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February 2012


Culture Matters
Ibn Warraq’s eloquent defense of Western civilization
3 February 2012

Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy, by Ibn Warraq, (Encounter, 286 pp., $23.95)

Occasionally, the mainstream media will let slip something that reveals the incoherence of multiculturalist orthodoxy. Not long ago, the New York Times reported on an Indian casino in California that had begun purging its rolls of members deemed insufficiently Indian. At the end of the story, an official from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, himself an Indian, remarked: “The tribe has historically had the ability to remove people. Tolerance is a European thing brought to the country. We never tolerated things. We turned our back on people.”

Such honesty about the Western origins of goods like tolerance is rare these days among the media, academic, and popular-culture purveyors of multicultural “diversity.” For them, other cultures are just as good as, if not better than, the West’s—but at the same time, these cultures allegedly endorse Western ideals such as tolerance, gender equality, human rights, political freedom, and the other universal boons to which people everywhere aspire. They deem it Eurocentric or racist to assert the superiority of the West because it originated those goods, even as they castigate the West for its racist, sexist, imperialist, and colonialist crimes. But as Ibn Warraq shows in his thoughtful and compelling new book, the ideals that even multicultural relativists profess have their origin and highest development in the West.

Ibn Warraq is the pen name of a Muslim apostate who left his native Pakistan and now lives in the United States. His first book, Why I Am Not a Muslim, earned him death threats and a pseudonym. Over the years he has published frequently on the unique goods of Western civilization, particularly “liberty and individual dignity,” contrasting these with the intolerance and close-mindedness of traditional Islamic culture. Why the West is Best continues the argument, laying out the defining ideals and virtues that have propelled Western civilization to global dominance.

Warraq’s prologue summarizes, in his view, the values that make the West superior: “rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of conscience and expression, human rights, [and] liberal democracy.” These principles, Warraq continues, are not restricted to Westerners but have universal application. They are “the best and perhaps the only means for all people, no matter what race or creed, to live in freedom and reach their full potential.”

The bulk of Why the West is Best further defines these core principles, frequently in contrast with Islamic cultures. Rejecting fashionable materialist explanations for Western success—geography, species distribution, climate, natural resources, or disease immunity—Warraq reminds us that “the economic and technological success of the West began with culture, and with principles embodied in its characteristic institutions.” That culture arose from the melding of Greek, Roman, Hebraic, and Christian influences. The Greeks invented democratic political participation and the rule of impersonal laws and institutions, rather than force. The Romans provided the foundations of our modern codes of law, establishing “a flexible legal framework that combined tested formulas with ongoing innovation,” Warraq writes, eventually broadening the notion of law to include the natural law that transcends tribe, time, or place. Hebraism added the ethical ideals of compassion and responsibility for our fellows that gave divine sanction to alleviating suffering and working for improvement—even in the face of oppressive secular power. And Christianity sanctified the separation of church and state, institutionalizing a moral force to counterbalance the tendency of state power to encroach upon private activity and personal conscience. Insofar as non-Western cultures embrace these ideals, they progress and improve; those that don’t find themselves mired in political oppression, inequality, poverty, intellectual stagnation, and economic failure.



Domestic Jihad Victims Deserve Purple Heart Posted By Robert Spencer

Editor’s note: Sign the Freedom Center’s petition, Purple Hearts for Fort Hood Heroes.

The Purple Heart, a United States military honor awarded for military merit, is specifically to be given, according to U.S. Army regulations, for “wounds received as a result of hostile action,” including fatal wounds. It can be awarded in peacetime “to military personnel wounded by terrorists or while members of a peacekeeping force.” Yet the twelve U.S. military personnel (plus one civilian) murdered by Islamic jihadist Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood in Texas on November 5, 2009 have not been awarded the Purple Heart, and neither has Army Private William Long, who was murdered by Islamic jihadist Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad in Little Rock, Arkansas on June 1, 2009.

The reason for this is obvious: the Obama administration has not recognized either the Fort Hood or the Little Rock jihad attack as an act of terrorism. Thus the military personnel killed at Fort Hood and Private Long were not “wounded by terrorists”; hence no Purple Heart. Thus they become casualties not only of the global and domestic jihad, but of the politically correct refusal of official Washington to call that jihad what it is, and to recognize its full dimensions.

Of the facts of each case there is no question. Obama has ignored the Little Rock shooting, and, in one of the most egregious whitewashings of jihad in a field thick with competition, termed the Fort Hood shooting “workplace violence.” Any objective examination of either, however, leaves no doubt that Nidal Malik Hasan and Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad were Islamic terrorists performing a terrorist action in the name of Islam, and thus their victims were precisely “military personnel wounded by terrorists.”

In April 2011, Muhammad, an American convert to Islam, explained that he had killed Long in a “jihad operation.” He was not a soldier fighting against Americans on a battlefield, or even apparently an al-Qaeda operative acting on behalf of a recognized terror organization. He was a Muslim who was acting in accord with the teachings of his religion as he understood them – that is, as giving him a responsibility before Allah to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers. He was acting in imitation of his prophet, who said: “I have been made victorious through terror.” And in his terror operation, he killed Private Long.



A review of A Matter of Principle by Conrad Black

How about tobacco?” The question was really a proposed assignment. By then, I had spent many years prosecuting monstrous criminals. A parade of tobacco execs did not seem to me to fit that bill, even if they’d had the temerity to eschew a treacly show of contrition when grilled by lawmakers about the health risks of their wares. This faux pas had the news cycle spinning and editorial pages in high dudgeon. As night follows day, carnal fever gripped our ambitious little piranha tank: visions of headlines as big-name defendants were laid low by swashbuckling government lawyers, not merely doing justice but doing . . . good. That was the zeitgeist.

