Deconstructing Islamophobia (alas, a necessary repost)

November 09, 2021

Deconstructing Islamophobia (alas, a necessary repost)

Foreword: almost exactly two years ago I wrote a column entitled “Deconstructing Islamophobia“.  Yesterday, I posted an article about immigration which, alas, generated a few truly idiotic comments about “The Muslims they… bla bla bla” which I initially planned to reply to, but which I simply deleted in utter disgust.  Here I need to clarify, I was not disgusted by anybody’s dislike (or even hatred) for Islam or Muslims, not at all, I was disgusted by the utter stupidity of the “arguments” invoked.  So I decided that before writing my next column about issues of immigration, I would repost my “Deconstructing Islamophobia” as a reply to all those who believe that ignorant hatred is a form of piety.  On a more personal note, I am particularly ashamed when I see some (not all, thank God!) of my fellow Orthodox Christians parrot exactly the lines which the National-Zionists want to inject into our collective minds.  These are the type of folks which can’t even understand the truisms I listed yesterday, including these two truly basic ones:

  • Being FROM a Christian/Muslim country and actually BEING Christian/Muslim are two totally different propositions and the former does not in any way imply the latter.
  • To be considered as an adherent of religion X requires, at the minimum,  a) being aware of its main teachings and b) living your daily life in according to at least the main precepts of this religion.

So, especially for (some of) my fellow Orthodox Christians, I will add this: how would you like it if some Muslim, Buddhist or Judaic blamed the Orthodox Church for the Papacy’s Inquisition or Crusades, or blamed Orthodoxy for the actions of Cromwell in Ireland?  And if you began protesting the ludicrous nature of such accusations, your accuser would reply “the Christians they… bla bla bla“!  You would be pretty disgusted, wouldn’t you?  So you want the non-Orthodox to understand how different our faith is from the Papacy or Cromwell’s Puritanism and their innumerable crimes, yet you steadfastly refuse to even admit that the Muslim world is at least as diverse as the Christian one, and has been so during its entire history!

But hey – Who needs education and knowledge when hatred and bigotry are seen as acceptable, even pious, substitutes, right?!

Well, I want to you know that I am personally ashamed of this bigotry masquerading a piety and while in the current prevailing political doxa most people will side with you, I shall never, no matter what labels (crypto-Muslim being the kindest I saw) you place upon me.  And please remember that: I reject your theses not because I defend Islam or Muslim, but because you are ignorant bigots.

With that out of the way, I invite the rest of my readers to (re-)discover my two year old analysis.

Andrei

***

Introduction: a short survey of the cuckoo’s nest

My initial idea was to begin with a definition of “Islamophobia” but after looking around for various definitions, I decided to use my own, very primitive definition. I will define Islamophobia as the belief that Islam (the religion) and/or Muslims (the adherents to this religion) represent some kind of more or less coherent whole which is a threat to the West. These are two distinct arguments rolled up into one: the first part claims that Islam (the religion) represents some kind of threat to the West while the second part claims that the people who embrace Islam (Muslims) also represent some kind of threat to the West. Furthermore, this argument makes two crucial assumptions:

  1. there is such thing out there as a (conceptually sufficient) unitary Islam
  2. there are such people with (conceptually sufficient) common characteristics due to their adherence to Islam

Next, let’s summarize the “evidence” typically presented in support of this thesis:

  1. The god of Islam is not the same god as the God of Christianity
  2. The Muslim world was created by the sword
  3. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was an evil person
  4. Islam is incompatible with western democracy and represents a threat to what are referred to as “values” in the modern day West
  5. Muslims have treated Christians horribly in many different historical instances
  6. Muslims often turn to terrorism and commit atrocities
  7. Islam is socially regressive and seeks to impose medieval values on a modern world

There are more such as these, but these, I believe, are the main ones.

What is crucial here is to point out that this evidence relies both on theological arguments (#1 #4 #7), and historical arguments (#2 #3 #5 #6).

Finally, there is a most interesting phenomenon which, for the time being, we shall note, but only discuss later: the legacy corporate Ziomedia on one hand denounces Islamophobia as a form of “racism” but yet, at the same time, the very same circles which denounce Islamophobia are also the ones which oppose all manifestations of real traditional Islam. This strongly suggests that the study of this apparent paradox can, if carefully analyzed, yield some most interesting results, but more about that later.

Of course, all of the above is sort of a “bird’s eye” view of Islamophobia in the West. Once we go down to the average Joe Sixpack level, all of the above is fused into one “forceful” slogan as this one:

This kind of crude fearmongering is targeted at the folks who don’t realize that the USA is not “America” and who, therefore, probably don’t have the foggiest notion of what Sharia law is or how it is adjudicated by Islamic courts.

[I have lived in the USA for a total of 22 years and have observed something very interesting: there is a unique mix of ignorance and fear which, in the USA, is perceived as “patriotic”. A good example of this kind of “patriotism through ignorance” is in the famous song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” by Alan Jackson which includes the following words: “I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God“. Truth be told, the same song also asked in reference to 9/11 “Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue?“. Why exactly the massacre of 9/11 should elicit patriotic pride is explained as follows “And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?“. Thus when the “United American Committee” declares that Sharia law is a threat to “America” the folks raised in this culture of fear and patriotism immediately “get it”. David Rovics hilariously described this mindset in his song “Evening News” where he says: “Evil men are plotting, to blow up Washington, DC, ’cause they don’t like freedom and democracy, they’re fans of the Dark Ages, they are all around, they’re marching from the desert sands, and coming to your town“. I have had the fortune of visiting all the continents of our planet (except Oceania) and I can vouch that this blend of fear+patriotic fervor is something uniquely, well, not “American” but “USAnian”.]

Having quickly surveyed the Islamophobic mental scenery, we can now turn to a logical analysis of the so-called arguments of the Islamophobes.

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: a unitary Islam

Let’s take the arguments one by one beginning with the argument of a unitary Islam.

Most of us are at least vaguely aware that there are different Islamic movements/schools/traditions in different countries. We have heard of Shias and Sunni, some have also heard about Alawites or Sufism. Some will even go so far as remembering that Muslim countries can be at war with each other, and that some Muslims (the Takfiris) only dream about killing as many other Muslims (who, obviously, don’t share the exact same beliefs) and that, in fact, movements like al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc have murdered other Muslims in huge numbers. So the empirical evidence strongly suggest that this notion of a Muslim or Islamic unity is factually simply wrong.

Furthermore, we need to ask the obvious question: what *is* Islam?

Now, contrary to the hallucinations of some especially dull individuals, I am not a Muslim. So what follows is my own, possibly mistaken, understanding of what “core Islam” is. It is the acceptance of the following formula “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God” or “lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llā“. Note that “Allah” is not a name, it is the word “God” and “rasul” can be translated as “prophet”. There are also the so-called Five Pillars of Islam:

  • The Shahada or profession of faith “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God
  • The Salat or a specific set of daily prayers
  • The Zakat or alms giving
  • The Sawm or fasting
  • The Hadjj or pilgrimage to Mecca

That’s it! A person who fully embraces these five pillars is considered a Muslim. Or at least, so it would appear. The reality is, of course, much more complex. For the time being, I will just note that in this “core Islam” there is absolutely nothing, nothing at all, which could serve as evidence for any of the Islamophobic theories. Yes, yes, I know, I can already hear the Islamophobes’ objections: you are ignoring all the bad stuff in the Quran, you are ignoring all the bad stuff about spreading Islam by the sword, you are ignoring all the bad things Muhammad did in his life, you are ignoring the many local traditions and all the normative examples of the tradition (Sunnah and it’s Hadiths). Yeah, except you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say:

  1. Islam is inherently evil/dangerous AND
  2. use local/idiosyncratic beliefs and actions to prove your point!

If Islam by itself is dangerous, then it has to be dangerous everywhere it shows up, irrespective of the region, people, time in history or anything else.

If we say that sometimes Islam is dangerous and sometimes it is not, then what we need to look into is not the core elements of the Islamic faith, but instead we need to identify those circumstances in which Islam was not a threat to anybody and those circumstances when Islam was a threat to others.

Furthermore, if your argument is really based on the thesis that Islam is evil always and everywhere, then to prove it wrong all I need to do is find one, just ONE, example where Muslims and non-Muslims have lived in peace together for some period of time.

[Sidebar: while I was working on my Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies I had the fortune of having the possibility to take a couple of courses outside my field of specialization and I decided to take the most “exotic” course I could find in SAIS‘ curriculum and I chose a course on Sharia law. This was an excellent decision which I never regretted. Not only was the course fascinating, I had the chance of writing a term paper on the topic “The comparative status of Orthodox Christians in history under Muslim and Latin rule“. My first, and extremely predictable, finding was that treatment of Orthodox Christians by Muslim rulers ranged from absolutely horrible and even genocidal to very peaceful and kind. Considering the long time period considered (14 centuries) and the immense geographical realm covered (our entire planet from Morocco to Indonesia and from Russia to South Africa), this is hardly surprising. The core beliefs of Islam might be simple, but humans are immensely complicated beings who always end up either adding a local tradition or, at least, defending one specific interpretation of Islam. My second finding was much more shocking: on average the status of Orthodox Christians under the Papacy was much worse than under Muslim rule. Again, I am not comparing the status of Orthodox Serbs under Ottoman rule with the status of Orthodox Christians in modern Italy. These are extreme examples. But I do claim that there is sort of a conceptual linear regression which strongly suggests to us that there is a predictive (linear) model which can be used to make predictions and that the most obvious lesson of history is that the absolute worst thing which can happen to Orthodox Christians is to fall under their so-called “Christian brothers” of the West. A few exceptions here and there do not significantly affect this model. I encourage everybody to take the time to really study the different types of Muslim rulers in history, if only to appreciate how much diversity you will find].

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: the “Muslim god” vs the “Christian God”

This is just about the silliest anti-Muslim argument I have ever heard and it come from folks inhabiting the far left side of a Bell Curve. It goes something like this:

We, Christians, have our true God as God, whereas the Muslims have Allah, which is not the God of the Christians. Thus, we worship different gods.

Of course, the existence of various gods or one, single, God does not depend on who believes in Him or who worships Him. If we can agree on the notion that God is He Who created all of Creation, and if we agree that both Christians (all denominations) and Muslims (all schools) believe that they are worshiping that God then, since there is only one real/existing God, we do worship the same God simply because there are not “other” gods.

I wonder what those who say that “Muslims worship another god” think when they read the following words of Saint Paul to the Athenian pagans: “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23). What Saint Paul told them is that they ignorantly worship a god whom, in spite of that ignorant worship, Saint Paul declared to them. I submit that “ignorant worship” is not an insult, but a diagnosis of heterodoxy, and that such an “ignorant worship” can nonetheless be sincere.

The issue is not WHOM we worship, but HOW we worship (in terms of both praxis and doxa).

And yes, here the differences between Christians and Muslims are huge indeed.

In my 2013 article “Russia and Islam, part eight: working together, a basic “how-to”” I discussed the immense importance of these differences and how we ought to deal with them. I wrote:

The highest most sacred dogmatic formulation of Christianity is the so-called “Credo” or “Symbol of Faith” (full text here; more info here). Literally every letter down to the smallest ‘i of this text is, from the Christian point of view, the most sacred and perfect dogmatic formulation, backed by the full authority of the two Ecumenical Councils which proclaimed it and all the subsequent Councils which upheld it. In simple terms – the Symbol of Faith is absolutely non-negotiable, non-re-definable, non-re-interpretable, you cannot take anything away from it, and you cannot add anything to it. You can either accept it as is, in toto, or reject it.

The fact is that Muslims would have many problems with this text, but one part in particular is absolutely unacceptable to any Muslim:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made

This part clearly and unambiguously affirms that Jesus-Christ was not only the Son of God but actually God Himself. This is expressed by the English formulation “of one essence with the Father” (ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί in Greek with the key term homousios meaning “consubstantial”). This is *THE* core belief of Christianity: that Jesus was the the anthropos, the God-Man or God incarnate. This belief is categorically unacceptable to Islam which says that Christ was a prophet and by essence a ‘normal’ human being.

For Islam, the very definition of what it is to be a Muslim is found in the so-called “Shahada” or testimony/witness. This is the famous statement by which a Muslim attests and proclaims that “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God”. One can often also hear this phrased as “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is His prophet”.

Now without even going into the issue of whether Christians can agree or not that “Allah” is the appropriate name for God (some do, some don’t – this is really irrelevant here), it’s the second part which is crucial here: Christianity does not recognize Muhammad as a prophet at all. In fact, technically speaking, Christianity would most likely classify Muhammad as a heretic (if only because of his rejection of the “Symbol of Faith”). Saint John of Damascus even called him a ‘false prophet’. Simply put: there is no way a Christian can accept the “Shahada” without giving up his Christianity just as there is no way for a Muslim to accept the “Symbol of Faith” without giving up his Islam.

So why bother?

Would it not make much more sense to accept that there are fundamental and irreconcilable differences between Christianity and Islam and simply give up all that useless quest for points of theological agreement? Who cares if we agree on the secondary if we categorically disagree on the primary? I am all in favor of Christians studying Islam and for Muslims studying Christianity (in fact, I urge them both to do so!), and I think that it is important that the faithful of these religions talk to each other and explain their points of view as long as this is not presented as some kind of quest for a common theological stanceDifferences should be studied and explained, not obfuscated, minimized or overlooked.

