Archive for the 'Islam' Category

Take a Day Off and Other Articles

stu sleeping

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been MIA for the last week or so. I gave up on trying to control myself and gave it over to the Lord to handle. He seems to be giving me a vacation of sorts…

So today, I thought I’d put up a list of some items of interest I’ve come across recently…er, well, mostly today, actually.

First up, appropriately enough is Writers Should Take a Year Off and Give Us All a Break – an essay in The Guardian on the observation that, to borrow from Ecclesiastes, “the writing of many books is endless…”  At the time of Solomon, however, it was nothing compared to today, when the rate of publication has exploded as never before. How ironic that this is occurring at the same time that more and more people lack the attention span or time, to read anything longer than a tweet.

Still, I like the idea of taking a year off from writing… oh, wait… I’ve already sort of been doing that …

Next, I draw your attention to a Muslim Brotherhood Fact Sheet from Stand With Us, an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Israel.  It includes quotes from the Brotherhood’s own charters, writings and guides. Members are not interested in dialog. Nor are they interested in peace (unless you count the peace that results from the entire world being converted to Islam). They are most definitely not interested in democracy, unless — again — it’s the Islamist kind… that is, Sharia Law.

Third is an essay on the misguided Western policy of appeasement during World War 1 that resulted in World War 2 and may well be on its way to setting up World War 3. This one’s written by my favorite blogger and former high level Foreign Service Officer The Diplomad 2.0: Obama and an Edouard Daladier Moment

And finally, the new  “funnel tunnel” in Houston, an unintended metaphor for where our tax dollars/charity donations are going…

A Web of Lies

It was a movie that caused the protests by the “folks” outside the US Consulate in Libya, and the protests that allowed miscellaneous evil doers who just happened to be walking by … at 9:30 in the evening — armed with mortars and RPGs, which are easily found throughout Libya — to take advantage of the moment, scale the consulate’s walls and kill the American Ambassador who was working there at the time. That this occurred on 9/11 was purely coincidental.

So says Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN. I’m not sure why the US Ambassador to the UN was selected to be the spokesperson in this matter. What does her job have to do with Libya, or the consulate or other matters of State? Shouldn’t it be some State Department person, someone in the chain of command relative to embassies and consulates that was chosen to make the  statement? 

No matter, that is what she’s said, as reported by Fox News today. 

In the same article, Fox also reported that an intelligence source on the ground claimed there was no protest outside the consulate at all that night, despite our own government’s insistence that there was.

“There was no protest and the attacks were not spontaneous,” the source said, adding the attack “was planned and had nothing to do with the movie.” According to this source, the attack came without warning, with firing originated in two separate locations.

This corroborates an earlier report from McClatchy of an unnamed Libyan security guard who alleged the same thing. “There wasn’t a single ant outside,” he said.

The Obama Administration rejects both sources, as well as the Libyan president’s claim that this was a planned out attack, a view the Obama administration says is not consistent with “the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community,” which has been investigating the incident.

“He doesn’t have the information we have,” the U.S. official said of Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif. “”He doesn’t have the (data) collection potential that we have.”

Except… recently we were told that the situation in Benghazi had been turned over to the FBI to investigate, because it was now regarded as a crime scene. There could be no further talk on the matter beyond whatever the FBI was willing to reveal — not what happened, not who was involved,  not the condition of Ambassador Stevens’ body… nothing until the Justice Department’s investigation was completed.

Unfortunately, the FBI agents haven’t even gotten to Benghazi yet, because it was decided the area was too unstable for them to enter.

So… who is investigating? And how can the US say that the President of Libya, who is in Libya, doesn’t have the same “data collection potential that we have,” when our agents haven’t even gotten there yet?.

“A consensus view of our intelligence community”  just means the majority opinion, not eyewitness testimony or any kind of hard facts. And majority opinion isn’t always right. In fact, I’d say it’s rarely right.

