I tried to write about it last night but just couldn’t. I’m guessing the disgust was just too much. Fortunately, Victor Davis Hanson had something worthwhile to say:
Still more monotonous themes: as in the case of Major Hasan (the Fort Hood jihadist), the Tsarnaev clan (Boston Marathon), and Syed Rizwan Farook (San Bernardino), there is something deeply wrong with American immigration policy and the attitude of us, the lax host, to newcomers. In too many deadly cases, a generation of Muslims goes to great lengths to reach the United States only to raise an American-born or naturalized ungracious and unappreciative generation that apparently grows to hate the bounty and freedom of America to such a degree as to blow up, shoot, and maim innocent Americans. Immigration to the U.S., and citizenship itself, should be seen, again, as a privilege, not a right—and assimilation and integration, not multicultural separatism and ethnic and religious chauvinism, should be the goal of the host. We need not single out Muslims in terms of restricting immigration, but we should take a six-month timeout on all would-be immigrants from countries in the Middle East deemed war zones—Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen—not only for our own immediate security but also to send a general message that entrance into the U.S. is a rare and prized opportunity, not simply a cheap and pro forma entitlement.
Without in any way trying to diminish the tragedy of the shootings, I couldn’t help but notice that in this case two favorite causes of the Left, homosexuality and defense of Islam, have collided, and Obama in particular doesn’t seem to know what to do. The left has been ignoring the slaughter of gay people in Islamic countries, the torture, the throwing off of roofs, because it is inconvenient for them to acknowledge it. The massacre in Florida makes that impossible.
I see that a recent effort to distract from the ugly reality is Obama’s comment that there is no proof the gunman was “directed” by ISIS—as if being recruited to a cause by rhetoric from mosques and inflammatory videos on the internet, among other sources, and proceeding to execute the same kinds of attacks promoted by ISIS, on a demographic routinely targeted by ISIS, shouldn’t be considered an attack by ISIS or even that ISIS is accountable.
Why is he still scrambling to try to put distance between atrocities and ISIS?
“….not only for our own immediate security but also to send a general message that entrance into the U.S. is a rare and prized opportunity, not simply a cheap and pro forma entitlement.”
I could not agree more, but when we have people eager to hand out citizenship to people who have proved a lack of respect for our laws it is hard to take a step backward and now take the position that mere entrance into the country “is a rare and prized opportunity”.
VDH has it right when he says “Immigration to the U.S., and citizenship itself, should be seen, again, as a privilege, not a right….” and has to be earned, starting with respecting our laws and our legal processes.
And I do think we are nearing a time when we have to take official action, in declaring Islam more of a political movement than a religion, and allowing those who are willing to commit to a reform Islam that renounces the messages of hatred and violence to continue to be thought of as people who are merely choosing a form of worship. Stripping away the mask of religion, behind which these murderous fanatics hide because it gives them protection, would enable us to treat them as enemies of the state, as they represent a political movement intent on destroying this nation.
How do we know that? Because they tell us.
When any mosque or imam preaches any of the violent teachings of what we clumsily call “radical” Islam it would immediately lose its status as religious in nature, and become subject to surveillance, investigation and legal action. Those who renounce these aspects of Islam could continue to enjoy the protections of the 1st Amendment. I remember the shrill bleating of our troll faction that people would just lie, and yes, some would. But the mere act of having to think about it and make a formal statement has a certain power, and once one has made that statement and then acted in a way that proves he or she lied, that person is simply moved over into the political segment of Islam or that mosque or imam is re-identified.
It’s not a simple solution, but we have to do something. When the laws of our land which were designed to offer protection end up denying protection, some changes have to be made, and rather than change an important law which helps define our nation I think we have to redefine how different teachings are treated under the law.
The more they investigate Orlando the more it appears the shooter was a closeted gay man. Self-hatred goes a longer way to explaining his actions, both that night and the months leading up to it, than political affiliation.