Bottom line is this: it is PRECISELY because Islam and Christianity are completely incompatible theologically (and even mutually exclusive!) that there is no natural enmity between these two religions unless, of course, some Christian or Muslim decides that he has to use force to promote this religion. And let’s be honest, taken as a whole Christianity’s record on forced conversions and assorted atrocities is at least as bad as Islam’s, or even worse. Of course, if we remove the Papacy from the overall Christian record, things looks better. If then we also remove the kind of imperialism Reformed countries engaged in, it looks even better. But even Orthodox rulers have, on occasion, resorted to forceful conversions and mass murder of others.

And here, just as in Islam, we notice that Christians also did not always spread their faith by love and compassion, especially once Christian rulers came to power in powerful empires or nations.

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: Islam was spread by the sword

In reality the “Islam spread by the sword” is a total canard, at least when we hear it from folks who defend “democracy” but who stubbornly refuse to concede that 1) most democracies came to power by means of violent revolutions and that 2) just a look at a newspaper today (at least a non-western newspaper) will tell you that democracy is STILL spread by the sword. As for the USA as country, it was built on by far the biggest bloodbath in history. If anything, Sharia law and Islam could teach a great deal to the country which:

  1. spends more on aggression than the rest of the world combined
  2. has the highest percentage of people incarcerated (and most of these for non-violent crimes)
  3. whose entire economy is based on the military-industrial complex
  4. and who is engaged in more simultaneous wars of choice than any other country in history

So “Sharia Law Threatens America” is a lie. And this is the truth:

Was Islam really spread by the sword?

Maybe. But anybody making that claim better make darn sure that his/her religion, country or ideology has a much better record. If not, then this is pure hypocrisy!

Finally, I will also note that Christ said “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). In contrast, the Prophet of Islam established the first Islamic state in Medina. So when we compare Muhammad’s actions to Christ, a better comparison should be with the various Christian rulers (including Byzantine ones) and we will soon find out that the Christian Roman Empire also used the sword on many occasions.

Next:

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: the Prophet of Islam was a bad man

You must have all sorts of stories about how the Prophet Muhammad did things we would disapprove of. I won’t list them here simply because the list of grievances is a little different in each case. I actually researched some of these accusations (about marrying young girls, or sentencing people to death for example) and in each case, there is a very solid Muslim defense of these incidents which is almost always ignored and which provides a crucial context to, at least, the better understanding of the incident discussed.

Since I am not a historian or a biographer of the Prophet Muhammad I don’t have any personal opinion on these accusations other than stating the obvious: I am not a Muslim and I don’t have to decide whether Muhammad was a sinful man or a infallible person (that is a purely theological argument). I will simply say that this ad hominem is only relevant to the degree that some Muslims would consider each action of their prophet as normative and not historical. Furthermore, even if they would consider each action of their prophet as normative, we need to recall here that we are dealing with a prophet, not a God-Man, and that therefore the comparison ought not to be made with Christ, whom Christians believe to be 100% sinless, but with a Christian prophet, say Moses, whom no real Christian will ever declare sinless or infallible. As for the Quran, let’s not compare it to just the New Testament but to all the books of the Bible taken together, including those who were eventually re-interpreted by the new religion of (some) Jews after the fall of Jerusalem: rabbinical/Phariseic Talmudism which found plenty of passages in its (deliberately falsified) “Masoretic” text of the Old Testament “Tanakh” (please see here if you don’t know what falsification I am referring to).

Finally, NO religious text worth anything is self-explanatory or “explains itself” by means of comparing passages. This is also why all major religions have a large corpus of texts which explain, interpret, expand upon and otherwise give the (deceptively simple looking) text its real, profound, meaning. Furthermore, most major religions also have a rich oral tradition which also sheds light on written religious documents. Whatever may be the case, simply declaring that “Islam is a threat” because we don’t approve of the actions of the founder of Islam is simply silly. The next accusation is much more material:

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions:Islam is incompatible with democracy

That is by far the most interesting argument and one which many Muslims would agree with! Of course, it all depends on what you mean by “democracy”. Let me immediately concede that if by “democracy” you mean this:

Then, indeed, Islam is incompatible with modern western democracy. But so is (real) Christianity!

So the so-called “West” has to decide what its core values are. If Conchita Wurst is an embodiment of “democracy” then Islam and Christianity are both equally incompatible with it. Orthodox Christianity, for sure, has not caved in to the homo-lobby in the same way most western Christian denominations have.

But if by “democracy” we don’t mean “gay pride” parades but rather true pluralism, true people-power, and the real sovereignty of the people, then what I call “core Islam” is not threat to democracy at all. None. However, there is also no doubt about two truisms:

  1. Some Muslim states are profoundly reactionary and freedom crushing
  2. Traditional Islam is incompatible with many modern “western values”

Still, it is also very easy to counter these truism with the following replies

  1. Some Muslim states are pluralistic, progressive and defend the oppressed (Muslim or not)
  2. Traditional Christianity is incompatible with modern “western values”

Again, Iran is, in my opinion, the perfect illustration of a pluralistic (truly diverse!), progressive and freedom defending Muslim state. I simply don’t have the time and place to go into a detailed discussion of the polity of Iran (I might have to do that in a future article), and for the time being I will point you to the hyper-pro-Zionist Wikipedia article (which nobody will suspect of being pro-Muslim or pro-Iranian) about the “Politics of Iran” which will show you two things: Iran is an “Islamic Republic” meaning that it is a republic, yes, but one which has Islam as its supreme law. There is absolutely nothing inherently less democratic about a Islamic republic which has a religion as its supreme law than a atheistic/secular republic which has a constitution as its supreme law. In fact, some countries don’t even have a constitution (the UK and Israel come to mind). As for the Iranian polity, it has a very interesting system of checks and balances which a lot of countries would do well to emulate (Russia for starters).

As for modern “western values”, they are completely incompatible with Christianity (the real, original, unadulterated thing) even if they are very compatible with modern western (pseudo-) Christian denominations.

So, now the question becomes: is there something profoundly incompatible between the real, traditional, Islam and the real, traditional, Christianity? I am not talking about purely theological differences here, but social and political consequences which flow from theological differences. Two immediately come to my mind (but there are more, of course):

  • The death penalty, especially for apostasy
  • Specific customs (dress code, ban on alcohol, separation of genders in various settings, etc.)

The first one, this is really a non-issue because while traditional, Patristic, Christianity has a general, shall we say, “inclination” against the death penalty, this has not always been the case in all Orthodox countries. So while we can say that by and large Orthodox Christians are typically not supporters of the death penalty, this is not a theological imperative or any kind of dogma. In fact, modern Russia has implemented a moratorium on the death penalty (to join the Council of Europe – hardly a moral or ethical reason) but most of the Russian population favor its re-introduction. Note that Muslims in Russia are apparently living their lives in freedom and overall happiness and when they voice grievances (often legitimate ones), they don’t have “reintroduce the death penalty” as a top priority demand.

The simple truth is that each country has to decide for itself whether it was the use the death penalty or not. Once a majority of voters have made that decision, members of each religion will have to accept that decision as a fact of law which can be criticized, but not one which can be overturned by any minority.

As for religious tribunals, they can be easily converted by the local legislature into a “mediation firm” which can settle conflicts, but only if both sides agree to recognize it’s authority. So if two Muslims want their dispute to be settled by an Islamic Court, the latter can simply act as a mediator as long as its decision does not violate any local or national laws. Hardly something non-Muslims (who could always refuse to recognize the Islamic Court) need to consider a “threat” to their rights or lifestyles.

An “Islamic Matrioshka”?!

As for the social customs, here it is really a no-brainer: apply Islamic rules to those who chose to be Muslims and let the other people live their lives as they chose to. You know, “live and let live”. Besides, in terms of dress code and gender differentiation, traditional Islam and traditional Christianity are very close.

Check out this typical Russian doll, and look at what she is wearing: this was the traditional Russian dress for women for centuries and this is still what Orthodox women (at least those who still follow ancient Christian customs) wear in Church.

Furthermore, if you go into a Latin parish in southern Europe or Latin America, you will often find women covering their heads, not only in church, but also during the day. The simple truth is that these clothes are not only modest and beautiful, they are also very comfortable and practical.

The thing which Islamophobes always miss is that they take examples of laws and rules passed by some Muslim states and assume that this is how all Muslim states will always act. But this is simply false. Let’s take the example of Hezbollah (that name means “party of God”, by the way) in Lebanon which has clearly stated on many occasions that it has no intention of transforming Lebanon into a Shia-only state. Not only did Hezbollah say that many times, but they acted on it and they always have had a policy of collaboration with truly patriotic Christians (of any denomination). Even in today’s resistance (moqawama) there are Christians who are not members of Hezbollah as a party (and why would they when this is clearly and officially a Muslim party and not a Christian one?!), but they are part of the military resistance.

[Sidebar: by the way, the first female suicide bomber in Lebanon was not a Muslim. She was a 18 year old from an Orthodox family who joined Syrian Social Nationalist Party and blew herself up in her car on an Israeli checkpoint (inside Lebanon, thus a legitimate target under international law!), killing two Israeli invaders and injuring another twelve. Her name was Sana’a Mehaidli]

A Hezbollah fighter respectfully picks up an image of the Mother of God from the ruins of a church destroyed by US-backed Takfiris

Recent events in Syria were also very telling: when the AngloZionist Empire unleashed its aggression against Syria and the “good terrorists” of al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/ISIS/etc. embarked in a wholesale program of massacres and atrocities, everybody ran for their lives, including all the non-Takfiri Muslims. Then, when the plans of the Axis of Kindness (USA, KSA, Israel) were foiled by the combined actions of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, something interesting happened: the Latin Christians left, whereas the Orthodox Christians stayed (source). Keep in mind that Syria is *not* an Islamic state, yet the prospects of a Muslim majority was frightening enough for the Latins to flee even though the Orthodox felt comfortable staying. What do these Orthodox Christians know?

Could it be that elite traditionalist Shia soldiers represent no threat to Orthodox Christians?

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: Islam generates terrorism

In fact, there is some truth to that too. But I would re-phrase it as: the AngloZionists in their hatred for anything Russian, including Soviet Russian, identified a rather small and previously obscure branch of Islam in Saudi Arabia which they decided to unleash against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. From the first day, these Takfiris were federated by the USA and financed by the House of Saud. The latter, in its fear of being overthrown by the Takfiris, decided to appease them by internationally supporting their terrorism (that is all Takfiris have to offer, their leaders are not respected scholars, to put it mildly). Since that time, the Takfiris have been the “boots on the ground” used by the West against all its enemies: Serbia, Russia first, but then also secular (Syria) or anti-Takfiri Muslim states (Iran).

So it is not “Islam” which generates terrorism: it is western (AngloZionist) imperialism.

The US and Israel are, by a wide margin, the biggest sponsors of terrorism (just as the West was always by far the biggest source of imperialism in history) and while they want to blame “Islam” for most terrorist attacks, the truth is that behind every such “Muslim” attack we find a western “deep state” agents acting, from the GIA in Algeria, to al-Qaeda in Iraq to al-Nusra in Syria to, most crucially, 9/11 in New York. These were all events created and executed by semi-literate Takfiri patsies who were run by agents of the western deep states.

As far as I know, all modern terrorist groups are, in reality, “operated by remote control” by state actors who alone can provide the training, know-how, finances, logistical support, etc needed by the terrorists.

And here is an interesting fact: the two countries which have done the most to crush Takfiri terrorism are Russia and Iran. But the collective West is still categorically refusing to work with these countries to crush the terrorism these western states claim to be fighting.

So, do you really believe that the West is fighting terrorism?

If yes, I got a few bridges to sell all over the planet.

Conclusion: cui bono? the so-called “liberals”

There are many more demonstratively false assumptions which are made by the AngloZionist propaganda machine. I have only listed a few. Now we can look to the apparent paradox in which we see the western “liberals” both denouncing Islamophobia and, at the same time, repeating all the worst cliches about Islam. In this category, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton are the most egregious examples of this hypocrisy because while pretending to be friends of Muslims, they got more Muslims killed than anybody else. For western liberals, Islam is a perfect pretext to, on one hand, cater to minorities (ethnic or religious) while pretending to be extremely tolerant of others. Western liberals use Islam in the West, as a way to force the locals to give up their traditions and values. You could say that western liberals “love” Islam just like they “love” LGBTQIAPK+ “pride” parades: simply and only as a tool to crush the (still resisting) majority of the people in the West who have not been terminally brainwashed by the AngloZionist legacy corporate propaganda machine.

Conclusion: cui bono? the so-called “conservatives”

Western conservatism is dead. It died killed by two main causes: the abject failure of National-Socialism (which was an Anglo plan to defeat the USSR) and by its total lack of steadfastness of the western conservatives who abandoned pretty much any and all principles they were supposed to stand for. Before the 1990s, the conservative movements of the West were close to fizzling out into nothingness, but then the Neocons (for their own, separate, reasons) began pushing the “Islamic threat” canard and most conservatives jumped on it in the hope of using it to regain some relevance. Some of these conservatives even jumped on the “Christian revival in Russia” theory (which is not quite a canard, but which is also nothing like what the Alt-Righters imagine it to be) to try to revive their own, long dead, version of “Christianity”. These are desperate attempts to find a source of power and relevance outside a conservative movement which is basically dead. Sadly, what took the place of the real conservative movement in the West is the abomination known as “National Zionism” (which I discussed here) and whose ideological cornerstone is a rabid, hysterical, Islamophobia.

