How did the Hagia Sophia become a mosque?

How did the Hagia Sophia become a mosque? By Robert Spencer. Today’s history lesson, of relevance to today’s issues.

Today is the anniversary of an awesome tragedy. On May 29, 1453, Constantinople, once the greatest city in the Christian world, finally fell to the warriors of jihad, after they had tried to conquer it for seven hundred years.

In my new book The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS, I recount what happened then. Muslims raided monasteries and convents, emptying them of their inhabitants, and plundered private houses. They entered the Hagia Sophia, which for nearly a thousand years had been the grandest church in Christendom. The faithful had gathered within its hallowed walls to pray during the city’s last agony. The Muslims killed the elderly and weak and led the rest off into slavery.

The Hagia Sofia today

The Byzantine scholar Bessarion wrote to the Doge of Venice in July 1453, saying that Constantinople had been

…sacked by the most inhuman barbarians and the most savage enemies of the Christian faith, by the fiercest of wild beasts. The public treasure has been consumed, private wealth has been destroyed, the temples have been stripped of gold, silver, jewels, the relics of the saints, and other most precious ornaments. Men have been butchered like cattle, women abducted, virgins ravished, and children snatched from the arms of their parents.

Allahu Akbar:

When the slaughter and pillage was finished, Mehmet II ordered an Islamic scholar to mount the high pulpit of the Hagia Sophia and declare that there was no God but Allah, and Muhammad was his prophet. The magnificent old church was turned into a mosque; hundreds of other churches in Constantinople and elsewhere suffered the same fate. Millions of Christians joined the ranks of the dhimmis; others were enslaved, and many were killed.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

How philosopher Jordan Peterson will change the world

How philosopher Jordan Peterson will change the world, by The Hill.

Your first sign that something different is afoot: the event is immediately sold out. The second clue: scalpers want over $500 for rear orchestra seats, and over $1,000 for prime. Yes it’s New York. But this isn’t “Hamilton”. It’s a bloody lecture.

And when you get there, there isn’t just one line around the block — there are two, one running in either direction. The audience to this beyond-sold-out event is disproportionately male, many young. And in line you overhear references to Jung, identity politics, biology, responsibility, faith, Nietzsche, the importance of not lying, and Solzhenitsyn. Whoa. …

The Why is so obvious, but not if you’re PC:

If you’re a young man, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced socially-approved condescension, because, well, it’s all patriarchy and social injustice and men are privileged (unless they are also part of an approved minority or sexual/gender orientation).

Young men hear falsehoods peddled as “truths”: That the sexes are not only equal, they are the same in everything but reproductive organs, and that any differences between males and females are socially constructed. That their opinion on any issue of gender is inherently inferior due to their Y chromosomes. That they are implicitly biased, and must have this bias “trained” out of them.

Additionally, they have observed a movement, where emotions matter and facts don’t, that shuts down critical thought as unsafe, and silences debate through vilification.

They know these things are wrong. But they don’t know why. They are parched for understanding, hope, and purpose to their lives. And into that desert comes the clear water of Dr. Peterson. …

About Peterson:

His third atypical quality is exceptional humility. For Peterson, growth comes from constantly questioning himself, and being open to seeing another person’s point of view, even where the disagreements are profound. In consequence, for all the attempts to pigeonhole his beliefs, he can’t be neatly put on left or right, Christian or not. To him routine questions are complicated, and modesty is called for. …

People may not like what Jordan Peterson says, but he is hard to disagree with. He serves as a role model for many, teaching them that facts do matter, to not assume conventional wisdom is right, to not be simplistic, and that it is not intentions that matter, but consequences. …

Peterson is in part a font of self-help wisdom … but he is also a cultural force. He is the scourge of simplistic, pernicious pieties, including: bias and social oppression as the presumed causes of inequality of outcome, equality of outcome as an unquestioningly desirable and enforced goal, identity as a subjective choice and the sexes as the same, patriarchy, white privilege, implicit bias, safe spaces, affirmative rights, postmodernism, nihilism, neo-Marxism, and identity politics. …

As Peterson gets better known, he seems to find fewer and fewer on the left who will debate him. That’s no surprise — watch the debates that do exist, and be reminded of the attempted mugging of “Crocodile Dundee”, when he smiles pityingly and says “That’s not a knife. THIS is a knife,” before reducing his assailant to a quivering blob.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Harvard Policy Forces Male, Female Choirs to Accept Opposite Genders

Harvard Policy Forces Male, Female Choirs to Accept Opposite Genders, by Joel Pollack.

