Saturday, December 10, 2016

The two Mainstreams dovetail -- part 1

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"We are not at war with Islam," says Obama -- also adding, of course, that we should not be at war with Islam.

Over at Jihad Watch comments, that community of the other Mainstream (the Counter-Jihad Mainstream, which affects to be oh so different from the broader, pan-Western PC MC Mainstream), this story generated 160 comments.  Among them was a long-time veteran Jihad Watcher, one "PRCS" (he's come up before).  Guess what?  PRCS agreed with Obama, and for days on end, as his fellow Jihad Watchers were throwing tomatoes at Obama all around him in comments, no one (other than one meek commenter) bothered to set him straight.  Not even any of the Rabbit Pack -- that self-appointed high-school-clique-cum-lynch-mob of hall monitors who patrol Jihad Watch comments looking out for people who say the wrong things according to them.  (Perhaps that's because PRCS is himself in the Rabbit Pack.)

At least not until today (December 10):  A leading member, in fact, of the Rabbit Pack -- one "gravenimage" -- actually responded critically to PRCS, fellow member of the Rabbit Pack.  I almost fell off my ergonomic chair.

While gravenimage's response is mostly okay (but overly mild, as she is whenever she's criticizing a fellow Jihad Watcher, not to mention a fellow Rabbit Packer; which at any rate is exceedingly rare), she not once affirmed the central point -- that in fact we should be at war with Islam, insofar as defending yourself against a people at war with you constitutes "being at war".  Here's the passage in question from gravenimage.  She first quotes PRCS:

Those individuals, those Muslims waging “war” against the entire “kuffar” world are–because THEIR “religion” commands them to.
…………………………….
And she responds thusly:

Exactly so–we may not be at war with Islam, but Islam *is* at war with us–and with every non-Muslim.

The pertinent point, however, is not whether we "are" at war with Islam, but whether we should be at war with Islam.  The Counter-Jihad knows all too well that the West, in thrall to PC MC, is not at war with Islam.  Notice how gravenimage skirts this central point.  Meanwhile, the remainder of her replies to  PRCS establish at least the rudiments of a good reason for why we should be at war with Islam, even if her overall rhetoric does not suitably tie the ribbon of the potential argument into explicit bows.  One reasonably supposes she is either too timid to make that explicit affirmation, or she actually agrees with PRCS on this one, the most pertinent, point.

In fact, PRCS wrote three comments on that large comments thread basically espousing the same thing (and essentially agreeing with Obama on the main point).  On the other two comments, of course, none of the Jihad Watch regulars, whether Rabbit Packers or not, bothered to respond.  And then (this is rich), when PRCS in his mental confusion decided to take a pot-shot at Obama thusly --

“Obama will never figure this out”
Don’t know if he doesn’t know or if he does.
Either way, he’s misinforming the general public.

His old friend, one "Wellington" (also a fellow Rabbit Packer), saluted him:

Agreed. The effect is the same whether he is complicit or “simply” a fool.

Why didn't Wellington take PRCS to task for agreeing with Obama?

[To be continued...]

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Bob and Andy on the outs again...?

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Robert Spencer (the "Bob" of my title) has notoriously burned bridges with fellow Counter-Jihadists.  As I recounted in an essay from this past summer, The Counter-Jihad, working together as a team... -- a sarcastic title, of course -- the road to waking the West up is littered with the bones of others:

Far from working together as a team, you have Robert Spencer burning bridges with old colleagues whom he previously praised (e.g., Diana West, Baron Bodissey, Andrew Bostom, Hugh Fitzgerald -- the last two belatedly welcomed back to the Jihad Watch family after years of wintry exclusion; though Jihad Watch seems to have been strangely Bostomless after a brief splash of a reunion in the spring of 2013)...

I should add the name of Debbie Schlussel there, though I don't know what the details are and whether there was ever a honeymoon period during which Spencer praised her work, only to turn around and knife her in the back.

At any rate, as I mention there, Bob and Andy (Spencer and Bostom) did have a reunion in the spring of 2013, prompting me at the time to allude cheekily to the Lennon and McCartney thaw in the years prior to the former's tragic murder, after rumors of a rift between them.

As I also note above, Jihad Watch has been oddly devoid of Andrew Bostom since that seeming reunion of 2013.

Now we see a sign of Spencer either obtusely incognizant of Bostom's position on Turkey, or ignoring it on purpose (reminding us of the last time Bob slighted Andy, in 2010).

Thus, in editorializing on the Tunisian president's claim that Islam and democracy can be made compatible in a working relationship, Spencer writes:

This will be a tall order, given that the only stable, functioning democracy that has ever existed in a majority-Muslim country was in Turkey, and that one was founded as a direct and explicit rejection of political Islam, and is being slowly and steadily dismantled by an authoritarian ruler who believes in political Islam.

Has Robert not read Andrew's lengthy and detailed exposure of the myth of Secular, Democratic (and thus, un-Islamic) Turkey, published July of this year?  Not only that, but the seeds of Andrew's revision of our collective mistaken impression of Turkey began back in 2013 at the very "reunion" of Robert and Andrew! On that occasion, Robert hosted a long discussion with Andrew on ABN TV, and during that discussion, Andrew points out in numerous and complex ways how 20th century Turkey was not as free of Islam as the conventional understanding makes it out to be.

It's another sign of the incoherence of the Counter-Jihad that Robert would, this week, yet again reiterate (and reinforce) the flawed conventional understanding of Turkey.

Postscript:

Plus, notice how Robert uses that trope "political Islam" -- as if Islam anywhere on this planet is not already indissolubly and essentially political.  As if when any and every Muslima wears a hijab, she is not being essentially political.  As if when any and every Muslim simply goes about their daily business in the West, they are not being political.



Thursday, December 01, 2016

Tertullian and modern Western feminists

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Tertullian, the well-known early Father of the Church (d. 220 A.D.), has been cherrypicked on by feminists -- particularly that infamous cherry, the phrase he wrote ostensibly describing woman as the "gateway of the Devil".  F. Forrester Church, a theologian (and, being a Unitarian minister, one could hardly accuse him of being an anti-liberal misogynist), studied the matter in scholarly detail.  One may read his analysis in his article ("Sex and Salvation in Tertullian") to get his full argument.  I'll quote from it and discuss it here.

For example, Church begins:

Did he consistently blame woman for the fall? Is her natural status held to be inferior to that of man? Does Tertullian apply an ethical double standard when instructing women and men in matters of discipline? Are women really represented in his writings as "the weaker sex?" 

About his first question, Church writes that the so-called "gateway passage" is the only place in all Tertullian where the exclusive culpability of Eve is spelled out. He cites a separate writing in which Tertullian blames the fall on gluttony, that Adam succumbed to eating the forbidden fruit because he let himself be led by his stomach's appetite rather than his brain. Church concludes that Tertullian was adapting his argument to his larger context, which in this work, De cultu feminarum, was the "proper" comportment of women in society, using Eve's role in the fall and focusing on it for rhetorical purposes.  One would be inaccurate to glean from this that Tertullian held women uniquely responsible for the fall and for thus being the "gateway to the Devil". At the very least, by the same logic, one would have to upbraid Tertullian as strongly for his "anti-stomach appetite" bias.

