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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Facing It Down, Or Not

A Canadian imam says it's the duty of Canadian Muslims to help root out terrorism in the mosques, especially with reference to the arrests of the 17 Canadian plotters in June:
Shaheed Sonier, a Canadian Muslim convert, knew some of those arrested. He claimed they were partly influenced by the 9/11 hijackers, who they considered as martyrs.

"They obviously felt that there was nothing wrong with that act," he said.

Soharwardy said some of the seeds of their alleged beliefs may have come from within Canada's borders.

"That brainwash is coming from the Internet and from some leaders in our community," he said.

In a press conference in Calgary on Friday, Soharwardy warned Canadian Muslims to be vigilant against fanatical Imams.

"We are not doing enough to counter this terrorism within our community, to counter extremism, to counter fanaticism," he said.

"And that's what I'm asking the entire Muslim community -- not only Imams, not only leaders of Muslim organizations but every individual Muslim."
He then goes on to say that people who commit these acts should not be called Islamic terrorists. I think he's contradicting himself. Can you really urge a crackdown on the teaching of radical Islam in mosques and in the same statement say that there isn't a wave of Islamic terrorism? There have been radical, violent Christian movements. Shoot, the Mennonites started out to do battle for God. They changed their minds about the appropriate reading of the scriptures. That is what must happen for radical Islam, and the imam knows it, because he says that if an attack succeeds in Canada the Canadian Muslims will be in big trouble.

In the UK, Muslims are protesting the release of the names of those arrested in the plot there. The only names released were the names of those whose accounts were frozen. They aren't facing it at all. (Update - see this Telegraph article about those arrested in the UK terror plot. One of them was the president of the Islamic Society at London Metropolitan University.)

DU is doing anything but facing it. Catch this DU thread in which they are in a hysterical state of shrieking frenzy over Lieberman's statement that Islamic terrorism is just as severe a threat as the Nazis:
22. The evil is you... Joe.
23. Joe is the TERRORIST.
What an asshole.
43. neo-con policies CREATE terrorism, and that's what they WANT. they want to rule by FEAR and they need TERROR to do it.
It's Bush/Cheney's fault. But no! The alternative DU explanation is that it's Israel's fault, and thank Gaia some fine man named Gaarder wrote an editorial saying that Israel must go, which was duly published in Aftenposten here (the original). See Haaretz for some background in English:
The article compares Israel's government, the Afghan Taliban regime and South African apartheid, and states, "We no longer recognize the State of Israel" and "the State of Israel in its current form is history."

"We call child murderers 'child murderers,' and will never accept that they have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages," Gaarder writes. "Shame on ethnic cleansing, shame on every terrorist strike against civilians, be it carried out by Hamas, Hezbollah or the State of Israel!"

He writes, "It is the State of Israel that fails to recognize, respect or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more; more water and more villages. To obtain this, there are those who want, with God's assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem."

Under the circumstances, that's worthy of a good old-fashioned public thrashing. A kick in the balls wouldn't hurt him much, because he obviously is underendowed with both gonads and moral sense. The current wave of violence emerged after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon and Gaza. Israel has never, ever proposed mass murder of the Palestinians, but every week in the ME calls for the Jew's destruction are uttered in mosques. The article starts out in the first paragraph with an implicit comparison of Israel to Saddam Hussein's regime, the Taliban and the South African apartheid regime.

The Norwegian government has been prominent among those who have been lambasting Israel for building its security wall, too. There have been a lot of troubles in Norway recently, including attacks on a synagogue and attacks by Muslim immigrants against outsiders and police, and against a young Jewish man who was wearing a yarmulke. Gaarder isn't going to write an editorial denouncing those who want to kill Jews. No. That would get him sued or attacked. Under the circumstances, what Gaarder wrote will get Jews in Norway killed. Don't believe me? Go here:
Author Walid al-Kubaisi calls Jostein Gaarder's highly controversial critique of Israel "a gleam of light for the Arab world", and has sent an Arabic translation to at least 40 Arab newspapers and web sites.
"Some time in the future Norwegians will say: Why did we react so strongly to Gaarder? I do not support Hezbollah. For the same reason I cannot support Israel. To kill children is a criminal act. How can the world accept what is happening? As a humanist I feel honored to read a Norwegian humanist who distances himself from the concept of God's chosen people. It is racist to claim that some are chosen, it means that God has rejected the rest," al-Kubaisi said.

We need to get the Jews out of Europe. They are only safe for sure in Poland. We absolutely MUST get them out of Europe. They are not as safe there as they are in Israel. We need to offer open immigration to all Jews from European countries. NOW.

Gaarder said he wouldn't let the article be translated into English. I read it, and it is clearly an attack on all Jews, not just Israel. The Simon Wiesenthal Center did, and this is their translation:
Israel is now history. We no longer recognize the State of Israel. There is no way back. The State of Israel has raped the world's recognition and will not achieve peace until it lays down its arms. The State of Israel, in its present form is history, writes Jostein Gaarder.

