Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Where we are today

While Old Media continues in its preoccupation with self-destructive, bleach-blonde curiosities of questionable judgment and Team Coverage of rain, the world continues on course in its unavoidable confrontation with Islam.

Yet, those in power are either clueless or indifferent.

Though credit must be given to those Western leaders who have taken action against jihadists, these same leaders also must bear much blame for failing to identify and formulate a prudent strategy to combat that which fuels their fire: the word of Allah and the example of his false prophet.

It is not only our governmental leaders failing the People. Those in Academia and the Media who should know better--or who do know better but cravenly remain silent while the West suffocates under the mass of Muslims who by the bomb, the barb, or the ballot work to establish the Tyranny of Allah over all Mankind--are also to blame.

It is left to a few brave souls to expose the utterly disgusting barbarity of the Religion of Peace. (To Islam "peace" means the agreement that comes when all who dissent are either converted, barbarously subdued and humiliated, enslaved, or butchered.)

One of those on whom future generations will look as a hero, someone willing to risk life and limb to the dogs of Allah is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her recent public appearance on Bill Maher's program found her correcting Representative Darrell Issa's promotion of the myth of Islamic tolerance.

Unsurprisingly, a propagandist at Newsweek has seen fit to attack her for telling the truth about the Religion of Which We Do Not Speak. That liar is Lorraine Ali.

In "Only One Side of the Story" (that's ironic and begs the question: What other side is there to "...kill the unbelievers wherever you find them"?), L. Ali writes in part:
...Hirsi Ali's exceptionally harsh life story—told in her new memoir, "Infidel"—would elicit empathy from the coldest of hearts. But that's not the book's only purpose. Hirsi Ali, a 38-year-old Dutch citizen and women's rights advocate who now lives in Washington, D.C., is one of Europe's most infamous critics of Islam. She renounced her Muslim faith after the 9/11 attacks, decried what she regarded as the religion's brutality in lectures and interviews, and rode a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment all the way into the Dutch Parliament, where she gained a seat.
Why "infamous"? It is clear on which side of the truth Lorraine Ali falls.

"She regarded"? What part of the command to "...fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war);..." (Qur’an 9:5). is not brutal?
There's clearly an audience for Hirsi Ali in America too...

Perhaps the American people are waking up to the fact that the source and sustenance of Islamic terrorism and the efforts to establish Shari'a is Islam itself. Perhaps the American people are not as dumb as Lorraine Ali hopes.
But Hirsi Ali's memoir is as much about her political agenda as it is her life, and in between tales of her youth she wedges harsh and uncompromising declarations: "True Islam," she writes at one point, "leads to cruelty." ...throughout the book, you can't help but feel manipulated, rather than moved. In describing the 9/11 hijackers, she comes up with an inflammatory conclusion tailor-made for her right-wing constituency: "It was not a lunatic fringe who felt this way about America and the West. I knew that a vast majority of Muslims would see the attacks as justified retaliation against the infidel enemies of Islam."
Of course, "political agenda" means Hirsi Ali is lying. And everyone knows that the "right-wing" is intolerant, hateful, and Islamophobic.

Is Hirsi Ali's statement true or not? Did Muslims celebrate the fall of the Towers or not? Is Osama bin Laden a hero among Muslims or not? Do not Muslims destroy and kill (even nuns) over cartoons, historical evaluations made by emperors whose kingdoms were under siege by Islam, and factual statements from Islam's own authoritative texts about the Pedophile Prophet when those declarations come from non-Muslims without the proper deference?

It appears that Lorraine cannot assail the truth of Hirsi Ali's pronouncements, so she must impugn her character and the character of those who are at least interested in what she has to say (the last time I checked, Bill Maher was not part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy/Constituency, and even he gets it!).

