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Background Noise

Two videos, for your consideration. Both taken on Western colleges. The first, from a guest lecturer's visit to Uppsala University in Sweden. The lecturer, Lars Vilks, was one of the cartoonists who created the now-infamous Mohammed cartoons that so inflamed the Muslim world:

Next, a revisit to a video first brought here earlier this week by my colleague Rick:


In the first video, it picks up immediately after a member of the audience charges Vilks and head-butts him viciously. Police rush in immediately and a brawl breaks out, but eventually order is restored.

In the second, a young woman and member of the Muslim Students Association of the University of California at San Diego confronts David Horowitz about his criticisms of the radical elements of Islam, and how firmly entrenched they are in mainstream Islam.

Now that you've watched the videos, go back and watch them again. But this time, try to ignore the focus of the videos. This time, pay attention to what happens -- or doesn't happen -- in the background. There is the real story.

In the brawl, only a few Muslims attack Vilks and charge the police. Only a very small minority engage in violence in the defense of what they see as an insult to their faith, and justification for a violent response.

But how do the rest of the Muslims respond to this incident?

They cheer it on. They celebrate it. They should "Allahu Ackbar!," "God is great!," expressing their approval for the assault. They are rejoicing in that some "brave Muslim warriors" have chosen to avenge the "insults" to their prophet with violence. They might not precisely want Vilks dead (a common sentiment among the Muslim world), but they are gladdened to see him assaulted and injured.

In the second video, the young woman first makes a comment that the MSA is hosting the annual Hitler Youth week, and invites people to come out to those events.

Is she being serious, or ironic here? I can't tell, and apparently neither can anyone there -- there is absolutely no response to her comment. During World War II, quite a few Muslims -- led by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the uncle of Yassir Arafat -- sided with the Nazis. And Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is readily available in most of the marketplaces in the Middle East. So if any group were to organize a Hitler Youth, a Muslim group would be the second likely suspect, behind neo-Nazis. So what she says is entirely too plausible to be immediately perceived as hyperbole mocking Horowitz.

Then, as she goes on, concluding with literally endorsing genocide:

Horowitz: "... I have had this experience at UC Santa Barbara, where there were 50 members of the Muslim Students Association sitting right in the rows there. And throughout my hour talk I kept asking them, will you condemn Hizbollah and Hamas. And none of them would. And then when the question period came, the president of the Muslim Students Association was the first person to ask a question. And I said, 'Before you start, will you condemn Hizbollah?' And he said, 'Well, that question is too complicated for a yes or no answer.' So I said, 'Okay, I'll put it to you this way. I am a Jew. The head of Hizbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn't have to hunt us down globally. For it or Against it?

MSA member: For it.

Horowitz: Thank you. Thank you for coming and showing everybody what's here.

The transcript doesn't reflect just how tense the moment is. Horowitz is speaking conversationally in the leadup, but for the final question, he leans forward and says "For it or against it?" loudly, forcefully, almost accusingly.

Then there's a pause, and it's clear that Horowitz has ended his narrative and is not repeating the question he asked at the other campus, but wants an answer from the young woman before him now. She pauses, then leans forward into the microphone and says those two words.

But back to the background. After the first "thank you," there is a brief moment of applause -- no more than five claps. But the rest, silence.

Here is a young woman, claiming to represent the Muslim Student Alliance on her campus, who has announced a gathering of the Hitler Youth and spoken in favor of killing every single Jew in the world, and there is no reaction -- just that one individual who appears to be applauding Horowitz, but quickly stops when he or she realizes that no one else will join in.

It's often cited that the percentage of extremists in Islam is very small -- it's impossible to measure, but one percent is usually the number cited. The vast majority of Muslims are described as peaceful.

But that tiny percentage dominates the faith. The vast majority is a silent majority that is content to remain silent.

In the assault on Vilks, only a few Muslims attack. The vast majority does not. Instead, they cheer them on, they take pictures for posterity, or they do nothing. Given the chance to confront the radicals among them, or at least distance themselves from the extremists, they do not.

In the Horowitz case, perhaps it's simply good manners that keeps the rest of the audience from reacting to her Hitler Youth reference and her endorsing genocide (which casts serious doubt to the "ironic" explanation for the reference), but I don't think so. I've been to quite a few gatherings like that (but none quite so intense -- I once challenged Dick Gregory when he came to my school, and he shrugged me off like the somewhat callow youth I was), and that kind of silence is extremely rare. There's usually some murmur of conversation, occasions of applause or laughter, and whatnot. The kind of silence in that three and a half minutes is very rare, especially given the "red meat" being tossed around that is intended to provoke audience reaction.

