Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Douglas Murray on an even more indecent left . . .

Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray, writing for The Spectator (November 27, 2015), says "It's all over for the 'decent left', and they have only themselves to blame" when their Labour Party finally speaks its mind on attacking the Islamic State (aka ISIS):
Two weeks after Paris we finally have some clarity from the political left. The current stance of their leadership (as expressed in the Parliamentary Labour party) is that while there is no justification for bombing ISIS, there are many reasons to bomb London.
How so? Because:
On the same evening that [Labour Leader] Jeremy Corbyn told his party that he could not support airstrikes on ISIS his old comrade (and head of the Labour party's new 'defence review') Ken Livingstone shared his view on Question Time that the 7/7 bombers 'gave their lives' in an act of supremely selfless objection to the 2nd Iraq War.
Why should Livingstone stop with the four terrorists' supreme sacrifice? Surely he ought to include the 52 civilians who also "gave their lives" in a sacrifice even more supreme!

But what I'd like to know is why the British neglect to insert perfectly defensible commas, i.e., after "Paris" and after the second mention of "ISIS."

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Monday, November 30, 2015

ISIS Admits to Being Vicious Beasts!

"Blow Up France!"
Not in my name . . .

MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor for November 21, 2015 informs us that ISIS says it has 'lions' in every European capital:
On November 21, 2015, the media office of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Al-Baraka [Hasaka] province, Syria, released a new video featuring a French-speaking ISIS fighter praising the November 13 attacks in Paris and stating that the "lions of the Caliphate" in all European capitals are awaiting orders to carry out operations.
Those must be some semi-educated beasts - unless that ISIS fellow is lyin' . . .

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Maybe those brain-growing flatworms could be of value, after all, Mr. Amira . . .

Issam Amira
Isaam Amira Spouting Wisdom
Google Images

In Clip No. 5175Memri reports on words of wisdom spouting from "Palestinian Cleric Issam Amira: The Paris Attacks Were Carried Out by Western Intelligence." Rather than by whom? Than by heroic Islamist jihadis? Yes, of course rather than by them! As he's already said, by Western intelligence, to which, he adds the purpose: "in order to pin the blame on Islam." Why? Because Islam never does anything wrong, so all that violence we're seeing the whole world over stems not from Islam but from the CIA and the like. Amira next offers a model prayer of the sort one has come to expect from a moderate Islamist intent on impressing everyone with his peaceful Islamic views:
Amira prayed to Allah to "deal with America" and with its European and Russian allies and to "kill each and every one of them."
Here follows an excerpt from Amira's sermon:
How disgusting is the media, which filled the world with its arrogance, and with its condemnation of the Paris bombings, even though there is evidence to prove that these bombings - according to the analysis of one politician - were carried out by the intelligence agency of an anti-Islamic Western country, in order to pin the blame on Islam. This scenario was premeditated, in order to label the Islamic world as terrorist.
So as "to pin the blame on Islam"? How so? By carrying out a terrorist act modeled on Islamist terror? So . . . it wasn't Islamist terrorism - it just looked exactly like Islamist terrorism? But it wasn't, because Amira has "evidence to prove" that the culpable agent is Western Intelligence (some politician said so), and he implores Allah to do something about this - nothing out of the ordinary, just a little slaughter:
Oh Allah, who revealed the Quran, who moves the clouds and defeats armies, deal with America and its allies and supporters, from among the Europeans, the Russians, and other heretic infidels. Oh Allah, count them one by one and kill each and every one of them. Do not leave a single one of them alive.
Why does Allah need to do all this counting as he slaughters each and every American, European, Russian, and other heretic ally on earth? Merely to hold all these infidels accountable? Why not be more efficient and just do it all at once. You know, the way Islamist terrorists do. Otherwise, the slaughter will take a long time. Simultaneous slaughter? It should be a no-brainer, Mr. Amira.

But in Amira's case - bring on the flatworms' brains . . .

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Biologists induce flatworms to grow heads and brains of other species

Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology
School of Arts and Sciences
Tufts University

Flatworms with Einsteinian brains already applying to Ivy League schools. Regular humans up in arms over flatworms favoritism. Flatworms, quickly realizing their likelihood of failure in fighting back without actual arms, have determined to grow arms of their own. Here's the science behind their decision:
Biologists have succeeded in inducing one species of flatworm to grow heads and brains characteristic of another species of flatworm without altering genomic sequence. The work reveals physiological circuits as a new kind of epigenetics -- information existing outside of genomic sequence -- that determines large-scale anatomy.
See? Told you these worms could grow arms. Okay, I didn't precisely say that, but it ought to be possible if they can grow extra heads and extra brains, so I got close. Anyway, they'll want eyes next - the better to see you with . . .

