December 27, 2006
Floyd McKay Flirts With Bigotry

In today's column, the emeritus journalism professor gives us more reason to suspect journalists, particularly those trained at Western Washington, where he taught.  He begins by equating the three Abrahamic religions.

We kill, they kill, we all kill in the name of God.  Christians are squeezed from the birthplace of Jesus by militant Zionist Israelis on one side and Islamic militants on the other.  Ironically, Christian fundamentalists are egging this on in hopes that it will trigger the Rapture, when the chosen will have box seats as unbelievers are barbequed by a righteous God.

Not to be outdone, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad favors an Islamic version of the End Times in which he nukes Israel and prompts the return of the Mahdi, a prophet of particular importance to Shiites.

Let me take those two paragraphs sentence by sentence.  We (he means Christians) don't kill in the name of God (with a few exceptions such as some IRA supporters).  Islamic fanatics do kill in the name of God and have been doing so since Islam was founded.  Christians are not "squeezed from the birthplace of Jesus by militant Zionist Israelis", though they are persecuted by Islamic fanatics.  Christian fundamentalists are not "egging" the Islamic persecutors on; in fact they are among the few willing to defend Middle East Christians.  It is false to imply that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been inspired by American Christians.  Professor McKay could be more precise by saying that Ahmadinejad believes in the return of the Twelfth Imam, rather than the Mahdi.  Neither, by the way, are prophets in the usual sense of the word.

Those two paragraphs, in which he casually equates "Christian fundamentalists" and "Zionist Israelis" with Islamic terrorists are bad enough, but the next paragraph is worse:

In Iraq, devastated by a war prosecuted by right-wing Christian politicians in league with neoconservative Zionists, an Islamic theocracy is likely to result, widening divisions within the region and putting women back in their proper place behind veils and walls.

Let's translate:  The war in Iraq, Professor McKay tells us, is being prosecuted by right-wing Christians and "neoconservative Zionists", that is, Jews.  He then predicts, bizarrely, that an Islamic theocracy is "likely to result" from their actions — even though the Iraqi constitution has guarantees against just that result.  Women (for some reason he forgets to mention minorities) will be hardest hit.

(Yes, that sentence is poorly written.  I think that sentence is so bad because McKay wants to slur what he calls "right-wing Christians" and "neoconservative Zionists", without doing so directly and openly.  If he didn't want to flirt with bigotry, he might have written a clearer sentence, or perhaps set of sentences, since that one should be broken up.)

From there, McKay wanders off to slur Franklin Graham, who does seem to have an odd idea, but not one any of us, except his parents and siblings, need worry about.

But he doesn't slur Keith Ellison, the congressman-elect from Minnesota's 5th district.  McKay mentions him in order to attack "the Christian right and its talk-radio acolytes".  But he does not tell us anything about the more serious objections to Ellison, such as his past support for the Nation of Islam, his connections to a violent gang, and his law breaking.

McKay ends, not surprisingly, by telling us what Jesus would do.

Having achieved political power here and abroad, Christians, Muslims and Jews squander it by reaching for more.  Christ, were he here today, might identify with penitents of all three religions, people of good will and good works of charity and brotherhood.

And, as you will note, once again equating the three religions.  (Does he know about the violent conflicts between Hindus and Muslims and between Buddhists and Muslims?  I have no idea.  Perhaps he omits those two religions because mentioning them would spoil his thesis.)

When Professor McKay flirts with bigotry this way he gives journalism a bad name.

("Neoconservative", or more often "neocon", has become a slur word used against those who favor a vigorous foreign policy that defends our values, as well as our interests.  This post is not the place for a definition of the term, but it is easy to give a brief explanation for those who grew up in Washington state.  Neoconservatives are Scoop Jackson Democrats, who left the party after the McGovernites took over.

Oh, and I suppose I should say something about President Bush's beliefs, since Professor McKay and so many others are so suspicious about them.  President Bush is a Methodist — just like the junior senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  And from everything I can tell, he is a fairly conventional Methodist, at least for someone who grew up in Texas.  Though he is quite private about his beliefs; they aren't even mentioned in his official biography.)

Posted by Jim Miller at December 27, 2006 02:11 PM | Email This
Comments
1. "Islamic militants on the other: ...militants? Militants? Does the word terrorist mean anything to him?
"In Iraq, devastated by a war prosecuted by right-wing Christian politicians in league with neoconservative Zionists"

Aha- I see that the Flat Earth Society has joined up with the Conspiracies R Us group.


Posted by: John425 on December 27, 2006 02:28 PM
2. "Islamic militants on the other: ...militants? Militants? Does the word terrorist mean anything to him?
"In Iraq, devastated by a war prosecuted by right-wing Christian politicians in league with neoconservative Zionists"

Aha- I see that the Flat Earth Society has joined up with the Conspiracies R Us group.


Posted by: John425 on December 27, 2006 02:28 PM
3. Always bashing christians (and jews) and always apologizing for Islamofacism. I just don't understand these leftist people. They get everything backward and upside down. Never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by: Me on December 27, 2006 02:32 PM
4. Good job on this. I read the article and couldn't get passed the first sentence without catching my breath again.

"my thoughts turned to how religion has come to dominate the news of the 21st century in ways I would never have dreamed"

Religion isn't dominating the news! Islamic expansion by killing non-Muslims is what is dominating the news. If you want to call this a religious war, then it is Islam against everyone else. That's the religious war that keeps attacking us over and over again.

Posted by: Wally on December 27, 2006 02:41 PM
5. Equating all religions allows a socialist to put all religous persons in a single basket. And so more easily dismiss all in a single step. Requires less thinking, and is more easily communicated.

Posted by: cindy on December 27, 2006 02:45 PM
6. Actually, McKay has always struck me as a neo-communist, who would have done very well working for Stalin.

Posted by: Hinton on December 27, 2006 02:49 PM
7. It isn't just "Islamic expansion by killing non-Muslims," it's every bit as much Muslim sect vs. Muslim sect. It's a combination of agent provacateurs and the sectarian purists that equate believers not of their peculiar sect with all other non-believers.

By glossing over the differences in the various murders, perspective is lost...few of the Islamic apologists exhibit any awareness of the difference between publicly stating ones beliefs and the supposed imposition of a theocracy.

So it's not just a matter of guilt by association or the moral equivalency argument; it's also reducing the differences to the ridiculous and pandemic myopia.

Posted by: scott158 on December 27, 2006 02:57 PM
8. McKay is a profoundly ignorant man, and like the truly ignorant is unembarrassed about displaying his ignorance. Why the Times persists in giving him space on its editorial page is a question only they can answer.

Posted by: ram on December 27, 2006 03:02 PM
9. well...hmmmm...there's a deep irony at play here...

One of the basics of Christian belief is that Christ voluntarily died on the cross for all persons, including the Islamaterrorists and McKay.

So, Mr. McKay...try and find a moral equivalency argument THERE with your beloved Islamaterrorists. That will be one of your tougher assignments...

must be a tough nut to swallow when the belief you oppose has a better plan for you long-term than you do...

Posted by: scott158 on December 27, 2006 03:07 PM
10. Floyd J. McKay is giving journalists a bad name.

By chosing to focus on the actions of radical extremists in Judism, Christianity, and Islam; McKay misses the point.

Posted by: Green Lake Mark on December 27, 2006 03:14 PM
11. Good point Scott158, I didn't want to write a book and take away from Jim Millers writing, but I do realize that during the feeding frenzy a few sharks get bit. And when the fish are gone, the little sharks had better swim fast.

Posted by: wally on December 27, 2006 03:15 PM
12. Gaaah!!! My daughter goes to Western! We'll have to make sure she doesn't take any classes from this guy. Don't want to pay actual hard earned money for that kind of piffle!

Posted by: Peggy U on December 27, 2006 03:27 PM
13. Perhaps the most unfortunate thing is that he probably doesn't even realize how screwed up his reasoning truely is.

