Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2043 (since 2011-07-30 17:54:17)

born part Arab part Scots/Irish, worked in training ulema for the european environment/ journalist broadcaster for many years working mainly for bbc. From a faction of euro-islam much favored by the establishment, writer etc nothing really of interest may as well move along.

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  • Morsi repeatedly stresses Palestinian issue in interview with the NYT
    • "gamal, about the breastfeeding, you too took it out of context and made it into something that it wasn’t." that makes me think you are a fool.

      "he retracted the fatwa" so clearly he is one too.

    • yeah i know and i did point out he was derided but quite rightly, it was astonishingly stupid dont you think, how about pointing out that this "prohibition" is almost universally ignored!

      my old man was a world famous Azharite scholar, the leading Muslim authority in Europe for 30 years, i was trained by him, till his death, the only people who fail to understand that nothing a scholar says is binding on anyone is outsiders or apologetic semi-muslims,

      i have spent half my life in the company of "scholars" their main complaint is that no one pays any attention to them other than misguided outsiders trying to "understand" Islam, to quote the inimitable Sheikh Kishq "its an utter farce".

      i am so sick of hearing people who have no religious experience witter on about Islam, looking for it in fatwas, hadith the Quran etc which they have no capacity to understand or contextualize, yet no one reads Futuhat al Makkiya and yet claims they can discern what Islam is, i trained imams for the european context for 25years, some scholars are very good but you have to know them and the material to able judge and principally your interest has to be spiritual or its a waste of time, the Qur'an is a spiritual document not political not social and not amenable to understanding by the spiritually illiterate. its about experience and if you dont have it a scholar is not going help you and they do not define something called "islam". some of us dont feel the need to cosy up aplolgetically to the white masters of the world who are the most bloodsoaked inhuman and murderous folk ever to inhabit this planet, i aint sorry for our failure to be marketable in this propaganda war,

      I used to take my charges down to the Jamaican sound systems i ran one called "the conqueror sound", one brief clip exists on youtube, so that they could learn about cudjoe, paul boggle and nanny, hear sylford walkers "burn babylon" or devon irons "when jah jah come" that seemed to help them understand where they were and it was more help than trying to look good to white people, they can have their fucked up culture and their angst ridden overlordship. as bob marley remarked in the first pressing of soul rebel, let them talk.

      bandwagon! what is wrong with you weak heart!

    • That is undeniably true, but it obviously does not follow that they are doing so for religious reasons or out ignorance or any other delusions you may ascribe to them does it? there is a lot more to it, my self i have no wishes in the matter, unfulfilled or otherwise. What it does indicate is the limited political choices on offer, who would you suggest they vote for, as an informed observer of Egyptian political culture, why would you imagine I have something I "wish" to imagine about the masses of Egyptians? its a bit weird Colin condescending doesnt do it justice, what do you imagine I am in denial about? you can, you know, put down that burden any time you want.

    • here you perfectly reprise the class prejudice of the "educated" classes in Egypt and couldnt be more wrong, the uneducated are no fools and realize quite well what is going on in their society, in terms of economic and political exploitation. ever heard of the late sheikh imam The Poor Know the Score

      his classic Guevara Ma'at, can heard all over.

      usually it takes a good deal of education to believe the absurd ideology of the illusory meritocracy.

    • "there has been virtually no accountability for military trials and the virginity tests conducted by the military." right on the money,

      nor the slaughter of Al-Ahli fans orchestrated by the SCAF, nor is anyone Morsi or anyone else addressing the vile class prejudice now endemic in post Nasser Egypt, the widespread and open corruption of the business classes, the utterly appalling oppression of the Copts, it is impossible for a Copt to inherit from a Muslim, a notion so at variance with the provisions of Fiqh, that one wonders what garbage they actually teach at Al-Azhar, of course the Dar al Ifta concerns itself with important matters such as:

      "a) The Adult Breastfeeding fatwa

      Dr. Izzat Atiya of Egypt's al-Azhar University issued a fatwa on adult breastfeeding as a means to circumvent the Islamic restriction on unmarried women and men being together in the workplace. The fatwa relied on classical Islamic rules for breastfeeding infants to stipulate that if the woman breast-fed her male colleagues five times, this could establish family ties that will make gender mixing permissible. The fatwa was an embarrassment and drew intense criticism and mocking, including from such figures as well known comic actor Adel Imam." and people say that the Ulema have no imagination.

      and yet,
      "Conflicts Between Al-Azhar and President Morsi

      Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa

      In July 2012, Dr. Ali Gomma, the mufti of Egypt, criticized President Muhamed Morsi for his late apology to Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, in the aftermath of Morsi’s inauguration ceremony on June 30, 2012.

      El-Tayeb and other Al-Azhar delegates walked out of Morsi’s inaguration due to what they called a “lack of respect” they were shown by the organizers, who “violated their dignity” by seating them in the back.

      In his appearance on the television show al-Hayat al-Yawm (Life Today), Dr. Gomaa said that Morsi’s apology came late and is not enough. Morsi should have, Gomaa commented, called El-Tayeb right after his inauguration speech, but he called him a day later."

      Personally i wouldnt give the steam off my piss to a single scholar, and in this i am quite similar to real Egyptians, though sometimes, by happenstance they give helpful edicts, such as a rejection of said virginity tests (wittily remarking that since men are unable to prove their own virginity it is unfair to subject a woman to such) but they are generally ignored by the masses due their demonstrable stupidity and pathetic acquiescence to authority. Just because there is racism/Islamophobia sadly it does not mean that many of us are not malicious idiots. I didn't even mention the Prophets urine fatwa, which caused such an uproar the fool who propounded it had to withdraw the whole book in which it appeared to much hilarity among the despised ordinary folk.

    • "I’m leery of politicians that are religion-driven." well fair enough, but as opposed to what? socialists like Hollande? (cf Mondoweiss)

      Surely its fairly sensible to be "leery" of all politicians, recall that great revolutionary socialist the late Chris Hitchens, and his coterie of the cruise missile leftists the Schachtmanites de nos jours. To whom can the Arab masses look for aid, the weak, confused and tactically inept Euro/American "left"?

      the SWP blogger Richard Seymour a great supporter of genuine Arab revolutions such as the Syrian uprising?

      Its a real question to which i have no answer, Naxalites perhaps, but the Arabs have no such movements to which they can turn.

      And its worth noting as Edward Said pointed out reducing Islam to a religion is to some extent to miss the point that it is more a culture than a religion, in some senses, in response i wrote an article for FT defining myself as a "Chrisitian Secular Muslim" i could have added socialist and vajrayana but that would have exceeded my modest literary and intellectual abilities, labouring as i do under the burden of an "IQ" deficit of at least 20 points.
      Palestine is a state of mind and in their obdurate resistance you can see the salvation, much acclaimed but rarely found in the policy paralysis and endemic duplicity of all political groupings in this best of all possible times.

      An old German girlfriend of mine, a Buddhist of some repute, told me in breathless anxiety that in 200 years Germany would be a Muslim majority country she asked what I thought could be done to avoid such a catastrophe, "A German has to ask?" I remarked in perplexity, which she did not find amusing.

  • Palestinians head back to UN seeking non-member state status
    • Though generally thought to be "greeks" the sea people record some interesting anomalies, the Danae and Tjekers, shardana etc, it would appear that our fixed notions of ethnicity were much more fluid back in the day, their origins are dizzyingly complex, an amalgam of proto Greek, Semitic clans and steppe folk kind of Turkic or whatever, very porous and intrepenetrating groups, making trouble for Egypt and destroying the Hittites etc, Etruscans, Trojans( Tersenoi) etc. after all its hard to judge whether the Dnn, Danae (tjeker) were greek or semitic, and thats the only lame joke i am able to muster, whatever those terms could mean in this context, everyone is descended from everyone. Danae's son Perseus by Zeus and she from Argos, where the Blacks lived in the Caucasus, Colchis et bloody cetera.

      "In Egyptian records of the second wave of Sea Peoples attacks in c. 1186 BC, during the reign of Pharaoh Rameses III, the Shardana, Teresh, and Shekelesh are still considered to be a menace, but new names also appear: the Denyen, Tjeker, Weshesh and Peleset. An inscription mentions that they "made a conspiracy in their islands", but these may have only been temporary bases, not their actual homelands.

      "The Denyen probably originally came from northern Syria (perhaps where the Shardana had once lived), and the Tjeker from the Troad (i.e., the area around Troy) (possibly via Cyprus). Alternatively, some have associated the Denyen with the Danaoi of the Iliad, and even the tribe of Dan in Israel."

      "But Ramses and his troops defeated the invaders. When the vanquished pleaded
      for mercy, the pharaoh allowed them to settle on his soil: I slew the Denyen
      in their isles; the Tjeker and the Peleset were made ashes. The Shardana and
      the Weshesh of the sea, they were made as those that exist not, taken
      captive at one time, brought as captives to Egypt like the sand of the
      shore. I settled them in strongholds bound in my name. Numerous were their
      classes like hundred-thousands. I taxed them all, in clothing and grain from
      the storehouses and granaries, each year."

      Earthquakes, floods, and the demise of a brilliant culture are also
      mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias. Plato describes two
      Great civilizations that possessed bronze weapons, chariots and writing, and
      he describes how a devastating war broke out between them. Those facts, and
      numerous additional elements of the account, have much in common with the
      end of the glorious Mycenaean civilization.

      Greece entered an era of anarchy with the disappearance of the palaces and
      the aristocracy, the fine craftsmanship, the artistry, and possibly of the
      knowledge of writing. Greek survivors spread all around the central and
      eastern Mediterranean in the first and second migration. The archeological
      evidence confirms the migrations, and names still found today-Sicilian,
      Sardinian, Etruscan, Philistine and Thracian-are first documented after the
      end of the crisis years.

      Although the "Sea People" vanished from the political records, they left a
      legacy second to none in world history. In Palestine, where many clans from
      both Greece and western Anatolia sought refuge, the Philistine and
      Phoenician (Canaanite) civilizations arose, reviving and spreading much of the
      inventiveness in metallurgy, seafaring, warfare and trade that had
      characterized fallen Mycenae and its allies."

      i met a Sikkimese policeman in Brisbane today, everyone is everywhere just like its always been, migration is the normal state, shame about the despoliation though.

  • Jingoism: 'those Muslims are so primitive they killed our ambassador over a movie'
    • yet again i find myself recommending Michael Rogins, "Ronald Reagan the Movie: And other Episodes in Political Demonology" it has a good section in it on Muammar "Mad Dog" Khadaffi, its an old book.

      and Wright you are not really being fair to yourself with that stupid slur of the Western Far Left, if only such existed, as an encouraging aside, after the building of the Great Man Made River project, despite dark musings that it was in fact a WMD project, I reported on it for a number of magazines in the mid-nineties, the government failed to get Libyans to eat fish taken from fresh water, they only like sea-caught fish, so at least your salmon would be safe.

    • there is no country called Muammar
      Khaddafi, and we seem to have found the al qua'da fan club just fancy, but hey these ones love the good ol' US of A. "far left" American politics are just weird, somewhat primitive, and certainly savage.

    • "but nobody reported how many times Jews and Arabs in Israel coexist peacefully and even amicably"

      Nasrrudin was pulled over by a traffic cop for going through a red light.

      "its true I did go through it when it was red" he admitted "But I demand credit for the many times I have stopped at a green".

    • "I've left out Greenwald's critique of the US intervention in Libya as contributing to that rage. Yes because I supported it; and don't regret that support; and sense that there's pro-American feeling in Libya on that basis."

      oh yes but non-violence for Palestinians and if it leads to pro-Americanism, whatever the cost, who could demure. They love you so much they killed the Ambassador, like a child squeezing a beloved hamster to death i suppose. But why left out, is this Pravda or is it due to a paucity of counter arguments, other than they love us for destroying them, "they love the feel of the whip on their bleck becks" as the Afrikaners were wont to proclaim, i like the courageous acknowledgement of your own pusillanimity, why not bomb Egypt and watch the love of the USA blossom there, we also have Africans we could slaughter, and as you imply we like a good thrashing its just the way we are, I watched one lover of the USA behead a 20 something boy in Misurata with a penknife, definitely worth it, Ghandi would be so proud of you, well if not Ghandi then at least Goering.
      The old political dictum "Never trust a white guy" finds affirmation
      glorious affirmation in your courageos iconoclasm, (dare i say it was a price worth paying) in your repellent duplicity, who else do you support bombing, any of them white? and dont regret, why should you, look at their tender eyes contemplating the beauty that is y'all, and it cost not one white life, whats to cavil at, Savage moi? we are the dregs not just of humanity but of everything that breathes.

      101 years bombing the Arabs, were there felt pen messages of love on the bombs "wearing his blindness like a treasure" as one them savages wrote in "without an alphabet, without a face". Their really is no hope in you people.

  • Beinart says the rightwing lobby panicked Obama on Jerusalem (Yes, why?)
    • who can forget the great Rabbi Michael Lerner opining that Palestinians were "not non-violent enough" a stone against a tank is after all violence, how more so when deployed against infantry,

      (Sorry Ms Robbins i commented on thread when in Zurich that now i am in Singapore i cant find, its been a long week, i offended Annie unintentionally, but still reserve the right to find her comment very funny, in the most innocent of ways, it cheered me up quite a bit, didn't mean to cast any aspersions, but really enjoyed the passing mentions of Linguistics)

      i am part of a slow bleeding of resources out to the far east, which presages not the end of euro/american power but what will become its very very violent contestation, you know what they are like those euro/ams with all their sidewiders, hellfires, and f∞ aircraft, incorrigibly violent but great adherents of ahimsa for those others, look at the respect shown to to the likes of Rachel Corrie or Muhammad Awad, should be working but i link to a thesis by Nathaniel D George. utilizing newly declassified material, i have no idea how to shorten urls, ah sussed it very cool never done html before, if that what this is, about Americas pivotal role in the Lebanese crisis of '73, its good and interesting piece of work.

      American imperialism and the Lebanon crisis of 1973

  • Baltzer, Finkelstein and Chomsky to speak on state of American Jews re Jewish state
    • dear American,
      thanks for the reply i see what you are saying.

      Before i comment just a short aside re Chomsky and linguistics i had to laugh at Ms Robbins and i think marcb's comments, Annie thinks linguistics is boring, that may be the case if you dont like pure math and formal logic etc each to their own and all, but Chomsky's insight in regards to generative grammar is an astonishingly wonderful achievement, in one fell swoop he put paid to Behaviorism, a mechanistic version of Human consciousness, B.F. Skinner and Watson et al, for that alone he deserves the gratitude of the world, if your interest is piqued you could try the Managua Lectures, his ideas have been key in the development of AI and in many other fields, precisely because of their profundity, and dare i say beauty.

      So much for that.

      i am working and will comment on the rest later, it wont be worth waiting for but, after my meeting i will scribble some notes on to a damp napkin. thanks again.

    • Dear American i am puzzled and interested in your comment, my understanding is that the two main regional opponents of Arab "nationalism" ( more properly the struggle against foreign domination) are Israel and Saudi Arabia, i am a semi Arab, what are Arabs themselves saying.

  • Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity
    • I knew Tony Bayfield and worked with him at the BBC, in the religion and ethics dept, he was a warm, if melancholy man, his wife had died a year or two previously, in a recording studio where we all brought some music to represent our faith/cultures (i brought massive attacks remix of Nusrat Ali Fateh Khan's Mustt Mustt, i dont recall his music nor that of the reverend Rosemary who did most of the work and facilitated (bullied our lazy arses) our written presentations) during a lull in recording he turned to me and said that the Jews were only ones who thought of survival, out of the blue obviously in some way directed at me, and followed this up with the anguished assertion (it is possible) that Judaism was a different from other faiths in that it required the conquest of the land.

      I could see his heart was not in it, seems he has reached the end of that road or at least a fork in it, ah its an inclusive title? so much neurosis over something so obvious.

  • American Jews who choose 'humanitarian values' over Zionism are tempting another Holocaust --Gordis's blackmail
    • Mr. Weiss everyone in Egypt feels unsafe, the State provokes inter-communal violence, which is rarely taken up however there are instances where the poor and indigent, mostly Sunni Fellahiin and descendants of such who migrated to the city. Just because native informants (sorry unfair but forgive me) tell you something you are not compelled to take them at their word, i know Jewish Americans and Europeans who wandered around the Fayyoum and delta alone very open about their origins and spent a good deal of time getting stoned and drinking beer at "weddings" with no show of even rudeness and one Pakistani i know of who was severely beaten our vicious police and security thugs for wearing a square beard and shalwar khamis, which has been adopted by some Islamists. In Egypt we are fearful and everyone will tell you to be careful, also we are no less self-serving than others. In Egypt the target of state repression is the majority population, obviously, this has many effects, but intercommunalism is not very strong, the British ruled for a mere 70 years, however the Egyptian masses are desperate frustrated their share of the social product has declined and the social spaces have been vandalised. but then ME populations are resistant and not easily cowed, but then the oligarchy are the same, liberation is the task of generations as the Palestinians used to say.

