Sam Harris on Charlie Hebdo and Islam in General

Saturday

Sam Harris talking about Islam.
Sam Harris is an outspoken critic of all religions. But one religion in particular requires him to keep defending his position: Islam. And he defends his position well. Listen to the audio file below. It is a masterpiece of clarity and articulation. Listen to it ten times. He makes many good points and makes them extremely well. If we had these points fresh in our minds when conversations come up, we could more effectively do what we most need to do: Change the way people think about Islam.

Listen to Sam Harris's monologue here: After Charlie Hebdo and Other Thoughts.

The first 15 minutes are all you need to listen to. Harris then goes onto other topics. In those first 15 minutes, he makes a huge number of important points, including these:
  • It doesn't matter if any particular terrorist is affiliated with a group or merely a "lone wolf." They are all motivated by the same ideology.
  • The one thing that would keep cartoonists safe is for everyone to immediately re-publish the cartoons. If newspapers and magazines had done that the first time, the staff of Charlie Hebdo would probably still be alive.
  • If someone asks the question, "What were the cartoons about?" they are entirely missing the point. People were murdered over cartoons. End of moral analysis.
  • There is no "trade off" between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. There's no balance to be struck here. Freedom of speech never infringes on freedom of religion. There's nothing I could say that would infringe on a Muslim's freedom to practice his religion. If your "freedom of religion" entails forcing those who don't share your religion to conform to it, that is not freedom of religion. We have a word for that: Theocracy.
  • The ISIS beheadings and torture and murders of journalists and aid workers and women are not examples of an excessive use of force by a few deranged individuals. This is entirely normal behavior within the context of standard Islamic doctrine. This is what they consider best about themselves. The butchery is what they use to advertise. Video footage of them cutting off the head of an aid worker is part of their recruiting materials. This does not cause them embarrassment. Quite the opposite. This is a bold expression of their worldview — a worldview fully supported by Islamic scripture. Not just supported but demanded by their religious scripture. They consider their behavior entirely ethical.
Listen to Sam Harris's monologue here: After Charlie Hebdo and Other Thoughts. And share it with your friends and family.

I've also posted this on Inquiry Into Islam here for sharing.

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How Do We Know if a Religion is Peaceful?

Friday

A Canadian professor of marketing has a blog on Psychology Today. His name is Dr. Gad Saad. In a recent blog post he asked the question, "How do we know if a religion is peaceful?" His article is well worth reading for a couple of reasons. First, it is published in a magazine that epitomizes political correctness and multiculturalism. And the analysis he lays out is brilliant, logical, unbiased, scientific, and published on a site that is about as far from being a counterjihad site as a site can be. Here is the article:

Suppose that I wanted to know whether Judaism permits the eating of pork. How would I go about answering this question? Would I look toward my Jewish friends to see whether they eat pork? Many of these individuals do not take kosher laws very seriously and as such I might come to the erroneous conclusion that since the majority of my Jewish friends eat pork, “moderate Judaism” has nothing to do with this food taboo. The correct approach in this case is to examine the relevant religious texts. The answer does not lie with individual Jews who may or may not adhere to the religiously sanctioned food taboo but in the religious edicts that define the practice of Judaism. Anecdotal evidence regarding your friend Solomon Goldstein’s love of pulled pork is utterly immaterial. Judaism forbids the consumption of pork. Jews who eat pork are doing so in violation of their religious teachings.

Reason and science allow us to properly think about the necessary data that are required in order to answer a given question. This is precisely why the scientific method is the most powerful framework for understanding the world. Given a research question or posited hypothesis, one must establish which data to collect and how to analyze it in order to weigh in on the matter.

This brings me to a topic that has become part of our collective conscience — namely, establishing whether a given religion is peaceful or not. Before we attempt to answer this question, let us examine another specific religion: Jainism. A central defining feature of this faith is the adherence of nonviolence toward living organisms. Practicing Jains who fully abide by this edict will walk with a broom and will sweep the floor prior to taking a step lest they might inadvertently kill a bug. If you know of a Jain who has been convicted of animal cruelty, this would not be indicative of the fact that Jainism permits such evil acts. Rather, the person in question is simply not following the teachings of his faith. Again, a scientific mind allows one to establish the relevant data needed to test a given hypothesis. Jainism preaches nonviolence even though a specific Jain might be violent.

If we wanted to establish the peaceful/violent nature of a religion, there are many sources of data that can be used to address this issue. Here are a few examples:

  1. We could examine the historical records since the founding of a given faith to establish the number of individuals that have been slain by its adherents (in the name of their faith). This would allow us for example to establish whether Christianity has yielded greater bloodshed than Jainism.
  2. We could delimit a given contemporary time period (e.g., the last 50 years) and tabulate the number of terrorist attacks that have been committed in the name of various faiths (see the University of Maryland's Global Terrorism Database). This would allow us to establish whether there have been a greater number of Christian-inspired anti-abortion attacks than, say, Jihadi-inspired attacks. The data are there. We simply need to collect them and conduct the proper analyses.
  3. We could identify various contemporary terror lists (e.g., the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist List) or governmental lists of terrorist organizations (see the Canadian government's list), and gauge the extent to which various faiths are represented as central elements of the terrorists' raison d'être. This would allow us to conduct the appropriate statistical analyses to answer the question: Do Mormon-inspired terrorists outnumber Judaism-inspired terrorists? No need for sophistry. Let the data speak.
There are innumerable other sources of data that one might use to establish a religion’s peaceful/violent credentials, but let me identify the most obvious one. If you wish to know the extent to which a religion preaches peace/violence, conduct the appropriate analyses on its religious texts. Social scientists have the precise methodology to answer such a question and it is known as content analysis.

Read the rest of the article (you will be pleasantly surprised at where this analysis leads), and please share it with your friends and family: How Do We Know if a Religion is Peaceful?

Contact information for Dr. Gad Saad:

John Molson School of Business
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West
Montreal, QC, CANADA
H3G 1M8

Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2900
Fax: (514) 848-4554
Email: gadsaad@jmsb.concordia.ca

Website: http://jmsb.concordia.ca/~GadSaad/

Twitter: @GadSaad

Blog: http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/homo-consumericus

Evolutionary Psychology in the Business Sciences (http://bit.ly/g2TfSj)

TED talks: http://bit.ly/egNuXr and http://bit.ly/12tewh7

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If Admitting a Mistake is Considered a Weakness, How Can Mistakes Ever Be Corrected?

Wednesday

FrontPage Magazine interviewed Nonie Darwish back in 2006, and she said some things about the Muslim world we should all remember. You can read the whole interview here: Now They Call Me Infidel. Darwish is an Arab Muslim from Egypt whose father was a terrorist martyr. Several of the questions and Darwish's answers were very good. Here are the ones I thought were the best:

FP: You describe how Arabs see a virtue in never admitting a mistake. To say the least, this kind of psychology necessitates pathology and the failure of a culture. No? Tell us about this mindset and its effects.

Darwish: The Arab culture is famous for its concept of pride. Image is very important and pride and shame are great motivators. Protecting the image of Muslims in front of the non-Muslim West is vital. Thus elaborate behavior is done to saving face.

Admitting to a mistake can bring terrible shame and is not regarded as a virtue; those who admit to mistakes are not rewarded for their honesty but ridiculed and shamed or even severely punished.

