Archive for military

Anti-Islam Courses Being Taught in the Military

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Gen. Martin Dempsey

Whodathunkit? Only the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the NYPD. So why not the US Military as well:

Military Halts Class Teaching Anti-Islam Material

(HuffingtonPost)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has suspended a course for military officers that officials say contained inflammatory material about Islam.

Defense Department spokesman Capt. John Kirby said Wednesday that among problems with the course taught at Norfolk, Va., was a presentation that asserted the United States is at war with Islam. Kirby noted that officials across two American administrations have stressed that the U.S. is at war with terrorists who have a distorted view of the religion.

Kirby declined to detail what he said were other problems with the course, called “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has ordered all service branches to review their training to ensure other courses don’t use anti-Islamic material.

Rep. King’s Fourth Muslim-American Radicalization Hearing to Focus on Military

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by loonwatch
Peter KingPeter King

The former IRA Terrorist supporter, Peter King is holding his fourth hearing on “Muslim-American Radicalization,” this time focusing on the “military.” Expect it to be an Islamophobiapalooza.

Rep. King’s fourth Muslim-American radicalization hearing to focus on military

By Jordy Yager

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is hoping his panel’s hearing on the radicalization of Muslim-Americans within the U.S. military will reveal how the armed services can better protect itself against homegrown attacks.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) is holding a joint hearing on Wednesday, along with Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), as the next stage in his series of efforts to address the radicalization of American Muslims.  Pointing to the 2009 shootings at the Fort Hood military base in Texas and at a military recruiting station in Arkansas, which killed a total of 14 people and wounded more than two dozen, King said the issue of radicalization within military communities is one that is grossly under the radar.

“There is an attempt by Islamists to join the military and infiltrate the military, and it’s more of a threat than the average American is aware of right now,” said King in an interview with The Hill on Monday.

Lieberman said his committee has held 13 hearings over the past five years on the issue of violent Islamic extremism and, based on what he has learned, the military is an increasingly large target for attacks.

“Clearly, the threat of homegrown terrorism has increased dramatically, and clearly, members of the armed services are a high-value target,” Lieberman said in a statement.

The issue was brought to the front burner for King after it was raised by Paul Stockton, the assistant secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs. King said he feels the Obama administration is just as concerned with the issue as he is, and hopes to develop a working partnership to address some of the inadequacies that will come up at Wednesday’s hearing.

“I think more can be done,” he said. “But this is not going to be any attempt to bash the administration, necessarily. From my perspective it’s going to be a productive hearing and it’s not going to turn into a partisan fight.”

King gave several examples of issues that need more attention, such as whether the military needs to provide more security for recruiting centers and bases in the U.S. or whether local and state law enforcement should play a larger role in coordinating security with the military.

He said he also hopes to address the minutiae of radicalization on military bases. He used an example of how he has heard of at least one instance in which a copy of the radical Islamic magazine Inspire — which has been used as a recruiting tool for terrorist groups — was found in a barracks and allowed to remain. But Confederate flags are rightfully banned, he said.

“I’m using that as an example about whether or not we need to be more aggressive in facing up to the reality. It’s Islamic terrorism. It’s not just a nondescript, anonymous type of terrorism.”

King has held three hearings so far this year on the issue of radicalization of Muslim-Americans within the U.S. The first one drew the most scrutiny, as nearly 100 members of Congress asked him to cancel it or widen the breadth of the radicalized groups he was probing. King lauded the hearing as a success, saying that it brought attention to a taboo subject that is a serious and growing security concern.

The other two hearings focused on the terrorist group al-Shabbab’s influence within the U.S., and the radicalization of Muslim-Americans within U.S. prisons.

Carlos Bledsoe is serving life in prison for waging a shooting spree in 2009 at an Arkansas military recruiting center that killed Army Pvt. William Long.

Bledsoe’s father — who testified before King at a previous hearing, saying that his son was influenced by radicalized Muslim ideals — is planning to be at Wednesday’s hearing, where the slain soldier’s father, Daris Long, is slated to testify. King said each knows the other will be at the hearing and that Bledsoe is attending to show his support for Long.

Also expected to testify are Jim Stuteville, an Army senior adviser for counterintelligence operations and liaison to the FBI, and Lt. Col. Reid Sawyer, the director of Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point military academy.

King is planning to unveil a committee report on the issue at Wednesday’s hearing and another joint report with the Senate panel afterward.

He said his next hearing will likely be next year and focus on the use of certain mosques by al Qaeda and Iran in their efforts to radicalize people within the U.S.

Ten Years After 9/11 Attacks, Exploitation of “Patriot Day” Continues

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by loonwatch

(Update I below)

Disclaimer:  I would like to point out that the views expressed below are mine alone and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official views of LoonWatch or any of its writers aside from myself (Danios).

Salon’s indefatigable Glenn Greenwald recently wrote (emphasis added):

Worship of the American military and all that it does — and a corresponding taboo on speaking ill of it except for tactical critiques (it would be better if they purchased this other weapon system or fought this war a bit differently) is the closest thing America has to a national religion.

If worship of the military is America’s national religion, then the U.S. soldier is this religion’s holy warrior.  Greenwald noted that the Navy Seals are “a member of the most sacred and revered religious order.”  Those who die in “the line of duty” are martyrs who must be remembered for all “they have done for this country.”  Any criticism against the rank-and-file holy warrior is considered blasphemous.

There can be no possible profession that is more highly praiseworthy to the American than soldier in the military.  Many U.S. airlines will let soldiers board the plane even before women with children and the disabled.  Being part of the war machine is more respectable than being a doctor, a social worker, a teacher for the disabled, or a volunteer at the local orphanage.  Saving people (what a physician does) can in no way, shape, or form be considered better than killing people (what a soldier does).

A person foolish enough to say that “a soldier kills people” will be beaten into submission and subservience by jingoist mantras such as “you should be thankful that you are able to express such views, because it is only due to the sacrifices of those in uniform–who protect your freedoms–that you are free to say what you want.”  This, even though no rational mind could possibly believe this: how does bombing, invading, and occupying Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, or Yemen “protect my freedoms?”  That is, unless one is naive enough to think that any of these Evil, Foreign Brown People were about to conquer the United States, topple its government, and take away my freedoms.

In any case, I have my own government to do that for me.  Far from “fighting for my freedoms,” the military-industrial complex and those in authority who wage these wars are responsible for clamping down on my civil liberties.  With the rise of the Orwellian-named Patriot Act and its like, there has been a sustained war waged not just against Al-Qaeda but against civil liberties, with dedicated assaults on the First and Fourth Amendments.

