Cross-Atlantic Islamophobia

Are we facing a Sharia take-over?

The following two stories struck me given both the juxtaposition of the fear of Islamic takeovers (or “Islamization”) of the west and the Tea Party connection.

First, from CNN:  Angle: Two American cities under Sharia law.

Second, from the GuardianEnglish Defence League forges links with America’s Tea Party.

The Angle story is mostly just another of her vacuous campaign assertions.  It ends up that one of the cities she claims to be under Sharia law (Frankfort, TX) is a bit of real estate that is populated by a church and a cemetery and was annexed by Dallas 35 years ago.  Further, one suspects that Angle’s evidence that Dearborn is under Sharia is because, well, lots of persons of Muslim persuasion live there.  It is shameful (and unempirical) for candidates to make such assertions, especially because it is fundamentally ethno-religious based fear mongering.

The story from the Guardian is actually more disturbing as it connects some Tea Party-linked American politicos with a European nationalist rightwing group, the English Defence League (EDL).

Now, I use the phrase “Tea Party-linked” rather deliberately, as it is unfair and inaccurate to make any blanket statements about the Tea Party movement, which is a decentralized, amorphous, and largely leaderless (certainly in a national sense) confederation of actors.

However, I think it is fully fair to note that there is a faction of that movement that clearly are attempting to replicate/import the reactionary nationalism that is evidence in some of the darker corners of European politics.*

The league has also developed links with Pamela Geller, who was influential in the protests against plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero. Geller, darling of the Tea Party’s growing anti-Islamic wing, is advocating an alliance with the EDL. The executive director of the Stop Islamisation of America organisation, she recently met EDL leaders Rin New York and has defended the group’s actions, despite a recent violent march in Bradford.

Geller, who denies being anti-Muslim, said in one of her blogs: “I share the EDL’s goals… We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamisation of the west.”

[…]

Devin Burghart, vice-president of the Kansas-based Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, said: “Geller is acting as the bridge between the EDL and the Tea Party. She plays an important role in bringing Islamophobia into the Tea Party. Her stature has increased substantially inside the Tea Party ranks after the Ground Zero mosque controversy. She has gained a lot of credibility with that stuff.”

One might argue that we are talking about a fairly small number of people here with limited influence.  However, people like Geller have been regular staples on Fox News Channel in recent months and we also talking about major party candidates** for office peddling some of these notions.

Further, as has been noted here at OTB on several occasions, there is a broader appetite for Islamophobia is so,me segments of US politics and society that has mainstream elements.

Some examples:

And to quote Doug Mataconis:

However, as I’ve been saying for more than a month now, when you see that these anti-mosque protests have spread beyond the former Burlington Coat Factory to Staten Island, Florida, California, Wisconsin, and to Tennessee, where the site of a future mosque was recently the target of an arson attack. Clearly this is about more than property development in Lower Manhattan and, as the latest controversy over a so-called Pastor who plans to burn the Koran on September 11th demonstrates, is indicative of some rather disturbing beliefs that seem to be becoming more acceptable in American society.

Indeed, the whole furor over Park51 (of which Geller was a prime mover) illustrates the degree to which fear of Islam has mainstream political traction. As does the continued presence of birtherism in mainstream electoral politics (the latest example: here).

In conclusion I will say the following.  I understand the need to be vigilant about radical Islamist recruitment in non-Islamic countries like the US and the UK.  However, how one approaches the issue matters.  For one thing, blanket statements about Sharia (like those made by Angle) are unnecessarily alarmist with the add bonus of being wrong.   Second, there is a difference between law enforcement/societal vigilance against the formation of violent groups (a problem not limited to radical Islam) and the notion that Islam or Sharia is going to take over the UK or the US.  That is just fear and paranoia outright and worse than the red scares of the Cold War era when people were fearful of Communist taking over.  While that fear was always overblown by several quanta, at least in that case we had examples of mass-level implementation of  such policies in modern, western societies.  There is no such example regarding Sharia, nor is there going to be.  We are not fighting an existential war that threatens the basis of our society.  Radical Islamic violence is a real threat that has to be taken seriously, but it needs to be understood in proper portion to reality and the actual nature of the threat at hand.

