ANTIFA: Who Are They? An Explainer By Jason Kessler (@TheMadDimension) – GotNews

Recent riots in Berkeley, California and Washington, D.C. by loosely assembled left-wing agitators have drawn attention to the left-wing terror group ANTIFA, an organization which has a violent history in Europe and South America but has been largely unknown in the United States until very recently. They’re the ones responsible for Trump supporters being beaten by gangs of masked men, setting fire to cars, pepper spraying old men, pelting women with eggs and smashing Starbucks windows and ATMs. The term Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is a euphemism for communism.

Source: ANTIFA: Who Are They? An Explainer By Jason Kessler (@TheMadDimension) – GotNews

Gentle readers, I apologize. This is supposed to be a civilized blog, and I hesitate to even give such thugs and anti-civilized (anti-civilization!) low-life scum as Antifa a mention here. But sometimes it is necessary to mention a danger, in order to warn against it:

Jason Kessler has done an excellent job of describing this (loose, but surprisingly well-choreographed) organization and the hazards it poses, both in his blog post and video. The only points I would add are these:

First, “communist” or even “anarchist” (anarcho-communist) is not sufficient to describe these people. They hate everything that has made Western civilization great and beautiful. Judging from their words and actions to date, if one were to take the worst excesses of Stalin and Mao, and add in those of Oliver Cromwell and Robespierre, we might have a glimpse of what society would look like if Antifa and their fellow-travelers were ever to achieve dominance.

Second, do not be misled by words like “anti-fascist” and “anti-racist.” They may use terms such as “tolerance” and “coexistence” – when they’re not breaking windows or beating people up – but their very existence is indicative of the shadow side (to put it gently) of such ideas. What they really want is a post-racial, post-cultural society in which difference is obliterated and everyone thinks, acts, and looks pretty much the same, and in place of true diversity, particularity, and distinctiveness, we are reduced to an amorphous, undifferentiated blob.

I leave you with some words from the great J.R.R. Tolkien, who though he eschewed allegory, wrote much that is applicable to our present situation. Antifa has neither the power nor (yet) the terror of the Nazgul, of course, but they are of like kind, being servants of the Dark Lord. In speaking of the Black Riders (“Black Bloc”…?), Tolkien wrote:

“‘Is it not enough to know that they are servants of the Enemy?’ answered Gildor. ‘Flee them! Speak no words to them! They are deadly.'”

Indeed. Although I would say, there may be times – many, perhaps most, times – when fight, rather than flight, is the appropriate response to Antifa violence, lest they grow to the power and terror of Mordor.

Constant vigilance is the price of freedom.

Sweden will ‘never go back’ to mass immigration, PM says | Daily Mail Online

The Prime Minister of Sweden has vowed his country will ‘never go back’ to recent levels of mass immigration after it emerged the terrorist who killed four people in a truck attack was a failed asylum seeker.

Source: Sweden will ‘never go back’ to mass immigration, PM says | Daily Mail Online

The Stockholm truck-ramming terrorist was a failed asylum seeker? Okay, everyone who’s surprised, raise your hands! *looking around* No one? That’s what I thought.

On the one hand, I’m encouraged to read report of the PM’s remarks. I hope that late is better than never, and I know that some people require a two-by-four across the forehead before they wake up to threats that are right in their face. Yet, I’m afraid this smacks a bit of locking the proverbial barn door after the horse has already been stolen.

Said the Prime Minister:

‘Sweden will never go back to the [mass migration] we had in autumn 2015, never,’ Mr Löfven said yesterday.

‘Everyone who has been denied a permit should return home.

‘This makes me feel enormously frustrated. If you have been denied a visa you are supposed to leave the country.’

“Should”…? “Frustrated”…? “Supposed to”…? Why doesn’t he just say, “C’mon, guys, play fair!”

Far be it from me to tell someone else, let alone another country, what they should do, but I hope Sweden is able to get in touch with its ancestral roots, however belatedly! This is what Sweden needs today, in my opinion – updated with respect to technology, naturally:

(There are plenty of Swedes who feel the same, I know! To them, deepest respect. This is not directed at you, but at the political and media elites, and those who have been brainwashed by them. Sverige evigt!)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Islam’s Most Eloquent Apostate – WSJ

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, born in Somalia in 1969, is Islam’s most eloquent apostate. She has just published a slim book that seeks to add a new four-letter word—dawa—to the West’s vocabulary. It describes the ceaseless, world-wide ideological campaign waged by Islamists as a complement to jihad. It is, she says, the greatest threat facing the West and “could well bring about the end of the European Union as we know it.” America is far from immune, and her book, “The Challenge of Dawa,” is an explicit attempt to persuade the Trump administration to adopt “a comprehensive anti-dawa strategy before it is too late.”

