Posts Tagged “militant”

'Brave Sir Robin / Nearly fought the fierce dragon of Agnor, almost stood up to the vicious Chicken of Bristol, wet himself at the Battle for Badon Hill' from Monty Python & the Holy Grail / Lewis Pitt, via PinterestOne of the realities behind the folks who run terrorist outfits is that, despite their bluster and braggadocio, they’re almost always sniveling cowards. That’s why terrorism — i.e. going after innocents and the defenseless — is their modus operandi. They only attack when they know they’ll win and when there won’t be much of a fight. This is as true of ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh/whatever-the-fuck-you-want-to-call-that-savage-brood as it is of any other.

Oh sure, they’re proud to announce they’re doing al-Lah’s will, and they’re holy warriors waging a sacred jihad and all of that self-righteous crap … but really, they’re all cowards. They chose to strike in a time and place that they knew would be easy, and never ventured into places like Turkey or Iran who’d be sure to fight back … and fight back hard. They enslaved and raped Yazidi women, for example — as though that campaign could have imperiled them.

Well, now that the Iraqi military decided to grow a pair and take them on, ISIS has been hemmed in, and losing key territory. And as Reuters reports, it’s reached the point where their leader has flown the coop (Google cached article):

U.S. and Iraqi officials believe the leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has left operational commanders behind with diehard followers to fight the battle of Mosul, and is now hiding out in the desert, focusing mainly on his own survival.

It is impossible to confirm the whereabouts of the Islamic State “caliph”, who declared himself the ruler of all Muslims from Mosul’s Great Mosque after his forces swept through northern Iraq in 2014.

But U.S. and Iraqi intelligence sources say an absence of official communication from the group’s leadership and the loss of territory in Mosul suggest he has abandoned the city, by far the largest population center his group has ever held.

It turns out that cowardly tactics has been the way al-Baghdadi has lived for a while:

From their efforts to track him, they believe he hides mostly among sympathetic civilians in familiar desert villages, rather than with fighters in their barracks in urban areas where combat has been under way, the sources say.

Even if al-Baghdadi’s so-called “state” is completely destroyed, that’s not to say he and his outfit won’t continue to be dangerous:

Although the loss of Mosul would effectively end Islamic State’s territorial rule in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi officials are preparing for the group to go underground and fight an insurgency like the one that followed the U.S.-led invasion.

Still, it’s nice to see this monster finally show the world his true colors … which is ISIS black, but with a nice, wide yellow stripe down the back.Bye-bye, little Abu Bakr. Bye-bye!

Photo credit: Top, from Monty Python & the Holy Grail / Lewis Pitt, via Pinterest; middle, from Elf, via Giphy.

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A woman, who said she was raped by Islamic State militants, in a refugee camp in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. Mauricio Lima for the New York Times.Most readers, by now, will have heard about a horrifying New York Times story. It seems the leadership of ISIS/ISIL/IS/whatever-the-fuck-you-want-to-call-that-barbaric-brood has devised an explicitly religious rationale for systematic sexual slavery and rape — almost exclusively of Yazidi girls (WebCite cached article):

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.

Thus opens a blood-curdling story of what has rapidly become an institution within this savage outfit:

The trade in Yazidi women and girls has created a persistent infrastructure, with a network of warehouses where the victims are held, viewing rooms where they are inspected and marketed, and a dedicated fleet of buses used to transport them.

A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year, and at least 3,144 are still being held, according to community leaders. To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden.

A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.

In an ancillary story — this one offered by ABC News — it turns out that American hostage Kayla Mueller had been the property of, and repeatedly raped by, none other than the savages’ leader (cached):

Before her death earlier this year, American hostage Kayla Mueller was repeatedly raped by the top leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to counter-terrorism officials.

Mueller’s family confirmed to ABC News that government officials have told them that their daughter, who would have turned 27 today, was the victim of repeated sexual assaults by al-Baghdadi.