I'll go along with the argument that the vast majority of Muslims are not radicals, not extremists, not terrorists. But the vast majority of that vast majority is perfectly content to allow their faith to be "hijacked" by those extremists. They are willing to allow those extremists to commit their atrocities in the name of their common faith. They will not challenge the radicals in their midst, and -- if caught unguarded, like in the assault against Vilks -- will even cheer it on and celebrate it.

That is the fundamental problem at the core of Islam. Not the radicals that can find inspiration for their atrocities, but the culture and mindset that has the vast majority tolerating and supporting them.

Islam needs a Reformation. It needs its own Martin Luthers and other courageous people to step forward and demand changes in the nature of their faith.

Unfortunately, there are major obstacles in that coming about. For one, would-be reformers within Islam tend to get identified and killed fairly quickly. For another, the Christian reformers had a nice, convenient target with the Pope and the monolithic nature of the Catholic Church. There is no similar power structure within Islam; there is no single authority to rebel against, no single leader to identify and villainize, no single doctrine to reject.

And in the meantime, the graveyards continue to fill with the bodies of those who "insulted" Islam. It's some slight, cynical comfort that the majority of those killed by Muslim extremists are their fellow Muslims.

Judaism and Christianity both had their aggressive, expansionist periods, but both outgrew them. Islam, on the other hand, is still in the middle of that adolescent phase. To steal a quote from one of my favorite movies that fits so well, "Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count."

Islam's teen-angst bullshit has a huge body count, and it's constantly rising.


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Comments (51)

Two points, Mr Tea.<p... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Two points, Mr Tea.

And, before it's pointed out, these are tangential, so please, no "you missed the point!" comments.

First, what's up with Horowitz answering a question with another question? Her initial question was a perfectly valid one -- why should she be asked if she would reject or support Hamas before being given an answer? Horowitz never does answer her. He's a hack.

Secondly, some on the West Bank might question, as they watch "settlements" being built on land that had belonged to Arabs since about 650 CE or so, whether "Judaism" had really outgrown its aggressive, expansionist phase. Or whether Christianity had, since the US is widely viewed there as a successor imperialist power to the United "White Man's Burden" Kingdom.

Admittedly tangential, and in no way said to condone advocacy of genocide or the hysteria surrounding the cartoon "controversy." You are right that Islam needs its own Reformation. It also could use its own Enlightenment and its own Industrial Revolution.

Jay, When she ta... (Below threshold)
Sean Sorrentino:

When she talks about Hitler Youth Week, I believe she says, "I was reading your literature, I found that much more interesting that the talk, and I found some interesting things about the MSA which is an organization that is very active on campus and is is hosting our annual 'Hitler Youth Week.' You should come out to those events."

She is referring to a week long event of MSA's that David refers to as Hitler Youth Week. I believe that she is quoting Horowitz here and that her co-religionists know that.

The sad thing is that despite all she tries to do to ridicule the idea of Muslims as Hitler desciples, judging by their behavior, they pretty much are exactly that.

I thought his answer was pr... (Below threshold)

I thought his answer was pretty clear. She seemed to believe that since her organization had to do their own fundraising, they were unconnected to terrorist groups. His point was that they promote and support them.

Kind of like a self funded PR firm.

"First, what's up with H... (Below threshold)

"First, what's up with Horowitz answering a question with another question?"

Damn - how RUDE!

"Admittedly tangential, and in no way said to condone advocacy of genocide or the hysteria surrounding the cartoon "controversy.""

Then why, in St. Vidicon's holy name, are you bringing it up in the first place? Just as a distraction?

Look! Over there - something shiny! Let's all go look at it, and ignore the ticking nuke that's going to leave a 5-mile crater. Far more important that we argue about the shiny than discuss whether this ticking nuke is ever going to go off.

Bruce, I've got to admit that I don't understand the reasoning behind your posts at times. Maybe it's some game you're playing, poking at people you don't like because you want to elicit a gratifying response - but you don't seem to be attempting to convince or persuade.

Maybe it's to stoke your own sense of superiority or self-righteousness, or serve as a 'Devil's Advocate' sort - but any more I read your posts, downcheck them, and don't usually even bother responding. This one of yours, which even YOU admit is tangential to the subject is an excellent case in point.

Just, simply, why did you bother?

