Original materials -
Copyright © 2019 by Gary Bachlund All international rights
"We know through painful
experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must
be demanded by the oppressed." In "Letter From Birmingham City Jail," Martin
Luther King Jr., 16 April 1963.
Who just says what?
|Who just says what? And who just defines
Amorphous notions of hateful whines?
One man hates another man's speech,
And to silence one extends the reach
Of who can say what and who shall define
Uniformed speech, the tyrant's sign.
|Uniform thought is thought controlled;
An incorrect thought receives a scold.
Who just says what? And who just defines
When a thuggish tyrant speech maligns?
The fists of power rise up to crush
Whomever they deem it right to shush.
|Hate means what? In what legal sense?
What should it cost? What recompense
Must be paid by cash, limb, or life,
As each tyrant seeks to silence strife?
Who just says what? And who just defines
When tyranny freedom's speech maligns?
Envoi: "If we don't believe in freedom
of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
Addendum of an Inquisition: "...the
Inquisition, guided by its founding in 1233 by the steely intellects
of the Dominican order, had developed the techniques that would
torment Catholic Europe and Latin America for centuries to come and,
in the process, provide the model for latter- day totalitarian
control of the individual conscience." In "The Perfect Heresy,"
by Stephen O'Shea, Profile Books, 2001.
Addendum of a Modern Inquisition:
"Large groups of citizens, loyal to the party and serving as informers
and enforcers at the grassroots level, can be seen almost everywhere in
China today. They are easily recognizable by the red armband they wear
prominently. The so-called “red armbands,” mobilized masses and cadres
for patrolling and inspecting, have become the instrument that the CCP
uses to monitor the community, especially dissenters and religious
believers. The appearance of these zealous citizens enforcing a
moral and disciplinary code on their fellow citizens reminds many of
past Chinese social movements, like the Fengqiao Experience or the Boxer
Rebellion." by Lin Yijiang, Bitter Winter, 30 December 2018.
Addendum of Another Modern Inquisition:
"The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice
enforces traditional Islamic morality by arresting or helping to secure
the arrest of people who engage in conduct that violates Islamic
principles and values. They are tasked with enforcing Sharia as
defined in Saudi Arabia. In addition to having the power to arrest
anyone engaged in homosexual acts, prostitution or fornication, they can
also arrest unrelated males and females caught socializing and enforce
Islamic dress-codes, eating habits (such as the prohibition from eating
pork) and store closures during the prayer time. They prohibit the
consumption or sale of alcoholic beverages and seize banned consumer
products and media regarded contrary to Islamic morals. They also
actively prevent the religious practices of other religions within Saudi
Arabia." In "Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of
Vice (Saudi Arabia)," Wikipedia article, n. d.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of a Choking Inquisition:
"The Justice Department has committed to ending a controversial
Obama-era program that discourages banks from doing business with a
range of companies, from payday lenders to gun retailers." In "Justice
Department to end Obama-era 'Operation Choke Point'," by Victoria
Guida, Politico, 17 August 2017.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of an Artistic Inquisition:
" 'Every artist whose work appears on Netflix should be
outraged that the company has agreed to censor a comedy show because the
thin-skinned royals in Saudi complained about it,' a spokesperson said.
'Netflix’s claim to support artistic freedom means nothing if it bows
to demands of government officials who believe in no freedom for their
citizens – not artistic, not political, not comedic'." In "Outrage
after Netflix pulls comedy show criticising Saudi Arabia," by Mattha
Busby, Guardian UK, 1 January 2019.
[ 4 ]
Addendum of an Inquisition by Regulation:
"In short, Patreon is choosing to monitor the speech of any creators
funded by its site and will apply its own standards to regulate that
speech even though the speech isn’t being published or hosted at Patreon.
It should go without saying that Patreon, as a private company, is free
to do so. But in the video below, Peterson suggests the move to oust
libertarian and right-leaning speakers is being driven by a left-wing
group called Change the Terms." In "Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson
leave Patreon over free speech concerns," by John Sexton, HotAir, 2
[ 5 ]
Addendum of Dulling Inquisitions:
"...without a vibrant commitment to free and open inquiry, a
university ceases to be a university." In "Report of the Committee
Freedom of Expression," University of Chicago, n. d.
[ 6 ]
1 ] From the article: "Another
historical precedent was the turn-of-the-century Boxer
Rebellion. The Boxers (literally the 'Fists of Harmony
and Justice') were a Chinese secret society that led the
rebellion against colonialism and Christianity. Political
commentator Wen Zhao sees a common thread: 'What the
Boxers and the Fengqiao Experience have in common is that
both are forms of mass violence manipulated by those in
power to commit outrageous acts in the name of truth and
That violence and the threat of violence would be
"manipulated by those in power" is that common thread which
binds inquisition to inquisition throughout history and
across all cultures.
In this specific Chinese Communist example: "The
social credit system is based on the government’s phrase
'once untrustworthy, always restricted', and is set to be
tested further on the country’s train system from May 1, it
was announced last week." In "China's 'social credit'
system bans millions from travelling," by Jamie
Fullerton, Telegraph UK, 24 March 2018.
One may survey modern trends in the West in this regard:
2 ] Similarly, as organized by such
thought, one reads: "In the book Taliban by
Ahmed Rashid, the ministry is referred to as the Department
of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
Maulvi Qalamuddin, the head of the ministry during the
Taliban era, preferred the English translation Department of
Religious Observances. The Ministry for the Propagation of
Virtue and the Prevention of Vice of Afghanistan was in
charge of implementing Islamic rules (Hanafi principles) as
defined by the Taliban. Its religious police raided the
streets arresting women not fully covered and people
listening to music." In "Ministry for the Propagation of
Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Afghanistan)." Wikipedia
article, n. d.
With regard to music
3 ] More on this "choke point":
"For those unfamiliar, Choke Point consisted of bureaucrats
in several independent federal agencies taking it upon
themselves to shut legal businesses – such as payday lenders
and firearms dealers – out of the banking system. Given the
nature of the U.S. regulatory framework, this operation was
easy to pull off." In "Newly Unsealed Documents Show Top
FDIC Officials Running Operation Choke Point," by
Norbert Michel, Forbes, 6 November 2018.
4 ] One could consider the
accusation, a relatively recent term, of
That the Saudi government may exercise its political
influence in another nation to push back at being ridiculed
is evidence of a government and its being very
5 ] From the Change the Terms
website, one reads: "While a free and open
internet creates immense social value, it can also be used
to engage in hateful activities and to do so at a large
scale. For example, white supremacist and other
organizations inciting hate are using online platforms to
organize, fund, recruit supporters for, and normalize
racism, sexism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, homophobia
and transphobia, among others. This chills the online speech
of the targeted groups, curbs democratic participation, and
threatens people’s safety and freedom in real life." In
"Adopt the Terms," Change the Terms, accessed January 2019.
Thus one becomes enmeshed in the discussion, what
constitutes hate. An opposing view politically can easily be
defined as hate, and thus this tactic becomes thuggish in
short order. Who shall "adopt" whose "terms?" Depending on
the severity of the inquisition, it becomes simply a matter
of exercising raw power.
Some People Don't Believe
From the article above, a seemingly compliant official at
the company stated: "We understand some people
don’t believe in the concept of hate speech and don’t
agree with Patreon removing creators on the grounds of
violating our Community Guidelines for using hate speech. We
have a different view. Patreon does not and will not condone
hate speech in any of its forms." Yet it has not
defined what hate speech is.
The article notes that this is mere and sheer politics:
"...the bottom line is that very well-funded left-wing
groups are pushing to 'no-platform' hate. In practice,
that looks a lot like going after anyone on the right who
has a different opinion. Put another way, if the
Southern Poverty Law Center is now in charge of defining
hate speech online, you can bet a lot of people who aren’t
remotely white supremacists are going to be swept up in the
dragnet as well. In June the SPLC made a $3.3 million
settlement with Maajid Nawaz over his inclusion in its
'Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.' Other groups
targeted by the SPLC have said they are considering lawsuits
Such circles back to the above mentioned capitulation by
Netflix to the Saudi government, as one of many contemporary
examples of the application of power, even national borders.
As to Patreon and their censoring of users, one reads:
" Podcast host Sam Harris objected to Patreon's approach
and announced that he would be leaving the platform because
of it. Shortly thereafter Patreon deleted the account
of It's Going Down, a hardline left-wing news website, for
doxing. Patreon CEO Jack Conte subsequently announced
that he would be expanding the company's appeal process,
regretting the initial wording of the letter which said
'[we] will not consider an appeal'." In "Patreon," Wikipedia
article, n. d.
6 ] The similarities to the
various topics above cluster. In the University of Chicago
protocol, one pledges with this: "...the University is
committed to the principle that it may not restrict
debate or deliberation because the ideas put forth are
thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.
It is for the members of the University community to make
those judgments for themselves. As a corollary to this
commitment, members of the University community must also
act in conformity with this principle. Although faculty,
students and staff are free to criticize, contest and
condemn the views expressed on campus, they may not
obstruct, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with the freedom
of others to express views they reject or even loathe." In
"Statement on Principles of Free Expression," University of
Chicago, July 2012.
Consider the truths being revealed within the same old
strife appearing in this time as the dissonance between
Free speech, hate speech
and the rage of the hopefully fading
Addressing and Blunting
The observation as above of "totalitarian
control of the individual conscience" functions well as a sketch
of many entities across history, and in this modern era.
Such Committees for the Promotion of Virtue and the
Prevention of Vice" as one finds in Islamic lands are akin
to "Fists of Harmony
and Justice" and "social credit systems and choke points
strategies and de-platforming attempts as "Change the Terms"
cited above espouses, all similar attempts towards the
"totalitarian control of the individual conscience."
Not restricting "debate or deliberation because the ideas
put forth are thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or
wrong-headed" allows ideas, theories, narratives, debates,
research and clarity to sort themselves out in a free
society not dedicated to "totalitarian control." This is the
Thus, Chomsky's assertion is pointed and clear: "If
we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we
despise, we don't believe in it at all."
Who just says what? And who just defines / When tyranny
freedom's speech maligns?
I'll make reply quite readily.
A shrug's part of my medley.
I don't know much, that's for sure,
So I prefer to oft demure.
I'll confess, huh? not just guess.
Some might not, but I profess...
Pronouns at play - so some people say
Smarter than you.
Game over. I've won.
Thanks for the contest;
Thanks for the fun.
Dumber than me.
Game over. You've lost.
I judge as jury
You must be bossed.
Greater than you.
You will believe
By hook or by crook,
Or must we deceive?
Sure to have peace
As long as you heed
The rules as we rule.
You simply will heed.
Bound to submit
To our perfect views
And if you will not
We'll tighten your screws.
Surely the best;
And you will obey
Or righteously they
Will flay you this day.
- no doubt about it
I'd like to
fill the void that God once occupied - a reflection on secular
"Nietzsche’s works express a fear that the decline of religion, the rise
of atheism, and the abscense of a higher moral authority would plunge
the world into chaos. The western world had depended on the rule of God
for thousands of years -- it gave order to society and meaning to life.
Without it, Nietzsche writes, society will move into an age of
nihilism. Although Nietzsche may have been considered a nihilist by
definition, he was critical of it and warned that accepting nihilism
would be dangerous." In "God is Dead," Philosophy Index, n. d.
like to fill the void that God once occupied,
And so I seek for other gods and many have applied.
The god of genitalia is hard on opening wide,
While the god
of ego preens with all it finds inside.
The godly state salutes itself with flag and proper pomp,
While the god
of money counts its riches' ripened romp.
The god of ideology is well suited to its task,
While the god
of lordly pleasures oft must wear its mask.
I'd like to fill the void that is unsatisfied,
And so many
little gods line up, all to be glorified.
Addendum of Choosing the Accuser to Fill the
Void: "When tensions arise in a group (as they
inevitably do), people commence to cast about for a scapegoat, for
someone or some group to blame. Deeply attractive, even addictive,
the scapegoating move rapidly attracts a crowd, which in short order
becomes a mob. In their common hatred of the victim, the blamers feel an
ersatz sense of togetherness. Filled with the excitement born of
self-righteousness, the mob then endeavors to isolate and finally
eliminate the scapegoat, convinced that this will restore order to their
roiled society. At the risk of succumbing to the reductio ad
Hitlerum fallacy, nowhere is the Girardian more evident than in the
Germany of the 1930s. Hitler ingeniously exploited the scapegoating
mechanism to bring his country together—obviously in a profoundly wicked
way." In "The Internet and Satan’s Game," by Bishop Robert Barron, Words
on Fire, 22 January 2019.
alternative view to the Nihilist:
I prefer a vital God
Wonder Boy looks small and
relève d'une recherche quasi mystique, à l'image de la recherche du
nombre d'or ou de la divine proportion dans la Grèce antique."
In "Emmanuel Macron ou Jupiter 2.0 ?" by Harold Hauzy, 31 May 2017.
looks small and pale
In the lashing light of day;
Great he was on the glistening screens;
That slogan-slick image fades away.
Reality is that glaring light
Which strips pretense's play.
After 'The End' life goes on;
Tomorrow still has its say.
Wonder Boy was a role with lines
But behind the script's scrawled fray
Hid the ordinary and average
Which spotlights don't display.
Reality's not a fine fan of tales
Which repeat, rerun, replay.
Wonder Boy looks small and frail
In the slashing light of day.
Envoi: " 'C'est le roi. Il ne voit rien
rien rien rien', enrage Philippe, 74 ans et chef de file d'un groupe
de 'gilets jaunes' qui filtre régulièrement la circulation dans la
région du Mans." In " 'Gilets jaunes': la 'haine' contre le 'roi'
Macron, moteur de la colère," Agence France Presse/ Le Point, 5
Addendum of the Same Old Same Old:
"Research published last week by the Cevipof political institute at
Sciences Po university found more than two thirds of the French
people still had overwhelmingly negative views of politicians. When
asked to sum up their feelings towards them, 37 percent said they
felt 'distrust', 32 percent 'disgust', eight percent 'boredom' and
four percent 'fear'." In "Same old elite? Macron's 'revolution'
fails with fed up French," France 24/Agence France Presse, 18
Addendum with a Sting from the Left: "Macron
is a skinny little-trained seal in a circus where we cannot even see
the ringmaster." In "Dear France: I Told You Le Pen Really
Mattered," by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 31 January 2019.
Run around in circles
are stirrings of discussion these days in philosophical circles
about the prospect of human extinction." In "Would Human
Extinction Be a Tragedy?" by Todd May, New York Times, 17 December
And mull the
end of days.
Man is sure to go extinct
In oh so many
Prospecting for an ending
On which one
Run around in circles,
And mull the
Which extinguishes the circle
Until there comes some tragedy
prospectors might defend.
If philosophy in the forest falls,
And none will
hear its fall,
nothing much at all.
Run around in circles
And word the
Before the end is truly nigh
Addendum of So Many Options: "In futures
studies, human extinction is the hypothetical end of the human
species. This may result from natural causes or it may be the result
of human action. The likelihood of human extinction in future by
wholly natural scenarios, such as a meteorite impact or large-scale
volcanism, is generally considered to be extremely low. For
anthropogenic extinction, many possible scenarios have been
proposed: human global nuclear annihilation, biological warfare
or the release of a pandemic-causing agent, dysgenics,
overpopulation, ecological collapse, and climate change; in
addition, emerging technologies could bring about new extinction
scenarios, such as advanced artificial intelligence, biotechnology
or self-replicating nanobots. The probability of anthropogenic
human extinction within the next hundred years is the topic of an
active debate." In "Human extinction," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Addendum of Choosing Nihilism: "We’re
the only species evolved enough to consciously go extinct for the
good of all life, or which needs to. Success would be humanity’s
crowning achievement. May we live long and die out." In
"Success," The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, n. d. From their
website, "When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth’s
biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all
remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they
believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of
Nature’s 'experiments' have done throughout the eons. It’s going to
take all of us going."
Addendum of 'It Could Be': "Likening it to
a dangerous weapon in the hands of a child, he [ Nick Bostrom ] says
the advance of technology has overtaken our capacity to control the
possible consequences. ...change is coming whether or not we're
ready for it. 'There is a bottleneck in human history. The human
condition is going to change. It could be that we end in a
catastrophe or that we are transformed by taking much greater
control over our biology. It's not science fiction, religious
doctrine or a late-night conversation in the pub. There is no
plausible moral case not to take it seriously'." In "How are humans
going to become extinct?" by Sean Coughlan, BBC, 24 April 2013.
[ 1 ] One learns from the New York Times
byline that "Todd May is a professor of philosophy at
Clemson University and the author of, most recently, 'A
Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability.' He is a
philosophical adviser for the television show, 'The Good
As to the verbiage of "a fragile life" and
"vulnerability," an anonymous student opines:
"Todd is a very bright philosopher but he thinks very
highly of himself and doesn't really want to see you
stretch your boundaries and contradict him." In the
ULoop of Clemson University, n. d.
May opines in the NYT article, "It is humanity that
is committing a wrong, a wrong whose elimination
would likely require the elimination of the species...."
It is an interesting notion to blame "humanity," but it
is not an unusual notion, as one finds for those who see
The Scourge of the Planet
And so continues the larger tale of predicting an
[ 2 ] "We" is such a
fine pronoun, as an individual purports to speak for a
group, a movement, an entire nation or group of nations,
race, or the greatest of all, mankind. One may take a
lesson from those who so easily speak of "we," and to
opine that "we" might well be demonstrably wrong. As an
- wrong for more than forty years. Oddly, "we" seem not to be
choosing nihilism as readily as some would like.
[ 3 ] "It could be"
is such a fine phrase for scientists, as is the longer
sentence, "it could be we will get more funding."
One could and one may consider the use of such wiggle
words as used so frequently in the public handwringing
of various sorts on parade now as in the past:
Could and May
- an up-to-date play.
