“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

No religion has a monopoly on homophobia, but Islam, especially in its ugly Wahhabi/Salafi/Takfiri version, is particularly pernicious in this aspect

Top 7 ways to tell if Someone is lying about being a ‘Salafi Jihadi’

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –By contributors | Jun. 14, 2016 |

Regulars at Pulse Nightclub are saying that Omar Mateen, the alleged shooter in the early Sunday morning massacre there, was himself a regular! The Orlando Sentinel writes, “‘Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,’ Ty Smith said.”

So there’s just one thing about his claim to be acting on behalf of ISIL (with whom he appears never to have had any contact): puritanical Muslim fundamentalists of the ISIL sort don’t behave that way. Unbalanced, disturbed young Christian Americans who want to act out power fantasies that end in murder-suicide tend to claim a KKK, neo-Nazi, Christian fundamentalist or other white-nationalist identity in a desperate bid to make their loser lives and loser behavior seem cosmically important. And, Jewish young men with mass murder on their minds tend to do so in the name of some flavor of radical Zionism (Jewish nationalism, which makes Judaism a national identity rather than a private religious one). Muslim American young men with similar power fantasies and violent impulses inflate their egos with reference to al-Qaeda, ISIL, whatever the far right fringe Muslim boogey man of the day is. 

As I wrote yesterday, it seems to me a distinction must be drawn between nihilism and terrorism, between the senseless action of a disturbed individual (no matter how he justifies it) and an actual political group to which a suspect actually belongs that deploys terrorism to achieve a deeply political goal.
So here are some tips for recognizing a Muslim fundamentalist who has turned to terrorism, i.e. what most counter-terrrorism experts call a Salafi Jihadi (I prefer the term fundamentalist vigilante). (Note: Only 15% of Muslims are fundamentalists; only 9 million out of 1.5 billion are Wahhabis; and the vast majority of Muslim fundamentalists are peaceful. ISIL in Syria and Iraq is estimated to have on the order of 25,000 fighters).
1. Salafi Jihadis don’t drink alcohol.
2. Salafi Jihadis don’t hang out in bars.
3. Salafi Jihadis don’t, in particular, frequent gay bars.
4. Salafi Jihadis don’t text potential hook-ups using a gay dating app.
5. Salafi Jihadis aren’t usually clean shaven.
6. Salafi Jihadis belong to a fringe interpretation of Sunni Islam and despise Shiites; they don’t typically claim to have an affiliation with a Shiite group such as Hizbullah, which is fighting ISIL in Syria. (Here “typically” means, like, “ever.”)
7. Salafi Jihadis don’t express a hope that non-Muslim police will assault their wives. In fact, they wouldn’t want men other than close relatives to so much as see their wives unveiled.

This is what a real Salafi Jihadi looks like, ie. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Omar Mateen was a disturbed person, likely brought up a nationalist rather than a fundamentalist, and didn’t have the slightest idea of what a Salafi Jihadi was. He was a fraud in every way. Likely the failure of his first marriage came from his mistreatment of his wife because deep down he was not straight and his self-betrayal made him hate her. When he felt bullied at work for his race or religion, he talked big, invoking Salafi Jihadi groups, without any understanding of them. He never adopted that lifestyle or joined any such group. He didn’t even know the difference between Sunni and Shiite.

It is possible, in fact, that his psychotic break came from being jilted at the club, and the massacre was his revenge.

To put all this on Muslims and Islam in general is frankly absurd.
Related video:



    Sami Hussain says:
    June 13, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Thank you, this is beautiful and direly needed. No religion has a monopoly on homophobia, but Islam, especially in its ugly Wahhabi/Salafi/Takfiri version, is particularly pernicious in this aspect. Muslims have to actively speak out against LGBT bigotry, to accept the gay and transgender children, siblings, and neighbors within their religious communities, and to stop abetting homophobia by allowing the bigots to direct the conversation. I hope that one day homosexuality and transgender identity will be seen as perfectly healthy and natural forms of human diversity just like race, skin color, height, right-or-left handedness, and so on. Until then, we have much work to do.


  2. Atta and Company spent their last night alive drinking at a strip club.

    I guess the towers never really came down.


    Juan Cole is full of shit.

