THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 373, June 25, 2006
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Re: "Review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)", by Scott A. Campanaro
In regard to "Review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)": Betcha knew you were going to get emails about this little exercise in xenophobia, dincha?
I read Mr. Campanaro's essay with interest, and it really opened my eyes. Thanks to his expose of the horrors of medieval Islam, I am now resolved to hate and fear all Moslems everywhere as a class, in spite of any earlier deluded notions about individual worth and culpability.
But. . . well, old habits die hard. Though I am now firmly set on my course of judging people only as classes by their religious affiliations, I still must maintain some semblance of consistency. So I've further resolved to extend the principle not only to Moslems, but to all other religious groups as well. I note, for example, that about 3500 years ago the Jews (they weren't called Jews then, but that's just a detail) were commanded to slaughter out of existence every man, woman, child and domestic animal of five entire nations. They took a pretty good crack at it, too. I don't know enough about my remote ancestry to be completely certain I don't have some Edomite in me, so I shall now hate and fear all Jews, as well.
The holy book of the Christians doesn't disavow any part of the Hebrew genocides, so it's pretty suspect up front. While it's true that the parts of the book specific to Christians go on at considerable length about peace, love and brotherhood, a close reading indicates that those attitudes are pretty much confined to fellow Christians. And the history of the Christian church makes it pretty clear that Christians don't pay much attention to those parts anyway. So to be on the safe side I've decided to also hate and fear all Christians.
I don't know enough about Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, animists and Mormons to form an opinion. But I see it's a damned important topic, so I'll have to read Robert Spencer's book to find out how I'm supposed to feel about them. I'm guessing hatred and fear is in their future as well, but I mustn't prejudge.
Re: "Letter from Ron Beatty"
Mr. Beatty, I read your letter with interest, and followed the link to the Yahoo article. I note that Marvel's heros are divided over the lawwhile Spider-Man is one abiding by it (puzzling, given his family and his previous problems with opponents using them against him), such characters as Captain America are against it. I haven't followed comics for a few years, for a variety of reasons, but am interested in how this will play out. I will likely make an effort to collect this series, at least if it turns out to be as good and thought-provoking as the concept which kicked it off. I think you're making a mistake, myselfbut, it is your mistake to make. Thanks for the heads-up, though.
Dear Editor, It is always a great pleasure to read The Libertarian Enterprise. Scott Campanaro's book review of Robert Spencer's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) was no exception.
Indeed, like any good reviewer, Scott leaves me wanting to read the book itself to get more details. As well, he does an excellent job of making a call to action. I am in complete agreement with his desire for all TLE readers to become and stay informed, be armed and stay in practice with their weapons, and be prepared.
Indeed, I am reminded by his comments of the advice of another leader in a different community some centuries ago, who asked that his people teach their children to ride, to shoot, and to swim. Being able to ride horses, drive cars, or ride motorcycles, and perhaps even to fly various types of personal aircraft, provides a much needed mobility. Being able to shoot with bow and arrow or crossbow for silent operations, and with guns for greater range provides an ability to defend territory from aggression. Being able to swim extends capabilities from land to water.
In the area of preparation, I would also strongly recommend you get some kevlar for yourself and family members. Helmets and vests are very useful in changing the dynamics of combat. You should have a supply of food and water, and also equipment for treating water with iodine and filtering it. In addition to basic camping gear and a first rate first aid kit, consider a good pair of swim goggles or scuba mask as well as a quality air filtration mask from a home repair center, or a full scale gas mask. The use of gas attacks against civilians at Mt. Carmel and in many other attacks against protestors strongly suggests a need to have breathing equipment.
With particular regard to being informed, it seems important to point out that the Islamic Caliphate never attacked Vienna, and the Crusaders never sacked Baghdad nor Damascus. But, Vienna was attacked, and Baghdad and Damascus were sacked. By whom?
By the Khanate Mongols and their successors in interest in the Ottoman Empire. The Mongolian invasion swept out of central Asia, took China, then turned West. Baghdad and Damascus were both sacked by the Mongols, with a consequent loss of several important libraries. Part of the Mongol horde were Turkmen from what is now Turkistan, who brought their traditions to what was then Byzantium, conquered it, and established what we know as Turkey. Incidentally, they converted to Islam.
Both Byzantium and the Caliphate valued gold and silver money, never debased their currencies, had trading empires rather than substantially military ones, favored learning, and encouraged scholars from other cultures to visit their major cities. The Mongols, on the other hand, under Ghenghis and Kublai Khan, were entirely military in their conquests, had little interest in trade or commerce, and instituted the first widespread fiat paper money system for defrauding vast populations.
Most of what European colonialists learned and implemented about brutality, slavery, and depravity was learned by watching the Ottoman Turks rampage across Africa, Southeastern Europe, and parts of Asia. All of the extreme methods of British, French, Belgian, and Russian colonial empires, which have been properly and rationally criticized down through the centuries, were first practiced by the Ottoman Turks.
I would contend that it was not the Crusaders who bought time for European civilization by contending with Saracens and Arabs of the Caliphate. Rather, there is considerable evidence that the Saracen leaders cooperated with the Knights Templar, reduced their defense of Jerusalem, and left it in Templar control during the excavations under the Temple Mount. Had the Crusaders been an effective military presence beyond the Levantine littoral, they would have reached the gates of Baghdad. They never did.
