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June 23rd 2016 print

Peter Smith

The Platitudes of a Pantywaist President

The only thing more certain than the next Islamist assault is the parade of world leaders who can be counted to mouth their kumbaya pieties, even as the blood is wiped off the walls. In this, if nothing else, President Obama is the undisputed world leader

obama ssssh IIThough the roots of ISIS go back a fair way it did not begin coming to prominence until President Obama withdrew remaining US troops from Iraq in December, 2011, leaving behind, as he put it, “a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq.” And it was after that, in April, 2013, that al-Baghdadi announced its formation. Yet, wall-to-wall conservative commentators apparently believe that defeating ISIS is the key to preventing the recent atrocities in Orlando, in San Bernardino, in Brussels, and in Paris.

Talk about memory loss. The London, Madrid, Bali and Mumbai bombings and countless other Islamist attacks occurred before ISIS was a glint in al-Baghdadi’s eye. Thomas Jefferson was fighting Muslim Tripoli pirates at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is the religion stupid! And if and when ISIS is defeated, whatever that looks like, the religion, and its integral supremacist ideology, will persist. The only permanent solution is to degrade and marginalize Islam itself so that its remaining fundamentalist adherents resemble a small group of whacko religious snake dancers.

The religion cannot be saved. It cannot be saved because its very scripture is immutable and corrupting. That’s it, full stop, no argument. Where it holds sway warped views bloom: e.g., support for sharia law, religious intolerance, the inferiority of women, death for apostasy, and for blasphemy, heresy, homosexuality and adultery. Does anyone think that is a coincidence?

Sure, external and home-grown terrorists have to be killed. But the creed of Islam has to be confronted. The made-up hateful words of Allah and the hateful sayings and doings of his earthly amanuensis Mohammed cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged and infect hundreds of millions of people, here now and still to be born. It is a plague on humanity and must be confronted as resolutely as Reagan confronted ‘the evil empire’ and all that it stood for.

Now weep while picturing President Obama leading the fight. Here he is in 2012 at the UN, shortly after the Benghazi murders of a US ambassador and three other Americans by Islamic terrorists, which he and his administration knowingly and falsely blamed on a “crude and disgusting video” satirizing Mohammed. “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam,” he intoned.  Is this bizarre, or is it light years beyond bizarre? And people object to Trump’s language!

Orlando changed nothing for Obama. “These are not religious warriors,” he said. “They are thugs.” Presumably he has been engaged in sending drones over the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan to kill “thugs” (Al Capone lookalikes?). In any event, as he was at pains to point out, the availability of guns was the real culprit in the loss of life in Orlando – echoed by the jackasses who comprise the left in America.

Now switch to Donald Trump in an interview with Fox News after the Orlando massacre:

“[Obama] doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands – it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable…Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind – you know, people can’t believe it… People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism. There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”

The Washington Post took great offence at Trump’s remarks, posting this online headline: “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.” The scurrilous headline was taken down but the damage was done. While it was up it was the most widely read story on the paper’s website.

I happen to think that Trump is genuinely confused about Obama’s motives. Why, would I conclude as much? Because I share the confusion. Exactly what is motivating Obama when it comes to Islam? Why does he adopt such a defensive posture?

For example, not long after reports of children being beheaded, crucified and buried alive by ISIS, and the Jordanian pilot being burnt to death in a cage, President Obama was out deflecting criticism of Islam at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in February last year:

“Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ…So it is not unique to one group or one religion.”

At best Obama’s familial connections — he had a Muslim father and, then, stepfather –are clouding his judgment. At worst he is a Muslim sympathiser. This wouldn’t be a problem if Islamists had not effectively declared war on America and the West. This is the time for a Reagan-like figure to lead the fight for our civilisation. This isn’t the time for divided loyalties or a weak reed.

Unfortunately Obama is not alone. The European big three — Cameron, Hollande and Merkel — all parrot the ‘religion of peace’ hoax. Mind you, let’s put it in perspective, they don’t have the same aversion to referring to radical Islamic terrorism; and, so far as I know, have not gone so far as Obama in purging all references to the religion that dare not speak its name from the lexicon of their military and security agencies. The words Islam, sharia law, and jihad are verboten apparently. The words extremism and terrorism, and now presumably ‘thuggism’, are allowed provided they are devoid of any link to Islam.

