The 9/11 Islamist Attacks a Decade Later

Ed Hudgins's picture
Submitted by Ed Hudgins on Sun, 2011-09-11 01:30

The 9/11 Islamist Attacks a Decade Later
By Edward Hudgins

September 9, 2011 -- The first decade of the twenty-first century was defined by Islamists, who used planes as weapons against the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and who would have done the same to the Capitol or White House if not for the brave passengers who died in the process of stopping them. There is much being said about the lessons the past ten years have taught us—about war, about national security, about Middle East policy. But the most important, which is too often ignored, is that ideas have consequences.

Evil ideas

And irrational ideas are the most destructive forces in the human world, killing more people over the centuries than hurricanes, earthquakes, and natural disasters. The hijackers actually believed and took seriously the religious poison in the name of which they slaughtered nearly 3,000 innocent people. Some on the political left and the libertarian right have attributed the 9/11 attacks and subsequent assaults in London, Spain, and elsewhere to blowback for supposed economic or geopolitical wrongs committed by the U.S. But the hijackers were middle class, educated, and living in the West, where they could believe or do pretty much as they wanted. Yes, there are legitimate questions concerning American Middle East policy. But policy complaints do not justify nihilistic violence.

Islamists defend their criminal practices by appealing to the Koran. But their most dangerous idea is that any idea should be accepted on faith. One must not question, think critically, or use reason. One must not ask, “Why should I accept this or any alleged religious ‘revelation?’ Does this stuff make any coherent sense? Am I honestly seeking the truth or rationalizing and evading in order to believe this stuff?” Such faith-based believing is the ultimate root of all immorality, including that manifest in the smoldering ruins at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.

The modern versus the primitive

As Atlas Society founder David Kelley has observed, the Islamist assault on America and the West is a manifestation of the struggle between the ideas of modernity and the pre-modern. This struggle occurred in past centuries in the West with the rise of the Enlightenment ideas “that reason, not revelation, is the instrument of knowledge and arbiter of truth … that the pursuit of happiness in this life, not suffering in preparation for the next, is the cardinal value … that the individual person is an end in himself with the capacity to direct his own life … that individuals have equal rights to freedom of thought, speech, and action.”

Islamic culture is still mired in a pre-modern mentality. The Arab Spring uprisings reveal a frustration with the economic failures and political repression in the Middle East, made more stark in comparison to the West. If these uprisings are not to result simply in more such failures and repression, what that region’s culture sorely needs but lacks are strong advocates of Enlightenment values. Instead, Islamists—who target those who speak for modernity—offer a return to millennium-old primitivism, with Shar’ia law chaining the bodies and spirits of individuals to greater repression and superstition.

Islamists in the West

In the West, the outcome of this battle of ideas will affect more than how long the security lines are at airports and how much oil prices spike on the occasions of Middle East instability. Here’s why:

Some 90 percent of the population growth in Western Europe since 1990 has been the result of Islamic immigration. In France, 30 percent of children under 20 years old are Muslim. In 40 years the majority in France could be Muslim. In the Netherlands, about half of newborns are Muslim. In 15 to 20 years the majority in the Netherlands could be Muslim. In Germany, a government report from the Federal Statistics Office says that the Fatherland could be majority Muslim by 2050.

The problem here is not with immigrants as such. Part of the problem is that European nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment can still trump Enlightenment values. No matter how many generations removed from their home country, descendents of immigrants are sometimes never accepted as “true” Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, and so on. Add to this the fact that many Muslim immigrants to Europe in past decades have brought with them pre-modern notions and one can understand why they have not assimilated.

Thus we see no Enlightened Islam arising in Europe. But we did see actual celebrations by Muslims in Britain of the 9/11 mass murders, and thousands in the streets screaming for the deaths of Danish cartoonists who drew pictures of Mohammed. If such moral sentiments eventually inform the majority in Europe, then the continent that gave rise to the Enlightenment could sink again into a dark age.

The West’s moral mess

In the decade since the 9/11 attacks, many in the West have blundered in the battle of ideas.

First, many on the political left were revealed to not be simply honest critics of aspects of society in America and Europe. Rather, they responded as knee-jerk haters of the West. Noam Chomsky, for example, doubted that the Taliban was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Well into the American response in Afghanistan, he declared that the war’s aim “was totally illegal. It was more, criminal.” Only a few on the left—Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, for example—have broken from that camp and have stood up for truly liberal values such as civil liberties, freedom of conscience, and the right of women to be treated not like children or chattel but as equal citizens before the law.

Second, many so-called liberals are paving the way for Islamist theocracy by silencing its critics. During the Danish cartoon controversy, many argued for the “right” of the most close-minded, bigoted, and murder-minded Muslims not to be offended—even though the cartoonists mainly meant to educate, not offend. In the Netherlands politician Geert Wilders was tried for voicing his opposition to Muslim immigration. Free speech is okay for those who want to destroy freedom but not for those who wish to defend it.

Third, many on the radical religious right also blamed America first. The late Rev. Jerry Falwell “pointed the finger” for the 9/11 attacks at gays, the ACLU, and those who favor legalized abortion. And Dinesh D’Souza stated that “The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11 ... the cultural left and its allies … are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world.”

While many on the religious right have not gone to these absurd extremes, they want to oppose the tenets of Islamic religious faith with the tenets of their own faith rather than to oppose faith as such with reason and Enlightenment values.

An enlightened future

The best defense for the West is to get its own house in order. We need to stand up more consistently for rationality and individual freedom. These are the truths that will liberate and heal the wounded cultures of the world, and that will help the West continue to lead the way to a better, more peaceful, more prosperous future.

-----------------
For further reading:
*Edward Hudgins, “Are the People of the Middle East Fit for Freedom?” May 14, 2004.
*Edward Hudgins, “The Jihad Against Free Speech.” The New Individualist, Winter, 2005.


Clutching at straws

Richard Goode's picture

It is true that in NT there are not so many open-ended commands to war against infidels as in Qur'an.

Apparently, there is none.