Horowitz does not need to... (Below threshold)

Horowitz does not need to say anything.
She is garbed like a Taliban army jacket and scarf.
proudly invites people to Hitler Youth week activities.
You know where they stand.

Muslim Brotherhood motto

"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope"
Which started many of the MSA.

She is for gathering of Jews in one place so that they can killed.

End of story Bruce

Since the cartoon was published in 2005 there have been riots, death threats and a break in of the artist home. The last one before these was January 2010. More than 100 people have died since 2005 directly related to this and that across multiple countries.

Simple if one Tea party member acted and said the same thing of as thousand of Muslims have done what would your reaction be BH?

"Her initial question wa... (Below threshold)

"Her initial question was a perfectly valid one -- why should she be asked if she would reject or support Hamas before being given an answer? Horowitz never does answer her. He's a hack."

Fustian is right. Horowitz let her answer her own question. It's those like her in the MSA that lend comfort and support to those who would round up the Jews and kill them, but they'll settle for any westerner in the meantime.

I went to the site Rick linked to and in the comments someone who claimed to be one of her professors said she was an intelligent, moral and peace loving person and that Horowitz manipulated her into admitting to being something she wasn't.

She answered forcefully and with conviction, "For it." That says it all.

THAT is the link between her and terrorist organizations.

Furthermore, I always find it interesting that Muslim women here in the west who support those who, once they gained control of any western area, would first force them out of school, drape them in a burka, take the car keys and not let them out without a male family member escort. They would quickly find they would lose all their freedoms. It's as if they're begging to be subjugated.

Oh, Bruce. So Israel is bui... (Below threshold)

Oh, Bruce. So Israel is building homes in one part of Jerusalem. How do you reconcile that tiny geographic footprint with them leaving much of the West Bank and the entirety of the Gaza Strip?

Some great bargainers they are. Thousands of square miles for a few apartment buildings.


How about a different take ... (Below threshold)

How about a different take on the "what if it was Bush" game. Let suppose for a minute that radical christians (talk about a tiny minority) beat the crap out of the piss christ "artist"

Looking at the second video... (Below threshold)

Looking at the second video, my first thought was: "The security needs to invest in tasers."

I think decided to answer t... (Below threshold)

I think decided to answer this old riddle, commented by me in Rick's post, (and I think has more than one answer) with his comment above:

With potent, flowery words speak I,
Of something common, vulgar, dry;
I weave webs of pedantic prose,
In effort to befuddle those,
Who think I wile time away,
In lofty things, above all day
The common kind that linger where
Monadic beings live and fare;
Practical I may not be,
But life, it seems, is full of me!

Sorry, I left out the "Bruc... (Below threshold)

Sorry, I left out the "Bruce" as the third word in my comment above. Hope the caffeine kicks in soon. Been up since 2 AM.

Excellent point, JT, but also, not just what is in the background of these videos, but the comment sections (as alluded by Oyster) where the UCSD vid was posted, show more than one apologist ready to jump in at the defense of this smug young racist with a new name. One is a grad student, who can be found quoted in February of this year inflaming the campus after the planted noose incident. These folks, who are NOT islamic, are equally driven to attack our very vital core, revise our history to meet their own agendas of a warped world view, and have no clue that they may well be the first to be slaughtered in the jihad to come they are working for.

On the Islam and Nazi link.... (Below threshold)

On the Islam and Nazi link. I watched a documentary on WW2 where they discussed Islamic SS troops. They were described as fanatical and German SS troops were shocked at their barbarity.

Bruce, at the risk of annoy... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Bruce, at the risk of annoying Jay, I have a few questions regarding your initial comment. I admit that I do not know the answers, so I am looking for good, objective, sources, and I presume you can help me out there:

You said the land on the West Bank has belonged to Arabs since "650 CE or so". Since that predates the Crusades, and even Islam, that covers a stretch where all kinds of wars were fought over that land. What is the provenance for ownership in that situation, especially given that between 70 AD and mmmmmmm, 1100 AD, most people living in the Middle East were nomadic as a matter of necessity? After all, even experts in law have disputed who owned parts of Jerusalem, seeing how many different empires and armies over the years have dissolved contracts and destroyed deeds and titles. The idea of a paper trail proving linear ownership is a fairy tale at best for the region.

Next, your comment about Islam needing an Industrial Revolution reminded me that around the Tenth Century AD, Islam was pretty much cutting edge technology, whether one considers metallurgy, medicine, or international trade logistics. But by 1700, there is no evidence of such pre-eminence in the Islamic countries, no major universities, no advances in medicine (declines actually, when hygiene and surgical techniques are considered) or law (while Sharia continues to evolve, its basic tenets have actually atrophied, given the failure to provide equal access to counsel and the lack of civil judicial remedy to corruption and fraud). Even the impressive fleets of trading ships essentially disappeared between 1600 and 1950.

