«It would be laughable were it not so serious that such a clown is in the White House, and at such a time.»Via Hot Air.
«As for music, Greek theory on the subject evolved from Pythagoras before 500 BC. The Church was the dominant institution in post-Roman Europe and drew on Greek philosophy and musical theory. Some elements of Christian observances may derive from Jewish tradition, too, chiefly the chanting of Scripture and the signing of psalms, poems of praise from the Book of Psalms. Christians integrated music into their liturgy. In the Western Church, Gregorian chant and the development of polyphonic music was valued as decoration, a concept central to medieval art and architecture. According to A History of Western Music, Seventh Edition, by Donald J. Grout, Peter J. Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca, “Polyphonic performance heightened the grandeur of chant and thus of the liturgy itself.” This gave rise to a musical tradition which led to Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Nothing similar happened in the Islamic world, despite the fact that Muslims initially had access to much of the same material. I have described this in my essay Why Muslims Like Hitler, but Not Mozart. Historian Bernard Lewis writes in The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years:Why Muslims Like Hitler, but Not Mozart, destaque para esta citação de Charles Murray que procura dar uma ideia da importância da polifonia na música ocidental:“Since Muslim worship, with the limited exception of some dervish orders, makes no use of music, musicians in the Islamic lands lacked the immense advantage enjoyed by Christian musicians through the patronage of the Church and of its high dignitaries. The patronage of the court and of the great houses, though no doubt useful, was intermittent and episodic, and dangerously subject to the whims of the mighty. Muslim musicians devised no standard system of notation, and their compositions are therefore known only by the fallible and variable medium of memory. There is no preserved corpus of classical Islamic music comparable with that of the European musical tradition. All that remains is a quite extensive theoretical literature on music, some descriptions and portrayals of musicians and musical occasions by writers and artists, a number of old instruments in various stages of preservation, and of course the living memory of long-past performances.”(...) Many forms of music are banned in Islam. The Reliance of the Traveller by Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib and Noah Ha Mim Keller has been formally approved by al-Azhar in Egypt, the highest institution of religious learning among Sunni Muslims. It quotes a number of ahadith, authoritative sayings of Muhammad and his companions which form the core Islamic texts next to the Koran, among them one which says that “There will be peoples of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful …” Another quote says that: “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” The scholarly conclusion is that “All of this is explicit and compelling textual evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” Another legal ruling says that “It is unlawful to use musical instruments – such as those which drinkers are known for, like the mandolin, lute, cymbals, and flute – or to listen to them. It is permissible to play the tambourine at weddings, circumcisions, and other times, even if it has bells on its sides. Beating the kuba, a long drum with a narrow middle, is unlawful.”»
«Just as linear perspective added depth to the length and breadth of painting, polyphony added, metaphorically, a vertical dimension to the horizontal line of melody.»Em suma: a música no ocidente desenvolveu-se a partir da herança hebraica e da cultura grega; o seu desenvolvimento foi marcado pela invenção de um rigoroso sistema de notação que lhe permitiu alcançar um nível de elaboração harmónica impossível nas tradições puramente orais. No mundo islâmico, a música é apenas tolerada, quando não é proibida. Ou seja, parafraseando o blogger Zartoist: a música sobreviveu apesar do Islão.
«Obama administration officials (...) are crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations. Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws of war. (...) (...) The Justice Department has declined to comment on the prospects for a long-term detention system while internal reviews of Guantanamo detainees' cases are underway. (...) (...) In a May speech, President Obama broached the need for a system of long-term detention (...). (...) In his May speech, the president outlined five strategies the administration would use to deal with them: criminal trials, revamped military tribunals, transfers to other countries, releases and continued detention. (...) Three months into the Justice Department's reviews, several officials involved said they have found themselves agreeing with conclusions reached years earlier by the Bush administration: As many as 90 detainees cannot be charged or released. (...)»O WP esclarece as razões pelas quais esses detidos não podem ser julgados nos tribunais comuns, e não é, pelo menos não é só, devido à suspeita de utilização de métodos coercivos de interrogatório:
«[H]alf of the cases, the officials said, present the greatest difficulty because these detainees cannot be prosecuted in federal court or military commissions. In many cases the evidence against them is classified, has been provided by foreign intelligence services or has been tainted by the Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation techniques.»
«(...)Ayatollah Khamenei said Obama’s “agents” had been behind the protests: “They started to cause riots in the street, they caused destruction, they burnt houses.” But that wasn’t all the Great Satin did. “What is the worst thing to me in all this,” sighed the supreme leader, “are comments made in the name of human rights and freedom and liberty by American officials . . . What? Are you serious? Do you know what human rights are?”»Ou seja, a apresentadora do Jornal 2 e a editora de política internacional da RTP devem estar a falar de um outro país ou estão a utilizar os media americanos como única fonte de informação nesta matéria.
