The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: August 2015

Excerpt from An August Interlude

An August Interlude, set in August 1929, takes Cyrus Skeen to
a notorious “upper class” brothel, the Turf Club, and to the Catholic convent
next door to it , in this twelfth detective novel  set in San Francisco. He is on a quest to
clear the name of a valued friend accused of a horrendous murder five years go.
In the Turf Club he meets Lachlan Figgis, its personable manager, and his
alluring twin sister Lachina. In the convent he talks with Sister Mary Joseph, the
Mother Superior. 
Chapter 6: Misery Loves Company 
Well, thought Skeen as he walked up the
street to the convent: All I had to do was endure Lachlan Figgis’s hospitality
and his sister’s circumspect flirtations, to get an answer to a few questions. The
brother and sister were an astonishingly peculiar couple.
He didn’t bother showing Figgis or his
sister the photograph of Valda Redfern. He doubted they would have recognized
her, if it was true that they didn’t follow the story past the finding of
Willowman’s body the next day. He wondered if the newspapers had carried
another photograph of her.
He also wondered what he would need to
endure now when he visited the convent. Probably expressions of piety,
humility, and sanctimony. And reproof. He strode stolidly and determinedly up
the sidewalk past his roadster to the home of the Sisters of the Apostolic
Faith.
Skeen mounted the brick steps two at a
time. Just as he reached the extended portico, the bells of St. Joseph the
Carpenter struck twelve. Before he could step into the cloister and knock on
the single arched oaken door, from his left a column of nuns in twos came from
a door on the far end. He stopped and watched the procession.
It was led by a handful of older nuns
– one of them using a cane and being helped along by a much younger woman –
with hunched backs and downcast eyes, arms crossed and hands hidden in the
oversized sleeves. Next came some younger nuns in their thirties or forties.
Following them like a passel of ducklings were the novices, or novitiates. Some
of the girls were in their late teens.
One of the girls noticed him and
braved a quick glance at him before resuming her humble mien.
The parade passed as quickly as the
hobbling, and probably arthritic older nuns allowed. He guessed they were going
to some sort of service. The column rounded a corner and disappeared.
There was a brass knocker on this
door, too. Skeen lifted it and hammered it three times. After a moment, he
heard a latch turn and the giant door creaked open. A little pinched-face woman
of about sixty years, not in a habit, but in the drab garb of a housekeeper,
looked at him with puckered lips and a furled, disapproving brow. “Yes?”
Skeen removed his trilby. “My name is
Cyrus Skeen. I’m here to see Sister Mary Joseph. I believe she’s the Mother
Superior.”
“Men aren’t permitted in the convent.
And you need an appointment.”
“I think she’ll see me. It’s about
Valda Redfern, a missing novitiate.” Skeen took out his wallet and showed her
his private investigator’s license.
The woman studied it – longer than did
Howard Li – with some comprehension of what it meant, blinking only once. Then
she glanced up at him with an even more disapproving look. “Wait here outside.
I’ll ask if she can see you.”
The door slammed shut and the latch
was turned. Skeen lit an Old Gold, twirled his trilby around on one finger, and
paced back and forth on the stone walkway. Men weren’t permitted in the
convent? No priests, either? Bishops? Cardinals?
He had just pitched the nearly
finished Old Gold into a nearby rhododendron when he heard the latch turn
again. The door opened and the housekeeper stood on the threshold, glowering at
him. But she waved a hand at him. “This way, sir,” she commanded.
Skeen stepped inside. The woman
slammed the door shut and turned the latch.
They were standing in what Skeen
surmised was a visitor’s waiting area. There were some benches and chairs
pressed against a bare cement wall. There was a table with some kind of
literature on it, probably, Skeen guessed, about the Apostolic Faith order and
the church.
But the first thing that struck him
about the place was a dank, lifeless odor in the air. The hall they had entered
had the same basic interior layout of that of the Turf Club, except that there
were no amenities like couches or chairs or benches. No potted palms. And
certainly no ash stands. Half the hall had been partitioned off with a series
of unpainted plaster walls. He glanced up. There was a no mezzanine, just a
series of unlit chandeliers. If there was anything else up there, it was hidden
in darkness. No rotunda. He could not guess the layout of the rest of the
building.
The housekeeper shuffled ahead of him.
He hung back a few steps to look into an open space. He saw pews of raw,
unfinished, unvarnished wood and a plain, unembellished altar. Nuns were
sitting in them. An older nun was standing at a pulpit, leading them in prayer,
in Latin. He guessed this was the convent’s chapel. It was nothing like the
glittering French church on Bush Street he had had occasion to visit during the
Enoch Paige case in May, Eglise Notre Dame des Malheurs
He felt a tug on his coat sleeve. He
turned. The housekeeper was glaring furiously at him. She nodded with her head
to continue following her.
Skeen shrugged and obeyed. A chant
came from the chapel.
The housekeeper turned left at a
detour, then into another long corridor. They came to the end of it. He
supposed they were in the vicinity of where Lachlan Figgis’s office was in the
Turf Club. A plain wooden sign on a plain wooden door read, “Sister Mary
Joseph. Mother Superior. Please knock before entering.”
The housekeeper knocked once, then
opened the door and went in. “Mr. Skeen, ma’am,” she announced.
A voice that sounded like crumpled up
paper being squeezed into a ball as tightly as possible said, “Show him in,
Hortense.”
Hortense stood aside. Skeen went in.
The housekeeper waited to be dismissed.
“That will be all, Hortense. Thank
you.”
Hortense sort of curtsied, left the
room, and closed the door behind her.
 
