Bruce Bawer responds to the arrested development that results in liberalism.
If I’m curious about the psychology of [members of the commentariat of the left who, after events like the Benghazi Embassy attack or the Boston bombing, hurry to defend Islam]. it’s reflexive. It’s mainstream. Among urban types who view themselves as liberal-minded and sophisticated, it’s considered de rigueur to think this way about things like this. Certainly you’re obliged to think this way if you want to count on getting published in major establishment newspapers and at websites like Salon.
It’s necessary to fight jihad. But it’s equally necessary to fight this weed that has grown up among us – this decadent, despicable readiness to deny the reality of jihad, to relativize it, to make excuses for it, to blame it on us, on America.
These decadent characters take these positions, of course, because they’ve been marinated in multiculturalism and, in particular, have absorbed the all-important lesson that the great danger of our time is not Islam but the criticism thereof. Yet what made multiculturalism attractive to these people in the first place is that it’s tailor-made for spoiled, narcissistic grown children who don’t want to have adult enemies – that is, the kind of enemies who represent a real danger to them or that they might ever really have to fight. It’s tailor-made for people who cherish the notion of themselves as sensitive and understanding toward “The Other,” and whose enemies of choice are, basically, parental substitutes – people who draw clear moral distinctions, who talk about the need for security, and who make unequivocal assertions about the superiority of American freedom to Islamic tyranny.
Fighting the mental affliction – the terminal puerility – of the O’Hehirs may be even harder than fighting jihad itself. How do you repair a culture in which mature moral judgment and adult civic responsibility have systematically been replaced by childish, self-aggrandizing displays of “sensitivity”? How do you install a moral compass in a fully grown adult?
For that’s the problem, in essence: these people are missing certain working parts that are essential components of the civilized adult. First of all, they lack the imaginative capacity, and the sense of identification with their own country, to understand that the bombing in Boston wasn’t just an attack on the three people who died and the dozens others who were wounded, but was, in fact, an attack on them – and on their families and friends, their very lives, their children’s future. For all their mockery of America’s idea of itself as a “protected zone,” their supposed empathy for the jihadists is a luxury in which they’re able to indulge precisely because they think of themselves, consciously or not, as living in a “protected zone.” Like any baby in a crib, they feel safe, cocooned, impregnable – yet they don’t realize that the reason for this feeling of safety is that they’ve spent their lives in a country where the cops and the military have protected them from, well, people like the Tsarnaev brothers.
Like any child, they accept this protection as their due, their right. They take it for granted. But they don’t think of themselves as having any responsibility that accompanies this right – for example, a responsibility as citizens to the safety and well-being of the American people as a whole. No, as far as they can see, their only responsibility is to themselves. Indeed, if they can’t wrap their minds around the reality of the murderers’ dedication to the idea of jihad, and thus (in many cases) reject the possibility that it was indeed jihad that drove the Tsarnaevs to commit their heinous acts, it’s because they themselves don’t know what it means to be dedicated to anything outside of themselves – and to the preservation of their own self-image as sensitive, caring people who are too evolved to hate.
Yes, evolved. Yet of course, in reality, they’re the ones who are unevolved. Their relationship to adult moral responsibility is, again, that of small children.
The election of Islamic Party municipal councilors in several towns in Belgian is provoking controversy, as the newly elected officials do not bother to conceal their intentions to use democratic means to overthrow democracy and turn Belgium into an Islamic state operating on the basis of Sharia law.
————————————— WND found that Barack Obama has been wearing that ring for more than thirty years, since at least 1981 when he was a student at Occidental.
As a student at Harvard Law School, then-bachelor Barack Obama’s practice of wearing a gold band on his wedding-ring finger puzzled his colleagues.
Now, newly published photographs of Obama from the 1980s show that the ring Obama wore on his wedding-ring finger as an unmarried student is the same ring Michelle Robinson put on his finger at the couple’s wedding ceremony in 1992.
Moreover, according to Arabic-language and Islamic experts, the ring Obama has been wearing for more than 30 years is adorned with the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith, the Shahada: “There is no god except Allah.”
Inscription on Obama’s ring
The Shahada is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam, expressing the two fundamental beliefs that make a person a Muslim: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s prophet.
Sincere recitation of the Shahada is the sole requirement for becoming a Muslim, as it expresses a person’s rejection of all other gods.
Egyptian-born Islamic scholar Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D., examined photographs of Obama’s ring at WND’s request and concluded that the first half of the Shahada is inscribed on it.
