Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 398 (since 2011-10-28 06:57:53)

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  • Fineman and Robinson blast Sam Harris and HBO for promoting ignorance about Islam
    • "One view has it that ALL “Abrahamic” religions gave (and still give) themselves over to violence against heresies, non-believers, etc."

      That's a very narrow albeit fashionable route predicated on a number of falsehoods. It fails to note that monotheism precedes Judaism most importantly. Monotheism is a universal conception. Secondly violence has long been a feature of pagan, capitalist and communist societies as well. It fails to note that the Mongol commander who raped Baghdad in the 13th century was Buddhist. All in all such a view denies human history, human nature etc. etc. that, within the spheres of power and industry, are controlled by people who have not done a minute's worth of contemplation and merely are in the sense of identity, tribe etc.

    • All Islamists, like Zionists, commit crimes out of a perceived sense of victimhood. It's the same with Hindu fascist orgs in India.

    • "All of the above terrorist groups “are not Islam”, but their members are definitely Muslims."

      I agree. The first Islamist party was created by Maududi. Al-Baghdadi quoted a lot from this 20th century post-Britain guy in his choreographed sermon. It takes one nut like Maududi to muck up things, he's the number one guy for Takfiris, the Saudis even awarded him, and in fact influenced Qutb. The existence of all these Islamist orgs is based on copycat behaviour. I personally don't know any Muslim who belongs to any of these groups. Most Muslims have condemned terrorism.

    • "By the end of the fifteenth century, Mu'tazilis were subjected to vehement attacks from the traditionalists on one hand, and from the atheists, deists, philosophers, non-Muslim thinkers, etc., on the other. It is important to note that the traditionalists, as opposed to Mu'tazili rationalists, were not irrationalists. Both groups operated on the basis of some synthesis between reason and revelation...

      "Facing the problem of existence of evil in the world, the Mu'tazilis pointed at the free will of human beings, so that evil was defined as something that stems from the errors in human acts. God does nothing ultimately evil, and He demands not from any human to perform any evil act. If man's evil acts had been from the will of God, then punishment would have been meaningless, as man performed God's will no matter what he did. Mu'tazilis did not deny the existence of suffering that goes beyond human abuse and misuse of their free will granted to them by God. In order to explain this type of "apparent" evil, Mu'tazilis relied on the Islamic doctrine of taklif — "God does not order/give the soul of any of his creation, that which is beyond its capacity." [Qur'an 2:286] This entailed the existence of an "act of god" to serve a greater good, or the existence of evil acts to prevent a far greater evil. In conclusion, it comprised life is an ultimate "fair test" of coherent and rational choices, having a supremely just accountability in one's current state, as well as the hereafter."

      link to en.m.wikipedia.org

    • Thanks a lot MRW. A group which has met a worse fate than the Sufis are the Mutazilas. The school of rationalism, without label as such, later provided space for figures like Ibn Rushd and Al Beruni; the rationalists played an immense role in intercultural and intercontinental knowledge base. Modern scholars like Muhammad Abduh and Asad dedicated their works to "those who think". This is exactly God's repeated dedication of the Qur'an as expressed in the Qur'an. Since humans are rationally conscious specie.

  • Read the genocidal sermon a notable Atlanta rabbi gave this Rosh Hashanah
    • What is just as unnerving is how this rabbi will get a pass. His fascism is not fringe nor purely religious. I read one of his articles, which has Bernard Lewis Zionism written all over it. This ideology is not punishable because it has many recruits, from Breivik to Dick Cheney.

    • True. On that basis we should all be ashamed for being human. No person bears the burden of another. As Rabbi Zusya said: In the world to come they will not ask me, 'Why were you not Moses?' They will ask, 'Why were you not Zusya.'

  • When Rouhani says blaming ISIS on Islam is Islamophobic, is anyone listening?
    • Just: 'As for the rest of your comment about the “cultural foundation of the natives as a crucial element” — it’s as disparaging and repugnant as ever, Krauss.'

      This is all the more weird since Krauss is Jewish, a member of "the natives" himself according to older Orientalists. He continues to spout the worldview of newer Orientalists like Bernard Lewis who having attained to privilege can look down upon those other "natives".

      link to counterpunch.org

  • Obama says Muslims bear responsibility to counter radical Islam (so are Jews responsible for Israeli violence?)
    • Krauss, weren't you the guy supporting Israeli strikes on Syria? Culture is the derivative of political stability and non-interference. You are right on one point: the problem does not owe everything to western interference, but you are largely wrong. Imperial interests, and that includes regional imperial interests by Israeli/American regional allies like Saudi Arabia is what has strengthened the hand of Takfiris. Once a society is allowed to grow organically, culture opens its buds to the season.

  • Jodi Rudoren effectively annexes Golan Heights to Israel
    • Israel shooting a Syrian jet is for all the naysayers who believe Israel has nothing to do with the Takfiris. Israel has been attacking Syria since Day 1. Netanyahu and his allies like Saudi Arabia have enjoyed watching Syria burn. Israel wishes to use the Takfiris against Asad and Hezbollah and then go for Iran.

  • Will the WCC finally break the interfaith ecumenical deal?
    • I agree. And would argue that emphasis on Christian-Jewish relationships only bolsters the clash of civilisations propaganda, a term coined by a Zionist in light of Zionist politics in the Middle East. Every group should go its separate ways and stop harnessing tribal identities for its ideology. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Islam may have some commonalities but they are all very different religions. Furthermore, there is the additional issue of inherited identities For e.g. Netanyahu is an atheist but I'm sure he's all for Christian-Jewish establishment relationship (just like uber Zionist atheist Sam Harris), what's with all that American cash, euphemistically called aid, and weapons.

  • Moe Diab debates SWU operative Philippe Assouline (Updated)
  • On the use of provocative analogies (Nazism, fascism)
  • Photo-cartoon making Tutu into Hitler is published then taken down by South African Jewish paper
    • And to think that Israel looked on setting fire to Syria - in which it didn't lack in compatriots - as a gateway to weakening and perhaps invading Iran.