An editor's pick among the comments allowed by the BBC:
Scott0962 on 24 Apr 2013: "Whether humanity may go
extinct or whether it even deserves to survive are
questions for scientists, philosophers, theologians, and
perhaps science fiction writers to debate--the rest
of us are busy living."
Before the end is truly nigh / There's time
for parody. And there is time to be "busy living."
The Easy Button
"...they were men with well-defined and sound ideas on everything
concerning exports, banking, the fruit or wine trade; men of proved
ability in handling problems relating to insurance, the
interpretation of ill-drawn contracts, and the like; of high
qualifications and evident good intentions. That, in fact, was what
struck one most, the excellence of their intentions. But as regards
plague their competence was practically nil." "The Plague,"
Albert Camus, 1947 (Gallimard, French) trans. by Stuart Gilbert,
1948 (Hamish Hamilton, English).
[ 1 ]
That's the way.
Easy is but
One push away.
Flick that switch,
Come what may;
It's short and sweet,
But hell to pay.
Envoi: "Sir, Hell is paved with good
intentions." Samuel Johnson, 1775
[ 2 ]
[ 1 ] Camus' novella
ends, observing "...he knew that the tale he had to tell
could not be one of a final victory. It could be only
the record of what had had to be done, and what
assuredly would have to be done again in the never
ending fight against terror and its relentless
onslaughts, despite their personal afflictions, by all
who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down
to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers."
[ 2 ] A generation of
politicians passes, as one reads "...communities
experienced massive upheaval, and just as here in the
U.S., there were race riots and community tensions. One
man predicted it all, but was widely panned by the media
and the political class for doing so. Enoch Powell was
sure to be a Conservative Party leader if he had just
kept his mouth shut, but as he said on April 20, 1968,
to a small room of supporters in Birmingham, UK, 'All I
know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the
great betrayal'." In " 'Enoch Was Right,' Raheem
Kassam writes in his new book on a forgotten hero of our
times," review by Ned Ryun, American Spectator, 27 April
Try to cite the sources,
As 'experts say' speaks dumb.
Name and clearly reference
obvious rule of thumb.
Assertions without sourcing,
Citations to be checked,
Is that old three card monte
Believe, an anonymous source says,
Because of -- well, you know --,
Is a shill game played by many
Who dance their dazzling show.
tells nothing really,
When 'they' have no named names,
And without the names and faces
There's are cynical unsourced games.
"Three people have appeared in court in Zimbabwe, accused of
stealing a suitcase containing $150,000 (£117,600) of cash
from the country's ousted president, Robert Mugabe." In "Mugabe:
Suitcase of cash stolen from ex-Zimbabwe leader," BBC, 10 January
[ 1 ]
Wouldn't you like a suitcase
Like the one a trio stole?
Politicians in most every place
Seem on quite a roll.
Wouldn't you like a stash
Like that which prime folk cache?
Politicians in most every land
Labor for their cash.
Wouldn't you like a packet
To lavishly lug about?
Politicians in most every age
Are rarely found without.
that pay quite well,
Addendum of Suitcases Full of Cash:
"...'it was a huge surprise when we found the empty
apartment and just the suitcases and boxes covered by a sheet,'
Daniel Madruga, who coordinated the operation, told local television
station Globo. Corruption has been an endemic problem in Brazil for
centuries, but a massive investigation has unexplained piles of cash
popping up around the country like never before. Believed to be the
largest corruption case in modern history, the probe uncovered a
complex scheme in which top business executives traded bribes for
lucrative government contracts." In "Brazil’s top politicians are
getting busted with literal suitcases full of cash," by Marina
Lopes, Washington Post, 7 September 2017.
Addendum of a Money-Stuffed Suitcase:
"Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, the star witness of the
money-stuffed suitcase scandal which involves Argentine and
Venezuelan officials, declared in a federal court in Miami that the
plane in which he flew August 2007 to Buenos Aires was carrying a
second suitcase with 4.2 million US dollars besides the 800.000
which were seized by Buenos Aires Customs." In "Suitcase
scandal: where's the rest of the money?" Merco Press, 24 September
Addendum of Money-Bag Politics:
"The history of Nigerian politics is replete with
money-bag politics. Although, there is hardly any country in the
world where instances of bribery or political corruption are not
present in their national politics, researches on Africa’s
postcolonial history, have however shown that, in Africa,
corruption is an institutionalized and a systemic practice affecting
not only the postcolonial state itself, but also the majority of the
citizenry. Using Nigeria, as a case study, this paper argues
that since the 1964/1965 Western Region elections to the 2007
general elections, there has hardly been any election conducted in
Nigeria without associated cases of corrupt practices such as vote
buying, ballot snatching, election rigging, election violence,
political and legislative lobbying etc." In "Money-Bag Politics,
2 ] And Flawed Elections In Nigeria: A
Theoretical Statement," Derin Ologbenla, Waziri Babatunde Adisa,
Journal of Public Administration and Governance, Vol. 2, No. 1
Addendum of Mexican Millions:
"Until Monday, the most prominent Mexican official accused of taking
bribes was Genaro García Luna, the country’s former public security
director. When Jesus Zambada testified in November, he told jurors
that he had met twice with Mr. García Luna in a restaurant and both
times gave him a briefcase stuffed with at least $3 million in
cash." In " El Chapo Trial: Former Mexican President Peña Nieto
Took $100 Million Bribe, Witness Says," by Alan Feuer, New York
Times, 15 January 2019.
[ 1 ] Some details: "Mr
Mugabe, now 94, was forced out of office by Zimbabwe's
military in 2017. Up to that point, he had been in power
for 37 years, first as prime minister and later as
president. Once famously claiming that a country
could never go bankrupt, he was accused of enjoying a
lavish lifestyle while presiding over Zimbabwe's
[ 2 ] It should become obvious to
all observers that the notion of rent-seeking by
political avenues is endemic throughout government at
every level around the world. By legal as well as
illegal means, governors -- those who govern -- and
legislators -- those who legislate -- feather their own
nests first and foremost.
One only need a cursory survey of
in the United States, and, in the parlance of this
little world of rhyme,
Corruption has a middle name
to see that
itself is the mechanism which so easily corrupts, as the
feeding frenzy on the part of "leaders" in the public
arena has defrauded citizens in every land and every
Double down on failure
|Double down on failure;
Why not fail twice?
Triple down! Why not?
Heed the worst advice.
|Wager on a losing scheme;
Roll those pesky dice.
Dream that you cannot lose;
Then pay the loser's price.
|Double down yet again,
For dreams smell oh so nice.
Fail and then fail again;
So goes it in a trice.
Addendum of Recent Support for a Failed
State: "...while many on the left
are now keen to disavow any connection to the Venezuelan
disaster, their earlier enthusiasm is on the record. Greg
Grandin, writing in The Nation in 2013, offered a laudatory take
on Chavez and suggested that Venezuela 'might be the most
democratic country in the Western hemisphere.' (He also
argued, oddly enough, that Chavez 'wasn’t authoritarian
enough.') Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party,
has also been a big Chavez fan, while Nobel laureate economist
Joseph Stiglitz praised Venezuela’s economic policies in 2007
and declared that the risks of higher inflation were overrated."
In "Venezuela Isn’t Just a Failed State. It’s a Failure of the
Left," by Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg Quint, 20 February 2019.
Addendum of Not Wanting to Look like
Failure: " 'He didn’t like the things we were
asking him about the lack of democracy in Venezuela, about
torture, political prisoners, the humanitarian crisis that they
were living,' he said. But the breaking point came, Ramos said,
after he showed Maduro a video of people eating from a garbage
truck. 'Immediately after, one of his ministers, Jorge Rodríguez,
came to tell us that the interview was not authorized,' Ramos
said." In "Maduro detained journalists after they showed him
video of people eating garbage, Univision says," by Reis
Thebault, Michael Brice-Saddler and Eli Rosenberg, Washington
Post, 26 February, 2019.
Consider when, in
the New York Times parlance, what happens the the Left is
Left to their own devices
paraphrase of Joachim Ringelnatz
effervescent, festive evenings seek
Knows quite well, where off to sneak.
Blow nose and
M a r t i n i
B a r.
There party the fine folk with drink all around;
Right and left toasts bright resound.
dress and drink,
As one might
The guests, oft well known, oft maybe not,
Are always an interesting lot.
Who then at
does time fly by!
How great was
I used to read the New York Times
And do their crossword puzzle,
With Entemann's and Sundays' chimes
And coffee enough to guzzle.
I used to
read, front page to back,
away some morning hours.
I mused, and
The corner vendor scratched a life
In that Amsterdam neighborhood;
Back then the Times was cheaper than
Today, and I understood...
That time's a
respecter of no man
As tick tocks
the ages by.
I no longer
read the New York Times
And am quite
Subway tokens are keepsakes now,
And it's time for other folks.
Old memories are fleeting and
My errors age as jokes,
My own, for
I've learned to chuckle
At how silly
was I once,
changed by time's meandering,
I still can
play the dunce.
No longer finding profits
socialist governments have been in power since 1999, taking over the
country at a time when Venezuela had huge inequality. But the
socialist polices brought in which aimed to help the poor backfired.
Take price controls, for example. They were introduced by President
Chávez to make basic goods more affordable to the poor by capping
the price of flour, cooking oil and toiletries. But this meant
that the few Venezuelan businesses producing these items no longer
found it profitable to make them." In "Venezuela crisis: How the
political situation escalated," BBC, 24 January 2019.
No longer finding profits
testifies to what's been found.
Socialist policies predictably
ran the ship aground.
More goods for the poor
means now the poor have less,
And that's the situation
with socialism's economic guess.
No longer finding profits
testifies that something's found.
again, socialism proves unsound.
Heading down the same dark
the world watches Venezuela's slow, cancerous death, Nicaragua is in
full cardiac arrest. Since protests began on April 18, the
government of President Daniel Ortega has been accused of using
'lethal force' and at least 146 people have died. Hundreds more are
wounded or missing and the body of a U.S. citizen was found shot
dead on June 2. Without international intervention, the collapse of
my country could create a new cycle of war and destruction in this
precarious region." In "Nicaragua Is Heading Down the Same Dark
Path as Venezuela," by Margarita Herdocia, Time, 13 June 2018.
[ 1 ]
the same dark path,
Seeing near the coming wrath,
Those headstrong who lead that way
Are the same of whom advocates say
They're visionary seers of a coming world,
Of fealty's oaths and flags unfurled
Which lead again down that old dark path
Which leads to the same old aftermath.
Addendum of the Same Dark Path: "In Nicaragua,
armed supporters of President Daniel Ortega opened fire on a
crowd of tens of thousands of anti-government protesters
Wednesday, killing at least 11 people and wounding almost 80 others.
Elsewhere in Nicaragua, another four were killed and scores more
injured at demonstrations around the country—bringing the death toll
in recent anti-Ortega protests to nearly 100." In "Nicaragua: 15
Killed as Tens of Thousands Demand President’s Ouster," Democracy
Now, 1 June 2018.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of Socialist State Repression: "
'Heavily armed pro-government groups remain at large, accompanied by
police forces, committing joint attacks against the civilian
population,' said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty
International. 'The message sent by the highest ranking
Nicaraguan authorities is that they are willing to do anything to
silence the voices of those who demonstrate against this violent
repression. This situation is extremely serious and deserves
strong condemnation from the international community'." In "Nicaragua:
State repression has reached deplorable levels," Amnesty
International, 9 July 2018.
Addendum of El Presidente on the Same Dark Path:
"...Ortega has demonstrated one skill, it is that of survival. He
and his wife have dominated Nicaraguan political life for so long
and amassed so much power that his departure is not a foregone
conclusion. It is up to the United States and other regional
democracies to hold Ortega to account and to support the Nicaraguan
people in their effort to hasten a return to democratic order in
Nicaragua. Given Ortega’s long history of authoritarianism and
lust for power, we should make sure that he truly seeks a negotiated
solution to the country’s current crisis and is not simply looking
for a respite. We are seeing what the hemisphere’s failure to
confront oppressors has brought in Venezuela." In "Daniel
Ortega’s familiar path of repression in Nicaragua," by Otto J.
Reich, Washington Post, 24 May 2018.
Addendum of an Opposing View: "Once inside
Congress, Bolsonaro and his vice president, retired Gen. Hamilton
Mourao, took the oath of office. Bolsonaro then read a short speech
that included many of the far-right positions he staked out during
the campaign. He promised to combat the 'ideology of gender'
teaching in schools, 'respect our Judeo-Christian tradition' and
'prepare children for the job market, not political militancy'. 'I
call on all congressmen to help me rescue Brazil from corruption,
criminality and ideological submission,' he said, earning a
congratulatory message from Trump." In "Bolsonaro says Brazil
'liberated from Socialism' at inaugural ceremony," France 24, 1
[ 3 ]
[ 1 ] Herdocia writes
further: "Nicaragua has been quietly heading
down this path for over a decade. Relative economic
stability masked the slow accumulation of power by
President Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario
Murillo. As democratic institutions were dismantled
by El Comandante’s regime, their cronies grew in wealth
and the stage was set for an enduring Ortega
The Democrat Socialists
The descriptive -- dictatorship -- tells much, as she
reports: "Nicaragua's Catholic bishops
called the bloodshed an 'organized and systemic
aggression'—but it has since worsened. The Mothers'
Day massacre has been nationalized, and systematic
kidnapping and torture has been added to the mix.
Several employees and acquaintances have been brutally
beaten by government thugs, while others have been
abducted and tortured for refusing to pay fealty to the
Sandinista party leadership."
It should be clarified that the Sandinista Party is yet
another socialist party, as have been the Cuban and
Venezuelan "revolutions," with each adopting a different
path to the same violence and economic collapse.
[ 2 ] Verbiage is
important, for from 1985 until now, Ortega has ruled
Nicaragua as president, currently 34 years in power for
a single individual. Democratic elections as run by the
Sandinista Party notwithstanding, Democracy Now as an
organization speaking to issues of democracy reports on
the brutality of "armed supporters." Thus
"democracy" does not seem to accurately describe the
behavior of the Ortega regime, while it is the term used
to portray the hoped-for optics of the same.
One learns more of the verbiage: "The
Sandinista National Liberation Front (Spanish: Frente
Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN) is a
democratic socialist political party in Nicaragua.
... Following the resignation of centrist members from
this Junta, the FSLN took exclusive power in March 1981.
They instituted a policy of mass literacy, devoted
significant resources to health care, and promoted
gender equality but came under international criticism
for human rights abuses, mass execution and oppression
of indigenous peoples."In "Sandinista National
Liberation Front," Wikipedia, n. d.
The promise of mass
literacy was similar to Fidel Castro's, and yet one sees
the end of a "same dark path" in
Socialism's Last Hurrah
- not democracy in any town. Looking
behind the public optics at the outset of these various socialist
revolutions, one reads of grand promises, and yet at the end game in such
revolutions the outcome is corruption, violence and death enforced by fealty
to a single party.
Of course the next
incarnations of democratic socialists will disavow the proven outcomes of
previous democratic socialist parties. Yet one may look to the
similarities between past democratic socialist parties, and especially how
difficult to say
I Shall Believe the Socialist
[ 3 ]
A path may be followed in opposite directions. For those traveling in one,
the traveler in the opposing direction is "opposing."
Thus, as one reads
news and opinion from around the world, one often sees the editorial bias in
reporting. But when one would "rescue Brazil from corruption, criminality
and ideological submission" is deemed to be far right, then one must make
reference to the failed
Left and Right
model, and choose a direction on a path.
The path of the
far-Left may be seen in the above reporting about Nicaragua's "democratic
socialist political party," and as such traveling in an opposing direction
can be described as "far-right" in political positions, but when compared to
criminality and ideological submission" as reported by France 24 as
"far-right" political stances, one must then ask is being for a Left being
also for such corruption, criminality and ideological submission?" It is a
question worth consideration, when the Nicaraguan Left is reported to be of
"authoritarianism and lust for power."
How old fashioned yet
widespread is that today? Should governments' growing authoritarianism
and lust for power over defenseless citizens be
Left to their own devices
A father of
Asked you to kill a gecko
With one swift stroke, or more,
Earning points to echo
Far beyond the squashing of that gecko.
A father to some felines
Taught you to squash a lizard
With all dispatch, most speedily;
Be a lizard-killing wizard
Who'd crush a fiery little lizard.
One swift stoke is better
Than two or more, go-getter.
That's now ancient law
According to lore and letter
Of a kitty-cats' tough task setter.
Envoi: "Abu Huraira: He who kills a gecko
with the first stroke..." The Book of Salutations and Greetings.
Book 026, Number 5564.
Addendum from a Beginning: "...the salamander, a mischief-doer." In "Beginning of
Creation," Sahih al-Bukhari.
Addendum after an Addendum: "...the
salamander should be killed and said, 'It (i. e. the salamander)
blew (the fire) on Abraham'." In "Prophets," Sahih al-Bukhari.
[ 1 ] The pseudonym foe the
"narrator" refers to this: "He was known by the
kunyah [ honorific] Abu Hurayrah 'Father of a Kitten',
in reference to his documented attachment to cats." In
"Abu Hurairah," Wikipedia, n. d.
One can know when one has
breed bad outcomes,
As engineering tells.
Fresh follies fail foolishly;
While science plain excels.
Asserting there is nothing bad
Is to make the fatal choice.
Avowing that there are no sins
Is to mute each still, small voice.
Tales begun tell outcomes
And trajectories foretell their ends;
One can know when one has learned,
When in learning then one bends.
Addendum of Foreboding: "The best lack all
conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
From "The Second Coming" William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
See: Settings of
William Butler Yeats'
Three Magical Songs
Schisms - they're about isms
"It's I am
Right, and you're so Wrong,"
Said Bishop Sheikh in a rant quite long.
"It's I've the Truth, while you've but Lies,"
Said the Rabbi Lama in a Rightful guise.
"It's I know Best, while you know Worst,"
Said each Politician who would be First
Above those Lesser who nothing know,
Who are deemed Wrong, and Rightly so,
For Betters who know Worse, we see,
Live each under some sworn Decree,
And even the Atheists' glowering glares
Play joyously in the Game of Snares
Which sings with self-exalted Song,
"It's I am Right, while you're so Wrong."
