10 (Biased) Examples of Christian Terrorism

 

jesusgunnedHere we go again, some clueless partisan will now explain how the kid stealing gumballs who will get whipped if he is caught by his folks is far worse than the crack dealer who thinks drive-bys are the best way to deal with competitors or witnesses and whose Mom and Pop will never admit is a nasty sucker instead of their misunderstood little boy.

SATURDAY, AUG 3, 2013 07:00 AM PDT

10 worst examples of Christian or far-right terrorism

Conservatives claim that all terrorists are Muslim, but most violent attacks in the US are carried out by white men

How racist! Did they count the white men who were Muslim terrorists twice?

BY 

From Fox News to the Weekly Standard, neoconservatives have tried to paint terrorism as a largely or exclusively Islamic phenomenon. Their message of Islamophobia has been repeated many times since the George W. Bush era: Islam is inherently violent, Christianity is inherently peaceful, and there is no such thing as a Christian terrorist or a white male terrorist. But the facts don’t bear that out. Far-right white male radicals and extreme Christianists are every bit as capable of acts of terrorism as radical Islamists, and to pretend that such terrorists don’t exist does the public a huge disservice. Dzhokhar Anzorovich Tsarnaev and the late Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev (the Chechen brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing of April 15, 2013) are both considered white and appear to have been motivated in part by radical Islam. And many terrorist attacks in the United States have been carried out by people who were neither Muslims nor dark-skinned.

When white males of the far right carry out violent attacks, neocons and Republicans typically describe them as lone-wolf extremists rather than people who are part of terrorist networks or well-organized terrorist movements. Yet many of the terrorist attacks in the United States have been carried out by people who had long histories of networking with other terrorists. In fact, most of the terrorist activity occurring in the United States in recent years has not come from Muslims, but from a combination of radical Christianists, white supremacists and far-right militia groups.

Given that Ft. Hood shooting by Maj. Hassan was classified as “workplace violence” you might be able to make a case as far as government records go; if you count the times Islamic fundamentalists with normative scripture to quote have been involved in violence as opposed to Bible Verse spouting Christians doing such things the count would be far more one-sided in the other direction. If we expand our focus world-wide there is no question, almost the only people involved with terrorism today are Islamists; the remainder are a radical and unsupported teaspoon in a bucket of Islamic aggression supported by most of the Imams outside the U.S..

Below are 10 of the worst examples of non-Islamic terrorism that have occurred in the United States in the last 30 years.

Well Virginia, at least one sentence in this piece was accurate, too bad the author could not keep to the ‘examples of non-Islamic’ part instead of turning it into a lynch-whitey-and-the-Christians-fest.

1. Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre, Aug. 5, 2012. The virulent, neocon-fueled Islamophobia that has plagued post-9/11 America has not only posed a threat to Muslims, it has had deadly consequences for people of other faiths, including Sikhs. Sikhs are not Muslims; the traditional Sikh attire, including their turbans, is different from traditional Sunni, Shiite or Sufi attire. But to a racist, a bearded Sikh looks like a Muslim. Only four days after 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh immigrant from India who owned a gas station in Mesa, Arizona, was murdered by Frank Silva Roque, a racist who obviously mistook him for a Muslim.

But Sodhi’s murder was not the last example of anti-Sikh violence in post-9/11 America. On Aug. 5, 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page used a semiautomatic weapon to murder six people during an attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Page’s connection to the white supremacist movement was well-documented: he had been a member of the neo-Nazi rock bands End Empathy and Definite Hate. Attorney General Eric Holder described the attack as “an act of terrorism, an act of hatred.” It was good to see the nation’s top cop acknowledge that terrorist acts can, in fact, involve white males murdering people of color.

Deceitful definitions are the hallmark of this list. Neo-Nazi (National Socialism) is a far Left mind-set, not a far-Right one. The Right thinks of itself as the “owners” of the status quo, the “traditional way things are done”; their problem children use its system to steal power and abuse it. Meanwhile the Left sees itself as the “champion of the underdog” to the point that they excuse virtually any crime or ‘gaming of the system’ that puts one of “their own” over on “the Man.” Sounds like divisive tribalism in PC clothing to me.

The #1 on this list is not about Christians or the far-Right, who tend to be theocrats seeking to own the system and not radicals seeking to destroy it. It is about a far-Left, Neo-Nazi loser who was about as un-Christian as they come as well as being rejected by virtually all of the mainstream Right, Middle and Left. This does not for a moment stop the Leftists from pulling him out as a straw man to use against their opponents in the theft of power from the people.

2. The murder of Dr. George Tiller, May 31, 2009. Imagine that a physician had been the victim of an attempted assassination by an Islamic jihadist in 1993, and received numerous death threats from al-Qaeda after that, before being murdered by an al-Qaeda member. Neocons, Fox News and the Christian Right would have had a field day. A physician was the victim of a terrorist killing that day, but neither the terrorist nor the people who inflamed the terrorist were Muslims. Dr. George Tiller, who was shot and killed by anti-abortion terrorist Scott Roeder on May 31, 2009, was a victim of Christian Right terrorism, not al-Qaeda.

Tiller had a long history of being targeted for violence by Christian Right terrorists. In 1986, his clinic was firebombed. Then, in 1993, Tiller was shot five times by female Christian Right terrorist Shelly Shannon (now serving time in a federal prison) but survived that attack. Given that Tiller had been the victim of an attempted murder and received countless death threats after that, Fox News would have done well to avoid fanning the flames of unrest. Instead, Bill O’Reilly repeatedly referred to him as “Tiller the baby killer.” When Roeder murdered Tiller, O’Reilly condemned the attack but did so in a way that was lukewarm at best.

Keith Olbermann called O’Reilly out and denounced him as a “facilitator for domestic terrorism” and a “blindly irresponsible man.” And Crazy for God author Frank Schaffer, who was formerly a figure on the Christian Right but has since become critical of that movement, asserted that the Christian Right’s extreme anti-abortion rhetoric “helped create the climate that made this murder likely to happen.” Neocon Ann Coulter, meanwhile, viewed Tiller’s murder as a source of comic relief, telling O’Reilly, I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.” The Republican/neocon double standard when it comes to terrorism is obvious. At Fox News and AM neocon talk radio, Islamic terrorism is a source of nonstop fear-mongering, while Christian Right terrorism gets a pass.

The Leftist once again gives a pass to the evil of his own sides radicals. while denigrating the Right for the same thing. I think both sides can be guilty of this kind of condoning of crime.

