Guns In The Nation's Capital

US Supreme Court
US Supreme Court

RESIDENTS IN ONE of the District's most violence-ridden neighborhoods are mostly indifferent to the prospect that handguns could legally return to the city after a 32-year ban. After all, the city is perennially one of the most dangerous in the nation.

"It doesn't seem like it was doing anything anyway," said Norman Day, who lives on Orren Street Northeast in Trinidad. "People can bring [guns] in from anywhere. You can't put up checkpoints everywhere. It probably won't make any difference. If anything, it might save the District some money by not hauling off anybody with a gun."

Many residents in the Ward 5 neighborhood in Northeast—the site of one of the most violent crime sprees in recent city history—have been hardened to the frequent violence and responses by the Metropolitan Police Department. Others saw the ban as the last remaining barrier between occasional violence and all-out chaos.

"That's the worst thing they could ever do," Daphne Potter said at the corner of Oates and Staples streets Northeast. "Most of that shootings come from the young kids. I hate to see what's gonna happen now." Earlier in the day, gun advocates rejoiced outside of the Supreme Court building.

"I'm very pleased with the decision, but at the same time, I am a bit suspicious of the possible restrictions that could come down," said Craig Burgers, 25, a Michigan native now living in Arlington. "You shouldn't have to check your rights to enter the District. I have my gun in my house and I mostly use it for target practice but would definitely use it if someone tried to break in."

In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

Ariel Sarousi, a 25-year-old gun owner who moved to Falls Church from his home in Boston a year ago, pointed out that the District has a much higher crime rate than Northern Virginia, which has no such ban.

"You can easily dispute the idea that the ban on guns has decreased crime in the District," he said. Mr. Sarousi said he is much more likely to consider moving into the District now that he is allowed to bring his gun with him.

Well, one thing is a proven fact. DC's stringent, zero tolerance gun ban for the past 30 yrs has none nothing to stop the violent nature of DC's fiercest and at risk citizens. Guns by themselves are not the problem—the culture and violent nature of the people that live in DC are the problem. Change the culture and the violence will subside.

Americans can keep guns at home for self-defense, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in the justices' first-ever pronouncement on the meaning of gun rights under the Second Amendment.

The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most federal firearms restrictions intact.

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty responded with a plan to require residents of the nation's capital to register their handguns. "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence," Fenty said.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted. The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.

Scalia noted that the handgun is Americans' preferred weapon of self-defense in part because "it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police." Scalia's opinion dealt almost exclusively with self-defense in the home, acknowledging only briefly in his lengthy historical analysis that early Americans also valued gun rights because of hunting.

The law adopted by Washington's city council in 1976 bars residents from owning handguns unless they had one before the law took effect. Shotguns and rifles may be kept in homes, if they are registered, kept unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.
The brevity of Scalia's treatment of gun ownership for hunting and sports-shooting is explained by the case before the court. The Washington law at issue, like many gun control laws around the country, concerns heavily populated areas, not hunting grounds. In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."

He said such evidence "is nowhere to be found."

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a separate dissent in which he said, "In my view, there simply is no untouchable constitutional right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep loaded handguns in the house in crime-ridden urban areas."

Joining Scalia were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. The other dissenters were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.

Gun rights supporters hailed the decision. "I consider this the opening salvo in a step-by-step process of providing relief for law-abiding Americans everywhere that have been deprived of this freedom," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. The NRA will file lawsuits in San Francisco, Chicago and several of its suburbs challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.

Chicago mayor Richard Daley said he didn't know how the high court ruling would affect the city, but said that the ruling was "a very frightening decision." He predicted an end to Chicago's handgun ban would spark new violence and force the city to raise taxes to pay for new police. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate in Congress, criticized the ruling. "I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it," she said.

The capital's gun law was among the nation's strictest. Dick Anthony Heller, 66, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his Capitol Hill home a short distance from the Supreme Court. "I'm thrilled I am now able to defend myself and my household in my home," Heller said shortly after the opinion was announced.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Heller's favor and struck down Washington's handgun ban, saying the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to own guns and that a total prohibition on handguns is not compatible with that right.

dcheney
VP Dick Chaney

The issue caused a split within the Bush administration. Vice President Dick Cheney supported the appeals court ruling, but others in the administration feared it could lead to the undoing of other gun regulations, including a federal law restricting sales of machine guns. Other laws keep felons from buying guns and provide for an instant background check.

