What Stunted Islam’s Growth?

The Closing of the Muslim Mind
BY Robert R. Reilly

Video bottom of page, Muslims take over Madison Ave, NYC, NY USA

Redacted from a much more detailed book review
BY DAVID AIKMAN
Weekly Standard April 11, 2011

What happened to Islamic culture?

Why did a civilization that may have produced more books in Muslim Spain alone in the ninth century than existed in the entirety of the rest of Europe subside into a civilizational torpor that is the wonder even of the U.N.? Why do countries of the Arab world always come close to the bottom of a global list that measures things like literacy or schooling for women? Why, in Freedom House’s annual compilation of countries that are “free,” is there not a single Arab country listed?

Why, in 2006 to take a recent example, were there more foreign books translated in one European country, Spain, than were translated in the entire foregoing millennium in the entire Muslim world?

These are hard questions, and they call out for a rational, unemotional answer. Robert R. Reilly comes closer to providing a persuasive explanation than any other account I have seen. As Reilly succinctly shows, Islamic civilization, not just in the Arab world but later in Anatolia, in the Indian subcontinent, and then throughout Southeast Asia, threw out of the intellectual window the principles of rational inquiry that the Greeks had first introduced to the West half a millennium before Christ.

The collective Muslim ulema—theological leaders—decided that it would be too “dangerous” to allow free inquiry—not just of the Koran itself but of the daily reality before our eyes.

The reason, as Reilly makes clear, was a theological controversy within Islam. Formalized Islamic doctrine holds that the Koran existed from all eternity with Allah, and that it was only when the Angel Gabriel revealed its contents to Muhammad that the world was able to hear, through the Koran, what Allah was saying.

The Asharites (an early Muslim think tank) would have constituted a serious blockage to Islam’s philosophical development, but even they were topped by a Muslim theologian who nailed down the hatch on the use of reason even more tightly than the Asharites. He was Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), one of Islam’s most influential thinkers. Al-Ghazali vehemently rejected Plato and Aristotle in The Incoherence of the Philosophers and insisted that, in nature, there was no such thing as cause and effect. To question this, subsequent Islamic jurists averred, was to commit blasphemy by implying that there were limits on Allah’s power and authority.

One tragic consequence of this mode of thinking was the complete withering on the vine within Islam of the spirit of scientific inquiry. Reilly quotes a prominent Pakistani scientist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, on this subject:

Science in the Islamic world essentially collapsed. No major invention or discovery has emerged from the Muslim world for over seven centuries now. That arrested scientific development is one important element—although by no means the only one—that contributes to the present marginalization of Muslims and a growing sense of injustice and victimhood.

The absence within Islam of any ontological basis for belief in the equality of human beings is what led to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, signed in the Egyptian capital by 45 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1990. The U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that such rights apply to the entire human race, without exception. The Cairo declaration added the chilling stipulation that all rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration were subject to Islamic sharia: In other words, they were null and void.

Islamism, or the transformation of the Islamic faith into a political ideology, is the end result of the refusal to apply reason to either scientific or political problems.

David Aikman is the author, most recently, of The Mirage of Peace: Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict in the Middle East.

 

Second Thought: US-Israel Initiative and False Assumptions

The American People Stand with Israel
But, unlikely, the present American administration

By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
Jerusalem, Israel

March 11, 2011

(Glenn Beck Video at end of this article)

At the end of 1989, Israel’s top Foreign Office bureaucrats argued that Israel was, ostensibly, losing ground in the USA, due to the end of the Cold War, a supposed New World Order and Prime Minister Shamir’s dismissal of “land-for-peace.”  Therefore, they proposed that, in order to secure relations with the US, Israel should cede land to the Palestinians.

However, their assumptions were resoundingly refuted.  Israel’s strategic posture was upgraded as a derivative of the New World Disorder and a series of mutual threats, such as Islamic terrorism, Iran, ballistic missiles, rogue Arab regimes, exacerbated Middle East volatility, violence and uncertainty. US-Israel strategic cooperation expanded significantly, in spite of deep disagreements over the Palestinian issue and in defiance of President Bush and Secretary of State Baker.

