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?