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Moses and Mohammed are not equivalent figures in Jewish and Islamic faiths

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Not a day goes by without deception and propaganda from Jeffrey Goldberg. From his latest post.

One such e-mailer asked me the following: “How would you feel if a Muslim made a movie saying that Moses was a pedophile?” I wouldn’t care. My faith is strong enough not to be imperiled by idiotic trolling. And my faith doesn’t allow me to hurt a person because another person has offended my sensibilities.

Whatever one’s opinion is of Muslim sensitivity to negative portrayals of Mohammed, there is no equivalent religious figure in the Jewish religion. An honest person getting Goldberg’s email (if they would respond at all) would say the Jewish relationship to Moses is quite different than the Muslim relationship to Mohammed. But Goldberg disingenuously accepts the analogy and sanctimoniously lectures his Muslim readers about his Jewish “faith.”

Lets talk about something Goldberg cares about more than Moses. As an example, I think it would be fair to say that he believes Walt and Mearsheimer “offended my sensibilities.” I don’t think he would do them physical harm, but I wonder would his “faith” stop him from hurting them in other ways? I suspect if he could snap his fingers and get them fired from their universities they would be gone pretty fast.

Goldberg presents himself as measured and reasonable, but I bet even Spencer Ackerman knows better now. From Goldberg’s previous post

I found this note in my in-box earlier this week, from a certain French television network: “Invitation to participate in the english debate to discuss Israel’s influence on American vis-a-vis Iran.” The text that followed read, in part, “We would love to have your insights on how the Israeli lobby influences American Foreign policy. I look forward to hearing from you.” I shared this e-mail with Spencer Ackerman, who suggested that I accept the invitation to go on the show and that I play it absolutely straight, except that I should participate in the debate while wearing clay horns glued to my forehead.

So a silly joke from Ackerman became propaganda material for Goldberg. I wonder how Ackerman feels about having it publicized that he compared the belief that the Israeli lobby influences American foreign policy(are there really people left who dispute this?) to believing Jews have horns. But Goldberg leaped at the opportunity to have Ackerman say it for him. For those who might have missed his blog post he tweeted it as well.

Advice from @attackerman on how to debate “Israeli lobby” influence on American politics…

Goldberg would like nothing better than to recruit Ackerman to his camp. But a fanatic who lives in a glass house should not throw stones.

Yakov Hirsch

Yakov Hirsch is a professional poker player and a writer. His twitter handle is @Yakovhirsch and his articles are posted at yakovhirsch.com.

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184 Responses

  1. Krauss on September 14, 2012, 12:18 pm

    Ackerman is already in his camp since long ago, along with the other ‘liberal’ Zionists/pro-Apartheid folks.

    Also, why is so much time spent discussing the meanderings of a mere Israeli lobbyist and former Israeli prison guard like Goldberg?

    He should be mocked and laughed at, for he is pathetic, but all this space to such a small man? C’mon Yakov, you can do better than this.

  2. Mooser on September 14, 2012, 12:21 pm

    I agree. There is no mention of large, palmate-antlered ungulates in the Koran. Gazelles, maybe, and you can’t proscribe pork with out mentioning the pig, and donkeys might be mentioned, and horses, being prominent forms of transport back then.

  3. tokyobk on September 14, 2012, 1:25 pm

    Its true that none of the Jewish prophets are taken, like the Islamic prophet to be “al-insan al-kamil;” flawless and perfected.

    In fact they all have noted flaws no matter how great and important. (I like this about Judaism).

    The pedophile thing is stupid. All men of means at that time slept with girls barely into pubescence and I think those Americans looking down on the Muslim world should check the legal ages in the various United States. With parental consent they dip troublingly low in a few.

    That said, Monty Python did some pretty irreverent stuff with Christianity and Judaism and this very NSFW image from The Onion makes the good point that we shouldn’t hold adherents of any faith to lower standers of expected behavior whatever they think of their faith’s rules of decorum.

    (If you are not easily offended and want to see it Google: Ganesh Christ Onion)

    • PeaceThroughJustice on September 14, 2012, 3:45 pm

      “The pedophile thing is stupid.”

      Whew. I felt sure BK was going to find a way to insinuate that it was historically accurate.

      Oh, wait …

      • tokyobk on September 14, 2012, 6:13 pm

        Yes, it is historically accurate that Aisha was young. But at the time puberty was more important than age. And, she was one of many wives, none as young. So, yes I did insinuate that Mohammad like other men of all faiths took a young wife as being true, because it is, and I do think calling him a pedophile is stupid, because it is. You will have to find some other way to misread my comment.

      • RoHa on September 15, 2012, 1:52 am

        “Yes, it is historically accurate that Aisha was young.”

        The historical question is, “How young?”

        A number of Muslim scholars (mostly Ahmediyya, I think) present strong arguments that she was nineteen. They certainly convince me.

        Tradition says that she was nine. If tradition is correct, it was paedophila, and saying “It was the custom of the time” does not excuse it.

      • Blake on September 15, 2012, 5:27 am

        It was marital law thousands of years ago first made up under Jewish law. The original rule came from the Hebrews as a way of continuing their culture. The actual rule of law was, that after 10 years of marriage you were not able to produce a child it was your responsibility to marry someone else and have a child with them while also remaining married to your first wife.

      • Elisabeth on September 15, 2012, 9:50 am

        Who says he slept with her if she was nine?

        It is a while ago and I don’t remember the country but a Dutch man who had worked in Afrika for a long time once talked of a conversation he had had with someone who had married the daughter of his best friend (I think he had other wives as well). She was really young, 8 or 9, so the Dutch guy was shocked and in a roundabout way started to inquire about the physical part of the relationship. They talked around for a while, not getting each other’s point, until his partner suddenly understood what he was asking about and now HE was shocked: “You don’t believe I sleep with her, do you?! She is even to young to have breasts!!”
        I think we do not know what marriage to a child meant in Mohammeds time and place. It could be a way to secure a safe home for a beloved child with all kinds of unspoken rules of behavior, such as waiting with untercourse until the child was sexually mature.

        I still don’t like it, but we just don’t know what the deal was in those times.

      • piotr on September 15, 2012, 1:10 pm

        “what marriage to a child meant”

        It is clear that it was a political alliance and the father of Aisha, Abu Bakr, became Muhammad’s successor, the first Caliph. He was an important clan leader and personal friend of Muhammad, I guess his stature was further elevated by the marriage.

      • RoHa on September 15, 2012, 11:19 pm

        Good point, Elizabeth.

    • AM on September 14, 2012, 4:15 pm

      I think Insan al Kamil is something that isn’t even in the Quran; its concepts and ideas that no doubt existed before, and were re used to justify things in the Quran. Just FYI Its been a while since I’ve dived into the Quran, but this sounds very hadith-ish.

      That said – even aside the point of the basic concept of being ‘flawless and perfected’, there is nothing in the Quran that shows the other messengers/prophets (atleast moses and Jesus…been a couple of years since i’ve done serious Quranic reading) to be flawed.

      The example that comes to mind actually goes to Moses. With Moses, the quran is very clear in drawing a distinction between the actions of Bene-Isra’il (Children of Isreal) and Moses. Moses comes off just as ‘perfect’ and ‘flawless’ in that regard.

      • tokyobk on September 14, 2012, 6:10 pm

        Yes, Islam reveres the prophets as flawless. Judaism does not.

      • Elisabeth on September 15, 2012, 10:04 am

        I think you are talking of King David mostly. The story of his dealings and what Nathan has to say about that is amazing of course. And it is amazing that it wasn’t scrapped from the Bible at some point, as the memory of King David’s rule got idealized more and more. Still, other prophets such as Samuel, Nathan himself and others are depicted as pretty flawless. I also think there would be many Jews with hurt feelings if King David was portrayed in a movie as a backhanded, cynical opportunist and murderer, warming himself to a young girl in his old age, while locking up his discarded wives for life, even though the Bible itself describes it all.

      • kapok on September 15, 2012, 10:04 am

        I find myself in the embarrassing position of agreeing w/tokybk. It’s silly to judge the past by our own standards. Styles change. Look at some of those old pictures the monks painted of knights storming castles. Not a drop of blood to be seen. But we all know what went on.

      • AM on September 15, 2012, 1:15 pm

        I misunderstood then, I thought that you meant only Mohammed was viewed as such.

        Even if they appear flawless, I don’t know if that is necessarily the message the Quran is pushing. Unlike the Bible, the Quran doesn’t engage in a story for the sake of narrative; even though stories of ‘cain and able’ can be found in both, the Quran immediately goes towards the position of ‘what is the lesson to be learned’ — that is why many colorful narratives in that story, for example, don’t exist at all, resulting in a story that is a fraction of the length of what the Bible contains. Even the names of these two are not given.
        This is a common theme over and over – so I don’t know if it is truly a scenario of being immaculate, but I know I completely go against the grain =)

        Anyways we both seem to agree that its awkward for a Muslim (with some ‘basic’ understanding of the religion…but lets look at most religious people :p) should try to make an analogy like that….

      • Xpat on September 15, 2012, 6:02 pm

        Every character in the Hebrew Bible makes mistakes and has regrets – God included.
        Sure. Moses is not perfect in all regards but he is still characterized as uniquely perfect in emblematic ways.
        Moses was the most humble of all men (Numbers 12:13). The Bible’s wording makes this more than just a figure of speech.
        Moses is the most perfect prophet of God – none have, or will, know God more closely than him (Exodus 33:11).
        And so on in post-Biblical rabbinic tradition.
        In the face of such perfection, to say that Moses was a pedophile, or some similar flaw, would be deeply insulting, not to mention, preposterous to those who revere Biblical figures.

    • eljay on September 15, 2012, 9:02 am

      >> (If you are not easily offended and want to see it Google: Ganesh Christ Onion)

      Well done, Onion!

      • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 4:59 pm

        eljay says: ‘Well done, Onion!’

        Fits your agenda, doesn’t it? Now, go and devote yourself to getting it into Hindi and printed in Mysore. Tell me how it plays out.

      • eljay on September 16, 2012, 9:00 am

        >> Fits your agenda, doesn’t it?

        I don’t believe that provocativeness is a justifiable excuse for violence, death and destruction. Wow, what a horrible agenda.

      • ColinWright on September 17, 2012, 1:54 am

        eljay says: “>> Fits your agenda, doesn’t it?

        I don’t believe that provocativeness is a justifiable excuse for violence, death and destruction. Wow, what a horrible agenda.”

        Conversely, I don’t think the resulting violence, death, and destruction does much to justify the provocation.

      • eljay on September 17, 2012, 7:35 am

        >> Conversely, I don’t think the resulting violence, death, and destruction does much to justify the provocation.

        Neither would a lack of violence, death and destruction.

    • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 4:56 pm

      tokyobk says: “…The pedophile thing is stupid. All men of means at that time slept with girls barely into pubescence and I think those Americans looking down on the Muslim world should check the legal ages in the various United States. With parental consent they dip troublingly low in a few…”

      It can be illuminating to fish around in those dates of birth for various nineteenth century figures and their parents.

      I recall one: ‘born 1842…mother…born 1827…

      but that means…’

      Nope. The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there. It’s absurd to get excited about when Mohammed supposedly married Ayisha and what he may or may not have done when he did…if he even frigging lived at all as described. Now, if you can find him doing it in Springfield in 2012, let me know.

      Of course, if your goal is to just hate Islam, have at it. I’m sure you will, anyway.

  4. mthunlan on September 14, 2012, 1:34 pm

    Mondoweiss gets by the Muslim rioters the fans they deserve!

  5. PeaceThroughJustice on September 14, 2012, 2:20 pm

    After just two posts, Mr. Hirsch has gone into my must-read list.

  6. PeaceThroughJustice on September 14, 2012, 2:54 pm

    BTW, two points about the so-called “riots” that will never be brought up by a Goldberg e-mailer: First, it has to be remembered that in this case as in the case of the cartoons they are responses to intentional insults. Not cultural differences, but blatant and repeated attempts to bait and provoke. Even those backward Arabs are perfectly capable of understanding this. Secondly, they are taking place in a context of a war against Muslims in which somewhere between 300,000 and a million have recently been killed. To me at least it seems rather obvious that this is how they have to understood, and the film (or the cartoons, or the Koran burnings, etc.) is just the trigger.

    • philweiss on September 14, 2012, 2:58 pm

      good point, and one that steve walt makes, though i think his count was 200,000

    • ColinWright on September 14, 2012, 3:14 pm

      Yeah. As so often, I think it’s fair to say that Muslims are taking these gestures in the spirit in which they were intended.

      • ColinWright on September 14, 2012, 3:18 pm

        …and indeed, if one looks at the Muslim response to relatively sincerely-intended criticism of how Islam treats women, etc, it tends to be fairly rational.

        That isn’t to say they go ‘OMG, you’re right — we’ll change immediately!’

        But they don’t flip. The objection here isn’t to criticism per se — but to simple, unadorned insult. We all respond that way individually — why should Muslims be different?

      • marc b. on September 15, 2012, 5:07 pm

        The objection here isn’t to criticism per se — but to simple, unadorned insult.

        precisely. i don’t put any stock at all in the ‘free speech’ argument in these cases, including the danish cartoon provacation. and the hypocracy is just overwhelming. ‘arabs’ burn an american flag. so what’s the reaction? they are expressing ‘western’ liberal values, or the act is an expression of frothing, irrational, murderous hatred?

    • eljay on September 14, 2012, 3:44 pm

      >> First, it has to be remembered that in this case as in the case of the cartoons they are responses to intentional insults. Not cultural differences, but blatant and repeated attempts to bait and provoke. Even those backward Arabs are perfectly capable of understanding this.

      Apparently they’re not capable enough, because they riot, destroy, burn and kill. Over cartoons and a lame, cheap-ass movie.

      >> Secondly, they are taking place in a context of a war against Muslims in which somewhere between 300,000 and a million have recently been killed.

      IMO, the “war” is not against a specific “race” or “religion”, but against the inhabitants of the Middle East, a region considered vital (thanks to oil and natural gas) to American interests. If the region were populated by Klingons, it would be a “war” against Klingons and/or whatever faith they happen to subscribe to.

