Vox Rodentae

Saturday, June 24, 2006

With guns A Blazin'

I have, as is my habit, been hopping about the internet, checking out my favourite sites and getting the news of the day. Overlaid with other ongoing idiocies (ie. rampant islamism and anti-Americanism), well, I've got rant material for absolutely ages. Now I'll not pretend I'm one of the best out there (obviously not, or I wouldn't enjoy all my faves as much as I do!), although I know I'm probably better than some (or I wouldn't be here), but heck, since it's still America (for another two or so weeks - until the Lefties, NYT crowd and the Multi-Culti's get their way) by God, I shall rant.

That said, one of the things that has me annoyed lately is the gross ignorance the average American has about the islamic world, and about its current state. Now I realize, having been an Arabic linguist for several years, that I am in a slightly better position than the average Joe to appreciate the things that go on in re: islam, but honestly folks - the war's been going on for over 5 years now, and most of you still don't even know what islam really is. There are many good books out there (Bernard Lewis is an excellent author, and his books are very informative) that can give a good overview of islam, and muslims, and the increasing cultural gap between their society and ours. There are also maps, which would do most Americans a world of good to study, since most Americans can barely navigate around our own country, let alone other continents. It's good to know where these battles are being fought because often terrain can inform the purpose of a battle (well, along with a host of other factors, but you get the idea). And another thing is just to understand that plurality of mind is part of the Arab mind-set.

What I mean by this is as follows: The average Arab (and I use Arabs, they being considered the "keepers of the holy of holies", and therefore the seat of the faith) sees no contradiction in believing all of the following at the same time: 9/11 was a Mossad plot, and further that 3000 (or 5000 or more, take the number of your choice) were phoned the night before and told to stay home which they did, that the US did it to themselves as a pretext to creating a justification for attacking Iraq (never mind we attacked in Afghanistan), that Israel tells the US what to do, the US tells Israel what to do, that the Israel routinely carries out medical testing on Palestinians, that Israel is about to topple to the Palestinian/Hammas government, that the US is the only country that can/will save them, that the US is the Great Satan, and the list just goes on. And most stupefyingly, these views are voiced by some of the most rational, decent-seeming and lucid people. People who are often hosting you to a meal, who are sitting next to you at a dinner party or a cafe, and who will hold your hand and breathe on your face (both gestures of affection, respect and trust). And they will offer and accept invitations, receive and exchange gifts with you, introduce you to business associates and family members (often the same people). And they may be the face you see in the middle of an anti-American protest the next time you look.

In the mosques and madrassas, it just gets more complicated. These places are virtual petri dishes for the incubation of extremism and terrorism. The mullahs and imams who lead the men in prayers and deliver sermons generally deliver something far more dangerous and insidious - hatred and bigotry, intolerance, grievance, and militancy. From birth, young muslims are inculcated in the former injustices and grievances suffered by the muslim empire, interspersed with tales of their great glories - with the emphasis always on the past (to distract people from miseries of today). The world is presented as a Zero Sum affair, wherein the successes of others is represented as a lessening of the opportunities for those that remain. The biggest, baddest, most proscribed subject in islam is sex. Indeed, this subject could well be said to be the ruling influence behind all of the rules of the religion not dealing directly with the worship of Allah. For all the sneers directed toward the US as being puritanical and hypocritical with regard to sex, islam is absolutely terrified of it. Where else do you see a religion where the repression of the woman and most specifically of any and every aspect of her sexuality is one of the key concepts? Dr. Sanity (as usual) addresses this issue in one of her many, excellent essays on the subject (http://drsanity.blogspot.com). But here you have a religion of men terrified of the mere idea of woman qua woman. Woman is not allowed to be seen (neither herself, nor the parts of her body - ie. ears, neck, wrists, hands, ankles, mouth, etc.) for fear of exciting lustful thoughts. Woman is not allowed to be alone with a non-family male for fear of exciting libidinous impulses. Woman cannot have any relations with any male outside of the family, lest her actions bring shame on the family honour. Even a violent sexual assault committed upon the woman desecrate the family honour because of her association with said assault. Woman must not go to school or learn, and must not be more intelligent than her husband, lest this cause him embarrassment or shame. She must remain hidden away from prying eyes, doing only what he bids her to do, raising his children as he bids her - in effect submitting to him as his slave, as he claims to submit to Allah. And when her sons are old enough, they are sent to the madrassa to learn to hate, just as their fathers do. And when her daughters reach puberty, they will be given as wives to cement ties among her father's friends and associates.

In the madrassas, boys are taught to hate. These lessons are intermixed with the teachings and lessons of the Qur'an, and they become inseparable. The boys learn that Israel has stolen the land from the Palestinians and defrauded them from their birthright. That the crusaders stole muslim lands and turned them Christian. That the US is either the supporter and leader, or the puppet and lapdog of the Zionist State, and thereby responsible for the enduring shame of the Arab people. The US once occupied the sacred land of the Holy of Holies, the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina. That Western Civilization is trying to steal their god, and their manhood and their culture, with their insidious and evil mix of sex, drugs, alcohol and the plush western lifestyle. That the West is responsible for the fact that they now live in a suckhole, with little or no running water, no public works (ie. sanitation, sewage and the like), no food (especially if you back the wrong warlord), if you barely have a sheet of cardboard over your head, let alone a sheet of corrugated aluminium. They have conspired to hold you down - to suppress the glories that once were islam: the learning, the riches, the glory. Then, as these young men grow older, their communities strive to send them abroad for a quality education (abroad, because a quality education is rarely, if ever, available in a muslim country), which will cause them frustration and bewilderment upon their return, because their country will have no resources or infrastructure in place to employ them upon their return. And all this energy, and frustration, and anger has to go somewhere. And that's where your 9/11 hijackers come in, and your suicide bombers, and your shoe bomber and your other plotters and schemers caught and as yet uncaught. They are easy pickings for the Imams of Malice; open minds, fertile and ready to receive the bile and hatred that will be poured into them.

Mind you, this represents the extremist, fundamentalist form of Islam - the one being practised by the Taliban, the AQ, the wahhabists and the like. But in light of the overwhelming silence we hear from the rest of the muslim world, we may be forced to consider that these voices speak for the majority, and that this is the more accurate form of islam. We need to wake up and start looking around us and paying attention to what the Arab world is doing, and not just within its own boundaries, but in its communities around the world. We need to pay attention to what goes on when the Arab/muslim community gets upset at different issues - which issues are they, and why? And we need to speak out, and speak our minds, and exercise our right to free speech and not be cowed by the threats of pro-muslim lobby groups or anti-American political groups. The terrorists and extremists have already proved their long arms and dedication to the murders and never-ending misery of those who oppose them, and we maintain our ignorance at our own peril.

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