Bishops, Bigots, and Ben Affleck

An exchange about Islam that took place recently on Real Time with Bill Maher helps to crystallize what’s wrong with many discussions about Islam and terrorism. Maher and fellow atheist Sam Harris took one side of the debate. Actor Ben Affleck, columnist Nicholas Kristof, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele took the other.

I don’t usually find myself in agreement with Maher and Harris, but this time, it was the atheists who made sense.

Maher made the point that liberals, if they are to be consistent, must criticize Islam’s illiberal principles. Harris said, “We have to be able to criticize bad ideas. And Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.”

Affleck did not respond in kind. His remarks were along the lines of “It’s gross! It’s racist,” and “Jesus! It’s an ugly thing to say.” For his part, Kristof suggested that what Maher and Harris said had a “tinge … of how white racists talk about African-Americans.”

In defense of their criticism of Islam, Maher and Harris produced a number of statistics, including polls showing that a majority of Muslims in various countries supported the harsher aspects of sharia law. And Affleck and Kristof? They produced the race card, the emotion card, and the moral superiority card. They didn’t have any arguments, but they did have feelings and fashionable attitudes.

For example, it’s fashionable to call people racists when you disagree with them, but in this case race was completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. What race is Islam? Muslims are not a race. They can be Caucasians, Chinese, black Africans, or Filipinos. In fact, the vast majority of Muslims are not Arabs. The largest Muslim populations are in Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. Maher and Harris were talking about ideas, not races. At one point, Harris explained, “It’s not condemning people, it’s ideas.” Nevertheless, Affleck was determined that it must be about people. To much audience applause, he asserted:

How about the more than a billion people [Muslims] who aren’t fanatical, who don’t punish women, who want to go to school … and don’t do any of the things you’re saying of all Muslims. It’s stereotyping.

Liberals like Affleck don’t usually worry about stereotyping when it comes to Catholicism. During the priest abuse scandals, the liberal media took every opportunity to implicate the whole Catholic faith because of the crimes of a few. None of the guilty priests claimed that what they did was done for the sake of the Church, but somehow their actions were deemed to be the result of Catholic teachings about sex, or women priests, or celibate clergy, or … something. On the other hand, when a Muslim beheads someone in the name of Allah, the same liberal media is quick to absolve Islam and its teachings from any connection to the crime.

In any event, Affleck was once again missing the point. Maher and Harris weren’t saying that all Muslims were bad people; they were saying that Islam contained a lot of bad ideas—ideas which have inspired many to commit acts of terror. It would have made sense for Affleck to try and make the case that Islam doesn’t condone violence and that terrorists are misunderstanders, but he chose instead to take the easy route of leveling emotion-laden charges against his host.

As Jeffrey Lord points out in The American Spectator, Affleck and Kristof were framing the debate as a racial-civil rights issue and thus playing on all the emotions that the civil rights struggle still evokes. But the analogy doesn’t hold up, says Lord. Maher and Harris were criticizing Islamists and the ideology that motivates them. And the Islamists of today, says Lord, should not be compared to the black victims of lynchings and church bombings, but rather to the segregationists who committed these crimes:

What is the difference between all those Klan lynchings and the horrendous murder of “non-believers” in Islam committed by jihadists? One group committed its crimes in the name of racial superiority, and the other today commits its savage acts in the name of religious superiority.

Yet Affleck and company preferred to think of Muslims as victims of discrimination. What kind of discrimination? Maher and Harris said nothing disparaging about Muslims per se, and they weren’t denying the right of Muslims to vote or sit at lunch counters. What then? By conflating all Muslims with Islamic beliefs, Affleck was, in effect, positing a new civil right—the right not to have your beliefs criticized.

It’s not actually a new idea. This new civil right—freedom from criticism—has been on the drawing boards for a long while. For more than a decade, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has been pushing the UN to create laws that would criminalize the defamation of a prophet. The campaign seems to be bearing fruit. Just recently, a street preacher in Taunton, England was charged with “religious aggravation” for comparing Muhammad unfavorably with Jesus. In a similar case in Austria two years ago, Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was found guilty and fined for having pointed out in a seminar that Muhammad led a less-than-perfect life. She was charged with “denigration of an officially recognized religion.”

What the UK preacher and Sabaditsch-Wolff had to say about Muhammad was entirely factual, but in the brave new age of emotional sensitivity, truth is no defense against charges of bigotry. Ironically, Sabaditsch-Wolff is one of the true civil rights champions of our time. Like other prominent critics of sharia law, she has fought for the civil rights of women in Islamic societies who—as all but the most obtuse know—are treated in much the same way as blacks in the Jim Crow era.

That we want to arrest such people rather than hail them attests to the low level of discourse about Islam in Western societies. The big civil rights story of our time is the unjust treatment accorded to women, children, and minorities in Muslim societies. But to point to it is to court charges of bigotry, racism, and Islamophobia. For too many progressives, it’s too much trouble to make the mental adjustment and realize that the world has a new civil rights crisis on its hands. They prefer to think that we are still fighting the battles of the sixties—battles that were won a long time ago.