Until today most Muslims blame 9/11 on a Jewish conspiracy. The father of Muhammad Attah in Egypt, for 4 years denied that his son headed the 9/11 terror attack even when the whole world saw him checking into the airplane that slammed into the twin towers. Only recently Atta's father come out and admitted he is proud of what his son “the Shahid” (and not the terrorist) has done.

There are people in Arab jails right now who are accused of defaming Islam or their country in front of non-Muslims. This defamation can be a simple praise of Christians or Jews and of being critical of radical Islam. Fear of being accused of defaming one’s tribe, nation or religion leads to a culture that tends to blame others rather than look within.

The Judeo-Christian culture concentrates heavily on the concept of “we are all sinners and only through the grace of God we can be saved.” That is a big relief to the Western psyche. Muslim education views members of other religions as sinners; the infidel non-Muslim sinners can only be saved by announcing they are Muslims.

It is a prominent part of the Jewish faith to talk about God’s punishment when they are disobedient to God’s laws.

That honest admission by Jews is not viewed by Muslims as a virtue and a step towards self-improvement, but as an admission of wrongdoing and that Jews are bad and deserve God’s wrath; that is why to many Muslims Jews do not deserve land or a nation. “They themselves even admit that they are sinners,” I once heard a Muslim say.

There is also a concept in Islam called “taqiyya” which allows lying to non-Muslims if it is in the best interest of Islam. That concept is very deep in Muslim culture that we don't even think of the term “taqiyya” any more; it has simply penetrated every aspect of Muslim life. Because of it there is very little self-criticism.

Thus, saying sorry, admitting guilt or looking within for solutions is not a strong value; it will surely get a person in deep trouble instead. Such a person will bear the blunt of the blame for everything — even for what he did not do; thus you have Muslim denials and defensiveness over matters that many in the West cannot comprehend.

Muslims are in denial when they say that Muslim women have more rights than Western women; even many Muslim women convince themselves of that and defend Sharia Law rather than say the truth in front of the non-Muslim West.

Muslims are in denial when they say Israel is behind all Muslim terrorism across the globe, even 9/11; they are in denial when they say that Arab tyrants are the product of American foreign policy, but when America takes out Saddam, they say “you are interfering in our internal affairs.” That is why many Muslims say one thing to the West in English and the opposite to Arabs in Arabic.

Shaming is prominent in the Arab child. To avoid the intense pain of shaming, denying responsibility turns into a virtue to save face and protect one's pride.

The concept of “taqiyya” is one of the reasons many Muslims were silent after 9/11. Only a few were speaking out honestly and openly by admitting there is a problem in Muslim culture that needs to be examined and corrected. The few Arab Americans who did that where not rewarded for their honesty by their Muslim community; instead they were condemned, shunned and shamed by the majority of Muslims. They are doing everything they can to silence us. They do not want to get into Western-style dialog with us or debate us in the open.

We rarely see Muslim vs. Muslim debate and that is why when the brave Arab-American Dr. Wafaa Sultan, debated a Muslim cleric on Al Jazeera TV, it became international news. The thank you she got for her honesty by powerful radical Muslims was a Fatwa — a death warrant.

This explains and exposes the deep cultural need to even lie for self-preservation and protection. They don’t want an honest debate for reform from within; but they want to continue the lies to save face.

Very simply, Islamists do not want to admit to the world their jihadist agenda and their sympathy with terrorists. That is why they simply want to silence the opposition; a Danish cartoonist; the Pope; a Dutch filmmaker or politicians and the few Muslims and Arabs who dare to speak out.

Our crime is being honest and open about our culture, radical Islam and our wish for reformation. Even after leaving the Middle East and becoming US citizens we still carry the baggage of never admitting to a mistake and always blaming others such as the West or Israel for all internal problems of the Arab world.

This charade of denials and games has done nothing but keep the Muslim world in a permanent state of stagnation, turmoil and poverty despite all the wealth from oil.

FP: You discuss a crucial issue in how you noticed the hate being taught in the mosques when you got here. You also noticed the bizarre phenomenon of Muslims who hate America come to America to live, who live against American values and seek to destroy America through the liberty that America provides. Can you talk about this a bit?

Darwish: I moved to America in 1978 and was glad to leave the culture of jihad, dictatorships and police-states behind. I was looking forward to be part of America. But when I went to the local mosque, we were told not to assimilate in America; show your pride in Islam by being noticed as Muslims in America. Women were encouraged to wear Islamic clothes with pride even if Egyptians like myself have never covered their heads or wore Islamic clothes in Egypt.

To my surprise, I started seeing Egyptians and other Arabs getting radicalized right here in US mosques. We were told that Saudi Arabia is building all these mosques, sending their clerics from the most radical Muslim backgrounds and even sending the Friday sermons to such preachers directly from Saudi Arabia.

When I asked why are we building more mosques than the need of the American Muslim community, I was told we are here to fill them with Americans; to bring Islam to America and change America’s constitution to the Qur’an. I heard some say “congratulations, Europe is now dominated by Muslims; may God bless America with Islam too.”

When Louis Farrakhan was making anti-Semitic and anti-American comments, I heard some Arab-Americans who attend mosques regularly, say “Farrakhan is useful for the Arab cause.”

Some of the moderate Muslims that I knew started to gradually behave and act more radical. They only befriended other Muslims and criticized me for befriending and marrying an American. They rejected me when I refused to cover my head; something I have never done before. Even my mother and grandmother never covered their heads or wore Islamic clothes all their lives in Egypt.

Some even called Americans stupid or naïve for being such an open society. I then started seeing Muslim students becoming extremely active on college campuses while wearing their Islamic clothes with pride. I started noticing a rift between Muslims and the rest of America, and an attitude of “us against them.”

There seemed to be an attempt to push the envelope further and further every day by some new demand or complaint by radical Muslims in America. Some advocated taking advantage of loopholes in America’s open system and to further Muslim power.

Some radical Muslims and shady characters started coming to America and I often wondered why they were here. Why would they choose to live in a country they consider the “great Satan”? Why would they subject their children to the temptations of the West? It became clear to me that America was being flooded by radical Muslim clerics with a political rather than a religious agenda.

One shady character was Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman from Egypt. This man caused so many problems in Egypt and was a suspect in the assassination of President Anwar El Sadat. He fled Egypt to Sudan to cause more turmoil and trouble. From the Sudan he was able to get a visa from the American Embassy in Sudan. He came to the USA to preach in a New Jersey mosque.

Such preachers are often regarded as a joke and as extreme, even by moderate Muslims in Egypt, only to find themselves with new respectable status and freedoms they could only dream about under Muslim dictatorships. Such Muslim radical preachers should never have been allowed in America. But believe it or not they have discovered that only in America can they work the system to their advantage to demand this and that and if anyone criticizes them they learn the good old buzz words in America: racist, bigot and Islamophobia — the choice words they learned quickly from some Muslim-American organizations who claim to be moderate. These expressions represent realities that are a way of life in the old country where racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism are the norm. In America these individuals are finally free to spread their hatred, rage and subversion and cause a rift between Muslims and the rest of America.

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Occupation Without Tanks or Soldiers: European No-Go Zones

Saturday

The following was sent out in the latest ACT! for America email. It was written by Soeren Kern and originally published on the Gatestone Institute's website here. Islam's prime directive is to bring all people under the rule of Islamic law, which Islamic doctrine says is the only legitimate form of government. No-go zones are one way Muslims can fulfill this religious obligation.

Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims.

Many of the "no-go" zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.

The "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations.

In Britain, for example, a Muslim group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls "Londonistan" – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.

The Islamic Emirates Project names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule.

In the Tower Hamlets area of East London (also known as the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets), for example, extremist Muslim preachers, called the Tower Hamlets Taliban, regularly issue death threats to women who refuse to wear Islamic veils. Neighborhood streets have been plastered with posters declaring "You are entering a Sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced." And street advertising deemed offensive to Muslims is regularly vandalized or blacked out with spray paint.

In the Bury Park area of Luton, Muslims have been accused of "ethnic cleansing" by harassing non-Muslims to the point that many of them move out of Muslim neighborhoods. In the West Midlands, two Christian preachers have been accused of "hate crimes" for handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham. In Leytonstone in east London, the Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen heckled the former Home Secretary John Reid by saying: "How dare you come to a Muslim area."

In France, large swaths of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered "no-go" zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.

Muslim immigrants are taking control of other parts of France too. In Paris and other French cities with high Muslim populations, such as Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims are closing off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, are closing down local businesses and trapping non-Muslim residents in their homes and offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for Friday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of "Allahu Akbar" via loudspeakers into the streets.

The weekly spectacles, which have been documented by dozens of videos posted on Youtube.com (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and which have been denounced as an "occupation without tanks or soldiers," have provoked anger and disbelief. But despite many public complaints, local authorities have declined to intervene because they are afraid of sparking riots.

In the Belgian capital of Brussels (which is 20% Muslim), several immigrant neighborhoods have become "no-go" zones for police officers, who frequently are pelted with rocks by Muslim youth. In the Kuregem district of Brussels, which often resembles an urban war zone, police are forced to patrol the area with two police cars: one car to carry out the patrols and another car to prevent the first car from being attacked. In the Molenbeek district of Brussels, police have been ordered not to drink coffee or eat a sandwich in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

In Germany, Chief Police Commissioner Bernhard Witthaut, in an August 1 interview with the newspaper Der Westen, revealed that Muslim immigrants are imposing "no-go" zones in cities across Germany at an alarming rate.

The interviewer asked Witthaut: "Are there urban areas – for example in the Ruhr – districts and housing blocks that are "no-go areas," meaning that they can no longer be secured by the police?" Witthaut replied: "Every police commissioner and interior minister will deny it. But of course we know where we can go with the police car and where, even initially, only with the personnel carrier. The reason is that our colleagues can no longer feel safe there in twos, and have to fear becoming the victim of a crime themselves. We know that these areas exist. Even worse: in these areas crimes no longer result in charges. They are left 'to themselves.' Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture."

In Italy, Muslims have been commandeering the Piazza Venezia in Rome for public prayers. In Bologna, Muslims repeatedly have threatened to bomb the San Petronio cathedral because it contains a 600-year-old fresco inspired by Dante's Inferno which depicts Mohammed being tormented in hell.

In the Netherlands, a Dutch court ordered the government to release to the public a politically incorrect list of 40 "no-go" zones in Holland. The top five Muslim problem neighborhoods are in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. The Kolenkit area in Amsterdam is the number one Muslim "problem district" in the country. The next three districts are in Rotterdam – Pendrecht, het Oude Noorden and Bloemhof. The Ondiep district in Utrecht is in the fifth position, followed by Rivierenwijk (Deventer), Spangen (Rotterdam), Oude Westen (Rotterdam), Heechterp/ Schieringen (Leeuwarden) and Noord-Oost (Maastricht).

In Sweden, which has some of the most liberal immigration laws in Europe, large swaths of the southern city of Malmö – which is more than 25% Muslim – are "no-go" zones for non-Muslims. Fire and emergency workers, for example, refuse to enter Malmö's mostly Muslim Rosengaard district without police escorts. The male unemployment rate in Rosengaard is estimated to be above 80%. When fire fighters attempted to put out a fire at Malmö's main mosque, they were attacked by stone throwers.

In the Swedish city of Gothenburg, Muslim youth have been hurling petrol bombs at police cars. In the city's Angered district, where more than 15 police cars have been destroyed, teenagers have also been pointing green lasers at the eyes of police officers, some of whom have been temporarily blinded.

In Gothenburg's Backa district, youth have been throwing stones at patrolling officers. Gothenburg police have also been struggling to deal with the problem of Muslim teenagers burning cars and attacking emergency services in several areas of the city.

According to the Malmö-based Imam Adly Abu Hajar: "Sweden is the best Islamic state."

The article above was also posted on Inquiry Into Islam so you can share it more easily with your friends and family. Find it here.

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Are All "Extremists" Dangerous?

A Zen master is a Buddhist extremist. Zen masters, such as the late Shunryu Suzuki, shown in the picture here, try to practice Buddhism in its pure form. They try to do things the way Buddha did them, and they try to follow Buddha's teachings. They live austere lives devoted to meditation and teaching, just like Buddha did. They try to focus more on direct experience than in learning doctrines (something Buddha repeatedly stressed in his teachings). They try not to conceptualize too much. They get their students to learn about their own minds from long periods of meditation.

A Buddhist extremist cultivates a state of calmness and kindness, and cultivates the ability to keep her or his attention in in the present moment and not in the past, the future, or lost in thought.

These are Buddhist extremists.

If Zen devotees work hard, most of them will achieve a state of abiding inner peace and a profound and lasting feeling of kindness toward others.

Islamic extremists try to practice Islam in its pure form. They try to do things the way Muhammad did them, and they try to follow Muhammad's teachings. They live austere lives devoted to jihad. They don't sit around contemplating their navels. They prove their devotion with action. They try to make the law of Allah the supreme law of the world. They devote their lives to fulfilling the political goal of Islam, just as Muhammad dedicated his life to it, and just as Muhammad taught his followers to do.

An Islamic extremist cultivates hatred toward non-Muslims and works toward the day when all non-Muslims are either subjugated as dhimmis, converted to Islam, or dead.

These are Islamic extremists.

If Islamic devotees work hard, most of them will find themselves in some form of warfare with non-Muslims and ideally will be killed fighting in the way of Allah.

Are all extremists dangerous? Are all ideologies the same? Would it matter to you what kind of extremist you had as your neighbor? Would it matter to you what kind of extremist your children chose as close friends or heroes? Would it matter to you what kind of extremist your country allowed to immigrate to your country?

Can we please stop using the word "extremist" when we mean "devout Muslim" or "dedicated follower of Islamic doctrine?"

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No-Go Zones in France and the Inherent Danger of Muslim Devotion to Islamic Doctrine

Friday

Islam's prime directive is to bring the law of Allah (known as Sharia) to all people on earth. Sharia is the right way to live, according to Islamic doctrine, and all people should be subject to it. An orthodox Muslim is duty-bound to make it happen — using any means available. Peacefully if possible, but by force if necessary.

Therefore, a devout believer in Islamic doctrine must always try to gain territory that can be ruled by Islamic law until the whole world is Islamic. Then, according to Islamic orthodoxy, the world will be at peace. That is how even the bloodiest terrorists can say with sincerity that Islam is a religion of peace.

One of the ways this religious duty has been manifesting itself is the creation of "no-go zones." Soeren Kern of the Gatestone Institute wrote a comprehensive report on no-go zones in France. Below are excerpts from his report. You can (and should) read the whole thing here.