Worship of the military and the holy warrior runs so deep that even the most ardent critic of the war must never utter a single word against those who wage it.  Such a common sense thing to do is completely off-limits and beyond the scope of decency and propriety.  To do so would be to open oneself up to the criticisms of being “unpatriotic” and “disloyal.”  Criticism of the war must be couched in “patriotic language:” war critics must ceremoniously acknowledge their support for U.S. troops, arguing that I support the troops which is why I want to bring them home.  It is simply unacceptable to just clearly say: I don’t support the troops because they are shooting at, bombing, and killing people.  To do such a thing would be to commit the highest of sins in the American national religion.

The fact that even war critics would hush you up for saying something against America’s cherished holy warriors says something of how deeply ingrained militarism is in our society.  How can it be that opponents of America’s wars will criticize the war as unjust on the one hand but not be anything but absolutely reverent towards those who wage it?  The United States, after all, uses an all-volunteer military; by joining the military is not one making an active choice to take part in these unjust wars?  And certainly, one can choose not to fight, as many brave soldiers and ex-soldiers have done.

Noting with what absolute reverence Americans speak of their soldiers of war, one wonders how it is that they are simultaneously amazed at how unbelievably warlike those Foreign, Other People are for revering their own men of war.  We are taken aback by how “primitive” the North Koreans are when they mindlessly revere their soldiers, yet somehow mystified when we do the same with our troops.  The North Korean soldiers have certainly killed far fewer and waged far fewer wars than our own military.  But alas, those North Koreans are so primitive, whereas we are so advanced, civilized, and peaceful.

I don’t malign or vilify soldiers in the military (as I partially do accept the idea that “they are just doing their job”), but must we continue to speak of our holy warriors with such absolute reverence, awe, and worship?  Our mindless idolization of the military profession is what is to blame for so many of our impressionable youth choosing to join the military to kill people abroad instead of spending those years going to college to expand their minds.  Placing the military and its soldiers on a pedestal is the only way a society can convince its young boys to risk their lives to go to war for the country–something so illogical, so contrary to the biological drive to save oneself from harm or death, that absent the most compelling of reasons one can hardly find it worthwhile to do so.

Interestingly, even that religious and ethnic minority that is the target of America’s wars is itself affected by this national religion.  Muslim-Americans will often bend over backwards to point out that they too “proudly serve this country” by being a part of the military.  (Even the phrase “serve this country” can only mean one thing: soldiering.)  In order to be accepted as Full Citizens, Muslim-Americans must prove their dedication to America’s war machine.

And so, Muslim-Americans–many of them immigrants or children of immigrants–beg to be included in the same institution that wages endless wars in their ancestral homelands.  It is that same institution that is rife with racism and bigotry against Arabs and Muslims, yet so desperately do Muslim-Americans want to be included in it.

*  *  *  *  *

In this national religion, 9/11 is America’s Karbala.  The Battle of Karbala involved the slaughter of the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants by a tyrannical government–an event that is religiously commemorated each year by Shia Muslims, who will often make a religious pilgrimage (ziyarat) to the site of the battle or to the graves of the victims.  With vigor just short of this, Americans commemorate Patriot Day, the holy day of the American national religion.

Ground Zero, meanwhile, is the “hallowed ground”–a trip here is the ziyarat (religious pilgrimage) of the American religion.  The American flag becomes a symbol not to be disrespected, our nation’s holy book, waved high by people chanting “USA! USA! USA!”, which can only mean one thing: war!  The flag has become a raised symbol of war.

The military is our national religion, its soldiers are our holy warriors, the Navy Seals are our highest religious order, those soldiers who died in war are our martyrs, 9/11 was our Karbala, Patriot Day is our annual holy day, the flag is our holy book and symbol, Osama bin Laden is Lucifer, Terrorism is the greatest Evil, supporting the troops is our greatest religious obligation, and failure to do so is the greatest blasphemy and the highest of sins.

*  *  *  *  *

The problem I have with the cult-like remembrance of 9/11 is that it was the devotion to this day that was used to launch wars of vengeance that killed ten times as many people.  This date, 9/11, has been militarized.  It is a memory we are told that we must never forget lest we slacken in our resolve to wage war against the Forces of Evil, the Satan of our religion: radical Islam and Terrorism.  It is a memory that is invoked to remind the American people why they need to spend more of their taxpayer money to sustain their country’s illegal occupations and immoral wars.

Furthermore, the singling out of this day above all others (including days on which worse acts of violence were perpetrated by the United States), exudes the tribalistic mentality that infects people with strong feelings of national or religious identity–wherein only blood shed against one’s own national or religious group is remembered (and in fact, it is obsessed over), whereas that shed by one’s own national or religious group against others is ignored, denied, or justified.

Lastly, one cannot help but feel that 9/11 would hardly have been considered as important to the national religion had it not been Muslims who were implicated in the attack.  They attacked us.  The deaths of the victims of 9/11 are less relevant than the fact that they–those Foreign, Dark-Complexioned Moozlums–are the ones who caused these deaths.  The horrendous attacks of 9/11 have special significance due to the fact that the perpetrators were radical Muslims, an Existential Threat to our Safety and Freedoms.

The victims of 9/11 certainly ought to be remembered, as should all the victims of war and terrorism (whether the culprit be our enemies or our own country and whether the victims be American or not), but should their memory really be exploited to feed the national religion of warmongering?  Is it not deeply disturbing that an act of violence and the deaths of three-thousand innocents are being used to justify even greater acts of violence and even more civilian deaths?

Disclaimer: I would like to point out that the views expressed above are mine alone and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official views of LoonWatch or any of its writers aside from myself (Danios).

Update I: An interesting Facebook status that is making the rounds:

On 9/11, I’ll mourn the nearly 3,000 lives lost, over 6,000 injuries, the infrastructural carnage and devastation in NYC, and the humiliation of my country, all perpetrated ignorantly in the name of my religion

On 9/12, I’ll mourn the nearly 1,000,000 lives, the 10′s of millions of injuries, the infrastructural decimation in 3 countries, and the humiliation of my religion, all perpetrated ignorantly in the name of my country.

Update II:  Many readers and fellow LoonWatch writers have pointed out that many young people join the military due to financial reasons.  Additionally, many of them are “trying to serve their country” and “are just following orders.”  I do not completely disagree with these statements.  As I said, I do not malign or vilify soldiers, nor encourage that.  What I am opposed to is the glorification of what they do.

Christopher Eric Wey, U.S. Soldier, Tries To Board Flight With Explosives

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

This soldier stole C4 and was caught trying to board a flight with it in his possession. Can you imagine if he had been Muslim?

Christopher Eric Wey, U.S. Soldier, Tries To Board Flight With Explosives

A U.S. soldier was caught attempting to board a flight to Los Angeles on Wednesday with high-velocity explosives in his bag.