  • Israel surveils and blackmails gay Palestinians to make them informants
  • Israeli military demolishes West Bank dairy factory benefitting orphans despite court appeal
    • Good point. The mental illness analogy also excuses Israel's barbarity. What nation or people has not had a rocky history? Israel is acting true to the character it has shaped for itself. It is responsible for its actions and it will be judged by them.

  • ISIS, 9/11, and the terrorism time loop
    • It should be made clear that no organised gang of zombies can operate within any nation state without the support of official power. These Takfiris despite all their boasts owe all their murderous "victories" to those who supplied them with weapons and propaganda. Saudi Arabia realises that setting fire to Syria has got out of its hand, so it's now warning that terrorists will strike Europe or the US. What the House of Saud does not say is that it is itself scared. I wouldn't be surprised if it carried out false flag attacks to hasten strikes against the same people it nourished to kill and hate.

    • Indeed. The US, the Israel lobby and Saudi Arabia have been using the militant "rebels" in Syria in a proxy war against Asad. The Da'ish army as Taxi rightly calls is an international gathering of Takfiris who emerged out of the utopian violence forced upon Syria. They would be wetting their beds if they hadn't been let loose with all those weapons. Now they're boasting of conquering Rome.

  • Salaita speaks publicly for the first time since firing: 'I am here to reaffirm my commitment to teaching and to a position with the American Indian Studies program at UIUC'
    • Brilliant. Let truth not bend even an inch to the warped definition of civility. These corrupt money-changers who administer the great institutions betray the very principle of learning and rationality.

  • The best U.S. 'strategy' to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states
    • Excellent, Taxi. These facts are too uncomfortable to be published, particularly that of who has been funding and training the Da'ish army. In Afghanistan many of these same actors created the Frankenstein, now they've outdone themselves with the Khmer Rouge. No difference between the so-called IDF and the Da'ish army.

  • Did LA pro-Israel group conceal right-wing identity from Hollywood celebs and media?
  • Despite ravages of war, Gaza supports armed resistance to lift the siege
    • Yes no surprise there, and muddled by Saudi antipathy to the Shias and MB types. Only this time these countries have not just created the Frankenstein but the Khmer Rouge that will swallow everything. Two countries that immediately benefit from the ISS in the region: Saudi Arabia and Israel. Without the Iraq war there would be no ISS. Without the Israel lobby there would be no ISS. No ISS without the House of Saud. No ISS without arming the Syrian "rebels". We are told of how unbelievable the march of ISS is, we are not told that ISS is not believable without support and nourishment from these particular regimes.

    • Thanks for making that connection kalithea. The ISS came into being under the influence of Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, the US etc. Israel has a large print as it was a principal force behind the Iraq war. Saudi Arabia is not far behind. The reason Israel continues its barbarity in Gaza is because the media's attention is focussed on ISS. Israel will do anything for time and opportunity to ethnically cleanse. The ISS and the IDF are the best buddies. They are also similar in the sense that tribal-minded chauvinists and assorted psychopaths are drawn to serve in these organisations from countries as far as the UK.

    • Netanyahu speaking on the TV screen that for every one Hamas strike he will strike sevenfold. The truth is he's been striking hundredfold all this time. You don't have to guess who he means. This guy is a megalomaniac who is freely threatening civilians. The IDF and the ISS are tribal twins feeding off each other's energy to commit maximum barbarity in the Middle East. They are redrawing the map with the full consent of other unmentionables like Saudi Arabia.

      Patrick Cockburn's article on the insane criminal Prince Bandar, a little dated but worth a read:

      link to independent.co.uk

      Bandar is the guy responsible for the false flag chemical attack in Syria earlier and the propaganda that took root. He's also the guy who armed Takfiri thugs.

  • More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times
    • Eljay, your quote: "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … founded the religion now known as Judaism, and their descendants are the Jewish people. … [T]echnically, it is incorrect to refer to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as Jews … nevertheless, for convenience and in accordance with common practice, I will use these terms."

      Legends of Abraham like Noah preceded Judaism. He had nothing to do with Israel, Biblical or otherwise. The quote you've presented is a myth-making claim, not a logical one. It presents three figures from three generations as "founded the religion". You only need to found something once. Abraham in legend is the founder of monotheism from which Judaism is derived. Later Christianity and Islam negotiate with that discourse. They are far from opportunistic rehashes as you claim, the same could be said of Judaism for opportunistically reducing the Abrahamic vision for the unity of a particular tribe.

    • Eljay: "And, anyway, you’ve got it backwards. Since Jews were submitting themselves to god long before Islam came around, one who submits himself to god is a Jew, not a Muslim. IOW, all Muslims are really Jews. Time for them to accept the reality and convert."

      Perhaps you'd like to elaborate. I've read the Old Testament. I've even spoken to practising Jews, some of who believed that in Judaism God is particular to the tribe and other people may have other gods. In the anthropological sense, Judaism represents a primitive notion of God which is universalised in Christianity and Islam. So a non-member of the tribe can't logically become one. You are thumping your chest as a form of cultural realisation and pretending to be a rational critic, you are just another new atheist with unacknowledged biases.

    • "According to Islam, but not according to Judaism. Abraham was a Jew."

      Abraham preceded Judaism. Judaism is derived from the legend of Abraham, not the other way round.

  • 'Bombing the Dead' -- Max Blumenthal in Gaza
  • Israel accuses Gaza children of using Hamas as human shields
    • The petty "human shield" argument is enthusiastically uttered by so-called liberal Zionists. It's one argument that does not separate Zionists

  • Israel's foundation in a 'terroristic campaign of expulsion, ethnic cleansing and murder' is the 'deep wound in that part of the world' -- Sullivan
    • Donald: "But Harris is just the liberal genteel sort of person who would support almost any level of war crime, so long as he thinks an Islamist is at the other end."

