Thursday, November 27, 2008

Stories of resistance

Freedom of speech in Europe's Muslim world, from Max Dunbar

12 comments:

The Contentious Centrist said...

Max Dunbar says: "(which depends on the racist myth that all Muslims are fundamentalist by nature)"
_______

It's not racist and it's not a myth. It's not racist because the suspicion that Islam is not a religion of peace has nothing to do with race but everything to do with the Islamic custom of referring to Jews as ""brothers of monkeys and swine" , including this hadith:

"Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him." (Bukhari 4.52.177)".

The recent adoption by the UN General Assembly of a draft resolution calling on all countries to alter their legal and constitutional systems to prevent "defamation of religions," asserting that "Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism." means that the suspicion can no longer even be discarded as a "myth". There is a very real push for taking over who will decide what you and I can discuss and in what terms.

The problem is not that all Muslims are jihadists. The problem is that even the enlightened who come forward to confront the crazies share the premises and unquestioningly accept such "facts" offered by them as this one:

"I condemn the targeting of any civilian, but incidentally, I believe that every Israeli civilian is a future soldier.

... Interviewer: Even if he is two years old?

Dr. Kamal Al-Hilbawi: Even if he is a child.
[...]

Dr. Nabil Yassin: What Kamal said is very dangerous.

...I condemn the Israeli governments for teaching children such things, but I do not condemn the child..."

http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/1922.htm

Please note that he takes the fact served by the crazy as an indisputable premise.

maxdunbar said...

Yeah but all you've done there is shown that Islam is a prejudiced belief system and that Islamic fanatics are genocidal maniacs.

And yet most Muslims aren't fundamentalist in this way.

The Contentious Centrist said...

"And yet most Muslims aren't fundamentalist in this way."

I guess it is possible to regard the fact that all Muslim countries have come together in the UN General Assembly to draft a resolution that effectively bans any critical discussion of Islam by law as a non-fundamentalist initiative.

maxdunbar said...

I was one of the first to write about that appalling resolution.

Do you think that these dictatorial regimes really represent your average Muslim? Who elected them?

The Contentious Centrist said...

Why do we hear about Iranian dissenters, but not Saudi or Syrian ones? Surely you cannot claim that the Iranian regime is any less oppressive than any other?

Why isn't there a grassroots outpouring of rage at Islamist terrorism and ferocity, the way there was when the Danish cartoons were published?? Maybe the average Muslim is passive because he is not much disturbed by fundamentalism, or by laws that curb freedom of expression. If religious fundamentalism dictates how Muslims worldwide should behave and believe, what does it matter that the average Muslim does not believe in the same things, if he remains quiet and listless and acquiesecent? This is what tacit complicity means, fundamentally.

echo said...

But most people, in most times and places, are essentially passive, in that they leave the business of public statements and public mobilisation to others.

The mirror image of your argument has been used by Islamists to justify bombings and attempted bombings in Britain.

Ordinary British people, they claim, didn't oppose the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, we gave our support at the polling booth to political parties which supported the invasion.

So we Brits are complicit in those invasions and the deaths which resulted from them. We're fair game, as far as they are concerned.

Very similar to the way you are propagating the idea that there's no such thing as an innocent Muslim.

TNC said...

Echo writes:

"Ordinary British people, they claim, didn't oppose the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, we gave our support at the polling booth to political parties which supported the invasion."

I'm sorry but this is just plain silly. Tens (hundreds?) of thousands of UK residents marched against the Iraq war. UK papers and other media covered these demonstrations. So did international media.

Even here in the U.S. close to half of American voters supported Kerry against Bush in 2004.

The Contentious Centrist said...

Here is an example, fresh from Normblog, of how a people can protect itself while refusing to remain passive in the face of ethical obscenity:

"Iraq's highest court told the Iraqi Parliament last Monday that it had no right to strip one of its members of immunity so he could be prosecuted for an alleged crime: visiting Israel for a seminar on counterterrorism. The Iraqi justices said the Sunni lawmaker, Mithal al-Alusi, had committed no crime and told the Parliament to back off.

That's not all. The Iraqi newspaper Al-Umma al-Iraqiyya carried an open letter signed by 400 Iraqi intellectuals, both Kurdish and Arab, defending Alusi. That takes a lot of courage and a lot of press freedom."


http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2008/12/freedom-to-travel-for-iraqis.html

echo said...

TNC wrote: "I'm sorry but this is just plain silly."

Well that's how the mind of the bigot works: 'none of them is innocent'.

The Contentious Centrist said...

Echo said:
"Ordinary British people, [the islamists] claim, didn't oppose the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan."

New Centrist corrects this simple and verifiable falsehood:

"I'm sorry but this is just plain silly. Tens (hundreds?) of thousands of UK residents marched against the Iraq war. UK papers and other media covered these demonstrations. So did international media."

Echo then quotes: "TNC wrote: "I'm sorry but this is just plain silly."

and then concludes:

"..that's how the mind of the bigot works: 'none of them is innocent'. "Well that's how the mind of the bigot works: 'none of them is innocent'."

I don't know how to begin to define the mind of someone who, given an apple to eat, goes on to complain that the tomatoe was rotten...

TNC said...

When did I write "none of them is innocent"? Grow up. If you want to refute something I claimed, fine, but don't put words in my mouth.

It is obvious to anyone who either:

1) Can read
2) Has a television
3) Has a radio

That tens of thousands--if not hundreds of thousands--of people in the UK protested the war. This made international headlines.

echo said...

TNC, you're getting the wrong of the stick.

I'm attributing the 'none of them is innocent' and 'they all voted for the parties of war' type statements to the Islamist suicide bombers (would-be and actual).

You must have seen or read transcripts of the video messages some of them recorded prior to carrying out their attacks.

That's the kind of stuff they were coming out with.

They're extreme and clear examples of how bigoted minds like to frame things: millions of individuals lumped together into a single entity with a single set of intentions and dispositions.