Friday, August 08, 2014

Canon Andrew White: "You have got to be prepared to die for your faith"



"We have had people's heads chopped off. We are having people convert. We are even having children slaughtered and cut in half." And with these words, Newsnight's interview with Canon Andrew White ends, as he leaves the Baghdad studio to carry on ministering to his flock. "We are living in worst crisis I have ever known," he writes on Facebook. "Working day and night to meet the needs of those who have nothing. We are providing a huge amount and as you will see on this video we are all very tired, but our Lord is sustaining us."

And he does look rather tired. But there is no sense of bitterness, exasperation, or even a hint of indignation. His whole demeanour is one of peacefulness and serenity. At times he sounds almost like a soul in bliss, and perhaps that is what makes his ministry so vital in a region where every waking day brings an expectation of death.

Apparently, President Obama is bombing Northern Iraq to help save the 40,000 members of the Yazidi tribe stranded on the barren crags of Mount Sinjar, before more of them die of dehydration and starvation. The President said the US could not turn a "blind eye" to the prospect of violence "on a horrific scale", especially when the Iraqi government had requested assistance. He said the US would act "carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide".

This intervention is welcome. But one notes that it was the appalling plight of the Yazidi after the Islamic State took control of Zumar and Sinjar which has animated the politicians; not the desperate anguish of Christians after those same Sunni-Salafist fanatics butchered their way through Mosul. And now the Prime Minister has issued a statement:


The world must help them in their hour of desperate need? Why were the Christians not deemed worthy of the same level of concern and support? Why is the Prime Minister less burdened by their right to freedom and dignity? Are Christians worth less than members of a so-called 'sect'?

Baroness Warsi observed back in January that the persecution of Christians has become a "global crisis". But she did nothing. She said the UK Government was committed to standing up to such persecution. But she did nothing. She said majority Muslim nations have a duty to defend Christian minorities. But she did nothing. She assured us that she had elevated religious discrimination against Christians and other minorities to a key priority in the Government’s human rights work. But she did nothing. She visited the Pope and made a speech to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. But nothing came of it. She convened a committee to discuss the complex issues. But nothing came of that, either.

Words, words, words.

At least Canon Andrew White is doing something. And in his anguish are echoes of the passions and martyrdoms of generations past.

But the persecution of Christians throughout history has ultimately failed because it has tended to separate the wheat from the chaff and caused growth. Eusebius’ account of the martyrdom of Polycarp tells us: "When one governor in Asia Minor in the second century began persecuting the Christians, the entire Christian population of the region paraded before his house as a manifesto of their faith." The suffering of some Christians spurred others to more faithful living. Martyrs were perceived as having heroic qualities, and many peasants, onlookers, soldiers and members of the nobility became Christians through their witness. Tertullian observed: "The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed." Tacitus agreed, after the persecutions of Nero, that "in spite of this temporary setback the deadly superstition broke out afresh, not only in Judaea... but even in Rome".

The blood of Christians is seed.

Muslims loyal to the Islamic State will do what they believe they have been called by their prophet to do. Presidents and prime ministers will try to bomb them to hell. But the Living God will strengthen His people to be courageous and fearless. And persecution is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, it is one of the marks of true gospel ministry and discipleship. Sharing in the sufferings of Christ translates into sharing a future glory. As St Peter says, it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God: "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled" (1Pt 3:14).

Canon Andrew White suffers with his people because Christ suffered for him, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His steps and in his steps. He is a bold and gracious witness to the whole world. 

101 Comments:

Blogger LibertyPhile said...

What a shame the BBC doesn't use its "photo journalism" and graphics skills on this problem.

Here is an example of what they can do!!!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28666562

8 August 2014 09:50  
Blogger The Explorer said...

"Muslims loyal to the Islamic State will do what they believe they have been called by their prophet to do."

They seem to me to be going beyond what their prophet called them to do. Some who convert are still being killed.

8 August 2014 09:53  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Why were the Christians not deemed worthy of the same level of concern and support? Why is the Prime Minister less burdened by their right to freedom and dignity? Are Christians worth less than members of a so-called 'sect'.

Because peacock angel worship of an exotic syncretic religion helps the PM's effort to secure the middle ground that vacillates between right and wrong in tune with the spirit of the present age. It all adds to diversity you see. Whereas moral absolute Christian values that stubbornly refuse to fade in and out like Magic FM in the Chilterns are an embarrassment.

8 August 2014 10:29  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

A truly brave and compassionate example of humanity.

Maximum respect for this Man.

8 August 2014 10:33  
Blogger Len said...

Prime Minister Cameron is 'concerned' but not concerned enough to actually do anything?.
As the death cult which is radical Islam seeks more victims to put to the sword I can only hope that the World will eventually awaken from its hypnotic trance and start to help the defenseless minorities being exterminated by this tide of evil sweeping the middle east.

8 August 2014 10:34  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Your Grace,
Thank you for maintaining this programme of awareness on Iraqi.

I ask however, where is this fledgling Christian PM that you spoke of and adjured us to succour. Once again I see no evidence of his concern for the God of this Nation. He has however plenty to say regarding the plight of Media minority interest groups.

Why has the ABC not sent young willing curates to help the unwell Cannon White or are our outposts of no interest to the CofE. Better still, send the pink and pro-assisted dying Bishops to help.

8 August 2014 10:39  
Blogger Len said...

Canon White is a totally committed man committed to his fellow man Arab Jew or Christian and totally committed to God.
Canon White is a true hero of the faith.
Many Christians will feel as Peter did when he struck off the man`s ear when they came to arrest Christ, I know I do..I do not know how one can remain calm and peaceful under such terrible persecution.
Canon White is true man of God and certainly makes me question my Christianity.

8 August 2014 10:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Shadrach @ 10:39

Plenty of assisted dying out there.

Those who convert to Islam at the point of a knife are then beheaded.

Strange; you would think new Muslims would be welcomed by their co-believers.

8 August 2014 10:52  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Once again thank you Your Grace for remaining resolutely focussed on this, when no other media channel does.

Undoubtedly Canon White is a living Saint.

I have said before, like Len @ 10.41, I am firmly on the fight to defend side. We should be supplying the Kurds with military and humanitarian equipment. Theirs is the base, the bridge head from which to recapture what is being lost. Sooner or later the west, probably including Turkey, will have to fight this group.

8 August 2014 11:12  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H:

I'm very blurred about all this, but I understand that part of US reluctance to supply weapons to the Kurds is about what the Kurds might do with them afterwards.

An independent Kurdistan doesn't tie in with American plans for Iraq. Upsetting Turkey. Etc.

At least, that's what the CNN report I tracked down somewhere seemed to say.

8 August 2014 11:19  
Blogger IanCad said...

To the question posed by HG.

"--Why is the Prime Minister less burdened by their right to freedom and dignity?--"

Perhaps a clue as to the answer can be seen in his appointment of the new Education Seceratary; Nicky Morgan the heathen.
Already flexing her penchant for intolerance by declaring that those who accept the creationist view of our origins are "Extemists." It would seem that we traditional Christians are in for a rough ride.


"He is a bold and gracious witness to the whole world."

So true, so true.

8 August 2014 11:29  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Ian Cad,
I saw that today. They will withdraw all support from those who teach extremist views such as creationism and probably that we all have a daddy and a mummy.
Their standard is some supposed traditional British views as peddled by the government.