Army Private First Class Christopher Eric Wey, 19, was arrested after he tried to board a United flight, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Arizona told Reuters.
Reuters reports that TSA officials at the Yuma International Airport detected a half-ounce of C4 explosives hidden in a tobacco can inside one of Wey’s bags. In a conflicting report, the Associated Press reportsthat it was a quarter-ounce.

Wey was detained and interviewed by FBI agents, who in turn discovered that Wey had stolen the C4 while attending an explosive training course.

Authorities found no indication that Wey intended any harm but him with trying to carry an explosive onto an aircraft and a stolen one at that, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine.

Soldiers Forced to See Chaplain After Failing Army’s Spiritual Fitness Test

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by loonwatch

(hat tip: Eric Allen Bell)

Soldiers Forced to See Chaplain After Failing Army’s Spiritual Fitness Test

(TalkToAction)

by Chris Rodda

After failing a recently implemented mandatory Army-wide “Spiritual Fitness” test, soldiers are given the following message on their computer screens:

“Spiritual fitness is an area of possible difficulty for you. You may lack a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. At times, it is hard for you to make sense of what is happening to you and others around you. You may not feel connected to something larger than yourself. You may question your beliefs, principles, and values. Nevertheless, who you are and what you do matter. There are things to do to provide more meaning and purpose in your life. Improving your spiritual fitness should be an important goal. Change is possible, and the relevant self-development training modules will be helpful. If you need further help, please do not hesitate to seek out help from the people you care about and trust — strong people always do. Be patient in your development as it will take time to improve in this area. Still, persistence is key and you will improve here if you make this area a priority.”

This mandatory online test, called the Global Assessment Tool (GAT), is part of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program, a program that puts spiritual fitness on par with physical and mental fitness.

Upon flunking the “Spiritual Fitness” section of the GAT, and receiving the above message telling them that “Change is possible” and that “you will improve here if you make this area a priority,” the spiritually deficient soldiers are directed to training modules to correct this problem with their “fitness.”

Nothing at this point in the CSF program tells the soldiers that the online training modules that follow the GAT test are not mandatory, so the soldiers naturally assume that the training modules they’re immediately directed to upon failing the test are also mandatory.

Ever since complaints about the GAT, which can only be described as an unconstitutional “religious test,” began to surface a few weeks ago, the Army has been bending over backward insisting that that spirituality doesn’t mean religion; that nothing in the CSF’s “Spiritual Fitness” training is mandatory; and that no soldier is being forced to do anything whatsoever if they flunk the test. But these claims from the Army are far from what the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is hearing from soldiers who have failed the Spiritual Fitness section of the test.

Just read the following account from one soldier about what happened to the GAT-identified spiritually unfit solders in his unit.

Subject: I Am A “Spiritual Fitness Failure” ……Before I tell you, Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF of my total outrage at the U.S. Army for grading me as a “Spiritual Fitness failure”, I will tell you a few things about myself. My name is (name withheld) and I am an enlisted soldier with the rank of (rank withheld) in the United States Army stationed at Ft. (military installation withheld). I am in my early-to-mid twenties. I have been deployed downrange into Iraq and Afghanistan 6 times. I will deploy again for my 7th time very soon; to Afghanistan and more combat. All of my deployments have been very heavy combat assignments. I have been wounded 4 times including traumatic brain injury. I have earned the Combat Action Badge, the Bronze Star and multiple Purple Hearts. I have fought in hand-to hand- combat and killed and wounded more than a few “enemy combatants.” M religion? I was born a Methodist and guess I still am one. I’m not very religious but consider myself to be a Christian. I don’t go to chapel services that often although I go every now and then. I can’t stand the chaplains as most of them are trying to always get me and my friends to “commit to Christ” and be far more religious as well as they try to get more and more soldiers to get more and more soldiers to be the same type of “committed Christian”. I cannot count the number of times that these chaplains and my own chain of command has described this war we fight as a religious one against the Muslims and their “false, evil and violent” religion. I am a Christian and therefore neither an agnostic nor an atheist though many of my fellow soldiers are such. Now to the point. I, and everyone else who is enlisted in my company, was ORDERED by my Battalion Commander to take the GAT’s Spiritual Fitness Test not very long ago. Let me make this CLEAR, we were all ORDERD to take it. After we did, our unit’s First Sgt. individually asked us all how we did on the test. There was NO “anonymity” at all. None of us were ever told that we did NOT have to take this Spiritual Fitness Test nor that we did NOT have to tell our FIrst Sgt. what our results were. A bunch of us “failed” the SFT and when we told that to our First Sgt., per his disclosure order, he further ordered us to make immediate appointments with the chaplains so that we would not “kill ourselves on his watch”. None of us wanted to do it but we were scared. None of us wanted to get in the shits with our First Sgt. who can and will make life miserable for anyone who might have said no to him. They keep saying that this is all to stop us soldiers from killing ourselves but THIS degrading SFT “failure” only makes it worse. Two of my battle buddies who I KNOW are thinking of ending it all were a million times worse off after failing this SFT and being called a “spiritual failure” and then ordered to go see the chaplains. I felt like a total coward for not standing up to my First Sgt. but I did what he told me to do. I was scared to tell him no. So I went to see the chaplain. When this chaplain told me that I failed the SFT because it was “Jesus’ way of personally knocking on my door as an invitation for me to come to Him as a born again ‘REAL’ Christian” so that I could be saved and not burn forever in Hell for rejecting him, I thought of 3 things. First, I thought of the fact that I was already born a Christian and did not need to be born again. Second, I thought of my battle buddy (name and rank withheld) who took a bullet for me in his face during the Battle of (name of Iraqi battle withheld) and that he was the same kind of Christian as me and this chaplain is telling me that my battle buddy (name and rank withheld) is burning in hell for all time. Third, I thought how I wanted to blow that fucking chaplain’s head right off. Thank you, Mr. Weinstein and MRFF for listening and standing up. A bunch of us saw you on MSNBC. We also read about the enlisted guy at Ft. Bragg. Please tell Sgt. Griffith at Fort Bragg that he speaks for many of us who can’t handle the consequences if we spoke out. We have all read the letter you sent to tell the Army to stop this Spiritual Fitness Test. It cheered us up alot because that making us take that test is WRONG and using it to send us to the chaplains against our will is also WRONG. Please tell your lawyers at that big law firm company not to forget about those of us who want to speak up and thank them all but cannot. (Name, rank, combat MOS, military unit, military installation withheld)

 

Mano Bakh: A Member of the Shah’s Military Crusades against Temecula Mosque

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by loonwatch

Somebody has skulls in his closet?

