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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ahmed Mohamed brings ticking device in suitcase to school. Gets invite to White House

By now you’ve heard the story of Ahmed Mohamed, crowned by the Daily Beast “The Muslim Hero America Has Been Waiting For” after the 14-year-old brought to school a beeping, strange-looking homemade concealed device that turned out to be a clock.
School officials, thinking, as 95% of Americans would, that it kinda looked like a bomb, hauled him out of class. Police put him in handcuffs and, even after the confusion passed, the boy was suspended from school.
That earned Mohamed a planned trip to the White House, a message of support from Hillary Clinton, an offer to stop by Facebook to meet Mark Zuckerberg and an invitation to be an intern at Twitter.
The police overreacted. Yet the device did look like something Ethan Hunt would lob out of a helicopter at the last minute in “Mission: Impossible.” As National Review’s Charles Cooke pointed out on Twitter, the scary-looking tangle of wires “looks a lot more like a bomb than a pop tart looks like a gun.”
Josh Welch, a white Maryland kid with ADHD who was 7 years old when he was kicked out of school for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a pistol and pretending to shoot other students with it, must be puzzled.
Where’s his White House invitation? Where’s his chance to start networking at Facebook? His parents were forced to hire a lawyer and spent a year and a half just trying to get the suspension erased from the kid’s record. They were repeatedly refused.
“I stand with Ahmed, too. But I also stand with Alex Stone,” noted Reason writer Robby Soave. Alex Stone, a 16-year-old white kid from Summerville, SC, wrote a short story in which he imagined using a gun to kill a dinosaur. For this his locker was searched and he was arrested, handcuffed, charged with “disorderly conduct” and suspended from school for three days.
Obviously the White House and Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t be bothered to comment, but you’d think that, at the very least, Stephen King would have sent out a tweet expressing outrage that imagination was being punished.
Nada.
In Dyer County, Tenn., Kendra Turner says she was suspended for saying, “Bless you” after a student sneezed, and that her teacher told her that she would have no “godly speaking in class.”

Modal Trigger
The homemade clock that Ahmed Mohamed brought to schoolPhoto: AP

A school administrator said, “This was not a religious issue at all, but more of an issue the teacher felt was a distraction in her class.” Uh-huh. School leadership offered no explanation for the photos posted by students that showed “bless you” on a list of expressions banned in the classroom. Turner is still waiting for her call from President Obama.
Are white kids being punished en masse for dopey quasi-infractions because of their race? Of course not. That’s ridiculous.
But it’s equally absurd to suggest that you have to be Muslim, or brown-skinned, or live in Texas, to be subjected to overenthusiastic use of school discipline and police force.
“It never would have happened to a white kid”? It happens to white kids all. The. Time.
The main difference between the Ahmed Mohamed case and the others is that the mainstream media and the leftist point of view it presents just can’t let go of Ahmed. Ahmed is too useful to their narrative to be a one-day story.
That Bristol Palin said on Facebook that President Obama didn’t need to get involved in the situation proved irresistible for the media, which loves to depict America as a bitter standoff between red-state hicks on the one hand and sophisticated members of the cool bicoastal techno-media club on the other.
Let’s just savor for a moment that the musings of the daughter of an unemployed former governor constitute national news. This year the brother of a sitting president made derogatory comments about the leader of the free world and the reaction from the media was crickets.
Malik Obama gets the courtesy of being ignored because he has also said some crazy things. Now imagine Bristol Palin making loony statements. Would the media decline to cover them?
For 14 years and two weeks now, the left has been desperate to find some evidence, any evidence, that Muslims in general are facing deep-seated discrimination because a few Muslims attacked us on 9/11.
That American Muslims have instead mostly been treated with respect and courtesy ought to be a point of pride, but at no point will the left ever say, “Isn’t it great that we’re such a pluralistic and tolerant country?”
The left-led push to turn a man who was, as of 2004, an obscure state senator with no particular accomplishments, into the president four years later, was centrally and crucially about race. Everyone else was being subjected to a bait-and-switch.
Instead of being credited with enlightenment for being the only white-majority country ever to elect a black leader, now we’re told that everything is about racism.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Who Invented Islam and Mohammad?


Why would it matter if Muhammad never existed?  Certainly the accepted story of Islam's origins is taken for granted as historically accurate; while many don't accept Muhammad's claim to have been a prophet, few doubt that there was a man named Muhammad who in the early seventh century began to claim that he was receiving messages from Allah through the angel Gabriel.  Many who hear about my new book Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins ask why it would matter whether or not Muhammad existed -- after all, a billion Muslims believe he did, and they are not going to stop doing so because of some historical investigations.  Yet the numerous indications that the standard account of Muhammad's life is more legend than fact actually have considerable implications for the contemporary political scene.

These are just a few of the weaknesses in the traditional account of Muhammad's life and the early days of Islam:

No record of Muhammad's reported death in 632 appears until more than a century after that date.
The early accounts written by the people the Arabs conquered never mention Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur'an.  They call the conquerors "Ishmaelites," "Saracens," "Muhajirun," and "Hagarians," but never "Muslims."
The Arab conquerors, in their coins and inscriptions, don't mention Islam or the Qur'an for the first six decades of their conquests.  Mentions of "Muhammad" are non-specific and on at least two occasions are accompanied by a cross.  The word can be used not only as a proper name, but also as an honorific.
The Qur'an, even by the canonical Muslim account, was not distributed in its present form until the 650s.  Casting into serious doubt that standard account is the fact that neither the Arabians nor the Christians and Jews in the region mention its existence until the early eighth century.
We don't begin to hear about Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and about Islam itself until the 690s, during the reign of the caliph Abd al-Malik.  Coins and inscriptions reflecting Islamic beliefs begin to appear at this time also.
In the middle of the eighth century, the Abbasid dynasty supplanted the Umayyad line of Abd al-Malik.  In the Abbasid period, biographical material about Muhammad began to proliferate.  The first complete biography of the prophet of Islam finally appeared during this era-at least 125 years after the traditional date of his death.
The lack of confirming detail in the historical record, the late development of biographical material about the Islamic prophet, the atmosphere of political and religious factionalism in which that material developed, and much more, suggest that the Muhammad of Islamic tradition did not exist, or if he did, he was substantially different from how that tradition portrays him.

