Monday, November 30, 2015

Pope Pops Off Again at Altitude: Catholics Who Believe in Absolute Truth Do Evil, Fundamentalist Christians Sacked Rome, Muslim Values Are My Values, Ignore Church's Teaching on Contraception Until All Drinking Water is Safe, It's MY Church and I'm Just Like Jesus

No, Holy Father, it is you who do evil.

From National Catholic Reporter:
Francis also faced a question about the church's teaching prohibiting use of artificial contraception from a journalist who asked if the church should consider changing its stance on the issue -- particularly on the use of condoms -- given the continuing spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. 
"The question seems too small to me," the pontiff responded. "It seems to me also like a partial question." 
"The morality of the church is found on this point, I think, in front of a perplexity," he said. "Fifth or Sixth commandment? Defend life, or that sexual relations be open to life? This is not the problem. The problem is bigger." 
"This question makes me think of what they asked Jesus one time: 'Tell me, master, is it licit to heal on the Sabbath?'" Francis continued. 
"Malnutrition, exploitation of persons, slave work, lack of drinking water," he said. "These are the problems." 
"I do not like to descend into reflections that are so casuistic when people are dying," he continued. "I would say to not think if it is licit or not licit to heal on the Sabbath. I say to humanity: Make justice, and when all are healed, when there is not injustice in this world, we can speak of the Sabbath." 
Francis also spoke out strongly again against religious fundamentalism, saying that fundamentalism exists in all religions and should be combatted with efforts at friendship. He said he prefers not to speak of having tolerance for other religious, but "living together, friendship." 
"Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions," said the pontiff. "We Catholics have some -- and not some, many -- who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil." 
"They do evil," said the pope. "I say this because it is my church." 
"We have to combat it," he said. "Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God. It is idolatry, like the idolatry of money." 
On a similar line, Francis also defended Islam, saying that Muslims have many constructive values. 
"I even have the experience of friendship -- it is a strong word, friendship -- with a Muslim," said the pontiff. "We can speak. His values are mine. He prays. I pray." 
"You cannot cancel out a religion because there are some groups, or many groups in a certain point of history, of fundamentalists," said the pope, adding that Christians have to ask forgiveness for the many times wars have been perpetrated in the name of their faith. 
"Like everything, there are religious people with values and those without," he said. "But how many wars … have Christians made? The sacking of Rome was not done by Muslims, eh?"

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Climate Protesters Trash Paris Attack Shrine, Throw Memorial Candles at Police

Let's step on people who died

These guys were protesting the U.N. Climate Summit, which gets underway in a few hours. No, they weren't from the Acton Institute. They're leftists who I guess believe that regulating the Earth back to the Stone Age is too moderate or something. Read a bit more here.

To be fair, one photo seems to show some protesters lighting candles at the memorial (whether for the attack victims or Mother Earth is unclear). But things soon got out of hand. And whether or not most protesters intended to be peaceful, a violent minority soon took control of the momentum.  Did the police attack the protesters? I doubt it. The goal of the provocateurs is to start stuff so others can then cry about it.

Personally I'd be in favor of giving the black-clad anarcho-weenies a one-way trip to the Syrian desert via forced parachute drop. Since they like playing at violence so much, maybe they would appreciate a Holiday in the Caliphate. Axe Spray will not help them there.

Anarchist throwing memorial candle like a girl
"Hey, take me seriously, my mother made me wear this coat."
Real men wear niqabs
Sometimes you just feel like a beer

Bishop Barron's Imbecilic Thoughts on Terrorism and Evangelization

We should make "quiet witness" but he can't shut up

This topic was well-covered by Maureen Mullarkey in a recent post on OnePeterFive. But I want to offer my own thoughts on it, if only because I feel so strongly about it.

