The Young Turks show and The Spectator on the London attacks: the former ignores religion, the latter indicts it

The Young Turks news show has become increasingly regressive as time goes on. Here’s a 13-minute video with hosts John Iadarola, Ana Kasparian, and Michael Shure discussing the recent terrorist attacks on London.

Two words are completely missing from the long discussion: “Muslim” and “Islam.” I don’t think that omission is accidental.

The tone was set in the opening statement by Iadorolo: “In terms of exactly who they are, I don’t care about that–they’re assholes who got what they deserved for an absolutely terrible attack, especially considering that the Manchester attack just happened; but even that wasn’t the first attack in the UK. That’s very rough.”  Well, some of us care who they are! The U.S. and British governments, for one thing.

And so it goes on, with Shure blaming George W. Bush and Tony Blair (via the Iraq War) for the terrorost attacks and the subsequent blame the fell on “that community” (a.k.a. Muslims). At 4:29, Kasparian refuses to name the terrorists, even though their names had been released by the police. Why? Could it because they had names that sounded like Muslims? At 8:39, Kasparian mentions “this group of people” (she means Muslims), and blames “Western governments [who are] killing innocent civilians in Middle Eastern countries.” She goes on to say that the attacks are due to those people who get angered at drone strikes and enact retribution, saying that we’re “missing the mark because we let our emotions get in the way.” In other words, the terrorism is the fault of the West, and it’s understandable that an angry Muslim would want to blow up a bunch of kids in Manchester or diners in London.

The whole discussion judiciously avoids not only the topic of religion but even the name of the religion. It’s Islamist apologetics and West-blaming of the worst stripe. I was no fan of the Iraq war, but I don’t think that it somehow makes the retaliatory killing of other innocent civilians justified. Kasparian’s conclusion, given later on, is that the solution to Islamist terrorism is for the West to stop bombing other countries. Perhaps that will help, but we already know the problems with that “solution” (see also here). It’s not going to stop Muslims from attacking other Muslims, or Islamists from attacking in the West.

*********

In contrast, Tom Holland, identified by the Spectator as “a historian of early Islam, [and] a dinosaur enthusiast and a translator of Herodotus’s Histories,” has no problem indicting religion as a major cause of these attacks, and something essential to recognize if we want to solve the problem. His new Spectator article, “After five centuries, religious war has returned to Britain,” is a passionate defense of his view that Britain is now in a faith-against-faith (or faith-against apostasy) battle. Now you won’t be able to read his piece as it’s behind a paywall, but judicious inquiry might yield you a copy.  Here are two excerpts:

But then, last Saturday night, religiously motivated killing returned to London Bridge. Three men, swerving to murder as many pedestrians as they could, drove a rented van across the very spot where severed heads had been fixed to the bridge’s southern gatepost. They crashed opposite Tooley Street. Then, brandishing long knives, they plunged into the warren of streets and passageways around Southwark Cathedral where, back in the reign of Mary, six high-ranking clergymen had been tried and convicted of heresy. For eight terrible minutes, terrorists — no less convinced than Tudor inquisitors had been that they were the agents of a stern and implacable god — visited slaughter upon Borough Market. Just four days later, another group of Islamists, equally fanatical and set on martyrdom attacked the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in Tehran, killing at least 12 people and injuring many more.

The London Bridge attackers wanted us to be in no doubt about their motivation. ‘This is for Allah,’ they shouted, as they slashed and stabbed their victims. When they could, they slit people’s throats — just as Isis executioners in Syria, claiming obedience to a command in the Quran ‘to strike off the heads of unbelievers’, had slit the throats of western hostages. Shot by police marksmen, the three men were hailed by supporters of Isis as ‘martyrs’.

Sometimes it can be hard to recognise ghosts for what they are. Reactions to the atrocities committed on Saturday — as to the atrocities committed only a few short weeks previously in Manchester and on Westminster Bridge — have mingled despair with perplexity. We just don’t understand violent religion.