8 August 2014 11:54  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

It has become part of the ISIS sick game to forcibly covert victims and still behead them as infidels. Even worse it is now alleged that children are being beheaded Some of the heads are being displayed on poles.

Meanwhile certain Muslims in the UK are waving ISIS banners and wearing ISIS t-shirts to show their support for all this barbarity. Proof here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2673493/Infidels-wear-red-collars-shave-heads-Nazi-vision-Muslim-Britain-Imam-ran-Isis-barbecue-Welsh-park.html

The Jihadists are already here but don't panic. "Keep calm and carry on" (as if nothing has happened.)

Whatever the military response to ISIS, we may be sure that Downing Street will be treading carefully to avoid the slightest hint of Islamophobia. Having lost the conservative vote to UKIP they can't afford to lose the Muslim vote as well.

8 August 2014 12:21  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

Paul, writing to Timothy said 'Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:12-13)

If we were to ask why there is so little persecution in the UK we would be forced to the conclusion that the laws, and the majority of the population, of this land are no longer 'godly'. They have turned their backs on God and sided with the evil doers. Consequently there is nothing worth attacking by evil men. But praise Him that where men and women do live godly lives around the globe and suffer persecution as a result the Gospel is spreading.

Jehovah is in control and He does know what He is doing

8 August 2014 12:23  
Blogger Gareth said...

Did anyone bother to ask the Yazidis, or the Copts, or anyone in Northern Iraq for that matter, whether they actually want the help of western nations?

8 August 2014 12:24  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Attitude to conversion is one of the biggest differences between Christianity and Islam.

The rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents.

On the other hand, some infidels somewhere who wished to become Muslims and avoid the Jizya were forbidden to do so, because of the resultant loss of revenue.

Provided you were still under Muslim control, the state of your soul didn't matter.

8 August 2014 12:30  
Blogger Preacher said...

David Camerons statement defines what he believes in (or not) & the stance that he takes (or doesn't). He is a rudderless ship, sails unfurled, blown about by every wind of popular secular belief. A man pleaser, weak & unprincipled he is a lick spittle of the EU.
A man without faith or belief.
Proclaiming himself to be a Christian, but with no moral compass or courage.
Compared to the lowest Christian in the areas of genocide in Iraq there is no comparison.

Andrew White would be the first to reject being elevated to sainthood & his faith under trial & duress are an example to us all & I'm sure that Andrew would be the first to reprove me for my anger at our 'leader', But this humble man of God stands like a tower & relegates the mealy mouthed men of straw to cower in his shadow.

8 August 2014 12:41  
Blogger Roy said...

Nobody can possibly doubt Cameron's commitment to human rights. The two links below show the importance he attaches to them.

David Cameron to dispatch top gay Tory Nick Herbert to challenge homophobic Polish allies. Pink News, 21st April 2010
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/04/21/david-cameron-to-dispatch-top-gay-tory-nick-herbert-to-challenge-homophobic-polish-allies/

Uganda fury at David Cameron aid threat over gay rights, 31 October 2011
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15524013

Of course, Cameron does have a point when it comes to the treatment of gays in Uganda, and possibly even in Poland, but what sort of person would be more concerned if a person had a common cold than if they had lung cancer?

8 August 2014 13:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This is an exercise in doing something without doing something. There isn't an infrastructure to attack. So what will they strike? They will need designators to tell them "Put a bomb through the roof of the building on the corner." Who is going to do that?

In the absence of interdiction, air power is a complement to a land battle. Where are the land forces? What is the target an aircraft can effectively destroy? Dispersed infantry is possibly the worst target available to the kinds of airstrikes being contemplated. You would need area weapons. Something like the Arc Light strikes in Vietnam.

Whenever a politician tells you he is sending aircraft to "responsibly" stop genocide, there are two words that should immediately pop into your mind.

carl

8 August 2014 13:36  
Blogger Roy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 August 2014 13:47  
Blogger Roy said...

@ Carl Jacobs

What is the target an aircraft can effectively destroy?

ISIS have captured artillery. I don't know if they have deployed those weapons against the Yezdis and Christians but if they have then warplanes could destroy them.

Iraq Sunni Shia Military
ISIS Militants Captured 52 American-Made Artillery Weapons That Cost $500,000 Each
http://www.businessinsider.com/isis-has-52-american-weapons-that-can-hit-baghdad-2014-7#ixzz39nvBhWo2

Islamic State overruns Syrian artillery regiment in Hasakah
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/08/islamic_state_overru_1.php#ixzz39nvOyiAB

8 August 2014 13:49  
Blogger bluedog said...

The positive news, Your Grace, is that once again the Muslim nations are forced to confront the consequences of their own faith, and once again they are burying their heads in the sand.

Just about every week there is a new Muslim atrocity, outrage or incident. One would think that relations between the Muslim and Non-Muslim nations within the UN would by now reflect the utter exasperation of the latter with the former.

There must come a time when some leader will emerge within Islam who actually recognises the systemic weaknesses of Muslim society and seeks a remedy. The last man to do this was Attaturk, whose legacy is being eroded. However, as the centenary of Attaturk's greatest achievements is nigh, perhaps his life will be re-appraised, and his teachings renewed.

It can't come soon enough.

8 August 2014 14:03  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

What sort of a SAC guy are you Carl, if you can't hit an ISIS prayer rug from 30 angels?

8 August 2014 14:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Roy, the artillery pieces...if they come with useful quantities of shells and there are crews which know how to use them will light up on radar...as will trucks and civilian vehicles, presenting the pilots and weps officers with multitudes of little red boxes on their threat screens. As Carl said, without ground spotters, the exercise will be futile. But the pieces do present a threat to Baghdad and the only competent troops in Iraq which al-Maliki has kept to protect his own sorry hide. Arming the Kurds, the only ones who can help the refugees to expanded safe zones is off the table, of course.

8 August 2014 14:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

But there are 40,000 ISIS prayer rugs JDAM is the wrong munition type for that target. Besides, there would be 39,999 ISIS prayer rugs after that one detonation. What then have I really accomplished toward achieving my objective?

Now if you bombed an area with several B52s worth of 2000 lb iron bombs, that would get their attention. The US destroyed two NVA divisions that way at Khe Sanh. But those units were fixed in place by their target. I am not sure ISIS is fixed or concentrated enough for airstrikes to have any noticeable effect.

Now if you have ground forces to identify and designate targets, and exploit the effects (assuming there is a competent military ground force available) the combination is lethal. Can the Iraqis do that?

Or you could just use a string of tactical nukes. That would work as well...

...

That last was a JOKE, Jack. Put down the keyboard and unbunch your panties. I was deliberately poking you in the ribs with a stick.

carl

8 August 2014 14:52  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

The airstrikes have as much if not more to do with there being a US Consulate in Erbil and the revelation that there are US military advisors embedded with the Peshmerga. Another Benghazi wouldn't go down too well.

8 August 2014 15:01  
Blogger thestreetman said...

Thank you YG.

An extraordinary man indeed.

8 August 2014 15:18  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I would think that the Yanks bombers would escort the aid planes and one can see from the air the IS moving. Just look for the white Toyota truck with the black flags. On the way back I'd flatten the towns that IS have taken, which is a shame but the people that lived there have to start afresh anyway. I'd then follow the IS trail with a few old fashioned bombs.

