## Tuesday, September 18, 2012

### The West is nearly apologizing to hordes of bloodthirsty Islamists

Related news: A Coptic Christian has shot a movie revealing that Mohammed was a homosexual child molester, womanizer, and a naive fool. This group of Christians in Egypt is pretty influential. The New York Times and The Boston Globe just wrote about a Coptic papyrus studied at Harvard (apparently authentic one) that talks about Jesus' wife. ;-)
As far as the U.S. politics goes, I am close to the G.O.P. in many respects although it may be more accurate to classify me as a libertarian in the U.S. context (except that I am flabbergasted by the fact that this key political direction almost represents an irrelevant fringe group in the U.S.).

But I could see that the typical G.O.P. members don't really respect the same value during the Summers wars at Harvard. Most Harvard people who were nominally right-wing Americans didn't do anything whatsoever to stop the insane witch hunts started by the feminists and similar highly obnoxious groups of activists.

In fact, some people who considered themselves Christian have always been radical guardians of the political correctness who were really scaring me – and bullying me personally. I won't name the guys here.

These days, in the context of the "Innocence of Muslims" movie, I am observing something similar. It's really the left-wing Greens and SPD in Germany who are trying to defend the freedom of expression against obscure attempts by Merkel et al. to introduce ad hoc censorship – and worse. It's a left-wing Polish member of the European Parliament, Prof Joanna Senyszyn, who has chastised the Vatican for his support of his de facto cousins, the religious terrorists. Joe Alois Ratzinger has criticized "all provocations against Muslims".

What's going on? I am sure that most people in Czechia who care agree with me about the basic question: the movie is morally and legally OK while the violent reactions in the Islamic world are not and these two totally different sides of the story must be carefully distinguished. They can't be mixed up!

Let me offer you an analysis by Mr Petr Podaný writing for tyden.cz (Week, a weekly journal), the translation is mine, the text is Mr Podaný's (but I agree with it):

The West is almost apologizing to hordes of bloodthirsty Islamists

Where are we actually living? Are we really in the Western civilization of the 21st century? In approximately two dozens of Muslim countries, people organized rallies against a certain lousy movie shot in the U.S. that has been claimed to offend the sensibilities of the Islamic faith. One can understand that. However, what one can't understand is that a nonzero fraction of the Western politicians and media not only fails to defend the freedom of the creator of the Innocence of Muslims, but they even partly blame him for the fresh explosions of violence.

In fact, some Western politicians and editorial offices have understanding for the anger of the mobs that are ready to murder, put Western embassies on fire, and loot them. The reason is – let's randomly quote the prestigious South German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung: "It is useless to distinguish the culprits and the victims. This time, the provocation came from the American extremists, it was grabbed by the Islamic fanatics, and they revenged in an equally radical way." Bitte???

This is just one among uncountable examples of politicians and journalists who are almost making a bow towards the Islamic countries and apologizing for a pulp movie that most of the protesting folks probably haven't even seen.

It's a similar situation as the situation of a rape victim who would later be convicted for having provoked the rapist by her short skirts.

The "Innocence of Muslims" movie is provoking deliberately, indeed. And what? Does it justify murders? If it doesn't, there's no need to analyze the movie more closely. In this case, there exists no co-guilt. On one side, there is a filmmaker, on the other side, there are killers. These two poles aren't complementing each other in any way.

The chief of the U.S. diplomacy Hillary Clinton expressed her disappointment in front of cameras: "How could it have happened in a country [she meant Libya and the murder of four Americans including the ambassador, Christopher Stevens] that we helped to liberate? In a city that we were helping to defend?"

What can one reply to this whining? Perhaps: You shouldn't be surprised if you feed the devils.

But there is one thing that is more worrisome than the official complaints of the Secretary of State in Washington D.C.: the insight that our politicians, intellectuals, and commentators aren't expressing themselves in one voice and they aren't demanding to protect the freedom of speeech and expression of the filmmaker behind the Innocence of Muslims.

And they don't assertively demand that this movie may be freely aired in Europe.

