October 31, 2006
I should seriously write a book called, The Idiots Guide To Not Thinking Seriously About Islam.
It’s hard to find a subject where mushy thinking is more in vogue – where political correctness conquers reality more thoroughly. People actually are afraid to think seriously on the subject, because the logical conclusions are too frightening for many to contemplate.
And so, there’s no place where comfortable clichés are more readily deployed.
Probably the most glaring illustration of inanity here were recent comments by his Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
On leaving a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of Tibetan Buddhists told reporters that we can’t hold all Muslims responsible for the misdeeds of a few.
The Lama: "Nowadays, I often express that due to a few mischievous Muslims’ acts we should not consider all Muslims as something bad. That is very unfair."
Expanding on this dazzling analysis, the Dalai Lama continued: "A few mischievous people you can find from all religions – among Muslims and Christians and Jews and Buddhists. To generalize is not correct."
O.K., now I know this will get me scratched from the invite list for Richard Gere’s New Year’s Eve party, but I just gotta ask: When was the last time a bald guy in a saffron robe threatened to kill someone he believed had insulted the Buddha?
While we’re at it, when was the last time a gang of Talmudic scholars tried to blow up anything? Did the Vatican put out a fatwah on "DaVinci Code" author Dan Brown? The last holy war committed in the name of Christianity was over 800 years ago. If Hindus behead hostages, I’ve somehow managed to miss it.
"A few mischievous Muslims" makes kidnapping, torture, beheadings, bomb plots, mass murder and death threats sound like schoolboy pranks. It’s September 11, 2001, and some high-spirited Muslim merrymakers just crashed two planes into the World Trade Center, slaughtering 3,000 innocents. What a lark!
Here are some recent examples of Muslim high-jinks:
* In Iraq, Father Paulis Iskander, a Syrian-Orthodox priest, was kidnapped by a few Muslim pranksters. After good-naturedly torturing him, they beheaded the priest. This was in retaliation for Pope Benedict XVI’s quote of a 14th century Byzantine emperor. Jihadists apparently missed the Catholic-Orthodox schism (1054 AD) -- or maybe all Crusaders look the same to them.
* There are 1 million Assyrian Christians in Iraq – but not for long. They’ve been targeted by every side in the civil war. On September 24th, two bombs exploded in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Baghdad. Earlier, a church was bombed in Basra.
* Muslims celebrated their holy month of Ramadan by racking up an impressive body count -- more than 1,600 dead in 280 separate terror attacks in 17 countries. As I recall, for my bar mitzvah, I didn’t kill anyone. But I did hurt someone’s feelings on Passover, once.
* In a recent column, former New York Mayor Ed Koch reports on a meeting he had with Pope John Paul II in the early 1990s. Forthright fellow that he is, Koch asked the Pope why the Vatican didn’t recognize Israel (it did a few years later), Koch says John Paul II replied: "It will happen someday, but it can’t happen now. I have a responsibility to the Catholics who live in Koranic lands and who would be in danger if we recognized Israel." This wasn’t paranoia. John Paul knew exactly what happens when Muslims get testy.
* In Germany, the government is starting to crack down on an estimated 5,000 Islamist websites that are "spreading hatred" and "hawking terror." I see, those few mischievous Muslims must all be web-site designers and computer geeks.
* Then again, perhaps they’re all involved in mass communications. The American-Muslim TV network, broadcasting in six states to a potential audience of two million, says its mission is "to improve the image of Muslims in the United States." Recent programming included the broadcast of an anti-Semitic/anti-Christian sermon, with the supplication: "May God destroy them."
* In Atlanta, Ethiopian immigrant Khalid Adem is on trial for circumcising his then-two-year-old daughter. Female genital mutilation is all the rage among African Muslims.
* Islamic funsters tend to be particularly hard on the ladies. There are as many as 300,000 runaway girls in happenin’ Iran, some as young as 9. It’s estimated that 86% of the runaways were rejected by their families after they were raped. In Prophet-land, rape is shameful – for the victim.
* Islam’s rhetorical war against the hated Zionist entity continues. In Karachi, Pakistan, a few mischievous Muslims – well, 6,000 to be exact – marched through the streets shouting "Death to Israel! Death America." That’s how Muslim merrymakers celebrate Al-Qods Day (or Jerusalem Day).
* His Naziness Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (president of 68 million waggish Iranians) continues to assure us that Israel will be "wiped from the map," the Holocaust is a "myth," and any nation that sides with the Jewish state will face the "boiling wrath" of adherents to the religion of peace.
* On October 24, the Taliban announced it was planning attacks on civilian targets in Europe, in revenge for the invasion of Afghanistan that resulted in toppling its regime. A Taliban commander observed on Sky News television: "It’s acceptable to kill ordinary people in Europe because these are the people who have voted in the government…. We will kill them and laugh over them." Like the Dalai Lama said, these guys have a sense of humor.
* As noted earlier, there is no freedom of conscience in Islam (or freedom of anything else). In Ethiopia, in July, a mischievous Muslim mob attacked a group of Christians in the city of Henno. The victims included two prominent Christians who had converted from Islam. The Muslim scamps used knives, stones and metal bars to reinforce the point that – like the Syndicate – there’s only one way out of this organization.