Conclusion: cui bono? the US deep state

That one is easy and obvious: the US deep state needs the “Islamic threat” canard for two reasons: to unleash against its enemies and to terrify the people of the USA so that they accept the wholesale destruction of previously sacred civil rights. This is so obvious that there is nothing to add here. I will only add that I am convinced that the US deep state is also supporting both the Alt-Right phenomenon and the various “stings” against so-called “domestic terrorists” (only only Muslims, by the way). What the Neocons and their deep-state need above all is chaos and crises which they used to shape the US political landscape.

Finally, the real conclusion: rate the source! always rate the source…

Whom did we identify as the prime sources of Islamophobia? The liberals who want to seize power on behalf of a coalition of minorities, conservatives who have long ditched truly conservative values and deep state agents who want to terrify US Americans and kill the enemies of the AngloZionist Empire.

I submit to you that these folks are most definitely not your friends. In fact, they are your real enemy and, unlike various terrorists abroad who are thousands of miles away from the USA, these real enemies are not only here, they are already in power and rule over you! And they are using Islam just like a matador uses a red cape: to distract you from the real threat: National Zionism. This is true in the US as it is true in the EU.

Chechens in Novorussia

Most westerners are now conditioned to react with fear and horror when they hear “Allahu Akbar”. This is very predictable since most of what is shown in the western media is Takfiris screaming “Allahu Akbar” before cutting the throats of their victims (or rejoicing at the suffering/death of “infidels”).

Yet in the Donbass, the local Orthodox Christians knew that wherever that slogan (which simply means “God is greater” or “God is the greatest”) was heard the Ukronazis are on the run. And now we see Russia sending mostly Muslim units to Syria to protect not only Muslims, but everybody who needs protection.

Having a sizable Muslim minority in Russia, far from being any kind of threat, as turned to be a huge advantage for Russia in her competition against the AngloZionist Empire.

There are, by the way, also Chechens fighting on the other side in this conflict: the very same Takfiris who were crushed and expelled from Chechnia by the joint efforts of the Chechen people and the Russian armed forces. So, again, we have Muslims on both sides, the Takfiris now happily united with the Nazis and the traditionalist Muslims of Kadyrov protecting the people of Novorussia.

That is one, amongst many more, nuances which the Islamophobic propaganda always carefully chooses to ignore.

Should you?

The Saker

Immigration, ethnicity and religion (in ain’t as simple as it seems!)

NOVEMBER 08, 2021

Immigration, ethnicity and religion (in ain’t as simple as it seems!)

Foreword: Today I am starting what might well turn out into a series of articles about the interaction between immigration, ethnicity and religion.  I happen to believe that this is a topic I know pretty well for the following reasons:

  • I myself was born in a family of immigrants who went from Russia, to Serbia, to Germany, to Argentina, to Holland and then to Switzerland were I was born.  I then immigrated to the USA twice, first to get two college degrees 1986-1991 and a second time in 2002.  I know about immigration from the inside.
  • Furthermore, I also worked as an interpreter for the Swiss Federal authorities interviewing refugees.
  • As a member of the Swiss General Staff I also participated in analyses and command staff exercises dealing with the issue of how the national authorities would deal with a major immigration crisis.
  • While already in the USA, I also worked as an over-the-phone consecutive interpreter often involving cases of asylum seekers and other immigrants being interviewed by authorities (courts, police, etc.).
  • In Geneva I witnessed how a big mosque was built literally on my street and all the fears and changes this mosque elicited amongst the locals and I also witnessed what then actually happened over time.
  • I have a graduate degree in Orthodox theology which I combine with a personal interest for Islam in all its different versions and I have the privilege to speak, at length, with many Muslims, including very well educated ones.
  • I speak six languages and I have been extensively exposed to plenty of different cultures on our planet in many years of travel in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
  • My own culture, the Russian one, has always multi-ethnic, multi-religious and has been influenced by many waves of immigrants from all over the Eurasian continent.

I also wrote a series of articles entitled Russia and Islam which I can refer any interested reader to:

http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-one-introduction-and-definitions/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-two-russian-orthodoxy/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-three-internal-russian-politics/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-four-islam-as-a-threat/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-five-islam-as-an-ally/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-six-the-kremlin/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-seven-the-weathermans-cop-out/
http://thesaker.is/russia-and-islam-part-eight-working-together-a-basic-how-to/
http://thesaker.is/russias-civilizational-choice/
http://thesaker.is/the-fighting-imam-of-donbass-must-see/
http://thesaker.is/ramzan-kadyrov-offers-putin-his-own-personal-volunteer-chechen-special-force/
http://thesaker.is/a-muslim-police-officer-dies-a-heros-death-and-receives-russias-highest-honorary-title-hero-of-russia/

Normally, I would not begin with such an immodest “I am the expert, trust me on authority” kind of nonsense, but in this case this is important, because a lot of what I will write below comes out of my personal and direct experience.

I should also mention that I posted a (English subtitled) video about a recent incident in Moscow (see here) which got some folks very offended at me.  I wish they had waited for this series of articles before exploding in anger, but such is human nature…

Having said that, now let’s turn to the topic at hand.

***

Section one: basic truisms

Here I will begin by some basic assumptions which should be uncontroversial (at least I hope so!)

  • People chose to emigrate for very different reasons, including poverty, violence, fleeing the law (criminals) etc.
  • Internal immigration and external immigration have common features but should not be conflated.
  • Being FROM a Christian/Muslim country and actually BEING Christian/Muslim are two totally different propositions and the former does not in any way imply the latter.
  • To be considered as an adherent of religion X requires, at the minimum,  a) being aware of its main teachings and b) living your daily life in according to at least the main precepts of this religion.
  • Immigrating to country X does not mean that you approve/like/are inspired by country X or its native people, this is especially true when country X is the one which destroyed your own country of origin.
  • Immigration is an extremely stressful exercise, even when done in very comfortable conditions, and even more so when done under adverse ones.  Most immigrants are suffering stress/anxiety/PTSD/etc.
  • In many cases, the locals/natives are hostile to immigrants, some even use them as “cheap labor” (slaves) in often terrible conditions (even in supposedly civilized societies, there were cases of such slavery even in prosperous Switzerland).
  • When immigrants come not for neighboring countries, but from farther away a “clash of cultures” often happens.
  • In most cases, large waves of immigrants include a percentage of true criminals which “hide in the crowd” and who then commit crimes they would not dare to commit in their country of origin.

Next, a few elements which might not be widely known

Most countries do not have the capability to enforce their laws on large groups of immigrants.  Here are a few examples:

  • Regular cops: they often do not speak the language of the immigrants, and they know little about the cultural/tribal customs and organization of immigrants.  It is very hard for them to get confidential informers amongst immigrants.  Furthermore, when cops use legal, legitimate. violence against criminals from country X, these criminals always appeal to their fellow immigrants who, alas, often side with them which, in turn, results in a knee-jerk “circling of wagons” along ethnic lines on both sides which just makes things even worse.
  • Special services (intelligence, counter-intelligence, anti-terrorist, etc.):  These services typically have some experts (cultural, linguistic, religions, etc.) but NEVER in sufficient numbers.  Furthermore, in many countries it is illegal for these services to operate internally.  Finally, to somebody with a hammer everything looks like a nail: the same way for a typical counter-intelligence officer or counter-terrorist officer, every immigrant looks like at least a potential spy or a potential terrorist.  That is, of course, utter nonsense, but for the advancement of their own careers these folks will seek out “the enemy” in the most ridiculous places.  The immigrants, by the way, become very attuned to these suspicions.
  • The military: while they typically have the numbers, their mission and training is to engage an enemy and defeat him.  When the military does intervene against immigrants, it often results in a PR disaster which a lot of seemingly innocent immigrants being abused, mistreated or even killed by seemingly “hell bent on violence” military forces.

Which leaves only one group which *might* be effective in operations with/against immigrants: specialized internal security forces such as, say, the Russian National Guard or ICE in the USA.  That’s in theory.  In reality, for that type of force to be effective it needs all of the following:

  • An unambiguous legal status and mandate.
  • A smooth collaboration with police forces, special forces and the military.
  • Lots and lots of money for training, facilities, operations, etc.
  • The support of the general public (natives/locals).
  • The legal and material means to deal with the criminal elements hiding inside a wave of refugees.

That is very rarely the case, to put it mildly.

Next, the role of governments

I think I have already mentioned it several times on the blog that there is no such thing as a “non-government supported terrorist organization” out there, at least to my knowledge.  Okay, there might be local gangs which we could call “terrorist” which are local and more or less spontaneous, but they rarely last very long and a infiltrated sooner rather than later.  The late Colonel Gaddafi warned the EU that if he was removed, the gates of African immigration would open (and they did).  Erdogan uses refugees on a regular basis to put pressure on the EU and it appears that Lukashenko might be emulating Erdogan’s model.  The point is that if Turkey, for example, really wanted to stop the flow of immigrants cross its territory it could do so – the Turkish military is in bad shape, but that they sure could do.  Ditto for Lukashenko.  Yet, they (apparently) don’t.

In the countries which the immigrants want to reach, the local politicians make entire careers by being either pro-immigration or anti-immigration.  They are in a tacit alliance NOT to solve anything, but to simply profit from it!

How about corporations and businesses?

Yeah, for all their typical pseudo patriotism, the truth is that immigration is a big, HUGE, business for folks ranging from the country of origin of these immigrants to corporations and businesses in the countries of asylum.  And I am not only talking about drug dealers (though they play a major role too).  As others have observed, corporations act in a psychopathic way and their only true goal is to make as much money as possible.  They don’t give a damn about anything else, including crime, poverty, religion, etc.

Lastly, religious authorities

Well, they are typically in a pickle in many ways.  You would think that if you are a cleric of religion X and there is a wave of immigrants coming from a country nominally pertaining to that religion, that only means that your flock will get bigger and better.  Alas, this is almost rarely the case and, in fact, the opposite typically happens.  The fact that the locals/natives do not know enough about religion X is not much of a consolation, because now you, as the religious leader of religion X in this country will be blamed for the actions of criminals, as will your fellow coreligionists and even your religion as such.  Add to that the undeniable reality that some of these (pseudo-)religious immigrants use that religion to justify their actions make things even worse!

In theory, there is an easy solution for the local religious authorities: offer your services to the local law enforcement authorities.  That is SUCH a naive statement, it always makes me wonder if those who believe that understand the implications of this “simple” solution!  So let me spell out a few things about this:

  • First, unlike the “regular” members of the religious community X, the recently immigrants might view any such collaboration as a betrayal and even the evidence that the clergymen “sold out”, which might put the religious leaders in very real risk of violence (including murder) or, at best, replacement by another person, possibly an immigrant himself.
  • Second, unlike what the locals/natives seem to assume, most immigrants from country A with religion X are not at all interested in religion X or what its clerics might teach.  Again, this is especially true for criminals.
  • Third, being a religious leader and an effective confidential informer or agent are totally different roles and psychological mindset.  Hence, religious leaders are often quite incompetent in a role which is deeply alien to them.

Conclusion (for today): it ain’t as simply as some (simpletons) think it is!

What I outlined above are just elements of a very complex “immigration matrix” in which very complex and different phenomena all interact with each other.  To put it differently: there is a very good reason why immigration is such a complex and frustrating problem, and to make it appear all quick, easy and simple is just adding to the problem.  Yet, what do I see in the comment section under any article discussing immigration?  Mostly this:

  • Sweeping slogans, sometimes several slogans in a row masquerading as a comment.
  • A total conflation of religions, countries, historical situations, etc.
  • A quasi total ignorance of the realities of immigration I tried to outline above.
  • A systematic “right or wrong – my country” attitude from both some local/natives and the some immigrants.
  • Sweeping and unsubstantiated accusations against the perceived “other” and his/her supposed views or intentions.

The sad reality is that immigration is a topic which makes a lot of people instantly infantile and stupid (along with stuff like abortion, gun laws, sexuality and historiography, just to name a few).  The maxim that knowing a little about something is even worse than not nothing anything also fully applies.  People compare incidents in, say, Moscow, with other incidents in, say, California and Spain.  At best, these are at least real personal anecdotes, at worst just a paraphrasing of something read somewhere. And yet on the basis of such utterly inapplicable assumptions, they make sweeping generalizations!

And when religion gets involved, the following groups feel like now is the chance to get on a soapbox and preach:

  • Assorted atheists and religion-bashers.
  • Opponents of “organized religion”.
  • Opponents of religion X (whichever is involved).
  • Bigots from religion X who think that hating religion Y is a sign of deep piety (aka “virtue signalling”).
  • Native/local politicians who can make a career on this topic.
  • Assorted flag-waverers, racists and xenophobes who cannot deal with (real) diversity (but love the fake version).
  • Folks how never traveled outside their country of origin and who don’t know a single foreign language.
  • Pseudo-experts at everything which, in reality, lack even the basic understanding of the issues involved.

I don’t expect any members of the groups above to recognize themselves as members of these groups.  And no matter how hard the moderators try, some of that will inevitable seep through and make it to the comments section.

And yet.

This IS a really important topic, which MUST be discussed openly and honestly.  To just wish it away won’t do the trick.

So in the next installment, I would try to look a little deeper at the issues mentioned above.

Until then, cheers!

Andrei

Islamophobic or Blindly Malicious? US Seizes Quranic Tiles from Iran for Virginia Mosque

August 10, 2021

Islamophobic or Blindly Malicious? US Seizes Quranic Tiles from Iran for Virginia Mosque

By Staff, Agencies

Among the weirdest news a person might hear is that an enemy combats a religion’s culture and civilization.

It is either an aspect of Islamophobia, which is highly unlikely, or a blind maliciousness that the US custom authorities confiscated a set of Iranian tiles to be used in construction of a new mosque in Virginia, demanding they “must be shipped backed to Iran or destroyed.”

