December 27, 2006
December 26, 2006
TEL AVIV [MENL] — Iran has accelerated military training of Hamas.
Israeli officials said up to several hundred Hamas operatives have recently
left the Gaza Strip for Iran. They said the operatives were undergoing
several weeks of military training by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard
“The Hamas terrorists enter [Egypt’s] Sinai Peninsula and then make their
way to Syria and then Iran,” an official said. “We have been detecting an
increase in the flow of Hamas operatives leaving for Iran over the last two
Hamas leaders have discussed expanding cooperation with Iran. In November,
Palestinian Authority Interior Minister Said Siyam said Iran agreed to
bolster training and funding to security forces aligned with Hamas.
Reports that Israel is considering allowing a group of gunmen who were
deported in 2002 after hiding inside the Church of the Nativity to return
home have left some Christian residents here seriously concerned for their
Thirteen of the gunmen were deported to different European countries, while
another 26 were expelled to the Gaza Strip.
The gunmen, belonging to both Fatah and Hamas, were holed up in the church
for 39 days before European mediators reached a deal with Israel according
to which the fugitives would be permitted to walk out unharmed.
On Saturday, Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that the
deportees would soon be allowed to return to Bethlehem. The announcement was
made following the summit between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PA Chairman
Mahmoud Abbas in Jerusalem.
While most Muslim residents here welcomed the news about the impending
return of the gunmen, some Christian families expressed fear that the
deportees would once again impose a reign of intimidation and terror in the
“What a wonderful Christmas gift from Father Christmas, Ehud Olmert,”
commented a local businessman. “These men were responsible for a spate of
attacks on Christians, including extortion and confiscation of property.”
He said the biggest threat came from those gunmen belonging to Fatah’s armed
wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, whose members often targeted “peaceful”
“I’m aware that most Christians living here are afraid to speak publicly
about the issue, but the overwhelming majority was not unhappy when these
thugs were deported from the city,” he added. “Now some people here are once
again worried because of the reports that they will return. They remember
all the bad things that happened to the Christians when these gunmen were
roaming the streets. People also remember how the gunmen mistreated the
monks and nuns who were held hostage during the raid.”
The families of the Bethlehem deportees have been campaigning for the past
four years to allow their sons to return home. The issue has been raised
several times during meetings between Israeli and PA officials, but no
solution was ever found.
Former prime minister Ariel Sharon agreed at the 2005 Sharm e-Sheikh summit
with Abbas to the formation of a joint committee that would discuss and
solve the problem of the deportees.
Mary, who works in a local tourist agency, said not all the deportees were
involved in anti-Christian actions.
“Some of them were good boys, but there were a few who used their guns and
rifles for criminal purposes,” said the 44-year-old woman. “Some residents
are now worried that these guys will return to the streets of Bethlehem. We
heard that one of them, who is now in Europe, was involved in the murder of
two Christian sisters in Beit Jala.”
Tony [not his real name], who owns a small souvenir shop near Manger Square,
said he and many of his fellow Christians used to live in fear when the
gunmen were around.
“They used to take cigarettes and other goods for free from my neighbors,”
he recalled. “When they were deported from the city, there was a sigh of
relief not only among Christians, but some Muslims as well. Let’s hope that
when they come back, they will return to normal life.”
The few Christians who agreed to go on the record had only words of praise
for the gunmen.
“They are heroes,” said Bishara Hazboun, a 22-year-old university student.
“There’s no difference between Christians and Muslims and we are all one
people. Some people have been trying to defame the fighters by spreading all
kinds of lies against them. I never saw them do any harm.”
Kashmir has the highest percentage 11.6 of sexual violence in comparison to other conflict areas across the globe, a sample survey by an international humanitarian organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has revealed in its latest report.
The report titled “Kashmir: Violence and Mental Health” said that its respondents in two medical blocks — Kralpora in north-western Kashmir district of Kupwara and Beerwah in central Kashmir district of Budgam — reported “suffering direct violations of their modesty and/or witnessing such acts since 1989.”
The survey said: “A rather high percentage of respondents (11.6 per cent) in comparison to other conflict areas said they know of terror-related rape incidents since 1989. Of them, more than one in 10 were raped in the past three months.” The 30-page survey compiled in November and released on December 21 noted: “It is possible that the actual prevalence is higher as many people regard it a taboo to talk about sex-related issues.” The survey was, however, silent on which of the two “warring parties” (militants and Indian army) are more responsible for committing this kind of violence.
J&K Health and Medical Education Secretary, KB Jandial, when asked to comment, said: “Though I have not seen the report, the fact is that it is a normal practice that whenever security forces are allegedly involved in any wrongdoing, the matters are reported and the people protest. Since these rape cases were not reported, they appear to have been committed by militants. The people are afraid to speak against militants,” Jandial said.
The MSF that had started its psycho-social programme in August 2000 drew comparisons with other conflict-hit areas. “The study found that much higher number of people experienced sexual violence in J&K compared to findings in other areas: Sierra Leone (2 per cent), Sri Lanka (2 per cent), Chechnya (0 per cent) and Ingushetia (0.1 per cent).”
December 23, 2006
Thus, life goes on for the Muslim women with all the trappings of the Islamic misogyny. Here are some rules that keep women in their Muhammad stipulated place.
* If a Muslim woman is murdered, her beneficiary is entitled to one-half dyyeh—blood money, or compensation—as that of a murdered Muslim male.
* A woman’s testimony in the court of law is worth one-half that of a man.
* A woman must provide four witnesses to substantiate her claim of being raped.
* A man can divorce his wife by simply saying to her, “I divorce you,” three times.
