Friday, January 27, 2006

Robert Spencer: "We Have No Peace Process"

Robert Spencer
January 27, 2006

The denial started almost immediately after Hamas captured 57 percent of the seats in the Palestinian parliament. Associated Press reported that “Hamas capitalized on widespread discontent with years of Fatah corruption and ineffectiveness. Much of its campaign focused on internal Palestinian issues, while playing down the conflict with Israel.” Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice opined: “Palestinian people have apparently voted for change, but we believe their aspirations for peace and a peaceful life remain unchanged.”

But what kind of peace? And how does Hamas (Harakat Muqawama Islamiyya — the Islamic Resistance Movement) propose to rid the Palestinian Authority of corruption? To these questions the answer has been clear for as long as Hamas has existed; the answer to both is Islam. The Hamas Charter of August 18, 1988, quotes Hassan Al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the first modern Islamic terror organization and the direct forefather of Hamas: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” A Hamas supporter in Gaza amplified that principle on Thursday: “We’re happy that now we will have an Islamic state. God willing, Islam will prevail and we will get rid of corruption.”

The Iranian regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has joined Hamas in calling for the destruction of Israel, expressed delight at the election outcome. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “Iran...hopes that the powerful presence of Hamas at the [political] scene brings about great achievements for the Palestinian nation.”

Others were not so joyful. Jasser Jasser, a Christian pharmacist in Ramallah, said of the prospect of Hamas rule: “We’re all afraid. We’re worried about the future, that we’ll become a second Iran.” Jasser and other non-Muslims have every reason to be afraid. Hassam El-Masalmeh, Hamas leader in Bethlehem, recently declared that his movement intended to reinstitute the traditional tax, the jizya, stipulated in the Qur’an for Jews and Christians in an Islamic state. “We in Hamas,” Masalmeh announced, “intend to implement this tax someday. We say it openly – we welcome everyone to Palestine but only if they agree to live under our rules.” Since along with this tax, Islamic law stipulates that Jews and Christians must submit to a series of humiliating and discriminatory regulations, ensuring their second-class status in line with the Qur’anic stipulation that they “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29).

Some try to draw comfort from the fact that Hamas participated in the elections at all. Victor Batarseh, the mayor of Bethlehem and a Christian, echoed the view of many analysts when he said: “The only way to make Hamas more moderate is to bring them inside the system.” But that hope was belied by statements from Hamas operatives themselves, including Umm Farhat, a candidate for the Palestinian Legislative Council and the mother of a jihad terrorist who murdered five Israeli civilians. Umm Farhat emphasized that Hamas’ participation in elections did not mean it was moderating its jihadist goals one iota: “The jihadist project completes the political one and the political project cannot be completed without jihad.”

So now it should be clear to the world that exactly that – the jihad – is the agenda of Hamas, and now of the Palestinian Authority as a whole. While Mahmoud Abbas has been able to distance himself from terror attacks in Israel and claim that he was not able to stop them, now the government of the Palestinian Authority itself will be dominated by an organization that has celebrated such attacks.

Flush with victory, Hamas shows no sign of changing that posture. Hamas operative Ismail Haniyeh said the Islamic group will now work to “complete the liberation of other parts of Palestine.” In a sadly typical example of mainstream media cluelessness, the AP story reporting this adds: “But did not say which territories he was referring to or how he would go about it.” As if there were any doubt in the mind of anyone in Hamas at this point that “Palestine” refers to the entirety of Israel. The Hamas Charter states: “For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: ‘Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.’”

And how will Hamas go about “liberating” its “homeland”? Hamas’ Mahmoud Zahar reiterated after the electoral victory: “We have no peace process. We are not going to mislead our people to tell them we are waiting, meeting, for a peace process that is nothing.” Zahar was echoing the Hamas Charter’s declaration: “[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”

Those words should reverberate in the minds of all the world’s policymakers whenever they are tempted in the coming weeks to call yet again for Israel to moderate its stance toward Hamas and enter into negotiations with the group. Hamas is dedicated to establishing an Islamic state and will no doubt begin immediately to do so. Its Charter maintains, “the Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion, and anyone who neglects his religion is bound to lose.” The Charter follows this with a quotation from the Qur’an: “And who forsakes the religion of Abraham, save him who befools himself?” (2:130).

