Tuesday, July 04, 2017

A 2015 editorial on Charlie Hebdo by an American in Paris

Horrifique. Déplorable. Révoltant.

The French words describing the events surrounding the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January hardly need translation for an English-speaking audience. But for this journalist, partway through a one-year stay in the City of Light, it was not only horrifying but fascinating to be in the middle of it.  Ironically International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors member Jennifer Karchmer, with connections to Reporters Without Borders, the organization publishing an annual list of the most dangerous places to ply the journalism trade, was visiting my wife Mary and me at the time. To continue with the irony, a little before noon on January 7 we had just descended from the ninth-floor terrace of the Institute of the Arab World, created by France and 18 Arab countries including Algeria to foster understanding of the Arab world by disseminating information about its cultural and spiritual values, when we heard sirens. Having just viewed the Notre Dame from the terrace, we stood on the banks of the Seine about to cross the Sully Bridge to Saint Louis Island when several police cars tore through the intersection against our green light on their way north across the bridge toward Place de la Bastille.

We didn’t know it at the time, but they were apparently speeding towards the scene of a grisly crime at 10 Rue Nicolas Appert. A few minutes earlier at about 11:30, gun-toting brother terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, French citizens born in Paris to Algerian immigrants, had attacked the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo about a mile from where we stood. They killed 11 people in the building as well as a policeman lying on a sidewalk nearby. Eleven others were wounded in the deadliest terror attack in France since 28 people were killed in a 1961 train bombing by a paramilitary group opposed to Algerian independence during the Algerian War.

Paris is a small place, approximately six miles by five miles, with about 2.3 million people packed into 31 square miles. So any incident like this “hits close to where you live.” Our apartment near Place Monge in the 5th Arrondissement is about a mile and three quarters from the newspaper’s offices. The intersection in Montrouge where a policewoman was killed the next day by co-conspirator Amedy Coulibaly and the kosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes where Coulibaly murdered an additional four people a day after that are both about two and a half miles from our place. Oblivious to the carnage at Charlie Hebdo, Jennifer, Mary and I explored Île Saint Louis, where the two women stopped at a cafe to have something hot to drink while I took pictures along the island’s quais on the Seine. Then we crossed over the river again to the Left Bank to continue our tour of the Latin Quarter before returning home in late afternoon. Jennifer’s and Mary’s social networks were buzzing with news about the shootings. We turned on the TV and stayed glued to it all night. Many friends and relatives e-mailed us hoping we were safe and sending their prayers.
The next day was a national day of mourning declared by President François Hollande. The Je suis Charlie rallying cry had already exploded by then. Thousands held black-and-white Je suis Charlie signs at a rally the night of the 7th organized on a few hours’ notice at Place de la République, the square where Parisians traditionally hold major demonstrations. We bought a couple of newspapers, both tabs, on the morning of the 8th and observed interesting front-page treatment. Le Parisien’s banner head cried, “Ils ne tueront pas la liberté” (They will not kill freedom), over a photo of the rally the night before with people holding Je suis Charlie signs. Inside the 40-pager, the newspaper had 24 pages of attack coverage with a Je suis Charlie sign in the banner atop each page and heads such as “Hollande face à son 11 septembre” (Hollande faces his 9/11) and “En état de choc, les Français se rassemblent” (In a state of shock, the French gather).

The front of conservative Le Figaro featured a Second Coming banner, “La liberté assassinée” (Freedom assassinated) with a grainy photo taken from the video of the Kouachis pointing automatic rifles outside their car. The only copy on the front was an editorial, “La guerre” (The war). Inside, the main head stated, “Des tueurs sèment la mort à Charlie Hebdo” (Killers bring death to Charlie Hebdo). Mary and I wanted to stand with the French in their grief and outrage on the day of mourning. We walked to a vigil in the square in front of the Notre Dame at noon, where a minute of silence was observed. Even the Métro, the city’s subway system, stopped at  noon for the observance. Just about noon, the skies opened up and rain drenched the mourners as they stood silently listening to the bells of the Notre Dame toll. It fit the mood, as if the skies were crying for France. However, I read later that some Muslim children did not appreciate the moment of silence in their schools. (Muslims constitute about five million of France’s 64 million people.) To the kids it must have felt like a forced Pledge of Allegiance. There was another vigil at Place de la République on the night of the 8th, and we took the Métro to the plaza where tens of thousands had gathered. It sent chills down my spine to hear a mass of people chant, “Nous aimons Charlie!” (We love Charlie!) and not because that is my name.

I have been to France 18 times in 37 years because I love this country. I have made my home here for a couple of years, but no matter how long I live here I will never be considered French. However, I have never felt more French than when I attended the two vigils on the day of mourning. I felt as though I was standing with the French for freedom of expression, and yes, because of the beating that journalists take for seeking truth, the month of January and the vigils were especially emotional for me. Jennifer took off from Aeroport Charles de Gaulle on Friday morning the 9th bound for the States. That was the morning police had cornered the Kouachis in a printing plant in a suburb called Dammartin-en-Goële north of Paris near the airport. Authorities closed two runways because of the proximity of the siege to the airport, Jennifer’s flight was delayed, and she missed her connection to Atlanta in New York. At about 6:30 that morning I walked her the 10 blocks from our place to the Luxembourg subway station for the ride to the airport on the suburban train. On the way home I took a one-block detour to check out a sneaking hunch. I guessed I’d find a policeman standing in front of the synagogue on Rue Vauquelin, the street where I lived in 2010-2011. Sure enough, a gendarme guarded the place at 7 a.m. At the end of month, there were two cops there, one with a submachine gun.

