Friday, January 28, 2005

Dutch Outrage, Muslim Threats

Left-wing apostate Christopher Hitchens comments on the rightful tide of outrage rising among the Dutch people. He cites the note left pinned to the chest of murdered Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh by Mohammed Bouyeri , the Muslim who stabbed him and cut this throat on an Amsterdam street. The note included an open letter to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch Parliament and herself a Muslim.
Both the open letter and the note are of extreme interest. The note speaks of Tawheed, which is the current Islamic extremist abuse of the Qur’anic word for “unity” or oneness against all heretics from Shi’a to Christian. This Salafist/bin Ladenist tendency also employs the term takfir, an approximate synonym for excommunication (and therefore slaughter) of infidels and heretics. The faction grouped behind this Qur’anic concept is the most noxious and cynical of the lot: its members allow themselves to consume pork and alcohol and consort with prostitutes if they are on a mission to deceive and destroy the infidel. (This explains the apparent “paradox” of the 9/11 hijackers who were seen cavorting in a nightclub in Florida shortly before mounting their assault on our civil society. It also means that the most outwardly “secular” Muslim might be just the one to fear.
The entire article is well worth reading. But Hitchens writes with particular clarity when he points out the extent of the threat posed by Islamist fanatics already living in the West.
One cannot emphasize enough that the victims here are not just secular artists like Theo van Gogh but people of Muslim origin who do not accept homicidal fundamentalism. This is the warning that many liberals have been overlooking or denying ever since the fatwah against Salman Rushdie in 1989. And it is spreading: even as I write this, a Belgian legislator of Moroccan extraction, Mimount Bousakla, has been threatened with “ritual slaughter” for denouncing van Gogh’s murder. Any thinking person can see that we will soon be facing jihad on the streets of Germany and France and England as well. A secret army has also been formed within our borders in the United States, though its triumphant first operation did not alert as many Europeans as it might have.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Mexico Wants to Overrule US Voters

The Mexican government, much annoyed by Arizona voters who approved a referendum limiting public services to illegal aliens, has signaled that it may challenge the law in "international tribunals." Apparently, after four years of President Bush's consistent kow-towing, Mexico now believes that it can legally erase the will of American voters. In an interview on Spanish-language W Radio, Mexico's Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez proclaimed that Mexico would seek to overturn the Arizona law by all available means.
"We are seeking all the legal opportunities that exist, first using the legal capacities of the United States itself and ... if that does not work, bringing it to international tribunals," Derbez said.
Proposition 200 requires that proof of American citizenship be shown before residents of Arizona can apply for state benefits. Mexico has formally protested the law. Though exactly, which "international tribunals" would have any legal ability to affect American domestic law, Mr. Derbez did not identify. Nonetheless, his comments make clear the extremes to which Mexico is now willing to go - and apparently feels free to announce - in order to increase the ease with which millions of Mexicans can enter and occupy the US.

If anyone doubts Mexico's true intentions regarding the influx of illegal aliens passing across the US-Mexico border, one need only listen to Mr. Derbez's own comments. When it was pointed out to Mr. Derbez that fully 40 precent of Mexican-Americans living in Arizona had voted for the referendum, Mr. Derbez inadvertantly let the proverbial cat out of the bag.
"It's sad and it gives an idea of how we have to work to educate even our own Mexican-Americans about why it is important that these proposals are not accepted," Derbez said.
"Our own Mexican-Americans?" Is Mr. Derbez acknowledging that Mexican-Americans aren't really Americans at all, in the view of Mexico, but rather Mexicans who should be acting in Mexico's interest? What other conclusion could be drawn from such a statement, and from the actions of the Mexican government regarding the illegal immigration problem. Mexico has done everything possible to encourage millions of Mexicans to cross the US border and change US domestic policy to favor - or, at least, overlook - the influx.

If the US or any European state was acting similarly toward an ethnically non-European country, it would be called colonization.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Iraqi Choice

Regardless of one's opinion of the legal legitimacy of the US's invasion of Iraq, or the strategic value of the war, there can be no moral advocacy of the insurgency, whose tactics and ultimate goals deny even the most basic notions of civilized behavior and human rights. Nonetheless, a shocking number of leftists in the US, and particularly in Europe find themselves secretly hoping that the insurgency will defeat the US coalition and that Sunday's elections will fail. In today's left-leaning Telegraph, Janet Daley takes such attitudes to task:

The terrorist organisations, the pedlars of theocratic death cults, and the ousted (or would-be) totalitarians who foment insurgency in Iraq and now swear themselves to be the enemies not just of America, or the coalition forces, but of democracy itself, know that this is a fight to the death. Once what Mr Bush would probably call the great tide of liberty has swept over their poisonous strongholds, there will be no going back, at least not to square one. Yes, indeed: freedom and democracy are dangerous things, as so many of the Left-wing commentators are saying with a cynicism that beggars belief. Do we really want to hold elections, they ask, in a country where the outcome might give power to the majority Shia and thereby aggravate the insanely dangerous Sunni terrorists? What?

