Saturday, June 30, 2007

Free the Quranists

At 2:30 a.m. on May 28th Egyptian police broke into Abdellatif Muhammad Said's Cairo apartment, blindfolded and arrested him, and seized his computer. At the same time, Said's three cousins were arrested in another apartment. No one knows where they are being held.

Arrests like this happen frequently in Egypt, which receives $2 billion yearly in U.S. aid. Why Said? He works with the Quranists, a Muslim reform group, and is the half brother of the movement's leader, Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour. (Full disclosure: Mansour is my friend).
Complete article: Free the Quranists

Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru.



They came by sword and will go by the sword

An article by Mohammad Khaled.

As Safir, 6/29/2007
Source (Arabic): As Safir
[Translation copyright MidEastWeb for Coexistence, 2007 ]
Plato said: "One of the penalties of not participating in politics is to
let the inferior others to control your fate."

Although the Palestinian people, men, women, and children practice politics they were doomed to be controlled by groups who are less competent. Fatah is a national liberation movement who is stuffed with monetary corruption. Hamas is a religious movement that is ideologicallycorrupted. In the last elections, the Palestinian people punished Fatah because of its corruption and its failure in managing the struggle against the Zionist enemy. Corruption of ideology and much  ignorance led Hamas to commit an unprecedented action in politics, which is a military coup against its own government. The flags of Palestine were removed from the authority buildings and the flags of Hamas were raised in the
skyline of Gaza (instead of raising them in Tel Aviv!). Did Hamas become a Palestinian Taliban?
In a victory that is much worse than a defeat, ignorant voices were raised to declare the establishment of an Islamic state in Palestine.

In Lebanon Fatah Islam is talking about an Islamic emirate in Tripoli. Two Islamic states are going to be started inside two secular states. Palestine and Lebanon.

What kind of destructive minds has Bin Laden  exported?
Islam against Christianity and Judaism. Al Absi and his master Al Zarkawi. Sunnis against Shiites. amas the Sunni against the other Sunnis. It is Islam against Islam.

The early Arabs presented a genius invention to the humanity that was the base for all sciences: the zero. The later Arabs removed the zero and sat on its place. The Islamists dug a well under it which was
bottomless. Their brains are in the middle ages and their bodies are in the 21st century. The ordinary citizen should send a message to the attorney general against those who sneaked in from the middle ages to the age of modernism , inventions, and scientific revolution and the equality of all people, men and women, without any reservation and without regard to color, sex, religion or beliefs.
It is the age of giving women full freedom without any discrimination or rotten masculine heresy about the biological differences between man and woman,  trying to establish the woman inferiority and establish the superiority of men from the moment of birth.

Last week there was a women parade in Gaza led by working women in the field of press and media. They were protesting against the threats who they received from radical Islamists. They declared they would cut off the head of any media lady who did not put a hijab on her head. The Moroccan writer Fatima Marnissi was right when she said that hijab is not an article of clothing, it is job division or classification.
In Gaza, as in Afghanistan the Muslim fundamentalists say that the normal placefor the woman is in the kitchen and her duty is to feed the male and stay in the bedroom to breed children. Their social leader said: if you are going to meet your woman don't forget your stick. Their preferable governor is the khalif and the executioner and let the election boxes be drowned at the bottom of the sea.

In Lebanon there was a crisis manufactured  by a gang that belongs to the Al-Qaida. Its name is Fatah of Islam and it is led by Shaker Al Absi. Who is he? He was condemned to death in Jordan. He ran to Syria and was caught and sentenced to ten years in prison. After spending four years he was released by a secret deal with the Syrian authorities. Jordan asked Syria to deliver him but Syria refused. He went to Iraq and was trained by his master Al Zarkawi. Later on he came back from Iraq and got into Lebanon with his gang through Damascus. He started a catastrophic crisis when he attacked the Lebanese army. His goal was to establish an Islamic emirate in the north of Lebanon. Sadly, none of the Islamic groups in the region (the Muslim brotherhood, Hamas, Islamic jihad, Hezbollah, Ahbash, Jundi Sham, swords of Islam, etc) condemned this gang in a loud and clear voice. A sharp decision was taken by the patriotic and the brave Lebanese army to destroy this gang without negotiation or delay.
The Lebanese army suffered from casualties and deaths of martyred soldiers. This gang and its supporters put the residents of the Albared river Palestinian refugee camp in a very difficult and embarrassing social and political situation. But all the Palestinians in Lebanon supported the Lebanese army and they loudly cursed this hired gang and its evil goals. When you make a mistake youapologize. When you make a compulsive action you blame yourself. When you commit a sin you repent. But those people would not apologize, blame themselves, or repent. Gravediggers do not do that.

Their moves are not fair. They have an unfair agenda. They fight unfair battles in the wrong place at the wrong time. History tells us that those who came by sword will go by the sword.

Mohammad Khaled,
Palestinian writer.
Resident in Abu Dhabi UAE.
Cross posted: Israel News and  Middle East Analysis

Friday, June 29, 2007

Oxford U. not joining the Israel boycott

A little good news was reported in Ha'aretz today:

Oxford not joining the boycott of Israeli academia
28.6.07 | 20:29 By TheMarker
Oxford University is not joining a boycott, after the University and College Union on May 30 called for its branches to debate withholding cooperation from Israeli universities.

Oxford announced that it "affirms its policy of maintaining open communications and professional links with universities everywhere in order best to support the upholding of the principle of academic freedom".

The boycott was not universally well received in English circles. On Sunday this week, Religious Intelligence reported that the Anglican Bishop of Chester had denounced the UCU call. The site reported that Lady Deech, formerly the leader of St Anne?s College at Oxford, told the House of Lords that the boycott amounted to anti-intellectual bigotry.

The UCU recommendation received a majority of 158 votes of its members against 99 opponents. It called for Europe to withhold funding from Israeli academic institutions.

During the coming year, the union's 120,000 members are to debate the imposition of a boycottt on Israeli academic institutions.

Read the statement Statement on union discussions on a potential boycott of Israeli academic institutions at:

--Wendy in Washington

Boston Islamic Mosque builders drop suit, intimidate opposition

The point of the lawsuit was to intimidate investigation of the Islamic society of Boston. Apparently, it worked. But the original charges made by the Boston Herald will apparently never be investigated.

By Jeff Jacoby

The Boston Globe 

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

     Four weeks ago, the Islamic Society of Boston folded its cards. On May 29, it abandoned the sweeping defamation lawsuit it had filed in 2005 against 17 defendants -- journalists, scholars, activist groups, and others who had expressed concerns about the Islamic Society's leaders, some of whom had ties to jihadist extremism, and about the land the city of Boston had sold it at a cut-rate price in order to build a mosque.

