** VATICAN’S QUEST

The Vatican’s Quest for a World Political Authority

 WWW.FORCINGCHANGE.ORG

By Carl Teichrib

In 1990, a former Vatican-insider claimed that a titanic struggle was being waged to bring about a world political system. This contest, the now deceased Jesuit explained, was primarily between three players: international Leninism, transnational business elites, and the hand of the Vatican.

Almost twenty years have passed since Malachi Martin drew attention to this three-way quest. At the time his assertions seemed over-the-top. Granted, the idea of a world government via communism wasn’t new as decades of Cold War posturing still played in our minds. And the writing was on the wall in respect to the growing power of international corporate and financial elites, exemplified by the likes of David Rockefeller and the Trilateral Commission.

But the Vatican?

For many, the belief that the Holy See was pursing a vision of world government was simply too much. After all, this ancient hub of Roman Catholicism had a reputation – especially among Europe’s agnostic youth – as an institution of old men, steeped in tradition, procession and ceremony. Never mind that the history of the Continent, more often than not, revolved around the Vatican’s political prowess.

In the summer of 2009, the Holy See’s political cards were revealed in a major papal document. Hearkening back to Malachi Martin’s talk of world government, the most powerful religious office on the planet had promoted a world political authority to manage the global economy. Food security, disarmament, and peace would follow suit.

A sound global economy and world peace are noble sounding goals, to be sure. But the danger lurks in that the seeds of tyranny are often buried in the soil of good intentions.

On July 7th, Pope Benedict released his new encyclical titled Caritas in Veritate, or “Charity in Truth.” Two years in the making, this document was disclosed on the eve of the G8 Summit in Italy and the Pope’s meeting with US President Barack Obama. Some 30,000 words long, this encyclical outlined the Pope’s concerns regarding globalization and economics, corporate ethics, and the role of the Catholic Church in promoting social doctrine.

Commenting on the encyclical, The New York Times noted that, “sometimes Benedict sounds like an old-school European socialist…” [2] And The San Francisco Chronicle explained that,

“Caritas in Veritate addresses very modern issues such as globalization, market economy, hedge funds, outsourcing, and alternative energy, calling for people to put aside greed and let their consciences guide them in economic and environmental decisions. Many of the ideas put forward would likely rankle conservatives…” [3]

E.J. Dionne, a columnist for The Washington Post, gushed that Benedict is “well to Obama’s left on economics.” [4]

While Pope Benedict’s perspective on the global economy was a perplexing blend of free-market and social welfare ideals, what raised eyebrows were his thoughts on international politics. In section 67 of Caritas in Veritate, the Pope dropped an ideological bombshell – a world authority to “manage the economy,” bring about “timely disarmament,” and ensure “food security and peace.”

Here is a major part of section 67. The reference to a “world political authority” is very clear, and Pope Benedict explains that this international agency should be given the power of enforcement… “real teeth.”

“In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good, and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums.”

Immediate controversy surrounded this paragraph, with some Catholics quickly attempting to distance the idea that the Holy See would support world government.

Hierarchy Of Power

John-Henry Westen, writing for LifeSiteNews, stated unequivocally that the Pope was speaking “directly against a one-world government.”[5] Westen’s justification for this position was the Pope’s call for a “dispersed political authority” in paragraph 41 – a reference to the role of States in the international system. Westen also brought up the use of the word “subsidiarity” in section 57 as a strike against world government.

This is an important point: Subsidiarity is the Catholic social teaching that issues should be dealt with at the lowest level possible. In many respects it builds on the theme of self-determination, and in this sense it would seem antithetical to a world authority.

Section 57 of Caritas in Veritate says,

“In order not to produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together. Globalization certainly requires authority, insofar as it poses the problem of a global common good that needs to be pursued. This authority, however, must be organized in a subsidiary and stratified way, if it is not to infringe upon freedom and if it is to yield effective results in practice.”

Mr. Westen, who claims that Benedict’s use of subsidiarity opposes world government, has misdiagnosed this section. The Pope is not speaking against one-world government by evoking subsidiarity; instead he’s offering a hierarchical model upon which to build an international authority. Essentially, where issues can be dealt with at the local or national level, let them be handled in this domain. And where issues are global and cannot be adequately addressed at a lower level, then a world authority is necessary.

Pope Benedict also suggested that subsidiarity could be a safety value that checks the power of a universal government against taking on tyrannical traits. But to propose that subsidiarity is a counter to tyranny is unconvincing – it can’t even check the expansion of over-government today.

John Laughland, author of The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea, noted that, “…the German constitution has become increasingly centralised as a result of its subsidiarity clause.” The European Union also incorporates this concept, yet that hasn’t stopped the EU from centralizing political power and amassing a super-bloated bureaucracy. Subsidiarity, according to Laughland, is a model that assumes a “unitarian, pyramidal hierarchy of executive functions” with a decidedly corporatist doctrine. [6]

Subsidiarity can even be found in the UN system. Professor Robert Araujo explains that, “the principle of subsidiarity is recognized as a fundamental principle of the United Nations Organization.”[7] Here, the concept is centered on self-determination under article 1, paragraph 2 of the UN Charter. Yet this doesn’t stop the UN from seeking empowered international jurisdiction under the banner of “reform.”

It’s important to note that subsidiarity does allow for grassroots decision-making and self-direction, but it’s within the context of a broader perspective. Professor Araujo explains that it’s a “a concept synthesizing the interests of the individual with those of the community.” Hence, it’s not difficult to see how this principle can align itself with a world authority – you can pursue local political direction, but where local involvement ends then other levels of government step up for the “common good.”

To say that Pope Benedict opposes world government because he evoked subsidiarity misses the point: subsidiarity plays a functioning role in a hierarchy of increasing political powers. What paragraph 57 demonstrates is not an aversion to world government, but the order of decision-making Benedict believes it should be based upon.

Reform And World Authority

   Paragraph 67 of Caritas in Veritate is overtly political in nature. Here’s a breakdown of some key points.

“Reform the United Nations” – UN reform centers on more than just “voting changes” or “transparency.” Rather, reform is connected to world taxation, a global enforcement component, and the creation of an international parliament. A small mountain of reports and documents that support this version of reform already exist, supported by the United Nations, national governments, and pro-UN groups such as the World Federalist Movement and the Club of Rome. [8] In fact, this platform of international taxation, enforcement, and a world parliament were major discussion points at the UN Millennium Forum – particularly during the sessions hosted by the working group on “Strengthening and Democratizing the United Nations.”[9]

Cliff Kincaid, the editor of Accuracy in Media, noted the linkages between reform and global governance in section 67 of the papal text; “…the ‘reform’ of the U.N. is designed to strengthen it. Hence, the U.N. is clearly destined, from the Vatican point of view, to become the World Political Authority.”[10] Reform of the UN goes far beyond new office furniture.

“Responsibility to protect” – Known as R2P, this is a world federalist ideal that would give the UN a mandate to intervene domestically when a nation commits human rights violations. It sounds good on the surface, but critics – and even some advocates – realize that such a mandate may open Pandora’s Box.

José E. Alvarez, President of the American Society of International Law, recognized this situation while addressing a conference on international law at The Hague in 2007. R2P, he suggested, could be used as a pretext to engage in all sorts of questionable, interventionist actions. [11]

Nobody in their right mind wishes for any people group to experience genocide or gross injustices. R2P, however, is a seriously flawed concept that has the potential for grave abuses. From a world management perspective, the Responsibility to Protect becomes the legal justification for a world political authority to act militarily. The danger lurks in that the seeds of tyranny are often buried in the soil of good intentions.

For more on the R2P concept see Volume 2, Issue 7 of Forcing Change(www.forcingchange.org), “Kosovo and the International Community: Just Another Pawn in the Game.”