֎
Skeen found himself in an office that
was about the size of Lachlan Figgis’s office, but it was so sparsely furnished
it may as well have been empty. There was a large desk, a bow window almost
hidden by a black curtain behind the desk, some wooden filing cabinets, and
armless chairs strewn about the room. There was no carpet on the wooden floor. There
was a single colored picture under glass of Christ on a wall to the side of
Sister Mary Joseph’s desk. It looked like it had been cut from a newspaper’s rotogravure section and cheaply
framed.
There was a overly-ornate marble
fireplace in one corner, with a large crucifix sitting on its mantle. A cradle-shaped
rack holding firewood sat to the side, together with a black iron poker. But
otherwise there was no statuary, not a single plant, no tapestries. Not even a
plaster statue of St. Joseph. Nothing to absorb the sound of one’s voice in the
vast room.
A weak overhead light in the middle of
the room fought to dispel the gloom. The rest of the room was in darkness. He
could see what there was in the black space in the rear.
Practically the only “luxuries” Skeen
noted were a typewriter on a rolling stand next to the nun’s desk, a small desk
lamp, and a candlestick telephone on her desk. That was all.
Sister Mary Joseph rose as he
approached her desk. She was nearly as tall as Skeen, but seemed taller because
of the headdress, which was a wimple that was just a black veil of voile attached
to a cornette or kind of curved white crown of some scratchy fabric. A white
coif completely enclosed her neck, ears, presumably the back of her head, and
her hair. Skeen could detect no strands of it peeking out from anywhere in the
gear.
There was a weak overhead light and a
lamp on the desk, but the glare from the white guimpe that flowed down from her
shoulders clear to her abdomen nearly blinded him. It looked so thoroughly
starched that he imagined using it as a weapon, or as bullet-proof armor.
Her blouse and skirt looked like heavy
black serge. A crucifix on a rope dangled from beneath the quimpe, and a rosary
with another crucifix hung from her waist.
The woman exuded a strange, pungent, and
unpleasant antiseptic odor that complimented the dank smell of the place. Perhaps
Sister Mary Joseph bathed in ammonia, too, Skeen thought. Or in a tub of
mothballs. She must be in her late forties or early fifties, he estimated. She
was once a handsome woman. Not pretty, just handsome. She wore round rimless
glasses. Her face was sallow, almost anemic looking. He was certain it did not
see much sun or even fresh air. When she was not speaking, her mouth and thin
lips were set in a prim bitterness. He did not imagine she smiled much, either.
The white fabric of the coif that
enveloped her face was fixed high enough to reveal a one-inch scar on her
forehead. It looked like an incision, or a burn. Skeen did not think this was
the result of a violent encounter with an open door.
And all throughout their conversation,
Sister Mary Joseph, Mother Superior and boss lady of all the other wrecked,
humbled souls here, never once looked at him directly. Instead, she peered
askance at him through her glasses with a glint of pious fanaticism, as though
she suspected him of being guilty of the most horrendous sins. It was the look of
doubt someone gave you if he was certain you were lying.
Skeen said, “Thank you for seeing me.”
Sister Mary Joseph nodded and said,
“The only reason I’m seeing you, Mr. Skeen, is because you have some notoriety
as a detective. We read the newspapers here. You were the one who got that
atheist rogue acquitted last May, weren’t you?”
Skeen replied, “He wasn’t acquitted.
The charges were dropped.”
Sister Mary Joseph frowned.
“Regardless. He was the devil.”
Skeen said, “He was a kind of Prince
of Darkness, ma’am.”
“Excuse me?”
“He was something like Hamlet, too
morose at times, but with a happy ending.”
“I don’t think I appreciate your
humor, Mr. Skeen,” Sister Mary Joseph scolded.
So much for her sense of irony. “That’s
all right. I don’t think I’d have much of a career in vaudeville, either.”
“Then please confine yourself to the
purpose of your visit, sir.”
 She sat down and folded her hands over some
papers on a brown blotter and waited.
“May I sit down?”
“I’m not stopping you, Mr. Skeen.”
Skeen shrugged. He grabbed one of the
armless chairs and sat it in front of the nun’s desk.
“Hortense gave me to believe that you
mentioned a person by the name of Valda Redfern.”
“Yes,” said Skeen, sitting down. He
reached inside his coat and pulled out a photograph of Valda Dilys had taken
from the model’s portfolio. “To make sure we’re speaking of the same person, is
this the Valda Redfern who apparently was a member of this convent?” He handed
the photograph over the desk to the nun.
The nun took the glossy image and
studied it for a moment. Her mouth bent in distaste. It was a head shot of
Valda in a strapless gown smiling a toothy, friendly, almost “come-hither” grin.
Then she handed it back to Skeen and refolded her hands on the blotter. “Yes,
that is the same person. That was Sister Clare Lawrence. What about her? She
left this convent and abandoned Christ under the most disgraceful
circumstances, and without any notice to me or to Father Brendan.”
“Father Brendan?”
“The pastor of St. Joseph the
Carpenter church, with which this order is affiliated. It is just down the
street.”
“I noticed it,” said Skeen. “It
doesn’t look like a Catholic church.”
This remark surprised Sister Mary Joseph
and opened up the conversation, and Skeen led it in virtually any direction he
chose.
“It was once a Unitarian Universalist place
of worship. I would never have called it a church.
It did not have much of a flock and the people who ran it decided to sell it.
Father Brendan’s predecessor bought it for a fraction of its worth. Before then
his parish met in a less commodious church elsewhere in this district.”
“How long has your order occupied
these premises?”
“For the last eight years. The order
moved here from its convent in the Mission district. But it seemed it was built
over what eventually became a sinkhole. The convent had to be demolished. We
had to move, and applied to Father Brendan to have a new convent built here. He
bought this building from its former owner, some sort of oil plutocrat who
decided he did not like it enough to live in it.”
Skeen said, “It’s a fine looking
building, ma’am.”
“That is your opinion, sir. When it
was bought, it was renovated to remove all the temporal facilities that would
appeal to people in the clutches of material wealth. According to Father
Brendan, all the furniture, artworks, and other ostentatious and wicked items
of comfort and convenience fetched a sum that helped to reimburse the parish
for the price paid for the building.”
Skeen feigned concern. “I hope that
didn’t include bathtubs and plumbing, ma’am.”
Sister Mary Joseph would neither
confirm nor deny the idea. “I sense you are mocking the Apostolic order, Mr.
Skeen,” she said. “But you must understand that we Sisters of the Apostolic
Faith are in many respects much like Amish women. We place God’s wishes, the
spiritual integrity of our order, and the community of Christ our Savior far
above the needs and comforts of the flesh. We disdain any instrument, device or
practice that relieves us of the stain and guilt of our original sin.
“Our moral code is apart from and
opposed to that of the temporal world beyond our doors,” continued the Mother
Superior, as though Skeen needed a better explanation.” Our sisters are taught
to strive daily to minimize their individual needs, spiritually and physically.
As daughters of God and brides of Christ, we are committed to asceticism and
the hermit’s life in the midst of this modern Babylon.”
֎ 


Copyright © 2015 by Edward Cline 

Review: Sharia-ism is Here Revisited

I
won’t attempt to top Marion DS Dreyfus’s fine August 8th review on IPT of Joy
Brighton’s Sharia-ism
is Here: The Battle to Control Women and Everyone Else
. I reviewed
Brighton’s book on Rule of
Reason
 on May 6th, 2014 and on Family
Security Matters
on May 10th. An excerpt of the review also appeared on the
Counter Jihad Report
on May 12th, 2014.
Dreyfus’s
review was reprinted on several other blog sites, most notably on The National
Writers Syndicate
site on August 8th, 2015. Her review is tellingly
illustrated with a photograph of ISIS sex slaves being paraded in a cage on the
back of a pickup truck.
Further,
much of the material covered in Brighton’s nonpareil book has been cited in my
own Jihad:
Islam’s Reign of Terror
and in A
Handbook on Islam
.
What
follows is a reprint of my May 6th review for those who may have missed it.
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________________________________________________________________
No,
that’s not the actual title. Sharia-ism
is Here: The Battle to Control Women and Everyone Else
might have been
called that but doubtless Joy Brighton, the author, would have encountered
brand or trademark infringement problems with the publisher of the popular and
successful For Dummies series, John Wiley
& Sons
. I also suspect that Wiley & Sons would have been horrified
by the idea of publishing such an “Islamophobic” book anyway. It has
published Islam
for Dummies
and The
Koran for Dummies
, both of which, to judge by their Amazon
descriptions, are treacly, inoffensive, sanitized guides to a highly “misunderstood”
and “misperceived” religion-cum-ideology.
Brighton’s
opus is a generously illustrated and
annotated book
intended as a “show n’ tell book for national security,
civil right and women’s right activists and lobbyists in America.” It is meant
to be read by, and serve as, a handy reference guide for anyone who is aware of
the peril posed by Islam as it is practiced around the world, in the West, and
especially in the U.S., but who really hasn’t digested the scale of the threat
or any of its details. And it isn’t just about Islam’s crusade to control
women. It truly is about Islam’s designs on everyone.
Before
citing the book’s plenitude of virtues, however, there is one issue I must
raise. Page 131, for example, under the heading, “Conversion to Islam or
Sharia-ism in America? How do we help youth understand the difference?” highlights
the conversion percentages of Americans to Islam. At the bottom of the page is
an “Insight Box,” which reads:
How
many of these American Converts have been converted to Islam the religion? How
many are knowingly or unknowingly slowly being converted to Sharia-ism, the
political movement of Radical Islam? How do we help young potential converts
understand the difference and draw the line between Islam and Sharia-ism?
One
point of disagreement between Sharia-ism
is Here:
The Battle to Control Women
and me is that I do not draw a line
between Islam and what Brighton calls “Sharia-ism.”  Brighton writes in her Introduction:
You
are holding in your hands a chronicle of the surprising inroads that Shariah,
the guiding principles of Radical Islam, has made in America during the
critical years of 2008-2013.
Radical
Islam, also known as Political or Sharia Islam, has expanded onto every
continent, and with it Sharia-ism, the political movement of Radical Islam,
whose goal of totalitarian control of every nation and people is incompatible
with Western values of individual liberties and inalienable rights. Sharia-ism
is about politics, not religion.
Sharia-ism
is about total control, not simply destruction or terrorism. (p. 6)
Both
of Brighton’s terms, Sharia-ism and Radical Islam, violate Ockham’s Razor of
economy of concepts by arbitrarily divorcing Islam and Sharia. The dichotomy is
fallacious and inadvertently grants Islam an unsought-after epistemological and
ideological victory. Brighton is not the only authority to commit this error. Seen
as a virulent ideology, Islam and Sharia are one and the same. They are inherently
complementary and co-dependent. I do not think Islam, “moderate” or
otherwise, is a benign belief system, because it is fundamentally political,
nihilist, and totalitarian in means and ends. Sharia is Islam, and Islam is
nothing without Sharia. Without the primitive, anti-conceptual, rote-learned
code of Sharia, Islam is little better, and perhaps even worse, than your
random whacky California cult, or Scientology, Wiccanism, or Pyramid-Worship.
Further,
were it not an ideology, why have its proponents, spokesmen, and activists
focused so much on its political status? Catholics, Protestants, Jews and
members of other creeds are not waging campaigns to force government,  businesses, and other social organizations to
accommodate their beliefs and practices. The promulgators of Islam, however,
such as CAIR and the various Muslim organizations in this country, seek
accommodations to Islam in virtually every sphere of American life, from
demanding foot baths in various venues (schools, office buildings, airports),
removing “offensive” crucifixes and other non-Islamic religious icons
from classrooms, insisting on halal
restaurant menus, to praying en masse
on public streets, to inveigling their way into government jobs and
appointments.