“There can be no doubt that someone wearing the inscription ‘There is no god except Allah’ has a very close connection to Islamic beliefs, the Islamic religion and Islamic society to which this statement is so strongly attached,” Gabriel told WND.
Does his wearing that ring prove that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim? No… but it obviously establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has a very strong personal sense of identification with Islam and views Islam far more positively than many Americans do these days.
“There is no God but Allah” overlaid on Obama’s ring.
(In the contemporary painting above: “The Catholic ships form a cross and the Muslim ships form a cresent. – The standard of the Holy Cross which was blessed by Pope Pius V can be seen on Don Juan of Austria’s ship which is leading the charge. – Papal ships (St. Peter’s keys) – The miracle of the wind: just before the armies met the wind completely switched in favor of the Catholic ships. – Devils can be seen amongst the Muslim ships (they were summoned from hell by the Muslim leader). The devils have peacock feathers as swords, a manifestation of their pride. – Our Lady of Victory with a sword in one hand ready to crush the devils and the other hand outstretched to the Muslim souls. – St. Michael leading the Angels – There are small white lights by the oars on the Muslim ships representing the souls of the Catholic prisoners.”)
October 7, 1571, the fleet of the Holy League, an alliance of the kingdoms of Spain, of Sicily and of Naples, of the Republics of Venice and of Genoa, of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, of the Duchy of Savoy, of the Papal States, and of the Sovereign and Military Order of St. John, decisively defeated the Ottoman Empire’s main battle fleet in five hours of fighting at Lepanto at the northern edge of the Gulf of Corinth.
—————————————— Rev. Fr. Luis Coloma, The Story of Don John of Austria, trans. Lady Moreton, (New York: John Lane Company, 1912), pp. 265-271:
The Turkish fleet came on imposing and terrible, all sails set, impelled by a fair wind, and it was only half a mile from the line of galliasses and another mile from the line of the Christian ships.
D. John waited no longer; he humbly crossed himself, and ordered that the cannon of challenge should be fired on the “Real,” and the blue flag of the League should be hoisted at the stern, which unfurled itself like a piece of the sky on which stood out an image of the Crucified. A moment later the galley of Ali replied, accepting the challenge by firing another cannon, and hoisting at the stern the standard of the Prophet, guarded in Mecca, white and of large size, with a wide green “cenefa,” and in the center verses from the Koran embroidered in gold.
At the same moment a strange thing happened, a very simple one at any other time, but for good reason then considered a miracle: the wind fell suddenly to a calm, and then began to blow favorably for the Christians and against the Turks. It seemed as if the Voice had said to the sea, “Be calm,” and to the wind, “Be still.” The silence was profound, and nothing was heard but the waves breaking on the prows of the galleys, and the noise of the chains of the Christian galley slaves as they rowed.
Fr. Miguel Servia blessed from the quarter-deck all those of the fleet, and gave them absolution in the hour of death. It was then a quarter to twelve.
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,—
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, “Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done,
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate ;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey in the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.”
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Cairo rioters surrounding US Embassy carrying black flag. The round circle represents the personal seal of Mohammed (used in correspondence with foreign leaders) and is a standard feature found in al Qaeda flags.
‘Every normal man,” wrote H. L. Mencken, “must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” Given that his subject was modern poetry, he can be forgiven the impulse. But we might politely decline to join him. There are few occasions on which the raising of a black flag has been an overture to something pretty, and a great many on which it has augured something ill. Black flags are harbingers of chaos.
The recent events in the Arab world are no exception. The barbarism in Egypt and Libya pushed back into view the nefarious purposes to which black flags are most commonly deployed. Having scaled the walls of the American embassy compound in Cairo on September 11, protesters ripped down Old Glory, set fire to it, and managed to replace it temporarily with their own pennant. At the consulate in Benghazi, marauders put up their flag, murdered the ambassador and three other Americans, and caused as much damage as they could. The unrest has not yet stopped, with U.S. citizens and property being targeted in Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia, and Syria.
The French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo again has published some cartoon images mocking Islamic religious hypersensitivity, as the Australian Herald Sun reported:
The cover of Charlie Hebdo today shows a Muslim in a wheelchair being pushed by an Orthodox Jew under the title Intouchables 2, referring to an award-winning French film about a poor black man who helps an aristocratic quadriplegic.
Another cartoon on the back page of the weekly magazine shows a naked turbaned Mohammed exposing his posterior to a film director, a scene inspired by a 1963 film starring French film star Brigitte Bardot.
Charlie Hebdo’s website crashed today after being bombarded with comments that ranged from hate mail to approbation.