Rights declare other Rights as Wrong,
Schismatically, and then erelong
The many Rights cannot agree
As to which is Right in which Holy See,
While the Lesser, gentler, quiet Folks
Chuckle at the jolly jokes - when
"It's I am Right," with aggressive Song,
Proves other Rights must be truly Wrong.
This applies to
both You and Me,
For We're sure to disagree.
I have a little -ism
- sung to the tune of "I Have a Little
Dreidel," original lyrics by Samuel S. Grossman and music by S. E. Goldfarb.
"Six-year-old Antonella was diagnosed with throat cancer four years ago,
and her mother brings her to Domingo Luciani Hospital in Caracas as
often as she can for chemotherapy. Today, however, it´s Antonella´s mom
who is being treated -- for malnutrition, a state-inflicted malady
that is sweeping across oil-rich Venezuela. Struggling to feed
herself and her child, she fainted when she walked into the hospital
where Antonella is slowly dying." In "No gloves or dressings: Inside the
last pediatric surgical ward in Venezuela´s capital," by Vasco Cotovio
and Luis Graham-Yoolli, CNN, 13 February 2019.
Someone stated something,
Stated it in a phrase;
A state-inflicted malady
Is a fiery phrase, set ablaze.
Someone stated clearly -
A malady from the state,
Of the state and by the state -
And stated it quite straight.
Someone stated outright
The state-bred malady,
And that is without question
The age-old tragedy.
Addendum of Venezuelan State-inflicted Malady:
"In many countries, extreme malnutrition 'can be caused when there is
war, a drought, some sort of catastrophe or an earthquake,' said Dr.
Ingrid Soto de Sanabria, the chief of the hospital’s nutrition, growth
and development department. 'But in our country it is directly related
to the shortages and inflation.' The Venezuelan government has tried
to cover up the extent of the crisis by enforcing a near-total blackout
of health statistics, and by creating a culture in which doctors are
often afraid to register cases and deaths that may be associated with
the government’s failures." In "As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are
Dying of Hunger," by Meridith Kohut and Isayen Herrera, New York Times,
17 December 2017.
Addendum of the USSR's State-inflicted Malady:
"In June of 1933, at the height of the Holodomor,
28,000 men, women and children in Ukraine were dying of starvation each
day. The land that was known worldwide as the breadbasket of Europe was
being ravaged by a man-made famine of unprecedented scale. Stalin
and his followers were determined to teach Ukraine’s farmers “a lesson
they would not forget” for resisting collectivization, which meant
giving up their own land to work on government controlled farms.
Moreover, the famine was meant to deal 'a crushing blow' to any
aspirations for independence from the Soviet Union by the Ukrainians, 80
percent of whom worked the land." In "Holomodor: The famine-genocide of
Ukraine, 1932-1933," holomodor.org.
Addendum of Communist China's State-inflicted
Malady: "In late 1959, Chinese officials in the
provinces began to investigate wild rumors that people were eating one
another. Most of the officials must have already known that Mao Zedong’s
call for a 'Great Leap Forward,' a planned modernization meant to
catapult the country into global economic leadership, had gone
horribly wrong. In the vast countryside regions of China, and with
an eye to pleasing their bureaucratic masters, Communist Party
functionaries had been inflating estimates of the amounts of food that
peasants were producing for transfer to the industrial zones or for
export sales. They also concealed that these transfers left hungry—and
often for dead—the very peasants who had done all the farming, from
cultivation to harvest." In "Totalitarianism, Famine and Us, by
Samuel Moyn, Nation, 7 November 2012.
Addendum of North Korea's State-inflicted
Malady: "The economic and political system itself
was a major problem during the famine in North Korea. By relying too
much on central power (Pyongyang) to make choices, the decision-making
process was way too slow for the crisis. The soviet-style state farms
too proved to be a huge obstacle as they weren't adapted to each local
crisis and the tailored response that was needed. Allowing people to
grow their own food in a reasonably sized back-garden would have been a
lot more helpful. In reality, they did allow small scale agriculture in
private gardens but tons of contradicting policies (expansion of state
farms, intensive agriculture) were plenty enough to thwart this little
but crucial change." In "Famine in North Korea: The Impact of Poor
Decisions," Poverties, 2 December 2012.
Addendum of Bengal's State-inflicted Malady:
"The provincial government's policy failures began with
denial that a famine existed. Humanitarian aid was ineffective
through the worst months of the food crisis, and the government never
formally declared a state of famine. It first attempted to influence the
price of rice paddy (unmilled rice) through price controls. These
measures created a black market and encouraged sellers to withhold
stocks. Hyperinflation resulted from speculation and hoarding after
controls were abandoned. Aid increased significantly when the Indian
Army took control of aid in October 1943, but effective relief arrived
only after a record rice harvest that December." In "Bengal famine of
1943," Wikipedia, n. d.
Addendum of Somalia's State-inflicted Malady:
"The crisis was caused by a severe drought, worsened
by conflict between rival groups fighting for power. The number of
deaths was higher than the estimated 220,000 people who died during the
1992 famine." In "Somalia famine 'killed 260,000 people'," BBC, 2 May
Addendum of South Sudan's State-inflicted
Malady: "The maxim is true that famine does not
result from purely natural causes but is usually 'man-made.' Such a
description, however, avoids any real accountability for those who have
caused the crisis. South Sudan’s famine would be more accurately
described as 'government-made'." In "South Sudan’s government-made
famine," by George Clooney and John Prendergast, Washington Post, 9
Addendum of Governments Failing Their Own
People: "... political scientist Alex de Waal calls
famine a political scandal, a 'catastrophic breakdown in government
capacity or willingness to do what [is] known to be necessary to prevent
famine.' When governments fail to prevent or end conflict, or help
families prevent food shortages brought on by any reason, they fail
their own people." In "What is famine, and how can we stop it?" by
Chris Hufstader, Oxfam, 20 November 2018.
Manhattan dance party
Come on in,
and go away.
We're all alike, but not today.
Welcome, friend, now get lost.
Progress backwards, while crisscrossed.
Try to tax in absentia;
Evidence a party's dementia.
Get the hell out, but wait, cry whoa!
You're a fine ally as enemies go.
Welcome, comrade, to the fight,
You against me, an unwelcoming sight.
Let's pry open a wallet which
Is somewhere else? Now that is rich!
Alienate friends, for that's the dance.
I'm just like you, except my stance.
Welcome, loser, mistaken fool,
For we've become the opposition's tool.
Try to balance unbalanced books
With dancing feet on tenterhooks.
Addendum of Progressive Mistakes:
"In an interview on 'The Brian Lehrer Show,' the mayor, in response to
Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to the Amazon pullout, called her gloating a
mistake. 'I came up watching the mistakes of progressives of the past,
unfortunately what happened in this city when it almost went to
bankruptcy in the 1970s,' de Blasio said. 'I saw all the times
progressives did not show people effective governance and all the times
progressives made the kinds of mistakes that alienated working people'."
In "Progressives de Blasio and Ocasio-Cortez at war of words over Amazon
pullout," by Leonard Greene, NY Daily News, 15 February 2019.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of Showing Off for the Cameras:
"No one was as vocal in trying to make the corporate giant go away as
socialist superstar Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. She lambasted
the company's 'creeping overreach.' And in a way, she was taking the
same side we had. But we had been arguing on behalf of taxpayers all
over New York state, who were being held hostage so that Gov. Andrew
Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, could show off for
the cameras. Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, was arguing against
the economic development of a region of Queens that abuts her
congressional district. Along with fellow naysayers such as state Sen.
Mike Gianaris, D-Queens, she attacked Amazon for bringing in too many
jobs, potentially creating higher standards of living in the area and
perhaps also inflating housing costs. It is odd indeed for the direct
beneficiaries of corporate welfare to complain." In "Amazon calls
the socialists' bluff," Staff, Washington Examiner, 15 February 2019.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of NY Democrats Against NY Democrats:
"...after Amazon walked away in an anti-Valentine to
the city on Feb. 14, AOC bragged on Twitter that 'everyday New Yorkers &
their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker
exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.' Huh? A
Siena poll this week showed that New York City residents approved of the
deal by 56 to 33 percent. Fellow Democrats Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor
Bill de Blasio were pushing hard for the deal. Oh, and it need hardly be
stated that Amazon is a company staffed by Democrats. Some 87 percent of
its employee donations went to the Dems in the latest elections. As
for 'richest man in the world,' Bezos started Amazon in his garage. He
got rich building one of the most beloved companies on earth." In
"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is destroying opportunity for fellow
Democrats," by Kyle Smith, New York post, 16 February 2019.
Consider New York's Dancing Tine:
Hymn for Today
] The term, progressive, is a slippery one.
Of it and of himself, the mayor of New York writes: "I
am a lifelong progressive who sees the problem of growing
income and wealth inequality." In "Bill de Blasio: The
Path Amazon Rejected," Bill de Blasio, New York Times, 17
Growing income, as a word phrase, may be seen in Di Blasio's
salary. One reads: "Mayor de Blasio will get a
fat 15 percent raise when his second term begins Monday –
bumping his salary from $225,000 to $258,750 a year.
The $33,750 boost is more than the annual salary of a
full-time worker making the city’s roughly $13 minimum wage."
In "De Blasio will get a pay raise when second term begins,"
by Anna Sanders, NY Post, 30 December 2017.
One may well consider issues of
in which many liberals and progressives preach concerns of
"the problem of growing income and wealth inequality" while
participating in it. While de Blasio's "modest" $258,750 a
year income is tiny compared to Bezos as head of Amazon, the
New York Post correctly notices that de Blasio's salary is
"more than the annual salary of a full-time worker" at the
bottom end of New York's working class. So which is it? One
sees that a politician usually enjoys "growing income and
wealth inequality" through the practice of
and often in a most progressive, even "lifelong" way.
] Ah, complaints. One reads: "...Amazon
appeared unprepared for the level of vocal opposition in
Queens, where the company's plans were slated near the
district that elected Amazon critic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
to Congress. The deal with Amazon was largely negotiated by
Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who famously joked
about changing his name to "Amazon Cuomo" to win the second
headquarters." In "Amazon Drops Plans For New York
Headquarters," by Alina Selyukh, NPR, 14 February 2019.
As complaints about Amazon's decision fly in parallel with
complaints from progressives about progressives, one voice
observed: " 'I think everybody miscalculated here,'
said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of
Michigan's Ross School of Business. Amazon 'believed that
they were doing New York such a big favor by bringing tech
jobs and then all the ancillary jobs that they thought that
the protests would not be as strong as they were,' Gordon
said. And, instead of working out a deal, the opposition
'basically punched Amazon in the face in public,' he
And everyone says "ouch." "We're all alike, but not today."
Because: "Democrats are fighting mad -- at each
other. For once, President Trump is not the prime target
of their rage. Amazon’s decision to scrap plans for an HQ2
campus in New York sent the circular firing squad into
action." In "Democrats are tearing themselves apart over
Amazon," by Michael Goodwin, NY Post, 17 February 2019.
You'll tell me who you are
Tell me who
it is you name
to be your dearest friend;
Knowing this, you'll tell who you are.
That's your tale. The end.
To create and animate - rhymed
paraphrase of a text by Goethe
was but a lump of clay
God molded into a man,
As if dropped out of a mother's womb
To be finished by His plan.
So Elohim puffed into his nose
With a spiritual sort of blast,
But there remained more to do
Once the sneezing was fully past.
Bones and limbs and head and yet
Hans Adam was not done;
It took until Noah and a rain of drops
To fill a tankard for such fun.
Breathing clay turned drinking man
Is God's gift of alcohol,
The same as ferments with lively yeast
Man's daily bread and all.
So, Hafiz, sing a noble song
That a drunkard might make merry,
And lead us into temptation's shrine
With much of our Creator's sherry!
Hedonism -- clarified
He done ism;
She done too.
They done ism,
Through and through.
Live for now,
That's all there is,
And then? Nowhere.
If one traffics in rumors
traffics in rumors,
One is likely to get run down.
If one peddles a slew of lies,
Truth still will come to town.
If one relies on gossiping wags,
In innuendos one will drown.
If one would be a king of fools,
We're sure to see that crown.
Addendum of Traffic: "The
most-turned-to platform for news was, unsurprisingly, social media, with
45 percent of Americans saying they find news there daily. 'That a
significant number of people polled say they rely on social media —
daily and weekly — for their news, and in equally large numbers say they
worry about accuracy of news they get from social media, reflects how
brands such as Facebook have hurt the news consumption ecosystem, not
just in siphoning off revenue but simultaneously helping erode trust
with poorly designed and terribly managed platforms,' notes Raju
Narisetti, a former News Corp. executive who is now a professor at
Columbia University School of Journalism." In "Americans Think All
Network News Channels Lean Liberal, Poll Finds," by Erik Hayden,
Hollywood Reporter, 9 April 2019.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of Growing Distrust:
" 'Before 2004, it was common for a majority of Americans to profess at
least some trust in the mass media, but since then, less than half of
Americans feel that way,' the spokesman said. 'Now, only about a
third of the U.S. has any trust in the Fourth Estate, a stunning
development for an institution designed to inform the public'." In
"Distrust of Media at Highest Level Ever," by Kenneth T. Walsh, US News
and World Report, 15 September 2016.
Addendum of What's Unfair:
"Beyond the headlines, the news from the 28-country survey, the Edelman
trust barometer, is not good. Of the respondents, 66% said the media is
more concerned with attracting a big audience than reporting; 65% said
they believed outlets sacrifice accuracy to be the first to break a
story; and 59% said the media prioritised supporting an ideology over
informing the public. The reflexive response of most media outlets –
and their leaders – on hearing statistics like this is to go on to the
defensive, to say the criticism is unfair or exaggerated, and to
highlight the best bits of their reporting as a counter to the
unflattering figures." In "Distrust of social media is dragging
traditional journalism down," by James Ball, Guardian UK, 22 January
[ 2 ]
[ 1 ] The Hollywood Reporter
added: "The poll confirms the disturbing but
not surprising fact that our polarized public discourse has
eroded trust in mainstream journalism. The most striking
exception is local news," notes Andrew Heyward, formerly the
president of CBS News and currently at ASU's Walter Cronkite
School of Journalism. He adds, "That's why it's so important
to shore up the dismal economics of local print and digital
journalism and reinvent local TV news for the next
generation of news consumers."
[ 2 ] That the Guardian tells of
media outlets and their leaders crying "unfair," an earlier
Guardian article reported the polling: "Judged on
hard metrics, confidence in UK media has fallen noticeably
in recent years. According to communications agency
Edelman’s 2017 Trust Barometer survey of 1,500 Britons, the
number of people who said they trusted British news outlets
at all fell from an already low 36% in 2015 to a mere 24% by
the beginning of 2017. The 2017 Digital News Report from the
Reuters Institute, published in June, found that just 41% of
British people agreed that the news media did a good job in
helping them distinguish fact from fiction. The figure for
social media was even lower: 18%." In "Can you trust the
mainstream media?" by Andrew Harrison, Guardian UK, 6
It becomes an interesting question, as it has each cycle in
the historical past. The 2017 article's end advised:
"The mainstream media's job is to remind the audiences of
tomorrow of that fact. Trust isn’t given. It's earned.
And if there's one basic truth that every storyteller
understands, it’s that if you want to be believed, don’t
tell – show."
It is not a matter of a public being "unfair" to media, but
of a media which has seemingly lost the trust of the public.
"Trust isn't given. It's earned."
Trendy Wendy covers up
"Rejecting the argument that visitors should wear the hijab out of
'respect for the culture of Iran', she said they were 'sending a
message that men are more equal than women'. Ms Alinejad, the
founder of the White Wednesdays movement which saw many women remove
their headscarves in protest, said she was battling against a
'discriminatory law'. It will be difficult for Western women who wore
hijab on Hijab Day, at the Women’s March, or in NZ to watch this and not
feel shame." In "Iranian women's rights activist condemns Western
feminists for wearing the hijab in 'solidarity', saying: 'Calling
the compulsory headscarf my country's culture is INSULTING'," by Tim
Stickings, Mail Online, 1 April 2019.
Wendy covers up
In silly solidarity
With those who allow no choice in dress
According to men's muscularity.
Fretty Betty covers up
To wear relative respect
For those who demand the cover up,
And prove each gal is circumspect.
Hairy Mary hides her hair
For that may too entice
The ones who demand she cover it,
Else she must pay their price.
Natty Patty's so Germaine
To sometimes cover much
And other times not to
In her wavering stance and such.
When in Rome, so it's said,
And when the sword is raised,
And when sometimes is always,
For when the risk's appraised,
Then do Hades' ladies
[ 1 ]
Don scarf and sack cloth's stuff,
But only sometimes, somewhere;
For some it's quite enough.
Addendum of Protests Against a Compulsory Hijab:
"Protests against the requirement that women cover
their hair with the Islamic veil, or hijab, picked up pace earlier this
week in Tehran and other cities. Witness accounts and social media
videos indicate that more than two dozen women have doffed their scarves
in public and waved them on sticks, like flags. Protests against the
requirement that women cover their hair with the Islamic veil, or hijab,
picked up pace earlier this week in Tehran and other cities. Witness
accounts and social media videos indicate that more than two dozen women
have doffed their scarves in public and waved them on sticks, like
flags." In "Iran Arrests 29 Linked to Protests Against Compulsory Hijab,"
by Thomas Erdbrink and Richard Pérez-Peña, New York Times, 2 February
Addendum of a Compulsory Islamic Dress Code:
"Before the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 (during
the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran), the hijab
was not compulsory, though some Iranian women during this period wore
headscarfs or chador. After the 1979 Islamic revolution, the hijab
gradually became compulsory. In 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini announced that
women should observe Islamic dress code; His statement sparked
demonstrations, which were met by government assurances that the
statement was only a recommendation. Hijab was subsequently made
mandatory in government and public offices in 1980, and in 1983 it
became mandatory for all women." In "2017–19 Iranian protests
against compulsory hjab," Wikipedia, n. d.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of a One-day Voluntary Hijab:
"February 1st, 2013, marked the first annual World
Hijab Day (WHD) in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to
wear the hijab and live a life of modesty. The brainchild of this
movement is a New York resident, Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea
as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting
women (non-Hijabi Muslims/non-Muslims) to experience the hijab for one
day." In "About Us," worldhijabday.com, n. d.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of a Deadly Non-voluntary Hijab:
"Aqsa 'Axa' Parvez (April 22, 1991 – December 10, 2007) was the victim
of a murder in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. During the murder trial,
Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno acknowledged the slaying as an honour
killing, stating, that he found it 'profoundly disturbing that a
16-year-old could be murdered by a father and brother for the purpose of
saving family pride, for saving them from what they perceived as family
embarrassment'.' Aqsa's brother, Waqas, had strangled her when she
chose to not wear a hijab." In Murder of Aqsa Parvez," Wikipedia, n.
