Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Disgraceful Exploitation and Lies

PZ Myers thinks people are out to get him again.

In a post titled "Disgraceful exploitation", PZ Myers writes:
A woman says she was raped by Neil deGrasse Tyson in grad school. She contacted me and asked me to share her story. But here’s the disgraceful exploitation that’s going on.
She did not know who I am, at all. She came to me because she was advised to…by slymepitters. The same people who have been indignant for years that women might speak out against harassers. They are trying to deploy this woman as a weapon.
Now, unfortunately, I looked at her story. I can’t say she’s wrong, and she’s definitely sincere, and I can’t rule out the possibility, but her supporting evidence is terribly weak: it’s her personal testimony, which I do not reject, with no other evidence. Her web page does not help her case at all, either — it’s a lot of astrology, and a scattering of youtube videos that are completely irrelevant to her claim. That’s it.
I told her that I won’t go on the record supporting her accusation, because there is no corroborating evidence at all to support it. I took her story seriously, read the case she made, and found no independent evidence to back up the claim that she even knew Tyson.
You can guess where this story is going next.
Now those same assholes are howling that I accepted the accusation against Shermer with no evidence, and that I’m not accepting this one because the victim is a black woman. They must believe their own lies.
I treated this case in exactly the same way as the one against Shermer. What these people have forgotten (or are intentionally lying about) is that before I posted that story, (Post Titled: "What do you do when someone pulls the pin and hands you a grenade?") I got independent evidence that the woman was at the conference, that she was interacting with Shermer, that she was in his hotel room — there was opportunity. I further got accounts of the distress the woman experienced afterwards. Without all that, I might have been willing to believe her, but I would not have been able to step forward and present her account as true, believable, and supported by witnesses.
It’s the same story here. I am willing to believe Tchiya Amet (although I’d rather not believe such a thing of Tyson), but there is no corroboration of any kind, and I cannot go before the public and state that a good case has been made that this crime occurred. It hasn’t.
But I can say that the exploitation of this woman’s pain by a group of people who have been consistent in denying the difficulties women face is one of the more cynically despicable acts I’ve seen them commit.

A comment on the post adds:

27 January 2016 at 10:30 am
Also PZ, the fact that this story is linked to the Slymepit is a huge flashing sign that it’s completely fabricated bullshit. That alone is enough to dismiss it out of hand.

PZ Myers wishes everyone to believe that this woman approaching him with her story is a frame-job setup by his enemies to demonstrate his hypocrisy. And it may be just that, but that wouldn't be a problem if PZ Myers took the opportunity to explain his approach to accusations of rape and sexual assault. This is what Myers attempted to do, but only managed to further confuse the matter.

PZ Myers would have you believe that his critics are "weaponizing" a possibly mentally ill woman to make a shallow point in a sordid drama.

The facts:

  1. PZ Myers literally profits off of every view of his blog post - his blog is unreadable without an ad blocker. If anybody has incentive to keep the disgusting drama going, it is PZ.
  2. PZ Myers had every opportunity to take the discussion with the accuser to a private forum. Instead, he chose a half dozen tweets and a blog post chastising his enemies. (Proving point #1)
  3. The accusation that critics are "weaponizing" rape victims is absurd and ironic as PZ Myers himself called the accusations he published against Shermer "a grenade". 
  4. Rape survivors relying on their story going out as a part of PZ Myers' pioneering reporting are about as successful as those that chose Sabrina Erdely (another known career-building weaponizer).
  5. PZ Myers actually dismisses the accuser's allegations in light of her supernatural views ("Her web page does not help her case at all, either — it’s a lot of astrology")
  6. There was again no mention of the allegations of sexual assault made against PZ Myers that he managed to quickly dismantle in a calculated way. 
  7. PZ Myers regularly references massacres of women only to use the memory of the victims to smear his opponents as violent and misogynistic. 
  8. The "Slymepit", labelled as creating "fabricated bullshit", was the forum of mischief that outed FreeThoughtBlogs' Avicenna - one of their most prolific writers - as a serial plagiarist. If anyone is truly in the bullshit fabrication business, it is FreeThoughtBlogs.

As much as we can dissect, we can rely on simple truths to describe PZ Myers' actions. PZ Myers won't throw his name behind this victim for the same reason that he's not supporting Elyse - the accuser has no one connected to Myers' inner cabal of "feminist" friends to vouch for her, so she may as well not exist.

Furthermore, there is the obvious matter that the accused - Neil deGrasse Tyson - is a diverse darling within the "community" that PZ Myers cannot afford to be seen to treat unfairly. There is no upside opportunity for Myers to sap NdGT's limelight, and a lot of downside if Myers' "progressive" compatriots happen to finally notice that Myers is a bearded white man with a superiority complex that makes side money by co-opting the lived experiences of marginalized women.

With over 200 comments in a matter of hours, Myers' post about this accusation may be the most visited article he's written in several months. 

What a selfless ally of women everywhere.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rebecca's Richard Rage

A wonderfully funny thing has happened in the world of secular/skeptic drama - Richard Dawkins' foundation has been merged into the Center for Inquiry.

This event gave Rebecca Watson a reason to point out that Dawkins does not like her.

Quoting a recent post:
This is very exciting news for me, because it means I no longer need to wonder whether I’ll ever be invited back to a CFI event again. No! The answer is no.
Speaking of Richard Dawkins refusing to allow me to be invited to events where he is speaking, for the many years I performed at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS), which began as a live show on my former podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, the organizers could never quite convince Dawkins to attend. Well, I quit SGU and now NECSS has announced that the first conference they’ve planned since my exit will feature Richard Dawkins as the keynote.
In conclusion, the skeptic/atheist sphere is an embarrassing shitshow and the organizations will continue polishing Richard Dawkins’ knob until he dies, at which point he will be sainted and his image will be put on candles and prayed to in times when logic is needed.

This is rather humorous as Watson is again restating her arguments made several years ago (it is highly recommended to read this recap of events) that didn't make a lot of sense then and have not gained any more seriousness. For as Watson wishes one to believe what the CFI will do next is basically synonymous with a boycott. When in fact Watson is presumably allowed to attend CFI events like any other person. The shame comes about as Watson believes herself entitled to be a celebrity of equal measure as any other speaker that would receive a paid invitation.

The simple reality is that Watson and Dawkins have a mutual dislike and do not enjoy each other's company. Dawkins is not being invited to Watson's "Quiz-o-tron", which must be an abuse of equal measure as Watson's shows must be as good as any other speaker session. It's important to maintain a sense of equality in these affairs.

It is not that Watson desires a panel seat beside Dawkins, it is that she desires the opportunity to decline one in protest. Turning down an invite would be a nice followup to Watson's boyfriend dumping the CFI in "it's not me, it's you" way not too long ago. Now the CFI can presumably be thought of as an organization that Dawkins has committed an even greater amount of his resources to. For as much good as inviting this drama will do, Watson may as well criticize universities that name buildings after big donors.

This is of course in Watson's eyes choosing to "continue polishing Richard Dawkins’ knob", which is imagery that is not surprising coming from a group that has a habit of miming blowjobs at their own parties when they are not ridiculing the sexual prowess of critics. Snarky social media feminists find nothing as alluring as a dongle joke that "punches up".