Bishop Robert Barron's short EWTN interview was ostensibly about the proper Christian response to terrorism. I think it's fair to say that his answer boiled down to pacifism--though he mentioned just war theory briefly if, in effect, dismissively. It's worth quoting part of the interview in full:
Bishop Barron, as the conference is going on, the world is shocked and in mourning over Friday's terror attack. Can you offer some guidance as to how should Catholics respond? How should Catholics be reacting? 
It was especially poignant to me because I studied in Paris for three years. As I watched the pictures I recognized those streets and some of those shops on the corner. So it was very moving to me and poignant to me. 
You know, what's the response? We worship a crucified Lord. And so in a certain way, violence and the response to violence is at the very heart of Christian faith. Our Lord, who took on the violence of the world, took on sin and dysfunction and swallowed it up in the ever greater divine mercy. That's the Christian approach to violence. Not to fight it so much on its own terms--though I think at times that's the only thing we can do, hence our just war theory--but the basic approach, I think, is to respond to violence with love, with non-violence, with mercy. And thereby, don't fight fire with fire but fight fire with its opposite. Fight hatred with love. Um, so that means prayer. That means a witness. That means the non-violent stance. Open your personal life in a public way. Those are all ways that we respond.
But half-way through, the Bishop mentioned in an offhand way that for every 1 person who joins the Catholic faith, 6.5 leave it. And the rest of the interview was largely devoted to how to address that. He reasonably claimed that Catholics should "make our faith attractive" but then explained that this should be done not by "proselytizing" but by bearing "quiet witness". If one is talking to a fallen-away or non-Catholic, then at the appropriate point in a conversation, but only after having made quiet witness, it might be permitted to "ask a question" as long as it is done "non-threateningly." And of course there should be no "finger-wagging" or "blaming."

He then brought the two points together:
So I think by our own reaction to violence in a Christian way, we evangelize. Having said that I think we can point to how dysfunctional it is to respond to violence in a sort of hyper hate-filled or violent way. We can point out the fact that it tends not to work. That might be a way to reach out to those who don't have the faith.
This of course resembles nothing if not parody, though I suppose you either see it or you don't. Here Barron plays the part of the sort of dim mid-twentieth century Anglican vicar--I'm sure the character exists in one or more British comic novels--who wants so much to be relevant and thus taken seriously, but in fact is taken seriously by none, though he is patronized by all.

Now, anyone familiar with Catholic history or Biblical exegesis would realize that Barron's description of the traditional Christian response to violence and war--while superficially plausible to those with, say, a Cliff Notes exposure to the Bible--is false. The tradition is not pacifist or even "non-violent" when it comes to resisting aggression. In a sense Barron is sketching out a new interpretation of Christian tradition (after 2,000 years)--some sort of out of context melding of the thoughts of the quasi-Baptist Martin Luther King and the quasi-Hindu Mahatma Gandhi (as Mullarkey earlier suggested). In addition casually interchanging the concepts of sin, violence and "dysfunction" (whatever that is) is dangerously misleading, even (dare I say it) heretical.

But let's leave those precise considerations aside and instead ask these questions: are Bishop Barron's views on Christianity and violence attractive? Are they persuasive? Do they make, say, a non-Catholic want to become a Catholic? After all, presumably we want to reverse that 6.5:1 statistic. Don't we?

Bishop Barron wants to be liked by the secular world. Indeed, I would say that is the driving force behind his own apparent intellectual dysfunctions. And if you put it to him politely, I think he might even sort of agree. "But that's how you evangelize," you can imagine him saying. "Talk to them on their own terms, without finger wagging."

Of course, many non-Catholics will applaud. Finally (so goes the response of the applauders), here's a Catholic who admits it's all a bit too much to fight for the Catholic faith (or even to non-physically defend it). See, in doing so, he's admitting what we have said all along, that much of what the Catholic Church has stood for and done over the last 2,000 years has been wrong.

They will applaud. But they won't become converts. They will patronize Bishop Barron as they would the dim Anglican vicar. But in the end they won't take him seriously.

If this is evangelism, it's for those who have an IQ below 80.

Christ took on violence and swallowed it up with his mercy.

If that's the best argument for Christianity, then Christianity is obviously false. There's at least as much violence in the world now as there was 2,000 years ago. Christ didn't vanquish it. Unless the Bishop means, metaphorically or whatever or, you know, in some deeper sense. If that's the case, then applause. Finally (according to the applauders) Catholicism has been denuded into just another silly and harmless religious affectation.

(Correct answer: Christ vanquished sin, or at least the eternal consequences of sin for those who honestly repent and ask Him to forgive them.)

Respond to violence with non-violence. Violence tends not to work.