Put more simply, and in two bullet points:

1.  As I constantly note:  proper policy requires a proper diagnosis of a given problem.

2.  Vigilance against xenophobic, hypernationalist politics is a worthy goal in and of itself.

Update: More on Geller from the NYT.

*Along the lines of that side of European politics on this topic, see James Joyner’s post from last month:  .  James’ point in the post was that regardless of what one might say about Islamophobia in the US, that there are segments of European society where it is much worse.  This was pointed out as a means of trying to put the US situation in broader perspective.  What should be disturbing, however, is that some people in the US are trying to import European hypernationalism to the US.

See also, LGF:  English Defense League Riots in Britain.

**For example, along with the Angle assertions above, the Guardian piece cites California State Senate candidate (District 26) Rabbi Nachum Shifren (which granted, is hardly a major candidate, but is still a nominee of a major party).  Additionally, we have had the Lt. Governor of Tennessee (Ron Ramsey) musing as to whether the First Amendment applies to Muslims (and also proffering the fear of a Sharia takeover) and the race between Rick Lazio and Carl Palladino in the NY GOP primary over who would be tougher on the Park51 development.

It should be noted that Ramsey lost the nomination to run as the Republican candidate for governor in TN, although he was the sitting Lt. Gov. at the time he made the comments in question.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Islam, Religion, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. This post is mostly BS with poorly sourced allegations of hatred and anti-Muslim bigotry.

    It’s gated, but read it when you get the chance. You’ll learn something, and that’s saying a lot in your case: ‘The Mosque and the Mythical Backlash’.

  2. So, the EDL isn’t a hypernationalist organization, you agree with Angle that there are two cities in the US under the control of Sharia and you think that Koran burning, asserting that Islam might not be protected by the first amendment and protesting the building of Mosques in various places because they are, well, Mosques are all example of people who like Islam?

    I use the term “Islamophobia” quite deliberately: a phobia is an irrational fear of something. I would argue, have argued and will continue to argue that the things cited above are Islamophobic.

    The first usages, btw, of the words “hatred” and “bigotry” were by you, not me nor of anyone I quoted. I didn’t right about “backlash” against Muslims (which is the topic of the article you cite).

  3. Brummagem Joe says:

    Americaneocon says:
    Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 14:51
    “This post is mostly BS with poorly sourced allegations of hatred and anti-Muslim bigotry”

    Really? Poorly sourced? There are about nine of them. Are they all inventions?

  4. One partial correction to my comment: one of the headlines I linked did use the word “hating” which is derived from the same word as “hatred”.

  5. nevrdull says:

    “This post is mostly BS with poorly sourced allegations of hatred and anti-Muslim bigotry”
    and of course you offer plenty evidence to support your argument..

  6. Anthony says:

    Speaking as a Brit, if any factions of the Tea Party movement are looking to open contacts with the EDL, they either don’t know what they’re getting into or they are not very wholesome people. The EDL – which is a very small movement that has nevertheless received quite a lot of publicity by virtue of the fact that its demonstrations almost always end in violence (and counter-demonstrations by the communist-dominated Unite Against Fascism) – sells itself as representing grassroots opposition to the encroachment of political Islamism in England, particularly in the urban areas of the North and the Midlands, but in reality it’s basically a convenient umbrella for general purpose racism. Most of the key figures involved in it occupy a shadowy territory inhabited by people who think the BNP is too moderate and associates of continental neo-fascist/neo-Nazi groups. The EDL is not representative of mainstream British conservatism (including very conservatisve strains of mainstream British conservatism) and nobody involved in Anglo-American conservatism should welcome this. Of course, as was mentioned in the original post, the Tea Party movement is not particularly homogenous or monolithic, so one probably needs to be a bit ginger about over-playing the significance of this. But it’s still worrying.