Hamas identifies itself in the Charter as “characterized by a profound understanding, by precise notions and by a complete comprehensiveness of all concepts of Islam in all domains of life: views and beliefs, politics and economics, education and society, jurisprudence and rule, indoctrination and teaching, the arts and publications, the hidden and the evident, and all the other domains of life.” That totalitarian vision, as Jasser Jasser knows well, bodes ill for Palestinian non-Muslims.

Nonetheless, Secretary of State Rice is, of course, correct: the Palestinian “aspirations for peace and a peaceful life remain unchanged.” But they are founded upon a societal model that is fundamentally different from that that Western analysts have so far imagined. “When Islam strives for peace,” wrote the Egyptian Muslim theorist Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), “its objective is not that superficial peace which requires that only that part of the earth where the followers of Islam are residing remain secure. The peace which Islam desires is that the religion (i.e., the Law of the society) be purified for God, that the obedience of all people be for God alone, and that some people should not be lords over others.” In the Palestinian Authority, the voters have freely chosen such a society. Were they voting against corruption? So were many Germans who voted for Hitler in the early 1930s. The fact that much of the populace had not endorsed his agenda, however, did not prevent him from implementing it.

Ahmadinejad in Iran, Hamas in the Palestinian Authority: jihadists are closer than they have been in ages to realizing the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s prediction that “the last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him” (Sahih Muslim, bk. 41, no. 6985).

Will the world stand ready to prevent this? Or continue to deceive itself with vain hopes that the men who won the Palestinian elections are men with whom they can deal?

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of five books, seven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jonah Goldberg: Many Faces of Hillary -- None a Winner

The Los Angeles Times
January 26, 2006
Jonah Goldberg

Even liberals are fed up with what they see as the senator's 'triangulation, calculation and equivocation' designed to offend no one.

Liberals are sizing up Hillary Clinton for the umpteenth time, and they don't like what they see. To be honest, I never understood what they saw in her in the first place. The amazing thing about Clinton is that she's so unappealing. She isn't a particularly gifted speaker. She's smart, but in a conventional and lawyerly way. She doesn't connect well with audiences. Her idea of improvisation seems to be leaping from the prepared text to prepared note cards.

However, she has defied the rules of nature and gotten better looking over the years, which, along with her soap-opera marriage, probably explains some of her success with supermarket checkout-aisle publications. Indeed, her greatest success has been at exploiting expectations others have for her. For some fans, she was the struggling career woman who could bring home the bacon. For some detractors, she was "Lady MacBeth," cold and calculating in an obviously political marriage. She was also the apotheosis of the 1960s, for friends and foes alike. For the Children's Defense Fund crowd, she was the baby boomer idealist who worked her way through the system. For the American Spectator gang, she was the former Black Panther sympathizer and acolyte of Chicago radical Saul Alinsky who finally achieved power. After the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary — who was no stranger to her husband's weaknesses — suddenly became the victim in a culture with a fetish for victims.

At every turn, Hillary Clinton's Zelig-like public persona has been a fabrication — either by her fans, her enemies or herself. One telling episode came when she published her massively successful autobiography, "Living History." The book tour was nothing short of a coronation, confirming her gravitas and commitment to "the issues." She portrayed herself as resigned to the fact that she'd have to answer Barbara Walters' questions about her personal life, but she always made it seem like she'd rather wrestle with the hard issues of public policy. But when the Washington Post actually tried to ask her about something other than how she cried over her husband's sexcapades with an intern, the senator from New York "declined to be interviewed about the political content of her book."

Hillary Clinton's latest reinvention paints her as a moderate, even an Iraq war hawk. Few people buy it. Reporters regularly assume her motives are opportunistic rather than sincere, focusing on how every pronouncement will position her for the 2008 presidential race. National Public Radio's Mara Liasson, for example, recently observed, "She certainly sees it in her interest to get to the right of the president on many issues, especially in the area of national security." Whatever the reason, some liberals have had enough. "I will not support Hillary Clinton for president," wrote Molly Ivins, the voice of conventional thinking on the left. "Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone."

