Hat Tip: Nancy Jaques
An exchange concerning the barbaric attack yesterday in London, with the beheading of a British soldier in the middle of the day while people walked on by.
Letter from Barbarian to Mark Hass, Director of Educate USA, Regarding San Francisco Bay Area Muslims
Dear Mr. Gargourr,
Mark Hass doesn’t need me or anyone else to defend his views. However, when you copy everyone on his Educate USA distribution list with your pathetic defense of Islam, my silence would be counted as approval. (See Reliance of the Traveler, section m3.13(2)) Your letter seems to be triggered by Mr. Hass’ characterization of some Muslims as barbaric. What other word would you use for this week’s beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby by Quran-spouting Muslim terrorists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in broad daylight with a meat cleaver? What other word would you use for the two Muslim Boston Marathon bombers who set down backpacks loaded with bombs and projectiles designed to kill and maim innocent spectators? At its worst, the word “barbaric” holds some hope for the possible enlightenment and civilizing of such a human being. However, when the Quran calls non-Muslims the worst of beasts (Surah 8:55), the implication is that they are not even human. Worse yet, Jews are called detested apes (Surah 2:65) and likened to donkeys (Surah 62:5). Your indignation is misplaced.
You say you pray five times a day. Those five prayers included seventeen recitations of Surah 1 (Al-Fatiha) of the Quran. That “prayer” demonizes Jews as the objects of Allah’s wrath and Christians as those who have gone astray. Your claim that you don’t hate Jews sounds a bit hollow in view of the words you recite when you pray. Shame on you!
Most of your letter is a shop-worn repetition of 1) the Tu Quoque screed that there are also hateful Jews and Christians, and 2) the victimization of the Palestinian people. Those hateful Jewish and Christian “extremists,” however, do not kill others and quote sacred texts as justification. With regard to the Palestinians, history documents that the Arab attackers of Israel ordered non-Jews out of the region lest they be killed as collaborators as the Arab armies swept the Jews into the sea. The failure of the surrounding Arab forces to eliminate Israel is the true nakba, not any “oppression” by the Israelis. And after 60 years of licking their wounds, the Arab Muslims in the region still refuse to make peace with Israel and hold to the mission of driving the Israelis into the sea by means of jihad only. (See HAMAS Covenant, Articles 11 and 13.)
It is remarkable that for such a devout Muslim as you claim to be, Mr. Gargourr, there is not a single quotation from the Quran to back up your blanket statements. You say that it is “completely false” that the religion of Islam is behind terrorism. Did you overlook Surahs 8:12 and 8:59? Did you forget that Muhammad boasted, “I have been made victorious with terror,” (Bukhari, Vol. 4, Number 220)? You say that that the idea that killing a Jew would take a Muslim straight to heaven is “absolute paranoid baloney.” Isn’t that exactly what Surah 9:111 stipulates? And, as long as we are on the subject of slaying and being slain, where do the Torah or the Gospel make a similar promise to Jews and Christians, as the Quran claims?
Finally, since you claim to be a former Christian who converted to Islam, here are a few imponderables about Islam that no rational person could willingly embrace. Your conversion to Islam must have been for reasons other than what you claim.
1. If Islam is truly a religion from God, why would asking questions about it cause you to lose faith? (See Surah 5:101-102).
2. If Allah leads people astray, is it “justice” that Allah should then punish them for that? (See Surah 5:41, 7:155, 14:4, 16:53 and 6:149)
3. If Satan cannot harm anyone except with Allah’s permission, doesn’t that mean that all harm that comes to a person is Allah’s will? (See Surah 58.10 )
4. If Jesus had no sin (See Surah 3:35-36 and Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 641) and if Muhammad had many sins (See Surah 47:19 and Bukhari Vol. 8, Number 319), why is Muhammad considered the “good example” (Surah 33:21) and emulated more than Jesus?
5. If whoever associates anything with Allah has devised a great sin (per Surahs 4:48, 4:116, and 5:72) , shouldn’t that also apply to Muhammad who is cited as a partner to Allah sixty-four times in the Quran (and mostly in the final Surahs that were handed down)? See Surah 2:279, 3:32, 3:132, 4:13, 4:14. 4:45, 5:33, 8:1, 8:13, 8:20, 8:24, 8:27, 8:41, 8:46, 9:1, 9:3, 9:16, 9:29, 9:54, 9:59, 9:63, 9:71, 9:74, 9:80, 9:84, 9:90, 9:91, 9;94, 9:107, and so forth)
6. If Allah would kill Muhammad for lying (Surah 69:43), is it possible that Muhammad died so suddenly because of false revelations inserted into the Quran? (Example: The Quran states in Surah 9:111 that both the Torah and the Gospel tell their believers to “kill and be killed” in order to get to Paradise.)
