Bob McManus at City Journal has a simple question: “Why did the city of Charlottesville and the state of Virginia suspend the First Amendment for Saturday’s calamitous ‘Unite the Right’ rally?”
Nazi swastikas may “inflame and provoke,” but waving them reminds us of “a fundamental principle of American democracy: the individual’s right to free expression and the concurrent obligation of government to protect that right.”
Yet in Charlottesville, “there was plenty of expressing going on” but “precious little protecting.” And “when push came to shove — literally — police and National Guardsmen were to be found only on the periphery of the brawling.” In fact, police refused to intervene “unless specifically ordered to do so.”
Sadly, “when the sun went down over Charlottesville Saturday, the First Amendment was lying in the dust.”
In the aftermath of Saturday’s Charlottesville, Virginia chaos — a physically violent conflict between disgusting white supremacist alt-right thugs and repulsive Antifa thugs, which culminated in a murderous attack by an apparent alt-righter on the Antifa crowd and other miscellaneous counter-protesters, resulting in the death of one person and injuries to another 19 — the hot takes have been coming fast and furious.
Here are some of the things you need to know about the awful events of yesterday.
1. The Alt-Right Is Not Conservative. One of the hottest takes from the Left is that the alt-right represents the entire right — that what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia represented conservatives broadly. That’s factually incorrect, and intellectually dishonest. The alt-right is not just conservatives who like memes or who dislike Paul Ryan. The alt-right is a philosophy of white supremacy and white nationalism espoused by the likes of Vox Day, Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor.
Here’s Jared Taylor explaining the alt-right:
They openly acknowledge their antipathy for the Constitution and conservatism; they believe that strong centralized government is necessary to preserve “white civilization.” They label all their enemies “cucks” — men in favor of “race-mixing.” Here’s a solid guide to what the alt-right actually thinks.
2. The Alt-Right Has Successfully Created The Impression There Are Lots Of Them. There Aren’t. Thanks to the hard work of alt-right apologists like Milo Yiannopoulos, the widespread perception has been created that the alt-right is a movement on the rise, with a fast-increasing number of devotees. The media have glommed onto the alt-right in order to smear the entire conservative movement with it. The alt-right is quite active online — according to the Anti-Defamation League, I was their top journalistic target in 2016, and I received nearly 8,000 anti-Semitic tweets during the election cycle — but they aren’t particularly large. They fill up comments sections at sites like Breitbart, and they email spam, and they prank call people, and they live on 4chan boards, but the vast majority of alt-right anti-Semitic tweets came from just 1,600 accounts.
Thanks, however, to their online vociferousness, they convinced members of the Trump campaign, apparently including the president, that it was important not to knock them.
3. The Alt-Right Has Been Tut-Tutted By President Trump And His Advisors For Over A Year. Yesterday Was Nothing New. President Trump’s initial response to the attack in Charlottesville made no mention of the alt-right or white supremacy or even of racism. He simply stated, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.” Trump, who has been fully willing to call out radical Islam, had nothing to say about the alt-right. Some Trump defenders point out that Barack Obama never condemned Black Lives Matter in the wake of riots and shootings of police officers, either. But Obama was wrong, and his wrongness is not an excuse for Trump to sit by and do nothing.
On Sunday morning, the White House used an unnamed spokesperson to release a statement:
Why didn’t Trump just come out himself and say the same? Because he tut-tutted the alt-right throughout his presidential campaign. He refused point-blank to condemn the KKK during an infamous exchange with CNN’s Jake Tapper in March 2016. He refused to condemn the alt-right targeting Jewish journalists like Julia Ioffe in May. His chief campaign strategist, Steve Bannon, was head of Breitbart when Yiannopoulos wrote his screed, and openly stated that the site had become “the platform for the alt-right.” Sadly, Trump has shown willingness to accept support from any source, no matter how despicable.