Furthermore, Church goes on to note that in another Tertullian work (Adversus Iudaeos), the culpability for the fall is equally shared by both Adam and Eve, and then in yet another of his works (De patientia), their equality in this respect is even more emphasized. Better yet, in his works Adversus Marcionem and De exhortatione castitatis, Church tells us, Tertullian argues that it doesn't matter who helped to seduce Adam -- the responsibility for his fall is on his shoulders alone. Then according to Church, in his work De testimonio animae, Tertullian writes at length about the plan of salvation for Mankind, and in this plan, Tertullian sees the main culpability for the fall, and thus the need for redemption, in Adam, while Eve only figures in the exposition "incidentally".

As Church notes about Tertullian from this particular work:  

Inherited sin, passed on through the process of generation, stems directly from Adam. When he was given over to death on account of his sin, "the whole human race, infected with his seed, were made the carrier of his condemnation."... ...Eve is peripheral to Tertullian's conception of the fall. According to him, the devil is to blame for the woes of humankind, and Adam is responsible.

Church's analysis has many more layers of complex argument using meticulous citations from Tertullian's full corpus that similarly tend to undermine the supposed extremism & misogyny which feminists have found in the one passage they cherrypick.

Islam and Homosexuality

A useful follow-up to my most recent post, The people of Lot, in Islam, is a map that displays "76 countries where homosexuality is illegal."

Take a look at that map.  Is it just a coincidence that the geographical distribution is virtually a map of the Muslim world?

Map of the 76 countries with laws against sexual relations between people of the same sex.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The people of Lot, according to Islam

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This blog -- What makes Islam so different? -- has a useful collection of the hatred of homosexuality in the Koran and hadiths.  (Interestingly, the story of Lot and Sodom & Gomorrah in the Koran makes the homosexual perversion theme more explicit than the Christian Bible does.)

To complete the picture, someone needs to collect data from Islamic history, culture, and current religious sermons & fatwas to demonstrate the opposite -- the rather rampant homosexuality in Islamic societies.

With both sets of data together, we may appreciate what I call the sexual schizophrenia at the heart of Islam.

As I have meditated on the phenomenon of Islam, I have conducted the thought experiment of a Satanic origin.  One of the hallmarks of Satan, one could say, is that he is the originator of Orwellian twisting of opposites into each other, in a demonic hall, or hell, of mirrors -- where peace is war, love is hate, truth is lies, paradise is hell (and all vice-versa).  So in Islam's damnation of the people of Lot, we see all too often that the people of Islam are, in fact, the people of Lot.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Jihad of the Germs?

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Or medieval biological warfare by Muslims against the West they relentlessly attacked and tried to conquer for over a solid millennium, from the 7th to the 17th century.

I have independently come across an interesting filament of data indicating that the "Black Death" -- the Great (i.e., horrific) Plague that plagued Europe during the High Middle Ages/Renaissance -- may have been brought to the West via ships from the Muslim world.

From Edmund G. Gardner’s study on Saint Catherine of Siena, p. 3:

In the year after Catherine’s birth, 1348, the great Pestilence, brought, it was said, in two Genoese galleys from the East, swept over Italy, Provence, France, and Spain, and in the following year spread to England and the rest of Europe.

If so, was that just an accident arising out of the sparse trade going on between some Italian merchants and Muslims (in a general climate of hostility between Muslims and Europe), or was it an early form of biological warfare — biological jihad?

Now there’s a graduate thesis for some enterprising Millennial to get to work on in some Western college somewhere (if their ex-Hippie or Muslim professors and college counselors and politically correct peer presssue will allow them)!

P.S.:

The map below indicates that this viral scythe wielded a wide geopolitical swath, extending into the East.  Even Wikipedia notes that most believe a provenance of central Asia.  We need more study of this to find out if it was not, in fact, one of many attempts by the Islamic Caliphate to bring down the West.  It is salutary, if not stunning, to contemplate how the West, after suffering the ravages of this horrific disease for decades, maintained their defense of the heartland, and not too long after, began a recovery so spectacular, they were well on their way to being able to colonize most of the Muslim world.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Debbie Schlussel rains on our parade (again)

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When the whole Brexit thing happened, I noted how Debbie Schlussel with searing cogency pointed out that a Brexit without an "Islamexit" will likely be (at best) too little, too late.

Now, on the day of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (which Jihad Watch reports appositely has markedly ramped up security, thanks to the danger of Muslims exploding), Debbie has posted a sobering exposé of Trump's choice for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, as a career Arabophile and Islamophile.  Commenters on her blog speculate that this speaks to Trump being a bit gullble and malleable -- and, more importantly, not doing his homework on the people he's choosing.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pat Condell: boldly talking about the Camel in the Room -- without actually mentioning it.

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Pat Condell's latest video, once you pause, sit back and think about his rhetoric, would make an interesting literary gimmick in, perhaps, a Eugene Ionesco play or one of those surreal short stories by Jorge Luis Borges.  I speak of the curious cognitive dissonance that dawns on one as one watches this ten minutes of a spirited harangue against the veritably Biblical (or Koranic) Flood of so-called refugees into the heart of the West, Europe and the UK.  What becomes oddly noticeable is how often Condell avoids the I and M words ("Islam") and ("Muslims") and substitutes instead various demeaning epithets, such as "criminals", "savages", "animals", "backward barbarians", etc. -- often qualified by "Third World".

Indeed, his opening words are:

"This video is for all you Third World criminals who are flooding into Europe by pretending to be refugees."

A longer example comes later, as he is addressing, as his title indicates, the "Criminal Migrant":

"The police and media, too, will conspire to keep your depravity hidden from the general population -- until it hits them squarely in the face; as it does now frequently in wide open Sweden, the rape capital, thanks to you.  Earlier this year, it was reported that nearly half of Sweden's women are afraid to go out on their own after dark, because... well, we're not really supposed to say what the reason is, as that would be 'racist' toward the lawless human vermin like you who are assaulting and raping Swedish women -- and children.  Everyone in Sweden is so terrified of being a 'racist', you can do what you like.  You can gang-rape a woman in a wheelchair for hours, as happened just recently, and the police will let you go, because they're not convinced she fought back hard enough -- what with being paralyzed with shock and fear...  and then when local people get angry about this, Leftists and feminists will organize a demonstration against their 'racism'.  You can't lose!  If you're wanted for a crime in Sweden, which no doubt you will be, nobody will be able to identify you.  The police don't like to issue a description of wanted criminals, because it will almost always be somebody who likes you, and that would paint a truthful picture of mass Third World immigration that the Swedish government doesn't want people to see, because then even the docile Swedes might start to realize just how comprehensively they and their country have been betrayed.  [bold emphasis added]

That's a whole lot of words about Muslims without once mentioning "Muslim" or "Islam"...!  And it's not like anywhere else in his 10 minute video he makes clear that the problem is all about Muslims and their Islam, and nothing to do with non-Muslim Third World immigrants.