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Memri on Open Letter of 126 Muslim Scholars to al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State

Memri Logo

In its Inquiry and Analysis Series, Report No. 1205 (November 24, 2015), Memri presents an article by Professor Ella Landau-Tasseron titled "Delegitimizing ISIS On Islamic Grounds: Criticism Of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi By Muslim Scholars." Landau-Tasseron begins with his description of an open letter from 126 Muslim scholars criticizing the Islamic State's leader:
On September 19, 2014, a group of 126 Muslim scholars addressed an open letter to the ruler of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In it they severely criticize ISIS' policies and actions, claiming that they are deviations from Islam, which is a merciful religion. In justifying their position, the critics sometimes cite the same texts used by ISIS, giving their own interpretation. It should be mentioned that the letter did not spark public debate in the Muslim world.

[Landau-Tasseron first] present[s] the points of the clerics' criticism, [then follows] with a short analysis of each point (marked by an asterisk).
Let's cut to the chase and see what these scholars say in point number 13 about compulsion in religion:
13. It is forbidden to coerce anyone to convert to Islam. Many verses in the Koran express toleration of non-Muslims. It is also forbidden to enforce the Shari'a in the public sphere, because, as the Koran says (13:31, 26:4), Allah wants there to be infidels and sinners on earth.
Even I could debunk this one, and I'm no Baghdadi. Let's see what Landau-Tasseron says on the lack of compulsion in Islam:
* Pre-modern Muslim scholars had to determine the attitude of Islamic law towards non-Muslims, given the contradictory Koranic verses such as: "No compulsion is there in religion . . ." (2:256) versus the recurrent injunction to fight non-Muslims "until all religion belongs to Allah" (Koran 2:193, 8:39, 48:16). Pre-modern Muslim scholars considered as abrogated, or otherwise explained away, the tolerance verses; the injunction to wage jihad was considered binding, superseding all the verses expressing tolerance. Differences in detail notwithstanding, the scholars established that some groups must be coerced to convert to Islam or die, such as Arab idolaters, apostates and Manicheans. Others must not be coerced, but they must surrender to the Muslims. The critics in fact refute the pre-modern consensus by reestablishing the validity of the tolerance verses.
So . . . the 126 Muslim scholars ignore abrogation. I will here insert Landau-Tasseron's rejoinder in point number 8 to these scholars' liberal views on Jihad as purely defensive:
* The critics do not take into account all the Koranic verses and reports relevant to the issue of jihad (thus contravening their own advice to al-Baghdadi). In particular, they omit to mention the traditional interpretations of the so-called "sword verses," and many other verses and hadiths, which enjoin the Muslims to fight infidels "in the way of Allah" regardless of the need for defense.
What about Shari'a? Let's see what Landau-Tasseron says:
* Enforcing the Shari'a in the public sphere is by no means an ISIS innovation. In pre-modern Shari'a books it is considered one of the major tasks of the Muslim ruler. Religious police (hisba) in some modern Muslim countries and in ISIS territories continues this tradition.
And these 126 clerics are the innovators - not a positive thing in Islam! I suspect this "open letter" was not so much meant for al-Baghdadi - who has the expertise to easily respond to the critique and demonstrate its inadequacy - as it was meant for the non-Muslims, who generally know little of Islam and thus lack the knowledge to recognize the critique's weakness.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

In Praise of Folly!

Counting the trunk?
Google Images

In response to a recent comment of mine over at the Marmot's Hole came this fascinating observation by "roghernissen":
[I a]lways find your comments to be like a lint roller: weird, illuminating, funny and interesting.
That has got to be the most remarkable praise of my writing ever! I replied:
I used to have a paint roller, but I gave it up for Lent.
I hope that comment qualifies as either weird, illuminating, funny or interesting . . .


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Our Future: A Role of the Daesh?


The Moroccan writer Kamel Daoud, columnist for Quotidien d'Oran and author of The Meursault Investigation, has written a column, "Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It" (New York Times, November 20, 2015, translated from the French by John Cullen), and Daoud doesn't hold back:
Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity's common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on.
And what is Wahhabism? Oh, just an Islamist movement that controls the richest oil fields in the world, plus a few other things, hardly worth mentioning:
Wahhabism, a messianic radicalism that arose in the 18th century, hopes to restore a fantasized caliphate centered on a desert, a sacred book, and two holy sites, Mecca and Medina. Born in massacre and blood, it manifests itself in a surreal relationship with women, a prohibition against non-Muslims treading on sacred territory, and ferocious religious laws. That translates into an obsessive hatred of imagery and representation and therefore art, but also of the body, nakedness and freedom. Saudi Arabia is a Daesh that has made it.