The police have to protect everything from everybody. Police stand outside the Grand Mosquée de Paris four blocks from our apartment because they’re just as concerned about an attack there as at a synagogue. In the week after the Charlie Hebdo attack, there were 54 anti-Muslim incidents in France. The American Church in Paris where we attend had stepped-up security after the shootings. The police chief in the 7th Arrondissement, the church’s district, came by the church five times in the days after the murders to talk to the people there. He is Muslim. Authorities instituted bag checks for those entering the Notre Dame after the shootings, and I even had my bag checked at the post office here in the Latin Quarter. Bag scans were standard practice at museums such as the Louvre and Orsay and at sites like the Sainte Chapelle and Eiffel Tower long before the latest incidents. And Parisians are used to soldiers with submachine guns walking three abreast in public places such as train stations, the Champs Élysées, the Eiffel Tower and other crowded spots.

We did not attend the largest rally for freedom that week, held on the Sunday following the attacks with heads of 40 countries leading a demonstration of more than 1.5 million people. About 3.7 million French rallied around the country that day, which would be like 20 million Americans marching for a cause. The French government said the turnout was the highest on record for anything. The rallies that week must have been a cop’s worst nightmare – ensuring the public’s safety when throngs were gathering without security checks. Some of my friends writing from the U.S. believed President Obama had made a mistake in not attending the unity rally, but I read the arguments on both sides, and his absence didn’t bother me. It was all symbolism in the first place, and to say the U.S. didn’t care about France, freedom of expression or fighting terrorism that week isn’t logical.

The signs of the citizens’ solidarity following the attacks can be seen throughout the city. The Hôtel de Ville, city hall for the entire capital, displays three-story banners that say, “Paris est Charlie” and “Nous sommes Charlie” (We are Charlie) and another banner declaring, “Charlie Hebdo: Citoyen d’Honneur de la Ville de Paris” (Citizen of Honor of the city of Paris). Each of the city’s 20 districts has a mairie or town hall; when we walked the streets of the 11th Arrondissement, location of the newspaper offices, we saw “Je suis Charlie” signs in many storefronts and a “Nous sommes Charlie” banner over the front door of the mairie, whose Christmas trees still guarded the door. People have spray-painted “Je suis Charlie” on the pavement and benches through a stencil. When we went to the Bourse flea market in front of the French stock exchange a month after the shootings, we noticed hundreds of “Je suis Charlie” signs in the windows of the Agence France Presse building across the street. Another time we noticed flags at the Assemblée Nationale (House of Representatives) at half mast. “Paris est Charlie” was projected onto the Arc de Triomphe on the Friday and Saturday nights after the murders, and at 8 o’clock that Thursday night the lights on the Eiffel Tower were turned off “en hommage des victimes.”

On Sunday the 11th I was taking the RER or suburban train from the Austerlitz station to church. The trains are designated by four-letter names such as ELBA, MONA and ROMI displayed in lights on the front of the engine to indicate their destinations, and I was looking for the 8:14 SARA. Here comes a train in the distance and I am confused over the name in lights, which is too long. As it comes closer, it’s CHARLIE. Letters one story high spell out “Nous sommes tous Charlie” (We are all Charlie) in French and Arabic on the side of the Institute of the Arab World in our arrondissement. Billboards now advertise the release of the book Nous Sommes Charlie, in which “60 writers unite for freedom of expression,” and they’ve obviously donated their pieces because all of the proceeds from the five-euro paperback go to Charlie Hebdo. (The newspaper has received $750,000 that I know of from press funds separate from the book project for its recovery.)

My story started with irony, and I must continue with the biggest irony of all: Terrorists who thought they were martyrs for a cause, who wanted to sow terror, avenge the Prophet and destroy a newspaper by killing its main characters, have turned Charlie Hebdo’s dead into martyrs and brought worldwide attention to a little weekly with half the circulation of ISWNE member Elliott Freireich’s West Valley View. Charlie Hebdo translates as Charlie Weekly, Hebdo being short for hebdomadaire or weekly. It took its name from a monthly comics magazine called Charlie, the Charlie coming from Charlie Brown, lead character in one of the comic strips it published. Charlie Hebdo was founded in the early ‘70s when a group of journalists running a satirical weekly had to find another name for their publication after it was banned in France for mocking Charles de Gaulle’s death. (I had the same question as you about freedom of expression in 1970.) So the “Charlie” was also an inside joke about Charles de Gaulle.

The newspaper mocks religion, the far right, politics and culture, and its offices were firebombed in response to its November 3, 2011 cover, on which it renamed itself Charia Hebdo and depicted Muhammad saying, “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing.” When you compare it to Le Canard d’enchaîné, the country’s most popular satirical weekly with a circulation of about 700,000, you get the idea that the general public didn’t appreciate Charlie Hebdo’s raw brand of humor as much. As near as I can tell, Charlie Hebdo’s press run was 60,000 and it typically sold 35,000 to 40,000 copies a week. The issue printed the week after the shootings sold about eight million copies worldwide. Five of those went to ISWNE member Andy Schotz, who asked me to pick up the souvenir editions for newspaper-society auctions. The cover depicts Muhammad again. In my neighborhood, there was a line of 400 people at one newsstand on the morning it was released and vendors all over the city reported selling out in minutes. After that edition, the magazine had to go on hiatus until the end of February, but its “comeback edition” has a press run of 2.5 million. It undoubtedly will benefit from sympathy buys for weeks or months to come.