* A divorced woman is entitled to a miserly compensation and automatically forfeits her rights to her children.
* Women are barred from the lucrative and powerful cast of clergy.
* Husbands are entitled to punish their wives corporally.
* Men are allowed to have four wives at any one time and as many concubines as they desire and can afford.
* Saudi Arabia, the custodian of “true Islam” imposes a raft of restrictions on women such as: women are not allowed to drive; they are not permitted to leave the country without accompaniment or explicit permission of their male kin; they are barred from most government jobs and much much more.
* Among other Muslims, such as the Taliban and the Pashtoon of Afghanistan-Pakistan region, women are barred from education and not even allowed to leave the house unless accompanied by a male kin.
* Since education, particularly professional education is often denied to women in many Islamic societies. There is scarcity of women physicians and male doctors are often forbidden to treat women patients.
Such is the plight of women under Islam. There is hardly the need to provide an exhaustive list of Islamic misogyny to qualify it as a shameful, discriminatory and oppressive religious apartheid.
Will Muslim women ever break out of their bondage and claim their rightful place among emancipated non-Muslim women? It is the long sub-humanized Muslim women who must discard Islam and claim their equal human rights. Muslim men will resort to every means to maintain their privileged position and their cruel dominance over women, citing the Quran as justification. Any document that consigns one half of the human race to second class status is null and void.
Its constitutional sub-humanization of women aside, Islam has a raft of beliefs and practices that violate fundamental human rights of non-Muslims in general. A few cases should suffice to fully substantiate the contention that Islam is religious apartheid. And there is no need to draw cases from the repugnant “extremist” Islamic groups such as the Taliban to make the case. Even the most “mainstream” and “peaceful” Islam is guilty of systemic apartheid. Just a couple of examples should suffice for now.
* On December 16, 2006, Egypt’s Highest Administrative Court decreed that in order to receive an Identity Card, only Islam, Judaism, or Christianity must be entered on the application. No one of any other religion or no religion at all is permitted to list his belief or even leave it blank. Without the identity card, just about all the rights of citizenship are denied to minorities such as Baha’is, Hindus, and Buddhists. People are forced to choose between falsely claiming an approved religion and depriving themselves of just about all rights of citizenship such as jobs, education and medical care.
* In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic law denies dyyeh to any and all people who are not Muslims or members of the only other three recognized religions. Every one of the 500,000 members of the Baha’i Faith can be murdered without the family receiving justice or compensation. As a matter of fact, the Islamic government itself has executed Baha’is for the sole “crime” of being Baha’is and has demanded that the innocently murdered person’s family reimburse it for the bullets they used to execute him.
* The Islamic Republic of Iran’s President’s repeated threat to wipe out Israel from the map is ignored by some as an empty rhetoric of an unhinged fanatic. Yet, Ahmadinejad’s threats are far from the baseless saber-rattling of a zealot. Ahamadinejad’s government has recently ordered the comprehensive gathering of data regarding the Baha’is and all their activities. This order is deeply troubling, since it is almost a replica of what another fascist, Hitler, did before launching the genocide of six million Jews and some four million other “undesirables”. Ahamadinejad is an Islamofascist whose aim is to have a practice run on the Iranian Baha’is before embarking on destroying the Jews and other “undesirables,” following in the footsteps of the German fuehrer.
December 16, 2006
Special Dispatch-North African Reformist Thinkers Project
December 13, 2006
No. 1392Censorship and Persecution in the Name of Islam: A Tunisian Weekly Counts
To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit:
In an article titled “Ban… Ban…,” published in the Tunisian
French-language weekly Réalités,(1) Tunisian columnist Zyed Krichen
denounced the policy of censorship and denial of free speech that he said
had been implemented by most Arab states and Islamist groups “since the
advent of printing.” In the second part of his article, he lists instances
of censorship and persecution in the name of Islam from various Muslim
countries, from 1925 to date, including banned works and writers and artists
who have been imprisoned, flogged, and/or killed.
The following are excerpts from the article. For the full article in French,
see http://www.realites.com.tn .
“From Philosophy to Cinema, Literature, and Art – No Field Has Been Spared
and No Violent [Act] Has Been Avoided”
“In the West, the advent of printing meant enormous progress in terms of
freedom of thought. Printing made possible the gradual spread of knowledge
and the questioning of the established order. Technology and freedom seem to
have marched hand in hand.
“But in our [Muslim] societies, the opposite seems to have happened. The
advent of printing [in the Muslim world] in the mid-19th century and the
spread of written materials in the 20th century have [only served to]
undermine freedom of thought.
“The numerous examples of ‘censorship in the name of Islam’ from 1925 to
date makes one wonder. From philosophy to cinema, literature, and art – no
field has been spared, and no [act of] violence has been avoided. From the
[mere] banning of the work to a death sentence for [the writer] – every kind
of obscurantist horror has taken place in the lands of Islam. Given that we
are one of the Civilizations of the Book,(2) this is a complete paradox.
“However, without glorifying the past, [it must be pointed out that] such
things did not happen during the first three centuries of Islam, [which was]
the golden age [of Islam]. [True], the political authorities killed
dissidents and revolutionaries – but no one saw books burned, and freedom of
thought was at its peak. No controversial topic was avoided in philosophical
or theological debate. From the authenticity of the prophecies to the very
nature of divinity – each doctrine had its proponents, its platforms, and
its leading [thinkers]…
“And consider the delightful freedom that pervaded Arab literature [in those
days]. One could say anything, write anything, sing about anything… the
love of women, sex, and wine, and even [the love] of boys… [Even] the
sacred could be laughed at, and [religious] devotion as well… This golden
age was also the age of that eclectic and refined aestheticism of which Abu
Hayane Attaouhidi wrote so beautifully.
