Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Islamic Thought Crime in the EU


Why should we care about the plight of Austrian Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, when we have a Deep State patsy  arrested for sending dud pipe bombs to a slew of America haters (George Soros, senior and junior), Eric “kick ‘em” Holder, Maxine Waters, Maxine Waters, the Clintons, Barack Obama) and other choice denizens of the Left (but,  who actually assembled and delivered the bombs? It appears that Cesar Sayoc was barely able tie his shoe laces) let alone manufacture real or fake explosive devices), or the “caravan” of delusional Central Americans walking, or marching, or riding their way to the U.S. – Mexican border with the intention of rushing over it en masse to claim “asylum” and all the welfare state goodies that can be found here…

What about Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff? The Daily Sabah wrote on October 10:

The Daily Sabah reported that:”

Defaming the Prophet Muhammad exceeds the permissible limits of freedom of expression, ruled the European Court of Human Rights, upholding an Austrian court’s decision.

 

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled Thursday that an Austrian woman's criminal conviction and fine for her statements accusing the Prophet Muhammad of pedophilia did not breach her right to free speech.

Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted in 2011 by an Austrian court for offending the “dignity” of Muslims by repeating the oft repeated tale what was to be found in the hadith that Mohammad had married six-year-old Aisha, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine-years-old.

Sabaditsch-Wolff said this made him a pedophile. That was her “crime.” Spencer wrote:

The problem that the Austrian courts overlooked here was that Muhammad is held up in Islam as the perfect example of conduct for Muslims (cf. Qur’an 33:21). Accordingly, his example does lead to pedophilia, and in any case the distinction between pedophilia and child marriage can be very fine. In Afghanistan virtually all girls above third-grade age are married, and because of Muhammad, but the Austrian court would have us believe either that there is no pedophilia in these child marriages, or that they have nothing to do with Muhammad, both of which could be proven false readily.

Stating that the court had found that “the applicant’s statements had been likely to arouse justified indignation in Muslims” and “amounted to a generalization without factual basis”, the ECtHR said that the woman’s comments could not be covered by the freedom of expression.

What about that “factual basis”? Spencer has published a great book that casts doubt on the historicity of Mohammad (Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins).
My own view of all of Islam’s “sacred” texts is that they have been works-in-progress for 1,400 years, especially the hadith, and have as much substance and credibility as Charlie Brown’s The Great Pumpkin.  Islamic “scholars” have been refining, editing and adumerating the character and content of Islamic texts for centuries, adding and removing dictats and stories about “the Prophet” when it suited them. The Koran and the Hadith read like awful, perverse fairy tales about the adventures, sayings, and habits of Islam’s “ideal” man, a person, who, today, would earn himself 99+ years in a maximum security prison for what he did, if not the death sentence, a person no rational parents would uphold for their children as someone to admire and emulate. One may as well “Idealize” one of the thugs of Antifa.

Soren Kern of Gatestone provides a wide, detailed description of Sabaditsch-Wolff’s “crime”:

Sabaditsch-Wolff's legal problems began in November 2009, when she presented a three-part seminar about Islam to the Freedom Education Institute, a political academy linked to the Austrian Freedom Party — which today forms part of the Austrian government. A left-leaning weekly magazine, News, planted a journalist in the audience to secretly record the lectures. Lawyers for the publication then handed the transcripts over to the Viennese public prosecutor's office as evidence of hate speech against Islam, according to Section 283 of the Austrian Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB).

The offending speech was an offhand comment by Sabaditsch-Wolff that Mohammed was a pedophile because he married his wife Aisha when she was just six or seven years old. Sabaditsch-Wolff's actual words were, "A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? What do we call it, if it is not pedophilia?"

Indeed, most hadiths (collections of traditions containing the words and actions of Mohammed) confirm that Aisha was prepubescent when Mohammed married her and was only nine years old when the marriage was consummated. Mohammed's actions would today be unlawful in Austria, so Sabaditsch-Wolff's comments were factually, if not politically, correct.

Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge noted:

The Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled that the woman’s “right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”

The ECHR engaged in what is now an all-too-familiar effort to deny its obvious denial of free speech by saying that freedom of religion did not protect religions from criticism but they upheld the punishment of someone for doing precisely that.  It simply declared that the woman’s comments “could only be understood as having been aimed at demonstrating that Muhammad was not worthy of worship.”

And that offended Muslims; it allegedly hurt their “feelings” and robbed them of “dignity.” The EU court decided that those feelings and pilfered dignity were more important than anyone’s freedom of speech. So, in the name of “religious peace,” Sabaditsch-Wolff’s mouth must be duct taped and she must pay for the tape, too. The feelings must be assuaged and the dignity restored by punishing Sabaditsch-Wolff for identifying a reality the EU judges refuse to acknowledge.