Thursday's decision was embraced by the president, said White House press secretary Dana Perino. "This has been the administration's long-held view," Perino said. "The president is also pleased that the court concluded that the D.C. firearm laws violate that right." White House reaction was restrained. "We're pleased that the Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment protects the right of Americans to keep and bear arms," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.

Scalia said nothing in Thursday's ruling should "cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings." The law adopted by Washington's city council in 1976 bars residents from owning handguns unless they had one before the law took effect. Shotguns and rifles may be kept in homes, if they are registered, kept unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.

No Break On Fuel Costs For Military

Burqa
Woman In Burqa

NASHINGTON—Military units fighting in Iraq and elsewhere will see another hike in fuel costs next week. The cost increase will be the second time the Defense Department has had to raise rates in the middle of the budget year because of soaring oil prices. On July 1, the cost for refined fuel will jump from $127.68 a barrel to $170.94. That is an astounding 34 percent jump in just six months and more than double what was being paid on behalf of the troops three years ago. The new costs translate to about $4.07 a gallon for jet fuel and $4.70 a gallon for diesel. A Pentagon spokesman said the price increase is needed to cover an anticipated $1.2 billion rise in fuel costs in the next three months. He said it will not affect ongoing military operations, but could affect daily support activities

This is simply outrageous, lacking what left of Western military intelligence. The US needs to leave Iraq, bill the Saudis for protection and the Iraqis for reconstruction, or both. This continued "white hat" approach is nothing less than a pernicious failure. Why does the US continue to waste blood and treasure on the Great White Way. Forget about it, already. Let them play out their roles, but spend all that energy and muscle here bolstering up the UNited States. Then we could lick anyone, as the old saying goes...teach 'em a few things afterward, too.

On Sheep, Wolves, And Sheepdogs

Sheep Dogs
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance Team
From the book, On Combat By Lt. Col (ret) Dave Grossman, US Army Ranger, Former West Point Psychology Professor Reprinted with permission.

HONOR NEVER GROWS OLD, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?

William J. Bennett—in a lecture to the United State's Naval Academy November 24, 1997:

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.”

This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.

Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me, it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell.

Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

“Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.”

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.

But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier’s excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.”
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf.

He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog that intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa” until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle.

The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language:

Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Their Website
Their Website
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers—athletes, business people and parents*#151;from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, “I will never be caught without my gun in church.” I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die.

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other.
That cop looked me in the eye and said, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn’t bring your gun, you didn’t train.

Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in “Fear Less”, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: “…denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling.”

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.

If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7, for a lifetime.

Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself…”Baa.”

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other.

Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

Fairfax County Reverses Position

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Demonstration Against Saudi Academy In Fairfax, VA

YOU HAVE HEARD IT OFTEN said that networking makes a difference. Well, that’s the minor epiphany that occurred with the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) protest last Tuesday. A coalition of like minded groups concerned about the onslaught of Cultural Jihad in America rose to the occasion. The result was push back against unrestrained Saudi Wahhabi hate doctrine in America. The effort of the coalition caused the sudden reversal by the Fairfax (Virginia) County Board of Supervisors with the stunning statements by its Chairman, Gerry Connolly, running for the Congressional seat in the 11th District-Virginia. On a conference call today, members of the working party for the coalition that fielded last week’s stunning protest and media blitz talked about this. The consensus was that Chairman Connolly and the Fairfax Board of Supervisors got stung with a veritable hornet’s nest of adverse public opinion and phone calls.

Supporting the renewal of the lease for the Islamic Saudi Academy granted unanimously just a few weeks ago became a political liability, so they reversed their decision, 180 degrees. As we posted yesterday, Chairman Connolly threw it into the lap of the State Department regarding renewal of the lease to the ISA and verify what was in those hate texts cited by the USCIRF. All because, get this, “they couldn’t read Arabic” and determine, as the USCIRF report did, what was in those Wahhabi hate texts: incitement to commit violence and hatred of non-Muslims, us.