We are in serious trouble. Islamists are beheading infidels and the Commander-in-Chief is parsing his language to cloud the threat.  In these circumstances, whether he offends tender sensibilities or not, Trump is what the Western world needs now. Love sweet love will have to wait for a different time.

 

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [44]

  1. DRW says:

    The correct term is panty waste.

    • Jody says:

      Try “milquetoast”.

    • johnhenry says:

      “panty waste”?

      That’s a passable (fairly good) phonetic word pun – if so meant – albeit a crude one which I would never use; but the SOED (2007 6th Ed.) says the word is “pantie-waist”; so you and Peter Smith are both wrong in the view of some. I see now, looking back at my SOED 1970 3rd Ed., all entries referring to “panties” are innocuous to the modern ear, although still causing a frisson of pleasure in older men I’m told.

    • DRW says:

      johnhenry,
      I thought it was an epithet.

  2. Rob Ellison says:

    “Les chiens aboient mais la caravane passe.” Prophet Muhammad

    One wonders what the strategic plan is for killing 1.3 billion people?

    • chuckp61 says:

      Who said anything about killing 1.4 million Muslims? The fact remains that unless Islamism is discredited amongst the believers the same way Nazism, Fascism and Japanese Militarism were in the 1940s we have no hope.

      Put it this way. In 1939 virtually all Germans were, if not members of the Nazi Party, at least not unhappy with the Nazi Party’s plans. In 1945 virtually all Germans were claiming to have never supported/agreed with or voted for them.

      We didn’t need to kill every German to utterly discredit their ideology to the point where Nazism has never reared its ugly head again.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      I did not know that The Prophet (PBUH) could speak French. ;-)

    • a propos says:

      It depends who(or what) has a role of ‘chiens’ in Rob Ellison’s scenario. If it is a Western ‘chiens’ , as Mr.(or is it Ms?) Ellinson seems to imply – I have no wish to engage in a slanging match with the likes of this person.
      If these proverbial ‘chiens’ are aboient(ing) in their fear and impotent frustration at the caravan of the Western civilisation, which leaves them in the dustbin of history, let these ‘chiens’ ‘aboient’. No matter how loud their ‘aboient’ is – these losers are going to be left behind. They have no future, that is why their ‘aboient’ is so loud.

  3. chuckp61 says:

    Great article. I spent almost 10 years living and working in a Muslim country. Many of my work colleagues were highly educated in western schools but scratch the surface and out came all the familiar rhetoric about Israel, the Jews etc. their attitudes to women were the same as the least educated Muslims.

    Obama’s father and stepfather were Muslims. Obama’s mother is a Muslim – she HAS to have converted to marry a Muslim. The chances of Obama NOT being a Muslim too are slim to none.

    • Peter says:

      Thanks chuck – it seems to me that those who have actually experienced a Muslim culture, as you have, have an advantage over those of us who haven’t; and, unfortunately, that includes all Western leaders (except Obama of course.

    • Doubting Thomas says:

      He is either a Muslim or an apostate. From The Islamic point of view there is no other possibility. I haven’t noticed Muslims clamping that he is an apostate, so they must be satisfied that he is still one of them. (I also spent a couple of years working in a Muslim country, and agree with everything you said.)

      • LBLoveday says:

        Obama may consider himself a Muslim, but he was educated in, not just about, Islam by Muslims as a child in an Indonesian school.

        Every child in an Indonesian school had, and still has, a religion recorded on his/her record – Muslim, Christian Catholic, Christian Protestant, Buddhist or Hindu were the only 5 permitted in Obama’s time, no “other”, no “none”, no religion, no schooling (Confucianism has since been added). So in his early years at school, he was identified as Muslim, attended the fundamental Islam lessons, and rationally must have self-identified as Muslim.

        The Jesuites coined the folk-lore “Give Me the Child Until He is Seven, and I Will Show You the Man”, and I suggest it is equally applicable to Obama’s situation wrt Islam. His mouth says “Christian”, his heart says “Muslim”.

