FBI: Burgeoning Ethnic Gangs Behind up to 80% of US Crime

FBI: Burgeoning Ethnic Gangs Behind up to 80% of

US Crime

More news stories on Crime

Kevin Johnson, USA Today, January 29, 2009

Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials.

The major findings in a report by the Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center, which has not been publicly released, conclude gangs are the “primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs” and several are “capable” of competing with major U.S.-based Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.

“A rising number of U.S.-based gangs are seemingly intent on developing working relationships” with U.S. and foreign drug-trafficking organizations and other criminal groups to “gain direct access to foreign sources of illicit drugs,” the report concludes.

The gang population estimate is up 200,000 since 2005.

{snip}

‘Growing threat’ on the move

The report says about 900,000 gang members live “within local communities across the country,” and about 147,000 are in U.S. prisons or jails.

{snip}

Among the report’s other findings:

oLast year, 58% of state and local law enforcement agencies reported that criminal gangs were active in their jurisdictions, up from 45% in 2004.

oMore gangs use the Internet, including encrypted e-mail, to recruit and to communicate with associates throughout the U.S. and other countries.

oGangs, including outlaw motorcycle groups, “pose a growing threat” to law enforcement authorities along the U.S.-Canadian border. The U.S. groups are cooperating with Canadian gangs in various criminal enterprises, including drug smuggling.

Assistant FBI Director Kenneth Kaiser, the bureau’s criminal division chief, says gangs have largely followed the migration paths of immigrant laborers.

{snip}

MS-13 far-flung from L.A. incubator

One group that continues to spread despite law enforcement efforts is the violent Salvadoran gang known as MS-13.

{snip}

Kaiser says the street gang is in 42 states, up from 33 in 2005. “Enforcement efforts have been effective to a certain extent, but they (gang members) keep moving,” he says.

{snip}

Among law enforcement efforts:

{snip}

Davidson County, Tenn., Sheriff Daron Hall, whose jurisdiction includes Nashville, says MS-13 started growing there about five years ago, corresponding with an influx of immigrant labor.

Last April, county officials began checking the immigration status of all arrestees. “We know we have removed about 100 gang members, including MS-13,” to U.S. authorities for deportation, Hall says.

{snip}

Escorza [Aaron Escorza, chief of the FBI’s MS-13 National Gang Task Force] says a “revolving door” on the border has kept the gang’s numbers steady—about 10,000 in the U.S.—even as many illegal immigrant members are deported.

The FBI, which has two agents in El Salvador to help identify and track members in Central America and the United States, plans to dispatch four more agents to Guatemala and Honduras, Escorza says.

{snip}

Original article

(Posted on January 30, 2009)


Comments

Another reason to stop the illegal aliens from getting in. Every American you talk to wants to lock the borders, yet our government turns a deaf ear and panders to the liberals and big business.

Posted by Anonymous at 5:22 PM on January 30


If each and every county in each and every State and Commonwealth would check the immigration status of each and every arrestee, and actually send off those who are illegal for deportation, then the immigration problem in this Country will be lessened considerably.

Of course, liberals (and false-hearted “conservatives”) will never let this happen, and that is the true tragedy in this story.

Posted by SouthernJew at 5:37 PM on January 30


While I don’t doubt that street gangs are a big problem, I doubt the notion that 80% of all crimes in the U.S. are linked to gangs. In order to arrive at that figure, they have to have a very generous definition of a gang-linkable crime. For instance, if you’re jacked at gunpoint for money so that the robber can buy dope from a gang, I wouldn’t consider it a gang crime, but it seems that the FBI does. Also, there is the question of what is and is not a gang, and what is and is not a gang member. Both definitions are very malleable, and if you’re someone who makes a living in the business (or rather, the hustle) of gang mitigation and prevention, you have much the incentive to fudge the statistics for the worse.

Posted by Question Diversity at 6:05 PM on January 30


(Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials.)

What they don’t tell you is that this is how Diversity
and Multiculturalism “enrich” us. We would not have
any of this riff raff, had it not been for the 1965
Immigration Act. The Act that Teddy Kennedy said would
not alter our national landscape, or bring in endless
hordes of third worlders. As we see Teddy sure was
wrong and a liar.

Posted by Dr. Caligari at 6:42 PM on January 30


Of course it stands to reason, the vast majority of gang members are either Mexican (Hispanic), or Black. Which means police are not permitted to use racial profiling to question a suspicious looking character, his pockets bulging with drugs or stolen loot.

What a pity we can’t follow the example of some third-world countries… and simply EXECUTE drug traffickers on the spot. Saving Americans a lot of grief, a lot of wasted money that would have to be spent on a lengthy trial. With the perps usually getting little more than a figurative slap on the wrist.

Oh, sorry, I just realized my error. I’ve been ASSURED on a local TV news blogsite, Mexicans and Blacks collectively are no more prone to crime and criminal acts than Whites. No matter how the news stories seem to indicate the opposite.

Posted by Fed Up at 7:25 PM on January 30


FBI Director Robert Mueller believes all one million Hispanic gang members are white, unless one Aztec kills another Aztec. At that point, the dead Aztec suddenly becomes Hispanic, dying at the hands of a racist white.
Meuller also recently broke off group hugs with CAIR after coming to the conclusion that Muslims believe in Jihad against infidels. He’s still seaching for those elusive “moderate” Muslims with which he can do further outreach.

Posted by Nordic at 7:28 PM on January 30


This actually made the MSM as I am guessing all here realize. I do think that this is the first glimmer of reality that has made it through the MSM filter. Apparently, it is becoming more difficult to deny or hide the facts out there.

Posted by Whiteplight at 7:38 PM on January 30


80% seems a little high. I assume that plenty in the FBI can’t think out of the box.(I’d hope for the opposite.) It’s easier to go after those criminals that can be labeled as gang members.

(An older male friend suggested to me that the FBI is big on hiring more special agents right now. He knows of my interest in cultures, religions, and the Middle East. If I didn’t understand what I did, with my being physically in shape and intelligent, I might be interested.—Bigger government on the rise./Anyone and everyone running rampant in/out/across this country.—
No thanks, I want no part.— It seems so easy to get a job with these types of organizations these days.)

Posted by 24/7 at 8:18 PM on January 30


Gangs………..Diversity in motion. The epitome of toxic ignorance. When you can’t join anything else to find a sense of belonging, join a gang and make Rangle and Conyers day. They got to have the very ignorant to continue and insure their massive, govt. pay-day.

Posted by jman at 8:20 PM on January 30

Hate Hypocrisy – Hate Crimes: The Importance of Lady Justice’s Blindfold

Hate Hypocrisy

By Ian Jobling • 1/29/09

The Brussels Journal just published a nice overview of European double standards in the enforcement of hate speech laws.