The segment of Democrats who sanctified Cindy Sheehan can hardly countenance a presidential candidate who unapologetically voted for the war and positioned herself to the right of President Bush on foreign policy. The New Republic offers perhaps an even more devastating critique of Clinton for Democratic pragmatists: She can't win. Marisa Katz dismantled the myth that Clinton can appeal to "red state" voters because she won in upstate New York. Turns out former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry each did better in upstate New York than she did. And Gore, a Southerner, couldn't even win his home state of Tennessee.

Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll showed that 51% of Americans won't even consider voting for Clinton. All of this could change. But there's a great irony here. Hillary Clinton's success over the last decade and a half has been in pretending to be her own woman while really playing one part or another for the benefit of the media, her husband or various feminist constituencies desperate for a role model to confirm all of their comfortable stereotypes. That's why there's something oddly satisfying in the possibility that Clinton being herself is politically disastrous. And, if she's really just playing one more role according to some classically Clintonian political triangulation, there's something equally satisfying to the prospect that even her fans aren't falling for it anymore.

Ann Coulter: Abortion Stops a Bleeding Heart

Ann Coulter
January 26, 2006

The Democrats are trying to "reframe" their message to make people think they believe abortion is wrong. I think this is going to be a hard sell if they plan to continue ferociously defending abortion-on-demand right up until the moment the baby's head is through the birth canal.

But both the New York Times and the Washington Post have recently run op-eds by leftist calling for Democrats to abandon their single-minded devotion to Roe v. Wade.

In the Post, Richard Cohen said it was time for leftists to "untether abortion rights from Roe."
Cohen admitted that conservatives (and "some liberals," he claimed implausibly) have a point when they say abortion ought to be decided by the states. This is another way of saying abortion is not a constitutional right. Kate Michelman: Call your abortion mill!

In the New York Times, William Saletan gently counseled feminists that it was time to admit: "It's bad to kill a fetus." And they say left-wingers have no values!

Even Jimmy Carter, the Democrats' idea of an evangelical Christian, has allowed that "I don't believe that Christ would approve of abortions." (Though Carter added that Christ would approve of abortion if "the mother's life or health was seriously endangered or the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest" – or if Jesus really, really needed the feminists to vote for him.)

It's been a long time coming, but the Democrats are finally throwing the NARAL ladies off the boat.

One by one, the Democratic Party keeps having to abandon all the insane positions that have made it the funny, silly party we've come to know and love.

The gun-control fanatics were thrown overboard after President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress passed the 1994 crime bill that banned so-called "assault weapons" – i.e., otherwise completely legal semiautomatic weapons that looked scary to Dianne Feinstein.

As a result, the Democrats lost Congress for the first time in 40 years and lost the South forever. When is the last time you heard a Democrat use the words "gun control"?

In 1995, the new Republican Congress sent a welfare reform bill to Clinton, a man who had campaigned on "mend it, don't end it" and then refused to do anything about it.

Not one Democrat resigned from the Clinton administration when Clinton turned out to be molesting the help and committing lots of felonies. But a whole slew of them resigned to protest Clinton's signing the Republicans' welfare reform bill.

You never hear a peep out of Democrats anymore about restoring government welfare programs to their former glory.

Now it's the abortion ladies' turn.

As Saletan informed feminists in his Times column:

"You can tell yourself that the pro-choice majority stayed home in the last election, or that they voted on other issues, or that Democrats botched the debate. But those excuses are getting tired. Sixteen years ago, as the behavior of voters and politicians showed, abortion was clearly a winning issue for you. Now it isn't. You have a problem."

It's finally happened: Abortion stopped a bleeding heart.

I guess Sandra Day O'Connor's demand that "the contending sides" on abortion "end their national division" and accept the court's diktat in Roe didn't work out for her.

As Abraham Lincoln said of another moral blight on the nation supported by Democrats: You can "repeal the Declaration of Independence – repeal all past history – you still cannot repeal human nature. It will still be the abundance of man's heart, that slavery extension is wrong; and out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth will continue to speak."

Or, as Justice Antonin Scalia said, the court's refusal to overrule the lawless Roe decision would not stand because of "the twin facts that the American people love democracy and the American people are not fools."