«(...) THE REAL OBAMA effect on world affairs relates to the US media's unprecedented willingness to abandon the basic responsibilities of a free press in favor of acting as propagandists for the president. From Cooper - who pretends that Obama's unreciprocated open hand to the mullahs is what empowered the protesters - to Newsweek editor Evan Thomas who referred to Obama earlier this month as a "sort of God," without a hint of irony, the US media have mobilized to serve the needs of the president. (...) Today the mainstream US media exert no such pressures on Obama. Earlier this month NBC's nightly news anchorman Brian Williams bowed to Obama when he bid him good night at the White House. On Wednesday ABC News will devote an entire day of programming to advancing Obama's controversial plan to nationalize health care. Its two prime time news shows will be broadcast from White House. Good Morning America will feature an interview with Obama, and ABC's other three flagship shows will dedicate special programming to his health care reform program. On the other hand, ABC has refused Republican requests for a right of reply to Obama's positions. The network has also refused to sell commercial advertising time to Republicans and other Obama opponents to offer their dissenting opinions to his plans. This media behavior has been noted by the likes of Fox News and the handful of other US news outlets that are not in the tank for Obama. But the repercussions of the Obama effect on US politics and world affairs have been largely ignored. (...) THE MOST IMPORTANT repercussion of the US media's propagandistic reporting is that the American public is denied the ability to understand events as they unfold. Take for instance The New York Times' write-up of Khamenei's sermon this past Friday in which he effectively declared war on the protesters. (...) The Times did not mention that Khamenei ascribed world events to a Zionist conspiracy which he believes controls the US. (...) Had the Times - and other major media outlets - properly reported Khamenei's speech, they would have made clear to their readers that he is not a rational thinker. His view of world events is deeply distorted by his hatreds and prejudices and paranoia. But then, if Times readers were permitted to know just how demented Khamenei's views of the world are, they might come to the conclusion that Obama's intense desire to sit down with him, and his constant pandering to Iran's "supreme leader" are ill-advised and counterproductive. They might come to the conclusion that it is impossible to achieve a meeting of the minds with a man who calls Americans "morons" and leads his subordinate government officials in chants of "Death to America," "Death to Britain" and "Death to Israel." And if they came to these conclusions, how could Obama be expected to affect anything? And Obama's power as president to change the world is not limited to Iran. As far as his media servants are concerned, his "mere election" is responsible for everything positive that has occurred in the US and throughout the world since last November. TAKE HIZBULLAH'S defeat in the Lebanese parliamentary elections two weeks ago. As far as the US media are concerned, it was Obama's speech to the Muslim world on June 4 that emboldened the Lebanese to back the anti-Syrian March 14 slate of candidates. Never mind that his speech - which refused to condemn Iran for its support for terrorism and its nuclear weapons program - actually strengthened Hizbullah's position by demonstrating that the US would take no action against its Iranian masters. As far as the US media were concerned, Obama won the election for Hizbullah's pro-Western rivals. Yet this is not true. According to actual electoral data, what swung the balance towards Saad Hariri's March 14 camp was Hizbullah-allied Christian leader Michel Aoun's failure to convince Lebanon's Christian minority to acquiesce to Hizbullah's takeover of the country. And Lebanese Christian voters did not reject Hizbullah because Obama is President of the United States. They rejected Hizbullah because the Maronite Christian Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir warned them on the eve of the election, "We must be alert to the schemes being plotted for us and thwart the intense efforts which, if they succeed, will change the face of our country." (...) In free societies, the media's primary responsibilities are to report current events to the public, place those events into an historical context to enable the public to understand how and why they occurred, and to present the public with the options for going forward. It is due to the media's historic role in maintaining and cultivating an informed discussion and debate about current affairs that they became known as democracy's watchdog. When media organs fail to fulfill their basic responsibilities, they degenerate quickly into democracy's undertaker. For an uninformed public is incapable of making the sorts of decisions required of free citizens.»Lede todo o artigo.
«US President Barack Hussein Obama’s speech delivered at Cairo University in Egypt on June 4 2009 contained so many half-truths, distortions or plain lies that it is almost impossible to deal with all of them adequately in a single essay. I will concentrate on the science part in particular here.»Após fazer esta constatação, Fordman percorre algumas das supostas contribuições do Islão para a ciência e para a cultura universal. Em jeito de continuação do postal anterior, citemos apenas o que Fjorman diz acerca do estudo dos idiomas, da história, em suma, das civilizações pré-islâmicas após a imposição do Islão, começando pela questão dos idiomas:
E prosseguindo para os estudos arqueológicos, ou para a sua inexistência, no Islão:
«European scholars not only translated texts from Greek, and later from Persian and Sanskrit; they proceeded to explore and explain how these languages came into existence in the first place, which was far beyond what any Muslim scholar had even contemplated doing. Greek shares a common history with Persian and Sanskrit: They are all Indo-European languages, as are Germanic languages such as English. The Indo-European family is the largest and most influential language family in human history, and it all traces back to a single, hypothetical Proto-Indo-European language which must have existed thousands of years ago.
Between 1600-1200 BC you could find horse-drawn chariots in use throughout Eurasia, from the border regions of Shang Dynasty China via Egypt and Anatolia to Northern Europe. This corresponds to the period of the ancient Vedas and the emergence of Vedic Sanskrit in India. Peoples speaking Indo-European languages played a vital role in the diffusion of wheeled vehicles. The Proto-Indo-European language which has been reconstructed by leading European and Western linguists over the past two centuries contains words for a technological package which probably did not exist before 4000 BC, possible not even before 3500 BC. PIE must accordingly in all likelihood have been a living language in the fourth millennium BC.
It is likely that a very early form of PIE existed before 4000 BC and a very late form slightly after 3000 BC. Before 3000 BC, PIE was rapidly expanding geographically, probably aided by early forms of wheeled vehicles, and gradually broke apart into what would soon emerge as different Indo-European branches. Scholars J. P. Mallory and D. Q. Adams tell the tale in The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World:
“[I]ndividual Indo-European groups are attested by c. 2000 BC. One might then place a notional date of c. 4500-2500 BC on Proto-Indo-European. The linguist will note that the presumed dates for the existence of Proto-Indo-European arrived at by this method are congruent with those established by linguists' 'informed estimation'. The two dating techniques, linguistic and archaeological, are at least independent and congruent with one another. If one reviews discussions of the dates by which the various Indo-European groups first emerged, we find an interesting and somewhat disturbing phenomenon. By c. 2000 BC we have traces of Anatolian, and hence linguists are willing to place the emergence of Proto-Anatolian to c. 2500 BC or considerably earlier. We have already differentiated Indo-Aryan in the Mitanni treaty by c. 1500 BC so undifferentiated Proto-Indo-Iranian must be earlier, and dates on the order of 2500-2000 BC are often suggested. Mycenaean Greek, the language of the Linear B tablets, is known by c. 1300 BC if not somewhat earlier and is different enough from its Bronze Age contemporaries (Indo-Iranian or Anatolian) and from reconstructed PIE to predispose a linguist to place a date of c. 2000 BC or earlier for Proto-Greek itself.”
Before Islam, Greek was still a major language throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond, including in Anatolia or Asia Minor, now occupied by Turkish-speaking Muslims and called “Turkey.” Muslims have spent 1400 years wiping out Greek-speaking communities throughout the entire region, a process that has continued into the twenty-first century at the island of Cyprus, yet they now want credit for “preserving the Greek cultural heritage.” When the Ottoman Turks gradually conquered the Greek heartland, the Balkans and the Near East, they showed no serious interest in studying the culture and history of their new subjects.»
«As Bruce G. Trigger writes in A History of Archaeological Thought, second edition, “Serious archaeological work did not begin in Greece, however, until after that country’s independence from Turkey in the early nineteenth century.” Ibn Warraq explains in his well-researched book Defending the West why archaeology was invented by Europeans in the post-Enlightenment period. Muslims, despite the fact that they controlled the cradles of the most ancient civilizations on the planet, were indifferent or actively hostile to their remains. Austen Henry Layard, who was active in Mesopotamia (Iraq) in the mid-nineteenth century, recounts this story of Claudius Rich, a pioneer of field archaeology and British Resident in Baghdad:Voltaremos a este texto a propósito de um aspecto cultural específico, já aflorado nesta série: a música.
