Saturday, March 29, 2008


America and the Barbary Pirates:
International Battle
Against an Unconventional Foe

by Gerard W. Gawalt

Gerard W. Gawalt is the manuscript specialist for early American history in the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Ruthless, unconventional foes are not new to the United States of America. More than two hundred years ago the newly established United States made its first attempt to fight an overseas battle to protect its private citizens by building an international coalition against an unconventional enemy. Then the enemies were pirates and piracy. The focus of the United States and a proposed international coalition was the Barbary Pirates of North Africa.

Pirate ships and crews from the North African states of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers (the Barbary Coast) were the scourge of the Mediterranean. Capturing merchant ships and holding their crews for ransom provided the rulers of these nations with wealth and naval power. In fact, the Roman Catholic Religious Order of Mathurins had operated from France for centuries with the special mission of collecting and disbursing funds for the relief and ransom of prisoners of Mediterranean pirates.

Before the United States obtained its independence in the American Revolution, 1775-83, American merchant ships and sailors had been protected from the ravages of the North African pirates by the naval and diplomatic power of Great Britain. British naval power and the tribute or subsidies Britain paid to the piratical states protected American vessels and crews. During the Revolution, the ships of the United States were protected by the 1778 alliance with France, which required the French nation to protect "American vessels and effects against all violence, insults, attacks, or depredations, on the part of the said Princes and States of Barbary or their subjects."

After the United States won its independence in the treaty of 1783, it had to protect its own commerce against dangers such as the Barbary pirates. As early as 1784 Congress followed the tradition of the European shipping powers and appropriated $80,000 as tribute to the Barbary states, directing its ministers in Europe, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, to begin negotiations with them. Trouble began the next year, in July 1785, when Algerians captured two American ships and the dey of Algiers held their crews of twenty-one people for a ransom of nearly $60,000.

Thomas Jefferson, United States minister to France, opposed the payment of tribute, as he later testified in words that have a particular resonance today. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote that in 1785 and 1786 he unsuccessfully "endeavored to form an association of the powers subject to habitual depredation from them. I accordingly prepared, and proposed to their ministers at Paris, for consultation with their governments, articles of a special confederation." Jefferson argued that "The object of the convention shall be to compel the piratical States to perpetual peace." Jefferson prepared a detailed plan for the interested states. "Portugal, Naples, the two Sicilies, Venice, Malta, Denmark and Sweden were favorably disposed to such an association," Jefferson remembered, but there were "apprehensions" that England and France would follow their own paths, "and so it fell through."

Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams, then America's minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress. As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, "I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro' the medium of war." Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates, Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: "The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both." "From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money," Jefferson added in a December 26, 1786, letter to the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles, "it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason, than money to bribe them."

Jefferson's plan for an international coalition foundered on the shoals of indifference and a belief that it was cheaper to pay the tribute than fight a war. The United States's relations with the Barbary states continued to revolve around negotiations for ransom of American ships and sailors and the payment of annual tributes or gifts. Even though Secretary of State Jefferson declared to Thomas Barclay, American consul to Morocco, in a May 13, 1791, letter of instructions for a new treaty with Morocco that it is "lastly our determination to prefer war in all cases to tribute under any form, and to any people whatever," the United States continued to negotiate for cash settlements. In 1795 alone the United States was forced to pay nearly a million dollars in cash, naval stores, and a frigate to ransom 115 sailors from the dey of Algiers. Annual gifts were settled by treaty on Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli.

When Jefferson became president in 1801 he refused to accede to Tripoli's demands for an immediate payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000. The pasha of Tripoli then declared war on the United States. Although as secretary of state and vice president he had opposed developing an American navy capable of anything more than coastal defense, President Jefferson dispatched a squadron of naval vessels to the Mediterranean. As he declared in his first annual message to Congress: "To this state of general peace with which we have been blessed, one only exception exists. Tripoli, the least considerable of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to denounce war, on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean. . . ."

The American show of force quickly awed Tunis and Algiers into breaking their alliance with Tripoli. The humiliating loss of the frigate Philadelphia and the capture of her captain and crew in Tripoli in 1803, criticism from his political opponents, and even opposition within his own cabinet did not deter Jefferson from his chosen course during four years of war. The aggressive action of Commodore Edward Preble (1803-4) forced Morocco out of the fight and his five bombardments of Tripoli restored some order to the Mediterranean. However, it was not until 1805, when an American fleet under Commodore John Rogers and a land force raised by an American naval agent to the Barbary powers, Captain William Eaton, threatened to capture Tripoli and install the brother of Tripoli's pasha on the throne, that a treaty brought an end to the hostilities. Negotiated by Tobias Lear, former secretary to President Washington and now consul general in Algiers, the treaty of 1805 still required the United States to pay a ransom of $60,000 for each of the sailors held by the dey of Algiers, and so it went without Senatorial consent until April 1806. Nevertheless, Jefferson was able to report in his sixth annual message to Congress in December 1806 that in addition to the successful completion of the Lewis and Clark expedition, "The states on the coast of Barbary seem generally disposed at present to respect our peace and friendship."

In fact, it was not until the second war with Algiers, in 1815, that naval victories by Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur led to treaties ending all tribute payments by the United States. European nations continued annual payments until the 1830s. However, international piracy in Atlantic and Mediterranean waters declined during this time under pressure from the Euro-American nations, who no longer viewed pirate states as mere annoyances during peacetime and potential allies during war.

For anyone interested in the further pursuit of information about America's first unconventional, international war in the primary sources, the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress holds manuscript collections of many of the American participants, including Thomas Jefferson, George Washington (see the George Washington Papers), William Short, Edward Preble, Thomas Barclay, James Madison, James Simpson, James Leander Cathcart, William Bainbridge, James Barron, John Rodgers, Ralph Izard, and Albert Gallatin.



originally published at

Islam delenda est


Asymmetrical warfare, 1906


The Belmont Club
History and History in the Making

[Comments, worthwhile reading, at original.]

Click on the date and time below to get to the original after you have read this:

First posted by wretchard at 2/19/2006 03:16:00 AM

They had never been Filipinos: their identity pre-existed King Philip of Spain; their national consciousness had always been as Muslims. After the first Mohammedan missionary arrived in Sulu in 1380 parts of the island of Mindanao had constituted themselves into the Sultanate of Sulu. A succession of Europeans: the Portuguese, French, British, and Spaniards had attempted to incorporate it into their respective colonial schemes but the Muslim Malays, led by Imams who controlled ruthless kris killers, resisted implacably. When beaten on the battlefield they simply surrendered out of convenience, signed a peace treaty and disregarded it once the enemy force had left.

When the US acquired Mindanao after the beating Spain in the Spanish-American war, Americans came face to face with what came to be known as asymmetrical warfare. Here were attacks on civilians, beheadings, raids on schools. All the stuff of modern headlines. And in the pre-explosive era the ultimate weapon of Imams was the suicide bomber of the day: the juramentado. The difficulty of the campaign against the Moros is suggested by number of Medals of Honor awarded to the regular US Army (not the Constabulary): five MOHs were awarded in 1911 alone for actions on or near the island of Basilan. But reading Victor Hurley's the Jungle Patrol is the best way to get a sense of that long-ago campaign. It largely describes the experience of the Philippine Constabulary, a unit of Filipino enlisted men with American embeds, a creature that would be instantly familiar to men in Iraq. Reading the Jungle Patrol is an exercise in deja vu. If you can imagine a Chinese trader on a boat in place of an expatriate Sri Lankan truck driver in Iraq this scene of murder will be instantly familiar.

The night of November 1, 1907, a Chinese trader named Tao Tila had the dubious distinction of being the first recorded victim of Jikiri. The Chinese was sailing a vinta along the coast of the island of Jolo, engaged in trade with the Moros. Off the coast of Lumapid, in the blackness of night, a swift sailing boat sped out of the dark, and a voice aboard the Malay privateer called in the Sulu tongue, "Kill them." A moment later the pirate ship was alongside, and the crew of the Chinese boat were stricken with krises before they could rise from their benches.

