Smokescreens in Islam: Confusing the Public about the Facts

 

  • Qadri’s admirable take on terrorism conceals another large elephant in the room. Islam has for centuries used violence against non-Muslims in what is considered a legitimate manner: through jihad. It is not simply that Muslim armies have fought their enemies much as Christian armies have engaged in war. Jihad is commanded in the later verses of the Qur’an, is endorsed in the Traditions and the biography of Muhammad, and codified in the manuals of shari’a law. Qadri knows this perfectly well, and at times inadvertently reveals as much in several ways.
  • Qadri does not just insist that Islam is a religion of peace and security. By tucking all references to jihad in footnotes in transliterated Arabic, he never has to explain what it is about and how it relates to his rulings on what is and what is not permissible.
  • It is hard to be a reasonably knowledgeable Muslim and not know that calls for violence pervade the Qur’an and sacred traditions, or that Islamic armies have been fighting European Christians, Indian Hindus, and others since the 7thcentury.
  • Islam, after all, conquered Persia, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Spain and most of Eastern Europe — until its armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

Following the terrorist attack outside Britain’s Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017, it was not surprising or wrong that many Muslims denounced the attack and declared it to be un-Islamic. Two days afterwards, Dr. Mohammed Qureshi, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Shropshire Islamic Foundation, said:

We need to be united in this situation.

We should not give any religion a bad name and these people need to be dealt with in full force and there should be zero tolerance when it comes to dealing with them.

My heart goes out to these victims. And my heart goes out to the people’s families and those who are injured. I pray they all have peace in their minds.

He added:

There is no place for these acts in the religion of Islam.

The people are being radicalised and the young and vulnerable people need to be protected.

We need to disassociate this with Islam, as Islam is a religion of peace.

This view was echoed in a press release by the Foundation, in which sympathy for the dead and their families was followed by a commitment to non-violence: “as a community, we need to come together to condemn violence and hatred and work towards cohesion and tolerance”.

More recently, a document about Islamophobia published by the Green Party of the United States affirmed the purportedly peaceful character of Islam:

The highest goal of the Islamic faith is Peace. Peace is pursued over all and for Muslims the world over, ‘holy war’ has nothing to do with the concept of jihad. The Arabic word translates as ‘struggle,’ and is used a handful of times in the Quran to speak of the struggle to stay on the righteous path, to fulfill obligations to family, community and Creator, what the Islamic scholars call a higher jihad.

These claims, however, seem innocent of the verses that say:

So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds…. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah — never will He waste their deeds. Surah Muhammad [47:4]

Or:

And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. [Sahih International] Verse (8:60)

There are said to be 123 verses in the Quran concerning fighting and killing for the cause of Allah — more than a few.

These claims also show that many people seem to be buying into the narrative of Islam as a perfect religion of peace, even if saying so runs counter to more than 1400 years of history and the official record of classical Islamic scholarship about jihad. Islam, after all, conquered Persia, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Spain and most of Eastern Europe — until its armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

At the same time, there can be no doubt that Muslim leaders who speak out against terrorism and radicalism need our support and that they must be the very people governments, churches, and the security services speak to and work with if we are to head towards the deradicalisation of Muslim communities in the West. Qureshi’s remarks deserve to be taken at face value. Neither he nor his foundation and its associated mosque and academy has any known links to radicalism. They belong to the largest mainstream form of Sunni Islam, the Hanafi school of Islamic law, and there is no overt reason that Qureshi is not sincere in his belief that Islam is a religion of peace.

At the same time, however, he must know better. His own second name is Mujahid, which means “a fighter in the jihad”. Not only that, but his mosque is, like most others in the UK, Deobandi in orientation; and it is out of Deobandi madrasas [Islamic religious schools] that the Taliban originated. Deobandi Islam, although mainstream, has over the years appealed to Muslims in Pakistan and abroad who have a fundamentalist disposition. Qureshi cannot be unaware of that. It is hard to be a reasonably knowledgeable Muslim and not know that calls for violence pervade the Qur’an and sacred Traditions, or that Islamic armies have been fighting European Christians, Indian Hindus, and others since the 7th century.

