Protesters took to the streets across Turkey this week, after audio recordings purportedly of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordering his son to dispose of vast amounts of cash amid a graft probe surfaced and went viral on the Internet. Thousands of people demonstrated in 11 cities, including Ankara and Istanbul (Constantinople), shouting anti-government and anti-Erdogan slogans, according to China’s Xinhua news agency. Police in the capital fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd that chanted, “The government resigns” and “Thief Erdogan.”
In Istanbul, protests were reportedly held at 10 locations, with the biggest demonstration in the district of Kadikoy, where some 5,000 people marched to the district center, carrying banners reading, “Where are the thieves?” and “You will answer to the people.”
As is usual in this part of the globe, Turkey's prime minister on Tuesday accused Israel of being behind the ouster of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, offering as the only evidence for his claim a statement by a Jewish French intellectual during a meeting with an Israeli official, while both Israel and the US State Department reject the claim as baseless and unsubstantiated, also usual in these other two sectors.
In his nationally televised speech, Erdogan also took a swipe at Muslim nations, accusing them of betraying Egypt by supporting the country's military-backed new leaders.
Protests against Erdogan were also held in the cities of Izmir, Antalya, Antakya, Samsun, Trabzon, Eskisehir, Kocaeli, Bursa and Canakkale, according to Xinhua. Clashes between riot police and the crowds were reported in Istanbul, Bursa and Eskisehir.
A chief prosecutor’s office on Tuesday initiated an investigation into the audio recordings in question, Turkish state-run media reported, as opposition parties demanded that the government resign. Erdogan met with Turkey’s intelligence chief shortly after voice recordings of two peoplealleged to be Erdogan and his soncirculated on the Internet on Monday.
As to be expected, the Turkish leader has drawn parallel between Morsi's ouster and a series of anti-government protests in Turkey in June that he has blamed on an international conspiracy to topple his democratically elected government albeit through illegal means, for Erdogan has been slowly rolling back the secular state to allow Islam's theocratic forces to assert themselves against the opposition of the military. This regress to the pre-Ataturkian mindset is causing much consternation among a large population of secular Turks and the West in the run-up to Turkey having its best chance at joining the EU.
Turkey should never be allowed to join the EU. And yes, the West should hasten Erdogan's ouster by diplomatic means if no other. Until Islamic nations recognize and begin admitting the error of their ways, improving the lives of their own people, ceasing hostilities against other faiths, and pushing for a more secularized version of their former selves, the factions of warcivilization against civilizationwill only heat up.
Isn't this the sorriest of outcomes with the loss of American blood and treasure in Iraqto be scooped by the yen-manipulating Chinese and the increasingly belligerent Islamic Turks? Can someone tell us how much oil are we now getting from Iraq? Word is China has also bought into the Alberta Oil Sands, a major supply to the US, while the libs scream for a boycott of Canadian "dirty" oil..
One would have thought that leading Democratic senators who claim to be interested in finding other sources of funding to replace American dollars in Iraq, in helping Iraq spend its own money on its own people, and in lowering the price of gasoline for American citizens, would have been all for it. Instead, Senators Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, and Claire McCaskill wrote a letter to Secretary of State Condi Rice asking her "to persuade the GOI [Government of Iraq] to refrain from signing contracts with multinational oil companies until a hydrocarbon law is in effect in Iraq." The Bush administration wisely refused to do so, but the resulting media hooraw in Iraq led to the cancellation of the contracts, and helps to explain why Iraq is doing oil deals instead with China.
CNOOC Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed unit of China National Offshore Oil Corp. has partnered with the state-run Turkish Petroleum Corp. (TPAO) to win a contract with Iraq to develop the lucrative Missan oil-field in southern Iraq, marking CNOOC's first upstream access to Iraqi oil following its two major rivals, CNPC and Sinopec.
According to CNOOC, the 20-year contract includes an increase of Missan's production capacity to 450,000 barrels per day from the current 100,000 barrels a day within six years. CNOOC has agreed to price every additional barrel of oil produced after capacity rises by 10 percent at US$ 2.30.
CNOOC will be the operator and hold 63.75 percent of the interest. TPAO will have 11.25 percent interest while an Iraqi drilling company will hold the remaining 25 percent....
The other two major Chinese oil companies, CNPC and Sinopec, have also gained a foothold in the Iraqi oil industry. In November 2008, CNPC and China North Industries Corp. set up a joint venture and signed a 20-year development contract for Al-Ahdab Oilfield....
