April 27, 2008

Taking on the barbarians

Review - Blood & Rage: a Cultural History of Terrorism by Michael Burleigh
"Michael Burleigh's theme: the moral squalor, intellectual poverty and psychotic nature of terrorist organisations, from the Fenians of the mid-19th century to today's jihadists - the latter group, especially, being composed of unstable males of conspicuously limited abilities and imagination, and yet who pose "an existential threat to the whole of civilisation" with their crusade to realise "a world that almost nobody wants", all in the hope of an afterlife featuring 72 virgins and rivers foaming with honey and beer.

Maybe Burleigh's biggest achievement is persuasively to argue that no ideology is worse than radical Islam - itself motivated by "sheer racial hatred" - which exploits Europe's tradition of freedom of worship (and welfare state) to curtail our freedom of speech. Its leaders are people who know their human rights, but not anyone else's."
One book is a start. Many more are needed to shake us out of what has become, I believe, our post 9/11 complacency and fondness for appeasement.


  1. So true Caz.
    And can you imagine a "piss Mohammed."
    Not on your nelly.

    It's okay to take the piss out of the christians, though, isn't it?

    A TRUE christian will turn the other cheek(an easy target for gutless wonders)
    A radical Muslim will blow people up!
    Appeasement? Dead set !

  2. I think familiarity has bred complacency.

    We freely give rights to everyone, no matter or they are, where they come from, or their beliefs, but in defining the rights for all we also define the limits of our own liberty.


    Almost by stealth we give up our liberty so as to indulge the rights of terrorists.

    Stranger still.

  3. Hey Caz?
    What's happened to Mrs Drunka and Ebuc?

    No weird bird, no cat!

    I'm freaking out!

  4. Well, we know Mrs Drunka likes to go a wandering at times, so I worry less these days.

    On the other hand, no cat, NO CAT?! I don't think that's ever happened before. I didn't want to rudely demand a cat, as who knows what might be going on in the real world. I'm telling myself that everything is fine and Cubicle just felt like a cat free Friday. I hope that's true.

  5. Anonymous11:22 PM

    It would be argued by Muslims that good Muslims don't blow people up in the same way good Christians don't blow people up.

    Some people calling themselves Muslims do blow people up in the same way people calling themselves Christians do blow people up.

    Both good Muslims and good Christians would claim these types do not represent their faith at all.

    I could find loads of historical data to support the above but I don't need to.

  6. Sorry Jus can't agree mate.
    A true Christian who kept God's commandments would never blow any one up. I have never come across an example of a Christian deliberately blowing themselves up(or any one else) IN THE NAME OF GOD!. Murder and Suicide are mortal sins.
    I would be interested in your view of what a good Christian is then Jus?
    Christians do not have Suicide bombers, blowing up infidels, with a promise of 72 virgins etc..
    when they get to heaven.
    You can call yourself whatever you like. Muslim, Christian.. Facts are, actions speak louder than words.
    Bring on the loads of historical data!

  7. Anonymous8:18 AM

    I think we agree Kath. A true Christian would never blow up anyone in the same way a true Muslim would never blow up anyone.

    Religion gets hijacked by those who have an agenda.

    George Bush claims he is a born again Christian and many voted for him on that basis. This of course was part of the Carl Rove strategy.

    Christians don't make up lies to start wars and murder innocent kids. It goes the same for Muslims.

    The Italian Mafia are all Catholics. Do they behave like Catholics?

    (The funny thing is I know many Catholics who go blank when I ask them the meaning of the term - Catholic.)

    That guy in Indonesia calls himself a Muslim yet assisted with murdering innocent kids in Bali.

    He aint no Muslim. He is an egocentric prick, just like GWB.

    I know good Muslims and I know good Christians, they all agree that blowing people up is the work of the devil - not God.

    We have to be very careful when we allow others to get us all worked up with their partisan books comparing one culture/religion with another. The plebs are easy pickings as far as they are concerned.

    Their agenda is not to enlighten, rather enrich - their bank accounts.

    Many years ago I worked with a gentleman by the name of Noel Reeves. He was the guy in charge of The Red Shield Appeal at the time (80s); we were members of the same Rotary Club.

    He worked for the benefit of others, he judged not and would comfort those who needed comforting. He did not preach, rather, behaved in a manner that Jesus would have wanted.

    Teach (not preach) by example.

    He was compassionate, he was a gentleman he was a Christian. He shunned wealth and lived (with his wife) in a tiny housing commission home in Bexley North Sydney, he had no superannuation and expected to live out his life on the pension.

    Personally I don't see many true Christians, as I don't see many true Muslims but those who aspire to be such will, I'm sure, all agree that blowing the legs and arms off innocent people is not the measure of their faith.

    Historical data, far too much to deal with Kath. "Good" Christians went out of their way to clobber Muslims back in the days of the Crusades and its been tit for tat ever since.