What we in the West know is that a string of modern politicians and churchmen in Europe and North America have, like Qureshi, insisted — perhaps in a sometimes-desperate attempt to dissociate Islamic terrorism from the religion of Islam — that Islam is a religion of peace. The violence, they say, is a perversion of Islam, and they say this even as terrorist after terrorist invokes Islam as his motivation and shouts “Allahu Akbar!” [“Allah is the greatest!”] while committing the crime. Terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State, confidently quote the Qur’an, Traditions [Hadith] and shari’a legislation to justify their attacks.

Western leaders often turn to Muslim imams and scholars to confirm their view that Islam is essentially like modern Judaism or Christianity, if not a mirror image of the Quaker religion. A major expression of this approach is a book by a leading Pakistani scholar, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Translated into English, this book of some 400 pages is entitled, Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings (London, 2010). It has been widely praised as an outstanding authoritative text that demonstrates that terrorism of any kind is contrary to Islamic teachings and law — an argument reinforced by hundreds of citations from the Qur’an, Traditions, and a host of classical Muslim authorities.

Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (1951-) is a scholar and religious leader with an LLB and a PhD in Islamic Law; a politician (he founded the anti-government Pakistan Awami Tehreek party in 1989), and an international speaker. He is touted as having studied since childhood the many branches of religious studies under his father and other teachers, and having authored on Islamic topics one thousand books (not an uncommon claim among Muslim writers). He comes from a Barelvi/Sufi background, the main opposition to Deobandi Islam in Pakistan and abroad. Qadri is also the head of Minhaj-ul-Quran, an international organization that promotes Islamic moderation and inter-faith work.

Qadri and his organization have made a mark on political and religious leaders in many places. On September 24, 2011, Minhaj-ul-Quran held a large conference in London’s Wembley Arena. Qadri and other speakers issued a declaration of peace on behalf of representatives of several religions, scholars and politicians. The conference was endorsed by the Rector of Al-Azhar University (the chief academy in the Sunni Islamic world); Ban Ki-Moon (Secretary General of the UN); Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation); David Cameron (British Prime Minister); Nick Clegg (British Deputy Prime Minister) and Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury), among others.

It is not surprising, then, that Qadri’s fatwa has made a great impression on many concerned about terrorism instigated and carried out by organizations that lay claim to a connection with Islam. There can be no doubt that a condemnation of Islamic terrorism coming from an eminent Muslim figure is an important contribution to the struggle to contain and eventually eliminate not just the terror but the radicalisation that inevitably precedes it.

At the same time, however, it may be argued that while Qadri presents strong religious rulings that reject acts such as suicide bombings that characterise modern movements as in Islamic State, he fails to prove his claim that, “Islam is a religion of peace and security, and it urges others to pursue the path of peace and protection” (p. 21). His fatwa, in fact, only proves that certain types of violence and certain types of victims are illegal within Islamic scripture and law. It does not show that Islam is, in its essence, a pacifist, peace-loving faith. Let us try to disentangle this.

The fatwa rightly devotes several chapters to important topics: “The Unlawfulness of Indiscriminately Killing Muslims” (chapter 2); “The Unlawfulness of Indiscriminately Killing Non-Muslims and Torturing Them” (chapter 3); “The Unlawfulness of Terrorism against Non-Muslims – Even During Times of War” (chapter 4); “On the Protection of the Non-Muslims’ Lives, Properties and Places of Worship” (chapter 5); and “The Unlawfulness of Forcing One’s Belief upon Others and Destroying Places of Worship” (chapter 6).

This is certainly a massive improvement on the rulings of Salafi sheikhs who support Islamic terrorist groups and issue fatwas to support things such as murder and suicide bombings. The leading Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, for example, for a long time insisted that suicide bombings carried out by Palestinian terrorists were a legitimate form of self-defence — and his fatwas encouraged other sheikhs to advocate suicide attacks.

