Monday, October 16, 2006

Yellow Skin and Slanted Eyes

This is a very interesting bit of news, with undertones of classic Orientalism, from Haaretz which reports the words of the Israeli ambassador to Australia:

The Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned remarks by the Israeli ambassador to Australia in which he told Haaretz that the two countries are white sisters amid "the yellow race" of Asia.

"If the article is accurate, this is a grave and unacceptable remark," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ministry said it will not return to business as usual if an internal examination confirms that the ambassador, Naftali Tamir, in fact made the comments attributed to him.

Tamir said that due to what he characterized as the racial similarities between Israel and Australia, the two countries should work together to enhance ties with other Asian countries.

"Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia," Tamir said in an interview with Haaretz during a visit to Israel this week. "We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not - we are basically the white race. We are on the western side of Asia and they are on the southeastern side."
Racism in my view is the never-ending fulmination of the most evil. It is that sin coupled with extreme disobedience for which Iblis was/is punished by Allah:

And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, "Prostrate to Adam", and they prostrated, except Iblis (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrate. (Allah) said: "What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?" Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay." S. 7:11-12

Even though Iblis refused to obey his Creator, Allah the Lord of the Worlds, the reason he gave seems to be more convincing (if we're to take the line of racists) than theirs within the human race. I wonder what some of them would say if Allah had made them djinns among men. Whether it's Irshad Manji bad-mouthing and demonizing the Palestinians and clicking photographs with two smiling children from the same camp to show her "humanity", the little ones having no idea what she conceals in real and how she advocates their present state; or George Bush saying that Iraqis are "tolerating the violence" (655000 dead!) in their bloody war for freedom which the so-called liberators said they would get. Never mind the fact that the first place the US military captured in Baghdad was the Oil Ministry. Never mind dead bodies found drifiting in the Tigris everyday. Who are they? What are their names? Did they have families? Were they happy when they last left home? Was there a real need to go out? Did they have aspirations, dreams and a simple imagination? Did they think of the fleeting pleasure on the faces of their grandparents when they were young?

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