Author Archives: kathleen6644

The newest liberal idiocy: Segregating 3rd-graders

Besides the official subjects our children study in school that are brainwashing them to be useful idiots in the not so brave new world, we have the silliness of political correctness gone amok (yes, I agree that it is already berserk so should have said it’s more amok).  If there weren’t enough reasons to homeschool, this piece from the New York Post should be enough to push some over the line.  


Can racism be stopped in the third grade?”
That’s the question asked in this week’s New York Magazine cover story by journalist Lisa Miller. The short answer, of course, is that it all depends on how you define racism.
At the Fieldston Lower School, a $43,000-per-year Riverdale institution, the administration sees racism everywhere. Just consider the “microaggressions” that have been uncovered.
According to the piece: “A girl puts her hands in another girl’s hair; a boy asks his Asian friend where he’s really from. A number of years ago, a white student in a fourth-grade biography unit delivered a presentation on Jackie Robinson while in blackface.”
Here’s a news flash, folks: This is not racism. It’s children being curious about the way their friends look and trying their best to look like an American hero.
If you want it to stop, you can tell them that it’s not appropriate to touch other people without their permission, that many people who look different were born in this country. and that if you’re going to dress up as someone else, you don’t have to change the color of your skin.
You want to know what real racism looks like? Try this. In response to these incidents, as well as a whole bunch of multi-culti-educational mumbo-jumbo, Fieldston has decided to institute a policy of … segregation. Yes, that’s right. We have finally come full circle.
The new liberal solution to the problems of racial tension in America today is to have third-graders fill out a questionnaire identifying their races and then spend time once a week with people who look just like them.
Because people who look alike also think alike. And let’s face it, you can only really feel comfortable with people who look like you.
So what is the goal of this program? As Miller explains: “Disinhibited by the company of racially different peers, the children would, the school hoped, feel free to raise questions and make observations that in mixed company might be considered impolite. The bigger goal was to initiate a cultural upheaval, one that would finally give students of color a sense of equal ownership in the community.”
There’s nothing like a little social engineering to separate the true believers from the people who just think of themselves as liberal.
“I was like, ‘Wait. What?’ remembers one mother. Another quizzed her 11-year-old daughter as they were driving. ‘We have to go in our race groups’ was how the girl explained it. The mother hoped her daughter had misunderstood.”
Alas, no. She understood perfectly. When the racial “affinity groups” meet, they are asked questions like: “How do you see other people? How do other people see you? What assumptions do you make based on appearances?”
They are told to stare at groups of kids of other races and then share the things they wonder aloud. Said one boy, “We talk about how it’s important to know what your race is. We talk about the difference between being prejudiced and being racist.”
Wait, what’s the difference again? Oh, never mind. The point of this exercise is once again to re-emphasize the racial differences among kids.
Because not to do so, according to the experts, is to “exacerbate the problem by papering it over.” Instead the school wants kids to have “authentic” conversations about race.
But if you allow 8-year-olds to have an open dialogue about race, they might do things like ask about another kid’s hair or heritage. Can you imagine all the microaggressions that might occur if someone recorded the group of black or white kids being asked to “wonder” about kids of a different race?
At least some of the parents at the school are thrilled with this program and seem to feel it will help prepare their students for life after Fieldston.
One mother describes the sense of exhaustion and frustration she felt being a black student at Exeter coming from the Bronx.
When she saw all the white people, she asked her mother if she could come home. What really “broke” her, she says, was a class called “Black Experience in White America,” in which she was consistently asked to explain black perspective to her white classmates.
She thinks an “affinity group” will help prepare her daughter for this experience.
Perhaps. But this is not a problem that happened in math class or English lit. The demands that a black student represent his or her race in class comes from courses that focus on race and teachers who think a teenager’s personal experience is worthy of academic study.
Like so much of education from kindergarten all the way through a doctorate these days, the affinity groups are really just another way to encourage narcissism.
Because what matters most for the future of this country — for justice, for equality, for racial harmony — is how you feel.

Chris Kyle, Amen

This is being circulated on the net and should go viral.  It is the story of an American hero — a real one who didn’t need to embellish his life story.  Regretfully his story, while huge, is much too short.  Please share it if you like it.



This is apparently from a wife of one of the Navy Seals in attendance… it makes interesting, disturbing, but hardly surprising reading.

Chris Kyle became the armed services number #1 sniper of all time. Not something he was happy about, other than the fact that in so doing, he saved a lot of American lives.

Three years ago, his wife Taya asked him to leave the SEAL teams because he had a huge bounty on his head by Al Qaeda. He did and wrote the book “The American Sniper.” 100% of the proceeds from the book went to two of the SEAL families who had lost their sons in Iraq.

That was the kind of guy Chris was. He formed a company in Dallas to train military, police and I think firemen, how to protect themselves in difficult situations. He also formed a foundation to work with military people suffering from PTSD. Chris was a giver not a taker. He, along with a friend and
neighbor, Chad Littlefield, were murdered trying to help a young man that had served six months in Iraq and claimed to have PTSD.

Now I need to tell you about all of the blessings.
Southwest Airlines flew in any SEAL and their family from any airport to the funeral… free of charge. The employees donated buddy passes and one lady worked for four days without much of a break to see that it happened. Volunteers were at both airports in Dallas to drive them to the hotel.
The Marriott Hotel reduced their rates to $45 a night and cleared the hotel for only SEAL’s and family.The Midlothian, TX Police Department paid the $45 a night for each room. I would guess there were about 200 people staying at the hotel, 100 of them were SEALs. Two large buses were chartered (an unknown donor paid the bill) to transport people to the different events and they also had a few rental cars (donated). The police and secret service were on duty 24 hours during the stay at our hotel.At the Kyle house, the Texas DPS parked a large motor home in front to block the view from reporters. It remained there the entire five days for the SEALs to meet in and so they could use the restroom there instead of the bathroom in the house.

Taya, their two small children and both sets of parents were staying in the home. Only a hand full of SEALs went into the home as they had different duties and meetings were held sometimes on a hourly basis.
It was a huge coordination of many different events and security. Derek was assigned to be a Pall Bearer, to escort Chris’ body when it was transferred from the Midlothian Funeral Home to the Arlington Funeral Home, and to be with Taya. A tough job. Taya seldom came out of her bedroom. The house was full with people from the church and other family members that would come each day to help. I spent one morning in a bedroom with Chris’ mom and the next morning with Chad Littlefield’s parents (the other man murdered with Chris). A tough job.

George W Bush and his wife Laura, met and talked to everyone on the Seal Team one on one. They went behind closed doors with Taya for quite a while. They had prayer with us all. You can tell when people were sincere and caring
Nolan Ryan sent his cooking team, a huge grill and lots of steaks, chicken and hamburgers. They set up in the front yard and fed people all day long including the 200 SEALs and their families.
The next day a local BBQ restaurant set up a buffet in front of the house and fed all once again. Food was plentiful and all were taken care of. The family’s church kept those inside the house well fed.
JerryJones, the man everyone loves to hate, was a rock star. He made sure that we all were taken care of. His wife and he were just making sure everyone was taken care of….Class… He donated the use of Cowboy Stadium for the services because so many wanted to attend. The charter buses transported us to the stadium on Monday at 10:30 am. Every car, bus, motorcycle was searched with bomb dogs and police. I am not sure if kooks were making threats trying to make a name for themselves or if so many SEALs in one place was a security risk, I don’t know. We willingly obliged. No purses went into the stadium!

We were taken to The Legends room high up and a large buffet was available. That was for about 300 people. We were growing.A Medal of Honor recipient was there, lots of secret service and police and Sarah Palin and her husband. She looked nice, this was a very formal military service. The service started at 1:00 pm and when we were escorted onto the field I was shocked. We heard that about 10,000 people had come to attend also. They were seated in the stadium seats behind us. It was a beautiful and emotional service. The Bagpipe and drum corps
were wonderful and the Texas A&M men’s choir stood through the entire service and sang right at the end. We were all in tears.
The next day was the 200-mile procession from Midlothian, TX to Austin for burial. It was a cold, drizzly, windy day, but the people were out.
We had dozens of police motorcycles riders, freedom riders, five chartered buses and lots of cars. You had to have a pass to be in the procession and still it was huge. Two helicopters circled the procession with snipers sitting out the side door for protection.
It was the longest funeral procession ever in the state of Texas . People were everywhere. The entire route was shut down ahead of us, the people were lined up on the side of the road the entire way. Firemen were down on one knee, police officers were holding their hats over their hearts, children waving flags, veterans saluting as we went by.
Every bridge had fire trucks with large flags displayed from their tall ladders, people all along the entire 200 miles were standing in the cold weather. It was so heartwarming. Taya rode in the hearse with Chris’ body so Derek rode the route with us. I was so grateful to have that time with him.

The service was at Texas National Cemetery. Very few are buried there and you have to apply to get in . It is like people from the Civil War, Medal of Honor winners, a few from the Alamo and all the historical people of Texas.
It was a nice service and the Freedom Riders surrounded the outside of the entire cemetery to keep the crazy church people from Kansas that protest at military funerals away from us.Each SEAL put his Trident (metal SEAL badge) on the top of Chris’ casket, one at a time. A lot hit it in with one blow. Derek was the only one to take four taps to put his in and it was almost like he was caressing it as he did it. Another tearful moment.

