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A man kills someone whilst shouting “Allahu Akbar”, but…

When I saw this, I thought…

A German man suffering from psychiatric problems stabbed four people at a train station near Munich early on Tuesday, killing one man and wounding three more in an attack investigators said did not appear to be politically motivated.

Witnesses said the alleged assailant, a 27-year-old unemployed carpenter, attacked his first victim shouting “Allahu Akbar” (‘God is Greatest’ in Arabic). Some witnesses said they also heard him shout “infidels must die“.

…Well thank goodness this killing has nothing to do with the killer’s Islamic political beliefs. Good to know. Because if he had been motivated by Islam, presumably he would have shouted something like “The best döner kebabs in München are on Leonrodstraße and I’ll kill anyone who says otherwise!”

Yeah, nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

UPDATE to linked article: “Investigators said the suspect may have converted to Islam but there was no indication that he had been radicalized“.

…presumably because as everyone knows, killing a stranger with a knife whilst shouting “Allahu Akhbar” is not an indication of radicalization, and therefore he must be a common or garden variety nutter.

94 comments to A man kills someone whilst shouting “Allahu Akbar”, but…

  • PapayaSF

    For a while now, I have been pointing out the problem with the libertarian principle of “free movement”: what if a bunch of anti-libertarians want to move to your country and reduce liberty? Why should libertarians just roll over and sacrifice all other libertarian principles?

    Well, Europe is now faced with that problem, in spades. You are importing millions of people whose religion not only predisposes them to be anti-libertarian, but actually anti-Western/Enlightenment values as well. For devout Muslims, there is no separation of church and state. Women, gays, Jews, non-believers do not have equal rights. Blasphemy and apostasy are severely punished. Etc. It’s suicidal for the West to allow mass immigration by Muslims.

  • Alisa

    I highly recommend reading this (HT to Nick Gray, or whatever it is he calls himself these days).

  • lucklucky

    It is the Reuters. For example in Reuters Isrealis “die” but Palestinians are “killed” . But they use “die” for Palestinians in special circumstances like this Reuters headline “Palestinian die in ramming attack.” Well he was the driver doing the ramming…

    Ihe biggest western world problem is its journalism.

  • Mr Ed

    He voz only givink orders!

  • Mr Ed

    And meanwhile in Manchester, the police force was trying to irecreate a terrorist attack… And is now makong the ritual Maoist confession…

    Police who staged a mock attack featuring a bomber shouting “Allahu Akbar” have been forced to apologise for racial stereotyping.
    The exercise – criticised for using a fake “Muslim terrorist” – was to test the response of emergency services.
    Eight hundred volunteers took part in the overnight drill to make it as realistic as possible.
    Greater Manchester Police said the event at the Trafford Centre was not linked to any specific terror threat.
    Manchester peace activist Dr Erinma Bell criticised the use of a “Muslim terrorist”.
    She said “a terrorist can be anyone” and “we need to move away from stereotypes”.

    I suppose if they’d used a real Muslim terrorist, Dr Bell would have had no grounds for complaint.

  • For a while now, I have been pointing out the problem with the libertarian principle of “free movement”

    You have indeed been pointing that out and you are still wrong. The problem is not the “libertarian principle of free movement”, it is the “statist principle of subsidised freeish movement”.

    What is happening in Germany and elsewhere is not the “libertarian principle of free movement” in action, it is a perfect storm of welfare statism, forcible destruction of civil society’s ability to assimilate and/or integrate via negative feedback (discrimination by property owners and freely expressed negative views), and a refusal to actually confront disorder by politically protected groups. There is nothing “libertarian” about any of that.

  • PapayaSF

    The welfare state is indeed part of the problem, but not all of it. Even without the “subsidy,” I don’t see how a libertarian state can defend itself against mass immigration by people who wish to change it.

    As for assimilation, there is very little evidence that Muslims assimilate well. There’s a pretty direct correlation between the percentage of Muslims in a society, and how un-libertarian that society is. There’s also the issue that many of the immigrants are barely literate, even in Arabic. In short, I don’t think mass immigration can be dealt with within what I understand as standard libertarian dogma. Here’s a better view.

  • Mr Ed

    But suppose a bunch of say, 300 armed extremists move to a country like Monaco, with no welfare, and stage a coup?

    Abolishing welfare for those from elsewhere would be an important step to removing the taxis that draws hostile elements. To me what PapayaSF is saying is essentially that one should apply an element of methodological individualism to would-be settlers, and reject those who would be likely to be hostile if not definitely hostile, whereas at present, they get welfare, legal aid and legal protection.

  • Alisa

    It is not just welfare, Ed – you may have not read Perry’s comment in its entirety.

  • Stonyground

    These repeated claims that this or that incident had nothing to do with the religion of peace are like the infamous comb-over hairstyle. Both are ridiculous and fool nobody.

  • Alisa

    Sorry, that comment should have been addressed to PapaySF.

  • PapayaSF

    I did read the whole comment, I just didn’t address a few of his points. And perhaps my response made it sound like I missed them. To be complete, yes, both of these are issues as well:

    forcible destruction of civil society’s ability to assimilate and/or integrate via negative feedback (discrimination by property owners and freely expressed negative views) and a refusal to actually confront disorder by politically protected groups

    But like the welfare state, both of those things are not likely to change anytime soon. Therefore, stopping mass immigration is the sensible thing.

  • The welfare state is indeed part of the problem, but not all of it.


    Even without the “subsidy,” I don’t see how a libertarian state can defend itself against mass immigration by people who wish to change it.

    Re-read the rest of my comment. That’s how.

  • PapayaSF

    So if millions of Muslims move to Europe, the “solution” is to allow individuals to discriminate against them? I share the libertarian support for freedom of association and distaste for anti-discrimination laws, but I don’t think what would amount to starting a low-level (at best) civil war is more protective of liberty than controlling immigration at the border.