With even leftists backing away from Roe, apparently the last group of people on Earth to realize the Supreme Court's abortion jurisprudence is a catastrophe is going to be the Supreme Court.

Click Here to support

Ann Coulter is a bestselling author and syndicated columnist. Her most recent book is How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must).

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Daniel Pipes: Don't deal with terrorists

Hamas is a killer and shouldn't have been allowed into elections.

USA Today
25 January 2006

As Hamas, the Islamist terror group, surges in the polls with a prospect of joining the Palestinian Authority or even running it, governments worldwide must decide on their responses.
An increasing number of voices are calling for Hamas to be recognized, arguing that the imperatives of governance would tame it, ending its arch-murderous vocation (it has killed about 600 Israelis) and turning it into a responsible citizen.

Even President Bush made this argument in early 2005: “There's a positive effect when you run for office. Maybe some will run for office and say, ‘Vote for me, I look forward to blowing up America.' … I don't think so. I think people who generally run for office say, ‘Vote for me, I'm looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table.' ”

The historical record, however, refutes this “pothole theory of democracy.” Mussolini made the trains run, Hitler built autobahns, Stalin cleared the snow and Castro reduced infant mortality — without any of these totalitarians giving up their ideological zeal nor their grandiose ambitions. Likewise, Islamists in Afghanistan, Iran and Sudan have governed without becoming tamed. If proof is needed, note the Iranian efforts to build nuclear weapons amid an apocalyptic fervor.

Hamas might have hired a spin doctor to improve its image in the West, but its leadership candidly maintains it has no intention of changing. Responding to a question on whether Bush is correct that U.S. engagement with Hamas would moderate the terror group, Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas founder, laughed and declared that this tactic “will not succeed.” In recent days, Zahar has publicly reiterated that Hamas still intends to destroy Israel.

Fortunately, U.S. policy remains steadfast: “We haven't dealt with Hamas, and we won't deal with Hamas members who are elected,” says U.S. embassy spokesman Stewart Tuttle in Israel. That is a good start; ideally, there should be no dealings at all with a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas in its leadership.

It was a mistake to permit Hamas to compete in elections. Like al-Qaeda, Hamas should be destroyed, not legitimated, much less courted.

Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum, a think tank in Philadelphia, and author of Miniatures: Views of Islamic and Middle Eastern Politics.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Srdja Trifkovic: Can a Pious Muslim Become a Loyal American?
Friday, January 20, 2006

A Muslim who becomes a naturalized American citizen is literally millions of times more likely to plot terrorist acts against his fellow citizens than a member of any other religious creed or political ideology (Islam is both). It is not possible to wage a meaningful “Global War on Terrorism” without considering the legal, moral, and pragmatic implications of this problem.

First, the facts. Muslims account for up to one percent of the population of the United States, in contrast to Western Europe where their share of the population is up to ten times greater. They like to pretend otherwise, and groups such as the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Student Association, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Muslim Council (AMC), and the Harvard Islamic Society routinely assert that there are between 4.5 and 9 million Muslims in the United States. It is remarkable that these sources do not provide any empirically verifiable basis for their figures.

Impartial studies currently place the number of Muslims at between 2 and 3 million. The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) conducted by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) polled more than 50,000 people in 2001 and found the total American Muslim population to be 1.8 million. The University of Chicago’s Tom W. Smith reached a similar figure:

The best, adjusted, survey-based estimates put the adult Muslim population in 2000 at 0.67 percent or 1,401,000, and the total Muslim population at 1,886,000. Even if high-side estimates based on local surveys, figures from mosques, and ancestry and immigration statistics are given more weight than the survey-based numbers, it is hard to accept estimates that Muslims are greater than 1 percent of the population (2,090,000 adults, or 2,814,000 total).

It is estimated that up to two-thirds of that group are foreign-born immigrants, and about one half are naturalized American citizens. In other words, about one-half of one percent of the country’s overall population are foreign-born Muslims who are now naturalized U.S. citizens.

