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How to deal with atrocities?

Attacks by suicidal religious terrorists against soft targets like a concert are very hard to counter. Indeed preventing such atrocities by ruthless fanatics requires luck and some degree of ineptitude by the perpetrators. In truth, the only way to fight back is the same way the UK government fought back against Mr. Corbyn’s friends, the IRA… and that is targetted infiltration of terrorist support networks.

But one approach I am quite certain does not work is candlelight vigils, weepy hashtags and a refusal to face up to who the enemy is and why they are doing what they are doing.

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110 comments to How to deal with atrocities?

  • Mr Ed

    How about cutting off welfare to petty criminals who seem to form the majority of these types? In a free society, rejection of an economic existence without charity means (to paraphrase Trotsky) death by starvation. So people don’t do it.

  • I am in favour of cutting off welfare to pretty much everyone, Ed 😉

  • Gary

    As it stands, we have an asymmetrical trade. So the bomber goes to heaven and we die. i.e. he wins and we lose. Our best hope is to make it a lose-lose proposition. How could that be? Examples:

    – A suicide bomber is still suicide. We will prosecute to the fullest extent possible even though you are dead. If your estate cannot pay the fine (and it will be a yuuge fine), your family will be liable. If they cant pay your fine, they will go to jail. Upshot: suicide bombers send there own family to jail.

    – Your dead body will be investigated as part of as crime (suicide). We will conduct that according to UK principles. i.e. it will not be halal. The State will also cremate you, and that will not be halal either. Intelligence Services spread rumours that the dead body gets coated in honey and fed to pigs. Upshot: you will not get to heaven.

    So Mr Suicide Bomber: if you go ahead with this, your body will be fed to the pigs, you will not get to heaven and your family will be thrown in jail. Still wanna proceed?

    Feel free to build on these ideas, but the principle is this: turn it into a lose/lose, where the suicide bomber loses even more than us.

  • bobby b

    I see only two ways to effectively deal with atrocities committed by Muslims seeking the establishment of their worldwide caliphate:

    1). Stop allowing them into our countries, and remove those already here; or

    2). Give in.

    We aren’t going to do either, so subhumans blowing up little girls will now become the norm, as will the coming retaliations.

  • Cal Ford

    Gary, the UK state doesn’t have the guts to do anything like those things.

  • Gary

    @Cal. Agreed. But all I am asking for is forceful implementation of existing law plus some counter-intelligence. It’s a sorry day when the UK state doesn’t have the guts to do that.

  • “‘But one approach I am quite certain does not work is candlelight vigils, weepy hashtags and a refusal to face up to who the enemy is and why they are doing what they are doing.”

    Yes. I have seen rumors that the performer was immigration and muslim friendly. With the ‘net clogged with the attack – I have been unable to check.

  • But one approach I am quite certain does not work is candlelight vigils, weepy hashtags and a refusal to face up to who the enemy is and why they are doing what they are doing.

    This. Precisely this. They are at war with us and it’s time we acknowledged this and understood their motivation.

  • Mr Ed

    Cal F

    Gary, the UK state doesn’t have the guts to do anything like those things.

    Indeed, but also, it does not have the means. It cannot, as the law stands, prevent such types coming here, as there are ‘Human Rights’ to consider, such as the right to a family life, the right to asylum.

    They would rather that a million, even ten million die here by murder before they would admit that there was a problem, still less anything that could be done about it. You can almost imagine the groaning of the UK’s political class when news of this broke, like Claude Cockburn, a Communist, when he heard of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, lamented that his political position had been ruined. He shed no tears for the Poles who were soon slaughtered in the Nazi/Soviet/Slovak invasion that followed.

  • Gary

    @Mr Ed. But my proposal did not include preventing them coming here, and the state certainly does have the means to enforce current law.
    Cal is correct. Its a failure of will.

  • Mr Black

    The IRA was never dealt with. They were given exactly what they wanted, political power. They won. And in exchange, they agreed to stop killing people. How the hell does that translate to dealing muslim terrorism?

  • Mr Black

    bobby b, you are quite right. As governments will obviously do nothing about this, the people will. And when muslims are murdered on the street in large numbers I am quite sure that all the onlookers didn’t see nuffin’. The government will respond with a police state to crack down on citizens and then who knows what comes next.

  • Pat

    Since we have seen fit to import one aspect of middle eastern culture (and been enriched by it) perhaps it is time to import another.
    Round up the families of the perpetrators and disappear them.
    Un-British? Absolutely. But what we are dealing with is un-British, and British approaches aren’t working.

  • APL

    “is the same way the UK government fought back against Mr. Corbyn’s friends, the IRA…”

    The UK government fought back against the IRA?? Gerry Adams is a member of the Northern Ireland ‘power sharing’ agreement, Martin McGuinnes, – deservedly dead of cancer but, he spent his twilight years living off the fat of the land at the expense of British taxpayers.

    Some fight back! What actually happened is that the British establishment capitulated as soon as they realized they were in the IRA gun sights rather than just any Tom, Dick or Harry.

    How we fight back is by taking a leaf out of Edward first’s book.

  • PeterT

    Why should we do anything? The chances of being killed in an attack such as this remain trivial compared to most other causes of death.

    That aside…

    – Put together decent security for venues such as this
    – Arm the police (wouldn’t have made a difference in this case)
    – Arm a cadre of civilians

    Let’s not humour the government when they ask for more powers that they do not need, and are likely to remain underused where it matters, for PC reasons or good old laziness, and overused where it does not matter (e.g. check your emails to see if you have planned any term time holidays.)

    Candle light vigils are obviously inept, but better than a march with pitchforks to your local mosque, and also better than calls for more surveillance.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I think the hashtag and candle ceremonies haven’t really worked.

  • APL

    PeterT: “The chances of being killed in an attack such as this remain trivial compared to most other causes of death.”

    The same bovine calculation the gazelle of the Serengeti, make. But enough of them get eaten to feed the predators.

    We shouldn’t need to tolerate predators within the confines of our society. Certain factions don’t like our way of life, they are migrants, they can migrate somewhere more congenial to them.

    One of the benefits of a homogeneous society is there is a broad consensus how the society should be conducted. ‘Diversity’, isn’t working, as Enoch Powell might have told anyone. Oh! wait he did warn everyone.

  • monoi

    @ Gary,

    This morning I was thinking along the lines of deportation of all family members of a suicide bomber.