      Yes many Zionists are liberal but Harris is not just "the liberal genteel sort of person". That is trying to spare Zionism. Harris is on record sharing his wet dream about a nuclear first strike. Harris's views are tribal, they are Zionist if you look at his sources, not classic liberal. ISS is a better counterpart to tribal Zionists like Harris. Hamas has nothing within its infamous charter that rivals the screed of Harris and it is certainly more moral than the IDF "the most moral army". Sullivan's definitely establishment liberal. If he wasn't gay he'd probably be conservative.

    • The only deception here is how Zionist peddlers like Sam Harris frame Islam.

  • Reading Salaita in Illinois—by Way of Cary Nelson (part 1)
    • Excellent work! This should put an end to the inquisition against Salaita. And drive home the facts to at least one person here who took an incredibly condescending tone under the auspices of defending Salaita.

      Salaita has done nothing wrong. Nelson should apologise.

  • Professor Salaita was fired for disagreeing too vehemently with Professor Nelson
    • "And as I mentioned before I once asked him about a tweet he made and on reflection he amended it, so he is obviously is a reasonable person who does care how he sounds and what he says."

      An example of your condescension toward the advocates of human rights and freedom from continual torture for the Palestinians. Am I to suppose your own refusal to amend your bigotry, many times expressed and which includes false charges of antisemitism which you haven't withdrawn, is proof that you are unreasonable? You should correct your bigotry before correcting others and congratulating them for not toeing your line.

      "But you are dreaming if you think anyone who is reacting this way to Salaita would similarly act on behalf of your hypothetical pro-Israel tweeter."

      Compare response to Joan Rivers with that of Gibson -- excluding the fact that Rivers' rant was far worse -- and you'll get an insight into your boilerplate, disingenuous comparisons. It's proof of how warped Zionism makes its supporters even if they claim to be rational non-Zionists (aka gatekeepers) -- as anti-Zionism is too morally heavy for them.

  • Steven Salaita case recalls blacklisting of Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson
    • This is an example of Zionist racism against someone, particularly a non-white Palestinian and Gentile, who dared speak up. It is an example of Zionist pressure on academia to conform to its compass. That's all. What is chilling is how the words and actions of Zionist journalists and academics helps buoy up the apartheid state. Not the human, authentic protest of Salaita against the blood-curdling massacre of children.

    • Why if it's not tokyobk, acting judge while pretending to analyse. Start with a positive and then do the usual passive aggressive thing with a good dose of paranoia. The only thing that's specious and vulgar here is your passive aggressive comment routine on the face of Israel's ongoing genocide. Steven Salaita said what any conscientious academic ought to say. He should be applauded. A big part of harassment against him owes to his identity. Zionist academic routinely defend genocide and torture and are in fact promoted and lauded.

  • Sam Harris defends his silence on Gaza slaughter (or tries to anyway)
    • Excellent info. Thanks tree.

      I think of Zionism as not only the golden calf but also a justification for Pharaoh's persecution of the Hebrews in the old story if that story has any lesson. Not to mention the Holocaust... Zionism's entire character is based on might makes right. It is the enabler of the clash myth, it is not just the old colonialism but a more tribal one of blood and soil. Ranks right up Hindutva and al Qaeda.

  • More voices describe Gaza slaughter as a 'genocide'
    • ivri, are you aware that your comment reeks of fascist ugliness? That it borders on defence of genocide?

  • Joan Rivers slams CNN and BBC coverage of Gaza -- 'you're all insane'
    • Rivers should go snort ziocaine in her bubble bath and suffer her own fumes. Her fellow Zionists are dropping bombs and killing kids all over Gaza. Apparently Mel Gibson must be punished for an anti-Semitic rant while Rivers must sashay like a queen after defending genocide.

  • PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel's assault on Gaza is 'state terrorism' and should be referred to the International Criminal Court
    • Interesting. Also according to Diana Buttu and a representative from HRW on Al Jazeera, the problem is the US and Israel on whom Abbas etc. depend.

  • Iraqis flee Mosul under threat from ISIS
    • The following countries' policies are directly responsible for the rise of the ISS by funding and prolonging the "rebels" in Syria: the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Gulf states. The following country is directly responsibly for shamelessly aiding ISS by bombing Assad's military facilities: Israel. All of these governments are allied to the zombie takfiris of the ISS even though they may take out propaganda pieces on how big a threat ISS is to them. They are responsible for the mutation of ISS and the immediate threat it poses to the Christians and other minorities and naysayers.

      Israel's apologists, in the ultimate show of irony, continue to deflect the genocide in Gaza by bringing up ISS, without telling anyone that Israeli fascists are partly responsible for these fascists. The ISS is doing what ethnic nationalists like them have always done: worship the tribe, state, screech about God and stamp all over the meek. Meanwhile, Libya continues to go up in flames.

  • Naomi Wolf walked out of synagogue when they had nothing to say about Gaza massacre
    • tokyobk: "It is a dark hour NormanF but because the Israeli state became inseparable from the occupation project."

      When was Israel ever not inseparable from the occupation project? Not before 67. Not 48. Not before 48. In this way Israel is far worse, not "the same way", as the US or Australia. The civilisaations of the west have moved in the particular directions through experience (for better or worse), hence the gagging on overt forms of discrimination. Israel, in contrast, has come out as a victim of that courthouse and chosen to victimize the rightful owners of the land. This makes Israel far worse, a cruelty that is far more gratuitous.

  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
    • "But most people in most societies are not moral giants."

      That's not true. One doesn't have to be a moral giant to refuse military service or hide Jews from the Nazis. It's very easy and human to do those things. That's what we should say, because what you say becomes. I'd say it's very hard not to follow basic decency which is all these examples require. To raise the bar high stunts man's goodness which has reached far higher than this. In this case, it excuses those rallying to Netanyahu's belligerence. It reminds me of when people talk of war being a human condition. It is not, and this sort of rhetoric only feeds lethargy and apathy to put it mildly.

