Posts Tagged ‘Right Wing’


Reclaim Australia Dominated by a Christian Cult Leader

brothernalliahd

Many may be surprised to find out that fervent nationalist group Reclaim Australia is driven primarily by a religious cult, Catch the Fire Ministries, and its political arm, Rise Up Australia. And the group wanting to “Keep Australia Australian” is headed by a Sri Lankan evangelist, Daniel Nallian, who moved to Australia in 1997.

Stating this fact by no means implies recent immigrants can’t have legitimate views about traditional Australian values, and multi-culturalism, (of course they can and do), but this challenges the common perception of Reclaim Australia as an extreme racist movement. Whilst convenient to the apologists of Islam to label them this way, the strange evangelical focus and multicultural nature of half its members provides a different narrative, albeit not one which is necessarily more conducive for an intelligent discussion regarding the perceived clash of Islamic and Western values.

According to “Evangelist Daniel’s” bio, Hillsong founder, Frank Houston, unsuccessfully “prophesied” over him in Sri Lanka, prior to his conversion by a member of his rock band. The Assembly of God evangelist claims that Jesus has saved his life multiple times.

Three months after experiencing salvation he came across his first trial during the communal violence in Sri Lanka when he was confronted with a mob who wanted to kill his parents. But praise God, his prayer as a new Christian was answered when the mob left without touching anyone. That day he said, “Lord, I will serve you as long as I have breath”.

Daniel Nalliah moved to Saudi Arabia to attempt to convert Muslims to Christianity, and was miraculously saved by Jesus again.

Pastor Daniel and his family were most miraculously saved from death and torture twice. He says, “If not for Jesus being alive, we would not be alive”! His testimony has touched the hearts of many all over the world.

Well, it’s good to have Jesus on your side.

The President of Rise Up Australia also believes Jesus communicates with him personally, and has ordained him with a special mission from God.

 While in Saudi Arabia, following an encounter he had with Jesus on 21st July 1997 (from 3.40am to 6.00am), in obedience to this, he decided to move to Australia and set up a base known as Catch The Fire Ministries Inc.

Then, Jesus appeared to Daniel again.

Dear Family in Christ,

On April 9, 2000 at 5:00am while in Ethiopia the Lord Jesus Christ woke me from sleep and spoke about Australia. He very clearly told me, Son, if my people will rise up and be proactive, they will stop the disaster which is coming on the land. But if my people sit back, relax and be reactive they will pay a heavy price to take back their land spiritually. He then spoke to me through (The Bible) 2 Chr. 7:14 and said, Gather my people across the land together and tell them to humble themselves, repent, pray and seek my face in one accord, then I will heal their land. This was the start of RISE UP AUSTRALIA prayer meetings.

There’s nothing like an argument from authority. Besides the obvious charlatanism these comments indicate a providential connection with “the land” which only aboriginal Australians lay claim to. One suspects the nationalism espoused by this particular Sri Lankan born follower of Jesus is subsumed by a larger cause.

Daniel Nalliah has claimed the Black Saturday bushfires were the result of the Victorian Government decriminalising abortion. The Queensland floods were due to Kevin Rudd speaking against Israel. He ran for a Senate seat for Family First party and disseminated brochures asking people to pray for God to pull down “Satan’s strongholds” which included bottle shops, gambling houses, brothels, mosques, and Buddhist and Hindu temples.

Reclaim Australian oppose multiculturalism, not multi-ethnicity. They oppose the melting pot of various cultures, insisting we enforce puritan Christian values on the whole society. Opposing Islam, abortion, gay marriage, promiscuity, pornography, and seeking Judeo-Christian focussed education, and other values of the religious right.

Unfortunately, this group adds nothing to debate on Islam, and the appropriate government response to jihadism.

Opposing Islamism with equally extreme ideas only adds height to the walls shielding Islam from appropriate examination. The core beliefs in jihad, martyrdom, the dar al-Harb, subjugation of women, and enforced religious belief underpin the ideologies of terrorist groups. The religion provides the ideology, and social network, to sustain the hatred, warmongering and predisposition towards violence which disenfranchised young men find so attractive.

Reclaim Australia provides succour to liberals whose knee-jerk response to any criticism of Islam is to brand it racism. Note the following in an otherwise well written expose by Jeff Sparrow:

 Let’s leave aside the question of how you can be “against Islam” without “targeting Muslims” (rather like being against Judaism without targeting Jews, one would have thought).

Many people say bad things about Christianity without facing accusations of “targeting” white Christians. Could we be against Nazism in the 1930’s without “targeting Germans”? Conflating the race of Jews and cultural traditions of Muslims provides a shield of political correctness.

Although, Sparrow’s remark paled in comparison to the apologetics of Anne Aly, who views criticism of Islam as the same thing as criticism of Muslims, at the hands of “bigots” and “racists.” Way to give your culture a free pass.

Applying the “racist” label too often shuts down debate, and censures the freedom to discuss the very ideas central to the conflict. Accusations of “racism” are too easy, and too convenient, a blunt instrument used to disarm opposing arguments. They also divert attention away from what appears to be significant motives within groups like Reclaim Australia, which is the debate about religious values, and the culture wars.

Reclaim Australia consists of a front for evangelical Christians. Those goose-stepping for God, combining religious zeal with associating with hate groups, are only reclaiming an historical bigotry. Australia was once a Christian country but never the sort of hollering, miracle worshipping, tele-evangelistic freak show that the backers of Reclaim Australia imagine.

This isn’t our country they are reclaiming. We should disavow their ideas, but for the right reasons. Opposing one totalitarianism with another misses the point altogether, providing a contradictory argument which undermines the Secular argument, the argument for tolerance and pluralism, freedom of speech, and religious freedom without religious coercion, within the framework of an agreed set of human rights and values.


Ronald Reagan Taliban234
Is it the Left that fails to oppose Islamism, or Rightwing Imperialists?

It is commonly asserted that Leftists· refuse to criticise Islam (or theocratic Islam).[1] There are variations on this trope: some claim that Leftists refuse to criticise Islam due to a gratuitous sense of political-correctness;[2] some claim that Leftists are blind to the problems inherent within Islam;[3] and some claim that Leftists are actively supporting theocratic or militant Islam through some kind of insidious political collaboration.[4]

An examination of the relationship between the Right, the Left, and Islamism over the last half-century renders this narrative trivial at best, and deceitful at worst.