A college friend who is coming in April and does not understand French wants to buy copies of Charlie Hebdo when he arrives and leave them in public places in Paris for people to read. He also wants to go shopping at the supermarket Coulibaly attacked. Le Figaro was right literally, but not figuratively, when it said killers brought death to Charlie Hebdo. The reaction of the French people was more one of outrage than fear. And great sadness. Interviews on the street indicated shock and disgust, anxiety and compassion. I walked the streets and rode the subway with Parisians in the days after the shootings, and we were all attempting to live life as usual. It wasn’t as if people hunkered down at home because they thought the streets were unsafe. I heard one TV report that said there was chaos on the streets of Paris, but I never saw that. Mary went out to Rue Mouffetard, our local shopping street, to buy bread on the night of the 7th and found a “normal” situation. Some feared more attacks in the future, understandable given terrorism around the world and Paris’ history in the 1980s and 1990s when the city suffered five bombings killing 31 and wounding hundreds and an attack on a restaurant in the Jewish quarter that took five lives. I remember how the bombings changed things for this traveler – increased security measures, the disappearance of metal garbage cans on the streets (clear plastic bags hanging from holders blow in the wind now) and the elimination of storage lockers in train stations. One French person interviewed said the fact that people knew the work of the victims reinforced the feeling that they lost someone close to them and the shock. A few said the country needs more security measures in public places, one even favoring a military presence on the streets.

The vigils I attended and stories I read made it obvious that the French people were livid over the attack on their freedom of expression. Millions upon millions took it personally. I sensed a loss of innocence. The Le Figaro editorial spoke of a war happening far away that people did not want see. “By scruple, doubtless for fear, too, we did not even dare speak its name.” The war has come to Paris’ doorstep, it said, and it’s clear that the democratic West’s way of life, values and civilization are under attack. …

(A poll story I read a few weeks after the shootings showed that the French overwhelmingly believe social measures should be taken against jihadism and that jobs for the Muslim population would help prevent resentment toward the French state.) Isabelle wondered aloud why people bought Charlie Hebdo after the tragedy but not before. She believes that the reaction of the world to the murders means freedom of expression is not going to die, and she hopes that all the people who reacted to January 7 will continue to react. Isabelle’s frustration over the availability of weapons was evident. A report indicated Coulibaly bought the weapons used in the attacks from the underworld in Belgium. They easily come across borders now in the new European Union with traditional borders diminished. Weapons are illegal in France except for sport, said Isabelle, who doesn’t even like her children watching TV shows or movies with gun violence. She also resents the fact that her country has imported conflicts, in her words, that a religious war has been brought here. Her words when she picked up a magazine printed after the shootings resonated with this American. On the cover was the French motto, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité,” (liberty, equality, fraternity). “We don’t have égalité, we don’t have fraternité, and we are getting less and less liberté,” she lamented.

There has been much discussion about Charlie Hebdo’s provocation of violence. Some argue that freedom of expression is absolute, meaning that poking fun is not provocation, while others contend that though there is no excuse for murdering people you disagree with, the newspaper and a cartoonist with a bodyguard knew they were risking physical, not just intellectual, retaliation when they enraged jihadists. The dinner discussion touched on that, when we found there is room for disagreement under one roof. Gilles repeatedly said there’s a difference between attacking the far right and printing something that irritates a religious faction to the point of violence. He called Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons provocation. Isabelle argued that it was not provocation and that freedom of expression is the right to speak your mind about anything. She even had the numbers to explain that the Muslims had not been picked on. She said 30 percent of Charlie’s covers attacked the extreme right, the next highest target was the church, next Jews and last Muslims at 4 percent. One thing seems clear: Charlie Hebdo isn’t going to back down. As I write this today, February 25, the new issue went on sale with a cover featuring a cartoon including images of the Pope, right-wing politician Marine Le Pen, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and a jihadist carrying a Kalashnikov. The people are drawn as vicious dogs chasing a pup carrying a copy of Charlie Hebdo, and the big head reads, “Here we go again!”

Monday, June 12, 2017

Welcome to the Hesperado: Introductory Podcast


If you found yourself here, you probably got here by clicking on the link on my Hesperado front page.  In case you'd like a link back to The Hesperado, click here

Sit back, relax, and listen to my podcast introducing you to my blog (it's so short, however -- about 3 and a half minutes -- you probably won't have time even to finish your cup of decaf jihadaccino).

Note: You may hear a few seconds of silence at the very beginning -- don't panic; just take another frothy sip of your coffee and wait...



Friday, April 21, 2017

My 2009 interactions with ex-Muslims at the CEMB discussion forum

Link:  https://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=4812.0

Hesperado
  • Hello, fellow Infidels
     OP - March 29, 2009, 08:47 PM

    I just joined this forum the other day.  I actually found this site by accident, while I was Googling some topic related to Islam (can't even remember what the topic was now).

