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Michael J. Totten
The Terrorists’ Veto « Back to Story

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"In 2004, an Islamist maniac with a butcher’s knife stabbed Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh to death on an Amsterdam street over a short film, Submission, "

You are undermining your own argument. There is no "Islamic maniac." They are all maniacs about their religion.
Islam has long had the luxury of being isolated from widespread religious competition of other proselytizing religions (noting the attempts of some Christian proselytizing), usually following Western imperialism.

In this new era of instant worldwide communication, this "luxury" has dissipated. While within Islam, many schools of religious law developed, it is those most rigid, strident schools of Islamic law that has become a tool in the hands of the ambitious. Ambitious Muslims see the strictness of interpretation as a means of (a) establishing their own personnas as authorities, (b) expounding the more extreme and rigid versions of Islamic law as the norm by which behavior of others are to be judged, (c) using it to gain political goals, and (d) acquiring power. Certainly the Iranian revolution is an archetypical example of this.

At the same time, we assumed that Islam in Iran might be different because it is Shi'ah than the wider Islamic expression of faith known as the Sunni, but history has ways of creating extremists in all faiths, and the current Al Qaeda and Salafi elements in Sunni Islam took the same direction towards extremism.

Because of the extreme sanctions of going against these fanatic versions of Islam, the more moderate Muslims have been slow, even hesitant, to stick their necks out for the simple reason that sticking their necks out may only result in their making their heads targets for the executioner's axe.

However, it is the job of the large masses of moderate Muslims to confront the extremists in their midst. I believe that the "Arab spring" will see a rise of many voices, including religious Islamic voices take the stage, and it is part of the reaction to their history that has tried many incarnations since the rise of Arab nationalism in the late 19th century.

We don't know if they will succeed in attaining some democratic forms of government, for there is a long way for them to travel to reach an authentically Islamic yet tolerant democracy.

In the West, the attainment of democracy took centuries that began with the Protestant reformation, the "Republic of letters" with the "philosophes" and the "democratic springs" that arose in France and in the U.S. and finally to most of the nations of Europe. Let us hope that in this age of instant communications, it will take the Muslims a shorter time to reach their democratic goals.

Our relations with the Islamic world must be one of patience, noting that we must protect our citizens and interests from the extremist elements.
jessefan in chapel hill September 26, 2012 at 12:26 PM
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome." - Winston Churchill

The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan (1899), Volume II pp. 248-250

Not much has changed since Sir Winston wrote that as a young man
As Hillary and Obama facilitate the destruction.............
And Islam is supposed to be a peaceful religion........
I agree with Michael that we need to stand up for our own rights, and this Islamic problem will either get better or worse. There was encouraging news lately in LIbya where some mobs drummed out the Islamic militias that killed our ambassadors. I would speculate that their is also some pressure on Egypt and other "Arab spring" countries to grow up and produce some real improvement in their societies. Still ticking away in all of this is that Egypts critical tourism economy is dead and dying.