“The images we [now] see on TV and the sickening [instances of] censorship
listed below might lead us to believe that Islam has produced nothing but
extremism and intolerance.
“To this list we can add another list – as long as the first, if not
longer – of books that are part of Muslim heritage and are now banned in
“Some [Muslim] countries have a complete aversion to philosophers. [The
writings of] Ibn Rochd (Averroes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Al-Farabi, Ibn Baja,
and others are still banned in certain countries – not to mention [the works
of] Zakaria Al-Razi, who is considered an irreverent atheist…
“Theology books are also burned. In certain countries, the [works of the]
leading writers of the rationalist school (Mudtazila) cannot be obtained.
Even Al-Ashdari, one of the leading theologians of Sunni orthodoxy, is
considered a deviant nationalist, and his books are banned…”
“As for Literature – The List of Banned Books Is So Long that It Is Easier
to Name the Ones that Are Permitted and Approved”
“As for literature – the list of banned books is so long that it would be
easier to name the ones that are permitted and approved. This is true even
in large countries like Egypt, and [even] for masterpieces of our cultural
[heritage], like the One Thousand and One Nights. [Works by] Abu Nawas,
Bashar Ibn Bord, Al-Isfahani, Al-Madari, and hundreds of others were banned
from bookstores in the 20th century.
“Even books of Islamic historiography are considered suspect in certain
countries. The great Tabari is reviled – not for the historical content [of
his books], but because some of his stories are [considered] too
“Thus, this dark list of banned [works], which should be completed and
updated, includes not [only] modern works but an entire facet of our
heritage. The fact that our country [Tunisia] is being spared these obsolete
practices these days must not lead us to ignore the danger of this
intellectual regression… ”
Instances of Censorship and Persecution in the Name of Islam
“[Réalités journalist] Riyadh Fékih wrote: ‘1925 saw the banning of the book
Islam and Principles of Government by Sheikh ‘Ali ‘Abd Ar-Raziq of Al-Azhar
[University], which advocated the separation of religion and state – a
principle of proper governance adopted by humanity a century earlier. Since
then, there have been countless [instances of] religious censorship in the
Islamic world, ranging from the [mere] banning of books to the imprisonment
and sometimes murder [of writers].
“In order to protest against this kind of censorship – often implemented
against those who purportedly harm Islam, ‘humiliate’ the Prophet and Allah
or violate shar’ia – we found it useful to list all the violations of
freedom of thought that have been recorded in the Muslim world, or have been
attributed to Muslims around the world, from 1925 to date. This list, in
chronological order, is as long as the victims of religious intolerance in
Islamic countries are numerous. It may seem exhaustive, but it is in no way
complete. We therefore suggest that our readers [add to it to] complete it,
if necessary. We hope, however, that it will some day come to an end,
inshallah! For this to happen, our societies must show greater respect for
freedom of thought, and must pass laws that will protect this freedom from
‘arbitrary imams,’ or ‘illiterate, fatwa-issuing Koran-[thumpers],’ as the
Tunisian psychoanalyst Fethi Benslama calls them.
“1925, [Egypt]: Sheikh ‘Ali ‘Abd Ar-Raziq is expelled from Al-Azhar
University and his writings are banned [because] he advocates the separation
of religion and state. His book Islam and Principles of Government is
declared heretical, and banned.
“1926, [Egypt]: [The book] On Pre-Islamic Poetry by Taha Hussein is banned.
In 1931, the Education Ministry had him expelled from the university, for
his rationalist interpretation of pre-Islamic literature and the Koran.
“1946, Iran: The terrorist group Fedayyan-i Eslam accuses historian, jurist,
and linguist Ahmad Kasravi of unbelief. In March, he is murdered for heresy,
based on a fatwa [issued against him].
“1973, Algeria: The poet Jean Sénac is assassinated by Islamist
“December 18, 1975, Morocco: Omar Benjelloun, leader of the Socialist Union
of Popular Forces (USPF) and director of the paper Al-Mouharrir, is stabbed
to death by a group affiliated with the Islamic Youth [movement].
“February 1977, [Syria]: The president of Damascus University is murdered on
campus by Islamists.
“1981, Egypt: The book History of the Arabic Language by Fikri Al-Aqad is
banned [for claiming that] certain words in the Koran are of Egyptian
“1982, [Iran]: Writer Ata Nourian, a member of the Iranian Writers Union, is
killed for his ‘anti-Islamist ideas.’
“1984, Iran: 83-year-old Ali Dashti, the author of a book critical of Islam,
dies in prison after mistreatment.
“January 1985, Sudan: The writer Mahmoud Muhammad Taha, over 80 years old,
is sentenced to death and hanged in Khartoum. [His crime:] writing a book on
the history of Islam which advocated separation of the political and the
religious domains. In the book…, he stated that the spiritual message of
the Prophet as revealed in Mecca is universal, but that the judicial
framework which [later] developed [in Medina emerged] in a particular
historical context and is [therefore] not adapted to the life of Muslims
“In the same year, the Ethical Court in Cairo sentences the publisher of One
Thousand and One Nights to jail for corrupting the morals of the younger
[generation]. The Court [also] orders the destruction of 3000 copies of this
“1987, Iran: 80,000 books, labeled as ‘attacking Islam,’ are burned at
“1988: A book published in Saudi Arabia accuses more than 100 Arab writers –
some dead and some living – of apostasy and hostility towards Islam. [They
include] Salama Moussa, Shibli Shmmayyil, Nagib Mahfuz, Lofti As-Sayyid,
Muhammad Al-Jabiri, Shakir Shakir, Said Aql, Adonis, and others. These
authors’ [books] are still banned in the Wahhabi [Saudi] kingdom.