  • Alisa

    But like the welfare state, both of those things are not likely to change anytime soon. Therefore, stopping mass immigration is the sensible thing.

    Possibly, but that has nothing to do with libertarianism.

  • PeterT


    If discrimination is allowed, then those who do not conform to common standards of good behaviour will not be invited onto private property. The problem is that so very much of the space we live in is controlled by a state that is not willing to demand standards of its residents. Personally, I do not relish the idea of living in an Ancap society where I can choose to reside between ‘googletown’ or ‘mumsnetville’ (lets face it; both would be total police states) so I have warmed to the idea of borders and managed immigration. But that is my preference; it doesn’t somehow prove that libertarianism cannot survive immigration.

  • PapayaSF

    It has a lot to do with liberty. More Muslims mean less freedom, as history shows and the recent experience of Europe indicates.

    Another point: libertarians are supposedly concerned about government surveillance, so why support importing people the government needs to surveil?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Like PapayaSF (San Francisco?) i have been pushing my own theory of immigration for a while, and i’m doing so again.
    My theory is a change of perspective: the basic question is not _whether_ the ruling classes _should_ be allowing/encouraging Muslim immigration; the question is how Muslim immigration benefits the ruling classes. (No conscious intent implied in any individual member of the ruling classes.)
    My theory is that the Western ruling classes benefits from un-assimilated immigrants, because such immigrants trigger xenophobic reactions, and the Western ruling classes legitimize themself by claiming to protect minorities.
    If this theory is correct, then neither closing off Muslim immigration, nor the libertarian measures that Perry advocates, are going to happen; not unless we the people confront the ruling classes about their vested interests.
    But how can we do that? to confront the ruling class, we need to get organized; and once we get organized, we have effectively created an alternative ruling class; which is what is happening in the US with Donald, in France with Marine, and in other countries too; though perhaps no other country is as worrying as the US and France.

  • PapayaSF

    Snorri, you are correct. Just as was revealed years ago in a Labour memo, they want to import new voters who will vote for them. Plus, there’s a not-so-hidden desire to change Western society to make it more multicultural and thus “fight racism.” (Though of course multicultural societies often have more racial antagonism.) It means more jobs for “diversity counselors” and so on. And more need for government surveillance.

    “When I was a Revolutionary Marxist, we were all in favour of as much immigration as possible. It wasn’t because we liked immigrants, but because we didn’t like Britain. We saw immigrants – from anywhere – as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was at the end of the Sixties. Also, we liked to feel oh, so superior to the bewildered people – usually in the poorest parts of Britain – who found their neighbourhoods suddenly transformed into supposedly ‘vibrant communities’. If they dared to express the mildest objections, we called them bigots.” —Peter Hitchens

    (And yes, I am in San Francisco.)

  • Alisa

    (And yes, I am in San Francisco.)

    Are condolences in order? 😛

  • Alisa

    Snorri’s point is a good one.

  • Alisa

    More Muslims mean less freedom, as history shows and the recent experience of Europe indicates.

    No, it isn’t. And no, it doesn’t. Europe was never free, not for extended periods or large enough areas. That’s the whole point: Europe is not free not because of Muslims, but because of its own governments.

    Also, I suggest you read the article I linked to at the top of this thread – it doesn’t paint a rosy picture of the Muslim immigration to Europe by any means, but it does shed some light on its aspects that get absolutely no exposure anywhere.

  • PapayaSF

    I’m not saying that Europe was ever perfectly free, but more Muslims are reducing the amount of liberty there: less freedom for women, Jews, and gays, more surveillance, more anti-terror security, and more welfare spending.

    As for SF, I try not to talk politics with many people here. And being a (mostly) libertarian, it really cuts into my dating options. Some months ago, at the end of an otherwise promising first date, I made the mistake of answering a question about the election. I dissed all the candidates. She asked about Bernie Sanders, and I said he had a grasp of economics like the college hippies I knew in the ’70s. “He thinks there’s a connection between people being poor and ‘too many’ brands of deodorant! Haha!” This ended the date rather abruptly….

  • Alisa

    but more Muslims are reducing the amount of liberty there: less freedom for women, Jews, and gays, more surveillance, more anti-terror security, and more welfare spending.

    That is simply not true, as Muslims are not the one making laws in Europe.

    Well, you do have my condolences then 🙁 But hey, the climate and the food are great…

  • PapayaSF

    Whether they make the laws is not the point. Harassing Jews and gays and women is already illegal, but more of that is happening. More Muslims also means more terror and thus more reason for surveillance. More welfare cases mean more welfare spending. And at least in the UK, more Muslims means more voters who support Labour, and thus more statism. So yes, more Muslims reduces liberty in Europe.

  • Cal

    A middle Eastern-looking guy shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘Die infidels’ while he shoots people apparently isn’t even a prima facie sign that you’re a radical Muslim. But anyone else shooting people is a sure-fire sign that they’re a Tea Party member. Even after they turn out to be a registered Democrat with left-wing views.

  • So if millions of Muslims move to Europe, the “solution” is to allow individuals to discriminate against them?

    If there are few jobs because people are not forced to hire you, even if you are clearly not integrated and expect the host society to adapt to you… and no welfare… and people are free to pour scorn upon your nightmarish religion, yes, I think that would go a really really long way to changing things. The ones who stick around anyway are probably ok and actually do want to integrate.

    If this had been true twenty years ago, we would not be where we are now.

  • Chip

    The Quakers in Pennsylvania were among the earliest libertarians and they wrestled with the question if migration into their territory.

    They decided it went against their principles to judge who could live there.

    Where ate the Quakers today?

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    The term ‘Libertarian’ is a broad term. I tend towards a minarchist approach, like how the Swiss have arranged their Confederation. And they still protect their borders. So it is possible to be a libertarian, and still have borders. You might want to speak to the Anarcho-capitalists about that.
    Thanks, Alisa, for the comment. Nothing as good in any other articles yet, but I’ll keep reading them, so you don’t have to!

