Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Series of Three Articles on US Foreign Policy Related to the Sunni

Romancing the Sunni: A US policy tragedy in three acts; Act I
Asian Times -- BY ANGELO CODEVILLA on DECEMBER 21, 2015

“To understand why hopes for help from the Sunni side are forlorn, we must be clear that jihadism in general and Daesh in particular are logical outgrowths of Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia’s (and the Gulf monarchies’) official religion, about how they fit in the broader conflict between Sunni and Shia, as well as about how the US occupation of Iraq exposed America to the vagaries of intra-Muslim conflicts.”

Romancing the Sunni: A US policy tragedy in three acts; Act II
Asian Times -- BY ANGELO CODEVILLA on DECEMBER 23, 2015

“Daesh/ISIS attracts and inspires by combining orthodox Sunni Islam with very spectacular brutality. Inflicting pain, humiliation and death on captives or vengeance on presumed enemies has characterized some cultures. In all cultures throughout the ages, some individuals have relished these practices. Embedding brutality in ritual enhances its power to attract practitioners and to bind them to the group. Daesh/ISIS draws and inspires by dispensing the right and duty to engage in it.”

“It does so in the name of Allah with the prophet Muhammad’s own words. The methods– knives for beheadings, formulae for humiliating victims, etc. — it prescribes minutely by Sunni Islam’s authoritative Hadith. In contrast to the Nazi authorities who used to tell the Holocaust’s murderers that theirs was a somber though noble task, the Hadith spells out that those who kill and torture in Allah’s name should do so joyfully, with mirth, and that they should take pleasure in the fruits of their victories including the use of slaves, especially sex slaves.”

Romancing the Sunni: A US policy tragedy in three acts; Act III
Asian Times -- BY ANGELO CODEVILLA on DECEMBER 28, 2015

On Jan. 1, 2015, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al Sisi told Sunni Islam’s leading scholars gathered at Cairo’s Al Azhar University, its leading temple of knowledge, that they had been leading Islam on a course disastrous for itself and leading to war with the rest of the world.

He said : “ You, imams, are responsible before Allah … that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years … is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world … Is it possible that 1.6 billion [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants – that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live? Impossible! … I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution.”

That is reality. It is also reality that no such revolution is in the works, in part because the West continues to deal with the Sunni world by trying to appease it, romance it, seduce it.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thomas Jefferson and Religious Freedom

Virginia Historical Society
Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. The third paragraph reflects Jefferson's belief in the people's right, through their elected assemblies, to change any law. Here, Jefferson states that this statute is not irrevocable because no law is (not even the Constitution). Future assemblies that choose to repeal or circumscribe the act do so at their own peril, because this is "an infringement of natural right." Thus, Jefferson articulates his philosophy of both natural right and the sovereignty of the people.

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry,

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.[4]

Christian Post
USCIRF Report Shows Islamic Countries Are Worst Violators of Religious Freedom; 12 Muslim-Majority Nations Top the List

The annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom shows that 12 of the 17 nations with the worst record of religious freedom are Islamic or Muslim-majority countries.

The trend of Islamic and communist persecution of religious denominations, particularly Christian minorities, continues, but the intensity of attacks on Christians and others has increased.

See Also

The Evil That Cannot Be Left Unanswered

International New York Times -- Roger Cohen
The Evil That Cannot Be Left Unanswered

“Across the wide area of Syria and Iraq that it controls, the Islamic State enacts its nihilistic death cult drawn from a medievalist reading of the Koran. They slit throats at public executions, butcher “infidel”’ communities like the Yazidis en masse and turn women and children into sex slaves as they build a self-styled caliphate based on oil revenue, absolutist zealotry and digital slickness.”

At the Yazidi refugee camp, Anter Halef said to me, “We no longer have a life in this world. It’s empty.” He was broken, but at least, unlike his children, he had lived his life. “ISIS has no religion,” he went on. “No sane man would slaughter a child. In one night, they killed 1,800 people.”

For evil, unmet, propagates. To allow Islamic State to consolidate its hold over territory and minds over the coming year is to invite, or at least to accept, an inevitable replay of the Paris or the San Barnardino slaughters. It is to accept that the Syrian debacle will worsen for another year. And that, in turn, will further exacerbate the anxiety and fears on which nationalist, often Islamophobic politicians in Europe and the United States thrive.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Follow the Money

WSJ -- Kimberley A. Strassel
Justice’s Liberal Slush Fund
Legal settlements are being used to funnel millions to left-wing activists like La Raza.

