Call Me Ismail


New at Reason: Who is Ismail Royer, really? I want to know.


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  1. tim,

    Re your response to SM’s second point #2, I think it’s SM who’s claiming guilt by association. I think his point is that dangerous Muslims have claimed being victimized by guilt by association for simply being Muslim, when in fact they “harboured someone connected with 9-11 etc etc etc.” Sounds like guilt by association only on a different order to me, i.e., having dangerous and evil friends. And I assume SM’s answer to someone questioning him on it would be that these people are themselves involved in terrorism (at least to the degree that they would “harbour” i.e. aid terrorists).

    Personally, I can well imagine that in these times it would be easy for moderate politically active Muslims to unwittingly rub elbows with more unsavory types, but I can’t claim to know any of the particulars, either of this case or whatever other cases SM is implicitly referring to, so I sure don’t know what the truth is regarding such associations.

    I guess we’ll know more when SM gets back from the beach!!

  2. tim,

    What about the Americans who joined the Canadian and British militaries in the early years of WW2? The Flying Tigers?

  3. Them too. And I liked the Duke Wayne movie as much as anybody. It’s not for individuals to make foreign policy (if I had my druthers it wouldn’t be for states either, but that’s another story), or rather, if they do make foreign policy, let them do it as citizens of the world, rather than as representatives of the state, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.

  4. “Whether the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was guided more by Abraham Lincoln’s principles or by Stalin’s is still a hotly debated point in right/left circles.”

    remember that abraham lincoln did all kinds of nasty stuff himself, albeit nothing on the evel of gulags.

    habeas corpus, etc. etc

  5. Glad you asked.
    1. Lets get the bias out of the way first. Anybody who signs up to fight in Kashmir etc, or otherwise romanticises it, deserves whatever they get. It burns me up that creeps like this wreak carnage elsewhere & then return to collect soc sec in the US when their position abroad becomes untenable. Am i the only one who thinks that they take advantage of a system they dont appreciate, the USA being a breeding ground of iniquity and all?
    2. A “moderate muslim”, as understood here, & to be fair to Tim, by most media, seems to be a completely different animal from a moderate anything else. Nobody describes the Pat Roberton 700 club folks other than as fundementalist christians. As far as we know they dont secretly hatch plots to fly planes into buildings. Nor do they even engage in basic training though they are (i think) pro second amendment – don’t start up , i am aware that this is a tendentious link, but its the “jew with a gun” kind of thing i am aiming at. If we were to apply the same standards to everyone then Pat’s people would be described as moderate christians. Needless to say that is not what i am arguing for. They are fundementalist christians just as this Ismail Royer and friends are fundementalist muslims. How they manage to convince people that aspiring to live by a seventh century book is moderate is beyond me, but this definiteley qualifies as “defining moderation down”.
    3. The Abraham Lincoln brigade and French Foriegn legion comparisons are especially invidious. You could argue that ALB and FFL embodied american and enlightenment values – OK its a bit of a stretch & the FFL were colonial enforcers etc. But Isamel Royer and his pals in LET etc are fighting for some 11nt century alternate universe Caliphate which they believe actually existed. Yeah i know its somewhat more complicated but if you read their literature, & not what their spokespeople say on Western TV, thats basically it. Abraham Lincoln Brigade, my donkey.
    4. I dont know much about the legal niceties here so i’ll defer to the fine folks at Reason. But its hard to feel sorry for this idiot.

  6. Oh and a couple more before i forget.

    1. The root cause of terrorism is terrorists. Somebody always brings that up.
    2. These guys always protest that they are not fighting the US, guilt by association etc so why does it always turn out that they harboured someone connected with 9-11 etc etc etc. I ,of course, know the answer – if anyone is curious all they need to do is ask.
    Off to the beach.

  7. In response to Tim’s question… No, in no way is paintball a valid substitute for real basic training. Anyone who thinks so is in for a rude awakening the first time they are actually shot at.

  8. SM:

    #1: I agree with your first point. The oath of US citizenship requires the new citizen to forswear loyalty to “any foreign prince or potentate.” In my view, any US citizen who serves in any foreign military, no matter how just or unjust its cause, should lose his citizenship. (To address what I suspect would be Royer’s followup question, yes, I would include the Israeli military in that rule.) But I don’t make the law.

    #2: To my knowledge, Royer has not blamed US involvement in the peace process for the tornadoes, discussed 9/11 as being the fault of homosexuals, etc. You say Royer and his co-defendants secretly hatched plans to fly planes into buildings, so I’m assuming you have some information beyond what’s in the indictment. If so, please share it, because I can’t find much in Royer’s published works that couldn’t be defined as “moderate”-even though I disagree with much of it.

    #3: Whether the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was guided more by Abraham Lincoln’s principles or by Stalin’s is still a hotly debated point in right/left circles. As I would walk ten miles to avoid getting into this debate I stayed away from it in the article and am continuing to stay away from it here. But the legal comparison is valid: The Neutrality Act concerns fighting states with which the US is at peace. That includes most of the nations on this planet, though it sometimes doesn’t seem that way.

    #4: Compassion is the beginning of wisdom.

    #1, Part II: None of these guys are charged with terrorism. And don’t speak in platitudes.

    #2, Part II: Who’s claiming guilt by association?

    Tom T: Thanks for your response. I had a feeling about that…

  9. Boy i’m really raring to respond to Tim C’s response to my response to his … no point since nobody’s listening. Round 2 later. I’ll be watching and waiting Tim …

  10. Ab imo pectore – From the bottom of the chest (from the heart)

  11. Mendacem memorem esse oportet – A liar needs a good memory. (Quintilianus)

  12. Sic volo, sic iubeo – I want this, I order this. (Juvenalis)

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