In 2011, despite the 1989 lessons and the 2011 seismic upheaval in Arab countries, Jerusalem again considers ceding land to the Palestinians, in order to sustain strategic cooperation with the USA, under the false assumptions that US-Israel relations evolve around the Palestinian issue, that Israel-in-retreat is respected by Americans, and that Israel’s strategic standing in the US is undergoing erosion.  

Thus, Gallup’s annual (February 2011) poll on American attitudes toward foreign countries highlights Israel as a favorite American ally.  Israel (68%) ranks among the seven most popular countries, which include Canada, Britain, Germany, Japan, India and France, ahead of South Korea and dramatically ahead of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt (37%, 50% and 40% respectively).  The Palestinian Authority (19%)  is at the bottom of the list, along with Iran and North Korea.

Currently, Israel benefits from a public opinion tailwind, merely one percent behind its 1991 all time record popularity.  Israel’s image as a credible, reliable, capable, stable, democratic, non-conditional ally of the USA is bolstered against the backdrop of the current turmoil in Arab lands, which clarify that the Palestinian issue is not the core cause of the Middle East turbulence, is not the crown jewel of Arab policy-making and is not favored by the American People and Congress.

Anyone claiming that Israel is losing ground in the USA, and that in order to rebound Israel must introduce more concessions to the Arabs, is either dramatically mistaken, outrageously misleading or seeking an alibi for vacillation in face of pressure by a relatively weak American president.

A positive image of the Jewish State, and a negative image of Arab countries, has dominated the state of mind of the American constituency, which is the key axis of the US political system, holding an effective stick over the head of American legislators and presidents.  

According to the February 25, 2011 Rasmussen Report, one of the top three US pollsters, most constituents would stop foreign aid to Arab countries, but support foreign aid to the Jewish State.  61% do not expect the current Middle East upheaval to advance democracy or peace in Arab countries.

The most realistic expression of Israel’s robust standing in the US is reflected by the most authentic representatives of the American People: the Legislature. Congress is equal in power to the Executive, representing the attitudes of the American constituent on domestic, external and national security issues.  Hence, 75% of the 435 House Representatives and 80% of the 100 Senators – Republicans and Democrats alike, tend to support the Jewish State through legislation and resolutions, sometimes in defiance of the White House.

The gap between the world view of President Obama and most constituents was exposed in November 2010, when Democrats suffered – due to Obama’s plummeting popularity – the most devastating political defeat since World War 2.  That gap also reflects the attitude toward Israel, which constitutes a rare bi-partisan common denominator, earning a higher level of support (68%) than Obama (47%).

The American constituent does not consider the Jewish State a conventional foreign policy issue, but also a domestic issue, closely identified with the moral Judeo-Christian foundations of the USA.  Moreover, unlike Obama, most constituents regard President Reagan as a role model of values and view the Jewish State as the “Ronald Reagan of the Middle East,” representing their basic values: respect toward religion and tradition, patriotism, security-oriented, anti-UN, anti-terrorism and suspicion toward Arab and Muslim regimes.

The solid foundation of shared US-Israel values, the recent volcanic eruptions in the Middle East and Israel’s strategic capabilities and reliability have transformed the US into a sustained bastion of support of the Jewish State, notwithstanding problematic attitudes by some presidents, criticism by the “elite” media and hostility toward Israel on some US campuses.

This is not the time for vacillation and painful concessions; this is the time to enhance US-Israel strategic relations and demonstrate pain-killing steadfastness.

(Are you listening PM Netanyahu?) jsk 

Video – Glenn Beck

Congressman Peter King vs. United States Islamists!

By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.

Video at end of article, please view,
Wake up America
By Pat Condell

The Washington Times

It is not every day that Congress breaks a major taboo and, in so doing, performs a real service to the nation. Thursday, however, was one such day when Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, demonstrated impressive leadership in conducting a four-hour hearing on “extremism” in the American Muslim community.
For his efforts, the Homeland Security Committee’s chairman was subjected to tremendous personal attacks and partisan sniping – the wages of taboo-busting.

