Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Unveiling of Danish Cartoons at UCI

I just learned of this:

California Panel Discussion to Hold Unveiling of Controversial Danish Cartoons

On February 28th, The United American Committee & the College Republicans will host a discussion session at the University of California Irvine with a special 'Unveiling of the Cartoons' in which the controversial Danish cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammad will be displayed along with Anti-Semitic and Anti-Western cartoons which have been printed in Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic nations, with the panelists commenting on their perspective of each cartoon. The discussion will also address the issue of mainstream Islamic organizations who may act as apologists for terror. Scheduled are a wide range of panelists with in depth knowledge on militant Islam. An open invite is extended to The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR ) who is currently boycotting the event. Organizers of the event plan on having an empty chair for CAIR should they wish to attend or should another mainstream Islamic organization wish to participate in the discussion.

The discussion session promises to be informative for anyone concerned about national security, about alleged issues of anti-Semitism as well as alleged discrimination against Muslim-Americans in the Untied States during the War on Terror. It also will delve into activities of certain groups and will seek to answer questions over exactly where allegiances lie in these troubling times. Anyone interested in how the conflict in the Middle East affects Americans here at home will not want to miss this important event.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
The event will be held at UC Irvine, California in
Was in room PSCB120 but is now relocated to the Crystal Cove Auditorium at UC Irvine.
Tuesday, February 28th
Arrive at 6:30 PM, event will begin at 7:00 PM sharp.

Religion of Peace Roundup

Worldnetdaily reports that Islamic terrorists are training in the US:
The Pakistani terrorist group Jamaat ul Fuqra is using Islamic schools in the United States as training facilities, confirms a joint investigative report by an intelligence think tank and an independent reporter.

A covert visit to an encampment in the Catskill Mountains near Hancock, N.Y., called "Islamberg" found neighboring residents deeply concerned about military-style training taking place there but frustrated by the lack of attention from federal authorities, said the report by the Northeast Intelligence Network, which worked with an Internet blogger, "CP," to publish an interim report.

The neighbors interviewed, who asked not to be identified, said they feared retaliation if they were to make a report to law enforcement officials.

"We see children – small children run around over there when they should be in school," one neighbor said. "We hear bursts of gunfire all of the time, and we know that there is military-like training going on there. Those people are armed and dangerous."

Memri reports on a television interview with Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, aired on Qatar TV on February 25, 2006. Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi is head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), and the spiritual guide of many other Islamist organizations across the world, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Among his "moderate" statements:
"We do not disassociate Islam from the war. On the contrary, disassociating Islam from the war is the reason for our defeat. We are fighting in the name of Islam."

Everything will be on our side and against Jews on [Judgment Day]; at that time, even the stones and the trees will speak, with or without words, and say: 'Oh servant of Allah, oh Muslim, there's a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' They will point to the Jews. It says 'servant of Allah,' not 'servant of desires,' 'servant of women,' 'servant of the bottle,' 'servant of Marxism,' or 'servant of liberalism'... It said 'servant of Allah.'
(HT: Die Welts' Free West Blog)

5,000 kids, aged 8 to 12, warm up for future violence by rallying in Pakistan to burn things and to chant: "Hang those who insulted the prophet".

Monday, February 27, 2006

Show Us

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch puts the proper attitude toward the so-called "moderate" Muslim well in this post:
That fact indicates that it is not non-Muslims like Downer, but actually Muslims in pluralistic societies who claim to be moderate, loyal citizens of the countries in which they reside, who need to establish that the war on terror is not a war on Islam. They can do this by joining it wholeheartedly, seeking out and exposing the jihadists among their ranks, and demonstrating through their deeds that they can oppose jihad violence and its goal of the imposition of the Islamic social order and the subjugation of infidels, while continuing to practice Islam in some fashion. The burden of proof is on them. Downer and other Western pols shouldn't waste one second reasurring Muslims that the war on terror is not a war on Islam; instead, they should be asking them: "Show us that the war on terror is not a war on Islam. We don't want to go to war with the Islamic world in general, but we cannot ignore or deny the fact that those who have determined to destroy us are operating according to Islamic principles. Show us that you do not hold to the advancement of those principles either by violent or peaceful means, and that you will join us in combatting them."