And this:

And yet, for all that, it is clear that the legacy of Islamic supremacism, deriving as it does from both the Quran and sayings of Mohammed, still has a potent and seductive appeal. Indeed, there is a sense in which it may be precisely the integration into Islam of the Western notion of human rights that is helping to fuel its recrudescence. After all, if — as Muslims believe — their religion is the last and ultimate of God’s revelations, then any dimunition of its purity, any dilution of its traditions, can all too easily be portrayed as a lethal threat to the entire future of humanity. Isis, who have pointedly reintroduced both the jizya and slavery, are merely the most extreme of those factions within Islam who insist that Muslims, far from compromising with the values of the West, should instead seek to destroy them utterly.

We are witnessing a civil war within Islam and the three men who brought carnage to Borough Market last Saturday did not see themselves as murderers, but rather as warriors. They imagined that they had been divinely summoned — just as Mohammed had been — to the overthrow of kufr: unbelief.

No laws, no increase in police numbers, no boost to the powers of the security services can adequately patrol such ideas. Only by directly confronting these beliefs do we have even the faintest prospect of diminishing their potency. To do that, though, will first require acknowledging what Isis and their cohorts in the West actually embody: a strain of Islam that has its roots deep in the past, and which, as our most careful analyst of Isis, Shiraz Maher, has put it, ‘believes in progression through regression’. To dismiss it, as Theresa May did, as ‘a perversion of Islam’ is not merely to close our eyes to the nature of the threat that it presents to Britain’s future as a free society; it actively risks making it worse.

So as we begin the inevitable discussion about what to do next, the first step ought to be a fairly basic one: recognise the problem.

And that’s what people like The Young Turks adamantly fail to do.

65 Comments

  1. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Young Turks,
    There is a big difference between exacerbating a problem and creating a problem.

    Much Islamist terrorism stems from the teachings of the Wahhabi group whose origins go back to the early 18th century.

    The Muslim conquering of Byzantium in the 1400s, a retaliation against Greeks bombing the Middle East?? I don’t think so.

  2. GBJames
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    sub

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Very good post again on the blindness of the religious apologists to find eternal excuses for something so obvious. These people must be written off for good because they are helpless to themselves and the rest of the world. It is very similar to listing to a republican pundit speaking on the Comey testimony and telling us how completely vindicated Trump now is. It is all just astonishing.

  4. jose
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Something else about the young turks,
    First, the west has been killing innocents all over the world, not only muslim countries. Ask Vietnam, for example. Many accounts including the famous Susan Sontag essay state that Vietnamese didn’t see the American people as their enemies, only the then-current administration. So clearly western attacks aren’t enough to explain terrorism.

    Second, blaming the west for terrorism is the same argument ISIS uses to recruit. Lots of kids from London have gone to Syria. The Manchester bomber learned in Syria after getting radicalised right there in Manchester. These well meaning flagellants aren’t going to be spared when a guy blows himself up to destroy “the enemies of the muslims”, like they say in their statements. I have no idea what they imagine they will achieve by agreeing with ISIS that we are the enemies of the muslims.

    And about “westernized” muslims,
    Contrary to many who harass Sadiq Khan on twitter, I think we should like him. He is on the right side of the civil war Tom Holland mentioned. He’s an example for muslim kids, counterbalancing other examples of muslims appearing on TV. In my opinion, the more muslims on the media who live by western values the better.

    • GM
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Sadiq Khan might be on the right side of the issue, but the fundamental problem remains — a minority of a group is quite sufficient to control the behavior of the whole group and when the foundational text behind the identity of the group pretty much mandates that sort of behavior, it guarantees that there will always be a minority pushing things in that direction.

      In the long run there are two stable outcomes — either Islam is completely eradicated from Europe or it will completely take over.

      Once one understands that, the situation begins to look very different.

      • Posted June 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        + 1

        • nicky
          Posted June 11, 2017 at 1:57 am | Permalink

          +2

      • jose
        Posted June 10, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Islam is never going to leave Europe unless every muslim is kicked out or killed and obviously we’re not doing that because the catholic monarchs have been dead for a while. We’re not in that business anymore.

        I’m sorry but you’re playing into the hands of terrorists if you claim that the inevitable outcome of islam is ISIS. We have to acknowledge that they’re inspired by the book, it is one of the branches of islam. But they’re killing people and we have to defeat them. And right now, muslims who live by western values are helping that. Again, it’s the civil war mentioned above.

