Monday, November 30, 2009

Further Thoughts on Major Hasan

[Flag of Saudi Arabia with national motto, "I got mine".]
Actually that argument, that Muslim terrorist mass murderers like Major Nidal Hasan are an unrepresentative few, was used up a long time ago, and proven false. Most of the mosques in the US are led by jihadis. They speak in one voice to the non-Muslims, in another to the faithful.

The proof is in the politics. American mosques are all infiltrated by the FBI. If they rarely found anything the political pressure on them to stop spying on the houses of worship of innocent people would soon become intolerable. Just as it would if they were spying on synagogues or Mormon tabernacles, not least because it would soon prove a ridiculous waste of time and money. But FBI spying on mosques generally finds plenty and there have been several prosecutions and far more sudden leavings of the country to avoid prosecution.

It is actually the reverse of what Christy supposes. Christianity teaches that people should be loving and unselfish. The vast majority, even in a religious society, let alone in a secular one, can't be bothered with any more than ritual observance. A few, a very few, take that literally and not just as a Sunday school piety. I have met such people. Most of them were Mennonites, a small obscure sect.

Similarly, while Islam teaches murder and aggression against non-Muslims, most Muslims, like most Christians, are too busy looking out for number one or trying to find a parking place, to act on their religion. I agree with Christy there.

One could reduce the question to sophomore logic and say that while not all Muslims are terrorists, almost all terrorists are Muslims. But what matters almost as much is the penumbra between being a practicing Mennonite or Muslim terrorist and doing nothing at all. Which is where almost everybody lives.

Most Christians, when they can spare a moment or a buck, will give a dollar to a beggar or write a check to a charity. They will also be sympathetic and supportive to those who act more fully on their much-ignored moral obligations. Mother Teresa was a folk hero to billions of people.

While Western countries give far too little in foreign aid, ask yourself why do they give anything? Politicians and voters have mixed motives, but some of those motives are sincerely eleemosynary. Western aid is all that stands between a substantial fraction of Africa's population and starvation. Nobody is forcing any Western country to do that. Christian charity is far smaller than it should be, but it is a significant factor in the world. Even among thoroughly secular people, Christianity does condition what they do both individually and collectively. It is also why Christian countries have instituted social welfare, and criminalized the most egregious forms of cruelty. They do it because their religion tells them to.

Other examples are the Geneva Conventions. Prisoners of war of secular Christian nations are supposed to be treated with a certain minimum of decent treatment. Which is why Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib were scandals. Prisoners of war of Muslim nations are routinely beheaded, often with a saw. We have saws too, but we don’t do that. Yet Muslims have the temerity to complain of OUR treatment of THEM. Tell it to Daniel Pearl you vile bastards.

America is considered to have besmirched itself with rendition, delivering Muslim prisoners to Egyptian jailers who tortured them,. Yet no one thought of the Egyptians as besmirched. It is not Egyptian students who are excluded from Spanish solar car competitions but Israelis. No British university association proposes to boycott Egyptian academics, only Israeli academics. The world in general and the UN and the Norwegians and Irish in particular are outraged by the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Not a word from anyone about the Egyptian blockade without which the Israeli blockade would be meaningless. And that is without Gaza having bombarded Egypt with thousands of rockets.

But I digress.

Just as the great mass of the people of nominally Christian countries do not do much that is Christian, what they do do, and what they sympathize with, pay for, and abet does matter. Exactly the same thing can be said of Muslims. As Christy correctly implies, most of them are busy making a living, comparison shopping, and bickering over the television remote, nevertheless the teachings of their religion does matter.

Unlike the author of the Sermon on the Mount, the author of the Koran was a desert warrior chieftain who taught violence, trickery, and lying as both permissible and obligatory in spreading Islam to the infidels. He made it obligatory in the Koran. And it shows in the conduct of Muslims.

American Muslims do not routinely take up arms against the US and Israel. But, until the FBI busted them, they do contribute copiously to the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front group which used the money to buy munitions.

Just as only a few in Christian countries hear the calling to become priests, monks, ministers, or doers of pious works, so too only a few Muslims hear a religious calling and act on it. But religious Christians generally express their religion in good works. Religious Muslims, true to the teachings of Muhammad, express theirs in murdering as many infidels as they can.

So far from an isolated event, our history has been turned from its course more than once by Muslim violence. Robert F. Kennedy would likely have been elected president in 1968 and again in 1972 instead of Richard Nixon had he not been assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.

Our press deliberately conspired to mislead the American people by claiming Sirhan was a Jordanian. It was never mentioned anywhere I saw that he was actually a Palestinian. I think neither the Arabs nor the Jews wanted that put about, so the press told not a half-truth but an outright lie. Sirhan was born and spent his childhood in Jerusalem, which is not in Jordan. From the age of 12 on he lived in.... Southern California. Which is also not in Jordan. I suppose the fig leaf used to justify the lie may have been that until sometime in the 1980's many Palestinians had Jordanian passports.

Sirhan said at trial that he had grievances with the United States and with Kennedy. Consider who else had grievances with the United States and the Kennedys - the entire African American population of the United States. All of whom had and have far too much access to firearms. And not one of whom has assassinated a white politician in spite of vast incentive and provocation.

Notably the only prominent American assassinated by African Americans was Malcolm X, assassinated by his fellow Black MUSLIMS. If grievance produced violence, the most violent people in the world would be India's 200 million harijans, the untouchables. It isn't grievance that produces violence. It is Islam.

It is easy to claim that Muslim violence has increased in modern times because of the encounter with the West and that that has led to the rise of what is preposterously called "militant Islam" which is supposedly a reaction against Western influence. This is a purely Eurocentric notion which starts from the premise that Muslim countries have no history until Europeans arrive. They do.

"Militant Islam' is Wahhabism, a Muslim sect founded in Iraq and Arabia by Mohammad Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab in the the 1740's. Al-Wahhab could not have found America on a map and could have cared even less. An early convert to Wahhabism was ibn Saud, ancestor the current Saudi royal family. The expansion of the domain of ibn Saud was also the conquest of the Arabian peninsula by Wahhabbism. (Because their opponents called them Wahhabis, they object to being called that and call themselves Salafists. Like Mormons calling themselves LDS.) The modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia is defined by Wahhabism.

Wahhabism is ultra-conservative, puritanical, authoritarian, rigid, woman-phobic, and xenophobic. It is the basis of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the Saudi religious police.

Which brings us to why Wahhabis like Osama bin Laden are so devoted to destroying the Saudi kingdom. Imagine the most Calvinist anti-Catholic time and place possible, say Scotland in the time of John Knox. Now imagine that John Knox was on the payroll of His Most Catholic Majesty, Philip II of Spain, and had agreed to the stationing of Spanish troops and Spanish oil company employees throughout Scotland. And that the Knox family was waxing filthy rich on the arrangement while most of Scotland remained dirt poor. How popular would the Knoxes be?

Most imams in the US are graduates of Wahhabi/Saudi madrassas. Which is also why we cannot too explicitly suppress Wahhabism - it is the sect of our Saudi ally-clients.

Unfortunately most proselytizing is done by Wahhabis, and most madrassas, in which Muslim clergy are trained, are controlled by them because funded by Saudi Arabia. Our allies.

Ironically, we have it in common with al-Qaeda and the Taliban that, like them, we have good reason to despise the Saudi royal family.

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