Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fear of Funning

Michael Ledeen wrote in National Review Online Now that the president has (finally) conceded that (most of) our enemies in the Middle East are actually fanatical Muslims, he should realize that his initial intuition about the war on terrorism — that we are fighting tyrannical regimes and their murderous footsoldiers — was correct. And this, in turn, should encourage him to unleash our greatest weapon: the people who live there. The tyrannical Islamofascists obviously despise and dread their people; otherwise they wouldn’t be constantly seeking new ways to make sure there is no independent thought and certainly no independent action.

Certainly not. Someone might read the Koran and see what it really says.
All those madrasas, for example, are extended experiments in what used to be called "rote learning." The children sit around and memorize the Koran and the sayings of the prophet, blessings be upon him. But, unlike the schools in the civilized world, nobody ever asks anybody else what he thinks about anything.
This is unlike public schools in the US which dont require memorization, but just tell the kids what to think, from a left wing point of view. But even they are not encouraged to think for themselves, unless it is to reject values their parents try to teach them.
In a world like that, several things happen. Above all, creative activity ceases to exist, since culture depends on advancing knowledge and improving understanding. Neither of these interests the clerical fascists who rule the terror countries. They want good little Muslim androids, who will accept the preposterous belief that all knowledge was acquired several centuries ago and that man’s only worthwhile intellectual activity is to imbibe that knowledge in order to recite it when called for.

The most devastating critique of such a system is laughter, which the leaders of the terror regimes can not and dare not tolerate. Laughter bespeaks fun, and fun is totally forbidden.
Laughter is also a good weapon to use against them. When they say what they think, just laugh at them. When they get mad, laugh harder.
Remember the Taliban, from whose caves Osama bin Laden and his merry band of killers emerged about ten years ago? They not only locked away all the women, they banned music. Some French film producer went all over Afghanistan, filming eerie landscapes featuring poles driven into the ground, wrapped with audio tape. The only sound was the rustling of the tape in the wind. This was the country in which Osama et al. found the perfect atmosphere for their preparations for the jihad.

In like manner, the Saudi religious police, a couple of years ago, refused to let female students escape from a burning building because they were improperly dressed. They burned to death. In like manner, the mullahs are increasing the power of the basij, their own religious police, to enforce the dress code on women and to prevent couples and groups from having fun. The tragicomic efforts of the terror masters to eliminate fun from public life tells us everything we need to know about the kind of world they will inflict on those whom they defeat in combat.
A very dark world.
If our reporters and editors had any real interest in giving their readers a full picture of the war in which we are engaged, there would be much more reporting on the relentless crackdown on fun. But they rarely give us the whole context, nor, unaccountably, does the Bush administration, which for the past several years has tiptoed delicately around the nature of most of the Islamic regimes. And so we have to rely on blogs and on such publications as MEMRI.

The October 7 MEMRI report entitled "Anti-Soccer Fatwas Led Saudi Soccer Players to Join the Jihad in Iraq" is a classic of the "you couldn’t invent this sort of thing" sort. Even Charlie Chaplin couldn’t have found anything at once so dreadful and so hilarious as the story told originally by the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan. It turns out that a "religious authority" by the name of Sheikh Abdallah Al-Najdi had issued a fatwa back in late August, warning the faithful that soccer was a creation of the infidel Christians and Jews, and was thus to be avoided, unless the rules were changed. It was not permissible to play for the fun of it, but only to harden the body in preparation for jihad.

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