No-go zones are Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims due to a variety of factors, including the lawlessness and insecurity that pervades a great number of these areas. Host-country authorities have effectively lost control over many no-go zones and are often unable or unwilling to provide even basic public aid, such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services, out of fear of being attacked by Muslim youth.

Muslim enclaves in European cities are also breeding grounds for Islamic radicalism and pose a significant threat to Western security.

A graphic 20-minute documentary (in French) about the no-go zone in Clichy Montfermeil, a suburb of Paris, can be viewed here. At around the 3-minute mark, the video shows what happens when French police enter the area.

A 1.5 hour documentary (in French) produced by France's TF1 about Muslim gangs in Parisian no-go zones can be viewed here. A 50-minute documentary (in French) produced by France's TV3 about the no-go zones of Clos Saint-Lazare in northern Paris can be viewed here. A 45-minute documentary (in English) about the no-go zones of Marseilles can be viewed here.

A four-minute video of the most dangerous neighborhoods of France in 2014 can be viewedhere. A three-and-a-half-minute video of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Greater Paris Metropolitan Area can be viewed here. A two-minute video of a no-go zone in Lille can be viewed here. A five-minute video about life in the suburbs of Lyon can be viewed here.

A Russian television (Russia-1) documentary about no-go zones in Paris can be viewed here. The presenter says: "We are in Paris, the Barbès quarter, a few minutes from the famous Montmartre. Finding a European here is almost a mission impossible. Certain Paris streets remind one of an oriental bazaar." He continues: "The Paris banlieues have become criminal ghettoes where even the police dare not enter." Hidden cameras record widespread lawlessness and drug dealing in the area.

A 13-minute Hungarian television documentary (with English subtitles) about no-go zones in Paris can be viewed here.

A 120-page research paper entitled "No-Go Zones in the French Republic: Myth or Reality?" documented dozens of French neighborhoods "where police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order or even enter without risking confrontation, projectiles, or even fatal shootings."

Some of the most notorious no-go zone areas in France are situated in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, a northeastern suburb (banlieue) of Paris that has one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in France. The department is home to an estimated 600,000 Muslims (primarily from North and West Africa) out of a total population of 1.4 million.

Seine-Saint-Denis is divided into 40 administrative districts called communes (townships), 36 of which are on the French government's official list of "sensitive urban zones" or ZUS.

In October 2011, a landmark 2,200-page report, "Banlieue de la République" (Suburbs of the Republic) found that Seine-Saint-Denis and other Parisian suburbs are becoming "separate Islamic societies" cut off from the French state, and where Islamic Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law. The report said that Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and instead are immersing themselves in radical Islam.

The report — which was commissioned by the influential French think tank, L'Institut Montaigne — was directed by Gilles Kepel, a highly respected political scientist and specialist in Islam, together with five other French researchers.

The authors of the report showed that France — which now has 6.5 million Muslims (the largest Muslim population in European Union) — is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society.

The report also showed how the problem is being exacerbated by radical Muslim preachers, who are promoting the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in order to create a parallel Muslim society in France that is ruled by Sharia law.

A video showing a radical Islamic rally in Saint-Denis can be viewed here. A video showing radical Muslims commandeering a French bus amid screams of "Allahu Akbar!" (Allah is greater!) can be viewed here. A series of eight videos documenting Muslim street prayers in Paris can be viewed here. (Street prayers have now been outlawed.) A series of 25 videos documenting the Islamization of France can be viewed here.


The above excerpted version is also available on Inquiry Into Islam here for sharing with your friends and family.

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Reaching the As-Yet-Unreachable People

Tuesday

I've noticed Charlie Hebdo hasn't gotten as much criticism as I was expecting. The newspaper is critical of Islam, after all. If it was a newspaper devoted exclusively to criticizing Islam, it may have received less generous treatment in the press, and perhaps more of the they-got-what-they-deserved type of response.

Their gentler treatment by journalists is because Charlie Hebdo criticized everybody, made fun of everybody and every religion. Or so I've heard (somehow I doubt they made fun of Buddhists or Jains, but I don't know).

Anyway, this gave me an idea. Maybe a way to reach the people we've been having difficulty reaching is to share articles critical of Islam that are published on a website critical of every religion. In other words, let's say each article on a website criticizes a different religion. But the articles we choose to share are the ones critical of Islam. Non-religious people (or only vaguely religious people) might be more open to reading the criticism since it doesn't single out Islam — it isn't perceived as "unfairly picking on" one religion only.

To someone who isn't religious, a criticizer of all religions has more credibility when she or he criticizes Islam. It is seen as an "unbiased opinion."

And we don't have to create such web sites. They exist already. Sam Harris, Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins are outspoken critics of all religions, particularly Islam. They each have websites. On Facebook, Religion Hurts Humanity and Faithless Daughter are both often critical of Islam. Share their posts with the people you know who automatically think if you're critical of Islam you must be an anti-intellectual, a religious zealot, a racist or a bigot. Shake the foundations of their assumptions and open their minds to the real story about Islamic doctrine and Islamic history in a way they will really get it.

Or what about a website that criticizes different political ideologies, including Islam? We could then share an article from such a website with people, and they might read it because although the article criticizes Islam, the website criticizes any and all political systems.

Or what about a website that simply posts interesting pieces of history, like The Wilderness Years or Why Did President Jefferson Read the Koran? We've started one here: History is Fascinating. Such a website might cover history of all kinds, but the history pieces about Islam would be the ones we share with our friends.

For some people, fairness is a very central, fundamental value, and if they think the author of an article is being unfair, they won't read any further or will read with a bias against the author. But if they saw that the author or website criticizes everyone, like Charlie Hebdo did, their righteous minds may be willing to let in the information. People who highly value fairness can get behind intellectual criticism, and identify with it (like the woman in the picture above, holding a sign that says, "I am Charlie") in a way they can't get behind (or identify with) what seems like bigotry, xenophobia, or narrow mindedness to them. What do you think?

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Three Things About Islam

Saturday

Four years ago, a group of activists who call themselves The White Roses created a video entitled Three Things About Islam. It has now been viewed 2,722,216 times. The authors write, "Parts of the text (of our video) have been strongly inspired by the website, http://www.citizenwarrior.com." In case you haven't seen it, you can watch it on YouTube: Three Things About Islam. It's a great 8-minute introduction to Islam for your friends and family.

We've posted the video on Inquiry Into Islam here so you can share the video with your friends and family on a site that will give them more information about Islam.

Now, more than ever before, more people are willing to discover the true nature of Islam. This video can help.

You can read more about the video here:

About the Video "Three Things About Islam"

Full Transcript for the Video "Three Things About Islam"

And the good people at Islam Exposed have created a detailed list of links and references to support the statements in this video. See it here: 3 Things You Should Know About Islam.

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Another Version of "The Wilderness Years" Article to Share

Tuesday

We received an email today that prompted the creation of a new web site. I am publishing this email with the author's permission. The email said:

Thanks once again for the great information (The Wilderness Years).

I am making very good headway (because of the high quality of your information) in helping to inform my circle of friends to the threat of Islam.

I would like to send / post to my Facebook page this article and the tweaked version to other friends ...how can I do this as a stand alone article without the references to "Citizen Warrior" and "An inquiry into Islam?"

