Archive for the ‘Western civilization’ category

Where is the West’s courage?

September 13, 2017

Where is the West’s courage? Israel National News, Giulio Meotti, September 13, 2017

“Close your eyes, have no fear,” says a song by John Lennon, the wretched soundtrack of a West which has definitely lost military, political and cultural courage. After the Paris terror attacks, many people were inspired by John Lennon’s songs. It was a clear message to Jihadists: you can continue to butcher us, we don’t care 

********************************

In 1978, the great Russian writer Alexander Solzenitsyn delivered a famous speech at Harvard University. “A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days”, the author of “Gulag Archipelago” said at the time. “The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life”.

Solzenitsyn uttered these important words at a time when the West still had some courage against Communism. What would he have said today seeing Europe’s reaction in front of Islamic terrorism? and North Korea/

“No tinc por”, I’m not afraid, is the slogan of anti-terrorism march in Spain. Time Magazine called them “Peace Marchers”. Peace? After 15 people have been butchered by a cell of the Islamic State? Why not announce instead  a Spanish battalion to join the international coalition busy in freeing Raqqa, the de facto capital of Isis in Syria?

Our candor in front of all our dead murdered by terrorists, a mix of nihilism and phony optimism, is amazing. It is as if the West agreed to pay this price to radical Islam.

They are afraid, despite what they claim. They protect public buildings, schools, a, shopping malls and public places like military targets. In France, half of the military personnel is busy in protecting the home front.  On London Bridge, concrete barriers appeared after the terror attacks as the way to protect the citizens.

Being afraid is a natural response in this situation, but fear cannot become the main word of a rally against Jihadism. And not that kind of “fear”. What about freedom? And Western culture? We have been paralyzed in our own fear.

We have our homegrown Jihadists, their handlers in North Africa and the Middle East, Iran and North Korea – all out to destroy the West. They don’t hide their intentions. We are the ones who hide.

“Close your eyes, have no fear,” says a song by John Lennon, the wretched soundtrack of a West which has definitely lost military, political and cultural courage. After the Paris terror attacks, many people were inspired by John Lennon’s songs. It was a clear message to Jihadists: you can continue to butcher us, we don’t care

Eastern Europe Chooses to Keep Western Civilization

July 7, 2017

Eastern Europe Chooses to Keep Western Civilization, Giulio Meotti, July 7, 2017

[I]t is critical that Eastern Europe continues to be a strong voice of dissent in the EU project. It might provide just the cultural confidence that European bureaucrats dramatically lack — at the peril of Europe itself.

**************************

“The greatest difference is that in Europe, politics and religion have been separated from one another, but in the case of Islam it is religion that determines politics” — Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources.

It is no coincidence that President Donald Trump chose Poland, a country that fought both Nazism and Communism, to call on the West to show a little willingness in its existential fight against the new totalitarianism: radical Islam.

“Possessing weapons is one thing, and possessing the will to use them is another thing altogether”. — Professor William Kilpatrick, Boston College.

In a historic speech to an enthusiastic Polish crowd before the meeting of the G20 Summit leaders, US President Donald Trump described the West’s battle against “radical Islamic terrorism” as the way to protect “our civilization and our way of life”. Trump asked if the West had the will to survive:

“Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”

Trump’s question might find an answer in Eastern Europe, where he chose to deliver his powerful speech.

President Donald Trump gives a speech in Warsaw, Poland, in front of the monument commemorating the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Germans, on July 6, 2017. (Image source: The White House)

After an Islamist suicide-bomber murdered 22 concert-goers in Manchester, including two Poles, Poland’s prime minister, Beata Szydło, said that Poland would not be “blackmailed” into accepting thousands of refugees under the European Union’s quota system. She urged Polish lawmakers to safeguard the country and Europe from the scourges of Islamist terrorism and cultural suicide:

“Where are you headed, Europe? Rise from your knees and from your lethargy, or you will be crying over your children every day”.

A few days later, the European Union announced that it would begin proceedings to punish Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for their refusal to accept migrants as the European Commission had decided under a 2015 scheme it created.

After Szydło’s speech, Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources, declared:

“Islam is a major culture and religion, which we must respect, but Europe has a different identity, and it is clear that these two cultures are incapable of coexisting without conflict… The greatest difference is that in Europe, politics and religion have been separated from one another, but in the case of Islam it is religion that determines politics”.

That is why Viktor Orban has been labelled as “Europe’s enemy within” — because he spelled out what the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will never do: “Keeping Europe Christian“.

These speeches from Visegrad officials — the European group made up of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia — are just two examples of deep ideological divisions between Western European countries and those in Central- and Eastern Europe.

There has been a growing tendency of Visegrad leaders to depict Islam as a civilizational threat to Christian Europe. If, in Western Europe, Christianity has been dramatically cast aside by public opinion and severely restricted by EU official rules, in Eastern Europe new polls reveal that Christianity is as robust and patriotic as ever. That is why Trump called Poland “the faithful nation“. That is why US Catholic magazines are openly asking if there is a “Christian reawakening” in Eastern Europe. Slovakia approved a law to prevent Islam from becoming an official state religion.

