A&E so offended by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson that they’re continuing marathon airings

December 19, 2013

In fact, I watched some episodes last night: good stuff, and I’d swear I could recognize some of my own family in there. As for the controversy over Phil’s comments, A&E thoroughly beclowned themselves over this. Phil did not call for gays to be persecuted in any way: he merely stated his belief in the Biblical view that homosexuality is a sin and paraphrased a verse from Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians to illustrate it. He did not compare homosexuality to bestiality: he was listing a category of sins. I don’t agree with Phil or St. Paul on this, but it’s Phil’s right to hold that opinion and express it, especially when it was in answer to a question. A&E cravenly caved in to a liberal fascist pressure group, GLAAD, and fired someone for the crime of “wrong thinking.” (Mao would approve.) As I said last night on Twitter, “@AETV’s fundamental mistake: assuming the audience was laughing at Phil and his family, rather than identifying with them. #LiberalBigotry.” I think they’ll get a hard lesson in that when the huge audience that follows Duck Dynasty walks away.


#IranDeal: It wasn’t just the Israelis and the Saudis Obama backstabbed

November 26, 2013
"Left to rot."

“Left to rot.”

There’s been a lot of talk since the weekend about the deal brokered between Iran on the one hand, and the US and its European partners on the other, that supposedly somehow represented a breakthrough in the quest to prevent the Iranian mullahs from getting their hands on nuclear weapons. Discussions have centered around diplomacy and grand strategy, and the motives of the Iranian and US governments. Matter of “high politics,” as they might have said in the 19th century.

But the agreement touches people on a very personal level, too. Left unmentioned in any of the negotiations are Americans trapped in Iranian prisons, men such as Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor from Idaho who was accused of the horrid crime (in Iran, under Islam) of preaching the Gospel and helping to establish home churches (1). Abedini was yanked off a bus, his passport taken from him, and he was consigned to Iran’s notorious Evin prison.

And, in the negotiations leading to this wonderful deal, the US never mentioned him once:

Two words are nowhere to be found in the pages of text that spell out a new interim nuclear deal with Iran: Saeed Abedini.

Now some supporters of the American pastor, who’s been detained in Iran for more than a year, are accusing U.S. officials of betraying Abedini by signing off on an agreement that doesn’t get him out of prison.

“We were across the table from the Iranians, and we did not bring home Americans. To me that’s a tragedy and that’s outrageous,” said Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Abedini’s family in the United States.

While analysts debated the nuclear agreement’s pros and cons, Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, said she was trying to comfort her two young children.

“It’s very painful,” she told CNN’s “The Lead” on Monday. “My kids were crying this morning, saying, ‘God, don’t let Daddy die. Bring him home.’ “

One would think an American government, leading a nation founded on principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, would have raised a stink about Abedini at these negotiations, something along the lines of “You want sanctions lifted and your sequestered cash released? Give us Abedini and we’ll talk.” (2)

But then one would remember Barack Obama is in charge. Defending Americans in danger abroad is a bit alien to him, as we learned in Libya.

Via Bryan Preston, who connects Abedini’s abandonment to his Christianity and draws a parallel to the Obama administrations attacks on religious liberty here. I disagree with Bryan on this: nations have often sacrificed individuals for “reasons of state” when a higher goal was at stake. In the Obama administration’s case, the nuclear deal with Iran was paramount, and if the government was willing to blindside Jewish Israel and Muslim Saudi Arabia with this, they weren’t going to let the fate of Saeed Abedini (or Robert Levinson) stand in the way. It’s shameful and cynical, to be sure, but not religiously motivated.

RELATED: There are several good articles explaining why this deal stinks. At The Weekly Standard, John Bolton calls this “abject surrender.” Writing at PJM, Michael Ledeen points out, among other excellent observations, that the Iranian treasury was almost empty, but we’ve now agreed to give them billions. Genius. Eli Lake at The Daily Beast quotes an expert who says this comes close to a “nuclear 1914 scenario.” How fitting, with the hundredth anniversary of World War I approaching. James Carafano calls this a deal based on a dangerous fantasy — Munich II. My own observation is this: Regardless of the restrictions placed on the Iranian public nuclear program by this deal, if you think there isn’t a secret program run in parallel by the military that is still going full-speed, you’re high.

This deal makes war more likely, not less.

PS: There’s a support page for Pastor Abedini at Facebook, and a web site for Robert Levinson.