I am getting a good result with people if I take the approach of "softly softly" I am finding friends and family members very cautious regarding anything to do with Islam.

Everyday I am amazed at the difficulty people are having in grasping the issue.

In fact the attitude of denial which Churchill faced and is prevalent today with politicians / churchmen and the general public of all persuasions is possibly more interesting than the whole subject of Islam.

Regards,

Gordon A Cooper snr,

Australia

In response to Mr. Cooper's note, I created this: History is Fascinating. Share it at will. It was a good idea for the same reason that Inquiry Into Islam is useful (read more about that here). But this would allow you to share the article without it being immediately rejected because it seems anti-Islamic.

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The Wilderness Years

Monday

I just finished a book called Winston Churchill – The Wilderness Years: Speaking out Against Hitler in the Prelude to War. The term "wilderness years" refers to the span between 1929 and 1939 when Churchill was warning people about the danger of Naziism while the leaders of the UK, France, and the US were all busy disarming.

They were disarming because they thought since they had disarmed Germany (with the Treaty of Versaille), it was only fair for the rest of them to disarm too. That way, they thought, another cataclysmic war could not happen. The US, the UK, France, Russia, and others were drafting mutual agreements to destroy their own armaments, limit military service, restrict the size of their air forces, etc. Meanwhile, the Nazis ignored the Treaty and were furiously building their war capability in secret.

Churchill spoke out against universal disarmament, and he fell out of favor with the public and with his fellow politicians. He could see that the Nazis were militant, imperialistic and supremacist, and everyone could see they were gaining power. Churchill thought that disarming was the last thing the non-Germans should do. But almost everyone but Churchill felt that the first World War was so horrible that war must never happen again. Within this "logic," making weapons and building armies would be going in the wrong direction. It was considered "a provocation and a danger."

Churchill was well-versed in the history of war and saw that historically, the most reliable way to prevent a war had always been to be capable of winning a war (because it discourages others from starting conflicts). He believed in building strong alliances between a well-armed UK, France, and America, and he pushed for a pact between them that they would defend each other in the case of German aggression, but he failed to convince the politicians of any of those three countries that this was how they could make sure that Germany would not rearm and go on the offensive.

Before 1929, Churchill had been a successful, well-known and greatly respected politician. From 1929 until WW2 started, he was no longer popular with political leaders. He was labeled a "scaremonger," and in 1934 in the German press, Churchill was dismissed as "an incorrigible Germanophobe." That is a quote. I kid you not.

People in high office, including the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, believed Churchill's criticism of the Nazis made the Nazis more hostile. They thought Churchill saying that the Nazis were dangerous would push the Nazis to war. They just wanted Churchill to stop talking and go away.

The reason I thought this was interesting is because, of course, we are in our own wilderness years. The parallels are startling. We have several modern day Winston Churchills (and in fact, there were more people than only Churchill speaking out in his day too), but I would say our modern day Churchill, if I had to choose just one person, would be Geert Wilders. And the majority of today's European political leaders want Wilders to stop talking and go away too.

Churchill reached out to the general public, through newspapers and radio, just as Wilders is doing now. In The Wilderness Years, the author, Martin Gilbert, wrote:

Churchill sought in his regular newspaper articles to point out the dangers of disarmament to the general public; a public which was attracted by what Churchill believed to be the misguided and over simple appeal of the Disarmament Conferences at Geneva. In one such article he warned that the horror of war meant that people were now inclined to grasp at unrealistic platitudes, and to accuse those who warned of the true situation of "warmongering."

Hostility and violence are so horrible, people (then and now) are inclined to grasp at "unrealistic platitudes." In our day, for example, platitudes like, "Islam is a religion of peace, the violence is only perpetrated by a small minority of extremists, the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people," etc.

Churchill had such a grasp of the situation that he was constantly predicting what would happen, and it all came to pass just as he predicted, one thing after another. For example, many years before WW2 began, back in 1932, Churchill said this to the House of Commons:

All these bands of sturdy Teutonic youths, marching through the streets and roads of Germany, with the light of desire in their eyes to suffer for their Fatherland, are not looking for status. They are looking for weapons and, when they have the weapons, believe me they will then ask for the return of the lost territories and lost colonies, and when that demand is made, it cannot fail to shake and possibly shatter to their foundations every one of the countries I have mentioned (France, Belgium, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia) and some other countries I have not mentioned...

There were two main reasons Churchill was so accurate in his predictions: First, he knew a lot about the history of war. And second, he was willing to look. Most leaders of his day (and their constituents) didn't want war, so they didn't want it to be true that Hitler intended to start a war, so they didn't investigate to see if he was or not. And the British, French, and American leaders (and their constituents) of today are doing exactly the same thing about the threat posed by people motivated by Islamic doctrine.

Churchill urged the political leaders of his day to "tell the truth to the British people, they are a tough people and a robust people." And he said he couldn't remember a time "when the gap between the kind of words which statesmen used and what was actually happening in many countries was so great as it is now. The habit of saying smooth things and uttering pious platitudes and sentiments to gain applause, without relation to the underlying facts, is more pronounced now than it has ever been..."

The author, Martin Gilbert, wrote that Churchill's speech held the House of Commons spellbound, but "the warnings with which is was laced seemed to many MPs (Members of Parliament) to be far-fetched and alarmist." Sound familiar? Hitler must have been so pleased to see Churchill marginalized and ignored. "Even after the rise of Hitler," writes Gilbert, "even after his strident demands for arms and for territory, the Disarmament Conference had remained in session with Nazi German delegates sitting as bemused observers." I imagine many Muslim leaders today must be just as bemused when world leaders from free countries assert so emphatically that Islam means peace.

Even as late as June 1935, in a ballot organized by the League of Nations Union, votes in favor of universal disarmament outnumbered votes against.

"We ought not to deal in humbug." said Churchill. "It is no kindness to this country to stir up and pay all this lip service in the region of unrealities, and get a cheap cheer because you have said something which has not ruffled anyone..."

Churchill said that all the "soothing-syrup" talk was dangerous because "unless the people know the truth, one day they are going to have a very surprising awakening." Gilbert writes:

Despite his political and Parliamentary isolation, Churchill determined to fight the apathy which he believed had been created by a combination of active German propaganda and British Government weakness. He resolved to use his considerable powers — of speech and expression — to try to avert the catastrophe to civilization which in his view would be inevitable if Nazi dictatorship were allowed to dominate Europe.

That is what we must resolve to do. To counter the apathy, brought on by Muslim propaganda and the weakness of our political leaders, to avert the catastrophe that would be inevitable if unrestricted Muslim immigration and concessions to Muslim pressure to Islamize our countries is allowed to continue.

Gilbert writes, "Churchill's forecasts were the opposite of exaggerated, as events were to show. But these forecasts were widely dismissed as alarmist." Not entirely, however. There were others besides Churchill who understood. One was the head of the Central Department of the Foreign Office, Ralph Wigram, who wrote a memorandum in 1934 detailing the growing military capability of Germany and what it would mean. One of his comments reminded me of Raymond Ibrahim's Rule of Numbers: Wigram warned that if Germany's growing strength were allowed to continue, they would feel themselves "sufficiently armed to secure compliance" with their demands. "Instead of emitting protests and airing grievances," wrote Wigram, "Germany will make demands and assert rights."