Addendum of the Hijab in the Military:
"Valdovinos claims her hair was tied up under the hijab.
The under-cap has an extra length of fabric inside, she explained, that
she wraps around her bun to secure it before pulling the cap down.
That's why her hair came loose when she removed it, she said. It was the
first time since receiving her waiver that the soldier had ever been
confronted about her hijab, she said. But not the first she felt
targeted as a Muslim in the Army. In an Equal Opportunity complaint
filed on March 7, she said, she described her first sergeant referring
to her as 'the girl with the hood.' A culinary specialist, she said, she
was recently reassigned from an on-post dining facility to her
battalion's headquarters company after objecting to cooking pork
products." In "A Muslim soldier says her command sergeant major
forced her to remove her hijab," by Meghann Myers, Army Times, 12
[ 4 ]
Addendum of No Hijab in the Military:
" The fighters that ISIS fears the most wear
lipstick, according to these troops. Some even let their long, braided
hair fall out behind their hats. They are the female members of the
Zeravani unit, a branch of the Kurdish peshmerga. The typically
female attributes shouldn't detract from the fact that these women are
prepared to defend their land from any invader, including ISIS." In
"Women at War: Meet the Female Peshmerga Fighters Taking on ISIS," by
Elizabeth McLaughlin, ABC News, 16 May 2016.
Addendum of Requiring the Veil:
"Covered from head to toe in black, she said she often admonishes other
camp residents for failing to dress conservatively or for neglecting
their prayers. In the Islamic State, 'they told us what was right and
what was wrong. It was better,' she said. 'Here, people wear whatever
they want'." In " True ISIS believers regroup inside refugee camp,
terrorize the 'impious'," by Erin Cunningham, 19 April 2019.
[ 6 ]
Addendum of Making Noise:
"...in some Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and
Malaysia, some of the laws said to be derived from Islam that are
used against women are not from Islam at all. And outside of the
law, people's own ways of thinking need to change. Some Muslims seem
unable to live and embrace the rich diversity within the Muslim
communities. Instead, Sunnis kill Shias and vice versa. Or Muslims from
the Middle East think they're more authentic than Muslims from India and
vice versa. This issue of authenticity makes it so that many Muslims
feel unwelcome in their own Muslim communities. 'Maybe I'm too
Americanised to be considered Muslim? If I don't cover, they'll say I'm
not Muslim.' That needs to change." In "Muslim women make some
noise," by V. M., Economist, 19 April 2013.
[ 7 ]
Addendum of Modern Turkish Women as Enemies:
"The headlines follow comments by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan on
Sunday, who accused women who participated in Friday’s International
Women’s Day march in Istanbul of being disrespectful to Islam,
labelling them enemies of the Islamic call to prayer and the Turkish
flag." In "Turkish newspapers label Women’s Day marchers enemies,"
Ahval, 11 March 2019.
[ 8 ]
Addendum of Meeting Ethnocentrism in the
Mosque: "Every time I wrapped the hijab around my
burgeoning curls, I felt that I was covering the gorgeous black self
I had just discovered, and letting the ethnocentrism I had run up
against so many times in the mosque win the upper hand. Eventually,
I stopped wearing the hijab. I put my hair in dreadlocks and have never
taken them out, and I show my blackness proudly to the world.
Ultimately, uncovering led me to a deeper love of blackness than I'd
previously known." In " 'I show my blackness proudly to the world'," by
Jacinda Townsend, in a larger article, "What the hijab means to me," Al
Jazeera, 29 November 2016.
Addendum of Asking God: "The
ones who are not covered, now I ask God in the next life to light the
fires of hell with their hair!" In "" 'We Pray For The Caliphate To
Return': ISIS Families Crowd Into Syrian Camps," by Jane Arraf, NPR, 19
Addendum of Coercion by the Taliban:
"She was wearing a burqa without mesh covering her face.
'Women in our area have no identity and they are considered incomplete
without men. Sometimes men are not available and many women died in the
remote areas as they were unable to reach hospital,' she said. The
increase in the lashings of women comes as the group officially tries to
appear more inclusive of women, recently announcing it was including
dozens of women in their peace talks delegation." In "'I lost
consciousness': woman whipped by the Taliban over burqa without veil,"
by Haroon Janjua, Guardian UK, 18 April 2019.
Addendum of Dehijabbing:
"Latheefa Koya, executive director of Lawyers for Liberty,
said women in Malaysia should not be investigated for discussing their
religious choices. 'It does not mean those who attended the forum would
lose their faith,' she said. 'Let a woman think freely and choose
whether they want to wear the hijab or not'." In "Malaysia
investigates women who discussed their 'dehijabbing'," by Hannah
Ellis-Petersen, Guardian UK, 18 April 2019.
[ 1 ] "Narrated Usama: The
Prophet said, "I stood at the gate of Paradise and saw that
the majority of the people who entered it were the poor,
while the wealthy were stopped at the gate (for the
accounts). But the companions of the Fire were ordered to be
taken to the Fire. Then I stood at the gate of the Fire
and saw that the majority of those who entered it were women."
Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 124.
Apologia for this sentiment covers a range from Muhammad not
meaning what he said, to a complete "solidarity" with it.
Nonetheless, it is a statement by a man, narrated by another
man, and recorded by yet another man, such that the
feminists might want to consider what sort of "privilege"
this might entail, viewed in an age of feminism.
Women as the Majority?
But as to women, one reads more: "Narrated Abu
Said Al-Khudri: Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla
(to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then
he passed by the women and said, 'O women! Give alms, as
I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire
were you (women).' They asked, 'Why is it so, O Allah's
Apostle ?' He replied, 'You curse frequently and are
ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more
deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious
sensible man could be led astray by some of you.' The women
asked, 'O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our
intelligence and religion?' He said, 'Is not the evidence
of two women equal to the witness of one man?' They replied
in the affirmative. He said, 'This is the deficiency in her
intelligence'." Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6,
Most Are Fuel of Hell?
Further, one reads: "It was narrated that Jabir
said: 'I attended the prayer with the Messenger of Allah (*)
on the day of 'Eid. He started with the prayer before the
Khutbah, with no Adhan and no Iqamah. When he finished the
prayer, he stood leaning on Bilal, and he praised and
glorified Allah (*) and exhorted the people, reminding them
and urging them to obey Allah (*). Then he moved away and
went to the women, and Bilal was with him. He commanded them
to fear Allah (*) and exhorted them and reminded them. He
praised and glorified Allah, then he urged them to obey
Allah, then he said: 'Give charity, for most of you are the
fuel of Hell.' A lowly woman with dark cheeks said:
'Why, O Messenger of Allah?' He said: 'You complain a great
deal and are ungrateful to your husbands.' They started
taking off their necklaces, earrings and rings, throwing
them into Bilal's garment, giving them in charity." Sunan
an-Nasa'i 1575, Vol. 2, Book 19, Hadith 1576.
One might cite verbatim the Koran requirement for covering
the Fuel of Hell: "O Prophet, enjoin your wives
and your daughters and the believing women, to draw a
part of their outer coverings around them. It is
likelier that they will be recognized and not molested."
Of this, one commentary reads: "...the act of the
woman who appears before the other then attractively itself
shows what motivates her behavior. That is why the
mischievous people cherish the same hopes from her as can be
cherished from such a woman. The Quran tells the women:
'You cannot be chaste women and society women at one and the
same time. If you want to live as modest, chaste women, you
will have to give up the ways that are conducive to becoming
society women only, and adopt the way of life that can be
helpful in becoming chaste women'."
A Mission to 'Expose' Islam?
But as to Islam and/versus feminism, one reads a single
voice among many: "...one cannot hide the
'controversial' ayat, hadith, turath, etc., from the masses
indefinitely. People will find out primarily because
atheists and liberal activists alike are on a mission to
'expose' Islam and are pushing these traditions into the
spotlight. As the Muslim masses discover this
information, they will feel deeply confused, deeply
betrayed, and will leave Islam in droves. This process is
already well underway. Simply peruse the prominent Muslim
feminist social media outlets and the websites dedicated to
Muslim women’s issues to see the rising antagonism and furor
against orthodox Islam. Rather than give feminism carte
blanche to wreak havoc on the umma, we must redouble our
efforts to critique and deconstruct feminism on an
intellectual and academic basis. Providing such
critiques is beyond the scope of this brief essay but are
forthcoming inshaAllah. In the end, dismantling feminism
will afford Muslims with the intellectual and emotional room
to properly understand gender and gender relations in Islam
and to see how far superior in terms of justice and mercy it
is to what feminism has to offer." In "The Grave
Implications of 'Feminist Islam'," by Daniel Haqiqatjou, The
Muslim Skeptic," 19 September 2017.
Exposing a Male Member?
Deconstruct feminism? Expose Islam? As to issues of women
and men, one might merely cite a sourced Islamic source:
"It was narrated from Abu Umamah that the Messenger of Allah
(*) said: 'There is no one whom Allah will admit to
Paradise but Allah will marry him to seventy-two wives, two
from houris and seventy from his inheritance from the people
of Hell, all of whom will have desirable front passages and
he will have a male member that never becomes flaccid (i.e.,
soft and limp)'." In "Sunan Ibn Majah," Vol. 5, Book 37,
So covering up a woman aims to enforce chaste behavior,
while the dream of devout men is to uncover "a male member
that never becomes flaccid" to act in a "chaste" manner with
seventy-two wives, seventy of them "from the people of
One wonders whether such citations, under the topic of the
hijab in Islam should be viewed as supporting feminism or an
exposure of Islam, as a supposed "Muslim Skeptic" suggests
above. One might then inquire from such a tradition whether
the "seventy from his inheritance from the people of Hell"
would be women, in which case Hell would not be filled with
a majority of women for being imported into "paradise" for
the "male member that never becomes flaccid." Something here seems amiss, in terms of
Which Cause? Man Date the Veil
One finds as counterpoint to Haqiqatjou: "In
2014, Iranian political journalist Masih Alinejad created a
Facebook page asking women to share photos of themselves
standing in public places with their hair completely
exposed. In an interview with Radio National last year, Ms
Alinejad said the My Stealthy Freedom page was one of the
only avenues through which women could speak out. 'In
Iran there are millions of women who are forced to wear
hijab, but the only way they can say no to compulsory hijab
is through social media,' she said. ...But in recent
weeks, the campaign has changed tack, with men now
posting photos of themselves wearing the hijab to show
solidarity with the cause." In "#MenInHijab: Iranian men
don headscarf to challenge strict veil law," by Alle McMahon
and Megan Mackander, ABC Australia, 2 August 2016.
Humorously then, Nazma Khan cited above gets her "hijab
day," but now Muslim men will "experience" it too in
"solidarity" with Muslim women, some of whom are forced to
wear this garment as, in Khan's assertion" to assert "a
life of modesty."
From another report: "Her reasons for launching the Facebook project, 'Wearing Hijab in Solidarity with Women,'
which kicked off on November 1, are similar. She says she
started the project because 'many people deny that the
hijab discriminates between women and men.' A statement
posted on the group's Arabic-language Facebook page before
the page was removed said that "Those who call on women to
wear hijab should not attack men if they chose to wear the
hijab" and calls on men to upload their photos. Such a
move is almost guaranteed to stigmatize them in Egyptian
society, which remains highly traditional. Violations
against women are also hugely underreported in the country
-- a report by Egypt's National Council for Women from 2003
found as many as 98 percent of rape and sexual assault cases
are not reported to authorities." In "Egypt's 'Naked
Blogger' Calls On Men To Wear Hijab," by Kristin Deasy, RFE/RL,
25 November 2011.
Some seem to be heading towards that "gate of the Fire."
The majority of women? Feminists? Those who "will leave
Islam in droves?" What of each Trendy Wendy in her one-day
[ 2 ] The article notes:
"Iran is the only country in the world that requires
non-Muslim women to wear a headscarf. For example, in
January 2018, a Chinese female musician was forcibly veiled
in the middle of her concert performance."
A Majority Right to Choose?
In a broad survey of the veil and generally in
contradistinction to Iran's compulsory code, one reads:
"Muslims in many of the countries surveyed generally
favor a woman’s right to choose whether to wear a veil in
public. This view is especially prevalent in Southern
and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Southeast Asia,
including at least nine-in-ten Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina
(92%), Kosovo (91%) and Turkey (90%). There is less
agreement among Muslims in the Middle East-North Africa
region and South Asia. While more than eight-in-ten Muslims
in Tunisia (89%) and Morocco (85%) say women should have the
right to choose whether they wear a veil, fewer than half in
Egypt (46%), Jordan (45%), Iraq (45%) and Afghanistan (30%)
say the same. Sub-Saharan Africa is the one region surveyed
where most Muslims do not think women should have the right
to decide if they wear a veil. The only country in the
region where a majority supports a woman’s right to decide
is Senegal (58%); by contrast, fewer than a third support
giving women this right in Nigeria (30%) and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (29%). In "Women In Society," Pew
Forum, 30 April 2013.
Thus one sees a range of opinion, wherein modernity in dress
differs from fundamentalist stances. It is a matter of
compulsion versus freedom to choose.
All Main Legal Schools of Islam
Mandate the Veil?
In a footnote to the Pew Forum article, it is noted:
"The Quran states that a woman should dress modestly, but
it does not specifically require that she wear a veil. See
Quran 24:30-31. Informed by certain hadith, however, all
main legal schools of Islam (madhhab) mandate that women
Women should veil. Compulsion then by mandate? Where are the
Western feminists on this issue, except mostly absent.
One finds compulsion in an opposite direction as well:
"Azerbaijan's education ministry has banned schoolgirls
from wearing headscarves to class, causing outrage among
the more devout in this Muslim-majority country. On December
10, a day after Education Minister Misir Mardanov announced
that headscarves must not be worn with school uniform,
hundreds of parents and children staged a protest near the
ministry." In "Azerbaijani Hijab Ban Controversy," by Aytan
Farhadova, Institute for War and Peace Reporting," 17
As to Iran's Ruhollah Khomeini, might one consider his view
how a society as he envisioned it might
[ 3 ] One notes the assertion
that the voluntary wearing of a hijab signifies that a woman
"live a life of modesty." This begs the question for
all those who play along for one day and then remove the
hijab. Are these women, like the fictional Trendy Wendy
above who would participate in a one day event only, living
a life of immodesty throughout the remainder of the year?
Suggestions for Other Forms of
Would a World Crucifix Day or World Yarmulke Day be observed
by hijab-wearing Muslim woman? Perhaps a hijab-wearing
Muslim woman might exchange the hijab for one day with a
turban, to honor the Sikh traditions? Perhaps the world
could celebrate in "solidarity" a "Nuns' Habit Day" to show
a "life of modesty." These too could show
that sought-for solidarity with others observing other religious dress
More to the point, might Hijab Day founder Khan wear a
crucifix for a day in solidarity with Catholics? Or a
yarmulke in solidarity with religious Jews?
Why stop at religious articles of clothing? One could foment
for a "World Kilt Day" or "World Jogging Outfit Day." So
many items of clothing which could become objects for social
action might be asserted.
What of Islamic Solidarity with
What of Muslim show of solidarity with other religions?
One reads: ... the proportion of Muslims who take
part in interfaith meetings does not exceed one-in-five and
is often about one-in-ten or less. Participation in
interfaith gatherings is especially low in the Middle East
and North Africa, ranging from 8% of Muslims in the
Palestinian territories to 3% in Jordan. Even in Lebanon,
where Christians make up nearly 40% of the population, just
6% of Muslims say they participate in interfaith classes or
meetings with Christians." In " Interfaith Relations," Pew
Forum, 30 April 2013.
The Uniform of the Collective
More on Muslim women and the veil: "First of
all, the fact that they belong to Muslim identity and they
follow God's rules and it's their faith. Secondly, I would
say there are layers of this. It creates some kind of
collective identity. It empowers them. Because many of them
do it, there is a kind of uniform."
The interview responses are tinged by Gole's accompanying
photo, without a veil. She continues: "When you take
into consideration the Islamic veiling in the traditional
world, for instance, it changes from one region to another,
from one ethnicity to another, from one national background
to another. It almost changes from region to region, the way
women cover themselves. The fabric is different, the colors
are different. Today, we can speak almost of a sort of
uniform. Although it also shows many varieties, diversities
within it, we can speak of a sort of modern Islamic veiling.
The fabric is modern. There is a sort of overcoat -- it
started like this at least -- with a head scarf. Now a kind
of fashion consciousness also enters into this new mode of
veiling. But it is very different from the traditional one
-- different in the sense that there is a sort of
homogenization which goes beyond the nations. It's
transnational. The girls in Egypt, the ones in Turkey, and
the ones in Iran are not that different. So there is this
collective identity which is underlined, I would say, behind
this new veiling." Interview with Nilufer Gole, in
a series, "Muslims," Frontline, PBS, n. d.
What for an unveiled Nilüfer Gole, as pictured above, is this collective identity? What does a transnational
"fashion" rooted in "the traditional world" signify,
especially for those apologists who shun the veil themselves?
