Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Clash of Civilizations?

Uhhhhmmm . . . does anyone want to make an argument for an attempt to initiate dialogue in this situation? Should we try and understand and respect their feelings? Do we need more cultural sensitivity? Or is it time to recognize the evil that animates these kinds of reactions in the Islamo-fascist (or pick a better term if you don’t like that one) world? I’m all for trying to come to reasonable terms with sane human beings of all stripes. But I’m also for seriously marginalizing folks who think it’s a good idea to execute school teachers who name a teddy bear Mohammed.

Discussions - 25 Comments

I don't have a problem with marginalizing them. I just wonder if it's such a good idea to invade them.

In a rightly ordered world, the teacher would be rescued by Western forces, quickly. Anyone who stood in the way would have been terminated with extreme prejudice. The people demanding corporal punishment, let alone execution, for this lady are not only barbarians, but savages. Dialogue? I think not.

Oh, David Frisk, just reading your comment made me feel a huge masculine rush of testosterone!! You are macho, yet eloquent. Reciting your careful words is like overdosing on sugar and caffeine while watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

Julie, you're so right. Nice pre-emptive attack on the liberal "PC" crowd, who are surely planning to shower these Sudanese monsters with hugs and well-wishes. Maybe we should bomb a city or two in Sudan? For Heaven's sakes, it's not like this good white woman was dunking one of their worthless Qurans in the toilet or something!

David Frisk is right. Great nations treat attacks on one of its citizens as an attack on the nation. That is also how they earn respect among nations. This incident called to my mind the epic tale of George Gordon (who like this school teacher attempted to civilize the Soudan) and the expedition by Kitchener some years later to take Khartoum, recounted in Churchill's magnificent The River War.

3: Paul (I won't dignify you with a last name), your response says far more about you than about me. You have no sense of what is really at stake in today's world. Nor of what is required to maintain civilization. If I seem a little hot and bothered to the likes of you, I care no more about such a reaction than I care about the opinions of the subhuman creatures who are demanding the lady's death in Sudan. The West and the civilized world will start winning this battle when our leaders talk like me, and express their (our) contempt for those who talk like you.

Oh, yes. It takes a white woman from Britain getting thrown in jail for the condemnations and threats to come pouring out at Sudan. Nevermind the genocide that the Arab Muslim-controlled government has been behind for years. "Ethnic cleansing" of black Africans in Darfur could never measure to a Western woman facing jail for two weeks.


To these beasts, some silly school teacher is nothing. Only a blip in the lot of non-Arabs and non-Muslims that ought to be removed from Sudan.

4: Robert Jeffrey, thanks for your post. Methinks the Western leadership class of 100-150 years ago got more things right than wrong. It is foolish to assume that our leadership today -- among them, the multiculturalist hegemonists who offer up polite versions of what Paul does in #3 -- is wiser or more virtuous than those ancestors who some "provincials in time" (I believe the term is T.S. Eliot's) flatter themselves in thinking we've outgrown.

"R.O.B," You're presuming far too much here. Maybe you should call yourself "S.O.B." Personally, I would have no trouble sending in troops to eliminate the perpetrators of genocide in Darfur, if it could be done at reasonable cost -- a question about which I don't have much factual knowledge. I hope it also goes without saying that my support for a rescue mission in the "teddy bear" case depends on a finding that the hostage would have a good chance of being rescued.

The significance of the school-teacher is this: she surely ignored the advice of many who said, "don't go there, it's too risky, you aren't safe in an Islamic nation with a history of Islamic extremism." She risked her life to say, in essence, "I believe in common humanity. I believe in bridges between Muslims and Westerners. I reject the fear-mongering of the neo-cons."(Well, maybe she didn't say that! But, unless she turns out to be a cloaked missionary, the only kind that Christians can send to Muslim nations, don't you think her convictions did involve a kind of tsk-tsking of those not big-hearted enough to try to embrace Muslims in a one-world hug?) And if so, the Sudanese Islamists are proving her convictions were wrong. Muslims aren't like any other people--which is to say, Islamist political dynamics have great potency in their societies, however wonderful many of them may be individually. No Westerner, in fact no-one, is safe, or has basic liberty, in Sudan. And with the possible fingers-crossed exception of Turkey, this is true of every Muslim nation, in that you can't safely bet on your liberty. Jordan's a better bet than Sudan, to be sure, but not one I would take.