Saudi Islamic Academy
Saudi Islamic Academy

Pay particular attention to what Chairman Gene Connolly said at the May 19th hearing on the ‘good neighbor’ ISA versus what he said yesterday. Both he and the Fairfax Board of Supervisors look both ‘foolish and arrogant’. We’ll see if Connolly can pull this roasted chestnut out of the fire of public outrage and salvage his credibility for the Congressional campaign. Below is the News Release from the United American Committee of Virginia that pays recognition to what it and the other participants in this worthy endeavor did. They included the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, Stop the Madrassas and our own ACT for America Virginia and Maryland volunteers. The protest against ISA and the infamous Wahhabi hate texts was organized by Andrea and Jim Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition. Of course without the USCIRF ISA hate text report released on June 11th this stunning reversal of fortune would not have occurred. This was push back against Saudi Wahhabi cultural Jihad, big time.

—Jerry Gordon

Free Speech At Odds With Jihadists

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Islam and Women's Rights

THE REGRESSIVE FORCES against free speech often note that free speech has its limits—for instance, one may not yell "fire!" in a crowded theatre.

Everyone knows the potential dangers—people getting trampled in a run for the exits, people mistaking doors to dead-end storerooms for exits, people running into narrow alleys with no access to the street. So is it *ever* permissable to cry "fire!" in a crowded theatre? Well, yes. It is not only permissible, it is imcumbant on any moral person to cry fire if the theatre is indeed on fire. Let's belabour the metaphor.

That's what the jihadists have done. They have set the theatre on fire. They are now at work on disabling the smoke detectors, smoke alarms, and sprinkler systems. They are now at work blocking the exits.

Most of the patrons are in line for tickets and popcorn, or they are already in their seats, eating junior mints and watching previews for "Kung Fu Panda" and "The Incredible Hulk" while they wait for the movie to begin.

A few patrons, though, have noticed smoke curling up from behind the screen and over by the consession stands. They are alarmed. As they try to warn the crowd of the danger, they are threatened by some of the arsonists who have stayed behind.

These are people like Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brigitte Gabriel and Kurt Westergaard, Wahlid Shoebat and Mark Steyn. Some of these threats have already been carried out, against Pim Fortune and Theo van Gogh, and many others.

A few people in the crowd do actually notice this, and are rather alarmed and upset. But, hey, "The Love Guru" starts in a few minutes, and they paid good money to see the show.

This brilliant analysis of our depressing situation was found in the "always interesting" comments section of an article posted on Jihad Watch by a reader named Gravenimage. Well done! Amazingly a propos!

Big Brother's Islamic Shuffle

From Robert Spencer:

“We sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed.”
—Islamic spokesman, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

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Mark Steyn

That sounds like the statement of a victor in a war, dictating terms to the vanquished. And it may well be: free speech is under attack in Canada—the prosecution of Macleans Magazine and author Mark Steyn—and in the United States as well by Islamic governments and groups whose goal is to end free speech when it is aimed at exposing the truth about Islamic terrorism and its roots. Their goal is positively Orwellian. Replace “Big Brother” with the “Organization of the Islamic Conference” and you have the world the OIC wants to impose on us all.

Apparently Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, believes that his powerful, multinational Islamic organization has already won the battle over free speech. Last week he boasted that “the OIC has become an indispensable player at the international level, in many domains.” Notably, he said, the OIC, which comprises 57 Muslim governments in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America, has been actively “defending the image of Islam, and combating the phenomenon of Islamophobia.”

The OIC, said Ihsanoglu, has placed the issue of Islamophobia “at the top of our priorities and preoccupations, while conducting a large-scale worldwide effort to confront it.”

They’ve already accomplished a great deal. “We have been able to achieve convincing progress,” observed Ihsanoglu, at “the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, and the UN General Assembly.”

That is true: Associated Press reported Thursday that “Muslim countries have won a battle to prevent Islam from being criticized during debates by the UN Human Rights Council.” Council President Doru-Romulus Costea explained: “This council is not prepared to discuss religious matters in depth, consequently we should not do it.” AP noted that “while Costea’s ban applies to all religions, it was prompted by Muslim countries complaining about references to Islam.” And Ihsanoglu said: “The United Nations General Assembly adopted similar resolutions against the defamation of Islam.”