      • annie on September 14, 2012, 3:52 pm

        well stated eljay

      • eljay on September 14, 2012, 4:01 pm

        >> well stated eljay

        Thanks, Annie. :-)

      • Woody Tanaka on September 14, 2012, 4:03 pm

        “Over cartoons and a lame, cheap-ass movie.”

        No, over an insult to Mohammad which, in their culture, is a grave thing. We might not agree with it, but we hide our eyes to reality at our peril.

      • eljay on September 15, 2012, 9:27 am

        >> No, over an insult to Mohammad which, in their culture, is a grave thing. We might not agree with it, but we hide our eyes to reality at our peril.

        I understand your point, and yet I refuse to accept that it’s OK for anyone to kill or hurt another person or to engage in wanton destruction of property simply because a man – a human being who died centuries ago – was disrespected.

        No person or concept should ever be so “sacred” as to justify violence, death and/or destruction.

      • The Hasbara Buster on September 15, 2012, 2:19 pm

        I refuse to accept that it’s OK for anyone to kill or hurt another person or to engage in wanton destruction of property simply because a man – a human being who died centuries ago – was disrespected.

        Myself, I refuse to see any difference between disrespecting Mohammed and disrespecting the memory of the Shoah.

        When a Birmingham dissident Jew attended Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial conference, he was shunned from the Jewish community, his house was pelted with thousands of eggs, his car was destroyed, etc. This didn’t happen in an impoverished society; it happened in a city of very well-to-do Jews. All of which Goldberg had nothing to say about.

        Goldberg’s message is, essentially, that there are acceptable and unacceptable irrational behaviors. The acceptable one is the Jews’.

      • Mondowise on September 15, 2012, 6:54 pm

        “…I refuse to accept that it’s OK for anyone to kill or hurt another person…”

        you fail to see your own contradiction: it was the film makers who instigated and delivered the initial harm…and THAT, too, is NOT OK. it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand how that harmed so many around the world, this isn’t about “you”….it’s about all of us.

      • eljay on September 16, 2012, 3:49 pm

        >> When a Birmingham dissident Jew attended Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial conference, he was shunned from the Jewish community, his house was pelted with thousands of eggs, his car was destroyed, etc.

        Wow. What shameful behaviour by members of the Jewish community.

        :-(

      • hophmi on September 16, 2012, 5:23 pm

        Source?

        Again, your comparison is nonsense. No one attacked Muslim embassies or killed Muslim diplomats after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust.

        Stop apologizing for extremism.

      • annie on September 16, 2012, 9:59 pm

        hophmi,i think most analysis now agree the motivation for the assassination of stevens was not related to the film which was used as a diversion to carry out the execution.

      • The Hasbara Buster on September 17, 2012, 1:19 pm

        Hophmi said:

        Source?

        Again, your comparison is nonsense. No one attacked Muslim embassies or killed Muslim diplomats after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust.

        Stop apologizing for extremism.

        I was responding to Goldberg’s sanctimonious statement that “my faith doesn’t allow me to hurt a person because another person has offended my sensibilities.”

        Goldberg’s faith is the Jewish faith and British Jews attacked a dissident rabbi because Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and the rabbi attended that conference. From AP:

        When Cohen returned from Iran, he needed police protection. His house was barraged by hundreds of eggs, his window smashed by a brick and a billiard ball and he continues to be pelted with pebbles, eggs and insults in the street, he said.

        Last week, two tires on his Volvo were slashed, he said, and his synagogue has closed its doors to him.

        Essentially, this rabbi was attacked for blasphemy. And those who attacked him are incredibly well-to-do Jews who have a lot to lose if they’re caught, unlike the impoverished Muslims who demonstrate when their faith is intentionally ridiculed in the West.

      • Keith on September 14, 2012, 5:54 pm

        ELJAY- “IMO, the “war” is not against a specific “race” or “religion”, but against the inhabitants of the Middle East….”

        Yes, but the inhabitants of the Middle East are by and large Muslims, therefore, the imperial demonization process finds Islamophobia a useful tool, hence, the “Clash of Civilizations” meme. Inciting people to riot isn’t all that difficult for those with resources, and the pictures make a dandy propaganda tool. And is it pure coincidence that we have the September release of “Argo,” a docudrama depicting the escape of six US diplomats from Iran following the November 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran? Terrified and helpless Americans hiding from and escaping from crazed Muslim extremists. Then there are the war games in the Persian Gulf scheduled for September. Have they started? We seem to be building to a crescendo. October surprise, perhaps?

      • eljay on September 15, 2012, 9:46 am

        >> Yes, but the inhabitants of the Middle East are by and large Muslims, therefore, the imperial demonization process finds Islamophobia a useful tool, hence, the “Clash of Civilizations” meme.

        I agree with your points about the demonization process and the meme, which appear to reinforce rather than contradict my point.

      • kapok on September 15, 2012, 10:23 am

        You have to respect people who riot in the street, whatever it is they cry for. Rioting in the street can be dangerous to your health and not to be sneered at.

      • eljay on September 15, 2012, 6:30 pm

        >> You have to respect people who riot in the street …

        I completely respect people protesting in the street. Rioting – because the term suggests, to me, wanton violence and destruction – not so much.

      • Mondowise on September 14, 2012, 8:03 pm

        “Apparently they’re not capable enough, because they riot, destroy, burn and kill. Over cartoons and a lame, cheap-ass movie.”

        that’s not fair. first: extremists’ love for their prophet/religion is not what’s misguided in any religion, their hearts are in the right place. love has no boundaries whether highly educated or ‘backward’ folk. however, the violence of their reactions is criminal, it’s inexcusable and unacceptable. second: ‘cartoons and cheap-ass movie’? very disrespectful of you. maybe from your un-insightful perspective they are. but you cannot judge or dictate what is sacred to another or how sacred it should be or not, everyone feels that for themselves. those involved in the film and cartoons knowingly intended to provoke violence which makes them each a willful act of extreme endangerment and a security threat for humanity everywhere, not to mention a profound destruction of peace worldwide and a wasting of hard earned efforts as well as the resources poured out and the loss of thousands of lives for the last decade. that is the reality, yet you minimize the situation to ‘cartoons and a lame, cheap-ass movie’. that is a sad and scary denial of the reality, whether any of us agree with the reality or not doesn’t matter, it’s still the reality we must deal with in this world.

        i have a doctorate degree, does that make me a better person than a ‘backward’ villager? nope, not one iota! i also have american diplomats in my immediate family working in the ME who are now extremely endangered because of this ‘lame, cheap-ass’ movie. i am beyond terrified for their safety and absolutely outraged at everyone involved: those who made the film to intentionally provoke this violence and those who intentionally reacted with murder and may still react with more of the same violence…they’re all criminally responsible for what they’ve chosen to do. they could have all chosen peace, but they didn’t … and much harm has resulted. it’s not over yet, it’s still spreading. people need to take responsibility for their choices and learn to respect differences.

        reality check: there are hornet nests out there, like it/agree with it or not, they exist. simple wisdom: don’t disturb a hornet nest, innocents get killed.

        it’s NOT freedom of speech when it involves knowingly eliciting violence, it is endangerment…and it is criminal. americans can’t say one word of criticism about izrael without US legislation being slammed against us which annihilates our freedom of speech, but americans can put out a hate-mongering film that gets innocents killed and the US defends that? sorry for venting all in this reply, but i’m sick and tired of all the disrespect, ignorance, intolerance, violence etc. etc… i’m just disgusted, appalled and downright outraged at all of it. i hope to God my family is safe. when it gets personal, it’s no longer a ‘lame, cheap-ass movie’, it’s an unacceptable and inexcusable criminal reality, the same as murder

      • eljay on September 15, 2012, 10:02 am

        >> Mondowise @ September 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm

        I cannot accept that the provocativeness of a cartoon or a movie – cheap-ass or otherwise – can or should ever be used to justify violence, destruction and death.

      • American on September 15, 2012, 2:33 pm

        “I cannot accept that the provocativeness of a cartoon or a movie – cheap-ass or otherwise – can or should ever be used to justify violence, destruction and death.”..eljay

        Whether you accept it or not —-you don’t appear to be able to get it thru your head –as evidenced by your suggested ‘lecture’ to Islam….that every country and religion has some people EXACTLY LIKE the Islamist who rioted.
        If you don’t believe that just take a gander at what their twins in other countries and religions are saying….”kill the ragheads, bomb the Godless Muslims’, etc.ect..
        If you want to continue belaboring this point you should make it clear you are referring to a sub group of Muslims not the entire religion.

      • eljay on September 15, 2012, 3:38 pm

        >> … you don’t appear to be able to get it thru your head … that every country and religion has some people EXACTLY LIKE the Islamist who rioted.

        You don’t appear to be able to get it through your head that I’m not disputing the fact that every country and religion has fanatics / extremists / radicals. So what? It still doesn’t make provocativeness a justifiable excuse for violence, death and destruction.

        >> … you should make it clear you are referring to a sub group of Muslims not the entire religion.

        I have never stated or implied that all Muslims are violent. And I have made it quite clear that I am referring to a sub-group of Muslims not the entire religion.

      • Mondowise on September 15, 2012, 6:23 pm

        eljay, i agree…this isn’t about the extremists, everybody know their reactions cannot be tolerated. nothing justifies the violence, destruction and death…nothing ever will! you say: “I cannot accept that the provocativeness of a cartoon or a movie … can or should ever be used to justify violence, destruction and death.” but it was “used to justify violence & destruction”…both by the film makers who knew very well in advance it would elicit violence and destruction…and still they went ahead with releasing it, thus ‘using’ it for that very thing: violence and destruction. the extremists used it to justify the same plus death too. and innocent people everywhere got used for the ego-tripping both sides stubbornly insisted on, and it was the innocent ones who lost their lives.

        given that there is no justification EVER for such violence, the real questions are: how tolerant are any of us towards the vast majority of muslims who were indeed seriously hurt and anger (rightfully and understandably so), but who also condemned the violence and did not react violently themselves? how much can we embrace what it means to co-exist with other religions or other people who feel things differently than we do? how willing are we to respect those differences and/or learn from them? alternatively we may ask: how egotistical, oppressive and arrogant will we insist on being which only harms others? how willing are we to take responsibility for ourselves to choose peace and NOT intentionally provoke the sleeping grizzly?

      • American on September 15, 2012, 11:00 am

        eljay says:

        Apparently they’re not capable enough, because they riot, destroy, burn and kill. Over cartoons and a lame, cheap-ass movie.”>>>>>

        Consider a few things…..remember the many times Code Pink women have been physically attacked and man handled by AIPAC members just for holding up a sign?
        I can easily see those kinds becoming a shrieking violent mob if they weren’t restrained. You don’t remember a group of right wingers physically throwing a disabled man to the ground?….dont remember them also attacking a woman and holding her down by stepping on her neck?
        I wouldnt’ get all high and mighty over the Islam radicals…we have the same kinds here that only (and sometimes barely) restrain themselves cause they know a horde of police would show up with tasers and tear gas.

      • eljay on September 15, 2012, 1:54 pm

        >> I wouldnt’ get all high and mighty over the Islam radicals…we have the same kinds here …

        IMO, neither kind of radical has any right to hurt, kill or destroy merely because they are offended by something. I don’t see anything “high and mighty” about that.

      • MHughes976 on September 16, 2012, 11:25 am

        The intention to taunt, with no intention to argue, and into the bargain to influence an election by creating a wave of anger, is horrible. And there’s good, rather obvious, reason to see that intention in the shadowy authors of this film. I can see how many in the ME would see this all this as part of a Western conspiracy to destroy the foundations of their societies. But eljay is still correct. There isn’t a right to respond to taunts with violence. Where there are taunting and foolish words the urgent need is to bring reason into the discussion. Violence pushes reason further away.
        I believe there was a demonstration by about 80 Muslims at the American Embassy in London a couple of days ago. 80 out of masses of people in London who seem not to be that intensely violent-minded.

      • Mooser on September 18, 2012, 12:20 am

        “we have the same kinds here that only (and sometimes barely) restrain themselves cause they know a horde of police would show up with tasers and tear gas.”

        And when they don’t show up…well we saw what happened in Tel Aviv, wasn’t it. So I guess that lynching, and other events enumerated at the time, have already been swept under the rug?
        Well, just read a little further, and you’ll see, they have.

      • American on September 15, 2012, 11:24 am

        IMO, the “war” is not against a specific “race” or “religion”, but against the inhabitants of the Middle East, a region considered vital (thanks to oil and natural gas) to American interests. If the region were populated by Klingons, it would be a “war” against Klingons and/or whatever faith they happen to subscribe to”..eljay

        Hmm…are you daft? If I beat the crap out of you just because you’re sitting on a oil well would you shrug it off as not really meant to harm you? Let’s not even mention that for a decade a lot of what everything the Arabs hear is the US has to democratize the ‘backward’ Muslims, in addition to the things like this film and the constant demonizing of Islam by the you know whos. You think the Arab street doesn’t hear this stuff? They don’t need their leaders ‘to radicalize them’…the US gives the radicals plenty of help in radicalizing the Muslims.

        http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/

        Why Americans don’t understand the Middle East
        Posted By Stephen M. Walt

        “”In short, Operation Cast Lead never happened, Lebanon wasn’t invaded in 1982 or bombed relentlessly for a month in 2006, the United States has never turned a blind eye towards repeated human rights violations by every single one of its Middle Eastern allies, drones either don’t exist or never killed an innocent victim, the occupation of Iraq in 2003 was just a little misunderstanding, and the Palestinians ought to be grateful to us for what they’ve been left after forty-plus years of occupation. To say this in no way absolves governments in the region for responsibility for many of their current difficulties, but Americans do themselves no favors by ignoring our own contribution to the region’s ills.

      • tree on September 16, 2012, 10:01 pm

        eljay, your response here…

        >>” First, it has to be remembered that in this case as in the case of the cartoons they are responses to intentional insults. Not cultural differences, but blatant and repeated attempts to bait and provoke. Even those backward Arabs are perfectly capable of understanding this.”