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    Well, the Quakers invaded Amerindian territory first, so at least they weren’t being hypocrits by letting other people come in! Quakers are still around- I saw one on QI the other night, as a guest.

  • Sergeant Popwell

    Soft bigotry of low expectations, amirite?

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    If these aren’t political or religious comments, then we must be hearing him wrong. I wonder if they are all trying to say, “I want a hug, is that clear!?”

  • Jason

    Western nanny states think we’re stupid. More than half the time, they’re right in thinking so. sigh

  • Chip

    “The Quakers are honest men and do no harm.” – Algonquin chief

    The Quakers under Penn immediately signed a peace treaty and lived peaceablly with the Indians . Quakers didn’t do invasion, and their notions of female equality, live and let live, and non violence were ahead of their time.

    But, again, where are they today? It’s not enough to be good if you can’t defend against the bad.

  • Josh B

    I think that what PapayaSF has been trying to point out is a fundamental tension within any democratic system: that the “government” can only ever do anything through the threat or actual use of force/violence and, therefore, a government “of” the people can become an instrument used to beat your neighbor over the head and take her stuff. That is why a shared history of morality, norms and “moral sentiments” that make such behavior “immoral” (since by definition those in control of the government through the vote can ensure it is not “illegal”) are essential to a free society. The worry is that mass migrations over short periods of time from areas of the world without this background will not have these norms – and worse, their only experience may be that when you get power use it or it will be used against you. I am the son of immigrants, married to an immigrant, and currently myself an immigrant. But I’m not sure how to fit this round peg into the square hole.

  • bobby b

    “Investigators said the suspect may have converted to Islam but there was no indication that he had been radicalized“.”

    Translation: He holds no membership in any right-of-center organization.

    The Quakers in Pennsylvania . . . Where are the Quakers today?”

    Pennsylvania, and everywhere else. Last I remember, they had something short of half a million members.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Josh: Very well said.

    . . .

    Where are the Quakers today? Well, here they are running the American Friends Service Committee, among other things; I forget what the international version is called.

    The AFCS has not been uniformly helpful in trying to keep Communists and other misbegotten groups from trying to eat decent folk. See, for instance, the section on the American Friends Service Committee at


    –scroll down a short way to find that section of the article.

    From the Foot of All Knowledge:

    “The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) founded organization working for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world. [SNIP]”

    From AFSC’s “About” page:

    Who we are

    The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action.

    Caveat: I have no idea of whether this outfit has some sort of formal blessing from whatever formally constituted official body the Quakers may recognize as their sect’s PTB. One would hardly want to mistakenly suggest that the Quaker Oats Man stands with United for Peace and Justice in the project to destroy the West, or at least anybody friendly to America.

    Be that as it may, here are three of my Rules for Avoiding Deathtraps:

    Rule 1. Never trust an organization that brags about its mission of fostering “peace and justice.”

    Rule 2. Never trust an organization or initiative with the word “Common” in its title. CommonDreams, CommonPurpose, etc.

    Rule 3. WikiFootia: Sometimes “Trust but verify verify verify.” (Or skip the “trust” part and move right on to “verify.”) But in many cases, simply Do Not Trust.

  • The article Alisa links to (May 10, 2016 at 6:12 pm, 2nd comment in thread) is interesting. It chimes with occasional experience I’ve come across even before 9/11. The muslim world contains many who find the muslim faith inadequate, just as the western world is filled with people like us who want to escape from PC, and Hitler’s Germany was full of people who disliked it. You can assess the likelihood these converting muslims will save us from the dangers their colleagues cause us (and them) by considering the likelihood that we will save the save the western world from PC rule, or the actual history of the various forms of German resistance to Hitler. Against PC, I hope we’ll win the odd battle – gain Brexit, for example – but I can see how far we are from gaining the upper hand, let alone winning, the war; our current state seems nearer 1940 than 1943, let alone 1945. What Alisa’s article talks about is very real, but emphatically not reason to see a less threatening future. Although I stand by the prediction of my poem of who are the most immediate targets, the converted that the article talks about may be in line right after that.

  • Alisa

    Like I said, Niall, the picture is far from rosy. However, my main point was to show that the mere fact that a person was born and raised Muslim, does not make that person more of a threat than one who was born and raised a Progressive – people can change their opinions and positions (unlike maybe their personalities), and they often do, for better and worse.

    And the simple fact remains that a lot of lily-white Europeans and even Americans are in fact born and raised Progressive, and they also reach positions of real power. They are also the ones who not only force the mass immigration of Muslims (some of whom would not have immigrated otherwise) on the rest of us, but are actively preventing these immigrants from assimilating and becoming productive members of their adoptive society. Is any of that the fault of Islam? Islam does have many very serious faults (an understatement, I know), but that isn’t one of them.

  • Alisa

    I also realize now that I may have given the impression that I support mass immigration of Muslims to the West under current conditions – which I emphatically do not. My problem is that many of the others who oppose this immigration, such as PapaySF, are doing so for reasons that are different from mine (which obviously makes them the wrong reasons 😛 ).

  • NickM

    “Where ate the Quakers today?” says Chip.

    Well some of them ate at the meeting house today. I know I’m the fucking warden. They are on the rise round here (North East Cheshire/South Manchester). They can be annoying as Hell because they resemble an Entmoot. But overall their hearts in the right place but try getting them to release funds for a lawnmower… Jesus would have wept. They have (here) been discussing the creation of a website for over a decade…

    But amazingly they are on the rise.

    PS. I have sort of decided, sort of, to design a website for them as a fait accompli. Why? Well we take bookings (we have three yoga groups for a start) and something with a calendar which is editable by The Chosen – me and my wife would be useful. Any ideas because I’m not gonna break my back over it.