And how is our “data collection potential”  relevant to all this?  “Potential” means we haven’t collected it yet, otherwise it would be real not potential.

So really, all the administration has said in defense of  it’s theory is that they’ve voted on the best guesses of what really happened, and since the US’s ability to gather data is so much superior to Libya’s, eventually the data we’re going to collect will support the majority-opinion guess.

Which means, the US official really didn’t say anything.

So why did I write an entire blog post on this? Because the dissembling fascinates me, especially when I notice it. I grew up with the notion that those in authority don’t lie.  Perhaps bend the truth. Or leave certain things out. But not outright lie.

Even having blogged about the doctrine of taqiyya, I still find it hard to believe that people actually do it. But in a society like ours, where we don’t believe in such things, where a man’s word was once his bond, and honesty is still mostly considered a virtue, it’s harder still.

I know all politicians lie on some level or other. I know it. But I think I still don’t totally believe it. Otherwise why would this stuff surprise me?

Maybe because it’s so obvious and how can they think we all won’t see it? Do they think we won’t care. (Granted a far too many of our citizens don’t seem to.)  And yet the media just reports it all as if it’s truth, as if it’s not the least bit inconsistent, and certainly not that it’s reprehensible.

(The only thing they seem to think is reprehensible is that pathetic little movie trailer that’s supposedly started all this.)

It seems like it should be against the law for government officials to lie like this, so easily, so blatantly…  Because the result for me  right now is that I have no idea what is truth and what is lie. Are the Intelligence “Source” on the ground and the unnamed Libyan security guard lying?  Could be.

The President of Libya? Yeah, he could be lying, too.

The US administration official? The US ambassador to the UN? Obviously. Everyone’s clearly scrambling to cover their rears…  It would be funny were it to show up in some comedy movie.

But it’s not a movie.

How can we, as supposed-to-be-informed citizens ever know what’s actually going on, when everyone seems to be lying? All the time. When one lie doesn’t work, they just float another… Where is that all going to lead? 

I don’t have answers for these questions, but I do believe that this is one more thread in the unraveling of a culture once based on Biblical standards, now steadily heading down the road to destruction.

“In the last days,  difficult times shall come. For men shall be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” ~ 2 Ti 3:1-4

All Because of a Film? Not really

So. I’ve been trying to get myself to focus on my WIP, but the Internet is winning. Too much news of interest. “News” is probably not the most accurate term.  “Too much speculation about what’s happened in Libya” would be better.

What exactly happened at the American Consulate in Benghazi? We still don’t know. Various stories and details have been released or reported from various sources, but when one puts all the pieces together they don’t yet make sense. Interesting that we have all this communication technology — cell phones, satellites, computers — and we still don’t know what happened and may not for days.

The latest from Libya’s Deputy Interior Minister via Fox News is that

“U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and another official were killed in the  consulate, but that the attackers timed a second wave on the safe house just as  Libyan and U.S. security forces were arriving to rescue evacuated consulate  staff.

“He said that second wave killed two more Americans and wounded nearly 30  Libyans and Americans.

It’s also become clear that the attacks were planned out in advance and timed to take place on the anniversary of 9/11, and carried out not by a mob of Libyans upset about a YouTube video, but by trained Al Qaeda operatives. One report even claimed they were doing it in retaliation for a recent drone killing of one of their former ring-leaders.

But that’s only one report and if I learned anything today it’s that one report is not sufficient to make the story credible.

What we do know — ahem!– is that most of the muslim world is now inflamed with fury and madness because a man with a very Middle Eastern sounding name living in California, made a very bad movie about Mohammed and dared to upload a trailer for it on YouTube.

Called The Innocence of Muslims, its creation was initially credited to one Sam Bacile. But it turns out Mr. Bacile does not exist, and the real film maker turns out to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The actors and actresses that appear in it all claimed to have been duped. Some had no idea they were making a movie about Mohammed — one woman said she thought it was a movie about ancient Egypt, and that in post production, new lines were dubbed over the ones she had originally spoken.