While the justification for a one day event encouraging
non-Muslim women to wear the hijab, in the words of its
founder and supporters, is to counter prejudice, then one
would do well to consider the much more complex problem as
in the recently coined word,
[ 4 ] The odd humor to this tale
of a hijab-wearing American soldier is that she has felt
"targeted as a Muslim in the Army" and as a culinary
specialist for all soldiers objected "to cooking pork
products." So the conflict arises as to which
authority is greater. Should she wish to muster out of the
military, this would answer her objections, while to remain
in the military seems to require the military to bend to her
"authority." But this does not speak for all
Muslim women, of course, as one peruses the next footnote.
[ 5 ] While
an American soldier trained to work in kitchens complains
about the way she is treated as regards her hijab, one finds
Kurdish women soldiers engaged in the Syrian and Iraq war not
wearing the hijab. Given that these soldiers have fought
against the Islamic State, might one not assert that, like
the American soldier above, they have "targeted as a Muslim"
other Muslims? The irony is deep.
One reads: "... “when no one dared to enter
Kirkuk, we forced IS out together with the male Peshmerga.”
In contrast, however, “now we are being used for media
coverage and nothing else. We demand gender equality,
further rights, and the same attention to women Peshmerga
than our male partners.” These women viewed their
participation in the Peshmerga as a sign of broader social
equality; the KRG now has an opportunity to build on the
successes of female combat units against IS to create
longstanding and positive social change. Having women in
close-combat units can help lead to a more positive
perception of women’s roles in other public positions.
Moving forward, it is indispensable to afford women even
greater roles than they assume now in order to demonstrate
the benefits of women’s equal participation in institutions
such as the Peshmerga forces." In " Peshmerga Female
Fighters: From Frontline to Sideline," by Hanar Marouf,
Washington Institute, 10 October 2018.
And not a hijab to be seen. Contrasting this to Gole's
assertion that the hijab affords Muslim women "some kind of
collective identity..." and it "empowers them," the
demonstrable testimony from Kurdish women suggests other
forms of identity" function as well, and "empower" these
One wonders if these Kurdish fighters, in Haqiqatjou's view
as above, "wreak havoc" on Islam itself. Time will
[ 6 ] This tale speaks the
dissonance of the veil, free to be born and yet required,
worn in solidarity and refused for military solidarity, and
so on. The article reports: "A German woman, who
spoke on the condition she not be named, said she had
traveled to the Middle East to live under the Islamic State,
in part, because she used to be accosted in Germany for
wearing the niqab, a black veil that covers the face. 'At
the time, it was the right decision for me,' she said. 'But
now, I don’t know,' she added, her voice trailing off
before she decided not to speak further."
At the end of the report: "Away from the scuffle,
27-year-old Hanifa, who said she is from Russia’s Dagestan
region, spotted a woman without a face veil. 'I don’t
like this,' she said. 'Women should cover their faces'."
Why should women cover their faces? Among holy things
according to Islam, one reads: "Men are in
charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over
the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from
their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient,
guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have
them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance -
[first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in
bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once
more], seek no means against them." Koran 4:34 - sūrat I-nisāa
in Sahih International translation.
"holy" women of ISIS cover their faces. The Peshmerga do not,
and the professor
holding forth on a "collective identity" which she
herself does not
observe as best pictured above, the whole tale of the
Islamic veil and Westernized appeals to wear it in
solidarity, but with who? Muslim women who obligated to
cover? Muslim women who refuse? Iranian men? Western
[ 7 ] Samina Ali,
interviewed in thee article above, notes: "Just
look at the veil. On the one hand, local and national
governments in Europe have created laws to prevent Muslim
women from wearing the veil based on some misguided sense of
liberation. On the other hand, women are forced to cover by
various Muslim governments, such as in Saudi Arabia, Iran,
Afghanistan under the Taliban, as well as parts of Somalia,
Gaza and Chechnya."
Sri Lanka's ""Sirisena said he was using emergency
powers to ban any form of face covering in public.
The restriction will take effect from Monday, his office
said in a statement. 'The ban is to ensure national
security... No one should obscure their faces to make
identification difficult,' the statement said. It came
days after local Islamic clerics urged Muslim women not to
cover their faces amid fears of a backlash after the
bombings carried out by jihadists affiliated to the Islamic
State group." In "Sri Lanka bans 'face-covering' under
emergency protocol one week after Easter Sunday blasts;
Sirisena says move to 'ensure' national security," First
Post, 29 April 2019.
Forced not to. Forced to. Forced.
Such force so easily becomes tragedy as one small tale among
many tells: "A four-year-old girl in a village near
Bareilly was killed allegedly by her father for failing to
cover her head while having food, Uttar Pradesh police have
said." In "Father kills 4-year-old daughter for not
covering her head," HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, 3
[ 8 ] The article notes the women, without
hijab for the most part, were "enemies" in the eyes of the
Turkish government. Political "enemies" indeed when dissent
against entrenched power shows itself.
"Several thousand women converged for the 17th annual
Women’s Day march in Istanbul on Friday, but were met
with tear gas fired by the police who tried to disperse
the crowd. Women who participated in the March responded to
Erdoğan’s accusations on Twitter, saying they were chanting
and whistling as part of the demonstration and did not
target the call to prayer, which began during their
How alike is the picture from the Women's Day march in
Turkey to the now historic protests in Iran, as the
theocrats took over decades ago. No hijabs in evidence as a
"collective identity" and precious little "solidarity" for
these women? Theologically, one reads of woman: "This is the
deficiency in her intelligence."
One might reconsider
- a thumbnail sketch of tolerance and inter-religious
When words are overused
are overused, -used, -used,
We come to see they're abused,
Words which have accused, -cused, -cused,
When overused become bruised,
Such words when so infused, -fusd, -fused,
With overuse are defused, -fused,
if boozed, boozed, boozed,
And lose their punch, as refused,
the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias
in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly
assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias
of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people
to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of
metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their
competence or incompetence. As described by social psychologists David
Dunning and Justin Kruger, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority
results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an
external misperception in people of high ability; that is, 'the
miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self,
whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error
about others'." In "Dunning–Kruger effect," Wikipedia, n. d.
Are there brilliant purple people
And stupid purple people too?
Or does purple say just one thing
To another-colored you?
Does purple say it's just great?
Or does purple carry stings?
Does purple tell of competence,
Or stupidity's incompetent things?
Purple privilege is accused?
Which colorists ask such guff?
Another-coloreds pretend abuse
Through the colorists' rhetorical bluff.
How does purple sit with you,
When you won't sit with it?
If you won't, then tell all why
Purples should give a shit?
How does purple seem so less
To another-colored's more?
How does purple answer
An another-colored boor?
If you're purple and arrogant
About your purpleness,
Or if arrogance is other-colored,
Which color should then confess?
Are there kindly purple people
And awful purple people too?
Which color should be battered
By a specific-colored you?
Black on black is hard to read
- a companion piece to screed
[ 1 ]
"Have we heard Obama make a statement about this carnage or that most
homicide victims are black and that their murderers are black? No, and
we won't, because black-on-black crime, like black-on-white crime, does
not fit the liberal narrative of the continuing problem of white
racism." In "Media Dishonesty and Race Hustlers," by Walter
Williams, RealClearPolitics, 11 April 2012.
Black on black is hard to read, and so is white on white.
For this, American hustlers need their whites against blacks to fight.
Black on black is just old news, not fit for the newsprint's grime.
The pages of some throwaway can well ignore such crime.
White on white? Passé while true, so why race towards that tale?
The sameness in that witches' brew will also grow too stale.
White on black? Well shout hurrah! Now there's a winning pitch.
But is such purposed political strife now turning ironically rich?
Is it that crime's mostly ignored, and victims? -- Well, you know --
Unless they feed the gaping maw as hustlers hype their show.
No, black on black just won't sell, as if it's all worn out;
While white on white is vanilla plain, no protest there nor shout.
Just wait for one quite perfect plot to gin and twist and rage,
As the old game trots out to play when it finds its perfect stage.
Black on black is hard to read, and so is white on white.
For this the hustlers always need their whites against blacks to fight.
Dishonesty is how it works, when hustle turns to jive,
And as the flames are sizzling hot, not all emerge alive.
Race to be the loudest, first with outrage, puffed and loud
To trot out to the waiting news -- the reporters' angling crowd.
It's there the odd and truly sad universal is said to be,
All the while the hustlers grin and do so, racially.
The show is old, the story weak, and race grows more unclear,
That one ignore the mixtures as more colors now appear.
Addendum of Partisanship:
"... after controlling for other factors, partisanship has a greater
association with views about the country’s racial progress than
demographic factors, though being young and more educated are also
significant predictors, particularly among whites." In "Race in America
2019," by Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Anna Brown and Kiana Cox, Pew
Research Center, 9 April 2019.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of an Accusation of Being White:
"Webb then interrupts her to let her know he’s a black man, causing
Martin to take a pause. 'You see, you went to white privilege; this is
the falsehood in this,' Webb replies. 'You went immediately with an
assumption. Your people, obviously, or you didn’t look.' Martin
apologizes repeatedly for her false accusation, adding that 'her people'
gave her the wrong information."In "A CNN analyst called out a Fox
News contributor for his white privilege. He’s black." by Michael
Brice-Saddler, Washington Post, 15 January 2019.
Addendum of Neither Black Nor White:
"We often hear pleas for frank discussions about 'race in America.'
Yet rarely are Asian Americans ever seriously considered in this
supposed dialogue." In "Are Asian Americans disadvantaged by “white
privilege”? by Arthur Sakamoto, Work In Progress, 26 May 2018.
[ 3 ]
Addendum II of Neither Black Nor White:
"Yousuf Abdelfatah already knows the answer he'll give
about his race on the 2020 census questionnaire will be wrong. He's
an Arab American, but the only race options on the census are white,
black, Asian and categories for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native
Hawaiian Pacific Islander. Reluctantly, Abdelfatah will mark white." In
" As census approaches, many Arab Americans feel left out," by
Joseph Gedeon, Associated Press, 13 April 2019.
[ 4 ]
Addendum III of Neither Black Nor White:
"Project RACE advocates for multiracial children,
multiracial adults, and their families primarily through multiracial
education and community awareness. We do not advocate for racial
classifications, but are committed to the appropriate inclusion of
multiracial people on any forms that require racial identification.
We support policies that make a positive impact on people of multiracial
heritage at local, state, and national levels. In "Our Mission,"
Project Race, n. d.
[ 5 ]
Addendum of White Kneegrows:
"Trinity College professor Johnny Eric Williams is capturing headlines
once again for proposing 'whiteness is terrorism' on Twitter. The
Hartford, Connecticut, sociology professor who called white people 'inhuman
a-holes' who need to 'die' following a shooting attack on
congressional Republicans now says 'whiteness is terrorism'."In "Trinity
College defends professor's 'whiteness is terrorism' message," by
Douglas Ernst, Washington Times, 29 April 2019.
[ 6 ]
[ 1 ] Williams, as a
conservative political voice, has been discounted in the
partisan game as an inauthentic voice, thereby dismissing
him and others like him from that oft-requested "honest"
discussion about race.
The companion piece suggested to this rhyme and its addenda
and its salient addenda and footnotes.
[ 2 ] The Pew research notes in
support of the observation that "partisanship" is evident:
"Among whites, those who are more educated, as well as
those who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party,
are particularly likely to see advantages to being white."
Identity: More or Less
Other interesting taxonomic assumptions are found in the Pew
report: "Blacks are more likely than
Hispanics or Asians – and much more likely than whites – to
say that their race is central to their identity. About
three-quarters of black adults say being black is extremely
(52%) or very (22%) important to how they think of
themselves; 59% of Hispanics and 54% of Asians say being
Hispanic or Asian, respectively, is at least very important
to their overall identity, with about three-in-ten in each
group saying it’s extremely important. In contrast, just 15%
of whites say being white is very or extremely important to
how they think of themselves; about two-thirds say it’s
either only a little important (18%) or not important at all
This observation is most interesting, as the assumption that
"Hispanic" is now a racial classification is taken for
granted. One reads: "It could be argued that the
term Hispanic should apply to all Spanish-speaking cultures
or countries, as the historical roots of the word
specifically pertain to the Iberian region. It is
difficult to label a nation or culture with one term, such
as Hispanic, as the ethnicities, customs, traditions, and
art forms (music, literature, dress, culture, cuisine, and
others) vary greatly by country and region. The Spanish
language and Spanish culture are the main distinctions."
In "Hispanic," Wikipedia, n. d.
Thus one finds race being conflated with "language" and
"culture." Yet most American blacks -- thinking of one of
many descriptors, African-American -- does not link to
language nor a specific culture. Yet political
"partisanship," as above now plays a part in seemingly
Thus the "honest" discussion about race and race relations
in the United States seems at the minimum confused and, one
can argue, dishonest if even allowed.
One reads: "President Bill Clinton called for a
national conversation on race the year before Byrd, who was
black, was murdered by three men, two of whom were white
supremacists. And the same thing happened then that happened
after Obama’s beer summit: nothing. National conversations
on race, whether convened by political leaders or sparked by
collective outrage, never last long. We say we want the
conversation. But we just can’t handle it — especially in
public." In "That honest conversation about race everyone
wants? We can’t handle it," by Jonathan Capehart,
Washington Post, 2 May 2014.
A few years later, the same medium opined:
"...an honest conversation about race, if we could have it,
would differentiate between the small, fringe groups of
racists in this country and others who have no malice toward
anyone but hold different points of view on various
race-related issues. An honest conversation about race might
help the left understand that many of the people they call
racists are not that at all, even if they don’t prescribe to
all the standard liberal solutions." In "An honest
conversation about race is not allowed," by Gary
Abernathy, Washington Post, 14 August 2017.
So some think that conversation is something the "we" cannot
handle, and some think that it "is not allowed." Odd, given
the many voices saying such a conversation should be had.
And then not. And then....
Returning to the Pew research and its identification about
political partisanship, one thinks on the Washington Post's
observation: "...everyone retreats to their
corners, and the entrenched accusations continue and
amplify, with no progress toward bridging the gulf that
Which groups are "particularly likely to see advantages?"
One may begin this footnote again, for it is both a circular
game and partisan, in the end. There are some distinct
problems however, as one continues to the below.
[ 3 ] While the black on white
partisan-colored game plays out, Sakamoto observes:
"...my many years of experience working in this area of
research lead me to believe that this meticulous study will
be largely ignored. Most American sociologists will
likely continue to favor 'political correctness' over
statistical correctness in order to obsequiously gain favor
with established elites in the field whose academic capital
is heavily invested in the value of outdated theories such
as 'white privilege.' The serious study of Asian
Americans will likely continue to be marginalized even as so
many sociologists ironically claim to be dedicated to
promoting an inclusive and enlightened dialogue about 'race
in America' sans Asian Americans. Unlike Don Quixote,
however, tenured sociologists in the field of racial
relations will also likely continue to receive attractive
salaries, lifetime employment, and other professional
rewards for engaging in their fantasies."
One might consider the particularly American pastime:
Everything's about my colored skin
(or sadly, Why racism works).
A Partisan Interest in
As to a rejection of what Sakamoto terms a fantasy and the
Pew research indicates is partisan driven: one reads another
similar opinion: "...the ones who are preoccupied
with judging people on the basis of their race, gender and
ethnicity seem to be mostly the ones on the left. The ones
who insist on separating the American people into distinct
groups are liberal Democrats. The left has a vested interest
in making sure our society stays segregated and does not
assimilate into one united American culture." In "Let me
tell you about 'White Privilege'," by Greg Crosby, Jewish
World Review, 12 April 2019.
If the Pew observations indicate by poll data that political
stances drive, in part, an alleged "fantasy" or alleged
reality of such distinct differences between different
groups identified by skin color, then the "divide" remains,
proven by the conversation which Capehart says "we can't
handle" and Abernathy says "is not allowed," Such is the
game of racial politics played by, in Williams' view as
above, "Media Dishonesty and Race Hustlers."
"...after controlling for other factors, partisanship has a greater
association with views about the country’s racial progress than
The assertion is that a "...liberal narrative of the
continuing problem of white racism" is partisan, Pew finds
partisanship is the greater association." One then considers
race via a partisan lens as follows:
Assign differing values to skin colors, separate by those
colors, and then fit the "chains" and assess the penalties
for the identified class. Who did that? Who does that? Who
will do that in the future?
[ 4 ] This also underscores the
Pew research, for that form of identity which does not
involve specific racial characteristics, whatever and
however such racial characteristics are described, is a wish
to be identified with another identity other than the many
already identified. This leads the way forward to many more
"boxes," each separated from another more by partisanship,
political or religious and perhaps both, while "race" no
longer defines even race. Being self-identified as neither
black nor white nor a number of other taxonomic terms
becomes eventually problematic.
What Color Reflects? All Colors?
The article notes: "Does someone from Egypt, for
example, check the African American box because their home
country is in Africa? Would someone from Iraq be expected to
mark that they are Asian? 'As an Egyptian, I considered
marking 'African American' but I'm not black,'
24-year-old Nashville resident Dina El-Rifai said. "However,
marking 'white' doesn't reflect who I am or the diversity I
Mix this in with the postmodern assertions of fluidity in
self-identity, and one has reached a moment in time wherein
the words proliferate and dilute the seemingly "black and
white" issue of race. Given that a language group like
Hispanic is now counterpoint to a racial distinction of skin
color, what next category will be supported by the politics
of "black and white" thinking?