Now, again, this is calculated to get applause. But it is also imbecilic. And as much as some will say they believe it, almost no one actually does. Tell it, by the way, to the Holocaust survivors who were liberated by troops and tanks, not Buddhist floral arrangements.  I suppose it might get some of the New Age crowd. Then again, why should the New Age crowd become Catholic when they're already getting their oatmeal somewhere else?

When terrorists slit the throat of your girlfriend (because she wasn't fast enough in making the exit, and then begged for mercy), open your personal life in a public way.

What is he even talking about?

Admittedly, inside all of this is a point, buried due to the Bishop's own blathering so as to be almost undiscoverable, not least to a non-Christian. What is it?

Well it's not that Christianity has a bias against violence or that it considers violence to be only a last resort or anything like that. Among other things, this is the position of every religious or moral code worth considering, including those held by atheists. Or at least Bishop Barron and those like him claim this to be the case. Islam is a "religion of peace" after all. So this doesn't really separate Christianity from the pack. And if you find yourself in the unusual position of trying to evangelize Vikings or Zulus, the bias against violence thing might not work in your favor anyway.

Rather, I would identify the point thus:

Our faith tells us that Christians should try to love everyone, by which is meant wanting the best for everyone, if only ultimately (but that's what's most important). This does distinguish Christianity and Catholicism from many other belief systems, including most religious traditions. And I do think it is an attractive feature, though some would disagree. When was the last time you heard a Muslim pray for his enemies or, with apologies to my Jewish elder brothers, a believing Jew do the same?

Note though, that this is different from pacifism. It doesn't say you shouldn't fight your enemies. It does say you should love them. And contra Bishop Barron, this isn't because loving them "works" as some rope-a-dope Gandhi-esque strategy to get them off your back or whatever. It's because, following his own example, Christ commanded it of us.

Thus, Maria Goretti famously wanted her attempted rapist and murderer to repent and join her in Heaven. But that didn't stop her from fighting him off (she succeeded at least in preventing the rape), and perhaps saving his soul in the bargain.

Joan D'Arc didn't merely ask her foes a question. And neither did Saint Bernard de Clairvaux (the most prominent theological backer of the Crusades). But they did fervently pray for them.

Bishop Barron is on record, by the way, as calling that Saint a sinner, which is a bit uppity for someone who is against "blaming".

And Jesus made a whip and drove the money changers out of the temple. That was His witness. And it wasn't quiet.

But you know what? Let's stop talking and test it. Bishop Barron is welcome anytime to fly to Turkey, accompanied of course by a Word on Fire camera team, and then take a land rover into ISIS occupied Raqqa. There he can undertake a non-violent sit-in at the local kabob joint. Oh, sure, even he might admit that might earn him a beheading. Then again, perhaps it might set a good example.

He isn't willing to do that?

Then what right does he have to in effect ask others to?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

How Low Can You Go? French Ambassador to U.S. Puts Jews in the Same Category as Journalists

The ambassador posing with Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock*

Apparently, neither Jews nor journalists are "ordinary" French citizens. One might be inclined to give the ambassador pass--oh, you know what he meant; don't be so uncharitable--except that this is not the first time these sorts of statements have been made. Also, he's a diplomat for goodness sake.

Also, what is the charitable interpretation?

Read down to the fourth paragraph where Ambassador Araud declares that the "ordinary citizens" murdered on 11/13 had "committed no crime" (except wanting to enjoy the Paris nightlife). In mid-January, Muslim terrorists attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, murdering eleven, and then stormed a Jewish deli, murdering four patrons (all of whom were Jewish). So, we know what "crime" the Charlie employees were responsible for--they had drawn funny pictures of Muhammad, among other things.

What crime had the Jews committed?

