BEIRUT, Lebanon — The revolutions and revolts in the Arab world, playing out over just a few months across two continents, have proved so inspirational to so many because they offer a new sense of national identity built on the idea of citizenship. [but in Islam, the central division is of that between Muslim and non-Muslim, and non-Muslims in the Middle East, unlike non-Muslims elsewhere, have learned to understand how deep that division is. Ba'athism, the child of two people in Damascus, the Christian Michel Aflaq and a Shi'a lviing in a Sunni sea -- was an attempt to find a way for non-Muslims (and non-Sunni Muslims) to be enrolled in a general, pan-Arab ideology, that would be "modern" and offer (this was unstated, but understood) an alternative to Islam as the only political outlet available.]
But in the past weeks, the specter of divisions — religion in Egypt, fundamentalism in Tunisia, [but the war of self-defense by the secularists in Tunisia, who relied on a police state to keep fundamentalists from becoming powerful, is also about "religion" -- that is, about the power of Islam, and whether, and how, to constrain it], sect in Syria [again, this war of "sects" -- Alawites and Christians supporting the Assad regime because they are, and justifiably, frightened of what happens if the Alawite regime loses control, is about "religion" just as in Egypt] and Bahrain [in Bahrain, the attempt by Shi'a, who constitute 70% of the population, against rule by Sunnis is also about Islam -- about the violence, aggression, and lack of compromise with enemies, that characterizes Islam, that may be called the atmospherics of Islam], clan in Libya [but why are tribes, clans, families so much more important in Muslim lands? It is because the idea of the nation-state is artificial in Islam; in Islam it is the Umma, the larger community of Believers, that counts, not artificial national boundaries, and with a faith that encourages, as just noted, violence and aggression, and with a high degree of mistrust, people rely more and more on those they think or know they can trust, and this means smaller units, and they rely most on, owe loyalty to, first the immediate family, then to the extended family, then to the tribe or clan] has threatened uprisings that once seemed to promise to resolve questions that have vexed the Arab world since the colonialism era.
From the fetid alleys of Imbaba, the Cairo neighborhood where Muslims and Christians have fought street battles, to the Syrian countryside, where a particularly deadly crackdown has raised fears of sectarian score-settling, the question of identity may help determine whether the Arab Spring flowers or withers. Can the revolts forge alternative ways to cope with the Arab world’s variety of clans, sects, ethnicities and religions? [not the "question of identity" but the power of Islam over its adherents, and what that means for all of the non-Muslim minorities, and for the notion of political compromise, and for the ability to create polities, or offer allegiances, to the alien -- Infidel -- notion of the nation-state, instead of to family, tribe, and clan, in all of these countries, where the differences may seem bewildering but in fact are perfectly understandable, and explicable, once you grasp the nature of Islam, the threat of Islam, the perception of Islam by Muslims, secularists [those who continue to call themselves Muslims but who want, understandably, to put in place as Ataturk did constraints on Islam]
The old examples have been largely of failure: the rule of strongmen in Egypt, Syria, Libya and Yemen; a fragile equilibrium of fractious communities in Lebanon and Iraq; the repressive paternalism of the Persian Gulf, where oil revenues are used to buy loyalty.[the question that has not been asked is: What is it that explains all of these long-running despotisms all over the Arab countries? And the answer is Islam. But you can give that answer, that explanatory model, only once you have grasped, felt, assimilated, the terrific power of Islam, as a Total Belief-System, a power on its adherents that goes far beyond those of other faiths, becaue it claims to regulate all areas of life, is itself a politics and an economics and a system of social arrangement]
“I think the revolutions in a way, in a distant way, are hoping to retrieve” this sense of national identity, said Sadiq al-Azm, a prominent Syrian intellectual living in Beirut.[re, for there never was "this sense of national identity]
“The costs otherwise would be disintegration, strife and civil war,” Mr. Azm said. “And this was very clear in Iraq.”
In an arc of revolts and revolution, that idea of a broader citizenship is being tested as the enforced silence of repression gives way to the cacophony of diversity. Security and stability were the justification that strongmen in the Arab world offered for repression, often with the sanction of the United States; the essence of the protests in the Arab Spring is that people can imagine an alternative.
But even activists admit that the region so far has no model that enshrines diversity and tolerance without breaking down along more divisive identities.