There's no turning back. It's time to learn a new lesson: We no longer recognize the State of Israel. We could not recognize the apartheid regime of South Africa, nor did we recognize the Afghani Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We need to get used to the idea: The State of Israel, in its current form, is history.

We don't believe in the notion of God's Chosen People. We laugh at this people's capriciousness and weep at its misdeeds. To act as God's Chosen People is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.
Limits to tolerance

There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as a justification for occupation and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the god of flora, fauna and the galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it silly, stone tablets, burning bushes and a license to kill.

We call baby killers "baby killers" and will never accept that people such as these have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages. We just say: Shame on all apartheid, shame on ethnic cleansing and shame on every terrorist strike against civilians whether carried out by Hamas, the Hezbollah or the State of Israel!
Unscrupulous art of war

We acknowledge, and pay heed to, Europe's deep responsibility for the plight of the Jews, for the disgraceful harassment, the pogroms and the Holocaust. It was historically and morally necessary for the Jews to get their own home. However, the State of Israel, with its unscrupulous art of war and its disgusting weapons, has massacred its own legitimacy. It has systematically flaunted International Law, international conventions, and countless UN resolutions and can no longer expect protection from the same. It has carpet bombed the recognition of the world. But fear not! The Tribulation will soon be over. The State of Israel has seen its Soweto.

We are now at the watershed. There's no turning back. The State of Israel has raped the recognition of the world and shall have no peace until it lays down its arms.
Without defense, without skin

May the spirit and the word blow the apartheid walls of Israel down. The State of Israel does not exist. It is now without defense, without skin. May the world therefore have mercy upon the civilian population; for our prophecies of doom are not aimed at the civilian individuals.

We wish the people of Israel well, nothing but wellness, but we reserve the right to not eat Jaffa oranges as long as they are foul tasting and poisonous. It was endurable for some years to live without eating the blue grapes of apartheid.
They celebrate their triumphs

We don't believe that Israel grieves any more for the forty killed Lebanese children than it has wailed over the forty years spent in the desert three thousand years ago. We note that many Israelis celebrate such triumphs in the same manner they once cheered the plagues of the Lord as "fitting punishment" for the people of Egypt. (In that tale, the Lord God of Israel appears as an insatiable sadist.) We ask ourselves if most Israelis think that one Israeli life is worth more than the forty Palestinian or Lebanese lives.

For we've seen pictures of little Israeli girls writing hateful greetings on the bombs about to be dropped on the civilian populations of Lebanon and Palestine. The little Israeli girls are not cute when they strut with glee at the death and torment on the other side of the fronts.
The retribution of blood vengeance

We do not recognize the rhetoric of the State of Israel. We do not recognize the spiral of retribution and blood vengeance that comes with "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." We do not recognize the principle of ten or a thousand Arab eyes for one Israeli eye. We do not recognize collective punishment or population thinning out as a political weapon. Two thousand years have passed since a Jewish rabbi criticized the ancient doctrine of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

He said: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." We do not recognize a state founded on anti-humanistic principles and on the ruins of an archaic national and warlike religion. Or, as Albert Schweitzer expressed it: "Humanitarianism consists of never sacrificing a human being for a cause."
Compassion and forgiveness

We do not recognize the old Kingdom of David as a model for the 21st century map of the Middle East. The Jewish rabbi claimed two thousand years ago that the Kingdom of God is not a martial restoration of the Kingdom of David; the Kingdom of God is within us and amongst us. The Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness.

Two thousand years have passed since the Jewish rabbi disarmed and thoroughly humanized the old rhetoric of war. Even in his time, the first Zionist terrorists were operating.
Israel doesn't listen

For two thousand years, we have rehearsed the syllabus of humanism, but Israel doesn't listen. It wasn't the Pharisee who helped the man who lay by the wayside, having fallen prey to robbers. It was a Samaritan; today we would say, a Palestinian. We are humans firstly - then Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Or as the Jewish rabbi said: "And if you greet your brethren only, what more do you do than others?" We do not accept the kidnapping of soldiers. But neither do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government ministers.

We recognize the State of Israel of 1948, but not the one of 1967. It is the State of Israel that fails to recognize, respect or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more - more water and more villages. To obtain this there are those who want, with God's assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem. 'The Palestinians have so many other countries', certain Israeli politicians have argued; we have only one.
The U.S. or the world?

Or as the foremost protector of the State of Israel puts it: "May God continue to bless America." A little child took note of that. She turned to her mother, saying: "Why does the President always end his speeches with 'God bless America'? Why not, 'God bless the world'?"

Then there was a Norwegian poet who let out this childlike sigh of the heart: "Why doth Humanity so slowly progress?" It was he who wrote so beautifully of the Jew and the Jewess. But he rejected the notion of God's Chosen People. He personally liked to call himself a Muslim.
Calmness and mercy

We do not recognize the State of Israel. Not today, not as of this writing, not in the hour of grief and wrath. If the entire Israeli nation should fall to its own devices and parts of the population has to flee their occupied areas into another Diaspora, then we say: May their surroundings stay calm and show them mercy. It is an eternal crime, without mitigating circumstances, to lay hand on refugees and a stateless people.