So far, Muslim organizations in America and Europe seem primarily concerned with obstructing anti-terror efforts. Nor have they done anything to formulate a non-jihadist, non-Sharia, pluralist Islam, although they continue to assert loudly and regularly that such a thing exists, and is in fact the Real Thing. Why is it beyond politicians like Downer to say, politely but firmly, Show me?

Also of interest, this post by a former Muslim taking a look at life inside the mosque. Says he:
Being in a mosque gives me an odd feeling inside that’s tough to put into words. Every mosque I've been in (and that's a fair number) has a feeling of submission about it. By submission, I mean that everyone in this place has had their identity essentially destroyed by the straitjacket that is Islam. It is all quiet, but it isn't the peaceful sort of quiet. There is no peace—there is, rather, a palpable sense of fear...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Video of the Day

See the type of protest that is used to curtail free speech and intimidate the West! Yet our politicians, leftist intellectuals and MSM seem to think this is normal and ok -- after all Islamists are very sensitive and have their own way of expressing it...

(Click on Red tab at top of page to launch the video) Courtesy Michelle Malkin

Update: I had been wondering what the signs in the protest saying "Remember Khaibar" meant, this post explains it.

Update2: When you watch the video, realize that none of these protesters were harrassed in any way, yet counter-demonstrators at a similar protest were arrested for "provoking trouble" because they were carrying images of Muhammed. It sure doesn't bode well for England.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Here are a few interesting links, most of which have already been mentioned on other blogs:

This article by Keith Windschuttle is excellent on many levels. It helps support the notion that the long run battle is intellectual and will largely be fought in the universities. It has a bunch of interesting information on fraudulent revisionist history that I think runs rampant nowadays, and it shows how the death of the West (as Onkar mentioned in his Free Speech op-ed) is by suicide more than by murder. It's a long article, but I highly recommend it. (HT Rob)

This is a slide show illustrating the type of indoctrination to which Islamic fundamentalists subject their children. Courtesy LGF, HT The Dougout (which btw has also been added to the blog roll.) Watching the slide show sure made me wonder where are all those people who are so vociferous in condemning violence in video games? Which brings me to...

This post does a good job of capturing the complacency and mis-focused attention that exists in the West -- and suggests a parallel to what it might portend. I haven't spent enough time on the main site to evaluate it (I always worry that anti-Islamic sites are really just there to push a pro-Christian agenda) but so far I like what I've read. And the idea of an "infidel bloggers alliance" is probably a good one, given that the MSM is too craven and depraved to stand up for any of our rights.

Back in September when discussing libertarianism I mentioned that:
In thinking about this, consider that Lebanon and Somalia would fit their view of a free society, but that 19th century America would not.
Bruno over at the Simplest Thing points out that my hypothetical analogy has become true-to-life: the Von Mises people are now pointing to Somalia as a success story for anarchy!

And finally, for a bit of humor, check out this post over at the Dougout.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Why Indeed?

My good friend Wayne forwarded me the following email which apparently has been circulating around the internet:

We wake up this morning to see video on CNN showing rampaging Muslims around the world. In Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim ...Muslim Mobs spreading mayhem. It seems that these mighty mad Muslims are rioting and firing their ever-present AK-47s into the air because of cartoons. Yup ... this latest epidemic of Muslim outrage comes to us because some newspapers in Norway and Denmark published some cartoons depicting Mohammed.

Muslim outrage huh. OK ... let's do a little historical review. Just some lowlights:

a.. Muslims fly commercial airliners into buildings in New York City. No Muslim outrage.
b.. Muslim officials block the exit where school girls are trying to escape a burning building because their faces were exposed. No Muslim outrage.
c.. Muslims cut off the heads of three teenaged girls on their way to school in Indonesia. A Christian school. No Muslim outrage.
d.. Muslims murder teachers trying to teach Muslim children in Iraq. No Muslim outrage.
e.. Muslims murder over 80 tourists with car bombs outside cafes and hotels in Egypt. No Muslim outrage.
f.. A Muslim attacks a missionary children's school in India. Kills six. No Muslim outrage.
g.. Muslims slaughter hundreds of children and teachers in Beslan, Russia. Muslims shoot children in the back. No Muslim outrage.
h.. Let's go way back. Muslims kidnap and kill athletes at the Munich Summer Olympics. No Muslim outrage.
i.. Muslims fire rocket-propelled grenades into schools full of children in Israel. No Muslim outrage.
j.. Muslims murder more than 50 commuters in attacks on London subways and busses. Over 700 are injured. No Muslim outrage.
k.. Muslims massacre dozens of innocents at a Passover Seder. No Muslim outrage.
l.. Muslims murder innocent vacationers in Bali. No Muslim outrage.
m.. Muslim newspapers publish anti-Semitic cartoons. No Muslim outrage
n.. Muslims are involved, on one side or the other, in almost every one of the 125+ shooting wars around the world. No Muslim outrage.
o.. Muslims beat the charred bodies of Western civilians with their shoes, then hang them from a bridge. No Muslim outrage.
p.. Newspapers in Denmark and Norway publish cartoons depicting Mohammed. Muslims are outraged.