In Tunisia, a relatively homogenous country with a well-educated population, fault lines have emerged between the secular-minded coasts and the more religious and traditional inland. [yes, but the division, though it may also reflect geography, are not about geography, but about those in the primitive heartland who support, who want "more Islam" and, in some cases, the sinister Rachid Ghannouchi, and the culturally advanced Tunisians -- thanks to their knowledge of French, and its widespread use in Tunisia, and their exposure to, or receipt of, French education, to the French mission civilisatrice no doubt many of these people would be furious at the implication that only because of France has their intellectual advancement been made possible, but it's true) -- who want "Benalism without Ben Ali," which is to say, they want the security forces to continue to suppress, in the only way possible, the forces of resurgent and dangerous Islam, And they deserve, in this desire to hold onto secularism, Tunisia's only hope, the support of Western governments]. ,
The tensions shook the nascent revolution there this month when a former interim interior minister, Farhat Rajhi, suggested in an online interview that the coastal elite, long dominant in the government, would never accept an electoral victory by Tunisia’s Islamist party, Ennahda, which draws most of its support inland.
“Politics was in the hands of the people of the coast since the start of Tunisia,” Mr. Rajhi said. “If the situation is reversed now, they are not ready to give up ruling.” He warned that Tunisian officials from the old government were preparing a military coup if the Islamists won elections in July. “If Ennahda rules, there will be a military regime.”
In response, protesters poured back out into the streets of Tunis for four days of demonstrations calling for a new revolution. The police beat them back with batons and tear gas, arrested more than 200 protesters and imposed a curfew on the city.
In Cairo, the sense of national identity that surged at the moment of revolution — when hundreds of thousands of people of all faiths celebrated in Tahrir Square with chants of “Hold your head high, you are an Egyptian”— has given way to a week of religious violence pitting the Coptic Christian minority against their Muslim neighbors, reflecting long-smoldering tensions that an authoritarian state may have muted, or let fester. [and if the generally thoughtful and excellent Anthony Shadid finds out about "Pharaonism" -- the doctrine of Egypt first, Egypt only (minimizing the power and hold of Islam, and avoiding identification with pan-Arabism) which the greatest of Egyptian intellectuals, the real thing and not the modern simulacrum, Taha Hussain, thought was the only way for Egypt to save itself from pan-Islam or the then-nascent stirrings of pan-Arabism-- I am sure he, and he alone of all the American journalists now reporting from the Middle East, will be able to do it justice, if The New York Times allows him to]
At a rally this month in Tahrir Square to call for unity, Coptic Christians were conspicuously absent, thousands of them gathering nearby for a rally of their own. And even among some Muslims at the unity rally, suspicions were pronounced.
“As Muslims, our sheiks are always telling us to be good to Christians, but we don’t think that is happening on the other side,” said Ibrahim Sakr, 56, a chemistry professor, who asserted that Copts, who make up about 10 percent of the population, still consider themselves “the original” Egyptians because their presence predates Islam.
In Libya, supporters of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi acknowledge that his government banks on fears of clan rivalries and possible partition to stay in power in a country with deep regional differences.
Officials say that the large extended clans of the west that contribute most of the soldiers to Colonel Qaddafi’s forces will never accept any revolution arising from the east, no matter what promises the rebels make about universal citizenship in a democratic Libya with its capital still in the western city of Tripoli.
The rebels say the revolution can forge a new identity.
“Qaddafi looks at Libya as west and east and north and south,” said Jadella Shalwee, a Libyan from Tobruk who visited Tahrir Square last weekend in a pilgrimage of sorts. “But this revolt has canceled all that. This is about a new beginning,” he said, contending that Colonel Qaddafi’s only supporters were “his cousins and his family.”
“Fear” is what Gamal Abdel Gawad, the director of the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, called it — the way that autocrats win support because people “are even more scared of their fellow citizens.”
Nowhere is that perhaps truer than in Syria, with a sweeping revolt against four decades of rule by one family and a worsening of tensions among a Sunni Muslim majority and minorities of Christians and heterodox Muslims, the Alawites.
Mohsen, a young Alawite in Syria, recounted a slogan that he believes, rightly or not, was chanted at some of the protests there: “Christians to Beirut and the Alawites to the coffin.”
“Every week that passes,” he lamented, speaking by telephone from Damascus, the Syrian capital, “the worse the sectarian feelings get.”
The example of Iraq comes up often in conversations in Damascus, as does the civil war in Lebanon. The departure of Jews, who once formed a vibrant community in Syria, remains part of the collective memory, illustrating the tenuousness of diversity. Syria’s ostensibly secular government, having always relied on Alawite strength, denounces the prospect of sectarian differences while, its critics say, fanning the flames. The oft-voiced formula is, by now, familiar: after us, the deluge.
“My Alawite friends want me to support the regime, and they feel if it’s gone, our community will be finished,” said Mohsen, the young Alawite in Damascus, who asked that only his first name be used because he feared reprisal. “My Sunni friends want me to be against the regime, but I feel conflicted. We want freedom, but freedom with stability and security.”