4. The Car Attack Was An Act of Terrorism. The alt-right piece of human debris James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, apparently deliberately drove his vehicle into counterprotesters and Antifa members. That’s an act of political violence no different from the car attacks of Nice, France or Jerusalem or London Bridge. That’s terror.
5. Trump’s Unwillingness To Fight The Alt-Right Tooth And Nail Grows The Alt-Right. President Trump’s milquetoast statement has emboldened members of the alt-right. Here’s the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer: “He outright refused to disavow. People saying he cucked are shills and kikes. He did the opposite of cuck. He refused to even mention anything to do with us. When reporters were screaming at him about White Nationalism he just walked out of the room.” That account may be unfair to Trump. But it’s what white nationalists are reading. They see Trump as a useful figure. David Duke said as much at the rally: “This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take this country back. We’re gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he’s going to take our country back.”
6. The Left’s Malfeasance And Support For Violent Groups Like Antifa Grow The Alt-Right.Antifa was violent in Charlottesville. That’s not according to me; that’s according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times, who tweeted thusly:
She was forced to backtrack and suggest that the Antifa thugs weren’t “hate-filled” after online blowback. But Antifa has trafficked in hate and violence for over a year now — we all remember how they’ve been assaulting people asserting their free speech rights in Berkeley, and how they have been engaged in street fights with alt-righters in places like Sacramento.
This isn’t “whataboutism.” Nothing justifies the alt-right’s racist perspective or murderous violence by an alt-righter. But it would be factually incorrect to ignore Antifa’s continuing role in the violent incidents that have now spread across the country. Because the Marxists in Antifa try to shut down free speech, they drive foolish people into the morally incorrect binary decision of supporting the alt-right, rather than loudly rejecting the ideology and violence of both sides.
7. The Media’s Broad Misusage Of The Term Alt-Right Grows The Alt-Right. Some members of the Leftist media have attempted to term large swaths of the right “alt-right” — just last week, some idiots in the media attempted to lump me in with the alt-right because I thought Google was wrong to fire James Damore. I am, for the record, perhaps the loudest voice against the alt-right in America, and I openly and repeatedly criticized Trump for failing to condemn the alt-right. For some evidence, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. There’s a lot more where that came from. But the media seek to paint the entire right with the alt-right brush, even though the alt-right hates the Constitutional conservative right. That drives otherwise reasonable people into thinking that perhaps they are alt-right — and then they, in knee-jerk fashion, defend the actual alt-right because they’re confused about definitions. The Left needs to stop this nonsense immediately.
Charlottesville, Sacramento, Berkeley — we’re watching a microcosmic re-enactment of Weimar Republic brownshirt-vs.-reds violence in real-time, complete with the same flags being flown. Just as then, some leadership condemning the evil of alt-right white supremacy, the viciousness of hard-left Marxism, and the violence anyone commits in violation of basic rights should be unceasing and thunderous.
A shocking and vulgar sign about police officers has been posted in front of a local business in Atlanta. The sign could be seen from the street with the curse word blurred out, but the message is clear: It says no cops allowed.
He says he’s a military veteran and was offended when he saw it outside the East Atlanta Village gym.
“It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign, and that seems to bring it out for people,” said Jim Chambers, owner of the EAV Barbell Club on Flat Shoals Avenue in the city’s East Atlanta Village neighborhood.
EAV Barbell Club’s ‘No Cop’ policy is no longer plastered on the front door.
“I didn’t want the other folks there to take the heat that I’m willing to take,” Chambers said.
Despite the backlash, Chambers says he still stands by the message it conveyed.
“We’ve had an explicitly stated ‘No Cop’ policy since we opened, and we also don’t open membership to active members of the military,” he said.
For Chambers, a lifelong political activist, the sign and policy is a political statement outside a multi-use space which serves as a gym, community gathering spot and meeting place for activists in the metro area.
He says groups who work out there are generally minorities who are uncomfortable with the presence of law enforcement agents.