        Apparently they’re not capable enough, because they riot, destroy, burn and kill. Over cartoons and a lame, cheap-ass movie.

        Sounds like you are condemning ALL Arabs when the numbers who violently protested are small. This is why others here have felt that your comments have been out of line.

        And saying that “they” rioted because of a “lame, cheap-ass movie” is equivalent to saying that some blacks in Los Angeles rioted over the LA police ruffing up an ex-con DUI who attempted to outrun an arrest. Fifty three people died in the LA riots.

      • eljay on September 17, 2012, 7:26 am

        >> Sounds like you are condemning ALL Arabs when the numbers who violently protested are small.

        Fair enough, and perhaps I should have said “Apparently some of them are not capable enough … “. However, I did specifically make reference the people who “riot, destroy, burn and kill” which, clearly, is not all Arabs.

        >> And saying that “they” rioted because of a “lame, cheap-ass movie” is equivalent to saying that some blacks in Los Angeles rioted over the LA police ruffing up an ex-con DUI who attempted to outrun an arrest. Fifty three people died in the LA riots.

        IMO, it’s not at all equivalent. Not that I approve of them, but the L.A. riots – which happend in L.A. – were a response to the vicious assault of a black Los Angeles man by white Los Angeles cops.

        In contrast, some Arabs/Muslims in 20+ countries around the world are engaging in destruction, violence and murder because some guy in the U.S. made a stupid, offensive movie.

        A more equivalent scenario would be:
        – an Iranian film-maker releases a stupid movie in which the American flag is desecrated and revered American figures are portrayed as pedophiles and blood-thirsty war-mongers; and, in response,
        – some Americans in countries around the world attack Iranian consulates, kill Iranian bureaucrats and engage in rampages of wanton destruction.

        Because the American flag is a sacred symbol to many Americans, and because, as we all know, America – and the freedom and justice that it stands for – are under attack in the world today, some folks might consider the actions of these Americans justifiable.

        I wouldn’t.

    • Blake on September 15, 2012, 5:23 am

      Indeed, even Clinton understood that.

      Clinton: “This video is disgusting and reprehensible”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dku-J8VBNWs

    • kapok on September 15, 2012, 10:12 am

      There is no war against Muslims. Only bad Muslims; ie, red/green ones.

  7. ColinWright on September 14, 2012, 3:05 pm

    I think the central point is that the prescriptions of Islam remain central to many or most Muslims — the faith is a major component of their identity. This isn’t very surprising, since if one reads the Qur’an, one will see that it all but lays out a structure for society, and so –not very surprisingly — societies in Muslim countries are profoundly Islamic.

    Moreover, Islam is indeed a faith that has indeed been under concerted attack. The response of the Muslim ‘street’ was eminently predictable — and to deliberately inflame it was an act of gross provocation.

    Consider a similar — if smaller — group. Ultra-orthodox Jews. Well, their response to anything that inflames their religious sensibilities is notorious. Go ahead — if you’re a girl, flounce through wherever in a miniskirt and tell me how it goes.

    One doesn’t have to agree with the outlook behind the reaction. One certainly doesn’t need to agree that those adhering to such faiths have any right to impose their strictures on you. But to go ahead and deliberately bait them, knowing what the response will be, is simply and objectively evil. It is seeking to create hatred and suffering. It’s an example of precisely the kind of behavior we can definitely do without if we are ever to make this world any better, or at least keep it from getting worse.

    One can do things that may be legal — but that doesn’t make them right.

    • piotr on September 14, 2012, 4:59 pm

      For daring males in Jerusalem, simply try to park your car on the Sabbath day in some neighborhoods. If you are suicidal, try to dress in a dishdasha and make some passes at girls.

      One could also try to stage street theatre following this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFJJ1zFBWgY

      • annie on September 15, 2012, 1:10 am

        fantastic video piotr!

    • aiman on September 14, 2012, 9:44 pm

      “I think the central point is that the prescriptions of Islam remain central to many or most Muslims — the faith is a major component of their identity. This isn’t very surprising, since if one reads the Qur’an, one will see that it all but lays out a structure for society, and so –not very surprisingly — societies in Muslim countries are profoundly Islamic.”

      The Qur’an actually has nothing to say about the “structure for society”. I blame the mid-20th century theorists for all this confusion. Societies in Muslim countries are not “profoundly Islamic”, according to a major sociology study they experience feelings of alienation and loss deriving from socioeconomic circumstances. Is it not curious that the Libyan Islamists are fundamentally fighting for their tribes? Even the meaning of the Qur’an, the sanctioning of cruelties and virtues, is produced within this context. Hitchens et al. mislead Western public understanding by claiming in their lousy rhetoric that the Muslims are different, when in fact reinterpretations of the Qur’an have always been going on. Dictators of Saudi Arabia et al. do not prohibit Muslim progress because it is against Islam but because education would mean that there would be a bottom-up (not revolutionary, which has done damage to theology) challenge to their rule from a wide cross-section of society. There is no better place to visit to encounter blasphemy against Islam than Saudi Arabia, whose translations of the Qur’an are self-serving and wildly incorrect. All this ignorance has roused the worst elements, like the hypermasculine Salafist thugs. The number one problem facing Muslim emancipation is tribalism, very similar to Zionism.

      • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 3:33 am

        aiman says: “…The Qur’an actually has nothing to say about the “structure for society”. ..”

        Have you read the Qur’an? I have, and that’s what struck me. The Qur’an spends a great deal of time prescribing how people should treat each other. If that isn’t ‘the structure of society,’ what is?

      • aiman on September 16, 2012, 5:20 am

        Yes, I’ve read over a dozen translations of the Qur’an in addition to several Bible translations and Taoist literature. The term “structure for society” has a coercive and negative connotation. The language of the Qur’an is very similar to that of the Bible.

        The mid-20th century theorists were obsessed with that idea (“structure for society”) and comes across in their translations. How people should treat each other is what all scriptures including the Tao Te Ching enjoin, not just the Qur’an, that’s not structure but ethical education.

        A lot of these translations are recent following the formation of the nation state and colonialism. Personally my favourite English translation is Leopald Weiss aka Muhammad Asad’s The Message of the Qur’an which is based on Muhammad Abduh’s translation and is banned in Saudi Arabia for its ethical and rationalist interpretation. I disagree with some of Asad’s ideas but he was generally a great humanist scholar. I can easily imagine these Salafist rioting thugs burning copies of this translation as they did previously. They have been blaspheming against the message of the Qur’an all along while killing and spreading hatred and yet claim to be offended over a silly video.

  8. radii on September 14, 2012, 3:10 pm

    At some point world leaders need to make a big statement to the Islamic world – time to grow up … something like this:

    “Leaders of predominately Muslim countries need to explain to their populations – many of which are uneducated or under-educated – that it is a big grown-up world out there and that world now comes to us through the internet and that from time-to-time offensive views will be presented, but that does not mean there needs to be a reaction. If something you see or hear or read offends your religious sensibilities, you can turn the internet off, or click onto to something else.

    “The leaders of Muslim countries need to tell their people, worry about your own life, your own family, your own community and if you wish to be a good Muslim, do so at home, locally and stop worrying about world affairs. Too many regular people in the Muslim world are getting manipulated by political factions and drawn into conflicts and activities which serve the agendas of these political movements and do nothing to honor Islam.

    “Islam is a relatively young religion as compared to the other major monotheistic faiths and many religious scholars think it is going through its own Reformation period and the conflict between modernity and harshly conservative edicts within the Koran are an example of this struggle. Progress can’t be stopped, so Islamic countries and those who follow Islam must adjust to progress. As the other Abrahamic traditions, Judaism and Christianity, have grown to understand – you can believe just as strongly in your faith and be true to your faith while embracing new knowledge, new technology, cultural interaction and modern ways.

    “If Islamic leaders wish to look backwards instead of forward, than they should look back to the 8th and 9th centuries when scholarship and art and were valued, not the 11th-13th century warrior destroyers bent on clash-of-culture wars.”

    • ColinWright on September 14, 2012, 3:39 pm

      …I think this ignores some of the differences between Islam on the one hand and Christianity and Judaism on the other.

      The practitioners of both Judaism and Christianity are quite secure in their certainty that their societies will let them continue to practice their faith.

      Moreover, each faith is in its own way adjusted to not imposing its demands on the surrounding society. Jews, of course, have always had to accept that they are a minority in a gentile sea. There are just going to be people raising pigs. They have to accept that.

      Many of Christianity’s tenets arose when Christianity was in a similar position. ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars’ etc — there’s an ideology that assumes non-Christian authority. Moreover, the rise of the concept of ‘separation of Church and State’ has played off that. You can be a Christian — and just frigging live with non-Christian aspects of the wider society.

      Now, Islam is a different matter. First, the Qur’an is a prescription of how society should be organized. You can’t have a secular society of Muslims any more than you can have kosher pork. It’s nonsense.

      Second, this faith — and this organization of society — has indeed been under prolonged and effective attack. Ataturk’s Turkey, the Shah’s Iran, our advertised intention to make Iraq into ‘a secular democracy with a tilt towards Israel’ — all these are merely the most impressive examples. Unlike Christians and Jews, Muslims have no assurance at all that if they just keep quiet, they’ll just be allowed to practice their religion in peace. On the contrary, all the available evidence suggests their faith and the societies that incarnate it will be methodically and assiduously undermined.

      These pious formulas — ‘…The leaders of Muslim countries need to tell their people…’ — simply ignore these realities. Sometimes, they ignore them hypocritically, as the speakers know enough to know perfectly well they won’t work, and will simply create a pretext for more strife, and more misery.

      I can’t stop people from deliberately baiting Muslims into displays of violence. I don’t even wish to stop them. I can, however, point to where the fault lies. Muslims are taking the presentation of these ‘offensive views’ in exactly the spirit in which they are intended.

    • piotr on September 14, 2012, 5:43 pm

      This is unnecessarily patronizing.

      Just check Al Ahram. A lot of religious and political leaders in Egypt urged to limit protest to non-violent demonstrations, and some high cleric basically made a fatwa against violence and vandalism.

      Concerning reversability of progress, GOP agenda is basically that. Reversing gay rights, reproductive rights, penalties for some forms of blasphemy (flag burning amendment), commandments on the walls of public buildings, school prayer and so on.

    • Inanna on September 14, 2012, 10:37 pm

      You mean you want western leaders to lecture Muslims in a patronising and condescending way? Without recognising the effects of decades of imperialism, orientalism and its role in the current strife in the ME and Afghanistan?

      Well f*** that. The west should take a look at the log in its own eye before it points to the splinter elsewhere. The immaturity of western leaders and western thought, particularly as it pertains to the creation of frames like the ‘Otherness’ of the east is well-known throughout the rest of the world. Perhaps the west needs to do some growing up. And that’s a far more polite response than your comment deserves.

    • American on September 15, 2012, 11:45 am

      @ radii
      “Islam is a relatively young religion as compared to the other major monotheistic faiths and many religious scholars think it is going through its own Reformation period and the conflict between modernity and harshly conservative edicts within the Koran are an example of this struggle. Progress can’t be stopped, so Islamic countries and those who follow Islam must adjust to progress. As the other Abrahamic traditions, Judaism and Christianity, have grown to understand – you can believe just as strongly in your faith and be true to your faith while embracing new knowledge, new technology, cultural interaction and modern ways.”>>>>

      I don’t think I’d go ‘lecturing Muslims on their own religion and telling them what Islam is.
      In fact I think everyone should shut up about religion period ….and concentrate on ‘the radicals’ within any religion as the problem…not on the religion.
      How you think US Christians would react if Muslims lectured on ” Christianity” being the problem with the US? Or if Jews were lectured on Judaism being the problem with Jews?
      Would not go over well.

  9. ColinWright on September 14, 2012, 3:56 pm

    “Leaders of predominately Muslim countries need to explain to their populations…”

    I also think this mistakes the nature of ‘leadership.’ Leaders are only leaders so long as they cleave rather closely to what their audiences want to hear.

    It might have been perfectly clear to President Roosevelt from the Spring of 1940 on that the US would have to enter the war and help destroy Nazi Germany. If he’d said so, he would have simply ceased to be president. Obama may or may not think the United States should become a Scananavian-style welfare state with severely restricted private enterprise. It’s a moot point whether that’s what he wants — if he advocates it, he’ll shortly cease to be president.

    Similarly for Muslim leaders. Regardless of their own personal feelings, what they ‘explain’ or do not ‘explain’ to their followers will have a lot to do with whether they continue to be leaders or not — it’s highly unlikely to affect the beliefs of their citizens.

    Muslims aren’t members of a mindless collective any more than we are. For a Muslim leader to ‘explain’ to Muslims that they just have to accept attacks on the faith is about as likely to work as if Romney tried to ‘explain’ to American women that they should just do as their fathers and husbands told them.

    All that would happen is that Romney most assuredly would not become president. Ditto for any Muslim leader who would dutifully undertake to ‘explain’ whatever you ordain he should ‘explain.’

    • radii on September 14, 2012, 7:49 pm

      your points are well taken, but true leadership involves telling your people what they may not want to hear – and telling their people not to react to every provocation is just sound judgement and advice … just as an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind if given enough time to play itself out, so too can this maxim be applied to Muslims reacting to every perceived slight against their faith – eventually they’d be doing nothing else but protesting and engaging in revenge

      • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 3:39 am

        radii says: “your points are well taken, but true leadership involves telling your people what they may not want to hear – and telling their people not to react to every provocation is just sound judgement and advice …”

        Nonsense. What you prescribe is excellent advice for being a prophet in the wilderness. It’s not even bad advice for being an internet poster.

        It is not, however, good advice if you want to actually be a leader. A leader makes people want to go where he thinks they should. Sometimes that’s good — ala Franklin Roosevelt. Sometimes it’s bad — ala Hitler. But your job isn’t to tell people what they need to hear. It’s to make them want to hear what you tell them.

        …and that can be a bit of a trick. That’s why decent leaders aren’t all that common.

      • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 3:45 am

        radii says: ‘…so too can this maxim be applied to Muslims reacting to every perceived slight against their faith – eventually they’d be doing nothing else but protesting and engaging in revenge…’

        But that’s not in fact what they do. People criticize the sexism, obscurantism, etc of Islam all the time: the advice may fall on deaf ears, but it doesn’t provoke a violent reaction either.

        It is the flailing, gratuitous insults that are taken in the spirit in which they are obviously intended. Now, one can argue that they should have our standards of free speech, etc — but I’m not especially surprised that they don’t. Most people most places most times haven’t.

        In any case, I’m beginning to think what we’re seeing here is more of a spark falling on tinder. The Arab revolution is moving on — and this just happened to set it off.

        If that was the intention of the film-makers, they can take pride in their work.

        It is kind of amusing, really. Everyone keeps talking about where the Arab revolution should go.

        Guess what? We don’t get to decide. They are breaking the old mold of their relation with the West. It’ll be interesting (and hopefully not too bloody) to see what the new one will be.

      • tree on September 16, 2012, 9:30 pm

        I found these photos at Loonwatch of a Libyan protest and rally condemning the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi? I don’t usually bother listening to the MSM these days as I consider it mostly a waste. Has anyone here seen this Libyan rally covered by an mainstream media outlets?

        http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/09/libyans-protest-and-condemn-attack-on-us-consulate-in-benghazi/

        http://imgur.com/a/tlCyI#1VNsT

  10. AM on September 14, 2012, 4:11 pm

    Yakov didn’t go as far as I thought he would. I would agree that the relationship is different, but not in the way he described.

    The messenger Moses is revered a lot in the Quran. In fact, he (arabic: ‘Moo-seh’, and, to which muslims should alwy) is the _most recounted messenger of all of them_ (I think he is referenced almost *twice as many times* as the next Messenger…which is Jesus. Surprisingly to most non muslims, the messenger Mohammed is referenced near the bottom of the list)

    So for a muslim to insult Moses thinking of it as ‘pay back’ just goes to show that he or she hasn’t really read the Quran…probably didn’t even open it up ;-) Of course, its Goldberg we are dealing with, and he is probably picking out the e-mails that best suit his point…

    • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 3:57 am

      AM says “The messenger Moses is revered a lot in the Quran. ..”

      I’ve often felt that Islam is best understood as an attempt to synthesize Christianity and Judaism — and to resolve the various inconsistencies and contradictions, and to come up with a dogma that is actually practical for daily life.

      Of course, the fact that it happens to have been daily life in seventh century Arabia that Mohammed was looking at creates problems, but…

      I think it’s an important point nevertheless. Rather than it being a completely separate religion, it bears something of the same relationship that Protestantism bears to Catholicism. ‘No, you corrupted the true faith — this is what it is.’ And indeed, that’s a persistent theme in the Qur’an.

      • AM on September 15, 2012, 1:07 pm

        Yup; whether we believe in religion or not, one of the big important things is to juxtapose the Quran to both the Torah and New Testament, and to highlight all these points of similarity and ‘restoration of the evolved message’ in the Quran; “hey you may vehemently disagree about our claims of corruption of the message, but we aren’t ultimately trying to mix water and oil; we are quite similar”

        Islamophobes, when it comes down to it, really don’t know the Quran beyond many deliberate mistranslations of small sections. And if they actually do, then often its a case of ‘follow the money trail’ (people have Wafa Sultan have been very rich off the industry)…

        And the more you can enlighten (ha!) people to these religious similarities, the more difficult it will be to recruit Islamophobes whose hatred lies on fear of the unknown — the ones left will just be intense racists towards Arabs and/or Muslims.

      • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 4:04 pm

        AM: “…Islamophobes, when it comes down to it, really don’t know the Quran beyond many deliberate mistranslations of small sections…”

        It is amazing. There are all these self-appointed experts on Islam — and it usually becomes appallingly apparent that they haven’t even bestirred themselves to read the Qur’an.

        It’s not long. It’s reasonably easy going. It’s readily available in paperback.

      • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 5:17 pm

        AM says: “…And the more you can enlighten (ha!) people to these religious similarities, the more difficult it will be to recruit Islamophobes whose hatred lies on fear of the unknown — the ones left will just be intense racists towards Arabs and/or Muslims…”

        This is what gets my goat. It’s not that people hate Arabs and/or Muslims. Bigotry is practically universal, and half the people who tell themselves they don’t feel it are just lying to themselves.

        It’s the frigging lies people cook up to cloak it. They can’t just say ‘I hate Muslims.’ They have to cook up some rationalization: ‘well Islam is bad because…’

        Bullshit! You just hate Muslims. Say so! And the worst of it is that these rationalizations actually hide the frankly irrational, atavistic bigotry that if it were actually dragged out into the light of day would be seen for what it is. People are able to lie to themselves, and tell themselves that their really rather ordinarily irrational bigotry has some kind of universally valid basis. Now they can hate and feel good about it — and that’s not an improvement.

        What’s actually preferable is the reaction of one Northern Ireland Protestant when some BBC reporter asked him why he hated Catholics:

        ‘Are ye daft man? Because of their religion, of course!’

        Say what you want about that, but at least it’s honest. You don’t have to get through some Romulan cloaking device of lies first.

      • eljay on September 17, 2012, 3:59 pm

        >> Hmm…are you daft?

        No, but you sure seem to be.

        >> If I beat the crap out of you just because you’re sitting on a oil well would you shrug it off as not really meant to harm you?

        Wow, you really don’t understand. Of course you’re harming me, but you’re not actually doing it because I’m white and atheist (or brown and Muslim) and therefore a threat to the world. That’s what you tell the gullible folks back home. The real reason you’re beating me up is because I’m sitting on the oil well you want (to control). You want something, and I’m in the way.

      • Walid on September 15, 2012, 3:35 pm

        “I’ve often felt that Islam is best understood as an attempt to synthesize Christianity and Judaism — and to resolve the various inconsistencies and contradictions, and to come up with a dogma that is actually practical for daily life… ‘No, you corrupted the true faith — this is what it is.’ And indeed, that’s a persistent theme in the Qur’an”

        A good-enough description, Colin, especially if you get into its early history. During Islam’s first years, like the Jews, Muslims prayed 3 times daily facing Jerusalem and celebrated the fast of Ashura (the tenth) with the Jews that fasted on Asor (the tenth) for the Day of Atonement. Some Sunnis, mostly in Pakistan still celebrate the now optional Ashura for God’s deliverance of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt. And of course, Muslims are now asked to pray 5 times facing Mecca and the fasting for the atonement raised to a full month (Ramadan).

  11. traintosiberia on September 14, 2012, 10:45 pm

    Sinister forces are trying to do a “Carter ” on Obama. The question is who benefits?
    Already one right winger radio host was trying to connect Iran to the video and to the violence against the embassies across the ME. (this particular host was screaming against somebody by name Stanley who was giving historical facts that have defined US-Israel-ME over the years. He was called all kind of names by this host .The host never offer a response and he shut him out of the conversation . He then went to demonize the “Islamist” for not understanding the freedom of expression and not respecting dissenting voices) .

    • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 4:03 am

      traintosiberia says: ‘…Already one right winger radio host was trying to connect Iran to the video and to the violence against the embassies across the ME…’

      The central question with people like this is ‘what’s their audience?’ If they’re just preaching to the converted, let them rant. It doesn’t matter how pumped up someone gets — they can only vote once.

      On the other hand, if they actually have an audience in the great middle, then it’s important to do what one can to answer them.

      ‘…this particular host was screaming against somebody by name Stanley who was giving historical facts that have defined US-Israel-ME over the years. He was called all kind of names by this host .The host never offer a response and he shut him out of the conversation…’

      If it’s actually as you describe, then he may not have done his cause much good. Propaganda is an art form. A lot of people botch it.

  12. thankgodimatheist on September 15, 2012, 7:06 am

    “And my faith doesn’t allow me to hurt a person because another person has offended my sensibilities.”
    Oh, pleeease! Spare us the BS! What you’re talking about here is called Price Tag. It’s a practice that is no stranger to your folk the settlers in the OT, practiced on a weekly if not a daily basis. If such a despicable practice offends your sensibility why don’t you just come out and say so?

    • hophmi on September 16, 2012, 5:19 pm

      “What you’re talking about here is called Price Tag.”

      You’re right. The price tag that an extreme fringe of the settlers engage in is horrible. When settlers graffiti a mosque, the President of Israel goes to visit the mosque and expresses his utter horror.

      President Morsi egged on the protesters.

      Price tag attacks are condemned by virtually the entire Jewish community.
      You people can’t even bring yourself to condemn suicide bombers.

      • annie on September 16, 2012, 7:32 pm

        Price tag attacks are condemned by virtually the entire Jewish community.

        you know that’s not true

      • ColinWright on September 16, 2012, 8:49 pm

        Annie Robbins says: “Price tag attacks are condemned by virtually the entire Jewish community.

        you know that’s not true>”

        Anyway, there’s condemned, and there’s condemned. You’d be hard put to it to find a period in American history where lynching was actually approved.

      • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:36 am

        “you know that’s not true”

        How can you doubt Hophmis veracity, Annie? I’m sure he has heard at least a dozen “tsk-tsk”s when the price tag attacks are mentioned. And one particularly justice-crazed Israeli said “What a shame”.

      • hophmi on September 18, 2012, 7:58 pm

        “How can you doubt Hophmis veracity, Annie? I’m sure he has heard at least a dozen “tsk-tsk”s when the price tag attacks are mentioned. And one particularly justice-crazed Israeli said “What a shame”.”

        It is indeed true, whether Annie chooses to acknowledge it or not. Remember those times when a Palestinian leader showed up to condemn a suicide bombing, the way Israeli leaders show every time a mosque is burnt to condemn the action in strong terms?

        Yeah, me neither.

      • eljay on September 16, 2012, 7:39 pm

        >> President Morsi egged on the protesters.

        Morsi vows to protect foreigners in Egypt:
        >> Egypt’s president said on Thursday he supported peaceful protest but not attacks on embassies …
        >> “Expressing opinion, freedom to protest and announcing positions is guaranteed but without assaulting private or public property, diplomatic missions or embassies,” Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist who is Egypt’s first freely elected president, said.

        This doesn’t seem like “egging on” to me.

        But, hey, what do I know – apparently I have an “agenda”. ;-)

      • Woody Tanaka on September 17, 2012, 11:06 am

        “You people can’t even bring yourself to condemn suicide bombers.”

        And I’ll bet you didn’t condemn the pigs who were involved in Cast Lead (both the commanders and the gunmen.) Don’t point out the mote in your neighbor’s eye; attend to the beam in yours.

      • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:33 am

        “Price tag attacks are condemned by virtually the entire Jewish community.”

        And yet the “entire Jewish community” can’t seem to do a thing about them, except make it easier and easier for them to occur. Yes sir, the entire IDF is helpless before them!

        What a wonderful place the Zionist heaven of Israel turned out to be. What other nation has ever used a band of misguided religious fanatics, psychological wrecks, and straight-out gangsters to advance its interests, and as human sheilds for its own intransigence?

      • philweiss on September 17, 2012, 11:59 am

        Haganah condemned the Stern Gang and Irgun terrorist attacks in 46 and 47 but secretly worked with them, according to Arthur Koestler. They served an important purpose, the terrorists, in driving the British out; and the official self defense org made official statements, but did its own thing privately

      • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 12:14 pm

        And George Will tells us not to worry, no matter how bad things look between Netanyahoo and Obama, the relationship between the US military and Israeli military is great, and as Mr. Will says, ‘that is 98% of it’ (I paraphrase, unfortunately I can’t locate that column today to link it)

        Think Japan, “Manchuria” and “incidents”.

      • hophmi on September 18, 2012, 7:55 pm

        “Haganah condemned the Stern Gang and Irgun terrorist attacks in 46 and 47 but secretly worked with them, according to Arthur Koestler.”

        Try using a credible source, Phil, rather than the Khazar guy.

  13. Kathleen on September 15, 2012, 9:19 am

    And I believe religious Jews are waiting for their God/Jehovah on earth. Is that right?

    Anyone think just a wee little bit of the anger towards the U.S. has to do with the U.S. supporting the dictators in the region that have made some of their lives miserable. And things like this hateful piece of trash is an escape valve for this anger. You know like a young person who has been terribly abused by a parent gets big enough and knocks that horribly abusive person off

    • hophmi on September 16, 2012, 5:12 pm

      “And I believe religious Jews are waiting for their God/Jehovah on earth. Is that right?”

      No, that is incorrect. We pray for the coming of the messiah, not the coming of G-d.

      “You know like a young person who has been terribly abused by a parent gets big enough and knocks that horribly abusive person off”

      This is more like the abused person knocking off anything that looks like that person. You’d do the people in the Middle East a service if you stopped apologizing for the worst among them.

      • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:38 am

        “You’d do the people in the Middle East a service if you stopped apologizing for the worst among them.”

        Gosh, I haven’t noticed too many people apologising for the Israelis at Mondoweiss.

      • hophmi on September 18, 2012, 7:54 pm

        That’s OK Mooser. There’s an awful lot you don’t notice when you’re here.

  14. piotr on September 15, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Back in the Western world, during “Fashion Night Out” in NYC Soho “a bicyclist and a thug” incite a riot which was purely secular and non-racial (the bicyclist was Caucasian, the thug was not), and merely lead to smashing one Audi. I guess if we should preach to “leaders of Muslim countries” it is good to collect such good examples (of much better riots).

    [I was just trying to check how the riots spread, and I hit Soho where, for that want of fascists riots are made by fashionistas.]

  15. russgreen on September 15, 2012, 3:35 pm

    (If you are not easily offended and want to see it Google: Ganesh Christ Onion)

    I thought the Onion’s satirical article about the X-rated cartoon was hilarious, and made the point eloquently: What other religion is there that kills people for making offensive art about the religion? Does anyone know of such a religion besides Islam? Serious question (not rhetorical.) Maybe other religions do this too? Does anyone know?

    I am totally opposed to Islamophobia and have organized several demonstrations in my city to denounce Islamophobia. That having been said, the Onion article raises a serious question: Why does Islam kill people for making art? Is this a standard practice of Islam at this point in its development (as it was standard practice in Christianity at one point — Salem witch burnings and Spanish Catholic inquisition come to mind) and in Judaism at one point (death penalty for blasphemy as cited in Torah)?

    Anyone up for a serious and factual discussion on this? (Not a lot of shouting, please.)

    I would like to hear from some knowledgeable Muslims. I want to learn about this. In particular, I am wondering if this overreaction to images of the Prophet (of God Peace Be Upon Him) is actually an outpouring of rage over the decades-long US wars and ongoing hostile actions against various Muslim countries (which makes it appear that the US is waging war against Islam,) or is it simply normative for Islam at this point in its development as a religion?

  16. russgreen on September 15, 2012, 4:12 pm

    (If you are not easily offended and want to see it Google: Ganesh Christ Onion)

    I thought the Onion’s satirical article about the X-rated cartoon was hilarious, and made the point eloquently: What other religion is there that kills people for making offensive art about the religion? Does anyone know of such a religion besides Islam? Serious question (not rhetorical.) Maybe other religions do this too? Does anyone know?

    I am totally opposed to Islamophobia and have organized several demonstrations in my city to denounce Islamophobia. That having been said, the Onion article raises a serious question: Why do some Muslims believe Islam requires killing people for making art? Is this a standard practice of some forms Islam at this point in their development (as it was standard practice in Christianity at one point — Salem witch burnings and Spanish Catholic inquisition come to mind) and in Judaism at one point (death penalty for blasphemy as cited in Torah)?

    Anyone up for a serious and factual discussion on this? (Not a lot of shouting, please.)

    I would like to hear from some knowledgeable Muslims. I want to learn about this. In particular, I am wondering if this overreaction to images of the Prophet (of God Peace Be Upon Him) is actually an outpouring of rage over the decades-long US wars and ongoing hostile actions against various Muslim countries (which makes it appear that the US is waging war against Islam,) or is it simply normative for some forms of Islam at this point in the course of their religious development?

    • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 5:09 pm

      russgreen says: “I thought the Onion’s satirical article about the X-rated cartoon was hilarious, and made the point eloquently: What other religion is there that kills people for making offensive art about the religion? Does anyone know of such a religion besides Islam? Serious question (not rhetorical.) Maybe other religions do this too? Does anyone know?”

      I don’t think you need to go as far as making offensive art to get yourself stoned by religious Jews. A short skirt should do it. But if you want to start drawing offensive pictures on the right walls in the right neighborhoods, have a go and let me know how it plays out.

      Any other questions? I’m sorry if I defused your little rationalization for hating Muslims.

      • hophmi on September 16, 2012, 5:10 pm

        “I don’t think you need to go as far as making offensive art to get yourself stoned by religious Jews. A short skirt should do it. ”

        Oh, please.

        Yes, if you walk down the street in certain parts of Meah Shearim, there are people who will get upset.

        But the equivalent of what is going on in the Middle East is like the people in Meah Shearim rioting because some girl walked down the street with a short skirt in New York.

      • ColinWright on September 16, 2012, 8:56 pm

        Hophmi says: “…But the equivalent of what is going on in the Middle East is like the people in Meah Shearim rioting because some girl walked down the street with a short skirt in New York.”

        No, it would be like the girl walking through Meah Shearim.

        New York is a place where Western culture is riding high, wide, and handsome — where it is inconceivable that its fundamental tenets could be questioned.

        Virtually all of the Muslim world, on the contrary, is like Meah Shearim. It’s a place where people’s fundamental assumptions are questioned, where they must act to assert them, and feel compelled to fly to defend them.

        It is noticeable that those place where the tenets of Islam do come close to actually ruling — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran — are also those places where what reaction there has been has been relatively moderate and more or less perfunctory. Frenzied mobs do not need to sack embassies in Tehran. The gestures are made, but they know Islam is on top — and it shows.

      • tree on September 16, 2012, 9:21 pm

        Yes, if you walk down the street in certain parts of Meah Shearim, there are people who will get upset.

        And if you open a parking lot on Saturdays, or arrest a woman accused of starving her children, or arrest an ultra-Orthodox leader for tax fraud, you’ll get violent riots. Its happened. As did the torching of a shop that sold mp4 players. And another riot ensued when a suspected ringleader of the torching was arrested.

        Pretending that Jews or Christians are somehow incapable of exhibiting the same mob violence as Muslims is simply a bigoted lie.

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/ultra-orthodox-riot-in-jerusalem-over-remand-of-haredi-protester-1.263153

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/04/AR2009070402286.html

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3587654,00.html

        http://www.rickross.com/reference/ultra-orthodox/ultra266.html

        http://meretzusa.org/%E2%80%9Cthe-battle-jerusalem%E2%80%9D-vs-%E2%80%9Cthis-not-teheran%E2%80%9D

      • ColinWright on September 17, 2012, 5:41 am

        tree says: “And if you open a parking lot on Saturdays, or arrest a woman accused of starving her children, or arrest an ultra-Orthodox leader for tax fraud, you’ll get violent riots. Its happened. As did the torching of a shop that sold mp4 players. And another riot ensued when a suspected ringleader of the torching was arrested.

        Pretending that Jews or Christians are somehow incapable of exhibiting the same mob violence as Muslims is simply a bigoted lie. “

        I think what the behavior of ultra-orthodox Jews illustrates is that people react violently to threats to their values if they feel those values are under genuine threat…the wishful thinking of the bigots notwithstanding, it’s at least unclear that the response has anything to do with Islam in particular.

        All the places where there have been violent outbreaks have been places where the future status of Islam is unclear. Conversely, in those states where this issue is more or less settled, the response has been relatively mild.

        Ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel feel they have to assert their values if those values are to be respected — and hence their behavior. I think a similar belief helps to explain events in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, et al. Indonesia isn’t rocked by riots, and neither is Turkey, nor for that matter Saudi Arabia. Even in Iran, the protests seem to be largely perfunctory.

      • The Hasbara Buster on September 18, 2012, 3:00 pm

        Hophmi:

        But the equivalent of what is going on in the Middle East is like the people in Meah Shearim rioting because some girl walked down the street with a short skirt in New York.

        The Israeli ambassador to Sweden destroyed an artwork in Sweden because he felt offended by it, and his government stood behind him.

        Jewish vandals feel free to attack free speech, and they enjoy the full support of their authorities.

      • hophmi on September 18, 2012, 7:53 pm

        Sorry, I missed the part where one guy vandalizing a piece of artwork was equivalent to thousands of rioters murdering the US Ambassador and other Muslims over a video most of them didn’t see, and the same thing happening in response to a cartoon.

        I’d worry much more about the way militant Muslims drove Jews out of the town of Malmo over the last few years.

      • hophmi on September 18, 2012, 7:59 pm

        “Pretending that Jews or Christians are somehow incapable of exhibiting the same mob violence as Muslims is simply a bigoted lie.”

        Pretending that the problems are in any way similar is stupidity.

    • Marcus Mohr on September 15, 2012, 7:03 pm

      It’s refreshing to hear a critic of anti-Muslim prejudice come out and acknowledge the evil’s wrought by this religion on the modern world. I strongly believe that the only way to put a stop to the growing hatred of Muslims (it’s only going to get worse after these riots) is to harshly criticize Islam with facts and within the proper context (it has to be atheism based criticism).

      What russgreen doesn’t mention though is that this ‘right to kill’ is so exceptionally outrageous due to its global scope in the internet age. Merely saying anything blasphemous towards Islam, anywhere in the world, is pretty much a death sentence. Also, I’ve seen comments here disingenuously stating that it’s only deliberately provocative (whatever the hell that means) jabs at Islam that result in personal threats. This is complete nonsense and a disgusting lie, the best example is the Salman Rushdie case. Even the Danish Muhammed cartoons were published for a good cause (free speech).

      Racism is an irrational mob response to what are often real issues. The people on this site of all places should understand this. If you really need an example, look at ‘the new’ anti-Semitism. There’s no doubt that Israel’s actions have encouraged a nasty anti-Jewish backlash worldwide. Likewise, anti-Muslim prejudice will get worse because we’re not doing enough to criticize Islamic bigotry.

      • ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 10:44 pm

        Oh why bother?

      • Walid on September 15, 2012, 11:56 pm

        “Likewise, anti-Muslim prejudice will get worse because we’re not doing enough to criticize Islamic bigotry.” (Marcus)

        What do you suggest should be done?

      • ColinWright on September 16, 2012, 8:59 pm

        Marcus Mohr says: “…Merely saying anything blasphemous towards Islam, anywhere in the world, is pretty much a death sentence…”

        Let me commit suicide, then.

        God is not God, and Mohammed is not his prophet.

        How much you want to bet I’m not still alive and kicking a week from now?

        Should be a sure thing. After all, you said it would be death sentence to say anything blasphemous about Islam.

        Get your money. How much do you want to put down? I can write it into my will.

      • ColinWright on September 19, 2012, 5:32 pm

        Three days, and the frenzied Islamic killers have yet to strike…

      • annie on September 17, 2012, 2:08 am

        I strongly believe that the only way to put a stop to the growing hatred of Muslims… is to harshly criticize Islam

        ooookkkie dokie.

        If you really need an example, look at ‘the new’ anti-Semitism. There’s no doubt that Israel’s actions have encouraged a nasty anti-Jewish backlash worldwide. Likewise, anti-Muslim prejudice will get worse because we’re not doing enough to criticize Islamic bigotry.

        so i take it you agree the way to fight anti semitism is to criticize judaic bigotry and harshly criticize judaism? why don’t you give us a harsh example.

      • ColinWright on September 17, 2012, 2:28 am

        Marcus Mohr says: “…I strongly believe that the only way to put a stop to the growing hatred of Muslims (it’s only going to get worse after these riots) is to harshly criticize Islam…”

        Look at Julius Streicher. He was tragically misunderstood. He was trying to stem the growing tide of anti-semitism in Germany. That’s why he so harshly criticized Jews.

    • on September 15, 2012, 9:23 pm

      “In particular, I am wondering if this overreaction… is actually an outpouring of rage over the decades-long US wars and ongoing hostile actions”
      It seems that you are nicely answering your own question.

      The Christian and Jewish zealots are getting their revenge by putting a uniform on their kids and using the ammo you pay for (and sitting at a desk killing at a distance). This is called either a crusade or respect for the real people (Bush or Rabbi Ovadia speeches, anyone!)

      Anyway, the Scopes trial, the Texas textbooks, Giuliani’s ban on the elephant shit-covered Madonna are only different in degree, not in principle.
      So what are these guys supposed to be, smarter than us?

    • Walid on September 17, 2012, 1:14 am

      “I am totally opposed to Islamophobia… I would like to hear from some knowledgeable Muslims. I want to learn about this. In particular, I am wondering if this overreaction to images ”
      (russgreen)

      You could have fooled me, Russ. Sounds like you have already made up your mind, so what’s left for you to learn?

      • ColinWright on September 17, 2012, 5:48 am

        All those innocent buzzwords ‘would like to hear,’ ‘I want to learn,’ ‘I am wondering…’

        It’s got hasbara all over it. It’s the same mentality that produces phrases such as ‘NGO Monitor’ and ‘Honest Reporting.’ The pretense of being open, of merely seeking the truth, of not having an agenda — when the truth is the exact opposite.

        Why do they lie so assiduously? What is it about Israel that attracts the compulsively dishonest?

      • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:46 am

        “Why do they lie so assiduously? What is it about Israel that attracts the compulsively dishonest?”

        I suggest you read up on colonialism, in it’s various phases and guises. Or you could read Kipling’s “The Man who Would be King” in a very short time.

    • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:58 pm

      “Why do some Muslims believe Islam requires killing people for making art?”

      Gosh, why do Jews believe Judaism requires killing people and taking their property? I wish I could say “some”, but I can’t think of one Jewish denomination, or even any significant congrgation, which has come out against it. We really should demand a condemnation so they can show they are not in favor of Cast Lead, and all the rest.

    • Mooser on September 18, 2012, 12:04 am

      ” or is it simply normative for some forms of Islam at this point in the course of their religious development?”

      Like the act of stealing a country from its inhabitants, never declaring your border, stabbing your friends in the back, and bankrupting yourself to pay for the largest single community of criminals (the settlers, in case you don’t follow) protection against themselves is simply normative for Judaism? And where, BTW are the Jewish leaders speaking against it?

      • annie on September 18, 2012, 11:48 am

        the daily show has a comedy routine on the development of religions last night w/a twist at the end.

        John Oliver considers Islam’s relatively young age as compared with other major religions, and predicts it will grow out of this awkward phase in half a millennium or so. (03:33)

        http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-september-17-2012/actual-democalypse-2012—islam-s-growing-pains

      • seanmcbride on September 18, 2012, 12:25 pm

        Annie,

        The Daily Show is basically making the same point that I’ve been suggesting to Taxi: contemporary Islam (especially Islamism) is a bit behind the historical curve in adopting Enlightenment values. I wouldn’t describe Jon Stewart as an Islamophobe for noting the obvious.

        When Muslim leaders threaten to track down and murder Americans and Europeans for exercising their right of free speech (no matter how controversial or offensive), that is where I firmly draw the line in the sand.

        It is perfectly consistent to be a critic of Zionism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism AND Muslim fundamentalism. Many of us hold Muslims to the same standards we hold Christians and Jews (and the human race in general): respect diversity and fundamental democratic and human rights. Not all the problems in the Muslim world can be blamed on Western imperialism.

      • annie on September 18, 2012, 12:45 pm

        i didn’t think they were making that point sean, it’s a comedy show.

      • seanmcbride on September 18, 2012, 12:52 pm

        Annie,

        It’s a comedy show that makes serious political points on a regular basis. The serious political point that was being made here strikes me as being obvious.

        Do you have any problems with Muslim leaders threatening the lives of Americans and Europeans who are exercising their right of free speech? That is a major red line for me.

        What about the lack of women’s rights in nations like Saudi Arabia and other Islamist regimes? Any problems? Is Western imperialism responsible for that situation?

        Why is Islamism any more virtuous than Zionism or Christian fundamentalism?