    • LBLoveday says:

      Quote: “she HAS to have converted to marry a Muslim”

      Not true if they married in Indonesia – while it is true that inter-religion marriages are now illegal, it is a new law, and at that time it was possible for any Indonesian to be legally married in a Catatan Cipil ceremony, and I know many who wed in mixed-religion ceremonies in the 80′s and 90′s, and not just plebs – I know one high ranking Protestant Government official whose wife was Muslim (being in Christian-majority North Sulawesi may have helped!).
      Caveat, there are still ways around it and I have a Muslim in-law who last year married a Catholic in a Jakarta Catholic Church and had a valid state marriage certificate issued.

      So too an Australian (and I presume any other country) civil marriage between, eg, an Australian Catholic and an Indonesian Muslim can be recognized in Indonesia without either party changing religion.

  4. Bill Martin says:

    Peter, “a man after my very own heart” yet again. There is no way of avoiding the absolute necessity of – as you so succinctly put it – ”The only permanent solution is to degrade and marginalize Islam itself so that its remaining fundamentalist adherents resemble a small group of whacko religious snake dancers.”

    It is bewildering that just about all western politicians and other civic leaders, together with the so called security and terrorism “experts” are of the grossly fallacious belief that violent Islamists represent the entirety of the peril of Islam. Eliminate those, they maintain, and all will be sweet and rosy between Islam and western civilisation. What appalling ignorance! They attach a range of adjectives to Islam – peaceful, fundamental, radical, extremist, political, etc. – disregarding the simple fact that there is only one, single, indivisible Islam, which is thoroughly evil. There would be very few, if any Muslims who would deny or disown a single word of the Koran or any of the other “unholy” scriptures of Islam. They simply wouldn’t dare. Nor would any of them openly declare that they would not prefer to live under Sharia law in preference to western secular law. Those who might so blaspheme, of course, are not Muslims at all but apostates to be stoned to death. In a nutshell, while not every single Muslim is actively promoting the advancement of Islam, almost all would rejoice in its triumph. Unless our leaders understand and appreciate this stark reality and act accordingly, western civilisation is doomed.

    • Peter says:

      Good stuff Bill. Unfortunately only a handful of people have caught on.

      • Bwana Neusi says:

        Yes Peter, unfortunate indeed

        And what was quite disheartening whilst manning a pre-polling booth for ALA, was the number of voters who said “We have never heard of you”.
        The MSM and political “Elite” have gone to extraordinary lengths to silence the ALA, ignore it, or more recently, block its paid advertisements in the media.

        However, there is a growing number of voters who have heard ALA’s message and with time that number will swell until the politicians have no option but to notice.

        Will it be too late to take effective action to prevent a blood bath. I fervently hope so.

    • Warty says:

      I don’t think you can put any hope in our Western leaders understanding or appreciating any form of stark reality about Islam. What you and Peter and Chuck say about Islam, Sharia and the Qur’an are indeed true: the Qur’an and the hadith perpetuate not just a 7th Century ideology, but bring with it the violence, slave trading, rapine, wife-beating, feuding, divisiveness of Arab oases dwellers that preceded Muhammed. In the war zones of Iraq, Libya and Syria things haven’t changed, and as Chuck says ‘scratch the surface’ with the apparently well-educated Muslims . . . The change, I feel does not need to come from us, we who are not Muslim, but from a reformation of Islam itself, and it’s not going to happen in our life time. Movement in this area is occurring with the likes of Maajid Nawaz and Aayan Hirsi Ali in the forefront. Aayan herself would not argue that the Christian Reformation occurred overnight, and remember we had to go through the Hundred Years War in order to further sort things out.
      Unfortunately, my doomsday adviser has warned me that war is coming in Europe, with many countries going under due to the sheer weight of numbers, with regards to Muslim birthrate far surpassing self indulgent, effete, feminised Westerners, who are more concerned about careers, electronic gadget and nice houses, than having children. That structural flaw that Peter Hitchens talks of where Muslim birthrate is somewhere between 4-16 children (depending on how many wives you have) and 1.5 for the average white Frenchman, and fewer amongst white Germans. One hell of a structural flaw. No, as my wise sister has said, the war will not be waged by these effete sons of bitches, and I sort of mean that literally with regards to the few lucky ones that managed to survive abortion, but from ex Iron Curtain countries like Hungary (listen to Victor Orban’s speech regarding immigration to get a fetch of Hungarian disdain for the corrupt Europeans) Serbia, Armenia, Russia, just to name a few. This is where the fight back will occur. Isn’t ironic though, that the Ottomans were stopped at the gates of Vienna, but now Austria is full of them.
      So yes, I agree with that doomsday bloke, but the fight back won’t solve the problem: a Islamic reformation could change everything. For the present, though, a good Muslim cannot and will not be an active participant in any secular society, as he is required to be Sharia compliant. In the meantime, those ones Chuck is familiar with, will seek to undermine from within, as they are doing big time in Brussels, by participating in council elections, getting their fellows elected and putting on pleasant faces, until they have achieved wall to wall Sharia. This Allah wills.

