Sunday, 4 November 2018

Elisabeth and Asia

On 25th October 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) reached a decision in respect of the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. They determined that protection under Article 10 (freedom of expression) did not apply in her case and thus upheld the judgement of the Austrian court that had convicted her for “denigrating religious beliefs”.

A good summary of the case can be found here. In brief, Elisabeth gave a series of lectures in 2009 in which she addressed the dangers of fundamentalist Islam. A left-leaning magazine, News, planted a journalist in the audience to make recordings of what was said. Having done this the magazine handed the recordings to the public prosecutor’s office as evidence of "hate speech" against Islam.

What Elisabeth actually said, in the context of a discussion about Muhammad’s marriage to six-year-old Aisha was this: "A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?"

The prosecution started by attempting to convict her of “hate speech”. Hate speech is defined in Section 283 of the Austrian criminal code as (using Google Translate which does not actually have Austrian), publicly expressing views which may lead to the scorn or disparagement in the eyes of the public towards a group on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, race, etc.  So, if you say something which is actually true but can cause such effects on public opinion you are guilty of hate speech.

The prosecution went up various blind alleys in their attempt to prevent such statements of fact but eventually the judgement handed down was “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion”. They imposed a fine of €480 or an alternative prison sentence of 60 days. Thus, however, repulsive or immoral the behaviour, if it is sanctioned by a legally recognized religion you cannot criticise it or even say what it is.

Elisabeth took her case to the EHCR in the hope of a rectification. Their judgement is a catalogue of mangled reasoning which offends logic.

The court began by stating that religious groups could not expect to be exempt from criticism. But if comments went beyond critical denial, “and certainly where they were likely to incite religious
intolerance, might a State legitimately consider them to be incompatible with respect for the
freedom of thought, conscience and religion and take proportionate restrictive measures.”

It’s not clear to me whose “religious intolerance” they are talking about but given this comes up in the context of religious groups and their exposure to criticism it seems to imply the people whose religion is being criticised. That being the case, the logic flowing from this is clear enough: the more intolerant a religious group is of criticism of their beliefs the less they can be criticised.

I can't help wondering what sort of contradictions of religious beliefs would not incite religious intolerance.

The EHCR further observed that the subject of the case was of a “particularly sensitive nature” and the State of Austria was “in a better position to evaluate which statements were likely to disturb the religious peace in their country.”

This can mean nothing other than riots and mobs; the assassination of judges, politicians and so forth.

“The Court noted that the domestic courts comprehensively explained why they considered that the
applicant’s statements had been capable of arousing justified indignation; specifically, they had not
been made in an objective manner contributing to a debate of public interest (e.g. on child
marriage), but could only be understood as having been aimed at demonstrating that Muhammad
was not worthy of worship.” And this could not possibly be true of a man who married a six-year-old girl?

But this above all shows how corrupted the thought processes of these judges has become: It agreed with the domestic courts that Mrs S. must have been aware that her statements were partly based on untrue facts and apt to arouse indignation in others.

What, pray, are “untrue facts”? It’s a contradiction in terms. Either they are facts and therefore true or they are not facts and therefore untrue. This is the grovelling level of “thinking” that the penultimate court in Europe is reduced to by the fear of the Muslim mob.

And their summing up: Under these circumstances, and given the fact that Mrs S. made several incriminating statements, the Court considered that the Austrian courts did not overstep their wide margin of appreciation in the instant case when convicting Mrs S. of disparaging religious doctrines. Overall, there had been no violation of Article 10. (my italics).

It's a long time since disparaging religious doctrines was a punishable offence in Europe, but now that Islam has arrived it's all going to change.

In Pakistan this last week, following the acquittal of Asia Bibi on blasphemy charges, the mobs erupted in fury that someone who has already spent 8 years in prison in terrible conditions was not going to be hanged for expressing a legitimate Christian opinion about (you guessed it) Muhammad. (Are Muslims allowed to worship Muhammad or is that not idolatry?)