        If you expect for every muslim to renounce their religion within a couple of generations you’re not being realistic. If they don’t renounce them but have easy access to refutations of the extremist branch by normal muslims, that makes us safer. That’s a good thing.

        What progressives should argue for are our principles like always: freedom of/from religion, separation of church and state etc. And relegate religion to the personal level, away from the political level. It’s what muslims like Maajid Nawaz argue for.

        • somer
          Posted June 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          +1 only re freedom of religion -I think we may have to push more to emphasise the virtues of secularism over religion regarding giving formal status to sharia courts and insist on one law for all – and push more on secular schools/scrutinising faith schools. Tho I suppose fat chance with UDP making up part of the government. Human quality of life is more important than religion – yes freedom of religion but not when its brutally anti humanist or quite blatantly threatens the broader community

        • GM
          Posted June 10, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          As I said, this is a highly unstable system with two stable equilibrium points — either there are no Muslims in Europe or there will eventually be no non-Muslims.

          You draw your own conclusions regarding the implications.

          In times past when that battle was being fought, there was a clear geographic separation between the two religions, plus there was a strong economic incentive for Muslims not to convert/exterminate all non-Muslims in the areas they conquered — non-Muslims were the ones working and paying taxes to support the Muslims. None of that applies now.

          • jose
            Posted June 11, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            As I said, we’re not banning people because of their religion. That’s what ISIS says we do. I’d rather not repeat ISIS talking points when talking to muslims. I’d rather prove to them we have a better offer.

            It’s not only against individual freedom (remember those western progressive enlightenment values?), it’s also impracticable. When a European kid converts to Islam, where should we kick him out to?

            We might as well tell them to go join ISIS. Since that’s what it all boils down to, in your view (in case anyone forgot: we don’t want more people joining ISIS).

            Lastly, just to clarify – are you an American conservative? I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from.

            • GM
              Posted June 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

              I’m not anywhere on the political spectrum — ideology is cancer in all forms.

              The world is physical in nature, not political.

              By trying to prove ISIS that you are “better than them” you guarantee that you will lose that battle.

              Imagine that you were a Native American 500 years ago who was presenting the same arguments that you are to his tribesmen. How do those arguments fare when compared to the reality of the world a few centuries later?

              • aljones909
                Posted June 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

                Douglas Murray said something like: “why should we gamble the future of our country on the possibility that Islam will reform itself”. We have this idea that western values will inevitably triumph over islamic ideology. This seems like wishful thinking. They are much more determined than we are and Muslims in the west are also becoming MORE radical and more muslim. Some towns in England are full of people wearing islamic garb (both males and females). The historian Kenneth Clark in his BBC series “Civilisation” made these remarks [it’s from 1969 – and he wasn’t talking about Islam]

                “Looking at those great works of Western man, and remembering all that he’s achieved in philosophy, poetry, science, law-making, it does seem hard to believe that European civilisation can ever vanish. And yet, you know, it has happened once.

                All the life-giving human activities that we lump together under ‘civilisation’ have been obliterated once in Western Europe, when the Barbarians ran over the Roman Empire. For two centuries the heart of European civilisation almost stopped beating.

                We got through by the skin of our teeth.

                In the last few years we developed an uneasy feeling that this could happen again
                And advanced thinkers, who even in Roman times thought it fine to gang up on the Barbarians, have begun to question if civilisation is worth preserving.”

              • GM
                Posted June 11, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

                And there is one major difference between the Roman Empire situation and ours — the various tribes who conquered the Roman Empire had immense respect for it and its culture and wanted to emulate it.

                It is very much the opposite now.

              • GM
                Posted June 11, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

                Another difference is that the Romans had little choice but to employ the barbarians as their own military strength was waning. And their borders weren’t defensible with the technology at the time.

                In contrast, Europe has been struggling with a massive unemployment crisis for a long time and can definitely defend its border with modern technology. So there is absolutely no need to voluntarily import people of a hostile culture…

          • Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know how that follows: there have been Muslims in Albania, the former Yugoslavia, etc. for 500+ years.