Don't forget that the main achievement of enlightened countries governed by the rule of law is not only the protection against various forms of discrimination but also the right to say what I think and the right to offend someone if necessary. In the Western civilization, this right sometimes clashes e.g. with the respect towards various religious sensibilities but in such a moment, when the other side considers itself harmed, a court may resolve the tension.

Instead of these proper events, e.g. the German media are now full of reports that the government in Berlin is trying to prevent the movie from being aired in the Federal Republic by various means. At least the heavily anti-Islamic movement called Pro Deutschland declared its intent to screen it.

And many Europeans at the beginning of the 21st century are disturbed when they watch their representatives, and not only representatives, who are increasingly eager to sacrifice freedoms that were won in hard struggles to the altar of political correctness.

While the offense of a prophet somewhere in the U.S. resulted in hateful tirades by millions of Muslims across the world against everything linked to the West, the West itself barely raises its voice against the demonstrable torture of tens of millions of Christians in countries where Islam is in charge of the baton.

The Open Doors Foundation mentions that in the whole world, about 100 million Christians are facing the threat of prosecution, torture, or death. Their numbers suggest that 100 thousand die because of their religion every year! In many Muslim countries, Christians are fruitlessly begging their local governments. To kill them may be counted as a chivalrous offense in countries such as Nigeria or Somalia.

And the West? It seems to be more or less indifferent to the misery of Christians who live somewhere far beyond the European horizon.

The Arab Spring is gradually changing to an Arab Winter. To idealize it turns out to be naive. To speak about democracy, at least in the sense in which it evolved in the Western world, is perhaps amusing when it comes to countries such as Libya, Tunisia, or Egypt. In the most optimistic case, they have done the first tiny steps in a long-term democratization process.

In Egypt, three quarters of the electorate supported the Muslim Brotherhood and the radical Islamists. Why not. The people wanted it this way. But the champions of the Sharia Law will hardly ever evolve to a democratic party.

The West may respect them and it may even smoothly cooperate with them. However, one shouldn't forget that as far as our and their values go, these are two worlds that are light years apart.

Various top-tier EU politicians recently suggested that Islam has already become a part of their respective homelands. Many citizens responded in a wave of disagreement. At least various surveys indicated it was the case. Fresh, partially bloody riots in the Muslim countries unequivocally strengthen skepticism in this issue.

Islam has become a part of the EU, indeed, but despite all the efforts to achieve respect (which is mostly unilateral so far), the co-existence will be tense and very, very problematic. And one can't rule out a dramatic divorce.

1. IMHO, the biggest problem of the Muslim world is the huge unemployment. The unemployment figures in some Muslim countries are 80%. And what do unemployed young men do? They radicalize. The same happened in Eastern germany. There were unemployment figures maybe 20-30% for young Germans and they radicalized, became skinheads etc.
Of course their religion is another problem. From our point of view, it is just a medieval superstition, but for them it is extremely important. But the radical conservative Christians in the US are not much better. The same kind of medieval mentality, bigotry. It was a shock for all civilized people, when Georg Bush said that God commanded him to invade Iraq.
How does that differ from the Ayatollah mentality?
BTW, Sometimes I really miss George Bush. It was so much fun with him
http://www.theonion.com/articles/bush-finds-error-in-fermilab-calculations,1463/

2. I completely agree with you. The politicians were given the choice between terrorism and dishonor. They chose dishonor and they will have terrorism.

3. Something smells. The recently murdered US ambassador to Libya and two of his staff were supposedly killed by a Muslim mob upset by a crappy film? Yet, this mob had intelligence: in the form that they knew his travel plans and they had knowledge of the location of the safe house that was mortared. This information implies intelligence resources that a small group of upset Muslims wouldn't normally have.
Then we have a form of organized protests across a broad range of countries prominently burning US flags.
In the meantime, Iran is roughly 6 months from having nukes according to the Israelis, Israel will have few options. Should Israel attack, it will need the support of the West to minimize the retaliatory options from Iran. That support is being white anted by the realization that a silly film has created a new group of potential terrorists from all over the world. What will support of Israel in a war do?
Maybe I'm reading a lot more into the series of events than is really there, but someone is pulling the strings on this series of protests.

4. The values of the West and the goals of the fundamentalists are spacelike separated by the missing Enlightenment in the countries where the fundamentalists have the say.