    It could come in addition to your suggestions.

  • Bob H

    Can anyone tell me the appropriate hashtag to use for this event and where I can buy one?
    I don’t know how, but I guess the sooner we all get hashtags, the sooner it will stop!

    PS
    What’s a hashtag?

  • Mr Black

    And everyone who attended their mosque. Let’s face it,they are well aware of who the killers in their midst are.

  • ajchristopher

    The Muslims will have to go back to Muslim lands. Except for a minuscule proportion of them, they will never be British (or European). There’s a lot a fatalism going around that Europe will become Islamified, but how much appetite do native Europeans have (or will have) for conversion? Not a lot I would suggest. Conflict is inevitable. How violent it will be is yet to be seen.

  • Greg

    PeterT: “better than a march with pitchforks to your local mosque”. Please explain why? I think the pitchforks are long overdue. No safe havens for these bastards. Good mosques if there are such, should advertise loud and widely that they are good with specifics as to why (“we don’t harbor radicals like that mosque over there, where BTW, they also have a weapons cache”). Such a mosque would last about a day after such proclamation, but at least there’d finally be some Muslims dying for a good cause and getting to heaven!

  • Watchman

    Gary,

    Wierd as it may seem, suicide bombers bodies are not released for burial before the next evening – they tend to be kept for evidence, and then disposed of as their families don’t tend to claim them. Since it is an interpretation of Islam that is hardly universal that suicide bombing is allowed (killing yourself being a sin as in Christianity…), targetting another partially-held interpretation about burial is hardly likely to be effective – as with all religions, people just adopt the bits that suit them.

    Monoi,

    How does deporting people who have committed no crime help anyone? Seems a bit moronic – instead of wasting time on people who probably are not involved, try focussing on the support networks and peer groups involved perhaps. It might not make you feel good, but it is a better use of your time.

  • rfichoke

    The real solution is a population that is armed and willing to carry out violence in self-defense. I know that won’t happen in the U.K. but it’s the only way to have both security and liberty.

  • Michael Taylor

    Is there a free-market solution? How much is the extra security costing the public? Could a bounty for the elimination of ISIS and islamist extremism domestically allow the private sector to discover ways to deal with this which are currently unknown?

  • Erik

    How does deporting people who have committed no crime help anyone? Seems a bit moronic – instead of wasting time on people who probably are not involved, try focussing on the support networks and peer groups involved perhaps.

    I can see the case that it’s wicked from an individualist perspective, but it’s hardly moronic or a waste of time. Partly because those families are frequently in the support networks and peer groups, but more importantly because of the incentive structure created. If some of the risk from such events falls on the family, then families of future potentials find themselves with reason to immediately see about mitigating such risk.

    In other words, pour encourager les autres.

    The potential universalization of the principle is left as an exercise to the reader.

  • monoi

    @ Watchman,

    Stop projecting.

    It would be made clear: From now on, you do this, this is what happens. If they do not care about their families, then why should we? How would you know they are not involved anyway? I contend that their families are their principal support network, and it would at least have the benefit of being immediate and clear.

    It also does not preclude from going after everything else.

    Keep hashtagging, it’s working well.

  • rxc

    No violence. Only one law needs to be changed – send the family back to their heritage country. It does not matter how long they have been in the country, or how “normal” or integrated they seem to be. Parents, spouses, children, siblings, grandparents,aunts, uncles, neices, nephews. Any citizenship is automatically revoked. If the heritage country will not take them, then they get dumped there, off of a diplomatic flight in the middle of the airport at the capital city. Peaceful protests in front of the family mosques with signs that shame the members of the mosque (No more terrorists here!, etc). All family assets to be forfeited to reimburse the victims of the attack.

    The message is that people who support this sort of behavior, or are related to it in any way, are not welcome. We don’t care about your religion – it is about your behavior.

  • PeterT

    Because we value liberty as well as security, and terrorist attacks, ghastly as they are, are not a significant threat to our security so do not merit a reduction in our liberty.

    I include peaceful Muslims in ‘our’ although some reduction in their liberty could perhaps be justified in order for more general reductions in liberty to be avoided. This is why PC thought is so dangerous.

    Your comparison to the life of the gazelles of the Serengeti is inapt as they are incapable of probabilistic thinking and cannot balance consideration of our long term freedom from coercion with that of short term security concerns.

  • Bulldog Drumond

    The IRA was never dealt with. They were given exactly what they wanted, political power. They won

    I’m looking out my window in Belfast and for some reason there is a union flag flying across the street. I wonder why that is? If you think the Provos were fighting for getting trivialised and co-opted in local Northern Irish politics as part of the UK, and not independence, then you’re a special kind of fool.

  • The real solution is a population that is armed and willing to carry out violence in self-defense

    How would that have helped against a suicide bomber at a concert?

  • Tomsmith

    The only solution to this problem is to deport muslims from the UK and stop further immigration from Islamic countries. This is because never ending war against the unbeliever is an intrinsic part of Islam, and any muslim demographic contains some people who feel strongly enough about it to act upon it, as well as some quiet enablers and supporters.

    This kind of action will of course never happen, and so terrorism will continue.

  • I agree with PeterT. The people can be fought effectively and quite ruthlessly without turning British society upside down.

  • APL

    PeterT: “Because we value liberty as well as security, and terrorist attacks, ghastly as they are, are not a significant threat to our security so do not merit a reduction in our liberty.”

    I don’t know where you live, patently not in the United Kingdom. Our liberties is a pale shadow of what it once was, As a result first of Irish republican terrorism, but now of Islamic, I would say ‘radical Islamic’ but don’t really see the distinction. Our politicians seem to have no interest in providing security. Allegedly, Salman Abedi was already know to the security services.

    PeterT: “I include peaceful Muslims in ‘our’ although some reduction in their liberty could perhaps be justified in order for more general reductions in liberty to be avoided. ”

    That’s big of you. Apparently, the security services already have about a thousand Islamics under house arrest. Why we don’t just promulgate another Edict of Expulsion and have done with it I don’t know. We can get back to making this a pleasant country to live in again.

    PeterT: “Your comparison to the life of the gazelles of the Serengeti is inapt as they are incapable of probabilistic ”

    Let me introduce a literary device called the metaphor.

  • Tomsmith

    How do you tell a peaceful muslim from a non-peaceful muslim? You can’t. Islam is a religion that encourages war and which contains a percentage of devout people who will act upon that encouragement. You can’t have muslims without terrorism. The answer is to remove muslims.