The confusing thing about Watson's position is that she is no stranger to mutual dislike within the secularist community. In fact, she's had more toxic quarrels with former female colleagues. That Richard Dawkins is blameworthy in this dispute is to not grasp just how rare it is for these obtuse opinionated oafs to get along.

Richard Dawkins, while being oftentimes correct, can definitely be a honey-loving diva. Yet one can still hope that these two sides of the many-sided "schism in skepticism" can make amends.

It would be entertaining to get the divas back together again.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Three Horsebros: A Defense of Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris

One of the upsides of arguing with strangers on Twitter is one is occasionally invited to challenge articles.

In a post titled "Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins just don’t get it: The real reason(s) progressives can’t stand them", Adam Johnson states the case against Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Bill Maher.

Some snippets:
Firstly, no one thinks “Islam is a protected species” as Maher put it. This is a typical strawman New Athiest employ. Dawkins doesn’t go after “all religions” equally. Quite the opposite, he has said that Islam is uniquely sinister, referring to it as “unmitigated evil“, on numerous occasions. Accusations of bigotry against Dawkins, therefore, are not selective in favor of Islam, they are areaction to his selective, repeated highlighting of it – fair or not. Secondly, this position is dripping with libertarian false equivalency. The “I criticize all religions equally” is the close cousin to “I criticize all races equally” — a principle that sounds cute in theory but willfully ignores the burden of history and imperialism.
After some discussion of American wars, Johnson continues:
Never mind this. To them, religion is seen in a historical and political vacuum in the same way crime and economic hardship is to libertarians.
[... some discussion of US support of Salafist entities]

What say they of this? Almost nothing. Maher and his loyal band of Twitter partisans have little to say about colonialism, and when it’s brought up, as Glenn Greenwald did to him in 2013, it’s dismissed as irrelevant. It’s excuse-making, end of story.
The ignoring of these power dynamics is dripping with the same type of reductionist handwringing one sees among the right’s obsession with “black on black” crime. It’s an appeal to objective standards that willfully ignores that history did not begin in 1970 and Islam’s relationship with the United States isn’t limited to light panel chats with Aspen Institute-vetted token Muslims.

In general, the claim is that Dawkins, Harris & Maher are ignoring the greater context that Islamist violence happens in, and therefore unfairly judge Islam or use judgment of Islam as a quasi-racist project. What these three are supposed to do is explain shared American (and presumably Zionist) culpability in the growth of Islamist movements before placing any blame on old time religion.

What the three horsebros are to do is to order villains by privilege - start with two helpings of criticism of American support the Saudi Arabian regime, continue with an appetizer of discussion relating to open questions in Israel or AfPak, and then finish with a garnish of talk about the absurdity of religion. This template apparently applies no matter what crime Islamism commits in any particular place - despite Islam predating the creation of the United States by about a millennium, its impact in the real world apparently marginal.

What is undoubtedly true is the Harris, Maher & Dawkins claim to criticize "all religions equally" is absolutely laughable. The three do indeed disbelieve to the same degree in Christianity and Judaism, but are never actually in a position to provide criticism to an equal degree. Yet this is not the fault of strident secular curmudgeons - it is the fault of an Islam that finds itself in the headlines for very unique reasons.

There is no need for "equal time" in criticism of religion as patently ridiculous to think that all religions are the same. Religions have not been equal throughout history, and they are not equal now.

While on the subject, much is said of Dawkins' response to the "clock incident". Many "progressives" on Twitter claimed Dawkins bullied a young creator. While Dawkins did indeed invite many distasteful comparisons & arguably used the wrong tone, it's difficult to disagree with Dawkins' conclusions as the device hardly qualified as a science project and the school was not wrong in its confusion in the matter.

The strange thing about the hatred of the three horsebros is that ultimately few care to disagree on facts pertaining to any specific situations the argumentative atheists happen to bring up. It's a matter of these three men not having sufficiently comfortable footnotes to assuage the feelings of those deeply marinated in a culture of unrelenting self-reflection with an icing of undeserved respect and deference.

Perhaps most confusing is the suggestion that these men do not quite understand why a legion of secular liberals dislike them. What is true may be the opposite - it is that perhaps the horsebros know why they're disliked more than the haters care to understand why they hate.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Belgian Apartheid

A BBC article has asked, "Has Belgium created 'a system of apartheid'?:

They discussed why so many Belgian youngsters go to fight in Syria - a higher proportion, relative to the population, than from any other country in Europe. And a heated argument broke out when Suhaila, the only non-white recruit - from a Moroccan background, like many Belgian Muslims - said she could understand why young Muslims might become jihadis.
"The whole class was reacting - over-reacting," Jacobs says. "It was the first time they had talked with someone of a Moroccan background."
For a visitor to Brussels, where more than a quarter of the population is Muslim, that's a surprising thought. But Paul Jacobs is not surprised.
"I am a little bit scared to use this term," he says. "But I think we live in a system of apartheid. You really have ghettos. And what is more important, and more dangerous, is not that people aren't living together - it's the mental ghetto."
"People in Brussels live side-by-side, but don't often meet one another," she says. She thinks divisions have been reinforced because many young Belgians of Moroccan and Turkish descent have reacted against anti-Muslim feeling since 9/11 by defiantly adopting a more religious identity.
"Young people want a Muslim identity," she says, "but they haven't read the Koran, so it's become a matter of slogans - that girls should wear hijab and boys should grow beards."

A group of concerned Muslim women - some with sons already in Syria - asked Belgium's Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, to join them shortly after the Paris attacks at a meeting in Molenbeek to discuss ways of preventing radicalisation.

The article mirrors opinions shared by the author of an article titled "Molenbeek broke my heart":

The debate is paralyzed by a paternalistic discourse in which radical Muslim youths are seen, above all, as victims of social and economic exclusion. They in turn internalize this frame of reference, of course, because it arouses sympathy and frees them from taking responsibility for their actions. The former Socialist mayor Philippe Moureax, who governed Molenbeek from 1992 to 2012 as his private fiefdom, perfected this culture of denial and is to a large extent responsible for the current state of affairs in the neighborhood.
Two journalists had already reported on the presence of radical Islamists in Molenbeek and the danger they posed — and both became victims of character assassination. In 2006, Hind Fraihi, a young Flemish woman of Morrocan descent published “Undercover in Little Morocco: Behind the Closed Doors of Radical Islam.” Her community called her a traitor; progressive media called her a “spy” and a “girl with personal problems.”

I always thought as myself as a defender of human rights and human dignity, beyond left- or right-wing categories. Now suddenly I was painted as a right-wing firebrand. For some people I became an “untouchable” and I even lost a few friends, who refused to talk to me.

While on the topic of immigration, the discussion has much in common with articles that state that immigrants are generally less criminal than native-born residents. Studies have been done showing that this is true whether or not the immigrants are in the country legally or not.

However it is interesting that the pro-immigration studies are actually quite thorough in their categorization of subjects - as can be expected in science, and as such many of them are comparing migrant populations to native populations of a similar demographic. That is, a population of poor immigrants with marginal levels of education are by some basic metric "better" than a native-born population in a similar predicament. Finding this fascinating is the definition of being easily impressed.

Immigration is fortunately in most instances a self-selective process. Immigration also is not a matter of equivalent demographics - the makeup of an immigrant population will rarely neatly line up with the pre-existing social fabric. These two factors make an critical analysis of what immigration means in the context of a forced migration due to conflict or economic desperation incredibly difficult.