Last Friday, in a speech at the Islamic University of Rotterdam, Khalid Yasin, a radical Muslim leader, said that Geert Wilders “should be flogged for his crimes.” While Mr. Wilders is critical of the Koran he has never advocated flogging Muslims. Nevertheless, Mr. Wilders is being prosecuted and Mr. Yasin is not. Why? Is it because people such as Mr. Wilders, Mrs. Winter, Mr. Vanneste, Mrs. Bardot, though voicing strong opinions, never commit violence, while Muslims extremists threaten to kill everyone who opposes them and are consequently feared by the European authorities? Perhaps.

Hate Crimes: The Importance of Lady Justice’s Blindfold

lady-justice.jpg

The introduction of hate crime legislation brings a subjective element into the legal system. Where typically Lady Justice is blind and only takes objective facts into consideration, disregarding the position and the opinions of those committing the crimes, she may now apply the law unequally and selectively. Our societies subsequently risk losing an important principle of Western law, viz. equality under the law. Europe has already gone further down this road than America, but the U.S. is following fast in Europe’s tracks.

“If I talked about Muslims the way their holy book talks about me, I’d be arrested for hate speech,” Pat Condell, a British stand-up comedian, says in a youtube video released earlier this week. Mr. Condell, though a comedian by profession, is not joking. He knows how two years ago a British television crew which went undercover in British mosques and taped sermons inciting to violence against non-Muslims, was itself charged by the police and Crown Prosecution Service for “stirring up racial hatred” against Muslims, while the preachers were left undisturbed. According to the police and the public prosecutor the words of the preachers had been “taken out of context,” while the “context” of the makers of the television program was filled in by their accusers: their aim was said to be to stir up anti-Muslim feelings among the public.

Prosecutors and judges are no longer interested in what actually and objectively happened. Instead they focus on the intentions which they claim motivated those who acted. No longer is Lady Justice blind to anything except the facts; she is blind to the facts, but claims to be a clairvoyant about everything else.

Last week , the White House website announced that President Obama and Vice President Biden intend to “strengthen federal hate crimes legislation, expand hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepard Act, and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section.” In the past, Europe was in the habit of imitating bad American examples (never the good ones). Now it seems the policies of “Change” in the U.S. mean that America will imitate Europe’s bad examples.

The “Matthew Shepard Act,” or “House Resolution 1592,” is named after Matthew Shepard, a young homosexual who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1998 by two heterosexual men near Laramie, Wyoming. Apparently the two men killed Mr. Shepard because they “hated” their victim for his homosexuality. Though the murderers were each punished with two consecutive life sentences, the fact that they “hated” their victim was not taken into account when the court decided the sentence. This caused much indignation among homosexual activists who argue that people who commit a crime out of “hate” should be punished more severely than those who do not.

Taking “hate” into account, however, brings a subjective element into the equation, allowing different punishments to be applied for exactly the same criminal acts. It is possible to objectively prove that someone has kidnapped, tortured and subsequently assassinated a victim, but is it also possible to prove that these acts constitute a worse crime if the perpetrator “hates” the victim (or the group he belongs to) than if the latter is totally indifferent towards the victim and only acts for the pleasure of torturing and killing a human being? If Matthew Shepard’s killers had randomly picked him, because they wanted to kidnap, torture and murder someone – anyone – for the sheer fun of it, would they somehow have been less criminal? This is a question which Lady Justice does not normally need to consider, until hate crime legislation is introduced.

In Europe, where citizens lack the protection of a First Amendment, hate crime legislation is used to punish citizens for the expression of negative opinions concerning minority groups. In Europe the concept of hate crimes make sense because hate crimes are crimes of opinion and sentiment. Unlike America, Europe criminalizes opinions and sentiments. However, in the United States, with its First Amendment, it is difficult to see what purpose hate crime legislation can serve. The Matthew Shepard Act contains a “Rule of Construction” explicitly stating that “Nothing in this Act… shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

Hence, it is hard to see what the use of introducing hate crime legislation in America can be, unless one deliberately wants to bring in a subjective element into the legal system which abolishes the old principle of equal treatment before the law and which justifies arbitrary actions on the part of the authorities. This is exactly what has happened across the Atlantic. In Europe, hate crime legislation has been used to silence people with opinions that do not conform with official state policies. These include celebrities, children and even elected politicians speaking on behalf of their electorate.

One of the famous victims of hate crime legislation in Europe is Brigitte Bardot. Last June the former sex symbol, once considered to be the very icon of France, was given a two-month suspended prison sentence and fined €15,000 by a court in Paris. Mrs. Bardot was convicted for “instigation of hatred” towards the Muslim community because in December 2006 she had sent a letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, then the Interior Minister of France, to demand that Muslims anaesthesize animals before slaughtering them. In the letter she said, referring to Muslims, that she was “fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its habits.” Harboring and expressing such sentiments is a crime in France.

Dieudonné M’Bala is one of France’s new icons. He is a French comedian who is known for his anti-Semitism. Mr. M’Bala claims Jews are “a mafia that controls everything in France” and harbors feelings about  Jews which are similar Mrs. Bardot’s feelings about Muslims: France is under the thumb of the Jews, who are destroying it and imposing their values. In 2004 Mr. M’Bala was taken to court in Paris for violating French laws against incitation to racial or religious hatred, but the court ruled that he was not violating the law. Why did Mrs. Bardot get a suspended prison sentence and a fine of €15,000, while Mr. B’Bala went free? Because Mrs. Bardot and Mr. M’Bala are no longer equal under the law.

In October 2006 Codie Stott, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Salford, England, was arrested for racism and spent three-and-a-half hours in police custody because she had refused to study with a group of five Asian pupils who did not speak English. When the Asians began talking in Urdu, Codie went to speak to the teacher. “I said ‘I’m not being funny, but can I change groups because I can’t understand them?’ But the teacher started shouting and screaming, saying ‘It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police’.” A complaint was made to the police and Codie was placed under arrest. She was not prosecuted as she was too young, but the experience was traumatic for the young girl. The same applies to Jamie Bauld from Cumbernauld, Scotland, an 18-year-boy with Down’s syndrome and the mental age of a five-year-old. In September 2007 he was charged with “racial assault” after he had pushed an Asian girl on the playground.

Hate crime legislation is used to silence the famous and the innocent, but also the people’s democratically elected representatives. In January 2007 Christian Vanneste, a member of the French Parliament, was convicted by the Court of Appeal of Douai because two years earlier during a debate in the parliament and afterwards on television he had said that “homosexual behavior endangers the survival of humanity” and that “heterosexuality is morally superior to homosexuality.” Mr. Vanneste, a member of the governing UMP party of President Sarkozy, was fined €3,000. The Court also ordered him to pay €3,500 in damages to each of the three homosexual activist organizations that had taken him to court, plus the expense of publishing the verdict in three newspapers. The three organizations welcomed the court ruling, saying that it “aims to punish homophobic comments which should be fought because they inspire and legitimize verbal and physical attacks.”