After the service Governor Rick Perry and his wife, Anita , invited us to the governor’s mansion. She stood at the door, greeted each of us individually, and gave each of the SEALs a coin of Texas. She was a sincere, compassionate, and gracious hostess. We were able to tour the ground floor and then went into the garden for beverages and BBQ. So many of the Seal team guys said that after they get out they are moving to Texas. They remarked that they had never felt so much love and hospitality. The charter buses then took the guys to the airport to catch their returning flights. Derek just now called and after a 20 hours flight he is back in his spot, in a dangerous land on the other side of the world, protecting America
We just wanted to share with you, the events of a quite emotional,but blessed week.”
To this day, no one in the White House has ever acknowledged Chris Kyle; his service, his death, his duty, his generosity, his caring, his life. However, the President can call a sports person and congratulate him on his bravery for announcing to the world that he is gay.
He can say on national television that someone, a man who has committed a crime and was shot by police in the line of duty, would have made him a good son.The SEALS have asked that you please, keep this moving if you think Chris Kyle would have made a good son.

Reading to your children – the next taboo for Social Justice


by Kathleen Marquardt
Political correctness has been with us a long time; Social Justice for almost as long. Many people did not understand the implications. Many still don’t – some because they have been brainwashed to follow the crowd, some because they haven’t taken the time to think it out. The article below is a good one to work with to show every person the fallacy and sickness of Social Justice (political correctness run amok).

Because some parents can’t/won’t/don’t read to their children at bedtime then no one should, otherwise that gives their children a leg up on the children who aren’t receiving their parent’s attention. Is there a single person out there who doesn’t see the irony in this?

Understand that Social Justice is not about equal rights but about everyone being equally dumbed down to the status of a global village idiot that doesn’t question authority and serves simply as a useful cog in the machine. No individuality. No human progress. And, apparently, no joy in the loving arms of your parents. That makes for a pretty grim future.
Reading to children at bedtime: ABC questions value of time-honoured practice
Daily Telegraph

THE ABC has questioned whether parents should read to their children before bedtime, claiming it could give your kids an “unfair advantage” over less fortunate children.

“Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?” asks a story on the ABC’s website. “Should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?”


by Kathleen

“We live now in an era where normal values have been displaced. The good is called bad, the bad – good.” – Anna Politkovskaya.

“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” Francis Fukuyama, The End of History?

Using federal grant money to fund and expand the tentacles of Sustainable Development has a number of ugly realities. First, and easiest to understand, is that this is a money redistribution scheme that helps bankrupt both the federal government and the middle class. The money wasn’t allocated specifically by Congress to fund grants that come from HUD, EPA, DOT, DOE (and maybe other sources as well).

Second, the projects into which this money goes do very little to improve the infrastructure, to help stimulate the local economy or to benefit those it is ostensibly designed to help. I say ‘ostensibly’ because that is what those handing it out and those spending it say it is for, but it is truly a wealth redistribution plan as noted in first paragraph.

Let’s look at just one of the grant sources, the Community Development Block Grants:

As noted by the Cato Institute, CDBG activities are supposed to meet one of three objectives: (1) benefit low- and moderate-income persons, (2) prevent or eliminate slums or blight, or (3) address a serious need or threat that has particular urgency.9 A huge range of activities meet these criteria, including:

While CDBG funds are initially handed out to state and local governments, the ultimate beneficiaries are usually private businesses and organizations working on particular projects, such as shopping malls, parking lots, museums, colleges, theaters, swimming pools, and auditoriums. Here is a small sampling of projects funded in 2008.

These ‘plans,’ supposedly put together by the local metropolitan planning commission along with the city or county council are just like every other plan in every other community in the world. Yes, the world, not just the U.S. Can anyone say that Kalispell, Montana, San Francisco, California, Knoxville, Tennessee, Lhasa, Tibet and Saigon, Viet Nam are so alike that it is only natural that their General Plans for the next 10 or 20 or 50 years all look the same?

Moreover, these plans are building non-elected boards and regional councils made up of ‘stakeholders’ (private political organizations – NGOs affiliated with the UN – that are not local, but travel the nation, imposing Sustainable community plans, and thereby feeding off the grant money). Also cashing in are major corporations and business owners who are looking to cash in through Public Private Partnerships,

Look at just one local community’s take from the federal government and stop and think about how much control the feds take for their largess with your money. Then multiply that by every city and county in the country:

The Consolidated Plan establishes the basis and strategy for the use of federal funds granted to the City of Knoxville by the U. S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the following programs:

In addition to CDBG, HOME and ESG programs, the City received stimulus funds in 2009 and is implementing Neighborhood Stabilization Program-1 (NSP-1), Community Development Block Grant – Recoverfy (CDBG-R), and

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) programs. The projects funded with these funds will continue until they are completed and all funds are expended.

American Gestapo

Two years ago, there was a TV news story about how local police departments in Tennessee were stopping out-of -state drivers, accusing them of transporting drugs then confiscating whatever cash they have on them.  Obviously this is not solely a Tennessee problem, it has been going on across the country.  Now there are states outlawing civil forfeiture — and none too soon.  This is an outrageous tool that is being used atrociously against law-abiding citizens.  Every city, county and state should be urged to outlaw this reprehensible behavior by those who are supposed to be upholding our laws.


from The Daily Bell
By Philippe Gastonne – May 22, 2015

It was a lifetime ambition for 22-year-old Joseph Rivers to arrive in Los Angeles and become a big name in the music business.

And he nearly made it…until a team of DEA agents put a stop to everything by snatching his life savings without even charging him with a crime.

The aspiring businessman from the outskirts of Detroit had managed to scrape together $16,000 and was finally on the train to Los Angeles when the justice department stepped in, reported the Albuquerque Journal.

Officers found Joseph’s thousands of dollars stashed in a bank envelope and questioned him about the origins of the cash.

Despite the fact the officers found no drugs or guns in Joseph’s luggage – and failed to charge him with any crime – they took his cash away from him under the civil asset forfeiture program. – Daily Mail, May 12, 2015

Stories like this one aren’t new to Daily Bell readers. We think often of the state’s outrageous overreach in the War on Drugs.

Yet this one strikes a different chord. The victim wasn’t slumped in a black SUV cruising through the hood. He was on a passenger train, setting out on what for him should have been an exciting journey.

Tax-subsidized Amtrak promises “Rail journeys to remember” on its web site. Joseph Rivers certainly remembers – and he is not the only one.

Take a few moments and read this story about DEA harassing another Amtrak passenger. It is long, but worth the effort. Go ahead; we’ll wait for you.

Welcome back. Stories like these bring to mind images of Nazi Gestapo agents boarding trains, demanding “Your papers, please,” of every passenger, who meekly complies. A moment of tension arises when they reach our undercover spy or escaped POW. Sometimes the hero bolts across the train platform before storm troopers gun him down.

Those scenes were once dramatic because they were so unlike life in the United States. Here in the land of freedom, we do not tolerate such totalitarian acts.

Now the drama is real. We don’t just tolerate those acts; a sizable part of the public demands more of them. If the War on Drugs isn’t enough for them, they bring out the War on Terror.

Consider this from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), speaking last week at the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner.

“If I’m president of the United States and you’re thinking about joining al-Qaeda or ISIL [the Islamic State], I’m not gonna call a judge,” Graham said, a reference to Sen. Rand Paul’s earlier remark about how the NSA should call a judge to obtain a warrant before tapping into people’s phone records. “I’m gonna call a drone and we will kill you.”

Can there be any clearer admission of totalitarian intent than this? To Sen. Graham, merely thinking about joining a terror group merits extrajudicial execution.

(A question, Senator, if you don’t mind. What other kind of thoughts would make you send drones to kill us? We really need to know.)

Of course, we would all love to believe that Sen. Graham was only kidding, and that DEA only harasses people who deserve it. Many Americans will convince themselves of both – but they are wrong.

Germany’s Gestapo didn’t emerge from a vacuum. Totalitarian regimes are often the product of public demand. People want safety and security, but forget they must give up freedom at the same time.

Americans are doing this right now.

– See more at:

Breaking: HSUS Loses Charity Rating

IMHO,the HSUS is one of the biggest scams around. But lately they have finally started to get their comeuppance. Last year they had to pay almost $16million to Feld/Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus for the settlement for their involvement in the case brought under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that the U.S. District Court ruled was “frivolous,” “vexatious,” and “groundless and unreasonable from its inception.” The settlement also covers the related Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case that Feld Entertainment filed against the groups after discovering they had paid a plaintiff for his participation in the original lawsuit and then attempted to conceal those payments.”

Now Awesome Ocean tells another truth that HSUS would have liked to keep hidden.   The lawsuit was last year, this year their rating from Charity Navigator went from 4-star to a “donor advisory” warning.  Woo Hoo.  The article below, from Awesome Ocean, is very explicit about HSUS’s tactics.  


Earlier in July, word got out that America’s non-profit media darling, the Humane Society of the United States, ran into a bit of bad luck. And when we say bad luck, we mean they finally got what was coming to them. Their fingerprints were all over the movie Blackfish and they’re currently leading the smear campaign against aquariums to raise money for their own selfish interests.

When you think of the HSUS you automatically think of the saintly organization that operates shelters nationwide and saves hundreds of thousands of animals, the organization that stands up for the adorable and abused animals in TV commercials, and above all you probably believe this is the organization that big-hearted animal lovers should donate to. Right?

Wrong. All those associations are complete crap.

The HSUS has historically bragged about their 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, one of the most trust-worthy charity evaluators in the game. Recently, they were downgraded to a 3-star rating and now their rating has been completely revoked, a “Donor Advisory” warning taking its place.

The deceiving game of bait-and-switch has been played for years, with the HSUS inviting misplaced associations between themselves and local animal shelters (sometimes called Humane Societies). To put this in perspective, let’s break down what this despicable organization did to motivate you to reach for your wallet and fork over millions of dollars to a corrupt “charity”.

