Islam

Caldwell’s reflections, cont’d

Featured image After the murders in connection with the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Friday, I pulled down Christopher Caldwell’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West. It’s a highly quotable book; I quoted a paragraph from chapter 4 (“Fear masquerading as tolerance”) here. In chapter 5, the first in the section devoted to Islam, Caldwell notes that, up until the present generation, Europeans “have not »

Defender of the faith

Featured image Like al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Islamic State and all the rest, the Paris terrorists promote the imposition of Sharia law in the name of Islam. They all understand themselves to be Muslims acting on behalf of the faith and its prophet. Yet the Obama administration makes a special point of standing up for the good name of Islam, such as it is, and refusing to credit the »

The Good, the Bad and the Crazy

Featured image Reactions to the terrorist attacks in Paris have covered a broad gamut. In the good category I put the Muslim Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, who explained on Dutch television what radical Muslims who don’t want to live in a free society should do: Heh. It’s a rare moment of candor in politics. In the bad category, we have Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan, who disgraced himself with these bigoted ramblings: »

A Pack, Not a Lone Wolf

Featured image This post is a companion to the one immediately below. One of the ways liberal politicians and commentators have used to minimize terrorist attacks is to attribute them all to “lone wolves.” Being a lone wolf is a step below the junior varsity, apparently. In the case of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, countless media outlets rushed to give it the “lone wolf” label, even though there were at least two »

Is Islam “a religion of peace”?

Featured image The question has an essentialist ring to it, and thus is probably best left unasked. Indeed, I doubt it would be discussed had not two American presidents referred to Islam as a religion of peace. But Presidents Bush and Obama raised the issue and so we’re stuck with the debate. Max Boot offers a sensible perspective: Is Islam a religion of peace, as many claim, or is it a religion »

Do Jews have a future in France?

Featured image Ten years ago, on the one and only occasion I met Bat Ye’or, I told her that my wife’s cousin and her family of six, living in a Paris suburb with a large, increasingly hostile Muslim population, should seriously consider leaving France. Bat Ye’or strongly disagreed with me, arguing that French Jews should stay and fight. The family did stay and it did fight — literally in the case of »

Are the Saudis Muslims?

Featured image I wrote here about the silliness of the commonly-expressed view that Islamic terrorists can’t be *real* Muslims, and shouldn’t be referred to as such, since Islam is a religion of peace. I don’t suppose anyone would deny, however, that the Saudis are real Muslims. Thus, this story from Saudi Arabia is illuminating, even though it is not about terrorism. Raif Badawi is a Saudi blogger who had a web site »

A Reminder from . . . Woody Allen?

Featured image It is not often that I turn to Woody Allen for practical wisdom—or any other kind of wisdom—but John Podhoretz brings to our attention a fragment of dialogue from Manhattan that fits the Charlie Hebdo aftermath just right: “Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey, you know? We should go there, get some guys together. Get some bricks and baseball bats and explain things to ‘em.” »

Caldwell’s reflections

Featured image There are many excellent books on the European crisis reflected by the events in Paris this past week. Among them I would cite Bat Ye’or’s Eurabia, Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept, Melanie Phillips’s Londonistan, and Claire Berlinski’s Menace in Europe. If I had to pick one to recommend, I’m not sure which I would pick. I find myself returning frequently to one book that falls into this category: Christopher Caldwell’s »

Prophet-driven

Featured image At NRO, Ian Tuttle observes that it has become conventional to refer to “the Prophet Mohammed.” Tuttle asks why. I myself am careful not to refer to Muhammad (spelled however) as “the Prophet.” Fine if he’s yours, and no offense intended, but he’s not mine. Tuttle observes with considerable understatement: “There seems to be an implicit, unique measure of respect accorded to the religious leader of Islam that is passé »

School of Mock

Featured image Way back when Salman Rushie got his fatwa from the Ayatollah Khomeini for The Satanic Verses,* I wondered immediately: How come Richard Grenier (RIP) didn’t get a fatwa for the much more blasphemous novel, The Marrakesh One-Two? If you’ve never read this 1983 work of comic genius, go order it second-hand. The novel’s protagonist, Burt Nelson, is a filmmaker attempting to make a feature film of the life of Mohammed »

After Charlie Hebdo: Revisiting “The Tyranny of Silence”

Featured image This Saturday’s photo roundup will be be the Charlie Hebdo edition, and we’re currently collecting the most offensive Mohammed images for maximum effect.  In the meantime, it is worth taking note of Flemming Rose’s recent book, The Tyranny of Silence. Rose is the editor of the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten, and he commissioned the series of cartoons about Mohammed in 2005 that ignited a firestorm of controversy, and his book reflects on »

Are Islamic Terrorists Muslims?

Featured image Howard Dean is one of many establishment political figures (President Obama is another) who insist that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. On MSNBC yesterday, Dean said: “I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am,” he said. “I mean, they have no respect for anybody else’s life, that’s not what the Koran says. And, you know Europe has an enormous radical problem. »

Paris Suspects Identified, One With Terrorist History [Updated]

Featured image One of the three terrorists believed to have carried out this morning’s attack on Charlie Hebdo has turned himself into the police, while authorities apparently are closing in on the other two, reportedly in Reims: The youngest suspect in today’s deadly attack at a satirical newspaper’s office in Paris has turned himself in, French police said, while the other two are “on the loose, armed and dangerous.” Officials identified the »

Twelve Dead, Magazine Silenced in Paris Terrorist Attack [Updated]

Featured image Two heavily-armed Muslims attacked the offices of the satirical Paris weekly Charlie Hebdo this morning, killing twelve people, including the magazine’s two most famous cartoonists. The attackers were heard to shout “Allahu Akbar!” and “The Prophet is avenged!” CNN reports that the killers’ motives are still unknown. These are the murdered cartoonists: Here are the basic facts as reported so far: Paris is on high terrorism alert after shootings Wednesday »

Living In a World Gone Mad

Featured image HarperCollins has produced at atlas for use in English-speaking schools in the Middle East that features a conspicuous omission. There’s Gaza, and there’s the West Bank. Jordan and Lebanon are accounted for. But…where is Israel? I naively would have expected HarperCollins to say we weren’t looking hard enough, or attribute the omission to a lack of space. But no: Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specialises in maps, told »

In which Keith Ellison finds me of use

Featured image Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison has blocked me on Twitter, so I am unable to follow him. Searching Twitter to take a look at his emissions, however, I found that Star Tribune political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger has posted an Ellison fundraising letter that she received in which Ellison draws on my Star Tribune op-ed column “Rep. Keith Ellison remembers to forget.” Ellison’s letter responds to these two paragraphs of »