Or if you've been in an expatriate worker's compound relaxing after a hard week of work you can imagine the scene of what would today be called a terrorist attack.

They entered the camp and approached Case, offering to purchase a vinta (sailboat). Case replied that they had no boats to sell, and the Moros withdrew. At five o'clock the raid began. The seven Moros deployed about the camp. On signal, one of the bandits entered the store where Mrs. Case was arranging the stock and asked for cigarettes. As the woman turned to the shelves she heard Verment scream outside and, looking through the window, saw the logger go down before the blades of two Moros. ... As Verment lay dying outside the store, Case was set upon by two other Moros, who severed his head with a stroke. The wife of the dead Verment received a ghastly kris wound that laid open her back from shoulder to hip.

The suicide bomber had his direct precusor in the Juramentado. Here's a turn of the century convoy going down an apparently secure street.

Lieutenant Rodney, an officer of the 2nd Cavalry, had gone for a Sunday afternoon walk with his small daughter. Walking unarmed on the Jolo-Asturias road, Rodney had been preceding a seaman named Steel and two other sailors from the Quiros by a few steps. Before the sailors could draw their weapons, a Moro burst suddenly into view, hacking with a barong and killing Rodney instantly. A guard leaped from a sentry post as the sailors began to fire their revolvers, and blew the Moro's brains out with a shotgun.

The Mohammedans of the Philippines had originated a unique and deadly method of individual fighting that was a degenerate offshoot of the principle of the jihad, or Holy War, that is specified by the Koran ... According to the Moro belief, it was within the power of one man, and his kris, to break in a stride from the miserable nipa shacks of the Sulu shores to the scented gardens of Paradise where the houris waited. For the Koran offers great reward for the slain in battle.

One example of the tremendous power of fanatical motivation is provided by this account. It calls to mind the numerous descriptions of VBIEDs shrugging off bullets as it barrels towards its target.

Lieutenant Ellsey of the Constabulary was sent into the hills to serve warrant on a Moro named Usap for stealing carabao. He had anticipated no particular trouble, and carried with him a small patrol of six men. He found his man standing in the door of the usual Moro shack, with a ladder leading up to the door. The Moro glowered down at the small patrol as Ellsey served his warrant. His expression did not change as he turned to get his turban for the trip. But Ellsey felt that all was not well. He circled the shack and saw Usap reach under a mat and draw forth a barong. The Constabulary Lieutenant raised his rifle and drilled the Moro through his head. As Usap dropped, two other Moros leaped from the room. The waiting patrol dropped them in mid-air. They were dead when they hit the ground. The patrol then mounted the ladder and captured three additional Moros who had not yet worked themselves into the amuck stage.

While they were tying these prisoners beneath the house, a Moro in a near-by field was plowing rice with a carabao. They heard him shout as he leaped to attack with a barong. "Timbuck aco," he was shouting; "shoot me." He came with long bounding strides, headed straight for the waiting patrol. Four of the soldiers opened fire on the advancing Moro in support of Lieutenant Ellsey. A stream of hot lead poured into his body, but the Moro never faltered. He came nearer, slower now, but still on his feet. The barong was upraised as he headed for Lieutenant Ellsey. Ellsey fired his last shot, and the Moro still came. Ten feet from the officer a Krag bullet thudded into the amuck's spine. His legs gave away. As he fell, he hurled his barong before he died. The patrol stripped the dead man and turned him over. Twelve bullet holes were in his body. Ellsey had escaped decapitation by only ten feet.

Juramentados could operate in tactical teams. This account of US Cavalry unit at Camp Severs in Jolo describes what it was like to be under a sustained juramentado attack.

The camp itself was a large rectangle, completely enclosed with wire. The line of company tents were about ten feet inside the wire on each side. Inside the line of tents were the saddle racks and the picket lines of horses. The fence was seven feet high, with ten wires, making the strands about eight inches apart. Every twenty feet along the top of the fence, was a Dietz lantern with reflector to light up the high grass outside for several yards. The firing trench just inside was. banked up and ready for business. In a few seconds after an alarm by the sentries, the men could be out of their tents and ready to meet an attack. We felt secure. ...

It was in the night that I came out of a deep sleep feeling that a shot had awakened me. Then there were two shots and a cry: 'MOROS . . . MOROS.' Then a whole barrage of shots. I reached for my riot gun. It was gone! So was Lieutenant Crites. Snatching my .45 from beneath my pillow, I tore aside the mosquito-net canopy and ran out of the tent. Dark figures were coming up to the fence on the run. The firing was general. ...

A big cavalryman charged out of a tent just ahead of me with a riot gun. He poked the gun within a foot of the running figure ahead of me and blasted. The man swerved and stumbled on. 'My God,' I wanted to shout, 'stop shooting at our own men.' Then I brought up suddenly. Powder smoke filled my nostrils and I was looking down the barrel of that same riot gun. The big soldier was about to let go again. Some kind of a squealing voice came out of me: 'Hey . . . it's me . . . it's me'... I would never have recognized it as my voice. ...Then all firing ceased as the men went at it in a furious bayonet to barong duel that was a fight to the finish. At the nearest cavalry tent a white soldier rolled out under the wall, rifle in hand. Before he could stand up a Moro was upon him. Another soldier crawled out and the Moro leaped to him. My Corporal Batiokan ran up to crush the Moro's skull with a rifle butt. Blood was squirting from two great gashes in the cavalrymen's back. Soldiers came running to carry away the wounded man. Their uniforms were red with blood. ... One of the men was past medical aid. He had been chopped to ribbons, with arms and legs severed and lying apart from his body. ...

Seven of the eight juramentados who had made the attack had succeeded in getting through the wire in the face of the fire. One lay dead outside the wire and seven were stretched out in the enclosure when morning came and we made inspection. The hospital was lined with terribly wounded men, slashed with barongs, and we were forced to kill many of the slashed horses who had been in the path of the charging Moros. The juramentados who had plunged through the wire in a desperate dive had left skin and clothes on the wire. They were horribly torn from head to foot by the long barbs. They were riddled with bullets, and many had heads bashed in and bayonet stabs. They lay there, with glittering eyeballs and bared black teeth. Their heads were shaven and their eyebrows were a thin line of hair.

Then the US Army did something the Spaniards had not been able to accomplish in three hundred years. It seized tactical control over the entire area of Mindanao, including the hinterlands, using combined American-Filipino teams whose exploits were almost unbelievable. Here's one example:

[Captain Elarth] was ... investigating a report of Moro organization, and he came into contact with a thousand tribesmen, armed and ready for action. ... He called for a parley with the headmen; and the Constabulary--ten men and the Captain--sat down on the summit of a hill, surrounded by the hillmen. Three Moros on the edge of the crowd began to mutter and the headmen rose from the ground and began to draw away. Then the trio of frenzied fanatics drew their weapons and rushed the Constabulary Captain. The Constabulary took refuge in a rally formation, with fixed bayonets. The leading Moro was almost upon them before Elarth could draw his pistol. "Pot-i-na" (Die now): the voice of the Moro was a scream as he hurled himself upon the Captain. At the same instant the hillmen released a shower of spears.

Elarth dropped the first two Moros with skull shots from his pistol, but there was no time to stop the third, who was armed with a spear. There was a movement behind the doomed Captain, and Sergeant Alvarez leaped forward to take the spear in his chest. Too late to save his Sergeant, Elarth blew the Moro's head away with a .45 calibre bullet. Had the long-haired hillmen supported the three Moro leaders as they charged, the entire detachment would have been wiped out with the loss of eleven rifles. But the hillmen contented themselves with showers of spears before they melted into the jungle. Left on the field were eight dead Constabulary bodies bristling with spears. Elarth, with his two surviving men, jerked the bolts from the dead men's rifles and plunged into the deep bush. All day and all night they marched, to return safely to the Constabulary post. Elarth had ably upheld that old fighting tradition of the Corps: "To be outnumbered always; to be outfought, never."

The sort of men capable of defeating the Moros were pretty rough. Take Oscar Preuss.