    I am one of those people on Earth who was blessed never to have been a Muslim, nor to have any Muslims in my family. 

    Even as far back as the days immediately following 911, I remember I had an open mind that allowed me to go against the grain of the Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism (PC MC) that has been dominant and mainstream throughout the West for approximately the last 50 years.  Even at that time, I was free enough of that PC MC in my mind to entertain the questions -- "Does Islam itself have anything to do with what motivated these terrorists?  If so, what exactly are the connections?"

    While I did not know much about Islam at the time, my willingness to ask these kinds of questions did not inhibit me from learning more with an open mind, and I rather quickly advanced on the Learning Curve of the Problem of Islam.

    For the past few years, I have been writing a blog called The Hesperado at http://hesperado.blogspot.com/

    My blog is about issues surrounding both the Problem of Islam, and the perhaps greater problem -- the Problem of the West Being So Goddamned Irrational and Stupid and Blind to the Danger of Islam.  In so doing, I have written at least 100 essays analyzing what I call "PC MC" -- which in my estimation is the main reason why the West persists in irrationally whitewashing Islam and treating Muslims with "respect" when they deserve condemnation and mockery, let alone mass surveillance and deportation.

    Other than that, I have two undergraduate degrees, one in Western history, the other in comparative religions, and I also spend a lot of my time writing fiction novels and short stories (none, alas, published yet).  My fiction-writing, for the most part, has nothing to do with Islam (thank God!), though recently I wrote a novel about the British in India circa 1900 in which I put in a lot of delicious stuff about horrible Mohammedans.

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #1 - March 29, 2009, 09:07 PM

    Hi Hesperado,

    In so doing, I have written at least 100 essays analyzing what I call "PC MC" -- which in my estimation is the main reason why the West persists in irrationally whitewashing Islam and treating Muslims with "respect" when they deserve condemnation and mockery, let alone mass surveillance and deportation.

    I think you're not going to have much fun hanging around here. I guess FFI will be more to your liking.

    German ex-Muslim forumMy YouTubeList of Ex-Muslims
    Wikis: en de fr ar tr
    CEMB-Chat
    I'm on an indefinite break...
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #2 - March 29, 2009, 09:08 PM

    Welcome Hesperando!

    Hope your stay will be good!

    But remember,there is many here, with a muslim family,that they care about,even though themselves are exmuslims.

    Why so harsh?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #3 - March 29, 2009, 09:10 PM

    Hi Hesperado,

    In so doing, I have written at least 100 essays analyzing what I call "PC MC" -- which in my estimation is the main reason why the West persists in irrationally whitewashing Islam and treating Muslims with "respect" when they deserve condemnation and mockery, let alone mass surveillance and deportation.

    I think you're not going to have much fun hanging around here. I guess FFI will be more to your liking.


    Hey, let him have his opinion, he might even change his mind!

    Anyway welcome, your blog is an interesting read so far.

    At your service if you need anything.

    "I am ready to make my confession. I ask for no forgiveness father, for I have not sinned. I have only done what I needed to do to survive. I did not ask for the life that I was given, but it was given nonetheless-and with it, I did my best"
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #4 - March 29, 2009, 09:14 PM

    in my estimation is the main reason why the West persists in irrationally whitewashing Islam and treating Muslims with "respect" when they deserve condemnation and mockery, let alone mass surveillance and deportation.

    I'd like to welcome you, but cant bring myself to do so.  In my view anybody that wants to forcefully repatriate my parents, siblings and friends automatically foregoes that privilege.

    My Book     news002       
    My Blog  pccoffee
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #5 - March 29, 2009, 09:23 PM

    Finally Free, thanks for your response.

    Aziz, thanks.  I have noticed already in just 24 hours here that there is a lot of what I have called on my blog "low-end asymptotic" stances on Islam, if not positively PC MC attitudes here.  I may well end up finding the atmosphere here too frustrating for that reason, although I have noticed a couple of posters here have stances closer to my own, approximating what I have called on my blog the "holistic" position on Islam (e.g., the poster named Zaephon, if I am not mistaken).

    Marleya, sorry, but your Prophet declared war on me 1400 years ago, and his followers in trying to fulfill that declaration attacked my civilization for over 1,000 years until they were finally defeated trying to conquer a major European city, Vienna, in 1683, and only stopped after that because the West become so powerful globally (though that did not stop Muslims from continuing to attack us in smaller ways, like for example into the 19th century the Maghreb countries attacking our ships, stealing the cargo, killing the crews and enslaving the ones they did not kill and demanding ransom money).  Muslims are currently undergoing a revival of that dream of Mohammed's -- the vision of the three sparks: first to conquer Arabia, then to conquer the East, then the West.  The first spark has to be "re-ignited" so to speak, since the Arab royalty have, through their corruption and relations with the West become traitors to Islam in this classical view, even though they themselves continue to foment hatred and intolerance of the West.

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #6 - March 29, 2009, 09:28 PM

    Islame,

    And anyone who wants to automatically protect populations of people among whom there is a high likelihood of terrorists whom we have no reliable way of distinguishing from the harmless people among them, also foregoes my respect.  The risks are too high now for sentimentality. 