7. If Jesus is to return on Judgment Day to judge mankind (per Surah 43:61 and Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 657), wouldn’t it be better to follow the teachings of Jesus rather than the teachings of Muhammad and the Quran (which contains no teachings of Jesus)?
While I have no personal animosity toward Muslims and I do not fear for my safety with Muslims living in my community, I must reject the Islamic ideology as offensive to the God-given inalienable rights we all have. Here is a short list of what I cannot accept in Islam:
• Chopping off the hands of petty thieves (Surah 5:38)
• Beating wives (Surah 4:34)
• Whipping men and women 100 lashes for adultery (Surah 24:2)
• Marriage to prepubescent girls (Implied by Surah 65:4)
• Eye-for-an-eye retaliation (Surah 2:178-80)
• Death for apostasy (Bukhari, Vol. 9, Number 57)
• Thinking of sexual intercourse as plowing a field (Surah 2:223)
• Sexual slavery (Surah 33:50)
• Polygamy (Surah 4:2)
• Temporary marriages (i.e., prostitution) (Surah 4:24)
• Making war on non-Muslims (Surah 9:73)
• Allah using Muslims to enrage the non-Muslims (Surah 48:29)
• Using terrorism to advance Islam (Surah 8:60
Most Muslims living in America are civil, friendly with their non-Muslim neighbors (to a point), and pose no threat to public safety. To the extent that this is true, however, is a reflection of their tacit acceptance of basic civil rights ensured by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. For that we and you can thank the American Judeo-Christian heritage. A Muslim who believes that “Allah’s Laws” (i.e., Sharia Law) is superior to the U.S. Constitution and who behaves accordingly is a definite threat to peace and security. Try to convince Mr. Hass and the rest of us otherwise – and please, include your un-abrogated sacred texts as proof. Have a nice day.
The post was in response to this:
I’m a Muslim.
I’ve been following your posts for a couple of years now just out of curiosity. And I must say that the majority of what I read reflects a struggle with deeply rooted fears, paranoia bordering obsession. I don’t say this sarcastically, I mean it – this is how you come across. And I believe that this is due to an extremely one sided view and shallow understanding (or lack thereof) of Islam. I don’t know you in person so I can’t tell how open of a person you are, but I hope that you will be. And this is why I decided to write you. I’ve listened to you for 2 years, and I’ve become accustomed with your views on things related to Islam. Now though, I’d like to take the opportunity to share with you some of my views respectfully.
To tell you a bit about myself, I was born in Lebanon, which neighbors Israel/Palestine, a country which you strongly identify with (as I can see from your posts). I grew up in a Lebanese Maronite Christian home but as I grew older I did my own studies and found inner peace, tranquility and purpose, and a more clean, pure and direct connection with God Almighty our creator in the religion of Islam. So I eventually decided to convert to Islam and I’ve been practicing for a couple of decades now. My family members in Lebanon are still Christian, and I love them and have a good relationship with all of them even though some pick on me for being Muslim. But that’s fine and an understandable package that comes with conversions. On the professional side, just like many of the Bay Area geeks, I’m also in the computer science industry.
On the religious side, I’m a practicing Sunni Muslim. I pray 5 times a day, I’ve gone to Hajj twice, I attend Fajr (dawn) prayer and Isha (night prayer) every day at the Masjid whenever I can and I read the Qur’an as frequently as I can. I attend many lectures/talks/seminars at the mosque and I try to go as much as I can to national US Muslim conferences by ISNA/ICNA/MAS. So I’m pretty involved in the US Muslim community. I’ve attended many of the Bay Area Mosques in my years there. And as a matter of fact, I also lived for some time in Sunnyvale off of Mathilda blvd and perhaps we were neighbors… Having said all this, in your eyes I am one of those 25,000 “Barbarians” that surround you. And to tell you the truth Mark, many of your remarks on Muslims over time have been ill, sharp and loaded with deep hatred and contempt. But this one really topped them and it hurts as nobody’s ever called me a Barbarian before. But that’s fine too. I know I’m not a Barbarian, and neither are the hundreds of beautiful Muslims that I met in the Bay Area and anywhere else in the world.
I would like to share with you some of my views which I know would conflict with your current understanding of practicing mainstream Muslims. However I hope that you will be patient and open enough to listen.