What happened, do you think? I have never yet found someone who could adequately explain that mystery.

Islam needs a Reformatio... (Below threshold)

Islam needs a Reformation. It needs its own Martin Luthers and other courageous people to step forward and demand changes in the nature of their faith.

Indeed, reform. However, Luther's cry of "Ad Fontes! - Back to the Source!" led him to Romans 1:17, "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, 'The one who is righteous will live by faith.'" This was the wellspring that led to the Reformation: that God, not man, is the Justifier of faith, stripping the Pope of his authority in that realm.

But, a Muslim on the same journey to the source finds his destination to be Sura 2, verse 191 (and many similar verses), "And kill them (the unbelievers) wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers." (emphasis mine)

So, the question remains: From where would such a reformation come? Now you can clearly see the difficulty, and why many -- myself included -- do not see an Islam reformation as even a possibility. Their source, the Koran, compels them to violence and the acceptance of it as a means to an ultimate end.

Bruce, at the risk of an... (Below threshold)

Bruce, at the risk of annoying Jay...

Say what?

DJ, when have I EVER expressed annoyance at a colleague commenting?

Take that back immediately, or I WILL be annoyed!


Of course, DJ, I should poi... (Below threshold)

Of course, DJ, I should point out that the "penalty" for annoying me is precisely the same as the "penalty" for not annoying me -- a whole lotta nothing.


a whole lotta nothing?... (Below threshold)

a whole lotta nothing?

You threatened to baninate me!

Bruce,Take your bh... (Below threshold)


Take your bhurka off and be an American for once in your misbegotten life!

I'm trying to be culturifie... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

I'm trying to be culturified and refined-like, Jay.

"Whole lotta nothing" - sounds like my last poker hand, and the one before that, and the one before that, and ...

Oyster, the fact that you c... (Below threshold)

Oyster, the fact that you can complain about the threat shows how hollow it was.

And please... it's "banninate." Double "n," please.


In other words, Oyster, it ... (Below threshold)

In other words, Oyster, it was like the time I turned you into a newt.


Jay Tea turned you into a n... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea turned you into a newt? I'm glad you got better.

J - Turned him into a newt?... (Below threshold)

J - Turned him into a newt? Ahh, he must have gotten better.

But, back to Bruce's first (to this post) comment: What, pray tell, is the meaning behind placing Judaism in quotes? It was a bit obvious considering no other religion was demarcated so.

Hm. GMTA, Eric.... (Below threshold)

Hm. GMTA, Eric.

So Bruce, did you wash your... (Below threshold)

So Bruce, did you wash your feet before you posted here? Cause something stinks.

"Dying in the way of All... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

"Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope"

Happy to help with this.

Don't bother asking Bruce q... (Below threshold)

Don't bother asking Bruce questions. He, like Lee Ward, likes to come in, throw some shit against the wall and leave.

If the questions aren't covered in the 'talking points', they don't have a response.

I'm so sick of muslims push... (Below threshold)

I'm so sick of muslims pushing their backwards lifestyle on civil nation. Outlaw koran! Outlaw teaching of koran cult that breaks civil law of usa and canada

Oyster,He'll unleash... (Below threshold)

He'll unleash Trogdor on you, in place of the dreaded bannination.

"It was about when Musli... (Below threshold)

"It was about when Muslims and Muhammad are represented in homosexual situations," said Anders Montelius, a 23-year-old student who attended the lecture.

I will take it that you support showing gay porn to people who have no inclination to watch it. Especially if it crosses cultural lines such as religious figures. You are so SMART! HAHAHA

Next time i'm at a mega church I will show them a gay porno depicting Jesus having scat sex with Judus. I wonder what the reaction will be? Hmmmm....

Full of crap as always Jay Tea. But it's nice to know that you watch arab gay porn and do your best to preserve it where ever possible!

"In the assault on Vilks... (Below threshold)

"In the assault on Vilks, only a few Muslims attack. The vast majority does not. Instead, they cheer them on"

Just like 911....Bastards.

Oh, Bruce. So Israel is ... (Below threshold)

Oh, Bruce. So Israel is building homes in one part of Jerusalem. How do you reconcile that tiny geographic footprint with them leaving much of the West Bank and the entirety of the Gaza Strip?