So trolls can bleat, and R.O.B. can chide us for not caring enough about the non-whites of Darfur (Do you have a workable solution, R.O.B., given the UN we have, given the wee fact that Sudan is one of the largest nations on earth, given the appetite for US-led military do-gooding?), but what's happening with this woman is highly telling, and Julie's response is perfectly natural, logical, and politically mature.

I'm not advocating military intervention in Darfur. I am a non-interventionist. I was merely commenting on the fact that everyone is getting riled up over one woman when hundreds of thousands have been murdered and millions displaced within the last five years, and how it is no surprise that the Arab Muslims in control of the Sudan would do something like this; the U.S. response and the media coverage of the Sudanese Islamo-fascists calling for a British subject to be executed just seems to be disproporationate to that of the genocide committed against black Christians and other non-Muslims in Darfur. It's as if the people of America and Britain are just now realizing that the people in charge of that poor country are vile and inhumane.

No one forgot that those in charge in the Sudan were vile and inhumane. Bashir and crew have been perfectly clear and apparently unashamed of that for these many years. How many years has it been since US firms were supposed to do business there? (Except gum arabic, I think) We have known what those guys are like.

I suppose it is one thing for a sovereign nation to kill and abuse their own people - the world has a long tradition in that - it is another to kill or abuse the citizen of a foreign nation where the legal and political systems are far different. Still, while we like to think we have grand traditions of the rescue of our citizens, like this, but actually, if such things do not make the news in a splashy way our government, or Britain's, is apt to look the other way. I am glad we are making a fuss about Gillian Gibbons and I hope it is enough of a fuss to get her expelled before that crowd mentioned in the article gets hold of her or the Sudanese government does what is perfectly legal and correct in the Sudan. Horrible.

I read or heard that a boy in her class, named Muhammad, had the idea of giving the teddy bear his name. The nice teacher went along with the idea. I hope that nasty bunch do not get their hands on that little boy.

I like David Frisk's idea. I like the idea of fomenting a coup in Khartoum and attempting a regime change that will transform that culture. Is it doable? Almost certainly not. I still like the idea. The world is getting too small for neighbors like these.

Should we care more about Americans than people from other countries? Yes we should, as England should make more of a fuss about the teacher than the many who have died. That is what countries are all about. Else there are no countries. We have a dialog on the country/state level as to what government does, and how well. If a group of people misbehaves then they will pay for it in many ways. To rescue them is good, but only partially. These people must come to terms with why they are suffering. Else rescuing them is in vain. There are always two sides. The world is complicated. We should all be true to our school. But we can choose between good an evil. I see Isalm as incompatible with the nuclear age; or the wmd age. Because Islam regularly fosters fanatics and has over the ages, and suppresses education and sane interaction, the result is Muslims kill each other and everyone else periodically. I don't think this is too hard to see. It is just the way of the religion; and now they have automatic guns. Duh, how could we miss that? This stuff has been going on a long time. WMDs have just upped the ante is all. But to go a little further; religion divides, faith heals.

And if anyone has not noted it on NLT today, this is Churchill's birthday (where are you, Peter?), November 30, 1874. Lift a glass of Pol Roger this last hour if you can.

Thank you, Robert.

Great points Carl Scott, I don't think she should be rescued from the error of her ways. One way or another she is a missionary who felt a calling to invest herself more personally than someone like Matt Damon. She is no doubt trying to be christ like in saying that we should forgive them for they know not what they do. I think she would definately agree with ROB, her fifteen days in jail pale in comparison to the holcaust that continues in Dafur.

But I don't necessarily agree that the people in charge are vile and inhumane. The people in charge are simply pragmatic pontious pilates, when the people in charge reduced the sentence and waved the 40 lashes, the pharisees or Ulmams as they are known in the muslim world decided that the charge of impiety was not being taken seriously so they formed a mob and stirred up passions. The real problem is that political power is held by these pharisees of the muslim world. For a guy like Bashir, Rome(US/UN/NATO) is a long ways off...in order to maintain power he has to please the pharisees far more often than he has to please Rome. If Bashir was the major of a sensible polity like New York City he might even be running for president. The same goes for almost everyone with "power" in the arab world. All power is held by the pharisees or Ulmams who channel the mob and control culture, law and education. They hold the true power and influence, then you have the warlords who go about enslaving and butchering the infidels(christians/non-muslims) with the blessing of sharia law.

