists who so routinely offend Islam aren’t very much interested in worshiping the cartoon.
- “Neither the Qur’an nor hadith mention depictions of Muhammad” and “Muslim outrage against depictions of the Prophet does not usually extend to outrage against all images.” – Ok, so I get it. Some Muslim folks see depictions of Mohammad as offensive because they seem to mock their religion. But (a) get over it — we Westerners won the right to freely criticize our church or yours and won’t be taking that right away anytime soon, and (b) there is nothing in the Muslim holy books that specifically elevates depicting Mohammad to any type of double-plus sin.
- “The hadith prohibiting images do not call for Muslims to take action against those who make images, but instead say that God will punish them severely at the Day of Judgment.” – In other words: “Allah is keeping TRACK, people! Stop with the rioting! They’ll get theirs in the Afterlife”. I’m pretty sure Allah doesn’t need much assistance with that.
- “Neither the Qur’an nor hadith say that viewing an image accidentally is a sin, but in the hadith the Prophet teaches Muslims to avoid them.” – Yup, you heard that right. I know it’s surprising to find out that perceived proscriptions found in the Qu’ran or the hadith … wait for it… APPLY TO MUSLIMS! Just because some Imam somewhere told you that you, as a Muslim, you should not depict Mohammad, doesn’t mean that your friend Jimmy McChristendom can’t. I mean, look, I eat a delicious ham sandwich around Jews and Muslims all the time. Should rioting in the streets automatically follow because I “offended” a silly tenet of what you perceive to be your religion?
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