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Take It From One Who Knows
It's not "tolerance" we need to concern ourselves with; it's self-preservation.

If you believe in god, astrology, or having somebody wave their hands over you as a form of medical care, I will tolerate you. If you're rude, smell bad, or chew with your mouth open, I'll do my best to move out of range. If, however, you want to murder me because I don't think like you think, well, then, that's a whole different story.

I know I keep saying this, but I keep saying this because it's more and more evident that people are walking around asleep in regard to the danger of Muslim Fundamentalism. Which people? The people who pop up in the comments and call me racist. The people who blame 9/11 on our Middle East policy. Plenty of countries, and plenty of people within our borders have problems with our policies. And there are those few Tim McVeigh's running around. But, generally speaking, most people who disagree with us don't murder thousands of people in hopes of finally escaping their fundamentalist, sex-deprived societies for a lifetime in "paradise" with 72 virgins. (The morons. The best available evidence of what happens to you when you die -- you get eaten by worms.)

But, back to the sick Muslim homicidalists, if you won't listen to me about the danger, maybe you'll listen to this guy -- Dr. Tawfik Hamid -- who trained under al-Zawahiri, and once drank the Kool-Aid. Here are his warnings, from an interview by Michael Coren:

He is now 45 years old, and has had many years to reflect on why he was willing to die and kill for his religion. "The first thing you have to understand is that it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with poverty or lack of education," he says. "I was from a middle-class family and my parents were not religious. Hardly anyone in the movement at university came from a background that was different from mine.

"I've heard this poverty nonsense time and time again from Western apologists for Islam, most of them not Muslim by the way. There are millions of passive supporters of terror who may be poor and needy but most of those who do the killing are wealthy, privileged, educated and free. If it were about poverty, ask yourself why it is middle-class Muslims -- and never poor Christians -- who become suicide bombers in Palestine."

His analysis is fascinating. Muslim fundamentalists believe, he insists, that Saudi Arabia's petroleum-based wealth is a divine gift, and that Saudi influence is sanctioned by Allah. Thus the extreme brand of Sunni Islam that spread from the Kingdom to the rest of the Islamic world is regarded not merely as one interpretation of the religion but the only genuine interpretation. The expansion of violent and regressive Islam, he continues, began in the late 1970s, and can be traced precisely to the growing financial clout of Saudi Arabia.

"We're not talking about a fringe cult here," he tells me. "Salafist [fundamentalist] Islam is the dominant version of the religion and is taught in almost every Islamic university in the world. It is puritanical, extreme and does, yes, mean that women can be beaten, apostates killed and Jews called pigs and monkeys."

He leans back, takes a deep breath and moves to another area, one that he says is far too seldom discussed: "North Americans are too squeamish about discussing the obvious sexual dynamic behind suicide bombings. If they understood contemporary Islamic society, they would understand the sheer sexual tension of Sunni Muslim men. Look at the figures for suicide bombings and see how few are from the Shiite world. Terrorism and violence yes, but not suicide. The overwhelming majority are from Sunnis. Now within the Shiite world there are what is known as temporary marriages, lasting anywhere from an hour to 95 years. It enables men to release their sexual frustrations.

"Islam condemns extra-marital sex as well as masturbation, which is also taught in the Christian tradition. But Islam also tells of unlimited sexual ecstasy in paradise with beautiful virgins for the martyr who gives his life for the faith. Don't for a moment underestimate this blinding passion or its influence on those who accept fundamentalism."

A pause. "I know. I was one who accepted it."

This partial explanation is shocking more for its banality than its horror. Mass murder provoked partly by simple lust. But it cannot be denied that letters written by suicide bombers frequently dwell on waiting virgins and sexual gratification.

"The sexual aspect is, of course, just one part of this. But I can tell you what it is not about. Not about Israel, not about Iraq, not about Afghanistan. They are mere excuses. Algerian Muslim fundamentalists murdered 150,000 other Algerian Muslims, sometimes slitting the throats of children in front of their parents. Are you seriously telling me that this was because of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians or American foreign policy?"

He's exasperated now, visibly angry at what he sees as a willful Western foolishness. "Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want."

Posted by aalkon at November 14, 2006 12:22 PM

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If poverty caused crime, Bel-Air would be a seminary.

Our Middle Eastern policy might not have caused 9/11 directly, but if we'd done a better job in bringing them into modernity (instead of paying off their most convenient despots) it probably wouldn't have happened.

Posted by: Crid at November 14, 2006 4:33 AM

Late for work. Remember Raisa Gorbachev? I remember the first picture I ever saw of her, and I thought damn, she's fine! Maybe this guy Mikhail's got somethin' goin' on! And then I heard she was a doctor, and I thought shit, that's great! Modernity is coming to the Soviets! They're bringing aggressive, productive women into the picture just like a real, grown-up country!

