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Posts Tagged ‘Muslims’

The Loss of an Identity – Revision

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 3, 2014


This blog entry was originally written on August 5, 2006.
But with the appearance of ISIS/IS, I feel that a revision and expansion is in order.

In response to a friend, I wrote:
“I assume you are speaking about Haim Harari’s Undeclared WWIII.

Yes, it might sound like that, but in fact, he is claiming that there is a war going on, and then he explains how this is. I agree that he is drawing it to its extremes, when he claims that it is the Islamic world against the rest of the World. However, I do think he has a point about the method, structure and underlying reasons for terror actions as such. Instruments of terror used to be assassinations, revolutions, and up-risings – they were traditionally aimed at governments. Even the IRA did not target the public, although they used modern methods of Terrorism (bombings, hostage taking etc.) – the Islamic militants have changed the targeting and execution of Terrorism. I agree that not all Islamists are Terrorists – I suspect, but it is only a suspicion, that it has to do with culture. The Muslims of Indonesia are Peaceful, but it seems to me that Muslims in the Middle East are not, and even that is a generalization, because not all Muslims in the Middle East are non-Peaceful…so it is a specific group, not necessarily tied to their Islamic Faith. Then what is it? I think Haim Harari gives a pretty good picture.[a side note:]I am now going to say something that might sound like I am saying that Islam is a Barbaric Religion – it’s hard for me to explain this, mostly because English is not my native tongue, so please keep this in mind.

Put Islam into a historical/cultural perspective and it becomes pretty clear that the Middle East is a Tribal Society, based in Tribal Religion – Yes, Judaism is a Tribal Religion too – the only real difference between Judaism and Islam in this context is TIME. Judaism has been around for some 2000 years longer than Islam, which means that if you give Islam in the Middle East and its adherents another 1500 years (at most) it will have “evolved” beyond explicit Tribal culture. This is not intended as an expression value or judgment. Let us not forget that Saladin the Great founded one of the most advanced and enlightened civilizations the world has ever seen. I do not intend to insult Islam or Muslims, and if I have done so, I apologize.

I think that what Haim Harari is aiming at is not Islam or even Muslims, but this Tribal Culture that is using Islam as a pretext for its craziness. It could just as well have been Xianism or Shintoism or for that matter Judaism, the Religion is just a coat in which these militants are covering themselves. Trying to force Nations to adopt Political Systems that they have not yet acquired the readiness for, through political evolution, such as is now being done in Iraq, is only going to make matters worse. Each nation has to arrive at their own brand of democracy – unfortunately, we in the West are trying to force OUR brand of democracy on the Nations of the Middle/Near East, and like it or not but that is not going to work, because, fast or slow, they have to work out what democracy is within their context.

Some often point to the fact that Israel is a functioning democratic State, yet it is situated in the Middle and Near east. They forget that Israel was founded by Jews raised within the European Sphere, for at least the last 1000 years, and Jews from out-side the Middle/Near East are constantly immigrating to Israel – this gives Israel a different angle of approach.

And again, if I have said anything that is offending or insulting to Muslims or Islam – please tell me, because that was never my intention, and I did so unwittingly.”

Another Friend then commented:

“How does the tribal religion context mix in with violence? I do not see the absolute connection.”

Not Tribal RELIGION – Tribal CULTURE. I pointed out that Islam and Judaism are both Tribal Religions, because it was in Religion that TRIBE originated once upon a time. Most Societies have managed to transition from Tribal to National Culture often through significant adaptations of Religious Belief – the appearance of Islam is one such adaptation – not of the Quran, Torah or the Bible, but of Tribal Religion(s) indigenous to the Near and Middle East. If we “clean out” the religious aspect from the Prophet Muhammad, what we have is a political leader with a vision. A vision of all Arab tribes UNITED into ONE PEOPLE. The best way to unite and solidify a Society is through Religion – The Jews did it, The Egyptians did it…That is why I say that if we give Islam another 1500 years (at most) we will most likely see another Ottoman Empire as it was when it was at its high. Political evolution.