This nostalgia for past struggles seems to characterize a good many Catholic leaders as well. Times have changed, but many bishops seem to live mentally in the days when Christian clerics marched arm-in-arm with civil rights leaders. Consequently, they tend to be suckers for any kind of civil rights pitch. Islamic leaders understand this mindset, and it’s no coincidence that Muslim activist groups in America frame their own causes as civil rights issues. Considering that their main goal is the imposition of sharia law, that’s no mean feat. But the American Islamists seem to have pulled it off. To read the literature of CAIR, ISNA, and similar groups, you would get the impression that their only goal is to ensure the full participation of Muslims in American society. There is a lot of boilerplate on their websites about the threat of discrimination against Muslims in the U.S., but nothing about the actual discrimination against women and minorities in Muslim lands (although the ISNA website has a pro forma statement condemning “terrorism” and “extremism” and praising “moderation,” “inclusiveness,” and “diversity”).

The idea of being part of the latest civil rights movement has great appeal to the many Christians who see the pursuit of social justice as their main mission. Only, in line with Islamic priorities, they seem most concerned with those justice issues that are deemed important by Muslim activists. Nowadays, the main issue of concern to the Muslim “civil rights” groups is Islamophobia. Technically, that term means an irrational fear of Islam but in reality, any criticism of Islam, whether rational or irrational, will put you on the Islamophobe list. In effect, the campaign against Islamophobia is really a demand that Islam be free from criticism.

Some Christian leaders seem happy to take up the cause. Thus, when Archbishop Daniel Madden, the Chairman of the Interreligious Affairs Committee of the USCCB, issued a statement on the Islamist State’s persecution of Christians and Yazidis, his main takeaway was that we must be extra-vigilant to guard against Islamophobia. The bishop didn’t say so in as many words, but the clear implication of his message was that if we don’t stop with the Islamophobia, we will become just like ISIS, and the next thing you know we’ll be beheading Muslims in the streets of New York: “The one lesson we should take away from these recent horrors [of the Islamic State] is the danger posed to the whole human family whenever any minority, religious or otherwise, is perceived as an evil or threat.” Consequently, he writes, Christians should be careful not to use “our religion as an excuse for slander, bigotry, or other inhospitable acts.”

That’s the one lesson? That we have to guard against bigotry? How about guarding against Islamist groups that are inspired by Islamic theology? But, as Bishop Madden assures his readers, Islamic violence has nothing to do with Islam—“the religion many people automatically (and wrongly) blame for this violence.”

In the wake of major terror attacks, groups like CAIR and ISNA reliably issue perfunctory statements condemning terrorism along with more strongly worded warnings about the threat of Islamophobia and the danger of backlash against the Muslim community. That a Catholic bishop responds in the exact same way indicates a certain lack of independent thought on his part.

This is about par for statements issued by the USCCB’s Interreligious Affairs Committee, and it suggests that its members are looking at Islam through the lens of Civil Rights Era issues that have very little to do with current problems. Casting a critical eye on Islamic ideas should not be equated with “bigotry” or “slander.” In fact, looking critically at Islam ought to be part of the committee’s job description. It’s one thing for Ben Affleck to cry “racist” against critics of Islam on an infotainment talk show. It’s another thing altogether when bishops resort to the same tactics. We have a right to expect more—especially from those who are involved in the very serious business of understanding and accurately explaining other religions.

William Kilpatrick

By

William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com

  • Objectivetruth

    Looking to comedians and actors as some type of theological, moral or philosophical authority is like having my cable repair guy treat my metastatic cancer.

    • TERRY

      Well said, sir.

    • Trazymarch

      Looking to comedians and actors as any kind of authority is something I find completely weird.

    • Aldo Elmnight

      In the roman empire actors and comedians had the same social status as prostitutes. I think they were onto something.

      • Howard

        That had something to do with the nature of the “plays” of antiquity — not that A.D. 2014 looks much better in that regard than A.D. 14.

    • Amatorem Veritatis

      Assuming you were not just using analogy to sharpen the point, prayers for you in your battle against your physiological terrorists. Ad salutem!

      • Objectivetruth

        Thanks…..but I’m good, no cancer!

        I like that….”physiological terrorists!”

  • Fred

    Who is this Ben? He looks familiar to me. It seems to me the fact that he is talking with is all that needs to be said about credibility.

    • jacobhalo

      Afflect, Isn’t that a animal for a Insurance Co.?

      • Fred

        That is funny, thanks. I will always look at him now and picture with big orange beak, and chuckle. How do we save people from themselves? It is a hard mission is it not.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    What’s a television?

    • Trazymarch

      Something that kills your soul.

      • jacobhalo

        Actually, TV can be very educational. There are educational shows, such as documentaries, The History Channel, and many others that can give you a good education. It is the slop on TV that can kill you soul if you pay attention to it.

        • Cap America

          Interestingly enough, we find the “History Channel” has had rigged episodes that turn aside facts of history in favor of sensationalist stuff.