By
way of contrast, I am not aware of a movement in the Catholic Church to compel,
by statute, non-Catholics to genuflect when passing a Catholic church on the
street, or else pay a fine.
And,
perhaps more importantly in the context of politicizing Islam, Catholicism,
Protestantism, Judaism, and other faiths do not campaign to silence critics and
criticism of those faiths. Islam, however, yearns to suppress all criticism of
its practices and tenets. As Brighton herself points out in her book, the term
“Islamophobia” was coined by the Muslim Brotherhood to stigmatize any
and all criticism of Islam, the term implying racial, ethnic, or religious
bigotry.
Finally,
even were one to portray Islam as a mere patriarchic theocracy, one is still
talking politics, for a theocracy implies the governing moral structure of a
country. Ergo, it is a political system, and specifically a totalitarian one,
because it prescribes the course of one’s life from head to foot, from sunrise
to sunset, in thought, in action, and in one’s social associations.
I
make no allowances for Islam, or cut it any slack by calling it a
“private” belief system as I might the Catholic or Jewish. Privacy is not Islam’s leitmotif; on the
contrary, it is unabashedly and necessarily public.
Conformance to its bizarre catalogue of dictats is audited. Straying from the
ritualistic and behavioral drill can result in death (e.g., honor killings, and
for apostasy). To refer to “radical Islam” is to commit a redundancy.
Islam is “radical” in the sense that must obviate all other
alternatives and choices, else it is nothing. Force or the threat of force is Sharia’s
telling hand. Islam is Sharia, and vice
versa
.
“Passive,”
non-violent Muslims face a decision: a continuation of their submission to
Islam, or total repudiation, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali decided on. There is no
dignified or respectable “middle ground”; one cannot be half-free and
free at the same time. That is a delusion. See some of my columns on Islam and
its inherently totalitarian and irrational nature here,
here,
here,
and here.
Those objections having been made, Sharia-ism is Here draws on a galaxy of authorities on Islam such
as Nonie Darwish, Steve Emerson, Robert Spencer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan,
Walid Phares, Diana West, and Melanie Phillips, to name but a few whose names
appear in the Acknowledgements and throughout the text.  
There
are fifteen chapters in the book, under such titles as “What is Sharia-ism
and Shariah Islamic Law?”; “Sharia-ism: Concepts and
Vocabulary”; two chapters, titled “Two-Armed Leadership of
Sharia-ism,” one dealing with Shariah clerics in American mosques and
home-grown radicalization, another with the Muslim Brotherhood network in the
U.S.; “Creeping Sharia-ism,” which exposes the strategy of imposing
Sharia in small steps, which is what we are seeing now; and “Shariah
Lawfare,” which demonstrates how Islamic law is insinuating itself into
the American judicial system on all levels, and not with much resistance from
our courts.
(See
a recent Jihad
Watch
article on a legislative initiative in Florida to banish foreign or
Sharia law from the state’s judiciary. It is just one of several initiatives
discussed by Brighton in Chapter 14, “U.S. Representatives and Governors
take action: Congressional Hearings and New State Laws.”)
One
goal of the “stealth,” cultural jihad
in this country by organizations like CAIR, the Muslim
Lawyers Association
, the Muslim Bar
Association of New York
, and Muslim
Advocates
, is to persuade, or browbeat, our judiciary into removing the
“foreign” designation from Sharia, and to see it
“integrated” into American law as they are now doing in Britain –
step by stealthy step. A Telegraph (London) article of March 22nd by
John Bingham, “Islamic
law is adopted by British legal chiefs
,” reports:
Islamic
law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first
time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.
Under
ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors
will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of
inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether. The documents, which would be
recognized by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock
– and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate
heirs.
Anyone
married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession
under Sharia principles, which recognize only Muslim weddings for inheritance
purposes.
Notice
how piddly and surreptitious the issues are: Inheritances and wills. Nothing to
worry about. The cases will be handled by the British equivalent of American
family courts or civil law courts handling suits and torts. It’s just some
people fussing and feuding over money and custody. None of our business.
The
same thing is being attempted here in the U.S. Brighton devotes several pages
to the organization American Laws for American Courts (ALAC).
America
has unique values of liberty which do not exist in foreign legal systems; this
is particularly true in regard to Shariah Islamic Law, included among them, but
not limited to the following, are these values and rights: freedom of religion,
freedom of speech, freedom of the press, due process, right to privacy, and the
right to keep and bear arms.
The
goal of the American Laws for American Courts is a clear and unequivocal
application of what should be the goal of all state courts: No U.S. citizen or
resident should be denied the liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed in
our constitutional republic.
ALAC
is a neutral law. it is designed to protect the U.S. Constitutional rights of
Americans against any foreign law from any country which challenges their
rights. (pp. 224-225)
Some
ALAC-style laws were overturned in a few states because they mentioned Islam or
Sharia. ALAC then created a draft model law that would not be “country,
culture, religion, or ethnic specific.” This model seems to have been
successful in many states, because neither CAIR nor a  dhimmified appellate court could concoct a
charge of “Islamophobia” or “discrimination,” although the
unnamed subject is specifically Islam.
Another
hopeful sign is the passage in several states of “anti-libel-tourism”
laws that reject foreign suits against Americans accused of libel. The
Committee to Protect Journalists
features a brief history of those laws,
which stemmed from the suit against Rachel Ehrenfeld for publishing a book in
2003 in the U.S., Funding
Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It
, in which she accused
billionaire Saudi businessman Khalid bin Mahfouz of channeling funds to
terrorist groups.  Ehrenfeld was subsequently
sued by Mahfouz in London, but not in the U.S., because the First Amendment
protected her. As a consequence, New York passed the
appropriately named Libel Terrorism Protection Act in May 2008. It refuses to
recognize foreign law, in this instance, Britain’s bizarre defamation statutes,
and in particular suits brought by super-rich Muslims in other countries.  
Chapter
13, “Failure of U.S. leaders to address the threat of Sharia-ism,”
inadvertently underscores my objection to separating the cream from the milk,
that is, making an erroneous distinction between Islam and Sharia law. Islam is
one whole cow.
American
politicians are fearful of criticizing Islam because it’s a
“religion,” and they don’t wish to be accused of attacking any religion. This prevents them and now
our law-enforcement and intelligence agencies from honestly and effectively addressing
the threat posed by Islam. The redaction of all mention of Islam and Muslims
from FBI training documents, and the recent dissolution of New York City’s
crack mosque and Muslim suspect surveillance program by the new socialist mayor
of New York (at the behest of Muslim “civil rights” activists) simply
blind-sides the country by hamstringing those charged with protecting it from
terrorism.
A
lengthier review of Joy Brighton’s book would not do justice to it. Her book is
an all-in-one instructive guide to what Islam is, what danger it poses to our
country, and what we have and have not done to combat its corrosive
“cultural jihad” against
this country. It names culprits, and it names courageous individuals who have
sounded the alarm (often to deaf ears), and lists all the rogues and scoundrels.
I think the book is so comprehensive and well done (albeit with my stated
reservations above) that a fund should be started to send free copies of it
every member of Congress, and also to members of the state legislatures.
There’s
no vigorish in being a dummy when it comes to betting against Islam. I
recommend Brighton’s book because it can alert Americans to the cards – or
knives – that are regularly hidden up Islam’s sleeve.

Interview: The Camp of the Saints II

The
new bogeyman, hex, curse, sneer and left/liberal branding iron is racism. It comes with many names.
“Islamophobia.” Bigotry. “White privilege.” It is invoked the moment a single
person or publication criticizes the influx of Muslims and illegal immigrants
into Europe or into the U.S. It is the “one size fits all” smear that is
supposed to automatically silence critics of mass immigration and
conflict-engendering multiculturalism and cause them to hang their heads in
shame and apology – which it succeeds in doing – and then wave in without
control the dross of the earth to loot, murder, rape, destroy, and force
“whites” to pay Islamic or welfare state jizya,
as the price of being left alone – for the time being.
“White
privilege” is bad. But “black” or “Muslim” or Hispanic privilege is good. When
blacks attack whites and even murder them, that’s “reparations.” Or “just
deserts.”  If whites attack blacks,
that’s racism or evidence of genetically- or culturally- inculcated racism in
whites.  