     The complaint had accused the defendants of despicable behavior -- lying about the Islamic Society, vilifying innocent people, conspiring to deprive Boston-area Muslims of their religious freedom and other civil rights. If even some of the charges were true, the defendants deserved to face harsh legal penalties and be shunned by the entire community. Instead, the Islamic Society dropped its suit without collecting a penny. Why?

     Because the charges were false, that's why. And pretrial discovery -- the evidence being gathered through subpoenas and depositions -- was proving it.

     For example, the Islamic Society claimed that publicity about its leaders' ties to Islamist extremism had "been devastating" to the organization's fund-raising. "Donations to the ISB have decreased," the lawsuit charged. In a press release, the organization lamented that negative media coverage had resulted in "donations trickling to a halt."

     But in July 2005, well after the supposedly "devastating" news coverage had first appeared in the Boston Herald and on Fox 25 TV, a letter written by the Islamic Society's attorney and e-mailed by Chairman Yousef Abou-allaban conveyed a very different message. "Fund-raising has been robust," it reported, "and ISB has $2 million in cash."

     Fund-raising had indeed been robust. Documents acquired during discovery revealed that some $4.2 million had been wired to an Islamic Society bank account in New Hampshire between April 2004 and May 2005 -- nearly all of it from Saudi Arabia. Another $1 million came from the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank in late 2005.

     Those ties to Saudi Arabia were a key reason for concern about the Islamic Society. Saudi Arabia's state religion is Wahhabism, a radical and belligerent form of Islam, and as the 9/11 Commission reported, Saudi money is used "to spread Wahhabi beliefs throughout the world, including in mosques and schools. . . . Some Wahhabi-funded organizations have been exploited by extremists to further their goal of violent jihad against non-Muslims."

     But in its lawsuit, the Islamic Society had *denied* any Saudi connection to the mosque it was building in Boston. It said it had been libeled by the "false information" that it received money "from Wahhabis and/or Muslim Brotherhood and/or other Saudi/Middle Eastern sources." As the evidence amassed during discovery made clear, however, that wasn't libel. It was the simple truth.

     Repeatedly, the Islamic Society sought court orders blocking the release of such evidence. In one case, it warned that publishing certain documents would "create serious security risks" for Muslim worshipers, since it would reveal the new mosque's architectural schematics. The court denied that request after the defendants pointed out that the schematics were not exactly a secret: They are publicly posted on the Islamic Society's own website.

     And so it went. One by one, the Islamic Society's claims and accusations proved groundless. By the time it dropped its lawsuit on May 29, it was clear that it had no chance of winning.

     And yet the Islamic Society spins its loss as a victory, noting that the construction of the mosque is going forward. "It was never about money," said Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. "It was about religious freedom."

     What the lawsuit was really about, it seems to me, was intimidation -- intimidation of anyone inclined to raise questions or express concerns about the Islamic Society's leaders and their connections to radical Islam. Libel suits have become a favorite tactic of Islamists, who deploy them to silence their critics. In yet another document produced during discovery, the head of the Islamic Center of New England advises Abou-allaban to "thwart" Fox 25 with a lawsuit. "If Fox is being sued for this story," he writes, "it stands to reason that they will be prevented from reporting on the story further while the case is in court."

     Sad to say, such legal intimidation works. Once the lawsuit was filed, Fox 25 and the Herald essentially ended their investigative reporting into the Islamic Society's radical connections. Others felt the pressure, too. When an attorney for one of the defendants was interviewed about the case on the radio, the station received a threatening legal letter from the Islamic Society's lawyer -- followed by a subpoena for tapes of the interview and the program host's notes. A free-lance journalist who wrote an article about the case for The New Republic was likewise hit with a subpoena.

     So while the Islamic Society's lawsuit was without merit, that doesn't mean it was without effect. Serious questions remain about the Saudi-funded mosque going up in Boston. Will journalists, public officials, and concerned citizens insist on getting answers? Or will they choose instead to look the other way, unwilling to run the risk of predatory litigation and bad-faith accusation?

(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe.)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Abbas Admits Palestinian Arabs Not Original Inhabitants Of Israel

It is possible to deceive a lot of people a short time and a few people a long time, but not everyone forever.
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru.

Winds of War?

In Winds of War, JOSHUA MURAVCHIK tells us:

Several conflicts of various intensities are raging in the Middle East. But a bigger war, involving more states -- Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, the Palestinian Authority and perhaps the United States and others -- is growing more likely every day, beckoned by the sense that America and Israel are in retreat and that radical Islam is ascending.

Consider the pell-mell events of recent weeks. Iran imprisons four Americans on absurd charges only weeks after seizing 15 British sailors on the high seas. Iran's Revolutionary Guard is caught delivering weapons to the Taliban and explosives to Iraqi terrorists. A car bomb in Lebanon is used to assassinate parliament member Walid Eido, killing nine others and wounding 11 more.

At the same time, Fatah al-Islam, a shady group linked to Syria, launches an attack on the Lebanese army from within a Palestinian refugee area, beheading several soldiers. Tehran trumpets further progress on nuclear enrichment as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeats his call for annihilating Israel, crowing that "the countdown to the destruction of this regime has begun." Hamas seizes control militarily in Gaza. Katyusha rockets are launched from Lebanon into northern Israel for the first time since the end of last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war.

Two important inferences can be distilled from this list. One is that the Tehran regime takes its slogan, "death to America," quite seriously, even if we do not. It is arming the Taliban, with which it was at sword's point when the Taliban were in power. It seems to be supplying explosives not only to Shiite, but also Sunni terrorists in Iraq. It reportedly is sheltering high-level al Qaeda figures despite the Sunni-Shiite divide. All of these surprising actions are for the sake of bleeding the U.S. However hateful this behavior may be to us, it has a certain strategic logic: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
What is even more worrisome about the events enumerated above is that most of them are devoid of any such strategic logic. For example, the Hamas "putsch" in Gaza -- as Marwan Barghouti, the hero of the Palestinian intifada, labeled it from his prison cell -- was an enormous blunder.

Hamas already mostly controlled Gaza. It is hard to imagine what gains it can reap from its "victory." But it is easy to see the losses. Fatah, and the government of its leader Mahmoud Abbas, will be able to restore their strength in the West Bank with the eager assistance of virtually the whole outside world, while Gaza will be shut off and denied outside aid far more strictly than during the past year. Israel will retaliate against shelling with a freer hand. Egypt will tighten its border. And Hamas has in one swoop negated its own supreme achievement, namely winning a majority in Palestine's 2006 parliamentary elections. Until now, Hamas had a powerful argument: how can the West demand democracy and then boycott the winners? But now it is Hamas itself that has destroyed Palestinian democracy by staging an armed coup. Its democratic credentials have gone up in the smoke of its own arson.