The movie itself — or at least the trailer–  is unbelievably lame. Part of that is the dubbed in stuff, which doesn’t seem to fit the rest of it. Then there’s the background — clearly a digital scene pasted in behind the players. Sometimes they seem to be floating against the background. In one still you can clearly see that the light source for the sand dunes in the back ground is coming from the right while the light source on the actor’s face is coming from the left. Which creates an odd sense of disconnect.

I think it’s so bad, I don’t even want to put it on my blog, but if you really want a look at it, Power Line Blog has posted the video so I’ll send you off to them  here.  I’m not sure how much of it might not be true, however. Assuming of course that Mohammed even existed at all… (I’ve yet to read my new book, but I will. Soon.)

Coexist?

I’ve seen those COEXIST bumper stickers around for some time, and on occasion amused myself when stopped at traffic lights trying to figure out what all the symbols stood for. The only one I could never figure out was the E. But now I know, thanks to the poster below (via PowerLine):

Click to enlarge

Is Koran Burning UnChristian?

After last week’s post on the guy in Florida who was going to burn the Koran, I was asked by several people what I think about a Christian burning a Koran in order to deliberately provoke the Muslim world — isn’t that unChristian? I’ve thought about it all weekend and can’t come up with a definitive answer, though I’m probably closer to “how silly” than “ooh! That’s bad!” And at the same time very aware of the fact that God can use silly, sinful and even evil acts of man, including Christians, to fulfill His plan and bring glory to Himself.

There is no verse that says “Thou shalt not burn a Koran.” Nor is there one that says, “Thou shalt respect all other religions.” Yes, we are to be at peace with all men – so far as it depends on us. And yes, sometimes we are to operate in the law of love and sacrifice, giving up what we are free before God to do, but over which the person we are with will stumble. We’re not supposed to deliberately make people sin.

On the other hand, Jesus deliberately cracked corn in front of the Pharisees on the Sabbath (which you weren’t supposed to do), He healed people on the Temple steps on the Sabbath (no healing allowed either), told a guy He healed on a Sabbath to pick up his bed and go report to the Pharisees (aren’t supposed to pick and carry things like a bed) and in every case provoked the Pharisees to anger, judging and outrage. Of course they were already angry and judgmental and looking for ways to discredit Him, so I’m not sure He actually provoked them, so much as brought their inner true motivations to light.

In any case, I can’t say categorically that to burn a Koran to provoke a reaction (or prove that you are not going to be intimidated by the threats of fanatical and violent devotees of an evil religion?) is “unChristian.”

As for the idea that burning a Koran will not bring Muslims to the Gospel, but rather drive them away — How do we know that?  Yes, absolutely such an act is not going to bring a diehard believer in the Prophet to Christianity, but neither is anything else. But what about those with doubts? Might they actually be swayed — inspired even — by the sight of someone daring to “insult” the book that is supposedly the word of a god so thin-skinned and impotent he has to rely on people to defend him?  In some ways you can look at burning a Koran as a defiance of a false god — one that shows the tyranny of one religion and the freedom and mercy of another.

I also don’t think we are supposed to “respect” Islam as a religion. It’s a compendium of evil and lies, it’s tyrannical, it blasphemes God, insults the Lord Jesus Christ. I can respect someone’s right to believe it and will leave them to do so, but I don’t respect “Islam” at all.

At the same time, I’m not comfortable with the whole activism scene. I don’t think that’s really the way Christians bring change to a nation, so personally I would not be out burning Korans to make a statement. I can’t see any need to incite Muslims, since if you noticed my update to the Koran burning post last week about Michelle Malkin’s column The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage, it doesn’t take much to incite them: Underwear, sneakers, fast food packaging, teddy bears…

Still, I have to say in the end, there’s just something creepy about someone believing a book can be insulted, and that it’s their duty to make sure no one insults it anywhere in all the world, threatening to kill those who even suggest they might. It’s the bullying I don’t like. And the tiptoeing and hand-wringing from our leaders that I like even less.