    • Maximus is right. In fact, international law allows resistance against armed aggression as long as it's not directed against civilians. The question of feeling care and concern toward soldiers is a general human one. And if you feel that toward these soldiers, I hope you extend that empathy to aggressors of other religions and nations. I would rather spend my time and effort to express concern for innocents and the meek wherever they live and whatever they believe.

    • Amazing how liberal Zionists like Amos Oz's daughter seem incapable of facing this situation. No empathy, only hasbara: link to twitter.com
      Is this the respectable, left-leaning face of a genocide-committing state? It seems so

    • Thanks for the updates Walid. Netanyahu must not have expected so many dead soldiers. The bad thing is that this will send them in a psychotic rage and they will target more Palestinian civilians.

  • Palestinians celebrate report that Hamas captured Israeli soldier
    • Yeah I was thinking the same. Dictionaries are out of touch with settlers, it'll take Israel longer to get an imprint there and hopefully the example sentence will go:

      Sderot: an illegal outpost, known for the hill from which some citizens of the Israeli Sparta, gazed upon the bombing of the Gaza ghetto. Later became [fill in the Palestinian name] and world renowned for producing olive products.

  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • "My point of course is that the magnitude of the assault on Gaza has not been encapsulated by just one picture but that the cumulative images are having the effect of that memorable photograph which altered the perception of the war and made pro war propaganda much much harder."

      Tokyobk, on whose behalf are you making this point? I don't need "the cumulative images" to feel horror.

    • "There is not one Phan Thi Kim Phuc photo (the little naked girl fleeing a napalm strike in Viet Nam) but the combined photos and stories from Gaza this time have indeed changed the imagery of this conflict in the American mindset, imo."

      Given your comment history, I also find the first part of this fishy. It is murky at best and an attempt to minimise this tragedy at worst. As you have stated that you are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, let's call it murky. Most people are affected by every single instance, we would only need something "combined" if we were insensitive or rather reluctant to face the truth. I could be wrong in this, but so are you when you give your individual lack of immediate feeling the veneer of "the American mindset".

  • 'We’re Like Toys for Them': Young Gazans speak about Operation Protective Edge
    • Chris Hedges' recent one on Israel:

      link to truthdig.com

      Notes the importance of BDS. Chomsky is irrelevant to the future of Palestinian rights, because effectively strategised BDS and arms embargo are the only thing that can prevent the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. The time is running out, Israel is running without brakes in a genocidal direction.

  • Israel's message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die
    • "I don`t feel that Zionism understands that."

      And I don't feel tokyobk understood you, seafoid. The comparison of your moral lament, which has been made by great scholars in Islam and Christianity as well, to a hate site like jihad watch is ridiculous.

  • Where was God in the Warsaw Ghetto? Or in Gaza?
    • The oft-repeated question of the alleged absence of God during the Holocaust is actually an ethnocentric one. The question cannot be answered since it goes into the issue of suffering which precedes humanity. It is all the more amazing since, in this case, it happened at the cusp of industrialisation, the ultimate manmade thing, and thus the first form of industrial-scale killing. I do know who was present during the Holocaust and who is present in Gaza: human beings or so-called if by human being we mean being human.

  • Chomsky and BDS
    • "And when they get to Jordan, and when the black flags can be seen through Israeli binoculars, that’s the end of Palestine forever – because everyone will respect the right of Israel to defend itself (and Jordan) against the Jihadi’s and no one will be there to see what happens on the ground. "

      You have eluded more facts than you have missed. Netanyahu was bombing Syria and helping the Takfiris, now he's making oil deals with the Kurds. Israel is not some tourist with binoculars in this mess. It is partly responsible for it.

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • "clinging to his idealized version of socialist and labor zionism….."

      Yep. That's his limitation, all thinkers should be open to critique. Nothing complicated about Chomsky's limitations. He is wrong on Israel-Palestine, too emotionally invested all attempts at rational analysis notwithstanding.

    • "In the case of Israel, Chomsky learned about Israel from his family as a child under highly emotional circumstances and therefore he is partially irrational about Israel as are many Jews. Chomsky only talks to left-wing sycophants who are a rarified group found mainly in large cities and he fails to understand that the U.S. will “not” continue to support Israel no matter what it does. "

      Second that. Best comment on the thread IMO that says it how it is.

  • Think back to 2003. . . the year the U.S. didn't invade Iraq
    • Good article, but it leaves out the scope of critique that is not at all dependent on the invasion. As the Takfiridom of Saudi Arabia and its Gulf lackeys bankroll terrorism and Takfiri zombies in Iraq and Syria today, the US refuses to criticise or even identify these carriers of sectarian deaths and hatred. It began long before Iraq, in Afghanistan actually, in league with Saudi Arabia and the other devil Pakistan: bringing the curse of the Taliban and providing al Qaeda with a tribal sanctuary. Egypt had long cursed and chased out Al Zawahiri. What is disgusting, as Robert Fisk notes, is that this fact of Saudi involvement in so much of the mayhem is unmentionable. I hope the House of Saud and all the sectarian henchmen are marched to The Hague in chains one day for crimes against humanity.

  • The Banality of Religion: 'Prayer summit' at the Vatican fails to inspire
    • "Given the on-going turmoil in the world, “the heavens” are either indifferent to prayers or non-existent."

      Do you have any scientific evidence for this claim? You don't, because it is a belief. To you your belief, to us ours. I for one concur with the belief that without prayer to the One Universal God, not Krishna nor any tribal definition or jealous deity promised to a particular people or land, the world would be worse than it is ... surely man could have inherited the earth with global warming already in place. But freedom of speech and action has allowed man to either veer toward good or bad. How about blaming the heavens for CO2 emissions as well?