Rather, it is the Islamic Caliphate which held the Mongol invaders at bay for some decades between the first Mongol conquests of Baghdad and Damascus around 1258 and 1260 and the second sackings around 1400. Constantinople survived until 1453 largely on the strength of the Caliphate, which tremendously weakened the Mongol advances as well as the Mugal imperialism of Tamerlane. Also significant in blunting the advance of the Mongols was the Mamluk empire of Egypt.
For my own part, I have rather severe difficulties with the Crusader mythology, not only because it didn't actually conquer the major cities of the Caliphate, not only because the Caliphate stood in good service to European civilization in blunting the advance of the Mongols and Ottomans, but also because the Crusaders themselves were quite barbaric. Much is made of the crusades to the Holy Land, but little mention seems to be given to the Albigensian Crusade which massacred hundreds of thousands of Cathars in Europe. Even Catholics were massacred in the last great Cathar stronghold when it was learned that Cathar women and children had taken refuge in the Catholic church and were intermixed with Catholic women and children. The bishop overseeing the massacre told the crusaders to "Kill them all. God will know His own."
Nor were the authoritarians of the Catholic church limited to Europe or Asia for their massacres. They also massacred and enslaved many native tribes in South and Central America, burning libraries wherever they found them, and torturing scientists as well. The same Catholic fervor which gave rise to the Crusades also motivated the torture of Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake for daring to suggest that, not only does the Earth orbit the Sun, but other stars have other planets some of which have people on them, some of whom have not yet received the word of God. (A number of authors, including Heinlein, have contemplated the power of a spiritual crusade to bring the Gospels to alien races rather than massacre another batch of women and children, on alternate timelines.)
As to contemporary muslims who have read all the words of the Koran and do not find them inconsistent with ideals of liberty, private property, or limited government, I suggest you research the Murabitun and their Minaret-of-Freedom. These are the inspired leaders of the movement toward gold and silver currency within contemporary Islam. American muslim leaders have opposed the jihadists and have appealed to reason. Most of my neighbors who are muslims in Houston and other communities are not in agreement with the fundamentalists who massacre innocents. Indeed, the taking of innocent blood is regarded as a crime in the Koran.
Being informed is important. Being armed is vital. Being prepared is critical. It is very important to correctly identify your allies and your enemies, so you don't end up alienating yourself from friends or dropping your guard around enemies. I would suggest that the enemies of freedom from whom we have most to defend ourselves are not in distant countries like Somalia or Iran. They are here, among us, spying on us, imprisoning Americans like Walt Anderson without trial, punishing Texans like the Branch Davidians with cruel and unusual punishment (without trial or regard for their sundry liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights), and eager to use torture against anyone for any or no reason.
The attorney general of the USA has announced that anything he declares to be a state secret may be used to arrest journalists who write about it, on the charge of treason. He has declared that anyone arrested may be held without counsel or trial forever. He has declared that anyone in government custody may be tortured mercilessly to death.
Charity begins at home. So does liberty. There is more to fear from a government that is willing to seize weapons in door to door raids in New Orleans than there is to fear from Iran using uranium enrichment to make more effective nuclear reactors.
(After all, there is no need for uranium enrichment to make plutonium for atomic weapons. Ordinary uranium and heavy water did that work quite well more than six decades ago.)
Being informed is made more difficult by having a large, unlimited government which lies to you about inflation, lies to you about taxes you don't owe, lies to you about the war in Iraq, and lies to you about 11 September 2001. For as far back in the past as we have surviving records of government, the tax collectors have been lying to usAristarchus of Samos illustrated this problem by using the tax records of the Temple of the Pyramid about 280 BC when he calculated the circumference of the Earth. His value was too high by 10% because the tax surveys of land were inflated, deliberately, to collect more tax, as early as 1700 BC.
Although I certainly want to read Robert Spencer's book, to be really informed about Islam, the book I would recommend is the Koran. It is available in many bookstores and online. Much of it is very well written. Although it contains some very authoritarian doctrines (as do Christian and Hebrew holy books) it also contains some very libertarian ideas.
The leader of that community, hundreds of years ago, who urged his people to teach their children to ride, to swim, and to shoot, was Muhammed. His words are commemorated in the iron scrollwork around the gates to the weapons bazaar in Sana'a, Yemen. It has been my pleasure to travel in Yemen, in Somalia, in Djibouti, and in Ethiopia. Although I am a follower of the teachings of Jesus, I have also read the Koran.
Even if you believe that Islam is the enemy of freedom, and therefore your enemy, you should read the Koran. If nothing else, because you should know your enemy.
One thing to know about your enemy is that there is no basis in the Koran nor in the Sunnah about pig fat on bullets, or pig flesh being buried with the corpse of a martyr. They simply don't agree that they won't get to Paradise if they are killed with a bullet smeared in pig grease. They'll find the idea insulting, to be sure, and be enraged if their military leaders require them to defile themselves (as the British learned in India) but they won't hesitate a moment if you tell them your bullets are smeared in pig fat. So, do prepare, and don't waste your time.
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