Homosexual activity is fairly common in the Muslim culture, though massively closeted. I actually got my first look at this when I was a 21 year old sailor – we were deployed to the Persian Gulf for a routine cruise. Naturally, given it was the Muslim world, none of us looked to find any of the common entertainments sailors look for when ashore. But, lo and behold, one day when we were docked in Bahrain we discovered that at the top of one of the prime hotels in town, there was a bar. Naturally, I and a large segment of my shipmates repaired there at our earliest opportunity. As far as bars go, it was pretty standard with this one exception: absolutely no women. But, for us, 50% of what we were looking for was better than 0% – and so me and the buddies settled in for a few rounds of drinks. As we were sitting there, we noticed the crowed was pretty mixed – Arabs, Europeans, Americans…and us sailors. Then we started getting hit by peanuts. Just all of a sudden, tap, on the forehead or arm or chest went a peanut. We were having some difficulty in figuring out (a) why peanuts were being thrown at us and (b) just where exactly they were being launched from. Fortunately, one of the American civilians was able to clue us in – that was a signal that someone was interested in adventures of a non-drinking sort. As the crowd was all male, the sort of adventure was pretty clear. This particular American civilian was decidedly interested in such things, while we weren’t (can’t be 100% certain, of course, that all of us were disinterested…but things is as they is). We finished our drinks and decided that 0% of what we were after might be better…and, at all events, Spain was on the itinerary on the way home.
I remember a brother telling me about a friend of his who was a gung-ho soldier who quit volunteering to go back to Iraq because he got tired of the very aggressive sexual advances made to him by men. Evidently the strong manly American soldier image is quite a turn-on.
The self-hatred of a closeted gay man explains a lot, but I also heard he had scoped out Disney World as a possible target.. He seemed to think that dedicating the carnage to ISIS would purge his sins and make him a saint. But who knows with crazy people?
I do think that the overall atmosphere of hatred in this country, as shown by the BLM group and its offshoots in particular, and the encouragement of hate and violence in promoting themes such as “white privilege” and cop killing all degrade normal reluctance to engage in wholesale violence. When hatred and violence are not only condoned but encouraged and celebrated, no one can be surprised at where those things show up.
Uh, hello, Disneyworld is gayer than that nightclub.
Everything Disney, everything, has great appeal to the gay community and the company has been very supportive of the gay community. I bet he also scoped out the Friends of Dorothy cosplay convention and Liberace Museum. He was out to kill gays and scoped out targets. In the end, he went with the familiar, the gay club he frequented over the last three years (by some accounts).
Maybe his self-hatred was borne of repressing his true self under his father’s Islamic background, but I don’t think ISIS had anything to do with it, (yes, notwithstanding the perp’s own words). Maybe if he was a repressed gay man in a strict Jewish household or Fundamentalist or whatever he may not have exploded in gunfire, but he surely would be just as messed up in the head. Were he a Jew, he may get unhinged and buy something retail but he ain’t shooting up a joint.
I agree, he may not have been wholly religiously motivated, but ISIS offered what a wackadoo might consider adequate cover for killing gay people, and it also promotes, idealizes and glamorizes terrorism.
Sadly, the days when self loathing called for a bottle of pills and a fifth of Stoly are probably long gone. I’ve thought for years that if we were to be scathing of such killers, ridiculing them, offering psychosexual analyses saying that only impotent men with teeny peenies ever do such things, etc. we would take away a lot of the fantasy that such actions will make the killer a hero. But we couldn’t even make fun of the 9/11 killers, because that might be insensitive to their loved ones, or even worse, to their religion.
Which leads me to my next comment: Don’t you think it is about time we stopped referring to “RADICAL Islam”? It is Islam. The violence is part and parcel of the religion, embedded in its core teachings and writings. If we have a “Reformed Islam” that denounces the violent aspects of the religion, it can be identified as such, but the clumsy effort to be nice to average Muslims indicates that the violence is not an inherent part of the religion, and it is.
While I recognize that “the days when self loathing called for a bottle of pills and a fifth of Stoly” provided a less lethal result, it is still a pretty crappy deal that people are driven to desperate acts when forced to hide their basic nature. Also, I think it is “Stoli” with an “i.”
As for “radical” Islam or just plain old Islam, I just don’t see any religious involvement. It seems like a run-of-the-mill mass shooting, like we’ve seen happen everywhere. In this case, the shooter’s rage came from self-hatred, as opposed to other shooters’ goals of hating someone at work, being crazy and shooting schoolchildren, etc. Syill, just another nut venting anger with bullets.