Last week Susanne Winter, an elected member of the Austrian Parliament, was convicted by a court in Graz to a suspended jail sentence of three months and a fine of €24,000 for “inciting racial hatred and degradation of religious symbols and religious agitation.” At a meeting of the Austrian Freedom Party FPÖ in January 2008, Mrs. Winter had said that the prophet Muhammad was “a child molester” since he married a six-year-old girl, and that he was “a warlord” who had written the Koran during “epileptic fits.” She had also said that Islam is “a totalitarian system of domination that should be cast back to its birthplace on the other side of the Mediterranean” and warned for “a Muslim immigration tsunami,” stating that “in 20 or 30 years, half the population of Austria will be Muslim” if the present immigration policies continue.

Following these remarks, Muslim extremists threatened to kill Mrs. Winter, who was subsequently placed under police protection. This did not persuade the judge, Christoph Lichtenberg, to be more lenient. He told Mrs. Winter: “You have only one goal: to gain votes by a despicable method, by appealing to xenophobic feelings.” Judge Lichtenberg said a severe punishment was asked for in order to prevent Mrs. Winter from voicing similar opinions during her next election campaign.

Also last week, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, decided to prosecute Geert Wilders, an elected member of the Dutch Parliament, for “the instigation of hatred against Muslims” as the producer of Fitna, a short documentary about the Koran. In his movie, which can be seen here, Mr Wilders says that the Koran calls for violence against Jews and other non-Muslims. Mr. Wilders lives under constant police protection following death threats from Koran readers.

A few weeks earlier, on 3 January, Harry van Bommel, a Socialist member of the Dutch Parliament, took part in a demonstration during which he called for an “intifada” against Israel and marched with demonstrators who were shouting “Jews to the gas.” Will Mr. van Bommel, like Mr. Wilders, be charged with incitement to racial hatred? Will he be given the same treatment as Mr. Wilders? Considering that equality under the law is no longer guaranteed, this is far from certain. Indeed, while Mr. Wilders will be prosecuted, Mr. van Bommel is likely to go free.

One noticeable fact in hate crime prosecutions is that those prosecuted are often members of European majority groups, such as heterosexuals, non-Muslims or non-Socialists. Hate speech, racial slurs or religious insults directed against a majority group do not seem to be as equally punishable under hate crimes legislation as those directed against minorities. Unlike Susanne Winter, Alfred Hrdlicka, an Austrian “artist,” who last year depicted Jesus and his apostles engaging in homosexual acts of sodomy during the Last Supper, has not been indicted, let alone sentenced. Depicting Jesus sodomizing his apostles is not considered to be a “degradation of religious symbols” in Austria, but referring to the historic fact that Muhammad married a six-year old girl is.

Last Friday, in a speech at the Islamic University of Rotterdam, Khalid Yasin, a radical Muslim leader, said that Geert Wilders “should be flogged for his crimes.” While Mr. Wilders is critical of the Koran he has never advocated flogging Muslims. Nevertheless, Mr. Wilders is being prosecuted and Mr. Yasin is not. Why? Why do the British police arrest 14-year old children, such as Codie Stott, but do they not take action against Muslims such as Anjem Choudary who said in a television interview that anyone who insults Islam deserves “capital punishment”?

Is it because people such as Mr. Wilders, Mrs. Winter, Mr. Vanneste, Mrs. Bardot, though voicing strong opinions, never commit violence, while Muslims extremists threaten to kill everyone who opposes them and are consequently feared by the European authorities? Perhaps. Is it because members of majority groups are prosecuted for hate crimes, but hardly ever members of minority groups? Perhaps. In 2006, a heterosexual man in Belgium lodged a complaint against a media campaign that used the slogan “Dirty Heterosexual.” The Belgian government’s anti-racism and anti-discrimination body rejected the complaint, arguing that “stigmatization of a majority is impossible. Discrimination is something which by definition can affect only minorities.”

Whatever the reason, however, it is clear that with the introduction of hate crime legislation Europe’s citizens are no longer equal under the law. Some are harassed, prosecuted and sentenced, while others are not. Everyone who cares about freedom and democracy should demand that the law treats citizens equally, that Lady Justice does not discriminate, that she will again be blindfolded, so that Mr. Wilders is treated the same as Mr. van Bommel, Mrs. Bardot the same as Mr. M’Bala, Mrs. Winter the same as Mr. Hrdlicka, so that children and people with Down’s syndrome are left in peace, and so that people are judged not by how they feel toward each other but by the way they treat each other.

The Swarming of Kirsten Gillibrand

The Swarming of Kirsten Gillibrand

By Ian Jobling • 1/29/09

Newly appointed New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is getting swarmed by a stinging cloud of immigration lawyers, Hispanic politicians, journalists, and pressure groups who are riled up over her moderately conservative record on immigration issues in the House. She’s already beginning to weaken and compromise:

In Washington on Tuesday, the new senator elaborated, saying, “I don’t support amnesty because I don’t think it will work.” … But she suggested one alternative might be to allow consecutive five-year work visas, with the ability to apply for permanent residency at the end.

I’m not sure how her compromise is really different from an amnesty. Anyway, if you’re a New Yorker, or even just an American, you should call her office at (202) 224-4451 and tell her you admire her previous record on immigration—she doesn’t have an e-mail contact page yet.

“I think she needs to be educated, frankly,” oozes one smug diversity snob. He needs to get himself educated here.

This swarming confirms a theory I’ve long held about why the House has been so much stronger on immigration issues than the Senate or the Presidency. The higher you move in the ranks of political power, the more attention you attract from liberal pressure groups. They can’t keep 435 House representatives in line, so they focus on those higher up the food chain. Whatever the reason, Gillibrand just stepped into a noxious hornet’s nest, and she needs to hear from us white Americans to keep her from going wobbly.

Obama’s Signs and Signals

Obama’s Signs and Signals

by Dymphna

Obama signingRemember the Big Deal recently when O’Bama signed his long-awaited executive order, the one about the closing of Guantanamo’s prison for terrorists?

Turns out that no one wants the inmates, so he may have trouble emptying out the place. Alcatraz would be perfect, but the Speaker of the House, the Hon’bl Nancy Pelosi, says no way, José. Alcatraz is in her district, which is filled with enough America haters as it is. Besides the fact that The Rock is a tourist site now, the place would probably never meet the code for “humane” treatment.

For that matter, they’re going to have trouble finding any place as luxe as Gitmo for our detainees.

At the time of the signing there was also a lot of ballyhoo because the president was also closing those evil black sites where newly captured terrorists are held until they can be sent on to other destinations. You know, those evil dark places that flourished under the evil, dark Bush.

Ummm…turns out the Big Deal executive order has at least one embroidered loophole, to wit:
- – – - – – – – -

“The terms ‘detention facilities’ and ‘detention facility’ in section 4(a) of this order do not refer to facilities used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis.”

The Washington Times has the exclusive on this story. It will probably stay “exclusive” as the MSM is not going to tarnish any of O’Bama’s haloes if it can be avoided:

The provision illustrates that the president’s order to shutter foreign-based prisons, known as black sites, is not airtight and that the Central Intelligence Agency still has options if it wants to hold terrorist suspects for several days at a time.

Current and former U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition that they aren’t identified because of the sensitivity of the subject, said such temporary facilities around the world will remain open, giving the administration the opportunity to seize and hold assumed terrorists.