  7. @Anthony: thanks for the comment, which well illustrates a major reason why I wrote the post in the first place.

  8. narciso says:

    The refusal to acknowledge the formation of what Melanie Phillips has termed ‘Londonistan’ is what has shaped the rise of the EDL, particulatly in the areas where the 7/7 bombers arose out of. The whitewashing of the U London, particularly how Moazzem Begg helped radicalized Abdulmutalab, the open advocacy of Anjem Choudary, revealed last week, despite being banned

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    narciso says:
    Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 17:59
    “The refusal to acknowledge the formation of what Melanie Phillips has termed ‘Londonistan’”

    Now there’s another objective source. About as objective as Der Stuermer on the subject of the Jews.

  10. Juneau: says:

    Fight, fight, fight, I say to you, against the obvious evidence of Islamic intolerance – and then strive mightily to convince everyone that the institutionalized intolerance is against Muslims, instead of by Muslims.

    Good luck with persuading everyone that up is down and vice-versa.

  11. anjin-san says:

    > The EDL – which is a very small movement that has nevertheless received quite a lot of publicity by virtue of the fact that its demonstrations almost always end in violence

    Well, a lot of folks on the right are not making a secret of the fact that they would not mind seeing a little violence in the political equation here, so there seems to be some synergy with these folks…

  12. anjin-san says:

    Juneau! You did not finish your lecture about infrastructure. I am sure you could work actors in there somewhere too if you really applied yourself.

  13. Juneau: says:

    It wasn’t about infrastructure, and your intentional mischaracterization shows the futility of “showing” you much of anything.

  14. Juneau: says:

    @ anjin

    Well, a lot of folks on the right are not making a secret of the fact that they would not mind seeing a little violence in the political equation here,,,

    “A lot” huh? Like who? And your accusation of the right encouraging violence is a fabrication drawn from Kos and HuffPo, and those that get their “news” from such sources. As opposed to what we see from the left, which is actual violence, rather than your “hypothetical” violence from the right. ‘Course, that doesn’t count does it? I mean ACTUAL blood and bruises by SEIU and other leftist thugs can’t even come close to the danger of HYPOTHETICAL violence from the right. Right?

    Mirror? What’s a mirror (we don’t deal in self examination here at Prog central).

  15. Brummagem Joe says:

    anjin-san says:
    Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 18:51

    My advice, don’t get drawn into arguments with liars.

  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    ““A lot” huh? Like who?”

    Our resident wingnut Zelsdorf for one. I don’t know if I agree that there are a “lot” who are advocating violence (as “a lot” is hardly quantifiable and is only based on anecdotal evidence), but yes there are people on the right advocating violence against anyone who is on the left. Zelsdorf advocates for it about once a week.

    Whereas I have yet to see any liberal commentator here argue that conservatives should be physically assaulted.

    Of course all this is, like I said, anecdotal and really says nothing about the conservative movement as a whole.

  17. anjin-san says:

    > And your accusation of the right encouraging violence is a fabrication drawn from Kos and HuffPo,

    Since I never read either of those blogs, that is unlikely. At any rate, unless I have you confused with one of the other tea party/MENSA posters in here, you yourself have made a number of comments along the lines of “you folks are playing with fire” and “you have no idea what you are starting”.

  18. anjin-san says:

    And then of course we have the far right “gun carry” movement, which is either an attempt at intimidation via the implied threat of violence, or a massive case of male inadequacy over compensation. Most likely it is both…

  19. AllenS says:

    Speaking of bullet points, under your QUICK TAKES, shouldn’t the bullet points be placed at the start of the topic, instead of at the end of the topic? I’d like to see you clear that up before you school us on Islam.

  20. Speaking of bullet points, under your QUICK TAKES, shouldn’t the bullet points be placed at the start of the topic, instead of at the end of the topic? I’d like to see you clear that up before you school us on Islam.

    I must confess, this is one of the more amusing criticisms I think I have ever received.

    But just for the record: if I rearranged the post you would then address the substantive issues contained therein rather than being concerned with the post’s structure? Just checking.