As Conrad Black has painfully learned, the tune in our Manichean legal theater is called by the progressive vanguard—the media, the academy, and, in particular, the Lawyer Left. A Matter of Principle is Black’s often gripping memoir of his nightmarish trek through America’s justice system and business governance culture—a system that can work grave injustice, a culture that is all government and no business.1 The nightmare endures: Lord Black of Crossharbour, international newspaper mogul, British peer, distinguished presidential biographer, and for most of his life a lover of the United States, sits for a few more months in a federal prison—convicted, he compellingly argues, of crimes he did not commit.


Criminal Rot Spreads Through Justice Department Posted By J. Christian Adams URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2012/02/02/criminial-rot-spreads-through-justice-department/ There seems to be a pattern emerging in the Holder Justice Department: DOJ employees committing crimes and very little seems to happen to them.  I’m not just talking about the questionable testimony under oath of Attorney General Eric Holder or […]


Obama, the Great Divider — Literally Posted By David P. Goldman
URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2012/02/02/obama-the-great-divider-literally/

The Republican message for 2012 is as irrefutable as 1 + 1 = 2. And Obama threw himself headfirst into the bear trap with his veto of the Keystone project.

One one hand, we have nearly a fourth of working-age Americans without jobs, the worst proportion since the early 1980s. On the other, we have $2 trillion of cash sitting idle on corporate balance sheets, as President Obama complained in a February 2011 speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We have investors languishing for lack of returns, and unemployed people languishing for lack of work.

Standing in between prospective workers and prospective investors, preventing capital from employing labor, is Barack Obama. Someone really ought to to draw the cartoon: a $2 trillion cash pile gathering cobwebs on one side, an endless line of unemployment on the other, and Barack Obama in the middle, keeping them apart.

Under Obama, the United States has suffered the steepest drop in private investment since data were kept, as well as the slowest recovery.

The flip side of the investment bust is the worst employment-to-population ratio since before the great Reagan recovery:

To put this in perspective, $2 trillion of idle cash represents two years’ worth of American investment in equipment and software. Why would corporations rather earn rounding-error levels of interest at the bank than put their money to work in profitable ventures?



Murdered by the Iranian State

Amil Imani

Rape is a cruel violation of a helpless victim. In addition to the physical torment involved, rape reduces the victim to subhuman status. Under the barbaric rule of the Mullahcracy in Iran, however, sexual assaults have become instruments of policy for extracting false confessions, satisfying the boundless sadisms and sexual perversities of the jailers, punishing the helpless victim and leaving each of them with a sense of dehumanization. These horrors keep playing out, unabated, in the streets, prisons and dungeons of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The 19-year old beautiful Taranehwas not shot with a single bullet to her chest as was the case with Neda Agha Sultan. There were no bystanders in the dungeon with a cell phone to capture the prolonged torture, rape, and sodomy of this teen-ager.

On June 28, 2009, Taraneh Mousavi, a young Iranian woman, was literally scooped off the streets without any provocation on her part and with no arrest warrant. This young woman was taken to one of the Islamists torture chambers where she was repeatedly brutalized, raped, and sodomized by Ahmadinejad’s agents and with the consent of the “supreme leader” Ali Khamenei.


http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/2020/The-Battle-over-Boykin-at-West-Point.aspx This week’s syndicated column: Even after all these years, journalist-socialite Sally Quinn still embodies a Washington way of thinking – a heart-of-Georgetown, A-list set of salon-tested assumptions “everyone” knows that provides attitudes for any occasion. Take the surreal state of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. One day, William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a […]



Is embracing the Islamists the only way Abdullah can preserve his rule? Is preserving Abdullah the only way Islamists can prevent ‘Jordan’ becoming ‘Palestine?’

“We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are perpetual and eternal and those interests it is our duty to follow “– Lord Palmerston, British foreign secretary, 1848

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same) – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1849

The Lone Ranger, to his hitherto trustworthy American-Indian comrade, Tonto, on realizing they are surrounded by hostile Apaches: It looks like we’re in a lot of trouble, old friend! Tonto: What do you mean ‘we,’ Paleface? – an old joke

The eternal potential for perfidy – or at least the impermanence of loyalties – in pursuit of interests, personal or national, is being illustrated by the events unfolding in Jordan today. Crumbling of conventional wisdom?

It has long been a pillar of conventional wisdom in the Middle East that the Hashemite kingdom is a bastion of moderate pro-Western stability. Accordingly, it has been held that the relationship between the monarchy and radical elements in the Arab world in general, and among the Palestinian in particular, will inevitably be adversarial. Consequently, the assumption has been that, by their very nature and the nature of their goals, these elements necessarily are an existential threat to the regime in Amman.

Furthermore, with the eruption of the Arab Spring, the dominant view has been that the popular waves of support for resurgent Islam are a grave menace to the rule of incumbent autocrats, monarchical or military.

After all, Islamic regimes have risen in the wake of deposed dictatorships in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, while other are under siege in Syria and Yemen. The same scenario was presumed valid in Jordan.


http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11222#.TyuvFJgqNFQ Op-Ed: Israel: A Priceless Strategic Military Asset for the US PLEASE SEE MAP BELOW After Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, in America, there were Hitler enablers like the American hero Charles Lindbergh who publicly championed– the Big Lie– that England was a strategic liability to the US, was the cause of world war, and, […]


http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11223 The United Methodist Church is the major mainline Protestant denomination in the United States. Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Rick Perry,  to name just a few, are all Methodists. During its General Conference in late April in Tampa, Florida, the Church will discuss some divestment proposals targeting companies that profit from Israel’s “occupation”, such […]