The detentions would be temporary. Suspects either would be brought later to the United States for trial or sent to other countries where they are wanted and can face trial.

The exception is evidence that the new administration, while announcing an end to many elements of the Bush “war on terror,” is leaving itself wiggle room to continue some of its predecessor’s practices regarding terrorist suspects.

There will be enough “wiggle room” behind that curtain for Obama to appear to “change” any number of rules while everything stays in place, just as it always has.The main difference is how the media will play this. Obama may be the One, but the press are The Ones in Charge; it’s been that way since Nixon. The MSM is impervious to “change”, especially now that they have their man into the Oval Office. Keeping his halo burnished is the job of the hour. Just as they ignored the positive things that Bush did in office, they will ignore or play down the O’s wiggling and back-stepping.

So we still have the CIA black holes. We still have Gitmo. We still have a bloated, corrupt government. The Imperial Congress continues to bloviate while the country rolls over and goes back to sleep – as more and more of the unemployed are doing. What’s the point of getting up when the job opportunities are shrinking faster than cotton clothing from China?

Helle Dale, from the Heritage Foundation, had these observations about appearances vs. reality:

…President Obama’s announcement…has been greeted here and abroad with jubilation, every bit as much as if the gates of the detention center had been permanently shut, chained and padlocked.

[…]

European leaders lost no time claiming the credit for Mr. Obama’s decision. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said that closing Guantanamo is a move “which Spain and Europe have demanded.” So did German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who told the BBC: “Germany belongs to the group of countries like the UK who demanded closure of Guantanamo. It’s a question of credibility. Its closure is necessary for the USA, especially if the U.S. wants to restore its credibility in the Middle East and in the Arab world.” At least Mr. Steinmeier offered to help with the detainees (an offer that was notably never extended to the Bush administration)…

Dale notes that O has a steep learning curve when it comes to looking “presidential” now that he’s gotten his wish. For sure, Bill Clinton would have done his homework on this situation rather than show up for the event looking so clueless. But then, Clinton was actually a policy wonk. Somehow, that doesn’t appear to be Obama’s strong suit:

It is not very clear, though, how much the president is in command of his own policy. During Friday’s signing ceremony, Mr. Obama appeared not to know that he would be signing four separate orders and had to refer repeatedly to White House Legal Counsel Greg Craig for answers to questions from the media. Nor was he able to answer a question about the future of the detainees. For the Obama White House, closing Gitmo is essentially a symbolic action.

Symbolism is the essence of Obama. His political philosophy is such a shallow pool that it would take very little heat or light to transform it into a puddle. However, heat and light is not going to be supplied by anyone currently on watch. He will sail his little boat and the press in the pool will treat it as though he were walking on water.

What a situation: our Leader is a useful idiot. I fear that we may deserve him.

Shari’a vs. Civilization

Shari’a vs. Civilization

by Baron Bodissey

Welcome Dharmaveer to the Counterjihad blogosphere.

Regular readers know that Gates of Vienna urges an alliance among Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Taoists, atheists, and indeed any group of people that doesn’t believe in Allah or Mohammed.

India is a natural ally in the struggle against the Great Jihad, because it has been on the receiving end of the greatest abominations ever dealt out to the infidels by Islam. It has the world’s largest Muslim minority — somewhere between 140 and 165 million followers of the Prophet, depending on whose figures you use — and experiences horrific Muslim terrorist attacks almost daily, of which the recent Mumbai atrocity is simply the most well-known.

Dharmaveer has this to say about himself and his blog, “Thoughts of a nationalist Indian”:

I am a software engineer in Bangalore, India. I have been studying Islam for the past 8 years, and have thoroughly read the Kuran, the 4 canonical Hadiths, the Sirah, and various other books of Islamic jurisprudence such as Umdat al Salik etc. I have literally spend hours daily for these past years learning about Islam. Following suggestions from many friends, and after the Mumbai Jihadi attacks, I decided to make this blog to share ideas about the unique threat we Hindus face from radical Islam and its core ideology of Jihad upon kafirs.

I want to also use this blog to build bridges with the West, which faces the same assault we Hindus do. Hindu and Western civilization cherish the same ideal of freedom, a fact that contributes to the success of Hindus in Western countries. We must stand together to protect this ideal, else we will surely perish together.

And he explains his blogging pseudonym thusly:

This blog is dedicated to Sambhaji — the oldest son of Shivaji — who was given the title of “Dharmaveer” for refusing to convert to Islam after being scientifically tortured for over 20 days by Aurangzeb.

He died a Hindu.

With Dharmaveer’s kind permission, I reproduce one of his recent posts below:

Shari’a vs. Civilization

Modern civilisation is based upon a few axioms. These are held as self-evident, and while not every society has been able to arrive at successful practice of them, most would agree with them in principle. These are:

1. Equality of all human beings in the eyes of the law. In particular, men and women are equal in the eyes of the law, and members of all religious groups are equal in the eyes of the law.
2. Freedom of beliefs in general, and religion in particular. A person is free to choose his beliefs, including her/his faith and the manner of her/his worship.
3. Freedom of expression and freedom to dissent. Freedom to intellectually scrutinize any doctrine, including a religious one.
4. Belief in democracy as the ideal mode of governance.

Once again, while no society has arrived at this perfect ideal in practise, most modern nations would agree to all four points in principle.

- – – - – – – – -

But not Islam. Not Shari’a. Islamic law (Shari’a) is categorically and emphatically opposed to ALL 4 axioms of modern civilization. Let us inspect each one in turn.

1. Shari’a law denies equality to women and to non-Muslims. Both the Kuran and Hadith — the foundations of Shari’a law — assert that women are inferior to men, and this is reflected in Shari’a law. In particular, the testimony of a woman is worth only half of a man in a Shari’a court.

Similarly, since the Kuran and Hadith assert that “unbelievers” are not the equal of Muslims in any manner, the testimony of a non-Muslim is worth only half of a Muslim.

Once again, this is not just the case with “radical Islamists”, but has been agreed upon by all 4 schools of Sunni jurisprudence (Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki) since their beginning.

2. While Islam exhorts all Muslims to wage continuous war (Jihad) upon non-Muslims in order to expand the Islamic state, Shari’a law does not allow any Muslim to leave his faith. This includes someone who may have originally been of a different faith before converting to Islam, and now wants to return to her/his original faith. The penalty for a Muslim who leaves Islam is death, according to all 4 schools of Sunni jurisprudence. This is based on numerous Hadith where either Muhammad directly says that those who leave Islam must be killed, or his close companions bear witness to him having said so. In several Hadith, this sentence is actually carried out (i.e., a former Muslim is put to death, and this is recorded in the Hadith). Indeed, there is a Hadith which records the execution of such a person (who was originally Jewish, became Muslim, and reverted to Judaism).

Shari’a law also does not give non-Muslims the right to build or repair their places of worship. It does not allow idol worship as a means of worship, and generally approves of the demolition of the temples of anyone it considers “polytheist” or “idolator”. This has been used to justify the destruction of literally thousands of Hindu temples all over India during the years of Islamic rule. Even today, strict implementations of shari’a law demolish idols, such as the Taliban’s destruction of the centuries old Bamiyan Buddhas.

