Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

5/6/2005

Crusades vs. Jihad

Filed under: World — Dangerous Dan @ 8:59 pm

I've posted previously (here, here, and here) on the Crusades and how they're not the onerous thing they're made out to be, especially when compared to the treatment Christendom received from the Muslim world. The American Thinker has an excellent and in-depth article about the Crusades and Islamic jihad.

11/13/2005

An Apology Isn’t Warranted

Filed under: Politics,Society,World — Dangerous Dan @ 10:56 am

LGF points to this piece about the Church of England's plan to apologize for the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

"We do believe that the church has a visionary role for reconciliation beyond that of any government," one of the authors, Bishop Richard Harries of Oxford, told BBC Radio.

That role involves what the report called "truth and reconciliation" meetings with Muslim leaders that would give Christian counterparts the opportunity to perform a "public act of institutional penance" for the West's "long litany of errors" in dealing with Iraq, including the 2003 war.

An apology is a contrite expression proffered by party A to party B when A has wronged B in some way. This means that for an apology to be warranted, B must have a grievance against A (the apology must be applicable – it would make no sense to apologize to B when it was actually party C who was wronged) and the grievance must be legitimate in that it is something worthy of apology and for which A should feel sorry. So are these conditions met?

First off, why need we apologize to Muslim leaders for attacking Iraq? We weren't attacking Islam, we were going after a secular dictator. A dictator that killed his own people, held the living in the grip of fear, attacked his fellow Muslim countries, and had institutionalized rape, torture, and murder. Unless the Muslim leaders want to claim that those are values that Islam holds dear, then they shouldn't be concerned that we overthrew the man who did those things and we accordingly do not need to apologize.

If you would like to say, though, that this really was an attack on Islam in that we were going after Islamic terrorism, then what does that entail? We certainly didn't attack Islam, per se, or else we would have established tidy concentration camps for all Muslims in the U.S. Rather we were/are going after violent Islamist extremism that advocates the murdering of civilians, beheading innocents, killing children and then rigging the kids' bodies so as to blow up the parents who retrieve them. Again, unless the Muslim leaders care to hold up such activities as representative of Islam itself, then there is nothing for which we need to apologize. If they perhaps want to claim that Islam does support these things, then they certainly do not deserve any apology (we apologize for preventing you from blowing up innocents?) and they too are a threat.

So as concerns the war in Iraq and the war against Islamic terrorism, an apology to Muslim leaders simply isn't applicable since no affront was made towards peaceful Islam. The only way an apology could apply is if the leaders in question are themselves violent Islamists and then they too are not only enemies, but also repugnant people to whom no apology is warranted since justice is being served to them. Their grievance is not legitimate.

If you perhaps want to inflate this into an apology not just for our current actions, but also for the Crusades, colonialism, and other past behavior to Muslims in general, my response is that maybe that can occur when the Muslim world is also willing to apologize for its actions towards the West. Our poor cultural memory seems to forget that up until around the 1700's, the West suffered disproportionately at the hands of the Muslim world, to the point that it was nearly wiped out at several points. Turkey, the Mediterranean Middle-East, and North Africa, for example, were at one time, thoroughly Western domains until they were conquered by Muslim armies. Spain, Greece, and parts of Eastern Europe changed hands several times. Istanbul, of course, was once Constantinople, a crown jewel of the Roman Empire. So if Muslim leaders deserve an apology for rough treatment from the West, then the West is equally deserving of an apology from those same Muslim leaders for the same reason.

So why would the Church of England (or other liberal Christians generally) think an apology is warranted? I can only imagine that it is due to a fundamental misunderstanding of whom they are dealing with. The great mistake many in the West make is believing that everybody is fundamentally like themselves. Perhaps at same truly basic human level this is true, but cultural, religious, and economic differences prevent similarities from going beyond that. Their perception of the world is very different and in some ways, these differences are positive. In many other ways, however, they are negative, and more importantly, they are bad for us. While the CofE seeks to apologize to Muslim leaders and engage in reconciliation, many of those leaders (especially those of the Wahhabist inclination) envision the eventual domination of Islam over the world, the forced subjugation of the West, and the crescent flag flying over the Vatican. Reconciliation requires that both (or all, depending on the case) parties be willing to meet in the middle and resolve problems. Groups like the CofE, however, seem to be quite willing to march across the center ground and meet the others wholly on their side. They give away the farm and demand no sacrifice or penance from the other side. Essentially, they execute an unconditional surrender.