But, was it Muhammad or Allah – an imaginary man, or a ghost in the sky – who was not worthy of worship?  The EU seems to have its Sharia masters confused.

Louis Farrakhan is noted for his anti-Semitic hate speech, as is Linda Sarsour, the pro-Sharia, anti-Israel “activist.”  Neither of them has been duct-taped or fined.

As an atheist, no religious icon or deity is worthy of worship, respect, deference, or adulation.

Why should we be concerned about Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s fate? Because it could very well be our own, given the war on conservative speech being waged by the big tech companie: Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others.  

Few people, except, perhaps, Melania Trump or Greta Garbo, deserve anyone’s respect, deference, or adulation.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Migrants for Sale


Lemmings and criminals on the march

I refrained from commenting on the migrant “caravan” as long as I could so I could work in peace without interruption or distraction on my next novel, Flute. But the strings to say something about the poor, poor migrants pull hard, and here I am

So, here we are. Some 7,000 or more Central Americans are “walking” up to the U.S. border to demand entry and a piece of the welfare state pie. The U.S. should apologize to them for being so fascist and cruel, said an Objectivist intellectual, Harry Binswanger, in a Forbes article.

Oh, yes. The Hondurans are going to show us how it’s done.  They’re going to boost the economy 500% with their advanced job skills. They’re going to discover the cures for cancer and the common cold. They’re going to send a rover to Pluto, and shame the accomplishments of the Mars rovers and the Huygens Titan probe and those snotty Japanese who’ve managed to land probes on a mere asteroid! They’ve got the ambition and the expertise and the unmatched talent, and the U.S. would benefit if only they’d let the Hondurans, and Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Mexicans come in and not ask them any awkward questions or establish criteria! They can soak up the housing market, and buy houses and estates in Newport Beach and Laguna. To call them parasites and leeches is insulting, as insulting as calling Muslim women “brood mares.” As offensive as calling Muslim men “dead heads.” And it’s “racist” to point out that Somali Muslim women are uniformly fat and ugly and a visual blot on the landscape.

They can save the California economy and add billions of dollars to the state budget so the state can finish the super train and fund its civil service pension program. They’re going to replace the U.S. flag with the Mexican and Honduran ones and demand that white Americans learn Spanish as a mandatory first language, and that companies make “speak English” the last number to press to talk to banks and businesses or their doctors (no. 9). The U.S. flag is “racist,” they say, and must be burned and gotten rid of. Refugees no more! Full citizenship, and to hell with the fools who applied for it and took civics lessons and waited for years! When they could just as well walked across the border and claimed “asylum.”

Satire aside: What have the closely packed migrants who are falling off of packed trucks or collapsing from exhaustion during the trek to offer the U.S.? Not much – except to become a greater weight on the welfare system, sustained also by stipends from their various Soros and NGO beneficaries. It’s the powers behind the alleged “caravan” that stand to gain the most. For one, George Soros, who through his multiple connections or subsidies of “humanitarian” charities, aided and encouraged by the State Department,  in turn fund every collectivist cause imaginable, including “caravans” of the poverty stricken migrants, “yearning to be free.” Or taken care of by the state and taxpayers and the damned gringos. Soros and the Dems intend to do to America what what’s been done to Europe: cripple it and dissolve it.
Migrant waving new American flag

Are they coming to the U.S. to seek asylum? No. They’re looking for jobs. They say. They may be telling the truth. Still, they are ignorant pawns of the elitists who seek to bring the U.S. down to the level of any Islamized country in Europe, for example, the U.K.

Gatestone reports:

More than 100,000 British Muslims sympathize with suicide bombers and people who commit other terrorist acts, according to a 615-page survey. Only one in three British Muslims (34%) would contact the police if they believed that somebody close to them had become involved with radical Islam. In addition, 23% of British Muslims said Islamic Sharia law should replace British law in areas with large Muslim populations.

So, the U.K. Is being inundated with hostile Muslims. The U.S. has been “settled” or “colonized” by hostile Muslims, and it is intended that it will be inundated by equally ignorant and hostile Central Americans. It’s Obama “transforming” our country. If that takes “caravans” or invasion armies, so be it. There will be “collateral damage,” too.
 