  • Ljh

    Islam does not acknowledge equality before the law(women, kufaar, slaves)
    nor freedom of conscience (gay/lesbian, apostate)
    nor freedom of speech (no debate over Muslim religious belief and values, no criticism of Mohammed (sex with nine year olds, murder of hostages, murder of critics including elderly female poet, genocide, slavery, concubinage) no drawing him nor any music other than reciting the Q.
    Islam represents the antithesis of a post Enlightenment free society, to ignore that is cultural suicide. The only migrants we should embrace are those fleeing Islam not bringing it with them.

  • Alisa

    The only migrants we should embrace are those fleeing Islam not bringing it with them.

    Indeed. Question is, how do you tell them apart?

  • JohnK

    Give them a bacon sandwich?

  • Mr Ed

    Question is, how do you tell them apart?

    There is, in Portugal, a dish that is a clam and pork stew, carne de porco a alentejana,that was reputed to have been a test for those ‘Moors and Marranos’ (Muslims and Jews) who stayed behind after the expulsions on the basis of their having converted to Christianity. The idea being that only a true converso would consume it without hesitation.

    I doubt that this stew would be the basis of a sensible proposition today, if it ever was. Some Jews reportedly remained in Belmonte, Portugal as an ostensibly Christian community before coming out (with appalling timing) in 1928, only for the Axis to loom as a mortal threat in the next 16 years. Had the Spanish Civil War gone the other way, one can’t really have seen the Wehrmacht stopping at the Portuguese border with Lisbon harbour as a prize in the event of the removal of the Spanish Bolsheviks.

  • Alisa

    I doubt that too, Ed. I asked what I think of as a serious question.

  • lucklucky

    What is this libertarian principle of “free movement”?
    If a country is property of their inhabitants they can do as they please. That is libertarian.

    And we have the question in BBC radio, that organization that only exist because of the state violence, year 2016 of XXI Century:

    Should Muslim women be allowed to travel more than 48 miles from home without a chaperone?


  • Mr Ed


    It was a ‘problem’ to the Christian rules of Spain and Portugal, and absent a religious test, what can one do? How can one test for the absence of a religion?

    No doubt about it, we are in a stew.

  • Watchman


    I am trying to work out why you are comparing a religion to a society? Exactly the same would apply if we swapped Islam out and put Judaism or Christianity (or quite a lot of other religions) in that passage.

    But it is quite possible to have Islamic countries which allow equality and freedom of conscience – the largest Islamic country in the world does this for example (Indonesia if you’ve missed it). Just as nominally Christian countries (the UK springs to mind) can also do it. Or nominally non-religious countries can have problems with some of these principles (not all the population of the US would agree with them, and I don’t believe North Korea has an official state religion.).

    So I think you have a philosophical problem here: whilst you are right a literalist interpretation of Islam is incompatable with modern society, this is not in fact what anyone other than the idiot fringe of Muslims want (I guess you don’t meet many Muslims if you don’t know that). And a literalist interpretation of any religion is also incompatable with modern society, since it requires literally following the religious rules and this rules out freedom of choice and the like. So you are correct, but you are only correct because you are comparing one way of following holy writ with something totally different. It’s not actually a very useful insight.

    And if you are a believer in freedom it is a dangerous insight to follow, because it suggests you think of followers of a religion as something different from free individuals who can make their own choices. Islam has no churches, so in fact has less doctrine than Christianity – so if we group all Muslims together we are denying them the right to be individuals because of a single facet of their identity. How does this make us different from the progressives with their identity politics? What does this sort of statement do to the Muslim with libertarian beliefs? And why do your statements not also apply to Jews or Christians, Hindus or Budhists? Don’t confuse the religion with the idiot fringe, which is no more valid than confusing us with the supposedly freedom-loving militias in the US.

  • Alisa

    Mmm, stew…

  • Watchman


    I can answer that – yes. The ruling the idiots based it on said women should travel no more than three days from their homes without a chaperone (not actually that illiberal at the time). The idiots in Blackburn tried to apply eighth-century conditions by arguing that it should only apply to walking distance (apparently they missed the fact that Islam does not stop women riding horses or other animals if they want to travel…). However, even if you accept the three days ruling (which you might if you were that sort of believer) there is nothing to say that you can’t take modern transport – the joy of texts from the first millenium is that they tend not to ban travel by modern technology – apart from easily disputed modern interpreations. So the entire world is less than three days away, which means that if these nice bunch of self-appointed morons in Blackburn are correct women can be allowed to travel anywhere on the planet without a chaperone.

    But the BBC wouldn’t be so sensible as to point this out I presume. After all, apparently we have to take nutters seriously if they have religious (or the correct sort of political) ‘justification’.

  • Ljh

    Watchman: Islam as a religion embraces all aspects of life from what foot you should use to enter the toilet, the prayer to deter djinn lurking there, the use of hand and running water to cleanse; with whom you are permitted to be friends; the abode of a widow under a male relative’s roof, even if hergreat grandson; at what age children of a dissolved marriage must be handed to the father (two for boys, seven for girls ); you would be surprised that many outwardly assimilated muslims continue in their observance of these minutiae, varying only slighly according to which of the four legal schools they adhere to. A first step would be the insistence of humane slaughter of animals, banning of hijab and burka in public places; absolute bans on antisemitism and jihad fervour in mosques and public fora; the closure of Islamic charities which cater for muslims only; the promotion of Draw Mohammed day, the promotion of debates on Islam and Mohammed; a moratorium on the building of mosques and foreign funding for them; no public funding for Muslim schools; the return to the curriculum of the long war of Islam against Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism; no exceptions in sport, art, music at school for Muslims or the provision of public prayer spaces; an insistence on civil marriage and the western distribution of assets and children on dissolution; deportation of permanent residents or dual nationality holders for undermining the principles of equality before the law, freedom of speech or freedom of conscience, Those who chose to stay could prove their assimilation by adopting a stray dog and caring for it.