“To manage the global economy…” – This is already being discussed within the international community, and it’s looking like the new world financial order will be a top-down power structure that will greatly empower existing global institutions. Four entities immediately come to mind.

1. Bank for International Settlements - to become the global banking regulator. The BIS is fast setting itself up as the international banking manager, a body that will oversee the world’s banks and financial system, including the regulation of international capital. An entity of this kind would be equivalent to a banker’s “king of the hill.” The Los Angeles Times wrote last year that, “…such a system would force countries to give up a measure of national sovereignty over banks operating within their borders. It also could lead to international bureaucrats trying to shape financial policy and possibly taking punitive action.”

2. International Monetary Fund – to become the world reserve currency bank. Under this scheme, the IMF would be charged with regulating a new global currency to be used in world trade, including the energy sector. Collaborating with the World Bank, the IMF would likewise use this new currency unit for international loans and debt obligations. National and regional currencies would still exist, at least for the interim, but values would react and adjust according to new global benchmarks.

3. World Trade Organization – becoming the global trade regulator. The WTO would establish the rules for the trading of goods and services via a globally organized set of standard, a process it’s currently working through. National trade policies would hereafter line up with accepted world practices. All of this is already happening, but there’s a further link between global free trade and a new international financial system. Richard Cooper, while advocating a single global reserve currency, noted the following in a 1984 conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston,

“It would be logical if free [world] trade accompanied this single currency regime. That would also be consistent with the collaborative political spirit that would be required to establish the single currency regime. Free trade would insure one market in goods as well as in financial instruments.” [12]

4. United Nations – fast becoming the global ethics and governance agency. The UN would give moral input and political guidance to the newly managed world economy. In essence, this body would become the “planetary consciousness,” shaping consumer and political attitudes, values, and behaviors. This too is already happening. At the end of June, the UN hosted a conference that outlined an accepted social norm for the global economy: an Earth-centric worldview, international socialism, and a New Age vision of planetary evolution.

For information and analysis on this UN conference, check out the Forcing Change report, “Building a New Common Future: Twisting Faith and Finance in a Global Order” (July, 2009). For more on the move to a single global currency, check out the Forcing Change articles, “One World, One Money” (Volume 1, Issue 12), and “The Joseph Principle and Crisis Economics” (Volume 2, Issue 9).

“An authority…regulated by law” – Governments the world over are regulated by internal laws and accountability measures, yet this doesn’t stop abuses, corruption, or even tyranny from entering the picture. The idea that a world authority could be kept in check by a system of world law doesn’t hold water.

“True world political authority” – This isn’t a moral or spiritual ideal propagated by the Holy See, but the vision of an actual world government. This is evident in the overall context of section 67 and in the wording itself: a “world political authority.”

No doubt the papal office desires to see a spiritual standard incorporated into this political entity, based in large part on the social teachings of the Catholic Church. However, this in no way guarantees that a world authority will act in good will. As history bears out, the Vatican itself is far from immune in this regard, and “holders of power” tend to amass power.

Remember the words of Lord Acton, a Catholic historian who penned the following in response to the Vatican’s unquestioning authority: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”[13]

Following A Tradition

Pope Benedict’s promotion of world government didn’t happen in a vacuum. Since the 1950s the Holy See has consistently moved to support an empowered United Nations and world political authority.

   Pope Pius XII: On April 6, 1951, Pope Pius XII had a meeting in the Vatican with the World Movement for World Federal Government – a precursor to the World Federalist Movement. During that meeting, Pope Pius encouraged his “world government” audience to continue in this quest.

“Your movement, Gentlemen, has the task of creating an effective political organization of the world. There is nothing more in keeping with the traditional doctrines of the Church, or better adapted to her teachings on the rightful or unjust war, especially in the present world situation. An organization of this nature must, therefore, be set up…”

The Pope then explained, rightly so, that the “deadly germs of mechanical totalitarianism” might infect this “world political organization.” However, in noting this possibility, he reminded the attendees to pursue a morally firm world federalist approach. Ending his meeting, the Pope encouraged his audience to pursue this grand idea; “…you have the courage to give yourself to this cause. We congratulate you. We would express to you Our wishes for your entire success and with all Our heart We will pray to God to grant you His wisdom and help in the performance of your task.” [14]

Pope John XXIII: In his 1963 encyclical, Pacem in Terris, Pope John XXIII called for an international public authority with a “world-wide sphere of activity” to deal with global problems. This authority would be “equipped with world-wide power and adequate means for achieving the universal common good,” although it could not establish itself through force: “it must be set up with the consent of all nations.”

In contemplating how this system would work, John XXIII called upon the principle of subsidiarity, saying that this should be applied “to the relations between the public authority of the world community and the public authorities of each political community.” Subsidiarity here, like Benedict’s use of the term, doesn’t negate a world authority – it simply imposes a hierarchical structure that recognizes each level, from the bottom-to-the-top, as a key to the process. [15]

Pope Paul VI: While speaking at the United Nations in 1965, the adulation coming from the pope was palatable. During his talk he praised the UN system as “the obligatory path of modern civilization and world peace.”

“The edifice which you have constructed must never fall; it must be perfected, and made equal to the needs which world history will present. You mark a stage in the development of mankind, from which retreat must never be admitted… Advance always! …Let unanimous trust in this Institution grow, let its authority increase.”

Alas, Pope Paul VI called for a world government; “Is there anyone who does not see the necessity of coming thus progressively to the establishment of a world authority, able to act efficaciously on the juridical and political levels?” [16]

Pope John Paul II: In his 1995 speech to the UN, John Paul reflected on the historical connections between the Vatican and the world body.

“The Holy See, in virtue of its specifically spiritual mission, which makes it concerned for the integral good of every human being, has supported the ideals and goals of the United Nations Organization from the very beginning. Although their respective purposes and operative approaches are obviously different, the Church and the United Nations constantly find wide areas of cooperation on the basis of their common concern for the human family.”[17]

Although Pope John Paul II butted heads with the United Nations over family issues, he did place enormous importance on pursuing political systems of world law. In 1985 he spoke to judges at the International Court of Justice, telling them that,

   “The Holy See attaches great importance to its collaboration with the United Nations Organization and the various organisms which are a vital part of its work. The Church’s interest in the International Court of Justice goes back to the very beginnings of this Tribunal and to the events that were linked to its establishment….

The Church has consistently supported the development of an international administration of justice and arbitration as a way of peace fully resolving conflicts and as part of the evolution of a world legal system

Strictly speaking, the present Court is no more – but it is also no less – than an initial step towards what we hope will one day be a totally effective judicial authority in a peaceful world.” [18]

In other speeches and writings, such as his encyclical Sollicitudo rei Socialis, John Paul called for a strengthening of world law and a “greater degree of international ordering.” [19] None of this has the same blatancy as Pope Benedict’s recommendation for a “world political authority,” but it does follow a common political theme – enlarged and enhanced global governance.

Pope Benedict’s idea of a “world political authority” didn’t spring out of thin air. Rather, through successive papal offices stretching back to at least Pius XII, [20] the Holy See has nurtured visions of an international politic.

Influencing Princes and Paupers

   The fact that a religious leader has called for a world authority is interesting in itself, but because this emanates from the papal office, an extra measure of attention is warranted.

We cannot overlook the influence wielded by the Holy See. The Pope is vastly different in relation to other religious figures when it comes to global significance. It’s true that some Protestant and evangelical leaders are consulted by political elites; and government officials often court the heads of other religions, such as the Dalai Lama. But all of this pales to the historical and contemporary power of the Pope.

