These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 20, 2012.
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Video of Charlie Hebdo Cartoons on Innocence of Mohammed Film in Translation
Charlie Hebdo publisher, "Charb"
Once again, the French satiric journal Charlie Hebdo has outraged the Muslim Ummah by publishing cartoons parodying, the film, The Innocence of Muslims. Charlie Hebdo publishing these cartoons has raised the ante about the lack of humor, let along Free Speech in the Muslim Ummah. The French Foreign Ministry has closed 20 embassies in the wake of the Charlie Herbo cartoons threatened by angered Muslim fundamentalists. Nevertheless, the French government is defending the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish the cartoons. Hebdo you may recall had its offices fire bombed last November after it published a mocking cartoon of Mohammed under the faux heading Sharia Hebdo. It also had published the Danish Mohammed cartoons in 2006.
For the latest batch of Charlie Hebdo cartoons, we searched for translations. Our colleague Vlad Tepes sent us this video which has all of them in translation. Watch the You Tube video and news report..
Vlad Tepes also referred us to this South Park episode on free speech in the wake of the 2006 Danish Mohammed Cartoon, “ Head in the Sand." You may recall the controversy in the wake of their 2010, Mohammed in a bear costume incident . The 2006 South Park segment brilliantly captures the dilemma that the West faces intimidated by the threats of violence from angered Muslim communities both domestically and in the Muslim Ummah. The South Park episode brilliantly portrays the extremes that some in the West go to accommodate Muslim blasphemy outrage effectively abdicating free speech rights guaranteed under our First Amendment. When we interviewed Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who drew the most offensive of the cartoons published by Danish newspaper, JyllandsPosten, he said bluntly; “Free Speech, Use It!”
Watch the South Park episode on the satiric reaction to the Muslim Cartoon controversy of 2006, “Head in the Sand.”
Sydney, Australia: After the Muslim Riot/ Threat Display, Other Muslims Attempt the Usual Pantomime of Victimhood
In the wake of the massed Muslim threat display that was conducted in Sydney on September 15 - sternly dealt with by NSW police, who are now busily investigating, arresting and charging - various 'leaders' and spokespersons of the Ummah, or Mohammedan Mob, in Australia, are now trying hard to frame themselves and Saturday's mobsters as victims.
The video cllp you should see when you click on this link (the ABC tends to leave these things up for a while)
is a classic of its kind. In a longish interview done two days after the riot two Muslims resident in Australia, Waleed Aly (author of a whining little book called 'People Like Us', which is comprehensively taken to pieces by Vickie Janson's response, 'Ideological Jihad') and 'author' Randa Abdul-Fattah, interviewed by Emma Alberici, try hard to push the 'victim' narrative. The ABC headline says it all, "Sydney protest a symptom of deeper Muslim frustrations".
From the transcript:
PRESENTER - "To discuss the local and international reaction to the film 'The Innocence of Muslims' I was joined earlier in Sydney by author and lawyer Randa Abdul-Fattah and in Melbourne by lectuerer in politics at Monash University and host of Radio National Drive, Waleed Aly.
Randa Abdul-Fattah, how did you first learn about the protest on Saturday?
ABDUL-FATTAH: Through Facebook. I had a friend who was at the protest (I wonder how many other sleek, apparently westernised, elegant, smiling Muslims also had 'a friend who was at the protest'? most of the women at the protest were in full Slave Garb - CM) and it was before it took an ugly turn and she was commenting that it was a peaceful day and it was a nice day to protest about the film. (Let's just forget that this 'friend' is demonstrating in favour of suppression of freedom of speech and expresion, shall we? - CM).
"And then as I checked in to Facebook throughout the day, I started to receive more posts on my wall and on other friends' walls about what was happening and on Twitter as well.
ALBERICI: What in your mind were those people doing there, given the film was made by a US director and they were protesting at a US embassy, a government facility, an American government facility in Australia?ABDUL-FATTAH: I think they - a lot of them felt that the film was a trigger for some deep-seated sentiments and collective anger about a whole host of issues - foreign policy (how dare those Aussie Infidels do anything abroad without asking every Muslim thug in Western Sydney what we ought to do, first - CM), what's happening in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israeli occupation of Palestine (i.e. the continued existence of the Jewish state of Israel, full of uppity non-dhimmi Jews who insist on defending themselves against Muslim attack - CM) - and the film was a sort of a diversion I think for - and an excuse to get out there onto the streets and basically vent anger about a whole host of issues. But I don't think that for most of the people there it was just about the film.
Except, of course, that they want the film-maker beheaded and they want the USA to rescind the First Amendment and forbid people from uttering a word in criticism, questioning or mockery of anything at all to do with Islam and Muslims. And that desire to silence the 'blasphemers' is part and parcel of Islam's desire and intention to rule the whole world. - CM
WALEED ALY, POLITICS LECTURER, MONASH UNIVERSITY - I'd probably go further than Randa and say I don't think it was about the film at all. (That's true enough: the film was merely the manufactured grievance du jour - CM). I think there were people there who were angry about the film, but one of the most revealing aspects of it to me was that no-one, it seems, who was there had actually seen it. And protestor after protestor was being interviewed...and when asked whether or not they'd seen the film, admitted, no. And one of them, quite extraordinarily, was asked, "Have you seen the film?", then said, "No, I would never watch something like that".
"So if you've never watched it, what exactly is the source of the offence? Is this a decision you've made on your own, a sort of a sober, reflective decision to protest after a film that you've seen that you've found offensive? Or is this really about a protest for its own sake, because everyone's angry about this film, let's jump on the bandwagon? And to me, clearly the latter, I don't think it was really about the film at all. That was just an excuse. And you can see that in the placards that were being used. When people start saying, "Obama, Obama, we love Osama", that has absolutely nothing to do with this film given that the Obama administration condemned it immediately.
But if, instead of capitulating shamelessly, the Obama administration had stood up for and restated America's commitment to freedom of speech? What then, Mr Aly? - CM
ABDUL-FATTAH - That's very interesting, because when I speak to some people about it, they don't mention the film. They say Muslims are being humiliated around the world, and this is the sentiment.
Muslims are being humiliated? Wait a minute, milady, shall I mention, say, Asia Bibi and Rimsha Masih and the terrified, defenceless Christians of Pakistan who are being robbed, raped, killed, and burnt out of their homes? Or the Copts? Or the Christians of Iraq and Syria? Or the murdered Buddhist monks of Southern Thailand? Or the Christians of northern Nigeria, gunned down in their churches...by Muslims? - CM
ALBERICI - But is this any way to respond?
ABDUL-FATTAH - I think people have the right to protest, but I personally don't feel that this did - that this served any purpose except to validate the stereotypes that most people hold about Muslims.
Well? the rioters were Muslims, and behaved exactly as we have seen Muslim mobs behave, in any amount of news footage from all over the world, anytime in the past forty years or so. - CM
'And I personally feel that there are more constructive ways to go about drawing attention to human rights abuses overseas. (Somehow I suspect that she's not very interested in human rights abuses inflicted by Muslims upon non-Muslims - CM). If that really was the genuine concern of most of those people, then I feel that they have tragically missed an opportunity to, for example, highlight the anniversary of the massacres of Sabra and Shatila yesterday, the 30th year anniversary.
In Jacques Ellul's 'Un Chretien Pour Israel' there is a critical examination of that much ballyhooed 'massacre of Sabra and Shatila', in which Lebanese non-Muslims attacked a 'Palestinian' Arab Muslim 'camp' that was full of PLO jihadists. He also mentions a town called Damour, full of Lebanese Maronite civilians, that was simply obliterated by Muslim forces, with a far greater death toll. - CM
'That's been completely overshadowed by these protests. So I just feel that you really need to question the motives and the logic of people who use these protests as a means to draw attention to human rights issues (really? - I didn't get the impression, looking at that seething mob, nor at their slogans and posters, and the ominous black flag of jihad that has waved gleefully atop many a mountain of corpses of raped and murdered non-Muslim civilians, that they were trying to 'draw attention to human rights issues' - CM) because I feel that it doesn't work and they - in the end they do a huge disservice to their intentions.
ALBERICI - Waleed Aly, what sort of person gives their child a placard to hold at a protest that reads, "Behead those who insult the prophet"?
Good question, Ms Alberici. But if you'd done some research on Islam, you might have related to Mr Aly the story of Asma bint Marwan, and asked him: do you regard this incident in Mohammed's life as admirable and as a permanent model for other Muslims to emulate? - CM
ALY - A pretty stupid one and probably one who is so overwhelmed and overcome with a desire to strike back at something, probably anything, that they think this is actually going to be in any way constructive.
Observe that he does not condemn the demand that 'blasphemers' of Islam should be killed. He merely claims that publicly making that demand, in that place, at that time, was 'stupid' - which may be read as, 'tactically unwise'. And then note that he attempts to frame the parent as a frustrated victim, 'lashing out' at their tormentor/s, rather than as a bully issuing a threat. - CM
"Actually, no, I'm not convinced they actually do think it's going to be constructive. They might think it's going to be destructive (that it will inspire another Muslim or Muslims to go out and kill the film-makers? Just as a Muslim in the Netherlands murdered Theo Van Gogh? - CM), but more to the point, they just want to shout at something, they just want to be heard. And it doesn't - in some way, it doesn't even matter what they're being heard about.