At 4:30 in the afternoon he began on a quart of Gordon's Gin--at midnight it was finished and Preuss was deadly sober. He was ... almost too rough for Mindanao. His career had included a term as a Sergeant in the German Lancers during the Boxer Rebellion in China. He had then crossed to East Africa as a Lieutenant of Infantry. Various South and Central American revolutions saw him in action, and he had ridden for Uncle Sam as a cavalryman.

He made few military mistakes. One of them had been the time he disarmed a Moro and neglected to search the natives' hair for a dagger. He bashed out the Mohammedan's brains when the knife flashed into view, but not before the Moro had slashed the cheek of Preuss and pierced the roof of his mouth.

They say he was called to Manila to justify his ruthless slaughter in Mindanao. A Colonel of the Board of Inquiry questioned him, "Captain Preuss, it is said that you, personally, have killed 250 Moros. What is your statement, sir, to that report?" Preuss drew himself up, and officers say his tone was placid and yet discontented: "The report is in error, Colonel; my count places the total at 265." In 1911 Preuss won a Medal of Valor at Mailog Cotta in Lanao. He was then a First Lieutenant of Constabulary, with four years' service. It was his sixth or seventh war, though Preuss was then but thirty-three.

Another officer of almost demented courage was Leonard Furlong, who the Moros feared as an almost unearthly being. Furlong actually led a unit of Christian/Moro constabulary men that would go anywhere, any time to take on anybody. One example of his exploits is given below.

Furlong arrived at Bugasan at daylight on the morning of July 9. He had but six rifles in his party. He called to the inhabitants of the house to surrender, and found, not a few Moros, but a gang of 100 armed bandits who surrounded his small force. In one of the most dramatic hand-to-hand combats of the period, Furlong personally killed six of the Moros, and extricated his men without injury to his force. He personally broke a passage through a wall of krismen as point of that compact group of soldiers who battled hand to hand with the odds ten to one against them. ... One of the most striking examples of Furlong's policing activities was his extermination of Kali Pandopatan, the Sultan of Buldung. The Kali had been playing double with the American government, and Furlong, with a dozen Constabulary, had gone to the cotta of the Kali for a conference. Once inside the cotta, he was set upon by more than 400 Moros, armed with barongs. Furlong backed his party into an angle of the walls and was in possession of the field after a terrible hour of slaughter. ...

Perhaps one of Furlong's most characteristic gestures was throwing his hat into the Moro forts he was preparing to assault and wagering that he could get to it before any of his men. It is said Furlong never lost a single one of those bets. In 1911 he was sent to Manila because his superiors feared that he was losing his mind. Furlong shot himself in his quarters.


Twenty years after the campaigns Victor Hurley sat among a group of Moros while gathering material for his book and tells this anecdote.

Twenty years after Furlong had fired his last shot, this writer stood with wrinkled and ancient Moros on the sites of some of the Cotabato battles of this Captain of Constabulary. We talked, the Moros and I, of those old days of murder and piracy and ambush, when the kris had been the law and the measure of a man. The Moros are always ready to talk of battle.

These scarred old reprobates with blackened teeth and betel-stained lips, were no exception. Our conversation that day was filled with grand names: Allan Fletcher of the Scouts, called "Papa" by Moro and Filipino and American--a grand campaigner; Lieutenant Whitney of the prodigious strength gained a shuffle of bare feet and the twitch of a turban; then we talked of a Lieutenant named Cochrun--"a brave man, si," was his accolade; a youngster's name came into the conversation--Jesse Tiffany. The Moros fought him on their cotta walls. He, too, was valiant--a nod of the turbans confirmed him with the greatest praise a Moro can bestow on a man.

But when I mentioned Furlong, a glisten came into the eyes of ancient Moros who talk of redder and grander days. They sent up the most impressive salute to Valhalla that I can ever hope to witness. I see them now as I write--a circle of genial old ruffians, almost ready themselves to mount a white horse to Paradise. Their turbans are off now and their chins at rest on their scarred and brawny chests. After twenty years, they bend a neck to the memory of Leonard Furlong--"most desperate fighting man of all."

Sixty years later, in the 1990s, an incident occurred which reminded me vividly of Hurley's story. I was sitting with a well known Muslim warlord on the island of Basilan whose improbable first name was "Pershing". I asked the warlord why his father should name him after General Blackjack Pershing, of all people, when Pershing was known to have crushed the Moros in the campaigns that Hurley described. The warlord turned to me and said, "my father wanted to name me after the greatest warrior he could think of. And that was Pershing." Some things will never change; and one of those is that even in the sight of Allah there is no respect for the craven.


From a purely historical point of view, I think some of Hurley's translations of native speech leave something to be desired. For example, I think 'Pot-I-Na' means rather something else than what he thinks, though doubtless equally pejorative. My guess is that it may be some form of "patyun" which in this context means "die". It also sounds like "you S.O.B.", in dialect, yelled from a distance. Maybe some scholar will clear it up. Leonard Furlong, Captain, Philippine Constabulary


Pigs and Moslems

Leonard Furlong, Captain, Philippine Constabulary


Abu Sayyaf TODAY!

Google: American constabulary Moros


god or idol

allah is an idol, set before the deity of Israel and contrived by its inventor mohammed to be the last.

purloining the characteristic of the deity of Israel, mohammed fashioned his idol as an invisible one, but as his own alter-ego. he, mohammed, declared that his idol was the final deity for mohammedans (his followers) and for all humanity that he, mohammed, declared had to be conquered to bow down before this idol he had fashioned.

it is satifying, for an ego-maniac, to construct an idol of the mind and have it allow you every desire that enters your mind--no matter how at odds with the "morality" that you devise to control your followers (dupes). But that is what the wily mohammed did.

finding that he, as the only interlocutor between the unseen idol and the rest of humanity, could allow himself such "pleasure" (to him) as sex with a nine-year-old child, taking any woman that attracted him any way that he saw fit, etc. ad nauseam.

he, mohammed, thought that he had circumvented the command not to worship idols by making his idol exist only in the mind--his mind. cleverly, he believed that no one would be the wiser, and that he could have his idol, that he dubbed with an older name of an older god representing a heavenly body, could be merged by him with the deity of Israel.

whenever there was opposition to this substitution, the resort was the sword. violence was the answer to critique, to doubt, to opposition. and so it is to this day. the followers of the cunning charlatan of makkah answer any criticism with violence.

Geert Wilders has shown this very well (in his film Fitna ). but no matter how mohammedans rage, they worship an idol created by a man, an evil, immoral man, who brought more pain and suffering into this world--for his followers as well as for those who oppose them than he ever could have imagined. or perhaps he did, this perverted, evil, mentally impaired megalomaniac of the arabian desert.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

End States That Sponsor Terrorism

Fifty years of increasing American appeasement in the Mideast have led to fifty years of increasing contempt in the Muslim world for the U.S. The climax was September 11, 2001.

"Fifty years ago, Truman and Eisenhower surrendered the West's property rights in oil, although that oil rightfully belonged to those in the West whose science, technology, and capital made its discovery and use possible."

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Prophet of Arabia

By J. L. Menezes.

(This book is [or was supposedly] available. If interested, contact me via COMMENT at this blog with your references--i.e. website, blog, etc.)

Mohammed, the founder of the Islamic religion, was born in Mecca, Arabia, in 570 and he died in 632. Father Menezes, the author of this book, lived and worked in India, which has a significant Moslem population. He wrote this book in 1911 as a type of friendly letter to the Moslems of India, explaining to them the history and origins of their religion.

The main purpose of the book is to show that Mohammed, on the basis of his own experience and with the help of a few others, fabricated a new religion dedicated to the one only God, Allah, with special honor for the prophet, namely, himself, whom he placed above Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ.

The culture of Arabia at the time was dominated by various forms of idolatry, which was an abomination to Mohammed. One of the good things he did was to destroy idols and idol worship and bring his followers to the worship of the one God of heaven. It seems that he got his idea about the one God from the Jews because he was familiar with the Old Testament. He also knew the New Testament and had great respect for Jesus and his Mother, Mary. He acknowledged Jesus as a great prophet and miracle worker, but he did not recognize the divinity of Jesus.

Mohammed’s ideas about God and religion are contained in the Koran, which he claimed was given to him by God through the agency of the archangel Gabriel. The borrowings in the Koran from the OT and the NT are obvious.

There are five chapters in the book. In the first chapter the author gives a history of the life of Mohammed. Up to the age of about forty he lived a rather decent life with one wife. After her death he married twelve women; he also had many concubines. Once he started his religion he fell into a life of sensuality; he engaged in robbery, murder and cruelty to his enemies.

Because of the hostility against him in Mecca, he was forced to move to Medina where he was more successful in gaining followers. From there he waged holy war in all directions in order to spread his religion by the sword and bloodshed. When it is said that Islam is a religion of peace, it means it is peaceful if you accept it; if you do not, you are either killed or made an oppressed subject forced to pay exorbitant taxes.

Next, Fr. Menezes explains the faith of the Moslems from the Koran. It is a very simple religion with few articles of faith. There are six articles of faith: 1) Belief in one God (but total rejection of the Trinity); 2) Belief in Angels; 3) Belief in Books (OT, NT and the Koran); 4) Belief in Prophets (Mohammed in the greatest and last); 5) The Resurrection and the Day of Judgment; 6) Predestination of Good and Evil.

The moral code or duties of Islam are four, namely, prayer, alms, fasting and pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.

Because of its use of Jewish and Christian ideas in a sense one can say that it is a Jewish and Christian heresy. Fr. Menezes says, “with all its positive and negative laws [it] has been a curse to human society” (p. 140). He also says that Mohammed has given “to the whole world a religion which, claiming a divine origin as the final and irrevocable standard of morality, has kept its followers sunk in ignorance and barbarism, and has become an insuperable barrier to the regeneration, civilization and progress of the Eastern world” (p. 142).

The fourth chapter deals with sects in Islam. The author says that there are at least 150 different Moslem sects. The two main ones are the Sunnis (the most numerous) and the Shiites. In recent years there have been many reports from Iraq about the conflicts between these two Moslem sects.

The last chapter is a friendly letter written by the author to the Moslems in India. He offers a point-by-point refutation of the claims of Mohammed, relying often on quotes from the Koran to show that the only true religion is the Catholic religion and that Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world. He invites his Moslem readers to see that Islam is a human creation and that they should put their faith in Jesus Christ who is both God and Man and who established the one true Church on Peter and the Apostles.

Given the present world situation and the conflict of civilizations between Islam and Christianity, the book is recommended for Catholics who would like to have a better understanding if Islam and the fanaticism that motivates young people to blow themselves up in order to kill other people who do not agree with them.

Kenneth Baker, S.J.
Ramsey, N.J.
Copyright © 2008 Ignatius Press -- Homiletic & Pastoral Review

Saturday, March 15, 2008


The First Siege of Vienna by the Musulman Turks

Ottoman Siege of Vienna, 1529

A.) Prehistory of the Siege

In 1526 an Ottoman Army of 100,000 crushed the Hungarian Army of 25,000 in the Battle of Battle of Mohacs. King Louis II. of Hungary fell; the country no longer could function as a bulwark for Christian Europe against the Ottoman Empire.

Vienna was the capital of the Austrian lands, one of the three residences of Emperor Charles V., who because of his many obligations, resided there only temporarily.

B.) The First Ottoman Siege of Vienna

An Ottoman Army of c. 100,000 defeated King Ferdinand's troops off Buda; King Ferdinand, brother of Emperor Charles V., withdrew into Vienna, which was defended by a garrison c. 20,000 men strong. The Ottoman Turks encircled Vienna, inflicted severe damage on her suburbs and on the surrounding vineyards, but withdrew after only 25 days. Ferdinand requested his brother to come to his aid; no action by the Emperor, with the object to relieve Vienna, is documented.

C.) The Legacy

The old city walls proved inadequate; after the Ottoman withdrawal, the fortifications were modernized, turning Vienna into a fortress city. However, 154 years would pass until an Ottoman army would test the city defenses again.

The first Ottoman siege of Vienna was not the great turning point in the history of christian-muslim history, rather a minor event. The Ottoman besiegers lacked determination, breaking off the siege after only 25 days. One major objective - to chase King Ferdinand out of Hungary - they had already achieved. Emperor Charles V. equally gave little attention to the siege. The theory of a Franco-Ottoman understanding, the Ottoman siege merely being intended to draw the Emperor's attention away from his French foe, thus is far more plausible. However, by the time the Ottoman troops arrived off Vienna, Francis had been decisively defeated (see Franco-Habsburg War). The Ottoman side rejected peace offers; a peace treaty was only signed in 1553.

Ottoman army

In spring 1529, Suleiman mustered a great army in Ottoman Bulgaria, with the aim of securing control of Hungary and reducing the threat posed at his new borders by Ferdinand and the Holy Roman Empire. Various historians have estimated Suleiman's troop strength at anything from 120,000 to more than 300,000 men.[10] As well as units of sipahi, or light cavalry, and elite janissary infantry, the Ottoman army incorporated a contingent of Christian Hungarians fighting for their new Turkish ruler. Suleiman acted as the commander-in-chief, and in April he appointed his grand vizier, a former Greek slave called Ibrahim Pasha, as serasker, a commander with powers to give orders in the sultan's name.[11]

Suleiman launched his campaign on 10 May 1529 and faced obstacles from the outset.[12] The spring rains characteristic of south-eastern Europe were particularly heavy that year, causing flooding in Bulgaria and rendering parts of the route barely passable. Many large-calibre guns became hoplessly mired and had to be left behind, and camels were lost in large numbers.

Suleiman arrived in Osijek on 6 August. On 18 August, on the Mohács plain, he met up with a substantial cavalry force led by John Zápolya, who paid him homage and helped him recapture several fortresses lost since the Battle of Mohács to the Austrians, including Buda, which fell on 8 September.[13] The only resistance came at Bratislava, where the Turkish fleet was bombarded as it sailed up the Danube.[12]

Ottoman Siege of Vienna, 1529

A.) Prehistory of the Siege In 1526 an Ottoman Army of 100,000 crushed the Hungarian Army of 25,000 in the Battle of Mohacs. King Louis II. of Hungary fell; the country no longer could function as a bulwark for christian Europe against the Ottoman Empire. Vienna was the capital of the Austrian lands, one of the three residences of Emperor Charles V., who because of his many obligations, resided there only temporarily.

B.) The First Ottoman Siege of Vienna An Ottoman Army of c. 100,000 defeated King Ferdinand's troops off Buda; King Ferdinand, brother of Emperor Charles V., withdrew into Vienna, which was defended by a garrison c. 20,000 men strong. The Ottoman Turks encircled Vienna, inflicted severe damage on her suburbs and on the surrounding vineyards, but withdrew after only 25 days. Ferdinand requested his brother to come to his aid; no action by the Emperor, with the object to relieve Vienna, is documented.

C.) The LegacyThe old city walls proved inadequate; after the Ottoman withdrawal, the fortifications were modernized, turning Vienna into a fortress city. However, 154 years would pass until an Ottoman army would test the city defenses again. The first Ottoman siege of Vienna was not the great turning point in the history of christian-muslim history, rather a minor event. The Ottoman besiegers lacked determination, breaking off the siege after only 25 days.