Meanwhile back at home evil nutcases like this one are roaming free in the UK

http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_direct_link.cfm/blog_id/49173/British-Salafi-Abu-Mounisa-We-Should-Attack-David-Cameron-Attack-the-Law-and-Order-and-Make-the-Entire-System-Bow-Down-to-Allah

8 August 2014 15:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, you are showing your cultural bias by not appreciating the psychological value of putting a hole through a good prayer rug. Anyhow, after a thorough tactical analysis of the situation, I've concluded that dropping family sedans (lemons like the Toyota Prius or the Dodge Caliber come to mind) on ISIS forces would be as effective and certainly cheaper than using guided munitions. The collateral after-market value of any parts that survive terminal velocity can be deemed as "passed" on the durability test and checked off as "entrepreneurial foreign aid" on the ledgers. Do send my recommendation to your buddies under the mountain when you can.

I'm not sure Khe San is a good example though; the equivalent of four or five Hiroshima bombs was dropped on a fixed NVA base to get the job done...meanwhile the VC, like little ants moving stuff on bicycles through the trails, were left in peace to ready for their Tet Offensive. Like the latter, ISIS is a classical guerrilla army, now watching closely and learning from Hamas about the importance of dispersing, mobility, advanced communication and sheltering with panicked civilians.

Let's face it, your administration has picked a pretty good way to distract from the fact that nothing is being done for the Christians (who are not conveniently massed on a mountain), to avoid arming the independence-ready Kurds and to relieve the threat to al Maliki's Baghdad forces by, at best, slowing down ISIS and preventing it from concentrating.

8 August 2014 16:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl

Nukes are too expensive and not needed at this stage. Also, you should note, Jack dresses 'commando style' when at home.

What to do? A Catholic blogger, Mr M, has a suggestion. It will please the Inspector and you too - even if its not practical.

With our host's leave, Jack will outline it.

His premise is that only non-democratic regimes can control the Muslim mob.

He sees two options.

(1) The Muslims keep massacring each other and the worst among them keep massacring Christians. The West and the Church does nothing whilst the massacre goes on undisturbed.

(2) The US and their allies start bombing the ISIS villages and installations, making it clear that anywhere near a possible ISIS target is the wrong place to be. The " ... dear supporters of the Religion of Peace will have to extirpate the cancer from their midst with their own hands if they want the bombs to stop falling." He acknowledges that a definitive victory will not be possible without boots on the ground.

Mr M. is in favour of option (2) because to talk of peace with ISIS is pointless. "When they die, they will get the message. Not one second before."

His solution is brutal:

" ... bomb the bastards as needed, and then put in power a handful of your bastards. People who know what they must do to stay alive and enjoy a life of luxury and privilege ...

... and take care that they do not touch your own interests, starting from the safety and tranquility of the Christians. If they deliver, they will be allowed to live, and the West will close its rhetorical and democratic eye whenever necessary. If they don’t, they’ll end up as dead as Gaddafi whilst the next bastard gets his chance ...

Violence, fear, and the constant threat of the Western wrath. This is what works with them. They react to it rather well (Saddam docet). Give it to them, then ....

Our bastards everywhere, and woe to them if they touch our interests. This is what works."


He concludes:

"Give war a chance. Give violence a chance. Give fear a chance."

Jack is not so sure this is a sound moral approach and he doubts it is achievable or that it would work.

The middle east is fraught with too many competing interests - America, Europe, Russia, China, Turkey, Arabia, Persia, Babylon etc. etc.

Jack says he'd sooner just leave them to it - just do what we can reasonably do to pull Christians and other minorities to safety. Trouble is the world's oil supply and Europe's oil and gas supply depends on regional stability.

8 August 2014 16:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jack, with all due respect to your angry blogger friend, his advice is bull. It's like a dog attacking and savaging his master's stick. Sticks, like terrorists and guerrillas, are cheap and available. Contrary to popular delusions, what fuels terrorism is neither ideology or religion, but a steady flow of massive amounts of money. Without the political will to penalize and isolate the sources of that money, sources which are governments of nation states in "good standing" with the UN, nothing will change.

8 August 2014 16:40  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Avi @ 16:40

"What fuels terrorism is neither ideology or religion."

What fuels suicide bombing: money or religion?

Is it the thought that their families will be provided for financially that induces young men to blow themselves up?



8 August 2014 16:55  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

HJ

It would seem that violence and intimidation is the Muslim way of doing things.
Everywhere in the world where they gain a foothold and some ground there is violence and trouble.
In China now too. Yes, they have experienced the bus bombers and have reacted by banning all those people with beards and Islamic dress from getting on the buses. Very sensible too I think.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/06/chinese-city-bans-islamic-beards-headwear-and-clothing-on-buses

8 August 2014 17:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Explorer, any religion or ideology can find a way to justify self-sacrifice be it on the battle-field or a with a suicide belt; esteem in the form of memorials and positions of power for the suffering martyr's family and plenty of money in the midst of a population which is kept poor by cutting off normal commercial activity will do it.

On a grander scale, terrorists and guerrillas live off "the land," meaning the populations they hide among. In today's reality, we support them through foreign and humanitarian aid efforts and by being unable to "punish" the ever-innocent civilians by cutting off the flow. A hungry, deprived population will not support terrorists and guerrillas among them, and will even tear them apart if things get bad enough. A case in point is Gaza. While Israel strikes, it supplies it with electricity, water, and about a hundred truckloads of food and medicines daily...for humanitarian reasons. Those miles of concrete-lined tunnels Hamas built were made possible by the ubiquitous pictures of Arab families living in tents beside the rubble of their houses...and rubble is very photogenic, as everyone can "see" his house in it...so, Obama brow-beat Israel in 2012 to allow unlimited amounts of building materials and this is what we got. Watch the whole process repeat itself once the Gaza operation ends. Gazans know that there is a silver lining on this cloud; when the bad stuff is over, tons of goodies, money, new and better housing, free food, loving NGO workers and tens of thousands of reconstruction jobs. So, long live Hamas! And they are ok with dragging things out, so expect to see weeping grannies sifting through Gaza's rubble for a long time, affording the West with the opportunity of competing in pledging ever greater amounts of goodies. An airport, a sea port, a subway, more malls, hospitals and clinics and grand "government" buildings...there is no shortage of proposals and money. Give, give, give til it hurts...even if a chain of generations iof peaceful Africans still lives in refugee tents, eats roots and burns twigs. Such is our grand "war on terror."

8 August 2014 17:14  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 August 2014 17:17  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Marie, "In China now too. Yes, they have experienced the bus bombers and have reacted by banning all those people with beards and Islamic dress from getting on the buses. Very sensible too I think."

Actually, sclerotic, old school commie-Chinese thinking. A thirty-cent razor and a cheap suit will solve that bus admission problem. The downside of such heavy-handed stupidities is that it angers regular people who prefer beards and kaftans and builds sympathies for the extremists.

8 August 2014 17:21  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Avi:

What fuels terrorism is neither ideology or religion.

Mainland Britain was subjected to a spate of IRA bombings. But once the short-term objectives of the bombers had been met, the bombing stopped. There hasn't been a major IRA bomb for a while: and it looks like the long-term objective can be achieved without another one.

Surely ideology was the key factor there?

8 August 2014 17:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...

To sum up: I'd say money is the enabler of terrorism, but not the cause.

8 August 2014 17:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

IanCad: "Perhaps a clue as to the answer can be seen in his appointment of the new Education Seceratary; Nicky Morgan the heathen."

I'm pretty sure Nicky Morgan sold herself in her election leaflets as a practising Christian.