The tiles, which are adorned with Quranic verses, were shipped in June from the Iranian city of Qom, to be used in construction of the Manassas Mosque in northern Virginia.

However, they were confiscated at Dulles International Airport after they were deemed to violate sanctions on Iran, the mosque’s imam Abolfazl Nahidian said on Tuesday.

The tiles were a gift and he paid no money for them, but custom authorities at the airport blocked him from claiming them citing the sanctions, he told a news conference at the mosque.

A letter from Customs and Border Protection informed the mosque that the tiles must be either shipped back to Iran or destroyed, the Associated Press cited him as saying.

Destroying the tiles, which are adorned with Quranic verses, “is the same as destroying verses of the Quran, or the whole Quran itself”, Nahidian said.

The mosque is now asking the Biden administration to release the custom-made tiles.

Nahidian said he has received other tile shipments throughout the years without incident, including one shipment that arrived eight months ago. He has led the mosque for nearly three decades.

The Biden administration is locked in a standoff over the US return to a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, showing an aversion to remove the most draconian sanctions which its predecessor imposed on the Islamic Republic.

Biden has admitted that Washington was wrong to abandon the nuclear agreement, but he is showing an urge to retain some aspects of the sanctions as leverage to pressure Iran.

Food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are purportedly exempt from the sanctions that Washington imposed on Tehran after former president Donald Trump walked away from the international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred any dealing with Iranians – including humanitarian activities.

Zionist Academics Take The Side Of State Power

About me

11 June 2021

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—Tensions in Academia

The growing divide in the United States between Zionists and supporters of Palestinian rights has led to pronounced tensions in academia. Much has been said about increasing pro-Palestinian student protests as well as the activities of pro-Israel boards of governors, presidents, deans, etc. The latter try to guard their campuses from pro-Palestinian faculty, student clubs, invited speakers and the like.

These tensions have found yet another academic front on which to contest. There are two historical associations in the U.S. for scholars of Middle East studies reflecting opposing attitudes toward Israel and its behavior toward the Palestinians. And this divide presents us with a dichotomy of values at the professional academic level.

The oldest of these is the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). It was founded in 1966 and currently has a membership of more than 2700. It also serves as a “constituent society of thirty-six affiliated organizations.” It puts out a quarterly journal and has an active Committee on Academic Freedom. MESA is a very successful learned society. Its scholars cover all of the Middle East and North Africa. It is dedicated to high standards of scholarship and diversity of interpretation.

By the 2000s the debate within academia over the expansionist nature of Israel and its treatment of conquered Palestinians was heating up. Because most of MESA members have a broad knowledge of the area, a sense of local perspectives, and also know the history of the Arab Israeli conflict, their positions tend to be critical of Israeli behavior and American support for it. And that led to an organizational split.

In 2007 two scholars, Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, decided to start a rival organization, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). They did so because, according to them, MESA was “dominated by academics who have been critical of Israel and America’s role in the Middle East.”

One might wonder why the position taken by many MESA members upset Lewis and Ajami. After all, debating issues from an historical perspective is, in part, what academics are supposed to do. If MESA was allegedly “dominated” by those critical of Israeli behavior, Lewis and Ajami’s answer was to establish a “politicized” organization “dominated” by Zionists. It made little sense in terms of dialog, but tactically it fit right in with how Zionists—those who uphold the legitimacy of a Jewish state in Palestine—react to criticism.

Over the last quarter century, a common tactic of Zionists has been to withdraw from public debate and, where they can, bring about enforced silence of anyone who is critical of Israel. That, of course, is what those pro-Israeli academic administrators and boards were and are doing. Part of this effort entails labelling those critical of Israel as anti-Semites. This stratagem is generally used to shut down negative assessments in the West. Seeking to expand the scope of this effort, ASMEA’s much lauded founder, Bernard Lewis, who died in May of 2018, sought to defame Islam with the same charge. That approach is carried on by ASMEA. The organization awards a Bernard Lewis Prize, a description of which quotes Lewis, “to an astonishing degree, the ideas, the literature, even the crudest inventions of the Nazis and their predecessors have been internalized and Islamized.” In competition for this award, young Middle East scholars are encouraged by ASMEA to identify Muslim Arab opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism.

Part II—Expressing Values

The two organizations have recently shown where this tension has taken them in terms of human rights. This was occasioned by the recent outbreak Palestinian resistance caused by threats of evictions (ethnic cleansing) of Arab families in Jerusalem, and aggressive Israeli actions at the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The latter actions, in particular, triggered rocket attacks from Gaza.

Here is part of a long and detailed MESA statement. The shorter ASMEA statement is given in full:

MESA (21 May 2021) Issued by the organization’s Board of Directors.

“The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America condemns the ongoing and intensified Israeli government assault on the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip and those who are Israeli citizens. During May 7–20, 2021, Israeli military attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip damaged at least 51 educational facilities, including 2 kindergartens, 46 schools, 1 university, 1 vocational training center, and 1 Ministry of Education facility—among other vital infrastructure. Israeli air strikes and tank shells directly hit a number of these buildings. The deadly conditions created by the Israeli military attacks in Gaza forced all schools to remain closed for at least five days after the end of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, affecting the lives and access to education of 591,685 students. In addition, Israeli military strikes internally displaced at least 66,000 Palestinians who then sought refuge in 58 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), causing further disruptions to the population’s education–indeed, to their lives. …

“There is little doubt that successive Israeli governments across the political spectrum have carried out a decades-long attack on Palestinian students, teachers, and educational facilities. Indeed, this attack is part of a broader political, administrative, and legal system of racial discrimination and domination—regularly enforced through violence—that has defined the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinian people. And, as the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch have found, the Israeli government’s purposeful and systematic privileging of Jewish Israelis while dominating and oppressing the Palestinian people amounts to apartheid.”

ASMEA (25 May 2021) Issued by the organization’s Chairman, Professor Norman Stillman

“The recent wave of violence in the ongoing struggle between Israel and Hamas has left many members of our community of scholars deeply concerned. While we hope and pray no harm befalls any of our members, anywhere, and their loved ones, ASMEA remains committed to our founding principles as an academic association.

“As scholars, we believe in the pursuit of objective truth when studying and teaching the issues and topics affecting the regions of our academic concern. We recognize that these principles can create division and disagreement, but so long as scholarship contributes to the body of knowledge, we welcome and encourage vigorous debate.

“We stand behind and support our members in Israel and deride those more intent on infusing the academic landscape with pointless over-politicization and rank partisanship than restoring balance to the Academy and protecting academic freedom in Middle East and African studies, and related disciplines.”

There are a couple of things to note about these two statements: (1) The MESA statement is issued in support of the Palestinians, and specifically their collective human right to education. It contains assertions about the Israeli violations of that right—assertions that can be fact checked. The statement also references the reports of international organizations concerned with civil and human rights. (2) The ASMEA statement claims objectivity and a willingness to debate, but then proceeds to defame and trivialize those who disagree with their position—“those more intent on infusing the academic landscape with pointless over-politicization and rank partisanship.” Actually, one can characterize this charge as a psychological projection of the statement’s author who, being a Zionist stalwart must be, by definition, both politicized and partisan. The statement also makes no reference to the Palestinian situation under Israeli rule and reduces the struggle to one between Hamas and Israeli—an objectively incorrect and thus untrue assertion. This reductionist gambit is used by almost all contemporary supporters of Israel.

Part III—Crossing the Rubicon

There is a Rubicon (a fundamental crossing point) that all Jewish intellectuals are now confronting. Whether or not one crosses this line reveals the nature of their values. To cross it is to take the side of human rights and the rule of law. To refuse to cross is to take the side of state power—in this case, to align with the power of a proven apartheid state.

To add context to this choice, consider the case of Eva Illouz, a professor of sociology at Hebrew University. On 14 April 2014, she wrote an essay for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz entitled, “Is It Possible to be a Jewish Intellectual?” In this piece she sets forth two opposing positions: one is the Zionist/Israeli demand for the primacy of “ahavat Israel,” or the “love of the Jewish nation and people”–-the claim that all Jews have a “duty of the heart” to be loyal to the “Jewish nation.” The other position is that of the lone intellectual (here her model is the philosopher Hannah Arendt), whose obligation is to maintain the “disinterested intelligence” necessary to “speak truth to power.”
 
Illouz explains that Zionists have a “suspicion of critique” and use “the memorialization of the Shoah” (the Holocaust) and “ahavat Israel” to mute it. “The imperative of solidarity brings with it the injunction to not oppose or express publicly disagreement with official Jewish bodies.” It is within this context that she can ask if it is still possible to be a Jewish intellectual. Illouz’s conclusion is that it has become exceedingly difficult to be so because the demands for Jewish solidarity are particularly “brutal.” And then she makes her choice and, if you will, crosses the Rubicon. “In the face of the ongoing, unrelenting injustices toward Palestinians and Arabs living in Israel, his/her moral duty is to let go, achingly, of that solidarity.”

It is not difficult to recognize that ASMEA stands at the bank of this Rubicon and refuses to cross. The organization’s values do not reflect any devotion to universal principles such as human rights and the rule of law, much less “objective truth.” Their leadership, at least, has no interest in critiquing the use of power but rather is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the interests of a specific power. The values exalted here are the parochial codes those intellectuals (among others) use to rationalize service to a state even when it turns criminal. The independent-minded, outspoken intellectuals, such as Eva Illouz, demanding broader moral integrity and responsibility from their contemporaries, are rarities.

Part IV—Conclusion

Any speculation about which side of the Rubicon line “History” favors is really silly. Historical prediction, like the weather, is a short-range affair. However, one might sense a present shift in sentiment in the U.S. and the Western world generally. It is an apparent shift in favor of the Palestinians and against apartheid Israel. One might even hazard a guess that the shift will continue to grow. Why so? The reason is straightforward and quite simple. It should continue to grow just as long as Israel does not stop. That is, as long as it continues to evolve as a racist state—simultaneously destroying human rights and international law.

As Macron Courts the Far-Right, France Launches Crackdown on “Islamo-Leftism”

France Protest Feature photo

By Alan Macleod

Source

Islamo-leftism is a label coined by the far-right, with many pointing out the distinct similarities between it and “Judeo-Bolshevism,” a term created by German Nazis linking religion with a set of political beliefs. Yet it has quickly been taken up by many in France’s political center.

PARIS — France’s Minister for Higher Education, Frederique Vidal, has sparked a nationwide controversy with her announcement that the government is attempting to stop the spread of what she called “Islamo-leftism” in universities. Part of the process, she said, would be for the state to decide “what is academic research and what is activism and opinion,” implying that academics would need government permission to research and write on topics deemed too politically sensitive.

Vidal singled out post-colonial studies as a particularly problematic area. “I think that Islamo-leftism is eating away at our society as a whole, and universities are not immune and are part of our society,” she said, warning that France was importing American “woke culture.”

Her comments provoked serious pushback from academics labeling the government’s move a massive blow against freedom of speech, with the subject trending on French Twitter.

Islamo-leftism is a label coined by the far-right, with many pointing out its distinct similarities with “Judeo-Bolshevism,” a term created by German Nazis linking religion to a set of political beliefs. Yet it has quickly been taken up by many in the political center. Le Figaro, France’s best-selling newspaper, ran a frontpage headline last week titled “How Islamo-leftism is infecting universities.” Like the U.S., France is currently grappling with its own legacy of colonialism and racism.

Le Pen lite (or heavy)?

Embattled president Emmanuel Macron has faced widespread opposition to his rule since his election, notably to his austerity policies, which provoked the largest strike since those of May 1968; a fuel tax that sparked the Yellow Vest movement; and his government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, which has led to the deaths of nearly 83,000 people.

Macron was comfortably elected in 2017 after fascist candidate Marine Le Pen made it into the final runoff against him. However, the election was marred by widespread abstention and he has struggled with low approval ratings ever since. And while many breathed a sigh of relief that France had been saved from a racist president, Macron has constantly leaned towards xenophobia and the scapegoating of the country’s 5.7 million Muslims in particular. He has used the country’s secular tradition as an excuse to ban Muslim headwear, including burqas, leading to police arresting Muslim women or even forcibly removing their face coverings in public. Macron also introduced new “Islamist separatism” legislation that would curtail civil liberties, playing into the far-right’s conception of a Muslim threat.

In a televised debate last week, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin even attacked Le Pen from the right, claiming that she was “too soft” on Muslims. A visibly surprised Le Pen was put in the position of defending civil liberties and Islam from the government. “I am strongly attached to our French values; I want to conserve total freedom of religion. That’s my opinion,” she said. With one year to go before the next presidential election, polls show Macron and Le Pen neck-and-neck.

A politically useful racist tradition

France has long carried out questionable policies regarding race. In 2010, the government expelled over 1,000 Romanian and Bulgarian Roma gypsies precisely because of their heritage. In doing so, it broke European Union law, which states that citizens of all member states have the right to live and settle wherever they like in the EU. A French court also banned the use of non-standard letters (such as ñ) in baby names, meaning that a number of celebrated names of Basque and Breton origin (two groups historically persecuted by the central government) were made illegal overnight.

It is not just in France where the government is attempting to interfere in education to stifle unwanted debate. As of 2020, schools in England are prohibited from using material from writers who have expressed anti-capitalist opinions. Meanwhile, Viktor Orban’s Hungarian government chose to outright ban the teaching of gender studies at universities.