Late-term abortion, the kind Tiller specialized in, is far from cut-and-dried in it’s ethics and morality regardless of your religion, or lack thereof. In a world where 6 month preemies routinely live and prosper the justification for late-term abortion over delivery and adoption start to look pretty damn self-serving. I do not agree in any way with the theocrats on the Right; the only place in the Bible where it even might be talking about abortion is so vague that both sides use it as a proof that their side is the correct one according to scripture. I certainly do not support an individual taking a persons life into their own hands absent a clear and present danger to a person’s life, limb or property. But, we do need to have a conclusive debate on just when a fetus becomes a baby; the present standard seems to be that until a baby breathes air, with permission of the mother, it is a piece of flesh and may be done with as the clinic chooses, i.e. let die and then disposed of or sent to the research labs.

I have always supported a woman’s right to choose, in the first trimester, have been iffy on it in the second and have never supported it except in the case of extreme birth defects or an actual threat to the mother’s life coupled with a likelihood that the baby will be dead or a victim of massive defects in the final three months.

A woman gets to choose, but how many times does society have to allow her to keep choosing? At what point does a woman-with-a-choice become a mother-with-a-responsibility? We would arrest a woman sharing her cigarette and whiskey with her newborn but, we do nothing save frown in disapproval if she does it a day before she delivers; even when the child is ‘wanted‘! This is an indefensible position.

Would I have been willing to shake Tiller’s hand? No.

Do I think he deserved anything but due process of law in his professional life? Again, unequivocally, no.

3. Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church shooting, July 27, 2008. On July 27, 2008, Christian Right sympathizer Jim David Adkisson walked into the Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee during a children’s play and began shooting people at random. Two were killed, while seven others were injured but survived. Adkisson said he was motivated by a hatred of liberals, Democrats and gays, and he considered neocon Bernard Goldberg’s book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, his political manifesto. Adkisson (who pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and is now serving life in prison without parole) was vehemently anti-abortion, but apparently committing an act of terrorism during a children’s play was good ol’ Republican family values. While Adkisson’s act of terrorism was reported on Fox News, it didn’t get the round-the-clock coverage an act of Islamic terrorism would have garnered.

Here we have the classic partisan trick of taking some lone-wolf radical and pretending that they represent the mainstream of their opposition; all parties in America are guilty to some extent or another but, this list get nauseating inn how disingenuous it is in it’s attempt to tar the opposition with a brush of distortion and concealed facts.

4. The murder of Dr. John Britton, July 29, 1994. To hear the Christian Right tell it, there is no such thing as Christian terrorism. Tell that to the victims of the Army of God, a loose network of radical Christianists with a long history of terrorist attacks on abortion providers. One Christian Right terrorist with ties to the Army of God was Paul Jennings Hill, who was executed by lethal injection on Sept. 3, 2003 for the murders of abortion doctor John Britton and his bodyguard James Barrett. Hill shot both of them in cold blood and expressed no remorse whatsoever; he insisted he was doing’s God’s work and has been exalted as a martyr by the Army of God.

So, what he is saying Virginia is that the “Army of God” is far more radical than even the “Rev.” Phelps’ group of anti-gay “activists”? What exactly does this say about mainstream Christianity in relation to the normative schools of doctrine within Islam? Is there even a correlation?

5. The Centennial Olympic Park bombing, July 27, 1996. Paul Jennings Hill is hardly the only Christian terrorist who has been praised by the Army of God; that organization has also praised Eric Rudolph, who is serving life without parole for a long list of terrorist attacks committed in the name of Christianity. Rudolph is best known for carrying out the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics—a blast that killed spectator Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others. Hawthorne wasn’t the only person Rudolph murdered: his bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama in 1998 caused the death of Robert Sanderson (a Birmingham police officer and part-time security guard) and caused nurse Emily Lyons to lose an eye.

Rudolph’s other acts of Christian terrorism include bombing the Otherwise Lounge (a lesbian bar in Atlanta) in 1997 and an abortion clinic in an Atlanta suburb in 1997. Rudolph was no lone wolf: he was part of a terrorist movement that encouraged his violence. And the Army of God continues to exalt Rudolph as a brave Christian who is doing God’s work.

The Army of God is hardly an example of the kind of “Christian” that even the typical ‘radical Christian’ can accept as normative. In Islam, Sunni and Shiite, the norm is support of honor killings, gays executed, and apostates murdered, all with the sanction the Qur’an or ahadith.

Just imagine how much worse the Irish ‘Troubles‘ would have been if there had been hordes of Catholic priests and bishops running around IReland preaching support for the IRA’s violence. Of course the new Irish “converts” to radicalism would have found it confusing when they realized they had joined an atheistic, Marxist group (IRA)!

6. The murder of Barnett Slepian byJames Charles Kopp, Oct. 23, 1998. Like Paul Jennings Hill, Eric Rudolph and Scott Roeder, James Charles Kopp is a radical Christian terrorist who has been exalted as a hero by the Army of God. On Oct. 23, 1998 Kopp fired a single shot into the Amherst, NY home of Barnett Slepian (a doctor who performed abortions), mortally wounding him. Slepian died an hour later. Kopp later claimed he only meant to wound Slepian, not kill him. But Judge Michael D’Amico of Erin County, NY said that the killing was clearly premeditated and sentenced Kopp to 25 years to life. Kopp is a suspect in other anti-abortion terrorist attacks, including the non-fatal shootings of three doctors in Canada, though it appears unlikely that Kopp will be extradited to Canada to face any charges.

And which mainstream, normalized Christian sect is it that supports this kind of radicalism? Army of God? A group so radical that the groups considered radical by the mainstream think they are over-the-line is now normative Christianity?

7. Planned Parenthood bombing, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1994. Seldom has the term “Christian terrorist” been used in connection with John C. Salvi on AM talk radio or at Fox News, but it’s a term that easily applies to him. In 1994, the radical anti-abortionist and Army of God member attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts, shooting and killing receptionists Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols and wounding several others. Salvi was found dead in his prison cell in 1996, and his death was ruled a suicide. The Army of God has exalted Salvi as a Christian martyr and described Lowney and Nichols not as victims of domestic terrorism, but as infidels who got what they deserved. The Rev. Donald Spitz, a Christianist and Army of God supporter who is so extreme that even the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue disassociated itself from him, has praised Salvi as well.

So, the only praise this guy got was from a group that Radical Right groups consider too radical? How is this an indictment against any sect of mainstream Christianity? All of the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence endorse honor killing, the execution of gays and apostates as well as other doctrines equally abhorrent to the modern civilised human.

8. Suicide attack on IRS building in Austin, Texas, Feb. 18, 2010. When Joseph Stack flew a plane into the Echelon office complex (where an IRS office was located), Fox News’ coverage of the incident was calm and matter-of-fact. Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa seemed to find the attack amusing and joked that it could have been avoided if the federal government had followed his advice and abolished the IRS. Nonetheless, there were two fatalities: Stack and IRS employee Vernon Hunter. Stack left behind a rambling suicide note outlining his reasons for the attack, which included a disdain for the IRS as well as total disgust with health insurance companies and bank bailouts. Some of the most insightful coverage of the incident came from Noam Chomsky, who said that while Stack had some legitimate grievances—millions of Americans shared his outrage over bank bailouts and the practices of health insurance companies—the way he expressed them was absolutely wrong.