The average reader is unlikely to read the entire book; even in a glance through it, much will be missed. One might well assume that Islam, as portrayed by Qadri, opposes terrorism for much the same ethical reasons that Jews, Christians and others oppose it. But a close reading shows that he is operating from a different premise to non-Muslims. His concern is to read everything in a close context of Islamic law — not ethics. This is particularly noticeable in the legal underpinnings he gives to almost everything. He devotes chapters 8-11 (pp.171-237) to an extremely conventional discussion of the evils of rebelling against an Islamic government even if its ruler were corrupt. Terrorists, he asserts, are to be condemned because they take up arms against their governments. By this definition, the rebel groups fighting against Bashar al-Assad in Syria must be condemned because they have taken up arms against their lawful ruler.

He also devotes chapters 12-17 (pp. 239-395) to drawing a comparison between today’s terrorists and the earliest Muslim rebellious group, the Kharijites. The Kharijites emerged after the first schism in Islam, following the assignation of the third Caliph, when they rebelled against both the fourth Caliph, ‘Ali, and the man who became the ruler of the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750), which created the first Islamic Empire. The dissenters shocked followers of the young faith by declaring those with whom they disagreed to be apostates worthy of death. In their first years, they murdered hundreds of Muslims. Their use of terror against other Muslims and their rebellion against the Islamic state earned them a reputation as the greatest threat to the unity of the Muslim world. By focusing so narrowly on the Kharijites in his anti-terror polemic, Qadri reveals that his concerns are based purely on Islamic considerations, not broader concepts of justice. Christians, Jews, secularists, and others, for instance, condemn terrorism as a breach of human rights, Judaeo-Christian ethics, and international law. Qadri is not interested in any of those things, just the impropriety of terrorist actions in relation to Islamic law. This narrow view allows him to ignore the wider questions of violence in Islamic scripture, law, and history.

Qadri’s admirable take on terrorism conceals a large elephant in the room. Islam has for centuries used violence against non-Muslims in what is considered a legitimate manner, through jihad. It is not simply that Muslim armies have fought their enemies much as Christian armies have engaged in war. Jihad is commanded in the later verses of the Qur’an, is endorsed in the Traditions and the biography of Muhammad, and codified in the manuals of shari’a law. Qadri knows this perfectly well, and at times inadvertently reveals as much in several ways.

The word jihad, for example, occurs many times in the fatwa, usually when he refers in footnotes to chapters in the great Tradition collections — records of prophetic injunctions to holy war; the prophet’s own engagements in jihad, or his sending out raiding parties to engage with non-believers. Thus, when Qadri tells us that it is unlawful to kill non-Muslim women and children, the elderly, traders and farmers, and so forth, he is citing the rules of engagement in jihad, and not that holy war against non-Muslims is foresworn in Islamic texts. Everything he cites against the use of terrorism is actually taken from classical sources that explain the rules that apply to fighting jihad; not that jihad is illegitimate.

Qadri does not merely insist that Islam is a religion of peace and security. By tucking all references to jihad in footnotes in transliterated Arabic, he never has to explain what Islam is about and how it relates to his rulings on what is and what is not permissible. He expands on this theme:

“The most significant proof of this is that God has named it Islam. The word Islam is derived from the Arabic word salama or salima. It means peace, security, safety and protection. As for its literal meaning, Islam denotes absolute peace. As a religion, it is peace incarnate.” (p. 21).

A few pages later, he expands on this, writing a long passage “On the Literal Meaning of the Word Islam” (pp. 25-34), interspersed with quotations illustrating this. He correctly links the word “Islam” to the three-consonant root “s-l-m”, which has undisputed connections to concepts of peace and security. He even writes at one point “… every noun or verb derived from Islam, and every derivative or word conjugated (sic) from it, essentially denotes peace, protection, security and safety”.

Just a minute. Qadri is a fully trained Arabist; he even makes references to major Arabic dictionaries. So he really has no excuse for writing such nonsense. It is exactly that on at least two levels. Arabic roots create dozens of words with different meanings, and “slm” is particularly rich in vocabulary. Salma and silm may indeed mean “peace”, but salam means both “forward buying” and a variety of the acacia tree. Sullam means a ladder, stairs, a musical scale, a means, instrument or tool. Salama means “blamelessness, flawlessness, and success”. Salim can mean “healthy” or “sane”. Sulama means the “phalanx” bone. Sulaymani is mercury chloride –there are many more examples.

