Steyn on truth, Wilders, Muslims, and the inimitable dhimmi Jacqui Smith: “From Islamabad to Bradford: Degrees of accommodation,”
by Mark Steyn inÂ National Review, February 21 (thanks to JW):
Anyway, Geert Wilders’s short film is basically a compilation video of footage from various recent Muslim terrorist atrocities â€” whoops, sorry, “anti-Islamic activities” â€” accompanied by the relevant chapter and verse from the Koran. Jacqui Smith banned the filmmaker on “public order” grounds â€” in other words, the government’s fear that Lord Ahmed meant what he said about a 10,000-strong mob besieging the Palace of Westminster. You might conceivably get the impression from Wilders’s movie that many Muslims are irrational and violent types it’s best to steer well clear of. But, if you didn’t, Jacqui Smith pretty much confirmed it: We can’t have chaps walking around saying Muslims are violent because they’ll go bananas and smash the place up.
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Islamic radicalization is on the rise
Friday, February 20, 2009
In the Swat Valley, where a young Winston Churchill once served with the Malakand Field Force battling Muslim insurgents, his successors have concluded the game isn’t worth the candle. In return for a temporary ceasefire, the Pakistani government agreed to let the local franchise of the Taliban impose its industrial strength version of Sharia across the whole of Malakand Region. Malakand has more than five million people, all of whom are now living under a murderous theocracy. Still, peace rallies have broken out all over the Swat Valley, and, at a Swat peace rally, it helps to stand well back: As one headline put it, “Journalist Killed While Covering Peace Rally.”
But don’t worry about Pakistani nukes falling into the hands of “extremists”: The Swat Valley is a good hundred miles from the nation’s capital, Islamabad â€“ or about as far as Northern Vermont is from Southern Vermont. And, of course, Islamabad is safely under the control of the famously moderate Ali Zardari. A few days before the Swat deal, Mr. Zardari marked the dawn of the Obama era by releasing from house arrest Abdul Qadeer Khan, the celebrated scientist and one-stop shop for all your Islamic nuclear needs, for whose generosity North Korea and Iran are especially grateful.
From Islamabad, let us zip a world away to London. Among the growing population of Yorkshire Pakistanis is a fellow called Lord Ahmed, a Muslim member of Parliament. He threatened “to bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the House of Lords” if it went ahead with an event at which the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders would have introduced a screening of his controversial film “Fitna.”
Britain’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, reacted to this by declaring Wilders persona non grata and having him arrested and returned to the Netherlands.
Smith is best known for an inspired change of terminology: last year she announced that henceforth Muslim terrorism (an unhelpful phrase) would be reclassified as “anti-Islamic activity.” Seriously. The logic being that Muslims blowing stuff up tends not to do much for Islam’s reputation â€“ i.e., it’s an “anti-Islamic activity” in the same sense that Pearl Harbor was an anti-Japanese activity.
Anyway, Geert Wilders’ short film is a compilation video of footage from recent Muslim terrorist atrocities â€“ whoops, sorry, “anti-Islamic activities” â€“ accompanied by the relevant chapter and verse from the Koran. Jacqui Smith banned the filmmaker on “public order” grounds â€“ in other words, the government’s fear that Lord Ahmed meant what he said about a 10,000-strong mob besieging the Palace of Westminster. You might conceivably get the impression from Wilders’ movie that many Muslims are irrational and violent types it’s best to steer well clear of. But, if you didn’t, Jacqui Smith pretty much confirmed it: We can’t have chaps saying Muslims are violent, because they’ll go smash the place up.
So confronted by blackmail, the British government caved. So did the Pakistani government in Swat. But, in fairness to Islamabad, they waited until the shooting was well underway before throwing in the towel. Twenty years ago this month, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative ministry defended the right of a left-wing author Salman Rushdie to publish a book in the face of Muslim riots and the Ayatollah Khomeini’s attempted mob hit. Two decades on, a supposedly progressive government surrenders to the mob before it’s even taken to the streets.
In his first TV interview as president, Barack Obama told viewers of al-Arabiya TV that he wanted to restore the “same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.” I’m not sure quite what golden age he’s looking back to there â€“ the Beirut barracks slaughter? The embassy hostages? â€“ but the point is, it’s very hard to turn back the clock. Because the facts on the ground change and change remorselessly.