Whether, or perhaps “whither” in Wyoming, or not the killer’s ISIS comments just came as afterthoughts, perhaps to try to give the act some gravitas and maybe even distract from his own identity, I still say that in general we need to stop saying “radical Islam” as if only murderers belong to a religion that demands killing of so many for so many reasons.
It is just plain Islam. It is what is contained in the core teachings, It is not as if some wackadoos invent phrases and claim they are part of the religion of Islam and then go on killing sprees. No, they just look it up in the same book every other Muslim uses.
Therefore, violence, jihad, etc. are not “radical Islam” but just plain Islam, though followed with more attention to detail. What we call “moderate Muslims” would probably be part of Reform Islam, though I doubt that they would all agree to disavow the ugly parts of Islam, given how many of these alleged “moderates” still support the attacks on 9/11 and the worldwide extermination of all Jews.
Stoli is not my vodka of choice so I’m not all that familiar with the abbreviation of Stolichnaya, though once I spell it out I can see that the “i” makes sense. However, thank you for the correction. I’ll see if it remains in the data bank.
The “decision to hide one’s basic nature” is not always forced upon someone. For someone living in a repressive society it might be the difference between life and death, but to an American citizen who has the freedom to hang out in gay bars, in a society which for a long time tolerated homosexuality and now seems to celebrate it, there is a strong element of choice in trying to hide one’s basic nature. While it would not be easy to make the choice to break with tradition and cultural influences, people do it every day.
I think it is clear that this man’s homosexual tendencies were not his only problem. He was hostile, violent toward women, and in general a ticking time bomb. Which, by the way, is also true of many ISIS recruits. Being conflicted about being attracted to men, if that was his problem, was clearly not his only problem, and does not mean he was not also attracted to the violence of ISIS.
First off, my Stoli-with-an-i comment was a joke, me being a petty spelling Nazi.
I do disagree with the notion that “the decision to hide one’s basic nature is not always forced.” I can’t imagine anyone going through that Hell, usually for their entire youth, by anything other than force. Granted, the overwhelming amount of that force is in their heads – that their friends and family will reject them – but that force is made very real by the minority cases in which friends and/or family really DO reject them.
To me, it is like the argument that homosexuality is a choice. My f’ing God, who would choose that?
Bob, I wasn’t offended by your Stoli comment. In fact, I appreciated it, being a grammar Nazi and spelling bug myself. (Do not even get me started on the Rogue Apostrophe. If you type “it’s” you had damned well better mean “it is” because the apostrophe replaces the letter “i” in a contraction, and does NOT indicate a possessive. “When its mouse got away, the cat decided it’s just a crappy day.” Possessive=no apostrophe. Contraction of “it is”=apostrophe. Easy peasy.)
Bob, sometimes life just sucks. So many people have so many problems, and so many hangups, and so many neuroses, and so many tragedies, I am just getting tired of gay people hogging the angst.
I didn’t say homosexuality is a decision. I did say that how to deal with it is. And I pointed out that today, in this society, homosexuality has moved from being tolerated to being celebrated. Disney’s little cartoon heroine may turn out to have a female love interest. Yes, it can be tough to come out and risk losing family or friends, but it is still a choice. Lots of things are tough.
In the case of the Orlando shooting, I doubt that he would have chosen to slaughter 50 or so people if he had been a self-loathing sexually conflicted Lutheran.
Islam is a screwed-up religion that probably makes it impossible to function as a normal sexual male. Women are filthy, weak, disgusting, alluring, dangerous and evil. Lust is the fault of women whose very presence forces men to be animals. The only hope for a sexual encounter that might not result in a negative comparison to another man is with a virgin. If you take the strange, twisted and sick attitude of Muslim men toward women and apply to men who appeal to Muslim men, it has to be much much worse. So I think that the rage had a very definite, very strong, religious aspect to it, this sad sick psychosexual distortion of human sexuality amplified by a religion that says those who stir lust should be punished and which glorifies those who kill in the name of Allah.
Take a guy who already always had a screw loose, immerse him in the toxic stew of Islam with all its violence and exhortations for killing, and you just have to add a little sexual conflict to have a perfect storm. I don’t give him a pass because he was a tortured soul.