    • i seem to recall a fair amount of tremulous fear on Mr.Weiss' behalf during his stay in Egypt, suggestions he keep his Jewish identity secret etc, despite the zionist hysteria you are quite unlikely to encounter even hostility much less danger in an Arab country because of religion, national citizenship and even gender, how many Americans are harassed? however ill mannered arrogant fools find trouble everywhere, which is quite natural isn't it. I think its all that health and safety legislation Americans are very risk averse,
      and famously litigious, i think a lot of the anxiety Americans and Israelis experience is combination of guilt and a projection of their own aggression.

  • Judith Butler responds to attack: 'I affirm a Judaism that is not associated with state violence'
    • Were there many who supported the anti-apartheid struggle who were careful to disavow any support for the ANC, why stop at Hizbullah, for safety sake perhaps she should have made clear her abhorrence for al-qua'da.
      Since the Zionist entity destroyed the PLO and slaughtered the leaders of the popular committees of the intifada, Judy and all the ethical Jews on earth and Israeli's have no right to choose the Palestinian resistances' representatives or to cavil at Palestinians choices.

      i saw her speak in Frankfurt with Gyatri Spivak, at the Goethe institute's centre for post colonial studies, run by Nikita Dawan, it was interesting, but the above leaves me a bit underwhelmed, Haneen Zoibi was electric, in Cork a guy from the embassy tried to disrupt the MK from the floor, so harsh was the response from the Irish audience that he was reduced to opening his shirt to reveal an Israeli flag t-shirt and beating a hasty retreat, but she was saying something.

      i don't get these bizarre ramblings about "violence" it is in this metric alone that the relationship of oppressor and oppressed become obscured, between dispossessor and dispossessed its about ending violence, which is safe to say now that its origin has been occluded and responsibility shared out equally, its about equality isnt it or is it the repressive capacity of American/Zionist alliance, and her milieu.

      she extols some nebulous "equal" rights guaranteed for all and er equality and the Jewish ethical tradition, the ethical tradition, its funny the one word she didn't use was Law, be it Jewish or otherwise. Palestinians want their legal rights, oh enough, like Dr. Butler i am against bad things and generally in favor of good ones, her statement seems to me, apart from being self-serving, a rousing call to apathy. but its not nothing, just barely.

      she says "or that I endorse or support them in any way."

      honestly its the "in any way" that lost me, bit extreme, not to say fundamentalist of her, she could support their efforts to defend the Palestinians and secure their rights, even if she feels they are misguided tactically and socially regressive. wonder what the position of her synagogue is on these matters.

      She claims naivete, presumably as a way of evading the absurdity of her position, having valorised the violence of victims as an essential element in her analysis, as do all aggressors, she then praises a form of epistemic violence to the Palestinians, by ignoring the nature of their encounter with Zionism, ironic.

  • 'Forward' editor Eisner challenges US Jews to acknowledge 'extraordinary wealth, status and political power'
    • have you been reading Churchill or something, no doubt current dustbowl conditions in the US are the result of..? mexican immigration, catholic protestant tensions?

      some methodological considerations you may wish to consider, when applying your "it was already broken" theory to Iraq are well explained in this essay about India, you know that age old conflict between islam and Hinduism!

      David Ludden Ayodhya: A Window on the World

      Holy men declared Monday, December 6, 1992, auspicious, and more than 300,000 people gathered that day in Ayodhya, a pilgrimage town north of Varanasi (Benaras). Most wore the saffron color of Hindu nationalism. At mid-day, a vanguard among them broke down police barricades around a mosque called the Babri Masjid, built in 1528 by the first Mughal emperor of India, Babar. Cheering men swarmed the domes of the old mosque and in five hours they hammered and axed it to the ground. Video cameras hummed. Eye-witnesses took notes for news reports around the world. Hindu leaders, who had mobilized for this event since 1984, watched with satisfaction. For they and their followers believe that god Rama was born here and that Babar had destroyed Rama's temple (mandir) to build his mosque (masjid). The construction of the new Rama temple was begun that evening on the rubble of the Babri Masjid. Government officials looked on ineffectually. Violence triggered by the demolition killed 1,700 people and injured 5,500 over the next four months.

      Supporters justify the action at Ayodhya as the liberation of a Hindu sacred space to unify the Indian nation. Critics call it violence against Muslims and Indian civil society. In this volume, we explore the mobilizations, genealogies, and interpretations that locate this one very emotional and symbolic day in the struggles that are underway to redefine India politically in the age after the Cold War. Ayodhya is a window on a world of conflict inside nationalism, which came into being in the 1980s, and also onto the global staging of national politics and cultures in the late twentieth century. Ayodhya symbolizes Hindu-Muslim conflict in South Asia and conjures the nightmare of nuclear war between India and Pakistan. Like other communal conflicts, communalism in India is also international (Midalarsky 1992). Not only in India, but also in France, (the former) Yugoslavia, Turkey, Germany, the U.S., Sri Lanka, Russia, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Iran -- anywhere that minorities face hostile majoritarianism -- minority conditions worsened in the 1980s (Gurr 1993). Since the late 1970s, nationalist movements based on the assertion that only one majority ethnic or religious group defines a nation have emerged with new cultural force and creativity -- with new rituals and spectacles, including televised violence -- to revalorize old emotions and symbolic resources. As we will see, the men who destroyed Babar's mosque marched to a cultural movement whose ideas, images, media, organizations, and resources are transnational in form, scope, and influence. Ayodhya is a refraction of "ethnic cleansing" in Serbia, the "moral majority" in the U.S., and other movements that define nations by ethnicity and religion.


      In the early 1990s, when religious upheaval threaten India's stable, modern, secular, and multi-cultural democracy, economic crisis also upended India's treasury (Gordon and Oldenburg 1992); observers who assessed the condition of the country had to keep in mind that many states have crumbled since Iran's 1978 Islamic Revolution. In 1992, two large, multi-ethic states much like India -- the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia -- were in pieces. Many analysts concluded that Ayodhya reflected a wider alienation of cultures from states that was tearing the loyalties of peoples away from governments in many parts of the world.

      Loyalties more powerful than old-style nationalism seem to be breaking states apart in the last quarter of the century. In this context, scholarly interest in nationalism has increased along with skepticism about modern institutions (Anderson 1981; Chatterjee 1986, 1993; Connor 1994). Scholars discuss the invented, imagined nature of nationalism as popular movements deconstruct world politics. In the 1980s in the U.S., politicians called for government to "get off our backs," as governments collapsed elsewhere under the force of popular assertions of their illegitimacy. These new popular movements (including ones that failed, as in China) pitted "the people" against "the government" in new ways. Nationalism and national cultures were being redefined from many directions.

      The process continues, and religion plays an important part, as represented, for instance, by its prominence in the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development. In the U.S., India, Algeria, Poland, Iran, Israel, and elsewhere, religion entered politics with new force in the 1980s; and in the U.S., it also permeated thinking about world politics, as militant Muslims appeared to pose a serious threat to the U.S. abroad. Apprehensions about Islam deepened during the Iran hostage crisis and Persian Gulf War, and in 1992, American journalists in India immediately interpreted events at Ayodhya as Hindu rage against Islam. They were quickly joined by a prominent political scientist (Huntington 1993) and by scholars of religion (Juergensmeyer 1993) who consider Hindu nationalism to be a response in kind to Islamic nationalism. In this perspective, Hinduism and Islam together form a single image of religious militancy, as they entangle one another, fighting like two armies at war, or boxers in a ring. Newsweek (December 21, 1992, p.446) even used a phrase from media coverage of militant Islam to headline its story on Ayodhya: "Holy War in India."

      Huntington formulated these ideas into a new framework for analyzing global politics as "a clash of civilizations." In his post-Cold War world order, Islam is a world civilization that has expanded its power historically east and west, like an empire, so that today, nationalist Hindus fight Muslims on the east, while Jews and Christians fight Muslims in the west (Huntington 1993, 33-4ff). Communalism in India is thus symptomatic of the new world order emerging from the Cold War. Journalists Steve Coll and Edward Gargan effectively explain how India entered this new world order. They report that the centralized Indian state, built on socialist lines by Jawaharlal Nehru, went bankrupt in the 1980s, releasing the powers of the free market and religious nationalism -- both suppressed by "Nehruvian socialism." Indian business and the BJP thus represent populist forces, which together confront the weakening socialist state in India, in a conflict like that in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (Coll 1994; see especially New York Times July 24, 1992, December 11, 1992, September 17, 1993).

      In this reading of recent history, religious nationalisms express primordial loyalties that were set free (in a positive reading) or unleashed (in a negative reading) by crumbling state control over political systems in the 1980s. Religion seems to be a natural, populist political force, articulating people's cultural and national identity at a level of emotive meaning more basic and fundamental than other kinds of political affiliations. Religious identities naturally break into politics when constraints weaken. India is like Iran, Poland, and Russia. Evoking Yugoslavia, Edward Gargan reported that, "the hatreds of India" emerged in the 1980s from "Hindu memory scarred by centuries of sometimes despotic Islamic rule" (New York Times, December 11, 1992, A10). Though Muslim sultans have not ruled India for two centuries, Hindus still appear to hold a grudge, aggravated by the traumas of Partition in 1947 and by the continuous animosity of Pakistan. When Nehru's Congress Party declined -- with the assassination of his Prime Minister daughter, Indira Gandhi (1984) and her Prime Minister son, Rajiv Gandhi (1989) -- communal conflict erupted in electoral politics and in violent clashes that defied the Indian state and threatened to overwhelm it.


      This interpretation gains support from firmly established ideas about the religious foundation of civilizations, national identities, and cultures in Eurasia. When modern European research on India began, in the late eighteenth century, it focused primarily on classical languages and religion, and today the idea that religion defines India remains deeply rooted in modern scholarship. Histories of Indian civilization, art, society, politics, and culture routinely separate the "Hindu," "Muslim," "British," and "Independence" epochs. "India" and "Hindu" are often equated when defining "Indian culture," whose core characteristics are most often taken to be "Hindu." Anthropological research and museum exhibits often present "Hindu" ritual, texts, and art to depict "Indian culture." Islamic artifacts are equally often used to describe a Muslim culture that originated in the Middle East that expanded into India. Exhibitions in the British Museum and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art are organized on these lines, for example. Indian Islam is thus portrayed as being foreign and derivative, alien both to India and to the Islamic heartland. The authority of these ideas and cultural practices increased understandably in 1947, when Hinduism and Islam became majority religions on opposite sides of the borders separating hostile states in South Asia; and to the extent that Pakistan has been Islamicized, its heartland of cultural identity has been shifted away from South Asia toward the Middle East.

      From this perspective, the Babri Masjid seems to be a foreign transplant. But in fact, Babar built his empire primarily in what is now India, where Islam is just as important for cultural history as it is in Pakistan and Bangladesh. As a major religious tradition of the people, Islam is older in India than in Turkey. Indian Islam is older than American Christianity and European Protestantism. Indian Islam is no more derivative than Chinese, Tibetan, or Japanese Buddhism. In India's historical culture and civilization, Islam has very deep roots indeed, and the distinctiveness of Indian Islam represents the characteristic capacity of Islam everywhere to be adaptable to the environment -- a feature that is equally important in diverse and changing regions of its Middle East "heartland" (exemplified in the career of Pan-Islamism and the end of the Caliphate) as it is in India, Indonesia, and Senegal (Eaton 1993; Azmeh 1993). Yet the idea that Islam is foreign in India is axiomatic among the Hindu nationalist groups that destroyed the Babri Masjid; this idea is used to argue for second-class Muslim citizenship and even for the expulsion of Muslims from India.

      Thinking about communalism thus highlights the need to reconsider the basic terms that we use to talk about India, and to question common assumptions that have been built into modern knowledge. All of a sudden, in 1947, India came to denote a civilization and an independent national state, but the two meanings do not coincide. Indian history, culture, and civilization extend back to about 2,000 B.C.E. and they were never bounded by the lines on the map that separate states today. Geographically, Indian history and Indian civilization include the territory of Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Partition of India in 1947 can thus be taken to mean the division of Indian civilization into separate independent states, one of which is called "India." But actually, Partition divided a territory that was formed by British imperialism without any reference to Indian civilization at all. (British India also included Burma, now The Union of Myanmar; and Native States under British rule were not formed with any concern for their status in Indian civilization.) Ironically, therefore, the territory that we use to describe the landscape of Indian civilization was defined politically by the British Empire. India was never what it is today in a geographical, demographic, or cultural sense, before 1947.

      Thus the identification of India with Hindu and Hinduism is deeply problematic. In its demographic statistics, India today is a majority Hindu country, and so was British India, in 1946; but this does not mean that India (even as defined by state boundaries today) was ever populated predominately by people whose identity was formed by their collective identification with a religion called "Hinduism" or a "Hindu" religious persona. Like Muslim, Hindu conjures an identity that is defined in many ways, and defined differently even by the same individual according to context. It is not known how many people in India would have identified themselves as Hindus, if asked, simply, "What is your religion?," in 1800, 1900, 1947, or 1993. But the vast religious tradition that we refer to as "Hinduism" has no single, unanimously agreed upon core set of institutions -- like the Koran, umma (community of believers in Islam), Bible, Catholic Church, or Talmud -- around which a Hindu religious identity could have been traditionally organized. Central philosophical tenets -- dharma (religious duty), karma (fateful action), and samsara (the cycle of rebirth) -- rationalize a division of believers into four ranked varnas (Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudra), and also distinctions (not similarities) among countless castes (jatis) which form the primary basis of social identity. Each person's identity is located ritually by religious duties appropriate for one's specific social and ritual status (varnashramadharma). Religious practices revolve around many different deities (devas), sectarian traditions (sampradays), and teachers (gurus) that form centers of personal devotion and affective religious affiliation. Ideas that define Hinduism as a religion also discourage the formation of a collective Hindu religious identity among believers and practitioners.

      The term Hindu came to have wide cultural meaning -- and became a term that people use to identify themselves -- primarily because it has been used by government in census statistics and elections. Hindu is an official term for counting people, and this gives the statistical impression that India is a majority Hindu territory. Even so, in 1947, only 65% of the population of India was Hindu by official census definition. But Hindu and India have the same derivation: both terms come from the name of the Indus River. From the days of Alexander the Great, people east of the Indus were called "Hindus" and their territory became "India." Hindu did not begin as a religious term, but as a term that was used by outsiders to designate people who lived east of the Indus. Hindu India has not been defined internally, by religious traditions of collective Hindu identity, so much as externally, by practices of religious identification. Under British rule, Hindu became a category for people in India who were not Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists, or others. This division of the population by religious categories was used to create descriptions of India that we inherit.

      The practice of labelling things Indian with the term Hindu has caused endless confusion, obliterating lines between religious and census classifications. Webster's New World Dictionary (1984), for instance, describes Mohandas Gandhi as a "Hindu nationalist leader." True, Gandhi was a religious Hindu who was also an Indian nationalist leader, but he opposed Hindu nationalism; he was killed by a Hindu nationalist for "appeasing the Muslims." Webster's reinforces the very political identification of India with Hindu that Gandhi opposed. A pattern of phrasing has also become common recently in news reporting that further confuses Hindu and India. A recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer (August 6, 1994, p.A10), for instance, reports that, "Predominantly Hindu India has long blamed Islamic Pakistan for financing and training the terrorists who planted the 13 bombs that exploded across central Bombay on March 12, 1993, after Hindu-Muslim riots swept India." This is like saying, "The predominantly Christian U.S. blames Islamic Iraq for human rights violations": it is not exactly untrue, but it implies an explanation of the government's action that is misleading. This phrasing reinforces in the mind of the reader the idea that Hinduism constitutes India in a way that really is untrue, however: because the government of India is not Hindu, "predominantly"; it is less so, in fact, than the U.S. government is Christian, because most political parties in India explicitly oppose Hindu politics. The effect of this phrasing is to identify India, the Indian people, and the Indian government as being Hindu by definition. Making this identifications into a political reality is in fact the project of Hindu nationalism.


      Interpreting communalism in India as a struggle between Hinduism and Islam fits a pattern of ideas about India that has dominated U.S. media and public opinion since the 1950s (Isaacs 1959, 1972; Asia Society 1976; Cecil, Jani, and Takacs 1994). The interpretations of events at Ayodhya by Gargan, Coll, and Huntington are thus very accessible to their audience and easy for most readers to accept; but this very fact makes their arguments susceptible to a form of criticism inaugurated by Edward Said's book, Orientalism, in 1978. Many scholars have built upon Said's critique, imbuing the term orientalism today with the connotation of ideological stereotyping, like racism and sexism. For Said argued effectively that by rendering non-western societies in religious stereotypes, European empires rationalized their own world dominance, creating forms of knowledge about the world that continue even today to support western imperialism.

