What follows is a potpourri of comments I left on various sites over the last few days. I have edited and expanded on some of these comments, because links and connections occurred to me long after I hurriedly posted the comments.
I left this comment on a Daniel Pipes article on Islamic comic books as a propaganda tool of Islamists:
I was fortunate enough to have grown up during the “Last Hurrah” of Western culture, spanning the 1950’s and early 1960’s, when Western values of individualism, heroism, independence, and rational moral values were largely shown on television, in movies, and even in comic books. My introduction to many of the classics of Western literature was through comic books (adulterated or abridged as many of the works were). The “Classics Illustrated “series especially sustained me until I moved on to the actual works. In these I was introduced to “The Red Badge of Courage,” “The Time Machine,” “The Man Who Laughs,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Tale of Two Cities” and so many more. On television, I could watch “The Lone Ranger,””Sergeant Preston of the Yukon,” “Boots and Saddles,” “Superman,” and other series that romanticized Western virtues, values and action. By the time I was a teenager, this phenomenon was beginning to fade from the culture. What sticks in my mind from that period are “The Avengers,” “Secret Agent Man,” and the original “Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits.”
What was missing from any of these comics or TV programs, however, was the element of indoctrination, overt or subliminal. This is what I observe in children’s programming today. I think that if I were a child today, I would be a revolting creature who would refuse to submit to the government’s mandated indoctrination in the school system, or I would blow up by the time I was thirteen or fourteen. “Self-esteem” nurturing and leftist propagandizing in our schools and the deliberate dumbing down of students are bad enough; now children are being brainwashed to whitewash Islam? “Sesame Street,” a patronizing, “diversity”-heavy, government-subsidized children’s “educational” program, is the gold standard of American indoctrination. I wouldn’t have tolerated it. It has probably by now introduced a Muslim Muppet (who can’t appear in the same installment with Miss Piggy – can you imagine CAIR’s outrage if that happened?).
Hollywood has contributed to the bastardization of comic books, as well, and draws much of its material from the politically correct pop culture it helped to create. That is, it depends on popular cultural figures which it is determined to render politically palatable. I invite anyone to go online and see the trailers for “G.I. Joe,” which is to be released in June.
Those early comic books contributed to my character development. What is being developed in children in today’s comics and cartoon programming? What perverted sense of “tolerance” can be achieved with “The 99”? I shudder to think.
I left this comment on a Jihad Watch article on another French Muslim, this one waving an empty Colt .45 at passengers in the Paris Metro. This person was “inspired” by Mohamed Merah (this is the third varying spelling of “Mohamed” I’ve encountered), the French-Algerian jihadist who murdered a rabbi, three Jewish children, and three French soldiers in Toulouse. Robert Spencer commented on the skittishness of the MSM to lay any blame on Islam.
“It’s amazing how often we hear that jihadists and would-be jihadists are unbalanced in some way. It is striking how often their imbalances move them to do exactly the same kinds of things.”
I’ve always contended that Islam is a belief system for the brain-dead or the mentally arrested. It overflows with a zillion unproven assertions that are proof against reason and evidence. All one need do is have faith, to “believe” unconditionally, no questions asked, tolerated or solicited. It isn’t only a Muslim’s body that “submits” to Islam, but his mind. He relinquishes thought in all but the most mundane matters. He becomes one of the herd of unthinking believers. And in that herd will be a minority of believers who wish to assert and prove their “purity,” such as Merah and countless other killers for Allah.
Fundamentally, there is little difference between Islam and, say, the Charles Manson “Family” of followers and killers. Manson was the “Mohammad” of his cult, whose members followed his instructions with unthinking loyalty. Some would claim in answer that Manson was deranged, too, and that his eclectic and warped view of life and the world had little to do with his crimes. However, that view compelled him to instruct his followers to commit horrendous crimes. If he did not take action, of what value was his view? When the crimes were committed, the world would be “made right.” His followers, the ones who actually killed, were moved by the same view, but would never have acted without the “leadership” and guidance of their Mohammad. Without him, they would have floundered in their aimless lives.
For the MSM, dubbing a Merah or the Paris Metro Muslim as “deranged” or “unbalanced” saves it the trouble of condemning Islam for what it is: a death cult for the living dead, a cult that allows the “saints” and wannabe martyrs in the herd to kill for the sake of killing. That is the nature of how Islam warrants massacres and suicide bombings and plane hijackings. It is also behind honor killings, female genital mutilation, acid-throwing, and other crimes of the “religion of peace.” Manson had his “rules” for his followers. Islam has Sharia.