8 August 2014 18:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Not too wise to screw around with the Chinese. They aren't constrained in response like a Western gov't.

carl

8 August 2014 18:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi

"Contrary to popular delusions, what fuels terrorism is neither ideology or religion, but a steady flow of massive amounts of money."

That keeps it going, agreed. A plant needs water. Where do its roots lie if not in some perceived wrong or injustice based on a religious or ideological worldview? Stop the money and the hatred may not be able to be expressed but it will be there waiting to sprout again.

8 August 2014 18:24  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Nicky Morgan: funding would be withheld from establishments that teach creationism as a scientific fact.

Fair enough. Does that mean it is permissible to teach creationism as one option among others?

Here are the possibilities (including old-earth and young earth creationism, and theistic evolutionism). Decide for yourself.

8 August 2014 18:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Explorer, ideology and religion are...hate to put it this way, the "cheap" component... they provide the rationale and a basis on which to form alliances and a starting point for greater goals for those on the outside without political or economic power But terrorism as a practical strategy and for obtaining (manifested as opposed to stated) goals requires large...very, very large... amounts of money. I don't think most people have an idea just how much money it takes to fire-up a suicide bomber, to pay off his family and community, to maintain a basic terror group, to launch an operation like 9/11 or ISIS type of operations. That's just direct funds to operatives, then there is the 90 percent, which is spreading money around various groups and establishments, locally, nationally and internationally, to make it all possible.

The IRA's objectives are evidently malleable enough either to allow it to proclaim victory and proclaim itself satisfied, or to declare hitherto unnoticed injustice and stir up the troops any time it wants. Or any time the situation warrants. I'm not sure what exactly has changed to "satisfy" them. As to why their bombing campaigns ended, look for changes in the global security situation, the absence of the USSR, possible deals between the West and the PLO and other Muslim orgs to cease support in exchange for Western goodies, demographics and lack of domestic interest, the effect of the EU...and the possibility that they are culturally incapable of reaching the scale and levels of savagery of the Islamists to compete for column inch space.

8 August 2014 18:28  
Blogger The Explorer said...

HJ @ 18:24

Extremely well put!

8 August 2014 18:30  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, the Chinese are effective only because they are brutal enough to do the only thing that works to curb terrorism (and any kind of resistance movements): Wholesale punishment of the their supporters or enablers, the civilian population.

8 August 2014 18:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jack

None if this pleases me. I hate all of it and despair that anything can be done about it.

Sure we could have chosen a general and said "Rule with an iron fist." But he would have needed an iron fist to rule with. Where was that coming from? We had just whacked all the instruments that Saddam used for just that purpose. Was the US military going to be that fist? Not a snowball's chance in hell.

It's a terrible recommendation to say "Become ISIS to beat ISIS." What is the point? To just make sure different people get killed? A strong man rules by fear and fear is imposed by terror. You wouldn't be changing anything. You would change the identities of the killer and the dead.

Besides, it's typically a bad idea to replace a leader in the manner the blogger suggested because the alternative isn't going to be better and will likely be worse. The South Vietnamese gov't never really recovered from the US looking the other way when Diem was assassinated. It was a dumb idea that seemed smart at the time.

carl

8 August 2014 18:34  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

the Chinese are effective only because they are brutal enough

Yes, that was my point. "Because of this man's crime, we are going to castrate his male relatives to the third generation. Brothers, nephews, fathers, sons, cousins, uncles. Then we will ship his female relatives off to those parts of the nation that are starved for women."

You don't screw around with the Chinese.

carl

8 August 2014 18:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Avi @ 18:28

What has changed to satisfy them?

The vote.

At some stage in the future - when there are more Catholics than Protestants in Northern Ireland - there will be a vote about the North's integration into the Republic.

But that's getting away from the topic. I think HJ at 18:24 summed up my opinion very well.

8 August 2014 18:41  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Umm, Jack, people are not plants, so this "root cause" thing is a waste of time. All ideologies and religions can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge when they need to...yours, mine, anyones. Grievances can be fired up or suppressed with enough of an effort (yes, we are that stupid), but to get anything more than grumbling, moaning and praying or dreaming for better times, gazoodles of moolah and expensive publicity and coordination efforts are needed.

In any case, if you and Explorer want to place the cognitive before the monetary, fine by me; it makes little difference. The interesting bit is in isolating what actually works to curb terror and capacity for terror. Going after a religion or ideology is a long, fluffy process and historically shown to be pretty well futile; going after the money sources and the distribution channels and making it very inconvenient and painful is much more doable and empirically supported.

8 August 2014 18:44  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Avi @ 18:44

Don't disagree with any of that; other than to say how to stop it is a different issue from what causes it.

(I don't think either Jack or I was arguing for changing hearts and minds rather than cutting off the money supply.)

8 August 2014 18:53  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Avi:

The Northern Irish situation has parallels with Israel.

Wait until there are more Arabs in Israel than there are Jews, and then take a vote on what should happen to the country.

8 August 2014 18:58  
Blogger IanCad said...

The time is approaching when the gloves will have to come off.

Now, we're just not used to this sort of thing.
Times have been peaceable and our men our weak.

We have to get tough. Time was when such predicaments were quite routine.

The robust General Napier had much experience with recalcitrant underlings.
Some of his advice should resonate today.

"The best way to quiet a country is a good thrashing, followed by great kindness afterwards. Even the wildest chaps are thus tamed."


"Come here instantly. Come here at once and make your submission, or I will in a week tear you from the midst of your village and hang you."

And, of course, he is best remembered for suppressing the vile ritual of Suttee.

Stating thus that, as they had a custom of burning widows, we also had one of hanging the wretches who would do such cruelties.

We need men.
Health and Safety is the ruin of us.

8 August 2014 19:34  
Blogger Murray said...

God bless Canon White, and you your Grace for spreading the word.

"To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

8 August 2014 19:48  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi

Happy Jack thought you'd understand the figurative language and allegory. Sure organisation and finance is needed to realise a dream or fight for a cause.

Carl

Agreed, its a hell on earth and a nightmare. That's why Jack favours leaving them to it - just do what we can reasonably do to pull Christians and others out to safety. As he said, the trouble is the region's too sensitive to leave alone as there's to many proxy struggles going on.

As for China.

"Because of this man's crime, we are going to castrate his male relatives to the third generation."

That's sweet and sour pork balls off Jack's menu for the foreseeable future.

If Islamist separatists go around killing and bombing what's a government to do? They even murdered one of their own Imams recently - admittedly a Communist Party appointee but still a Muslim.

The ban is a preventative measure. Its against wearing headscarves, veils, burkas, clothes with the crescent moon and star symbol, and "youths with long beards" on public transport.

Wise move - if not democratic or culturally sensitive.

8 August 2014 19:57  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

What has changed to satisfy them [the IRA]? ...The vote.

Sounds like a face saving explanation by the UK and the IRA, Explorer. A quick look at a basic timeline shows that Irish terrorism was becoming less effective.

Anyway, very busy now trying to contact Obama and caution him to use only proportionate force, to keep in mind that he can always do more to keep civilians safe (nothing beats doing nothing) and to remind him that negotiation is the way to go. He can offer territory in Texas or "something on the table to show good faith," make immediate ceasefire and plans for a "lasting peace" settlement with say, China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and Chile as negotiating partners.

8 August 2014 20:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"The ban is a preventative measure. Its against wearing headscarves, veils, burkas, clothes with the crescent moon and star symbol, and "youths with long beards" on public transport." (HJ)

What does it prevent? Bad fashion o? Long garments and hair that may get caught in the bus doors?

