Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

White Hat Way


24 Oct

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Victory Without Violence In Corpus Christi

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Maybe it's just the way we were brought up to respect the sacrifice our forefathers have made on our behalf in the service of liberty and freedom of conscience that I wouldn't change a word of the remark I recently came across. Fools, indeed. My friend and agile compatriot in the nascent anti-jihad resistance, young Chris Logan, made this churlish but spot on remark, "America, arming the Islamic world. Afghanistan, Bosnia, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, the Saudis, Turkey and Uzbekistan. At one time or another we have given, or are still giving these countries military aid. There are probably many more, but this is all being done on the hope that the "moderate" Islamic world rises up. We are led by fools."

True, as I say, fools indeed, but perhaps this is their white hat way of one day fighting a fair fight. Remember the old west movies where a gunslinger would toss a pistol at his next victim saying he could never shoot an unarmed man. Not that I agree with this policy of arming the whole damned world, Chris, just making a sarcastic observation.

The Second Coming And Malcolm X


22 Apr

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William Butler Yeats

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THE FOLLOWING TWO POETIC stanzas, two of the most famous and widely discussed were penned by Irish poet and scholar, William Butler Yeats in 1919, first printed in The Dial in November 1920, and afterwards included in his 1921 collection of verses Michael Robartes and the Dancer.

The Dial was a premier American literary magazine published intermittently from 1840 to 1929. In its first form, from 1840 to 1844, it served as the chief publication of the Transcendentalists. Led by such early lights as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, the movement became the first intellectual cohesion, religious and philosophical, founded and concentrated from the new American continent.

In the 1880s the magazine was revived as a political magazine. From 1920 to 1929 it was an influential outlet for Modernist literature in English, publishing many of the most groundbreaking poets and authors we know today, including the first United States publication of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. It's no accident that these stanzas of Yeats' seem to be of particular interest today.

    THE SECOND COMING

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    —W.B. Yeats

I've often considered these past few years since September 11, how this particular Yeats' poem strikes the mind as glaringly prophetic—in that most compelling sense of the word—prophetic of the current and 3rd wave of Islam. For us, the Camp of Islam is lodged in stout context as the "rough beast" we see pitting itself against civilization, although elsewhere, Yeats portrays the antithetical Messiah as the royal Oedipus, an image from Homer's age, who lays down upon the earth and 'sank down' soul and body into the earth. But note these three battles and their dates as Islam forces made invaded and made war with Western cultures.

    1st wave: Battle of Tours, 732.
    2nd wave: Battle of Vienna, September 11, 1683.
    3rd wave: New York City, September 11, 2001.

One can imagine the Irish poet balancing Messiah who, crucified standing up, went into the abstract sky, soul and body. What if Messiah and Oedipus are the two scales of a balance, the two polar ends of a seesaw? What if every two thousand and odd years something happens in the world to make one sacred, the other profane; one wise, the other foolish; one fair, the other foul; one divine, the other devilish? What if there is an arithmetic or geometry that can exactly measure the slope of the balance, the dip of the scale, and so date the coming of that something?

“There is nothing in our book, the Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully,” Malcolm X declared in a speech in November 1963. “Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That’s a good religion.”
Frankly, the Oedipus motif is not as far-fetched in terms of the Islamic relationship to Abraham and Yahushua (Jesus) as it first seems. Islam would kill the Abrahamic father, and usurp the redemption of the mother church, and long blinded by its own egotistical forces unable to see where it has erred, has earned its own destruction in the full accordance of time, victim of its own beastly rebellious nature, thus losing access to the global redemption of ancient prophecy.

A few contradictions do rise to the top of this analysis, however. The puritanical Islamicists, as a death cult, characterized in their own words as "loving death while the West loves life" could be seen as despisers of this world, and lovers of God. On the other hand, this posture is merely a well-honed tactic by which they crucially calculate aggressive actions in order to subdue and dominate the whole world through these specific tools of terror and warfare.

An outward resemblance to religion and godliness, but nothing but raging lions inwardly. This description nails many a soul past and present, great and small, around the world, but it seems to describe perfectly the last stand of the last beast of religion. And we appear to be the witnesses against that last generation.

"There is nothing in our book, the Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully," Malcolm X declared in a speech in November 1963. "Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That's a good religion."