Posted by: JDH on December 27, 2006 03:32 PM
14. JDH: "Perhaps the most unfortunate thing is that he probably doesn't even realize how screwed up his reasoning truely is."

That's one of the practical definitions of a true believer.

btw, Floyd...Merry Christmas.

Posted by: scott158 on December 27, 2006 03:37 PM
15. No surprise here.

More rantings from an anti-religious bigot; today's modern leftist. Once you understand that the left has more in common with Marx ("religion is the opiate of the masses") than with our nation's founders (freedom of religion), then their rhetoric is quite predictable.

Tired, worn-out and re-hashed Stalinist sloganeering. All at the expense of taxpayers.

Posted by: Shaun on December 27, 2006 03:46 PM
16. How is an article like McKay's and responding to it going to advance anything? It is so wrong on every front and point and misses what is going on and tries to set the stage for defeating what needs to be done. This is the tone and demeanor of every scrap of media from leftists to head in the sand rightists (Like Medved Moderates).


I am as guilty as the next of wanting to respond to someone so smart that to either follow him or respond to him is regressing us. We get distracted from the real goal.

That goal is taking out evil and not really caring who gets OFFFFFEEENNNNNNNDDDDDED by that thinking. I can hear the heart attacks from McKay to Rosenberg to Medved to Rove but folks we got to let them have them lest we are moving to the FEMA camp in Fallon, Nevada to avoid the radiation.

The discussion ball needs to be how many 747 are converted to heavy bombers, how many troops hit Iran, How many megatons for Damascus, how many firing squads for the traitors in our midsts, how many muslims get kicked out of the US Armed forces. Get off your PC stomach churning and get down to brass tacks folks.

It is high time instead of caring about what we see on/in The View and the NY Times or poor news reader Katie Couric lips we move the argument to the ACTION order in which Iran, N. Korea, Syria, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Paris based Muslim thugs, Immamns in American flying US Air, Hamtramck Michigan, Venezuelan jerks, Keith Ellison, the ACLU, Hezbollah et. al. will be read the riot act that no more will it be tolerated that at every thing in life you are slightly Offended with you get to blow up how ever many thousand of people you want to and as such you are going to be eliminated from the family. No second chances.

We would not take it our neighbors torching our house because of our pink flamingo yet we let the whimp across the street equate our pink flamingo with his drug dealing and saying we deserve it as we live on the same street. Our same wimp neighbor then calls us on the carpet for rebuilding with brick and taking measures to flush the scum from the neighborhood. And we try and explain ourselves?? We got nothing to hide. We Good They Bad. Make that a bumpersticker with a cross on the left and a crescent on the right.
No MORE!
Time to just let the scum have it with all the might and power we have then deal with Russia and China.

Remember the wimp neighbor will burka his wife while your getting your head chopped off. It is high time to destroy the evil in the neighborhood and then ask McKay how things look rather than argue with him over how much drug dealing should go on.

Paraphrasing from Animal House-"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? The Germans? Don't stop him he in on a roll. Who's with me....... Let's do it go go go go!!!!" Fallujah is Flat, Damascus is dust, Hezbollah is History, Amadjihad is a historywad, Kim Jong Il is bye bong killed, Citgo is Now Amerigo, The ACLU now is a was, Hamas is now humus and McKay is still an idiot in the corner ungrateful as ever and now completely ignored with nary an idea how blessed he is that good men finally ignored him and tackled evil.

Posted by: Col. Hogan on December 27, 2006 04:20 PM
17. Sorry to nit-pick, but Keith Ellison is from the Minnesota 5th CD. Otherwise, I agree with everything you said.

Posted by: Howard Hirsch on December 27, 2006 04:31 PM
18. Howard Hirsch - Thanks much for catching that mistake. I've corrected it.

(Today just isn't my day. On my own blog I wrote 1994 when I meant 1974. I got a nice email noting the mistake, corrected it, and then forgot to upload the correction until I got another email. But it is fixed now.)

Posted by: Jim Miller on December 27, 2006 04:50 PM
19. I'm with you, Colonel!

Posted by: katomar on December 27, 2006 05:05 PM
20. Yes but can you run or Gov. a country?

Should we vote for another stupid catholic like Um hmmmm? TED K. is the one that comes to mind of both stupid and who gives a grass a** what religion has to do with it! As long at it ain't gonna change what I believe in!

Posted by: dcat on December 27, 2006 05:05 PM
21. From the outside all religions pretty much look the same, and historically, christianity has enough blood on its hands to fill an ocean, just like the muslims and the jews. Today's modern evangelists seem to be cut from the same cloth as Torquemada, only slightly restrained. Protesting you are not all like those other people that behave exactly the same is silly, but I'm sure you believe it.

His comments on waiting for the rapture captures the essentials of what I typically hear from my evangelical associates, and is fomented on a regular basis in the "left behind" books.

Posted by: H Moul on December 27, 2006 05:44 PM
22. "From the outside all religions pretty much look the same,"

For a clearer perspective one might examine how members of "all religions" react when they are criticized.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 27, 2006 05:57 PM
23. I can build a mosque in any part of the united states without violence or murder resulting.

I can't say the same for building a church in any country in the middle east.

Posted by: Andy on December 27, 2006 06:03 PM
24. This guy might agree with McKay's ramblings:

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A man doused himself with flammable liquid and set himself afire, apparently to protest a school district's decision to change the names of winter and spring breaks to Christmas and Easter vacation.

Posted by: Tyler Durden on December 27, 2006 06:14 PM
25. The Old Testament deity very explicitly kills a lot of humans, and orders the murders of more humans, often for acts we would not consider to be crimes. Many of these crimes involve worshipping another deity. This reflects the worldview of the men who wrote the Books, thousands of years ago. (Neither Old nor New Testments criticize slavery, because it was a normal practice in those days.) Persons who now advocate 'Biblical morality' choose their teachings from these works with incredible care, producing a highly selective morality indeed.

If a deity commands death for non-believers, then the true believers must obey. And true believers have obeyed, for thousands of years. This or that group of true believers may do more or less killing now than in the past, but the underlying rationale for their violence remains 'on the Books'. Quibble with the details all of you want, but even the religion explicitly founded on peaceful coexistence has produced deadly Crusades.

(BTW, a Zionist need not be a Jew. There are indeed plenty of American Christian fundamentalists who staunchly advocate for the Jewish State, thus making them Zionists.)

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 27, 2006 06:23 PM
26. 'You guys did it hundreds of years ago' hardly justifies Muslim terrorism in the 21st Century. Nor does it justify anti-semitism. Grow up.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 27, 2006 06:38 PM
27. So Paddy mac, where are the christian people blowing themselves up in pizza parlors where families are eating and sawing off the heads of the innocent?

Regardless of where one's sympathies lie in the middle east, why is it so hard to see that Israel is the most civilized place open for business in the middle east? You will get better treatment as an arab living in Israel than you will as a jewish person living in any islamic neighboring country. Why so much sympathy for Islamo-facism?

Posted by: me on December 27, 2006 07:37 PM
28. This professor really has no idea what christianity is about.

Posted by: Misty on December 27, 2006 07:43 PM
29. Paddy Mac: You are spinning history. The Crusades came about when the Caliphate reached Europe. I believe Spain was quite a wake-up call for Christians. The Crusades were a defensive war, pushing back the Islamic invaders, then taking the war to them and defeating them. As we are doing now, even back then they had their heads in a hole in the ground until it was almost too late.

Posted by: katomar on December 27, 2006 08:01 PM
30. I surprised. Didn't anyone catch this whopper:

"We (he means Christians) don't kill in the name of God (with a few exceptions such as some IRA supporters)."

The IRA??? What is he talking about??? The IRA is a leftist-group, funded by the PLO among other leftist organizations, that killed in the name of unification of Ireland.

McKay is showing just exactly how prejudiced he is - he thinks that if you are Irish you are either a militant Protestant or a militant Roman Catholic. That conflict was never about religion except in the most superficial way. I could go on, but the rest of the discussion would be waaaaayyyy OT.