I believe the Hezbollah statement and the Egyptian government arrest warrants are just ways for their idiots, otherwise know as politicians to score some cheap political points with their constituents. Best to ignore them at this point.
Rather die free then live as a slave. But best if the sharia enforcer dies on my doorstep. Support the 2nd Amendment. The right to buy and own arms is the right to live free.
Brilliantly said. I think the question of the USA continuing to provide and support the First Amendment is not as certain as it should be. I was greatly disappointed in the current administrations handling of the entire incident. Free Speech is there to apply to offensive speech...otherwise, what would possibly be the purpose?
Now the question is: How do we deal with this? Hillary Clinton spoke this morning about the Arab response to the film insulting Mohammed as being unjustified and unacceptable. However i didn't hear her say what she or Pres Obama was going to do about it. So her words are just that-WORDS.
Murder and mayhem in the name of Islam is prevalent world wide. It is time to publicize it worldwide and to take steps to fight it openly- with violence if necessary because that is the only thing that Islamists understand. Up to now they have had little consequence for their despicable behavior. They now have to pay in the same token that they exact. BLOOD!
Should freedom of speech be a criteria of USA immigration policy?
Ahmed Aboutaleb is not in hiding nor using bodyguards. Check your facts.
Islam is not a religion, it's a barbaric political system dressed up as one, and Mohammad was a thieving, murdering pedophile. Islam should be otlawed like any other criminal enterprise. RICO, anybody?
He needs to shave his beard and take a bath..WHAt a fool..He should also take BEEBES advice..STAY IN YOUR BUNKER, YOU MORON.
Saw a suggestion at another website where we should publish a Mohammed cartoon every day and let the Islamofascists riot and destroy themselves from within.Sounds like a plan to be since Obama's appeasements and apologies don't seem to have any effect.If they don't like anybody else's opinion tough shiite, they can get used to it.
A Tooth for a Tooth.
Anyone in the USA protesting against America should be extradited back to where they came from right away.
Is the Great Satan now experiencing what the Little satan went through for years?
Is the Great Satan about to take a leaf out of the Little Satan's Playbook?
Can America ever learn that for every little Razzia,--EVERY "Razzia" no matter how small!--committed by the barbarian horde, there has to be a "disproportionate" Razzia in return?!
No, America can't; it can only cant and wail and gnash it's teeth and then bow low to the wishes of the barbarian least until the C-in-C (Cow (Sic!)-tower-in-Chief) is replaced by a C-in-C (Crusader in Chief0 who understands that the mad muslim mind appreciates and respects violence, mayhem and murder.
I wonder if the Libyans did to the Ambassador and the others what they did to Ghaddafi as he was agonising...?
Rosemary Miroshnichenko September 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. Matthew 24:9
Human nature being what it is means persons or groups will leverage any power that is ceded to them. That is exactly what is happening here. All this "outrage" fueling retribution is much less about about sincere piety than a new sense of power because their threats cause real fear in their targets. Totten is correct. Freedom of speech has been destroyed.
Exactly right. Islam is the only major religion which routinely responds with violence to religious insults. It is the mark of a barbarian culture. We should neither submit nor encourage this barbarism by in any way implying we will do anything to stop insuolts to islam that we would not stop for other religions (such as proveable slander). And any gov that publically calls for this type of reponse, like egypt is presently doing, should not receive any support from us. If any of these governments realy are the "moderates" that Obama and Hillary claim they are, let them prove it by themselves standing up to this barbarian violence.
Elect Puppet Obama again and America is finished, the Muslim Brotherhood takeover will be complete. Get ready for 1st Amendment Death Squads, I mean that figuratively but who knows when cowardice is the hallmark of leadership from the current White House. Brown shirts were dispatched to arrest the blasphemer at Obama's command so who knows how far this will go.
In Mexico, the extremely violent internecine battles over control of drug trafficking have resulted in the deaths or disappearance of several journalists who published pieces questioning the government’s involvement and identifying individuals involved in the drug trade. Apparently the death penalty for free speech varies little between the freedom to insult a religion and investigative journalism into drug trafficking. And perhaps free speech isn’t all that free, someone has to pay the price, sometimes with their life. We can only lay claim to those freedoms we are willing to defend but here in the West we’ve come to view freedom of speech as some form of natural phenomenon similar to the law of gravity – that’s just the way the universe works in a manner of speaking.

Amusing that First World citizens believe that if you can publicly insult Christianity and Judaism, then why can’t you just as easily insult Islam with equal impunity? And the answer is the penalty for insult doesn’t involve someone waiting for you after work in a dark parking lot in order to thrust a knife into your chest. So, it seems more likely that freedom of speech is just a conceit on the part of the West and one that only applies some of the time but only if it's safe.
censor my comments - ok, screw the muslims and screw mohamed and his followers.
One thing confuses me about all of this.. Middle Easterners hate America, yet they have no problem using an American creation - the internet. I believe Iran is actually doing a smart movie by making their own internet (hopefully Allah will bless them with the hi-speed 14.4 modems, 28.8 if they pray enough) - so I wonder, can't access be cut off entirely to places like Egypt and Libya? Why don't those places develop their own Islam-dominant internet, since they seem to want to live in a bubble? Can't the US government veto business relations with these countries? It seems like the best result would not be to try to bridge 'mutual understanding' - as Islam only wants Islam, they care nothing about the Zoroastrians or Ba'Hai that they have stolen from and run out of their country) - wouldn't the best response be simply cutting them off from anything civilized?
Truly frightening. But if we don't stand up for free speech here, i.e., protect the idiot that made that trailer, then the last 230+ years have been for naught. We must NOT let them control speech here in the US. Remember the neo-Nazi's in Skokie, IL? We may hate what they said, but America must defend their right to say it.
When will the intolerance breakdown and become an all out war against Muslims and they be held accountable regardless where they are located? What will it take WWIII? I submit when the war that the bible talks about and all the Muslim (arab) nations around Israel attack and invade that country the bible states that with God's help 5 out of 6 soldiers will be destroyed 83%. This will totally decimate the arabs countries and they will learn never to attack the Jews or Christians again. Mark my words it is coming.
Since the NSA and similar government agencies tap into the world’s communications traffic it might be worthwhile for them to tap into the source of threatening and intimidating calls to Americans.