In 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated in Harlem by three men who shot him sixteen times in what is generally surmized as retaliation for his late distancing from both the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammed. His last words? "Let's cool it, brothers..."

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Malcolm X

In prison, Malcolm X adopted the creed of the Nation of Islam (later known as the Black Muslims). Among the group's core beliefs is that God had visited Detroit in 1930, in the form of a man named Wallace D. Fard, aka "Mr. Farrad" (whose teachings were disseminated by Elijah Poole, later known as Eliljah Muhammad); that God created humans 66 trillion years ago; that humans were originally black; that their {black) civilization ruled for most of those 66 trillion years; that black scientists created animals and the moon; that whites, a race of devils created to torment blacks, were created by a rebelious black scientist named Yacub 6000 years ago; that God granted whites control of the world for a limited time; and that God would deliver blacks from their bondage and destroy the white race, possibly in the year 1984.

Malcolm X, [born Malcolm Little] [aka El-Hajj Halik El-Shabazz] (1925-1965) American activist, member of the Black Muslims (1952-1963), founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (1964) [noted for his espousal of separatism and Black pride, for his conversion to orthodox Islam, and for his assassination in Harlem]

Muslims Attack A Voltaire Play


30 Mar

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Muslim Men Offended Again

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By Andrew Higgins, The Wall Street Journal

SAINT-GENIS-POUILLY, France—Late last year, as an international crisis was brewing over Danish cartoons of Muhammad, Muslims raised a furor in this little alpine town over a much older provocateur: Voltaire, the French champion of the 18th-century Enlightenment.

A municipal cultural center here on France's border with Switzerland organized a reading of a 265-year-old play by Voltaire, whose writings helped lay the foundations of modern Europe's commitment to secularism. The play, "Fanaticism, or Mahomet the Prophet," uses the founder of Islam to lampoon all forms of religious frenzy and intolerance. The production quickly stirred up passions that echoed the cartoon uproar. "This play ... constitutes an insult to the entire Muslim community," said a letter to the mayor of Saint-Genis-Pouilly, signed by Said Akhrouf, a French-born cafe owner of Moroccan descent and three other Islamic activists representing Muslim associations. They demanded the performance be cancelled.

Instead, Mayor Hubert Bertrand called in police reinforcements to protect the theater. On the night of the December reading, a small riot broke out involving several dozen people and youths who set fire to a car and garbage cans. It was "the most excitement we've ever had down here," says the socialist mayor.

The dispute rumbles on, playing into a wider debate over faith and free-speech. Supporters of Europe's secular values have rushed to embrace Voltaire as their standard-bearer. France's national library last week opened an exhibition dedicated to the writer and other Enlightenment thinkers. It features a police file started in 1748 on Voltaire, highlighting efforts by authorities to muzzle him. "Spirit of the Enlightenment, are you there?" asked a headline Saturday in Le Figaro, a French daily newspaper. A debate on Swiss television last month degenerated into a shouting match when the director of the Saint-Genis-Pouilly performance accused a prominent Muslim of campaigning to censor Voltaire in the past. The two men also have traded insults in the French media.

Voltaire, the pen-name of Francois-Marie Arouet, peppered his writing with irreverent barbs that riled the Church. He described God as "a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh," and wrote that "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." Mr. Goldzink, the scholar, says Voltaire mocked all religions but had some sympathy for Islam, which Voltaire described as "less impure and more reasonable" than Christianity and Judaism.
Meanwhile, the name Voltaire—and the Enlightenment tradition he embodies—has frequently been cited by pundits across Europe commenting on the Danish cartoon furor. That controversy has triggered violent clashes in Pakistan, Nigeria, Libya, Syria and elsewhere, leaving scores dead. It has led to the arrest of nearly a dozen Muslim journalists who re-published some of the drawings and has driven the original artists into hiding.

Sunday in the Pakistani city of Karachi, about 50,000 people, many chanting "Hang those who insulted the prophet," rallied to protest the cartoons. The protest, held a day after a visit to the country by President Bush, also featured chants of "Death to America." In a video broadcast Sunday, Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, also denounced the Danish drawings, saying they showed the West has double standards because "no one dares to harm Jews ... nor even to insult homosexuals."

