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During his recent trip to Israel for the nation’s 60th anniversary, President Bush delivered what should be heralded as an incredible and insightful speech on, well, the nature of good vs. evil. As per its usual, the MSM seems to have missed the point, dismissing it as a cheap attack on Sen. Obama’s announcement that he would be willing to negotiate with extremists such as Iran. In so doing, they unfortunately have detracted attention from the actual speech, which pointed out the parallels between Israel’s situation and past fights against violent and evil men.

The President points out that we cannot give up on Israel, nor can we pretend that Hamas, Hezbollah, and the like are simply misunderstood. They are petty, evil men who kill innocents, and no amount of dialogue will change their nature as such. It would do us well to listen to the President in this, as some principles, no matter how long adhered to, never really get old.

Relevant part of the speech included below, just for giggles.

The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of our time. It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle. On the one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.

This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.

And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the “elimination” of Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant “Death to Israel, Death to America!” That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that “the killing of Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties.” And that is why the President of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It’s natural, but it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Some people suggest if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of the enemies of peace, and America utterly rejects it. Israel’s population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you.

From LiveLeak’s statement regarding their withdrawl of Fitna:

We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what the last seven years have been about, and the 225 before that. We fight an ideological enemy that transcends state-bounds; and this enemy strikes at the heart of the underpinnings of liberal society: freedom of speech, free of the press, and freedom of religious exercise. For the whole of our existance, the US has stood against totalitarianism. Those arguing that Iraq is about oil or American empire have so fixated on leftist self-flagellation that they fail to see the blatant danger posed by these aggressive, new forms of despotism that seek, as Communism did, to control not only the body, but the heart and mind of its victims.

Dictatorship and junta contented to run their courses inside state-bounds are one thing. Ideological tyranny whose core principles dictate expansion and subjugation of others are another. The US has a responsibility to herself and the Free World (a term that fell into disuse after the collapse of the USSR but may well merit resurrection given our current struggle with a new despotism) she protects to rollback this threat to every free man, woman, and child on the planet.

I honestly thought, even at my young age, I would never face the day when an organization in Britain would concede that for discussing ideas the coin paid in physical danger would simply be too great.

If we cannot see the catastrophic threat posed by societies hellbent on expansion, who enslave and mutilate women, savagely execute men, teach their children to detonate themselves for a “god,” and wage unceasing war on any and all who oppose them, then we are truly lost.

May we never rest until those who plot our demise, justifying through their holy books malevolent machinations aimed at our most basic of human rights, are vanquished from this globe, adding yet another black page to history’s tome of failed, despotic ideologies which sought the the desecration of reason and the doom of mankind’s most precious liberties.

Something caught my eye in the Reuters story Jason commented on:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned as “offensively anti-Islamic” a Dutch lawmaker’s film that accuses the Koran of inciting violence.

Interestingly, Ban’s condemnation of Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ film on fundamentalist Muslim violence as “offensively anti-Islamic”may tacitly admit Wilders’ point.

Imagine a Mississippi filmmaker were to produce a movie linking the violence of abortion bombers and the Bible verses they use to justify their actions. Being an extremely devout evangelical, I would hardly call that work anti-Christian. It would condemn those twisting Scripture for their own fatal machinations; and it would condemn those executing violence, a proportion of Christians so small as to make laughable any conflation of them or their ideas with the faith itself. A film such as this would be anti-abortion-bomber not anti-Christian.

But Ban didn’t say Wilders’ film attacks those taking the Qur’an out of context or that it condemns those tiny numbers of Muslims embracing v iolence. He didn’t say it was anti-violence as its hypothetical, Christian analog might be categorized. Instead he labeled it anti-Islamic, accidentally acknowledging that perhaps the only circumstance under which this film could be anti-Islamic is if it accurately portrays some sect whose size and interpretation of the Qur’an makes conflation with the whole anything but laughable.

This is precisely why both fundamentalist and moderate Muslims have denounced the film: They’ve been left no choice but to conclude, much like Secretary-General Ban, that Wilders’ attack on Islamists specifically is also an attack on broader Islam; and if that is their conclusion, then perhaps such an attack is not without reason.

In another manifestation of Islam’s peaceful nature, Muslims have threatened the website that hosted Geert Wilders’ Fitna, a movie linking fundamentalist Muslims to violence. Nothing says “we object to being called violent” quite like threatening to harm those who call you violent. And it would appear those threats have done their job. LiveLeak, in a video occupying Fitna’s former address, says it had to choose between freedom of speech and the safety of its employees. The internet organization pulled the film after fewer than forty-eight hours.

A statement on LiveLeak’s site says:

Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support.