Between 1970 and 2000, the developed world declined from just under 30 percent of the global population to just over 20 percent, while the Muslim world increased from 15 percent to 20 percent. And in 2030, it won’t even be possible to re-take that survey, because by that point half the “developed world” will itself be Muslim: in Bradford as in London, Amsterdam, Brussels and almost every other western European city from Malmo to Marseilles the principal population growth comes from Islam.
Along with the demographic growth has come radicalization: It’s not just that there are more Muslims, but that, within that growing population, moderate Islam is on the decline â€“ in Singapore, in the Balkans, in northern England â€“ and radicalized, Arabized, Wahhabized Islam is on the rise. So we have degrees of accommodation: surrender in Islamabad, appeasement in London, acceptance in Toronto and Buffalo.
From Jawa Report:
After being released from Guantanamo, Binyam Mohamed will beÂ sent to the UK next week. Which is, er, odd, since he’sÂ Ethiopian.
Just some poor Ethiopian in Afghanistan to study Islam swept up in the fog of war.Â Right.
I’m sure the British Left will turn him into a minor celebrity. For all the rest of you in the UK, apologies in advance.
According to Military Families United (thanks toÂ Terresa) Mohamad is accused of:
* Training at various Al-Qaida training camps, where he specialized in firearms and explosivesÂ
* Being taught by senior Al-Qaida leaders how to falsify documents
* Receiving money by Al-Qaida leaders to travel to the United States
* Implementing plans to blow up high-rise apartment buildings in the United States
* Holding meetings with Saif al Adel (a top level al Qaida planner and leader) and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (Mastermind of 9/11 attacks)
* Attempting to illegally enter the United States on April 4, 2002 but was turned away due to his forged passport
For Mohamad’s part, he uses the standard line that he was tortured and is suing Boeing for — you’re not going to believe this — making airplanes used to transport him for extraordinary rendition.
You know, there’s a real easy way to solve the problem of what to do with low level al Qaeda operatives: After a short and swift trialÂ kill them all, exactly as the Geneva Conventions allow us to do.
Feasible? I dunno, but it justÂ feels so right.
UPDATE: The Long War Journal has a great background story about Mohamad, subtitledÂ the false martyr.
Something that kept bothering me about Robert Mackey’s post at the NY Times blog as I was reading it was why he kept emphasizing the possibility that Mohamad had been tortured, with no mention whatsoever of the things the alleged al Qaeda terrorist was accused of? I just chalked this up to liberal bias given that this is the New York Times, but, it turns out, there’s more to the story.
The New York Times was involved in the lawsuit on behalf of the al Qaeda terrorist trying to get the British courts to release classified materials. From the Long War Journal articleÂ mentioned above:The outrage over Mohamed’s detention was fanned earlier this month when the British High Court denied a petition seeking the release of classified documents detailing his case. The petition had been filed by news outlets such as the New York Times and the Associated Press, acting at the urging of Mohamed’s civilian attorney and human rights groups. All of these parties believe that the classified US intelligence documents, which were shared with the British government, verify Mohamed’s allegations of torture. Two judges from the High Court denied the petition, however, citing a threat by US authorities to cut off vital intelligence cooperation if the United Kingdom released the classified documents without American acquiescence.All the news that fit to print!
What is it the Times fails to mention, exactly? That Mohamad admitted to his lawyer of being an al Qaeda trained terrorist. His defense lawyer stipulated the following at his hearing:
2. The detainee arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan, in June 2001, and traveled to the al Farouq training camp in Afghanistan, to receive paramilitary training.Â
3. At the al Farouq camp, the detainee received 40 days of training in light arms handling, explosives, and principles of topography.
4. The detainee was taught to falsify documents, and received instruction from a senior al Qaeda operative on how to encode telephone numbers before passing them to another individual.
So, there you have it. Just some poor schmuck hanging out in Afghanistan to — please remove all liquids from near your computer screen, you’re really not going to believe the reason he first claimed he was in Afghanistan —Â kick his heroine addiction.
He went to the poppy growing capital of the world …. forÂ rehab….