That he used the mantra of years of Arab authoritarianism suggested that people still, in the words of one human rights activist, remain “hostage to the lack of possibilities” in states that, with few exceptions, have failed to come up with a sense of self that transcends the many divides.
“This started becoming a self-fulfilling myth,” said Mr. Azm, the Syrian intellectual.
“It was either our martial law or the martial law of the Islamists,” he added. “The third option was to divide the country into ethnicities, sects and so on.”
Despite a wave of repression, crackdown and civil war, hope and optimism still pervade the region, even in places like Syria, the setting of one of the most withering waves of violence. There, residents often speak of a wall of fear crumbling. Across the Arab world, there is a renewed sense of a collective destiny that echoes the headiest days of Arab nationalism in the 1950s and ’60s and perhaps even transcends it.
President Obama, in his speech on Thursday about the changes in the Arab world, spoke directly to that feeling. “Divisions of tribe, ethnicity and religious sect were manipulated as a means of holding on to power, or taking it away from somebody else. But the events of the past six months show us that strategies of repression and strategies of diversion will not work anymore.”
But no less pronounced are the old fears of zero-sum power, where one side wins and the other inevitably loses. From a Coptic Christian in Cairo to an Alawite farmer in Syria, discussions about the future are posed in terms of survival. Differences in Lebanon, a country that celebrates and laments the diversity of its 18 religious communities, are so pronounced that even soccer teams have a sectarian affiliation.
In Beirut, wrecked by a war over the country’s identity and so far sheltered from the gusts of change, activists have staged a small sit-in for two months to call for something different, in a plea that resonates across the Arab world.
The Square of Change, the protesters there have nicknamed it, and their demand is blunt: Citizenship that unites, not divides.
“We are not ‘we’ yet,” complained Tony Daoud, one of the activists. “What do we mean when we say ‘we’? ‘We’ as what? As a religion, as a sect, as human beings?”
"The only solution ultimately is to re-launch the framework for a negotiated peace with a two-state solution at the heart of it..." -- from a recent statement by Tony Blair
He's well-spoken and incoherent, withal. He can't figure out Islam, and doesn't want to. It's too disturbing. Too many problems are posed, if he were to begin to understand it. He knows there's a problem with Islam -- outside Great Britain, and deep inside Great Britain. But he allows himself to believe that it is "manageable." He allows himself to be believe that there is a permanent "solution." And when it comes to Israel, he assumes that the "solution" is based on Israel withdrawing still further from land to which it has legal, historic, and moral title. The clear intent and the specific provisions of the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine, which mandate, like those others of the League, was to have its precise terms respected in toto by the successor organization, the United Nations.
Blair, like so many others, ignores completely these legal, historic, and moral claims. Child of the century, or rather child of the last few decades, he chooses to believe that the sudden appearance of the phrase "Palestinian people" after the Six-Day War, and the careful and relentless promotion of this soi-disant "Palestinian people," and the rewriting of history that took place to accompany it, and the absence of any context, have no significance. He ignores the context of what is wrongly called the "Arab world" but which has many, and once had even more, non-Arab and non-Muslim minorities. He also ignores the fact that the Jews managed on their own to return and to buy land. Not a single dunam of land was taken from Arabs before they made war in 1948, and very little after that. After all, nearly 90% of Israel, as the successor state to Mandatory Palestine, was state or waste land. It passed from the Ottoman government to the British Mandatory Authority to Israel -- a fact that so many ignore, or never bothered to find out.
Blair would have us believe that the texts of Islam do not mean what they say. Or perhaps he does not know what they say. What they say is this: no Infidel state can be permitted, whatever its size, on any land that was once a part of Dar al-Islam. Once conquered by Islam, territory belongs forever to Muslims. In a sense, you might well ask, what does it matter? Doesn't, in the Islamic view, the whole world belong ultimately to Islam? Isn't Islam everywhere to dominate, aren't Muslims everywhere, ultimately, to rule?
And you would be right. But there is a matter of priorities. The unprecedented has now occurred -- millions and now tens of millions of Muslims have been allowed to settle deep within Infidel lands, behind what Muslims themselves are taught to regard as, essentially, enemy lines. Naturally, still weak because far less numerous behind those enemy lines, Muslims in the Infidel lands must prevent those Infidels from examining too closely the texts and tenets of Islam, and figuring out what they mean. They must prevent those Infidels from looking too closely at the history of Islamic Jihad-conquest, and especially at the history of the subsequent subjugation of non-Muslims from Spain to East Asia, over 1350 years. They must prevent Infidels from finding out about Muslim attitudes toward many kinds of artistic expression (sculpture, paintings of living creatures, music) and toward the free and skeptical inquiry that makes science possible, and is everywhere encouraged in the advanced West, and discouraged in Islam. They must keep up a patter of phony sweetness-and-light, and misrepresent Islam as "respecting" Christianity and Judaism.