Source: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Islam’s Most Eloquent Apostate – WSJ

I am not sure I agree with Ms Hirsi Ali’s belief that Islam is susceptible to reform, although I’d like to think so – I just haven’t seen much that gives me confidence, in that regard. She “believes that Islam can indeed be reformed, that it must be reformed, and that it can be reformed only by Muslims themselves”—which is certainly true, if it’s going to happen at all—and that it must be “by those whom she calls ‘Mecca Muslims.'”

“These,” she says, “are the faithful who prefer the gentler version of Islam that she says was ‘originally promoted by Muhammad’ before 622. That was the year he migrated to Medina and the religion took a militant and unlovely ideological turn.” True, but whether the trend initiated then and promulgated for most of the succeeding nearly 1400 years is, to say the least, open to question. As I say, it’d be nice, but I’m not holding my breath!

However, she says a lot that the West needs to hear! For example:

Ms. Hirsi Ali—now a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution (…)—is urging the West to look at Islam with new eyes. She says it must be viewed “not just as a religion, but also as a political ideology.” To regard Islam merely as a faith, “as we would Christianity or Buddhism, is to run the risk of ignoring dawa, the activities carried out by Islamists to keep Muslims energized by a campaign to impose Shariah law on all societies—including countries of the West.”

Dawa, Ms. Hirsi Ali explains, is “conducted right under our noses in Europe, and in America. It aims to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and also to push existing Muslims in a more extreme direction.” The ultimate goal is “to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with Shariah.” It is a “never-ending process,” she says, and then checks herself: “It ends when an Islamic utopia is achieved. Shariah everywhere!”

Ms. Hirsi Ali contends that the West has made a colossal mistake by its obsession with “terror” in the years since 9/11. “In focusing only on acts of violence,” she says, “we’ve ignored the Islamist ideology underlying those acts. By not fighting a war of ideas against political Islam—or ‘Islamism’—and against those who spread that ideology in our midst, we’ve committed a blunder.”

This is precisely what I have been saying for some years, now! If you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe someone who comes “from the inside,” as it were.

“What the Islamists call jihad,” she continues, “is what we call terrorism, and our preoccupation with it is, I think, a form of overconfidence. ‘Terrorism is the way of the weak,’ we tell ourselves, ‘and if we can just take out the leaders and bring down al Qaeda or ISIS, then surely the followers will stop their jihad.’ But we’re wrong. Every time Western leaders take down a particular organization, you see a different one emerge, or the same one take on a different shape. And that’s because we’ve been ignoring dawa.”

I can’t help but be reminded of J.R.R. Tolkien’s words, that “Always after a defeat and a respite, the shadow takes another shape and grows again.” This is why I am not convinced it can be reformed – because I am not convinced that it is not actually evil. To quote Tolkien again, “there have been and still are many Men, warriors and kings, that walk alive under the Sun, and yet are under [the Dark Lord’s] sway.”

I think that Islam “took a militant and unlovely turn” because that is in its nature, its fundamental and existential origin, its essence. I do not believe the god of Islam is the same as the God of Judaism and Christianity, despite its claim to be descended from Abraham. Satan is a master of deceit, after all! But that is a theological question, and I may be wrong. Although the essential nature of Islam matters, and matters deeply, combating its militant and ideological manifestation is a pragmatic issue.

And that is why the warnings that Ms Hirsi Ali provides are so timely and apposite:

America needs to be on full alert against political Islam because “its program is fundamentally incompatible with the U.S. Constitution”—with religious pluralism, the equality of men and women, and other fundamental rights, including the toleration of different sexual orientations. “When we say the Islamists are homophobic,” she observes, “we don’t mean that they don’t like gay marriage. We mean that they want gays put to death.”

Islam the religion, in Ms. Hirsi Ali’s view, is a Trojan horse that conceals Islamism the political movement. Since dawa is, ostensibly, a religious missionary activity, its proponents “enjoy a much greater protection by the law in free societies than Marxists or fascists did in the past.”

