After I called her a crazy bitch for saying that ALL Muslims are backward (according to Ustath As'ad), some idiot wrote to me: 'She said in Arabic what you always say in English. The only difference is she replaced your favorite word, "wahabi" with "muslims". Unlike you, she did not want to exclude Shia Muslims.'I replied "are all Sunni Muslims Wahhabi?"
Interesting comments on that blog...As'ad:She engages in critical analysis of Islam and the Muslim world--so what? Is she not entitled to do so? Aren't you the one who gets upset when jews criticize other jews as being "self-hating?" Don't you yell and scream when Dershowitz calls a guy like Finkelstein self-hating? Congratulations: you are now officially an Arab Alan DershowitzROTFL! She sounds like someone I used to know.
Well, there seems to be logical disconnect in her argument. Isn't she Muslim? So what does it mean when she says "all Muslims are backward"?She's always struck me as a verbal bomb throwing, hyper-secularist just like Christopher Hitchens. Its just that she focuses on Islam.That said, Angry Arab is her brother of another mother. All Sultan's sermons seem to be rewordings of her statement that:"The trouble with Islam is deeply rooted in its teachings. Islam is not only a religion....it is a political ideology."This seems very close to some things you have been saying, Abbas. Angry Arab criticizes her for not criticizing Christianity and Judaism but that is clearly because she considers their faults to be less egregious. That's debatable, but if something is debatable then it should be open to debate. If it's not debated on Al-Jazira, it will definitely be debated in the West (where you will consider it Islamophobia). Meanwhile, we can count on the rest of the Arab, Persian, and Pakistani press to point out the deficiencies in Christians and Jews with just as much one-sided fervor. In that sense, Wafaa Sultan is merely ideological balance against the rest of the M.E. media.Also, what the hell is a "Zionist Muslim"? AA suggests they are a subgroup. Who are they? This strikes me as a term designed to deflect criticism of Islam. Like the American term "n*gg*r lover".AA makes a big deal that Sultan lives in America. How long would she live holding her views in Egypt? In Jordan? In Iran? In KSA? If the USA can find a place for Raed Jarrar and CAIR, then we can tolerate Sultan too. And isn't that at the foundation of Sultan's diatribes against Islam?It's true Sultan claimed "the Danish cartoons were "necessary" to produce reform in Islam." IMO, the maniacal reaction to them in the Islamdom seems to support that argument. AA says, "How were [the Danish cartoons] based on reality? There were no grenades at Muhammad times to show him with grenades?" The inability to comprehend metaphor is the sign of several specific mental disorders. Obviously the cartoon with the bomb in Muhammed's turban was intended to show what Muslim extremists has done to the world's image of Abu l-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abd Allah. Shortly after the cartoon controversy broke out, I drew a cartoon of Muhammad sitting in a chair as Sadr, Ahmedinejad, Nasralla, and Aziz are installing bomb in his turban, as they grumble about cartoons published in a newspaper they've never read in a country they will never go to.No. New cartoons need to be drawn and published until Muslims can hear about them without murdering people...just as Christians and Jews do in the West. Sultan is saying less diplomatically what most Westerners think of devout Muslims today. That opinion didn't come out of nowhere.
It's interesting that As'ad makes fun of her being in California. As'ad also lives in California!
7mar...I am willing to engage you in the debate but, I remembered that I am constrained by my own fatwa, which makes it easier for me. I guess it would be futile to try to convince you of anything.
Abbas,Here's another way to look at it. It's not about you trying to convince or persuade anyone else to accept your views. It's for YOU to lay out your ideas and then to see if you yourself agree with them. See? This is a way of avoiding the injunction of your fatwa. You can lay out your ideas for YOURSELF and then engage in a "little jihad." Damn clever Jesuit, aren't I? Heh. N.B., I use one "heh" when I'm half serious/half sarcastic. I use two when I'm completely ripping you.*
Hmmm...good idea, Jeffrey.[Abbas] I guess it would be futile to try to convince you of anything.It's a life-long disability of mine caused by being flawlessly correct in all my opinions. It's just my "cross to bear". (Oops! I hope that wasn't Islamophobic!)