Burning the Koran

I am fascinated by all the uproar over this pastor in Florida who announced plans to burn some Korans on Saturday, the anniversary of 9-11. Yes, apparently after pressure from the media, General Petraeus, our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, ex-President Clinton, Franklyn Graham, the FBI and President Obama, he has agreed to abort his burning, allegedly because he was promised the proposed mosque in NY would be moved. But to me the man himself is nothing compared with what his threat has revealed not about Islam, but about Americans. Or at least those of our new Ruling Class.

Does nobody in any position of authority or power in this country see anything wrong with the fact that because some little known guy in a small town in America is going to burn some Korans the entire Muslim world is now having a cow, demanding we forbid this desecration of their holy book … or else they are going to exact violent retribution? ? 

The media implies that because Muslims think their Koran is from God, then we all have to. But what if we don’t? In fact, I don’t. I think the Bible is the only book that’s actually the word of God. And if others want to burn it, I don’t have a problem with that. They are using their volition to reject truth and God can handle it. He’s not intimidated by any of it. His Word goes on, despite the antagonism of unbelievers. He will not only preserve it despite their attempts to destroy it, He will use their wrath to bring praise to Himself! 

“We can do nothing against the truth but only for the truth.” 2 Co 13:8

“For the wrath of man shall praise you…” Ps 76:10

And given that, just for a bit of contrast… in May 2009 Bibles translated into the local languages of Afghanistan were sent by an American church  to soldiers at Bagram AFB, Afghanistan, presumably to pass out to Afghani’s. They were confiscated because military regulations forbid any attempt at evangelizing the natives, which the church didn’t know and apparently some of the soldiers didn’t either. In any case, they were confiscated by military officials and… burned. Article here.

Muslims burn our flag, burn effigies of our presidents, kill people because they are Christians (in fact at one of the cow-having sessions, they chanted “Death to Christians.”) and I’m sure they’ve burned their share of Bibles.

People use the name of Jesus Christ as a pejorative all the time — as well as indulge in other demonstrations of complete disrespect and even hatred and disgust toward Him — and there are no riots, no chantings, no death threats. But make a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban and you are anathema, excoriated on the world theater and threatened with death.  Threaten to burn a few hundred Korans and ditto.

The media gasp and wring their hands. “Do you know what that Pastor said?? He said Islam is of the devil, and Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life. Oh! Horrible! How hateful!”  The ABC reporter I watched seemed absolutely aghast. So I’m wondering… where is all this vaunted tolerance the left is forever promoting? If the guy wants to burn some Korans in what amounts to his backyard, what’s the big deal? Why does anyone even have to know about it? If they are so tolerant, why do they react in shock and horror and severe disapproval for Christians who say they’re the only ones who have the truth, even as they bend over backwards to tolerate muslims who say the same thing (ie, only they have the truth) and, if possible, back it up by killing anyone who disagrees with them.

And then today, tying in with my last post on Echelon, it turns out the Gainesville church has a website that provides information and the preachings of its pastor which was just shut down by its Internet host. According to a report on AFP

“GAINESVILLE, Florida — The small Florida church that has sparked global outrage with its plan to hold a Koran-burning event had its website pulled from the Internet on Thursday by its host.

Dan Goodgame, a spokesman for the San Antonio, Texas-based web hosting firm Rackspace, told AFP the evangelical Dove World Outreach Center church had, “violated the Offensive Content section of its Acceptable Use policy.”

The policy forbids content or links to material that is “excessively violent, incites violence, threatens violence, or contains harassing content or hate speech; and creates a risk to a person’s safety or health, creates a risk to public safety or health, compromises national security, or interferes with an investigation by law enforcement.”

