Archives for category: fascism

“Islamophobia” is a deeply misleading term. The phenomenon it pretends to evoke has never existed. The word is deceptive in at least two ways.

The “-phobia” part is supposed to make us think of irrational fears like arachnophobia and agoraphobia. But fear of Islam is not irrational. Islam is a genuine threat to millions of individuals and to society as a whole. It has already done incalculable harm, and its representatives regularly promise to continue their harmful programs, and to increase the scope and scale of these programs if possible.

The “Islamo-” part is supposed to evoke racism: an irrational fear of a certain race. But Islam is not a race, it is a totalitarian political system. And Muslims are not a race — they are people who have been caught in the sphere of influence of the totalitarian political system that calls itself Islam.

I have nothing against Muslims — the people who have been caught in that sphere of influence.

I repeat. I have nothing against those people. They are human beings like me. I want only the best for them. I want them to be happy, and that’s why I am opposed to their oppression and abuse by the totalitarian political system that calls itself Islam.

If I were to remark that it is wise to be inoculated against polio, would you ask me why I despise people with polio? To call me “Islamophobic” when I talk about the dangers of Islam would be a similar mistake. No one is Islamophobic in that way. Just as I do not fear or hate people with polio, I do not fear or hate people who happen to live within the sphere of influence of Islam. I love people and want them to be happy. Therefore, I hate the harm that polio causes, and for the same reason, I hate the harm that Islam causes.

But Islam is itself a misleading word. There are two kinds of people in Islam (as there are in every other religion): the ones who make the rules, and the ones who have to follow the rules or be mercilessly punished. The ones who get paid, and the ones who pay. The powerful, comfortable, self-appointed “community leaders” — and the poor, suffering, permanently disenfranchised community. The former I call Islam, and recognize as a danger, a poison, a disease. The latter I call Muslims, and recognize as human beings in need of help.

Sensible people all over the world fear Islam. None of us have “Islamophobia”.

Update 14 May 2014: Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali on this topic.

An Islamic Sharia law court has been established in Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium.

The Sharia court is the initiative of a radical Muslim group called Sharia4Belgium. Leaders of the group say the purpose of the court is to create a parallel Islamic legal system in Belgium in order to challenge the state’s authority as enforcer of the civil law protections guaranteed by the Belgian constitution.

The Sharia court, which is located in Antwerp’s Borgerhout district, is “mediating” family law disputes for Muslim immigrants in Belgium.

The self-appointed Muslim judges running the court are applying Islamic law, rather than the secular Belgian Family Law system, to resolve disputes involving questions of marriage and divorce, child custody and child support, as well as all inheritance-related matters.

The tell-tale phrase here is self-appointed. In what kind of world should we care what self-appointed judges think is fair? Only when those self-appointed judges leave us no other choice.

If you doubt my characterization of President Bush as “delighted” by the events of September 11th, 2001, take a look at the speech he delivered three days later as part of a two-hour National Prayer Service. During these eight minutes he looks like the happiest man in the world. He’s practically giggling with delight.

[This is an updated version of a post I made five years ago.]

Ten years ago a terrorist organization executed an attack inside the United States. They sent hijacked airliners crashing into two colossal office towers in downtown Manhattan; another plane hit the Pentagon building; a fourth, possibly on its way to Washington, D.C., crashed in Pennsylvania. Everyone on all four planes died (including, of course, the hijackers). The World Trade Center towers were utterly destroyed. The Pentagon was damaged. About three thousand people died.

The contemptible men who planned this attack wanted to be seen as having injured, not “just” thousands of people, not “just” several extremely expensive buildings, but the United States of America, or even Western civilization. Of course such megalomania is ludicrous. Oh, it was a tragedy. Absolutely. But you cannot bring down these United States with such a feeble gesture. This is a country of 300 million people. We have by a huge margin the world’s most robust economy and the world’s most powerful military. Considered as an act of war, 9/11 was not significant.