“Rich learnt from the inhabitants of Mosul that, some time previous to his visit, a sculpture, representing various forms of men and animals, had been dug up in a mound forming part of the great inclosure. This strange object had been the cause of general wonder, and the whole population had issued from the walls to gaze upon it. The ulema [religious scholars] having at length pronounced that these figures were idols of the infidels, the Mohammedans, like obedient disciples, so completely destroyed them, that Mr. Rich was unable to obtain even a fragment.”
Following the brief Napoleonic expedition to Egypt around 1800, a new fad for ancient Egypt began in nineteenth century Europe. This took the local Muslims completely by surprise, as they could not understand why anybody would be interested in worthless infidel stones. The lavishly illustrated book Egyptian Treasures from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo elaborates:
“Initially the Egyptians were unaware of the motives behind the Westerners’ interest in what for them were simply stones emerging from the ground. A rumor then began to circulate that these stones concealed untold treasures. The inhabitants of the villages in the vicinity of archaeological sites began to attack statues, tombs, and temples in the vain hope of extracting jewels and precious objects. Soon, however, Egyptians came to realize that the foreigners were interested in the stones themselves rather than anything they were rumored to contain. While they did not themselves see the attraction of a lump of carved rock, they became masters in the search for and discovery of antiquities. When they were short of authentic relics they had no hesitation in producing fakes, so well made as to fool even the Egyptologists of the era.”
The French expedition to Egypt in 1798-1801 brought many scholars to catalogue the ancient monuments, thus founding modern Egyptology. The trilingual Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799, was employed by the great French philologist Jean-François Champollion to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs in 1822. He made use of the Coptic language to achieve this. Arab and Turkish Muslims had controlled Egypt for more than a thousand years, yet had apparently never managed to decipher the hieroglyphs nor for the most part displayed much interest in doing so. Europeans did so in a single generation after they reappeared in force in Egypt, and they did so with the help of the liturgical language of the Copts, the Egyptian Christians, a direct link to ancient Egypt that the Arab invaders hadn't managed to completely eradicate.»
«Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation.»No Faith Freedom International, Zartoist faz o seguinte comentário a este propósito:
«Someone who has really studied the history of interaction between the Greco-Roman civilization and, on the one hand, Hellenized Egypt and on the other, Pre-Islamic Persia, could make a good argument that Islam actually hindered the progress of civilization. All indications are that “the light of learning”, namely of Greek and Roman civilization, was already being preserved and would have been preserved, in the Middle East – especially in Persia – to the same if not a greater extent than it was after the violent Islamic conquest of the Persian civilization (a civilization that already had over a thousand years of fruitful interaction with the Greek-inspired civilizations of the West). It is also a fact that most of the scientific “innovation in Muslim communities” cited by Obama, from Algebra to Medicine, was the product of (mostly Persian) free-thinkers who were not believing Muslims – scientists like Omar Khayyam, Ibn Razi, and Ibn Sina – who only wrote their scientific treatises in Arabic (rather than their native Persian) on account of the Arab occupation of Iran. We do not call “Gothic architecture” Christian, do we? The great architecture of Iran, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and northern India is no more “Islamic”. It is an amalgam of ancient Persian, Byzantine and Indian styles – one that was already arising during the Sassanian Persian Empire (which extended from India to Turkey). The only “Islamic” contribution to this architecture was to prohibit the incorporation of paintings – since depiction of human beings is forbidden in Islam. Incidentally, this stunted the entire development of painting in the sphere of Persian civilization, which had a rich tradition of pictorial art before the Islamic conquest and may well have developed it to the level of modern Europe. As for poetry and music, most of the great “Islamic” poets (again mostly Persians) were considered heretics by Islamic authorities, and music is prohibited in Islam as a vain “useless” activity. Poetry and music survived in civilizations such as Persia DESPITE Islam. A careful study of the history of Sufism will reveal its roots in attempts by persecuted pre-Islamic Gnostics in Persia and Egypt, to ensure the survival of their esoteric wisdom by exoterically cloaking themselves in Islamic garb. While many of them ultimately wound up believing their own dissimulation, scholars of Islamic law have never been fooled – that is why they executed Halaj and Suhrawardi, and why the poetry of no less a genius than Nizami (the Persian analog to Shakespeare or Spenser) is censored in Iran today!!!»Um artigo a que havemos de voltar a propósito de outros aspectos do sermão.
«President Obama, in elegant fashion, may casually invoke the means of politically correct history for the higher ends of contemporary reconciliation. But it is a bad habit. Eloquence and good intentions exempt no one from the truth of the past — President Obama included.»
«(...) It is now clear that the president is either unable or unwilling to come to terms with the nature of the radical Islamic threat to America and the West. To him, the problem is a few violent extremists, a “small but potent minority of Muslims”. (...) [T]he West is dealing not with a few militants, or even with terrorism as such, but with a murderous, totalitarian doctrine couched in Islamic terms that has already become the dominant idiom in much of the Muslim world and its diaspora communities. (...) It is an ideology that elevates violent jihad as a religious obligation for all Muslims, openly discriminates against non-Muslims and women, banishes democracy and secularism, and ordains the murder of apostates and homosexuals. This doctrine is preached today in tens of thousands of Salafi, Wahhabi, and Deobandi mosques and madrassas, and promoted by countless Islamist organizations, from the Muslim Brotherhood networks in America to the Taliban and its fellow jihadists in Pakistan. (...) Obama has seemingly chosen to act as an apologist for this ideology. There is no other credible reason for a man with an army of experts, researchers, and fact-checkers at his disposal to utter so many half-truths and outright falsehoods about what Islam is and what it is not. These include his touting ostensible Islamic contributions to music (an art form prohibited among the devout) and printing (regarded by the mullahs as the devil’s invention, and not available to Muslims until three centuries after Gutenberg), and his preposterous promotion of Saudi King Abdullah, ruler of the most religiously intolerant country on earth, as a champion of “interfaith dialogue.” More telling still are Obama’s historically inaccurate portrayals of Muslims as being at “the forefront of innovation and education,” and his blaming colonialism and the Cold War for their falling behind. In fact, Muslims have not been at the forefront of anything since ijtihad (reason) was declared un-Islamic ten centuries ago and replaced by blind obedience to reactionary sharia dogma, which, in turn, ushered in a cultural and intellectual stagnation that is yet to be overcome. Indeed, the greatest Muslim minds over the centuries, from Averoes and Avicenna to Noble Prize physicist Abdus Salam, have invariably been persecuted and declared apostates by the guardians of Islamic orthodoxy. While colonialism is a favorite Islamist whipping boy for all real or imagined ills visited upon the Muslims, it was the result, not the cause, of the inexorable decline of Islam as a world power and civilization that culminated in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. Nor should it be forgotten that throughout most of its history, Islam has been a premier imperialist and colonialist power itself. (...) Mubarak (...) appointed the mullahs of Al-Azhar as the sole arbiters of what books should be published in or imported into Egypt. Predictably, anything that does not meet their medieval criteria is being censored, while books that discuss how many angels could be recruited for a war against Israel (120 million) are encouraged. (...) History teaches us that tolerating the intolerant and appeasing the unappeasable results in more conflict and bloodshed.»Fica-se sem perceber se o presidente dos EUA é simplesmente ingénuo e ignorante ou se a sua actuação faz parte de uma estratégia bem articulada para facilitar a expansão do Islão.