Politifact quoted Obama n February:

"Now, Mizzou, I just have two words for you tonight: five days. Five days. After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush, and 21 months of a campaign that's taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

"In five days, you can turn the page on policies that put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street. In five days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and janitor, not just the factory owner, but the men and women on the factory floor."
Migrants burning old American flag

This is all Obama’s usual yadda yadda. He’s never been interested in “creating” anything except federally subsidized boondoggles, such as Solyndra. By “transform” he means changing America into a nation of submissive, non-questioning, obedient serfs who abide by the social justice warrior’s bidding.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Smoke and Mirrors


This column might cost me a few readers.

I remember the days when I could go to a restaurant or a coffee shop for lunch, and have a smoke after my meal. I remember being able to smoke on the job. I remember flying and asking reservations for a smoking seat. And in a restaurant where I planned to spend more time than usual, asking for the smoking section.

Then, in 1988 Northwest Airlines ran an ad on TV in which the voice over announced that there would be no more smoking on its flights.

Following that, the hammer began to drop, all over the country. Airline after airline abolished smoking sections. State after state began to ban smoking in offices, restaurants, coffee shops, theaters, and even in pool halls. And then outside of buildings where smokers congregated but were banned because passersby might drop dead or have a crashing headache from the second-hand smoke. Before you knew it, many restaurants and other “public places” began to close; I remember so many places in Williamsburg and Newport News where I could repair for lunch or a meal and a smoke. But they’ve all disappeared or knuckled under the no-smoking laws. Ashtrays on tables and counters vanished.

One of my favorite places was the bar of The Polo Club on Jamestown Road. I went by there after out-going governor Tim Kaine (Hillary’s running mate) signed a law banning all such smoking in Virginia in a spate of virtue-signaling. I saw patrons standing outside because they could no longer smoke in the bar. The last time I checked the place had been gutted to a bare floor; a sign on the window said that an exercise salon was going to take the restaurant’s place.

The smoking bans effectively, and in fact, seized private property to benefit one group and prohibited what it deemed to be “public health” practices. What for? For an influential group and lobby that wanted smoking banned so that it could go wherever it wanted, so that “sensitive” non-smokers could avail themselves of private property that already existed, instead of having to start their own non-smoking venues. 

It was a continuation of the Progressive campaign to force everyone to conform to the “public good” in terms of health concerns. It was the authoritarian desire to rob people of something they enjoyed. It is a manifestation of hatchet-wielding Carry Nation and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and their violent campaigns against bars and alcohol.

One reader’s comment on Reddit noted:

American tobacco companies put up to 599 extra ingredients into their cigarettes. So instead of burning just tobacco, paper and a burning agent (in the paper,) you are combusting a huge variety of chemicals, many of which are not approved for ingestion after combustion. Here are just the first several additives off of Wikipedia list of all 599: Acetanisole, Acetic acid, Acetoin, Acetophenone, 6-Acetoxydihydrotheaspirane, 2-Acetyl-3-Ethylpyrazine, 2-Acetyl, 5-Methylfuran, Acetylpyrazine, 2-Acetylpyridine, 3-Acetylpyridine, 2-Acetylthiazole, etc.

American Spirit cigarettes have 0 added ingredients. It's just tobacco, paper and a burning agent in the paper.

….I also notice when I see a cigarette in a movie, 9 times out of 10 it is an American Spirit. My guess is they have actors smoke that brand for the same reason: so it does not provoke a negative reaction in the film crew. Of course, I have no proof of this. It's just a guess.

Anti-smokers, who are, as a rule, against Columbus Day and claim that North American Indians were peace-loving people “victimized” by the European “invasion” of the continent, tend to overlook the fact that American Indians (the vaunted “indigenous peoples) introduced Europeans to smoking and tobacco. In England, King James, however, as rabid an anti-tobacco zealot as was Adolf Hitler, collected lots of revenue from the Virginia tobacco trade. Hitler also collected personal revenue from the trade in Germany, as well as from sales of Mein Kampf, and had cigarettes sold on the streets.

In fact, during the French and Indian War, Britain had a special arrangement with France, to export tobacco uninterrupted to France, which also benefited from the sales revenue. Tobacco from the colonies, especially from Virginia, had to “land” in Britain before going anywhere else. Mandatory shipment of all colonial produce to Britain was a fetter that tied the colonies to mercantilism, which was a contributing factor to the American Revolution.

The 17th century saw the organization of the tobacco trade and the implementation of new laws regulating the sale of tobacco. In 1614 Spain proclaimed Seville the tobacco capital of the world. All tobacco produced for sale in New Spain had to first go through Seville before moving on to the rest of Europe. France and England passed analogous laws. King James I of England was the first to tax tobacco while King Louis XIV was the first to make its distribution and sale a state run monopoly. Laws restricting the cultivation of tobacco to the Americas were passed during the second half of the 1600’s in an effort to insure a steady high quality supply. During this time period the Tionontati, an Indian tribe located in what is today south-eastern Canada, produced tobacco for sale in Europe and were known by the French as the tobacco people.