Of course a large portion of the power held by the Ulmams is held by pointing out the power of Rome(US,UN,NATO). The average muslim can see that these folk have a priveledged status...why does the UK citizen get away with impiety and not receive her 40 lashes? ROB's natural sense of justice is not lost on the average muslim. So the west knows that the islamic zeitgeist/sharia as yielded by the Ulmans/pharisees is the true source of power in the middle east, but any attempt to identify the the evil of islamo-fascism simply acts to shore up the view that the west is anti-muslim and add to the power of the clerics.

Mmmmmmmm...Pie!

Julie, re "islamo fascism," it's a phrase pushed by Christopher Hitchens, though I don't think created by him. I think the better phrase is "islamic totalitarianism," or plain old "muslim supremacism."

Attaching "fascism" to "islamic" doesn't really convey the "total" and "comprehensive" control that shariaa enjoins.

At the recent Restoration Weekend hosted by David Horowitz, one of the islamic scholars, I think it was one of those that left islam, simply grew disgusted at all the various terms being tossed about, such as "islamic fundamentalism," "extremism," "wahabism" and "radical islam," and finally in disgust at the all the politically correct nonsense that is desperate to shield islam from the indictment made against it, he simply blurted out: "Enough with it, it's islam, it's islam, the problem is islam."

We have to stop trying to conversationally marginalize what is absolutely central to islam, and that's jihad. Can islam exist without force? Could islam continue to exist without enforcing death sentences for those that leave it? Can islam exist without the brutal subjugation of women? The answer to all of those questions is no. Were the world of islam to say "no more death sentences," there would be a mad bolt for the exits. It's truly totalitarian, that's why they insist on that 5 times a day prayer bit. It's all about control. Distorting what islam is won't ameliorate its horrors. All it does is cloud our understanding of the nightmare before us. And it also prevents us formulating proper policy in response. Had Europe an accurate understanding of islam, they never would have so compromised Europe itself. And now, ................. absent a miracle, .......... they're through. Their future is as Bernard Lewis so bleakly and sadly observed, "islam."

Just ponder for a moment the great cities and cultural treasures of Europe, all going over to the control of the dark forces of islam. Think of the Vatican, now surrounded by islam on all sides. Rome conquered, and a lonely citadel of truth standing on Vatican hill.

The muslims won't long endure that.

It's Tolkienesque. It's apocalyptic.

What would T.R do? "Edy Pedacaris {sp?} alive, or Rasuli {sp?} dead." Wasn't that Teddy Roosevelt's line?

Segueing to the events in Sudan, the line would go "the teacher alive, or a whole chunk of them dead." But that type of robust response is beyond the West today. Thus Westerners are preyed on, taken captive, raped, gang raped, terrorized, brutalized and cowered.

The British Empire knew how to respond to this kind of nonsense. We all know the Labour government of Brown won't know what to do. If Blair was paralyzed when the creepy Iranians spit on the Red Ensign of the Royal Navy, and there wasn't a clamour to unleash on the Iranians, I've no doubt that nothing much will come of this. If anything, they'll probably be apologizing to the Sudanese, for the teacher's supposed "cultural insensitivity."

Perdicaris alive, or Raisuli dead, according to this and other quick cheap and easy Internet searches. John Lewis is not wrong, but the problem with his correct view is what Dan points out - how the heck are we going to live with that?

My son, the former Marine, is taking a comparative religions course and has become deeply interested in Islam. I have him reading Bernard Lewis, which is putting him at odds with his professor who insists that Islam is a religion of peace, no matter what it says in the Koran, which is what my son is quoting to counter the multi-cultural drivel.

Yes, no doubt Britain and other Western governments will deride that poor woman's cultural insensitivity, but that is probably the only way to get that woman out alive.


I think Peter Schramm has posted on the subject. Maybe I will repost this up above to keep the conversation open a couple of days longer.

The woman is no longer THE issue.

It's moved way beyond her. It's about us, it's about our moral tenor, it's about our moral fortitude, it's about our appreciation of who we are, what we meant.

I wouldn't be trying to get that foolish woman out alive, I'd be looking to use her as an excuse to commence the unleashing and unloading that's long overdue.

THEY started this. THEY began this. WE tried for peace, WE tried to coax them into the community of nations. THEY wanted nothing to do with it.

So be it.

So be it.

So let the killing begin.

It wasn't us, it was them. IT'S ALWAYS been them. From antiquity, it's been them. ALWAYS THEM.

