Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why We Must Fight

This is a mugshot of Nour Hadid. Nour lives near Chicago. She is a muslim woman who has confessed to beating her two-year-old niece, Bhia Hadid, to death over a four day period of torture.
Nour's husband, Alaeddin Hadid, who surely must have been away on a business trip or was so deeply immersed in the study of islamic texts that he did not notice the "head to toe"bruises, screams and what must (at least by the third day of beatings!) have been severely altered behavior, is very upset. Is he upset by the death of little Bhia? Is he devastated that his wife has confessed to this brutal, extended torture and murder?

No, actually, Alaeddin seems to be most upset by the photograph above. He prefers focussing and raging on the fact that his wife's mug shot was released by the police and published in the press. He is upset because the mug shot shows her without her Hijab and with her shoulders exposed by the tank top she was wearing. He has been quoted as saying that the police are "really going to be in big trouble" because this is against their religion. He's going to sue. Oh, really?

I want to make sure that I am not misunderstood. I have no doubt that there are many abusers and scumbags of Judeo-Christian heritage who would take this kind of "The best defense is a good offense" opening gambit. To be sure, something like it is often the the first rock under which criminals and scoundrels to try to burrow in order to avoid detection and punishment. Attempting to appear tougher and more aggrieved than the authorities and the people they protect and serve is an old standby, the only older one maybe "the devil made me do it". The thing is, this one about the humiliation and insult to Islam has come to be the signature offensive weapon of the anti-western Jihad.

And it goes way back before 9/11 when the media in the U.S. first asked the pathetic question "Why Do They Hate Us?". It is the underlying reason that the Islamic World can (will) not coexist peacefully with Israel. The existence of a country full of productive, egalitarian people who value individual rights and enterprise over religious honor and collective shame is a constant humiliation because Israeli society works and thrives in a way that Arab society (whether it is an Islamic "republic" or a secular dictatorship) simply can't. If you read the rants of bin Laden (and Qutb and al Banna before him) its clear that Alaeddin Hadid's gambit here falls directly within the long tradition of justifying violence against the the west and its institutions and claiming exemption from the cultural norms and laws of the western countries in which they choose to live by virtue of their Arab culture and its religious Doppelgänger, Islam.

This is deflection and as I have pointed out before deflection is the classic tactic of the domestic abuser. With deflection beaten and abused women may be convinced that they brought the abuse on themselves and victims of terror can be misled to think that the terrorist is, somehow justified. The only surprise here is that there are a great many people who cannot see it for what it is.

So classic is the abusive overtone here that, personally, I would not be surprised to find that Alaeddin either knew about the beatings as they were happening or even did them himself and forced his wife to take the rap.

Don't believe me? Let's take a look at some of Mr. Hadid's statements. He told the press that his wife, "never leaves the home without covering up...It is against our religion; we do not do this in our culture,"

No, what they do in Alaeddin's culture, apparently is called deflection and blaming the victim.

The best indication of what upsets him the most about the death of this little girl is this sentence:
"People have been calling me about this all day." The poor guy. There is nothing a member of an unreconstructed honor/shame culture hates more than having to deal with public knowledge of his wife savage beating murder of a two-year-old girl than a public display of her bare shoulders. Either one, if kept private, is not so bad.

He's not upset at what happened he is upset about the fact that it has become so public and that his wife's shoulders and hair were exposed.

Even in an Arab culture this would be bad but not an insult. Why is this such an insult now? In a time when anyone who cares to can view videos of on the internet of teenage moslem women being hung, stoned and beaten in various stages of undress for crimes like being seen with a male relative other than her husband of having been brutally raped and not being able to fight off her attackers. None of these have been denounced as insults to Islam- even though because they are committed in the name of religion, they should rightfully be denounced as insults to humanity.

Has anyone in the Islamic world recognized the humiliation and beheading of Daniel Pearl as an insult to Judaism? You will recall he was forced to declare himself a Jew just before his head was hacked from his living body. Did anyone object to the insult to Judeo-Christian civilization when American soldiers were dragged through he filthy streets of Mogadishu? Did we not bend ourselves into fantastic positions of contorted self-deprecation to avoid calling 9/11 (and Madrid, and Fiji and the Sbarro restaurant and Beslan and the thousands of other bloody Islamic attacks) an Islamic Insult to western civilization?