"I have a habit of comparing the phraseology of communiqués, one with another across the years, and noting a certain similarity of words, a certain similarity of optimism in the reports which followed the summit meetings and a certain similarity in the lack of practical results during the ensuing years." Margaret Thatcher
"Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." Ambrose Bierce
WITH REGARD TO THE RECENT UPROAR in Davenport, Iowa, where the town fathers in their mid-western wisdom decided to rename the traditional Good Friday to Spring Holiday, thus causing local and national outrage, columnist Dennis Prager has offered up a concise summation of what is a self-evident trend now creeping across America.
Leftism functions as a secular religion, and its adherents understand that the major obstacle to the dominance of leftist policies and values is traditional religion, specifically Christianity. With the demise of Christianity in Western Europe, leftist ideas and values came to dominate that continent. America, the most religious industrialized democracy, remains the great exception.
2. Why not abolish Christmas?
If a religiously diverse population and the separation of church and state demand abolishing government recognition of Good Friday, why not treat Christmas similarly and rename it "Winter Holiday"? This was asked of Mr. Hart, the Civil Rights Commission chairman. His response, in the words of ABC, shows the level of thought that is characteristic of the politically correct: "The commission, he said, discussed changing Christmas, but decided enough other religions celebrate Christmas, too. Hart, however, could not name one."
3. Civil-rights organizations are not about civil rights.
The ACLU and other left-wing organizations that have noble-sounding civil-liberties and civil-rights names have a problem similar to the one the March of Dimes had once polio was conquered: What to do now? Civil liberties and civil rights are extraordinarily well-protected in America. If the ACLU and the innumerable civil rights commissions ceased to exist, and a few smaller and politically neutral groups took their place, civil liberties in America would benefit. As is obvious from the Davenport example, these groups do not really function as civil-rights or civil-liberties organizations. They are organizations that promote left-wing agendas. And no leftist agenda is greater than minimizing the influence of Judeo-Christian religions, specifically Christianity, on American life.
4. Good Friday as an American holiday reminds Americans that this is a religious society.
Leftism opposes America's three great valueswhat I call the American Trinity (see, for example, my video on the American Trinity at prageruniversity.com) – "E Pluribus Unum," "Liberty" and "In God We Trust." The left uses diversity and multiculturalism to undermine E Pluribus Unum ("From Many, One"). It substitutes equality (of result) for liberty, and the powerful state for the powerful free individual. And it seeks, perhaps above all, to replace "In God We Trust" with a secular society and secular values. If it had a motto, it might be "In Science (or Secularism) We Trust." The elimination of Good Friday as an American holiday is just one more such battle in this war.
5. Non-Christians offended by Good Friday as an American holiday are narcissists.
The left tells us that non-Christians are offended by the government celebrating Good Friday. As a Jew, permit me to say that any non-Christian offended by Good Friday or Christmas gives new meaning to the word "narcissist." To seek to erase the name Good Friday is an exercise in self-centeredness and ingratitude that is jaw-dropping. We non-Christian Americans live in the freest society in human history; it was produced by people nearly every one of whom celebrated Good Friday, and we have the gall to want to rename it?
6. PC (Political Correctness) should be renamed OTL (Offends the Left).
Most Americans will characterize the Davenport attempt to rename Good Friday "Spring Holiday" as political correctness. That it is. But the term itself is politically correct. Like everything PC, the term itself hides its true meaning, which is leftism. Political correctness is invariably produced by the left. The term, therefore, should not be PC; it should be OTL, "Offends the Left." It is very unfortunate for America that it isn't. Americans would have much greater clarity as to the Second Civil War now taking place – from San Francisco to Boston to, yes, Davenport, Iowa.
Mr. Prager's six point firing line spotlights precisely why the Left remains so fond of Islam. Both ideologies consistently pretend to be easily offended while simultaneously playing the "superiority" and "victimhood" cards.
The American political scene and each of the thousands of well-documented Muslim sharia and jihadist atrocities spanning the globe by both US allies and US enemies thatunder duress of policyare routinely ignored by the so-called mainstream media, bear witness to this fact.
This dualistic morality is further corrupted when these players also exhibit absolutely no self-consciousness much less remorse at the outrage and the offense they level at those with whom they disagree.