okay, I was going to respond anyway but I wanted to jive him up a bit. IMNHO, The first questions you must ask yourself in approaching such a topic are the following:1. Regarding the Cartoons: Should what could be considered extremely offensive for me be the same for all human beings? Couldn't it be possible that there are ideas which I find to be harmless, but not so by others, should I not respect that? 2. That said, one must also consider the fact that today, the Arab-Muslim world is defeated and the Judeo-Christian-Western-Secular Whatever is dominating. That is bound to have the Arab-Muslim world to be very touchy.3. Islam has been there from the beginning, and given a certain ideology, one can always highlight some points and dim others depending on the condition and the times, there are many flavors of Islam, so why has it only recently been discovered as a totally barbaric religion that is good for nothing except inciting violence and hatred? 9/11 of course! but Could it not be that Islamic fundamentalism has been shaped by other, more important social and political factors (Namely, the Arab defeats, and the oppressive nature of US-supported regimes)4. There are many devout Muslims who do not share the convictions of al-Qaeda ; if you are indeed trying to reform people, you should try to understand their viewpoint first, ideas like the ones put forth by Wafa Sultan or Daniel Pipes only increase hatred, it will only radicalize moderate Muslims (and believe me, there are such creatures) as Sultan seem to suggest to the intended recipients (both the target Muslims and curious Westerners) that you are targeting their faith in its entirety.I agree of course, that Muslims themselves share a great blame for their lowly image in the West, I also agree that a reform of Islamic political ideology must take place, but having people like Wafa Sultan doesn't help in any way.This article, which I have linked earlier, furthers my argument.
1. One wonders if the Arab-Muslim world understands, how even those of us who did not support the publishing of cartoons that are offensive for some, find the Arab-Muslim reaction(violence), to be something we cannot respect?2. One wonders if the so called Arab-Muslim defeat, is something that the Arab-Muslim world focuses on in order to avoid looking at their own shortcomings?3. As Islam has always been there from the beginning, perhaps so to has Islamic fundamentalism?4. One wonders why reform is something that needs to come from us? One wonders why any criticism of Islam or Arab culture is met with cries of radicalization? And one wonders why this is not a concern when the Arab-Muslim community criticizes us? Do they not fear that they are radicalizing the West?And now, one is tired of all of this wondering, and is going back to work.
Abbas, I hope it does not cause you to have an existential crisis when I say I am at least in 80% in agreement with points 1 and 2. And 100% with point 4. However, rather than refuting your positions on points 1 and 2, I think they need to be "opened up" a bit. On point 1, I refer you to South Park's "Cartoon Wars" episodes 142 and 143 (I figure a reference to South Park is a debate point you can appreciate). We OUGHT to be nice and not provoke each other beyond necessity, but if that "ethical rule" is mandated by law or physical threats then a line has been crossed and a stand needs to be taken. As for the Times Online article, free speech does not exist when it can only be used for things people don't mind hearing. When I was young, I favored laws against burning the American flag. The US Supreme Court disagreed, and I've come to decide it was right. But even 40 years ago, when people got very angry about that sort of thing, no one got killed over it.On point 2, I remind you that Germany has had its ass seriously kicked twice by its fellow Europeans in the last century. It is not an answer that the ascendency of the West has caused extremism among Muslims...it is a puzzle. Why not Hindu extremism for the same reason? Why not Catholic extremism in South America toward the Protestant North America? The humiliation of Japan in 1945 has not lit an eternal flame of adamant anti-Americanism. I disagree more emphatically about point 3. The West's current default view of *Muslims* (a much more serious problem than its view of Islam) was formed well before 9-11. It was formed by the murder of Israeli Olympics athletes, by Hezbollah, by the hostage-taking in Lebanon, by the use of human bombs, by the bombing of US peace-keeping Marines in 1982, by the bombing of the WTC in 1993, by attack of embassies in Africa and Iran, etc, etc, etc. Basically, everything that the surrounding Muslim-dominated nations did since they chose the Jews as their number-one boogey-man in the 1950s, based first on a racial coalition (Pan-Arabism) and then on a religious one (Pan-Islamism). Essentially, it was formed when Islam became a central to a political movement that used deadly force. 80 years ago, Muslim-dominated nations were viewed as backwards but exotic. Now they are seen as backwards and malignant. By the way, are you following the TV show "Lost"? The Iraqi character "Sayid" is the closest thing to an Arab superhero in Western media. However, the way Muslims and Arabs are USUALLY portrayed in Western movies, *reflects* the way Westerners have already come to think of them over the last 40 years. When Western political liberals condemn the Danish Cartoons because of the violence and oppression they would spark, they are saying something bad about Muslims much more than about cartoonists. They don't consider Muslims to be rational people. They believe Western cartoonists (despite all available evidence) are. They don't take the same position toward artistic provocations of Christians and Jews.The last 50 years have takent their toll, but Lynnette is right. 9-11 was an landmark event in "radicalizing" Westerners against Islam. Newton's Third Law must be obeyed.Westerners' default perceptions of Muslim-dominated regions affect the political positions they advocate and tolerate. Without reform in Islam, those perceptions won't change. To the contrary, if Muslims are forced to choose between Islam or liberty and modernity, Islam will lose more often than not. So if Sultan's criticisms cause imams to worry about that, her criticism can lead to good.