By the way they are applying this, my church at gbible.org could also be seen as violating the offensive content section of an acceptable use policy, especially when back in 2001 my pastor did a series on the Arab-Israeli conflict that included direct quotations from the Koran showing exactly what it preached.

Whether he intended this or not, I think Terry Jones is making a very good point. When he, small as he is, cannot burn a few Korans without out the whole world throwing a tizzy — “Oh, no! the muslims are going to react. They might riot, they might kill people. They will hurt our soldiers. This will make them really mad…”

 Helloo? They’re already mad, they’re already hurting our soldiers and killing people. They already think we’re the Great Satan, so… we’re going to quiver in fear because of their threats? Over something as petty as all of this?

In fact, the FBI is concerned because already there have been reactions from home grown terrorists vowing retribution. But then again, they are concerned on a daily basis about terrorist attacks, not because of cartoons, or some guy burning Korans but because they already hate us because we aren’t them. We are wicked and degenerate and evil in their sight. We need to be converted or killed…that’s their agenda.

So it really doesn’t matter what the spark is, the fire is already smouldering and has been for a while. And furthermore, every time we do something they don’t like or don’t do what they want us to do (as with the Cordoba House Mosque project) they threaten us with “oh no, the terrorists will be upset. We don’t know how they’re going to retaliate…”

Isn’t that extortion? And appeasement and wimpiness in the extreme on our part?

Whether Terry Jones ever actually burns any Korans, he has made it clear just what sort of religion we are up against. One that freely admits its purpose is to make everyone on earth submissive to it, that kills and persecutes people of other faiths in all the countries where it has power and wants to someday do the same in the countries where it doesn’t. Jones agrees what he’s doing is provocative, but I believe it’s not so much the muslims he wishes to provoke, but us. Because, says he,  “If we don’t [burn these Korans], when do we stop backing down?”

Addendum: Rush has a lot to say on this and the mosque issue, along with what I think was a hilarious conversation with a completely clueless caller about the Koran burning thing HERE.

Rush was masterful in the way he handled it.  Afterward he noted that there was never a country called Palestine, that after WWII the British owned (by way of victory in combat) what was at the time called Transjordan. They gave the land to the Jews. However, if there never was a country with the name of Palestine, there was a Roman province of that name — the former province of Judea, renamed after the Bar Kokhba rebellion of 136 AD when the emperor got ticked off with the Jews who just wouldn’t stop trying to take back Jerusalem (even after it had been razed in 70 AD) and banned them from entering the city at all. He also renamed the province “Palestine” after their old enemies the Philistines. All of this several hundred years before Mohammed had his Visitation.

Which I think is a rather cool irony in present times.

UPDATE:  Michelle Malkin’s column on The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage provides a list and retrospective of all the things that have sparked outbursts of Muslim Outrage: underwear, sneakers, teddy bears, dresses, fast food snack packaging, cartoons, religious frescos and even beauty pageants.

ALSO: Flashback to 2007 when Muslims destroyed crosses and Bibles and an entire church.  Christians in Gaza Fear for Their Lives…

Inventing Moderate Islam

I seem to be on a run of posting about Islam this week. It was not intentional, I  just keep stumbling across new and interesting tidbits. I think I’ve alluded to the fact in my first post about The Last Patriot, that I don’t think there can ever really be a “reformed” or moderate Islam. I guess the primary reason for that is that it’s not based on grace the way Christianity and even true Judaism (two sides of the same coin; or maybe two stages in the same continuum) are. Both Christianity and Judaism are based on the fact that man is depraved and can never do anything to achieve a relationship with God on his own. The Law was not given to man so he could follow it and be saved, but to demonstrate the fact that he couldn’t follow it and needed a savior.

There is no savior who died for all in Islam, only a bunch of rules for men to follow to please Allah – a lifting and corrupting of elements of both Christianity and Judaism (probably more of the latter than the former). In a sense it’s more an extension of what the Pharisees thought the Law was about than what the Bible says it was.