These Central- and Eastern European countries know that Western Europe’s multiculturalism has been a recipe for terror attacks, for a start. As Ed West of The Spectator noted:

“Not all of Europe, of course. Central Europe, chiefly Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, remain largely safe from the terror threat, despite the former in particular being a Nato player in the Middle East. It is precisely because the reasons for this are so obvious that they cannot be mentioned. Poland is 0.1 percent Muslim, most of whom are from a long-settled Tartar community, Britain is 5 percent, France 9 percent and Brussels 25 percent, and those numbers are growing”.

What is presumably “obvious” here is that Poland and Hungary are not hit by Islamic terror attacks because they have very few Muslims, while Belgium and UK it is the reverse. Europe would probably have been safer if it had followed Eastern Europe’s example.

Eastern Europe not only shows a greater understanding of Western culture than Western Europe does; these Eastern countries have also been far more generous to NATO, the bulwark of their independence and security. Culture and security go hand-in-hand: if you take your own culture and civilization seriously, you will be ready to defend them.

A brief look at the NATO’s members’ military spending as a percentage of GDP shows that Poland meets the 2% target, unlike all the Western European countries. Only five of NATO’s 28 members — the U.S., Greece, Poland, Estonia and the U.K. — meet the 2% target. Where is France? And Belgium? And Germany? And The Netherlands?

“Unlike most of its NATO and European peers,” Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, explained, “Poland has for the past two decades consistently viewed defense as a priority issue, and as a result, has been slowly but steadily emerging as the bedrock of European security”. Poland — unlike Belgium, Italy and other European countries — is not a “free rider” but a trustworthy partner to its US ally. Poland showed loyal support to the United States both in Afghanistan and Iraq, where its troops fought the Taliban and helped to topple Saddam Hussein.

It is no coincidence that President Trump selected Poland, a country that fought both Nazism and Communism, to call on the West to show a little willingness in its existential fight against the new totalitarianism: radical Islam.

“The West will continue to have the military edge for a good time to come, but possessing weapons is one thing, and possessing the will to use them is another thing altogether”, wrote William Kilpatrick, a professor at Boston College. “The West is strong militarily, but weak ideologically. It lacks civilizational confidence”.

That is why it is critical that Eastern Europe continues to be a strong voice of dissent in the EU project. It might provide just the cultural confidence that European bureaucrats dramatically lack — at the peril of Europe itself.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Trump in Poland: “Our Civilization Will Triumph”

July 7, 2017

Trump in Poland: “Our Civilization Will Triumph”, Front Page MagazineRobert Spencer, July 7, 2017

Trump in Warsaw wasn’t just paying lip service to unattainable ideals, any more than Obama was when he said that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Obama worked very hard to make sure that would be true, and now his successor is working very hard to ensure that Judeo-Christian civilization survives instead. Americans can be grateful that we do not, for the moment, have (as Trump as said) a President of the world, but a President of the United States.

********************************

Interrupted repeatedly by chants of “Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!” as he was speaking in Poland on Thursday, President Trump delivered a ringing affirmation that he would defend Western civilization: “Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail, our people will thrive, and our civilization will triumph.”

Now, we’re used to Presidents affirming that civilization will triumph. Barack Obama did it, too. Trump’s remarkable innovation here, and sharp departure from the example his predecessor set, is in declaring that Western civilization would triumph. Barack Hussein Obama, by contrast, was famous for declaring the triumph of Islamic civilization, most notably when he told the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2012: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

If the future is not to belong to those who are perceived as slandering the prophet of Islam, Sharia blasphemy laws criminalizing criticism of Islam will have to have been imposed; people aren’t likely to give up criticizing Muhammad voluntarily, especially as jihad terror attacks incited by his teachings become an ever more common feature of life in the West. Thus if the future doesn’t belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam, it will be because the freedom of speech has been extinguished and Islamic values have prevailed: Islamic civilization will have triumphed.

If that was not what Barack Obama wanted, he never gave any indication of it during eight years in the White House. The Democrats constantly pointed to his killings of bin Laden and al-Awlaki as indication that he was tough on terrorism, but amid foreign and domestic policies indefatigably supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and its auxiliaries in the United States, unstinting opposition to the freedom of speech regarding criticism of Islam, and an appalling deal that gave aid and comfort to the Islamic Republic of Iran, those killings only made clear that while Obama evidently opposed violent jihad, he had no serious objection to other methods of Sharia imposition and Islamization.

In Warsaw Thursday, Trump offered a radically different vision. “We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism,” he declared. “And we will prevail. We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.”

We cannot accept those who reject our values.” After eight years of Obama acting as if the freedom of speech and the right to bear arms were burdens to be cast off rather than rights to be defended, this is an extraordinary statement. It is also one of the reasons why Trump’s notorious “travel ban” contains a little-noted directive that is clearly designed to preserve American values. The March 6 executive order states:

To be more transparent with the American people and to implement more effectively policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available the following information:…information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals.

Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (Reliance of the Traveller o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law. In this case the victim was the murderer’s daughter, a victim to the culture of violence and intimidation that such laws help create.

The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

Until the encouragement Islamic law gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer. President Trump is trying to keep women from suffering in this way in the United States.