A film crew would go to a local humane society pet shelter and film some of the cute, cuddly, abused animals that volunteers dedicate their lives to rescuing. Those commercials would air on national television, pulling on America’s heartstrings and leading unsuspecting viewers to believe that the HSUS had a hand in rescuing that animal or providing care after the rescue.

Want the truth? The HSUS didn’t have anything to do with rescuing that animal. They didn’t provide medical assistance or care for that animal and that poor animal won’t see a penny of your donation. They scandalously only give 1% of their budget to local pet shelters and the HSUS doesn’t even operate one pet shelter of its own. Yes, you read that correctly. Even though 85% of their fundraising propaganda features shelter animals, they do not operate a single local pet shelter.

Check out this national commercial featuring Wendie Malick. But while you’re watching, keep in mind what we just told you. Feeling deceived yet?

IMHO,the HSUS is one of the biggest scams around. But lately they have finally started to get their comeuppance. Last year they had to pay almost $16million to Feld/Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus for the settlement for their involvement in the case brought under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that the U.S. District Court ruled was “frivolous,” “vexatious,” and “groundless and unreasonable from its inception.” The settlement also covers the related Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case that Feld Entertainment filed against the groups after discovering they had paid a plaintiff for his participation in the original lawsuit and then attempted to conceal those payments.”

Now you might be wondering, “Where exactly do those donations go?” Here’s a hint.

In June, the Charity Navigator donor advisory warning went public. : “The advisory notifies website visitors of the $15.75 million settlement of a racketeering and bribery lawsuit that HSUS was a part of last month.”

Also according to, you can read more about that settlement here, but the lawsuit involved HSUS money allegedly paying a witness who lied to a federal court. Yikes.

Aside from the lawsuit, it has come to light that the HSUS diligently moved money to several funds in the Cayman Islands, calling them “investments”. We’re pretty sure that moving $26 million to offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands is called stashing money. And it’s shady as hell.

The HSUS has essentially operated under the same donation-guise as PETA, where a large portion of their funding comes from people who are clueless about their real agenda. The time has come for American citizens to open their eyes and stop allowing the HSUS to misuse their hard-earned money.

In fact, PETA and the HSUS are driving the anti-captivity movement not for the welfare of animals, but to make money for themselves. They use and deceive people to promote corrupt agendas and the Cayman Island accounts confirm just how rotten this organization has become.

So if you care about puppies and kittens, as opposed to lobbyists and corrupt organizations, send your donations to local pet shelters instead of the HSUS. The animals will thank you for it.

Radical Muslims, Environmentalists, and the Green Jihad

(A Special Report from the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism)

Rep. Keith Ellison, the Muslim Congressman from Minnesota who shed tears in protest over the congressional hearings on the growing radicalization of Muslims in the U.S., wrote the foreword to a book entitled Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet. In Arabic, “deen” means religious creed. The author of Green Deen is Ibrahim Abdul Matin. He wrote his book to demonstrate that there is a close relationship between Islam and modern environmentalism.

It turns out Ellison would have been a good witness to how Muslims are being radicalized as foot solders not only for global Jihad but for a “green” future. It is an unholy alliance that threatens our future but which escapes the attention of media predisposed to believe that radical Muslims working with environmentalists could only produce positive results.

What is fascinating is that Matin works in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s environmental planning department as a policy advisor for New York City’s long term sustainability, and was one of the Muslims promoting the idea that the new mosque being considered near Ground Zero should be a green one. In fact, Matin devotes one whole chapter of his book to “Green Mosques” and provides a list of environmentally friendly practices that can and should be implemented at each local mosque. Being the progressive Muslim that he paints himself to be, Keith Ellison was very impressed with Matin’s abilities and proudly decided to endorse his book.

One of the reasons Ellison decided to work with Matin was because of his own growing personal involvement in the green movement, which surprisingly enough, is becoming more popular among Muslims. In an interview posted on theDC Green Muslim’s website, Ellison commented that “my involvement in politics is really rooted in my desire to try to promote unity among people, trying to promote unity with the Earth and creation, and trying to promote justice.” Ellison is also involved in an organization called the “Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota (EJAM).” Ellison, the first Muslim Congressman in U.S. history, thus believes in green Islamic social justice of sorts—a veritable Islamic political ecology.

Ellison first met Matin in 2008 at a Muslim American seminar caucus in Washington, D.C.  Matin was a fellow of “Green For All,” the very organization founded by communist Van Jones to help promote the financial wonders of the so-called Green Economy. Matin also helped organize Green For All’s National Day of Action calling for “Green Jobs Now,” which more than 50,000 people attended. Ellison was very impressed by Matin’s influence at the caucus: “Ibrahim made an important connection that day—that the faith community needs to be involved in the green movement.” He went on to conclude his foreword by saying that “Green Deen brings faith communities into the environmental movement by changing the conversation from the facts of global warming to the fact that we all live and work here together and have a collective responsibility to keep this place clean and safe for everyone.”

While there is certainly no small controversy over exactly what a caliphate may be, especially with regard to how Sunnis and Shias view it, or how closely it may be tied to the ushering in of Sharia law, Islamic totalitarianism, terrorism andviolence, it is a word that shows up often in Matin’s Green Deen. Matin innocuously translates the word “caliphah” to simply mean “steward,” a very environmentally-correct term. While this may satisfy the environmental consciousness of modern Western elites, this definition is, of course, very far removed from how most of the Muslim world have historically understood this word.

However, no matter how green a Muslim may or may not be, by definition, the caliphate must still be an Islamic theocratic state under the dominion of Allah. Even though Matin maintains that he wrote his book to help rebrand Muslims from being considered terrorists to environmentalists, he still prefaces his entire book with the idea that “the earth is a mosque.”  This means that the environmental holism being espoused by Matin must necessarily be subject to Allah’s totalitarian authority over the earth. In other words, environmental holism and Islamic totalitarianism go hand in hand in Matin’s Green Deen.

Secret Conquest

If the entire earth is a mosque, as Matin maintains, then Allah’s boundaries are boundless, and this means that simultaneously Americans must live under the theocratic dictates of Allah, and environmentalism can easily be used alongside Sharia law to help bring America to its knees under Islamic jihadist control. While many on the left would naively consider such a possibility beyond the pale, something along these lines is exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood has in mind for the future of America. Indeed, in 1991, the radical Muslim Brotherhoodespoused that “the process of settlement…in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and by the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” In other words, something like environmentalism can be easily used as a jihadist tool in the hands of a green Muslim to help sabotage America from within. After all, Matin says that “Muslims have a personal connection to the color green,” and that “the favorite color of the Prophet Muhammad was green.”

More troubling is that Keith Ellison’s pilgrimage to Mecca in 2008 was paid for by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, which is just another name for the Muslim Brotherhood. Ellison also likes to attend Hamas rallies, and has even worked with communist front groups like the National Lawyers Guild. He even once went so far as to praise the terrorist record of Bernardine Dohrn—the wife of the infamous Bill Ayers. After converting from Roman Catholicism to Islam, Ellison also praised the likes of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam during his college days. This hot-wiring of the anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, together with environmentalism, only helps to serve up an explosive eco-fascist concoction not seen since the 1930’s.

With such a cadre of characters and organizations under Ellison’s belt, is it any wonder that suspicions should arise over his activities, even over something as allegedly harmless as environmentalism? Which brings us back to Matin. Why in the world would Matin want Ellison’s endorsement if all he wants to do is try and show Americans that Muslims are not terrorists but are becoming progressive environmentalists? Neither should it be overlooked that the Muslim American Society also touts the Green Deen book. Matin even considers Malcom X, who was also one of his heroes as a child when he used to listen to his tapes, to be a green Muslim. Such disconcerting connections betray the image that Matin’s Green Deen is as benign as it reads.

Indeed, Matin’s whole approach to energy is viewed as a green Muslim apocalyptic dichotomy between heaven and hell. Matin considers gas, coal and oil as energy from hell, i.e., from the ground: “it is dirty, and it is a major cause of pollution and climate change. Energy from hell is non-renewable; it takes away from the Earth without giving back. It disturbs the balance of the universe and is therefore a great injustice.” As such, it appears that energy from hell needs to be placed under the caliphate control of Allah to help bring about a green Muslim social ethic on the earth: “one way we can stand out firmly for justice is by ending our reliance on oil and coal. Energies from hell are particularly devastating and unjust to people and the planet.”

From One Hell to Another

With the likes of the OPEC oil cartel largely run by the Middle East, coupled with the environmental restrictions on the homefront, perhaps the earth indeed is becoming one giant mosque. Worse is that Matin’s Green Deen only promises to become more hellish, leaving America increasingly exposed to the harsh natural elements of the sun, storm and wind. Yet, Matin views such exposure as a gift from heaven. For him, solar and wind power are Allah’s answers to America’s energy problems: “energy from heaven comes from above. It is not extracted from the Earth and it is renewable…energy from above is a gift from heaven.” The problem now, however, is that America’s electrical grid is not ‘smart’ enough yet to incorporate Allah’s heavenly gifts into her energy system.