      Modern European empires expanded into India and the Muslim world simultaneously, in the late eighteenth century: British rule was formalized in India in the 1790s, and Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798 (Adas 1993). At the same time, European scholars, painters, novelists, museum curators, journalists, designers, policy makers, and politicians began systematically to create compelling images of Hindus and Muslims for western audiences. Alien, exotic, sensual, despotic, traditional, prone to violence, backward, immoral, threatening, and irrational in their fervent religiosity: such imagery formed an evocative repertoire of representations depicting the non-European others that opposed the west. Producers of culture in Europe created images of Europe as being the essence of modernity and progress as they propagated stereotypes of tradition and backwardness elsewhere.

      In Said's critical perspective, the otherness of the orient for Europe became the founding principle and empirical substance of orientalism -- the compilation of images that constructed Asiatic cultures in the western mind. In this context, Indian civilization was defined by the texts that orientalists used to compile the laws and legacy of Hinduism. In the same vein, Muslim cultures were defined essentially by Islamic texts. Equating non-European cultures with non-European religions thus became fixed cognitive routines in scholarship and colonial policy. This enabled Europeans to justify imperial expansion in both religious and secular terms: for Christians, European imperialism saved souls, and for modernists, it brought progress into a world of backwardness and tradition (Breckenridge and van der Veer 1994; Adas 1990). Taking Said's point of view, we can look at media coverage in new light. Images of fanatical Muslims (in Lebanon and Iran), Muslim terrorists (Libya, Palestine), and Muslim tyrants (Libya, Iraq, Iran) are common in the west. In the same vein, the word "frenzied" (usually in the phrase "frenzied mob") appeared in almost all U.S. newspaper accounts of the events at Ayodhya. "Hindu fanatics" and "Hindu zealots" appear almost as often (Zeff 1994). Such habits of phrasing are not ephemeral or unique to the U.S. press. They represent cultural patterns that are deeply ingrained. Western accounts of India have long stressed the exotic features that make India foreign to modern, western, readers: mysticism, yoga, ritual, caste, untouchables, cremated widows (sati), female seclusion (purdah), "holy war" (jihad), and for that matter, communalism. The cultural connotations of these patterns of usage indicate the ideological legacy of orientalism, which created the religious stereotypes of Muslims, Hindus, and all "others" that even today rationalize western power in the world.

      European imperialism thus invented the religious traditionalism that formed its ideological other in the orient, and this made imperialism appear ideologically as the equivalent of modernization and progress. As a result, we can see in the history books that Europeans brought modernity to an East that was steeped in tradition. As a popular textbook says,

      India, like ancient Egypt, was a land saturated with religion; its people were obsessed with the destiny and status of man in the hereafter. Nearly every aspect of life, every thought and action, was conditioned by faith and dogma, whether in business, in politics, or in social behavior. (Wallbank 1965, p.25)

      It is not uncommon to read that people in the non-Western world are still living in the past, even the Middle Ages. Thus the master narrative of Modern History as written by the West for itself and for its worldwide power finds the progressive West -- with its secularism, science, rationality, economic development, and just institutions of law and politics -- facing the mystical, irrational, stagnant, passive, chaotic, mysterious East, which always seems always to resist and fail in the process of modernization.

      So journalistic and social science renditions of communal conflict in India in terms of primordial religion draw from an old storehouse of imagery that identifies the religions we see in the headlines with those that define Indian civilization and (deeper in the realm of hidden implication) implies that the conflict at Ayodhya dramatizes the very religious traditionalism and irrationality that describe and explain India's poverty and backwardness. Ironically, however, European imperialism actually used its own political power to fashion the orient in the image of orientalism; so that chains of historical causation connect orientalism and communalism. Orientalism rationalized the institutionalization of oppositions and separations between Hindu and Muslim, and these were built into colonial administration and law. Colonial officials wrote separate Hindu and Muslim law codes, which remain (with modification) in effect today (Baird 1993); and in 1986, a Supreme Court case concerning the rights of a Muslim widow, Shah Bano, became a major event in the escalation of communalism, because Hindu nationalists argued vehemently that the maintenance of a separate Muslim law violated principles of Indian unity and social justice. Similarly, colonial officials made it a policy to consult Hindu and Muslim leaders separately (Freitag 1989); a tradition that hardened in the form of separate Hindu and Muslim electorates, established in 1911 and in force until 1947. The inability of the Indian National Congress to win designated "Muslim seats," especially in "Muslim majority provinces," laid the electoral basis of the Partition of British India into the independent states of India and Pakistan in 1947 (Brown 1985; Jalal 1981, 1985).

      A "fact" established by orientalism -- that India was defined by its opposing religions -- thus began its career as an idea, a theory, and became a modern institutional reality. This is the central argument in The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India (1990), where Gyanendra Pandey argues that the assumption of Hindu-Muslim antagonism became a guiding principle in colonial sociology and administrative practice. The modern colonial state produced mountains of authoritative data -- in ethnography, census statistics, law, and history -- which appear to be the epitome of scientific objectivity. Upon this foundation, an edifice of inference and conjecture were built. The result is a massive colonial archive that documents the primordial qualities of religion in India, and of Hindu-Muslim conflict in particular. When writing about riots, for instance, colonial officers -- usually police and local administrators, in the first instance -- wrote what seem to be "eye-witness accounts" and were intended to appear as such. But many of these authors were absent from the event and far from experts on local affairs. They often gave reports an air of expertise by using the phrase "communal riot." Because Hindu-Muslim conflict was assumed to be brewing all the time in India, the label could easily be made to stick, and it was very handy in describing conflicts for which local officials sought to deflect responsibility. "Communal conflict" became a catch-all phrase for violent unrest; reports used it often, perhaps indiscriminately. Conflicts can be shown to have been about many other things other than antagonism between communities: sometimes riots were anti-government or anti-police uprisings; sometimes they were the product of state and especially police violence. One thing is certain: the political utility of the phrase for officials -- further enhanced by the inherent explanation it implies for the origin of social conflict in religion -- undermines the statistical reliability of data produced by its utilization: for the colonial period, it is often impossible to know what the category "communal riot" refers to in reality. These are also cautionary insights today for anyone considering communalism from afar and who thus depends on layers of intermediation for data about local events in India or elsewhere.

      Most scholars of India today argue that communal conflict never was caused by Hinduism and Islam; many agree with Said and Pandey that as a historical phenomenon, communalism is a product of orientalism and the colonial state. They argue that we should not imagine communalism as erupting from the "hatreds of India," as though from the unconscious of a civilization. Instead, we should explore how the state has been implicated in communalism since colonial times. From this point of view, explanations of communalism that deflect attention away from the state toward religion are suspicious precisely because they are so persuasive. Such explanations became popular and convincing because of their incessant repetition: they have been repeated so often because they helped to sustain empire, because they still effectively exonerate the modern state and modern forms of power from responsibility for communalism, and because they make the institutions and personalities of the modern state into the arbiters in social conflicts in the world of social life under their jurisdiction. (G.Prakash 1990; Freitag below)


      This volume describes a framework for studying communalism that combines the perspectives of several social sciences to focus simultaneously on culture, society, and politics. We begin by recognizing that communalism resists any definition, and that it can be defined differently for different purposes. For social science inquiry, however, it can be defined usefully as a particular formation of purposeful human activity: communalism is collective antagonism organized around religious, linguistic, and/or ethnic identities.

      Ideas unite the organization, antagonism, collectivities, and identities that comprise communalism. These ideas do not form a closed system; they are dispersed throughout the heritage of modernity. In India, communalism is based on the fundamental idea that Hindus and Muslims constitute totally separate communities in essential opposition to one another. This idea precedes, facilitates, justifies, and provides an explanation for communalism. It has been used to construct every Hindu and Muslim as a member of one community, and every communal leader as a community spokesmen. It represents each collective identity as a community alive through all time; it enables past memories and emotions to fill the present and each Hindu and Muslim to become a sentient vehicle of communal experience. This basic communal idea creates religious community in the image of a family, a nation.

      This communal idea cannot be proved or disproved. It cannot be effectively subjected to truth-testing, because, like other ideas about collective identity in the modern world, it is deeply rooted in modern systems of belief and understanding. This rootedness indicates how communalism participates in modern history and culture at many levels; its meanings are diverse and many-layered. It is alive in everyday politics -- in the streets, courts, media, elections, religious and cultural institutions, schools, academic research, and intimate conversations -- anywhere that people can be influenced to form themselves and public opinion around oppositional ethnic or religious identities. Its most dramatic moments are massively organized public events -- riots, demonstrations, processions, media spectacles, and elections -- which in India engage society widely and directly, and which animate competitions for power in India's constitutional democracy. Communalism is also a form of back room scheming. Today, some parties in India have elaborate communal platforms, most prominently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), "The Indian People's Party," which seeks to form a Hindu government, symbolized by images of Lord Rama's righteous, peaceful kingdom. Many candidates in other parties also use communal strategies and tactics, however. Indira and Rajiv Gandhi made alliances and mobilized campaigns on communal lines, though their own philosophy was secular, though their Congress Party is officially secular, and though India's constitution defines India as a "secular republic."

      Active people do not need to justify their activities in expansive detail or muse on them philosophically. They can concentrate on daily maneuvers and local affairs in the institutional settings that make their activity sensible. Social science, however, needs to consider the ideological construction of social action and the cultural construction of its institutional context in a single, coherent, analytical field. Personal identities and political ideologies depend alike on cultural conditions that are built into the institutions of everyday life. From this perspective, it is important to recognize that communalism arose inside the institutions of modernity; exploring the implications of this fact is a major preoccupation of this volume.

      Though people whom we can identify as Hindus and Muslims did use religious ideas and symbols to mobilize religious identities politically in pre-modern times, the activity of organizing Muslims and Hindus as antagonistic collective identities became widespread only in the 1890s, during the Cow Protection Movement, when Hindu groups attacked Muslims across northern India (Freitag, below). By this time, the Indian National Congress (established 1885) had launched an national movement that embraced all religious, ethnic, and linguistic identities in an over-arching Indian identity. Defined in opposition to "British" identity, this "Indian" identity did carry an ethnic flavor, but its precise cultural characteristics were unspecified. Congress sought to unite all Indians within one Indian national identity whatever their language, religion, or ethnicity. The Muslim League was organized in 1906, to mobilize Muslim identities for increasing collective Muslim representation in British India (Hardy 1972; Jalal 1985). This project involved a logical antagonism to the Congress program that was enacted at various points in the national movement but was also overcome at moments of reconciliation and unity. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was organized in 1925, to define a unified "Hindu" identity and to define India as a Hindu nation. This definition excluded all non-Hindus absolutely; so from the beginning, the RSS and allied organizations opposed efforts by Gandhi and Congress to unify Indians of all religions (T.Basu et al 1993).

      Modernity in India has thus entailed many efforts to organize collective identities. Most of these have been regional and minority movements for political representation in the modern state system. In 1947, Partition resulted from regional movements among Muslims in eastern Bengal and western Punjab. In 1956, India's constituent states were reorganized on linguistic lines to respect regional systems that had taken shape since the 1920s. Tamils, Sikhs, and other groups have gained regional power. All these movements mobilized social identities that actually overlap and mix in everyday life -- like most social identities -- to make them politically exclusive and competitive. At their boundaries, these movements often generate antagonism organized around religious, linguistic, and/or ethnic identities. Since 1984, terrible conflict has accompanied regional movements in Punjab and Kashmir, which bear comparison to Palestine, Ulster, and Jaffna.

      Regional conflicts that could be embraced by our definition of communalism are not the subject of this book, however, though they do play an important part in our discussion. Because Hindu nationalism defines the Indian nation as a whole, and it is logically antagonistic to all regional and minority movements. In its effort to unify India, its opposition to Islam is top priority. Why this is so preoccupies many essays in this volume. One reason for the persistence of Hindu nationalism as a force in Indian political life during this century is that its basic tenets have been deployed many times to explain why Hindu-Muslim antagonism and thus communalism is morally correct, inevitable, necessary, and progressive. These ideas circulate widely and freely in the public domain. They have acquired a common sense quality by their institutionalized repetition in textbooks, museum exhibitions, scholarship, and other modern media. Their discursive narration that makes India Hindu.

    • " you have a special interest that also has extraordinary access. which is why i focus on it."

      but do any anti-Zionist and anti-Imperialist Jews have access, on account of their being Jewish, or is the access a function of some elite Jews subservience to the concerns and plans of state managers now known as Austerity and the war on resource owners (who are all terrorists or primitives) absent a committed and strong civil society movement, does Joel Kovel or Chomsky or Noah Cohen have access, do you?

      dont the Jewish Meritocratic billionaires pay for access, pay for their high table seats, and what they pay for is neo-liberalism at home, the origins of their wealth and neo-colonialism abroad that secures the core economy.

      do the one percent read Common Dreams and repent, Zionism like Imperialism and its wicked little child Capitalism cannot be reformed ultimately they will have to be defeated or collapse from some other catastrophic cause, neo-liberal elite Jews in the US are unlikely, are they not, to forgo privilege in exchange for solidarity with the oppressed, whatever the arguments, because no benefits other than "moral" or psychic ones accrue from such activities.

      may i say that to an outsider US politics seem weird and kind of feudal, with inviolable taboos and a fearful culture of vengeful self-righteousness, replete with fabulous and rebarbative superstitions and the tsunamis of money.

      In some ways i can imagine committed Zionists of any identity getting a thrill from witnessing the unalloyed brutality of the colonial enterprise, of which Zionism is but a small, though integral, part.

      sites like this must be a hoot for those in the throes of a kosher or non-kosher ziocaine binge.
      I mean to put it simply all this giddiness about having made the high WASP/kleptocrat table, due to those extra IQ points ( see Lewontin, Leon Kammin et al), is perhaps a little misplaced, stocks in terror/savagery are falling sharply, my broker tells me that scapegoats are looking good in the medium term.
      no disrespect intended but this is kind of the reverse of the MB approach of building a movement amongst the despised, by addressing their immediate concerns and needs, they would no doubt characterize this p0lemical or propaganda (in the non-perjorative sense) approach, if not as appealing to the effendis, then as arguing with them, but winning arguments with the powerful rarely produces positive results, unless you have a big stick and are arguing about where they'd like the lick, they already have a surfeit of carrots. That stick comes from things like Labour Unions and strong civil society organizations that can confront power in its own terms, and challenge them where they live.

      i dont know about the transformative content of my navel, i guess its pretty limited but, though easily accessible, its hardly elite. finally my lack of clarity is, i hope, offset by my pomposity.

    • as in....

      This article serves as a critical examination of sectarianism in Iraqi society and politics, considering both its historical origins and its contemporary manifestations. The article thus evaluates the sectarian question in two parts: (1) its historical context in the Iraqi milieu and (2) the uses of social sectarianism for political purposes in modern Iraq. This provides the framework for a critical evaluation of the assorted actors, both Iraqi and foreign, who have used sectarianism to advance their parochial interests in occupied Iraq.
      The historical survey of sectarianism examines the social and folkloric bases of social sectarianism in modern Iraq. We argue that the manifestation of sectarianism in contemporary Iraq was transformed from a social phenomenon into a political programme under the Anglo-American military occupation. Even before the occupation, a primary theme of global discourse on Iraq (1990–2002) was the attempt by external actors to embed political sectarianism into the political dynamics of Iraq.
      This essay argues that the violent and highly politicized form of sectarianism that currently characterizes Iraq is the result of a deliberate manipulation of social differences that had been largely transcended in Iraq’s major urban centres through decades of national state-building. The processes of this ‘new sectarianism’ are evaluated in terms of the political and legal mechanisms that have been institutionalized in occupied Iraq. The primary instigators of this new sectarianism are identified as Anglo-American occupation authorities; regional actors; and critically, a class of ‘carpetbaggers’1 – Iraqi expatriates who were parachuted into power by occupation forces and have since developed narrow sectarian constituencies in the pursuit of their parochial interests.,id=11013/

    • "Colonialism was bad, but India nonetheless got the better end of the stick. The British were ecstatic about India",which stick would that be? this one perhaps

  • Daughters fight to save mother from arrest in Nabi Saleh
  • Israeli minister lashes out at South Africa as 'apartheid state' merely for seeking labeling of goods from occupied territories
    • "Taxi another great friend of human rights
      argued in favor of Assad that a native dictator was oh sooo much better
      than a foreign one."

      thats arguable isnt it?

      "You were also on Assad’s side, am i not correct (from the lesser evil perspective perhaps ?)"

      no, sorry, you going to have elaborate i dont get it

  • Obama's Catholic messaging compared to his Jewish messaging
  • The boy on the horse
  • Time magazine's romanticized Jerusalem battleground leaves out Palestinians
    • Dr. Izz al-Din Abu'l-Aysh spoke yesterday at Univ College Cork, work precluded me making it, just off to see Hanan Zoabi MK speak at the Gresham Metropole in Cork, second city of the vassal state Eire, the German central banks new possession in the eastern Atlantic.