Some great bargainers they are. Thousands of square miles for a few apartment buildings.

500,000 settlers is a few apartments to you? What are you? Fucking retarded?

"Or whether Christianity... (Below threshold)
Brutally Honest:

"Or whether Christianity had, since the US is widely viewed there as a successor imperialist power to the United "White Man's Burden" Kingdom.

Admittedly tangential"

Spoken like a complete idiot as usual!

Good job Bruce.

The problem is that Islam H... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The problem is that Islam HAS had its "Reformation" of sorts - and the effect has been the explosion of fundamentalism, jihadist "radicals" (who we label such to set them apart in our mind, although they are quite mainstream in at least the "muslim crescent" from Jordan to Pakistan - and Obama will not allow his Administration to use even that term), and the movement toward Sharia law.

In Saudi Arabia, for example, the religious police search the streets for evidence of failure to comply with orthodoxy, beating women who may accidentally expose an ankle or who take the chance to leave home alone to run to the market, or men who appear to have trimmed their facial hair even slightly.

In Iran, women who are raped are often convicted of adultery and stoned to death. And the list goes on, and on, and on.

Islam isn't some mere choice in the multicultural rainbow, as much as the America-hating leftists wish it were. It is barbarism, cruelty, blood lust, a death cult bent on world domination and destroying any one and any thing which stands in its way.

Until we can face that simple reality, we are destined to endure the murderous flailings of the barbarian horde, abetted by its apologists like Bruce Henry and Barack Obama.

Sorry to run out, Wizbanger... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Sorry to run out, Wizbangers. Some of us like to check the internet early, but then we gotta go to work.

I'm sorry to bother you, Mr lawson. please feel free to ignore my comments anytime you like.

Mr Tea, in regard to # 7, there have been settlements built all over the West Bank since 1967. I just mentioned these recent ones to place things in the present tense. The West Bank is slowly being swallowed.

Mr Drummond, you are mistaken about the timeline of history. Islam is usually dated as being founded in 632 CE with the flight to Medina. It wasn't long before Arabs conquered Palestine, and it has been Arab, predominantly, ever since. I could be off by 40-50 years, but it was way way before mmmmmm 1100 AD. The First Crusade arrived in the Holy Land in 1099. Look it up, Mr Drummond, then speak.

As for your question about what happened to Islamic competitiveness vis a vis Europe, might I suggest "Destiny Disturbed -- A Muslim Perspective on World History" by an Afghani author called Ansary. I found it in my local library, and I know it's available on Amazon.

I put "Judaism" in quotes to acknowledge the fact that many in the region equate "Judaism" with "Zionism." It's a false equation, but that's why I used quotes. No sarcasm was intended. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

And finally, Mr Gravitas Emeritus Addison, let me pull a Horowitz and ask you a question: If Muslims are such hopeless benighted barbarians, if Islam is inherently backward and hopelessly antidemocratic, What The Fuck was the whole "bringing democracy to Iraq" thing about? Why did we waste 4300 American lives and a trillion freaking dollars on a bunch of savages?

If Muslims are suc... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:
If Muslims are such hopeless benighted barbarians, if Islam is inherently backward and hopelessly antidemocratic, What The Fuck was the whole "bringing democracy to Iraq" thing about? Why did we waste 4300 American lives and a trillion freaking dollars on a bunch of savages?

Same reason missionaries work on cannibals and headhunters. Notice missionaries don't bother with Detroit.

I see Bruce's old duck-a... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

I see Bruce's old duck-and-lie is still his fave tactic.

First off, Boy Bruce, the first question was the provenance of your claim that the West Bank has been in continuous or predominantly Arab ownership since 650 AD. I suspect it's a claim you cannot possibly support with evidence, not least for the reasons I mentioned, so it's hardly surprising that you tried to change the subject. As for Islam and the Crusades, here's a bare-bones time-scale:


570 Big Mo born
610 Mo's first vision
622 Mo and the Muslims flee to Medina
630 M&Ms capture Mecca, establish Islam
632 Mo dies
650 First written Quran

[ therefore as of 650 Islam has not reached the West Bank nor most of the Middle East, it's still a regional sect and therefore I am right and you are wrong, Bruce - DJD]

710 Muslims invade Spain
732 Muslim invasion of Europe reaches its furthest point, defeated at Battle of Tours
1096 First Crusade begins
1099 Crusaders conquer Jerusalem. The Crusaders took Jerusalem for several reasons, but a big one was the slaughter of 3000 Christian pilgrims by the Muslims.