What? Can you imagine what these good liberals would have said if it had been America that was insisting on forestalling elections because the results could be dangerous or unpredictable? There goes America again, they would shriek, sustaining a puppet government that is under its control, rather than allowing a country to choose its own leaders.

What exactly is being argued here? That we should withhold democratic elections out of a fear that the majority of the population will finally get political power? That is what democracy is generally assumed to be for: to give power to the majority, while protecting the rights of minorities to as great an extent as possible.

Which brings us to the claim that these elections will be somehow delegitimised if the Sunni minority is terrorised into abstaining. Minorities need protecting if full-blooded democracy is to flourish. But to establish the rule of law that would permit such protection, there must be a democratic process.

It may be a fledgling, imperfect, not-quite-complete democratic process that is on offer in Iraq. It may require that ordinary life come to a virtual standstill, that borders be closed and mobile phone networks taken down, that what we would understand as basic rights to travel and to communicate be temporarily suspended. But that is a testimony to how much is at stake here.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist who claims to be leading the insurgency in Iraq has openly declared himself and the insurgency at war not simply with the US occupation, but with democracy itself, in his most recent audiotape.
"We have declared a bitter war against the principle of democracy and all those who seek to enact it," the speaker says.

Zarqawi has claimed responsibility for many bombings and beheadings in Iraq.

The US has put a $25m reward on his head.

Correspondents say the voice on the latests recording sounded similar to that on the other messages attributed to the fugitive, whose group is linked to al-Qaeda.

It attacked democracy as a springboard for "un-Islamic" practices, claiming that its emphasis on majority rule violated the principle that all laws must come from a divine source.

"Candidates in elections are seeking to become demi-gods, while those who vote for them are infidenls," it said.
al-Zarqawi's denunciation of democracy is consistent with the teaching of al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Last month, other Iraqi jihadists issued a similar policy statement.

"Those who participate in this dirty farce [the January 30 elections] will not be sheltered from the blows of the mujahedeen," said a statement posted on an Islamist website signed by the Al Qaeda linked Ansar Al-Sunna, the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Army of the Mujahedeen.


"Democracy is a word of Greek origin meaning the sovereignty of the people... this concept is considered apostasy, contrary to the doctrine of one God and Sharia (Islamic law)," the statement from the three groups said.

"Democracy is a farce created by our enemies to confer what they call legitimacy on the new government which is subservient to the crusaders and executes their orders."

"To try to ensure these elections succeed would be the greatest gift to America, the enemy of Islam and the tyrant of our time," it added.

The group said democracy could lead to the adoption of laws considered un-Islamic, such as homosexual marriage. "By virtue of democracy, members of parliament become gods themselves."

Ansar al-Sunna is a small secretive network of Islamic radicals which claimed the deadly attack on a US military base in northern Iraq last week and has carried out some of the most gruesome attacks of the insurgency,
Bringing democracy to Iraq may turn out to have been a Wilsonian crusade not worth its hefty cost of American lives and money, but anyone wishing for an insurgent victory does so at the price of condemning the Iraq people to oppression under the likes of al-Zarqawi. That is evil.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Even PBS Gets It ... But Brussels Still Doesn't

The threat posed by Islamism to the West is beginning to sink in even at PBS, normally a bastion of head-in-the-sand, multiculturalist thinking. Tonight's Frontline dares to investigate the growing threat of Islamist violence coming from Muslims living in Europe.

"It might come as a surprise to many Americans," says correspondent Lowell Bergman, "But the most pressing threat to the United States is not the suspected Al Qaeda cells at home, but rather the cells operating overseas, especially in Western Europe."

Home to an estimated 18 million Muslims, Western Europe has become the new and deadly battleground in the war on terror. That's because disenfranchised Muslims‹inspired by local radical imams and jihadist Web sites‹are taking up the cause of jihad. And Al Qaeda, once just a loose organization on the continent, has morphed into a powerful ideological movement.

"The threat is before us, not behind us," France's top antiterror judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, tells FRONTLINE. "And we are quite concerned....I think that the terrorist threat today is more globalized, more scattered, and more powerful...than it was before September 11."
Unfortunately, the style of government that the jihadist want to impose on the Muslim world, once they've deposed the current rogues gallery of kings, emirs, dictators and thugs, is best exemplified by the ayatollahs of Iran and the former Taliban of Afghanistan. The jihadis would impose a fundamentalism even more brutal and repressive than the corrupt regimes they seek to overthrow. Ironically, allowing them to succeed might be the simplest means of defeating them. After a quarter century of Islamic Revolution, the people of Iran are sick to death of the clerics who run their country. After suffering under Taliban rule for almost a decade, the Afghani people flocked to the polls to elect a new government and no insurgent movement seems to have any real support.