          Good books last a lifetime.

        • Trazymarch

          Of course it can be. Especially if there are NO advertisements or they are just mild ones. And if you carefully cherrypick what are you watching. However there is another thing which is worth remembering: Internet can be way worse than TV if you don’t carefully censor yourself on what sites are you visiting.

        • DE-173

          “History Channel, and many others that can give you a good education”
          When the History Channel is not indulging in entertainment where the “history” is peripheral or tangential (Pawn Stars) it CAN be good. Of course when it touches on religion, it can be extremely hostile.

          • Catholic pilgrim

            Hey that’s not fair criticism! History Channel actually has many educational programs on UFO/Aliens, Bigfoots, & Mayan end of the World (remember the whole 2012 thing). Also, don’t forget their history shows on how the pyramids were actually built by aliens & how every ancient historical event (including Biblical ones) are explained by Alien invasions & interventions. Around Christmas & Easter, History Channels gives you the “real scoop” on who Jesus Christ really is & what really happened on Christmas/Easter by consulting liberal, dissent (crazy) theologians. Yeah, History Channel… Aliens & bigfoots & crazy liberal heterodox theologians (who are actually professional Christianity-bashers), so educational. (Ha, ha)

            • michael susce

              My cable company recently offered me full cable for ten dollars a month. Hmmmm. Ten dollars for the cool stuff offered above or ten dollars a month to Crisis Magazine, Father Rutler, comments that equal or surpass the actual article….Hmmmm….. I need to pray about this…..

            • Tim

              What I don’t like about the History Channel (and even some of the other “egghead channels”) is that they too often manage to put the Church in a bad light for something it did or didn’t do in the past, even if it’s not relevant to the subject. Crisis Magazine talked about this back in 2005: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2005/back-to-the-beginning-a-brief-introduction-to-the-ancient-catholic-church
              I find myself sometimes thinking, “When will the shot at the Church come? Wait for it…wait for it… ah, there it is!”

      • Cap America

        Yes. I haven’t had a television since 1992. I’m more in touch with the real world around me, not the buzz and hum.

        I read recently that there will be a TV show on a national network that will be the first TV network show to feature anal sex.

        Nice.

        (So, IMHO, it’s a good year, 2014, to unplug! Go for it! It’s easier than you think!)

        • DE-173

          “I read recently that there will be a TV show on a national network that will be the first TV network show to feature anal sex.”

          As we are all outraged by the “hazing” by the Sayreville, New Jersey High School Football team.

        • Catholic pilgrim

          But if not for TV, where else would I be able to Keep Up with the Kardashians? Or follow Jersey Shore & Snookey? How would I be able to keep up with all the “reality” shows? Also, if I had no TV, where else would I be incessantly assaulted by obnoxious, irrelevant Commercial Advertisements? Are you suggesting I turn off my brainwashing device, ahem, TV & look up at the sky once in a while & see the beautiful night stars or birds or clouds/sunsets of God’s good creation?

    • Fred

      I need to be more serious about totally unplugging. I only watch 1-2 channels and though I’d miss them momentarily I’m always aware that I’m paying to promote the filth on the other channels. The only thing that keeps me is the bundled internet which they make hard to separate. I need to be more diligent in finding an alternative for the internet and finally be rid of it once and for all.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      For me it is just a DVD player to watch classic films. I am not ‘connected’.

      • bdlaacmm

        I “unplugged” 5 years ago, and the only time I miss it is the occasional sporting event. Other than that… not worth your time.

  • LHJ

    Some want to reason and some want to emote. Generations have not been taught to properly reason in a logical linear manner. It is almost impossible to reason with people that have little or no desire or ability to do so. Atheist pride themselves on their reason and intellect this is why they believe religion is a “crutch” and faith “unreasonable”. You may be able to reason with an atheist but not an emoter. This is why the emoters in the crowd will applaud when comparison is made in debate to civil rights and “Islamophobia”. They do not stop to reason through the comparison. It is almost like communicating in different languages. The clever propagandists on the left know this and use it to manipulate.

    And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
    Acts 18:4

    18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: Isaiah 1:18

  • jacobhalo

    It is said that about 10% of Muslims are fundamentalist. 10% of 1 billion is 100 million people. Those are the people that Maher was talking about. That number of people can cause much damage.

    • DE-173

      And Mulim fundamentalists never just immerse themselves in feeding the poor, educating the ignorant or attending to the sick or am I missing all of the soup kitchens, schools and hospitals they build.

  • BM

    I am amazed by the ability of the author to actually watch such programs and wade through these “debates”. I, for one, lack the fortitude to listen to blatant idiocy and emotionally driven sophistry for more than 15 or 20 seconds.

    • Fred

      I don’t watch either, and I can’t even bring myself to read the articles written about them beyond the headlines which only makes one aware.

  • Fred

    Ben I can easily laugh off, though I know he has a power over those drawn to celebrity status like a cult so it’s not easy to dismiss. Bill too, I’m not even sure he believes half the stuff he says and is solely consumed with being controversial. Sadly, the damage is still done. My disdain is directed at those in supposed positions of authority who do know better and yet would knowingly deceive. Truly evil.