  3. Maybe :: Maybe Not

    The conservatives are right: Islam does have a problem with homosexuality. Yet so do many conservatives. And it would be an inversion of Western values to insist that any individual suddenly rethink their religious beliefs if they want to be accepted into society. But Muslims, I’m sure, would welcome a social contract requiring everyone to obey the law and respect the distinction between church and state. And, most of all, live and let live.

  4. We should all be careful stepping out of tall buildings.

    You never know when some homophobic Christians are gonna bomb us with some homosexuals.

  5. All the Abrahamic religions have or on the not too distant past, have had a sexual problem; conservative Muslims, Christians and Jews. None is more preposterous than the “Virgin Birth” of Jesus, yet hundreds of millions believe it. The difference is that Islamic religious and sexual hangups are particularly vile, toxic and dangerous.

    Why was it so necessary to promote the ridiculous concept of a Virgin Mary? Why are Catholic priests not permitted to marry and homosexuality among the priesthood so rampant?

    Why is treatment of women so harsh in a society that turns the other way when men treat boys as if they were women, as in Afghanistan? Why do wealthy Saudis repress some, kill gays and then take a trip to European for booze, hookers and gay bars?

    Religion should be shown the contempt it deserves.

    1. Islam should be shown the contempt it deserves.

  6. I agree. Juan is just trying to make up excuses.

    His work partner said he prayed on a rug everyday.

    Wasn't the most pleasant guy to be around....he laughed and played the comic when the Twin Towers came down, one of his school mates said....

    Told the FBI he wanted to be martyred, pledged himself to ISIS....etc, etc....

    Juan Cole is full of shit.

  7. Current topic on a Fox roundtable is Hillary's first use of the term 'radical Islam'.

    Krauthammer says it's an improvement, but is cynical as hell as it comes right after Bernie dropped out of the race. Says she is swinging to the center now that she doesn't have to pander to the extreme left now Bernie is gone....

    I can't stand Hillary Clinton.

    What a witch.


  8. Same Old, Same Old Horror

    The Orlando massacre brings up familiar lessons that we never quite learn.

    Victor Davis Hanson
    June 13, 2016

    The aftermath of Islamist Afghan-American Omar Mateen’s murderous rampage against American gays seems disturbingly familiar, an echo of past themes that never stop playing—and lessons that never get learned. The post-911 debate over “why do they hate us” should have been settled long ago with a resounding “because of who we are,” rather than the refrain from the blame-America crowd—voiced from the Ron Paul libertarian Right to the Michael Moore Left—that the answer is “because of what we do.” Mateen did not cite the usual ISIS foreign policy boilerplate so much as reportedly express his furor over gay men kissing—suggesting that, like Mohammed Atta et al., he despised the essence of Western liberality and popular culture, yet, like a moth to a flame, was both repelled by it and attracted to it.

    Once again, as in the case of the Tsarnaevs and San Bernardino murderers, the shooter and his associations were on federal authorities’ radar—and again to no avail. Apparently, dozens of Americans must be massacred every so often so that the rest of us can avoid the politically incorrect charge of being “Islamophobic.” At some point, intelligence authorities will have to take seriously American-born Muslims who consume ISIS propaganda and espouse radical Islamic hatred.

    Still more monotonous themes: as in the case of Major Hasan (the Fort Hood jihadist), the Tsarnaev clan (Boston Marathon), and Syed Rizwan Farook (San Bernardino), there is something deeply wrong with American immigration policy and the attitude of us, the lax host, to newcomers. In too many deadly cases, a generation of Muslims goes to great lengths to reach the United States only to raise an American-born or naturalized ungracious and unappreciative generation that apparently grows to hate the bounty and freedom of America to such a degree as to blow up, shoot, and maim innocent Americans. Immigration to the U.S., and citizenship itself, should be seen, again, as a privilege, not a right—and assimilation and integration, not multicultural separatism and ethnic and religious chauvinism, should be the goal of the host. We need not single out Muslims in terms of restricting immigration, but we should take a six-month timeout on all would-be immigrants from countries in the Middle East deemed war zones—Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen—not only for our own immediate security but also to send a general message that entrance into the U.S. is a rare and prized opportunity, not simply a cheap and pro forma entitlement....

    1. Rather than a six month time out, we should take a sixty year time out, and then take a look....and probably extend it further.

      I'm tired of these damned "Q"Nits.

      The Mid-East is a huge area. Let them stay there.

  9. The Orlando Massacre Is Just the Beginning

    Everything that led to it is still well entrenched.