The magazine is no stranger to controversy over issues relating to Islam.
Last year it published an edition ‘’guest-edited’’ by Prophet Mohammed that it called Sharia Hebdo.
The magazine’s offices in Paris were subsequently fire-bombed.
The government of France responded bravely by announcing the closing of twenty embassies all over the Islamic world.
France announced Wednesday it will close 20 embassies across the Muslim world on Friday after French weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed naked, amid growing unrest over an anti-Islamic film that has left dozens dead.
The French foreign ministry announced Wednesday that France will close 20 of its embassies in Muslim countries this Friday following the publication of controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoons by satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Major protests in the Muslim world generally take place after Friday prayers.
Charlie Hebdo’s web-site was successfully shut down by denial of service attacks, and its offices were today surrounded by French riot police.
Video uploaded to YouTube by Abdalgader Fadl shows the body of the dead or unconscious American Ambassador Ambassador Christopher Stevens being dragged out of a window of the consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It doesn’t look to me like the mob, ullulating in triumph and snapping photos with camera phones, is engaged in taking Mr. Stevens to the hospital, as some commenters here have previously contended.
Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies escorted a man believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to an awaiting car. The man declined to answer questions on his way out and wore a hat and a scarf over his face. He kept his hands in the pockets of a winter coat.
Sheriff’s officials could not be reached by The Times, but department spokesman Steve Whitmore told KNBC News that deputies assisting the federal probation department took Nakoula to the sheriff’s substation in Cerritos for interviewing.
[Updated at 1:40 a.m. July 15, 2012: Whitmore told The Times that Nakoula was taken in for a voluntary interview with probation officials and has not been arrested or detained.]
His many thousands of regular readers undoubtedly recognize that Glenn Reynolds is a harmless and mild-mannered intellectual guy with the classic range of nerdy interests, whose characteristic response to the insanities and outrages he notes in the course of his blogging is a sharp witticism.
Early yesterday evening, the seismic recorders in the neighborhood of Knoxville, Tennessee undoubtedly jumped alarmingly, as Professor Reynolds underwent a highly uncharacteristic meltdown of pure, white hot indignation at the news story above reporting that the obscure individual reputedly associated with the 13:51 “Innocence of Muslims”video had been hauled off for questioning in the middle of the night by a small army of law enforcement officers, acting under what was obviously the most questionable kind of authority in a country with Constitutionally-guaranteed free speech.
WHY BARACK OBAMA SHOULD RESIGN Reynolds furiously labeled his posting, which has been accreating additional commentary and bitter humor all day.
Example: Paul Crabtree writes: “Although the midnight raid to punish free speech is beyond deplorable, I guess we should be relieved that the Nobel Prize winner didn’t order a drone strike on his house.” Heh. We probably don’t have to worry about those . . . in the first term.
Glenn Reynolds & his associates instantly correctly penetrated the official malarkey. Under American law, there is no possible crime anyone could be charged with for creating and publishing a video satirizing Islam. Bassley Nakoula was dragged out of his home in the middle of the night by the local Los Angeles branch of the Gestapo for embarrassing the regime.
Ryan M, a contributor to Ricochet who is clearly a defense attorney or public defender, expressed the feelings of many Americans, fed up with both expressions of Muslim rage and with the futile efforts by American liberals at placating them. An increasing number of Americans are looking for leadership that will do something serious and effective about the festering fanatical pathology which periodically erupts into murderous violence.
Reading of the murder of Ambassador Stevens:
My immediate reaction was the thought that we, as a country, need to finally say enough, already, and squash the mob. My reaction upon reading a statement released by our own government was one that leads me to that emotionalism that typically finds no home in my little essays:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
Right now, I feel a bit more like the guy sitting on his porch with a shotgun. This isn’t a matter of hurting people’s feelings or being nice or taking responsibility for creating a situation where some people hate us. It isn’t a matter of cracking down on our own freedom of speech in order to silence anyone who would say something that might spark a riot. It is a matter of getting the message through that we will not tolerate that riot, for any reason. I am far more inclined to suggest that we send that message in the same way we told the Japanese that they needed to be finished with World War II. September 11 becomes far less symbolic for them when September 12 is the day that we wiped out an entire capital city in retaliation. I am not, obviously, suggesting that we drop a nuclear bomb on some Middle East capital in order to send a message. However, what we have done is precisely the opposite. We have given them exactly what they want. We have responded to unprovoked violence by promising to make an effort to dismantle the system that they don’t like. We have sent a message. That message: “Keep doing this. It is working.”