As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials are well aware (and some readily admit off-the-record), the attitudes of these people tend to change once their status in America is secure. As visa applicants or permanent residents they refrain from statements and acts that may make them excludable under current laws. But as soon as they gain citizenship, some among them are quick to rediscover the virtues of sharia and jihad. Examples abound:

In June 2005 22-year-old Hamid Hayat was arrested in Lodi, CA, and admitted spending six months in 2003-2004 at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. He attended classes that included instructions on “how to kill Americans.” He and his father, Umer Hayat (47), are both naturalized U.S. citizens. They are in jail awaiting trial; both have been refused bail.

• In Falls Church, VA, Maher Amin Jaradat, was arrested on June 6, 2005, and pled guilty on July 14 to fraudulently procuring U.S. citizenship because he failed to disclose previous ties to militant groups.

• In May 2005 a naturalized U.S. citizen, Rafiq Sabir, was arrested in Florida and accused of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Sabir is an Ivy League-educated medical doctor who lived in a gated community in Boca Raton. He pledged loyalty to al-Qaida and offered to treat injured or sick terrorists.

• In March 2004 two naturalized U.S. citizens, Ilyas Ali and Muhamed Abid Afridi, plead guilty to plotting to sell shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles to al Qaeda. Ali had previously claimed he was an innocent victim of Attorney General John Ashcroft and his over-zealous Justice Department. “Nine-eleven, me and my wife cried,” he said. “We cried for three days.”

• Mukhtar al-Bakri, a naturalized citizen, and five U.S.-born youths from upstate New York were convicted in 2003 of aiding Al-Qaeda, training in terrorist camps, and plotting attacks on Americans.

• In October 2003, Iyman Faris (34), an Ohio truck driver and naturalized U.S. citizen, was sentenced to 20 years for providing material support to al Qaeda. He pleaded guilty to plotting to destroy Brooklyn Bridge by cutting its suspension cables. He became a U.S. citizen in 1999 and only months later, in 2000, he traveled from his native Pakistan to Afghanistan where he met bin Laden and other senior leaders who gave Faris his orders.

“We must never forget . . . that as Muslims, we are obligated to desire, and when possible to participate in, the overthrow of any non-Islamic government—anywhere in the world – in order to replace it by an Islamic one,” the speaker concluded his remarks. The venue was a mosque, not in Rawalpindi or Jeddah but in San Francisco. When a recent convert noted that if Muslims are obligated to overthrow the U.S. government then accepting Islam was tantamount to an act of political treason, the lecturer responded matter-of-factly, “Yes, that’s true.”

He was right both technically and substantively. A breach of allegiance to the United States by naturalized Muslims is not a rarity, it is an integral part of the Muslim-American experience. It is an inherent dilemma for many; it leads the serious few to give aid and comfort to the enemy. The problem will be solved only if and when Islamic activism is treated as grounds for the loss of acquired U.S. citizenship and deportation. The citizenship of any naturalized American who actively supports or preaches jihad, inequality of “infidels,” the establishment of the Shari’a law, etc., should be revoked, and that person promptly deported to the country of origin. Before defining “activism,” let us remember that a foreigner who becomes naturalized has to declare, on oath,

that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God. (In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature.)

For a Muslim to declare all of the above in good faith, and especially that he accepts the Constitution of the United States as the source of his highest loyalty, is an act of brazen apostasy par excellence, and apostasy is punishable by death under the Islamic law. The sharia, to a Muslim, is not an addition to the “secular” legal code with which it coexists with “the Constitution and laws of the United States of America”; it is the only true code, the only basis of obligation. To be legitimate, all political power therefore must rest exclusively with those who enjoy Allah’s authority on the basis of his revealed will. In America that is not the case and its government is therefore illegitimate.

It is equally sacrilegious for a Muslim to swear to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That vow, if it means anything substantial, means that he would be prepared to shoot a fellow Muslim, or denounce him to the authorities, in defense of his adopted homeland. That this is not how many if not most naturalized Muslims see it is a matter of record.

So how can a self-avowedly devout Muslim take the oath of American citizenship, and expect the rest of us to believe that it was done in good faith and not only in order to get that coveted passport? A devout Muslim can do it only if in taking the oath he is practicing taqiyya, the art of dissimulation that was inaugurated by Muhammad to help destabilize and undermine non-Muslim communities almost ripe for a touch of old-fashioned Jihad. Or else he may take it because he is not devout and may be confused, in other case if he is not a very good Muslim at all; but in that case there is the ever-present danger that at some point in the future he or his American-born offspring will rediscover their roots. The consequences of such awakening for the rest of us are invariably perilous.