It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed.»Ed Morrissey no Hot Air aprofunda a contestação anteriormente adiantada:
Addendum: num artigo publicado na National Review, Alex Alexiev faz a seguinte declaração a propósito da alegada contribuição do Islão para a evolução da impressão gráfica: «printing [was] regarded by the mullahs as the devil’s invention, and [was] not available to Muslims until three centuries after Gutenberg»
«“Mastery of pens” might be true, although pens themselves certainly came long before Islam — about 5,000 years before for the cruder reed pens, and 1,000 years before for quills. Arabic calligraphers created marvelous manuscripts, but then again, so did Christian monks, who began that work before Mohammed ever appeared on the scene, and pens and books predate both the Christian and Islamic period. In fact, the Christian monks spent their time copying the books of ancient Greece and Rome.
Printing, however, is another matter altogether. The Chinese developed block printing, which Marco Polo brought back on his travels. The Koreans invented movable type in the 13th century, using metal type a century later. Europe caught up in the 15th century. The Islamic states didn’t have anything to do with the development of printing, which makes this particular claim completely baffling.»
«(...) After his five months in office, and most especially after his just-concluded visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, however, a stunning conclusion seems increasingly plausible: The man now happy to have his Islamic-rooted middle name featured prominently has engaged in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia at Munich. (...) With Mr. Obama's unbelievably ballyhooed address in Cairo Thursday to what he calls "the Muslim world" (hereafter known as "the Speech"), there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself. Consider the following indicators: • Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to "the Holy Koran." Non-Muslims -- even pandering ones -- generally don't use that Islamic formulation. •Mr. Obama established his firsthand knowledge of Islam (albeit without mentioning his reported upbringing in the faith) with the statement, "I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed." Again, "revealed" is a depiction Muslims use to reflect their conviction that the Koran is the word of God, as dictated to Muhammad. • Then the president made a statement no believing Christian -- certainly not one versed, as he professes to be, in the ways of Islam -- would ever make. In the context of what he euphemistically called the "situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs," Mr. Obama said he looked forward to the day ". . . when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) joined in prayer." Now, the term "peace be upon them" is invoked by Muslims as a way of blessing deceased holy men. According to Islam, that is what all three were - dead prophets. Of course, for Christians, Jesus is the living and immortal Son of God. In the final analysis, it may be beside the point whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim. In the Speech and elsewhere, he has aligned himself with adherents to what authoritative Islam calls Shariah -- notably, the dangerous global movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood -- to a degree that makes Mr. Clinton's fabled affinity for blacks pale by comparison. For example, Mr. Obama has -- from literally his inaugural address onward -- inflated the numbers and, in that way and others, exaggerated the contemporary and historical importance of Muslim-Americans in the United States. In the Speech, he used the Brotherhood's estimates of "nearly 7 million Muslims" in this country, at least twice the estimates from other, more reputable sources. Even more troubling were the commitments the president made in Cairo to promote Islam in America. For instance, he declared: "I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear." He vowed to ensure that women can cover their heads, including, presumably, when having their photographs taken for passports, driver's licenses or other identification purposes. He also pledged to enable Muslims to engage in zakat, their faith's requirement for tithing, even though four of the eight types of charity called for by Shariah can be associated with terrorism. Not surprisingly, a number of Islamic "charities" in this country have been convicted of providing material support for terrorism. Particularly worrying is the realignment Mr. Obama has announced in U.S. policy toward Israel. While he pays lip service to the "unbreakable" bond between America and the Jewish state, the president has unmistakably signaled that he intends to compel the Israelis to make territorial and other strategic concessions to Palestinians to achieve the hallowed two-state solution. In doing so, he ignores the inconvenient fact that both the Brotherhood's Hamas and Abu Mazen's Fatah remain determined to achieve a one-state solution, whereby the Jews will be driven "into the sea." Whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim or simply plays one in the presidency may, in the end, be irrelevant. What is alarming is that in aligning himself and his policies with those of Shariah-adherents such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the president will greatly intensify the already enormous pressure on peaceful, tolerant American Muslims to submit to such forces - and heighten expectations, here and abroad, that the rest of us will do so as well.»Addenda: Ed Morrissey discorda de Gaffney e afirma categoricamente que Obama é ateu. Camille Paglia afirma algo de semelhante, ao observar que Obama não compreende o fervor religioso e faz eco de uma perspectiva sincretista, segundo a qual todas as religiões são iguais, "which they unequivocally are not".