Footnote:
(1) Abedini’s offense was compounded by being himself a convert to Christianity from Islam. Under Islamic law, that is the crime of apostasy and is punishable by death. I suppose the Iranians thought they were being merciful for just sticking him in jail for eight years.
(2) Not that I’m a religious person, but I believe very strongly in the natural right of all humans to freedom of speech and religion, and, within very broad bounds, government should stay the heck out. No law is legitimate that oppresses those rights, and an American government that won’t stand up for its citizens’ rights in the face of a tyranny that tramples both is craven.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Arab Spring: Egypt imprisons family for conversion to Christianity

January 15, 2013

That new government we helped to power is sure turning out fine, isn’t it? I mean, under Islamic Law, they could have been sentenced to death. Instead, for merely exercising the right of conscience inherent in all persons, a mother and her sons get “only” fifteen years in prison:

The criminal court of Beni Suef (115 km south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali and her children Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir, and Nancy Ahmed Mohamed abdel-Wahab will spend 15 years in prison. Seven other people involved in the case were sentenced to five years in prison.

(…)

An individuals religious faith is listed in Egyptian identity cards. Christians, converted to Islam for various reasons that attempt to return to the religion to which they belong have enormous difficulty in correcting their names on the documents. This leads many people to forge them, risking prison. The reverse process, ie the transition from Christianity to Islam is not hindered, and in many cases is favored by the very Registry officials.

The woman had converted to Islam from Christianity on marrying her husband, but, after he died, she wanted to convert back. And she tried to convince her sons to join her. Under Islam, this is a huge sin.

I’m sure the Obama administration will be right on this, reminding the Egyptians that we did not facilitate their revolution so religious minorities could be persecuted. And they’ll listen and shape up, because the Hundred Acre Wood foreign policy is working out so well, isn’t it?

via Jihad Watch

RELATED: It’s the foreign policy, stupid!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Egyptian jihad group calls for Christian genocide

August 14, 2012

Coptic cross

Via Raymond Ibrahim:

According to today’s issue of El Fegr, “Elements of terrorist, jihadi organizations distributed leaflets today inciting for the killing of Copts in Suez, Ismailia, and Upper Egypt, promising them [Copts] a tragic end if they do not return to the truth.”

An image of a copy of the letter appears on El Fegr’s website. Titled “An Urgent and Important Notice,” it begins by calling on “all brothers and sisters” to “kill or physically attack the enemies of the religion of Allah—the Christians in all of Egypt’s provinces, the slaves of the Cross, Allah’s curse upon them…” It proceeds to promise a monetary reward for whoever helps “achieve Allah’s rights against his enemies.”

(…)

This genocide has been called until Egypt’s Christians “return to the truth,” a reference apparently meaning that Egypt’s Christians must either embrace “the truth”—that is, Islam, which they must convert to—or else return to the truths of the religion, which holds that Christians must embrace their subhuman dhimmi status (Koran 9:29).

The ongoing persecution of religious minorities in the Muslim world is something rarely reported in our mainstream media, which instead hangs on every word about “Islamophobia” uttered by CAIR and its allies. But, unlike those claims, the persecution of Christians, Zoroastrians, Baha’is, Jews, and Buddhists in areas where Islam dominates or seeks domination is all too real — and often fatal.

One of the founding, core ideals of the United States is freedom of religion, the right to practice one’s faith -or no faith at all- without fear of punishment. We consider it a universal, unalienable right, pre-existing any government, endowed in all by Nature and Nature’s God.

It would be nice if the current administration could be bothered to speak out for that right, on behalf of those suffering genuine oppression.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And speaking of “freedom of conscience”

August 1, 2012

ObamaCare’s contraceptive and abortifacient mandates took effect today:

As of July 31, 2012 a business owner who objects to abortion had the freedom of conscience to make sure that her company’s insurance policies did not pay to facilitate the practice. But as of today, August 1, she no longer has that freedom. The ObamaCare contraceptive and abortifacient mandates take effect today, hailed by the Obama regime as a great and wonderful thing.

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “President Obama is moving our country forward by giving women control over their health care. This law puts women and their doctors, not insurance companies or the government, in charge of health care decisions.”

What about pro-life women? Do they not exist?

Not in the eyes of Barack Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, or the Left, they don’t.

Be sure to read the rest.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Liberals just don’t like what the Founders did, do they?

February 16, 2012

A little while back, I featured Justice Ginsburg opining that the US Constitution really wasn’t a suitable model for the modern age.

Now we have a Washington Post editor wondering if, perhaps, the first Congress got it wrong when it guaranteed the free exercise of religion in the First Amendment:

That‘s what Washington Post editor Melinda Henneberger told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews last night while defending Catholics. Here’s the full quote:

“Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment but that is what they did and I don’t think we have to choose here.”

And maybe they made a mistake guaranteeing free speech, too; otherwise we’d be able to punish dolts like Henneberger for saying such stupid things. And that whole trial by jury thing; it just gets in the way of government enforcing the law to protect us.