  21. Brummagem Joe says:

    “I must confess, this is one of the more amusing criticisms I think I have ever received.”

    Steve, how about a lecture on the typographical importance of Islamofascism?

  22. AllenS says:

    You said: “I use the term “Islamophobia” quite deliberately: a phobia is an irrational fear of something.” Perhaps, people are merely expressing concern that there is at least an appearance that Islam is incompatible with western civilization.

  23. Perhaps, people are merely expressing concern that there is at least an appearance that Islam is incompatible with western civilization.

    1. A lot of this clearly goes beyond “concern.:

    2. The fact of the matter is that we have had millions of Muslims living and functioning in western society for decades (indeed, centuries). And there is the pesky example of Turkey.

  24. Juneau says:

    The left’s approach to sharia law and radical Islamic fundamentalism – “Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.” And there is the pesky problem of almost daily news stories to the contrary….

    On ABC’s “This Week” : Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary

    “…one day the flag of Islam will fly over the White House.”

    Imagine the furor if a televangelist went on a major TV network and told viewers Christianity would conquer the world and that the flag of Christianity would fly over the White House. As it is now, the libs have kittens every time a prominant public figure simply says the name “Jesus” , unless it is used as a swear word. Cries of “Theocracy!” resound if a Christian politician does anything less than try to hide their religious beliefs.

    Fortunately, most of America is not as inclined to “bend over” for Islam as you self-described intellectuals are. I guess it takes a really first-class University education to be able to close your eyes and plug your ears when reality intrudes upon your position.

  25. The left’s approach to sharia law and radical Islamic fundamentalism – “Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.” And there is the pesky problem of almost daily news stories to the contrary….

    While I can’t pretend to speak for “the left” or really anybody but myself, but I would not say that there is nothing to see and that we should ignore the issue. What I am trying to say is that it would be better to be realistic in our assessment of the problem. Wild claims about Sharia taking over US cities, for example, is neither accurate nor helpful.

  26. Steve Plunk says:

    Juneau, What bothers me about this debate is the double standard applied when it comes to Christianity and Islam. The Left screams loudly when Christians talk of reforming government or if they talk of traditional values like marriage but Islam is given a pass. The recent (what really matters) history of Islam is one of an embolden, intolerant religion being financed by oil money. A hundred years ago they couldn’t spread their religion but today they can. I just can’t figure out why so many step up as apologists for those who are fundamentally less tolerant than even the hardest bible thumper out there.

    If a church influenced a city to ban dancing we would all hear about the take over of Christian fundamentalists so the description of certain cities coming under the influence of Sharia law is not far fetched. The real question is whether either is compatible with our constitution and the enlightened ideas that have made America what it is (and no, I will not explain what those ideas are to those of you who will undoubtedly ask).

  27. mannning says:

    The Islam Question– A Summary View
    What do we do?

