A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
October 13th, 2007
Here are this week’s articles below and attached. The full articles appear below these short abstracts.
1) Was Cleopatra Circumcised? Cleopatra wasn’t circumcised. However it is ironic to see feminists supporting this practice, just as it is ironic to see them sporting bikinis that say ‘no war on Iran.’
2) To be feared or hated? Machiavelli claimed it was good for a Prince to be feared, but disastrous for him to be hated. Westerners claim that hate implies fear. How can we reconcile these logical fallacies? If one is already hated they might as well be feared as well.
3) The Fall of the Nobel Peace Prize: The fact that the Nobel Peace prize was awarded to Al Gore and the U.N merely shows how little the prize means.
Was Cleopatra Circumcised?
Seth J. Frantzman
September 29th, 2007
The New York Times reported three weeks ago on September 20th, 2007, on protests against the practice of female circumcision in Egypt. The Times intelligently informed the reader that opponents of the practice refer to it as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and defenders of it call it circumcision. The New York Times neutral word for it is ‘genital cutting.’ Unlike the practice of circumcision in Judaism, where boys are circumcised at the behest of men, in Egypt the defenders of circumcision for girls are all men, a picture accompanying the article shows the men, standing around a coffee shop saying “Even if the state doesn’t like it, we will circumcise the girls.”
In Egypt women are beginning to protest the circumcising of girls between the ages of 7-13. An estimated 96% of Egyptian girls are circumcised and circumcision is the norm in many countries where Islam exists in Africa, such as the Sudan, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Most reports on FGM note that it has nothing to do with Islam: “Other faiths that have supported FGM include Coptic Christianity as practiced in Egypt; Orthodox and Ethiopian Jews; and the Falashas, a group of Ethiopians Jews who live in Israel.” Another report by the U.S State Department notes that: “These practices cross religious boundaries, including Christians, Muslims and Ethiopian Jews (Falashas).” But how many of the estimated 137 million circumcised women in 28 African countries are non-Muslim? In places where Islam is not present female circumcision is rare. In many places without Islam tribes circumcise the men such as the Xhosa’s Nelson Mandela.
But let us return to this statement made by www.faqs.org, that “Other faiths that have supported FGM include FGM include Coptic Christianity…Orthodox and Ethiopian Jews.” The same article notes that FGM “has been challenged by Islamic scholars.” So connecting FGM to Islam is improper, perhaps racist, but surely it is fair to claim that Christianity and Judaism support it, regardless of the accuracy of such statements.
But the central question should be: was Cleopatra circumcised? Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemaic line in Egypt, died in the 1st century B.C, alongside her lover Mark Anthony. There is no mention in the quite lurid details of their love life of her sexual appearance having been different than those of Roman women. If she had been circumcised the lurid, X rated, sources of the period would have noted it, they were not coy to note the sexual abilities of people in the period. Furthermore there is no mention anywhere of the Queen of Sheba, Solomon’s lover, having been ‘cut’. So whence did this circumcision come?
Whence did the practice of veiling come? We are always assured that this practice is pre-Islamic. The Persians veiled their women. Catholic nuns were veiled. But if we travel to the Balkans and Central Asia in the 19th century and examine pictures of the women we will find that Muslim women were forced to walk about in heavy horsehair veils. Ungainly massive blankets that covered them, like horses or beasts of burden, weighing them down so they could not go far from the home, much less be seen. But the Pagan and Christian women, who were sometimes enslaved by the Muslims, did not go about like this. If veiling was pre-Islamic we would expect to see it among Buddhists, Hindus, Navajos, Christians, Jews, or any other of the myriad peoples in the world. There is one problem however. We don’t.
But if Cleopatra wasn’t circumcised and it therefore becomes obvious that the circumcision of young girls, like the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, originated with Islam, we might wonder why ‘human rights’ organizations and feminists in the west can be counted among the greatest defenders and excusers of the practice.
There is no greater cause in feminism today than justifying chauvinism in the name of culture. Feminism works to ensure things in the Islamic world remain unchanged, the same movement that argues for ‘progress’ in women’s rights in the west ensures that they are denied rights elsewhere. From supporting the legal obligation of veiling in Iran to opposing the elimination of the Taliban in Afghanistan (feminist-lesbian groups protested the American invasion of Afghanistan on September 29th, 2001 in Tucson Arizona), to coddling the UAE and worst of all, supporting female circumcision in Egypt. The feminist at the New York Times changes the name FGM to ‘genital cutting’ to make it benign. The feminists at AdventureDivas support veiling in Iran and having female tourists veil themselves when traveling there (http://www.adventuredivas.com/pilgrimage/inga-la-gringa/unveiling-iran/). Unsurprisingly the same leftist-feminists support boycotting tourism to Burma.
