Category Archives: Religion
Is the Pope Catholic?
President Obama says the Islamic State isn’t Islamic. The Washington Post says “Americans disagree” and has nifty charts and polls to prove it. Daniel Pipes disagrees too. The Middle East scholar says ISIS is “100% Islamic”.
Dennis B. Ross says, in the NYT, that ISIS is Islamist and “Islamists are not our friends”.
What the Islamists all have in common is that they subordinate national identities to an Islamic identity.
Peggy Noonan (click The Genocide of the Mideastern Christians – WSJ) says the Islamic State is “de-Christianising the Mideast where Christianity began”.
An estimated two-thirds of the Christians of Iraq have fled that country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. They are being driven from their villages in northern Iraq. They are terrorized, brutalized, executed. This week an eyewitness in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June, told NBC News the jihadists were committing atrocities. In Syria, too, they have executed Christians for refusing to convert.
Update: John Kerry is putting “the real Islam out there”.
Andrew Wilson in The American Spectator calls Obama’s claim “the grossest nonsense”.
Under Mohammed, Islam began as a religion of conquest. A commitment to wage jihad or holy war and to “smite the necks” of unbelievers has been part of Islam from the earliest days. In the 100 years following Mohammed’s death in AD 632, when Islam was still confined to the Arabian peninsula, Arab armies spread the faith as far west as Spain and as far east as northern India and the frontier of China.
Back when President Obama was bragging that core Al Qaeda had been destroyed, he dismissed ISIS as a terror JV team. Now the JV team is rich and armed with American military hardware. It controls territory in Iraq and Syria. And it’s as comfortable with social networking as it is with beheading.
Last week Defense Secretary Hagel had this to say about the JV team: “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen” … “The sophistication of terrorism and ideology married with resources presents a whole new dynamic and paradigm of threats to this country.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Dempsey added, ““This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated.” He also said ISIS would have to be attacked in Syria to be destroyed.
By Monday it wasn’t clear that the White House was on board with Dempsey’s assessment.
Apocalyptic though it may be, Dempsey now says ISIS is not a “direct threat” to the U.S. and he won’t propose bombing in Syria until it is.
The president is evolving.
Religious freedom has been taking a beating.
A National Review editorial last week made the point that during the Clinton administration Democrats in Congress felt the Supreme Court had too narrow a view of religious liberty. As a result the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by President Clinton.
Along comes the Affordable Care Act (ACA), …which empowered the Obama administration to issue regulations that burdened a religious liberty..
This leaves Democrats in a political pickle. They passed a law to protect religious freedom, but they do not desire to protect religious freedom when doing so interrupts their risible war-on-women soap opera.
Senator Udall, in his rhetoric, has been particularly dishonest about this, characterizing the Hobby Lobby decision as mandating that women “have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control.” In fact, the decision does no such thing: Hobby Lobby has nothing to do with the right to do anything, but rather with the right to not do something.
Elsewhere on the religious freedom front, the Islamic State of Iraq has ordered Christians to either pay jizya (a religious tax), convert to Islam, or die.
Hamas has fired over 1200 rockets claiming “every Israeli is a legitimate target”. So far only one “legitimate target” has been killed. That’s because of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense.
Israel doesn’t consider individual Palestinians “legitimate targets”. Before striking back at Hamas it warned civilians with pamphlets and phone calls. Hamas responded by telling them to stay in place as human shields.
Charles Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post, “Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity”:
“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”
Hamas and the Iron Dome
William Saletan in Slate says there’s plenty to argue about in Gaza, “But one thing should be clear to everyone: Hamas is insane. It’s destroying Gaza.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is perplexed:
“What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” he asked rhetorically in a TV interview. In another appearance, he pleaded: “We are the losing side, and every minute there are more and more unnecessary deaths. … I don’t like trading in Palestinian blood.”
The Guardian disagrees. Seumas Milne says, “The idea of Israel defending itself from unprovoked attacks is absurd.”
Well, at least the Harvard Black Mass didn’t happen Monday night.
The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club invited the devil himself to campus. Lucifer’s speaking gig was arranged in conjunction with the New York Satanic Temple. The event was to take place in the form of a Satanic Black Mass. Joining the Prince of Darkness at the lectern was to be Harvard professor Christopher Robichaud. According to USA Today Robichaud planned to remark on religious liberty.
Not surprisingly, Catholics were outraged and the thing was moved off campus under a storm of protest. At the last moment it was cancelled altogether.
In April Brandeis University cancelled altogether its offer of an honorary doctorate for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She writes and speaks about real religious liberty and the real war on women in Muslim countries. She’s also a critic of Islam itself. Condoleeza Rice was driven away from her Rutgers University speech by unhinged faculty members and their poorly informed students accusing her of war crimes. IMF boss Christine Legarde was also disinvited from her speaking engagement at Smith University.
I’m not equating disinviting Legarde, Rice, or Ali to disinviting Satan. I’m equating academics to nuts.
In a column about the lack of due process in college, Thomas Sowell discusses “free speech” zones on campus:
The track record of academics in other kinds of cases is not the least bit encouraging as regards the likelihood of impartial justice. Even on many of our most prestigious college campuses, who gets punished for saying the wrong thing and who gets away with mob actions depends on which groups are in vogue and which are not.
This is carried to the point where some colleges have established what they call “free speech zones” — as if they are granting a special favor by not imposing their vague and arbitrary “speech codes” everywhere on campus.
The irony in this is that the Constitution already established a free speech zone. It covers the entire United States.