You are a Jew as you’ve clearly reminded us below. And you mentioned in the email below that 10% of Muslims are true believers and follow the Salafi tradition and believe that killing a Jew would take them to heaven. I’m one of the 10% believers, but I’m not Salafi by the way. And I don’t believe that killing a Jew would take me to heaven and neither does any of the Salafi friends that I’ve met throughout my life believe so. And in the hundreds of lectures, and circles of studies, and conferences that I attended both in the US and in Lebanon, I’ve never heard of a single instance where someone made a mass blanket statement like you did saying that Killing a Jew would take you straight to heaven. This is absolute paranoid baloney. On the opposite, killing any innocent human is a crime in Islam, regardless of that person’s beliefs, and such an act has consequences both in an earthly Islamic penal code and on the day of judgement that can be a severe as hell fire.
Now I definitely realize that there may be some Muslims out there who may hold such beliefs and grudges. But in all honesty Mark, don’t you know that there are some Extremist Orthodox Jews who believe in such extreme hatred and blind killing too? I mean do I have to tell you about some of the Israeli settlers and their beliefs and actions towards non-Jews? You must know better Mark. Equally, I’m sure there are Christians who hold such ill feelings and even folks of other ideologies. And I’m sure that such people can equally find ways to justify their ill views from their own religious books or doctrines. But you have to see what the mainstream people believe and go with, and how they understand their texts, and not what extremist fringes believe.
Now having said that, there is indeed resentment in many Muslims’ hearts about the actions of the state of Israel and the 60+ year old oppression of the Palestinian people. I have many Palestinian friends whose families lived in Palestine prior to 1948 and who lost their properties, lands, and livelihoods to immigrant militant European Jews. And as a result, their families were forced out of Palestine by such Israeli militias into refugee camps in Lebanon. I have met friends in the Bay Area whose relatives lived and still do for the past 60 years in Jerusalem, Gaza, and in the West Bank. They’ve endured a long humiliation, demoralization, and dehumanization by the Israeli government with US Support, and have very depressing stories to tell. And as I mentioned earlier, I grew up in Lebanon and saw what the Israelis did to my country of birth as well. In the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon alone, the carpet bombing by Israeli jets and artillery killed more than 35,000 Lebanese civilians in Beirut and in South Lebanon, both Christians and Muslims. And under the supervision and coordination of Ariel Sharon, the Lebanese Phalangist Militia who were allies of Israel at that point committed the Sabra and Shatila slaughtered over 1,500 innocent women, children and elderly humans over a 3 day cold-blooded massacre in the Palestinian refugee camps. Those are just some of many examples. And the bottom line is Mark that Israel has so much blood and murder on its hands that it’s even hypocritical to turn around and talk about how bad other people are. And many Muslims hold resentment against the state of Israel for those particular reasons, and NOT because they are Jews. We don’t hate Jews, and we don’t hate people for any label they carry. What we hate and oppose are the unjust and oppressive “actions” of the Jewish state against the Palestinian people.
However the Zionist movement and its lobbies in the US, such as AIPAC, and their strong grip on what’s left of US politicians’ balls have so far been successful at digressing the US public opinion’s attention from the real issue at hand, which is the Israeli occupation, and turn around and suggest that it’s the religion of Islam that’s behind terrorism. This is completely false and even contradicts the terrorists themselves. Take it from the horse’s mouth, Bin Laden, and every single terrorist who’s committed acts of mass Murder since then, they all have linked the reason of their actions being a retaliation for the oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israelis, and the support of US taxpayers for that occupation. This really is the issue at heart. And just for the record I certainly don’t support or identify with the actions of any terrorists and by Islamic principles their actions are nothing short of mass murder, no matter how strong they believed in their causes. In Islam, even during a full fledged active war, innocent civilians, women, children, religious people, cattle, lands, trees all must not be harmed or touched or used as collateral damage. This is not different from current international treaties and conventions (Geneva) which unfortunately many countries, including the US, don’t necessarily abide by all the time.. we can see that from the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that were killed by US bombing of Iraq as a collateral damage as if they’re flies.
The problem is that the US Public opinion is very misinformed, and rather confused about this whole issue. And the Zionist lobbies and their helpers in the Anti-Islam movements in the US have been playing the tunes of fear of Shariah in the US to digress against the real causes of terrorism, which are occupation and killing of Muslim lands.
