So the Muslim people still have their collective undies in a twist over the Danish political cartoons about Mohammed. At this point, the West should, with a collective voice, tell Islam to get over it and grow up. Instead, the West has almost unanimously caved in to the rioters. If your 3-year-old kicks and screams to get ice cream, and you give it to him, he has learned that kicking and screaming is a useful tactic to get what he wants. And you have taught him that.

These Islamic rioters are collectively behaving like a very angry and dangerous 3-year-old brat.

Still don’t believe me? Here are two images of angry Islam, courtesy of Yahoo:

Waaaah!

Muslim protesters stage a rally against the publishing a cartoon about the Prophet Muhammad in front of New Straits Times office in Kuala Lumpur, Friday, Feb. 24, 2006. The New Straits Times provoked many Muslims groups in Malaysia by publishing the Non Sequitur strip on Monday, even though the cartoon did not show the prophet. Still, Muslim groups said it mocked Islam, and the government asked the newspaper to give reasons why it should not be punished, including shutting it down. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

These Malay Muslims are demonstrating over the Feb. 20, 2006 “Non Sequitur” cartoon by Wiley Miller. Since the above link will be broken in a month, I’ll describe the highly offensive cartoon that has caused these Malaysian riots. The caption reads: “Kevin finally achieves his goal to be the most feared man in the world…” The drawing is of an artist sitting on the street with a sign that reads: “Caricatures of Mohammad while you wait!”

Quelle horreur!

Why do they riot? They riot because the wimpy West has taught them that rioting gets results. How many major American newspapers have published the dozen Danish drawings to show their relative mildness to American readers? None. Neither has any major news program shown its viewers the offending cartoons. I showed the cartoons to a bunch of co-workers, and while everyone had heard about them, none had actually seen them. Thank you, media, for keeping us informed!

More Waaaah!

Pakistani Shi’ite Muslims chant slogans during a rally in Karachi February 23, 2006. Imamia Students Organisation held a rally to denounce the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Iraq and against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in European newspapers. (THE URDU AND ARABIC WRITING ON THE PLACARD READS DEATH TO AMERICA) REUTERS/Zahid Hussein

Why does the sign say “Down with America” in English, and “Death to America” in Urdu and Arabic? What does the U.S. have to do with Danish cartoons, or the blowing up of the Golden Mosque in Iraq? Not a blessed thing! There is no reason–there is only rage. This is why riots in Nigeria have claimed the lives of over 100 people, as offended Muslims attacked Christians (as though they had something to do with the cartoons), and the Christians retaliated.

Note to the Nigerian Christians: while your religion accepts acting in self-defense, it does not condone vengeance.

I have worked with some wonderful people who are Muslims, and we have spent many hours discussing religion in the office, but at this point I am done with Islam. Don’t talk to me about being sensitive to Muslim feelings. Don’t tell me how I need to change my life to keep from offending them. Don’t remind me of Saladin or of Islam’s golden era. As far as I can see, Islam’s shining pinnacle was reached centuries ago, and it has been going downhill ever since. Islam has jumped the shark, and the mythical moderate Muslims are doing nothing to stop their hot-headed brethren from shrieking and wailing like little brats. Get over it already and grow up! Sheesh.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Apparently Muslims don’t need much help to feel inferior, but that’s not the West’s problem.

I was talking politics with some co-workers, and the conversation turned to the burning of Paris and France. After I expressed my opinion that the French were reaping some of what their policies have sown, my friend commented, “It sounds like you don’t like the French.” She was right, but only partially. I have no beef (or boeuf) with the French people. I don’t know them, but I assume that they are composed of saints and sinners, much like citizens of the U.S. My sister-in-law spent 18 months living in France, and loved it there. I have visited Paris several times, but I am no more qualified to judge the French people after my visits there than foreign tourists are fit to judge the entire U.S. after a handful of visits to Washington D.C. Hereafter, when I say I have a problem with the French or that I dislike the French, I am referring specifically to the French government and not to the French people as a whole.

I have inherited some of my dislike of the French from my father. He remembers flying missions over the harbor of Hanoi in Vietnam and seeing merchant ships flying the French flag, providing supplies to the North Vietnamese. The term for what they did is “giving aid and comfort” to our enemies. If an American company had done what France did during that war, it would be considered treason.

Since France has given aid and comfort to our enemies, can we truly consider France to be our ally? How many times does a friend have to stab you in the back before you take him off your Christmas card list? While it’s true that France came to our aid during our fight for independence from England, any lingering debt for that aid was paid in full with American blood during both World Wars.

I bring up the instance of France working against us in Vietnam because they appear to be backstabbing the U.S. again. During the run-up to the war against Saddam Hussein, French President Jacques Chirac told President Bush privately that France would stand with the United States. France’s Foreign Minister–and later Prime Minister–Dominique de Villepin told then-Secretary of State Colin Powell the same thing. Then the French proceeded to stab both men in the back by announcing publicly that France would never support the use of force against Iraq.