Posted by: mac on December 27, 2006 09:01 PM
31. One sick professor is all I can say..

Posted by: chris on December 27, 2006 09:25 PM
32. How fitting this came during the Christmas season. This idiot has managed to bring diverse opinions and diverse beliefs to share one conclusion, this guy is an idiot.

Posted by: WVH on December 27, 2006 09:32 PM
33. "...where are the christian people blowing themselves up in pizza parlors where families are eating and sawing off the heads of the innocent?"

It's a stylistic thing. In America, they bomb medical facilities and shoot doctors.

"Why so much sympathy for Islamo-facism?"

I have none. Osama bin Laden's goon squad killed my sister's boss, her mentor, and other co-workers, all on the morning of 9/11. She missed the slaughter purely by accident. What their deaths had to do with whatever he's 'fighting' for has never made any sense to me. If he's still alive, and not in our custody, I want my government to explain why.

"...Irish you are either a militant Protestant or a militant Roman Catholic. That conflict was never about religion except in the most superficial way."

Actually, the nefarious English overlords of both Scotland and Ireland transplanted Scottish Protestants into Catholic Ireland, intentionally onto the best land, from which the English had removed the rebellious Irish. Divide and conquer, in the most effective way. Combine national and religious identity with economic warfare. Those Irish who want an excuse for violence have plenty of excuses.

"The Crusades came about when the Caliphate reached Europe. I believe Spain was quite a wake-up call for Christians. The Crusades were a defensive war, pushing back the Islamic invaders, then taking the war to them and defeating them. As we are doing now, even back then they had their heads in a hole in the ground until it was almost too late."

Dr. Norman Davies, Professor of European History at the University of London, notes that one such Crusade created a Latin kingdom in Palestine, quite a far remove from any attempt to defend Europe. (Your own paragraph makes religion a tribal identity, when the founder of Christianity explicitly wanted otherwise for his followers.) Creating an American government in Baghdad, when the prior occupant had nothing to do with 9/11, makes about as much sense as a European King of Jerusalem to 'defend' Europe. And it will be resented by the locals for about as long.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 27, 2006 09:52 PM
34. I have been going to church all my life and have never, not once, heard a preacher talk about the "rapture." Where do they get this stuff?

Posted by: Marcia Wolf on December 27, 2006 11:09 PM
35. Those who blew up abortion clinics are far and few in between. Practically no one sympathizes with them. Islamofacists have fans by the millions all over the world. it is ridiculous to compare the two as if they are a similarly big, world-wide movement. Completely ridiculous. This is why the left has no clue about terrorism. They claim that a few crazies in America are as big a force as millions of world-wide Islamofacists who saw off heads and blow up airplanes and fly them into buildings.
And the dems wonder why people consider them weak on terror. they call Bush "Hitler" but don't protest against murderous terrorists---they instead argue for "rights" for terrorists. In fact, they try NOT to call them terrorists. They call them "militants", or anything else to soften the creepiness. Where did the blinders come from?

So I ask again--where is the worldwide movement among christians to blow up airplanes and kidnap people and saw off their heads? You can't hide from this, paddy. These islamofacists that you have sympathy for and can't seem to see the evil in are out to kill YOU. And all of us. You can't see that. Hope that you do soon. They are serious, even if you aren't.

Posted by: Me on December 27, 2006 11:10 PM
36. PS--One of the reasons Osama bin Laden is still at large is because WHEN BILL CLINTON HAD THE CHANCE TO GET THIS GUY'S HEAD ON A SILVER PLATTER----HE SAID NO!! Thanks to soft-on-terror Bill Clinton, OBL was free to keep killing.
And speaking of abortion clinics, I abhor those who bomb them. I also abhor what goes on in them. 1.4 million babies every year get maimed, dismembered and literally torn to pieces in those places. I hope that Paddy shares the disgust with that, too. I hope he also knows that thousands of women are in total torment over what they did to their babies, after they had the abortions. They wish someone had told them the truth about what it really involved. You can read about these women online and their anguish. It's the dirty little secret of abortions and those who talk girls/women into them. Emotional pain for the rest of their lives.

Posted by: Me on December 27, 2006 11:18 PM
37. Paddy Mac, as always, prefers to trot out slogans rather than complete facts. He completely "forgot" to mention the "little fact" of all those millions of people in Iraq first voting on a constitution and then electing a government. All those purple fingers, at the risk of their lives. They must really resent that little accomplishment. That must be why they have hundreds of volunteers for the honor of hanging Saddam. Typical of Paddy.

Posted by: katomar on December 27, 2006 11:20 PM
38. 1. I agree with Me.

2. The following from Lucianne is posted without
comment, you draw your own conclusions:

From the Australian.
Death of religious tolerance in Malaysia
Australian, by Greg Sheridan Original Article
Posted By: FLgator - 12/26/2006 2:27:44 PM Post Reply
Death of religious tolerance in Malaysia
Greg Sheridan, Kuala Lumpur
December 27, 2006