Ms. Hirsi Ali is not afraid to call these groups out. Her book names five, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which asserts—and in turn receives in the mainstream media—the status of a moderate Muslim organization. But groups like CAIR, Ms. Hirsi Ali says, “take advantage of the focus on ‘inclusiveness’ by progressive political bodies in democratic societies, and then force these societies to bow to Islamist demands in the name of peaceful coexistence.”

Again, this is exactly what I have been saying! As dire as the situation is, I cannot help feeling at least somewhat vindicated.

Again, I am not in full agreement with everything she has to say – in some respects, she’s still too easy on Islam for me: for example, where she would like to “modernize the ‘communism test’ that still applies to those seeking naturalization,” for example (taqiyya, anyone…? asking questions of someone who has religious permission to lie is of dubious benefit, I fear!), I would prefer to not let any more Muslims into this country at all, unless or until the overall situation is resolved (in terms of reform, or lack thereof, of Islam itself). And watch the ones already here, like the proverbial hawk!

But she says a lot that needs to be heard. Read the article. It’s important.

Three More Jihadis Arrested in Stockholm Deadly Truck Attack – Geller Report

Police arrest three more suspects in the Stockholm truck attack after “special forces” conducted a raid a property about twelve miles from the atrocity which killed four.

Source: Three More Jihadis Arrested in Stockholm Deadly Truck Attack – Geller Report

“Swedish police on Saturday identified the suspected truck driver who killed four people in Stockholm as a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is a largely Muslim country ‘an authoritarian state with limited civil rights.’

“The driver was ‘known’ to intelligence services but was deemed a ‘marginal character.’ This sounds strikingly similar to the description of the Westminster car jihadi was was also ‘known’ to intelligence services but was on the ‘periphery.’

“How much jihad gets you inside the margins and/or the periphery…?”

A very good question, that! No one is a terrorist until they actually commit terrorism – and by that time, unfortunately, it’s too late.

If they are involved with jihad, or known jihadists, and they are not citizens… deport. Simple as that. If they are citizens, keep a damned close eye on them! (If they are naturalized citizens and actually commit acts of jihad, strip them of their citizenship, then deport them.) Better yet, don’t allow so many members of the community from which they spring into the country, in the first place.

“This is the third terror attack in Europe in two weeks, coming on the heels of assaults in London and Saint Petersburg. These attacks are a stunning indictment of the failed policy of the pro-sharia, pro-immigration Euro-elites.”

Indeed.

Europe, wake up!


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In the midst of grief, still confusion | MelaniePhillips.com

Source: In the midst of grief, still confusion | MelaniePhillips.com

“’Islamist’ is a reasonable neologism – I use it myself – to describe political or jihadi Islam and thus necessarily differentiate it from the un-extreme, pacific interpretation of the religion to which millions of Muslims subscribe. But to assert… that Islamism is therefore not Islamic is demonstrably ridiculous.”

In the aftermath of the Westminster (London) attack, commentator Melanie Phillips takes UK Prime Minister Theresa May, and by extension, the Western political establishment, to task for – as it too-often the case – refusing to recognize and name the problem for what it is:

“Does she think the concept of jihad is not Islamic? For sure, jihadi Islam is an interpretation of the religion to which many Muslims do not subscribe. But it is a genuine interpretation, solidly based on religious sources and is the historic inspiration for centuries of bloody Islamic conquest. It is as absurd to say it has nothing to do with Islam as it would be to say the Inquisition had nothing to do with Christianity or ultra-orthodox Haredi Jews have nothing to do with Judaism.

“The claim that identifying religion as the problem would demonise all Muslims is a non-sequitur. Yes, many Muslims are not extreme; but a terrifyingly large number are.

“In an opinion poll of a sample of British Muslims last year, only 34 per cent said they would report to the police anyone they thought was involved with jihadi extremism; 38 per cent blamed either the US or the Jews for 9/11; four per cent – which would amount to around 100,000 British Muslims – sympathised with Muslim suicide bombers; and 23 per cent wanted Islamic sharia law to replace domestic English law in areas with large Muslim populations.”

It has been said in a number of places that violent jihadists are snakes; the Muslim population at large is the grass they hide in. These figures quoted by Ms Phillips give some specific background and support to this claim, for Britain at least; but similar figures hold true elsewhere in the West. Even in the US, radicalism is increasing. The fact that most Muslims do not commit violent jihad does not mean they are not sympathetic to those who do.