  • Jewish safety in Europe and Muslim safety are interconnected
    • Lulu, I couldn't agree more. There should be harsher laws for takfiri thugs like these. No amount of oppression or disadvantage justifies this kind of behaviour. Any killer actually justifies the oppression (he faced) if that's what fuels him by oppressing, in this case taking life, another person. Like all human beings, this man was totally rational and responsible for his actions. There are other human beings who are oppressed but instead return with love. Not these guys; these are the same takfiris sowing mayhem in Syria. This man may consider himself a "rebel" but like all takfiris he is bought and paid for by his proxy masters like Saudi Arabia and the only product he is selling is his lack of self understanding and consequently of the world at large and how to behave in it.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel protest draft in Tel Aviv as passersby tell them to die or emigrate
    • tokyobk, check what? It's you who needs to check yourself for making inferences that suit your own paranoia/prejudice against 'outsiders'. Divide and conquer is an old technique, it's you yourself who is the source of the moat you wish to see in Citizen's eye.

  • Netanyahu says Jews invented the idea of 'honoring your father and mother'
    • "Since, as you pointed out earlier, Muhammad Abduh is authentic Islam, other scholars and “well read members” (as determined by whom?) appear superfluous."

      You misunderstood me perhaps. The statement was a quote from a scholar which basically says read the Qur'an if you want to know what authentic Islam is. It has nothing to do with that scholar as an absolute authority, in fact he is calling the Quran "the best commentary" on Islam. No Muslim would disagree. Then, I gave you a list of scholars who are well-read. As for who is well-read, well in the same way William Blake would be considered more well-read than Pamela Geller. You are free to ask: determined by whom.

    • "Aiman, you need to brush up on the purely historical compilation of the Quran from a non-religious perspective."

      You didn't understand the point of that statement. It has nothing to do with how something was compiled or not.

    • "how many world wars were started by India or China? Of course there are conflicts in almost every part of the world; I was thinking of really big disturbances like the senselessly dropping of A-bombs on other people, what was done to the Amerindians, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Soviets and so on. Other than for Japan that was baited into doing what it did in WW II, what non-Abrahamic countries have surpassed the atrocities of the Abrahamic ones? There were the Muslim conquests, the Christian ones and now we are having the Jewish capitalistic and political one."

      Walid, the world wars were the result of Europe harnessing more industrial power than it could fruitfully yield. In fact, the mass killing of whales to light up the candles of Enlightenment was already leading them in that direction. Tolstoy has written about this. The Holocaust, of course, was the first industrial scale killing of human beings on a mass scale. The suffering turned a religious community of Jews, who were already distrusted for their religiosity (at least in Poland), and their descendants into active atheists. Europe had long turned before atheist in its academia and colonialism, which should not be confused with secularism, from which came capitalism and Marxism. It's communist variety wreaked havoc with Pol Pot, Mao. The Japanese didn't need that in their rape on Nanking nor did the Buddhist Mongol need monotheism when his Mongol hordes overran Baghdad in 1258. It wasn't what you deride as the Abrahamic religions that caused all this, it was the Mongols again in Muslim guise who conquered India. And do you think paganism with its human sacrifices, Beowulf cruelty, prankish gods, and what bound human beings to earthly permanence was pretty? The transformation of agrarian societies and man's access to destructive technology has what's led him to walk in arrogance. Do you think, if Europe or later Arabs were pagan, they wouldn't have wielded this power?

      "Bereft of religion, men possessing enormous power over the forces of nature are like children to whom powder or explosive gas has been given as a plaything. Considering this power which men of our time possess, and the way they use it, one feels that considering the degree of their moral development men have no right, not only to the use of railways, steam, electricity, telephones, photography, wireless telegraphs, but even to the simple art of manufacturing iron and steel, as all these improvements and arts they use only for the satisfaction of their lusts, for amusement, dissipation, and the destruction of each other.... Man has no choice; he must be the slave of the most unscrupulous and insolent amongst slaves, or else the servant of God, because for man there is only one way of being free—by uniting his will with the will of God. People bereft of religion, some repudiating religion itself, others recognizing as religion those external, monstrous forms which have superseded it, and guided only by their personal lusts, fear, human laws, and, above all, by mutual hypnotism, cannot cease to be animals or slaves, and no external efforts can extricate them from this state; for only religion makes a man free. And most of the people of our time are deprived of it." (Tolstoy)

    • 'Curious:
      - What constitutes “authentic Islam”?
      - Who has the final say on which parts of Islam are authentic and which parts are not?'

      The Qur'an is its own best commentary -Muhammad Abduh. That's authentic Islam. Illustrated by scholars: Al Beruni, Ghazali, Muhammad Abduh, Muhammad Asad, Yahya Emerick. In other words, the most well read members on a subject as it is with everything else

    • Well said bilal a.

    • "The sooner the better, Taxi. These 3 religions now comprise about half of humanity and they are are at the root of all the shit-disturbing going on in the world."

      You really need to familiarise yourself with world history, Walid. To claim these "3 religions" are the root of the world's problems is a form of armchair denial that smarts under the prejudice that irreligion offers no responsibility and makes one an enlightened figure. You know nothing what's going on in say India or China, on how things are so similar.

  • Don't let Pamela Geller speak for American Jews
    • "Some people know something is wrong but are too afraid to go to a doctor because they don’t want to know the truth. They rarely admit that, instead live in a world of excuses, deflection, self delusion, wishful thinking, even blame."

      A good self-diagnosis of yourself, but you mistake delusion for a conscious willful subscription.

    • "It’s a shame that people aren’t willing to do the research about what the Qur’an actually does say and begin to understand that Islamic hatred for the Jews is not based on land or anything which has happened in the last 66 years."

      Yeah? Well, then prove it, Mr Hasbarist. Here's a link to the most detailed translation of the Qur'an in English with all the explanatory notes [PDF]:

      link to usc.edu

      The source of the problem in the so-called Israel-Palestinian conflict is Zionism, it is definitely not just land (on that you are right). Zionists like you and your close cousins the Takfiris are the number one sowers of mayhem in the Middle East.