He's babbling. He's throwing sand. He doesn't want Emma Alberici or any of the TV viewers to think about the meaning of the words on the placard, 'Behead those who insult the prophet', or about the possibility that there are people out there who will heed that command. He doesn't want us to remember those words, or think about them, or go investigating what Muslim law says about 'blasphemers'. - CM
This was for me a classic case of a group of people - and this doesn't necessarily apply to all protestors - but a group of people who just feel so disempowered, so far removed from any prospect of social standing or social power, that the only way they can find to make themselves feel empowered, to make themselves feel like someone will listen to them, pay them attention and hear their cry (Mr Aly, don't you think you're overdoing this just a teensy bit? - CM) is to take the most extreme position that they can possibly articulate.
'And the more extreme that position, the more the attention will be, and the greater the sense of power.
'This is actually a very common human trait. The idea of humiliation that Randa mentioned is actually central to this. And yet you make the point that if everyone who was humiliated responded in this way, then we'd be in trouble.
'Well, the reality is actually that just about any community that is humiliated or feels humiliated, justified or not, over a long period of time, does behave in this way.
Actually, no, Mr Aly. This obsession with 'humiliation' is a peculiarly Muslim obsession. - CM
'We've seen migrant group after migrant group go to the UK for example, and then about 30 years after that, their kids, who might grow up in socially, economically disadvantaged areas or feel a sense of social stigma that's just not going anywhere, they end up erupting in riots. We saw riots in London last year precisely out of that kind of dynamic.
'We've seen riots in Macquarie Field. We saw riots in Cronulla, which I think also had a similar sort of dynamic at work. It's not just brown people who can feel humiliated and want to strike back.
The worst of the rioting in Sydney's Eastern suburbs was not conducted by non-Muslim Aussies infuriated by years of Muslim bullying and harassment on their beaches; it was conducted by very large mobs of Muslim men enraged by the Aussies having had the temerity to hold a protest against Muslim bullying. Most of the bashings, burning and property damage was caused by Muslims, not non-Muslims. It was Muslims who fired with rifles at a church full of people. - CM
ALBERICI - But what is - what's the genesis of the anger? Where is it coming from that makes them feel in your words powerless?
The short answer, Ms Alberici, is this: that Muslims feel themselves to be the allah-ordained rulers of the entire world; but they are not the rulers of all the world, and in quite a few parts of the world, the pesky non-Muslims simply refuse to acknowledge them (the Muslims) as their (the non-Muslims') lords and masters. And this is terribly, terribly frustrating and humiliating...For more, see Daniel Greenfield's brilliant and scathing essay, 'The dangers of legitimising Muslim grievances':
'Well, it's a complex of factors. This is actually the most interesting part of this story, it seems to me, is that what you have is people who feel a local sense of social exclusion. And that could come from anywhere, that could come from experiences they might have at school (such as the 'experiences' of the Muslim boys who bullied a little Greek schoolboy because he was eating a salami sandwich in front of them, during Ramadan? - or the two Muslim schoolboys who went up to a young teenage apprentice on his way to work and nearly stabbed him to death? - CM) it could come from the rhetoric that they hear when they listen to politicians speak or turn on the radio or whatever it is. (Notice that he's babbling again? - CM) But that's not the key. They take that and then they can knit it together with global phenomena, global events. And social media, the internet, global media allows them to do that. And so they can put together this narrative that's actually quite self - well quite humiliating of yourself , and that is to say that, "Everywhere you look, people like me are having their rights taken away and being disrespected because Switzerland is banning minarets and France is banning face veiling (and, meanwhile, Muslim mobs are burning down Christian villages in Egypt and Pakistan and Nigeria and Christians are being arrested and imprisoned in Iran and Muslims in Syria are threatening to drive every last Christian out of the country...kinda makes a minaret ban and a niqab ban look pretty trivial, eh, Mr Aly? You want to talk about persecution, let's talk about real persecution. The persecution that every single Muslim land dishes out to its resident non-Muslim minorities. - CM) and Iraq's being invaded (why? - CM) and Afghanistan's being invaded (and they didn't do one single thing to provoke it, did they, poor wee gambolling innocent lambs? they wanted to get on with stoning women to death, in peace - CM) and depending on what they thought of the intervention in Libya, "Libya's being invaded and in the meantime, Syria's in turmoil (because the Sunnis want to destroy the Alawites and drive out the Christians and crush the Shiites and become Top Dogs themselves - CM) and the West doesn't care" (why should it, if all those previous adventures in the Muslim world are viewed by Muslims in the worst possible light? best to stay out of the hell-pits and quit trying to mediate between the Aliens and the Predators - CM) and all this sort of stuff. I'm not saying this is a reasonable way of interpreting world events, but I think it's a very real one, and if we don't grapple with that, we're just never going to understand what we saw on the weekend.
Oh, I understand very well, Mr Aly. It was a massive and ugly Muslim threat display, by a very large mob of Muslim men of military age who thought they were strong enough to riot in central Sydney and get away with it; but they got slapped down good and hard by the Infidel police, as they richly deserved to be. You want me to pity these would-be rulers of the world...and of Australia? Sorry, no can do. - CM
ALBERICI: What do you say, Randa Abdul-Fattah, to the fact that we have to grapple with this? How do you grapple with it?
Here's how we grapple with it. 1/ Stop importing Muslims. 2/ Deport non-citizen Muslims; when their visas or residency permits expire, out they go (or sooner, if they have broken Australian law). 3/ Enforce Australian law, no-nonsense. 4/ Deport all Muslims who incite to or attempt Jihad, in the military sense. Also deport all Muslims who advocate, practise or attempt to practise any one or more of all those numerous aspects of sharia law (such as FGM, forced/ child marriage, polygyny, and the killing of apostates and 'blasphemers') that, under Australia's civil and criminal code, are both immoral and illegal. That would be a start. - CM
ABDUL-FATTAH - I think one of the problems that the wider community has with the response of Muslims to the film, for example - taking it back to the film - is the whole issue of freedom of speech. So that's come up time and time again on talkback radio, that Muslims can't handle any criticism of their religion. And I think we need to address that. How do we in a democratic society deal with the fact that criticism of religion is treated differently legally to criticism of race?
It is treated differently, in our society, because we perceive a difference between 'race' and 'religion': one did not choose one's parents, one's skin colour, eye shape, etc, but one's belief system, religious or political or religio-political, is not inborn, it can be chosen, it can be changed. - CM.
'And it's going to be a topic that we need to deal with because being Muslim is very much linked to identity. Need to understand that the context of a post-September 11 world (that is, a world that saw Muslims carry out a mass-murderous attack upon the centre of peaceful New York City, killing some 3000 innocent civilians, nearly all of them non-Muslim; and a world that saw many Muslims, all around the world, hysterically celebrating that spectacular mass-murder - CM) is that Muslims are the racialised folk devil, they are the other, and criticisms of religion, of Islam, have been very much inextricably linked to criticisms of Muslims as a group.
'Racialised'. Ms Abdul-Fattah is trying to erase the distinction between 'race' and 'religion' in order to be able to classify as 'racism' all critique of Islam, or of Muslims, and therefore, to make it illegal. - CM
ALBERICI - But you say there we have to understand, but the thing is, we don't understand that in Islam there are these constraints on freedom of speech.
ABDUL-FATTAH - I would disagree. (And now she simply lies through her teeth, to protect Islam - CM). I think there is a long and vast tradition of freedom of speech within the islamic world. When you look at the history of Islamic jurisprudence , it had the capacity to allow a very vibrant and robust debate. (I don't think there was ever any debate over what should be done to an apostate, or over what should be done to a dhimmi, or to an impertinent non-Muslim neighbour over the border, who dared to question, complain about, criticise or mock Islam... CM) What we're seeing now is certainly not an example of that. And as a Muslim I admit that it feels like we've regressed in terms of accepting that diversity, that rich diversity of opinions.
What diversity? To see what that diversity amounts to in practice, try looking up the 'diversity' of opinion on the subject of FGM, within the 4 different Sunni schools of sharia. Shafiites say it is obligatory, Hanbalis and Hanifis say it is desirable, Malikis say nothing - but don't condemn or forbid it. And if one reads ex-Muslim Patrick Sookhdeo's book, 'Freedom to Believe: Challenging Islam's Apostasy Law', one discovers that there are various ways of punishing an apostate from Islam, and that a female apostate receives somewhat different treatment from a male; but that there is no contemplation of the possibility that an apostate should simply be allowed to leave the Ummah, and publicly identify as an apostate, without fear of suffering any punishment at all. - CM
ALY - If you did a tour of all the mosques in Australia on a Friday that are giving sermons, and you listened to what they were about, it's not about the stuff that's radical or whatever. (Hmmm - me, I have my doubts. And...define 'radical', Mr Aly. - CM) There's very little of that, and that doesn't happen in the mosques. But it's more subtle than that. How many of those sermons are directed ultimately to convincing Muslims that their religion is not terrible? That their religion is actually something they should be proud of? And if that's the main theme, what does that tell you about the state of thinking, the level of self-esteem that exists among Muslim communities? Because I don't think that's happening in churches. I don't think churches are filled with sermons about why Christianity is great and why you should be proud to be a Christian. For Muslims, that's exactly what it is.