Then I heard her doctorate was in some sort of commie rhetoric. (Today, Wikipedia says: "She taught Marxist-Leninist philosophy and defended her thesis having done sociologic research of kolkhoz life." And sure enough, the couple turned out to be along for the ride, instead of pilots in history's airplane. She'd have learned more in a community college in Dayton.

Western Civ requires good faith and immersion. You can't sprinkle it, or its money, on primitive cultures and expect good results.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Posted by: Crid at November 14, 2006 4:47 AM

What's this, everyone must agree with one or other of Crid's two mutually contradictory posts? I'll go for the second one please.

Posted by: Norman at November 14, 2006 6:17 AM

Disagreement (and disagreeableness) is welcomed here. Makes the comments section more interesting.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 14, 2006 6:47 AM

> Algerian Muslim fundamentalists murdered 150,000 other Algerian Muslims, sometimes slitting the throats of children in front of their parents. Are you seriously telling me that this was because of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians or American foreign policy?"

No -- it was because the Front Islamique du Salut was outraged when, in December 1991, national elections it was certain to win were abruptly cancelled by a panicked government. The campaign of murder that ensued was as illogical as it was revolting -- however, suicide was not a feature of the FIS campaign. Thus, the 27 virgins played no part in this drama and the entire episode (fortunately now at an end) is a red herring in this gentleman's argument.

More generally, it seems a little far-fetched to me. Yes, young muslim men don't get blow-jobs from their high-school sweethearts as their US-side peers (allegedly) do. Yes, pornography is harder to obtain than in Europe, and they certainly can't afford prostitutes. But is he trying to tell us that those guys don't masturbate? As we say in my country, "Pull the other leg, mate, it's got bells on".

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at November 14, 2006 8:32 AM

It's striking to me how few Americans pay any attention at all to what the Muslim extremists themselves are saying. OBL has given his reasons and goals countless times, but who listens? Hilter did the same thing with Mein Kampf - it's all there and nobody listened. We don't have to repeat that mistake.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher at November 14, 2006 9:03 AM

"Islam condemns extra-marital sex as well as masturbation..."

Yes, I think he is trying to tell you that these guys don't masturbate. Probably if they do lose control and masturbate, they are even more tormented, what with the added guilt and anger.

This also exists with 'Christian' men, which is why I avoid dating the religious ones. There's nothing like the post-sex anger and disgust that oozes out of these guy to make you decide to avoid the experience in the future.

Posted by: Chris at November 14, 2006 9:10 AM

They don't like fags like me, either. Last night, I heard a talk by a filmmaker who's worked in Afghanistan, and she said that the fundies there have a hard time deciding whether to execute homosexuals by shooting them in the head or crushing them beneath the walls of abandoned buildings.

Help the women of Afghanistan:

Posted by: Lena at November 14, 2006 10:56 AM

This does not surprise me. The American people have been told that we are being attacked because "they hate our freedom". The powers that be will not profit from allowing people to know the real reason: "they are horny and pissed off".

That's not a good "Christian" reason to send troops into harm's way.

Don't get me wrong, I am NOT an "It's all America's fault" apologist...I'm just sick of all the bullshit that's been slung at us.

Posted by: RedPretzel at November 14, 2006 2:50 PM

Norm, where's the contradiction?

Posted by: Crid at November 14, 2006 3:11 PM


Post 1: "if we'd done a better job in bringing them into modernity [...] it probably wouldn't have happened."

Post 2: "You can't sprinkle [western civilization], or its money, on primitive cultures [...]"

These are pretty much in opposition to each other, no? Paraphrasing: "we should have done it; it can't be done."

Posted by: Norman at November 15, 2006 4:10 AM

It can't be done with sprinkles.

Posted by: Crid at November 15, 2006 3:28 PM

Speaking of "terrorism", let's take a moment and look at the details of the horrible event that precipitated the "war on terror", as ever since that day America's foreign policy has been wrapped around it.

One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch, with someone who was there when he was attempting to fly a small airplane saying that Hanjour was so clumsy that he was unsure if he had driven a car before. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports after Mohammed Atta supposedly leaves two rental cars at two impossibly far-removed locations. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn't work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn't work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won't let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren't supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name ("Hi mom, this is Mark Bingham"), more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn't respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn't happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn't have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces most no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn't even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers' magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don't laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn't bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the "official story" being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only "testifying" together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their "testimonies" not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

Posted by: Enlightenment at November 15, 2006 6:47 PM

Christ, you actually used the word "sheeple." Without humor or irony.

Posted by: Crid at November 15, 2006 9:39 PM

What's even more interesting is that Enlightenment believes that the collection of numbnuts in the White House could have orchestrated such a massive conspiracy. That requires a suspension of disbelief not even Hollywood is capable of.

Posted by: Rodg at November 16, 2006 7:40 AM

Don't forget to take your tinfoil hat to school with you, dear!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 16, 2006 8:32 AM

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