They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers [sic] culture.


We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.

The Watchmen, however, will continue to push this film, and this author in particular would welcome the opportunity to face these faith-fueled fiends. In the spirit of freedom of speech, we repost here the youtube clips. In the post just above this one, you will also find instructions for legally downloading your own copy of Fitna. Wilders has released the film into the public, so downloading will not be a legal concern for anyone.

Resolutely,

Custos


Another shocker here

The UN came out officially today against the film Fitna and its creator Geert Wilders.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned as “offensively anti-Islamic” a Dutch lawmaker’s film that accuses the Koran of inciting violence.

Ban acknowledged efforts by the government of the Netherlands to stop the broadcast of the film, which was launched by Islam critic Geert Wilders over the Internet, and appealed for calm to those “understandably offended by it.”

I wonder if  Ban will also understand it when the offended start the protest, rioting, looting, and murder spree’s always accompanying any legitimate criticism of Islam?

“There is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence,” Ban said in a statement. “The right of free expression is not at stake here.”

The short film, titled “Fitna,” an Arabic term sometimes translated as “strife,” intersperses images of the September 11 attacks on the United States and Islamist bombings with quotations from the Koran.

The film urges Muslims to tear out “hate-filled” verses from the Koran and starts and finishes with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban, accompanied by the sound of ticking.

Several Muslim countries, including Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia, have also condemned the film.

“Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility,” Ban said.

So once again, making a film to discuss the obvious failing of militant islamists is irresponcible but not acknowledging the trail of destruction of these militants is? Thanks again United Nations! To qoute Dumb and Dumber “Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!”

“We must also recognize that the real fault line is not between Muslim and Western societies, as some would have us believe, but between small minorities of extremists, on different sides, with a vested interest in stirring hostility and conflict,” Ban said.

Your getting warmer there  Ban. Yes, not all Islam is the problem, just the militant fundamentalists variety. Unfortunately, they seem to make up the majority of the practitioners in the middle east. The countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Palestinian territories teach these principles to their people. And no Ban, pretending like this is not how things are is not helping.

Directly below are both parts of Geert Wilders’ long-anticipated, short film, Fitna which links Qur’anic passages to Wahabistic violence (original video here–be patient, they are getting a lot of traffic). The film has caused no shortage of controversy and buzz, culminating so far in a crisis meeting of Holland’s cabinet and the formation of a police cordon around the Dutch Parliament building. According to the Hollywood Reporter,

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said Thursday night that the Department of Justice will investigate whether Wilders has broken Dutch law with his attack on the Quran. Balkenende condemned the film as “out to hurt” the Dutch people.

Welcome, dear friends, to life in paradisaical, post-Kantian Europe, where politicians and the enlightened excoriate those documenting murderous fanatics’ religiously motivated atrocities. That such documentation should result in muzzling the masses both viscerally and intellectually offends our undeniable desire for liberty.

We have already seen moral equivalence arguments being used as defenses for Islamist actions. But many a documentary and history has been made concerning the Crusades and the Inquisition. Vatican inspired violence doesn’t pour into the streets to greet these publications, though the Church may express its dismay or disagreement over the subject’s treatment. But when Dutch Cartoonists published works of satire; Islamists lauded murder, burned buildings, and stormed embassies. And now we see another reactionary storm on the horizon as Geert Wilders, a member of Holland’s House of Representatives, releases a film publicizing Islamist racism and violence along with some Qur’anic verses (or ayats) extolling murder and death. Intrinsically dishonest as moral equivalence arguments are, situations such as this demonstrate their utter uselessness and the complete intellectual dishonesty of those who deploy them.

Also bearing mention is the fact that Network Solutions refused to host the film online. This is certainly acceptable given Network Solutions’ status as a private firm. What disgusts is the fact that Network Solutions, while refusing to host what is actually a documentary exploration of those who would just as soon kill NS’ CEO as change turbans, contentedly hosts vile pornography (articles here and here). Somehow in the world of Network Solutions, objectifying and degrading women equates to protected speech while exploring Wahabism’s link to the Qur’an may violate the company’s own “guidelines on hate language.” The world is truly turned on its head.


… into forced marriages. Morrissey has the scoop.

Good to know this whole thing is just a fantastical story concocted by crazy Islamophobes the world over and that it is all a mirage though, right?

A post in which yours truly gets to continue his treasured pastime of poking fun at his favorite unindicted co-conspirator and the media.

It’s just too easy.