“I doubt that he would have chosen to slaughter 50 or so people if he had been a self-loathing sexually conflicted Lutheran”
Not to be *that* guy but I think Hitler was a Lutheran and, while I cannot attest to any sexual conflict in him, I have it on good authority he possessed only a single, oversized testicle.
Your argument is moot.
What I think we need to do is to leave off thinking of it as senseless. It might be horrifying to us, but it is sensible to those who do it. What the Orlando shooter did wasn’t the same kind of action as that which took place, for instance, in Sandy Hook – the former was doing a specific thing for a specific reason which he thought beneficial to himself and to society as a whole; the latter was just a person sadly driven insane by a series of events in his life. Whether or no the Orlando shooter was a repressed homosexual is really rather a moot point, in my view – he was convinced, from all evidence we have discovered about him, that what he did was a one-way ticket to heaven.
That is the difference and that is what we must understand if we are to defeat these people – they believe they are right, good, just, moral in what they do. I don’t believe anything other than massive force can win the day against such people – but if someone has another idea, I’m open to it…but just insulting those who hold the idea won’t do the trick (and you can insult them two different ways – by insulting Islam, as such or by saying they are not Muslim). Insults will be viewed by them as a confession of weakness on the part of the person issuing the insult.
For comparison, the Orlando dude killed 50 people. Hitler killed six million Jews, several million others and the Charlie Chaplin mustache.
In your face, Islam! You ain’t catching up to the Lutherans in this lifeline, losers.
There doesn’t seem to be any proof that Hitler was a Lutheran, though he was pretty impressed with Martin Luther. I don’t think it was Luther’s religious ideology that got Dolf’s motor revved, though:
“Martin Luther has been the greatest encouragement of my life. Luther was a great man. He was a giant. Within one blow he heralded the coming of the new dawn and new age. He saw clearly that the Jews need to be destroyed and we’re only beginning to see what we need to carry this work on.”
Actually, there is no indication that Hitler was even a Christian, though like any good populist demagogue he made references as necessary. “According to the Goebbels Diaries, Hitler hated Christianity. In an 8 April 1941 entry, Goebbels wrote “He hates Christianity, because it has crippled all that is noble in humanity.”…”
While his name isn’t on the plan, the Reich was putting together an outline for its own religion:
“During the war Alfred Rosenberg formulated a thirty-point program for the National Reich Church, which included:
• The National Reich Church claims exclusive right and control over all Churches.
• The National Church is determined to exterminate foreign Christian faiths imported into Germany in the ill-omened year 800.
• The National Church demands immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible.
• The National Church will clear away from its altars all Crucifixes, Bibles, and pictures of Saints.
• On the altars there must be nothing but “[[Mein Kampf]” and to the left of the altar a sword.
Nah, don’t think you can pin the murder of millions on Lutheranism, not even the potent and dreaded Radical Lutheranism.
Hitler was born into a Catholic family and conformed to the outward signs of the religion at least until the death of his father. There is no indication that Hitler observed any Catholic doctrine from the age of about 14 on.
My argument, which was really more of an observation, is not “moot”. It is valid and relevant. It is that the millions who suffer angst related to self-loathing who have also not been steeped in the toxic and murderous culture of Islam don’t tend to shriek religious mottoes and slaughter people. I pulled “Lutheran” out of thin air: it could have been any religion, other than Islam. It could have been no religion at all.
The point is to identify what trips the trigger, in this case both metaphorically and literally, and in this case it was Islam.
I’m not sure what you mean by “insulting Islam”. If you say that Catholics believe in the virgin birth, are you insulting Catholics? Of course not. You are merely stating a tenet of Catholicism. Stating the tenets of Islam is not “insulting” Islam. It might be uncomfortable for Muslims to hear it, but that is their problem. If we point out that the Koran includes certain instructions to Muslims on how to practice the faith and achieve salvation, and those instructions are instructions to commit violence, to kill unbelievers and to practice genocide, that is not “insulting Islam”. It is what it is. If the so-called “moderate Muslims” don’t like it that people know these ugly aspects of their religion they can, as I have said, denounce them and adopt a reformed Islam. As I have said, there are something like 1600 versions of Reformed Catholicism, known as Protestants. Protestants protested against the things they did not like in the Catholic Church. I’m Catholic, and I’m fine with that.