Dead children. Dead tourists. Dead teachers. Dead doctors and nurses. Death, destruction and mayhem around the world at the hands of Muslims … no Muslim outrage ... but publish a cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his turban and all hell breaks loose.

Come on, is this really about cartoons?
I know and understand that these bloodthirsty murderers do not represent the majority of the world's Muslims. When, though, do they become outraged? When do they take to the streets to express their outrage at the radicals who are making their religion the object of worldwide hatred and ridicule? Islamic writer Salman Rushdie wrote of these silent Muslims in a New York Times article three years ago. "As their ancient, deeply civilized culture of love, art and philosophical reflection is hijacked by paranoiacs, racists, liars, male supremacists, tyrants, fanatics and violence junkies, why are they not screaming?"

Indeed. Why not?

My own brief answer is that Islam, in its essence, is a faith-based culture of death. Because it is a culture of death, human lives have no meaning or value. Because it is taken on pure faith, no means remain by which to question it. For to question or argue would require an appeal to reason – the very antithesis of faith. Thus the only recourse by which to settle differences is violence: “Kill the unbeliever who dares reject, question, or belittle our faith. Burn his buildings and property. Beat him into submission. Then he will ‘learn’ that ours is the ‘true’ and ‘enlightened’ path.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cox and Forkum

I've (finally) added Cox and Forkum's excellent site to my blog roll and am reprinting their "Toonophobia" cartoon here in solidarity with the Danish cartoonists. (I still haven't heard anything back from the copyright holders of the original twelve cartoons.)

Patriot Guard

My brother Raj sent me this link describing a group of riders who travel the country defending the honor of those fallen in Iraq from nut-job Christians who think God is punishing the US for allowing homosexuality. I didn't know whether to cry seeing the types of religious idiots we now harbor in America, or to smile knowing that some people will go to great effort to support our military. I guess both are appropriate. From the article:
They call themselves the Patriot Guard Riders, and they are more than 5,000 strong, forming to counter anti-gay protests held by the Rev. Fred Phelps at military funerals.

Phelps believes American deaths in Iraq are divine punishment for a country that he says harbors homosexuals. His protesters carry signs thanking God for so-called IEDs -- explosives that are a major killer of soldiers in Iraq.

A Simple Request

To all those who -- in the name not offending anyone’s feelings -- advocate “self-censorship”, kindly self-censor yourselves, for I find your statements incredibly offensive.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Reprinting Cartoons

I'd been wanting to reprint the Danish cartoons for some time now, and planned to link to Rob Tracinski's excellent "Publish or Perish" editorial as part of the same post. However, when I contacted Jyllands-Posten for permission to re-print the cartoons, they directed me to the copyright holders' site, which was asking for $250 for each reprinted cartoon. I contacted them via their web-form to see if they would waive the fee for small websites, but have heard nothing back. Today I found this newly posted bulletin on their site stating they would not prosecute those who used the images without permission, but that they are still asking a fee to republish them. I'd like to use the collage of 12 images shown in this post by Grant Jones, but as I understand it, it would cost me $3,000 to do so. Does anyone know of exemptions for blogs and other small media which might apply in this situation?

Also, on a separate, but related matter, I want to be on record as opposing the type of hate speech laws that lead to this sentence in Austria. Of course I regard the type of person who would make such a claim as extremely immoral, but I think the claim should be protected under free speech and should not be illegal, rather I think he should be dealt with through ostracism, as I discussed here.

Cartoon Pretext

Like a few others, I’ve struggled with what to call the whole Islamic reaction to the cartoons printed in Denmark, but have provisionally settled on two short forms: Cartoon Jihad (which is used by Michelle Malkin and many others), and Cartoon Pretext. The first captures the typical Islamic method of “argumentation”: violence and unrest; while the second captures their dishonesty (e.g. burning down KFC has absolutely nothing to do with cartoons in Denmark). I will alternate between the two appellations as appropriate.