At a deeper level, most Arabic verbs can have up to fifteen (more usually ten) forms, each with different meanings. The root that Qadri relates to peace has almost no forms that relate to peace at all. The fourth form, aslama, is the one that gives us the verbal noun islam. The fourth form has several meanings, none of which refers to peace. Instead, it means “to forsake, leave, abandon, to deliver up, surrender, to resign oneself or to submit”. The most reliable Arabic-English dictionary by Wehr translates islam as “submission, resignation”, including submission to the will of God. Unfortunately for Qadri, therefore, Islam does not mean peace. The word for peace is salam. The word Islam means, unambiguously, submission [to the will God or Allah].

Let us return to Chapter 5, where Qadri inadvertently reveals the extent of the pretence he is making that Islam is a religion of peace that cares for non-Muslim lives and property. The examples he gives are genuine, but he omits a crucial fact. Only Jews and Christians (and later, Zoroastrians in Iran) are entitled to protection within a Muslim state or empire. Qadri calls them “citizens”, but the truth is that only Muslims can be regarded in that light. Jews and Christians are dhimmi peoples, tolerated under certain humiliating conditions. They are somewhat favoured on account of their having been sent scriptures and prophets, but disfavoured because they have not accepted Allah, or God’s last prophet, Muhammad. Moreover, if they initially resist Muslim invaders, they must be fought through a jihad war. Once defeated, they only have the right to keep their lives, property, and places of worship on payment of a special tax known as jizya, a form of protection money. They are also forced to live under severe restrictions, penalties and mistreatment designed to humiliate them and keep them in their place as the inferiors of Muslims. By not speaking of dhimmitude, the payment of jizya, or more than one thousand years of vulnerability of Christian nations to jihad wars, Qadri again pulls the wool over unquestioning, if well-meaning, eyes of non-Muslims.

So what exactly is Qadri up to? He is concealing important information and distorting the Arabic vocabulary in order to drive home a narrative of Islam’s deep connection to peace and security. His strictures against terrorism are sincere and valuable, yet his whitewashing of historical, legal and scriptural treatment of non-Muslims and the actual practice of jihad only serves to perpetuate a myth.

Qadri and many others who adopt this position are, sadly, engaged in setting up a smokescreen. The tactic, as a comment explains, may be found online:

“To get people to believe in two contradictory beliefs, present them both as part of a larger belief system where it is more important to accept the whole system than question ‘minor’ inconsistencies within it.”

That, surely, is exactly how Qadri and so many others (even members of America’s left-leaning parties) come to function.

It is crucial to be able to see and identify this smokescreen if we do not want to throw the baby (opposition to Islamic terrorism) out with the bathwater (whitewashing the truth). Nevertheless, it is vital to expose and to challenge it if we are ever to come to terms with the true nature of Islam as an expansionist, religio-political ideology.

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“I’ll Call a Civics Strike!” Tucker and Actor Richard Dreyfuss Discuss Civics Education

http://www.thedreyfussinitiative.org/

“To teach our kids how to run our country, before they are called upon to run our country…if we don’t, someone else will run our country.”
– Richard Dreyfuss

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Dr. Jihad’s prescription for a Muslim America

Ripe for the taking: ‘It starts with an idea … We want to change this society’

WND, by Leo Hohmann, April 27, 2017:

A Muslim resident of Sioux Falls shocked the state of South Dakota and beyond recently when he posted videos to Facebook warning Christians to “be scared, be terrified” as he brandished five guns and 1,200 rounds of ammunition.

Ehab Jaber was questioned by local police and the FBI but allowed to walk free until two weeks later. Only after WND’s report on the videos, followed by several other reports by conservative news sites, did the South Dakota attorney general step in on April 21 and file charges of terroristic threats against Jaber.

Jaber, who was released on a $2,500 bond, embodies the harsh side of Islam. But there is another side.

Islam in America often uses a softer approach that has proven much more effective in spreading the faith, say those who delivered the Christian worldview message in Sioux Falls that Jaber was so eager to disrupt.