            • GM
              Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

              Yes, and guess who was ruling who for the bulk of that period

  5. dd
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Islamic terrorism in the West is being normalized and rationalized by progressives.

    I first noticed this change with facebook…nobody changing their avatars to express sympathy. And the change started, I think, with Orlando.

    I have also noticed that as the bodies pile up, the refusal to elucidate the ideologies, religion, even names, of the perpetrators hardens and becomes standard discourse among re/progressives, meaning media with a big “M”.

    This should come as no surprise. There is much in progressive thinking, especially its triumphant teleologies (“right side of history”, etc) that rest on irreconcilable contradictions and, especially, the defying/ignoring of reality.

    And reality is loudly asserting itself.

    (Keep in mind that the right has similar issues, but progressives believe themselves, and comport themselves, as masters and mistresses of hermeneutics and epistemology, so to speak.)

    • Historian
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      “Islamic terrorism in the West is being normalized and rationalized by progressives.”

      Some progressives – hardly all (and only if you consider the so-called regressives progressives, which I do not). Your statement is a right-wing slander that attempts to associate a small part of a group with the whole. This is no different as if I attempted to label all conservatives as subscribing to the views of the alt-right. The attempt by some on the right to identify all progressives as soft on Islamic terrorism is quite reminiscent of the 1950s when some conservatives attempted to label liberals or progressives as Communists or at least “fellow travelers.” In the 1950s, as now, only a relatively small portion of the left fit this description. I hope that actual liberals or progressives will challenge assertions such as yours wherever they encounter them. Liberals need to clearly acknowledge that much of today’s terrorism is rooted in the perpetrators’ interpretation of Islam and clearly state that the regressive left is neither liberal nor progressive.

      • Posted June 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        I fear that these actual liberals or progressives that do not normalize and rationalize Islamic terrorism are an endangered subspecies. Their voices are faint.

      • dd
        Posted June 10, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Historian:

        Please give us a list of those, who as you say, “liberals or progressives [who] will challenge assertions such as yours wherever they encounter them.” And especially, liberal or progressive big Media doing that.

        My apologies for the categorical nature of my first sentence. I have edited it below:

        “Islamic terrorism in the West is being normalized and rationalized by SOME progressives.”

      • somer
        Posted June 10, 2017 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        The thing is that the perpetrators interpretation of Islam has great roots in orthodox islam
        This Sunni lawbook is used today in Pakistan and in Muslim communities in India – the bits on marriage and property of course – not the bits on jihad and slavery …. I suspect the exclusions are only because of the current international order

        Its a classic guide to the laws of the Hanifa school of Sunni Islam – considered to be the most moderate of the four schools because it is more lenient on punishment and it doesnt prescribe death to conquered infidels who are not “people of the book” and it allows muslims to make charitable donations to non muslims
        EG Hedaya Guide to the Islamic Laws
        This is the chapter on “Institutes” which is the rules of Jihad
        https://archive.org/
        [DELETE THIS – ITS TO PREVENT EMBED]
        stream/hedaysorguide00hamigoog#page/n151/mode/2up

        And in Reliance of The Traveller – classic sharia guide of the Shaafi school of sunni islam (considered the next most moderate)
        This is the section on Jihad in the chapter on Justice which has the duties of the caliph around 656 on the toggle at the end and just before this Jihad bit (the previous page) is about the penalty for apostasy
        https://archive.org/
        [DELETE THIS – ITS TO PREVENT EMBED]
        stream/RelianceOfTheTraveller1/Reliance%20of%20the%20traveller1#page/n617/mode/2up

        • somer
          Posted June 10, 2017 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          PS the Reliance of the Traveller tome entered on the
          https://archive.org/ site has literally just been added in the last few days