From Sparrowhawk, Book Three, p. 5 on the tobacco trade during the French and Indian War: (1754-1763):

Neither did the war affect Virginians much in the purse. The colony’s chief export, and the basis of its prosperity, was tobacco. While French and British navies and privateers preyed on each other’s sea commerce, British merchantmen were able to sail regularly, under a flag of truce, to French ports with cargoes of tobacco bought by the Farmers General of the Revenue, the French state tobacco monopoly, and the largest single buyer on the world market.  Both Crowns needed the revenue generated by that trade in order to prosecute the war.  The same concordia discors had been in effect during King George’s war, or the War of the Austrian Succession.

The rationale behind banning smoking in “public places” is that they are open to the public and anyone may enter them with the right to not encounter smoke or even second-hand smoke, as it may give them headaches or detract from the enjoyment of his meal. The subject of “public places” is dealt with in the second half of Sparrowhawk, Book Two, when members of the Society of the Pippin, a group of “freethinkers,” are arrested in a “public place” in London, and put on trial for uttering “blasphemous” words against the King during a private meeting. The judge trying them, Sir Bevil Grainger, delivers his finding (pp. 353-4):

“Gentlemen of the jury: I recommend that the accused, named Robert Meservey, Beverly Brashears, Peter Brompton, Daniel Sweeney, and Jacob Mendoza, members of a private club styled the Society of the Pippin, be on this day indicted for fractious and odious calumnies against His Majesty, George Rex the Third, our king and sovereign of his dominions, against our most perfect Church, and against the general and tranquil civil order of His Majesty’s dominions, calumnies uttered in a public place known as the Fruit Wench in this city  of  London, or the county of Middlesex, on any and all dates noted in their own recorded proceedings together with those noted in affidavits assembled by agents of the Crown.”

Grainger paused to catch his breath, then continued “—assailing and aspersing the veracity of Christianity and the Scriptures, the moral foundation of the nation, in such a quantity of statements, and in such evil terms, that to read them in this court would simply be to repeat the offense; and inadvertently, by the accused’s hands, or by the hand of an unknown party – it matters not which – making known these libels and blasphemies to the public by their utterance in a public place and by dissemination of them on posters put up in public places, consequently tending and intending to incite public dissatisfaction and a breach of the public peace.”

Little did I foresee, when I wrote Grainger’s deliberations at the turn of the century, that years later people could be sued, charged, and punished or censored for uttering “blasphemous” words on private venues against Islam. While censoring, or punishing people for “defaming” Islam is not the same as banning smoking on private property, the two actions share the same common root: a desire to control people’s actions by the state and to impose an arbitrary, unquestioning uniformity, by force or by crook. Americans have become inured to the bans, conditioned to them, so to speak, and think little of them now. Islam frowns on smoking and wages the same kind of propaganda war against it as the federal government wages.

ThoughtCo notes:

In more recent times, as the dangers of tobacco use have been proven beyond any doubt, Islamic scholars have become unanimous in pronouncing that tobacco use is clearly haram (forbidden) to believers. They now use the strongest possible terms to condemn this habit. Here is a clear example:

In view of the harm caused by tobacco, growing, trading in and smoking of tobacco are judged to be haram (forbidden). The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have said, 'Do not harm yourselves or others.' Furthermore, tobacco is unwholesome, and God says in the Qur'an that the Prophet, peace be upon him, 'enjoins upon them that which is good and pure, and forbids them that which is unwholesome. (Permanent Committee of Academic Research and Fatwa, Saudi Arabia). (Ayah a-A ‘raf 715)

The reasons Islamic scholars give to argue against smoking do not differ in substance from those offered by the government or by secularists. “Proven beyond a doubt”? Islam is not famous for its medical advice; i.e., female genital mutilation and drinking camel urine. Smoking is a private pleasure, and a private pleasure is discouraged by Islam because it does not wholly please Allah; one lives for Allah’s happiness and pleasure, and for nothing else.

All the heroes of my novels smoke.

I was not too surprised to read the short warning in the credits at the end of my DVD of The Darkest Hour that the film was not an endorsement of smoking (Churchill smoked his cigar virtually through the whole movie). I was not surprised either when the cigarette was air brushed from Humphrey Bogart’s stamp.

On the other hand –  Peace be upon the State?