What she said, after a dispute with her Muslim co-workers who claimed that their drinking water had been contaminated because she had drunk from the same vessel was this: I think Jesus would see it differently from Muhammad, Jesus died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Muhammad ever do to save mankind?

Under Sharia, interfaith dialogue is somewhat restricted to say the least. You can listen politely to the Muslim perspective but you can’t propose anything different or criticise Islam. So poor Asia ended up incarcerated on death row and fearing every day that she would be killed in prison or eventually executed.

But light appeared to break through the clouds of religious darkness when the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her. One was greatly relieved but felt anxious of the aftermath.

And justly so. The judges were threatened with death and as fundamentalists brought the mobs onto the streets demanding her execution one wondered how the situation might be resolved. Could she be whisked out of the country by Navy Seals; would President Trump give them an ultimatum and get her out?

It was not to be. The acquittal is now to be reviewed due to the level of social disorder aroused. The mob has won.

Behold, how Islam turns Muslim hearts to stone.

The authorities have struck a deal with the mob leaders which involves starting proceedings to prevent Asia from leaving the country (thus making it easier for them to hunt her down and kill her).
The government will also allow protesters to mount a legal challenge to the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit her.

What we see in these two cases is essentially the same thing. Fear of the Muslim mob drives decision-making. The European judges with all their muddle-headed thinking and weasel words has succumbed to the same forces of religious intolerance as the Pakistanis.

The problem is extremely widespread. For example, 100,000 UK Muslims signed a petition demanding Asia’s execution.

The EHCR claims to be upholding tolerance but they are bowing to intolerance of the worst kind. In fact, by this judgement, the EHCR has undermined one of the key foundations of European life: freedom of speech. This will have far more serious consequences than even the "disturbance of religious peace"...if indeed you can describe sitting on a box of explosives as peace.

We know these forces of intolerance are growing with every Muslim born in the West and every Muslim migrant arriving. The power of numbers will enable them to impose their rules on the rest of us. These dark days are only the beginning.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Islamophobia is Altruistic

A phobia is an intense fear out of all proportion to the threat. Phobic people experience their fears in relation to themselves. They feel a direct threat from the phobic object or situation. They are not afraid for the welfare of others. They experience fear in an immediate and personal way. They may dread the sight of spiders or feel intense anxiety in open spaces.

An Islamophobe is someone who experiences a deep concern or dread regarding the negative impact of Islam on society as a whole and on behalf of people in the future. 

This dread is based on the abundant evidence of Islamic-inspired warfare and persecution throughout 1400 years of history; it is based on the pretty repulsive societies that are based on Islamic principles; it is based on the mountains of evidence of non-Muslim persecution in Muslim majority countries. It is not an immediate and personal sense of threat. It is not solely related to the individual who experiences the dread.

In this respect it is a completely different experience to a phobic reaction; it is as much concerned with the threat posed to others as to the self.

Islamophobia is therefore an altruistic concern not a personal one. It springs from concern for others.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Boris and the Burka

It looks like Boris Johnson may face the Diversity Inquisition for his "insensitive" comments on the burka, more accurately known as the niqab, which is the one we see here.

If he does it will be another nail in the coffin for Britain's tradition of free speech, a tradition much finer than anything Islam has to offer.

Islam has a very ugly history of conquest, genocide, and enslavement, and unrelenting persecution of those with different beliefs.

None of this has ever been renounced nor is it likely to be since it is the inevitable outcome of Islam's core beliefs and the behavior of its prophet, Muhammad.

When I see a niqab-wearing woman (at least, I assume it's a woman), what I see is both a symbol of this history and the beliefs that inspired it and a statement of identification with and adherence to those beliefs and their consequences. The niqab suggests a strong adherence and identification; an unquestioning allegiance.

As I see it, the niqab is worn as a political weapon, not a religious observance.

This is why I am so averse to the sight of this garment.

There is another related feeling that I have towards the niqab. The garment is depersonalizing.