Murrieta man leads mosque opposition

By JEFF HORSEMAN
The Press-Enterprise

Mano Bakh has personal reasons for opposing a mosque planned in Temecula.

The 73-year-old from Murrieta said he barely escaped with his life when revolutionaries toppled Iran’s monarchy in 1979 and established an Islamic republic.

His self-published book, “Escaping Islam,” describes being arrested and interrogated. Now he fears his new home is treading down Iran’s path.

Bakh is one of the most vocal critics of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley’s plan to build a roughly 25,000-square-foot mosque in northeast Temecula. The Temecula Planning Commission will discuss the mosque Dec. 1.

Bakh, who said he went into hiding for his safety, insists he does not hate Muslims. The former Muslim said an expansionist Islamic ideology supports terrorism and seeks to repress liberty through religious-based Shariah law.

Center supporters, including a coalition of religious leaders, say Bakh and those like him are misguided at best and bigoted at worst. They say the majority of American Muslims are law-abiding.

“I can understand (Bakh’s) personal pain. My family suffered the same persecution,” said Salam Al-Marayati, an Iraqi and president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. “But that’s not a reason to prevent people from worshiping freely in the United States …”

‘revolutionary network’

A married father of two and grandfather of four, Bakh said he grew up in Iran and studied overseas while rising through his country’s navy. He described the Iran of his youth as a moderate country.

“Prior to 1979, there were miniskirts on our women, the latest styles from Paris in our shops, frivolity among our people, and Western music in the air,” reads an online book excerpt.

Iran was ruled by Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had close ties to the West. While credited with modernizing Iran, the shah also cracked down on political dissent.

Protesters eventually demanded the shah’s ouster, and he fled Iran in 1979. Islamic revolutionaries took over and established a theocracy.

In the years before the revolution, Bakh said he noticed more mosques being built. He wasn’t concerned at first because the mosques kept kids off the street.

“Later, we learned the mosques were nodes in the revolutionary network,” he said.

During the revolution, Bakh said he was arrested, searched, blindfolded, interrogated and accused of helping the U.S. Navy build a spyhouse in Iran.

He said he was allowed to return home, where he had less than an hour to pack before he and his family fled for Great Britain and ultimately settled in the U.S.

‘Deep Penetration’

Bakh sees Islam not as a religion, but a political movement seeking to take over the world.

He said there are signs of “deep penetration in all segments of society to implement the Islamic radicalization.”

As examples, he points to the incident last year at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 Army soldiers were killed — the suspect is a Muslim — and Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric once based in San Diego described as a spiritual adviser and attack planner for terrorists.

Bakh speaks about Islam to churches and Republican assemblies across Southern California and is a member of Concerned American Citizens, which opposes the mosque.

The City Council will decide the mosque’s fate if the commission’s decision is appealed.

‘who is he …?’

Bakh wants Islamic center Imam Mahmoud Harmoush to disclose the mosque’s funding sources, denounce the militant Palestinian group Hamas and sign a “pledge of friendship” in which the imam would vow to denounce Shariah law and uphold the Constitution.

Harmoush said he shouldn’t have to answer to him.

“Who is he to ask me any of those questions?” Harmoush said, adding the center has been raising funds for the mosque for a decade and shouldn’t have to open its books. Harmoush has said there is only enough money to build a 4,000-square-foot first phase.

As for Hamas, Harmoush, who has publicly condemned violence and terror, said Middle East politics have nothing to do with his center.

Bakh was at the July 30 protest outside the Islamic center’s current building. He said he did not approve of protesters who brought dogs, a move decried as harassment by the center supporters.

‘i lost one country’

Besides Harmoush, Bakh said he’s concerned with the center’s backers, including Al-Marayati, whom Bakh said won’t denounce Islamic terrorists.

Al-Marayati said his group works with law enforcement to fight terrorism. Bakh “just parrots what he hears” on the Internet, Al-Marayati said, adding, “When you’re a critic of U.S. policy in the Middle East, then immediately opponents want to portray you as supporting terrorism.”

Al-Marayati tried to dispel what he calls false notions about Islam at a forum hosted by the Interfaith Council of Murrieta and Temecula Valley. He said the true ideals of Islamic law closely mirror the Constitution and that for Muslims, the Pledge of Allegiance is as sacred as a pledge to God.

Bakh said he’s resigned to never returning to his homeland.

“I lost one country,” he said. “I don’t want to lose a second one.”

Reach Jeff Horseman at 951-375-3727 or jhorseman@PE.com

 

Taqiyya: The Ultimate Intellectual Cop-out

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by loonwatch

This is Inoconnu’s refutation of Chapter 6 of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  After reading this, check out Danios’ article at SpencerWatch, which analyzes the concept of taqiyya in great detail..

An oft-used intellectual cop-out by many Islam-haters is the so-called doctrine of taqiyya. The Islam-haters, such as Robert Spencer, claim taqiyya is the willful deception of Muslims towards non-Muslims. Whenever a Muslim would say or write something positive about Islam, it is all taqiyya. This is what Spencer has to say in his book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades):

Muhammad minced no words about the necessity of telling the truth…However, as with so many other Islamic principles, this is largely a matter between believers. When it comes to unbelievers–particularly those who are at war with Muslims–Muhammad enunciated a quite different principle: “War is deceit.” Specifically, he taught that lying was permissible in battle…

When Shi’ite Muslims were persecuted by Sunnis, they developed the doctrine oftaqiyya, or concealment: They could lie about what they believed, denying aspects of their faith that were offensive to Sunnis…Closely related to this is the doctrine ofkitman, or mental reservation, which is telling the truth, but not the whole truth, with an intention to mislead…Remember that the next time you see a Muslim spokesman on television professing his friendship with non-Muslim Americans and his loyalty to the United States. Of course, he may be telling the truth–but he may not be telling the whole truth or he may be just lying. (pp.79-81)

Clearly, his implication is the latter, not the former: the Muslim is not telling the whole truth or “may be just lying.”

Yet, it is necessary to begin with the principle of truthfulness in Islam, which Spencer himself admitted the Prophet Muhammad stressed. Many thanks to Sheila Musaji for compiling the following verses and Prophetic traditions, of which are posted a few:

“And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).  (Qur’an, 2:42)”

“If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, Let the trustee (Faithfully) discharge His trust, and let him fear his Lord. Conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it,- His heart is tainted with sin. And God Knoweth all that ye do.  (Qur’an, 2:283)”

“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly For justice, as witnesses To Allah, even as against Yourselves, or your parents, Or your kin, and whether It be (against) rich or poor: For Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (Of your hearts), lest ye Swerve, and if ye Distort (justice) or decline To do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted With all that ye do.  (Qur’an, 4:135)”

[…]

Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Truth leads to piety and piety leads to Jannah. A man persists in speaking the truth till he is enrolled with Allah as a truthful. Falsehood leads to vice and vice leads to the Fire (Hell), and a person persists on telling lies until he is enrolled as a liar”.’