8 August 2014 20:18  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Avi @ 20:18

It's trying to prevent the continuation of Islamic identity; the way it's tried to prevent Tibetan identity.

The main strategy is to swamp Islamic areas of China, and Tibet, with uprooted Chinese.

8 August 2014 20:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

True, Explorer, and oddly enough it's trying to suppress Islamic identity with the might of the Chinese bus driver and conductor.

8 August 2014 20:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi

@ 20:18

Im hayu samim et hamo'ach shelcha b'tarnegol, hu haya ratz yashar l'shochet!

Suicide bombers ....

8 August 2014 20:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer

It's a temporary measure until 20th August in one city due to a large sporting event.

8 August 2014 20:52  
Blogger The Explorer said...

HJ @ 20:52

But also true of Sinkiang province which we were discussing some threads ago. As well as bringing in Chinese, the authorities are trying to close Muslim restaurants, discourage female headscarves etc.

8 August 2014 21:00  
Blogger Esther Shabo said...

Happy Jack,

Why are you saying if Avi's brain was put inside a chicken, it would run straight to the butcher??

Explorer,

Don't worry, Jews can out shag & make love Pals any day...

Avi,

Shabbat Shalom !

Now to light the candles....

8 August 2014 21:09  
Blogger The Explorer said...

HJ:

The Chinese seem to love shunting their population around. I believe they're trying to move them into Mongolia because the discovery of massive gas reserves.

Build the plant, and the accommodation, and then wheel 'em in.

8 August 2014 21:19  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Esther, it's just a Jack and Avi 'thing'.

Explorer

It's also because of the unemployment in China. Move labour where the work is. Remember Norman - "get on yer bikes" Tebbitt? The Chinese are fond of bikes too.

8 August 2014 21:44  
Blogger Clive Mitchell said...

CNN are reporting that ISIS are now beheading children. It is being claimed that the heads are being stuck on poles and exhibited in a park in Mosul. I haven't looked but it says their are videos showing this although it hasn't been independently verified.
What will it take for the west to do something? Let's not pretend that the air strikes are anything other then a fig leaf. Unless followed up on the ground a complete waste of time and may even make things worse.
It maybe hoped that ISIS will ultimately face judgement, but what about those in our government who seem to be deliberately looking the other way?
Has their been anything like this since the Holocaust? I feel sick and hope this is not true.

8 August 2014 22:28  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I've read that the Pope is sending a personal envoy to Iraq to bolster the Christians' spirits. That's good.

8 August 2014 23:07  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Explorer

You raised a good point about the IRA - but you are incorrect to suppose that it stopped because it achieved anything. It stopped because its campaign of violence was so utterly and obviously not going to succeed in securing its aims that eventually the community it purported to represent got sick of it and started to dissent.

A people who feel oppressed, whether wrongly or rightly, whether justly or not, generally play off in a game of stakes defined by fatality. The gamble is that the thugs who invariably murder and intimidate their "own" side before they attack the enemy will nonetheless achieve a particular objective in the long-run. It's not actually to different from Happy Jack's blogger friend who wagers that a strongman will work in the end.

Against a persistent and militarily superior enemy this almost always fails - but only in the long-run. Short-term atrocities are accepted as necessary because the light is, so to speak, just over the hill. What the State has to make clear to these people is that the light is *not* over the hill, and each attempt to scale the hill by force pushes that light further and further away.

Unfortunately for the State, this can't be done by brute force in a single blow. It comes through the steady resistance to attrition. In other words, you have to outlast their lust for war. Because it always runs out.

There are signs in Gaza that it is already running out. Amidst the Hamas-censored reports there have been many accounts of how local Palestinians despise and loath their so-called defenders. True, there are also opinions from the opposing side, but they have been overwhelmingly from the young. The bitterness of old age in a life rendered fruitless from pointless warfare will do more for the cause of peace than any surgical strike.

Israel is, in theory, within sight of such an achievement. They have to stay like cold iron to the end - neither tipping into a rage that will enflame their enemies with renewed zeal, nor permitting them respite to reconstitute their strength. It will take probably years, perhaps a decade yet, but the signs are growing that Hamas will eventually run out of bodies and acceptable lies.

ISIS isn't even beginning. I don't think we can comprehend how long it may take to destroy it if it does not turn and devour itself soon.

9 August 2014 02:55  
Blogger Clive Mitchell said...

It is being reported that the Government is considering air strikes in Iraq IF the situation descends into genocide!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11023094/Britain-considers-air-strikes-to-avert-genocide-in-Iraq.html

I suppose it's good that the government is beginning to take notice but what definition of genocide is their that doesn't cover the current situation?

9 August 2014 06:51  
Blogger Ivan said...

The self-described "policy wonk" Obama has acted now, as the Kurds appear threatened. Iraq is a Petri dish, to try out various scenarios while simultaneously keeping the Syrians on the edge . The Nulands and Kagans who run the US now, are not going to give any purchase to the Syrians or Iranians, or indeed big bad Al-Maliki by actually weakening the ISIS/ISIL.

9 August 2014 08:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

His Nibs said on twitter

"Could people please stop saying that because Cameron doesn't do such-and-such he's not a Christian. Leave soteriological judgments to God."

Yet in 2007 Cameron stated that Muslim and NOT Christian values were superior.."And the third step in promoting integration is to ensure there's something worth integrating into. 'To make men love their country,' said Edmund Burke, 'their country ought to be lovable.' Integration has to be about more than immigrant communities, 'their' responsibilities and 'their' duties. It has to be about 'us' too - the quality of life that we offer, our society and our values.

Here the picture is bleak: family breakdown, drugs, crime and incivility are part of the normal experience of modern Britain. Many British Asians see a society that hardly inspires them to integrate. Indeed, they see aspects of modern Britain which are a threat to the values they hold dear - values which we should all hold dear. Asian families and communities are incredibly strong and cohesive, and have a sense of civic responsibility which puts the rest of us to shame. Not for the first time, I found myself thinking that it is mainstream Britain which needs to integrate more with the British Asian way of life, not the other way around.

Saying goodbye to Abdullah I was given gifts of T-shirts, shoes and a traditional robe which he said would be perfect for any visit to Pakistan. It's another reminder that integration is a two-way street. If we want to remind ourselves of British values - hospitality, tolerance and generosity to name just three - there are plenty of British Muslims ready to show us what those things really mean. "

Values that Muslims 'hold dear' such as beheading, stoning amputation etc are not 'held by us'!!!

Ernst thinks that he has NEVER heard a christian state here or elsewhere that the values espoused by those in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan put us to shame or that we should be more 'islamic' in our values.

Why you keep supporting Cameron, YG, is beyond old Ernst and we will see him reviled for the internal destruction of our nation in the same way blair is loathed for the external destruction he brought on us with his invasion of iraq and encouragement of the arab spring as ME envoy.

Is there anything more despicable than a whore of a politician in search of a vote??

Blofeld

9 August 2014 09:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers

There surely is. A whore once s/he has secured your vote.

9 August 2014 23:40  
Blogger Michael Houlding said...

I've yet to read of a response to this human rights crisis from Amnesty International - or see any reference to it.
What is the leading international voice for human rights saying ?