    Just today the story came out about a Muslim woman in Canada who had been inserting sewing needles into the meat she was processing in a meat plant, in the hopes apparently of injuring any non-Muslims who might be eating that meat.  Before she was found out, she could have been any normal Muslim person in the West, just going to her daily job, perhaps even a nice, polite and "moderate" Muslim.  This kind of story can be multiplied innumerable times over the past few years.  Plots to mass-murder us in various places around the West, from Germany to Holland to England to Italy to France to the USA, foiled sometimes by sheer luck by our intelligence services. 

    The point is, the risks are too high to trust any given Muslim on the mere basis that we don't know whether they are dangerous or not. 

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #7 - March 29, 2009, 09:59 PM

    Quote from: Hesperado
    (e.g., the poster named Zaephon, if I am not mistaken).

    Personally, I do not defend the mass-deportation of Muslims from the West. Hateful clerics and Shariah activists who preach xenophobia and radical Islam ought to be banished, but basically, I strongly believe that every human being must be judged individually. This is because I reject the notion of "society." I despise Islam so much because it suppresses personal freedoms, reducing all its victims to a single, mindless Ummah. Deporting Muslims altogether, regardless of individual creed and orientation, would amount to the same thing.

    No matter what you think, Hesperado, the real war will take place in the Islamic landscape. Muslim immigrants are not capable of defeating the Western civilisation, let alone provide a healthy alternative. Indeed, precisely because Western ideals encaptivate so many young and intelligent Muslims even in the Islamic heartlands, Islamic conservatives feel threatened. Luckily, there is nothing they can do to stop the slow, painful death of Islam.

    This is my stance. And yes, I am an ex-Muslim too. Try to be open-minded and keep posting. Welcome.

    Islam: where idiots meet terrorists.
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #8 - March 29, 2009, 10:13 PM


    I am one of those people on Earth who was blessed never to have been a Muslim, nor to have any Muslims in my family.  + they deserve condemnation and mockery, let alone mass surveillance and deportation.




                                                               
                                                               
                       
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    oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, this is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!"
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #9 - March 29, 2009, 10:29 PM

    Ooooooooooo_kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. We have a live one. Grin

    Umm, welcome the the forum, Hesperado. Got a question for you, me ol' low-end asymptope to civilised discussion.

    Given that some white Christians have also been known to attempt to injure other people living in the same society should we deport all white Christians?

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #10 - March 29, 2009, 10:41 PM

    I am one of those people on Earth who was blessed never to have been a Muslim, nor to have any Muslims in my family.


    Welcome! Yes, I too was blessed to have never been a Muslim by our true Lord. However, some of my family members have not been so lucky. Obviously God favors you over me by having given you a culturally and religiously pure family. This truly is a sign of the blessing and your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Quote
    the main reason why the West persists in irrationally whitewashing Islam and treating Muslims with "respect" when they deserve condemnation and mockery, let alone mass surveillance and deportation.


    I agree. However, we cannot stop there. The Oklahoma City Bombing and numerous acts of terrorism by the Klan and other White supremacist groups since the Civil War means that we also need to condemn, mock, monitor and deport White, Christian, gun-owning rural males. While I am White, male, do own guns, and am sorta kinda Christian, at least by background, I am not rural, so I figure I'm safe. Now some of my uncles and cousins won't be so lucky, but hey, this is war right? It may be ugly but sometimes we have to do ugly things in war to stay safe. Sure, they MAY be harmless, but how are we to know the difference? Deport them all, I say.

    Unfortunately due to the weak-willed Liberals, and their desire to protect religious minorities, this will not happen. I really wish I could live in a country where religious minorities are treated as the enemy, but, as far as I know, most, if not all of those countries are in the Muslim world.

    Quote
    I have noticed already in just 24 hours here that there is a lot of what I have called on my blog "low-end asymptotic" stances on Islam, if not positively PC MC attitudes here


    This is correct. They are a bunch of pussy Liberals here who know nothing of danger and evil of Islam except for the fact they used to be Muslim and rejected the religion at great personal sacrifice and risk-- big fuckin deal, I say. They are not true warriors dedicated to fighting Islam by any means necessary like you or I are.

    Quote
    Just today the story came out about a Muslim woman in Canada who had been inserting sewing needles into the meat she was processing in a meat plant, in the hopes apparently of injuring any non-Muslims who might be eating that meat.  Before she was found out, she could have been any normal Muslim person in the West, just going to her daily job, perhaps even a nice, polite and "moderate" Muslim.


    I know what you mean. I mean, I've NEVER heard of a non-Muslim in North America intentionally tainting/poisoning food. It's stories like this that make me live in constant fear and make me think we need to sacrifice our traditional civil liberties and protection of religious minorities in order to stay safe.

    Again, welcome aboard-- it's nice to have another comrade in the struggle here.

    fuck you
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #11 - March 29, 2009, 11:10 PM

    Osmanthus,

    By "low-end" asymptotic I refer to a vertical spectrum where on the bottom we have Muslims, next highest are Western Revolutionaries (extremist Leftists, Communists, Fascists, etc.), next up are Western Leftists, next up are the Politically Correct Multi-Culturalists (PC MCs).  Above this field of people undermining the West is another field of people who have, in varying degrees, woken up to the problem of Islam -- but among these people there are levels of awareness.  Thus, at the "low end" of this second field are people who almost resemble the PC MCs in their propensity to regurgitate the axioms of the day:  "It's only a small minority of extremists who are the problem, trying to 'hijack' the religion of peace Islam" etc. etc. blah blah blah.