    • Well said, LuLu. Just want to point out though that Noah and Abraham were not Jewish either. This also flies in the face of the argument that the Qur'an is plagiarised from the Bible (Hitchens et al). Monotheism has a longer history, even in Hinduism and Chinese thought. If you read Henry Grady Weaver's The Mainspring of Human Progress, he credits Abraham for making the first attempt to show human beings are not dependent on prankish gods or external factors (tribe, nation) but each human being earns what he individually does. The second such successful attempt at both universalism and individualism in human history (according to Weaver), is made by Muhammad. I'd situate Jesus and the great Hebrew prophets who were persecuted or killed before this message could get out in between Abraham and Muhammad.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Shalom Modi: India and Israel look to deepen ties following victory of the Hindu right
    • niraj, I wonder if you are a hasbarist. There is ample proof that Modi and his corporate masters have been paying people to peddle his propaganda. No one is comparing Indians to Hitlers, stop diverting and presenting strawman arguments.

      "Hindu society has spawned great philosophical and spiritual endeavors such as buddhism and yoga."

      What's your point? We are talking about Modi.

      "We have much to offer the world, as does the Jewish world. Ancient societies collaborating – what a refreshing idea!

      "Ancient societies" is a perfect form of patronization either used by imperial masters or (always insecure) ethnic nationalists.

    • "Rubbish – what a classic example of Godwin’s Law. Contriving some association between someone and Hitler, in order to justify your dislike of them? Pathetic."

      Yes, pathetic. Except that the links between Nazism and RSS's mythological Aryanism is not just historical but current.

      "This type of left-supported ethnic libel is exactly what motivated me and so many others to vote for Narendra Modi, and I’m a lifelong atheist."

      Atheism is not considered heretical within the philosophy of Hinduism (in fact, RSS's forefather VR Savarkar was an atheist), but that's beside the point. It's also amusing how you blame the "left".

  • Amos Oz uses the n-word-- calls settler zealots 'neo-Nazis'
    • Oz is part of the problem. His rationalisation of the Gaza invasion, and that of his daughter, reads like support for terrorism, a liberal support for murder. Ideologically, liberals like Oz only differ from the "hilltop youth" in their bedside manners. John Pilger has written a lot about this form of liberalism that supports war etc. and yet brandishes moral virtue.

  • Racism in service of a pro-Israel agenda-- two 'NYT' editors reveal a bias
  • The Jewish community must not embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • "Like most religious texts, it’s full of contradictions – “compassion” one minute, wishing violent punishments on kafirs the next: “but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them”.

      Jaynot, at least learn to quote accurately regardless of your conclusions. Here's the full quote: "Do not, therefore, take them for your allies until they forsake the domain of evil for the sake of God; and if they revert to [open] enmity, seize them and slay them wherever you may find them. And do not take any of them for your ally or giver of succour, unless it be such [of them] as have ties with people to whom you yourselves are bound by a covenant, or such as come unto you because their hearts shrink from [the thought of] making war either on you or on their own folk - although, if God had willed to make them stronger than you, they would certainly have made war on you. Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them."

      The Quran only allows defensive war. This verse applies to those who wish to enslave and kill other people. Innocents and non-combatants are not considered in the equation. This verse may well apply against the Takfiris. However, once the aggressors cease, "God does not allow you to harm them". As for aggression: "God does not like aggressors." It is foolish for the theological illiterates like you to say this book says so many things, great scholars like Abduh and Asad not to mention all the old geniuses described the Quran as comprehensive and united in which all parts support each other, not a loose collection of contradictions. Even in this supposed contradiction, aggression by Muslims is prohibited by God. Not only that, the Quran says that God does not destroy a community for disbelief as long as its members behave righteously towards each other (11:117). These are not the "good parts", but every part supports the other.

    • "Focusing exclusively on one particular problem (cause, evil) leads naturally to interpreting and assessing everything solely from that point of view."

      Again there's an a priori assumption that something is "evil" without knowing fully what it is. It is no different than a Salafist assumption that Socialism is evil.

    • "some scholars who seem to me very knowledgeable, such as Ibn Warraq"

      As opposed to Muhammad Abduh, Muhammad Asad and Fazlur Rahman? Asma Barlas? Not to mention Al Beruni, Ghazali and Ibn Rushd of old? Anyone who knows anything about al Qaeda/Takfiris knows that it is a tribal movement that didn't take hold until the 21st century, hence the large scale slaughter of both non-Muslims and Muslims, while Islam is a universal religion whose greatest scholars have always expressed humanism. The best commentary to Islam is the Qur'an itself, not any scholar.

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • Once again, Krauss, you are making egregiously false accusations. And an accusation that has more consequences than others. Also, there's nothing anti-Semitic about comparing human behaviour in various genocides and killings. In fact, it's what's needed if we are to have any sense of mutual responsibility. It is precisely presenting one as a mystical rather than real catastrophe that allows a country like Israel and its supporters to turn a blind eye to the catastrophe it continues to perpetrate. Perhaps you really need to get down to the "sewers" to understand.

  • Narendra Modi, a politician who presided over anti-Muslim pogrom, may be India's next leader, and U.S. cozies up to him
    • "the world’s muslims"

      "Will the muslims of the world be outraged at Brazil? Then they have to be outraged at the entire world."

      "but because over a billion muslims matter a lot more to its revenue than a few tens of millions of Sikhs"

      Krauss, as usual, your prejudice is evident even in your use of grammar. It is abundantly clear you know as little about India as Netanyahu knows about the Panchatantra. All you have provided evidence of is how good you are at swallowing the contents of one or two articles you linked to and then regurgigating it to make an ostensibly profound point that no one else can. No, you can shoot farther than anyone. That's right. I suggest you aim for your toilet bowl instead of stumbling to and fro to soil the coat of an honest man of letters like James North. You would have no problem, of course, if a Muslim criminal slaughtered a thousand "jews", disfranchised them and regularly cut off the electricity in the poor areas they inhabit and was later elected as PM. The US would of course welcome him. You would talk of how "the world's jews" have more monopoly on the Economist (for the obvious reasons) than "the Sikhs" and then give us a repetitious prose about all the happenings in India that no one else knows.