Tribal Culture and violence mix if you think of yourself as part of a Tribe that has to defend the tribal territory from competing tribes. If you look at any terror organization, you will see that they are all individually operating “cells.”
What holds the tribe together is either a common cause or a strong emotional common bond, if there are no such direct causes or emotional bonds, religion is a very strong replacement/connector.

The best analogy I can give is the gang-culture in most larger cities or the example of religious/political cults – William Golding actually describes this very well in Lord of the Flies – what is it that drive the boys in Lord of the Flies? Fear. Fear that is being used/manipulated by the one with either the most resources or the most genial ways of inflicting pain. Haim Harari suggests that the terror organizations’ low-rank members are being manipulated and used by leaders with genial ways of inflicting pain – what greater pain can there be than being ostracized from the only community you are being told you belong in? Or from G-d Himself?

We all know that Islam doesn’t prescribe FGM [Female Genital Mutilation] Yet it is basically only known to Islamic Countries in North and North Central Africa – and it is being enforced/taught to people using distortions of Islam, – why do you think that is? Because of Islam? No, because of a strong tribal culture. Women/girls who manage to escape undergoing FGM are without exception expelled/shunned in some way or other – because they, through no conforming to the customs of the “tribe,” have, in the eyes of the “tribe,” denounced the “tribe.” Humans are social beings, we will do pretty much anything to avoid being alone and on the out-side.

In most tribal societies, the one with the most resources, thankfully, is the one that acts as the Leader, so violence does not come into play unless there’s a competing tribe moving in on the territory.

Two small tribes may even work together for a short period to vanquish a larger tribe. When the goal is achieved the two small tribes will go their separate ways, only to next day be fighting each other again for the disputed hill-top or fishing water – or simply to achieve honor, either for the Tribe or for Head of the Tribe.

If the head of the tribe is G-d or something that replaces G-d, like strong emotions, such as anger, joy or grief, then you have a good incentive. This is true, especially if leaders of the tribe tell you that G-d expects you to die for the Tribe, preferably taking a couple of people from the other tribe with you as you exit from this world. Add to this, fiery rallies, giant meetings, demonstrations – those are nothing but replacements for spiritual experiences.
Just look at Germany during the Third Reich – ordinary, good, moral and ethical Germans were gathering en masse for the privilege to chant “Heil H-tler” and “Sieg Heil” and sing “Horst Wessel” – even those who did not believe in Nazism, who went to one or two of those rallies would find themselves chanting along, salute and all. What was Nazi Germany’s basic chant?

“Us, we the tribe, against them, the other Tribe”.

What was it Hitler used to drive that home? The Versailles Peace Treaty, a moment in history that most Germans thought of with feelings of being humiliated.

Guess what – the Arabs of the Near/Middle East have their own Versailles Peace treaty, only it was signed at Sevres 1920. Most came from that Peace Treaty feeling screwed, royally screwed. The anger many Arab Nations have towards the West is actually well based in history. When the Ottoman Empire fell, many Arabs felt that they had really, really lost something. They had lost what made them ARABS. Oh, they were still Arabs, and they were still Muslims, but their sense of self had been shattered.

Now, most went on, picking up the pieces, without much ado – but within the fabric of the Arab Nations in the Near and Middle East, there were those for whom there were no pieces to pick up, no alternative other than trying to either get it back or at least get even. Those were easy prey for the power hungry and the unscrupulous. What is it most of these Groups/Nations are saying they want? An Islamic/Muslim IDENTITY. They want to become ARABS again, as they were under Muhammad, and under Saladin the Great – and we are telling them, from their perspective that they can’t ever be allowed to be ARABS. No wonder they hate us.

Therefore, when someone comes along and tell these lost Arabs that he can give them this back, and more even, they grab it. Not all – as I said above, not all Arabs feel this way, but the ones with just a little too much hopelessness do. Along the way, I believe they have lost sense of what is really, really driving them. Now it has just become hatred aimed at the “Other Tribe.”

I wrote this in 2006. Now, eight years later, a radical Islamic group, ISIS/IS has emerged out of the Syrian civil war and the Arab spring, declaring an independent Islamic Caliphate.

“The jihadist insurgent group ISIS, or as it now prefers to be called, the Islamic State, appears well on the road to achieving its stated goal: the restoration of the caliphate. The concept, which refers to an Islamic state, presided over by a leader with both political and religious authority, dates from the various Muslim empires that followed the time of the Prophet Muhammad. From the seventh century onward, the caliph was, literally, his “successor.” (NY Times July 2 2014).