The closest thing you've

Richard Wiig's picture

The closest thing you've produced, to my mind, is "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live". It seems to be open-ended (although I don't know that for a fact), so it's a good thing that Christianity is somewhat open to reason. However, it isn't a verse that deals with war. Explain to me how the other verses dealing with war are open-ended? They appear to be contextual to a point in time to me rather than eternal commands to war against non-christians. And yes, Muhammad didn't war with Christians during his career, but that doesn't mean he was their friend, or that he didn't set Islam on a course for war against them. He did set Islam on a course of war, against all non-muslims. This is a fact. You are supposed to be an objectivist and not try to obscure facts, but you put a lot of into denial of them.

Richard Wiig : re-Islam and Christianity

Leonid's picture

"However you didn't produce a single verse that amounted to an open-ended command to war against non-Christians."

Muhammad never fought against Christians. All his wars were against pagan Arabs and Jews. In Muhammad's times Christianity wasn't an issue for Islam. In fact Qur'an approves on Christians, although rejects the idea of Son of God and Trinity.

"And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. (5:46)

"Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute." ( 3:55)

"...You will find the closest in affection to those who believe are those who say: “We are Christians”; that is because among them are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant." ( Qur'an V: 82-84)

In regard to your challenge:

1 Timothy, Chapter 1:18

"This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to thee, that by them thou mayest war the good warfare;"

Hebrews, Chapter 11:34

"quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, waxed mighty in war, turned to flight armies of aliens."

Revelation, Chapter 2:16

"Repent therefore; or else I come to thee quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth."

It is true that in NT there are not so many open-ended commands to war against infidels as in Qur'an.

However Christian Bible incorporates OT which is full of such commands. Christianity made a "good" use of them . For example a command "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." ( Exodus 22:18 ) was executed by Christians to the letter-and thousands over thousands of women died a horrific death. Qur'an which in fact is a corrupted OT naturally also has them all .

Baade ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Anti-realism in metaphysics: "Gobby exists; Goblianity is true."

Subjectivism in epistemology: "I have faith that Gobby exists and that Goblianity is true. Don't bother me with this 'evidence' nonsense."

Collectivism in ethics/socialism in politics: the policies of the ALCP for which party you are a candidate.

"For what it's worth, Jesus

Leonid's picture

"For what it's worth, Jesus did not write the Book of Revelation. John of Patmos did."

True. Jesus never wrote anything, not Revelation, nor Gospels. Muhammad also never wrote as much as a single letter-he was illiterate. Nevertheless the Holy scriptures of Christianity and Islam exist.

Revelation was not accepted into the orthodox Christian canon until the Council of Carthage of 397 AD.

The whole Catholic Christian Bible was finally canonized by the Council of Carthage
How it relevant?

"I haven't read it."

Read it and have your own opinion.

Richard: re-armageddon

Leonid's picture

This is a real post-modernistic armageddon.. After this- only Middle Age burning stakes. Or maybe you prefer Sharia?

BTW, do you know what " Armageddon" means? ( please answer without to google it).

Postmodernism

Richard Goode's picture

I have completely dismissed Dr. Goode as a Goblin-worshiping, post-modern buffoon.

Does Doug know what postmodernism is?

Here is how Stephen Hicks defines the essential characteristics of postmodernism, in opposition to modernism.

Whereas modernism endorses

realism in metaphysics; Smiling
objectivism in epistemology; Smiling
individualism in ethics Smiling
and capitalism in politics, Smiling

postmodernism endorses

anti-realism in metaphysics; Sad
subjectivism in epistemology; Sad
collectivism in ethics Sad
and socialism in politics. Sad

His posts are worthless and I don't even read them.

Thank God for the Onion

Richard Goode's picture

Samir Khan

Richard Goode's picture

Al-Qaida … succeeded in what Iran couldn't. Therefore it was necessary for the Iranians to discredit 9/11 and what better way to do so? Conspiracy theories.

Samir Khan, the other American citizen killed in the CIA drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, was one of the editors of Inspire, the English-language Al Qaeda web magazine which called on Ahmadinejad to stop spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.

James Taranto, writing in the Wall Street Journal, describes Inspire as "a sort of unfunny terrorist version of the Onion."

How would you like it if you spent two months in mountain caves sleeping on rocks planning something really special only to have someone take the credit away from you?

The Book of Revelation

Richard Goode's picture

Go and read Revelations.

It's the Book of Revelation (singular), not Revelations (plural).

It's not just Jesus' tongue lashing, but loving sweet Jesus who with the sword in his mouth is leading a war against infidels in which the most of humankind exterminated.

For what it's worth, Jesus did not write the Book of Revelation. John of Patmos did. Revelation was not accepted into the orthodox Christian canon until the Council of Carthage of 397 AD.

I haven't read it. Here are some opinions of those who have.

D. H. Lawrence found "vulgarity" in Revelation. "It is very nice if you are poor and not humble ... to bring your enemies down to utter destruction, while you yourself rise up to grandeur. And nowhere does this happen so splendiferously than in Revelation." His specific aesthetic objections to Revelation were that its imagery was unnatural and that phrases like "the wrath of the Lamb" were "ridiculous". He saw Revelation as comprising two discordant halves. In the first, there was a scheme of cosmic renewal "great Chaldean sky-spaces" which he quite liked. Then the book hinged around the birth of the baby messiah. After that, "flamboyant hate and simple lust ... for the end of the world." Lawrence coined the term "Patmossers" to describe those Christians who could only be happy in paradise if they knew their enemies were suffering hell.

19th-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books". Thomas Jefferson omitted it, along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time he considered it as "merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." Friedrich Engels claimed that the Book of Revelation was primarily a political and anti-Roman work. George Bernard Shaw described it as "a peculiar record of the visions of a drug addict".

Even Martin Luther, in his preface to the German translation of Revelation that he composed in 1522, said that he considered the book to be "neither prophetic or apostolic," since "Christ is neither taught nor known in it." (In the completely new preface that he composed in 1530, he reversed his position and concluded that Christ was central to the book.)

All you produced was violent

Richard Wiig's picture

All you produced was violent passages, not hard to do considering that Christian texts are full of violence. However you didn't produce a single verse that amounted to an open-ended command to war against non-Christians.

Here are two open-ended commands from the Qur'an. I challenge you to produce two Biblical equivalents. Not metaphors about swords in mouths, or about jesus setting family member against family member, but open-ended commands for Christians to war against non-Christians until the world is all for God and Christianity dominates over all other religions. Either put up or shut up.

Quran (2:191-193) - "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]... but if desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah."

Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

Quran (9:29) - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

I think I produces more than

Leonid's picture

I think I produced more than enough. You simply ignored it. Go and read Revelations. It's not just Jesus' tongue lashing, but loving sweet Jesus who with the sword in his mouth is leading a war against infidels in which the most of humankind exterminated.

I've asked you to produce it

Richard Wiig's picture

I've asked you to produce it already, Leonid. I'm still waiting. Jesus will give you a tongue lashing doesn't even come close.

"Nothing like this in the

Leonid's picture

"Nothing like this in the Bible or the Torah."

When last time did you read Bible or Torah (Tanach)?

Lindsay

Doug Bandler's picture

Folks should be free to worship the Allah goblin, revere the pedophile Mohammed as that goblin's prophet, stick their bums in the air five times a day facing Mecca ... and all the rest of the bullshit that does not involve initiatory force.

The question I'm raising is this: is there a way to isolate the violence out of Islam? Can you separate the bowing and the fasting from the Jihad? The banning Islam argument is claiming that Islam is not primarily a religion, but a political/military ideology. Organized Islam exists for but one purpose: to advance Islamic ideology which means to advance Islamic conquest. You can't ban communism. But you can ban any Communist organizations dedicated to waging war, direct or stealth, against America. Well, I think a good argument can be made that organized Islam is dedicated to the conquest of the world.

I could be wrong, but I am not advocating banning an ideology. I am advocating banning a political organization operating within our borders for the purposes of conquering us. Basically what I am saying is that Islam is different than anything we have ever experienced. Its the worst type of enemy imaginable. It attacks us using our liberty orientation and the free speech and religion rights that are built into Western societies. This isn't even mentioning how Islam uses the Left for cover. But that doesn't really affect my argument.

Robert Spencer

atlascott's picture

Everyone here should read his Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam.

The religion itself requires jihad.

It require subjugation of unbelievers, and their eventual death or conversion.

It encourages lying and deceit in order to be accepted by others, as you work towards political change and majority, and when you have it, you subjugate your "friends".

Nothing like this in the Bible or the Torah.

Doug

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You know I'm your biggest fan, but this:

What I am arguing is that it may be the case (I'm not 100% convinced yet) that Islam is itself the never-ending threat of initiatory force. Thus it should be banned.

... is wrong. There's a difference between reversing the presumption of innocence in a time of war declared and waged by an ideological opponent (and thus closing mosques unless they can show they're not Jihad HQ, banning Muslim immigration, etc.), and banning the ideology as such. Folk should be free to worship the Allah goblin, revere the pedophile Mohammed as that goblin's prophet, stick their bums in the air five times a day facing Mecca ... and all the rest of the bullshit that does not involve initiatory force. They should be free to be Islamogoblins, in other words, just as Maade Baade and Barren Darren are, and ought to be, free to be Goblians. What they or anybody else should not be free to do is threaten to initiate force, or actually do so, against those who disagree with them. If they do either, they must expect special attention from the state (if we're talking about a state committed to individual rights).

The words of mine you quote approvingly:

Second, in a time of war, which war has been declared in words and waged in practice by representatives of a specific ideology, anyone subscribing to that ideology should be automatically prohibited from entry even as a tourist, let alone an immigrant. There should be provisions for waiving this, but the government's default position should be presumption of guilt.

... are not tantamount to advocating the banning of Islam. To propose the latter is, dare I say, intrinsicist?! Happy to explain why if necessary. Eye

Al-Qaida calls on Ahmadinejad to end 9/11 conspiracy theories

Marcus's picture

"Al-Qaida has sent a message to the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asking him to stop spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks."

Al-Qaida calls on Ahmadinejad to end 9/11 conspiracy theories

Gregster

Doug Bandler's picture

This places the Islamic individual in a special category. That broader context is often forgotten - and that is why open immigration is an intrinsicist/rationalist fallacy.

It cuts off from reality here; it proposes a Muslim individual has rights, and in doing so negates the individual rights of all other individuals.

An Objectivist must base discrimination on the non-initiation of force principle, after first affirming that rights to life include the right to self defense.

This is all good stuff. You're going down the same path that I am; recognizing that Islam is not only a religion but a perpetual call to war. This means that anyone who would claim allegiance to Islam - and that means ALL Muslims - is part of that war movement. Thus, Islam is itself incompatible with individual rights. This is NOT the anti-Islam argument of the Conservatives who are not basing their opposition to Islam on individual rights as they don't believe in them. What I am arguing is that it may be the case (I'm not 100% convinced yet) that Islam is itself the never-ending threat of initiatory force. Thus it should be banned. This is an individual-rights based argument against Islam as such. It may be wrong but it is not collectivistic.

There should be no talk of “white majority” or color. (You’re on shaky ground Doug, with that stuff.)

Yeah, I know the resistance to such language. But the reality is that the Left is stirring up a race war which is already happening in Europe and America. You saw what happened in London. Afro-Caribbeans which account for 2% of Britain comprised roughly 80% of the rioting "youths". Also, Google up "mahogany mobs" to learn about the wave of black mob violence against whites that was rampant this past summer in cities throughout America. The media actively tried to suppress the racial aspects of the violence. There is a wave of anti-white sentiment emanating daily from the Leftist media. If you study the recent history of countries that lose their white majority and are subsequently run by blacks (or with significant black influence) you see a consistent pattern - massive violence directed against whites. See Rhodesia and South Africa for examples. This scares me as there is a similar dynamic operating in many American cities such as Detroit, New Orleans, Cincinnati, etc..

Multi-racialism can only work in the context of a culture united by a common individualist ideology. That does not exist anywhere in the world and not in America. I will not hide from the fact that I fear America losing its white majority in my lifetime. A Hispanicized country in the context of egalitarian Leftism will be a socialist, crime ridden, violent cesspool; with massive amounts of anti-white sentiments and violence to boot. Ideally, immigration should have occurred only when an Objectivist minarchy was established. Sadly that wasn't possible.

I'm not a racist but I am conscious of the differences between the races. Whether there are genetic and thus heritable differences in race is an open question for me as is how much influence race has on culture. Also, the question of whether a multi-racial society can succeed in the long term is one I ask myself often. I really think only Objectivism can make that possible. I know that these are unusual positions for an Objectivist to hold but I'm responding to the world that I am living in.