Syria's actions in Lebanon scarcely make more sense. The murder of parliamentarian Eido will solidify and energize the majority that opposes Syria. Some suppose that, having now bumped off two Lebanese MPs (Pierre Gemayel was the other one), Syria plans to shave away the anti-Syrian majority in Lebanon's parliament by committing another five murders. But if so, this is a crazy gambit. Such a campaign would invite international intervention. It might well fracture the pro-Syrian forces: More Shiites will abandon Hezbollah and more Maronites will turn against Hezbollah's cat's-paw, Michel Aoun. And the murders might be for naught anyway: By-elections are already being planned that are likely to replace the martyred legislators with others of the same mind. As for the attack on the Lebanese army, Fatah al-Islam is on the brink of being crushed, leaving behind only more hatred of Syria and a better-armed, more confident Lebanese army.

As for Iran's actions, while arming the Taliban and Iraqi terrorists may make sense, what is the point of seizing British sailors or locking up the four Iranian-Americans, including the beloved 67-year-old scholar, Haleh Esfandieri, none of whom are involved even in political activity, much less in the exercise of hard power?

The apparent meaning of all of this pointless provocation and bullying is that the axis of radicals -- Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah -- is feeling its oats. In part its aim is to intimidate the rest of us, in part it is merely enjoying flexing its muscles. It believes that its side has defeated America in Iraq, and Israel in Gaza and Lebanon. Mr. Ahmadinejad recently claimed that the West has already begun to "surrender," and he gloated that " final victory . . . is near." It is this bravado that bodes war.
Actually, most of it seems like a regular day at the office for the Middle East. A lot of it will make more sense after you read  The Truth About Syria. The Hamas coup was not a strategic blunder for Syria or Iran or for the Hamas. The outcome of the struggle however, will be determined by the strength of the opponents, which will only be tested when really vital interests are challenged. It will not be determined by the Khalam Fahdi (empty talk) of Middle East loudmouths.
Ami Isseroff

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gasoline rationing in Iran causes riots, attack on gas stations

An Iranian gas station was attacked after rationing was announced, according to an AFP report. Iran subsidizes the price of gasoline to ensure popularity of the regime. This has created a huge pollution problem in Tehran and other cities, and also artificially boosted demand for gasoline, robbing Iran of precious export dollars for its poorly exploited petroleum reserves. At the same time, the regime announced strict rationing of compressed natural gas as well. This must be considered in the light of the fact that Iran has the second largest natural gas reserves in the world.

Angry Iranian youths attacked a gas station in the Pounak area of northwest Tehran on Tuesday, burning a car and pumps after the government announced it was going to begin rationing fuel, witnesses said. The youths also threw stones and shouted angry slogans denouncing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Since the announcement earlier Tuesday of the rationing plan, which allows for only 100 litres of gasoline per month for private cars, long queues started appearing at fuel pumps not only in Tehran but also in the countryside.

"One car, a Peugeot Persia, was burnt inside the petrol station which was partially on fire," an AFP journalist said after witnessing the attack in Pounak.

"The demonstrators were throwing stones. Anti-riot police deployed in the neighbouring streets intervened regularly to disperse the demonstrators before pulling back," he added.

According to an Iranian journalist, another petrol station in the south of Tehran was attacked in the Azadi area.

Iran's oil ministry issued a statement earlier on Tuesday announcing that the government was launching its long-awaited plan to ration petrol as of the following day.

"From midnight tonight (2030 GMT) petrol for all vehicles and motorcycles will be rationed," state television said in an announcement quoting a ministry statement.

It said private cars using just petrol would be rationed to 100 litres of petrol a month while those that used petrol and compressed natural gas (CNG) would only be allowed 30 litres.

The government said rationing for privately owned cars that either only burn petrol or use petrol and CNG would continue for four months and might be extended to six months at a later date.

The maximum amount of petrol allowed in total for the period was 400 liters for the petrol burning cars and 120 litres for those which consume both CNG and petrol.

The statement added that quotas could be saved and used later.

More than 10 days ago, Iran launched the first phase of the rationing plan, targeting only government vehicles.

The plan aims to reduce colossal state petrol subsidies.

"The maximum quota for each government car at the start of the programme is 10 litres per day," an oil ministry official said at the time.

He did not give details for purchases in excess of this limit but the rationing law passed by parliament in March dictates that these would be at a much higher price.

The significance of the rationing law was only expected to be realised when it was enforced on private car owners, forcing Iranians to pay a higher price for a commodity that now costs less than a comparable amount of mineral water.

Cheap pump prices have encouraged such consumption that the OPEC number two oil producer ironically has to spend billions of dollars each year importing gasoline.

Iran has already raised pump prices by 25 percent, to around 10 cents per litre, and forced consumers to use smart cards to keep track of their purchases.

However, problems in distributing the cards have delayed implementation of the rest of the plan. Pumping gas into the cars is only possible when the smart card is inserted into the pumping machine.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Israel and the U.N., continued

A strong article from the Washington Post about the sickening UN Human Rights COmmission. The sad thing (among so many sad things) is that the Europeans are just worthless spaghetti spines on this commission. Why? --Wendy in Washington

A Shadow on the Human Rights Movement

By Jackson Diehl
Monday, June 25, 2007; A19
Where does the global human rights movement stand in the seventh year of the 21st century? If the first year of the United Nations Human Rights Council is any indication, it's grown sick and cynical -- partly because of the fecklessness and flexible morality of some of the very governments and groups that claim to be most committed to democratic values.

At a session in Geneva last week, the council -- established a year ago in an attempt to reform the U.N. Human Rights Commission -- listened to reports by special envoys appointed by its predecessor condemning the governments of Cuba and Belarus. It then abolished the jobs of both "rapporteurs" in a post-midnight maneuver orchestrated by its chairman, who announced a "consensus" in spite of loud objections by the ambassador from Canada that there was no such accord.

While ending the scrutiny of those dictatorships, the council chose to establish one permanent and special agenda item: the "human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories." In other words, Israel (or "Palestine," in the council's terminology), alone among the nations of the world, will be subjected to continual and open-ended examination. That's in keeping with the record of the council's first year: Eleven resolutions were directed at the Jewish state. None criticized any other government.

Genocide in Sudan, child slavery and religious persecution in China, mass repression in Zimbabwe and Burma, state-sponsored murder in Syria and Russia -- and, for that matter, suicide bombings by Arab terrorist movements -- will not receive systematic attention from the world body charged with monitoring human rights. That is reserved only for Israel, a democratic country that has been guilty of human rights violations but also has been under sustained assault from terrorists and governments openly committed to its extinction.

The old human rights commission, which was disparaged by former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan for casting "a shadow on the United Nations system as a whole," frequently issued unbalanced condemnations of Israel but also typically adopted half a dozen resolutions a year aimed at the worst human rights abusers. For the new council, Israel is the only target. Eighteen of the 19 states dubbed "the worst of the worst" by the monitoring group Freedom House (Israel is not on the list) were ignored by the council in its first year. One mission was dispatched to examine the situation in Darfur. When it returned with a report criticizing the Sudanese government, the council refused to endorse it or accept its recommendations.

The regime of Gen. Omar al-Bashir, which is responsible for at least 200,000 deaths in Darfur, didn't just escape any censure. Sudan was a co-sponsor on behalf of the Arab League of the latest condemnations of Israel, adopted last week.

This record is far darker than Kofi Annan's "shadow." You'd think it would be intolerable to the democratic states that sit on the council. Sadly, it's not. Several of them -- India, South Africa, Indonesia -- have regularly supported the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement in their assaults on Israel and defense of Cuba, Belarus and Sudan. The council's chairman, who rammed through last week's decisions without a vote, is a diplomat from Mexico.

The European Union includes countries holding eight of the council's 47 seats. It has made no serious effort to focus the council's attention on the world's worst human rights violators. According to a report by the independent group UN Watch, the European Union "has for the most part abandoned initiating any country-specific resolutions." At one point before last week's meeting, the European Union threatened to quit the council, effectively killing it. Yet when the meeting ended, Europe's representative, Ambassador Michael Steiner of Germany, said that while the package of procedural decisions singling out Israel "is certainly not ideal . . . we have a basis we can work with."


Never mind how you count them: Is there a point at which a vicious and unfounded campaign to delegitimize one country -- which happens to be populated mostly by Jews -- makes it unconscionable to collaborate with the body that conducts it? "That could happen, but I don't think we're anywhere near there," Hicks said.

That's the human rights movement, seven years into a century that's off to a bad start.

Full article:

Kidnappers of Alan Johnston threaten to kill him 'like a lamb'

The Palestinian militants (as BBC calls terrorists who operate against in Israel)  claiming to hold kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston on Tuesday threatened to kill their hostage 'like a lamb' unless Britain and Jordan release Muslim prisoners.
In a statement emailed to AFP, the Army of Islam demanded the release of Iraqi woman, Sajida Al Rishawi, who has been sentenced to death in Jordan over triple hotel attacks in Amman that killed 60 people.
 It also demanded the release of Islamist Abu Mohammed Al Maqdissi -- held in Jordan since July 2005 -- and the Palestinian-born radical cleric Abu Qatada once fingered as the Al Qaeda spiritual guide in Europe and held in Britain.

'Our demands are known to all, release the three hostages, Sajida, the Palestinian Abu Qatada and Abu Mohammed Al Maqdissi. There will be no compromise, he (Johnston) will either stay in captivity for 1,000 or be slaughtered like a lamb,' the group said.

The chilling threat came just two days after the British journalist appeared in a grim new video, saying he was wearing a bomb-belt that his Gaza captors will detonate if there is any attempt to rescue him.

Johnston, an award winning journalist who was the only Western reporter still based permanently in the Gaza Strip when he was snatched at gunpoint on March 12 has been held in captivity for 105 days.

Great advice from Judea Pearl (Daniel Pearl's father)

Anti-Zionism is Racism
by Judea Pearl

In the past three months, I have visited four "troubled" campuses — Duke, York (Canada), Columbia and UC Irvine — where tensions between Jewish and anti-Zionist students and professors have attracted national attention. In these visits, I have spoken to students, faculty and administrators, and I have obtained a fairly gloomy picture of the situation on those and other campuses.

Jewish students are currently subjected to an unprecedented assault on their identity as Jews. And we, the Jewish faculty on campus, have let those students down. We have failed to equip them with effective tools to fight back this assault.

We can reverse this trend.

Many condemn anti-Zionism for being a flimsy cover for anti-Semitism. I disagree. The order is wrong. I condemn anti-Semitism for being an instrument for a worse form of racism: anti-Zionism.

In other words, I submit that anti-Zionism is a form of racism more dangerous than classical anti-Semitism. Framing anti-Zionism as racism is precisely the weapon that our students need for survival on campus.

Anti-Zionism earns its racist character from denying the Jewish people what it grants to other collectives (e.g . Spanish, Palestinians), namely, the right to nationhood and self-determination.

Are Jews a nation? A collective is entitled to nationhood when its members identify with a common history and wish to share a common destiny. Palestinians have earned nationhood status by virtue of thinking like a nation, not by residing where their ancestors did (many of them are only three or four generations in Palestine). Jews, likewise, are bonded by nationhood ( i.e., common history and destiny) more than they are bonded by religion.

The appeal to Jewish nationhood is necessary when we consider Israel's insistence on remaining a "Jewish state." By "Jewish state" Israelis mean, of course, "national Jewish state," not "religious Jewish state" — theocratic states (like Pakistan and Iran) are incompatible with modern standards of democracy and pluralism. Anti-Zionist racists use this anti-theocracy argument repeatedly to delegitimize Israel, and I have found our students unable to defend their position with conventional ideology that views Jewishness as a religion.

Jewishness is more than just a religion. It is an intricate and intertwined mixture of ancestry, religion, history, country, culture, tradition, attitude, nationhood and ethnicity, and we need not apologize for not fitting neatly into the standard molds of textbook taxonomies — we did not choose our turbulent history.

As a form of racism, anti-Zionism is worse than anti-Semitism. It targets the most vulnerable part of the Jewish people, namely, the people of Israel, who rely on the sovereignty of their state for physical safety, national identity and personal dignity. To put it more bluntly, anti-Zionism condemns 5 million human beings, mostly refugees or children of refugees, to eternal statelessness, traumatized by historical images of persecution and genocide.

Anti-Zionism also attacks the pivotal component of our identity, the glue that bonds us together — our nationhood, our history. And while people of conscience reject anti-Semitism, anti-Zionist rhetoric has become a mark of academic sophistication and social acceptance in Europe and in some U.S. campuses.

Moreover, anti-Zionism disguises itself in the cloak of political debate, exempt from sensitivities and rules of civility that govern interreligious discourse. Religion is ferociously protected in our society — political views are not.