That element of the executive order is the kind of thing that is involved in ensuring that “our civilization will triumph”: stopping the encroachment of Sharia values in the United States. Trump in Warsaw wasn’t just paying lip service to unattainable ideals, any more than Obama was when he said that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Obama worked very hard to make sure that would be true, and now his successor is working very hard to ensure that Judeo-Christian civilization survives instead. Americans can be grateful that we do not, for the moment, have (as Trump as said) a President of the world, but a President of the United States.

Hamza bin Laden offers ‘advice for martyrdom seekers in the West’

May 13, 2017

Hamza bin Laden offers ‘advice for martyrdom seekers in the West’, Long War Journal, May 13, 2017

(Islamist terror has nothing to do with Islam; it’s workplace violence. Didn’t Hamza bin Laden listen to Imam Obama? — DM)

“If you are unable to go for American Crusaders, target the interests of the Crusader member states of NATO,” Hamza continues. “And since Russia has forgotten what it tasted in Chechnya and Afghanistan, and has returned once again to interfere in matters concerning Islam, do not exclude it from your targets of priority. Give Russia a pertinent reminder of the days of your predecessors.”

***************************

Hamza bin Laden, the son of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, has released a new message offering “advice” for “martyrdom seekers in the West.” Hamza encourages followers to lash out on their own, but only after carefully preparing their attack so they “may inflict damage far beyond anything the enemy has ever imagined.”

As Sahab, al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, released the junior bin Laden’s message less one week after a similar appeal was issued by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qasim al Raymi. The “lone mujahid” effort was first launched by AQAP, but the group’s rivals in the Islamic State have had far more success in inspiring and guiding individual attacks since 2014. The messages from Raymi and now Hamza bin Laden are likely part of al Qaeda’s effort to regain the initiative with respect to this tactic.

Hamza calls on individual jihadists to “avenge” the “children of Syria,” the “widows of Palestine,” the “free honorable women of Iraq,” and “the orphans of Afghanistan.”

“Exercise patience and deliberation, for it is among the qualities loved by Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him,” Hamza says. “Accomplish your goals with secrecy. Attain the highest level of perfection in your actions, exercise utmost care and caution, and prepare diligently to inflict crippling losses on those who have disbelieved.”

Hamza specifically references AQAP’s Inspire Magazine, saying followers can “benefit” from it. (Interestingly, his father was reportedly less impressed by Inspire and even complained about some of the tactics advocated therein.)

“Be perfect in your choice of targets, so that you may damage your enemies more,” Hamza advises. “Be professional in your choice of weapons. It is not necessary that it should be a military tool. If you are able to pick a firearm, well and good; if not, the options are many.”

Osama’s heir encourages individual jihadists to “follow in the footsteps of martyrdom-seekers before” them, arguing they shouldn’t “underestimate” themselves. There is no reason to emigrate to the jihadists battlefields abroad, according to Hamza, because “professionally executed individual operations in the West” have “outweighed numerous operations in the East.” (Al Qaeda’s rivals in the Islamic State have made the same argument.)

“Know that inflicting punishment on Jews and Crusaders where you are present is more vexing and severe for the enemy,” Hamza continues. “It is sharper than a hundred warheads directed against their agents.”

Hamza wants followers to “prioritize” their “targets.”

First, “everyone who transgresses against our pure Religion, or against our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him)” should be struck. Hamza specifically mentions the Jan. 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, which was claimed by AQAP and carried out according to Ayman al Zawahiri’s general orders.

“Next, look out for Jewish interests everywhere.” But if the jihadist is not able to locate these, then “target American Crusaders.”

“If you are unable to go for American Crusaders, target the interests of the Crusader member states of NATO,” Hamza continues. “And since Russia has forgotten what it tasted in Chechnya and Afghanistan, and has returned once again to interfere in matters concerning Islam, do not exclude it from your targets of priority. Give Russia a pertinent reminder of the days of your predecessors.”

Hamza and other al Qaeda leaders want jihadist attacks to send a clear message to their enemies. “I strongly advise that the message you intend to convey through your blessed operation must be explained unequivocally in the media,” he advises. “It is absolutely imperative that people should know the objective of your operation.”

“We in al Qaeda emphasize the importance of conveying the following messages to Western states, and we advise you to do the same,” Hamza says. He provides a list of al Qaeda’s priorities for individual jihadists:

1. Our Religion and our Prophet (peace be upon him) are RED LINES. Let those who cross these lines take heed from Charlie Hebdo.

2. Palestine is a cause of our Islamic Ummah [worldwide community of Muslims]. And anyone who supports Jewish occupiers shall never dream of peace, with the permission of Allah.

3. Sham is a cause of our Islamic Ummah. Our people in Sham are faced with genocide. And everyone who participates in tormenting them with bombings or by aiding Bashar [al Assad] and his allies shall not escape punishment.

4. Our lands are occupied. The Land of the Two Sanctuaries [Saudi Arabia] is occupied. We shall continue to target you until you withdraw your forces from the Arabian Peninsula and from every single land of Islam.

5. Our airspace is violated by your aircrafts which unleash their deadly payload on our children. Our wealth and resources are expropriated every single day.

Hamza’s audio message is embedded in a video that is just over ten minutes long. Various operations, including the Dec. 2016 assassination of a Russian ambassador in Turkey, are lauded throughout the video.