Lynette,the link you provided is highly biased. While there are indeed some incidents like that, the Arab conquest was in general much more tolerant than what other foreign conquests of land at that *backward* time (Mongols, or Crusaders, the ancestors of your wonderful civillization).CmarII, the answer to your questions about Hindu-whatever extremism is incredibly, stupidly simple, and *sigh* inevitable: Israel. The difference between Arab-Islamic civilization and Germany/Japan's reaction to ass-kicking all comes down to the tired and worn question of whether the state of Israel (which is united by religion, not race) has the right to exist on a land that has been Arab for 1400 years based solely on an unquestionable land ownership deal they said God made to them. if Israel hadn't existed, none of this would have happened, Osama bin Laden, the figurehead of Islamic extremism hismelf said: "We have no problem with the Western world, why didn't we attack Sweden for example?" Now mix the shame of being kicked out of your lands, with poverty, repeated defeats, oppressive regimes, et voila - it's almost inevitable. Germany's case on the other hand is hard to compare ; Germany's WW2 actions were downright butchery and it's hard to imagine anyone could find in themselves the guts to victimize themselves after all they've done,(of course, some Neo-Nazi Skinheads , who are neither Muslim nor Arab, exist, HA!), not to mention of course the shared religious and cultural background of almost everyone fighting that war (on the other hand, the Arab-Western conflict was further heightened by the fact that they got their asses kicked by old *religious* rivals). -If you do think Israel has a right to be, then by that context I immediately support the Native Americans against the Anglo-European Occupation of their country. Get out!
Abbas, I'm beginning to think the Palestinian/Israeli issue has no rational conclusion for my lifetime, as evidenced by recent events including today's.But, don't countries usually come into being by treaty, agreement, or conquest? Israel's "right" to exist seems to have been established this way and backed up by military successes against attempts to overrun them. That is, they may feel God made a deal with them, but "men" made it so and kept it so here on Earth.Wouldn't it be more productive for Palestinians to work towards just concessions & compensation, versus thinking they can wipe Israel away, or roll back the clock to before their coming to being?
Rhus, most Palestinians would be happy with just Gaza and the West Bank - that is what UNSC Resolution 242 is based on - but Israel doesn't want to give up the West Bank. And they are bombing Gaza because they say Hamas is firing rockets from Gaza into Israel. Hamas must stop firing rockets. But it seems the long term objective of Israel is to keep the West Bank, which is unjust, imo.
Mojo: "most Palestinians would be happy with just Gaza and the West Bank"Yeah, maybe, but it seems like there are extremists on both sides who would not be happy giving that up on the one hand, or settling for just that on the other. Those are the ones most keen on violence, as luck would have it. Practical question: do you think a Palestinian state of Gaza and the West Bank would work with them being non-contiguous like they are? To me it seems like that would only work if things were very friendly with Egypt and Israel, but I dunno.
Yeah the fact that any Palestinian state would be non-contiguous seems unjust to me as well. It seems to me that Gaza and the West Bank should be connected, and the area between them is desert, mostly uninhabited, so why not? A slice of the Negev goes to Palestine. Would Israel ever say yes to that? It would be fair. I've argued before that the land should be split in half - half for the Palestinians and half for Israelis.Or they could try the one state route, which seems unlikely at this point.But you bring up a good point, Rhus. Palestine is already split in two, essentially, between Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas controls Gaza and Fatah controls the West Bank, and they've been at odds with each other. They haven't been functioning as one government. It's kinda hard to, I guess, with so many restrictions though.