The West's denial regarding Saudi Arabia is striking: It salutes the theocracy as its ally but pretends not to notice that it is the world's chief ideological sponsor of Islamist culture. The younger generations of radicals in the so-called Arab world were not born jihadists. They were suckled in the bosom of Fatwa Valley, a kind of Islamist Vatican with a vast industry that produces theologians, religious laws, books, and aggressive editorial policies and media campaigns.
Because of Saudi Arabia's wealth, Islamism has spread throughout the Muslim world, concerning which, Daoud points out:
Daesh has a mother: the invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its religious-industrial complex. Until that point is understood, battles may be won, but the war will be lost. Jihadists will be killed, only to be reborn again in future generations and raised on the same books.
That's why this is going to be a dangerous ideological fight to the finish . . .

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"He who sups with the devil . . .

. . . should have a long spoon."

That goes for women, too, as shown in Azadeh Moaveni's report, "ISIS Women and Enforcers in Syria Recount Collaboration, Anguish and Escape" (New York Times, November 21, 2015)
Dua had only been working for two months with the Khansaa Brigade, the all-female morality police of the Islamic State, when her friends were brought to the station to be whipped.

The police had hauled in two women she had known since childhood, a mother and her teenage daughter, both distraught. Their abayas, flowing black robes, had been deemed too form-fitting.

When the mother saw Dua, she rushed over and begged her to intercede. The room felt stuffy as Dua weighed what to do.
Dua told her friends that they were guilty and deserved a lashing, but there were consequences to Dua's decision:
The mother and daughter came to Dua's parents' house afterward, furious with her and venting their anger at the Islamic State.

"They said they hated it and wished it had never come to Raqqa," Dua said. She pleaded with them, explaining that as a young and new member of the Khansaa Brigade, there was nothing she could have done.

But a lifelong friendship, with shared holiday gatherings and birthday parties, was suddenly broken. "After that day, they hated me, too," she said. "They never came to our house again."
And so begins a report on two female insiders' disillusion with the Islamic State . . .


Monday, November 23, 2015

Thought for the Day . . .


I may have previously quoted
these words of wisdom,
but in our time of unoriginality,
it bears repeating,
for as a wise man once said,
"He who quotes others
lacks the ability
to think for himself."


Sunday, November 22, 2015

"We're Calling, We're Calling the Hunter . . ."

Commander McBragg
Google Images

This time, rather than Uncle Cran's Farm Report, we've got a firsthand tale on deer hunting from Uncle Cran, Hunter of the Ozarks:
I tried to attach a photo [of the deer], but it didn't work.
I see. Or rather, I don't. Sorry, Cran, but you have no evidence that the following story ever really occurred:
Anyway, yesterday morning I took my 243 rifle (sic) and went deer hunting.
Two-hundred and forty-three rifles! Did you declare war against the deer?
I got into the condo deer stand at 5:30 am. Just before daylight I heard a deer giving a warning back in the woods . . .
Eh? Okay, what'd the deer back there in the woods say in warning - "There's a lunatic with 243 rifles in the condo"?
. . . but it didn't come out into the open and don't know what it was.
The deer doesn't know it's a deer?
About 6:00 a lone deer came out into the open. A few minutes later three more came out. It was still so dark I couldn't tell if they were bucks or does, but was pretty sure they were all does.
Were they also "pretty sure" of their identity? Or do we have an entire herd of psychotic critters that think they might all be Napoleon? Good thing you have 243 guns!
They wandered off into the woods and I thought that if I waited, a buck would be coming along and I could get him. Sure enough, in about 15 minutes another deer came along. I couldn't see if it had antlers but I decided to get it anyway.
More identity confusion, I gather.
I can get either a buck or doe (two of each before the season ends).
I can't fault you on that. It's buck or doe. There ain't no other choice.
I could see the body through my scope, so I put the cross hairs on its shoulder and pulled the trigger. He ran off into the woods. I waited 15 minutes until I could see enough to look for him. I looked around but couldn't find him, so I walked down a trail quite a ways in case he jumped up. I was thinking how could I have missed. I walked back through the woods back to the stand and found him only about 50 yards from the stand. He had not gone the way I thought he did.
You're pretty sure it's a buck, I see.
However he didn't have either horns or male parts.
Strange buck! I reckon there is a third choice, after all.
So I brought my doe to the house . . . 
Doe! How'd you figure that out?
. . . and Gay and I spent the morning cleaning and processing my catch.
Sounds like a lot of work for Gay. I'm assuming you retired in triumph to your man-cave and reflected on your victory:
But the season goes until December 5, so maybe I can get a buck next time. You can get a deer 30 minutes before sunrise, so I got it legally just at that point.
Yeah, I suppose you do need to state that legal issue pretty clearly, just in case the Law happens to read this blog entry.

Regardless, the war on deer must - and shall - go on!