Mark Steyn and Michael Coren discuss topics from Mark’s latest book, including and especially the threat of Islam to the West.
Published on Nov 4, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01
This week a Canadian Muslim gunman went on a rampage in Ottawa, killing a soldier and storming into the Parliament building before he was shot dead. Authorities have since said he had applied for a passport to travel to Syria. Three Muslim schoolgirls from Colorado were intercepted in Germany apparently on their way to Syria, the base for attacks there and in Iraq by the terror group Islamic State, or ISIS. An Aug. 20 article in Newsweek estimated that perhaps twice as many British Muslims are fighting for ISIS as are serving in the British army.
What could possibly inspire young Muslims in the West to abandon their suburban middle-class existence and join a holy war? How could teenagers in Denver or anywhere be lured by a jihadist ideology—or are grisly videos of ISIS beheadings and crucifixions not enough of a deterrent?
What is so compelling about radical Islamism may lie within its founding texts. It is time we acknowledged the powerful influence these texts have had even on ordinary Muslims. The political ideology based on them has already dragged the Middle East back toward the Stone Age.
As a teenager growing up in Egypt in the 1980s, I liked to stroll through Cairo’s outdoor book market, fishing out little gems like an Arabic translation of “War and Peace.” One day I stumbled upon a book that shook everything I believed in.
The book was “In the Shadows of the Quran,” Sayyed Qutb’s magnum opus. The Egyptian writer, who died in 1966, remains arguably the most influential thinker in contemporary Muslim societies. He was the principal theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood and the intellectual impetus behind the Islamist parties it spawned. Qutb’s ardent disciples included Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri of al Qaeda. It is not an exaggeration to say that Qutb is to Islamism what Karl Marx is to communism.
Qutb’s brilliance as a theorist was in how he applied Western-style literary criticism to the Quran to interpret God’s intentions. He concluded that the reason for the Muslim world’s decline were external cultural and political influences that diluted Islam: The culprits included everything from Greek empiricism and liberal democracy to socialism, Persian poetry and Hegelian philosophy. The only path to an Islamic renaissance was to cleanse Muslim societies of these contaminants and restore Islam to its seventh-century purity.
Today, Qutb’s outlook—Islamism—is the dominant political ideology in most Muslim-majority countries, often taking root in vacuums where secular politics have never had space to develop. Polls by the Pew Research Center, such as 2013’s “The World’s Muslims” indicate that in many Muslim countries, the population is overwhelmingly in favor of veiling for women, the death penalty for leaving Islam and stoning as punishment for adultery; rabid anti-Semitism is rampant. The few exceptions to these statistics tend to be countries with a long history of militant secularism (like Turkey), or former communist states (Tajikistan, Bosnia, Albania, etc.) where religion was effectively wiped out of the public sphere. But Islamism is now growing even in those places.
The trend of history is being reversed. In Egypt, for instance, veiling was unheard of 50 years ago and was virtually extinct until the Islamists resurrected the practice in the 1970s. Today an estimated 90% of Egyptian women are veiled. In many other countries the veil—originally a tribal norm not a religious one—is now ubiquitous, as are views on apostasy in countries that were far more progressive 50 years ago.
Many of my fellow Muslims are trying to reform Islam from within. Yet our voices are smothered in the West by Islamist apologists and their well-meaning but unwitting allies on the left. For instance, if you try to draw attention to the stark correlation between the rise of Islamic religiosity and regressive attitudes toward women, you’re labeled an Islamophobe.
In America, other contemporary ideologies are routinely and openly debated in classrooms, newspapers, on talk shows and in living rooms. But Americans make an exception for Islamism. Criticism of the religion—even in abstraction—is conflated with bigotry toward Muslims. There is no public discourse, much less an ideological response, to Islamism, in academia or on Capitol Hill. This trend is creating an intellectual vacuum, where poisonous ideas are allowed to propagate unchecked.
My own experience as a Muslim in New York bears this out. Socially progressive, self-proclaimed liberals, who would denounce even the slightest injustice committed against women or minorities in America, are appalled when I express a similar criticism about my own community.
Compare the collective response after each harrowing high-school shooting in America. Intellectuals and public figures look for the root cause of the violence and ask: Why? Yet when I ask why after every terrorist attack, the disapproval I get from my non-Muslim peers is visceral: The majority of Muslims are not violent, they insist, the jihadists are a minority who don’t represent Islam, and I am fear-mongering by even wondering aloud.
