Friday, December 14, 2007

Martin Amis's Distorted Sympathy

Martin Amis is a troubled writer, so incredibly afflicted since 9/11, that even the terminology 'right-wing' is insufficient to fathom his deep-rooted failure to either favour sensible realpolitik (like the globalists in London and Washington) or downright conscientious appreciation of other civilisations and peoples. Indeed, the cradle of civilisation is Mesopotamia in the Eastern hemisphere, however incomforting the fact may be to perceived liberals and Likudniks. In his address to the students at Manchester University recently, Amis decried the "abject failure" of Muslims to condemn suicide bombing and terrorism. However, it gets interesting when he legitimises "retaliatory urges" among the British public on learning about Muslim terrorist schemes.

Only a machine would not have felt anger, he said.

Most of us don't have a problem with that reflection, except that it illustrates Amis's own "distorted sympathy". Amis permits no sense of "retaliatory urges" among Muslims when they learn about the British military aligning with the US in the occupation of Iraq, an action which has cost the lives of over 1.2 million peoples. Holocaust deniers disagree with the figure. On suicide bombings, Amis calls for factory sirens "from every corner of the West" exhibiting "disgust for these actions". He does not make any call for factory sirens "from every corner of the West" for outrageous Western actions, which surpass privatised terrorism in their scope and disregard for human life.

His comments on the Palestinians prove to be the most absurd.

"I have sympathy for Israel. It's not nothing to have six million of your number murdered in central Europe in the last century. Don't you think that this has had a psychological effect on this race or religion, or whatever you want to call the Jews?"


"Palestinians have never suffered anything as remotely terrible as that."

While Palestinians may not have suffered gas chambers en masse, complete ethnic cleansing is the officially sanctioned and predictable outcome of Israeli policies. Ilan Pappe, the fearless Israeli academic, documents this in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Edward Said's 1979 essay Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims is one of the strongest critiques of Zionism and its supporters.

One needs to repeat that what in Zionism served the no doubt justified ends of Jewish tradition, saving the Jews as a people from homelessness and anti-Semitism and restoring them to nationhood, also collaborated with those aspects of the dominant Western culture (in which Zionism institutionally lived) making it possible for Europeans to view non-Europeans as inferior, marginal, and irrelevant. For the Palestinian Arab, therefore, it is the collaboration that has counted, not by any means the good done to Jews. The Arab has been on the receiving end not of benign Zionism-which has been restricted to Jews-but of an essentially discriminatory and powerful culture, of which, in Palestine, Zionism has been the agent.

And Amis is dead wrong.

Exactly a year ago, Ziauddin Sardar coined the word "Blitcon".

The British literary landscape is dominated by three writers: Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan. All three have considered the central dilemma of our time: terror. Indeed, Amis has issued something of a manifesto on the subject he terms "horrorism". In their different styles, their approach and opinions define a coherent position. They are the vanguard of British literary neoconservatives, or, if you like, the "Blitcons".

It is more relevant now. As for Amis's essay 'The Age of Horrorism' that appeared on the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, much of it illuminated by the Orientalist Bernard Lewis's crafty crusade (concealed under shades of scholarship) to legitimise and promote American and Israeli imperialism against Arabs, it was proof of another writer's mind collapsing with the twin towers.

Friday, December 07, 2007

John Pilger on Terrorism and the Iraq War

On state terrorism:

Statistically, the majority of terrorism is our terrorism. It is state terrorism. There's no question about that. And the greatest victims of terrorism are Muslims. Those who either died as a result of the medieval embargo imposed on Iraq during the 1990s or Palestinians who've died and others. So the whole understanding of terrorism is upside-down.

On the other terrorism:

Now there is, as opposed to state terrorism, a kind of privatised terrorism. It's very tiny. It's run by organisations called Al Qaeda. There is one study at the University of Chicago that found that of this privatised terrorism in the last thirty odd years something like twenty odd thousand people had died. A very tiny figure compared to the millions who've died as a result of state terrorism.

On the Anglo-American war on terror that has gained worldwide credence to oppress foreigners, ethnic groups and minorities for various aims:

I don't think there is a war on terror. I think that's a propaganda notion. The attacks of September the 11th were appropriated by a clique in the US establishment in order to further its aims around the world. If that isn't clear to most people, as I believe it is, then I don't know where they've been for the last few years. But it is not reported that way. Yes, a lot of journalists put terrorism and war on terror in inverted commas, but after a while they're weary of that. It's as if there really is a war on terror or there isn't a war on terror.

Friday, November 30, 2007

UK Teacher Not Guilty for Naming Teddy Bear "Muhammad"

Say: "Whether ye hide what is in your hearts or reveal it, Allah knows it all: He knows what is in the heavens, and what is on earth. And Allah has power over all things." (Aal `Imran 3:29)

Guilt is a feeling of culpability for offenses. Ikhlas or purity of intention applies all over Islam, like the Golden Rule. I am referring to the case of the British teacher in Sudan who was arrested (to be prepared for forty lashings) in Sudan for naming a teddy bear 'Muhammad'. But which 'Muhammad' are we talking about? Not the Apostle, but a little boy in her class. The children, not the teacher, voted for the name. The dominant Western media is very accurate and 'objective' in reporting the errors of other parts of the world, which is not necessarily a bad thing, so we know it is true. Where do we move from here? Express outrage, yes. That's a collective obligation on the rest of the world. My purpose is to look at it from a slightly different perspective, while making clear my objection to it.
  1. There has been a tendency among some Muslims to completely whitewash the sensibilities of Muslim peoples living in Asia and Africa, something I myself have been guilty of in the past. The Muslim Council of Britain is spot on when it decribes the judgment "completely injustified", but there is no attempt made to change the system that produces those judgments. Words like "ridiculous" and "unfair" flow readily from the lips of Muslims who are educated enough to know better, but they ignore the dignity of the people they are talking about. On scaling the Everest, Hillary said: "I came, I saw, I conquered." With more privileged Muslims in capitalist democracies, it's like: "I came, I saw, I spoke aloud so the crowd could hear [that would make one good Muslim] and I went home feeling smug." Shame on us.
  2. Is this the first time this year that a teacher has been subjected to forty lashings? If a strong case can be made against a smokeless barrel [reminds me of the WMD], I'm sure there were plenty of rulings against Sudanese teachers before this. So let's not turn this into a debate about a "British woman". It is a ruling against an innocent lady, and it is incumbent upon the Muslim-majority state to protect her just like it must protect its own citizens.
  3. The non-humanitarian, war-mongering, pro-Globalisation Western Right's response on various newspaper columns is symptomatic of a disturbing anti-Muslim war that is being waged for imperial hubris and geopolitics. They care as much about justice and life as a B52 cares about a little boy in Afghanistan before blowing him to shreds. It doesn't make sense when people who articulated the war against Iraq and demonise Muslim immigrants in Europe with fascistic fervour get pro-justice all of a sudden.
  4. And the question of ikhlas or the purity of intention. Ask yourself. Most of all, this is something the Sudanese authorities should be asking themselves for imprisoning an innocent lady. Will their ego let go?

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Story of Hamid Sayadi

I urge everyone to read Chris Collin's moving report of a post-9/11 harrassment case in the US. Chris, who writes a weekly column for the San Francisco chronicle, speaks with a fair amount of empathy, though rightly dispassionate to maintain 'objectivity' in whichever way you may understand the concept or semantic, which is all but missing from journalism these days. Or was virtue ever mainstream?

His story is one of the many that have both nothing and everything to do with 9/11. A witty and eloquent Kurdish-American in his 50s, Sayadi waved the flag of his adopted country and cheered its military for three decades — all to end up stripped to his underwear one day, in the boiler room of his workplace, he says, a ragged and sobbing husk of his former self.

My apologies to Chris and my readers for such a tardy response. I consider this story a people's case of Islamophobia. We know that 'Islamophobia' is in danger of being hijacked by some Muslims who wish to deny their wrong behaviour, just like the supporters of Israel who hurl the charge of 'anti-Semitism' whoever questions their apartheid. And I think we have to watch out for that. I try to allay that fear by having several posts on "introspection" on this blog. However, there is no doubt that there exists a people's case of Islamophobia. What I mean by a "people's case" is that its victims are Muslim individuals, because they are Muslims or even Arab or African Christians. The "people's case" of Islamophobia is affected by the "cultural and religious case" of Islamophobia, which have been concocted from European expeditions to the Orient, purposes of which are/were not merely enlightened curiosity, contrary to what the agent of the Cold and New War Bernard Lewis writes, but which have been a time-honoured excuse for imperialism. I think I may gone a bit off tangent, but that's what I consider this: a people's case of Islamophobia. This can be fought by the media, and salutations to Chris for informing the public in such an eloquent and noble journalistic capacity.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Muslim Terrorism

In their brilliant introductory book 'The Vision of Islam' that I advise everyone to read, Murata and Chittick nonetheless commit the same error of generalisation that I commented on in the previous entry by reducing wide-ranging Muslim practices to 'modernist Islam'. But what I agree with is their analysis of Muslim terrorism. I state that the phrases 'Islamic terrorism', 'Islamist terrorism' and 'Islamic rage' are all clever lingual constructions that mostly conceal the actions of the state that is engaged with them, but there indeed is a segment of Muslims that participates in ways which are both ignorant and criminal. Murata and Chittick argue that modernist Islam rejects the intellectual understanding of the tradition. I will not employ their term, because it is deficient in itself. Instead I will use Karen Armstrong's phrase "Qutbian terrorism" in its place.