And Infidels don't generally know that major figures from both those religions have been appropriated by Islam and turned into Muslims -- for we are all Muslims, right back to Abraham, in the Islamic view. They usually don't bother to examine what the Islamic "Jesus" and the Islamic "Moses" are, in Islam. Muslim-Christian and Muslim-Jewish "dialogues" become occasions for special pleading and careful taqiyya-and-tu-quoque by Muslim spokesmen, delivered to self-selected groups of Infidels. Those Infidels, meanwhile, are in equal measures ignorant, naive, and self-preening: "We are willing to meet and listen and dialogue with our Muslim brothers -- unlike all those others, the benighted and the bigoted. We are morally superior, and we will demonstrate that moral superiority by taking every occasion to defend 'our Muslim brothers' from those who would divide us."
The beachhead is gained, and the Muslim troops fan out across the new land, ready to spread Islam. They spread it in the prisons among those looking for justification for their alienation from The System, Amerika, Kapitalism, and finding Islam as the perfect vehicle to justify their own past, and possibly future, criminal behavior, and in many cases, to dignify it, draping naked aggression in the cloak of a new faith. And since so many of the undisciplined long not merely for discipline, but for Total Discipline, Islam provides a ready-made Community of Believers, who will enforce, in every way, rules that cover every detail of life. Bush likes to prate about how everyone "wants freedom." It's nonsense. The spirit of wanting to march in serried ranks, of Belonging to the Group (Nuremberg! Hitlerjugend! Jawohl!), and of knowing what one is to do, for every occasion, at every step, is a strong one. There are many who cannot stand or do not know how to use "freedom" (which Bush himself hardly understands), and who long for Authority.
And that is what Islam provides: Authority, the Authority of Allah and the Example of Muhammad, whose life, whose words and deeds serve as a gloss on the will expressed by Allah in the Qur'an.
Blair, as a leading spokesman of the nattering classes (World Leader Division), goes on about a "manageable" problem to which there is a "solution." He wishes tiny, permanently beleaguered Israel, the physical refuge and embodiment of the most persecuted tribe in human history, to pay the price for his inability, and that of others, to dare to come to grips with the menace of Islam. He wants to prolong for a while longer the illusion that the problem arises from something we, the Infidels have done. In this case, the Infidels are those stubborn Israelis, who keep insisting on staying alive, who keep insisting on being able to have a minimum level of defensible borders, who keep insisting -- though not nearly as effectively as they should and could -- that yes, they have legal, historic, and moral rights to this land, that they are the victims of an Arab siege. The Israelis still do not call it, as they should, a Jihad, albeit a Local or Lesser Jihad. The monstrous rewriting of history that has gone on virtually unopposed since the Six-Day War needs itself to be rewritten, and the truth, or much of it, brought back to the consciousness of those in the West who have no idea of it - such as Blair, Rice, and other "two-state" solutionists.
Darura. "Darura" in Arabic means "necessity." The Arabs and Muslims understand this idea. "Necessity" can justify even violating explicit prohibitions. You may, if starving, eat pork, according to some. You may, if you need to protect the faith, lie to Infidels -- lie about Islam itself, lie about your own belief in Islam. There is no further surrender of territory by Israel that will bring about "peace" with the Arab Muslims. The Arabs, and the shock troops of Arab Islam in the Lesser Jihad against Israel, are divided. But they are not divided the way that Blair and Rice and others seem to think. They are not divided, that is, between those who are ready to permanently accept Israel's existence (and what's more, its right to permanent existence) and those who are not.
No. They are divided, rather, between those who are the Slow Jihadists and those who are the Fast Jihadists. The Slow Jihadists are what the media like to repeatedly assure us are the "moderates." How many times have you seen a reporter blandly begin by referring in his dispatch to "the moderate Mahmoud Abbas" or "the moderates of Fatah"? The Homeric epithets here are not singer-of-tales mnemonic devices, but rather part of mental bullying, a deliberate attempt to tell us what to make of facts, not to think for ourselves. Thinking for yourself is discouraged. You must repeat: Abbas "the moderate," Fatah "the moderates." You must further be told that what is called the "Two-State Solution" is indeed a "Solution." If it weren't, why would such impressive people as Condoleeza Rice or Tony Blair, or the "Quartet" (the Four Horsemen of Israel's Apocalypse is more like it), call it a "Two-State Solution"?
Let's get this straight. There is no difference in the ultimate goal of Fatah or of Hamas. Both want Israel as a Jewish state to disappear. They both know it is wrong, unjust, contra naturam, for Infidels, and especially the Jews, to possess land that was once ruled by Muslims. This is especially true of the Jews, who are so despised in the Islamic world for being weak, and are the special focus of hatred.