All of which adds up to his being more in tune with Leftists like Chomsky than with conservatives or Christians; another strawman; unless the author’s argument is that only white Lefties commit terrorism.

Of course, Virginia, there are bad people on the Right but, being Right Wingers they will work the system from inside rather than game it from outside.

9. The murder of Alan Berg, June 18, 1984. One of the most absurd claims some Republicans have made about white supremacists is that they are liberals and progressives. That claim is especially ludicrous in light of the terrorist killing of liberal Denver-based talk show host Alan Berg, a critic of white supremacists who was killed with an automatic weapon on June 18, 1984. The killing was linked to members of the Order, a white supremacist group that had marked Berg for death. Order members David Lane (a former Ku Klux Klan member who had also been active in the Aryan Nations) and Bruce Pierce were both convicted in federal court on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and violating Berg’s civil rights and given what amounted to life sentences.

Robert Matthews, who founded the Order, got that name from a fictional group in white supremacist William Luther Pierce’s anti-Semitic 1978 novel, The Turner Diaries—a book Timothy McVeigh was quite fond of. The novel’s fictional account of the destruction of a government building has been described as the inspiration for the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

I don’t know about their being “liberal” but, they certainly are NOT aligned with ANY mainstream grouping on either the Left or Right! William Luther Pierce’s own words show that clearly; the closest is the anti-semitism shared with the Left-of-Center Left and radical theocrats from the far Right.

Liars and hypocrites: those are terms that apply pretty well to every politician in the Western world these days, and the Republicans are no better than the Democrats.”

 

“…stop listening to the hypocritical cant of the liberals and the mindless ramblings of the conservatives.”

 

“..But when democracy instead becomes a threat to continued Jewish rule, they are just as fervent anti-democrats.”

 

“… The government we have in Washington now … cannot and should not be reformed or repaired or salvaged. It should be pulled down and have a stake driven through its heart. Everyone who is a part of it should be dealt with in the same way. …… If you want to make an impression on anyone in Washington today, you must convince him that you are willing and able either to hurt him or to help him.”

Clearly this movement is not aligned with conservatives, liberals, Republicans, Democrats or anyone else interested in evolution of society over revolution by a disgruntled minority.

Especially disturbing is when a partisan just makes things up and puts them in the mouth of their opponent; unjustly and dishonestly hanging them with a rope they had nothing to do with making. The last one ion the list full of it, from start to finish.

10. Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing, April 19, 1995. Neocons and Republicans grow angry and uncomfortable whenever Timothy McVeigh is cited as an example of a non-Islamic terrorist…

What I noticed was more of a confusion about why the LEft insists that an anti-government, self-declared agnostic must be conflated with conservative Christians. That hardly adds up to denying that any self-declared “Christian” is without faults.

…Pointing out that a non-Muslim white male [G DeW: WHY do you have to drag race into this? There are plenty of white Muslims in prison for terrorist crimes.] carried out an attack as vicious and deadly as the Oklahoma City bombing doesn’t fit into their narrative that only Muslims and people of color are capable of carrying out terrorist attacks. Neocons will claim that bringing up McVeigh’s name during a discussion of terrorism is a “red herring” that distracts us from fighting radical Islamists, but that downplays the cruel, destructive nature of the attack. [Emphasis added]…

There is one problem with this; There is no mainstream political organisation, Left, Right or Middle, that says any such thing. They all focus on the fundamentalist and radical mentalities.

It is well known on the Right that the majority of American Muslims have absolutely no faith in the representation of the national Muslim “advocacy” groups like CAIR and MPAC. The problem actually is not the perpetrators of terrorist acts, it is the numerous fundamentalist-minded Imams who are the initial radical element; using their authority as religious leaders to cherry-pick from actual scripture and doctrine only what they need to radicalize individual Muslims whenever they can.

“…Prior to the al-Qaeda attacks of 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing McVeigh orchestrated was the most deadly terrorist attack in U.S. history: 168 people were killed and more than 600 were injured. When McVeigh drove a truck filled with explosives into the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, his goal was to kill as many people as possible. Clearly, McVeigh was not motivated by radical Islam; rather, he was motivated by an extreme hatred for the U.S. government and saw the attack as revenge for the Ruby Ridge incident of 1992 and the Waco Siege in 1993. He had white supremacist leanings as well (when he was in the U.S. Army, McVeigh was reprimanded for wearing a “white power” T-shirt he had bought at a KKK demonstration). McVeigh was executed on June 11, 2001. He should have served life without parole instead, as a living reminder of the type of viciousness the extreme right is capable of.”

Here we run up against the Leftist’s cherished fantasy that the KKK and all of the most violent and virulent racism from American history came from Republicans when the truth is that until the late 50’s and early 60’s when Federal court decisions made their legislative foot dragging on integration moot did the Left STOP being the ideology of the Black-hater, Jew-hater or indeed the “other”-haters they had always been; at least in public, there is no sign that the racism of the Left has done anything but morph into a more subtle and slimy form.

Before the Civil War the people in the North that most opposed abolition were Democrats; in the South the ones who supported it were Republican. During the Civil War (or The War, as Southerners like to refer to it to this day) The people in the North who opposed the war were Democrats. After the war was over the KKK was formed by, once again, Democrats.

In the 50’s it was Democrats who perpetrated the famous acts of violence against peaceful protestors; Gov. Wallace – Dem, Bull Connor – Dem, MLK’s assassin – Democrat… the list is endless. Republicans have their faults to be sure, any partisan grouping is going to have them running out of their ears but, if you hang someone, use a rope that they made, not one you crafted to lynch the innocent.

 

Can You Say Provocation in Arabic?

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Once again al-Jazeera shows its skill at spinning reality until reality itself gets sick and throws up its lunch…

Here Virginia, we have a video from Occupied East” Jerusalem; I want to see the rest of this video!!! I want to see what happened just before the cut! Notice the non-children with cameras all ready to shoot the results.  Notice the kids running INTO the front of the car, practically attacking the hood as the group throws stones…

This was a prepared and staged event! Those children are the victims of their parents and the Palestinian “leadership” who planned and staged it!  I want to see the whole tape! I want to hear the audio.  And the the car that hits the boys just HAPPENS to be the leader of the settler group?

I just noticed another thing about the vid… there is not one exclamation of shock or surprise or outrage..almost as if the incident was expected!  If this tape is not of a staged incident I am sure the rest will be released, right… hello? Is there anyone there?