Interesting Relevant Quotes

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Richard Goode helpfully -- altho' probably maliciously -- quoted:

In today's world, no one is innocent, no one is neutral. A man is either with the oppressor or the oppressed. He who takes no interest in politics gives his blessing to the prevailing order. - George Habash

That last sentence is true. Everyone is either good or evil. Most people today are vastly irrational and illiberal (as I think of it). This makes them evil. Their moral failure seems mostly a product of honest ignorance in today's Dark Age world. But a large minority of their depravity also seems deliberate. They're considerably dishonest, cowardly, and slimy, in my humble judgment.

The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government and that they voted for their president. Their government makes weapons and provides them to Israel, which they use to kill Palestinian Muslims. Given that the American Congress is a committee that represents the people, the fact that it agrees with the actions of the American government proves that America in its entirety is responsible for the atrocities that it is committing against Muslims. - Osama bin Laden

This statement -- at least very loosely and generously considered -- is also true. But it far more applies to Muslims than Americans. The average, utterly-uninvolved, "innocent" Muslim is massively, and even mostly, guilty of causing 9/11. And, obviously, Israel does little evil relative to the "Palestinians", and America likewise to the Muslims -- other than the usual ghastly PC MC appeasement of Muslim philosophy and politics, which the Muslims themselves approve of, so they have very minimal rights to complain here. Obviously, also, America consistently betrays Israel and herself.

You say that the 9/11 jihadis "slaughtered nearly 3,000 innocent people." But were they really all that innocent? Not entirely... Almost all were Americans or Westerners who backed their nations' foreign policy of appeasement of, and support for, the dictatorships of China, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Eqypt, Tunisia, etc. - Lord Byron

Again, I thank you for the compliment! Sticking out tongue

Were all the 3000+ that died really innocent? I'm not so sure. - Abu 'Abdullaah

When you recall that famous scene in Atlas Shrugged, where many utterly-common people with utterly-common views on philosophy and politics were asphyxiated on a train in a mountain tunnel, it seems Ayn Rand viewed the "innocent" masses as being largely or even mostly evil, and generally responsible for their own suffering and ghastly fate. --Or did I misinterpret this scene?

Muslim egalitarianism is an

Leonid's picture

Muslim egalitarianism is an oxymoron. Egalitarianism means an equality of each and every man, regardless his merits. From all my posts below the unbiased reader can safely conclude that I'm not an egalitarian since I advocate justice, that is-judgement in accordance to the merit of the each and every individual, and not in accordance to the group he belongs. In regard to the prevention of entry I already explained that the proper process of immigration and naturalization will prevent the unwanted entry. If you want to conduct the surveillance of mosques you should do it in all places of gathering I mentioned below-including private houses-quite mission impossible. In practice the state should conduct surveillance only if it has a sufficient reason to suspect the criminal activity, and even so such a surveillance should be conducted under the strict supervision of an objective law, not just gut feelings, assumptions and presumptions. For the rest of the issues we agree.

Small progress Leonid!

gregster's picture

and war quarters don't have to be a mosque-it could be a swimming pool, grocery shop, brothel, halal restaurants or any place of gathering

Some sense Leonid - I agree totally. Yes, of course, we've previously agreed mosques should be under surveillance to gather evidence to deport or imprison dangerous Islamic supremacists. But then - true - their war rituals could be carried out anywhere. That is why they must be prevented entry. Do you follow this 'chain' of thought?

But there is no such an entity as society, Muslim or otherwise. There are only individuals, and each of them is different.

Islamists have in common the death cult Islam, which really should be outlawed at a time of a war of Islam's making. This is also why I mentioned earlier that in order to prevent an irrational contradiction arising, the respectful granting of individual rights to each Muslim should be taken in its full context, and denied, just as a criminal is denied rights. It is irrational to grant rights to an individual who intends to deny rights of others, as is the goal of the Islamic anti-life cult, to put it mildly.

One can learn in his book about Jihad and another about laws regarding the milking of she-camel. Everybody should be treated in accordance to his merit. This is called justice.

Justice would not be served by your presciption Doctor. Justice is pissed upon by your brand of Muslim-Westerner egalitarianism.

If somebody acts or actually plans the action which represents a negation of liberties, or a clear and present threat to the rights of others, such a person should be treated as a criminal.

I agree.

Gregster

Leonid's picture

Wishes are not fishes, beliefs and intentions are not actions and war quarters don't have to be a mosque-it could be a swimming pool, grocery shop, brothel, halal restaurants or any place of gathering ( jumma) for that matter. I don't think that you are a collectivist in the sense that you put a collective above the individual. However you've demonstrated a tendency to treat an individual as a collective. But there is no such an entity as society, Muslim or otherwise. There are only individuals, and each of them is different. One can learn in his book about Jihad and another about laws regarding the milking of she-camel. Everybody should be treated in accordance to his merit. This is called justice. If somebody acts or actually plans the action which represents a negation of liberties, or a clear and present threat to the rights of others , such a person should be treated as a criminal. If, however, he just daydreaming about Islamic domination or bank robbery without to take any actual step toward fulfilling of his dream, he is not a criminal, just stupid. One cannot retaliate with force against folly. Islam therefore, as a religion, a mind set, has to be fought only by mind.

Leo

gregster's picture

If any Muslim denies the rights of others, he should be treated as a common criminal.

When they meet at their war quarters, the mosque, what does their book tell them to do? How many more times are you going to fail to identify their intentions, and call me a collectivist?

Do not be misled

Richard Goode's picture

In today's world, no one is innocent, no one is neutral. A man is either with the oppressor or the oppressed. He who takes no interest in politics gives his blessing to the prevailing order. - George Habash

The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government and that they voted for their president. Their government makes weapons and provides them to Israel, which they use to kill Palestinian Muslims. Given that the American Congress is a committee that represents the people, the fact that it agrees with the actions of the American government proves that America in its entirety is responsible for the atrocities that it is committing against Muslims. - Osama bin Laden

You say that the 9/11 jihadis "slaughtered nearly 3,000 innocent people." But were they really all that innocent? Not entirely... Almost all were Americans or Westerners who backed their nations' foreign policy of appeasement of, and support for, the dictatorships of China, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Eqypt, Tunisia, etc. - Lord Byron

Were all the 3000+ that died really innocent? I'm not so sure. - Abu 'Abdullaah

Bad company corrupts good character.