      • somer
        Posted June 10, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        PS if you think my first reference from the Hedaya Commentary on the Islamic laws is invalid because its an original 18th Century translation by a westerner, Alexander Hamilton – this 2 vol tome is actually used today in Muslim courts (not the jihad bits) Also I have a 2 vol full translation by a Muslim Z. Baintner – from an Islamic bookstore source who considered Hamiltons translation to have minor flaws in that the Baintner version leaves in some Arabic technical terms and has footnotes and glossary – but its exactly the same re jihad and everything else re human rights. At any one time some group of muslims must always be fighting infidels to religiously absolve the whole Muslim community of grave sin. If the Muslim community is attacked by infidels all of them are supposed to fight.
        Also on the online hamilton version (its of course in my Baintner version) you can toggle page 165 (Page 150 in the book) It is particularly instructive for it forbids any peace truce to last more than 10 years and mandates that truces must simply be with the wider objective of furthering the war when it is renewed. Permanent peace is forbidden.
        My copy by Z. Baintner for the section on making peace – first line “If the Imam (leader) makes peace with aliens, … the footnote explains that aliens in Arab is Harbi. “This in its literal sense, signifies an Enemy, the term, however, extends to all mankind EXCEPT Muslims and Zimmees, whether they be actually at war with the Muslims or not. It appears to be synonymous with the Latin Hostis.” Zimmees are non muslim subjects of the Muslim state, under protection of lives and property on condition of paying special tax and accepting that in the words of the Quran “they are to feel themselves subdued”. The latin term Hostis (meaning enemy of mankind in the language of the day) is not analogous because it was an admiralty term used to denote pirates and slaver ships who as beyond legal protection internationally https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostis_humani_generis

  6. BJ
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    So, if all these terrorists are just people who want to exact revenge on Western governments, why do they consistently kill more Muslims in their home countries than any of these Western governments, or even all of them combined? And why do they attack other minorities in their own countries? Is that also because of the West?

    Sorry, I forgot. Everything that someone non-white does is somehow because of Western policies or practices. There’s always an excuse.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. And why is most of it being done by Muslims and not all the others who have been colonized and otherwise abused over the centuries? It’s because some extremist Muslims follow the command from Muhammad to spread Islam to the world, by violence if necessary. Cowering a society into submission via violence is a valid tactic according to Muhammad. Those Muslims who say it isn’t, like Maajid Nawaz, are attacked by more conservative believers as not real Muslims. And, of course, that cry is taken up by the regressive/authoritarian left.

  7. GM
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    People forget that this is actually a somewhat controlled experiment — the West oppressed all sorts of non-Muslims all over the world for centuries, but this sort of terrorism is almost exclusively a Islamic phenomenon (with a few crazy native European people doing it here and there, but that is mostly background noise in comparison).

    And, if anything, the Muslim world suffered the least — the Ottoman empire lasted until the end of WWI, and it covered large parts of the Muslim world, the Arabian peninsula wasn’t really colonized ever, neither was Iran. And not only did the Ottoman empire last a long time, people of European descent and of Christian faith were officially second class citizens that could be and were oppressed by Muslims at a whim.

    In other places where there are large numbers of Muslims (India, some areas of Sub-Sharan Africa, Indonesia, etc.) and that were under Western control, there are also large numbers of non-Muslims, and once again, the non-Muslims are not driving buses into crowds and planes into buildings.

    Yet the very same people who proclaim how strongly pro-science they are and how anti-science the right is (which is absolutely true, the right is anti-science), refuse to look at the data and draw the obvious conclusions…

    • Posted June 10, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      I sometimes ask the Islamophiles what exactly must be done by Muslims in the name of Islam to convince them that Islam is vicious. They never answer.

    • Posted June 10, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      I would agree history does not support the idea that middle eastern problems stem from Western colonization. They ignore that the imperial power that dominated the region for most of recent history was the Ottoman Turks. In the last half century of the Ottoman Empire, there were many massacres and genocides, the Armenian genocide was just the largest. The area had serious sectarian strife long before the Europeans took over.

      Following World War I, when the League of nations gave the French and British mandates in the Levant and Iraq, the Europeans did not seem to have that much control over the region. The area was independent of the Europeans not too much later.

  8. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    People like Theresa May have to call DAESH’s pov a perversion of Islam for two reasons. One is valid and the other is not.

    The valid one is that she needs to do it for reasons of diplomacy, both national and international. Internally, there will be a small number of extremists who will see these attacks as a reason to attack all Muslims, potentially physically. She cannot be seen to be encouraging that in any way. There are too many, though less in Britain than the US, who don’t understand the difference between Islam and Islamism.