LAWYER Malik Imtiaz Sawar seems a most unlikely person to attract death threats. A small, softly spoken, friendly man, the impression he gives is above all one of consideration.
What has earned him the death threats is his appearance in court on behalf of Lina Joy, a case that has become a battleground of Malaysian political and cultural identity, and of freedom of religion.
The case highlights what some analysts believe is the Arabisation of Malaysian Islam, a dynamic that can also be seen in Indonesia.
Lina Joy was once a Muslim but has converted to Christianity. She didn't do so to make any broad point or to lead any social movement. It was entirely a private decision. But in Malaysia the state takes official notice of your race and religion.
Lina Joy tried to get herself deregistered as a Muslim and reregistered as a Christian. As a Muslim she is not allowed to marry a Christian man and any children she has must be brought up as Muslims.
When the state authorities refused to accept her conversion she appealed to the courts on the basis of Article 11 of the Malaysian constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion.
The case, in which judgment could be given at any time, has polarised Malaysia. Many Muslims believe apostasy - changing your religion - is not only a sin but should be punishable by death.
Imtiaz told The Australian that traditionally Malaysia was pragmatic and liberal about such matters. Apostasy would always cause a social reaction but if a Malaysian converted they could make this official by changing their name and publicising the change.
In recent years, however, a body of case law has grown up that requires a Malaysian to go before a sharia - Muslim religious - court to get a kind of exit permit from the religion.
Sharia courts, Imtiaz argues, were only ever meant to consider a fairly narrow range of family matters exclusively for Muslims, not to impinge fundamentally on a citizen's relationship to the state.
But the Lina Joy case, and a raft of others involving similar issues, have touched off a wave of Islamist activism in Malaysia. There has been a rash of anti-apostasy campaigns. Islamic defenders' groups, mirroring those in Indonesia but without the violence, have been set up.
A crazy text message spread to the effect that there was to be a mass baptism of Islamic converts in northern Malaysia. It led to much hysteria but was baseless.
Then came the death threats to Imtiaz, a Muslim, with posters branding him an enemy of Islam and urging his murder.
It is important not to exaggerate Malaysia's problems. Malaysia remains a mostly peaceful, prosperous and law-abiding society in which the different races and religions mostly rub along OK. But there is a good deal of evidence that popular Malay Muslim attitudes are hardening, are being at least somewhat Arabised.
A well conducted survey of Malay attitudes recently found that a majority of Malays think of themselves first as Muslims, rather than as Malays or Malaysians, the one civic identity that embraces all of Malaysia's races and religions.
The same survey also shows that Malays tend to conceive of Malaysia as an Islamic state, and want it in the future to be more Islamic. Similarly, while supporting freedom of religion, there is little community support for the idea that a Muslim has the right to change their religion.
Says Noordin, a young Malaysian working in the non-government sector: "When I was growing up here there weren't as many people cloaked in religious piety. In Malaysia it (the process of Arabisation) denotes a sense of insecurity about our comprehension of Islam, and of our place in Islam. We have more Muslims in Southeast Asia than anywhere else but we still look to the Middle East to set the standard.
"Unfortunately, when we think of Islam here we think of it in its Middle Eastern guise."
Haji Zaid Kamaruddin does not agree with Noordin. Kamaruddin is the president of Jamaah Islah Malaysia, a non-government organisation that aims for the full implementation of Islamic sharia law by 2020.
I meet Kamaruddin in JIM's modest offices in a Kuala Lumpur shopping centre. One of his book cases contains English-language titles. Some of these are leadership manuals. But I am struck by the familiarity of so many other titles. There is Rogue State, which denounces US foreign policy, there is a book by George Soros, who denounces George W. Bush, and inevitably there is Noam Chomsky, the chief denouncer of them all.
Kamaruddin, an amiable, balding man with a pious goatee, is no extremist. He stresses the obligation of courtesy and good treatment that all humans owe to each other regardless of religion. And he wants Malaysia to evolve to a sharia state, not have it forced on the society.
He does not use the term "Arabisation" of Malaysian Islam, but, revealingly, he talks approvingly of the standardisation of Islam, a beneficial consequence, he believes, of the information revolution.
"Traditional Malay Islam is becoming more like international Islam," he says.
I ask Kamaruddin whether it is not the case that it says in the Koran that apostasy is punishable by death.
"Let me check the precise reference," he says, rising to consult a religious book.
After a few moments he gives up the search for the particular reference and continues: "That is the general understanding among the ulamma (Muslim people) that it is punishable by capital punishment. But there is the question of how this should be handled. In Islam, punishment is the last resort - the first is to encourage the good. But this system (in Malaysia) is not an Islamic system so there is no authority that will enforce it. But even in an Islamic society as practised in the time of the Prophet, you don't seek out those who have converted and hunt them down.
"This is the difficulty where the state has not lived up to its responsibility to uphold Islam. I don't think it's relevant here."
Malaysia's Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, himself an Islamic scholar, has pioneered the concept of Islam Hadari, by which he means a tolerant and inclusive Islam. Abdullah is certainly a foe of extremism and a beacon of tolerance in his own society.
But even Islam Hadari, Imtiaz argues, suggests a special role specifically for Islam in determining the constitutional relationship between the state and the citizen.
Zaid Ibrahim, a politician from the ruling United Malays National Organisation and a successful commercial lawyer, worries more about racial than religious attitudes. "Obviously we must have done something right in the past, but race relations are fragile," he says.
This is evident in schooling. Only 6 per cent of Chinese Malaysian students attend national schools, which are meant to be for all races. The Chinese prefer Chinese schools. This may be partly because of the increasing role of Islam in national schools.
Khairy Jamaluddin is the deputy president of the UMNO, a much more powerful position than it sounds. Oxford educated, suave and polished in every way, he is also married to the Prime Minister's daughter and destined for great things.
He accepts the proposition of a greater degree of Arabisation and Islamisation in Malaysia over the past few years but offers a wider context: "There's nothing particularly new about the Arabisation of Islam around the world. You see the rise of Islamic movements of a more conservative type after the oil shocks of the 1970s and Iranian revolution produced a surge of Islamic consciousness.
"Today is the culmination of two decades of the Islamic situation. Islam has a more conservative colour today, yes. Default position is a more conservative one. It also has something to do with the post-9/11 world. There is a feeling that Muslims are under siege."
Khairy adds that this deepening religiosity is not unique to the Muslim world. "Look at non-Muslim societies like the United States. The conservative population is larger than the liberal population. It's really a worldwide trend."
Malaysia's success, and its social strength, remain formidable and it is overall a tolerant and decent society. But the trend for cultural, religious and ultimately political norms to be imported from the Middle East is unmistakable, and must be profoundly troubling.

Posted by: WVH on December 27, 2006 11:33 PM
39. "Those who blew up abortion clinics are far and few in between. Practically no one sympathizes with them. Islamofacists have fans by the millions all over the world. it is ridiculous to compare the two as if they are a similarly big, world-wide movement. Completely ridiculous. This is why the left has no clue about terrorism. They claim that a few crazies in America are as big a force as millions of world-wide Islamofacists who saw off heads and blow up airplanes and fly them into buildings."

"One of the reasons Osama bin Laden is still at large is because WHEN BILL CLINTON HAD THE CHANCE TO GET THIS GUY'S HEAD ON A SILVER PLATTER----HE SAID NO!! Thanks to soft-on-terror Bill Clinton, OBL was free to keep killing."

That's a flat-out lie, as reading the 9/11 Commission's Report would have informed you. You righties are always the same. You hated Communism, but not enough to learn anything about it, and you never understood its dangerous appeal to peoples colonized by exploitative regimes. Do you remember the Republican Congressional "leadership" rallying around Bill Clinton when al-Qa'eda attacked all of us? You might, but the rest of us don't, because they never did it. No character means no patriotism, and they continued trying to throw him from office even as he fought al-Qa'eda. What lesson did the terrorists learn from his impeachment, huh? If it was "a Republican president will snooze on his 'ranch' for eight months and ignore explicit warnings of our approach", then they obviously got it right. Your tough talk is just that: talk, and nothing more. If al-Qa'eda terrorists care at all about what Americans think, they're enjoying your total failure to understand the most basic points of our fight with them. Your ignorant exaggerations of their might serves them well.

"Millions" do not hijack airplanes, nor do "millions" behead mercinaries or bomb Bali nightclubs -- or American medical facilities. A very few violent individuals, using some god or another as an excuse, kill other humans. Just as we don't invade the Bible Belt to stop a few fanatical bombers, we should have reacted proportionately to al-Qa'eda's attack. Instead, we repeated the mistake European Crusaders made, and we'll also be paying for it for many years at least. Again, where is the person who ordered the deaths of my sister's co-workers? When your precious "tough on terror" right-wingers bring my sister his head, you can babble about how great they are. Not one moment before. Calling me a "sympathizer" because I note the muderous similarities between various true believers doesn't make the "War on Terror" any less of a colossal failure. The 9/11 Commission wrote a lot; I suggest you avail yourself of it, and stop blaming a President who actually did something -- over the stupid objections of our now-fallen Congressional 'leadership'.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 27, 2006 11:59 PM
40. Paddy Mac,

What the heck are you drinking, is it more than 200 proof? I think you are getting a bit of a start on the New Year. Since your mind is set in its ways. The best New Year possible.

Posted by: WVH on December 28, 2006 12:04 AM
41. 'Paddy Mac, as always, prefers to trot out slogans rather than complete facts. He completely "forgot" to mention the "little fact" of all those millions of people in Iraq first voting on a constitution and then electing a government. All those purple fingers, at the risk of their lives. They must really resent that little accomplishment. That must be why they have hundreds of volunteers for the honor of hanging Saddam. Typical of Paddy.'

Good grief, what an incredibly ignorant statement for an American to make. When did our own Civil War start? RIGHT AFTER THE ELECTIONS OF 1860! A ruling regional elite feared loss of their undeserved power, and fought the central government. Sound familiar? Probably not, to some fool who confuses purple fingers with actual working government.

I was a already a member of Amnesty International, heavily critical of Saddam's regime, back when one Donald Rumsfeld was photographed shaking his hand. (It's almost like he's been an incompetent failure, our very own national embarrassment, for decades! Go figure!) We've replaced a Sunni-dominated dictatorship with a Shi'a regime, very cozy with Iran, and provided Sunni al-Qa'eda with plenty of recruitment-helpful images of American soldiers abusing Muslims. If this is success in the War on Terror, I'd hate to see failure. It's funny (but not ha-ha funny) that our own country's proudly Maximum Christian True Believer cannot understand the differences between another religion's True Believers, but ignorant fanatacism will do that.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 28, 2006 12:16 AM
42. "What the heck are you drinking, is it more than 200 proof?"