I have said in the past that no power can ever defeat the West; the West can only defeat itself. Powers hostile to the West use and exploit the West's tolerance and inclusiveness (perhaps its greatest strengths and also its greatest weaknesses) against itself. Its tendency for self-reflection and correction (again, highly valuable) are equally dangerous. While I don't at all propose the West lose these qualities, they must be used with wisdom and discretion, and this is lost on the CofE and others. When used well, the qualities are good, but they are self-defeating when used poorly.

So while the Church of England may commune with moderate Muslim leaders (I obviously don't mean to impugn all Muslims, as many… most… are not subject to the charges leveled above; it is the militant variety with which I am concerned and which the CofE is happily including), those moderate Muslims don't need an apology as the apology the CofE is proposing is not applicable to them since they are moderates. The militant Muslim leaders obviously don't warrant an apology. So to whom is the CofE apologizing?

5/1/2005

The Crusade Movie

Filed under: Media — Dangerous Dan @ 11:38 pm

I've discussed the Crusades several times (do a search) and now they've made a movie about them, Kingdom of Heaven. I don't have much to say on it, but Zombietime does and he claims that the film was purposely made to be as p.c. and non-anti-Muslim as possible, to the point of wild historical inaccuracies beyond even the limits of wild historical inaccuracies that are to be expected in such movies. I don't expect or encourage anti-Muslim bias in films, but don't think any noble cause is served by cowering to sensitivities at the expense of historical accuracy. Drama, maybe, but not sensitivities.

I especially liked this quote:

Sir Ridley's spokesman said that the film portrays the Arabs in a positive light. "It's trying to be fair and we hope that the Muslim world sees the rectification of history."

The "rectification of history." Dwell on that.

4/16/2005

Who’s Crusading Against Whom?

Filed under: Society,World — Dangerous Dan @ 4:01 pm

I've posted on this topic before, but I don't tire of the silliness of the Muslims who demand an apology from the Catholic Church, and the West in general, for the Crusades. In this Washington Post article about the uneasy relations between Catholicism and Islam is this gem:

But elsewhere, feelings toward the pope were less warm and, at times, openly hostile. One Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet, said the pope had not apologized for the Crusades and that Muslims were waiting. Radical Islamic Web sites sometimes predict that Muslims will conquer Europe and set up headquarters in the Vatican.

Hurriyet is an Istanbul newspaper. Istanbul was a Western Christian city called Constantinople from AD 326 (the time of its renaming by the Roman emperor Constantine, but had been under Roman control for much longer) until it was conquered by Muslim armies under Mohammed the Conqueror in 1453. So it seems it a little odd that a newspaper in a formerly Christian city (the center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, in fact) that was captured by Muslims and remains so to this day is complaining about the Crusades. It gets even stranger when you consider that the soldiers of the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople in 1203, which permanently weakened the city and helped Mohammed the Conqueror to conquer it.

Regarding the point about taking over Europe, LGF points out that it isn't just the radical Islamists advocating it. I point you to this:

Saudi Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd Al-Rahman Al-'Arifi, Imam of the mosque of King Fahd Defense Academy, discussed the coming Muslim conquest of the Vatican. Citing a Hadith in an article posted on the Kalemat website in 2002, he stated: "… We will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it. Yes, the Christians, who carve crosses on the breasts of the Muslims … will yet pay us the Jiziya [poll tax paid by non-Muslims under Muslim rule], in humiliation, or they will convert to Islam…"

Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and head of The European Council for Fatwa and Research and the founder of European based International Council of Muslim Scholars (Imams) posted a fatwa on the website www.islamonline.net, in 2002 about the "signs of the victory of Islam" in Europe.