As Hamza’s audio begins to play, an image of the Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, is shown on screen. The photo of Hasan is followed by footage from the Nov. 5, 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, video from a service for the victims, and a brief clip of AQAP ideologue Anwar al Awlaki, who inspired Hasan.

An image of Ramzi Yousef, who orchestrated the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other plots, is also included at the outset, as is footage from the 1993 bombing in lower Manhattan.

As Sahab released Hamza’s message with Arabic and English-language transcripts. Al Qaeda has been releasing messages with an English translation on an increasingly frequent basis. Recent messages from Ayman al Zawahiri and Raymi were also released with English transcripts.

Screen shots from the video accompanying Hamza bin Laden’s audio message:

 

 

 

The West’s Politically Correct Dictatorship

December 6, 2016

The West’s Politically Correct Dictatorship, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, December 6, 2016

The brave work of the artist Mimsy was removed from London’s Mall Galleries after the British police defined it “inflammatory.”

In France, schools teach children that Westerners are Crusaders, colonizers and “bad.” In their efforts to justify the repudiation of France and its Judeo-Christian culture, schools have fertilized the soil in which Islamic extremism develops and flourishes unimpeded.

No one can deny that France is under Islamist siege. Last week, France’s intelligence service discovered another terror plot. But what is the priority of the Socialist government? Restricting freedom of expression for pro-life “militants.”

Under this politically correct dictatorship, Western culture has established two principles. First, freedom of speech can be restricted any time someone claims that an opinion is an “insult.” Second, there is a vicious double standard: minorities, especially Muslims, can freely say whatever they want against Jews and Christians.

There is no better ally of Islamic extremism than this sanctimony of liberal censorship: both, in fact, want to suppress any criticism of Islam, as well as any proud defense of the Western Enlightenment or Judeo-Christian culture.

Twitter, one of the vehicles of this new intolerance, even formed a “Trust and Safety Council.” It brings to mind Saudi Arabia’s “Council for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”

Under this political correctness, the only “win-win” is for political Islam.

It might look like a golden age for free speech: more than a billion tweets, Facebook posts and blogs every day. But beneath this surface, freedom of expression is dramatically retreating.

Students at the City University of London, home to one of Britain’s most respected schools of journalism, voted to ban three newspapers from its campus: The Sun, Daily Mail and Express. Their “crime”, according to the approved motion, is to have published stories against migrants, “Islamophobic” articles, and “scapegoating the working classes that they so proudly claim to represent.” City University, supposedly a place dedicated to openness and questioning, became the first Western educational institution to vote for censorship, and ban “right wing newspapers.”

The filmmaker David Cronenberg called this self-censorship, after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo: “a weird, serpentine political correctness.” It is one of the most lethal ideological poisons of the 21st century. It is not only closed-minded and ridiculous, it makes us blind to the radical Islam that is undermining our mental and cultural defenses.

The countless attacks by Muslim extremists testify that the multicultural world to which we have been led is a fiction. Political correctness simply encourages the Islamists to raise the stakes to win the war they are advancing. The resulting tension has been fed by the Western elites with their sense of guilt for “colonialism” in the Third World.

ISIS Threaten Sylvania” — an art exhibition featuring cute little stuffed animals picnicking on a lawn, and unaware of other cute little stuffed animal terrorists carrying assault rifles on a knoll just behind them — is the work of the artist known as Mimsy (she hides her identity). The protagonists of this series of light box tableaux are a family of stuffed animal dolls that inhabits an enchanted valley. Gunmen, dressed like the Islamic State henchmen, strike the innocent inhabitants of the valley, at school and on the beach, at a picnic or in a gay pride parade. It looks like an updated version of Maus by Art Spiegelman, a graphic novel depicting Nazi cats and Jewish mice during the Holocaust.

Those wishing to see this artistic panel at the Mall Galleries, in London, will now have to console themselves with the work of Jamie McCartney, “The Great Wall Vagina,” nine meters of female genitalia, less important and less provocative.

The brave work of Mimsy, after the British police defined it “inflammatory,” has been eliminated from the program of this London cultural event. Its organizers informed the gallery owners that if they wanted to put it on display, they would have to shell out £36,000 ($46,000) to “secure the venue” for the six days of the exhibition.

2101The brave work of the artist Mimsy, satirizing the brutality of ISIS, was removed from London’s Mall Galleries after the British police defined it “inflammatory.” (Image source: Mimsy)

Under this politically correct dictatorship, Western culture has established two principles. First, freedom of speech can be restricted any time someone claims that an opinion is an “insult.” Second, there is a vicious double standard: minorities, especially Muslims, can freely say whatever they want against Jews and Christians.

And so it came to pass that the most famous Spanish football team, Real Madrid, removed the cross from its crest after a commercial deal with Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Christian symbol was quickly ditched to please the Islamic Gulf sponsors.

Perhaps soon the West will be soon asked to change the flag of the European Union — twelve yellow stars on a blue background — because it contains a Christian message in code. Arsène Heitz, who designed it in 1955, was inspired by the Christian iconography of the Virgin Mary with a crown and twelve stars on her head: what a heartless “Western Christian supremacist” message!

Political correctness is also having a huge impact on big business: Kellogg’s withdrew advertising from Breitbart for being “not aligned with our values” and Lego dropped advertising with Daily Mail, to mention just two recent cases.