Tribal Update Episodes 48 – 52

Here are more from Caroline Glick’s Latma Hebrew Language site.

#48

This one is great.  The Obama piece pushes the edge for American audiences but, it was a straight case of doing the best you can with the cast you have. Otherwise it is hilarious and defines satire…though who can say if it is not true on the surface as well..I certainly haven’t seen any evidence of it. The second part, on personal interests in media is so dea on it deserves an emmy, or a webby or whatever…BRAVO/BRAVA!

More Satire from Latma: The Palestinian Minister of Uncontrollable Rage travels the world.

The next episode of Tribal Update looks at Jerusalem Day celebrations

Extended JErusalem Day video

Episode #51

And #52

Mansoor Muhammed: Threats, Lies and All of That

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Yet another Da’wa site has become offended at historical fact…Christ and Mohammed (prophetrejectors.wordpress.com)

The author, Mansoor Muhammed’s homepage shows him to be very hurt at the actions and words of Jews and Christians. He has this lament about the viciousness of Jews and Christians in his "about me" section:

"The world seems to be not satisfied with demeaning, defaming and misinterpreting us."

He is quite distressed at the horrific actions of Israel and the US in his neighborhood of the world.  Poor fellah! He is so upset at my not submitting to his "truth" that this “gentle soul of religious persuasions” (or should that be pretentions?) responds to my posting facts about history thusly:

"Note: For those of you who do not understand the cause of my outburst just leave a comment leaving your email ID and i will show you this dewhitneys demonic comment that i have trashed ( he had put it at some other place) This is the guy who would love to see the world burn."

Note that he promotes a book he penned about the inconsistencies of the Hindu religion but, sees nothing but bias and hatred if anyone speaks of problems with his own. To those who dare to provide a counterpoint view our dear fellow Mansour declares:

theoworkshop // March 27, 2010 at 8:06 am

I doubt he will ever be brought to see that he is being hypocritical.  See, he is not searching for “truth”, he KNOWS IT ALREADY, Muslims do not “seek” as most other religion do; followers just need to submit, and make sure the rest of us conform to their reality.

Heretics Crusade’s Israel Apartheid Week Response Via Latma to The MSA (Muslim Student Association)

More timely video from Carline Glick’s Hebrew satire site Latma. The segment on the Palestinian Minister of Uncontrollable Rage is hilarious! If Julie Andrews sees this she will have a heart attack THEN turn in her grave; but it is too funny to miss.

For My New Friends at Scripps; Run With It Girls!

 

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Hear now the words of Kipling, as he reminds America that colonialism was more of a burden than a benefit to Western cultures:

(I make one small change, in the common language of Kipling’s time the difference between race and culture was very blurred if seen at all. If you change the words White Man to Westerner I believe you free the full truth of Kipling’s poem without tainting it with racism.)

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

Send forth the best ye breed–

Go bind your sons to exile

To serve your captives’ need;

To wait in heavy harness,

On fluttered folk and wild–

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half-devil and half-child.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

In patience to abide,

To veil the threat of terror

And check the show of pride;

By open speech and simple,

An hundred times made plain

To seek another’s profit,

And work another’s gain.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

The savage wars of peace–

Fill full the mouth of Famine

And bid the sickness cease;

And when your goal is nearest

The end for others sought,

Watch sloth and heathen Folly

Bring all your hopes to naught.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

No tawdry rule of kings,

But toil of serf and sweeper–

The tale of common things.

 

The ports ye shall not enter,

The roads ye shall not tread,

Go mark them with your living,

And mark them with your dead.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

And reap his old reward:

The blame of those ye better,

The hate of those ye guard–

The cry of hosts ye humour

(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–

“Why brought he us from bondage,

Our loved Egyptian night?”

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

Ye dare not stoop to less–

Nor call too loud on Freedom

To cloak your weariness;

By all ye cry or whisper,

By all ye leave or do,

The silent, sullen peoples

Shall weigh your gods and you.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

Have done with childish days–

The lightly proffered laurel,

The easy, ungrudged praise.

 

Comes now, to search your manhood

Through all the thankless years

Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,

The judgment of your peers!

To the common political “wisdom” these days, the words of Kipling seem to be the crowing of a classically arrogant, Dead White Man. But, when analyzed they show not a single lie, distortion, or untruth.

Today the term racism has been co-opted by the other side, and is now used mostly BY racists to demonize their opposition and mask their own agenda.

I was fortunate enough to have been raised in an environment that was very colorblind. Not in a hyper-PC “Oh, we NEVER talk about the color of Johnny’s skin” way, but more as in no one around me ever made any big deal about it; people were people, and that was about that.

As a result, I was puzzled on hitting college age when people put such an emphasis on NOT seeing the obvious when it came to cultural differences. What can there possibly be wrong with noting that say, the North Korean culture is seriously inferior to just about all other modern cultures?

Just who is racist, the one who sees people of all color as good, bad, and sometimes indifferent, or the one who sees their own RACE, not only culture, as the villain and excuses ALL other races with an argument that amounts to “they don’t know any better, so we can’t hold them to our high standards.”

Who is racist when every single sign in the Wal-Mart near my house (with many Hispanics in the area) has duplications of all signs in Spanish, while the Wal-mart in Diamond Bar, where there are a great many Asians, the signs are only in English?

Is it not an insult to put “Cosmeticas” under the word cosmetics? Even tourists are not usually THAT clueless.

To me it smacks of an arrogance that assumes certain races are less able to “cope” with our society than others.

On the other hand, if the impetus for these signs comes from the Hispanic community itself, it is also just another form of arrogance. It is then saying “hey, we don’t care HOW close your stupid English is to the Spanish, we do not want to have to even pretend to think we are not in a Hispanic country if we don’t want to.”

Just imagine a white American expressing that attitude. The Leftist lynch mob would be after them in a flash.

We have a term in America that we apply to, among other things, the kind of American who lives in a foreign land in an American enclave, and ignores the culture and language of their hosts…

We call them assholes. Unless they are from a developing land and act that way IN the West. Then we call them oppressed.

Is it not racism to think that Westerners should completely adapt to cultures wherever they go but, non-Westerners are not required to do the same, when THEY travel to the West?

What other than racist arrogance (on one side or the other, if not both), would make anyone think that ONLY the Spanish speakers need to have a special option on phone lines?

And on that note, what about the racism of the Spanish speakers toward all the Portuguese speakers? ALL anyone ever talks about in California is Spanish this, and Spanish that. Do we not get immigrants from Brazil, and the other Portuguese countries?

The HiSPANIC issue has been taken over by those who speak Spanish, and the entire Portuguese based culture has been suppressed in America. The general public is hardly aware that there are TWO major cultures in South America, not just one.