    1. There are many peaceful Muslims residing in over 65 Islamic nations and in just about every other nation in the world. Their population exceeds 1 billion people.
    2. There are also many violent Muslims whose number is not fully known.
    3. There are many wretched Muslims that will do almost anything for money, such as to pick up an AK-47 and fire at our troops for a daily pittence.
    4. Absent the possession in hand of a smoking AK-47 or an RPG, we cannot readily determine which Muslims are violent from those that are peaceful. Peaceful Muslims have been of little help in identifying the really bad ones.
    5. Some Muslims have been are still performing and planning to perform acts of terrorism and death on US citizens.
    6. For the fundamentalist Muslims there is a duty to perform—Jihad. This segment of Muslims is not small, but estimates of their number are not reliable, seemingly ranging from a few hundred to many thousands. This is cause for concern.
    7. For those Muslims that promote the idea of a new caliphate, there is a plan of action to use a stealth Jihad against their target nations, and eventually to take those nation over in the name of Allah. This segment of Muslims is not small either, but there is no definitive number to be had.
    8. There is no way to determine by observation or inquiry which US Muslims are actually serving Allah first and foremost, and only secondarily at best, America, from those who have become Americans through and through, and do not ascribe to the radical fundamentalist tenets of Islam, and hence are no threat to us.
    9. Some Muslims have become true citizens of the US and will fight and die for their adopted nation (or their nation of birth). Some Muslims are merely abiding their time until they are called to attack us. Some Muslims cannot wait for the word, and proceed to attack us on their own, or with encouragement from their leaders. Islamic related criminal events are covered up by the police quite often, and seemingly by the Pentagon as well.
    10. We in the US have a serious problem. We have an enemy that is among us, and they cannot be ferreted out by simple means. To wait for them to strike merely assures them that some of their attacks will strike home and kill our citizens. Their numbers in the US are large and growing: the estimates of their number ranges from 2 million to 6 million. The most definitive number is over 4 million that have signed up to the Interfaith Church, while our census reports only about 2 million. How many of these Muslims are “bad”? Why the discrepancy in numbers?
    11. It is already the case that our law enforcement organizations cannot begin to keep track of all the “bad Muslims” in the nation, not even a hundredth of them. We are therefore at risk every day for suicidal terrorist attacks from the bad Muslims.
    12. We can observe their actions in the EU and UK, and easily conclude that they are gradually imposing their will on the nations there. The latest French day where thousands of Muslims took over the streets of Paris is a sign of their strength and progress to plan.
    13. The number of mosques in the US is variously reported as about 1,200 to 10,000, if all small enclaves are counted along with those meeting in storefronts and other odd places. It has been reported that there are 100 mosques in New York City alone, and many more are planned. The GZM is merely the latest and most insensitive, publicized example.
    14. So what should we in America do about this Islam Question? I have read of answers that range from “nothing” to “expulsion of all Muslims.” All, meaning literally all that profess to be Muslims, including American blacks that belong to the Nation of Islam.
    15. Islam is ultimately inimmical with Western Christianity and its infidels, if one reads the Koran correctly.
    16. While calling someone an Islamophobe may satisfy some people’s taste for labeling, there are many of us that are reflecting on the facts as we know them, and as they surface, and are tryng to formulate a rational view and policy suggestions for the good of America in long term. If that is Islamophobia, then so be it.

  28. Juneau says:

    @ Steven Taylor

    Wild claims about Sharia taking over US cities, for example, is neither accurate nor helpful.

    Help me out here. Your approach seems to be along these lines; don’t assess a group based upon their goals and intentions, assess them by how successful they are at accomplishing those goals.

    This does not strike me as a prudent approach when the downside is a “camel’s nose under the tent” at best. I really don’t care how succesful the KKK is at recruiting young white males into their cause. I only care that they are reprehensible in what their goals are, and have no problem treating them accordingly, in all situations. Do you have this same approach to sharia law and fundamental Islam? And if not, why not?

  29. Your analogy would hold if there was suspicion by a significant part of the public that all white male are potentially part of the KKK and/or that white males aren’t compatible with western civilization because, after all, some of them might join the KKK or that we are at war with white males because some of them are in the KKK.

  30. Brummagem Joe says:

    “If that is Islamophobia, then so be it.”

    yes I can see that you have an entirely balanced and realistic view.

  31. Juneau says:

    @ Steve Plunk

    Juneau, What bothers me about this debate is the double standard applied when it comes to Christianity and Islam.

    Yes, I agree. The glaring hypocrisy and double-standard is absolutely foundational to the left’s approach seen around us today. Look at the young lady in Seattle ( Draw Muhammed day) who had to litteraly leave her life behind and go into hiding because of the threat from rabid Islamists. And not a word from the left or the lefty media. A US citizen, IN THE US, having to go into hiding from these freaks. But remember, there’s nothing to be concerned about.

    I can’t figure out if the left’s hypocrisy is because they’re basically cowards – and, not being able to admit that, are heavily invested in downplaying Islam’s stated goals for Western society (i.e. they’re harmless and that’s why we refuse to say anything negative, as opposed to being honest and saying, we’re terrified of offending them, and that’s why we refuse to say anything negative) – or if the left hates Jews and Christians so much that they feel some sneaking kindred with the Islamic fascists.