This group is a, as far as I can determine a direct descendant of Al-Qaida. Their purpose is not to wreck general havoc in the West. They are very open about wanting a re-establishment and restoration of what the Arabs lost in the Sevres. They do not want the Ottoman Empire. They want the sense of Arab identity they had under Saladin.

The Ayyubid empire under Saladin in 1188.

The Ayyubid empire under Saladin in 1188.

You and I can argue that they are crazy; that they have no idea what they have taken on, and so on. We might be right. We might be wrong. In the end, we will find that forcing democracy on others, or dictating to others what they should do, is a bad move. By consistently and relentlessly pushing our Western points of view and ways of doing things on the Arab world, we are not only painting ourselves into a corner that can only lead to more military ‘solutions’, we are forcing the Arab world to defend itself through military offense. We are literally causing the bloodshed we push our ways on others to avoid.

ISIS controlled or claimed territories July 2014

ISIS controlled or claimed territories July 2014

 

 

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Posted in Islam, Muslims, Q'uran | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sanctimonius Bullshit Part 2

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on August 4, 2007


After I commented on Sanctimonious Bullshit in response to the guy who wrote the original quote, I decided that my response was deserving of a Blog Entry all of its own.

“Thanks for the comment. You made some very interesting assumptions. First of all, I’m not “an adherent of one of the most murderous religions on earth.” No more than I am an adherent for racism, just because many in this nation used to be (and many still are) racists. Do you disown your family because of past mistakes they’ve made? Could Christianity not have changed for the better over the centuries? I denounce the Crusades and other murderous acts of Christians. They were not “of God.” That’s not what Jesus taught. So, no, I won’t be saying that we can’t judge “Xtianism” by a “few bad eggs” during the past 2000 years. I will be saying, “Judge Christianity for what it is TODAY.” No different than you wanting to be judged for who you are today, not in your past.”

Did I say one word about the Crusades? No I did not. Because I am judging Xianism for what it is today – and it is still murderous. It still preaches the Global conversion of Jews, Pagans, Muslims and others, to whom it’s equal to spiritual suicide to convert to a religion not of their ancestors. Unfortunately this command to commit spiritual murder is in the Greek Scriptures, along side a whole lot of other Anti-other-religions speech.

If you believe that Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Hindus, Buddhists and all others who are not Xians should convert to Xianism, then you are an adherent of one of the most murderous religions on earth – TODAY.

I have been trashed by ordinary, non-hostile Xians for using the terms “many Xians” the same way you used many in “So here’s a religion in which many of its followers are seeking to kill Christians” – so somehow it is a generalizing term – besides during the last 6 years to date Xian soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed more Muslims than Muslims have killed Xians in the last 1400 years…

I would not have objected if you had said “Radical Islamists”, but you didn’t – you generalized.

Now, what is good for the goose should be good for the gander, Nuh?

“Will you deny that a growing number of Islamics are extremists who wish to rid this planet of anyone who is not Islamic?”

Actually, I would – I would say that is a fear filled and Islamophobic hyperbole. Why, because the number of Radical Islamists during the last 1400 years have been constant, just as it has been constant when it comes to Radical Xianists. What have changed though is the way we communicate in the World, both Virtually and in 3-D. Before 9/11 the US didn’t bother to monitor the Arab World – but nothing have changed since 9/11 – just the way people get around.

Saying that people are not “of G-d” because they misbehave when it comes to your own religion and not extending the same “excuse” to the “Muslims” that do not represent Islam is sanctimonious.

I will comment more, but now I have to relinquish the computer to my wife -)

next installment:

By the way, how many radicals of 300 million does it take to create a dangerous situation?

