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Islam

Well, That About Wraps It Up For Allah

Quran

Fragments of the world’s oldest Koran which was found in Birmingham last month could pre-date the Prophet Muhammad, according to scholars. The pages were discovered bound within the pages of another Koran from the late seventh century at the library of the University of Birmingham.

The pages were carbon dated by experts at the University of Oxford, which showed it could be the oldest Koran in the world. But now several historians have said that the parchment might even be predate Muhammad, and could rewrite the early history of Islam.

Koran found in Birmingham thought to be the oldest in the world could predate the Prophet Muhammad, scholars say *

If true, it would prove that old Mo was not only a paedophile (and I don’t see his face being printed up next to Jimmy Savile on the front cover of the Super Soaraway Sun), but a copyright infringer of epic, nay near biblical proportions.

The reason that the discovery is important is that it undermines a central tenet of Islam, that the Qu’ran (literally meaning “the recitation“) is the orally received word of god as revealed to Mohammed over a 23-year period by the angel Gabriel.

Now I don’t know about you, but if someone told me that he’d been listening to god through the medium of an angel then he would be deserving of a one-way ticket to the funny farm, with a nice white, rear-locking overcoat to match.

So, how long do you reckon it will be before Keith Small and the other eggheads from the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library start getting death threats? I suspect the fatwa’s in the mail guys, because if Salman Rushdie can get one for something as trivial as publishing a bit of fiction, then attacking the foundation of Islam itself is bound to catch the attention of latter day jihadis seeking a ticket to paradise, a golden palace with servants and 72 virgins (gender unidentified to the writer at the present time).

* – The source of this story is The Times rather than the Mainly Fail, but given the paywall over there I’ve had to use the more disreputable source. For those who have a subscription, it is here.

 

“Draw Mohammed”: Summary

In this fight to retain our freedom, which is the root of the Garland flap, Shari’ah Law and Islamicisation of the West are the adversary. But the principles for which we fight are just as much if not more at risk in the project to Fundamentally Transform the Whole World into some Marxist-Leninist-Progressivist nightmare, and the means by which we fight Islamicisation are to be applied also in this other, all-encompassing fight.

As for the present instance: If we held such events as “Draw Mohammed” every month (but responsibly, as the Garland event was held); if we met every attempt at intimidation by being unimpressed, for instance if our own papers had published the Danish cartoons; such actions would show our enemies that we mean what we say, we will stick by it, we will stand by our principles and defend them in word and deed. If the enemy then wants to impose his will on us by force, by terrorism and war, he will have at least some evidence that we will not run from the fight, fearfully and virtuously clucking our disapproval of it.

With luck he might conjecture that while we would prefer not to meet force with force, we certainly will do so if it is necessary in order for us to live our lives as free men and women and not as serfs or slaves who are at the disposal of other human beings and who are allowed to exist only at their pleasure; and that if we are forced to war in self-defense, we have more than enough strength of will to prevail.

In the ’30′s, Britain and France telegraphed their reluctance to face the facts and to defend themselves against force with force. The guy with the moustache picked up the message and calculated that he could get away with it…and almost did.

How many times must we repeat the same mistake!

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 6: Closing Arguments

The following points have been made by the Prosecution against Pamela Geller (hereinafter, “P.G.”). Each point is followed by rebuttal from the Defense.

1. P.G. held the event specifically to provoke Muslims.

She did not. The underlying point of the event was to EXERCISE freedom of speech in a way that would show that Americans are serious about protecting it. I point out that this is true regardless of whether that freedom is under attack by Islam, the PC crowd, or anybody else … and there are lots of “anybody else’s,” as I hope the various video clips have shown.

But in particular, we in the West are being undermined by capitulating to various strictures of Shari’ah, in this case that one must not even draw the Prophet, let alone criticize, let alone mock him. P.G.’s direct and immediate point in the event was to show that we are determined NOT to “submit” to that stricture.

There is a second point to the event that is equally important, and that is to bring the situation of “creeping Shari’ah,” in this case Shari’ah against Freedom of Speech, into broad public awareness, so that “we” will become not just a few hundred thousand or a few million resisters, but the bulk of the American people: hundreds of millions of resisters.

