Monday, August 20, 2007

More in the world of Indian Muslims

I wrote earlier of Taslima Nasreen, the ex-Muslim feminist (soon to be wife of PM ;-)), who faces an indictment in India for 'insulting Islam.' I also wrote of the violence against her in Hyderabad. Now it seems she has a 'fresh fatwa' against her life. She was given a month to leave Kolkhata, or she will be killed. This is how much the jihadis believe in freedom of speech.

And yet not all the news from India's Islamic community is bad. Witness a recent delegation of Indian imams to Israel, and what the leader had to say:

The time for violence has come to an end, and the era of peace and dialogue between Muslims and Jews has begun - that was the message delivered by Maulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi, secretary-general of the All-India Association of Imams and Mosques, during an interview with Ynetnews.

Ilaysi's organization represents half a million imams, who are the main religious leaders of India's 200 million Muslims.

In an extraordinary visit to Israel, organized by the American Jewish Committee's (AJC) India office, Ilaysi arrived as part of a delegation of Indian Muslim leaders and journalists.

Asked to address Hamas's call for jihad to destroy Israel, Ilaysi said, "I believe in peace and this is the message I take. I don't believe in anything that destroys another country."

The religious leader also said the time had come for Pakistan to establish official relations with Israel. "This is the right thing to do," he added.

These are honestly the words of peace, and I find them to be remarkable. I know PM thinks it is all bluster, but I have to disagree with him. The question, however, is whether this imam is long for the world, and how many Indian Muslims agree with him.

Perhaps Indian Muslims can lead the world as an example of what it truly means to show Islam can be a religion of peace?

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty

I had the following exchange with a friend of mine who is a Zionist. I figured you would appreciate what I had to say.

My friend wrote me the following:

just to reiterate, i'm for the settlers and soldiers to be evacuated, and for soldiers' ability to go after terrorists and other threats. i'm also for israel to keep early warning stations as they see fit. i'm just not for this whole matrix of control over a hostile won't convince them to change their ways, so it's unsustainable and pointless if israel can find just as effective means of self-defense. how don't care how it's viewed by them, they won't be able to penetrate israel and that'll be the best message to send.

This was my reply:

I understand why you believe in evacuating most of the West Bank, but to briefly outline why I do not believe it to be a fruitful platform...