    Whatever the reason, there is no question that if a Christian or Jewish sect made any of the same type of statements or did the same things, we would have news stories about it for weeks if not months, highlighting the danger.

  32. Brummagem Joe says:

    The paranoid tendency is alive and well. Yesterday it was THE COMMUNISTS today it is THE ISLAMOFASCISTS

  33. Brummagem Joe says:

    “IN THE US, having to go into hiding from these freaks. But remember, there’s nothing to be concerned about.”

    There are thousands of women in hiding from their husbands but they are not however considered an existential threat to our society.”

  34. TMC says:

    Re Neil Hudelson:

    I find it hard to believe that anything other than a sock puppet would be, (if one is at all doing so), advocating violence on this blog. And I have seen what very much looked like sock puppet posting on another blog used as proof of violent tendencies in the environmental movement in a multi-national security firm’s newsletter to corporate and government clients.

    What flimsy fear-mongering nonsense it is to use anonymous postings by what could be sock puppets, or just bored trolls, as evidence of intrinsic menace in any facet of the political spectrum.

  35. Juneau says:

    @ Steven Taylor

    Your analogy would hold if there was suspicion by a significant part of the public that all white male are potentially part of the KKK

    Forgive me but this is nonsense. The numbers involved have nothing to do with the stated and supported goals of an organization. By your logic we should ignore and downplay any KKK violence because it would unfairly color people’s view of young white men with shaved heads. It is the left’s unreasoning fear of imagined reprisals against Muslims which is the driving force, not the “prejudice” faced by a muslim in American society.

  36. Juneau says:

    @ Brummagen

    There are thousands of women in hiding from their husbands but they are not however considered an existential threat to our society.”

    This has to be one of the most un-related, strained, and silly analogies that I have seen in quite a long while. Whatever you say… really.

  37. Steve Plunk says:

    Brummagem, Go to a Women’s Center at your local college and they would disagree with you.

    I suppose we should all be wary of any chapters of the He Man Woman Haters Club opening locally. Like Juneau says, strained.

  38. @Juneau

    I think you need to go back and examine you own analogizing.

  39. More to the point, this post doesn’t downplay any violence committed by radical Islamists. It would be nice if you would actually address what is being argued rather Ethan making up your own version of what I said.

  40. Juneau says:

    @ Steven

    Perhaps I DID misunderstand – there was no intentional attempt to put words in your mouth. Did you not make a statement supporting the idea that discussing the violence of the few might prejudice people’s view towards the many? This is why I extrapolated by saying this justification was equivalent to avoiding discussion of KKK violence because it would prejudice people’s view of white males with shaved heads. Sincerely, where am I in error in my extrapolation?

  41. @Juneau

    This post was about avoiding the use of using fear for political gain and avoiding the importation of European hypernationalism.

  42. Brummagem Joe says:

    Steve Plunk says:
    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 18:09
    “Brummagem, Go to a Women’s Center at your local college and they would disagree with you….I suppose we should all be wary of any chapters of the He Man Woman Haters Club opening locally.”

    Er…it’s the men who would be the existential threat. in this analogy of women hiding from their violent opposites….Jeez!….do you people need picture books?

  43. An Interested Party says:

    I can’t figure out if the right’s Islamophobia is because they’re basically cowards, which might be the cause of why they have cowered and crawled into dramatically overplaying the threat of Islam or, with the end of the Cold War, if the right has some kind of childish need to have an enemy, any enemy, to rally against and has demonized Islam into a global evil on par with the old Soviet Union…

  44. Steve Plunk says:

    AIP, Like Manning pointed out why is it Islamophobia merely to discuss the threat? The Left demonizes those who want to merely talk about it. There is a problem, there is friction between the world of Islam and the West. We didn’t talk about until Iran and it really became talked about after 9/11. The Right didn’t search out this enemy so quit pretending we did.