It should not cause alarm if companies want to decide where to advertise their products, but it is very alarming when it happens due to “ideology.” We have never read about companies abandoning a newspaper or website because it was too liberal or “leftist.” If the Arab-Islamic regimes were follow these views, why should they not ask their companies to stop advertising in Western newspapers that publish articles critical of Islam, or which publish pictures of half-naked women?

Libraries on US campuses are now putting “trigger warnings” on works of literature: students are advised, for example, that Ovid’s sublime Metamorphosis “justifies” rape. Stanford University even managed to exclude Dante, Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare and other giants of Western culture from the academic curricula in 1988: supposedly many of their masterpieces are “racist, sexist, reactionary, repressive.” This is the vocabulary of Western surrender before totalitarian Islamic fundamentalism.

France has removed great figures, such as Charlemagne, Henry IV, Louis XIV and Napoleon, from schools, to replace them, for instance, with studying the history of Mali and other African kingdoms. At school, children are taught that Westerners are Crusaders, colonizers and “bad.” In purportedly justifying the repudiation of France and its Judeo-Christian culture, schools have fertilized the soil in which Islamic extremism develops and flourishes unimpeded.

It is a question of priorities: no one can deny that France is under Islamist siege. Last week, France’s intelligence service discovered another terror plot. But what is the priority of the Socialist government? Restricting freedom of expression for pro-life “militants.” The Wall Street Journal called it “France’s War on Anti-Abortion Speech.” France already has one of the most permissive and liberal bodies of legislation on abortion. But political correctness makes one blind and ideological. “In four and a half years, the Socialists have reduced our freedom of expression and attacked public freedoms,” commented Riposte Laïque.

In the US, academia is rapidly closing its doors to any debate. At Yale, professors and students these days are very busy with a new cultural emergency: “renaming.” They are changing the name of buildings to erase all traces of slavery and colonialism — a revisionism out of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

Everywhere in the US and in the UK, an air of hostility is spreading against opinions and ideas that could cause even a hint of distress in students. The result is the rise of what a writer such as Bret Easton Ellis called “Generation Wuss“.

The jihadists surely grin at this Western political correctness, since the result of this ideology will be the abolition of the Western critical spirit and a surreal reeducation of the masses through the annihilation of our history and a hatred of our truly liberal past.

Bristol University in the UK just came under fire for attempting to “no-platform” Roger Scruton for his views on same-gender marriage. Meanwhile, British universities are giving a platform to radical Islamic preachers. In the politically correct universe, conservative thinkers are more dangerous than ISIS supporters. London’s former mayor, Boris Johnson, called this dystopia “the Boko Haram of political correctness.”

Students and faculty at the Rutgers University in New Jersey cancelled a speech by former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Students and professors at Scripps College in California protested the presence of another former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who, according to the protesters, is a “war criminal.”

A New York University professor, Michael Rectenwald, who attacked political correctness and the coddling of students, was recently booted from the classroom after his colleagues complained about his “incivility”. The liberal studies professor was forced to go on paid leave. “It’s an alarming curtailment of free expression to the point where you can’t even pretend to be something without authorities coming down on you in the universities,” Rectenwald told the New York Post.

There is no better ally of Islamic extremism than this sanctimony of liberal censorship: both, in fact, want to suppress any criticism of Islam, as well as any proud defense of the Western Enlightenment or Judeo-Christian culture.

Censorship is happening not only in the liberal enclaves on the coasts of the United States, but also in France. The Eagles of Death Metal — the American band that was performing at Paris’ Bataclan Theater when ISIS terrorists murdered 89 people there on November 13, 2015 — were banned by two music festivals: Rock en Seine and Cabaret Vert. The reason? Jesse Hughes, the band’s frontman, gave a very politically incorrect interview:

“Did your French gun control stop a single f*cking person from dying? I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I’ve ever seen charging head-first into the face of death with their firearms. I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them. Because I’ve never seen anyone that’s ever had one dead, and I want everyone to have access to them, and I saw people die that maybe could have lived, I don’t know.”

After the jihadist massacre at Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub, Facebook enforced the pro-Islamic injunction and banned a page of the magazine Gaystream, after it had published an article critical of Islam in the wake of the bloodbath. Gaystream‘s director, David Berger, had heavily criticized the director of the Gay Museum in Cologne, Birgit Bosold, who had told German media that gays should be more frightened of white bigoted men than of Islamic extremists.

Jim Hoft, a gay journalist who is the creator of the popular Gateway Pundit blog, was suspended from YouTube. Twitter, one of the vehicles of this new intolerance, suspended the account of Milo Yiannopoulos, a prominent gay critic of Islamic fundamentalism — but probably not the accounts of Islamic fundamentalists who criticize gays. Twitter even formed a “Trust and Safety Council.” It brings to mind Saudi Arabia’s “Council for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.” Could it be an inspiration for the liberal mullahs?

Yes, it might have looked like a golden age for free speech. But under this dictatorship of political correctness, the only “win-win” is for political Islam.

Western Publishers Submit to Islam

September 11, 2016

Western Publishers Submit to Islam, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, September 11, 2016

♦ For criticizing Islam, Hamed Abdel-Samad lives under police protection in Germany and, as with Rushdie, a fatwa hangs over him. After the fatwa come the insults: being censored by a free publishing house. This is what the Soviets did to destroy writers: destroy their books.