    Internationally, she needs to maintain good diplomatic relationships with partners in the fight against Islamist terrorism. That is especially true of the leaders of majority-Muslim countries. That has become even more important with the election of an ignorant buffoon to the US presidency and Putin’s ongoing support of right-wing nationalist and far right Christian groups.

    The invalid reason is the protection of religion in and of itself. Any criticism of Islam as a religion can be applied to any other religion, not least her own (Christianity). May is certainly smart enough to recognize this. We must stop giving religion a special status when it comes to criticism. It is a belief system like any other. Almost universally religion is lumped together in protection with those things a person cannot change like race, gender, sexuality, sexual identity, disability etc.

    • GM
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      We are all well aware of the reason.

      The problem is that you behave in that way because of these reasons, and then follows what?

      You’re trading short-term semi-stability for huge problem in the future.

      It is much wiser and more responsible to tackle the problem head on before it has become completely unmanageable.

      • nicky
        Posted June 11, 2017 at 5:21 am | Permalink

        I think that for Western Europe has already become as good as unmanageable.
        Much more than any other religion (and I would include Christianity in that), Islam seeks to establish itself as dominating the world. By peaceful means (Dawa, which is quite a bit more than proselytism) or less peaceful ones (Jihad). Western celebration of ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘tolerance’ do not work in this case.
        Further complicating is the concept of Taqiyya (which is associated with Shia, but if applied to non–muslins, okayed by Sunni too), Kitman etc. Is your friendly neighbourhood muslim really that? A kind of disastrous recipe…

        • somer
          Posted June 11, 2017 at 5:36 am | Permalink

          I think Taquiyya is pretty overrated

    • dd
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      You can’t change gender or sexual identity?

      And aren’t several of the categories you list social construction and one of the characteristics of social constructions is their openness to change.

      And why should legal protection be determined by things one can or can’t supposedly change?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 10, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        I am an extremely strong defender of freedom of speech, and I think that’s where religious protection belongs.

        Of course you can change gender or sexual identity, and people who do that should have legal protection in the law under the same things that talk about racism, sexism etc. It’s just that they’re not the sort of thing that is done on a whim. It wasn’t meant as any sort of criticism towards people who do that.

  9. Tom
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the answer lies in the nature of aggressive youth in general, having no war to fight they are inventing one.
    In the cynical olden times youths were packed of to be blooded in an “official” war and most of those that returned had by then seen enough blood and misery to last a lifetime.
    It may be that the cycle of war for every generation has a deep appeal.

    • Posted June 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      It seems to have this appeal only for some Muslim youths.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    The Young Turks news show has become increasingly regressive as time goes on.

    That certainly seems to be the case. When the show first went on air, I’d catch it from time to time, and thought it provided a voice otherwise missing from the mainstream in those days. I’d lost track of it for some time, and whenever someone sends me a link to it now, it’s invariably of segment that’s rotten with regressivism.

    • GM
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      They’ve been in schizophrenic mode for quite a while now

      One aspect of it is how they have been crusading against money in politics while in the same time being firmly on Team Democrat to the point of complete ideological blinkering.

      Another one is how in their early years they were completely non-PC and Cenk had quite a few classic shitlord moments. And he is still prone to such transgressions, in fact, but overall they have switched to pandering to SJWs almost entirely (note how there was zero coverage of what happened at Evergreen).

  11. Posted June 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Pollyannaish, I know, but I don’t want individuals killing other individuals for any reason whatsoever, religious or otherwise. Whether the individuals have no choice or have free will, no excuses. If individuals have one life to live, other individuals relieving them of it is unconscionable.

  12. Diki
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t remember any Islamic terrorism here in the UK prior to the 2nd Iraq war and the invasion of Afghanistan, at least directed against the general population. I don’t think you can take those two wars out of the equation in helping to spawn this filth although I think it has now become its own monster and signals a profound hatred of all that the west and non Islamic society represents to the deeply radicalized.

    • GBJames
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Does terrorism only count if it is in the UK?