At some point simpleminded Humans seem to became confused about the difference between skin color and culture. As an American though, I have grown up with the glaring example of a place where about the only thing that really controls how a person lives is the cultural face they choose to show the world.

A Hispanic man, who dresses and acts like he wants all the world to know that he could have been type-cast in a remake of Zoot Suit will not have the opportunities given to him that a man who is assimilated (into WHATEVER country he lives in) and happens to have been born in Mexico will have. Or one born in China, or one born in America for that matter.

Even keeping to just white Americans, who will deny the profound differences between people who grow up in inner city Brooklyn, and those who grow up in suburban Southern California? Which one would you rather hire for a job dealing with customers in Japan?

Culture matters. Culture is values, and traditions, and ethics. One culture says stealing is not a crime when a person is legitimately desperate, while another says that a man raping his wife is no criminal.

Both think the other society is wrong. Who wins? In the West it is the one that provides the most freedom and opportunity to all, while oppressing none, is the best regardless of the details.

In the East it is one that protects the status quo, and those who fall between the cracks are just collateral damage in the pursuit of a pure society that will be completely benign; once all opposition is removed.

Yeah, right, we have heard that one before.

But if you take a person from ANY culture that is willing to adapt, and put them in ANY place where they are given the opportunity to do so, they will thrive and their children, and children’s children will be of the new country, not the old “race”.

So, what is the point of all this PC pretense that all cultures are equal and valid, and no one’s “cultural experience” should be held as less than any other’s?

Good question. I do not see how it can be anything that is meant for the good of all involved.

Anyone who travels far enough from their home culture will be seen as “wrong” in their ways.

Take two examples: A bunch of random California college students dumped in Saudi Arabia would be seen as tainted and evil and inferior to the locals, not for their race (which could be anything, including Arab), as much as for how they acted, and their moral, and ethic values, and what religion they belonged to.

And a bunch of the elite of Saudi Arabia let off the leash in America would offend MANY people with THEIR actions and values.

As an example, not too long ago a Saudi Prince was caught beating his servants in Switzerland and he was arrested. The Saudi Government’s response was to put political and economic pressure on the Swiss until THEY apologized.

Is this the response of a civilized nation? No, it is the response of a tribal mindset; A mindset that sees “us” as always to be protected right or wrong and “them” as always worth less than any of “us” regardless of actual individual merit.

I for one refuse to apologize for acting with vigor to defend against the destruction and defamation of the cultural paradigm that has brought the world from violence, ignorance and superstition to the point where the only thing keeping most people’s down is their own lack of commitment to those same ideals.

This is not to say that the West is perfect. There never has been a perfect society, and I do not expect to see one any time soon. I am content with protecting and improving the only one that has actually had significant results in improving the lot of all humanity.

To those who accuse me of only talking about non-Western tribalism I would like to say that I have spent a lot of my time highlighting the aspects of our own culture that retain tribal elements.

The deep South in America is one place where Tribalism is still fairly strong for a Western land. The Us and Them factor is ever present there in way a Californian like me finds boggling.

Institutional prejudices that I grew up thinking only were seen in the movies and on TV were shoved in my face when I had been living there for less than a month. I did not respond by assuming the locals knew best, and that I was just an interfering outsider.

I stood up for the values that made the West, and America, what they are. But even the worst of rural Louisiana culture has risen far above the level of the highest of the non-Western lands.

To pursue civilization means to pursue, fair, consistent laws for ALL people, instead of privilege for a few, with subservience for the rest, in pursuit of a FUTURE paradise that is promised to be “worth” the unfortunate “deviations” of the present.

So, do not be ashamed to stand up for the West. Do not be afraid to call non-Westerners to task for their barbaric treatment of minorities and women.

Stand for the West, and world civilization or you can be sure your apathy will be used by those who promote tribal and totalitarian thought to take your power away and use it ON you, instead of FOR you.

Bottom line, freedom of religion and conscience gives you a right not to be oppressed by others as you pursue your business, it does not give you a right to make others dance to your tune, or allow you to break commonsense laws protecting public health and safety simply because you do not “believe” in doing things that way.

The PC paradigm says we should pretend that the U.S. and Iran are equal in “civilization”, and that it is wrong and evil to even TRY to judge which might be the “better” culture.

But that attitude denies the three thousand years of developing human rights and government for the People we find in the West. If the values of the West; freedom of speech and religion and conscience, and Constitutional government designed to limit the excesses of individuals are not meaningless mental masturbations by a timid people somehow afraid to “deal with the nitty gritty real world”, then the “values” of Iran, and North Korea, and such places can ONLY been seen as evil, and inimical to those who are unfortunate enough to grow up in them, or are subject to their power.

To get any other answer is to say that all of the West’s evolution toward dealing with other nations and individuals humanely has been a meaningless game that has no moral ramifications at all in the eyes of any hypothetical “objective” observer”.

How did the progress of the West toward equal rights for all get derailed into favoritism to favored minorities, disdain for the un-favored, and outright institutional contempt for not only the indigenous peoples but, the entire indigenous culture of the West?

I think Neville Chamberlain could explain the phenomenon if he were here; in every group there are Hardliners, and Compromisers, and Appeasers.

Hardliners will not see the brick wall in front of their face if it means giving up one iota of their agenda but, the Appeaser willingly sacrifices, one by one, every vital aspect of their psyche and security for the promise of peace in the future, and to be seen as the “good guy”.

But, the Compromiser weighs each path in relation to the situation, and THEN chooses to compromise or to stand firm. Unfortunately Hardliners and Appeasers seem to be the dominant breed in politics today, and the result is hardly more than a tug of war between the hardliners and appeasers on BOTH sides of the political spectrum.

In the terror wars the appeasers seem concentrated in the West, and the hardliners are almost all on the Islamic side, when it comes to foreign policy.  But in domestic policy, the Appeasers of the West turn Hardliner towards their own people, and conspire toward the downfall of our culture as a means of “humbling” the “arrogant Colonial Powers”.

This is how we ended up with a “separation of church and state” that allowed the government to pay for Muslim footbaths at a state university.

This is how we see a couple in England put on trial for criminal racism, merely for responding to statements by a Muslim woman about THEIR religion, that TO THEM, Mohammed was a warlord, and Muslim traditional dress is oppressive to women.

For stating two truths that any third grader with a copy of the Koran and Ahadith could confirm, these people may lose their Bed & Breakfast (yep the woman was a GUEST under their roof when she initiated a conversation about their Christian beliefs), because they “insulted and offended” a member of the only religion that demands that YOU follow THEIR customs at all times when they MIGHT be present, or AWARE of your activities.

When was the last time a Jew, or Christian, or Hindu demanded co-workers refrain from eating in front of them during a fast? Why do they not? Because they subscribe to the ethics of the West when in the West, not the tribalism of the East.