If there was an endless supply of highly skilled south and east asian immigrants to hand out work visas to, immigration would be an undeniable and everlasting good. Inclusion in the labour market would not be a question, especially when participating in sectors of the economy without a strictly limited demand for employment. Questions related to "culture fit" would not need to be asked, as the employers oftentimes begging for their admission have already asked that question and determined that the would-be migrant is sufficiently ready to worship the almighty dollar at the nearest water cooler.

While it's simple to see the upside of immigration, it's also not difficult to see that immigration has some meaningful limits. Especially in light of what appears to be happening when children from Belgium decide to shoot up Paris or travel to Syria to join the caliphate.

The timeline is as follows:

  1. Western nations pursue capitalist growth and progressive multiculturalism with laissez-faire approach to immigration
  2. Motivated first generation immigrants perform really well in a number of measures
  3. Despite well-meaning efforts, the children of first generation migrants join the Tumblr version of Islam while all facets of western society (both friend and foe) tell them they're different
  4. Tumblr Islam decides to take over a country
  5. Children of western nations travel to fight against western ideals
  6. Innocent citizens of that country, having a much more positive view of burger joints in a secular suburbia, flee to the west
It's a vicious cycle. In every step, western nations face "progressive" criticism even as society at large becomes more adaptive to a more conservative mindset. Progressive pundits that deride polarization and inequality fuel it with a half-baked moralistic defense of immigration while pitching non-intervention in conflicts fought by westerners and propagandized on Twitter.

Accepting starving refugees is a requirement for those that wish to have a clear conscience. But in this iteration, situation is itself in part created by a cultural acceptance of all kinds of totalitarian patriarchal religious superstition and political mythology - as long as it is imported.

For if there is indeed a Belgian apartheid, it has been created by a failure to challenge the assumptions and traditions of newcomers. Nobody is given the tools to flourish in western society, as what good would they be if immigration is to fundamentally change the western world for the better? Immigration is not viewed as an opportunity for the immigrants to learn. Instead it is an opportunity for the native-born population to become more interesting and have more depth - like having a world map tacked to the wall in one's foyer.

The west's progressive white knights think immigration is a virtuous force for good, when the reality is migrants are treated like exotic fish. They are put in a shallow tank in the far side of the room, and assumed to be good as if it were living in a miniature aquatic carbonite. Nothing happens until visitors arrive, at which time the fancy lights shine on the little happy Betta and an illuminating conversation of its diet arises. Its temperament is briefly discussed in a comfortable, non-judgmental way.

One day, things will be better. There will be a bigger, saltwater tank. The fish will have so much more room to swim. 

One day, they'll respect their benevolent progressive landlords more.

The Title IX toolkit for high school

For those worried that Title IX might be too effective at colleges, Title IX advocates have now published a helpful guide for high school students:

The toolkit has lots of useful information. Plus some interesting details about about avoiding the police : (emphasis original)

Regardless of your choice, this is an administrative process that takes place entirely within your school; it does not involve the criminal legal system. However, if you are under 18, and experienced certain kinds of violence (e.g., rape, sexual assault, or physical abuse), school officials may be required to disclose your case to the police, which could trigger a criminal (outside of the school) investigation. More information on this concern is available in the FAQ resource.

The FAQ explains:

Teachers or counselors may be good people to talk to about violence or harassment you’ve experienced or are experiencing. If you are under age 18, though, some of these people may be required by mandatory reporting laws to disclose certain kinds of abuse to a government agency, such as law enforcement, child protective services, or a child abuse reporting hotline.


Typically, mandatory reporters must make a report when they, in their official capacitysuspect or have reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. In making their report, they are typically asked to provide the name, address, gender, and age of the victim; the name and address of the victim’s parents/guardians; the nature of the abuse; and the name of the perpetrator. (For an example of requirements, see these mandatory reporting requirements in Connecticut). Child protective services or law enforcement may then open an investigation. Mandatory reporters are typically not required by law to alert your parents/guardians to the abuse, although they are generally not prohibited from doing so.
While the goal of mandatory reporting is to keep you safe, the decision to tell someone what happened (or what’s happening) can be difficult; you should always do what feels safest for you. If you would like to seek help without triggering a report, try speaking in hypotheticals to counselors, doctors, or other adults with whom you feel comfortable. Try “What if I had a friend whose classmate touched her in a way she wasn’t okay with?” or “What should my friend do next?”You can also call a hotline and decline to tell them your age. A list of hotlines is available here. 

Apparently Title IX advocates are capable of describing well-meaning laws that have counter-intuitive negative impacts without any sense of irony.

After explaining how to avoid the police, the FAQ continues:

What if my assailant doesn’t go to my school?
Title IX can still protect you but, as OCR explains in its FAQ Guide, “the appropriate response for your school to take will differ depending on the level of control your school has over the alleged perpetrator.” For example, if you were sexually assaulted by an athlete or band member from a visiting school, your school may not be able to discipline the perpetrator. However, your school should investigate what happened, report the incident to the visiting school, and encourage the visiting school to take further preventative action. Your school should also notify you of any right to file a complaint with the visiting school or local law enforcement, and may decide not to invite the visiting school back to campus.
As OCR explains, even though a school’s ability to take direct action against a particular perpetrator may be limited, your school must still take steps to provide you appropriate accommodations and, where appropriate, to the broader school population. This may include providing support services to you, and clarifying its response to sexual violence to the school community. To learn more, check out p.9 of this resource by the Department of Education.
What if I was assaulted by a non-student, such as a family member?
Even if the sexual harassment does not occur in the context of an education program,  Title IX recognizes that students often experience the continuing effects of off-campus sexual violence while at school. Therefore, your school should consider the impacts of off-campus violence on your education. Accommodations your school might provide you may include counseling, tutoring, or arranging time-off. To read more, check out p. 29 of this resource by OCR.

Apparently the "protection" offered by the glorious Title IX is some "accommodations" at schools (the site says: "like free counseling services or class changes") regardless of if an investigation happened. While schools undoubtedly should do whatever they reasonably can to make students comfortable and respect their needs, where this is leading has little to do with finding justice for sexual assault.

The conclusion one must arrive at after reading all of these resources is that if a victim cannot state a concrete accommodation that they desire then they should not bother telling anyone at all. Reporting what happened with clarity is basically thought of as a trap that may lead to undesired consequences.

In light of this, it's a mystery as to what specifically schools are to do beyond what they could reasonably be asked to do for any student - victim or not. Ideally a student could get course changes and free counseling services without having to revisit harrowing memories of sexual assault.

Title IX advocacy may or may not provide prevention of sexual assault insofar as its legalese manages to nudge the culture at schools. This is debatable. However it ultimately does not provide much at all to victims. To victims it's little more than an open mic night that promises a lot but does not pay.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cuddles after Curfew

Meghan Murphy has been a subject of this blog for quite some time. Murphy is a committed radical feminist -- whether or not Murphy uses the term or not (it may be problematic this week) it does adequately describe her views enough to have a discussion about them.

Murphy is often right about many things, especially when writing about the dark side of "Twitter feminist" drama. However Murphy's endorsement of the Nordic model is laughably bad math, and her support of all things related to criminalization is very tired.