      • Diki
        Posted June 10, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        No terrorism does not only count only if it’s in the UK. What I’m talking about is the increase in Islamic terrorism here since the 2000’s. I think I’m right, there weren’t any incidents directed at the general population prior to that.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          So what’s your point? Islamist violence has deep roots. Does Munich 1977 mean anything to you?

        • Posted June 10, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Just looking at the Eighties, and attacks in the UK, or on British owned businesses:

          Abu Nidal killed the Israeli ambassador in London 1982. He’d previously been involved in the assassination of Said Hammami in the UK in 1978 and the hijacking of the Vickers VC-10 from London to Dubai which resulted in one death. Nidal’s organisation was responsible for the bombing of a Marks and Spencer’s store in London in 1983 that injured two people, the assassination of British attaché Kenneth Whitty in 1984, the bombing of British Airways’ offices in Beirut in that same year, the kidnapping and murder of journalist Alec Collett in 1985 and the bombing of British Airways office in Madrid in 1985. And we can probably add the murders of two Muslim clerics opposed to the Salman Rushdie fatwah in 1989 who were assassinated in a mosque in Brussels over a book published in the U.K.

          Also in 1989 a Muslim preparing to kill Rushdie blew himself up in a UK hotel.

          So Muslims were committing terrorist acts in the UK or on British citizens long before the fucking Gulf War.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted June 11, 2017 at 4:33 am | Permalink

          Have a read of Isis’s Why we hate you and why we fight you.
          Reasons you allude to are mentioned as secondary factors only.

          There was not the same level of Muslim emigrants then.

          The Mullahs at mosques have been cultivating this atmosphere for all this time and now it has the numbers.
          (Not all)
          The modern world facilitates the spread of misinformation.

          And propaganda.

          Much propaganda exists, not much promises paradise and sex slaves for murdering imagined enemies.

          The reason is in the texts of Islam.
          Nowhere else.

    • GM
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think anyone is disputing that the West played a major role in stoking extremism.

      And the 2nd Iraq war on its own has in fact little to do with it — much more important was the direct cultivation of extremism in the 1980s in order to use it as a weapon against the Russians, and in later times in order to destabilize various regions according to whatever goals are being pursued by the powers that be in the West at the moment.

      All of that played a role. But that does not mean Islam itself is not to blame.

      Also, you cannot really use the timing of the Middle East wars as an argument because that variable is strongly confounded with the demographic explosion (due to a combination of high fertility and continued migration into Europe) of the Muslim population in Europe.

      There were barely any Muslims in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Britain, etc. in the 1960s, now it’s 10% or more.

    • aljones909
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      I think you’re being too parochial. Islamic terrorism is a worldwide phenomenon. Why restrict any analysis to the UK, US, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, India, Indonesia etc. What usually guarantees islamic terrorism is a substantial islamic population within any given country.

      The US created a coalition (including muslim countries) to drive a secular dictator (Hussein) from a muslim country (Kuwait). The world’s largest terrorist attack (911) took place ten years later. The idea that the 2nd Gulf War started islamic terrorism is a fiction. Islamic terrorism has been on an upward trend since the 1970’s.

  13. Posted June 10, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I think arguing with regressives over the murders of young women won’t change their minds because they are the kind of people who would have thrown virgins into volcanoes to appease them. They want Westerners to suffer. They know that, given the numbers, it almost certainly won’t be anyone they know. It’s a sacrifice they are prepared, if not willing, to make.

    I think we need to push the Islamic civil war aspect. When Muslims are killing other Muslims they are hitting a target regressives are supposed to care about. Whenever there’s an atrocity they say ‘But most of the victims of terrorism are Muslims!’ so let’s respond with ‘Okay, let’s talk about the fifty Muslims blown up in a marketplace earlier today – by other Muslims. Let’s talk about the Muslim shopkeepers killed for being the wrong kind of Muslim – by other Muslims. If you want to talk about Islamophobia let’s talk about the hatred some Muslim groups have for another’

    • somer
      Posted June 10, 2017 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes and had there been no non-Western influence in the Middle East its likely that an ISIS like group would control the holy places