The Atlanta Police Department would not comment on the policy, but told 11Alive News, “Were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job.”
“If they have a warrant, they can go anywhere they want, but we’re not breaking the law,” Chambers said.
The question now is what happens if Chambers or anyone inside the gym needs the police.
Chambers says they never have, and won’t ever need the help of officers. He says he plans to put the ‘No Cop’ sign back up without the foul language.
Lawyers we talked with found the policy strange, but said because law enforcement officers are not a protected class under the law, only the courts can decide if EAV Barbell Club is violating any anti-discrimination laws.
Who was the biggest mass murderer in the history of the world?
Most people probably assume that the answer is Adolf Hitler, architect of the Holocaust. Others might guess Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who may indeed have managed to kill even more innocent people than Hitler did, many of them as part of a terror famine that likely took more lives than the Holocaust. But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people – easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.
Mao thought that he could catapult his country past its competitors by herding villagers across the country into giant people’s communes. In pursuit of a utopian paradise, everything was collectivised. People had their work, homes, land, belongings and livelihoods taken from them. In collective canteens, food, distributed by the spoonful according to merit, became a weapon used to force people to follow the party’s every dictate. As incentives to work were removed, coercion and violence were used instead to compel famished farmers to perform labour on poorly planned irrigation projects while fields were neglected.
A catastrophe of gargantuan proportions ensued. Extrapolating from published population statistics, historians have speculated that tens of millions of people died of starvation. But the true dimensions of what happened are only now coming to light thanks to the meticulous reports the party itself compiled during the famine….
What comes out of this massive and detailed dossier is a tale of horror in which Mao emerges as one of the greatest mass murderers in history, responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people between 1958 and 1962. It is not merely the extent of the catastrophe that dwarfs earlier estimates, but also the manner in which many people died: between two and three million victims were tortured to death or summarily killed, often for the slightest infraction. When a boy stole a handful of grain in a Hunan village, local boss Xiong Dechang forced his father to bury him alive. The father died of grief a few days later. The case of Wang Ziyou was reported to the central leadership: one of his ears was chopped off, his legs were tied with iron wire, a ten kilogram stone was dropped on his back and then he was branded with a sizzling tool – punishment for digging up a potato.
The basic facts of the Great Leap Forward have long been known to scholars. Dikötter’s work is noteworthy for demonstrating that the number of victims may have been even greater than previously thought, and that the mass murder was more clearly intentional on Mao’s part, and included large numbers of victims who were executed or tortured, as opposed to “merely” starved to death. Even the previously standard estimates of 30 million or more, would still make this the greatest mass murder in history.
While the horrors of the Great Leap Forward are well known to experts on communism and Chinese history, they are rarely remembered by ordinary people outside China, and have had only a modest cultural impact. When Westerners think of the great evils of world history, they rarely think of this one. In contrast to the numerous books, movies, museums, and and remembrance days dedicated to the Holocaust, we make little effort to recall the Great Leap Forward, or to make sure that society has learned its lessons. When we vow “never again,” we don’t often recall that it should apply to this type of atrocity, as well as those motivated by racism or anti-semitism.
The fact that Mao’s atrocities resulted in many more deaths than those of Hitler does not necessarily mean he was the more evil of the two. The greater death toll is partly the result of the fact that Mao ruled over a much larger population for a much longer time. I lost several relatives in the Holocaust myself, and have no wish to diminish its significance. But the vast scale of Chinese communist atrocities puts them in the same general ballpark. At the very least, they deserve far more recognition than they currently receive.
Why We so Rarely Look Back on the Great Leap Forward
What accounts for this neglect? One possible answer is that most of the victims were Chinese peasants – people who are culturally and socially distant from the Western intellectuals and media figures who have the greatest influence over our historical consciousness and popular culture. As a general rule, it is easier to empathize with victims who seem similar to ourselves.