While those responsible for inflicting such slanderous criticism claim, in the words of one group, to have “defeat[ed] a major threat of Islamophobia,” the real story is that Mr. King began a conversation about an issue that has long been deemed politically untouchable. He also established that there is, indeed, a problem of “extremism” within the American Muslim community.

One manifestation of that problem was the determined effort made by the so-called “leadership” of the Muslim population in this country, not only to impugn the chairman and several of his witnesses but to suppress these hearings altogether. For example, groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) lined up 55 House Democrats to insist that Mr. King “reconsider the scope of these hearings and instead examine all forms of violence motivated by extremist beliefs, rather than unfairly focusing on just one religious group.”

One of the reasons for this demand became clear as witnesses shed light on the true nature of such self-appointed Muslim leaders: They do not speak for American Muslims and are either directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood – an organization whose mission is to “destroy Western civilization from within” – or sympathetic to its goal of bringing Shariah to the United States.

Relatives of two young men who were recruited, indoctrinated and sent to engage in jihad provided frightening insights into the ways in which Muslim organizations, mosques, cultural centers and Islamic societies stealthily advance this objective. One means is via dawa – the proselytization of the politico-military-legal doctrine of Shariah.

Particularly chilling was the account of a Somali-American living in Minnesota by the name of Abdirizak Bihi. His nephew, Burhan Hassan, was among those killed while fighting on behalf of the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabab in Somalia. He relayed how his family was warned by community “leaders” not to go to the authorities for help lest they wind up in Guantanamo Bay or face “eternal fire and hell.”

Was this an isolated incident? Hardly. At least since the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, prominent Muslim American organizations have encouraged their co-religionists not to cooperate with law enforcement. Among the most recent examples was a message on a CAIR website calling on its members to “Build a wall of resistance. Don’t talk to the FBI.”

Of course, this narrative contrasts sharply with that promoted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council and its ilk, who take credit for successfully inseminating into the U.S. media the notion that they are actively “engaging” with law enforcement. Notably, MPAC takes credit for getting Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca called to testify at the King hearing for the purpose of attesting to their good citizenship.

Unfortunately for both the officer sporting a uniform with five stars and his Islamist friends, freshman Rep. Chip Cravaak, Minnesota Republican, asked whether the sheriff was aware of CAIR’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood’s franchise in Palestine, known as Hamas. The sheriff professed to know nothing of those associations. When Mr. Cravaak pointed out that the Department of Justice has demonstrated in federal court that such ties do exist, Sheriff Baca demurred and simply said that if there is that evidence, then such individuals and organizations ought to be prosecuted.

Well, no kidding. They certainly should be prosecuted. And here is a question that future hearings of the Homeland Security Committee should address: Why hasn’t CAIR been prosecuted for being tied to Hamas, for working on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and, specifically, for fostering the efforts to bring Shariah to America?

After all, Shariah is a seditious ideology and totalitarian program explicitly designed to hollow out – and ultimately destroy – representative government and the civil liberties that are enshrined in our Constitution. There is every reason for such a prosecution to go forward, and we need to know why has not it happened to date.

There was one other evident reason why the Muslim Brotherhood’s front groups were so determined to shut down the King hearing and excoriate the chairman for having as witnesses anybody other than its hand-picked candidates – the blubbering first-Muslim-in-Congress Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, and the clueless Sheriff Baca. Rep. King helped credential Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a former naval officer and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, as a credible and inspiring voice for pro-American Muslims and Islamic reform.

We owe Mr. King a debt of gratitude for defying those who would have shut him up and shut his hearings down. In so doing, he has laid bare important truths about the threat posed by Shariah and its adherents, empowered those such as Dr. Jasser who are courageously standing up against it, and broken a taboo in a way that cries out for many more hearings on these subjects by his committee and others.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WRC-AM (1260).

Now please watch, Wake up America by Pat Condell

Wake up Black Americans, White ones, too!