Ibrahim says that as the percentage of Muslims increases within a country, they display more openly Islamic behavior. In other words, they transition from emitting protests and airing grievances to making demands and asserting rights. And organizing displays of unity and strength. And rioting. And killing.

Wigram and Churchill were in close communication. They knew that the general public was not aware of the danger they were in. Wigram said, in an internal Foreign Office note that the main problem was how to "grapple with 15 years of 'unreality.'" The people in charge, the people who should have known better, had been trying to keep the public unaware of the growing threat of the Nazis — ignoring it, downplaying it, and lying about it.

We're in the same boat today. When you talk to your friends and family about the dedicated followers of Islamic doctrine, you are likely to have to grapple with 15 years (or more) of unreality. In a debate in the House of Commons in May 1935, Churchill laid out the problem facing all of us. Gilbert writes:

During the debate, Churchill told his fellow MPs: "When the situation was manageable, it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply, too late, the remedies which then might have effected a cure." There was, he added, nothing new in that story: it was as old as the Sibylline books of classical legend. It fell into what Churchill now called "that long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience, and the confirmed unteachability of mankind."

Angered that his warnings, as well as his suggestions in 1933 and 1934, had been dismissed as alarmist and ignored until too late, Churchill told the House of Commons: "Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong, these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history."

Churchill ended his speech, however, with words which foreshadowed his oratory of the Second World War, telling the House of Commons: "Never must we despair, never must we give in, but we must face facts and draw true conclusions from them."

As bleak as Churchill's recounting of history seems, he still kept speaking up. If he hadn't, things would have been much worse. The same counsel should warn us today. The admission that history repeats itself is not an endorsement of giving up on the goal. During these wilderness years we must continue to try to educate our fellow non-Muslims, regardless of how repugnant they find our message. We must try to find a way to get them to understand, using small bits of information, or by coming at the subject obliquely, or any of a number of tactical approaches, but we must continue to try. We must never despair. We must never give in.

And we must support and encourage people like Geert Wilders (and even Bill Maher) who speak honestly and publicly about Islam.

In an article published in 1935, Churchill tried to draw the public's attention to the content of Adolf Hitler's book, Mein Kampf. He referred to the "ferocious doctrines" of Naziism and the way these doctrines were applied "with brutal vigour."

And while the politicians were still arguing with Churchill, the general public had begun to awaken. Even as he grew more unpopular with politicians, Churchill became increasingly popular with British, American, and French citizens. Just as is happening today with Geert Wilders.

In Germany, the government officially protested Churchill's vilification of their leader. The British Ambassador reported from Berlin that the tone of Churchill's article was strongly resented by the German officials. Given what the Nazis were already doing (breaking international treaties, persecuting Jews, killing dissenters, etc.), it seems amazing that they would have the gall to officially protest, but don't we see the same arrogance from many Muslim leaders today? The nature of supremacism prevents a healthy concern for basic human standards or the opinions of others. The Nazi doctrines said Aryans were better than other people, just as Islamic doctrines say Muslims are better than anyone else. This perceived superiority creates an arrogance that is hard to fathom by the rest of us.

In March of 1936, three years before WW2 started, German troops crossed into the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland and occupied its towns. Hitler accompanied this treaty violation with a proposal for a non-aggression pact. Hitler's proposal, said Churchill, "provided comfort for everyone on both sides of the Atlantic who wanted to be humbugged."

Because of the general attitude of appeasement by the British toward the Nazi expansion, Wigram and Churchill knew what would inevitably happen. Wigram's wife wrote to Churchill that when her husband saw the news of the occupation of the Rhineland and the weak response of the British government, he "sat down in a corner of the room where he had never sat before, and said to me, 'War is now inevitable, and it will be the most terrible war there has ever been...All my work these many years has been no use. I am a failure. I have failed to make the people here (in Britain) realize what is at stake...I have not been able to make the people here understand."

Meanwhile, the French, British and American people didn't know what to make of Germany's growing militancy and were given very little information from their governments, so a group of concerned citizens formed a grassroots organization to fill that void, and they wanted Churchill involved. He readily agreed. Their goal was to educate the public about Naziism. Their slogan was simple: "Nazi Germany is the enemy of civilization."

At a meeting of the Anti-Nazi Council a month later, Churchill gave a speech and urged the members to include everyone, from "the humblest workman" to "the most bellicose colonel" so they could (and must) all work together to resist Nazi aggression. Churchill embarked on a speaking campaign to get the message across.

Churchill's cousin, Lord Londonderry, criticized him for his "anti-German obsession."

Do some of your family members think you have an anti-Muslim obsession? This kind of misunderstanding is a fairly common side-effect of working to prevent Islamization.

In a speech in 1936, Churchill spoke to his constituents. As Gilbert writes:

"I have done my best," he said, "during the last three years and more to give timely warning of what was happening abroad, and of the dangerous plight into which we were being led or lulled." It had not, Churchill said, been "a pleasant task. It has certainly been a very thankless task." It had, he said, brought him into conflict "with many former friends and colleagues." He had been "mocked and censured as a scare-monger and even as a warmonger, by those whose complacency and inertia have brought us all nearer to war and war nearer to us all." But at least, he concluded, he had the "comfort of knowing" that he had "spoken the truth" and done his duty.

Let us resolve that we, too, will have the same comfort of knowing we spoke the truth (effectively) and did what we could, regardless of what eventually happens.

The mainstream media may, by and large, work against us. That was also true in Churchill's time. The editor of The Times (one of the major British newspapers) wrote in a private letter to a friend in 1937 that he was distressed that the Germans didn't seem to like him. "I spend my nights in taking out anything which I think will hurt their susceptibilities, and in dropping in little things which are intended to soothe them."

Churchill was doing something entirely different. He was trying to warn his fellow British citizens of the dangers of Naziism. He was vilified in the German press as an enemy of Germany. "I can quite understand," said Churchill, "that this action of mine would not be popular in Germany. Indeed, it was not popular anywhere."

Our actions are not popular either. But when the wilderness years are over, we will all be vindicated. In fact, now and then you might enjoy some vindication already when a friend who originally argued with you eventually changes his mind as the unfolding events in the world make him realize the validity of your understanding.

It's hard to believe, but even as late as 1937 there was a strong and growing pro-German feeling in Britain, even after Hitler took possession of the Rhineland. People were confused. They didn't know what to think. German propaganda was working and people were thinking maybe if they let Hitler have what he wanted (Austria and Czechoslovakia) Hitler would then be peaceful and cause no more trouble.

Churchill did his best to combat these mistaken notions. In 1937 alone, he wrote and published more than 100 articles. "Churchill had no intention," wrote Gilbert, "of giving up his faith in the eventual re-emergence of Britain's will to resist." His articles were being syndicated and read throughout Europe and America.

Several of Churchill's closest friends disagreed with his "negative" point of view about Naziism. They believed Hitler wanted to be friends with Britain and would cooperate in peace. Churchill knew better. Hitler had written and published his intentions years before (in his book, Mein Kampf). And all his actions demonstrated that he meant what he wrote.

People who met Hitler personally were quite sure they understood him and knew he was sincere and wanted peace. This is similar to saying, "I know Islam is peaceful because I know this Muslim and he's really nice." As if charm and good people skills cannot exist in someone with destructive intentions. Hitler didn't drink and didn't smoke. He was kind to his valet and some people who knew him well loved him. And he also started a world war and deliberately tried to exterminate an entire race.