Isn’t this just another way of spreading the Islamophobic hyperbole, I think it is – I could counter with saying that a radical fraction of 2 billion Xians is as dangerous – and name those too – the people adhering to the message of the book series “Left Behind”, which among other things teach children to kill non-believers, the members of the American Family Association, and other more or less militant, aggressive Xian Fundamentalist “ministries”. Now, those are Radical Xianists, and by all means let’s not forget the White Supremacist Groups, that also profess to be Xians, and the groups that blow up abortion clinics, murder doctors and nurses that are willing to perform abortions…good Xian kids who go gay-bashing as a weekend pass time – or for that matter people who think like Ann Coulter “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”

“Third, I have read about judging, AND I pray about it. You had no problem quoting Jesus in Matthew 7:1, but you didn’t finish the quote:

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.”

Jesus qualifies our judging. He says that the way we judge others is the way he’s going to judge us.”

Now if we just read it – and not attribute the judging to Yeshu ben Miriam – what do we get? Right – as you judge others you will be judged by them – what goes around comes around – what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

If I’m judged according to my blog statement, I don’t think I have much concern. Praying for a religion that has a growing radical element is NOT judging them.

But you are judging them – by deeming that they need your prayers – how the h-ll do you know that? You don’t. You assume they do, judged by your standards, and your ideas of what Prayer is – of which you can know nothing, neither of us do. The very idea that other people are in need of your prayers is arrogant and presumptious.

It’s praying for them. My prayer for Islamics is that they WILL be a peaceful religion and stop those within their movement who seek to radicalize it.

Well, you sure aren’t helping things by putting out Blog entries that only serve to heat things up, rather than cool them down, through Islamophobic hyperbole and generalizations. On the contrary, you are only adding to ideas like that of Ann Coulter.

By the way, that’s the same prayer I often lift up for Christianity. I wouldn’t call that hypocrisy. I’d call it consistency.

That you can do, but leave the rest of the world alone. Really.

Posted in Islamophobia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Condemning Antisemitism, applauding Islamophobia…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on August 2, 2007


Islamophobia – unreasonable or completely justified?

Islamophobia is a fear or prejudice towards Muslims and the religion of Islam.

However, this fear or prejudice is completely and certainly justified.[…]

In Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg openly discriminates against Muslim immigrants, making Muslims, and only Muslims, take a test of loyalty – answering questions about attitudes to Homosexuality, Dress sense, Domestic violence and religious issues. This has been referred to as Islamophobic and racist.

But this is necessary for this group and in fact should be similarly done in this country. When French Muslims try to burn half of Paris, when British-born Muslims bomb their own subways, when Spanish Muslims destroy their own railways, and NO OTHER GROUP or NATIONALITY does likewise, is it not only prudent but absolutely essential that we question Muslims on loyalty? As to domestic violence, is it not a requirement of their religion to murder their wives or daughters if there has been a perceived ding against their Honor? Aren’t most complaints of servant abuse against Muslim masters who have no respect or regard for women?

Now, compare that to this Blog entry – which the guy used to comment on my Page on Benjamin Freedman’s 1961 Speech: 13 things to blame on the Jews in which he derides people, organizations, Arabs and others for blaming things on the Jews that they are not responsible for.

I’d call this a serious case of hypocrisy and double standard.

This guy doesn’t realize that his reasoning around Muslims is exactly the same as the reasoning Antisemites start out with, BEFORE they start making up things to blame on the Jews.

One part of this Entry is especially chilling and enlightening:

“When French Muslims try to burn half of Paris, when British-born Muslims bomb their own subways, when Spanish Muslims destroy their own railways, and NO OTHER GROUP or NATIONALITY does likewise, is it not only prudent but absolutely essential that we question Muslims on loyalty? – compare to the reasoning in France before and during the Dreyfus-Affair:

Anti-Semitism was pervasive in France during the 1890s. With the formal inception of the French Third Republic in 1871, in the 1880s nationalist politicians such as Georges Boulanger, Edouard Drumont (founder of the Antisemitic League of France) and Paul Déroulède (founder of Ligue des Patriotes) sought to capitalize on the new fervor for a unified Catholic France. French Jews were described by the author George L. Mosse as a “nation within a nation

One of the most common and prevalent accusations against Jews in both Europe and the US, over the time of history, is that of “Dual Loyalty”:

“A classic example of political dual loyalty is a person who is a dual citizen or who is an immigrant living in one country, although the term is sometimes used in connection with people that have religious, cultural or political ties to a political interest other than the country of their primary residence. As opposed to ethical dual loyalty, which is often a self-described situation, political dual loyalty typically appears as an attack or a pejorative accusation designed to target and discredit a particular person or group, and to call into question the loyalty of that group to the country where they reside. As such, the accusation of “dual loyalty” is often used or co-opted by racist or xenophobic groups within a country, regardless of the original intent of the accusation.

What we have here is a guy who is presumably pointing to Antisemitic conspiracy theories and condemning them while at the same time suggesting that Muslims (note the generalization…) are guilty of something traditionally being pinned on the Jews…

Bernie – I am impressed at how you mange to put both your feet in your mouth while having your head up your own ass so far that you must be eating yesterday’s lunch.

Sweaty Feet with a side order of Yesterday’s Lunch.

Bon Appetite!

Posted in Double Standards, Islamophobia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Quran in the crapper – A Hate Crime?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on August 1, 2007


Quran

You know, there’s a fine line between trying to get people to be sensitive and legislating in favor of people to avoid offending them. I could understand if someone beat a Muslim with a Quran. That’s a hate crime. Desecrating it? That’s hateful, but it’s not a crime. We can burn flags, we can piss on a statue of Jesus, we sure as hell can put Qurans in the toilet. I don’t care if it was intended to “intimidate” someone. There was no threat of violence, it was just a Quran in the crapper.


We cannot turn a blind eye to the message sent by a Quran thrown in the toilet, and pretend that it’s just a prank or doesn’t have meaning. Because it does, especially if there is an over all presence of religious or ethnic prejudices and phobias being circulated in society in general.“Where they burn books, they soon start to burn people…”

Throwing a Quran in a toilet might not be a violent hate crime, but it is certainly an expression of hate, and that is how it is understood by Muslims. It cannot be understood any other way in the Anti-Muslim climate that is prevalent in the US after 9/11. Hell, hating Muslims is almost a requirement to be considered a patriot.

One of the comments on the blog entry I quoted above reads:

“A hate crime is, partially, an act of terrorism.

Just wait and follow me a minute.

Let’s take your stereotypical hate crime. Klan members take cross, burn it on black family’s lawn. What happens? It sends a message to the family in the home, and the black families around that home: “You’re not welcome, we hate you, and we can very well do very bad things to you.”

Terrorism by its nature is meant to strike terror into the hearts of others who are similar to the victims who get hit. It’s to send threatening message to mess up their way of life and intimidate them.

Putting a holy book in a toilet is not intimidating. It’s immature.”

It’s very interesting that this commentator doesn’t draw the logical consequences of what she is saying – using one message to say:”We hate you…” is a hate crime, but not another, hm – how is telling someone “We hate you…” not intimidating, especially if the holiest item to them is used to say “We hate you”? If someone decided to burn Torah scrolls or throw tzitziyot in the toilet, I sure would read that as message that I as a Jew is hated for simply being a Jew.

Unless this is seen as a hate crime and dealt with as such, what will it be next – throwing Muslims in the toilet?

These two people need a couple of lessons in empathy and imaginative thinking. They also need to have their Liberal Cards revoked, because they are a shame to Liberals all over.

Posted in Islamophobia | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Sanctimonious Bullshit

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 29, 2007


Prayer For Muslims

This morning, as I was listening to my local Christian radio station, they were announcing the coming of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. The Christian community was being encouraged to pray for the Muslim people during this time.

That struck me as being very interesting. I understand that many people believe Islam to be a religion of peace, but I do not agree. I think most Muslims want to live at peace with the world, but the growing radical movement wants the destruction of all other religious groups. So here’s a religion in which many of its followers are seeking to kill Christians, but Christians are being asked to pray for them.

Sounds like the upside-down kingdom Christ talked about while on earth. Let’s pray hard!

“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44)!


*lol*What a load of sanctimonious bullshit! Coming from an adherent of one of the most murderous religions on earth. Next he will be saying that we cannot judge Xtianism by a “few bad eggs” during the last 2000 years – yet that is exactly what he is doing with Islam.He is judging an entire religion and all its adherents as “not peaceful” on account of a fraction of 300 million Muslims…How about reading about not judging instead of praying?“Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. ”

Posted in Islamophobia | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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