  1. Technically speaking, the 'hostile population' already is under the control over the thugs of the Palestinian Authority. In fact, times were best for this hostile population when Israelis were in control in the '80s, pre-Oslo.
  2. To that end, the IDF is in there not to 'control' the hostile population, but rather to secure the Israeli population AGAINST the hostile population. Yes, road blocks can be crap, but we know when they were put in - after the Intifada. They were not, repeat, NOT, there pre-Intifada. As such, we have to evalualate them not from whether or not it is hurting Israeli psyche to be 'in control' over a hostile population, but rather, whether they are effective. If you look at the extreme drop in suicide bombings, then yes, they have been effective to at least some degree. I would be in favor of dropping anything ineffective, but ONLY if it is ineffective.
  3. It is a human rights nightmare to just evacuate tens of thousands (if not many more) of Jews from the holiest part of Israel. There is not the infrastructure nor the sympathy to care for what will be homeless people. The settlers evacuated from Gaza have been reduced to living in trailers, the kids still, two years later, are not enrolled in schools.
  4. If we were to evacuate the West Bank, then it is a guarantee that our holiest sites will be 100% destroyed. I am not so cool with our history and heritage being destroyed. We need only examine the example of Gaza, and the wholesale destruction of the ancient synagogues there.
  5. As far as my understanding, the missile defense system will not be effective if the missiles come lobbed RIGHT over the wall, and they are certainly still at a test phase in general. The technology is not as effective as rooting out the terrorists in the way the IDF currently does.
  6. WHY should Jews have to evacuate Jewish holy land (which they were slaughtered in in 1929, as you know), and Arabs are allowed to live in Israel? Honestly, if THAT is the philosophy of the JEWISH state - population exchange ONLY for Jews - then that rewards bad behavior. Rewarding bad behavior encourages bad behavior. And it makes me believe that if there is to be a population exchange, let's make it even - let's tell all Arab Israelis they have to declare they are a Zionist (and that their kids must join IDF), or they will be given money to leave. I do not believe it right or just to have a one-way population exchange.
  7. Was the IDF set up to forcibly expel Jews from their homes? Having the IDF do such a thing undermines confidence in the IDF. There already is a concern about draft dodging, and such policies will only increase draft dodging.
  8. None of this will change the opinion of the world, nor the Palestinians, nor the Arab Israelis, about Israel. If anything, it will make them more vigilant, rather than less. They will see that their actions lead to a reward. As such, if the goal is to curb the impulse to commit acts of terror, that is not achieved.
  9. If the goal is to be more militarily effective, I do not believe that would be achieved, either. Let's examine: why are there no rockets being launched through the West Bank, but there are rockets being launched from Gaza? Answer: because of the vigilance of the IDF in rooting out the Islamist terrorists in the West Bank. THAT is the reason. You take away the IDF presence, and there will be, almost as a guarantee, an upsurge of terrorism and rockets being launched at Israel. The missile defense system is still in the test phase and cannot be relied upon and is no substitute for what the IDF does now. Meanwhile, the West Bank sits right on top of MAJOR POPULATON CENTERS of Israel! Thus, leaving the West Bank in the way you propose would expose the population centers, and make them less, and not more safe. And this is under the pretense of assuming that the IDF had to forcibly expel tens of thousands of Jews from their homes - and there is NO Jewish presence in the West Bank (save for the few settlement blocks).
  10. Let's examine another scenario. Let's pretend that there is a Jewish presence in the West Bank. Let's pretend that the IDF leaves, and the Jews are told that they can stay, but they will be under the auspices of the corrupt, thug-like Palestinian Authority. These settlers will be armed, as they are now, and will certainly act to defend themselves and their homes. It will be like the Wild West. And a tenet of the IDF is to protect Jews in the world, wherever they may be. (most famously seen in the bravery during the Entebbe hijacking) So the IDF still has jurisdiction over these Jews and still would have a duty to defend them - only they will not be able to be as effective in doing so, having ceded power and control over to the Palestinian Authority. There would be massacres.
  11. The bottom line is that Israel has only two logical paths it can follow if it seeks to avoid a human rights nightmare for its Jewish citizens. One is to remain constantly vigilant. Remember what Wendell Phillips said: "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." When I was in Israel, every soldier I saw, I cheered. I told them that I was grateful for their protecting my freedom. What they do is really amazing. We mustn't, and they musn't, buy into the propoganda that they are doing it "only" for the "ungrateful" settlers. We musn't, and they musn't, buy into the propoganda that they are "controlling a hostile native population." (these people are no more native than the Jews, if anything, they are less native, but that is another story) We cannot let THEM dictate the terms over how we see this, and we have to realize that if we remain eternally vigilant, there may be no peace in our lifetimes. We have to resolve ourselves that the only way towards peace is to do something that no one is willing to do, because it may break the very soul of the Jewish state. And that is to follow Kahane's advice and have a wholesale population transfer. This is the only longterm solution towards peace. If we are not willing to do it, as we are not (and as we shouldn't be, because I think it would break the soul of the Jewish state), then we have to acknowledge that peace is not possible with a foe whose goal is ultimately annhilation. Maybe a sizeable chunk of Palestinians can live in peaceful coexistence. Maybe. But not today, and not in three-five years.

If we are not going to follow Kahane's advice (I want to underline the fact that I do not believe we SHOULD follow Kahane's advice), then we have to look at how to dismantle the hate education system which produces programs such as "Farfour, the Hamas mouse," and "Nahoul the bee," teaching children the joys of shahid, martyrdom. We have to dismantle the hate education system which teaches children that Jews are subhuman. And if that is taught in Israel, certainly that too should be dismantled. The problem is not the people, it is the culture. There needs to be a wholesale change of culture, so that peaceful coexistence is possible. That cannot happen in our lifetimes, and we should resolve ourselves to that; maybe it can happen in the lifetimes of our children.