“February 14, 1989, [Iran]: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the
Islamic Republic of Iran, [rules that] that The Satanic Verses by Salman
Rushdie is blasphemous and calls to murder its author and publishers. A
reward of $3 million is offered to anyone who kills Rushdie (but only $1
million if the murderer is not Iranian). For years, the Iranian author
[Rushdie] lives like a hunted animal in Britain, though he receives
protection from British police. The Italian and Japanese translators [of his
book] are less fortunate: [both] are killed in 1991, in Milan and Tokyo
[respectively]. On March 29, 1989, the head of the Brussels Mosque and his
assistant are killed, on the orders of the Iranian intelligence service.
Their crime was to try and find a theological way [to circumvent] the fatwa
by declaring that Rushdie must simply stand trial and repent – as required
by the Islamic law regarding blasphemy and apostasy. [Rushdie’s] book was
burned in the very heart of Europe… The fatwa
against him is still in force, since the only person who can revoke it –
[Ayatollah] Khomeini – is dead…
“In February 1989, Iranian writers Amir Nikaiin, Manouchehr Behzadi, Djavid
Misani and Abutorab Bagherazdeh, and two Iranian poets, Said Soltanpour and
Rahman Hatefi, are killed for their liberal ideas that are regarded as an
attack on Islam.
“1990, Egypt: Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid, a university teacher who wished ‘to
consider Islam from within and propose a profoundly reformist approach’
receives death threats from Islamists for his historical reading of the
“1991, Sudan: Ajjabna Muhammad is accused of apostasy and is expelled from
the university. Rejected by his own family, he tries to flee [the country,
but is caught] and tortured in prison, where they try to force him back to
“January 1992, [Egypt]: A delegation of Al-Azhar scholars demands the
banning of eight books on Islam.
“June 8, , writer Farag Foda is shot to death along with his son Ahmad
and a friend of his son’s. A few days earlier, the secular intellectual was
declared an ‘apostate’ by the Sheikh of the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo. The
Al-Azhar scholars denounced the manner in which Foda was murdered, but
[continued to] consider him an apostate who deserves a death sentence. The
Islamist group Al-Gamma’ah Al-Islamiya took responsibility for the murder…
“September 3, , Saudi Arabia: The poet Sadiq Melallah was beheaded in
the main square of the city of Qatif for denying [the faith], on [the orders
of] the state authorities.
“1993, Algeria: This was a very bloody year for writers, journalists,
academics, and artists [in Algeria]. The victims, most of them murdered by
Islamist activists, include Ruptures magazine writer and editor Taher
Djaout; sociologist Djilali Liabès; Beaux-Arts [College] head Ahmed Asselah;
sociologist M’hamed Boukhobza; Bab-Ezzouar University head Salah Djebaïli;
poet and writer Youssef Sebti; playwright and stage director Abdelkader
Alloula; psychiatrist Mahfoudh Boucebci, national education superintendent
Salah Chouaki; playwright Izzedine Medjoubi; pediatrician Dilalli
Belkhanchir; economist Abderahmane Faredeheb; and journalists Ferhat
Cherkit, Youssef Fathallah, Lamine Lagoui, Ziane Farrah, Abdelhamid
Benmenni, Rabah Zenati, Saad Bakhtaoui, and Abderrahmane Chergou…, and the
list is far from complete…
“In Iran, cartoonist Manouchehr Karimzadeh is sentenced to 10 years in
prison for sketching a soccer player who slightly resembles [Ayatollah]
Khomeini. The cartoonist and the editor of the newspaper [that published the
cartoon] are flogged. Their [prison] sentences are later reduced.
“In Saudi Arabia, the publication of a comic [strip] leads to the arrest of
two Indian employees of the Arab News [paper]. According to theologians, the
comic [strip] questioned the existence of God. The two men are sentenced to
a harsh flogging. Following international pressure, they are pardoned by the
“In May, in Saudi Arabia, reformist professor M. Al-Awajj is sentenced to
four years’ imprisonment. He is dismissed [from his job] and his passport is
“On September 24, a group of Bangladeshi Islamists issues a fatwa against
[Bangladeshi author and doctor] Taslima Nasreen, accusing her of
blasphemy… The fundamentalists destroy bookshops that sell her books. The
government confiscates her passport and orders her to stop writing if she
wants to continue working in a state hospital. She leaves the country…
“January 1994, France: Muslim organizations are outraged when Claudia
Schiffer wears a dress [decorated with] Koranic verses. Chanel apologizes
and burns the dresses…
“In May, in Iran, university lecturer and human rights activist E. Sahabi is
arrested for participating in a conference in Germany, and is accused of
“On October 14 in Egypt, literature Nobel prize laureate Nagib Mahfuz, aged
83, is stabbed in the throat by a young extremist in Cairo. Al-Gamma’ah
Al-Islamiya takes responsibility for the assassination attempt…
“In Iran, author Saiidi Sirjani is murdered in prison for publishing his
works outside the country after they are banned in Iran.
“April 1995, [India]: Mufti Shabbir Siddiqi of Ahamdabad issues a fatwa of
excommunication against the poet Muhammad Alvi. [The poet was
excommunicated] because of a [single] line in a poem written 17 years
earlier: ‘O God, if you are too busy to visit us, send us a good angel to
“In the same year, the Egyptian Supreme Court declares Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid
an apostate and orders him divorced from his wife – since a Muslim cannot be
married to an apostate. The couple… escapes to the Netherlands.
“In Iran, Ahmad Miralai, a translator of foreign literature, is murdered.