At the same time, the U.S. came by a document suggesting that Saddam Hussein wanted to buy yellow-cake uranium from Niger. Sec. Powell used this document as one of the reasons why Saddam Hussein needed to be removed from power. Once Powell had publicly voiced support for the document, word was leaked that the document was actually a fake. Rocco Matino, the Italian who brought the document to light, revealed in court that it had been created by the French and handed to him to pass around to various intelligence agencies. Why would the French want to pass off bogus documents to the U.S.? I believe they sought to publicly embarrass the U.S. They didn’t want to support our fight against Saddam Hussein, and the continuing Oil for Food scandal suggests that many French officials were benefiting financially from the status quo in Iraq. They did not want the U.S. to step in and stop the flow of money from their Iraqi cash cow. So the French first planted the document and then exposed it as a fake to slap at the U.S. and muddy the waters.

To this day, liberals point to the 2003 State of the Union address and its now infamous 16 words, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” The British still stand by their assessment of Saddam’s desire for uranium, and the discovery of tons of yellow-cake uranium in Iraq shows that Saddam Hussein had purchased it. But France was still successful in angering many Europeans and turning them against the U.S. This was the political equivalent of letting loose with a nasty fart and blaming the guy next to you. And getting away with it.

At this point in the story, enters the liberal cause célèbre — Joseph Wilson IV. The forged documents happened after Wilson went to Niger, so they could not have been the reason he was sent. James Lewis points out in his article in The American Thinker why Wilson went:

The reason why Wilson had to travel to Niger in person to “investigate,” while drinking mint tea with his uranium mining friends, was to establish his bona fides – to make him an instant “expert witness” on Saddam’s dealings with Niger. Did French intelligence urge Wilson to make his trip and enlist his wife Valerie to propose him? Without that trip, Joseph C. Wilson had no special claim to any expertise about Saddam’s weapons. It was Valerie Plame who was the CIA WMD expert, but it was Wilson who became the front man.

Notice that the modus operandi for the Wilson trip was much the same as for the Niger forgery: a classic con game. Find a sucker, tell him what he wants to hear, and use that credulous embrance[sic] by the mark to destroy your enemy. In the first case the sucker was Colin Powell. In the second case it was the New York Times Op-Ed page. In both cases the enemy to be shafted was George W. Bush and the administration. This is how disinformation is supposed to work.

Joseph Wilson has succeeded in generating a huge media storm and becoming the enfant terrible who spawned the brouhaha over the revelation that his wife, Valerie Plame, works for the CIA. Liberals and the press (but I repeat myself) have called for heads to roll over her “outing,” but I’m sure this is not in the literal Islamofascist sense.

Wilson has a multitude of French connections, so the idea that he is operating under French direction is not inconceivable. He met his first wife in Washington D.C. at the French embassy. His second wife was a French diplomat. His third wife, Plame, wrote in a CIA memo, “my husband has good relations with both the [Prime Minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts)…”

Lewis points out that there isn’t a smoking gun which proves Wilson is a French tool, “but it is certainly at minimum, an interesting coincidence that a man with such extensive and intimate French connections should be conducting a ferocious nationwide crusade against the President of the United States, who also happens to be hated by the French government.” Lewis also wrote, “While we do not know all the facts, there is no question that Joseph Wilson has acted precisely as we might expect from an agent provocateur.”

To some extent, I can understand why the French might be doing what they appear to be doing. After all, France has its own agenda: it desires to lead the European Union and act in opposition to the United States. Raising a political stink with faked documents and with misinformation from the Francophile Wilson I recognize as normal nation-statecraft, but when the opposition turns deadly or provides aid and comfort to America’s enemies, a certain line has been crossed. Lewis points out how France has moved into the second category:

French hatred of American power is the reason why France pressured Turkey (anxious to enter the EU) to block the US IV Infantry Division from crossing Iraq’s northern border to help knock over Saddam Hussein. Had the IV ID hit Saddam from the North while Tommy Franks attacked from the South, the current Iraqi insurrection might have been crushed even before it got started, the Baathist hardcore unable to flee north to the Sunni Triangle and entrench itself among the small percentage of Iraqis who benefited from Saddam’s rule. The original plan envisioned just such a pincer movement. We therefore owe many of our 2,000 soldiers’ deaths to deliberate and malicious French sabotage, with thanks to Dominique de Villepin and Jacques Chirac.

Is there concrete proof? No, but these events do seem to have a whole mess of French fingerprints all over them. I didn’t see French ships aiding America’s enemy as my Dad did in Vietnam, but I am starting to see enough suggestions that France is working to thwart our efforts to make Iraq a better place.

Now you know why I don’t like the French government very much.

Paris is burning. But not only Paris is in flames as the Muslim youth run riot. All across France there are hot spots of unrest and violence. The graphic to the right shows the various places where the rioting is happening. I took that image from this article published by the UK’s Telegraph. Why are the Muslim youth up in arms? I see three root causes for the current tragedy in France; these causes are also visible in other European nations, and the riots may yet spread beyond France’s borders.