What are you getting at, Mr Aly? That Muslims have low self-esteem, so they have to spend all their time in mosque being flattered and bigged up? But isn't there an awful lot of boasting and ego-stroking in the Islamic core texts, themselves? "You are the best of people, commanding right and forbidding wrong"...that sort of thing? And an awful lot of cursing and rubbishing of non-Muslims..."the vilest of creatures"...? What about that, Mr Aly? Shall we remind you of that? - CM
ALBERICI - But isn't that because - but isn't that also because we don't hear the term fundamentalist Christian, but we do hear fundamentalist Islamists. We do see a lot of violent reactions across the world from members of the Islamic community, rather than from...
ALY: Yeah, but the point I'm making is about the way that Islam is communicated, that Islamic identity and Muslim identity is communicated in Muslim communities. And my point is at every level, from the level of teaching basic things right through to the level of social and political analysis, it is from a position of inferiority. It is from a - and this is the discourse that occurs within the community.
ALBERICI - If people are being taught to respect their open (sic: 'own', I think she must have said - CM) religion, isn't that because so many others are out there causing disrepute to the religion through these violent outbursts?
Emma Alberici might find it very enlightening to read Nicolai Sennels' discussion of the difference between the psychology of Muslims and of persons raised within Western culture. One of the things he stresses is that in Muslim 'culture', outbursts of rage are not viewed as shameful, but are admired; it's about display sof dominance. And in that light, the riot in Sydney was an attempt to project power, to frighten, to dominate; it was a massive threat display and show of strength, aimed at Aussie infidels.- CM
ALY - No - no, no, I don't think it's as linear as that. I think what they're responding to are the feeling that their kids are not going to want to be Muslims because they got to school and they get picked on for it or they go to school and they get teased or abused because perhaps the things that have happened on the news that people have seen. I don't think it's about trying to pick apart the linear causalityof this. I'm trying to describe a dynamic, and that dynamic is one where to be Muslim is to start from behind, and so the Muslim community's so busy trying to convince all the members that are within it that they're not inferior, which is what you do when you feel weak and disempowered, that you now build up an identity that is really about just proving that you're not inferior.
He's Bullshitting. - CM
ALBERICI - Why is there this negative view of the Muslim community in your view?
ABDUL-FATTAH - Well, I think its' very true that it's [an] identity that's defined in terms of resistance and defence and we're always in damage control (and whose fault, pray, is that? - CM) and that creates a siege mentality and you are on the back foot. And that's why I think when people do feel frustrated and humiliated, their reaction is to do something that - it's not constructive.
ALBERICI - But are you feeling frustrated and humiliated over what happened on the weekend?
ABDUL-FATTAH - I am, yes, I certainly am. But...
ALBERICI - It's self-inflicted, then, isn't it?
ABDUL-FATTAH - No, not necessarily. Because, unfortunately, we need to go into damage control. When abortion clinics are bombed (when was the last time that happened? years ago - CM), we don't get every Christian in the country having to go into damage control. (No, my dear: because Christianity doesn't teach that kind of thing, in the first place. And Christians publicly condemn individual vigilante violence, unreservedly; they don't make excuses or use psycho-babble about the perpetrators. - CM) After the terrorist attacks in Norway, you didn't have to get people to come out and go into damage control. (Because the guy didn't belong to any clearly identifiable ideology; he was, indeed, most readily identifiable as a classic paranoid schizophrenic - a loose cannon, who might have selected any target at all, but just happened to select the target that he did. - CM) But this is the beast that we're dealing with. This is the society that we're dealing with.
"When a minority of Muslims respond (note that she does not say - 'act' or 'attack' - CM) in this way, we all have to go back into that mode of resistance, and it becomes self-perpetuating, and that's the problem, because you can't find, you can't articulate a constructive way to deal with it - with the majority population, that's what's happening, so when they [the Muslims] feel disenfranchised (nonsense: Muslims possessing Australian citizenship, and over the age of 18, have the vote, just like every other Aussie citizen over 18 - CM) or they feel disempowered because of what's happening overseas and these issues hurt them and they're concerned about them, their only sort of means of articulating a response is to go out and take to the streets. I think it's the weakest form of protesting something. It's not a constructive way forward and it feels like that's the only way they can mobilise themselves, to take that step only.
ALBERICI - But when we talk about self-infliction, Waleed Aly, then you have the likes of Taji Mustafa coming into the country with the kinds of messages he brings. That's not constructive, is it?
ALY - No, it's not at all, but the reason that it will find any kind of audience is because, as I say, it makes people who feel like no-one else respects them (and why must non-Muslim Australians 'respect' them, Mr Aly? What form should that 'respect' take, pray? would you like to be specific? - CM) feel strong. And it doesn't; it actually demonstrates a profound weakness.
ABDUL-FATTAH, No I don't think so. I think if we're going to defend freedom of speech, then we should apply it to people. As long as there's no incitement of violence or hatred , and I don't think there has been (well, except for the teaching of an attitude of total contempt for and rejection of everything non-Muslim, qua non-Muslim..- CM), then why not?
ALBERICI - Tony Abbott says he's been a preacher of hate.
ABDUL-FATTAH - Well I don't think there's been any evidence of that, and if there isn't, we can take that as, you know, an empirical study of that, a case by case basis. (She's babbling. Both she and Aly have done a great deal of that, in this 'interview'. I would have liked to see Rev Mark Durie conducting the interview, rather than Ms Alberici; I think it would have been a great deal more interesting. - CM). But I certainly don't think that we should start censoring people. (Well then, if it were proposed that the 'Innocence of Muslims' film be shown at the Sydney Film Festival, with the maker/s of the film attending the screening to take part in discussion, I would expect to see you, Ms Abdul-Fattah, raising no objections to this, exactly as you expect Australian non-Muslims to raise no objections to the visit by Mr Taji Mustafa or to his perfervid vision of the creation, by Muslims, of a world-wide Empire of Islam within which all surviving non-Muslims would eke out their lives as barely-tolerated, exploited and abused dhimmi near-slaves...- CM) And like Waleed said, when you do that, you make a martyr of them. (Which is exactly what Theo van Gogh, and Taslima Nasreen, and Geert Wilders, and the maker of 'Innocence of Muslims' now are in the eyes of decent and intelligent non-Muslims: martyrs in the cause of freedom of speech, because of the way in which Muslims attacked them. - CM). And so I think it's counter-productive anyway.
ALBERICI - Thank you both so much. We'll have to leave it there.
'A low-budget film about Islam that has been dubbed highly offensive by some and ridiculous by others has sparked a wave of protests (has been used as a pretext for riots - CM) around the world since last Tuesday.
'Over the weekend, anger spread to the West, with violence erupting in Sydney and London.
'Six police were injured in the Sydney clashes (that is, six policemen attempting to maintain public order were attacked by Muslims - CM), sending Australia's Muslim leaders into damage control and prompting them to call for calm.
'It follows a wave of unrest in countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.
'It all started in Cairo, when thousands of hard-line Islamist supporters scaled the US embassy and tore down the flag.
And burned it, and replaced it with the Black Flag of Jihad. - CM
'The unrest then spread to Benghazi in Libya, where US ambassador Christ Stevens was among four killed in a deadly grenade attack.
'Violence also broke out in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, where as many as four protesters (sic: rioters - CM) were killed, and in Kuwait and Iran.
'There were protests in Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan, who called on YouTube to block the controversial film.
Alas, it is so awful - in artistic terms - that it is probably already gathering a following among those who 'collect' bad movies...- CM
'In the wake of the unrest, ABC News Online is putting together an explainer on Islam and the protests.
'Tell us the questions you want answered and we will put them to an expert panel.
Hmmm. I wonder who they chose for that panel? I have a suspicion that people like Dr Mark Durie will not be on it... UPDATE: I just checked the link again, and the panel comprised two Muslimahs and a dhimmi clergyman who has been to one too many interfaith snake-oil meetings...- CM
'We have compiled the following questions to get things started.
'What have the recent protests by Muslims in Australia and the world been about?
'How could a film have sparked such widespread outrage?
'Are all Muslims angry over the film, or just a minority?
'How do the violent responses to the film sit with Islamic teachings?
Well, Auntie, as for that last question, I can tell you right now that they are completely consonant with Islamic teachings. - CM
What else do you want to know?
Right now, I think somebody at the ABC might be regretting this. Because here are a couple of the questions that members of the great unwashed Aussie Infidel public immediately threw right back at them.
Simco9 asked sweetly: "I would love to know if a group of Australians protested like this in an Islamic country, what would our fate be?"
jo mac inquired: "Does Islam allow freedom of speech? If not, why not? If so, why are Muslims calling for freedom of speech to be banned?"
There were more. But these particular questions were not addressed by the 'experts': two smoothly-smiling Muslimahs (Dr Shakira Hussein and heavily be-hijabbed dozy bint convert to Islam, Rachel Woodlock) and one well-trained dhimmi, who poured out a mass of evasion and obfuscation that I will not reproduce here. However, if you click on the link you can have a look at it for yourself.
Scroll down and read the questions and comments which are much more interesting than the slippery evasions - and, in some cases, outright lies - of the 'expert panelists'. It looks as though many, many ordinary Australians are investigating things on their own.
Are you disgusted by the scenes of thousands of Muslims in more than 20 countries breaking into American embassies, shouting "Death to America" in mass demonstrations, burning down schools and KFCs (of all things), and killing Americans over a stupid, cheesy 14-minute YouTube video called Innocence of the Muslims? I am. But why do you and I feel this way? In a word, blasphemy.