For centuries the Holy See has been the centerpiece of European political affairs. Its history is replete with geo-political intrigues, papal wars, and the rise and fall of national powers. Royalty from every corner of the Continent has traveled to Rome seeking an audience with the Pope, hoping for papal favor. Moreover, the Vatican has been a hub for banking interests, espionage, and transnational business dealings. [21] And today, just as in the past, Presidents and Prime Ministers bow before the Pope, seeking his counsel, and privately discussing matters of great political, economic, and social importance.

Eric Frattini, the author of The Entity: Five Centuries of Secret Vatican Espionage, gives us a window into this geo-political world.

   “The papacy, the supreme authority at the head of the Catholic Church, is the oldest established institution in the world. It was the only institution to flourish during the Middle Ages, a leading actor in the Renaissance, and a protagonist in the battles of the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the French Revolution, the industrial era, and the rise and fall of communism. For centuries, making full use of their famous ‘infallibility,’ popes brought their centralized power to bear on the social outcomes of unfolding historical events…

…throughout history, the papacy has always displayed two faces: that of the worldwide leadership of the Catholic Church and that of one of he planet’s best political organizations. While the popes were blessing their faithful on the one hand, on the other, they were receiving foreign ambassadors and heads of states and dispatching legates and nuncios on special missions.” [22]

And standing behind the Pope is a worldwide following of devout Catholics, who may not agree with world government, but who are nevertheless committed to the Roman Catholic Church – thus supportive of the Pontiff. Avro Manhattan, a critic of the Holy See, correctly made the correlation between the Vatican’s power and it’s faithful.

   “What gives the Vatican its tremendous power is not its diplomacy as such, but the fact that behind its diplomacy stands the Church, with all its manifold world-embracing activities…

…Vatican diplomacy is so influential and can exert such great power in the diplomatic-political field because it has at its disposal the tremendous machinery of a spiritual organization with ramifications in every country of the planet. In other words, the Vatican, as a political power, employs the Catholic Church as a religious institution to assist the attainment of its goals. These goals, in turn, are sought mainly to further the spiritual interests of the Catholic Church.

…the Catholic Hierarchy automatically reacts upon those innumerable religious, cultural, social, and finally political, organizations connected with the Catholic Church, which although tied to the Church primarily on religious grounds, can at given moments be made either directly or indirectly to serve political ends.” [23]

The point is this: No other religious leader on the planet holds such political and economic influence within a religious framework. Consider just the number of adherents that make up the backbone of the Church of Roman: In the US, Catholics make up approximately 22% of the populace, and of the world’s total, 17% – or about 1.14 billion people. [24] That’s why Pope Benedict’s call for a “world political authority” is so significant; what he says influences leaders and laymen alike by the hundreds of millions.

If the local Baptist pastor or Mennonite preacher, with a flock of a few dozen or a few hundred, appealed for a UN-styled “world political authority” it wouldn’t mean much beyond the pews of that particular church. The congregants would either cheer the minister or, hopefully, challenge his assumptions. But generally speaking it wouldn’t cause a ripple beyond the local community. However, when the “Holy Father” – a Catholic title that denotes more than just a “leader” – makes such a recommendation, and has the backing of earlier papal appeals, the waves of influence travel worldwide.

Conclusion

- That the Holy See has, for at least six decades, supported the quest for a global political structure.

- That Pope Benedict has, through his recent encyclical, explicitly supported the idea of a world political authority; and that this world government should be designed to incorporate the principle of subsidiarity. Further point: That subsidiarity in a universal political structure would be akin to the slogan, “think global, act local.”

- That the influence of the Holy See upon the international community is substantial, and that the Papacy has the backing and general support of hundreds of millions around the world, adding “local-to-global” support for the Vatican’s geo-political visions.

- That advocates for world government, such as the World Federalist Movement, will pick up on Pope Benedict’s recommendations and use it to parade the idea of world management.

- That many Roman Catholics and Catholic organizations will subsequently endorse the proposal for a world political authority, and hence support various movements for global governance.

- That individuals and organizations within and outside the Catholic Church will defend the Pope’s encyclical by seeking to spiritualize or moralize the text, thereby attempting to soften the controversy. Yet, the Pope’s intent for a world political authority remains.

- That a minority of Catholics will vocally oppose the Vatican’s call for UN empowerment and international government (many more will be indifferent). Ridicule may occur for those who publicly speak against Benedict’s political ideals. Expect rifts between those who oppose and those who advocate global governance.

- That non-Catholic faith groups will support Pope Benedict’s encyclical. Already an evangelical response document has been issued by a group of professors and national evangelical leaders. Titled, Doing the Truth in Love, this text agrees that new forms of global authority are necessary, but that it “must secure increased participation, transparency and accountability, and help strengthen the nation state relative to the power of global finance.” [25] Such a view is more utopian than practical, as few real incentives would compel a world government to operate this openly.

- That new alliances and networks will be formed to increase political and social pressure in support of world management, and that these networks will incorporate Catholic/Vatican groups, non-governmental organizations, and elements from the United Nations.

When the Holy See raises the specter of world government it should jolt Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Even if a world political authority doesn’t come to fruition, such advocacy is stunning. Here we have the planet’s most influential religious office, itself politically structured as a top-down authority, promoting a top-down system of international management. The perception alone is deeply troubling.

And if, thanks to the Holy See’s endorsement, a world political authority does come into play, what will keep it from morphing into an autocratic regime? Even in this we are assuming that the global authority will be introduced as a limited government. The ultimate contradiction, of course, is a toothless world authority. Without enforcement capabilities it would be little more than an advisory board. To be effective, therefore, it must be a centralist power with clout: Anything less would be meaningless.

But is this what the world needs to ensure global order?

Consider for a moment the last one hundred years, a century rife with examples of “well-meaning” centralist governments – they were always well meaning to somebody. In the name of  “peace and security” these regimes crushed domestic opponents, often liquidating their own supporters in the process. From Chile to China the unofficial motto, “peace is the destruction of all opposition,” was translated into action. And in the case of Nazi Germany, the government rose to power through the democratic process. Sadly, in some cases the Vatican itself held the hands of those who perpetrated such crimes, as in the case of Croatia during the 1940s. [26]

Does all of this mean that the Holy See supports a dictatorial world regime? Not according to Pope Benedict’s encyclical, as he openly recognized the dangerous possibility of a “universal power of a tyrannical nature.” His hope, as outlined in Caritas in Veritate, is a world political authority checked by legal boundaries so as not to “infringe upon freedom.” In other words, the pope seeks accountability measures to offset government over-step.

A fine concept in theory, but it rests on a shaky assumption: That the world political authority will remain content to live within prescribed limitations; satisfied to operate within tight social, economic, and political constraints. Here’s the snag: our advanced, democratic nations – and even the Vatican – haven’t and can’t live up to this basic standard.

While Pope Benedict tries to soft-sell Catholics and national leaders on the idea of world government, the somber words of Lord Acton drift in from a nearly forgotten past: “Power corrupts…” FC

Carl Teichrib is the editor of Forcing Change (www.forcingchange.org), a monthly digest on global affairs from a Christian perspective.

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** FOR HE HAS SINNED

http://www.sfweekly.com/2009-07-29/news/for-he-has-sinned
FOR HE HAS SINNED
Peter Jamison

Two decades ago, an 11-year-old boy from the Bay Area was honored with an invitation most devout Catholics would envy. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work among the developing world’s poor, was celebrating Mass at her order’s convent in Noe Valley. The ceremony was part of a retreat led by one of the famed humanitarian nun’s close spiritual advisers, a Jesuit priest and former University of San Francisco professor named Donald McGuire.

It was at McGuire’s bidding that the 11-year-old came to serve as an altar boy that morning at St. Paul’s Convent, a boxy building of yellow stucco that rises from a tree-lined block near the intersection of 29th and Church streets. (The convent houses local novices in the international Missionaries of Charity order, founded by Mother Teresa in 1950.) The priest was close to the boy’s family: He had baptized the boy, and offered his mother spiritual and psychological counseling over the years. Indeed, within church circles, McGuire was something of a celebrity himself.