We could have said to those self-styled revolutionaries: Fuck you. You could do a thing like that every month and we would still survive it. You cannot really hurt us. But you have made us angry, and we are going to find you, and we are going to wipe you out. A few years from now, no one will even remember your names.

That’s what we should have said. It would have been proud and brave. And it would have limited the hurt. It would have made 9/11 a small wound, painful but small, like the welt from a rubber bullet, that stings like a motherfucker but will certainly heal by itself.

But that did not happen. Luckily for the terrorists, the 9/11 attacks became an excuse for our elected leaders to impose their private agenda on this country. The Bush administration moved quickly and delightedly to turn our fear to their advantage. And thus the 9/11 attacks became, at the hands of those filthy, despicable traitors, a devastating attack on this country.

The terrorists wanted to hurt us deeply and permanently. Their plan should not have worked, would not have harmed us terribly, except that 9/11 was just the Republicans needed for their own plans. Bush wanted the same thing bin Laden did:  a world ruled by the wealthiest, the most violent, the most religious, the biggest liars. Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed more than twice as many Americans as did the 9/11 attacks – not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans. They also cost us over three trillion dollars, which crippled the economy, causing much even more death and suffering.

President Obama, seemingly a very different kind of person, could have ended these wars. Yet, he chose to prolong them.

There is nothing to celebrate here, nothing to be proud of, nothing to commemorate. The sad, ugly story should have been over in a few years – but there is reason to fear that 9/11 was a tipping point from which we may never recover. Now we have a Department of Homeland Security (just as the Nazis did), and no politician dares vote to dissolve it. Now we have indefinite detention, in hideous prisons where they hold innocent people for no reason and torture them just for fun, and the president says he will close them, and he does not close them, and no one is even surprised. This is the legacy of 9/11, which for this immense and powerful country should have been nothing but a sting, but instead is crushing its very soul, because that’s what the men who hold the power want.

There is exactly one sensible response to the September 11th 2001 attack on the World Trade Center towers: Find the people who did it, and kill them. We don’t need to “commemorate” the event. Who’s going to forget it? And we don’t need to regard the site as “holy”. That’s the kind of perverted thinking that got the towers destroyed.

We need to find the people who did it. The creeps who flew the planes are dead. But the super-creepy men who (from a safe hideaway) demanded that it be done, and planned it all out, are still alive. I think they should be killed. But no one even talks about them anymore. Instead we get parades and speeches and hymns. In other words, no one is trying to solve the problem! Instead, they are trying to turn the situation to their own advantage. It makes me sick.

It’s everyone draw Muhammad day. Here’s mine. (Traced from a photograph of a different Muhammad.)

I plan to never go there, too!

Governor signs legislation affirming”we hate immigrants, they deserve nothing from us but abuse“.

(Note to self: call Noah. Suggest that he get out of Arizona, even though this means switching to a different school.)

Let’s never go there. They’re morons.

A few weeks ago I was standing in the checkout line at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op when a woman in a burqa joined the adjacent queue. It was off-white in color, like raw linen. It covered her completely, from head to toe. (I could just see her toes peeking out. She was wearing leather sandals.) I was standing next to her. I could hear her breathing. Her eyes were invisible behind a blank strip of gauze. Incongruously, hideously, it reminded me of Robocop.

I felt appalled. I felt ill. It was like suddenly finding myself next to a man wearing SS insignia and armed with a machine gun. No, that’s not right. It was like being next to an SS prisoner, with a yellow badge on her jacket and a number tattooed on her arm.

I wanted to do something. I wanted to say: Who did this to you? Take me to him and I will tell him a thing or two. But I did nothing. And I haven’t seen her since. But I promise you, next time, I will do something. I don’t know what. But I cannot, must not stand there again, afraid to act, afraid to help. I have to do something. This abuse must not stand. Not if I can do anything about it.