      I trust Arundhati Roy more than you. And for anyone interested, here's a great article by John Pilger: link to theguardian.com. The relevant paragraphs on Gujarat:

      Jawaharlal Nehru's democracy succeeded in granting the vote (today, there are 3.2 million elected representatives), but it failed to build a semblance of social and economic justice. Widespread violence against women is only now precariously on the political agenda. Secularism may have been Nehru's grand vision, but Muslims in India remain among the poorest, most discriminated against and brutalised minority on Earth. According to the 2006 Sachar Commission, in the elite institutes of technology, only four in 100 students are Muslim, and in the cities Muslims have fewer chances of regular employment than the "untouchable" Dalits and indigenous Adivasis. "It is ironic," wrote Khushwant Singh, "that the highest incidence of violence against Muslims and Christians has taken place in Gujarat, the home state of Bapu Gandhi."

      Gujarat is also the home state of Narendra Modi, winner of three consecutive victories as BJP chief minister and the favourite to see off the diffident Rahul Gandhi in national elections in May. With his xenophobic Hindutva ideology, Modi appeals directly to dispossessed Hindus who believe Muslims are "privileged". Soon after he came to power in 2002, mobs slaughtered hundreds of Muslims. An investigating commission heard that Modi had ordered officials not to stop the rioters – which he denies. Admired by powerful industrialists, he boasts the highest "growth" in India.

  • Liberal schizophrenia and moral myopia: On Ari Shavit's 'My Promised Land'
    • “I know that if it wasn’t for them [the militias who cleansed Lydda], the State of Israel would not have been born…They did the dirty, filthy work that enables my people, myself, my daughter, and my sons to live.” - Shavit

      This is eerily similar to Michael Walzer's views on political theory. No wonder unresolved arguments from the Second World War, Zionism and contemporary "humanitarian intervention" are intertwined. At their heart they all excuse massive civilian casualties and still profess nobility. "Shoot and cry" and furrow your forehead to be admired on the cover of the Times.

  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
    • LeaNder,

      Thanks for sharing your insight and the excerpt from that beautifully titled chapter expressing ugly things. I agree, it's doubtful about Lewis pulling all this on his own. His very influence speaks about the influence of those (the Israel lobby, including those at the New York Times) who propagated him and his views. I think he is definitely one of the pioneering figures in Zionism and the Israel Lobby. He is also an Armenian Genocide denier, at his sentence leading Zionists sent protests including the writer of the Israeli left Amos Oz. From my reading into Muslim fundamentalism, for example, there were two main figures (Qutb and Maududi in Egypt and South Asia respectively) in the late colonial period who shaped a lot of the trouble Muslims find themselves in regarding terrorism, puritanism, women's rights, nation state etc.

      On Talal's book On Suicide Bombing, here's an article by him that relates to issues discussed in his book: link to tandfonline.com. What's funny is how Samantha Power personally reviewed that book, it must have been excruciating for her to read it. In one place, Asad mentions how Israel deliberately left a million cluster bombs in Lebanon after the invasion, that 'blows' the whole argument of hasbarists that Israel doesn't deliberately target civilians. The aim was to terrorise, to put it mildly. He also looks at liberal warmakers in detail, for e.g. how pro-war liberals are "agonised" by criminal decisions (like, support for Iraq war) as if that ritual of relection/confession in opeds/books can morally cleanse them and they can begin again.

      Good luck with your seminar. They definitely have a great point about lifting the beam from one's own eye first that we should all follow. Cheers.

    • Sounds good, will check it out.

    • Thanks for sharing, gamal. Muhammad Asad counts Abduh among the greatest Islamic thinkers of all time alonside Ghazzali etc. I've read his book The Theology of Unity. Like you say, he was an incredible critic of Muslim society. He initiated reforms. He understood what was wrong. He corresponded with Tolstoy etc. and was confident enough in his faith to befriend Bahai leaders.

    • LeaNder,

      Interesting to hear about your friend. I have found the works of the anthropologist Talal Asad like 'Formations of the Secular' and 'On Suicide Bombing' very enlightening on this topic. The source for a lot of this kind of thinking, in my view, is Bernard Lewis who shifted the missionary Orientalism, which included Jews as subjects, of Christian and European travellers into a Zionist one. This realignment into "Judeo-Christian" civilisation has one purpose: to implant Israel or Zionism into the old boys' club. I think Lewis and his modern day henchmen have been very successful. The discourse is part of every day news as politicians and the media rail against "irrational" enemies, indeed one of the great sleight of hand tricks has been to reduce whole countries, not just individuals, into the enemy. Pummel the public with "irrational", "their culture" etc. etc. People like bin Laden and alQaeda share exactly the same worldview, a grossly dehumanising worldview of Westerners that allows people to kill innocent human beings. These acts further cement the propaganda.

    • Just to add a further point to this discussion, to paraphrase the great anthropologist Talal Asad (On Suicide Bombing): "the clash of civilisations" doesn't even take into consideration the inequalities within Europe.

    • Hughes and others,

      I hope you will say the same for the person Krauss accused of Holocaust denial recently. No evidence was given. The comment, in question, made a universalist point and had nothing to do with the reality of the Holocaust. In this thread, above, Krauss repeats this slander. He then expends many more than a hundred words expressing his horror and rancour at being accused of something that doesn't fit his intellectual profile.

      To Krauss,

      You should stick to analysing Liberal Zionism and what you know. Or what you care to know. Which Muslim or Arab sources have you read? Please provide evidence of your arguments. No one is criticising you for participating in this topic. Reactions to use of "Arab" and "culture" are not Pavlovian, your general conclusions from your many posts indeed belong to the Bernard Lewis school of thought. That's what's troubling. I agree with you on the limits of Chomsky's analysis (as does Bernard Lewis, just google it) but that doesn't make your own analysis right. Not only is your analysis of Arab minds, if one can call it that, wrong but your throwing in how India is Switzerland in terms of foreign relations is laughably misplaced without any attention to the fundamentalism in India which in my view is similar to the Egyptian variety. To speak nothing of the psychology of Zionism. This issue is trans religious and even trans cultural.