A few updates:

In a story that has often been covered over the past several years at Frontpage magazine (among others), European countries are already sliding towards Islamic rule. For example, police in Germany and France have indicated that they have no control in many suburbs, that they cannot even safely enter them, so these areas are already de facto governed by sharia. This very important story argues that Britain will soon follow:
Dr Sookhdeo adds that he believes that "in a decade, you will see parts of English cities which are controlled by Muslim clerics and which follow, not the common law, but aspects of Muslim sharia law.

"It is already starting to happen - and unless the Government changes the way it treats the so-called leaders of the Islamic community, it will continue."
The Islamic view of appeasement is also clearly stated:
"They think they have won the debate," he says with a sigh. "They believe that the British Government has capitulated to them, because it feared the consequences if it did not.

"The cartoons, you see, have not been published in this country, and the Government has been very critical of those countries in which they were published. To many of the Islamic clerics, that's a clear victory.

"It's confirmation of what they believe to be a familiar pattern: if spokesmen for British Muslims threaten what they call 'adverse consequences' - violence to the rest of us - then the British Government will cave in. I think it is a very dangerous precedent."
The author also offers an intellectual observation that every Westerner must understand if we are to survive:
Perhaps the explanation is just that they do not take it seriously. "I fear that is exactly the problem," says Dr Sookhdeo. "The trouble is that Tony Blair and other ministers see Islam through the prism of their own secular outlook.

They simply do not realise how seriously Muslims take their religion. Islamic clerics regard themselves as locked in mortal combat with secularism.

"For example, one of the fundamental notions of a secular society is the moral importance of freedom, of individual choice. But in Islam, choice is not allowable: there cannot be free choice about whether to choose or reject any of the fundamental aspects of the religion, because they are all divinely ordained. God has laid down the law, and man must obey.
Read the whole article as it reveals much about the nature of Islam. (HT The Free West Blog)

Jeff Jacoby reports on a newspaper finally telling the truth about why they won’t publish the cartoons. It has nothing to do with objectivity or restraint and everything to do with fear (and given our government’s unwillingness to protect our rights, I don’t blame them one bit). The whole article is worth reading, but here is the summary of why the magazine won’t publish the cartoons:
''Our primary reason," the editors confessed, is ''fear of retaliation from . . . bloodthirsty Islamists who seek to impose their will on those who do not believe as they do . . . Simply stated, we are being terrorized, and . . . could not in good conscience place the men and women who work at the Phoenix and its related companies in physical jeopardy. As we feel forced, literally, to bend to maniacal pressure, this may be the darkest moment in our 40-year-publishing history."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn writes an entertaining and incisive weekly column for the Chicago Sun-Times. He is one of the few who has been encouraging the press, and the Western world in general, to stand up to Islamic thuggery. For example in his February 12th column he says:
And the good news is that that body's already on its way. The European Union's Justice and Security Commissioner, Franco Frattini, said on Thursday that the EU would set up a "media code" to encourage "prudence" in the way they cover, ah, certain sensitive subjects. As Signor Frattini explained it to the Daily Telegraph, "The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression. . . . We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right."

"Prudence"? "Self-regulate our free expression"? No, I'm afraid that's just giving the Muslim world the message: You've won, I surrender, please stop kicking me.

But they never do. Because, to use the Arabic proverb with which Robert Ferrigno opens his new novel, Prayers for the Assassin, set in an Islamic Republic of America, "A falling camel attracts many knives." In Denmark and France and the Netherlands and Britain, Islam senses the camel is falling and this is no time to stop knifing him.

The issue is not "freedom of speech" or "the responsibilities of the press" or "sensitivity to certain cultures." The issue, as it has been in all these loony tune controversies going back to the Salman Rushdie fatwa, is the point at which a free society musters the will to stand up to thugs. British Muslims march through the streets waving placards reading "BEHEAD THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM." If they mean that, bring it on. As my columnar confrere John O'Sullivan argued, we might as well fight in the first ditch as the last.
And in today's column he writes:
It's easy to be tough about nothing. The press corps that noisily champions "the public's right to know" about a minor hunting accident simultaneously assures the public that they've no need to see these Danish cartoons that have caused riots, arson and death around the world. On CNN, out of "sensitivity" to Islam, they show the cartoons but with the Prophet's face pixilated so that he looks as if Cheney's ventilated him with birdshot and it turned puffy and gangrenous. C'mon, guys, these are interesting times. Anyone can unload the umpteenth round of blanks into the bulletproof Chimpy Hallibushitler, but why not take a shot at something that matters?
The columns are also worth reading just for their mastery of style. For example today's comparison of events surrounding Ted Kennedy's manslaughter and Dick Cheney's hunting accident, or the skill with which he opens and closes the piece.