This scandal comes courtesy of the Justice Department, which for 16 months has engaged in a scheme to undermine Congress’s spending authority by independently transferring dollars to President Obama’s political allies. The department is in the process of funneling more than half-a-billion dollars to liberal activist groups, at least some of which will actively support Democrats in the coming election.

It works likes this: The Justice Department prosecutes cases against supposed corporate bad actors. Those companies agree to settlements that include financial penalties. Then Justice mandates that at least some of that penalty money be paid in the form of “donations” to nonprofits that supposedly aid consumers and bolster neighborhoods.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

ISIS and Religious Persecution

RealClearPolitics -- Michael Novak
The Tragedy of Christian Persecution

“If you are going to read only one book on the most massive violations of religious liberty -- happening today, even as you read this -- or you feel it's your duty to read only one thing in solidarity with this immense suffering, Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy by George J. Marlin is the one to keep at hand.”

“The chairman of Aid to the Church in Need covers eight nations of the Middle East, from Turkey to the Sudan, in some painful detail. Behind this detail, lie many hundred thousands of Christian families faced with instant death (or sexual enslavement) or two other choices (1) renounce their hard-won historical faith and submit to the authority of Allah, or (2) enter intodhimmitude, that half-life of paying fines for just being allowed to live and of keeping one's faith completely private, invisible and silent.”

“Then, summarizing the findings of the Muslim director of Yafa Center for Study and Research, Nasry lists five aims of terror in Islam. In cruelly brief form they are: (1) to punish infidels for unbelief (2) to frighten infidels into keeping their treaties with believers (3) to be a definitive tool of divine might. Q8:12 "I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite them above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them." (4) to cut as a two-edged sword: striking fear into infidels, and protecting believers from their evils and (5) to put an end to oppression, tumult, and division. Fr. Nasry applauds those who try to bring Islam "up-to-date, but regrets that they have so far been very broadly rejected.”

See also:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Another result of the corruption in the Chicago Democratic political machine

The Corrupt System That Killed Laquan McDonald
The Atlantic -- Conor Friedersdorf

In short, Chicago does an atrocious job of identifying and disciplining bad cops. And this failure appears to have directly contributed to the wrongful death of McDonald—Van Dyke had 18 civil complaints filed against him, but had never been disciplined. “The Independent Police Review Authority, the civilian board that handles the most serious cases, doesn't take into account previous complaints against the same officer when investigating a new one,” according to a Tuesday editorial in the Chicago Tribune. “11 officers racked up a combined 253 complaints that resulted in a single five-day suspension. Come on. What does it take to flag a problem cop?”

If police shooting video had been released sooner, would Emanuel be mayor?
Chicago Tribune -- John Kass

Would Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been re-elected if voters had seen the video of Laquan McDonald's execution?


Rahm would have lost the election. Why? Because he would have lost Chicago's black vote.

"No," said the alderman, meaning no, Rahm would not have won the election. "But you already knew that. Why are you asking us?"

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

American Universities Begin to Implode

American Universities Begin to Implode
Real Clear Politics -- Dennis Prager

“For over half a century, American universities, with few exceptions, have ceased teaching and begun indoctrinating. In the last few weeks, this downhill spiral has accelerated. The university is now a caricature of an educational institution. It is difficult to come up with an idea or policy that is more absurd than the ideas and policies that now dominate American campuses.”

“The University of California, once an elite public institution, now circulates a list of "microaggressions" that students and faculty must be careful to avoid lest they engage in racism and bigotry. Some examples: "There is only one race, the human race." You read that right. The denial of the significance of race in favor of the primacy of the individual and the affirmation of the equality of all human beings -- one of the noblest achievements of liberal Western society -- is now officially listed by the University of California as a racist statement. It is a pure expression of moral inversion.”

America’s higher education brought low -- WP - George Will

“People who are imprecisely called educators have taught, by their negative examples, what intelligence is not.”

The Yale Problem Begins in High School
HeterodoxAcademy -- Jonathan Haidt

“After the first dozen questions I noticed that not a single questioner was male. I began to search the sea of hands asking to be called on and I did find one boy, who asked a question that indicated that he too was critical of my talk. But other than him, the 200 or so boys in the audience sat silently.”