Today’s email newsletter from the terrorist financiers spotlighted efforts to free Sami Al-Arian, who is currently sitting in a US prison for his connections to terrorist-supporting organizations, some of which he founded. In an action item a few days ago, CAIR called for American Muslims and “people of conscious” to write letters on his behalf to members of Congress, Judge Gerald Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and to Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

In a showcase of its utter contempt for any sense of consistency or reason, in the same email, CAIR blasted Walid Shoebat again, quoting Dawud Walid in a second article specifically targeting the ex-terrorist.

“Either he’s a fraud or he should be detained by the Justice Department if he really was involved with a supposed terrorism attack in Israel,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

So if you are CAIR, real terrorist supporters should run free while those who have reformed and speak out against radicalism should be prosecuted. That makes sense.

What is even more funny is a portion of the article that also quoted Dawud Walid. The article was written by Kathleen Lavey, a reporter for the Lansing (Michigan) State Journal. FEC records show she is a contributor to the DNC.

[Walid Shoebat] will visit Michigan State University on Tuesday.

The MSU chapter of Young Americans for Freedom – classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center– has brought other controversial speakers to MSU, including Minutemen co-founder Chris Simcox and British Nationalist Nick Griffin. . .

Yup, Young Americans for Freedom is a hate group all right! That’s what William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan were into, right?

SPLC was founded by Morris Dees and Joe Levin, two lawyers in Alabama. Dees has contributed over $15,000 to various Democrats since 1979 (plus Ralph Nader in 2000 and no Republicans ever), including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Gary Hart (that Gary Hart), Kerry, Edwards, and even Ted Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Ick.

Joe Levin worked for the Carter Administration and contributed only to Democrats as well.

The first President of the SPLC was none other than Julian Bond. You may know him as President of the Democrat support group known as the NAACP.

Basically, noting that the SPLC designates YAF as a hate group is akin to noting that Jews are labeled by Iran as an illegitimate part of humanity in need of a serious whoopin’–it’s not news and it’s expected. In others words, to a liberal feminist like Kathleen Lavey, it should be mentioned as much as possible.

Especially if you have a symbiotic relationship with CAIR in Michigan, as Lavey seems to.

Just days after the Vatican blasted Osama bin Laden’s statement that the Pope played an integral role in a worldwide campaign against Islam:

Italy’s most prominent Muslim commentator, a journalist with iconoclastic views such as support for Israel, converted to Roman Catholicism Saturday when the pope baptized him at an Easter service.

As a choir sang, Pope Benedict XVI poured holy water over Magdi Allam’s head and said a brief prayer in Latin.

“We no longer stand alongside or in opposition to one another,” Benedict said in a homily reflecting on the meaning of baptism. “Thus faith is a force for peace and reconciliation in the world: distances between people are overcome, in the Lord we have become close.”

The baptism follows just days after bin Laden issued threats against the Pope for his “large and lengthy” role in the crusade against Islam, but like the Bush administration, the Vatican is showing a lack of fortitude in properly identifying evil and fighting against it. While Osama called for a violent jihad against the US, the President would claim Islam “teaches peace.” Just days after bin Laden threatened Europe and the Pope for a 2006 Danish caricature of Muhammad and the Pope’s alleged role in contributing to the declining respect of Islam, the papacy issued a statement defending the Pope to the ruthless leader instead of rebuking him for the violent threats. The papacy argued:

Benedict has recently taken steps to improve relations with moderate Islam.

and,

…that the Vatican and the Pope have criticized the cartoons on several occasions

Following the statements of bin Laden, the Pope proceeded to baptize a prominent Muslim during one of the most attended vigils with tens of thousands of spectators in an act that can certainly be construed as defiant of Islamic doctrine. With both religious and political figures refusing to take a hard, consistent stand against Islam, people are left confused and without a clear understanding of the connection between Islam and the acts of violence carried out in its name. It is time a leader stood up and called Islam by its rightful name…EVIL.

Via Atlas, this nifty little map comparison courtesy of the Brussels Journal.

The French website 5 Years Later has posted maps that illustrate the advance of Islam in France. I’ve taken the latest one from 2008 showing through shades of green the areas of implantation of the religion of peace and tolerance. The numbers on the map are those of the departments and have nothing to do with numbers of Muslims. The chart at the bottom runs from fewer than 5 to more than 30 mosques, prayer rooms or meeting houses. So we see that, in the southwest, department 33 has more than 30 while department 40 has fewer than 5.

For a complete list of all places of Islamic worship in France, click the link above. Even if you don’t know French you will find the listing impressive.

You will note also the inset in the upper left showing Paris (75) and its three surrounding suburbs. The name for that whole region is Ile-de-France, but someone has chosen to emend it to Êl-de-France.

Quote of the Week

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." -- Thomas Jefferson