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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Western Intellectual vs. Islamist Shiek

A Canadian buddy of Republicus (T.S.) is wont to find and share with your host excellent material you don't usually come across in the mainstream media.

(e.g. the sermon by the Palestinian shiek in the June 22, 2005 post "Saddam Had To Go" was provided by good T.S.)

On February 21, 2006, MEMRITV released a clip featuring an interview with Arab-American psychologist Wafa Sultan on Al-Jazeera TV.

During the interview, she debated Dr.Ibrahim Al-Khouli, who accused Sultan of being a "heretic" for attacking current aspects of Islamic society. Republicus has excerpts of that here.

Following that are a few excerpts from a debate with one Bin Mohammad that aired on Al-Jazeera TV on July 26, 2005.

The exchanges are very interesting and informative. It smashes some stereotypes while re-enforcing others.

What struck Republicus about Bin Muhammad's arguments were how uncannily similar they are to the "antiwar," Blame-America, Bush-hating Left's, from the hypocritical projections and inversions to the bewailing of the world's victimization at the hands of "imperial" America (with the obligatory reminders of the fate of the Native Americans, and the slavery of Africans as the proof in the pudding).

Republicus has noted the parallels between the antiwar rhetoric and the anti-American grievances of terrorists in past posts and has suggested a nexus between the two, i.e. that the Bush/America-hating, antiwar Leftists is reading from the same script that the Jihadists are reading from.

You decide:

Wafa Sultan: The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.

[...]

Host: I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims?

Wafa Sultan: Yes, that is what I mean.

[...]

Host: Who came up with the concept of a clash of civilizations? Was it not Samuel Huntington? It was not bin Laden. I would like to discuss this issue, if you don't mind...

Wafa Sultan: The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: "I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger." When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to start this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels.

My colleague has said that he never offends other people's beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves? Once, he calls them Ahl Al-Dhimma; another time he calls them the "People of the Book"; and yet another time he compares them to apes and pigs, or he calls the Christians "those who incur Allah's wrath." Who told you that they are 'People of the Book?' They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to call them "those who incur Allah's wrath," or "those who have gone astray," and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others?

[…]

I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it.

Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli: Are you a heretic?

Wafa Sultan: You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural...

Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli: If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you, since you have blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran...

Wafa Sultan: These are personal matters that do not concern you."

[...]

Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don't throw them at me. You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people's beliefs are not your concern, whether they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs.

[...]

The Jews have come from the tragedy [of the Holocaust], and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. Fifteen million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.

Why does a young Muslim man, in the prime of life, with a full life ahead, go and blow himself up? How and why does he blow himself up in a bus full of innocent passengers?

In our countries, religion is the sole source of education, and is the only spring from which that terrorist drank until his thirst was quenched. He was not born a terrorist, and did not become a terrorist overnight. Islamic teachings played a role in weaving his ideological fabric, thread by thread, and did not allow other sources - I am referring to scientific sources - to play a role. It was these teachings that distorted this terrorist and killed his humanity. It was not [the terrorist] who distorted the religious teachings and misunderstood them, as some ignorant people claim.

When you recite to a child still in his early years the verse "They will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off" - regardless of this verse's interpretation, and regardless of the reasons it was conveyed or its time - you have made the first step towards creating a great terrorist...

[…]

Bin Muhammad: The guest from America asked how a young man could blow up a bus. If only she had asked how a president could blow up a peaceful nation in Iraq. How does a president help the arch-killer of occupied Palestine? Why doesn't she ask where Hitler was brought up - Hitler, who murdered 50 million innocent people? Why doesn't she ask where the people who dropped two atom bombs on Japan were educated? Who killed three million innocent Vietnamese? Who annihilated the Indians? Who has maintained imperialism to this day? Who waged the Spanish civil war, which exacted a toll of 600,000 in 36 months? Why don't we ask these questions? Who has over 15,000 nuclear warheads - Muslims or the non-Muslims? The Muslims or the Americans? The Muslims or the Europeans? We want an answer. Where was Bush educated - if education is really what makes a person a criminal?