From Ruthie Blum in the Algeimener, 25 November via Jihad Watch
Last week, French citizens residing in America received a letter from Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador to the US, responding to the tragic event in Paris on November 13. 
The letter expressed horror in the face of the coordinated ISIS attacks on innocent people, without mentioning the name of the terrorist organization, and an appeal for unity and solidarity during these trying times. 
A debate on social media among French Jews ensued, due to a particular passage in the missive. 
After expressing solidarity with the people of France and praising the United States and President Obama for “being on our side in the fight against extremism and terrorism,” Araud wrote: “These are the foundations of our model of society that the terrorists seek to destroy: Yesterday journalists and Jews; now ordinary citizens whose only crime was to enjoy life on a Friday night in Paris.” 
One Jewish ex-pat, Ron Agam, a French-born Israeli artist and activist living in New York, posted his outrage on Facebook. 
“Tonight French people in the US received a letter from the French Ambassador about the events in Paris. To my surprise I learned that I — the Jew that I am — was not a regular French citizen, I was a Jew.” 
Another French Jew, Schlomoh Brodowicz, an academic who immigrated to Israel, explained to The Algemeiner this week why the ambassador’s statement was so vexing. 
“This man [Araud], is supposed to represent France in a major country which hosts the third-largest Jewish community in the world,” he said. “And his message clearly sets the Jews apart from other French citizens. When one recalls the slaughter committed by Islamists on January 9, 2015 in the HyperCasher kosher grocery store — where four Jews doing their shopping for Shabbat were killed – this message sounds like: ‘Those who were killed while they enjoyed entertainment on Friday night were ordinary citizens, while those who were shopping for Shabbat on Friday afternoon were not ordinary citizens; they were merely Jews.’” 
This, said Brodowicz, “is reminiscent of a similar remark made by then-Prime Minister Raymond Barre after the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980: ‘This heinous attack was aimed at Israelites who go to synagogue, but struck innocent French people crossing the street.’”…

*This is piling on, I know, but much of Captain Haddock's pseudo-foul-mouthed argot was allegedly cribbed from one of Céline's notoriously anti-semitic pre-war pamphlets Bagatelles pour un massacre. My point is not to bash Tintin, but to give an example of how French culture is arguably infused with anti-semitic silliness, petty and otherwise.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Chief Rabbi of Brussels: No Future for Jews in Europe

Central Brussels, 2015

Do the fellow travelers like Jews?

By "fellow travelers" I mean non-Muslims in the United States and Europe who obstinately defend Islam as a "religion of peace," claim that Muslim terrorists aren't really Muslims, condemn those who disagree with them as "haters" and so on.

Here's why I ask. The Islamization of Europe is the worst thing to happen to the Jewish people in Europe since Hitler. Indeed, in terms of effectively eliminating the Jews from Europe, it threatens to complete the work Hitler started. And yet the fellow travelers seem obstinately blind to it.

Now of course, the fellow travelers often cite how awful anti-semitism is, but it's almost always in the context of condemning "extremist Christians" or the "right-wing" or the "haters," and it's often grotesquely cited in the same breath as anti-Muslim "racism". At the same time, the most obvious manifestation of anti-semitism is occurring right in front of their eyes.

Anti-semitism is a relentless scourge. Pretty much every religious, national, ethnic or cultural group has fallen victim to it at one time or another. And yes, I would include Catholics in that equation including, ironically, many of those who talk the most about religious ecumenism. I don't think there's any question that not only is it being ignored by many fellow travelers, it's actually fueling some of them. If the Muslims are against the Jews, how could they be that bad?

From the Jerusalem Post:   
In the shadow of the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people and as Belgian police sweep the country for terror suspects, the Chief Rabbi of Brussels said Monday that there is no future for Jews in Europe. 
Rabbi Avraham Gigi spoke to Israeli radio station 103 FM about the atmosphere of fear in the Belgian capital that has been in a state of near lockdown for the past three days. 
"There is a sense of fear in the streets, the Belgians understand that they too are targets of terror. Jews now pray in their homes [as opposed to at synagogues] and some of them are planning on emigrating," Gigi said. 
"Since Shabbat the city has been paralyzed. The synagogues were closed, something which has not happened since World War Two. People are praying alone or are holding small minyanim [small prayer groups] at private homes. Schools and theaters are closed as are most large stores and public events are not permitted. We live in fear and wait for instructions from the police or the government," he said. 
Gigi gave a breakdown of the Belgian Jewish population which he said numbered 50,000. 
"There are 25,000 Jews in Brussels, 18,000 in Antwerp and the rest live in smaller places. There has been aliya to Israel as well as emigration to Canada and the US. People understand there is no future for Jews in Europe," he said. 
He added that economic conditions are also pushing young people to leave Belgium and move to Israel or to other places. 
"I think making aliya to Israel is an important thing for every Jew," Gigi said. 
"It is something that Jews in every generation yearned for. But Jews should not make aliya out of fear because this will result in a poor absorption experience as a feeling that something was left behind will always remain. People should make aliya out of a love for Israel," the rabbi said.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

"Pass the chestnut stuffing!"