  • Cap America

    It’s stunning to me that people take this kind of malarky serious in any way. Bill MAHER??? Please. He’s a comedian.

    If you want real thinking, read people who are real thinkers.

    • DE-173

      “Bill MAHER??? Please. He’s a comedian.”
      You must have an expansive definition of comedy.
      If he is, he’s not very amusing. Tim Conway is a comedian. He’s funny.

    • I thought comedians have to be funny. To me Bill Maher is a pathetician.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Islam is Nazism on steroids.

    • Trazymarch

      Very bad assignment because:
      1. Islam preceded National Socialism. If you really want to do this you should write “antenazism” or “paleonazism”.
      2. National Socialism had quite different nature from Islam. While National Socialism is culmination of Modernity worst phenomenons ( Social Darwinism, Eugenics, Racism, Mass Politics) and conglomerate of various ideas ( Paganism, German tradition of statolatry, ) while Islam is…. What the hell Islam is exactly? Christian heresy?

      • DE-173

        There is a certain frightening similarity between the Koran and Mein Kampf.

        • Fred

          I never made the connection until just now: comparing and contrasting the early life in Mecca where he was repudiated then in Medina where he was full of vengefulness; to the early life where he was a frustrated artist then later rose to power where he was full of vengefulness. Similar personality traits, which seem to be common to all ruthless, maniacal dictators. Spurn me, I’ll show you.

        • Fred

          When it rains it pours I guess. I just read this article today.

          “Fawstin was raised in a so-called “moderate” Muslim family where he witnessed first hand extreme misogyny and Jew-hatred, even admiration for Hitler within his own family.”

          http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/new-comic-book-character-pigman-wages-war-against-islam

      • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

        Yadda, yadda. I agree with Philip Rieff: “Learned men discourse on Nazi “doctrine” as if it were another creed rather than the experience of assault”. This is a key point. Some persons are ‘beyond the pall’ because they ARE evil in action. Islam, at war with over 50 nations at last count and with ALL the rest of mankind fits Rieff’s definition and surpasses Nazism even. There is no ground for discussion. There is no grounds for ‘dialog’.

  • DE-173

    “..made the point that liberals, if they are to be consistent..”
    But to be a liberal is to be inconsistent.

    • Liberals have to be able to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time. That is a trait of those who suffer from schizophrenia. They practice what has been called “emotional thinking” a form of thought where objective logic is replaced by appeals to feelings and sophistical arguments.

      • DE-173

        Liberalism is a mental disorder. That you can identify the specific trait as schizoid illustrates the point.

  • Ben is from Cambridge, Massachusetts where Hahvahd U. is located. He is giving ignorance a bad name. We must pray for him.

    • DE-173

      And place an order for a truckload of letter “R”s.

      • You can always find them “R”s at the end of words like “pizzar” or “idear” :o)

  • TERRY

    For Sam Harris’ opinion on this matter, I refer you to the Los Angeles Times of Sept 18, 2006. Sam Harris – the death of liberalism.

    Ben Affleck – the left brought the j.v. to this little dance.

  • Ruth Rocker

    TV and the idiots on it are not the problem. The larger issue is that the majority of people watching TV are no longer engaging in critical thinking. It was obvious from watching the above debate for only a few minutes that Maher’s side was calmly outlining their point and Affleck, in particular, was nearly foaming at the mouth calling them names rather than stating his side of the argument. We no longer engage in civil debate. The bullies who want to quiet the voice of reason and facts just want to shout, scream, threaten, etc. in order to make that voice be silent. These people have made up their minds and taken a firm position and nothing as prosaic as facts are going to get in the way of that!. What a sad state of affairs. Lord, please help us!!

    • Trazymarch

      “TV and the idiots on it are not the problem. The larger issue is that the majority of people watching TV are no longer engaging in critical thinking.”

      It could be very tightly related with how dumb most of TV programs are and they are getting worse and worse.

      ” We no longer engage in civil debate. The bullies who want to quiet the
      voice of reason and facts just want to shout, scream, threaten, etc. in
      order to make that voice be silent.”

      Sounds like….. uncivilized barbarians and savages.

  • la catholic state

    Why isn’t the Church speaking out over these court cases…..especially those involving Christianity ie those comparing Christ to Mohammed?! Surely the Church should be standing up for Christians and their right to express their Faith. More submissiveness in the face of Islam from the Church!

  • Fred

    Hey Bill, do you know how to get in touch with Ben? I wanted to share the link below to educate him before he opens his mouth next time to try and avoid making a fool of himself. I know that’s asking a lot. Maybe he should take the advice of his good friend and actor Zach Galifianakis who said this week “I think being a celebrity is dumb”.

    http://www.truthrevolt.org/commentary/top-ten-quran-verses-understand-isis-%E2%80%94-glazov-gang

  • Guest

    I know this is not entirely in the Christian spirit so hopefully you’ll forgive me for sharing a bit of adolescent humor. I just came across this and it made me chuckle, maybe will resonate with some of you too with a sense of humor.