Matin also proudly notes in his book that the EPA received much needed help from a green Muslim by the name of Dr. Aziz Saddiqi. In the 1960’s Saddiqi was a young doctoral candidate who was doing groundbreaking research in the Houston area on chemical engineering. The University of Houston was so impressed with his work that he was offered a job: “Soon he found himself guiding the development of curriculum that would help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency carry out its new mission of enforcing the Clean Air Act.” His chemical engineering expertise was much needed at the beginning to help the EPA get off of its feet: “In 1973 the EPA was only three years old and did not understand the full breadth of its power.” The EPA thus had a lot of growing up to do, and Dr. Saddiqi was at the heart of it all at the very beginning: “The EPA, its scientists, and its partner agencies needed to be trained on how to monitor pollution from smokestacks and other commonly used industrial practices.”

In fact, it seems that they were all on the learning curve together on this, as Dr. Saddiqui “had to learn how to explain his research in chemical engineering to this group of regulators.” Dr. Saddiqi “also authored the training materials used to teach EPA scientists how to sample ambient air and develop pollution controls.” Today, Dr. Saddiqi is in charge of the largest Islamic community in the United States, called the Islamic Society of Greater Houston.

It is certainly comforting to discover that the EPA had a green Muslim helping them all out at the beginning on how to be good regulators. Environmentalism and the Islamic caliphate working together arm in arm at the very foundations of the EPA?  Green hippies and a green Muslim expert working hard together trying to come to grips with the full regulatory power of the Clean Air Act?

Conflict of Civilizations

However innocent some green Muslims and environmentalists may or may not be in this whole ecological experiment that America is increasingly rushing headlong into, ratcheting up secular problems with apocalyptic concerns and solutions will only feed radicalism and religious fervor. It also draws in the naïve and unsuspecting to do things that they would not normally do. By apocalypticizing their worries and concerns, environmentalists have managed to take something as banal and neutral as handling natural resources and have turned it into a gigantic worldwide ethic of ecological social justice requiring immediate action that now is even beginning to draw in the Muslims as well.

Muslims like Ibrahim Abdul Matin and Keith Ellison would do well to think again about the differences between Gaia, considered the spirit of the earth by environmentalists, and Allah. Though both have totalitarian goals, they are by no means the same. Ecological pantheism cannot be mixed with monotheism, even if the Muslim religion is symbolized by a crescent moon. At some point, these two ideologies will collide, and even though I am not a betting man, I would put my money on the growing juggernaut of Western pantheism. It has already largely devoured the Judeo-Christian worldview in America, and is well on its way to spitting out the pieces of what is left of free market capitalism.

Social Justice Sociologist Denounces “Bedtime Reading Privilege”

Social Justice is the Equality circle of the 3 Es of Sustainable Development.  For a long time the Agenda21 Sustainable Development crowd focused on the other two Es, Environment and and Economic.  Recently, the third E has had center stage, from screaming about “white privilege” to saying that asking a woman out can be rape.  Now, if you read to your children you are guilty of a social injustice. The only way we can ever try to understand what is going on is to realize black is white, right is wrong, up is down and every moral value you ever had is socially unjust.  Try thinking this way; I bet you can’t, I can’t.





By Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

The difference between a lunatic and a liberal egalitarian sociologist is that the latter has tenure and visiting professorships at Harvard. As the frontier of social justice continually expands, like a balloon filled with stale toxic gases, it has become time to investigate the privilege enjoyed by children whose parents read to them at night, instead of smoking crack over their beds.

This story comes to us courtesy of Adam Swift, a political philosopher and liberal egalitarian sociologist with an interest in social justice and the family, and Australia’s ABC.

“Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?” asks a story on the ABC’s website.

“Should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?”

“Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t — the difference in their life chances — is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,” British academic Adam Swift told ABC presenter Joe Gelonesi.

Gelonesi responded online: “This devilish twist of evidence surely leads to a further conclusion that perhaps — in the interests of levelling the playing field — bedtime stories should also be restricted.”

Swift said parents should be mindful of the advantage provided by bedtime reading.

“I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,” he said.

They should feel guilty… for being good parents. This is the logic of the left. And if you’re not illiterate, check your bedtime reading privilege. You enjoyed the advantage of parents who cared about you. You should feel guilty. Very guilty.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that the West is unfairly advantaged by having so many sociologists, critical race theorists and social justice warriors. If we all deported them to poor countries, they could finally catch up to us in the field of social justice.

As much as it might pain us to lose these demented parasites respected academics, it’s the right thing to do. No longer will we enjoy our vast advantages in sociology and theories on gendered icebergs (yes it’s a thing). The rest of the world will now be able to benefit from having a declining economy and an academic environment that consists of crazy people denouncing others for thoughtcrimes.

SCAG Head Hasan Ikhrata Wants to Put a Black Box In Your Car and Track Your Every Move

There’s an old saw, “As California goes, so goes the nation.”   In all those old sayings, there is usually more than a bit of truth. Someone email this to me today and I felt it was worth posting.  I found it quite believable and scary. In fact, the Christian Zionist had studied Communist planning quite a bit; I hope those reading are aware of the fact that the city planning here in the U.S. was taken from Communist planning.



SCAG Head Hasan Ikhrata Wants to Put a Black Box In Your Car and Track Your Every Move

I’m watching.

You may have noticed yesterday that a rather old Tattler article had crept back into our “Top 10 Most Read Posts” list. Originally posted here in October of 2009 (link), it asks this loaded question: “The Head of SCAG is a Former Soviet Planner?” The article was based on a cite from the Orange County Register, and yes. Hasan Ikhrata, a man noted for his striking lack of a forehead, once was an actual Soviet planning official. From The Register (link):

No joke! SCAG’s new leader was a Soviet planner – This is too good to be true. I have a habit of comparing myriad local and state planners to Soviet planners, given that their ideas seem so similar at times. Recently, I wrote a column about the planners at SCAG, the appropriately named Southern California Association of Governments. I say appropriately, because a dictionary definition of scag is heroin, and these folks are addicted to central planning and tax dollars.

Well, the new head of SCAG, replacing Mark Pisano, is Hasan Ikhrata. Check out this from his bio: “Hasan also worked abroad for the Government of USSR, Moscow Metro Corporation, where he conducted subway ridership forecasting, engineering design and analysis of TDM programs for the Moscow Subway system. Hasan holds a bachelor’s degree from Moscow University in the former Soviet Union and master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.”

At least now it will be easier to refer to the “Soviet Planner” in charge of Southern California’s premiere planning agency!

An interesting blast from the past for sure. And certainly SCAG does have its Soviet aspects. The most obvious to anyone living in Sierra Madre being the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) numbers we are forced to endure from them every few years.

The “RHNA Process,” as it is known, being how SCAG’s faceless planners help jam hideously inappropriate locally unwanted land uses (LULUs) into quaint little villages such as our own. Unelected and widely reviled bureaucrats, SCAG planning apparatchiks operate at the sole pleasure of an increasingly hostile central state government, and function completely free from any interference by we the voters.

City planning has now apparently become a post-democratic activity.

Obviously this former Soviet planner has found his happy home in today’s California. A one party state well into the process of confiscating all local planning authority and consolidating it within our venal central government in Sacramento, where it is then peddled piecemeal to the highest bidders.

Slow growthers and other people who believe that cities such as ours should be allowed to independently plot their own planning destinies apparently being the Kulaks of this troubled era.

So why is an old Tattler article about Hasan Ikhrata attracting so much attention on the Internet now? Apparently our favorite once upon a time Soviet planner is up to no good again. This from the Los Angeles Times (link):

A black box in your car? Some see a source of tax revenue – As America’s road planners struggle to find the cash to mend a crumbling highway system, many are beginning to see a solution in a little black box that fits neatly by the dashboard of your car.

The devices, which track every mile a motorist drives and transmit that information to bureaucrats, are at the center of a controversial attempt in Washington and state planning offices to overhaul the outdated system for funding America’s major roads.

The tea party is aghast. The American Civil Liberties Union is deeply concerned, too, raising a variety of privacy issues.

And while Congress can’t agree on whether to proceed, several states are not waiting. They are exploring how, over the next decade, they can move to a system in which drivers pay per mile of road they roll over. Thousands of motorists have already taken the black boxes, some of which have GPS monitoring, for a test drive.

“This really is a must for our nation. It is not a matter of something we might choose to do,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Assn. of Governments, which is planning for the state to start tracking miles driven by every California motorist by 2025. “There is going to be a change in how we pay these taxes. The technology is there to do it.”

This really is a must for whose nation, Mr. Ikhrata?

That story has now gone viral on the Internet. A website called Zero Hedge (link), also citing Ikhrata’s troubling assertions, had this to say:

Big Brother Is Coming To Your Car – This is a topic that has been on my radar screen for a while, but one that very few Americans seem to be paying attention to despite the egregious revelations concerning NSA spying that have emerged recently. I first flagged this issue in late 2012 in an article titled: Coming to Your Car: Mandatory Black Boxes That Record Everything.

The latest push for tracking devices in cars is being sold as necessary in order to raise funds to pay for the nation’s decayed highway infrastructure … This is simply idiotic. There is already a tax per gallon on gasoline, so people are already being taxed based on how much they drive. Only a control-freak, moronic government bureaucrat would come to the conclusion that the solution to this problem is to install Orwellian tracking devices in people’s cars.

And then there is this observation from a Libertarian news blog called American Thinker (link):

Big Brother Never Sleeps – The statists never stop their quest to figure out how to control our lives. I haven’t adjusted to the new reality in America that we will face penalties for not having health insurance (and hope I never do adjust to it), when along comes another absolutely crazy leftie plan, “Track and Tax.”

Can you guess what this might be about? Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to be completely outrageous as you brainstorm ideas. Headline Hint: “A black box in your car? Some see a source of tax revenue: The devices would track every mile you drive — possibly including your location — and the government would use the data to draw up a tax bill.”