  • Tomsmith

    The people can be fought effectively and quite ruthlessly without turning British society upside down.

    Removing a particular religion from the UK would not turn British society upside down. Remaining apart and distinct from the problems of alien cultures is what made Britain what it is.

    On the other hand, allowing enough alien cultural enrichment to fundamentally change Britain is the perfect example of turning British society upside down. It is time to untangle the mess that has been created. Doing this is not fundamentally un-British.

  • How do you tell a peaceful muslim from a non-peaceful muslim? You can’t.

    How do you tell a peaceful Irishman from a non-peaceful Irishman? You can’t. But simple minds crave simple solutions.

  • Bob H
    May 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    #thisisahashtag

  • Mr Black
    May 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Let’s face it,they are well aware of who the killers in their midst are.

    And so are the British authorities.

  • APL

    PdH: “How do you tell a peaceful Irishman from a non-peaceful Irishman? You can’t.”

    There are some indicators that can be useful. If only to determine if the non peaceful Irishman is antagonistic to British identity. Frankly, that’s all I need to know.

    PdH: “But simple minds crave simple solutions.”

    And tempting as it is to reduce complex issues to over-simplified slogans, it doesn’t really help resolve the problem.

    A good place to start would be to stop importing Mussleman immigrants.

  • PeterT (May 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm): “Because we value liberty as well as security, and terrorist attacks, ghastly as they are, are not a significant threat to our security so do not merit a reduction in our liberty.”

    According to the Labour party not so long after 2001, and now alas somewhat normalised in the PM and all to her left, it was and remains essential that we sacrifice our liberty. Our freedom of speech had to be removed well over a decade ago lest we say things that will inflame our oh-so-inflammable new-minted fellow citizens. Fortunately, we who are not so new-minted are also not so inflammable, so there is no need for these hate speech laws to be applied with equal vigour when we are insulted.

    In a way, it is quite unfair to blame our loss of free speech on immigrants or on 9/11. They were the opportunity the left used to realise a long-desired project. But, just as having a pacifist prime minister and an “I’m-more-pacifist-than-thou” leader of the opposition in 1933-36 combined very unhappily with the early years of Adolf Hitler, so our constrained speech combines unhappily with mass immigration from muslim countries. How can people assimilate to a culture that dares not to speak?

  • Watchman

    I never understand how so many people believe a simple solution (which might work or might not – have you never heard of converts…) to a problem such as deporting families is viable without thinking of the after effects. It’s like taking morphine to cure a headache – yes, it will deal with the pain you’re suffering, but you’ll have far more problems afterwards. If you really believe a few desparate loners who can’t even draw support from their own co-religionists are a bigger danger than a government given the power to overturn the rule of law as a punishment to someone who can no longer even be punished (they’re dead – for all you want revenge, they can’t be hurt by you now) then you have lost your moral compass.

  • Watchman

    To take some thoughts around here to its logic conclusion, we should probably ban all people of British decent from Britain. After all, they kill far more people than any other group so are far more dangerous.

  • Bob H

    Despite all the good ideas, none of the above comments can possibly happen.

    Despite voting to leave the EU, Theresa May has made it clear that Britain will remain in the European Court of Human Rights.

    That means we cannot do something as simple as deporting convicted terrorists, because the ECHR says they have a right to a family life, or some other handwringing leftie privilege that prohibits justice being meted out.

    No matter what happens at this election, which is almost certain to be a Tory landslide, we need to start campaigning to force the hand of the Government to cast off the shackles of the ECHR.

    Until we do that, we will still be de facto subject to the political will of the EU via its NWO leftist judges.
    The value of Brexit will be substantially reduced.

  • peter

    The British, like the French, and all other nations on the globe, must and will learn to live and die with terrorism.

    Only one nation is not expected to live with terrorism, and must make “peace”.

  • Watchman

    Bob H,

    To qualify that, she’s said we will not leave the EHCR immediately as doing so would complicate leaving the EU (not sure how). I don’t think she’s ruled out leaving it in a few years. A judgement or two to not let us deport a terrorist might force her hand as well.

  • Paul Marks

    The work of David Wood on Youtube is good – it explains (using the best Islamic sources) just why they do these things. They are not, generally, mentally ill – they have logical reasons within their belief system (invented by Mohammed) for what they do.

    However, it may soon be a criminal offence in the United Kingdom to discuss these matters honestly.

  • NickM

    I live just south of Manchester.

    If I put away my more medieval thoughts.

    It occurs to me that much of the external support for this evil comes from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Particulary with the latter it sticks in my craw badly every time Saudi Arabia (or the Gulf states) are referred to as “key allies in the War on Terrorism” and indeed treated as anything other than the nasty places it is. Consider Trump’s recent visit. We should have nothing to do with them. Close the masjids they fund here. Close all the Islamic schools immediately regardless of who funds them. Don’t let their Princelings into the country to race supercars on the street. Treat them as the barbarians they are.

  • bobby b

    “We should have nothing to do with them.”

    “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”

    The Saudis are willing to help us against an even worse Islamic enemy – one with nuclear weapons. (Thanks, Barry.) Maybe one front at a time?

  • Monty James

    Expel them all. Find a place to send them. Or make the adherents of that religion second class, forever, always under suspicion, none of them possessing full rights. Forget the notion that they could assimilate; it was an opium dream. Any religion, except this one, can be admitted to civilization without nine year old girls rinsing pieces of their friends out of their hair after a pop concert.

    People don’t have to put up with this. What terrible catastrophe overtakes a nation with an insufficient number of Mohammedans?

    Sorry, I’ve become sour in middle age.

  • APL

    Paul Marks: “The work of David Wood on Youtube is good ..”

    Bill Warner gives a pretty comprehensive perspective on Islam and the West here…

  • Jamesg

    The Guardian’s suggestion is to put Katie Hopkins in prison for tweeting. I guess calls for unity etc don’t apply to that aspect.

  • NickM

    15/19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. bin Laden – Saudi, much of the theological underpinnings of the jihad – Saudi. They are scum.

  • Cal Ford

    As I’ve said before, as bad as terrorism is, the bigger threat is long-term demographic change (combined with leftist cravenness). I know Perry doesn’t agree with this, but in my view once Muslims are established in substantial numbers in the UK then they’re not going to be very interested in playing by our rules.