As Murphy would seem overdue to share some incredible absurdity, Murphy thought it time to chime in on the Cologne attacks.

In an article titled "It’s time to consider a curfew for men", Murphy writes:

You’ve had your chance, bepenised ones. And you’ve blown it. What you’ve proven, time and time again, is that you cannot be trusted to behave yourselves after dark. In Germany, about1000 men are reported to have arrived to the Cologne Cathedral area on New Years Eve, intending to sexually assault and mug as many women as possible. The CBC reports, “Some 121 women are reported to have been robbed, threatened, or sexually molested there by gangs of mostly drunk men between 18 and 35 years old while out celebrating.” Similar attacks took place in Hamburg and Stuttgart as well.
“What real impact would a curfew have?” you might ask. Certainly it would send the message that we are taking men’s behaviour seriously and that it is no longer acceptable. Certainly it would allow women to move about more safely at night — on campus, in their homes, at bars, at the bus stop. Certainly it would name the problem. It would say, unequivocally, “The problem is you, men. You are the problem, and therefore, it is you who must be stopped.”
While, in some ways, my argument here began facetiously, the more I consider the idea of a curfew for men, the more it makes sense.

Murphy dismisses any reports of the nationality and immigration status of the men, as apparently the arrival of an extra one million people in a single year is not an event that changes society in meaningful ways. To Murphy, men are men - and men behave badly. While this is oftentimes true, there are several obvious problems with the curfew idea. While Murphy is obviously trolling, ("let's spell out a few issues for fun.

  • Of all days, curfew advocacy based on New Year's Eve events is a completely ridiculous concept 
  • Every country is approximately 50% men, yet many manage to not have marauding gangs of men that sexually assault women 
  • Deportation is simply an all-day curfew, right? 
  • Curfew gives male acquaintances (i.e. those more likely to commit rape) another reason to spend the night 
  • If it's true that immigrants were a sizable portion of assailants, it's a problem for many of Murphy's theories 

To focus on the last point - if it's true that the assailants were immigrants from conservative, majority muslim countries, Murphy's rhetoric quickly implodes. For these would not be men that are steeped in the culture that Murphy is often found criticizing - the culture of omnipresent porn, violent videogames and glorified sex work.

Immigrants from muslim countries are often familiar with a culture that Murphy's co-conspirators want to build - one that sees strippers as prisoners to the male gaze if not outright gender traitors that bring dishonor to their families. The only difference between a patriarchal disaster and a radfem utopia is that the patriarchal disaster harbours the idea that men can be found not culpable for their behavior after being "provoked" into a sexual frenzy. Thus we have a problem in particular with the transition from this patriarchal culture to another.

The call for curfew is simply another ultraconservative sentiment that masquerades as being pro-women and "feminist". The reality is that it models women as children and ends up creating policy that ultimately undermines the stated goals of the movement.

One really must go.

But baby, it's curfew outside.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Exploiting Sexual Assault

On New Years Eve a number of women in Cologne reported being sexually assaulted. A number of reports claimed that many of the assailants were immigrants or not German nationals, a claim that at this point seems to be confirmed by police:

The 31 people linked to the violence in a police report include nine Algerians, eight Moroccans, five Iranians and four Syrians, said an Interior Ministry spokesman, Tobias Plate. Two Germans, an Iraqi, a Serb and a United States citizen were also among those linked to crimes that night, Mr. Plate said.
He said that a vast majority of the 32 criminal acts documented by the federal police on the night had been linked to theft and bodily injury. Three were related to sexual assaults, but the police had no names of suspects tied to those acts, Mr. Plate said.

The crimes documented are a small subset of the crimes reported:

About 170 people have now filed criminal complaints, about 120 of them relating to sexual assault, linked to the New Year’s Eve episode in Cologne, according to a police spokesman in the city. A federal police report leaked to the German news media and confirmed as genuine by the Interior Ministry indicated that at least some young men, including asylum applicants, had planned in advance to meet around the Cologne railway station, where much of the violence is said to have occurred, on Dec. 31.

The reaction all political stances has been very predictable. However the rather amusing part (if anything can be amusing) is the sheer number of "progressives" that suddenly need every report of sexual assault to be backed up by solid evidence - throwing out the narratives surrounding "believing survivors" that has been built over the past several years.

An author of a piece in Al-Jazeera called the reaction exploitation of sexual assault to fuel an Islamophobic agenda:

Laurie Penny claimed that people are only pretending to care about women's rights just to give them cover to "bash Muslims":

The claim that sexual assault in Cologne is being exploited to support Islamophobia is very strange, as to date there are many different ways people already "exploit" sexual assault.

People currently exploit sexual assault in order to:

  • Gain more readers for Rolling Stone 
  • Call for an end to the entire Greek life system 
  • Collect course credit
  • Bash political opponents such as Tories/Republicans/libertarians/critics that are dismissed as "hyperskeptical" misogynists
  • Smear people and steal the limelight by publishing anonymous allegations on one's blog

If this exploitation of sexual assault wasn't bad enough, consider the other dramas that the "progressive" "feminist" hivemind wastes its time on. When it isn't busy criticizing inappropriate shirts and dongle jokes shared in private, it is concerned with the gender balance of editors at a videogame magazine:

(This particular escapade managed to annoy the women working at IGN)

"Social justice" activists literally believe that a bad joke should render one unemployable and an unproven allegation of assault should exile one from higher education forever. A publisher's worth can be directly measured by how many female editors it has on staff.

At the same time, no tragedy can happen that would budge their belief in the most laissez-faire immigration policy. Open doors for all, as the dogma is that no problem exists that cannot be solved by moving poor people into wealthy countries. People will magically become happy, self-sufficient and unfailingly tolerant by simply being adjacent to a model of success that would be dismissed as colonialist and western to a fault on any other day of the "social justice" week.

Apparently "safe spaces" applies to campuses and not countries. National borders are to be some sort of bubble of privilege that must be popped, while the Play-Doh room at one's university is a sacred ground that must not be invaded by provocative punchlines.

But be sure to not fingerpaint the prophet, kids!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lying to make religion look good: The addiction of ThinkProgress and The New York Times

Lots of curious things happen every time Islamist terrorists decide to murder a bunch of innocent people. Academics and comedians rush to say we have bigger things to worry about. People are asked to wear the hijab in solidarity with "marginalized" muslims. Even more concerned people decide it's a good idea to start karate classes to do battle with the "backlash" of Islamophobic bogeymen.

It does get even sillier yet. As many "journalists" have charts and tables to update. The same ones they made after the last big attack to show that Islamist terrorism needs "context".

Even the big publications play this game.

Meanwhile, small activist publications like ThinkProgress double down with even more embellishment. Publishing "You Are More Than 7 Times As Likely To Be Killed By A Right-Wing Extremist Than By Muslim Terrorists", ThinkProgress says:

Though terrorism perpetrated by Muslims receives a disproportionate amount of attention from politicians and reporters, the reality is that right-wing extremists pose a much greater threat to people in the United States than terrorists connected to ISIS or similar organizations. As UNC Professor Charles Kurzman and Duke Professor David Schanzer explained last June in the New York Times, Islam-inspired terror attacks “accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.” Meanwhile, “right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities.”

