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Thursday, November 15 2018 @ 01:30 pm PST

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Allons Enfants de la Liberte

“This was the work of insecure cowards who apparently fear their religion is so weak that it can’t withstand criticism, and who must fear the God they purport to worship isn’t big enough, strong enough, or wise enough to take a joke.” –National Cartoonist Society

First we thought it was a workplace shooting. A gunman in an office building. To such news, awful though it was, I permitted myself a small smirk at the European country with a gun incident. I shouldn’t have, I know, but I've listened to too many Europeans telling me why America should change our gun laws. The destruction of life always unmasks our reality, no matter how common. We live in a world of inevitable tragedy and there’s an ugly temptation to score whatever points we may.

Then the details of the Charlie Hebdo massacre trickled down like the bloody ebb of life. Twelve victims tried, convicted and executed for their free expression by the egotistical, fearful followers of an easily insulted prophet. The twelve. A motley crew of wavering faith persecuted for truth. Who are the martyrs here?

As the story of the world unfolds it seems to me that Islam has good individuals but no saints. For it is the saints who are God’s hands to turn us from paths of destruction. The ever-growing company of saints build the momentum for faith, freedom and victory in the face of overwhelming evil. Tell me, where is the good that Islam built? Oh, they will say that Mohammed stopped the murder of female infants, but they conveniently omit the subsequent life of subjugation. They omit Islam’s degradation and deprivation of humanity and its ultimate denial of our identity as BELOVED children of God.

Je suis Charlie, though my voice be small and my pen faltering. Vive la Resistance.

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The nature of the enemy

I saw this a few days ago and wanted to write about it, but I'm not sure anything more needs to be said other than the title above. The total devaluing of human life speaks for itself.

Karachi Police Free Chained Students

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Just. Don't. Bother.
I'm not going away.
Death Threats and Hate Crimes: Attacks on Woman Bloggers Escalating
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Must-read article of the day

I have severe disagreements with Sam Harris over his views of Christianity and faith in general, but his discussion of the hypersensitivity and violence of Islam is spot-on. It's a long article but well worth your time. H/T MikeR.

Losing Our Spines to Save Our Necks

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The Hit List

Feds Send Alert After Al Qaeda Linked Site Posts Hit List of US Targets
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Report: Chechen Women Forced to Wear Headscarves

The title of that story doesn't do it justice. "Forced to wear headscarves" invokes images of the headscarves being forcibly put on the women. The reality is that they are subject to physical abuse if they dare to go out in public without a scarf.

I've paid a moderate amount of attention to the Chechen situation over the years, and this appears as a dangerous escalation of radical Islam. For many years this was a territorial issue, but the recent report seems more akin to Al Qaeda or Iran than the Chechnya of the past. New leadership? Or simply the old guard going over the edge?

A few days back I saw that BBC was doing a series on the conditions women live in around the world. I haven't watched it, but according to the previews they were exploring the question of whether it was better to be emancipated or protected. Having dealt with all kinds of **** from various men around the world, I can say that it's not always an easy question. But these women have neither emancipation nor protection. It strikes me that the standard line of "do X so that you won't get hurt" echoes the controlling refrain of most of the abusers out there.

True protection must be given and received voluntarily. If I let someone protect me it is a very different thing from someone imposing their will upon me for my "own good." Few people in the Muslim world seem to understand this. But sometimes that understanding is lacking on our shores as well.

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Why do they hate us?

On Foxnews yesterday, terrorism expert Dr. Walid Phares responded to the classic question of why certain Muslims seem to hate us: "because they've been indoctrinated to."

The honest simplicity of the answer made me laugh. I then shared it with some friends, who shared it with their friends, and of course a fierce debate erupted.

A few of the points made:
Not every Muslim in the Middle East hates us.
They hate us because we screwed them over in (pick a year of the 20th C)
The conflict goes back to Isaac and Ishmael
It began when Cain killed his brother Abel (I'm assuming this is a reference to the first recorded act of hatred)


It is often said that you can't understand the Middle East without understanding how long of a memory its people have. If I operated under similar principles, as a good half-Scot I should be still trying to kill the English. And the Irish Troubles would be considered a relatively new grudge.

If we purely take the line that Muslims legitimately hate Americans because of the injustices of the creation of the political state of Israel, then we should be able to legitimately hate Muslims because of 9/11.

I never want to deny that the Arabs in what has become Israel got screwed over pretty thoroughly. They did. The West didn't do it arbitrarily; faced with the horrors of the Holocaust, we knew we owed the Jewish people something, and the unhelpfulness of the Arab world during WWII made it easy to saddle them with the biggest cost. And it's true; they have not forgotten that humiliation.

What I find interesting is that liberals and the Middle East tend to share the same blame-game mentality. "If my life is bad," they reason, "someone else is probably to blame and someone else should be held responsible. Someone else should make my life better." When it comes to the Palestinian issue, the idea grows exponentially as the various surrounding countries encourage the blame of the US. Imagine the US trying to blame Spain for our problems with Mexican immigrants. While that is perhaps an extreme example, the point remains that blaming the US gives countries like Syria an excuse to not do anything to actually improve their situation, and provides recruiting opportunities as long as the poorest segments of their society are angry at everyone but their local leaders.

It's a stinging irony when our military is accused of exploiting the poverty of young men and women while the same accusers assume that young Palestinians blow themselves up because they have a valid gripe.

Let me tell you something about the mind of the average suicide bomber. There is hatred, yes, but above all else there is desperation, desperation because they have become convinced that they have no other way of improving life for themselves or their families. Who convinced them of this? Does it not seem odd to you that a country that is famous for its opportunities is blamed for someone's hopelessness?

Hence the comment from Dr. Phares. Most hatred of Americans is not born of direct contact but of someone else's information and interpretation.

While I'm earning my fatwa, I should also note that Islam always places the Jew, Christian or infidel on an inferior level to the Muslim. Given that human worth in Islam is measured by submission to the perceived will of Allah, and given that even Muslim life appears to be cheap in their society, why would anyone in their right mind expect any kindness or respect from the Muslim world? It's a blessing when we meet those Muslims who exceed the kindness of their faith. But that should be the surprise, not the hatred.