The difference is in tactics. Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas, loyal collaborator for decades with Yassir Arafat, behind the mild-mannered generally-accepted-accounting-principles suit-and-tie demeanor, is a firm supporter of terrorism in the past and in the present too, if the targets are the right ones. He believes that it will take patience. It will take a longer effort to soften Israel up, by continuing to weaken Israel economically and diplomatically, and militarily by pushing it back to the 1949 Armistice Lines which -- for god's sake, just look at a map, and just imagine you are in the IDF and trying to plan to defend the population of Israel in this 1949 armistice lines, lines which the Arabs themselves always refused to make permanent.
Hamas, on the other hand, doesn't want to wait. It wants not to chip away at Israel, not to slowly reduce it to conquerable proportions, but to subject it to military attack right now. It might consider a very temporary hudna or truce, but only so long as everyone is clear, including the Israelis, that it is temporary. And it is amusing to see how indignant Hamas becomes when Israel seems ill-disposed toward such an idea. Mahmoud Abbas himself can't understand why, given how little is demanded of him by the outside world, and given how eager every Infidel government seems to be to ignore his real nature and the real goals of Fatah and of all the "Palestinians," Hamas remains so stubbornly, shoot-yourself-in-the-foot pur et dur. But there it is.
In other words, the differences are only differences in means, not ends: in timing and in tactics. Why this should not be understood in the West, why assorted blairs and rices cannot or will not understood, is testimony to something. Fear of realizing the truth, for what it might mean. Embarrassment on the part of those who have spent their entire professional lives participating in, and pontificating about, "negotiations" and a "peace process" which they solemnly parse every few weeks -- all those dennis-rosses, and martin-indyks, and richard-hasses, and aaron-millers, who if they had actually noticed the gorilla of Islam in the room and grasped its significance, would have realized how foolish and time-wasting and false-hope-raising, and doomed-to-fail, were not merely this or that portentous airplaning back and forth, but the whole dismal thing. Do you think Bill Clinton, who entertained Yassir Arafat more than he did any other foreign "leader," will ever grasp Islam, and therefore grasp what a waste it all was, how pointless, how stupid?
When I write "pointless" and "stupid," I mean, of course, "pointless" and "stupid" for those who wish Israel well, wish Israel to survive. I do not mean....the others. Those others harbor hostility toward Israel that is often connected not merely to ignorance or laziness, but to a deeper much more unpleasant mental pathology. The business of antisemitism and vicious anti-Israel activities gives rise, nowadays, to a version of the chicken-and-egg problem. Just as we used to say as children "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" a new version might be "which came first, antisemitism or anti-Israel sentiment based on ignorance" -- for those two mutually reinforce, and prompt, one another.
If the goal is "peace" between Arabs and Israel, there is only one way to ensure that peace. It is not to give the Slow Jihadists what they want. It is not to call a "solution" that which will only further imperil Israel, and whet, not sate, Arab and Muslim appetites. It is to ensure that Israel is not only relieved of the constant pressuring by uncomprehending and cruel outsiders, who do not face the peril that Israel has and will always face, but is regarded by those who would destroy it as so obviously superior in military might that they will give up hope of destroying it and simply learn to live with their resentment, as they did, more or less, between 1948 and 1967.
Only this time Israel will have something like defensible borders, the borders which it was meant all along to include, and didn't include in 1948 simply because Ben Gurion called a halt to the war. After all, the land that Israel currently possesses or controls is far less than the amount of land originally set aside for the Mandate for Palestine, a mandate whose express provisions show that it was created for the exclusive purpose of establishing the Jewish National Home. Israel, at the moment, save for Gaza, possesses Western Palestine, for the British decided that the provisions of the Mandate about the mandatory's duty to "facilitate Jewish immigration" and "close Jewish settlement on the land" would not apply to the land east of the Jordan, which became, for realpolitik purposes, the Emirate of Transjordan. But that should be it. Israel gave, and gave, and gave. The giving has to stop.
And the largest and only sure keeper of the peace between Arabs and Israel is the IDF. Not the UN, not Javier Solana's would-be EU 'peacekeepers." Only the IDF. The civilised world -- that is, the civilized themselves -- must support not "negotiations" and "peace processes" between Israel (or any Infidel state) and Muslim states or groups. For these will only lead to tangible concessions on the part of the Infidels, and no concessions, only temporary and false "truces," on the part of those who, as Majid Khadduri and many others have pointed out, make "treaties" with Infidels only on the model of Al-Hudaibiyya. Treaties, that is, in the Muslim view are not subject to the Western idea, so natural that we assume it always existed, of Pacta sunt servanda. No, in Islam treaties are not to be obeyed. That is the rule: treaties, by the Muslim side, are not to be obeyed, but rather, breached at the first opportunity.