Civilized people tend to not like appearing uncivilized, even when presented with those who are truly barbaric. We tend to give the benefit of the doubt, and bend over backwards to excuse the behavior of non-Westerners (in this Japan, and South Korea, and others like them are in “the West”), no matter how horrific, simply because at one time in the past our culture had “taken advantage” of them.

That the non-Western countries that were colonized are all dramatically better off (at least, as far as the people in the street are concerned), with the influx of Western Law, and Western Science, and Western concepts of Human Rights is deemed irrelevant.

That they treat their own people, or foreigners with no power, in ways that make the WORST of the colonial excesses look tame, also means nothing.

If you say that the English were preferred employers to the local Indian rich folk during The Raj because they treated their servants more humanely, and that Islamic attacks over centuries cost the lives of MILLIONS of Indians by DIRECT violence, you are called racist or Islamophobic.

Yet the fact remains, the English actually freed India from despotism, and the Islamics brought eventual barbarism wherever they won.

So, why are the English demonized as the oppressors of India, and the Islamics, who conquered with blood half of that ancient land, seen as “victims”?

Things like this happen because the Appeasers are not half as afraid of having their civilization destroyed as they are of being seen as barbarian themselves. They will excuse time and again those from non-Western nations that seek to bring their customs into our lands no matter how many laws are broken, or how many people, Western and Non-Western alike, have to suffer or even die so they can pretend that “all cultures are equal”.

So, what makes a civilized culture as opposed to a barbarian one? To the ancient Greeks who coined the word barbarian it meant any who were so benighted that they did not speak Greek. To the Shogun Japanese, it was anyone who was not Japanese, no matter how high their technology or cultural achievements.

To me, civilized cultures are those that allow their individual members the stability and safety to build their lives in peace, and a consistent and humane system of laws that apply to all people equally, so that all, rich and poor know where they stand in regard to acceptable behavior toward each other as humans, regardless of their “station” in life.

When these criteria are met a society can start building “civilizational equity” that grows over time.

Without them, a society will remain stuck in a feudal or tribal mode that has no checks and balances against abuses of personal power.

When every functionary, officer, and elected official seeks to build their own power base without duty to the people, and the people are expected to obey without question any who have power over them, cooperation drops to a minimum and consistency in law and its application are hard to find.

Let us come right out and say it, today “World Civilization” IS Western Civilization.

The most universal aspects of our world today, those of culture, and technology, and law, that are shared and sought by the people of almost every nation are almost exclusively the brainchildren of Western civilization.

We can fantasize all we want about how the many things the ancient Chinese invented, or how the many Greek and Indian works the Islamics preserved (and modestly improved) makes them the equal of the West, but it does not change the truth.

The Chinese invented things but, then used the knowledge as a means to horde power. Their lack of sharing of information between scientists and innovators caused many discoveries to either languish unused, like deep ocean navigation, or the secrets were never spread. When the inventers and their people disappeared, so did the knowledge.

The printing press was invented in China a thousand years before Gutenberg made his but, the Chinese still mainly used the older wood block printing when the Europeans were printing books by the gross.

Individual innovation inherent in the Chinese culture did not take up, and improve, and spread around the new ideas and inventions. Instead technology was horded like a secret weapon, to be used only for the benefit of the owner.

And because of this, most of the innovation by individuals in ancient China came to naught over time.

But in the West, with a different way of looking at power, the rate of progress, sustained, accelerating progress, has been unparalleled anywhere in human history.

Starting with the traditions of the Greeks and Phoenicians, and developed by the Romans, Western European – council based (as opposed to those controlled by kings and priests) tribes adopted many of the new ideas from their Roman conqueror, and blended them with their own rough and ready form of democracy and individual rights.

Westward rolled the tide of humane civilization. At the high tide of the changes and innovations from the Italian renaissance European thinkers shifted to an even higher civilizational gear and began what came to be called the Enlightenment. No longer would priests and kings be obeyed simply because they were priests or kings. With this evolution the value of ALL people came into its own, and then the tide jumped the ocean to America.

There all bets were off, as the West turned fully away from the old Eastern paradigm of the individual existing only to serve the society. Instead the West had recognized that all societies only exist to serve the people that make them real in the first place.

The most significant difference between the West and the East is this concept.

To a Chinese gentleman I once chatted up the nation of China is more important than the individual rights, or desires, or even the oppression of any of the subject peoples of that nation.

This man was not a bad person. In fact he was so nice and reasonable that when he said the above, as though it was completely obvious, it shocked me.

But to him, growing up in the East, people only had worth as they contributed to the WHOLE. To him, anyone who in any way diminished the whole was simply wrong, no matter what the reason.

To him, if Taiwan or Tibet once were “China” they always should be, and individuals who happened to live there needed to act like it.

In contrast the West sees the WHOLE as sick unless it promotes the well being of the individual, as well as the whole!

In the East, the state may oppress the people to keep order, in the West the people may dispense with the state if it does not serve them.

This was the whole premise of the American “revolution” and has spread all over the Western world. It is now “common sense” in the West that a people have the right to create a government that benefits them, and that The State has no right to put stability ahead of the law.

In the East, the only people who have the right to overthrow the government, are the people who belong to the winning faction in said revolution. “Treason doth never prosper, for if it does, none dare call it treason”.

To take power for “us”, for the “right thinkers”, is seen as a “legal” violation of the principal of putting the state first.

But, all this does is replace one set of thugs with another, then another, then another.

So now, let us compete abandon any pretence of PCism and declare that it is ONLY the hated values of the West that keep non-Western nations from barbarism and political instability.

Even China and India, the most advanced non-western cultures, routinely sacrifice the rights of the person to pursue the prosperity of the whole. India does it much less than China due to their greater orientation toward the West, and as a result is a “freer” place to live for its citizens (at least in comparison with completely non-Western countries that take our technology and try to ignore the rest).

As a result, the people in these lands do not know where they stand from year to year, and it is next to impossible to build stable institutions.

India especially has been a textbook of the evolution from a tribal society to a Western one based on law.

Compare its evolution to that of Pakistan, which retains its attachment to the tribal past.

When there is no underlying structure to the law, when each new ruler acts by whim, and not in accord with agreed rules, the citizen is left adrift in a sea of uncertainty and corruption.

Making nice with evil men is seen as simply the price a person must pay to be allowed any life at all. Success comes not from values but, from a willingness to compromise ALL values on the altar of the local boss’s power, and his ability to pull the strings of influence.

In the West, we know from experience that a few humane rules that apply to everyone produces more prosperity and stability and opportunity for all than all the strong arm rulers in history ever managed to give their people.

Those in the East know this too. But in their paradigm power is not to be shared lest someone else take it all and leave you nothing. Do unto others before they do unto you is the rule in lands that do not accept Western ethics.

