Sunday, 17 June 2012

- Roots of Moroccan Terrorism

It takes two years to manufacture a kamikaze -- Mahi Binebine

By Igor Slamoff

Ray McGovern published on Consortium an article called “Not explaining the Why of terrorism,” wherein he claims that terrorism is a natural and spontaneous reaction to imperialist oppression.

The claim that Mohammedans as a group are subject to imperialist oppression on the part of the USA and possibly other powers (i.e. Israel) is simplistic to say the least. This issue is extremely complex and discussing it would require much research, time and effort. I shall here merely study a single case, an apparently typical one, to test the robustness of the causal nexus that McGovern asserts between imperialist oppression and terrorism.

This year [2012] a big hit at the Cannes film festival was Les Chevaux de Dieu (“God’s Horses”), by the Moroccan film director Nabil Ayouch [pronounced “Eye-oosh”], based on the novel Les Etoiles de Sidi Moumen (“The Stars of Sidi Moumen”) by Moroccan painter, sculptor and writer Mahi Binebine [pronounced “Been-been”].

Both film and book analyze the events that led to the suicide bomb attacks of 16 May 2003 in and around Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city. The authors of the attacks were 14 (or 12, depending on the source) male adolescents from Sidi Moumen, a huge and repellent shanty town on Casablanca’s northern outskirts. Like 99% of Morocco’s population, the 14 young terror bombers were Mohammedans.

Thirty-three (or 41 or 43, depending on the source) people died in the suicide attacks, which were the first major Islamist terrorist act committed in Morocco. The targets of the explosions were Jewish and Western (which in Morocco means predominantly French) establishments.

Although Les Etoiles de Sidi Moumen is billed as a novel, it is actually based on exhaustive factual research by Binebine, lasting five years, which he describes as “five years of pain” that he underwent in order to commit to writing the “urban nightmare” of Sidi Moumen, a wretched gaggle of hovels north of Casablanca inhabited by 100,000 paupers (or 300,000, depending on the source). Their lives are ravaged not only by stark poverty, but also by a mysterious drug called “karkooby” -- which appears to be some kind of speed – that inspires numerous murders committed with knives and hatchets. Sniffing glue, drinking alcohol and smoking hasheesh are also popular amusements.
The childhood of Yacine, the novel’s anti-hero, was composed of “holdups, bloody vendettas, searching for salable items on the rubbish dumps of Casablanca, smoking hasheesh, dwelling in hovels with walls of adobe and roofs of corrugated zinc, with the TV set running full blast all day long." Like all Moroccan boys, Yacine and his playmates are mesmerized by football (i.e. soccer). They play football assiduously on “a field strewn with stones, shallow graves, shards of glass and empty plastic bags.”

Sidi Boumen shanty town by Casablanca
Yacine’s elder brother Hamid, under the influence of an Islamist zealot called Abou Zoubeïr, lets his beard grow to prophetic dimensions. Abou Zoubeïr finds odd jobs for the kids, giving them a self-respect that they could not derive from trolling the garbage dumps. Thanks to Abou Zoubeïr, Yacine is able to secure an apprentice’s position at a mechanic’s workshop. Under Abou Zoiubeir’s influence, the kids renounce hasheesh and alcohol. Yacine starts attending prayer meetings at a mosque improvised in a garage. Abou Zoubeïr even treats the whole football team to a week’s retreat at a gorgeous lake in the Middle Atlas Mountains, where the youths pray intensively and train in combat sports.

“They were easy prey for the Paradise salesmen”, remarks Binebine. “The recruitment machinery persuaded them that Hell was on earth and that death was the price to pay for Paradise. Islamists weave their web very gradually, very treacherously, very patiently. It takes two years to manufacture a kamikaze."

It is an open secret that Islamist terror networks in North Africa and elsewhere are financed by rich Wahhabis and other extremist Moslems in the oil-rich countries of the Middle East. The same people fund the Deobandit terror gangs of Pakistan. Iran plays a similar role in financing terrorism committed by the Shia sect of Islam.