What some people in the West obviously do not get is that the fundamentalists and their followers do not need any external provocation to start rioting, murdering, etc ...
If there were no "offending" vidoe as an excuse for starting the horrible attacks they always intended to launch, the fundamentalists would have created or staged another incident to be upset about ...

I agree with Lumo !

5. And Romney gets pilloried by MSM for being outraged at the apology by Obama's administration. The world is becoming more violent and unstable and the US economy is in tatters, yet Obama is likely to get re-elected. The Book of Mormon is a hit Broadway play that satirically skewers the Mormon religion (Hillary Clinton saw it), but the Mormons haven't swarmed NYC in violent mobs. It surprises me, also, that libertarians remain a fringe in US politics -- maybe this will change after four more years down the road to serfdom.

6. I'm beginning to wonder who is the biggest ennemy of our Western civilisation : the islamists or those who excuse and justify their violence ?...

7. Radical conservative Christians in the US are not rioting (as in the radical socialist "Occupiers") or killing people in the streets.

8. On top of everything else, the 'movie' in question is pretty much a joke. The acting and dialogue are amateurish and ridiculous, and the attempt at overdubbing on a desert background is simply hilarious. I'm surprised that the idiots in the Middle East aren't just keeling over from laughing so hard.

9. George W Bush never said that. I thought you were smarter than that. Why not dig up the BBC segment that was going to be aired instead of a left wing blog quoting some vague meeting. Surely that segment on which your claim depends has aired by now?

10. The Arab Spring was a US proxy campaign dreamed up by the neocons in the
Bush era to remove US puppet dictators who were making plans to oppose
or defy Western neo-colonialism and replace them with US puppet
dictators who would allow the US to have easy access to their oil, as
well as make them debt slave to Western banks. The inevitable result of
such action was to release Islamist ambitions in Libya, Egypt and Syria,
and now all of them are in serious danger of becoming Islamist states.
Iraq, too, may ultimately go that way. The US ambassador in Libya is a
victim of this serious miscalculation. Seriously, what did these
hegemonic brutes think was going to happen when they invaded, occupied
and subjugated these countries?

11. I would feel a lot more comfortable denouncing the violence against the
embassies if the U.S. wasn't occupying--in one way or another--every
oil-producing hotspot in Central Asia. Yes, freedom of speech needs to
be absolute and filmmakers should have the right to piss on the Qu'ran,
if they want, but that's a difficult argument to make given American
history in the area.

12. Who the hell is justifying violence? Jesus of Nazareth, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and scores of others convinced me long ago that violence is never justified, period.

On a purely practical note; it really doesn’t work, either. Make a list of the hundred or so (major) invasions or attacks by one country on another in the last two centuries and try to find a single one that has ultimately benefited the attacker. It ain’t easy.

13. Freedom of speech and free thought should be distinguished from the freedom to insult and distort. The movie doesn’t provoke killing (or maybe it does indirectly!), but it does provoke hatred, through propagating misinformation about a religion embraced by one fifth of the world population. Nevertheless, that doesn’t justify the acts of violence that killed a few Americans in Libya, since this is contrary to islamic values themselves. But remember this fact: in the past few years, several works appeared in Denmark, Netherlands, similar to this 14 minutes of silliness, and no European was killed in an Islamic state. It only happened when the foolishness appeared in the country that killed (by mistake !!) hundreds of thousands of muslims in the past decade during two unjust wars.The information you mentioned about christians living in muslim countries is pure fallacy. If it were true, christians and jews living in these countries would have vanished hundreds of years ago, long before the world stumbled upon America and contrived Israel!

14. That's wrong.The arab spring was seeded by the internet technologies like twitter and facebook. Nobody "invaded" Egypt, Syria, Tunisia or Libya (or Bharain, but they seemed to have temporarily solved how to appease the mobs). Once people were able to communicate they soon decided not to put up with their shitty regimes.

These countries are not "subjugated", they are in charge of their own destinies (for the moment) and they are full of many fine people, and unfortunately a lot of not so great people (same as most countries really).