  • Romney's racist bundler: J. Philip Rosen believes Palestinian society is 'pathological'
    • "And didn’t scientists determine that the ultimate laws of the universe is a melodramatic Manichaeism?"
      yup and as above "backwardness" is a moral issue that allows us to allocate worth and rights to "peoples" and states as we know only advanced people are in a position to witter on meaninglessly about the relative merits of cultures (ours is always the best obviously, otherwise how could we judge) and with the great breadth of awareness that naturally results from membership of an elite culture i wonder have they yet decided whether Standing Bear was in fact a person? well if he is, at least we can be confident that Arabs are not quite the full shilling as it were, its ok its a culture (about which we know little) and political thing not a race thing, eh phew! for a second there i was a little uncertain.
      co-incidentally European (American, Israeli) exceptionalism is the most blood soaked, misery producing ideology in human history, thank god most of the victims were from low-grade cultures and societies, thank god for small mercies, and of course the epic (and continuing) slaughter should not be added to the account of humanities supreme culture, its perfection unsullied by thoughts of its innumerable but vicious "backward" victims.

  • One apartheid state, with liberty and justice for Jews only
    • Jazakallah Khair Yishai,

      " had it not been for God's repelling some men by means of others, synagogues and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of God is often memorialized, would surely have been pulled down" surat al haj (the pilgrimage). those traditions contain somethings of rare beauty and profound meaning.

  • Gaza, Get an Airport or Get a Life
    • Dear Ms Abuassi,

      You may drive past my village on the way to Cairo. El Nakhas, in Sharkiya, where there is a community of '48 displaced persons from Palestine, the very best of luck to you and your English is great, hopefully Egypt will disgrace itself a bit less under the collaborationist Ikhwan, nothing surely could equal the crass policies of Hosni "la Vache Qui Ris" Mubarak, but only time will tell.

  • Susan Abulhawa demolishes Itamar Marcus
    • "I’m not aware of one single Palestinian leader coming from Tunisia. This is total nonsense!”

      wow! after being expelled from Beirut of course the PLO leadership went to Tunis wasnt Abu Jihad assassinated by Israel there, its amazing after (according to zionist bs) 1500 years in Palestine Palestinians remain Saudi Arabian (i know allow the anachronism, its kind of relevant) but after less than decade in Tunisia, the PLO is from Tunisia, colonialism means never stopping messing with indigenous people.

  • The crisis of Jewish identity
    • "Almohads (an extremist Moslem movement)" bit poor for a sociologist, bit of discourse analysis in order i would say.

      the al-Muwahhidun were a sufi movement from north africa, their assumption of control over the moribund, though highly advanced Iberian Muslim ruled societies, came at a time when those societies were collapsing under external pressures, the tough sufi north africans were unimpressed by the etiolated scholars, many of the muslim literati and scholars also fled, ibni Mardanis allied with other Iberian political units, mainly Christian ruled ones to rebel against the new overlords.

      The use of religious discourse to give meaning to what were political struggles and developments does not compel us to take it as a given, the reconquista, later given a religious gloss was largely political, Muslims were to be found on both sides of the divide as were Christians, history is more complex and interesting than shallow ideological renditions of it would imply.

  • Exile and the Prophetic: How deep is (y)our – colonial mentality?
    • "might be a finite resource." oddly 'indians' seemed to have known this for some time pace chief Seattles famous remark,

      but i can see that it must be an outrage to traditionalist americans i mean breaking treaties that establish indigenous 'rights' is a cherished american tradition imagine actually having to live up to the legally binding documents you sign, its preposterous, and environmentally harmful in the fracking lands, and the sweet oil shale and opencast mines parks, those damn savages keep opening up, i think the colour of their skin remark kind of ruined your act, shame. after all brown people are just differently privileged, arent they, obviously there will be resentment.

      however on the bright side the spontaneously arising (presumably as an expression of the innate arabian genius for oppression) sink of gross turpitude that is saudi arabia works eh! the salmon walk freely in the streets of riyadh. sorry not hounding you just fascinated by the act in an ethnographic sort of a way.

  • 'Commentary' slams me for struggling with the elite issue
    • not only was the Khan not a muslim it was the mongols who conquered the central muslim lands who adopted islam in an such a nominal way that led that supposed progenitor of Islamic fundamentalism taqi-ad-din ibni taymiyyeh, 1263-1328, to dispute their legal status as rulers, under the shariah, his motives being political and 'nationalistic' rather than religious

      interestingly ibni taymiyyah, despite his reputation in the west, was among the many scholars who scoffed at the idea of apostacy being a crime and opined that it was a non issue, he also reiterated the rights of women to divorce and best of all he derided those scholars who believed that water existed in three ritual states while reason dictates that the diety knows of only two, actually his argument is very funny in an acerbic sort of a way. the errant scholars had added the category of adulterated to the obvious ones, pure and defiled, such as "perfumed" not pure but not defiled, he is unsparing in his ridicule, pure and perfumed are ritually equivalent, he argues sarcastically. but no the mongols even when they became muslims never really impressed their subjects, the sufi's liked them though.

      Under Ghengis khan Rabbi's unlike all other religious figures were taxed, because Rabbi's engaged in trade unlike other religious functionaries recognized by the Mongol regimes, however the Khan is reputed to have adopted Islam as a state religion for his western realms having held a conference of the religions and selecting the pitch made by one Khawajagan sufi, a disciple of Gurdjieff, JG Benett, wrote of them.

      " their main centres were in Bokhara, Samarkand, Balkh, Herat and the regions of the HinduKush.The Masters did not spring from nowhere. Before they appeared there was already a powerful stream of spirituality flowing in these regions. According to tradition, Selman the Persian, who was the first convert from the Magian religion to Islam and one of the close companions of the Prophet, belonged to the tradition which goes back at least as far as Zoroaster, who spent the latter part of his life at Balkh six hundred years before Christ. It is also certain that the arts and sciences were highly advanced. One of the greatest inventions of man is the so-called Arabic system of numerals with a sign for zero. The earliest reference to this comes from the same region in the writing of Elharzemi or Al Khwarizm (died A.D. 844). It is more than likely that the birth of our modern arithmetic occurred in this region. It is remarkable that the advances in algebra made by Harzemi ( Muhammad Jafar ibni Musa al-Khwarismi) were so radical that in many respects his methods continued to be used unchanged until the sixteenth century. Another great scientist, Abu Mashar of Balkh (died A.D. 866),influenced Western astronomy by translations of his works by scholars such as Adelard of Bath.These few examples should make it clear that there was a well-established tradition of science and learning in the lands of the Amu Darya before the Masters appeared. It is very probable that the published works represent only a small part of their tradition.The first great man to receive the title of Master was Khwaja Yusuf of Hamadan in North West Persia. He was born in A.D. 1048 in the village of Bozendjid near to Hamadan which was the capital of the first Seljuk Sultan Inghril Beg (died 1063). This was the beginning of the time of troubles though the Seljuk Turks wereby no means devastating conquerors in the style of Jenghis Khan. Their greatest king, Malik Shah, had a wise vizier, Nizam-ul-Mulk, who kept order throughout the region that interests us until he was murdered by the notorious Assassins (Hashashin) of Mt. Elburz whose peaks are visible from the mountains north of Hamadan.Yusuf of Hamadan ended his life at Bamyin at the age of 92, and is buried at Merv. He was the head of an inner circle of the Masters from which during the two following centuries came some of the most important Sufi orders such as the Yeseviyye and the Naqshibandis. He was referred to as the Kutb-ül Evliyya, or the Axis of the Saints, a title that suggests that he was the most exalted spiritual being of his time"

  • The therapist blurts
    • Dear Colin please allow me to return the favour of your graciously correcting my howlers re:roman christianity. the creation of saudi arabia and propagation of Muhwahhidun (wahabi) ideology was intimately caught with british imperial policy, sorry but the links are not very good but anyway give a notion of the issue. there is all the hempner stuff, very funny propaganda forgery by the germans i think, but it none the less shows what the issues were in the eyes of the competing powers who were all involved in the break up of the empire of the sublime porte and the creation of SA among other successor states. i am not as erudite as Hostage, nor your good-self, so its only a starting point.

      As to SA working it all depends what you mean by that, it sure works for the imperium of that there is no doubt, SA and Israel are the primary regional opponents of the indigenous "nationalist" cause more properly the struggle for independence.

      The Creation of Saudi Arabia
      Ibn Saud and British Imperial Policy, 1914-1927
      By Askar H. Al-Enazy

      Published September 24th 2009 by Routledge – 224 pages

      Series: History and Society in the Islamic World

      Recommend to Librarian

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      Hardback: 978-0-415-45372-1: $130.00 Add to Cart
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      Author Bio

      Overturning previous interpretations that see the territorial expansion of the Saudi state between 1915 and 1926 as the result of an aggressive Wahhabi ideology carried out by a politically ambitious Ibn Saud, this book explores the links between Saudi territorial expansion and British Imperial policy.

      Depicting this expansion as the outcome of the implementation of Britain’s imperial policy to achieve specific regional military and political objectives in the Middle East, the author examines the Anglo-Saudi legal arrangement which fully integrated Saudi foreign policy into the framework of Britain’s imperial policy system in order to serve specific British military and political objectives in the Middle East concerning primarily, but not exclusively, the occupation of Palestine. The personality of Ibn Saud and his religious ideology of Wahhabism served as most effective policy instruments.The author shows how Ibn saud’s motivation was primarily defensive, preservationist and in agreement with the acquiescent nature of Wahhabism in which absolute obedience to the ruler constitutes its cardinal principle. In this context, he compares its inherently antagonistic attitude towards non-Wahhabi muslims with its fundamentally benevolent outlook towards non-Muslims, particularly western Christian powers.


      So, to recap: it was the British who directly and indirectly aided in the establishment of the Wahabi state in Saudi Arabia and it was the Anglo-Americans who directly and indirectly aided in the establishment of the Wahabi state in Afghanistan. In both cases it has been the self-interested, short-sighted policies of the West that has stimulated, spread and consolidated fundamentalist Islam at the expense of other expressions of Islamic religion. Support for the oil-rich Saudis has also facilitated the continued infiltration of Wahabi doctrine into the new Western Muslim communities. Islam in the West has been characterized by prolonged "turf wars" to see who controls and speaks for the Western Muslim communities. In most cases, Muslims in the West have been dislocated from the traditional madhabs and have little or no clerical supervision in their new homes. In these circumstances, Salafism - aided by Saudi money - finds fertile soil.

  • Author Deepa Kumar on the imperial roots of anti-Muslim sentiment
    • ah should have googled it obviously was never very clear when the roman imperium adopted christianity, however that is not really my point, unclear as ever, its just the reduction of the history of the mid east, the arabo-iranian ( and other unstated hyphens) cultural zone to rule by one or other confessional group is sort of hard for me to grasp, i am genuinely amazed that anyone could talk in these terms.

      does anyone when discussing the politics of europe dredge up the saxons huns pagans cathars, goths, etc or mongol conquest of the east and middle europe.

      you are of course quite right and point out explicitly what i was confusedly alluding to so unlike al-hallaj i am sadly not the truth. but then how could the renderings of the exploits of hengist and horsa be used to determine the rights and wrongs of political organization in todays UK.

      arabs and others are not the hangover of history they are contemporaries of all you blessed western rationalists, just like the peoples of papua new guinea they are twenty-first century people. not locked out of the modern world by en-culturation lack of education or native primitivism. i dont any longer really know what there is to say, in the west one is struck by the utter irrationality of discussions of ME politics, its just weird.

    • "Jerusalem had been under Christian rule for most of the 1st century."

      what has that to do with anything? do all christians share common property, are they communists, how does as you have it "Christian rule", which was based in Rome in the 1st century and was imperial in nature, not local christian rule (as if that matters, you have me doing it now), have any bearing on anything? why is this significant?

      "Zionism has often been interpreted as Western imperialism also, but I think it’s something different." its imposition under the cover of british imperial bayonets and implementation under british imperial rule and subsequent sustenance by euro-american power can only mean you have one hell of a punchline so if not western imperialism what is it?

      does this mean spain when conquered by saudi arabia would not have been "invaded" something else, a historic reconstitution, a return, because of historic islamic rule, how is it relevant and to what is it relevant, the eternal struggle against "them" perhaps?

  • Palestinian families forced to demolish their own homes
    • ot but thought someone may be interested, Abol-hossein Sardari, damn aryan iranians.

      Sardari was in charge of the Iranian consular office in Paris in 1941. There was a sizeable community of Iranian Jews in Paris when Adolf Hitler invaded and occupied the city. Leaning on the national socialist perception that Germans were Aryans, Nazi Germany and Iran had an agreement which protected all Iranian citizens against German acts of aggression, Sardari was able to protect Iranian Jews, whose families had been present in Iran since the time of the Persian Empire. (Cyrus the Great personally ordered the Jews of Babylonia to be freed from Babylonian slavery.) He very strongly argued this point to the Germans and specifically ascertained that the Iranian Jews were protected under these statutes. The Nazis grudgingly agreed and accordingly, many Persian Jews were saved from harassment and eventually deportation by the Nazi regime.

      But Sardari went further. Once he realized the full nature of Nazi ambitions, he began issuing hundreds of Iranian passports for non-Iranian Jews to save them from persecution. To safeguard his plan, he did not ask for permission, and felt that support by the Iranian leadership was implied. His actions were later confirmed and applauded by the government of Iran.[3]

      Sardari's later life was blighted by many misfortunes, including the disappearance of his Chinese lover during the Chinese Civil War in 1948, charges of embezzlement by the post-war Iranian Government, and penury in his final years due to the loss of his pension rights and property in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. After a period spent living in a bed-sit in Croydon he moved to Nottingham where he died in 1981.[4]


  • Fear, the African refugees and the cost of maintaining Israel as a Jewish state
    • not just the mamluks though,

      'Kafur's status as former slave did not hinder him from rising to power under the Ikhshidids. In fact, his status helped him, as it had become customary for former slaves to enter the military organization and even reach high positions in it.[5] Kafur's rise to power, from being an African slave to the ruler of Egypt and parts of Syria, is one of the first examples in Islamic history of a sovereign with the lowliest of origins.[3] In Muslim states in general, Africans such as Kafur did not continue to be slaves. They were employed in various occupations and maintained a cohesive culture interacting with that of their hosts.[6]'


  • Netanyahu govt to impose fines on mayors of cities that employ migrant workers
    • "was born in Palestine." and so what? is that an achievement or something what does being born in Palestine have to do with anything? you are so slippery you an only work through innuendo, you need to flesh that out bit and nice touch with the history is yet to decide on his legacy?

      what good did being born in Palestine do for the 800,000, what did being in Palestine do for the 531 villages, sharon born in the Palestine he so actively destroyed gets some credit? and any one whose battle honours include qibya and kafr kassem well let history be the judge, oh well of course murderous brutality is natural in the middle east, where racists go to pose as injured liberals.

  • Slater on Beinart
    • "The likelihood of such sanctions being imposed on Israel by the American Jewish community, the U.S. government, and the West, is close to nonexistent. Yet, somehow, even if we believe the struggle is hopeless, we must act as if it isn’t."

      self pity masquerading as heroism and moral rectitude, it is a bromide to his pusillanimous constituency, as ever the anti-religious Jew in a WASP and Israeli world is innocent, while abundantly reaping all the benefits of inhuman exploitation and settler colonialism, he is telling his peeps its ok because its certain to fail, no wonder right wing nationalist racist colonizers loath this, most of all they probably loath the cowardice. people like him give academia a bad name, for very good reason, it is ultimately all sophistry and duplicity, yet again Jews are to be their own moral saviors, bravely saying "maybe kill and oppress less frequently and make nice with the genocide, you making us look bad" while worthless Palestinians are murdered expelled bombed and tortured as they must be for there to be any zionist enterprise. its not about religion, but it is about humanity, i am not impressed, neither of them is fit to tie Heda or Netas' shoelace.

  • Israel lobby's favorite senator tries to erase Palestinian refugee status for millions
    • "The concept of a place called Palestine dates back to Herodotus"
      interesting and a people well even earlier, from the history that does leave a trace, unlike that invisible empire, some more interesting stuff, tjekers and all.

      The Peleset and Tjeker (Minoans) of Crete, they would later be known as the “Philistines” after they had settled in Southern Canaan. Over time, this area became known by a form of their name “Palestine”. The Lukka who may have come from the Lycian region of Anatolia, The Ekwesh and Denen who seem to be identified with the original Greeks, The Shardana (Sherden) who may be associated with Sardinia, The Teresh (Tursha or Tyrshenoi), the Tyrrhenians - the Greek name for the Etruscans, and The Shekelesh (Sicilians?).