How to make sense of all this?  If the Arab forces that conquered so much territory beginning in the 630s were not energized by the teachings of a new prophet and the divine word he delivered, how did the Islamic character of their empire arise at all?  If Muhammad did not exist, why was it ever considered necessary to invent him?

Every empire of the day had a civic religion.  The Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire was Christian.  Its rival Persia, meanwhile, was Zoroastrian.  The Arab Empire quickly controlled and needed to unify huge expanses of territory where different religions predominated.  The empire was growing quickly, soon rivaling the Byzantine and Persian Empires in size and power.  But at first, it did not have a compelling political theology to compete with those it supplanted and to solidify its conquests.  It needed a common religion -- a political theology that would provide the foundation for the empire's unity and secure allegiance to the state.

Toward the end of the seventh century and the beginning of the eighth, the leaders of the Muslim world began to speak specifically about Islam, its prophet, and eventually its book.  Stories about Muhammad began to circulate.  A warrior-prophet would justify the new empire's aggressive expansionism.  To give those conquests a theological justification -- as Muhammad's teachings and example do -- would place them beyond criticism.

This is why Islam developed as such a profoundly political religion.  Islam is a political faith: the divine kingdom is very much of this world, with God's wrath and judgment to be expected not only in the next life, but also in this one, to be delivered by believers.  Allah says in the Qur'an: "As for those disbelieving infidels, I will punish them with a terrible agony in this world and the next. They have no one to help or save them" (3:56).  Allah also exhorts Muslims to wage war against those infidels, apostates, and polytheists (2:191, 4:89, 9:5, 9:29).

There is compelling reason to conclude that Muhammad, the messenger of Allah came into existence only after the Arab Empire was firmly entrenched and casting about for a political theology to anchor and unify it.  Muhammad and the Qur'an cemented the power of the Umayyad caliphate and then that of the Abbasid caliphate.

This is not just academic speculation.  The non-Muslim world can be aided significantly in its understanding of the global jihad threat -- an understanding that has been notably lacking even at the highest levels since September 11, 2001 -- by a careful, unbiased examination of the origins of Islam.  There is a great deal of debate today in the United States and Western Europe about the nature of Islamic law; anti-sharia measures have been proposed in at least twenty states, and one state -- Oklahoma -- voted to ban sharia in November 2010, although that law was quickly overturned as an infringement upon Muslims' religious freedom.  Others have been successfully resisted on the same grounds.

If it is understood that the political aspect of Islam preceded the religious aspect, that might change.  But that will happen only if a sufficient number of people are willing to go wherever the truth my take them.

By Robert Spencer


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Islamic State jihadis caught crossing into Europe posing as refugees


Five men arrested attempting to cross the Bulgarian-Macedonian border with decapitation videos and Islamic State propaganda on their phones. The terrorist suspects had been posing as refugees.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage warned: “I fear we face a direct threat to our civilisation if we allow large numbers of people from that war torn region into Europe.”

The Obama-caused Muslim migrant apocalypse continues its assault on Europe.

Bulgarian border police

“Islamic State terrorists caught crossing into Europe posing as refugees,” by Liam Deacon, Breitbart News, September 1, 2015:

Five men have been arrested as they attempted to cross the Bulgarian-Macedonian border with decapitation videos and Islamic State propaganda on their phones. The terrorist suspects had been posing as refugees.

Bulgarian authorities near the Gyueshevo border checkpoint detained the five men, aged between 20 and 24, late on Wednesday, Bulgarian broadcaster NOVA TV reported.

The men were stopped by a border guard, who they attempted to bribe with a “wad of dollars.” However, they were searched and Islamic State propaganda, specific Jihadists prayers and decapitation videos were found on their phones.

In a move that suggests how seriously authorities are taking the case, the Bulgarian State Agency for National Security (DANS) has now taken control of the investigation under the supervision of the regional prosecutor’s office in Kyustendil.

The men chose to cross in a wooded area, local media have reported, and took a car from an accomplice who had crossed legally from Macedonia with the vehicle.

Bulgaria has recently completed a 15-foot high razor wire clad fence along 50 miles of its south-eastern border with Turkey to control the mass movement of migrants from the Middle East and Asia into Europe via the so-called Balkans route.

However, the Gyueshevo border checkpoint where the men crossed sits on Bulgaria’s western border with Macedonia. It is likely the men chose to enter there to avoid the new strict border controls on the other side of the country.

Following the recently foiled terror attack on an Amsterdam–Paris train, where the heavily armed terrorist was able to travel freely, European governments have been considering amending the Schengen border code, which eliminated systematic border controls across most of Europe.

In February, the Turkish intelligence service warned police in an internal memo that up to 3,000 trained jihadists are seeking to cross into Turkey from Syria and Iraq, who could then travel through Bulgaria and Hungry into western Europe. And in May, a Libyan government adviser warned Islamic State operatives were being “smuggled to Europe in migrant boats.”

At the time of the comments, UKIP leader Nigel Farage warned: “When ISIS say they want to flood our continent with half a million Islamic extremists they mean it, and there is nothing in this document [Common European Asylum Policy] that will stop them.

“I fear we face a direct threat to our civilisation if we allow large numbers of people from that war torn region into Europe.”

 BY RALPH SIDWAY

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky