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Rep. Allen West recently gave an awesome speech to the Center for Security Policy.

While it seems that our media can only focus on one “crisis” at a time, Allen West never takes his eye off of all the threats to U.S. national security.

No teleprompter, you’ll notice. The man is a walking encyclopedia, and he can communicate.

What Paul Ryan does for budget issues, Allen West does for national security.

Hat Tip: Big Peace

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What exactly is the nature of Islam?

Specifically:

  • Is Islam itself evil — or only certain interpretations of it?
  • Can Islam be reformed — or is that impossible by its very nature?
  • Should we encourage “moderate” Muslims — or is that just wasted effort?

Ever since 9/11, Americans have been asking themselves these questions.

Christians often ask an additional question:

  • Is it worthwhile, or even morally right, for the Church to “dialogue” with Muslims — or should all our effort be focused on converting them?

Personally, I’ve gone back and forth on these questions more times than Barack Obama’s head goes back and forth when he gives a speech. As a Christian, and particularly as a Catholic, I feel like I get mixed messages from Scripture, history, Church teaching, and reason. Christians from St. Thomas Aquinas to C.S. Lewis, and all the way back to St. Paul (see Romans 1:19-20; Acts 17:22-28), have explained that God reveals Himself even to those who have never heard the name of Jesus, and that glimmerings of truth exist within other religions. In the words of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II declaration on the relationship of the Church to non-Christian religions,

The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. [emphasis mine]

Of Muslims (note: Muslim persons, not Islam itself) the document states:

The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth….

On the other hand, St. Paul said to “test the spirits” to discern whether they’re good or evil, and Jesus said we can judge a tree by its fruit.

Roy H. Schoeman, a Jewish Catholic, in his book Salvation Is from the Jews, has this to say about Islam:

[Satan] has one goal — to deprive man of salvation, of eternal happiness — and one of the ways to achieve that is through the propagation of false religion, the primary victims of which are its own adherents…. Of all the major religions of the world, only Islam arose after God’s full revelation of Himself to man in His incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ…. Only Islam’s revelation came after Christ, aware of Christianity yet contradicting it. Hence one must ask what the source of the revelation was — was it of human or of supernatural origin? If of supernatural origin, did it come from God or from fallen spirits?… One must ask just what spiritual entity lies behind the revelation of Islam. [pp. 295-300]

And yet… I believe that beauty is one of God’s attributes, and I have personally seen and heard things within Islam that are stunningly beautiful — Sufi dancing (in which I have even participated), the poetry of Rumi, the goosebump-inducing sound of certain Muslim melodies.

On the other hand, when I tried to read the Qur’an for myself, I had to stop, because it so disgusted and outraged me that I could not continue. It’s as if someone tore all the pages out of the Bible, discarded 90% of them, put the remaining 10% through a shredder, cut and pasted the shreds together randomly, then tried to cover the ugliness of the pastiche by throwing a lot of overly flowery language over it. But that’s just my subjective opinion. If we want to stick to more objective criteria, we can look at the statistics on the cold, hard facts of life in Islamic countries, such as clitorectomy, polygamy, burqas, honor killings, forced child marriages, wife-beating, domestic imprisonment, acid attacks, gang rapes, and other cruelties toward Muslim women and girls.

So… Is Islam the direct work of the devil, and was Muhammad possessed by demons? Or, is Islam merely a very faulty instrument through which God in His omnipotence and mercy can nevertheless reach people — the way a cheap toy flute, with misspaced holes and flimsy keys, might still make music in the hands of a master?

Should Western Christians band together with virtuous atheists, such as the late Oriana Fallaci, to fight the anti-human cult of Islam? Or, should we join forces with Muslims of goodwill in order to combat what may be the even greater evil of secularism, what Pope Benedict XVI termed the “dictatorship of relativism”?

Can Islam be reformed and made compatible with the modern world of progress, liberty and individual rights? Or, is it inherently unreformable?

To stage a debate on that last question, you’d be hard-pressed to find two more qualified and articulate principals than the two men you’ll see in the video below.

For the affirmative, we have Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who is, hands down, my favorite Muslim in public life. He’s earnest, likable, accomplished, patriotic, has integrity and goodwill, and is engagingly smart and articulate. A medical doctor and formerly an officer in the U.S. Navy, Jasser is founder and head of a group called the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), whose goal is genuine Islamic reformation. He has started programs to inculcate young Muslim Americans with the principles of our Founding Fathers, a love of liberty, and commitment to the Constitutional rule of law, and separation of mosque and state.

If you can’t watch the whole debate, try to at least watch from the 5:10 mark to the 10:20 mark, which is the first segment in which Dr. Jasser comments. If you’ve never seen Jasser interviewed or read his articles, you owe it to yourself to hear his views, for he is an entirely different breed from the duplicitous, seditious CAIR types who dominate the discussion of Islam in our media. I don’t agree with everything Jasser says, but I appreciate having his perspective; he makes me think. I believe he is completely sincere — which makes him a very brave man.