Several things are interesting about this ThinkProgress piece:
  1. It isn't immediately clear where "seven times more likely" comes from
  2. NYTimes, the source cited by ThinkProgress, doesn't make the same claim
  3. The study cited by NYTimes does not make the claim - nor does it provide a list of the 337 supposed attacks and 254 fatalities that it used to create its chart.

The last point is interesting as NYTimes' own data puts the number for total "Non-Islamic Extremist" attacks since 9/11 at about 50. (This often cited source repeats a similar estimate)

Obviously 254 is not 50. We're already in the territory of wondering what version of reality everyone at the New York Times is operating within.

The consistent number cited in both datasets happens to be the number of deaths in the United States due to Islamist terrorism since 9/11 - the answer is about 50. It's not immediately clear why there is more agreement on this number, perhaps Islamist extremists are doing a much better job of planting the flag after committing the attack by having a myriad of fans shamelessly claiming a share of responsibility.

However even if we were to accept the true number of Non-Islamic / "Right-wing" Extremist fatalities after 9/11 is somewhere in the vicinity of 254, possibly the least offensive thing about this analysis is what calculation determines what defines a non-Islamic right-wing extremist.

For any reasonable, rational, compassionate human being should have the following questions:
  1. Why does September 11, 2001 and every attack before that time (USS Cole?) not matter?
  2. Why do deaths of Americans only count if they are in the United States?
If a journalist exercised something known as "due diligence" and looks at database of overseas deaths of Americans managed by the Department of State, a different story develops.

Excluding Iraq and Afghanistan which may confuse the categorization for obvious reasons, the full list of deaths due to "Terrorist Action" from 9/11 until March 2015: (misspellings are copied verbatim from the database)

Date       City
10/12/2002 Kuta - Bali - Indonesia
10/12/2002 Kuta - Bali - Indonesia
10/12/2002 Kuta - Bali - Indonesia
10/12/2002 Kuta - Bali - Indonesia
10/12/2002 Kuta - Bali - Indonesia
10/12/2002 Kuta - Bali - Indonesia
10/12/2002 Kuta - Bali - Indonesia
10/26/2002 Moscow - Russia
10/28/2002 Al-rawabi - Amman - Jordan
1/21/2003 Kuwait City - Kuwait
2/13/2003 Florencia - Caqueta - Colombia
3/4/2003 Davao City - Philippines
3/5/2003 Haifa - Israel
3/7/2003 Kiryat Arba - The West Bank
3/7/2003 Kiryat Arba - The West Bank
5/12/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
5/12/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
5/12/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
5/12/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
5/12/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
5/12/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
5/12/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
5/12/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
5/27/2003 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
6/11/2003 Jerusalem
6/11/2003 Jerusalem
6/20/2003 Sha'ar Binyamin - The West Bank
8/19/2003 Jerusalem
8/19/2003 Jerusalem
8/19/2003 Jerusalem
8/19/2003 Jerusalem
8/19/2003 Jerusalem
9/9/2003 Jerusalem
9/9/2003 Jerusalem
10/15/2003 Gaza
10/15/2003 Gaza
10/15/2003 Gaza
11/18/2003 Jerusalem
5/1/2004 Yanbu - Saudi Arabia
5/1/2004 Yanbu - Saudi Arabia
5/29/2004 Alkhobar - Saudi Arabia
6/8/2004 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
6/12/2004 Riyadh - Saudi Arabia
7/2/2004 Landstuhl - Germany
9/24/2004 Beer Sheva - Israel
10/7/2004 Taba - Egypt
4/8/2005 Cairo - Egypt
7/7/2005 London - England
7/23/2005 Sharm El Sheikh - South Sinai - Egypt
11/9/2005 Amman - Jordan
11/9/2005 Amman - Jordan
11/9/2005 Amman - Jordan
11/10/2005 Amman - Jordan
12/29/2005 Near Tulkarm - The West Bank
3/2/2006 Karachi - Pakistan
8/2/2006 Nothern Israel
9/15/2006 Hat Yai - Songkhla - Thailand
11/29/2006 Bg Unfalklinik - Germany
1/1/2008 Khartoum - Khartoum - Sudan
3/6/2008 Jerusalem - Jerusalem
9/17/2008 Sanaa - Yemen
9/20/2008 Islamabad - Pakistan
11/12/2008 Peshawar - Pakistan
11/26/2008 Mumbai - Maharashtra - India
11/26/2008 Mumbai - Maharashtra - India
11/26/2008 Mumbai - Maharashtra - India
11/26/2008 Mumbia - Maharashtra - India
11/26/2008 Mumbia - Maharashtra - India
11/28/2008 Mumbia - Maharashtra - India
12/3/2009 Mogadishu - Kenya
7/11/2010 Kampala - Kampala
9/23/2011 Jerusalem - Jerusalem
1/18/2013 In Amenas - Illizi - Algeria
1/20/2013 In Amenas - Illizi - Algeria
1/20/2013 In Amenas - Illizi - Algeria
8/26/2013 Tripoli - Lebanon
7/23/2014 Mogadisho - Mogadisho
8/19/2014 Syria
9/2/2014 Syria
10/22/2014 Jerusalem
11/17/2014 Mogadishu - Mogadishu
11/18/2014 Jerusalem
11/18/2014 Jerusalem
11/18/2014 Jerusalem
12/25/2014 Mogadishu
1/27/2015 Tripoli
3/27/2015 Mogadishu

The total is 87 deaths, which by now is an underestimate. Some are undeniably the deaths of those deliberately put in harm's way as part of their job in the military or government, however the worst attacks killed a large number of American civilians. The Bali bombings and Mumbai attacks, both extremely deadly, deliberately targeted locations frequented by tourists.

Therefore the count of American citizen deaths due to Islamist terrorism outside of a warzone since 9/11 is somewhere over 130, assuming the vast majority of the above list are deaths due to Islamism. The true number needs some more in-depth analysis as it may be that some of the "terrorist actions" overseas might be also be "Non-Islamic" and some of the cited examples may be state employees.

We're left comparing about 130 worldwide deaths due to Islamism to anywhere between 50 and 254 deaths due to "Non-Islamic" "right wing" terror domestically and an unknown number of foreign "right wing" fatalities. (e.g. Would the IRA count as "right wing terror" in a foreign country?)

Therefore, the two possibilities assuming time starts when the clock strikes midnight on September 11, 2001 in the American Samoa timezone:

Given the worst estimate of right wing terrorism, (~254 domestic fatalities + some number of foreign fatalities) one is at least twice as likely to be killed by right wing terrorists than Islamist terrorists. Given the diversity of groups lumped into one and then compared to Islamists (Abortion clinic shooters, racist lunatics, separatist rebels, militias, Christian terrorists, etc), the measure would be to ask why people would be upset if they found that the New York Yankees won one in every three World Series since 2001.

Otherwise, (accepting the measure of about 50 domestic non-Islamic extremist murders + zero foreign right-wing fatalities) one is over twice as likely to be killed by Islamist terrorists.

Of course, all of these estimates are complete nonsense if one is old enough to remember the origin stories of Ice Cube, Ice-T, Vanilla Ice and other ice-related American legends.

Luckily for Islam, what really matters to the New York Times and other "progressive" journals is the lived experience of a 14 year old in Tennessee that does not have a passport. This imaginary individual needs to be convinced that their real problems is down the street, and indeed they are. They may live their lives with entirely provincial concerns. The only way Islamist violence may impact them is a fluctuation in energy prices.