Steeped, as are all Jesuits, in the cerebral traditions of Catholicism, McGuire dazzled his many admirers with his command of ancient history and literature. He could speak eloquently about philosophy and theology, and deployed his rhetoric to powerful effect during multiday religious seminars based on the teachings of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuits’ founder. He had silvering brown hair and a round, red Irish face that often creased into a puckish smile. He liked to give advice. And he liked to hear confession.

On that morning almost 20 years ago, however, McGuire’s interests were more profane than sacred. Following a morning Mass, he asked the boy to retire with him to a private chamber reserved for the priest at the convent. While the nuns and Mother Teresa milled about, McGuire closed the door to his room and asked his favored altar boy to join him, in his cot, for a nap. The boy lay down. The priest lay on the outside of the narrow bed and then reached across the boy’s body and into his pants.

So said the boy in a recent interview with SF Weekly. Now 30, he is suing the Jesuits for turning a blind eye to McGuire’s repeated acts of child molestation. His lawsuit was filed this winter in Cook County, Ill., home of the Chicago Province of the Jesuits, where McGuire kept his primary residence.

The boy — who is identified in court documents only as John Doe 129, and requested that SF Weekly not publish his name or hometown to spare him the stigma attached to childhood sexual abuse — is accusing the Chicago Province of negligence and fraud in failing to keep McGuire away from children. He and his attorneys allege that over a period of about 10 years beginning in 1988, McGuire forced the boy to massage the priest’s genitals and watch him masturbate, among other acts of abuse.

Doe 129 is not the first to accuse McGuire, now an ailing 79-year-old, of such misdeeds. In 2006, the priest was convicted in a Wisconsin court of molesting two teenage boys he had taught decades earlier at a prominent Jesuit high school in the Midwest. Earlier this year, a federal judge in Illinois sentenced McGuire to 25 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of traveling abroad with a teenage boy to sexually abuse him. (For his part, McGuire still insists he is innocent and has appealed his latest conviction.)

While the federal case rested on molestation charges involving only one boy, investigators believed McGuire had abused dozens during his career. In fact, Jesuit leaders first received complaints about the priest in 1969, although he was not officially defrocked until last year. Some of the ex-priest’s alleged victims — many of them now grown men — and their family members were permitted to address U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer during his sentencing hearing. Their statements, not surprisingly, were emotionally charged. The Arizona father of two boys McGuire allegedly molested said he would like to hand down his own sentence on the ex-priest using a baseball bat.

One of those who traveled to Chicago to speak out was the mother of the altar boy allegedly molested at the Missionaries of Charity convent in San Francisco. “I told the judge that I thought that he deserved the maximum sentence,” she said. “Even we, as adults, couldn’t stand up to someone who was Mother Teresa’s confessor. Can you imagine children that have no voice?”

Doe 129’s lawsuit is just one of multiple pending civil cases against McGuire nationwide. But it is the first to draw attention to the strong San Francisco ties of the man who is arguably the most prominent convicted child abuser in the Jesuits’ 470-year history.

Interviews with McGuire’s former colleagues, associates, and admirers cast light on the pivotal phases of his life that took place in this city — it was in San Francisco that he began his working relationship with Mother Teresa — and suggest that the disgraced ex-priest committed acts of abuse here for which neither he nor his superiors have ever been held to account. 1   2 3 4 Next Page

Teresa with McGuire @ http://www.sfweekly.com/photoGallery/?gallery=1609327&position=3

Nun’s Autobiography @ http://honestreporting.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/295/

Pedophile Documentary @ http://globeonline.wordpress.com/2007/06/19/italy-screens-pedophile-documentary/

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** Sharia for all societies?

Top ten reasons why sharia is bad for all societies

http://europenews.dk/en/node/27229

James Arlandson

Traditional Muslims who understand the Quran and the hadith believe that sharia (Islamic law) expresses the highest and best goals for all societies. It is the will of Allah.

But is Islam just in its laws that Muhammad himself practiced and invented?

This article says no for ten verifiable reasons.

Here are four points you must read, before reading this article:

First, sometimes these ten points quote the Quran or omit it; sometimes they quote the hadith (reports of Muhammad’s words and actions outside of the Quran) or omit it. This is done only to keep down the length of the article. No one should be fooled into believing that these harsh and excessive laws were invented in the fevered imagination of extremists who came long after Muhammad. These harsh and excessive laws come directly from the founder of Islam in his Quran and in his example in the hadith.

Second, each of these ten reasons has a back—up article (or more) that is long and well documented with quotations and references to the Quran, the hadith, and classical legal opinions. The supporting articles also examine the historical and literary context of each Quranic verse. If the readers, especially critics, wish to challenge one or all of these ten reasons, or if they simply doubt them, they should click on the supporting articles. They will see that Muhammad himself actually laid down these excessive punishments and policies.

Third, it must be pointed out that these harsh laws are not (or should not be) imposed outside of an Islamic court of law. Careful legal hurdles must be passed before the punishments are carried out. However, even in that case, it will become clear to anyone who thinks clearly that these punishments and policies are excessive by their very nature, and excess is never just, as Aristotle taught us in his Nicomachean Ethics.

Fourth, in each of the lengthy supporting article (or articles), a Biblical view on these infractions of moral law (or sometimes civil law or personal injuries) is presented. One of the reasons we all sense that these Islamic punishments are harsh and excessive is that Christianity has also filled the globe. Even if one is not a Christian or is only a nominal Christian, he or she has breathed deeply of Christianity by virtue of laws and customs or even driving by churches. New Testament Christianity, when properly understood and followed, offers humanity dignity.

‘Islam’ in this article stands for Muhammad, the earliest Muslims, and classical legal scholars.

Here are the top ten reasons why sharia or Islamic law is bad for all societies.

10. Islam commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped.

In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging not only for illicit sex (see reason no. nine), but also for drinking alcohol.

In 2005, in Nigeria a sharia court ordered that a drinker should be caned eighty strokes.

In 2005, in the Indonesian province of Aceh, fifteen men were caned in front of a mosque for gambling. This was done publicly so all could see and fear. Eleven others are scheduled to undergo the same penalty for gambling.

After going through two previous confusing stages before coming down hard on drinkers and gamblers, the Quran finally prohibits alcohol and gambling in Sura 5:90—91; they do not prescribe the punishment of flogging, but the hadith does. A poor ‘criminal’ was brought to Muhammad who became angry:

The Prophet felt it hard (was angry) and ordered all those who were present in the house, to beat him [the drinker dragged into Muhammad's presence]. (Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6774—6775)

Thus, we see no offer of help for the alcoholic when he is dragged before Muhammad and his followers. Why does Muhammad not offer rehabilitation? Why does he immediately go to corporal punishment?

The later classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith, so we do not need to examine them here.

It is sometimes argued that Islamic countries are pure, whereas the West is decadent. No one can argue with this latter claim, but are Islamic countries pure? The Supplemental Material, below, demonstrates that Islamic countries still have drinking and gambling in them.

Here is the article that supports this tenth point and that analyzes the confusing Quranic verses on drinking and gambling. It analyzes the hadith and later legal rulings.

9. Islam allows husbands to hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives.

In 2004, Rania al—Baz, who had been beaten by her husband, made her ordeal public to raise awareness about violence suffered by women in the home in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi television aired a talk show that discussed this issue. Scrolling three—fourths of the way down the link, the readers can see an Islamic scholar holding up sample rods that husbands may use to hit their wives.