March 12, 1938, German troops invaded Austria. Eight months later, Neville Chamberlain and his Cabinet were still trying to make friends with Germany, and Churchill was "in danger of losing even his own Parliamentary seat," writes Gilbert, "for inside his local Conservative constituency, pressure had been growing to replace him with someone who would support Chamberlain. Even one of Churchill's oldest constituency stalwarts was disturbed by Churchill's speech during the Munich debate, complaining that it was believed to have broken up 'the harmony of the House.' On 4 December 1938 Churchill was forced to defend himself when Colin Thornton-Kemsley, hitherto one of Churchill's staunchest constituency supporters attacked him, and strongly defended Chamberlain's policy of seeking friendship with Germany."

In February 1939 Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of Britain, wrote to his sister that he felt lighthearted because things were moving in the direction he wanted: toward disarmament. A month later he told press correspondents that Europe was now "settling down to a period of tranquility." Britain and France had agreed to allow Germany to occupy part of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain was confident that everyone would now be able to live in peace. Four days after Chamberlain's comments to the press, Hitler ordered his troops to mass on the borders of what was left of Czechoslovakia. A few days later, Germany had full control of the Czech capital.

Was this, wondered Chamberlain aloud, an attempt to "dominate the world by force?" Had he bothered to read Mein Kampf, he wouldn't be wondering and history may have unfolded quite differently. Every time Muslims today blow up a subway or massacre cartoonists, more and more people wonder, "is this an attempt to dominate the world by force?" If they would bother to read the Koran, they wouldn't be wondering.

The Germans couldn't believe that Churchill was excluded from the government. Hitler's Financial Secretary, Count Schwerin von Krosigk, who apparently didn't like where his country was headed, told two British diplomats, "Take Winston Churchill into the Cabinet. Churchill is the only Englishman Hitler is afraid of." Writes Gilbert:

The mere fact of giving Churchill a Ministerial post, von Krosigk added, would convince Hitler that Britain really means "to stand up to him." An account of this conversation was also sent to Lord Halifax with the observation that Churchill's inclusion in the Cabinet might actually avert war as Hitler would realize Britain meant to resist further aggression.

I want you to remember this: Providing information is powerful. Churchill was no longer a soldier. He didn't command armies. All he did was speak and write. And he was the only Englishman Hitler feared. Why? He spoke the truth and saw through Hitler's lies. The truth is formidable and consequential, and always has been.

Finally, unable to sugarcoat the reality of the situation any longer, Britain signed a formal Treaty of Alliance with Poland, which said if Poland was attacked, Britain would defend her. Shortly after that, on September 1st, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Two days later, Britain declared war on Germany and World War Two began. That day in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill addressed the MPs. Even though Churchill had been a "backbencher, out of office, and out of favor for the past decade...all those who listened to him recognized the voice of a man of stature, and of integrity...The wilderness years were over."

Churchill always knew that WW2 could have been prevented if people had listened. He considered his rise to Prime Minister as a failure. If he had been successful in his efforts, the war would have been prevented and he wouldn't have been needed as Prime Minister. But his efforts were not wasted. What Churchill and Wigram achieved, as Gilbert put it, "was a gradual and total acceptance by the British people that Hitlerism was evil and would ultimately have to be resisted."

It's important that you keep talking to people about Islam, even if your friends and family don't like it. I know it's hard. Even Churchill — arguably one of the best orators in history — found it difficult to get through to people. Nobody wants to believe a horrible truth. So we must make it as easy to listen to as possible, using all the tools at our disposal, and never stop trying.

Thanks in part to new ways of communication (the internet, blogging, social media), the counterislamization movement may ultimately be more successful than the counterhitlerism movement was. For all our sakes, I certainly hope so.

We've made a version of this article for you to share which we have tweaked for the general public (edited for those as yet unacquainted with Islam and perhaps skeptical of your warnings about it), which you can find here: Is the Modern Counterjihad Movement Similar to Winston Churchill's Anti-Nazi Movement?

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The History of Islamic Violence, Enslavement, and Ransom is Important for People to Know About

Yesterday I was talking with some of my fellow co-workers on a break and we were talking about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. One of them said, "The French brought this on themselves, you know."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

He said, "Algiers used to be a French colony, so of course, a lot of the Muslims there could speak French, and since it was a colony, the French said anybody from Algiers could move to France. So now they have a huge Muslim population."

I thought this was a good opportunity to add some history. I think Islam's contact with the West down through history is important for people to know because many people still think of Islamic "extremism" as a modern phenomenon. Whenever someone brings up a recent news story involving Islamic violence, I try to think of some way to add a little historical context. So I asked, "Do you know why Algiers became a French colony? It's an interesting story."

Everyone likes an interesting story. I was talking to three people. I had their attention. "Have you ever heard of the Barbary Coast Pirates?" I was surprised when everybody said no. "They were Muslim countries along the Mediterranean coast of north Africa — Tunisia, Algiers, Morocco, and Tripoli (now known as Libya) — that captured ships doing business in the Mediterranean and took the ship, stole the cargo on board, and sold the crew into slavery. They did this for hundreds of years. And when a country complained, they said, 'If you pay us a yearly tribute, we will not attack ships from your country.' Many countries paid this tribute. It was cheaper than war. And paying the tribute effectively allowed them to harass their fellow European countries (their economic competitors) without being blamed for it. The United States didn't have a navy to protect their merchant ships, so they paid the tribute too.

"Of course all this tribute money made the Barbary Pirates more powerful. But when Jefferson became president, the U.S. built a navy and defeated Tripoli. It was the beginning of the end of the whole Barbary racket. Eventually the British, the Dutch and the French brought their own navies to bear on the Barbary coast, and the pirate raiding by these Muslim countries slowed down. Algiers was the last one still doing it, so France completely conquered Algiers and made it into a colony."

Sometimes I get on a roll, and while I had them all in rapt attention, something else occurred to me. "Do you know why Jefferson was so decisive about this? That's another interesting story."

None of them knew the answer and they all looked like they wanted to know, so I said, "Back before he was President, he was an ambassador to France and he found an opportunity to speak with the ambassador from Tripoli, and he asked him, 'Why does your country attack our ships? We have no hostility with your nation.'

"The Tripoli ambassador was honest. He said, 'It is written in our Koran that we must attack and enslave any country that doesn't acknowledge the sanctity of our Prophet.'

"After that conversation, Jefferson bought a Koran and read it. And he realized that there is no bargaining with these people. There is no such thing as peaceful coexistence or mutually beneficial commerce unless you come to them from a position of power. So when he became president, he put a stop to the tribute for good by force."

At this point, we had to get back to work, so the conversation ended.

Telling interesting historical facts like this, without being too heavy-handed with the Islamic doctrine, allows people to slowly come to realize the truth about Islam, without me ever getting into an argument with them about it. They come to their own conclusions. Historical tidbits like these make the task a whole lot easier.

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Why Islam Creates Monsters

Sunday

The following is written by Dr. Nicolai Sennels, a Danish psychologist who studied young criminal Muslims in a Copenhagen prison and compared them to non-Muslim criminals in the same prison.