“We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi. We were told that in June by the government,” Kayla’s parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller, told ABC News today.…

The new revelations about Mueller’s long ordeal — which involved torture since the beginning of her one-and-a-half years of captivity, her family has been told by the FBI — shatter rumors spread by some officials that she had cooperated or was a willing spouse, which has deeply upset her family and many inside her case.

Yes, folks … this means Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who leads the world’s largest and most powerful terrorist organization and who’d like Muslims to embrace him as their new caliph, is nothing more than a rapist, pervert, and sexual deviant. In other words, he’s even more of a fucking bastard pig than we already thought.

The Times story explains that having forcible sex with kafirah (“infidels”) is — perversely — a form of worship, according to these savages. Now, the story also explains there’s a more mundane, even mercenary reason for this policy, which is as a recruiting tool to attract men who live in a society which is otherwise puritanical and sexually repressive. It gives them an outlet for sexuality that they couldn’t otherwise avail themselves of. Thus, a lot of kneejerk defenders of Islam will say, “You see? It’s not really a ‘religious’ thing. They’re just trying to attract guys who like the idea of being able to freely rape women.” That misses the entire point. First of all, if this had been an entirely-non-religious policy, it would not have been couched in religious language at all. Second, the fact that this systematic sexual slavery is limited almost exclusively to Yazidis — who according to Islam don’t follow a “religion of the book” and therefore are afforded no protections whatsoever — definitely points to a clear religious impulse behind it.

Most importantly, though, this defense misses the truly salient lesson here, which is that it’s possible to use the sacred texts and teachings of nearly any religion to craft policies which are convenient and utilitarian — not to mention self-indulgent. In other words, it’s possible to use and even abuse a religion in order to get whatever it is one wants! This tends to undermine the credibility of the religion in question, since if it were truly of divine origin, one would think it couldn’t be abused in such a way.

Lastly … by posting this, I am not saying all Muslims everywhere support this savage outfit’s policy, or consider it consistent with Islam as they practice it. By no means! As I said, all I’m doing is pointing out the harsh, unpleasant reality that a religion — indeed, almost any kind of metaphysics at all — can readily be twisted to suit one’s purposes. This is no less true of Islam than it is of Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism or Shinto or anything else. The solution is not to get offended at this observation, or whine and bellyache that one’s religion has been “attacked” by pointing this out. Rather, the solution is to work to ensure this kind of abuse of a religion is not tolerated, and is stamped out as soon as possible. In the case of ISIS/ISIL/IS/whatever-the-fuck-you-want-to-call-that-barbaric-brood, there’s been a little “stamping,” but they continue attracting adherents — both in their own theater of action and elsewhere — which tells me there has to be a whole fucking helluva a lot more stamping.

Photo credit: Mauricio Lima / New York Times.

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The peasants are - well, you know! (via TV Tropes)Christofascists in Giles county, Virginia have decided that they need not obey the Constitution, and are putting up copies of the Ten Commandments in its public schools. A mob of them showed up at a school board meeting and forced them to reverse a superintendent’s earlier decision not to do so. The Roanoke (VA) Times reports about this “peasants with pitchforks” moment (WebCite cached article):

The Ten Commandments will hang in public schools, the Giles County School Board unanimously decided Thursday afternoon despite the school district attorney’s recommendation and precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court. …

More than 200 county residents packed the school board meeting room and adjacent hallway Thursday afternoon, and a half-dozen parents and pastors told the board to honor God and continue to teach children that the United States is “one nation, under God” with the commandments.

“You have a moral obligation to what is right,” Elwood Lambert of Narrows said to the board. “Do not let our future children be deprived of this right — a God-given right.”

This meeting was turned into a tent-revival-style event:

The crowd clapped and cheered, and many answered “Amen.”

This Christofascist went on to make a ridiculous accusation:

[Giles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Eric] Gentry told the school board to fight “hate groups,” such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which often takes on First Amendment legal battles, and keep the posters in schools.