American Thinker also cites Hasan Ikhrata’s quote, and then shares these thoughts:

Next, anyone affiliated with something called the Southern California Association of Governments would be a person I would steer clear of when seeking guidance on, well, just about anything. Who knew that in addition to The Government, there would be an Association of Governments?

Then, I have to say, that while I appreciate the ACLU being concerned about privacy, I have no interest in anyone figuring out a way to make this plan to track and tax be one that are eventually feel “more comfortable” with. I don’t want the government (or anyone!) keeping track of where I go, what day I go, what time I go, how many miles I drove, or anything of the sort.

It appears that we are cursed to be living in interesting times. Times where everything you do is carefully watched, tracked, analyzed, and then taxed.

Look at it this way, perhaps Hasan Ikhrata never really did leave the Soviet Union.

He just brought it here with him.

France, the West and the Islamist Challenge

This piece is from Gatestone Institute’s website and written by Amir Taheri, syndicated columnist and author of 11 books on Islam, the Middle East and Iran, is Chairman of Gatestone Institute Europe. The above is an edited text of inaugural remarks at Gatestone Institute’s conference held in Paris, France, on March 23, 2015.

It is long but well worth the time; it was elucidating for me.  I knew what was happening but not the why.  

_______________________________________________________Amir Taheri

Even in poor countries that become breeding grounds for Islamic terror, the funds needed always come from richer Muslim nations. What we are facing is not a revolt of the poor.

What matters is what you are taught, where and by whom and for what purpose. Many jihadists are taught a vision of the world and the place of Islam in it that is bound to lead to conflict, violence, terror and ultimately war.

Non-Western cultures have no doubt that they are the best… it is only Western civilization that regards self-criticism as an almost sacred duty. In a civilization built on critical, and self-critical, thinking, we are invited to practice censorship and self-censorship. If danger there is, it comes from those who wish to silence such voices in the name of multiculturalism and “respect for the other.”

The adepts of political correctness in the West measure everyone’s worth with the degree of his or her victimhood.

The problem was misguided Islamophilia not bigoted Islamophobia. Islamophilia is often mixed with anti-Americanism, blaming America for whatever goes wrong under the sun.

The Imperialism of guilt blames the West, especially America, for everything, and denies “the other” any credit, even for his own mistakes. Every year a group of Americans travels to Jerusalem to meet Arabs and apologize to them for “the Crusades.” The fact that at the time of the Crusades the U.S. did not even exist is conveniently forgotten, as is that Arabs at best played second fiddle in the Crusades, which was mostly the affair of Turks, Kurds and Mamelukes.

That ideology [Islam] is aimed at world conquest. Islam seldom tried to convert people by force, but always insisted on control of territory and imposing its values and its rule. The next step is to cleanse the area of “pockets of kufr [infidels],” such as cinemas, cafes serving alcohol, and book and music shops offering non-Islamic material. This is what the “brethren” do in the suburbs of Paris.

Jihadist movements did not come into being in reaction to American “imperialism” or Zionism.

There are those who insist that Islam is a religion of peace. There is no word for peace in Arabic. There is “silm,” which means submission. They ignore the fact that Islam will be a religion of peace only after it has seized control of the entire world.

The sad fact is that Islam cannot be reformed, if only because it lacks a recognized authority capable of proposing, let alone imposing, reform. Today, the bulk of Islamic energies are devoted to political issues, with theological work not even getting a stool at the high table.

What France and the West in general face today is a war waged by part of Islam against the democratic world. The silly slogan, “this has no military solution,” is based on a denial of the reality that Western democracies are being attacked in a multifaceted war. The only question that really matters in a state of war is: Are you with us or against us? The unwillingness of Western democracies to agree on an analysis of the situation enables opportunist Muslim powers by tolerating the terrorists.

Three months after the Islamic terror attacks in Paris, France is still grappling with the diagnosis of what happened and remains uncertain on how to cope with what everyone agrees could be a long-term threat to French freedom and security.

There is disagreement, even at the highest levels of state, on the designation of the terrorists who carried out the attacks.

While France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has spoken of Islamic fascism and announced that France was at war with “terrorism, jihadism and Islamist radicalism,” its President, François Hollande, has insisted that “the events had nothing to do with Islam.” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has gone even further by claiming that the men responsible for the carnage belonged to no religion at all. They were simply “men without faith.”

The phrase “this had nothing to do with Islam” is found everywhere, a mantra for those who say they are concerned about pouring oil on fire.

That inability and/or unwillingness to decide who the adversary is has affected the debate on the origins of the threat and ways of dealing with it.

Poverty and Terror

As usual, some analysts have blamed “society,” an all-purpose abstraction that is supposed to be capable of both good and evil, for the evil deeds of the men who carried out the attacks. Thus we are treated to a litany of woes about how French society had forced the would-be terrorists into a life of poverty, which presumably made terrorism an attractive, if not the only, option for them.

The fact that none of the men involved was especially poor and that, in a welfare society such as France, violence is not the only way out of poverty, is conveniently ignored.

In reality, Islamist terrorism in its latest manifestations is not a product of poor Muslim countries or poor Muslim communities in non-Muslim nations. In the past 40 years or so, Islamist terror has come from fairly wealthy countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq, Algeria and Nigeria, more than poverty-stricken nations such as Bangladesh, Mauritania or Sierra Leone. Even in poor countries that became breeding grounds for Islamist terror, countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and more recently, Yemen, Mali and Niger, the funds needed for creating and operating terrorist networks — the training and financing necessary and the theological-political guidance — always come from richer Muslim nations.

In the past two years, thousands of volunteers for jihad from rich European countries, as well as the United States, Canada, Russia, China and Japan, have joined various Islamist terror outfits including the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the Al-Shabaab in Somalia and the Ansar al-Allah (Helpers of God) in Yemen, among other groups.

In its early form, Al Qaeda was created with seed money from several oil-rich Arab states to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. When those states stopped the flow of funds in the 1990s, a number of wealthy Arab families, often operating in the guise of Islamic charities, stepped in to keep the wheels of jihad lubricated.

Today, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Boko Haram in Nigeria and, of course, Islamic State (Da’esh in Arabic) are better funded than some small developing nations. Recent footage from Raqqah, capital of the Islamic Caliphate in Syria, reveals a city flush with money. The jihadis go around in the latest 4-wheel-drive gas-guzzlers manufactured in “Satanic” lands. The Caliph who has just renamed himself Abubakar Hussein al-Hashemi himself drives a bullet-proof Mercedes 600 and, when in public, likes to show off his $25,000 Swiss gold watch.

Thus, the claim that poverty causes terrorism is a moot point at best. What we are facing is not a revolt of the poor but a movement that attracts relatively well-to-do individuals from all over the world. After all, to reach the area controlled by the Caliphate, one would need cash to buy airline tickets to Turkey and then hire a taxi for a 200 mile drive south to Raqqah.

Failure of Education

The second diagnostic, that the terrorists represented a failure of the education system, is equally open to debate. The men who carried out the Paris massacres had all benefited from an educational system that many French boast about as the best in the world. They had obtained their “Bacs” and could also have proceeded to secure university education had they so wished.

More broadly, the current international jihad movement is not an affair of uneducated individuals. Members of the top echelon of the Islamic State all have higher education, as do the leaders of various Al Qaeda franchises in North Africa and Yemen. All the top five theoreticians of Da’esh have the equivalent of PhDs from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, reputed to be the most exclusive center for Sunni Islamic theological education.

There are more PhDs, often from U.S. universities, in President Hassan Rouhani’s administration in Tehran than in that of President Barack Obama in Washington. And, yet, the Rouhani administration, claiming a duty to “export revolution,” is the principal supporter of a variety of Islamist terror groups, including branches of Hezbollah, the Ansar Allah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

In any event, no education is ever neutral. What matters is what you are taught, where, by whom and for what purpose. Many jihadists do attend Islamic madrassahs to complement and counter-balance their education in schools they do not consider halal. They are taught a vision of the world and the place of Islam in it that is bound to lead to conflict, violence, terror and ultimately war.

“Crusader-Zionist” Claim

Another suggested explanation of why terrorists did what they did is based on the classical claim that Muslims have been victims of Western Imperialist or “Crusader-Zionist” injustice for centuries, and are thus venting their anger through “violent extremism,” to borrow a phrase from my favorite lexicographer, Barack Obama.

In his book “The War for Muslim Minds”, French Islamologist Gilles Kepel echoes the Obamaesque cliché. He denounces the phrase “war on terror” as “a phrase engineered to heighten fear” among Americans. He writes, “Stigmatizing the enemy by calling them ‘terrorists’ is of little help in defining the nature of the new threat.”

The domestic variation of the same theme is that Muslims living in Western democracies, including France, are somehow deprived of full citizenship rights or are subjected to Islamophobia.

French journalist Edwy Plenel has devoted a whole book called “Pour les Musulmans” (“For Muslims”) to the claim of victimhood for Muslim communities in Europe in general and in France in particular. He questions the idea that there is any specific “Frenchness” and argues that France belongs to whoever lives there at any given time.

To drive in the point, he asserts: “We are a little America after all.”

His whole thesis is based on the rejection of the idea that in a secular republic founded on the principles of equality and fraternity, there could be such a thing as a Muslim community. That, however, is anathema to many Muslims who firmly believe that an “Infidel” could never be regarded as an equal to a follower of “The Only True Faith,” that is to say, Islam. Plenel undermines his own thesis with the title of his book. If Muslims do not represent a distinct reality in France, how could one be for or against them?

The Racism Claim

Another claim is that the jihadists are angry young men from ethnic groups subjected to racism in France.

