Je Suis Sick and Tired of Cant
Millions of pixels gave their lives this week in lame efforts to explain the horrid slaughter of innocents in France, most of it pure cant by cowardly journalists, uninformed politicians offering up theological views on Islam, and self-described experts on terrorism who blame it on everything from Israel to the West’s defense against such attacks.
Liberal Hypocrisy on Free Speech and Freedom of the Press
Count me in the camp with Matthew Continetti, who gives countless examples of liberal hypocrisy about free speech including the following examples:
Do liberals actually believe in the right to offend? Their attitude seems to me to be ambivalent at best. And this equivocation was apparent within hours of the attack, when news outlets censored or refused to publish the images for which the Charlie Hebdo editors were killed. Classifying satire or opinion as “hate speech” subject to regulation is not an aberration. It is commonplace.
Indeed, the outpouring of support for free speech in the aftermath of the Paris attack coincides with, and partially obscures, the degradation of speech rights in the West. Commencement last year was marked by universities revoking appearances by speakers Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali for no other reason than that mobs disagreed with the speakers’ points of view. I do not recall liberals rallying behind Condi and Hirsi Ali then.
He adds to the mix of examples, Brendan Eich’s opposition to gay marriage costing him his job, the Chicago Sun Times' removal of a Kevin D. Williamson article critical of transgender activism, Brandeis University’s unremitting assaults on a student for publicizing another student’s cheering the assassination of police officers, blaming an obscure video for the violent attack in Benghazi. Worse yet, there’s the political and academic efforts to shut off free speech which might offend someone, (someone, I observe, who usually just happens to hold the views prevailing among the left-wing professors and administrators).
While the press in this country almost universally refused to print the Danish cartoons which in 2005 got the Islamists’ scimitars quivering even after the fact, they’ve avoided reprinting the Hebdo cartoons -- cartoons which frankly seem to me to be juvenile and offensive to all religions, but central to the story. The New York Daily News did so in a way that the great Iowahawk termed “selective pixilation’” “NY Daily News blurs cartoon of Mohammed, leaves hooked-nosed Jew “ This follows a great NYC tradition where its lead newspaper, the NYT, boldly proves its commitment to freedom of the press by printing anti-Jewish and Anti-Asian cartoons, but never anti-Islamic ones. Apparently they aren’t afraid of Upper West Side residents storming their offices and beating them about the head with stale challah.
No one has better demonstrated this hypocrisy that our own president for whom every pronouncement on this -- as in many other instances -- is followed by an equal and opposite one.
Compare his remarks on the obscure video which the administration falsely claimed caused the murder of our ambassador in Benghazi with his remarks on the Sony hacking and capitulation and current situation in France.
(a) Sony: "We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," the president said in his year-end news conference.
He added that he was "sympathetic" to Sony's concerns, but, "I wish they would have spoken to me first."
The president condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack on the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo. As he should and I completely agree with what he says and I hope all Americans do. This is not the first time the administration has weighed in on the magazine, however. On September 19, 2012, Jay Carney was asked about something the magazine printed:
"Q The French government has decided to temporarily close their embassies and schools in several Muslim countries after a satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, that published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Is the White House concerned that those cartoons might further fan the flames in the region?
MR. CARNEY: Well, we are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the Prophet Muhammad, and obviously, we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this. We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory. But we’ve spoken repeatedly about the importance of upholding the freedom of expression that is enshrined in our Constitution.
In other words, we don’t question the right of something like this to be published; we just question the judgment behind the decision to publish it. And I think that that’s our view about the video [“The Innocence of the Muslims”] that was produced in this country and has caused so much offense in the Muslim world."
(c) ”The Innocence of Muslims”: In 2012, not only did the administration cite this obscure video as the cause of the attack on Benghazi but it tried to get the video pulled from YouTube. I call that censorship. And I think the loonies like North Korea’s leader and the jihadis can well assume from the arrest of the moviemaker and the effort to block viewing of his video, that the U.S. does and can censor anything they find “offensive”.
The Sheer Nincompoopery of the Descriptions of Islam by Theologians Obama, Kerry and Dean
Every time there is an outrage committed by Islamists, the administration and its accomplices rush to the microphones to make sure we do not call the enemy by its name, a strategy for losers and, in any event, a preposterous endeavor. This time, as attacks occurred outside a Jewish primary school in Paris, inside Hebdo quarters, and at a Jewish grocery store, Islamists were slaughtering 2000 people in Nigeria. Yet the brain-sucking idiocy of our politicians continued, perhaps to make sure we didn’t add one and one correctly.
John Earnest speaking for Obama makes a remark, which both Charles Lipson and I agree is out of order:
THE WHITE HOUSE AS THEOLOGIAN-IN-CHIEF
Here's a tip to our political leaders: Do NOT Characterize Religions. It is not your job; it is not your expertise; and it violates our shared idea that politicians shouldn't be blabbing about religious issues qua religious issues. Take this opportunity to Shut Up. If they can characterize a religion positively, then why not negatively? Ask yourself if, in response to a government attack on a religion, people would say (a) "that's a mischaracterization, and I disagree" or (b) "it is grossly inappropriate for you to be talking about that." The answer is "(b)," of course, and properly so. Yet here is [White House] Press Sec. Josh Earnest, speaking for the President after the Paris attacks by Islamic terrorists: ""There are some individuals that are using a peaceful religion and grossly distorting it, and trying to use its tenets to inspire people around the globe to carry out acts of violence. [We need] to be clear about what the tenets of Islam actually are."