As you can see, I've been imbibing zero-proof, 100% b.s., right-wing know-nothing tough-guy rhetoric. And it leaves a VERY bad taste in my mouth! (If I have enough, I may get stoopid about terror, too!)

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 28, 2006 12:26 AM
43. This whole topic seems to have been hijacked by Paddy Mac.

The difference between Islamic and Christian reaction to violence from within is that Muslims have a religious obligation (real or contrived) to harbor and protect the offenders (as evidenced by the lack of outrage by muslims when others kill in the name of their religion) whereas Christians have a religious obligation to expose them and deliver them up to the civil authority. There are crazies in every religion, but not all religions respond the same way to it. No sane Christian defends Jim Jones or Vernon Howell just because they claim some allegiance to Jesus.

Posted by: Dustin on December 28, 2006 06:38 AM
44. In other news...Blacks cannot even catch a break from other blacks. Oh, the humanity!!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/26/us/26nannies.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=print

December 26, 2006
Nanny Hunt Can Be a 'Slap in the Face' for Blacks
By JODI KANTOR

[Article deleted in order not to violate copyright laws. You can find it, if you want to, at the link above.

The limits on what you quote aren't as clear as one would like, but I am pretty sure that went too far. - Jim Miller]

Posted by: JDH on December 28, 2006 08:24 AM
45. JDH:

1. I am Black and I am happy when people of any color, class, status, or religion succeed.
2. The posting of this particular article on this particular thread is curious and before I jump to any conclusions regarding your intent, let me direct a couple of questions to you:

a. Do you equate a very serious problem on the planet, the rise of Islamofacism with Black people moving up the economic ladder? If so, what exactly in your mind are the parallels?

b. If Black people, the overwhelming majority of whom are Christians, move up the economic ladder are they likely to use additional assets to buy planes and crash them into buildings as Islamofacists have done?

c. Are you envious of successful people, particularly if their skin color is darker than yours?

Depending upon your answers, I might put you in the same catagory as Mc Kay and call you an idiot.

Posted by: WVH on December 28, 2006 10:04 AM
46. Follow The Golden Rule, and you've got religion in a nutshell. Anything else is just pomp and circumstance.

Posted by: Libertarian on December 28, 2006 10:17 AM
47. JDH - Please stay on topic. And please do not violate copyright laws by posting all, or nearly all, of a news story. A link to the story -- if it had been on topic -- would have been fine. (I'll delete much of the story to protect Sound Politics, after I finish this post.)

(Those who want to discuss that NYT story may want to go to this La Shawn Barber post.)

Posted by: Jim Miller on December 28, 2006 10:39 AM
48. This topic, if nothing else, serves to illustrate the absolute refusal of the modern left to discern right from wrong. The tragedy is that the young people of this nation are being indoctrinated with it.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2006 11:14 AM
49. I'm sorry for anyone who thinks Bill Clinton was the president who fought terrorism. The rest of the country missed it, Paddy. Why the escalation of attacks during the entire 90's? Why did OBL say he was emboldened to go ahead with even worse, because saw that Clinton did nothing? The dems have a "weak on defense" reputation for a reason. The Islamofacists will come for you first. They are thrilled that dems won house and senate for a reason. The soft on crime/terror thing has everything to do with it.
Millions of muslims support blowing up of the innocent via suicide bombings. you can't deny it. The terrorists are excited because they see the american left as their useful idiots. Foreign news sources describe them as simply trying to 'wait out' President Bush, because he knows what they want to do to us and won't have it. That should tell you something.
The dems are busy talking about rights for terrorists and 'dialoguing' with crazy people (that's what beheaders are, after all). you can only 'dialogue' with civilized people. not crazies. But the terrorists know that the dems are living in a fantasy world when it comes to dealing with bad guys. They laughed when Bill Clinton 'trusted' Kim Jong Il not to develop nuclear weapons. We on the right would've laughed too if it wasn't so sad and tragic. Now look at what's transpired from Bill Clinton's kumbaya approach to N. Korea? Or selling the ability to point missiles at us to China? What kind of self-destructive impulse is THAT? It's all from the same leftist cloth. Evil not recognized. Good called evil. Evil called good. Too predictable. I'm not playing that sick game.

Posted by: Me on December 28, 2006 01:28 PM
50. I'm sorry for anyone who thinks Bill Clinton was the president who fought terrorism. The rest of the country missed it, Paddy. Why the escalation of attacks during the entire 90's? Why did OBL say he was emboldened to go ahead with even worse, because saw that Clinton did nothing? The dems have a "weak on defense" reputation for a reason. The Islamofacists will come for you first. They are thrilled that dems won house and senate for a reason. The soft on crime/terror thing has everything to do with it.
Millions of muslims support blowing up of the innocent via suicide bombings. you can't deny it. The terrorists are excited because they see the american left as their useful idiots. Foreign news sources describe them as simply trying to 'wait out' President Bush, because he knows what they want to do to us and won't have it. That should tell you something.
The dems are busy talking about rights for terrorists and 'dialoguing' with crazy people (that's what beheaders are, after all). you can only 'dialogue' with civilized people. not crazies. But the terrorists know that the dems are living in a fantasy world when it comes to dealing with bad guys. They laughed when Bill Clinton 'trusted' Kim Jong Il not to develop nuclear weapons. We on the right would've laughed too if it wasn't so sad and tragic. Now look at what's transpired from Bill Clinton's kumbaya approach to N. Korea? Or selling the ability to point missiles at us to China? What kind of self-destructive impulse is THAT? It's all from the same leftist cloth. Evil not recognized. Good called evil. Evil called good. Too predictable. I'm not playing that sick game.

Posted by: Me on December 28, 2006 01:31 PM
51. McKay is a bitter, old Socialist. Like all Lefties, he sympathizes with Islamofascists because they hate America. As a creepy leftist, McKay has a knee-jerk sympathy for anyone who opposes our nation but lacks the cajones to relocate to Cuba (a place he no doubt admires). Jihadis invaded europe and occupied several regions for hundreds of years (i.e., iberia, the balkans, etc.). Thousands if not millions of European men, women and children were enslaved and used as galley slaves and filled harems. Despite those facts, our modern societies for the most part practice tolerance of islamic minorities. Contrast that against how christian and jewish minorities are currently treated in islamic countries in the 21st century. Lefty sympathizers and apologists for the jihadis are just as much the enemy as Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, ad nausem.

Posted by: Attila on December 28, 2006 01:48 PM
52. "I'm sorry for anyone who thinks Bill Clinton was the president who fought terrorism. The rest of the country missed it, Paddy."

Sigh. Read the 9/11 Commission's Report. Note especially the part where Clinton tells his subordinates to ignore the Monica/Impeachment interference coming from the Republican-controlled House, and focus on killing Osama bin Laden. Terrorists killed Americans, Clinton went after bin Laden, and the Republicans either did nothing or attacked Clinton. Talk about soft on terror!

"Why the escalation of attacks during the entire 90's?"

Because Al-Qa'eda, like everyone else in the world, could see the Republicans attack Clinton and ignore terrorism.
(Why did President Bush ignore the 6 August 2001 warning from the CIA? He had all of those attacks in the 1990s to warn him as well.)

"Why did OBL say he was emboldened to go ahead with even worse, because saw that Clinton did nothing?"

Why are you taking OBL at his word? Clinton fired cruise missles at the camps Al-Qa'eda used, in an attempt to kill bin Laden. It's all in the 9/11 Commission's Report.

"The Islamofacists will come for you first."

(Oooh, I'm just, like, so totally scared now!) They already attempted to kill my sister, and of course they'd want to kill me. They're religious fanatics, and I don't believe in their god. They won't come for you so long as you take at face value everything they say.

"They are thrilled that dems won house and senate for a reason."

Did they confide this to you at their last long-term strategic planning meeting, in some Pakistani cave? Or do you just refexively believe everything they say? Thanks for showing that destructively blind faith exists in areas other than organized religion.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 28, 2006 06:21 PM
53. Paddy Mac: If you don't believe what Al Qaeda says, then I pity you. You probably would have pooh-poohed Hitler too, along with the then appeasers, when he informed the world what he was going to do.