10 August 2014 05:55  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Im hayu samim et hamo'ach...Suicide bombers .... (Happy Jack)

This is in relation to China's latest brainstorm? You are suggesting, in all seriousness, that banning the traditional Muslim outfit from buses will discourage suicide bombers? I'm not aware of even one terror incident where the bomber has not dressed and behaved in a way to fit in with the local population, but hey, it's all about optics and facts don't matter.

Esther, it's just a Jack and Avi 'thing'.

Well, the "Jack and Avi thing" is Avi's puzzlement over why now and again Jack has these twitches where he backs irrational fascistic measures by ugly regimes which, from time to time, appear to be on the right side. Jack did it with that Pussy whatever anarchist group in Russia which mocked a corrupt tyrant of a corrupt regime and a corrupt state-appointed Patriarch in his church and got a disproportionate punishment for their troubles. Meanwhile the dirty priest still runs his dirty business unopposed and in luxury and styles himself as the savior of Christianity in Russia. He is now admiring a senseless "anti-terrorist" measure by one of the world's most oppressive regimes which supports and bank-rolls terrorist countries and entities like Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.

You see, Jack, in spite of the fact that fascism can make your trains run on time and appears to defend "traditional values" from time to time, fascism fails time and again because it tries to solve complex problems in short-sighted vile, irrational, unjust and astoundingly stupid and ineffective ways. Putin enables mafias in Church and government which drives his country into the ditch and China indirectly enables the same terrorists who will wreak havoc there.

Hi Esther, missed your Shabbat greeting, so shavua tov instead.

Mr Blofeld, what's this I see, paragraphs? Miraculous. Is your long-suffering wife peering over your shoulder now and thwonking you with the papers every time you need to hit the space bar?

10 August 2014 16:32  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi

You really want China to start treating Islamist separatists in a democratic and liberal way? Please! Understanding their action - a 4 week ban after a series of Islamist inspired disturbances and murders - is not the same as supporting the regime.

And Jack still maintains Pussy Cat Riot deserved all they got, regardless of what Jack or you might think of Putin and his regime. At the time Jack compared it to someone intruding into the Jewish Holy of Holies. Big crimes attract big responses. That's how the ordinary Russian Christian viewed it - not the bleeding heart liberals like Stephen Fry and Madonna with their own secular agendas.

10 August 2014 19:50  
Blogger Esther Shabo said...

Avi,

No worries.I shall watch the future exchanges with you and HJ with interest.

11 August 2014 12:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jack, having worked on a restoration project plan for Greek Orthodox cathedral in Upstate New York, I can assure you that the Holy of Holies in Orthodox churches is situated behind the iconostasis (the panel wall of religious paintings) and through the Royal Doors, where the altar is, and where women are not allowed to enter. The raised podium where the ladies "performed" is just a raised podium, part of the "public court." Assuming you care for facts. Also to clarify, in a comparable incident at a Toronto synagogue, where services were disrupted by a social protest at the bimah...the podium...services were halted, the congregation evacuated the sanctuary and the police peacefully removed the people, took names and issued warnings, as the Board did not wish to press charges when the miscreants promised never to enter the premises. Simples.

Repeating the same nonsense about the terrible insult allegedly suffered by the mendicants who were paid to complain to the corrupt judge doesn't change things. The real long term and religiously significant desecration is the ex-KGB mafioso black marketeer Metropolitan's continued presence and leadership. In a civilized country, the protesters would, at most, have spent a night in jail to be released under bond by a judge in the morning, and received a fine, a suspension or a community service sentence as no property damage was done. And the Church leadership would have long ago stripped the criminal of his position after criminal charges ate laid by the state.

As for the Chinese...oh, OK, only for four days. That's OK then. NOT! Another show of arbitrarily and senselessly applied power for no other reason other than to show who is boss. You show a worrisome political and philosophical position when you admire such utterly pointless power exhibitions by autocratic primitives and actually wish them on our society as well. Just my opinion...and that of mainstream Western jurisprudence, thank Heavens.

11 August 2014 23:38  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Avi,

@11 August 2014 23:38

great stuff to happy jack...I’m currently having some issues with my computer ,after someone (hi sam!) decided to spill liquid all over the keyboard ,so typing is very slow at mo. Anyways Kol HaKavod!

ps- in a recent blog post in which i answered any questions on Astrophysics, Physics or Astronomy*, i postulated that a terraformed mars would look like Canada...got a complaint, via e-mail, for that suggestion....

did get stumped by this one-

Q-A 50dB sound wave strikes an eardrum whose area is 5.6x10-5 m2. How much energy is absorbed by the eardrum per second? Take the threshold of hearing to be Io = 10-12 W/ m2 and give your answer in pico-Joules, where 1pJ =10-12 J

I think it is 6 p/js but not sure,without calculator!

*http://allmydeamsarejellybeans.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/any-questions-on-astrophysics-physics.html

12 August 2014 00:29  
Blogger Clive Mitchell said...

Avi

"a corrupt regime and a corrupt state-appointed Patriarch in his church and got a disproportionate punishment for their troubles. Meanwhile the dirty priest still runs his dirty business unopposed and in luxury and styles himself as the savior of Christianity "

Ambolutely correct. And what is more in the long run by aligning himself to Putin he is doing the Church and Christianity untold damage. Although this may bother you less!

12 August 2014 07:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Miss Hannah, I can't even help my 12 year old with math, but why is threshold of hearing, which is variable and irrelevant to energy absorption by eardrum, an issue in calculating kjs?

Clive, I have no I'll will towards Churches...although I have far more respect for the Bulgarian patriarchate among the Orthodox ones, which took a stand protecting Jews, than the backward, violent and corrupt Russian one.

12 August 2014 18:31  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Clive, that's "ill will." Edging "smart phone"....

12 August 2014 18:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Aaaaarg! Effing, not edging!

12 August 2014 18:44  
Blogger Clive Mitchell said...

Avi

Now you know how you became Abu!

12 August 2014 20:06  
Blogger Hannah said...

hi avi,

that's why u are cool:questioning, the question (:

12 August 2014 20:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi

Let's be clear, Jack is not supporting an authoritarian oligarchy in Russia, nor this Patriarch of the Russian Church, nor the politics of the hierarchy of Russian Orthodoxy.

Sure, let Pussy Riot protest. But the form of the protest was, in Russian Orthodox terms, and Jack agrees, sacrilegious and, therefore, by definition, offensive to God. It set out to inflame. It got the response it wanted. Why complain?

The protest was held at the Cathedral of 'Christ the Saviour' which was rebuilt after being bulldozed by Stalin. It involved the group entering the Cathedral's Sanctuary where the Altar is - which is off-limits to worshippers and the public and not: "just a raised podium, part of the "public court.""

Jack agrees their treatment was politically motivated - that does not make it unjust in and of itself. Maybe, in terms of forgiveness and turning the other cheek, they should have been slapped on the wrists.

Kirill, like him or loath him, condemned Pussy Riot's action as "blasphemy" (it was, in the eyes of Russian Orthodoxy), adding the Church was "under attack by persecutors" (it is, in the eyes of Russian Orthodoxy) and objected strongly to "derision of the sacred ... as ... put forth as a lawful expression of human freedom which must be protected in a modern society." (Jack agrees with this - some things are off limits).

Pussy Riot's protest was aimed at Putin's authoritarianism and the privileges they see the Russian Orthodox Church enjoying for giving it religious and moral legitimacy. Real and valid complaints. You can overlook the sacrilegious nature of the women's act if you wish and present it as purely political. The West did in its reporting.