Memorize that word. Understand its significance. And if you are a would-be diplomat going off to the Middle East, don't you dare leave home without it.
'The Presbyterian church has called for Sharia law to be rejected in South Australia.
'SA-based convenor of the Presbyterian church and nation committee the Reverend Stefan Slucki said some of the most brutal aspects of Sharia law were being used in Muslim communities and should not be allowed to gain a foothold.
'He said in the most extreme cases Islamic leaders had threatened to have Sharia law take over Australian law.
No flies on Reverend Slucki. - CM
"We have no problems with things like halal food and those practices (actually, Rev Slucki, you should, given that there is a push to make halal the unlabelled default for everyone, and given that at least some of the money paid to Muslim clerics to inspect products and premises and declare them halal can be channelled toward Jihad - CM) but the main problems with Sharia are the subjugation of women, the wearing of total coverings for women, the repression of women in terms of Christian principles", Mr Slucki said.
This is awkwardly worded but I think when he talks about Christian principles I think he means that when considered from the point of view of how Christianity says women should be treated, Islam falls terribly short. - CM
"We are also opposed to the totalitarian view of the state (governance).
"This is an issue that will not go away, just as it has not gone away in the UK and in Canada and other places.
Rev Slucki has been keeping his eyes and ears open. - CM.
'"People must not flirt with the idea that it would be nice to allow Sharia law to be practised within selected communities.
"There are already people who send their children overseas for female genital mutilation and then bring them back".
'Islamic representatives yesterday would not comment on the issue of Sharia law and its use in Australia.
'In some parts of the world, the most extreme aspects of the law require brutal punishments, such as chopping off hands for theft and stoning of women for infidelity.
'The criticisms of Sharia come despite the Presbyterian Church being one of the strongest refugee advocacy agencies in Australia.
There are refugees and refugees, and people who claim to be refugees but ain't. And Muslims fleeing the chaos and violence of Muslim lands do not, alas, leave Islam behind them - which is the cause of that chaos and violence - but insist on bringing it with them and transplanting it to their host societies. - CM.
'Mr Slucki said even within the refugee community Christians in Muslim-dominated cultural groups were victimised according to the principles of Sharia law.
'He said the church was motivated by fostering social inclusion for all members of the Islamic community.
This seems a bit incoherent; I wonder whether the reporter got it right. For how do you include a 'community', the Muslim ummah, which insists on segregating itself (and not in the peaceful manner of the Amish Christians or the Orthodox Jews, but more in the manner of an armed encampment that intends, in due time, to expand) - CM
"We are being told by some of the Arabic-speaking members of our congregation that problems are being created because of the divisiveness of Sharia law", Mr Slucki said.
"Some (in Sydney) have had petrol bombs placed outside their homes".
I wonder whether these 'Arabic-speaking' members of the church, some of whom had been attacked in this way (petrol bombs) were from the Arabic-speaking emigre Christian community, or whether they were apostates from Islam, Lebanese and Egyptian ex-Muslims? - CM
'Mr Slucki was speaking as part of the church's evidence to the Federal Government's inquiry into multiculturalism'.
I have several times expressed my horror at the idea of China becoming powerful. For example:
Mao was more evil than Hitler and Stalin put together, killing 72 million of his own people. But he could not have committed such atrocities without the willing and enthusiastic co-operation of those very Chinese. There has been no acknowledgement, still less remorse, for those crimes, as there has been among the Germans. Viciously capitalist as China appears at the moment, it has not reformed. We trust it at our peril. The Chinese will deal ruthlessly with Muslims when it suits them, but only because they have little or no respect for human life. And if it suits China to make alliances with Muslims, then it will, for it has no desire for liberty. As for treaties on climate change, they may sign up, but we'd be a fool to believe them. Eighty per cent or more of software used in China is pirated - that's how much we should trust them. This is a country that makes parents pay for the bullet that kills their child, that harvests kidneys from the living for a corrupt official – and does so with the eager co-operation of its citizens for a TV or a fridge.
Unlike Muslims, however, the Chinese are capable of being just like anyone else when transplanted somewhere decent. Hong Kong Chinese, thanks to British influence, are far more civilised, and Chinese people living in the West are just like anyone else. So what I meant, perhaps, was that the Chinese Chinese are the cruellest people on earth.
I take none of this back; China's legacy is indeed grim. But I would add something to it: there is hope for China, and that hope is Christianity. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks writes in The Times, in an article that I will quote from only selectively because it is behind the paywall:
While Christianity is in decline in Britain and most of Europe, it is growing and thriving in China, where the number of people in church on Sunday is greater than the total membership of the Communist Party — and this in the land that in 1958 Chairman Mao had declared “religion-free”.