In the 17th century witches were burned at the stake. If that happened today and it took place in ‘Islam’ but it was a ‘pre-Islamic practice’ we would find leftists, liberals and feminists defending it in the name of culture and changing its name to something benign such as ‘human immolation’. Just because something is ‘cultural’ doesn’t make it a fact of life, the west denied women the vote, but cultures change.
We don’t have to go far to see the twisted nature of feministic liberalism. During Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s speech at Columbia University there were thousands of people gathered outside protesting and speaking. One of the speakers was named Sheenah Shirakhon, a Jewish girl born in L.A whose parents had fled the Islamist government in Tehran. While speaking to a crowd of people in defense of Mr. Ahmadinjed, saying how ‘freedom of speech’ guaranteed him the right to speak at Columbia and how not allowing him to speak would be an intolerant violation of his right to ‘freedom of speech’, she ripped off her short skirt and top to reveal a silver bikini with the words ‘no war on Iran’ written across the chest and back. Only a Jewish female refugee from Iran would do such a stunt. Only a woman whose family had been persecuted by a dictatorship, who had lived in a country where women were forced by law to cover their hair, would make sure to pose with a tiny bikini to defend the very country that suppressed her and her family and her religion. Only liberalism and feminism is responsible for such a stunt.
But it shouldn’t be any surprise that this is how a girl raised in America, whose family was suppressed in Iran, should choose to express herself. She can think of no other way to get attention except by disrobing. We might be reminded of the pseudo-feminist book of photographs entitled Women by Susan Sontag. Of the hundreds of pictures of women, some of whome are famous such as Madeline Albright, almost one in five is in some state of undress. All the actresses that appear in the book, such as Christina Ricci and Nicole Kidman, are in their panties. Numerous other women appear with the title ‘performing artist’ in the nude or semi-nude. In one of the many PETA stunts that involved nude women, they had a State of the Union Undress where a young 19 year old girl takes off all her clothes while the screen shows her various states of undress and George Bush delivering his State of the Union speech. Unsurprisingly the Australian female soccer team and a group of American female Olympic athletes all posed nude, the former for a calendar, the latter for Playboy.
But while Western women can think of few ways outside of being partially nude to express themselves in the West, they can think of few ways for Muslim women to express themselves except by being behind a wall. Women authors, especially feminists and leftists, play a leading role in supporting Islam and conversion to it. Take the title of Karen Armstrong’s latest book; Mohammed: a Prophet for our Time. Take Dr. Faegheh Shirazi, associate professor in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, who is the author of ‘The Veil Unveiled: The Hijab in Modern Culture.’ She describes the Western idea that the veil in the Middle East is a symbol of female repression as simplistic and misplaced. Here is the typical canard; “the practice actually outdates Islamic culture by thousands of years. Veiling and seclusion were marks of prestige and symbols of status in the Assyrian, Greco-Roman and Byzantine empires as well as in pre-Islamic Iran.” Then there is the typical defense and excuse; “Throughout history the veil has been used to promote political agendas… we can discern three major advertising strategies exploiting three different stereotypes about the Muslim woman: the mysterious woman hiding behind her veil, waiting to be conquered by an American man; the submissive woman, forced to hide behind the veil; and the generic veiled woman, representing all peoples and cultures of the Middle East… many American-born Muslims choose to wear the hijab out of respect, humility and religious solidarity.” It is no surprise that this person is a professor of ‘Liberal arts’ for it is truly an art form to watch feminists defend and embrace countries like Iran where women have few rights. It is always artistic to watch the degree to which leftist-liberals in the west have embraced Islamism, how they have embraced a culture that supports the death penalty and hates abortion. It is always artistic to watch them condemn Jerry Fallwell and defend Ahmadinjed in the same sentence.
Where were the feminists to defend the Catholic church and encourage women to enter the nunnery? Where are the feminists to speak in glowing terms about the role of women in Medieval society? Where are they to speak in glowing terms about the lives and exoticism of Orthodox Jewish women, Mormon women in polygamous marriages or Amish women? Western feminists are like the murderers of Caesar. In the name of blind cultural excuses they embrace dictatorship and hatred, using freedoms granted them by our culture to do it. We, as defenders of our culture and impugners of the other, should say to them ‘Et, Tu Brute?’
To be hated or feared?