3. Shari’a does not allow any sort of open discussion of Islam. Islam is held to be a doctrine straight from Allah, binding upon humans for all time and in all places. Hence, criticism of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad is punishable by death. This is part of law even in countries that do not have full fledged Shari’a law, such as Pakistan. Under Pakistan’s Tauheen-e-rasool (literally “disrespect of Prophet”) act, any criticism of Muhammad is punishable with death.

4. Shari’a is a strict alternative to democracy. In other words, Shari’a posits itself as a political system, and does not recognize the legitimacy of any other political system such as democracy. Every single school of Islamic jurisprudence says governance by Shari’a is the only acceptable form of Islamic government. Indeed, bringing about such governance by Shari’a law is considered the ultimate goal of the Muslim “umma” (Muslim nation). Democracy is categorically rejected as an acceptable system of governance. Almost every Islamist writing pours scorn on democracy and secularism as “western inventions” that are “contaminating the Muslim ummah.”

So Islamic Shari’a law is opposed to all four basic axioms of modern civilization as we know it. It is not a coincidence that Islamic societies “look very different” from free societies. I have not even gone into issues such as barbarity of punishments (such as stoning to death, chopping limbs etc. which are imposed under Shari’a law). I am speaking simply of the basic axioms that underlie modern human civilization and society and which mankind has generally come to agree upon, with the one exception of Islam. Islam rejects all these axioms. To accept any imposition of Shari’a law, no matter how “harmless” it is deliberately made to appear, would be tantamount to rolling back centuries of human civilisational progress. I particularly appeal to British readers of this blog to understand that by allowing even a mild form of Shari’a, they are allowing the imposition of a system that does not accept women and non-Muslims as complete human beings and forever relegates them to a status between human and animal. Is this what Britain stands for these days? I am appalled. Please, my British readers, raise your voices now.

What I have written here is not something our venal politicians will openly state. But these are the issues we face today. In India, as evidenced by the Shah Bano case, politicians are only too eager to please their Muslim vote banks by allowing limited forms of Shari’a. Shari’a law might soon be allowed in limited form in Britain — a startling new story in Europe’s lack of will to stand up to this civilisational assault. The Indian media, in a characteristically spineless display, did not give any coverage to the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) posters saying “No to democracy, No to secularism, Yes to Shari’a” which appeared in many Muslim localities of cities including Mumbai. Make no mistake — rejection of democracy and secularism, and their replacement by Shari’a, is core to Islamist teaching. It is up to honest intellectuals to inform the public about what Shari’a means.

It means the end of civilization as we know it.

“Thoughts of a nationalist Indian” will be added to our blogroll as soon as I get my act together and update our template.

The Threat of Islam in Flanders

The Threat of Islam in Flanders

by Baron Bodissey

According to the researchers, the so-called “negative” picture of the Flemish people about Islam is due to a lack of knowledge about Islam. But the reverse is true! The Fleming knows more than enough about the nature and practice of Islam to judge it with common sense. — Filip Dewinter

Multicultural indoctrination is not working, at least in Flanders.

Despite forty years of non-stop propaganda in the media, the schools, and the universities, despite the best efforts of all the cultural enrichers and diversity consultants, the residents of Flanders remain remarkably — dare I say atavistically? — racist and Islamophobic.

It really is time to abolish the Flemish people and elect a new one.

Our Flemish correspondent VH has compiled and translated a series of articles concerning a recent survey that reveals just how Islamophobic the Flemings are. Make sure you scroll down and read the eminently sensible quotes from Filip Dewinter. At the end of this series VH includes his own commentary.

First, from Het Laaste Nieuws:

Almost half of the Flemings consider Islam a threat

Almost half of the Flemish electorate has a very negative view of Islam and Muslims. No less than 46 percent of the Flemish electorate believes that Islam is not a contribution to the European culture. Barely 18 percent think that on the contrary it is a contribution.

Even more voters (48 percent) believe that Islamic values are a threat to Europe, and 37 percent are of the opinion that most Muslims have no respect for European culture and lifestyle.

Research

This is apparent from a research conducted by the Institute for Social and Political Opinion Research [Instituut voor Sociaal en Politiek Opinieonderzoek, ISPO] of the Catholic University (KU) in Leuven, Flanders [pdf can be downloaded here]. The ISPO team, led by Jaak Billiet and Marc Swyngedouw, asked 1,084 Flemish voters between September 2007 and January 2008 for their voting behavior. In the margins of this study they also measured the concept of “Islamophobia”, or the negative attitude towards Islam.

Flemish survey- – – - – – – – -
From De Standaard:

The strongest statement — Islamic history and culture are more violent than other cultures — is accepted by nearly 42 percent of the respondents, while only 21 percent do not agree with this argument.

When it comes to family life, is 81 per cent of the Flemish voters are of the opinion that Muslim men dominate their women too much. Just 3.5 percent of the respondents do not agree with that and 15 percent hold an intermediate position. On questions with a focus on school performance and authoritarian upbringing, only half state they have no idea.

The researchers also investigated the attitude of the voters opposed to the wearing of head scarves in public functions. This debate evolved in the run-up to the elections of 2007 after intense discussions. Among other things, the headscarf was banned in Antwerp, for officials with a visible public role.. A majority (53 percent) support the measure and apparently believe that Muslim women in public positions should not wear the headscarf. 35 percent have no problem with that.

The attitude of the Flemish voters towards Islam is more negative then the attitude towards ethnic minorities. The ISPO examined the attitude towards these minorities or migrants since 1991. The feelings of economic rivalry have continuously declined since then.

The investigation of 2007 shows that half of the voters are of the opinion that immigrants do not threaten the employment situation. At the same time, 40 percent of respondents do believe that ethnic minorities do not contribute to the prosperity of our country.

New immigration is not enthusiastically welcomed: 38 percent of the voters are for, but 47 percent are opposed to this, even if it would help to solve labor shortages. Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters (CD&V, Christian Democrats) announced last week that Flanders should by 2020 become one of the wealthiest regions [he does not say “countries”]. “There will, however, be a need for foreign workers to achieve that,” Swyngedouw continues, “If you see how negative the attitude is against foreigners, you’re stuck with a big problem.” According to Swyngedouw, the Flemings fear a new type of immigrants: the highly skilled: “The immigrants who are already are here are not wanted by the Flemings, and the new immigrants are seen as a competition on the labor market. “

The feelings of cultural threat decreased since 1991, as did the feelings of economic competition. But since the turn of the millennium, they began to rise again. The attacks of September 11, 2001 in the U.S. were clearly a turning point.

Today, 43 percent of Flemish voters are of the opinion that migrants are a threat to our culture and customs. A third of the electorate does not agree with that. The lifestyle of ethnic minorities is seen as incompatible with the Western European way of life by 41%.