I left this comment on a Sultan Knish article on the symbiosis between Obama and Oprah:
This won’t count for anything, but I nominate Daniel for next year’s Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. What a damning portrait he writes of Obama, a creature who feels a need to be something without actually being anything, a manipulator of contextless ideas and raw emotions and an exploiter of resentments and wishes for the unearned who can’t be anything unless he is seen as master of the universe by all the selfless and rudderless sheep. Without obedience and adulation, he is truly an empty suit -nay, an empty vessel.
Frankly, he’s an amateur in that respect – look at Putin, or Robert Mugabe, or Hitler, or Mao, or Stalin, or the faceless Party tyrants of China. But his professional standing as a wannabe tyrant and half-successful demagogue who keeps reality at bay by commanding the tides and the weather to do his bidding, doesn’t make him any the less dangerous.
No Pulitzer was awarded this year for fiction. It ought to have gone to an anthology of Obama’s speeches.
On Sultan Knish’s article, “We are all George Zimmerman,” about the holistic lynching of George Zimmerman, a “white Hispanic,” who shot a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, I left some brief remarks on the paucity of coverage on the 2007 black-on-white murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Tennessee. Snopes argues that it didn’t receive the coverage it deserved as a “hate crime” because of all the thousands of other murders in the news, and that it couldn’t be deemed a racially-motivated “hate crime,” even though the victims were white and the four assailants were black.
Only whites can commit “hate crimes.” Politicians and the MSM shy away from accusing blacks of them. This is called progress in race relations. Ask Al Sharpton.
I call the lynching of Zimmerman “holistic” because he merely represents a wish by race hustlers to punish: all whites for alleged oppression. “Whiteness” means a nominally individualistic measure of character, which tribalists like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Reverend Jeremiah Wright oppose, even though I could point to any number of blacks who are paragons of individualism, independence of mind, and intellectual excellence (e.g., Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell), far more so than any member of the DNC. Democrats, after all, historically have had a vested interest in perpetuating the welfare state, even though their policies are designed to make blacks (and whites, and Hispanics, and others) as dependent on their beneficence as actual slaves were dependent on their plantation masters’ good will.
On June 5, 2007, then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama told an audience of over 8,000 at historically black Hampton University in Virginia during a clergyman’s conference that blacks experience “silent riots” within themselves when they encounter discrimination and “racial injustice.”
Silent riots? This implies that “all blacks” – or at least those not of a Republican or conservative suasion and not tar-brushed with the Scarlet Letter of “Uncle Tom” – fantasize about meting “retribution” on whites for crimes committed six or seven generations ago, that is, before any white octogenarian today had read in his pre-teens about lynchings in the South in the early 20th century, and whose ancestors may have had nothing to do with them, or whose grandparents hadn’t even yet migrated to the United States.
One could argue that Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Eric Holder, Louis Farrakhan and other race hustlers are sanctioning fantasies of other blacks of committing “hate crimes.” But, to return the serve to the other side of the net, the whole notion of “hate crimes” presumes that imagining committing a crime is a felony offense, whether or not an individual acts on his fantasies and commits a racially-motivated crime. Meaning that the preachers against “hate crime” are guilty of contemplating the commission a “hate crime,” or at least hoping that others commit one, so the dead horse can be beaten all over again.
Too often now individuals are arrested and charged with actual crimes against other individuals, in addition to “hate crimes” — white-on-black, black-on-white, white- or black-on-Jews or other targeted ethnic or religious minorities. This is literal “thought crime.” Further, a “hate crime” is treated as a crime against a group, even though in fact the group is not assaulted in any manner. Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida, but blacks all over the country, from New York to Los Angeles and Omaha in between, donned “hoodies” in shared victimization, even though they’d never heard of Martin until the MSM blew up the story and had gone through life with nary a racial slur ever yelled in their direction.
Motives can be used in an argument to establish a reason why a crime was committed, but it is the crime itself – the actionable offense – that is at issue, not the person’s motive, which may or may not be worthy of condemnation. Actions are evidence, but motives are either conjectural, inferred, or deduced, and then established. But they do not exist in reality. They are not weapons or instruments of murder or mayhem. They are what they are: motives.