Posted by: katomar on December 28, 2006 07:46 PM
54. "If you don't believe what Al Qaeda says, then I pity you. You probably would have pooh-poohed Hitler too, along with the then appeasers, when he informed the world what he was going to do."

I think that the gang that tried to kill my sister hates us, and will lie to us if it suits their purposes. We should evaluate what they say in the context of their actions and goals. What is so hard to understand about that?

Osama bin Laden has made clear his 'mission' to 'free' Arabia (esp. the westernmost region, once known as the Hejaz) from foreign influence. Islam has many values in common with Old Testament Judiasm, including a Holy Land (a patch of desert that nobody in his right mind would ever want) where 'infldels' must not walk. In the case of bin Laden's religion, this Holy Land is the Hejaz, a strip of land which encompasses Medina and Mecca. He wants non-Muslims banned from that land, and sees overthrowing the House of Saud as the way to do it. He has made all of this very clear, and I have no reason to doubt his sincerity. (Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, all of it telling the truth, but then lied to Chaimberlain and Stalin.)

Our government has provided bin Laden with plenty of recruiting tools. We invaded an Arab and Muslim country which had not menaced us, killing and abusing many innocent persons. He can now claim that Americans want Arabs and Muslims to suffer, as at Abu Ghraib. What can we say in return? That our citizen-soldiers do not represent us? Donald Rumsfeld consigned them to endless occupation duty-- the very best way to grind an army to nothing-- and they reacted like many other soldiers did, throughout history. (All of this for a pack of lies about WMDs.) Meanwhile, in Afghanistan-- from where Al-Qa'eda plotted to attack us on 9/11 -- their hosts, the Taliban ('union of religious scholars') resurge from the mountains, to undo all of the progress we once made there.

After a too-brief season of combat in Afghanistan, this Administration has done everything it could to strengthen Osama bin Laden and Al-Qa'eda. Since our President is a True Believer, just like bin Laden, this does not suprise me. Our President, and his most ardent followers, are True Believers in the violently exclusivist religions which Prof. McKay rightly grouped together. We liberals refer to the Christian Right as the American Taliban (or 'Talibangelicals') for this reason.

Prof. McKay was right, and the failed attempts to smear him here just prove his points.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 28, 2006 08:44 PM
55. Paddy: And we Conservatives refer to the Liberal Progressives as slightly nuts.

Posted by: katomar on December 28, 2006 09:25 PM
56. Only slightly nuts? Unlike the Planters nuts that you buy at Rite-Aid, more than 50% peanuts.

Posted by: WVH on December 28, 2006 10:25 PM
57. WVH: Thanks for the good laugh! Maybe we should start calling Paddy and John McD the mixed (up) nuts!

Posted by: katomar on December 28, 2006 11:14 PM
58. Question for Paddy Mac: In the War on Terror, who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 29, 2006 08:55 AM
59. Many Americans, as evidenced by Paddy Mac, are ill prepared to accept that this nation is under attsck. Regardless of the loss they suffered or may suffer they seem to shift the blame to their fellow Americans rather than the ruthless enemy confronting them. Amazing!

Posted by: snuffy on December 29, 2006 11:23 AM
60. "In the War on Terror, who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys?"

Murder is evil when not performed in self-defense. The terrorists who tried to kill my sister were evil, as is their (still-free) leader. Our invasion of Afghanistan was one of several justified routes we could have taken after 9/11. While we can argue if it was the best, it did rout Al-Qa'eda and their Taliban hosts. It was a measured and rational response to the attack.

Iraq did not threaten us. Our illegal and unnecessary invasion has killed more Americans than Al-Qa'eda did on 9/11. It has turned Iraq into a giant recruitement and training tool for terrorists. I have trouble seeing this action, or any of the results, as 'good.'

Religious fanatcism, of the type Prof. McKay criticized, enables all of this unjust murder to have an unquestionable excuse, because the god who orders or endorses it is the root of morality to the True Believer. American response to the threat of Al-Qa'eda went better under a President who didn't consider himself the agent of a god.

BTW, the very formulation "War on Terror" distracts from the issue. "Terror" is a tactic, not an enemy. (Our current President cannot call it "War on Religious Extremists" because that phrase includes himself and his core followers.) We should never have called it a "War" at all, and our Congress hasn't declared one, anyway. As the British demonstrated last year, police action works better against terrorists. (I would regard our invasion of Afghanistan more as a police action than a war.) I still want Osama bin Laden to stand in New York State Court and hear thousands of guilty verdicts for "conspiracy to commit murder" read against him. That would be justice for his murder of my sister's co-workers.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 29, 2006 11:35 AM
61. "Many Americans, as evidenced by Paddy Mac, are ill prepared to accept that this nation is under attsck. Regardless of the loss they suffered or may suffer they seem to shift the blame to their fellow Americans rather than the ruthless enemy confronting them."

When did I say we did not face ruthless extremists? Of course we do. The question is how to proceed. Worldwide, the number of terrorist incidents has increased since our illegal invasion of Iraq. Instead of isolating the terrorists, we've given them a haven and plenty of inspiration. We've also killed more Americans than died on 9/11. How does any of this reduce the influcence of the religious extremism which Prof. McKay criticized?

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 29, 2006 11:41 AM
62. After all that rambling Paddy Mac it's not clear to me who you think the villians are. Am I to assume Saddam was a good guy who should have been left alone? Is it George Bush who is the real bad guy? Let's hear you say it. And as for your statement that "Murder is evil when not performed in self-defense" am I to assume that also pertains to abortion? Please do enlighten us.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 29, 2006 12:01 PM
63. Paddy: Why the H**l shouldn't we call it a War? Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist/terrorist groups are calling it a war; against Israel, the West in general, and us, make that U.S., in particular. As far as Iraq goes, that regime demonstrated eloquently its intentions toward the U.S. by shooting at U.N. mandated flyovers by the U.S. attempting to assassinate a U.S. President (Bush Sr.), funding homicide bombers to the tune of $25,000 per family, sanctioning training camps in-country for terrorists, and finally, actually using weapons of mass destruction against its own people, so don't tell me they never had any. We just didn't find them.

Posted by: katomar on December 29, 2006 02:20 PM
64. Another thing, Paddy. You say the number of casualties (American soldiers) has exceeded that of civilians on 9/11. What we never hear or see in print is the total number of terrorist combatants killed/captured since 9/11 by our brave troops. Recently the Washington Times had an article indicating the number was estimated at 400,000 in the last four to five months. That would make the total number since 9/11 pretty darn impressive. Of course, we don't want to discuss that, do we?

Posted by: katomar on December 29, 2006 03:01 PM
65. "Am I to assume Saddam was a good guy who should have been left alone?"

(Ask Donald Rumsfeld. You'll get a number of completely different answers.) Despite Rummy's wildly varying judgements of him, Saddam remained a thug and mass murderer; our assistance (provided by the Reagan Administration) or opposition made no difference. Whether we should have invaded Iraq is a separate issue. Can you justify our occupation, based on the results?

"Is it George Bush who is the real bad guy?" He ordered an invasion which was not necessary and which has since killed more Americans than died on 9/11. (I believe that he did this, in part, because of his religious extremism.) I describe all of that, and the results, as bad.

"... as for your statement that 'Murder is evil when not performed in self-defense' am I to assume that also pertains to abortion? Please do enlighten us."

Are you claiming that murder can be justified when not in self-defense? Perhaps if your god commands it, and if you're a religious fanatic, then yes you can. Dr. McKay remains correct.

If a brain-dead fetus will injure or kill the woman during an attempted delivery, then it should be removed by the method safest for her. Thus, even if every abortion is murder, this version would be a form of self-defense, and therfore justified. Oddly, this is the very abortion method that religious extremists in our country have tried to ban. This shows nicely how wacko religious fanaticism can get. Thank you for raising this point.