If you doubt these assessments laid out against the backdrop of the recent FBI arrests of so-called Christian militia up in Michigan, I suggest we talk turkey.
IT'S SPRINGTIME IN THE HUB of global politics. Besides the birds and the bees, the swine flu, and the pollen, we can now add possible espionage to our spring watchlist.
President Barack Hussein Obama's recent appointment of Dalia Mogahed to his Advisory Council on Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships is not just another low level nod. Mogahed is a self described expert on studying the way Muslim's think. The left-wing media has insisted in article after article that she is a Muslim moderate.
The American Daily Review questions these descriptions of Mogahed, after research has linked Mogahed with a group called the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project which advocates engaging the very troublesome and radical Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose stated purpose is to destroy the west.
The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is currently outlawed as a political party yet nevertheless holds a fifth of the seats in Egypt's lower house of Parliament, sees its mission as, “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
When combined with these facts with the notion that her appointment has apparently brought hope and joy to Egyptians, there is certainly cause for alarm. She was also involved in a polling project that deliberately sought to sanitize the image of Muslims by distorting the facts of her survey. Perhaps you remember a Gallup survey that supposedly showed that Muslims supposedly have the same attitudes as the rest of America? This survey, conducted by Mogahed, declared that only 7% of Muslims are radical (only 7%!) while the same survey concluded that 36% of Muslims approved the attack on the World Trade Center.
Mogahed and a notorious colleague were exposed by Robert Satloff writing for the Weekly Standard. The respected Mr. Satloff takes a detailed look at the faulty conclusions Mogahed presented to the world, conclusions that are not support by the data she presents.
Satloff's article is informative reading. When it was published in 2008 the article caused quite a stir. In other words, the Obama White House knew about this controversy before they appointed Mogahed to her new post. One wonders why they would chose a Muslim with a checkered record rather than someone without controversy.
Clearly, this appointment shows that Obama’s appeasement to this nation’s enemies continues, unabated. This appointment also seems to fit in with a long record of appointments Obama has made of people with radical, anti-American ties.
When the Left finishes with Tibet, perhaps they'll swing over to focus on Saudi Arabia for a duration or two. But until that cold day in American history, Turkey's president and prime minister have stepped in to save the life of a Turkish man sentenced to die in Saudi Arabia. The prisoner's capital offense: using God's name in vain during an argument with a neighbor, according to Turkish newspapers. Turkish President Abdullah Gul has penned a letter to Saudi King Abdullah requesting a pardon for Sabri Bogday, a barber who moved to Jeddah from southeastern Turkey more than a decade ago. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also reached out to Saudi officials on the barber's behalf.
"On occasion, their sentence depends solely on confessions obtained under constraint, torture or subterfuge. Trials take place in secret and the accused and their families are not informed of the accusations against them or the evolution of the procedures concerning them."
Apparently, Bogday had an argument with an Egyptian neighbor in Jeddah. The neighbor told authorities that Bogday had "cursed the name of God." Bogday was arrested, tried and sentenced to death, even though his accuser has apparently disappeared.
Actually we are led to understand that two witnesses (Muslim men), or four Muslim women, or four Christian or Jewish men are required to convict on these charges and many more. The testimony of non-Muslim women is not admissible nor is the testimony of non-Muslim men who are not Christian or Jew admissible in a Shari'a court. Throughout history where dhimmis have lived under the yoke of Muslim oppression it has been and remains to this day, a common practice for two Muslims to accuse a dhimmi of some wrongdoing in order to cancel debts or settle vendetta. It is harder for a dhimmi to defend themselves (by bringing witnesses in their favor) than it is for Muslims to defend themselves since dhimmi can never find two Muslims who are willing to testify against another Muslim.
Shari'a is quite a garbage can. It never scaled up successfully from its roots as a primitive tribal warrior code. It is the codification of an ideology that truly needs to be expunged from the planet forever, just as other tribal codes such as cannibalism also needed to be expunged. Make no mistake interpreting what we are saying. We advocate the extermination of the ideology, not its adherents. If its adherents however do not accede to the abandonment of the elements of the ideology that compels them to make perpetual war on their non-Muslim neighbors, then they become criminals and choose their own destruction.
The World Coalition, an anti-capital punishment group said that of 158 people who were executed in Saudi Arabia in 2007, 76 of these were foreigners. The group said that migrant workers were at greater risk of having death sentences carried out. The group noted: "Saudi Arabian justice is particularly intransigent towards foreign workers and especially those from poor countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who represent nearly a quarter of the country's population."