2010 Bruce demonstrates an appalling lack of education and intellectual curiosity

As to the second question, you seem to be suggesting that the Crusades destroyed the Islamic technological base and educational infrastructure. If that were so, however, why didn't the same thing happen to the Europeans, especially since the Muslims had leads in technology and governance? Why, if your claim was true, did the Renaissance and Reformation happen in Europe?

Your response was weak and ill-informed, Bruce, even by your own shallow standards.

But DJ, he is SO full of hi... (Below threshold)

But DJ, he is SO full of himself!

What are you, Mr Drummond, ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

What are you, Mr Drummond, ten years old?

"Therefore I am right and you are wrong." Really?

A quick glance at Wikipedia shows that Jerusalem surrendered to Muslim armies in 637 CE, only FIVE YEARS after the death of Mohammed. But I was wrong. it wasn't 650 CE, it was 13 years EARLIER. But what year was closer to 650? Is it 637? Or is it mmmmm 1100?

"As for the second question, you seem to be suggesting that the Crusades destroyed the Islamic technological base and educational infrastructure." I suggested NO SUCH THING. All I did was recommend a book! I offered no narrative of my own as to what happened to Muslim technological supremacy after the Crusades period.

You know, I'm not sure you're aware of this, but people can scroll back up and see what was actually written. Hell, Mr Drummond, you can, too! I suggest that next time you shoot your mouth off about what I "seem to be suggesting," you do so. Maybe you won't be embarrassed.

I know you're still pissed about being shown to be either ignorant or deceitful ( one or the other) in a previous article, Mr Drummond, but you should have let this one pass. Facts are facts, history is history, and Islam had indeed reached the West Bank and most of the rest of the Middle East by 650 CE. Anyone can look it up, dude. You didn't bother, and you stepped in it.

Your own link, Mr Drummond,... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Your own link, Mr Drummond, shows the Muslim armies taking the Fertile Crescent (Iraq), Egypt, Syria, and Palestine in the years 633-42.

Bruce has convinced ... him... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Bruce has convinced ... himself. Guess that means he doesn't plan to actually answer those pesky questions I posed, huh?

* shrug *

Is anyone surprised?

You see Bruce, just because... (Below threshold)
Not as stupid as Bruce:

You see Bruce, just because Mo and his M's took territory over the years, by 650 they had neither consolidated their territory nor moved beyond the walls of the major towns, especially with Mo having died and a bunch of mini-Mos fighting for the title (that whole Shia/Sunni thing, for example) . The area which is now the West Bank was largely unpopulated and therefore of no military value to the M's especially so soon after their initial campaigns. Ask a veteran to explain it to you son; you obviously have never served.

Yeah, you can read a couple lines, then you jump to all kinds of conclusions because you figure taking a few fortress towns is the same as winning over the population. Considering how you b & moan about Iraq and Afghanistan, you oughta know better, but I guess you can't help being Bruce.

Stop and think for a moment, you dolt, and consider why the publication of the Quran was significant to Islam. If and when that tiny 5-watt brani of yours kicks in, you'll understand why it proves me right.

But even if you can't get to that point, your arrogance doesn't come close to providing the support for your initial claim, that the lands belonged to Arabs all those years. As I said, so many wars and invasions have pretty much trashed that possibility, but you're the one who made the assertion so good luck not making an ass of yourself there.

The second question also remains open, but no one here really expects you to understand cultural decay, much less recognize its causes.

Well, you do have a point t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, you do have a point that the territory conquered wasn't immediately stabilized and proclaimed an Arab National Home between Jan 1, 650, and Dec 31, 650 , Mr Drummond. Got me there.

However, in the context of a blog comments section, the fact that the area was conquered by Muslim Arabs in 637, and then, one assumes, gradually took on an Arab/Islamic character over the next few generations, my assertion that it has been Arab since "650 CE or so" is close enough. If it was 750, 850, or 950, would that make a difference? I mean, to the Palestinians watching Israeli settlements being built on land they regard as their own?

Certainly, various petty princelings, satraps, and empires (like the Ottomans) have held political sway over Palestine since that time. But the area, despite your desperate nitpicking, has had an Arab character since the 7th or 8th Century. Certainly long before mmmmm 1100.

As to your second question, I recommended that book because it seemed to me to offer a pretty good explanation for exactly the question you asked. Whatever your opinion of my intellect, that's a good book. Informative, eye-opening, and highly readable.

Also, try "The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World," by Karen Armstrong.