The Left and Islamism

It could be granted that due to the post-911 wave of hysterical anti-Muslim bigotry from Social-Conservatives throughout the West, many Leftists have found it difficult to navigate the line between valid criticism of Muslims and anti-Muslim bigotry; in consequence, arguably, many Leftists have been hesitant to condemn the views and behaviour of conservative and theocratic Muslims, for fear of also validating this xenophobia and bigotry.[5]

Ostensibly, however, this situation is extremely recent; over the course of the preceding half-century, the Left (and Left-influenced groups and regimes) actually consistently opposed and battled with militant and theocratic Islamic movements; here are some examples:
· The ʿArab-Socialist regime of Nasser (r. 1956-1970)—despite appealing to Egypt’s Islamic heritage on occasion—outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood movement in 1954 and suppressed the organisation henceforth.[6]
· Following the 1964 Revolution in Sudan, the popularity of the Communist Party—a progressive organisation which had promoted women’s rights over the prior decades,[7] etc.—prompted their Islamist opponents to launch a campaign of violence against the Sudanese Left.[8] Several years later (in 1969), another Leftist coup d’état attempted to reverse the conservative-Islamisation of Sudan and return the country towards socially-progressive socialism.[9]
· The Islamic-Socialist regime of Gaddafi in Libya (r. 1969-2011)—despite appealing to Islamic Tradition in their syncretic Socialist ideology—repressed and imprisoned Islamists.[10]
· The Socialist government of Afghanistan—which gained power in a bloody 1978 coup d’état and continued the modernisation attempts of the prior regime, including the introduction of women’s rights—repressed Islamists and fought against the theocratic Muslim ‘strugglers’ (mujāhidūn) of the region during the 1980s.[11]
· Following the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the emerging Islamist regime of Khumaini was threatened by the secular and progressive Left, which was brutally repressed through mass-executions;[12] in 1983, the Communist Party of Iran was officially outlawed.[13]
· In Lebanon, the Communist Party was perceived as a serious threat by Islamists, who perpetrated numerous mass-killings against their leftwing foes during the 1980s; in 1987, Twelver-Shiʿi clerics in Nabatiye issued fatāwā ordering their followers to kill all Communists in the region.[14]
· At present, one of the most notable groups militarily-resisting I.S.I.S in the Middle East is the socialist Kurdistan Workers’ Party.[15]
A pattern seems to emerge from this history – over the last half-century, the progressive Left (including syncretic quasi-leftwing regimes) has consistently opposed and fought theocratic and militant Islamic movements throughout the Muslim world.

The Right and Islamism
In stark juxtaposition to this recurring Leftist legacy of struggle, the imperialistic Right—particularly the U.S.A and the U.K—consistently supported militant and theocratic Islamic movements and regimes (diplomatically, logistically, and financially) throughout the last half-century, usually against the Left and secular-nationalism; here are some examples:
· 1953 – The C.I.A of the Republican Eisenhower administration attempted to collaborate with the theocratic ayatollah Kashani (an inspiration to Khumaini[16]) to overthrow the irreligious, secular-nationalist Prime Minister of Iran, Muhammad Musaddiq.[17][18]
· 1957 – In order to counter and undermine secular-nationalism and socialism in the Middle East, the Republican Eisenhower administration attempted to style King Saud as the ‘Islamic Pope’.[19] Saudi Arabia is one of the most theocratic Islamic states in history, and despite some occasional disagreements and tension, the U.S.A strongly supported Saudi Arabia from WW2 onwards.[20]
· 1965-1966 – The Democratic Johnson administration of the U.S.A—as well as the Liberal Menzies administration of Australia and the Labour Harold administration of the U.K—supported the coup d’état of Suharto and his conservative-Islamist alliance in Indonesia, which entailed the mass-killing of up to a million leftists, workers, peasants, students, and others by the Indonesian military and their militant Islamist allies;[21][22] the C.I.A. even advised these Muslim executioners to identify atheists and Communists as ‘unbelievers’ (kāfirūn), whose deaths were necessary to religiously purify Indonesia.[23]
· 1970 – The Conservative Heath administration of the U.K attempted to undermine the Marxist rebellion ongoing in Oman by spreading religious Islamic propaganda and air-dropping leaflets with slogans such as: “The Hand of God Destroys Communism.”[24]
· 1970-1981 – Successive Republican and Democratic administrations of the U.S.A (from Nixon to Reagan) heavily supported the Islamist regime of Sadat in Egypt, which introduced Islamic Law (s̠arīʿah) into Egyptian state law and the national constitution[25] and encouraged Islamist groups (such as the Muslim Brotherhood) vis-à-vis the secular-nationalism and socialism predominating in the country.[26]
· 1977-1988 – The Pakistani general Muhammad Ziyaʾ al-Haqq—an emphatically pious Muslim—seized power in a coups d’état and undertook a policy of conservative-Islamisation in Pakistan, including the implementation of Islamic Law (s̠arīʿah);[27] he was extensively and enthusiastically supported by U.S-Republican Reagan[28] and British-Conservative Thatcher.[29]
· 1980s – The Republican Reagan administration of the U.S.A and the Conservative Thatcher administration of the U.K both heavily-supported the mujāhidūn (including proto-Qaʿidah) in Afghanistan against the secular, progressive, socialist government. [30] [31] [32]
· 1988-1992 – The Likud administration of Israel enabled and supported the rise of Hamas vis-à-vis the hitherto-dominant secular and leftwing Palestinian groups.[33][34][35]
From all of this history, an inverse pattern seems to emerge vis-à-vis the leftwing legacy described previously – over the course of the last half-century, the Right—and especially, socially-conservative governments in the U.S.A and the U.K—has consistently supported and collaborated with theocratic and militant Islamic movements and regimes throughout the Muslim world, usually against the progressive and secular Left.

Analysis: Imperialism & Media
This set of facts raises two obvious questions. Firstly: why does the Right consistently support theocratic Islamism, and the Left consistently fight it? No simple answer will suffice to account for either, but the following quote from Chomsky provides some insight:
“The U.S. has always supported the most extreme fundamentalist Islamic movements and still does. The oldest and most valued ally of the U.S. in the Arab world is Saudi Arabia, which is also the most extremist fundamentalist state. By comparison, Iran looks like a free democratic society – but Saudi Arabia was doing its job. The enemy for most of this period has been secular nationalism. U.S.-Israeli relations, for example, really firmed up in 1967 when Israel performed a real service for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Namely, it smashed the main center of secular nationalism, (Gamal Abdul) Nasser’s Egypt, which was considered a threat and more or less at war with Saudi Arabia at the time. It was threatening to use the huge resources of the region for the benefit of the population of the countries of the region, and not to fill the pockets of some rich tyrant while vast profits flowed to Western corporations.”[36]
Secondly: why isn’t this reality reflected within the popular media discourse? Once again, a quotation from Chomsky sheds some light on the subject:
“In short, major media—particularly, the elite media that set the agenda that others generally follow—are corporations “selling” privileged audiences to other businesses. It would hardly come as a surprise if the picture of the world they present were to reflect the perspectives and interests of the sellers, the buyers, and the product. Concentration of ownership of the media is high and increasing. Furthermore, those who occupy managerial positions in the media, or gain status within them as commentators, belong to the same privileged elites, and might be expected to share the perceptions, aspirations, and attitudes of their associates, reflecting their own class interests as well. Journalists entering the system are unlikely to make their way unless they conform to these ideological pressures, generally by internalizing the values; it is not easy to say one thing and believe another, and those who fail to conform will tend to be weeded out by familiar mechanisms.”[37]
For an institutional analysis of the media and the various pressures which distort information, see: Edward S. Herman & Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (New York, U.S.A: Pantheon Books, 1988).