To see more of his work, follow this archive link and this link to his home site.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Islamists Succeed in Ousting Another Defender of Free Speech

In a trend that I suspect will be accelerating, foreign Muslims have succeeded in ousting a politician for espousing legal views. Italian minister Roberto Calderoli has resigned due to protests in Libya! Islamists are learning that they don't even have to wage a war to subjugate the West, simply pointing to their own irrational feelings will be enough. It's just incredibly sad that those of us lucky enough to live in free countries don't seem to value that privilege one little bit....

Friday, February 17, 2006

Moderate Islam

Here are two good articles, both purportedly on the myth of moderate Islam, but each of which makes other valuable points. The first, from Andrew McCarthy at NRO, reports on new aspects of our State Department's absolute hypocrisy, which can only be explained by an over-riding wish to appease. As McCarthy puts it (in one of a number of examples):
It was only last October, you see, when Alberto Fernandez, newly minted by Secretary Condoleezza Rice as director for public diplomacy at State's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, made one of his obligatory "live dialogue" appearances on Islamonline.net. After cooing about the new Iraqi constitution, taking pains to stress that it expressly "recognizes the role of Islam" (thanks in no small part to State's labors), Fernandez proceeded straight to the required gushing over Qaradawi.

But wait a second. Hasn't Qaradawi has been banned from the U.S. for promoting terrorism? Surely the State Department can mount a full-throated defense of that, right? After all, isn't our moral compass supposed to be the Bush Doctrine — the one that says "you're either with us or with the terrorists"? Is it really that hard for State to say Qaradawi is a disgusting character promoting a noxious agenda, rather than a model of moderation?

Apparently. Such a choice, our chic-sensitive public-diplomacy director opined, was "for the Muslim Umma to decide." As for the rest of us, Fernandez would brook no denying that it is "important to listen to intelligent and thoughtful voices from the region like Sheikh Qaradawi, ... an important figure that deserves our attention."
Read the whole article. (HT Jihad Watch) (Note that in reprinting the quote above I fixed a typo in the original.)

The second is by Charles Krauthammer and does a good job of naming the issue involved in reprinting the cartoons:
After multiple arsons, devastating boycotts and threats to cut off hands and heads, the issue is no longer news value, i.e., whether a newspaper needs to publish them to inform the audience about what is going on. The issue now is solidarity.

The mob is trying to dictate to Western newspapers, indeed Western governments, what is a legitimate subject for discussion and caricature. The cartoons do not begin to approach the artistic level of Salman Rushdie's prose, but that's not the point. The point is who decides what can be said and what can be drawn within the precincts of what we quaintly think of as the free world.

The mob has turned this into a test case for freedom of speech in the West. The German, French and Italian newspapers that republished these cartoons did so not to inform but to defy -- to declare that they will not be intimidated by the mob.
HT Gus Van Horn

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cartoon Update

Steven Brockerman at American Renaissance has posted cartoons drawn from the Islamic press (HT The Simplest Thing). When you look at them, think not of the hypocrisy of the Islamists, as they have never claimed to be objective or fair. No, wonder instead why the fact that these types of cartoons are prevalent in Islamic publications is so rarely mentioned, let alone highlighted in our Western mainstream media -- yet this media claims to be objectively reporting all the crucial facts. And then ask yourself if perhaps it’s impossible to report objectively when your self- proclaimed, over-riding concern is not to report facts but to be “sensitive” to anyone’s feelings (particularly if they are felt by thugs wielding guns.) The sad conclusion which emerges from all of this is that currently the sole hope for free press lies in the blogosphere; should it be suppressed, there will be no means left to express dissenting or unpopular views, after which dictatorship will all but be assured.

The zombie link showing the Danish cartoons and previous historical depictions of Mohammed is not working today. I don’t know if it is the result of hacking (see Michelle Malkin’s piece) or something benign. As an alternate, you can see the pictures and maps of the conflict at Face of Muhammed (HT Cox and Forkum).