      • Peter says:

        “Islamic reformation could change everything.” Warty, There is a fallacy abroad that Islam needs a reformation comparable to the Christian Reformation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Christian Reformation changed not one word of scripture. In fact, in retrospect, it was much ado about nothing much at all – which didn’t stop the carnage of course. But when it comes to Islam the very scripture – some of the immutable words of Allah and the sayings and doings of his favourite prophet – have to be excised and/or changed. That is not possible. Ergo the creed can’t be “reformed”; can’t be saved.

        • Warty says:

          Christianity went through a Reformation with the Old Testament intact. I must admit, neither Jews nor Christians claim it is the word of God, despite the Gospel of John ‘In the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’, but the writer of John meant something slightly different. Organisations like the Quillian Society and people like Aayan Ali don’t suggest changing the words of the Qur’an, just its applicability in this day and age. Their intent is to break the uncompromising belief that this dubious text is ‘The Word of Allah’ and the final word on the matter, at that. Christianity is no longer and presumably never will be a Crusading religion again, so Obama’s comparisons do not take into account the change of heart. The same could be said of Judaism. Judaism is not the religion of the Sadducees and the Pharisees: it underwent a major change in the Second Century CE becoming a Rabbinical based religion. There are no Torah manuscripts even from the time of Christ and the Second Century Jews had none of those to refer to, just an oral tradition. But for the Jews, the Torah, with its apparent anachronisms, and the Christians with their apparently anachronistic Old Testament, nevertheless find great philosophical insight, without changing a single word of it. The Muslims simply have to get rid of the idea that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah and somehow find some philosophical merit and the reformation will be almost complete. Change the way they implement, no, cling to the Sharia, drawn from the various hadith and a far smaller part from the Qur’an; and change the way they treat their women, then they’ll be even closer to a reformation. Peter, it does need a reformation, but it WON’T take the same form as a Christian one, even though some say history repeats itself.

  5. Jody says:

    My main complaint about 0-bama (I only use the number for his name now!) is that he has used the White House like it was Buckingham Palace – to ‘receive’ his guests, who are usually A-listers. All the while the ‘official photographer’ is there to catch the happy snaps for posterity.

    0-bama just has too much time on his hands, hence the endless entertainments and visitors. This really has been a veritable modern Nero.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      Jody,
      The US President is both head of state and head of government. In Australia these roles are performed separately by the Governor-General, who lives at Yarralumla, and the Prime Minister (residing at The Lodge) respectively. Each is a full-time job. In the UK, they are done by the Queen (who lives at Buck House) and the PM, who lives at No. 10.
      I don’t think Obama’s alleged Islamic conspiracy could extend back to the time of the War of Independence and the Constitutional Convention, to include the Founding Fathers. At least, not without time travel, magic carpets and the close involvement of the Archangel Gabriel.;-)

      • Jody says:

        My point is that 0-bama just seems to have so much time on his hands for this. He has largely been a ceremonial figure who has accomplished little.

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          Don’t forget that Obama (the closet Muslim, if not outright Islamist!!!???) ordered the Navy Seals raid into Pakistan that killed bin Laden. That took courage. It could have gone pear shaped in a hurry, and the buck would have stopped at his desk.

  6. Warty says:

    I’m sorry I forgot to talk about barking dogs.

  7. Warty says:

    French speaking barking dogs.

  8. Warty says:

    A time-travelling, French speaking Muhammed who will not condone criticism.

  9. en passant says:

    Warty,
    Small correction: the religious war you referred to was the 30-years War, not the 100-years War.