One major objective - to chase King Ferdinand out of Hungary - they had already achieved. Emperor Charles V. equally gave little attention to the siege. The theory of a Franco-Ottoman understanding, the Ottoman siege merely being intended to draw the Emperor's attention away from his French foe, thus is far more plausible. However, by the time the Ottoman troops arrived off Vienna, Francis had been decisively defeated (see Franco-Habsburg War). The Ottoman side rejected peace offers; a peace treaty was only signed in 1553. Ottoman army

In spring 1529, Suleiman mustered a great army in Ottoman Bulgaria, with the aim of securing control of Hungary and reducing the threat posed at his new borders by Ferdinand and the Holy Roman Empire. Various historians have estimated Suleiman's troop strength at anything from 120,000 to more than 300,000 men.[10] As well as units of sipahi, or light cavalry, and elite janissary infantry, the Ottoman army incorporated a contingent of Christian Hungarians fighting for their new Turkish ruler. Suleiman acted as the commander-in-chief, and in April he appointed his grand vizier, a former Greek slave called Ibrahim Pasha, as serasker, a commander with powers to give orders in the sultan's name.[11]

Suleiman launched his campaign on 10 May 1529 and faced obstacles from the outset.[12] The spring rains characteristic of south-eastern Europe were particularly heavy that year, causing flooding in Bulgaria and rendering parts of the route barely passable. Many large-calibre guns became hoplessly mired and had to be left behind, and camels were lost in large numbers.
Suleiman arrived in Osijek on 6 August. On 18 August, on the Mohács plain, he met up with a substantial cavalry force led by John Zápolya, who paid him homage and helped him recapture several fortresses lost since the Battle of Mohács to the Austrians, including Buda, which fell on 8 September.[13] The only resistance came at Bratislava, where the Turkish fleet was bombarded as it sailed up the Danube.[12]


After the death of Koprulu Ahmed Pasha, Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha held the viziership in November 5, 1676. Hungary had revolted against Austria and wanted Ottoman authority again. Mustafa Pasha declared Emeric Thokely king to the central Hungry.

After, Emeric Thokely took the leadership of the Hungarians, he rebelled against the King of Austria Leopold I. Thokely asked for an Ottoman assistance and Mustafa Pasha had besieged Vienna in July 14, 1683.

The siege took 60 days. Mustafa Pasha was waiting for a fatal attack but the Pope sent the King of Poland to Vienna to defend the city.

The Austrian and the Polish armies defeated the Ottoman army. The Ottomans withdrew through Belgrade. With the withdrawal of the Ottomans, Austrians entered Hungary, and invaded Vishgrad, Uyvar and Budapest.

This was the second siege of Vienna and the Ottomans failed to capture the city for the second time.

After, this defeat Sultan Mehmet IV* was dethroned with the decision of council. Prince Suleyman replaced him in November 8, 1687.

A Turkish Legend
(in German - Translation into English follows)

Die türkische Sage von "Der Stadt des Goldenen Apfels" erzählt folgendes: Sultan Süleyman brachte es nicht übers Herz den Stephansturm zu beschießen. Er sagte: "Eines Tages wird dieser Turm ja doch ein Minare für den islamischen Gebetsruf an einem Gotteshaus der Muslims sein. Also soll er auch mein Wahrzeichen tragen!" Der Sultan schickte eine massive zwei Zentner schwere Goldkugel in die Stadt, die an der Turmspitze zu St. Stephan angebracht wurde.

The Turkish tale of "The City of the Golden Apple" is told as follows; "Sultan Suleyman did not find it in his heart to shoot at the steeple of St. Stephen's church in Vienna. He said: "One day this steeple, this towering steeple, will be a minaret from which the muezzin will call to prayer the Faithful to a Muslim mosque. It should therefore bear my sign." The sultan sent a massive golden globe into the city that was fastened onto the the steeple of St. Stephen's.

This did not come to pass; the Turks were repulsed at the walls of Vienna in 1683.

"Return from Vienna" by Józef Brandt, Polish-Lithuanian army returning with loot of the Ottoman forces

Humiliation of Muslims and the coming Siege of Vienna
by Blake Gartner
11 April, 2007

The “Zionist entity” is at the forefront of the clash between the West and Islam. And yet, it is a tiny country, less than half the size and population of Netherlands. World Jewry stands at just 13 million people, so it has never been a titan in global affairs. The two dominant world religions in a constant clash with each other since the 7th century have been Islam and Christianity.

Today’s war between the West and Islam – whether against the Taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan or against the rioters on the streets of Paris – is an extension of the inevitable clash of titans. When Napoleon marched on Egypt, defeating the Arabs with extreme ease,
Christendom seemingly won. The Ottoman Empire fell as a result of WWI and the West forgot about the Islamic threat. But Muslims did not. Muslims felt humiliated.

The only thing people dislike more than being attacked is being ignored. The West ignored the Middle East, seeing it as an uncultured backwater useful only for its oil resources. But to Muslims, everything from the defeat to Napoleon to the dismantling of the Caliphate by Ataturk is “humiliation”. At times it seems like “humiliation” is the Muslims’ favorite word. They do not lose wars – they get humiliated. They do not suffer from economic stagnation – they get humiliated. They do not compromise on a UN resolution – they get humiliated. Reading Islamic press one sees the word “humiliation” with spectacular frequency.

What Muslims claim to want is “respect”. But what is respect? The Islamic vision of “respect” is to be the dominant global power. It is to have the military power, the economic wealth and the international prestige to get what they want, whenever they want. Any compromise in any forum is immediately condemned as “humiliation” due to their weakness – a humiliation that naturally should be countered by pressing their political and military muscle.

But Islam was indeed a dominant power for much of its history. Today it is hard to imagine Morocco defeating Spain, Tunisia conquering Italy and Turkey marching up to Vienna, but it did happen in the past. Muslims were the dominant power in the world for many centuries, and it is that “Golden Age” that today’s generation, whether Islamists or Nationalists, seek to re-capture.

The first millennium of its existence was an almost unmitigated success for Islam. From its roots in the Arabian peninsula, it first spread its wings to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and North Africa – all of which were then part of the Christian world, culturally closer to the West than to the Arab states we see there today. Armenians, during the war of 640-652, were among the few able to stop the onrush of Islamic forces, preserving Armenia and Georgia as Christian nations to this day.

With the Middle East under their control, Muslims proceeded to take over Spain, Portugal, Sicily, and much of France, reaching 2/3 of the way to Paris. In the first half of the 9th century, Rome and most of what is now Italy fell to the newly dominant Religion of Submission (islam means “submission”).

Before the rise of water travel enabling countries along the Atlantic Ocean, (England, Spain, Portugal, Holland, France) to set up empires, the dominant military and economic powers were located in southern Europe and Middle East – that being the trades routes where people exchanged not only goods, but information and ideas. Northern and western Europe was mired in what are commonly known as the Dark Ages. These were not the powers that could stop the Islamic invasion.

The ever-shrinking Byzantine Empire struck back in the 840’s, but its limited successes were soon turned back as Muslims sacked Messina in 842, Enna in 859, Syracuse in 878, Catania in 900.

In 904, Thessalonica, the second-largest Byzantine city, was taken over by Arabs from Tunisia. Seven years later, the Byzantines suffered another embarrassing defeat in Crete.

After a brief respite, Muslims sensed another opportunity to spread their religion and civilization to the “darkness of barbarism and unbelief”, when the Byzantine rulers decided to disband most of their military, preferring to pay mercenaries when troubles arouse. The Byzantine army consisted largely of the elderly officers and untrained young kids (for centuries after its destruction, the word “Byzantine” was used to mean “effeminate decadence”).

Faced with the decaying of what was arguably the only stable, viable state in Europe, the West was again on the brink of annihilation. In 1095, Pope Urban II hoped to organize Christendom around a fight for Jerusalem, a tactic frequently used before and after by Muslims. But the first military engagement failed miserably, as the Turks slaughtered almost every man sent into battle. The second battle was much more successful and some of the lands previously lost to Muslims were recovered.

The Crusaders established the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099. At its height, the Crusader Kingdom was about the size of Israel and West Bank. For more than a hundred years, Muslims could do little about the new country, fighting occasional wars, mostly to contain the Christians.

But in the 12th century, a Jihad on Jerusalem was organized. In 1187, settlers lost Jerusalem – it was now the Kingdom of Jerusalem... without Jerusalem. A small strip of land along the seaside of what is now Israel and the southern half of Lebanon was all that remained. Subsequent Crusades recovered Jerusalem, but all was lost when Sultan Khalil captured Acre, the new capital of the Kingdom, and proceeded to either slaughter or enslave all remaining settlers.