    As for your question -- "Given that some white Christians have also been known to attempt to injure other people living in the same society should we deport all white Christians?"

    The answer is that the disparity in comparison between "some" white Christians who have manifested dangerous behaviors and Muslims who have manifested dangerous behaviors -- a disparity on all levels including -- a) numbers, b) global incidence, c) dangerousness of attack, d) numbers of attacks both successful and planned but foiled by intelligence agencies around the world, e) connections to wider sympathy among millions of co-religionists with their dangerous pathology -- would move any rational person to treat these two groups differently in terms of danger and measures to protect ourselves from that danger. 

    The group of "some white Christians" is so minuscule compared with the group of Muslims who are dangerous in the full terms of comparison I just adumbrated above, that the rational way to treat the former is one that reflects the reality of its nature -- as a relativel minor criminal problem; while the threat of the latter has dimensions that warrant a much more comprehensive response.

    But then, I don't have to explain this to a rational person who has noticed the mountain of horrible and grotesque data pullulating out of the Muslim world and out of the Western community of Muslims every day for years now and who has the elementary ability to connect the dots to Islam now and Islam throughout history.  I only explain this for general consumption here, in the hopes that there exist one or more rational persons to read it.

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #12 - March 29, 2009, 11:12 PM

    Q-Man, congratulations on weaving together a satirically sarcastic post with slightly more subtle threads than is usually done. 

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #13 - March 29, 2009, 11:15 PM

    As an Ex-Muslim I like welcoming new people to this forum, but in your case, you already lost my respect.

    I don't welcome you this forum.  Smiley





                                                            

    Call me TAP TAP! for I am THE ASS PATTER!
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #14 - March 29, 2009, 11:29 PM

    Osmanthus,

    By "low-end" asymptotic I refer to a vertical spectrum where on the bottom we have Muslims, next highest are Western Revolutionaries (extremist Leftists, Communists, Fascists, etc.), next up are Western Leftists, next up are the Politically Correct Multi-Culturalists (PC MCs).  Above this field of people undermining the West is another field of people who have, in varying degrees, woken up to the problem of Islam -- but among these people there are levels of awareness.  Thus, at the "low end" of this second field are people who almost resemble the PC MCs in their propensity to regurgitate the axioms of the day:  "It's only a small minority of extremists who are the problem, trying to 'hijack' the religion of peace Islam" etc. etc. blah blah blah.

    As for your question -- "Given that some white Christians have also been known to attempt to injure other people living in the same society should we deport all white Christians?"

    The answer is that the disparity in comparison between "some" white Christians who have manifested dangerous behaviors and Muslims who have manifested dangerous behaviors -- a disparity on all levels including -- a) numbers, b) global incidence, c) dangerousness of attack, d) numbers of attacks both successful and planned but foiled by intelligence agencies around the world, e) connections to wider sympathy among millions of co-religionists with their dangerous pathology -- would move any rational person to treat these two groups differently in terms of danger and measures to protect ourselves from that danger. 

    The group of "some white Christians" is so minuscule compared with the group of Muslims who are dangerous in the full terms of comparison I just adumbrated above, that the rational way to treat the former is one that reflects the reality of its nature -- as a relativel minor criminal problem; while the threat of the latter has dimensions that warrant a much more comprehensive response.

    But then, I don't have to explain this to a rational person who has noticed the mountain of horrible and grotesque data pullulating out of the Muslim world and out of the Western community of Muslims every day for years now and who has the elementary ability to connect the dots to Islam now and Islam throughout history.  I only explain this for general consumption here, in the hopes that there exist one or more rational persons to read it.


    You think you are one of the rationals Hesperando,but you sure dont sound like one.
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #15 - March 29, 2009, 11:31 PM

    Finally Free, thanks for your response.

    Aziz, thanks.  I have noticed already in just 24 hours here that there is a lot of what I have called on my blog "low-end asymptotic" stances on Islam, if not positively PC MC attitudes here.  I may well end up finding the atmosphere here too frustrating for that reason,

    Yeah, sorry we're not Muslim haters.

    There is a difference between you and the majority of other members here. We're against Islam, along all other hateful and irrational religions but we're not xenophobic, and we don't generalize Muslims into terrorist stereotypes. Most of our family and friends are Muslims and they're descent and genuine people so you can see why we aren't nodding in agreement with you.

    Definitely check out FFI.

    "Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name!"
    - Emma Goldman
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #16 - March 30, 2009, 12:25 AM

    "Most of our family and friends are Muslims and they're descent and genuine people"

    I'm sure they are.  Trouble is, I can't verify that about any one of them sufficiently for the safety of my society.  There's the rub.  And I'm certainly not going to bank the safety of my society on the anecdotal evidence and on the word of some anonymous person on the Web.

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #17 - March 30, 2009, 12:46 AM

    And who is going to protect our family and friends (who ARE a part of this society whether you like it or not) from xenophobes like yourself?

    "Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name!"
    - Emma Goldman
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #18 - March 30, 2009, 12:54 AM

    And who is going to protect our family and friends (who ARE a part of this society whether you like it or not) from xenophobes like yourself?