What
collectivists and the liberal/left will not accept is that ideas such as
individual rights, property rights, esthetics, science, technology and so on
are not race-specific or the result of inherited genetic “predilections.”The
notion that they are has been disproven countless times.  Yet it is important to collectivists and the
liberal/left that everyone believe that whites are naturally racists, while
blacks and browns are not. And if the latter seem to be racist, that’s only
Rawlsian “justice.”
In
December 2010 Family
Security Matters
(FSM) interviewed me about Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints, published in
France in 1973 and translated for the U.S. market in 1975. Raspail predicted
and dramatized what would happen to Europe, particularly to France, if it
allowed the mass immigration – actually, an invasion – of a million
impoverished Hindus, first into France, and then into the rest of Europe: the
downfall of Western civilization. The relevancy now is the mass immigration of
Muslims, which, at the time of publication of Raspail’s novel, was a non-issue.
Now the parallels are apparent to all but to those whose minds have been
lobotomized, suborned, or silenced by political correctness and various other
liberal/left epistemological maladies.
Jean Raspail is the
author of a few dozen books – travelogues, novels, nonfiction – and in 1981 was
awarded the Grand Prix du Roman by the Académie Française.
By
now, some five years later, the consequences of mass immigration are apparent
even to many champions of multiculturalism and illegal immigration. Europe is frantically
erecting walls
and barriers at the cost of billions to block or reduce to
the literal invasion of the continent by countless non-European, mostly North
Africans and Middle Easterners with absolutely no cultural or political affinity
for the West. In the U.S., our nihilist, racist president Barack Obama is
deliberately encouraging Mexicans and Central and South Americans to swarm
across the southern border with virtually no opposition, and is also importing Muslims
by the tens of thousands
to swamp and neuter “white” culture in big cities
and small towns. The ostensive purpose of this “invasion by invitation” is to
create a bigger voting bloc for the Democrats to continue their welfare state
policies. Muslims and Mexicans will vote the straight party ticket out of
gratitude, of course. But Obama’s core motivation is a malign, nihilist, and
racist one.
What
must be remembered is that neither the Muslims nor the Mexicans want to invest
Western society to “improve” it. They’re not desperate to invade the West to
compose great symphonies, invent and perfect new manufacturing technologies or
new surgical methods, study the development of individual and property rights, or
write critiques of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. They just want to live the
good life of welfare state parasites and as a class be “protected” by
government rules from criticism or “discrimination.” As I note in the
interview, they’re here to game, not just the system, but altruism, as well, together
with the sordid culture of “white guilt” that has even developed like poisonous
mold in public education via the Howard Zin-inspired “Common Core” curriculum
in the nation’s grade and high schools.
Gatestone
has run a series of articles on the invasion of Europe by immigrants supposedly
fleeing “economic distress,” persecution, and poverty in search of “a better
life. Vijeta Uniyal’s August 25th article, “Mass
Immigration and the Undoing of Europe
,” provides a partial documentation of
the anemic, pathetic, and fruitless steps European governments are taking to
ameliorate the effects of that invasion. Not to stop the invasion, but to
lessen the harsh societal consequences of allowing indigenous populations be
swamped by countless aliens with no affinity for any kind of civilized life.
Ingrid Carlqvist’s “Swedish Imam to Muslims: “Do
Not Befriend the Unbelievers
” – details
one month of how Islam and Multiculturalism don’t work in Sweden, chiefly
because the multiculturalism-committed Swedish government patronizes Muslim
“asylum seekers” and not Christian ones.
Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard’s February 14th
Gatestone article, “Sweden:
Rape Capital of the West
,” provides in horrid detail the lengths to
which the Swedish government and the state controlled media go to cover up the
fact that Muslims commit the overwhelming number of rapes of Swedish women.
In 1975, the Swedish parliament unanimously
decided to change the former homogeneous Sweden into a multicultural country.
Forty years later the dramatic consequences of this experiment emerge: violent
crime has increased
by 300%.
If one looks at the number of rapes,
however, the increase is even worse. In 1975, 421 rapes were reported to the
police; in
2014, it was 6,620
. That is an increase of 1,472%.
But it isn’t all about Muslims and rape and crime
rates. It’s also about illegals and rape and crime rates. And it’s also about
the kind of racial strife Obama has contributed to with his own racial
attitudes. When Hispanic/White George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in
self-defense, Obama said that if he had a son, he would be like Trayvon Martin,
who, in reality, was an aimless thug with a racist chip on his shoulder. But
when two whites were murdered by a black (and by a black gay, no less), Vester
Lee Flanagan II
/Bryce Williams, in Virginia  – for racial reasons, the
nation didn’t hear Obama say that if he had a sister, she’d be like Alison
Parker, or if he had a brother, he’d be like Adam Ward, the victims.  What Flanagan did many black racists probably
see as “counter-racism” or “racial justice.” That’s an attitude that too likely
sits well with Obama. He had nothing to say, either, about the murder of Kathryn
Steinie
, a white, by a Mexican illegal, in San Francisco.

