Tag: Islamism

Better Living Through Coercion


389px-Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863Prior to the Civil War, apologists for the South’s “peculiar institution” concocted “positive good” rationales that claimed slavery was beneficial. Though the arguments varied, they were broadly based on assumptions of white superiority: intellectual, spiritual, and civilizational. The “superior” white man had the right to live off the labors of the “backward” African because doing so freed him to engage in the higher pursuits afforded by his loftier intellect, morality, and civilization.

Abraham Lincoln’s rejoinder — made during his debates with Stephen Douglas — was that the Southerners’ arguments could equally justify their own slavery by their supposed betters. Islamists, for example, believe their religion, morals, and culture are infinitely better than ours and so it is their religious duty to conquer the West and bring it under Sharia Law. Those refusing to convert to Islam are to be subjected to death, slavery or — at best — to the partial slavery of dhimmitude, which entails limited rights, obligatory humiliation, and special taxes to help enhance the lifestyles of the faithful.

In early America, people voluntarily supported the weak and infirm, but such practical compassion is not compatible with the enlightened and progressive times in which we live. Instead, the left of today imposes its own form of better living through coercion, based – not on assumptions of superiority – but on assumptions of inferiority. In the left’s utopia, productive individuals are forced to support those unable or unwilling to work; the recipients’ poverty, ignorance, infirmity, or victimhood entitling them to the fruits of others’ labor. The successful must be subjected to special taxes and to humiliation (“greedy,” “uncaring,” “elitist”) to justify the confiscation of their property and to soothe the beneficiaries’ feelings.

The Nature of Defiance


MuhammadThere is an argument about Pamela Geller’s cartoon contest, favored by Bill O’Reilly as well as by many garden variety liberal pundits, that goes like this:

Of course the right to free speech is sacred and the murderers who wish to infringe on that right are vile criminals. Our vigor in the defense of free speech, however, (equally obviously) does not mean that we agree with the speech we are defending. The cartoons that Geller assembled are insulting to 1.5 billion, predominantly peaceful Muslims around the world. We can judge Geller offensive or (as Bill O’Reilly does) “stupid” for deliberately mocking the religion of the benign majority just in order to taunt the violent minority.

I can embellish this argument.

Jihadi Vampires, Jihadi Zombies


GarlandThe attack in Garland appears to confirm the observation that there are two kinds of terrorist attacks. The first kind – which we saw on 9/11, the London Tube and Madrid train attacks, the Mumbai attack, and in the Charlie Hebdo massacre – are made by hardened, patient, and well-trained semi-professionals, whose activities are funded (and often directed) from overseas. In contrast, the second kind — think of the Tsarnaevs or Major Hasan — is typified by amateurishness, lack of planning, and poor impulse control. Moreover, it seems that failure to join the ranks of the former often leads to the latter.

As if their nearly complete failure wasn’t evidence enough, the news in this New York Times piece should confirm that the Garland attack was a strong instance of the latter:

But any secret ties that officials might find may be less important than the public exchanges of messages on Twitter by one of the gunmen, Elton Simpson, in the weeks before the attack. Mr. Simpson, a convert to Islam with a long history of extremism, regularly traded calls for violence on Twitter with Islamic State fighters and supporters, as well as avowed enemies of Pamela Geller, the organizer of the cartoon contest.

The Innocence of Provocation


The good news is that the terror attack on a free speech conference in Garland, Texas was unsuccessful, with two jihadists dead and only the security guard injured (lesson: Texas is a poor choice when selecting a location for terror attacks). The bad news is that the media, having ascertained that the conference participants escaped unharmed, now feel safe to turn their rhetorical guns on the targets of the violence. Exhibit A is the video below of a CNN interview with conference organizer Pamela Geller, who held her own in the interview, of course. But the interviewer, Alisyn Camerota, kept coming back to a line I found astonishing and infuriating.


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The Henry Jackson Society, an anti-extremism pro-human rights UK think tank, has just published a curious report on the potential impact of the Muslim population in the upcoming 7 May UK elections. Despite its strong and well-researched claims, it hasn’t seemed to have picked up much traction in the media. (For some inexplicable reason the word ‘islamophobia’ […]

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Nobel Prize winner (and he actually did something to deserve it) V.S. Naipaul sees ISIS for what it really is. In an interview with the Daily Mail, he compares ISIS to Nazi Germany.  Isis is dedicated to a contemporary holocaust. It has pledged itself to the murder of Shias, Jews, Christians, Copts, Yazidis and anyone […]

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The Decline of the Islamist Murderer


Thirteen years ago, we rightly thought of Jihad as typified by the 9-11 attacks. Years in the making, the plot involved scores of people across multiple continents, training camps, and a small fortune. Similarly, the attacks on Bali nightclubs, the London Tube, the Madrid commuter rail, Mumbai hotels, and the Nairobi mall — though all far less spectacular and deadly than their predecessor — were also complicated, planned, and coordinated, often by people with professional training in war and sabotage. Casualties tended to be in the hundreds.

A second kind of Jihadi emerged shortly thereafter: the lone wolf with Western citizenship who plans his attacks without the coordination, resources, and numbers available to the semi-professionals. The Tsarnaev brothers’ bombing of the Boston Marathon was premeditated and long-coming, but they lacked the resources and smarts to have thought much beyond their once-off attack. The DC snipers, Major Hasan, Faisal Shahzad, and a few others also fit into this category of planned terrorism inspired by al Qaeda, but not directed by it or its cells. Casualties tended to be in the dozens.