    June 14, 2016

    Raymond Ibrahim

    What is the greatest lesson of the Orlando massacre, where a Muslim shooter killed at least 50 people at a homosexual night club—an event that is now considered the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the September 11 attacks of 2001? It’s that such an attack had to happen—and is destined to happen again. Why? Because the surest way of seeing an act occur repeatedly—say a terrorist attack—is to repeat all the same steps that precipitated and paved the way for it in the first place.

    Consider: the shooter, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, was “quite religious” and a pious Muslim (he attended mosque and prayed regularly); he clearly saw himself as a jihadi killing evildoers—he “recited prayers to Allah during the attack,” pledged this act to the Islamic State, and the latter claimed it—officialdom, as usual, is trying to obfuscate the Islamic role.

    Despite all of the above and the fact that ISIS has repeatedly executed homosexuals, often videotaping it (see here), “FBI Special Agent Ron Hopper said the bureau was still working to determine whether sexual orientation was a motive in the Orlando attack.”

    President Obama said what he often says after a Muslim goes on a rampage in the name of Islam: it’s still too early to know the “precise motivations of the killer.” Instead, Obama exploited the jihadi massacre as a springboard for his own gun-ban agenda, saying that access to “very powerful weapons very quickly” is “a problem regardless of their motivations.”

    Still others are going as far as to blame this jihadi attack on American Christians and conservatives: “You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate,” ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio tweeted.

    Then there’s the deliberate incompetence: Obama’s own purge of training materials and language deemed “hurtful” to Muslims is being cited as partially responsible for the FBI dropping the ball—so that the FBI would never “ever have guessed a LGBT club [would] be a target of an terrorist attack” Mateen was even on the FBI’s radar as a “person of interest” in 2013 and 2014—yet was free to buy guns and go on a murderous rampage in 2016.

    1. Indeed, in this case at least, it appears that Islamophobia trumped homophobia: “Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim.”

      Finally, as with every Islamic terror attack on U.S. soil, the media is again warning against that notorious wave of “reprisals” against the Muslim community that never manifests. (For an idea of what “reprisals” against non-Muslims in Muslim majority nations look like, click here and here). Florida officials were quick to invite a Muslim cleric to address the media and “preempt a possible backlash against the Muslim community” (as opposed to the other Muslim cleric who openly taught in Orlando that Islam commands the execution of homosexuals). The Guardian “courageously” proclaimed, “Let's not give in to fear after the Orlando shooting.”

      Similarly, the head of the Jewish LGBTQ group, who expressed fears of a backlash against Muslims, redundantly pointed out that “We should remember not to blame all members of any other religion or political ideology for what one person does”—an admonition that fails to address who or what we should blame when countless upon countless members of one religion constantly and always engage in violent behavior.

      To the careful observer, all of these reactions from liberals, leftist media, and the Obama administration are par for the course whenever a jihadi terror attack occurs on American soil: stout denial of any connection between the attack in question and Islamic teachings; cynically exploiting the attack to demonize conservatives, gun advocates, and “homophobic” Christians; and cries that any scrutiny into Islam is tantamount to a “backlash” against Muslims.

      And it’s because all these reactions are standard that many more Islamic terrorist attacks are destined to occur on American soil.

    2. Just like Kate Steinle was not the last citizen to be sacrificed on the alter of the lies and deceits perpetrated by Washington and cheered on, ignored, or denied by some (especially one) on this site.

      No big deal, young Americans sacrificed for the big lie.

    3. The gay club was a 'gun free zone'....until, all of a sudden, it wasn't.

      Hillary wants to take our guns, and admit millions of muzzies whose book tells them to either enslave us or to kill us all.

      Even I'm bright enough not to vote for that.

  10. Dov Ivry •
    This is simply a case of workplace violence. Some guy wanted to use the women's lavatory in accordance with Obama's rules but someone else exposed him as a global warming skeptic and under the Gore Amendment, he was not entitled to.
    Tempers flared and one thing led to another.

    It can happen anywhere.

    The solution is to disarm everyone especially women who insist on having privacy in their lavatories.
    They are the greatest danger for future workplace violence of this type.

    But you can rest easy Obama is completely focused on the bathroom threat to the nation to the exclusion of all else, so all is well.

    1. Whew, glad to hear it (wiping the sweat from my brow) and I feel all better now.