It is sometimes said that journalists no longer feel a sense of responsibility. What was known as "factual journalism" has been replaced by stupid opinions.

The truth is that journalists do feel a sense of responsibility - they feel an overwhelming responsibility to demonstrate to their folksy racist uncles that the problems of America's folksy racist uncles are not worldly enough to be impacted by the global disaster that is worldwide Islamism. Any sort of filtering of data that supports this hypothesis will be generated and published.

Whatever would the world do if America's brave media was not speaking these great truths?

All the numbers that's fit to print.

Monday, January 4, 2016

False Equivalence, Bad Math, Silly Conclusions: The Idiocy of Dean Obeidallah and Lawrence Krauss

On Twitter, it is often said that "retweets are not endorsements". But we can say that this next tweet is not a retweet, and is most likely an endorsement.

Lawrence Krauss, a rather popular academic, is sharing an apparently myth-busting article by Dean Obeidallah, a rather popular comedian.

Obeidallah's Odious Outlook

In Obeidallah's article, titled "Are All Terrorists Muslims? It’s Not Even Close", Obeidallah tries with all his might to show that muslims make up a minority of terrorist attacks.

Firstly, he tries to show that Europe's problems are primarily non-muslim:

However, and this will probably shock many, so you might want to take a breath: Overwhelmingly, those who have committed terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe aren’t Muslims. Let’s give that a moment to sink in.
Alright. Sinking.

So here are some statistics for those interested. Let’s start with Europe. Want to guess what percent of the terrorist attacks there were committed by Muslims over the past five years? Wrong. That is, unless you said less than 2 percent.
As Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement agency, noted in its report released last year, the vast majority of terror attacks in Europe were perpetrated by separatist groups. For example, in 2013, there were 152 terror attacks in Europe. Only two of them were “religiously motivated,” while 84 were predicated upon ethno-nationalist or separatist beliefs.
We are talking about groups like France’s FLNC, which advocates an independent nation for the island of Corsica. In December 2013, FLNC terrorists carried out simultaneous rocket attacks against police stations in two French cities. And in Greece in late 2013, the left-wing Militant Popular Revolutionary Forces shot and killed two members of the right-wing political party Golden Dawn. While over in Italy, the anarchist group FAI engaged in numerous terror attacks including sending a bomb to a journalist. And the list goes on and on.

If we are to actually look at the report published in May 2014, there are many interesting facts contained within it.

Overall figures for 2013, in Europe:
  1. 7 people died as a result of terrorist attacks in the EU 
  2. 152 terrorist attacks carried out in EU Member States 
  3. 535 individuals arrested
Regarding the arrests:
Most of the arrests occurred in France (225), Spain (90) and the UK (77). A continuous increase in the number of arrests for religiously inspired terrorism has been observed since 2011, whereas arrests for separatist terrorism have significantly decreased.

Somehow,  Obeidallah left these details out.

Even more surprising, 143 of the 225 arrests in France were counted as religiously inspired. Luckily for Obeidallah, this is data that can simply be ignored.

For the comedians and ASU faculty reading this post, 143 out of 225 is over 60 percent.

Let's pretend that ignorance of arrests and convictions is somehow a legitimate brand of reasoning for a moment, and focus on what Obeidallah is claiming in relation to terrorist attacks. The EU saw, in all of 2013, 152 attacks that caused only 7 deaths. Seven people isn't even a football team.

To put things into perspective, the Charlie Hebdo attack killed 12 people. The November attacks in Paris killed 130 people. The 7/7 Bombings killed 52 people. The Madrid bombings in 2004 killed 191 people.

In total, we have just a handful of examples Islamist terrorism in Europe accounting for 385 murders, or put another way, fifty-five times more victims than every terrorist group combined managed to kill in 2013 in 152 "attacks".

The report contains more grisly truths that the comedian from New Jersey neglected to mention:
Al-Mulathamun, which also uses the name ‘those who sign in blood’, had previously claimed an attack and hostagetaking operation at the In Aménas gas facility in southern Algeria from 16 to 19 January 2013, which resulted in the death of 40 foreign hostages – including EU nationals. 
The report goes on to mention loads of deaths of EU nationals in 2013 - however they are not counted as deaths as they occurred in Somalia, Mali, Algeria, and other muslim countries. Families of these victims must be happy to hear Obeidallah's explanation that the true threat to their safety and security is some lunatic group in Corsica that gave up the fight over a year ago.

Circling back to Obeidallah's ridiculous "analysis", he moves on to claims about the United States:
Back in the United States, the percentage of terror attacks committed by Muslims is almost as miniscule as in Europe. An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.

It's obvious that Obeidallah and Krauss never bothered to look at this data, as it proves to be an immediately offensive joke based on semantics.

Look at categories of crime. There are many bombings, as one would expect - however there are many more examples of "attacks" that decidely lower ranked in the terror department.

The problems with this list that Obeidallah uses to generate the "94% non-muslim" figure:
  1. Each "incident" is equal
  2. Incident types include: Arson, Assault, Robbery, "Smoke Bombing", "Tear Gas Bombing", Sabotage, "Malicious Destruction of Property", "Arson Fire at Ski Resort", "Tree Spiking"
  3. Groups include: Evan Mecham Eco-Terrorist International Conspiracy, Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front 
Without any exaggeration - Obeidallah is comparing a bunch of goons breaking a ski lift to September 11. Each, after all, is one "incident" in the FBI database.

How's that for reading data?

Krauss' Kooky Kerfuffle

Aligned with his general mode of thinking about modern times, Lawrence Krauss published his own thinkpiece about Islamist terrorism:

[Correction: Due to confusion related the subject matter, the previous sentence gives the impression that Lawrence Krauss wrote "Better Angels". In fact Steven Pinker wrote "Better Angels". Apologies to both men, as it is appalling and offensive to conflate things such as two male Jewish atheist academics.]

Apparently all the concern about terrorism is a "delusion" that is distracting us from the "real issues". And apparently the "real issue" is something to do with roads:

Exactly how much more dangerous has terrorism made our lives? To answer this question, it helps to run the numbers. There are about two and a quarter million people in Paris. This means that, if you were living in Paris on the day of the recent attacks, there was roughly a one-in-twenty-thousand chance of being a victim. While that may seem high, the annual likelihood of getting killed by a car in France is almost exactly the same. (Last year, there were three thousand two hundred and fifty traffic fatalities in a population of sixty-four million.)
There are differences, of course, between death by terrorism and death by other causes. Driving a car carries with it a set of inevitable risks. Going to a concert or eating at a restaurant should not. Still, the risks of falling prey to terrorism are nevertheless very small for most Americans. Terrorists have forced us to accept that any activity associated with living in a free society now carries with it a finite, and microscopically small, chance of tragic horror. Still, it’s up to us to choose how to react to this minuscule possibility.
By contrast, responding in a way that is commensurate with the actual threat—recognizing that the average person living in France, for example, is living with a threat of murder of less than one in ten thousand, a threat equivalent to living in New York City—is more appropriate and healthy. We can be more vigilant without becoming irrational. 
Terrorism is designed to distract us and muddy our thinking. To fight it, we need to keep it in perspective.