  • Fred

    I know this is not entirely in the Christian spirit so hopefully you’ll forgive me for sharing a bit of adolescent humor. I just came across this and it made me chuckle, maybe will resonate with some of you too with a sense of humor.

    • Sarah

      This is nothing but incitement to genocide against Muslims. You are disgusting, and, to use a vulgar term that truly applies, an asshole, for posting this, and for hating and wishing dead innocent 1.6 billion human beings whom God loves and wants alive to come to Him. You’re the perfect product of the disgusting Kilpatrick and Fox News, the new Evil Empire’s Pravda.

  • Scott W.

    Having TV/Cable is like having an automatic peace-disturbing machine in the house.

  • Sarah

    We have reached a decisive transition in the evolution of US military doctrine. The “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) directed against Al Qaeda launched in the wake of 9/11 is evolving towards a full-fledged “war of religion”, a “holy crusade” directed against the Muslim World.

    US military dogma and war propaganda under the Bush administration were predicated on combating Islamic fundamentalism rather than targeting Muslims. “This is not a war between the West and Islam, but .. a war against terrorism.” So-called “Good Muslims” are to be distinguished from “Bad Muslims”:

    “The dust from the collapse of the twin towers had hardly settled on 11 September 2001 when the febrile search began for “moderate Muslims”, people who would provide answers, who would distance themselves from this outrage and condemn the violent acts of “Muslim extremists”, “Islamic fundamentalists” and “Islamists”. Two distinct categories of Muslims rapidly emerged: the “good” and the “bad”; the “moderates”, “liberals” and “secularists” versus the “fundamentalists”, the “extremists” and the “Islamists”.” (Tariq Ramadan, Good Muslim, bad Muslim, New Statesman, February 12, 2010)

    In the wake of 9/11, the Muslim community in most Western countries was markedly on the defensive. The “Good Muslim” “Bad Muslim” divide was broadly accepted. The 9/11 terrorist attacks allegedly perpetrated by Muslims were not only condemned, Muslim communities also supported the US-NATO invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, as part of a legitimate campaign directed against Islamic fundamentalism.

    Washington’s objective was to instill a sentiment of guilt within the Muslim community. The fact that the 9/11 attacks were not instigated by Muslims has rarely been acknowledged by the Muslim community. Al Qaeda’s ongoing relationship to the CIA, its role as a US sponsored “intelligence asset” going back to to the Soviet-Afghan war is not mentioned. (Michel Chossudovsky,America’s “War on Terrorism” Global Research, Montreal, 2005)

    Since the early 1980s, Washington has covertly supported the most conservative and fundamentalist factions of Islam, largely with a view to weakening secular, nationalist and progressive movements in the Middle East and Central Asia. Known and documented, the fundamentalist Wahhabi and Salafi missions from Saudi Arabia, dispatched not only to Afghanistan but also to the Balkans and to the Muslim republics of the former Soviet republics were covertly supported by US intelligence. (Ibid) What is often referred to as “Political Islam” is in large part a creation of the US intelligence apparatus (with the support of Britain’s MI6 and Israel’s Mossad).

    The Ground Zero Mosque

    Recent developments suggest a breaking point, a transition from “the war on terrorism” to the outright demonization of Muslims. While underscoring the freedom of religion, the Obama administration is “beating the drums” of a broader war against Islam:

    “As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country… This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.” (quoted in Obama Backs Ground Zero Mosque; Iranian Link Questioned, Israel National News, August 15, 2010)

    Beneath the political smokescreen, the distinction between “Good Muslims” and “Bad Muslims” is being scrapped. The proposed Ground Zero mosque is allegedly being funding by “the radical rogue Islamic state of Iran … as the United States is stepping up sanctions on the regime in retaliation for its support of terrorism and what is feared to be an illegal nuclear-weapons development program.” ( Ground Zero mosque developers refuse to outright reject funding from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – NYPOST.com, August 19, 2010)

    The rising tide of xenophobia, sparked by the proposed Ground Zero mosque and community center, has all the appearances of a PSYOP (Psychological Operation) which contributes to fomenting hatred against Muslims throughout the Western World.

    The objective is to instil fear, rouse and harness citizens’ unbending support for the next stage of America’s “long war”, which consists in waging “humanitarian” aerial attacks on the Islamic Republic of Iran, portrayed by the media as endorsing the terrorists.

    While “all Muslims are not terrorists”, all terrorist attacks (planned or realized) are reported by the media as being perpetrated by Muslims.

    In America, the Muslim community as a whole is being targeted. Islam is described as a “religion of war”. The proposed mosque and community center are being heralded as “violating the sanctity of Ground Zero”.