“Hate crimes” are based also on the notion that “bad thoughts” float in the air and are there for the snatching, or are like over-the-counter drugs that can be purchased and ingested. So the Left and Islam wish to regulate, if not banish, bad thoughts from the cultural pharmacy, or render the air “bad thought-free,” à la smoking bans, for the sake of anyone sensitive to bad thoughts.
Speaking of retribution, Muslims in Europe are still waiting for a “backlash” after the Merah episode. As of this date they are still waiting for it. One can picture them sitting in their kitchens, drumming their fingers on the table in impatient tattoos, listening to the ticking clock, glancing anxiously at an arsenal of Molotov cocktails in the corner, hoping they’ve assembled enough of them. Waiting, hoping, girding their loins to run out and burn more cars and attack more infidels at the first sign of a dirty look from non-Muslims.
Imagine an Islamic version of “High Noon,” and Sherif Faoud Khan glancing up at the clock on the wall, awaiting the arrival of the Islamophobia Gang on the noon train. Only it never shows up. He hoped it would. The suicide vest around his torso was becoming uncomfortable. And then there are those fool citizens of Hadleyville hiding in the church. They abhorred violence. Didn’t want to see their town torn apart by unnecessary strife. They were willing to compromise and grant him “respect.” They hated Islamophobes, too. After all, weren’t they just racists, and bigots, and insufferably intolerant?
Sherif Khan snickers under his breath: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Guess the Gang isn’t coming.
Comic books, anyone?
Souad Mekhennet, a German journalist of Turkish-Moroccan origin, penned a shiver-me-timbers piece for The New York Times on April 10, “Muslims in France Waiting for the Backlash,” in which she projects the alleged trepidation Muslims in Europe feel in the wake of the Merah killings. She has had a career of white-washing Islam and Muslims and painting them in the glorious Technicolor of victimization and put-upon innocence.
It is terrible what he has done, and there is nothing in Islam that justifies the killing of innocents, especially children,” said Naima, 26, who also spoke on the condition that her full identity be withheld. [I wonder why. Could it be that she fears that a death fatwa would be put on her life by a non-violent Muslim? But, don’t you know, Muslims just want to have fun.]
“But will we Muslims, and especially Muslim women, have to pay the price now?”
Naima cited the debate in France over where Mr. Merah was to be buried – in the end, Algeria refused his body, and he was buried in Toulouse – as evidence of double standards about who is embraced as French and who remains firmly Muslim.
“When someone is like Zidane, a great sportsman, they say he’s French, and when one like Merah, who is a child of this society, runs nuts and kills people, they say he’s not one of us,” she said. Naima’s parents, like Mr. Merah’s, came from Algeria. She grew up in the suburbs of Paris.
Naima and many other Muslims in Europe wonder whether they are caught in a vicious cycle in which increasing xenophobia helps radicalize a generation of Muslims born in France, and they ask whether attacks like Mr. Merah’s will further increase Islamophobia.
So, it’s a cycle? Muslims by invitation move to Europe, establish their own insulated ghettos, refuse to assimilate or adopt Western values, encourage in their children Muslim xenophobia of Western culture, develop Infidelphobia or Kafirphobia, proclaim the superiority of Islam and Muslims over the West and Westerners, prey upon non-Muslims in all sorts of brutal ways, begin shooting Jews and running riot over the pathetic, anemic panaceas of European governments of banning burqas and the like – but it’s a “cycle”?
Whose feet are on the pedals? Whose soles are pressing the pedal to the metal?
The unspoken corollary is that the “cycle” would be broken once “Islamophobia” is outlawed and made punishable, and then the assimilation of Europe – even of the United States – into Islamic culture will proceed peacefully and without violence. No more nasty and vicious incidents of Muslims going “nuts” and embarrassing the faithful and compromising the Islamic communion, even though it could be argued that Islam inculcates a pair of special kinds of mental illness: mentally lethargic submission, and psychosis. Europeans and Americans will be taught to automatically defer to Muslim wishes and demands, in public, in Western courts, on the job, and in private, without protest, and never suspect – there’s that hate crime nexus again, it must be extinguished, but the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Hillary Clinton are working on that – that they are being subjugated, enslaved, and conquered.
Or, if they do suspect it, they won’t resent it and will bend over backwards to accommodate Islam in every way. No more “double standards.” Just one standard. Mohammad’s standard. Allah’s will.
Think again, Miss Mekhennet.
Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk series of novels set in England and Virginia in the decades leading up to the American Revolution, and also of Whisper the Guns and First Prize. His essays, books reviews, and other nonfiction have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other periodicals. He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason and The Dougout.