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone from Mahound's Paradise!

Be grateful to God for what you have.

Give a fight those who would take it from you.

And may your holidays be joyous, celebratory and always halal free!

Muslim Schoolgirls (14 and 16) Stab Elderly Muslim Man in Head, Thinking He Was Jewish

The scissors used to stab Yussuf Alharoub

The story doesn't have a a happy ending. The man survived but one of the girls was shot dead and the other seriously wounded by a policeman.

Islam, especially in Palestine, is a death cult. And yes, Muslims themselves are also very much the victims. In some ways they are the primary ones.

There is a video of part of the incident here, though it doesn't show the man being stabbed.  It would be almost comical if it were not so horrible, with one of the girls bobbing and weaving with the scissors, looking precisely like a teenage girl and wearing what look like high-heeled boots. One might be forgiven for thinking that the policeman didn't need to take at least one of those shots. Then again, she might have been wearing a suicide belt.

What kind of an ideology does this to children?  

And what have you done to free them from it? Or have you collaborated in keeping them prisoners?

From Abraham Rabinovich, Washington Free Beacon, November 23, 2015 via Jihad Watch:
JERUSALEM—Two Palestinian high school girls, cousins aged 14 and 16, from a refugee camp north of Jerusalem, skipped school Monday morning and took a tram to the Jewish side of the city. Leaving their school bags on a bench, they proceeded toward the main market place until they encountered an elderly man whom they began to stab. A policeman across the street drew his gun and called on them to drop their weapons. Instead, say police officials, the girls charged him. The policeman fired, killing one of the attackers and seriously wounding the other. Their weapons, it turned out, were pairs of scissors. 
The unexpected nature of the attack, and of the attackers, has been a hallmark of the current round of Palestinian violence which began two months ago. Hardly a day passes without one or more attacks, almost all “lone-wolf” incidents involving individuals acting on their own initiative and not as part of a terror network. 
During this period of violence, 23 Israelis have been killed and 192 wounded, 20 of them seriously. The perpetrators have ranged from pre-teens to grandmothers. Few of the male attackers have had a record as terrorists. 
Although the attackers initially were almost all in their late teens or early 20s, they have come in recent weeks to include family men with children. Most of the attacks have been with knives, some with vehicles, which plow into people waiting at bus stops, and a handful with gunfire. Some of the attacks have been carried out in Israel proper but most have been on the West Bank. 
On a few occasions, the victims have inadvertently included fellow Palestinians. The 70-year-old man stabbed by the girl cousins ,Yussuf Alharoub, is a West Bank Palestinian who worked in the Jewish marketplace, as do many Arabs. 
“Both the Jews and Arabs are suffering from what’s happening now and no one benefits,” he told Ynet from his hospital bed…. 
A few hours after the scissor attack by the cousins, an 18-year-old Israeli man was knifed to death at a gas station in the West Bank. The assailant was shot dead by soldiers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Turkey Violated Greek Airspace 2,244 Times in 2014

Maybe they thought it was an Armenian

We should add, where was Marco Rubio then?

From Jacob Bojesson at The Daily Caller:
Turkey shot down a Russian warplane for violating its airspace Tuesday, but the Turkish air force does the exact same thing several times a day in Greece. 
Turkey was quick to defend its action by stating it issued 10 warnings over the course of five minutes before firing on the plane. 
“The data we have is very clear. There were two planes approaching our border, we warned them as they were getting too close,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters. “Our findings show clearly that Turkish air space was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.” 
But the Turkish air force doesn’t seem to be too careful about entering Greek airspace, according to numbers from the University of Thessaly. A tally shows the Turks committed a total of 2,244 violations in 2014, up from 636 in 2013.