This is because not wanting Christians to force their religion on everyone, particularly school children, is an expression of deep, abiding “hatred” of Christians. Why, it’s only one step short of going out and killing them!

Yes, people really do think that way. It’s childish, of course, but that doesn’t stop them from keeping this sanctimonious belief.

Ironically, a whole raft of Christian outfits were recently labeled as “hate groups” … and more objectively so.

For calling the ACLU and similar organizations “hate groups,” I’m putting Gentry in my “lying liars for Jesus” club. Way to go, dude!

If anyone thought that militant Christianism is on the wane in the US … well … here’s your evidence to the contrary.

Hat tip: Friendly Atheist blog.

Photo credit: TV Tropes.

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Bundesarchiv Bild 102-06851, Mailand, Parade italienischer FrontkämpferBill Donohue, the Christofascist who heads the Catholic League, reached a new high in low, during an appearance on Fox News, wherein he made his position on Christmas — and on what everyone should believe, generally — crystal clear. News Hounds reports that what he said, is that non-Christians need to convert to Catholicism and worship Christmas along with him (WebCite cached article). He began with some remarks about reports that Christmas trees make some non-Christians uncomfortable:

Bill’s verbal pugilism escalated with “tell them to get over it.” He then did a litany of those who are “excluded,” including “mothers who feel excluded from father’s day” (WTF!) and said “too bad.”

What the fuck, indeed! I had no idea that any mothers felt “excluded” from Father’s Day. Where did the Billster pull that from?

Bill claimed that his Jewish friends (imaginary?) say this is ridiculous and that “everybody celebrates Christmas.”

Aha. The old “some of my best friends are Jewish” thing. Sorry Bill, but that you happen to know a few Jews who celebrate Christmas, tells us absofuckinglutely nothing about Jews as a group, or even about non-Christians generally. My guess, Bill, is that any Jewish friends you may have, are telling you what you want to hear because they know what a ferocious Christofascist you are. (That’s assuming you really have any Jewish “friends,” Bill … I find that claim to be non-credible.)

He then brayed that if people are made uncomfortable by Christmas displays — are ya ready for it — they should “convert to Catholicism.”

Yes, folks, that’s the Billster’s solution to the problem of religious inclusiveness … everyone should just convert en masse to his own religion, Roman Catholicism, and — voilà! — problem gone.

That, Gentle Reader, is the very definition of a religious militant, and now you see why I’ve been saying that the Billster is a Christofascist.

The really sad part about this is that a lot of religious folks are going to read what the Billster said, and agree with him, that everyone converting to the same religion would solve the problem of religious division. What all of Bill’s believer/defenders fail to understand is the truly hideous nature of this idea. Its horror would become clearer, if put in the mouths of others. They wouldn’t be too keen, for example, on al-Qaeda terrorists saying to them, “If you want us to stop trying to blow you up by the dozen, all you have to do is convert to our Wahhabi Islamism.” Its criminality becomes even more obvious if one puts it in the mouth of a robber: “All you need do is give me all your money, and I won’t be forced to attack you.”

At any rate, I have to wonder, though, how many of the Billster’s allies among the rest of the Religious Right — which is overwhelmingly evangelical Protestant and therefore opposed to Catholicism — are going to take his demand that everyone convert to Catholicism. My guess is that they secretly cringed when they heard that … but in the interest of militant-Christian solidarity against non-Christians, they likely would never openly admit it.

I hope any doubts as to the religiofascist goals of people like Bill Donohue have been dispelled. Now you understand why they make such an issue out of Christmas every year … for them, it’s a wedge issue they can use to push their demand that everyone in the world believe what they do.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Godefroi of Bouillon leads the armyThe forces of the Lord of Hosts are on the march again — as they are every year at this time — and they’re hurling the weaponry of commerce at people and companies that dare fail to use the word “Christmas” as often as they think they should. I already blogged about one such effort; the latest is courtesy of the raging hordes of the American Family Association, another division of the Army of Christ (aka the Religious Right). The AFA has gone to war against a national sporting-goods chain (which, as before, I will not name so as not to contribute to the AFA’s effort) because its holiday marketing isn’t “Christmas-y” enough (WebCite cached article).

