More information on the “Sharia lashing”.
It is now believed that unpaid debts, not alcohol consumption, was the reason for the lashing.
“A MUSLIM man who once called Osama bin Laden a ”soldier of God” participated in a brutal flogging of a man to impose his religious beliefs and his standing in the Islamic community, police have alleged in court…”
“Muslim groups condemned the attack, saying it was misguided if motivated by sharia law. Kuranda Seyit, the executive director of the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations, said it condemned criminal actions in the name of religion.
” ‘Anyone who takes the law into their own hands will be dealt with by the Australian judicial system,” he said. ”If these men did what is alleged, then they have no understanding of sharia and should be discouraged.’ ”
Well, that’s good to hear. I do think that Muslims are supposed to abide by the laws of the non-Muslim lands that they are living in. (But I also think they are supposed to try to get the laws changed as much as possible to coincide with Sharia, at the very least for their own community.)
But whether this crime of lashing was committed as retribution for not paying debts, or as a Sharia punishment for breaking the Islamic rule against drinking (which I consider to be the more evil of the two motivations), it is a bizarre and serious criminal assault, and it sounds like the police are taking it seriously, as they should.
Why do I consider the religious motivation to be the more evil possibility? Because it is a violation of the victim’s rights for having made a personal decision that harms no one. Non-payment of debts is at least a violation of one’s ethical obligations and *is* harmful to one’s creditor. But there are legal ways to collect, and physical attack is not an option.
It’s also possible that the lashing was motivated by the combination of the unpaid debts and the fact that the guy had a few drinks with friends. Finding out that he’s out drinking like a kafir (and spending money on sin instead of saving money to pay his debts) might have been the ‘straw that broke the camels back’. Or maybe the guy is a drunk and behaves badly when drinking. As Prodos suggested to me yesterday, maybe while he was drinking he felt up somebody’s Muslim sister.
Anyhow, time will tell us more…
I am extremely interested to see what happens with this case – how the legal system deals with it, how local Muslims respond to it.
A recent convert to Islam (whose name allegedly is “Christian”, funnily enough), woke in his bedroom to find four Muslim men from his Mosque standing over him, and they proceeded to hold him down and lash him with an electrical cord for about half-an-hour.
One article says that “Representatives of Sydney’s Muslim community have condemned the attack.” But it doesn’t say who those representatives were or what they said about it.
This is the kind of thing that is alarming those Australians who worry about making any kind of concessions to Sharia law in the West. At present, some Muslims are asking for parts of Sharia to be allowed for Muslims in non-Muslim countries, such as parts of Sharia family law and Sharia finance. Some countries already allow this.
I need to do more research on the subject. But I’m leery of making concessions to Sharia. Proceed with caution.
It’s a worry that these four Muslim fellas felt free to mete out this punishment. I wonder if they’ve done this before to Muslims born to the religion, who would be less likely to rat on them to the police because of family pressures?
I am aware that not all Muslims in the modern world want to live under Sharia (but from what I’ve read of the primary books of Islam, that’s not very Muslim of them). What is likely to happen if your non-Muslim society has a growing number of the Sharia-upholding Muslims coming to live? People who believe they SHOULD be living under Sharia, and who are willing and ready to take Sharia law into their own hands and defy the law of the non-Muslim land for the sake of Allah? How long will they tolerate not being able to live under Allah’s laws? And will they just go home to a Sharia land, or keep trying to change things in the land of the kafir, bit by bit? If they don’t get their way, what will they do?
In the case at hand, will the law actually prosecute the four who flogged the newbie against his will? If so, will the radical Muslims use it as a test case to push for ‘multicultural’ and ‘tolerant’ bending of Australian law in this matter? Will the four – including the middle-aged man – get leniency because of the religious beliefs involved? Or will they be treated like any Australian who broke into someone’s house, held him down, and beat him with an electrical cord?
And if they are treated just like any other Australian, what will other Muslim radicals do? Will there be a publicly-viewable schism between the Sharia Muslims and their Westernized brethren over this case?
Below are my two sources for the lashing story.
Rob Tracinski comments on the Dodd-Frank finanacial reform bill.
Tracinski is not in favor of the bailouts or the “stimulus”, but points out that stimulus spending usually has a short-term success before the bubble it creates bursts – a success which isn’t happening. This article is his take on why it isn’t happening.
I’ll tell you what, the stimulus here in Australia isn’t doing much for the shops on the main shopping strip in our suburb of Richmond. So many shops are up for lease. So many businesses are closing down. I’m buying less, and yet my money is disappearing faster than ever. Is Australia making the same kind of errors as the USA? (Eh… I suppose some different kind of errors would suffice to screw up recovery.)