* The Afghans who kidnapped Italian journalist Gabriele Torsello have offered to exchange him for Abdul Rahman, a Christian convert forced to flee the country. His own family wants Rahman dead. Bring back Rahman so we may instruct him in the finer points of Sharia, the abductors of Torsello plead.
* In Britain, there are veiled threats over the suggestion by Tony Blair and others, that some Muslim chicks stop dressing like they just stepped off a camel caravan (full face veil).
Perhaps the Brits are thinking that if their homegrown Sons and Daughters of Allah were more assimilated, they wouldn’t be subjected to high-spirited pranks like the 2005 London transit bombings (52 commuters dead) or the foiled August plot to blow up 10 U.S.-bound jetliners (with a potential death toll exceeding 9/11)
* Across the Channel, Robert Redeker (a French high-school philosophy teacher) is a marked man, since the publication of his September 19 piece in Le Figaro, wherein he called the Koran "a book of extraordinary violence" (Hello, Dalai!) and observed that Mohammed was "a pitiless warlord, pillager , massacrer of Jews and polygamist" – in other words, a 7th century Arabian rascal. E-mail death threats started pouring in the day the article ran. One naughty website published a map showing the exact location of his home, along with photos of Redeker and his workplace. (An e-mail amusingly informed the teacher: "You will never feel secure on this earth. One billion, three hundred million Muslims are ready to kill you.")
* All it took was one guy named Mohammed to murder Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, for making a movie about the treatment of women in the wacky world of Islam. Van Gogh was shot, stabbed and had his throat slashed. A note by the killer, pinned to his body, read, "I did what I did purely out of my beliefs."
* A spokesman for a French police union says Muslim youths are waging a "civil war" against the gendarmes. The Gallic intifada that started last November never really stopped. At one point last year, disaffected "youth," as the French press discretely calls them, were torching 1,300 cars a night, to cries of "Allahu Akbar." Rioting spread to 300 French cities and spilled over into Belgium and Germany. Now, whenever French cops go to housing projects they are assaulted with everything from stones to guns to Molotov cocktails. Nearly 2,500 officers have been injured this year.
* To return to the Dalai Lama’s daft observation, while it is undoubtedly true that most Muslims don’t want to jihad us – there are enough who do. In a 2005 survey by The Daily Telegraph, one quarter of British Muslims said they had at least some sympathy with their coreligionists who murdered 52 random Brits in the July commuter bombings. One-quarter of a million is more than "a few."
Add to this number the minions of al-Qaeda, Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jihad-this, and Army of God-that, the mobs in Tehran, Karachi and Dar es Saalam etc., the ayatollahs, imams, sheiks, mullahs, their blind followers and rabid supporters – not to mention the Saudis funding radical mosques and madrassahs from Queens to Calcutta and beyond. It all adds up to a whole lot of Muslim mischief-making.
And let’s not forget the millions (tens of millions? hundreds of millions?) of Muslims who aren’t actually killing anyone, or condoning the killing of anyone (except Jews, of course), who nevertheless think it would be swell if the whole world lived under Islamic law – with honor-killings and genital-mutilation for all.
Now, here’s the really scary part: As Mark Steyn points out in his book America Alone: The End of The World As We Know It, between 1970 and 2000, while the share of the world’s population represented by industrialized nations fell from just under 30% to just over 20%, the mischievous nations (whose principal manufactured products are jihad and general theological nuttiness) went from 15% to around 20%.
What nations have the highest fertility rates? So sorry you asked. (and you will be too when you see the answer) -- Niger (7.46 children per woman), Mali (7.42), Somalia (6.76), Afghanistan (6.69) and Yemen (6.58). Says Steyn: "Notice what they have in common? Starts with an I, ends with a slam."
For comparison, the fertility rate in the U.S. is 2.11, about replacement level. That’s high next to Canada (1.5), Germany (1.3), Russia and Italy (1.2) and Spain (1.1). Of the 10 nations with the lowest birthrates, 9 are in Europe.
It gets worse. Consider the percentage of population currently under 15 years of age – a harbinger of future demographic growth – Spain and Germany (14%), the U.K. (18%), the U.S. (21%), Saudi Arabia (39%), Pakistan (40%) and Yemen (47%).
We’re told that Muslims are 10% of the population of France. But of "Frenchmen" under 20, 30% are mischievous. In the U.K. there are more Moslems in mosque each week than Christians attending Church of England services.
Forget suicide bombs; they’re detonating population bombs.
Should we "consider all Muslims as something bad"? Of course not. Should we consider Islam as something bad? That’s an entirely different question – one which politicians, Lamas and the mainstream media studiously avoid – when they’re not babbling about the "religion of peace."
And if Islam itself is "something bad" – if a faith embraced by 1.3 billion people contains within it the seeds of the evil we see all around us (requiring only the right conditions to germinate) – what does that say for the future of a world where Islam is the fastest growing religion?
Some of us live on comfortable estates in India, writing books about inner-peace and harmony, while contemplating the sound of one hand clapping. Others of us live in the real world.
This column originally appeared on GrassTopsUSA.com.
Click Here to support Frontpagemag.com.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.