Now, I’m not sure how many “Christmases” in a store’s advertising is enough for the AFA. They haven’t disclosed any standards that stores must meet in order to avoid their wrath. Their decisions seem pretty arbitrary. What this means is that it’s impossible for any given store to know, in advance, what’s required of them to make the Religious Right happy.

Keep raging on about Christmas, Christianists. Rage on. It’s hilarious. Honest! You have no idea how hysterically funny you people are.

Hat tip: Consumerist.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Jesus with a rifleI’ve blogged about the wingnut church in Gainesville, FL that plans to celebrate the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks by burning Qur’ans. Their planned tantrum has been widely criticized, even by other Christians. They’ve noticed this backlash, and have decided to do something in response. That response can be summed up in one phrase: “Lock and load.” Yep, they’re arming for battle and are ready to fight for their right to burn Qur’ans. CNN reports on their increasing obstinacy and militancy (WebCite cached article):

An armed Christian organization, Right Wing Extreme, will protect a church that is planning to host an “International Burn a Quran Day” on September 11, the church’s pastor said Tuesday. …

Dove World Outreach Center Pastor Terry Jones has accepted the support of Right Wing Extreme, which he said offered to come to the church with between 500 and 2,000 men on September 11. He described the organization as an armed civilian militia group.

The pastor’s childish defiance goes beyond merely arming up for the Qur’an-burning: He and his church plan to break the law, too. You see, they haven’t been able to get a burning permit from the city of Gainesville … but still plan to light up nonetheless, as reported by the Gainesville Sun (cached):

On Wednesday, the department faxed and mailed a letter to the church’s senior pastor, Terry Jones, to let him know for the second time that the city wouldn’t allow the burning.

But the church, which has about 50 members, has indicated that even if it doesn’t have a permit, it will still burn the Muslim holy book.

It sure looks like these people are hoping to engage in a battle when Gainesville officials arrive to arrest them for hosting an illegal burning. I can only hope no one gets killed.

Well … no one who doesn’t belong to Dove World Outreach Center, that is; its members, I couldn’t care less about.

What a marvelous testimony to the Religion of Love … no?

Photo credit: Jordon.

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What Would Jesus Do ... with a gun?About a year ago I blogged about a church pastor in Kentucky who insisted that all good Christians carry guns around. He felt that guns and Christianity are inseparable, even if guns hadn’t existed in Jesus’ time and there is no evidence he had so much as touched any kind of weapon (aside from the scourge he used in the Cleansing of the Temple).

Well, it’s not just a pastor in Kentucky who wants worshippers to pack heat when they go to church; the ferociously Religious Rightist governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana signed a law specifically promoting exactly that, as reported by Politico (WebCite cached article):

Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a law allowing holders of concealed-weapons permits to carry guns into houses of worship.

The bill, signed Tuesday night, allows permit holders who take an additional eight hours of tactical training each year to bring a gun into “any church, synagogue, mosque or other similar place of worship.”

I honestly do not get how any rational Christian could possibly view arming him/herself as a valid way of worshipping the man who said — among other things — “do not resist an evil person” (Mt 5:39), “turn the other cheek” (Lk 6:29) and “whoever lives by the sword will die by the sword” (Mt 26:52). There must be something about Jesus’ own plain words that I don’t get … because I can’t see any place in the gospels where he even began to suggest that his followers needed to arm themselves. It’s just not there. The phrase “militant Christianity” is a contradiction in terms, if one looks at Jesus’ actual teachings as recorded in the gospels; yet it seems to be an expectation of all Christians, by Jindal and the rest of the Religious Right.

Photo credit: Counterlight’s Peculiars.

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