For G-d’s sake Mark, every single accusation you have thrown at Muslims for being hateful, murderous, intolerant, oppressive Barbaric killers can be easily mirrored in your own Torah if one intends on reading it out of context. Do I have to tell you about the numerous places in the old testament where “G-d” himself ordered apostates to be stoned and killed, and where people are ordered killed for the smallest reasons, and where G-d has allegedly ordered the killing of entire populations sparing not even women, children and elderly and not even animals? What’s your comment on that Mark? And regarding the actual penal codes within the Shariah law which you’ve been hammering on for a while, you should know better that Shariah Law shares many commonalities with the Jewish Halacha law. Read the following piece “Why Jews Can’t Criticize Sharia law” http://www.momentmag.com/why-jews-cant-criticize-sharia-law/
At the end, I hope that one beautiful good day you will have enough courage to get out from behind your keyboard, and go talk and chat with your Muslim “Barbarian” neighbors in the park. You will find them to be warm, loving and peaceful family people. And they may even invite you for a good feast in their home. Try it Mark. And if the deeply ingrained hatred you’ve accumulated in your heart over the years makes it difficult for you to reach out, reply back and let me know and I can arrange for a good heart to heart meeting over good food. Isn’t it time you help yourself out of your fears? And what is better at washing away fear than facing fear itself and opening up to get to personally know the other side?
Your brother in Humanity
Hat Tip: BB
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
The Obama Administration is obsessed with leaks. Not the information it carefully leaks on its own, but the leaked stories which prove inconvenient for the Administration’s carefully crafted narratives. This serves as an extension of the White House’s emphatic desire to control all media accounts of itself, and craft a positive image before the public. Thus, even in the case of national security, leaks are designed to enhance the Administration’s profile. For those that aren’t, the reporters better watch out.
“Administrations have always done exactly what Obama’s has: condemn leaks in public while leaking for its own benefit,” asserted Trevor Timm in the June 2012 issue of Foreign Policy magazine. “America’s finest journalism is often produced with the aid of classified information; The New York Times’ report on warrantless wiretapping and The Washington Post’s exposé on CIA secret prisons, both winners of the Pulitzer Prize, are just two of countless examples.” He calls this Obama’s “secret hypocrisy.” Indeed, the Administration did not go after the leakers of the Stuxnet story, nor the leakers of the “kill list” story, because those were sanctioned leaks.
More than hypocrisy, the Administration’s recent actions border on being a vendetta. No better example exists than the recent Associated Press scandal, in which the Justice Department subpoenaed a sweeping two months of AP phone records from Verizon Wireless last year without notifying the news organization—essentially giving the AP no chance to fight back in the courts. “Even beyond the outrageous and overreaching action against the journalists, this is a blatant attempt to avoid the oversight function of the courts,” wrote Lynn Oberlander, general counsel for the New Yorker. Had the Administration come to the Associated Press and asked for the records directly, “they would have had an opportunity to go to court to file a motion to quash the subpoenas,” he writes.
“What would have happened in court is anybody’s guess—there is no federal shield law that would protect reporters from having to testify before a criminal grand jury—but the Justice Department avoided the issue altogether by not notifying the AP that it even wanted this information.”
What has happened as a result of the Administration’s circumvention of the courts? Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt says that sources are now hesitant to talk to the AP because they’re concerned that they’ll be monitored by the government.
“Sources, just in the normal course of news gathering, recently, say we don’t necessarily want to talk to you,” said Pruitt. “We don’t want our phone records monitored by the U.S. government.” The CEO argued that the seizure of these phone records is “unconstitutional.”
It appears that President Obama and his Administration were upset with the Associated Press not just because they had a source within the government—the AP held the story back a number of days at government request—but because the news organization exercised one-upmanship by releasing the story before an official Administration press release could be issued. “The White House wanted to—wanted us to hold it another day because they wanted to announce this successful foiling of the plot,” said Pruitt on CBS’s Face the Nation. “So they wanted—they didn’t want to get scooped,” asserted Bob Schieffer.
“[T]hey didn’t tell us their motive, but that certainly seemed that way to us,” said Pruitt. “We didn’t think that was a legitimate reason for holding the story.”
In addition, Pruitt noted that the Administration had been broadcasting that there was no real threat on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. This was patently false, as the story issued by the AP demonstrated. “So that was misleading to the American public. We felt the American public needed to know this story,” Pruitt said, according to the AP. He told Face the Nation that the move by the Justice Department will “hurt journalism” as a whole.
How far, exactly, is the Obama Administration willing to go to harass journalists who are just doing their job? Former New York Times Washington bureau chief Max Frankel argued in the 1970s that “We have been taught, particularly in the past generation of spy scares and Cold War, to think of secrets as secrets—varying in their ‘sensitivity’ but uniformly essential to the private conduct of diplomatic and military affairs and somehow detrimental to the national interest if prematurely disclosed.”