    If the numbers coming in are managed well then enough of them may get continually assimilated so that this disaster doesn’t arise, but let too many in in too short a time-period and it’ll eventually be bye-bye UK.

    Greens are always going on about how we can’t let down our childrten and granchildren, that’s exactly how I feel, only about a real threat, not an imaginary one.

  • bobby b

    In some of our societies, criticism of Islam is illegal. Women politicians are wearing hijabs at the correct times. Women in general are dressing less provocatively when they go out at night. Celebrations of non-Islamic holidays are ending in public. Law enforcement looks the other way when long-standing laws are broken by Muslims in order not to offend them.

    I’d say we’re assimilating nicely.

  • Laird

    I agree with NickM about Saudi Arabia, and was as distressed as he is to read about Trump’s overtures to them (and about that massive sale of weapons). Still, I suppose it could be simply an application of realpolitik: working with the lesser evil, at least for the time being. Certainly as between Saudi Arabia and Iran I’d choose SA, too.

    But as to the question at hand, about how do you deal with atrocities such as this? I’m sorry, but the answer is pretty much “nothing”. You just pick up the pieces and move on. You’re not going to to eviscerate the civil rights of the non-radical Muslims living in the UK, especially those who are citizens, and you’ve long abolished corruption of the blood and other forms of group punishment (sorry, Gary). Of course, you could (and should) keep a closer eye on mosques, especially those known to harbor extremists, be more aggressive in expelling radical Imams who are prime ISIS recruiting vectors, refuse to re-admit those who have traveled to the middle east for terrorist training, and simply ignore the bleatings of the Human Rights Court when it comes to deportations (let it enforce its own judgments). But realistically? You won’t do any of those things. So after every new terrorist attack some of you will indulge in rantings such as we’ve seen here, just as others will indulge in candlelight vigils and #hashtags. Both are equally effective.

    Because until you, as a nation, come to accept that Islam is fundamentally and irreconcilably incompatible with liberal western society, outlaw its practice, and expel its adherents, there is nothing you can do about such atrocities. Except live with them.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Because until you, as a nation, come to accept that Islam is fundamentally and irreconcilably incompatible with liberal western society, outlaw its practice, and expel its adherents, there is nothing you can do about such atrocities. Except live with them.

    Precisely.

  • Tomsmith

    How do you tell a peaceful Irishman from a non-peaceful Irishman? You can’t. But simple minds crave simple solutions.

    Being an Irishman does not entail belief in a political and religious idea that advocates constant war with the non-Irish world until that world becomes Irish. The comparison is absurd. Some might even call it simple minded if they were being uncharitable.

  • Tomsmith

    the bigger threat is long-term demographic change (combined with leftist cravenness). I know Perry doesn’t agree with this, but in my view once Muslims are established in substantial numbers in the UK then they’re not going to be very interested in playing by our rules.

    If the numbers coming in are managed well then enough of them may get continually assimilated so that this disaster doesn’t arise, but let too many in in too short a time-period and it’ll eventually be bye-bye UK

    Exactly. How can any rational Western European person want their children to live in a more Islamic country with a larger proportion of the population being people whose culture and even genetic makeup have been shaped by the awful, barbaric, hate filled influence of Islam for many many centuries? Even a person without children but who loves Western civilisation cannot wish for this to happen.

    Islam isn’t a thing that goes away with the trappings of modern life. This is because it is a cultural and political ideology as well as being a religion- one fundamentally opposed to Western culture and Western liberalism. It is extremely dangerous to allow Islamic people into any other culture.

  • Erik

    Being an Irishman does not entail belief in a political and religious idea that advocates constant war with the non-Irish world until that world becomes Irish. The comparison is absurd. Some might even call it simple minded if they were being uncharitable.

    Also, there’s no Irish orthodoxy requiring that you must look to a warlord-pedophile-slaver-fraud as the perfect man to emulate. The nominalism on display in such threads is morbidly fascinating, verging on the anthropological.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Special kudos, many strokes & props, and great thanks to PeterT and Niall. (All of which means I agree mit youse most heartily. And your points need to be made over and over.)

    Perry, Laird, others also get my vote.

    .

    As for families’ alleged unwillingness to bear the consequences of their relatives’ murderous or torturous attacks: It sure seems to me as if many are. The Moms who send their little ones off wearing bomb belts. The $25,000/hit ($ 25,000,000/hit ?) from Saddam to the families of the martyr. The general huzzahs for those who martyr themselves in service of Allah from many Muslims, including members of the martyr’s family….

    I do not assume, by the way, that all “martyrs'” families feel this way, nor that there are no dissenters among families that generally do support martyrdom in the name of Allah, even when the martyr is a family member.

    Nor do I believe that all Muslims or Muslim families support either attacks of violence or Shari’ah.

    .

    Laird, re “keeping an eye on mosques”: Could you please give my memory a quick dusting-off and remind me (and others who might not know about it) why the COINTELPRO project (infiltrating Weatherman and so forth) has been deemed highly awful and illegal, so that Weather murderers went free “on a technicality”? It seems to this admittedly mostly-ignorant observer that infiltrating Weatherman and doing what seems to amount to the same thing in certain groups of mosque attendees aren’t that different. Of course, if it’s just going to “church” and listening to the “sermons,” there’d be no law against that — unless the “minister” and the “congregation” or the “church hierarchy” pointed out that the church is private property and non-celebrants are not welcome to enter….

    .

    By the way, I am not among those who think that X shouldn’t be acquitted solely on grounds of a “technicality”: It seems to me that the technicalities are one of the protections we have against wrongful convictions; at least, some of them are.

    But given human fallibility and other problems with our species, that is a long discussion for another day.

  • Mr Ed

    On a historical note, I am not aware of any candlelit vigils being held in either London or Manchester during the Blitz in 1940, well certainly not outdoors. My Grandma never mentioned any vigils either.

    And what would the Romans have done? (not the late ones, the serious ones, who were very nasty).

  • Erik

    Why should we do anything? The chances of being killed in an attack such as this remain trivial compared to most other causes of death.

    Rhetorical answer: Why should we do anything about anything? The chances of anyone being killed by anything are generally trivial.

    But on the chance someone wants to engage the point, here are some dialectic reasons.