If nothing else, we know that Newsweek hires those skilled in ad hominem attacks.
Other Muslim women interested in reform aren't exactly in step with Hirsi Ali. "I wish people had been nicer to her," says Muslim author and feminist Asra Nomani. "But I don't blame Islam. I blame really messed-up people who've used religion to justify their misogyny."
That would be Mohammed, Islam's founder, since the "misogyny" noted is in accord with the revelations he received from Allah.
As staunchly patriarchal strains of Wahhabi Islam infiltrate Muslim cultures outside the gulf region, many modern female followers are wondering how to embrace their religion without succumbing to its more sexist demands.
Wahhabi Islam is just a more faithful, traditional version of what is often passed off as Islam in the West (and many other lands), where those who self-identify as "Muslim" are either unaware of, uninterested in, or hiding what their god and prophet demand.

And isn't this an admission that it is not just a few "messed-up people"?
And they're coming up with answers that don't require them to abandon either their religion or their culture. In the Middle East and South Asia, a strong majority of Muslim women recently polled by Gallup believed they should have the right to work outside the home and serve in the highest levels of government. Here in the United States, dozens of scholars like Ithaca College's Asma Barlas, Harvard's Leila Ahmed and Notre Dame's Asma Afsaruddin have challenged widely accepted interpretations of the Qur'an. "They are Islam's Martina Luthers," jokes Nomani. "They are my heroes."
Here again is an admission that Hirsi Ali is correct: these "reformers" are not appealing to Qur'an, Sira, and Hadith for a less violent, less tyrannical faith, they are perverting and misinterpreting the word of Allah and the words and deeds of his apostle in an attempt to change traditional, historic Islam.

And is this not acknowledgement that violent, fascist, totalitarian understandings of Islam are widely accepted? So much for that vaunted "tiny minority of extremists" and their equally mythical counterparts the "vast majority of moderate Muslims" to whom President Bush, Secretary Rice, Hugh Hewitt, et al so quickly, eagerly, and uncritically appeal!

It is also worth noting here an error/lie common among many commentators: to compare those who want to remake Islam in the image of a pluralistic, human rights respecting, tolerant West (which traditions are a natural result of the Christian religion) with someone like Martin Luther is a grave error. Martin Luther strove to move Christianity toward obedience to the word of Christ, while these "Martina Luthers" seek to move Islam away from the doctrine of Mahomet.

But that sort of error is all you can expect with the mushy thinking (moral equivalence) that often passes for Reason nowadays.
Hirsi Ali is more a hero among Islamophobes than Islamic women. That's problematic considering she describes herself in "Infidel" as a woman who "fights for the rights of Muslim women, the enlightenment of Islam and the security of the West." How can you change the lives of your former sisters, and work toward reform, when you've forged a career upon renouncing the religion and insulting its followers?
Here again is a lie common among Islam's apologists, whether they are devout Muslims or Useful Infidel Idiots--telling the truth about what Islam's god and founder said and did is not "insult" nor is it "phobia," it is...telling the truth about what Allah and Mohammed demand.

If their religion is so grand, so peaceful, so enlightened, so divine, why is it that Muslims are so terrified at the truth being told to Infidels? Is it that their God-given conscience is making their espousal of Mohammed's murderous, genocidal, hate ideology uncomfortable for them? Or is that they don't want us to wake up to the existential threat posed to us by their faith since so much of the West is not only completely unaware of the true nature of Islam, those who dare to tell the truth about it are punished?
Hirsi Ali says overhauling Islam is not her responsibility: she just lays out "the facts" and leaves it to others to go about fixing this supposedly broken faith.
And it is the clear, calm laying out of those facts that so disquiets L. Ali and her ilk.
But her facts are often subjective: at one point she characterizes "every devout Muslim who aspires to practice genuine Islam" as a follower of the Muslim Brotherhood. That may have been true in Hirsi Ali's experience, but it hardly speaks for the globe's 1.3 billion other followers.
One thing facts can never be is subjective.

If a person swears fealty to the god of Mahomet, to what do they promise their love, faithfulness, and service? Among other things, they promise to do as their prophet did. And what did he say?
...Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war...When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action.... Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them...If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them...'" (Muslim Book 019, Number 4294).
So, there may be moderate (Apostate) Muslims, but every devout Muslim promises to aid this ideology. Every devout Muslim adores a god and founder who require the fighting against, subduing and humiliating, and killing of non-Muslims to make the world Islam.
It's ironic that this would-be "infidel" often sounds as single-minded and reactionary as the zealots she's worked so hard to oppose.