♦ At a time when dozens of novelists, journalists and scholars are facing Islamists’ threats, it is unforgivable that Western publishers not only agree to bow down, but are often the first to capitulate.

♦ A Paris court convicted Renaud Camus for “Islamophobia” (a fine of 4,000 euros) for a speech he gave in 2010, in which he spoke of the replacement of the French people under the Trojan horse of multiculturalism. Another writer, Richard Millet, was fired last March by Gallimard publishing house for his ideas on multiculturalism.

♦ Not only did Rushdie’s publishers capitulate; other publishers also decided to break rank and return to do business with Tehran. Oxford University Press decided to take part in the Tehran Book Fair along with two American publishers, McGraw-Hill and John Wiley. Those publishers chose to respond to murderous censorship with surrender.

♦ It is as if at the time of the Nazis’ book-burnings, Western publishers had not only stood silent, but had also invited a German delegation to Paris and New York.

When Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses came out in 1989, Viking Penguin, the British and American publisher of the novel, was subjected to daily Islamist harassment. As Daniel Pipes wrote, the London office resembled “an armed camp,” with police protection, metal detectors and escorts for visitors. In Viking’s New York offices, dogs sniffed packages and the place was designated a “sensitive location”. Many bookshops were attacked and many even refused to sell the book. Viking spent about $3 million on security measures in 1989, the fatal year for Western freedom of expression.

Nonetheless, Viking never flinched. It was a miracle that the novel finally came out. Other publishers, however, faltered. Since then, the situation has only gotten worse. Most Western publishers are now faltering. That is the meaning of the new Hamed Abdel-Samad affair.

The Muslim Brotherhood gave Abdel-Samad all that an Egyptian boy could wish for: spirituality, camaraderie, companionship, a purpose. In Giza, Hamed Samad became part of the Brotherhood. His father had taught him the Koran; the Brotherhood explained him how to translate these teachings into practice.

Abdel-Samad repudiated them after one day in the desert. The Brothers had given all the new militants an orange after they had walked under the sun for hours. They were ordered to peel it. Then the Brotherhood asked them to bury the fruit in the sand, and to eat the peel. The next day, Abdel-Samad left the organization. It was the humiliation needed to turn a human being into a terrorist.

Abdel-Samad today is 46 years old and lives in Munich, Germany, where he married a Danish girl and works for the Institute of Jewish History and Culture at the University of Munich. In his native Egyptian village, his first book caused an uproar. Some Muslims wanted to burn it.

Abdel-Samad’s recent book, Der Islamische Faschismus: Eine Analyse, has just been burned at the stake not in Cairo by Islamists, but in France by some of the self-righteous French.

The book is a bestseller in Germany, where it has been published by the well-known publisher, Droemer Knaur. An English translation has been published in the U.S. by Prometheus Books, under the title Islamic Fascism. Two years ago, the French publisher, Piranha, acquired the rights to translate Abdel-Samad’s book about “Islamic Fascism” into French. A publication date was even posted on Amazon: September 16. But at the last moment, the publisher stopped its release. Jean-Marc Loubet, head of the publishing house, announced to Abdel-Samad’s agent that the publication of his book is now unthinkable in France, not only for security reasons, but also because it would reinforce the “extreme right”.

For criticizing Islam, Abdel-Samad lives under police protection in Germany and, as with Rushdie, a fatwa hangs over him. After the fatwa come the insults: being censored by a free publishing house. This is what the Soviets did to destroy writers: destroy his books.

Mr. Abdel-Samad’s case is not new. At a time when dozens of novelists, journalists and scholars are facing Islamists’ threats, it is unforgivable that Western publishers not only agree to bow down, but are often the first to capitulate.

1856For criticizing Islam, Hamed Abdel-Samad lives under police protection in Germany and, as with Rushdie, a fatwa hangs over him. After the fatwa come the insults: being censored by a free publishing house.

In France, for criticizing Islam in a column titled “We refuse to change civilization” for the daily newspaper, Le Monde, the famous writer, Renaud Camus, lost his publisher, Fayard.

Before he suddenly became “unpopular” in the Paris’s literary establishment, Renaud Camus had been friends with Louis Aragon, the famous Communist poet and founder of surrealism, and was close joining “the immortals” of the French Academy. Roland Barthes, the star of the Collège de France, had written the preface to Renaud Camus’ most famous novel, Tricks, the cult-classic book of gay culture.

Then a Paris court convicted Camus for “Islamophobia” (a fine of 4,000 euros), for a speech he gave on December 18, 2010, in which he spoke of “Grand Replacement“, the replacement of the French people under the Trojan horse of multiculturalism. It was then that Camus became persona non grata in France.

The Jewel of Medina, a novel by the American writer Sherry Jones about the life of the third wife of Muhammad, was first purchased and then scrapped by the powerful publisher Random House, which had already paid her an advance and launched an ambitious promotional campaign. Sherry Jones’s new publisher, Gibson Square, was then firebombed by Islamists in London.

Then there was Yale University Press, which published a book by Jytte Klausen, “The Cartoons That Shook the World“, on the history of the controversial “Mohammad cartoons” that were published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005, and crisis that followed. But Yale University Press published the book without the cartoons, and without any other images of the Muslim prophet Mohammad that were to be included.