    One: Attacks like this are optional, not a background fact of life. Harsh measures against, say, cancer might reduce cancer by perhaps 3%; harsh measures against attacks like this might reduce them to 3% or thereabouts, see Poland. There’s no choice between ending cancer or ending terrorism, there’s a choice between ending terrorism and doing (to a first approximation) nothing.

    Two: Terrorist attacks have a very, very fat tail risk. Cancer cannot suddenly kill fifty times as many people next year. Terrorism can. Naive analysis of the risk as “trivial” is akin to declaring in 1935 that peace has been achieved in Europe. See Taleb for more on this line of thought.

    Now I’ll springboard off a particularly bloody stupid comment here by Watchman for the next point-

    To take some thoughts around here to its logic conclusion, we should probably ban all people of British decent from Britain. After all, they kill far more people than any other group so are far more dangerous.

    People of British decent are far more people than any other group in Britain, you absolute addlepate.
    Consider: Lesotho has less than a thousand murders a year. The United States has over ten thousand murders a year. Yet the United States are ten times safer because the population of the United States is more than a hundred times the population of Lesotho. If you don’t look at rate over count, you’re liable to conclude that you should move to the smallest nation in the world because it has the fewest murders. Now that we’ve had a brief course in Remedial Statistics for background, point the third.
    Three: Attacks like this aren’t substitutes for native killings, they’re additions to native killings. Multi-level additions. Take out the terrorist attacks and kebab populations are still unusually murderous compared to the natives. And they have other unsavory habits too, like the emulation of Mohammed mentioned previously, which brings me to:

    Four: Rotherham. A thousand children kidnapped, enslaved, raped, mutilated, prostituted, and generally abused by a ring of Muslim criminals in one city; as yet unknown additional thousands or tens of thousands across the country. The official PC line about the perps said “Asians” for quite a while, which left a lot of Sikhs particularly furious at getting lumped in with their abusers.
    Ban Islam from England and you’ll get quite a lot of collateral benefit in addition to the reduction in attacks like this.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Well, there’s still the guy with the blue piano…

    And Ariana Grande could add “Imagine” to her repertoire….

  • Julie near Chicago

    Clarification of mine at May 23, 2017 at 8:50 pm:

    “It sure seems to me as if many are [willing to bear the consequences of their relatives’ murderous or torturous attacks].”

  • CaptDMO

    The Trouble with Tribbles….
    Pro tip: Smack the cute kid on the ass the FIRST time a tantrum is tried to garner candy at the check out line. Make SURE there’s NO confusion as to why.
    When the “concerned citizen” in the next line approaches you to takes exception, smash HER in the face with a can of beets.
    You’ll be AMAZED at how quiet your kid suddenly becomes, in AWE OF watching THAT transpire!

  • PeterT

    Erik, I don’t agree with your analysis. The risk of death to an individual from cancer is many times larger than it is from terrorism. A 3% reduction in the cancer mortality rate is likely to reduce your chance of death from cancer by more than a 97% reduction in the terrorism mortality rate will, just because the starting figure for cancer is so much higher. I don’t think the tail risk point adds much as, even in very bad years the probability of being killed in a terrorism incident is extremely small so the point stands.

    I agree that we should not have any more Muslim immigration since the country is obviously unable to deal with the problems that come with it. That means no more immigration through (arranged) marriage, or through family links.

    I don’t know where you live, patently not in the United Kingdom. Our liberties is a pale shadow of what it once was, As a result first of Irish republican terrorism, but now of Islamic, I would say ‘radical Islamic’ but don’t really see the distinction. Our politicians seem to have no interest in providing security. Allegedly, Salman Abedi was already know to the security services.

    So what is your point exactly? That our freedoms have been so eroded that we may as well go a bit further and throw the lot of them out?

    This seems a reasonable point to remind people about the Gove-May spat from a few years back. If you recall May wanted a narrow approach to combating Islamic extremism, in particular making a distinction between violent and non-violent radical Islam, treating the latter as only a policing problem. Gove wanted a more comprehensive solution. Oh well, he might yet become Prime Minister once May mucks up leaving the EU and gets shown the door.

  • Tomsmith

    I’ll just leave this here for any student union style libertarians purposefully not noticing the very dangerous religious and political creed to which a certain group (yes group) of people subscribe.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_convicted_under_Terrorism_Acts_in_the_United_Kingdom

  • Roué le Jour

    The Good Samaritan helped the injured man to get back on his feet, he didn’t care for him and his family forever. We have no obligation to provide unlimited Christian charity to people who refuse to provide for themselves.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Ah, Roué! From this comment I assume you are not Chinese. ;>)

  • Chip

    Islam is a medieval belief system that provides no upside in a secular society, while the downsides are numerous. Terror attacks are just the violent end of a spectrum of social pathologies ranging from misogyny and belief in the primacy of religious law to disproportionate use of welfare and incarceration.

    There is no net benefit to the import of people with Islamic beliefs. And yet it continues with city after city being populated with mosques and deprivation.

    The solution is simple: restrict migration from Muslim countries to people who are demonstrably secular.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Gary, and others- another way to combat suicide bombers is to keep highlighting one aspect of Near-Death-Experiences; Suicides who are brought back to life describe the afterlife for suicides as being forced to review their life over and over again. Even if you don’t believe the afterlife is real, a lot of suicide bombers do, and constantly reminding them that suicide doesn’t end their problems could make them change their minds.

  • Ferox

    You can’t prevent these attacks. You can only make the counterattack so severe and so unpleasant to the groups responsible that they decide the tradeoff isn’t worth it.

    I am (nearly) certain that the eventual solution to the problem, assuming we find one, will involve bombs, bullets, belligerence, and possibly bacon fat.

  • Roué le Jour

    Julie,
    No, and neither was the Good Samaritan, unless the West Bank is in China. But you’re quite right that this seems to be the current thinking. Feed ’em once and you’re responsible for them forever.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Yep.

    By the way, that about the West Bank is only because China hasn’t yet gotten around to asserting its rightful overlordship of all territory so close to the South China Sea.

    Ask the New Zealanders!

  • rfichoke

    Because that kind of society would provide enough resistance that the attack never would have taken place to begin with?

    No solution is perfect. But a people not willing to engage in violent self-defense is ripe for picking off. The U.K. and increasingly the U.S. are populated by people who expect someone else to take care of their needs for self-defense. And that signals weakness.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I was genuinely not surprised when I found out about the attack at the concert.