[…]

Wafa Sultan: Murder is terrorism regardless of time or place, but when it is committed as a decree from Allah, this is another matter...

[…]

The Crusader wars about which the professor is talking - these wars came after the Islamic religious teachings, and as a response to these teachings. This is the law of action and reaction. The Islamic religious teachings have incited to the rejection of the other, to the denial of the other, and to the killing of the other. Have they not incited to the killing of Jews and Christians? If we had heard that a tribe in a distant corner of China has a holy book and religious teachings calling to kill Muslims - would the Muslims stand idly by in the face of such teachings?

The Crusader wars came after these Islamic religious teachings. When these Islamic teachings were delivered, America did not exist on the face of the earth, nor was Israel in Palestine...

Why doesn't he talk about the Muslim conquests that preceded all the wars he is talking about? Why doesn't he mention that when Tariq bin Ziyyad entered Andalusia with his armies, he said to his people: "The sea is behind you, and the enemy is in front?" How can you storm a peaceful country, and consider all its peaceful inhabitants to be your enemies, merely because you have the right to spread your religion? Should the religion be spread by the sword and through fighting?

[…]

Bin Muhammad: Who invented slavery in recent centuries? Who colonized the other - us or them? Did Algeria colonize France, or vice versa? Did Egypt colonize England, or vice versa? We are the victims...

[…]

I am not saying that killing innocent people is nice. I say that all innocent people should be protected. But at the same time, we must start with the innocent among the Muslims. There are millions of innocent people among us, while the innocent among you - and innocent they are - number only dozens, hundreds, or thousands, at the most...

[…]

Wafa Sultan: Can you explain to me the killing of 100,000 children, women, and men in Algeria, using the most abominable killing methods? Can you explain to me the killing of 15,000 Syrian civilians? Can you explain to me the abominable crime in the military artillery school in Aleppo? Can you explain the crime in Al-Asbaqiya neighborhood of Damascus, Syria? Can you explain the attack of the terrorists on the peaceful village of Al-Kisheh in Upper Egypt, and the massacre of 21 Coptic peasants? Can you explain to me what is going on in Indonesia, Turkey, and Egypt, even though these are Islamic countries which opposed the American intervention in Iraq, and which don't have armies in Iraq, yet were not spared by the terrorists? Can you explain these phenomena, which took place in Arab countries? Was all this revenge on America or Israel? Or were they merely to satisfy bestial wild instincts aroused in them by religious teachings, which incite to rejection of the other, to the killing of the other, and to the denial of the other. When Saddam Hussein buried 300,000 Shi'ites and Kurds alive, we did not hear a single Muslim protesting. Your silence served to acknowledge the legitimacy of these killings, didn't it?

[…]

What do you want from me? To speak evil of American society? I've never said that America is the eternal city of Plato, but I did say it was the eternal city of Wafa Sultan. The idealism of American society was enough to allow me to realize my humanity. I came to this country with fear.

Bin Muhammad: Along with the Indians? Along with the Indians? What was left of the Indians? What do you have to say about the Indians?

Wafa Sultan: Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. America was founded in 1776, approximately 300 years later. You cannot blame America - as a constitution, a regime, and a state - for killing the Indians.

5 Comments:

Blogger John said...

Bin Muhammad asked:

"Who has over 15,000 nuclear warheads - Muslims or the non-Muslims? The Muslims or the Americans? The Muslims or the Europeans? We want an answer."

The Americans and Europeans (duh).

The question is, who is more likely to use them?

The West, as he says, has their hands on 15,000 warheads but hasn't used them since they were first invented (back in the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to end a world war).

Meanwhile, Jihadists get their hands on the controls of three commercial airliners in the new millennium and...

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Republicus,

I don't think that the Muslim fanatic's views have anything to do with the left.