“The capitulation of Yale University Press to threats that hadn’t even been made yet is the latest and perhaps the worst episode in the steady surrender to religious extremism — particularly Muslim religious extremism — that is spreading across our culture,” commented the late Christopher Hitchens. Yale was possibly hoping to get in line for the same $20 million donation from Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al-Wwaleed bin Talal that he had just bestowed upon George Washington University and Harvard.

In Germany, Gabriele Brinkmann, a popular novelist, was also suddenly left without a publisher. According to her publisher, Droste, the novel Wem Ehre Geburt (“To Whom Honor Gives Birth“) could be judged as “insulting to Muslims” and expose the publisher to intimidation. Brinkmann was asked to censor some passages; she refused and lost the publishing house.

This same cowardice and capitulation now pervades the entire publishing industry. Last year, Italy’s most prestigious book fair in Turin chose (then shelved) Saudi Arabia as its guest of honor, despite the many writers and bloggers who are imprisoned in the Islamic kingdom. Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and a 10-year sentence, and a $260,000 fine.

Many Western publishers are now also “rejecting works by Israeli authors“, according Time.com, despite their political views.

It was after Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses that many Western publishing houses first bowed to intimidation. Christian Bourgois, a French publishing house, refused to publish The Satanic Verses after having bought the rights, as did the German publisher, Kiepenheuer, who apparently said he regretted having acquired the rights to the book and chose to sell them to a consortium of fifty publishers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, gathered under the name “UN-Charta Artikel 19.”

Not only did Rushdie’s publishers capitulate; other publishers also decided to break ranks and return to do business with Tehran. Oxford University Press decided to take part in the Tehran Book Fair, along with two American publishers, McGraw-Hill and John Wiley, despite the request of Rushdie’s publisher, Viking Penguin, to boycott the Iranian event. Those publishers chose to respond to murderous censorship with surrender, willing to sacrifice freedom of expression on the altar of business as usual: selling books was more important than solidarity with threatened colleagues.

It is as if at the time of the Nazis’ book-burnings, Western publishers had not only stood silent, but had also invited a German delegation to Paris and New York. Is it so unimaginable today?

The Bumpy Ride of Our Flight 93

September 11, 2016

The Bumpy Ride of Our Flight 93, PJ MediaRoger Kimball, September 10, 2016

flight-93-view-from-the-sacred-ground-sized-770x415xt‘Flight 93’ – View from the Sacred Ground

There is a scene in the first episode of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie’s Jeeves and Wooster series that bears on the current presidential election. Bertie Wooster, at the direction of his Aunt Agatha, has motored down to Ditteredge Hall, seat of Sir Roderick and Lady Glossop, to cozy up to their hearty daughter Honoria. The former head-girl at Girton is not keen on the match: “He doesn’t shoot, he doesn’t hunt, . . . he doesn’t work even.” But Lady Glossop points out that Honoria will be twenty-four the following week. “He is not all your father and I would have hoped for you, I agree, but . . .”

But consider the alternative.

Regular readers know that I have not been part of the Donald Trump Cheerleading Cavalcade. I first wrote about him a year ago July. After saying that I didn’t think he would be the candidate, I concluded with this advisory:

He has raised some issues that the high and mighty dispensers of conventional wisdom would do well to ponder. Moreover, he has done it in a way that, though terribly, terribly vulgar, is catapulting Trump to first place in the polls. What does that tell us?  That the people are stupid and need to be guided by the suits in Washington?  If you believe that, I submit, you are going to be profoundly disappointed come November 2016.

Well, as Samuel Goldwyn remarked in another context, we’ve passed a lot of water under the bridge since then.

Back in June, Donald Rumsfeld summed up the position that, in subsequent weeks, many (not all) anti-Trump conservatives have come to adopt. Reprising his famous epistemological mot that distinguished between “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns,” Rumsfeld said that, of course he was voting for Trump. Trump was an “unknown known,” perhaps dubious in some ways, but all the world knew exactly what Hillary Clinton represented.

This was the essential point made in a more colorful way in the most remarkable essay I have read in some time, “The Flight 93 Election,” which appeared a few days back in that indispensable journal, the Claremont Review of Books. I have no idea who “Publius Decius Mus”—the putative author—really is, though I speculate on stylistic and philological grounds that he is not unacquainted with the works of Leo Strauss.  The historical Decius Mus was a Roman consul during the first Samnite and Latin wars. In 340BC, he sacrificed himself at the Battle of Vesuvius in order to secure a great victory for the Romans. That story, for those who are interested in such things, is told in Book 8 of Livy’s The History of Rome.

Presumably, Claremont’s Publius adopted the name of that self-sacrificing Roman in order to remind his readers of the existential stakes in this election (as well as, of course, concealing his real identity from the wrath of NeverTrump vigilantes). Publius reworks Donald Rumsfeld’s point with a metaphor—with two, in fact: “2016,” he begins, “is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die.”

You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain.

Here’s the second metaphor:

a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.