      From the textual evidence on the temple walls, it appears that the Peleset and the Tjeker made up the majority of the Sea Peoples involved in the year 8 invasion. In the artistic depictions, both types are depicted wearing a fillet (a ribbon used as a headband), from which protrudes a floppy plume and a protective piece down the nape of the neck.


      The Sea peoples' defeat prevented them from conquering Egypt itself, but it left the Egyptians incapable of defending their possessions in the East, which were colonized by the Philistines, Sidonites and others. The effects of the eclipse of Egyptian power are described in the Wenamen papyrus. Local kings, such as the king of Dor, showed quite open contempt for the ambassador of the Pharaoh.

      According to the possibly a ficticious account, at the beginning of the 11th century B.C, during the reign of Ramses XI, Wenamen, a priest of the Amen temple at Karnak, sailed in a Phoenician ship to Gebal (Byblos) in order to buy timber for the construction of a solar ship. He carried with him a letter of introduction to Zekharbaal, king of Gebal, a statue of the god Amen and some valuables: One golden vessel weighing five deben (about 450 grams), four silver jugs weighing twenty deben and a purse containing eleven deben of silver, a total of five deben of gold and 31 deben of silver, enough to buy thousands of cubic metres of wood.

      The Story begins:

      Year 5, fourth month of the Summer season, day 16; the day on which Wenamun, the elder of the portal of the estate of Amun, lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, set forth to fetch the timber for the great noble bark of Amen-Re', King of the Gods, which is upon the river and is called Amen-user-her. On the day of my arrival at Tanis, the place where Nesbanebded and Tentamun are, I gave them the dispatches of Amen-Re', King of the Gods. They caused them to be read before them and they said:
      'We will surely do as Amen-Re', King of the Gods, our lord has said.' I stayed until the fourth month of the Summer season in Tanis. And Nesbanebded and Tentamun sent me forth with the ship's captain Mengebet, and I went down upon the great sea of Syria in the first month of the Summer season. And I arrived at Dor, a Tjekker-town, and Beder its prince caused to be brought to me 50 loaves, one flagon of wine, and one haunch of an ox. And a man of my ship fled after stealing one vessel of gold worth 5 deben, four jars of silver worth 20 deben, and a bag of silver, 11 deben; total of what he stole, gold 5 deben, silver 31 deben.
      And I arose in the morning and went to the place where the prince was and said to him: 'I have been robbed in your harbor. But you are the prince of this land and you are its controller. Search for my money, for indeed the money belongs to Amen-Re', King of the Gods, the lord of the lands, it belongs to Nesbanebded, it belongs to Hrihor my lord and to the other great ones of Egypt; it belongs to you, it belongs to Waret, it belongs to Mekamar, it belongs to Tjikarba'al the prince of Byblos.'

      He said to me: 'Are you in earnest or are you inventing? For indeed I know nothing of this tale that you have told me. If it had been a thief belonging to my land who had gone down into your ship and had stolen your money, I would have replaced it for you from my storehouse, until your thief had been found, whoever he may be. But in fact the thief who robbed you, he is yours, he belongs to your ship. Spend a few days here with me, that I may search for him.' I stayed nine days anchored in his harbor, and then I went before him and said to him: 'Look, you have not found my money.'

      There follows a much broken passage the gist of which may be guessed to be as follows: Wenamen expresses the wish to depart with some ship's captains about to put to sea, but the prince urges him to refrain, suggesting that he should seize goods belonging to the suspected persons until they had gone to search for the thief. Wenamen, however, prefers to continue his journey and after touching at Tyre leaves that port at daybreak. He is soon at Byblos, where Tjikarba'al is the prince. There he comes across a ship that contains 30 deben of silver, which he annexes saying that the money shall remain with him until those whom he addresses have found the thief.

  • US to differentiate between 'personally displaced' Palestinian refugees and their descendants
  • March of the Flags
    • oh muhammad the generic palestinian not the prophet, that is really revolting,

    • Muhammad is dead, i think they mean Jesus, muslims christians who cares, i mean would the chant moses is dead inconvenience a Jew?

      Abu Bakr arrived and said, "Sit down, O 'Umar!" But 'Umar refused to sit down. So the people came to Abu Bakr and left Umar. Abu Bakr said, "To proceed, if anyone amongst you used to worship Muhammad, then Muhammad has passed away, but if (anyone of) you used to worship God, then God is Alive and shall never die. God said, "And Muhammad is but a messenger; the messengers have come before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Me in the least and I will reward the grateful." (3.144)"

      Abu Bakr to the Muslims, especially Omar ibni al-Khatab who refused to believe that the Prophet was dead. So we all agree on that then, cool, are they closet Muslims perhaps, but then Kahan Chai.

      of course both sides should be condemned equally for the use of flags, or not it all depends on the slater calculus did the Palestinian flags have any real hope of winning,

      is submission the only moral choice available,

      like the Protestant marches in Ulster except unbelievably even more revolting, at least the prods perform astonishing feats of early morning drinking prior to parading in their sashes and bowlers.

  • The Messiah's Donkey: Settlers fire on Palestinian villagers as the Israeli military watches
    • mankind originated in Australia? so Levantine history is not your only area of expertise. but the rest of this brief comment is just the most astonishing historical ignorance history says our man from Slavonia its been zionism all the way back to the beginning, i think oleg is a crappy little Turing machine probably made in Korea. All colonialists end up with a despairing version of human history which is all slaughter and pillage, except there is no record of such a "history".

    • who is denying that of course Judaism comes from the middle east, middle eastern jews have a long history but to confuse that history with the extraordinary privileges zionists grant themselves is stretching the point beyond any sense. Jews have long histories in the balkans in southern europe in central asia, meaning what exactly?

      all the peoples of the region including the Palestinians have a long continuous and ongoing history in the region, the rooting of current political arrangements in the region based on largely mythic, rather than the real history of region is one problem the notion of basing rights to nationality, freedom of movement etc on these histories is absurd, the middle east is like the rest of the planet in the 21st century, native americans have long a history on the amercian continent which means that......perhaps you could complete that sentence for me.

      as if the people of the region dont know this my own tribe the 'Awf were at one time both Hejazi and of the Jewish faith what rights can i derive from that fact, it is an evation and condescending at best, we know our history, of course it could be argued that italians have a long history in the region greeks also...which means what? should the Greeks get Ugarit, where Greece learned to read and write.

      so what are you actually saying? what has this to do with zionist settler colonialism, it doesnt make it any more acceptable, well not to me though of course luminaries such as Nadine Gordimer thought that at least Zionists had a claim on the land they stole in contra-distinction to the Boers, who had at least been resident for a century or two in the site of their crimes, i am puzzled by this, though grateful that you want to teach us our history how selfless of you and its not even like you have anything to gain, so often when trying to discuss this matter with Europeans one is left with the impression of talking to utterly irrational ideologues, the people of the region will ultimately decide what they will accept, as is their right, conversations about the historical connections of Judaism to the region are at best irrelevant, like the indigenes have no history , as if, i am not really impressed by the depth of historical knowledge displayed by Europeans when it comes to the middle east. It is the history of the Palestinians, relabeled like hummus, as Israeli or Jewish, like a conjuring trick, Arab Jews have a long history in the region, this gives no rights to Jews hailing from outside, they are foreigners despite their Arab Manque habits. We know our history, thanks for asking, it provides no basis for or mitigation of Zionism.

    • "El Matzri" what are they unleavened or something, Masr' egypt Masri Egyptian, but it isnt it weird Palestine is part of the middle east and there you find middle easterners, part of my Arab family comes from Nablus, Palestine was on planet earth at one time and many of her people have connections to other earthlings and part of it is from Egypt, what of it?

      what is the difference between thugs like oleg and dissimulators like tokyo "jews are a natural part of the ME" BK. both purvey studied ignorance at every opportunity.

  • Neverending Nakba: Israel breaks lull, attacks Gazan farmers
    • Just seen Rafeef Ziadah at the Pavilion in Cork, courtesy IPSC it finished 20 minutes ago, the audience of 200 maybe 30 arabs the rest irish went crazy also that lebanese guy Mansour who did well and unnamed guy from the golan and a great arab female vocalist. she made me think of Fairuz's Sanaraj3ou yawman : "heart dont drop weary on the road to our return"

  • West Virginia newspaper: 'Apartheid imposed on Palestinians'
    • yup saying blacks are better than palestinians means you are not (not) a racist.

      "relatively very few Whites were killed." "relatively very few to what", the number of palestinians killed or the vast number of Israeli butchered while delivering refugee Haitian babies?

      Have you checked with your erstwhile afrikaner racist allies if they think "relatively very few of them" were killed, actually you could learn a thing from them during the period the south african government was french kissing deplorable zionists they killed about 1.5 million africans in the states to their immediate north, mozambique and angola etc, they got away scot free, but you came to the levant, things work differently there, white privilege only gets you so far and they started a couple of centuries before you. i agree if you are going to rape a girl choose one who wont hold it against you.

    • and when will tens of thousands of americans take to the streets to protest stuff like this closer to home so to speak

      liberals are pretty small beer, pace Falstaff, we need some sack.

      also as i see the great J Slater is posting anodyne one liners i thought of this which some may find interesting, just war and jihad.

    • Apartheid and the medical training of Black Doctors.

      Mandela and the Church Street Bombing

      you'll enjoy the second link its racist BS which is very much to your taste, is lazy and stupid a requirement for hasbara work i could do it what are the rates, your line manager must be a moron.

      BISHOP DESMOND TUTU, the South African Nobel Prize winner, described how he saw on his visit to Israel "much like what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about" (1). Comparisons between apartheid South Africa and Israel/Palestine have often been made, but not always clearly explained. Many factors have made the comparison attractive.

  • 'Orgy in the desert' fails to wed young Jewish woman to Zionism
    • "agree. I live near one of the big housing commission blocks in Melbourne with a large African population, a lot of Sudanese and Somali refugees."

      ah yes i have been there near st vincent hospital, only place i could find foul medammes in the city, loads out by roxburgh (?) park, many arabs and arabic shops, syrians and lebanese, and sri lankans, i lived on rotis and foul, everybody rubs along very well, i got to know a lot of Sri lankans who seemed very chatty and at ease, katta sambol is delicious and lunimaris (?)

      a friend works for the local municipality, putting up signs designating one or other tribe as "tradtional owners" of the land on city buildings, i couldnt help but conclude that "traditional" ownership is to ownership, what obama is to change, i'd be pissed off to be robbed of a whole continent, treated like a brute and then be fobbed off with a brass plaque, i found no black conciousness in Oz amongst the longstanding immigrants, i noticed a whole lot of anti-indigenous racism, both casual and passionate.

      as to ghettos why not if they want, whats wrong with a voluntary ghetto, integration, even though i have participated in the formal process and various strategies in various countries i still have no clue what is meant by it, it doesnt seem to mean people doing what they want which is what i would recommend, are rich people and poor integrated? if not why not.

      I saw a young white skater dude get badly chopped up by some "asian" boys, possibly vietnamese in st. kilda's by the beach, while watching the amazing kite boarding skills of the locals, well i was amazed they were spectacular, the stabbing was apparently related to tensions about drug selling territory so the cops claimed, i didnt see any street dealing. he was not that badly hurt nasty slice across shoulder and deep gash on the forearm and back of the head, he trembled a bit but on the whole he coped.

  • Obama's Jewish liaison reached out to Orthodox group that coddles those charged with child abuse
    • No that is accusations of Zina (adultery)

      "During the time of the Prophet (saw) punishment was inflicted on the rapist on the solitary evidence of the woman who was raped by him. Wa'il ibn Hujr reports of an incident when a woman was raped. Later, when some people came by, she identified and accused the man of raping her. They seized him and brought him to Allah's messenger, who said to the woman, "Go away, for Allâh has forgiven you," but of the man who had raped her, he said, "Stone him to death." (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

      During the time when Umar (raa) was the Khalifah, a woman accused his son Abu Shahmah of raping her; she brought the infant borne of this incident with her to the mosque and publicly spoke about what had happened. Umar (raa) asked his son who acknowledged committing the crime and was duly punished right there and then. There was no punishment given to the woman. (Rauf)

      Islamic legal scholars interpret rape as a crime in the category of Hiraba. In ‘Fiqh-us-Sunnah’, hiraba is described as: ‘a single person or group of people causing public disruption, killing, forcibly taking property or money, attacking or raping women (hatk al ‘arad), killing cattle, or disrupting agriculture.’

      The famous jurist, Ibn Hazm, had the widest definition of hiraba, defining a hiraba offender as: ‘One who puts people in fear on the road, whether or not with a weapon, at night or day, in urban areas or in open spaces, in the palace of a caliph or a mosque, with or without accomplices, in the desert or in the village, in a large or small city, with one or more people… making people fear that they’ll be killed, or have money taken, or be raped (hatk al ‘arad)… whether the attackers are one or many."

      Al-Dasuqi held that if a person forced a woman to have sex, his actions would be deemed as committing hiraba. In addition, the Maliki judge Ibn ‘Arabi, relates a story in which a group was attacked and a woman in their party was raped. Responding to the argument that the crime did not constitute hiraba because no money was taken and no weapons used, Ibn ‘Arabi replied indignantly that "hiraba with the private parts" is much worse than hiraba involving the taking of money, and that anyone would rather be subjected to the latter than the former.

      The crime of rape is classified not as a subcategory of ‘zina’ (consensual adultery), but rather as a separate crime of violence under hiraba. This classification is logical, as the "taking" is of the victim’s property (the rape victim’s sexual autonomy) by force. In Islam, sexual autonomy and pleasure is a fundamental right for both women and men (Ghazâlî); taking by force someone’s right to control the sexual activity of one’s body is thus a form of hiraba.

      Rape as hiraba is a violent crime that uses sexual intercourse as a weapon. The focus in a hiraba prosecution is the accused rapist and his intent and physical actions, and not second-guessing the consent of the rape victim. Hiraba does not require four witnesses to prove the offense, circumstantial evidence, medical data and expert testimony form the evidence used to prosecute such crimes.

      Islamic legal responses to rape are not limited to a criminal prosecution for hiraba. Islamic jurisprudence also provides an avenue for civil redress for a rape survivor in its law of "jirah" (wounds). Islamic law designates ownership rights to each part of one’s body, and a right to corresponding compensation for any harm done unlawfully to any of those parts. Islamic law calls this the ‘law of jirah’ (wounds). Harm to a sexual organ, therefore, entitles the person harmed to appropriate financial compensation under classical Islamic jirah jurisprudence. Each school of Islamic law has held that where a woman is harmed through sexual intercourse (some include marital intercourse), she is entitled to financial compensation for the harm. Further, where this intercourse was without the consent of the woman, the perpetrator must pay the woman both the basic compensation for the harm, as well as an additional amount based on the ‘diyya’ (financial compensation for murder, akin to a wrongful death payment)."

  • Palestinians shut down a second int'l aid organization to demand action on dying hunger strikers
    • "we still unfortunately use because they are convenient." i mean you are obviously an under cover brother from jenin,

      bobby sands was given a ridiculous sentence i believe life, he wrote a song "i wish i was back home in derry" performed by christy moore, he was convicted of having an unloaded hand gun in a protestant state where catholics enjoyed only limited rights by both formal and informal discrimination, their achievement of legal parity with their protestant co citizens concluded an uninterrupted 8 hundred struggle for the full rights of citizenship in their native land of the indigenous irish people, sands death and that of 10 others was the beginning of the end for protestant formal dominance of the state an inconvenience no doubt to some.

  • US military officers taught to target civilians and wage 'total war' on Islam
    • "So, this is fostering both hate against 2 quite different religions — Islam and Sikhism."

      well Sikhism is syncretic, incorporating a lot of Sufi (Islamic) and Hindu forms and ideas, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book contains many poetic passages praising Allah.

      "The Granth was compiled by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji. He undertook the enormous task of collecting, compiling, and scrutinizing the hymns and compositions of Guru Nanak and his predecessors. He decided to include not only the hymns of the Gurus but also that of other saints. At the invitation of the Guru, followers of different sects, both Hindu and Muslim, came to the Guru and recited the hymns of their teachers. Guru Arjan chose only those hymns which echoed sentiments he wanted to inculcate in his own community. After the selections were made, the Guru dictated the hymns to Bhai Gurdas ji, who wrote the Granth Sahib."

      "The Sikh Scriptures, The Sri Guru Granth Sahib contains the word Allah as a reference to God in a few places. It also refers to God in a number of different ways"


      "The temple or the mosque are the same, the Hindu worship or the Musalman prayer are the same; all men are the same; it is through error they appear different. Deities, demons, Yakshas, heavenly singers, Musalmans and Hindus adopt the customary dress of their different countries. All men have the same eyes, the same ears, the same body, the same build, a compound of earth, air, fire, and water. Allah and Abhekh are the same, the Purans and the Quran are the same; they are all alike; it is the one God who created all. The Hindu God and the Muhammadan God are the same; let no man even by mistake suppose there is a difference." (Guru Gobind Singh, Akal Ustat, pg. 275)

      First, Allah created the Light; then, by His Creative Power, He made all mortal beings. From the One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1|| (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1349)

      i reckon americans need to get out more, the notion of religions which all spring from the same essentially perso- arab cultural commonwhealth ie christianity, judaism and islam as being at war is uniquely european and has always accompanied the imposition of communalism in the furtherance of empire,

      Shah Wali Allah, the indian nationalist and anti-imperialist theorist, his son or grandson (dont recall) was killed fighting Sikhs, while thats true the causus belli was acquiescence to british rule.