Macron’s En Marche party appears to be attempting to undermine Le Pen’s support base among France’s white working class. Committed to neoliberal austerity politics, it is incapable of providing them with material gains. However, it can fall back on an appeal to the nation’s reactionary side by offering a harsh crackdown against the country’s Muslim population. Stoking fears of a supposed Islamist takeover of universities could be one way to do it.

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this photo from the Twitter page of the Nashville Fire Department, damage is seen on a street after an explosion in Nashville, Tennessee on December 25, 2020.

by Ramin Mazaheri  and crossposted with The Saker

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV’s.)

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed
Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

The entire world breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out that the alleged Nashville, Tennessee, bomber was not a Muslim – now nobody can get dragooned into supporting yet another war on a Muslim-majority country.

Isn’t it spectacular how after 9/11 the US impressed almost the entire West into never-ending military service? Western piracy in Afghanistan continues today; Iraq was reduced to shambles; France used the ruse to invade Mali, the Central African Republic and to create a roving “anti-terrorist” force across the entire Sahel; Libya is no longer really a nation; Syria stands despite all the money, guns, terrorists and concrete fortifications the West could muster. I am probably missing some others.

It was true that in the years after 9/11 Muslims silently held their breath when they heard about a terrorist attack, but after 20 years and so many bombs, drones and assassinations it’s abundantly clear that Muslims are not the aggressor nor the transgressor: The pointed finger alleging cultural failure was clearly a false accusation.

The question Muslims now often feel confident enough to ask non-Muslims in public is, “What did Islam ever have to do with terrorism, anyway?” The answer is the same as it was on 9/12/01: “Nothing”.

The Nashville bombing occurred on Christmas day – maybe this was an act of “Christian terrorism”?

The sad irony is that many Christians will flinch at such a term because they view “Christianity” and “terrorism” as being total opposites. Do such persons realise that Muslims view joining “Islam” to “terrorism” also creates an oxymoron? Muslims and Christians should permanently unite around this concept: the sadness of feeling totally misunderstood when the word “terrorism” is affixed to either religion. The only barrier to this is the Islamophobic nonsense which pours out of the West’s chattering classes.

Terrorism is always defined as violence which has a political motive. Was the Nashville bombing, allegedly caused by Anthony Warner, terrorism? We don’t know at this point, so it’s wrong to call it terrorism.

Some report that Warner was paranoid about the effects of the new 5G technology – that seems rather more social than political.

There are unproven accusations that Warner was bombing storage facilities used by the voting machine company Dominion, which is being sued for allegations of vote tampering – if proven to be true then it’s possible this was a political act. It’s looking like Joe Biden will prevail in the still-disputed US presidential election, but is Warner the advance scout of a battalion of right-wing, pro-Trump terrorists which the US media warned about so hysterically in 2020? Considering how insistently they promoted anti-Trumpism and the fear of right-wing violence, it’s surprising that US media hasn’t immediately called Warner a “post-Trumpian terrorist”?

Maybe they will get there, but what this unfortunate episode can teach us is that the West rushes to demonise Muslim citizens and the teachings of Islam whenever they think they have an opportunity to do so. If Warner had been a Muslim there would have been an unjournalistic rush to judgment by Western media that Nashville was undoubtedly an act of – ugh – “Islamic terrorism”.

It’s unfortunate that Islam is so easily slandered in the West, but the problem to discuss here is not religious misunderstanding but reactionary political thought: Islam is slandered so easily precisely in order to create false justifications for the West’s endless imperialist wars in the oil-rich, Israel-surrounding Muslim World.

In the Western world talking of “imperialism” is (incredibly, to me) denigrated as anachronistic, eccentric and unrealistic. It’s not even taken seriously – if I was writing about transgender bathrooms I would be taken infinitely more seriously, and that is no exaggeration. And yet, doesn’t using the lens of imperialism explain the very different US media treatment for Anthony Warner as opposed to “Omar” Warner?

After all, who can the US media suggest we invade as a result of Warner’s alleged act? Which culture can be insulted and ordered to change at the point of a spear? How can Americans feel a misguided sense of superiority – which helps deflect from their ever-increasing inequality, poverty and socioeconomic instability – when Warner’s culture is their own?

And thus Warner is getting treated far more sympathetically than any Muslim menace to society, even though Warner is no more human.

I do not begrudge sympathy for Warner: The unpredictable actions of severely mentally ill people often have devastating consequences on people, and this is an unfortunate part of life and must be discussed.

What I do point out is that, for example, in the majority of France’s terror attacks following Charlie Hebdo’s publication of pornographic pictures of Prophet Mohammad the attacker was also just another mentally-ill person, and not some political mastermind and zealot. I covered these attacks year after year and the perpetrators always fell into one of two categories: the largest was mental illness, while the smaller grouping were political (not religious) terrorists who – without fail – expressly said their attacks were retribution for France’s many imperialist attacks on Muslim countries.

The problem in the world today is not religious – as the West and Israel asserts – but political, as the developing world asserts.

But – as the four-year “daily cultural insanity” of the Trump era proves – the US is incapable of discussing political nuance intelligently and without resorting to hyperbolic slander or wild-eyed absurdities. This explains why if Anthony Warner had been a Muslim the violence would have undoubtedly been declared “terrorism”, immediately – I am referring to endemic American political hysteria of the “other”.  

I am not here to complain – as a professional wordsmith often pedantically does – about the misuse of words and the confusion caused by refusing to abide by established definitions. Instead, I am suggesting that non-Muslims in the West should wake up to just how easily they are intellectually manipulated when it comes to any violence which employs something more brutal than a handgun: Had Warner been a Muslim Americans and Westerners would have shouted at to maintain their awful, destructive and immoral two-decade long war posture towards Muslims and Islam.

When there are acts of political terrorism, the West needs to examine the politics behind it and make sure their politics are just. When there are acts of violence, just because a Muslim was the perpetrator doesn’t make it political. However, in the identity politics-obsessed West, it seems one is always defined solely by his or her tribe and is never just another son or daughter of Adam.

“Anthony” or “Omar” shouldn’t make a difference to you but it certainly does, depending on where you live: manipulative Islamophobia may have sent your children off to die in hopeless wars, gutted your individual political rights and caused you to see anyone with a different political view as your lifelong enemy.


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قراءة في كلمة الرئيس بشار الأسد في مشاركته في الاجتماع الدوري لوزارة الأوقاف في سورية

زياد حافظ

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استوقفنا عنوانان في الصفحة الأولى لصحيفة «واشنطن بوست» الأميركية الصادرة في 8 كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2020: العنوان الأول: «الإنجيليون يسيّرون ترامب ما يعني فشل الدين»، والعنوان الثاني: «شرعنة المخدرات». العنوانان يمثلان الذهنية القائمة في الولايات المتحدة عند النخب وخاصة عند من يسوّق لليبرالية. وهذا الموضوع بالذات تناوله رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية الدكتور بشار الأسد في كلمته لمجمع العلماء والعالمات (التشديد على العالمات كان من الرئيس السوري) في افتتاحية الاجتماع الدوري لوزارة الأوقاف. لم يكن المقصود الردّ على ما أتت به الصحيفة لأنّ كلامه سبق ما صدر فيها بل لأنه ربط الموقف السياسي بالبعد الثقافي والمجتمعي لما يمثّله الدين بشكل عام والإسلام بشكل خاص والعروبة والعلاقة بينهما واللغة العربية والقضايا المرتبطة بكلّ ذلك في السجالات التي تدور في الفضاء الثقافي. فلماذا نعتبر كلمة الرئيس في غاية الأهمية في هذه الظروف ومن خلال المنصة التي اختارها؟

السبب الأول هو أنه لأول مرّة نشهد مقاربة من شخص يعتلي أعلى موقف في المسؤولية السياسية أيّ الحكم ويقدّم مقاربة حول ترابط العديد من القضايا الثقافية الفكرية بالسلوك الفردي والجماعي وبالسياسة وبشكل دقيق يتجاوز تعداد العناوين العريضة. فالمواضيع التي تناولها الرئيس بشار الأسد تشمل السياسة والثقافة والدين والمجتمع والفكر كما طرح الإشكاليات المتعدّدة وكيف تنعكس على السياسة. ولم يكتف الرئيس بالتوصيف والتشريح بل رسم الخطوط العريضة لمعالجة الإشكاليات التي تكلّم عنها وجميعها تستحق النقاش المعمّق. وبالتالي أن تأتي هذه المقاربة عن مسؤول يعني أنّ القيادة لمشروع عربي نهضوي موجودة في أعلى هرم المسؤولية وأنّ التجدّد الحضاري هو سينتج عن المقاربات التي يقوم بها المجتمع العربي والإسلامي لكافة قضايا العصر. هذه النقطة في رأينا في بالغ الأهمية خاصة وأنّ الأمة مستهدفة بكلّ ما يكوّنها من مجتمع ودولة وثقافة وحضارة وخاصة في ما يتعلّق بالدين واللغة والموروث الحضاري والفكري. فالحروب التي شُنّت على هذه الأمة منذ قرون عديدة ما زالت قائمة ولم تفلح حتى الآن في محو هذه القوّة الذاتية التي تقاوم الاحتلال والاغتراب.

السبب الثاني هو أنّ الكلمة أتت دون قراءة لنصّ ما وبتسلسل ما يدلّ على عمق الاستيعاب لمجمل القضايا الشائكة وبالتالي تسكنه. كما أنّ إشاراته المتعدّدة لوسائل التواصل الاجتماعي وما يدور من سجالات فيها يدلّ على أنه ليس منقطعاً عن واقع المجتمع. بعض القضايا التي عرضها كالهجوم على القرآن الكريم كالوصف بأنه منتوج سرياني هو هجوم موجود في تلك وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي وقد اطّلعنا عليها. وفي هذه الكلمة عبّر الرئيس عن قناعات عميقة يستطيع المرء من خلالها فهم كيفية التفكير وكيفية المقاربة وبالتالي المواقف التي يتخذها. فهي إحدى المفاتيح لقراءة تفكيره ومواقفه والضوابط والخطوط الحمر التي لن يتجاوزها. فالعروبة خط أحمر وليس شعاراً بل ممارسة لهوية جامعة.

السبب الثالث هو أنّ جوهر كلمة الرئيس السوري يجسّد أدبيات التيّار العروبي الواسع والموجود في مخرجات المؤتمر القومي العربي ومنشورات مركز دراسات الوحدة العربية. وهذا ليس مستغرباً أن يكون كذلك الأمر في سورية وقيادتها بل هو أمر طبيعي بينما العكس لن يكون ذلك، أيّ أن يكون على قمة الهرم السياسي في سورية إلاّ من يجسّد الروح العروبية. فهذه هي سورية قلب العروبة النابض والتي استهدفها العدوان الكوني عليها خشية من تلك العروبة. ويأتي كلام الرئيس ليحسم فكرياً وسياسياً جدلاً عبثياً في الفضاء الفكري والسياسي حول العلاقة بين العروبة والإسلام. فالعديد من المثقفين العرب حاولوا في مراحل مختلفة وضع العروبة في وجه الإسلام كما حاولوا تسويق الهويات الفرعية على حساب الهوية الجامعة. فجاء كلام الرئيس السوري ليدحض كلّ ذلك ويعتبر ألّا تناقض بين هوية العائلة والقبيلة والمدينة والمنطقة والإقليم مع الهوية العربية الجامعة لكلّ تلك المكوّنات. وهذا هو متن الخطاب العروبي للمؤتمر القومي العربي ومن يؤمن بالمشروع النهضوي العربي. فهذه العروبة الجامعة تحلّ المشكلة المصطنعة للأقلّيات التي أدخلتها الحقبة الاستعمارية منذ القرن التاسع عشر.

هذه الملاحظات تستدعي التوقف عند النقاط العديدة التي أثارها الرئيس في حديثه إلى مجمع العلماء والعالمات كما شدّد في بداية كلمته. والنقاط العديدة أثيرت في سياق خط بياني واضح. فالحرب التي تخوضها سورية حرب متعدّدة الأوجه منها ما يمسّ بتماسك المجتمع ويضعف صموده. والتماسك المجتمعي مهدّد إذ الهجوم يستهدف مقوّمات ذلك التماسك وهي الهوية من جهة والدين من جهة أخرى والعلاقة بينهما. ومقاربة الرئيس السوري كانت لها عدّة أبعاد بدءاً بالفكر وثم بالسياسة وتداعياتها على قدرة المواجهة وعلى المستقبل. واستند في المقاربة إلى مخزون فكري وفقهي في آن واحد إضافة إلى ربط ذلك بالخيار والموقف السياسي.

لن نستطيع في هذه المقاربة تناول كلّ الأفكار التي أتى بها الرئيس السوري في كلمته لضيق المساحة أولاً ولأنّ العديد منها يستحق مقاربات منفصلة كحديثه عمّا سمّاه بالليبرالية الحديثة مثلاً أو حول أصول اللغة العربية أو حتى دور الإسلام في بلاد الشام. لذلك سنتناول بعضها لما نعتبره من أساسي في فهمنا لكلمته.