The interior ministry of the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has introduced measures that seek to avert this danger. Potential German citizens will have to answer a 30-topic loyalty test dealing with marriage, sexuality, democracy, attitudes to other faiths, etc. The manual for the naturalization authorities insist that applicants for citizenship must concur with the “free, democratic, constitutional structure” of Germany. Personal interviews may last for hours and will be given to an estimated half of all applicants. The German scheme, while causing predictable expressions of shock and horror among the usual suspects, looks like a potentially useful first step that the United States should consider in reforming the entire naturalization process. The ultimate objective of the reform process, however, needs to address two key questions: why should a Muslim want to become a citizen of a secular, pluralist, non-Muslim state; and why should that state’s non-Muslim citizens want to have him accepted as one of them.

The answer is inseparable from the fact that a person’s Islamic faith and outlook are incompatible with the requirements of personal commitment, patriotic loyalty and unquestionable reliability that are implicit in the oath of citizenship, and absolutely essential in the military, law enforcement, intelligence services, and other related branches of government.
It is to be hoped that the acceptance of other proposed measures would lead to a swift and irreversible reduction in the burgeoning number of mosques and Islamic centers in the United States. The remnant would have to be registered with the Attorney General and subjected to all legal limitations and security supervision strictures that apply to other quasi-religious cults prone to violence.

Conditio sine qua non all along is to accept and declare that the First Amendment does not protect Jihadists. It is in the American tradition that nothing ought to protect those who advocate the overthrow of the United States Government by force and violence, and, at bottom, that is what the Jihadists are up to. Legal regulators need to grasp that Islam itself is a radical, revolutionary ideology, inherently seditious and inimical to American values and institutions.
No court in a democratic country should uphold the constitutionality of any measure targeted at a particular religion quia religion. But if the facts were known about what is going on in mosques, and what is the nature and goal of worldwide Jihad, the necessary legal regulation may be accomplished. The First Amendment protection to political speech should not extent to Sharia, period. We do not need new legal theories, or a different conception of the First Amendment; we need an educational campaign.

The dominant view in the academy and in the courts is that any thought or political idea ought to be protected, so the educator’s job is to convince legislators that we are dealing with a new phenomenon more dangerous even than anarchism, fascism or communism. As our Legal Affairs Editor Stephen Presser points out,

If that is ever done, then the precedents from 1903 or 1920 basically kick in, and the Jihadists get perceived not as exercisers of First Amendment rights, but as dangerous subversives. Anyone trying to do that will have to plunge into the thicket of what a religion actually is, however, and the Courts are notoriously unclear on that.

A radically new form of legal clarity on Islam's nature is needed before the acceptance of our proposals becomes reality.

On the bright side, the proposed measures are politically eminently feasible. In a study conducted a year ago to determine the public attitude to terrorism, a half of respondents polled nationally said they believe the U.S. government should curtail civil liberties for American citizens who are Muslim. It should be noted that they do so in spite of the efforts of an elite class that never tires of assuring us that we are dealing with the “religion of peace and tolerance!” When it comes to visa moratoriums for Muslim non-citizens, the picture is even more encouraging.

The deadlock on the Somme in 1916, or at Verdun a year later, could not be broken with the strategic ideas and modus operandi of Messrs. Haigh, Pétain, or Hindenburg. It could have been unlocked, however, had Lidell-Hart, de Gaulle, or Guderian held their ranks and positions. Winning a war demands “knowing the enemy and knowing oneself,” of course, but it also demands “thinking outside the box.” This old cliché is apt: the magnitude of the threat demands radical responses that fall outside the cognitive parameters of the elite class.

Acceptance of these proposals would represent the long overdue beginning of serious Western defense against Islamic terrorism. It would signify the recognition that we are in a life-or-death struggle. It is being waged, on the Islamic side, with the deep conviction that the West is on its last legs, spiritually, morally, and biologically. That view is reinforced by the evidence from history that a civilization that loses the urge for biological self-perpetuation is indeed in mortal peril. Even at this late stage a recovery is possible, however, and the suggested measures would herald that recovery.

