Wednesday, December 24, 2008

From Mark Steyn, Journalist Extraordinaire

Mark Steyn
Since I am on vacation, I decided to cut and paste some of my favorite articles, enjoy!

This is a fantastic article by one of my favorite commentators, Mark Steyn. If you don't know him, look him up on the Internet. He wrote a book, America Alone, a simple and to the point study of the West and Islam. By the way, he is not Jewish.

WHO'S VULNERABLE? Mark Steyn on the World Saturday, 13
December 2008

Shortly after the London Tube bombings in 2005, a reader of Tim Blair, the
Sydney Daily Telegraph's columnar wag, sent him a note-perfect parody of a
typical newspaper headline: "British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow's
Train Bombing."Indeed. And so it goes.

This time round - Bombay - it was the Associated Press that filed a story
about how Muslims "found themselves on the defensive once again about bloodshed
linked to their religion."Oh, I don't know about that. In fact, you'd be hard
pressed from most news reports to figure out the bloodshed was "linked" to any
religion, least of all one beginning with "I-" and ending in "-slam." In the
three years since those British bombings, the media have more or less entirely
abandoned the offending formulations - "Islamic terrorists," "Muslim extremists"
- and by the time of the assault on Bombay found it easier just to call the
alleged perpetrators "militants" or "gunmen" or "teenage gunmen," as in the
opening line of this report in the Australian: "An Adelaide woman in India for
her wedding is lucky to be alive after teenage gunmen ran amok." Kids today, eh?
Always running amok in an aimless fashion.

The veteran British TV anchor Jon Snow, on the other hand, opted for the
more cryptic locution "practitioners." "Practitioners" of what, exactly? Hard to
say. And getting harder. Tom Gross produced a jaw-dropping round-up of Bombay
media coverage: The discovery that, for the first time in an Indian terrorist
atrocity, Jews had been attacked, tortured, and killed produced from the New
York Times a serene befuddlement: "It is not known if the Jewish center was
strategically chosen, or if it was an accidentalhostage scene." Hmm. Greater
Bombay forms one of the world's five biggest cities. It has a population of
nearly 20 million. But only one Jewish center, located in a building that gives
no external clue as to the bounty waiting therein. An "accidental hostage scene"
that one of the "practitioners" just happened to stumble upon? "I must be the
luckiest jihadist in town. What are the odds?"

Meanwhile, the New Age guru Deepak Chopra laid all the blame on American
foreign policy for "going after the wrong people" and inflaming moderates, and
"that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in
Bombay."Really? The inflammation just "appears"? Like a bad pimple? The "fairer"
we get to the, ah, inflamed militant practitioners, the unfairer we get to
everyone else. At the Chabad House, the murdered Jews were described in almost
all the Western media as "ultra-Orthodox," "ultra-" in this instance being less
a term of theological precision than a generalized code for "strange, weird
people, nothing against them personally, but they probably shouldn't have been
over there in the first place." Are they stranger or weirder than their killers?

Two "inflamed moderates" entered the ChabadHouse, shouted "Allahu Akbar!,"
tortured the Jews and murdered them, including the young Rabbi's pregnant wife.
Their two-year-old child escaped because of a quick-witted (non-Jewish) nanny
who hid in a closet and then, risking being mown down by machine-gun fire, ran
with him to safety.

The Times was being silly in suggesting this was just an "accidental"
hostage opportunity - and not just because, when Muslim terrorists capture Jews,
it's not a hostage situation, it's a mass murder-in-waiting. The sole surviving
"militant" revealed that the Jewish center had been targeted a year in advance.

The 28-year-old rabbi was Gavriel Holtzberg. His pregnant wife was Rivka
Holtzberg. Their orphaned son is Moshe Holtzberg, and his brave nanny is Sandra
Samuels. Remember their names, not because they're any more important than the
Indians, Britons, and Americans targeted in the attack on Bombay, but because
they are an especially revealing glimpse into the pathologies of the

In a well-planned attack on iconic Bombay landmarks symbolizing great power
and wealth, the "militants" nevertheless found time to divert 20 percent of
their manpower to torturing and killing a handful of obscure Jews helping the
city's poor in a nondescript building. If they were just "teenage gunmen" or
"militants" in the cause of Kashmir, engaged in a more or less conventional
territorial dispute with India, why kill the only rabbi in Bombay?

Dennis Prager got to the absurdity of it when he invited his readers to
imagine Basque separatists attacking Madrid: "Would the terrorists take time out
to murder all those in the Madrid Chabad House? The idea is ludicrous." And yet
we take it for granted that Pakistani "militants" in a long-running border
dispute with India would take time out of their hectic schedule to kill Jews.

In going to ever more baroque lengths to avoid saying "Islamic" or "Muslim"
or "terrorist," we have somehow managed to internalize the pathologies of these
men.We are enjoined to be "understanding," and we're doing our best.

A Minnesotan suicide bomber (now there's a phrase) originally from Somalia
returned to the old country and blew up himself and 29 other people last
October. His family prevailed upon your government to have his parts (or as many
of them as could be sifted from the debris) returned to the United States at
taxpayer expense and buried in Burnsville Cemetery. Well, hey, in the current
climate, what's the big deal about a federal bailout of jihad operational
expenses? If that's not "too big to fail," what is?

Last week, a Canadian critic reprimanded me for failing to understand that
Muslims feel "vulnerable." Au contraire, they project tremendous cultural
confidence, as well they might: They're the world's fastest-growing population.
A prominent British Muslim announced the other day that, when the United Kingdom becomes a Muslim state, non-Muslims will be required to wear insignia
identifying them as infidels. If he's feeling "vulnerable," he's doing a
terrific job of covering it up.

We are told that the "vast majority" of the 1.6-1.8 billion Muslims (in
Deepak Chopra's estimate) are "moderate." Maybe so, but they're also quiet. And,
as the AIDs activists used to say, "Silence=Acceptance." It equals acceptance of
the things done in the name of their faith.

Rabbi Holtzberg was not murdered because of a territorial dispute over
Kashmir or because of Bush's foreign policy. He was murdered in the name of
Islam - "Allahu Akbar."

I wrote in my book, America Alone, that "reforming" Islam is something only Muslims can do. But they show very little sign of being interested in doing it, and the rest of us are inclined to accept that. Spread a rumor that a Koran got flushed down the can at Gitmo, and there'll be rioting throughout the Muslim world. Publish some dull cartoons in a minor Danish newspaper, and there'll be protests around the planet. But slaughter the young pregnant wife of a rabbi in Bombay in the name of Allah, and that's just business as usual. And, if it is somehow "understandable" that for the first time in history it's no longer safe for a Jew to live in India, then
we are greasing the skids for a very slippery slope. Muslims, the AP headline
informs us, "worry about image." Not enough.

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