Persecution of others is often accompanied by an element of depersonalization (e.g. "the filthy kuffar"), and the depersonalizing experience triggered by the niqab makes me feel they are more capable of being persecutors. Psychological studies of anonymity have shown that people are far less inhibited when their identity is hidden and the evidence that Muslims persecute non-Muslims is overwhelming, see Raymond Ibrahim's Bulletin of Christian Persecution.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Double Standards in Response to Slavery

Admiral Lord Nelson

In the UK's Guardian an article has appeared called "Toppling Statues: Nelson's Column should be next", which seeks to set aside Nelson's brilliant achievements as an Admiral to defend Britain from invasion by Napoleon, and instead to embroil his memory in the current iconoclastic movement in the USA that seeks the removal of all historical figures who can be implicated in any way with slavery.

The argument goes that since Nelson was an obstacle to the abolition of slavery, this should be the sole criterion by which to judge his historical contribution. Nevermind that he fought bravely against another form of slavery, that of conquest by a foreign power.

Will this rule be applied to all those who owned, endorsed, or profited from slavery?

If so, there is one person in particular who should come under scrutiny. He owned slaves and advocated slavery. He encouraged his followers to make slaves of others and explicitly endorsed the sexual enslavement of women (“those whom your right hands possess”).

This person forbade images of himself to be created so there are no monuments erected in his image. However, there are monuments in his name springing up all over the world; monuments to a religion of slavery in which “Abdullah” (slave of Allah) is a common name. These monuments are called mosques.

Will the wrecking balls be visiting these monuments? I don't think so. Double standards in favour Islam are the contemporary hypocrisy.

See thereligionofpeace for a good summary of slavery in Islam. Here is a sample:

There is not, and never has been, an abolition movement in Islam.
Unlike the West, the Muslim world has yet to offer an apology for slavery.  The institution is ingrained in the Qur'an.  To admit that it is a mistake would be to admit the fallibility of the Qur'an and bring its divine origin into question.  Even today, Muslims act as if Islamic slavery was a favor done to the millions of unfortunate men, women and children who were forcibly uprooted from their native lands and sent to lives of sexual and menial servitude deep in the Islamic world. 
Ironically, the British Navy, where Nelson was such a significant figure, did an enormous amount to rid the world of slavery.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Defeating Islam

Islam demands the complete colonization of the mind of the believer just as it demands the complete colonization of the world.

Muslims have developed the most logical theology they can from the scriptural sources of Islam and it is a theology of conquest and violence.

Many people fall into the trap of thinking that being opposed to Islam means that we are opposed to 1.5 billion Muslims. This has the effect of making the problem appear too enormous. They then try to pretend that there is a subset of Muslims that we should oppose - the radicals, the Salafists, the fundamentalists, the Wahhabists, the Deobandis, etc.

This conveys the message that Islam itself is undefeatable and should not even be taken on. But it is actually Islam itself that we should be trying to defeat. The whole thing is based on a very shaky claim to divine guidance and it is fundamentally immoral and unspiritual.

We won't defeat it on the level of its manifestations; it is a Hydra-headed monster that grows two heads for every one that is hacked off. Like Hercules in the legend we can only kill it slicing off and cauterizing its immortal head and then crushing the whole thing under a huge boulder. In the case of Islam that rock is the truth, the immortal head is Muhammad.

It is in the nature of Islam to colonize new areas then ethnically cleanse those areas until nothing but Islam remains. Likewise, it is the nature of certain plants to colonize new areas until nothing but that plant is left. In the latter case there are ecological counter-forces at work. Against Islam there is nothing but the truth that will prevail.

As Ayaan Hirsi Ali said, "Islam should be crushed." It is a mass delusion. Muslims would be well rid of it, just like the rest of us.

Slaying the Hydra

There is one thing that will put an end to Islam.

Islam is entirely of the ego. It subverts spiritual aspiration and bends it to the service of the ego; the persistent ego of Muhammad encoded in the scriptures; the collective ego of the Ummah in its claims of superiority and sheer numbers.