Commitment to truth in the face of the tireless bloodlust of Allah requires single-mindedness. And the atrocities committed at the behest of Allah and his heretical prophet require resistance (unless you're Muslim, then you must approve).

To equate someone who tells the truth about Islam's authoritative texts and historical practice with those who actually butcher, rape, and enslave for Allah is the nadir of deceit.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Burying the truth

It wasn't enough for James Cameron to falsely portray the fate of rich and poor to advance Marxism in his Titanic (what does it say for the truth of an ideology that one must lie for it?). Now he is conducting a clumsy, obtuse, pseudo-scientific attack against Christianity.

From here.
New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world's foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.
Of course,"scientific evidence," "DNA analysis," and "scholars" make every unsubstantiated assertion in this article legitimate, since everyone knows that if a "scientist" says it, it must be true.

"Could have"? Was only one family living in Jerusalem at the time? Perhaps someone ought to save Cameron from public humiliation by letting him know that there are eyewitness accounts of what happened to Jesus' body in these little texts called the Gospels.
The findings also suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced a son named Judah.
"...findings also suggest" should read, "these could be anybody's bodies, but we're going to draw the most absurd conclusion possible just to reach the preconceived outcome we desire. Yes, we could've have asked a local cabbie if Jesus had a son with Mary and come to just as reasonable a conclusion, but that wouldn't lend us the same air of authority."
The DNA findings, alongside statistical conclusions made about the artifacts — originally excavated in 1980 — open a potentially significant chapter in Biblical archaeological history.
"...archaelogical historical fiction," it should say. And statistics can never be misused as a means to one's ends, can they?

As for DNA findings, do the "scientists" have Jesus' mother's DNA? No? Then how in the world can they possibly conclude these are the remains of Christ and His family (especially since eyewitnesses testified upon pain of death to His Resurrection and Ascension)?
...Scholars know that from 30 B.C. to 70 A.D., many people in Jerusalem would first wrap bodies in shrouds after death. The bodies were then placed in carved rock tombs, where they decomposed for a year before the bones were placed in an ossuary.
So, when the opportunity comes to try to discredit among the naive and the eager the Resurrection, "scholars" know that First Century Jews prepared their dead in this way, but when looking at the eyewitness accounts of what was done with Christ's body recorded in the Gospels, then the knowledge of those same cultural practices lends no historical validity at all to those testimonies?
Five of the 10 discovered boxes in the Talpiot tomb were inscribed with names believed to be associated with key figures in the New Testament: Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph and Mary Magdalene. A sixth inscription, written in Aramaic, translates to "Judah Son of Jesus."
Yes, no one was named "Jesus" in those days, except at least one male in every family (even Barabbas, the criminal sentenced to death but released in Christ's stead, was named "Jesus").

And of course, what are the odds of any other First Century Jews being named "Mary" or "Joseph"? Or of being buried in Jerusalem?

What does the statistical analysis of the fact that only half the boxes in this tomb have names matching New Testament figures?

It looks like all we have evidence of is a common, two-thousand year old, Jewish tomb (and someone's predetermined outcome), as evidenced by the following:
"Such tombs are very typical for that region," Aaron Brody, associate professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion and director of California's Bade Museum told Discovery News.
Here comes support not for this supposed "discovery" but for the Gospels (and an odd bit on Mary):
...Frank Moore Cross, a professor emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, told Discovery News, "The inscriptions are from the Herodian Period (which occurred from around 1 B.C. to 1 A.D.). The use of limestone ossuaries and the varied script styles are characteristic of that time."

Jodi Magness, associate department chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Discovery News that, based on the New Testament writings, "Jesus likely lived during the first century A.D."