I think this is about right—or, rather, I used to think this about right.  I’ll come to my second thoughts in a moment. First, let me quote a bit more from this sinewy and intelligent essay. Publius begins by noting some of the contradictions that beleaguer contemporary American conservative thought. On the one hand, conservatives have a long list of dire diagnoses that, if accurate, spell doom. If, says Publius, conservatives are right about the national debt, about the fabric of society, about national security threats, and on and on, then “they must believe—mustn’t they?—that we are headed off a cliff.”

But—and here’s the “on the other hand”—it is quite clear that they believe no such thing. On the principle that actions speak louder than words, what they actually believe is that things will putter along more or less they way they always have.

Well, which is it?

To simultaneously hold conservative cultural, economic, and political beliefs—to insist that our liberal-left present reality and future direction is incompatible with human nature and must undermine society—and yet also believe that things can go on more or less the way they are going, ideally but not necessarily with some conservative tinkering here and there, is logically impossible.

Which brings us to this uncomfortable observation:

If you genuinely think things can go on with no fundamental change needed, then you have implicitly admitted that conservatism is wrong. Wrong philosophically, wrong on human nature, wrong on the nature of politics, and wrong in its policy prescriptions. Because, first, few of those prescriptions are in force today. Second, of the ones that are, the left is busy undoing them, often with conservative assistance. And, third, the whole trend of the West is ever-leftward, ever further away from what we all understand as conservatism.

What do you think? I think that #3 is indisputable, as is # 2, and that the protasis of #1 is mistaken: things cannot go as they have without fundamental change, ergo we need not admit, on this argument, that conservatism is wrong about human nature, politics, etc., etc.

Two more bits from Publius. First, on what a Hillary presidency would look like: “A Hillary presidency,” he writes, “will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire Progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments.” Yep. And that’s not the worst of it:

It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent hitherto seen in the supposedly liberal West only in the most “advanced” Scandinavian countries and the most leftist corners of Germany and England. We see this already in the censorship practiced by the Davoisie’s social media enablers; in the shameless propaganda tidal wave of the mainstream media; and in the personal destruction campaigns—operated through the former and aided by the latter—of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else.

I think this is correct. And I think Publius is right that the demonization of the Right would only accelerate in a Hillary Clinton administration. Which brings Publius—and me—to Donald Trump. “Yes, Trump is worse than imperfect, “ he admits. “So what? We can lament until we choke the lack of a great statesman to address the fundamental issues of our time.” Publius goes further than I would. “Trump,” he says,

alone among candidates for high office in this or in the last seven (at least) cycles, has stood up to say: I want to live. I want my party to live. I want my country to live. I want my people to live. I want to end the insanity.

There were others, in my opinion, who fit this bill, including Ted Cruz.  But Ted Cruz is not a candidate for the presidency in 2016. Donald Trump is.  Which brings me back to my second thoughts about Trump. As recently as a few weeks back, I was a lesser-of-two-evils, reluctant Trump supporter: classic Russian roulette vs. the loaded semi-automatic that is a Hillary Clinton victory.

But then Trump embarked on a series of high-profile speeches and rallies.  I liked what he said about taxes and economic policy. I liked his list of possible SCOTUS nominees.  I liked what he said about supporting the police and the plight of blacks in the inner cities.  I liked what he said about combatting Islamic terrorism (what Barack Obama calls “workplace violence”). I even liked most of what he said in his immigration speech in Arizona.  I thought it was courageous and “presidential” for him to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. I thought he did the right thing in going to lend moral, and even a bit of material, support to the victims of the floods in Louisiana. I was grateful when he released a video commemorating the canonization of Mother Teresa. I was happy to see him supporting school choice, standing up for religious freedom, and criticizing those who mock Christians and people of faith.

I know there will be some who object, “But how do you know he will do all things things.” The answer is, I don’t.

But I do know what Hillary would do: Obama on steroids. She’s a known-known.  She would, as Publius warns, complete the “fundamental transformation” of this country into a third-world, politically correct socialist redoubt.

There is a fair amount of hysteria among NeverTrumpers about “The Flight 93 Election,” which I guess underscores just how potent its argument is. (The fact that Rush Limbaugh read it aloud on his radio show redoubled that potency.) As I say, I’ve come around to thinking that there are plenty of good reasons for someone of conservative principles to support Trump. I know, and have repeatedly rehearsed, the standard litany of criticisms about Trump.  But they fade if not into insignificance then at least into near irrelevance in the face of his actual program (see above) and, most of all, in the face of the horror that is his opponent. I’ll give the last word to Publius: “The election of 2016 is a test . . .  of whether there is any virtù left in what used to be the core of the American nation. If they cannot rouse themselves simply to vote for the first candidate in a generation who pledges to advance their interests, and to vote against the one who openly boasts that she will do the opposite (a million more Syrians, anyone?), then they are doomed. They may not deserve the fate that will befall them, but they will suffer it regardless.”

The great James Burnham once remarked that where there is no alternative there is no problem. Fortunately, we do have an alternative, and, my, we do have a problem.  I was wrong when I predicted that Donald Trump would not be the candidate. I hope I will be proved wrong about my prediction that, were he the candidate, he would not win. The trends are promising, I think, but it would be foolish to deny that there are madmen in the cockpit or that many of the passengers are scared, apathetic, deluded, or just plain cowardly. We need a real-life Decius Mus who is willing to say “Let’s roll” and make a concerted charge. It may be the last chance we have.