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Hamid Dabashi on All the Terrible Things Being Done to Muslims (Part Two)
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Then we go to India. The roots of Hindu violent mobs attacking Muslims in India is of course as old as British incitement of communal violence to sustain their own rule. The list of systematic Muslim massacres[sic for “massacres of Muslims”] is gruesome: From 1964 in Kolkata and 1983 in Nellie to 1987 in Hashimpura all the way to the Gujarat slaughter of Muslims in 2002, in which Narendra Modi, who is now the prime minister of India, was accused of orchestrating the violence.
Hamid Dabashi talks exclusively about Hindu violence against Muslims, saying that the “systematic Muslim massacres” (he means massacres of Muslims) is “gruesome.” But he leaves out the much more frequent, and much deadlier, massacres of Hindus by Muslims. Are we to forget the terror attacks in Delhi (many times), in New Delhi (many times, including an attack on the Indian Parliament), in Mumbai, in Hyderabad? Are we supposed to overlook the mass killings of the Kashmiri Pandits, with hundreds murdered at a time, which led to 99% of the Hindu population of Kashmir fleeing in terror, so that where there were once 300,000-600,000 Pandits, there are now 3,000? What about the 1998 Chamba massacre, the Wandhama Massacre in 1998, the 2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre, the 2002 Fedayeen attacks on Raghunath Temple, the 2002 attack on Akshardham Temple attack perpetrated by the Islamic terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Godhra train, full of Hindu pilgrims, set on fire by Muslims in February 2002, and the 2006 Varanasi bombings? And consider how many hundreds of Muslim attacks we have had to leave out. If we go back in time, we find that in the several hundred years of Mughal (Muslim) rule, according to such respected historians of India as K. S.. Lal, between 70 and 80 million Hindus were killed by their Muslim masters. But Dabashi doesn’t mention any of this. For him, Muslims can only be victims.
Now look at Palestine: Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike have been the subject of systematic ethnic cleansing in their own homeland now under the occupation of the European colonial enclave of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son has recently said he’d “prefer if all the Muslims leave the land of Israel.” Facebook temporarily banned the despicable thug from his habitual racism and deleted that call for genocide. But he was just airing what his father and other Zionist warlords have been practising for decades in Palestine.
What sort of “ethnic cleansing” is he talking about? Is he perhaps thinking of the Arabs — now called “Palestinians” — who began leaving Mandatory Palestine in late 1947, in order to get out of the way of what they were sure would be victorious Arab armies, and planned on returning when the Jews had all been killed or expelled? Is he thinking of all those forced mass expulsions of “Palestinians” by the Israelis — of which not one single instance is known to exist? There are Arabs living all over Israel, in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Tiberias, Safed, Hebron, in every city and many villages. Where is this ethnic cleansing? Have the Israelis driven the Arabs out of the West Bank, as the “Palestinians” have made clear they will do to Jews in any future “Palestinian” state? They have not.
There have been cases of “ethnic cleansing” in Palestine, but these have all been of Jews by Muslims. In Hebron, where there had been a continuous Jewish presence for thousands of years, the Arabs killed or drove out every last Jew in 1929. In the Old City of Jerusalem, in 1949, the Jordanians drove out every remaining Jewish inhabitant, making the Old City Judenrein for the first time in its history. None of this “ethnic cleansing” is mentioned by Dabashi
As for Dabashi’s claim that Israel is “a European colonial enclave,” he ignores the fact that half of Israel’s Jewish population consists of Jews not from Europe, but from Arab lands. These Jews are indigenous to the Middle East. How is Israel a “colonial enclave”? Is it filled with people who were settled there by a colonial power, to strengthen that power’s presence? If anything, the Jews of Israel had to fight the colonial power that mattered most, Great Britain, which as the Mandatory authority frequently betrayed the solemn promises it had made to the Zionists, most notably in reducing the territory assigned to the Jewish National Home by 3/4. Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, or attempting to get to Palestine from D.P. camps after the war, were blocked by the British, who were always seeking to please the Arabs by severely limiting the numbers of Jewish immigrants. The British simply ignored Article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine, which called for the Mandatory authority to facilitate Jewish immigration into Palestine and “close Jewish settlement on the land.”
The Jewish commonwealth was resurrected in modern times by the Jews themselves, not by, or with any significant help from, any colonial powers. They were not, could not be, “colonists” in their own land. They were returning to Eretz Israel, the land that had made them, the land where their history unfolded. As for the impolitic tweet by Netanyahu’s son, that he wished all the Muslims would leave Israel, that is not, as Dabashi claims, a call for “genocide.” There was no statement of the genocidal sort, as “I think we should kill all the Muslims/Arabs/ ‘Palestinians.’” Dabashi should be reminded that true genocidal remarks can be heard all the time in the “Palestinian” and Arab media, directed at the Jews or or at all Unbelievers.