But hold on, isn’t that why the Islamist protesters say they are rioting? For example, Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezayee declared,"The Muslim world is outraged at the US for allowing the production of the blasphemous movie, which insults Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and depicts Islam as an oppressive religion." Mohamed Badie, the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has called for the "criminalizing of assaults on the sanctities of all heavenly religions." He added, "Otherwise such acts will continue to cause devout Muslims across the world to suspect and even loathe the West, especially the U.S.A., for allowing their citizens to violate the sanctity of what they hold dear and holy."
So what is blasphemy? Dictionary.com offers these two useful definitions: "Impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things," and, "irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred, priceless, etc." Clearly, Innocence of the Muslims is blasphemous with regard to the first definition. I contend that the murders and riots by Islamist protesters are blasphemous in terms of a "sacred" value that modern Americans particularly cherish, freedom of speech and press.
As it happens, one of the landmark decisions on blasphemy laws by the U.S. Supreme Court was issued in 1952 in the case of Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson. In that case, the State of New York had banned the showing of the Italian neo-realist movie The Miracle on the grounds that it was "sacrilegious." For what it’s worth, sacrilege is defined as "the violation or profanation of anything sacred or held sacred." The Miracle depicted a man who wickedly impregnates a naive peasant girl who thinks she's the Virgin Mary by pretending to be Saint Joseph. In New York, Cardinal Francis Spellman denounced the film as "vile, harmful and blasphemous."
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision thoroughly vindicated the right of free speech, declaring, "From the standpoint of freedom of speech and the press, a state has no legitimate interest in protecting any or all religions from views distasteful to them which is sufficient to justify prior restraints upon the expression of those views. It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches, or motion pictures."
Of course, not every American regards freedom of speech as sacred. Back in 1999, Dennis Heiner, a retired school teacher, defaced Chris Ofili's The Holy Virgin Mary at the Brooklyn Museum by smearing white paint over it. Ofili's work incorporated elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines. Asked why he did it, Heiner replied, "It’s blasphemous." Cardinal John O’Connor denounced the painting as "an attack not only on our Blessed Mother, but, one must ask if it is not an attack on religion itself and in a special way on the Catholic Church."
An outraged Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cut off the museum's funding and sought to evict it from its city-owned building. A federal court ordered him to restore the funding and stop the eviction procedures on freedom of expression grounds. For what’s it worth, I saw that particular exhibition and thought Ofili’s painting was boring and ugly. Of course, if the government had not been in the business of spending taxpayer dollars on art exhibitions, much of the controversy could have been avoided. Heiner was fined $250 for his crime.
Which brings up the absolutely salient point that there is no U.S. government role in the creation of Innocence of the Muslims. In an editorial on September 12, the New York Times observed that "whoever made the film did true damage to the interests of the United States and its core principle of respecting all faiths." The makers of the video clearly aimed to incite Muslims, but they are under no moral or legal obligation to respect other people’s religious beliefs. Whatever damage to U.S. interests the film has caused among Muslims, the interests of U.S. citizens would suffer far graver harm if our government were permitted to engage in censorship.
As the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes plain, it is indeed a "core principle" that the U.S. government cannot favor one religious doctrine over any other and must respect everyone’s faith or lack thereof. President Thomas Jefferson expressed this view well in his 1802 letter to Danbury Baptists, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."
This wall of separation is largely responsible for the relative social peace our religiously diverse country enjoys. A comparison of the Hudson’s Institute’s Index of Religious Freedom for countries in the Middle East and North Africa with the World Bank's indicators for political violence and for voice and accountability finds that the lack of freedom of religion and speech goes hand-in-hand with social violence and political instability. Where church (mosque) and state are entwined, social and political violence are far more common.
In an op/ed for the Arabic news service Al Jazeerah, Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh declares both the film-makers and protesters "wrong" and admits that Muslim demonstrators "overreacted." Amayreh then writes, "Having studied at and graduated from a number of American colleges, I realize how most Americans are jealously fanatical about preserving and clinging to their constitution, especially the First Amendment." So far, so good. He continues, "However, Americans and others westerners ought to understand that the religious and cultural traditions of other people, e.g. Muslims, ought to be respected as well. The First Amendment must not be used as an excuse to offend Muslims and their faith, as well as other religious traditions."
Cultural understanding is not a one-way street. Muslims have a responsibility to understand and respect the cultural traditions of Americans. It is evident that despite his years in the United States, Amayreh does not truly comprehend American core values when he says, "In the final analysis, my right not to be offended and insulted overrides a scoundrel's right to malign the Prophet of Islam in order to satisfy his sick Islamophobia." No, it does not. As the United Nations representative for the International Humanist and Ethical Union, Austin Dacey, persuasively argues in his insightful book, The Future of Blasphemy: Speaking of the Sacred in the Age of Human Rights, "No one has the right to a world in which he is never despised." Instead, what each of us has is an uninfringeable right to denounce and ridicule scoundrels in public. That’s a right that every human being should be allowed to exercise.
So how should Americans think about and react to this current outburst of Islamic violence and hatred? First, the only task that American officials have is to explain that the American government does not endorse any religious or anti-religious views and that Americans are free to say any damned thing that they want. If foreign governments cannot or will not defend the lives and property of Americans living in their countries, officials and citizens should leave and take their foreign aid and investments with them.
Second, we must never reward violence. "We can understand the practice of violent retaliation against sacrilege as analogous to the violence employed by terrorists in pursuit of a political goal, or by kidnappers and extortionists in pursuit of personal gain," argues Dacey. In such situations, government officials properly adopt the "No Compliance Principle" – they do not give into the demands of the terrorists and kidnappers. Doing so will simply encourage others to engage in terrorism and kidnapping later. Similarly, refusing to comply now with the demands by violent Islamists to shut down free speech will prevent even more harm in the future. "By adopting a presumption of refusing to comply, and being seen to refuse to comply, we are doing what we can to uphold the rule of law and to contribute to a culture of open public discourse, in which no lawful expressive acts are prevented by threats of violence," explains Dacey.
Reverence for free speech ultimately protects the free exercise of religion. If a believer cannot speak in defense of his faith, then he has no real freedom of religion. That is why an attack on free speech is a greater blasphemy than is an insult to the divine.
Even Le Monde Commonsensically Supports Charlie-Hebdo
Intégrisme : faut-il verser de l'huile sur le feu ?
LE MONDE |
La caricature est un art délicat. La provocation aussi. Et le rire peut être explosif. Charlie Hebdo le sait, pour en avoir fait depuis des lustres sa raison d'être. L'hebdomadaire satirique en apporte une nouvelle démonstration, ce mercredi, en publiant une dizaine de dessins sur le prophète Mahomet et les intégristes musulmans.
En 2006, déjà, Charlie Hebdoavait reproduit des caricatures, publiées auparavant dans un journal danois, et qui avaient provoqué une flambée de colère dans le monde musulman. Attaqué en justice, l'hebdomadaire avait gagné ce procès. En 2011, ses locaux avaient été incendiés après la publication d'un numéro intitulé "Charia Hebdo", consacré à la montée des islamistes en Libye et en Tunisie.
Les mêmes causes produisant les mêmes effets, sa dernière livraison replace donc Charlie Hebdo au centre d'une nouvelle polémique, d'autant plus vive que, depuis une semaine, les réactions très violentes contre le film L'Innocence des musulmans ont fait des dizaines de morts dans le monde.
Dans ce contexte hautement inflammable, et alors que les réseaux sociaux bruissent d'appels à des manifestations en France, le week-end prochain, contre ce film, le gouvernement a immédiatement réagi. Tout en rappelant que "la liberté d'expression constitue l'un des principes fondamentaux de notre République", le premier ministre, Jean-Marc Ayrault, a exprimé sa "désapprobation face à tout excès" et en a appelé à "l'esprit de responsabilité de chacun". De son côté, tout en demandant aux musulmans de "ne pas céder à la provocation", le Conseil français du culte musulman a condamné, "avec la plus grande vigueur, ce nouvel acte islamophobe".
Rappelons ici quelques principes. Nous vivons dans une démocratie laïque où la liberté de pensée et d'expression est - dans le respect du droit - une norme fondamentale - existentielle, en quelque sorte. Ce principe ne saurait se voiropposer aucune norme supérieure, notamment religieuse. C'est vrai en France, en Europe et aux Etats-Unis, qui ne sont pourtant pas le pays le moins religieux du monde.
Les religions sont des systèmes de pensée et de croyance respectables, mais qui peuvent être librement analysés, critiqués, voire tournés en ridicule. C'est une évidence depuis Voltaire. Quoi que l'on puisse penser des choix éditoriaux de Charlie Hebdo, de l'esthétique de ses dessins et de la délicatesse de son style, la seule limitation concevable de sa liberté est celle que les tribunaux pourraient estimer justifiée.
Les caricatures incriminées sont de mauvais goût, voire affligeantes. Elles sont surtout publiées à un moment qui va contribuer sciemment à mettre de l'huile sur le feu, ce qui amène en effet à se poser des questions sur le sens des responsabilités de leurs auteurs et éditeurs. Mais l'on ne saurait renvoyer dos à dos Charlie Hebdo et ses inquisiteurs. D'un côté l'on veut fairerire et vendre, de l'autre on lance des anathèmes.
'A teenager has become the eighth person charged over the violent protest in central Sydney at the weekend.
'Police have been examining security camera footage and other evidence..
'Late last night they raided a home at Greenacre, in Sydney's south-west, then arrested a 17 year old boy in nearby Punchbowl soon after.