That claim, too, is hard to sustain.

To start with, Islam is not a race; there are Muslims of all shades and colors, including quite a few ginger-heads, and not only in Europe. In any case, though France has had and continues to have its share of racist bigots, it has one of the best records in Europe for accommodating ethnic and racial diversity. It has had black members of parliament and Senators, Cabinet ministers and other ranking officials long before people like Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Barack Obama injected a bit of color into the upper strata of American politics. For at least two decades after World War II, France was a haven for black American writers and musicians and artists, among them Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Miles Davis and Josephine Baker. Since the Second World, there have been black and “colored” faces in almost all French Cabinets and parliaments.

France also had Arab/Muslim members of parliament long before such “exotic” figures could enter the British or any other Western legislature. While the US is yet to have a Jewish president and Britain a Jewish prime minister, France has already had two Jewish prime ministers and a president who is a grandson of a Rabbi. Add to that at least two Protestant prime ministers, while Britain has not yet had its first Catholic premier, and France’s record as a fairly tolerant society would be hard to challenge.

The Islamophobia Claim

The next claim one has to deal with is that of Islamophobia as at least a partial cause of the resentment that is supposed to have pushed those “angry young” men towards jihad.

That claim, too, is based on little evidence, if any.

France is, in fact, one of the few countries in the world, all of them Western or Western-style democracies, where Muslims of any and all denominations could live, practice, and propagate their faith in freedom and security. In every one of the 57 Muslim majority member-nations of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), only one version of Islam, the one approved by the state, is allowed basic freedoms.

If you are a Sunni Muslim in the Iranian capital, Tehran, for example, you are not allowed to have a mosque of your own, even though your fellow believers number 2.5 million.

In contrast, if you set up a Shi’ite mosque in Cairo, you are likely to get killed, as was the case in 2013 with the Egyptian capital’s now-destroyed single Shi’ite mosque and its founder. Editions of the Koran printed in Saudi Arabia are banned in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Saudi Arabia repays the compliment by confiscating Korans published by the Iranians. In Paris, however, you could buy both editions, and many others, without fear of arrest or worse.

In many cases, rare texts of Islamic scholarship, often saved from destruction in their original Islamic homelands, are available in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. French universities and other centers of learning and research do more work on all aspects of Islam than is done in almost any Muslim-majority nation.

The label “ethnocentric” has become an all-purpose device to shut down any critical scrutiny of communities and cultures supposedly “oppressed by the West” since the dawn of history. Interestingly, the very concept of ethnocentrism is a Western invention and remains unique to the West. It started with Montaigne four centuries ago in his essay “Les Cannibales,” written to castigate reports by Western travelers that pockets of cannibalism persisted in some parts of the world beyond Western influence.

If no other culture has developed the concept of ethnocentrism as a means of questioning its own values and world view, the reason is that non-Western cultures have no doubt that they are the best and that, as such, fully merit being at the center. The Chinese are not ashamed of being labeled “Sinocentric,” nor would Persians have any qualms about being accused of Persocentrism. It is only Western civilization that regards self-criticism as an almost sacred duty. In other civilizations, it is self-reaffirmation that is highly prized. It was on that basis that Imam Muhammad al-Ghazzali, the first Muslim scholar to be given the highly coveted title of Hojat al-Islam (Proof of Islam), castigated philosophical speculation as anti-Islamic.

“The task of the Muslim scholar is to seek knowledge that reaffirms the message of the Koran and the teachings of the Prophet,” Ghazzali wrote. “Philosophy, however, sees casting doubt on all certainties by questioning them as its principal task.”

Islamopologia or Islamophobia?

Often, in the post-modern Western view, the concept of otherness — altérité, made famous with Claude Levi-Strauss’s seminal work — implies at least the equality of the other, if not his superiority, in terms of cultural value.

There is, in fact, evidence that France may have more of a problem with Islamopologia than Islamophobia. Was it Islamophobia that persuaded President Jacques Chirac to try to suppress a report he himself had commissioned on the emergence of Islamist ghettos around Paris and many other French cities? Though it focused on what was going on in state-run schools, the Obin Report, eventually released a year later, portrayed a wider picture of a society that, as admitted by Prime Minister Valls recently, practiced a form of Apartheid for fear of angering its Muslim minority. The fact that a small minority of radical Muslims imposed their “way of life” on others, including a majority of French Muslims, showed that the problem was misguided Islamophilia, not bigoted Islamophobia.

In a small Paris street, Rue des Petites Ecuries, in the 10th arrondissement, one finds Muslims of many different backgrounds living side by side as shopkeepers and residents.

In many parts of the so-called Muslim world itself, however, they would not even address the routine “salam aleikom” to each other, or they would be killing one another in sectarian wars.

France is estimated to be home to around six million Muslims, the vast majority of them not practicing. However, in 2013 the country had just under 2000 mosques. Not a bad number when we remember that Tehran, with a population of 14 million, has only 720 mosques. Riyadh, the Saudi capital, has 3000 mosques for a population of 7.5 million.

It is also hardly a sign of Islamophobia that the French Republic, always proud of its secularism, financed the creation of what President Nicholas Sarkozy dubbed “une église française de l’Islam” in the shape of Le Conseil français du culte musulman.

Even an occasional viewer of French television would soon find more evidence of possibly well-intentioned but ultimately misguided Islamophilia than Islamophobia. Over the past few years, dozens of documentaries showing Islam in the best possible light have been screened, including a few claiming that had Islam not saved the pre-Christian Greco-Roman heritage, modern Europe would have been impossible. One documentary even suggested that cinema was invented by a certain Abu-Hufus, a Muslim lens-maker in 10th century Baghdad, echoing similar claims by President Barack Obama in his notorious speech at Cairo University.

By encouraging the illusion that Islam is really better than it is, and regardless of their intentions, Islamopologists do great harm both to Islam and to France. At the same time, the creation of a new category of topics beyond any critical scrutiny prevents France from developing policies needed to cope with Islam’s positive as well as negative aspects.

Islam is the Solution

In his “Relire le Coran” (“Re-reading the Koran”), the late French Arabologist Jacques Berque tried to prove that there was something miraculous about the “Holy Book” by showing that in one of the suras the same word was repeated on two pages facing each other in exactly the same place. That, in fact, is a reduction of the Koran to a book of jumbles, even though supposedly of divine origin.

I remember Michel Foucault, a French philosopher, who came to Tehran in 1978 to watch our “revolution.” He loved every moment of it. “Here we have the explosion of spirituality in the street,” he opined. “In the West we have nothing but crass materialism.” But when the mullahs started shooting people by the thousands, and hanging gay men, including one of the Frenchman’s Iranian lovers, in public, Foucault was outraged. “The revolution has been sullied,” he moaned, as if a revolution could ever be immaculate.

“Islam is the Solution” has always been a slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, some Western writers, some of them converts to Islam, have adopted it in a broader civilizational sense.

Roger Garaudy, a Stalinist who converted to various versions of Islam in succession, starting with that marketed by Colonel Kaddhafi and ending with the version patented by Khomeini, argued that the West is at “an historic impasse” created by the Enlightenment, with Islam offering the only way out.

In his book, “The Promise of Islam,” he claims that only Islam is capable of offering mankind a future. “The future is depicted by men like Kaddhafi and Bani-Sadr,” he writes. Today, of course, no one knows where Kaddhafi is buried, while we know that Bani-Sadr is an exile in a Paris suburb.

Tariq Ramadan, an Islam advisor to various European governments, echoes that analysis in his book “The Future of Islam in Europe.” He claims that Islam, “more than any other civilization has advanced science to a higher level” while maintaining “the spiritual aspect of human existence,” supposedly neglected by the West.

Ramadan struggles hard to decide how to define the West. He rejects the concept of the West as Dar al-Harb (Abode of War) as outdated. He then suggests the label Dar al-Sulh (Abode of Truce) but translates the word “sulh” as “peace” which is entirely misleading because ‘sulh’ means truce, not peace. In fact, there is no word for peace in Arabic in the sense found in Indo-European languages. There is “silm” which means submission,” the root of the words Islam and Muslim.

Conscious that his trick might be exposed, he then considers the terms Dar al-Ahd (Abode of Treaty) and Dar al-Dhimma (Abode of Tribute). But these, too, appear unsatisfactory because there is no overall treaty between the West and the Islamic states, while no Western nation pays tribute (jizya) to an Islamic Caliphate.

Ramadan ends up with the term Dar al-Shihadah (Abode of Testimony) which, although it sounds inoffensive, suffers from the disadvantage of being meaningless.

He reveals his full hand when he suggests that the Islamic shariah law offers “creative and innovative possibilities” for solving the problems of a Western civilization in terminal decline.

In his book, mentioned earlier, Gilles Kepel suggests that the West should go “beyond bin Laden and Bush” — who are, by implication, in positions of moral equivalence — and aim to create the “New Andalusia,” a 21st-century version of what he imagines southern Spain to have been under Muslim rule, this time in the whole of the European Union.

Kepel does not say who would rule, but waxes lyrical about his Islamo-Christian utopia. “Andalusia must come to symbolize a place where the hybridization and flowering of two distinct cultures can produce an extraordinary progress in civilization. The advent of the New Andalusia is the only way out of the passions and impediments [sic] that Osama bin Laden’s Jihad and George W. Bush’s war on terror have produced.”

Kepel would have done well to read some of the Islamic texts, especially the poems of the Emir Al-Mutamed, which depict part of the atrocities committed by the Al-Moravids in the heyday of the Andalusian utopia.