One is the tremendous stress placed upon tanzih and the almost total eclipse of tashbih, at least among those who speak up vocally for Islamic values [eg. Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda], especially those with political agendas. In some cases, the celebration of God's wrath and anger is used to justify methods of warfare - such as mass killing and terrorism - that are explicitly forbidden by the Shariah....Islam does have its own political teachings, but these have always remained peripheral: To place them at the cent[re] is to break with the tradition. Of course, the political ideologies of contemporary Muslim movements are seldom rooted in Islamic teachings; rather, they are reinterpretations of the [Qur']an and the [Ah]adith based on modern presuppositions concerning democracy or other "good" forms of government...[1]

I think this is a really good analysis, and it basically explains in a few words what they don't tell us. They is more than they here. Yes, it is.


Sachiko Murata and William C. Chittick, The Vision of Islam (New York, USA: Paragon House, 1994), pp. 333-334.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Contemporary Islam?

Some people incorrectly use the phrase "contemporary Islam" to prove that the actions of Al Qaeda are not discordant with Islam as practised in this day and age. Whatever tranformation has come has been with Muslims and not Islam, so the assertion that Islam was itself transformed in the 12th Century is a shot in the dark. What we call "Islam" is the religion based on the Qur'an and the Ahadith. With these unchanged, it is impossible for Islam to "change". Hence, Christianity and Judaism cannot be compared to Islam in this essence. Instead what has happened is the muddling of interpretation with nationalist ideologies and sometimes revolutions or the rejection of some of its teachings. In this regard, which considers it isn't just 12th Century but all the centuries after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) there has been an array of Muslim movements, whether proggie or salafi or sufi, that have constructed their own Islam. But true Islam has always been there unchanged, open to dialogue, tradition and revivalism.

Summing it all up, one commits the crime of "generalisation" when one boxes the experiences and ways of living of more than a billion people on this planet into one phrase -- "contemporary Islam" -- which one then argues is not discordant with the heinous actions of "some of its adherents". In fact, there is nothing like "contemporary" Islam. Islam is as diverse as there are Muslim communities around the world. The actions of some of its adherents can be understood by placing it in a colonial context, mostly nationalist struggles that have learned to strike back at centres of power, mostly killing innocents (thereby replicating the actions of the centres of power), but always uncaring of the system of war in Islam. In my philosophy class, our tutor told us about what inspired Osama bin Laden to plan 9/11 from a documentary he had watched. According to Osama bin Laden, it was the Hiroshima bombings. This doesn't justify his brutal act of terrorism amd neither does it fully reprieve centres of power, but it does show the "roots of Muslim rage", contrary to what the person who coined the phrase says to his enlightened readers.

This rescues Islam from being framed by some as a religion that fosters terrorism. On the other hand, there is credible information of brainwashing of little boys in schools in tribal regions of Pakistan who chant "Osama" far more than they chant "Allah". They are taught hatred of Jews, Christians, whites, Westerners and other non-Muslim communities. I guess I've made my point that Islam is far too great and the Muslim community is far too diverse to be hijacked by Al Qaeda's Islam, which is falsely replaced by "contemporary Islam". The many Islams cannot be generalised, but so often they are as is evident in the writings of Melanie Philips, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer et alii.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Diction of War Propaganda

One of the ways in which the victims of Empire are dehumanised and misrepresented is through ‘language’. The English language is a beautiful language, and has earned itself the title of the ‘universal language’. How did English spread? While it is a kind of colonial poltergeist that cannot be forgotten or underestimated, it is largely a simple, easy language that has incorporated from many nations and peoples. It is no more “the British way of speaking” that reflects “the British way of life”, but is now the world’s way of speaking. It is a force that unites peoples. But an old misgiving still lurks in Anglo-American and even Australian politics, which is the tendency to repeatedly borrow from its imperial discourse and throw up words like “civilisation”, “democracy” and “freedom”, to which I have previously hinted elsewhere. During the Crusades, both Muslims and Christians referred to each other with this good vs. evil imagery, whereby they represented a more superior civilisation, not by actions and good deeds but polemics. I was going through John E. Richardson’s book ‘Analysing Newspapers: An Approach from Critical Discourse’, and it explained this really well:

They launch
Sneak Attacks
Without Provocation
Their men are
Saddam Hussein is

We launch
First strikes
Our men are
George Bush is
At peace with himself
Resolute [1]
Much of the media is concentrated in the ‘North’ (America, Europe), and this lends a veneer of acceptability to actions which would otherwise be viewed as crimes. Hence, the ‘South’ is depicted as an area of expendability, and how best it may serve the interests of the North. Such is the state of the ‘media’ that my pointing out this failure will be construed as radical, while what is actually radical i.e. contemporary newspaper reporting will be construed as ‘normal’. But no matter how serious and eloquent the propaganda, truth will out time and again. Alan Greenspan, "America's elder statesman of finance", has claimed (as reported yesterday) that "the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil". As the sectarian killers in Iraq undermine Islam, so do the war profiteers in America undermine the very Western values they exhibit as "saviours" to the lesser peoples 0f Iraq.


John E. Richardson, Analysing Newspapers: An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis (New York, USA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p. 48.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ramadan Mubarak!

Too many things have been going on in my life, but it has been utterly devoid of blogging or as I call it "hunting big game Islamophobes". Assignments, assignments and assignments. But here's a song of Ramadan, to accumulate some of this year's frustration and success on to a cloud, to sprinkle the earth. I am not making any sense. I know. Don't ask. Ramadan mubarak! The long overdue articles like 'The Black Armband of History' will insha'Allah be up soon. Do keep checking. Sinister laughter.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Chomsky Wrong on "Jihad"

Noam Chomsky, world renowned linguist and political thinker, has previously been accused by David Horowitz of the Front Page Rag of waging a "jihad" against the United States because of some of his anti-authoritarian views. Even his activism against Israel's war on Lebanon elicited an Israeli media of accusing him of [wait-for-it] applauding "jihad". Of course, jihad like other Arabic words (eg. mujahideen, madrassah, dhimmi) is a media buzzword. Unlike the so-called noble word "crusade", jihad is synonymous with holy war and aggression. But what does jihad really mean? The truth is that unlike the word "crusade" as in Bush's notable "this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile", jihad has nothing to do with terrorising the 'enemy' out of religious bound duty. There is no concept of holy war in Islam, as I've said before.

It is an Arabic word the root of which is Jahada, which means to strive for a better way of life. The nouns are Juhd, Mujahid, Jihad, and Ijtihad. The other meanings are: endeavor, strain, exertion, effort, diligence, fighting to defend one's life, land, and religion.

Jihad should not be confused with Holy War; the latter does not exist in Islam nor will Islam allow its followers to be involved in a Holy War. The latter refers to the Holy War of the Crusaders.

The above definition is the most concise and straightforward you'll find on the subject. But now to roll back, and address Chomsky's own misuse of this word. In April of 2007, Chomsky said on Democracy Now! while referring to Alan Dershowitz, an apologist for Israeli apartheid and terrorism, who was rightly accused by Norman Finkelstein of plagiarising and spreading lies: "he launched a jihad against Norman Finkelstein, simply to try to vilify and defame him, in the hope that maybe what he’s writing will disappear." I agree with Chomsky's choice of words, like "liar" and "maniac", toward the media hack Dershowitz. But jihad, the professor of linguistics should know, doesn't mean what he thinks it means. It means a righteous struggle. It doesn't mean lying, vilifying and filing suits against academics who take you to task. Alan Dershowitz like Osama bin Laden is incapable of jihad.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Introduction to 'The Black Armband of History'

Peace. Tomorrow or day after insha'Allah I'll be updating my blog with the planned article 'The Black Armband of History' as a tribute to the indigenous peoples of Australia. I had been thinking about writing on this, but my encounter with some Muslims who, like the ruling elites, view the Aboriginal people with disdain or are wholly ignorant of Australia's extraordinary pre-conquest civilisation of which there is much to be proud, calls for a juxtaposition of their marginalisation with the outright destruction of the Aborginal homeland. One of the objectives of this blog is to constructively address issues of social significance (hat tip, Erik). This article comes at the wake of Pauline Hanson's xenophobic and supremacist political statements against Muslim immigrants. One of my peers counts Pauline Hanson among the three worst persons she wouldn't want to be stuck in a desert with.

To be honest, I don't like flags. I don't like people who wave their nation's flags in front of my eyes out of some war-mongering, nationalist mania or to prove their flag has brighter colours. But if there's one flag I would proudly hang in my window, it would be the Australian Aboriginal flag, which is much more sincere and artistic than the one flying atop Howard's headquarters, servile as it is to the dismantled British Empire. The Aboriginal flag illustrates the dignity and beauty of the Aboriginal peoples. Literally, it is an imprint of their struggles against what John Pilger called "one of the most intransigent and meanest political establishements."[1] But it is also what I hold to be the legitimate symbol of Australia, an Australia distinctive from the European brotherhood.