Mr. Henry ~ You may notice,... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Mr. Henry ~ You may notice, if you are not completely blind to the truth, that Iraq is one of the few countries in the "crescent" which does not impose the harsh islamic rules on all citizens. Bush's plan may or may not succeed, but at least he tried to help the poor wretches into the 21st Century.

May I be so bold as to inquire if all property titles should be reverted to whatever tribe held the land in the 7th Century? Why not the 5th, or the 4th? Or would those inconvenience your spurious claims of Arab ownership?

How many times is the Dome of the Rock mentioned in islamic literature before 1950? When were there ever pilgrimages to it? It's a great example of architectural engineering for the time, without doubt - but of no apparent historical religious significance to muslims until Israel was formed. Curious, no?

Oh, General. Your analogies... (Below threshold)

Oh, General. Your analogies are full of fail.

He was giving a presentation on campus. Every single person was there of their own volition. No one was coerced to attend, no one was tricked into attending.

A better analogy would be going to a screening of "The Last Temptation Of Christ" at a church, and complaining about the nudity in the film.


Mr Addison, please try to f... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Mr Addison, please try to follow along. My point was not that I, personally, regard the West Bank as "Arab land," Or that you should regard it so. It was simply that the Arabs who have lived there for hundreds of years think so.

So, as they watch these settlements being built, as has been occurring since 1967, they question whether Judaism is past its "aggressive and expansionist phase," as Mr Tea so blithely put it.

Jesus, ya gotta explain everything over and over around here. Between Mr Drummond inventing out of thin air things that I "seem to be suggesting," and Mr Addison turning me, along with the President, into an "apologist" for Islamic terrorists, one might think that they are deliberately trying to argue with strawmen!

Mr. Henry, what the Arabs t... (Below threshold)

Mr. Henry, what the Arabs think so is certainly worth considering, it's hardly the only thing that matters.

The Arabs have managed to make most of their lands Judenrein over the last 60 years or so.

There are about 1.15 million Muslims currently living in Israel, under Israeli governance.

There are zero Jews living under Palestinian governance on the West Bank.

There are zero Jews living at all in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians have shown, by their words and deeds, that they believe in the "Jew-free" ideal put forth by Nazi Germany.

They aren't even interested in simply oppressing and persecuting them, like the Soviet Union. They want them gone, preferably dead.

In Israel, there are Palestinians holding office in the government.

Have I made my point yet?


Bruce, good morning. Despi... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Bruce, good morning. Despite our differences, I don't believe you could fairly accuse me of casting you as an apologist for terrorists. I do, however, challenge your claims and ask for evidence to support your positions. That's not to mean courtroom-level evidence, just give us a sense of why you say what you do, beyond your liking your own opinion. That was why I brought up the two questions I did, and here's where we are with those:

Q1. Ownership of the land is a key question, and we should be able to agree a controversial question. It's not just who paid money for a title, because that would imply that any government able to issue documents was ipso facto legitimate. Between 650 and today, even a cursory student of history would be aware that the region has been controlled by a range of powers and cultures, including but not limited to indigenous dwellers, nomads, the Holy Roman Empire, various Islamic Caliphs, Syria being contrary, Jews moving into/back to the region, the Ottomans, the British of course ... the list is long indeed. Even the last century or so is impossible to lay out cleanly. That means, by definition, that anyone laying claim to the land will have to do so on grounds that would raise eyebrows of any objective observer. So, with that in mind, let's go back your actual words in the first comment:

"land that had belonged to Arabs since about 650 CE"

That would be a bold statement for any specific location, but I would have to say it's impossible to support for the lands in and near present-day Israel (I say it that way in the knowledge that different people dispute where Israel's borders should be). You also colored your statement with the claim about "Judaism" having an "aggressive, expansionist phase", which is an odd statement given the region's history. 'Judaism' is no more appropriate a word in that context than would be 'Jedi-ism', you seem to mean 'Zionism', although that really does not apply here either. Zionism is relevant in three contexts - the original invasion of Canaan by order of God to Joshua, the hope of the restoration of Israel during the Diaspora (which can hardly be called either 'aggressive or 'expansionist'), or the political maneuvers which brought about the Balfour Declaration and British promise of a Jewish state. And even that could hardly be called aggressive or expansionist in the context of how it was enacted - the Holocaust was a horrific event, and the migration of Jews over half a century to Israel a natural reaction to thousands of years of progroms and persecution.