There is no  “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of works lest any man should boast.” It’s all about following the rules. Being obedient. Punishing those who don’t comply. Everyone should get what they deserve, and if there is any mercy, it is thin, indeed.

Islam is a perfect, clear example of religion. And religion  is a system of bondage whereby men can be controlled, ostensibly by other men, but in reality by the unseen “rulers” and “powers” and “world forces of darkness.”  (True Christianity is not a religion, as I’ve said before, but a relationship). Religion is a system whereby men seek to impress or please God by their own good deeds and personal “righteousness”. It is a system that promotes creature credit rather than God-credit. 

Kill the Infidel, go to heaven. Question Islam, be executed and go to eternal damnation…

In addition to this, as with those elements of the Mosaic Law given to the Jews as a nation to guide them in how a nation should be run, the tenets of Islam are intertwined with matters of state. So on the one hand Islam is a system of worship and on the other hand a system of law/legislation.

There is no “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” in the Koran. Mohammed’s kingdom was very much of this earth, as were the kingdoms of the sultans who followed him, and followers were required by their faith to render unto them. Nor are there commands like “Do not speak evil of your rulers,” the latter written at the time when the evil, heathenish  Nero ruled over Rome. Rather there is Sharia, which would like to kill the evil, Satanic Infidel George Bush. Sharia is supposed to be Allah’s guidance and injunctions regarding matters of state and public affairs, and if it’s straight from Allah, how can it be ignored or “reformed?”

 I’m sure there are muslims who choose from the religion what they like and discard the parts they don’t, just as there are Christians who do the same with the Bible. And there are no doubt many who would like to do away with some of the more restrictive and draconian elements of the muslim faith. But for true and fundamental reform among those who take their faith seriously… I just don’t see it as realistic. As I said in a previous post, why would Allah change his mind after having set down the only true, proper and pure way to do things?

I’m not alone in my questioning whether there can truly be a “moderate” Islam. Recently National Review Online  published an article by Andrew McCarthy called Inventing Moderate Islam (It can’t be done without confronting mainstream Islam and its sharia agenda)”  The piece starts thus:

“Secularism can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society.” The writer was not one of those sulfurous Islamophobes decried by CAIR and the professional Left. Quite the opposite: It was Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide and a favorite of the Saudi royal family. He made this assertion in his book, How the Imported Solutions Disastrously Affected Our Ummah, an excerpt of which was published by the Saudi Gazette just a couple of months ago.

[snip]

It is also worth understanding why Qaradawi says Islam and secularism cannot co-exist. The excerpt from his book continues:

“As Islam is a comprehensive system of worship (Ibadah) and legislation (Shari’ah), the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Shari’ah, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions. It is indeed a false claim that Shari’ah is not proper to the requirements of the present age. The acceptance of a legislation formulated by humans means a preference of the humans’ limited knowledge and experiences to the divine guidance: “Say! Do you know better than Allah?” (Qur’an, 2:140) For this reason, the call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Shari’ah is downright apostasy.

And apostasy, says Mr. McCarthy, is a dire accusation since the punishment for apostates is death. As long as there remain a substantial number of people in power who believe in the rightness of Sharia and are ready and willing to exterminate any apostates who seek to modify it, whatever moderate muslims there may be out there will remain hesitant to express that apostasy.  Thus, as McCarthy concludes,

When you capitulate to the authority and influence of Qaradawi and [Ground Zero mosque project imam Feisal] Rauf, you kill meaningful Islamic reform.

There is no moderate Islam in the mainstream of Muslim life, not in the doctrinal sense. There are millions of moderate Muslims who crave reform. Yet the fact that they seek real reform, rather than what Georgetown [University] is content to call reform, means they are trying to invent something that does not currently exist.

You can read the entire article HERE.


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