  • Right of Return key goes on tour
    • fair enough however these rights are inalienable and its not for anyone to decide other than the those who bear these rights, or to enter into some weird "negotiations" on behalf of Palestinians, whats wrong with everyone going home, because it will inconvenience the colonists? so what.

      the fact is the people of region reject the notion that outsiders, ie the west who have been responsible for awesome slaughter and destruction in this region over the last three centuries (see Dr. Gideon Polya for the astonishing figures) are going to suggest that the lowly denizens of the levant can access a limited set of "rights" that accommodate a brutal settler colonialist enterprise, we utterly reject this, all rights must be respected in full, its the only way forward.

      What rights are you Americans willing to cede for world peace and humanities survival, how many of your inalienable rights will you give up, say 55% of the continental USA, why is it that our humanity can be attenuated but not yours, we are not lesser beings. It is incumbent on all people, all of whom have international responsibilities, to support the full application of international law and all relevant treaties. We do not accept that our region can be subjected to settler colonization, why should we? i dont mean to be rude, and very much appreciate your interest, courage and forthright rejection of this global Jim Crow, its just so upsetting, perhaps i should wait for those Mooser comments to lighten my mood.

      You in the states cant even help yourselves you can do nothing for us, while your state is looted and your compatriots tremble in a febrile stupor about exploding underwear and triumphant Minarets, we respect the fact that the right in the USA is brave, brutal and murderous the "left" seems incapable of anything more than pious platitudes, a political maxim that seems to work very well for non-euro/americans is never trust a white man, its worked quite well for me but then i am half white, if such is indeed possible, i remember the shactmanites and the duplicity of ICG in the seventies, in terms of anti-colonialism, which many young white guys felt was objectively progressive, its all so depressing, you could learn a lot from the Palestinians, Hammas and Hizbollah, at the very least how to actually resist, i await a real American revolution, what do you think are the chances? anymore than 0%.

      all the best etc.

    • "I support a limited RoR for Palestinians (w/ compensation in lieu)."
      but its not your right to decide, you either support universal human rights or you dont, these are not your rights to cede.

  • An account of the Guardian's racist endorsement of the Balfour Declaration
    • In case you missed it

      False Prophets of Peace
      Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine


      By Tikva Honig-Parnass

      This book refutes the long held view of the Israeli left as adhering to a humanistic, democratic and even socialist tradition, attributed to the historic Zionist Labor movement. Through a critical analysis of the prevailing discourse of Zionist intellectuals and activists on the Jewish-democratic state, it uncovers the Zionist left’s central role in laying the foundation of the colonial settler state of Israel, in articulating its hegemonic ideology and in legitimizing, whether explicitly or implicitly, the apartheid treatment of Palestinians both inside Israel and in the 1967 occupied territories. Their determined support of a Jewish-only state underlies the failure of the “peace process,” initiated by the Zionist Left, to reach a just peace based on recognition of the national rights of the entire Palestinian people.
      About the author

      Tikva Honig-Parnass was raised in the Jewish community of pre-state Palestine, fought in the 1948 war and served as the secretary of the then Radical Left Zionist Party of Mapam (The Unified Workers Party) in the Knesset ( 1951-1954). In '60 she definitively broke with Zionism and joined the ranks of the Israeli Socialist Organization, known as "Matzpen". Since then she has played an active role in the movement against the '67 occupation as well as in the struggle for the Palestinian national rights. She co-edited Between the Lines with Toufic Haddad

  • A Palestinian mayor issues desperate appeal to the world to restore his village's lifeline
    • well the mukhtar of aqaba must have blood on his hands or at the very least somewhere below the bullet hole the IOF put in him, zionism the say anything ideology.

  • Shebab vs the Wall at the Erez Crossing
    • "What a frightful word ‘shebab’ to use for the children attacking at the Gaza border."

      what a frightful word "men" is when used in other contexts, the word of course "connotes" the "minute-men" that racist organization affiliated with the US government.

      "al-Shabaab which is a Somali-based terrorist cell of al-Qaida."

      al-qaida in the horn of plenty, its clear consumption of propaganda leads to precipitate loss of IQ points.

      There is actually an interesting aside here, the Israelis have so humiliated the parents that the 1st intifada was also a revolt against the quietism of the older generation who have little or no authority over the youth, as a result of their inability to resist zionist colonization, you want the kids to respect their elders perhaps you should show them how.

      There is no border just a prison wall, "blatant propaganda opportunism" its a struggle for freedom, but hey who cares "shebab" just means the guys obviously but then you knew that, idiot.

      zionism above all is so boring and idiotic, like all colonial ideologies it relies on racist grotesqueries, so what do the guys have to accept while they live rightless under the zionist jackboot, oh yes a "jewish" state on their land and an aparthied system in their own homes, reasonable to some perhaps. all depends on how you look at it, as officer Coon (which connotes what) said of the Rodney King beating.

  • One crazed murderer sparks Zionist calls for European migration to Israel
  • Rockets are collective punishment
    • "but aren’t they pretty bad already?"

      You need to look on the bright side however bad they are now they are going to get a whole lot worse, enjoy it while lasts.

  • Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity activists issue critique and condemnation of Gilad Atzmon
    • I think the whole "zionist lobby" stuff is vastly overly played, zionist power consists of being ideological and political managers on behalf of the transnational empire head-quatered in America. the scene is in the process of changing, this whole ludicrous Jews run America and are wagging the goyish hound are deeply worrying this is perhaps a bit off topic, but

      let a ragged assed muslim( publically practising vajrayana/dzogchen buddhism my whole adult life) so not too many friends amongst my bretheren though to be fair they were always tolerant if exasperated, but my world collapsed and the two people who actually extended me any humanity at all, were the Chief Rabbi and a Zionist billionaire, i am suffused with warmth just recollecting their incredible personal kindness, especially during my late mothers final days, the Zionist billionaire was the only person and his converted wife, came to visit her on the death bed. the Rabbi is a bit of buffoon and got himself into all sorts of problems but what can i say he was needlessly kind to me personally and didnt in anyway benefit, quite the opposite.

      the zionist was sweet but you know ditzy he loved my old school father, they had a very warm personal relationship and established some organizations etc but when ever the big Z would start on some Hasbara type stuff the old man would gently tell him to shut up, which he seemed to appreciate, and was always unfailingly gracious, he was from Hungary and very old school too as was my late father but from egypt and Al-Azhar, the last generation to be trained in the old Socratic method, he attributed fundamentalism to the evolving modular nature of courses at AlAzhar and other Madrassas and the general decline of the culture of spiritual developement, positivism (in which he was a believer having been a student of Hans Eysenck at London University in the early fifties sent by Al-Azhar to learn some science) and the changing nature of life.

      let me say as i live out my days insecure, careful of every word i utter unemployable because of my past associations, and to be fair my outrageous behavior, Jewish Americans now blithely wondering just how staggeringly powerful they are, are going to soon find it is all an illusion, this crisis is systemic it is going to managed by means of low intensity conflict (a complete strategy of vassal state management not to say ideology) in the imperial space and austerity ( also a whole coherent policy, see eric lichten's "class austerity power" NYC circa 75 was the testing ground) on the home front. So yeah what happens when that really bites just how popular are the media created notion of the disproportionate Jewishness of the managers and beneficiaries of this system going to be, the old narratives are exhausted, new ones will be needed

      wow it's all there, you know the world is not as solid as it looks things are changing and actually in the name of our all to obvious common humanity i fear for you, i am fucked anyway its my own fault i am brave rather intelligent and felt for those who have to struggle to survive and never cultivated plutocrats lived in the ghetto, because its great if a bit tough etc, but professionally i have been involved with all sorts of state-managers, politicians the policy process etc. i was a professional muslim, never once used the mosque in my institution no one messed with me, occasionally dragged myself into work hungover no doubt reeking of alcohol, no one ever said anything, we trained imams for the european environment,

      i have never met a human being that i am superior too, or am able to judge, your hauteur and sense of invulnerability is more illusion than anything else, read some Issac Rosenberg, and this is not just obviously a threat to Jews as such, after all its never rothschild, makhtoum, behbehani, ibn saud, Spencer etc who suffer,

      Democratic illusions are exhausted, with the explosion of poverty at home and consequent repression and social stress, a load of preppy zionists and counter cultural jews and wealthy bankers etc, are an easy target and perfect distraction also maybe the managers need a little disciplining, china is rising south and central asia are theaters of war but the conflict is coming home of course it always does, the 1st world war started what 3?years after the battle of Omdurman.

      Already it is zionist or more ominously Jews who fomented war, what happens when they mange austerity, its not going to be pogroms i am sure but your lives are going to change "israel-firster", the controversy of Norman G, boeski, ronson, levine Madoff, etc there is a narrative there, sorry its the buddhism i dont believe there is any underlying reality, it makes conversation difficult, i am reminded of Samuel Roths "The Jews Must Live" whose veracity i am unable to judge but it is a coherent tale of" Jewish" financial and political manipulation full of melancholy invective

      i personally feel that in all this, to reverse the normal flow of interrogation that islamists, currently dying in support of your cause ( yes they are supporting you, whatever their vile personal habits), resistance to a merciless and insatiable empire, i think they have the right to ask where is the euro/american left, whats up! i guess something fairly grave is going to happen in or over the next decade or so, what i am clumsily trying to show is the already deep and longstanding interpenetration and interpdependence of this world, we are not some mysterious encultured other, personally i never really know who we is i guess everyone. oh and i am not in anyway criticizing views in this thread by the worrying nature of the discourse i am not in anyway taking a position on lobby fetishism or other such stuff, i think the lobby like the FBI have numerous roles with in the system and am generally ignorant of american conditions and dont think i will be visiting anytime soon.

  • Massacre in Afghanistan
    • “Village Stability Operations”

      what were those in vietnam fortified villages/hamlets ah googled strategic hamlets, so in the course of a pacification program one teams massacre got reported, there was only one my lai, totally unrelated to the COI strategy being deployed, its called terror against terror, in reality its terror against resistance.

      "killed after some “holy books” got burned." what do you think holy means and why quotation marks around books, arent they books at least, oh of course those droll natives probably havent had your sophisticated education and are caught in some medieval bullshit, but

      "I would consider that to be an equally immoral act." well you know, now cant really be bothered but your soldiers are killing them in their homes they are defending themselves, i suspect you havent a clue what "morality" is but your empty urbane condescension, rather like the hold out racist/thwarted father in "twelve angry men" (lee j cobb) is going to end in a cathartic flood of tears when the whole world turns its back on your barely concealed racism, then you can give that crap up, in the meantime we arent interested in your empty mores we will fight with what we've got and you can take your smug b-52 agent orange 2 atomic bombs bury my heart at wounded knee appeals to some chimerical "morality" supercilious prattle and shove it. also we should burn the embassy, oh no "you" wouldn't support any rudeness at all, in fact day time tv often shows accurate (very accurate) old movies of noble folk liberating themselves from all sorts of oppressive yokes its always so upsetting when people misbehave when we are conquering them, and dont live up to some crap you have concocted in the slater matrix, shit man, drop this sick act. The colonizer doesnt have good manners, urbanity and morality on their side, except in your imagination. do you see that your whole contribution is indicative of a profound inner dissonance you are going to have admit it to yourself it aint hip to be square. you are not in any position to judge them drop the prejudice drop it and walk away then it can never hurt you again, might i recommend Dr. Hans-Georg Moller's "The Moral Fool". it will help you be less "jejeune".

      but really what do you think the moral status of your condemnation is what good is it, whats it for...? or are you just sayin'

  • MSM jailbreak: Chris Hayes devotes 2 hours to conflict with panel of 2 Zionists and 2 Palestinians
    • "Saudi Arabia by the way roads only for Muslims", you mean the road to mecca where saudis dont allow non-muslims, your point being? or which other ones did you have in mind, saudi arabia that gives full expression to regressive muslimness, when do we invade those dirty bastards and where are the fugees from their state formation, apart from (and kuwait and most gulf states) the stateless Bedou, my surname means bedouin in arabic we dont get a fair deal but then i am not nor were my family bedou we adopted the name 70 years or so ago after a big family falling out over inheritance, we was robbed, so in a couple of hundred years my descendents can rampage all over the empty quarter reclaiming our heritage. but i am related to people who were bedou oh er 1000 years ago, so i am moving to montana soon (going to be a dental floss tycoon) if you know what i mean. history if you take it uncritically its going to screw you up.

  • Consequences of an attack on Iran are no joke
    • "who’s counting? Who cares?'
      well yes but,

      100,000 deaths, and using IBC, come on i thought holocaust denial was banned, so if I say 600,000 Jews died in the war, oh i see not if its in the article, still, 10% of the accepted figure, if you believe in that science and rationality we hear so much about, the credible estimates ORB poll Lancet studies, put it between 800,000 and 1.4 million why use IBC whose methods couldnt credibly catch all but a tiny fraction of the deaths, it is kind of shameful. Doesnt really sit well the intent of the piece.

  • ADL enlists city of Oakland to block Atzmon event
    • ."the man is a Holocaust-denier and an anti-Semite" and Israeli, isnt it weird that the worlds most celebrated current anti-semites are both Israeli Jews, Atzmon and Shamir, (leaving aside Paul Eisen of deir yassin remembered).

      As to bringing Jews and Muslims together that train ran off the lines sometime ago, i think you'll find Muslims arent that interested in getting close anymore the last dialogue i participated in was 1996, in Germany, the Israelis behaved abominably and the Germans stroked them like cats. they fought with the British Jews which was quite funny but not very productive.
      We would like to you to sort your shit out, we dont really want to be friends you are not all that, i personally like to hang with Jamaicans, uptight self righteous and paranoid Jews constantly seeking affirmation and checking me for acceptability are a drag, the Sikhs might be good for a date though, or perhaps the Jains.

  • Dershowitz wants MJ Rosenberg fired for daring to stop Iran war push
  • Why Israel freed Khader Adnan
    • "I admire adnans personal courage but being that he is essentially a political figure I think his political position should be placed under scrutiny."

      sure but he is not the only one whose positions need examining, are you really impressed by "western" liberal values, and being that Adnan is primarily a victim of unconscionable oppression he is only incidentally a "political figure" for example does Jacob Zuma's clearly expressed sexism obviate his right to equality before the law with his white co-nationals, some of whom may indeed espouse anti-sexist views.

      "Why human rights are wrong
      Human rights conflict with the principle of moral autonomy, and form an excuse for oppression. Any harm to others can be justified by claiming that it is intended to respect certain 'rights', even if the victim does not know of their existence. Revised June 2004.

      A Serbian or Iraqi child who is shot to enforce human rights, suffers just as much pain, as an American or British child. Yet the US and British governments do not kill or injure their own citizens, to protect their human rights. That fate is reserved for Eastern Europeans, Arabs, Africans, and Asians. The western human rights lobby claims, that it is wrong to deny people human rights. They claim opposition to human rights is based on 'ethical relativism', and that their own 'moral universalism' is superior. Yet they would not bomb their own cities like they bombed Belgrade or Falluja or remote Afghan villages. Clearly, the 'moral universalism' of the human rights lobby is itself relative: it is turned on and off to conform to geopolitical interests. It was never much more than a propaganda slogan anyway.

      Increasingly, the doctrine of human rights is itself a cause of suffering, oppression and injustice. Increasingly, the argument that superpowers have a 'moral duty' to enforce human rights, is used in the same way as the doctrine of the 'civilising mission' once was used to justify colonialism. Since this was first written, it appears that the civilising mission - or at least crusades in defence of western civilisation - are not quite dead yet. American reactions to the attacks of 11 September 2001 have re-emphasised the so-called "Clash of Civilizations". In that vision of history and geopolitics, democracy, freedom, and human rights are seen as universally valid, and yet historically specific to western civilisation. They are seen as a gift, which the West must bring to the rest of the world, or at least defend against the rest of the world. The position presented below is a rejection of human rights, without any appeal to cultural relativism or ethical relativism.
      Human rights, sovereignty and military intervention
      Universal human rights and sovereignty are two separate issues. It is possible to believe in universal human rights, but also in national sovereignty. In fact, until recently, this was the standard view among foreign policy elites."

      might i recommend.

      Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law) [Paperback]

  • Why young Palestinians chant the word 'thawra'
    • wow dr. bruce cockburn, wow! so not all canadians are etiolated and bland, another prejudice bits the dust...