No. This run-of-the-mill mug shot is only an insult because it is a photo of a Muslim who lives and did something terrible in a country in which Islam is just another religion, not the supreme and unquestioned ruling authority in every aspect of life. It is an insult because it is proof that Islam is not SUPREME- at least not here, not yet.

This is what they cannot bear.

Too bad for the little girl with dozens of bruises, beaten until her little body just stopped breathing. Who cares about the accused wife who's husband was, at the very least complicit and very possibly culpable? They want us to have sympathy for the poor islamic supremacists who are just too pathetic, inept and despicable, and whose faith is in a god too absolute and a prophet and scripture too political to actually be universal and supreme.

If you had any question of the meaning of our fight against terror , here it is- We are up against a belief system in which individual human beings, their suffering, their lives, their ideas and their feelings are all side issues. In Islamic Arab Culture, Islam is the ultimate trump card. the frame of reference that makes all other considerations irrelevant. If you can square your behavior with Allah, if you can convince yourself and some ignorant constituency that you are acting in the service service of Allah ad his messenger, you can justify any atrocity, ignore any fact, commit any abuse, tell any lie and desecrate any other religion or code of ethics in the world and claim to be a righteous man. This is religious fascism.

When you get right down to the nub of the matter, when we get our own values right, Western Culture holds right and wrong or, more accurately, good and evil as the supreme criteria- not blind faith or politics or, even, science. We try to discriminate between good and evil in everything. We have chosen our religious leaders and our political leaders in our best effort to achieve The Good. Many of us have trouble telling the greater goods from the lesser ones and many of us, fail in very human ways to achieve the good for which we yearn. But we need to pay close attention to lessons like the one the Hadid family is teaching us.I began this blog with a post about my own daughter and her brush with the evil of Islamiist fascism and I don't think its an accident that this subject comes up over and over. We are different because we come from a different culture- and ours is better- because we care.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

O(blah-blah)bama in the Balance

It is true that your great triumph to this point, the thing that has gotten you the presidency, is your ability to stand up and orate in a dignified and reassuring way. It is also true that this is a very important thing for a politician to be able to do. But you must be aware that this is not all that is going to be required from you.

That’s too bad because it is beginning to look like its the only thing you are good at.

Your promises of transparency disappeared in the pork-filled, un-read, pages of the first stimulus package that was cobbled together by people unnamed and railroaded through the legislature in the throes of trumped-up panic.
Your dedication to integrity has been exposed as a sham as you fill your administration with tax cheats and self-promoting ideologues.

You bow down to Saudi royalty as they smile in smug approval at your subservience, live under our protection and continue to make war on our values and undermine our civilization.

You hide behind a feckless Judenrat (Emmanuel, Boxer, et al) of compliant “warranting Jews” as you make flirtatious overtures to Iranian Mullahs. Then you just smile knowingly when their nasty little poppet-despot Achmadinejad insults you and America by throwing your words back at you. All the while he funds and fosters surrogate terror armies and continues to prepare to destroy our only real ally in the Middle East with a Nuclear Holocaust.

You cluck your tongue and issue empty cautions (they are not even strong enough to be called threats) as the lunatic despot of North Korea fires a ballistic missile over the very heads of our faithful ally Japan and in our general direction.
Even before you left the G20 meeting, the Europeans were getting tired of you. As you headed for the door you were already being called a windbag and a bore.

By the way, that sound you heard as you left Europe was the last few intelligent people in France and Germany letting out a gasp of recognition that they have gotten the ineffectual and self-deprecating America they thought they have wanted and are now more alone than they have been since 1941- with a more insidious and persistent enemy knocking at the gates.

You, my president, are looking less like The One and a great deal more like The Wizard of Oz. But here’s the catch, no one is going to kill the wicked witch for you. You are they guy we are all looking to. You are going to have to drop the Mr. McCawber routine and actually do something.

Sooner would be better than later, because one or two terror attacks in the US or a nuclear bomb blast over Tel Aviv will reverse the historical importance of your presidency- instead of the name of the first African American leader of the Free World O(blah-blah)bama will be forever known as the epitome of empty, impotent bloviation.