Ray McGovern would have attributed the terror attacks directly to his favorite hobbyhorse, i.e. imperialist oppression.

Mahi Binebine, who actually researched the events, blames the Moroccan government of allowing Islamists to brainwash the young. His take-away message is addressed to the government: “Take care of these young people, educate them, provide them with a livelihood, return their dignity to them. We are sitting on a powder-keg. Ther1e may be a new attack tomorrow.”

New condos in Sidi Boumen
The Moroccan government and numerous Moroccan NGOs have since 2007 responded by providing new housing and job training for youth. The situation has improved somewhat.

It is claimed that Ray McGovern worked for many years in the US intelligence industry. Are you sure it wasn't the stupidity industry?

This article is based on the following sources:
“Mahi Binebine, moudjahidine de lucidité”, by Nicolas Marmié,, 29 March 2010
Spielfilm ''Les Chevaux de Dieu'' von Nabil Ayouch -- Geächtet und vergessen, by Sonja Hegasy, 2012

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

- Genuine versus Phony Religions

by Igor Slamoff

The following are merely brief notes and do not explore the issues broached in any detail. The author is not a lawyer and some passages may be a trifle naïf. However the subject is well worth pursuing by people better prepared for the task than he.

The constitutional requirement of religious freedom renders it necessary to define the term “religion”. If an entity counts as a religion, it enjoys very broad freedom of action.

In recent litigation over the proposed construction of a mosque in Tennessee, the US Department of Justice submitted an amicus curiae brief[1], which states among other things, that about 1996, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled on how a religion is legally defined, by providing a “detailed schematic for determining whether a system of belief is a religion, identifying five factors, with subparts.”

These criteria are the following:

(1) Ultimate ideas: fundamental questions about life, purpose, and death;

(2) Metaphysical beliefs: beliefs addressing a reality which transcends the physical and immediately apparent world;

(3) Moral or ethical system: proscription of a particular manner of acting or a way of life that is moral or ethical;

(4) Comprehensiveness of beliefs: an overarching array of beliefs that coalesce to provide the believer with many of the problems and concerns that confront humans; and

(5) Accoutrements of religion: the presence of various external signs of religion, including

(a) a founder, prophet or teacher,
(b) important writings,
(c) gathering places,
(d) keepers of knowledge,
(e) ceremonies and rituals,
(f) structure or organization,
(g) holidays,
(h) diet or fasting,
(i) appearance and clothing, and
(j) propagation.

Critique of the 10th Circuit's approach to defining religions

This definition of religion proposed by the 10th Circuit mentions a moral or ethical system, but fails to say anything about the content of that system. Presumably a religion can preach the need to kill certain people (or all people, for that matter), and this would not affect its standing as a constitutionally privileged religion.

Likewise a group may preach hatred of government or of certain governmental institutions, and indeed threaten to supplant them with a totalitarian system designed on its own cultish principles, without its constitutional privileges being revoked.  

This definition of religion does not consider relevant the issue of whether a cult is engaged in political, military, commercial, etc, activities. This is an important objection because an organization may have a religious aspect that is completely subordinated to political, military or commercial goals, and still count as a religion.

This might in principle permit an organization professing to be a religion to evade laws on political activity, on military organization, etc.

This same argument can be applied to individual items, e.g., “(c) gathering places”, which presumably means mosques, churches, etc. The fact that a “gathering place” may at the same time be also a gun-storing place, a military training place, an imprisonment place and a torture place is apparently irrelevant.

Heinrich Himmler
Religions are supposed to have “founders”, but the founders aren’t even expressly required to be human beings. According to the 10th Circuit’s definition, a religion can be founded by a crocodile, or by a computer! Or, what is more relevant, a religion can be founded by a human, but an evil human, an arch-murderer, a gangster.

The noted German genocide artist Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945) got in touch with the Nazi party in the 1920s because he was a devotee of a Germanic neo-pagan cult. Even as a Nazi bigwig, Himmler remained involved in neo-pagan religious shenanigans whenever he could find time for them. He was a busy man, being at the same time the head of the Gestapo and the SS, while micro-managing the murder of millions of people.