Conclusion
The popular narrative that Leftists shy away from criticising Islam or Islamism, or that the Left actively conspires with ‘Islamism’, is superficial – since WW2, leftwing movements and governments—including quasi-leftist regimes—have consistently opposed militant and theocratic Islamism. By contrast, imperialistic rightwing governments in the West—particularly the U.S.A and the U.K—have a long and sordid history of supporting some of the worst theocratic and militant Islamic movements and regimes in recent history.
· Meaning: Marxists, Socialists, Anarchists, Communists, etc. ‘Liberalism’ is a pro-capitalist ideology, and therefore on the ‘right wing’ of the economic spectrum; the ‘left wing’, by contrast, is anti-capitalism. Consequently, the common conflation of ‘Liberals’ and ‘Leftists’ (as if the two terms were synonyms) demonstrates a confusion in the claims of those articulating the narrative under consideration; this is exemplified in the following article: Nick Cohen, ‘The Great Betrayal: How Liberals Appease Islam’, Standpoint (January/February, 2015): http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/5886/full

[1] For example: Rick Santorum—in a 2007 speech at the University of Oklahoma—claimed: “I will tell you, I am absolutely perplexed that the radical Left in this country—or even the mainstream Left in this country—does not join in opposing the ideology that we confront: radical Islamists.”

[2] Thus, for example, Harris claims that “the political correctness of the Left has made it taboo to even notice the menace of political Islam, leaving only right-wing fanatics to do the job.”

[3] For example: George Jochnowitz, The Blessed Human Race: Essays on Reconsideration (Lanham, U.S.A: Hamilton Books, 2007), p.35: “Leftist writers now feel free to attack Stalin and Mao, and maybe even Castro, but they remain blind to the excesses of Islamic regimes.”

[4] Notably suggested in Unholy Alliance (2004) by Horowitz and The Grand Jihad (2010) by McCarthy; this is also approximately the thesis of John Miller, Siding with the Oppressor: The Pro-Islamist Left (London, U.K: One Law for All, 2013), which purports to identity a concerted efforts amongst some British-Leftists to support or defend militant and theocratic Islamism, which is allegedly viewed by some as a legitimate “anti-imperialist force”; these same Leftists also allegedly defend Islam in general—which they hold to be “an oppressed religion”—by means of vilification and false accusations of “racism” and “Islamophobia” (Miller, p.6). Although Miller sometimes relies upon insinuation and inference (e.g., the insinuation of perfidy on the part of German for saying “not condone” instead of “condemn”, and their not explicitly citing Washington and Pennsylvania; Miller, p.7), there are three passable examples of this approximate phenomenon chronicled within his report. Firstly: according to an article written by Tina Becker at Weekly Worker, the leadership of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’—whilst condemning Western imperialism and terrorism—declined to condemn ‘the terrorist attacks on the USA, opposition to the Taliban, for democracy and secularism everywhere’, to maximise their support-base. (Miller, pp.7-8; Miller incorrectly attributes the view of Hoskisson to the StWC at large, however; cf. http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/406/building-for-november-18/) The StWC also collaborated with the Muslim Association of Britain, an organisation with some dubious affiliations such as Qaraḍāwī (Miller, pp.8-24.) Secondly: the largely StWC-derived ‘Respect Party’—co-founded in 2004 by George Galloway—has connections to Islamist individuals, groups, and governments (Miller, pp.25-46). Thirdly: the leadership of the ‘Unite against Fascism’ coalition—founded in 2003 and dominated by the Socialist Workers’ Party—has collaborated with Islamist individuals, groups, and governments (Miller, pp.46-56). Vis-à-vis the grand narrative of Leftist betrayal, however, these three examples seem meagre and sporadic.

[5] Thus, Miller’s claim (p.6) that some Leftists consider Islam to be “an oppressed religion.”

[6] Ray Takeyh & Nikolas K. Gvosdev—The Receding Shadow of the Prophet: The Rise and Fall of Radical Political Islam (Westport, U.S.A: Praeger Publishers, 2004), pp.60-61—note that despite their participation in the 1952 Revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed by Nasser in 1954, given the conflict of their Islamic ideology with Nasser’s ʿArab-Socialism (Nasser also conflicted with proper Communists). In 1965, a mass wave of arrests saw the imprisonment of many seminal Islamist theoreticians, and in 1966 the state executed Saʿīd Quṭb, Muḥammad Yūsuf Awas̠, and ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Ismāʿīl. Despite this, Nasser still drew upon Egypt’s Islamic heritage in order to appeal to conservative Muslims. However, Islam was only really referenced as a facilitating-factor for ʿArab history and civilisation.

[7] Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, ‘Human Rights: Sudan’, in E.W.I.C, V.2, p.278: “Historically, the struggle for Sudanese women’s rights was part of the larger nationalist movement. The first organized group of women, the Sudanese Women’s Union, was formed in 1946 as part of the Sudanese Communist Party. After independence, through the 1950s and 1960s, the Women’s Union published its Ṣawt al-marʾa (Woman’s voice) in which numerous issues relating to the political and social status of women were raised, such as polygamy, divorce reform, and female circumcision. Suffrage was extended to women, not at the time of independence, but after the 1964 popular revolution against the Abboud military government, when women openly and enthusiastically demonstrated for popular democracy. Fāṭima Aḥmad Ibrāhīm, a founder of the Women’s Union, was the first woman elected to parliament in 1965. The Women’s Union was also influential in agitating for the reforms in the Sharīʿa law of marriage and divorce that took place in the 1960s and early 1970s.”