Condell does at one point mention "Pakistan" (twice; which at least is a hint as to the demographic he's otherwise so strenuously failing to specify).

Condell also hammers home a bit too much the simplistic complaint that these (Muslim) immigrants are merely "stupid" -- too stupid to comprehend our superior civilization -- and on top of that "ungrateful" as backward barbarians to appreciate the benefits of our civilization which we're trying to lavish on them (undeservedly).  While it may feel good to vent about them being stupid and backward, such venting tends to trivialize the danger by obscuring the deeper more important phenomenon going on, of a veritable jihad by immigration ("Jihad of the Feet" as I call it), to supplement all the other styles of jihad deployed by various other Muslims against us -- many of them not at all backward but quite Westernized in appearance and manner.

One Jihad Watch commenter speculated (as they often do, whenever this important sub-problem comes up) that Condell is more or less forced to walk on eggshells around the pertinent point because of the hypersensitive "hate speech" laws of the UK.  If this is so, it highlights a most curious phenomenon -- that someone can vehemently rail against "Third World savages" and "vermin" for 10 long minutes, but must be ever so chary about using the M and I words while doing so, let he call too much attention to the only pertinent fact about these immigrants -- their Muslim identity and culture.

Thus, our PC MC Mainstream cultivates (and indirectly enforces) a climate -- a twist on Lawrence Auster's "First Law of Majority/Minority Relations") that throws lesser minorities under the bus to spare the #1 Minority of the World:  The Mother of All OthersThe precious Muslim.

Some Jihad Watch toadies who slavishly praise Pat Condell and sick their hall monitors on anyone who, by introducing critical thought, might dare to deviate from their lockstep approval, might protest that Condell doesn't have to broadcast who he's really talking about (Muslims), as everyone already knows (wink, wink).  Well, sure, the Choir to whom Condell is preaching know (or infer) that when he's repeatedly wielding around various vague epithets like "savages" and "criminals" and "Third World" "vermin", he's only referring to Muslims.  But that vast majority outside of the still small Counter-Jihad are not going to be so clear, and may well reasonably assume he's against Third World immigrants in general.  At his climax near the end, for example, he says:

"That's some reputation you've got yourselves there, but nobody can say you haven't earned it -- you and that rancid rape culture of yours a million times over."

But since he has only mentioned "Muslims" once, and "Islam" not at all -- meanwhile showering the audience with otherwise robust yet generic insults of these "criminal migrants", only the Choir and a few others may know that he is, or should be, only talking about Muslims.  And also, his obsession in this video with "migrants" has the effect of excluding from his ire all those millions of already resident Muslims throughout Europe and the UK.

To top it off, toward the end of his sermon to his Choir, he injects a boost of premature optimism about this dreadful, still metastazing problem with no end in sight:

"Well, the good news for us, and the bad news for you, is that this is all going to end soon -- because people have had enough of it now, and they've had enough of you.  Your greatest error is mistaking European generosity for weakness, because that's the impression that you've been given by the current crop of bedwetters, shysters, and crooks who run things here.  But they won't be running things for very much longer, because so many people in Europe are sick to death of you and want you gone.  People who welcome immigration and who are happy to live in a genuine multicultural society of mutual enrichment and mutual respect, have realized that your presence here makes that completely impossible, and that as long as you are here, it will remain impossible.  So millions of people in Europe who once were tolerant and welcoming of you, now don't want you anywhere near them -- and especially anywhere near their children."

This way too rosy picture Condell paints is as much a morale-booster from a sergeant to his men (who agree with him) as it is preaching to the Choir, using rhetoric that makes it sound like "Okay, we've had enough of you now, your time is soon over" -- where he seems to locate most (if not all) of the blame of this Muslim-coddling situation on our Elites:  "the current crop of bedwetters, shysters, and crooks who run things here" (elsewhere "treacherous, cowardly politicians") -- as though there doesn't still remain the thorny problem of most Westerners still squeamishly disinclined to be "bigoted" against Muslims and still responding to too much criticism of Islam with "but not all Muslims are like that" and "I know some nice Muslims" quickly going down the road of "do you hate all Muslims?" and "do you want to kill all Muslims?" etc.

 As I said up top, it's an odd, paradoxical experience watching this Pat Condell diatribe, where he forcefully pummels his target whilst simultaneously pulling his punches.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Milo on Islam, part 2

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In part 1, I left the reader hanging on the title topic, since I left off watching the interview with Milo Yannopoulos on purpose (I explained why there).

Well, it was both pleasantly surprising, though not as ideal as it could have been.  In the BBC interview in question, Milo in answering the question put to him ("What is your view on Islam?") made four good points:

1) After noting (accurately) that Trump has expressed himself on this matter with "varying degrees of firmness", Milo went on to say:  "I would be very comfortable with a halt on Muslim immigration."  Notice the lack of softening qualifiers like "radical Muslims" or (worse yet) "radical Islamist extremists", etc.

2)  "It isn't 'radical Islam' -- it's Islam that is the problem."

3)   "...the regressive social attitudes of Muslims in the West are terrifying -- absolutely terrifying..."

4)  "...organizations like yours [the BBC] won't report it honestly, accurately, or fairly; so it's left to other places to do it.  And then what you do -- once you fail to report it -- is accuse people who are concerned (with some justification) about the changing nature of their culture -- not race -- in their countries, is you then accuse them of being 'white nationalists'.  That's pretty disgusting."

The only flaw in Milo's responses -- which may have been due to the context unavailing him of fleshing out his full perspective on the matter -- is that he left out the crucial dimension of the ongoing, protracted war Muslims are waging on the West; an asymmetrical world war of multifarious tactics including a combination of violence and stealth; a war that will not end until the West is reduced to generalized mayhem and misery, or unless the West wakes up in time to preempt this dire outcome.  And such a preemptive stance will likely have to entail more than a mere halt to immigration, to include also a deportation of Muslims.

Postscript:

In the context of their discussion on Islam, the BBC reporter asked Milo:  "Are you a white nationalist?"  Milo took offense at the question, which he rightly called out as a veiled accusation.  The BBC reporter hastened to try to clarify:

"Let me be clear, I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm just asking --"

Milo shot back:

"You asked me if I was a 'white nationalist'..."

The BBC reporter stood his spongy ground:

"It's a question, not an accusation..."

Milo did not relent:

"Would you ask anyone that? Would you go randomly ask, 'Hi Madam, we've never met before -- are you a white nationalist...?'  No.  You're doing it because you want to suggest there is something nefarious about my belief system..."


Milo on Islam: Part 1

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How to describe Milo Yannopoulos?  Bright, witty, flamboyant, smug, often snarky, charismatic, well spoken in a glibly tripping sort of way, impudently gay, and -- most important of all -- unapologetically a steamroller firing on all cylinders against Political Correctness.