Matt Patterson erred on the side of granting Obama the
benefit of the doubt in his August 18th, 2011 American Thinker article, “Obama:
The Affirmative Action President
.” Obama is not actually incompetent or the
beneficiary of an electorate that wants to give a “black man” a chance in the
White House to prove he’s just as good as any other president. The man is a
malevolent, power-lusting, Marxist, racist. He is the “bright side” of the
likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Louis Farrakhan.
What
follows is an edited version of the FSM interview from 2010.
________________________________________________________________________________
FSM: What prompted you to read The Camp of the Saints?
Me: An article on FrontPage in
December 2010 by Roland Shirk about the book. I looked up the original
article
.  I hadn’t read the novel in
decades, and remembered little about it. What piqued my interest was the nature
of Roland Shirk’s comments about it in his original article about the novel
from December 10th. His reservations about Raspail’s “biologistic racialism” centered
on Raspail went about defending Western values and liberties. He referred to
the abrupt invasion of France by what he called “by
hordes of culturally and religiously alien interlopers,” with no conditions of
assimilation imposed on them, as the beginning of the end of Western
civilization.
FSM: Were his reservations justified?
Me: Oh, yes, very much so. But first
let me get one issue out of the way. I haven’t read any of Raspail’s other
books, and don’t plan to, but, literarily speaking, Camp
is an awful novel, badly written, a mess beyond redemption. There is little or
no plot, all of the characters are two-dimensional, and pages and pages of it
are either expository or just talking heads. I don’t think it is the fault of
the translator, and there have been two English translations of the work. Allen
Drury, for example, was much better at writing that kind of doomsday-geared
story, about the consequences of contemporary political machinations, domestic
and international. Many of Raspail’s historical references are obscure, or not
well integrated into his central premise. As satire, or even as a serious
parable, it’s not very funny, and much of the intended humor is over my head.
Another
drawback to the novel is Rapail’s apparent distaste for paragraph breaks. A
single paragraph of his can go on for pages, Kantian-style. Such long
paragraphs are a mark of bad writing, of not knowing where to stop or pause to
allow a reader to digest anything but in humongous lumps. It’s a sign that the
writer’s ideas are an undifferentiated, unintegrated mass of floating concepts
and ideas.
Ironically,
given the cataclysmic nature of the subject, there is almost no drama in his
narrative or dialogue.
Reading
the novel was like watching a pot that never boiled, or waiting for a glacier
to nudge a stone in its relentless push forward. Some of it is darkly but
unintentionally comic, such as when a group of monks and Catholic officials in
ecclesiastical garb attempt to “ward off” the disembarking hordes of Hindus on
the French coast by just “being there,” holding up a monstrance containing the
Eucharist, as though it were a wreath of garlic and the hordes were vampires would
cease and desist in their march to enjoy the benefits of Western civilization
without contributing to it. The monks, the clerics, and the officials are either
trampled to pulp by the barbarians, who don’t even notice them, or they’re
swept up in the onrush of the barbarians as they move forward to claim the
landscape and are never seen again. Raspail may have intended a point to that
scene – he was very critical of the Church for allowing faith to lapse into
mere empty-worded ritual – but it wasn’t well delivered. Oh, he made many
points, but it was agony getting to them.
FSM: 
You say Raspail was critical of Christianity, or the Church. Did he
discuss the Hindu religion?
Me: Not once.  They were born Hindus, their religion and
culture were in their genes. He also ascribed Western values as practically
genetic in nature for whites. As he presented the conflict between the West and
the Hindus, it boiled down to a clash of gestalts, or collectives whose members
couldn’t help being what they were. The Western gestalt is superior to the
Hindu, because….well, Raspail claims it is but never really offers a reason
why. He couldn’t without ascribing superiority and inferiority to race.
FSM: How?
Me:
Raspail flays the whole Western apologetic, guilt-driven, self-loathing
philosophy that he holds responsible for the invasion of the barbarians. When
Belgium announces that it is adopting no more Hindu babies to be settled in
Belgium, it precipitates the decision to sail to the West from Calcutta clear
to France. That may have been his pronouncement on the repercussions of unconditional
and limitless Western foreign aid to the Third World. The Third World became
addicted to it, eventually claiming the aid as an entitlement. When it was
withdrawn, somehow this gestalt of upset Indians decides to sail West to claim
it, and, as an act of vengeance, settle there and swamp Western society with
their ragged, ignorant masses.
The difference between why the Hindus invaded Europe in
the novel and why the Muslims have invaded it is crucial to note. The Hindus
just wanted to settle in “paradise” and no mention is made of imposing an
ideology on non-Hindus. The Hindus depicted by Raspail are actual brutes whose
minds couldn’t conceive of an ideology. No mention is made of their converting
churches into Hindu temples, although they do proceed to trash the country and
subjugate the white French citizens, many of whom decide to become “token
blacks,” or, as Raspail calls them, “fellow travelers.”
In
reality, Muslims were invited to settle in Europe to shore up its various
welfare states, to do all the menial work that Europeans didn’t wish to do or
thought was beneath them. Raspail mentions Arabs and blacks from various other
Third World venues preparing to take over Paris and other French cities once
the million Hindus have made landfall in southern France.
I will remark that I
found reading the novel so depressing that I had to take a break from it and
often take two mental medications as antidotes to the doomsaying. One was the
finale of Antonio Salieri’s Axur, re
d’Ormus
, the other was the finale of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio. These are products of Western culture
(among many, many more in the arts) which the nihilist intelligentsias have
deprecated and which the Islamists wish to erase from man’s memory and kill his
capacity to produce and enjoy.
The
only truly dramatic event in the story occurs early on when a retired professor
of literature, observing from his villa on the Cote d’Azur the refugee fleet
sitting offshore, has a brief discussion with a hippie nihilist character. He
then shoots the foul-mouthed creature because he hoped that the Hindus would
destroy everything the professor held dear. This malevolent, nihilist hippie,
however, was right in his prediction of what would happen. His ilk in the
elitist intellectual class, the professor recognizes, were responsible for the
feeble, appeasing policy the government eventually adopts when confronted with
a mass invasion of the “needy.”
It
was the nihilist intelligentsia who convinced the traditionalists that they had
no case and no justification to deny the uncouth and unschooled hordes from
India their right to the products of Western culture and their right to smother
the West with their numbers. And the traditionalists folded. The nihilists and
the traditionalists get their just desserts at the hands of the hordes: they’re
slaughtered, their wives and daughters taken into concubinage or sent to
Hindu-only brothels,  their homes and
wealth taken over by Third World looters,  squatters, and educated Third World racketeers.
This
is exactly what has happened vis-à-vis Muslims and their campaign to take over
Western countries. Underlying Islamic supremacism is a hatred for the
life-affirming superiority of Western civilization. In this hatred Muslims
share with the nihilists a malevolent approach to anything free – free men,
free minds.
Raspail
cites the racism of the Hindus, Muslims, and blacks and paints some very gory
pictures of their reign over whites. These are echoes of the Indian Mutiny in
1857 against the British and Haiti in 1791.
Unfortunately,
Raspail only cites “tradition” and religious faith as the bulwark that will
defend France against the invasion of the Hindu “Ganges,” as they are often
referred to throughout the novel. All the excuses and rationalizations and expressions
of self-flagellation uttered by the government, as Raspail assembles them and
puts them into the mouths of various vacillating officials and media spokesmen,
are just so many disconnected assertions that add up to no argument at all.
It’s eerily similar to what American conservatives are doing and saying today,
who refuse to question the indoctrination of American schoolchildren from K1 up
through university, administered by our Orwellian Department of Education, lest
they be accused by the press and the intelligentsia of racism, bigotry, and
intolerance.
FSM: How so?
Me: I’ll let Raspail himself answer
that question. Appended to the novel are several articles about the novel and
Raspail, including an interview of him by the current American publisher. Raspail
wrote a reappraisal of Camp for Le
Figaro in 2004, “Fatherland Betrayed by the Republic.” He cites the phenomenon
of the French being “bludgeoned by the throbbing tom-tom of human rights, of
‘the welcome to the outsider,’ of the ‘sharing’ dear to our bishops, etc.,
framed by a whole repressive arsenal of laws known as ‘anti-racist,’
conditioned from early childhood with cultural and behavioral
‘crossbreeding’…and with all the by-products of old Christian charity….” I
can’t think of a better description of what is happening in America as well in
that regard.
One
can’t claim that the Christian ethos has been “hijacked” by liberal/left
secularists, as the defenders and spokesmen of Islam aver about Islam. Like the
ethos of Islam, it is likewise reducible to imperative altruism, self-sacrifice,
and suicide, except that Islam is blatantly frank and open about its purpose
and ends. In any contest between Mohammad and Christ, it is Mohammad who will
be the victor. When Christ turns the other cheek and forgives Mohammad for not
knowing what he’s doing, Mohammad will lop off his head. Christ has a kind of
supporting role in Islamic mythology, but it’s pretty minor.
FSM: Are there any redeeming qualities
to Raspail’s novel?
Me:  Yes, the fact that the European intellectual
elite recognized that it was being attacked in the novel. That is the novel’s
only redeeming quality, from my perspective. The novel was not well-received in
Europe because the race “metaphor” either eluded the critics or was taken
literally by them.
 Surprisingly, it was more favorably received
in the U.S.  In France, it was largely vilified,
dismissed or ignored. Now it’s a kind of underground cult classic among European
anti-jihadists. The bromides and banalities about how the West is guilty of
impoverishing the Third World by keeping it dependent on charity and handouts,
and so must tax itself to death to share more of its wealth to atone for the
sin of being richer, and to open its borders to all comers, regardless of their
agenda, echo every collectivist claim and altruist bromide and banality uttered
by the news media, the universities, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, the
Clintons, and now by the Obama administration. The culpable are many and small.
They are the champions of the Ganges, or of the Muslims.
Of
course, the claim that the rich are rich and the middle class well-off because
they “rob” or exploit the poor or the underclass is illogical.  You can’t become rich by robbing someone who
has nothing to rob, you can’t exploit someone who has no values to trade or who
is ignorant of the value of what he and his ancestors have ignored for
millennia and otherwise had no use for because he and his tribalist brethren
chose to remain backward, primitive, and tribalist.
Raspail
doesn’t go into economics, doesn’t defend capitalism, doesn’t mention
individual rights. While it’s a badly written novel, Camp is still a compelling read, because it does show the
consequences of ideas – or rather of the absence of ideas. By the end of the
novel, southern France has become a Hindu colony, northern France is overthrown
by the “underclasses,” including Muslims, and the rest of Europe acts as a
passive blotter for the phenomenon. Even Switzerland falls. The closest thing
to the Islamic jihad is one mention
of the Archbishop of Paris handing over Notre Dame to the Muslims to be turned
into a mosque.
FSM: Going by your description of the
novel, it sounds like it might be worth cracking open, but with all your
caveats in mind. Is there a moral to the story?
Me: The chief moral to be drawn from The Camp of the Saints is that the West
cannot absorb countless immigrants from Third World countries and cultures
without establishing legally enforceable conditions for their coming to the
West and settling in it. But such conditions are an anathema to the
liberal/left philosophy of multiculturalism, diversity, “pluralism,” and
tolerance. This is especially important when those same immigrants come to it
with no intention of assimilating themselves into Western culture or adopting
any of its values, but rather to import their primitive cultures intact and
impose them on the West in the name of “diversity” or “religious freedom” or
“tolerance.”  Muslims and illegal
immigrants from “South of the Border” do not believe in “diversity,”
“multiculturalism” or “tolerance.” They didn’t invent these concepts. But they
know how to game the altruist premises that underlie those concepts. These are
ideas of Western origin, and contain the seeds of suicide.
I
doubt that Raspail ever made the connection between individual freedom,
industrial civilization, and the wealth the West was able to produce because of
them. It isn’t evident at all in the novel or in his prefaces, articles, or
interviews.  He didn’t note that the
welfare state is a magnet for maggots and parasites, domestic or foreign-born;
he failed to suggest that the welfare state, premier among collectivist
institutions, must be abolished if any Western values are to be preserved and
sustained. And by “welfare state” I mean also foreign aid to any and all
countries that pull at America’s altruist heart-strings, which countries
usually spit on us and demand more, adopting a stance of moral superiority.
This
is not the novel I would recommend to anyone to better grasp what has happened and
is happening in Europe, and in slower motion here in the U.S., in the way of concessions
and accommodations to the carriers of an alien, anti-life philosophy. Hordes of
Hindu manqués are no better than mindless hordes of Huns, Muslims, Apaches,
Chinese, Mexicans, Patagonians, or Caucasians. Or, as a distant friend of mine
would call any one of them, but specifically Muslims, “not lovable normal human
beings – but cultural vacuums, black holes of non-creativity and inhumanity, a
tribe of nobodies, just the bloody vanguard foot soldiers representing a
totalitarian mindset that has no sense of humor, no capacity for self-criticism
and no respect for other people’s views.”
Well,
I would say that a lack of a sense of humor is merely a venial sin of Islam’s,
not its cardinal offense, which is its refusal, indeed, its inherent inability,
to “self-criticize.” The creed forbids questions of any nature, which is why it
cannot and will not respect other people’s views.  Muslims can’t criticize it, nor kaffirs or non-Muslims without risking
the charge of “hate speech.”  Not even
Pope Benedict could get away with a circumspect criticism of it. It is
forbidden. That explains its totalitarian nature. No one ever said that the
face of Big Brother had to be a kindly one staring out from an Ingsoc poster. He
can also be wearing a Brooks Brothers suit and a turban staring out from an
IslamSoc poster with a scraggly beard and death in his eyes.
FSM: 
Thank you, Mr. Cline
*The
Camp of the Saints
, by Jean Raspail. 1973. Trans. Norman Shapiro. (Petoskey,
MI: The Social Contract Press, 2007).