The Russians did not take the matter lightly and President Vladimir Putin called the action from Turkey “a stab in the back.” He further warned of serious consequences for the action that he believes was made by “the accomplices of terrorists.” 
President Barack Obama said Russia and Turkey need to investigate what happened before taking any further actions against one another. 
“I think it is very important for us to right now make sure that both the Russians and the Turks are talking to each other and find out exactly what happened, and take measures to discourage any kind of escalation,” Obama said at a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande at The White House.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mass Casualty Terrorist Attacks: Muslims 238, Jews 2, Sikhs 1, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus 0

2014 Peshawar School Massacre. 132 children murdered.

I just spent a few hours doing a morbid study. But I think it is useful. The truth matters.

Before going into detail, I'm going to present my conclusions. See below as to how I arrived at them.

In the last approximately one-hundred years there have been 328 recorded mass casualty terrorist attacks--terrorist attacks that killed ten or more people. They fall into three broad categories--nationalist or separatist (anything from the IRA to the Tamil Tigers), political (across the spectrum from Maoist to Neo-Fascist groups) and explicitly religious. Even not counting the separatist groups that are arguably largely religious in motivation---such as the Chechens and the Palestinians--religious attacks have made up 75% of the total. Out of those, 99% have been committed by Muslims.

It gets worse. 246 or three-quarters of these attacks have occurred in the twenty-first century. 85% of those (or 92% if you include the increasingly religiously framed Chechen and Palestinian incidents) have been religious in nature. 100% of these were committed by Muslims.

So, it's true as far as it goes to say that in living memory, religion has been the prime-motivator for mass casualty terrorism. But by religion we then mean, almost exclusively, the religion of Islam.

It's not true to say that, at least as far as the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are concerned, all religions are prone to it, or that the main problem is "extremists" of all religions. The numbers show that this, to put it even more plainly, is a lie. No Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists Sikhs, Zoroastrians or any other non-Muslim religious have executed a mass casualty terrorist attack in the twenty-first century. In the twentieth century there were perhaps as many as 3 attacks by non-Muslim actors, as opposed to over 200 such attacks my Muslims.

Mass casualty terrorism is a largely Muslim phenomenon. Considering religious groups only, it is almost exclusively Muslim.

Here's a step-by-step review of the analysis:

Wikipedia provides a comprehensive list of terrorist attacks in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Each listing gives the number known or estimated killed, the accepted name of the attack, the group responsible, the location and the date.

By the way, if after further reading, you feel that my analysis is faulty, please go to the link and check the data.

The list begins with the early twentieth century Los Angeles Times bombing:
21, Los Angeles Times bombing, Militant Trade Unionism, United States, Los Angeles, 1910.
It ends (as of a few days ago) with the Paris Attacks:
137, November 2015 Paris Attacks, Jihadism, France, Paris, 2015
There are of course hundreds of listings. I decided to do an analysis of what I would term "mass casualty" attacks--attacks that killed 10 or more people. I did this partly for methodological reasons. The larger the attack, the more likely it is for the identity and claimed motivation of the attacker to be known, and the more likely that the attack was obviously terroristic in nature--involving planning, multiple parties, etc.--as opposed to quasi-personal.

I wanted to ask what proportion of these attacks were perpetrated by Muslims or by others with religious motivations? How many were "right-wing" vs. "left-wing"? And so on.

But first a few words on Wikipedia's implicit methodology of classifying an incident as "terrorism". On the main, only non-state incidents generally undertaken with the specific purpose of sowing terror were included, not, say, atrocities committed by one side or another in declared wars. Nor were ethnic massacres or casualties caused by riots or the suppression of protests included, nor small or large scale human rights violations by governments, nor mass-murders such as American or European school shootings where there was no declared political or religious motive. A few cases of state-sponsored terrorism such as the bombing of Pan Am 103 and at least one extra-territorial bombing alleged to have been directed by North Korea did make it on to the list.

Obviously that leaves out a greater part of the evil committed by men in the 20th and 21st centuries. But the point was not to do a general analysis of evil, but of terrorism as commonly defined or understood.

We are left with 328 incidents, some infamous but many of which are relatively unknown or now almost forgotten. The list includes a few (though surprisingly only a few) attacks by anarchists or trade-unionists, attacks by political groups such as Maoists (left-wing) or anti-Castro groups (right-wing), attacks by various separatists and nationalists such as the Tamil Tigers, bizarre outliers such as the Aum Shinrikyo Tokyo poison gas attacks and of course attacks my Islamists.