Seth J. Frantzman
October 9th, 2007
Machiavelli famously noted that it was good for a leader to be feared, but one should never be hated. In the west people claim that ‘hate implies fear.’ How can these two statements be true? If hate implies fear than a prince who is feared would also be hated. The reason westerners claim that hate implies fear is because of the ongoing campaigns against racism, homophobia and Islamophobia. People are hateful against other races, for instance blacks, because they fear them. This is why the word ‘phobia’ was attached to Homo and Islam, in order to imply that people’s child-like knee-jerk fear of gays and Muslims leads to hatred of the two. But westerners have missed something about hate and fear.
Sometimes it happens that in Israel and the Palestinian territories when a U.N vehicle is driving down a road that a pedestrian will give it ‘the finger’ or that a driver will stop his car in the path of the U.N SUV in order to prevent its passage. Sometimes people spit on the U.N cars, sometimes they vandalize them, sometimes they even smash their windows and shoot at them. It happens quite frequently that when a white person will walk in a ‘bad’ neighborhood in London or New York that they will be accosted, laughed at, or cursed. In Israel two weeks ago, on Yom Kippur, an Arab man drove his ATV (four wheeler) into a Jewish Kibbutz named Kfar Tavor. He sped around at full speed in the quiet neighborhood and drove past the synagogue several times, where people were gathered in solemn prayer. When he was asked to leave and confronted by Jewish residents he drove wildly and ran over a young Jewish girl, killing her. But why was he there in the first place? Why did he feel he could drive around a community on its most holy day with impunity? Had it been the other way around, had a Jew entered an Arab neighborhood on Ramadan, and driven wildly and screamed at the residents, he would have been lynched.
Lack of fear and hate are two very different things. People lack fear and it is why they allow their hatred to be voiced in numerous circumstances. People hate the U.N. They hate it because it is a colonial occupying force. In Africa people hate the U.N because its soldiers are known for trading candies for sexual favors among the young African girls. It is no surprise that from time to time a French U.N soldier will be pulled from his car in the dead of night and stabbed to death. Africans do not fear the U.N. Why should they? It has no power to arrest or prosecute.
The Arab who ran over a Jewish girl on Yom Kippur lacked fear. If he had been fearful of being lynched, of having his family murdered, of having his sister raped, because of his actions, he would not have done what he did. People in 1960s New York, Boston or Chicago feared harming Italians, they implicitly thought that by doing so they would be subject to a mafia hit. There is no more poignant scene in the film the Godfather than the first scene when a man describes what happened to his daughter: “Two men took her for a drive. They tried to have their way with her but she kept her honor. So they beat her like an animal. I was a good American so I called the police. They arrested the men. The Judge sentenced them to two years in prison and then he suspend [sic] the sentence. Suspend the sentence! They walked free that very day, and they smiled at me.” The Godfather promised revenge. It is not a surprise that in the third Godfather the sister of Michael Corleone told him that he should take revenge swiftly: “then they will fear you.”
Western societies have lost the ability to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. The Crusaders struck fear. The Romans struck fear. The modern western army and police forces no longer strike fear. Is it a surprise that in the Falklands war the British brought Gurkas with them to fight the Argentines? They Gurkas, with their curved knives made in the hills of India struck fear into to the Latins. No lilly-white British bobby would do the same. Is it a surprise that after the Athenians sent an entire army under Alcibiades to conquer Sicily the Spartans responded by sending one man. Who was more feared? The British who controlled India did so with a small band of administrators. Now all of England cannot control the immigrant sections of London.
The Guardian newspaper summed up the situation without knowing it in an article entitled ‘The Ripple Effect’ from Tuesday, April 6th, 2004: “In some parts of Israel, such as Haifa, Jews and Arabs live side by side, but in Jerusalem Jewish and Arab neighborhoods are separate. In the Jewish part the fear is palpable. People scurry around, afraid to enter shops or cafes with no guard on the door, afraid of buses, afraid to listen to the interminable news bulletins. In Ein Rafa the atmosphere is relaxed.” Ein Rafa is a meandering Arab village west of Jerusalem whose inhabitants fled a nearby village two kilometers to the south called Suba in 1948. On a visit to the village last week one of the friendly inhabitants threw a rock at a group of us. There is no fear there today. No fear of retaliation. No fear of police. For leftists this lack of fear is called a ‘relaxed atmosphere.’ But relaxed atmospheres can hide hatred and intolerance.