Head, meet wall.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy spots several problems with Henneberger’s proposition, the foremost being the centrality of freedom of religious expression to the Colonial experience and the foundation of the United States, itself:

First, there is the sheer unreality of it. As someone of Ms. Henneberger’s sophistication must know, the Founders cannot have been wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion. Had they failed to do so, there would have been no nation to found. Free exercise was a deal-breaker for Americans, and the adoption of the Bill of Rights (in which free-exercise was among the core of individual liberties that had to be specified) was a deal breaker for skeptics in several states who believed the Constitution transferred too much power to the federal government.

(Emphasis added.)

In other words, the new HHS rule regarding insurance coverage for contraception and abortifacients at religious institutions is exactly and precisely the kind of tyrannical and oppressive act regarding the free exercise of religion those who argued for a Bill of Rights had in mind, even if it’s presented as a “public good.”

They weren’t wrong, Melinda, they were prescient.

RELATED: Getting back to Justice Ginsburg and the outdated Constitution, historian Steven Hayward figured out why she seemed so enamored of the South African constitution:

The South African constitution is equally watery.  Yes, it does include an independent judiciary and a long list of positive rights.  Then there’s this:

“When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom; must consider international law; and may consider foreign law.”

No wonder Ginsburg likes it so much: it more or less gives judges a blank check to look anywhere they want to reach any result they want.

So much more fun that sticking by our stodgy old rules, no?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Religious unity against HHS decision

February 4, 2012

I wrote earlier that Catholic bishops across America had come out strongly against the Obama administration decision requiring religious organizations to pay for the cost of providing contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees. Jewish and Protestant groups aligned themselves with the bishops.

Now Orthodox Christian bishops have joined in:

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care.  We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.

As Joshua Treviño describes it, it is very unusual for Orthodox bishops to make an overtly political declaration. (Also h/t)

I really don’t think Team Obama quite knows what they’ve unleashed on themselves. But they’ll find out on Election Day.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama won’t be expecting the Spanish Inquisition

January 30, 2012

It isn’t bad enough that the majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare and want it repealed. No, the administration had to go and tick off the Catholic Church, too.

Background: As part of the implementation of ObamaCare, Secretary Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations requiring religious groups to provide health insurance that would cover practices and procedures, such as abortion,  diametrically opposed to their beliefs. The groups were given a year to comply. (Or else?)

This was too much for Catholic bishops to take, and a letter denouncing this move as an assault on religious liberty was read in thousands of  parishes across the land this last Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from one:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Each bishop sent out his own letter, so there’s some variation. Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh said the HHS ruling amount to telling Catholics “to Hell with you:”

Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.

Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.

Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.

  • To Hell with your religious beliefs,
  • To Hell with your religious liberty,
  • To Hell with your freedom of conscience.

Want to know how seriously the Church in America takes this? One bishop directed that the Prayer to St. Michael be read at services within his diocese (h/t PJM):

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen

Why is that significant? Between 1930 and 1965, when it was last included in regular services, the prayer was recited for the benefit of believers trapped behind the Iron Curtain.

This isn’t just opposition; this is a declaration of war.

It’s also incredibly risky (to put it nicely) for a president who badly wants reelection. Catholics amount to about 25% of the electorate and constitute significant voting blocs in several keys states. Naturally not all would agree with the bishops or think this as serious a matter as they claim. But I’m willing to bet that large numbers will, and that, combined with the already existing ire over ObamaCare and the economy, the President may well come to regret Secretary Sebelius’ highhandedness.

Especially on Election Day.

PS: About that subject line.

LINKS: Yuval Levin, Religious Liberty and Civil Society.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Religion of Tolerance Watch: one-legged man to hang for leaving Islam

February 7, 2011

We as Americans value religious freedom. Descended from people who themselves were persecuted for their religious choices, we made it a core article of our civic creed that one may freely practice one’s religion (within certain broad boundaries) and even change one’s beliefs without fear of punishment from the State. Not happy as a Catholic or a Buddhist? Then you can become Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Hindu, Taoist, some brand of neo-pagan, even atheist — whatever you want. And if your new beliefs don’t make you happy, switch again. You’re religion is your own business, and no one else’s.

Except in Islam, where the punishment for apostasy is death:

An Afghan physiotherapist will be executed within three days for converting to Christianity.

Said Musa, 45, has been held for eight months in a Kabul prison were he claims he has been tortured and sexually abused by inmates and guards.

Mr Musa, who lost his left leg in a landmine explosion in the 1990s, has worked for the Red Cross for 15 years and helps to treat fellow amputees.

He was arrested in May last year as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy following a crackdown on Christians within Afghanistan.

He claims he was visited by a judge who told him he would be hanged within days unless he converted back to Islam.

But he remains defiant and said he would be willing to die for his faith.

This punishment is in line with what is written in the hadiths, the sayings and deeds of Muhammad as related by his Companions and those who came after. For example, we read in one of the most highly-trusted collections, the Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated ‘Ikrima:

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.‘”

Emphasis added. Keep in mind that, according to the Qur’an, Muhammad was a perfect pattern of conduct for all mankind and, since the Qur’an is supposed to be the eternal words of Allah, for all time, too. Thus, while the sentence of death per se for apostasy doesn’t appear in the Qur’an, its presence in Bukhari’s collection as the words of Muhammad spell bad news for Mr. Musa.