1 - John Pilger, The New Rulers of the World (London: Verso, 2002), 12.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

'Sufism' and US Foreign Policy (Part III) - An Examination of the 2004 Nixon Report -

Part I
Part II

Polemics, ‘Moral Panics’, Racism, Al-Hallaj and Orthodoxy, and Conclusion

As long they were giving history lessons, things went swell. Enter Polemics and Politics, regular chief guests at think-tanks and foreign policy institutes (without them the show can’t go on, dear reader, and you must be full already).

I was in disagreement with much of what Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi Executive Director, Islamic Supreme Council of America said of Salafism. She gave the impression that all of a sudden there was this anti-Western force in Islam which destroyed Muslim tradition and Sufi schools of learning with the aim to purify Islam. I was particularly taken aback by her phrase “Wahhabi destruction”. This sort of polemics is completely irrelevant to the productivity of my critique or to ordinary Muslims for that matter. What she says stems more from self-centred passion than a historical narrative. It is a universal truth that every civilization has its revolutions and changes, and it is not about the emergence of Salafism but ‘moral panics’. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this term. ‘Moral panics’ is basically a concept that is used to describe great and prevalent fear or concern in a society that some enemies from within that particular society are trying to sow unrest by mainly hostile actions.[1] It can be used by ruling elites to conceal bigger problems. I’ll give you an example. Once upon a time in England, even mugging was considered a form of ‘moral panic’, and a rather clever gentleman by the name of Waddington said that this was merely because the ruling elites wanted to divert attention from British capitalism.[2] There are loop holes in the cause and effect theory, I’m not saying that, but instead of blaming an ordinary set of people who call themselves Salafis and their version of Islam, we must ask what really led to the collapse of this so-called wonderful Islamic civilization as described by Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi. Was it really anti-Westernism? (Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi in my opinion makes this point because she is addressing mainly a Western audience, sort of fortifying the anti-Salafi programme). Could it be anti-Westernism? Why did Muslims want a change? Did they want a change for themselves or against the West? I know she is keeping in line with Bernard Lewis’s outrageous essay 'The Roots of Muslims Rage', but honestly Muslims were more likely to first think about setting themselves for each other than against ‘the West’. There was surely something lacking? I’ll tell you what was wrong. Things had already fallen apart and it wasn’t working out before the emergence of Salafism. This is the only possible explanation for a movement of thought or action. This is when it is a time for reaction to circumstances and grievance. To blame the economic and political failure of Muslims – I didn’t say “spiritual” because that is up to an individual himself – on those damn “Wahhabis” as we hear time and again repeated by media experts and a great number of Muslims is wrong and ahistorical and nonsensical. The Muslim World didn’t change because of a handful of “Wahhabis”. This was a movement in response to failure that had already occurred and not without the acceptance of the populace. It is my view that an effort must be made by Muslims to understand identities forged after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in terms of their anthropological and historical relevance rather than smearing or slandering others. The hostility to Salafis is sometimes coloured by racism when instead of talking about the theological disagreement, which should be encouraged, people make unruly remarks about Saudis, which of course is true for the leadership but far removed from the habits and intelligence and nature of ordinary Saudis who are people like you and me. I mean, you put a guy with a turban on T.V. and the maximum response, even those of Muslims, will have that Ann Coulter flavour and immediately a ‘Wahhabi’ label will follow even if the man has more intelligence and sobriety than half the half-wits combined who are disparaging him behind his back, other than the obvious attempt by the news commentator to make the guy look stupid. These same people will also sit the way hell up and listen attentively with their ears pricked and all when some small-minded celebrity is talking about his or her egotistical life or something.

I agree with Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi’s feelings about literalism in Salafism. This I think is a valid approach. Salafism should be open to critique over questions of literalism or even the ugly attitudes of some of its adherents. And each movement is Islam must be critiqued as it isn’t cast in stone. Only the Qur’an is the perfect text which has always withstood critique due to its subliminal and divine mark, and the Hadith is the secondary text which has been analyzed through the generations by learned scholars and respected thinkers. And you would think she is right on it, but wait until you hear her support for shrines of saints, which is one of the things for which Sufism must be critiqued. There is nothing wrong with shrines in my view as historical monuments but her argument that people come to build bridges and all through these absurd rituals is false. The only thing that it leads to is shirk and if you look at those portly managers of shrines you know what happens to your charity. Later on in the report, Dr. Alan Godlas also stresses on the importance of visiting shrines for “Turkmen tribal identity”. From an Islamic perspective, we have to remember that it is incorrect though it is a very touchy subject for the followers. From an anthropological perspective, it can be understood. It is here we must apply Islam and rather than going about it sacrilegiously, we must do what the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would have done: educate, through wisdom and mercy that we are to worship God and not men (this is the most basic belief that links all Muslims); but not override their version of Islam with ours regarding interpretation or worship. Time and again there have been instances where Muslims in the majority have persecuted those in the minority, mostly defenceless Sufis, which is totally anti-Islamic e.g. in Saudi Arabia and Iran, where in fact a campaign has been waged to eliminate other traditions and even eccentric ideas that aren’t so much anti-orthodox as anti-authoritarian. Another example of ‘moral panic’. Of course, the case of Al-Hallaj is totally different – there’s at least one thing on which Shaykh Hisham Kabbani and I can agree on despite his fascination with European Orientalists who as luck would have it are absolutely head over heels in love with Al-Hallaj – and I’m not at all satisfied with Mevlana Rumi’s defence of Al-Hallaj’s statement or Al-Hallaj’s execution which is really lamentable as he wasn’t given any chance to repent which is a Qur’anic right given to every creature. The Orientalist fascination with Al-Hallaj as Edward Said critiques in his seminal work Orientalism wasn’t to do with what Al-Hallaj said, though it may have given them immense pleasure to find that it was anti-orthodox and anti-monotheistic other than Al-Hallaj verbally elevating himself to godhead. Rather it was the way in which Al-Hallaj was executed: crucifixion. This gave Orientalists the prospect to link Al-Hallaj, a Muslim figure, to Christ, Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon them both), in accordance with Christian tradition that Jesus was crucified; and this in my opinion was played against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who died a natural death, and also there was a psychological manoeuvring in my opinion to overplay the significance or role of Al-Hallaj for the above reason. The case of Al-Hallaj also became a tool for some Muslims to provoke the majority or the orthodox with a condescending impression of ‘intellectualism’, which was nothing but distasteful sham, as throughout Muslim history the contribution of the orthodox has been pivotal to progress and creativity though mostly unacknowledged and snubbed off as ‘boring’. This enshrouding of the contribution of the orthodoxy to Muslim civilization has largely been accomplished by paying undue attention and reverence to anti-orthodox figures like Al-Hallaj.

The other speakers basically speak similar sorts of things: Dr. Alan Godlas ends his talk with Sufism Vs ‘Wahhabism’ imagery (and who will lead and get to be the big-shot I guess) but I respect his nuanced and generally non-polemical approach along with his cautioning the US to not interfere; Dr. Mohammad H. Faghfoory is the only speaker who doesn’t say anything about Salafism but rather dwells on the Persian influence and what I think of as a sincere discussion on Sufism – he is again silent on the issue of foreign policy – but at the end he says that those who disagree with Sufism are ideologizing Islam. I must be one of those because I tend to disagree with some or many aspects of Sufism and Salafism on solely intellectual grounds and Islam to me is not about ideology and I don’t believe in force, though I generally support resistance movements whether in Vietnam or Iraq against the centre of power and not innocent people, which has nothing to do with my religious beliefs; Dr. Charles Fairbanks bemoans the supposed fact that Washington is not a religious centre in the “war on terror” which to me is odd because George Bush is a devout Christian and the neocons are worried about Judeo-Christian heritage and all that and they go to church on Sunday to listen to those hymns – but they’re hypocrites of course! What is he trying to say? That we should officially have a Fourth Crusade? It is interesting that Dr. Fairbanks considers the “war on terror” of a quasi-religious nature. What he calls “modern, secular states” in the Muslim World are all Washington’s lapdogs with an increasing movement of resistance from its peoples. I guess any atom of rebellion by Muslims, however legitimate, is labelled as a “Wahhabi” scheme by the bosses in Washington and the Muslim figures speaking at such events. He differentiates between Sufi resistance and Salafi resistance simply because Sufis are fighting against Russia in my opinion. This is not harmful of course. I mean, with the Cold War and all, it’s really cool; Alex Alexeiv, the last speaker, talks of the Salafi methods of fighting in the Caucasus as tactically wrong which definitely is the case in my view and he doesn’t hint at foreign policy measures, which is good.