    Bill,
    You have it right. The bulwark of civilisation, incredibly, will be Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, Japan, India and Israel. Maybe parts of South America and odd countries like Myanmar, N & S Korea, Norway, NZ, Thailand etc. Who knows where Oz will be with our mealy-mouthed appeasers in charge? It may be worth a separate comment about the UK after BREXIT and the Senate election on 2 July.

    A couple of years ago Putin redrew the map of Europe and laughably suggested that all muslims should be relocated to the south of France and left to their own devices. The land is rich and fertile, the climate is pleasant and the infrastructure is already in place. Years later it is no longer so bad an idea and now I agree with him. It is now necessary and after they are given this Caliphate haven we must harden our hearts to the deaths of millions of them after they have stripped the place bare (like locusts) and planted nothing to replace their pillaging. What do you think will happen and where do you think they will go when M.E. oil & gas run out mid next century? No money to buy food and too many people to feed. They have done little to modernise their agriculture (the Israelis made the desert bloom, but the Arabs can make a desert of anything, including southern France) so they will NEVER be able to feed themselves. Worse, save them and feed them and they will reproduce and the cycle goes on.

    There is more hate speech in the first 25-pages of the Koran than in all of Mein Kampf Which I glanced through many years ago (but did not read properly) and found its prose equally obscure and ranting. I have read the first 25-pages of the Koran thoughtfully provided by my hotel in the M.E., after which I needed therapy, a pork roll and several strong whiskies to calm my murderous thoughts. Surely Gillian Triggs is about to censor it under 18C or somesuch?
    Trump’s bigger problem is building a wall to keep Canadians out after Trudeau is finished destroying his country”

  10. Ian MacDougall says:

    The religion cannot be saved. It cannot be saved because its very scripture is immutable and corrupting. That’s it, full stop, no argument. Where it holds sway warped views bloom: e.g., support for sharia law, religious intolerance, the inferiority of women, death for apostasy, and for blasphemy, heresy, homosexuality and adultery. Does anyone think that is a coincidence?
    Sure, external and home-grown terrorists have to be killed. But the creed of Islam has to be confronted. The made-up hateful words of Allah and the hateful sayings and doings of his earthly amanuensis Mohammed cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged and infect hundreds of millions of people, here now and still to be born. It is a plague on humanity and must be confronted as resolutely as Reagan confronted ‘the evil empire’ and all that it stood for.

    One important aspect of it appears to me to be Taqiyya: While Christianity has “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9) and “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” (Exodus 20:16), Islam permits the telling of a lie if it advances the cause of Islam. Well, that can mean anything and a whole lot more. I should not imagine that it would take much of a stretch of the Muslim imagination to find advancement of the cause of Islam in any trick that got a member of the Dar al Islam ahead of an infidel from the Dar al Harb.
    (There is good coverage of the topic of Islam and lying at http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/taqiyya.aspx . Also http://atheism.about.com/od/islamicextremism/a/daralharb.htm) But I must stress here that in all my own commercial dealings with Muslims, I have found them to be scrupulously honest: which I take to be despite their Islam rather than because of it.)

    One matter that upsets Muslims, and the youth in particular, is the technical and economic backwardness of the Islamic world by comparison with the West. Islamic fascists (ie Islamists) and their western sympathisers and apologists put this down to western colonialism and its influence. This explanation however, cannot account for the dire and worsening position of the countries of Islamic Civilisation into modern times. It is summed up in the quote from Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who was responsible for the transformation of Dubai from a small cluster of settlements into a modern port city and commercial hub. He famously said: “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel,” reflecting his concern that Dubai’s oil would run out within a few generations. He therefore worked to develop the economy of Dubai so that it could survive after the end of oil production, and was a driving force behind a number of major infrastructure projects to promote Dubai as a regional hub for trade. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_bin_Saeed_Al_Maktoum.
    Fly Emirates to Europe with an overnight stopover in Dubai. I personally recommend it: though the JAL service via Japan is best IMHO.)

    European capitalism arose out of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, which broke the previous dominance of the clerical hierarchy of the Catholic Church. This was opposed (surprise, surprise!) by the Catholic clergy, with much burning of heretics and dissenters: eg Giordano Bruno, an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer, was burned at the stake in Rome in 1600. But Protestant ethics were vital to the development of modern capitalism and commerce. Islam has yet to see anything like that. And while the acolytes of bin Laden carry on murdering and bombing in its name, they will be its real spokesmen and carry forward its real image.