But an even bigger factor in our relative neglect of the Great Leap Forward is that it is part of the general tendency to downplay crimes committed by communist regimes, as opposed to right-wing authoritarians. Unlike in the days of Mao, today very few western intellectuals actually sympathize with communism. But many are reluctant to fully accept what a great evil it was, fearful – perhaps – that other left-wing causes might be tainted by association.
For both Chinese and westerners, failure to acknowledge the true nature of the Great Leap Forward carries serious costs. Some survivors of the Great Leap Forward are still alive today. They deserve far greater recognition of the horrible injustice they suffered. They also deserve compensation for their losses, and the infliction of appropriate punishment on the remaining perpetrators.
In addition, our continuing historical blind spot about the crimes of Mao and other communist rulers, leads us to underestimate the horrors of such policies, and makes it more likely that they might be revived in the future. The horrendous history of China, the USSR, and their imitators, should have permanently discredited socialism as completely as fascism was discredited by the Nazis. But it has not – so far – fully done so.
Venezuela’s tragic situation would not surprise anyone familiar with the history of the Great Leap Forward. We would do well to finally give history’s largest episode of mass murder the attention it deserves.
Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and popular political participation. He is the author of “The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain” and “Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter.”
In this age of controversy, a fresh reason for social justice warriors to unite has arisen on Wall Street in New York City. The statue “Fearless Girl” was installed within sight of “Charging Bull” to bring attention to International Women’s Day. Having served its purpose—whatever that was—it is now time for its scheduled removal. After the images of the statue went viral, the sculptor and others want the statue to stay as a commemoration of the fearlessness of women.
True fearlessness is silently represented around this country daily, and not in the form of an iron statue.
What a load of unadulterated poppycock! Not only is the statue a poor representation of a lack of fear, it utilizes another artist’s work without permission in an attempt to make the point.
True fearlessness is silently represented around this country daily, and not in the form of an iron statue. The “silent representation” of this is exemplified in the media’s coverage of famous women who have been attacked. Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow and Taylor Swift have all received expansive media coverage of their battles to protect their homes and families from invasion by dangerous stalkers intent on bodily harm. Each woman has suffered home invasion and had to endure (sometimes unsatisfying) judicial resolutions. Fortunately, none of these women were physically harmed in the altercations. Many American women who undergo similar experiences are not so lucky.
Renowned criminologist Gary Kleck estimates that firearms are used in self-defense approximately 2.5 million times per year in the United States. But in cases of women using firearms for self-defense, it is surprising how few of them garner any national attention: So-called “mainstream” media outlets tend to largely ignore them since they don’t fit their “guns are bad” narrative.
To illustrate the point, try running an internet search of “woman shoots assailant.” Based on national media reports, one would expect to see only four or five instances over the past several years. Instead, there are thousands of hits. Similar searches for “woman shoots robber” and “woman shoots invader” provide even more local news stories of women using guns defensively. Then, to get an idea of the true scope of the phenomenon, consider that in most instances of defensive gun use, a shot is never fired and doesn’t get reported on.
Fearless Women Are Survivors
These attacks happen across the country, at any time of day, in any locale. A woman out running errands in Jacksonville, Fla., returned home unaware that she had been followed. Just before 10 a.m., the assailant forced his way into the victim’s home attempting to rob her. She shot him twice instead. The man survived the shooting and was able to flee the scene, only to be apprehended by police a short time later.
In another morning incident—this one in Chattanooga, Tenn.—Latisha Hinton used her gun to shoot her assailant after they argued and, as Hinton stated, he assaulted her. She feared for her own safety and that of others, which prompted her lawful use of her firearm. Her assailant was arrested on outstanding warrants in addition to being charged with five counts of reckless endangerment.