Lord Byron

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Atlascott writes:

"Bad stuff, Kyrel. You're mad, and dangerous to know."

I have observed keenly that this seems to be the case, sadly.

As a keen observer no doubt you'll soon delineate some incorrect analyses of mine and offer reasons why they're not so. Eye

"Muslim immigrants are

Leonid's picture

"Muslim immigrants are therefore to be considered as feral guests who, after gathering in the darkened corner, proceed to blatantly attack civil liberties, and ought not to have been invited to the party."

All generalizations based on ethnicity or religion are dangerous. I suppose you may be right about some Muslims but deadly wrong about others. The attempt to treat the people as a group is a blatant collectivism and doesn't have nothing in common with Objectivism.

You said " ... alone a Muslim is not a threat. But Muslims, you may have noted, do not travel alone. When the numbers increase in any area they show their (untrue) colours and revert to radical primitivism, including a will to curtail all rights."

From the Objectivist point of view no group has a quality which its members don't possess. So paraphrasing you those Muslim immigrants who attack liberties are not invited, but those who don't, are. The process of immigration and naturalization is a tool to separate the formers from the latters. If any Muslim denies the rights of others, he should be treated as a common criminal. If he just wants to eat halal , pray 5 times a day and go on Hajj, he should be left alone.

The proper solution. as in many other issues should be based on the strong rule of the existing law and individual liberties. However, if Westerners decided to accommodate Sharia, to turn it to the law of the land, they can only blame themselves.

Anger in the streets of

Richard Wiig's picture

Anger in the streets of Paris.

http://www.mrctv.org/videos/mu...

Doug

Richard Goode's picture

I have great fears of America losing its white majority in the context of an egalitarian Leftist society.

I fear the Hispanization of America. Mexicans and Hispanics generally exhibit high degrees of inbreeding. Whereas Europeans have moved past that and exhibit high degrees of outbreeding. As a result Europeans have developed a culture where we have high levels of trust for non tribal relatives. This is one of the reasons why we are the most individualist and thus libertarian of all the races on Earth. Change the racial makeup of society by including large numbers of inbreeding populations (Mexicans, Hispanics, Muslims, etc) and you risk ending the individualism of your culture as these more tribal immigrants bring their culture with them.

I think it can be argued that Mexico is an enemy country and it is using Mexican immigration as a weapon against America.

You're a racist reprobate.

I suppose it must be the German blood. 'Bandler' is an occupational name for a maker of colourful badges or bands of ribbon, lace or other fabric. Wotta surprise.

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

Is that me you're quoting?

Yes. (Approvingly, too!)

Re: reality

gregster's picture

Although I can imagine what Kyrel means, Kyrel's: "if the visitors [..] significantly degrade the quality of life of the nation" jumped off the page as unworkable.

Refusal ideally would be based on the overt threat that Islam poses to every other individual. It is at war with the infidel - a cultural jihad - an incessant cold war. The West doesn't appear to know it.

This places the Islamic individual in a special category. That broader context is often forgotten - and that is why open immigration is an intrinsicist/rationalist fallacy.

It cuts off from reality here; it proposes a Muslim individual has rights, and in doing so negates the individual rights of all other individuals.

An Objectivist must base discrimination on the non-initiation of force principle, after first affirming that rights to life include the right to self defense. There should be no talk of “white majority” or colour. (You’re on shaky ground Doug, with that stuff.)

Where the rationalisation fails is here: alone a Muslim is not a threat. But Muslims, you may have noted, do not travel alone. When the numbers increase in any area they show their (untrue) colours and revert to radical primitivism, including a will to curtail all rights.

We don’t even need to point out the malicious perversion that Sharia enforces, although it does serve as a “wake up and smell the coffee” reminder of the subhuman civilizational level of Islam.

Muslim immigrants are therefore to be considered as feral guests who, after gathering in the darkened corner, proceed to blatantly attack civil liberties, and ought not to have been invited to the party.

Re Immigration controls

Doug Bandler's picture

It seems like the visitors and potential immigrants of a properly liberal state should be checked and inspected as they pass a national frontier. And if they fail to met certain standards, such as being a notorious criminal or otherwise constituting an objective threat, then they should be refused entrance.

Yes, I agree with this. But this raises questions of implementation regarding border control and that is the part where Objectivists differ widely. Binswanger, for example, treats the border as if it were a fiction. As does Craig Biddle. I think this approach is wrong. But how much scrutiny should be placed on a prospective immigrant? There are so many details here to a rational immigration policy and no Objectivist has done the legwork. So the adamant Objectivist "open immigration" defenders really piss me off.

As I said elsewhere, I have great fears of America losing its white majority in the context of an egalitarian Leftist society. But how on earth do you reconcile racialist immigration concerns with Objectivism? You can't. Yet, I fear the Hispanization of America. Mexicans and Hispanics generally exhibit high degrees of inbreeding. Whereas Europeans have moved past that and exhibit high degrees of outbreeding. As a result Europeans have developed a culture where we have high levels of trust for non tribal relatives. This is one of the reasons why we are the most individualist and thus libertarian of all the races on Earth. Change the racial makeup of society by including large numbers of inbreeding populations (Mexicans, Hispanics, Muslims, etc) and you risk ending the individualism of your culture as these more tribal immigrants bring their culture with them. This is something that Objectivists don't even want to consider. This is the conflict I have with Objectivism and evolutionary related science. I don't have answers.

And if the visitors are treasonous, or significantly degrade the quality of life of the nation they're attempting to visit, then they should be refused too.

This is another can of worms. I agree with it but defining "degrade the quality of life" isn't easy. I think Islam itself degrades the quality of life and should be banned. I gave my reasons in another post.

Kyrel made a point, Goode is still an idiot

Doug Bandler's picture

"Bad stuff, Kyrel. You're mad, and dangerous to know."

Some of his opinions are off (to be kind) but not the section that I quoted. He argued there that America should demolish ALL Jihad groups worldwide WITHOUT nation building and spreading "democracy". That IS the right strategy. Or at least one possible strategy. That is what I was applauding.

I have completely dismissed Dr. Goode as a Goblin-worshiping, post-modern buffoon. His posts are worthless and I don't even read them. Kyrel, as wild as he can be, at least has KASSness as Lindsay would put it.

