Thursday, January 28, 2016

Robert Morningstar does something disgusting

        Robert Morningstar, a self-described "civilian intelligence analyst," has made many errors in reporting what he thinks are facts, as this blog has pointed out here, here, and here (I could go on.) Two days ago he excelled every previous outlier in both mis-reporting and bad taste.

        Morningstar is a propagandist for the ultra-right in US politics, and also for the rising resistance against the spread of Islam. On 26 January he posted this on Facebook:
"Islam is certainly NOT a "religion of peace" as Obama professes and pontificates. Islam is a religion of pieces of human beings, left scattered, with many other victims maimed across the world in the Name of Allah, the merciless and despicable, a demonic deity who demands and condones subhuman barbarity and depravity such as this."
         Immediately underneath this text was a picture which I am not going to reproduce, but I'll describe it. It shows a decapitated young woman in stark, horrific detail. She's dressed in a black bra and figure-hugging denim trousers. Her severed head lies about a foot from her body, and she is lying in a lake of blood. There also appears to be a stab wound in her chest.

        Barbarity and depravity indeed. The problem with this as anti-Islamic propaganda is that it has nothing to do with Islam. The victim is Patricia Pereira da Silva, a Brazilian who was killed by her jealous boyfriend, Renato Guilherme Silva, after he caught her posting photos to another man on WhatsApp. It happened last Spring in the State of Pernambuco, in a village called Angelito Agreste.

        What can be said about a man who would use such a revolting picture so dishonestly? His own words "despicable" and "depravity" are pretty good for a start. I suggest that this outrage has stripped everything he has ever said and written, plus everything he will ever say and write in future, of any credibility.


Chris Lopes said...

This is more an instance of laziness than dishonesty. If he'd made the effort, I'm sure he could have come up with plenty of visual documentation of brutality by people at least pretending to be inspired by Islam. The fact that such people may have even less an idea of the true nature of Islam than Morningstar does is besides the point.

Of course Isis (a group so batty even the folks who gave us 9/11 think they're nuts) doesn't represent Islam any more than the Spanish Inquisition represents the Catholic church. Both groups used religion as a cover for brutality. But we ignore the religious nature of what is being done at our peril, as it is being used as a large part of their recruiting strategy.

What has to happen is that Islamic scholars must come forward and explain (loudly and clearly) why what is being done in the name of Islam is so far off the mark. The religious appeal of such groups must be taken away. Only the true believers of Islam can make that happen.

Dee said...

Chris, the Islam is a broad body of texts and interpretations. But it's not a religion where academic scholars have much credibility amongst its believers so they cannot represent it well. It would like liberal American political scientists standing up to apologize for wars initiated by Obama or Bush. Perhaps they did but it won't get much attention. That said, I think I've read enough coming from various religious leaders in the Islam harshly condemning the Daesh (as I rather call them). Another thing is to make the media stand up and notice.

As for the Spanish Inquisition, I do think your comparison is dead wrong here. First of all that Inquisition was initiated and directly controlled by a traditional, established monarchy, not some random group of fanatics. And despite the mythology and at times ruthless tactics, considering the context of a more brutal society, it might have been a relative benign institution, trying to re-instate control of the structures of monarchies and papacy. It's the way the game of thrones goes in all ages.

Instead, the Daesh are more like one of those sects the various Medieval Inquisitions tried to eradicate, as these groups were often hell bend on declaring self-rule, rejecting and opposing, challenging the status quo and world order of the Catholic institution, even if they wouldn't use military means but ideas. Therefore the Inquisitions could be called "anti-revolutionary" and best compared with the brutal bombing campaigns to eradicate the dangers of Daesh for a stable "world order" in that region. It's certainly not about any beheading of enemies of some state since Saudi Arabia does these even more and there's not even one sanction in place as some reaction to that.

Chris Lopes said...

My point was that one can not use the actions of some believers to define what a particular religion means. To use a more American example, many who called themselves Christian in the antebellum south were willing to use passages in the Bible to support the very unchristian idea of people owning other people. I would not want all of Christiandom to be judged by that. I suspect many Muslims feel the same way about ISIS.

Chris said...

Anyone can use chosen parts from their religion's holy texts to support their beliefs or activities. In the same way anyone can use chosen images to support their beliefs about artifacts on Mars. Neither Islam nor Christianity are religions of peace, and, as Hitchens said, the things going on here are not in the name of any religion, they are the religion.

Thankfully they're on the decline and future humans many tens of generations out may look back at this time as a dark age of human understanding, where our early scientific discoveries were clouded by our much earlier attempts to explain the world around us and to justify our actions in it.

As for Yawningstar, he's just following the same pattern of question-begging ignorance as Bara. Believes something to be true, finds something that agrees, publishes it and decalres this to be evidence. He'd make an excellent religious disciple.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Most Muslims are no more devout than the majority of Christians. When they get together for religious holidays, it's like, 'Okay, so when do we eat?' The Jihadis, however do, in fact, represent the true Islam, as explicitly detailed in the Koran.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

It's too bad Russia can't secure at least one city in Syria where the refugees can be safe in their home country. Why is Germany taking in so many refugees? Germany isn't fighting in Syria. Most natural born Germans don't want the refugees in Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel unilaterally admits the refugees without popular support. Merkel isn't a natural born German, however; she's East German, raised in the Soviet Union under Communism. Her actions will lead to the destruction of the German economy, which will subsequently destroy the economy of the European Union. Who does this benefit, if not Russia? A fair comparison could be made between the Jihadis, and Stalin's "Useful Idiots".