Because of that last quality, because he really means it, he was naturally pro-Trump.

In one You Tube interview with some BBC journalist, about eleven minutes long, he is asked about a lot of subjects, and for the first five minutes he excels.

Just shy of the threshold of the five minute mark, the journalist asks Milo:

"Let me ask you in your own words, because you... accuse people of putting words into your mouth or taking things out of context or not recognizing humor when it's there:  What is  your view on Islam?"

At that point, jaded and embittered over the years by critics of Islam -- even those otherwise quite politically incorrect -- who turn out to have various nougaty soft spots beneath their seeming bluster against Islam, I had to click an indefinite pause on the video and catch my breath, my left eye from long experience tremoring and flinching like that of Chief Inspector Dreyfus looking up from his desk to see Inspector Clouseau enter his office in his bumbling way nearly tipping over a precious vase.

When I can gather my nerve and stamina, I shall click the resume button on the video, and prepare myself to fall off my chair in astonishment when -- or if -- Milo actually answers the question without any of the typical loopholes one sees time and time again from various Counter-Jihadists.

Or, more likely, I shall have to slump more deeply into the morose leather of my chair for yet another in a long line of disappointing, close but no cigar moments.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mincing Counter-Jihad

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Rather than embarking upon making mincemeat of Jihad, we are boldly mincing words, dipping our big toe into the tepid waters of critical rhetoric so timid as to sound ludicrous.

Now, many in the Counter-Jihad Mainstream would argue that this situation -- of being ludicrously timid in our counter-Jihad rhetoric -- is forced upon us; and that we should be as grateful for it as starving beggars under a table who, at long last, after years of aching penury, have felt the pleasant micro-concussions of dried bread crumbs fall upon their heads; and that these crumbs augur robust hope as we sail gloriously away from the Obama nightmare into a halcyon sunrise of Destroying Islam.

Not so quick.  Have we really turned our Titanic around so as to be surely clear of all the threatening icebergs, including not only the bête noire du jour, ISIS, but also the mainstream Islam of all Muslims; including not only "extremist Islamists" but also the Moderate Muslims in our midst who lurk, seemingly benign, beneath the icily placid waters -- or, more often, smile in the sunshine on deck fully Westernized just wanting to have sandwiches?

Be that as it may, here is what Reince Preibus, Trump's incoming Chief of Staff, had to say about the problem of Islam:

“Clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic and we know them; we’ve seen it.” 

That's like saying in 1942 about German Nazism:

“Clearly there are some aspects of that ideology that are problematic and we know them; we’ve seen it.”

Even that doesn't quite capture the full, monstrous preposterousness.  Let's ratchet it up, shall we...?  Imagine a government science committee chairman announcing seriously, without a trace of satire:

“Clearly there are some aspects of the Sun that are a bit toasty, and we know them; we’ve seen it.”

Or, to come back down with a whomp into the blessed sense of humor, imagine this official statement -- again, utterly serious -- about the Emperor Who Has No Clothes On:

“Clearly there are some aspects of the Emperor's regal attire that are badly tailored, and we know them; we’ve seen it.” 

Postscript:

And of course, Priebus had to hasten anxiously to add:  “It certainly isn’t a blanket for all people of that faith...”   


Sunday, November 20, 2016

PC MC Pejoratives: “The Middle Ages”

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— view of the Fontevrault Abbey

Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism (PC MC) has a long list of people, ideas, works, and historical eras whom they assume are deplorable because they don't reflect their politically correct multiculturalist values.  “The Middle Ages” is one of them (often amped up for good measure by substituting “Middle”  with “Dark”).

One way out of this brainwashing straitjacket is to educate oneself by good teachers (and the ability to even find a good teacher often takes some doing).

Régine Pernoud is one such good teacher.  Among many other books she has written, the first I will read with pleasure is Pour en finir avec le Moyen Age ("Done with the Middle Ages"), since I have heard much about it over the years, and have read extracts from fan websites, as well as big chunks of the English translation, available for partial preview on Google Books.

Pernoud's overarching thesis is that the so-called  “Middle Ages”, in contrast to their denigration by later Moderns (where modernity began with the 14th century Renaissance), were actually quite progressive and arguably, in many ways, superior to the eras that succeeded them.  In addition, this bias against the “Middle Ages” not only is largely false, according to Pernoud, and not only was created in early modernity: it also has survived as a prejudice into our own post-modern world (the 20th century for Pernoud, as she passed in 1998).

Just to take one example -- the treatment of women -- Pernoud writes:

If one wants to get an exact idea of the place held by women in the Church in feudal times, one must wonder what, in our twentieth century, would be said about of convents of men placed under the authority of a woman.  Would a project of this kind have the least chance of succeeding in our time?  This was, however, achieved with great success, and not without providing the least in the Church, by Robert d'Arbrissel at Fontevrault, in the early part of the twelfth century.  Having resolved to situate the extraordinary crowd of men and women who were in his footsteps -- for he was one of the great converters of his time -- Robert d'Arbrissel decided to found two convents, one for men and one for women; between them rose the church. which was the only place where the monks and nuns could meet.  Now this double monastery was placed under the authority, not of an abbot, but of an abbess.   The latter, through the will of the founder, was to be a widow, having had the experience of marriage.  Let us add, to complete the picture, that the first abbess, Petronilla Chemillé, who presided over the fortunes of this order of Fontevrault, was twenty-two years old.

About this abbey at Fontevrault, by the way, the Catholic Enyclopedia tells us:

At the death of Robert d'Arbrissel [its founder], in 1117, there are said to have been at Fontevrault alone 3000 nuns, and in 1150 even 5000.

And Pernoud goes further:

If one examines the facts, the conclusion is inescapable: during the whole feudal period, the place of women in the Church was certainly different from that of men... but it was an eminent place. which, moreover, symbolized perfectly the cult, which was likewise eminent, rendered to the Virgin among all the saints.

She adds that it was only at the very end of the 13th century when Pope Boniface VIII ruled for the strict cloister of nuns.  “In consequence,” Pernoud adds,

...women religious would no longer be allowed to mix in the world.  Consecrated laywomen, such as the béguines, who, in the thirteenth century, led a life like everyone else's but were consecrated by vows, would no longer be tolerated.  In the seventeenth century in particular, the Visitation sisters, meant by their foundress to mix in everyday life, were obliged to adapt themselves to the same cloister as the Carmelites, so that Saint Vincent de Paul [1581-1660], in order to permit the Daughters of Charity to render service to the poor, to go care for the sick and to help families in need, was very careful not to treat them as religious and make them take the veil; if he had, their fate would have been that of the Visitandines. It was by then [centuries after the “backward Middle Ages”] inconceivable for a woman, having decided to consecrate her life to God, not to be cloistered; although in the newer orders created for men, such as the Jesuits, the latter remained in the world.

