Sunday, October 5, 2008

'Why is Everybody Always Picking on Me?' - The United Nations, Muslims, Zionists, and 'Those People'

I started this post Friday, when I read about three particularly zealous Muslims in England, who were defending Islam from "Jewel of Medina" with a firebomb or two.

That sort of thing is simply not done in Her Majesty's United Kingdom, so now they're in trouble with British legal authorities. The incident reminded me of those few times when a Muslim in America committed a crime that seemed to be related to terrorism and got in trouble: and the drearily familiar complaints about profiling and Islamophobia.

As sometimes happens when I start writing, this post grew. In case you're interested in finding your way around, here's a set of links to the headings: I posted "United Nations Treats Islam More Equally Than Other Religions" last Friday. It's about non-binding United Nations Resolution 62/145. The resolution is called "Combating Defamation of Religion." The idea of the resolution is to stop defamation of all religions.

Particularly Islam. Because Muslims are being picked on.

It's true. They are. Sometimes, someone is picked on, just because of a "Muslim" name.
  • Just last month, a couple of security guards at Ben Gurion airport in Israel made Abdur-Rahim Jackson dance before they let him out of the terminal
  • Which proves that Zionists are behind the attacks on Resolution 62/145
  • Or, not
I think the Jackson incident indicates that there are jerks everywhere, and that bureaucrats are almost as widely distributed.

My "Combating Defamation of Religion" inspired a comment that began, "The major push against this is actually coming from Zionists and Americans in cahoots with Zionists...."

Since I'm an American, and am dubious about Resolution 62/145, I'm probably in cahoots with the Zionists. Funny, I hadn't realized that.

And still don't.

To be fair, that 'Zionist' comment did bring up a valid point. Judging from my experience, the American education system in the fifties and sixties didn't do the best job of describing Nazi Germany's treatment of 'non-Aryans.' It was several years before I realized that Poles, cripples, and others were killed, as well as Jews.

Before blaming that on Zionists and American dupes and stooges, though, I'll consider the possibility that the focus on the mistreatment of Jews in Nazi Germany was the result of not wanting to be like Hitler, the fact that most of the Holocaust victims were Jews, and some of the Poles were Jews. What, you thought that Germany was the only European nation with Jews?

On the other hand, there's been a great deal of attention given, in academia at least, to the non-Jewish 'non-Aryans' and the Holocaust (with exceptions, of course). These days, we should be quite aware that Hitler and company targeted quite a few groups, like Gypsies (or Romanies, or whatever), homosexuals, women, the disabled. Fair enough.

Although I wonder where the author of a book on women, the Holocaust, and the Soviet Gulag, got the numbers for her assertion that 6/11ths of the Holocaust victims were Jews.

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Why is Everybody Always Picking on the Muslims?

The United Nations resolution refers to "the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001...."

Muslims are a minority in America, about 0.6% of the population, I've read. That should make them victims of religious profiling.

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Christian Persecution of Muslims in America - a Reality Check
Earlier this year the Christian Identity movement burned the Islamic Center of Columbia, Tennessee! That just shows what those Christians are like!!

Doesn't it?

As I wrote last February, the three guys who wrote "white power" and "we run the world" on the Columbia mosque and then torched it were "...members of the Christian Identity movement... arrested Saturday:
  • Eric Ian Baker, 32
  • Michael Corey Golden, 23
  • Jonathan Edward Stone, 19
That "Christian Identity movement" isn't one organization, but a sort of network of 'a theology that is associated with several groups, such as the Aryan Nation.' ...

Considering how much is known about Christian beliefs and practices these days, I probably need to say this: Those three bozos aren't your typical Christian, and arson isn't part of the Christian belief system.

The Christian churches in Columbia, Tennessee, are somewhat more representative of Christianity in America: Until they could raise enough money to help the Muslims re-build their mosque, they offered the Islamic community space in their churches.

Which is one reason I'd rather live here than in, say, Saudi Arabia.

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Suspecting "The Whole Muslim Community"?
It could be argued that, although some Americans aren't Islamophobic, the American government is: not convincingly, though.

It's true that Muslims have run afoul of American law. For example (I'm leaving out the 'allegedlys,' which would get pretty repetitious):
  • Liberty City Seven
    • Told an FBI Agent they wanted to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago
  • Naveed Haq
    • Shot up Seattle's Jewish Federation Building
    • Killed one woman
    • Wounded five others
    • Had a good reason
      • He was mad about the Jews and how they were running the country
  • Houssein Zorkot
    • Posted on his Web site that he was launching a personal jihad
    • Showed up in a nearby park
      • Wearing camouflage paint
      • Holding a loaded AK-47
  • Youssef Megahed and Ahmed Mohamed
    • Who were just
      • Screaming down U.S. Highway 176
      • Near the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig and a naval weapons station
      • With explosive devices
        • Pipe bombs, specifically
These people were either:
  1. Victims of systematic persecution of Muslims
  2. A real threat
    • And/or, in the case of the Liberty City Seven, people with very, very little sense
My choice is option 2.