    They are the ones Hesperando call "collateral damage"
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #19 - March 30, 2009, 01:06 AM

    "Most of our family and friends are Muslims and they're descent and genuine people"

    I'm sure they are.  Trouble is, I can't verify that about any one of them sufficiently for the safety of my society.  There's the rub.  And I'm certainly not going to bank the safety of my society on the anecdotal evidence and on the word of some anonymous person on the Web.


    Tough shit, dude. Life's dangerous. Life's risky. Even if we were to have an attack the scale of 9/11 EVERY YEAR, statistically you're over 14 times more likely to be killed in an auto accident. I bet that doesn't stop you from using cars, trucks, and/or buses, does it? From your blog it appears you are also an American, and quite frankly, I'm tired of all the irrationally terrified pussies in my country giving carte blanche to the government to take away our liberties and trample all over the rights of minority groups just because they think it will "keep them safe". Every single right or liberty that we've seen trampled on by the government in our country (going back to colonial times) has been because people got hysterically scared of something, whether that's scared of drugs, guns, homosexuals,  certain books, Black people, Muslims-- you name it.

    My city averages between 300-400 murders a year (having not a damn thing to do with religion) and I don't live in a safe neighborhood-- I could step outside tomorrow and get shot. To say nothing of traffic accidents, disease and all the other ways I could go on any given day. Shit, if I really thought about it enough I'd have to go cloister myself in a monastery to feel safe all the time.

    Do yourself and everyone else a favor-- just live your fuckin life without being scared shitless of Muslims (or whoever or whatever) all the time. Even if we just let terrorists run amok, you're still more likely to bite it in some other, more mundane fashion. I'm really sick of all the wusses in my country making life worse for the rest of us.

    fuck you
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #20 - March 30, 2009, 01:07 AM

    And who is going to protect our family and friends (who ARE a part of this society whether you like it or not) from xenophobes like yourself?



    They are the ones Hesperando call "collateral damage"


    Bingo.

    fuck you
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #21 - March 30, 2009, 01:48 AM

    "Even if we were to have an attack the scale of 9/11 EVERY YEAR, statistically you're over 14 times more likely to be killed in an auto accident."

    Human accidents and machine malfunctions do not have the additional factor of human will deformed by ideology and fanaticism, and inspiring innumerable multitudes of humans around the globe in a variety of ways and degrees.  Thus the equivalency of the two realms you are attempting to establish fails.  The Western Allies didn't decide not to go to war against Hitler because they realized that it was more likely they'd get run over by a car or get killed in a train accident than get killed by Hitler -- even if that was true in an abstract statistical sense.  I'm sure glad they didn't let abstract statistics dissuade them from stopping Hitler.

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #22 - March 30, 2009, 01:59 AM

  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #23 - March 30, 2009, 03:32 AM

    You have no idea what innocent Muslims were subjected to post-sept 11th.

    Because the government was trying to PROTECT their society.

    My brother was one of those innocent Muslims, had his house raided and he was arrested merely for having a Muslim name. He was in prison for 4 and a half months, with no evidence to suggest that he could have been a terrorist. He was treated horribly in prison by the authorities. My mother had to go to the States and hire lawyers when my brothers best friend called her. It was a truly FUCKED UP situation.

    You talk so proudly about protecting your family and loved ones, well what about my loved ones that have had to suffer? You truly have no idea.
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #24 - March 30, 2009, 04:07 AM

    Hesperado

    Reading your blog, I see you have raised some interesting issues which mar efforts to criticize Islam such as the blind insistance by many that Islam is not a religion or indeed that Muslims are not a race, both of which eventually play into the hands of Islamic appologists.

    However you suffer from a lack of human appreciation of the conflict, hence your attempts to rationalize collective punishment. Collective punishment is morally wrong under any circumstances and "collateral damage" (a euphemism I really hate) only exists when harm to innocents arises as an unintended byproduct of targetting an enemy.

    There is no "collateral damage" about your scheme of actively discriminating against people based on religion; each innocent individual would suffer discrimination based on their personal religious beliefs with nothing "collateral" or incidental about it - an entirely cruel and unacceptable proposal.

    "It may happen that the enemies of Islam may consider it expedient not to take any action against Islam, if Islam leaves them alone in their geographical boundaries... But Islam cannot agree to this unless they submit to its authority by paying Jizyah"

    -Sayyid Qutb, Milestones
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #25 - March 30, 2009, 04:59 AM

    "He was in prison for 4 and a half months, with no evidence to suggest that he could have been a terrorist. "

    The whole point of protecting a society from an amorphous group of terrorists whose members we cannot pinpoint is that we do not have sufficient evidence.  If we could pinpoint exactly which Muslims are hiding out in the back of stores, in the basements of houses, in various apartments and flats, planning terrorist attacks which often take years of careful planning and getting complex ducks in a row -- if we could pinpoint exactly who was doing this, obviously we would have much less of a problem.   Also, all the airports in the world wouldn't have to spend millions of dollars every year and inconvenience millions of passengers every day all over the world, if we had the magic key to pinpoint which Muslims are dangerous, and which are not. 

    If we restrict ourselves to wait only until we have evidence, given the nature of this type of terrorism and its sociological flexibility, we imperil our society unacceptably.