The comparison to automobiles is very apt, as possibly the only thing that we truly understand about the Bonny & Clyde San Bernardino killings is the rented SUV that Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook were driving.

The automobile has seen a very interesting development. In the very early days, it was an extremely dangerous device even at unimpressive speeds. With enough focus, attention and vigilance, the safety of the automobile has improved significantly. Yet some may say things have gone too far - the superstructure of government and corporations looking at every detail is an expensive bureaucracy that is needlessly interfering with our lives. Some may say that regulation has given way to an obsessive irrationality that creates concern when there need not be. Maybe there's a debate to be had.

As Tashfeek Malik and her husband pulled into the parking lot of the Inland Regional Center, there were a lot of things to consider. Were the vehicle's emissions causing glaciers to recede? Would they be safer if they had commuted to work? What is the relationship between miles traveled and respiratory infections? Is their airbag manufacturer currently under recall?

One thing we can dismiss immediately is the idea that Tashfeen Malik and her husband harboured a vile form of a mind infection, an ebola of the soul that is spreading quickly through their religious community. It's not something to worry about, as the data shows that this actually never happens -- as long as we ignore enough of the measures. Instead of nuclear disarmament (many Excel sheets say warheads rarely accidentally explode) and containing Islamism, America should address the true threats by spending its political capital on doubling down in the fight against slippery bathtubs and mishandled ingredients at Chipotle.

But for all the graphs, figures, and safety statistics in the world, we know wise brave men like Lawrence Krauss will not be found in the lounge at Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Islamophobes Under The Bed

After the Islamist attacks in San Bernadino & Paris, there has been some understandable worry of revenge and "Islamophobic" behavior.

Always proving to be a venue for all kinds of concern, VICE published a post from a muslim woman in Toronto that describes a self-defense class held for muslim women:

A few weeks ago, I committed to attending this self-defence session offered by Konga Fitness at Battle Arts Academy in Mississauga, Ontario, located just west of Toronto. It is one of the 20 self-defence workshops and sessions being offered for women in the last two months. After an alarming number of attacks on identifiable Muslims occurred in the Greater Toronto Area following the tragedies in Paris and San Bernardino, a few community members and organizations mobilized to offer workshops and self-defence classes.
The classes are in response to an "alarming number" of attacks on muslim women:
Most of the victims of recent attacks have been young women. And some close to my home. As a result, some have decided to not go out at night as often. I don't blame them. But I opted for physical preparedness in case my daughter or I were ever in that situation.
And the post discusses her daughter, "Jihad": (if this is a pseudonym, it's a ridiculous choice)

Jihad initially groaned and insisted that the wrestling sessions in our living room with her dad and three brothers were sufficient. But I wouldn't have any of it, fearing that Islamophobes and misogynists could unleash their ignorant rage on her. She would come to this workshop; if only for giving me and her father some peace of mind.
Jihad was the youngest one in the session but victims of such attacks can be quite young. I think about this a lot. In the United States, one such victim was a girl in sixth grade and beaten by three schoolboys who shouted "ISIS" at her as they punched her.
The post continues to talk about "racist violence":
I want my daughter to be able to defend herself, and I will not always be there. Those thoughts weigh heavily on me. Young Muslims, who grew up on timbits and homogenized milk in Canada—the only home they have ever known—worry about their safety. Those young female Muslims cheer for the same hockey teams, volunteer at community hospitals and inhale poutine like any other teenager from Canada. But they worry about being targets of racist violence, which many in this country will never experience.
And missing and murdered women:
Gendered Islamophobia is rooted in racism and misogyny. It is a constant in the lives of women. Misogyny has lurked in the true north strong and free for a long time. It is not something new to Canada. Our government just released an inquiry about over 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Self-defense classes for a thirteen year old girl named "Jihad" is definitely a good idea. "Jihad" would already be a strange name in most of the muslim world, so it can be assumed "Jihad" in the afterglow of 9/11 would be a little bit off-putting. It's almost as bad an idea as naming one's child "Apple" or "North". The child will need to be able to handle their own business on the playground.

As clever as self-defense classes are for women, the motivations for these classes is full of an absurd irony. For they are so concerned with "Islamophobia", an irrational fear and hatred of Islam, that they are irrationally fearful and afraid themselves.

A calculated look at what threats muslim women face leads one to believe that self-defense classes are long overdue - not because they're needed to fend off the waves of racist misogynists, but necessary to protect women in their own conservative religious community. As it turns out, there is a long history of violence against muslim/minority women in this specific area - committed by men in their own family.

Some examples:

Aqsa Parvez - 16 year old murdered in a suburb of Toronto by her own father and brother for not wearing a hijab.

Bahar Ebrahimi - stabbed by her Afghan-Canadian mother in Montreal after staying out too late one night.

Shaher Bano Shahdady - killed by husband who disguised himself in a burqa to gain access to her Toronto apartment.

Aasiya Zubair - beheaded by her husband that managed an American Muslim television network. Her body was found at the TV station in Buffalo.

Zainab Shafia, Sahar Shafia, Geeti Shafia and Rona Amir Mohammed - man and woman in polygamous marriage kills the other wife and three children, drowning them in Rideau Canal. Bodies were found in Kingston, north of Toronto.

One wonders what these women would have thought about the anti-racist, anti-Islamophobic self-defense classes now held not far from the location of their demise. Surely the classes are a good idea, however there is a disconnect when women fearful of another Craig Hicks or Wade Michael Page get published thinkpieces in "progressive" magazines while women afraid with their overbearing fathers and husbands are already long dead and forgotten.

Also of interest is if Ensaf Haidar, wife of Raif Badawi and currently residing in Quebec, feels the need to take precautions against the rising tide of "Islamophobia" in her adopted country. And one hopes that the hijabis among the 25,000 refugees arriving in Canada are given coupons to these classes and have the clear and present danger explained to them. 

The article mentions a topic with a lot of relevance - that of missing and murdered indigenous women. Another topic that also thankfully receives a lot of press right now is the frequency of which people die in police custody. As it turns out, a Canadian woman died in prison and the government did next to nothing. 

By many measures Canada is a nation that needs to do a lot of soul searching, especially in respect to failing its indigenous population. However there is no need to conflate this issue with needing to respect Islam, as there will be no inquiry into missing and murdered muslim women. For there is no mystery unsolved - the women were obviously in the care of their coo-coo conservative male relatives. Islamophobia did not toss four women into a canal - unfortunately this fact goes unmentioned due to an obsessive need to create a faceless bogeyman that muslim communities can use to avoid meaningful self-reflection for another century or three.

Everyone ignores the plight of women. It's simply a matter of whether this ignorance is born out of bigotry or respectful political correctness in pursuit of "social justice".

One should always pay attention in class. 

More importantly, one should always be able to best one's brothers.

Islam is Tinder for Terrorists

Recently a young married couple decided it was a good idea to abandon their child and commit their lives to doing murdering public health employees attending a holiday party in San Bernardino, California.

One would hope that this remains a rare event, as it is not everyday that a religiously inspired Bonny & Clyde decide to wage war on coworkers. Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik may currently hold the title of being the worst serial killer dynamic duo in modern history, unmatched by the sadism of David & Catherine, Paul & Karla and a long list of other examples of disgusting human beings.