The Crusades were a failure. Islam won, forever reinforcing its sense of invincibility against the infidels. I’ve heard many Muslims say, “It took us 200 years to defeat the Crusader Kingdom. Israel has existed less than 60. We have another 140 to destroy it, and we will.”
But Islam did not stop at the defeat of the Crusader Kingdom. In the 15th century, the Turks finally destroyed the Byzantine Empire, conquering its capital Constantinople.

At the other end of Europe, much of Spain and Portugal was under Islamic rule for 781 years until 1492. Faced with Arab Muslims threatening from the West and Turkish Muslims threatening from the East, Europe struck back with a vengeance again. Spain and Portugal were won back, pushing Islam back into North Africa. But just like the first time when the West responded to Islamic aggression with violent Crusades, the new European attempt to defend itself and even the genocidal Inquisition fell short of taking back everything that was lost. Constantinople remained part of the Islamic world.

In 1526, Sultan Suleiman conquered most of Hungary, with Bulgaria already under his control. Three years later, the Turks reached all the way to Vienna and laid siege to it. The city stood up only because it was attacked too late by a Turkish force that was too tired from prior battles. In 1532, the Ottomans tried again, but faced stiff resistance in western Hungary.

For 150 years, the Ottomans tried to jump from southeastern Europe into its heartland before the epic Battle of Vienna. This time, the siege began in July of 1683. During the siege, 10,000 Viennese troops were surrounded by 140,000 Turks. They would probably fail, and allow Islam into the center of Europe, but King Jan III Sobieski of Poland sent a 30,000 man army to protect the city, possibly saving the Western civilization. The Battle of Vienna began on September 11. When the battle was over next day, 4,000 Christians had been killed – and 15,000 Muslims. Vienna survived again.

The rest is history. The Enlightenment and later the Industrial Revolution sent the West far ahead of Islam. In the 19th century, Napoleon showed just show dominant Christendom was over Islam. The Caliphate was eliminated when the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist. The West stopped fearing Muslims, viewing them as nothing more than “oil cows”. And Islam truly ceased being a power.

That, of course, is what the West wanted to believe. Truth is that Christendom still didn’t recover most of the territories lost since the rise of Islam. Constantinople (now Istanbul), Egypt, Syria, Bosnia and Chechnya were all Christian lands in the past.

Islam did not invade the West continuously for a thousand years. Instead, there were many generations of peace, but that peace was eventually always interrupted by Muslim attacks on Europe. Each time Christians lost large parts of their territory, then fought back, but never fully recovered the lost territories.

For two centuries now, the West was strong enough to ignore the threat from the south. But Muslims felt “humiliated” because they did not have the strongest army, the wealthiest economy and the dominant political power.

Islam began to resurge in the 1960s (some say in the 1920s, but Islamists weren’t strong enough until after Israel “humiliated” Arab nationalists in 1967). First came terror. Then global Jihad. In the 1990s, massive Islamic immigration into Europe began to threaten a demographic takeover. Islam is on the move again. Will Vienna be under siege once more?

This article appeared in Global Politician and is published here* with mutual consent. *At Islam Watch

[emphasis in red mine. lw]

*Re Mehmet (Mohammed) IV, see

Islam delenda est

Friday, March 14, 2008

More about Amazigh--"Berbers" coming right here!


and why





North Africa
The indigenous Berber tribes have been forced to adopt the religion of their Arab occupiers since the 7th century. Presently, they are resisting Arab pressure in Morocco to abandon their cultural heritage and have been made refugees from their ancestral lands in Western Sahara. Since 1977, all attempts to assert Berber identity in Algeria have been ruthlessly suppressed. Today, the Kabyle Berbers in Algeria are either pressing for autonomy or independence for their region and it is hoped that once that is achieved, other Berber tribes will follow suit.


In the meantime, if you read French, look at

Histoire Ancienne du peuple Berbere
En Francais (In French)

History of Amazigh (Berbers) In English

from the foregoing:

Given that Arabic is required for the practice of Islam, most Imazighen feel they are Arabs as well, although those who claim to be Moslems are not necessarily Arabs nor do they have to know Arabic. This situation may have also a psychological impact on the self-perception of Imazighen. In June 1987, a missionary from the United States living in the province of Fes wrote to his colleagues in Melilla the following:

As I began to compare notes with others in our region I realized that Berbers in our key cities and even in my rural town were often apologetic about their "berberness." It is especially true of Mekness and Fes whose imperial Arab history causes Berbers to hide their ethnic roots. This is quite in contrast to some of the other Berber regions of the country. But to a certain degree, I feel that those of us living in urban areas will confront this same thing, maybe not as a rule but at least sporadically. (Gill, 1987, p. 3)
Gill articulates a problematic situation leading to confusion, which is actually a confusion in identity that creates obstacles for the researcher who expects people to be what they say they are. With the fear of punishment and intimidation and the dominance of an Arab-Islamic ideology, in addition to about 50% illiteracy, the situation is even more problematic.

Continue at Amazigh ("Berber") Identity Under Arabization

[Left Column, Middle of Page]

Also, be sure to read The Arabs, The Berbers & Africa by Hugh Fitzgerald

The Arabs, The Berbers & Africa

by Hugh Fitzgerald (Feb. 2008)


It is no mystery as to why Christian missionaries might be having their greatest success in the Kabyle. In Algeria, that remains the Berber heartland. It is where the Berbers are concentrated, that is those who were not forcibly transformed, during the centuries of Arab rule (interrupted by 132 years of French rule) into "Arabs." (How many of those "Arabs" who now persecute the Berbers realize that they themselves are a generation, or two, or five removed from their clearly Berber origins?)

The cause of the Berbers is hardly known in this country. The writer Kateb Yacine, a Berber who refused to write in Arabic, but chose French, is celebrated in France, especially among Berbers -- but unknown in this country, and his anti-Arab rage is not likely to cause his books to be included in the syllabuses of courses on "Francophone" literature given that so many such courses are now taught by French-speaking Arabs.

What is that cause? In the first place, it is linguistic and cultural. In Algeria, where the French rightly saw the Berbers as superior to the Arabs -- one French general wrote a book about the "Europeanness" of the Berbers -- the Berbers were not discriminated against, but as soon as the French left, the forced arabisation of the Berbers started up at once, as if the French interregnum, with the wider possibilities that French education made possible to both Berbers and Arabs, had never existed. Older people in Algeria speak and use French; the younger ones are forgetting. And meanwhile, the Berbers were forbidden to use their own language, Tamazight, in their schools or in their institutions, and even, at times, they could be punished for using it among themselves, on the street. Berber culture was officially ignored.

About twenty years ago, news of agitation began to reach the outside world. There were riots in Tizi-Ouzou that were reported in France, but hardly anywhere else in the Western world. In America, of course, we had all been sufficiently subject to ARAMCO propaganda (performed as a "public service" by the big oil companies, as part of their propaganda payoff to the Saudis for allowing them to find, produce, and then pay exorbitantly for the oil that happens to lie under the malevolent sands of "Saudi" Arabia), to believe that there is something called "the Arab world" and in this "Arab world" there are no Copts, no Armenians, no Assyrians, no Chaldeans, no Turkmen, no Mandeans, no Maronites, and of course no Berbers, no Jews (no, there never were any Jews in North Africa or the Middle East -- they all came to Israel, you see, from Europe), for everyone in the Arab world was an "Arab."

The discovery or re-discovery of a Berber identity (and how many of those North African "Arabs" should begin to realize that they are Berbers?) is or could be an important weapon in unsettling the world of Islam, and perhaps causing the Maghreb to see itself, as it should not as "Arab" but as the victim of Arab imperialism.

For what is Islam if not a vehicle of Arab imperialism, and what are the Berbers, if not the victims of that Arab imperialism, an imperialism far more potent and long-lasting than the European kind, for it attempts to efface the historic identity of whole peoples?

And it makes perfect sense that Berbers in the Kabyle would, having felt along their pulses the Arab imperialism of which Islam is the vehicle, would be more open to the efforts of Christian missionaries, or more likely, are not so much responding to missionary activity, but to their own observations as to what Christianity is like, and what Islam has brought them.