And here’s what Obama said in 2012 after the slaughter in Benghazi: “A crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well -- for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and every faith. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion, we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them…. The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
(What does it mean, this phrase: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”, if not an incitement to attack targets like Hebdo?)
Sarah Hoyt nails it:
With your words, your mollycoddling, your excusing of abhorrent deeds, your covering them under the tattered blanket of victims of racism, you prevent a sick, murderous culture from changing. You keep human beings in subjection. And you encourage the murder of innocents for no greater crime than speaking their minds.
But Obama is not alone in papering over the truth. The Hebdo shooters tried to proselytize the woman staffer and shouted in Arabic Allah is greatest .The supermarket hostage taker and murderer Amedy Coulibay told a French TV station that he targeted the four people he murdered because they were Jewish and that he was fighting for an “Islamic State”. The murderers were linked to Al Qaeda and the 19th Arrondisement Group whose members are currently fighting in IS, but Kerry is tonguetied on the subject of the links and Howard Dean has once again joined the ranks of those Islam-splaining.
Imam Howard Dean:
Former Democratic Party head Howard Dean objected to calling the shooters in the Paris attack "Muslim terrorists," though the attackers were witnessed shouting "Allahu akbar" as they fired.
Dean, speaking Wednesday on MSNBC, argued that they should be treated as "mass murderers" instead.
"I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They're about as Muslim as I am," he said. "I mean, they have no respect for anybody else's life, that's not what the Koran says. And, you know Europe has an enormous radical problem. ... I think ISIS is a cult. Not an Islamic cult. I think it's a cult."
Last year, Secretary Kerry said of Islam: “[Our effort] has to start major efforts to delegitimize ISIS’s claim to some religious foundation for what it’s doing and begin to put real Islam out there and draw lines throughout the region.“
After the latest outrages the word Islam never left his lips. Iowahawk summarized the secretary of state’s stumbling French oration in which, among other things he ahistorically credited France with having “given birth to democracy itself”: “We will never surrender our freedom of speech to these various people I would rather not name”
Perhaps just as fish rots from the head, so does cant from the top infect the lower ranks, for the administration has repeatedly indicated its job was to promote Islam.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced that the Obama administration would prioritize fighting Islamophobia in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in France. Never mind that most Westerners aren’t Islamophobic, but rather GettingShotInTheFaceForExpressingMyOpinion-Phobic
Twice in 2009 he said much the same thing:
My job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.
So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
As we noted, he said the same things in 2012 after Benghazi.
Call me Islamophobic if you wish, but I stand with Moslem Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who said this week:
Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants -- that is 7 billion -- so that they themselves may live? Impossible!
I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema -- Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.
All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.
I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost -- and it is being lost by our own hands.
Straight Talking and Smart Action
Once we speak honestly, Islam today in much of the Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the Gulf countries is extremist fundamentalist. The Moslems that most of our readers know best are not in this camp, but are secularized Moslems, and we cannot judge all Moslems by these. The radicals worldwide are actively engaged or supportive of those actively engaged in an effort to destroy Western civilization and introduce sharia law. The mostly moderate Moslems refuse to purge the radicals, which means that they -- radicals -- speak for the whole, not Howard Dean, John Kerry or Barack Obama, and they are a real threat to us.
Western Europe, especially Germany, France and the UK are awash in militant Islamists,. In France alone there are 751 “No-Go Zones” or “Zones Urbaines Sensibles” where the militants are in control of the population:
What are they? Those places in France that the French state does not control. They range from two zones in the medieval town of Carcassone to twelve in the heavily Muslim town of Marseilles, with hardly a town in France lacking in its ZUS. The ZUS came into existence in late 1996 and according to a 2004 estimate, nearly 5 million people live in them.
Comment: A more precise name for these zones would be Dar al-Islam, the place where Muslims rule. (November 14, 2006)
Moreover, many of these European jihadis go and have gone to fight with AQ and IS in the Middle East and return home without penalty. Unless and until this practice stops the U.S. ought to reconsider its practice of allowing visitors from the UK, France and Germany -- where 1600 of these fighters hold passports -- to enter without visas. The UK, France, and Germany should strip them of citizenship and their passports, or we should strip all citizens of those countries of the right to land here without visas.
We ought to consider reducing to the barest minimum and for limited purposes visas from countries which support, encourage or even tolerate Muslim fundamentalism, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Pakistan.
We ought to expel any non-citizens who espouse jihadism and close mosques whose leaders endorse or support it. Incitement to murder is a crime whether it’s inside or outside a mosque. We should speed up the deportation of residents and citizens who have gone abroad to fight with IS and Al Qaeda.
We ought to more closely monitor Moslem worship on our military bases and in our prisons and weed out any Salafists in the ranks of these chaplains. Right now they are breeding grounds for further mayhem.
We ought to require visa and citizenship applicants to swear under oath that they understand and appreciate our laws on free speech, press and religion, and that they will not advocate for the imposition of sharia law.
We ought to jail any parent known to us who has forced their daughter into a marriage abroad or to undergo a clitorectomy.
We ought to ban hijabs in public spaces, and stop tolerating demands for special treatment. How odd is it that bakeries not usually considered public accommodations (for other than racial discrimination) under our laws are compelled to bake gay wedding cakes while Somali-born cab drivers in Minnesota -- engaged what is always considered a public accommodation -- are exempt from carrying even aid dogs or passengers with liquor?
Just stop it.