The Myth of Muslim Male Superiority

On July 29th Jihad Watch ran an interesting article
by Ralph Sidway of the Facing Islam
blog, “’The
Nightmare’ – Europa and the Incubus
.” The Gothic painting illustrating his
column, by German-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli, depicts an
incubus sitting atop the limp and helpless body of Europa.
 The mythical Europa is more notoriously
noted for having been carried off by Zeus in the guise of a bull. Sidway dwells
in the metaphor that Europe is
instead being conquered and ravished by an ugly ogre or incubus – or by
Muslims. It has been abducted, as well, and is daily ravished by Islam. He
begins:
Sometimes
an image — a metaphor — is much more effective at presenting truth than even
the most persuasive argument or laying out of facts.  ‘The Nightmare’ is
such an image.
Europeans
may still have some dim collective memory of the Muslim conquest of the Iberian
peninsula (Spain) in the early 8th century, of Islam’s nearly successful
colonization of the rest of Western Europe (Gaul, etc.), of centuries of Muslim
raids on Italy, of Muslim piracy and dominance in the Mediterranean Sea, of
repeated Muslim attempts to invade Europe through the Balkans, and of the
eventual fall of Constantinople in 1453, and of Turkish crimes against the
Greeks during the 18th and 19th centuries and the Armenian Genocide in the
early 20th….
The
metaphor of the demonic Incubus (Islam)
preying upon the paralyzed sleeper (Europa) is hardly a stretch, as this
particular demon was believed to engage in sexual activity with its victim,
trying to foster a hybrid human-demon child, and if unable to do that, then to
bring about madness, demon possession, sickness and ultimately death to its
host.
It was the mention of the belief in the incubus’s
sexual activity that caused me to wonder why no student or scholar of Islam had
ever much investigated the Muslim’s preoccupation with the rape of Western and
other non-Muslim women. Possibly a psychological study of the condition has
been produced; I don’t claim to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the ugly
and sordid facts of Islam.
The brutal treatment of the Yazidis
is a case in point. The Yazidis are between dark and fair complexioned, but
have blue or green eyes. It is their captive women who are valued the most in
ISIS slave auctions. They are either” married” off to ISIS fighters or held
prisoner in ISIS brothels, guarded by armed,
burqa-clad
women who are mostly fanatical Nazi-like converts to Islam and
who are as cruel
and callous
as the ISIS fighters who rape the Yazidis. ISIS has stated that
it wants to
exterminate the Yazidis
, to “erase their blood line.” Neither the captives
nor their captors are much interested in a debate on whether or not Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio
presented a true picture of Turkey and Islam, or if Muslims of both sexes
were honestly and accurately portrayed in Amadeus’s Turkish
finale.
It is reported that between sixty and seventy of
these girls and women commit
suicide
every month rather than endure more savagery or have the fighters’
babies.
Defenders of Islam claim that its adherents and its
doctrines are not “racist,” even though racist tenets are rife throughout
Islamic texts, such as in the Koran
and the Hadith
(Mohammad’s sayings). The camel’s nose in the tent of those Islamic denials
is the fact of the institutionalized slavery of black Africans that predated
Western institutionalized slavery (which was abolished; Islam has never
actually abolished it, and won’t).
The next day Jihad
Watch
published Raymond Ibrahim’s “Why
Muslim Rapists Prefer Blondes: A History
.” This article first appeared on
Ibrahim’s site, together with an Orientalist-style painting** of a naked
Caucasian slave being ogled and sized up by three Arab sheiks. (The artist’s
name was not noted on the site.)  In
drawing a comparison between Byzantium and the modern West, in the context of
“why Muslims prefer blondes,” Ibrahim begins:
The
Muslim penchant to target “white” women for sexual exploitation—an epidemic
currently plaguing Europe, especially Britain and Scandinavia—is as old as
Islam itself, and even traces back to Muhammad.
Much
literary evidence attests to this in the context of Islam’s early predations on
Byzantium (for centuries, Christendom’s easternmost bulwark against the
jihad).  According to Ahmad M. H. Shboul (author of “Byzantium and the
Arabs: The Image of the Byzantines as Mirrored in Arabic Literature”) Christian
Byzantium was the “classic example of the house of war,” or Dar al-Harb—that
is, the quintessential realm that needs to be conquered by jihad. 
Moreover, Byzantium was seen “as a symbol of military and political power and
as a society of great abundance.”
The
similarities between pre-modern Islamic views of Byzantium and modern Islamic
views of the West—powerful, affluent, desirable, and the greatest of all
infidels—should be evident.  But they do not end here.  To the
medieval Muslim mind, Byzantium was further representative of “white
people”—fair haired/eyed Christians, or, as they were known in Arabic, Banu
al-Asfar
, “children of yellow” (reference to blonde hair).
It’s noteworthy that in the course of investigating
(or not investigating much) the
Rotherham
Muslim sex slavery of British girls,
A
local police officer aptly illuminated the reasons for the cover-up. “They
were running scared of the race issue… there is no doubt that in Rotherham,
this has been a problem with Pakistani men for years and years,” the officer
explained. “People were scared of being called racist.” But the Muslims
targeted their victims on the basis of race.
So, they
were  also afraid of calling the Muslim
criminals racists, even though these dark-skinned Pakistanis were targeting
white British schoolgirls? This is how political correctness can destroy men’s
minds.  It can neutralize the willingness
to make moral judgments.
What is one of the sources of this brand of racism?
Mohammad, of course. As Ibrahim relates, quoting an Arabic writer:
Continues
Shboul:
“The
Byzantines as a people were considered as fine examples of physical beauty, and
youthful slaves and slave-girls of Byzantine origin were highly valued….The
Arab’s appreciation of the Byzantine female has a long history indeed. 
For the Islamic period, the earliest literary evidence we have is a hadith
(saying of the Prophet).  Muhammad is said to have addressed a newly
converted [to Islam] Arab: “Would you like the girls of Banu al-Asfar?”  Not only were Byzantine slave girls sought
after for caliphal and other palaces (where some became mothers of future
caliphs), but they also became the epitome of physical beauty, home economy,
and refined accomplishments.   The typical Byzantine maiden who
captures the imagination of litterateurs and poets, had blond hair, blue
or green eyes, a pure and healthy visage, lovely breasts, a delicate waist, and
a body that is like camphor or a flood of dazzling light.”
While
the essence of the above excerpt is true, the reader should not be duped by its
overly “romantic” tone. Written for a Western academic publication by an
academic of Muslim background, the essay is naturally euphemistic to the point
of implying that being a sex slave was desirable—as if her Arab owners were
enamored devotees who merely doted over and admired her beauty from afar.
Indeed,
Muhammad asked a new convert “Would you like the girls of Banu al-Asfar?” as a way to entice him to join the jihad and reap
its rewards—which, in this case, included the possibility of enslaving and
raping blonde Byzantine women—not as some idealistic discussion on beauty.
Or raping and impregnating blue and green eyed
Yazidi women. ISIS fighters don’t patronize the brothels to have civilized tea-and-crumpet
discussions with the captives about their beauty and the question of whether or
not a Muslim’s “right hand
can possess any of them. As Ibrahim notes:
Thus
a more critical reading of Shboul’s aforementioned excerpt finds that European
slave girls were not “highly valued” or “appreciated” as if they were precious
statues—they were held out as sexual trophies to entice Muslims to the jihad.
As Pamela Geller notes in one of her Atlas
Shrugs
  columns,
“Prosperous
are the believers who in their prayers are humble and from idle talk turn away
and at almsgiving are active and guard their private parts save from their
wives and what their right hands own then being not blameworthy.” (Quran
23:1-6)
Those
whom their “right hands own” (Quran 4:3, 4:24, 33:50) are slaves, and
inextricable from the concept of Islamic slavery as a whole is the concept of
sex slavery, which is rooted in Islam’s devaluation of the lives of
non-Muslims.
Ibrahim subsequently points out the fallacies and
fantasies of the Islamic view of Byzantium and of Byzantium women.
Moreover,
the idea that some sex slaves became mothers to future caliphs is meaningless
since in Islam’s patriarchal culture, mothers—Muslim or non-Muslim—were