In Arabic, the Muslim form of evangelism or “invitation” is called “dawah,” says Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim turned Christian pastor who heads up Truth in Love Ministries near Spokane, Washington.

Americans will embrace Islam

As an example of dawah, Hadian points to a sermon delivered by a visiting preacher in Sioux Falls last August. Dr. Jihad Qaddour came to Sioux Falls to encourage local Muslims to share Islam with Americans. If done the right way, he sees America embracing Islam, not by force but by choice.

Instead of the bloodcurdling rant that flowed from Jaber, Americans heard Qaddour speaking in soft, melodious tones about “love” and “mercy.”

Hadian said dawah is often connected to the first pillar of Islam – inviting people to pray and confess the shahada: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”

That’s why the planting of Islamic studies into U.S. public schools is so important to those seeking to normalize Islam and Islamic principles in the U.S.

Qaddour, a native of Syria who is actively involved in outreach to Syrian refugees, was a founding member of the Islamic Society of Wichita, Kansas. He received his Ph.D in electrical engineering from Wichita State University in 1990 and is now a tenured professor at Illinois State University.

Dr. Jihad is also a known front man for the Muslim Brotherhood in America, and his organization maintains friendly connections in the U.S. State Department, reports the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch.

He came to speak about dawah at the Muslims Community Center, the newest of three mosques in Sioux Falls, built a few years ago with donations from an array of entities including Catholic Charities.

Qaddour said “America is the perfect society for dawah” and that Muslims should seek to “change this society” in accordance with the dictates of the Quran.

Like many small- to medium-sized cities in the U.S., Sioux Falls has seen an exploding Muslim population since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Sioux Falls is now home to between 4,000 and 5,000 Muslims, the vast majority of them imported from overseas through the federal government’s refugee resettlement program. The United Nations-selected refugees have been sent to Sioux Falls from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea and Syria.

“Now it is 4,000. Next year it will be 8,000 [in Sioux Falls],” Qaddour boasted in making the point that Islam is growing “exponentially” across America.

Watch video of Jihad Qaddour teaching in Sioux Falls last August

“Your Marxists, Catholics, neo-evangelicals and Lutherans are helping bring them here,” observes Brannon Howse, who hosts a nationally syndicated Christian radio show called “Worldview Weekend.”

But others will be added to the ranks when Americans start responding to dawah and converting to Islam in large numbers, Qaddour said. The growth, fueled by immigration and dawah, will be “exponential,” he said.

The number of mosques will grow accordingly.

“Soon we will have one on every corner. This is reality,” Qaddour continued in his address to Sioux Falls Muslims. “First we have to have one idea. We want to change this society. It starts with an idea. Talk about Islam in a nice way. Be truthful, be helpful. ‘I love you for [your] humanity.’ They will come to Islam.

“Our message is mercy to all people,” he continued. “They hear on the news it’s terrorism but, no, we tell them it’s mercy.”

The objective of Islam through dawah outreach is clear, Qaddour said. “Rescue them from the hell fire.”

Hadian, a former Muslim from Iran who defected to Canada and later the U.S., said Qaddour is following the classic Muslim Brotherhood script for takeover of a Western society.

Hadian said the Brotherhood has one strategy for the “lower house,” in Western countries where its presence is still small, and another strategy once Islam becomes more established and is able to push its numbers up to about 10 percent of a country’s population. The preaching in the mosques changes once Islam shifts to the “upper house” and is strong enough to preach a message focused more on intolerance of other faiths.

“We talk about love and mercy and tolerance in the lower house, but we don’t tell them that ‘mercy’ means something else in the upper house, where we kill homosexuals, stone or flog adulterers, kill apostates – this is the way to show them mercy in the upper house,” Hadian said.

“The Muslim Brotherhood has said to name their houses of worship Islamic centers and Islamic community center, not mosques,” he said.

But dawah is how it starts, with talk of mercy, peace and tolerance for everyone.

“Europe is now moving to the upper house. This is where you rape them. It’s no longer sweet and romantic and about love and mercy and great Middle Eastern food,” Hadian said. “This plays well into the multicultural worldview.”