Dr. Goode is Right

atlascott's picture

"Bad stuff, Kyrel. You're mad, and dangerous to know."

I have observed keenly that this seems to be the case, sadly.

Some Thoughts on Freedom of Immigration

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Doug -- Isn't "freedom" of this type a form of trespass, and a violation of private property rights, as the "barbarians at the gate" pass thru and invade? The key point on why "free" or "open" immigration seems impractical and criminal to me is that while mutual citizens can and should trust each other a bit as they come and go across borders -- since all have met certain national citizenship standards, presumably -- the foreign visitors of a given free citizen have not. These guests could be secretly bringing in weapons of mass destruction, or some such, and thus constitute an objective threat. It seems like the visitors and potential immigrants of a properly liberal state should be checked and inspected as they pass a national frontier. And if they fail to met certain standards, such as being a notorious criminal or otherwise constituting an objective threat, then they should be refused entrance. And if the visitors are treasonous, or significantly degrade the quality of life of the nation they're attempting to visit, then they should be refused too.

Lindsay = Better than ARI

Doug Bandler's picture

Second, in a time of war, which war has been declared in words and waged in practice by representatives of a specific ideology, anyone subscribing to that ideology should be automatically prohibited from entry even as a tourist, let alone an immigrant. There should be provisions for waiving this, but the government's default position should be presumption of guilt.

The position of unconditionally open borders advocated by some libertarians is rationalistic, cut off from reality. Not to mention suicidal and stupid.

Only Lindsay is capable of writing this which is why it is so awesome. Why can't the ARI say something like this or Diana Hsieh (the "PHD with a podcast"). Hell, even Peikoff who has been KASS on this subject hasn't articulated immigration policy this clearly.

The part bolded is an extremely important point. I am sick and tired of Objectivists sounding like god damned libertarians on the subject of ("open") immigration. It is pure rationalism. I actually think Lindsay's point above can be applied to Mexico and Mexicans but that is a harder point to make. I think it can be argued that Mexico is an enemy country and it is using Mexican immigration as a weapon against America. Again, that point is not so easy to see but the Muslim issue is as clear as daylight.

You rock Lindsay.

George Gordon Noel (1788-1824)

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Richard -- You virtually characterized me as Lord Byron. What a compliment! Smiling More to the point, however, you indicated you strongly disagreed with my comment on 9/11, but didn't really point out clearly or exactly what my mistakes were.

Baade ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"There should be a generic requirement on any aspiring immigrant to renounce the use of initiatory force. At any time. Second, in a time of war, which war has been declared in words and waged in practice by representatives of a specific ideology, anyone subscribing to that ideology should be automatically prohibited from entry even as a tourist, let alone an immigrant. There should be provisions for waiving this, but the government's default position should be presumption of guilt. The position of unconditionally open borders advocated by some libertarians is rationalistic, cut off from reality. Not to mention suicidal and stupid."

Is that me you're quoting? I don't remember saying it, but I know of no one else who would say it, and in that way. If it is someone else, please tell me who. I'm a little short of soulmates.

For the record, I'm in complete agreement with the spirit, if not the entire letter, of Doug Bandler's post. I admire his spunky, KASS thoughtfulness tremendously. Him I do regard as a soulmate.

I'd like to see Ed elaborate on the final paragraph of his op-ed (which I thought excellent):

The best defense for the West is to get its own house in order. We need to stand up more consistently for rationality and individual freedom. These are the truths that will liberate and heal the wounded cultures of the world, and that will help the West continue to lead the way to a better, more peaceful, more prosperous future.

In other words, spell out what he thinks standing up more consistently for rationality and individual freedom would entail.

Through a glass, darkly

Richard Goode's picture

The opinions expressed here are the unmoderated views of the contributors who express them.
They do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors ...

Kyrel's views are not mine.

Ed -- You say that the 9/11 jihadis "slaughtered nearly 3,000 innocent people." But were they really all that innocent? Almost all were Americans or Westerners who backed their nations' foreign policy of appeasement of, and support for, the dictatorships of China, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Eqypt, Tunisia, etc.

The best policy, I think, is to have Congress formally declare war on all jihadi and shariaist organizations, such as Al Qaida, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, the PLO, CAIR, etc. All jihadis and shariaists everywhere on earth should be hunted down and killed. All their organizations in all countries should be smashed. Treat the activist Muslims like activist Nazis and activist Communists.

Bad stuff, Kyrel. You're mad, and dangerous to know.

This is what a rational, measured view looks like, face to face.

There should be a generic requirement on any aspiring immigrant to renounce the use of initiatory force. At any time.

Second, in a time of war, which war has been declared in words and waged in practice by representatives of a specific ideology, anyone subscribing to that ideology should be automatically prohibited from entry even as a tourist, let alone an immigrant. There should be provisions for waiving this, but the government's default position should be presumption of guilt.

The position of unconditionally open borders advocated by some libertarians is rationalistic, cut off from reality. Not to mention suicidal and stupid.

If you were an aspiring immigrant, Kyrel, I'd tell you politely, but firmly, to fuck off.

"The best policy, I think, is

Leonid's picture

"The best policy, I think, is to have Congress formally declare war on all jihadi and shariaist organizations, such as Al Qaida, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, the PLO, CAIR, etc. All jihadis and shariaists everywhere on earth should be hunted down and killed. All their organizations in all countries should be smashed. Treat the activist Muslims like activist Nazis and activist Communists."

I don't think that America in her present state would be able to hunt Jihadists around the globe. The involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan was a failure. It would be much better to concentrate on what is happening in America. Maybe something similar to the McCarthy congressional commission could be helpful.

Good stuff Kyrel

Doug Bandler's picture

The best policy, I think, is to have Congress formally declare war on all jihadi and shariaist organizations, such as Al Qaida, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, the PLO, CAIR, etc. All jihadis and shariaists everywhere on earth should be hunted down and killed. All their organizations in all countries should be smashed. Treat the activist Muslims like activist Nazis and activist Communists.

Yes! Excellent. This is a winnable military strategy and it doesn't involve nations-building or "democracy spreading." Good work Kyrel.

Muslims are obligated to donate 1/40th of their income to charity -- which almost always means a Muslim charity which funds jihad and sharia (such as the old Holy Land Foundation).