"On occasion, their sentence depends solely on confessions obtained under constraint, torture or subterfuge. Trials take place in secret and the accused and their families are not informed of the accusations against them or the evolution of the procedures concerning them."
Originally published on Jihad Watch website on November 24, 2004.
JIHAD WATCH Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald's brilliant and absolutely must-be-read exploration of the very concept of moderate Islam and the existence of moderate Muslims offers ten things to remember:
1. Not only Muslims on every continent, but embedded "islamochristians" objectively promote and push the propagandistic line that disguises the Jihad (evidence of which can be found worldwide), and mislead as to both what prompts that Jihad (not "poverty" or "foreign policy" but the precepts of the belief-system of Islam) and what will sate it (not Kashmir, not Chechnya, not the absurd "two-state solution," not continued appeasement in France and Hollandthere is nothing that will sate or satisfy it, as long as part of the globe is as yet resistent to the rule of Islam). "Christians" such as Fawaz Gerges or Rami Khoury, or someone who was born a Christian, such as Edward Said, are Arabs whose views are colored by that self-perception. Their loyalty to the community and history of Arabs causes them to be as loyal to the Islamic view of things as if they had been born Muslim. They stoutly defend Islam against all of Western scholarship (in Orientalism), or divert attention away from Islam and constantly assert, in defiance of all the evidence, from Bali to Beslan to Madrid, that the "problem of Israel/Palestine"the latest, and most sinister formulation of the Jihad against Israelis the fons et origo of Muslim hostility and murderous aggression throughout the world. Save for the Copts and Maronites, who regard themselves not as Arabs but as "users" of the "Arabic language" (and reject the idea that such "users" therefore become "Arabs"), many Arab Christians have crazily embraced the Islamic agenda; the agenda, that is, of those who have made the lives of Christians in the Middle East so uncertain, difficult, and at times, imperilled. The attempt to be "plus islamiste que les islamistes"the approach of Rami Khoury and Hanan Ashrawisimply will not do, for it has not worked. It is Habib Malik and other Maronites in Lebanon who have analysed the problem of Islam in a clear-eyed fashion. Indeed, the best book on the legal status of non-Muslims under Islam is that of the Lebanese (Maronite) scholar Antoine Fattal.
Any "islamochristian" Arab who promotes the Islamic agenda, by participating in a campaign that can only mislead Infidels and put off their understanding of Jihad and its various instruments, is objectively as much part of the problem as the Muslim who knowingly practices taqiyya in order to turn aside the suspicions of non-Muslims. Whoever acts so as to keep the unwary Infidel unwary is helping the enemy.
Think, for a minute, of Oskar Schindler. A member of the Nazi Party, but hardly someone who followed the Nazi line. But what if Schindler had at some point met with Westernersand had continued, himself, to deny that the Nazis were engaged in genocide, even if he himself deplored it and would later act against it? Would we think of him as a "moderate"? As someone who had helped the anti-Nazi coalition to understand what it was up against?
Or for another example, think of Ilya Ehrenburg, who in 1951 or so was sent abroad by Stalin to lie about the condition of Yiddish-speaking intellectuals whom Stalin had recently massacred. Ehrenburg went to France, went to Italy. He did as he was told. "Peretz? Markish? Oh, yes, saw Peretz at his dacha last month with his grandson. Such a jovial fellow. Markishhe was great last year in Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk Districtyou should see how it comes across in zhargon, Yiddish..." And so it went. Eherenburg lied, and lied. He was not a Stalinist. He hated Stalin. He of course hated the destruction of Peretz, Markish, and many others who had been killed many months beforeas Ehrenburg knew perfectly well. When he went abroad and lied to the editors of Nouvelle Revue Francaise, what was he? Objectively, he was promoting the interests of Joseph Stalin, and the Red Army, and the Politburo. We need not inquire into motives. We need only see what the results of such lying were. And the same is true of those Christian Arabs who lie on behalf of Islamsome out of fear, some out of an ethnocentric identification so strong that they end up defending Islam, the religion of those who persecuted the Christian Arabs of the Middle East, and some out of venality (if Western diplomats and journalists can be on the Arab take, why not Arabs themselves?), some out of careerism. If you want to rise in the academic ranks, and your field is the Middle East, unless you are a real scholarCook or Crone or Lewisbetter to parrot the party line, which costs you nothing and gains you friends in tenure-awarding, grant-giving, reference-writing circles. There is at least one example, too, among those mentioned, in a situation where an Arabic-speaking Christian, attempting to find refuge from Muslim persecution, needed the testimony of an "expert"which "expert," instead of offering a pro-bono samaritan act, demanded so much money to be involved (in a fantastic display of greed) that the very idea of solidarity among Arab Christians was called by this act permanently into question.