Can you not see how genuinely shocking it was to those who believe Christ's Body is actually physically present and the Sanctuary is a Sacred space? Russian Orthodoxy believes this - and so does Jack. It is a religion of icons, incense and chanting - the full works. All loathed as idolatry by the more puritanically inclined Protestant West and, if Jack may say so, not understood by you if you compare their behaviour to a protest in a Synagogue. Do you know what the 'Virgin's Belt' referred in the song alluded to and how blasphemous an attack on the return to Christianity in Russia this was? Also, the call to the Mother of God to give support to homosexual rights and radical feminism?!

As for China. No doubt the regime there has learned that if you ignore Islamists you just reap more of what they sow - murder in the name of Allah.

12 August 2014 22:12  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jack, your entire Pussy Riot argument rests on the assumption that Russia's Christians and their saintly cigatette-smuggling Kuril were, outraged and that Pilate, I mean Putin that is, reluctantly bowed to the raging mob. Same myth, different times. Pussy Riot slapped Putin and Putin's poodle. Given that Putin was putting' away journalists and businessmen who challenged him, perhaps Pussy Riot got off easy. There, we can agree on their lenient sentence.

Yes, good for China to realise the danger of Islamism...but unless you think their petty and brutal oppression of Christians is OK as well, their way of dealing with real and perceived problems is typically idiotic.

12 August 2014 22:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Anyhow, Jack, I missed making my point somehow. Wheat her Pussy Riot blasphemed or not wasn't the point. The point is that they showed off Kiril's corruption and attacked Putin...that was the reason for the corrupt trial and the stiff sentence. Pussy Riot's argument was primarily a political one, that Kyril prostituted his church with a pro-Putin political ad filmed there and dehrated its sacred status, thereby rendering their antics acceptable. They overstepped common decency violated civil laws in doing so. Your argument is that its OK for a civil court to bend justice in support of presumed canon laws and manufactured popular outrage and that this typically Russian way is superior to Western ones.

12 August 2014 23:11  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi

So you're not going to let this Pussy thing go? Okay, but please do not put words in Jack's mouth.

"Jack, your entire Pussy Riot argument rests on the assumption that Russia's Christians and their saintly cigatette-smuggling Kuril were, outraged and that Pilate, I mean Putin that is, reluctantly bowed to the raging mob."

No it doesn't. Jack's argument is that it was blasphemy against Christ, against the Mother of God, against prayer and a treasured Icon and against long held Christian beliefs. True, not crimes in Russia but covered indirectly by other laws.

Jack agrees there were legitimate grounds for the protest. However, he does not see it as legitimate to offend God in this way. It was only when they did so action was taken. Previous *songs* did not attract attention and were as scathing of the Church and State.

"Same myth, different times."

Ummm .... Naughty, naughty! "Myth"? A separate subject which Jack believes we've covered before.

"Pussy Riot slapped Putin and Putin's poodle. Given that Putin was putting' away journalists and businessmen who challenged him, perhaps Pussy Riot got off easy. There, we can agree on their lenient sentence."

Jack is focussing on the nature of their protest - not the justification for that protest.

"Yes, good for China to realise the danger of Islamism...but unless you think their petty and brutal oppression of Christians is OK as well, their way of dealing with real and perceived problems is typically idiotic."

Now that depends on specific responses to specific actions by specific Christians. China is very twitchy about the internal disorder and deaths that religion can cause after 20 million were left dead following the Taiping Rebellion.

50 million Christians (some say this is an underestimate) in China and growing. Stay within the 'rules', don't flout them too blatantly or publically, and the Chinese will tolerate you. Go around calling for independence and killing citizens and attacking police stations in the name of Allah and you'll get a response.

(Jack has the feeling that in a former life you may have been inclined towards the Biryonim.)

13 August 2014 00:51  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"Wheat her Pussy Riot blasphemed or not wasn't the point."

Yes - it was Jack's point.

"The point is that they showed off Kiril's corruption and attacked Putin...that was the reason for the corrupt trial and the stiff sentence."

How was the trial corrupt? Are you claiming they were innocent?

"Pussy Riot's argument was primarily a political one, that Kyril prostituted his church with a pro-Putin political ad filmed there and dehrated its sacred status, thereby rendering their antics acceptable. They overstepped common decency violated civil laws in doing so."

No - Jack's point is they offended Christ and His Mother in the method they chose to make their protest. That Putin was using the Church for his own ends and tapping into Russian Christianity's convictions about the relationship between the State and Church, is your contention. Jack wasn't discussing that.

"Your argument is that its OK for a civil court to bend justice in support of presumed canon laws and manufactured popular outrage and that this typically Russian way is superior to Western ones."

Bending justice? Presumed Canon law? Manufactured popular outrage? The Russian way is superior to the Western way?

No - that is not Jack's argument at all. They insulted the Body of Christ and His Mother for political ends - that's Jack's position. It was recorded and broadcast by them on Youtube! Evidence enough, Jack thinks. It did offend Russian people.

The charge was premeditated hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility. Where's the argument? Their defence - we didn't mean to offend. Get real.

During the trial their co-groupies released a single with the lyrics: "Seven years [imprisonment] is not enough, give us eighteen!" In the end, they were sentenced to two years.

13 August 2014 00:51  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

I am thinking I am beginning to see Jack's point in this whole Pussy Riot thing. It seems that someone has made a film out of a Chick tract. The purpose of this film will be to allow legions of mockers to laugh and ridicule the Christian faith. Now while this might not be technically illegal, I will certainly be offended at the intentional inducement to blasphemy. So I'm thinking two years in prison for the film maker is just about right. We must have laws somewhere that cover this sort of thing. What's the English equivalent of 'hooliganism?'

carl

13 August 2014 11:36  
Blogger Hannah said...

hi HJ,

"They insulted the Body of Christ and His Mother for political ends".

That reason is sweeping enough to cover quite a lot more than PR & harks back tothe mentality of the dark ages/inqusitions/political popes/ witch trials etc...

& u moan about 'gay cakes' etc...

13 August 2014 12:10  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl

Not quite the same thing. The Orthodox Church, unlike Western protestants, do believe in Sacred spaces and the Real Presence. And it was an actual crime in Russia - not a fabricated one.

A film from a Chick tract? A Russian version aimed at Orthodoxy, perhaps? What a good idea. Madonna, Fry and others would lub it; lub. Why has nobody thought of it?

Yes, yes. Ridicule the Eucharist and the Mother of God. Film it in the Cathedral of 'Christ the Saviour' on the Sanctuary. Without permission, of course, just to give it an extra edge. Perhaps a collage of 'The Death Cookie' and 'Why is Mary Crying'? Throw in the message too that it wasn't the Catholic Church after all that created Islam, Communism, Nazism, and Freemasonry but Orthodoxy.

Hannah

You're right. All this religious sensitivity causes nothing but trouble.

Jack knows! Let's make a Chick type film in Jerusalem in support of the Palestinians. Parody the Jewish faith - all that genocide in establishing Israel back in the day; the slaughtering of animals, blood everywhere, and that practice of circumcision. All those Levitical Laws - so primitive, undemocratic and illiberal.

Action shots on the Temple Mount are a must - being sure not to miss the Kodesh Hakodashim - and yelling out the Tetragrammaton at every opportunity.

No permission sought nor granted. it's art for goodness sake. Set out to offend. Should be illegal, don't you think? Oh, that's right, it is!

And so it should be too.