      "if i had a rocket launcher"
      Here comes the helicopter -- second time today
      Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
      How many kids they've murdered only God can say
      If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay

      I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
      I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
      And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
      If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

      On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
      To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate
      Cry for guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
      If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

      I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try
      Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
      Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
      If I had a rocket launcher...Some son of a b###h would die

      but it aint just if you dont win eh!



      padded with power here they come

      international loan sharks backed by the guns

      of market hungry military profiteers

      whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared

      with the blood of the poor

      who rob life of its quality

      who render rage a necessity

      by turning countries into labour camps

      modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

      sinister cynical instrument

      who makes the gun into a sacrament--

      the only response to the deification

      of tyranny by so-called "developed" nations'

      idolatry of ideology

      north south east west

      kill the best and buy the rest

      it's just spend a buck to make a buck

      you don't give a flying ####

      about the people in misery

      IMF dirty MF

      takes away everything it can get

      always making certain that there's one thing left

      keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

      see the paid-off local bottom feeders

      passing themselves off as leaders

      kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows

      open for business like a cheap bordello

      and they call it democracy

      and they call it democracy

      and they call it democracy

      and they call it democracy

      see the loaded eyes of the children too

      trying to make the best of it the way kids do

      one day you're going to rise from your habitual feast

      to find yourself staring down the throat of the beast

      they call the revolution.

      wow someone should drop dr cockburn a line apparently he has some idea why people are calling for a revolution, there isnt any peace anywhere to disturb, 800 militayr bases, and still one ponders what and who is the source of violence, yes i know its the unarmed, dangerous bastards.

    • sorry didnt know it was a term of contempt, seriously i rather like the word. i am in fact a rootless cosmopolitan myself, but then i was attacked physically for using the word half-caste to describe myself, i seem to miss the meetings where offensive epiphets are defined.

      peace is not the responsibility of those being aggressed, i am amazed that zionists, in their overweening arrogance do not perceive the profound dangers threatening the US jewish and non-jewish "progressive" community.
      no insult intended, i dont speak any language fluently anymore and am a bit freaked having engaged in a formal government sponsored integration project here which turned out to be a platform for the propagation of some serious BS about muslims, whom i was taken to represent, and then silenced by a hysterical priest, when i tried to engage with it.

      we all want peace, happiness and prosperity, even for zionists, but we as subjects, i am not Palestinian my father came from sharkiya prov egypt which some zionists claim (they can have it) and we cant keep the peace, or survive much more "angst" about our "violence". we are already at peace, we just cant defend ourselves and you are going to realise sooner rather than later how this world has changed, and i really mean it is one love, i love all of my sacred bretheren and sisteren, there is great wisdom in the ghettos of the west, i reckon you would all do well to learn from the meanest and poorest in your midst, the despised are guardians of the greatest treasures of the human spirit.

      so galut is an insult ok got it sorry. but lets be clear people like me have no friends and are able to sustain our little lives under conditions of insecurity and anathematization, because we have to be strong to hold our place anyway, the zionist project is going to exact an enormous price from the jewish community you genuinely have my sympathy, but we in the east, as i say, can not ensure peace or peaceful transformation, its going to be bloody, it is already, its just that no one fully human or important has yet been inconvenienced, i once wrote that America is suffering from "the necrosis of always winning" the cure is on its way. bon sante.

    • ever since the curse of slater this site has become a little unintentionally funny, maybe its a ziocaine contact high, its very sticky you know

      its not that Palestinian lives alone are cheap, so are their rights, everyone wants to give some of them away, and attenuate their humanity, we all hope for the peaceful application of all relevant laws as we sleep walk into what is going to be a really major crisis,

      in greece democracy is suspended and the country's elite is petulantly agreeing to rape, "we have its consent jim but its not democratic consent", soon its going to be Gaza everywhere, why do governments suspend habeus corpus and arrogate rights to themselves to act against citizens and others with all sorts of penal and lethal mechanisms, clearly we can't have any democracy while we are protecting and exporting democracy, probs nothing to worry about, when they say indefinite detention or death, they dont mean you, can you see any raging muslim insurrection in your county, no ! i'd worry then, but just think when you peacefully resist that hellfire, and no one be able to criticize your violence, you will have generated one gandhi of virtuous peace as your organs evaporate into mist, morally you will be the victor .

      those carrying the burdens of superior intellect and pedigree can put them down at any old way station, its all one love you know.

    • "This post is not an endorsement of revolution. I am for a peaceful transition in Israel and Palestine." well good for you, but you dont own our right to resist, and the violence is courtesy the oppressor. so the nature of the thawra is up to the criminal oppressor,

      "But this video is important because Hassona is only reflecting widespread desperation among Palestinians." well no they are not desperate they are resolute, they are in the right and they dont need anyones endorsement, we are glad that you at least are able to tolerate the status quo, until peaceful change is effected, how is that going to work, oh yes Palestinians could ask for almost nothing, el hakawati had a great play in the 90's about the end of the criminal oppression of zionism.

      "Everywhere I went I met people who had hoped that the peace process would produce a normal society for them." i seriously doubt it but they certainly know better now.

      is self centered condescension a cherished cultural trait of the galut. you and your ilk will not save us and the astonishing lengths Palestinians have gone too to make space for peace have been rebuffed, i'd check with the colonizers about their commitment to peacefully continue the savage oppression of the revolutionaries. Fetishization of Palestinian resistant "violence" is deeply dishonest.

      Lan ya murra, or something like that.

  • Foreign nationals willingly gave passports to Mossad
    • "Israel doesn’t have the cushions a normal, peaceful Western state can afford."

      western nations peaceful and normal, which western nations US no UK no France oh no, Nederlands, not really, Norway, well all those weapons they sell, actually western nations arent really normally very peaceful, well they werent last century, were they? thank civilization this new century is basking in western normality and peaciness, Krauss my man the racism implicit in that statement is really out their, western peace! two world wars two atomic bombs endless colonial slaughters stretching back 1/2 a millennium, but i get you western nations normal (wilders, bachman, santorum, romney, sarkozy, cameron some greek dude etc) and peaceful, complacent lazy eurocentrism with a side order of barely concealed racist contempt, PNAC the list is too long, perhaps miscegenation has clouded my normality because i for one am not seeing it could you elaborate about the cushions, are they armed and how many megatons could they deliver or what are the cushions, i must know.

  • Where is the Bedouin Intifada?
  • Chris Hayes stunning 'Story of the Week' featuring Sheldon Adelson
    • "I believe war lord (cannot remember his name)"= Rashid Dostum, irony in arabic and dari(?) or some other sort of persian. sort of may mean upright or guided friend, Dostum is cool if you like blood soaked sadistic mass murderers, always good to have guys like Rashid along when you are humanitarianly intervening among the savage tribes, in particular the women of afghanistan must be thrilled by his new found american sponsored authority, to be fair the convoy of death is hardly his most exciting exploit, he has done really deeply disturbing stuff, him and that hekmatyar guy who is my particular bogeyman, the US gave hekman 600million i am told back when the ussr was in afghanistan (at the invitation of the then secular socialist government, but that was before the end of history).

  • 'Tablet' says writers who talk about Israel Firsters are channeling Hitler
    • "Palestine Citizenship Order in the 20s". which excluded about 40'000 Palestinians not actually present in the territory at the time, it was done to exclude the maximum number of arabs from citizenship and include the maximum number of colonists.

    • "Palestinians are not Arabs" oh yes they are, what do you think arab means, arab has never meant arabian, the canaanites say they came from the gulf, egyptians are arabs algerians are arabs, our identity was not set 4000 years ago, "Abba Arami Obed", from genesis i think, for the aramaic scholars amongst us. we set our identity not you, are the Khalidi's arabs. Sadly many seem not to know what arab means, please lay of with this ignorant BS, what does Levantine mean for ffs, and how does it exclude urubiyya what does arab imply about our rights to our homes and our identity. iraqi jews are/were arabs, its not so bad i've never minded being one, even though i could be something else, and quite a few arabs tell i am nothing of the kind, my language skills are poor, are there any americans or are they americanized teutons etc, what does that imply. Newt can kiss my chuddies. find me a Pict or a Goth or a Hun or a Vandal before any one talks about arab levantine identity in these ahistoric terms,

  • New additions to the Mondoweiss comments policy
    • A Bin Laden "fatwa" what were his qualification to issue fatawa, none as farm i am aware, he had, i think, not a single ijaaza. so whatever it is, its not a fatwa.

  • Israel is at the heart of Jewish identity, Gorenberg says
    • "While Islam has been relatively tolerant of both Christians and Jews as believers in the book, Islam historically has been quite harsh towards infidel that is, secular folk." could you flesh that out a bit, what do you mean by secular folk, say abu ala alma'ari say

      "Al-Ma'arri's skepticism of all religions reminds us of Xenophanes, Carvaka, and Lucretius, and does not re-appear in Western thought until the Enlightenment. He was equally sarcastic towards the religions of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Al-Ma'arri remarked that monks in their cloisters or devotees in their mosques were blindly following the beliefs of their locality: if they were born among Magians or Sabians they would have become Magians or Sabians. Al-Ma'arri was a rationalist who valued reason above tradition or revelation. Like Carvaka he saw religion in general as a human institution invented as a source of power and income for its founders and priesthood, who pursued worldly ends with forged documents attributed to divine inspiration. Like Vardhamana and the Jains, al-Ma'arri believed in the sanctity of life, urging that no living creature should be harmed. He became a vegetarian and opposed all killing of animals, and the use of animal skins for clothing."

      er and a wiki
      " In fact, religious and political life developed distinct spheres of experience, with independent values, leaders, and organizations. From the middle of the tenth century effective control of the Arab-Muslim empire had passed into the hands of generals, administrators, governors, and local provincial lords; the Caliphs had lost all effective political power. Governments in Islamic lands were henceforth secular regimes - Sultanates - in theory authorized by the Caliphs, but actually legitimized by the need for public order. Henceforth, Muslim states were fully differentiated political bodies without any intrinsic religious character, though they were officially loyal to Islam and committed to its defense.[10]

      In the same period, religious communities developed independently of the states or empires that ruled them. The ulama regulated local communal and religious life by serving as judges, administrators, teachers, and religious advisers to Muslims. The religious elites were organized according to religious affiliation into Sunni schools of law, Shi'ite sects, or Sufi tariqas. [...] In the wide range of matters arising from the Shari'a - the Muslim law - the 'ulama' of the schools formed a local administrative and social elite whose authority was based upon religion. Thus though the Muslim madhahib were not organized in the same way as Christian churches, they had many of the religious and social functions we associate with churches. But whether or not we wish to speak of churches, religious organizations, institutions, personnel and activities were clearly separate from the ruling regimes.[11]

      As long as two decades ago, Sir Hamilton Gibb, in his essay 'Constitutional Organization', showed that Muslim political thinkers themselves had become aware of the separation of state and religion and recognized the emergence of an autonomous sphere of religious activity and organization. For example, Ibn Taymiyya held that apart from the Caliphate, the ulama constituted the true umma of Islam, and that ruling regimes were 'Muslim' regimes not by any intrinsic quality but by virtue of the support they lent the Muslim religion and religious communities.[12]

      In early Islamic philosophy, Averroes presented an argument in The Decisive Treatise providing a justification for the emancipation of science and philosophy from official Ash'ari{ al ashari was a rationalist( mautazalite) dissident, the dominant theology of the first two hundred years of the muslim period) theology, thus Averroism has been considered a precursor to modern secularism.[13][14]"

  • A regular commenter on this site seeks a more temperate comment board
    • wonderful summation, opaleye, really cool.

      its clear its arab/muslim shooting season, we of course dont hunt israelis or jews, that would be unthinkable. what is really off putting to arab commentators is that this double standard, we must be polite while our whole world is being pounded to bloody dust, is unnoticed or unremarked.

      Mr. Weiss was at least agnostic if not actually supportive of the bombing, the actual bombing of libya, but ah no those are just arabs down there, for a moment i was worried, i met a libyan israeli in germany years ago, he was a vicious racist and dissimulator, but i am glad he was not under nato bombs, really you think we regard ourselves as lowly apparently as you see us, if you dont want people to talk about killing you and yours stop attacking us, or grow a pair, whats wrong with US jews that you need to be wrapped in cotton wool. cant you see whats coming you had better man up now.

      supposed people of goodwill dont want any harsh words, hitchens talked joyfully of how he and george were going to kill the 'islamofascists', but we the longtime objects of this international lynching, its been going for centuries you know, we were the first civilians to be slaughtered by airpower 25 years before guernica, we have just celebrated the centenary of the inception of terror from the air in Libya circa 1911 by destroying libya from the air circa 2011, in '25 the french destroyed a third of dasmascus in a few minutes but we must watch our words, its so parochial of you.

      the israeli regime (zionist entity) favors blunt talk of killing but you imagine that this harsh discourse is only for arabs and the lesser orders. its a farce isnt it this lisping insistence on not intimating that violence may be visited on you, the USA is a merciless power, for the moment you are inside their tent, its not going to last as long USA nationals believe that they have no need of caution what motive have they to stop this awesome slaughter, in africa, asia and latin amercia, in your very own black and latino neighbourhoods, you'd better tell your people to beware no one will escape this oppression without great suffering, bluntly. things are changing and its going to be war and the outcome is far from certain, but the catastrophe is a given and the US jewish community is singularly ill placed for a realignment of forces, hubris, complacency, the vile sophistry of slater and phony gentility wont do you any good. you need to humanize the self, we others dont need you to humanize us our utter humanity is manifest, even if you only see it imperfectly. its like fanon never wrote, perhaps you need to take a long hard look at yourselves. this is of course being written by an arab, on the whole a worthless one, since i have no dog in the better race culture religion person shit, whatever the category i am the lowest, i can be honest with you, your whole society has an air of totalitarianism which you celebrate as good polite rational discourse, every one of the best posters to your comment section was attacked by the senseless anti life argument that "this is unthinkable" you better understand that those with hands on the levers of power will do to you what they are doing to us as Captain Jack of the Modocs said "by and by".

      isnt opaleyes account correct, some of your commenters are the only reason i come here, hostage, mooser, american, annie, kalithea, shmuel, samel, avi, and others, you are very lucky to have them, courage mon brave rhetorical bombing does no damage, the only target is exactly what needs destroying your inhuman complacency in the face of this carnage, lets roll eh.
      also thanks for the great site and all your work, obviously.

  • 'One of the most disturbing days I have ever experienced': An eyewitness account of the Israeli attack on Mustafa Tamimi's funeral
    • nice leg, that seal is cool, Innanna, looks too bad for an angel, i want one.

    • budhhists dont even have a God, now now they can have none many or some sort of half way thingies, check out vajrayana deities true you have to believe in them being not really real in the sense that they are not outside you see, your mind is god, really it says in the prayers "until mind itself dawns as Padmasambhava"

      also Allah is not derived from Hebrew, Hebrew and Arabic are cognates so the word for god in them comes from that now lost language from which they are both derived, just to be clear. and wiki says:

      "it is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and Sikhs." so many people to hate, so little time to make shit up.

    • oh well tis the season etc Allahu Akbar is of course a contraction, for Allahu Akbar min kuli shai or there abouts, which does not mean much, just God is greater than this or greater than everything, ie whatever one is facing, doing or intending. anyway if anyones is interested could check out mn roy an indian marxist on islam and muhammad. top marks for the stupid islamophobic (spell check wants that to be homophobic, so clearly there is a god) shit above though that made my day, yeah they say their god is the best, bastards.

  • Gingrich has opened an important door
    • many of my egyptian relatives use the surname metwalli, i had never heard of the shia asociation. As to iraq etc not being arab back then, this is a meaningless statement as the research below indicates, a. there were arabs all over the region from long long before the advent of Islam. b. the people became arabised in terms of language, they were not exterminated and replaced by arabians as everyone knows, just by becoming arabised they have neither forgotten their history nor become foreigners in their own lands, identity in the ME is complex, who needs telling that jews are a natural part of the ME, not us, judaism, christianity and paganism were the arab religions in the old days, those egyptian metwallis are part of the banu 'awf tribe, some of whom were of the jewish religion back in the prophets time as evidenced by treaties etc from the period.
      Nationalism has not done much for the complex populations of the ME and Balkans, north africa.

      the canaanites said they came from the gulf, which was derided by modern scholarship, prior to the discouvery of Dilmun,

      human rights are not determined genetically are they? my genes wouldnt entitle me to much, a damp bog in africa perhaps, if there are any going spare or a desert in europe, i own land in egypt via masha'a system but i think my genes preclude me from forming a state there, who knows and who cares, i am not a natural part of anywhere except wherever i happen to be.

      Journal axes gene research on Jews and Palestinians

      Robin McKie, science editor
      The Observer, Sunday 25 November 2001 11.24 GMT
      Article history

      A keynote research paper showing that Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinians are genetically almost identical has been pulled from a leading journal.