This article is partly based on the final chapter of Dr. Trifkovic’s latest book, Defeating Jihad, which will be published by Regina Orthodox Press (Boston) on March 1, 2006.

/Islam print permanent link writebacks (9)

Monday, January 23, 2006

George F. Will: Educators vs. Education

George F. Will

Jan. 16, 2006 issue - The surest, quickest way to add quality to primary and secondary education would be addition by subtraction: Close all the schools of education. Consider The Chronicle of Higher Education's recent report concerning the schools that certify America's teachers.

Many education schools discourage, even disqualify, prospective teachers who lack the correct "disposition," meaning those who do not embrace today's "progressive" political catechism. Karen Siegfried had a 3.75 grade-point average at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, but after voicing conservative views, she was told by her education professors that she lacked the "professional disposition" teachers need. She is now studying to be an aviation technician.

In 2002 the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education declared that a "professional disposition" is "guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice." Regarding that last, the Chronicle reports that the University of Alabama's College of Education proclaims itself "committed to preparing individuals to"—what? "Read, write and reason"? No, "to promote social justice, to be change agents, and to recognize individual and institutionalized racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism," and to "break silences" about those things and "develop anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-sexist community [sic] and alliances."

Brooklyn College, where a professor of education required her class on Language Literacy in Secondary Education to watch "Fahrenheit 9/11" before the 2004 election, says it educates teacher candidates about, among many other evils, "heterosexism." The University of Alaska Fairbanks, fluent with today's progressive patois, says that, given America's "caste-like system," teachers must be taught "how racial and cultural 'others' negotiate American school systems, and how they perform their identities." Got it?

The permeation of ed schools by politics is a consequence of the vacuity of their curricula. Concerning that, read "Why Johnny's Teacher Can't Teach" by Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute (available at Today's teacher-education focus on "professional disposition" is just the latest permutation of what Mac Donald calls the education schools' "immutable dogma," which she calls "Anything But Knowledge."

The dogma has been that primary and secondary education is about "self-actualization" or "finding one's joy" or "social adjustment" or "multicultural sensitivity" or "minority empowerment." But is never about anything as banal as mere knowledge. It is about "constructing one's own knowledge" and "contextualizing knowledge," but never about knowledge of things like biology or history.

Mac Donald says "the central educational fallacy of our time," which dates from the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, is "that one can think without having anything to think about." At City College of New York a professor said that in her course Curriculum and Teaching in Elementary Education she would be "building a community, rich of talk" and "getting the students to develop the subtext of what they're doing." Although ed schools fancy themselves as surfers on the wave of the future, Mac Donald believes that teacher education "has been more unchanging than Miss Havisham. Like aging vestal virgins, today's schools lovingly guard the ancient flame of progressivism"—an egalitarianism with two related tenets.

One, says Mac Donald, is that "to accord teachers any superior role in the classroom would be to acknowledge an elite hierarchy of knowledge, possessed by some but not all." Hence, second, emphasis should be on group projects rather than individual accomplishments that are measured by tests that reveal persistent achievement gaps separating whites and Asians from other minorities.

Numerous inner-city charter and private schools are proving that the gaps can be narrowed, even closed, when rigorous pedagogy is practiced by teachers in teacher-centered classrooms where knowledge is regarded as everything. But most ed schools, celebrating "child-centered classrooms" that do not "suffocate discourses," are enemies of rigor.

The steady drizzle of depressing data continues. A new assessment of adult literacy shows a sharp decline over the last decade, with only 31 percent of college graduates able to read and extrapolate from complex material. They were supposed to learn how to read before college, but perhaps their teachers were too busy proving their "professional dispositions" by "breaking silences" as "change agents."

Fewer than half of U.S. eighth graders have math teachers who majored in math as undergraduates or graduate students or studied math for teacher certification. U.S. 12th graders recently performed below the international average for 21 countries on tests of general knowledge of math and science. But perhaps U.S. pupils excel when asked to "perform their identities."

Pat Buchanan: What Would Jack Bauer Do?

January 22, 2006

Ex-President Palmer had saved Jack Bauer's life.