In February of this year, Naou Mor Khantha was working the night shift in a laundromat in Upper Darby, Pa. An armed man entered her workplace, and she fought back. She recounted that the criminal entered the facility armed with a handgun and trapped Khantha in the restroom, where, Khantha said, the criminal attempted to rape her. Khantha managed to shoot the criminal with his own gun and flee to a nearby 7-Eleven, where she called the police. Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood marveled at her bravery: “She fought for her life. She won. She’s a lucky young lady.”
In other words, bravery is more than a statue. Sounds about right. But those stories are only the tip of the iceberg. In February of this year, in Rising Sun, Ind., a conservation officer was attacked after responding to a report of a suspicious person. A woman ran from a nearby home and, upon seeing the officer being overwhelmed by an attacker, shot the attacker once in the torso to save the officer. The attacker later died at the hospital.
An Ohio woman was visiting the home of her elderly parents when she was assaulted. Kim Sinnott was enjoying a family party for her father’s 75th birthday when the family’s alarm system sounded. After grabbing her father’s handgun, she and her twin sister went to take a look and found an intruder in the garage. Sinnott warned the intruder that she had a gun and would use it. She repeatedly stated that the police were on the way and not to come out of the garage or she would shoot. Instead, the intruder allegedly lunged at Sinnott, tackling her in an attempt to take the gun. The intruder was reportedly on top of Sinnott when she shot him. His injuries were not life-threatening; he fled down the street and was later apprehended by police.
In Mobile, Ala., a woman in her vehicle shot a man brandishing a bat. Fortunately for him, his injuries weren’t life-threatening, either. But you may be noticing a theme here: Women who are attacked by unknown assailants have virtually zero chance of surviving unscathed, save for their possession of a firearm. In the case of the twin daughters home with their elderly parents, the gun was their equalizer in an altercation with an individual bent on mayhem.
Fearless Woman Stops Domestic Violence Attack
While anti-gun activists claim that a gun makes domestic violence situations more dangerous for women, in truth a gun can turn the tables on an attack that might otherwise prove deadly.
When a Mound View, Minn., woman had told her boyfriend their relationship was over, he had moved out of the house they had previously shared. However, one night about midnight the man returned demanding he be let in.
Fearing the man because he had repeatedly threatened her in the past, the woman took her gun to the door with her. When told he could not enter, the man broke into the home, tackled the woman and began assaulting her. The woman then shot her attacker once in the chest, ending the attack.
More recently, in June, an Indiana woman fatally shot a home intruder to defend herself and her children. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department reported that the mother heard someone breaking into her apartment—and, when investigating, came face to face with a strange man holding a gun. However, the mother was also carrying a firearm, and she fired first.
The shooting was the second in two days where an Indianapolis parent was forced to fire in self-defense.
In Glendale, Ariz., a woman at a Circle K showed her attacker that a gun to your victim’s head doesn’t necessarily mean you possess the upper hand. It was 1 a.m., and Carole Miracle was walking toward the store when she allegedly felt a gun pressed to her head and heard a man demand her money. Instead of complying, Miracle pulled her own gun from its holster and shot the man, killing him. Eyewitness accounts reportedly corroborate Miracle’s account of the events that night.
A surveillance camera recorded a man following a woman into an elevator at a parking garage in Louisville, Ky. As the woman left the elevator, he trailed closely behind her. When she unlocked and entered her vehicle, the man allegedly got in behind her and covered her mouth with one hand, while holding a knife in the other. The woman fought back, and as they wrestled, the windshield was cracked. The woman pulled a gun from her purse and shot the man in the neck. He fled, but was later arrested and charged with attempted murder, criminal mischief and kidnapping. The woman suffered multiple injuries, but her bravery and preparation in carrying a firearm saved her life.
This is a story that would be very good for millions of American women to hear. It illustrates how quickly an assailant can escalate an attack to a level that is impossible to win unarmed.