    Sad because once upon a time (before the crusades) Jerusalem was shared equally by Jews, Christians and Muslims. They lived in peace, worshipped in peace and interrelated on a daily basis, socially and economically.

    War and conflict is a good read - peace is boring.

    It's all there Kath, just sometimes we have to go looking for it.

  8. Of course there are good muslims as well as bad. Same goes for the christians, Jus. Ditto mormons, atheists etc.
    However, you do not have christian jewish or (atheist) suicide bombers, who think they are doing the will of God.(as you do with muslims)
    If it were just a few isolated incidents I would say, sure, just a few extremist nutters.However this is not the case. Muslims are routinely exhorted to commit "jihad" on the infidels, by their muslim leaders.
    One must even be careful not to malign the name of Mohammed, for fear of severe retribution from followers. Remember the death "fatwa" issued by Khomeini for Salman Rushdie, because of his "Satanic Verses " novel? He spent about 10 years underground fearing for his life.
    Could you imagine the Pope issuing such an edict for literature(of which there is heaps)that derides and mocks Jesus and his mother?

    Jesus in the new testament said, "turn the other cheek!"

    "Love your neighbour as yourself!"

    The Qur'an, on the other hand says
    Mohammed is the Apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are merciful to one another, but ruthless to unbelievers. Surah 48:29

    And this, Kill the mushrikun(unbelievers)wherever you find them, and capture them and beseige them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. Surah9:5

    And finally this,
    Fight against such of those who have been given the scripture (christians and Jews)as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by his messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.Suri 9:29.
    There are many more examples, but you get the picture.
    The God of Muslims is revealed as a tyrant, who demands muslims and everyone else submit to him!
    However in the New Testament Jesus revealed a loving and merciful God, who gave all a free will(therin lies the rub!)
    There ain't much love going down in the Qur'an Justin.
    Is it any wonder that fanatacism and extremism are rife in that religion.

    Speaking personally and as a Catholic, I have no recollection of Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul exhorting Catholics to smite those who do not believe in Catholicism.

    Both popes have constantly spoke out against war and injustice. Both opposed the war in Iraq.
    Both are men of peace and serenity.

    The problem here Justin is the Muslim religion.
    It, unfortunately is not a very loving, forgiving or peaceful religion. (Though many of it's followers have been deluded into thinking that it is)

    It's all there in the Qua'rn.

  9. Anonymous5:04 PM

    From Nazi to protector of child molestors.

    Is the Pope a good Christian?

    From Wiki:

    "Roman Catholics spent $615 million dollars on sex abuse cases in 2007.

    Failure to report criminal acts to police:

    From a legal perspective, the most serious offense, aside from the incidents of child sexual abuse themselves, was the active institutional cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church's most senior Church leaders for failing to report these felonies to the police.

    In response to the failure to report abuse to the police, lawmakers have changed the law to make reporting of abuse to police compulsory. An example of this can be found in Massachusetts, USA.

    An internal church document called the Crimen Sollicitationis ordered that sex abuse cases fell under the exclusive purview of the Vatican and imposed a code of silence on all involved in these cases- including the victims of rape. Those who reported molestation to the police were liable to be excommunicated. The policy was enforced by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, as head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."

    Our current Pope may be forgiven for being a young Nazi in his youth but any adult who covers up child molestation in the name of the faith is no Christian.

    Now some will argue the above doc was merely misunderstood, but the behaviour and cover up of the Catholic Church in relation to such crimes says it all.

    No where does the above document deal with the poor victims.

    Read one Priests take on it here

    The Catholic Church is rich, very rich and has a long history of grubbiness, torture, rape and greed.

    I wonder what Jesus would say about all this?

    Quoting stuff from the Quarn is like quoting stuff from the Bible.

    Me - I don't particularly care what people say it's what they do that counts.

    The Christian Church hierarchies have consistently exposed themselves as not being very Christian at all, in the same way Muslim hierarchies do the same.

    It's all about control and power.

  10. "From Nazi to protector of child molestors." sighs.. shakes head.
    You are entitled to your opinion Jus.
    However, you are off on a tangent my love.This post is about terrorism.

    The facts speak for themselves.
    Only muslims, today ,in this, the 21st century blow up non muslims in the name of God, expecting a reward when they get to heaven.

    Atheists don't do it!
    Christians don't do it!
    Jews don't do it!
    Buddhists don't do it!

    "Me, I don't particularly care what people say, it's what they do that counts."


  11. Anonymous7:57 PM

    This thread is not only about terrorism it is about Muslim terrorism and a specific type of Muslim terrorist: the suicide bomber.

    Muslims do not have a monopoly on suicide bombing. But some would encourage us to believe same.

    In the same way Catholic priests do not have a monopoly on molesting children or more correctly young teenage males. But some would encourage us to believe same.

    We have to be careful when the media and opportunists fill our heads with stuff that may focus our attention in an unbalanced manner.