On the other side is Dr. Robert Spencer, head of Jihad Watch, co-founder of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), and one of my longtime personal heroes — right up there with Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, all of whom face constant death threats because of their leadership in the fight to defend liberty and human rights against the creeping imposition of shariah all over the globe.

Moderating the discussion is Andrew McCarthy, author of Willful Blindness and The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. McCarthy headed the legal team that prosecuted and convicted Sheikh Abdel Rahman, “the blind sheikh,” who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. McCarthy knows more about Islam than 99% of Americans — but on the questions raised in my first paragraph, he freely admits he’s ambivalent. Introducing the debate topic, he says, “I’ve been having this argument with myself for about eighteen years!”

I’ll be honest. Although I, like McCarthy, am ambivalent, I mostly tend to think that, while countless individual Muslims are good people, Islam itself is an evil ideology, Muhammad was demonically possessed, and the Twelfth Imam in Iran is probably the Antichrist. There. I’ve said it.

But, if there is anyone who could make me doubt all that, it would be Zuhdi Jasser.

The debate took place on April 3 at a retreat sponsored by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Enjoy!

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYK3uicC%5D

UPDATE: Walid Shoebat, former Muslim, has given a lot of thought to this issue, particularly to Dr. Jasser’s arguments, which Shoebat rebuts in his piece “The Problem With Reforming Islam.”

Cross-posted at Creative Tension

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Many psychologists and pundits have commented, over the years, on Barack Obama’s aloofness, stiffness, weird sense of humor and apparent emotional disconnect from those he is supposed to be serving. In the last few days, this topic has again come to the fore, as many Americans have noted the rather strange discrepancy between Obama’s knowing, as of Friday, about the planned attack on Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, and the jolly, partying, normal (for him) way he spent the weekend — even having to be called in from the golf course on Sunday (after only nine holes!) to be present in the White House situation room to follow the unfolding events.

Frankly, though, nothing ever surprises me about Obama’s “emotional disconnect” — because way back, in the fall of 2008, I saw this:
[Click on image to see video]

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What an amazing package is the Congressman from Wisconsin’s 1st District. Paul Ryan not only is a master of detail, he gets the Big Picture, too. Although he’s one of the sharpest minds on the Hill, he explains things so clearly that even those of us who don’t know the difference between a 401k and a 401(c)3 can understand. He’s as serious as death about the economic trainwreck we’re heading toward — yet radiates the optimism of the little engine that could.

Paul Ryan, unlike so many in Washington, is a grown-up. What’s more, he has enough respect for his fellow citizens to treat us as grown-ups, too: of course we’ll be wanting all the facts, however unpleasant they may be; of course we want to face our problems and deal with them intelligently.

Here he is in action. It would be a brilliant performance from anybody else — but for Paul Ryan, it’s just a brief interlude in another day’s work.

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Wow. This video reminds me once again why so many of us have such high hopes for Allen West. The way his mind works, the way he holds himself, the way he expresses things — all are amazing to behold.

Via Weasel Zippers, a clip from the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the implementation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:

Out of all the dignitaries in that room, which one exudes the most self-possession and strength? Which one inspires the most confidence?

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Just to be clear:  This blog, West for the West, is NOT authorized by Allen West. I am a woman in Kansas who supports Allen West, and I have never had any contact whatsoever with Allen West or anyone on his staff.

With that little reminder out of the way, let’s move on to today’s post.

This video (in two parts) has been raging like wildfire across the Internet for a week. I apologize for being late.

But I’m a firm believer in “better late than never” — and if you haven’t seen it yet, it would be a crime of negligence for me not to post it.

 

I picked up the video over at Michelle Obama’s Mirror, to which you might want to pay a visit. Her background and comments on the video are great. I also recommend a visit to the YouTube channel of Ann Barnhardt herself.  What an amazing, awesome lady.

We are turning a corner, folks. Just as we’ve changed the budget narrative from spending to cutting, we are now changing the narrative regarding Islam from one of “tolerance” to one of wholehearted resistance. Just as the public has finally seen the real, snarling face of public-sector unions,  people are finally waking up to see the real, murderous face of Islam.

The face of the resistance? Ann Barnhardt.

Hat tip: Dewey from Detroit at RedState

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I’ve got goosebumps from this video.

In it, we see a young woman do to Bill Ayers what Andrew Breitbart does to leftist demonstrators.

She takes him down with two simple things:  questions and facts.

Appropriately enough, it comes courtesy of Breitbart TV:

* * *

Call this Lesson 2 in “How Republicans Can Stop Being the Party of Stupid and Start Being the Party of Git-r-done!” (Lesson 1 being, of course, this.)

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