[8] Abdullahi A. Gallab—The First Islamist Republic: Development and Disintegration of Islamism in the Sudan (Aldershot, U.K: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2008), pp.63-64—notes the career of the Islamist politician Al-Ḥasan ʿAbd Allāh at-Turābī, which started in 1964: “Under the leadership of al-Turabi, the Islamists gradually became a mainstay of political activism and agitation, sometimes instigating violent campaigns against the Communist Party both on and off the campuses of universities and other institutes of higher education.” According to Abdel Salam Sidahmed—‘Islamism and the State’, in John Ryle, Justin Willis, Suliman Baldo, & Jok Madut Jok (eds.), The Sudan Handbook (Woodbridge, U.K: James Currey, 2011), p.94—the the Communist Party of Sudan was dissolved in 1965 due to the efforts of Islamists, on the charge of ‘atheism’:

[9] Diaa Rashwan (ed.) (Translated by Mandy McClure), The Spectrum of Islamist Movements, Volume 1 (Berlin, Germany: Verlag Hans Schiler, 2007), p.379: “…following the approval of the first draft of the constitution, the May coup took place, let by the Sudanese communist party in alliance with the Free Officers and the Sudanese left. The first statement issued by the coup leaders announced that they had come to burn the “yellow papers”—a reference to the draft Islamic constitution—and to restore the October 1964 revolution’s original progressive and socialist nature.”

[10] Clinton Bennet—‘Chapter 7: States, Politics, and Political Groups’, in Felicity Crowe, Jolyon Goddard, Ben Hollingum, Sally MacEachern & Henry Russell (eds.), Modern Muslim Societies (Tarrytown, U.S.A: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2011), p.163—notes the syncretic Islamic-Socialism of Gaddafi, and also the fact that “Gaddafi has imprisoned many members of Islamist movements.”

[11] For a brief overview of the 20th Century history of Afghanistan and its societal progression (from the Barakzai Kingdom to the Republic of Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, the Civil War, and the rise of the Taliban), see: Christian Parenti, ‘Ideology and Electricity: The Soviet Experience in Afghanistan’, The Nation (7th/May/2012): http://www.thenation.com/article/167440/ideology-and-electricity-soviet-experience-afghanistan

[12] Jerald A. Combs, The History of American Foreign Policy, Volume 2: From 1895, Third Edition (Armonk, U.S.A: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2008), p.269: “The ayatollah arrested, purged, and executed moderates, Communists, and religious and ethnic dissidents.” Marsh E. Burfeindt, ‘Rapprochement in Iran’, in Thomas A. Johnson (ed.), Power, National Security, and Transformational Global Events: Challenges Confronting America, China, and Iran (Boca Raton, U.S.A: C.R.C Press, 2012), p.190: “The resulting purge led to the firing squad deaths of tens of thousands of middle-class professionals and secularists, often within hours of being taken into custody.”

[13] Ihsan A. Hijazi (‘Communist Party in Lebanon Hurt’, The New York Times (4th/March/1987): http://www.nytimes.com/1987/03/04/world/communist-party-in-lebanon-hurt.html) noted: “Shiite enmity for the Communists heightened after the Iranian Government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini outlawed Iran’s Communist Party four years ago and arrested 75 of its leaders on charges of spying for Moscow.”

[14] Hijazi (‘Communist Party in Lebanon Hurt’) noted the mass-killing of Communists by Islamists, the fatāwā of the clerics to purge all Communists, the persecution of Communist due to their alleged ‘atheism’ by Islamists, and the Iranian involvement.

[15] ‘PKK joins battle against Isil’, Gulf News (15th/July/2014): http://gulfnews.com/news/region/syria/pkk-joins-battle-against-isil-1.1360183

[16] Edward Willett—Ayatollah Khomeini (New York, U.S.A: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2004), p.37—notes that “Khomeini greatly admired Ayatollah Seyyed Abolqasem Kashani” (who opposed British imperialism): “After the Allied invasion, Kashani was arrested for his anti-British opinions. That made him a hero to the younger members of the clergy. When he was released in 1945, he became closely associated with the Feda’iyan-e Islam. Khomeini paid frequent visits to Kashani’s home.” Elsewhere, Willett (p.34) notes: “Khomeini’s friend Kashani supported Mosaddeq for a time. However, Mosaddeq would not support the Feda’iyan’s demand to apply shari’a law. Kashani withdrew his support and went on to help General Fazollah Zahedi—with the help of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British—overthrow Mossadeq in August 1953.”

[17] Algar, ‘Kās̲h̲ānī’, in E.I.2, V.4, p.696: “With the beginning of the campaign for the nationalization of the oil industry, Kās̲h̲ānī’s importance grew as he came to be one of the chief organizers of mass support for Dr. Muḥammad Muṣaddiḳ’s National Front. He had, too, a number of representatives in the Mad̲j̲lis, a group known as the Mud̲j̲āhidīn-i Islām. Personal differences arose between Kās̲h̲ānī and Musaddik, and Kās̲h̲ānī became alarmed, moreover, at the militant irreligiosity that showed itself in the last days of Musaddiḳ’s rule. He therefore supported the royalist coup d’état of 19 August 1953 that overthrew Muṣaddiḳ.”

[18] According to C.I.A records, the C.I.A attempted to collaborate with religious leaders such as Kās̠ānī: Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken, U.S.A: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008), p.178: “The indispensable Assadollah Rashidian, however, was worried that the mob would not be big enough. He urged Roosevelt to strengthen his hand by making a last-minute deal with Muslim religious leaders, many of whom had large followings and could produce crowds on short notice. The most important of them, Ayatollah Kashani, had already turned against Mossadegh and would certainly be sympathetic. To encourage him, Rashidian suggested a quick application of cash. Roosevelt agreed. Early Wednesday morning he sent $10,000 to Ahmad Aramash, a confidant of Kashani’s, with instructions that it be passed along to the holy man.”

[19] Rachel Bronson—Thicker than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (Oxford, U.K: Oxford University Press, 2006), p.27—notes a letter from Eisenhower to King ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz mentioning “a shared interest in fighting “godless communism.”” Saudi Arabia was also held to be a counter to the revolutionary secular-nationalism of the Middle East during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Thus, “Eisenhower encouraged Saudi Arabia’s King Saud (reigned 1953-64) to become a political and religious counter to the charismatic Nasser, and the White House began referring to King Saud somewhat optimistically as “an Islamic pope.””

[20] Wynbrandt (A Brief History of Saudi Arabia, pp.195-197) notes the replacement of the U.K by the U.S.A as Saudi Arabia’s key backer during WW2, despite the Saudi opposition towards Zionism (which Roosevelt supported); Wynbrandt (pp.213) further notes the straining of U.S-Saudi relations under the pro-Israeli Truman and later during the 1973 War (Wynbrandt, p.231), but these differences were overcome: the 1979 U.S.S.R intervention in Afghanistan brought “Saudi Arabia and the United States together in creating an army of Islamic fighters, the mujahideen, to battle the Soviets” (Wynbrandt, p.233).