The Harvard Glee Club, the oldest collegiate choir in the nation, will open its membership to women, following new rules by the Harvard College administration that penalize students for joining same-sex organizations.

The Glee Club has been all-male since its founding in 1858. A companion all-female choir, the Radcliffe Choral Society, was established at neighboring Radcliffe College in 1899, and has continued to perform since Radcliffe was merged into Harvard.

Almost all western choral music is written for separate vocal parts — soprano and alto, for women; and tenor, baritone, and bass, for men. There are occasionally men who sing alto and women who sing tenor, but these are rare exceptions.

For centuries, choral music has made use of the biological differences between men and women to create harmonies — and to create unique sounds, in the case of music written for single-gender choirs.

There is already a mixed choir at Harvard, the Harvard Radcliffe Collegium Musicum.

Very logical. After all, men and women are the same except for reproductive bits, according to the PC narrative. Reality be damned.

Reader Andrea:

As a musician I just find this unbelievable! What’s next? I guess the 10 Tenors better watch out…

hat-tip Andrea

 

No coffee as Starbucks staffers talk race all afternoon

No coffee as Starbucks staffers talk race all afternoon, by AP.

Starbucks closed thousands of US cafes yesterday and asked employees to talk about when they noticed their racial identity, discuss what unconscious bias is and watch videos in which people of colour describe feeling unwelcome in stores.

It was part of anti-bias training created after the arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks six weeks ago. …

The training was personal, asking workers to break into groups of three to five people to talk about their experiences with race. According to training mat­erials provided by the company, they were asked to pair up with a co-worker and list all the ways they “are different from each other”. A guidebook reminds people to “listen respectfully” and tells them to stop any conversations that get derailed. …

The training was not mandatory, but Starbucks said it expected almost all of its 175,000 employees to participate. It said they would be paid for the full four hours. …

In the Philadelphia incident, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were asked to leave after one was denied access to the bathroom. They were arrested by police minutes after they sat down to await a business meeting.

The arrest was recorded by mobile phone and triggered protests, boycott threats and debate over racial profiling, or what has been dubbed “retail racism”.

Mr Nelson and Mr Robinson settled with Starbucks for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education. They also reached a deal with the city of Philadelphia for a symbolic $US1 ($1.33) each and a promise by officials to set up a $US200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko: Ukraine faked his murder

Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko: Ukraine faked his murder, by the BBC. Yesterday we ran a short item on his apparent murder, as another of the 40 odd Russian journalists killed under Putin. Not this time.

Ukraine staged the murder of a Russian dissident journalist in Kiev on Tuesday in what it said was a sting operation to foil a Russian assassination plot.

Arkady Babchenko sent shock waves around the world when he arrived at a news conference on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after being reported dead.

Ukrainian security chief Vasyl Hrytsak said a sting had been set up to catch hitmen paid by Russian forces.

Russia described events in Kiev as an “anti-Russian provocation”. …

Babchenko said he had been informed a month ago about an alleged Russian plot to kill him. He said he had agreed to co-operate with a counter-operation and had been in constant contact with Ukrainian security services over the course of the past month.

The truth is often hard to find when Russia is involved.

Revolt of the Rich: Our financial elites are the new secessionists

Revolt of the Rich: Our financial elites are the new secessionists. By Mike Lofgren, from 2012.

It was 1993 …  To this day, I remember something my colleague said: “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens.”

That was only the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy, and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.

At the end of the Cold War many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation-state. … There have been numerous books about globalization and how it would eliminate borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state. …

Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?

Being in the country but not of it is what gives the contemporary American super-rich their quality of being abstracted and clueless. Perhaps that explains why Mitt Romney’s regular-guy anecdotes always seem a bit strained. …

In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to get Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. The sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse. …

According to the Federal Reserve Board’s report of June 2012, the median net worth of families plummeted almost 40 percent between 2007 and 2010. …

The objective of the predatory super-rich and their political handmaidens is to discredit and destroy the traditional nation state and auction its resources to themselves.

‘New Low’ for Ambien Maker to Mock Roseanne ‘While They Drug a Generation’

‘New Low’ for Ambien Maker to Mock Roseanne ‘While They Drug a Generation’, by Joshua Caplan.

Conservative media pioneer Matt Drudge slammed drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis on Wednesday for mocking Roseanne Barr’s suggestion that her racially charged remark about Obama White House aide Valerie Jarrett was induced by Ambien.

“The drug company mocking Roseanne for her mental illness while they drug a generation is a new low!” Drudge tweeted at the drugmaker’s Twitter handle, @SanofiUS, including three sources detailing the drug’s scary side effects.