      The Grand Mosque of Mecca itself was seized for two weeks in Nov-Dec 1979 before they were driven out with gunfire, grenades and gas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mosque_seizure
      The Saudi rulers actually evacuated the whole city whilst the fighting was going on – The insurgents declared that the Mahdi (the “redeemer of Islam”) had arrived in the form of one of their leaders – Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani – and called on Muslims to obey him. The Mahdi is a leader who (in shia doctrine) arrives to install a rule of religious justice just a few years before Judgement Day begins. The Mahdi is supposed to be one of the dead descendants of Mohammed, resurrected. And Jesus drops by and “breaks all the crosses, and kills all the Jews” just to help. The Mahdi in Sunni islam has no eschatological, end-of-days role – but they are supposed to be a leader who inaugurates a period of justice and true Islamic piety for 100 years but within ordinary history. The ruthless Ibn Tumart who inaugurated the fundamentalist Almohad dynasty proclaimed himself a Mahdi in the 12th century.

      Dabiq – the magazine of ISIS is named after a Syrian town where the Sunnis believe the last battle before judgement day will be fought.

      • somer
        Posted June 10, 2017 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        Of course Muslims managed to pretend the attack had been by/backed by the west.

  14. Taz
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    The police in the UK are on top of this terrorism problem – they just arrested two people for recording themselves burning a Koran.

    Apparently it’s a “hate crime”.

  15. Lars
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Tom Holt’s In the Shadow of the Sword is an interesting history of Islam from its founding until it shattered the world of Late Antiquity.

    • Tom
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 2:37 am | Permalink

      Sorry Lars, it is Tom Holland.
      His publisher just suffered a heart flutter.

      • Lars
        Posted June 11, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Damn, did it again.
        Thanks for the correction.
        Hopefully his publisher is sitting down with a nice strong drink now.

    • Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      I found that too gullible with the Islamic sources about the foundations of the religion, but I’m no expert. (Also completely uncritical about the founding of Christianity, but what else is new?)

  16. Posted June 10, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m sick of people blaming the ‘West’ for every religious attack and claiming that those attacks are retribution or retaliation.
    The west has done a lot of horrible and also good stuff to the rest of the world, and crimes of ‘West’ should be criticized on their own merits.
    Maybe some of the terrorist attacks are retaliatory, but how people, who claim that it’s all retaliation explain muslims from my country of birth (Tajikistan, Central Asia – 2015 report says more than 2000 people from Tajikistan traveled to Middle East and joined terrorists), thats not retaliation because US or ‘west’ didn’t and don’t have any quibbles with Tajikistan.
    Or muslims terrorizing and killing other muslims, do we also blame the ‘West’ for this too.

  17. Posted June 11, 2017 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Many Imams in Britain are refusing to perform funeral prayers for the London Bridge attackers.

    This is because Islam forbids prayers for martyrs. They are already in Heaven.

  18. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    The Young Turks are scum.

    They name everybody and everything but Islam and Muslim.
    In their commendatory on Manchester they bought up the IRA, who had nothing to do with anything at all there.
    Then again in the London Bridge commentary they bring up the IRA again.

    Such a comparison is ludicrous.
    As ludicrous as bringing up abortion doctor murders as a counter point.

    Cenk is a big ex Muslim, prone to anger.
    He has stated that he will defend Muslims, aggressively.
    I think the TYT crew, as well as being in regressive thrall, are scared of big Cenk too.

    Refusing to name the actual perpetrators in this is excusing and enabling them, hence ‘scum’.

  19. somer
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Young Turks make me gag. UK supposedly has “cameras absolutely everywhere in public places” Suggesting that authorities shouldn’t have much intelligence and that they should only target people “they know are terrorists” they are not mind readers or divinities they don’t know for certain who will do an attack in the future. They have 28,000 people of interest (many reported by other Muslims) and only have resources to scrutinise 3,000. Because of the intelligence police invariably swoop on extended network after and almost always some of them go to trial and conviction – they prevent other attacks

    and some level of surveillance including in US are what saves people like Kasparian from more intimate acquaintance with such violence

  20. Mike
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    To borrow from Clinton “It’s ISLAM stupid”

  21. Benjay
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    The Big Turk candy bar by Nestle and the Cherry Blossom by Lowney (Hershey) offer profound insight into human nature and religious fervor. There is a Big’R Turk as well.


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