I know it’s way over time and too lengthy but I want to put all the speakers of this event in perspective, even those who didn’t directly advocate foreign policy in this talk. Why did they attend this conference? What was the objective of Washington? Each of these speakers shares blame for knowingly participating in a conference that was funded, made or supported by hawkish war-mongers and corporate institutions (given its role in stifling the facts on global warming, don’t be surprised if Exxon Mobil is one of them). Did these speakers see pictures of the Iraq invasion in 2003 and its bloody impact on the children in Iraq? Why are they making a pact of “foreign policy” with the thugs in Washington? While describing “Wahhabi destruction”, why did they participate in a conference that clearly aims to destroy those they disagree with? Pausing here, I equally condemn any campaign by the Saudi dictatorship to infringe harm on the Sufis and “force” their viewpoints on Sufis as they do! The image of Shaykh Hisham Kabbani quoting alleged “peace” poetry, which actually seems as a form of provocation, while denouncing an entire group of peoples (that comprises of ordinary family-oriented folks who don’t care about politics) as terrorists, and supporting governments engaged in state terrorism is disingenuous to say the least. And it is always easy to say a lot like the self-styled experts who congregated for the International (?) Security Program of The Nixon Centre in Washington on October 24th, 2003. While these men (as they all were indeed men, except Zeyno Baran the editor) were having a go at all the stuff I critiqued and quoted, the people in Iraq trembled in fright of the air raids and lawlessness and death, the objection and the voice of humanity unheard beneath the walls of some warm building where Bernard Lewis, a staunch advocate of the war, was sanctimoniously providing a rationale for the madness, a madness that was definitely incubated in one of these so-called international security institutes. And the speakers, waiting to pounce and announce their own grand agendas, against savage, irrational souls – in this case, the ‘Wahhabis’.


1 – Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance (Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishers, 1994), 11.
2 – Ibid., 42.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Massacres of the 21st Century

The fledgeling 21st Century has already been marred with massacres. We have heard of Sept. 11, 2001 the most, and indeed it was a terrible atrocity. But we have failed the people of Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Congo. Perhaps one of the most neglected and frightening systematic killings of people has been in the Indian province of Gujarat. Thanks to Amad for reminding us. In the words of the extraordinary writer Arundhati Roy, winner of the Booker Prize and more significantly the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize:

While the parallels between contemporary India and prewar Germany are chilling, they're not surprising. (The founders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS], the National Volunteer Force that is the moral and cultural guild of the BJP, have in their writings been frank in their admiration for Hitler and his methods).

Not surprisingly, she has been accused by ideologues as being both anti-Indian and anti-American, for making an association between the Right and fascism. She is so wonderfully vocal that she was censored from the Charlie Rose programme on PBS.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Cheshire Cat Syndrome

From the imprudent appraisal of bloody-minded, apathetic politicians like Blair and Bush in modelling of harmless dog breeds, we arrive at the less pleasant topic of cats. A fictional cat rather. The Cheshire Cat. For those unfamiliar, here’s a literary background.

I was tuned into the radio some weeks ago, when the programme on faith and intercultural debate began. It wasn’t a debate at all, for the moderator was a crude partisan hack. The two sides were one really; Christian and Jewish commentators upset with multiculturalism and Muslims and Islam. The woman, whose Jewish identity was frequently underlined by the moderator, didn’t stop informing the public how it was all right to be against multiculturalism. Her message was nothing short of racism, and it maligned the early Jewish immigrants, which of course led me to question whether she was one of those white drop-ins who unaware of the national Jewish history seek to demonise Muslims, playing a part in the new anti-Semitism or Islamophobia. The Christian man, who polemically sided with the woman, proclaimed his Catholic passions of the despicable era still venerated as the Crusades. I was kind of shocked as the so-called debate progressed. They said that there was no such thing as moderate Muslims and the Qur’an was preaching violence. I realised at that point that this anti-Muslim temperament was in fact mainstream. That journalism as John Pilger regards is indeed an extension of the government or priggish power. Ethics in media is an academic study, not a practical one. The programme got most insane when they glorified the totalitarian, fascist Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, comprising of Iranian communists, whose stated aim is to rid the world of Islam. At one point, the moderator even gave some air play to the rabble-rousing Islamophobe Maryam Namazie.

What did I learn from the programme? I’m not going to tout myself as a moderate or progressive Muslim for the entertainment of Islamophobes. I don’t care a fig if they charge me of radicalism and extremism for the crime of criticising this or that war-mongering, psychopathic government. If I’m combining my criticism of Uncle Sam and Thatcher-esque liberalism with that of Afghan warlords and Al Qaeda, I can go to bed in peace every night, unlike those who content themselves with the plea to make Muslims apologise for every atrocity committed by a person with a Muslim name. I call to witness the apologists of the Anglo-American empire that is responsible for massive terror campaigns against the peoples of Iraq, Palestine, Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor and countries in Latin America to nominate a few.

The post-9/11 Muslim reaction to compliantly separate themselves as moderates has been gradually disavowed, thanks to the efforts of people like Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes. Their manufactured hate, easy to believe because of its simplistic comfort, has seeped into the hearts of many people looking not for an explanation but any explanation that won’t impinge on their own sense of worth in their country, religion or race. A law-abiding Muslim unspoken on his or her government policies became a moderate, but that privilege has also been erased. The claim of Robert Spencer is that it isn’t the fault of bin Laden’s but he is acting true to the spirit of Islam. This spurious falsehood has been propagated by other Islamophobes. This also implies that all Muslims are evil, a method by which Jihad Watch is spreading direct hate and propaganda against the Muslim neighbours and countrymen of Jihad Watch subscribers. A Muslim was first categorised into moderate and extremist. Rather than defining Islam as “the peaceful worship of and submission to One God”, Muslim spokesmen started the “Islam means peace” PR drive. This, too, was met with ridicule. LGF’s racist loonies facetiously refer to Islam as a religion of peace. Islam doesn’t mean “peace” per se. Salaam as in the greeting salaam alaikum means peace. Is Islam a religion of peace? Like all religions it is a religion of peace. But that’s half the truth. Islam, perhaps more importantly, means surrender to One God. This is a voluntary submission with “no compulsion”. It forms a complete realisation of an individual toward the universe and other forms of creation and the humankind, to live in peace with them, in balance. There is nothing like a moderate Muslim and an extremist Muslim. An extremist is defined in freedom movements as someone who uses force or violence if necessary. If a Muslim can be categorised as an extreme example of his faith, American and Israeli military personnel must be defined as such as well. An American soldier must be called an extremist American because he has the stars and stripes on his breast. He is fighting for a cause with violence. To selectively apply labels to a group of people is disingenuous and against basic human rights. But with the erosion of the personal identity of a Muslim, a Muslim previously upheld for his or her compliance with the state, has been assimilated into the pool of ‘Islamofascists’, portrayed as a bearded barbarian; or a veiled Oriental waiting to be rescued by her snobbish French mate who’ll leap down from a chopper, single-handedly kill the score of hooded abductors and hold her in his arms, and a patriotic yob will be flying the flag behind them.

The cat has vanished and all that’s left is the grin. Any attempt to respect the dignity of practising Muslims has been lost in categorising, collaring and finally discarding the lot of them, as part of the scheme in their collective evil.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bush is Right

I may not agree with George Bush on anything, but for the first time he's left me in quite a tizzy. On June 27, 2007, the Sun quoted him exactly as such, in reference to Blair:
I've heard he's been called Bush's poodle. He's bigger than that.
Bush is right. The ex-British PM Anthony Blair is indeed bigger than a poodle. Photographic evidence suggests that the poodle is actually bigger than Bush himself, which must make Bush a chihuahua.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Islam and its Discontents

What is jihad? What is the status of non-Muslims under Islamic leadership? Is Islam compatible with democracy? Is the world divided into two zones: belief and disbelief/non-belief, and if so, do Muslims have a holy mission to convert us? These are some of the serious questions that crop up in the minds of non-Muslims in the present political climate. The public is driven to form opinions based on the availability of popular discourse: that of an Al Qaeda spokesman holed up in a cave with the hottest technology or anti-Muslim commentators. There is seldom a middle ground, as reactionaries on both sides are gratified by the deception. Let me give you an example. In Islam, there is no concept of holy war. But several Muslims and non-Muslims will tell you otherwise. I was debating with an apparently sophisticated poster on a forum, and he countered by providing a link to an unheard of Muslim website that explicitly defined jihad as holy war. Fair enough. Better yet, why not establish that Islam is evil by lending your ears to some other outrageous Muslims like the merry men of the Taliban? It is not unusual, hence, to be charged by some non-Muslims “for sugar-coating Islam”, and by Muslims for being a Muslim apologist. Muhammad Asad fits the bill perfectly for earning the wrath of some Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and Bernard Lewis the fondness. Let’s think it over. There are some non-Muslim individuals who are aware that jihad doesn’t mean holy war. Nevertheless, the Muslim who tells them so is sugar-coating Islam and someone bending of knowledge and tradition is honest. A Muslim who tells you that Islam is here to conquer is a candid spokesman to the oft-discussed, however a first-rate myth, dangers of Islam, and a Muslim who tells you that Islam is a religion of submission to One God and peace is an idiot. Because, you see, conceited people…and I mean those who try to invalidate Islam by believing that Islam is evil anyhow i.e. those who make their personal belief and civilisation look superior, not by irrelative, unannounced intellectual jihad (struggle), but positioning the favourite fruits of their belief with those of the distorted teachings of another. Take up ‘race’. Since infancy, we have been fed the myths that white man is superior. This has not been achieved by science, assumed staple of the European Enlightenment, but a reductionist and colonial exposition. Indeed, even science as religion claims that all of us are equal, that the Palestinian/Iraqi victim of American/Israeli state terrorism is as worthy a victim as a New Yorker or a Tel Aviv club-hopper.

