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.