This is delusional thinking. Even as the world witnesses the barbarity of beheadings, habitual stoning and severe subjugation of women and minorities in the Muslim world, politicians and academics lecture that Islam is a “religion of peace.” Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia routinely beheads women for sorcery and witchcraft.
In the U.S., we Muslims are handled like exotic flowers that will crumble if our faith is criticized—even if we do it ourselves. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats alike would apparently prefer to drop bombs in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond, because killing Muslims is somehow less offensive than criticizing their religion? Unfortunately, you can’t kill an idea with a bomb, and so Islamism will continue to propagate. Muslims must tolerate civilized public debate of the texts and scripture that inform Islamism. To demand any less of us is to engage in the soft bigotry of low expectations.
Mr. Salem is an Egyptian writer based in New York.
Canada has experienced two murderous jihad terror attacks in the last three days, not long after the Islamic State called for such attacks – but the denial and obfuscation are as thick as ever.
On Monday, Ahmad Rouleau, a convert to Islam, hit two Canadian soldiers with his car, murdering Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. Then he led police on a high-speed chase, during which he called 911 and explained that he was doing it all “in the name of Allah.” The chase, and Rouleau’s jihad, ended when he flipped his car and then, brandishing a knife, charged police, who shot him dead. One of Rouleau’s close friends said: “It was a terrorist attack and Martin died like he wanted to. That’s what happened….He did this because he wanted to reach paradise and assure paradise for his family. He wanted to be a martyr….The caliphate called all the Muslims on earth to fight. He listened to what they had to say and he did his part here.”
Then on Wednesday, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who has been widely reported to be a recent convert to Islam but whose father is a veteran of the jihad in Libya and who has been a Muslim for at least three years, went on a shooting rampage in Ottawa, murdering military reservist Corporal Nathan Cirillo and engaging in a gun battle inside Canada’s Parliament building. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said that there was “no evidence at this stage” that Zehaf-Bibeau had connections to any jihad groups, but CNN reported that “according to a U.S. counterterrorism source, Zehaf-Bibeau was connected to Hasibullah Yusufzai through social media. Yusufzai is wanted by Canadian authorities for traveling overseas to fight alongside Islamist fighters in Syria.” And “other radicalized people connected to Zehaf-Bibeau are still believed to be living in Canada, two U.S. law enforcement officials said.”
So Zehaf-Bibeau had connections to at least one jihadist who went to Syria to wage jihad, and Rouleau listened to what the Islamic State was saying, and “did his part” in Canada. What was the Islamic State saying? Late in September, the Islamic State’s spokesman, Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani, urged Muslims to murder non-Muslims in the West. “Rely upon Allah,” he thundered, “and kill him in any manner or way however it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.” He also addressed Western non-Muslims: “You will not feel secure even in your bedrooms. You will pay the price when this crusade of yours collapses, and thereafter we will strike you in your homeland, and you will never be able to harm anyone afterwards.”
Al-Adnani told Muslims to murder non-Muslims with any weapon at hand, or anything that could be used as a weapon: “If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.” Zehaf-Bibeau found a bullet. Rouleau found a car.
Yet despite the indications that Rouleau and Zehaf-Bibeau were heeding the Islamic State’s call to wage jihad at home by any means possible, the mainstream media was ready before the blood had dried to swing into the usual denial and obfuscation about the motives and goals of their attacks. Before Zehaf-Bibeau’s identity was known, CBC’s Doug Stoffel tweeted: “Amid the speculation in the #OttawaShooting in #Canada, it’s important to remember #ISIS hasn’t shown interest in attacks abroad.” Once Zehaf-Bibeau was identified as the shooter and was known to be a Muslim, ABC News one-upped Stoffel’s flagrantly counter-factual statement with the claim that “authorities in Canada are trying to understand what motivated a gunman to kill a soldier in the country’s capital Wednesday.”
In reality, what motivated him was blazingly obvious, but it was the one thing most Western government officials and all of the mainstream media have determined to ignore, and so the search was one for some other remotely plausible motive that could be sold to a public that is increasingly suspicious of what the government and media elites are telling them. Toronto’s Globe and Mail quoted a friend of Zehaf-Bibeau saying, “I think he must have been mentally ill,” although the only evidence for this that the paper presented was that “his friend frequently talked about the presence of Shaytan in the world – an Arabic term for devils and demons” – in other words, that Zehaf-Bibeau spoke frequently of what are standard beliefs of mainstream Islam.