    All the article said at the time was something like “a suspected terror attack has occurred at an Ariana Grande concert in the UK… suspected bomb… a developing story…”

    I thought to myself “yeah, it’s been more than a few months since the last decent-size Islamist terror attack in Europe so…yeah, it’s about time. We were due for one.”

    I’m largely desensitized. I expect a decent size Islamist terror attack on innocent civilians in Europe or the USA once every 3/4 months or so. And I do expect that frequency to rise gradually in the years and decades ahead of us.

    What happened at this concert is absolute barbarism. It is also not at all surprising. It’s become a fact of life more or less

  • NickM

    I lost a comment (my end bad) that was very measured and indeed witty (I thought) but I won’t attempt to restore it. Why? I watched the news and I am disgusted. This would appear to being spun now as almost a positive thing about “Manchester coming together”.

    I am a semi-adopted Manc – lived a third of my life in this neck of the woods (including a few years within easy walking distance of where this scumbag and friends took abode). Whilst I appreciate the decent folk of Manchester did decent things that night but the whole mawkishness of what happened in Albert Square nauseated me. It was like John Lennon’s “Imagine” – utter bunk. The teddy bears got me. They’ll just rot in Manchester’s notoriously rainy climate and all shall be forgot in a multi-culti-shiti-festi of pseudo-liberal crapmongering.

    Dare I say it? Some interviewed seemed almost to have been enjoying it. Kinda like it put the Mancunian spirit on the map like the Industrial Revolution or The Smiths or something. Sorry guys but it very clearly a feeling of unity that is not shared and is meaningless anyway. On the News they even showed James Corden reffing Alan Turing in a way which was historically dubious at best (he lived in Cheshire, Manchester wasn’t the gay-friendly place it now is and he didn’t invent the computer). The whole “All communities have come together” schtick makes me wanna puke with rage. I recall shortly after 9/11 walking past a phonebox in Longsight (not a million miles away from where this particular scum were from) fly-posted with stickers celebrating, “The Magnificent 19”. It is delusion. Love doesn’t conquer all just by lighting candles.

    The more I saw of this naive schlock-fest last night the more I thought of a variation on a meme. A T-shirt, “Keep Calm and Nuke Mecca”. That would be the light that never goes out not a bunch of tea lights. There is a time for ecumenical lovey-ness and there is a time for the mighty 509th. That was truly a light that never went out. That is the candle I want to see lit if it ever May it happen! We need more A V Roes round here and fewer Morrisseys. Because this is war. There will be a time for remembrance but not yet.

  • Michael Taylor

    Here’s a genuine question: is it incitement to violence/murder for a muslim to call someone a kuffar? Is it incitement to violence/murder for a muslim to call someone an apostate?

    If it is, surely the law should be enforced, up to and including ‘conspiracy to murder’?

    I’d have thought these more serious offences than ‘hate speech’.

    More pertinently, enforcing incitement laws against muslim extremists inveighing against ‘apostates’ would provide (much-needed) protection for those muslims who are justifiably terrified of their murderous co-religionists. If we want to hang on to the idea of muslims living at peace with their neighbours (us), we need to separate the wheat from the chaff. Recognizing the language which incites violence and murder, and prosecuting it without hesitation would help.

    PS. I don’t suggest jailing offenders. I do recommend a sharp fine for a first offence, escalating dramatically for any repetitions. My guess is that a bankrupt jihadi would have fewer resources, and less ability in every respect to propogate the evil to which he is dedicated. And would properly be a despised figure in the community.

  • Mr Ed

    What about outlawry for those who support this sort of thing? It is very much a ‘crowdfunded’ outcome.

  • Julie near Chicago (May 23, 2017 at 8:50 pm): “… and great thanks to PeterT and Niall. (All of which means I agree mit youse most heartily. And your points need to be made over and over.)”

    Julie, PeterT and I are disagreeing quite vehemently. PeterT thinks we must not make a reduction in “our” liberty. I (on May 23, 2017 at 4:16 pm) observe that our liberty has already been reduced, nominally to protect their feelings, actually to serve a pre-existing left-wing agenda. The change was and is much less than no help in this crisis, but it’s a left-wing policy to “never let a crisis go to waste”.

    I advocate restoring our liberty of speech – and thus discovering who are and who are not so opposed to our liberty that defending it needs their loss of residence, liberty or even of life. This is a thing to find out – not to assume (on either side).

    (I am of course aware that this will happen, if at all, as a result of our government being bludgeoned by successive events; events that will be surprising to them if less so to me. They have no will to do it and merely the negative advantage that they hate the idea less than their opponents do. For now, May’s rhetoric will echo PeterT’s – or vice versa – and be equally divorced from reality.)

    I agree with NickM (May 24, 2017 at 7:21 am) that some of the reactions, like the “Je sues Charlie” nonsense, is more or less blatantly a displacement activity. I don’t mind old ceremonies as a prelude or accompaniment to action (“Men need many words before deeds” Gimli, LotR)) but I object to sloppily-invented ‘ceremonies’, quickly thrown together and as quickly forgotten (where is “Je suis Charlie” now? – it was so last year even last year) as an alternative to action.

  • NickM

    Michael Taylor,
    Many recent moves in British/English/whatever law are very (deliberately?) vague. An obvious example is the law against “violent and extreme pornography”*. Much the same can be said about “Hate speech” which seems to range from saying, “Your haircut is so gay!” to “Kill all infidels!”. By extension not making a lesbian couple a cake and fund-raising to destroy a friendly sovereign state** seem to occupy the same murky legal pool. I suspect for many of our Lords and Masters the murk is a feature and not a bug. It means nobody really knows if they are breaking the law. This is not the true rule of law it is dictatorship on whims of the CPS etc. I suppose it is not dissimilar to the powers spending a fortune on investigating whether Ted Heath was a Satanic peadophile despite Ted Heath being well dead. What next? Genocide charges at The Hague against Genghis Khan?

    Michael I do appreciate your point and many Muslims would regard apostasy as something that should be punished by death which, to my mind, is qualitatively different from crossing someone off your Christmas card list because they gave up going to mass but the law (as it stands) is deliberately vague on such distinctions.