Just last month, a student organization on a UC campus hosted a meeting on "A World Without Israel." Imagine the international furor that a meeting called, "A World Without Mecca," would provoke.

So, in the name of "open political debate," administrators would not think twice about inviting MIT linguist Noam Chomsky to speak on campus, though his anti-Zionist utterances offend the fabric of my Jewish identity deeper than any of the ugly religious insults currently shocking the media. He should be labeled for what he is: a racist.

Charges of "racism" highlight the inherent asymmetry between the Zionist and anti-Zionist positions. The former grants both Israelis and Palestinians the right for statehood, the latter denies that right to one, and only one side. This asymmetry is the most effective weapon our students should use in campus debates, for it puts them back on the high moral grounds of "fair and balanced" and forces their opponents to defend an ideology of one-sidedness.

For example, I have found it effective, when confronting an anti-Zionist speaker, to ask: "Are you willing to go on record and state that the Israel-Palestine conflict is a conflict between two legitimate national movements?" Western audiences adore even-handedness and abhor bias. The question above forces the racist to unveil and defend his uneven treatment of the two sides.

America prides itself on academic freedom, and academic freedom entails freedom to teach hatred and racism — we graciously accept this fact of life. However, academic freedom also entails the freedom of students to expose racism, be it white-supremacy, women-inferiority, Islamophobia or Zionophobia wherever it is spotted. Not to censor, but to expose — racists stew in their own words.

In summary, I believe the formula "Anti-Zionism = Racism" should give Jewish students the courage to both defend their identity and expose those who abuse it.

This opinion piece appeared in The New York Jewish Week.

About the Author: Judea Pearl

Judea Pearl is a professor of computer science at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, named after his son.

Daniel Pearl was a journalist who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan while investigating the case of a convicted shoe bomber. The Foundation seeks continue Daniel Pearl's mission and uphold his principles which included: uncompromised objectivity and integrity; insightful and unconventional perspective; tolerance and respect for people of all cultures; unshaken belief in the effectiveness of education and communication; and the love of music, humor, and friendship.

Judea Pearl is co-editor of "I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl" (Jewish Lights, 2004), winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

Gentle doctrines of Islam discussed by Al Qarda Sheikh

The delightful article is in the April-May issue of Sada Al-Jihad, published by the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF). We are sure that a well meaning organization like Common dreams will hasten to disseminate it, as a contributon to dialogue and understanding.
The article by Sheikh Hussein bin Mahmoud is called "Let Them Find Ruthlessness in You." The Sheik criticizes the Muslims for being too lenient in their war against their enemies. He is right. Beheading people, shooting them in the kneecaps and throwing them off buildings is for wimps. According to MEMRI, this is what he wrote:

"The way of [waging] jihad changes according to the [available] means, innovations, ploys and practices. Over the history of Islamic conquests, jihad was [waged] according to these [changing] general principles... which we cannot enumerate here fully. We can, however, mention one aspect which our [Islamic] nation is now in dire need of, since many Muslims today have a distorted [understanding] of Islamic principles and tenets, due to [the influence of] the enemy, or due to [the influence] of some Muslims whose spirit has been defeated... and they have begun to distort the [true] meaning of Koranic verses on [the pretext of] rationalism, moderateness, a civilized [outlook], or similar notions. These notions have lost their [true] meaning and have become synonymous with defeat, withdrawal, impotence and falsification of the truths of Islamic shari'a.   
"The aspect that Muslims must accept is that of ruthlessness and firmness in jihad. Many Muslims today are educated in a spirit that is far from the [true] spirit of the Koran... The Muslim nation is the strongest nation in history... since it has the mightiest prophet, the mightiest book [i.e., the Koran] and the mightiest religion on Earth, and it is the nation which strikes its enemies hardest, [since it fights them] according to Islamic shari'a. Owing to these qualities, [the Muslim nation] is the most awe-inspiring of nations, and nobody [dares to] covet [what belongs to it], as long as it adheres to its principles and to the sources of its strength, which are the Koran and the sunna.
"It is no exaggeration to say that many Muslims today have never heard of the Koranic verses [that speak of] jihad... and do not believe that the Koran includes verses that speak of force, firmness, terror and cruelty, since they have heard so much about peace, security, compassion, friendship, justice, grace, honesty and moderateness. These are all words of truth, but in times of war, they are used to express falsehoods.
"When the emir and commander Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi went out and slaughtered a few infidels, the [advocates of] tolerance and friendship had a fit. They jumped up, made threats and swore that this [act] runs counter to the spirit of [Islam]. How much suffering these people and their supporters caused us! When we told them that Allah commanded to cut off the heads [of the enemies], they would say, 'be mindful of Allah, and do not make things up,' and we had to bring the Koran and show them these verses so that they would believe [us]. Some of them even turned the book over [and looked] at the cover to make sure that it really was the Koran. These [people] had read the Koran many times, but they had not read it [carefully]..."
"The Perfect Muslim is Gentle with His Fellow Believer and Harsh Towards His Enemy, the Infidel"
"A quick review of some Koranic verses [will help us] characterize [the concept of] cruelty in battle, so that the Muslims understand the truth about this matter and [realize] what is missing from their [school] curricula, sermons and religion courses. The [Muslim] nation must urgently familiarize itself with these military aspects of the Koran, so that it can deal with its enemies and fight [them]... in the way prescribed by Allah in order to grant [the nation] victory. After the great battle of Badr, Allah told the Prophet [Muhammad]...: 'It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. You desire the frail goods of this world, while Allah desires [for you] the hereafter; and Allah is Mighty and Wise [Koran 8:67]'... The word 'prophet' in this verse appears in the indefinite form, which means that [all] the prophets used to kill many of their enemies by the sword rather than take them captive... Allah says this explicitly [in the following verse]: 'So when you meet the infidels in battle, then cut off their heads, and after you have killed many of them by the sword, place [them] in shackles, and afterwards either set them free if you choose or let them ransom [themselves] until the war ends [Koran 47:4]'...
"The first real battle fought by the Muslims was the battle of Badr, in which they captured many polytheists in order to hold them for ransom, according to the custom of the [pre-Islamic] Arabs. Allah rebuked them and explained to them that this was not the way of the prophets, for [the prophets] killed many of the infidel leaders and soldiers in order to purge the land of them... and [in order to] prepare the world for da'wa for the sake of Allah. During the battle of Badr, something momentous happened: Allah ordered the angels to fight alongside the Muslims and to strengthen their spirits, and He told [the angels] that he would strike terror into the hearts of the infidels. [The Koran says]: 'Remember thy Lord inspired the angels [with the message]: I am with you. Give firmness to the Believers, [and] I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers. You cut off their heads and smite all their fingers off them [Koran 8:12]'...
"This was the beginning of the war against the infidels, and the initial shock, [meant to] fill the hearts [of the infidels] with fear and terror of the Muslims, so that they would stop resisting and accept the treaty, and later either convert to Islam if they want to, or continue to live under the treaty and come to no harm...
"[The question is]: This violence, ruthlessness and firmness – Is it [meant to be] a permanent law and feature of war, or does it apply only to the early [years of Islam]? The answer [is given in] Koran 9:123, where Allah says: 'O ye who believe! Fight the infidels who are near to you, and let them find ruthlessness in you, and know that Allah is with the faithful.' This was one of the last suras to descend, its verses were among the last to descend, and the laws [they set out] are timeless... The perfect Muslim is gentle with his fellow believer and harsh towards his enemy, the infidel..."
"Allah Commanded the Believers... to Show [Their Enemies] No Mercy or Compassion"
"Today, the content of all these verses is perhaps encapsulated in a single verse, which is: 'If ye punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith ye were afflicted [Koran 16:126].' [In this verse], Allah commands [us] to fight the enemy the same way he fights us, to kill him in the same way he kills us, and to deliberately  kill those who set out to kill us. Today, our enemies hit us with nuclear bombs, cluster [bombs] and chemical [bombs] which have killed many of our men, women and children, destroyed homes and crops, spread disease and burned [people's] bodies. We [therefore] have the right to fight back by the same means, by the command of Allah who [instructs us] to be ruthless and fierce [with the enemy] and to smite him, in order to teach others a lesson...
"These verses teach us that Allah commanded the believers to be firm, forceful, ruthless and radical in killing the enemies who fight against [Islam], and to show them no mercy or compassion... This applies to offensive jihad. What about [the case in which] the infidels attack the Muslim states, shed [Muslim] blood, violate women's honor and offend [Islam]? In that case, there is no doubt that they must be struck and killed with even greater ruthlessness, as a lesson to others and in order to fill them with awe for the [Muslim] nation, so that no-one will wish to attack [the Muslims] anywhere, ever again. For Allah has said in the Koran: 'If ye gain the mastery over them in war, disperse them and those who follow them, that they may remember [Koran 8:57]'...
"Wars are fought on the basis of theories of warfare, and not [on the basis of] a hodgepodge of peace[full terms] and philosophies that are all talk. [War] is bloodshed and killing, and not [a matter for] religious arguments, theories, debates and... programs on the satellite channels. Our righteous forefathers implemented the principles of the Koran, and the results were amazing: [they gained] victory after victory and Allah's triumph was realized, because they defended his faith and obeyed his command to kill, disperse and smite the enemies of the faith...
"Looking at the Islamic [world] today, we find that these divine edicts are hardly ever implemented. We once had two men whom we beseeched Allah to give a long life so they would revive the tradition of Khaled [Bin Al-Walid].(2) [These two men were] the commander Sayf Al-Islam Khattab [who led the jihad in Chechnya] and the slaughtering Emir Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi... Despite their short lives, they left an enduring legacy that will be remembered for generations to come... They were among those who stood most firmly against the infidels, and reminded the Muslims of some of the [Koranic] verses [that they had forgotten]. They killed and cut off heads, and the mere mention of their names on any front was enough to scare the enemies and disperse those who followed them...  
"May Allah send the [Muslim] nation someone who will kill them even more [savagely], strike terror in their [souls], tear their hearts out... cut their heads off, tear them limb from limb and shed their blood in rivers...
"Hussein Bin Mahmoud
"The 29th day of Rabi' Al-Awwal, 1428 (April 17, 2007)."  
(1) Sheikh Hussein Bin Mahmoud is the pseudonym of an Al-Qaeda leader who frequently writes on Islamist forums (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, November 30, 2006).
(2) Khaled Bin Al-Walid, also called Sayf Allah (the Sword of Allah), was a commander during the Muslim conquests.

Whose heart could not be softened by this message of peace and enlightenment? No wonder so many people are turning to Islam. Aye, in the good old days, men were men and Jihad was Jihad. Mister we could use a man like Muhamad once again. Of course, the skeptics will claim that MEMRI's translation was incorrect. By "Jihad," the Sheikh meant the inner struggle, the greater Jihad, as opposed to the lesser Jihad of war. By "tear them limb from limb" he meant "be nice to them." It is all a misunderstanding, you see.
Ami Isseroff 

Iranians attacking British forces in Iran

The UK Sun claims: Iran bombers attack Our Boys  in Iraq. There is no doubt that the anti-war faction will use this as "proof" of how dangerous it is for the UK to be involved in Iraq. Tony Blair is leaving office, and British soldiers will no doubt be withdrawn. So who cares? Winston Chruchill is turning over in his grave no doubt. Fool Britannia.
Ami Isseroff
Defence Editor

June 26, 2007

IRANIAN forces are being choppered over the Iraqi border to bomb Our Boys, intelligence chiefs say.

Military experts claim this worrying move means we are at WAR with Iran in all but name.

Last night an intelligence source told The Sun: "It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran — but nobody has officially declared it.

"We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us.

"It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot."

Our Boys picked up the Iranian helicopters on radar crossing into empty desert.

The sightings have been confirmed to The Sun by very senior military sources.

At least two Brit squaddies are thought to have been killed by bombs planted during these incursions into Maysan province — Corporal Ben Leaning, 24, and Trooper Kristen Turton, 27.

A further 44 British deaths have also been linked to the highly advanced bombs, rockets and mortars which originated in Iran.

Coming so swiftly after the kidnap of 15 Royal Navy sailors in the Gulf, our revelation will send strained relations between London and Tehran plummeting further.

Until now, secret units from Iran's fanatical RGC have restricted themselves to just training and arming Shia rebels in Iraq.

They include the al Quds Brigade — a secretive force tasked to spread Islamic revolution abroad who are the main backers for Hezbollah  terrorists in Lebanon and are also active in Palestine and northern Iraq.

An MoD spokeswoman said: "There is evidence that explosive devices used against our troops in southern Iraq originated in Iran.

"Any Iranian link to armed militias in Iraq either through weapons supply, training or funding are unacceptable.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Mid-East Conflict and associated conflicts: WW IV

June 25, 2007

In order to address the currents in the Middle East faced by America and other Western countries, we first need to understand what they are: Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Arab territories, to name a few, are not local skirmishes, but part of a larger phenomenon.