    Brummagem, Please send me said picture book ’cause I can’t figure out your points half the time. BTW, I don’t think it’s me.

  45. Steve Plunk says:

    Dr. Taylor, It seems you are using the fear of European hypernationalism linking with a few in the US as the grounds for your post. It hasn’t happened but is being speculated upon. I fear radical Islam is more to fear than the potential backlash against it. So far the backlash is far less deadly but when it catches up I’ll be more concerned. Today my concerns are elsewhere.

  46. mannning says:

    Some of you people act as if we are not at war with elements of Islam, and that our mounting casualties are to be ignored. Casualties that now include over 8,000 US citizens and soldiers dead and over 24,000 wounded. There is little reason to dicuss esoteric aspects of the situation between the US and elements of Islam if we do not have the fundamental issues well defined and largely agreed, yet this is nowhere under discussion.

    All I see are apologetics for Islamic behaviors, condemnation for those who want a clear threat analysis, and an abject refusal to tackle the fundamental conflicts between Christianity and Islam headon. How many more casualties must we suffer before the pattern becomes clear even to the leftmost biased of you lot? How many more thankless ventures to save Islamic groups from genocide, taking more casualties as we go, must we undertake, trying to prove our “even-handedness” to fanatics?

    The whole conversation takes on the atmosphere of a tea party in no-man’s land., and we know that won’t turn out well.since it ignores the dangers.that exist.

  47. AllenS says:

    In March 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli’s envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring “concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury”, the ambassador replied:

    It was written in their Qu’ran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every Muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once.

    This isn’t a new problem that we are having with Islam.

  48. Brummagem Joe says:

    mannning says:
    Monday, October 11, 2010 at 23:55
    “Some of you people act as if we are not at war with elements of Islam, and that our mounting casualties are to be ignored.”

    We’re at war with a relative minority of Islam and in most cases the reasons we’re at war wth them are entirely secular. For example, we’re occupying their countries or providing unlimited support to a country that is perceived to have stolen Arab land. Religion has little or nothing do with it. The only reason it regularly surfaces is the desire of neocons and Israeli apologists(who are both the same) to find some casus belli for escalating or continuing conflict.

  49. Brummagem Joe says:

    AllenS says:
    Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 08:22

    “This isn’t a new problem that we are having with Islam.”

    yes I believe Richard the Lionheart had the same problems

  50. mannning says:

    Exactly illustrates my point. Let’s go back over the Crusades, or whine and gnash our teeth over events long past, and simply ignore the present reality. Islam apologists seem to abound here. Tea Party in no-man’s land for sure. Not one word about the way ahead.

  51. An Interested Party says:

    “AIP, Like Manning pointed out why is it Islamophobia merely to discuss the threat?”

    Discussing the threat is one thing, but talking about American cities supposedly being under Sharia law or linking up with a far-right Islamophobic group in the UK are something else entirely…

    “Not one word about the way ahead.”

    Targeting those who commit violence and bloodshed in the name of an entire religion while forging cultural and other ties to moderate elements of Islam as well as ending the occupation of countries, perhaps…

  52. mannning says:

    Fine! Certainly hit on the criminals we can catch, but what about those that fly under the radar until they break out, as did Hanson at Fort HOOD. There was ample warning that we had a kook there, but nothing was done to prevent the executions.

    No one seems to really know muxh about the extent of Islamic fundamentalists in the US, and it is cold comfort to hear someone say, oh well, they are a relatively small group, Such a small group managed to cause 9/11 and 3,000 dead.

    I wonder again just how we will identify the terrorists in the moderate groups of Muslims, and how we can prevent the terrorist types from entering the country in the first place. There is no test that will do the job, and our moderate friends seem far too reluctant to help out by pointing a finger now and again. They do condemn the acts of terrorism, but somehow the culprits are not singled out by them. Then, too, since it has been demonstrated that moderate Muslims can be turned overnight into radicals, how do we cope with this?

    These are just a few of the current issues that need solutions, not pontifications.