The first report — published by Thought Catalog, titled “44 Ambien Stories That Will Creep You The Eff Out” — is a listicle of people recounting their bizarre experiences while on the drug.

One person says they had no recollection of purchases they made on Amazon.

I tried Ambien for a while. I would take it about 30 minutes before going to bed and browse around online, waiting for it to kick in. I started receiving packages from Amazon that I didn’t order. It was all good stuff that I liked, so I called around to family and friend trying to figure out who was so kind to send me stuff. When my credit card bill came, everything was on there, thankfully nothing I couldn’t afford. I checked my Amazon account, and apparently I ordered them myself and don’t recall it. Thanks Ambien. I stopped taking it for fear of what else I might do.

Another alleges they couldn’t recall sending text messages while on the drug.

Last week I took an Ambien. When I woke up I had changed my shirt and was naked from the waste down. An open but unused condom was on the bed next to me. At 4 in the morning I had texted one of my female friends: “Come to our wonderspace Barely come in Geab son quick teickests ourtaude bsx quick ticks t” …

Roseanne Barr blames Ambien:

Roseanne Barr set off a firestorm of criticism on Tuesday after describing Jarrett as the product of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes, a remark she has since apologized for, later claiming she “Ambien tweeting.”

“Guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me,” she said in a now-deleted tweet.

“It was 2 in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please. ty.”

hat-tip Charles

Roseanne uproar shows libs live in Hypocrisyland

Roseanne uproar shows libs live in Hypocrisyland, by Tucker Carlson.

The upside to the Roseanne tweet controversy is the Left is now on the record opposing racism. Attacking people on the basis of their race is immoral, they’re telling us. For now, American liberals are still living in that strange, irony-free world where it’s possible to denounce racism even as you commit it.

hat-tip Charles

The War on Tommy Robinson is also a War on Us

The War on Tommy Robinson is also a War on Us, by Stefan Molyneux.

On May 25, 2018, while live-streaming his thoughts about the sentencing of alleged Muslim child rapists, Tommy very consciously stayed away from the court steps, constantly used the word “alleged,” and checked with the police to ensure that he was not breaking the law. …

Tommy yelled questions at the alleged criminals on their way into court — so what? How many times have you watched reporters shouting questions at people going in and out of courtrooms? You can find pictures of reporters pointing cameras and microphones at Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter, who were accused of similar crimes against children.

Tommy Robinson was arrested for “breaching the peace,” which is a civil proceeding that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Was imminent violence about to erupt from his reporting? How can Tommy Robinson have been “breaching the peace” while wandering around in the rain on a largely empty street sharing his thoughts on criminal proceedings? There were several police officers present during his broadcast, why did they allow him to break the law for so long?

Was Tommy wrong to broadcast the names of the alleged criminals? The mainstream media, including the state broadcaster, the BBC, had already named them. Why was he punished, but not them? …

Is the law being applied fairly? Tommy Robinson has received countless death threats over the years, and has reported many of them. Did the police leap into action to track down and prosecute anyone sending those threats? …

Is Tommy Robinson being treated fairly? If gangs of white men had spent decades raping and torturing little Muslim girls, and a justly outraged Muslim reporter was covering the legal proceedings, would he be arrested? …

The arrest of Tommy Robinson is a hammer-blow to the fragile base of people’s respect for British law. The reality that he could be grabbed off the street and thrown into a dangerous jail — in a matter of hours — is deeply shocking. …

British law strains – perhaps too hard – to prevent publication of information that might influence a jury, but Tommy’s incarceration was on the order of a judge. He will not get a jury trial for 13 months imprisonment. Since there is no jury to influence, why ban reports on his arrest and punishment?

Explain why white men accused of pedophilia are allowed to be photographed and questioned by reporters on court steps, while Pakistani Muslims are not.

Explain why a police force that took three decades to start dealing with Muslim rape gangs was able to arrest and incarcerate a journalist within a few scant hours.

Explain why a man can be arrested for breaching the peace when no violence has taken place.

All good questions. I think we know the real answer is that the PC establishment wants to shut him up, because he points to the greatest folly in British history — which the PC crowd running the UK still deny. Multiculturalism and mass migration from Pakistan has been a tremendous error, committed in the name of leftist PC politics and “diversity.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The Strange Failure of the Educated Elite

The Strange Failure of the Educated Elite, by David Brooks.