Some Americans and Western Europeans hope to sit out this World War IV (if you count the Cold War as III). In reality, they are all involved. Yesterday, even the United Nations realized that remaining neutral while a menace is growing under its nose may not forever be the safest choice.

The United Nations declined to instruct its interim force in Lebanon to aggressively enforce the Security Council rule against weapons in its jurisdiction, ignoring Anton Chekhov's famous advice for dramatists: "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one, it should be fired."

After first letting Hezbollah and Palestinian Arab factions arm to the teeth, UNIFIL entered Chekhov's second act yesterday, as two Spanish and three Colombian UNIFIL troops were killed, apparently by a car bomb, near Khyam, the heart of Hezbollah-land.

Egyptian, Jordanian, Israeli, and Western leaders will meet in Sharm Al Sheik today, attempting once more to prop up the Palestinian Arab chief, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, and push Hamas aside. Similar international summits have and will be convened to lend a hand to Prime Minister Siniora of Lebanon , and to embolden Prime Minister al-Maliki of Iraq.

President Karzai of Afghanistan faces similar enemies in a non-Arab Islamic country. The transitional federal government in Somalia is but the last Western-backed player in a country where every Muslim cause has found a local warlord to promote it.

These crises pit weak, pro-Western leaders — who espouse democratic principles, more or less, and profess to want to end menacing their neighbors — against much more disciplined, well-armed, and well-financed forces that preach Islamic rule above all else and call for religious wars until victory is achieved over all the infidels.

There are good reasons for the West to worry. It would be bad enough if, say, Lebanon completely crumbles the way Gaza has. A defeat in Iraq, while more serious, would also mark only the early innings. Islamist forces in northern Africa's Arab regions, the Maghreb, are gaining strength and in most cases, only brutal repression stands in the way of their victory.

The biggest blow would be an end to two totalitarian-but-pro-Western regimes in the heart of the Arab world — Saudi Arabia and Egypt . President Mubarak, 79, has ruled for more than a quarter-century, and no one knows what Egypt will be without him. The octogenarian Saudi potentates will not survive forever either.

The West, meanwhile, is looking for oases where deserts are the rule. The attempt to establish Arab democracies may have been a bit hasty. Largely credited to the Greek "polis," the political organization known as democracy was borne out of localized city-states. Arab and other Islamists are successfully promoting the idea of the "ummah," the entire community of believers — the Nation of Islam, if you will.

The most successful Islamist warriors of Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Arab areas, while at times professing loyalties to localized causes, belong to larger forces centered in Shiite Tehran, remote parts of Sunni Saudi Arabia, and the wild territories of the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Just as the death of Archduke Ferdinand was not merely a Balkan event, Hamas's Gaza victory did not only create a headache for Israel . And as the unilateral evacuation did not produce a peaceful, democratic Gaza, an attempt to strengthen Mr. Abbas, even by uprooting the last Jewish settlement and removing the last soldier from the West Bank (an unlikely eventuality), would hardly ensure that peace-loving democrats would prevail there.

Betting the farm on Middle East democracy may be unwise, but attempting to co-opt the Islamists in the hope of moderating them may be worse. Outsiders have very little effect on currents in the Muslim world. While colonialism and occupation may have contributed to these currents, it is too simplistic to say they were created — and therefore could be undone — by the West.

Under sustained pressure, the Islamists will eventually crumble under their own weight as the Ottomans, the Fascists, and the Soviets did. Until then, this has to be fought as a world war, and a very long one at that.

When the peaceful and silent majority is an accomplice of thugs

Worthy of reading and further thought...

A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

"Very few people were true Nazis "he said," but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."

We are told again and again by "experts" and "talking heads" that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.

Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.

It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is that the "peaceful majority" the "silent majority" and it is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia comprised Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population it was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold; we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, at the risk of offending, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, can contribute to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.

Perceptions of Jews by non-Jews

"Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world."
-- Winston Churchill

"The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire, and has illumined with it the entire world. He is the religious source, spring, and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have drawn their beliefs and their religions."
 --Leo Tolstoy
"It was in vain that we locked them up for several hundred years behind the walls of the Ghetto. No sooner were their prison gates unbarred than they easily caught up with us, even on those paths which we opened up without their aid."
 --A. A. Leroy Beaulieu, French publicist, 1842
"The Jew gave us the Outside and the Inside - our outlook and our inner life. We can hardly get up in the morning or cross the street without being Jewish. We dream Jewish dreams and hope Jewish hopes. Most of our best words, in fact - new, adventure, surprise, unique, individual, person, vocation, time, history, future, freedom, progress, spirit, faith, hope, justice - are the gifts of the Jews."
 --Thomas Cahill, Irish Author

 "One of the gifts of the Jewish culture to Christianity is that it has taught Christians to think like Jews, and any modern man who has not learned to think as though he were a Jew can hardly be said to have learned to think at all."