Or anyone who wants to leave Islam.

This news prompts two questions:

How fragile and insecure must a religion be, that it threatens to kill those who dare leave it?

And why isn’t Secretary Clinton on the phone right now with Afghan President Karzai to remind him that a nation dedicated to religious freedom might have a problem with fighting and dying on behalf of a nation that kills people for exercising that freedom? Correct me if I’m wrong, but, so far as I can tell, the administration has said nothing.

via Jihad Watch

RELATED: A good discussion of Islam and apostasy at Sheik Yer’mami.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Religious tolerance for me, but not for thee

November 6, 2010

Just another reminder that the principles of liberal democracy and Sharia law are not compatible: In New York, Muslims want to build a mosque near Ground Zero and most Americans, while hating the idea, agree they have the right to do it. Meanwhile, in Kuwait, Christians are denied permission to build churches:

A group of Christians has complained that Kuwait City’s Municipal Council is preventing them from getting land to build a church. “The Municipal Council is the big problem preventing us from getting land; not all of the members, just the Islamic fundamentalists,” said Archimandrite Boutros Gharib, head of the local Greek Catholic Church.

Recently the municipal council blocked an attempt by the Greek Catholic Church to acquire land in Mahboula, an area in the Ahmadi governorate south of Kuwait City. The request has been pending for several years.

A new church would reduce over-crowdedness in a villa currently used for worshiping, Fr Gharib said.

According to the Greek Catholic clergyman, both the government and the country’s leader, Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, have given their approval and blessing to the Church to have its property built. However, the Council has not followed suit. What is more, “The council did not give us any reason,” he added.

“We found the higher levels of government say yes and the lower levels of government say no,” said Rev Andrew Thompson, the Anglican chaplain to Kuwait, who stressed that religious fundamentalists controlled the municipality.

As Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch points out, and as the “fundamentalist” councilmen understand, Islamic law prohibits dhimmi (Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians) peoples from building new places of worship or even repairing the old ones. Yet, while while American Muslim groups complain if someone just speaks out against the building of a new mosque in the US, they say nothing about the far worse (and genuine) religious persecution practiced in Muslim lands. Indeed, Muhammad himself ordered that only Islam shall be practiced in the Arabian peninsula. I suppose the city councilors could argue that, hey, at least they’re allowing those dhimmi Christians to practice at all. Be grateful.

This isn’t an argument for tit-for-tat discrimination or, as some might put it, “they can build a mosque in New York when we can build a cathedral in Mecca.” To do so would be to abandon our own deeply held principles.

But neither can we ignore blatant hypocrisy and religious discrimination for the sake of an intellectually addled multiculturalism, regardless of how warm and fuzzy it makes us feel. Instead, it is incumbent on us to challenge and call out the advocates of Sharia in every case where their religious law, which they see as their duty to impose on us, conflicts with the basic human freedoms Western civilization holds dear.

If we don’t we may eventually find ourselves in the same unhappy state as the Greek Catholics of Kuwait.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Wait, the conservative Christian doesn’t want to burn Qurans?

September 9, 2010

Back in the 2008 campaign, one of the most persistent smears of Sarah Palin was that she tried to have some books banned from the local library while she was Mayor of Wasilla. That’s kind of hard to square with the woman who would write this, however:

Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.

I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don’t feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.

So, let me get this straight: that raging, fire-breathing Evangelical Christian, that chillbilly social conservative, is arguing against burning the sacred texts of a religion, Islam, many of whose adherents are waging war against us in its name? And she’s doing so in eloquent terms that appeal to reason and express the best ideals of her country and her faith?

Yeah, she’s a danger to the nation. You betcha.

Oh, and she didn’t try to ban books, either.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Darn those intolerant conservatives!

August 31, 2010

Excerpt of the day from Bill Kristol:

So evangelical Christian Sarah Palin spent Friday night with (mostly) observant Jews, along with various Christians, including some Amish. Then on Saturday she spoke at a rally hosted by a Mormon who went out of his way in his remarks to refer to the important role of “churches, synagogues and mosques” in American life.

Early Monday morning, as it happened, I received an e-mail from (Catholic convert) Newt Gingrich from Rome, asking for contact information for a (Jewish) scholar whose book on certain (not very religious) enlightenment thinkers he was reading.

Can’t you just feel the seething wingnut bigotry and neanderthal hatred? I’m sure Keith Olbermann is readying a trenchant special comment declaring… well, someone… the Worst Person in the World, even now.

(Crossposted to Sister Toldjah)


Mr. President, whose side are you on?