  11. Ian MacDougall says:

    Ian MacDougall
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 23, 2016 at 10:26 pm
    The religion cannot be saved. It cannot be saved because its very scripture is immutable and corrupting. That’s it, full stop, no argument. Where it holds sway warped views bloom: e.g., support for sharia law, religious intolerance, the inferiority of women, death for apostasy, and for blasphemy, heresy, homosexuality and adultery. Does anyone think that is a coincidence?
    Sure, external and home-grown terrorists have to be killed. But the creed of Islam has to be confronted. The made-up hateful words of Allah and the hateful sayings and doings of his earthly amanuensis Mohammed cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged and infect hundreds of millions of people, here now and still to be born. It is a plague on humanity and must be confronted as resolutely as Reagan confronted ‘the evil empire’ and all that it stood for.

    One important aspect of it appears to me to be Taqiyya: While Christianity has “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9) and “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” (Exodus 20:16), Islam permits the telling of a lie if it advances the cause of Islam. Well, that can mean anything and a whole lot more. I should not imagine that it would take much of a stretch of the Muslim imagination to find advancement of the cause of Islam in any trick that got a member of the Dar al Islam ahead of an infidel from the Dar al Harb.
    (There is good coverage of the topic of Islam and lying at http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/taqiyya.aspx . Also http://atheism.about.com/od/islamicextremism/a/daralharb.htm) But I must stress here that in all my own commercial dealings with Muslims, I have found them to be scrupulously honest: which I take to be despite their Islam rather than because of it.)

  12. Ian MacDougall says:

    (CONTINUING)
    One matter that upsets Muslims, and the youth in particular, is the technical and economic backwardness of the Islamic world by comparison with the West. Islamic fascists (ie Islamists) and their western sympathisers and apologists put this down to western colonialism and its influence. This explanation however, cannot account for the dire and worsening position of the countries of Islamic Civilisation into modern times. It is summed up in the quote from Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who was responsible for the transformation of Dubai from a small cluster of settlements into a modern port city and commercial hub. He famously said: “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel,” reflecting his concern that Dubai’s oil would run out within a few generations. He therefore worked to develop the economy of Dubai so that it could survive after the end of oil production, and was a driving force behind a number of major infrastructure projects to promote Dubai as a regional hub for trade. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_bin_Saeed_Al_Maktoum.
    Fly Emirates to Europe with an overnight stopover in Dubai. I personally recommend it: though the JAL service via Japan is best IMHO.)

    European capitalism arose out of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, which broke the previous dominance of the clerical hierarchy of the Catholic Church. This was opposed (surprise, surprise!) by the Catholic clergy, with much burning of heretics and dissenters: eg Giordano Bruno, an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer, was burned at the stake in Rome in 1600. But Protestant ethics were vital to the development of modern capitalism and commerce. Islam has yet to see anything like that. And while the acolytes of bin Laden carry on murdering and bombing in its name, they will be its real spokesmen and carry forward its real image.

  13. Ian MacDougall says:

    (COMMENT BEGINS}
    “The religion cannot be saved. It cannot be saved because its very scripture is immutable and corrupting. That’s it, full stop, no argument. Where it holds sway warped views bloom: e.g., support for sharia law, religious intolerance, the inferiority of women, death for apostasy, and for blasphemy, heresy, homosexuality and adultery. Does anyone think that is a coincidence?
    “Sure, external and home-grown terrorists have to be killed. But the creed of Islam has to be confronted. The made-up hateful words of Allah and the hateful sayings and doings of his earthly amanuensis Mohammed cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged and infect hundreds of millions of people, here now and still to be born. It is a plague on humanity and must be confronted as resolutely as Reagan confronted ‘the evil empire’ and all that it stood for.”