I don't see that these cases prove Islamophibic tendencies in American institutions, any more than the execution of that clean-cut American boy, Timothy McVeigh, proves anti-white tendencies.

(That list was adapted from "The "Liberty City Seven" - American Nitwits and Al Qaeda" (March 27, 2008).)

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Muslims Defending Islam
Gibson Square Books, a British publisher, was going to release a book next month, called "Jewel of Medina." (Some) British Muslims didn't like the book, since it was obviously an insult to Islam, so they had a shot at torching the publisher's house. Allegedly.

The book was written by an American, Sherry Jones, has already been dropped by Random House, but now it looks like Beaufort Books will sell it in America.

Other British Muslims said that torching someone's house isn't right, even if that person is publishing a 'disgusting' book.

The fuss over "Jewell of Medina" reminds me of the situation ten years ago, when Salmand Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" made international news. The last I heard, Mr. Rushdie is still under a death sentence, and the fatwa can't be withdrawn, since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is dead. Rules are rules. The fatwa doesn't just target Rushdie: the publishers can be killed, too. It's the duty of 'all good Muslims,' Ayatollah Khomeini said.

Remember, he said that, not me.

Mr. Rushdie is still alive, as far as I know. 'Good Muslims' haven't been idle, though. The score, so far:
  • Hitoshi Igarashi, Japanese language translator of the book
    • stabbed to death
  • Ettore Capriolo, Italian language translator
    • stabbed and seriously injured
    • William Nygaard, publisher in Norway
      • Barely survived an attempted assassination in Oslo
    • Aziz Nesin, Turkish language translator
      • Targeted in events leading to the Sivas massacre
From one point of view, the Sivas massacre wasn't a total wash: although Aziz Nesin survived, 37 or so other people were killed.

Then, there was Theo van Gogh, whose work on "Submission" probably had something to do his murder, Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch politico who was "anti-immigration," and was shot just before national elections.

And, of course, that 9/11 incident left quite an impression.

(Movie makers don't just offend Muslims. Back in 1988, Martin Scorsese directed "The Last Temptation of Christ." Quite a few Christians didn't appreciate it at all. I'll indulge myself with a link to this review of it, from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops.)

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'More Victimized Than Thou:' Probably Not the Best Attitude

Not all Christians are white-power arsonists, not all Muslims are terrorists and/or murderers. I think that there are reasonable Christians, and reasonable Muslims.

Earlier this year, I wrote about an incident involving the Pope and a group of Muslims in Los Angeles. They were insulted by the Pope's baptizing a Muslim convert to Catholicism. The Muslim Public Affairs Council of Los Angeles raised an urbane fuss, which got most of the press coverage. As I wrote at the time, It's a relief that the Fiqh Council of North America spokesman said " 'Popes come and go, but the church is there.' " That's a level of understanding that I haven't always seen expressed by non-Islamic Americans.

That's one of the reasons I've got the Fiqh Council of North America in the blogroll.

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A Secret Enemy Makes Life So Much Easier
Then, there are the people who are convinced that They are out to get them.

Who the They is varies from individual to individual, depending on culture, beliefs, and psychiatric condition. Here are some of the dark forces that I've heard or read about:
  • Communists
  • Capitalists
  • Hollywood
  • The military-industrial complex
  • All people who are
    • Black
    • White
    • Yellow
    • Red
    • Educated
    • Uneducated
  • A secret cabal of
I think one of the reasons that it's so popular to blame Them for what's going wrong is that it
  • Eliminates uncertainty
    • And having to think
  • Provides someone else to blame the problems on
Life is so much easier, when analysis of issues can be replaced by blaming it all on Zionists, capitalists, or lizard-people.

About the 'oppression' of Muslims, particularly in America, I agree that Muslims have been arrested. But not because they were Muslims. American law takes a dim view of shooting, stabbing, or blowing up people: even if it's for a religious reason.

I think that more Muslims might take a look at what some of their 'defenders' have been up to for the last several years. Make that decades. Groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban have worked very hard to associate Islam and terrorism.