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #26 - March 30, 2009, 05:08 AM

    "He was in prison for 4 and a half months, with no evidence to suggest that he could have been a terrorist. "

    The whole point of protecting a society from an amorphous group of terrorists whose members we cannot pinpoint is that we do not have sufficient evidence.  If we could pinpoint exactly which Muslims are hiding out in the back of stores, in the basements of houses, in various apartments and flats, planning terrorist attacks which often take years of careful planning and getting complex ducks in a row -- if we could pinpoint exactly who was doing this, obviously we would have much less of a problem.   Also, all the airports in the world wouldn't have to spend millions of dollars every year and inconvenience millions of passengers every day all over the world, if we had the magic key to pinpoint which Muslims are dangerous, and which are not. 

    If we restrict ourselves to wait only until we have evidence, given the nature of this type of terrorism and its sociological flexibility, we imperil our society unacceptably.



    And if you don't wait, you end up tormenting many innocent civilians. You didn't answer my question in the other thread about the next door neighbour 70 year old.
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #27 - March 30, 2009, 05:49 AM

    Aksel,

    "Reading your blog, I see you have raised some interesting issues which mar efforts to criticize Islam such as the blind insistance by many that Islam is not a religion or indeed that Muslims are not a race, both of which eventually play into the hands of Islamic appologists."

    Just to be precise, I do not on my blog counter that blind insistence that "Islam is not a race" with an assertion that Islam is a race, nor that Muslims constitute a biological race.  All I point out is the fact that the vast majority of Muslims are non-white, so any criticism of Islam or of Muslims takes on the appearance of being a racial (and to the hyper-sensitive PC MCs, racist) criticism.  And this irrational yet very effective political reality by the dominant PC MCs is not going to go away by simply repeating the mantra "Islam is not a race".

    "However you suffer from a lack of human appreciation of the conflict, hence your attempts to rationalize collective punishment. Collective punishment is morally wrong under any circumstances"

    I don't advocate collective "punishment" of Muslims.  I advocate us taking measures to protect ourselves from a danger the nature of which rationally necessitates such measures which will have a collective effect on Muslims.  I'm not interested in "punishing" them. 

    "and "collateral damage" (a euphemism I really hate) only exists when harm to innocents arises as an unintended byproduct of targetting an enemy."

    Or as an unintended byproduct of pre-emptive defense against attacks by an enemy.

    "There is no "collateral damage" about your scheme of actively discriminating against people based on religion"

    I meant the phrase loosely.  In the standard use, it refers to people who get wounded or killed when police or soldiers are shooting at their target.  But "damage" doesn't just mean killing or physically hurting: it can also mean inconveniencing by having them wait in a room for 10 hours, being interrogated, etc., all the way to getting deported.  In my "scheme", there is no assumption that all the Muslims are guilty: there is simply the unavoidable fact that we have no reliable way of telling which are dangerous and which are harmless -- and when we assess the risks of terrorist attacks and the amorphous nature of their planning and recruitment merging with the larger population of Muslims in ways we cannot delimit or pinpoint -- "collateral damage" in the sense I have articulated becomes rationally unavoidable.

    How can we tell the difference between harmless Muslims, and dangerous Muslims?
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #28 - March 30, 2009, 06:50 AM

    "Even if we were to have an attack the scale of 9/11 EVERY YEAR, statistically you're over 14 times more likely to be killed in an auto accident."

    Human accidents and machine malfunctions do not have the additional factor of human will deformed by ideology and fanaticism, and inspiring innumerable multitudes of humans around the globe in a variety of ways and degrees.  Thus the equivalency of the two realms you are attempting to establish fails.  The Western Allies didn't decide not to go to war against Hitler because they realized that it was more likely they'd get run over by a car or get killed in a train accident than get killed by Hitler -- even if that was true in an abstract statistical sense.  I'm sure glad they didn't let abstract statistics dissuade them from stopping Hitler.


    Nice way to miss the point. You were essentially saying it's necessary to punish Muslims in our country as a group because the danger is too great. The danger of terrorist attacks is not as great as you are making it out to be. The point is that you are willing to suspend our country's civil liberties, collectively punish an entire religious minority, lump in the many innocent with the few guilty (contrary to the fundamental jurisprudential underpinnings of our entire system of criminal law), just because you are as frightened as a 6-year-old girl watching a slasher flick. Simply put, your fear, while not entirely lacking any basis in reality is still irrational as it's way out of proportion to the actual threat. The level of threat does not justify the draconian measures you suggest. Unfortunately, you aren't the only irrational fearful person out there, which is how we always end up with so many fucked-up laws and policies on so many different issues.

    The fact you are obviously intelligent does not make your arguments any better-- rationally or morally. In fact, to see an intelligent person driven to monomaniacal fixation through some weird, fearful pathology is all the more disturbing. Go grab a beer or get a BJ or somethin. This obsession of yours is not healthy.

    fuck you
  • Re: Hello, fellow Infidels
     Reply #29 - March 30, 2009, 07:10 AM

    I don't advocate collective "punishment" of Muslims.  I advocate us taking measures to protect ourselves from a danger the nature of which rationally necessitates such measures which will have a collective effect on Muslims.  I'm not interested in "punishing" them. 


    Play all the word games you like, but subjecting an entire religious minority to "harassment", "mockery", and "deportation" (your words) because of the actions of a very few of that group is collective punishment. Your personal justifications for doing it are irrelevant.

    fuck you