Aside from the above article by Tracinski, I’d also like to recommend a book I’ve recommended before, Thomas Sowell’s The Housing Boom and Bust. If you get the book, be sure it’s the one in the blue cover, not the yellow one. The blue one is the revised edition. It contains all the same information as the original edition, plus extra information that has come to light since the first was written.
If you believe the financial crisis was caused by a too-free market, you need to read Sowell’s book. And if you read it, you’ll see why I’m disgusted by any attempt by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd to pose as saviors of our economy, when they contributed so bloody damned much to the housing bubble that has exploded into such a friggin mess. These two guys either know nothing about how markets work, don’t care to know, and are merely opportunistic politicians, or they’re trying to undermine the economy.
My opinion: they pushed for the expansion of housing loans and bad policies out of political opportunism and economic ignorance, and now they’re trying to deflect attention from their own implication in the boom and bust.
I’ve been reading the blogs of Cubans who risk their freedom (or what they have of it) and physical well-being in order to put their thoughts into cyberspace. The best thing you can do to help keep these bloggers safe is to read their blogs and post on them, and tell others about them. Help to build an online following. One of the bloggers, Yoani Sanchez, writes:
“Link to the blogs and place them on the search engines or platforms where they can have greater visibility. Each person who reads us, protects us, so we need to strengthen the shield formed by readers and commentators.”
With that in mind, I offer these links:
Those are just a few of the blogs. Most of them have a list of other Cuban blogs down the right-hand side of the websites. It’s a fascinating and deeply moving world to explore. Better yet, we can help spread their fame and thus help keep them from serious harm while giving them a great sense of connection with the outside world. Let them know they aren’t risking beatings and prison for nothing – for speaking out to a world that doesn’t hear.
Have you happened to catch members of the media and some politicians making out that the “Tea Party” protesters are racist or are an “angry mob”?
If you’re firmly convinced that government botches up more than it heals when it steps outside its proper role as protector against fraud and against the initiation of physical force, you know very well that those Tea Parties have nothing to do with Obama being black or with any other racial concern. You know that the principles of individual liberty and of reducing government to that specific role is what the fuss is all about. It’s a color-blind issue. It just so happens that the president that is in charge of creating a raging deficit, pushing for giant bail-out funds and a “stimulus” package and attempting to entrench government even deeper into our medical system happens to be black.
What I care about is the status of my freedom in relation to those in power, whatever color they may be.
I’ve been convinced of my political principles for about 50 years, more or less, and as I questioned those principles and tested them over the years against my experience and my growing body of information, I have only become more firmly convinced than when I started.
Here’s a link to Rob Tracinski’s article entitled:
I couldn’t have put it better, myself.
At the link for the photos of Tea Party placards, I like Rob’s sign that says “Brother, you ain’t my keeper!”
I also especially like the ones that say: “Read the bills or get off ‘The Hill’.”
From the Objectivist Camp:
Is Rand Relevant? - by Yaron Brooke – March 14, 2009
“[Rand's] magnum opus, ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ is selling at a faster rate today than at any time during its 51-year history.
“There’s a reason. In ‘Atlas,’ Rand tells the story of the U.S. economy crumbling under the weight of crushing government interventions and regulations. Meanwhile, blaming greed and the free market, Washington responds with more controls that only deepen the crisis. Sound familiar?”
Who is to Blame? - Interview with Yaron Brooke
“What we need to do is really make the case to the American people—and I think it’s an easy case to make—that this is not a failure of free markets, this is not a failure of capitalism, but this is a failure of the exact opposite. It’s a failure of the regulatory state. ”
America’s Unfree Market - by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins
“Decades of “deregulation” and a “hands-off” approach to the financial industry, we are told, have unleashed Wall Street greed. The free market has proved itself incapable of policing the financial sector—a fact so obvious that even Greenspan, the alleged arch-defender of capitalism, could not deny it.”
Let Them Fail - By Amit Ghate
“… in a free market business failures are not just normal, they’re crucial for the best products and ideas to emerge. Most restaurants fail in their first three years because customers have other preferences. Many mom-and-pop grocers go out of business because Walmart offers better selection and lower prices. Even whole industries–think typewriters, 8-tracks and horses and buggies–vanish because new inventions and competitors arise.
“None of these failures are a problem, nor do they threaten the system. On the contrary, they are an inherent part of the progress which only capitalism makes possible.
“So why would failures in the financial industry be any different?”
Gerard Jackson writes about the economists that DID predict the Crash of 1929.
“…Yet 80 years later we are still being told that economics still failed to predict the Great Depression, despite the historical fact that a group of economists succeeded where the mainstream forecasters failed. Widespread ignorance of this fact among those who are paid to know better is an intellectual scandal.”
Whether it becomes internationally celebrated or is recognized for the travesty it is, Kevin Rudd’s 7700 word paper on the current economic crisis is a whacking dud, full of half-truths and falsehoods. Now it is propagating throughout the world.