Their leaders are willing to see their people live forever in fear and oppression,, as long as they can feel secure in their power as leader.

But this fails the very task of a leader, to protect and provide security for their people since to promote Western values is to undermine everything that made them powerful in the first place.

In these lands each time the people can stand no more and rebel the only point on the agenda for the new regime is to consolidate power in the same way that those who oppressed them consolidated it: By force, and without mercy for dissent.

By contrast the more a nation has embraced Western Values the more stable and prosperous that nation becomes. Nowhere is this more blatantly obvious than in Israel, and the Arab states surrounding it.

How can a tiny, oppressed, besieged people be the world’s most innovative and inventive nation? How can this tiny land produce so much good for all humanity in medicine and agriculture and science while surrounded by lands where civilization is something to be had only by those who can afford to import it from the West?

How can Israel give citizenship to Muslim Arabs and retain its integrity and yet Saudi Arabia will not even accept as citizens fellow Arab Muslims from neighboring Arab nations lest they lose some sort of Holy “Saudiness”? And of course, non-Muslims are far from equal to Muslims there in rights and privileges.

Power, and how it is used and protected, is what it all boils down to.

In the West, governing power is seen as naturally belonging to all of us, and is to be used for the benefit of everyone.

In the East, this power belongs to the collective group, be it nation or tribe, and is to be used to further the nation’s or tribe’s wellbeing.

However, the individuals of the East are seen as replaceable parts in a machine they serve rather than being served by. In the West it is the rulers who are seen as replaceable. Judging each paradigm by its fruits it is clear which one is better at delivering its promise of a stable, prosperous culture.

So, why do so many in the West trip over themselves to allow Non-Westerners to practice any and all of their tribal “values” in our lands, even when those practices are illegal, and universally condemned for Westerners?

How can a civilized Westerner ever allow things like forced marriage, and genital mutilation, and honor killings to resurface in the West.

Did all those who fought and died to make these horrors go away in the West act in vain? Is it our duty as “civilized” folk to allow “underdeveloped” people to re-establish in our own lands every horror we ourselves have outgrown?

About the only even partially reasonable answer I can come up with as to why this happens is that people are so scared of being seen themselves as uncivilized that they will not make ANY judgment on another person’s culture lest they somehow be tarred with the same brush as REAL oppressors from the past.

In embarrassment at the excesses of Western civilization (which are not very “excessive” compared to social policy outside the West) they will not only excuse, but PROMOTE worse excesses in their own lands by those who are less civilized.

It is somehow culturally insensitive for a Westerner to tell an immigrant they can’t keep their women ignorant and enslaved.

But it is not insensitive for that same immigrant to demand that the Western women in their new land conform to his notion of proper dress in order not to provoke rape (yes, that came from an actual Australian Imam, who said that Western woman should veil in order to get along better with the Muslim immigrants who were treating Western Women with violence and contempt).

We in the West need to get over this over-developed sense of guilt, and start acting with more responsibility to our hard won values.

We need to stop applying double standards to the values of Dead White Men (and women, Queen Elizabeth I and others made huge contributions; Q.E. I pioneered the concept of consolidating ruling power by serving the interests of the people instead of the nobility) and stop protecting those who want to strip away 500 years of advancement in favor of a return to tribalism, with them at the top of the pecking order.

Fascism One, Freedom Zero in Northern Cal

Imagine it’s 1940, and picture Adolf Hitler speaking at a US university, receiving a polite reception, while Winston Churchill is barred from speaking because his safety cannot be guaranteed.

It’s unthinkable, yet the very same pro-fascist dynamic is a reality in 21st Century America.

Protestors at Berkeley, the campus once synonymous with the term “free speech,” forced the cancellation of Netanyahu’s speech there, as well as two subsequent speeches, in November 2000. The Jewish Bulletin of Northern California reported:

Hundreds of protesters shouting “Support the Palestinians, choose a side” and “No free speech for war criminals” blocked the gate leading to the Berkeley Community Theatre Tuesday evening, forcing the cancellation of a scheduled speech by former Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Waving banners reading “Zionism=Nazism” and “End U.S. aid to Israel,” the crowd was estimated at more than 500 by the Berkeley Police Department and at 200 to 250 by observers…

The vitriol that greeted Netanyahu at Berkeley only worsened in the ensuing years. Anneli Rufus of the East Bay Express recalled that in 2001:

“…Students for Justice in Palestine had become large enough to stage a high-profile sit-in at UC’s Wheeler Hall. The group had demanded that the regents divest from companies with significant holdings in Israel. When the regents failed to respond, dozens of group members chained shut nine of the building’s twelve doors. They formed human chains to block two of the remaining doors and ushered students out of the building through the last door. Professor Gordon, who had an important class scheduled that day in Wheeler, burst through the chain of students only to be showered with spit and hit by a student…”

Later that year, 23-year-old Aaron Schwartz was walking toward the Hillel building as part of an obviously Jewish group celebrating the annual holiday Simchas Torah. According to accounts in The Daily Californian and the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, one onlooker mocked the procession by goose-stepping in place, chanting “Heil Hitler,” and performing the Nazi salute. After punching Schwartz in the face and knocking him to the ground, the man and his two companions strolled away.

But many remember spring 2002 as the season the screaming really started. On spring break, someone hurled the cinderblock through the front door of Berkeley’s Hillel Center, scrawling the words F— JEWS nearby…

The same mentality was on display in spring 2002 at San Francisco State University, where pro-Israel students and elderly Holocaust survivors trying to hold a rally were stopped by violent protestors screaming “F– the Jews,” “Jews, go back to Russia,” “Too bad Hitler didn’t finish the job,” and “Get out or we’ll kill you.”

Threats of “we’ll kill you” appear to have led to the logical next step in the recent violent death of 38-year-old pro-Israel activist Daniel J. Kliman in San Francisco.

It appears that present-day northern California is to Jews what Mississippi in the early 20th Century was to African-Americans-the epicenter of explosive hate-although the same bigotry permeates much of the academic world.

That would include Concordia University in Montreal, where Netanyahu was prevented from speaking about the war against terrorism. Daniel Pipes, writing in the New York Post on September 17, 2002, described the violent scene:

“… he never made it onto the campus – because a thousand anti-Israel demonstrators staged a mini-riot with the intent of preventing him from speaking…

The anti-Israel forces physically assaulted the would-be audience…
They smashed a plate-glass window and threw objects at the police inside.
They hurled furniture at police from a mezzanine. As Toronto’s Globe & Mail
put it, “By lunchtime, the vestibule of Concordia’s main downtown building was
littered with paper, upturned chairs, broken furniture and the choking
aftereffects of pepper spray.”