I intended to link to this excellent post by Grant Jones (featuring an excerpt from Leonard Peikoff’s response to the Rushdie affair) a while back, but somehow forgot to do it. Sorry for the omission.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Where's the ACLU?

Michelle Malkin has another example of how craven and anti-American our supposedly principled intellectuals truly are.

What Can We Do?

Several friends have asked me what they can do in response to the latest Islamic attack on free speech and Western values. I have a few thoughts, but would very much welcome additional suggestions from readers.

To begin, I note that the West already has all the physical means required to defend itself. What it so glaringly lacks is moral certainty and intellectual ammunition -- so this is where any effort must be placed.

On the moral front, I think it is vital to encourage and support all those who are standing up to Islamic intimidation. Possible actions include voicing public and private appreciation to authors such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Theodore Dalrymple and the writers at ARI (in some cases you can leave comments on the websites where the articles appear, in others you have to send emails) as well as, where applicable, to the publishers and newspapers who give them a venue in which they can promote their views. It takes a lot of courage to stand up in the face of death threats and vilification, so I’m sure that knowing that some people actually appreciate it might make the task seem a little less futile and perhaps a touch less daunting.

More generally speaking, I think that everyone must proudly and consistently champion Western values --never apologizing for them nor appeasing those who attack them.

Other gestures such as buying Danish products, signing petitions, wearing Danish colors, etc. can also be helpful as a show of moral support. (HT to my Mom!!! for the petition link. I never expected to be receiving internet links from my parents, but am very happy and proud that such is the case!)

On the intellectual front, getting the right ideas out into the general culture is paramount. If one is inclined to writing, letters to the editor and editorials are one way to express the ideas, but so is passing on good essays and editorials to friends and acquaintances who might be interested. Contacting your government representatives is also important, whether it be to criticize such actions as the US State Department’s mealy-mouthed statement on the situation, or to inform them that you consider freedom of speech an inviolable right – and any failure to defend it will be remembered at election time. Forwarding them intellectual ammunition can also be valuable.

Finally, for those not involved in direct intellectual campaigning, if you have the means, you might consider using the principle of the division of labor to support and fund those intellectuals who are defending your values. In this light, a contribution to ARI seems appropriate. (I’m unaware of any other organization that take a consistent and fundamental stand on these types of issues, but obviously if they exist, they too should be supported.)

News from Italy

This Reuters article had a few interesting items. First it appears that an Italian minister is willing to take an unpopular stance for free speech by wearing T-shirts featuring cartoons of Mohammad:
Italy's Reform Minister Roberto Calderoli has had T-shirts made emblazoned with cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a move that could embarrass Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government.

Calderoli, a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League party, told Ansa news agency on Tuesday that the West had to stand up against Islamist extremists and offered to hand out T-shirts to anyone who wanted them.

"I have had T-shirts made with the cartoons that have upset Islam and I will start wearing them today," Ansa quoted Calderoli as saying.

He said the T-shirts were not meant to be a provocation but added that he saw no point trying to appease extremists.

"We have to put an end to this story that we can talk to these people. They only want to humiliate people. Full stop. And what are we becoming? The civilization of melted butter?" Calderoli said.
Calederoli went on to say:
"This is only the tip of the iceberg of the religious war Islamist extremists have declared on us,"
Also, a quote from Prime Minister Berlusconi is notable as it perfectly captures the point made in Onk's editorial "The Twilight of the Freedom of Speech".
Berlusconi caused a storm at the weekend when he said: "I am the Jesus Christ of politics...I sacrifice myself for everyone."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ali's Film: Submission

I discovered today that Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali's film Submission, directed by the murdered Theo Van Gogh, is available as a google film. I suggest watching it ASAP, before Islamists have it withdrawn.

The Right to Offend

A brilliant defense of the right to offend (and its roots) by perhaps the most courageous woman alive, Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Required reading!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Few of the Exceptions

This editorial by Ibn Warraq is so extraordinary that I can't even decide which paragraph to quote as a sampling (for to single one out seems a slight to the others). But as a taste:
Unless, we show some solidarity, unashamed, noisy, public solidarity with the Danish cartoonists, then the forces that are trying to impose on the Free West a totalitarian ideology will have won; the Islamization of Europe will have begun in earnest. Do not apologize.