What is my point exactly? I think we have an immediate need to question the contemporary discourse of Islam both among Muslims and non-Muslims. Fourteen centuries ago, God said in His speech, the Qur’an, to come to “common terms”. This doesn’t mean twisting the verses in religious texts out of context like it is the habit of armchair bombers who are hostile to Islam, often parading as sophisticated enlightened free spirits. You might say “liberal”. And nor like an Al Qaeda terrorist who wants to kill innocents, not because he understands the message in the Qur’an, which he clearly doesn’t as mainstream Muslim scholars have affirmed in their writings, but that he believes there is no hope. Of course, this may also lead us to question words like “civilisation”, “democracy” and “liberty” which are callously tossed about by terrorists, apartheid appeasers and stooges of Western triumphalism we never read or hear about.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Why is Hitchens Not Scared of Offending Muslims?

Cervantes explains the Don's desire to leave his village and take up the profession of knighthood: "he was spurred on by the conviction that the world needed his immediate presence." (Don Quixote, Book 1, Part 2)

In a recent article, the famed film-maker John Pilger referred to a critique of British artists by Terry Eagleton in their failure to "question the Western way of life." John Pilger aptly describes rabid colonialist writers and columnists like Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens and others singled out by Eagleton in the Guardian column:

That they play their part in a broadcasting studio or in the clubbable pages of the review sections and that they think of themselves as liberals or conservatives is neither here nor there. They belong to the same crusade, waging the same battle for their enduring privilege.

Hitchens in one such writer given "tombstones of column inches in which to air his pretensions, along with his attacks on Muslims." This is John Pilger bouncing Amis, but I think it rings even truer for Christopher Hitchens. Like the derogatory viewers' feedback on Youtube aimed at Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper with whom Hitchens debated about a New York student's right to dump the Qur'an. This incident is what allegedly elicited Hitchens anew "to air his pretensions, along with his attacks on Muslims." When we analyse Hitchens' columns and slurs since September 11, 2001, the day on which some of the most morally absurd intellectuals and barbie doll newsreaders decided to warn us about the "Islamist threat", which consequently fueled "our search for moderates" and "friendly communists like Maryam Namazie", it is made clear that Hitchens would squander his (and our) time in the process.

  1. Afghanistan: "first country in history to be bombed out of the stone age." [This murderous passion of Hitchens reminds me of those who pride Japan's democracy to the terrible war crimes in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Of course, it is irrelevant that Afghanistan is chaotic, overrun by US-backed warlords. Ismail Khan, one of the worst, was endorsed by Rumsfeld as "an appealing man... thoughtful, measured and self-confident"].

  2. Iraq: "And if they're bearing a Koran over their heart, it'll go straight through that, too. So they won't be able to say, 'Ah, I was bearing a Koran over my heart and guess what, the missile stopped halfway through.' No way, 'cause it'll go straight through that as well. They'll be dead, in other words."

  3. This is a period in time when the majority of the Australian, American and British public are questioning their government policies. Hitchens has nowhere to go. One up for the Niger myth.

  4. Islam has since formed an active preoccupation of Hitchens: 'Stop indulging Islamist violence', 'Jefferson versus the Muslim pirates', 'Facing the Islamist menace', 'Londonistan', 'Why are we so scared of offending Muslims?', etc. etc.

Why is Hitchens not scared of offending Muslims? Because, there is nothing unusual about offending Muslims. People have the right to critique Islam, and they indeed do that every single day. What is unethical and strange is when the criticism trespasses into an area of abuse, misrepresentation and fascist fervour. Islamophobia Watch comments that Hitchens wouldn't be "putting his name to a piece subtitled 'Why are we so scared of offending Jews?'". I think this is very true, because I recall Hitchens writing in Vanity Fair not very long ago:

The objection of these people is not really to Judaism, or even to Zionism. It's anti-Semitism pure and simple. The other name for which is racism, of the deadliest kind because it's accompanied by a direct incitement to murder. Not just discrimination, but murder.

The double standards are obvious. It is anti-Semitic to criticise Israel and Zionism, let alone Jews, but we needn't be scared of "offending" Muslims. It is alright for Hitchens to shamelessly indulge in anti-Muslim fascism because it's the norm, like it was the norm to scapegoat Jews in Europe half a century before. And armchair bombers like Hitchens, Spencer and Pipes are the champions who "dare" to offend Muslims, whilst bigotry against Islam and Muslims is almost a universal truth. How unnerving indeed!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Very disturbing piece of Islamophobia and racism evidence, via the excellent Islamophobia Watch:

A Muslim street warden nicknamed "Saddam" during a four-year ordeal of racist abuse has won £42,500 after an employment tribunal. Iqbal Rasheed, 59, was the target of a vindictive campaign while working for a security firm under contract for Westminster council and the Greater London Authority.

Father-of-three Mr Rasheed, of St John's Wood, told how colleagues at Chubb Security nicknamed him "Saddam", branded him a "madman who believes in God" and laughed at him when he fasted during Ramadan. He said he was once told not to clean the spray-painted word "n****r" from the side of Selfridges because it was "not offensive".

Shortly after British hostage Ken Bigley was decapitated in Iraq, Mr Rasheed said he was told by a colleague: "I hope they nuke you Iraqis now." One South African supervisor told him: "I don't make tea, I get n*****s to make it for me."

Mr Rasheed, who was born in Aden, Yemen, said he was the subject of a bullying campaign by line manager Mike Edwards and colleagues Marie Robinson and Carol Wheeler, who are mother and daughter. He told the Lite today: "From the moment I stepped in the office I could feel the tension against me. I have lived in this country since I was a child but I was made to feel like a total outsider."
I won't talk about the anti-Iraq and anti-Arab fervour, but "Saddam" is considerably tame when you consider "Sodom" as uttered by American colonialists in the Pentagon.

And, naturally, Said discusses what the Bush administration and their mouthpieces’ cultural gaffes, during the lead-up to the war on Iraq, communicate and how Arabs receive their actions. Barsamian mentions to Said how U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, while addressing the United Nations, repeatedly stated "Sodom" instead of "Saddam." Said responds that this is an example of demoni[s]ing and triviali[s]ing the dictator, and reducing the country of Iraq, home of what is considered the artistic capital of the Arab world, to that one man.

Commenting on news anchors "who say I-raq, I-ran … the Mooslems, and Izlum," Said tells Barsamian, "it’s all part of the same arsenal of Orientalist cliches that are designed to alienate, distance, and dehumani[s]e a people … That’s why most Arabs feel a tremendous animosity toward the U.S. media and government. The prevailing public discourse is so ignorant and at the same time so familiar in its contempt for these central things in our lives that we see it as a kind of assault on our culture and civilization." Indeed, the lack of knowledge that Americans possess regarding Arabs, the Middle East, and foreign affairs in general is all too often manifested in the media, like when the Chicago Tribune, in a recent editorial, refers to Iran as an Arab country, and in another article, defines "intifada" as "holy war."
The analysis, though not directly related, by Edward Said points to the view that Iqbal Rasheed, the man vilified and racially abused, was a lingual and cultural reduction of all Arabs to "Saddam". In my next entry, I'll insha'Allah talk about how the 'syntax' of Islam is ideologically ditched in the textual English language that supposedly indulges in an unbiased, non-political and universal discourse.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pipe Dreams

We recognise Daniel Pipes as an Islamophobe and a fear-mongering racist both in his personal and professional benighted reality. However, not much effort has been spared in rendering him as an idiot. I’ve previously exposed him as a fabulous intellectual engaged in struggles for free speech [just pulling your leg], and here I find myself talking about him again. I don’t wish to underestimate the bile and poison he customarily spurts in his writings or his witch-hunting campaigns on American campuses. But let me sit back for a second, and consider Pipes as an idiot and a comic relief in his own dangerous wasteland of military detention, perpetual wars and anti-Muslim fascism.

“Ah ha, and an idiot!” I can hear some of you say aloud with me. You bet, when you read the following:

One clarification: the Fox News video makes it appear that the woman screaming "Liar, Liar" (a fanatical anti-Israel, hard leftist named Greta Berlin) was addressing me. In fact, she was yelling at Wafa Sultan....
What's the background?

Along with Yaron Brook (head of the Ayn Rand Institute) and Wafa Sultan (of Al-Jazeera fame), I participated yesterday evening in a panel on 'Totalitarian Islam's Threat to the West' at the University of California at Los Angeles.

What's the joke? Daniel Pipes is touchy and embarrassed by this video, and is quick to point out that the bitter protest by the Palestinian rights activist Greta Berlin is against the silly opportunist Wafa Sultan whose appearance on Al Jazeera was edited and rehashed by the extreme disinformation Zionist media MEMRI: "either they reflect badly on the character of Arabs or they in some way further the political agenda of Israel". But the joke is on him, because we now know that Pipes is irked by conscientious protest, to the extent that he brands it as "the degradation of free speech on campus". May I ask who founded the vile witch-hunting project called Campus Watch? And it is a falsehood that protest is against free speech, because without protest there'll be no democracy, and we're seeing less and less of democracy in the United States thanks to Campus Watch and Pipes. As John Pilger says, there have always been elements of fascism in the US and I think Daniel Pipes is a fire-breathing fascist monster. What action does he advise against the protesters? That they "be disciplined and the non-students be charged with trespassing and barred from entering the campus".