The War of 1967 is most likely what you mean. If so, you would do well not to press such a weak claim, as most of us here are too familiar with the intentions of Nasser and other Muslim leaders to be fooled into calling the Six-Day War a war of Israeli aggression. If a man attacks you with a knife, it's reasonable to take it away from him, and when a military force uses territory to stage an invasion on your country, you're in your rights to take away that land for your own defense. That's not to say I would cede all land to Israel for whatever any Israeli felt like doing, but it does mean that claims the land belongs to 'Arabs' is weak indeed.

With regard to Q2, yes you referred to a book, which I will try to find and read. But since this discussion is in the prseent, perhaps you could explain your own understanding. When I raised that question, I was not trying to attack you but find out what you thought of the matter, because when a culture gains technological superiority over its rivals and enjoys stability and general welfare for its people, that culture tends to continue to thrive, using its head start to gain additional advantage. The Muslim world, however, essentially imploded on itself. I was wondering what you considered the likely cause, in your own words.

In conclusion, from the responses of other readers, in this thread and other current threads, it would appear that I am not guilty of making anything out of thin air, but merely responding to your words in the context and nominal sense that everyone else here sees. In other words, you are creating your own accusations against yourself.

Well, I appreciate the more... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, I appreciate the more moderate tone, Mr Drummond. I think it would do us both good to put aside our evident animosity and try to start out on another foot, as it were.

It was Mr Addison who used the phrase "apologists...for the barbarian horde...like Bruce Henry and Barack Obama." Not you. But it was you who told me that I "seemed to be suggesting that it was the Crusades that destroyed Islam's technological superiority," when I made no such suggestion. (I have NO IDEA where you got that; can you clue me in?) I suggested that excellent book because such a complex subject, I felt, would be better addressed by a scholar who has made an effort to explain it at length, and in detail. If I attempt it, I would pretty much be paraphrasing, poorly I'm afraid. You said it was something you had often wondered about, as had I, and I found the book an invaluable tool in my admittedly informal study of the subject.

It was Mr Tea, not I, who first used the phrase about Judaism and Christianity having an "aggressive, expansionist phase," which according to him, both have outgrown. My ENTIRE POINT, in my admittedly tangential comment, was that SOME MAY DISAGREE that Judaism and Christianity have outgrown that phase. Who would those SOME PEOPLE be? Why, perhaps the Palestinians! You know, the people whose ancestors lived on the West Bank for hundreds of years before Zionism was invented.

Now, I DO have to admit that I should have said, way back in comment # 1, "...as they watch settlements being built on land THAT IS REGARDED BY PALESTINIANS as having belonged to Arabs since 650 CE or so." I guess maybe that could have avoided this whole pissing match, huh? But, given the propensity around here to mistake observation for advocacy, I kinda doubt it.

Finally, a minor quibble. The Holy Roman Empire never exercised control of Palestine. I'm thinking you meant the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire, right?

And finally finally, to your point about successful cultures continuing to thrive, I think you are mistaken there. The Chinese had a similar technological superiority over the West, and lost it during roughly the same period that Islam did. There were a myriad of factors that led to the relative success of the West as opposed to the decline of the other two world cultures. Whole libraries could be filled with treatises on the subject.

In addition to the two book... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

In addition to the two books I suggested, try "The Case For Israel," by Alan Dershowitz, "Islam: a Brief History" by Karen Armstrong, "Arab and Jew," I forget the author, "How Israel Lost," ditto, and three excellent ones by James Reston, Jr.:
"Warriors of God," about Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, "Dogs of God," about the Reconquista and the Inquisition, and "Defenders of the Faith," about Suleyman the Magnificent and Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire.

Among others. I'm curently reading "The Israeli-Palestine Conflict: A Beginner's Guide," written by two co-authors, one a Palestinian Arab, one an Israeli Jew.

Mr. Henry, what the Arab... (Below threshold)

Mr. Henry, what the Arabs think so is certainly worth considering, it's hardly the only thing that matters.

The Arabs have managed to make most of their lands Judenrein over the last 60 years or so.

There are about 1.15 million Muslims currently living in Israel, under Israeli governance.

There are zero Jews living under Palestinian governance on the West Bank.

There are zero Jews living at all in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians have shown, by their words and deeds, that they believe in the "Jew-free" ideal put forth by Nazi Germany.

They aren't even interested in simply oppressing and persecuting them, like the Soviet Union. They want them gone, preferably dead.

In Israel, there are Palestinians holding office in the government.

Have I made my point yet?


"NO, THEY ARE NAZIS!" - Jay Tea's dumbass point.






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Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

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