'He has been charged with two counts of assaulting police over an incident outside the American consulate where two officers were hit with a wooden pole from a banner.
And those poles were not flimsy bamboo sticks; the ones I saw in various pictures were three fingers thick, at least, solid wood, like a quarterstaff. - CM
'Superintendent Mark Walton says an Australian Federal Police protection officer was left with a head wound.
'"I'm told he's in good spirits, however he remains recovering at home at this time", he said.
'Police say they have seized items of clothing from the Greenacre home for forensic analysis.
'The boy has been released on bail to face court next month...".
And now for more damage control and image management from assorted Muslim 'community leaders' who sensed, I think, a certain uneasy shifting of the political ground beneath their feet, as thousands of ordinary Aussies contemplated that massive threat display in the middle of Australia's biggest city.
As reported for the ABC's AM program, by Michael Vincent and staff.
'Muslim leaders call for calm after Sydney clashes'.
Question: is this 'calm' what they want from fellow Muslims, or ...from non-Muslim Aussies who, they fear, are getting just a bit too suspicious of what the Ummah mght be up to? - CM
'Australia's Muslim community leaders have called for calm in the wake of Saturday's violent protests in the Sydney CBD.
'An emergency meeting was held last night to discuss the fallout from the clashes, which left six police officers injured, and were in response to a US-made film which denigrates the Prophet Mohammed.
'This morning the Lebanese Muslim Association's Samier Dandan told a Lakemba press conference that "the actions of a very small minority should not be used to tarnish the reputation of the whole community".
Tell that to the Muslims in Egypt, mate, who regularly collectively punish the Copts. - CM
'Speaking alongside other community leaders, he said: "We call upon all Muslim religious leaders to address the incident in their ceremonies this coming Friday, calling for calm in the legacy of our beloved Prophet Mohammed".
Oho. So what is said in the mosque does influence the rest of the 'community'.- CM
'And the leaders called for any more rallies to be called of, saying they were "calling for people to stop protesting altogether".
Translation: the Infidels are currently just a tad too strong for us, and a tad too suspicious. - CM
"We pray that what occurred on Saturday does not repeat itself in the future", Mr Dandan added. "The Muslim community values the religious freedom that exists in Australia, and supports all efforts to promote respectful coexistence".
Suuure. Just so long as Infidel Aussies heavily outnumber the Muslims, and are prepared to clamp down hard, the Muslims will lie low. But if the numbers change, and Infidel resolve falters...- CM
'Mr Dandan said there was no basis to claims that members of the Muslim community were seeking to radicalise children (that is, to inculcate jihad-mindedness and classic sharia principles - such as the killing of 'blasphemers' - CM) after a young boy (one report said he was three years old - CM) was seen at the protest carrying a placard which read, "Behead all those who insult the prophet".
Mr Dandan, I think I shall go on believing my lyin' eyes. I saw that placard and I saw his proud mama in her Slave Rag. I think she or someone else in the clan wrote on that placard and I'm sure they meant every word of it and will teach that little kid all about it as he gets older. - CM
'The boy's 25 year old mother has turned herself in to police, but officers say they are confident the child is at no risk and say no further action has been taken.
Did they interview the father? Did they ask which mosque the father, uncle/s, grandfather/s if any, attend? Who's the imam? - CM
"The majority of the Australian Muslim community, particularly the mainstream, have not and will not educate our children in a way that Islam does not believe in", Mr Dandan said.
Parse that, ladies and gentlemen. It sounds reassuring but it may not necessarily mean what it seems to mean. - CM
"This radical element does not exist in Australia (really? so where have the various jihad plots come from, that have been exposed so far? - CM) and the Islamic organisations will not allow for such activity to take place, because at the end of the day the only community that will be tarnished by that exercise is the Australian Muslim community".
In other words, tone it down, because the kuffar are getting alarmed and at the moment they are too strong for us..? - CM
"It's not in our best interests and it's not in the interests of this country that has harboured so many refugees that come out of Muslim countries. It's in everyone's best interests to ensure that no such activities take place".
Damage control, plain and simple. - CM
'But Saturday's clashes have already led to a significant backlash against the Muslim community.
No: Saturday's Muslim riot has made a lot more Australians aware of the real face, methods and aims of Islam. - CM
'The largest Islamic media site in Australia, muslimvillage.com, gets a million unique visitors a year and has a unique insight into the community and those who took part in the violent protests.
'The site's director Ahmed Kilani has described the protests as "like a freak show" and says there has been a huge backlash.
Good. Australians aren't stupid, mate. Many of us think for ourselves. Lots of people were right next to that mob, far too close for comfort, and close enough to get a good, long look - and to hear the allahu akbaring and all the rest of it, and sense the smell of danger; lots of those people are now telling the tale, over and over, to their friends and family and colleagues, and it's spreading far and wide. - CM
"It's really ratcheted up the whole Islamophobia and the fear of Muslims, it's probably done us back maybe, I don't know, five, six, seven, 10 years - who knows", he says.
'Mr Kilani is used to receiving hate mail such as this:
EMAIL 1: "Good to see that the Muslims of Sydney have once again shown their true colours. Ignorant, violent animals, a disgrace to this country and all the Australian people. Why can't you all just disappear back to the MIddle East where you can practise your violence and leave us in peace?".
Is that 'hate mail'?? There are no expletives, it's grammatically correct and to be frank, its description of the rioters is true and correct. I've seen much, much worse; the kind of crazed, ill-spelled and murderous gibberish, stuffed with obscenities and death threats, that people like Robert Spencer regularly receive from...Muslims. - CM
'But he says this time the emails are coming from "rational" Australians (why the scare quotes, ABC reporter? - CM) who were disturbed by what they saw at the weekend.
I wonder just how many of these emails there have been? Personally, I hope his in-box was jammed...- CM
'EMAIL 2: I write to express my disgust, to see kids with such placards promoting death as a way of revenge is horrific. Live in our land and obey our laws. I have never written to express my feelings to your group, but I am so incensed at what I saw on TV and the stupid remarks from some future terrorists".
'EMAIL 3: How can you honestly say that this Islamic faith is one of peace when we see our police, who are paid by our community to protect the community, see them abused physically and verbally by a bunch of Islamic goons".
Well said, emailer 2 and emailer 3. - CM
"In the past when things happen (when Muslims are caught plotting jihad, eh? is that what you mean by 'when things happen'? - CM) you'll get material from the usual ratbag crowd, the ones that will use expletives, and just pretty much ignorant bigots, but a lot of them this time I've found have been from people that are actually quite rational", he said.
"But when people that are rational are actually saying, "Look, I'm really frightened and I don't know what to think anymore", it shows that we have a lot of work to do as a community", he said.
Look mate, give it up, I think this time you've had it. Your Fast Jihadists have blown the gaff. - CM
"Not just as Muslims, but the greater Australian society can maybe create a lot more harmony and understanding between people."
Observe the attempt to shuffle off blame onto the Infidels who are so unaccountably worried about rampaging Muslim thugs screaming allahu akbar and waving the black flag of Jihad and hitting policemen on the head with big sticks. - CM
"Because we all live here and we're all together, we need to find a solution to these things, these issues".
Any 'solution' that involves de facto dhimmitude for non-Muslim Aussies is just not on, mate. - CM
'Mr Kilani says he is not surprised by reports [that] those who took part in last weekend's violence have had links to criminals or terrorist investigations.
"I'll wait until all the arrests are made and the convictions, if they are going to go ahead, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if a vast majority of those arrested do have current criminal backgrounds" he said.
It won't surprise me, either. Not after having read Nicolai Sennels discussing the experiences and observations that led him to write his book "Among Criminal Muslims", after he noticed the disproportionate representation of Muslim youth among juvenile lawbreakers in Denmark, a percentage far higher than that of non-Muslims whether native Danish or of immigrant non-Muslim background. And not after having read Tim Priest's classic Quadrant article, "The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia", and being aware that the perps caught by our Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad seem overwhelmingly to be of Muslim origin (the aforementioned squad only had to be created after we acquired a large-ish Muslim colony, in the 1980s; we had had non-Muslim middle easterners, such as Jews and Lebanese Christians, long before that date, but did not have to create a special squad to tackle crime among those communities). - CM
After Tens Of Billions In American Aid, Over Many Decades, In Pakistan The Result Is Clear
State Department warns Americans not to travel to Pakistan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Pakistan, the State Department said on Thursday in a fresh warning that follows numerous protests, demonstrations and rallies in Pakistan that U.S. officials said are likely to continue.
The department advised Americans to put off any non-essential travel to the country and "strongly urged" those who are already there to avoid protests and large gatherings.
"The presence of al-Qaida, Taliban elements, and indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan," the State Department said in a statement.[Lashkar-e-Toiba,Jamaat,-e-Islami, and dozens of other groups -- bref,Islam itself "poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan"]
'The telling moment in court on Tuesday (go to the link; the article is illustrated with a picture of 'supporters of Ahmed Elomar leaving the Central Local Court on 19th September - CM) was when supporters of a young Muslim man charged with affray during a demonstration in Sydney on Saturday stayed in their seats when the magistrate entered the court. It was an act of disrespect for Australian law. These men respect sharia. They want to live under the caliphate of Islam.
'Instead, they inhabit the caliphate of the mind. They are members of a strand of Muslim fundamentalists who live in the West and exploit the West while despising the West.
'To justify their own hypocrisy of not living under Sharia, they exist in a permanent twilight of victimhood.