What we need in this onslaught of stupendous economic erroneousness is ordinary-man-in-the-street-friendly analyses of what led to this crisis and what is needed to make it resolve as quickly and soundly as possible ( i.e., resolve quickly without using means that will backfire in the future).
We need analyses that avoid economic jargon where that jargon is unnecessary.
It should be thorough, with clear, unconfusing definitions of jargon where that jargon must be used.
It should take care not to leave gaping holes in explanations where the writer carelessly assumes his readers know something seemingly simple but crucial that he hasn’t explained.
It should be free and online.
And we need for these articles to be actively, urgently circulated. We need everyone who is on the side of economic (and other kinds of) liberty to rev up their motors and make sure that their friends and acquaintances are aware of these articles.
There are a number of excellent articles and even books online that explain free market economic principles (from an Austrian School perspective)well, and lots of articles that explain well what has happened to bring about the present economic distress and what should be done about it. Are they getting widely read? I don’t know. But I want to do my part to get them read.
If you know of articles that I have not listed that meet the above criteria, especially ones that even an intelligent high-school kid could understand without the author having to over-simplify – if you find articles even more thorough and clear than the ones below – please direct me to them!
Below I list some of the articles that I think are important reading, with excerpts. Some I have listed before.
The crisis we’re enduring is not the worst possible economic disater we could have. If people are convinced that it was free market capitalism and not ENOUGH government regulation that is the fundamental cause of our present trouble, and if governments act accordingly, this crisis could be prolonged for many years more than it would have lasted naturally. A lot of bad could come from that.
It is in the interest of every single person on earth that we understand the whole truth and nothing but the truth and get the solution right.
I am really worried.
$$$$$Free Market Thinkers on the Crisis$$$$$
The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis - October 21, 2008 – “The news media are in the process of creating a great new historical myth. This is the myth that our present financial crisis is the result of economic freedom and laissez-faire capitalism.”
The above is a long blog article by an Austrian School economist, with footnotes. I’ve posted it before.
I recommend George Reisman’s blog. Sometimes parts of his articles are a bit difficult (for me, at least), but well worth the effort.
Here’s his front page:
Recession and Recovery: Six Fundamental Errors of the Current Orthodoxy - 16 March 2009 – “…Most unfortunate have been the policy implications derived from this mode of thinking, above all the notion that the government can and should use fiscal and monetary policies to control the macroeconomy and stabilize its fluctuations. Despite having originated more than half a century ago, this view seems to be as vital in 2009 as it was in 1949. Let us consider briefly the six most egregious aspects of this unfortunate approach to understanding and dealing with economic booms and busts.”
(Brief commentary articles.)
False Solutions and Real Problems - March 17, 2009 – “What was the problem that didn’t exist? It was a national problem of unaffordable housing. The political crusade for affordable housing got into high gear in the 1990s and led to all kinds of changes in mortgage lending practices, which in turn led to a housing boom and bust that has left us in the mess we are now trying to dig out of…
“… where the problem was real, local politicians were the cause. National politicians then tried to depict this as a national problem that they would solve.”
Upside Down Economics - Feb. 18, 2009 – “Lawsuits were only part of the pressures put on lenders by government officials. Banks and other lenders are overseen by regulatory agencies and must go to those agencies for approval of many business decisions that other businesses make without needing anyone else’s approval.
“Government regulators refused to approve such decisions when a lender was under investigation for not producing satisfactory statistics on loans to low-income people or minorities.
“Under growing pressures from both the Clinton administration and later the George W. Bush administration, banks began to lower their lending standards. ”
‘Jolting’ the Economy - Nov. 25, 2008 - ” Many of those who have, over the years, praised the fact that this was the first time that the federal government took responsibility for trying to get the country out of a depression do not ask what seems like the logical follow-up question: Did this depression therefore end faster than other depressions where the government stood by and did nothing?
“The Great Depression of the 1930s was in fact the longest-lasting of all our depressions.”
A ‘Sound’ Economy - Nov. 4, 2008 - “You may be as sick as a dog from having eaten the wrong thing. But that does not mean that you need to have your arm amputated or to receive massive doses of morphine. In other words, your body may be perfectly sound— and radical medical treatment can do more lasting damage than your temporary suffering will. ”
Postponing reality – Dec. 17, 2008 – “Detroit and Michigan have followed classic liberal policies of treating businesses as prey, rather than as assets. They have helped kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. So have the unions. So have managements that have gone along to get along.”
Thomas Sowell’s front page: Thomas Sowell
For more articles addressing the economic crisis, please click the “Economics” link in the sidebar under “Categories”.
The Australian Government must be motivated to get people to eat at home and to kick a lot of restaurants off the face of the planet along with the entry-level jobs they provide. Prodos and I will probably not be holding our two weekly meetings anyplace but our own home if this plan goes ahead. Maybe we can get our participants to each bring a pot-luck dish…