"For too long, the Muslims of the world have threatened peace-loving peoples," the pontiff said. "Today I call for every able-bodied man and woman to join a papal army to fight these loud-mouthed infidels."
"Besides," he added. "Who isn't just plain sick of their nonsense."
Stressing that "our fight is still spiritual," the Pope also called for prayers that "we may drive the forces of darkness back into the pits of hell."
Pope Benedict is the leader of the world's one billion Catholics. The crusade is the first papal crusade since ..."
At its most extreme, liberal denial has found expression in a growing subculture of conspiracy theorists who believe that the atrocities of 9/11 were orchestrated by our own government. A nationwide poll conducted by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University found that more than a third of Americans suspect that the federal government "assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East;" 16% believe that the twin towers collapsed not because fully-fueled passenger jets smashed into them but because agents of the Bush administration had secretly rigged them to explode.
Such an astonishing eruption of masochistic unreason could well mark the decline of liberalism, if not the decline of Western civilization. There are books, films and conferences organized around this phantasmagoria, and they offer an unusually clear view of the debilitating dogma that lurks at the heart of liberalism: Western power is utterly malevolent, while the powerless people of the Earth can be counted on to embrace reason and tolerance, if only given sufficient economic opportunities.
I don't know how many more engineers and architects need to blow themselves up, fly planes into buildings or saw the heads off of journalists before this fantasy will dissipate. The truth is that there is every reason to believe that a terrifying number of the world's Muslims now view all political and moral questions in terms of their affiliation with Islam. This leads them to rally to the cause of other Muslims no matter how sociopathic their behavior. This benighted religious solidarity may be the greatest problem facing civilization and yet it is regularly misconstrued, ignored or obfuscated by liberals.
Meanwhile, back in the blogosphere, highly popular blogger Dean Esmay once again goes through his apologetics for Islam. This time, he is simply making shit up. Dean says Mohammed was a defensive warrior almost exclusively and well, it just more nonsense after that.
One note: Dean is a friend of Aziz Poonawalla, who takes a method of interpreting the Koran that's ... well, let's just say that if Aziz were Christian, he'd be a liberal Episcopalian. Were all Muslims Aziz, we wouldn't have a problem. Alas, though many are like Aziz, not enough are. See Sam Harris's article.
Fortunately, Dean gets a well-deserved spanking from Bryan Preston and Robert Spencer, both of whom actually know what they're talking about.
Denial. Ain't just a river in Egypt.
A couple of days, I visited an old industrial facility that has been restored to operating condition. One of the machines there, dating from around 1900, was called an attrition mill. It contains two steel discs, which rotate at high speed in opposite directions, crushing the kernels of grain between them.
I fear that our civilization is caught in a gigantic attrition mill, with one disc being the terrorist enemy, and the other being the reality-deniers within our own societies.
I've been frustrated with the reality deniers for quite some time. In fact, since Sept. 11 itself. I was in the press room and began to hear the defeatism right away -- the denial that we could do anything. I thought it was war -- but most of my colleagues thought it was an unfortunate attack, a huge crime, that's all. Not an act of war.
Unfortunately, we haven't progressed much since then.
Repent of your following the false prophet Mohammed and the demonically inspired koran and turn and follow the one true God, who is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We invite you to know God as a loving Father, not as a stern judge, and as operating through reason, the eternal logos, and not some utterly transcendent, utterly unknowable being whose rules boil down to the whims of a powerful dictator. We will show that there is no way to approach God but through the cross. It is a more difficult path than your five pillars, but there is no other way. Come, join us as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Will that be the end of it? Will we live in peace then? Will we be able to all just get along?
Uh — look at the Muslim world. These SOB terrorists don't leave anybody alone. They exploit their own people, they're corrupt as hell ... because at the end of the day, they're psychopathic, sociopathic megalomaniacs.
Now, don't get me wrong. I've seen Islam where it's peaceful, in West Africa. Not surprisingly, these people, like those in the Far East, converted peacefully. Islam gives a stability, an order and a dignity to their lives that they wouldn't otherwise have. In fact, it's really not that bad at all (if you're a man) — though I suppose it depends how much you like to drink. It's really not bad. It's like being in a very large, sober fraternity. "Ah Salaam Aleikum." "Aleikum salaam." Insh'allah, it'll never happen.
The problem is this — we Americans, even forcibly converted, would likely infect Islam — one, we'd attack it with all sorts of critical thinking and critical scholarship. We'd start doing critical analyses of the Koran and the Hadiths. Two, we'd trivialize it by subsuming it into our pop culture. Three, there's just no way we're going to really believe that load of shit about Mohammed being anything other than a local warlord.
And we'd say so. Then the internal jihads would start. We'd face internal terrorism, as partisans of purer forms of Islam kept trying to impose their views on us. Plus, which Islam? Do we Americans convert wholesale to Shia or Sunni? Do you know how long we'd take to decide? We'd get caught up in internecine violence. My point is these SOBS are never going to leave us alone.
A thought: Do you want to know how to win the war on terror in one press conference? Have the president say we're all ready to convert, but we're desperately confused which is the true Islam to convert to. Is it Sunni or Shi'ite, and if one or other, which sect of Sunni or Shi'ite? Give 'em about 50 questions to settle. Tell them that we'll convert to whichever side wins the battle within Islam.
That'll keep 'em busy for another thousand years. In the meantime, we can keep doing what we're doing. Pass the limes and salt ...
I'm learning so much these days.
Saudi Arabian students are no threat whatsoever. And exposure to western universities innoculates from terrorism forever.
Remember: If you don't insult Islam, Muslims will leave you alone!