Islamophilia is often mixed with anti-Americanism. Blaming America for whatever goes wrong under the sun has always been a favorite sport of a section of the French intellectual elite, and Kepel is not alone in indulging in it.

As early as the 19th century, several French writers, among them Stendhal and Villiers de L’Isle d’Adam, adopted anti-American postures in the name of preserving Europe’s “authenticity” or rejecting “crass materialism.” JK Huysmans saw America as “a gigantic whorehouse” and warned against “the invasion of American manners and its aristocracy of wealth.”

The French neo-anti-Americanism may not be as direct or as brazen. But it is certainly no less intensely felt.

In his book “Le Pacte de Lucidité,” the philosopher Jean Baudrillard describes the US as “a negative power that disregards [other nations’] sovereignty and representative democracy.”

According to Baudrillard, what we are witnessing is “The antagonism between world power [i.e. the US] and terrorism.” He writes: “The current confrontation between American hegemony and Islamic terrorism is the visible aspect of the duel between an integral reality of power and the integral refusal of that same power.”

The background to that epic struggle is the death of Western reality itself.

Baudrillard writes: “In fact, this profane and desacralized reality has slowly become a useless function, a fiction that we desperately try to save as we did with God’s existence in the past. Deep down we don’t know how to rid ourselves of it.”

If Western democracies are attacked by terrorists, it is, once again, their own fault.

Baudrillard writes: “The capitalist world order is no longer facing the specter of Communism but its own specter: terrorism.”

I believe that one of the reasons for the West’s success as a civilization is its almost unique capacity for self-criticism.

However, that unique capacity is undermined when Islam, which is now part of the Western reality, is allocated a special category labeled “handle with care” or “vilify at will.”

Sometimes, that “handle with care” position on Islam is taken to the limit of the absurd. For example, some stars of La Gauche (The Left) appeared on television to call for a campaign of silence against Michel Houellebecq’s novel, “Submission,” which, they claimed, insulted Islam. Former Trotskyite Edwy Plenel invited reviewers simply to ignore the novel, a new form of censorship.

As far as Islam was concerned, omerta was in order, just as it is in the case of the Corsican Mafia.

In a civilization built on critical, and self-critical, thinking, we are invited to practice censorship and self-censorship. Would Milton be allowed to publish what he wrote on Catholics? And what about Voltaire and what he wrote on blacks? Need one mention Chateaubriand on Muhammad and Thomas Jefferson on Islam?

What happened to that great European dictum “Error has no rights”?

The French are, of course, not alone to get carried away in their enthusiasm for “the other” whether it is Mussolini or Hitler or Stalin or Mao or the Red Khmer, and, more recently, Khomeini and Osama bin Laden.

Susan Sontag’s admiration for the “courage” of Al-Qaeda bombers of 9/11, Noam Chomsky’s passionate support for the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Ramsey Clark’s boundless admiration for Ayatollah Khomeini and Saddam Hussein, are too well known to need being recalled here.

In a recent nook, the British author Michael Axworthy reflects similar fascination with the Khomeinist regime in Iran. A former diplomat who headed the Iran Desk of the Foreign Office for years, he notes that as “Jean-Paul Sartre once wrote that the French were never as free as they were under Nazi occupation, in the sense that moral choice and the seriousness of consequences were never as sharp as they were at the time. That too is true in Iran. In Western countries, for many of us, we have it easy and have become morally lazy, relativistic and cynical. In Iran, the essentials of right and wrong, freedom and repression have been everyday matters of discussion and choice.”

In other words, the estimated 150,000 highly educated Iranians who flee the country each year, creating the biggest “brain drain in history,” according to the World Bank, do not know what a good thing they are leaving behind in Iran. Let us also remember that under Nazi occupation, Sartre continued to live a comfortable life of philosophical speculation while quite a few French men and women took up arms to drive out the occupier.

The Imperialism of Guilt

In the past two centuries, contemplating the outside world, the West has passed through a number of phases. The optimism of the 18th century, with its rose-tinted spectacles, was followed by 19th century romanticism and the tragic pessimism of the 20th century.

The Imperialism of arrogance, based on the belief that the West had a sacred mission to civilize the rest of the world, was replaced by the romantic illusion that “the other” had developed a lifestyle closer to human nature and nature in general.

In our time, the Imperialism of arrogance, which denied “the other” any positive achievement, has been replaced with an Imperialism of guilt that blames the West, especially America, for everything and denies “the other” any credit, even for his own mistakes.

Thus, the Imperialism of guilt invites us to see the crime committed by the Kouachi brothers as somehow related to “French atrocities” in Algeria.

Sometimes, peddlers of the Imperialism of guilt go even further. Every year, a group of Americans travels to Jerusalem to meet Arabs in the eastern part of the city and apologize to them for “the Crusades.”

The fact that at the time of the Crusades the U.S. did not even exist is conveniently forgotten, as is that Arabs at best played second fiddle in the Crusades, which was mostly the affair of Turks, Kurds and the Mamelukes.

One of the 14 papers presented during the annual “Death to America” conference in Tehran was also devoted to the role of “The Great Satan” as leader of the Crusades against Islam. That Iran was in no way involved in the Crusades, a clash between the Europeans and the Turkic, Mameluke and Kurdish principalities of Egypt, the Levant and Anatolia at the time, was overlooked.

In a political version of the Original Sin, the West is invited to account for all its real or imagined misdeeds, including those unjustly imputed to it by its enemies, to apologize for them and, as often as possible, even pay compensation.

The adepts of political correctness in the West regret everything and measure everyone’s worth with the degree of his or her victimhood.

And, yet, to quote Spinoza, “after hatred, regret is the most fundamental enemy of mankind.”

Self-Loathing and Submission

Sometimes, self-criticism degenerates into self-loathing and a longing for peace even through “submission,” in line with the Stockholm Syndrome.

Eric Zemmour, a TV journalist, has become the bête-noire of the politically correct crowd in France because he dared warn against the danger that Islamism posed for Europe and Western civilization as a whole.

However, Zemmour’s main target is France, or more precisely the French intellectual elite, who, he claims, are leading their civilization to suicide in the sense meant by British historian Arnold Toynbee: by failing to meet their challenges. Zemmour is not blaming Islam in the sense claimed by Islamopologists. He is blaming the French, who have lost their will to fight back in defense of their own values and way of life.

Zemmour’s “suicide” warning is echoed in a new book by former Prime Minister Michel Rocard, in which he claims that France and Western civilization as a whole are digging their own graves.

Even Michel Houellebecq, now castigated as the paragon of Islamophobia, in his latest novel “Submission,” points the explosive anger of his derision at the French rather than Islam and Muslims. He portrays a civilization gripped by self-doubt, obsession with sex and consumerism, and lacking the will to take any risks in defense of its fading values.

France and Europe in general are prepared to listen to the voice of the tempter promising them tranquility, if not peace. As described by Mark Lilla in the New York Review of Books, in Houellebecq’s dystopian novel, the tempter tells the narrator, a wobbly François, that

“the summit of human happiness is to be found in absolute submission,” of children to parents, women to men, and men to God. And in return, one receives life back in all its splendor. Because Islam does not, like Christianity, see human beings as pilgrims in an alien, fallen world, it does not see any need to escape it or remake it. The Koran is an immense mystical poem in praise of the God who created the perfect world we find ourselves in, and teaches us how to achieve happiness in it through obedience. Freedom is just another word for wretchedness.

In other words, Houellebecq is, in a roundabout way, endorsing Kepel’s claim that only a New Andalusia could save France and Europe from their current decline. Houellebecq’s novel is a fruit of cultural pessimism, which has a long history in the European civilization. And, yet, Houellebecq’s novel is routinely castigated as an “Islamophobic” tract rather than a caricature of French society supposedly in decline.

Since I reject the very premise of the novel, as well as Kepel’s analysis, that European and/or Western civilization in general is in decline, I need not dwell on the nature of their pessimism. However, what I wish to emphasize is that, contrary to what they think, Islam is torn between currents of self-aggrandizement and self-loathing at least as strong as we witness in Europe today.

The danger that Europe faces is not from pessimists like Zemmour and Houellebecq, who continue a long line that goes back to Saint Augustine, Tomassino Campanella, The Song of Rolland, and more recently, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Oswald Spengler, Thomas Mann, Robert Musil, George Orwell, and Thomas Bernhardt, to name but a few. If danger there is, it comes from those who wish to silence such voices in the name of multiculturalism and “respect for the other.”

Terror without Frontier

What we face today is terrorism without frontier in the context of globalization, which was so ardently desired and anticipated just a generation ago.

I think the question whether or not this new brand of global terrorism is Islamic cannot be settled by outsiders such as François Hollande and Anne Hidalgo. During a television program, I was taken to task by a blond sheikh from California who, having recently converted to Islam, was angry at my readiness to accept Osama bin Laden’s claim that he acted in the name of Islam.

However, since Islam has no mechanism for excommunication, one could not reject anybody who says he is a Muslim. All that one could do is to have recourse to “bara’ah,” a mechanism for self-exoneration indicating that the reprehensible deeds of some Muslims do not concern all Muslims.

In its most dynamic and active current manifestation, Islam is a religion transformed, upgraded or downgraded as you wish, into a political ideology. That ideology is aimed at world conquest as a long-term objective, which could be attained through a relentless fight against all other forms of organized human existence.

To fight this new brand of terrorism, the Western democracies need to take its claim of representing Islam seriously, even if they regard such a claim as misplaced. It is up to Muslims themselves to practice “bara’ah,” that is to say self-exoneration, and put some clear water between themselves and those who pretend to be the champions of modern Islam. Hollande and Hidalgo cannot do that for them.