The Quran says:

4:34 . . . If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great. (MAS Abdel Haleem, the Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004)

The hadith says that Muslim women in the time of Muhammad were suffering from domestic violence in the context of confusing marriage laws:

Rifa’a divorced his wife whereupon ‘AbdurRahman bin Az—Zubair Al—Qurazi married her. ‘Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s Apostle came, ‘Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” (Bukhari)

This hadith shows Muhammad hitting his girl—bride, Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr: Muslim no. 2127:

‘He [Muhammad] struck me [Aisha] on the chest which caused me pain.’

It is claimed that Islamic societies have fewer incidents of fornication and adultery because of strict laws or customs, for example, women wearing veils over their faces or keeping separate from men in social settings. But these results of fewer incidents of sexual ‘crimes’ may have unanticipated negative effects in other areas, such as the oppression of women. Generally, sharia restricts women’s social mobility and rights, the more closely sharia is followed. For example, in conservative Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive cars.  In Iran, the law oppresses women. For example, women’s testimony counts half that of men, and far more women than men are stoned to death for adultery.

Here is the supporting article for the ninth point. It has a long list of different translations of Sura 4:34, in order to resolve confusion over this verse, circulating around the web. This longer article has many links that demonstrate the oppression of women under Islamic law (scroll down to ‘Further discussion’).

8. Islam allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge—physical eye for physical eye.

In 2003, in Saudi Arabia a man had two teeth extracted under the law of retaliation.

In 2003, a court in Pakistan sentenced a man to be blinded by acid after he carried out a similar attack on his fianc�e.

In 2005, an Iranian court orders a man’s eye to be removed for throwing acid on another man and blinding him in both eyes.

The Quran says:

5:45 And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and  wrongdoers . . .). (Hilali and Khan, The Noble Qur’an, Riyadh: Darussalam, 1996)

This passage allows for an indemnity or compensation instead of imposing the literal punishment of eye for an eye. No one should have a quarrel with this option. According to the hadith, the plaintiff also has the option to forgive, and this is legitimate, provided a judge oversees the process. The problem is the literal law of retaliation.

The hadith and later legal rulings demonstrate that this excessive option was actually carried out, as do the three modern examples linked above.

Please go here for the supporting article that cites the hadith and later legal rulings.

Islamic law calls all of humanity to march backwards 1,400 years BC and to re—impose the old law of retaliation—literally, and the evidence suggest that the Torah never intended the law to be carried out literally, as the supporting article demonstrates.

7. Islam commands that a male and female thief must have a hand cut off.

Warning! This short article has photos of severed hands. The reader should never lose sight of the fact that this punishment is prescribed in the Quran, the eternal word of Allah. It does not exist only in the fevered imagination of a violent and sick radical regime like the Taliban, which once ruled in Afghanistan.

A Saudi cleric justifies chopping off hands here.

The Quran says:

5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done—a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise. 39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

At first glance, verse 39 seems to accept repentance before the thief’s hand is cut off. But the hadith states emphatically that repentance is acceptable only after mutilation. Muhammad himself says that even if his own daughter, Fatima, were to steal and then intercede that her hand should not be cut off, he would still have to cut it off (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6788)

If the reader would like to see more hadith passages, modern defenses of this indefensible punishment (and a refutation of them), and the Biblical solution to theft, they should click on this long supporting article or this shorter one.

6. Islam commands that highway robbers should be crucified or mutilated.

In September 2003, Scotsman Sandy Mitchell faced crucifixion in Saudi Arabia. He was beaten and tortured until he confessed to a crime he did not commit: a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy. The article says of this punishment that it is the worst kind of execution and that two have been carried out in the last twenty years.

In 2002 Amnesty International reports that even though Saudi Arabia ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture) in October 1997, amputation is prescribed under both Hudud (punishments) and Qisas (law of retaliation). AI has recorded thirty—three amputations and nine cross—amputations where the alternate hand or foot is mutilated.

The Quran says:

5:33 Those who wage war against God and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter, 34 unless they repent before you overpower them: in that case bear in mind that God is forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

It may be difficult to accept, but the hadith says that Muhammad tortured these next people before he executed them. This scenario provides the historical context of Sura 5:33—34. The explanations in parentheses have been added by the translator:

Narrated Anas: Some people . . . came to the Prophet and embraced Islam . . . [T]hey turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away . . . The Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they died. (Bukhari, Punishments, no. 6802)

The next hadith reports that the renegades died from bleeding to death because Muhammad refused to cauterize their amputated limbs. Then the hadith after that one reports that the renegades were not given water, so they died of thirst. They probably died of both causes: thirst and loss of blood.

See this short article for details on another example of Muhammad’s use of torture.

Islamic law says that these punishments are imposed for highway robbery, and in some cases crucifixion does not need a murder before it is imposed.

For more information on Muhammad’s brutality and the barbaric laws that flow out of it, go to the back—up article.

5. Islam commands that homosexuals must be executed.

In February 1998, the Taliban, who once ruled in Afghanistan, ordered a stone wall to be pushed over three men convicted of sodomy. Their lives were to be spared if they survived for 30 minutes and were still alive when the stones were removed.

In its 1991 Constitution, in Articles 108—113, Iran adopted the punishment of execution for sodomy.

In April 2005, a Kuwaiti cleric says homosexuals should be thrown off a mountain or stoned to death.

On April 7, 2005, it was reported that Saudi Arabia sentenced more than 100 men to prison or flogging for ‘gay conduct.’

These homosexuals were lucky. Early Islam would have executed them, as these hadith demonstrate.

Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin and highly reliable transmitter of hadith, reports the following about early Islam and Muhammad’s punishment of homosexuals: . . .

‘If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done’ (Abu Dawud no. 4447).

This hadith passage says that homosexuals should be burned alive or have wall pushed on them:

Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, ‘Accursed is he who does what Lot’s people did.’ In a version . . . on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad's cousin and son—in—law] had two people burned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad's chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (Mishkat, vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments)

Though this punishment of a wall being toppled on them is extreme, the Taliban were merely following the origins of their religion.

If the reader would like to see the confusion in the Quran on the matter of homosexuality, the severity in the hadith, and excessive rulings of classical fiqh, they should see the supporting article. This longer one has links to many discussions on Islamic punishments of homosexuals (scroll down to ‘Supplemental material’).

4. Islam orders unmarried fornicators to be whipped and adulterers to be stoned to death.

Fornication:

In 2001, Iranian officials sentenced three men to flogging for illicit sex.

The Quran says:

24:2 The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime (illegal sex), but if married persons commit it (illegal sex), the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah's law]. (Hilali and Khan).

The additions in the brackets, though not original to the Arabic, have the support of the hadith. These command flogging only of unmarried fornicators: Bukhari, Punishments, nos. 6831 and 6833.

The classical legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

According to this report, in Iran a teenage boy broke his Ramadan fast, so a judge sentenced him to be lashed with eighty—five stripes. He died from the punishment. Though his sad case does not deal with fornication, it is cited here because it shows that lashing can be fatal.

Adultery:

In December 2004, Amnesty International reports:

An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning in the next five days after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. Her unnamed co—defendant is at risk of imminent execution by hanging. Amnesty International members are now writing urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities, calling for the execution to be stopped.

She is to be buried up to her chest and stoned to death.

This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death:

And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al—Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face he cursed her . . . (Muslim no. 4206)

The Prophet prayed over her dead body and then buried her. Truthfully, though, how effective was the prayer when Muhammad and his community murdered her in cold blood? The rest of the hadith says that Muhammad told Khalid not to be too harsh, but the Prophet’s words drip with irony. Perhaps Muhammad meant that Khalid should not have cursed her. However, if they really did not want to be harsh, they should have forgiven her and let her go to raise her child.