Redacted from a letter sent by Edward Cousar
Executive Director, Black Republican PAC

(Video at end of article, Losing our Sons)

Dear Fellow American,

If you think there’s nothing in the world that will convince black Americans to vote Republican…then throw this letter away right now. You are part of the problem! But if you realize that the slow motion train wreck of the current White House occupant is giving us an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to black voters, then I humbly request your undivided attention for the next five minutes.

First, please let me introduce myself. My name is Edward Cousar and I’m the executive director of Black Republican PAC. And I’m dedicated to spreading the Republican message of low taxes, family values, better education, free enterprise, and economic opportunity throughout the black community. Many black Americans 1 know already share these values. Yet even though their values are already Republican values, they’ve never thought twice about voting for a Republican. And let’s face the hard facts. Electing the first black president in 2008 was a historic moment that many in the black community longed to see. As a result, the votes of black America supplied the crucial margin of victory for Barack Obama on Election Day. But now reality is hitting black America.

Throughout his campaign Obama promised to restore the economy when he had no idea how to do that, ran as a moderate when in truth he was a far-left radical, and claimed he would heal old racial wounds. He’s failed on every count. And now disappointment and disillusionment with “the One” are setting into the black community. In fact, Obama’s policies have been especially disastrous for black Americans — even more so than white Americans.

Just consider how the recession and Obama’s failed “stimulus” and economic program have hurt the black community. Overall, under Barack Obama’s term, the black unemployment rate is 5 points higher than the average for the country. And 16-to-24-year olds have been devastated by the recession — 48% of these young black Americans are unemployed compared to 20% of white Americans of the same age. Under Obama, America may be in a recession, but black America is in a DEPRESSION. There’s only so long that Obama’s silver tongue can gloss over the fundamental failing of his policies. And a black man or woman without a job is not going to vote for a president or his party that promises more of the same failed policies no matter what the color of his skin.

This is why we Republicans have an opportunity to reach out to black Americans and show them the superiority of our Republican ideas and policies. Obama is messing up so royally we have a chance to bring large chucks of black America inside our big tent. We were the party of black America before. Until Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, most blacks favored the Republican Party because it was the party that freed the slaves and then helped the black community after the Civil War. And even as late as 1960, Richard Nixon won 32% of the black vote.

Yet in the last 50 years no Republican candidate for president has gotten more than 15% of the black vote. As a result, the Democratic Party has had a lock on the black community on Election Day. But the floundering presidency of Obama and the misbegotten policies of the Democrats are causing the black community to realize that it has gotten a raw deal.

For starters, many blacks are increasingly disturbed at the radical positions of the Democrats — support of gay marriage, hostility to religion, backing of failed socialist economic policies even after they destroyed the black family and many once vibrant black urban communities. Black Americans are realizing that the Democratic Party is not their ticket to a better life. But just because the black community is disappointed in the Democratic Party doesn’t mean they will vote for Republicans.

Republicans need to extend a welcoming hand. The biggest problem that the Republican Party faces is that we have few credible voices working inside the black community to make our arguments. That’s why BLACK REPUBLICAN PAC is the best weapon to take on the Democratic Party machine in decades. BLACK REPUBLICAN PAC’s mission is to cultivate up and coming black Republican leaders and recruit black voters. Because if we can show just 25% of black voters that the Republican Party offers better solutions than the Democrats, we can break the back of the Democrat Party.

We have a proven strategy for bringing black Americans back to the party of Lincoln. As a lifelong Republican who also happens to be black, I know that I can communicate our Republicans ideals to the black community better than anyone else. Quite frankly, black Republicans can go places and say things in the black community where it is impossible for other Republicans to get a hearing.

That’s why BLACK REPUBLICAN PAC provides resources for these natural community leaders to make the case for Republican ideals from within the black community. Black Republicans will carry the Republican Party message of hope and economic empowerment through strong families, education, and ownership of homes and small businesses. And as a black-led organization. Black Republican PAC can get its foot in many doors that the Republican Party has a hard time even getting opened.