The growing threat of Islamist violence in Europe does not, however, appear to have dawned on the pampered bureaucrats who run the European Union in Brussels. Under the guise of mandating multiculturalism - at a time when Europe's core cultures find themselves straining under the weight of millions of non-European immigrants - Brussels has warned the UK that it will block any attempt by Britain to lower the number of immigrants it accepts. Tory leader Michael Howard recently unveiled a relatively bold plan to scale back the number of immigrants and asylum seekers that Britain would admit. Mr. Howard announced the new Tory policy in a full page newspaper advertisement.

"There are literally millions of people in other countries who want to come and live here. Britain cannot take them all," Mr Howard argues.

"Britain has always offered a home to genuine refugees and to families who want to work hard. I know - my family was one. We are a more successful country as a result.

"But Britain has reached a turning point. Our communities cannot absorb newcomers at today's pace. Immigration must be brought under control. It is essential for good community relations, national security and the management of public services. Only my party has the courage to tell the truth about immigration and the courage to act."

Of course, leftwing critics immediately raised the usual cries of "racism", even as more immigrant Islamic imams hold rallies for al-Qaeda in London (see posts below). Of course, the Telegraph notes that Mr. Howard is hardly the first UK politician to warn Britons about the threat of unfettered immigration:

Months before the 2001 election, William Hague warned that Britain would turn into a "foreign land" if Tony Blair was re-elected, but his speech lacked the full force of Mr Howard's advertisement, and its main thrust was not about immigration at all. Margaret Thatcher was criticised after claiming that Britain might become "swamped by people of a different culture" before her first election victory, in 1979.
Nevertheless, Brussels' blunt intervention into a domestic British policy debate caught UK politicians off guard.

Europe's intervention in what has become a major issue in the election campaign took Westminster aback. MPs and officials were unaware of how much national sovereignty on immigration and asylum had been transferred to Brussels.

The Conservative leadership responded by saying that a Tory government would immediately opt out of the new rules. If that were blocked, it would insist on renegotiation to allow Britain to determine its own asylum and immigration policies.

But, the Telegraph reported, Brussels has no intention of permitting Britain to exercise control over so vital a domestic issue as immigration. The EU appears to feel that the UK has negotiated away its rights as a sovereign nation.

Friso Roscam Abbing, the chief spokesman for the EU justice commissioner, Franco Frattini, said that in 1997 Britain had negotiated a sweeping opt-out on questions of immigration. But in recent years, as the EU drew up a common asylum policy, the Government explicitly opted into the negotations. It had signed every directive to date.

"There is nothing in these protocols that allows a British government to opt back out again," Mr Roscam Abbing said. "So Britain is bound by them." Nor would a Conservative government be able to set quotas for the number of refugees accepted each year.

"Say they set a quota of 10,000 a year," Mr Roscam Abbing said. "Well, the 10,001st case could say to a British judge, `Your government is bound by EU rules and is not at liberty not to consider my claim,' "

A rolling wave of protocols and directives - one in force, one coming next month, a third next year and a fourth in 2007 - have overridden national laws on where governments keep asylum seekers, how they treat them, and how many appeals they are allowed.

If a future British government were to enact laws that contravened EU regulations, the commission would begin "infringement proceedings". Those would be followed, if resistance continued, by legal action in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Of course, those who control the EU - namely, France and Germany - have a vested interest in weakening the national power of the UK, which is the only EU nation capable of countering their power. Dilluting the British citizenry with more immigrants may seem a winning policy for Paris and Berlin, since the immigrants would doubtless vote for ever more liberal - and thus EU friendly - UK governments. The British people need to reconsider the terms and consequences of their participation in the EU, and whether their national interests coincide with those of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder.

But Michael Howard has at least raised the issue of immigration into the main arena of national debate. The British people should have some say as to how many immigrants are permitted to enter their country and from where those immigrant come - especially in light of the growing prevalence of Islamist terrorists in Europe. The same can be said of their American cousins, who have supinely allowed their government to surrender the US southern border, and sit passively by while their nation is invaded. George Bush may wish to increase immigration, but most Americans do not. The US still has the right to control its immigration policies - answerable to no one but its own electorate - and if the Democrats need a winning issue to propel them back into power in Washington, they need only raise the banner of stopping illegal immigration and restoring America's borders. Hillary Clinton, not surprisingly, seems to be moving in that direction, in anticipation of the 2008 presidential campaign.