If we call all Muslims crazy or engage in that kind of rhetoric, then it might be fair to say we are “insulting” them. On the other hand, if a Muslim acts crazy, it is not an insult to acknowledge it. Hearing something that distresses you is not the same thing as being insulted.
“Insults will be viewed by them as a confession of weakness on the part of the person issuing the insult.” Too bad. I for one don’t care, any more than I care about someone getting the vapors every time someone is compared to Hitler. It’s all in the context.
With the exception of his words during the event – which I agree with Amazona were showboating, either to hide his real reason or to elevate the crime’s newsworthiness – I see nothing that implies he did it as a “ticket to heaven.” I doubt he expected to get 72 virgin girls, and what would HE do with them anyhow?
As for the violence inherent in Islam, I’d like to use your own example against you. Yes, there are 1600 flavors of Protestant but a lot of bloodshed happened before peace. As recently as 50 years ago an Irish person in the wrong place and the wrong time might be killed solely for being Catholic or Protestant, just as today a radical Muslim might kill a Christian.
Even in my own faith, Judaism, the Hasids in Israel are known for great violence against Muslims…for religious reasons, not necessarily political. They will also attack “improper” women on the street (Sharia?) and their newspapers Photoshopped Hillary out of the famous picture of Obama and the Bin Laden mission.
Extremism is extremism and all religions, all political groups, all GROUPS of a certain size, have zealots.
And by the way, why is everyone taking my Hitler “joke” so seriously?
Maybe because it wasn’t funny? And you didn’t give us a hint that you thought it was? Next time try an emoji to give us a clue.
“Extremism is extremism and all religions, all political groups, all GROUPS of a certain size, have zealots.”
True, but you have to draw a line on the calendar and determine not who did what way back when but who presents a danger NOW. And you have to figure out which forms of extremism just tick you off (photoshopping a woman out of a picture) and which might kill you.
You are doing the same thing most people do, and saying that only violent Islam is “extreme”. I am saying it is mainstream Islam in the same way that believing marriage is for life is mainstream Catholicism—maybe not everyone does it, but everyone who follows the letter of the law of the religious doctrine does.
It is Islam that is extreme.
Catholics may have killed Protestants in Ireland, but that was more political than religious and it was not based on any Catholic theology. It was murder outside the teachings of the Church, which happened to be associated with Catholicism only because of who did it. Ditto for Protestants killing Catholics. I am pretty sure no Protestant church has teachings that they should go out and kill Catholics. Even the most radical Protestant church I can think of, the detestable Westboro Lunatics, don’t advocate killing. Maybe Hasids in Israel do what you say—-are they directed to by the Old Testament? By any other teachings in Judaism? And even if they are, do they go outside Israel looking for women to “attack” ? (don’t know if you meant physical attack or just verbal abuse).
One can quibble, bicker, nitpick and come up with all sorts of incidents and precedents. But right now, in this time and place, people around the world are facing vicious brutal mass killings based on the inherent mainstream teachings of a religion that is, in its very heart and soul, violent and murderous. I’d say the ones who do not follow the violent teachings of Islam are the “radicals” because they have stepped away from those teachings and instructions, while the killers are mainstream Islam because they are doing what the religion tells them to do.
And no, I do not believe that the killer in Orlando really did just come up with an afterthought of supporting ISIS to try to add some rationale to his insanity. I agreed it was a possibility, but the more I read about him the more I think he was strongly motivated to act out his insanity in this way at this time in this place because of Islamic teachings and the encouragement of ISIS. You pounced on my reference to Lutherans, when I said if he had been a self hating Lutheran he wouldn’t have felt the need to express it by killing 50 people, and you came back with the old canard that Hitler was a Lutheran—–as if even if he were he did what he did out of religious fervor. Now you’re dragging in Hasidic Jews and Belfast.
If you do not agree that the basic teaching of Islam, its Bible, the Koran, instructs Muslims to kill all “infidels” then just say so and stop pecking around in history looking for someone else somewhere else sometime else who did something bad.
The main thing, for me, is that all other religious extremists over the past 300 years have been rather non-violent towards non-believers. Even if we want to ignore the economic and political reasons which provided massive impetus to the Religious Wars, it has still been a very long time since any Christian has sought the blood of another person over theological differences.