However, “practically everything that our Government does, plans, thinks, hears and contemplates in the realms of foreign policy is stamped and treated as secret—and then unraveled by that same Government, by the Congress and by the press in one continuing round of professional and social contacts and cooperative and competitive exchanges of information.”
“The governmental, political and personal interests of the participants are inseparable in this process,” continued Frankel. “Presidents make ‘secret’ decisions only to reveal them for the purposes of frightening an adversary nation, wooing a friendly electorate, protecting their reputations” (emphasis added). In other words, what is secret remains secret in Washington only so long as it is expedient to the president (unless it is leaked by his critics), and the press serves a vital role in disseminating information both for and against an Administration.
President Obama is making an unprecedented effort to control this process of give and take with the press. As Adam Serwer of the liberal Mother Jones magazine tweeted in response to the recent James Rosen debacle, “If you prosecute reporters for seeking/receiving leaks…you’re basically making non-government sanctioned reporting a crime.”
“If James Rosen’s ‘clandestine communications plan’ were illegal, every journalist in Washington would be locked up. Unreal,” tweeted Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker magazine. Even the White House’s favorite go-to guy, Chuck Todd of MSNBC, called it proof that the Obama administration wanted to “criminalize journalism.”
“The case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the government adviser, and James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, bears striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the Associated Press,” reported Ann E. Marimow for The Washington Post. Kim is just one of six persons that the Administration has tried or will try under the Espionage Act—more than all previous administrations combined. According to the Post, the Justice Department used “security badge access records,” traced calls, and searched Rosen’s emails. The affidavit lists Rosen as a criminal “co-conspirator” in the release of top secret information, and suggested that he is a flight risk.
In response to labeling Rosen a co-conspirator, The New York Times editorialized that “the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.”
Of course, the President is no fan of Fox News. In 2009 his former campaign advisor and then-White House Communications Director, Anita Dunn, said the news organization “often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” “We traditionally will go after the emails of a person who is under criminal suspicion for leaking it,” said columnist Charles Krauthammer on Fox News. “But we do not go after the journalists who merely are soliciting information. We have never had a successful prosecution of a journalist doing his job.”
CBS News journalist Sharyl Attkisson, the recipient of Accuracy in Media’s 2012 Reed Irvine Award for Investigative Journalism, now believes that her computers may have been compromised as early as February 2011, if not earlier, when she was reporting on the Fast and Furious scandal and green energy stories detrimental to the President. “Well, I’m not ready to fully speak publicly about some things that have affected me because I’m trying to be methodical and careful about what I say,” she told WPHT radio in Philadelphia, “but there has been an issue in my house and there’s been an issue with my computers that’s gone on for quite a long time, that we’re looking into.” Attkisson likened her position as possibly similar to that of Rosen. However, “The Justice Department denies targeting Attkisson, which makes the possibilities even more chilling,” wrote Rick Moran for the American Thinker website. “Someone wanted to know what Attkisson knew about two administration scandals and were willing to break the law to find out.”
While Attorney General Eric Holder claims he recused himself in the case of the AP story (though he admits he never signed a recusal letter, and doesn’t remember specifically when he supposedly did it), NBC News’ Michael Isikoff reported on Thursday that Holder signed off on the “search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a ‘possible co-conspirator’ in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails.” This brings into question whether or not Holder was telling the truth about having recused himself in the AP case. And what about in the matter of Sharyl Attkisson?
Not only does the Administration have the power to subpoena phone records, it may also have the power to know what was said in those phone calls. In an appearance in early May on CNN, former FBI counterterrorism expert Tim Clemente asserted that “We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation”—referring to a past phone conversation with the wife of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev, along with his brother Dzhokhar, was the alleged Islamic terrorist responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.
“It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her,” said Clemente. “We certainly can find that out.”
“I’m talking about all digital communications are, there’s a way to look into digital communications in the past, and I can’t go into detail of how that’s done or what’s done,” he said in the second interview, “but I can tell you that no digital communication is secure” (emphasis added). No other major U.S. news sources followed up on what Clemente said. There was some coverage in the British press, but I have seen no confirmation, nor denial. When this first came out, it seemed too incredible a concept to believe—that all digital communications in the U.S. are being recorded. Now, with the revelation of the Administration’s actions towards journalists, this doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
Does our government truly have this power, and if so, what exactly is the Obama Administration doing with it? Congress and the media should look into this.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].
Hat Tip: Heather Gass
Hat Tip: BB
Hat Tip: BB