  • Jordan

    If a country is property of their inhabitants they can do as they please.

    If a country is property, then the “owners” can vote to ban guns, expel gays, or mandate conversion to Islam. In short, the idea that a country is anyone’s property is lunacy.

  • Watchman


    You realise that most of what you propose there is in fact forcing people to do things against their will? Some measures are fine, but banning the wearing of the hijab is decidely illiberal, and I am always concerned if someone is putting animal welfare above human freedom. Whilst I would be very happy to break the stranglehold that adherence to an Islamic identity has in many Muslim communities in Europe at least, I would suggest doing this by trying to force people to be un-Islamic is actually not going to work (people tend to be a little bit difficult if you try and force them to do things…). And you might want to ask some historians of the Jews whether a lot of what your propose sounds vaguely familiar to them – or indeed, ask persecuted minorities in Islamic countries. Either you believe in freedom and self-determination for all (and encourage it) or you are some form of collectivist, using identity politics in the same way as the self-proclaimed progressives as an excuse to treat people differently and to take away their freedom of choice. Ultimately you either believe people are capable of deciding for themselves or you try and dictate to us all – dividing us into groups and acting in ways targetted to those groups is just a way of trying to exert control.

    Incidentally, I would not be at all surprised by the extent of Islamic teaching (although not the Qu’ran itself, which is a very small book for a major religious text) into all aspects of life. But Christian teaching does the same. And as with Christianity, most Muslims pick and choose what to follow in fairly random fashion which involves choice, upbringing, education and social pressure. So which school of thought you belong to might affect how you to choose to live, but I bet what the neighbours are saying and what you did when you were growing up are much more important in most cases.

  • PapayaSF

    Watchman, Christianity and Islam aren’t quote so equivalent. The Bible was written by a bunch of people inspired by God, in a handful of different languages, over hundreds of years. The Old and New Testament are rather different. There’s a lot of room for interpretation, and all but the most ignorant Christian knows this.

    In contrast, the Koran is said to have been dictated directly to Muhammad, in the language Allah speaks. All Earthly copies are perfect copies of Allah’s copy in Heaven. All devout Muslims are “literalists” and “fundamentalists” in ways that far exceed their Christian equivalents. And while the violence in the Bible tends to be in the Old Testament and largely superseded by the New, the Koran is more peaceful in the early parts, and more violent later on.

    Ljh is correct.

  • Watchman


    You’ll excuse me if I discount your comment on the basis that for some reason you seem unable to use a single word for God. Allah is the (anglisation of the) Arab word for god, not a name (the name of God in Islam is basically the same as that is Judaism and Christianity), and Islam is explicit this is the same god as that of Abraham and Jesus (there is the famously misquoted Qu’ran phrase that simply says ‘there is no god but God’ – not ‘there is no god but Allah’ if you are using English. So you are somehow drawing an artificial distinction.

    I am intrigued to know however how you can define devout Muslims as literalist or fundamentalist and by inference devout Christians as not – especially as one does not have to travel far from San Francisco to find plenty of devout Christians who are equally literalist and fundamentalist. My problem is that you are equating devout with literalist, when in fact devout is a personal judgement – you play into the hands of the fundamentalist preachers (who believe devout means agreeing with them) by using language that makes Muslims who may well have devout piety but are not literalist appear to be non-devout. Quite why you want to follow the definitions of the preachers and there useful idiots in the progressive movement rather than let individuals decide for themselves is beyond me. Yet you would probably accept a nice person who attends church most weeks, does a bit for others and tries to live in a vaguely Christian way (with no literalist bent) as being a devout Christian, despite the fact that they do not follow the teachings of fundamentalist literalists.

    Frankly, if you believe in freedom, you cannot make an exception for Muslims. You can obviously oppose the fundamentalists, because they do not believe in freedom. But what you are doing is the fundamentalists’ work for them by defining devotion to Islam as devotion to literalist interpretations. Perhaps you should get out and talk to more Muslims and realise these are people who are fully capable of questioning texts and teachings like anyone else – but also they are people who if we try and fit into a box will eventually give up and get in that box. Ghettoisation is not a technique for challenging ideologies but rather for reinforcing them, and that is what you and Ljh seem to be suggesting – something of a surprise on a site dedicated to individual freedom.

  • Ljh

    Re banning of hijab: in a free society everyone should participate on an equal footing. Covering the face hides the identity and is a physical barrier to engagement as well as being the embodiment of male possession of the female. Masks are only appropriate at masquerades or when robbing the bank. I did not say I was against haircovering but I find that a bizarre fetish, just concealing the face.
    Abhorrence for cruelty to animals is a mark of civilisation, ritual slaughter without stunning is barbaric. Anyone who finds inflicting pain on conscious animals necessary in order to eat does not deserve to stay. If halal is their value why not go veggie?
    Islam advertises itself as a “perfect way of life” emphasising outward observance of the rules. At its core Christianity emphasises the hidden inner life to which God is privy. St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians on the supreme importance of love over outward form is a direct form.; the forgiveness of sin to the sincerely repentant is central whereas Islam prescribes execution of those who drift too far. Buddhism too encourages discipline and self denial as bringing spiritual reward, observation of ritual is but an aid.

  • Ljh

    ….”is a direct example”

  • PapayaSF

    Yeah, I know Allah = God. Sheesh. You are nitpicking and missing the point. No, there are not “plenty of devout Christians who are equally literalist and fundamentalist.” No Christian believes that Jesus wrote the Bible in the language God speaks, by taking dictation from Heaven, and that it is a perfect copy of the one God has. Everyone reads the Bible is translation, and anything translated cannot be “literal.” To a Muslim, a translation of the Koran is not really a Koran. It must be in Arabic to be “real.”

    Frankly, if you believe in freedom, you cannot make an exception for Muslims.