I'm moderate; to me that means I try not to attach myself to either the right or the left. I think it's appalling that this woman has to suffer abuse and possible threats to her life every time she engages in a debate. That is the truth. It has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat, right or left.

If this lady were to be murdered by Islamists, I should not have to use this event as a justification for my moderate political stance...violence is wrong: period.

6:46 AM  
Blogger John said...

Anonymous said:

"I don't think that the Muslim fanatic's views have anything to do with the left."

Let me make something clear off the bat: Republicus is not accusing Dr. Al-Khouli or even Bin Muhammad of carrying out the terrorist acts of fanatics, but they are quite evidently sympathetic with them.

Furthermore, I didn't mean to suggest that the Muslim fanatics are in direct cooperation with American "antiwar" Lefties.

What Republicus said was:

"What struck Republicus about Bin Muhammad's arguments were how uncannily similar they are to the...Left's.
[...]
Republicus has noted the parallels between the antiwar rhetoric and the anti-American grievances of terrorists in past posts and has suggested a nexus between the two, i.e. that the Bush/America-hating, antiwar Leftists is reading from the same script that the Jihadists are reading from."

You decide:

Bin Muhammad: "The guest from America asked how a young man could blow up a bus. If only she had asked how a president could blow up a peaceful nation in Iraq. How does a president help the arch-killer of occupied Palestine? Why doesn't she ask where Hitler was brought up - Hitler, who murdered 50 million innocent people?"

Inversion: America as "the terrorist." Israel as the "arch-killer" in Palestine. Associations--however subtle--of Bush with Hitler.

Those don't sound to you like stuff you would read in Leftist, antiwar literature?

Bin Muhammad continues:

"Why doesn't she ask where the people who dropped two atom bombs on Japan were educated?"

That's Lefty antiwar reasoning and fixation.

"Who killed three million innocent Vietnamese?"

So's that.

"Who annihilated the Indians?"

That too (the running theme being Blame America First).

"Who has maintained imperialism to this day?"

"Imperialism." Ring a bell?

"Who waged the Spanish civil war, which exacted a toll of 600,000 in 36 months?"

Right. The evil right-wing fascist Franco attacked the noble Lefty pacifists.

(Seriously, Franco was a dictator, but the Lefty insurgents were neither noble nor pacifists).

"Why don't we ask these questions?"

You always do, but you never like the answer, so you keep asking.

"Who has over 15,000 nuclear warheads..."

See my my first comment up top.

"Where was Bush educated?"

Yale University.

"If education is really what makes a person a criminal?"

That's a trick question. It premises Bush's criminality.

Anyway, that's precisely the sort of unhinged stuff you do read in lefty, "antiwar" literature.

Bin Muhammad: "Who invented slavery in recent centuries?"

Come on, Bin. The West wiped out slavery.

Where is it still occurring?

Hello? Where? What? Republicus can't hear you!

Anyway, yes, that too, is a run-of-mill Lefty America-hating reminder to "prove" something, i.e.:

"What about slavery?"

We abolished it, that's what.

"Who colonized the other - us or them?"

Right. "Imperialism." *yawn*

"Did Algeria colonize France, or vice versa? Did Egypt colonize England, or vice versa? We are the victims..."

Group victimology. Typical liberalism.

Anyway, Miss Sultan pointed out the shameless hypocrisy to that charge.

Mediaeval Islam was the most fiercely aggressive imperialist in history.

The Ottoman Turks didn't do too bad, either.

But of course, because it was done under the standard of Islam, THAT'S OKAY!

That's the way Allah wants it!

But that is a double-standard.

"I am not saying that killing innocent people is nice. I say that all innocent people should be protected. But..."

"But," Bin?

"...at the same time, we must start with the innocent among the Muslims. There are millions of innocent people among us, while the innocent among you - and innocent they are - number only dozens, hundreds, or thousands, at the most..."

Go to hell, Bin.