He said it’s exactly what Western liberals want to hear, and so that is what is preached by Muslims skilled in dawah.

via Dr. Jihad’s prescription for a Muslim America | The Counter Jihad Report

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Seriously?

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ANTIFA: UNWITTING Pawns of the ESTABLISHMENT

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How Do You Enforce Responsibility?

Truvada is a HIV prophylaxis medication.

One of the great difficulties of consistent libertarianism is that of making people bear the full consequences of their own actions and choices. Another great difficulty, indeed, is whether we should much care to live in a society that found a way of doing so.

It is easy enough, of course, to get people to behave any way they like. The most valued freedom of all, one that most of us have at some time or another sought—and that our society sometimes confers—is the freedom from the natural and foreseeable consequences of what we do. A mountaineer may value his liberty to climb mountains, and knows that it is a dangerous liberty to exercise; but if he has an accident, he is glad there is a mountain rescue team available, the proper share of whose costs he has almost certainly not paid and never will pay.

Then, too, no insurance policy ever covers only and precisely those risks that we share with others. This means that some of us are paying for more insurance than we need, and others less. It is unlikely that the discrepancy will ever be entirely eliminated.

A major story in the leading liberal newspaper in Britain, the Guardian, recently trumpeted the decision of the Scottish government to provide, at taxpayers’ expense, prophylactic medicine against the contraction of HIV infection by those who are “at risk” of contracting it. This medication undoubtedly does reduce statistical risk—very significantly—when taken properly. The question is, who should pay for it?

The government’s argument is pragmatic. Prophylaxis is much cheaper than cure, and under the current dispensation, most of the cost of the cure will fall upon the taxpayer. Therefore  it is in the financial interest of the taxpayer (quite apart from humanitarian considerations) to fund the prophylactic medication—on the assumption that, without such funding, those at risk would not take it and a subset of this group would become infected with HIV.

Against this, one could argue the following:

  • In most cases, the risk is taken in full consciousness of it. For example, in Britain most new cases of HIV infection are among homosexual men who choose not to use condoms.
  • They should therefore pay both for prophylaxis themselves against the avoidable risk, and also for their curative treatment if they fail to do so.
  • The fact that the costs of both are transferred to others increases the likelihood of their indulging in risky behavior in the first place.

The problem is that the above reasoning does not cover all cases or degrees of moral responsibility.

Suppose, for example, that a person has contracted HIV through no fault or risk-taking of his or her own. At that point the infected person risks passing it on to a future sexual partner (unless we are prepared to demand of him or her a complete sexual quarantine). Of course, somewhere along the line, someone most likely indulged knowingly in risky behavior that resulted in this person’s infection. Theoretically, the original risk-taker could be made responsible for payments for all future prophylaxis. But in practice, this is unfeasible, and even where feasible, it would be more expensive to enforce than merely paying for the prophylaxis in the first place.

The person who has contracted HIV through no fault or risk-taking of his or her own may genuinely be unable to pay for prophylaxis, as may his or her sexual partner. Would we wish such people to deny themselves sexual activity ever after for lack of funds? And would such a wish be enforceable in any case, short of a totalitarian surveillance system?

There might be other sources of funds for him or her than the government—family or charity, for example. But equally there might not be. And if people were not able to pay for their prophylaxis, a fortiori they would not be able to pay for their treatment. The cost would then fall on someone other than themselves, assuming that we could not as a civilized society just let them painfully and slowly die. To deny them treatment because they had brought their misfortune on themselves would be pretty hard-hearted. It would constitute, not the great fortitude of mind that James Boswell admiringly ascribed to Dr. Johnson, but rather the stark insensibility that Dr. Johnson admitted was more accurate.

Hard cases may make bad law but they make good journalism. We live in a society in which you have only to publicize a hard case for there to be demands for a change in the law, demands that are sometimes met, either immediately or in the long run. And since politics is not merely the easy art of being absolutely right in the abstract, but the far more difficult and arduous one of making things slightly better in practice, the argument that, as responsible beings who are agents, that is to say subjects and not objects, the consequences of our actions should be brought home to us, even unto the point of death (a principle with which we may agree, intellectually), is not likely to be much of a guide to practical politics.