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 33; Muslim, 59)

Hasan bin `Ali (May Allah be pleased with them) said: I remember (these words) from Messenger of Allah (PBUH): “Give up what is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful; for truth is peace of mind and falsehood is doubt”.  [At-Tirmidhi].

Hakim bin Hizam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Both parties in a business transaction have a right to annul it so long as they have not separated; and if they tell the truth and make everything clear to each other (i.e., the seller and the buyer speak the truth, the seller with regard to what is purchased, and the buyer with regard to the money) they will be blessed in their transaction, but if they conceal anything and lie, the blessing on their transaction will be eliminated.’‘
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

It is clear that Islam (and its Prophet) stresses the utmost importance of speaking the truth and being as truthful as possible. Spencer himself admits this, but he inserts a (huge) caveat that it is only “between believers.” As will be seen, this is completely untrue.

Let us begin with Spencer’s first indictment of the Prophet: “War is deceit.”

This statement comes from the Battle of the Trench. After the siege of the city of Medina had lasted for almost 30 days, and the Muslims were in dire straits.  The Prophet Muhammad asked a man named Nuaym ibn Masud to break the deadly siege somehow.  Nuaym said he could do this but that “this requires me to lie.”

Let’s stop here. Why did he ask this permission from the Prophet Muhammad if, according to Spencer, lying to non-believers is standard practice? Because, as noted above, the principle in Islam is honesty. The Prophet gave him specific permission to lie saying, “War is deceit.”

This is the context of the Prophet’s statement, “War is deceit.” Spencer, however, claims that this phrase, “War is deceit,” gives Muslims carte blance to lie to all non-Muslims all the time. Logically, it is pure rubbish.

Yet, when one thinks of it, is not good policy to deceive one’s enemy during war? Is it not good strategy to decieve the enemy in order to defeat him? What is wrong with saying, “War is deceit”? Yet, are there others that have said the same thing?

Of course!

In fact, “War is deceit” is one of the oldest military principles in history. It is found in none other thanThe Art of War by Sun Tzu, a Chinese strategist from the Sixth Century B.C. This book is the oldest military treatise in the world. In Part I, principle No. 18 says:

All warfare is based on deception.

Was Sun Tzu advocating Taqiyya? Is this something to be condemned, as Spencer condemns the Prophet?

How about the Trojan Horse, a story from one of the oldest poems in Western Civilization?

Still seeking to gain entrance into Troy, clever Odysseus (some say with the aid of Athena) ordered a large wooden horse to be built. Its insides were to be hollow so that soldiers could hide within it.

Once the statue had been built by the artist Epeius, a number of the Greek warriors, along with Odysseus, climbed inside. The rest of the Greek fleet sailed away, so as to deceive the Trojans.

One man, Sinon, was left behind. When the Trojans came to marvel at the huge creation, Sinon pretended to be angry with the Greeks, stating that they had deserted him. He assured the Trojans that the wooden horse was safe and would bring luck to the Trojans.

Only two people, Laocoon and Cassandra, spoke out against the horse, but they were ignored. The Trojans celebrated what they thought was their victory, and dragged the wooden horse into Troy.

That night, after most of Troy was asleep or in a drunken stupor, Sinon let the Greek warriors out from the horse, and they slaughtered the Trojans.

Were the Greeks also practicing Taqiyya? Why doesn’t Spencer condemn the Greeks, the Fathers of Western Civilization, for practicing deceit in times of war?

Not only did Sun Tzu write of deception in warfare, but Italian Renaissance thinker Niccolo Machiavelliwrote:

Though fraud in other activities may be detestable, in the management of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes the enemy by fraud is as much to be praised as he who does by force.

How about more recent times? During World War II, there was a military operation called “Operation Fortitude.” It was a disinformation campaign to deceive the Germans about the Normandy invasion:

“Fortitude” was the codename given to the decoy (or disinformation) mission mounted by the Allies to deceive the Germans about the date and above all the place of the landings. The latter were convinced that the British and American attack would come in the Pas-de-Calais area and it was important not to disillusion them. They therefore had to be made to think that a whole group of armies was present in Kent, opposite the Pas-de-Calais.

To deceive the German observation planes, which their antiaircraft defences did their best to avoid, the local estuaries, creeks and harbours were crammed with dummy landing craft, made out of bits and bobs. A giant oil pumping head for PLUTO (made from papier mâché) was erected near Dover, while large numbers of inflatable rubber tanks were positioned in the fields. Plywood vehicles and guns lined the roadsides. At night, convoys of lorries ‑ always the same ones – drove back and forth across the region. For the benefit of the Germans, a team of technicians maintained constant radio traffic between totally fictitious units.

Fortitude succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Long after June 6th, Hitler remained convinced that the Normandy Landings were a diversionary tactic to induce him to move his troops away from the Pas-de-Calais, so that a decisive attack could then be launched there. He therefore kept his best units in readiness there, until the end of July, desperately scanning an empty horizon, while the fate of the war was being decided in Normandy.

Dr. Joseph Caddell, Lecturer on Military History at North Carolina State University, wrote in 2004:

 

Deception in warfare is probably as old as armed conflict itself. The logic of confusing an adversary is obvious, and the rewards can be realized very quickly.

On the website of the Air University, the military education system for the United States Air Force, there is a list of numerous books, documents, and periodicals that chronicle deception in WW I and WW II. Here is just some of the examples of the books written about deception in warfare:

Barros, James and Gregor, James. Double Deception: Stalin, Hitler, and the Invasion of Russia. DeKalb, IL, Northern Illinois University Press, 1995. 307 p.
Book call no.: 940.532247 B277d

Basic Deception and the Normandy Invasion. New York, Garland, 1989. 1 vol.
Book call no.: 940.5485 C873 v.15

Breuer, William B. Hoodwinking Hitler: The Normandy Deception. Westport, CT, Praeger, 1993. 263 p.
Book call no.: 940.54 B846h

Breuer, William B. The Secret War with Germany: Deception, Espionage, and Dirty Tricks 1939-1945. Novato, CA, 1988. 318 p.
Book call no.: 940.5485 B846s

As is quite clear, deception during times of warfare is not only standard procedure, but is a laudable and necessary tactic. Our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan use deception every single day to try to defeat the enemy. They would be blameworthy if they did not do so. Why doesn’t Robert Spencer condemn Sun Tzu, or the Greeks, or Allied Forces in WW II, or the U.S. Air Force for advocating deception in warfare? After all, all of these people also believe, as the Prophet Muhammad did, that “war is deceit.”