[Abbas] the answer to your questions about Hindu-whatever extremism is incredibly, stupidly simple, and *sigh* inevitable: Israel...If you do think Israel has a right to be...I immediately support the Native Americans against the Anglo-European Occupation of their country. Get out!You're right that Israel is the difference, but I don't think its "simple". I predict there will not be an alliance of Slavic countries to regain the "Slavic Land" of Kosova. The complication is this: that Israel came into being just as Arab nationalism was coming into vogue (just as nationalism was going out of vogue in Europe). The American Indians, the Inuit, and the Maya have been a lot more practical although a lot more misused than the Arabs. The only people blowing things up in Oklahoma are some paranoid white boys from Michigan (and a possible link up with the Muslims behind the 1993 WTC bombing).However, in the end, there is no such thing as "Arab land" or Jewish land or Indian land or Mexican land or German land (that used to be an important concept to Germans). The land was there long before all of them. National borders are a practicality. Until Arabs get treated with more respect in Arab countries, complaints by Arabs about injusticed against Arabs by the grandchildren of Jewish immigrants in Israel are always going to ring pretty hollow. Especially, when those Jews are living under an existential threat (which the Egyptians and Syrians are not). And calls that those grandchildren go home, who were born on that land no less any Palestinian you can name, are never going to be treated seriously. It's irrelevant what I think but IMO it is time for Arabs in "Arab lands" to really act out of compassion for Palestinians: cut whatever deal is necessary to give the Palestinians self-determination over the West Bank & Gaza, give up the insistance that the deal must somehow stick a thumb in Isreal's eye, and make themselves responsible for guaranteeing security from Palestinians who don't agree.
Mojo,I think you've put your finger on the future of Gaza and the West Bank. They are currently ruled by governments with significantly different concepts of the way forward. They will probably never be reunited.
CMAR,the difference between Kosovo and Israel is that Kosovo's Islamization took place a great centuries ago. Israel was only founded recently based on mass immigration, thus it is more likely to consider Israel as a foreign strange entity, whereas Kosovo's population itself is Muslim and can be considered 'indigenous'.I agree with you that the only defining force in land property throughout history is, force itself. The one who can, does. the Jews tried, and succeeded. the Arabs tried to get it back, and failed. They are still trying to get it back. Of course, Arabs have used the Palestine cause as a scapegoat to explain their own shortcomings, but one also wonders whether a democratic, modern Middle East would be healthy to Israel?
I see this woman's videos all over the place, why does she get on aljaz so much, did she write a book or something? I'm really confused about why the discussion turned to Danish cartoons, but anyways, I think they are the arabic equivalent to the MEMRI problem. The cartoons are symptomatic of a bigger problem in Europe, but that they were cherry-picked and decontextualized then held up as something to get upset about, and were used as a distraction from the real underlying problems that were making people upset. There's always approximate and underlying causes, and the cartoons provided an apolitical, xenophobic means of blowing off steam, that couldn't be directed back at the governments. Which is why such behaviour was so encouraged by the governments at hand.On global voices a while back there was an article about the Senegalese government pulling a similar stunt, the easy target of their manufactured protests being the gays.The closest recent equivalent in the West I can think of were those anti-Lebanese demonstrations in Australia-"take back our beaches" etcetc. I don't want to make this an east vs west thing but it is a trend that disturbs me, one that's coming up in Eastern Europe and certain parts of Canada as well.But anyways did you know Al Akhbar did a collaboration with Danish cartoonists? Not those ones, but I think it's a very good gesture.<3
Abbas,My point in providing that link was not to denigrate one religion or group of people, but to try to show that things were not all sweetness and light in the past either. You seemed to be blaming the rise of fundamentalism exclusively on the US involvement in the ME. Fundamentalism, whether you are talking Islamic or Christian, existed prior to modern times too.And speaking of the siege of Gaza, which I disaprove of, as well as the rocket attacks by Hamas, this is not new either. That was in the link you provided.If you do think Israel has a right to be, then by that context I immediately support the Native Americans against the Anglo-European Occupation of their country. Get out!First, I just want to point out that the Native Americans you refer to did not live in one unified country prior to European settlement. Many of them were nomadic tribes that moved from place to place. And, indeed, were not always at peace with each other. The country that we know as the United States of America did not come to be until those same settlers revolted against the English Crown.Second, Native Americans today are citizens of the United States, and as such, vote, hold public office, serve in the military, etc. Are there incidents of discrimination? Yes. And like all such incidents they are to be condemned.Now to get back to the Israeli/Palestinian issue, it seems to me that that piece of land has been fought over for centuries. Isn't it about time that people grew up, and tried to deal with the conflicting claims in a more mature manner then evidenced by this constant fighting?..one also wonders whether a democratic, modern Middle East would be healthy to Israel?You are thinking that the extremists would rule the roost in that situation? I don't think a democratic, modern Middle East is compatible with the extremists. I think they would self-destruct eventually. They would end up like the Taliban in Afghanistan. In which case there goes the democracy and modernity. But I have no doubt that during this process it wouldn't be very healthy to be a neighbor of theirs.Or are you thinking that because everyone in the Middle East hates Israel, once they have regained their strenghth through modernization they will go to war to finally wipe Israel off the map? A possibilty, certainly. But if someone is correct when saying that there are more moderate Muslims than not, one would think they would look at how to get along, rather than how to reconquer old land holdings, given the death and destruction that would be meted out to both sides.