Zero Population Growth

Europe, especially northern Europe, embraced the idea of zero population growth, fueled by the belief that there are too many human beings on the planet. These nations voluntarily cut back on their populations by various methods of birth control–and frankly, who’d want to reproduce with a Frenchman when there are strong and virile Americans around? Snide remarks aside, the government of France recognized that its population was not reproducing sufficiently to keep the country running when the current adults were ready to be shipped off to the maison pour les vieux gens. To make up for its lack of workers thanks to the misguided ZPG movement, France started to import people from former French colonies, mainly from Africa. For a nation that freaks out over a single non-French word entering the language, France was remarkably quick to open its borders and allow millions of non-French people to enter the nation for work. At this point, about 10% of France’s population is Muslim–which brings us to the second root cause of this crisis.

Misguided French Ideas

ZPG was only one of several misguided ideas. France is also a nation of socialist government policies. Socialism is a failed economic idea, but that doesn’t stop nations from embracing it with the faith that it will work right this time. Trust us. It will. Really. My wife’s great-uncle in Sweden makes a pile of money from his job, but 90% of it is taxed away from him. He lives in, and pays for, a very nice apartment, but in the same complex is a man who hasn’t worked in decades. Sweden’s socialist government is paying this man not to work, and his income from the dole allows him to live in the same kind of luxury as Uncle Kurt. When society pays people not to work, it’s not surprising to see people take advantage of that setup, until that society grinds to a halt. And since the socialist French needed laborers, they looked to Africa for a source of cheap labor.

France brought in millions of people from Africa to their nation to work for them. Even in a socialist society, someone has to do the work if there is to be bread in the boulangeries. But having brought these people in–not necessarily a problem in itself–the French failed to assimilate them into mainstream French culture. The overriding message to the immigrant African population was “you’re welcome to work here, but don’t think you’re actually French.” These mostly Muslim people settled in concentrated urban zones, kept apart from the rest of the population. And things have not really improved. France has an unemployment rate of about 10%, double our own. And the socialist society there has placed many burdens on workers and their employers. A laborer may only work 36 hours a week, firing someone who is failing at his job is practically impossible, and taxes are punitively high to pay for all the government projects and handouts. Why would an employer take a chance on hiring a street kid with no prior experience or references? What if he turns out to be undependable, and it’s almost impossible to fire him? Under these conditions, it’s no surprise that unemployment in the Muslim areas–especially among the youth–is high.

There are areas in France where it is possible to live your entire life without having to learn a word of French. This is not assimilation. We face a similar issue in the U.S. Our strength as a nation does not come from the fact that we are all different; our strength comes from the fact that we are unified as Americans. To borrow an example, an alloy of metals is stronger because the different metals have mixed together. If you keep the metals separate, they are easy to break apart. This is why a silver-plated vessel will peel apart, but a silver alloy will not. We have the same misguided multicultural ideas in the U.S. as the ones we see in France. But not all cultures are equal. America has proven to be a robust and good culture. People who have chosen to assimilate and take part in the American dream have historically fared much better than those who have chosen to keep themselves apart. And America has shown that you can become part of the greater culture without losing track of your heritage. If we cannot turn the tide of multiculturalism here, we may soon see our own cities burn.

Fragility of Islam

A large part of the outrage that is fueling the fires in France comes from the brittleness of Islam. While it was once a scientific and cultural beacon to the nations around it, the faith of Islam has dropped from its former glory. Can you think of any major philosophical, scientific or cultural masterpiece to come from the Muslim world in the past two centuries? Three centuries? Five? I say Islam is brittle because it cannot tolerate any form of dissent, even from outside the faith. Piggy banks have been removed from banks in England because they may offend Muslims, who consider pigs to be unclean. Notice that the Jewish people considered pigs to be unclean for thousands of years before Islam was founded, but the average observant Jew isn’t freaked out by the possibility of seeing a piggy bank. Nor do Jewish people demand that people not of their faith dress or behave according to Old Testament rules and dictates. I believe the difference between these faiths is that Jewish people have a strong and relatively flexible faith, while most modern Muslims cling to a faith of fragility.

My religious beliefs forbid the consumption of alcohol, but I do not demand that those not of my faith be held to this standard. I recognize that not everyone shares my beliefs, and while I honestly believe that the world would be a better place if everyone believed as I do and actively lived their religion, I do not believe any good could come from forcing my faith on others. One of my church’s Articles of Faith states, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” There is no such article of faith in Islam. The Muslim world is divided into two parts: one is either a part of the Dar al-Islam, the “house of Islam” as a Muslim in a Muslim state, or one is part of the Dar al-Harb, the “house of war.”

As I see it, Islam has three possible futures: 1) it may succeed in converting the world, only to destroy itself from within soon after. We can see it now, as Sunni and Shiite Muslims hate and kill each other. 2) Islam may vanish, either because it cannot cope with change or because the world sees fit to remove it. 3) Islam may experience a reformation, changing from the brittle, violent religion of today to a faith that provides the spiritual needs for its adherents without the need to convert by the sword.

Or by the knife, as Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl, and many others have already experienced.