What do you all think about what I have to say?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hyderabad police lodge case against Taslima Nasreen

The following article details how Hyderabad police are lodging a complaint against Taslima Nasreen for 'hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims.' It should be recalled that she was the one who faced riots against her, and was personally beaten when she spoke in Hyderabad. Her personal safety was only assured after Hindu journalists formed a wall around the Muslim rioters, and allowed her to have a police escort out of the facility. She is a Bangladeshi ex-Muslim feminist who speaks out in favor of human rights, and for that was kicked out of Bangladesh. She is seeking refuge in India, and now it seems her country of refuge is making it quite difficult for her to live there.

You might wonder how this is all possible. The answer is that it is a crime to insult Muhammad in India. According to my understanding, it is also a crime to insult Krishna and Buddha, etc. Does anyone know how this law came about, and if there is an equality of enforcement of these blasphemy laws? As far as I see it, blasphemy should not be a crime, regardless of which religion is insulted, due to the far reaching free speech implications. But then again, I have grown to prize the First Amendment.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

African dreams!

Please read the following JPost article...seems that Africa, Egypt excluded, is more pro-Israel than Europe!

The article posits that perhaps the reason for this is the lack of Israeli anti-zionist infiltration into Africa. Ilan Pappe has not taught in Kenya. I believe that Africans take to heart the fact that "black African" and "slave" are used interchangeably in Arabic. I believe they takethe Sudanese genocide at the hands of its Arab government to heart. I think this has an impact. I also know Africans are religious...Euros are not. Maybe that too has an impact.


My hero!

It is very easy to be an armchair warrior. It is easy to protest from the safety of your home, to rant and rave online with fellow armchair warriors. It is hard to get in the trenches and do what is necessary to make a difference. To that extent, I have striven to be more than an armchair warrior; I am leading activities in the NYC area and I hope to actually make a difference. But what I have done is nothing. It is a drop in the bucket compared to Salah Choudhury, a "Muslim Zionist" journalist from Bangladesh who faces a possible death penalty for the "crime" of advocating for normalized relations with Israel. Please read what David Harris of AJC wrote about this courageous man.

Mr. Choudhury could have easily sought aslyum in the United States, during his week long reprieve he was granted by the Bangladeshi government. He could have sought personal safety. Instead, this man will travel back to Bangladesh and face trial, with his life on the line. Mr. Choudhury, a man I wrote about earlier, is seeking to empower the peace loving people of Bangladesh. And let me say this. With no exceptions, the Muslim Bangladeshis I have met have been kind, peace loving, and honestly moderate. None had a bad word to say about Israel. I actually lived in a building with two Bangladeshi Americans, and the only bad words they had to say were about Pakistan, and the way that Bangladeshis were treated like dirt by what was once their mother country.

And so I empathize with the Bangladeshi people, some of the poorest on earth, who are simply trying to find their way in this world, but have an authoritarian Islamist government backed by Saudi money that is preventing ordinary Bangladeshis from expressing their opinions and leading their lives as they see fit. And I fear for a new generation of Bangladeshis who, so impovershed, will be taught in Saudi-funded madrassas.

And so what does the US do in response to this crisis? It offers a $20 billion weapons deal to Saudi Arabia. What does Israel do in response to THAT? Olmert says, "No, America, give MORE!"

Knowing Choudhury's plight and how empowering the Saudis disempowers the moderate life-loving Bangladeshis, this puts the Saudi weapons deal in a whole new light. Not only is it a suicidally stupid move, it is a move which as a side-swipe also hurts the innocents around the world who are being victimized by those that the Saudis empower. It hurts the friends we have around the world, not just ourselves.