'Thus it was inevitable Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia, the organisation at the heart of Saturday's flash of religious hatred, issued a statement yesterday that was a classic of blame-shifting and victimology:
"We affirm that primary responsibility for what occurred [the violence] lies squarely on the powerful institutions of society, media and the political establishment in particular, which continually attack Islam and Muslims, creating the grievances that give rise to such incidents, isolating youth, and causing social tension".
'This passive-aggressive self-pity is used to justify cultural bigotry, religious intolerance and gratuitous violence.
'A defender of this belligerent narcissism was published on these pages yesterday - a doctoral student at the University of Melbourne, Mohamad Tabbaa, who, his biography said, "researches issues of discrimination against Muslim minority groups in the West, especially Australia".
'This is classic victimology. Any grudge jockey who wants to look for discrimination is going to find it. No problem. Given Tabbaa's focus on Muslims as victims, it is likely he will avert his gaze from the greatest source of intolerance involving Muslims in Australia, which is intolerance by Muslims. (My emphasis - CM). I could point him to hundreds of pages of examples of bastardry by Muslims living in this country.
'He certainly averted his gaze from inconvenient facts in his opinion piece.
'In justifying the violent conduct and sympathy for jihad exhibited by scores of demonstrators, Tabbaa offers this chilling rationalisatin: "To begin with, many Muslims in Australia do not simply give up their identity as belonging to a global community merely because they happen to live in Australia. Many have not bought the liberal idea of individualism, and so see events happening on the other side of the planet as personally related to them".
'We already got that. We get that "many Muslims" don't identify with being Australian as their primary identity. We get the rejection of liberalism.
'He offered a list of grievances which offend those who inhabit the caliphate of the mind, the oppression of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, China, the Palestinian territories, Kashmir, Guantanamo Bay and Chechnya.
'The problem with this list is that it ignores the central reality of the oppression of Muslims: the overwhelming amount of oppression of Muslims is by Muslims.
'Yes, millions of Muslims have been murdered, assassinated, attacked, sexually assaulted, intimidated and otherwise silenced in the past year. And the year before that. And the year before that. That is because right now, Muslims are attacking and killing other Muslims in Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Mali, Indonesia, Yemen, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.
'Muslims are also attacking or intimidating Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria and Syria. (And also in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Malaysia; and in quite a few other places; including Gaza under Hamas, and under the 'Palestinian Authority' in parts of Judea and Samaria. - CM)
'Right now, in several European countries with large Muslim immigrant populations, Muslims are well over-represented in prisons.
'All this is airbrushed out of the narrative of Muslim victimology by the nebulous accusation of "Islamophobia" in the West.
'The broader context of life for Muslims in Australia is that they enjoy a verifiable and generous accommodation of their needs (and, indeed, rather too much granting of their many and increasingly strident demands- CM). They make up a significant proportion of the immigrant stream. They are significantly over-represented among those granted refugee or asylum status (crowding out, among others, people who are mercilessly persecuted by Muslims; such as the Iraqi Christians, the Syrian Christians, and the Coptic Christians of Egypt - CM), and also among those who receive welfare benefits. They enjoy religious freedom, democracy and free speech in ways most Muslims, under the governance of Muslims, do not. Very few cases of hate crimes against Muslims have been seen in the Australian courts.
'That did not stop Tabbaa and others in recent days from heaping scorn on Muslim leaders who build bridges to the wider community.
'He ironically mocked leaders who condemned Saturday's violent stupidity as "superheroes".
'Yet his own alternative melted into vague waffle and platitudes.
'The Islamophobia whine has been flogged to death.
'It's become self-parody".
Let's all contemplate, and enjoy, that cutting phrase: 'the Islamophobia whine'.
It deserves to be spread. Because it's true. And I will add that in the Australian context, the moment that Muslims come to be seen, by a large segment of the non-Muslim population, not only as dangerous and aggressive but also (which is possibly worse) as whiners, as whingers, then...the game is up. - CM
The thing is, I didn’t know we’d all gotten together and decided to officially call this guy “the Prophet Muhammad.” I know that’s what he is to 2 billion or so Muslims, but that leaves around 5 billion of us who are undecided on the matter.
It seems to be the case, however, that major news outlets have begun using the honorific title far more frequently. I don’t think that’s very good journalistic practice. I mean, to 2.2 billion Christians, Jesus Christ is “Lord Jesus Christ”—but we don’t expect The Washington Post to call him that.
I decided to do a news search, a very basic one, using Google and some simple filters. Basically, I wanted to see whether mentions of Muhammad have changed in six major news organs: CBS, NBC, ABC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. I began my search in 1998, in order to include a period when Muslim terrorists had begun more noticeably killing people worldwide, but before 9/11 and the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl.
The challenge is that there seems to be a rule that if you are Muslim, you need to name at least one of your sons Muhammad. So a news search for articles that refer to a Muhammad, but don’t call him “Prophet Muhammad,” will turn up Muhammad Jones, who robbed a liquor store in Detroit, or the handful of Muhammads who have played for sports teams, the many Muhammads who run Middle Eastern countries, and all manner of Muhammads who have beheaded Jews or blown up school buses or sniped motorists in the name of Allah.
So I added some terms to screen out the lesser Muhammads, essentially by identifying only articles that mention Muhammad as well as Islam and religion, in order to do a better job of isolating the articles that are most likely talking about the main guy.
Not a perfect screen, but it rules out a lot of chaff, and allows us to examine changes in the variable we care about, provided major news mentions of Muhammad the religious founder didn’t become significantly more likely to talk about him without mentioning the words “religion” and “Islam,” which is a scenario that seems unlikely.
I also used two major spellings, “Muhammad” and “Mohammed,” which tend to be the ones used by news outlets.
And as you can see, between 1998 and 2011, major news outlets tended to give Muhammad the honorific “Prophet” title less than 10 percent of the time. So far this year, however, around 67 percent of the time they call him “the Prophet.”...
Das Bild, welches wir extra für diesen Artikel erstellt haben, dürfte vielleicht in naher Zukunft Wirklichkeit werden, wenn die Politik nicht bald einsieht, dass hier einiges im Argen liegt, was die Integration, die Demografie und die Einwanderung betrifft!
Heinz Buschkowsky, der Bürgermeister von Berlin-Neukölln, sieht die Welt schon lange nicht mehr durch die rosarote Multkulti-Brille und stellte gestern in der Bild den 3. Teil seines Buches “Neukölln ist überall” vor. Ohne ein Blatt vor den Mund zu nehmen, erklärt er, wie es derzeit um die Berliner Schulen bestellt ist.
Von rund 14100 Schülern haben 9300 einen Migrationshintergrund, das entpricht 66%! Das dies auf Dauer nicht gut gehen kann und zu welchen Spannungen das führt, erklärt er uns hier:
Heinz Buschkowsky (64, SPD) –kaum ein Politikerâ€¨ spricht so offen wie er! Der Bürgermeister von Berlin-Neukölln beschreibt in seinem neuen Buch* den oftâ€¨ problematischen Alltag in seinem Bezirk mit 41 %â€¨ Migrationsanteil.
Im Vorwort stellt er aber auch klar: „Ich bin nur der Bürgermeister eines Berliner Bezirks, kein Wissenschaftler. Die Welt, die ich beschreibe, â€¨ist die Neuköllner Welt. Insofern verschreibt dieses Buch nicht zwingend Rezepte. Ausschließen kann ichâ€¨ es aber nicht. Denn es gibt viele Neuköllns. Sie heißen nur anders.
In unseren Grundschulen unterrichten wir rund 14â€…100 Schüler, von denen 9300 einen Migrationshintergrund haben; das sind 66â€…%.
Im Norden (von Neukölln, die Red.) sind es 87â€…%; 6300 von 7200 Schülern. Klassen mit gar keinen oder nur einigen wenigen Schulkindern deutscher Herkunft sind hier keine Seltenheit.
Die Frage, wer hier wen wohin integriert, stellt sich da schon lange nicht mehr.
Die einzigen Repräsentanten der deutschen Gesellschaft sind häufig nur noch die Lehrerinnen und Lehrer oder in den Kindergärten die Erzieherinnen und Erzieher.
Ein interkultureller Transfer zwischen Kindern deutscher und nicht deutscher Herkunft ist eher die Ausnahme.
Der Anteil der Schüler nicht deutscher Herkunftssprache sagt für sich genommen kaum etwas über das soziale Gefüge in den Schulen aus.
Erst in Kombination mit der Freistellung von der Zuzahlung bei den Lernmitteln entsteht ein Bild. Nichts zu den Lernmitteln beisteuern müssen alle Erziehungsberechtigten, die öffentliche Leistungen wie Hartz IV, Sozialhilfe, Wohngeld oder Bafög beziehen.
Der Anteil betrug im Schuljahr 2011/2012 in ganz Neukölln 55â€…% und im Norden 79â€…%. Hier weisen nicht wenige Schulen sogar Befreiungen von über 90â€…% aus.
Die Befreiungen bedeuten, dass in einer Schule 80â€…%, 90â€…% oder fast alle Eltern keiner geregelten, offiziellen Arbeit nachgehen.
Den nicht fassbaren Teil der Aufstocker, also der Erwerbstätigen, die wegen ihres niedrigen Einkommens ergänzende öffentliche Leistungen erhalten, lasse ich an dieser Stelle einmal bewusst außen vor.