2. The word "moderate" cannot be reasonably applied to any Muslim who continues to deny the contentsthe real contents, not the sanitized or gussied-up contentsof Qur'an, hadith, and sira. Whether that denial is based on ignorance, or based on embarrassment, or based on filial piety (and an unwillingness to wash dirty ideological laundry before the Infidels) is irrelevant. Any Muslim who, while seeming to deplore every aspect of Muslim aggression, based on clear textual sources in Qur'an and hadith, or on the example of Muhammad as depicted in the accepted siraMuhammad that "model" of behavioris again, objectively, acting in a way that simply misleads the Infidels. And any Muslim who helps to mislead Infidels about the true nature of Islam cannot be called a "moderate." That epithet is simply handed out a bit too quickly for sensible tastes.
3. What of a Muslim who saysthere are terrible things in the sira and hadith, and we must find a way out, so that this belief-system can focus on the rituals of individual worship, and offer some sustenance as a simple faith for simple people? This would require admitting that a great many of Muhammad's reported acts must either be denied, or given some kind of figurative interpretation, or otherwise removed as part of his "model" life. As for the hadith, somehow one would have to say that Bukhari, and Muslim, and the other respected muhaddithin had not examined those isnad-chains with quite the right meticulousness, and that many of the hadith regarded as "authentic" must be reduced to the status of "inauthentic." And, following Goldziher, doubt would have to be cast on all of the hadith, as imaginative elaborations from the Qur'an, without any necessarily independent existence.
4. This leaves the Qur'an. Any "moderate" who wishes to prevent inquiry into the origins of the Qur'anwhether it may be the product of a Christian sect, or a Jewish sect, or of pagan Arabs who decided to construct a book, made up partly of Christian and Jewish material mixed with bits and pieces of pagan Arab lore from the time of the Jahiliyaor to prevent philological study (of, for example, Aramaic and other loan-words)anyone who impedes the enterprise of subjecting the Qur'an to the kind of historical inquiry that the Christian and Jewish Bibles have undergone in the past 200 years of inquiry, is not a "moderate" but a fervent Defender of the Faith. One unwilling to encourage such studywhich can only lead to a move away from literalness for at least some of the Believersagain is not "moderate."
5. The conclusion one must reach is that there are, in truth, very few moderates. For if one sees the full meaning of Qur'an, hadith, and sira, and sees how they have affected the behavior of Muslims both over 1400 years of conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims, and in stunting the developmentpolitical, economic, moral, and intellectualof Muslims everywhere, it is impossible not to conclude that this imposing edifice is not in any sense moderate or susceptible to moderation.
What must an intelligent Muslim, living through the hell of the Islamic Republic of Iran, start to think of Islam? Or that Kuwaiti billionaire, with houses in St. James Place and Avenue Foch and Vevey, as well as the family/company headquarters in Kuwait City, who sends his children to the American School in Kuwait, and boasts that they know English better than they know Arabic, helps host Fouad Ajami when he visits Kuwait, is truly heartsick to see Kuwait's increasing islamization? Would he allow himself to say what he knows in public, or in front of half-brothers, or to friendsknowing that at any moment, they may be scandalized by his free-thinking views, and that he may run the risk of losing his place in the family's pecking order and, what's more, in the family business?