In this respect, one should not underestimate the fact that Berbers now live in France, that they make up most of the membership of such groups as the "maghrebins laiques," and that they, not the Arabs whose ethnic identity is so bound up with Islam, are capable, in some cases, not of identifying with the Arabs, but more closely with the French. And those Berbers communicate with Berbers at home, or through the Internet. And sometimes they return, to Algeria and Morocco, to see their families, and bring with them their own observations on the relative merits of the Islamic world, a world suffused with Islam, and the non-Islamic world, the one they have experienced in France.

The more the non-Arab Muslims of the world, and 80% of the world's Muslims are not Arab, come to realize -- and it would not be hard to help them to realize, for they will not be able to deny the facts, having experienced so much of it themselves -- that Islam is a vehicle for that Arab supremacism, the more likely it is that at least some of them will fall away. And others, who may stick with a kind of "non-Arab" Islam (as if such were possible) will, in so doing, at least help to divide, and therefore to weaken, the Camp of Islam.

Ideally, one would wish this Total System, that has held so many hundreds of millions in thrall, and thwarted over so many centuries so much human potential (think of the art, think of the science, that might have resulted in the absence of the dead hand of Islam on so many people, prevented from so many forms of artistic expression, so many avenues for free and skeptical inquiry that are necessary for the enterprise of science, so much dull fanaticism, so much boredom, so much violence, in posse and in esse) will be seen, by Berbers, by Kurds, by people in the subcontinent (why should Muslims in India not "rediscover" their own history, their Hindu, or Buddhist, or other non-Muslim roots?), by those in Malaysia and the East Indies, with its rich pre-Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist past?

Meanwhile, start reading those Berber sites. And hope that the French state, instead of Sarkozy's folly of "integrating" its Muslims by government-supported mosques, will try to work on the Berbers, work to make them see the light, work to help them to achieve their own destiny, one different from, and superior to, that of the Arabs whose method of domination comes from, is supplied by, Islam, Islam, Islam.

We should help those in North Africa (and in France) who know, are well aware, of their Berber identity. And they will point out, in the ways that they think most effective, that many of those "Arabs" are in fact one or two or five generations away from being Berbers. DNA is coming to the rescue. There is a genetic marker that, in studies by French geneticists in Tunisia, shows that Berbers and Arabs can be easily distinguished. Some who proudly identify themselves as "Arabs" will resist. But others may listen. And as they recognize the violence, the "culture of death" of Islam, as in Algeria, perhaps those who wish to make a break from Islam, and recognize that such a break is hardest of all for Arabs, and that another identity needs to be accepted, invented, believed in, will manage to discover, and embrace, their Berber "roots."

It seems fanciful, just as it seems fanciful that Iranians, those who are not merely disgusted with the mullahs running things, but are coming to be disgusted with Islam -- that "gift of the Arabs" --- itself, may wish to rediscover Zoroastrianism. Not because of any particular wonderfulness in what Zoroastrianism has to offer, but simply because it offers another identity (see Bernard Lewis's excellent "The Multiple Identities of the Middle East"), in a part of the world, and among people, who believe that "everyone simply has to be something." And that "something" cannot be, as it is in the advanced West, a collection of ideas or ideals -- as an American might define himself as loyal to the American Constitution, and wishing to defend the political and legal institutions of this country, fortunately fashioned by an inimitable group of geniuses, and fortunately, not yet made complete hash even by those who embody the degradation of the democratic dogma.

Many Frenchmen wrote about the differences they perceived between Arabs and Berbers. French photographers routinely took pictures of Berbers in their Berber dress; the Arabs were much less willing. French military men wrote about the Berbers as "un peuple europeen."

Some Berbers came not to resist their definition as "Arabs" the way some Copts and Maronites have had a false "Arab identity" pushed on them, or have semi-accepted it, an "identity" constructed out of nothing more than the fact that they are speakers, "users," of Arabic, and may have Arabic names forced on them over time. Indeed, there are differences between Arabs who have become Christians (as a few did in the 19th and early 20th centuries) and those Arabic-using Christians -- Maronites, Copts, Assyrians, Chaldeans -- who are not Arabs, but some of whom have, in order to survive in an ever-threatening Muslim sea, had to find their role as "Arabs" or even, in the manner of the Christian Syrian Michel Aflaq (one of the founders of Ba'athism), hyper-Arabs, as promoters of an Arab identity, pan-Arabism, the whole works -- as an alternative to Islam (they were fooling themselves, because pan-Arabism for Muslim Arabs was never a real alternative to Islam, but merely a temporary goal, a subset, of the goal of a reunified Muslim world).

Not every ill that befell the non-Muslims in the Muslim world, or non-Arabs in the Muslim Arab world, can be attributed to colonial powers. There were French then, during the time of the "presence francaise" that brought schools, hospitals, modern agriculture, and other elements of modern civilization, to North Africa (in Morocco and Tunisia, over about half-a-century; in Algeria, over a 132-year period) who were quite capable of distinguishing Berbers from Arabs, and it was not their pressure that caused some Berbers to forget their own identity, any more than it was France as the guarantor of the Christians in Lebanon and Syria who caused some to make themselves hyper-Arabs. Aflaq founded the Ba'ath party with two associates not when the French seemed to be there to stay, but when it was clear that they would, in a few years, be leaving.

Aflaq's "Ba'athism" came to dominate only two countries, and for two similar reasons. The first was Syria, with a large Christian population, and with a powerful military caste, the Alawites, who were not regarded as orthodox Muslims, were indeed disliked by orthodox Muslims for the obvious elements of syncretism in their worship (go to an Alawite village and see the pictures of Mary everywhere), Alawites who had been miserable under the Turkish rule but under that of the French formed part of the Troupes speciales, and were trained to fight, and when the French left, the Alawites remained in the army, and the air force (Hafez al-Assad) and gradually took over, in the way that people or groups always take over in the Muslim Middle East -- through the application, or threat, of military force. In Syria Ba'athism disguises, is the facade, for the rule by the Alawites.

In Iraq, Ba'athism took a different turn. There, the Sunnis knew that they were numerically far inferior to the Shi'a, but they were put in control of modern Iraq, by the British, and never lost their grip.

The Hashemite king, Feisal a Sunni, was put in control of Iraq, and aided throughout the 1920s by British troops, and such British civilians as the celebrated Gertrude Bell, until finally, the expense of suppressing the tribes, and the obvious hopelessness of it all, caused the British to leave. It was Winston Churchill who described Mesopotamia (Iraq) as an "ungrateful volcano." And when the British left, the local Arabs solemnly promised not to harm the local Christians, and five months after the last British troops pulled out, Muslim Arabs killed up to 100,000 largely helpless Assyrians. (William Saroyan wrote a book about it).

Everywhere Muslims spreading Islam are careful to present it as the vehicle for whatever grievance the potential local converts may have. If it is black prisoners in the United States, then Islam is presented as the vehicle both of "social justice" (see how Muslim ruling classes everywhere seize the national wealth, see how the poor are treated in Muslim countries), and against "racism.” And the Infidels do little or nothing. Have you seen any campaigns of deliberate counter-Da’wa anywhere in the prisons or elsewhere? It would be easy to show, and to keep showing, perhaps by organizing the “Lost Boys” of the Sudan, that anti-black racism, of the purest and most virulent kind, is found among the Arabs. Anyone who has studied in an Arab country returns amazed at what is said, and not a few are shaken. Anyone who looks into the history of African slavery soon discovers that the Arab slave trade began earlier, and ended later, than that of the Europeans – or rather, ended formally later, but actually continues, in several countries, to this day. Why is this not screamed from every housetop? Why have the countries of the advanced world, that have poured $400 billion into aid to black Africa, not tried to halt the spread of the most retrograde force, a force which encourages the habit of mental submission, and which, in its inshallah-fatalism, is in fact fatal to economic development, not tried to stop the spread of Islam? If they have the wellbeing of black Africans at heart, they must begin to understand, and to share their understanding, that Islam has been, is, and always will be, a force that hinders, with that inshallah-fatalism and that habit of mental submission, any possibility of either economic or intellectual development.