Hieraus folgt, dass die Kinder in diesen Familien ohne den Einfluss der natürlichsten und entscheidendsten Triebfedern unseres menschlichen Seins sozialisiert werden: einen Lebensentwurf fertigen, ein Ziel haben, Leistung erbringen, Pläne verwirklichen, über Erreichtes Genugtuung empfinden, Misserfolge und Rückschläge verkraften.
Die Kinder erleben nie, dass Vater und Mutter regelmäßig früh aufstehen und dann abends strahlend nach Hause kommen, weil sie Erfolg hatten, oder betrübt sind, weil es einen Misserfolg bei der Arbeit gab.
Die Wechselfälle des Lebens gehen nicht in die Erlebniswelt dieser Kinder ein und bereiten sie nicht auf eigene Lebenserfahrungen vor.
Wenn die Lehrerin sie anfeuert: „Ihr müsst tüchtig lernen, damit ihr einen guten Schulabschluss macht, einen tollen Beruf erlernen könnt und viel Geld verdient, damit ihr eine schöne Frau heiraten und einen schwarzen BMW fahren könnt“, dann sagen unsere Kinder: „Aber Frau Lehrerin, das Geld kommt doch vom Amt.“
Das sagen sie nicht, weil sie die Lehrerin ärgern wollen, sondern weil sie es nicht anders kennen. Kinder sind immer nur unser Spiegel.
Wir haben dieses Jahr insgesamt 39â€…% aller Einwandererkinder eingeschult mit gar keinen oder nur sehr fehlerhaften Deutschkenntnissen.
Wir schulen Kinder der dritten oder vierten Einwanderergeneration ein, die der Landessprache nicht mächtig sind. Von denen fast 10â€…% sogar ohne jeden Bezug zur Sprache sind.
Obwohl zumeist einer der Elternteile in Deutschland geboren und aufgewachsen ist.
Wo haben sie bisher gelebt? Wie wird in der Familie gesprochen? Welcher Fernsehsender ist eingeschaltet?
Ich glaube, wir alle können diese Fragen beantworten: Man spricht die Sprache aus dem Dorf von Opa. Wir sind und bleiben Türken, Araber, Somalier oder was auch immer.
Das ist eben der Unterschied zu Einwanderern in den USA. Diese wollen Amerikaner werden. Die Menschen aber, über die ich spreche, wollen keine Deutschen werden.
Deswegen leben und bleiben sie in ihrer Welt, und deswegen bemühen sie sich nicht, aktiv das deutsche oder mitteleuropäische Wertesystem zu erfassen.
Es ist auch leicht für sie, diesen Weg zu wählen. Man muss in Stadtlagen wie Neukölln nicht die deutsche Sprache beherrschen. Das Alltags- und Dienstleistungsangebot der eigenen Ethnie ist inzwischen perfektioniert und vollkommen.
Benötigt man einen Behördenkontakt, regelt das ein Bekannter als Sprachmittler, oder man besteht auf einem Dolmetscher.
Wird diesem Willen nicht nachgegeben, gerät die Behörde in die Kritik, weil sie nicht kultursensibel ist.
Nehmen wir als Beispiel die türkischstämmigen Migranten. Machen sie sich in Anatolien wirklich auf und verabschieden sich mit den Worten „Ich gehe und will Deutscher werden“? Wohl kaum.
Der Abschiedsgruß lautet vermutlich eher: „Ich gehe Deutschland.“ Auslöser für eine solche Entscheidung sind nicht selten glorifizierende Berichte über ein dem Paradies gleichendes Land, in dem Wohlstand und Geld ohne Mühsal auf jeden warten.
Ein türkischstämmiger Migrant muss seinen Integrationswillen nicht dadurch unter Beweis stellen, dass er Lederhosen anzieht, Bier nicht unter einem Mengenmaß von einem Liter in sich hinein tut und zum Frühstück Weißwurst isst.
Es reicht völlig aus, wenn er die tragenden Grundsätze unserer Verfassung als bestimmende Elemente auch seines Lebens und des Lebens seiner Familie akzeptiert.
Wenn er sich bemüht, zumindest die Grundkenntnisse der Landessprache zu erlernen, um mit den anderen Bürgern der Gesellschaft kommunizieren zu können, seine Kinder in die Schule schickt und den Müll zur Mülltonne trägt, anstatt ihn vom Balkon zu werfen.
Wer sich nicht anpassen will oder kann, sollte nicht wandern.
Aus dem Vorstehenden folgt für mich der Lehrsatz Nummer eins: Integration und die Bereitschaft dazu sind an erster Stelle eine Bringschuld der Hinzukommenden.
Wir sind mit den Regeln, die wir haben, zufrieden.
Wer zu uns kommt, muss sie bejahen und sich an der Mehrung des Wohlstands dieser Gesellschaft aktiv beteiligen – ist es nicht das Recht einer jeden Gesellschaft, das zu sagen?
I listened to Ambassador Ryan Crocker on NPR just now, on a show about Afghanistan. He's a career officer, and a careerfst, too, and so he's not about to admit that the Afghan venture in which, recently, he was so deeply involved is a waste of money, and of lives, and of war materiel, because that would call into question his professional life and judmgent. In the same way, those generals in Iraq who went along with that extended farce, instead of speaking out against it -- because there is no winning of Muslim minds and hearts, and once Saddam Hussein and his regime had been overthrown, power was transferred to the Shi'a,to which the Sunnis would never acquiesce, nor would the Shi'a ever share power with those who had, over the entire course of modern Iraq, treated them with such contumely.
Crocker, a bureaucrat and a company man, and someone who has made the Muslims his specialty. Such a man, therefore, raised up and servinjg the American State Department, cannot possibly a;low himself -- not if he is to have a career- to see the ideology for Islam steadily and whole, because to do so is to realise the full meaning, and menace, of Islam and of its carriers in the West.
Unfortunately for Ambassador Crocker, Congressman Nadler -- who wants an end to the wasteful Afghan venture -- was on, and kept saying, convincingly, that as far as Al Qaeda went -- Nadler did not say that Al Qaeda is not the only or even the main threat, that hundreds of Islamic groups and groupuscules and political parties shared its views, its goals, if not always its precise means, and that in any case it was Muslims themselves, settled deep within the West, who now posed a threat that would last as long as the ideology of Islam remains immutable --- there was no need to remain in Afghanistan, for drone strikes could be employed, and raids from outside too, to keep Al Qaeda, which in any case in Afghanistan numbers about a hundred, permanently on edge. But that, Congressman Nadler said, did not mean that the Americans had to remain in Afghanistan, attempting to control or pacity or train some Afghans to control or pacity the country, when the country was inherently violent, and still in the middle of a civil war that had gone on since the late 1970s.
And even more unfortunately for Ambassador Crocker, several callers-in were soldiers who had served, some of them many tours of duty, in Afghanistan, or even more heartrendingly convincing, the fathers of soldiers in Afghanistan right now. And they were having none of Crocker's refusal to understand how wasteful and silly the continued American presence there was, because as several noted, the Afghans were almost uniformly hostile, murderously so, toward the Infidel Americans, that they were also almost certainly to return to their internecine warfare whenever the Americans left -- in two years, four years, or forty years -- and that it made so sense to stay.
Crocker continued to ignore all of the arguments made against his position -- that "we have to remain" in order to, inter alia, 1) prevent Al Qaeda from re-establishiing itself 2) protect the "new generation" -- that is, a handful of Western-educated Afghans who've returned to Afghanistan -- who "put their faith in us" and 3) keep Afghanistan "stable" -- something it has never been, just as in its entire history it has never had a powerful central government.
It was a radio show. There was no picture. So you will just have to visualize the egg on Ambassador Ryan Crocker's bureaucratic face.
Megachurch Pastor Bob Roberts Falls for Jew-Hater's Message of "Peace"
Bob Roberts, Jr. speaking at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in Bethlehem in March, 2012.
Bob Roberts, Jr., pastor of Northwood Church in Keller, Texas wants the whole world to know that he is offended by "The Innocence of Muslims," a movie made by a Coptic Christian in the United States by the name of Nakoula Nakoula. He offered this denunciation on his blog on Sept. 18.
Roberts, a prominent speaker at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference held in Bethlehem in March 2012, unequivocally denounces the film and reports that the trailer which he has seen is “not consistent in the least with the Koran.” He says this after having met Muslims in the U.S. and throughout the world.
The movie he says, “was cheaply produced, and made to produced, and made to provoke and enrage people.”
He also suggests that its necessary to consider restraining the production of movies like "The Innocence of Muslims" despite the U.S. commitment to free speech.
Roberts acknowledges that debating ideas is absolutely critical but trying “to incite riot, war, along with civil and global unrest is wrong. There is a ‘clear and present’ danger the US courts have ruled in regard to freedom of speech – I think that has to extend globally.”
Roberts also wants the whole world to know that some people “are trying to bridge the chasm between Muslims, Christians, and the West.”
Some of these folks are Muslims, Roberts would have us know.
To prove his point, he provides quotes “from key Islamic leaders” condemning the violence against American embassies and diplomats in the Middle East.
Ironically enough, one of the “key Islamic leaders” Roberts invokes is … Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a man who has praised Hitler, supports female genital mutilation, supported the fatwa calling for the assassination of writer Salman Rushdie and to top it all off, has called for a second Holocaust against the Jewish people!
How is that for trying to “bridge the chasm between Muslims, Christians, and the West”?
When Roberts was informed via twitter about Qaradawi’s call for another Holocaust and he says he “would disagree” with it.