Let’s move to the other side of the globe: The historic xenophobia of the racist white supremacists in the US, the chief supporter of the Israeli settler colony, resulted in two major and many more US-led invasions of Muslim states in which hundreds of thousands of Muslims were slaughtered. When Americans freely and openly elected Donald Trump, he unleashed the most hateful campaign of terror and intimidation against Muslims in the United States. His infamous Muslim ban, sustained by the US Supreme Court, is the legal manifestation of this abusive treatment of Muslims.
The “historic xenophobia,” the “racist white supremacists,” the “Israeli settler colony” — Dabashi’s cup runneth over with bile. If America suffers from xenophobia, hatred of foreigners, then why is it the nation of immigrants par excellence, of people welcomed from all over? This country of “racist white supremacists” in recent years elected, and then re-elected, a black American to be President. This country of “racist white supremacists” has been going out of its way to promote “diversity” and “inclusivity” until the cows come home — in universities and colleges, in housing, in the workplace. And Dabashi again tells us Israel is a “settler colony,” though a “colony” of what country he does not say. He also overlooks several thousand years of history that connect the Jewish people to that little sliver of land — Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel — that made them. For Dabashi, that history doesn’t exist. The Jews — for some unfathomable reason Dabashi dares not discuss, decided to “settle” in Palestine. Why “Palestine,” of all places? Then, he claims, they proceeded to manufacture a false history to connect them to that land. There’s been plenty of false history about Palestine, all right, but it hasn’t been coming from the Jews.
As for Israel’s existence having “resulted in two major and many more US-led invasions of Muslim states in which hundreds of thousands of Muslims were slaughtered” — here Dabashi demonstrates his convenient historical amnesia. The Americans rescued — has he forgotten? — the Muslim Bosnians from the Serbs. The Americans, again, rescued another Muslim people, the Kuwaitis — has he forgotten? — from the Iraqis who invaded their country in August 1990. As for those “two major….invasions of Muslim states,” Dabashi is referring to Afghanistan and Iraq. American troops went to Afghanistan not because of Israel, but as everyone knows, because of 9/11 and the need to confront Al Qaeda, which had its headquarters in Afghanistan at the time. In so doing, the Americans took on the Taliban as well, earning the gratitude of many ordinary Afghans who had suffered from their calamitous rule. The Americans then went to war against Saddam Hussein, not because of Israel, but because they believed, wrongly, that there was some connection between the Iraqi regime and Al Qaeda. In both cases, the Americans naively believed they could bring democracy, free elections, and a better life for the Muslims of Afghanistan and of Iraq. It wasn’t America’s fault that it didn’t work out that way.
In Europe too, the historic hatred of Muslims rooted in their version of Christianity have now reached epidemic proportions among racist, xenophobic, and proto-fascistic movements, best evident in the Brexit crisis but equally staged [sic] in the rest of Europe.
Whatever “historic hatred of Muslims” there might be in Europe, based on 1,400 years of Islamic conquest and subjugation of many different Christian lands, from Coptic Egypt and Catholic North Africa and Spain in the west, to the Orthodox in the Byzantine Empire to the east, it certainly was not evident when, beginning a few decades ago, European countries began allow into their midst millions of Muslim migrants. There are now 44 million Muslims in Europe. And they are not just in Europe, but are receiving from those “racist, xenophobic and proto-fascistic” peoples every possible kind of benefit: free housing, free medical care, free education, family allowances, clothing and food allowances, even unemployment benefits. If there has been a considerable cooling in the attitude of many Europeans, it is because of the observable behavior of Muslim migrants — their uneagerness to work, their high rates of criminality, their unwillingness to integrate into the larger society. Such things as the Muslim grooming gangs in the U.K., (Rotherham, Rochdale, etc.) that may have claimed as many as a million English girls as their victims, the mass sexual assaults by Muslims on German women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, 2016, the street crime, the vandalizing of cars, the attacks on Jews and homosexuals, the rubbishing of churches — all this has naturally had its effect on the attitudes of Europeans. So, too, have the aggressive Muslim demands for accommodations to their needs, ranging from prayer rooms in schools and workplaces, and being given time off from the workday or the school day to pray, to offering halal meals in prison and school canteens, to allowing niqabs or burkas to be worn, despite the security problem that wearing such clothing poses.
In Australia too, where Prime Minister Scott Morrison just recognised west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, anti-Muslim racists enjoy wide-spread support among xenophobic nationalists. He is in the good league [sic] of the notorious Australian MP Pauline Hanson who believes her country is about to be “swamped by Muslims.”