Only ~20% of Egyptian population voted for Muslim Brotherhood (although they received a large proportion of the total vote), of that 20% a smaller percentage are idiots.

If anything, I would almost suggest now is a good time for an invasion to help the good people, and suppress the idiots

15. Yeah I know what you mean, and I'm certainly not happy about everything the US have done or are doing ...

But the violence of the fundamentalists goes against the whole "western civilisation" and even against their own people.

For example to demand foreign governements to murder people because of ridiculous caricatures in a newspaper or similar things, while murdering people who belong to other religios groups for nothing in their own territory, is a bad habit of the fundamentalists each "western" governement should strongly and vocally disacree with.

16. Good points, Tareq. Do you then think the film is being used by activists as an occasion or pretext to show their resentment of the USA-led military involvement in Muslim countries?

17. Gene, you forgot Obama in the list of peaceful people, he did receive the Nobel Peace Price, didn't he ? ;-) Maybe some attacks on other country never benefited the attacker but it avoided the worst, like the IIWW, didn't it ?

18. Wow, impressive Tareq (Tareq Ramadan I presume ?). From reading you, you don't seem to know if you are male or female.

19. I agree James. These muslim countries are clearly split between the progressists and "regressists" i.e. islamists.

20. “You (believers) will certainly be tested by the loss of your property and lives and you will hear much annoying talk from the people who were given the Scripture before you and the pagans. If you will have patience and piety, it will be a sign of firm determination and steadfastness (in life).” Quran [3:186]

21. Hi Tareq,

Israel is a tiny not very resource rich country that has achieved very much compared to the rest of the world never mind it's immediate surrounding countries. Many of the immediate surrounding countries are extremely resource rich yet millions of muslims in the region live in poverty, with rubbish education, health, life chances generally.

Why do you attack USA/Europe so much when you have fellow close muslims states who prefer to invest in football clubs etc rather than their their human brothers/sisters

22. Only because they have a commandment not to kill (unlike muslims), and there is proper law and order in USA, but they kill abortionists, and gays now and again, don't they?

(or at least they influence those who do)

23. Thanks Coldish. I think in some countries, the eruptions were spontaneous by the public. I should say that in Egypt, investigations had shown that some of the demonstrators were given money just to cause chaos and violence around the American embassy. Guessing who pushed them is not difficult for anyone who follows Egyptian politics. My guess is that they are opponents of the new president who desires to embarrass him internationally.

24. Freedom of speech and free thought should be distinguished from the freedom to insult and distort.

I notice a switch. Used to be the Big Mo's image alone depicted in an artistic work was enough to outrage the the barbarians, forget about editorial associated with it.

Baby steps.

25. Hi James,

I almost agree with you regarding the comparison between Israel and some of its surrounding countries. Please remember that the leaders of these countries were spoiled partially by western countries ( for example by the corrupt transactions held between these leaders and with western companies ).

By the way, one of the reasons Mubarak was tried is because he sold natural gas to Israel at rates lower than production costs ! Many people in Egypt don’t know how the natural gas smells like !

26. Tareq, isn't it always other countries' or people's fault if one is poor ? You have democracy now, let's see what you'll make of it.

27. "embarrass" the new president... wow, killing people will "embarrass" the president...

28. It's hysterical how the militant Muslims react to the west's freedom of speech belief (especially the US since we have codified it in our 1st Amendment). Their protests is just another way they want to coerce the west and the US into abiding by their customs and religion even though we don't live there. Well, I say screw them!

29. The US foreign policy, in Obama’s words, is to bring “freedom and
dignity” to Arabs, but in practice it is the opposite: subjugation and
indignities. I have found that what politicians say is important, if one
remembers to believe the exact opposite of what they say.

30. Gays kill Gays now and again also!

31. Gene. Since Islam was founded, they have
converted with the sword everyone they have come in contact with, first
was the Sassanid Persians which they obliterated and converted the survivors to Islam through a monumental bloodbath, then the loosely defended Bizantine Northern
Africa that suffered a similar fate. They went up as far as France where Charles Martel stopped them,
and then the West fought back, reconquering parts of the middle east
through the crusades, which we then lost again at the same time when the
west was liberating the iberian peninsula. Finally we lost
Constantinople. Had it not been for the new world and the power and
riches that the west aquired. It would have been very hard to stop them.
We have always been at war with Islam because they have a holy mandate
to convert the infidel by the sword and will never ever rest until all
human beings are converted. It is either us or them!