“1996, Iran: Four ‘subversive’ writers and editors are murdered: Ghafar
Hosseini, Reza Mazlooman, Ebrahim Zalzadeh, and Ahmad Tafazoli…
“1997, [Egypt]: Al-Azhar University compiles a list of 196 books to be
banned on moral and religious grounds…
“1998, Pakistan: Ayub Masih, [a young Pakistani Christian], is sentenced to
death for blasphemy.
“In Egypt, author Alaa Hamed stands trial for [writing] a novel that
“In Iran, [several] writers, journalists and academics – Pirouz Davani,
Hamid Pour, Hajizadeh, Majid Sharif, Daryoush and Parvaneh Furouhar,
Muhammad Jafar Pouyandeh, and Muhammad Mokhtari – are murdered by
fundamentalists because of their writings.
“In Turkey, journalist Nuredin Sirin is sentenced to 20 months in prison for
writing that ‘we must support the oppressed even if they are atheists.’
“1999, Iran: The religious reformist Hadi Khamenei is beaten by Islamist
“2000, Kuwait: Two female authors, Leyla Othman and Alia Shaib, are each
sentenced to one month in prison for moral and religion offenses…
“In Egypt, writer Haydar Haydar is declared an apostate and sentenced to
death by Islamists for writing [his book] A Banquet for Seaweed, in which a
character says: ‘The divine Bedouin laws and the teaching of the Koran [are
all] shit.’ The rector of Al-Azhar University calls for a public burning of
the book in a public place…
“2001, Egypt: Writer Salaheddin Mohsen and female preacher Manal Manea are
each sentenced to three years in prison for atheism and blasphemy against
“May 27, 2003, Saudi Arabia: Jamal Khashoggi, editor of [the daily]
Al-Watan, is fired for approving the publication of articles criticizing the
religious establishment, and in particular the mutawa (religious police)…
“Saudi teacher Muhammad Al-Harbi is sentenced to 750 lashes and three years
and four months in prison for ‘harming the integrity of Islam.’
“Saudi teacher Muhammad Al-Souheimi is accused of apostasy, sentenced to 300
lashes and three years’ imprisonment, and banned from teaching.
“In Iran, the Canadian-Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi is brutally tortured
by the Iranian police and then murdered in detention – [all] for writing her
“2004, Iran: The musician and poet Ahmad Bayat Mokhtari is abducted and run
down by a car in Chiraz because of his artistic activities.
“On October 30, in Damascus, researcher and writer Nabil El-Fayadh, author
of many books banned in Syria and other Arab countries, is arrested by the
“On November 2, Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh is murdered in Amsterdam by a
Moroccan Islamist because of his film Submission, which portrays the
submissiveness of Muslim women… The murderer, the son of a Muslim Moroccan
immigrant, left a [letter with] a list of additional individuals to be
killed, including Theo’s scriptwriter Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch
MP who later fled to the U.S. The letter ends with the following lines: ‘I
am certain, O America, that you will die/I am certain, O Europe, that you
will die/I am certain, O Netherlands, that you will die/I am certain, O
Hirsi Ali, that you will die/I am certain, O infidel fundamentalist, that
you will die.’
“September 30, 2005: The conservative Danish daily Jyllands-Posten publishes
12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, which leads to demands for
apologies, death threats, and demonstrations in Copenhagen. On October 20, a
number of Muslim ambassadors send an official protest to the Danish
government, and on December 29, the Arab League [likewise] issues a protest.
On January 21, after another Norwegian magazine and several additional
European papers re-publish the cartoons, the International Association of
Ulama in Cairo calls for boycotting Danish and Norwegian products. Despite
the ‘apologies’ and ‘expressions of regret’ published by the accused
newspapers, and [following] ambiguous declarations by the Danish and
Norwegian governments, the Arab states demand sanctions, and recall their
ambassadors. Riots break out, and embassies of the [involved] countries are
set on fire in the Middle East. Many of the Muslim rioters… are injured or
“January 23, 2006, [Iran]: Journalist Elham Afrotan, head of the weekly
Tamadone Hormozgan, is imprisoned with six others… [for writing] an
article comparing Ayatollah Khomeini’s [rise to power] with the AIDS
[epidemic]. The journalists are arrested in Bandar-Abbas…”
(1) Réalités, No. 1072, July 13-19, 2006.
(2) Muslims refer to themselves and to the Jews and Christians as the
“Peoples of the Book.”
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent,
non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle
East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background
information, are available on request.
MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may only be used with
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
Search previous MEMRI publications at http://www.memri.org
December 15, 2006
A prominent educational and action group today announced the date set for a second annual Rally Against Islamofascism Day, with rallies planned for various locations across the United States, as well as around the world.
(LOS ANGELES, CA, 12/13/2006) – With the successful execution of simultaneous rallies against Islamic militancy held across the United States in early 2006, the United American Committee today announced a second Rally Against Islamofascism Day (R.A.I.D.), this time international, set for Saturday March 31st, 2007. The event, described on the UAC’s website at http://www.unitedamericancommittee.org will be a joint effort of organizations in a common goal of educating others to the dangers posed by radical Islam. “This is an opportunity for people of all walks of life to come together, setting aside political or religious differences.” remarks United American Committee Chairman Jesse Petrilla, who also noted that Muslims are especially encouraged to join in the rallies.
Prior to the announcement, the UAC reached out to an array of organizations to build a coalition to ensure the success of the rallies. While many organizations joined in support, one organization in particular refused to unite in the effort. CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, when asked by the United American Committee if they would join in the rallies, refused by not answering e-mails from the group’s members, and even hung up on UAC officials when the United American Committee attempted to contact CAIR’s Washington DC offices. CAIR has been criticized by many prominent individuals including U.S. Senators Richard Durbin, and Charles Schumer, due to CAIR’s documented ties to the militant group Hamas as well as their engagement in what many view as suspect activities. Some individuals have gone as far as stating that CAIR is a front for supporting Islamic terror.