August 14, 2010

Last night, President Obama spoke at an Iftar dinner at the White House. (Iftar is the traditional Muslim dinner held at the end of during Ramadan.) In his remarks, he waded deep into controversy over the building of a large mosque at Ground Zero in New York City. In his remarks, he made clear his support for the mosque, appealing to America’s traditions of religious tolerance:

Now, that’s not to say that religion is without controversy. Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities -– particularly New York.  Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan.  The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country.  And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable.  So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders.  And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

But let me be clear.  As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.  (Applause.)  And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.  This is America.  And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.  The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are.  The writ of the Founders must endure.

We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who led the response to that attack -– from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us also remember who we’re fighting against, and what we’re fighting for.  Our enemies respect no religious freedom.  Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam -– it’s a gross distortion of Islam.  These are not religious leaders -– they’re terrorists who murder innocent men and women and children.  In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion -– and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.

Nice platitudes, which however include the condescending and patronizing section highlighted above. Mr. President, this is not about religious freedom: Muslims have the right to practice their faith in over 30 mosques in New York City, alone, and can build more. And it is not about private property rights (which is funny coming from you, given your treatment of property rights in the GM and Chrysler bailouts), for no serious critic says property owners do not have the right to do what they wish with their property within zoning laws.

It is, however, about the location chosen and the inappropriateness of exercising those rights at that place. Ground Zero is where a Muslim jihadist organization launched a razzia (“raid”) against the kuffar (“infidels”) for the sake of Allah (jihad fi sabil Allah) and in accordance with the Qur’an, chapter nine, verse five:

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

And, at the same link, verse 111:

Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.

That act of war, done in the name of Islam and in accordance with Islamic law, killed 3,000 of our people and foreign guests. And you think it’s a good thing to build a mosque there? Muslim spokesmen and their liberal and libertarian apologists demand we be tolerant and sensitive. Tell me, sir, why shouldn’t they (and you) be tolerant and sensitive toward the nearly 70% of Americans who oppose building that mosque on that spot?

Contrary to popular Leftist mythology, Americans are very tolerant, generous people. We also have a well-developed sense of decency. And we are not bigots when we say that building a mosque at Ground Zero, one that will be headed by an Islamic supremacist imam and which every Muslim knows is a deliberate provocation, is indecent and an insult to the memory of those who died there.

And what does it say about you, sir, that you side with allies of the Muslim Brotherhood against the wishes of the people who elected you? I’ll let Jennifer Rubin have the last word:

Obama has shown his true sentiments now, after weeks of concealing them, on an issue of deep significance not only to the families and loved ones of 3,000 slaughtered Americans but also to the vast majority of his fellow citizens. He has once again revealed himself to be divorced from the values and concerns of his countrymen. He is entirely – and to many Americans, horridly — a creature of the left, with little ability to make moral distinctions. His sympathies for the Muslim World take precedence over those, such as they are, for his fellow citizens. This is nothing short of an abomination.

Indeed.

LINKS: Lots have been written about this in the last 24 hours. Bad Rachel calls it an act of appeasement. Power Line scoffs at the vapid multiculturalism of the President’s remarks. Debra Burlingame, sister of one of the pilots of the hijacked planes on 9-11, is stunned by the President’s statement. Andrew Bostom quotes Muslim apostate Ibn Warraq on Obama’s Ramadan obeisance to totalitarian Islam. Baseball Crank (always worth reading) says Obama has chosen sides. Blue Crab Boulevard says it’s not a question of rights, but one of wrongs.

ADDENDUM I: Inevitably, this is going to raise the “Obama’s a seekrit Mooslim” issue again. I don’t believe it for a minute and give it the same credence I give Laredo Trutherism. He is, however, an extremely cynical, yet intellectually shallow progressive politician of the Chicago type, who sees people not as individual citizens, but as groups to be pandered to in return for votes and donations. This is also further proof that he is a Leftist academic elitist who looks down on the rest of his countrymen, those “bitter clingers.”

ADDENDUM II: As a matter of pure politics, I have to ask: Is he insane? The leader of the Democratic Party, Obama has now nationalized the Ground Zero mosque issue and by his remarks guaranteed that Democratic candidates across the nation are going to be asked from now until Election Day whether they agree with the President’s endorsement of the mosque, which is strongly opposed by two-thirds of the nation. I wonder how many buried their head in their hands when they heard the news?

FINALLY: I’ve always tried to differentiate between Islam and Muslims, because not all Muslims agree with or want to practice the aggressive, illiberal, supremacist, and intolerant aspects of Islamic doctrine. And so I have to sympathize with those Muslims who must feel their legs have been kicked out from under them by the President’s divisive statement in support of what is, in effect, the effort to build a jihadist victory monument.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

EDIT: Fixed because I had mixed up the iftar meal with the Eid meal held at the end of Ramadan. Thanks to Helen in the ST comments section.