I sorted the attacks into eleven categories:
  • Chechen/Palestinian 
  • Criminal (Columbian drug cartel bombings aimed at creating terror)
  • Cult (Aum Shinrikyo)
  • Jewish (The King David Hotel bombing and the Kahanist Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre)
  • Left-wing (anarchists, non-nationalist communists, Shining Path)
  • Muslim (All Jihadist attacks not including attacks by Palestinians or Chechens)
  • Right-Wing (Anti-Castro groups, Czech and Italian Neo-Fascists, Militia movement, anti-insurgent paramilitaries)
  • Separatists/Nationalists (IRA and Ulster Loyalists, Tamil Tigers, Basque and Kurdish Nationalists)
  • Sikh (Air India Flight 182)
  • State sponsored (Libya and North Korea bombings)
  • Unknown
There is no Christian, Buddhist or Hindu category because there were no attacks that appeared to be primarily motivated by Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism. Remember, this doesn't necessarily mean that there have been no such attacks, only no such attacks that killed 10 or more people. By the way, I don't think anything should be read into the fact that, say, Jews have 2 attacks and Christians have 0. At those levels--0, 1 or 2 attacks in 100 years--the numbers are statistically insignificant. The basic point is that with the obvious exception of Islam, religiously motivated mass casualty terrorist attacks are extremely rare.

I know some will argue that the Northern Ireland conflict was religious in nature. I view it more as quasi-ethnic or nationalist. Among other things, you didn't see the Irish Republican Army using the Bible or Catholic theology to justify its cause. Indeed, much of the IRA was Marxist or quasi-Marxist. I know some people may disagree with me on this.

Separatist and nationalist movements often have a religious and more general political element--usually left-wing but not always--but I generally categorized them as separatists/nationalists. I gave the Chechens and Palestinians their own category because even though I believe their character is defined by Islam, I didn't want to initially enshrine that perhaps controversial assumption into the data.

Here are the full results:

Since 1910: 328 total attacks

Muslim: 238, 73%
Chechen/Palestinian: 29, 9%
Separatists/Nationalists: 22, 7%
Right-Wing: 13, 4%
Left-wing: 9, 3%
Unknown: 9, 3%
Criminal: 3, 1%
Jewish: 2, 1%
Cult: 1, 0%
Sikh: 1, 0%
State sponsored: 1, 0%

Since 2001: 246 total attacks

Muslim: 208, 85%
Chechen/Palestinian: 19, 8%
Separatists/Nationalists: 6, 2%
Unknown: 6, 2%
Left-wing: 3, 1%
Right-Wing: 3, 1%
Criminal : 1, 0%
Cult: 0
Jewish: 0
Sikh: 0
State sponsored: 0

These numbers are of course damning for the "religion of peace" and all those who collaborate in pushing the narrative that Islam is not a violent religion or at least that it is no more violent than any other religion.

Off the top of my head I can think of at least five possible objections the pro-Muslim diehards might make. But I see no profit in answering them here. If after all this, one still wants to maintain the "religion of peace" line, one is, for whatever reason, immune to all evidence and rational discourse.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

THEY Didn't Think It Was a Charade: Christian Refugees Celebrate Christmas

(h/t Netmilsmom)

These pictures, from a December, 2014 Daily Mail article, were taken at a refugee camp built around the Mazar Mar Eillia Catholic Church in Ankawa, Iraq. It is a suburb of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and is thus relatively safe.

A few days ago, Pope Francis declared:
Christmas is approaching: there will be lights, parties, Christmas trees and nativity scenes ... it's all a charade. The world continues to go to war. The world has not chosen a peaceful path.
That was, of course, a bizarre statement from a man who seems increasingly unhinged. There have been wars, persecutions and human suffering from the beginning of recorded history, or if you prefer, since the Fall. And, though Christ hates injustice, He didn't promise to save the world from it, or from suffering or even from war. He did promise to save it from sin.

That is the traditional Christian view. I do not think this hollow, hateful manthis parody of a Christian and yes, of a popeeither believes it or even comprehends it.