Recently, the award-winning reporter Robert Fisk had this to say about Daniel Pipes:

But wait, Pipes is at it again. The director of the "Middle East Forum" has been writing in Canada's National Post about "Palestine". His piece is filled with the usual bile. Palestinian anarchy had "spewed forth" warlords. Arafat was an "evil" figure. Israeli withdrawal from Gaza had deprived Palestinians of the one "stabilising element" in the region. Phew! "Palestinianism" (whatever that is) is "superficial". Palestinian "victimisation" is a "supreme myth of modern politics". Gaza is now an "[Islamist] beachhead at the heart of the Middle East from which to infiltrate Egypt, Israel and the West Bank".

Pipe dreams about the annihilation of defenceless Palestinians and other 'counter-terrorist' operations like disciplining anti-fascists. But pipe dreams are known to come true, which is why we must continually expose Daniel Pipes and the international legion of conceited Islamophobes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Comment on a Comment

Peace be upon everyone. I'm sorry about not updating this blog sooner, but I've been really busy lately. Anyhow, I'd like to address a comment in an old post titled Kafir Watch? that echoes a rather poignant sentiment:

Nothing in this world is perfect. Life is not easy for anyone, including western people. Everyone has to work to succeed. Don't blame the whole western society for the problems because they aren't the only source. Open that mind to the possibility that some nonbelievers are more than immoral bastards.

I almost wholly agree with this sentiment. But I did not blame the "whole western society". I should indeed have differently phrased or downright edited some of my views had I known they would be interpreted as such. Yes, but I acknowledge some hostility to the West in my words, but they weren't to be chucked on every Western bystander. I wrote:

Not reporting on the real issues faced by the downtrodden does not make them 'free people', however much they may invoke the Enlightenment period which as the Muslim commentator Amir Butler pointed out was a result of conflicts within Europe and its religions. Muslims, on the other hand, have no need of an Enlightnment. No thank-you, Mr Tariq Ali. You may continue to rail against the capitalists who hover around the other end of your system and preach to Muslims and the capitalists may continue to dominate and slaughter Muslims outside the system.

I wrote this in reponse to a popular belief that Western Reformation must be wilfully forced on Muslim populations, as outlined by authors and pundits like Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington. But a closer look at world history suggests that Western Reformation has never been successfully transmitted nor has it been seen as a virtue by centres of power that would like to enforce it. It has merely been an excuse for colonialism. I'm not denying that people in the East haven't benefited from Western virtues, but the concept of virtue is universal and democratic. It flows to and fro. When I wrote Muslims aren't in need of a European Enlightenment, it was to counter the new intellectual methods of global order that present virtue as a guise for economic and political greed. Moreover, I don't consider all Muslims innocents. But rather I'm very worried about "the recent terror fitnah being perpetrated by Muslims that has gripped all corners of the world as we know it".

The Western civilian population is as innocent and good as any. And most non-Muslims are not "immoral bastards" and if they were, Muslims wouldn't be very differerent from them, because we're all human beings to start with. There are extremist groups on both sides, and Muslims are equally to blame.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Desmond Tutu Vs Bernard Lewis

If I had to vote for my favourite personalities in the contemporary world, one of them would be the Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, Desmond Tutu. Via the ever efficient Islamophobia Watch:

"I would hope that you in the media would be passionate about letting people judge for themselves, that you would be careful about some of the language that you do actually use," he said. "'Muslim terrorism' – have you ever read anywhere 'Christian terrorism'? – as if Islam propagates violence, but you have never spoken about what happened in Northern Ireland as Christian terrorism," he said.

Tutu added that understanding different religions required peoples of all faiths to understand different perspectives. "We Christians ought to get off our high horse and learn to be a great deal more humble, when you look at our history, the bloody things that we did in the name of religion," he said.
Contrast these well-informed and constructive comments by Desmond Tutu with those of the anti-Muslim and rabid Zionist so-called historian Bernard Lewis, a Barnes and Nobles dusty job. This is from his book 'The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror' (p. 137), suitably titled for right-wing appetites:

Most Muslims are not fundamentalists, and most fundamentalists are not terrorists, but most presend-day terrorists are Muslims and proudly identify themselves as such.
Does that ring a bell? This was a regular Sept. 11, 2001 commentary, and you don't have to guess the origin. The vile Orientalist Bernard Lewis lays claim to most of all controversial albeit celebrated sayings in the media. It wasn't George Bush or any of his criminal henchmen who conceived the idea that Iraqis would receive their oppressors with flowers but Bernard Lewis, the big mouthpiece of intellectual dishonesty and political hubris who waved America's bombers toward Iraq. There is a definite association between Lewis and the "Western Reformation" fascists in Washington and Tel Aviv, in their genocidal campaign for world dominance.

Understandably, Muslims complain when the media speak of terrorist movements and actions as "Islamic" and ask the media why the media do not similarly identify Irish and Basque terrorists and terrorism as "Christian". The answer is simple and obvious - they do not describe themselves as such. The Muslim complaint is understable, but it should be addressed to those who make the news, not to those who report it.
Bernard Lewis himself has participated in acts of terrorism, though in a more dastardly and malacious fashion. Bravo, he wrote the damn the script for it! And he has the temerity to talk about 'Islam in Crisis: Holy War and Unholy Terror', ignorant of the fact that there is no concept of holy war in Islam. What can you expect from someone who has befriended several racist, murderous Israeli politicians; American neocons of death and destruction; coined the catastrophic Cold War propaganda phrase "the clash of civilizations" and led a nation (he isn't even an American) to war against an innocent people? I will write a detailed critique of his book. For now, I will draw your attention to the person to whom he has dedicated this Orientalist junk: Harold Rhode. Who is Harold Rhode? From a source on Juan Coles's blog:

"He considered Lewis his real mentor. Later, [I was told by someone in the know that] that Lewis helped him get a job in Richard Perle's office at the Pentagon. The rest is history....

Some writers are asking about what the connections are between various individuals and groups in the Iraq/Iran/Israel/etc. mess. Were there ever to be a serious investigation of the Israeli infiltration of the Pentagon (unlikely, of course), one would certainly have to examine Bernard Lewis's role here.

Even though Edward Said raised the issue 25 years ago, in view of recent events, it seems high time that a scholarly society promote a frank and more balanced discussion of the political agenda driving Lewis's scholarship as well as his advice to leaders as a supposed senior scholar on the Islamic world. (On the other hand, I am not aware of any reputable treatment of his non-academic side; a Google search only reveals some rather unsavory publications that question his non-academic affiliations.)"
And finally Juan Cole on Harold Rhode:

Rhode participated in the meetings in Europe with the proto-fascist Italian military intelligence organization, SISMI, and the rightwing Italian Defense Minister, along with fraudster Manuchehr Ghorbanifar, at which suspected spy Lawrence Franklin also was present.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yahya Emerick's Critique of Irshad Manji

This is American Muslim writer Yahya Emerick's critique of Irshad Manji:

I recently read a book named, “The Trouble with Islam” by Irshad Manji. It was quite a piece of work. She is basically a self-professed lesbian Muslim “Refusenik”. (Whatever that is supposed to mean.) Her premise was that she was questioning the validity of Islam because some Muslims have done bad things, chiefly her parents, but also ordinary Muslims in third world countries. I’m not kidding. This is the entire crux of her argument: some Muslims are bad so Islam must be bad. Try that standard with Christianity and ordinary Christians! It would fare far worse. In chapter after chapter she berated one ignorant cultural custom after another, cited terrorist activities here and there and traced a meandering path through the ideology of the Wahhabis and came away saying that she was “on the brink” of stepping out of Islam and that Islam was darn lucky she was giving it one thread of a last chance.

Conversely, she had nothing but praise for the Western world. Nothing bad ever happened or happens. Western religions are noble and kind. Everyone is a free thinker and savvy human rights pacifist. Women are well respected and they have complete freedom and equality and the civil liberties and rights of all are sacred. So, in her conclusion, Islam had better shape up or she would leave it. There is a word for arguments such as hers and anyone who has ever taken a course in logic and rhetoric will know it: fallacy. A fallacy is an argument that is not only not proved but ill-conceived at its core. It is contradictory, disingenuous and easily disproved with logic that will uncover where the mistakes in reasoning occurred. Sadly, however, Ms. Manji is not the first to use this odd type of mis-logic.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Well Said, Craig

If the Muslims are right, Rushdie will get his come-uppance eternally, which should be enough vengeance for anybody. You can't make eternity last longer by killing someone quicker.

As I have maintained, any out-of-place Muslim reaction to the honouring of Rushdie will not benefit anyone but the politicians, East and West.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Manji on Rushdie

There are few more obnoxious people on this no-so-green-anymore planet than Irshad Manji. Driven by accolades from liberal-to-right news media like the New York Times and think-tanks, unsuccessful professors, fascists, and Zionists like Daniel Pipes, invitations to radio shows and BBC and CNN and wherever there is a bunch of right-wing sanctimonious "Westerners". I say, "Westerners" because this is what it's all about - it's in the language of Irshad Manji as she addresses the people she claims are on her side, which is far from the truth. The bottom of the article identifies her as a "Senior Fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy". There are some things to ponder:
  1. Is Irshad Manji a European?
  2. What European ideals or goals does she support?
  3. What makes her join the European class?