It suffices to say that the status of women in the Church is exactly the same as their status in civil society and that gradually, after the Middle Ages, everything that conferred on them any autonomy, any independence, any instruction, was taken away from them.  Now, at the very time when the University -- which admitted only men -- was trying to concentrate knowledge and teaching, convents gradually ceased to be those centers of study that they had been previously... women thus found themselves excluded from ecclesial life just as from intellectual life.

Pernoud notes that this situation only got progressively worse, until the solidly modern period, the end of the 18th century, where in a backhanded way, by virtue of the fact that many (if not most) orders of women religious became more and more corrupted by various influential sorts indulging the insouciance that is one hallmark of the modern secularism:

[These female orders] also ceased, and rather rapidly, being centers of prayer...  The best example remains the order of Fontevrault, which became [in the sixteenth century] a sanctuary for old mistresses of the king...  If some orders, like those of Carmel or the Poor Clares, kept their purity thanks to the reforms, most of the monasteries of women, at the end of the Ancién Régime [the close of the 1700s], were accessible houses where the younger daughters of large families received a large number of visits and where cards were played, as well as other “forbidden games”, very far into the night.

Pernoud then embarks on a discussion of ordinary women in the Middle Ages:  “...women who were neither great ladies nor abbesses nor even nuns: peasants and townswomen, mothers of families and women practicing a trade.”  The source material, Pernoud explains, is both less distinct in terms of pinpointing data, yet far more copious, where the historian finds:

...thousands of small details, gleaned by chance and without any preconceived order, which shows us men and women through the small facts of existence: here the complaint of a woman hairdresser, there of a woman salt merchant (trading in salt), of a woman miller, of the widow of a farmer, of a chatelaine [a castle owner], of a woman Crusader, and so on.

Pursuing this thread, Pernoud expatiates:

It is through documents of this kind that one can, piece by piece, reconstruct, as in a mosaic, the real story.  There is no point in saying that this story is in appearance very different from that provided by the chansons de geste, the chivalric novels, and the literary sources that have so often been taken as historical sources!

The picture that comes into focus from the whole of these documents presents for us more than one surprising trait, since one sees, for example, women voting like men in urban assemblies or in those of rural parishes...

In notarial acts, it is very common to see a married woman act by herself, in opening, for example, a shop or a trade, and she did so without being obliged to produce her husband's authorization... tax rolls... show a host of women plying trades: schoolmistress, doctor, apothecary, plastered, dyer, copyist, miniaturist, binder, and so on.

[taken from pages 107-111]

http://www.paradoxplace.com/Photo%20Pages/France/North_&_Centre/Fontevraud/Images/800/East-End-Sept07-DE9228sAR800.jpg

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

“We’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington.” -- Hillary Clinton

https://presidentgeorgewashington.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/georgewashingtonslaves1.jpg

Introduction:

Not long ago, Hugh Fitzgerald did a good job dispatching the shoddy historiography of Mary Thompson, official historian of George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Thus, about a George Washington slave, Sambo Anderson, Hugh first quotes her:

The documented history of an African-born carpenter at Mount Vernon known as Sambo Anderson suggests that he was a practicing Muslim…Sambo Anderson was described as having mahogany-colored skin, with high cheekbones, and a stout build. His face was marked by both tribal cuts and tattooing, and he wore gold rings in both ears. Interestingly, Sambo told several people that he was of royal birth, and that his father was a king.

And writes:

What is it about the “documented history” of Sambo Anderson that “suggests he was a practicing Muslim”? In fact, there is nothing, but the writer keeps up a patter, piling on irrelevant details to make you think some connection to Islam has been made.

He goes on to unpack her "patter" and points out, among other crucial things, the fact that tattooing, far from indicating Islam, indicates he was not Muslim, since tattooing is forbidden in Islam.

Thus Hugh found that every time the historian Mary Thompson got around to providing evidence for her claims, her locutions became fuzzy and infirm.  Example:

The names of at least three female slaves at Mount Vernon indicate an Islamic influence on the Estate, if not the actual practice of Islam... [bold emphasis in original]

One of the things Sambo probably brought with him to Mount Vernon was Islam. The ethnic group from which he most likely came, the Hausa, was heavily influenced by both the Arabic language and Islamic religion, which spread to them from Mali beginning in the late fourteenth century.

The bolded portions show locutions that simultaneously project uncertainty and yet nudge the reader to accept what is, when examined closely, purely speculative.

"indicate"... "if not"...
"probably"
"most likely" 

And so forth.  Hugh's analysis palpates many more such locutions.

His thoughts on the matter were occasioned by what Hillary had blurted out during the second debate with Trump:

“We’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington.” 

Discussion:

From Hugh's overall tone, and from the many comments by Jihad Watch regulars, however, one gets the sense that they just don't realize how broadly & deeply prevalent this PC MC mentality is.

Case in point -- someone far more influential than Mary Thompson, another historian by the name of Sylviane Diouf, who also adduces Islamic presence in early America.  Let's take a long look at her curriculum vitae, and let the considerable weight of her mainstream ballast sink in:

“Sylviane A. Diouf is an award-winning historian of the African Diaspora.

“The daughter of a Senegalese father and a French mother, she was born and grew up in France. She has lived in Gabon, Italy, and Senegal, and resides in New York.

“She is the author of Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons (NYU Press, 2014); and Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas ( NYU Press, 1998). The fifteenth anniversary edition of Servants of Allah—named Outstanding Academic Book in 1999—was released in 2013.

“ Diouf's book Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America (Oxford University Press, 2007) received the 2007 Wesley-Logan Prize of the American Historical Association, the 2009 Sulzby Award of the Alabama Historical Association and was a finalist for the 2008 Hurston/​Wright Legacy Award.

“ She is the editor of Black Power 50 (The New Press, 2016), Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies (Ohio University Press, 2003) and In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience (National Geographic, 2005).

“ Diouf has written books for children on African history and American slavery. Kings and Queens of West Africa, part of a four-book series, won the African Studies Association 2001 Africana Book Award for Older Readers. Her illustrated book Bintou's Braids has been translated into French and Portuguese.

“ A recipient of the Rosa Parks Award, the Dr. Betty Shabazz Achievement Award, and the Pen and Brush Achievement Award. Dr. Diouf is the Director of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery and a Curator at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of The New York Public Library.”

Sylviane, incidentally, is also quite a photogenic black woman -- a plus in our PC MC world.

http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8077/8272368615_56d0c76572.jpg

But only when, unlike Ayaan Hirsi Ali (also a photogenic black woman), you advocate for Muslims.  As Sylviane does.

https://d1jn4vzj53eli5.cloudfront.net/mc/_external/2014_04/ayaan-hirsi-ali-courtesy-the-d.jpg?h=233&w=350

Scholarly Reviews:

Checking out Sylviane's reputation in scholarly journals, I came across mostly fawning reviews of her books, particularly Servants of Islam: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas:

Richard Brent Turner, in The American Historical Review (Vol. 105, No. 5 (Dec., 2000), p. 1704 [a one-page review]), writes:

Sylviane A. Diouf has written a sophisticated and important book on the history of West African slaves in the New World.  The author's cogent analyses of source materials from Old World-West African Islam and New World-transatlantic slave communities establishes [sic] a strong and persuasive case for rich and extensive Islamic influences in black religious and cultural traditions in Brazil, the United States, and the Caribbean islands before the twentieth century.