    If I believe in freedom, I can’t resist the people who believe it is their destiny to rule a worldwide theocracy and take away my liberty? Nonsense. Libertarianism is not a suicide pact.

  • Mr Ed

    I don’t believe North Korea has an official state religion.


    An official State philosophy (of sorts), not a religion but who’s quibbling?

    I asked a friend in North Korea how he was getting on, and he said ‘Can’t complain!’.

  • Laird

    “but banning the wearing of the hijab is decidely illiberal”

    Indeed it is, as in fact are almost all of the prescriptions Ljh offers. Which doesn’t make them wrong; it makes them unfortunate but necessary exceptions to standard libertarian principles if the only society in which libertarianism (or “liberalism” in the old-fashioned sense) can survive. Permitting the wholesale immigration of persons whose entire religion, culture and history are fundamentally illiberal is a recipe for cultural suicide. Banning the large-scale immigration of Muslims is most certainly not “libertarian”; it is, however, necessary if Western Civilization as we know it is to survive. Which makes it simply self-defense.

    Perry makes the argument that the massive influx of immigrants into Europe (and, by extension, into the US as well) is an artifact of the welfare state (along with a few other cultural phenomena which he lists). I agree that is true with respect to non-Muslim immigrants (such as the economic migrants flooding into the US from Mexico and South America). And it is undoubtedly a contributing factor to Muslim immigration, but it is neither the only nor, I think, the most important one. Cultural dilution and the placement of large numbers of co-religionists in western nations is an explicit element of the attempt to establish the Caliphate; it is a first step prior to actual armed conflict. Many of those people would be migrating even in the absence of welfare.

    Leaving all that aside, the fact remains that history demonstrates conclusively that the presence of large percentage of Muslims in a population is antithetical to a free society. There is not a single Muslim-dominated country in the world which can be remotely characterized as “free” (not even Indonesia, which Watchman offers as a counter-example; he is simply wrong). I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: Islam is a cancer on society, and if it can’t be excised completely at a minimum it cannot be permitted to grow. The war of Islam against the west has been going on for over 1,000 years, and it’s not going to end any time soon. Permitting large numbers of the enemy (whether actual combatants or merely sympathizers) into your country is not a sensible strategy for dealing with the conflict. I realize this makes me a bad libertarian. So be it; survival is more important to me than doctrinal purity.

  • Alisa

    I am with Watchman on this.

    Regarding the face cover, if we allow individuals and businesses to shun customers with covered faces, no mandatory ban will be needed.

  • Alisa

    Islam is a cancer on society, and if it can’t be excised completely at a minimum it cannot be permitted to grow.

    Indeed. Prohibiting Muslims who already are citizens of one’s country to practice their religion is going to strengthen Islam in that country, not excise it.

    Permitting large numbers of the enemy (whether actual combatants or merely sympathizers) into your country is not a sensible strategy for dealing with the conflict.

    I agree. Now how do we know who is the enemy and who is not? How do you know if a Syrian refugee is a Muslim, a Christian, or an atheist (yes, there are plenty of those there too)?

  • Ljh

    Alisa: purely anecdotal, but my personal experience of Muslim atheists is that when they are not consciously rejecting their background, they easily practice the prejudices and assumptions with which Islam has equipped their families, tribes and societies whether regarding the status of women, honour, inheritance, homosexuality, history or anti-semitism. The rejection of Allah and Mo does not automatically make one tolerant, liberal or fairminded, the baggage is huge.

  • Alisa

    Ljh, I have meet with anecdotal evidence of this, as well as of the opposite. Humans are complicated.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The great spinoff of Christianity (and Judaism) is the belief that humanity is not just imperfect, but imperfectible. This is an enormously enabling idea, since it lets us ignore the impossible ‘perfect’ in favor of the possible ‘good enough’, and is probably the secret behind Western progress.

    Religions like Islam and Progressivism accept the imperfect nature of humanity but insist that functional perfection can be achieved by strict enforcement – by Authority – of ordained standards. The dead hand of regulation in such cultures is livened only by civil wars amongst the regulators.

    Libertarians need to keep the ‘Christian’ attitude in mind and realize that libertarianism can never be implemented in a pure form by or around imperfect humans. It may not be the libertarian ideal to restrict the entry of authoritarian populations into the West, but it is probably the only way we can protect freedom in an imperfect world.

  • Ljh

    ” Prohibiting Muslims who already are citizens of one’s country to practice their religion is going to strengthen Islam in that country, not excise it.”
    Us being tolerant, overly accommodatjing and avoiding pointing out the nasty stuff has worked out well barring the odd beheading, explosion and jetting jihadi, not to mention the subtler stuff like fgm, forced marriage often consanguinous, shrouded black ghosts secluded from all interaction with society beyond childbearing, and perpetual threat/promise to make everyone submit or die. If we made Islam difficult to practice in western societies, it would encourage hardliners to leave and allow the lukewarmers to assimilate without fear of reprisal., the fanatics are already out and about and hard to contain especially because the west refuses to name the enemy.

  • NickM

    Muhammed was a cunt,
    Muhammed was a cunt,
    He ate pork pies,
    And he had four wives,
    Muhammed was a cunt.

  • Laird

    “Prohibiting Muslims who already are citizens of one’s country to practice their religion is going to strengthen Islam in that country, not excise it.”

    I agree; people who are citizens of a country are entitled to all the benefits and protections that status entails, which includes practicing their religion. (This is not necessarily or strictly true of non-citizens, however, which is an important distinction.) But that doesn’t mean that we can’t, or shouldn’t, keep a watchful eye on hotbeds of radicalism (i.e., mosques, which are, after all, public places which it is entirely proper to monitor), incarcerate or expel advocates of violent jihad (inciting criminal activity is itself a crime), and most importantly refuse to demand extreme measures of “accommodation” (such as requiring public schools or other facilities to be halal or employers to permit numerous “prayer breaks” during working hours). Citizens should be free to worship as they choose, but not free to impose their religious practices (or prejudices) on others.