The churchgoers are not, as Karl Marx would have predicted, the poor and oppressed searching for the opium of the people. They are the young, hard-working, upwardly mobile entrepreneurs for whom Christianity offers an ethical framework, a structured view of life and its disciplines, in a society experiencing rapid transition.
As a non-Christian, I find this fascinating. Europe is losing the very thing that once made it great, while China, the world’s fastest-growing economy, is discovering it.
What has China realised that the West is rapidly forgetting? That a civilisation is as strong as its faith. As a culture grows old and tired, as people borrow more and save less, as they value present pleasures over future growth, so they begin to lose the beliefs and practices that made their society successful in the first place.
Judaism and Christianity share an astonishing capacity for self-renewal. That is what happened in Judaism after every tragedy from the Babylonian exile to the Holocaust. That is what is happening now to Christianity in many parts of the world, and it can happen here too.
A powerful China is a threat, but a powerful Christian China is a promise. And what a bulwark against Islam, just as the West is going soft on it.
Shelbyville Times Gazette: Film is "disappointing and intellectually dishonest"
Somali Muslim woman at Pledge of allegiance ceremony- a scene from Welcome from Shelbyville
An editorial in the Sunday edition of the Shelbyville Times Gazette, "Spotlight on Shelbyville may cast shadow on city," cited the PBS documentary, Welcome to Shelbyville as being "disappointing and intellectually dishonest." It noted the patent distortions in this production that our State Department selected to be shown in 38 legations around the world. The film endeavors to portray the problems of 1,100 Somali Muslim emigre workers hired by giant Tyson Foods at its poultry processing plant in this middle Tennesse community of 18,000. The film attirbutes the lack of reception to 'racism and bigotry' rather than the obvious; the cultural conflicts that arose from these un-assimiliable fundamentalist Muslims endeavoring to impose their Sharia Islamic obligations on the core Western Judeo-Christian cultural values of their fellow non-Muslim workers and the community's resident population.
Note these comments from the Shelbyville Times Gazette editorial:
The filmmakers omitted key events in the film, such as the Eid al Fitr/Labor Day controversy in 2008 and the federal immigration raid in 2001 - events that provide more context as to the feelings and comments of many local residents. Also, many of the "meetings" were scheduled expressly for the filming.
We believe viewers should watch with a critical eye -- not the individuals featured, but the narrative and editing of the subject matter.
With a filmmaker who drops in from New York City and believes Bedford County is named after Nathan Bedford Forrest (it is not), wording on the film's original Web site that Shelbyville is just a stone's throw from Pulaski, birthplace of the KKK and, in the screening we saw, shows in the early minutes of the film hooded KKK marching down a "Main Street" (not Shelbyville), an objective person must view the film Tuesday with skepticism.
An educated view of modern-day integration and assimilation both from native residents and the newcomers is tainted with a "southern racist" overlay.
This is disappointing and intellectually dishonest. Filmmaking is storytelling -- it's just what story you're wanting to tell.
We hope the final version of the film shown on PBS tells a better, balanced story.
Our colleague Ann Corcoran at Refugee Resettlement Watch (RRW) sent out a blast email this morning drawing attention to a media campaign orchestrated by our State Department boosting the controversial documentary,Welcome to Shelbyville .The State Department campaign is timed to coincide with the nationwide release Tuesday evening, May 24th of the film on the PBS Independent Lens series. Corcoran has a background post on the controversial propaganda film on the RRW website.
Corcoran noted what we disclosed in our post Friday, "Welcome to Shelbyville?" about links of the production sponsors to Islamic advocacy and voluntary agencies benefitting from the multi-billion dollar State Department refugee resettlement program. We also revealed the Soros and other major foundation funding of immigration advocacy group, Welcoming America, a spinoff of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) that drove the message for this film funded and distributed by our government. Then there is AP-award winning Shelybille Times-Gazette reporter, Brian Mosely's indictment of the distortions based on his own experience with the film's team detailed in a lenghty post, "About Welcome to Shelbyville" on the newspaper's blog, that we put up yesterday,
[We] need help getting the Shelbyville, TN issue exposed. Briefly, a Soros-funded filmmaking team went to Shelbyville in 2008 in the wake of the Tysons/Somali controversy. They have made a propaganda film that will be released widely in the US this week depicting what they say is a racist town that has now seen the light about Somalis.
The US State Department is even promoting the film in a conference call to reporters Tuesday.
Yesterday, the Shelbyville reporter, Brian Mosely at the Times-Gazette, revealed the lies the film makers tell about the town and Mosely (who is the film's villain).