UPDATE: The President tries to walk-back his comments from last night. Good luck with that, bub.


No mosque at Ground Zero

June 5, 2010

The great Pat Condell with words for Americans on the prospect of a mosque being built just yards from where Muslim jihadists killed thousands of our people in 2001:

I admit this is a difficult issue for me, since, as an American, anything that smacks of abridging freedom of religious expression gets greeted with great skepticism. As it should.  And yet, this case is different: a mosque is a symbol of Islamic domination and, per sharia law, becomes a permanent possession of the Islamic ummah, or community. It is no longer American soil, but part of the Dar ul-Islam, the House of Submission.  This is as much a part of Islamic law as the call to jihad, that same called that resulted in so many deaths on 9-11.

I’ll have more to say about this some other day, but, for now, I think the mosque should be blocked. It’s not an act of “reaching out” or “building cultural ties.” No, by placing it at the site of Islam’s “great victory,” it’s an act of conquest and domination – of cultural jihad.

RELATED: (via Hot Air) By the way, did you know that the imam of this proposed mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf, belongs to a group that is the largest donor to the group that organized the Gaza “aid” flotilla? What a coincidence. Hmmm…  Thinking


About that whole “equality thing”

February 24, 2010

Why are the DC Police enforcing sharia law and gender discrimination?

Some women who protested at the Islamic Center of Washington, wanting to be able to worship in the main prayer hall with their male counterparts, were asked to leave by the police. But they say their struggle will continue.

Carpets with intricate designs cover the floors of the main prayer hall and turquoise tiles line the walls. But the source of contention is a small room created with seven foot high wooden walls. Jannah B’int Hannah describes how she feels in there where she cannot see the imam, or leader of the mosque, speak.

“Boxed in, stifling, suffocating and totally a second class citizen,” says Hannah.

Over the weekend, Hannah and approximately 20 other women prayed in the main hall, but D.C. police were called. They asked them to leave or be arrested.

So, I guess all those “old boys’ clubs” can start barring female members again? And since when does a police force in the United States get involved with enforcing religious law? I suppose they can say they were reacting to reports of a disturbance, but the threat of arrest should only come if the women were in some way violent or threatening. As it stands, it looks like they were engaged in that age-old custom of democracy, protesting peacefully for equal treatment, freedom of worship,  and against discrimination – in this case, Islamic gender apartheid (and a hot, stuffy room).

Maybe that’s what the imam really didn’t like and so he used the law enforcement agency of a democracy to restore that discrimination.

Long live the cultural jihad.

(via Jihad Watch)

RELATED: Maybe the imam though he was in Saudi Arabia, where a religious scholar says those who advocate ending sexual segregation should be killed.


Religion of Tolerance watch

November 1, 2009

Funny, I would have sworn I’d been assured that Islam was a religion of peace and tolerance:

Egyptian security forces have intensified their presence in the Upper Egyptian town of Dairout, in anticipation of a recurrence of Muslim violence against Christians. Copts expressed their fear over leaflets entitled “These have to Die!” which are being distributed to all Muslims in Dairout and neighborhoods, enticing them to “burn, vandalize and clean the country of these evil immoral infidels.”

Reports from Dairout, 313 km south of Cairo, confirm that Christian Copts are afraid to leave their homes and have stayed indoors since violence against them erupted on October 24, 2009. This collective punishment of Copts was caused by an illicit sexual relationship between a Muslim girl, Hagger Hassouna, and the Christian Romany Farouk Attallah. It was rumored that he sent videos of them intimately together to cell phones in Dairout before fleeing. This prompted the Hassouna family to kill his father, Farouk Attallah, on October 19, 2009, in revenge. Four of the Hassouna killers were detained by prosecution, leading to Muslim riots against the Copts (AINA 10-27-2009) .

According to Wagih Yacoub of the Middle East Christian Assosiation (MECA), Muslim-owned businesses are now displaying stickers with ‘Allah Akbar’ (Allah is Great) to differentiate between them and Coptic-owned businesses, as a form of pre-planning for a forthcoming wave of Muslim violence.

Handwritten leaflets (Arabic) have been circulated among Muslims in Dairout for the last two days; they call on Muslims to unite to take revenge for their religion and honor, claiming that Hagger Hassouna is innocent and that she was forced into vice, and “all Jews and Christians should come to learn that Muslim honor is precious.” The fliers state that Muslims are the masters of the world since beginning of times until the present day, and entices them to “burn and vandalize and clean the country of the evil immoral infidels.”

Granted, if the rumors about Attallah are true, then he’s a swine. (And I hate to think what the poor girl’s family did to her, given Islam’s notorious treatment of women.) But is it a justification for punishment of an entire community? Maybe that’s easy to accept, when your religion tells you that Believers are supreme and all others are to be submissive, humble and humiliated.