2. The event predictably invited and incited violence against AFDI, the attendees, and the American public generally. P.G. should, must, have known this, and therefore should not have put others at risk by holding it.

P.G. was well aware that there might be a violent response. That is why she provided additional security forces to the tune of some $37,000 – $ 50,000, according to different published claims.

But in fact no Muslims were forced to respond violently. They chose to do so of their own free will. Miss Geller responds, “This is the same argument as the one claiming that the rape victim is responsible for her being raped because she wore a short skirt.”

(This argument has actually been made often enough against those who claim to have been raped, but the fact is that is both illegal and morally wrong to rape anybody for any reason, even if the victim did intentionally wear a short skirt in a dangerous neighbourhood. We rightly hold the rapist accountable just the same.)

3a. P.G. has the right, specifically the legal, First-Amendment right, to hold the event and say what she wants, but she should not have done it [this may be express or only implied, by the question "…but should she have?"].

This amounts to devaluing all previous statements of defense. It’s like “damning by faint praise.”

(Look for a posting about this line of thought at some point, because there is a good impulse behind it as well as the cowardly refusal to give a fully-committed defense in public.)

3b. Besides, this type of speech, this type of event, “even if it’s allowed, it shouldn’t be done, because it has no value, this type of discussion at this type of event.” Megyn Kelly asks Eugene Volokh to comment on this claim, at 7:09 in their video in Part 5.

Prof. Volokh replies [boldface mine]:

“Well, surely this kind of discussion does have value, it has value in debate about Islam and about the role of Islam and about the action of some Muslims, fortunately only a small portion of Muslims to these kinds of things.

But beyond that, it has value as a re-affirmation of our free-speech rights, it has value as an act of defiance, it has value as people saying “look, we are not going to be shut up. When you tell us that we cannot draw pictures of Mohammed, when you tell us that we cannot say these things or else you’ll kill us, that just means we’re gonna [sic] do it again and again to show that you can not threaten Americans into submission. …. The whole point of this was to say, “You cannot tell Americans, you cannot tell a free people what [they] can and cannot say.” And that’s a very important message to say, especially in times like these.”

I have heard people saying … it’s too provocative. Well, look, there are times when First Amendment rights have to be defended. And they have to be defended by saying [we're] going to say these things even though we realize there’s a risk of violence, even though we realize there’s a risk of attack. The only way we can protect our free-speech rights is by re-asserting our free-speech rights.

By “re-asserting,” Prof. Volokh means showing the existence of the right by using it.

I note that it is up to the Courts through their rulings, and up to us as American (and Western) individuals through our words and actions, to confirm publically the existence of the right and our insistence on not being intimidated into being silenced, on this or any other issue.

4. The event shows that P.G. is “racist,” an Islamophobe, and hates all Muslims.

Horsefeathers. It shows that Miss Geller is aware of the threat from jihadists of both the violent sort and the lawfare/public-condemnation-public-opinion sort, and is fully committed to resisting both.

5. Cartoons at the event clearly are obscene and mock the Prophet.

I haven’t seen any of the cartoons from the contest except Bosch Fawstin’s winning one, which is certainly not obscene in any way. It does call attention to the fact that Mohammed lacks the power to enforce obedience to his command, and I suppose that might be a form of “mockery” in that shows him as “full of sound and fury,” but powerless.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 5: The Defense

A few, a very few, on Fox and elsewhere have seen fit to defend Pamela Geller’s “Draw Mohammed” contest and the Garland, Tex. Free Speech convention in a fully-committed way, that gets to the heart of the issue and the real meaning of the event and the of the terrorist response; as well as to the MSM’s capitulation to Shari’ah’s objective of silencing opposition, as shown by their finger-wagging and jaw-flapping character assassinations. Among them are Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly in the clips below. Each is in two parts, and each is enlightening.

Hannity, Pamela Geller: with Brendan Darby of Breitbart, who was on the scene, shortly after the shooting. (The uploader says 11 a.m. Eastern, 5/4/15, but there’s no statement that that’s when the recording was made.)