Of course, a parking garage isn’t the only place a concealed firearm can be a lifesaver. One mom was in her Indianapolis home with her family when she heard breaking glass. After alerting her husband to the unexpected noise, she emerged from her bedroom, pistol in hand, to see an intruder come out of her baby’s room. The intruder shot at her, and she returned fire, hitting him multiple times. The man was later found to have zip ties and a walkie-talkie in his possession. Of note is the sign on the porch of the home, reading, “We don’t call 911,” with a pistol hanging beneath. Great call on the mom’s part. Even though the baby was home during the break-in, none of the residents were harmed in the incident.
When The 911 Operator Says To Shoot
What a scenario: It’s New Year’s Eve, your husband died of cancer just a few days before, and you’re home alone with your 3-month-old baby. The doorbell rings, and some guy who introduced himself at your husband’s funeral is at your door with his friend—only this time, he has a knife.
Fortunately, the 18-year-old mother recognized him from the week before, and refused to open the door. They worked to get inside the house while she dialed 911.
The young widow I just described is named Sarah McKinley. When McKinley asked the operator if she could shoot the assailants if they entered the home, the operator told her to do whatever she needed to protect her baby. Armed with a shotgun and a pistol, she opened fire when they allegedly broke in, killing one of the intruders. His friend fled and later turned himself into police.
In truth, there are thousands upon thousands of other fearless women out there with memories of attacks, and some with battle scars from their encounters with the criminal element. These women are alive today because they chose to arm themselves just in case there was ever a need.
Many never even had to fire a shot to successfully practice armed self-defense. Due to the newsworthiness of her sorrowful situation and her youth, McKinley’s story received widespread attention back in 2012 when it occurred, but other women who have survived because they had a gun and knew how to use it have done so with little fanfare or notoriety.
Every woman should be apprised of her likelihood of surviving an assault armed only with her wits. The more knowledge women have of the laws in their states and of their rights under the Second Amendment, the more lives will be saved.
Women owning firearms is the picture of fearlessness—and there’s no bull in that.
BY STACY WASHINGTON
Stacy Washington is a decorated Air Force veteran, Emmy-nominated TV personality and host of nationally syndicated radio program “Stacy on the Right,” based in St. Louis.
Law enforcement agencies have condemned some recent remarks made by Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price.
At last week’s meeting, commissioners voted on a resolution to make July 7th a day to honor all fallen officers. Price voted no and said there is a framed narrative regarding people who have lost their lives at the hand of law enforcement.
He said any loss of life is bad. Mitch Slaymaker, with the Texas Municipal Police Association, said Price’s comments came at the wrong time.
“I believe that it was poor timing. I don’t believe that that’s the place to do it to bring those types of political discussions up,” he said.
Several associations have demanded an apology from Price.
“That’s going to be up to Mr. Price whether he does that and what he feels but we believe there was a time and a place for that dialogue. The time and place is not when you’re honoring five officers who died protecting the freedoms that those people were marching on,” he said.
The story concerned a recent speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Alliance Defending Freedom, which is “not a hate group at all, but a civil liberties organization that battles for religious liberty.”
But try telling that to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which goes after “reasonable groups it merely disagrees with politically but labels as hate groups” and whose analysis ABC swallowed whole.
Says Hemingway: “ABC News can certainly quote the Southern Poverty Law Center’s extreme views, but it shouldn’t build a story around the wholesale acceptance of their flawed premises.
That turns journalism into anti-religious propaganda on behalf of a partisan group.”
A video advising UK holidaymakers what to do in the event of a terror attack abroad has been released by police.
The four-minute film depicts a firearms attack unfolding at a hotel and uses the “run, hide, tell” safety message.
Thirty British tourists were among 38 people killed when a gunman attacked a Tunisian beach resort in June 2015.
Counter terrorism police said there is no specific intelligence Britons will be targeted this summer and the film is part of a general awareness campaign.
But Det Ch Supt Scott Wilson told the BBC it was “only right” to offer advice following the terror attacks in London and in Sousse, Tunisia.