Pity the poor Islamos. They have a severe implementation problem if the target of their anger lives here or seeks asylum here. But the author is right to point out that their intimidation has just begun. Unable to do the conquering and converting thing any longer the Islamos depend on intimidation and annoying lawsuits against state legislatures for their alleged anti-Islamic sentiments has become a staple. It’s all a fool’s game, though, because the Islamos fail to understand the near total disinterest people in the West have for their religion. They should get a life, but everyone knows they never will.

By the way, who is funding this intimidation?
Once upon a time the world banded together to put an end to a vicious, murderous regime that was threatening Jews in particular and the world in general. It may well be time to do so again.
Case in point: from reading the comments below, it appears that at least three or four of the posters would be perfectly willing to kill hundreds of millions of people to 'teach the extremists a lesson.'
Michael, one keeps hearing about people who vow to disseminate even worse insults to Islam in the express hope of bringing about a grand Clash of Civilizations--i.e. the apocalyptic destruction of the Muslim world.
Even if most of this talk is blather, just a few with this motive could precipitate a global disaster. What's your opinion?
Perhaps we should fight fire with fire. If a Fatwa is ordered on an American citizen, drone the cleric. Enough dead clerics, no more fatwas. Use their tactic against them. I am tired of this 7th century murderous garbage. Next time they storm an embassy or attack the US, bomb Mecca. Rinse, repeat as needed. I have no more patience for these people.
In reply to Steve Baker

Chances are Khomeini never read the book. Its in very high-brow English. However, i read it. Its a wonderful book and I recommend it highly not for the Islam-mocking part (which is hilarious) but because tis fantasy made real with the love of life thrown in. That what makes it un-islamic. love of life and humor
In Israel, Muslims have petitioned the high court to deny access to the innocence video. Mulsim "luminaries" have gone on the airwaves to explain that for a Musulman, the honor of Muhammad is of fare greater consequnce thqan the life of the speaker. Even the lef-wing Israeli apologetic media types were aghast.
RE: "Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa condemning acclaimed novelist Salman Rushdie to death for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his novel,"

If you throw in having been married to Padma Laksmi as one of the results, as well as being rich and famous for having written a book hardly anyone other than the Ayatollah ever read, I would actually volunteer for being fatwad!
This makes me wonder if the Egyptian prosecutor will seek testimony about blasphemous acts from State Dept. officials and some American liberals.
What sort of conduct would you expect from people whose "religion" is centered on worship of a pedophile.

It's time to ratchet up our response to violence and respond exponentially.
We need something like the top 2 movies in the attached address with the ayatollahs and imans that are calling for jihad substituted for Hitler. If we started highlighting the evils of rabid Islamism by laughing at it, we might start twinining the war that we are in.
Very good article. It may have propelled you to the top of the latest "American Islamophobe" list compiled by the Left.
Sadly, it is impossible to suggest, in any public forum, and suggest explicitly, a reasonable official response to such threats without running afoul of Mr. Nasrallah and his gang of assassins.

It can only be hoped that the obvious answer is being prepared in quieter parts of the halls of power.
I wish the media in every free country would publish the Mohammed cartoons.....over and over and over along with some jokes about Jesus and Moses. Let the crazies have their tantrums and deport rioters within the free countries. Civilized people do not kill because of an "insult"; turn the other cheek is not anything to which they have yet evolved.
So these cowards would ambush people, and murder for the honor of their pedofile pretended prophet.

When does it become moral to shoot the dogs before they yelp?
This quote has been showing up in a number of places around the interwebs.

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”- voltaire
No they are following their religion Islam. It is all there if you actually read primary sources.
Should we burn down a mosque very time they kill someone? I realize that not all Moslems are lunatics, but let's apply the principle that "a real man shoots his own dog." These sociopaths are acting in their name, and claim to follow the same religion. Fine. So clean it up and clean them out, or pay the same price they want to impose on us.