And yes, that too can be discerned coming out of the Left, that there are "millions" of saintly, well-meaning "innocent" liberals and maybe a dozen or so--if that--"Anglo/Christo fascist Bush-Supporting/Republican/conservatives"who can not possibly be--ipso facto--"innocent" but have some redeeming qualities (like if they happen to be against the war and/or are Pro-Abortion).

In that case, they can escape the executioner's axe and live among the "enlightened" and "superior" liberal in political dhimmitude.

Bin Muhammad: "Along with the Indians? Along with the Indians? What was left of the Indians? What do you have to say about the Indians?"

Oo! He got the American citizen there! FOUR times he drilled it into her!

Anyway, there's the proof in the pudding. Bin Muhammad's gripes are UNCANNILY similar to the "antiwar," Blame-America, Bush-hating Left's.

May Richard the Lionheart be with you. (heh-heh)

Anonymous also said:

"Violence is wrong: period."

Good man. But sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

Unless you want to kick back and let it die out on it's own after it consumes everything there is to burn.

6:30 PM  
Blogger theodorestreet said...

Hi John,

I noticed you got rather riled up after a certain Mr. Anonymous posted a comment...As a Canadian I don't make it a habit of emulating American political-cultural habits such as attaching oneself to a single political part for life. We don't have the same historical connections such as Conferate Army++Plantation Owner++Jewish Intellectual++gay shepard++draft dodger to Democrat Party, versus Union Army++Pilgrim Descendant++Robber Baron++Born Again Christian--Redneck Hillbilly to Republican Party.

Most people and politicians in Canada generally try to position themselves in the centre. Notable exceptions include media baron Conrad Black, who is of course in deep shit.

We're a little worried about PM Stephen Harper, since his riding is in that largely Born Again Christian province (Whacko Pentacostal and such)...but in fact the lad was born in Toronto ++ he has a minority government so he will have to draft legislation that other centrist MPs would vote for; if not: a non-confidence motion.

I generally think it is foolish to politicize the critique of Islam and the variations -- we need unity against the enemy of radical Islam or Islamism. I don't see what benefit we get from all the right versus left attack concerning each side's position about Islam.

Politicians are essentially powerless against Islamist voices. There is no meaningful consequence: people are rarely deported to their originating countries, and and most politicians would never dare consider historical penalties such as expropriation of homes and business, or internment camps.

Talk to ya later...

1:10 PM  
Blogger John said...

Hey Terry. Good to see ya. (That is Republicus' Canadian buddy, "T.S.").

"I noticed you got rather riled up after a certain Mr. Anonymous posted a comment..."

"Riled up?" Nah.

"Most people and politicians in Canada generally try to position themselves in the centre."

Yeah. Everyone's a "centrist."

"We're a little worried about PM Stephen Harper, since his riding is in that largely Born Again Christian province (Whacko Pentacostal and such)..."

Right. The "Red Province."

"I generally think it is foolish to politicize the critique of Islam and the variations -- we need unity against the enemy of radical Islam or Islamism."

"Unity against the enemy of radical Islam?"

I assume that was a grammatical slip (no problem, I do it alla time).

Yes, unfortunately, however, it appears that--by the numbers-- the "radicals" within Islam are the moderates.

"Politicians are essentially powerless against Islamist voices. There is no meaningful consequence: people are rarely deported to their originating countries, and most politicians would never dare consider historical penalties such as expropriation of homes and business, or internment camps."

The indiscriminate rounding up of people based on their ethnicity is a thing of the past.

But what about their beliefs? e.g. a belief that the only good infidel is a dead one?

We can't do anything about that, either.

However, the fear of falling back into that has created safeguards that make it difficult to go after people--or even eavesdrop on them--based on reasonable suspicions.

And you have the ACLU fighting for the American civil rights of foreign (!) enemy combatants--incarcerated offshore-- and speaking of them as "innocents" (i.e. victims of fascism).


"Talk to ya later..."

Great.

6:15 PM  

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