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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.

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?

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.

They might as well call up bin Laden and have him give lectures to rookie agents on how not to offend Muslims in the process of pursuing terrorism charges against them. The FBI does know what our own federal prosecutors think of CAIR, right? Right?

Three days and counting until The Investigative Project on Terrorism drops the mother load. Says Insight

An American Muslim group identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal terrorism case is being used by the FBI to train its agents about Islam.

The FBI declined to respond to Insight’s questions about this seeming disconnect, as one of the pre-eminent anti-terrorist research centers in America is set to release an extensive report on the same prominent U.S. Muslim group, accusing the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of being a foe, rather than an ally, in the war on terror.

The 10-part report on CAIR from The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), led by Steven Emerson, debuts March 24. It tells the story of a group formed in the early 1990s to push an agenda of radical Islamists in the Middle East by portraying the war on terror as a war on Islam, and by defending those arrested on terror charges.

After a careful review of the history, activities, statements, and causes of and by CAIR, it seems that its primary goals are to silence and de-legitimize its critics and redefine what it means to be a moderate Muslim,” says the IPT report, a copy of which was obtained by Insight. “And when it comes to U.S. efforts to crack down on terrorists and their financiers, CAIR takes an almost visceral stand in opposition.”

This is where a good President would step in and say to Mueller, Hey buddy, this doesn’t seem quite right …

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