    As to your other question, “how do we know who is the enemy and who is not?”, of course there is no sure-fire answer. But a starting point is to prohibit all immigration from predominantly Muslim countries (such as Syria) without first conducting a thorough and effective background check on each individual. This is clearly not being done today. And I would argue that for this purpose all Muslims are “the enemy” (for the reason discussed in my previous post: even if not radicalized they are part of the broad “support network” for jihadis and the Caliphate movement). Thus the burden of proof is on the prospective immigrant to demonstrate that he is a Christian, a Kurd, or an adherent to some other relatively benign faith (or an atheist). Providing adequate proof of this may be difficult (especially for atheists!), but that’s not my problem; they’re the ones seeking entry into my country, and unless they can prove that they are worthy of it the default answer is “no”.

  • Alisa

    Us being tolerant, overly accommodatjing and avoiding pointing out the nasty stuff

    You were quoting me, but seem to be responding to someone else – or you may be confusing intolerance with legal prohibition.

    And, Nick M. wins the thread.

  • Alisa

    I have no problem with any of that, Laird.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Related to Alisa’s question: i seem to remember reading that in the Turkish military, drinking was pretty much a requisite for advancement in the ranks: any officer who did not drink, was suspected of being an Islamist. It seems to have worked, for a time. Unfortunately the EU demanded that the political power of the Turkish military be scaled back.

    Incidentally, there are interesting stories in D. Landes’ The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, about how the Japanese regime kept Christianity out of Japan, based on a not unreasonable fear of being colonized. As i remember, the Japanese ended up trading only with the Dutch, because they were the only people willing to step on sacred images to make money. Even so, the Japanese set up a sort of firewall.

    WRT Laird’s last comment: i very much doubt that Muslims are motivated to move to the West by the goal of setting up a caliphate. No doubt many Muslims would migrate even without welfare, but they would do so to earn money, not to colonize. In fact, isn’t it almost a religious obligation for a Muslim to move to a country under Sharia law?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Oops…by the time i finished crafting my comment, Laird’s comment to which i referred was no longer the last.

  • PapayaSF

    Snorri, it is a religious obligation of Muslims to spread Islam to areas not under Islamic control. Do most of the ones who move to non-Islamic countries want to set up a caliphate? Maybe not, but Islam has a sort of God Cop/Bad Cop routine going on. The Bad Cops are the terrorists and their explicit supporters, and the Good Cops are the “moderate” Muslims who may well decry terror, but are still onboard with spreading Islam. And as we regularly see, you can never predict when a moderate Muslim will get the urge to go jihadi. Many well-known Islamic radicals, from bin Laden on down, started out as very secular Muslims. They are all on the same anti-libertarian team, though.

  • PapayaSF

    Belated reply to Josh B: Actually, I’m pointing out the conflict between libertarianism and what might be summed up as “tradition.” Libertarians tend to view individuals as bundles of rights and as economic units, and downplay or actively oppose things like language, culture, and borders, all of which are “collectivist” to some degree. In my view libertarian ideology grew from a certain (Western) culture, and if that culture is diluted or destroyed, libertarian suffers. Islam, in collaboration with Western SJW culture, is trying to do just that, and racking up a lot of successes recently.

  • Paul Marks

    The stabber was clearly a Methodist.

    That John Wesley bloke often sacked villages and sold the people he did not murder into slavery.

    As for mental problems.

    You mean like hearing voices telling you that are God’s right hand man – and that God wants you to rape women and murder other people?

  • And, Nick M. wins the thread.

    I concur. The epic would be hard to overstate. A Eurovision Song Contest contender in fact!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul: Gosh! ;>)


    Laird: Very good comments both, (though with reservations about 1st para., 7:36 pm: Cure worse than disease? [Practical political question.] Why mosques “already public”? Even if so, why fair game for surveillance? Questions regarding legal/libertarian/moral theory. Panopticon NYC?.) COINTELPRO OK? (Personally, except for “cure worse than disease,” which is a huge exception, I have no problem — if anybody ever deserved to be “infiltrated,” it was those rat-bustards. Question not about the technicalities of accepting its evidence in court, but only about the idea of govt. infiltration of [private] groups. Of course, all that is supposedly restrained and possibility of abuse minimized by the necessity for warrants….)

    Would love a comment, or a posting, dealing with all of that … in detail. :>)


    Papaya at 9:10: Indeed so. Ditto, 8:36.


    Alisa, 5:41: Quite. And yes, telling the sheep from the goats is probably all but impossible. And for safety’s sake, one ought to be extremely wary of whether apparent sheep, in this context, really are.

    [This, of course, flies in the face of one of liberalism’s (not “librulism,” for a change: real liberalism) core principles or doctrines, namely the presumption of innocence. –Here, I mean the legal and governmental presumption; as individuals we value it too, but socially speaking, the presumption doesn’t need to withstand challenges as strong as those presented to the legal or governmental system. In other words, in practice we can’t stop people from making private judgments, nor should we try to.]


    To reiterate: Islam is not only a “religion” in the traditional or conventional sense, but also a political ideology that implies that totalitarianism, when instituted in service of Allah’s demands, is the correct political order. “Jewish” has two meanings, one religious, one physical (tribal, based on biological inheritance). “Islam” has one meaning but two distinct aspects: the religious and the political. We all know this, just sayin’. But I’d like to see more stress on political Islam instead of allowing it to be so consistently swept under the rug by referring only to “the religion” of Islam.


    ljh at 6:02: Excellent observation.



    “Libertarians need to keep the ‘Christian’ attitude in mind and realize that libertarianism can never be implemented in a pure form by or around imperfect humans. It may not be the libertarian ideal to restrict the entry of authoritarian populations into the West, but it is probably the only way we can protect freedom in an imperfect world.”