All the bloodletting that overtook the Greeks and Turks in 1922, the Jews and Arabs in Israel in 1948, the Hindus and Muslims in India in 1948 and the Hutus and Xhosas in 1994, and the Bosnians, Croats, Serbs and Albanians in the 1990s, all of it is traceable to a lack of fear and a surfeit of hate. Books on these subjects always wax poetic about how these peoples ‘coexisted’ and ‘lived in harmony’ for generations. They lived in harmony because their hatred did not overcome their fear, fear of retaliation or fear of the government. Genocide is a product of a lack of fear. Fear of prosecution, fear of retaliation, fear of judgment in the afterlife or before god.
Only in the west does hate imply fear, and this is a product of a society where people hate because they no longer have the power to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. Machiavelli was right, a prince should be feared, but he should surely guard against being hated. The liberals claim that the prince should be loved, and this is the basis of all the coexistence programs funded by leftists. But all the tolerance programs and the interfaith councils have never proven to prevent hate, or to stop fear, or to prevent crime and violence. If anything they cater to the old saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt.’ Contempt is the first stage of hatred, and it is also an emotion that lacks fear. Contempt leads to genocide.
9/11 was a direct result of a lack of fear, and too much unrestrained hatred. The Second Lebanon war between Nasrallah and Olmert was a result of contempt and a realization that Israel had lost her deterrent. Deterrents are a form of striking fear into the hearts of the enemy. But used incautiously, they don’t usually work. The Nazi deterrent to Serbian and Italian partisans was to kill ten civilians for every German soldier killed by a partisan. This policy never proved effective at destroying resistance to Nazism. The American nuclear Bomb dropped on Hiroshima didn’t deter the North Koran invasion of South Korea in 1950.
There is nothing implicitly wrong with hatred. But there is something wrong with being fearful. The instant one becomes fearful of a person or a place or a thing they suddenly become irrational and they are incapable of making correct decisions. The West lives under a cloud of fear, especially regarding terrorism. Because of their fear Western states create all sorts of ridiculous policies, such as moral relativism, diversity programs, anti-terrorism training that includes padding down 2 year old children and 80 year old grandmas, and creating new words like Islamophobia to describe their irrational fear. There is nothing to fear from Islamic terrorists. This is not an argument in favor of the oft-mentioned ‘if we allow them to change our lives or laws then they have won.’ They should cause us to change our lives and laws. We should craft our lives and laws towards hating them, rooting them out, crushing them, bombing them, ripping out their toe-nails and eradicating them as one does the plague. Terrorism is like a disease, the more you fear it, the faster it kills you. The Catholic church tells us to ‘hate the sin, love the sinner.’ In the case of terrorism we should ignore the sin and hate the sinner. We might do well to follow the policies of John ‘black Jack’ Pershing who sowed up Muslim terrorists in pig skins before burial during his campaign in the Philippines. It’s no surprise that the Islamic slave trade in the Congo was only ended when the British employed African cannibal tribes to eat the Muslim slave-traders. How did the British avenge the death of General Gordon at the battle of Omdurman? The Maxim gun. Whatever one does the end case should be to create a Muslim world in fear. The Koran commands its followers to hate, so there is no way of ever preventing that, no matter how many Sufis one employs or how many Western scholars tell Muslims that their religion is a ‘religion of peace.’ In the absence of preventing hate, which is impossible, one should always try to ensure fear among hateful people. If one cannot instill fear in one’s enemies than one must keep fighting until they find a way to do so. Building large walls such as the Romans did in England (Hadrian’s wall), the Chinese did (The Great Wall), the Athenians did (linking Athens to its port), the Byzantines (the wall of Constantinople), the French (Maginot line) and now the Israelis is a foolish and extremely short sighted way of dealing with hate.
The fall of the Nobel peace prize
October 12th, 2007
It may be no surprise that the committee of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the U.N. In many ways it serves to illustrate the uselessness and utter failure of both organizations. The U.N is incapable of making peace and the Nobel Prize committee has essentially awarded the prize to itself: or rather another nebulous body of erudite Europeans and groveling third worlders. The fact that Al Gore was named, along with the ‘U.N’ as a recipient merely shows how low he has sunk.
The Nobel Peace Prize was first awarded in 1901 to Frederic Passy and Jean Henry Dunant, the first a peace activist and the latter the father of the Red Cross. For the first 13 years of the Prize’s existence it continued to be awarded to men of caliber who were involved in international arbitration, or international peace work. Some of the recipients were obscure. Some were not. Teddy Roosevelt received the prize due to his long work at international arbitration including the conference to end he Russo-Japanese war. Members of the ‘inter-parliamentary union’, socialists, and peace advocates from Italy to Germany were recipients. The first organization to receive the prize was the Institute of International Law in 1904.