في البداية، الخط البياني للكلمة هو تشخيصه لطبيعة المواجهة التي فُرضت على سورية عبر العدوان الكوني عليها. لم يكرّر أسباب العدوان ومن اشترك وما زال في ذلك العدوان لكنه أراد أن يركّز في تشخيصه للمشهد على استهداف المجتمع في سورية. وأحد محاور الاستهداف هو عبر الهجوم على مكوّنات الوعي أيّ الدين واللغة في بعديهما التاريخي والمستقبلي وفي دورهما في تماسك المجتمع. ومن هنا تأتي أهمية المنصة التي اختارها لدحض الكثير من الاتهامات التي وجّهت لبنية الدولة والمجتمع ليس فقط من قبل الخصوم والمتشدّدين الذين استعملوا الدين كوسيلة لأهداف سياسية لا علاقة بالدين بل للذين اعتبروا أنّ الحداثة هي عبر نقض الدين في المجتمع والدولة. والرسالة التي أراد إرسالها هي التكامل بين الدين والدولة عندما تكلّم عن «العلمانية» وبعض المفاهيم المغلوطة التي يتمّ ترويجها وعن إمكانية إخراج الدين من الدولة. فهذا لن يحصل إلاّ إذا تمّ إخراج الدين من المجتمع. وبما أنّ مقاربته للأمور تفيد بأنّ الدين ضرورة لتماسك المجتمع فإنّ ذلك يعني أنه لا يجوز وضع الدين في قفص الاتهام كعائق لتنمية المجتمع لأنه قاعدة أساسية لتماسكه وبقائه. وتشديده على الدور الذي يقوم به مجمع العلماء والعالمات هو لتثبيت تلك العلاقة ودحض أيّ فكرة أنّ الدولة القائمة في سورية هي ضدّ الدين كما يروّج له خصومها أو كما يعتقد البعض من «المتحرّرين» أو «العلمانيين». من جهة أخرى نفى مزاعم جماعات التعصّب والغلو والتوحّش بأنها تمثّل الإسلام. فهذه الجماعات ترتكب الكبائر المحرّمة في الدين وذلك عبر قتلهم للأبرياء والتمسّك بالطقوس على حساب المقاصد. وتشديده على المقاصد كان لافتاً لأنّ ذلك يعكس فهمه للإسلام وتمسّكه به والمختلف عن التفسيرات الضيّقة والحرفية والخارجة عن السياق.

صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» في عنوانها عن «فشل الدين» تنتمي إلى تيّار ليبرالي انتقده الرئيس السوري. استفاض الرئيس في كلمته عمّا سمّاه بـ «الليبرالية الحديثة» التي تهدف إلى سلخ الإنسان عن هويته ليس فقط بالمعنى السياسي أو الثقافي بل أيضاً من هويته الجنسية أو الجندرية كما سمّاها (الجندرية تعريب لكلمة «جندر» الإنكليزية التي تشير إلى جنس المرء من ذكر أو أنثى). وهذا يتنافى مع موروثنا الثقافي والديني. فكيف يمكن للمرء أن «يختار» هويته الجندرية بينما الطبيعة هي التي تقوم بذلك؟

وأوضح أنّ الليبرالية الحديثة تنقض مفهوم مرجعية الجماعة وتريد نقلها إلى مرجعية الفرد ما يسهل نزع الهوية وما تمثّلها. فمرجعية الفرد مدمّرة للمجتمع عبر تدمير الوحدة الأساسية له وهي العائلة ومن ثم القبيلة وأو العشيرة ومن ثم الوطن. كما تدعو تلك الليبرالية إلى تعميم ما هو مناف للأخلاق والصحة العامة كالدعوة لتعميم المخدّرات كما ذكر الرئيس وكما جاء في عنوان آخر في الصحيفة الأميركية، وهي إحدى الأبواق البارزة لليبرالية وتدّعي ذلك بدون خجل. فالدين غير مقبول عند هؤلاء الليبراليين الحديثيين على حدّ قوله خاصة لدوره في المجتمع. في هذا السياق يفتح الرئيس، سواء قصد ذلك أو لم يقصد، باب التفكير بالموروث الثقافي المستورد من الغرب. الرئيس الروسي بوتين انتقد الديمقراطية المستوردة والرئيس السوري انتقد الثقافة المستوردة. ونحن ندعو إلى بناء منظومة معرفية عربية منبثقة عن موروثنا الثقافي مع التمسك بالمخزون العلمي الذي كوّنه العالم عبر القرون.

الهجوم على الدين في المجتمع السوري، واستطراداً في المجتمع العربي أجمع، يأتي عبر كتابات تشكّك في مكوّنات الشرع الإسلامي بدءاً بالقرآن الكريم وثم في الحديث ووصولاً إلى الفقه. وحرص الرئيس السوري أن يربط بين الحالة السورية التي يعتبرها متقدّمة في هذا المجال وبين حالة العالم الإسلامي التي اعتبرها متراجعة، فسورية هي جزء من العالم الإسلامي ولها مكانتها المميّزة تاريخيا، في الماضي، والحاضر، والمستقبل. فهو حريص على الحفاظ على تلك المكانة وهذه هي إحدى مهام مجمع العلماء والعالمات. وفي ما يتعلّق بالقرآن الكريم أشار الرئيس إلى ما يتمّ تداوله في وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي حول «سريانية» القرآن. هذه إحدى الاتهامات وليست الوحيدة ولكن نكتفي بما ذكره الرئيس السوري. والمقصود في «سريانية» القرآن، أنّ القرآن الكريم مؤلّف منقول وليس من كلام الله الذي أوحى به إلى الرسول الأكرم. والتشكيك بالقرآن الكريم هدفه ضرب عصفورين بحجر واحد. الأول هو ضرب أساس الإسلام والثاني ضرب العروبة. صحيح أنّ العروبة موجودة قبل الإسلام ولكن على حدّ قول علماء آسيويين أشار إليهم الرئيس السوري في كلمته أنهم لا يتصوّرون الإسلام خارج العروبة. ونحن نقول إنّ العروبة مفتاح لفهم الإسلام كما أنّ الإسلام مفتاح لاكتشاف العروبة. ولا يغيب عنّا أدبية أحد مؤسّسي حزب البعث الأستاذ ميشال عفلق في محاضرته الشهيرة «في ذكرى الرسول العربي» حيث قال: «فالإسلام هو الهزة الحيوية التي تحرّك كامن القوى في الأمة العربية فتجيش بالحياة الحارة، جارفة سدود التقليد وقيود الاصطلاح. مرجعة اتصالها مرة جديدة بمعاني الكون العميقة، ويأخذها العجب والحماسة فتنشأ تعبّر عن إعجابها وحماستها بألفاظ جديدة وأعمال مجيدة، ولا تعود من نشوتها قادرة على التزام حدودها الذاتية، فتفيض على الأمم الأخرى فكراً وعملاً، وتبلغ هكذا الشمول.»

من هذه الزاوية انتقل إلى الهجوم الآخر على الدين وهو التشكيك باللغة العربية فقدّم مطالعة سريعة حول أصول اللسان العربي وعلاقته بالسريانية والآرامية. ومن جهة أخرى اعتبر الاجتهاد الفقهي إنجازاً مشكوراً للفقهاء الذين قدّموا التفاسير والاجتهادات ولكن كانت مبنية على أرضية معرفية غير التي هي موجودة اليوم. لكنه رفض تقييم تلك الاجتهادات بمعايير الحاضر لبيئات مختلفة في الماضي لما يحمل ذلك من إجحاف بحق الفقهاء الذين قدّموا ما لديهم ضمن ظروفهم. لذلك اعتبر أنّ من مهامّ مجمع العلماء والعالمات الذي يمثل أمامه هو تقديم اجتهادات متماهية مع شؤون العصر دون بالضرورة ترك الموروث الفقهي. نعتقد أنّ هذا موقف في غاية الأهمية ولكنه شائك لأنه يفتح باب عصرنة الفقه في عصر معادي للدين بشكل عام وللإسلام بشكل خاص. فالتمسّك بالموروث الفقهي من تماسك المجتمع المسلم عبر القرون وبالتالي يجب الانتباه والحذر من الشروع في اجتهادات قد تكسر ذلك التماسك. وبالنسبة لنا التماسك هو عنصر استراتيجي في عصر التجزئة والتفتيت. كما يجب الحذر من الوقوع في إنشاء فقه الدولة التي تتغيّر مع الظروف وبالتالي يهدّد بتماسك الفقه والشرع.

كما ذكرنا أعلاه ليس بمقدورنا تفصيل كلّ ما جاء في كلمة الرئيس بشّار الأسد لضيق المساحة ولعمق الإشكاليات التي تتلازم مع الطروحات الفكرية التي ذكرها. من الواضح أنّ أمامنا قائد شاب ولكن مخضرماً وواسع الاطلاع بالتاريخ والثقافة وبأهمية التجدّد الحضاري عبر التمسّك بالهوية الجامعة التي تصون وحدة المجتمع كمرتكز لتحقيق وحدة الأمة. فلا تجدّد في رأينا في ظلّ الضعف ولا قوّة في ظلّ التجزئة. كما أنّ المعركة ليست سياسية فحسب بل مجتمعية وثقافية وحضارية. هذا ما خرجنا به بعد الاستماع للكلمة مع الشعور بالاطمئنان حول مستقبل سورية ومستقبل الأمة العربية.

*كاتب وباحث اقتصادي سياسي

والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

Assad and Islam of the Levant الأسد وإسلام بلاد الشام

الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Photo of الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched from a gathering of scientists in Damascus a call for the renaissance of scientists with the task of leading the confrontation with the liberalism project, which aims to strike the national identity and the ideological depth represented by Islam, together with social and family values, considering that this project aimed at dismantling societies and opening the way to the project of hegemony, This project stands behind both fragmentation, Misrepresentation and extremism, Assad accused French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Erdogan of sharing roles in managing extremist climates to strike the true identity of societies, He called for realising the lack of contradiction between their Islamic affiliation, their national identity and their secular state.

Assad and The Islam of the Levant

Nasser Qandil

 When an Islamic reference with the rank and knowledge of Sheikh Maher Hammoud said that when he listened to the speech of President Bashar al-Assad yesterday, in a council of leading scholars in Syria, he was surprised that the level of talk and depth in the issues of jurisprudence, doctrine, Qur’an and interpretation matched the senior scholars, as he was surprised by the clear and deep visions in dealing with issues affecting the Islamic world in deeper matters than politics, this is some of what will be the case for anyone who has been able to hear the flow of President Assad in dealing with matters of great complexity, sensitivity and accuracy, over the course of an hour. He is half-spoken in the sequence of the transition from one title to another, and supports every idea of religious evidence, Qur’anic texts, prophetic hadiths and historical evidence, and he paints the framework of the battle he is fighting intellectually to address decades-old dilemmas known as titles such as secularism, religiosity, Arabism and Islam, moderation and extremism, the task of scholars in interpreting and understanding biography and providing example in the front lines of identity battles, in drawing the paths of social peace, and establishing a system of moral, national and family values.

 Assad is crowned by efforts led by great reformers in the Arab and Islamic worlds to address these thorny issues, courageously advancing to this difficult, risky course, taking it upon himself as an Islamic, nationalist and secular thinker, to present a new version of the doctrinal, intellectual and philosophical understanding, seeking To replace imaginary virtual battles with historical reconciliation between lofty concepts and values related to peoples and elites, but divided around them, and fighting, instead of looking for the points of fundamental convergence that begin, as President Al-Assad says, of human nature, divine year and historical year. High values cannot collide, people’s attachment to them cannot be contradictory, and scientists and thinkers must resolve the contradiction when it emerges, and dismantle it. This is the task that Assad is dealing with by diving into the world of jurisprudence, thought and philosophy, and he is putting his hand on a serious intellectual wound, which is his description of the role played by the liberal school based on the destruction and dismantling of all societal structures, and elements of identity, to turn societies into mere individuals racing to live without meaning and controls, closer to the animal instinctive concept, and to the law of the jungle that governs it.

The historical role of Islam in the East, its structural and historical overlap with the manufacturing of major transformations, and universal identities, a title that needs the courage of Assad to approach it in terms of adherence to secularism, nationalism, prompts Assad to reveal the danger of realizing those who look to take control of this East of the importance of occupying Islam, as an investment less expensive than occupying the land, and doing its place and more. Whoever occupies Islam and speaks his tongue cuts more than half way to achieve his project, and reveals the danger of Assad realizing this in the heart of the war on Syria as one of the most prominent titles of the war prepared to control Syria, and in parallel the demonstrations of Islam in Syria, elites, scientists and the social environment. of resistance to the projects of intellectual, political and related occupation Seeking to destroy identity, belief, family cohesion, morality and value system, which carried the project of extremism financed and programmed with hundreds of satellite channels to spread strife and sow fear and encourage terrorism, with a neat rotation between the two sides feeding each other, and pushing Syrian scientists in the face of the precious sacrifices of the ranks of scientists, and they played in this confrontation a role that President Assad places as the role of the army on the front sands.

 Historically, Syria has been the focal point of the national identity, from which Islam has established its status as a cultural political project, and in front of doctrinal and religious schools divided between Wahhabism and the Muslim Brotherhood led by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the aspiration for Islam in the Levant has always been to promote the Islam of al-Azhar, and together constitute the historical turning point in the course of the East, in harmony with the understanding of the national identity of society and the secular foundation of the state. In this historic conversation, it is clear that President Assad has taken this important task upon himself as a thinker, not just as head of state.

الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Photo of الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

أطلق الرئيس السوري الدكتور بشار الأسد من لقاء علمائي جامع في دمشق الدعوة لنهضة العلماء بمهمة قيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة الذي يستهدف ضرب الهوية القوميّة والعمق العقائديّ الذي يمثله الإسلام، ومعهما القيم الاجتماعية والأسرية، معتبراً أن هذا المشروع الهادف لتفكيك المجتمعات وفتح الطريق لمشروع الهيمنة، هو الذي يقف وراء التفلّت والتطرّف معاً، متهماً الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون والرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان بتقاسم الأدوار في إدارة مناخات التطرّف لضرب الهوية الحقيقيّة للمجتمعات التي دعاها الأسد الى إدراك عدم التناقض بين انتمائها الإسلاميّ وهويتها القوميّة ودولتها العلمانيّة.