Young people from 18 to 34 years are the most positive towards immigrants, the elderly the most negative. Especially those older than 55 show a rise of a strongly negative attitude. It is noteworthy that education has only a small effect on the feelings towards ethnic minorities. When it comes to Islamophobia, education still plays a role. Voters with tertiary education have a much less negative view of Islam than voters who only have a primary education. [emphasis added]

Finally, the researchers tried to assess the attitude of Flemish voters towards racist remarks. Only a tiny majority believes that a speaker at a public meeting or on television should be stopped when he utters racist speech. 45 percent believe that such a speaker must be able to say what he or she wants.

An article by Vlaams Belang concerning this report:

“Negative attitude of the Flemish towards Islam has nothing to do with Islamophobia but everything with common sense”

“Stirring up opinions of the Flemish on Islamophobia lead to politically-correct thinking and revisionism”

A few days ago, the results of a survey by the Institute for Social and Political survey of the KU Leuven were published. In the period between September 2007 and January 2008, 1084 voters were questioned about their voting behavior and their attitude towards Islam. The survey shows that about half of the Flemish voters have a “negative” view of Islam. 45% of the Flemings see Islam as a threat, 42% think their culture is violent and more than 80% find that Muslim men dominate their women.

Filip Dewinter believes that “the Muslim-critical attitude of majority of Flemings in respect to Islam is immediately branded by researchers and the media as ‘Islamophobia’. The fact that half of the Flemish consider the Islam as a threat has nothing to do with the so-called Islamophobic attitude of the Flemish and everything to do with Islam itself.” Islam is rightly regarded by the average Fleming as a totalitarian political ideology that stands at odds with our Western freedoms, standards, and values. The demonizing of a majority of the Flemings for their views on Islam will lead to politically-correct thinking and censorship. That any form of criticism of Islam is dismissed as Islamophobia means yet another victory for radical Islam.

According to the researchers, the so-called “negative” picture of the Flemish people about Islam is due to a lack of knowledge about Islam. But the reverse is true! The Fleming knows more than enough about the nature and practice of Islam to judge it with common sense. Filip Dewinter is satisfied. Though, and pleasantly surprised by the Islam-critical attitude of the Flemish population. Filip Dewinter: “Congratulations to everyone who despite the political-correct dictatorship dares to freely express his views about Islam. The stigmatization of all those who hold a critical view on Islam is yet another attempt to enforce politically-correct group-think on the man in the street. If Islamophobia means that one is critical of Islam, then I think it is the duty of every person to be Islamophobic. If Islamophobia means that one sees the Islam as a threat, than it is the duty of every person to be Islamophobic. The political ideology of Islam and radical Islam are indeed a threat to our Flemish and European cultural identity and identity. May Europe never be Eurabia!”

During the Question Hour today in the Flemish parliament, Filip Dewinter will interrogate the Flemish Minister of Integration, Marino Keulen [Open VLD, Flemish Liberals] about this study.

An interview with Filip Dewinter about the report:

Almost half of the Flemish are of the opinion that Islam does not contribute to European culture. Almost half of the Flemings consider Islamic values to be a threat to our society and finds Islamic culture violent. A research of the KU Leuven [Catholic University Leuven] pointed out earlier this week that we do not have a high esteem for Islam. Politicians reacted with shock to this “Islamophobia”.

Filip Dewinter (Flemish Interest) on the contrary expresses delight “My congratulations to everyone who, despite the politically-correct group-think, the intimidation and the brainwashing is yet resilient enough to continue not only to understand the violent nature of Islam but also to express that. The figures show that the population has not yet been fully affected by the multicultural virus.”

A number of politicians want to take action, you will find that not necessary?

“Absolutely not. We should just take into account the conviction of the Flemings. Politicians always give the same answer: indoctrination and re-education. They believe that the Fleming has insufficient knowledge on Islam. The opposite is true. The population is simply right.

“Politicians are profiling themselves too much as do-gooders. They immediately want to make the man in the street feel guilty. The adaptation of the law is the next step. Instantly, Islamophobia is a crime. It is surely impossible to label every form of criticism of Islam as Islamophobia. That way they kill any debate.”

Flemings are especially critical towards extreme manifestations of this religion.

“That is a misconception. Islam simply is unable to adapt to Western values: then it would not be Islam anymore. Look, cultural Muslims constitute the overwhelming majority here. For them the Islam is no more than a perception the passed on through family traditions.. They are not consistent experience religion consistently. Immediately they are not real Muslims. The radical Muslims, about 10 to 20 percent, are in charge. They bring the political ideology into practice. We have nothing against Muslims, but do so against their political ideology. This ideology is at odds with Western freedoms, standards and values. The Flemish government is by taking its stance, protecting radical Muslims.”

To you, Islamophobia is a form of good citizenship.

“Definitely. At least as long as Islamophobia means that one sees the Islam as a threat. It is about time that Flemish minister Marino Keulen [Open VLD, Flemish Liberals] understands this. Unfortunately, he persists in anger. With the recognition of Islam as a religion in Flanders he cooperates with the building of a social grouping, a Muslim pillar.”

Quote from an article by Yves Weinberger in Joods Actueel:

…If there is Islamophobia today in our Western world, then that is primarily because of the impotence of the Muslim world in adapting to modernity. A part of the Muslim world is dropping back into fundamentalism in which all blame is shifted onto Israel and the West. Although hundreds of millions of people are having a hard time on our planet, it is quite striking that Muslim militias are responsible for the bulk of the terror. And what do the moderate Muslims and the theologians say? They remain silent! Still no reason to be somewhat Islamophobic? Anyone who has seen the demonstrations of the AEL [Arab European League] and their ilk is aware of how the hatred against Jews in general, the West, and the US is being orchestrated. It was significant to see the clerico-fascist Islamists and atheist communists hand in hand and to hear slogans like “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.

VH offers his own opinion:

A serious point of criticism of the report might be that the hosts, the Flemings are being researched for their attitude to colonizers they never asked for, and without researching the colonizers first. Just a thought: half your neighborhood is suddenly (within a few decades) flooded with Muslims who are in no way planning to join in or respect you or your culture and country, and then a research group comes to your house to see what is wrong with you and to count your books: “The participation in voluntary work — to have a socially wide life-style — and a broad knowledge (expressed in book ownership) have mitigating effects on both the negative attitudes towards minorities and the negative attitude towards Islam.” [p.20]

The immigrants should apologize to the Flemings for this harassment, pay back the damage and promise to behave from now on or leave, and take all those appeasing big mouth dhimmi politicians with them.

Why Was There No Chinese Newton?

Why Was There No Chinese Newton?

To my essay Western Civilization and Socratic Dialogue, Dymphna of the Gates of Vienna blog wrote a comment about Greek vs. Chinese ways of thinking. This is an interesting subject which I will explore further here, with an emphasis on mathematical astronomy. The Danish nobleman and astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), born in Scania or Skåne in southern Sweden, then a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, from 1600 until his death in 1601 was assisted by theGerman mathematical astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), who published his Astronomia nova in 1609 with calculations of the elliptical orbit of Mars based on Brahe’s careful observations. The English scholar Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1726) has no equal in the history of science, with the possible exception of Albert Einstein. Yet even he did not work in isolation.