    One important aspect of it appears to me to be Taqiyya: While Christianity has “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9) and “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” (Exodus 20:16), Islam permits the telling of a lie if it advances the cause of Islam. Well, that can mean anything and a whole lot more. I should not imagine that it would take much of a stretch of the Muslim imagination to find advancement of the cause of Islam in any trick that got a member of the Dar al Islam ahead of an infidel from the Dar al Harb.
    (There is good coverage of the topic of Islam and lying at http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/taqiyya.aspx . Also http://atheism.about.com/od/islamicextremism/a/daralharb.htm) But I must stress here that in all my own commercial dealings with Muslims, I have found them to be scrupulously honest: which I take to be despite their Islam rather than because of it.)

  14. Rob Ellison says:

    The dogs bark but the caravan moves on is indeed an ancient Persian saying. It was transcribed in French in reference to the mad Russian proposal to create an Islamic gulag – no doubt with Chechens included – in southern France. It was used to allude to the few the hysterical few invoking the dogs of war – but here on Quadrant appearing little more than yapping lap dogs. Reality seems a alternate world away. The question I indirectly asked is who can win an all out war against Islam? Madness wins every time. What is left in the wake but scorched earth?

    “Al Raqqa in Syria is not exactly Berlin circa 1945. That was when the Soviet (Russian) armies were about to enter Berlin, while Dwight Eisenhower’s forces were speeding to join them. It was almost like a race, which the Russians won.

    Al Raqqa is the chosen temporary capital of ISIS (DAESH), pending the capture of Damascus or Baghdad. But Al Raqqa faces a similar situation that Berlin faced in early 1945. At least two armies are racing towards it. The most substantial one is the alliance that supports the Syrian regime (Syrian Army, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, etc). Then there is an alliance that is armed and supported by the United States, dominated by Syrian Kurds in the north.

    Then there are the Iraqi military and their Iranian and local militia allies moving steadily if slowly towards Mosul. If Mosul falls, the Iraqis could find themselves tempted to join the race towards Al Raqqa as well.

    The Saudis and their putative Turkish allies have been reduced to repeated futile threats by Adel al Jubeir, the Saudi Foreign Minister, that Al Assad must go. Al Jubeir adds: by peaceful or by military means. He must be waiting for Hillary Clinton to save his bosses nuts from the Syria fire.

    This is how it stands now. Mosul and Al Raqqa might well fall this year. At the latest they will fall no later than 2017.

    My Fatwa (humble but almost certainly accurate) on the violent gruesome brief reign of the Wahhabis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( or the Levant).” http://arabiadeserta.com/2016/06/

    The west persists in fighting on both sides in yet another Arab proxy war – wandering like like a Hamlet’s ghosts in the Arabian deserta. Trump is another promising ghost with his bluster, fears and threats. Though he will no doubt be a little late for the ISIS party.

    It is more than time to earnestly sue for peace and gain the protection of The Noble Quran.

    وَإِن جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

    • johnhenry says:

      Rob Ellison, are you any relation to Harlan Ellison, the science fiction writer (Star Trek, etc.)?

      • johnhenry says:

        …it’s just that your mention of the “The Noble Quran” at the end of your above comment reminded me of his 1969 short story collection: “The Beast That Shouted Love At The Heart Of The World”.

      • Rob Ellison says:

        “It crouches near the center of creation. There is no night where it waits. Only the riddle of which terrible dream will set it loose. It beheaded mercy to take possession of that place. It feasts on darkness from the minds of men. No one has ever seen its eyeless face. When it sleeps we know a few moments of peace. But when it breathes again we go down in fire and mate with jackals. It knows our fear. It has our number. It waited for our coming and it will abide long after we have become congealed smoke. It has never heard music, and shows its fangs when we panic. It is the beast of our savage past, hungering today, and waiting patiently for the mortal meal of all our golden tomorrows. It lies waiting.”

        Harlan Ellison is one of the lost generation of ‘speculative fiction’ writers who aspired to revelation but managed only platitudes. “I am a noble moron. I compose a poem.” But no sadly no relation. I might otherwise write a fanzine, get invited to speak at comic con and drool at all the girls in furry costumes.

        This story takes one simple idea – the darkness at the heart of man – and weaves meaningless drivel around it. There goes my invite again.

        Nor is there any connection to the noble moron – although I give points for subtle and amusing insults. The Quran is literally recital or reading. The holy Quran – as dictated by God to Muḥammad (peace be upon him) – is distinguished by referring to it as the Noble Quaran. And yes I am up to p25 and so far it is all Adam, Abraham and Angels.