Read more at Frontpage
Michael Coren – Liberal denial over Islamic terror attacks in Canada
Published on Oct 24, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01
Ezra Levant – Liberal whitewashing of Islamic terrorism in Canada
Published on Aug 15, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01
Published on Aug 11, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01
“The themes are perennial . . . what you’re seeing right now in Iraq and Syria is beyond our imaginations: mass beheadings including of children, crucifixions, rape, slaughter, sadism, burying people alive . . . civilization has to conquer barbarism.”
– Michael Coren
By Robert Spencer:
On my regular weekly Jihad Watch segment on Michael’s Sun TV program, we discussed the jihad in Iraq and the Obama Administration’s naivete regarding the Muslim Brotherhood.
Video thanks to AlohaSnackbar01.
Published June 16, 2014 by AlohaSnackbar01
In the wake of a decision by Britain to accept the rulings ofIslamic sharia law in matters of inheritance, Arutz Sheva spoke with Ari Soffer, the Managing Editor of Arutz Sheva English and a former resident of London who is familiar with the on-the-ground political situation in the United Kingdom.
According to Soffer, not all British Muslims support the “creeping Islamization” that the UK has been undergoing, in which Islamic law takes its place among the laws of the land. That process is being pushed by Muslim organizations in Britain, but a large number of Muslims in the country would prefer to keep such laws as a private matter between themselves.
UK law already has provisions for the implementation of Sharia law on an individual basis, with decisions handed down by Islamic courts enforced in the country’s courts. Thus, the only purpose for the legislation, he said, was for Islamist radicals to promote their agenda of installing Islamic law in the daily life of Britons.
Soffer added that the British government has only itself to blame for the situation. It was the government that promoted the idea of a “dialog” with what turned out to be a set of radical groups, convinced they were a positive alternative to Al Qaeda. There was a need to create such a dialog in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, it was felt.
The groups encouraged the government to see them as an “Islamic alternative” to Al Qaeda, even though theologically they had much in common. “This was the main reason the governments of Europe enhanced the status of these groups, and now their agenda is clear,” he said. However, he added, most Britons were puzzled at what to do about the situation. “They do not to deal with the new reality because they don’t know how to,” he added.
- Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs (counterjihadreport.com)
By Daniel Greenfield, Jan. 6, 2014:
Both of the suicide bombers who struck in Russia were Muslim converts. They follow a long string of Muslim terrorist converts, including the murderers of British soldier Lee Rigby who were sentenced last month and Terry Lee Loewen who plotted to car bomb the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport that same month.
The popular theory is that Muslim terrorist groups use converts because they blend in better. But in most Western countries, screening by race is nearly illegal and in even in targeted countries where it isn’t, there are usually many members of Muslim ethnic groups in most major cities.
There are four reasons for the rise of the Muslim Suicide Convert. Muslim converts are gullible, fanatical, suicidal and expendable.
Let’s start with the last one first. Muslims usually come from tribal cultures with extended family groups. Despite its claims of transnationalism and multiculturalism, Islam is an ethnic religion with the descendants of Mohammed elevated over everyone else, the families in the region of his first conquests elevated over other Arabs, Arabs elevated over non-Arabs, Asian Muslims over African Muslims and African Muslims over Western converts to Islam.
A convert to Islam is lowest on the totem pole because he has no family group. In a tribal society, not having a family connection makes you an outsider and expendable. A Muslim who Jihads himself to death creates a hole in the tribal network of arranged cousin marriages, illegal business arrangements and other extended family support structures. A Muslim convert was never part of the network unless he married into it. And even then he can easily be unplugged because he has no common ancestry with them.
In a Muslim country, he can be killed without having to pay blood price. In a Western country, he can be sent off to die without the “tribe” of Pakistanis or Egyptians who built the mosques and hired the Imams who converted him and convinced him to kill non-Muslims being affected by his death.
He is expendable.
Converts are not part of the family networks of the Muslim settlers in their Western diasporas. That makes them useful cannon fodder. If they are captured, the mosque denies all responsibility and blames the internet even though most mosques and Muslim student groups host those same speakers who “radicalize” converts over the internet at their own facilities and events.
Muslim converts are also suicidal.
The act of conversion is a form of death. It destroys the entire cultural and faith background of the individual. It cuts him off from his family, his people and his way of life. Conversion can be constructive, but it should never be forgotten that it is also destructive.
The Muslim convert has been trying to kill himself all his life to some degree, to destroy the essence of what he is to overcome that perceived flaw preventing him from being happy and living a worthwhile life. Islam is his drug and alcohol abuse, his meaningless sex and his cult. It is how he punishes himself hoping to find redemption in self-destruction and meaning in the sacrifice of the self to the first utterly devouring and consuming thing that comes along.