So let's settle once and for all these great and tremendous issues between us.

Will the future of the world be defined by Western values, Western norms.

Or will the future of the earth, the future of the peoples of the earth be defined by the proponents of creepy, totalitarian shariaa.

That's what it's all about.

I really hate having to advocate a war effort that would result in the death of many people, and inexorably the death of many that would have preferred to remain outside the conflict.

It's morally disturbing. It's a horror. And I don't much enjoy going over the issues that "Bomber" Harris and "Toohey" Spaatz had to thrash out. "Bomber" Harris of the RAF's Bomber Command did a great deal to end the 3d Reich, but within a decade of the end of the war, he was under a shadow, his reputation tarnished. Not for any personal delinquency. But because he energetically implemented the decisions of the combined general staffs, signed off on by the elected leaders of the great democracies, for Churchill and FDR both knew and approved of his actions.

Again and again and again I've gone over the same vexatious issues, trying to find a way out of this war, this collision, this nightmare.

And I haven't found it.

Protracted war is intolerable.

I keep hearing the words of Sherman: "War IS cruelty, you cannot refine it."

I know that attempts to "refine" war might be the more moral thing. But I also know those attempts usually prolong war, and make victory much more elusive.

If we do not seek to change islam and abolish shariaa, abolish jihad, ... we're not going to win, we're not going to change them. We would be handing off to succeeding generations the nightmare of large portions of the earth under shariaa.

How can we do that, how can such a thing possibly be moral? How can it be moral to allow female mutilation, slavery, rape, gang rape? How can we tolerate these things? But if we seek to end them, if we seek to end them once and for all, the force involved would be like that of the Second World War.

I absolutely despise all of it. It's not what I wanted, and before 9/11, I never even thought about it.

It's a nightmare, and it's been forced on us.

And needless to say, I feel sick to my stomach about all of it.

Dan, it would be a lot worse than the Second World War. We would have a bad time getting the fuel to power a war effort against Islam, wouldn't we?


It would be horrible, which is really why we are not going to do that. We are just going to struggle along, trying not to make a conflagration.

The woman is free, a presidential (how does anyone call Bashir "Mr. President"?) pardon and now the Brits just have to figure out how to get Gillian safely out of the country.

The recent events in Sudan regarding the British teacher and the teddy bear named Mohammed once again underscore the crisis that is engulfing the Islamic world and its relationship with Western Civilization (or Asian Civilization for that matter-witness events in the Philippines and southern Thailand.) To Western eyes, the sight of mobs in the street demanding the execution of a 54-year-old woman from Britain for defaming the Prophet Mohammed is nothing short of barbaric. Aside from that issue, we have also recently witnessed the prosecution in Saudi Arabia of a young female victim of gang rape. In Dubai recently, a 15 year old boy from France was gang-raped by three men. When he reported the incident to the police, he was accused of being a homosexual and is subject to prosecution since homosexuality is illegal in the UAE. Clearly, we have a culture clash here. It would be easy to shrug it all off and say that, if that's the way they want to run their societies, let them. We'll just not go there anymore. As simplistic as that is, we must also consider that many (not all) Muslim immigrants in the West want to establish that kind of society in their adopted countries.

Let's look first at Europe. Most western European countries are socialistic and liberal in their policies, especially in regards to immigration and granting of asylum. Many European societies, like France and Germany for example, brought in workers from Islamic countries to do the manual work that the Europeans would not do. In the case of France, many came from former French colonies in North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa-predominately Muslim. Today, major riots have broken out among these immigrants twice in the last two years, sparked by police encounters where Muslim youths were killed. (It should be pointed out that much of this unrest stems from economic and social issues in France among immigrant youth.)

In the case of Germany, in the past two generations, waves of workers have been brought in from Turkey, which has had hereto a secular tradition. Of course, Muslims from other countries have come to Germany for study, including some of the 9-11 hijackers.

In Spain, the country basically capitulated to Muslim terrorism after the train bombings in Madrid. They elected a new Prime Minister and pulled thei troops from Iraq.

In Holland, probably the most liberal nation in Europe, that country is witnessing extreme problems with many of their Muslim immigrants. In many cases, Muslim communities are isolated within and around major cities like Rotterdam and attempting to establish their Islamic law within their communities even if it violates local law. More seriously, Dutch film producer Theo van Gogh was murdered for having produced a movie critical of Islamic treatment of women. A Somali immigrant, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was also involved in the film and a former Muslim, has had to live in hiding from extremeists who want to kill her.