«As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed.»Esta passagem está bem recheada daquele tipo peculiar de crenças enraizadas na cultura progressista ocidental, crenças que não resistem à mais pequena análise. Quanto à suposta influência do Islão na filosofia política ocidental que viria a resultar nos iluminismos inglês, americano e francês, o presidente Obama só pode estar a referir-se à preservação dos textos gregos clássicos em traduções árabes. A este propósito, diz Robert Spencer:
«Aristotle’s work was preserved in Arabic not initially by Muslims at all, but by Christians such as the fifth century priest Probus of Antioch, who introduced Aristotle to the Arabic-speaking world. Another Christian, Huneyn ibn-Ishaq (809-873), translated many works by Aristotle, Galen, Plato and Hippocrates into Syriac. His son then translated them into Arabic. The Syrian Christian Yahya ibn ‘Adi (893-974) also translated works of philosophy into Arabic, and wrote one of his own, The Reformation of Morals. His student, another Christian named Abu ‘Ali ‘Isa ibn Zur’a (943-1008), also translated Aristotle and others from Syriac into Arabic.»Para além disso, muitos textos gregos clássicos chegaram até nós paralelamente através dos mosteiros que conseguiram resistir às destruições bárbaras e não apenas por via árabe. (Cf. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, de Thomas E. Woods, Jr., cap. III, pgs. 39-45)
Spencer contesta ainda a importância do papel atribuído por Obama ao Islão na história da medicina:
«The first Arabic-language medical treatise was written by a Christian priest and translated into Arabic by a Jewish doctor in 683. The first hospital was founded in Baghdad during the Abbasid caliphate -- not by a Muslim, but a Nestorian Christian. A pioneering medical school was founded at Gundeshapur in Persia — by Assyrian Christians.»Também a respeito da história da medicina a leitura do livro de Woods, Jr. (cap IX) é esclarecedora, nomeadamente quanto às origens dos hospitais, como os conhecemos.1) Consideremos agora a atribuição aos muçulmanos por Obama de algumas invenções científicas e tecnológicas, nomeadamente instrumentos de orientação e navegação, conceitos matemáticos e mecanismos de impressão gráfica, guiados por Ed Morrissey:
«Muslims didn’t invent the magnetic compass. Credit for that usually goes to the Chinese, who experimented with needles and lodestones as far back as the second century BC. They built a complete compass by the early 12th century, and eventually Marco Polo would bring one back on his travels.Desmascaradas as imposturas, importa considerar qual a sua origem e porque Obama lhes faz eco, com a ajuda de Frank J. Tipler:
In fact, the Muslims didn’t even come in second. Europe developed the magnetic compass at the end of the 12th century, while the Arabic compass would come decades later.»
«All modern physics descends from Galileo (1564 -1642); all modern astronomy from Copernicus (1473-1543). If you study Galileo’s works carefully, as I have, you see that he started with the achievements of the Greek mathematical physicist Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 BC - c. 212 BC). If you study Copernicus’ works carefully, as I have, you will see that Copernicus’ great book On the Revolutions is essentially a heliocentric re-working of the geocentric astronomy textbook by the Greek Ptolemy (c. 90 AD - 168 AD). Copernicus mostly used even Ptolemy’s data for the positions of the planets. Note the dates for Archimedes/Galileo and Ptolemy/Copernicus. It is as if the Muslim world never existed. As far as their fundamental contributions to physics and astronomy, it did not. If one reads history of science textbooks prior to about 1980, one will find very little mention of Muslim “contributions” to physics and astronomy. This is reasonable, because there weren’t any. In the past generation, however, political correctness has dictated that Muslims be given credit for discoveries they did not make.»E um pouco mais adiante:
«The cosmology of the Qur’an is obviously geocentric, and as a consequence, Al-Azhar University, which Obama singles out for praise in his speech, still teaches Ptolemaic astronomy.»Tipler considera ainda a efectiva impossibilidade de fazer ciência no Islão. Para os cristãos, o mundo criado por Deus comporta-se de acordo com um conjunto de regras e mecanismos físicos de Sua autoria, os quais Deus deixa funcionar livremente e só muito raramente neles interfere operando milagres. Esta ordem divinamente criada pode perfeitamente ser estudada pelo homem, na sua busca pela verdade e pelo sentido da sua existência, de acordo com a sua natureza inquisitiva da autoria do próprio Deus. Assim, a ciência prosperou no Ocidente cristão como em nenhum outro contexto cultural tendo os religiosos cristãos desempenhado um papel assinalável na ciência ocidental, e.g. Gregor Mendel, padre agostiniano e pai da genética moderna e George Lemaître, padre, autor da "hipótese do átomo primevo", hoje conhecida como teoria do Big Bang. Ora, segundo Tipler, o mesmo não se passa no Islão:
«The reason Muslims never developed fundamental physics is because the leading Muslim theologians declared the idea of fixed physical laws to be heretical. The Qur’an (verse 6:64) states: “The Jews have said, ‘God’s hand is fettered.’ Fettered are their hands, and they are cursed for what they have said. Nay, but His hands are outspread; He expends how He will.” The standard Muslim interpretation of this passage has been that there cannot be unchanging physical laws because Allah may change the laws at any moment. In 1982, the Institute for Policy Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan, criticized a chemistry textbook by saying: “There is latent poison present in the subheading Energy Causes Changes because it gives the impression that energy is the true cause rather than Allah. Similarly it is unIslamic to teach that mixing hydrogen and oxygen automatically produces water. The Islamic way is this: when atoms of hydrogen approach atoms of oxygen, then by the Will of Allah water is produced.” The implication is clear: next week, Allah may change his mind about water being a compound of hydrogen and oxygen. With this sort of worldview, how could one possibly be a scientist?»Tipler ilustra o ambiente anti-científico do Islão descrevendo o caso do físico Mohammed Abdus Salam:
«There was one truly great “Muslim” physicist, the Nobel Prize winning Pakistani, Mohammed Abdus Salam. I put “Muslim” in quotes, because Salam belonged to the Ahmadi sect of Islam, a sect that accepts modern science. But in 1974, the Pakistani parliament declared the Ahmadi sect heretical, and its members are currently being persecuted in Pakistan. Contemporary Muslim historians generally do not list Salam as an important Muslim scientist. Had he remained in Pakistan, he quite possibly would have been killed.»Tipler conclui o artigo considerando os antecedentes da atribuição de méritos ciêntificos a quem os não tinha, o que pode responder à pergunda acima: por que razão Obama diz estas coisas (admitindo que não o faz por ignorância, o que, sendo possível, é improvável):
«During the Cold War, it was commonplace for leftist academics to attribute many discoveries to scientists in Communist countries, discoveries that had actually been made in the West. So now leftist academics attribute to Muslims discoveries that had actually been made by others.»Barack Obama terá proferido estas falsidades no seu sermão no Cairo - se não por mera ignorância e por uma crença ideologicamente adquirida -, por calculismo político, para agradar aos muçulmanos e conquistar a sua simpatia, na presunção de que os conflitos que se multiplicam pelo mundo fora nos quais o Islão se confronta com aqueles que se opõem ao seu domínio se resolvem com a adopção de uma posição humilde por parte do Ocidente e com muita compreensão para com os ressentimentos islâmicos face aos crimes do colonialismo. Neste processo, o presidente norte-americano faz gala de um sórdido desprezo pela verdade. 1) - Versão em português.