The mere fact that Muslim numbers may grow in the Western world represents a permanent threat to Infidels. This is true even if some, or many, of those Muslims are "moderates"i.e. do not believe that Islam has some kind of divine right, and need, to expand until it covers the globe and swallows up dar al-harb. For if they are still to be counted in the Army of Islam, not as Deserters (Apostates) from that Army, their very existence in the Bilad al-kufr helps to swell Muslim ranks, and therefore perceived Muslim power. And even the "moderate" father may sire immoderate children or grandchildrenthat was the theme of the Hanif Kureishi film, quasi-comic but politically acute, "My Son the Fanatic." Whether through Da'wa or large families, any growth in the Muslim population will inhibit free expression (see the fates of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, and the threats made to Geert Wilders, Carl Hagen, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and many others), for politicans eager to court the Muslim vote will poohpooh Muslim outrages and strive to have the state yield to Muslim demandsfor the sake of short-term individual gain. And Muslim numbers, even with "moderates," increases the number of Muslim missionariesfor every Muslim is a missionarywhether conducting "Sharing Ramadan" Outreach in the schools (where a soft-voiced Pakistani woman is usually the soothing propagandist of choice), or Da'wa in a prison. The more Muslims there are, the more there will beand no one knows which "moderate" will end up distinctly non-moderate in his views, and then in his acts.
And this brings up the most important problem: the impermanance of "moderate" attitudes. What makes anyone think that someone who this week or month has definitely turned his back on Jihad, who will have nothing to do with those he calls the "fanatics," if he does not make a clean break with Islam, does not become a "renegade" or apostate, will at some point "revert" not to Islam, which he never left, but to a more devout form, in which he now subscribes to all of its tenets, and not merely to a few having to do with rites of individual worship?
6. The examples to the contrary are both those of individuals, and of whole societies. As for individual Muslims, some started out as mild-mannered and largely indifferent to Islam, and then underwent some kind of crisis and reverted to a much more fanatical brand of Islam. That was the case with urban planner Mohammad Atta, following his disorienting encounter with modern Western ways in Hamburg, GermanyReeperbahn and all. That was also the case with "Mike" Hawash, the Internet engineer earning $360,000 a year, who seemed completely integrated (American wife, Little League for the children, friends among fellow executives at Intel who would swear up and down that he was innocent)until one fine day, after the World Trade Center attacks, he made out his will, signed the house over to his wife, and set off to fight alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan (he got as far as China) against his fellow Americans. In other words, if fanatical Muslims exist, it does not mean that they all start out as fanatics. Islam is the necessary starting place, and what sets off a "moderate" may have little to do with anything the Infidels do, any question of foreign policyit may simply be a crisis in an individual Muslim's life, to which he seeks an answer, not surprisingly, in ... more Islam.
7. Much the same lesson can be drawn from the experience of whole societies. In passing, one can note that the position of Infidels under the Pahlevi regime was better than it had been for centuriesand under the regime that followed, that of the Islamic Republic of Iran, that position of Infidels became worse than it had been for centuries. "Secularism" in Islamic countries is never permanent; the weight and the threat of Islam is ever-present.
The best example of this is Turkey since 1924, when Ataturk began his reforms. He tried in every way he couldthrough the Hat Act (banishing the salat-friendly fez); commissioning a Turkish translation of the Qur'an and an accompanying tafsir (commentary) in Turkish; ending the use of Arabic script for Turkish; establishing government control of the mosques (even attacking recalcitrant imams and destroying their mosques); giving women the right to vote; establishing a system that discouraged the wearing of the hijab; encouraging Western dress; and discouraging, in the army, preferment of any soldier who showed too great an interest in religion. This attempt to constrain Islam was successful, and was reinforced by the national cult of Ataturk.
But the past few decades have shown that Islam does not die; it keeps coming back. In Turkey, it never went away, despite the creation of a secular stratum of society that amounts perhaps to 25% of the population, with another 25% wavering, and 50% still definitely traditional Muslims. Meanwhile, Turks in Germany become not less, but more fervent in their faith. And Turks in Turkey, of the kind who follow Erdogan, show that they may at any moment emerge and take powerand slowly (very slowly, as long as that EU application has not been acted on, one way or another) they can undo Ataturk. He was temporary; Islam is forever.
8. That is why even the designation of some Muslims as "moderates" in the end means almost nothing. They swell Muslim numbers and the perceived Muslim power; "moderates" may help to mislead, to be in fact even more effective practitioners of taqiyya/kitman, for their motive may simply be loyalty to ancestors or embarrassment, not a malign desire to fool Infidels in order to disarm and then ultimately to destroy them.