In Scandinavia, it is the same thing. Police in Malmo, Sweden don't dare enter the Muslim quarter of town. Denmark? Cartoonists now have to live in fear in their own country for having drawn cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed. Danish embassies were attacked and burned over the cartoons as well.

Probably the worst situation exists in the UK, where certain mosques openly preach hatred toward their adopted country, protestors carry banners in the streets advocating the beheading of those who insult Islam, the killing of the Pope and another 9-11. On 7-7-05, words became action with the bombings of London subways and buses. While the British Government has done its duty in fighting radical Islam in Afghanistan and Iraq, it has no clue as to what to do about extremists in their own country, many of whom are native born Brits themselves.

It is probably safe to say that most of the problems involve the younger generation of Muslims as opposed to their parents' generation. They have become radicalized, perhaps feeling like 2nd class citizens and turning inward to religion. In the mosques, many Imams are fomenting that resentment toward the West. As a result, many Muslim immigrants and native-born immigrants are calling for an Islamic takeover of the West and imposition of Shariah law.

Sound ridiculous? How could a tiny minority in Western Europe take over a nation and impose their own religion, taking away freedoms that have been hard-won by Europeans? Consider this: If present immigration and birth rates continue, Western Europe will be majority Muslim within 2 generations.

Here in the US, we have long held the position that our Muslim population was distinct from that in Europe since Muslim immigrants to the US were better educated and, thus, their off-spring were more assimilated into our society. True, we have not seen the violent unrest among Muslim immigrants that Europe has experienced. Yet, especially among the younger generation, educated as they are, it is growing. If you spend any time on a college campus and pay attention to the fiery speakers that they bring onto campus (such as my school-UC Irvine), you would be alarmed. Many of these speakers call for the destruction of Israel, praise suicide bombers as heroes and call for the takeover of America by Islam.

In addition, we have seen the FBI and other law enforcement authorities make arrests of Muslims in the US for plotting to conduct terrorist operations, such as the plot to blow up Ft Dix, NJ. Is this representative of our Muslim population? No, I don't think so. I feel that the older immigrants especially are mostly grateful for the opportunity to live in a free country and better their lives. Yet, it is a cause for concern. If there are, as estimated, 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, the majority of whom are peaceful, even 1/2 of 1% who are not means a lot of people we need to watch out for. I am concerned that many of our younger generation of American Muslims are feeling increasingly disaffected from America. If this should reach the level of say, Britain, then we would have a serious situation on our hands. Obviously, we want our Islamic population to be on our side in the War on Terror.

The situation in the Islamic world itself is obviously another cause for concern. Consider the worst-case scenario. First, we have a radical regime in Iran building a nuclear weapon capability and talkng about the destruction of Israel. Syria is another supporter of terrorism. Suppose we leave Iraq and that country becomes a satellite for Iran and base for terrorists. Suppose we are not successful in Afghanistan and the Taliban returns to power. Pakistan, with its growing militancy (and nuclear weapons) is in danger of falling apart and being taken over by radicals. Lebanon is still a mess, as it has been for a generation. The corrupt regime in Saudi Arabia is under threat from radical Islamists as well. What if they fall? It doesn't take much imagination to visualize a Muslim world controlled by extremist elements.


That leads to the ultimate question: What would we (the rest of the world)do if we find the whole Muslim world aligned against us? Do we surrender? Do we convert to Islam? Do we give up the freedoms we have sacrificed so many millions of lives to enjoy? Do we allow customs like female circumcision, fatwas and "honor" killings to be conducted in our countries? There are voices in the US, Europe and the rest of the world who can only think of having peace. Are they willing to surrender everything for the sake of peace?

My answer is no-never. Muslims should understand that while we want to live in peace with them and allow them to worship as they please in our lands, that we stand for freedom of religion-and many other freedoms that some of them would take away. We will not give up those freedoms. They should also understand that the US, while trying to help bring peace to the Middle East, is committed to the survival of Israel. We also expect that immigrants to the US should assimilate into our society and accept our values as Americans-even while keeping their religion. A couple of years back, John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia, publically told Muslim immigrants in that country that if they were not prepared to accept Australian values, they should leave and return to their countries of origin. The world needs more leaders like John Howard.

gary fouse
fousesquawk

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