The UAC has engaged in past activities which it will tie into the March 31st rallies. In July of 2006, the United American Committee issued a challenge to patriotic American Muslim leaders to issue a fatwa, or Islamic edict, calling for condemnation and denunciation of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists by name. This was in response to a previous fatwa supported by The Council on American Islamic Relations which according to the UAC ambiguously defined terrorism without naming specific terrorists. CAIR was personally sent the challenge for the new fatwa by the UAC, and has as of yet not issued a letter of support for such an edict. “Why won’t they [CAIR] issue a fatwa against bin Laden? Against Ayman al-Zawahiri? Or against other terrorists by name? They issue a fatwa condemning the killing of innocents, but who is innocent? Are the infidels innocent to them?” said homeless activist and UAC Board Member Ted Hayes. When the UAC’s challenge was taken to the Saudi funded King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California the leaders of the mosque refused to entertain the idea, so on September 10th, 2006 the United American Committee staged a protest outside of the mosque where they hung an effigy of Osama bin Laden from makeshift gallows, inviting all of the mosque’s members and leaders to join in the rally. While some members of the mosque came out and stood alongside UAC members hitting and throwing shoes at the dummy, the leadership of the mosque remained on the opposite side of the road where a counter protest was staged. “The hanging of bin Laden in effigy was an opportunity to hold the mosque leaders’ feet to the fire for not supporting the fatwa, and I believe this Rally Against Islamofascism Day will be an opportunity to hold CAIR’s feet to the fire.” said UAC Chairman Petrilla. The UAC stated that by CAIR’s refusing to support the fatwa, and by their nonsupport of the Rally Against Islamofascism Day, that CAIR has unwittingly chosen the location of the rallies. The United American Committee plans on setting the location of the March 31st rallies to take place in front of many of CAIR’s 32 nationwide offices. “I want to see effigies of Osama bin Laden hung at all of these rallies, let the terrorists know we are on the offense, and let those who are with us join with us.” said Petrilla, urging those who will be organizing rallies to include a hanging of bin Laden in effigy at each event if possible.
Some members of Islamic groups have expressed concern over the set date of the rallies against Islamofascism, March 31st, 2007 being the Islamic holiday Mawlid al-Nabi, the Islamic prophet Mohammad’s birthday. United American Committee officials contend that this is purely by coincidence, saying the last Saturday in March was chosen for its generally good weather and the fact that most people will be off work on a Saturday and available to attend a rally. UAC has assured that the rally will stride forward to be held on the date set.Individuals are encouraged to organize rallies in their areas on the date of the Rally Against Islamofascism Day, and may contact the United American Committee via the UAC’s web page which will post the locations of rallies as they are formed at http://www.UnitedAmericanCommittee.org
United American Committee
P.O. Box 3301
Burbank, CA 91508
I sincerely hope that events in Iraq have inched Americans toward a less Disneyfied view of democracy. It is a mistake to doggedly conflate democracy with freedom, and “the freedom to vote” with liberty. Majority rule, especially as it applies in Middle Eastern and African countries, doesn’t always empower the right people.Which brings me to another, less-than Magic Kingdom: my old homeland, South Africa, RIP.
The irony of President Bush’s Dec. 8 meeting with Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s president, went unnoticed. Democratic South Africa is yet another spot where the rule of the demos has turned a once-prosperous, if politically problematic, place into a lawless ramshackle.
South Africa is now the most violent country outside a war zone. The country, writes Scott Baldauf of the Christian Science Monitor, has “the highest recorded per capita murder rate in the world – with 59 homicides per 100,000 people. … The U.S., by comparison, had six.” So violent is the “free” South Africa that, for a period, the freewheeling African National Congress government imposed an official blackout on national crime statistics. It now releases them once yearly.
In 2003, South Africa had 21,553 murders (population 44.6 million). In comparison, the “high crime” United States (population 288.2 million) suffered 16,110 murders in the same year. According to Baldauf, the number of homicides in South Africa dipped to 19,824 in 2004. The U.S., with 293 million at the time, had 16,150.
The last statistics available, courtesy of the CBS, “showed that between April 2004 and March 2005, 18,793 people were murdered in South Africa, an average of 51 a day in a nation of 47 million.” There were 24,516 attempted murders, 249,369 assaults with grievous injury, and 55,114 reported rapes. (And by rape we don’t mean what American women consider rape: waking up the next morning after a romp between the sheets with a hangover and some regrets.)
As ghastly as the official figures are, they’re most probably doctored. Rob McCafferty, author of “Murder in South Africa: a Comparison of Past and Present,” notes that “Interpol have South African murder statistics that are roughly double the official South African state statistics, while the South African Medical Research Council claims there are approximately a third more murders in South Africa than the official police statistics reveal.” A discrepancy of over 10,000 murders is, shall we say, more than a margin of error.
Yet Westerners, conservatives included, praise the new dispensation in my old home. According to a columnist for the American Conservative, South Africa represents “the greatest triumph of chatter over machine-gun clatter.” “It’s not perfect,” this flaccid fool effuses, “and crime is at an all-time high in South-African cities, but at least the massacres are a thing of the past and life goes on much better than before.”
False. Few people know that during the decades of the repressive apartheid regime, only a few thousand Africans perished as a direct result of police brutality. A horrible injustice, indubitably, but nothing approximating the carnage under “free” South Africa, where thousands of Africans perish every few months. (Let us not beat about the bush; crime in South Africa is black on black and black on white.)