الأسد وإسلام بلاد الشام

ناصر قنديل

 عندما يقول مرجع إسلامي بمرتبة وعلم الشيخ ماهر حمود أنه عندما استمع الى حديث الرئيس بشار الأسد أول أمس، في مجلس ضمّ كبار العلماء في سورية، فوجئ بأن مستوى الحديث وعمقه في قضايا الفقه والعقيدة والقرآن والتفسير يُضاهي كبار العلماء، كما فوجئ بالرؤى الواضحة والعميقة في تناول القضايا التي تطال العالم الإسلامي في شؤون أعمق من السياسة، فهذا بعض ما سيقع عليه كل مَن أتيح له سماع تدفّق الرئيس الأسد في تناول شؤون شديدة التعقيد والحساسية والدقة، على مدى ساعة ونصف متحدثاً بتسلسل الانتقال من عنوان الى آخر، وتدعيم كل فكرة بالشواهد الدينيّة والنصوص القرآنية والأحاديث النبوية والشواهد التاريخية، وهو يرسم إطار المعركة التي يخوضها فكرياً لمعالجة معضلات عمرها عقود طويلة عرفت بعناوين، مثل العلمانية والتديُّن، والعروبة والإسلام، والاعتدال والتطرف، ومهمة العلماء في التفسير وفهم السيرة وتقديم المثال في الخطوط الأماميّة لمعارك الهوية، وفي رسم مسارات السلم الاجتماعي، وإرساء منظومة القيم الأخلاقية والوطنية والأسرية.

 يتوّج الأسد مساعي قادها إصلاحيّون كبار في العالمين العربي والإسلامي لتناول هذه القضايا الشائكة، متقدماً بشجاعة لخوض هذا المسلك الوعر، والمحفوف بالمخاطر فيأخذ على عاتقه كمفكر إسلاميّ وقوميّ وعلمانيّ، تقديم نسخة جديدة من الفهم الفقهيّ والفكريّ والفلسفيّ، تسعى لاستبدال المعارك الافتراضيّة الوهميّة بمصالحة تاريخية بين مفاهيم وقيم سامية تتعلق بها الشعوب والنخب، لكنها تنقسم حولها، وتتقاتل، بدلاً من أن تبحث عن نقاط التلاقي الجوهري التي تنطلق كما يقول الرئيس الأسد من الفطرة البشريّة، والسنة الإلهيّة والسنة التاريخيّة. فالقيم السامية لا يمكن لها أن تتصادم، وتعلّق الشعوب بها لا يمكن أن يأتي متناقضاً، وعلى العلماء والمفكرين حل التناقض عندما يظهر، وتفكيكه. وهذه هي المهمة التي يتصدّى لها الأسد بالغوص في عالم الفقه والفكر والفلسفة، وهو يضع يده على جرح فكري خطير يتمثل بتوصيفه للدور الذي تقوم به المدرسة الليبرالية القائمة على تدمير وتفكيك كل البنى المجتمعية، وعناصر الهوية، لتحويل المجتمعات الى مجرد أفراد يتسابقون على عيش بلا معنى ولا ضوابط، أقرب للمفهوم الحيوانيّ الغرائزيّ، ولشريعة الغاب التي تحكمه.

 الدور التاريخيّ للإسلام في الشرق، وتداخله التركيبي والتاريخي مع صناعة التحوّلات الكبرى، والهويات الجامعة، عنوان يحتاج الى شجاعة الأسد لمقاربته من منطلق التمسك بالعلمانيّة، والقوميّة، يدفع الأسد للكشف عن خطورة إدراك الذين يتطلعون لوضع اليد على هذا الشرق لأهميّة احتلال الإسلام، كاستثمار أقل كلفة من احتلال الأرض، ويقوم مقامها وأكثر. فمن يحتلّ الإسلام ويلبس لبوسه وينطق بلسانه يقطع أكثر من نصف الطريق لتحقيق مشروعه، ويكشف الأسد خطورة إدراكه لهذا الأمر في قلب الحرب على سورية كواحد من أبرز العناوين للحرب التي أعدّت للسيطرة على سورية، وبالتوازي ما أظهره الإسلام في سورية، من النخب والعلماء والبيئة الاجتماعية من قدرة مقاومة لمشاريع الاحتلال الفكري، والسياسي، وما يتصل بها من سعي لتدمير الهوية والعقيدة والترابط الأسري والأخلاق ومنظومة القيم، وهو ما حمله مشروع التطرّف المموّل والمبرمج بمئات الفضائيّات لبثّ الفتن وزرع الخوف والتشجيع على الإرهاب، بتناوب متقن بين طرفَيْه يغذي أحدهما الآخر، ودفع علماء سورية في مواجهته تضحيات غالية من صفوف العلماء، وأدوا في هذه المواجهة دوراً يضعه الرئيس الأسد بمصاف دور الجيش على الجبهات.

 تاريخياً، كانت سورية هي نقطة الارتكاز التي تأسست عليها الهويّة القوميّة، والتي امتلك منها الإسلام صفته كمشروع سايسيّ حضاريّ، وأمام مدارس فقهيّة ودينيّة تتوزّع بين الوهابية والأخوان المسلمين بقيادة سعودية وتركية، كان التطلع دائماً لإسلام بلاد الشام ليستنهض معه إسلام الأزهر، ويشكلان معاً نقطة التحول التاريخية في مسار الشرق، بالتناغم مع فهم الهوية القوميّة للمجتمع، والأساس العلماني للدولة. وفي هذا الحديث التاريخي، يبدو بوضوح أن الرئيس الأسد قد أخذ هذه المهمة الجليلة على عاتقه كمفكّر، وليس فقط كرئيس للدولة.

فيديوات متعلقة

Joe Biden Is Unlikely To Fix The Problem Of American Islamophobia

By Denis Korkodinov

Source

In the United States, representatives of the Muslim community have high hopes for the new head of state, Joe Biden. The reason for this was the promise to lift the ban on the Islamophobic campaign and create comfortable living conditions for American Muslims. However, experts are confident that the promises made by Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris are populism.

According to the expert community, the restrictions imposed on Muslims in the United States can hardly be lifted on the basis of a single decision by the head of the White House. Islamophobia is ingrained in the life of American society, as a result of which it cannot be neutralized by political will alone. In this regard, American intolerance towards Muslims is a certain manifestation of internal aggression maintained at the mental level mainly in relation to its own citizens. Undoubtedly, it was the state institutions of the United States that over the decades have created the “ideal” conditions for the development of Islamophobia. Exercising total control over the activities and movement of representatives of the Muslim community and supporting programs to combat “radical Islam”, Washington purposefully instilled hatred of the followers of Islam in American society.

It is worth noting that, according to experts, only in the period from 2001 to 2015 in the United States, Muslim public and religious figures were much more likely to be prosecuted on terrorism charges than representatives of other confessions. Moreover, it was American Muslims who received much harsher criminal penalties, which is evidence of a biased American justice system.

Similar cases became popular under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, when only Muslims were involved in the “anti-state conspiracy” case. It is noteworthy that weapons were found on practically all Muslims accused in this case. At the same time, not a single “white” American or supporter of ultra-right ideology was involved in the case, even as a suspect.

The same Islamophobic trend is evident in the American media environment. Thus, in the specified period of time, 2001-2015, the number of anti-Muslim publications in the New York Times and Washington Post alone was 7.7 times higher than the number of publications in which representatives of other religious denominations were mentioned.

Meanwhile, this is only the public part of American life. There are many more manifestations of Islamophobia at the everyday level, when ordinary Muslims face many restrictions on a daily basis on the basis of following the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. In particular, in some American catering establishments, Muslims are prohibited from entering, and the local police can arrest a person without charge only because of his belief in Allah.

These problems are ingrained in the United States, as a result of which the new head of state, Joe Biden, is unlikely to be able to instantly change the situation.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Donald Trump still refuses to admit defeat. Based on this, he can deliberately use the factor of Islamophobia to provoke new acts of violence in order to put pressure on the Joe Biden cabinet.

It would be naive to believe that Islamophobia in the United States arose under Donald Trump. However, it was with the assistance of Donald Trump that American intolerance towards Muslims was elevated to the level of a national brand. Therefore, to eradicate this phenomenon, it will be necessary not only to change attitudes towards Muslims using political decisions. Work is also needed to overcome anti-Muslim hatred at the mental level of American society.

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized

November 09, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

It’s impossible for the US presidential election to have gone worse for the empire: America now has two presidents.

That can’t be denied, yet their mainstream media is spinning like mad the idea that there is no problem: The election is over and that Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect. This is likely a biased view, but it’s certainly terrible journalism. Journalists have the right to do whatever they want – project election winners, ignore half the electorate, talk about “partition” – but we have no legal power to decide who actually won.

Not only has a certainly narrow vote not been certified, but the votes aren’t even all counted yet. And it’s not as if this vote wasn’t already disputed for months in the public eye. And it’s not as if there were’t several hundred lawsuits filed before the vote even took place. And it’s not as if there won’t be many lawsuits dated after the November 3rd vote.

But to their clearly anti-Trump mainstream media: “Nothing to see here, move along.”

Seriously? American journalism in action is really something to see.…

The media keeps pointing out that all the lawsuits have failed so far, but it just takes is one and it goes to the top – the Supreme Court deciding this election continues to look not just possible but probable. The idea that American judges are mostly liberal rebels and not by-the-book conservatives is preposterous – they are judges, after all. Record absentee balloting and an incumbent who focuses on his rights and benefits first, last and always both remind us how very not by-the-book this election is.

The ultimate fault for the current “Avignon Papacy” situation – the Roman Catholic church had two popes for most of the 14th century – lays not with the media but with the candidates, and especially Joe Biden. For months he bemoaned the unpredictability of Trump, and yet Biden declared victory Saturday based merely on an AP projection. It was an incredibly self-interested, dangerous, destablising and confidence-shaking move to make – it was a very Trumpian.

If the very slim numbers (Biden is up by an average of just 30,000 votes in three different states) were flipped and Trump declared early the mainstream media would be up in arms, and rightly so. Biden continues to – as the first debate reminded us – willingly jump down to the Trumpian unpresidential gutter, and yet because Trump licks the gutter’s floor Biden is somehow given a free pass.

Red state/blue state now officially outdated: it’s Trumpism vs. ‘universal values’ holdouts

The former was based on two things: a nation divided by new wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a nation with huge inequalities between rural and urban/suburban citizens (in access to technology, cultural influence and standard of living). It was rural Americans who fought in these wars of imperialism (and not mere revenge for 9/11), which drastically shaped the communities they lived in, thus making the divide especially inflamed.

However, in 2020 Texas almost flipped Democrat?! Arizona – the proud home of reactionary radical John “Bomb bomb bomb Iran” McCain – is currently flipping Democrat?! Several Great Lakes states have already flipped back and forth in the Trump era. Trumpism has – for better or for worse – obviously changed American politics in a major way because unthinkable realignments are happening, and this forces us to eject old paradigms if we want to understand what is going on here.

The new partition is “brazen imperialism” versus “soft imperialism”.

But here’s our dilemma: Which party represents which? That we pause is entirely the change to grasp in 2020.

Democrats have become the party which backs the Deep State, “humanitarian interventions”, “universal values” which are a code phrase for their preferred values, free trade (which benefits the rich the most), censorship and which evinces a dangerous evangelism and hysterical self-righteousness (as their failed three-year Russophobia campaign showed). Violent evangelism is forbidden in Islam, but not in the Protestant or Catholic West.

What can we call French President Emmanuel Macron’s unprecedented declaration that Islamophobia is now state policy but a hysterical evangelism in favor of Western secularism? It’s hardly as if secularism has produced more moral or just governance than in religious-inspired nations, yet Macron’s faith cannot be shaken no matter how many innocent people his anti-Muslim tirades get killed.

And who is more globalist, “universal values” and pro-European Union than “neoliberal strongman” Macron, no matter how many French Yellow Vests lose an eye just for insisting that neoliberalism means the colonisation of the average of Westerner by an international 1%, and also that the post-1991 EU is a “neoliberal empire”?

I broaden out the US experience because in the other Western imperialist nations we clearly see similar cultural movements – engaging in imperialism inherently produces exceptional and distorted cultures. Ex-Labor chief Jeremy Corbyn was just suspended by his own party for absurd anti-Semitism allegations because that is what hysterical imperialists do to those who don’t embrace 1%-led globalisation. It used to be that such denigrations were limited to conservatives, but Corbyn proves how flexible our analysis needs to be precisely because traditional Western paradigms have become outdated.

Trump has signalled the start of a new era: the Cold War ended in 1991, US unipolar dominance (and thus Western dominance) ran from 1992-2016, and Trumpism coincides with the Great Recession-era propelled return to a multipolar era.

The undeniable electoral rejection of a “Democratic Blue Wave” in favor of “Trumpian Republicans” – where Trump increased his vote totals with every ethnic group and gender except White males – shows that the concept of White male supremacism being the foundation of Trumpism is as false as the labels of anti-Semitism pinned on Corbyn and the Yellow Vests. Trumpism is something bigger: it certainly must now include the idea of a Western domestic rebellion against their politicians who have presided over (or caused) the establishment of our new multipolar era.

The digital era does not seem to lend itself to the values still required to thrive in rural areas, so far, but last week’s vote totals prove that we cannot say that Trumpism is simply a “red state” phenomenon anymore.