13 August 2014 14:55  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

And just so the Muslims don't feel excluded, let's have a trilogy. We wouldn't want to be accused of discrimination.

The Kaaba is the obvious choice of location. The first and oldest religious site in history - allegedly. Yet another quaint sacred space that is so passé in the enlightened and democratic 21st century.

Jack is still working on the script but it will include burning a copy of the Koran whilst young men women - maybe naked as per pre-Islam times - run around inside Al-Masjid al-Haram and the Kabaal. Must include that Black Stone that fell from Heaven - allegedly.

The protest will be aimed at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia becoming democratic, accepting abortion and equal rights for homosexuals and a radical feminist agenda. It will urge protests on the streets.

Parts are still available if Carl or Hannah care to have starring roles.

13 August 2014 16:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jack

Jack's argument is that it was blasphemy against Christ, against the Mother of God, against prayer and a treasured Icon and against long held Christian beliefs. True, not crimes in Russia but covered indirectly by other laws

So, how then is this different from the film maker? I'm not seeing a distinction. The crime here..well,OK, not an actual crime .. is blasphemy. The intent of the Chick tract film is blasphemy. What is the difference? And why are you admitting that their offense is not a violation of the law only to say ...

And it was an actual crime in Russia - not a fabricated one.

Are you saying they were punished for blasphemy under a statute that doesn't cover blasphemy?

However it is nice to see you admit that blaspheming the Mother of God is an actual thing. That has theological implications. Seeing as you can only blaspheme God.

carl

13 August 2014 16:29  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl

Granted you can only blaspheme God and Jack acknowledges this error. Offending and insulting Christ's mother is a more accurate description.

As you know, and we've covered this before, the statute they were convicted under is a Russian law - premeditated hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility. Jack is no Russian lawyer but guesses insulting religious symbols in the way they did, whether you personally believe in them or not, constitutes religious hatred or hostility. And Pussy Riot conceded this in their defence by claiming they didn't mean to offend the Orthodox faith just make a legitimate political protest against the Patriarch.
The women apologised for insulting Orthodox believers but still pleaded not guilty. A tad contradictory.

The Russian Criminal Code, Article 213, states that 'Hooliganism' is "the flagrant violation of public order expressed by a clear disrespect for society." The Russian term "хулиган" (hooligan) is a premeditated desire to cause offence or harm. There are two different categories: hooliganism committed with a weapon, and hooliganism committed for reasons of politics, ideology, racism, nationalism, religious hatred, or enmity with respect to any social group.

Granted it's terribly undemocratic and illiberal seen through the eyes of the West to think that invading a Sacred space and its symbols could possibly offend and even if it did, so what?

Members of Pussy Riot chose a symbolic Cathedral as their venue and performed in front of the Iconostasis - the church’s Sanctuary, where women and other parishioners are not permitted. Many Russian Orthodox Christians found it offensive and the lyrics of their little ditty too.

How dare the Russians! They should completely alter their social standards and attitudes and views about the relationship between Church and State. Any independent nation should behave according to Western standards. Russia's social policies really should come into in line with those of Western Europe.

13 August 2014 17:40  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jack

Yes, I'm still not seeing any separation between what PR did, and what the film maker is doing. I could manufacture... uh ... make a credible argument that he is insulting symbols with the intent to offend, and is doing so to incite religious hatred. Seems like a hooligan to be according to the definition above.

So just be consistent and say the film maker should get two years in prison.

carl

13 August 2014 18:31  
Blogger Clive Mitchell said...

HJ

I'm not clear, are you saying that the justice they recieved for the crime, ie the sacrilegious defilement of a holy place, was fair and proportionate or are you saying that in the particular circumstances of Russian society and legal system, they got their just deserts much as you may personally deplore the severity of the sentence?

13 August 2014 18:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Clive Mitchell

Jack's position is that PR should have been punished for the blasphemy even though there shouldn't be a law against blasphemy because other more pedestrian laws will suffice. You will notice a distinct lack of non-religious offenses in Jack's description of the event because PR hurt no one, damaged nothing, and disrupted no worship. The building was open to the public so they weren't even trespassing. Most civilized places in the world we call that "Making a dumb video" and it's not punishable by two years in prison.

Jack generally approves of the punishment and thinks the Russians have this right, and we should stop judging them by our soft western standards. Don't ask why would should judge ISIS by our soft western standards. Jack can sometimes be a little neglectful of this thing called consistency.

carl

13 August 2014 19:02  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl

"Yes, I'm still not seeing any separation between what PR did, and what the film maker is doing."

No?

In what nation? In Russia a Chick tract film would have a tough time if he marketed anti-Orthodox materials or material against Islam, Buddhism and Judaism intending to cause hostility or hatred. All very well in America and using cartoons to cause offense. We're liberal quasi-deists living in a post-Christian society and take no offence.

Would it be fine doing similar on the Jewish Temple Mount or the Kabaal - where they do still take religion seriously - or just plain stupid?

"I could manufacture... uh ... make a credible argument that he is insulting symbols with the intent to offend, and is doing so to incite religious hatred. Seems like a hooligan to be according to the definition above."

Except it wouldn't cause too much offence in the USA attacking Orthodoxy or Catholicism, now would it? No "flagrant violation of public order expressed by a clear disrespect for society." You don't accept Sacred spaces or the Real Presence, do you?

"So just be consistent and say the film maker should get two years in prison."

Why? He'll have broken no American law. It's okay to disrespect other faith systems in the West, including blaspheming them. We're liberal and democratic.

Clive M

Jack's saying neither. They broke a Russian law and its up to Russian's to respond. Inflaming religious passions is dangerous in the world we live in.

Russia is endeavouring to move towards being a more democratic and secular nation but it wants Christianity as its foundation. So its current leaders aren't paragons of virtue. It has four recognised religions and does not want inter-religious or atheist-religious conflict.

Jack believes in the Real Presence and in Sacred spaces so his view is PR got what they deserved - whatever the law. Jack knows this is terribly intolerant of him - respecting the Real Presence and all.

Carl

There you go again putting words in Jack's mouth.

There is unlikely to be a Protestant Reformation in Russia anytime soon so get used to Orthodoxy being taken seriously for the time being.

"Jack's position is that PR should have been punished for the blasphemy even though there shouldn't be a law against blasphemy because other more pedestrian laws will suffice."

Blasphemy motivated by a clear disrespect for society and religious hatred or hostility is a crime in Russia.

"Jack generally approves of the punishment and thinks the Russians have this right, and we should stop judging them by our soft western standards."

Jack does approve of the punishment and does believe the Russians have got this right.

"Don't ask why would should judge ISIS by our soft western standards. Jack can sometimes be a little neglectful of this thing called consistency."

You really can't see a differences between ISIS and protecting the recognised faiths in Russia (Islam, Buddhism and Judaism) from actions motivated by religious hatred and hostility?

13 August 2014 19:56  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

... and Orthodoxy is, of course, the other traditional faith recognised.

13 August 2014 20:09  
Blogger Clive Mitchell said...

HJ

whatever the strenghs or otherwise of your general argument I think you are pushing it a bit when you said

'Russia is endeavouring to move towards being a more democratic and secular nation'

I'm not convinced of the truth of that.

13 August 2014 22:20  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Clive M

Jack was perhaps being a bit too optimistic but one has to have hope. And it already is more democratic and secular than its Tsarist and Communist past, although not up to Western standards yet.

13 August 2014 22:47  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older