This creative and refreshing interpretation of West African-Islamic spiritual continuities in the African diaspora is fascinating and very readable.

Yes, "creative" and "refreshing" doesn't necessarily mean plausibly accurate interpretations of the data.  I.e., his review is so much fluff of a puff-piece.

In summing up her sources, Turner notes his own book among what he calls the "new wave of recent scholarship on African-American Islam that has been established by comprehensive texts..."

Then we have Timothy W. Marr, whose review was published in 2000 (The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 3 (Jul., 2000), pp. 690-692).  Marr opens by writing that Diouf's book is:

...a thorough and ambitious attempt to reconstruct the ways that the bonds of belief in orthodox Islam assisted hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans to retain their cultural integrity as they were forced to live out their lives in bondage in the Americas.  Meticulously constructing her narrative out of hundreds of references to Islamic practices and artifacts from a large variety of sources in several languages, Sylviane A. Diouf assembles solid evidence of the importance of Muslims as a distinct population within slave communities in Brazil, the Caribbean, and North America.

Well, Diouf may "assemble" solid evidence in her "thorough and ambitious attempt to reconstruct"; but is that solid evidence really backing up the reconstruction she has cobbled together?

Diouf's informed inquiry enables her to advance intriguing new hypotheses, which she hopes to see tested by further research into an area that has been understudied by historians of slavery.

Ah, there we go: "hypotheses, which she hopes to see tested by further research..."  We now see, between the lines, the airy level of theory on which her scholarship is floating.

Between 2.5 and 3 million Muslims, she estimates, were sold into slavery in the Americas; they were "probably more numerous in the Americas than any other group among the arriving Africans"...

Here we go again, with the nuanced locutions of uncertainty interspersed, as gently and as unobtrusively as a kindly grandmother might put walnuts into her banana bread, into a textual context otherwise supposing solid evidence.

I won't even go into the annoying indulgence of Marr's review in Diouf's Islamophiliac theories, such as:

Other intriguing assertions puncture surviving notions of the superiority of European slaveholders.  Diouf argues that the Muslim slave community was more democratic and progressive than that of their masters; it probably had a higher literacy rate; and unlike the European population in the Americas, "no condemned debtors, offenders, or criminals were among the Muslims who landed in the New World"...

Probably Diouf found no evidence of such criminality in the records (records notoriously lacking in specifics anyway, and remarkably jumbled) and assumed the absence proved the actual absence in the Muslim slaves themselves.  Did Diouf compare this with other, non-Muslim transatlantic slave populations?  Did she find non-Muslim slaves to have had such criminality on their records?  And where did she get that "more democratic" business from?  What about the Sharia of Islam could possibly be "more democratic"?

Another problem with Diouf emerges from between the lines: she seems to have tended to elide the South American and Caribbean evidences of some small demographic of Muslim Africans among slaves there, with North American slaves, where she had no real evidence, but made assumptions anyway.

Getting into the nitty gritty of this problem, we see, for example, among the "evidence" of the Muslim identity of American slaves Diouf adduces, according to Marr's review, the following:

She associates the saraka cakes cooked on Sapelo Island in Georgia with sadakha or meritorious alms offered in the name of Allah and conjectures that the circular shuffling of the ring shout might be an American recreation of a sha'wt or circumambulation of the Kaaba during the pilgrimages of Mecca.

Notice again the fudgy locutions amid the historiographic text:  "She associates" -- well, great.  But why does she "associate" these things, and on what basis?  It's a nice locution for "the historian guesses that what is in the historical data really means X" rather than, "the historian found X in the historical data."  Then, she... "conjectures that"... blah blah "might be"... blah blah.  I.e., she's reading into data and fancifully interpreting connections where there may well be no connections.

Now, one problem with Diouf's thesis percolates out of something else Marr's review goes into.  One thing Diouf apparently argues in her book -- indeed, it is her "major thesis" according to Marr -- is that:

...the experience of enslavement in the Americas deepened rather than destroyed the religious fervor of Muslim believers. Organizing her book around the premise that enslaved Muslims were not disposed to reject their belief systems, Diouf locates evidence that they went to great efforts to preserve the pillars of Islamic ritual because it allowed them "to impose a discipline on themselves rather than to submit to another people's discipline"...

If this is true, knowing Muslims, we would have seen a lot more visible and potent signs of Muslim resistance (i.e. organized violence in the form of razzias and attempts at jihad) throughout the Colonial period and into the Early American period of the late 18th, and throughout the 19th century.  But we don't.  It seems far more likely that, given that Muslims were in charge of the global slave trading network centered in Africa, had indeed created that network by invading sub-Saharan Africa beginning in the 8th century A.D. and had been enslaving black Africans for centuries before Europeans even got into Age of Exploration (beginning in the 16th century) -- and given that Islam forbids enslaving fellow Muslims -- that the very process of the African slave trade would have been like an Islamo-logically "Darwinian" system of ensuring that the vast majority of slaves purchased by Europeans (and later Americans) were, in fact, non-Muslim African victims of Islam.

Of course, none of these reviewers, nor Diouf herself apparently, ever mentions the painfully relevant fact of the Muslim provenance of the African slave network.

Speaking of which, Diouf, with the help of Marr's review, goes down an unintentionally revealing road in her labile praise of the allegedly Muslim slaves:

Arabic literacy generated powers of resistance because it served as a resource for spiritual inspiration and communal organization.  "A tradition of defiance and rebellion"... and martial experience that Muslims brought with them to the Americas, Diouf suggests, not only prompted the Spanish to pass anti-Muslim legislation in the sixteenth century but also provided essential leadership in the Haitian Revolution and the uprisings in Bahia, Brazil [nascent jihads...?]

Of course, what Diouf means by her amusingly elliptical and nice-sounding phrase "Arabic literacy" is that Muslims in the New World, by keeping alive their fanatical devotion to the Koran (and possibly also Hadiths), thereby kept alive their fanatical devotion to the uniquely Islamic doctrine of religious subversion and war based upon a supremacist hatred of the Other; for the Koran (and the Hadiths) constitute an inspirational manual and blueprint for subversion, war and hatred.  The lack of such jihadist activity in North America (and actions taken against them, as with the Spanish anti-Muslim legislation Diouf cites) therefore is a telling indication that Diouf's thesis -- for North America -- is as flimsy as that of the claims of the official historian of Mount Vernon, Mary Thompson, which we saw Hugh Fitzgerald refute.