irrelevant in lineage and had no political status.   And talk of “litterateurs
and poets” and “a body that is like camphor or a flood of dazzling light” is
further anachronistic and does a great disservice to reality:  These women
were—as they still are—sex slaves, treated no differently from the many slaves
of the Islamic State today.
For
example, during a recent sex
slave auction
held by the Islamic State, blue and green eyed Yazidi girls
were much coveted and fetched the highest price.  Even so, these
concubines are being cruelly tortured.  In one instance, a Muslim savagely
beat his Yazidi slave’s one year old child until
she agreed to meet all his sexual demands.
Islam proclaims that the rape of infidel women is
not the fault of Muslim men – who are portrayed as morally and even racially
superior to everyone else – but that of the infidel women who shamelessly
flaunt their beauty, thereby advertising their alleged promiscuity and
immorality, and become “exposed
meat
” that causes Muslims to lose their self-control.  For the infidel women, there is no
forgiveness; for the Muslim male, there is plenty of dispensation to be found
in Islamic texts, because he’s superior and privileged by virtue of being
Muslim, so his raping an infidel woman is no more a crime or a lapse in his
morality  than his raping a ewe.
Ibrahim’s article is broad in scope and extremely
informative. After having read it, I left a comment on both his site and on
Jihad Watch, and this comment comes closer to the subject of my own column:
About the subject of Muslims preferring to
rape/own/enslave white women, whether they’re captives of ISIS or in Europe and
Britain, especially blondes (remember Lara Logan’s experience in Cairo?): The
ostensible motive for it is to destroy the good for being the good. To despoil
beauty. The second aspect of these crimes hasn’t been dwelt on much, which is
the fact that these Muslim men consider themselves as unclean and unworthy as a
fundamental tenet of Islamic metaphysics, and regard the act of rape as a means
to consciously befoul beauty with their own persons. This is another reason why
Islam is evil.
To qualify the contention that “these Muslim men
consider themselves as unclean and unworthy” is the much-noised Islamic
assertion and contradiction that Muslims are superior to all others of other faiths and races (even though Islam
is not a race). But, superior in
which respect? The Muslim male initially regards himself as foul and decrepit.
This is a notion (or incubus) of Original Sin shared by Islam and Christianity;
Islam  doubtless cadged it from
Christianity, which predated Islam by about 500 years, just as Islam cadged
elements of other religions from the 7th century onward, including,
significantly, the pagan moon god, Allah. Being an imperfect plaything of
Islam’s Allah necessitates a Muslim male’s needing to observe a strict moral
code that will keep him on the “straight and narrow” path to Islamic virtue and
“perfection” and “purity” with the expectation of Allah’s praise.
And, it’s okay to wander from the “straight and
narrow” to rape infidel women, especially blondes. They deserve the treatment.
It’s Allah’s will. Nay, his command.
I mentioned Lara Logan in my comment.  In an ABC
interview
about her rape and experiences in 2011 in Tahrir Square, Cairo,
she reveals that it wasn’t just
the rape
that was dooming her to death. It was Muslim men trying to kill her
in the most tortuous way possible:
Lara
Logan, the CBS reporter who was sexually assaulted by a mob in Cairo’s Tahrir
Square the night that longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, opened
up about the brutal attack
in an emotional interview on “60
Minutes” Sunday. The reporter said she decided to go public to call
attention to sexual violence against female journalists, offering a tearful
recollection of the horrific night she thought would be her last.
“There
was no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying,” Logan told
CBS News’ Scott Pelley. “I thought, ‘Not only am I going to die, but it’s
going to be just a torturous death that’s going to go on forever.'”
Logan
said her clothes were torn off and her muscles were agonizingly stretched as
she was separated from her crew and swallowed into the 200-to-300-strong mob.
She recalled the flashes of cell phone cameras taking pictures of her naked
body as her merciless attackers raped her with their hands.
“I
didn’t even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things
because I couldn’t even feel that because I think the sexual assault was all I
could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again,” Logan
said in the interview….
“They were tearing my body in every
direction at this point, tearing my muscles. And they were trying to tear off
chunks of my scalp, they had my head in different directions.”
 Logan said she hoped her screams would stop
her assailants, but they only provoked them. “Because the more I screamed,
it turned them into a frenzy,” she said. [Italics mine]
These details are important. For it isn’t just a
matter of sexual gratification that a Muslim will rape an infidel woman. It is
an issue of destroying the good for being the good, and a Muslim male in a
sexual predator mode will want to accomplish the obliteration of his victim in
as painful a way as possible. The screams of Lara Logan – and those of any
other infidel woman in Britain, Scandinavia, and the Mideast – are integral to
the Muslim rapist’s sense of nihilist efficacy.
There is a scene in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged that illustrates this point dramatically. John Galt,
the scientist hero, is being tortured by a government-built machine with
electrical shocks calculated not to kill him but to send pulses of agony
through his body. One of the torturers isn’t satisfied with Galt’s response to
the pain:
“Go
ahead!” cried Taggart. “What are you waiting for? Can’t you make the current
stronger? He hasn’t even screamed yet!”… Taggart was staring at {Galt’s body]
intently, yet his eyes seemed glazed and dead, but around that inanimate stare
the muscles of his face were pulled into an obscene caricature of enjoyment.*
Muslim men – and especially Muslim rapists – are
not virile in the usual sense.  A virile man is someone like Sean Connery’s
James Bond, and is seen as such by men and women alike. Rand’s heroes Francisco
d’Anconia and Howard Roark, as well as John Galt, are virile. In the sex act,
they celebrate their lives, their values, their selves as living, rational
beings who love life. The women they “conquer” are their equals in spirit who
also view sex as a celebration.
Muslim men, however (and this observation applies
equally to non-Muslim rapists), are maquettes.
They are half-formed creatures trapped inside the physical bodies of men. They
have no values or selves to celebrate. Their notion of manhood and virility is
one of nihilistic conquest, of force, of proving the efficacy of their capacity
to destroy or cause pain.
Their only sense of “enjoyment” is in the act of
killing. ISIS has sent us numerous beheading and gun barrel to the head videos
that demonstrate that aspect of compliance with Koranic imperatives.
For the ISIS rapists, for the British and European
Muslim rapists, the sex act is not a means to celebrate life, but to celebrate
death, and the potency of their evil.
*Atlas
Shrugged
, by Ayn Rand. New York: Dutton, 35th
anniversary
edition, 1992.  pp.
1142-1143
**Orientalist paintings from the
19th and early 20th centuries, while exquisitely executed and accurate in many
details, romanticized the Islamic and Mideast worlds, overlooking the harsh
realities of especially the Muslim slave markets. See, for example, Kristian
Davies’s Orientalists:
Western Artists in Arabia, the Sahara, Persia and India,
or The
Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting
, by Nicholas
Tromans.

A Matriarchy of Feminist Writers

Powell’s Books is
an Oregon bookstore chain with an affiliated
store
in Chicago. Its main store is in Portland. It is New York City’s Strand Bookstore of
the West. Each of these stores boasts miles and floors of new and used books.
It is easy to spend a whole day in one of these stores, once lured inside. I
visited the Portland store once, but spent many happy hours in The Strand.
Powell’s recently posted a promotional ad on its
site, “25
Women to read before you die
.” The list was prefaced with:
Below
you’ll find our list — compiled following lively debate by Powell’s staff — of
25 women you absolutely must read in your lifetime.

In one sense, singling out a small group of female writers as eminently worthy
of attention feels like an injustice to a gender who has published an
immeasurable amount of profound, enduring literature. At the same time,
recognizing great female authors is an exercise we here at Powell’s are
dedicated to undertaking again and again — emphatically, enthusiastically,
unapologetically.