[ 5 ] Mixed race? Which
races? One reads of the conundrum: "Mixed-race
individuals (from all ethnic backgrounds) make up roughly 2%
of the total U.S. population. To give some context, full
white Americans make up around 60% of the U.S. population,
African Americans are roughly 12%, and Asian Americans
around 6%. Being half Asian and half white myself, I am just
one individual out of a fairly significant, but often
overlooked minority racial group — the hapas, or those of
mixed race." In "Hapas: The Overlooked Minority Racial
Group," by Cameron Deptula, Honolulu Civil Beat, 4 April
Retreat to Racial Tribalism
One notes the link to partisanship in the article:
"Unfortunately for hapas, and many individuals of other
ethnic backgrounds, this new concept of 'race' isn’t
necessarily inclusive of them. Despite both one's blood
lineage and culture, people from full-blooded, binary
ethnic groups are somehow allowed to revoke the rightful
culture of others. Ultimately, this trend of bigoted racial
judgment from both the left and the right and their
subsequent primitive retreat to racial tribalism is used to
suppress the voices of others, as was the case with my two
'progressive' peers. Rather than accept others for who they
are along with celebrating the similarities and differences
we all have, in today’s climate, people would rather exclude
This insight is helpful. Those who advocate for "a" race
often "would rather exclude and silence." This is the
raw stuff of much partisanship, and the article notes
perceptively, "this trend of bigoted racial judgment from
both the left and the right" also reflects on the Pew
research, suggesting how political "race" has become in the
hands of -- well -- the next crop of racists.
[ 6 ] As part of the
"honest discussion about race," allowed or not allowed
depending on who says what, once can add "scholarship."
To flesh out the article excerpt above, one reads:
"...Williams said 'there are many socially defined black
folks who have internalized whiteness — as a way and
knowing and being in the world. They like others who believe
themselves to be ‘white,’ act on these ideas in ways that
create and sustain systemic white racism. Such whiteness
internalization lead folks like Candace Owens, Barry and
Michelle Obama to engage in actions and policy creations
that are existential threats to humanity, particularly the
racial oppressed. Thus my post denotes the urgency of
exposing these individual as enemies of humanity’s
well-being,' Williams said." In "Trinity College
professor tweets 'whiteness is terrorism,' refers to Barack
and Michelle Obama as 'white kneegrows'," by Neil Vigdor,
Hartford Courant, 23 April 2019.
"...hustlers grin and do so, racially."
of America's wealthiest cities has a huge problem with public poop.
Between 2011 and 2018, San Francisco experienced a massive increase in
reported incidents of human feces found on public streets. In 2011, just
over 5,500 reports were logged by the San Francisco Department of Public
Works; in 2018, the number increased to more than 28,000." In "People
are pooping more than ever on the streets of San Francisco," by Ben
Gilbert, SFGate, 18 April 2019.
[ 1 ]
|Gee, I'm pooped. It's tiring.
All the news, conspiring
To snicker while admiring
Government's Public Works.
|Gee, they've scooped, perspiring,
As tourists go inquiring
Where to walk, desiring
To avoid such public works.
Gee, drawers drooped, aspiring
To poop amid backfiring;
That's the thing, inspiring
San Fran's public jerks.
Detail from the Seal of San Francisco: "Gold in peace, iron in
Addendum of a Proposed Amendment to the San Francisco
Seal: "Oro en paz, fierro en guerra, y mierda
en las calles"
Addendum of How the Public Works:
"San Francisco Public Works has a $72.5 million-a-year street
cleaning budget — including spending $12 million a year on what
essentially have become housekeeping services for homeless encampments.
The costs include $2.8 million for a Hot Spots crew to wash down the
camps and remove any biohazards, $2.3 million for street steam cleaners,
$3.1 million for the Pit Stop portable toilets, plus the new
$830,977-a-year Poop Patrol to actively hunt down and clean up human
waste. (By the way, the poop patrolers earn $71,760 a year, which
swells to $184,678 with mandated benefits.)" In "Street housekeeping
keeps SF Mayor Breed — and everyone else — hopping," by Matier & Ross,
San Francisco Chronicle, 22 August 2018.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of an All-Time High:
"Last year, the number of reports spiked to an all-time high at
28,084. In first quarter 2019, the pace continued with 6,676
instances of human waste in the public way." In "Mapping San Francisco's
Human Waste Challenge - 132,562 Cases Reported In The Public Way
Since 2008," by Adam Andrzejewski, Forbes, 15 April 2019.
[ 1 ] One notes the commendable
courage of the city to fine poopers.... One reads with some
amusement: " 'I am sure that many of us have stepped
into dog waste accidentally and found ourselves frustrated
by the poopetrators,' Supervisor Tang said in a release. 'Even
with existing laws on the books, I still hear complaints
from residents that pet guardians are not being held
responsible and the law is not being enforced.' The law
— and yes, a San Francisco dog poop law does exist — is
called the Scoop the Poop Act of 1978 and was
introduced by none other than the late Harvey Milk." In " 'Poopetrator'
Push Seeks to Wipe Away Dog Waste," by Joe Kukura, SF
Weekly, 23 May 2017.
[ 2 ] There is a precedent for
the unwillingness of the political leadership of San
Francisco to spend millions on a public works poop patrol.
Urine luck (pun intended), as one reads:
"Leaders of the San Francisco Police Officers Association
weren’t immediately available for comment on the judges'
statements. But when Chronicle columnists Matier & Ross
first reported the destruction of the warrants on Nov. 14,
Martin Halloran, head of the police union, told them that
the court was 'sending a message that there is no
accountability for what you have done, and the laws on the
books can be violated with no repercussions. I don’t think
it’s what the public wants.' Stewart said the judges
have chosen the best alternative available and don’t plan to
resume issuing warrants. Still, he said, 'people in the
neighborhood have a right to be upset'." In "SF judge
explains why 66,000 arrest warrants were discarded," by Bob
Egelko, SF Gate, 7 December 2016.
And so the logic is laid bare. 1) No accountability on the
part of political leadership, and 2) people have a right to
Walk a dog that poops in the street, and the politics
assumes you can and will pay a fine in the hundreds of
dollars. Poop in the street yourself and the politics
assumes you cannot pay the fine -- in the "Shitty by the
You have a right to be upset. So what.
That's just the nature of
Islam is identified - a litany for
|Islam is identified
Again and yet again.
If one should note the obvious,
Denial shrieks, but then
Islam is identified,
Again and yet again.
|Islam is connected with
Words for all to read.
If one should note their meaning,
Denial shrieks, but then
Islam is connected with
Words for all to read.
|Islam has its problem
With the world all around.
If one should read the papers,
Denial shrieks, but still
Islam has its problem
With the world all around.
|Islam seems explosive
In thought, in word and deed.
If one should find connection,
Denial shrieks, but yet
Islam seems explosive
In thought, in word and deed.
Addendum of a Death Toll Rising in Sri Lanka: "The
government on Monday blamed National Thowheeth Jama’ath, a
little-known radical Islamist organization, for the bombings. An
official said the group, which had not carried out any serious
attacks before, had help from 'an international network'." In "Sri
Lanka Bombings Live Updates: Terrorist Group Is Identified, and
Death Toll Rises," New York Times, 22 April 2019.
Addendum from Nigeria: "Fulani militants have
waged attacks on Christian villages in recent weeks, continuing the
jihadist campaign it began in 2009. Fulani Islamic militants have
killed more than 120 Christians and burned dozens of homes in
northern Nigeria in a series of attacks since the election season in
February. Their violent agenda was recently spurred by Kaduna Gov.
Nasir El-Rufai’s false claim that Adara Christians murdered over 100
Fulani, on the eve of Nigeria’s presidential election. His false
statements encouraged Islamic militants and Fulani herdsmen to
hammer Christian villages in the Kaduna, Benue and Borno state. The
Nigerian Emergency Management Agency refuted his statement,
proclaiming it as, 'a rumor to instigate violence'." In "Islamic
Militants Increase Attacks on Nigerian Christians,"
International Christian Concern, 30 March
Addendum from the Congo: "The ADF is
thought to have killed at least 700 civilians and more than 20
United Nations peacekeepers. The ADF was believed to be behind
an attack that killed seven people on February 8, was blamed for
killing 10 soldiers and civilians on January 9, and nine people in
an attack on January 9, all in the Beni region of North Kivu." In "ISIS
claims first attack in DR Congo, saying it killed soldiers near
Uganda border," byJoanne Stocker, Defense Post, 18 April 2019.
Addendum from Syria: " 'Of course there were
beheadings — why should I lie?' says a Syrian woman. 'It's
based on the Quran and the rules of God.' Asked about the Yazidi
minority, which ISIS targeted with a campaign of genocide, the women
shout: 'Devil worshippers!' Misconceptions about the ancient Yazidi
religion have led to dozens of massacres over the centuries. When
ISIS took over a third of Iraq in 2014, thousands of Yazidis were
killed or captured as sex slaves. 'If they don't convert to Islam
and they don't become Muslim like us and worship God, then they
deserve it, an Iraqi woman says." In " 'We Pray For The
Caliphate To Return': ISIS Families Crowd Into Syrian Camps," by
Jane Arraf, NPR, 19 April 2019.
Addendum from Cameroon: "Boko Haram
fighters torched a village in Cameroon's troubled Far North Region
overnight and killed 11 civilians in their sleep, security sources
told AFP on Friday." In "11 sleeping civilians killed in Cameroon
Boko Haram attack," Agence France Presse, 19 April 2019.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of Accursed Paris: "The cross
was broken, a sign of good / And the building collapsed in a fiery
blaze. / Oh accursed Paris, "rejoice" over tidings/ Of
humiliation, burning, and poverty. / Let me not find a deceiver to
lament them / Or one speechless with grief for the ancient monument.
/ By no means! We rejoice over anything that hurts them, / So
beware, oh hypocrites, beware! / The land of Syria has not forgotten
their crimes, nor has / Africa forgotten centuries of captivity. /
How many mosques, have the cannons erased their traces / In our
land, how many ruins of colonialism? / How much have our peoples
been degraded in the name of the Church? / Behold, the rivers of
blood flow! / We will return to water the paving stones of their
nightclubs / With the blood of the unbelievers we shall meet. /
France thought it would defeat our Lord, / But he who tries to
defeat the Omnipotent one will be defeated." In " Jihadi
Ideologue Celebrates Notre Dame Cathedral Fire, Threatens Jihad
Against France," April 17, 2019 (Telegram.me/ Monotheism First
and Always, April 17, 2019)
Addendum from Australia: "...a 'flagrant'
breach of a court order in relation to construction works to build a
Muslim religious centre on their rural property in Colo. They and
their business were convicted on 12 charges of contempt of court. A
furious Mustapha Kara-Ali left the Court on Thursday saying: 'Our
religion is prime, the cross belongs in the dustbin of history'."In
"Mustapha and Diaa Kara-Ali charged with contempt of court for
clearing land," by Benedict Brook, News.com.au, 19 April 2019.
Addendum from Spain: "The suspect’s name
is Zouhair el Bouhdidi and he is a student at the University of
Seville. According to police sources in Spain, the young man was
preparing an imminent attack against the processions of Holy Week in
Seville, one of the most important events of the Catholic calendar.
According to the newspaper El Confidencial, el Bouhdidi has
already confessed to the Moroccan police his plans to commit a
'large-scale massacre' in the Andalusian city. The Spanish
secret services had reportedly been following him for several
weeks." In "Police Stop Alleged Terrorist Plan to Attack Spain’s
Holy Week," Itxu Diaz, Daily Beast, 17 April 2019.
Addendum from Italy: "...chats also
contained references to aspects of guerrilla warfare and sabotage,
according to investigators, and explicit mentions of violence such
as when Frittitta mentioned how he would like to use a knife he
carried with him to slit throats. 'Martyrdom is the best way to
die,' Ghafir is alleged to have said in the online chats and
added, 'Allah will not deny us this possibility.' In other
comments, he said, 'The law of Allah … does not apply except with
the sword. And one must be cruel to the traitors, to the rebels. And
all dead.' The case marks the latest successful arrest of
Islamic radicals in Italy which has seen several major plots foiled
in recent years including a Somali migrant who was arrested in
December after planning to bomb the Vatican and other Italian
churches." In "Italian Convert to Islam and Moroccan Migrant
Arrested over Terror Plot," by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, 20 April
Addendum from Iran: "Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani
emphasized that according to the narrations, jihad was always
emphasized by the Prophet Muhammad and the Infallibles and added, 'God
has given the ummah dignity as a result of jihad. Every good thing
has degrees and levels but one must know that above all good is
being martyred on the path of God.' Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani
stressed that jihad is the criterion for determining the true
believer from one who isn’t a true believer, 'Today, despite the
fact that there is no other hard battlefront, those who desire
to be presence on the frontlines are real Muslims and those who
don’t desire to be present on the frontlines, they are hypocrites'.”"
In "Iran’s authority due to sacrifices of great veterans, martyrs,"
AhlulBayt (a. s.) News Agency, 18 April 2019.
Addendum from Pakistan of a Singular Crime: "...a
case should be registered against the man, Khalid Satti, under the
kidnapping and rape clauses. He kidnapped the woman, a resident
of Islamabad’s Iqbal Town, and forced her to convert from
Christianity to Islam in order to marry her. She is the mother
of three, the report noted. It also suggested action against the
nikkah registrar, Muhammad Ali, and police officials such as the DSP,
SHO and investigation officer of the police station in whose
jurisdiction the crime occurred." In "Christian woman was kidnapped,
forcibly converted and raped in Islamabad: investigators," Samaa
Digital, 29 March 2019.
[ 1 ] The NY Times notes:
"Ten days before the bombings, a top Sri Lankan police
official warned the security services that a radical
Islamist group was planning suicide attacks against
churches, but no action was taken against the group.
...Sri Lanka does not have much history of Islamist
terrorism. The country is predominantly Buddhist, with
significant Hindu, Muslim and Christian minorities."
A takeaway from this observation is that the other
faiths seem to more effectively
than does Islam.
Islamic is the Adjective,
Islam is the Root
"A radical Muslim terror group called National Thowheed
Jamath was blamed Monday for the devastating suicide
bombings that killed at least 290 and injured 500 in
Sri Lanka. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said
that seven suicide bombers from the domestic group were
behind the coordinated attacks — but insisted overseas
terrorists likely helped." In "Islamic terrorist group
National Thowheed Jamath blamed for Sri Lanka bombings,"
by Lee Brown, NY Post, 22 April 2019.
"The first reports of explosions came at about 08:45
local time with six blasts reported within a small space
of time. Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and
Colombo's Kochchikade district were targeted during
Easter services. Blasts also rocked the Shangri-La,
Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country's
capital." In "Sri Lanka attacks: 'International network'
linked to bombings," BBC, 22 April 2019.
A day later, the death toll rises. "The
coordinated bombings on Sunday, targeting churches and
hotels in and around the Sri Lankan capital, killed
more than 320 people." In "ISIS claims Sri Lanka
bombings that official says were 'retaliation' for New
Zealand attack," CBS News, 23 April 2019.
A Blessed Attack, So Some
Other testimony: " 'Those that carried out
the attack that targeted members of the US-led coalition
and Christians in Sri Lanka the day before yesterday are
Islamic State group fighters,' IS propaganda agency Amaq
said in a statement. The group gave the noms de
guerre of seven people it claimed were behind the
'blessed attack' that targeted Christians during their
'blasphemous holiday'." In "Sri Lankan suicide
bombers film themselves pledging allegiance to ISIS
leader Al-Baghdadi before carrying out terror attack,"
by Tim Stickings and Dianne Apen-Sadler and George
Martin, Mail Online, 23 April 2019.
Note the Islamic accusation that an attack is "blessed"
and a Christian holiday is "blasphemous." These are root
words of a theology defined by violence, its adjectives
speaking clearly of such belief. Islamic belief.
Some Muslims Say These Muslims Were Not Muslims
Further some speculation: " 'We believe one of the suicide
bombers studied in the UK and then later on did his
postgraduate in Australia, before coming back to settle
in Sri Lanka'." In "Was Sri Lanka suicide bomber radicalised in BRITAIN? Authorities reveal terrorist
studied in UK and how the 'middle-class' jihadists
were 'well-educated and financially independent',"
by Ed Riley, Mail Online, 24 April 2019.
A day later, some facts of Islamic consequence:
"After getting ejected from serving as imam of one
mosque for his extremist views, Mr. Zaharan started a
group in 2014 called National Thowheeth Jama’ath, which
drew from the austere Wahhabi tradition that claims
to follow the faith as practiced in the age of its
founder, the Prophet Muhammad. Mr. Zaharan preached
that the Sri Lankan national flag was a worthless piece
of cloth, and that the country should be ruled by
Shariah law — an unlikely outcome in a country where
only about 10 percent of the population is Muslim." In "Sri
Lankan Accused of Leading Attacks Preached Slaughter.
Many Dismissed Him.," by Hannah Beech, New York
Times, 25 April 2019.
Who and What Is Suspect?
More details are found: "Mohamed Ibrahim,
was arrested as police investigate those behind the
attacks, police said. Ibrahim, a wealthy spice trader
and pillar of the business community, had six sons and
three daughters. He was admired by many who knew him.
'He was famous in the area for helping the poor with
food and money. It's unthinkable his children could have
done that,' Fazla said, glancing affectionately at her
two young daughters. 'Because of what they have done,
all Muslims are treated as suspects.' Ilham
Ibrahim, 31, openly expressed extremist ideologies and
had been involved in meetings of National Thowheed
Jamath, a local Islamist group suspected of involvement
in planning the attacks, according to the source close
to the family." In "Blood brothers: the wealthy
family behind Sri Lanka's suicide attacks," by Joe
Brock, Shihar Aneez, and Ranga Sirilal, Reuters, 24
Thus, claims of income inequality and class warfare may
be discounted. What remains to be considered? Islam as
ideology, given especially that some Muslims speak
against and some for such violence, supremacist stances,
and all refer back to Islamic texts for sources.