I would say Bush and Olmert should be ashamed of themselves, but at this point I do not believe Olmert has any shame left inside him.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Peace, Debate, and Dialogue

I was thinking about this the other day...

I am offended by the word "peace." Why should the VICTIM have to worry about 'peace'? Groups such as "Peace Now", and "Jewish Voice for Peace" claim to be even handed and claim to want peace... but by their very focus on ISRAEL as the source of problems guarantees there will NOT be peace. If you look at the history of the Mideast conflict, almost every time, Israel acted either defensively or in retaliation for slaughter of its citizens. Whether it acted in the right way is debateable, what is not debateable from a historical REALITY perspective is WHY Israel has acted. Many people do not actually live in reality and prefer to deny history; we both know that historical reality is not a friend to Arabs as well as Arab apologists. But still, the facts are the facts.

Those who advocate for 'peace' would really ONLY be advocating it from the perspective of putting the onus on Palestinians to stop their low-grade constant conflict and stop teaching hate to their children. The checkpoints did not exist until the Intifada; people forget that. The 'wall' did not exist until the Intifada; again, people forget that. The entire 'occupation' (what a loaded word!) exists solely due to Israel's defensive Six Day War.

'Peaceniks' who really are peaceful would realize Israel has a right to defend itself and stop pretending that settlers are per se evil and the reason for the problems. They would see the root of the problem and demand an end to it. The 'peace' groups I cited, in their failure to do this, necessarily promote war. They make 'peace' an offensive word. Don't sell that 'peace' to ME or to Israel - sell it to those who are preventing peace.

This brings me to a question of dialogue and debate. I believe that dialogue and debate will be counterproductive. I thought about it, as a result of dialogue and debate over the course of a year and a half online, I have become actually more set in my political opinions, and more convinced than ever that the other side are either brainwashed or antisemites, and basically not reachable. Let me put it this way; the other side is not merely claiming "Israel, you overreacted in this situation/that situation." They say "Israel, you are rotten to the core and have no right to exist!" So what "dialogue" is there with them? What "debate" is there with them? How do you "debate" your own existence?

And so I believe that the topic of Israel should simply not even be debated with these cretins, thugs, and brainwashed masses. We will NOT change them, and if anything, make them worse. Instead, I believe the best AND ONLY topic to discuss with Arabs is Lebanon. A secondary topic is possibly Iran. Lebanon is a country on the brink; anyone who actually believes in a future for the Lebanese is against a common (and existential) enemy of Israel's: Hezbollah and Syria. There are banners all over Lebanon that say "I love life." So, promote THAT. Promote an anti-Hezbollah culture of Lebanon, promote love of life and anti-hate; do not even discuss Israel as it will simply enflame passions and lead to nothing. Then maybe have a debate about the way to bring about peace in Lebanon. Bring together a broad spectrum of Lebanese and Arab society that is devoted against the hate. Then, maybe once they are anti-Hezbollah hate, they will start to be pro-Israel. But it has to be side-strike. The same goes with Iran; the Iranian mullahs are anti-Israel, but more than that, they are anti-Iranian. So bring together a broad spectrum of people who again love life and are devoted against the mullahs.

If you do a survey of the Mideast, other than Israelis, the only other countries filled with sophisticated people who love life are Lebanon (at least Sunni/Druze/Maronites, and a minority of Shia) and Iran. They can be reached, and should be reached. And the debate should not be Israel's existence or whether Israel leads a vast cabal controlling world foreign policy, as that debate will lead to nowhere. It should be over the future of a free, just, and pluralistic Lebanon and Iran.


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Moderate Malaysia

I don't have any words for Sharia law system supported by majority of "Peaceful and Moderate Muslim's" around the Globe....

Anyways The Video is a bit disturbing and contents can be Mature for some viewers, and is taken from one of the most moderate Islamic state of Malaysia, which is seen as a perfect model in Western countries to represent Moderate Islamic states.....

Viewers discretion strongly advised.

Friday, August 3, 2007