Hannity, Pamela Geller: “Mainstream Media Rewarding Jihad Terror,” with clips from various MSM nasties pontificating:

Megyn Kelly, with Eugene Volokh, who points out the practical value of the event as a part of our defense of free speech:

Megyn Kelly follows up with Alan Dershowitz and Rich Lowry, who concur with the bottom line. She makes the core point in her opening:

UPDATE: I think it would be good to let Miss Kelly and Robert Spencer, of Jihad Watch, Stop Islamisation [sic] of America, and AFDI, make another very important point.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 4: Flak

Some of the milder MSM videos in which Pamela Geller takes heavy fire from the “I believe in free speech, but…” crowd.

There are probably more here than anybody has the stomach for, and these are not the really nasty ones! But although the bottom line is the same in all, each differs somewhat in points made or in facts presented or both, so I think I will give you three from Fox, one from CNN, and one from ABC. To close, Senator Rand Paul weighs in, and finally leftist lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

“Judge Jeanine” Pirro, Fox:

In opening her show on May 9, “Judge Jeanine” defended free speech strongly, even including Miss Geller’s right to hold her Free Speech event. But she ended her remarks by saying ‘that she thought Geller’s event, which was attacked by two gunmen last weekend, was probably a “dumb move,” which is pretty much all the critics of it are saying,’ as the video’s uploader observed.

Martha MacCallum, Fox:

O’Reilly, Donald Trump (!), Laura Ingraham, Fox:

Greta van Susteren, Fox: Never mind, you get the idea.

Alisyn Camerata, CNN:

Jake Tapper, ABC:

. . .

Senator Rand Paul.

With Glenn Beck, The Glenn Beck Program:

With Megyn Kelly, Fox. Most of this is about the Iraq War and the Patriot act. Segment on “Draw Mohammed” begins about 6:46.

Raymond Arroyo, Alan Dershowitz, “Free Speech Limits,” EWTN:

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 4a: Flak — Prologue

Coming up: Just a few of the millions of clips out there tsk-tsking Miss Geller’s Free Speech Event and “Draw Mohammed” contest in Garland, Texas, the first weekend in May.

To set the stage:

Peace Offering

Banco.Peace Offering.Cartoon.("Now will you be nice to us?") showing Geller,P.'s head offered to Radical Islam by an appeaser

Pam Geller is being attacked by the “I’m for free speech , but…” crowd, and the mainstream media as though she’s worse than ISIS, again, blaming the victim to fit their narrative. Cartoon by A.F.Branco ©2015.

“Note: You may re-post this cartoon provided you link back to this source. More A.F. Branco cartoons at Patriot Update here.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 3: The Speeches

Here are the speeches* presented at the Garland, Texas Free Speech Convention on May 3, 2015. (It was as people were leaving the building that evening that two Muslim terrorists attacked them, fortunately hurting no one but themselves.) In order below: Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, Bosch Fawstin following an introduction by Robert Spencer, Robert Spencer, and closing remarks from Miss Geller. Many good points, and of course the overarching/cornerstone point.

Pamela Geller, Opening Speech:

Geert Wilders speech:

Bosch Fawstin acceptance speech, Robert Spencer speech at 8:10, Pamela Geller closing speech at 16:10.

*If there were any other speeches, I have neither seen nor heard any reference to them. Nor do I know what other activities there were during the Conference.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 2: The Occasion

“I think there needs to be a change to the law where people do not disrespect especially high people,” Texas Imam Mobasher Ahmed said.



So there you have it — I am not saying it, a Texas imam is. This is the the objective and what I fight against. The media has already submitted to sharia restrictions on free speech and viciously enforced the ban against violators (like myself).



I am not a Muslim. I will not adhere to sharia (Islamic law) and its restrictions on free speech (and freedom).



The reporter for this story sounds surprised that we have supporters and that they own up to it. It’s like Bill O’Reilly on his show tonight. O’Reilly refused to release results from his AFDI Muhammad cartoon poll. He said it was “slammed” in OUR favor, so there for “untrustworthy”.