32. Tareq,
Could you enlight us on the following :
- Did Mahomet massacred neighbour tribes ? Yes ? No ?
- Did Mahomet married Aicha aged 6 ? Yes ? No ?
- Does the Coran explain how to exterminate Jews ? Oui ou non ?
- Mahomet explique-t-il comment se partager le butin après pillage ? Oui ou non ?
- Mahomet ordonne-t-il de lapider la femme adultère ? Oui ou non ?
- Mahomet ordonne-t-il de tuer les apostas de l'islam ? Oui ou non ?

33. The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to topple Syria now that they have
taken Libya and Egypt. They are ideologically aligned with Saudi Arabia,
not Iran.

This whole thing appears to be an operation to further bolster
support for an Iran war, and turn Obomber and Killary into the Saudi
stooges they have always been.

34. Lubos, Enjoy the freedom to express your feelings in a robust manner like this. You and I know it is not going to last. The West have lost its religion, its faith and its mettle. In this post-Christian, pagan Gaia worshiping world, we are the enemy, we are the vermin on the face of the earth and should be exterminated. Without a reason to fight for, there can be no fight. Prepare to have your foreskin docked at a friendly mosque in your neighbourhood, real soon!

35. Perhaps one can distinguish between the two freedoms mentioned, but in no case should there be any restrictions on either. People should of course be able to distort and to propagate misinformation -- after all, if we restricted such, what would our politicians do?

Demands for restrictions on speech that you advocate are simply barbarism, and LM is correct, it might be time to return to the caves.

36. Most good.

37. Perhaps it is time to start a desensitization program for Islam. I say
we should flood the internet with cartoons and movies that depict
Mohammad in a less than flattering manner. Maybe in a few years they will get over the rioting thing.

38. If you believe that the video had anything to do with the current violence directed at US embassies around the world you are no better than the "Main Stream Media".

You can fool all of the people for some of the time but this lie will expose the failure of appeasement in the face of provocations in the Middle East.

Remember Jimmy Carter's impotence in the face of the Iran hostage crisis? Deja vu all over again?

39. Lubos your stuff is the best. Thank you for the amazing hard work that it takes to do all of this, on so many subjects. If anyone has time, please read and comment on my blog entry regarding the crazed Muslim rioters and the craven response of the civilized world (is it "respect" or out-and-out fear, like when a guy in your neighborhood has a gun?)

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41. As usual, Pat Condell describes what our reaction actually should be.

42. ahahahaha

how about the time Soviet tanks entered Hungary.

How about the part where Truman and Stalin decided which parts of the world would fall under Communist rule.

How about the part where the Free City of Danzig was annexed to Poland and ethnically cleansed?

How about the part where the West helped Islamists take power in Libya and Egypt.

The reason you're having trouble coming up with wars between countries which have decisively ended in one country winning, is that when there's a conflict at that scale, there's usually a reason it got that far.

The US destabilized lots of Communist-leaning governments around the world without an all-out invasion.

Violence and ethnic cleansing happens on a small scale all the time, and no one notices, especially when it's politically incorrect to notice.

It's largely politically incorrect to notice any ethnic cleansing, because it implies that people value their ethnicities, which is nazi kkk bigot hate.

43. they are not pagans. Pagans had gods like Athena, born from Zeus's head, and Odin, who gave his eye for knowledge. These people have a death cult hell-bent on reducing their part of humanity back to (sustainable, green) subsistence agriculture.

44. freedom of speech is freedom to insult. Freedom only of politically correct inoffensive speech is what every totalitarian regime ever has had.

45. Agreed. These people worship Gaia precisely because they don't believe in any such supernatural entity. I don't think that Razi the Nazi believes in anything at all either, judging by his moral fudging at Auswicz, and his spineless appeasement in this case. They are the hollow men, the cult of vacuum. They embrace despair because it makes them feel superior to the mob.

46. Yeah, whatever....