“These people are not there to steal a mobile phone or steal your watch, they are there to kill you, you have to get yourself out of that danger zone,” Mr Wilson told the BBC.
“It’s very unlikely [that you will be caught up in a terror attack].
“It’s very much like the safety briefing you get on an aeroplane before it takes off – it’s very unlikely that plane is going to crash, but it’s very important you are given that knowledge of what you should and what you shouldn’t do.”
The video has been produced with the Foreign Office and travel association Abta.
Mr Wilson said 23,000 representatives from major UK holiday companies at resorts all over the world had been trained in what to do in the event of a terror attack as well as how to spot suspicious items and activity.
Foreign Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “While there is no specific information that British holidaymakers will be targeted this summer, it sets out some simple steps we can all take to minimise the impact of an attack if one does take place.”
The run, hide, tell message was first introduced by police in December 2015.
If there is a safe route run
Insist others go with you, but do not let their indecision slow you down
Germany is second-guessing its decision to host the G20 summit after 476 police officers were injured during a weekend of violence in Hamburg.
Injuries include cuts, firework burns and eye damage from laser pointers. Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz praised police for their “heroic job” while slamming rioters for destroying the city.
“This cannot take place,” Scholz said Sunday. “This is unforgivable and indefensible.”
Just 186 people out thousands of rioters were arrested throughout the weekend, and authorities expect a difficult job identifying more perpetrators. Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel compared violent protestors to neo-Nazis, calling the events an “orgy of brutality.”
“The offenders do not differ at all from neo-Nazis and their fire attacks,” Gabriel said in an op-ed in tabloid Bild am Sonntag.
Scholz and Chancellor Angela Merkel both defended the decision to host the summit despite harsh criticism from the German press.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the unchained violence and unrestrained brutality that the police faced repeatedly during the G-20,” Merkel said Saturday during a press conference at the end of the summit. “Apparently, there are people who have no interest in the issues and instead go on a rampage of blind destruction in their own neighborhood. Tough police measures are the only response to that.”
One police officer asked Merkel directly if she thought it was worth hosting the summit considering what the police force had to go through.
“You have protected something that I would say was worthy of protection,” Merkel replied.
He’s a former Muslim extremist who speaks out against such extremism — yet he’s been labeled an extremist.
Last October, the Southern Poverty Law Center called British author and activist Maajid Nawaz, 39, “part of the ‘ex-radical’ circuit of former Islamists who use that experience to savage Islam.” During a recent appearance on Bill Maher’s show, Nawaz announced he’d be suing the SPLC for defamation.
Citing what he calls “the poverty of low expectations,” Nawaz argues that Islam, like any other religion, should not only field criticism but withstand it. Why, he asks, does the Western world — and liberals, in particular — refuse to condemn what they otherwise find abhorrent?
The SPLC, he says, fights against the oppressions of Christian fundamentalism, yet “the same causes they fight for within America are somehow deemed illegitimate for people like me to fight for within our own communities.”
To wit: The current case in Michigan — the first federal case of its kind — over female genital mutilation, practiced among a Shiite Muslim sect there. The New York Times, incredibly, has framed this as a potentially legitimate custom. “Michigan Case Adds US Dimension to Debate on Genital Mutilation,” ran a June 10 headline.
Debate? Really? An estimated 100 girls have been brutalized in this specific community since 2005 — yet because this barbarism is contextualized as Islamic, far too many liberals seek to justify what is plainly child abuse, a gross violation of human rights.
There are plenty of Catholics and fundamentalist Christians who believe abortion is morally wrong, yet Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land. Why should Islam get special dispensation? Isn’t it a supercilious attitude to take — that a muscular religion of 1.6 billion people requires deference to the point of infantilization?
Also on the SPLC’s list is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born author and activist who herself survived female genital mutilation and a forced marriage. Ali and fellow activist Asra Q. Nomani recently appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and were shocked that none of the four female Democrats on that panel — including Kamala Harris, who’d become a feminist cause célèbre the day before, after male colleagues interrupted her interrogation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — asked a single question.