Thus Pamela Geller, slightly edited for typos, in her Description under a 3-minute news clip.

Pamela Geller is considered a heroine by some and the Devil Incarnate by others. Her cause*: To defend America and the West generally against the encroachment of political Islam as it is today: To fight against Shari’ah as part of the American (and the UK’s, and by extension the West’s) legal system. Her chosen battle field in this fight is the defense of freedom of speech in general.

Of course a part of any defense against political Islam is the fight against Islamic violence. The defense of freedom of speech requires among other things that such violence must not be allowed to cow Americans or anyone else into submission to the Ummah or any part of it. Miss Geller’s thought is that one must face force and resist it, or be complicit in one’s own condition of dhimmitude or slavery.

So, Mohammed thunders: “You can’t draw me!” And Mr. Fawstin replies, “That is why I draw you.” Mohammed is wrong: One certainly can draw him, if one will only exercise his right to draw Mohammed by making the drawing.

We say to Mohammed: You have no power over me.

This series of postings presents material pertaining to the Free Speech Conference organized by Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative (dreadful name — better, “American Initiative for the Defense of Freedom). It was held in Garland, Tex., this past May 2-3.

The event included a “Draw Mohammed” competition, which was won by Bosch Fawstin, whose cartoon is shown in Part 1. Mr. Fawstin grew up as a Muslim in a Muslim family, but he found the misogyny and other factors of his Muslim childhood impossible to accept, and in the end became a former Muslim, an apostate. (I think he’s now an atheist, but probably you cats know more about that than I do.)

As well as the competition, there were at least four speeches given at the event, by Miss Geller, Geert Wilders, Mr. Fawstin, and Robert Spencer, along with a short closing by Miss Geller. I believe that is the order in which they were given, but I can’t prove it. Nor do I know what other seminars or workshops or whatever were a part of the meeting.

However, the meeting ended sometime in the evening (I gather, from news video) of Sunday, May 3. As the crowd of more than 300 people were leaving the venue, two Muslim terrorists opened fire on them. As it happened the Garland police were there and killed the two.

Because of an unnamed officer’s quick thinking, quick draw-and-fire, and accurate aim, none of the attendees was hurt.

*Miss Geller also has fought to defend the physical victims of Islam, such as the many young girls subjected to or under threat of Shari’ah murder, and also the hundreds of thousands of Christians and Jews being slaughtered around the world for the crime of not being Muslim. But that is a topic for another time.

[Edit: Two typos fixed, and one sentence reworded for clarity.]

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 1

I ask assembled Felines to consider the inflammatory and incendiary* incitement to violence shown in this award-winning cartoon by Bosch Fawstin:

Fawstin,B.Winning Cartoon in "Draw Mohammed" contest, ADFI, Garland, Texas, 5:2-3:2015.Lifson, American Thinker, 5:4:15.194522_5_

Now have a look at this piece of high art**, which won a competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), by Andres Serrano:

Piss Christ, by Andres Serrano.Won contest sponsored NEA.[BOX].194521_5_

Lastly, enjoy this one, which I received in an e-mail with no source.

Do You Have Any Idea How Offensive That Is?.Cartoon, Steve eml, 5:23:15, 11;16 a.m.Source Unknown

There is somewhere also a most delightful and accurate (in its implication) cartoon of David Horowitz***, depicting Mr. Horowitz much as the hook-nosed scumbag in the previous drawing, only with, as I recall, a garbage-can’s lid on his head for a hat. Or maybe in his hand for a shield? Can’t remember for sure, and can’t find it again. But one thing is sure: When I said it’s “most delightful and accurate,” I lied. Pure sarcasm. Frankly it P’d me O. As does the mockery of Christ above.

But not enough to go kill people about it, except maybe metaphorically. I suspect that most Christians and Jews and even atheists share the attitude. Of course, the more benighted Muslims at least find that the proper treatment for drawing Mohammed at all is death.

More on this and on the jihadi attack for which the first cartoon served as an excuse (but it wasn’t really the cartoon) in upcoming postings, until I run out of steam.

*Redundancy for emphasis.