2,000 years ago, not that far from Erbil, God was born, lived and died as a man. His resurrection foreshadows what we can hope for.

Most Christians have always celebrated the birth of Christsometimes with lights, trees and nativity scenesnot despite the suffering in the world, but in a way, almost because of it. Christ's offer to us is a contrast worth celebrating.

So we celebrate Him and His promise. We don't gnash our teeth and moan that the United World Utopia has not yet been declared. It was never about that.

Francis doesn't understand.

These Christians do.

Obama Declares Muslim-Majority Malaysia an Example of Tolerance: In 6 out of 13 States, Apostasy From Islam is Punishable by Jail, Flogging or Death

"As-salamu alaykum. I wish Michelle would wear one of those."

Two days ago, speaking in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, President Barack Hussain Obama said:
Malaysia, like Indonesia, is a Muslim-majority country that represents tolerance and peace and as a consequence, its voice is critical in the debates taking place internationally around terrorism especially to fight ISIS.
Here's some background:

Malaysia is a federation composed of thirteen states and three territories. Each state has partial, though not complete judicial autonomy. And to a great extent differences between states breakdown along ethnic and religious lines. The majority (60%) of the country is Muslim with most of the remainder Buddhist, Hindu and Christian.

Malaysia is arguably the most moderate and even tolerant majority-Muslim country in the worldtolerance here defined as a combination of social mores and government laws. In many ways, it's a lovely place, with a vibrant culture and economy to a large extent driven by the non-Muslim Chinese in the south.

In much of the country, multiple religions do live relatively peaceably side by side, and Christians are given a fair amount of room (especially compared with other Muslim countries) to practice their faith. 

If I had to live in a majority-Muslim country, it would probably be Malaysia.

But unfortunately that sort of proves a point about contemporary Islam. Even in this most livable of majority Muslim countries, approximately half the states with more than half of the population have laws making it illegal to leave the Muslim religion (leaving another religion for Islam is fine and encouraged) with punishments on the books that include caning, prison and even death. The national government has the right to review extreme cases, and I'm not aware of any actual recent death sentences for apostasy. But the practice of forcibly confining apostates to "rehabilitation" centers is often used.

Malaysia is tolerant if compared to, say, Saudi Arabia, but measured against any Christian or liberal secular standard, it is a tyranny, at least where religion is concerned.

And also where sexuality is concernedmeasured against the Western liberal standard. In Malaysia, the leader of the political opposition has been arrested three times on the charge of sodomy and has served four years in prison. He currently resides there.

Let me repeat that: the leader of the Malaysian political opposition is currently in jail for allegedly committing a homosexual act.

I have no idea whether or not the politican in question, Anwar Ibrahim is actually gay. He does have a wife and six kids, which is a higher total than 99% of the heterosexual couples that I know. His supporters claim that the accusations are false and that the accusations are largely political. Since he happens to be the leader of the political opposition, this is of course plausible. 
Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country that represents tolerance.
Obama criticizes American citizens for being against gay marriage but apparently thinks it is just peachy when Muslim countries imprison gays (or alleged gays)especially if they are political rivals. Oh, he doesn't? Then why didn't he say it?

Obama is in favor of religious freedom unless it's for Muslim countries. Then he thinks beheading apostates is peachy. He doesn't? Then why didn't he say it?

And don't claim it's a matter of diplomacy. Ask Kenya.

We all know that Obama is a Muslim sympathizer and collaborator (he's not a Muslim himself but a collaborator with the agenda of Islam). And so, by now, we expect him to praise all things Islam and to follow a double-standard.

But in fairness, many others in the West are guilty of holding Islam to low standards. Converting from Islam is illegal in only 6 of 13 states? Punishable by death in only two? Eureka! Muslim tolerance!

Tragically however, while there is some liberalism in Malaysia and some other majority-Muslim countries, the trend is currently in the other direction. Turkey is an obvious example of this.

There have always been islands of liberalism and tolerance in Islamic societies. People will be people after all. But they are the exception not the rule, and historically they were inspired by or created by Islam's non-Muslim subjects or pressure from the outside. Imagine what Malaysia would be like if surrounded by other Muslim countries.

If you are in favor of tolerance and freedom, you cannot be in favor of Islam.