I didn't think of this but its another good point. Any Muslim that donates to a Sharia promoting cause should be immediately deported (killing them is unnecessary).

Nothing would help more -- with zero cost in money and lives -- than to have the US president openly, loudly, clearly declare that the philosophy of Islam is massively false and evil, as well as an objective threat to civilization, and America's enemy.

More than just the President. If the dominant attitude of the country at large was that Islam was irredeemably evil and if Muslims were treated as pariahs then they would either become apostates or leave, which is exactly what we want.

This goes to show that the true way to win this war is NOT primarily military but cultural. But in order for the culture to change the Left has to be defeated and that means defeating post-modern philosophy; ie "pomo-wankery".

Tolerance is a Cooperative Value

Richard Goode's picture

The most important thing to understand about tolerance is that it is a cooperative value. It can only work by way of mutual agreement. A one sided tolerance translates either as disdain or fearful appeasement. It is often this second kind of tolerance that people speak of today, when they describe how they tolerate a noisy neighbor or a difficult family member. What they really mean is they have become unwilling to respond to offensive behavior out of fear or more commonly a sense of futility. This is the brand of tolerance that most Americans practice today, dutifully ignoring offenses, until something occurs that passes all boundaries of decency. Like the Ground Zero Mosque.

And Ed

gregster's picture

"No matter how many generations removed from their home country, descendents of immigrants are sometimes never accepted as “true” Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, and so on. Add to this the fact that many Muslim immigrants to Europe in past decades have brought with them pre-modern notions and one can understand why they have not assimilated."

This is an evasion of the nature of Islam, in that its adherents do not wish to assimilate. It tends to put blame to other friendly nationals and also is a pathetic excuse for inaction and a sanction of Islamic culture.

Lest We Forget, and Ideas have consequences

gregster's picture

Includes:

Squads to police clothing standards; "How long are your pants?"

[..]

From a well-spoken muslim American confidently; "What's the punishment? Throwing off the cliff if you're homosexual."

Again I say, many muslime have forfeited what we would call natural rights - and are a criminal force.

Two types of Jihad:

Violent Jihad;

and Cultural Jihad.

I disagree Ed; The best defense for the West is to get its own house in order. We need to stand up more consistently for rationality and individual freedom.

The best defence is to identify and prevent the threat before expecting to get the West's ills fixed.

If the West took your advice, which is to say, if the West continues its current policy, we are all fucked.

Thank you, academics.

"Wake up!"

A Few More Thoughts on Islam

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

It may be fair and true to characterize Islamic organizations as being naturally, inherently, inevitably, invariably criminal and tyrannical organizations -- and thus all their members should be fined, jailed, deported, or executed. I don't think this is true. But you could make a pretty strong case for it.

The best policy, I think, is to have Congress formally declare war on all jihadi and shariaist organizations, such as Al Qaida, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, the PLO, CAIR, etc. All jihadis and shariaists everywhere on earth should be hunted down and killed. All their organizations in all countries should be smashed. Treat the activist Muslims like activist Nazis and activist Communists.

Muslims are obligated to donate 1/40th of their income to charity -- which almost always means a Muslim charity which funds jihad and sharia (such as the old Holy Land Foundation). Those who donate $1000 to these mass-murderers and mass-enslavers should maybe receive two years in prison, while those who contribute $10,000 should possibly be killed. Those who donate a few hundred during Islam's fairly active war on America and the West could be deported, while those who give less could be heavily fined and put on a police watch list.

Ultimately, the strongest weapon against Islam is truth. Nothing would help more -- with zero cost in money and lives -- than to have the US president openly, loudly, clearly declare that the philosophy of Islam is massively false and evil, as well as an objective threat to civilization, and America's enemy. He needs to note that the philosophy of moderate, mainstream Islam is as false, evil, and warring as the philosophy of moderate, mainstream fascism and Bolshevism -- maybe worse. Popular, passionate hatred of Islam by Americans would deal it a massive blow which would likely prove virtually fatal in the US in short order, inshallah.

my views

Doug Bandler's picture

This is a good piece. Ed has gotten better at op-ed writing with time. Yet I still wonder if the only solution to the Islam menace is to ban organized Islam and end Islamic immigration. It may even be necessary to deport any Muslims associated with pro-Jihad movements (no matter how clandestine). Can any of this be done in the context of individual rights? I think so. I lay out my basic thinking which is open to modification. I am particularly interested in Richard Wiig's opinion as he is most responsible for forcing me to rethink Islam.

1) Islam is a supremacist religion whose central focus is the conquest and subjugation of infidels.

2) The primary way to show love of god under Islam is to either wage or assist in the Jihad against infidels. Christ commanded self-immolation. Muhammed commanded war.

3) Islam commands the PERPETUAL solicitation to commit war and murder against infidels until all the world is under the rule of Muslims. Islam's main political goal is world domination.

4) Islam is therefore a POLITICAL and a MILITARY ideology as well as a religion. It is NOT a personal, private belief system dedicated to personal faith. (Modern Christianity mostly is.)

5) Organized Islam's sole purpose is to ADVANCE ISLAM'S POLITICAL & MILITARY goals. Therefore organized Islam is a MILITARY movement aimed at destroying and conquering EVERY nation that it exists in.

6) This means that mosques are ENEMY HEADQUARTERS and propaganda centers. Not just the Ground Zero Mosque but EVERY mosque.

7) Since mosques are enemy headquarters in this undeclared war (by us - it is always declared by the Koran) they should not be allowed to exist in America and Western nations. (This would result in a mass exodus of Muslims as with Mosques being banned they would no longer want to stay here. This is EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT.)

8] Islam should not be granted 1st Amendment protection (or the equivalent in other Western nations) and therefore no mosques should be allowed to operate, no Islamic "civil rights" groups should be allowed to operate (all 5th column organizations), no Islamic schools should be allowed to operate, etc.

9) Islam should be recognized as a hostile enemy ideology which has declared ceaseless, never-ending war against infidels all over this earth. As such, Muslim immigration from ANYWHERE should be stopped immediately. Any Muslims participating in pro-Sharia activities should be deported.

