Friday, April 19, 2013

Americans Too Slow to Grasp the Source of Islamic Terrorism: Random Thoughts on the Koran and the Boston Marathon Bombing

I find it deeply disturbing to see how slow our nation has been to recognize the threat of Islamic terrorism. My mother's family fled Armenia. For this and other reasons, I am highly sensitive to the way Muslim adherents murdered my Christian ancestors in one of the most horrible examples of genocide in history. In my mind, it is as if those murders occurred minutes ago.

As an Armenian-American, I understand, better than most, the severe costs of overestimating how safe it is for Christians to have Islamic neighbors. Frankly, it would take generations of new, non-violent behavior by Islamic adherents before I would ever suggest it was safe to have Islamic adherents as neighbors.

I am also an independent sort of person. I have a reputation for speaking my mind so, in a sense, I am not surprised I should be among the first to sound the alarm and to argue that Muslims have not yet proven to the world that they are safe neighbors. As such, I am livid at the coverage provided by the mainstreamm media. After watching MSNBC and the White House's response to this latest act of terrorism in Boston, I am offended that we are not doing more to link Islam to a bombing that wounded more than 170 people and left three dead.

All in all, I am startled about how squeemish and politically correct the media gets as we face down the threats posed by Islamic ideology. For a great look at Al Qaeda ideology, I recommend Dore Gold's book, Hatred's Kingdom.

The fearful ideology that apparently motivated the Boston Marathon bombers has been a violent threat to its neighbors in Saudi Arabia for years.

The depth of the challenge should be obvious to anyone who reads through the Koran. In a recent article in American Thinker, Victor Sharpe provides a great list of passages from the Koran which should be read and understood by every American. As he reports, the Koran instructs people as follows:

"Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." Koran 2:191

"Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood." Koran 9:123

"When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them." Koran 9:5

"Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable." Koran 3:85

"The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them."... Koran 9:30

"Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam" Koran 5:33

"Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies." Koran 22:19

"The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them." Koran 8:65

"Muslims must not take the infidels as friends." Koran 3:28

"Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur'an." Koran 8:12

"Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels." Koran 8:60

When I read these passages in the Koran myself, I was shocked at the way this supposed holy text propogates and justifies violence against, and oppression of, Jews and Christians. It is disturbing to me that otherwise capable mainstream analysts would seek to minimize the extent to which the Koran is not really a religious book at all, but actually a political ideology of fascist-style domination.

I have also seen Islamic contempt for Christians face-to-face. I taught my grant writing workshop at the Bible Society of Egypt in 2008 and got to see how persecuted Christians lived under an Islamic regime. It was not pretty. The Christians we met were reduced to living in and worshipping in a cave above a garbage dump.

I am deeply afraid that we are going to be too slow in catching the next wave of violent Islamic terrorists out of fear of offending Islamic adherents. Frankly, the more I read up on Islam, the worse and more dangerous it looks to me. I expect the bombing in Boston will renew a fresh, courageous conversation regarding Islamic terrorism and the root causes of Islamic violence - the words of the Koran.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dr. Drew Takes a Look at MiCORE Solutions as an Example of a Successful Consulting Practice

As a consultant to non-profit organizations, I am intrigued by the success stories of other consultants - particularly those who provide services to the corporate or government spheres. One of the most surprising things I learned - just this year - is that business consultants will be the fastest growing job category where I live, here, in Orange County, CA.

I just stumbled over an incredible success story regarding MiCORE Solutions. They are a leading Oracle database support and services, specializing in architecting, optimizing, and managing complex Oracle environments. Part of their success appears to be their location in Reston, Virginia, just outside Washington D.C.  This location, I imagine, helps them provide Oracle government solutions.

CEO Blair Tolbard leads
MiCORE’s executive team.
According to the information in their website, they help enterprises solve complex business problems, and strive to enable clients to maximize the value received from their IT investments. One of the most exciting things about MiCORE's is that they are building on their experience in Oracle consulting and adding their experience in applying cloud technologies from Google and Amazon. This enables them, as they say, " create a blueprint for tomorrow, leveraging the latest technologies of today."

I was also interested to learn that they have built philanthropy into their business model. They are big supporters of some of my favorite charities including the Wounded Warrior Project.  I was pleased to learn that MiCORE has raised over $15,000 of direct financial support and contributed in excess of $50,000 of ‘in kind’ support for this wonderful charity.

MiCORE's CEO, Blair Tolbard, is clearly an extraordinary leader. He is a U.S. Navy veteran with nearly 30 years of experience in the information technology sector having held executive leadership positions at companies like IBM and Oracle. His specialties include building and nurturing highly effective teams. Prior to his career in the information technology sector, Blair served in the United States Navy from 1975-1979 as a member of the Atlantic Fleet aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Mitscher.

In 2012, Tolbard and his wife participated in the annual Armed Forces Freedom Ride where more than 1,000 motorcycles roared through the streets to salute the military. This tradition has raised over $100,000 for local veterans' groups over its six year history. “Sharon and I are moved by the number of people that showed up for the ride this year,” said Tolbard, “it was a beautiful day and an amazing way to honor our military heros and their families.”

I think one of the coolest things about being a consultant like Tolbard is it is easier to plan your business and your life to reflect your values, interests, and specific skills. It makes me feel better about America to know that businessmen like Tolbard are growing their practices and making a difference for their clients.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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