(hat tip: Jihad Watch)


Religious freedom for me, but not for thee

September 1, 2009

In Egypt, an American ally where Coptic Christians are regularly oppressed and persecuted, controversy over the treatment of non-Muslim minorities has arisen anew after the issuance of a fatwa (a ruling on Islamic religious law) that prohibits the building of new churches or donating money to build them, comparing them to “a nightclub, a gambling casino, towards promoting the alcohol industry or for building a barn for rearing pigs, cats or dogs.”

[Dr. Naguib Gabraeel] went on to inquire “So what is the Shari’a position to what was mentioned especially concerning the will of a Muslim to donate for the building of a church or a monk’s cell? If the answer is prohibition, aren’t these houses where the name of God is mentioned? Is not Christianity a recognized religion according to the Egyptian constitution? There are also a lot of wealthy Copts and Coptic businessmen who donate towards the building of mosques.”

The Fatwa Council replied affirming the correctness of what came in the textbook and issued a Fatwa on September 10, 2008 (document number 1809), which is also published on its official website.

To highlight the reason for this “sin” the Fatwa went on to state: “Salvation in the Christian religion is the belief in Jesus as Lord, where Muslims fundamentally disagree on it. Muslims believe that Issa [Jesus in Arabic] peace be upon him, is a slave of Allah and His Messenger, and that Allah is one. He begets not and He is not begotten and there is none like unto Him. So if it is seen that one sect has deviated from this absolute Monotheism, then according to that person’s own religion he is forbidden to donate for the erection of buildings where Allah is not worshiped alone.”

According to Mohammed el-Maghrabbi, deputy chief of the Faculty of Law, and author of the controversial textbook, what he wrote is a principle agreed upon by all Islamic jurists. He added that a will, if devoted by a Christian for building a Church, is forbidden and sinful and is considered in Islam as separation from God. So it is also illegal if a non-Muslim wills his inheritance towards building a Church or a Synagogue.

This Fatwa has shocked many as it classified churches with nightclub, gambling casinos, and places for rearing pigs and dogs, which are considered ‘unclean’ animals according to Islam and Muslims.

The article later reports that Dr. Gabraeel called on Grand Sheikh Tantawi, the head of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, which is the acknowledged center and intellectual leader in Sunni Islamic thought, to seek a clarification from him. Sheikh Tantawi then caused a ruckus of his own by denying the fatwa:

On August 19, 2009, a delegation from EUHRO, headed by Dr. Gabraeel, paid a visit to Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, who said that the Fatwa was wrong and untrue and that Muslims can make voluntary contributions to build churches, as a church is a house for “worshiping and tolerance” and that “Shari’a does not prevent Muslims from donating to the building of a church, as it is his free money. He also affirmed that Al-Azhar does not object to the “unified law for building places of worship.”

Tantawi added that building churches should be left to the Christians and Muslims are not allowed according to Shari’a to interfere in other faiths, “because religion, faith and what a person believes in is a relationship between him and his God.” He also called on the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa to hold the five jurists who issued the Fatwa accountable.

Other Islamic scholars were quite upset with the Grand Sheikh, and with reason: the prohibition against building or repairing churches and synagogues is fundamental to Islamic law, being a part of the Pact of Umar, a deal made between the second Caliph, Umar, and subjugated Christians. Christians agreed not to:

1. Build “a monastery, church, or a sanctuary for a monk”;
2. “Restore any place of worship that needs restoration”;

(…)

10. “Publicize practices of Shirk” – that is, associating partners with Allah, such as regarding Jesus as Son of God. (This is the argument of the fatwa-issuers. -Phineas) In other words, Christian and other non-Muslim religious practice will be private, if not downright furtive;
11. Build “crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating them and our books in public in Muslim fairways and markets” – again, Christian worship must not be public, where Muslims can see it and become annoyed;
12. “Sound the bells in our churches, except discreetly, or raise our voices while reciting our holy books inside our churches in the presence of Muslims, nor raise our voices [with prayer] at our funerals, or light torches in funeral processions in the fairways of Muslims, or their markets”;

Follow the link to read the whole thing. It’s enlightening. In essence, Sheikh Tantawi was going against the decree of one of Muhammad’s own companions, one of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. One wonders if he sincerely believed this, or if his statement was “political,” meant to avoid another Muslim-Copt riot.

Regardless, this contretemps over Coptic churches is another example Islam’s compulsion to seek supremacy over all other faiths and of the incompatibility of Islamic law with Western democratic liberties.

LINKS: The site of the U.S. Copts Association. More from Jihad Watch.


But, isn’t that the point…?

February 12, 2009

So, a Catholic college placing crucifixes in its classrooms is being intolerant?