So there it is.
Roberts “unequivocally denounces” a movie made by a Coptic Christian but he “would disagree” with a statement made by an Islamist calling for the murder of the Jewish people!
How is that for moral and intellectual leadership from our clergy?
Qaradawi was not the only “key Islamic leader” that Roberts invoked in his effort to highlight the possibility of peace. He also quoted Egyptian Sheik Mahmood al-Masri who, like Qaradawi condemned the attacks on American embassies.
Al-Masri, like Qaradawi, has said some other things as well. He’s endorsed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and has called on Allah “to unleash earthquakes, volcanoes and Jews” on his theological adversaries, Shiite Muslims. “Let us pray that Allah rids our nation of such apostate dwarfs” he said.
What Qaradawi and al-Masri have promoted an ideology in Egypt that has made riots like the one we saw on September 11, 2012 a virtually certainty. But when these riots actually take place, they call for calm.
And Pastor Bob Roberts falls for their shenanigans hook, line and sinker.
Up to 2,000 people rallied in a Moscow neighborhood after local authorities announced the building of a Muslim cultural center and mosque in the area. The protest ended with officials being forced to cancel the planned construction.
The impromptu demonstration on Wednesday evening was gathered through social networks. Residents of the Mitino district came to voice their fears over the plans to build a Muslim cultural center and mosque in the neighborhood, which would be able to accommodate up to 60,000 believers during a service.
The would-be Muslim prayer house is subject to much speculation, even though construction project is far from being finalized. The rumor mill describes it as “a 13-story mega mosque,” which would broadcast calls to a morning prayer all over the neighborhood.
The protesters living in the residential area were concerned that its infrastructure would not be able to deal with increased traffic after the mosque is finished. This would result in terrible traffic jams during Friday prayers and large Muslim holidays, they said.
There are also fears that the inflow of worshipers, many of whom would be guest workers from Central Asia seeking their fortune in Moscow, would drive up crime rates. Disaffection towards Muslims was evidenced in some online comments on the event.
“I am firmly against it! We are flooded with those aliens, and now they want to have this insult standing virtually under my window… Let them build it outside of Moscow. There is plenty space there, so they all shove off there,” one of the comments read.
Image from http://www.ridus.ru/news/46040/ (Ridus / Anton Tushin)
People at the rally were less categorical, at least in terms of acknowledging Muslims’ needs.
“It’s just another religion, and they are just people. Let them be. As long as they don’t mess with anybody,”
one of the demonstrators told Vesti FM radio station.
Organizers of the gathering were careful not to allow any hate speech at the event and distanced themselves from Russian radical nationalistic organizations, saying that their “convictions, goals and methods differ.”
Image from http://www.ridus.ru/news/46040/ (Ridus / Anton Tushin)
The rally lasted for about two hours. People, who came in their hundreds, signed a petition against the construction project and voiced their concerns to municipal officials, who came to try and alleviate fears.
Despite attempts by the prefect of Moscow’s North-Western administrative area, where Mitino is located, to curb the public outcry, the crowed remained adamant.
“There are quite a lot of Muslims living in our area. They too need a spiritual place, a mosque. We cannot deny them,” Vladimir Gorovetsky said, as he answered questions from readers of the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper.
However, on Thursday, it was announced that the Muslim cultural center will not be built there.
Image from http://www.ridus.ru/news/46040/ (Ridus / Anton Tushin)
The demonstration was not sanctioned, but some 100 police officers present turned a blind eye on the fact and did not try to disperse the crowd.
Four people were briefly detained for disturbing behavior. According to blog accounts, three of them were activists of nationalist movements who picked up the news and came to the rally from other Moscow districts.
Image from http://www.ridus.ru/news/46040/ (Ridus / Anton Tushin)
The plans to construct more mosques to accommodate the needs of several million Muslims living in Moscow have been discussed by the city’s authorities for quite some time. The Russian capital has only four mosques at present, which is evidently not enough.
There has been tension for years over how Moscow Muslims celebrate major holidays, which include mass praying in the streets and slaughtering of animals for a feast. Less-tolerant Muscovites are objecting to what they see as an invasion of foreign culture into their lives, and it is a difficult task for authorities, religious leaders and civil rights activists to find common ground on the issue.
Moscow wanted to construct a mosque in another district back in 2010, but the project was stalled due to public resistance.
Image from http://www.ridus.ru/news/46040/ (Ridus / Anton Tushin)
Image from http://www.ridus.ru/news/46040/ (Ridus / Anton Tushin)
Iran Lies About Nuclear Program While Israel Objects to Mid East Nuclear Free Zone in Vienna
Israeli nuclear chief Fereidoun Abbasi Davani,
Dr. Shaul Chorev Iran's VP and head of its atomic energy organization Source: AP . Source KOKO
A plenary session of the IAEA in Vienna this week has revealed that Iran withholds information to mislead foreign intelligence agencies and shield its nuclear scientists from targeted assassinations by agents of the “Zionist Enterprise”, Israel. Israel’s representative at the plenary session objected to demands for inclusion in a proposed Middle Eastern Nuclear Free Zone.
An Israel Hayomarticle, “Iran admits lying to IAEA about its nuclear program” noted the contrast between the Iranian and Israeli representatives:
We sometimes gave false information to protect our nuclear sites and our interests. This inevitably misled other intelligence agencies, says Abbasi Davani, Iran's nuclear chief. Israeli nuclear Chief Dr. Shaul Chorev warns Iran at the conference to stop its "direct and blunt threats" toward Israel, says Jewish state can protect itself.
Working with AFP and AP reports, the Israel Hayom noted these developments at the IAEA Vienna general conference.
Iran has been systematically providing false information to the International Atomic Energy Agency because it has been infiltrated by intelligence agencies keeping tabs on Iran's nuclear program, Iran's Atomic Energy Vice President Fereydoun Abbasi Davani has admitted.
Abbasi Davani, who heads the Iranian delegation taking part in the 56th session of the agency in Vienna, made the revelation in an interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper.
The IAEA says it gets its information from the intelligence services belonging to the member states, and we monitor and followed up seven years ago activities of the British foreign intelligence service [MI6], which gathered information for people, which then exposed [Iranian nuclear scientists] to assassination at the hands of Zionist intelligence agents. Some of the information provided by the agency related to these events. For our part, we sometimes gave false information to protect our nuclear sites and our interests. This inevitably misled other intelligence agencies, Davani told Al-Hayat.
On Thursday, Israel said it would not attend a conference on the creation of a nuclear-free Middle East scheduled to take place in Finland.
This announcement was made on Wednesday in Vienna during a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency by the director of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, Shaul Chorev, spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.
The conference is scheduled to take place later this year or early in 2013, and is backed by the U.S., AFP reported Thursday.
Chorev reportedly told the IAEA meeting that a nuclear-free Middle East "will be possible only after the establishment of peace and trust among the states of the area, as a result of a local initiative, not of external coercion.”
"Such a process can only be launched when peaceful relations exist for a reasonable period of time in the region," Chorev said. "Regrettably, the realities in the Middle East are far from being conducive."
Israel has said it would sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and renounce nuclear weapons only as part of a broader Middle East peace deal with Arab states and Iran that guaranteed its security.
Chorev, the Israeli delegate, said the concept of a region free of weapons of mass destruction "is certainly much less applicable to the current volatile and hostile" Middle East and would require a significant transformation in the region.
Chorev also warned Iran on Wednesday to stop its "direct and blunt threats" against his country, telling a 155-nation nuclear conference the Jewish state is ready to defend itself against any nation that menaces its existence.
Chorev avoided any suggestion that Israel was contemplating a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities — a scenario that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is increasingly suggesting may be necessary to stop what he says is Tehran's path toward atomic arms.
We suspect that Middle East delegations will use the bully pulpit of the UN General Assembly rostrum next week in Manhattan to launch this new crusade for a Nuclear Free zone directed at curbing Israel’s defensive nuclear program. We would not be too surprised if this surfaces in Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s inaugural speech at the UN forum. He was reported by the Egypt Independent not to be meeting with President Obama during the UN General Assembly session as previous announced. This might provide an opening for Israeli PM Netanyahu to meet with President Obama over the matter offsetting ‘red lines’ for addressing the Iran nuclear program threat. Somehow we believe that scheduling problems from a tight electoral campaign might prevent that possibility.
A surge in sectarian killings in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) is seriously denting the atmosphere of sectarian harmony that traditionally prevailed in the country. Tension in Balochistan and GB is persisting and isolated incidents of violence by members of both Sunni and Shia sects are continuing unabated. It appears that governmental institutions are numb and incapable of addressing the situation. If this indifferent attitude continues on the part of the government, sectarian strife will reach even the big cities of the country. The month of Moharram is about two months away and can provide an opportunity to those who want to aggravate the law and order situation further in the country through sectarian violence.At this critical juncture of history, Pakistan is confronted with a number of internal and external threats. Sectarian crises will further complicate the situation. This looming threat can easily be countered by gearing-up governmental machinery to check hate mongers and through positive role-playing by religious leaders of all sects. Religious leaders can play a predominant role by educating people on tolerance. They have enormous responsibilities on them; they are listened to more intently then the politicians of this country. It is time that they revise their sermons and bring out the humane aspect of Islam. We have had enough of terrorism and killings. Let us unite under one banner. Shia or Sunni, we are followers of the same religion.GUL ZAMAN, Ra