Assurances of 'Probably' No
And yet, other representatives of Islam spoke:
"The ambassadors of more than a dozen Muslim countries –
among them Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
and Iran – called on the archbishop, Cardinal Malcolm
Ranjith. 'We are very happy and thankful to the
ambassadors of the Islamic countries for having coming
here to express their solidarity with us,' Ranjith
told local media after their meeting. He said the
ambassadors had given their assurance that 'what has
happened is not something political or religious; it is
something that has been probably the result of some
misguided people, and maybe there are other forces
behind those misguided people, but they are not – no
connection to Islam'." In "Sri Lanka Cardinal Says
Muslim Envoys Assured Him Bombings Had ‘No Connection to
Islam’," by Patrick Goodenough, Cybercast News, 25 April
One could well consider then what Islam even means,
given that there are so many schisms speaking that they
represent Islam while other divisions of Islam do not
speak with representative voice. Whatever the perspective, it is clear
that the Muslims who killed so many in Sri Lanka acted,
as reported above,
against a "blasphemous holiday" with their "blessed
Martyred in Allah's Cause?
And yet the following is quite "Islamic:"
"Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, 'By Him
in Whose Hands my life is! Were it not for some men
amongst the believers who dislike to be left behind me
and whom I cannot provide with means of conveyance, I
would certainly never remain behind any Sariya'
(army-unit) setting out in Allah's Cause. By Him in
Whose Hands my life is! I would love to be martyred
in Al1ah's Cause and then get resurrected and then get
martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get
martyred and then get resurrected again and then get
martyred'." Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 52 Hadith 54.
How shall one then parse the conflicting data? By
believing "assurances" or believing deeds motivated by specific
words from a specific source?
Compare and Contrast
Contrasting words and deeds which may be said to be
Islamic, one reads the counterpoint in this modern
world: "However, 'No matter what you have
done to us, we love you, because we believe in the Lord
Jesus Christ,' Pastor Mahesan added. 'Jesus Christ on
the Cross, he said: ‘Father forgive them for they do
not know what they are doing.’ We also, who follow
the footsteps of Jesus Christ, we say, for the Lord:
‘forgive these people'." In "Sri Lanka Pastor
Forgives Bombers," Pakistan Christian Post, 29 April
The contrast seems stark. So how does something
"Islamic" and "extreme" become welcome in a land? One
reads in the aftermath a Sri Lankan Buddhist
politician's view: "MP Venerable Athuraliye
Rathana Thero claims that three years ago intelligence
officers had given the President a report regarding
extremist group arming themselves and shootouts between
these groups, but no action was taken out of fear of
Muslim politicians. He made these comments during an
event held today (10) for the launch of the Sri Lanka
National Council’s five-point national plan to prevent
the infiltration of Islamic State terrorism into the
country." In "Fearing Muslim politicians, govt did not
act on extremist groups - Rathana Thero," Ada Derana
(Sri Lanka), 10 May 2019.
Identifying through Language
Thus, language alone clusters words together in
identifying the murderous terrorism of the Easter
attacks. "Islamic" and "Muslim" appear alongside
"radical" and names including "Mohamed" and "Ibrahim,"
stewed with "Wahhabi" and "Shariah."
Assurances by Islamic ambassadors do not answer this
cluster of Islamic terms by which the various news
sources cited, except to allege that somehow all this
"Islamic" vocabulary isn't "Islamic?
[ 2 ] The report continues:
"Fulani militants have waged coordinated attacks on
Nigeria’s most persecuted states. On March 4th, the
jihadist group killed 23 Christian villagers with
guns and machetes, and slaughtered approximately 30
people days prior Kaduna state. On March 11th,
Islamic hardliners killed 52 Christians and burned at
least 100 homes in villages in the Maro district of
the Kajuru Local Government Area in Kaduna state.
According to Christian Solidarity worldwide (CSW),
witnesses reported the Fulani attacked in three groups —
one setting fire to homes, another shooting villagers,
and another designated to chase down those who tried to
Similar tales are reported. One such:
"Christian charity Open Doors was informed that armed
members of the terrorist organisation - that has
pledged allegiance to IS - invaded the Christian
community of Kuda near Madagali in Adamawa state, north
east Nigeria on Monday. They then went door to door,
killing as many as 25 people." In "Concern for
Nigerian Christians: 'We are in danger; we have no one
to fight for us'," by Eno Adeogun, Premier UK, 3 May
[ 3 ] The "insurgency" of Islam's
militants is often referred to in other terms, in
attempts to parse Islam away from Islam, per the tenets
of a postmodern West in which al cultures are somehow
equal. But of Boko Haram, one reads further:
"UN refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch told reporters
in Geneva that recent fighting in Borno had forced
more than 80,000 people to flee their homes.
'Nigerian refugees continue to arrive in very remote and
impoverished communities in neighbouring countries', he
added." In "Boko Haram fear sees 30,000
flee Nigerian town: UN," Daily Nation, Kenya, 29
[ 4 ] Therein one seems to find an overt
supremacist mentality of some Muslims. Testimony
from thoughts, words and deeds across the Islamic world
speak to conquest through violence. Thus this small
collection of news from various sources.
Buddhist Monuments - an
"In January this year authorities in Sri Lanka seized a
huge cache of explosives at Wanathawilluwa. It was said
that this belonged to a module of the ISIS, who were
attempting major blasts at historic Buddhist monuments.
An imam and a maulvi were also arrested in connection
with the incident. On April 11, the police got an input
that terrorists would target 11 Churches in the country.
It warned that Catholics would be the target of the
attack. Moreover the serial bombings that rocked
Colombo bear the signature of the Islamic State. The
nation has been under the radar of the Islamic State for
nearly three years now." In "Sri Lanka has seen a
spike in Jihadi activity since 2017," by Vicky
Nanjappa, One India, 21 April 2019.
Christians - an Islamic Target?
As to this supremacist mentality, rooted in Islamic
theology specifically, one reads another April editorial
view: "We are living though one of the most
serious phases of Christian persecution in history, and
most people refuse to acknowledge it. During the past
century, Christianity has been all but driven out of the
Middle East, the place of its birth. This time last year
I was in Damascus, visiting the Christian community
there. On the front of the church that I went to on
Sunday morning there was a huge mural depicting the
horrors of the Armenian genocide. These Christians were
originally refugees from Turkey, and had arrived there
fleeing the most sustained and horrendous persecution.
...According to the widely respected Pew report,
Christianity remains the world’s most persecuted
religion. And the only reason for mentioning this so
crassly in terms of league tables is simply that it
serves to highlight the deafening silence of our
response to it. From North Korea (OK, obviously) to
China, and increasingly even in places such as India –
all around the world Christians are subject to real and
sustained violence for the profession of their faith,
the one that we proclaim most insistently today." In "As
the Sri Lanka attacks show, Christians worldwide face
serious persecution," by Giles Fraser, Guardian UK,
21 April 2019.
Days later: "Gunmen have opened fire on a
church in northern Burkina Faso, killing at least six
people, officials say. The attackers reportedly
arrived on seven motorbikes at the end of Sunday's
service and killed the pastor, two of his sons and three
other worshippers." In "Burkina Faso: Christians
killed in attack on church," BBC, 29 April 2019.
Break the Cross and Witness
So among the aims of Islamic theology, one reads:
"Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (*) said, 'By
Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son
of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge
mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the
Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya
(i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in
abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single
prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the
whole world and whatever is in it.' Abu Huraira added
'If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy
Book): -- 'And there is none Of the people of the
Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him
(i.e Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being)
Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be
a witness Against them.' Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 4,
Book 55, Hadith 657.
[ 5 ] For such from
Muslim clerics, one reads as understandable opposition:
"Without violence of all types, Islam would undergo a
slow death. Violence is in the fabric of this
crooked ideology. Take away violence and you shut down
the blood supply from the body of 'ISLAMS.' Islam is
violent, not only against non-Muslims, but it is also
violent against its own numerous sects and offshoots.
Even within every sect and offshoot violence in the most
savage ways is practiced. Just to name some examples:
public lashing, cutting off hands for stealing even a
morsel of bread, blinding convicts or hanging them,
stoning so-called adulteresses, castrating sexual
offenders and the hanging of homosexuals." In "Is Islam
Inherently Violent?" by Amil Imani, Capitol Hill
Outsider, 20 April 2019.
"Is Islam Inherently Violent?" asks an article's title.
The many citations above answer it is.
Islam is Inherently Violent?
One might learn of other lands' experience, as this one
attests: "The Haouch Khemisti massacre took
place before dawn on April 22, 1997 in the Algerian
village of Haouch Mokhfi Khemisti (also spelled
Boughelef Khemisti, Haouch Boughlef-Khemisti, Haouch
Boukhelef-Khemisti, Haouch Boughfi el-Khemisti, Haouch
Boughelaf, or Haouch Khmisti Bougara), some 25 km south
of Algiers near Bougara. 93 villagers were killed in
3 hours, the bodies were found decapitated." In "Haouch
Khemisti massacre," Wikipedia.
To exemplify a longer arch of history, beyond a snapshot above,
Wikipedia handily notes the range of Algerian massacres
throughout 1997, each "in which over 50 people were
killed:" "Thalit massacre, 3–4 April; Haouch
Khemisti massacre, 21 April; Daïat Labguer (M'sila)
Massacre,16 June; Si-Zerrouk massacre, 27 July; Oued
El-Had and Mezouara massacre, 3 August, Souhane
massacre, 20–21 August; Beni-Ali massacre, 26 August;
Rais massacre, 29 August; Beni-Messous massacre, 5–6
September; Guelb El-Kebir massacre, 19 September;
Bentalha massacre, 22 September; Sid El-Antri massacre ,
23–24 December," all in all a lot of massacres, one
"The followers of Muhammed will conquer America?"
But is Islam inherently violent? One reads
an Islamic source.
"Narrated by Abu Huraira. Allah 's Apostle said, 'I
have been ordered to fight with the people till they
say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,'
and whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped
but Allah,' his life and property will be saved by me
except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with
Allah, (either to punish him or to forgive him.)' "
Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 196.
As a small example of the effect of the encouragement of
violence within Islamic doctrine, one reads:
"Mark Steven Domingo, 26, a U.S. Army infantryman who
recently converted to Islam, was taken into custody
on Friday after undercover FBI operatives furnished him
with what he thought were live bombs to be used in the
attack, law enforcement officials said. Authorities said
Domingo, who had no prior criminal record, came to
their attention because of a series of violent extremist
messages he posted in online chat rooms, one of
which called for 'retribution' for the massacre of 50
people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a
gunman in March." In "U.S. Army veteran charged with
plotting to bomb white nationalist rally," by Dan
Whitcomb, Steve Gorman, Reuters, 29 April 2019.
Another example in which Islamic vocabulary tells its
tale: "The informant suggested during one
meeting that Sadiqullah and others — who were mad at
someone they believed had cheated them in a business
deal — meet with Shalash at a mosque on Armstrong Mill
Road 'in order for Shalash to provide a 'fatwa'
authorizing the killing.' A fatwa is an Islamic
legal pronouncement issued by an expert in religious
law, according to The Islamic Supreme Council of
America. Sadiqullah and Shalash agreed with the
informant, Jackson said in his sworn statement." In
"Kentucky Islamic leader, 2 others charged in
murder-for-hire plot over business deal, debt," by Bill
Estep, Lexington Herald-Examiner, 13 May 2019.
Such singular events magnify into many events, as one
sees in A European report: "The greatest majority
(1703 people, 91 %) were victims of "jihadi terror,'
with about 20% from suicide bombings." The
original: "La très grande majorité
(1.703 personnes, 91,1%) ont été victimes du "terrorisme
djihadiste", avec près de 20% d'attentats suicide." In
"Publication d'un «livre blanc et noir du terrorisme en
Europe»," Le Figaro, 3 March 2019.
Britain makes the connection: "The pull of this
propaganda is startling: of the plots thwarted by police
and MI5 and our Western allies in 2018, 80 per cent
were conducted by people inspired by the ideology of IS
but who had never actually been in contact with it in
Syria or Iraq. We also know that, despite their losses,
IS's remaining members are intent on directing terrorist
attacks around the world, including on European soil.
And this ambition is shared by al Qaeda, whose desire
and capability to attack the West hasn’t diminished
while IS has been in the spotlight." In "We at MI5 can't
beat the terror threat alone — let's all work together,"
by Andrew Parker, Evening Standard UK, 3 May 2019.
Also in the United States, one finds expression of
violent Islam as well: "Disturbing
footage of Muslim kids saying they would sacrifice
themselves and kill for the 'army of Allah' surfaced
from an Islamic center in Philadelphia. The Muslim
American Society (MAS) Islamic Center in Philadelphia
posted the video to its Facebook page celebrating 'Ummah
Day' in which young children wearing Palestinian scarves
sang and read poetry about killing for Allah and the
mosque in Jerusalem." In "Shocking video of children in
Philadelphia Muslim Society: 'We will chop off their
heads' for Allah," by Caleb Parke, Fox News, 4 May
Assurances to the contrary, the number of incidences of
Islamist violence and "jihadi terror" suggest clear connections
between words and deeds. Vocabulary itself identifies,
and therefore testifies alongside deeds.
For this evidence which amasses over time, one finds the
Sri Lankan government responding to "Islam:" as one
reads: "Sri Lanka has expelled over 600 foreign
nationals, including around 200 Islamic clerics, since
the Easter suicide bombings blamed on a local jihadi
group, a minister told AFP Sunday. Home Affairs
Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the clerics had entered
the country legally, but amid a security crackdown after
the attacks were found to have overstayed their visas,
for which fines were imposed and they were expelled from
the island." In "Sri Lanka expels 200 Islamic clerics
after Easter attacks," Daily Mirror, 6 May 2019.
Simple grammar. The adjective describes a certain
ideology and therefore its adherents in an unequivocal
What is Islamic?
Some say not. But one reads: "Moderate
Muslims do denounce violence that is committed in the
name of Islam, very much so, but they deny that religion
plays any role in that violence. The very first thing
you will hear from the mouth of a moderate typically
after an act of violence committed in the name of Islam
is, please don't misunderstand, Islam has nothing to do
with this. But that's not true, because those who are
committing the violence cite Islam as their inspiration."
In "Head to Head, Interview with Irshad Manji," Mehdi
Hasan, Al Jazeera, 12 May 2016.
Allah Describes non-Muslims
as People of No Intelligence?
The interviewer seemed to resist this statement by a
reformer, but one reads of Hasan: "During a
sermon delivered in 2009, quoting a verse of the Quran,
Hasan said to an audience: 'The kuffar, the
disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn
to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the
Koran; they are described in the Koran as 'a people of
no intelligence', Allah describes them as not of no
morality, not as people of no belief – people of 'no
intelligence' – because they're incapable of the
intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind
prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about
this world, about the existence of God. In this
respect, the Koran describes the atheists as 'cattle',
as cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop
and wonder about this world." In "Mehdi Hasan," under
"2009 Islamic Unity Society sermon," Wikipedia, n. d.
One notes the confusion, as "God" is conceived in
different ways by different people, and a reformer like
Manji remains devout towards Allah, though far
differently that Hasan who uses Islamic words like "kuffar"
to polarize religious sentiments, speaking of
"disbelievers." If "kuffar" is Islamic vocabulary, then
so is violence as "jihad" explained "in the name of
Islam." What is Islamic then? Some kinds of terror?
Allah on the Side of the
National Socialists and Italian Fascists?
One looks back into the mid-20th century for such
"Islamic" examples: "On Mar. 19, 1942, the
ex-Mufti of Jerusalem spoke to the Arab world by Rome
radio and said: 'If, God forbid, America and her
allies are victorious in this war . . . then the world
will become hell, God forbid. But Allah is too just and
merciful to grant such murderous violators any victory.'
After a long struggle and supreme sacrifices, the
'murderous violators' became victors. They entered
Germany while the ex-Mufti was still there with the bags
of gold he had received from Hitler. He escaped to
Switzerland, was expelled from there back to Germany,
was captured by the French army and placed under house
arrest; then he escaped from France to Cairo on a false
passport, and became the head of the Arab Higher
Committee." In "Ex-Mufti, Criminal Ally," Obsrver, New
York Post, 23 February 1948.
Islamic Terror According to
Continuing with an Islamic source: "Narrated by Abu Huraira.
Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the
shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and
I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the
hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the
keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me
and put in my hand.' Abu Huraira added: Allah's Apostle
has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out
those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by
them)." Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220.
Continuing: "Then they surrendered, and the
apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith,
a woman of B. al-Najjar. Then the apostle went out to
the market of Medina (which is still its market today)
and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck
off their heads in those trenches as they were brought
out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah
Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There
were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as
high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in
batches to the apostle they asked Ka`b what he thought
would be done with them. He replied, 'Will you never
understand? Don't you see that the summoner never stops
and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it
is death!' This went on until the apostle made an
end of them." Ibn Ishaq, p 464.
Islam Violently Against
From centuries later, one reads: " 'This is
the largest mass execution of Shiites in the kingdom’s
history,' he said. Amnesty International also confirmed
the majority of those executed were Shiite men. The
rights group said they were convicted 'after sham
trials' that relied on confessions extracted through
torture." In "Saudi Arabia beheads 37 for terrorism
crimes, most of them minority Shiites," CNBC, 24 April
To underscore this violent reality, the CNBC article
includes: "The Interior Ministry said the
body of one of the executed men -- Khaled bin Abdel
Karim al-Tuwaijri -- was publicly pinned to a pole.
The statement did not say in which city of Saudi Arabia
the public display took place."
A little litany in the month of April says yes, Islam
from its inception was and remains inherently violent.
"By Allah it is death." The
non-Islamic world may reflect on this, when the less
informed in its midst lobby for their perspective about
The religion of peace
[ 6 ] The article notes:
"It also suggested action against the nikkah
registrar, Muhammad Ali, and police officials such as
the DSP, SHO and investigation officer of the police
station in whose jurisdiction the crime occurred."
As to the Islamic term, one reads: "This page
references and quotes numerous scholarly and/or
reliable sources that define or describe the Arabic term
nikah (or the root n-k-h) as meaning 'sexual
intercourse', or the contract of sexual intercourse,
or marriage as a contract for sexual intercourse
(for the payment received by the bride for nikah...." In
"The Meaning of Nikah," WikiIslam, n. d.