"Help us Voltaire. They've gone mad," read a headline last month in France Soir, a daily newspaper. Editors in France, Germany and elsewhere have explained their decision to reprint the drawings by pointing to principles enshrined in a statement often attributed to Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Voltaire said something similar, but the phrase was coined in 1906 by a biographer of Voltaire to sum up the French writer's views.

"Fanaticism," the play that stirred the ruckus in Saint-Genis-Pouilly, portrays Muhammad as a ruthless tyrant bent on conquest. Its main theme is the use of religion to promote and mask political ambition. For Voltaire's Muslim critics, the play reveals a centuries-old Western distortion of Islam. For his fans, it represents a manifesto for liberty and reason and should be read not so much as an attack on Islam but as a coded assault on the religious dogmas that have stained European history with bloody conflict. When Voltaire wrote the play in 1741, Roman Catholic clergymen denounced it as a thinly veiled anti-Christian tract. Their protests forced the cancellation of a staging in Paris after three performances -- and hardened Voltaire's distaste for religion. Asked on his deathbed by a priest to renounce Satan, he quipped: "This is not the time to be making enemies."

Jean Goldzink, a scholar who edited a French edition of "Fanaticism," sees in today's tumult a repeat of the polemics aroused by Voltaire in his lifetime. "It is the same situation as in the 18th Century," Mr. Goldzink says. "Then it was Catholic priests who were angry. Now it is parts of the Muslim community."

Voltaire, the pen-name of Francois-Marie Arouet, peppered his writing with irreverent barbs that riled the Church. He described God as "a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh," and wrote that "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." Mr. Goldzink, the scholar, says Voltaire mocked all religions but had some sympathy for Islam, which Voltaire described as "less impure and more reasonable" than Christianity and Judaism.

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Volaire by Nicolas de Largillière

Banned from Paris by France's Catholic king, Voltaire moved to Geneva. He quickly irked Swiss authorities, who burned one of his books. He then moved to a chateau a few miles from Saint-Genis-Pouilly and wrote a "Treatise on Tolerance." He later campaigned in vain to reverse a blasphemy conviction against a French noble, who was tortured, beheaded and then incinerated -- along with a copy of Voltaire's "Philosophical Dictionary."

Accusations of blasphemy attract mostly yawns today in mainly secular Europe, though they do sometimes excite the dwindling Christian faithful. Monty Python's 1979 film "Life of Brian" was banned for a time in parts of Europe. More recently, "Jerry Springer: The Opera," which portrays Jesus as a homosexual who dances around in diapers, drew protests from Christian groups. Still, it ran for months in London and was broadcast by British state television.

Some devout Muslims are trying to revive taboos against blasphemy, and there are signs of growing self-censorship on matters even tangentially related to Islam. In January, the Belgian town of Middelkerke cancelled a planned art display that featured a fiberglass model of Saddam Hussein submerged in a fish tank in his underwear. The Czech artist, David Cerny, describes his work "Shark" as "a reflection on dictatorship." Officials say they worried it might upset local Muslims.

Herve Loichemol, a French theater director who produced the recent readings of Voltaire's play in Saint-Genis-Pouilly and Geneva, says he wasn't trying to provoke Muslims but knew from experience his production might anger some. He pushed ahead anyway. Banning blasphemy "admits private beliefs into public space," he says. "This is how catastrophe starts."

In the early 1990s, Mr. Loichemol had proposed staging the play to mark the 300th anniversary of Voltaire's birth in 1694. Islamic activists objected, among them Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss Muslim whose grandfather founded the Muslim Brotherhood fundamentalist movement in Egypt. Mr. Ramadan wrote an open letter in October 1993 warning that performing Voltaire's play would "be another brick in an edifice of hatred and rejection in which Muslims feel they are being enclosed."

Now that tempers have calmed, Mayor Bertrand says he is proud his town took a stand by refusing to cave in under pressure to call off the reading. Free speech is modern Europe’s “foundation stone,” he says. “For a long time we have not confirmed our convictions, so lots of people think they can contest them.”
After weeks of debate, Geneva authorities dropped the play, citing financial reasons. Mr. Loichemol, who lives near Voltaire's old chateau outside Geneva, denounced the decision as a revival of intolerance. Mr. Ramadan, who has become one of Europe's most influential Muslim intellectuals, has since tried to distance himself from the campaign to censor Voltaire, saying he admires the writer and has taught "Fanaticism" to students. In an interview last year with the French magazine Medias, he said he was in Egypt when the play got canned and "was not even aware of this affair."