The Muslim convert finds Islam in a search for fulfillment and then still feeling unfulfilled, seeks out its “purer” forms whose commitment to Jihadist violence is more overt. The violence of their rhetoric and the force of their commitment briefly feel like fulfillment, but then dissatisfaction sets in again. Told to blame himself for this final failure, the Muslim Suicide Convert is encouraged to make his final kamikaze run hoping to find the meaning and fulfillment in the afterlife that evaded him in this life.
Muslim converts have personal problems that they try to treat with Islam the way that sufferers from conventional diseases try to treat their illnesses with phony cures. Muslim clerics promise that Islam will solve the personal problems of non-Muslims and non-Muslim societies, but like so many criminal gurus, they are peddling phony cures that kill the patient.
That is one reason why Muslim converts are fanatical. Another reason is that they have no baseline. Converts plunge into another religion and culture as into deep water.
Muslims have learned to make the necessary compromises with their fanatical religion that make their lives livable. That is why most of them do not go out and blow themselves up; instead they undermine Western societies in slower and steadier ways through demographics, disinformation and political influence.
The Muslim Suicide Convert seeks an uncompromising purity. He rejects the compromises that Muslims have learned to make over the centuries. Seeking the core revelation in a religion of death; he finds that revelation only in death. The truth of Islam is in its killing fields. It preaches war for power and paradise. The Muslim convert who searches for its essence finds a grinning skull in the desert sands and hurries to emulate its terrible example.
Finally, Muslim converts are gullible. The natives of every land have games that they play with tourists, relying on their unfamiliarity with another culture to mislead them and trick them. Muslim converts are strangers in a strange land, slowly learning a foreign way of life and pathetically eager to be accepted by another culture. It is all too easy for Muslim clerics to lead them down the garden path to the suicide bomber’s paradise by offering and withholding affection until they are willing to do anything to belong.
Muslim Suicide Converts are enlisted in a war the way that men have been enlisted in wars throughout the ages with appeals to patriotism, strategic shaming, tales of outrageous atrocities and myths of incredible heroism. The Muslim clerics, like so many military recruiters before them, tailor their pitch to the disposable people who are least likely to question orders and the least likely to be missed.
Muslim recruiters thrive on campus for the same reasons as cult recruiters and leftist academics.
The modern university is a good place to find insecure young people questioning everything that they believe in and unsure of what to do when they have destroyed everything they were and found that their impulse to ridicule and tear down everything does not fulfill the human need for something to believe in. It is where young men and women seeking to find something beyond their limits, experimenting with and becoming someone they are not and feeling inward guilt and loss at the abandonment of their old selves and their old values can be hunted and trapped.
Into this universe of doubt, the Muslim cleric intrudes with his false offer of certainty, with the air of the victim, the badge of the underdog, the mysticism of the east and the romance of the grass, that like the terrorist flags that wave among it, always grows greener on the other side of the world.
Westernized Muslims are urged to recommit to Islam, to steel themselves for the coming conflict between the civilizations of the sword and the microchip, to purge themselves of Western culture, embrace the black flags and atone for their beers they drank, the girls they kissed and the songs they sang with the death screams of sirens and the blood of their non-Muslim friends and neighbors.
The seduction of the non-Muslim runs more slowly but surely. The dissatisfied and unhappy, those trained by a liberal culture contemptuous of its own values and traditions to instinctively value non-Western spirituality over their own “materialistic” and “imperialistic” religions, are lured in.
Read more at Sultan Knish
“Ask why so many psychotic and murderous people embrace not peaceful Christianity or pluralistic Hinduism but the colossal abattoir of violence of Islamic fundamentalism.”
– Michael Coren
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. ..Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter? Milton
by Andrew Bostom:
Last week I noted how Michael Coren of Canada’s Sun TV was far bolder than any of his US television network colleagues in dealing with Islam’s threat to Western free speech, epitomized by Coren’s interview of Danish journalist and historian Lars Hedegaard, who survived an assassination attempt by a likely Muslim assailant, still at large. No such interview with public airing on television was conducted by any major US television network—ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN—not even the self-proclaimed “alternative” to “stultifying political correctness,” and “champion” of free speech, The Blaze TV.