    Indeed. “Life is an engineering discipline: There are always trade-offs.™”

  • Rich Rostrom

    Julie near Chicago – May 11, 2016 at 10:37 pm:

    Islam is not only a “religion” in the traditional or conventional sense, but also a political ideology…

    True, as Islam has a political agenda baked into it.

    …that implies that totalitarianism, when instituted in service of Allah’s demands, is the correct political order.

    That is an exaggeration. Moslem governments (Ottoman Turkey, for instance) didn’t attempt to regulate every aspect of their subjects’ lives. And most Moslem governments have tolerated large “infidel” subject populations.

    Indeed, there have been occasions when Christians openly preferred “tolerant” Moslem rule to the “intolerant” rule of other Christians: “Better the turban of the Turk than the tiara of the Pope!”

  • Julie near Chicago

    Rich, that would depend on the meaning which the particular Islamic ruler or ruling body thinks that the religion demands. Currently at least, the more troublemaking Islamic rulerships (whether ruling over recognized nations or not) find Shari’ah to be the Law of Allah on earth, and it’s quibbling, IMO anyway, to claim that these regimes aren’t totalitarian because they’re not totally totalitarian.

    This isn’t 140 years ago, after all. And Ottoman Turkey in its twilight years at least was not much of an example of Glorious liberality. See, for instance, the Armenian genocide….

  • Watchman

    Just as a quick observation here, spurred on by a comment of Laird’s – people apparently like Kurds, but not Muslims. We do all know the Kurds are a basically Muslim group right? Sure – they are stressing an ethnic not a religious identity (at the moment), but assuming we can stop Muslims but allow Kurds is illogical and shows a worrying tendency to see the world as good guys and bad guys, forgetting that even in the films that do that a good guy often turns out to be a bad guy (in the second last act, often involving kidnapping the hero’s improbably attractive wife/girl friend).

  • Rich Rostrom

    Julie: “Not totalitarian” != “liberal”. Nor even “not tyrannical”. Apartheid South Africa was not totalitarian. Neither was the PRI kleptocracy in Mexico, nor France’s ancien régime.

    Sharia is archaic and oppressive, but it does not require the complete absorption of all human activity into the state.

  • Dom

    “Sharia is archaic and oppressive, but it does not require the complete absorption of all human activity into the state.”

    Rich, are you sure about this. There are sharia banks, sharia style of clothes, sharia laws on where and when and how often to pray. Most Muslims seem to pronounce proudly that sharia covers everything in life.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    It might be well to revisit an old but useful distinction between authoritarianism and totalitarianism: the one punishes dissent, the other punishes failure to enthuse.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Dom: There are Moslems who attempt to bring sharia into everything.

    There are also Orthodox Jews who follow an all-encompassing lifestyle allegedly based in religion. (I say ‘allegedly’ because one may see an Orthodox community where the males not only wear hats, they all wear the same style of hat which may even be modern. Fedoras, for instance.) Some people do regard such sects as totalitarian.

    Does that mean Judaism is intrinsically totalitarian?

  • Julie near Chicago

    The most ultra of ultra-Orthodox Jews do not go in for terrorism as a way of spreading ultra-Orthodox Jewish theocracy worldwide. Even the few “lone-nut” ultra-Orthodox terrorists aren’t trying to achieve that.

    To the best of my knowledge, anyway.

    And within such ultra-Orthodox sects, what is the punishment for those who fail to get entirely with the program? Is it to be stoned to death? Buried alive? Beheaded? Murdered more prosaically? Tortured/raped/beaten/blinded/imprisoned, with torture, for long stretches?

    I have to say: If so, it has escaped my notice.

  • lucklucky

    “Sharia is archaic and oppressive, but it does not require the complete absorption of all human activity into the state.”

    No? Yes it does. From clothing to religion.

  • Dom

    An important distinction is that Orthodox Jews do not force other Jews to join them. But sharia bound Muslims do force others to join. That is itself a part of sharia. The most recent example was the case in Scotland of Asad Shah, murdered because he was friendly to Christians. I don’t recall a similar example among Jews.

  • Alisa

    We can argue all we want about the nature of this or that version of Islam, or Islam in general – but we may not assume a priori that each single individual who proclaims himself as Muslim necessarily agrees with, or is even aware of every single tenet of that religion. That would be nuts. I can accept Laird’s proposition to ban anyone from a certain region from entering the US or the EU, as a better-safe-than-sorry measure, since I have no better solution (Laird suggests some form of vetting, but I’m skeptical, at least until someone can show me that this can be practical and reasonably effective). But if we do that, we must understand and admit that we will be turning away at least some decent and productive people who are unfortunate enough to have been born in those hellholes, and are simply seeking a better life.

  • Laird

    Alisa, I do understand and admit that. But I consider it an acceptable cost. And as to “vetting”, I did specify “thorough and effective” (the italics were in my original post), which is probably nearly impossible to achieve given the paucity of accurate records and other reliable information in that region. The practical result of this would be a near-total ban on immigrants from that region. So be it.

  • Alisa

    I know, Laird, and like I said earlier, I agree. I wish there was a better solution, but unfortunately I am yet to see one.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Laird and Alisa, may I join you in your end of the pool?

    One thing I would add is that no matter what any libertarian hopes, no one has an inherent right to live in Spot X, unless he is a citizen of the state wherein X is located (but that gives him a statutory, not an inherent, right), and he has acquired the right to live there as part of a trade or gift (inheritance — a bequest — is, of course, a gift).

  • Patrick Crozier

    In the days before the First World War there were a lot of assassinations e.g McKinley, Stolypin, Empress Elisabeth. Just about every time the perpetrator was an anarchist or communist and just about every time the authorities declared that he was insane.

  • Mr Ed

    just about every time the authorities declared that he was insane.

    Most likely a sneaking sympathy for the murderous scum, which did them no favours when and where those thugs had power of life and death over them. Communists and Anarchists are not mad, they are just being callous and consistent.