All the same, although I can see the arguments on the Scottish government’s side, the provision of prophylactic medicines to reduce the risk associated with voluntary behaviors makes me very uneasy. At what point will the government bow out and not cushion the ill-effects of citizens’ own decisions?

On the same page as the article about prophylaxis of HIV in Scotland, we read:

The government is making extra grants available to schools and nurseries as they scramble to provide the places required to fulfil the Conservatives’ pre-election pledge of 30 hours a week of free childcare.

All the arguments in favor of providing prophylaxis for HIV can be used in favor of providing child-care “free” to mothers (it is not costless to others, or even to the mothers themselves insofar as they pay taxes to fund it), or indeed in favor of anything else. In short, it would be possible, using these arguments, to advocate the governmental allocation of all goods and services in Britain.

Perhaps the moral of the story is that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of totalitarian minds.

Theodore Dalrymple

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LoL

 

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The Patriotism Gap

By Daniel Allott
Political pundits identify several fault lines when attempting to describe the political and cultural divisions in America today based on sex, race, age, political ideology, geography, and more. But another fault line has emerged between those who feel an instinctive love of country and those whose feelings toward their county depend on which way the political winds are blowing. This patriotism gap is getting far less attention than it deserves.

A recent Gallup poll finds that 67 percent of Democrats are “extremely” or “very proud” to be Americans, down 11 percentage points since just last year, and a new low since Gallup began measuring such attitudes in 2001.

Based on the decline among Democrats, three out of four U.S. adults now say they are proud to be American, which is also a new low. In the early 2000s, for instance, the share of Americans who said they were proud to be Americans was in the 90s.

Also, the 14 percent of Democrats who say they are either “only a little proud” (9 percent) or “not at all proud” (5 percent) to be American is more than double last year’s number of 6 percent.

Republicans, meanwhile, are just as patriotic as they’ve always been. “Republicans’ pride remains high at 92%,” Gallup reports, “close to the average 94% Gallup has measured for the group since 2001.”

All told, a 25-point gap in patriotic feelings exists between Republicans and Democrats, which, again, is the highest in Gallup’s records.

Americans are a patriotic people. Visiting foreigners sometimes marvel that the Star-Spangled Banner is ubiquitous, not just on the Fourth of July but in front yards and on T-shirts across the country all year round.

But patriotism among liberals has been waning for years, and, as the Gallup poll shows, has now dropped to a new low.

It’s no coincidence that the decline of patriotism on the left has happened at the same time as a similar drop in trust in what used to be the bedrock institutions of American society — police, military, and the church.

Americans are passionate about our politics, but liberals are on average much more willing to allow politics to determine how they feel about their country. Consider that Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory did not cause a large share of Republicans to feel less patriotic. In fact, the share that felt patriotic stayed the same throughout most of Obama’s 8 years in office.

The left’s patriotism fluctuates much more wildly. Ninety-three percent were very or extremely patriotic immediately after 9/11; just 67 percent are today.

Considering these numbers, it seems safe to conclude that conservatives’ love of country is unconditional while liberals’ is conditioned on their political and policy preferences.

Their patriotism, in other words, is more fickle than that of conservatives.

Don’t get me wrong: most Democrats are patriotic. The young men and women who join the U.S. military come from both Democratic and Republican households. But what should concern us all are the obvious trends emerging on the left.

So what’s happened over the last year to compel so many liberals to fall out of love with their country? Barack Obama has left office after a lackluster eight years and Donald Trump has become president.

While Trump’s victory gave millions of Americans hope, it also caused many on the left to lose faith. In one pre-election poll, 28 percent of Americans said that they had at least considered leaving the U.S. for good “for a country such as Canada” if Trump were elected. Fourteen percent rated the probability as “very high.” Doing the math, that comes to nearly 50 million Americans. According to the New York Times, immediately following his election victory, “move to Canada” became one of the top trending Google search topics.

via Articles: The Patriotism Gap

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Mayor Threatens to Quit Because His Town Voted for Le Pen – The Still Report

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