      • Woody Tanaka on September 18, 2012, 1:06 pm

        “When Muslim leaders threaten to track down and murder Americans and Europeans for exercising their right of free speech (no matter how controversial or offensive), that is where I firmly draw the line in the sand.”

        What is your stand on governments in Europe imprisoning people based on their political speech? Specifically, on Germany’s laws against speech construed as being pro-Nazi??

      • MHughes976 on September 18, 2012, 2:20 pm

        Daily Show videos don’t seem be to available outside the United States so I can’t comment directly, though I do agree that the show has every intention of using comedy to make very serious points.
        There might be an element of self-satire in the idea that liberal westerners think of Muslims as going through a neurotic phase which we have left behind. Have we left that phase behind so definitely? Are their behaviour and our treatment of them really such distinct topics? Is the current phase really going to give way to a better one? Have things gone so irretrievably wrong that whatever we do now they will, whosever fault the problem is, never be able to live with us again? And so on. Bitter and frightening laughter.
        It’s always worth noting that many Muslims, the vast majority, seem not to be participating in these disturbances. And there is always a difficulty in arguing what is the authentic form of any religion or ideology.
        That said, I’d say that Mondoweiss comes from free speech and should defend its origin. What happened in Libya was bloody murder. It was wrong. If anyone says that God has licensed the killing of someone for mocking true religion, or for representing a country where true religion is mocked, that person, whether or not representing the mainstream or authentic form of a religion, is mistaken and is leading others astray. I should have said that in a less complex sentence, shouldn’t I, but you know what I mean.

      • seanmcbride on September 18, 2012, 8:47 pm

        Woody,

        I oppose *all* laws censoring political speech, including the ones you just mentioned. It was contempt for basic democratic values that paved the way for Nazism in the first place. Imprisoning, or threatening to murder, or murdering people for saying unpopular things should be unacceptable in free societies.

        And I am becoming increasingly curious (and concerned) about Google’s policies regarding the censorship of political speech on Youtube, Google News and other Google properties. Is there a pattern of bias? An evident agenda? Someone needs to look into this in a detailed way. What items are being censored and why?

      • annie on September 18, 2012, 8:57 pm

        the fact the daily show makes serious political points on a regular basis doesn’t mean the point of that section was making the same point you’ve been suggesting sean. it’s not obvious to me anyway. in fact i would argue the exact opposite from the very last line in the script about borders and resources. i’ll review the skit if you do. but i fail to see how you think that script was making your argument instead of mocking it.

        maybe i’m wrong, i will review it.

        Do you have any problems with Muslim leaders threatening the lives of Americans and Europeans who are exercising their right of free speech?

        hmm, not anymore than i have a problem with western leaders who murder with no warning. do you think those muslim leaders are less evolved than leaders who order civilian villages bombed by drones in the middle of the night? i find your line of questioning condescending. my point is not related to whether i have a problem with threats of violence or violence or any of those things. my point is i do not believe it’s the evolution of a religion that’s the problem, but the individual interpreting it. that goes for each of the 3 religions referenced.

        you seem to think stewart is proving your point, i ain’t buying it. at all.

      • hophmi on September 18, 2012, 9:01 pm

        Opposed to it. Always have been. The Europeans simply do not have the free speech tradition we in America do. But this kind of legislation has created a generation of people who speak in euphemisms instead of speaking their minds.

      • seanmcbride on September 18, 2012, 9:24 pm

        Annie,

        maybe i’m wrong, i will review it.

        Well, I recommend that you do that. It seemed obvious to me that Stewart and Oliver were providing a critique of Islam, within a critique of the Abrahamic tradition in general (including Christianity and Judaism).

        What did you think they meant when they described Islam as being in the “teen” phase of its development?

        The violence and intolerance within the Abrahamic tradition lies at the heart of that tradition — Western monotheism was founded on bloodshed and intolerance. The West has tried to dilute and moderate this fanaticism with an infusion of Enlightenment ideas. Most Islamists are still behind that evolutionary curve.

        I don’t find it necessary to mention the sins of Western imperialism every time I express strong opposition to Muslim religious fanatics who threaten to murder Americans and Europeans who disagree with or even mock their cult beliefs. And I don’t find Islamism to be any more admirable than Zionism. I am an Americanist, and I strongly believe in free speech and the separation of church and state. At the same time, I don’t think that the United States should expend a penny to try to bully Islamist states to reform themselves — let them organize their societies as they wish. Eventually they may grow out of the teen phase of Western monotheism.

      • annie on September 18, 2012, 10:41 pm

        how do you define islamists and islamism? ‘behind the evolutionary curve’ is relative. do you mean in comparison to where the fanatical settlers of the religious nationalist on the curve? or say the curve of that bible camp movie? or are you saying there’s no other equivalent on this curve similar?

        don’t ask me questions about the movie, tell me how it proves your point incorporating the punch line at the end.

      • annie on September 18, 2012, 10:44 pm

        I am becoming increasingly curious (and concerned) about Google’s policies regarding the censorship of political speech on Youtube

        you should talk to max blumenthal about that.

      • aiman on September 19, 2012, 12:57 am

        Annie: “my point is i do not believe it’s the evolution of a religion that’s the problem, but the individual interpreting it. that goes for each of the 3 religions referenced.”

        Excellent point.

      • aiman on September 19, 2012, 1:01 am

        “Western monotheism was founded on bloodshed and intolerance.”

        As was Western paganism before it. As was the Western enlightenment (though some would say the Enlightenment was not opposed to faith – confused with institutions of course – given its varied thinkers) after it. Don’t know where you are getting at.

        A form of tribalism is acendant is societies with a history of colonisation. The breaking up and splintering of the traditional establishment has brought the thugs and violent-minded out of the woodwork. These have to be stringently condemned. An educational framework has to be put in place, the middle eastern and western status quo must let humanity work over imperial and tribal interests.

      • Mooser on September 19, 2012, 1:50 am

        “Annie: “my point is i do not believe it’s the evolution of a religion that’s the problem, but the individual interpreting it.”

        Shmuel on Judaism: “It’s a ‘we’ thing”

      • Shmuel on September 19, 2012, 2:58 am

        Mooser on Shmuel on Judaism: “It’s a ‘we’ thing”.

        And a gut, gezunt un zis yor to you too.

  17. ColinWright on September 15, 2012, 5:05 pm

    The whole thing reminds me of the killing of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather.

    Sonny has previously gone berserk and chased down his brother-in-law and beat him half to death when the brother-in-law hit Sonny’s sister.

    So the rival mob gets Carlo to hit Sonny’s sister again. Predictably, she phones home, and predictably, Sonny comes charging down the toll road, where the hit men are waiting in the toll booth.

    These pricks who dubbed this trailer into Arabic and then posted it knew exactly what would happen, and they wanted it to happen. It may not be illegal, but that doesn’t make it defensible — and those who seek to defend it are only commenting on themselves.

    I have little or no doubt that if we all set our minds to it, we can all bait each other into a mutually murderous fury. That’s not actually a laudable goal.

    • tree on September 16, 2012, 10:21 pm

      These pricks who dubbed this trailer into Arabic and then posted it knew exactly what would happen, and they wanted it to happen. It may not be illegal, but that doesn’t make it defensible — and those who seek to defend it are only commenting on themselves.

      Have you seen this from Sheila Musaji, editor of “The American Muslim”?

      Three of the men now identified as being responsible for this film have connections with the hate group AFDI/SIOA run by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Nakoula Bassely Nakoula seems to be nothing more than an ex-con who got out of jail in June of 2012 and got a job being the “face” of “Sam Basile” to cover for the real individuals behind the film. Nasralla who has participated in at least three AFDI/SIOA events and been identified by Geller as a “champion of human rights” is also the head of Media for Christ who produced the “Basile” film. He also has connections with Sadek and Klein. Nasralla is most likely to be the primary player among the “producers” of the film.

      Because I have spent so many years countering Islamophobes, there are a lot of bits and pieces of information that sometimes take a little while to connect. I knew that in one of the profiles I had done for the Who’s Who in the Islamophobia/Arabophobia Industry, one of those individuals had mentioned planning a film about Prophet Muhammad. It took me awhile, and then I remembered that the individual was Ali Sina who runs Faith Freedom Int’l, and is a board member of the hate group SIOA which was founded by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

      In January of 2012 the formation of a new coalition was announced Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) joined together in a coalition called Stop Islamization of Nations (SION), and Ali Sina is named as one of the board members.

      In February of 2012 Ali Sina had posted an article A Movie about Muhammad: an idea whose time has come. He also posted an article including an interview with himself done by the Citizen Times: Interview with Ali Sina about his planned Muhamma biopic.

      If you click on the links for either of those articles now, there is nothing there. They have been scrubbed.

      The scrubbing from Sina’s site was not effective, as Islam Watch had also posted Sina’s article as had Pamela Geller on Atlas Shrugs. And, the Citizen Times has the interview online CT Interview with ex-Muslim Ali Sina about his planned Muhammad biopic. So the text of Sina’s article and interview is still available.

      Islam Watch introduces the article on their site with: “Years ago, Ali Sina had floated the idea of making a movie on the true life of Muhammad. He is now in the planning to do it… If he succeeds in making the film, Islam’s eradication would be faster than ever.” Geller introduces the same article with: “Ali Sina, renowned ex-Muslim author, founder of FaithFreedom.org and SION Board member, has a brilliant idea, a plan, to educate and liberate those enslaved by the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth, but he needs our help:”

      more at link

      http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a-curious-connection/0019357

    • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:48 am

      “I have little or no doubt that if we all set our minds to it, we can all bait each other into a mutually murderous fury. That’s not actually a laudable goal.”

      Then don’t take the bait, Colin. And don’t ascribe your own weaknesses to everyone else.

  18. hophmi on September 16, 2012, 10:05 am

    Thanks for answering a question no one was asking.

    • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:50 am

      “Thanks for answering a question no one was asking.”

      Yeah! And why was the answer so damn short!?!

  19. GibsonBlock on September 16, 2012, 11:17 am

    Right, the Jewish tradition (wisely) doesn’t consider Moses to have been perfect. Because no man is perfect. This is obvious.

    But, all the same, Yakov, it’s obvious that you are grasping at straws, trying, foolishly, to diminish the stature of Moses in Judaism so you can say that Muslims have a right to get more upset about Mohammed than a guy like Jeff Goldberg has to get upset about Moses.

    It’s typical of this site where everything has to be twisted to the anti-Zionist agenda.

    • hophmi on September 16, 2012, 5:07 pm

      Totally. It’s unbelievable, really, the hoops that these people will jump through to avoid a simple condemnation and blame the Jews instead. They clearly have a vested interest in doing so.

      • ColinWright on September 17, 2012, 5:57 am

        hophmi says: “…It’s unbelievable, really, the hoops that these people will jump through to avoid a simple condemnation and blame the Jews instead…”

        Okay Hophmi. I have a distaste for the word ‘condemn,’ but how’s this?

        I think the rioters who are attacking symbols of the United States and other Western powers are engaging in criminally violent, irrational, and misdirected behavior. I do not approve of their actions.

        As to ‘blaming the Jews’ I still think Israel is the most plausible suspect in the killing of our ambassador. I have yet to see anything to make me revise that opinion. I don’t equate ‘the Jews’ with Israel, but if you do, then yeah, I do suspect Israel of the killing.

      • seanmcbride on September 17, 2012, 12:39 pm

        ColinWright wrote:

        I don’t equate ‘the Jews’ with Israel

        And ColinWright wrote:

        This is why God created Israel. He felt Jews were too proud. Israel is to teach them humility.

      • eljay on September 17, 2012, 3:17 pm

        >> I think the rioters who are attacking symbols of the United States and other Western powers are engaging in criminally violent, irrational, and misdirected behavior.

        I think the same thing.

        >> I do not approve of their actions.

        Neither do I.

      • American on September 17, 2012, 11:28 pm

        “I think the rioters who are attacking symbols of the United States and other Western powers are engaging in criminally violent, irrational, and misdirected behavior.”

        Well!…. thank God they dont have a army, airforce, navy, and a fleet of drones….they might invade us for a change and kill millions of us.

      • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:36 pm

        “Israel is to teach them humility.”

        Well, I fail to see how Israel’s continued expansion, and ability to manipulate the US (and other large powerful countries) and complete impunity and intransigence serves to inculcate humility, but one never knows, does one?

      • ColinWright on September 18, 2012, 12:46 am

        Sentinel sean hard at work.

        Keep sniffing around. Maybe I’ll ‘slip up.’ Want to poke through my e-mail?

        Tell ya what. Give me your e-mail and I’ll send it all to you as an attachment. You can click on it.

      • seanmcbride on September 18, 2012, 12:44 pm

        Colin,

        There is no need to peruse your past comments posted on Haaretz from five years ago to get a handle on your views. Your current statements tell the tale, for instance:

        This is why God created Israel. He felt Jews were too proud. Israel is to teach them humility.

        Most reasonable people will instantly recognize that as a classically antisemitic remark — and will be even more convinced of this when they take into account all your comments here in recent months — many of which expressed passionate emotional hatred towards Israel.

        I don’t hate Israel. I don’t think I am superior to Israelis. I think they have made some errors of judgment which are very much like the errors of judgment that have been made by most nations and peoples I can think of. They need to be persuaded to modify their policies and to pursue a course that is more in their self-interest. Trying to back them into a corner — which is your strategy — will only aggravate a situation that could blow up catastrophically for the entire world.

        One of my main worries is that anti-Zionism is going to morph into violent antisemitism — one sees signs of this trend all around the world. We need to find a way to get out of this dangerous box.

      • hophmi on September 18, 2012, 8:00 pm

        ” I still think Israel is the most plausible suspect in the killing of our ambassador.”

        Then you’re either a bigot or an idiot.

      • ColinWright on September 20, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Seanmcbride says: “There is no need to peruse your past comments posted on Haaretz from five years ago to get a handle on your views.

        Hmm. Maybe I should send you that attachment. You’d probably be fool enough to click on it.

        “Your current statements tell the tale, for instance:

        This is why God created Israel. He felt Jews were too proud. Israel is to teach them humility.