Abduction, Rape and Marriage
This addendum seems a singular incident. Yet one reads
further: "It starts with the abduction of
these Hindu girls by Muslim men who are often married.
They keep the girls in their custody, rape them and then
force them to convert to Islam before marrying them. "There
is not even one case in which anyone has willingly
converted. These men, who are often already married,
kidnap the girls, keep them in their custody, rape them,
and through threats and intimidation make the girls say
they converted willingly," according to Dr Vankwani,
patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council. Forced
conversions and underage marriages of girls are common
in Tharparkar and Umerkot districts of Sindh where
almost 50% of the population is Hindu. Such incidents,
however, are rarely reported in the media." In "Muslim
men abduct, rape, then marry Hindu girls from
impoverished families in Sindh: Pak legislator Vankwani,"
by Omer Farooq Khan, Times of India, 16 April 2019.
And from two years earlier, one reads: "Every
year, Muslim men abduct and forcibly convert about 1,000
girls — mostly Hindus, but also Christians, according to
the South Asia Partnership-Pakistan, a local human
rights group. About 5,000 Pakistani Hindus leave
every year for neighboring India — where 80% are Hindus
— to escape religious persecution, according to the
Pakistan Hindu Council. Legislation banning such
conversions for those under age 18 was passed
unanimously late last year by the legislature in the
southern province of Sindh, where the Kohlis live, but
it never went into effect. Hard-line Islamic groups
objected to the measure, which called for up to five
years in jail for those who force a conversion. They
threatened protests, arguing the law was anti-Islamic
and part of a conspiracy to make Pakistan a secular
country." In "Pakistani Hindus lose daughters to
forced Muslim marriages," by Naila Inayat, USA Today, 15
Considering many such stories of abduction of non-Muslim
women for "marriage," the problem for Islam worldwide is
quite the same as the other issues mentioned above,
wherein some Muslims allege Islamic texts mean one thing
while other Muslims allege the texts mean something
else, sometimes quite the opposite.
Following the "blessed attacks" on Catholics in Sri
Lanka, one reads an "Islamic" justification:
"In the video, after a cursory mention about the
victims, Maulvi Munajit cites an example from the
life of Muhammed to justify the terror attack.
Maulvi is heard saying that the attack is a consequence
of Muslims losing their patience. He cites the example
of Mohammed who kept quiet for the first 13 years of
Islam despite intense persecution from Quraysh people
but then launched the battle of Badr. Maulvi also had
said in the video that to build an Islamic state is
just thing and the struggle has just commenced for that."
In "SL Police Launch Operation To Arrest Islamic
Cleric Munajit Who Released A Video Clip Justifying
Easter Terror Attack," by Swarajya Staff 26 April
Issues obviously arise. Are "hard-line Islamic groups"
Islamic? Are assurances from other Islamic nations
equally "Islamic" yet opposite? Who speaks for
Islam, when Islam seems to speak against itself, through
the opposing stances of Muslims? Whose clerics speak for
Islam and which clerics are false according to other
Muslims? And why? What are the
foundations for these various "Islamic" groups if not "Islamic?"
Islam Is Identified
Thus a rhyme -- as above -- may note that "Islam is
identified, / has its problem with the world,
/ is connected with words for all to read, / and
/ seems explosive in thought, word and deed."
One might then ponder what it portends for Islam
either as a singular ideology or set of conflicting
One reads an Islamic reformer's view:
"...one of the biggest misnomers ever to have come about
in recent years. Islamophobia includes within it
hatred of Muslims as a people and criticizing and
scrutinizing Islam as a religion, which is the right of
every free-thinking human being anywhere in the world."
In "Maajid Nawaz Wants The Word 'Islamophobia' Scrapped,
Here's Why," LBC, 31 May 2018.
Islam Is Being Scrutinized
In that regard, Islam is identified in part in the UK,
as one reads: "NPCC chair Martin Hewitt
said: 'We take all reports of hate crime very seriously
and will investigate them thoroughly; however, we have
some concerns about the proposed definition of
‘Islamophobia' made by the All-Party Parliamentary Group
[APPG] on British Muslims. 'We are concerned that the
definition is too broad as currently drafted, could
cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be
used to challenge legitimate free speech on the
historical or theological actions of Islamic states.
There is also a risk it could also undermine
counterterrorism powers, which seek to tackle extremism
or prevent terrorism'." In "Proposed Islamophobia
definition 'would undermine counterterror operations and
threaten free speech', police tell prime minister," by
Lizzie Dearden, Independent UK, 16 May 2019.
And one can ponder whether one or many, including
individual Muslims and entire Muslim nations, are all
essentially guilty of the ginned-up offence of
It would have been wholly rational -- no phobia which is an
irrational fear -- for the Sri Lankan Catholics to have
feared the "Islamic" National Thowheed
Jamath, as one example among many. So many, and by them
one may well argue that "Islam is identified."
It is Islam which must sort itself out, not non-Islamic
peoples and cultures, and not through slogans like
Islamophobia. How Islam may do that is as yet unseen and
Never judge a book? - how to act the
I bought, oh
the cover of the book,
Most likely for its outward look.
Appearance seemed to give it zing
But inside read a limping thing.
I bought the image of a thought,
Which haphazardly I'd caught.
Reality came to rip it away,
Its made-up smile dissolved that day.
I bought a box bright wrapped and sealed;
The contents something else revealed.
Judge never by appearance, friend,
But by how things both begin and end.
Wide privy ledge
If one sits
on one's wide privy ledge,
To rest on one's laurels,
There a chance someone will allege
That position has started most quarrels.
That wide privy ledge is necessarily found
When such a ledge is needed;
Therapists, activists and and lawyers too
Sit when their pressure's exceeded.
Let's wipe away what once was started
By sitting sensibly on that ledge,
And stand to deliver with noxious intent
A halo-polishing pledge.
Let's all think as our betters wish
While pondering upon an edge,
And evacuate as one so must,
Lingering on that wide privy ledge.
Addendum of Blasting Toxic Culture:
"At the encouragement of my therapist, I hired a workplace
discrimination attorney to assist me in negotiating an exit package.
My lawyer was informed that CBS doesn’t give compensation to employees
wishing to exit the company. After some back and forth, CBS offered me
$20,000 and later $50,000. It isn’t clear if I would have been asked to
sign a nondisclosure agreement, but I assumed so. After considering the
offer at length, with encouragement from my husband I determined that my
integrity and the power of my voice and experience were worth more than
any dollar CBS was willing to part with." In " ‘CBS Has a White
Problem’: Executive Blasts Toxic Culture at Network in Explosive
Letter," by Whitney Davis, Variety, 23 April 2019.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of Seeing the Unseen Problem:
"The biggest problem with white privilege is the invisibility it
maintains to those who benefit from it most. The inability to
recognize that many of the advantages whites hold are a direct result of
the disadvantages of other people, contributes to the unwillingness of
white people, even those who are not overtly racist, to recognize their
part in maintaining and benefiting from white supremacy." In "What is
white privilege?" Mount Holyoke College, n. d.
Addendum of Counting a Generally Unseen
Problem: "According to the American
Foundation for Suicide Prevention, white men, who the Left argues are
the most privileged group of all in America, commit seven out of every
ten suicides in America — even though only three out of ten
Americans are white males. Whatever reason one gives for the white
suicide rate, it is indisputable that, at the very least, considerably
more whites than blacks consider life not worth living. To argue that
all these whites were oblivious to all the unique privileges they had is
to stretch the definition of 'privilege' beyond credulity." In "The
Fallacy of 'White Privilege'," by Dennis Prager, National Review,
16 February 2016.
Addendum of Privilege and Oppression:
"I wouldn’t say therapy, because psychology isn’t very
good at taking in the sociological view. But it has to do with working
on your inner history to understand that you were in systems, and that
they are in you. It has to do with looking around yourself the way
sociologists do and seeing the big patterns in the rest of society,
while keeping a balance and really respecting your experience. Seeing
the oppression of others is, of course, very important work. But so is
seeing how the systems oppress oneself." Quote of Peggy McIntosh, in
"The Origins of 'Privilege'," by Joshua Rothman, New Yorker, 12 May
[ 3 ]
[ 1 ] Davis makes us privy to
the "problem" which seems to have required the "encouragement
of my therapist" and a "workplace discrimination
attorney" is indentified as a "white privilege"
problem, at least in the parlance of a Variety article, is
amusing. Variety is currently owned by Penske Media
Corporation (PMC), an American digital media, publishing,
and information services company based in Los Angeles and
New York City. PMC's Chairman and CEO since founding is Jay
Penske. And white.
"In October 2012, the PMC purchased Variety Inc.,
Variety.com, Variety Magazine, and all associated assets for
a reported $25 million from Reed Elsevier," (Wikipedia) PMC
also owns Rolling Stone, Robb Report, Deadline Hollywood,
Fairchild Fashion Media, and a host of other companies and
properties. Given the above assertion, published by a
"white" media conglomerate, one learns how "white" Whitney
Davis' former employer has been and remains to be.
Apparently this is or will be a problem, as Ms. Davis and
her workplace discrimination attorney make their accusation
into a civil suite. Other civil suits are pending as well,
and not only about race.
And: "In July 2018, an article by Ronan Farrow in The
New Yorker claimed that thirty 'current and former CBS
employees described harassment, gender discrimination, or
retaliation' at CBS and six women accused Les Moonves of
harassment and intimidation. Following these
allegations, it was reported on September 6, 2018 that CBS
board members were negotiating Les Moonves's departure from
the company." Les Moonves is white. Joseph R.
Ianniello, replaced as acting CEO. Glenn Geller, admittedly
gay, was a most recent chief, now followed by Kelly Kahl and
Thom Sherman. They are also white. And men. See the
Among the problems is a comparative fact. While Ms.
Davis states in a white publication that her white employer
offered a possible settlement of "$50,000," one might place
that number alongside the per capita income for all of Los
Angeles County -- $46,771. Somehow, all involved in this
tale, from litigant, to plaintiff, to therapist, to
attorney, and all the various management, seem more
privileged than the average Los Angeles Joe. Or LA Jill.
Perhaps the aggrieved is a victim of
Perhaps those accused are perpetrators? Game on.
[ 2 ] The small web page
includes "This website was created by members of Professor
Arlene Avakian's class The Social Construction of
Whiteness and Women at the University of Massachusetts,
Amherst." Professor Avakian is white, and is likely
more privileged in salary and pension benefits than most
citizens of her state. For a broader perspective on
such "privilege," and particularly in the UMass system, one
should consider the rhyme, addenda and sourced footnotes
which tell the tale when
Doctor Oppression comes to call
[ 3 ] One reads of an
originator as cited in the "The Origins of 'Privilege',"
"...Peggy McIntosh was born into the very cream of
America’s aristocratic elite, and has remained ensconced
there ever since. Her ‘experiential’ list enumerating
the ways in which she benefits from being born with white
skin simply confuses racial privilege with the financial
advantages she has always been fortunate enough to
enjoy. Many of her points are demonstrably economic. One is
left to wonder why, given her stated conviction that she
has unfairly benefited from her skin color, there seems to
be no record of her involvement in any charity or civil
rights work. If she did take to the streets in support
of some cause or other, she left no trace that I can see.
Nor, as far as I can tell, has she spent any time teaching
the underprivileged or working directly to better anyone’s
condition but her own. Instead, she has contented herself
with a generous six figure salary, and has not shown any
particular eagerness to hand her position over to a more
deserving person of color." In "Unpacking Peggy
McIntosh’s Knapsack," Quillette, 29 August 2018.
So a public intellectual critiques and is critiqued. One
reads further: "She has been criticized for
concealing her considerable, personal class privilege and
displacing it onto the collective category of race." In
"Peggy McIntosh," Wikipedia, n .d.
And further: "...critics highlight the irony that
college students who commonly invoke privilege theory do so
from a place of privilege on behalf of groups who often do
not endorse the privilege paradigm. Those invoking the
privilege paradigm ignore the broad social privileges
enjoyed in the developed world such as free expression,
freedom of the press, freedom to peaceful assembly, rule of
law, and individualism." In "Social privilege," Wikipedia, n
"In 2014, Princeton
University first-year student Tal Fortgang authored
"Checking My Privilege", a widely debated article in which
he condemned classmates who told him to "check his
privilege" for attributing his success in life to "some
invisible patron saint of white maleness", and "for casting
the equal protection clause, indeed the very idea of a
meritocracy, as a myth". McIntosh afterwards told the New
Yorker that Fortgang was resisting seeing himself
systemically. She argued that everybody has a combination
of unearned advantage and unearned disadvantage, and should
aim to try to see themselves in the context of societal
patterns of discrimination and oppression."
But then: "Let’s not start a white privilege
contest — what would the prize be? — even if it’s one you
may win." In "White Privilege Begets White Privilege," by
Philip Gaines, New York Times, 25 August 2019.
And then: "Those who argue for the existence
of black privilege, however, don't deny these grim numbers.
They just don't blame racism for those racial disparities."
In "It's time to talk about 'black privilege'," by John
Blake, CNN, 31 March 2016.
One notes the interesting nexus herein, in which white
academic liberals birth, nurture a new "social construct"
and then use it politically -- sociologically -- to batter
non-academic white conservatives. Black liberals and
conservatives take similar "sociological" sides, as American
Asians join the "sociological" fray, as sociology itself
becomes a battleground.
Racial Disparities Means Racism?
One reads, since Harvard University current president,
Lawrence S. Bacow, is white and therefore must participate
heavily in McIntosh's "white privilege" condemnation:
"Harvard is being sued by an organization, Students for Fair
Admission, representing Asian-Americans accusing it of
discrimination in admissions. According to news reports,
an internal unpublished Harvard analysis in 2013 indicated
that 43% of admissions would have been Asians if admission
had been based strictly on academic considerations alone,
things like high school performance and scores on the SAT
examination. In fact, only about one-half that proportion of
Asians were admitted. The data seem to suggest that
Harvard has an Asian quota of about 20% of its students,
less than one-half the proportion attending Cal Tech, a
school that bases admission almost exclusively on academic
criteria. As Asians become an increasing proportion of
the American population, the Asian share of Harvard students
remains almost unchanged. Harvard says it also looks at
extracurricular, athletic and 'personal' characteristics and
achievement, apparently implicitly concluding that Asians
are deficient in these dimensions, especially athletics and
'personal' factors. The latter factor is an almost wholly
subjective one, where the biases of admissions officers can
dominate." In "Race And College Admissions: Harvard And
Chicago," by Richard Vedder, Forbes, 30 July 2018.
Asians Score Lower Based on
Further and quite like the bias against American Jews:
"...often, there was a thumb on the scale. Now that’s
happening to Asians, as it has come out that Harvard
consistently scored Asian applicants lower on the subjective
'personal rating.' These traits included 'positive
personality,' likability, courage, kindness and being
'widely respected,' according to an analysis of six years of
admission data filed Friday in federal court in Boston by
Students for Fair Admissions, a group representing
Asian-American students in a lawsuit against the university.
In "Why is Harvard discriminating against Asian
Americans? 'Diversity' is no excuse for racial bias," by
Glenn Reynolds, USA Today, 18 June 2018.
And as to white-led Harvard: "The memo filed with the
court said Harvard's own internal investigation in 2013
concluded that its admissions system was biased against
Asian Americans. But instead of addressing the problem,
'Harvard killed the investigation and buried the reports.'
There seems little doubt that Harvard is practicing
conscious racial discrimination here. But why? The
excuse seems to be 'diversity,' in the sense that if
admissions were based solely on objective criteria, the
school would be majority-Asian, which would change the
'character' of Harvard." In "Why is Harvard discriminating
against Asian Americans? 'Diversity' is no excuse for racial
bias," by Glenn Reynolds, USA Today, 18 June 2018.
Academic Support for Racial
Additionally, it is noticed that universities participate in
segregation. One reads: "In his inaugural address in
January 1963, Gov. George Wallace of Alabama thundered: 'Segregation
now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.'
About 'tomorrow,' Wallace was right. More than half a
century later, racial segregation comes as easy as breathing
to many American colleges and universities." In
"Segregation by Design on Campus: How racial separatism
become the norm at elite universities," by Peter W. Wood
and Dion J. Pierre, Wall Street Journal, 29 April 2019.
The article takes note that: "Today’s racial
segregation, by contrast, consists of ethnic groups walling
themselves off within institutions. In the past two years
the National Association of Scholars surveyed 173 colleges
and universities, public and private, in all 50 states.
We found 46% of schools segregate student orientation
programs, 43% segregate residential arrangements, and 72%
segregate graduation ceremonies. Though these arrangements
are ostensibly voluntary, students can’t easily opt out. The
social pressure to conform is overwhelming."
And then, there's white privilege....
How long will such cosseted
scholars linger on their wide privy ledge?
One wonders whether McIntosh and her coterie will now
respond with some academic study proving Asian privilege,
requiring Asians to grovel to a newly minted social
construct, courtesy of few sociology departments' scholars
Consider the impact on culture when
Everything's about my colored skin
(or sadly, Why racism works).
Weasel words might possibly be used,
And could perhaps be thereby confused
With words which refuse to weasel their way
Into some something that someone might say.
Weasel-y words maybe perchance
Make statements ambiguous, made askance
Which conceivably conceive some happy proof
Where there's oh so often a provable goof.
Weaseling words some commitments evade
Such that later those words can throw off shade,
Saying that weasels were wisely used to avoid
Surety, which these weasels never enjoyed.
"The expression first appeared in Stewart Chaplin's short story
"Stained Glass Political Platform" (published in 1900 in The Century
Magazine), in which weasel words were described as "words that
suck the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel
sucks the egg and leaves the shell". Theodore Roosevelt attributed
the term to his friend William Sewall's older brother, Dave,
claiming that he used the term in a private conversation in 1879. In
another early usage, Theodore Roosevelt argued in 1916 that "one of
our defects as a nation is a tendency to use ...'weasel words';
when one 'weasel word' is used ... after another there is nothing
left"." In "Weasel word," Wikipedia, n. d.