Emphasizing, yet again, the ongoing, complete dereliction of duty of not only the mainstream legacy media, but so-called conservative outlets such as Fox News and The Blaze, Michael Coren opened his follow-up interview of Lars Hedegaard, yesterday (2/15/13), with this observation:
You [Hedegaard] should be on every single TV show. This should have been [on] the front page of every newspaper in the civilized world.
To add insult to bitter irony, as described in this news item Friday (2/15/13)from Dispatch International, which Lars Hedegaard continues to edit while in protective seclusion, and reiterated during Coren’s latest interview, Hedegaard has been compelled to sue several Swedish media (including Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, Sveriges Television, Sydsvenskan and Helsingborgs Dagblad) for libel. The libel charge was filed with Allmänhetens Pressombudsman, (the Press Ombudsman) as well as the Chancellor of Justice.
- Old Vikings of the Counterjihad (dianawest.net)
- In Defence of Lars Hedegaard (counterjihadreport.com)
- Another Attempt to Murder Free Speech in Denmark (counterjihadreport.com)
For background on the assassination attempt see my previous post – Another Attempt to Murder Free Speech in Denmark
The following is our response to an article on The Copenhagen Post website entitled Hedegaard lashes out following failed assassination attempt.
My organisation the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) awarded Mr Hedegaard our Defender of Freedom Award last year in the European Parliament.
Unlike many newspapers, he is willing to stand up and speak truth to power. Newspapers tend to no longer do their job of informing the public and challenging the powerful. Instead they provide a skewed ideologically driven picture of the world. Rather than report the facts they choose to demonise individuals like Mr Hedegaard and in doing so deliberately put them in danger.
Lars Hedegaard has shown willingness even to put his life on the line in the cause of freedom. How many newspaper editors can say the same thing?
ICLA supports Mr Hedegaard’s call to remove the blasphemy clause. Indeed we call for the abolition of all blasphemy laws worldwide. This includes laws that are effectively blasphemy laws that are dressed in the clothes of secularism. For instance the United Kingdom abolished its blasphemy law but incorporated similar restrictions in other laws. It is the freedom to talk freely about all philosophies that needs to be protected by law. Blasphemy laws stifle freedom of speech and prevent the progressive development of our society.
Lars, we salute your bravery and your continuing commitment to freedom.
International Civil Liberties Alliance
Lars Hedegaard speaks with Michael Coren about surviving an assassination attempt:
Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist and the great Dane Lars Hedegaard of the Free Press Society join Michael Coren to discuss their new enterprise, Dispatch International:
Support Freedom of Speech
Why Dispatch International?
The mainstream media has deteriorated to a point where it constitutes a threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The fourth estate was supposed to act as corrective to the legislative, judicial and administrative powers but has in fact become a part of the ruling elite. It no longer considers it its duty to criticise or expose.
One survey after another shows that the vast majority of Western journalists suffer from groupthink. They do not inform the public about what is happening in the real world but want to educate and mould the citizens to conform to their own preconceived ideas of what ought to be.
Vast swathes of reality are brushed under the carpet because the mainstream media considers them antithetical to the multiculturalist, cultural relativist, “green” and anti-Judean-Christian ideologies they strive to impose on the public.
This cannot be allowed to stand. The time has come to publish a real newspaper.
On 30 August we will issue a test issue of Dispatch International. It will appear as a print paper in Danish and Swedish with e-versions in Danish, Swedish, English and German.
More languages will be added as the need arises.
If the test issue is all well received as we antitipate, we will commence regular, weekly publication on Thursday, January 3, 2013.
In the meantime, click onto our website: http://www.Dispatch-International.com.
Chief editors are Ingrid Carlqvist, former news editor of the Swedish daily Kvällsposten, and Lars Hedegaard, former editor-in-chief of the Copenhagen daily Information. Ingrid is Chair of the Swedish Free Press Society and Lars of the Danish Free Press Society.
Together with Canadian free speech activist and board member of the Canadian Free Press Society Bjorn Larsen we have set up a company that is protected from any attempt at a hostile take-over.
We can neither be bought, nor will we be dependent on public subsidies or advertising income.
Dispatch International is your paper. We have no other purpose than to keep you informed of all the news that is fit to print – but rarely is.
Let us make this a success.
Michael Coren interviews Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Responds to Questions at Ohio University:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken defender of women’s rights in Islamic societies, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made Submission, a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures. The airing of the film on Dutch television resulted in the assassination of Mr. van Gogh by an Islamic extremist. At AEI, Ms. Hirsi Ali researches the relationship between the West and Islam, women’s rights in Islam, violence against women propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam in Europe.