10) American foreign policy should cease its nation-building, "democracy" spreading agenda and recognize that our enemy is the Islamic Ummah. Our foreign policy should not be to save the Islamic world from itself but to save us from the Islamic world. We should orient our war policy around doing whatever WEAKENS the UMMAH. This would mean confiscating large sections of the most oil rich areas in the Middle East and making it an American protectorate. It also means massive bombing campaigns against the Muslim "hot spots" like Iran, Syrian, Pakistan, etc.. The details we leave to the next General Patton that the American military has somewhere within its ranks and should be promoted to head general.

This is just the beginning of my thoughts on this. But I am becoming convinced that if Objectivism can not find a way to prohibit the practice and spread of Islam within the borders of the West than Objectivism is a suicide pact. I can't believe that. The Conservatives can't be right on this subject while we are wrong. That would depress me to no end.

"What will replace Mubarack?

Leonid's picture

"What will replace Mubarack? A more pro-Islamist regime? Hard to tell."

Muslim brothers.

It's already showing itself

Richard Wiig's picture

It's already showing itself to be more pro-Islamic.

What will replace Mubarack? A more pro-Islamist regime? Hard to tell.

Ed

Richard Goode's picture

So many excellent challenges, so little time.

Okay Richard let’s try this: A man gets a notion in his head—perhaps from a little voice—that he should tie down his son and butcher him with a large knife. Without question—critical thinking, that is—the man ties down his son. We can imagine the fear and horror in the son’s eyes as his father dutifully raises the knife. The father is perfectly willing to ignore the screams of pain and the gushing blood as the knife cuts into his son, ending the boy’s life.

At the last moment the father gets a notion in his head—perhaps from another little voice—that he should not murder his child. He thinks he is being tested—for what?—Death camp commandant? Gestapo? Al Qaeda? And he has passed!

I'm not a fan of the Old Testament.

Now imagine that a willingness like his to commit the most unspeakable crimes, blindly and without critical examination, is held as the highest mark of virtue and morality.

A wise man once said, "Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?" I think that's excellent advice for anyone who professes to be a Christian!

Ed

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I hope you're not holding your breath waiting for Baade to answer your excellent challenge. If you are, stop before your lungs explode. Eye

Richard

Leonid's picture

If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not  take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken"

 

This is simply wrong. Read the Jonah's book.

Critical examination of morality

Ed Hudgins's picture

Okay Richard let’s try this: A man gets a notion in his head—perhaps from a little voice—that he should tie down his son and butcher him with a large knife. Without question—critical thinking, that is—the man ties down his son. We can imagine the fear and horror in the son’s eyes as his father dutifully raises the knife. The father is perfectly willing to ignore the screams of pain and the gushing blood as the knife cuts into his son, ending the boy’s life.

At the last moment the father gets a notion in his head—perhaps from another little voice—that he should not murder his child. He thinks he is being tested—for what?—Death camp commandant? Gestapo? Al Qaeda? And he has passed!

Now imagine that a willingness like his to commit the most unspeakable crimes, blindly and without critical examination, is held as the highest mark of virtue and morality.

It is interesting that today—a sign of progress, I guess—when some mother murders her children or some individual shoots up a crowd of strangers because, they say, God commanded them to do it, no Christian or normal religious person actually says, “Maybe it was a command from God.” We assume that such murderous individuals belong either in a mental institution or an electric chair.

Cultures supporting freedom?

Ed Hudgins's picture

Kyrel - I hardly think that the 3,000 killed on 9/11 can be called guilty and deserving death because of your presumption that they backed the U.S. policy that you describe. I also note that the U.S. government has been critical of the practices of many of the governments you mention. But the notion, supported by many neo-cons, that we can transform such societies into liberal democracies--as welcome as that outcome might be--is wrong.

The problem is with their cultures. We are seeing just this problem in Egypt. What will replace Mubarack? A more pro-Islamist regime? Hard to tell. As I've written, the problem is that advocates of Enlightenment values in those countries are few.

You write that "Much of the fury, outrage, and horror that the long-suffering Muslim serfs feel at America and the West is flat-out justified." No, they can't legitimately feel that America is to blame for the continuation of their rotten regimes. The problem is that their regimes reflect their cultures to a greater or lesser extent. (I'd say the regime most likely to give way to a better situation if overthrown is Iran and the U.S. strongly opposes that regime.)

Deuteronomy 18:21-22

Richard Goode's picture

One must not question, think critically, or use reason. One must not ask, “Why should I accept this or any alleged religious ‘revelation?’ Does this stuff make any coherent sense? Am I honestly seeking the truth or rationalizing and evading in order to believe this stuff?”

You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Richard Goode's picture

One must not question, think critically, or use reason. One must not ask, “Why should I accept this or any alleged religious ‘revelation?’ Does this stuff make any coherent sense? Am I honestly seeking the truth or rationalizing and evading in order to believe this stuff?”

Critically examine everything. Hold on to the good.

Not Entirely Innocent

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Ed -- You say that the 9/11 jihadis "slaughtered nearly 3,000 innocent people." But were they really all that innocent? Almost all were Americans or Westerners who backed their nations' foreign policy of appeasement of, and support for, the dictatorships of China, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Eqypt, Tunisia, etc.

You write that:

"Some on the political left and the libertarian right have attributed the 9/11 attacks and subsequent assaults in London, Spain, and elsewhere to blowback for supposed economic or geopolitical wrongs committed by the U.S.... Yes, there are legitimate questions concerning American Middle East policy. But policy complaints do not justify nihilistic violence."

Is all this backing of foreign slave states, and all this raw political evil, really merely a matter of [presumably minor] "geopolitical wrongs" and [presumably slight] "policy complaints"? Much of the fury, outrage, and horror that the long-suffering Muslim serfs feel at America and the West is flat-out justified. If the foreign policy of the "civilized world" were to change away from support for political tyranny, to support for individual liberty, the whole planet would be instantly, massively, profoundly changed!

In my judgment, current American and Western incompetence, failure, and evil in foreign policy is not a trivial or small thing.

The nub ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"Islamists defend their criminal practices by appealing to the Koran. But their most dangerous idea is that any idea should be accepted on faith. One must not question, think critically, or use reason. One must not ask, “Why should I accept this or any alleged religious ‘revelation?’ Does this stuff make any coherent sense? Am I honestly seeking the truth or rationalizing and evading in order to believe this stuff?” Such faith-based believing is the ultimate root of all immorality, including that manifest in the smoldering ruins at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania."

Bravo!

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