[According to some recent studies, as much as 51% of US Muslims would prefer having the choice of being governed under Sharia law, while 60% of Muslim-Americans told Pew Research they were more loyal to Islam than to America. Islam’s insistence of being politically, legally, and socially dominant, as well as religiously / spiritually so, is a dramatic contrast to Christianity – which, as this article points out, “instructs followers to respect secular leaders — rendering ‘unto Caesar what is Caesar’s’ — while living godly lives within secular societies.”]

I have stated before in this forum – multiple times, and I will doubtless state multiple times again – that the majority of Muslims are not bent on the violent overthrow of Western civilization; however, the majority – nearly all, in fact – of those currently bent on the violent overthrow of Western civilization are Muslims. That means that the ideology / worldview of Islam, which is grounded in but not limited to (an important distinction) religion, is not benign.

Facing up to a problem – clearly identifying its scope, nature, and all the implications thereof – is the first step toward solving it. As long as we continue to refuse to understand and accept that violent Islamic jihadism is rooted in the religion of Islam itself, our efforts to combat it will be conducted with one hand (at least) tied behind our backs.

Mass shooting in Lille near Metro station leaves at least three injured and sparks terror fears – Mirror Online

Source: Mass shooting in Lille near Metro station leaves at least three injured and sparks terror fears – Mirror Online

“A shooting in Lille has left at least three people injured and sparked terror fears days after the attack in London… It is believed the drive-by shooting may be linked to criminal gangs. But the proximity to a train station and armed police response sparked fears of terrorism as Europe remains on a high state of alert. The identity of those injured in the attack is unknown. France has suffered a string of Islamist terror attacks during the past 12 months.”

And a significant plurality, if not majority, of criminal gangs in France these days are – wait for it – Muslim. Not meaning to jump to conclusions (sorry, not sorry), but I’d be surprised, indeed shocked, if it’s anyone else…

Prayer is not wishful nonsense. It helps us to shut up and think | Giles Fraser – Loose canon | Opinion | The Guardian

Under that flag of convenience called free speech, people tear up their decency in the search for “likes”. Oh, how cheaply we trade the things that matter most. Have social media and the stamping foot of the 24-hour news cycle killed off the quiet dignity of grief, both religious and non-religious?

Source: Prayer is not wishful nonsense. It helps us to shut up and think | Giles Fraser Loose canon | Opinion | The Guardian

Some thoughtful reflections from Giles Fraser, a parish priest in south London, who blogs under the name of “The Loose Canon”:

Prayer is not a way of telling God the things he already knows. Nor is it some act of collective lobbying, whereby the almighty is encouraged to see the world from your perspective if you screw up your face really hard and wish it so. Forget Christopher Robin at the end of the bed. Prayer is mostly about emptying your head waiting for stuff to become clear. There is no secret formula. And holding people in your prayers is not wishful thinking. It’s a sort of compassionate concentration, where someone is deliberately thought about in the presence of the widest imaginable perspective – like giving them a mental cradling.

But above all, prayer is often just a jolly good excuse to shut up for a while and think.

He seems, from what I can determine, to be toward the left end of the political spectrum. But he is square on about this!

And of course, this is leaving out of the equation the question of whether or not prayer really is efficacious. As Christians, we believe that God knows our needs before we ask them, and often responds before we can ask. But he still wants to hear us ask – that demonstrates that we know precisely what we want and need, and hopefully have reflected on why.

Does praying increase the chance that God will respond? Maybe, maybe not. I’m inclined to doubt it, for the reasons I’ve already delineated. But I’m not going to stop praying, for that reason! It’s been said that prayer is not really for God, but for us, and I agree with that. It gives us the chance to thoughtfully ponder – and to lay before that most awesome and transcendent divine reality, God Himself – our concerns, and the concerns of others: to hold them lovingly in our hearts, and minds. That is no bad thing, regardless of any practical effects it may or may not have.

Prayer should not, it is true, distract us from taking what practical steps we are able to take, to effect the changes we want to see. As St. James the Apostle wrote,

If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. (James 2:15-16)

Yet that does not invalidate prayer, as an act of mercy, of kindness, of compassion – and of faith in a God who is also merciful, kind, and compassionate. Sometimes prayer can, and often should, accompany action. Sometimes a situation is so overwhelming, or so out of our control, that all we can do is pray. And if that’s all we can do, then we should certainly do all that we can do.