A perusal through her writings and site yields the following results: No, she isn't a European but she supports those Europeans who are "at the top" i.e. war-mongers, anti-Muslim bigots, racists of every kind, Zionists and fascists. One could well imagine her on a paid position under Hitler, demonising Jews. But the not-so-green-anymore planet has revolved so many times since then that she finds herself on the side of Jews. Not all Jews, not the good Jews, those who exhibit humanity and faith. But mostly the secular-minded Jews who support apartheid, anti-Arab racism and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian Arabs who were driven out of their homes into a ghetto, by like-minded people who are delighted by the lies of Irshad Manji. In fact, her article starts with an apparent lie:

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

She generalises about all the folks in her schools. It is crazy to assume this is true. But for the naïve Western reader, it becomes a fact. You don't have to question any Cold War propaganda. A propaganda becomes a fact. Irshad Manji becomes "an extraordinary brave woman" for standing up to those Muslims. She becomes "an extraordinary brave woman" unlike those Muslim women who actually stand up for what is right without being paid a single cent, who take bruises for their bravery but their fault is that they don't blame Islam, because they know that there are bad people in every country and religion. And they read the Qur'an and they learn Arabic unlike fear-mongers like Irshad Manji. She writes:

On Monday, Pakistan’s religious affairs minister said that in light of how Rushdie has blasphemed Islam with provocative literature, it is understandable why 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 offense to Muslim sensibilities from Europe to Asia.

As a Muslim, you better believe I am offended – by these absurd reactions.

I am offended that it is not the first time honours from the West have met with vitriol and violence.

The "honours from the West" that Irshad Manji overlooks is that on the same day this offensive announcement was made, which it indeed was, other "honours from the West" included three missiles from a US drone smashing into a school. Thirty innocent civilians died. Not a peep from Irshad Manji or any of those opportunists who used the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 for purposes that included making money and earning contracts. This was achieved through fear-mongering and demonising Muslims by allegedly personal stories of woe. Hirsi Ali is an example of another dishonest opportunist much loved by the fascist Daniel Pipes.

I am 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 Guantanamo prisoners. But where is our outrage over the murder of many more Muslims at the hands of our own?

Unlike Irshad Manji who supports war and racism, many Muslims protest the mistreatment of fellow Muslims and non-Muslims.

I am offended that on Sunday, at least 35 Muslims in Kabul were blown to bits by other Muslims and on Tuesday, 87 more in Baghdad by Islamic “insurgents”, with no official statement from Pakistan to deplore these assaults on fellow believers. I am offended that amid the internecine carnage, a professed atheist named Salman Rushdie tops the to-do list.

Above all, I am offended that so many other Muslims are not offended enough to emonstrate 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?

She is always offended by the actions of Muslims because she is addressing a Western audience. If she said: "I am offended that many Muslims were blown to bits by daisy cutters and cluster bombs", her contracts to write for any of those "free media" would be revoked and you would never hear from her again. A very shrewd writer, eh? Moreover, she twists the sectarian killers into "Islamic" insurgents, who are run not by the people or Iraq but Washington's appointed puppets. Have a go at Washington, Ma'am. I hear you're very brave. And the "professsed atheist named Salman Rushdie" will take the names of all those innocents killed on his conscience as he supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq on..."humane" grounds, if he wasn't pompous already.

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

After all, the very first bounty on Rushdie's head was worth £1 million. It increased to £1.25 million; then higher. The chief benefactor, Iran's government, claimed to have profitably invested the principal. Hence the rising value of the reward. Looks like Jews are not the only people handy at business.

The last sentence proves she is an anti-Semite. This is really hilarious. Did she not phrase it well or what? Read the last sentence carefully, my readers, and relate it to the first paragraph of her article. The Zionists she panders to will obviously disregard it in line with their collaboration with Nazis, but what about us Jews and Muslims? One wonders what her secret views are on Christians, which may just pop out when she's gulping down too much of vodka.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Writeous Sister Covers Chiquita Bloodshed

Aaminah Hernández, a Native American Muslim writer, has critiqued the Chiquita Banana Company on her blog Writeous Sister Speaks with references to Washington's historical support for corporations that dehumanise people in Latin America and other poor regions.

Sir Salman Rushdie

I am really disappointed at the Muslim elite response in view of Salman Rushdie being awarded the knighthood. Consider the following google outputs:
  1. Iran Condemns Rushdie Knighthood
  2. Pakistan Minister Says Salman Rushdie's Knighthood Justifies Suicide Attacks
  3. Rushdie Knighthood an Attack on Islam: Iran
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "Much silence and a good disposition, there are no two works better than those." And you can bet that those who are causing all this angry brouhaha over a worthless imperialistic award aren't much in tune with Islam. I am aware of Rushdie's anti-Islamic screed in his book "The Satanic Verses" which by the by I have read with the purpose of critiquing him. Those who contested that it was simply a work of fiction, including Edward Said, didn't get it right. In the words of Annemarie Schimmel, the great scholar of Islam: "Misunderstanding of the role of the Prophet has been, and still is, one of the greatest obstacles to Christians' appreciation of the Muslim interpretation of Islamic history and culture." Notwithstanding, the Muslim 'mob reaction' in 1989 was really shameful. I wasn't old enough to witness it though. The best response was artistic, as exemplified by Yusuf Islam, formerly the popstar Cat Stevens, in his spoken-word album The Life of the Last Prophet. What I want to tell my non-Muslim brothers and sisters who visit my blog is that any crass reaction like those I listed is elitist and governmental. Most, if not all, Muslims don't give a fig about this award. The governments of Muslim countries and their minsters are not at all concerned about the wellfare of Muslims. All they care about it politics. On the other end, you have embarrassing, fading heads of states like Tony Blair who when they're not participating in genocidal campaigns against Muslims with liberal literati like Salman Rushdie as the mouthpieces for those crimes, are busy awarding trophies to their henchmen. Yup, the Queen may shake your hand but she also shook the hand of the massmurderer Suharto, darling of the IMF, World Bank and Margaret Thatcher.

Vociferously supporting the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq on "humane" grounds, condemning criticism of the war on terror as "petulant anti-Americanism" and above all, aligning tyranny and violence solely with Islam, Rushdie has abdicated his own understanding of the novelist's task as "giving the lie to official facts".

Rest assured, this will only help in increasing the sales of Rushdie's, what I view as otherwise, mediocre books. June is a good time for business, especially with all those Iraqi deaths and oil wells flowing. Money-making is a humane cause.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Iraqi Children Singing for Iraq

A song I don't claim to understand, but truly beautiful. It shines out through all the ravages of war, excesses of despotic control, haunt of death squads, gathering of Al Qaeda, celebration of "democracy" by neoliberals and neoconservatives, and poison-stained fingerprints of Orientalists on the nape of Iraq. But this was before the invasion occurred.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chiquita Banana Company

Some time ago I displayed a documentary on sweatshop labour in Indonesia. Well, although this isn't directly related to Islamophobia, I'd like you to watch another video I found on youtube that silently declares the romance between Globalisation and multinational corporations, which severely brutalises Muslims in poor countries as well:

Fellow blogger and immigration activist Kyle de Beausset contacted me among many to cover it:

With the recent failure of a flawed immigration bill it has been made clear to me that I have to start taking action again. I want to start small, but I hope to rack up the successes and start working on initiatives that have a global impact. The first thing I want to do is get people to speak on and denounce the fact that the Chiquita Banana Company has admitted to paying paramilitary groups in Columbia. Here's the post I've written up if you want to learn more.

As I've said before, if we really want to counter the negative effects of mass migration, we have to attack the things that make migrants leave in the first place. The violence and the bloodshed caused by paramilitary groups in Colombia is certainly a reason for a lot of migrants to leave the country. The first step in this fight is simple. People don't know about these atrocities and how U.S. companies have contributed to those atrocities....
The first step is to raise awareness. It reminds me of Coke paying the terrorist group AUC in Columbia. When I read that, I boycotted Coke and took to the Juice. Now I think I'm going to take to the Apple. If the banana price is high, the workers must be getting paid? Not at all. The sweat-streaked child is still going hungry every night. The Chiquita Banana Company's profits are pocketed by men in suits and ties, and they have spared 1.7 million for the bandits of AUC. I mayn't have noted before but right-wing and left-wing ideologies that are alien to Muslim tradition and theology are none of my concern, especially when we find Chiquita happily funding the Farc leftists. However, we are bonded by "common terms" of which there is humanity. Kyle will best acquaint you with all the facts on his blog Immigration Orange.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Islam Session #1: Muslims and Racism

Does racism exist among Muslims?

Indeed, it is a sad reality that must be confronted. Black Muslims have been targeted both by Arab and Asian Muslims. Some white Muslims have also derided Arabs and other Muslims. Of course, it can be the other way round in rare circumstances as well. But this doesn’t take away from the fact that racism is a reality within the Muslim community. For instance, check out Muslim Apple’s first hand account of it.

Is the conflict in Sudan about racism?