    Yes some claiming to be Muslims blow themselves up and in the process blow up non Muslims AND fellow Muslims alike.

    That said you may find the pioneers of modern day suicide bombings were not Muslims but Tamil Tigers who blew up a Sri Lankan president and an Indian prime minister. These guys were Hindu nationalists seeking independence from Sri Lanka, and they are still at it.

    I’ve read that the half of the suicide bombings in Lebanon since 1983 were secular communists opposing the Israeli occupation, not Muslims.

    Japanese Kamikaze pilots flew their bomb laden Zeros into allied shipping and such from 1943 onwards; and they were followers of Shintoism.

    In this the 21st century there has definitely been an increase in suicide bombings especially in Iraq where such a thing was unknown before March 2003.

    How many suicide bombings did we hear about prior 2003?

    One is tempted to ask: why is this so?

    Maybe it has something to do with a “good” Christian President and his (mainly Jewish) neoconservative supporters and puppet masters who encouraged a cowardly attack on a nation that knew not of suicide bombers.

    I suppose it is easy to call a suicide bomber a Muslim terrorist.

    It is also easy to call somebody who drops a Daisy Cutter or the equivalent from 20,000 feet on innocent people a freedom fighter or a noble warrior especially when they fight our illegal wars.

    I suppose if the Muslim “freedom fighter” had B52s and Daisy Cutters there would be no need to blow themselves up.

    To me they are all terrorists regardless of religion or race.

    The only thing that differs is the bullshit. (And when it comes to bullshit I usually follow the money trail).

    As far as the current influx of suicide bombings go maybe we should be asking ourselves some pretty direct questions; like -could our behaviour in the Middle East have something to do with it?

    Invasion, occupation, torture, murder, rape and theft.

    But interested parties don't want us to focus on that.

    Also we hear many cases of of school kids in America murdering their fellow students then kill themselves. These guys aren’t called Christian suicide terrorists; just troubled students with a grievance.

    BTW; I’ve read stats that reveal it is not Catholics churchies who predominately molest children; it’s Protestant churchies.

    PS. I reckon if someone dropped a bloody big bomb on my family (for no good reason) I'd be quite happy to strap a bomb around my waste and murder the fuckers - wouldn't you?

  12. Two crucial problems are crystal clear:

    - the largely empty resort to what a "real" Christian or "real" Muslim believes or does (or any other religion of choice). This leads to running around in ever decreasing circles over who has dibs on defining the "real" nature of any belief, or the "real" basis of any action undertaken in the name of one's religion of choice.

    - Muslims primarily blow up other Muslims, which is exactly the way it has been for thousands of years.

    Apart from that, Jesus was a radical, an individualist, he was the original non-conformist. Funny thing is, a contemporary Jesus wouldn't be 'singing from the same hymn book' as any existing religion, is my guess.

  13. Anonymous10:17 PM

    There is a great little monologue by Lenny Bruce involving Christ and Moses returning to Earth, passing through East Harlem and observing people living in squalor, 25 to a room and so on.

    The local Cardinal became aware that the pair we approaching and shit himself about having to explain his grand residence and riches while his subjects lived in poverty.

    When the pair arrived Jesus remarked that his ring was so expensive it could support all the people they had seen living in poverty.

    Sums it up really.

    A real Christian or a real Muslim is one that agrees with your personal interpretation of your faith. If they don't then they are not the real McCoy.

    Your right (once again Caz) if Jesus were here today he would not know what the hell Christianity was.

    Besides Jesus was a Jew and as the song goes:

    They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore

  14. There are so many irksome, and real, stories on all sides Justin.

    Mother Theresa squirreled away tens of millions of dollars of donations, refusing to even buy new needles, preferring reuse of blunt needles on sick, dying people. The morality of that has always eluded me.

  15. Anonymous10:59 PM

    Shit why did she do that? What was she going to use all that cash for I wonder.

    Maybe that's the going price of Sainthood these days, ten milion bucks and you get the gong so to speak.

    Twenty mil and you get the gong and a cloud overlooking the golf course.

    Forty mil and you get 72,000 bottles of scotch to drink while overlooking the golf course with your gong.

    I wonder what you'd get for a billion bucks?

    Maybe a liver that can handle 72,000 bottles of scotch - but does one need a liver in heaven?

    Where's Father Park when we need him?

  16. It would seem that Mother Theresa was committed to (inflicting) the redemptive powers of suffering rather than alleviating suffering.

    Not as though she's the only one though. Many have taken up charity and eschewed all humanity in the same breath.

    Father is away for the week, not returning until the weekend.

  17. In case you're interested Michael Burleigh has a blog at http://michaelburleigh.com/wordpress/

  18. Why thank you MCB, much appreciated. I didn't think to look him up, but there he is, a real live blogger, just like us normal people.

    Some heavy stuff there. Looks like he has found his life's work.