Now they’re setting their sights on the United States. “We have established an OIC Group in Washington D.C.,” Ihsanoglu explained, “with the aim of playing a more active role in engaging American policy makers.” This will involve agitating for laws restricting free speech: “And in confronting the Danish cartoons and the Dutch film ‘Fitna,’” (which showed Muslims acting on violent passages in the Qur’an), Ihsanoglu continued, “we sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed.” Ihsanoglu says it’s already working: “As we speak, the official West and its public opinion are all now well-aware of the sensitivities of these issues. They have also started to look seriously into the question of freedom of expression from the perspective of its inherent responsibility, which should not be overlooked.”

In other words, “irresponsible” speech—which is defined as speech he disagrees with—should be banned.

This is simple to comprehend. I can't say that I'm surprised. Merely a lowly blogger, I felt the push toward this awful direction heating up about 3 years ago. When I first voiced my concerns over this matter of freedom of speech, friends and family rolled eyes. Interestingly, few of them are rolling their eyes now, but they are still not willing to take any risks or to buck political correctness except over dinner in a hushed whisper even after a few drinks.

Ihsanoglu is right that such a “message” has found a receptive audience, even in the West. A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey published in mid-June found that while 88% of Americans support the right to free speech (only 88%?), only 53% oppose banning “hate speech.” Significantly, however, only 11% support bans on “hate speech” when they’re reminded that “hate speech” is in the eye of the beholder, and that the government would be deciding what constitutes hate speech and what doesn’t. That is, the government, or the OIC making the government dance to its tune.

“Hate speech” is also a tool to prevent the dissemination of what have more of a claim to be called “inconvenient truths” than anything Al Gore has ever been involved with. Mark Steyn is on trial in Canada right now for telling the truth. The renowned Canadian journalist and politician Peter Worthington commented acidly about the Steyn proceedings: “Truth is no defence before a Human Rights tribunal. Steyn’s accuracy is not at issue, just his opinions. Under hate legislation, opinions are punishable if they offend a particular group. If you think about it, this is an abomination.”

Indeed it is—and Steyn is not the only victim. The contentious exchange at the UN Human Rights Council that led to the prohibition of criticism of Islam involved a presentation by David G. Littman of the Association for World Education of information about female genital mutilation, the stoning of adulteresses, and honor killings in Islamic countries. The first victims of the ban on such talk at the Human Rights Council will be those who suffer from such barbarities—and will now have no one who is allowed to speak for them without dissembling about the causes and extent of the problem.

It is telling that when Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the OIC think of “defending the image of Islam,” they don’t mean working in Muslim communities to combat the influence of the jihad ideology or Islamic supremacism among Muslims worldwide. They don’t have in mind developing any large scale initiatives to combat Osama bin Laden’s version of Islam, and to teach Muslims how to resist the jihadist appeal. The organization hasn’t ever acknowledged the obvious fact that it could end “Islamophobia” right away by rejecting Islam’s doctrines of violence, supremacism and conquest and moving strongly against those Muslims who are acting upon those doctrines.

Instead, they have made themselves the enemies of honest men like Mark Steyn who have called attention to this supremacist agenda. They will be working with American policymakers to restrict free speech—that is, honest discussion of the elements of Islam that the jihadists use to justify their actions and gain recruits.

Can honest discussion really be outlawed? You bet it can. As long as free people do nothing to stop it from happening. As the OIC presses American politicians to use anti-discrimination and hate speech laws to “stem this illegal trend,” we need to stand up now with Mark Steyn and all the others who are on the front lines of this battle, and tell them that what they’re doing to Steyn in Canada must never happen here. We must tell our elected officials to stop this outrage, resist OIC lobbying, and reaffirm in no uncertain terms our commitment to free speech—particularly now, when so much depends on our being able to speak with honesty about the nature of the jihadist threat, and so many powerful entities want to make sure we do not do so.

So much depends on this—possibly even including our survival as a free people.