Interjection:

An insight into how the data on the ground about the sprawling, protracted saga that was the transatlantic slave trade may be more complex than Diouf makes it out to be in her artful theories may be gleaned from some remarks made by historian Lorena S. Walsh, writing in The William and Mary Quarterly (Vol. 58, No. 1, "New Perspectives on the Transatlantic Slave Trade" (Jan., 2001), pp. 139-170):

Information on the geographic and cultural origins of these migrants has been presumed lacking.  Almost no individual life histories survive, and even their sex, ages, and names (whether self-stated or assigned) are often unknown.  Moreover, they are a group set apart from other migrants by enslavement and by racial prejudice.  Consequently, in contrast to other migrant groups, scant attention has been paid to the role that ethnicity may have played in forging new African-American identities, especially in mainland America. 

...Even if one concedes that new evidence on transatlantic migration patterns is sufficient to contradict the widely accepted supposition of almost random migration flows, interpretation of the range of surviving evidence for specific ethnic continuities and discontinuities still presents heroic challenges.

Discussion Resumed:

Before we leave Marr, let's examine some of his treaclier prose praising Diouf:

Indeed, Diouf depicts Muslim slaves in heroic superlatives; theirs is "a story of courage, insuperable faith, fortitude, and fidelity to their culture, religion, and social values"...  Such emphasis on the integrity of Islamic belief has several advantages: it offers clarity and breadth to Diouf's research and narrative; it enables her to educate readers about the contours of Muslim practice; and it allows her to check orientalist understanding of Islamic belief... [for some inexplicable reason, Marr at this precise juncture sees fit to insert parenthetically how Diouf criticizes the Nation of Islam for not being authentically Islamic]

So Diouf's Islamophiliac superlatives "offer clarity and breadth" to her "research and narrative"...?  What is that even supposed to mean?  It "enables her to educate [read: propagandize] readers about the contours of Muslim practice..."  What the heck are "contours" in this context?  And of course, he has to take a potshot at "orientalist understanding" as though that is axiomatically deplorable (see my essay He Said, Ed Said, for a discussion of this politically correct buzz word, "Orientalism").

A third review I found was written by Emily West, lecturer in American history at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, who reviewed Diouf's book in 1999 (in Journal of the Early Republic, vol. 19, no. 2, 1999, pp. 332–334).

While she also praises the book, one senses between the lines a scholar's discomfiture with the indications of eisegesis passing for exegesis in Diouf's scholarship:

Overall, Diouf shows a remarkably detailed knowledge of her subject and her work is meticulously researched...  However, perhaps Diouf tries to accomplish too much within this volume. A narrower focus or shorter scale time-scale might have allowed for more thorough analysis. She also might possibly be accused of arguing beyond her evidence. Many of the claims she makes African Islamic survivals in the Americas are only tentative and would require further investigation.

She also makes some tentative suggestions as to the number of Muslims who were taken to the New World. She suggests that out of around fifteen million African taken to the New World, between two-and-a-quarter and three million were Muslims.

Incidentally, in explaining why this supposed "original American Islam" didn't really survive, and Islam only had to be reintroduced in the latter 20th century (and even more so post-911), Diouf reaches for Islamosentimental explanations but at least notes, as the reviewer puts it:

There were also limits to what Islam could absorb. Syncretism was not acceptable [333]

I.e., this supposedly thriving early American Islam essentially died out because Muslims weren't flexible enough to mix and match their Islam with non-Islamic mores, cultures, religious motifs.  Why?  "Syncretism was not acceptable."  And why is that, Ms. Diouf?  Hm...?  The answer is that Islam enshrines a supremacist hatred of the Other.  The non-Believer is literally filth (cf. Koran 9:28).  But as we noted earlier, this seems to contradict what Diouf elsewhere argues:

...the experience of enslavement in the Americas deepened rather than destroyed the religious fervor of Muslim believers.

The only way Diouf could resolve this paradox is to amp up the evil cruelty of the white Christian society of early America that must have extinguished these noble, peaceful, wonderfully wise Muslims.  But since she does have evidence, small as it is, of such anti-Muslim actions taken by the Spanish in South America and in the Caribbean, her thesis would have to rest, preposterously, on the claim that early American slaveholding society was markedly more ruthless than that of the Spanish to the south; when in fact, it is arguable that early American slaveholding practices, as bad as they were in principle, were among the most lenient in world history -- while those of Islamic slaveholders throughout the centuries, far more numerous than that of the Romans or the Europeans (and incidentally including Europeans, Asians, and black Africans), were by far the cruelest and most sadistic in all world history.

Conclusion:

The climax of Diouf's book on its closing page (p. 283; preview available from Google Books) is an exquisite expression of the preposterous propaganda that would tug on the heartstrings of the typical PC MC:

To understand the communities of the African Diaspora... it is essential to search for the African story of the uprooted men and women who peopled the Americas, as evidenced by the study of the Muslims. To recognize the African Muslims and to delineate their contribution is indispensable if one is to make sense of the unexplained features of the cultures of the people of African descent in the New World.

Turbaned men and veiled women, their prayer beads around their necks, chopped cotton, cut cane, and rolled tobacco from sunup to sundown.  Like other slaves, they were beaten, whipped, cursed, raped, maimed, and humiliated.  They saw their families torn apart and their loved ones killed. In the midst of abuse and comtempt, they continued to pray, fast, be charitable, read, write, help one another, sing their lonesome tunes, and display pride in themselves, their religion, and their culture.

The African Muslims may have been, in the Americas, slaves of Christian masters, but their minds were free.  They were the servants of Allah.

TMI (Too Much Information, Too Much Islam)


http://www.middleweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/messy-book-stack-300.png

A Jihad Watch reader recently remarked in a comments field:

“I don’t know if one exists but some central database should be created highlighting the most important and most damaging truths about islam.”

The answer is no:  A central database on the Problem of Islam does not exist.

A central database is the single most important weapon in this war of ideas phase of this war we are in.

The war of ideas in turn is the most important theater of this war. The primary object of this theater is not Islam or Muslims (unless one indulges in the fantasy that a critical mass of Muslims will “reform” to save us from the problem their Islam is causing us) -- the primary object of our war of ideas is our fellow Westerners, the vast majority of whom remain stuck in the Politically Correct Multi-Culturalist (PC MC) paradigm about this issue.

The war of ideas needs a central database, an Anti-Islam Manual -- call it “AIM” -- which would be, in effect, a digital app.

This central database should fit the following criteria:

1) It should be the “Bible” of the Counter-Jihad -- it should be the main and only source for all information the Counter-Jihad needs to empower all of us civilians, deputized with this app, to fight in the various “battle spaces” of the war of ideas theater.

2) The information available in this app should be streamlined, yet thorough, and well organized into all the subtopics the problem entails.

Perhaps the main problem of the so-called Counter-Jihad has been the problem of “TMI”. The problem is not that we don’t have enough information about Islam; the problem is that we have too much information, and this excess of information is ill-organized, with complex overlaps of redundancy that make the eyes of the audience glaze over.

Ironically, just in articulating this important facet of the problem as succinctly as I can, I likely have caused my readers' eyes to glaze over.