A growing number of people in France are beginning to face the reality of the problem Islam poses for the French way of life, if only by providing a radical alternative. François de Closets, best-selling author of the book “Don’t Tell God What He Should Do,” insists that the French should openly admit that the presence of a large Muslim community in the country poses a problem. This does not mean that Islam is good or bad; what is at issue is that Islam is different, and with things the rest of the French might not want. The only way to deal with the problem is to admit its existence, examine it as calmly as possible and seek solutions compatible with the values of a modern Western democracy. In other words, the ostrich-style denial preached by people such as Plenel simply misses the point.

Islam’s Civil War of Ideas

Islam is going through a major civil war of ideas, a civilizational conflict between those Muslims who regard religion as just a part of life, and others who believe religion must be assigned no more than a well-defined place in the public space. That such a conflict should trigger violence, part of which is transferred to non-Muslim lands, is no surprise.

Violence was woven into the very DNA of Islam from the start. After all, the Prophet imposed his domination on parts of Arabia with a series of wars conducted in the style of razzias [raids], from the Arab word “ghazva” [battle]. Islam seldom tried to convert people by force, but always insisted on control of territory and imposing its values and its rule. Even today, the aim is not to force anyone to convert; what is demanded is “submission.”

Of the four Well Guided Caliphs of Islam, three were assassinated by Muslims from rival factions. Since then, the history of Islam is dotted with countless political murders at all levels. Jihadist movements did not come into being in reaction to American “Imperialism” or Zionism, the two punching-bags routinely blamed for any surge in Islamic violence. The Kharijites massacred people in what is today Iraq almost 1500 years ago. The Thaqafites, in turn, conducted massacres 1300 years ago. In the 19th century, The Akhund of Swat, in what is now Pakistan, had never heard of America, let alone George W. Bush and his “neo-cons.” Zarraq Khan in the Afghan uplands, Mullah Hassan in what is now Somalia, and the Mahdi and his Ansars in the Sudan waged jihad in pursuit of political power, rather than the settlement of theological disputes with Christendom.

Control of territory, by force if necessary, has always been and remains at the heart of Islamic ambitions. This is what the “brethren” do in the suburbs of Paris and other major French cities which they are trying to “halalize” [make permissible, according to the tenets of Islam] through a mixture of force, intimidation and bribery. The first step is visual “halalization,” that is to say a suburban landscape in which beards, hijab, and Islamic dress codes and appearance in general predominate. The next step is to cleanse the targeted area of non-halal “pockets of kufr” [pockets of infidels], such as cinemas, cafes serving alcohol, wine and spirit shops, restaurants serving heathen food, and book and music shops offering non-Islamic material.

The Khomeinist mullahs try to do the same through surrogates such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hashad al-Shaabi in Iraq, Haras al-Watani in Syria, Ansar al-Allah in Yemen, and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Large chunks of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen have already been “halalized” under huge portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini and his successor, Ali Khamenei.

Sunni Muslims are reacting to the threat of Shi’ite expansion, which would mean loss of territory for Sunnis, with their own land-grab schemes, the latest of which has taken the form of the Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

“A pure Muhammadan Islam”: This is what the Islamic State promises in its propaganda, much of it in cyberspace, to deliver once the Caliphate, established in parts of Iraq and Syria, has defeated “Infidel” enemies and secured its position.

It is not solely thanks to its blitzkrieg victories that IS has attracted universal attention. Perhaps more interesting is the group’s ability to seduce large numbers of Muslims across the globe, including in Europe and the United States, with an ideological product designed to replace other brands of Islamism marketed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, not to mention that of Taliban in Afghanistan and Khomeinists in Iran. Da’eshism, to coin a phrase, also tries to transcend the ideological hodgepodge marketed by Al Qaeda franchises since the 1980s.

The Three Rejections

The “Pure Muhammadan Islam” promised by Da’esh is based on three rejections, explained by the late Islamist ideologue, Yussef al-Ayyeri, in a book published more than a decade ago.

The first rejection is that of traditional Islamic tolerance for Christians and Jews who, labeled “People of the Book”, could live in an Islamic Caliphate by paying protection money (jizya).

The idea is that the “protection” offered by Muhammad belonged to the early phase of Islam, when the “Last Prophet” was not strong enough to claim total control of human destiny. Once Muhammad had established his rule, he ordered the massacre of Jews and the expulsion of Christians from the Arabian Peninsula.

What is now needed is “cleansing” (tanzif) of the world, starting with areas controlled by the Caliphate, of other religions. People of other faiths could always convert to Islam and escape death. Last summer, the Druze in northern Syria did that by sending a delegation to Caliph Abubakar Hussein al-Hashemi al-Baghdadi to swear on the Koran and announce the community’s mass conversion.

The Zoroastrian Yazidis refused conversion and were massacred, driven out or taken into slavery. Some Christian towns and villages captured by IS also refused conversion, “obliging” the Caliph to order massacres and mass expulsions.

In his book, Al-Ayyeri argues that the history of mankind is the story of “perpetual war between belief and unbelief.” As far as belief is concerned, the absolutely final version is Islam, which “annuls all other religions.” Thus, Muslims can have only one goal: converting all humanity to Islam and “effacing every trace of all other religions, creeds and ideologies.”

The second rejection is aimed against “infidel ideologies”, especially democracy, that is to say government of men by men rather than by Allah.

Al-Ayyeri writes:

“Various forms of unbelief attacked the world of Islam in the past century or so, to be defeated in one way or another. The first form of unbelief to attack was “modernism” … which led to the emergence in the lands of Islam of states based on ethnic identities and territorial dimensions rather than religious faith. The second was nationalism, which, imported from Europe, divided Muslims into Arabs, Persians, Turks and others. … The third form of unbelief is socialism, which includes communism. That, too, has been defeated and eliminated from the Muslim world.”

All along, many Muslims have fallen for those “heathen ideologies,” thus postponing the inevitable unification of mankind under the banner of Islam.

Hilmi Hashem, currently regarded as chief theological advisor to the Caliph, believes that the decision by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to take part in democratic elections, with tragic consequences for “true believers,” was “a sin rather than an error.”

Hashem is one of the four disciples of al-Ayyeri, all of them Egyptians, to provide the new Caliphate with theological arguments and methods of applying the Islamic law (sharia). Hashem is now acting as “Grand Mufti” (religious Guide) for Da’esh. He is joined by Abu-Moslem al-Masri, who has been appointed Chief Justice, and Abu-Hareb, who is Chief Judge in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city.

The third rejection in IS ideology is aimed against what is labelled “diluted” (iltiqati) forms of Islam. For example, there are those who insist that Islam is a religion of peace. They ignore the fact that Islam will be a religion of peace only after it has seized control of the entire world. Until then the world will continue to be divided between the House of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the House of War (Dar al-Harb).

Like the Taliban, Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Islamic State also rejects the “aping of infidel institutions” such as a presidential system, a parliament, and the use of such terms as “republic” to describe a Muslim society. The only form of government in “Pure Muhammadan Islam” is the caliphate; the only law is the sharia.

It is clear that if Islam has a problem with the West, and indeed with the whole world, as testified by tensions in more than 50 non-Western countries, including India, Burma, Thailand, the Philippines, China and even Japan, not to mention more than a dozen African states, it is because Islam has a problem with itself, not knowing whether it is a religion or a political movement.

Dreams of Islamic Reform

When at a loss as how to deal with what they admit is an Islamic threat, some writers and public officials in France reach for the hope of an Islamic reform movement.

The pious hope that Islam could be reformed has hovered in the background of many debates since the early 19th century, but has never been a serious basis for building an effective policy to face the challenge. The sad fact is that Islam cannot be reformed, if only because it lacks a recognized authority capable of proposing, let alone imposing, reform. I know this from personal experience, as in the 1970s I covered the proceedings of a working group from eight Muslim countries, led by Tunku Abdul-Rahman, a former Malaysian prime minister, appointed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to propose a package of very mild, non-theological reforms such as regulating the Haj pilgrimage and fixing the fasting month of Ramadan. The whole exercise collapsed after a few meetings, because no one knew how to propose reforms, let alone find an authority to impose them.

Today, reforming Islam is harder than ever, if only because the bulk of Islamic energies are devoted to political issues, with theological work not getting even a stool at the high table. The last credible Islamic theologians one could cite died over 50 years ago. The few noteworthy theologians one finds in the seminaries of Mecca, Medina, Cairo, Najaf and Qom, among other places, are focused on either esoteric topics or tinkering at the margin of practical problems of modern life.

What France, and the West in general, face today is a war waged by a part of Islam against the democratic world. The most effective way for the West to deal with this situation, and eventually win this war, is to mobilize the resources of its nation-states for facing the challenge on all fronts — political, economic, and cultural and, when needed, military. The silly slogan “this has no military solution” is self-defeating, if only because it is based on a denial of the reality that the Western democracies and their allies in the Muslim world are being challenged and attacked in a veritable multifaceted war.

Once the Western democracies have admitted to themselves that this is a war, they would be in a position seek allies in the Muslim world by posing the only question that really matters in a state of war: Are you with us or against us?

Today, they cannot pose that question because they are dancing around the issue, talking of social injustice, education, colonial heritage, racism, ethnocentrism and other fashionable shibboleths already mentioned.

The unwillingness of Western democracies to agree on a common analysis of the situation, enables opportunist Muslim powers to hedge their bets by helping or at least tolerating the terrorists under the banner of Islam. And that is bound to prolong the deadly struggle, which terrorism in the end cannot win.