I would not write this letter if I didn’t have untold numbers of enthusiastic black leaders and candidates coming to me asking me to give them the tools they need to get the job done. They’re-ready to spread the Republican Party’s message of family, faith, education, and economic opportunity back to the black community… But they can only do it if they have the tools. So I need to ask you today — will you help me stop Obama’s far left agenda by peeling off just 25% of black voters from the Democrats’ coalition?

Your urgent donation of $35, $50, $75, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more will help me equip black leaders and candidates today to go out and spread our Republican message tomorrow. Obama is stumbling. His economic policies are destroying the black community and sending unemployment skyrocketing. This is a golden opportunity for us to reach out to black voters and cripple Obama’s political base.

The iron grip of the Democratic Party on black voters will only be loosened when we Republicans go to the black community and unabashedly make our case.

Sincerely,

Edward Cousar, Executive Director

Please send checks to: Black Republican PAC
PO Box 96613, Washington, DC 20090-6613

Video – Losing our Sons

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) mourns Elizabeth Taylor, Ardent Zionist and Jewish Convert

March 23, 2011

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) mourns the passing of legendary American actress and ardent Zionist, Elizabeth Taylor, who has passed away, aged 79. Ms. Taylor, who enjoyed a long and hugely successful career in Hollywood, was converted to Judaism in 1959 by the Rabbi Max Nussbaum, who served as National President of the ZOA from 1964 to 1966.

Among Elizabeth Taylor’s outstanding work on behalf of Israel and Jewish causes was her participating in raising $840,000 for Israel in a 1967 London gala and purchasing personally $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959. The same year, she cancelled a visit to Moscow after the Soviet Union lashed out at Israel after the June 1967 Six Day War.

In 1975, she was one of 60 prominent women to sign a statement to then-U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, condemning the U.N. General Assembly’s infamous Zionism-is-Racism resolution. Taylor offered herself as a hostage when 104 hostages aboard an Air France airbus were hijacked by PLO terrorists and held at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport, from which they rescued in a spectacular Israeli commando mission on July 4, 1976, America’s 200th birthday.

Taylor frequently visited Israel and met with its leadership, including Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1983. In 1987, she signed a petition seeking the release from Soviet incarceration of leading refusenik, Ida Nudel.

Elizabeth Taylor’s pro-Israel activism led to the banning of her films in several Arab countries. After purchasing $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959, the United Arab Republic (now Egypt) banned all her movies. Gen. Essam Elmasri, head of the Cairo regional bureau of the Israel Boycott Office, said that Miss Taylor would not be allowed to come to Egypt because she has adopted the Jewish faith and “supports Israeli causes.” Her movie, Cleopatra, was not permitted to be filmed in Egypt, but in 1964, Egypt dropped her from its blacklist when it decided that Cleopatra, which mentions Egypt 122 times, would be provide good publicity for Egypt (Ami Eden, ‘In the JTA Archive: Liz Taylor says trade me for Entebbe hostages,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 23, 2011).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Elizabeth Taylor was not only a wonderful actress but a wonderful Zionist. In the days of vicious Arab boycotts stronger than those today, she could have taken a self-interested line, as have many Jewish actors today, and failed to speak up or support Israel or, worse, engaged in anti-Israel slanders and other activities that harm Israel and aid its enemies, but she didn’t.

The ZOA is proud of its connection to Elizabeth Taylor and expresses heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at her passing. Her rabbi was Rabbi Max Nussbaum, of Temple Israel, Hollywood, who was also a past National President of ZOA. Members of Temple Israel included Al Jolson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Eddie Fisher, Eddie Cantor, George Jessel and Leonard Nimoy, among numerous other Hollywood celebrities. ”

May her soul rest in peace.

And, many thanks to Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs for posting this fantastic video summary of Liz’s movie career. Here is the url link. I hope it comes up for you or try and paste the link on your own search engine. (jsk)

http://www.conservativesforamerica.com/around-the-web/liz-the-passing-of-a-legend-the-end-of-an-era