The evidence is there. What sustained the Muslims for centuries, at a low level, was simply the accumulated intellectual capital of those peoples whom they conquered, and slowly leached of life, and of property as well. Now North Africa and the Middle East are virtually without the non-Muslims who once provided a certain supply of Jizyah, and what sustains the Arabs and Muslims are two things, and only two things; the new disguised Jizyah of Western foreign aid (which should be ended, and used to meet the new expenses of monitoring Muslim populations in the West), and the manna of oil wealth, entirely undeserved, and the only conceivable way that the Arabs and Muslims might acquire great wealth – through an accident of geology. Are the peoples of black Africa misled into thinking that they, too, somehow share in that wealth?

There was a very large and intelligent, because it focused on small-scale, doable projects, aid effort by Israel in black Africa. It was the most successful of all such foreign aid efforts. It was widespread. It was widely welcomed. But it came to an end, after the Six-Day War, under Arab pressure, and bribery – the same bribery that caused several dozen African states, under Arab command, to break diplomatic relations with Israel. Some of those African states no doubt thought that the Arabs would share just a little of that vast unearned wealth – if only to replace what Israel, a tiny country, had so remarkably provided. It was not to be. It will never be. The Arabs are trying in Africa to dominate the Continent. They are patient. They are methodical. In West Africa, where Islam is already dominant, as in uranium-rich Niger, they have transformed the easygoing, syncretistic practice of Islam to something much more akin to what can be seen in Saudi Arabia. And everywhere mosques are becoming subject to the strictures of those who pay for them, or pay the imams – and that usually means the Saudis. In some countries that once had a clear Christian majority, such as the Ivory Coast, the Christians are feeling besieged by Muslims who come in from the north, and the French government under Chirac supported not the local black Christians, and understood their fear, but rather attempted to appease the world’s Muslims.

In East Africa, when the black Africans rose up against their Arab masters in Zanzibar and Pemba some decades ago (the slave trade by the Arabs in East Africa had been centered there – indeed, the Sultan of Muscat and Oman had for a time ruled directly from Zanzibar), little was made of this in the West. No one discussed the long history of the Arab slave trade, with its practice of castrating black children when they were first caught, and then taking them by slave coffle or dhow to the slave markets of Islam, a trip which about 10% survived (see “The Hideous Trade” by Jan Hogedorn). And so the Arabs have continued their march southward. The Sudan had very few Arabs in the southern part one hundred years ago. But steadily they have taken territory, pushed back, killed, black Africans. 1.8 million non-Muslim blacks were killed, or deliberately starved to death, in the southern Sudan in the last two decades. Not content with that, not content with having seized complete control of the oil wealth that lies under the Christian and animist areas of the artificial state of Sudan, the Arabs are now trying to seize, by mass murder, the lands as well of the Muslim, but non-“Arab” blacks of Darfur. The campaign of mass rape, destruction of property, and killing of every man, woman and child they can get their hands on has been reported and reported, and reported. It has been reported without any understanding of Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism (the nicholas-kristofs of this world do not bother to figure out what is going on, what ideology prompts the Janjaweed and the Sudanese government that supports it, or the other Arab and Muslim governments that run interference for that Sudanese government), but are content with writing endless columns of easy anguish.

Egypt supports the Sudanese, while pretending not to, and so does the Arab League which welcomes the reduction, in the southern Sudan and from Darfur, of non-Arabs and non-Muslims to a state of hopelessness and surrender, where they continue to live at all. For Egypt and the Arabs have their eyes not merely on the Sudan, but on Ethiopia, the famous Christian kingdom, now rapidly becoming Islamized. Egypt has no intention of letting the Christian government of Ethiopia help its own people by, at long last, diverting some of the headwaters of the Nile for irrigation. The Egyptians think the Nile belongs, from its very source onward, to them and only to them. The water wars have been declared –but only by the Arab side.

Americans and other Infidel peoples should be supporting Ethiopian efforts to halt the spread of Islam, or of the purest kind of Islam, whether in Somalia or in Ethiopia itself, and to help Ethiopia remain a Christian kingdom that can help prevent the takeover of southern East Africa by Islam. Muslims owe their loyalty to the umma al-islamiyya, to fellow Muslims. It would make sense, in Africa, for the Americans not only to have handfuls of advisors and troops here and there, but to engage in propaganda. This propaganda, which happens to be the truth simply megaphoned to make a point, should describe in vivid detail the history of the Arab slave trade. It should explain to Africans that slavery is permanently sanctioned by both Qur’an and Sunnah, and can therefore never, within Islam, be banished. It should detail the continuing racism of the Arabs. And it should show how Islam stands in the way of economic and other kinds of development in two ways: in the encouragement of the habit of mental submission, central to Islam, and in the inshallah-fatalism that limits economic activity, and how Islam has relied on two kinds of manna: the Jizyah that is demanded from, or voluntarily supplied by, non-Muslims, and the oil wealth that has resulted from an accident of geology. And despite the ten trillion dollars that the Arab and Muslim states have received from oil revenues since 1973, not a single one has managed to create a real economy, not a single one has ceased to be hopelessly dependent on oil.

Islam, as it spreads, will merely guarantee that the countries and peoples of sub-Saharan Africa will be forced to endure the political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual failures of Muslim states and societies – failures whose source can be found in Islam itself.

Do we wish black Africa well, or ill? If we do wish to help the peoples of black Africa, preventing or halting the spread of Islam makes sense. And it makes sense for us to help the Berbers regain their history, their language and their culture, and it makes sense for us, in other ways, as well.

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Monday, March 10, 2008


Islam was indeed a dominant power for much of its history. Today it is hard to imagine Morocco defeating Spain, Tunisia conquering Italy and Turkey marching up to Vienna, but it did happen in the past. Muslims were the dominant power in the world for many centuries, and it is that "Golden Age" that today’s generation, whether Islamists or Nationalists, seek to re-capture.

Humiliation of Muslims and the coming Siege of Vienna


" . . . what are 'the lessons of history'? . . . . History is not a recipe book; past events are never replicated in the present in quite the same way. Historical events are infinitely variable and their interpretations are a constantly shifting process. There are no certainties to be found in the past.
Gerda Lerner

--from Why Moslems Cannot Learn Anything From History

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Bayonet Brits kill 35 rebels
From an article in The Sun

British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Army’s first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago. The fearless Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stormed rebel positions after being ambushed and pinned down. Despite being outnumbered five to one, they suffered only three minor wounds in the hand-to-hand fighting near the city of Amara. The battle erupted after Land Rovers carrying 20 Argylls came under attack on a highway.

After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills.

When the fighting ended bodies lay all over the highway — and more were floating in a nearby river. Nine rebels were captured. An Army spokesman said: “This was an intense engagement.”

The last bayonet charge was by the Scots Guards and the Paras against Argentinian positions.


Argylls fight hand to hand in Iraq
(from an article at Scotland on Sunday.)
SCOTTISH troops fixed bayonets and fought hand to hand with a Shi’ite militia in southern Iraq in one of their fiercest clashes since the war was declared more than a year ago, it was reported last night.

Soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders mounted what were described as "classic infantry assaults" on firing and mortar positions held by more than 100 fighters loyal to the outlawed cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, according to military sources.

At least 20 men from al-Sadr’s army were believed killed in more than three hours of fighting - the highest toll reported in any single incident involving British forces in the past 12 months.

Nine fighters were captured and three British soldiers injured, none seriously.

"It was very bloody and it was difficult to count all their dead," one source was quoted as saying. "There were bodies floating in the river."

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were drawn into the fighting when soldiers in two Land-Rovers were ambushed on Friday afternoon about 15 miles east of the city of Amara. The soldiers escaped, only to be ambushed a second time by a larger group of militia, armed with machine-guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Reinforcements were summoned from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment at a base nearby. "There was some pretty fierce hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets fixed," the source added. "There were some classic assaults on mortar positions held by the al-Sadr forces."

Official spokesman Major Ian Clooney confirmed the Mehdi army "took a pretty heavy knocking", but refused to specify tactics. "This was certainly an intense engagement," he added.