This is not new: heads are divided in the US metaphorically, and maybe soon literally

Trump is planning to hold “recount rallies”, to publish the obituaries of dead people alleged to have voted in the election, to sue various state election boards, and to generally keep refusing to play by the rules of the globalist/“universal values” dominated US establishment (which is the basis of Trump’s popularity). You might be shocked by all that, or oppose all that, but you cannot say that Trump supporters should be frozen out of how this election concludes unless you openly prefer unilateral declarations to democracy with checks and balances.

A concession speech by one candidate is not legally required, but it is obviously a cultural necessity. How long can US media pretend that the election is over even though there has been no concession speech?

That’s an incredibly dangerous question to ask, and undoubtedly terrible journalism, and more proof that this election could not have gone worse for Americans if it had tried.

What would have happened Saturday in Chicago if pro-Trump supporters had gone to Trump Tower, where all day and night there were hundreds of people celebrating Biden’s “victory”? I can tell you, as I was there: a whole lot of innocent young people would have gotten their heads split open.

That’s the danger Biden just caused, and which is being increased by poor journalism and which has only just begun.

Biden set off this era of two presidents rather than counselling patience and faith in the process amid crisis. Biden has also set the stage for dramatic domestic disillusionment with their electoral process and political structure. Trump voters are incensed, and Biden just trolled them even though the US mainstream media was already doing exactly that for him.

In 2009 the moderate candidate declared early in Iran’s presidential election and after periods of peaceful rallies and counter-rallies it got violent. America should have learned from Iran’s experience (shared by countless other examples in modern history) but apparently Biden is not smart enough despite 47 years experience as a public servant. Nobody ever assumes great public service and intelligence from Trump, and certainly not the virtue of forbearance, but Biden promised better yet failed to deliver on what he said was his Day 1.

Biden was supposed to be better than Trump, but this was the worst start possible.

He can smile for the cameras, and create a corona task force which can’t start until January 21, and ignore the calls to finish counting the vote and to certify it, but the simple reality is that 70 million Trump voters are not going away in 2020 any more than they went away after they won in 2016. They need to be understood – they were unexpected, at the very least, and seem to herald a new era, at the most.

Trump’s re-election would probably not be good for the same countries as in 2016 – Iran, Palestine, Cuba, Venezuela and any other of the few nations with a socialist-inspired revolution/movement – and so we see why leaders and diplomats from these nations especially want him gone: Trump cannot be reasoned with regarding these revolutionary (unique) nations. Who knows what a Trump second term would bring? But Biden continues to show plenty of worrying evidence that he plans to get away with the same unilateral nonsense Trump set the precedent for, rather than re-establishing basic decorum, concern for others and diplomacy. I examined this notion last month in an editorial titled, “US debate debacle shows Democrats will adopt Trumpian self-interest globally”, and Biden’s reckless premature declaration shows the idea has a worrying amount of merit.

Unilateral nonsense is not good for the American 99% or the 99% of any other nation. With two presidents, American nonsense has only doubled.

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Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism wasn’t a cult of personality (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

Why Is American Islamophobia Dangerous?

By Dennis Korkodinov

Source

t is noteworthy that in the period from October 22 to 26, 2007, neoconservatives in the United States first introduced the concept of “Islamo-fascism” into public discourse. Thus, they intended to draw an analogy between the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the ideology that during the Second World War posed a threat to humanity.

Modern tendencies of Islamophobia in the United States, which have spread, moreover, in most European countries, testify to the traditional denigration of the followers of Islam.

It is noteworthy that in the period from October 22 to 26, 2007, neoconservatives in the United States first introduced the concept of “Islamo-fascism” into public discourse. Thus, they intended to draw an analogy between the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the ideology that during the Second World War posed a threat to humanity. This defamation policy, despite strong criticism from the Muslim community, has become a national brand of the United States, thanks to George W. Bush. It was this head of the White House who was the first to elevate Islamophobia into the cult of modern Americanism, presenting all Muslims (regardless of their country of residence, gender, age, and social status) in the image of terrorists.

Such a lie, artificially popularized by American politicians, suggests that this was not only a manifestation of religious intolerance. This was the announcement of a kind of “crusade” of the United States against Muslims and all those who sympathize with them. The leader of this campaign was the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which brought together ardent artists and Islamophobes who were ready to persecute representatives of the Muslim community with weapons in their hands.

One could express doubts about the seriousness of American Islamophobia, believing that it poses no real threat. However, the danger of this kind of religious intolerance is that it has a lot of influential supporters who have practically unlimited resources and power in order to elevate the persecution of Muslims into a state of total sectarian strife. And, given that Islamophobia directly affects the emergence of military conflicts in the Greater Middle East, such threats should be considered extremely realistic.

It is quite obvious that at present the main hotbeds of war in the Middle East arise precisely in those countries where Islam has a fairly strong position and, often in these countries, Islamic clergy are at the top of political power or perform the function of an “alternative government” (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria). In addition, another distinctive feature of these countries is the huge reserves of oil and natural gas. In this regard, for the United States, the tandem combination of Islam and oil serves as a compelling reason for military intervention.

Thus, the theme of “fighting terrorism” postulated by Washington is only a smokescreen for destroying Islam and seizing the oil that is protected by the followers of Islam. This explains why the United States has been fighting the Ayatollah regime in Iran for several decades, refusing to withdraw troops from Iraqi territory, trying to influence Hezbollah in order to dismember Lebanon, and supporting the radical Syrian opposition.

The main goal of the American administration is a permanent war with Islam, which US politicians refuse to accept as a given, as an ideology that has become a system-forming element of the Arab states, has led to the emergence of prominent religious figures, starting from the Prophet Mohamed, and has created a unique means of communication between peoples, states, and civilizations.

Such a policy is in its savagery comparable to the policy of dictatorial regimes. The Propaganda Minister of the Third Reich Joseph Goebbels said that if a lie is repeated enough times, it becomes true, at least for those who believe in it. In this regard, by constantly promoting Islamophobia, the United States hopes that sooner or later the supporters of this religious intolerance will become the majority, which will lead to a complete discrediting of Islam.

Déjà Vu in France: Hypocrisy of the French State. “Freedom of Speech” versus Islamophobia

“Freedom of speech should never ever glorify the freedom to insult, to mock, to humiliate another person or community or civilisation”

By Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

Global Research, November 02, 2020

As events unfold in France centring around Islamophobia, there is a feeling of déjà vu. We have witnessed a few times before this sequence of events.  There is some provocation or other targeting the Prophet Muhammad initiated by a non-Muslim group or institution. Predictably, Muslims react.  In the midst of demonstrations and rallies, an act of violence occurs perpetrated by an offended Muslim and/or his co-religionists. The violent act leads to further demonization of Muslims in the media which by this time is in a frenzy.  Feeling targeted, some Muslim groups escalate their emotional response, sometimes causing more deaths to occur of both Muslims and non-Muslims even in countries far away from the place where the provocation first occurred. One also hears of calls to boycott goods produced in the country where it all started.

On this occasion too it was French president Emmanuel Macron’s vigorous assertion that cartoons of the Prophet produced by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, in January 2015 and republished since  represented freedom of speech that angered a lot of Muslims in France and elsewhere, though some other remarks he had made recently about ‘Islam being in crisis’ and ‘Islamic separatism’ had also annoyed some people. However, it was the beheading of a French schoolteacher who had shown the cartoons in a class discussion on freedom of speech by a Muslim youth of Chechen origin that provoked not only Macron but also other leaders and a huge segment of French society to react with hostility towards Muslims and even Islam. It should be emphasised that almost all major Muslim leaders and organisations in France also condemned the beheading.  So did many Muslims in other parts of the world.

It is not enough just to denounce an ugly, insane murder of this sort. Not many Muslim theologians have argued publicly that resorting to mindless violence to express one’s anger over a caricature of the Prophet is an affront to the blessed memory of God’s Messenger. For even when he was physically abused in both Mecca and Medina, Prophet Muhammad did not retaliate with violence against his adversaries. He continued with his mission of preaching justice and mercy with kindness and dignity. It is such an attitude that should be nurtured and nourished in the Muslim world today especially by those who command religious authority and political influence among the masses.

Why Is Islam the Fastest Growing Religion of the Modern Era?

If a change in approach is necessary among some Muslims, French society as a whole should also re-appraise its understanding of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech should never ever glorify the freedom to insult, to mock, to humiliate another person or community or civilisation. Respect for the feelings and sentiments of the religious other should be integral to one’s belief system, whether it is secular or not. Just because the French State and much of French society have marginalised religion, it does not follow that it should also show utter contempt for a Muslim’s love and reverence for his/her Prophet especially when 6 million French citizens profess the Islamic faith.

Indeed, respecting and understanding the sentiments and values that constitute faith and belief has become crucial in a globalised world where at least 80 % of its inhabitants are linked in one way or another to some religion or other.  We cannot claim to be champions of democracy and yet ignore, or worse, denigrate what is precious to the majority of the human family. This does not mean that we should slavishly accept mass attitudes towards a particular faith. Reforms should continue to be pursued within each religious tradition but it should not undermine respect for the foundations of that faith.

French leaders and elites who regard freedom of speech or expression as the defining attribute of their national identity, should also concede that there have been a lot of inconsistencies in their stances.  A French comedian, Dieudenne, has been convicted in Court eight times for allegedly upsetting “Jewish sentiment” and is prohibited from performing in many venues. A cartoonist with Charlie Hebdo was fired for alleged “ anti-Semitism.”  There is also the case of a writer, Robert Faurisson in the sixties who was fined in Court and lost his job for questioning the conventional holocaust narrative. Many years later, the French intellectual Roger Garaudy was also convicted for attempting to re-interpret certain aspects  of the holocaust.

The hypocrisy of the French State goes beyond convictions in Court. While officials are rightfully aghast at the violence committed by individuals, France has a long history of perpetrating brutal massacres and genocides against Muslims and others. The millions of Algerians, Tunisians and Moroccans who died in the course of the French colonisation of these countries bear tragic testimony to this truth. Vietnam and the rest of Indo-China reinforce this cruel and callous record.  Even in contemporary times, the French State has had no qualms about embarking upon military operations from Afghanistan and Cote d’ Ivore  to Libya and North  Mali  which serve its own interests of dominance and control rather than the needs of the people in these lands.

Honest reflections upon its own misdeeds past and present are what we expect of the French state and society in 2020. There is no need to pontificate to others. This is what we would like to see all colonial powers of yesteryear do —- partly because neo-colonialism is very much alive today.

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Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the president of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Global Research, 2020

Terrorism and French Values

By Kim Petersen

Source

Sowing and Reaping?
Emmanuel Macron Meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ad79f

There have been some horrendous, despicable killings by Muslim extremists in France. Such killings must be condemned.

French president Emmanuel Macron played the victim card, saying that France “will not give into terrorism.” Yet when 21st century France engages in overseas militarism, otherwise known as state terrorism, in places with large Muslim populations – places that never attacked France — such as Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Somalia, Libya, North Mali, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen then what is to be expected? Is it okay for France to engage in militarism abroad and expect no blowback on French soil? Must not the French terrorism be condemned?

The embattled, unpopular French president has seized upon the gruesome killings to denounce terrorism and championed “French values,” such as freedom of speech. [1]

Once again the controversial publication Charlie Hebdo has provoked a lethal response.

But the French, especially its politicians, are hypocrites. If free speech allows one to impugn one religion, then then that right to impugn must be allowed for all religions. Take the case of French comedian Dieudonné. He has been convicted in court eight times for upsetting Jewish sentiment and has consequently been embargoed by many venues where he would normally ply his trade.

Many years earlier, professor Robert Faurisson, an extreme skeptic of the typical Holocaust narrative, was hit wth by judicial proceedings, was fined, and lost his job. Is this respect for free speech? Professor Noam Chomsky experienced blowback for supporting free speech in the case of Faurisson. Chomsky held, “… it has been a truism for years, indeed centuries, that it is precisely in the case of horrendous ideas that the right of free expression must be most vigorously defended; it is easy enough to defend free expression for those who require no such defense.” [2]

As for France defending freedoms, The Times of Britain notes,

French authorities have been accused of “judicial harassment” in a damning Amnesty report that claims more than 40,000 people were convicted during the gilet jaune (yellow vest) and pension reform protests in 2018 and 2019 “on the basis of vague laws” aimed at restricting their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

The controversial media outlet Charlie Hebdo is not about either free expression or speech. It fired a cartoonist for alleged anti-Semitism. [3] On its face, Charlie Hebdo signals that Islamophobia is kosher, but Judeophobia is haram.

Macron said “France is under attack.” [4] Were Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Somalia, Libya, North Mali, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen not under attack when the French sent their guns to these countries? [5]

ENDNOTES

  1. Agence France-Presse,“‘Nous ne cèderons rien’ sur les valeurs françaises, assure Macron” TVA Nouvelles, 29 October 2020.
  2. Noam Chomsky, “Some Elementary Comments on The Rights of Freedom of Expression,” Appeared as a Preface to Robert Faurisson, Mémoire en défense, 11 October 1980.
  3. See “‘Charlie Hebdo’ condamné pour le licenciement abusif du dessinateur Siné,” Le Monde, 10 December 2009.
  4. “Attentat de Nice – ‘La France est attaquée’, 7 000 militaires déployés, les églises et les écoles sous surveillance : ce qu’il faut retenir des annonces d’Emmanuel Macron” L’Indépendant, 29 October 2020.
  5. Note some of these 21st century conflicts are still ongoing.

*(Top image: French President Emmanuel Macron meets Prime Minister 

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