In a June 22 Times Op-Ed, Ali and Nomani called out Harris along with Sens. Maggie Hassan, Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill.
“What happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamic extremism and what it means for women in many Muslim communities here at home and around the world,” they wrote. “When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.”
These are horrors, misogyny masquerading as religion, and it’s a Jedi mind trick that works almost every time.
Sen. McCaskill, for example, said she was “worried” about Ali and Nomani’s testimony. “Anyone who twists or distorts religion is an exception to the rule,” she said. Tell that to women in Saudi Arabia, who cannot drive, work or travel alone, or to women in Pakistan, where a so-called “women’s rights bill” was passed last year allowing men to beat their wives, instructions included.
“These recommendations are, according to the Koran and Sunnah, the prophet’s teachings,” a state official told the BBC. “No one can dispute that.”
Reformers like Ali and Nawaz do, and they continually exhort those Muslims who disagree with such diktats — and those outside the religion — to speak up.
In her Op-Ed, Ali noted the false argument so often made, that to criticize Islam is bigotry. Her ideas, she writes, are often labeled backward and conservative, “as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left and right.”
Her critics would point to the success of Muslims in America, a deeply assimilated population that, according to multiple studies — including one published by the Cato Institute in October 2016 — is among the most educated and affluent. Their cultural views don’t deviate as much from non-Muslims either. It’s hard to quantify why, but our national DNA surely contributes; we are a county and a culture of immigrants. We don’t force newcomers to learn English, but life’s easier if you do. Nor do we grapple with dress codes, burqa bans and other such debates that have consumed Europe for years. According to the Cato Institute, American Muslims are the most religiously tolerant and socially liberal in the world and are becoming more so. Has this population self-selected to America, or are their views encouraged by our open society?
No one really knows, but Nawaz and others believe that Europe’s tendency to isolate Muslims — or allow them to isolate themselves — rather than integrate only fuels alienation and resentment. Such communities live parallel to society under their own rule of law, and rather than combat Islamic extremism and jihad, such neglect foments it.
Yet such fear of offending remains that Theresa May, upon becoming prime minister last year, said that England “could benefit a great deal” from the estimated 100 Sharia courts operating there.
“Ideas are more dangerous than people,” Nawaz writes, and a 2016 survey bears that out — 58 percent of British Muslims believe homosexuality should be outlawed and one-quarter said they’d support Sharia law replacing British law. A poll of Muslim immigrants and natives in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Sweden, published in December 2013 by Professor Ruud Koopmans of the Berlin Social Science Center, found that 75 percent believe the Koran can be interpreted only one way, that 60 percent would not befriend someone who is gay and 54 percent think the West wants to destroy Islam.
In his new book, “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam,” author Douglas Murray argues that Europe — Germany especially — has a tendency to overcorrect for past injustices and atrocities. He cites the left’s rejection, in 2015, of concerns raised by Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy that Europe had erred in allowing some citizens to live in opposition to their nation’s own laws. In an interview with NPR on Tuesday, Murray raised the irony of liberals supporting illiberal beliefs.
“This is a big problem,” Murray said. “As well as speaking the language of inclusion, we have to speak the language of exclusion — what it is that we won’t tolerate as well as what it is that we do.”
Nawaz himself believes extremism is fertilized by three subsets: Islamist theocracies, hard-right populism and what he calls the regressive left — those who argue for genderless bathrooms but won’t acknowledge that honor killings happen in Europe and the United States. In compiling their list, he says, the SPLC has employed a tactic used by those they should condemn.
“Just imagine how ex-Muslim Islam-critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali must feel to be included in your list,” he wrote in October.
“Her friend Theo van Gogh was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam in 2004. And back then, there was another list pinned to Theo’s corpse with a knife: It, too, named Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”