«Indeed, for over a thousand years, since its founding in 792 C.E., Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, has served as the academic shrine—much as Mecca is the religious shrine—of the global Muslim community. Al Azhar University (and its mosque) represent the pinnacle of Islamic religious education. »Prossegue dando conta dos achados feitos por alguém que lá se dirigiu para conhecer melhor os ensinamentos aí ministrados:
«John Roy Carlson traveled to the Middle East shortly after WWII to pursue his investigative reporting on Fascist/Nazi movements—he had gone undercover in the US to expose domestic Nazism during the war, and the trail lead him overseas following the war. Egypt became a major sanctuary for Nazis by the mid-1950s under Nasser, but almost a decade earlier Carlson documented widespread Nazi sympathy coupled to Islamic religious fanaticism at Al Azhar itself. Carlson provided this apt description (in his book “Cairo to Damascus”) of Al Azhar’s “tradition”—“Every year Al Azhar graduated hundreds of missionaries who preached its fanatic doctrine throughout Asia, Africa, and the islands of the Pacific…” He goes on to comment, “…though Muhammad [the Muslim prophet] died in 632, I found that Al Azhar his preachments were considered fresh and applicable today—with absolutely no modifications.” Carlson then describes his meeting with rector of Al Azhar University Sheikh Shinawi, who preached Jihad—Holy War—against Zionism, and was a friend of the Jihadist, Nazi collaborating ex-Mufti of Jerusalem and Godfather of the Palestinian movement, Hajj Amin el-Husseini, who also found sanctuary in Cairo after WWII.»
Já no século XXI, um sociólogo egípcio lamentava, num apelo publicado em Julho de 2004, o facto das ancestrais doutrinas islâmicas da jihad e da subjugação dos infiéis sob a sharia ainda serem ensinadas em Al-Azhar e perguntava:
“What kind of thinking are we teaching our next generation, that it has the right to attack other countries in order to convert them to Islam?…And we wonder where terror comes from?”Bostom prossegue analisando algumas manifestações do proverbial anti-semitismo muçulmano permanentemente veiculado em Al-Azhar, desta feita pela pena de Tantawi:
«[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [Koran 2:61/ 3:112], [and see Sheikh Saqr’s Koranic citations, above] corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness…only a minority of the Jews keep their word…[A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran3:113], the bad ones do not.»A excelência académica de Tantawi foi reconhecida com a nomeação para o posto de Grande Iman de Al-Azhar, posto que mantém desde 2006, com cuja autoridade veio a proferir mais algumas pérolas de sabedoria islâmica, nomeadamente qualificando os judeus de inimigos de Alá e filhos de macacos e porcos e defendendo a legitimidade do seu homicídio através de pia prática de ataques suicidas. Para além da sabedoria que lhe é reconhecida nesta área tão peculiar do saber humano - na qual só encontra rivais, fora do mundo islâmico, entre os socialistas (sejam internacionalistas, sejam nacionalistas) - que é o anti-semitismo, Tantawi é também um reconhecido teórico da jihad, à qual apelou, no início de 2003, contra as tropas americanas no Iraque:
«The American aggression against Iraq is not acceptable to Islamic law, and to the [Shari’a] law; The Iraqi people must defend itself, its land, and its homeland with all means of defense at its disposal, because it is a Jihad that is permitted by Islamic law. Jihad is an obligation for every Muslim when Muslim countries are subject to aggression. The gates of Jihad are open until the Day of Judgment, and he who denies this is an infidel or one who abandons his religion. This is an obligation applying to the nation now, in order to respond to the aggression.»Ao fim e ao cabo, Bostom acaba por reconhecer a veracidade das palavras de Obama. Com efeito, Al-Azhar é um farol para o mundo islâmico, mas pelas piores razões. Addendum: num artigo publicado na National Review, Alex Alexiev faz a seguinte declaração a propósito do contributo de Al-Azhar para a cultura e progresso egípcio: «Mubarak then appointed the mullahs of Al-Azhar as the sole arbiters of what books should be published in or imported into Egypt. Predictably, anything that does not meet their medieval criteria is being censored, while books that discuss how many angels could be recruited for a war against Israel (120 million) are encouraged.»
«(...) Islam was created as a tool for expansion and political power. Unlike other religions that focus on individual, his spirituality and salvation, Islam focuses on world domination. It’s a perfect ideology for anyone who wishes to manipulate the gullible masses and make them do his biddings. Hitler admired Islam for this very reason. This is what he said, “You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness….”5 (A. Speer, Inside the Third Reich, pp. 142-143)/(...) We are not blaming the Muslims for anything, except ignorance. We are blaming Islam. Our enemy is this evil ideology not its followers whom we see as its main victims. We are fully aware of the tireless struggle of our people throughout these 1400 years for democracy, reform, rationality and modernity. Why none of these efforts succeeded? It’s because Islam does not allow any change. In the long run all reforms fail. There is no basis for freedom and democracy in Islamic thinking. Islam and democracy are mutually exclusive. As long as Muslims believe in Islam, there can be no reform. Every attempt to reform Islam has and will fail. (...) Why the leftists welcome any criticism of Christianity, but they cannot tolerate criticism of Islam that is a thousand times worse? Why they defend the Islamists and want them have all the freedom to promote their doctrine of hate, under the guise of multiculturalism, (as if Islam is a culture) but they cannot tolerate the ex-Muslims to criticize it?/ I do not understand what makes the leftists tick and what to make of their double standards in regards to Islam.We are against Islam for the same reason that we are against Nazism, communism or any nefarious doctrine that is based on hate.We do not oppose Islam because it claims to be a religion. We oppose it because it is divisive and evil. Now I would like you to explain why you think criticizing a doctrine, whether good or evil, should not be allowed? The leftists have no problem criticizing Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or any religion. Why they have no tolerance for the criticism of Islam? (...) Why the lefties and the liberals welcome criticism of any faith, but get hot under their collar when someone criticizes Islam, and then attack that person accusing him/her of racism, intolerance, xenophobia, Islamophobia and what not? Could it be that Bertrand Russell was right when he said there are similarities between Islam and bolshevism because both are totalitarian? In The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, published in 1920, Russell wrote, “Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam….Marx has taught that Communism is fatally predestined to come about; this produces a state of mind not unlike that of the early successors of Mahommet….Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world”. Is this not the reason for this inexplicable love affair between these two strange bedfellows? In their lifestyle, the liberals and the Muslims could not be farther apart. You love free sex, accept homosexuality, allegedly promote equality between genders, etc., while Islam stones adulterers and gays and regards women as chattel. As a matter of fact, once Muslims come to power, the very first people they will slay will be people like you. Only after they are done with you they will go after the followers of other faiths. Despite that, lefties and Muslims are bedfellows. The leftists of all variations, from International socialists (communists) to national socialists (Nazis) to the run of the mill socialists and liberals, like the Democrats in USA, the NDPs in Canada, and the Labours in UK, including the feminists, always back the Muslims. (...) Ask the Iranian leftists who supported the Islamists during their revolution and see what they got out of that deal. Ask Maryam Namazi who is a commie what deal her group got after they helped Khomeini to power. Ms. Namazi is no longer under any delusion. She is now an ardent anti Islam activist. (...) how can you explain the disinterest of the feminists in the plight of the women in Islamic countries? How can you explain the lack of interest of the Amnesty International, an organization dominated by leftists, to which you belong, in the rights of the minorities and apostates in Islamic countries, and why the same organization is so concerned about how America treats the terrorists who plot to kill her citizens by thousands? How do you explain these disparaging priorities? Why the leftists exercise this much double standards and duplicity when it comes to human rights? Why do they wreak havoc if a Muslim is denied to disregard the rules of the company where she works and decides to wear her veil of shame to thumb her nose at us, or stop in the middle of the work to pray, or refuse to serve alcohol in the restaurant that she works, but they are silent when Muslims burn churches in Islamic countries and kill Christians, Hindus and apostates? Why do you defend the Muslims to use tax funded universities and other public institutions for their payers, and decry schools that say Christian prayer? Why Amnesty International, civil libertarians, and other leftie and liberal dominated organizations don’t make a squeak when Islamic countries abuse the basic human rights of non-Muslims in their midst?»