9. For this reason, one has to keep one's eye always on the objective situation. What will make Infidels safer from a belief-system that is inimical to art, science, and all free inquiry, that stunts the mental growth, and that is based on a cruel Manichaean division of the world between Infidel and Believer? And the answer is: limiting the powermilitary, political, diplomatic, economic powerof all Muslim polities, and Muslim peoples, and diminishing, as much as possible, the Muslim presence, however amiable and plausible and seemingly untroubling a part of that presence may appear to be, in all the Lands of the Infidels. This is done not out of any spirit of enmity, but simply as an act of minimal self-protectionand out of loyalty and gratitude to those who produced the civilization which, however it has been recently debased by its own inheritors, would disappear altogether were Muslims to succeed in islamizing Europeand then, possibly, other parts of the world as well.
10. "There are Muslim moderates. Islam itself is not moderate" is Ibn Warraq's lapidary formulation. To this one must add: we Infidels have no sure way to distinguish the real from the feigning "moderate" Muslim. We cannot spend our time trying to perfect methods to make such distinctions. Furthermore, in the end such distinctions may be meaningless if even the "real" moderates hide from us what Islam is all about, not out of any deeply-felt sinister motive, but out of a humanly-understandable ignorance (especially among some second or third-generation Muslims in the West), or embarrassment, or filial piety. And finally, yesterday's "moderate" can overnight be transformed into today's fanaticor tomorrow's. Shall we entrust our own safety to the dreamy consolations of the phrase "moderate Muslim" and the shapeshifting concept behind it that can be transformed into something else in a minute?
I noticed the word "decency" but I could add another “respect”. Respect for one's nation and pride in one's nation. Our founding fathers had the decency and respect for themselves to tell the British where to shove their taxes. Was it the prudent or safe thing to do? Surely not, but they did anyway and thank God for it because today we live in a free nation where we bow to neither noble nor king. The anti-slavery movement had decency and respect for themselves which is why they opposed slavery. They could have sat around and ignored it. Let it just pass over the falls but they did not and resisted and fought. Was it the prudent and safe thing to do? Hardly, for it led to a civil war but thank God for it.
Today no man is enslaved in this land. We can hold our head up with pride. Throughout our nation's history we have had people who did the unsafe thing so today we could be free and be proud. We did not do it for the adventure but because it was the right thing to do. Now we are faced with yet another example. It is a small one. The question before us is should we recognize the sufferings of the Armenians in the genocide of 1915?
Some say it is not needed because it is for the historians to ponder. I disagree, for if we had let the injustice of the past be pondered by historians of the future we would not be in America today and we would still have chattel slavery. Some say we will anger a supposed ally in the so called war on terror. I disagree, for would a real ally react as Turkey has reacted to simple words.
We are not threatening to wage war against Turkey yet they appear to be willing to kill Americans if we get in their way when they invade northern Iraq. Once again if they behave like this over a few words can they really be trusted for anything? Are they really an ally? Yes, there will be some fallout. Perhaps it will prevent Bush’s plan to unify Iraq and bring Democracy to the Islamic world.
However, it is clear that was not working anyway and if you accept that Islam is a political ideology and not just a faith then the Iraqi adventure was doomed to begin with. There are also some among you that think this a ploy by certain democrats to get us out of Iraq and to make Bush look bad. You maybe are right but I don’t really care. Bush does not need the democrats to make him look stupid as has been proven beyond count. Bush does this to himself. We are in Iraq today because of George W. Bush. This is his mess, so let him figure out how to fix it. That is what you get when you put your trust in nations like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and others and allow them to play roles in your battle plan. This is why we will continue to pay a heavy price for doing economic and military deals with these nations. This is the price for us buying their oil, this is the price of freedom.
We are not free. If we were free we would not be pushing for a Palestinian state. If we were free we would not be thinking about thought crimes. If we were free we would not be begging Arabians to stop their war against our people. The Arabians proved their point on 9-11. They killed thousands of Americans and what did we do about it? Nothing. For we fear they might hurt our economy. That sounds like a slave to me. If you are a decent, proud and free man or woman you would have no problem with this bill for it is the truth no matter how silly or irreverent it might seem. However, it appears our master has screamed and some of you (along with our President and Congress) have jumped for Massa Turkey.
I am a free man so my response to Turkey is this is none of their business. This is between the United States and Armenia. We recognize their suffering in the 1915 mass murder of their people by the Ottoman Empire. End of Story…
Great Comet of 1577
Great essay, and I agree with most of its tenets. However, as pointed out on another blog, this does nothing to end a war, but actually extends it which was not the Democrats original motive. And, this small detail is obviously why Speaker Pelosi has now backed off this airy resolution a mere day or two after the news broke she and her cronies were pushing their October Surprise up the Hill.