Over 15 years after 911, and the Counter-Jihad still doesn’t have something like this. Unacceptable.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On the Drina, a bridge...


https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/416ZbK7qTJL._SL500_SX296_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg 

Digging around in my ongoing excavation project of hundreds of dusty, old artifacts buried in my files from my years of autodidactic pedagogy about the horrors of Islam, I found this excellent critical analysis of the demonization of Milosevic — and by extension, of the Serbs. Written crisply, clearly, sharply and with copious documentation by Francisco Gil-White, and published back in March of 2006, it should be required reading.

How to lie with (or without) statistics: An examination of Patrick Ball’s indictment of Milosevic


Just to tantalize the reader with one quote from Gil-White:

“As this piece will show, Patrick Ball’s own data directly contradict the hypothesis that Milosevic’s government carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign against Albanian civilians in Kosovo. In other words, when Mr. Ball concludes that there was such an ethnic cleansing campaign, he is doing so in defiance of his own analysis. This does not inspire confidence in the various ongoing efforts to assign blame around the world (listed above), and which feature Mr. Ball’s work rather prominently.”

Postscript:

The acerbic Serbian-American film critic, John Simon, tells me that Ivo Andric’s famous book title (see the pic up top) -- which I remember reading in my teens, when the only Muslims I knew were dimly Orientalist fantasies which subsumed the Turks of Andric's terrifyingly true tale -- should be more accurately translated, On the Drina, a Bridge.

As I wrote back to him:

That more accurate title (“On the Drina, a Bridge”) is much better. The other one (“The Bridge on the Drina”) has the feel of a fixture, historical furniture, a museum piece; while this one, aside from implying hope as you suggest, also implies accident, suddenness, and/or the felicitous or tragic concurrence of humans doing what they have to do under adventitious or adverse — or both — circumstance.


But I have grown to dislike the word “bridge” in its hopeful connotation — what with all the “bridge-building” going on these days among Western Amnesiacs of History with a people who throughout history have only used bridges to invade, plunder, slaughter and, if anyone’s left, subjugate (all, of course, after an initial “invitation” to take the Shahada…)





Deconstructing the Myth of Milosevic and the Serbs

Digging around in my ongoing excavation project of hundreds of dusty, old artifacts buried in my files from my years of autodidactic pedagogy about the horrors of Islam, I found this excellent critical analysis of the demonization of Milosevic — and by extension, of the Serbs.
Written crisply, clearly, sharply and with copious documentation by Francisco Gil-White, and published back in March of 2006, it should be required reading.

How to lie with (or without) statistics: An examination of Patrick Ball’s indictment of Milosevic

Just to tantalize the reader with one quote from Gil-White:
“As this piece will show, Patrick Ball’s own data directly contradict the hypothesis that Milosevic’s government carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign against Albanian civilians in Kosovo. In other words, when Mr. Ball concludes that there was such an ethnic cleansing campaign, he is doing so in defiance of his own analysis. This does not inspire confidence in the various ongoing efforts to assign blame around the world (listed above), and which feature Mr. Ball’s work rather prominently.”
Previous installments of my H-Files series:

Episode 1: The Al Aqsa Mosque: Architectural Supremacism and Insult Against Christianity
Episode 2: Algeria in the 90s — a premonition of the “Arab Spring”
Episode 3: 60s sexpot actress Brigitte Bardot grew up, condemns Muslims in France
Episode 4: Paul Berman: Another “expert” who thinks “Islamism” is the problem, not Islam
Episode 5: Black Widows and Basayev: Some random notes on the Jihad in Russia

Postscript:

The Serbian-American film critic, John Simon, tells me that Ivo Andric’s famous book title (which I used for my essay pic up top) should be more accurately translated, On the Drina, a Bridge.
As I wrote back to him:

That more accurate title (“On the Drina, a Bridge”) is much better. The other one (“The Bridge on the Drina”) has the feel of a fixture, historical furniture, a museum piece; while this one, aside from implying hope as you suggest, also implies accident, suddenness, and/or the felicitous or tragic concurrence of humans doing what they have to do under adventitious or adverse — or both — circumstance.

But I have grown to dislike the word “bridge” in its hopeful connotation — what with all the “bridge-building” going on these days among Western Amnesiacs of History with a people who throughout history have only used bridges to invade, plunder, slaughter and, if anyone’s left, subjugate (all, of course, after an initial “invitation” to take the Shahada…)
- See more at: http://1389blog.com/2012/10/16/the-h-files-episode-6/#sthash.SB3XydFN.dpuf


Deconstructing the Myth of Milosevic and the Serbs

Digging around in my ongoing excavation project of hundreds of dusty, old artifacts buried in my files from my years of autodidactic pedagogy about the horrors of Islam, I found this excellent critical analysis of the demonization of Milosevic — and by extension, of the Serbs.
Written crisply, clearly, sharply and with copious documentation by Francisco Gil-White, and published back in March of 2006, it should be required reading.

How to lie with (or without) statistics: An examination of Patrick Ball’s indictment of Milosevic

Just to tantalize the reader with one quote from Gil-White:
“As this piece will show, Patrick Ball’s own data directly contradict the hypothesis that Milosevic’s government carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign against Albanian civilians in Kosovo. In other words, when Mr. Ball concludes that there was such an ethnic cleansing campaign, he is doing so in defiance of his own analysis. This does not inspire confidence in the various ongoing efforts to assign blame around the world (listed above), and which feature Mr. Ball’s work rather prominently.”
Previous installments of my H-Files series:

Episode 1: The Al Aqsa Mosque: Architectural Supremacism and Insult Against Christianity
Episode 2: Algeria in the 90s — a premonition of the “Arab Spring”
Episode 3: 60s sexpot actress Brigitte Bardot grew up, condemns Muslims in France
Episode 4: Paul Berman: Another “expert” who thinks “Islamism” is the problem, not Islam
Episode 5: Black Widows and Basayev: Some random notes on the Jihad in Russia

Postscript:

The Serbian-American film critic, John Simon, tells me that Ivo Andric’s famous book title (which I used for my essay pic up top) should be more accurately translated, On the Drina, a Bridge.
As I wrote back to him:

That more accurate title (“On the Drina, a Bridge”) is much better. The other one (“The Bridge on the Drina”) has the feel of a fixture, historical furniture, a museum piece; while this one, aside from implying hope as you suggest, also implies accident, suddenness, and/or the felicitous or tragic concurrence of humans doing what they have to do under adventitious or adverse — or both — circumstance.

But I have grown to dislike the word “bridge” in its hopeful connotation — what with all the “bridge-building” going on these days among Western Amnesiacs of History with a people who throughout history have only used bridges to invade, plunder, slaughter and, if anyone’s left, subjugate (all, of course, after an initial “invitation” to take the Shahada…)
- See more at: http://1389blog.com/2012/10/16/the-h-files-episode-6/#sthash.SB3XydFN.dpuf