«On January 21, 2009, President Barack Obama issued his first executive order: He was closing the detention center at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba and calling a halt to the military commissions created in late 2001 to try terrorist suspects detained there. (...) Dana Priest of the Washington Post took to the paper’s front page to proclaim joyously that “with the stroke of his pen,” Obama had “effectively declared an end to the ‘war on terror,’ as President George W. Bush had defined it.” Then several strange things happened. Obama’s order “closing” Gitmo actually left it open for a year, (...) though Obama admitted privately it might have to stay open longer than that. Later, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that, far from being “the Bermuda Triangle of human rights” (...), Gitmo was in full compliance with the humane-treatment provisions of the Geneva Convention. Meanwhile, the military commissions (...),were only being suspended for 120 days, and (...) will be reinstated almost exactly as they were before. (...) (...) [W]hy, exactly, the pressure to close the prison facility has been so intense and long-lasting [?] [T]ake into consideration (...) the aggressive and unending efforts of a cadre of lawyers, activists, left-leaning Democrats in Congress, and civil libertarians against the facility, its purpose, its goal, and its existence. These efforts began even before it was opened, in November 2001, and continue to this day. The anti-Gitmo forces worked tirelessly to shape the public perception that Gitmo was the red-hot center of an aggressive policy approach that led the leftist financier George Soros to declare: “The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush.” WHY GITMO? In October 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan (...). Within weeks, the U.S. military found itself holding tens of thousands of prisoners, including foreign al-Qaeda fighters who had been training in terrorist camps in the Afghan hinterland. (...) (...) [T]he military captured more than 70,000 men and put every one through a rigorous screening process. Ten thousand were released immediately. By the time the military had completed its work, only 800 remained in custody. These were the ones they had deemed hard-core trained terrorists who could not be released without running the risk they would rejoin the battle. The question was what to do with them. From the beginning, the Department of Defense and its head, Donald Rumsfeld, were deeply reluctant to take on the job of detaining these prisoners who, unlike normal POWs, fought for no country, wore no uniforms, and had systematically broken the rules of war. (...) [T]hey were not automatically covered under the Geneva Convention. Deciding how they were to treated or tried posed immense legal difficulties (...). (...) Gitmo was (...) a detention facility set up in order to prevent “enemy combatants from continuing the fight against the US.Its goals were military and tactical, not juridical or penal. Still, the conditions under which these unconventional prisoners were to be held did involve questions. (...) Its goals were military and tactical, not juridical or penal. Still, the conditions under which these unconventional prisoners were to be held did involve questions. THE MEMOS (...) The prisoners in no way fit the standard of “lawful combatant” as defined by the Geneva Convention’s Common Article 3 and therefore could not automatically be accorded the treatment the Convention required. (...) [A]lthough that did not mean they could be treated in any way the Gitmo guards and commandant saw fit. There were other practical reasons for refusing to treat the Gitmo prisoners like German or Italian POWs in World War II (...) Al-Qaeda recruits are trained in the arts of conspiracy, assassination, and murder. A system of open barracks, as in a conventional POW camp, would allow detainees to organize plots, even rebellions, within the compounds (...), and to take vengeance on their own number who were suspected of confessing or cooperating with American authorities. Detention in separate cells, as in a conventional prison, seemed the only way to overcome this logistical nightmare. The rules on Gitmo detention and on interrogation constituted a valiant attempt to deal with an unprecedented legal situation. (...) ENTER STAGE LEFT When President Bush announced in November 2001 the establishment of the detention center and plans for military commissions to try cases, Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights was furious. (...) (...) In February 2002 Ratner filed his first petition for habeas corpus for a British-born Gitmo detainee named Shafiq Rasul (...). [T]he focus of Ratner and his allies was not torture or the interrogations at Gitmo. Instead, they worked to plant the idea in the public’s mind that most, if not all, of these inmates might be innocent victims, picked up on the battlefield by mistake. The inmates themselves were happy to oblige. Shafiq Rasul, for example, told Ratner and anyone who would listen that he was no terrorist. He was an innocent tourist whom the Taliban had abducted while he was traveling in Afghanistan, and that during the American invasion he had been forced to take up an AK-47 to use in self-defense. Rasul’s story and similar ones told by two other Gitmo captives born in the English town of Tipton, Ruhal Ahmed and Afiq Iqal (later known as the Tipton Three), became the centerpiece of Ratner’s campaign to open the gates at Gitmo. (...) (...) One of the first structures in the prison camp was a trailer for the International Commission for the Red Cross, which had full access to the detainees and collected mail to be sent to their relatives. (...) (...) No one had yet properly defined how Gitmo would function as both a detention and an interrogation facility. In addition, there were no rules on how to punish inmates who attacked their guards or otherwise violated camp rules. (...) To this day prisoners are not punished for their crimes or offenses, even when they attack guards or pelt them with feces. (...) The environment had grown so stale and hermetic that it became a breeding ground of rumor about unorthodox and bizarre interrogation tactics, including inmates who claimed they were being slapped, shouted at, or subjected to loud music; interrogators pretending to defecate on the Koran; and female interrogators sitting on detainees’ laps in order to humiliate them, or splashing them with red ink pretending it was menstrual blood. Every one of these was investigated and proved false, but the rumors were passed along by FBI interrogators (...). They seemed to verify the picture painted by Ratner and others that the facility was reeling out of control. THREE CATEGORIES (...) [T]he main problem was that Gitmo was proving an ineffective facility when it came to uncovering intelligence. (...) [T]he rules were stricter even than the Army field manual’s (...). Prisoners were allowed to defy their questioners and treat them with contempt (...). ABU GHRAIB the Gitmo facilities had no hidden basements or secret dungeons. Every aspect of prison life and handling of inmates happened in the open, with a senior commissioned