The goddess Kali
What status do the remnants of Himmler’s neo-pagan sect currently possess? Are they a religion in the sense of the 10th Circuit?

One of the signal accomplishments of British imperialism in India was the suppression of the Thugs. Thugs were devotees of the Hindu goddess Kali, whose spiritual beliefs required that they waylay and murder travelers and plunder their possessions. And waylay and murder they did, for centuries on end, making Indian roads exceedingly perilous -- until the Brits got on their respective cases, that is.

What would the status of Thuggee be, according to 10th Circuit?

[1] James Estes, et aI., vs. Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission, et aI., Civil Action 10CV-1443, Chancery Court for Rutherford County at Murfreesboro, TN, Motion for leave for permission for the United States of America to submit a brief as amicus curiae [murfreesboro_amicus_10-18-10.pdf], p 12 (available on the DOJ web site).

Monday, 11 June 2012

- Islamophobic Humour

Poetic justice

The rogue pastor Teddy Jones, or whatever the hell his name is, thought he could get away with brazenly burning a Koran!

Now he knows better. After announcing his pyromaniac and islamophobic feat, the Sanitation Department slapped a 270-dollar fine on him for burning garbage without a permit.


Islam is a soggy mass of unadulterated horse-shit. Criminal horseshit, to boot. 
Stinky-rinky, wonka-wonka, Gangstapimp

- Camel Driver Cults Revisited

Book review:

Handbook of Middle Eastern Camel Driver Cults by Edward Says, Konstantinos Mokkosfritos, Oliver Sherlock Holmes et al, 21st ed., Oxbridge University Press, 2012, 2311 pages, 563 illustrations (of which 375 are pornographic), £ 38.95

This massive work of erudition contains priceless ethnological and porno-theological information concerning a gaggle of sleazy superstitions centred in the Middle East but whose repulsive tentacles are snaking out across the globe even as we speak. The typology “camel-driver cult" was coined by Bronisław Malinowski in his epochal tome Latrines of the Near East to characterise certain hygienic customs that seem to be inherited from an ancient caste of Proto-Semitic camel-drivers whose murky superstitions unfortunately still haunt us.

The principal innovation of this 21st edition is the addition of extensive monographs of virtually encyclopaedic scope on female genital mutilation, honour lynchings, recipes for camel urine and decapitation techniques.

Some may object, and indeed they vociferously do so, that certain animist Sudanese (now South Sudanese) tribes also practise FGM, and that two Sikhs were recently convicted for honour lynching at the High Court in Stoke-on-Trent. The implication seems to be that everybody’s doing it, doing it, doing it.

In the European Middle Ages, if you were around at the time, you could have said the same thing about witch-burning. However since then several centuries have elapsed characterised by the evolution of something called civilisation (in some places at least, and with notorious backsliding at times).

Korangutans never tire of lecturing us about how the Arabs invented civilisation practically single-handed when much of Europe was an illiterate hell-hole. How true! Indeed, the first methodical treatise on optics was written by

Abu-Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham, known as Alhazen, 965-I039, of Basra, al-Andalus and Cairo, who, having peered hard and long at the science of looking, wrote Kitab ul-Manazir كتاب المناظر (Book of Optics), with theories of refraction, reflection and focusing with lenses among its other sights [sic] ; he was the first to observe that light comes from the object seen to the eye.*

Nonetheless, to our dismay, as we have witnessed in the 20th century on our own turf, civilisation can move in one of two directions, namely either backward or forward, and the trajectory described by Gangstapimp ideology (to mention but one of the camel driver cults discussed in this tome) has been undeniably monotonously regressive at least since the Mongol invasions, with but a few hesitant steps forward, e.g. in Egypt under Mohammed Ali and in the Ottoman Empire after 1860 or so.

So when they lecture us about how arch-civilised they used to be, we would be well advised to borrow a snappy comeback from American gangster lingo:

“That was then, but this is now.“

Marmaduke Higinbotham

* Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond: Science is not universal, Le Monde diplomatique, 14 May 2006