      Academics who have already received copies of Human Immunology have been urged to rip out the offending pages and throw them away.

      Such a drastic act of self-censorship is unprecedented in research publishing and has created widespread disquiet, generating fears that it may involve the suppression of scientific work that questions Biblical dogma.

      'I have authored several hundred scientific papers, some for Nature and Science, and this has never happened to me before,' said the article's lead author, Spanish geneticist Professor Antonio Arnaiz-Villena, of Complutense University in Madrid. 'I am stunned.'

      British geneticist Sir Walter Bodmer added: 'If the journal didn't like the paper, they shouldn't have published it in the first place. Why wait until it has appeared before acting like this?'

      The journal's editor, Nicole Sucio-Foca, of Columbia University, New York, claims the article provoked such a welter of complaints over its extreme political writing that she was forced to repudiate it. The article has been removed from Human Immunology's website, while letters have been written to libraries and universities throughout the world asking them to ignore or 'preferably to physically remove the relevant pages'. Arnaiz-Villena has been sacked from the journal's editorial board.

      Dolly Tyan, president of the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, which runs the journal, told subscribers that the society is 'offended and embarrassed'.

      The paper, 'The Origin of Palestinians and their Genetic Relatedness with other Mediterranean Populations', involved studying genetic variations in immune system genes among people in the Middle East.

      In common with earlier studies, the team found no data to support the idea that Jewish people were genetically distinct from other people in the region. In doing so, the team's research challenges claims that Jews are a special, chosen people and that Judaism can only be inherited.

      Jews and Palestinians in the Middle East share a very similar gene pool and must be considered closely related and not genetically separate, the authors state. Rivalry between the two races is therefore based 'in cultural and religious, but not in genetic differences', they conclude.

      But the journal, having accepted the paper earlier this year, now claims the article was politically biased and was written using 'inappropriate' remarks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its editor told the journal Nature last week that she was threatened by mass resignations from members if she did not retract the article.

      Arnaiz-Villena says he has not seen a single one of the accusations made against him, despite being promised the opportunity to look at the letters sent to the journal.

      He accepts he used terms in the article that laid him open to criticism. There is one reference to Jewish 'colonists' living in the Gaza strip, and another that refers to Palestinian people living in 'concentration' camps.

      'Perhaps I should have used the words settlers instead of colonists, but really, what is the difference?' he said.

      'And clearly, I should have said refugee, not concentration, camps, but given that I was referring to settlements outside of Israel - in Syria and Lebanon - that scarcely makes me anti-Jewish. References to the history of the region, the ones that are supposed to be politically offensive, were taken from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and other text books.'

      In the wake of the journal's actions, and claims of mass protests about the article, several scientists have now written to the society to support Arnaiz-Villena and to protest about their heavy-handedness.

      One of them said: 'If Arnaiz-Villena had found evidence that Jewish people were genetically very special, instead of ordinary, you can be sure no one would have objected to the phrases he used in his article. This is a very sad business.'

  • Beinart says Israel must give citizenship to Palestinians under occupation
    • yup we went europe no body ever took my house there or my garden or damaged my olive tree, yes its in a pot on a verandah, the olives are the size of peas, i got 30 one year.

      and i was naturalized, in '74, thanks for the concern for my welfare, oh right its just a weak rhetorical trick to obscure the sewer of filth the holy land has become under zionism, meanwhile look what i found in those inner city ghettos so much better at making something of those ancient words than etiolated ersatz pioneers like you

      milk and honey

      and with daddy u-roy

      keep your sympathy psycho, bring forth milk and honey, you cant convict us of anything except in your paranoid dreams we dont owe anyone the right to colonize us. but your allies in this crime you are right are blood soaked demons its their power you are living on, and boy when they dont need you or lose their sultaniya, where you gonna run, first from nina s then to peter t, the mountians they will be boiling, it could have been so different, you dont represent jews our bretheren, you represent the worst distillation of Europes barbarity, savage injustice. you have the gall to point at the violence zionism caused and claim that by some weird metric it justifies colonization, you are out of your tiny mind, their crimes do not hide yours.

  • Israeli lawmaker targeting dissidents praises... Joe McCarthy's 'every word'
    • perhaps as in " This day are(all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them." Quran (5:5)

      i am not qualified to determine kosher or trief(?). but then i eat anything gratefully, muslims were one of the bigger consumers of kosher meat in London, prior to the proliferation of halal suppliers, also if i pass my hand over wine it is still kosher, not so for Christians, lucky me.

  • 'This is how they drove us out'--Tiberias's exiles recall the Nakba
    • ah hittin, pz, you should visit it while you still can, if you know 'your' countries history, the horns of hattin, or hittin, Guy and Baldwin thirsty and confused on the plain.

      but then history aint your strong suit clearly, except deceptively selective citation, what was the retribution visited on hittin by wingate, who killed himself after years of doing the empires dirtiest work, strange that zionist freedom fighters would associate with that type of a guy, imperial storm-trooper. strangely i am told its unmarked in israel, we will infect your dreams with madness.

      so see ya at the horns.

  • Letter from Cairo: the liberals, the Brothers, and the poor
    • The main point is of course is that Egypt in particular has been frustrated in its attempts to modernize. the chinese buddhist monk Taixu undertook a thorough modernization of buddhist education, coining a new term for it.
      But china was independent, Egypt ruled by Britain, was not able to pull it off.

      It would take some time to explain the reality of the social and gender relations in Egypt, but suffice it to say the main division is class, Egypt is class ridden to an horrific extent, you remember that scene in the Yackoubian Building, where the guy goes for a job with the police and the key question is what does your father do, ah a janitor the lowest job available, they laugh and dismiss him.
      Egyptians are very politically aware, and were like most 3rd world people a generation ago very socialist and this remains, but the terrible situation of feminists and others caught between huminatarian interventionists and no nothing proscriptive "scholars" is getting worse by the minute.
      Lets just look at the role of "political" islam.

      The muslims are of course well aware that "fundamentalist" islam is always associated with imperial penetration, the wahhabis were exterminated, twice, by the sublime porte and found shelter in the deobandi madrassa's of british india, before being reintroduced to the region, with brit support.

      This merry band of brothers being flown all over, bosnia, iraq etc, by the American government, were deployed in Iraq, not to fight against the occupation but to effect a sectarian war, which they did, didnt they. The utter nonsense about the sunni/shia divide is deeply unconvincing to us, except as gulf propaganda. If clinton was the first black president, bush was the first gulf potentate president so perfectly does reprise the act of the emirs and sultans. Americas fundie allies are terrifyingly brutal, favouring acts of astonishing cruelty, i watched so many beheading videos over the course of the last few years, quite a few from our noble allies in Libya, i think i am ready to be a fully islamophobic anti-arab racist, i can only imagine how it must seem to euro-americans, they are like grinning demons, on youtube you can watch the extraordinarily brave and dignified moutassim ghaddafi dismiss them contemptuously before his murder.

      Political islam is a disaster for us, true, but its dynamics are quite complex, it is obscurantism in the service of empire, in egypt class consciousness is intense, and those fighting for social justice find themselves caught between no nothing regressive 'islamists' and humanitarian interventionists, to repeat myself, Imperial powers just love the fundies, Afghani, Abduh, Rida, Kawakibi et al were responding to the limitations of wahhabism and other revivalist movements by advancing the idea that modern science and other innovations should be made generally available to the arabs through education, and many of the Ulema adopted a kind of simple positivism and faith in science.

      Frankly the islamic parties have little to offer us but Islam in the service of neo-liberalism is a gift to the empire, i have not been impressed by the 'arab spring', for various reasons, suffice it to say that saudi is the regional model favoured by the American regime and we will no doubt conform. The vice president of the FJP, the brothers political party is a copt, rafiq habib, associated with the wassatiya trend, i think its doomed but we may need to go through a period of faux islamism before a socialist trend reasserts itself.

      The arabs are exhausted, resistance is being stymied, and any attempt at independence is being thwarted by total destruction of the states, social space etc, our world is turning in to gaza, the hauteur of outsiders is frankly misplaced, we have many resources that could effect a social transformation, idiot islamism is not one of them however, but not all islamists are stupid or regressive.

      Here mutassim tells the adherents of 'american islam' to go to hell before they murder him.

      and Abdul Bassit recites al balad much favoured by socialistic and humanistic muslims, i first heard humanistic used as pejorative by an israeli rabbi, during a dialogue meeting it non-plussed me and i wrote an article for the FT called 'secular christian muslim' about it, when i used to give a damn and could express myself clearly those days are gone because what is there to say any more, now it will be war. Incidentally it really is worth checking out Smadar Levy about right wing arab jews in Israel, and the impasse we all face now.

      we do realize that our sorrows are about to get even worse, the getting of wisdom is a bloody business, and we are very dumb at the moment.

    • "the Muslim religion has zero tolerance for them" really Xanith? it is a wikipedia bit below and the gulf no less, why not check out the late egyptian scholar Dr. Zaki Badawi, Azharite, about homosexaulity,

      "any “moderate” fundies" ok well if we replace fundies with islamist and leave aside the vagueness of moderate, what about the wassatiya movement. Who like stuff like this : "Extremism is condemned as the Prophet said; I warn you regarding ghuluww/extremism, because communities before you were destroyed due to extremism [Nisa'i] Greater still is the warning against extremism in religion, as Allah warns "la taghlu fi dinikum" / do not be extreme in your religion. [Qur'an 4:171] yeah i know but that is what they saying, why so lafif lakhdar about it all,

      the problem westerners have is that it is hard to understand the utterly unidealistic approach Islam and muslims take to this stuff, we are, well, apalling hypocrites, in a sense, public decency is expected what you do behind closed doors is your business the public stuff will be condemned, its funny that all the anti-gay legislation in the ME is from the napoleonic code, etc. whats the opposite of pink washing, i do not speak a word of arabic anymore but all this whining about the MB strikes me as odd, my family seem resigned to their election but only because as my azharite professor cousin says (i have got boat loads of cousins) "we will be electing america and israel, pharoah and haman"

      rhetoric is mostly what the MB do, and some very good social services the young brothers were very brave facing down the police by the husseiniya in azhar, they marched up and down in front of massed ranks of armed soldiers protecting us we went to pray. also my oldest daughter is gay and hasnt had any problems she and her irish girlfriend were objects of some interest and not a little consternation but again no biggy, laments about children from my 103 year old great aunt, but they survived the village.

      "the Muslim religion has zero tolerance for them"
      what were all those gay white guys in the 20's and 30's, 40's',50's doing in tunis and morroco, just as muslim back in the day.

      and also, but, but... isnt Islamism precisely an egyptian ideology, Abduh the original modern salafi was of course a modernizer who accepted britsh rule and was very co-operative, but the radical kharijite types, note: no egyptians are wahhabis due to saudi's being like our embarrassing uncouth cousins, no really. but in fact that name "Islamic Jihad" the trademark name of combat fundamentalists was first an egyptian group wasnt it?

      finally cant be bothered to look it up but maysani arabs were also quite in to gender bending both sexes, still muslims, there were women who dressed as men and did not observe the restrictions placed on women, some of whom slept with men and some with women. their sheikhs seemed ok with it.

      and actually finally Siraj ud-Dawla, big into islam, entertainingly called Sir Roger Dowley, by the brits absolutely f**ed everything that moved much to british satisfaction as they had come to conquer and were a bit sniffy about pederasty and his many other diversions. the identity gay however is part of european culture, tell me do we always need to plead before a liberal tribunal?

      the gay scene in lower egypt is quite alive one of my other cousin tells, he doesnt approve but its no big deal, why all the hysteria, the main problem is not the muslimness of the MB, its the comprador shit especially as now the populations of the west are going to get a taste of the Austerity structural adjustment stuff etc you can just imagine what we will get. i was in cairo and sharkiyya in 2007, i got to celebrate eid-ul-adhaa the day Saddam was hung, on a cold cairo street we prayed fajr which is early, the sheikh spoke for along time about the hanging, my butt froze on the cold road and that city stars mall is just awful what happened to the bread where is the khubz of 30 years ago.

      Xanith, and so to wiki, and this is the gulf where the creator seized with a need for simplicity gave full vent to his naive period:

      The xanith form an accepted third gender in Oman, a gender-segregated society. The xanith are male homosexuals (some work as prostitutes) whose dressing is male, featuring pastel colors (rather than white, worn by men), but their mannerisms female. Xanith can mingle with women, and they often do at weddings or other formal events. Xaniths have their own households, performing all tasks (both male and female). However, similarly to men in their society, xaniths can marry women, proving their masculinity by consummating the marriage. Should a divorce or death take place, these men can revert to their status as xaniths at the next wedding.[24]

  • Pamela Geller's Islamophobia hits new low with Thanksgiving Day smear of dietary laws
    • yes as to the meat and dairy stuff its entirely the canaanites fault their descendants, in lebanon, still prepare Immos with lamb, the name implies cooked in its mother milk, yuk, i sympathize with the jews so freaked they wouldn't let the merest bit of milk or its derivatives near their fleisch, as usual our barbarism is to blame. strangely turks call them 'hindi' which i guess means indian, and cook them in youghurt, with turks its always yogurt and imperialism.

      geller and pipes appeared as responsible commentators on muslim integration on a radio 4 program, uk, called beyond belief with ernie ray, i did it with a rabbi called conh-shertok years ago, his thesis was that one should not forgive unless the person repented, very sensible but not very spiritual, anyway forgiveness is overated, its not one of my convictions. we traveled back to london on the train together and i protected him from boisterous pathans who just kept talking and talking, the rabbi slept i ministered to my co-religionists. i got loads of priestly fan mail, even some from ahmadiyyas. aslo i recal now that i did some pastoral care when approached on one occassion by an Israeli reservist colonel whose daughters boyfriend was a vlack muslim jazz musician, he was funny turned with a huge encylopedia judaica open at a page about some 17th century egyptian rabbi who he said was his ancestor, he didnt look it and i guess he just wanted to fit in even though we were in london, his daughter had and told him to go to hell, despite my best efforts.

      everyone is everywhere.

  • Rosengarten in Gaza: I was far more afraid of Israel than of Hamas
    • ah yes Latrun wasnt it DBG who sent holocaust survivors to their certain deaths, good for morale, and he has the gall to post here.

      " i am scared for both sides" rosegarten

      Pathological hatred of israelis... er... huh! i think in fairness you should have just used the phrase you were struggling for "arab lover", ah isnt that better.

  • Settlers run over two Palestinian sisters, if Palestinians did this their homes would be demolished by now
    • talking of running over dogs i was reminded of this famous speech from sometime ago, anyway the speaker was an obscure figure outside his little nation whose wildly impracticable aspirations to overthrow his comprador government need not detain us, stupid old guy in a tarboush.

      "They have taken a law to the Parliament according to which first of all we are to accede to the Vienna Convention, and secondly we have to add a provision that all American military advisers, together with their families, technical and administrative officials, and servants - in short, anyone in any way connected to them - are to enjoy legal immunity with respect to any crime they may commit in Iran! If some American's servant, some American's cook, assassinates your marja'-i taqlid in the middle of the bazaar, or runs over him, the Iranian police do not have the right to apprehend him! Iranian courts do not have the right to judge him! The dossier must be sent to America so that our masters there can decide what is to be done!

      The previous government approved this measure without telling anyone, and now the present government just recently introduced a bill in the Senate and settled the whole matter in a single session without breathing a word to anyone. A few days ago, the bill was taken to the lower house of the Parliament and there were discussions, with a few deputies voicing their opposition, but the bill was passed anyhow. They passed it without any shame, and the government shamelessly defended this scandalous measure. They have reduced the Iranian people to a level lower than that of an American dog. If someone runs over a dog belonging to an American, he will be prosecuted. Even if the Shah himself were to run over a dog belonging to an American, he would be prosecuted. But if an American cook runs over the Shah, or the marja' of Iran, or the highest official, no one will have the right to object.

      Why? "

      Ayatollah R. Khomeini October 26 1964, revolutions are not made in a day, of course some believe that there are worse things than being Americas slaves.
      rest at link.

  • WASP society is disintegrating
    • "the meritocracy came in"

      How does a "meritocracy" end up disproportionately favouring a small sub-set of the general population, the "social advances" of the 60's and 70's disproportionately favoured middle class white women and others, look at the data, White Anglo Saxon Protestants used to have a work ethic you know, unlike all those feckless ethnicities, have things really changed, you don't think meritocracy is perhaps a touch spurious and merely an ideological artifact?

  • Annie's awakenings
  • Comments Policy
    • " Your laptop in its entirety was indisputably yours." not according to the guy who stole it, surely you are not taking sides, wheres your balance man!

      He only thought it was his, on the same basis that we all think our lappies are ours, in his case though, its somehow sinister, surprised you dont you see that.

    • Sumud

      هل أنت العربي


    • "their sympathy for both sides who invariably whitewash (no pun intended) the crimes of the more powerful faction."

      no worries Donald they going to get blackwashed by and by.

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