Robert Spencer’s claim that “war is deceit” to impugn the Prophet Muhammad and Islam is another case of Spenceritis. It is logical rubbish, and makes a mockery of the claim that Robert Spencer is any sort of “scholar” about Islam.

Also check out Danios’ excellent article on the same topic available on SpencerWatch.com. He refutes every single argument the Islamophobes raise about taqiyya.

 

Religious Extremism and Islamophobia in the Military a Major Concern

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , on May 28, 2010 by loonwatch
The Bible in one hand and a gun in the other

The Quran in one hand and a gun in the other

The most common manifestation of Islamophobia is to call a person a “terrorist” simple because he/she is Muslim.  Currently, a U.S. soldier is being investigated for posting a video on his Facebook page in which he taunted Iraqi children calling them “gay terrorists” and used racial slurs against them.  ABC News reports:

Spc. Robert A. Rodgriquez posted the video, titled “future gay terrorists!,” earlier this month. It shows two young, T-shirt-clad boys standing side-by-side on a dirt road, nodding and giving the thumbs up sign as the man behind the camera taunts them about whether they are gay or terrorists…

“Are you going to grow up to be a terrorist?” the solder, who may be Rodriguez, asks from behind the camera.

The boys do not appear to understand English as they raise their thumbs.

“Yeah, all right. Cool,” the cameraman responds. “Terrorists. Woo!”

In addition to asking the boys if they were terrorists, the man behind the camera also asked them if they were gay, using a slur the station didn’t air. They were also asked if they engaged in certain sex acts. When the boys smiled, the camera operator asked, “Are you good at it?”

The boys continued to smile and nod.

Later in the video, it appeared that the older boy began to realize the man wielding the camera was making fun of them. He reached over and carefully lowered the arm of the other little boy as he again made the thumbs up sign.

According to the same article, this is not an isolated event:

“The vast majority of soldiers are doing the right thing, and I think the public knows that,” Coppernoll said.

But a quick search of YouTube pulled up several videos of soldiers from across the United States and the United Kingdom mocking children. One showed American soldiers waving a much-desired bottle of water out the back of a truck as Iraqi children ran behind it, pleading for a drink.

Others showed soldiers intentionally scaring the children. But some videos showed the opposite — soldiers handing out candy or playing soccer with locals.

This begs the question whether there is a larger problem of anti-Muslim bias in the U.S. Army.  Such questions are intensified when one reads about Muslim soldiers in the U.S. military being discriminated against by their fellow soldiers.   For example, there is the case of Army Spec. Zachari Klawonn:

At 2 o’clock on a Monday morning, the sound of angry pounding sent Army Spec. Zachari Klawonn bolting out of bed.

THUD. THUD. THUD.

Someone was mule-kicking the door of his barracks room, leaving marks that weeks later — long after Army investigators had come and gone — would still be visible.

By the time Klawonn reached the door, the pounding had stopped. All that was left was a note, twice folded and wedged into the doorframe.

“F— YOU RAGHEAD BURN IN HELL” read the words scrawled in black marker.

The slur itself was nothing new. Klawonn, 20, the son of an American father and a Moroccan mother, had been called worse in the military. But the fact that someone had tracked him down in the dead of night to deliver this specific message sent a chill through his body.

Before he enlisted, the recruiters in his home town of Bradenton, Fla., had told him that the Army desperately needed Muslim soldiers like him to help win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet ever since, he had been filing complaint after complaint with his commanders. After he was ordered not to fast and pray. After his Koran was torn up. After other soldiers jeered and threw water bottles at him. After his platoon sergeant warned him to hide his faith to avoid getting a “beating” by fellow troops. But nothing changed.

Then came the November shootings at Fort Hood and the arrest of a Muslim soldier he’d never met: Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, who is charged with killing 13 people and injuring more than 30 in a massacre that stunned the nation. And with it, things only got worse.

It should be noted that the actions of a few soldiers do not reflect the entire U.S. military, and it would be unfair to say so. In fact, several soldiers reached out to Klawonn after his story was published in the Washington Post to offer their support. Nevertheless, the question remains: is there a larger anti-Muslim problem in the U.S. Army that needs to be addressed?

And could this be related to the problem of rising fundamentalist Christian evangelism in the military?

Michael L. Weinstein, a former Air Force JAG, founded an organization called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). According to Weinstein, there exists a “fundamentalist Christian parachurch-military-corporate-proselytizing complex.” Moreover, Weinstein said:

The scary thing about all this is it’s going on not with the blind eye of the Pentagon but with its full and totally enthusiastic support. And those who are not directly involved are passive about it. As the Talmud says, ‘silence is consent.’

It was Weinstein who exposed the fact that the lead supplier of rifle scopes to the U.S. military placedcoded references to passages  in the New Testament. It was Weinstein who also led the campaign to disinvite Franklin Graham from speaking at a Pentagon event because of his comments about Islam. Weinstein himself was the subject of harrassment, being beaten unconscious twice:

This battle is personal for him: Nearly 30 years ago, as a Jewish cadet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, he was twice beaten unconscious in anti-Semitic attacks. (There wouldn’t have been much of a choice of targets — only 0.3 percent of the members of the U.S. military identify themselves as Jewish. Ninety-four percent are Christian.) Visiting his son, Curtis, on the eve of his own second year at the academy in the summer of 2004, Weinstein was stunned to learn little had changed; over lunch at McDonald’s, Curtis told his father that he had been verbally abused eight or nine times by officers and fellow cadets on account of his religion.

Weinstein filed a complaint, in response to which the Air Force launched an investigation that revealed a top-down, invasive evangelicalism in the academy. Among other things, it revealed that the commandant of cadets taught the entire incoming class a “J for Jesus” hand signal, that the football coach had draped a “Team Jesus” banner across the academy locker room, and that more than 250 faculty members and senior officers signed a campus newspaper advertisement that proclaimed: “We believe that Jesus Christ is the only real hope for the world.” Weinstein has been a First Amendment vigilante ever since.

According to an article in Foreign Policy magazine:

Although he is frequently attacked for waging a war on Christianity, all but a fraction of Weinstein’s clients are practicing Catholics and Protestants of mainline denominations who claim to be targeted by proselytizing evangelical superiors. The root of the problem, Weinstein believes, is a cluster of well-funded groups dedicated to Christianizing the military and proselytizing abroad. They include the Navigators, which, according to their website, command “thousands of courageous men and women passionately following Christ, representing Him in advancing the Gospel through relationships where they live, work, train for war, and deploy.” There is Campus Crusade for Christ’s Military Ministry, which has a permanent staff presence at U.S. military academies and whose directors have referred publicly to U.S. soldiers and Marines as “government-paid missionaries.”