But it may be wrong to think of this being an isolated incident - for as it turns out this particular form of lovestruck lunacy isn't as rare as one might think. As it turns out, Allah's brand of terrible twosomes might be catching on.

Some examples:

Aafia Saddiqui & Majid Khan - the classic drama of two Guantanamo-bound beaus.

Jaelyn Young & Muhammad Dakhlalla - inspiring story of two sweetheart graduates leaving a college town in Mississippi to join the Islamic State. 

Sana Ahmed Khan & Mohammed Rehman - heartwarming tale of two lovebirds planning to blow up the London Underground and a shopping centre. 

Hoda Muthana - cosmopolitan adventure of a young hijabi leaving the University of Alabama to marry an Australian jihadist in Syria. 

Khadiza Sultana, Amira Abase & Shamima Begum - the delightful drama of three empowered feminist teens from the progressive enclave of Bethnal Green leave for Syria to become jihadi brides. 

Unfortunately even this is not a complete list of the men and women that have found romance in the life of murdering infidels. With the exception of Aafia Saddiqui, this list is entirely examples only from the past several years. Doing a proper analysis may paint an even more depressing picture.

Often the picture of a mass shooter is one that very closely outlines that of Marc Lépine or Elliot Rodger. It would be fair to believe that Islamist terrorism follows a similar story - the story of a young sexually frustrated man choosing to kill as revenge for not being granted the things he feels entitled to.

However Islamists have no problem finding mates. Jihad is the opposite of loneliness - when a jihadist kills dozens of people, they do it knowing that their friends and loved ones will be uploading the results to YouTube complete with an awful sounding nasheed. Jihad has as many fangirls as it does fanboys.

The kidnapping and forced conversion of 219 girls by Boko Haram and ISIS' rape of
Yazidi women has given the west a distorted view of Islamism. It's simple to imagine Islamist groups as a type of "lost boys", as if they were led by a well armed version of Peter Pan.

The reality however is a truth that is uncomfortable to many - the fact that many psychotic religious serial murderers have better luck finding a date than many of the pitiful infidels thumbing their way through the dating apps on their iPhones on a chilly Friday night. This happens because there are millions of privileged families that fill their girl's heads with a distorted superstitious view of the universe that is judgmental and frightened of outsiders. It's the basis needed for this pipeline.

After all, a pious girl could choose to take up law, medicine or engineering, yet it is a path fraught with temptation, sin and danger. Why commit oneself to a life that may lean to habitual listening to music or being alone with non-mahram men? One might end up touching a penis in a way that Allah does not approve - and then one's soul is forfeit. It is far simpler to commit oneself to the unquestionably Islamic freedom fighters that are not afraid to always stand against such impropriety. 

And the beards. Yes, the beards.

It'd be a sin to not swipe right.

Friday, January 1, 2016

21 Things Less Offensive Than Wearing A Hijab

Recently we've seen a "progressive", "interfaith" wave that has seen various people saying it is a good idea for progressive non-muslims to don the hijab as a show of solidarity. It is an idea so tacky that even many muslims think it's a bit silly.

This is absurd, of course - and it turns out it it's an idea that's been brewing quite some time as there has already been a "Hijab Solidarity Day" :

On September 4th, 2010 the world observes International Hijab Solidarity Day. ICNA Sisters’ Wing joins this celebration and requests people of conscience, male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim alike to stand up for this fundamental right of women. International Hijab Solidarity Day is important to us and cannot be ignored. We request people of all faiths and cultures to stand up for this critical women’s right.

The basic argument is that the hijab is a choice, multiplying choices is a feminist thing to do, therefore choosing to wear the hijab is a choice as progressive as any other. This conclusion becomes easier to believe if one already accepts the politically correct dogmas that all religions are basically inert and basically equivalent. 

Religious belief, or so the theory goes, is simultaneously compartmentalized and mundane. The hijab is a display of faith as meaningless as any other in our wealthy secular democracies.

To add a dash of reality and put the hijab in the correct context from a truly progressive standpoint, it's time to compile a list of things less offensive than wearing a hijab.

21 Things Less Offensive Than Wearing A Hijab:
  1. binge watching the Cosby show
  2. wearing a Washington Redskins jersey
  3. owning all Chris Brown tracks on custom made vinyl
  4. asking Ray Rice to sign your breast
  5. accepting a job as James Deen's fluffer
  6. painting a confederate flag on the roof of your Dodge Charger
  7. singing "Baby it's cold outside" once a year
  8. wearing a Barbarella t-shirt that a friend made for you
  9. joining the College Republicans to make your father happy
  10. telling a rape joke at the Golden Globes and then again on SNL (you created 30 Rock after all, you can do what you want)
  11. eating veal with a side of foie gras
  12. showing up to church wearing pasties
  13. buying your grandmother edible underwear
  14. asking a woman to smile
  15. telling a dongle joke to a friend in the audience of a development talk
  16. sexting with Oscar Pistorious
  17. drinking coffee that is not verified as fair trade
  18. buying shrimp from Thailand
  19. calling someone "bossy"
  20. photoshopping Lena Dunham to make her more appealing to Vogue readers
  21. writing a listicle

Many believe that the message the hijab is a symbol of faith and seriously held beliefs that must be respected. It is after all not going to help matters much to snark at muslim women every time one encounters them in public.

But the simple fact is that the hijab is a dress as pretentious, empty, and insulting as accessorizing a panda bear fur coat with Crocs and a six-inch Crucifix pendant. The hijab is the symbol of the theory that the supreme creator of the universe (a self-concerned idiot with 99 names) is somehow pleased with the women that are covering themselves up. Those that cover are doing the right thing - those that choose not to are doing the wrong thing. And those that choose to "free the nipple" then must be doing a very wrong thing.

We live in a society where delaying marriage until everyone can marry is viewed by some as progressive solidarity. It's then a wonder how hoping people not "choose" the hijab until it actually can be regarded as a "choice" outside the hands of the state or patriarchal family structures is a sentiment that is compared to bigotry or phobias.

Being open with one's religion is often viewed as a contemptible thing to do. Even gentle pleasantries towards Mormon missionaries, Scientologists and Jehovah's Witnesses is not something that is expected in popular culture. Confining these groups to the margins by unrelenting ridicule is not only something that is allowed, it is regarded as healthy free expression against cultures that would not be so open. Wearing religion on one's sleeve disgusts your neighbors, however wearing religion on one's ears is completely different game.

The hijab gets a free pass through the condescending and infantilizing attitudes "progressive" westerners have towards women and muslims. A woman wearing a hijab can be assumed to be a battered wife, undereducated or brainwashed from birth. Challenging hijabis is something that is not done as it can be assumed there are mere seconds away from crying or yelling at any point in their pitiful underprivileged existence. This is about as pro-Islam as the well-meaning "tolerant" people get. They'll enjoy one's company enough to not share their base assumptions about cultures they interpret as less advanced. The hope is, against all evidence, that there is some peaceful and invisible "reform" happening - it's too depressing to consider that human populations are capable of regressing.

If the hijab was treated as any other dress, the head carpet would be treated as if it were crossing a red carpet. Comedic contempt for women's dress is not only normal, but an anticipated game played at every public gathering in every free country in the world. An inclusive culture would seek to share the reality of a dress inspired by the patriarchal fantasies of superstitious men that we know through an ancient book.

Hijabs are soooooo last year.