Peace and free passage for the evacuating, civilian population no longer protected by a State. Shoot not at the fugitives! Take not aim at them! They are vulnerable now -- like snails without shells, vulnerable as slow caravans of the Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, defenseless as the women, children and elderly of Qana, Gaza, Sabra and Shatilla. Give the Israeli refugees shelter; give them milk and honey!

Let not one Israeli child pay with his life. Far too many children and civilians have already been murdered.
So if Israel surrenders, they may live? Nice of him. I do not believe they will survive in Europe. We must open the doors of the US to all Jews. We must. Gates of Vienna has about summed this up. And see SC&A's post about baseless hatred, and read all the way to the end for the tale of an encounter in a US supermarket:
” Bah!” he shouted at me, ” I suppose you are going to get your food with welfare stamps that I pay for with my taxes. Look at this crowd more than three quarters of you aren’t even citizens of this country. I served in two world wars! God only knows where you all come from, but in my book you don’t belong here!”
“I have friend living in a war zone, without enough to eat, and barley getting by hiding every time the air raid siren goes off praying that the target isn’t them! You have no right to complain!”
“Dirty old bitch,” he shouted at me, “You should go back where you came from you and all the other black brown and tan people, you and the Jews”
That did it, another lady my age ( in her sixties) with two grandchildren in tow turned on him too, ” You think I am not a citizen” she shouted at him,” My husband served in the Air Force, our kids were born on Army bases, just because I have on an apron and look Hispanic doesn’t mean I am automatically illegal!”
From the next line over a very stunning African American woman spoke up,” My great-granddaddy was a slave, he worked his way to freedom so that we can have a good life, and he struggled every day for seventy five long years to make certain we knew the value of freedom. Something you sir don’t know!”
The value of freedom is the right to choose and bear the consequences of one's own choices. How many people believe in this now, in our country, today? Not a majority, I think - but many, many more than in Europe.

It's here. First: Deligitimize Israel. Second: Sacrifice the Jews.

First it was all the "I'm not anti-semitic, I'm anti-zionist" cr*p. (Along with "neoconservatives"=="jooooooos")

Then last week's "the creation of the state of Israel was a mistake" meme.

Now this. They're raising the temperature slo-o-o-o-wly.

I'm a non-religious Christian, and even I can see where it's leading.
Yes, we are firmly in the "Sacrifice the Jews" mode.

It is undeniable. Gaarder would not apply the same reasoning to Norway. It's the Jews who are being singled out. Note the attack on Judaism itself.

His Christian theology is way off, but I don't think this is a question of religion, but of pure cowardice. Gaarder is just sucking up to his new masters. He wrote "Sophie's Choice", and now he must atone....

We'll just call this "Gaarder's Choice".
Minor correction: He wrote "Sophie's World," a book attempting to explain philosophy to kids. "Sophie's Choice" was by William Styron.

Gaarder was apparently a high school philosophy teacher before his literary success.

Let's pray that we don't end up living in "Gaarder's World."
"[T]o claim that some are chosen, it means that God has rejected the rest," al-Kubaisi said.

Anyone who truly believes this logic is too gob-smackingly stupid to have an adult conversation with. And this passes for a man of letters among Muslims.

If can't break out of the either/or mindset, they force a choice between us and them. But even a billion Muslims are outnumbered.
David - that's a pretty significant correction! Thanks. I read Sophie's Choice somewhere, and I should have checked.

Unfortunately the world we get is the result of the choices we make collectively. That may be unfair but it is absolutely true. Gaarder's choices would create a world Gaarder would not want to live in. What lies behind his choice is the vague theory that someone else will prevent that. But no one will be left to do that, and this he does not see.
Kelly, you wrote:
"[T]o claim that some are chosen, it means that God has rejected the rest," al-Kubaisi said.

Anyone who truly believes this logic is too gob-smackingly stupid to have an adult conversation with. And this passes for a man of letters among Muslims.

If can't break out of the either/or mindset, they force a choice between us and them. But even a billion Muslims are outnumbered.

Kelly, the European "enlightened" have been pushing the idea that Judaism is, in and of itself, innately racist for a long time. They have not dared until recently to come out and say that in the full light of publiciity. That is why this column was immediately translated into Arabic and sent to 40 different Arab websites.

Yes, it IS gobsmackingly stupid. But it is also a very convenient idea for Euro-cowards.

This idea was used to ban Jews wearing Jewish symbols for the Oslo march to commemorate Krystallnacht. Dawkins wrote a column after 911 referring to it. An Italian newspaper biggie commented on Jews refusal to assimilate. There is a genuine attack on Jews being leveled in Europe, and it is extremely widely based.

Jews are not safe in Europe. We ought to offer them refuge now.

No prominent European would openly say that Islam should vanish from the face of the earth. Many are openly saying that Judaism should.

This is really happening.
I think a big part of the problem is simple cowardice. I worry that there is something about modern Western society that tends to bring people with unusually low levels of personal courage into prominent positions.
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