**’”Piss Christ,” a photograph of a crucifix in a jar of urine,’ to quote Thomas Lifson, who wonders if it is “enough to justify mass murder.”

***This is the red-diaper baby and former New-Leftist, the author of so many anti-Communist/-Marxist/-socialist/-Leftist works, including the marvelous Radical Son, who is also a champion of free speech and academic freedom (the real kind, not the Progressive version), and the founder of Front Page Magazine.

—–
I don’t know what’s going on with WP. First, the comments were allowed before they weren’t allowed, and now they are allowed again, unless it turns out that they’re not.

Second, originally YrsTrly was the editrix responsible for this yelp of anger, but WP then decided it’s by somebody called “admin” (no caps). Who knows who will finally be elected the reporter. *sneer*

Sorry Abdul, but isn’t that the truth?

Don't Vote - None have the right to legislate except AllahFlyers have been put up in Cardiff urging Muslims not to vote as democracy “violates the right of Allah”.

The flyers stated: “Democracy is a system whereby man violates the right of Allah and decides what is permissible or impermissible for mankind, based solely on their whims and desires.

“This leads to a decayed and degraded society where crime and immorality become widespread and injustice becomes the norm.

“Islam is the only real, working solution for the UK. It is a comprehensive system of governance where the laws of Allah are implemented and justice is observed.”

Fly posters pasted in Cardiff urging Muslims not to vote

The problem for the liberal idiots and Muslim apologists is that what the flyer states is pretty much spot on. Welcome to the Caliphate and don’t forget that Sharia is the will of Allah and is strictly enforced.

It reminds me of the election cry in Egypt for the Muslim Brotherhood, “One Man, One Vote, One Time” – because as sure as they could make it, once voted in they would abolish any need for further votes in the future as they would be “ruled by the eternal word of Allah”.

Frosty the imam.

It is a winter wonderland outside my window in Cheshire. Apparently so it is in parts of Saudi Arabia. This is rather unusual there…

Here’s a picture

You see how unusual this is? No Brit or Canuck or Swede etc would give their snow personage a hot coffee. So are the Saudis all enjoying the novelty of snow? Yes and indeed no.

There has been a terrible moral outrage about building snowmen (and indeed snow camels – Allah knows about snow-women with snow tits and icicle nipples) and at least one imam has got his pantyhose in a twizzle

But with photos of snowpeople and snow camels popping up everywhere, Munajjid made it clear that Islamic teachings strictly prohibit the practice.

Asked whether the unusually snowy winter in Saudi Arabia meant that parents could build snowmen with their children, Munajjid delivered the bad news.

“It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun,” Munajjid wrote on his Web site, according to Reuters.

He is also available for children’s parties. I hear his, “Death to all Zionazi Imperialists” act is a side-splitter (possibly literally).

***

“We have snow for fleeting days, maybe even hours, and there is always someone who wants to rob us of the joy and the fun,” wrote a blogger identified by Gulf News as Mishaal. “It seems that the only thing left for us is to sit down and drink coffee.”

***

But Munajjid has his supporters.

“It [building snowmen] is imitating the infidels, it promotes lustiness and eroticism,” wrote one person, according to Reuters.

I don’t know where to start…

The first point is to acknowledge this is not a “funny”. Oh, it is easy to laugh. But depriving folk of “play” and “fun” (and how often does a significant snowfall happen in Saudia Arabia?) is horrendous. What is humanity without play and fun? The imam also mentions the creation of images of critters (recall the snow-camels of horror?)

I will tell you what such a life is like. It is Hell on Earth. It is also a complete technological stagnation. I love the society (imperfect though it is) but whist I find in this day and age opposition to gay marriage (say) a bit odd I find opposition to building snow-crits is so far beyond belief as to defy… Well, I dunno but it is but it defies it. Building a snowman is the most innocent thing imaginable (and if we get a bit more snow I’ll build one myself and send a selfie to this “cleric”.)