Recognizing West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has nothing do with “anti-Muslim racism.” It does have to do with recognizing that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for several thousand years, that it is now where all the important government offices in Israel,, including the Knesset, are located, and is where diplomats conduct their business. It was to right an historical injustice, not to engage in what Dabashi claims is “anti-Muslim racism,” that Scott Morrison recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It is not “racist” to recognize the Jewish claim to Jerusalem as its capital. For that matter, even if such recognition were judged, absurdly, to be an “anti-Muslim” act, it would not be “racism.” How many thousands of times must it be repeated at this website? Islam is not a race. Disliking Islam is not “racism.”
But Muslims killing Muslims is not any less evident on the global scene. Saudi Arabia and its sidekick, the United Arab Emirates, have led a coalition of Muslim states to slaughter tens of thousands of Yemenis and drive millions more to starvation. Yes, the US and Europe are chiefly responsible for arming these Arab countries, but it is the Arabs who are pulling the triggers and dropping the bombs.
Again Dabashi is blaming the Infidels — “the US and Europe” — for the proxy war in Yemen between two Muslim states, Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’a Iran. We have supplied weapons to the Saudis, but have done nothing to encourage them to continue the conflict, have repeatedly urged them not to attack civilian targets, and right now are in the process of ending all military support for the Saudis in Yemen because of the Khashoggi murder. Neither the US nor Europe are responsible for the internecine warfare between Muslims, nor for the willingness with which both sides attack civilian targets. It is those “Arabs who are pulling the triggers and dropping the bombs” who are solely responsible.
In Syria, it is first and foremost Bashar al-Assad (and his Russian and Iranian backers) who are responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and driving the rest to refugee camps in and out of their devastated homeland
Yes, the US, Israel and multiple Arab states are equally guilty of the mayhem in Syria, but the net result is the massacre of more Muslims in Syria. Turkey’s war with the Kurds amounts to even more Muslims murdering Muslims. In Egypt and Iran too, the ruling regimes have had no qualms maiming and murdering their own citizens in prisons or in the streets.
Are the US, Israel, and multiple Arab states “equally guilty” — with the Syrians and their Russian and Iranian backers — of the mayhem in Syria? How is the US guilty? It has only a few thousand troops in Syria, and their target has always been ISIS. Does Hamid Dabashi think it would be better for all concerned if the US did not conduct its war on ISIS? Shouldn’t he approve of what the Americans have been doing? They have also helped, in a smaller way, the secular opposition to Assad. Isn’t this what Dabashi would want us to do? Or would he prefer that such forces be crushed by Bashar Assad and his Iranian and Russian friends? As for Israel being “equally guilty of the mayhem” in Syria, Israel has tried to stay well out of the conflict. It has only become involved tangentially, when it detects Iranian attempts to send advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon, or tries to set up Iranian bases in Syria. Only then, only for the limited purposes of halting those weapons deliveries and preventing those Iranian bases from being built, does Israel bomb those weapons convoys and those incipient bases. It does not take sides in the Syrian civil war. On the ground, it does do one important thing: it offers medical care, for free, to wounded Syrians, both soldiers and civilians, whatever side they are on. Does Hamid Dabashi disapprove of this samaritan undertaking? And how does Israel’s selfless care for wounded Syrians fit with his belief that Israel commits what he calls “incremental genocide” in Palestine?
There is more of Dabashi’s rant about the worldwide assault on Muslims, about their ethnic cleansing, about the massacres of innocent Muslims, and the “genocide” waged against them, in his article. But I think you’ve had to endure quite enough of his nonsense. It’s all in the same wildly exaggerated and deeply dishonest vein. Meanwhile, outside of Dabashi’s fantasy world, Muslims are on the march. There are the Islamic terrorist groups: Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Shebaab, Jabhat Al-Nusra, Abu Sayyaf, Islamic Jihad, and others whose names we do not know. All of them are still intact. Al Qaeda has taken a hit in Afghanistan, but branches have appeared in Yemen and the Sinai and Syria and Libya. Similarly, the Islamic State has been defeated, for now, in Syria and Iraq, but it has branches in Libya, Yemen, the Sinai, the Philippines, and Afghanistan. According to the Rand Corporation, there are an estimated 230,000 Salafist Jihadi fighters in these groups, four times as many as there were in 2001.
There are tens of millions of Muslims now living in Europe, deep behind what they are taught to regard as enemy lines, and 5.2 million more in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. They are conducting what Robert Spencer first called the Stealth Jihad, not open warfare, but a slow undermining of the West, in order to gradually impose the Sharia, or holy law of Islam. Muslims are not facing “genocide” or “concentration camps,” not enduring “massacres,” nor being “mowed down on a daily basis.” They are doing quite well, thank you, though Hamid Dabashi wants you to see them as the innocent victims of unrelenting Unbelievers. His side — Islam — is doing just fine. We’re the ones who need to worry.
First published in Jihad Watch here, here and here.