And so we present to you 25 female writers we admire for their vision, their
fearlessness, their originality, and their impact on the literary world and
beyond. To get you started, we’ve included a book recommendation for each
author. –
Frankly, with few exceptions, I had never heard of most
of these writers until now. I’ve heard of Adrienne Rich
because her name keeps popping up in the strangest places. She was a lesbian
poet (poetess?). Donna
Tartt
’s name was recently prominent because she was a signatory of a
petition protesting PEN’s award to the French satirical magazine, Charlie
Hebdo. She resembles a near twin of actress Diane Keaton. I read one or two of George Eliot’s novels long,
long ago, but can’t remember which ones. I was familiar with Jane Jacobs’s The
Death and Life of Great American Cities
, but can’t recall if I agreed
with her or not.
Joan
Didion
’s name also kept appearing in reviews of other writers’ works,
especially when it had something to do with the “New Journalism.”  Margaret Atwood wrote The  Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian novel the
movie version of which I also saw. Mary Shelley is noted for
Frankenstein. I tried to read Patricia
8 HIghsmith
’s Strangers on a Train,
but it was so darkly introspective of the characters that I couldn’t finish it.
Alfred Hitchcock stripped away all its darkness to produce a first class
suspense movie. Susan
Sontag
? Her name keeps turning up like a bad penny in a variety of literary
venues.
Well, that’s eight women writers I’ve heard of. No,
nine. I’ve heard of Virginia Wolfe,
too, but was never tempted to read anything she ever wrote. She looked morose
and probably wrote that way, too. That leaves sixteen writers I’d not heard of
until now. Excuse my hubris, but I think it’s a measure of the distance between
the American public and the “serious” literary establishment that these sixteen
names are alien to me and to many others, as well.
The reviews of these writers’ books were penned as
Powell Books “staff picks.” The reviews are as good as anything one could read in
the Washington Post Review of Books, the New York Times, or the New York Review
of Books. While they are as flowery and adulatory as those publications’
reviews, they have the dubious virtue of brevity.
Many of these “ladies” are members of PEN, another contemporary,
left-leaning, “non-governmental” cultural bulwark,
which has hundreds of author members, most of whom one has never heard of. PEN International,
however, is affiliated with the United Nations. Enough said. And every one of
them has received either a foundation or government grant, or both. Don’t get
me started on “25 men to read before you die.”
The late Adrienne Rich wrote lots of rubbish, but,
as staffer Jill notes, her lesbian love poetry is what she was noted for. “Adrienne
Rich is a feminist giant, and these poems, written in 1974, map and delineate
the territory of women’s love for women (sexual and otherwise) and the struggle
of selfhood, consciousness, history, and art with strength, creativity, and
fierce empathy.” The struggle for consciousness must have been especially
difficult. After all, if one isn’t conscious, how can one struggle?
Alison Bechdel is a very masculine-looking but also
geeky-looking lesbian cartoonist, a kind of distorted distaff Berkeley Breathed,
creator of the Bloom County cartoons. She/It/Whatever is probably delighted to
be called a “fellow,” and was recently bestowed a “Genius” award by the very
loopy MacArthur
Foundation
, (which I parody in a doppelganger in Honors Due). Her/HIs/Its five-year “fellowship” of $625,000 will be
paid in five installments of $125,000 each. All these grants come
tax-free.  Bechdel is noted for His/Her/Its
cartoon strip, “Dykes to
Watch Out For.
Here is a note about the MacArthur Foundation (a.k.a., the George
L. Sismond Foundation for Social Concerns and Problems in Honors Due):
There
are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise
for important future advances based on a track record of significant
accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent
creative work.
The
MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent
to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In
keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to
individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers,
scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or
those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use
their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if
they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.
Although
nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a lifetime
achievement award, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight,
and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to
enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of
human society.
I can’t speak for the recipients of the grants who
are in science, but the MacArthur Fellows selection committee seems to seek out
the ones in the arts, social work, and journalism who are altruistic frauds,
charlatans, and about as creative as a chimpanzee fishing for maggots. The
twenty-five women on Powell’s list also tend to win National Book Awards,
Pulitzer Prizes, and other prestigious literary emoluments, are given alleged
Medals of Freedom, and are often interviewed by Charlie Rose and other
talking heads as though they were the best thing to come along since sliced
bread.
Staffer Jill was also wild about Rebecca Solnit.
“Solnit
is one of the most eloquent, urgent, and intelligent voices writing nonfiction
today; from Men Explain Things to Me to Storming the Gates of
Paradise
, anything she’s written is well worth reading. But her marvelous
book of essays A
Field Guide to Getting Lost
might be her most poetic, ecstatic work. Field
Guide
is about the spaces between stability and risk, solitude, and the
occasional claustrophobia of ordinary life. With dreamlike transitions, Solnit
considers a variety of examples which contrast created wildness with natural
wilderness, including Passover, punk music, and suburban youth, the early death
of a friend from an overdose, movie-making in the ruins of a mental hospital,
and her affair with a hermit in the Southwestern desert. She explores the
mysterious without puncturing the mystery, and that is a remarkable achievement
indeed.” 
Indeed. There’s another unappetizing invitation to
read another unappetizing “women writer.” Rebecca is a “human
rights” activist, an environmental activist, and an anti-war activist, and is
likely an activist in other realms she disapproves of, such as microwavable
meals and the exploitation of silkworms.  In fact, most of Powell’s twenty-five darlings
are also anti-something or other, in addition to being goose-stepping
feminists.
Solnit
has received two NEA fellowships for Literature, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan literary fellowship, and a 2004 Wired
Rave Award for writing on the effects of technology on the arts and humanities.
In 2010 Utne Reader magazine named Solnit as one of the
“25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World”.” Her The Faraway Nearby (2013) was nominated for
a National Book Award, and shortlisted for the
2013 National Book Critics Circle Award.
There’s nothing like a National Endowment for the
Arts grant and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to keep body and
soul together while one is having visions about changing the world.  I wouldn’t know the pleasure.
And, oh, yes, let’s not forget another private
contributor to the decline of our culture: the Guggenheim
Foundation
, also a cultural establishment racketeer. Years ago, when I was
living in New York City and struggling to write my second novel (it and the
first were never published, I don’t even have copies of them in my “trunk”), I
twice applied for a grant from this outfit, unsuccessfully. After my second and
final attempt, I obtained a list of the then-current winners, and saw that I
was as likely to be awarded a grant by Guggenheim as I’d inherit a million
dollars from a long lost aunt.
The
performing arts are excluded, although composers, film directors, and choreographers
are eligible. The fellowships are not open to students, only to “advanced
professionals in mid-career” such as published authors. The fellows may
spend the money as they see fit, as the purpose is to give fellows “blocks
of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible”,
but they should also be “substantially free of their regular duties”.
Applicants are required to submit references as well as a CV
and portfolio.
The
Foundation receives between 3,500 and 4,000 applications every year.
Approximately 220 Fellowships are awarded each year. The size of grant varies
and will be adjusted to the needs of Fellows, considering their other resources
and the purpose and scope of their plans. The average grant in the 2008 Canada
and United States competition was approximately US$43,200.
Not as big a stipend as the MacArthur’s, but these
grants, too, come tax-free.
As with the MacArthur Foundation, when it comes to
sustaining artists and writers and other denizens of the humanities, the
Guggenheim selection committee seems hunt for the fringe
candidates
, the nominally or least commercially successful, and the most
disturbed, or not all there. Many of them have also been MacArthur Fellows.
I have never been anyone’s “Fellow.” Not even an
Ayn Rand Institute Fellow. A correspondent objected to the fact that Ayn Rand
was left out of that list of women to read before anyone dies, wrote Powell’s, and
got this brush-off reply from Jennifer Cotner:
“Thank
you for writing to Powell’s Books. We considered many important and influential
women writers for the 25 Women to Read list and it was extremely hard to narrow
the list down to just 25, but we created the list based on our staff’s votes.
We realize there are far more than 25 important female writers of our time and
that our list is by no means exhaustive. We appreciate your thoughts and I will
be sure to share them with our team…. We started
with a list of roughly 100 women authors, and both Ayn Rand and Agatha Christie
were on there. Thank you for your interest in Powell’s 25 Women to Read
promotion.”
Balderdash! Given the puffed up tripe that the
staffers adored and drooled over, Ayn Rand was never debated or on the long
list of women writers likely to influence the world. Powell’s staffers probably
use Rand’s name to put a hex or a voodoo curse on people they don’t like.
I’m sure they would never like me. I’m not
Establishment-worthy. Thank heaven. No Pulitzers or
Man
Booker
prizes for me. I like to be able to choose the company I keep.

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