[21] Robert W. Hefner, ‘Chapter 7: Religion: Evolving Pluralism’, in Donald K. Emmerson (ed.), Indonesia beyond Suharto: Polity, Economy, Society, Transition (Armonk, U.S.A: Asia Society, 1999), p.223: “With covert military support, several Muslim youth groups organized violent attacks on PKI headquarters—opening actions in a fiercely anticommunist campaign that would consume the country. By the middle of 1966, hundreds of thousands of real or suspected communists had been slaughtered and the party leadership had been liquidated. Although associations representing Indonesia’s minority religions took part in the killings in some locations, Muslim youth groups working in cooperation with the armed forces were often at the forefront of the campaign.”

[22] Mike Head, ‘Interviews and documents show… US orchestrated Suharto’s 1965-66 slaughter in Indonesia’, World Socialist Website (19th/July/1999): http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/1999/07/indo1-j19.html

[23] Olaf Schumann—‘Multifaith Dialogue in Diverse Settings’, in Viggo Mortensen (ed.), Theology and the Religions: A Dialogue (Grand Rapids, U.S.A: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2003), pp.202-203—notes that when Suharto and his Islamist allies took power, they were influenced by the C.I.A: “Communists and atheists and those accused of sympathizing with them were now, according to the advice of the CIA and Western economic “experts,” treated as “infidels” (kâfirûn) and therefore killed or confined to prison camps, and thus the Indonesian nation had become a truly religious one, a “nation of believers,” in accordance with the Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa.”

[24] Ian F. W. Beckett—‘The British Counterinsurgency Campaign in Dhofar 1965-75’, in Daniel Marston & Carter Malkasian (eds.), Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare (Oxford, U.K: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2010), pp.182-183—notes that the British military realised “that Islam could be used against PFLOAG at the very moment that the government information service was being established by Captain Tim Landon. Constantly re-iterated themes were “The Hand of God Destroys Communism” and “Islam is Our Way, Freedom is our Aim.” Leaflets were air-dropped on the jebel. Notices were also predominantly displayed in towns and markets, notably where inhabitants queued at perimeter gates for the customary searches looking for weapons and excessive amounts of food or medical supplies. There was a new government weekly, Al Watan, and, even more importantly, Radio Dhofar began to broadcast throughout the province.”

[25] Anthony McDermott, Egypt from Nasser to Mubarak: A Flawed Revolution (Abington, U.K: Routledge, 2013), p.192: “In 1971, Sadat had the second article of the constitution amended, making sharia a major source of law. In 1977, in the face of the mounting extremism, the government announced legislative proposals such as the death penalty for apostasy and adultery, and whipping for drunkenness.” Some of these laws were not actually implemented, but in 1980 “the People’s Assembly approved an amendment in the second article of the Constitution, taking the whole issue an important stage beyond Sadat’s 1971 amendment – for the change made sharia the rather than a main source of legislation.”

[26] Joel Beinin & Joe Stork, ‘On the Modernity, Historical Specificity, and International Context of Political Islam’, in Joel Beinin & Joe Stork (eds.), Political Islam: Essays from Middle East Report (New York, U.S.A: I. B. Tauris & Co., Ltd., 1997), p.11: “Similarly, there was no hint of any US reproach in the 1970s when the Egyptian government of Anwar al-Sadat, then on its way to becoming the second largest recipient (after Israel) of US economic and military aid, encouraged the Muslim Brothers and its radical offshoots to organize against nationalists and leftists.”

[27] Michel Boivin—‘Ziyāʾ al-Ḥaḳḳ’, in E.I.2, V.11, p.518—relates the political rise of Muḥammad and his overt religiosity, before noting the following: “From 1979 onwards, Zia promulgated a series of Islamic laws hailed by Mawdūdī as the first steps towards the installation of an Islamic state. The first series, known as the “Hudood Ordinances”, created a category of “Islamic crimes”, such as adultery, rape, theft, fornication, etc. These crimes were to be dealt with by special courts with the task of applying the Ḳurʾānic penalties. These courts were themselves placed under the authority of the Federal S̲h̲aria Court, made up of judges and ʿulamāʾ. In 1980, the second series of measures envisaged the Islamisation of the economic sector. Two Islamic taxes, the zakāt and the ʿus̲h̲r, were created. Bank loans were regulated on a basis of the Ḳurʾānic prohibition of usury, ribā. The law envisaged a division of the risks run by the borrower and the lender. Interest was fixed on the basis of a common agreement, and indexed according to the financial performance of the banks.”

[28] Samina Ahmed—‘Reviving State Legitimacy in Pakistan’, in Simon Chesterman, Michael Ignatieff, & Ramesh C. Thakur (eds.), Making States Work: State Failure and the Crisis of Governance (Tokyo, Japan: United Nations University Press, 2005), pp.157-158—notes the strong U.S support for the Ziyāʾ al-Ḥaqq regime, despite its brutality: “Benefiting from billions of US military and economic assistance, as well as US diplomatic support, the Zia regime successfully warded off its civilian contenders for 11 long years.”

In a 1982 speech to Muḥammad, Reagan proclaimed: “President Zia, Begum Zia, distinguished guests, it’s an honor for me to welcome you to the White House this evening.

Mr. President, our talks this morning underlined again the strong links between our countries. We find ourselves even more frequently in agreement on our goals and objectives. And we, for example, applaud your deep commitment to peaceful progress in the Middle East and South Asia, a resolve which bolsters our hopes and the hopes of millions.

In the last few years, in particular, your country has come to the forefront of the struggle to construct a framework for peace in your region, an undertaking which includes your strenuous efforts to bring peaceful resolution to the crisis in Afghanistan — a resolution which will enable the millions of refugees currently seeking shelter in Pakistan to go home in peace and honor. Further, you’ve worked to ensure that progress continues toward improving the relationship between Pakistan and India. And in all these efforts the United States has supported your objectives and will applaud your success.”

Reagan went on to claim: “Our relationship is deep and longstanding.” Finally, Reagan concluded: “And, Mr. President, I propose a toast to you, to the people of Pakistan, and to the friendship that binds our nations together.”

[29] In a 1981 speech to Muḥammad, Thatcher (cited in: Margaret Thatcher, ‘Speech at banquet given by Pakistan President (Zia Ul Haq)’, Margaret Thatcher Foundation (8th/October/1981): http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/104716) proclaimed that due to the threat of Socialism and other reasons, “Pakistan deserves the support of Britain and of all the nations of the world who are genuinely interested in bringing about the withdrawal of Soviet troops. On behalf of Britain, let me confirm to you—Pakistan has our support in the great problems you are facing. As Prime Minister of the country which at present holds the Presidency of the European Community, I can say too that the ten member states of that Community support you. We admire deeply the courage and skill you have shown in handling the crisis.”