This raises another more general problem: the inability of the West to defend itself intellectually and culturally. Be proud, do not apologize...
Also excellent, though perhaps somewhat less profound, Sonia Mikich's "What next, bearded one?". From the piece:
Everyone had the right to turn it off, look away or toss the newspaper in the bin. Freedom of opinion was the Siamese twin of freedom from fear.

The fact that fundamentalists of all persuasions are completely incapable of self-reflection, self-criticism, and self-irony would not warrant a mention, were it not for their practice of imposing their issues on me and my world. They assume that we will kowtow to them as soon as we recognise who they are: "Look out! Religious feelings! We're leaving the private sphere.
Edit: Also worth reading, Victor Davis Hanson "Losing Civilization"

Survey of European Press on the Cartoons

This a useful site which has a running survey of European Press reaction to the Muhammad cartoons (last updated 2/10). Prepare to be saddened though, for apart from a few glowing exceptions, the over-riding reaction seems to be appeasement (we must learn to "understand" the Islamists who wish to kill us or "who are we to judge?") and the level of argument very superficial (it seems that even fewer people than I realized can think in principles).

Also from this site, a link to the new Charlie Hebdo cartoons. (Of the cartoons I can make out, I particularly like the one on the first page, the upper right hand one of the sixth page, and the top of the seventh page)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mohammed Cartoons

This article from the Weekly Standard is the best synopsis of the events that I've found to date.

Update on Free Speech Coverage

Myrhaf points out an excellent post on his blog. I particularly like these formulations:
We must stand up to their intimidation; it is the only way we can defeat militant Islam. That is also the only chance the moderate Muslims have of reforming their culture. If we cave in moral cowardice, the worst elements of Islam will be emboldened and the best will be forced to continue cowering in shadows, afraid to speak their mind. ...
Acts of appeasement hurt our war effort, not cartoons. The State Department hurts our war effort. Steven Spielberg’s Munich hurt our war effort. And Hugh Hewitt’s lack of confidence in the rationality of 1.3 billion Muslims hurts our war effort more than any stupid cartoon could.

This is about more than cartoons, it’s about fighting a totalitarian ideology that has been intimidating the West in the name of multiculturalism. They are using our New Leftist ideas against us. In the long run, we must change our culture’s philosophy to survive. In the short run, we must find the courage to stand up against their bullying.
Also, Onkar and Christian Beenfeldt have a new op-ed on Free Speech. Though the wording in a few passages at the beginning seemed a bit rushed, the message and arguments are crucially important, and I urge everyone to read it. From the text:
To demand special status for any idea or ideology--to declare Judaism or Christianity or Marxism or Islam off-limits, above public criticism--is to negate these rights. No rational mind can function under the order: Follow the evidence wherever you think it leads, but don't you dare come to a negative conclusion about the philosophy of Marxism or the religion of Islam.

The consequence of making submission to authority and not thought--faith, not reason--the sacred value of a society can be observed throughout the Middle East, where censorship, state propaganda, intellectual stagnation, forced compliance with religious edicts and medieval punishments for religious offences are part of everyday life.
The moment someone decides to answer those he finds offensive with a gun, not an argument--as many Muslims have by demanding that European governments censor the newspapers or by issuing calls for beheadings and other violence against Europeans--he removes himself from civilized society and any rational consideration.

And against this kind of threat to free speech, every free man must stand up. We must vociferously condemn the attempt by religionists to impose censorship in the West. We must extol--without apology or qualifications--the indispensable pillar of a free society: freedom of thought and speech.


I'm grateful for the recent increase in comments on this blog, whether it be for simple "attaboys", drawing attention to other interesting commentary and facts, or taking me to task for errors. Please keep them coming. I do however want to mention that I use the blogspot feature of having new comments emailed to me, and somehow when there are links in the post, I don't seem to get the email (I'm not sure whether this is a problem on blogspot's side or in my spam filters). I'm working on resolving this, but until I do, I apologize if I miss someone's comment and therefore don't respond...
(To see the latest comments, click on the "Select Comments" link in the sidebar)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Few Good Responses to the Latest Muslim Attack on the West

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been very depressed, not just by the latest and most overt Muslim attack on our values and very lives, but by our leaders' appeasing and weaselly response. Other than Michelle Malkin (whose site I've now added to the blogroll), and Cox & Forkum, I was unable to find any decent response or commentary. In commiserating with Onk, he pointed me to a few others which I thought I'd share here:
Mark Steyn from Chicago Sun-Times
Alan Dershowitz (See video link on this page.)
NY Press Editorial Staff Resignation
I just wish there were more...
Edit: I should have also mentioned that Gus Van Horn is providing good commentary, as is Eric at Classical Values (whom I found through Gus' blog).