The ego is well-served by the dreams of conquest; the tribal loyalty; the persecution of non-Muslims; the projection of worldly appetites into a carnal afterlife.

There is one thing that will put an end to this, one boulder that will finally slay this Hydra-headed monster; and that is non-ego; an awakening of true spirituality that will shine a light too painful for the monster to bear upon its sham and hollow pretenses.

A Case of Civilisational Malaise

I phoned an old friend yesterday evening to catch up after a long gap in communication. The friend in question is a Quaker of 81 years of age. In my youth, this friend helped me immensely to regain a foothold on the ladder of life and for that I am eternally grateful. The virtue of not giving up on anyone is very well exemplified in this person.

The conversation we had on the phone covered a lot of ground and it reminded me of how ingrained certain attitudes are in a broad spectrum of western society; that which can be loosely defined as liberal/left/Christian.

I asked her opinion on the underlying motivation behind the Barcelona ramming attack and received the standard liberal response, the response that omits all mention of Islamic doctrine and belief.

As I pressed her on the subject it became apparent that any acknowledgement that there might be aspects of Islam that should be criticized was impossible. It was impossible because there was a fundamental unwillingness to criticize a culture other than western civilization. “It’s none of our business” was the first objection to any such criticism.

I countered that because Islamic doctrine has certain very negative ideas about the position on non-Muslims it is actually very much “our business” to scrutinize Islamic beliefs. To no avail, any criticism of Islam (or any other culture) was seen as an egoistic assertion of cultural supremacy.

Quakers claim to be people of peace but they don't have peace in their hearts because their hearts are full of politics.

You are no doubt very familiar with this response pattern.

My friend trotted out the usual tropes about the effects of colonization, the exploitation of weaker peoples, she could not bring herself to acknowledge any merit of western civilization that made it better than another. Every assertion in favour of western civilization was countered with a “we also” argument about some wrong committed by us in the past. Is this the constant acknowledgement of sin that Pauline and Augustine Christianity has inculcated? It has become a very ingrained mental habit.

I asked if a culture that stones women for adultery is worse than one that doesn’t. Of course, the reiteration of the Old Testament was made. I said that the problem with Islam is that stoning for adultery was endorsed by Muhammad which is why it is part of Shariah. Her response was, “Well, bugger Muhammad.” I should have pointed out that such a statement would be a death sentence in the Muslim world – a world which now extends into our inner cities and suburbs.

The tu quoque in the form of “we also” came up over and over again. Taking any pride in one’s own culture is very taboo. It’s as if the fundamental resistance to doing this, even in an objective manner, continually throws up logical fallacies to prevent the person crossing the line into any sense of cultural supremacy, what they feel is a collective egoism.

I can see a certain healthy wariness of the egoic mind in this manoeuvre. However, it lends itself very readily to distortions of reality in favour of people and cultures that do not warrant it. These distortions are buttressed by many arguments in the form of logical fallacies such as appeal to authority; appeal to consensus; and the ubiquitous tu quoque in the form of “we also”.

Yes, attitudes of cultural supremacy can be very dangerous but so can failing to see those attitudes in the people of another culture. Islam is loaded with cultural supremacy of a most virulent and unwarranted nature.

In addition, she constantly introduced the issue of race even though the conversation had nothing to do with race. It seems that people on the left are very prone to "racialize" a subject. This suggests that the category of race figures very prominently in their intellectual architecture. Perhaps this explains why they are constantly accusing others of racism?

My friend’s wariness of the egoic mind is justified. However, her wariness of the egoic tendencies in others in the form of jingoism and collective boasting is unaware of the form the egoic mind is taking in that very wariness. For it sees and feels itself superior to those egoic minds it objects to. For example, their egoic consciousness is very evident in their dehumanization of President Trump.

Finally, as with so many such people her mind is filled with unquestioned assumptions. Assumptions make fools of us all.

For further insight into the nature of the egoic self and the non-egoic self I highly recommend this (and many other videos) by Eckhart Tolle