--William Rees-Mogg, former Editor-in-Chief for The Times of London and a member of the House of Lords
"It is certain that in certain parts of the world we can see a peculiar people, separated from the other peoples of the world and this is called the Jewish people.... This people is not only of remarkable antiquity but has also lasted for a singular long time... For whereas the people of Greece and Italy, of Sparta, Athens and Rome and others who came so much later have perished so long ago, these still exist, despite the efforts of so many powerful kings who have tried a hundred times to wipe them out, as their historians testify, and as can easily be judged by the natural order of things over such a long spell of years. They have always been preserved, however, and their preservation was foretold... My encounter with this people amazes me..."
--Blaise Pascal, French Mathematician
"The Jewish vision became the prototype for many similar grand designs for humanity, both divine and man made The Jews, therefore, stand at the center of the perennial attempt to give human life the dignity of a purpose."
--Paul Johnson, American Historian
"As long as the world lasts, all who want to make progress in righteousness will come to Israel for inspiration as to the people who had the sense for righteousness most glowing and strongest."
--Matthew Arnold, British poet and critic
"Indeed it is difficult for all other nations of the world to live in the presence of the Jews. It is irritating and most uncomfortable. The Jews embarrass the world as they have done things which are beyond the imaginable. They have become moral strangers since the day their forefather, Abraham, introduced the world to high ethical standards and to the fear of Heaven. They brought the world the Ten Commandments, which many nations prefer to defy. They violated the rules of history by staying alive, totally at odds with common sense and historical evidence. They outlived all their former enemies, including vast empires such as the Romans and the Greeks. They angered the world with their return to their homeland after 2000 years of exile and after the murder of six million of their brothers and sisters.
They aggravated mankind by building, in the wink of an eye, a democratic State which others were not able to create in even hundreds of years. They built living monuments such as the duty to be holy and the privilege to serve one's fellow men.
They had their hands in every human progressive endeavor, whether in science, medicine, psychology or any other discipline, while totally out of proportion to their actual numbers. They gave the world the Bible and even their "savior."
Jews taught the world not to accept the world as it is, but to transform it, yet only a few nations wanted to listen. Moreover, the Jews introduced the world to one God, yet only a minority wanted to draw the moral consequences. So the nations of the world realize that they would have been lost without the Jews. And while their subconscious tries to remind them of how much of Western civilization is framed in terms of concepts first articulated by the Jews, they do anything to suppress it.
They deny that Jews remind them of a higher purpose of life and the need to be honorable, and do anything to escape its consequences. It is simply too much to handle for them, too embarrassing to admit, and above all, too difficult to live by. So the nations of the world decided once again to go out of 'their' way in order to find a stick to hit the Jews. The goal: to prove that Jews are as immoral and guilty of massacre and genocide as some of they themselves are.
All this in order to hide and justify their own failure to even protest when six million Jews were brought to the slaughterhouses of Auschwitz and Dachau; so as to wipe out the moral conscience of which the Jews remind them, and they found a stick.
Nothing could be more gratifying for them than to find the Jews in a struggle with another people (who are completely terrorized by their own leaders) against whom the Jews, against their best wishes, have to defend themselves in order to survive. With great satisfaction, the world allows and initiates the rewriting of history so as to fuel the rage of yet another people against the Jews. This in spite of the fact that the nations understand very well that peace between the parties could have come a long time ago, if only the Jews would have had a fair chance. Instead, they happily jumped on the wagon of hate so as to justify their jealousy of the Jews and their incompetence to deal with their own moral issues. When Jews look at the bizarre play taking place in The Hague, they can only smile as this artificial game once more proves how the world paradoxically admits the Jews uniqueness. It is in their need to undermine the Jews that they actually raise them.
The study of history of Europe during the past centuries teaches us one uniform lesson: That the nations which received and in any way dealt fairly and mercifully with the Jew have prospered; and that the nations that have tortured and oppressed them have written out their own curse."
--Olive Schreiner, South African novelist and social activist

"If there is any honor in all the world that I should like, it would be to be an honorary Jewish citizen."
--A.L. Rowse, authority on Shakespeare



Sunday, June 24, 2007

Irshad Manji: Islam the Problem

June 21, 2007

GROWING up in Vancouver, I attended an Islamic school every Saturday. There, I learned that Jews can't be trusted because they worship "moolah, not Allah", meaning money, not God. According to my teacher, every last Jew is consumed with business.

But looking around my neighbourhood, I noticed that most of the new business signs featured Asian languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Punjabi and plenty of Urdu. Not Hebrew, Urdu, which is spoken throughout Pakistan.

That reality check made me ask: What if my religious school isn't educating me? What if it's indoctrinating me?

I'm reminded of this question thanks to the news that Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses and 10 other works of fiction, will be knighted by the Queen.

On Monday, Pakistan's religious affairs minister said that because Rushdie had blasphemed Islam with provocative literature, it was understandable that angry Muslims would commit suicide bombings over his knighthood.

Members of parliament, as well as the Pakistani Government, amplified the condemnation of Britain, feeding cries of offence to Muslim sensibilities from Europe to Asia.

As a Muslim, you better believe I'm offended - by these absurd reactions.

I'm offended that it is not the first time honours from the West have met with vitriol and violence. In 1979, Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam became the first Muslim to win the Nobel Prize in science. He began his acceptance speech with a verse from the Koran.

Salam's country ought to have celebrated him. Instead, rioters tried to prevent him from re-entering the country. Parliament even declared him a non-Muslim because he belonged to a religious minority. His name continues to be controversial, invoked by state authorities in hushed tones.

I'm offended that every year, there are more women killed in Pakistan for allegedly violating their family's honour than there are detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Muslims have rightly denounced the mistreatment of Gitmo prisoners. But where's our outrage over the murder of many more Muslims at the hands of our own?

I'm offended that in April, mullahs at an extreme mosque in Pakistan issued a fatwa against hugging.

The country's female tourism minister had embraced - or, depending on the account you follow, accepted a congratulatory pat from - her skydiving instructor after she successfully jumped in a French fundraiser for the victims of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. Clerics announced her act of touching another man to be "a great sin" and demanded she be fired.

I'm offended by their fatwa proclaiming that women should stay at home and remain covered at all times.

I'm offended that they've bullied music store owners and video vendors into closing up shop.

I'm offended that the Government tiptoes around their craziness because these clerics threaten suicide attacks if confronted.

I'm offended that on Sunday, at least 35 Muslims in Kabul were blown to bits by other Muslims and on Tuesday, 80 more in Baghdad by Islamic "insurgents", with no official statement from Pakistan to deplore these assaults on fellow believers.

I'm offended that amid the internecine carnage, a professed atheist named Salman Rushdie tops the to-do list.

Above all, I'm offended that so many other Muslims are not offended enough to demonstrate widely against God's self-appointed ambassadors. We complain to the world that Islam is being exploited by fundamentalists, yet when reckoning with the opportunity to resist their clamour en masse, we fall curiously silent.

In a battle between flaming fundamentalists and mute moderates, who do you think is going to win?

I'm not saying that standing up to intimidation is easy. This past spring, the Muslim world made it that much more difficult.

A 56-member council of Islamic countries pushed the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution against the "defamation of religion". Pakistan led the charge. Focused on Islam rather than on faith in general, the resolution allows repressive regimes to squelch freedom of conscience further - and to do so in the guise of international law.

On occasion, though, the people of Pakistan show that they don't have to be muzzled by clerics and politicians.

Last year, civil society groups vocally challenged a set of anti-female laws, three decades old and supposedly based on the Koran. Their religiously respectful approach prompted even mullahs to hint that these laws are man-made, not God-given. This month, too, Pakistanis forced their Government to lift restrictions on the press. No wonder my own book, translated into Urdu and posted on my website, is being downloaded in droves. Religious authorities won't let it be sold in the markets. But they can't stop Pakistanis - or other Muslims - from satiating a genuine hunger for ideas.

In that spirit, it's high time to ban hypocrisy under the banner of Islam. Rushdie is not the problem. Muslims are.

After all, the very first bounty on Rushdie's head was worth $US2 million. It rose to $US 2.5 million.

Then came higher reward numbers. The chief benefactor, Iran's government, claimed that the money had been profitably invested. Looks like Jews are not the only people handy at business.

Irshad Manji is creator of the new documentary Faith Without Fear. She is author of The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith (Random House Australia

The Australian — Opinion