ARI Media

ARI has put out several good letters to the editor and editorials discussing the disastrous response to the Islamists' threat to free speech and to Western values in general. The letters can be found on their letters page, and the editorials on the op-ed page. I particularly liked Alex Epstein's "Muslim Opinion" Be Damned which argues that it is completely irrational to appease Muslim opinion, and Onkar's The Twilight of Freedom of Speech which indicates the deeper roots of the disgusting response of our leaders.

The second editorial also captures the dejection I feel about the chances of our civilization surviving, particularly given that Iran seems close to having a nuclear bomb, and that there is little doubt they would be willing to use it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

WSJ letter

Congrats to Rob who had another letter published in the WSJ on 2/6/06. The published letter was a slightly abridged version of the following:
Beware Democracy Without Protected Individual Rights

When asked about the possibility of Middle Eastern countries voting themselves Islamic governments, the President replies to your interviewer that he sees "no alternative" to democracy as a long-term stabilizing force (1/26/06).

For an alternative, perhaps the President should cast a glance to our own Founding Fathers, who recognized that the tyranny of the majority (unlimited democracy) is just as dangerous as the tyranny of Kings. For this reason, the Founding Fathers set out to design a political system to protect the rights of the individual--the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--against both the mob and the tyrant.

But such a political system can only take root and flourish in a culture that values life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In contrast, Islamic fundamentalists openly tell us that they value death (martyrdom), Sharia, and the pursuit of the Will of Allah. To the extent that these core values are shared by the wider populace, "democracy" will only serve to replace secular tyrannies in the Middle East with far worse religious ones.

The President should be campaigning to spread, not some contentless vision of "democracy", but rather the revolutionary political philosophy that gave rise to the freest and greatest nation in history.

Friday, February 03, 2006

WSJ on Iranian Nuclear Threat

This is editorial, which is worth reading in its entirety, suggests that Iran may be much closer to having a functioning bomb than I had realized:

The timetable under which the Iranian threat operates also needs to be reconsidered. For years, advocates of diplomacy have claimed the nuclear danger lies far away--a decade, if last year's leaked U.S. National Intelligence Estimate is to be believed. Yet last month Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the IAEA, told Newsweek that if the Iranians "have the nuclear material and they have a parallel weaponization program along the way, they are really not very far--a few months--from a weapon."

As to whether such a parallel program exists, Mr. ElBaradei "won't exclude that possibility," and with good reason. Much of what now comprises Iran's declared nuclear facilities--the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz; the heavy-water production plant at Arak--were themselves part of a secret program until 2002, when their existence was disclosed by an Iranian opposition group. This week, the existence of the so-called Green Salt Project (referring to a byproduct of uranium enrichment) was revealed by the IAEA, further evidence that Iran's programs may be more advanced than commonly believed.

Whether the Iranians are months or years from a bomb, there is little question they are on their way. In past years, President Bush has described a nuclear Iran as an "intolerable" threat. It's time he begins explaining to the American people exactly why this is so.


I thought this ARI letter to the editor was very succinct and to the point:
BB&T Right Not To Lend to Eminent Domain Developers

Dear Editor:

BB&T cannot be praised highly enough for its decision not to lend money to developers who acquire land through eminent domain.

BB&T's new policy is a perfect response to the horrific decision reached by the Supreme Court last year on Kelo v. City of New London.

The remarkable fact about BB&T's decision is its understanding that the company's long term success--as well as the success of its clients--requires that they take a stand in defense of private property rights.

America needs more companies like BB&T that have the wisdom and courage to defend individual rights. The survival of our freedom and our capitalist system may well depend on that.

Dr. Yaron Brook
Ayn Rand Institute executive director Irvine, CA

Muslim Attack on Free Speech

For anyone who hasn't been following the latest Muslim attack on western free speech, here are some good links to acquaint yourself with the subject:
Cox and Forkum
Michelle Malkin 1 & 2 (check the main link regularly as she is continually updating the story)
Zombie's compendium of Mohammed Images