officer on duty on every block, and a senior non-commissioned officer on every floor of every block around the clock. Gitmo’s resident “staff judge advocate was constantly on the lookout for torture or abuse,” (...). Every allegation of abuse by a detainee had to be checked, and then checked again. Officials opened Guantánamo Bay to regular tours by the media and members of Congress. “Guantánamo is the most transparent detention facility in the world,” (...). It is also the most inspected and investigated. The staff could show visitors the new facilities for prisoners’ recreation and prayer and point out that the inmates had Qur’ans in seventeen different languages, complete access to Red Cross officials, regular mail delivery, and a daily menu that many Americans would consider lavish. The biggest health danger at Gitmo to the inmates’ health was their steady weight gain on more than 4,000 calories a day. Some inmates nearly doubled their weight after arriving at the base. An internal Defense Department document completed in 2005 that came to be called the Church Report (because it was overseen by an admiral named Albert Church) pointed out that inmates were more likely to be injured in their intramural games than in handling by the jailers. (...) [I]n terms of accommodation to religious belief and case review boards, Gitmo actually exceeds Geneva Convention rules. At the end of Ramadan in 2002, the staff actually considered sacrificing a goat for the detainees, but decided not to for fear of earning the wrath of animal-rights groups. Designated areas for prayer and religious practice are the one place in Gitmo where inmates are left unsupervised. That is a concession never contemplated by Geneva Convention rules and one that officials admit is fraught with danger. Most detainees see their incarceration as one more way to carry out jihad by other means: attacks on guards are common, including spitting and throwing urine and feces. (...) Guards who retaliate are strictly disciplined; the inmates are not. (...) THE REPORTS As for the issue of abuse, a total of twelve separate investigations over fifteen months have left no lingering doubt: Gitmo is safer and less abusive than any detention facility anywhere in the United States, military or civilian. (...) (...) The political Left had by now seized the moral high ground on the issue, thanks to the visual images from Abu Ghraib. The media were prepared to believe that any inmate complaint of abuse was automatically valid, while any official denial (or when it was pointed out that al-Qaeda training manuals instructed captured agents to complain about torture and abuse) was deemed part of a cover-up. (...) A CHANGE OF POWER Virtually no one bothered to point out that “rendition” had been invented as an interrogation ploy during the Clinton presidency in 1995 by one of Bush’s most vociferous critics, former CIA operative Michael Scheuer. Indeed, Scheuer remains unashamed of his role in pioneering a way to deal with dangerous terrorists who fall outside the normal jurisdiction of the U.S. court system but who may have vital actionable intelligence requiring harsh interrogations that Americans would prefer not to do themselves or even witness. (...) [E]veryone knew the suspects who had been subjected to “rendition” were being tortured and in far more horrific ways than waterboarding. (...) It was precisely to avoid the kind of moral dilemma posed by rendition that Gitmo had been created in the first place (...) the Gitmo myth took hold. That myth had crystallized around two assertions: First, that Bush administration rules had made torture routine at Gitmo and elsewhere; and second, that the very existence of Gitmo was counterproductive to the war on terror and undermined our image abroad. (...) NOW WHAT So what will happen if detainees enter the criminal justice system inside the United States and end up being released? The record of those who have been released from Gitmo is not an encouraging one for anyone who claims they want to protect America from terrorists. By February 2006, 240 detainees had been let go from Gitmo (...). By March 2007, the total number had risen to 390. (...) (...) The Pentagon has confirmed that 18 former detainees have returned to the battlefield, with another 43 listed as “suspected” of going back to the fight, meaning final confirmation is all but impossible. One released detainee killed a judge in Afghanistan; another took over leadership of an al-Qaeda-linked radical group in Pakistan. Al-Shihiri, formerly Prisoner 732, was released from Gitmo in November 2007 after being in the compound nearly six years. He returned to Yemen, and today is the number-two man in al Qaeda’s branch there. Abdullah Salih al-Ajmi was transferred to Kuwait in 2005, then vanished into Syria, and was killed with two accomplices in a 2008 suicide bombing in Mosul, Iraq that also claimed the lives of 13 Iraqi policemen. Another former Afghani detainee, Abdullah Muhammad, was fitted with a modern prosthesis for his missing leg during his stay at Gitmo. He convinced his annual review board that he wasn’t a terrorist fanatic, and it turned him loose. Abdullah Muhammad is now being sought for involvement in the bombing of the Islamabad Marriott in 2006, and is still walking around on the artificial leg he was given by his Gitmo captors. It is unprecedented for a nation unilaterally to release enemy combatants during wartime, as the United States has done at Gitmo, and for obvious reasons. Nearly all the remaining Gitmo detainees are trained in the use of heavy weapons, mortars, bomb making, hostage taking, and psy-ops against their captors. They will pose a serious risk wherever they finally end up. (...)(...) In the end, at least some may end up being set free here. Obama’s new National Intelligence Director, Admiral Dennis Blair, has speculated that they might have to receive civilian housing, job training, and even government checks while living here. And what of Michael Ratner’s original clients, the so-called Tipton Three? They are now free in Britain. Two of them, Shafiq Rasul and Ruhal Ahmed, appeared on the BBC television program Lie Lab. Rasul refused to take a lie detector test on whether his stories about abuse at Gitmo were true, and Ahmed allowed that his earlier story of being an innocent tourist in Afghanistan before the American invasion was false. He admitted to having attended an al-Qaeda training camp, and being trained to use an AK-47 and other heavier weapons. However, Ahmed suffered no embarrassment for his belated disclosure. He is currently a spokesman for Amnesty International in the United Kingdom. THE UNWANTED ORPHAN (...) Who (...) could have predicted that in less than eight years, an American administration would be contemplating turning unrepentant terrorists loose on the street or contemplating putting those who incarcerated them on trial?(...) (...) The careful construction of this myth caused America to turn on itself in the midst of a still desperate struggle against Islamist terrorism. The consequences of this sea change in opinion may turn out to be measured not in political gains and losses by our major parties but in a revival of the fortunes of America’s foes.»