Also citing a well-known Hadith, Al-Qaradhawi wrote: "… The Prophet Muhammad was asked: 'What city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Romiyya?' He answered: 'The city of Hirqil [i.e. the Byzantine emperor Heraclius] will be conquered first' – that is, Constantinople… Romiyya is the city called today 'Rome,' the capital of Italy … and we hope and believe [that it too will be conquered]."

Al-Qaradhawi elaborated on what this Islamic ruling means in the current period of history, "This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice … I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology…"

Of course, Al-'Arifi and Al-Qaradhawi could still be considered radical Islamists by virtue of their statements, but then one has to ask why is a radical Islamist the lead cleric of a prominent Saudi institution and another is the spiritual leader of a supposedly scholarly Islamic organization. No laughing, please.

Certainly, Al-Qaradhawi is right about this part, "I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology," only he's wrong about to whom he thinks it refers. He's speaking of Muslim preaching and ideology prevailing. This is only half-true. He forgets about the preaching and ideology of modern liberalism that holds tolerance as so sacred that even competing ideologies advocating liberalism’s own destruction should be tolerated. In not being convicted of the value and superiority of Western culture, they naturally fall prey to those who are convicted of their own culture's superiority. This is something I've mused on here and here, so I shan't go on about it more. Just read the posts.

Want more?

Visit Dhimmi Watch

3/18/2005

Crusade Apology

Filed under: World — Dangerous Dan @ 12:46 am

From the Morocco Times:

Sheikh Fawzi Zafzaf, President of the Interfaith Dialogue Committee of Al-Azhar, said during a press conference that his committee has sent a request to the Pope last February, demanding an official apology on Christian crusades against the Muslim world, following the example of the Jews.

Ah, so he wants an apology for the crusades. Well, I suppose it's only fair. JPII should probably apologize, but first he should make Zafzaf a deal. He'll apologize for the crusades if Zafzaf and other Muslim clerics first apologize for destroying Christian forces in the holy land, for driving out Western civilization from North Africa and Asia Minor, for sacking Constantinople (Istanbul was once Constantinople, you know), for attacking and occupying Christian lands in Spain, the Balkans, and eastern Europe, for attacking poor peaceful Charlemagne and Charles Martel in France, for constantly attacking Europe from the aforementioned occupied lands in the eastern continent, for attacking those poor Venetians in the naval battle of Lepanto (although that didn't turn out well for the Ottomans, did it?), for generally being a cuss with that sordid Ottoman Empire, and for giving Europeans, Christians, and Western culture the major ugly treatment for the better part of 1,000 years before the balance of power shifted… apologize for all that and maybe JPII will apologize for the largely and spectacularly unsuccessful attacks to reclaim land conquered by the Muslim horde. But he'll only take it under consideration, mind you.

Want more?
Visit Clarity and Resolve, Dhimmi Watch, Little Green Footballs, and TigerHawk.

2/4/2005

Cookies for Tort Reform

Filed under: Politics,Society — Dangerous Dan @ 4:16 pm

Better think twice about baking cookies for your neighbors. These two girls did it and got sued by shrew for their effort. Here are the basics: Two girls stayed home from a dance and decided to make cookies for their neighbors after their chores were done. It was a little late (after 9PM), but they only went to houses with lights on. This one lady (the shrew), whose house they arrived at at 10:30PM was convinced they were burglars or other nogoodnicks (more on that later) and her nervousness forced her into the hospital. The girls formally apologized in letters and the parents offered to pay the shrew's medical expenses, but she wouldn't have it. She sued and the court stupidly awarded her $900 for expenses but fortunately nothing in pain and suffering.

Why do I say she's a shrew? Well, first, because this is asinine. Her own oversensitive emotions (likely amplified for court proceedings) led her to get so anxious she felt a little ill. Instead of blaming her illness on her aforementioned emotions, she blamed it on two innocent girls who were out doing a good deed. After doing this, and after the girls and their parents apologized and agreed to make amends, she still sued because "[s]he said the families' apologies rang false and weren't delivered in person." In other words, they didn't grovel and pay her enough.