During the first world war the prizes, except in 1917, were awarded to the Red Cross. After the war many of them went to men involved with the League of Nations, including Woodrow Wilson. Fridjof Nansen, famous explorer and peace activist was also awarded a prize in 1922. In the 1930s many members of the committee were in favor of awarding the League of Nations itself the prize, but Halvdan Koht, a historian, threatened to resign and the League, which had proved useless at stopping Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia and countless other aggressions, did not receive the prize. A Prisoner of the Nazis, Carl Von Ossietzky received the prize, as did writers and women’s peace activists.
Perhaps the first seeds of the fall of the Nobel prize can be seen in these years between 1930 and 1945 when it not only awarded the Red Cross a Prize during the war, despite the fact that the Red Cross covered up Nazi atrocities, but also suggested the League of Nations for a prize. After the war many of the prizes were awarded to men involved with the U.N, including Ralph Bunche and Cordell Hull, both Americans. The first U.N body to receive the prize was the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees. The Nobel prize at this time began to take a lasting interest in the Middle East, Bunche, the Office of the High Commissioner and Canada’s Lester Bowles Pearson and Dag Hammarskjold were all awarded prizes between 1950 and 1965. The first non-westerner to receive the prize was Zulu chief Albert John Lutuli, for his work as head of the ANC and as a ‘human rights’ activist.
In the 1980s the U.N continued to rack up awards including one for the Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees (again) and the United Nations peacekeeping Forces. More deserving individuals also received prizes such as Lech Walsea, Andrea Sakharov, Willy Brandt and Eisaku Sato (former Japanese P.M). Henry Kissinger and Lee Duc Tho received a prize in 1973 for helping to pretend to end the Vietnam war. Manachem Begin, the first Jew to receive the prize, and Anwar Sadat received the prize in 1978. Eilie Weasel, The Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa would also receive prizes in 1979 and 186 respectively. Gorbachev got one and so did De Klerk and Mandela. Shimon Peres, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin got one. David Trimble and John Hume got one for their role in ending the violence in Northern Ireland. Amnesty international, Medicines San Frontieres, anti-nuclear and anti-landmines groups all received prizes. 2003-2006 were the Muslim Years of the Nobel Peace Prize as it altered its outlook due to 9/11 and realized the Muslims needed to be included in its largesse. Shirin Ebadi, Mohammed El Baradei and Muhammed Yunus were awarded prizes for women’s rights, nuclear proliferation and helping the poor respectively.
Perhaps the inclusion of El Baradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Commission presaged the 2007 award. He has sat atop an organization that has done the opposite of its purview for the past 10 years. During his tenure nuclear weapons have proliferated on a massive scale, to North Korea, India, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Libya, and beyond. He has, unsurprisingly, been the largest opponent of doing anything to prevent Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
In 2007 the award went to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Neither one has ever campaigned for peace in even the most rudimentary war. However they have both been involved in the latest fad of claiming that conflicts are due to climate change. The brilliant assessment of leading anti-global warming people that climate change fuels the genocide in the Sudan has provided a wonderful excuse for the genocidaires. They aren’t to blame, it’s the hot weather that makes them rape and kill. Perhaps climate change caused Hitler and the Nazis to need more Labensraum.
It seems the history of the Nobel Peace Prize and its recipients could best be broken down into two groups of people and organizations: Those that did something to achieve peace, and those that did nothing except talk. Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Elihu Root, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Manachem Begin might be included in the former category. The U.N, the Red Cross and numerous other organizations and people could be included in the latter. They talk about peace, talk, and talk and talk, but they do nothing. The U.N has never, in its history, done anything to bring peace to anywhere. It has taken credit, of course, for bringing peace, but it has only done so after the actual parties to the conflict had already resolved to have peace. In many places the U.N has actively encouraged violence, been part and parcel to the conflict or sat by while genocide has taken place. The U.N did nothing to end the fighting in the Lebanese refugee camp, Nahr al Balad, for the four months in which it was slowly leveled and destroyed by the Lebanese Army. It did nothing between 1976 and 2005 to ensure peace on Israel’s northern border and in 1967 it collaborated with Gamel Abdel Nasser to evacuate the Sinai peninsula, against its mandate, so that the area could be re-militarized. In Rwanda it watched and sipped tea as 400,000 people died. It has done nothing in the Sudan. In many places, including Hutu refugee camps in the Congo and Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza, its buildings and organizations have been infiltrated by militants and it has been used by terrorists and killers.
The time is coming with the Nobel Committee will award itself a prize for its fake work at encouraging peace. That will be its ultimate tombstone.