Here is The Oxford Guide to the History of Physics and Astronomy, page 227:

“In 1679, Newton learned of Robert Hooke’s idea that orbital or curved motion could be explained by a combination of a linear inertial component along the orbit’s tangent and a continual falling inward toward the center. Newton wrote that he had never before heard of this ‘hypothesis.’ But he perceived a connection between Hooke’s suggestion and Johannes Kepler’s law of areas, and showed that they implied that the tendency toward the center in planetary elliptical orbits must vary as the inverse square of the distance from the Sun. He informed no one about this great breakthrough. In 1684 Newton received a visit from Edmond Halley, who asked for help in solving a problem that had stumped everyone in London: the force that produces planetary elliptical orbits. Newton replied that he had already solved it. He wrote up his solution in a little tract called De motu. While revising and expanding it, he discovered that the same force that keeps the planets in orbit must cause perturbations in the orbital motions of other planets, the key to the great principle and law of universal gravitation….In 1687 he published his resulting masterpiece, Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).”

Kepler’s laws, which helped pave the way for Newton’s Principia, were developed in the early 1600s based on Brahe’s naked-eye observations. Just a few decades earlier, Copernicus had placed the Sun at the center of the Solar System instead of the Earth. Ptolemaic astronomy had thus been superseded in Europe even before the introduction of the telescope. It is interesting to contrast this with Muslims, who had the same Ptolemaic and Greek starting point during the Middle Ages, yet nevertheless did not produce a similar breakthrough.

Could something like the Principia have been produced in China? Here is Science and Technology in World History by James E. McClellan and Harold Dorn, page 132-133:

“Although weak in astronomical theory, given the charge to search for heavenly omens, Chinese astronomers became acute observers….who produced systematic star charts and catalogues. Chinese astronomers recorded 1,600 observations of solar and lunar eclipses from 720 BCE, and developed a limited ability to predict eclipses. They registered seventy-five novas and supernovas (or ‘guest’ stars) between 352 BCE and 1604 CE, including the exploding star of 1054 (now the Crab Nebula), visible even in the daytime but apparently not noticed by Islamic or European astronomers. With comets a portent of disaster, Chinese astronomers carefully logged twenty-two centuries of cometary observations from 613 BCE to 1621 CE, including the viewing of Halley’s comet every 76 years from 240 BCE. Observations of sunspots (observed through dust storms) date from 28 BCE. Chinese astronomers knew the 26,000-year cycle of the precession of the equinoxes. Like the astronomers of the other Eastern civilizations, but unlike the Greeks, they did not develop explanatory models for planetary motion. They mastered planetary periods without speculating about orbits. Government officials also systematically collected weather data.”

The comet we know as Halley’s Comet had been spotted many times before the great English astronomer Edmond Halley (1656–1742), but it was not recognized as a periodic comet until eighteenth century Europe, which is significant. The Chinese had apparently never calculated the orbits of either Halley’s Comet or other comets which they had observed. They had a large mass of observational data, yet never used it to deduct mathematical theories about the movement of planets and comets similar to what Kepler, Newton and others did in Europe. Newton’s Principia was written a few generations after the introduction of the telescope, which makes it seductively simple to believe that the theory of universal gravity was somehow the logical conclusion of telescopic astronomy. Yet this is not at all the case.

What would have happened if the telescope had been invented in China? Would we then have had a Chinese Newton? This is impossible to say for certain, of course, but I doubt it. Chinese culture never placed much emphasis on law, either in human form, as in secular Roman law, natural law or divine law. If the Chinese had invented the telescope, I suspect they would have used it to study comets, craters on the Moon etc., which would clearly have been valuable, no doubt. Any culture that used telescopes would have generated new knowledge with the device, but not necessarily a law of universal gravity. McClellan and Dorn, page 259:

“Newton’s celestial mechanics hinges on the case of the earth’s moon. This case and the case of the great comet of 1680 were the only ones that Newton used to back up his celestial mechanics, for they were the only instances where he had adequate data. With regard to the moon, Newton knew the rough distance between it and the earth (60 Earth radii). He knew the time of its orbit (one month). From that he could calculate the force holding the moon in orbit. In an elegant bit of calculation, using Galileo’s law of falling bodies, Newton demonstrated conclusively that the force responsible for the fall of bodies at the surface of the earth – the earth’s gravity – is the very same force holding the moon in its orbit and that gravity varies inversely as the square of the distance from the center of the earth. In proving this one exquisite caseNewton united the heavens and the earth and closed the door on now-stale cosmological debates going back to Copernicus and Aristotle. In proving this and the comet case, Newton simultaneously opened the door on a whole new world of problems to solve.”

In his excellent book Cosmos, John North points out that in China, where astronomy was intimately connected with government and civil administration, interest in cosmological matters was not markedly scientific in the Western sense of the word and did not develop any great deductive system of a character such as we meet in Aristotle or Ptolemy. Page 136:

“The great scholar we know as Confucius (551 BC-478 BC) did nothing to help this situation – if in fact it needed help. Primarily a political reformer who wished to ensure that the human world mirrored the harmony of the natural world, he wrote a chapter on their relation, but it was soon lost, and a number of stories told of him give him a reputation for having no great interest in the heavens as such….The all-pervading Chinese view of nature as animistic, as inhabited by spirits or souls, gave to their astronomy a character not unknown in the West, but at a scholarly level made it markedly less well structured. At a concrete level, we come across such Chinese doctrines as that there is a cock in the Sun and a hare in the Moon – the hare sitting under a tree, pounding medicines in a mortar, and so forth. At a more abstract level there is the notorious all-encompassing doctrine of the yin and the yang, a form of cosmology that is to Aristotelian thinking as yin is to yang.”

He adds on page 139 that “Unlike Platonic and Aristotelian thought, Chinese thought was not overtly philosophical, but rather, it was historical. Joseph Needham, a well-known authority on the history of science in China, has suggested that the reason for this is that Chinese religion had no lawgiver in human guise, so that the Chinese did not naturally think in terms of laws of nature.”

Naturally occurring regularities and phenomena could be observed, of course, but the Chinese did not generally deduct universal natural laws from them, possibly because their view of nature was that reality is too subtle to be encoded in general, mathematical principles. In European astronomy phenomena such as comets, novae and sunspots that did not readily lend themselves to treatment in terms of laws were taken far less seriously than those that were. The history-conscious Chinese, on the other hand, kept detailed and plentiful records of all such phenomena, records which still remain a valuable source of astronomical information.