Second, this sort of anti-social behavior on the shrew's part doesn't seem to be new. The article notes "She thought perhaps they were burglars or some neighbors she had tangled with in the past, she said." If she's worried about "neighbors she had tangled with in the past" coming to harm her, then she's probably been a general neighborhood pain in the ass who gets along with nobody but wants everybody else to bend to her will. You probably know the type. I tried finding online court records for Durango or La Plata County to see if the shrew had filed previous civil suits, but such records don't seem to be available.

The judge shouldn't have awarded any money since this is a frivolous. It's also indicative of one of the reasons for loser-pays tort reform. Under this reform, if somebody files a suit and loses, they have to pay for the court costs and the legal fees of their opponent. As it now stands, a shrew can sue somebody and lose and she's lost little more than a few bucks in attorney's fees or less if she represents herself. In other words, there's little financial disincentive for shrews and jackasses to file as many suits as they want to get what they want. If they win, all the better. But even in losing, they can also attain the desired outcome because they'll intimidate the other person into settling, if for no other reason than that the poor individual doesn't have the resources to expend on a protracted legal squabble.

In Give Me a Break, John Stossel talks about a shrew in San Francisco who's a one-woman litigating force. A door hit her foot at a Bank of America, so she sued. She slipped in a puddle at city hall, so she sued. She slipped on dust at a department store, so she sued. A cart bumped her foot at a supermarket, so she sued. She didn't like a kid bouncing his basketball in his driveway, so she sued. She later even sued Stossel for slander. Her entire neighborhood fears her and virtually nobody, not even the court clerks, would speak on the record (if at all) because they don't want to be next on her litigation list.

With loser-pays, though, such a person wouldn't be nearly so eager to sue if they risk having to pay thousands in fees and court costs to their opponent should they lose the suit. It would ensure that only decent cases go to court and not the multiplicity of little-to-lose frivolous suits that get there now. In fact, the U.S. is almost unique in the world in not having a loser-pays civil litigation system. Should Congress start discussing this reform, be assured that the plaintiff's bar and their legislative lackies will start moaning about how such a policy will hurt the average person and will only protect big companies. No. It will help the little guy because idiot suits won't cost companies money, the costs of which get passed on to him. It will help prevent the little guy's taxes from being wasted on government entities that must defend themselves against idiot suits. It will also protect all the other little guys who live around litigious and unscrupulous shrews from being their next court victim.

Who it will really hurt are lawyers who engage in unholy crusades against corporations, professionals, and innocent individuals for the sake of lining their own pockets. I'm ok with that.

7/25/2002

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 1:27 am

So I’ve taken time to consider it and I’ve decided that I don’t trust Islam. I obviously don’t trust the radicalized version that openly advocates terrorism and violence against the non-believers. My problem is that I sometimes wonder just how far the rest of the Islamic world is from this radical mentality. This is the only major religion whose holy text calls for not just for the conversion of the infidel, but their elimination if conversion fails. It is the only major religion that was born not out of violence committed to it, but by violence that the faith itself committed on others. It is the only major religion that consistently perpetrated violence against non-believers throughout its history. It is the only major religion that specifically calls for a particular type of government. For these reasons alone, I don’t trust it. And yes, you can say that Christianity has its share of blemishes, it has its Crusades, its Inquisitions, and yes, you can bring up the great medieval Arabian academia as evidence of Islam’s positive side. Yes, and again yes… don’t bore me. The western, Christian countries of the world long ago leapfrogged, lapped, and utterly passed by the Islamic nations that stayed the same. The character and values of the West and of Christianity have changed for the better while the Middle East’s character has remained fundamentally the same. And yes, there are many, many peace loving Muslims out there and in America. However, I wonder how much of that is a quality of the religion or a quality of the surrounding culture imposing itself upon the religion. I wonder how much of a nudge it would take to persuade a majority or even a minority of these peaceful people to change their nature to radicalism… back to the roots and historical character of the faith. Honestly, I don’t think it would take much to push the disillusioned given the right circumstances. And thus, I find Islam uncomfortable.

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