And it matters. It really does. The more absurd a cultural argument is then in a very real way the more it matters. And not least if it is taken as ridiculous. “Imitating the infidels”? By building a fucking snowman? You wait until said cleric gets the selfie of me drinking single-malt whilst being bummed by a ladyboy who is smoking crack. I mean if building a fucking snowman is strictly verboten why not go the whole hog?

I have to add I have never had dirty thoughts in front of a snow-person – but then you knew that. “Mr NickM was apprehended for a public-order offence at 11-45am whilst he attempted to…”. Gods sakes! Mr Frosty was unavailable to comment but a puddle shall appear in Stockport Magistrates Court.

I though do hate the cultural shuttering. Some think this attempt at cultural monolithism is a strength of the Islamists and they couldn’t be more wrong. Ludicrous defence is a sign of weakness.

Banning fun is ultimately self-defeating.

The best snowman I ever built was as a kid and it was when I was a kid. My brother and me built a huge effigy of a Franz-Ferdinand (one of the Holy Roman Emperors) in the back garden. I have no idea why but it was fun. Which was the point.

H/T Dick

PS the imam also regards gingerbread men as evil.

Je Suis Charlie II

I’m sorry, but I can’t feel anything bar the deepest contempt for all these newly minted Charlies out there.

People died for lampooning Islam and its fake prophet, and if you want to claim to be Charlie Hebdo don’t wave a worthless piece of paper with the nonsense claim ‘Je suis Charlie’, do something real, and lampoon Mohammed, in public, as he deserves.

Otherwise, no, you aren’t Charlie, you are a self righteous and hypocritical poseur, if not a craven and a snivelling coward.

Yes, you may be a right bunch of Charlies , but no, you aren’t Charlie:

je-suis-charlie-5

This is what it takes to be Charlie:

charliehebdo-pictures

As Andrew Bolt puts it:

PROTESTERS around the West, horrified by the massacre in Paris, have held up pens and chanted “Je suis Charlie” — I am Charlie.

They lie. The Islamist terrorists are winning, and the coordinated attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and kosher shop will be just one more success. One more step to our gutless surrender.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen didn’t attack Charlie Hebdo because we are all Charlie Hebdo.

The opposite. It sent in the brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi because Charlie Hebdo was almost alone.

Unlike most politicians, journalists, lawyers and other members of our ruling classes, this fearless magazine dared to mock Islam in the way the Left routinely mocks Christianity. Unlike much of our ruling class, it refused to sell out our freedom to speak.

Its greatest sin — to the Islamists — was to republish the infamous cartoons of Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten which mocked Mohammed, and then to publish even more of its own, including one showing the Muslim prophet naked.

Are we really all Charlie? No, no and shamefully no.

No Australian newspaper dared published those pictures, too, bar one which did so in error.

Read the whole sorry screed.

James Delingpole – How the West will Respond.

Brendan O’Neill – What if Charlie Hebdo had been published in Britain?

Je suis Charlie

There is one heck of a lot of Je suis Charlie out there at the moment, but a lot less in the way of examples of what led to yet more violence from followers of the Religion of Peace. I wonder how sincere the je suis Charlie claimants are…

With this in mind:

Charlie-Hebdo-Muhammad-insult

And a perennial favourite from the sadly missed Cox and Forkum:

06_02_21_Toonaphobia-X

And now some good news

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited the main Coptic Christian church on Tuesday night to attend the Christmas service, in a move dubbed by local media as a first in Egypt’s history.

(Al-Arabiya)

Well, he’s a brave man. The Coptic church is arguably the oldest Christian church in existence, and the Copts were in Egypt long before the Muslims (ethnically, they’re almost certainly the true descendants of the people who built the pyramids). Yet no Egyptian president has ever publicly attended a Coptic mass before. And the Islamonutters are busy burning Coptic churches, in the wake of the “Arab Spring”. Its leaders were genuinely fearful, a year or so ago, that they could be wiped out in their own land. So good for al-Sisi.

Then again, let’s not be under any illusions that he’s a nice guy. He’s yet another local strongman, who locks up journalists who don’t toe the line. But he may be the first strongman in that locality who Gets It. On New Year’s Day, he told Al-Azhar, the foremost school of Imams in the world,

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.