Later Islamic legal rulings follow the Quran and the hadith closely, so we do not need to analyze them here.

Here is the back—up article that supports this fourth reason.

3. Islam orders death for Muslim and possible death for non—Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Quran and even sharia itself.

In 1989, Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a fatwa (legal decree) to assassinate Salman Rushdie, a novelist, who wrote Satanic Verses, which includes questions about the angel Gabriel’s role in inspiring the Quran. Now the extremists in the highest levels in Iran have recently renewed the fatwa.

In 2005, The Muslim Council of Victoria, Australia, brought a lawsuit against two pastors for holding a conference and posting articles critiquing Islam. Three Muslims attended the conference and felt offended. The two pastors have been convicted based on Australia’s vilification law. While on trial, one of them wanted to read from the Quran on domestic violence (see 9, above), but the lawyer representing the Council would not allow it. The pastors are appealing their conviction.

In 2005, British Muslims have been campaigning to pass a religious hate speech law in England’s parliament. They have succeeded. Their ability to propagandize has not been curtailed. Opponents of the law say that it stifles free speech that may criticize Muhammad, the Quran, and Islam.

Here are the classical legal rulings.

First, the Muslim deserves death for doing any of the following (Reliance of the Traveler pp. 597—98, o8.7):

(1) Reviling Allah or his Messenger; (2) being sarcastic about ‘Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat'; (3) denying any verse of the Quran or ‘anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it'; (4) holding that ‘any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent'; (5) reviling the religion of Islam; (6) being sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law; (7) denying that Allah intended ‘the Prophet’s message . . . to be the religion followed by the entire world.’

It is no wonder that critical investigation of the truth claims of Islam can never prevail in Islamic lands when the sword of Muhammad hangs over the scholars’ head.

The non—Muslims living under Islamic rule are not allowed to do the following (p. 609, o11.10(1)—(5)):

(1) Commit adultery with a Muslim woman or marry her; (2) conceal spies of hostile forces; (3) lead a Muslim away from Islam; (4) mention something impermissible  about Allah, the Prophet . . . or Islam.

According to the discretion of the caliph or his representative, the punishments for violating these rules are as follows: (1) death, (2) enslavement, (3) release without paying anything, and (4) ransoming in exchange for money. These punishments also execute free speech—even repulsive speech—and freedom of religion or conscience.

Ultimately, censorship testifies to a lack of confidence in one’s position and message. If the message of Islam were truly superior, one could trust in the power of truth. As it stands, sharia with its prescribed punishments for questioning Muhammad, the Quran, and sharia itself testifies to their weakness since sharia threatens those who dare to differ.

How confident was Muhammad (and today’s Muslims) in his message that he had to rely on violence and force to protect his message, besides reason and persuasive argumentation?

For the supporting article that analyzes the Quran and the hadith, both of which orders death to critics, click here.

2. Islam orders apostates to be killed.

In Iran an academic was condemned to death for criticizing clerical rule in Iran. The rulers assert that he was insulting Muhammad and Shi’ite laws. He was charged with apostasy.

This analysis tracks the application of apostasy laws around the world, citing many examples.

Apostates are those who leave Islam, like Salman Rushdie (see the linked article in no. three, above), whether they become atheists or convert to another religion. They are supposed to be killed according to the Quran, the hadith, and later legal rulings.

See the previous point no. three for acts that entail leaving Islam according to Islamic law.

Here are the articles that support reason no. two.

This is a short, but full article on apostasy, citing Quranic verses and hadith passages.

Sayyid Maududi, a respected Islamic scholar, in this booklet argues that Sura 9:11—12 refers to apostates and that they should be put to death (scroll down to ‘The Proof in the Quran for the Commandment to Execute Apostates’).

This Muslim website has an overview of Islam on apostates. They should be given time to repent, but if they refuse, they must be killed.

And the number one reason why sharia is bad for all societies . . .

1. Islam commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad.

Muhammad is foundational to Islam, and he set the genetic code for Islam, waging war. In the ten years that he lived in Medina from his Hijrah (Emigration) from Mecca in AD 622 to his death of a fever in AD 632, he either sent out or went out on seventy—four raids, expeditions, or full—scale wars. They range from small assassination hit squads to kill anyone who insulted him, to the Tabuk Crusades in late AD 630 against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a rumor that an army was mobilizing to invade Arabia, but the rumor was false, so his 30,000 jihadists returned home, but not before imposing a jizya tax on northern Christians and Jews.

Money flowed into the Islamic treasury. So why would Muhammad get a revelation to dry up this money flow?

What are some of the legalized rules of jihad found in the Quran, hadith, and classical legal opinions?

(1) Women and children are enslaved. They can either be sold, or the Muslims may ‘marry’ the women, since their marriages are automatically annulled upon their capture. (2) Jihadists may have sex with slave women. Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son—in—law, did this. (3) Women and children must not be killed during war, unless this happens in a nighttime raid when visibility was low. (4) Old men and monks could be killed. (5) A captured enemy of war could be killed, enslaved, ransomed for money or an exchange, freely released, or beaten. One time Muhammad even tortured a citizen of the city of Khaybar in order to extract information about where the wealth of the city was hidden. (6) Enemy men who converted could keep their property and small children. This law is so excessive that it amounts to forced conversion. Only the strongest of the strong could resist this coercion and remain a non—Muslim. (7) Civilian property may be confiscated. (8) Civilian homes may be destroyed. (9) Civilian fruit trees may be destroyed. (10) Pagan Arabs had to convert or die. This does not allow for the freedom of religion or conscience. (11) People of the Book (Jews and Christians) had three options (Sura 9:29): fight and die; convert and pay a forced ‘charity’ or zakat tax; or keep their Biblical faith and pay a jizya or poll tax. The last two options mean that money flows into the Islamic treasury, so why would Muhammad receive a revelation to dry up this money flow?

Thus, jihad is aggressive, coercive, and excessive, and Allah never revealed to Muhammad to stop these practices.

For an analysis of the Christian Crusades and the Islamic Crusades, click here.

For the supporting article of reason no. one, please go here.  It also has a segment on the differences between jihad in Islam and the wars in the Old Testament. Another article on that topic can be read here.   There are vast differences between Islam and Judaism on this topic.

Therefore, Islam is violent—unjustly and aggressively.

Conclusion

The nightmare must end. Sharia oppresses the citizens of Islamic countries. Islam must reform, but the legal hierarchy in Islamic nations will not do this because the judges and legal scholars understand the cost: many passages in the Quran and the hadith must be rejected, and this they cannot do. After all, the Quran came down directly from Allah through Gabriel, so says traditional theology. So how can Islam reform? But reform it must. It can start by rewriting classical fiqh (interpretations of law). Again, though, that would mean leaving behind the Quran and Muhammad’s example. How can the legal hierarchy in Islamic nations do this?

In contrast, the West has undergone the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason (c. 1600—1800+), so western law has been injected with a heavy dose of reason. Also, the New Testament tempers excessive punishments. At least when Christianity reformed (c. 1400—1600), the reformers went back to the New Testament, which preaches peace and love. So religion and reason in the West permit justice to be found more readily—the Medieval Church is not foundational to Christianity; only Jesus and the New Testament are.

Can Islamic countries benefit from an Enlightenment that may deny the Quran and the hadith? This seems impossible. Islamic law threatens Muslims with death if they criticize Muhammad and the Quran, not to mention denying them.

Since Islamic law cannot be reformed without doing serious damage to original and authentic Islam—the one taught by Muhammad—then a second plan must be played out. Sharia must never spread around the world. At least that much is clear and achievable. The hard evidence in this article demonstrates beyond doubt that sharia does not benefit any society, for it contains too many harsh rules and punishments.