These days, if a group of Muslims tell someone they think is with Al Qaeda that they want to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, it would be a little odd if the police didn't talk with people in the Muslim community, and ask questions.

Think of it this way: If a Lutheran said that he planned to blow up Saddleback Church because they didn't follow Martin Luther, it wouldn't be altogether unreasonable to ask questions in the Lake Forest, Irvine, and San Clemente Lutheran communities. That's not Luthranophobia: that's good police work.

A Minnesota imam wrote a book, in which he said, "...If I doubt and I fear my neighbor, it's not a healthy society...."

True enough. The problem, as I see it, is both that Those Non-Muslims fear Muslims, and that some Muslims have given non-Muslims a reason to fear followers of Islam - or at least be intelligently cautious.

It's human nature to be a little apprehensive about Muslims, when people who (claim to) defend Islam:
  • Blow up a few embassies
  • Bomb a barracks with Marines inside
  • Drop an airliner on a village
  • Knock over a couple of skyscrapers and kill a few thousand people
All those beheadings in Iraq didn't help Islam's public image, either.

There's no question about it: From the daft (at best) security guards at Ben Gurion airport, to those three arsonists in Tennessee, there are people who hate and/or distrust Muslims.

And, there are Muslims who feel the same way about people who wear trousers.

As a devout Catholic in a distinctly non-Catholic country, I know a little about what it's like to be a minority. In a situation like that, I think it's better to communicate what your beliefs and practices are, rather than go the 'I'm a victim' route.

I have no doubt that, if more Muslims in America did what a mosque in Fargo, North Dakota did - encouraging people to come in and learn about Islam - there would, ten years from now, still be people in this country who think that all Muslims are terrorists.

But I think there would be fewer of them.

In the news: A little background Related posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.


akhter said...

You carry on barking puppy, no one is bothered!!

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon: A Final Admonition

Beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Makkah, Saudi Arabia around 570 C.E. He is an example for all of humanity. He was a remarkable man at all times. He excelled in all walks of life by being a prophet, ruler, philosopher, orator, soldier, husband, friend, father, uncle, nephew, and a grandfather. He was a man of love, patience, courage, wisdom, generosity, intelligence and magnitude who inspired millions of lives throughout the world.

God says in the Qur’an that he was sent as a mercy for the people of the world.

We sent thee not save as a mercy for the peoples. (The Holy Quran: Al-Anbiya:107)

His Prophetic Mission started when he was forty years old, around 610 C.E., and continued until 632 C.E. From the path of ignorance, mankind was lead to the straight path and was blessed with the guidance of Allah’s Last Prophet.

Shortly before his death, Prophet Muhammad delivered a final sermon. This final sermon was not only a reminder to his followers but also an important admonition. The final sermon confirms the end of his Prophetic Mission.

The tenth A.H. of the Islamic Calendar is considered to be one of the most significant years, for three reasons. Firstly, this was the year when the Prophet delivered his Last Sermon during his farewell pilgrimage to Mecca. Secondly, this was the year where number of deputation waited upon the Prophet to pay homage or to make peace with the Muslims. Thirdly, it was the golden period of Islam when multitudes of people embraced the faith by accepting the message of the Prophet.

Prophet Muhammed undertook his farewell pilgrimage in the tenth A.H. His farewell pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the most significant historical events in the minds of Muslims because it was first and last pilgrimage made by Prophet Muhammed and also it was the model for performing the fifth pillar of Islam, Al Hajj.

Prophet Muhammad's final sermon was delivered on 632 C.E., the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah (10A.H.) in the Uranah Valley of Mount Arafat(in Makkah), during his farewell pilgrimage. There were countless Muslims who was present with the prophet during his last pilgrimage when he delivered his last Sermon.


After praising, and thanking Allah the Prophet (pbuh) said :

"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that HE will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib (Prophet's uncle) shall henceforth be waived...

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people".

Thus the beloved Prophet completed his Final Sermon. After the sermon, near the summit of Arafat the revelation came down:

"This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My Grace upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion." (Al Qur’an: Al-Maeda :3)

Even today the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad is passed to every Muslim in every corner of the word through all possible means of communication. Muslims are reminded about Prophet’s last sermon at Masjids, Imams lectures. Many Muslims print posters of the Prophet’s last sermon and distribute copies of it. Many hang it on the walls of their houses as to remind them of the Prophet’s final Admonition.. Though the Prophet’s soul has left this world his words are still living in our hearts.

Brian H. Gill said...


Bark, bark.

You and the Prophet must be pretty tight. (American slang: means close.)

And, you've been busy today: all these comments!

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.