Last spring, Mr. Loichemol decided to take another stab at reviving the play and persuaded Saint-Genis-Pouilly to include it in a program of cultural events, along with Flamenco dancers and a lowbrow farce.

Mr. Akhrouf, the cafe owner and activist, says that in early December, he got an agitated phone call from a friend who had just received a leaflet advertising the event. Mr. Akhrouf found a copy of the play on the Internet and started shaking with rage as he read the portrayal of Muhammad as a fanatic.

Shortly afterward, he attended Friday prayers at a big mosque in Geneva and talked about his concerns with Hafid Ouardiri, a mosque official and veteran of the earlier anti-Voltaire campaign. They drafted a letter to the mayor demanding the play be cancelled "in order to preserve peace." Mr. Ouardiri, an Algerian-born former leftist radical, came to France in the 1960s and says he used to chant the 1968 student slogan, "It is forbidden to forbid." Now a devout Muslim, he says he champions "the need to forbid." Algeria and other Muslim countries, he says, were colonized by Europeans "nourished by Voltaire." Mayor Bertrand considered dropping the play. But after talking to aides and voters, he decided to stand by Voltaire. A meeting two days later to defuse the crisis got nowhere. Mr. Bertrand, flanked by officials from France's security service and other state bodies, quoted a section of France's constitution that guarantees free speech. Mr. Akhrouf and Mr. Ouardiri pleaded with authorities to try to understand Muslim feelings. Mr. Akhrouf broke down in tears. "I was very emotional," he says.

The night of the reading, riot police took up positions outside Saint-Genis-Pouilly's cultural center. An hour into the performance, the mayor got called out of the hall because of street disturbances. The mayor says the mood was "quasi-insurrectional," but damage was minor. Police chased Muslim youths through the streets. Now that tempers have calmed, Mayor Bertrand says he is proud his town took a stand by refusing to cave in under pressure to call off the reading. Free speech is modern Europe's "foundation stone," he says. "For a long time we have not confirmed our convictions, so lots of people think they can contest them."

He does have one regret: He found the play, five acts in archaic verse, "deeply boring."

Breath Of Fresh Air From An Israeli


09 Feb

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Man

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Lior—my name is Gabriel, and I saw your vigorous display of pro-Israeli energy and wanted to commend you. To my own dismay, I seem to be surrounded by self-loathing (and not a few self-loving) anti-Zionists, many of them fellow Jews themselves, who cry crock tears and hurl invectives at anyone who implies their pro-Arab position is illogical, cruel, and to put a finer point on it, simply evil (to side with those murderous thugs). These hard left neo-Marxists space cadets hooked on childish idealism tend to be Naderites (with grown up hippy sensitivities to be sure), and while I can agree with many of Nader's crusades during the course of his long activist career, and though I was briefly stimulated by Ron Paul's constitutionalist approach to what ails us in America, I know I will probably support McCain Palin in the end, after early support for Guiliani. Living in the nation's capital, however, renders my vote nil due to a 80-20 opposition party electorate. All that's fine, but peripheral to my main point.

It was your no holds barred enthusiasm for the raw naked truth in terms of identifying the apocalyptic madness which thrives in the Middle East, and in knowing which side in this raging war is simply a totalitarian death cult that thrives on blood and hatred, and refusing to kowtow to it. Thanks for being a breath of fresh air.

I blog on these issues at my website as well as paint large and small canvas works, many of which deal with this problem, but you should see the faces of people who think I am daring to cast a doubt on Islamic purity with some of my juxtapositions. This left-wing head in the sand behavior stuns me daily,

Well, I tagged you as a friend. Meanwhile, stay bold, stay safe. Unfortunately, both of these states of well-being seem to be diminishing in this culture as fast as the Leftist-Islamic propaganda machine can snuff it out in this PC-crippled multicultural-choked land of ours.

Multiculturalism is great in theory and practice among friendly peoples, but a truth-stifling disaster among enemies. But its awful beat marches onward...

Regards,

Gabriel

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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