Once upon a time, white male Protestants ruled the roost. You got into a fancy school if your father had gone to the fancy school. You got a job at a white-shoe law firm or climbed the corporate ladder if you golfed at the right club.

Then we smashed all that. We replaced a system based on birth with a fairer system based on talent. We opened up the universities and the workplace to Jews, women and minorities. University attendance surged, creating the most educated generation in history. We created a new boomer ethos, which was egalitarian (bluejeans everywhere!), socially conscious (recycling!) and deeply committed to ending bigotry.

You’d think all this would have made the U.S. the best governed nation in history. Instead, inequality rose. Faith in institutions plummeted. Social trust declined. The federal government became dysfunctional and society bitterly divided.

Yeah, but the theory sounded good and their aims were noble, so they cannot be held responsible? Or can they?

A narrative is emerging. It is that the new meritocratic aristocracy has come to look like every other aristocracy. The members of the educated class use their intellectual, financial and social advantages to pass down privilege to their children, creating a hereditary elite that is ever more insulated from the rest of society. We need to build a meritocracy that is true to its values, truly open to all.

But the narrative is insufficient. The real problem with the modern meritocracy can be found in the ideology of meritocracy itself. Meritocracy is a system built on the maximization of individual talent, and that system unwittingly encourages several ruinous beliefs:

Exaggerated faith in intelligence. … Many of the great failures of the last 50 years, from Vietnam to Watergate to the financial crisis, were caused by extremely intelligent people who didn’t care about the civic consequences of their actions. …

Misplaced notion of the self. Instead of seeing the self as the seat of the soul, the meritocracy sees the self as a vessel of human capital, a series of talents to be cultivated and accomplishments to be celebrated. If you base a society on a conception of self that is about achievement, not character, you will wind up with a society that is demoralized …

Inability to think institutionally. Previous elites poured themselves into institutions and were pretty good at maintaining existing institutions, like the U.S. Congress, and building new ones, like the postwar global order. The current generation sees institutions as things they pass through on the way to individual success. Some institutions, like Congress and the political parties, have decayed to the point of uselessness, while others, like corporations, lose their generational consciousness and become obsessed with the short term.

Homo-tyranny is upon us

Homo-tyranny is upon us, by Doug Mainwaring. Great term, but what he is he arguing?

Europe’s foremost expert on homosexuality, pedophilia, and gays within the Catholic priesthood said that gay ideology actually “hates marriage” and sees Humanae Vitae as its archenemy.

Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg recently told a distinguished group of pro-life leaders gathered in Rome from around the world that “Gay ideology proclaims that gay sexuality –– including its inherent polygamy –– is a natural instinct, that faithful non-contraceptive marriage is unnatural, and so is diametrically opposed to Humanae Vitae.”

While same-sex “marriage” has been sold to the western world as an extension of conservative––even Christian––values, in reality “it hates marriage, out of jealousy and rebellion.”

“Insofar as it has infiltrated the Church,” he continued, “it is out to eliminate its main obstacle, Humanae Vitae.”

“Don’t believe the propaganda for the noble, faithful, loving gay ‘marriage’ of devout Catholics,” warned van den Aardweg. It is nothing more than “a trick to sell acceptance of gay sex.” …

Tracing the origins of the movement toward normalizing gay sex to the late 19th century, Dr. van den Aardweg quickly moved to the mid-twentieth century and Dr. Alfred Kinsey whom he described as a “sex-enslaved homosexual” and “probably a pedophile homosexual,” as well.

Kinsey was “the mastermind behind the dehumanizing sexual education of today,” who was obsessed with abolishing society’s moral standards based on normal marriage and normalizing homosexuality, pedophilia, and incest.”

To Kinsey, “Faithful marriage was unnatural,” and “homosexuality and all sexual abnormalities are natural.” Kinsey also thought abortion should be legitimized, and “masturbation, contraceptive sex, adultery, and prostitution were healthy.”

“Kinsey posed as a great scientist,” said van den Aardweg, “but his intensively propagated books” were in reality nothing more than “gay propaganda based on fraudulent research.” …

The priest scandals have exposed that fact that there is a disproportionately high percentage of seminarians and priests who are homosexual. …

Dr. van den Aardweg then made the stunning declaration: “The rhetoric of compassion and melodrama has been fully developed in subsequent Church documents,” creating “an atmosphere where objection to homosexual practices begins to feel unchristian.”

Reader Stephen:

What he’s saying is that progressives are trying to change the Roman Catholic traditional view on homosexuality, just as they are on Islam. An RC friend said he is a critical voice in battle at moment.

hat-tip Stephen Neil