[30] William Blum (‘The Historical US Support for al-Qaeda’, Foreign Policy Journal (10th/January/2014): http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/01/10/the-historical-us-support-for-al-qaeda/) notes the U.S support for the mujāhidūn in Afghanistan during the 1980s, along with other brutal groups around the world.

[31] Owen Bowcott (‘UK discussed plans to help mujahideen weeks after Soviet invasion of Afghanistan’, The Guardian (30th/December/2010): http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/dec/30/uk-mujahideen-afghanistan-soviet-invasion) notes: “Within three weeks of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the cabinet secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, was negotiating how to channel covert military aid towards the “Islamic resistance” that was fighting the Russians. Details of how swiftly clandestine weapons routes were opened up to aid the mujahideen emerge from secret cabinet documents released to the National Archives today under the 30-year rule.” Bowcott also records: “Armstrong said intervention “would make more difficult the process of Soviet pacification of Afghanistan and [ensure] that process takes much longer than it would otherwise do; and the existence of a guerrilla movement in Afghanistan would be a focus of Islamic resistance which we should be wanting to continue to stimulate”.” Finally, Bowcott also notes: “The west’s arming of the mujahideen in Afghanistan has been seen as one of the contributing factors in the rise of al-Qaida. Osama bin Laden was a prominent Saudi financier of the mujahideen.”

[32] Martin Beckford (‘National Archives: Britain agreed secret deal to back Mujahideen’, The Telegraph (30th/December/2010): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8215187/National-Archives-Britain-agreed-secret-deal-to-back-Mujahideen.html) notes the Western support for the mujāhidūn in Afghanistan during the 1980s, including proto-Qāʿidah: “Newly published papers show that one of the country’s top civil servants held a private summit with senior American, French and German politicians at which they decided to provide “discreet support for Afghan guerrilla resistance”. One faction of the Mujahideen fighters, who were also covertly funded by the CIA, went on to become founding members of the al-Qa’eda terrorist network.”

[33] Yael Klein (‘WikiLeaks: “Israel actively supported Hamas”’, Jerusalem Online (4th/August/2014): http://www.jerusalemonline.com/news/middle-east/israeli-palestinian-relations/wikileaks-israel-actively-supported-hamas-6980) notes: “During Operation “Protective Edge”, news leaks website WikiLeaks exposes secret documents which were passed between American diplomats in the 1980’s. These documents allegedly show that Israel was interested in enabling Hamas activity in its beginning, intending to weaken the Palestine Liberation Organization and ending the first Intifada.

Did Israel take part in enabling Hamas to reach its current dimensions and abilities? Documents from the 1980’s belonging to the leaking website WikiLeaks show that Israel enabled Hamas to act in the first Intifada in order to enable it to strengthen, thus to cause a splitting of the Palestinian nation – in order to weaken the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which was responsible for the Intifada.”

[34] Andrew Higgins (‘How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas’, The Wall Street Journal (24th/January/2009): http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB123275572295011847) notes: “”Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with “Yassins,” primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.”

[35] Robert Dreyfuss (‘How Israel and the United States Helped to Bolster Hamas’, Democracy Now! (26th/January/2006): http://www.democracynow.org/2006/1/26/how_israel_and_the_united_states) chronicles the rise of Hamas, noting: “And starting in 1967, the Israelis began to encourage or allow the Islamists in the Gaza and West Bank areas, among the Palestinian exiled population, to flourish. The statistics are really quite staggering. In Gaza, for instance, between 1967 and 1987, when Hamas was founded, the number of mosques tripled in Gaza from 200 to 600. And a lot of that came with money flowing from outside Gaza, from wealthy conservative Islamists in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. But, of course, none of this could have happened without the Israelis casting an approving eye upon it.” Dreyfuss further notes: “So there’s plenty of evidence that the Israeli intelligence services, especially Shin Bet and the military occupation authorities, encouraged the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood and the founding of Hamas. There are many examples and incidents of that. But there were armed clashes, of course, on Palestinian university campuses in the ’70s and ’80s, where Hamas would attack P.L.O., PFLP, PDFLP and other groups, with clubs and chains. This was before guns became prominent in the Occupied Territories.

Even that, however — there’s a very interesting and unexplained incident. Yassin was arrested in 1983 by the Israelis. On search of his home, they found a large cache of weapons. This would have been a fairly explosive event, but for unexplained reasons, a year later Yassin was quietly released from prison. He said at the time that the guns were being stockpiled not to fight the Israeli occupation authorities, but to fight other Palestinian factions.”

[36] Cited in: Amina Chaudary & Noam Chomsky, ‘On Religion and Politics: Noam Chomsky interviewed by Amina Chaudary’, Islamica Magazine, Issue 19, (2007): http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/200704–.htm

[37] Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies (London, U.K: Pluto Press, 1989), p.8.

by Klingschor


pat-robertson--a-prophet-for-our-ti

Emanations from the Human Butt Polyp Pat Robertson: Gays Will Force Christians To Like Anal Sex And, Eventually, Polyamory And Bestiality

Right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson tackled the recent controversy over Memories Pizza, which became Indiana’s first business to publicly declare that they won’t cater to same-sex weddings in the wake of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act this week.

“Most gays, if they’re having a wedding, don’t want pizzas — they want cake,” Robertson told “700 Club” viewers, according to Right Wing Watch. “It’s the cake-makers that are having a problem.”

Still, he warned Christian business owners of all types that gay customers will eventually “make you conform to them.”

You’re gonna say that you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality,” he added. “Sooner or later, you’re going to have to conform your religious beliefs to the group of some abhorrent thing. It won’t stop at homosexuality.”

Noting that Christian beliefs will “come under assault” until polyamory and polygamy are acceptable, too, Robertson lamented, “It’s a weird world we’re living in.”

The comments aren’t too surprising, particularly given Robertson’s recent history of anti-gay sentiments. In Febuary, he argued that a Washington state judge’s ruling that a florist had discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to provide flowers for their wedding was also indicative of society’s eventual embrace of bestiality.

He asked, “To tell a florist that she’s got to provide flowers for a particular kind of wedding? What if somebody wanted to marry his dog? She’s got to have flowers for that?”


religious-bigotry
‘Satan Dancing With Delight’: The Religious Right Reacts To The Legalization Of Gay Marriage

This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

Christian Right’s Head’s Explode!