I spoke to a Christian Sudanese gentleman last year in July and he said it was because of land and Muslims and other things. What he overlooked was that the victims of this conflict have basically been Muslims. It is a conflict over land and hegemony, nothing racial. In fact, the anti-Arab discourse on this subject in the First World Countries and by Zionist groups in the US has been racist. It’s been their way of ‘getting back at the Arabs’ for the justification of their treatment of Arabs in Iraq and Palestine. You have to look at a country like Congo. 3-4 million people have died in Congo than in Sudan, but nobody talks about Congo. Nobody cares. This stems from ‘residual racism’ which we are now seeing as directed against Iraqis, arguments like “they don’t deserve democracy”, “their mindless rage”, “they hate each other” etc. etc. So no, the conflict’s not about racism. But we mustn’t overlook the silence of Arab leaders over it, which again proves nothing as they continue to be silent as Iraqis die.

What is Islam’s attitude to racism?

Zero tolerance. Islam has never tolerated racism or any such evil. Someone told me that the difference between Easterners and Westerners was 500 years of a period called the Enlightenment. What he meant was that Easterners were 500 years backwards or inferior. To even suggest such a thing is grossly incorrect. For example – compare the treatment of Afro-Americans in the American South until the Civil Rights Movement in the US with the treatment of Bilal, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Bilal was a man who climbed up to the mosque and delivered the first adhan (call to prayer) ever. He was the first muezzin in Muslim history and a beloved companion of the Prophet. He was equal in his humanity to everyone, and it was not 1960 in the English calendar but much before 960. Now am I to assume Easterners are 1200 years superior to Westerners? This also proves that race is a historical and social construction. The Arabian Nights which relates stories of wanton Muslim men and women owning ‘black slaves’ is a literary record of that tradition, of mankind’s exploitation of another group. Of course, this logic applies to Columbus’s and Captain Cook’s notions of the ‘New World’, whereby the land on which they stepped was “discovered” even though there were folks living there. This discourse of the European Enlightenment stems from Euro-centric arrogance, something which we must oppose in these times when words like “civilization”, “democracy” and all are used to justify oppression and colonialism as before. To cut a long story short, it is an Islamic ruling, placed by God in the Qur’an (the holy book of Muslims) that all humanity is equal. Racism is one of the worst sins a person could commit. This is drawn from the fall of Iblis who disobeyed God because he thought he was ‘superior’ to a human. And to watch humans thinking they are superior to each other because they are from Saudi Arabia or Europe or the United States or Israel, under the Hitlerian argument of some sort of racial or cultural purity, is idiocy and a kind of moral blasphemy in itself.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Neocon Hacks, New Crazies and AIPAC

So it has come down to this. Now if only Sam Cooke was here to croon A Change is Gonna Come.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog chief warned on Friday against the "new crazies" advocating military action to halt Iran's nuclear programme and said he did not want to see another war like that in Iraq.

"I wake every morning and see 100 Iraqis, innocent civilians, are dying," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview for BBC Radio.

"I have no brief other than to make sure we don't go into another war or that we go crazy into killing each other. You do not want to give additional argument to new crazies who say 'let's go and bomb Iran'," he said in a documentary, excerpts from which were published on the BBC's Web site in advance.

The fate of our planet in the hands of neocon hacks, new crazies and AIPAC. Rice says there are no plans, but can we trust the same folks who brought us blockbusters like Weapons of Mass Destruction; Manifest Destiny; Fool Me Once, Shame On You; Fool Me Twice, Shame On...uh...Me; Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L); I'm Your Apple Pie; King George and Anthony Blair: A Tale of Two Evil Morons; Texan Werewolf; The Fantastic Mr Olmert; Daniel Pipes and the Bald Spencer (Under 15s must be accompanied by an adult); Latenight Nazi Talk with Debbie Schlussel; Bernard Lewis's Day Out; and other such mind-boggling productions?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Londonistan on Fascist’s Map

Londonistan is a hotspot on the map of fascists. For the rest of us, it doesn’t exist. We know there is a place called London, the capital of Britain, where a fictional character called Sherlock Holmes solved complicated crimes; and it was also the headquarter of countless pompous imperialists who laid to waste countless lands inhabited by coloured peoples. But as for Londonistan, no Ma’am, I haven’t heard of such a place. Are you telling me it’s there? What? Melanie Philips’ Atlas. Christopher Hitchens’ Atlas, Ed. 2. I’ll have to check the library database for some fascists’ maps.

Hitchens’ article Londonistan Calling is illustrated by a picture of incensed Muslims threatening violence against those insulting Islam. What the picture leaves out (and for good reason) is 99.999999 percent of Muslims working in the office, buying grocery, playing with their children or talking to their spouses and saying salaam (peace) to their neighbours. Rather than reflect reality, the picture mirrors Hitchens’ hatred, prejudice, Islamophobia; and if we’re to record the tempo of his frustration, a deep-seated fascism. I don’t want to waste too much of my time rebuking this person who has such a disturbing tendency, not with my end-of-semester essays, but I’ll say ‘hi!’ to some of his venomous, at times subtle, rot.

Returning to the old place after a long absence, I found that it was the scent of Algeria that now predominated along the main thoroughfare of Blackstock Road. This had had a good effect on the quality of the coffee and the spiciness of the grocery stores. But it felt odd, under the gray skies of London, to see women wearing the veil, and even swathed in the chador or the all-enveloping burka. Many of these Algerians, Bangladeshis, and others are also refugees from conflict in their own country. Indeed, they have often been the losers in battles against Middle Eastern and Asian regimes which they regard as insufficiently Islamic. Quite unlike the Irish and the Cypriots, they bring these far-off quarrels along with them. And they also bring a religion which is not ashamed to speak of conquest and violence.

With a guy who imbibes great quantities of alcohol (this is not an ad hominem attack on Hitchens but a fact), the scent of Algeria (how exotic) may indeed be disturbing. And what’s Hitchens hassle if the women are wearing the “all-enveloping burka”? On one hand you have the Taliban and Washington’s chums the Afghan warlords who force women to wear the burka and on the other hand you have so-called feminists like Hitchens who find it disturbing that women in London are wearing the veil but not disturbing that he supported the bombing of women in Iraq, bombs which tore through the veils of women and laid everything bare, the skin and bones. Drink your fill, Hitchens, your liberation is appreciated. Your notion that Islam should be ashamed for your imagined violence and conquest is indeed shameful, but on your part. The land on which you currently write your Cold War thesis is the United States. You and your friends in Washington brought your ideas of conquest and violence from Europe. The Native Americans, who are and always will be the original Americans no matter how many more you massacre at South Dakota, didn’t dock a single canoe on Ferdinand’s ugly foot.

In much of his fear-mongering article, Hitchens, having nothing standard to say, raves about “British jihadists”, and with no real substance overplays the role of a few infamous British Muslims, trying to extend the Islamophobic guarantee to the rest of the British Muslim population. But he fails miserably as usual. Remembering his deceitful manoeuvre to link Iraq’s WMD myth to Niger still gives me the odd chuckle.

Another atrocious personal characteristic of Hitchens is his fear of "loneliness" in his hatred and Islamophobia. This is especially striking in his fascination with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was used (for her hatred) and kicked out of the Netherlands; and is now employed at an American think-tank, and you can bet she is rubbishing Muslim immigrants and receiving the almighty dollar. This fascination can be best witnessed with people having Muslim names but Western-oriented like Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi and Monica Ali.

Hitchens is also unable to make powerful conclusions, though he seems a rather gifted fear-monger:

I find myself haunted by a challenge that was offered on the BBC by a Muslim activist named Anjem Choudary: a man who has praised the 9/11 murders as "magnificent" and proclaimed that "Britain belongs to Allah." When asked if he might prefer to move to a country which practices Shari'a, he replied: "Who says you own Britain anyway?" A question that will have to be answered one way or another.

On one hand, Hitchens attempts to paint voices which are absurd and not reflective of the wider Muslim community as absurd and strange; and on the other hand, he extends those voices and pulls them over the face of an entire community, trapping everyone inside. And if Hitchens and like-minded people are permitted to air their fascism as if it’s conventional thought, Europe is headed into the direction of another…a word that doesn’t dare to speak its name. It may seem too far-fetched. But when you start seeing one voice as representative of all and make generally bigoted and crass statements against a religion and there are more of you, and there might be even more, baying for action against immigrants and those with less pale skin colour or a different system of belief to yourself, you are promoting a fascistic climate.

And history has shown the price people pay for fascism. If you don’t want immigrants, it’s up to the people. The only reason why people (and birds) immigrate is to live a better life. But as the Daniel Pipes quotation in If Birds Could Talk to Daniel Pipes has shown, human beings are treated far worse, as if there is no avian flu but immigrant flu. Of course, they’ll protest if you bomb their home country. It was true when Christians immigrated to Istanbul under the Ottoman Turks and it is true now for the First World countries. But don’t make laws which in any way harm the image or residence of those that are part of your country. The only way Muslim terrorism can be prevented on Western shores is if there’s no Jewish and Christian terrorism on Muslim shores. It is an uncomfortable historical truth. Common sense dictates that you don’t bomb another country to prevent another terrorist atrocity on your country, though your purpose may be in money proceeds. Hitchens can’t prevent terrorism by supporting terrorism himself, let alone the information on Islam he acquired from Jihad Watch or something.