Window at Charlie Hebdo
Psychopathic people and behaviour are found within all cultures and religions. But one tops them all — by many lengths. The daily mass killings, terror, persecutions and family executions committed by the followers of Islam are nauseating, and the ingenuity behind the attacks — always looking for new and more effective ways of killing and terrorising people — is astonishing: hijacking jumbo jets and flying them into skyscrapers, hunting unarmed and innocent people with grenades and automatic rifles in shopping malls, planting bombs in one’s own body, using model airplanes as drones, attaching large rotating blades to pickup trucks and using them as human lawn mowers, killing family members with acid or fire, hanging people publicly from cranes in front of cheering crowds, etc. It makes one ask oneself: what creates such lack of empathy and almost playful and creative attitude towards murdering perceived enemies?

This is a question for psychologists like me.

Studying the Muslim mind

Nobody is born a mass murderer, a rapist or a violent criminal. So what is it in the Muslim culture that influence their children in a way that make so relatively many Muslims harm other people?

As a psychologist in a Danish youth prison, I had a unique chance to study the mentality of Muslims. 70 percent of youth offenders in Denmark have a Muslim background. I was able to compare them with non-Muslim clients from the same age group with more or less the same social background. I came to the conclusion that Islam and Muslim culture have certain psychological mechanisms that harm people’s development and increase criminal behaviour.

I am, of course, aware that Muslims are different, and not all Muslims follow the Quran’s violent and perverted message and their prophet’s equally embarrassing example. But as with all other religions, Islam also influences its followers and the culture they live in.

One could talk about two groups of psychological mechanisms, that both singly and combined increase violent behaviour. One group is mainly connected with religion, which aims at indoctrinating Islamic values in children as early as possible and with whatever means necessary, including violence and intimidation. One can understand a Muslim parent’s concern about his offspring’s religious choices, because the sharia orders the death penalty for their children, should they pick another religion than their parents. The other group of mechanisms are more cultural and psychological. These cultural psychological mechanisms are a natural consequence of being influenced by a religion like Islam and stemming from a 1,400 year old tribal society with very limited freedom to develop beyond what the religion allows.

Classical brainwashing methods in the upbringing

Brainwashing people into believing or doing things against their own human nature — such as hating or even killing innocents they do not even know — is traditionally done by combining two things: pain and repetition. The conscious infliction of psychological and physical suffering breaks down the person’s resistance to the constantly repeated message.

Totalitarian regimes use this method to reform political dissidents. Armies in less civilized countries use it to create ruthless soldiers, and religious sects all over the world use it to fanaticize their followers.

During numerous sessions with more than a hundred Muslim clients, I found that violence and repetition of religious messages are prevalent in Muslim families.

Muslim culture simply does not have the same degree of understanding of human development as in civilized societies, and physical pain and threats are therefore often the preferred tool to raise children. This is why so many Muslim girls grow up to accept violence in their marriage, and why Muslim boys grow up to learn that violence is acceptable. And it is the main reason why nine out of ten children removed from their parents by authorities in Copenhagen are from immigrant families. The Muslim tradition of using pain and intimidation as part of disciplining children are also widely used in Muslim schools — also in the West.

Combined with countless repetitions of Quranic verses in Islamic schools and families, all this makes it very difficult for children to defend themselves against being indoctrinated to follow the Quran, even if it is against secular laws, logic, and the most basic understanding of compassion.

And as we know from so many psychological studies, whatever a child is strongly influenced by at that age takes an enormous personal effort to change later in life. It is no wonder that Muslims in general, in spite of Islam’s inhumane nature and obvious inability to equip its followers with humor, compassion and other attractive qualities, are stronger in their faith than any other religious group.

Four enabling psychological factors

Not only does a traditional Islamic upbringing resemble classical brainwashing methods, but also, the culture it generates cultivates four psychological characteristics that further enable and increase violent behaviour.

These four mental factors are anger, self-confidence, responsibility for oneself and intolerance.

When it comes to anger, Western societies widely agree that it is a sign of weakness. Uncontrolled explosions of this unpleasant feeling are maybe the fastest way of losing face, especially in Northern countries, and though angry people may be feared, they are never respected. In Muslim culture, anger is much more accepted, and being able to intimidate people is seen as strength and source of social status. We even see ethnic Muslim groups or countries proudly declare whole days of anger, and use expressions such as “holy anger” — a term that seems contradictory in peaceful cultures.

In Western societies, the ability to handle criticism constructively if it is justified, and with a shrug if it is misguided, is seen as an expression of self-confidence and authenticity. As everyone has noticed, this is not the case among Muslims. Here criticism, no matter how true, is seen as an attack on one’s honor, and it is expected that the honor is restored by using whatever means necessary to silence the opponent. Muslims almost never attempt to counter criticism with logical arguments; instead, they try to silence the criticism by pretending to be offended or by name-calling, or by threatening or even killing the messenger.

The third psychological factor concerns responsibility for oneself, and here the psychological phenomenon “locus of control” plays a major role. People raised by Western standards generally have an inner locus of control, meaning that they experience their lives as governed by inner factors, such as one’s own choices, world view, ways of handling emotions and situations, etc. Muslims are raised to experience their lives as being controlled from the outside. Everything happens “insha’ Allah” — if Allah wills — and the many religious laws, traditions and powerful male authorities leave little room for individual responsibility. This is the cause for the embarrassing and world-famous Muslim victim mentality, where everybody else is blamed and to be punished for the Muslims’ own self-created situation.

Finally, the fourth psychological factor making Muslims vulnerable to the violent message in the Quran concerns tolerance. While Western societies in general define a good person as being open and tolerant, Muslims are told that they are superior to non-Muslims, destined to dominate non-Muslims, and that they must distance themselves socially and emotionally from non-Muslims. The many hateful and dehumanising verses in the Quran and the Hadiths against non-Muslims closely resemble the psychological propaganda that leaders use against their own people in order to prepare them mentally for fighting and killing the enemy. Killing another person is easier if you hate him and do not perceive him as fully human.

Why Islam creates monsters

The cultural and psychological cocktail of anger, low self-esteem, victim mentality, a willingness to be blindly guided by outer authorities, and an aggressive and discriminatory view toward non-Muslims, forced upon Muslims through pain, intimidation and mind-numbing repetitions of the Quran’s almost countless verses promoting hate and violence against non-Muslims, is the reason why Islam creates monsters.

The psychological problem within Islam

The problem with Islam and Muslim culture is that there are so many psychological factors pushing its followers towards a violent attitude against non-Muslims that a general violent clash is — at least from a psychological perspective — inevitable. With such strong pressure and such strong emotions within such a large group of people — all pitched against us — we are facing the perfect storm, and I see no possibilities of turning it around. For people to change, they have to want it, to be allowed to change, and to be able to change — and only a tiny minority of Muslims have such lucky conditions.

Far too many people underestimate the power of psychology embedded in religion and culture. As we have already seen, no army of social workers, generous welfare states, sweet-talking politicians, politically correct journalists or democracy-promoting soldiers can stop these enormous forces. Sensible laws on immigration and Islamisation in our own countries can limit the amount of suffering, but based on my education and professional experience as a psychologist for Muslims, I estimate that we will not be able to deflect or avoid this many-sided, aggressive movement against our culture.

I do believe that we, as a democratic and educated society can become focused and organised concerning the preservation of our values and constitutions, can win this ongoing conflict started by the often inbred followers of sharia. The big question is how much of our dignity, our civil rights, and our blood, money and tears will we lose in the process.

Read more by Dr. Nicolai Sennels here.

Read more...

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