Take the travails of my extended family. Ordinarily, a one-case study does not a rule make. But not in this instance – you’d be hard pressed to find a family in democratic South Africa whose members have not been brutalized by barbarians. Mine includes a sister-in-law suffering permanent neurological damage after being assaulted by five Africans; a brother burglarized and beaten in his suburban fortress at 2 a.m. by an African gang (wife and infant son were miraculously spared). My father’s neighbor was shot point-blank in front of his little girls, as he exited his car to open the garage gates. My husband’s cousin and uncle were hijacked; aunt beaten within an inch of her life and raped. Two of his colleagues (that we know of) were murdered; one shot by African taxi drivers in broad daylight, as he left his girlfriend’s apartment.
Despite the oppressive, undesirable, political aspects of apartheid, law and order was maintained and common criminals were pursued and prosecuted, to the benefit of all. To appropriate the gallant words of Gen. Sir Charles Napier: Before 1994, when African men raped infants because the “practice” is considered a traditional salve for AIDS, South African policemen followed their custom: They tied a rope around the rapist’s neck and hanged him.
Since the near-total collapse of law and order, the conviction rate hovers at 2.96 percent!
Much the way Americans dismantled Iraq’s law and order apparatus, the democratically elected ANC retired most of the old South African Police and set about reconstructing a politically correct – and representative – force. The demotic orgy of crime reflects the capabilities of the renamed South African Police Services – it is mostly an illiterate, ill-trained force, riven by feuds, fetishes and factional loyalties. In Africa, moreover, as in the Middle East, the extractive view of politics dominates – people seek personal advantage from positions of power.
Corruption is thus the rule, not the exception.
Readers will often admonish me for dismissing those ink-stained Iraqi fingers. I tell them I’ve lived under a relatively peaceful dictatorship and was fortunate to escape a violent mobocracy. I tell them that voting is synonymous with freedom only if strict limits are placed on the powers of elected officials and only if individual rights to live unmolested are respected.
In South Africa, as in Iraq, these conditions do not apply.
Today, December 14, 2006, a symposium titled “Holocaust Denial: Paving the Way to Genocide” was held at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. MEMRI President and Founder Yigal Carmon spoke at the symposium.
The following are his remarks:
TO VIEW SEGMENTS FROM IRANIAN TV ON HOLOCAUST DENIAL SHOWN AT THE SYMPOSIUM VISIT: mms://220.127.116.11/events/IRANHOLOCAUST.WMV .
The persistent Holocaust denial of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raises a vital question that needs to be addressed: What function does this denial serve in the ideology of the Iranian regime and in its strategy? The answer to this question bears cardinal importance to the future of the State of Israel.
When we, at The Middle East Media Research Institute, collect and analyze the statements made by Ahmadinejad and others in the Iranian regime, we can distinguish two major goals, both of which lead to the same conclusion: the Iranian regime’s Holocaust denial is not a manifestation of irrational hatred, but a premeditated and cold-blooded instrument to achieve its goals.
Denial of Israel‘s Legitimacy
The first of these goals is the attempt to deny any legitimacy to the creation and continued existence of the State of Israel as a safe haven for the Jews after the Holocaust. In order to achieve this goal, he proclaims that no Holocaust occurred, and that if Jews were indeed harmed in World War II – a claim that requires thorough and “objective” research – this was no different than the experience of others in World War II. At any rate, Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian officials claim that this “myth” cannot justify the establishment of Israel in Palestine.
Elimination of the Zionist Entity, i.e. Israel
The second goal is – as often proclaimed by Ahmadinejad – to “wipe Israel off the map.” His Holocaust denial is therefore planned, intentional, and premeditated. He is aware that as long as the world remembers the Holocaust, it will resist any new attempt to perpetrate another genocide against the Jews. Thus, eradicating the memory of the Holocaust is essential in order to achieve his goal.
In order for Ahmadinejad to bring his plans to fruition, however, he has to demonize the Jews and the State of Israel. Demonization is a necessary precondition for genocide. As we well know, Hitler first engaged in a major campaign of demonization of the Jews before actually murdering them en masse. Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime are taking the same path, and are conducting a similar virulent, antisemitic campaign of demonization.
To this end, Iranian state-controlled television produces various TV series dedicated to the demonization of Jews. These include classic blood libels, depicting Jews as using the blood of non-Jewish children to bake their Passover matzos, and as kidnapping non-Jewish children to steal their body parts. Jews are reduced to sub-human levels, depicted as pigs and apes. They are accused of persecuting the Prophet Muhammad in voodoo ritualistic scenes, and as tormenting a historic figure reminiscent of Jesus on the Cross. All these TV series exist alongside others that deny the Holocaust.
Again, it should be stressed that all these phenomena are interrelated, and are state-directed at the highest level. It is most indicative that Ahmadinejad’s first public appearance after coming to power was made before television producers.
All this is done in order to achieve the goal of demonization of Jews and Israel, which, as I mentioned earlier, is vital for their elimination. However, it is not possible to demonize a people as long as it is viewed as a victim of the Holocaust. Therefore, as long as the Jews are perceived as victims of the Holocaust, this demonization cannot take root. Holocaust denial is thus vital, in order to wipe out the image of the Jews as victims.
This is the reason why these three elements – Holocaust denial, the elimination of the State of Israel, and demonization of the Jews – are constantly present in statements by Ahmadinejad and other senior Iranian officials.
Let us hear the Iranians in their own words. True, many of these statements have already circulated separately in the media. But hearing them together, in the context I have just outlined, will enable us to understand their function and significance within the ideology and strategy of the Iranian regime.