In addition to the "Judah son of Jesus" inscription, which is written in Aramaic on one of the ossuaries, another limestone burial box is labeled in Aramaic with "Jesus Son of Joseph." Another bears the Hebrew inscription "Maria," a Latin version of "Miriam," or, in English, "Mary." Yet another ossuary inscription, written in Hebrew, reads "Matia," the original Hebrew word for "Matthew." Only one of the inscriptions is written in Greek. It reads, "Mariamene e Mara," which can be translated as, "Mary known as the master."

If the second box did contain the remains of Jesus, those remains would have been placed there by family/followers. They would no doubt have noted His mother's name, not Joseph's, since the Gospels cease mentioning Joseph very early in their accounts and often identify Him with His mother, even at His crucifixion where He makes arrangements for her life without Him.

So was this "Mary" actually the wife of Jesus ("Mrs. The Master") as Cameron and Jacobvici seem to hope? Or was this some sort of First Century gender-identity conflict?

Using Cameron and his Partner-in-Crime's logic, we might as well conclude that this tomb is evidence of Mary Magdalene's central place in authentic Christian theology, no doubt usurped by those patriarchal, misogynist Church Fathers.

Someone call Dan Brown quick!

Francois Bovon, professor of the history of religion at Harvard University, told Discovery News, "Mariamene, or Mariamne, probably was the actual name given to Mary Magdalene."

Bovon explained that he and a colleague discovered a fourteenth century copy in Greek of a fourth century text that contains the most complete version of the "Acts of Philip" ever found. Although not included in the Bible, the "Acts of Philip" mentions the apostles and Mariamne, sister of the apostle Philip.

"When Philip is weak, she is strong," Bovon said. "She likely was a great teacher who even inspired her own sect of followers, called Mariamnists, who existed from around the 2nd to the 3rd century."

So, is their "Mariamne" the Magdalene, Philip's sister, or a first century Oprah?

...Jacobovici, director, producer and writer of "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," and his team obtained two sets of samples from the ossuaries for DNA and chemical analysis. The first set consisted of bits of matter taken from the "Jesus Son of Joseph" and "Mariamene e Mara" ossuaries. The second set consisted of patina — a chemical film encrustation on one of the limestone boxes.

It's hard to call something "lost" that was used for only a couple of days and then never needed again.
The human remains were analyzed by Carney Matheson, a scientist at the Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. Mitochondrial DNA examination determined the individual in the Jesus ossuary and the person in the ossuary linked to Mary Magdalene were not related.
Now, we've gone from "possibly" to a definite identification of Mary Magdalene's remains.

(It would be useful to notice here that "scientists" will admit the Biblical Jesus was really a man, but only when they want to defame and discredit Him.)

Since tombs normally contain either blood relations or spouses, Jacobovici and his team suggest it is possible Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple. "Judah," whom they indicate may have been their son, could have been the "lad" described in the Gospel of John as sleeping in Jesus' lap at the Last Supper.

Could this have been one of those common exceptions indicated by the use of the word "normally"?

Count the weasel words: "suggest," "possible," "indicate," "may have," and "could have." Doesn't sound like much with which to destroy two thousand years of established historical fact.

Never mind that the last sentence in that paragraph reveals someone who's never read the Biblical text. There was no boy sleeping in Jesus lap (now He's a pedophile? They must be thinking of the founder of that other world religion).
Robert Genna, director of the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory in New York, analyzed both the patina taken from the Talpiot Tomb and chemical residue obtained from the "James" ossuary, which was also found around 1980, but subsequently disappeared and resurfaced in the antiquities market. Although controversy surrounds this burial box, Genna found that the two patinas matched.

...Upon examining the tomb, the filmmakers determined a space exists that would have fit the "James" ossuary. Given the patina match and this observation, Jacobovici theorizes the lost burial box could, in fact, be the "James" ossuary.

So, the James Ossuary has gone from being "controversial" to establishing that the Son of God had a child and is still dead.

Not only is the James box being used to validate this ahistorical defamation of Christ, the fiction itself is being used to establish the identity of the remains in the James Ossuary.

That's the problem with false, circuitous logic: it never ends. Neither do the lies of those who hate Christ.