The police, saying they couldn’t assure Netanyahu’s safety, canceled the event…

On Thursday, Hanan Ashrawi, the former spokeswoman and colleague of Yasser Arafat, went to Colorado College in Colorado Springs to give a keynote speech at a symposium on “September 11: One Year Later.”

Protestors noted that Ashrawi is smack on the side of America’s enemies in the War on Terrorism. For example, while the U.S. government formally designates Hamas a terrorist group, Ashrawi states she doesn’t “think of Hamas as a terrorist group.” Also, she considers Israeli civilians living on the West Bank to be “legitimate . . . targets of Palestinian resistance” — that is, legitimate targets for deadly violence.

Yet the protestors did not block the terrorist spokeswoman from expressing her opinions (a mere year after the 9/11 attacks), and she is just one of countless pro-terror speakers who are welcome on US campuses. Sheikh Khalid Yasin, a convert to Islam, has been invited to numerous colleges to preach that terrorism is justified, homosexuals should be murdered, and Christian missionaries in Africa are injecting people with AIDS. …

Little wonder that when the genocide-espousing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University on September 24, 2007, the event did not seem out of the ordinary. His politely received speech was hailed by many observers as a fine display of one of the noblest ideals of institutions of higher learning -the free exchange of ideas.

Hardly anyone in the media noted that, the day before he departed for America, Ahmadinejad re-emphasized the two most heartfelt ideas to which he and his regime are dedicated–“Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” emblazoned on signs in a military parade over which he presided.

Were the deaths of America and Israel debatable propositions? For many in the academic world, the answer apparently is yes. After all, they would tell us, that’s what universities are for. Let all views be heard.

All views, that is, with certain exceptions, including the anti-terror message of the prime
minister of Israel.

Edward Olshaker is a longtime journalist whose work has appeared in History News Network, The Jewish Press, FrontPage Magazine, and other publications.

Most definately READ IT ALL

Secular Muslim Manifesto

Submitted by admin on 17 November, 2004 – 15:06. IHN 2004.4 November
International Humanist News

By Tewfik Allal and Brigitte Bardet

We are of Muslim culture; we oppose misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism and the political use of Islam. We reassert a living secularism.

We are women and men of Muslim culture. Some of us are believers, others are agnostics or atheists. We all condemn firmly the declarations and acts of misogyny, homophobia, and anti-Semitism that we have heard and witnessed for a while now here in France, and that are carried out in the name of Islam. These three characteristics typify the political Islamism that has been forceful for so long in several of our countries of origin. We fought against them there, and we are committed to fighting against them again – here.

Sexual equality: a prerequisite for democracy

We are firmly committed to equal rights for both sexes. We fight the oppression of women who are subjected to Personal Status Laws, like those in Algeria (recent progress in Morocco highlights how far Algeria lags behind), and sometimes even in France via bilateral agreements*. We believe that democracy cannot exist without these equal rights. Accordingly, we unambiguously offer our support for the “20 ans, barakat!” (20 years is enough!) campaign of the Algerian women’s associations, demanding the definitive abolition of two decades old family code.

It is also for this reason that we oppose wearing the Islamic headscarf, evenif among us there are differing opinions about the law banning it from schools in France. In various countries, we have seen violence or even death inflicted on female friends or family members because they refused to wear the scarf. Even if the current enthusiasm for the headscarf [among some Muslims] in France was stimulated by discrimination suffered by immigrant children, this cannot be considered the real cause of the desire to wear it; nor can memories of a North African lifestyle explain it.

Behind this so called “choice” demanded by a certain number of girls is the promotion of a political Islamic society based on a militant ideology which aims to promote actively values to which we do not subscribe.

Stopping homophobia

For Islamic fundamentalists, (as for all machos and fundamentalists), “being a man” means having power over women, including sexual power. In their eyes, any man who favors equality of the sexes is potentially subhuman, or “queer.” This way of thinking has proliferated since the rise of political Islamism. Its ferocity is equaled only by its hypocrisy. One of the organizers of the demonstration on Saturday, January 17th 2004 in favor of the headscarf declared that “It is scandalous that those who claim to be shocked by the headscarf are not shocked by homosexuality.” Undoubtedly he thinks that a virtuous society hides women behind headscarves or puts homosexuals behind bars, something we have already seen happen in Egypt.

We shudder at what the triumph of these attitudes implies for “shameless” persons in society-like women who fail to wear the headscarf, or homosexuals or nonbelievers.

In contrast, we believe that recognition of the existence of homosexuality and the freedom for homosexuals to live their own lives as they wish represents undeniable progress. As long as an individual – heterosexual or homosexual – does not break the laws protecting minors, each person’s sexual choices are his or her own business, and do not concern the state in any way.

Fighting anti-Semitism

Finally, we condemn firmly the anti-Semitic statements made recently in speeches in the name of Islam. Just like “shameless” women and homosexuals, Jews have become the target: “They have everything and we have nothing,” was something that we heard in the demonstration on January 17th. We see the use of the Israel-Palestine conflict by fundamentalist movements as a means of promoting the most disturbing forms of anti-Semitism.

Despite our opposition to the current policies of the Israeli government, we refuse to feed primitive images of the “Jew.” A real, historical conflict between two peoples should not be exploited. We recognize Israel’s right to exist, a right recognized by the PLO congress in Algiers in 1988 and the Arab League summit meeting in Beirut in 2002. At the same time we are committed to the Palestinian people and support of their right to found a state and to be liberated from occupation.

Living secularism

Islam has not received sufficient recognition in France. There is a lack of places to pray. There are not enough chaplaincies nor enough cemeteries. We are aware that young French people, the sons and daughters of Muslim immigrants, are still held back socially and suffer discrimination. All monitoring bodies recognize this. Consequently, “French-style” secularism has lost a great deal of value in the eyes of these young people.

Two possibilities lie before them. They can rediscover the strength of a real, living secularism, that is, political action on behalf of their rights and to demand the social gains fought for by their fathers and mothers-who belonged to social classes, cultures, peoples and nations before they belonged to Islam. Or they can see themselves in an imaginary, virtual “umma” [Islamic community – ed.] that no longer corresponds to reality, and then masquerade in republican or tiers-mondistes (Third-Worldist) rags. This only ends up securing unequal, repressive, and intolerant societies. This latter path cannot be ours.

*France has bilateral agreements with Algeria, which allow the application of Algeria’s “Family Code” to emigrants in France. It particularly affects issues of divorce and discriminates against women.

Tewfik Allal, a French union activist, who was born in Morocco of Algerian parents, and his wife Brigitte Bardet, a teacher and feminist activist are the authors of this Manifesto. The Manifesto attracted several hundred signatories and a list of “Les Amis du Manifeste” (Friends of the Manifesto) composed of non-Muslim intellectuals expressing their solidarity. www.manifeste.org