One of the most tragic and under—reported occurrences in the West in recent years is the existence of a sharia court in Canada.  Muslims are pushing for a sharia divorce courting Australia as well. Having a court of arbitration if it is based on western law and legal theory is legitimate, but sharia does not hold to this standard. Whether sharia is imposed gradually or rapidly, Canada should promptly shut down any sharia court, and Australia should never allow one. Such a court should never be permitted in the US, the rest of the West, or anywhere else in the world that is battling Islam.

It is true that the Enlightenment teaches tolerance, but it also teaches critical thinking and reasoning. Sharia cannot stand up under scrutiny. It is intolerant and excessive, and Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics teaches the West that excess is never just.

Thankfully, the province of Quebec, Canada, has forbidden sharia. This is the right initiative.

Sharia ultimately degrades society and diminishes freedom.

James M. Arlandson may be reached at jamesmarlandson@hotmail.com

Supplemental material:

In private emails to me or on websites, Muslim apologists (defenders) claim that the Islamic way of dealing with vices is superior to the western way, even in Islam’s punishments like flogging and stoning. It is true that the West is filled with decadence, but are Islamic countries pure and pristine through and through, as these Muslim apologists imply? To anyone whose mind has not been clouded by a lifetime of devotion to Islam, the answer to this rhetorical question is obvious. Alcohol and other intoxicants and gambling serve as test cases.

This article says that Bahrain, an island and independent sate that is connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway, provides a ‘breathing lung’ for Saudis because this Islamic island allows the free flow of alcohol and a night life. The words ‘breathing lung’ in Bahrain mean that Saudi Arabia suffocates people. On the weekends an average of 40,000 cars line up to cross the bridge.

This article discusses the smuggling of alcohol in Saudi Arabia and says:

“Western analysts note that alcohol smuggling of the magnitude underway in Saudi Arabia —— perhaps tens of millions of dollars’ worth of illegal merchandise annually —— would likely involve the complicity of Saudi customs agents and perhaps a higher—level patron.”

This article reveals how Iranians get around the official ban on alcohol, like beer and vodka and other intoxicants, like opium. A black market has sprung up—just like the one in America during Prohibition.

This article says that even though the Taliban, the tyrants who formerly ruled Afghanistan, outlawed the growth of poppies, which are the source of opium, the leaders of the Taliban may have profited from the drug trade. The new and democratic government has a hard time keeping this drug under control.

This article says that authorities in Turkey threaten to imprison online gamblers, and this page links to a report (scroll to the second one) that discusses how Turkey must deal with the problem of monetary interest, alcohol, and gambling. It is revealing to see how Muslim religious leaders try to squirm out of Quranic laws against interest, in order to help Islamic financial institutions make money.

The purpose of these links is not to condemn Islamic countries or to assert that the West is better than they are. Facts say that the West has many problems. Rather, the purpose is to demonstrate that Islamic countries have their share of problems as well. This means that Islamic countries are also decadent. This means that Islamic punishments do not work entirely (except by scare tactics), but they can drive the sin or crime underground. American Thinker

Related story:

Are all Cultures Equal? @ http://worldmonitor.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/are-all-cultures-equal/

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** Guardians of virginity

The guardians of virginity are raping the daughters of Iran

Tarek Fateh – July 22, 2009 

National Post – Canada

When the Prague Spring failed in 1968, few people believed that the seeds of dissent that had been crushed under the weight of Soviet tanks would blossom 20 years later to bring about the demise of the U. S. S. R. itself. A similar summer of discontent and rebellion has blossomed in Tehran in 2009, and I would venture to say that, this time around, it will not take two decades for the ossified state structure to come crashing down.

The reason: This time, it is the mothers and daughters of Iran who have rebelled against the Islamic Republic of Iran and have come out in the streets to lead the men.

For 30 years, an entire nation has been subjected to imprisonment, torture, murder and — unnoticed by the world — the institutional rape of its daughters, all in the name of Islam. No other dictatorial society, not even the Saudis, have used rape as a tool of subjugation as the Iranian ruling ayatollahs have. Perversely,… it has been dressed up as an act of piety and religiosity. 

This truth is beginning to come out in the open. 

A serving member of the Iranian vigilante Basiji militia reportedly has told Sabina Amidi, a freelance reporter for the Jerusalem Post, about his enforced participation in the rape of young Iranian girls prior to their execution. 

 The Basiji enforcer disclosed that the practice was justified by his superiors under the dubious proposition that, under sharia law, “it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin.” 

To circumvent this, Amidi’s source reports, the mullahs would arrange a forced wedding of the young girls to prison guards on the night before the execution.

“The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard — essentially raped by her ‘husband.’ “

The report has not been verified. But those of us who long have followed the harrowing tales coming out of Iran find it entirely credible. Indeed, there are many precedents, as described below. But we also know that this story will be labelled as one more attempt by the “Zionists” to portray Iran in a bad light. This one-size-fits-all accusation has silenced numerous critics of the Iranian regime. 

In the early days of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the rape-execution of young Iranian democracy activists was rampant. Let me introduce to you, for instance, Soraya Abolfathi, who was only 20-years old when she was picked up by Iranian Revolutionary Guards for participating in a demonstration against Ayatollah Khomeni on August 19, 1981.

She was taken to Tabriz prison where, during her 34-day detention, she was tortured repeatedly to pressure her to give up her friends. She refused. On Sept. 28, 1981, she was executed by a firing squad. However, it is believed the night before her death, she was forcibly wed to a mullah in a “pleasure marriage,” the ensuing act of rape serving to ensure she did not die a virgin. 

Virgins, the mullahs believe, are guaranteed a place in paradise, and raping young girls ensures they go to hell. 

The systemic nature of Iran’s use of rape as an instrument of punishment is repugnant. Yet amazingly, the Iranian regime has supporters here in Canada–even within the same left-wing and feminist groups that can be relied on to stand up for women’s rights whenever they are endangered in the West. 

They should know better. It is not just Iranian women who have been raped and killed at the hands of Iran’s murderous regime. One of our own endured this indignity, yet few are willing to speak out.

 I am talking about Zahra Kazemi a Canadian photojournalist who was arrested, tortured, raped and then murdered by the mullahs, yet is forgotten conveniently by all those who say it is their business to speak against rape as an instrument of war. 

Within the Muslim community, there was an absolute denial of what happened to Kazemi. On a TV show, for instance, a vice-president of the Canadian Arab Federation seemed to apologize for the Iranian regime, strenuously denying that she was raped. This despite the fact that Shahram Azam, a former military staff physician stated that he had examined Kazemi’s body and observed that Kazemi showed obvious signs of brutal rape and torture, including a skull fracture, broken nose, crushed toe, missing fingernails, and broken fingers. 

It seems the women of Iran have had it with the mullahs. It is time for all Canadians to come out and stand with their sisters, for history will judge them harshly if the freedom they seek for themselves, they deny to the daughters of Iran. 

Canadian Honour Killings @ http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1821919

http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=1814569

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** Friendliest Countries

World’s Friendliest Countries
David Sutton
Forbes.com
 
The country that once welcomed the tired, poor, huddled masses is now asking for a little reciprocation. And Canada,Germany and Australia are heeding the call.
 
They top a list of the countries most welcoming to expats. There, relocators have a relatively easy time befriending locals, joining a local community group and learning the local language.

 

 
Canada is the most welcoming; almost 95% of respondents to HSBC Bank International’s Expat Exploreer Survey, released today, said they have made friends with locals. In Germany, 92% were so lucky and in Australia 91% befriended those living there.
 
The United Arab Emirates was found to be the most difficult for expats; only 54% of those surveyed said they’d made friends with locals.
 
 
Country: 1. Canada
 
 
Country: 2. Germany
 
 
Country: 3, Australia
 
 
Country: 4. U.K.
 