Weinstein himself says such groups are: “are the flip side of the Taliban. They’re like Islamic officers exercising Quranic leadership to raise a jihadi army.” Weinstein has taken on Zachari Klawonn as a client in a lawsuit against the U.S. Army.

Writer Jason Leopold has also written about the fundamentalist Christian movement in the military:

The Christian right has been successful in spreading its fundamentalist agenda at US military installations around the world for decades. But the movement’s meteoric rise in the US military came in large part after 9/11 and immediately after the US invaded Iraq in March of 2003. At a time when the United States is encouraging greater religious freedom in Muslim nations, soldiers on the battlefield have told disturbing stories of being force-fed fundamentalist Christianity by highly controversial, apocalyptic “End Times” evangelists, who have infiltrated US military installations throughout the world with the blessing of high-level officials at the Pentagon. Proselytizing among military personnel has been conducted openly, in violation of the basic tenets of the United States Constitution.

There is the feeling in the Muslim world that the United States is at war with Islam itself.  Many Westerners mock Muslims for this conspiratorial talk, and wonder how or why Muslims would ever think such a ridiculous thing.  But Glenn Greenwald put it best: “So-called paranoid conspiracies in the Muslim world are often based more in fact than our derision of them.” How far out there would it be to consider the Iraq War an Evangelical crusade fueled by Islamophobia?  Well, when you consider that

1. The illegal Iraq War was started in large part due to the religious right, which beat the drums of war hardest.  Indeed, “conservative Christians [were the] biggest backers of [the] Iraq War.”

2. George Bush, a fervent Evangelical Christian, said he invaded Iraq because of Biblical prophecy, i.e. “Gog and Magog at work.”

3.  Evangelical Christianity is surging in the U.S. military, and many of the soldiers feel like they are on a crusade against Islam.

4.  Islamophobia is a major problem amongst the troops–not all, but certainly enough to be troubling.  Usage of the racial slur “hajji”, which is the equivalent of “gook” or “Jap”, is not uncommon.

it no longer seems surprising why many Muslims think so.  And then you have to add #5 to the list, which is the rise of Blackwater, the Christian version of Al-Qaeda.  Erik Prince, the founder of the company, “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.” Blackwater is the world’s largest mercenary army (and members refer to themselves as the Knights Templar).  This security company is at the center of a number of troubling allegations, which The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill has done an excellent job of chronicling.  Recently, Scahill has written that:

From the first days of the launch of the so-called “war on terror,” Blackwater has been at the epicenter of some of the most secretive operations conducted by US forces globally. It has worked on government assassination programs and drone bombings, operated covertly in Pakistan for both the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command, assisted secret raids inside of Syria, trained foreign militaries and continues to bodyguard senior US officials in Afghanistan. The company also has a bloody track record of killing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many seasoned observers believe that the extent of the dark acts committed by Blackwater have yet to come to light.

While Congressional committees, the IRS, the FBI and lawyers representing foreign victims of the company have fought for years to hold Blackwater and its forces accountable for their alleged crimes, the company has proved to be Teflon. Not a single case against the company has resulted in any significant action. Following last December’s dismissal of the high-profile criminal case against the Blackwater operatives allegedly responsible for the 2007 Nisour Square shootings that left seventeen Iraqis dead and more than twenty others wounded, federal prosecutors have now launched another salvo.

Last week, the Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury had returned a fifteen-count indictment against five current and former Blackwater officials, charging them with conspiracy to violate a series of federal gun laws, obstruction of justice and making false statements to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Among those indicted were Blackwater owner Erik Prince’s longtime right-hand man, former company president Gary Jackson, Blackwater’s former legal counsel Andrew Howell and two former company vice presidents. Given Blackwater’s track record and the severity of other allegations against the company–including killing unarmed civilians–if the charges in this case stick, it would be somewhat akin to Al Capone going down for tax evasion. The one major difference being, the number-one man at Blackwater, Erik Prince, is evading prosecution and jail. Prince, who remains the Blackwater empire’s sole owner, was not indicted.

The demonization of “the other” is a common occurrence during wars.  Neo-cons would shrug this off by saying “that’s war.”  Yes, that’s true.  But that’s why we shouldn’t fight them, at least whenever it’s possible not to.  So many troubling incidents have been reported about the Iraq War that we really need to reevaluate what we are doing there, and question our foreign policy altogether.  It is not patriotism to send our troops to die for fanatical religious causes, hateful crusades, or to slay Gog and Magog.  Rather, it is patriotism to save our boys from the horrors of wars.

Furthermore, we need to take steps to check religious extremism and Islamophobia in the military.  In a time when the U.S. has attacked and occupied numerous Muslim countries, these anti-Muslim incidents are indeed concerning.  We are quite clearly able to see the troubling militarization of religion in the Islamic world, but are we oblivious to it when it concerns in our own ranks?

 

Rabbinic Council Says Haiti Earthquake due to Homosexuality

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by loonwatch

rabbi_levin

Sadly, No has a satirical piece on the Rabbinic Alliance of America’s statement that the earthquake in Haiti is due to homosexuality. While the piece is a little over the top it does provoke us to none the less ask the question, what if they were Muslim? The anti-Muslim blogosphere would be using it as an example of cruelty of Islam etc., but on this we don’t hear a peep out of them.

Silly Rabbi, Tricks are for Kids

Christian Newswire Media Advisory, February 3, 2010
1000 Rabbis Warn: Open Homosexuality in the Military is a Disaster and May Cause Further Natural Disasters

Fine, splendid, freshen it for me, then.

Uh, may cause further what, now?

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of America issued the following statement: “When Americans are suffering economically and millions need jobs, it’s shocking that the Administration is focused on its ultra-liberal militantly homosexualist agenda forcing the highlighting of homosexuals and homosexuality on an unwilling military.

At least they aren’t ‘ramming it down the throat’ of the military, like usually.1 No, but Rabbi Levin seems like a man often shocked. More specifically, he seems like the sort of bully who flaps his arms and backs into you and then cries that you pushed him. That’s one of the best kinds, and we’re preparing for an ongoing relationship by assigning him a facile nickname (Rabbi “Yehuda Hellcares” Levi) and sketching out a Photoshop piece in which the female figure in this Marc Chagall painting is bearded and wearing a hat and tallis. Oh yes, and this we say to you, Shletero:2 If their hair needs some highlights, and indeed if they’re being preferentially marked in attention-getting transparent yellow, these militant gays in the military,3 then azoy gay-it es.4Yes, and furthermore:

…If you know what we’re saying, and we think that you farshtaist.5

This is the equivalent of the spiritual rape of our military to satisfy the most extreme and selfish cadre of President Obama’s kooky coalition.