Head Explosion

Needless to say, anti-gay Religious Right activists and Republican politicians who have repeatedly warned that such a ruling would literally destroy America have not reacted well, as exemplified by Bryan Fischer, who fired off a series of tweets declaring that Satan is now dancing in the streets of America:

Other anti-gay activists were equally outraged:

Anti-gay Republican presidential hopefuls were quick to weigh in:

Mike Huckabee

“The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.

“This ruling is not about marriage equality, it’s about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court’s most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.”

“The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the law of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment.”

Bobby Jindal

Governor Jindal said, “The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on states’ rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.

This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty.

The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies. That would be a clear violation of America’s long held commitment to religious liberty as protected in the First Amendment.

I will never stop fighting for religious liberty and I hope our leaders in D.C. join me.”

Rick Santorum

Today, five unelected justices decided to redefine the foundational unit that binds together our society without public debate or input. Now is the people’s opportunity respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate. The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.

“But leaders don’t accept bad decisions that they believe harm the country, they have the courage of their convictions and lead the country down the better path. Marriage, the family and our children are too central to a healthy society to not fight for what is best. I realized that fact early on and that is why I lead the charge against some in my own party in 2004 to ensure the Federal Marriage Amendment received a vote and I continue to stand for marriage, for families, for freedom.

“As President, I will be committed to using the bully pulpit of the White House to lead a national discussion on the importance to our economy and our culture of mothers and fathers entering into healthy marriages so that every child is given their birthright- to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, loving home. I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution. And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built.”

Scott Walker

I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges “has been with us for millennia.”

In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas.

As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.

Anti-gay Religious Right organizations, like the Family Research Council, likewise vowed never to accept this ruling:

“Five justices on the Supreme Court have overturned the votes of 50 million Americans and demanded that the American people walk away from millennia of history and the reality of human nature.

“In reaching a decision so lacking in foundation in the text of the Constitution, in our history, and in our traditions, the Court has done serious damage to its own legitimacy.

“No court can overturn natural law.  Nature and Nature’s God, hailed by the signers of our Declaration of Independence as the very source of law, cannot be usurped by the edict of a court, even the United States Supreme Court.

“Marriage is rooted not only in human history, but also in the biological and social reality that children are created by, and do best when raised by, a mother and a father. No court ruling can alter this truth.

“It is folly for the Court to think that it has resolved a controversial issue of public policy. By disenfranchising 50 million Americans, the Court has instead supercharged this issue.

“Just as with Roe v. Wade in 1973, the courts will not have the final say on this profound social matter.  The American people will stand up for their right to have a voice and a vote, especially as they experience the ways in which redefining marriage fundamentally impairs their freedom to live and work in accordance with their beliefs.

“With this ruling, the Supreme Court has set our government on a collision course with America’s cherished religious freedoms, explicitly guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution.

“Americans will not stop standing for transcendent truth, nor accept the legitimacy of this decision.  Truth is not decided by polls or the passage of time, but by the One who created time and everything that exists therein.

“We will not lapse into silence but will continue to speak uncompromisingly for the truth about what marriage is, always has been, and always will be: the union of one man and one woman,” concluded [Tony] Perkins.

The National Organization for Marriage:

Though expected, today’s decision is completely illegitimate. We reject it and so will the American people. It represents nothing but judicial activism, legislating from the bench, with a bare majority of the Justices on the Supreme Court exercising raw political power to impose their own preferences on marriage when they have no constitutional authority to do so. It is a lawless ruling that contravenes the decisions of over 50 million voters and their elected representatives. It is a decision that is reminiscent of other illegitimate Court rulings such as Dred Scott and Roe v Wade and will further plunge the Supreme Court into public disrepute.

Make no mistake about it: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and countless millions of Americans do not accept this ruling. Instead, we will work at every turn to reverse it.

The US Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today’s ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority.

In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King discussed the moral importance of disobeying unjust laws, which we submit applies equally to unjust Supreme Court decisions. Dr. King evoked the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas that an unjust law or decision is one that is “a human law that is not rooted in eternal law or natural law.”

Today’s decision of the Supreme Court lacks both constitutional and moral authority. There is no eternal or natural law that allows for marriage to be redefined.

American Family Association

“This morning’s ruling rejects not only thousands of years of time-honored marriage but also the rule of law in the United States,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “In states across the nation, voters acted through the democratic process to protect marriage and the family. Yet, courts around the country chose to disregard the will of the people in favor of political correctness and social experimentation. And we witnessed firsthand the consequences, as individuals were repeatedly targeted by the government for not actively supporting homosexual marriage. Sadly, our nation’s highest Court, which should be a symbol of justice, has chosen instead to be a tool of tyranny, elevating judicial will above the will of the people.

“There is no doubt that this morning’s ruling will imperil religious liberty in America, as individuals of faith who uphold time-honored marriage and choose not to advocate for same-sex unions will now be viewed as extremists. But to the Court, we send this unequivocal message: We will continue to uphold God’s plan for marriage between one man and one woman, and we call on all Christians to continue to pray for the nation, and for those whose religious liberties will be directly impacted by this ruling.”

In the years leading up to the landmark SCOTUS case, voters in 31 states had acted through the democratic process to uphold marriage and the family. Yet, same-sex marriage was legalized in 36 states, due in large part to overreaching judges who chose to disregard the will of the people and cater to those who advocate for homosexuality.

Concerned Women For America

Today goes down in history as the day nine unelected judges kicked the Constitution to the curb — overturning traditional marriage — and put your religious freedom dangerously at risk.

The decision is in. The justices have ruled. Marriage will be redefined to conform to the pro-LGBT view of marriage.

In one appalling decision, the Supreme Court has effectively opened the door to the criminalization of Christianity when it comes to the marriage issue … and not just Christianity, but every major religion that supports God’s model for marriage and family.

Catholic League

Once again, five Supreme Court justices have invented a right that is nowhere mentioned or implied in the U.S. Constitution. Instead of allowing the states the right to make decisions about marriage, these judges have elected to impose their will on the nation.

Moreover, their reasoning is sociologically illiterate. The idea that marriage is a matter of individual autonomy—and not a social institution—is the most profound flaw in their ruling. In their mind, society is composed of monads.

For people of faith, this decision is ominous. On p. 27, the majority declares that religious Americans “may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” It is nice to know they respect our First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

“The First Amendment,” the five justices say, “ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives….” That’s the best they can do? Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, rightly criticizes this genuflection to religious rights. “Religious liberty,” he says, “is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally”—it is not confined to advocacy.