Yet, the "military option" against Iran is the talk of the town.

The Chinese wanted agent Bauer extradited to execute him for the killing of their Los Angeles consul, gunned down in a crossfire between Chinese security and Bauer's Counter-Terrorism Unit team that had penetrated the consulate on an espionage mission.

Palmer, though out of office, conspired in a CTU scheme where Jack would appear dead, to the satisfaction of the duped Chinese, and be sent to Mexico with a fake identity.

As this year's series of Fox's "24" opened Sunday, President Palmer is shot through an office window and assassinated. Word reaches Bauer, working in the California oil patch.

Emotional at the death of the president he loved, for whom he had often risked his life, Jack returns. He is intercepted and almost killed by the team that murdered Palmer. Wounding the leader of the terrorists, Bauer interrogates him, warning the bleeding man he will die unless Bauer helps him get to a hospital. The terrorist talks.

After he spills all his information, Bauer starts to walk away. The terrorist demands to be taken to the hospital.

Were you the one who shot President Palmer? Bauer asks. Yes, replies the wounded terrorist, in agony on the floor. Bauer stares at him for two seconds -- then shoots him.

It is a Jack Bauer moment, and all addicted to "24" knew what would happen to that assassin. For Bauer is a take-no-prisoners patriot who puts love of country and loyalty to friends first, and fights by his own rules. To Jack Bauer, the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.

What is the appeal of "24"?

It is the fastest-paced, most exciting TV out there. But at bottom, the appeal is that, as in the Westerns of old and "Dirty Harry" movies of the 1970s, Jack Bauer is a flawed but good man in a struggle against evil, who is there to see that his loved ones are secure and justice is done. To Jack Bauer, as to Clint Eastwood's Detective "Dirty Harry" Callahan, vigilante justice is not only preferable to no justice at all, it is the best kind. Evil men should get what they deserve, without legal complications.

"24" satisfies the innate demand in all of us that, the law aside, evil should be punished and justice done.

That the audience for "24" is so loyal and large should tell us something about America and our divisions over the war we are in.

For weeks, Democrats and their media allies have been on Bush's case for using the National Security Agency to intercept, without warrant, phone calls and e-mails to terror suspects abroad. Before that, Bush was charged with using secret detention centers in Eastern Europe to interrogate suspects. Before that, the military was accused of abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and Afghanistan. Before that, the Justice Department was charged with violating the civil rights of Jose Padilla and the Shoe-bomber.

Bush thus stands accused of violating the Geneva Convention on treatment of prisoners of war, ignoring constitutional protections of U.S. citizens, and violating international agreements prohibiting torture and the "rendition" of prisoners to countries where torture is practiced.
Where do the American people stand?

The left may be right on the law, but the people seem to be standing by Bush. Believing the character of this war, where the enemy's preferred tactic is to slaughter civilians with terror bombings, people seem to agree that we have to follow Jack Bauer's rules, not ACLU rules.

Yet one senses that Americans are conflicted. We want to think of ourselves as decent people who fight wars honorably. But we believe the enemies of 9-11 are so evil, so depraved, they forfeit the right to be treated honorably. And while we believe in constitutional rights, human rights, civil rights, Miranda warnings and all that, we also believe in winning our wars. For without victory in the war on terror, freedom may not survive.

"Success alone justifies war," said Von Moltke, as Germany prepared to violate Belgium's neutrality to outflank France in 1914. Americans appear to believe that, too.

President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and blockaded Southern ports, without congressional authorization. President Wilson locked up Eugene V. Debs in World War I and never let him out. FDR interned 110,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans in relocation camps, in a wartime act of racial profiling approved by the Supreme Court. Truman dropped atom bombs on defenseless cities, killing 100,000 women and children. Yet all are judged by liberal historians to be great or near-great presidents.

Now, Jack Bauer does not exist, and "24" is made-for-TV escapist entertainment. As we cheer or laugh out loud at his daring exploits, however, one wonders what liberal Democrats of the ACLU variety would do to a real-life Jack Bauer?

My guess: Put him in Leavenworth for life. But President Palmer knew his value, because President Palmer knew the real world.

Copyright 2006 Creators Syndicate