    “..opening a mosque at Ground Zero is offensive and disrespectful to the city and the people who died in the attacks. The project is “spitting in the face of everyone murdered on 9/11.” (Plan to build mosque at Ground Zero angers New Yorkers ,National Post, May 17, 2010)

    “Homegrown Terrorists”

    The arrests on trumped up charges, as well as the show trials of alleged “homegrown” “Islamic terrorists”, perform an important function. They sustain the illusion, in the inner consciousness of Americans, that “Islamic terrorists” not only constitute a real threat but that the Muslim community to which they belong is broadly supportive of their actions:

    “[T]he threat increasingly comes not from strangers with rough English and dubious passports. Instead, it resides much closer to home: in urban townhouses, darkened basements — anywhere with an Internet connection. Homegrown terrorism is the latest incarnation of the al-Qaeda threat.” How terror came home to roost, Ottawa Citizen, August 27, 2010, report on an alleged homegrown terrorist attack in Canada)

    From a process of selective targeting of Muslims with radical tendencies (or allegedly associated with “terrorist organizations”), what is now unfolding is a generalized process of demonization of an entire population group.

    Muslims are increasingly the object of routine discrimination and ethnic profiling. They are considered a potential threat to national security. The threat is said to be “much closer to home”, “within your neighborhood”. In other words what is unfolding is an all out witch-hunt reminiscent of the Spanish inquisition.

    In turn, Al Qaeda is described as a powerful multinational terrorist organization (possessing WMDs) with subsidiaries (covertly supported by US and allied intelligence agencies) in a number of Muslim countries: Al Qaeda is present (with corresponding acronyms) in various geopolitical hotspots and war theaters:

    -Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) (comprised of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Jihad of Yemen), Al Qaeda in Southeast Asia (Jamaah Islamiyah), Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen in Somalia, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, etc.

    At no moment is the issue of atrocities committed against several million Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan considered a terrorist act by the occupation forces.

    The American Inquisition

    A “war of religion” is unfolding, with a view to justifying a global military crusade. In the inner consciousness of many Americans, the “holy crusade” against Muslims is justified. While President Obama may uphold freedom of religion, the US inquisitorial social order has institutionalized patterns of discrimination, prejudice and xenophobia directed against Muslims. Ethnic profiling applies to travel, the job market, access to education and social services and more generally to social status and mobility.

    The American Inquisition as an ideological construct which is, in many regards, similar to the inquisitorial social order prevailing in France and Spain during the Middle Ages. The inquisition, which started in France in the 12th century, was used as a justification for conquest and military intervention. (See Michel Chossudovsky, 9/11 and the “American Inquisition”, Global Research, September 11, 2008).

    The arrests, trials and sentences of so-called “homegrown” terrorists” (from within America’s Muslim community) on trumped up charges sustain the legitimacy of the Homeland Security State and its inquisitorial legal and law enforcement apparatus.

    An inquisitorial doctrine turns realities upside down. It is a social order based on lies and fabrications. But because these lies emanate from the highest political authority and are part of a widely held “consensus”, they invariably remain unchallenged. And those who challenge the inquisitorial order or in any way oppose America’s military or national security agenda are themselves branded as “conspiracy theorists” or outright terrorists.

    Beyond the process of inquisitorial arrests and prosecution, which outdwarfs the Spanish inquisition, an expedient extrajudicial assassination program sanctioned by the White House has been launched. This program allows US special forces to kill American citizens and suspected homegrown terrorists:: ”A shortlist of U.S. citizens specifically targeted for killing”? (See Chuck Norris, Obama’s US Assassination Program? “A Shortlist of U.S. Citizens specifically Targeted for Killing”?,. Global Research, August 26, 2010)

    The objective is to sustain the illusion that “America is under attack” and that Muslims across the land are complicit and supportive of “Islamic terrorism”.

    The demonization of Muslims sustains a global military agenda. Under the American inquisition, Washington has a self-proclaimed holy mandate to extirpate Islam and “spread democracy” throughout the world.

    What we are dealing with is an outright and blind acceptance of the structures of power and political authority. America’s holy crusade against the Muslim World is an outright criminal act directed against millions of people. It is a war of economic conquest.

    More than 60% of the World’s oil and natural gas reserves lie in Muslim lands. “The Battle for Oil” waged by the US NATO Israel military alliance requires the demonization of the inhabitants of those countries which possess these vast reserves of oil and natural gas.

    • Fred

      Quite a long article there with lots of references. Had a bit of a paranoid and conspiracy tinge to it. I might take you more seriously in your analysis if you at least once mentioned that more Muslims were killed at the hands of fellow Muslims than any other race, religion or peoples. The so called prophet they follow was maniacal and he has left a legacy of destruction in his wake for centuries. The only thing they hate more than each other is outsiders, i.e. Israel and the west when we come in contact. I don’t agree with you by the way. We have always traded in a capitalistic way for resources while mostly turning a blind eye to the dictatorship who by and large kept the peace, often with a heavy hand.

      • Scott W.

        A data dump.

        • DE-173

          Data was an unnecessary adjective.