In other news explaining how the Jews and Christians must “feel themselves subdued,” Ibn Kathir quotes a saying of Muhammad: “Do not initiate the Salam [greeting of peace] to the Jews and Christians, and if you meet any of them in a road, force them to its narrowest alley.” He then goes on to outline the notorious Pact of Umar, an agreement made, according to Islamic tradition, between the caliph Umar, who ruled the Muslims from 634 to 644, and a Christian community.

This Pact is worth close examination, because it became the foundation for Islamic law regarding the treatment of the dhimmis. With remarkably little variation, throughout Islamic history whenever Islamic law was strictly enforced, this is generally how non-Muslims were treated. Working from the full text as Ibn Kathir has it, these are the conditions the Christians accept in return for “safety for ourselves, children, property and followers of our religion” – conditions that, according to Ibn Kathir, “ensured their continued humiliation, degradation and disgrace.”

The Christians shall not:

  • 1. Build “a monastery, church, or a sanctuary for a monk”;
  • 2. “Restore any place of worship that needs restoration”;
  • 3. Use such places “for the purpose of enmity against Muslims”;
  • 4. “Allow a spy against Muslims into our churches and homes or hide deceit [or betrayal] against Muslims”;
  • 5. Imitate the Muslims’ “clothing, caps, turbans, sandals, hairstyles, speech, nicknames and title names”;
  • 6. “Ride on saddles, hang swords on the shoulders, collect weapons of any kind or carry these weapons”;
  • 7. “Encrypt our stamps in Arabic”
  • 8. “Sell liquor” – Christians in Iraq in the last few years ran afoul of Muslims reasserting this rule;
  • 9. “Teach our children the Qur’an”;
  • 10. “Publicize practices of Shirk” – that is, associating partners with Allah, such as regarding Jesus as Son of God. 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”;
  • 13. “Bury our dead next to Muslim dead”;
  • 14. “Buy servants who were captured by Muslims”;
  • 15. “Invite anyone to Shirk” – that is, proselytize, although the Christians also agree not to:
  • 16. “Prevent any of our fellows from embracing Islam, if they choose to do so.” Thus the Christians can be the objects of proselytizing, but must not engage in it themselves;
  • 17. “Beat any Muslim.”

Meanwhile, the Christians must:

  • 1. Allow Muslims to rest “in our churches whether they come by day or night”;
  • 2. “Open the doors [of our houses of worship] for the wayfarer and passerby”;
  • 3. Provide board and food for “those Muslims who come as guests” for three days;
  • 4. “Respect Muslims, move from the places we sit in if they choose to sit in them” – shades of Jim Crow;
  • 5. “Have the front of our hair cut, wear our customary clothes wherever we are, wear belts around our waist” – these are so that a Muslim recognizes a non-Muslim as such and doesn’t make the mistake of greeting him with As-salaamu aleikum, “Peace be upon you,” which is the Muslim greeting for a fellow Muslim;
  • 6. “Be guides for Muslims and refrain from breaching their privacy in their homes.”

The Christians swore: “If we break any of these promises that we set for your benefit against ourselves, then our Dhimmah (promise of protection) is broken and you are allowed to do with us what you are allowed of people of defiance and rebellion.”

Outside The Crucible of Basic Observation

global_warming
Change is normal, what about you?

THE BUSINESS FACE of modern liberalism can be a scary place. My advise is to don't stare. Like the sun, it can damage your retina. Outside the crucible of basic observation, the best idea is not often the politically-steeped one.

In fact, George Moneo observes:

Liberals claim they are tolerant, compassionate and caring, but the exact opposite is quite often true. Tell me how anybody can trust a scientist who wants to put on trial those who disagree with him. Mind you, there is no empirical evidence to support the Incredible Flexible Theory™, just conjecture and computer models. The evidence that anthropogenic "global warming" or "climate change" as a cataclysmic event is one gigantic hoax has been with us for years. Recently, it was revealed that a United Nations AGW report left out data that Earth’s warming had stopped, or “paused,” for the last 15 years. Including this pertinent information in the report would have sabotaged global warmists’ efforts to perpetuate the colossal fraud. When the facts don’t support a liberal’s argument, they simply ignore the facts. Better still, they bury them, don’t tell anyone that the ice caps are expanding. But God help you if you disagree with Big "Science":

James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

Jim, just leave us alone. Please.