    Here’s a dark fantasy for you. They ban the “Lord of The Rings”. Why? racist towards orcs innit? But orcs don’t, you know, like exist. So what? See my first footnote. Why would they do this? A load of white cis-gendered hetero-normative guys of the West slaughter a load of “the other” (which could be any arbitrarily defined group by a whimsically variable definition) so this is bad, obviously. Some might find this ban far-fetched but in the ’90s the State of Georgia, USA banned “Huckleberry Finn” from state libraries etc because it used the dreaded n word. The fact the main black character is a hero of the novel didn’t matter. The fact nobody could read that classic and see it as at all racist didn’t matter and neither did the fact that Twain could hardly have used the term, “Person of Color” in recreating the antebellum US could he? Reality is not something these people believe exists as an independent thing but something they, the Philosopher Kings*** create as they go along.

    *The most bizarre aspect of which is perhaps the simple fact that many sexual acts that are legal to do are illegal to record doing even with a pencil sketch. And such minor things like mutual consent and private use are no defense. Indeed even if the pencil sketch is entirely from your own imagination and does not involve model(s) at all you can get in trouble.
    **We all know which one don’t we?
    ***I apologise for the allusion to Plato of necessity using a gendered-term.

  • Ljh

    Next attack, nuke Mecca after fair warning for evacuation. Allah is either all powerful and will save it or is demonstrably not interested.

  • Erik

    The risk of death to an individual from cancer is many times larger than it is from terrorism. A 3% reduction in the cancer mortality rate is likely to reduce your chance of death from cancer by more than a 97% reduction in the terrorism mortality rate will, just because the starting figure for cancer is so much higher. I don’t think the tail risk point adds much as, even in very bad years the probability of being killed in a terrorism incident is extremely small so the point stands.

    The probability is extremely small, but the potential magnitude is extremely large. A smuggled nuclear weapon could kill millions. Even marginally smarter terrorists could kill thousands by escalating a little from the same stupid gun/bomb/truck attacks. To give a taste of what’s possible: commercially available hobbyist drones can carry 40lb payloads. Load one of those with caltrops and sprinkle on a motorway; you’ll likely get more people dead from traffic accidents the next few minutes than died in the Manchester attack, and this sort of thing is both repeatable and scaleable. A little knowledge of tools, materials and leverage is a terrible thing.

  • Next attack, nuke Mecca after fair warning for evacuation. Allah is either all powerful and will save it or is demonstrably not interested.

    Nope, because the usual Shoddy Absurdian* response would be to not tell anyone that an attack is imminent, but coerce a vast crowd of Muslims into Al-Masjid al-Haram and then blame Israel for the attack.

    Far better to just use a decent thermobaric bunker buster at 3AM on a Tuesday morning. If the sky fairy doesn’t intervene then either he is uninterested or more likely it is because he doesn’t exist.

    I genuinely can’t see any difference between doing that and the atrocities committed on 9/11.

    * – Copyright NickM all rights reserved

  • PeterT

    The probability is extremely small, but the potential magnitude is extremely large

    Sounds like global warming to me.

    More seriously, assuming that these weapons were potentially available to terrorists (which nuclear weapons are not – the other stuff you mention doesn’t raise the ball game enough to affect the reasoning I have laid out), then sure, things would be different.

  • PeterT (May 24, 2017 at 11:21 am): “… assuming that these weapons were potentially available to terrorists (which nuclear weapons are not …”

    This is some strange new use of the word “potentially” (or of the word “not”) which I was not previously aware of.

    Nuclear weapons are actually available to Kim Wrong’un right now. They are potentially available to iran – that is, I suggest that Iran does not have a viable nuclear device today, but the tomorrow in which Iran will have one is now close. I would with relief read a convincing analysis that the likelihood they will become actually available to terrorists will remains low – that is, that their potential availability to terrorists is low – but it would be quite an act of double-think to see the potential for Iran to acquire as high and the potential for terrorists to acquire as zero.

  • nemesis

    IMO; Islam should be declassified as a religion in this country together with the status and privileges that go with it. Fundamental to religion is ‘belief’ which by its very nature is not provable and therefore a question of choice; i.e. you have freedom of choice whether to believe or not. Islam is totalitarian in nature – convert or die, worldwide caliphate, persecution of apostasy etc.
    Therefore, I think the first thing that needs to happen is it can be allowed to exist but treated as merely as a cult, perhaps with the contempt it deserves, with no protections in law.
    I am not a strong adherent of organised religion but neither am I an atheist. I would be interested if anyone knows if there is a legal definition of religion on this basis.

  • PeterT

    Niall, I don’t disagree with what you say, but this is a different class of problem. The correct solution to a nuclear armed Iran (BTW – you forgot to mention Pakistan which is also a bonkers country) is not to clamp down on the civil liberties of British citizens – but to take robust action against Iran(to be organised by NickM and probably involving the use of astrophysics).

    At the end of the day you could use any chain of ‘coulds’ to justify state action of any kind.

  • NickM

    nemesis,
    Yes and no as to the classification. Nasty protection rackets like Scientology swung it in the USA. I think it is very vague here but I charitable status is available and indeed government funding for things like religious schools. Some of the new UK “free schools” are Muslim and some of those are very dodgy.

  • Laird

    Mr Ed, I have long been a fan of restoring the concept of outlawry. But then, I have also argued for the restoration of corporal punishment (public floggings) and shaming (pillories), rather than fines or imprisonment, for certain offenses, so I suppose some would characterize me as an unreconstructed medievalist. :mrgreen:

  • NickM

    PeterT,
    I don’t see Iran as public enemy #1. This is for many reasons. They were pretty secular within living memory is one, unlike the ersatz nations like Saudi, Iraq, Syria they have a history, culture and identity which is genuine and not just Islam is all. Saudi and the Gulf states are just plutocracies using extreme state Islam as the opium of the masses. Of course in Pakistan (also not a real country – acroynm + stan – gimme strength) opium is also the opium of the masses. For sure Iran is not ideal but it might be heading the right way – a bit. Alas Turkey is going backwards under Erdogan. Ataturk must be developing high angular momentum in his grave.

    For me Saudi (and the Gulf States) are the true nasts in the area. The Saudis (like their ISIS chums) have a complete year zero approach to history and culture. They bulldoze the sorts of things most nations would cherish. They destroyed Mo’s Ma’s house to make way for a 7* hotel so they could get more monies out of rich pilgrims. Their only culture is the Qu’ran undiluted so their Worldview is blinkered.

    I have much more to say on this but must wash things or my wife will kill me.