Su Sung’s (1020-1101 AD) astronomical water clock was an impressive mechanical device by eleventh century standards, and his work included a star map based on a new survey of the heavens, the oldest printed star map ever recorded. The Chinese could clearly produce talented individuals, but their work was often not followed up. The Imperial bureaucracy was hampered by many obstacles to the free and unfettered pursuit of scientific knowledge, especially due to excessive secrecy and regulation in the study of mathematics and astronomy. By making this study a state secret, Chinese authorities drastically reduced the number of scholars who could, legitimately or otherwise, study astronomy. This restriction greatly reduced the availability of the best and latest astronomical instruments and observational data. The Rise of Early Modern Science, second edition, by Toby E. Huff, page 313:

“The fact remains that virtually every move made by the astronomical staff had to be approved by the emperor before anything could be done, before modifications in instrumentation or traditional recoding procedures could be put into effect. It is not surprising, therefore, that despite the existence of a bureau of astronomers staffed by superior Muslim astronomers (since 1368), Arab astronomy (based as it was on Euclid and Ptolemy) had no major impact on Chinese astronomy, so that three hundred years later when the Jesuits arrived in China, it appeared that Chinese astronomy had never had any contact with Euclid’s geometry and Ptolemy’s Almagest. Moreover, contrary to Needham’s arguments, more recent students of Chinese astronomy suggest that Chinese astronomy was perhaps not as advanced as Needham suggested and that ‘Chinese astronomers, many of them brilliant men by any standards, continued to think in flat-earth terms until the seventeenth century.’ If we consider the study of mathematics, in which the metaphysical implications of abstract thought may be less obvious to outsiders and which may therefore give scholars more freedom of thought, we encounter an institutional structure equally detrimental to the advancement of science.”

Astronomy in the Islamic world stagnated and never fully managed to leave behind its Ptolemaic structure, as Europeans eventually did, but Muslims were familiar with Greek knowledge and geometry which the Chinese apparently failed to adopt during the Mongol period. The sphericity of the Earth had been known to the ancient Greeks since at least the time of Aristotle in the fourth century BC and was never seriously questioned among those who were influenced by Greek knowledge in the Middle East, in Europe and to some extent in India. The myth that medieval European scholars believed in a flat Earth is of modern origin.

Mesopotamian mathematical astronomy reached India during the Persian conquests of northwest India by the fifth century BC, along with alphabetic writing systems. Contact with Greek astronomy came after Alexander the Great’s conquests of the same region and through trade contact between Romans and western India during the first and second centuries AD. This was the period after Hipparchus but before Ptolemy, so the Greek astronomy used in India was not that of Ptolemy. Indians were clearly influenced by spherical trigonometry in the Greek fashion as well as by Babylonian material, but the Indian tradition was far from a passive science. Here is Victor J. Katz in A History of Mathematics, second edition, page 196:

“The Chinese emperors, like rulers elsewhere, had always been interested in problems of the calendar, that is, in predicting various celestial events such as eclipses. Unfortunately, Chinese astronomers were not very successful in predicting eclipses because they did not fully understand the motions of the sun and moon. Indian astronomers, because of Greek influence in the creation of a geometrical model, were more successful. Thus in the eighth century, when Buddhism was strong in both India and China and there were many reciprocal visits of Buddhist monks, the Chinese emperors of the Tang dynasty brought in Indian scholars as well to provide a new expertise….In 724, the State Astronomical Bureau of the Tang dynasty began an extensive program of field research…These observations were then analyzed by the chief astronomer, Yi Xing (683-727), himself a Buddhist monk. Yi Xing’s goals was to use these and other observations, as well as various interpolation techniques, to calculate the length of such shadows, the duration of daylight and night, and the occurrence of eclipses, whatever the position of the observer. (Yi Xing was not aware of the sphericity of the earth and therefore could not make use of the classic Greek model.)”

I have consulted a number of balanced, scholarly works, and even a rather pro-Chinese book such as A Cultural History of Modern Science in China by Benjamin A. Elman admits that Chinese scholars still believed in a flat Earth in the seventeenth century AD, when European Jesuits missionaries introduced new mathematical and geographical knowledge to China:

“For instance, the first translated edition of Matteo Ricci’s map of the world (mappa mundi), which was produced with the help of Chinese converts, was printed in 1584. A flattened sphere projection with parallel latitudes and curving longitudes, Ricci’s world map went through eight editions between 1584 and 1608. The third edition was entitled the Complete Map of the Myriad Countries on the Earth and printed in 1602 with the help of Li Zhizao. The map showed the Chinese for the first time the exact location of Europe. In addition, Ricci’s maps contained technical lessons for Chinese geographers: (1) how cartographers could localize places by means of circles of latitude and longitude; (2) many geographical terms and names, including Chinese terms for Europe, Asia, America, and Africa (which were Ricci’s invention); (3) the most recent discoveries by European explorers; (4) the existence of five terrestrial continents surrounded by large oceans; (5) the sphericity of the earth; and (6) five geographical zones and their location from north to south on the earth, that is, the Arctic and Antarctic circles, and the temperate, tropical, and subtropical zones.”

Japan received much scientific and technological information from China and with Korean immigrants during the sixth, seventh and eighth centuries AD. Until contact with Europeans, Japanese astronomy was based almost entirely on that of the Koreans and the Chinese. They borrowed institutional patterns from China, but these did not fit Japan equally well and the knowledge of astronomy and calendar-making became increasingly hereditary, which depressed scientific standards. They also took over some of China’s flaws, for instance with ranking astrology and divination higher in the scale of human wisdom than calendar-making and what we would consider serious mathematical astronomy.

The Chinese mathematical tradition was significant (certainly better than the non-existent Roman one), but less influential than the Indian one. I would be tempted to say that China was a hardware civilization whereas India was a software civilization. The truth is that given the size of their economy and population, the Chinese were weaker in mathematics than might have been expected if you believe in an economic explanation for scientific advances. The Japanese and Korean mathematical traditions were again largely dependent upon the Chinese one. Given the level of technological sophistication these nations have shown and the talent they have demonstrated in using mathematics, they have contributed surprisingly little to developing mathematics, whereas the European contribution to global mathematics is greatly disproportionate. This proves that although some minimum level of wealth is a necessary cause for the growth of science (extremely poor people concentrate on surviving, not on inventing calculus or comparative linguistics), it is by no means a sufficient one.

From the fourteenth until the twentieth century, almost all important global advances in mathematics were European. I would be tempted to say that European leadership was stronger in mathematics than in almost any other scholarly discipline. Perhaps the simplest explanation for why the Scientific Revolution happened in Europe is because the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics, as Galileo once famously stated, and Europeans did more than any other civilization to develop or discover the vocabulary of this language.

The introduction of the telescope was a major watershed in the history of astronomy, but we should remember that it alone did not create modern astronomy. The birth of astrophysics in the late nineteenth century came through the combination of the telescope with photography and spectroscopy, all inventions that were exclusively made in Europe. Spectroscopy could not be developed until chemistry as a scientific discipline had been formed, which only happened in Europe. New fuels, engines and materials later made space travel possible. Asian rockets were powered by gunpowder and weighed a couple of kilograms at most. They could not have challenged the Earth’s gravity and explored the Solar System. The Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 11 on its journey to the Moon in 1969 used liquid hydrogen and oxygen, elements which had been discovered in Europe. The very concept of gravity, too, was developed only in Europe. The exploration of the Solar System and the universe at large was to an overwhelming degree made possible by a single civilization alone, the Western one.