        Most reasonable people will instantly recognize that as a classically antisemitic remark…”

        Well, the anti-semitism escapes me, and while there are several fearless detectors of anti-semitism on this board, nobody else commented on it. Why don’t you explain to us wherein the anti-semitism in it lies?

        “…I don’t hate Israel…They need to be persuaded to modify their policies and to pursue a course that is more in their self-interest…”

        In other words, you’re a Zionist. You want to see Israel endure and thrive.

      • ColinWright on September 20, 2012, 4:50 pm

        hophmi says: “” I still think Israel is the most plausible suspect in the killing of our ambassador.”

        Then you’re either a bigot or an idiot.”

        Look up my list of the characteristics of whoever carried out the assassination.

        Here: I’ll do it for you.

        “Whoever mounted this attack had the following qualities:

        1. They were able to assemble a reasonably professional team of attackers.

        2. They weren’t interested in getting caught. No ‘martyrs.’

        3. They had inside information about the ambassador’s movements and the escape route.

        4. They were in place when that trailer went to You-Tube dubbed in Arabic.

        5. They had a reason to want several Americans to be killed right about now.

        6. They haven’t claimed credit.”

        Okay. Who would you suggest for the part?

      • hophmi on September 20, 2012, 5:18 pm

        This is why you believe a conspiracy theory?

      • Ellen on September 17, 2012, 8:48 am

        talk about paranoid projection hophmi.

        A condemnation of all extremism and incitement against others.

        Believe it or not, it not all about Jews.

        Oh, and while we are at it, there was a fascinating discussion last week “An Egyptians Voice” on how to deal with irrational extremism, especially in the Arab world, on this site.

        http://thestory.org/archive/The_Story_091412.mp3/view

        Very much worth listening to.

      • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:58 am

        “They clearly have a vested interest in doing so.”

        So, Hophmi, when can we expect a detailed, and absolutely irrefutable indictment of the “vested interest” which “clearly”manipulates Mondoweiss?
        Should we look in “Commentary”? You know, they’d love to run it, and probably, given the back-story, pay well for it.

        I mean, you wouldn’t want us to think you’re just demonstrating your rhetorical and logical and ethical impotence by throwing around insinuating charges, and using Mondoweiss’s own comment section to do it. Yup, you’re a real charmer, Hophmi, old ferd, and with guys like you in charge, Zionism’s, and Judaism’s future in the US is so bright.

  20. ColinWright on September 16, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Anyway, it’s increasingly obvious that this is no longer about the trailer any more than the American Civil War was about Fort Sumter.

    This was the spark that set off the next stage of the Arab Revolution. Of course the clip was a piece of degraded filth, and those who made it degraded filth themselves, but this was gonna happen anyway.

    Going on and on about the ‘Muslim reaction to the film’ simply misses the point. They’re declaring independence. We don’t get to tell them what to think any more.

  21. ColinWright on September 16, 2012, 11:26 pm

    It is interesting.

    Various people insist that we condemn Islam on the basis of these riots.

    These same people would be extremely upset if anyone suggested we should condemn Judaism on the basis of Israel’s behavior.

    That, you see, would be quite unreasonable. It would be blatant bigotry.

    • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 12:02 pm

      Well, Colin, as you point out, it pretty much depends on (as the spectator at a particularly viscious boat-race observed) whose cox is being gored.

  22. ColinWright on September 17, 2012, 2:07 am

    Another point I would make is that the rioting has hardly been universal. Most of the Muslim world remains quite calm and restrained.

    There have been serious disturbances in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, the Sudan, Nigeria, and Lebanon — not at all coincidentally, all places where things are in flux and everyone’s worried about which way they will go. Elsewhere, the reaction has been less open to criticism.

    Yet so many are taking this as a springboard for criticizing Islam in general. When that pastor in Florida burns a Qur’an, is that an indictment of Christianity as a whole? When the ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem stone women who dress ‘immodestly’, do we draw conclusions about Jews in general?

    If we do, great. Those who have mounted swingeing attacks on all Christians and all Jews on such a basis may, with justice, criticize Islam in general for these riots.

  23. talknic on September 17, 2012, 3:38 am

    The ‘film’ was just another hate inspired slap at Muslims. Another item on the long list of Western atrocities visited on Muslim countries over the last couple of centuries. Keep poking and inciting hatred and eventually something’ll pop.

    That the ignorant so called ‘Christian’ morons who made the ghastly piece of trash got more than what they wanted, isn’t surprising.

    That YouTube refuses to remove it is remarkable given it’s stated policy against inappropriate content and the videos it does remove for less than reasonable excuses.

    Those M Eastern countries who’ve been invaded (time and again), slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands, occupied, sub-divided, had their resources exploited over the centuries by the ‘West’, have actually been incredibly tolerant. A tiny, tiny minority of Islamic militants or terroristas don’t represent the millions of peaceful Muslims inhabiting the planet. Nor do they represent Islam as a whole.

    There are no military bases belonging to any Muslim country in any Western country. No flotillas of war ships parked in the gulf of Mexico. No drones from Muslim countries daily invading the sovereign airspace of the US, UK, Australia etc.

    There are millions of peaceful Muslims living in the ‘West’. Those who’ve taken to the streets in protest are less than 1%. Those who engaged in any violence even less.

  24. russgreen on September 17, 2012, 6:02 pm

    Thanks talknic. Your reply is the sort of information I was sincerely seeking. Particularly your statements that:

    “The ‘film’ was just another hate inspired slap at Muslims. Another item on the long list of Western atrocities visited on Muslim countries over the last couple of centuries. Keep poking and inciting hatred and eventually something’ll pop.

    “Those M Eastern countries who’ve been invaded (time and again), slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands, occupied, sub-divided, had their resources exploited over the centuries by the ‘West’, have actually been incredibly tolerant. A tiny, tiny minority of Islamic militants or terroristas don’t represent the millions of peaceful Muslims inhabiting the planet. Nor do they represent Islam as a whole.

    There are millions of peaceful Muslims living in the ‘West’. Those who’ve taken to the streets in protest are less than 1%. Those who engaged in any violence even less.”

    Your explanation puts it all into perspective. Rami Khouri does the same in his article at

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2012/Sep-15/187976-a-week-of-criminals-and-culture-clashes.ashx#axzz26lTwccJO

    He points out that there are at least five separate things going on in the reaction to the film, and it is a mistake to lump them all together and blame Islam for them. They are:

    1. “understandable and spontaneous anger by pious Muslims (usually expressed in non-violent demonstrations)

    2. “pent-up resentment and anger against the United States and other Western countries for a variety of different reasons (biased policies on Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Islamism and democracy promotion, for starters).

    3. “a struggle between mainstream Muslim Brotherhood types and more hard-line fundamentalist Salafists over who will shape their national political systems.

    4. “continued regional expansion of terror groups linked to Al-Qaeda that deliberately target American official or public facilities.

    5. “criminal elements who take advantage of a tumultuous period of change when central governments do not have full control of security”

    Khouri suggests that blaming Islam for the violent responses of a relatively few Muslims would be like blaming Christianity for the actions of “the terrorist Timothy McVeigh, Christian fundamentalists who blow up abortion clinics, those few Americans who have burned down Islamic mosques, Sikh temples or Black churches …. The criminals in this mix must be viewed and dealt with very differently from the others who are angry, energetic and excitable, but not necessarily criminal in either their intent or their conduct.”

    I think your reply, and Khouri’s article, answer my question. It is not reasonable to blame Islam for the violence. It may be true that the mentality of killing people for religious reasons is present in some forms of Islam. However, the same mentality still exists in some forms of Christianity and Judaism. And there are recent examples of criminals and fringe elements in all three religions who have put that sick mentality into practice.

    The thing I find most encouraging is that Imams in Egypt issued religious fatwahs saying that it is forbidden to engage in violence while protesting the offensive film. That is the kind of religion I like.

  25. subconscious on September 17, 2012, 9:23 pm

    The claim in the title, while it may be true depending on one’s interpretation of theologies, is not particularly explanatory b/c it’s too general, and the author doesn’t really provide any argument to support it other than to say people can have different sensibilities, like Goldberg who’s more sensitive to criticism of his favored state rather than a religion. Just b/c Hirsch has made a determination about the role of certain prophets in some religions, it doesn’t explain specific reactions in various countries. For example, it appears that most Muslims in the world, though probably offended by the film, didn’t necessarily support the riots. Some ultra-orthodox Jews may get as riotous if Muslims insult their holy figures. (And how are Christians supposed to react to Jesus insults, since he’s even more of a focus in their religion than Mohammad in Islam?) And just like Goldberg has religious-like attachment to his holy state of Israel, there could be similarities among Muslims, as well. An example being the cult of personality created around Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei, who’s essentially revered as a religio-political leader by some of his more fanatical followers.

    There’s also the issue of consistency. It’s perfectly reasonable for the Muslim world to demand cessation of insult to their religion as part of their culture. However, they should also be equally sensitive to similar insults in parts of the Muslim world towards other religions. An example would be the Iranian gov’t, which also protested the racist film. Occasionally, though, gov’t officials or state media demonize other Abrahamic religions such as Baha’ism & Judaism. The case of the Baha’i persecution, w/ occasional demonization of their religion in the media, is well known:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2012/09/opinion-irans-neo-apartheid-rampant-persecution-of-bahais-in-cradle-of-faith.html
    And a recent example of demonizing Judaism was the speech of IRI’s vice president at an international forum:
    http://www.irandailybrief.com/2012/07/06/rahimi-zionists-behind-international-drug-trade/

    • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:53 pm

      “Some ultra-orthodox Jews may get as riotous if Muslims insult their holy figures.”

      “May get as riotous”? Really, Unconscious? “May”? It’s just a potential, like any other human being? Of course, the Ultra Orthodox have never actually gotten violent about anything, have they? Ah, but it was so good of you, so progressive, to admit that Ultra-Orthodox “may” get violent “if Muslims insult their holy figures” And what the hell are you talking about there? But let it go. Gee, I thought the Ultra-Orthodox get expectoratily violent if they didn’t like your hem-line, or where you sat on the bus.

      Maybe Zionists are really some kind of Kaballah-master-magicians. When they want to, they can just make Zionism, and Israel, and all their works disappear into thin air, with just two magic words: “Islam” or “Moslem”. Maybe “Holocaust” wasn’t working any more.

      Yes, yes, neither one of you is a Zionist, and having only watched American, (and not Israeli) TV and news, you have no idea what the Zionist line is.

      • subconscious on September 18, 2012, 2:37 pm

        “Really, Unconscious?” This is the 2nd time you’ve called me “unconscious,” apparently equating the unconscious w/ mindlessness. This reminds me of creationists who are most offended by suggestions that their most glorious intellectual abilities could have possibly evolved from the lowly monkey of a couple of million years ago. So, as a friendly gesture, you may wanna tell your creationist neighbors to start tapping more into their unconscious:
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081224215542.htm
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconscious_cognition

        I dunno if it was done consciously on your part or not, but the logical transition from your “Really unconscious” paragraph to the subsequent “Zionist” one is nonexistent. My reference to the ultra-orthodox was in the same vein as the title of the blog, purely in religious attitudes. So it could as well apply to the anti-Zionist ultra-ortho.

      • Mooser on September 18, 2012, 9:41 pm

        “I dunno if it was done consciously on your part or not, but the logical transition from your “Really unconscious” paragraph to the subsequent “Zionist” one is nonexistent.”

        Yup, another not-a-Zionist.

        “And a recent example of demonizing Judaism was the speech of IRI’s vice president at an international forum:”

        So two comments ago the Muslims were “demonising Judaism” but now we need an Judeo-Moslem alliance? Sure okay, not-a-Zionist.

      • subconscious on September 19, 2012, 3:21 am

        “So two comments ago the Muslims were “demonising Judaism” but now we need an Judeo-Moslem alliance?”
        That’s b/c after 2 comments & a spoonful of rants, even Muslims will desist from demonizing their allies.

        “Yup, another not-a-Zionist.”
        Definitely not a Zionist; too petty bourgeois. But a ZioNazi IslamoFascist? Now that’s a tattoo to wear w/ pride.

    • Mooser on September 18, 2012, 12:14 am

      “(And how are Christians supposed to react to Jesus insults, since he’s even more of a focus in their religion than Mohammad in Islam?)”

      Uh, “subconscious” I don’t know if you are Jewish, but if you are, and even if you aren’t, could you please not, even by inference, imply (and, fer gawd’s sake, don’t infer by implication, which is even worse) that Christians have a right to get violent with those who merely insult Christ. After all, subconscious, we Jews are commonly blames for not just insulting, but killing the guy, and we’ve barely got them to stop persecuting us for it. You’re not helping, dude, not.

      • subconscious on September 18, 2012, 2:39 pm

        Your reference to the deicide charge brings up a worthy opportunity. As is well known, both Islam & Judaism deny paternal deity for Jesus, since it smacks them of violation of monotheism. The deicide charge suggests that the son of god and man’s ultimate redeemer, JC, could not defend himself against mere humans, further violating monotheism by questioning the Lord’s omnipotency. It’s time for a Judeo-Islamic common cause to convert the infidel creed known as Christianity, whose members constituted the first Zionists planning the desecration of that holiest of lands.

      • Mooser on September 18, 2012, 9:44 pm

        “It’s time for a Judeo-Islamic common cause to convert the infidel creed known as Christianity, whose members constituted the first Zionists planning the desecration of that holiest of lands.”

        Oh, now that it’s going wrong, blame the Christians! Yeah, that’ll work.

    • eljay on September 19, 2012, 8:09 am

      >> And a recent example of demonizing Judaism was the speech of IRI’s vice president at an international forum …

      Stupidity like this (Rahimi’s speech) may play well to the home audience, but it really doesn’t help Iran’s cause on the international scene. Unreal.

      • subconscious on September 21, 2012, 2:55 am

        In fact, according to NYT, members of the Iranian delegation at that meeting were taken aback by Rahimi’s speech. There were speculations at the time that Rahimi did this to bolster his “radical” credentials, since the Iranian judiciary has been investigating him for fraud. In other words, to take the heat off of himself, he was willing to damage his country’s interests, which he’s supposed to be safeguarding.

