Saturday, 30 April 2011

Israel is not the only state established for a religion

Is Israel the only state in the world established solely for one religion?  I had that proposition put to me recently.

But of course it is not.  There's Pakistan, and Bangladesh, both established carved out of post-independence India, specifically as homes to Muslims.  Yet noone queries their right to exist.  Then there's Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, the rest of the Middle East, indeed, which are homes for Muslims -- except of course to the "Palestinians" for whom the Arab states give no succour, for that would rob them of the issue on which to attack the hated jews, who have "occupied Palestine", dispossessed its rightful owners, robbed them, created the "apartheid state"; all of which propositions are manifestly false.

The fact that Israel has been horrid to Palestinians does not deny the legitimacy of its statehood: which is valid in international law.  But the animus against her is strong and growing.

The only free, democratic and self-reflecting state in the region, she need support, not support for its would-be genocidal enemies.

'Jihad' means war, no doubt about that

Amazing, they ran my letter on "Jihad" in full, uncut, on 24 April, under the headline above.  Must be someone at the South China Morning Post who gets the issues.  Or at the least is undaunted by the jihadi threat.... The International Herald Tribune, by contrast, will virtually never carry anything critical of Islam.
Letter follows:

Sunday, 17 April 2011

"Islamic scholar on jihad for truth on terrorism"

Fadel Soliman seeks to convince, with his new documentary, that the term “jihad” does not mean “holy war” (Islamic scholar on jihad for truth on terrorism, SCMP, Apr 17, 2011).  [pdf here]

The most ancient and authoritative university in the Islamic world would beg to differ.  Cairo’s al-Azhar University has authorised the classic manual of Islamic Jurisprudence, known as the “Umdat al-Salik”.  It is unequivocal: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the world
mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.”(*)

Friday, 15 April 2011

"How I lost faith in multiculturalism" -- Greg Sheridan

"Friday prayers outside Lakemba mosque, in southwest Sydney's
Muslim heartland".  Picture: Chris Hyde Courtesy The Australian
In contrast to the essays in the post just before this one, Greg Sheridan wrote a much more thoughtful piece a week or so before (April 02).  Greg has a bit of a shield against the inevitable charges of "racism" in that he's married to an Indian.  He also spent many years in Asia -- I met him several times in the early nineties in China and got to know him quite well.  He's a serious, studious, honorable man and his views -- his disenchantment with the "common wisdom" of multiculturalism -- should be read with care.

"Essays on Muslims and Multiculturalism". Raimond Gaita, Ed.

"Muslim girls training to be lifesavers on Sydney's Cronulla
beach", Photo courtesy The Australian, 9-10 Apr 11
Peter Kirkwood reviews the above book here.  Says the opening para:
THIS is a timely book. Its no-nonsense title, bringing together Muslims and multiculturalism, puts it at the sharp end of the debate over refugees, immigration and the place of migrants in this country.

Going only on the review for now, as I've not read the book, but what the heck, it's a sympathetic review, so I'll assume it's painted it in the best light.
The contributors seem to make two common errors:
  • One: they assume that the fear we have is of terrorism. 
  • Two: they assume that the discrimination -- maybe I ought say "challenges" -- Muslim immigrants are facing are the same as those faced by earlier waves of immigrants, the Italians, Greeks, Vietnamese, Chinese.
Both of these assumptions-- whether recognised as such, or not -- are beguiling.

Monday, 11 April 2011

"Bigotry in America"

Letter to Ed of IHT on 8 April from one Willam Chase in Geneva, correctly poking fun at the nonsense of James Carroll's article in recent New York Times, headline above.
Dreaming for peace
Now that I’ve read James Carroll’s views on Islam (“Bigotry in America,” Views, April 5), I have a dream. Somewhere in the Middle East, a kid in an oversized coat, with a bulge around the middle, is about to board a crowded bus. A friend from the madrasa runs up waving a newspaper. “Wait, wait!” he cries, “Look here.”

Monday, 4 April 2011

"The Truth about American Muslims", New York Times, 1 April

The Truth about American Muslims” (NYT April 1, 2011) could have been written by Minitrue.

The figures from the Department of Justice are suspect, including as they do many subjective items such as “school and zoning law abuses” (on which side?) and “mosque burnings”, when we know of well-documented cases of burnings and damage to mosques having been done by Muslims themselves in order to claim “hate crimes”.