WTF? I dont know

(hat tip: Baseball Crank)

 


Freedom of speech death watch

January 21, 2009

A Dutch court has ordered the prosecution of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders for his film Fitna, in which he criticized Islam and compared it to totalitarian ideologies and accused it of fostering violence. The court justified this persecution thusly:

The three judges said that they had weighed Mr Wilders’s "one-sided generalisations" against his right to free speech, and ruled that he had gone beyond the normal leeway granted to politicians.

"The Amsterdam appeals court has ordered the prosecution of member of parliament Geert Wilders for inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs," the court said in a statement.

"The court also considers appropriate criminal prosecution for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism made by Wilders," it added.

Several months ago, the Dutch prosecutor’s office had decided not to persecute prosecute, having determined he had not broken the law. Some dhimmi-Dutchmen pressed the matter in the courts, however, leading today’s decision to force the prosecutor’s office to open an investigation. Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) issued the following statement:

Court decision an all-out assault on freedom of speech

woensdag 21 januari 2009

The Freedom Party (PVV) is shocked by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal’s decision to prosecute Geert Wilders for his statements and opinions. Geert Wilders considers this ruling an all-out assault on freedom of speech.

Geert Wilders: “Apparently this is The Netherlands today. If you speak out you might be prosecuted. To participate in public debate has become a dangerous activity.”

“If I have to appear in court, not only I will be prosecuted, but also hundreds of thousands of Dutch citizens who reject the Islamisation of the West. In Dutch Parliament only the Party for Freedom is willing to speak up for the preservation of our culture and our many freedoms.”

The Freedom Party leader now faces legal proceedings that will probably take years to conclude and will also involve enormous legal fees.

“We depend on small donations. The Freedom Party is the only party in Parliament that does not accept any government funding. This court decision jeopardizes the very existence of the Freedom Party. We simply cannot afford the enormous legal expenses.”

“This is a black day for freedom.”

No kidding.

As a free human being Mr. Wilders has the inalienable, natural right to speak his mind on political matters. I don’t care what one thinks of him, the PVV, Fitna, or Islam and the cultural jihad against the West. My own writings here should make it clear that I largely agree with the opinions expressed in Fitna and that I am very concerned about the renewed jihad and the dangers posed to liberal democratic society by the spread of sharia law. On the other hand, you may think Wilders’ an ass and the whole hullabaloo over Islam nothing more than a fear-mongering fantasy.

But that is immaterial. Whether you agree with Wilders or not, he has the right to free speech, to present his views and have them challenged and judged in the marketplace of ideas. What the Dutch court has done is to sacrifice that right at the altar of communal tranquility, to grant Islam a special, superior place in which it is immune from criticism, from the normal give and take of Western society.

In other words, the Dutch Court of Appeal has submitted to Islam and become dhimmi.

Make no mistake, the Court has done Islam and Dutch Muslims no favor. To effectively ban criticism of Islam is to leave the intellectual field to the advocates of jihad and Islamic supremacy. By acting out of a kneejerk multiculturalism and a fear of Muslim violence –and that’s the root of this decision– the Court undercuts the arguments of any moderate, peaceful Muslims looking to reform their faith and find a place in the liberal, democratic societies of the West. It strengthens those who seek to recreate a seventh-century society by imposing sharia law, first on other Muslims, then the non-Muslims around them. It strengthens them because the Court’s decision shows fear and a lack of faith in the foundational principles of democratic society and can be used by jihadist imams as an argument for the natural superiority of Islam and its law.

And, after this, how could any moderate Muslim argue against them?

LINKS: Exercise your freedoms and watch Fitna for yourself. More from Fausta, Gateway Pundit, Samizdata, Islam in Action, Sweetness and Light, Jihad Watch, Ed Morrissey, Richard Fernandez, Michelle Malkin, and The Jawa Report. Mark Steyn as usual, is glorious: Dutch Courage.

 


Friday link fiesta!

November 21, 2008

Another busy day here at the ranch, folks, but here are a few links to keep you entertained:

Own a gun? Then forget getting a job in the Obama Administration, it seems. Ed Morrissey blogs on the now-infamous Question 59. Since when did exercising one’s constitutional rights become a red line for getting a job?

Speaking of our rights and liberties, the Organization of the Islamic Conference is lobbying the UN to push member states to make criticism of Islam (including any honest discussion of jihad or the Islamic supremacist ideology) a criminal offense. What was that nonsense about free speech? And what does our likely next Attorney General think of this?

Here are two articles by Jonah Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism, the first saying "been there, done that" to a presidency of experimentation, the other looking askance at the efforts to cast Barack Obama as a latter-day FDR or Lincoln. What is it about liberals that they’re always looking for some sort of larger than life savior? of course, the same thing could be said for conservatives who are desperately seeking Ronnie.

Gerard Baker thinks it’s insane to think any Obama Administration that includes Hillary Clinton in the Cabinet would be drama-free.

Finally, the great Victor Davis Hanson meditates ruefully on a society in which failure is not allowed.

I’ll be back later. Happy

 


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