        But demonizing aspects of Judaism that are not part of the Islamic tradition, can occasionally be found in the Iranian media. The small Jewish community in Iran, which is allowed to practice its religion and overall is not treated worse than other religious minorities in Iran, sometimes protests such portrayals of their faith. E.g., here’s an open letter written in Persian to Rahimi by the Tehran Jewish Committee, which represents Jews of Iran, posted at their site following his speech:
        http://www.iranjewish.com/News_F/news_talmood_41.htm
        The letter politely advises Rahimi that he has a misunderstanding of the Talmud, which couldn’t have advocated drug use or smuggling, that Zionism & Judaism should not be confused, per Khomeini’s directive, and that such statements hurt Iran’s standing internationally and serve the enemy, and offers to educate Rahimi on the Talmud. Rahimi’s office replied back politely that he respects “true” Jews and their divine religion, was condemning Zionism, not Judaism, for many crimes including the international drug trade, and that foreign media had distorted his speech for propaganda purposes:
        http://www.iranjewish.com/News_F/news_41_pasokh.htm
        (His speech, which was published w/ the same content in Iran, speaks for itself.)

  26. Mooser on September 17, 2012, 10:27 pm

    “It may be true that the mentality of killing people for religious reasons is present in some forms of Islam. However, the same mentality still exists in some forms of Christianity and Judaism.”

    What a feeble attempt at minimisation! Really pathetic. By any objective standard, the Jews who favor killing, and think they have the right to kill for Judaism, and that killing is a way for Judaism to advance, is the largest single group of Jews in the world. Most of them are in Israel, or squatting on stolen land adjacent to it. Some are Israel’s helpers and fans and loyalists in other countries. Moreover, these people don’t just talk about killing or stealing for Judaism, they do it, bring their kids up to do it, and expect support from all other Jews in doing it. And brag about it, and have qualms about saying God approves of it.
    How in the hell can you generalise about Jews/Moslems without taking into account the largest, most Jewish community in the world, the very community which exclusively expresses Judaism, Israel?
    So tell you what, Russ Green, when Judaism explicitly rejects killing in the name of Judaism, or for the purposes of Judaism, you can talk about the Moslems. Till then, put a sock in it. “Some forms of Judaism” my ass. The largest and most powerful form of Judaism, and the one with its own Army, the IDF. And this ideology of killing to advance Judaism’s interest is embraced by more Jews than any other ideology.
    As usual I’m being to harsh and personal, but I am delightful that way. But really, it’s pretty much of a we-have-met-the-enemy-and-he-is-us kind of thing. But of course, it’s probably not you, so I apologise.

    • philweiss on September 17, 2012, 10:56 pm

      Thanks Mooser. You hit the high C there, nailed it

      • Mooser on September 17, 2012, 11:28 pm

        Gosh, what would you do around here without the people who say what you can’t?
        Which, I hope, is read as a compliment to both you and them.

        Now, I didn’t do (as I should have done) research before I started throwing around superlatives, but it would be fair to say Israel is indeed the largest single, unified community of Jews in the world, and the place where Judaism is not just tolerated, but it is the unimpeded basis of their culture, language, politics, law and government? And religion.
        Well, that makes it “the Jews” to me.
        I just don’t see a way around it. That is who we are.

    • hophmi on September 18, 2012, 8:13 pm

      “By any objective standard, the Jews who favor killing, and think they have the right to kill for Judaism, and that killing is a way for Judaism to advance, is the largest single group of Jews in the world.”

      What tendentious and hateful BS. No one favors killing as a way for Judaism “to advance.”

      “So tell you what, Russ Green, when Judaism explicitly rejects killing in the name of Judaism, or for the purposes of Judaism, you can talk about the Moslems. ”

      When you show that any large group of Jews believe that killing is necessary to advance the religion, get back to us. Israel is involved in a land conflict. The actions it takes to defend itself and its citizens are little different, and much less bloody, than the action taken by the United States on foreign soil to defend itself against a terrorist threat.

      When Jews blow up a World Trade Center, get back to us.

      When Jews destroy historical artifacts like the Buddhist statutes in Afghanistan, get back to us.

      When Jewish clerics talk of an international Ummah and getting the world to kneel before them, get back to us.

      When Jews turn Somalia into a hellhole, get back to us.

      When Jews perpetrate two genocides in Sudan, one against Christians and one against other Africans, get back to us.

      When Jews bring Nigeria to the brink of civil war because they’d like to impose sharia law, get back to us.

      When Jews murder hundreds of schoolchildren in Russia, get back to us.

      When Jews blow up subway trains in London and Spain, get back to us.

      And when Jews are a religion of 1.5 billion people, nay, a lunatic fringe of maybe 100 million of that 1.5 billion (and that’s pretty conservative), get back to us.

      These are all acts undertaken by Islamic fanatics.

      It is so telling, Mondowhackjobs, that when some idiot who made a crazy Islamophobic film said he had a 100 Jewish donors as financiers, you all were only too willing to believe it, even though it was transparent nonsense.

      You are bigots.

      You are no credit to the pro-Palestinian movement.

      And you are a disgrace to the cause of social justice.

      • Cliff on September 19, 2012, 4:42 am

        hoppy is going bonkers but let’s get through his tirade one dishonest slippery-slope at a time:

        When Jews blow up a World Trade Center, get back to us.

        Jews do not need to blow up the WTC. This is the same idiotic and HATE-FILLED Zionist-standard of setting the bar so absurdly above the clouds such that the Palestinians are continually “other’d”.

        It is similar to saying the Palestinians have nothing to whine about since X, Y and Z is going on next door in Syria or Darfur or blah blah blah.

        Well, Jews have committed terrorism. Jews have committed ethnic cleansing – past, present and unfortunately for the foreseeable future.

        Jews have subverted democratic process for partisan, ideological ethno-religious politics. Jews have done all sorts of blah blah that reflect NEGATIVELY on their implied primary identifier as JEWS, according to YOUR THESIS (as a counter to ‘Muslims have done this, that and the other thing.’)

        So shut the **** up you clown.

        When Jews destroy historical artifacts like the Buddhist statutes in Afghanistan, get back to us.

        Jews have erased hundreds of Palestinian villages and are building/planning on building/were planning on building a ‘Museum of Tolerance’ on an Islamic burial ground.

        Jews have stolen thousands of Palestinian books (which were then ‘lost’ or destroyed during the Nakba) – a priceless piece of Palestinian culture and history.

        Etc.

        When Jewish clerics talk of an international Ummah and getting the world to kneel before them, get back to us.

        Jewish leaders regularly have stated that the United States (Bibi Yahoo) isn’t a ‘problem’. Or that 9/11 was good for Israel. Or that goyim are here to serve Jews. Or that Jews should fight wars the Jewish way, meaning kill non-Jews with ferocity and no mercy.

        And who gives a shit what Islamic clerics are SAYING when Jewish leaders are – in action – able to stranglehold both the Republican and Democratic parties vis a vis the Holocaust Industry/the Israel Lobby/etc. etc.

        The infrastructure in place of the pro-Israel movement in the West is more dangerous than the pitiful passive aggressive rantings of some random Islamic cleric that NO ONE WILL REMEMBER here in the States except to USE to make Islamophobic arguments and sweeping generalizations about.

        Whereas in action, your cult is subverting the democratic process of the world’s only superpower. Do the math, moron.

        When Jews turn Somalia into a hellhole, get back to us.

        Jews sold weapons to genocidal dictatorships when even the United States was forbidden to do so. Jews provided paramilitary training to genocidal dictatorships when even the United States was forbidden to do so. Jews traded in nuclear secrets to Apartheid South Africa when it was publicly taboo to do anything with Apartheid-Anything.

        When Jews perpetrate two genocides in Sudan, one against Christians and one against other Africans, get back to us.

        When Jews gain the position of power to carry out such genocides then we shall see. So far, Jews have used their collective power to steal land from the indigenous people of Palestine and subvert Western democracy/cling to Western powers to prop up the Jewish State in the Arab world/Islamic world for the foreseeable future.

        Zionism is a destabilizing geopolitical logic in the region that will only be maintained by war and economic depression of the vast majority of non-Jews in the region – the vast ‘Others’.

        Fascist Jewish nationalists like you, hoppy, rant and rave about antisemitism until you’ve invented a new form of interpretive dance but you don’t shy away from lumping all Muslims together from the Sudan to Iraq to Somalia to America to SA to Egypt to Indonesia.

        You are an ignorant tool and proof against the stereotype that Jews are generally smart.

        When Jews bring Nigeria to the brink of civil war because they’d like to impose sharia law, get back to us.

        Jews fomented Civil War in Lebanon and sided with the Phalanges as they massacred helpless Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps. Israel killed 20,000 in that war. Who gives a shit about sharia law. Islam in Nigeria is not the same as Islam in America.

        And you bet your Zionist rear end that Jewish nationalism in America is not the same as it is in Israel because if people like you were as vocal and visible with your hateful views in a sustained national spotlight, Zionism would be FINISHED.

        Zionism – much like mushrooms – thrives in the dark. Fed on a steady diet of shit. Bullshit that is.

        When Jews murder hundreds of schoolchildren in Russia, get back to us.

        Jews have killed 10 times the number of Palestinian children and 5 times the number of Palestinians civilians in general since the 2nd Intifada.

        When Jews blow up subway trains in London and Spain, get back to us.

        Jews have assassinated British ambassadors and blown up British HQ in Mandate Palestine when it was their modus operandi at the time. When the political goals were achieved, the terrorism ceased. I’d imagine if you added that logical component to your analysis a lot of your histrionics and sweeping generalizations would collapse.

        And when Jews are a religion of 1.5 billion people, nay, a lunatic fringe of maybe 100 million of that 1.5 billion (and that’s pretty conservative), get back to us.

        I’d say most Jews are Zionists and most Zionists, beings Zionists, are lunatics. So in terms of percentages – Zionism has got Islam beat in terms of raw majority lunacy.

        These are all acts undertaken by Islamic fanatics.

        And all acts of Zionist terrorism are undertaken by MAINSTREAM Zionist politicians who go on to become the PRIME MINISTERS of the State of Israel or who become pardoned for their horrible crimes or who get medals and ribbons or honored in some way.

        Zionist terrorism is continually white-washed and forgotten and forgiven.

        There is no comparison. There is no catharsis. Islam is under a microscope. Judaism and Zionism are continually allowed to butcher/steal/etc. without reproach.

        It is so telling, Mondowhackjobs, that when some idiot who made a crazy Islamophobic film said he had a 100 Jewish donors as financiers, you all were only too willing to believe it, even though it was transparent nonsense.

        The nexus of Islamophobia and Zionist advocacy is real and has been documented here on MW NUMEROUS TIMES IN THE PAST.

        In fact, the donors have been listed for all to see and is a matter of PUBLIC RECORD.

        Hence, it is ENTIRELY REASONABLE to come to the conclusion that a Zionist Jew would have been behind this act of instigation considering the well-known disgusting propaganda videos to come out of the Zionist matrix of bullshit videos about Islam/Arabs/Palestinian solidarity/etc.

        You yourself, being a hateful fascist Jewish nationalist have used such propagandistic terms like ‘Pallywood’. These terms carry such weight and resonance and are associated with the bigots that made the video in question.

        The man behind the video is an associate with Pam Gellar – BIG F—ING SURPRISE.

        You are bigots.

        Wrong, you are a Zionist. From that perspective, everyone else is a bigot. My dad is one of the best psychiatrists in his state. I can hook you up hoppy. Lemme know.

        You are no credit to the pro-Palestinian movement.

        And you are a disgrace to the cause of social justice.

      • Donald on September 19, 2012, 7:38 am

        It’s an old book, but Hophmi needs to read “The Israeli Connection-Who Israel Arms and Why”

        link

        He also needs to read a few other books. A nice low key start that actually understates the Nakba (not the author’s fault–he wrote before more info came out) is “Sacred Landscapes” by Meron Benvenisti.

        Not that it would do any good, I’m afraid.

      • eljay on September 19, 2012, 7:29 am

        >> Israel is involved in a land conflict.

        Right, and the rapist is merely involved in merely a “sexual gratification conflict” with his victim.

        Zio-supremacist Jews / Israelis are involved in an ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder.

        >> The actions it takes to defend itself and its citizens are little different, and much less bloody, than the action taken by the United States on foreign soil to defend itself against a terrorist threat.

        The United States is not on foreign soil to “defend itself” – it is on foreign soil to secure its interests. And, in that sense, what Israel is doing is little different from what the U.S. is doing.

        Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig!

      • Woody Tanaka on September 19, 2012, 10:05 am

        LMAO. New Year, same unhinged hoppy.

        Hoppy, you are the bigot. You’ve demonstrated it over and over again and you do so again her by excusing israel’s murder, death and destruction that it rains down on the heads of innocent men, women and children, as it has for decades, as merely a “land conflict” as opposed to those scary, scary Muslims who’ve gotten your panties in a twist. Their conflict MUST be religious; it can’t be political at all, otherwise what would you do with all of your unhinged anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry.

  27. hophmi on September 19, 2012, 9:53 am

    Ah yes, and there was also this, in France:

    http://www.news.com.au/world/french-magazine-charlie-hebdo-publishes-nude-cartoons-of-prophet-mohammed/story-fndir2ev-1226477532876

    “The magazine is no stranger to controversy over issues relating to Islam.

    Last year it published an edition ”guest-edited” by Prophet Mohammed that it called Sharia Hebdo.

    The magazine’s offices in Paris were subsequently fire-bombed.”

    This week, Charlie Hebdo published cartoons mocking Jews and Muslims. Anyone want to bet with me on which group’s fanatics will attack them first?

    I fear that the only way to get past this problem is for Western news sources to continue to publish cartoons featuring Mohammed. Eventually, Islamists will get the message that the West does not take notes on free speech from Islamic fanatics. I find all of this unnecessary, of course, and I hope that future cartoons are respectful of Islamic iconography, but I can’t see another way around the issue. Ultimately, the masses in Islamic societies will get the message and reign in the militants. who are giving them a bad name.

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