In order to stop the IRS from revoking the tax-exempt status of religious institutions that refuse to marry two men or two women, Congress needs to pass the First Amendment Defense Act that was introduced last week. Nothing less is acceptable.


islamophobe_web-racist-rally
No, Islam is not a race. Yes, you are still a racist

Biological race doesn’t exist. But the concept of biological race is an invention with a long history. Its transformations help answer the question.

One of the earliest and most detailed systems of biological racial classification existed in the French colony of St Dominguez. According to the historian C.L.R. James, the system of classification contained more than 150 gradations of “blackness”.

Only people who could prove that they were “purely white” were granted full rights. This system was overthrown by a slave rebellion and revolution. The “aristocracy of skin”, a term used by the Parisian masses to describe racism, was temporarily defeated. Those 150 gradations of blackness, which were regarded as a natural fact, have long been forgotten.

Roughly 80 years later, biological racism enjoyed a renaissance, as all sorts of new so-called races were discovered. This was the advent of pseudo-scientific Darwinian racism. For example, the Irish were considered a separate race to the English, and closer to apes. Skulls were measured, intellects compared and, lo and behold, the Irish were found inferior. This conveniently explained the Irish famine, in which between 800,000 and 1.5 million people starved to death while the British exported their food.

Nowhere did social Darwinism go further than in Germany. Prior to the late 1880s, Jewishness had been regarded purely as a religion. Of course, Jews had suffered religious discrimination, but they could escape this through conversion, as many did. Yet, from the late 1800s onward, with the aid of “science”, Jewishness was transformed into a race, which was then associated with a series of visual and cultural markers, involving facial hair, big noses, dishonesty and suspicious customs such as kosher food.

These examples highlight how racism was never really about “natural” differences. It was a manufactured ideology of oppression. Racism is really about power.

Biologically linked racism started to go out of fashion with the fall of the Third Reich. But this didn’t mean that racism disappeared. It just changed form.

Take the example of the USA. Since the Declaration of Independence, the USA has concealed real inequality under a constitution and political system premised on formal equality.

In the past, the contradiction between real and formal inequality was justified by the alleged inferiority of non-white races. But the struggles and achievements of those non-whites increasingly made such claims untenable.

Today, no one credible argues that inequality and poverty stem from innate racial differences. Rather, we are told that “cultural problems” are to blame. The new rationalisation is not biologically based, yet it is the politically acceptable code for the same old racism.

Anti-Muslim racism, which exploded following 9/11 and the “war on terror”, fits into this mould. Small-l liberals have played a special role in promoting it. The polite arguments that Islam is more repressive than other religions, that Muslims lack respect for women or democracy, or are particularly violent, are all coded signals which, like a dog whistle, prick the ears of rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth racists.

This is what happened at the Cronulla riot in 2005, where men of Arab appearance were bashed by a white mob trying to defend “their” beach and “their” women. It was referred to by participants as “Leb and wog bashing day”.

Racism always relies on stereotypes and visual or cultural markers. So, the racists portray Muslims as big-nosed, fat, fanatical, bearded misogynists who want to slaughter animals and non-believers alike, impose sharia law, prohibit tasty food and beverages, destroy liberty and reason and generally fuck things up for the “enlightened” West.

Why do they want to do this? Well, who knows, but one thing is for sure – they aren’t as civilised as us.

All of these tropes are based on racial stereotypes of Arab people, which are as old as they are repulsive. Edward Said’s magnificent book Orientalism traces this tradition of representation through Western art and literature. It turns out that “good Muslim” vs. “bad Muslim” is just an updated version of the colonial era “good savage” vs. “bad savage” trope.

Christopher Hitchens took war-mongering atheism to new depths when he endorsed cluster bombs and said that the death toll in the Iraq war wasn’t high enough. But the tradition of atheism and Enlightenment values being used as the spear tip for colonial-style racism goes at least as far back as the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt.

Racism has changed with the times, but it is still a system of oppression that commits violence towards whole swaths of humanity, who are depicted through a few crude stereotypes.

So sure, Islam is a religion. But the statement “Islam is a religion, not a race” remains the most transparent of covers for real racism.


ayaan_hirsi_ali_nancy_drew
Exposing Anti-Islam Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Latest Deception

One of America’s most prominent Islam bashers has a long history of making things up.


cruz.insane
Rafeal Cruz: ‘Atheism Leads To Molestation’ And 4 Other Crazy Things He Said

Now that Teapublican Texas Senator Ted Cruz has officially tossed his clown hat in the 2016 presidential ring, examining this man’s extraordinarily insane background and comments is going to be easier than spearfishing out of a barrel.

Enter Ted Cruz’s Christian Taliban dad, Rafael Cruz.

Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s father, is slowly proving my theory that bat shit can be entered into one’s DNA. The rabidly right-wing preacher often makes extremist comments in support of his moronic right-wing fundamentalism. Relying on wacky Dominionist teachings, the batshit whisperer and father of our newly anointed 2016 republican presidential candidate, previously described his son as being the “self-anointed king of society.” It’s quite interesting how these fundamentalists are so vigorously pro-life when you consider everything they say makes pro-choice the greatest argument.

Here are 5 of the Craziest Things Said by Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz’s Preacher Daddy:

Giving a talk at OK2A, an Oklahoma Second Amendment advocacy group (Jesus loves AR-15s), Rafael Cruz said that atheism leads to sexual abuse of children:

1. There is no moral absolute, which means we operate by situational ethics, which unfortunately is something being taught in every high school in America. This means that right and wrong is dependent upon the circumstances. Of course, without God there is no value to life. That leads to immorality, that leads to sexual abuse, and there is no hope. They live without hope, because there is nothing more.”(Raw Story)

2. We have our work cut out for us,” Cruz said “We need to send Barack Obama back to Chicago. I’d like to send him back to Kenya, back to Indonesia.” He went on to say, “We have to unmask this man. This is a man that seeks to destroy all concept of God. And I will tell you what, this is classical Marxist philosophy. Karl Marx very clearly said Marxism requires that we destroy God because government must become God.” (MySanAntonio.com)

3. Cruz lying bout Obama on abortion: “Do you realize,” he asked a room of conservatives, “the first bill President Obama signed into law was to legalize third trimester abortions?” (The first law Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, according to The New York Times.)(MySanAntonio.com)

4. “Socialism requires that government becomes your god. That’s why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. That’s what’s behind homosexual marriage. It’s really more about the destruction of the traditional family than about exalting homosexuality, because you need to destroy, also, loyalty to the family.” (MySanAntonio.com)

5. On anti-gay discrimination: “The left is trying to redefine the issue as a civil right, not as a personal choice. They have gone to the extent to even try to make it illegal for counselors to administer to these people that have certain sexual tendencies to try to work with them from the Christian, biblical standpoint,” Cruz said. (MySanAntonio.com)


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