"Why the H**l shouldn't we call it a War? Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist/terrorist groups are calling it a war..."

Well, they're always right, now, aren't they? (It's because, like G.W. Bush, they have the one and only god on their side at all times.) By calling it a "war", we limit our options. I want a full range of options available for use against terrorists.

To fight a war, we need Congress to so declare it. It has not, thus demonstrating that Republican leaders do not believe we're at war.

As for Saddam's supposed threat to us, NATO ally Turkey did not agree, and it shares a border with Iraq. Germany and France, our staunch allies for decades, did not agree, and they're closer to Iraq than we are. We found no WMD because the U.N. had destroyed them, thus ending any threat Saddam posed beyond Iraq.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 29, 2006 03:13 PM
66. "Recently the Washington Times had an article indicating the number was estimated at 400,000 in the last four to five months. That would make the total number since 9/11 pretty darn impressive.

The Washington Times is owned by a well-known religious fanatic, so thanks for staying on topic. I'd like to know how the newspaper verified that figure, and knew the status of all of those persons. If there really were 100,000+ terrorists in Iraq, then the number of terrorists in our world has risen dramatically since our invasion. Vastly increasing the number of our enemies makes for a very strange way to win a "war", don't you think?

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 29, 2006 03:20 PM
67. Paddy Mac at #65: That's the clarification of your views I was aiming at. You can't tell right from wrong, and you may be a hair off of plumb as well.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 29, 2006 03:20 PM
68. Paddy: Here we go again with half truths. As for the type of abortions Conservatives are fighting against, (late term abortions) those fetuses are NOT brain dead until the abortionist makes them so prior to delivering a dead child. And those abortions are not, for the most part, related to the health of the mother, except, perhaps emotional health, or shall we say convenience?
You may be really, really slick with semantics, but I fear you have no soul, and no common sense.

Posted by: katomar on December 29, 2006 03:23 PM
69. "The Washington Times is owned by a well-known religious fanatic"

And so that must mean they lie, right? Unlike the leftist mainstream media. They never lie.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 29, 2006 03:30 PM
70. Paddy Mac's abortion commentary at #65: "If a brain-dead fetus will injure or kill the woman during an attempted delivery, then it should be removed by the method safest for her. Thus, even if every abortion is murder, this version would be a form of self-defense, and therfore justified. Oddly, this is the very abortion method that religious extremists in our country have tried to ban. This shows nicely how wacko religious fanaticism can get. Thank you for raising this point.

If there was ever a revealing post on how the left really views human life this is it.

Nothing was mentioned in my query about the necessity of abortion where the life of the mother was in jeapordy. That horrid choice is not opposed by most conservatives and is a disgusting twisting of the discussion that is so typical of the left.

All the wailing the left does about deaths in Iraq is nothing more than politics.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 29, 2006 03:51 PM
71. "Here we go again with half truths. As for the type of abortions Conservatives are fighting against, (late term abortions) those fetuses are NOT brain dead until the abortionist makes them so prior to delivering a dead child. And those abortions are not, for the most part, related to the health of the mother, except, perhaps emotional health, or shall we say convenience?
You may be really, really slick with semantics, but I fear you have no soul, and no common sense."

I suggest you consult the Congressional Record for 1995. Women who'd had late-term abortions testified before Congress on this point, and one woman's fetus hadn't even had a brain -- the fetal skull have never closed, and the open skull could have ravaged her reproductive tract during delivery. She'd wanted this child -- her first-- and had the procedure to ensure that she could try again.

Since the Congress was run by male religious fanatics who worship a male god, they ignored her. (They preferred to lecture her on her legal 'duties' to their god's morality.) They lose power next week, and the majority of American votes, who stripped them of it, will not mourn their passing from our national stage.

Thanks again for showing the weak thinking which religious fanaticism produces. Dr. McKay was even more correct than he wrote.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 29, 2006 03:53 PM
72. '"The Washington Times is owned by a well-known religious fanatic"

'And so that must mean they lie, right? Unlike the leftist mainstream media. They never lie.'

Actually, if the story is correct, it shows how dramatically our invasion and occupation of Iraq increased the number of terrorists in the world. I hope it's not true, because I want our actions not to aid terrorist recruitment, but if The Washington Times wants to support the arguments made by the occupation's critics, I'm all for it.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 29, 2006 04:00 PM
73. And how might we reduce the numbers of muslim terrorists in the world, Paddy Mac?

Should we all convert to Islam? Put our women in headscarves and forbid them to hold jobs, and drive?

Don't you get it?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 29, 2006 04:26 PM
74. "And how might we reduce the numbers of muslim terrorists in the world, Paddy Mac?"

We might start by not invading countries with Muslim populations and sexually humiliating their inhabitants. If we want to do something positive, we could intervene when Muslim Europeans are attacked by Eastern Orthodox Europeans. Stopping the persecution of Muslims by non-Muslims would get us sympathy from the Islamic world. President Clinton did this, for which he received heavy criticism from those who now lecture us not to criticize the President during an armed conflict.

After 9/11, we received sympathetic messages from citizens of Iran. Had we kept focused on terrorists, and not invaded a country which had no connection to 9/11, we might still have some of that good feeling working for us. Instead, our efforts have strengthened the position of the Islamic radicals who run Iran's government, by giving them influence in Iraq.

Our international diplomacy should sound a bit less like schoolyard bullying. ("You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists.") Instead of going it alone in the world, we should draw together the community of nations to work againstthe terrorists. Osama bin Laden killed dozens of Africans to get a few Americans in 1998; Islamic terrorists killed a lot of Indonesian Muslims in Bali, to get a few Aussies. Astute diplomacy would encourage Muslims to stop bin Laden's death machine before it gets them, too.

That's just a few. They're pretty obvious, I admit, but they'll never get me employment in a White House run by religious fanatics.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 29, 2006 08:26 PM
75. Paddy Mac:

I have never had as my goal attempting to teach a mule to tango. I do have some questions for you, though:

1. In your response above, you seem to be focusing on soverneign states with governments. One can, if there is the desire, conduct diplomacy with states. It is my understanding, and I will no doubt be corrected, that the command structure of the Islamofacists is not centered around a formal state entity, but is decentralized and quite often in cells. Further, the ideology is not to negotiate with infidels? How does one deal with hostile, terrorist entities that are not states?

2. You seem to be dealing with the issue of genocide. Is that not an issue that is wider than what happened in Bosnia? What is your take on Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Angola, Rawanda, and the current situation in Sudan? How do you feel about the "lost" of Argentina? Isn't the issue really that the international community through the UN is not effective in dealing with genocide, no matter which group is being eliminated?

Posted by: WVH on December 29, 2006 09:56 PM
76. "1. In your response above, you seem to be focusing on soverneign states with governments. One can, if there is the desire, conduct diplomacy with states. It is my understanding, and I will no doubt be corrected, that the command structure of the Islamofacists is not centered around a formal state entity, but is decentralized and quite often in cells. Further, the ideology is not to negotiate with infidels? How does one deal with hostile, terrorist entities that are not states?"

Thank you for these excellent questions. (I wish we'd been having this debate since 1998, but adulterous Republican panty-sniffers decided otherwise.) Governments can do a lot to stop terror. The radical Islamic regime of Iran funds Hizbollah ('Party of God'). The people of Iran, through their votes, have recently repudiated their extremist goverrnment. These same people sympathized with terrorized Americans in September of 2001. Adroit American diplomacy should attempt to squeeze the radical theocracy of Iran between international outrage against terror and the desire of Iran's citizens for normal relations with the world. (Illicit satellite TV dishes are commonplace in Tehran, I read.) Starting in 1989, Communist regimes paid the ultimate price for ignoring the desires of their citizens; forty years of us vigorously prosecuting the Cold War paid handsome dividends. We should do everything we can to show citizens of Islamic regimes what religious freedom has done for us. The total number of persons who can be organized by cells is low; we should strive to isolate and contain them whenever and wherever we can. True Believers will not negotiate, so we must isolate them. Then kill them.