Please help get the Times-Gazette story out. It is really important, Soros and the State Department want to use this film to shame any town that might have problems with a huge influx of third-worlders like the Somalis.
This "documentary" purports to tell the story of the soi-dissant "Arab-Palestinian/Israeli conflict" which is rightfully called "the Arab-Muslim war against the Jews" (this is part and parcel of the Muslim war against the Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Animists, Bahai'is, Confucians, etc.). The Oral Roberts University funded film - "Little Town of Bethlehem" - advocates a road to "peace" through non-violence. There is one little problem: If the Muslim-Palestinians put down their guns today, there would be peace tomorrow. If the Jews put down their guns today, they would be dead tomorrow."
"Little Town of Bethlehem" embraces the false narrative of peace and non-violence and ignores the 1,400 year old history of Islam and immutable Islamic ideology. It completely disregards the 1400 year old Arab Muslim war against the Jews begun by Mohammed himself at Khyber as in the Muslim death cry heard to this day, "Khyber, Khyber, ya Yahood, jesh Mohammed sofa ya'ud" or "Khyber, Khyber, oh Jews, Mohammed's Army will return." (The Saudi city of Khyber is where Mohammed attacked and enslaved its Jewish inhabitants in 628).
The Jews have made every accommodation, including suicidal ones like the expulsion of 11,000 Israelis from Gaza, and truly want peace. Yet they have been mercilessly attacked for millennia. Muslims MUST attack all non-Muslims. It is part of Islamic doctrine to destroy non-believers, who in their unbelief of what has been "revealed," are at war with Islam. There is a de rigueur perpetual war between the Dar-al-Harb and the Dar al-Islam.
Fox News 13 in Tampa, Florida had a distrubing report, Friday, "Muslim woman's death questioned by conservative actvist" on a possible honor killing of a recently divorced Pakistani Muslim woman, Fatima Abdallah, under accidental circumstances that look peculiar. Her body was found lifeless on the living room floor of her brother's new home in a Tampa gated community that is shared with three Muslim families. The alleged cause was an accidental fall and cerebral hemmorhage from crashing into a glass coffee table. Moreover, one of the possible eyewitnesses her mother, has left for Pakistan. There are allegations by a conservative activist, David Caton of Florida Family Association, acting on a neighbor's tip and sleuthing by a private investigator, that it could have been an honor killing.
Caton commented in this Fox 13 report:
"This was what you would call an honor killing," he said.
Acting on neighbor tips and the private eye's work, Caton, of the Florida Families Association is pushing police to reopen the case, insisting Abdallah died because her family believed she had dishonored them under Islamic law.
"She was divorced," Caton says, "because she could not have children and was shunned and kept private into the family was not allowed to leave or go places."
According to the Tampa police it was an 'accident":
Deputy Police Chief Marc Hamlin telling FOX13, "the bottom line is, no matter how long you investigate and no matter how much you investigate, its not going to overrule the competent medical evidence that it was an accident."
Caton says it may be more than that, that Muslim spokespersons disagree with;
Closer to home, Caton says the closing of Abdallah's death case is proof to him that Islamic law is affecting how Florida's laws are enforced.
"Islamization of this country is the greatest threat to our way of life, our American way of life as we know it today," he says.
Islamic activists insist religion is not to blame, says Maliq Saheed of the Pakistan American Society.
"This is personal, it's sickness, it's depression, or it's family problems. His aggressiveness or anything he did he did to her personally, this is not related with the Muslims or not related to the Islam," Saheed said.
But there may be something to Caton's concerns about an honor killing and acquiesence by law enforcement to Muslim community sharia compliance concerns. We note the recent Tampa state circuit court ruling recognizing application of Sharia law over a dispute between two Muslim brothers over fund raising for a local mosque. Moreover the Tampa area is the home of Muslim Brotherhood front Groups CAIR and United Voices for America, the latter founded by Ahmed Bedeir, the former CAIR Chapter executive director and spokesperson for convicted felon and terrorist financier, Sami al Arian a former comptuer science professor at the University of South Florida located in Tampa. Bedier organized the past three Florida Muslim Capitol Days in the State Capitol of Tallahasse. The 2010 Muslim Capital Day in Tallahassee witnessed an assault and battery case brought to two activists against a Florida Atlantic University Muslim Professor Bassem Alhalabi and leader of the Boca Raton Islamic Center who was an assistant to convicted felo Al-Arian while at USF . That case, in which Professor Alhalabi pled guilty was brought by Joe Kaufman of Americans Against Hate and J. Mark Campbell of The United West. Morover, the CAIR Tampa chapter never responded to a letter from Former Muslims United sent in February, 20101 requesting that they abjure Sharia death threats against apostates from Islam.