 
Country: 5. India
 
 
Country: 6. U.S.
 
 
Country: 7. Hong Kong (Tied with Spain)
 
 
Country: 7. Spain( Tied with Hong Kong)
 
 
Country: 9. France
 
 
Country: 10. Netherlands 
 
Complete  story at:
   

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** China Stealing U.S. Data

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/nov2008/db20081121_440892.htm

China Stealing U.S. Computer Data, Says Commission

By Keith Epstein , Business Week

The top 10 U.S. defense contractors are said to be victims of cyber-espionage through Chinese “penetration of their unclassified networks”

A congressionally created commission has warned that China is stealing vast amounts of sensitive information from government and corporate computer networks in the U.S., including those of the nation’s top defense contractors. This theft is part of China’s preparation to outmaneuver the U.S. electronically in any future conflict, according to the bipartisan U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission.

The panel, established eight years ago, said in its annual report, released on Nov. 20: “China is targeting U.S. government and commercial computers for espionage.”

The 10 most prominent U.S. defense contractors are believed to have been “victims of cyber-espionage through penetrations of their unclassified networks,” the report said. Among them: Raytheon (RTN), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Boeing (BA), and Northrop Grumman (NOC).

The commission used its own analysts and investigators to compile information on data theft, based on input from defense, military, and intelligence agencies and specialists. Its findings echo the themes of several recent articles in BusinessWeek, which over the past 11 months has published a series on high-tech security threats to U.S. weapons systems and government and defense industry computer networks. The three main installments in the BusinessWeek series were based on previously undisclosed documents and interviews with more than 100 current and former government employees, defense industry executives, and people with ties to U.S. military, space, and intelligence agencies. They are: E-spionage (BusinessWeek, 4/10/08), () Dangerous Fakes (BusinessWeek, 10/2/08), and The Taking of NASA’s Secrets (BusinessWeek, 11/20/08).

Spying on NASA

In its report, the China security commission examined the implications of China’s pursuit of dominance in cyberspace and outer space. The panel asserted that the Chinese have sought both military secrets from U.S. government networks and lucrative proprietary information from American corporations. The advantage that China has gained from this espionage could reduce current U.S. conventional military dominance in any future conflict, the commission said.

An example of Chinese espionage cited in the report involves an incident in 2005 in which Chinese cyber-burglars downloaded files about the propulsion system, fuel tanks, and solar panels of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, an incident with details similar to those described in the BusinessWeek story on secrets stolen from NASA.

The report accused China of “rationalizing” its behavior while “devising unique interpretations” of treaties. That development by China, the report said, “coupled with its military modernization, its development of impressive but disturbing capabilities for military use of space and cyber warfare, and its demonstrated employment of those capabilities, suggest China is intent on expanding its sphere of control even at the expense of its Asian neighbors and the United States.”

China, meanwhile, steadfastly denies engaging in any cyber-espionage or attempting to use cyberspace for military advantage. China’s Xinhua News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Nov. 21 as calling the commission’s report “unworthy of rebuttal.” Qin said the commission “always sees China through distorted color spectacles, and intentionally creates obstacles for China-U.S. cooperation” by “smearing China deliberately and misleading the general public.”

China Needs Natural Resources, Too

While the Chinese government had no immediate response to a BusinessWeek request for comment, Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, had earlier said about the magazine’s stories: “China will never do anything to harm the sovereignty or security of other countries. The Chinese government has never employed, nor will it employ, so-called civilian hackers in collecting information or intelligence of other countries.”

The U.S. commission predicted that China’s cyber-activities “quite possibly will be exacerbated by China’s growing need for natural resources to support its population and economy that it cannot obtain domestically. The United States should watch these trends closely and act to protect its interests.”

Specifically, the commission urged Congress to spend more money to protect the nation’s critical computer systems, and to monitor intrusions from abroad. It also recommends that Congress “assess the security and integrity of the supply chain for computer equipment” used in government and contractor networks, and spend more to buy “from trustworthy sources.”

Another worry: the global supply chain for telecommunications items and electronic components manufactured in China. “At least in theory, this equipment is vulnerable to tampering by Chinese security services, such as implanting malicious code that could be remotely activated on command and place U.S. systems or the data they contain at risk of destruction or manipulation,” the report said. It cited the Oct. 13 Dangerous Fakes BusinessWeek cover story that described how hazardous counterfeits are ending up in U.S. military planes and other weapon systems. The commission pointed to a recent incident in which hundreds of counterfeit routers made in China were discovered in active use throughout the Defense Dept.

Epstein is a correspondent in BusinessWeek‘s Washington bureau.

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** Secret about Kashmir

The Little Secret about Kashmir
 
There is a little-known secret of South Asia. You ought to know this one if you want to understand the escalating religious conflict in Kashmir, pitting two new nuclear-armed nations – secular India and Islamic Pakistan – against each other.
 
This is the secret: from every newly-formed Muslim majority area of South Asia – without exception – including Pakistan, Bangladesh and in India’s own Kashmir, non-Muslims have been massively cleansed and driven to Hindu-majority India.
 
It is for the above reason that Pakistan is at least 97% Muslim and India is at least 15% Muslim.
 
Besides implying the inability to co-exist, it may be reasonable to interpret these data as a form of conquest in the name of Islam.
 
The scary part is that the religion-based passion for conquest never stops!
Muslim-concentrated areas in nearby non-Muslim lands are singled out for further conquest. We now have documented evidence that a long-term and systematic funding process was put in place to indoctrinate the Muslim majority in Indian Kashmir to develop hatred toward their Indian nation, to identify with pan-Islamic aspirations, and to sponsor armed insurgencies.
 
While Pakistan and just about all Muslim nations support “self-determination” of Muslims in Indian Kashmir, they are deafeningly silent in acknowledging that the portion of Kashmir Pakistan holds is almost devoid of non-Muslims.
 
Also conveniently unspoken is the complicity of the Kashmiri Muslims in driving out over 300,000 non-Muslim Kashmiris to the rest of India and the religious apartheid practices of the ruling Muslim Kashmiris over the non-Muslim subjects within the state.
 
Seen in the appropriate context, the claims of “self-determination” of Muslim majority Kashmir from India is an all too clever prescription for conquering more land at the expense of non-Muslims, by attaching the land of Kashmir to Islamic Pakistan.
 
Is it not ironic that Pakistan would want more land from India when it owes India significant portion of its real estate as a compensation for having driven out its non-Muslim population to India?
 
India has had to absorb the non-Muslims driven away from Pakistan’s Kashmir without a murmur or two.
 
Disgruntled Indian Kashmiri Muslims who want to live in an Islamic state have a land next-door; it is called Pakistan.
 
The beleaguered secular Indian state which gave even more rights and generous subsidies to Muslim-majority Kashmir has been successfully portrayed as an “occupier” of Muslim lands and an “oppressor” of Muslims.
 
The die has been cast.
 
Indoctrination and recruitment of Muslims for terror has now extended into the Indian heartland with devastating consequences. At this rate, capital flight is inevitable and so is the systematic destruction of the Indian economy.
 
A slower version of the Darfur-like situation is indeed developing in India.
Thanks to subsidies and the high cost of fighting terror, Indian Kashmiri Muslim children do not die of malnutrition. But children in the rest of India do – about 6,000 of them every day! Even sub-Saharan African states are no worse than India when it comes to malnourishment of their children.
 
The excitement of a resurgent India is fast getting replaced with a nation that is undeservedly on its way to becoming a graveyard of tens of millions malnourished children and their parents forever trapped in grinding poverty.
 
These little Indians deserve to live – and that alone is a moral high ground India can rely on to resolutely fight back without ceding any more land to the agents of conquest.
 
Moorthy Muthuswamy is author of the forthcoming book: “Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.”

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