In his well-known speech at the Iranian “World Without Zionism” conference on October 23, 2005, Ahmadinejad laid out his views on the State of Israel. It is an absolute evil, a tool in the hands of the West to dominate the Muslims. In reply to those who ask if it is indeed possible to bring about a world without America and Zionism, he says: “You had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and can surely be achieved.”
Later, he cites Khomeini: “The Imam said: ‘This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.'” Commenting on this statement by his spiritual mentor, Ahmadinejad says: “This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise.” Later he adds, “Very soon this stain of disgrace [i.e. Israel] will be purged from the center of the Islamic world – and this is attainable.” This speech clearly announced the ultimate goal: the elimination of Israel.
At the Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting, which took place in Mecca in early December 2005, Ahmadinejad made statements that explicitly tied this goal with Holocaust denial: “Some European countries are insisting on saying that Hitler burned millions of oppressed Jews in crematoria. They insist so much on this issue that if someone proves the opposite, they convict him and throw him into prison. Although we do not accept this claim, let’s assume that it is true, and we ask the Europeans: Does the killing of oppressed Jews by Hitler [justify] their support for the regime that is occupying Jerusalem?…”
This statement by Ahmadinejad is telling. The implication is that the Holocaust is the only justification for the existence of Israel. The line, therefore, is twofold: a) the Holocaust is a myth, and b) even if it is true, it cannot justify Israel’s existence. In either case, Ahmadinejad’s primary obsession is not with the Holocaust, but with Israel’s very existence. If the Holocaust gets in the way of achieving this goal, it must be denied.
Later on in the same speech, he adds: “If you [Europeans] think that you committed an injustice against the Jews, why must the Muslims and the Palestinians pay the price for it? All right, you oppressed [the Jews]. So put some of Europe at the disposal of this Zionist regime…” Again, the guiding principle is that Israel cannot exist. Holocaust denial is important to Ahmadinejad because the Holocaust lends moral justification to the creation and continued existence of the State of Israel.
In the speech you saw earlier on the DVD, from December 14, 2005, Ahmadinejad once again linked these two elements together. He calls the Holocaust a “myth,” but also adds: “If you [Europeans] are correct in saying that you killed six million Jews in World War II… If you committed a crime, it is only appropriate that you place a piece of your land at their disposal – in Europe, America, Canada, or Alaska…” Once again, Holocaust denial is important to Ahmadinejad first and foremost as a means of de-legitimizing Israel’s existence, and since the goal is the elimination of Israel, the speech includes the necessary element of demonization as well.
Then the Iranian president takes pains to portray the Jews as the true oppressors, and not as victims. “Zionism itself is a Western ideology and a colonialist idea, with secular ideas and fascist methods, which was founded by the English. So far, with the help and direct guidance of America and part of Europe, [Zionism] is slaughtering the Muslims.” Later on in the speech, he says: “An important question that the Western countries and media must answer clearly is: What crime did they [i.e. the West] commit at that time [i.e. WWII] that the Zionists are not committing today? In essence, Zionism is a new Fascism…”
This, therefore, is Ahmadinejad’s truth: the Zionists are the true oppressors and murderers. But while at times Ahmadinejad claims to differentiate between Zionists and Jews in general, in truth, this campaign of demonization uses and abuses history to depict Jews throughout the ages – not Zionists alone – as oppressors and murderers.
As you have just seen in the DVD, the true Holocaust, as portrayed by Ahmadinejad, was committed by the Jews: for example, by the Jewish king of Yemen, Yosef Dhu Nuwas, who, he claims, burned the Christians in the early days of Christianity, and by the Iranian Jews, as described in the Book of Esther. Moreover, Jews in modern times are continuing their murderous ways: killing large numbers of Christian children in London and Paris – again, as you saw with your own eyes – in order to procure blood for Passover matzos.
To sum up, Holocaust denial is an inextricable part of demonization, on the way to the final goal: the elimination of Israel.
All these elements figure prominently in the identity and works of those invited by the Iranian regime to the Holocaust denial conference in Tehran. First and foremost is their explicit opposition to Israel’s existence. This is why members of the anti-Zionist Jewish sect of Neturei Karta were invited, following the ongoing, strong ties maintained by the Iranian regime with them. Then comes the demonization of Jews in order to justify the agenda of elimination. Thus the invitation of Holocaust deniers, such as Frederick Toben, who not only denies the Holocaust, but also claims that the Jews intentionally spread the AIDS virus in the U.S.
In essence, the speech made by Ahmadinejad at the Holocaust denial conference best illustrates the role of Holocaust denial in the ideology and strategy of the Iranian regime. He begins his speech by addressing the Holocaust deniers participating in the conference: “Iran is your home, and here you can express your opinions freely, in a friendly manner and in a free atmosphere.” Then, without batting an eyelid, he adds: “The life-curve of the Zionist regime has begun its descent, and it is now on a downward slope towards its fall… I tell you now… the Zionist regime will be wiped out, and humanity will be liberated.”
TO VIEW IRANIAN HOLOCAUST DENIAL CLIPS ON MEMRITV VISIT: http://www.memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S5&P1=156.
Chairman of the Hamas faction in parliament Khalil al-Haya, told a crowd of tens of thousands at a Hamas rally in Gaza Friday that “(Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas has declared war on Allah and on the will of the Palestinian people.”…
Al-Haya … referred to Abbas’ anticipated speech Saturday: “We will fight with force for the voter’s choice against those who want to bring about a coup.”
Abbas’ speech has caused much turmoil in the PA, as the president is expected to announce the dismissal of the government, and holding a referendum or early elections.