As for "terrorist entities which are not states", we should use all of our powers -- financial, diplomatic, and military -- to ensure that (1) governments control all of their territories, and (2) the terrorists have to reside in the wilds, far from civilian populations. We can then use a well-maintained military to kill them, as we did in Afghanistan after 9/11. One of the best things we did after 9/11 was to shut down financial conduits which sent money to terrorists. Ideology is one thing, but money talks, and we should deprive our enemies of it whenever possible. Lastly, we should proudly live our great American values. The first mosque in the United States was built in the 1920's, by employees of the Ford Motor Company, in Michigan. We just elected our first Muslim Member of Congress, who will take his oath of office on a Qu'ran. Everyone in the Muslim countries should know that in the 1790s, President John Adams signed a treaty which said, in part, " ...the United States was not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion..." The United States has the greatest religious diversity in the history of the world, with no sectarian violence. We have earned our rightful place as the shining beacon of liberty, and we should show it proudly.

"You seem to be dealing with the issue of genocide. Is that not an issue that is wider than what happened in Bosnia? What is your take on Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Angola, Rawanda, and the current situation in Sudan? How do you feel about the 'lost' of Argentina? Isn't the issue really that the international community through the UN is not effective in dealing with genocide, no matter which group is being eliminated?"

Those are great examples of the challenges the world faces. I would describe every one of your examples as 'state-sponsored terrorism'. The persecution of Christians in the Sudan should concern us especially. (One of the good things the Republican Congresses of the past twelve years did was to require the State Department to report on worldwide persecution of Christians.) A paramount American value, protected by the very first act of our very first Congress, was to ensure that our government would forever remain secular, and that peaceful expression of religious belief could never be considered criminal. We should ensure that the U.N. has the resources needed to counter and reverse atrocities such as those in the Sudan. (One of the better innovations from the Balkan Wars of the 1990s was to declare the criminal leaders of Serbia 'persona non grata' in other countries, effectively taking their passports away. All of their rhetoric about 'Greater Serbia' didn't console them for not visiting the French Riviera!) 'The United Nations', as the Allies of WW2 called themselves, defeated the racist regimes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; we should ensure that it can handle lesser challenges as well. Pissing away our military in an occupation of Iraq, which increasingly benefits the radical Islamic theocrats of Iran, saps our strength. We have many possible allies against Islamic terror, but they won't join us if they see us as conquerors and occupiers.

I cannot do justice to your excellent questions in this small format. I hope that I have begun to answer your concerns. The Soviet Union once had thousands of nuclear bombs, and millions of troops; now, Russian businessmen treat with American counterparts for mutual benefit. We can render the 7th Century worldview of the Islamic terrrorists as irrelevant as we did the threats of Communism and Fascism.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 29, 2006 11:01 PM
77. Paddy Mac:

I don't have time to go point by point, but here is the Cliff's notes:

1. Scholars have and are disputing whether this is a secular nation. My view is it is founded on Judeo-Christian principles.

2. The Treaty of Tripoli provision you cited was repealed, I believe 11 years after signing.

3. For an interesting read on Adams' take on Islam:

http://mideastoutpost.com/archives/000095.html

"Adams concluded solemnly,
"As the essential principle of his [Muhammad's] faith is the subjugation of others by the sword; it is only by force, that his false doctrines can be dispelled, and his power annihilated."
John Quincy Adams lucidly described the permanent Islamic institutions of jihad war and dhimmitude. Regarding jihad, Adams observes,
"...he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind...The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God... the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective."
And Adams captured the essential condition imposed upon the non-Muslim dhimmi "tributaries" subjugated by jihad, with this laconic statement,
"The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute."

Adams also reported on the religiously rooted pattern of bad faith in negotiations -- the false promises of "peace," the saying of one thing in the language of "foreigners," another in Arabic -- that Israel has belatedly discovered, at great cost, and the rest of the world has yet to confront. Writes Adams: "..The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force. Of Mahometan good faith, we have had memorable examples ourselves. When our gallant [Stephen] Decatur had chastised the pirate of Algiers, till he was ready to renounce his claim of tribute from the United States, he signed a treaty to that effect: but the treaty was drawn up in the Arabic language, as well as in our own; and our negotiators, unacquainted with the language of the Koran, signed the copies of the treaty, in both languages, not imagining that there was any difference between them."
Adams continues:
"Within a year the Dey [Muslim ruler of Algiers] demands, under penalty of the renewal of the war, an indemnity in money for the frigate taken by Decatur; our Consul demands the foundation of this pretension; and the Arabic copy of the treaty, signed by himself is produced, with an article stipulating the indemnity, foisted into it, in direct opposition to the treaty as it had been concluded. The arrival of Chauncey, with a squadron before Algiers, silenced the fraudulent claim of the Dey, and he signed a new treaty in which it was abandoned; but he disdained to conceal his intentions; my power, said he, has been wrested from my hands; draw ye the treaty at your pleasure, and I will sign it; but beware of the moment, when I shall recover my power, for with that moment, your treaty shall be waste paper. He avowed what they always practiced, and would without scruple have practiced himself. Such is the spirit, which governs the hearts of men, to whom treachery and violence are taught as principles of religion.""

I'll attempt to get to some of your other points. At this point, it is to all a good night.

Posted by: WVH on December 30, 2006 12:12 AM
78. "Scholars have and are disputing whether this is a secular nation."

If it was a secular nation, the Constitution would allow elected officials to take office by oath or affirmation; it would specify that "no religious test" shall ever be required to hold public office, and the First Congress would have written a First Amendment. The first clause of it would expressly forbid the establishment of a religion.

"My view is it is founded on Judeo-Christian principles."

You are entitled to your beliefs, whether you base them on fact or not is your decision. Next week, a duly elected Member of our House will take his oath of office with his hand on a Qu'ran, and his subsequent votes will count equally with those of the other 434 Members. (BTW, J.Q. Adams did not place his hand on a Bible to take office, either; he used a law book.)

Ever read what John Adams wrote about Christianity? It was about as complimentary toward that Abrahamic religion as these comments are towards Islam. His common disdain for these religions reinforces Dr. McKay's point.

Whatever the ultimate fate of the treaty, it was originally negotiated and signed by a Founding Father, and it also refutes any claim that they founded a 'Christian Nation'. (Although the various clauses in the Consitution -- never repealed -- already did that.) Again, since we have this heritage of secularity, religious diversity, and no sectarian violence, we should use it for a good example to the rest of the world.

The example of the Barbary Pirates also demonstrates that we didn't attack Muslims for being Muslims; we did it because they attacked us, and for no other reason. The last thing we should do is imply an inherent dislike of Islam.

Posted by: Paddy Mac on December 30, 2006 12:44 PM
79. Paddy Mac:

I suspect that I am just too stupid to interfere with your own self-righteousness. It is interesting that when Soloman asked what gift the Lord could give, he asked for wisdom. I might add a finer point for wisdom is discernment. I don't attempt to teach mules to tango. It makes the mule angry and one gets frustrated. Mc Kay is an idiot. You seem to have a collection of facts, but no discernment. Please feel free to hurl back whatever name that suits you. Your mind is made up and there is nothing that is going to change your opinion. Happy New Year to you and yours. Over and out.

Posted by: WVH on December 30, 2006 02:52 PM
80. professors' opinions are taken with a grain of salt. their profession, although perhaps noble, is one of detachment--from real life business and many lessons of real-life bullies.

the ivory tower is the perfect symbol. easy to throw around ideas and bash the status quo. harder to run a business, meet a payroll, invent widgets and get real results as the practical world commands & expects.

the Professor is a kicker of thoughts around a late night campfire--no more--and he can't even get the marshmallow browned properly holding it with his fingers.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on January 2, 2007 03:19 AM
Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?