  • HenryBowers

    5-letter words are becoming worse than 4-letter words:

    Obama
    Ebola
    Islam
    Ellen

  • michael susce

    “it was the atheists who made sense”. With all due respect to Mr. Kilpatrick, their atheism only makes sense in that their religious belief system justifies the very behavior which they deem “bad”. Any assertion claiming “bad ideas” has no basis especially under the atheistic, evolutionary, survival of the fittest pseudo-scientific belief system. Many atheists admit to no absolute or objective standard of ideas or morality. Of course, they inconsistently appeal to right or wrong in their lives but their philosophy undermines their belief in objectively good ideas. Rather, I read more the assertion by atheists that human behavior just is…..neither right or wrong (unless it is Christianity which is of course evil to them) In the end, under the atheistic belief system, might makes right justifying the violence of ISIS and other groups which the Harris and Marr condemn with blatant inconsistency.

  • schmenz

    Who is Ben Affleck? And would I care if I knew?

  • Francis Ribeiro

    Dear Mr Kirkpatrick,

    I have long admired your writings ( I have read a number of your books, including The Emperor’s New Clothes, which saved me from many follies).

    I have been following your comments on Crisis regarding the dangers of radical Islam and again find them compelling, persuasive and balanced.

    A while ago I accidentally stumbled upon the fact that around 1980 9early 1980s ??) the Arab/Muslim nations repudiated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and set up their own Muslim version (see the Cairo Declaration). I have been trying unsuccessfully to get more details on this but even the UN websites seem reluctant to publish anything on this. It’s almost as if there is a cover up either through embarrassment or design.I can find no textbooks on the matter either.

    Are you able to throw some light on this for the benefit of readers of Crisis magazine? If you do a book on it I’d definitely buy it.

    I reside in Brisbane Australia and have too little time to do my own research due to work commitments.

    Any comments you have would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Francis Ribeiro

  • Plumcakes

    As expected, the recent fabricated ISIS terror scare that swept the headlines of Canada’s Zionist-owned media is being used by the neocon regime in Ottawa to give Canada’s spy agency CSIS more sweeping powers to spy on citizens and protect the identities of informants.

    “The federal government will face intense scrutiny – perhaps even a constitutional challenge – when it introduces legislation to give its spies more legal powers,” reported the Ottawa Citizen.

    Proposed amendments to the act governing CSIS will grant the Canadian spy agency more wiggle room to collaborate with the “Five Eyes” spy network comprised of US, UK, Australia and New Zealand espionage agencies. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the Five Eyes network has been neck-deep in illegal espionage activities targeting millions of their own citizens.

    “A second measure,” the Citizen continued, “would give CSIS informants the same anonymity that already exists for police sources, who are not subject to cross-examination and can have their identities hidden, even from trial judges.” The Canadian government’s informants are more than likely responsible for spurring or otherwise concocting the very ‘terror’ plots CSIS claims to have foiled — just like its counterpart in the US has been caught doing time and time again. (See The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism by Trevor Aaronson) Problem, reaction, solution — the Machiavellian methodology never fails.

    Like Canada, Australia and Britain are endeavoring to empower their spook agencies as well as stiffen their fraudulent “anti-terror” laws in the face of phony ISIS ‘terror plots’ that bear all the hallmarks of intelligence psyops.

    That is what the ISIS sham threat is all about — creating a bogus pretext so our governments can strip us of our liberties and stamp out dissent.

    British PM David Cameron unveiled the real agenda behind ISIS terrorism fear-mongering — silencing critics of the war on terror and skeptics of the US and UK government versions of 9/11 and 7/7. In September, Cameron delivered a bizarre speech at the UN in which he said with unreserved hubris:

    “As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by preachers who claim not to encourage violence, but whose world view can be used as a justification for it. … The peddling of lies: that 9/11 was a Jewish plot and the 7/7 London attacks were staged. The idea that Muslims are persecuted all over the world as a deliberate act of Western policy. The concept of an inevitable clash of civilizations. We must be clear: to defeat the ideology of extremism we need to deal with all forms of extremism – not just violent extremism.”

    More and more people are awakening to the truth that 9/11, 7/7 and other major terrorist incidents in the West were staged by US, UK and Israeli intelligence services to provide said countries a pretext to launch the pre-planned Zionist-contrived war on terror against Israel’s enemies. Innumerable masses of people are learning about the dark legacy of Zionism and are starting to speak out about it.

    The public’s growing interest in alternative theories about 9/11, 7/7 and other false-flags has alarmed the Western powers-that-be whose present foreign policies hinge upon the big lies surrounding those events. If the true story of 9/11 and 7/7 emerged, the American and British public would rise up in revolt against the unjust and criminal regimes occupying their capitals. The perfidious elites cannot allow that to happen, hence Cameron’s insistence that “non-violent extremists” — 9/11 and 7/7 truthers, anti-Zionists, etc. — are akin to the head-chopping Takfiri marauders of ISIS and should be treated as such.

    The manufactured ‘civil war’ in Syria, like the preceding one in Libya, is a deliberate Zionist policy of destabilization. Syria, like Iran, is one of the last bastions of resistance against Israeli hegemony in the region, and has therefore been earmarked for extinction by the usual suspects and their Western lapdogs.