It’s like the equivalent of raping the troops with the spiritual equivalent of a big hairy moose peen, while his black friends watch.

We agree with Eileen Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness that this will hurt the cohesiveness of the military, cause many to leave the army, and dramatically lower the number of recruits, perhaps leading to the reinstatement of a compulsory draft.

Because the Center for Military Readiness is certainly not one of those phony wingnut security foundations that sprang up after 9/11.

“Thirteen months before 9/11, on the day New York City passed homosexual domestic partnership regulations, I joined a group of Rabbis at a City Hall prayer service, pleading with G-d not to visit disaster on the city of N.Y.

That worked out great.

So no, basically, those hijacked airliners were like the egg beaters raining from the sky in the Far Side cartoon where the Indian is like, “Whoa, what kind of dance was I doing?” Because it was actually supposed to be a gay partnership G_d-mollifying dance, and instead it brought religious fanatics raining down in passenger aircraft? Like, um, really?

Because speaking just for myself, I personally would think it over before putting something on my rabbinical c.v. like “cockamamie prayers caused terror attacks of 9/11.” Because then the next thing is that everybody keeps looking at you funny every time something blows up nearby — as if nothing in the world ever blew up in a total spontaneous gaysplosion caused by G_d, as things so often do.

Example: June, 1999, when the Stonewall Inn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and JFK Jr.’s plane immediately crashed into the ocean off Gay Head, Massachusetts. Another example is the Krakatoa explosion in 1883, caused by something Walt Whitman did.

These are the things they start to blame you for, when all you’re doing is walking around minding your own business and decrying the spiritual something-like-rape of the equivalent of the American soldier, not to mention sailor. Because whoops, there goes G_d again with the blowing-up and the kaboom, when barely over a year earlier you’d asked him not to do that.

We have seen the underground earthquake, tsunami, Katrina, and now Haiti. All this is in sync with a two thousand year old teaching in the Talmud that the practice of homosexuality is a spiritual cause of earthquakes.

“All this is in the sink!” said the 2,000-Year-Old who is still teaching in the Talmud after all these years, and we should all be so lucky. “I keep calling Moe the plumber, and all I hear is that he’s coming. ‘Mr. Shiach is coming any time now,’ they say. Well, I’m still wai…[doorbell rings] holy cats, it’s Menachem Schneerson.”6

Once a disaster is unleashed, innocents are also victims just like in Chernobyl.

This reminds us for some reason: What has ol’ Pastor Swank been up to since the last time we…

J. Grant Swank, Jr., Truth in Conviction
CHRISTIAN VS. VOODOO IN HAITI

[…]

Now voodoo priests are up in arms about the contest. But they should realize that there is plenty of need to go around. Why do any persons have the strength or time to whine about others helping others?

If voodoo spokespersons want to spill goats’ blood and see drum their incantations, go to it. But don’t slam Christians who are working night and day to bring relief.

Because hey, that’s what you call a voo-don’t. But since there’s nothing out of the ordinary here, let’s go back to the rabbi.

“We plead with saner heads in Congress and the Pentagon to stop sodomization of our military and our society. Enough is enough.”

No argument here. Most heads are saner than the Rabbi’s even in Congress and the Pentagon, and P.S., have you seen what they’ve done to Sodom lately?

Rabbi Levin will be available to talk to the media in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, in proximity of the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings featuring Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Proximity just like in Chernobyl. No, seriously: It was an outstanding media availability in which Rabbi Levin really stood out, literally at the threshold of public hearing.

We miss him already and look forward to the next time he comes in the public’s eye, despite the mess and the stinging sensation.


1 Cf., and cf. This style reaches what you’d have to call a climax in the following passage from wingnut conspiracy nut Jackie Jura: “Even cartoons ooze with sex, and every show lately pounds with homosexuality. Recently a movie named KINSEY got rave reviews for telling the story of zoologist-cum-sex researcher Alfred Kinsey who brought homosexuality and other deviations mainstream.” Research on zoologist cum is often misunderstood.2 Var. ‘Shlomo’ (cf.) 

3 Cf. Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language,” and its treatment of ‘dead’ and ‘dying’ metaphors. The infelicity in which a root word modifies itself seems suddenly to be everywhere (like the ancient and unstoppable grocer’s apostrophe and written air quote). An especially good example can be seen on a current billboard for People’s Bank, apparently quoting a Barron’s review which called them “A BANK TO BANK ON.” As though to complete the chain of irony, the phrase also appears in thisMay, 2007 Business Week item citing Bank of America as “a good defensive stock that has lagged the rally.” Merely gratuitous is the comic association here.

4 Yidd.: Azoy gait es (“that’s how it goes”). (Cf. Ger.: We’re gayin’.)

5 I.e., Mayn prom (shveb-shif) iz ful mit veners. This is by way of saying that one’saéroglisseur or Luftkissenfahrzeug is full of anguilles or Aale, or in other words thatilmatyynyalukseni on täynnä ankeriaita.

6 The Lubavitchers now have a joke. When in the future they tell it, one can call out, “Number one!” and another can reply, “Feh.”

 

Cenk Uygur Obliterates Closet Islamophobe

Posted in Loon TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2009 by loonwatch
Cenk, posing as a Bollywood hero
Cenk, posing as a Bollywood hero

Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks Obliterates Closet Islamophobe

Cenk Uygur, the host of The Young Turks, rips this closet Islamophobe a new one.  I especially like how he made sure to mention George Bush’s intention behind invading Iraq (the Biblical prophecy of Gag and Magog), which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.  (But of course those civilians don’t count, since they are brown Moozlems.)

Cenk could have sealed that argument by mentioning the Christian version of Al-Qaeda, none other than the fundamentalist Evangelical Blackwater group, which has killed scores of civilians.  And he could also have mentioned the thousands of Christians who believe in the Joel’s Army theology and the general surge of Christian fanaticism in the U.S. military.

One other point: the conservative loon mentioned the idea that 90% of mosques in America are owned and operated by Saudi Arabia.  This is a blatant lie commonly peddled by Islamophobes.  “But you can google it!”  Believe it or not: but not everything on the interwebs is true.  *gasp*  In fact, the vast majority of mosques in America run on local donations.

Joy "7 million Muslims in the World?" Tiz
Joy “7 million Muslims in the World?” Tiz

Then in that same breath she says that they are funded by the Muslim Brotherhood, when in fact the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood runs contrary to that of the “Wahhabi” (Salafi) strain of Islam followed in Saudi Arabia.

But anyways, I must say that Cenk did a great job (and I give him a 10 out of 10).  Here is the debate:

Cenk vs Conservative [Loon] on Muslims in the Military

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFsV1tHEvzA 300 250]