  • Watchman

    Laird,

    It would be an excellent way to encourage certain feshishists to commit crimes…

  • Erik

    The correct solution to a nuclear armed Iran (BTW – you forgot to mention Pakistan which is also a bonkers country) is not to clamp down on the civil liberties of British citizens

    If only because the first step here should be to strip a great many people of “British citizenship”. Perhaps some sort of “Lives south of Hadrian’s Wall” stamp can be issued instead.

  • I have much more to say on this but must wash things or my wife will kill me.

    Even in the West…we live under tyranny. 🙄

  • Alisa

    Erik:

    …harsh measures against attacks like this might reduce them to 3% or thereabouts, see Poland

    Show me?

    Niall, I may well be missing something, but I have noticed no disagreement between you and Peter T. Rather, this seems to be just one of those threads where most participants are talking past each other without noticing, what with the subject being one which everyone feels rather strongly about…

  • possibly pertinent: “Suspect’s brother was aware of the plot and planned own terror attack.”

  • Julie near Chicago

    Niall and PeterT,

    Alisa’s got it. Although there’s plenty of room for disagreement about an issue within the Big Issue, and perhaps that’s where the real disagreement lies — namely, where is the line for This Far and No Farther, and what are the arguments for and against drawing it there?

    In any case, I gave my thanks to the two opponents because I read both of them as believing so much in the value of liberty that “security” shouldn’t come ahead of it, unless and to the extent that there is a real and present deadly threat to people’s lives, as well as their liberties.

    .

    By the way, I think someone asked if Peter is a Brit. If he’s American, I don’t think we’ve lost as much of our right to Free Speech as you Brits have. If so, that might account for a difference in outlook on the issues, or on how one’s thoughts are phrased.

  • Julie near Chicago

    “If he’s American, I don’t think we’ve lost as much of our right to Free Speech as you Brits have.”

    Heh. Even if he’s not American, I don’t think we’ve lost as much re free speech as have the Brits. :>)!

  • Erik

    Alisa:

    Show me?

    Less than 0.1% of the inhabitants of Poland are Muslims. This is the result. (The 2014- split is an unfortunate artifact of Wikipedia, but it’s the best I can show in a single image. Looking up e.g. “Terrorism in Poland” redirects you to “Terrorism in Europe”. As far as I can tell, the lack of islamic terrorist attacks in Poland is so general that it results in a lack even of articles noting this.)

  • Julie near Chicago (May 25, 2017 at 2:36 am): ” I don’t think we’ve lost as much re free speech as have the Brits”

    Indeed not. Imagine waking up to a different outcome last November 9th. Imagine some different SCOTUS appointments thereafter, and then a ruling that the 1st Amendment does not of course protect hateful islamophobic speech. Imagine a 9th circuit federal judge simultaneously enforcing that ruling and barring all enforcement of immigration law “because we must not give up our liberties”.

    I could then say ‘imagine waking up in the UK’, but as regards immigration post-Brexit I am hopeful that would be a bit too pessimistic. But as regards free speech, today’s quote of the day (Brendan O’Neill’s article) says it all.

  • bobby b

    “Imagine waking up to a different outcome . . . “

    People forget how very very close we were to all of the consequences you listed.

    And I think the ramifications would ultimately have been nearly as huge for y’all across the sea as it would have been for us. We can at least be a small sea anchor for four years now.

    Honest to gosh, every time I hear about Trump doing some awful thing – not the fake things but the real ones he really does do – I tense up, and then very quickly relax and my inner happy place reminds me “He’s not Hillary.”

  • Laird

    bobby b, people from Minnesota aren’t supposed to use “y’all”. I call cultural appropriation! 😆

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks for the info, Peter.

    .

    Niall, bobby: Yes, to both points.

    .

    May the Great Frog bless and keep us — all.

  • bobby b (May 25, 2017 at 11:36 am): “I think the ramifications would ultimately have been nearly as huge for y’all across the sea as it would have been for us.”

    I agree, and also vice versa: it was Natalie, blogging here in the early hours of the 9th November, who speculated that ‘Brexit was the gateway drug for Trump’.

    A month after the Brexit vote, some hopeful – and very probable-looking -consequences of Brexit went up in smoke with Gove’s destructive spat with Boris, and to make it the more annoying, it seems one cannot blame any of that on some PC black-op – it was a Brexit-leader Gove’s own folly. Likewise, I’m sure you sometimes see stuff from Trump or from the Republican congress you can’t even blame on media contrivance. But, like you, I can reflect on how much worse it could all have been.

  • Paul Marks

    If we are not allowed to speak against the opposing thought system, which has been attacking Europe for some 13 centuries, and are not allowed to speak against its Founder – then things are without hope.

    The pretence spread by Western Leaders that a bad belief system is a good one, and that a bad man (who did terrible things) was a good man – is awful moral cowardice. It will not lead to peace – it will lead to disaster. We live in a time when someone saying what Prime Ministers Gladstone and Winston Churchill said, risks persecution and ruin – there is a word for our current situation and that word is DEFEAT.

  • Henry Kaye

    I have read all of the posts above and note the almost universal hostility towards Islam. I am in complete agreement but I wish to voice one comment that no one else has made. Certainly those Muslims intent on terrorist activities must be shown the door whilst those actually committing these crimes should suffer the harshest punishment available. So far as the apparently “peaceful” Muslim population is concerned, it has to be said that even if they have no violent intentions at this time, how long will it be before the Muslim population is large enough to enter the political battlefield and gain political power that allows them to make our land an Islamic State? If that happens all the rules will be changed!!

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The more I think about the pathetic response of the UK to this barbaric atrocity, which deliberately ripped to shreds the bodies of preteen girls, the less I believe that the U.K. and much of the West in general deserves to prevail in its war with Islam.

    Yes, the West has certain favorable attributes but a society unwilling to defend its youngest members is not worthy of the future, of demographic survival, of victory.

    As they plot to blow up the next market, theater, school, we type on the internet and hold candle light vigils.

    The lights are going out on Enlightened liberal Western Europe.

    Forever.

  • Jay

    @nemesis – In answer to your question, when I was an undergrad there was no definition of “a religion”, academics had been arguing about the definition for ever. There was a broad consensus, however, that there are the ‘great religions’ which included Islam. I see no reason why, in the intervening years, the definition should have become crystallised. Personally, I don’t think it matters how Islam is defined – if politicians demand that criticism of Islam/Muslims is to be considered as indicative of disorder (as in Islamophobia) then they won’t be willing to demote it to the status of cult.