    Aside from being impediments to Israel’s imperium, countries like Syria, Iran, Libya, Iraq and other target states have been resilient to globalist attempts to import a degenerate American monoculture into their jurisdictions. These countries affirmed their sovereignty against the globalist cultural imperialists — headquartered in Washington — who seek to export MacDonalds, Burger King and Wal-Mart to the four corners of the earth. The globalists want to erect a global shopping mall on the ruins of traditional cultures.

    Unlike in America and much of the deracinated West, the peoples of the Middle East have been widely educated about the Zio-American world menace. Instead of chowing down Big Macs or listening to the putrid rhymes of Kanye West, Middle Easterners are being informed on issues of global importance. Instead of reading trashy gossip mags and stewing over celebrity degeneracy, Iranians are perusing The Protocols of Zion and holding conferences questioning the veracity of ‘the holocaust.’

    Neocon Zionists like Daniel Pipes, David Aaronovitch and Jonathan Kay have routinely decried the “conspiracy” culture emanating from homogenous Muslim societies. That’s what Pipes’ book The Hidden Hand: Middle East Fears of Conspiracy was all about; Aaronovitch’s Blaming the Jews documentary is of a similar vein. The reality is that the Muslim world has figured out the Zionists’ Machiavellian game plan and is therefore being punished for failing to succumb to their decrepit exceptionalist mythology.

    A dumbed down, atomized mass of materialistic consumers is what the Zionists and their Big Money cohorts want. A pitiful populace comprised of tattooed, chain-smoking, money-chasing, burger-munching airheads is what pleases the moneyed elite.

    The Frankfurt School Zionists conquered much of the West through the promotion of degenerate and dysgenic social norms, thereby weakening the traditional culture of their host nations and effectively taking them over. Since the nation-states of the Middle East have largely thwarted the cultural imperialists’ internal plots, the globalist armies of the West have besieged them.

    But there is still a glimmer of hope in the West as more people come to terms with the truth about 9/11, 7/7 and the ‘war on terror’ hoax. Only time will tell if that will be enough to stop the globalist menace from devouring what’s left of our broken world.

  • TERRY

    I live in central Maine on a dirt road off another dirt road and I pee outside and I can read an write and stuff and we (simple but happy) rustics have a saying which I believe aptly describes Affleck – “He not only don’t KNOW nothin’ – he don’t even SUSPECT nothin’.

    Google ‘Sam Harris Los Angeles Times September 18, 2006’. A little piece by Sam entitled ‘The Death of Liberalism’.

    Very enlightening,.

  • More Tea Vicar?

    I, for one, am sick to the back teeth – and beyond – of the likes of such overrated, overpaid and personality-challenged gobs-on-sticks celebs as Ben Affleck, Russell Brand, Bono et. al. being all deferential towards anything that makes them look good on a selfie and jump on any speeding liberal bandwagon just because it is trendy and out there and flavour of the month.
    They would rather go flying ‘Executive Business Class’ on aeroplanes – with a camera crew in tow – to film an ‘oh-so-serious, po-faced documentary’ (frequently used buzz word: journey) to save the endangered one-legged tap dancer tribe and the Pink-Feathered Booble Bird in the depths of some tropical forest (or another part of the world nobody gives a flying fairy about) … than to make a similar effort to report on the plight of the displaced Christian communities in Iraq and the Middle East.
    Oh, that would be way, way ABOVE their pay scale, eh?
    Is the reason why such c’lebs are busy tugging their stylist-sculptured forelocks and ”sticking up for Islam” no matter what because if they don’t, they might get the same treatment as Salman Rushdie did with his ‘Satanic Verses’ back in the 1980’s?
    There is a saying: An empty vessel makes the loudest noise.
    And an expression: lily-livered.
    Another: Pathetic!

  • anti-Muslim-genocide

    The majority of Muslims are on our side and God’s against satanic global elite bankers and psychopath new world order rulers, and the anti-Muslim rants on this blog are an incitement to genocide. Kilpatrick and his ilk base all their hatred of Islam and Muslims on Western, Zionist propaganda, the foremost of which is that Muslims were responsible for the 911 attacks. They were not. It was done by Zionist Jews in the Mossad with CIA insider help. Building 7 was obviously rigged to blow up, and was never hit by a plane. We need to convert the Zionist Jewish leaders more than we do Muslims, for the former, not the latter, are at the root of most of the evil attacking the world today.

  • Steve

    “None of the guilty priests claimed that what they did was done for the sake of the Church, but somehow their actions were deemed to be the result of Catholic teachings about sex, or women priests, or celibate clergy, or … something. “. Say what?

    The judgment or honesty of guilty priests is hardly”state of the art”. The fact is diocesan officials and their lawyers did everything in their power to limit liability and ” scandal which included keep these priests mouths shut (often time by settling prior to depositions).

    But those of us who attended seminary with them know that these factors, and more, were at the very heart of why they offended. In my class alone, over 10% ended up being credibly charged.

    The media was not overreaching in their analysis.

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