Lynette,Fundamentalists have been there since the begining too, but I am asking as to why it becomes attractive for a substantial percentage of the population, of course, the West is not the first culprit, but it does help. I don't think Israel wants much competition in the fields of modernity and democracy, because, like you said, the Arabs would use it against Israel, moreover, religious sentiments are quite substantial on both sides of the camp (albeit, I guess, that it's much higher on the Arab side) ; religious rivalry is an essential catalyst in the conflict. I don't think Arab detachment from religion is possible without an advancement in technology, which gives a culture more self-confidence in seeking its own answers, and that, Israel and the West, let alone the Muslims themselves, won't allow anytime soon. So in a way it's Catch-22. I don't think it would be solved anytime soon either, with Iraq and Lebanon, it's getting more complicated. But my point is that:* the Arab-Muslim world problems with America are largely based on the Palestinian issue, and not some Jihadist fixations.
[Abbas] one also wonders whether a democratic, modern Middle East would be healthy to Israel?I'm willing to risk it. I don't think Israel can stop it if the other countries set their minds to it.[Abbas] ...an advancement in technology...and that, Israel and the West, let alone the Muslims themselves, won't allow anytime soon.I'm intrigued. How could the West, let alone Israel, prevent this? The gentile nations of the M.E. have either huge resources in oil or tremendous appeal for tourism cash (Afghanistan and Pakistan are the exceptions). They could easily outfit themselves with advanced technology. The only nation hobbled in this regard is Iran, but they could remedy this by making nice with the world's largest economy, the US. Now, getting around the Muslims...that you are right. But that brings us back to Wafaa Sultan's argument.Hmmmm...Do you essentially agree with Sultan, but believe that her tone hurts the cause of M.E. modernation and secularization?
I think there's a lot more to the problems facing native americans these days and in the last hundred years than mere discrimination.
CMAR,Nope. I think she's a rabid frothing dog that deserves to be put out of its hateful racist misery, that said, the Middle East has a plethora of rabid frothing dogs that need to be put out of their misery too, who were directly responsible for loons such as Sultan to strut their stuff.
Abbas,Believe me, we too are asking what drives fundamentalism/extremism. George Bush and others seem to think that if people have freedom and the ability to improve their lives that this will help. Yet there have been people from well off families, or at least middle class, involved in this type of behavior.I don't think Israel wants much competition in the fields of modernity and democracy, because, like you said, the Arabs would use it against Israel,...It's possible, yes, that some in Israel feel this way. I think fear is a huge motivating factor in their actions. moreover, religious sentiments are quite substantial on both sides of the camp (albeit, I guess, that it's much higher on the Arab side)I agree that people feel passionate about these things. I am not sure that the Arabs more so then the Jews when you compare extreme viewpoints. I think it's just that in Israel there seems to be a larger portion of moderate voices that are able to be heard. Unfortunately, in the Arab countries, repression may play a role in stifling a rise in moderation in viewpoints. I don't think Arab detachment from religion is possible without an advancement in technology,...It's interesting that you should bring up this point. I was talking to someone just the other day who had visited relatives in Norway. They have a small population of about 4.5 million people and have a more socialized style of government. Religion doesn't play a large role in their lives. When he asked his relatives why that was, their answer was that the government did a good job of providing everything they needed. * the Arab-Muslim world problems with America are largely based on the Palestinian issue, and not some Jihadist fixations.Yes, I understand. Many people have said this. Unfortunately, both sides(Israeli/Palestinian), have benn so stubborn in the past that it has become almost intractable. I don't think it is that the US does not want to find a solution. It is just that until both sides are ready to do so, nothing will be solved.Believe me, I would be extremely happy if that problem were solved. Because, as you said, things are getting more complicated. And not just in the Middle East.nadia n,Could you elaborate on that thought?
"It is not an answer that the ascendency of the West has caused extremism among Muslims...it is a puzzle."It's not a puzzle. The engagement with he Arabs is ongoing. You still support their dictators. You support their #1 enemy Israel. You invade their countries, like Iraq.It's a puzzle only if you are wilfully blind.
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This woman is the other end of radicalism. like other people cashing in on Islamophobia (and clearly directed by hands similar to those that brought you MEMRI) ; Angry Arab.Wafa SultanAzure Online TrainingI attended the Friday prayer two days ago. The Palestinian preacher changed my mind about Wafa Sultan, I think the maniacs balance each other out.
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