    • Krauss, how convenient of you to trot out the slander of Holocaust denial at a time when your argument lies in tatters. I'm glad you provided the link though, everybody can revisit your accusation. An incredibly serious accusation for which you need to hold yourself accountable.

    • Keith, I agree. In fact, Bernard Lewis advanced it in the service of Zionism. His formulation of "Judeo-Christian civilisation" when no such thing exists in the first place (the self-important Harold Bloom even admits so and for the reason that it helps Israel). Imagine, if someone had advanced the notion of conflict between Judaism, viewed as an outsider, and Christianity in Europe. And then that was used to attack Jews. Oh wait, some of that happened. People like Krauss here would cry anti-Semitism without saying things like "Judaism, after all, is these people's religion" or opine about how Jewish boys rape Christian European girls in the ghettos.

    • Krauss, your meandering/stumbling/falling intellectualising aside, your persistent, stiff refusal to rubbish "every Arab intellectual" and his/her opinion each time he/she wrote a single point of view article on Mondoweiss smacked of something weird even before. Now here you go again. You may be a non-Zionist but your sources for your analysis are actually Zionist or at least were part of the intellectualising by the Eusten Left in the run up to the Iraq War. Your critique of Chomsky/his ideology cannot allow you to brush over other voices without that same concern. It's like you showing off your knowledge by placing Chomsky's book on a pile of books by persons you are psychologically unable, rather unwilling, to engage with. You also make sweeping brush strokes over "India", forgetting how similar Indian Hindu nationalism to Muslim nationalism, Zionism of course takes the cake on that one, you don't know what bad/evil choices (not circumstances, mind you) led to these ideologies. Neither your superiors Lewis nor Huntington had the answer, in Lewis it was all a matter of conceit. Perhaps you want to feel part of the Judeo-Christian civilisation but it doesn't exist, it is a Zionist construct (Bernard Lewis) as admitted by the otherwise odious Harold Bloom. For all your blustering, I have one advice for you: read. Read better. The world is broader than you know.

  • Conservatives for Palestine
    • two things, how did your study of the Holocaust and the diary of Anne Frank inform your decision to write:

      “Sans oil exports, the Arab world exports about as much as Finland, a country of 5 million, in terms of value in GDP. The amount of literature being translated into Arabic is miniscule compared to the overall population.”

      Krauss has probably been spending too much time hunched over Bernard Lewis or rather his vacuous tomes.

    • I don't think you understood Gamal's point. And so "obviously sympathetic to thank kind of ideology" is false judgment.

  • Citing MLK, Florida students call on school to divest
    • Good post. There are/were definitely efforts to align the narratives of the Hebrews in Egypt with African-Americans in the US. This mythological rendering is best explained in 'Let My People Go' to which MLK himself subscribed: link to rfksafilm.org. It could be a form of Christian Zionism. I don't think it was merely an African-American expression but was pushed by Zionist Jews who believed in multiculturalism abroad but Zionism in Israel. King perhaps felt this was a pragmatic tactic but was squeamish about the moral question.

  • 'Jews For Palestinian Right of Return' endorse American Studies Association boycott of Israeli academic institutions
    • "Anti-zionism was a pretty Jewish engagement at the beginning of Zionism. Its Western non-Jews who are late to the party! But, better late than never, I suppose. Assuming you are not Jewish, Kathleen. Welcome. If you are, thanks for re-engaging an old Jewish tradition of dissent and anti and no-Zionism."

      What an astoundingly ignorant and narcissistic batch of sentences. People are "welcome" the moment they are born, they are not yours or anyone's subjects. The first anti-Zionist engagement was that of a Palestinian.

  • American Jewish leader calls Iranians manipulative 'bazaaris'
  • Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria
    • Inanna, speaking of Bandar further: didn't Bandar tell Putin that there would be no terrorism at the Winter Olympics if Russia sided with the Saudis? Now we have news of terrorist threats. What's Bandar's deal there, I wonder. It is no secret now that terrorism is a form of state violence by proxy. This explains why the Takfiris are not stampeding through Riyadh (or where its interests lie) but places like Kabul and Damascus.

  • Former 'NYT' reporter says Times should assign non-Jews to cover Israel/Palestine
    • Some of the Indian Americans are big funders of Hindu fascists in India as well and unsurprisingly big fans of Zionism.

  • 'Scarlett letter' -- Social media pillory Johansson for representing settlement business SodaStream
    • Yes giladg, "Arab oil money" fuels the conscience of the world in their machinations against poor Israel. Yeah this is the same Israel which is conjoined with that other misunderstood illustrious country of Saudi Arabia whose oil-starved, zombie takfiri-raising royalty are actually emaciated owing to their great labours for man.

  • Israel's '60 Minutes' attributes success of boycott movement to unending settlement of West Bank
    • That's it, seafoid. You laid the miscalculation bare in a nutshell. If there is no humanity in intelligence, then it is no intelligence at all. Zionism was doomed from the start, it broke all the Ten Commandments. I hope the Takfirism-by-proxy will meet the face of justice, too. Here's to a better world!

  • Eric Alterman declines request to debate Max Blumenthal at Brooklyn College
    • "who pointed out the scariness of Islamic practices and beliefs and pointed to a ceremony that seemed barbaric"

      yonah, your language suggests more of what you are advancing than what someone "pointed out". Someone can only point out something if it is true. Bring forth scriptural proof of your claim. I have one advice for you: read about a subject before making claims that suit your agenda.

    • "(whether such a thing exists I don’t know: I defer to those more knowledgeable about Islam than I am)"

      Tree, such a thing may well exist but has no source in Islam. Supporters of Israel like yonah and that woman deliberately conflate individual actions and group customs with Islam. It all goes back to the meme of the clash of civilisations, which directly profits both Zionism and its ideological cousin Taqfirism.

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