(Raymond Ibrahim)

Well said, sir. When I first read that New Year speech, I wondered how much he really meant it. But being pictured with the Coptic Pope takes guts. The fundamentalists have killed for less. While Erdogan gradually re-Islamizes Turkey, Egypt may have found its own Atatürk. More, please.

A couple of the questions for the post Christmas period: Ancient Greek learning and English freedom – religious and political.

The Republic of Venice, like some other Italian States, was in contact with the Greek (Byzantine) Empire to the east, where Ancient Greek learning was preserved, from the most early days – contact was never lost in the Dark Ages. And the other states of Europe were in close contact with the Republic of Venice and the other Italian states. Yet the education system teaches that Greek learning came only from Islamic Spain. Is this theory really true?

Did, for example, thinkers in the British Isles such as the Irish thinkers from the 5th (indeed reaching back to Patrick and Pelagius [yes Pelagius, that free will scholar of Greek and possibly Hebrew, - of course I would drag him into it] of Roman Britain) century to the 9th century (before old Ireland was destroyed by the Vikings), or the English thinkers of the 12th century and so on (not just Roger Bacon there were other great Greek scholars and scientific thinkers also), really get their knowledge of Greek from Islamic Spain? Of course both the Greek Orthodox Church and the old Irish Celtic Church are not known for the delight in the predestination of Augustine – even if philosopher theologians do strange twisted gymnastics to try and reconcile predestination and moral responsibility (the reality of choice – of the existence of the human agent). Just as Judaism has always rejected predestination (unlike mainstream Islam) and stood for individual moral responsibility – the reality of choice, of the human person.

Also…..

In almost every case the Reformation of the 16th century led to a Church that was committed to Predestination and was a department of State – after all Predestination was the central doctrine of Martin Luther and John Calvin (they both HATED freedom and reason), and Luther taught that the State should control the State and Calvin taught that the Church should control the State – the autonomy of Church and State was utterly alien to both these thinkers. In England it led, by the 18th century, to a Church that was far MORE in favour of moral responsibility, free will, (hostile to Predestination and so on) than the Roman Catholic Church was, and to a Church that was largely part of the landed interest (backed by local patrons and so on as well as being a, largely, independent landowner itself) rather than being a department of state – an “Established Church” rather than a “State Church”. A Church that was theologically and socially radically different from the rest of Protestant Europe. Why?

Even in the 16th century someone like Richard Hooker (the three legged stool – scripture, tradition, and REASON) seems distinctly English – distinctly “Anglican” (a possible misuse of language – but I hope you get my point), by the 17th century philosopher theologians such as Henry Moore and Ralph Cudworth, perhaps the greatest Greek and Hebrew scholar of his age, are quite acceptable in England, but would have seemed radially alien in the Protestant nations of Europe (and in the centralised Counter Reformation Catholic world) – with the possible exception of the minority tradition in Holland, the Arminian tradition (and remember it was the MINORITY tradition in Holland).

Why was England so weird in its Church development? Unlike both Catholic Europe and Protestant Europe.

I have asked these questions before – but just received utterly irrelevant answers such as “Ralph Cudworth believed in witchcraft”, yes he did (so did the great Common Law thinkers Hales and Selden), but why did the Church in England (both Anglican such as Granville Sharpe and William Wilberforce and Dissenting such as Richard Price [but also his Anglican political opponent Edmund Burke] – or a bit of both such as John Wesley) contain so many people, such as Cudworth and Moore and….., who believed in religious toleration and moral responsibility, free will – hostile to predestination. Why did the English Church turn out, in the main, so differently from the rest of Europe?

So was there no movement of Greek learning from the Byzantine Empire directly to the states of Italy? Was it all via Islamic Spain? Even though Venice was technically part of the Eastern Empire itself? The “Islamic Spain is what matters” idea seems like a unlikely theory. But I am willing to be corrected.

And why did the Church in England, certainly by the 18th century, turn out so different from both Protestant and Catholic Europe? I suspect that the answer to this question is the key to the different POLITICAL development of this land in the late 17th century and the 18th century, compared to the rest of Europe.

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